Softpanorama
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)

Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

In Foreign Events Coverage Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment

Reporters without conscience: once a nominally left of centre liberal publication became firmly embedded part of the Foreign Office and the US Department of State

Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Media-Military-Industrial Complex > Propaganda

News Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Links Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Media as a weapon of mass deception US and British media are servants of security apparatus
Edward Licas as agent provocateur Hypocrisy of British elite MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Pussy Riot Provocation and Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17?
Lewis Powell Memo Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite The Iron Law of Oligarchy Two Party System as Polyarchy American Exceptionalism Anatol Leiven on American Messianism
The importance of controlling the narrative Patterns of Propaganda The Real War on Reality Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
Diplomacy by deception Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Color revolutions Media-Military-Industrial Complex Manufactured consent What's the Matter with Kansas
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neo-fascism Nation under attack meme Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law Bullshit as MSM communication method Big Uncle is Watching You
Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" Russian Ukrainian Gas wars Nineteen Eighty-Four British hypocrisy
Groupthink Soft propaganda Fighting Russophobia Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

  • Lapdog is easy role, watchdog is hard.
  • Lapdogs are lazy but get fed, watchdogs stand out in the cold, and get kicked.
  • Lapdogs get rich, watchdogs remain poor.
  • Lapdogs eat shit, and watchdogs kick ass.
  • Lapdogs need many masters, watchdogs are their own master.
  • Lapdogs are part of the problem, watchdogs are part of the solution.

@RIP, lapdogs are dismissed even by the asses they kissed, while history remembers watchdogs for the asses they kicked.

Backbutton

10 October 2014 3:46pm

When Gerald Celente branded the American media “presstitutes,” he got it right. The US print and TV media (and NPR) whore for Washington and the corporations. Reporting the real news is their last concern. The presstitutes are a Ministry of Propaganda and Coverup. This is true of the entire Western media, a collection of bought-and-paid-for whores.

by Paul Craig Roberts, June 4, 2013,

A lot of our problems come from the unwillingness of honest people to call out the liars, cranks, wh*res and hacks.

A Brief Theory of Very Serious People — Crooked Timber

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Guardian as a neoliberal propaganda mouthpeace


Top updates

Softpanorama Switchboard
Softpanorama Search


NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012

[Feb 15, 2017] Americans arent as attached to democracy as you might think

Notable quotes:
"... Statistics can be made to slant any way you intend. ..."
"... Stupid survey leads to dumber article and fucking ridiculous headline. Standard Guardian opinion I guess. ..."
"... Seriously can you perhaps stop being so clickbaity? I've already lost the Independent because it went full on lefty Buzzfeed listical "you won't believe what they did to Trump when the lights went out". Don't follow them downwards. ..."
"... On both side of the Atlantic, we don't have a 'democracy', we have an elected monarchy. The trouble is, this monarchy gets itself elected on the basis of lies, money and suppression. For a few brief years after WWII, there was an attempt to hold executives to account, but neoliberals put paid to all that. Nowadays, it's just as if nothing had changed since Henry VIII's time. ..."
"... What we gave the ordinary Russian was neo-liberalism and they got screwed by it. Capitalisms greatest trick was to convince the many that it & democracy are the same thing. When actually, on many levels, they are totally at odds with each other. ..."
Feb 15, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
Statistics can be made to slant any way you intend. Essentially can be be used as another form of lie and propganada

Lawrence Douglas

But, the result changed when the data were narrowed to those who identified themselves as Trump supporters: 51% agreed that Trump should be able to overturn court decisions. 33% disagreed. 16% were not sure.

It is tempting to attribute this difference between Trump supporters and others simply to the fact that the president's supporters prefer a more authoritarian style of government, prioritize social order, like strong rulers, and worry about maintaining control in a world they perceive to be filled with threats and on the verge of chaos.


As the PPP's survey reveals, Trump is appealing to a remarkably receptive audience in his attempts to rule by decree – and many are no longer attached to the rule of law and/or democracy. Other studies confirm these findings. One such study found a dramatic decline in the percentage of people who say it is "essential" to live in a democracy.

When asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 how "essential" it is for them "to live in a democracy," 72% of Americans born before World War II check "10," the highest value. But, the millennial generation (those born since 1980) "has grown much more indifferent." Less than 1 in 3 hold a similar belief about the importance of democracy.

And, the New York Times reports that while 43% of older Americans thought it would be illegitimate for the military to take power if civilian government was incompetent, only 19% of millennials agreed.

While millennials may be politically liberal in their policy preferences, they have come of age in a time of political paralysis in democratic institutions, declining civility in democratic dialogue, and dramatically increased anxiety about economic security.

These findings suggest that we can no longer take for granted that our fellow citizens will stand up for the rule of law and democracy. That's why, while President Trump's behavior has riveted the media and the public, our eyes should not only be focused on him but on this larger – and troubling - trend.

If the rule of law and democracy are to survive in America we will need to address the decline in the public's understanding of, and support for both. While we celebrate the Ninth Circuit's decision on Trump's ban, we also must initiate a national conversation about democracy and the rule of law. Civics education, long derided, needs to be revived.

Schools, civic groups, and the media must to go back to fundamentals and explain what basic American political values entail and why they are desirable. Defenders of democracy and the rule of law must take their case to the American people and remind them of the Founders' admonition that: "If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."

We need to remember that our freedom from an arbitrary or intrusive government depends on the rule of law and a functioning democracy. We need to rehabilitate both – before this crisis of faith worsens.

Austin Sarat is a professor of jurisprudence and political science at Amherst College

, greatapedescendant , 11 Feb 2017 11:29

"There is much to celebrate in the court decision against President Trump's immigration ban. It was a stirring victory for the rule of law and reaffirmation of the independence of the judiciary."

A stirring victory of the rule of law? Hardly. More like an extraordinary act of politicised justice. And an orchestrated one at that. In my opinion that is, and as I see it at this point in time and from what I am able to discern.

No. I do not see not see any stirring victories for the rule of law here here. Certainly no courage of truth or justice. Nor, as it happens, do I like this travel ban. Nevertheless, the court's ruling seems to me to be wrong since the constitution gives the president the power to enforce blanket bans against countries believed to pose a threat.

I cannot see how the ban could justifiably be said to be aimed specifically at Muslims since it does not concern some 90 percent of the world's Muslim population. So it looks very much like a political decision from the 9th Circuit Court – and now San Francisco - in a tug of war between Democrats and Republicans.

I am somehow reminded of the final "Yes we can" in Obama's farewell speech and of a sore loser – the vindictive Mrs Clinton. Some smooth transfer of power.

The very fact that expert analysts are already sizing up what will be the Supreme Court's decision in terms of breaking the stalemate between 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats provides a perfect illustration of the politicisation of the judiciary at the highest level. Compatibly with this, Democrats are continuing to block Gorsuch's nomination.

And compatibly with this the illusion of salutary Rawlsian** apolitical amnesiacs on the part of the judiciary disperses like Scotch mist.

Somehow I have a clear mental picture of a newspaper editor, no one in particular, sitting back in his chair with a smug smile 'Look how we managed to swing that one', I hear him say. The principal protagonists here, overshadowing the US lawcourts, are the mainstream media. A power never to be underestimated, especially when the choir is singing in full maledictory and mephitic unison.

**The reference is to A Theory of Justice, the monumental work on philosophy of law by John Rawls. It casts damning light on judicial impartiality by focusing on distorting criteria affecting juries. Worth reading in the context of attacks on the impartiality of the judiciary in US lawcourts taking place right now. And also in the wake of recent attacks on the judiciary in Britain over Brexit.

, sam0412 imperium3 , 11 Feb 2017 11:53
This,

Interesting that Clinton's 52% is regarded as a God-given mandate where as the 52% for Leave is unfair as the voters were "too old/uneducated/outside London"

In both campaigns if more people my age (26) had actually bothered to vote then the results would probably be very different.

, Bluthner , 11 Feb 2017 11:34

Only 53% of those surveyed said that they "trust judges more than President Trump to make the right decisions for the United States."

But that is an utterly assinine question to ask anyone!

"Making decisions for the United States" suggests setting policy. The judges Trump is so angry with aren't making policy decisions, they are interpreting the laws that already exist.

Laws without and independent judiciary are not laws at all, they are just whims of whoever or whatever is in power. Might as well ask people do you prefer to live in a country that follows its laws or do you want to live at the whim of an irrational despot with irresponsible power who can do whatever the hell he pleases.

This survey is clearly a case of garbage in garbage out. Which is a pity, because the subject is an important one.

, LithophaneFurcifera Bluthner , 11 Feb 2017 12:03
In a common law system, like those of Britain and the US, judges do make law. If there is no relevant legislation and no precedent, the judge is required to make new law in order to rule on the case, which will then be cited as precedent by future courts. In a civil law system, like those of continental Europe, judges merely interpret (and generalise, where necessary) the rules set out in statutes and codes, and have less scope to innovate.

Of course, the recent case over Trump's immigration plans has been based on interpretations of the constitution though, but even interpretations are political (hence why the balance of power between liberals and conservatives on the Supreme Court is considered such a big issue).

, Veryumble , 11 Feb 2017 11:35
After nearly 40 years of corporate, lobbyist controlled politics, it's little surprise the younger generation have no faith in democracy. What on earth is the point in voting for two shades of the same shit?
, YoungMrP , 11 Feb 2017 11:36
You could argue that the US has never been a democracy. It is a strange democracy that allowed slavery, or the later segregation in the south, or that has systematically overlooked the rust belt taking all the gold for the liberal coasts.

It seems democracy is simply a way of deciding who the dictator should be. Not unlike the U.K. Either.

, YoungMrP therebythegrace , 11 Feb 2017 14:15
If you were black in Alabama in the early 60s I don't think you would have enjoyed any more freedom, respect or control than your Russian counterpart at that time
, jan oskar Hansen , 11 Feb 2017 11:38
democracy is, of course, the best form of governance but in practice we see it benefit the wealthy who unhindered can rob
the poor, only a socialist government can
usher in a true government to do so it may
be needed to have an authoritarian regime
, Cape7441 jan oskar Hansen , 11 Feb 2017 11:55
True socialism is a form of government which sounds wonderful in theory. In practice it has never successfully worked anywhere in the world. It does not take account of human nature.
, Captain_Smartypants jan oskar Hansen , 11 Feb 2017 12:00
Sorry but in the authoritarian nominatively socialist governments of the past the poor were as robbed off the fruit of their labour and their dignity as they are today.
, BonzoFerret , 11 Feb 2017 11:39
It's effectively a FPTP system that means you have a choice from only two parties. Even if someone could challenge they'd need to be a billionaire to do so. America is no democracy.
, Andy Wong Ming Jun therebythegrace , 11 Feb 2017 14:22
Germany under Adolf Hitler before he started WWII was not a zillion times worse than any of the contemporary powers in Western Europe. Neither was Franco's Spain. Looking in other areas of the globe and further away from the West, what about South Korea under Park Chung Hee? Would you call his dictatorship bad when he brought South Korea up to become one of the Asian 5 Tigers?
, therebythegrace Andy Wong Ming Jun , 11 Feb 2017 15:14

Germany under Adolf Hitler before he started WWII was not a zillion times worse than any of the contemporary powers in Western Europe

Is that supposed to be a joke? If so, it's in very poor taste.

My parents grew up in Nazi Germany. Yes, it was a zillion times worse. Political opponents were routinely murdered. There was no rule of law. Minorities, gay people etc were imprisoned, tortured, murdered, expelled.

WTF are on you on about?

, Metreemewall Andy Wong Ming Jun , 11 Feb 2017 15:50
Clueless.

Germany was broke, following their defeat in WWI; people were poor, humiliated,insecure and frightened for the future. In other words, the classic breeding ground for demagogues and extremists.

After WWII, the Allies had learned their lesson and made sure that Germany should, for everyone's security, be helped to prosper.

, Wehadonebutitbroke Andy Wong Ming Jun , 11 Feb 2017 16:05
what about South Korea under Park Chung Hee? Would you call his dictatorship bad when he brought South Korea up to become one of the Asian 5 Tigers?

The Friemanite right adored him and many of his equally repressive and dictatorial successors (just as they did Pinochet, Suharto (deemed by Transparency International to be the most corrupt leader in modern history to boot) and endless South American juntas etc).

Every one else saw him for what he was - an authoritarian who had political opponents tortured and killed and who banned any form of protest.

, John Favre praxismakesperfec , 11 Feb 2017 16:11

And is it particularly surprising that Trump voters tend towards anti democratic authoritarianism?

My dad and two of my brothers voted for Trump. Like most Americans, they detest authoritarian governments. I sincerely doubt you know any Trump voters - let alone ones who favor authoritarianism.

, fauteuilpolitique , 11 Feb 2017 11:42
How to misdirect readers with a BUT :

In a cross-section of Americans, only 53% of those surveyed said that they "trust judges more than President Trump to make the right decisions for the United States." 38% said they trusted Donald Trump more than our country's judges, and 9% were undecided.

But , the result changed when the data were narrowed to those who identified themselves as Trump supporters: 51% agreed that Trump should be able to overturn court decisions. 33% disagreed. 16% were not sure.

The results are significantly the same, the But implies something different.

, Paul B tenthenemy , 11 Feb 2017 13:32
besides, the results are *not* significantly the same. Fauteuil's first sentence suggests that 53% (more than a Brexit majority, hence Will of the People) of Americans support the judiciary over the presidency. In contrast, a majority of Trump supporters, not unnaturally, take the opposite view.
, sewollef , 11 Feb 2017 11:45
Statistics can be made to slant any way you intend.

So let's break this down: 51% of Trump supporters think he can do what he pleases. 51% means one quarter of those who voted in the US general election.

If we estimate that only two-thirds of the electorate voted, that means in reality, probably less than 16% of total potential voters think this way.

Not so dramatic now is it?

, bananacannon , 11 Feb 2017 11:45
Stupid survey leads to dumber article and fucking ridiculous headline. Standard Guardian opinion I guess.

Seriously can you perhaps stop being so clickbaity? I've already lost the Independent because it went full on lefty Buzzfeed listical "you won't believe what they did to Trump when the lights went out". Don't follow them downwards.

, Jympton , 11 Feb 2017 11:45
On both side of the Atlantic, we don't have a 'democracy', we have an elected monarchy. The trouble is, this monarchy gets itself elected on the basis of lies, money and suppression. For a few brief years after WWII, there was an attempt to hold executives to account, but neoliberals put paid to all that. Nowadays, it's just as if nothing had changed since Henry VIII's time.
, therebythegrace , 11 Feb 2017 11:46
Sad that a new, stupid generation have to learn the truth of Churchill's dictum that 'Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others'.

Sincerely hope for all of us that they don't have to learn this the hard way.

I say this speaking as someone whose parents fled Nazi Germany, and who also spent time with relatives in the former East Germany prior to the wall coming down. Life under a dictatorship, whether of the right or left, is no picnic.

, wikiwakiwik olderiamthelessiknow , 11 Feb 2017 12:32
'Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others'.

But is it democracy's fault when the option as to which kind of government we can choose is so narrow? Scary as it may sound, I think that the majority of young people would swap democracy just for some stability & safety. But what they fail to realize is that it's not democracy that's at the fault - but our form of capitalism. Look what happened in Russian when the wall came down & the free market rushed in & totally screwed over the ordinary Russian. Putin was, to some extent, a reaction to this. His strong man image was something they thought would help them. What we gave the ordinary Russian was neo-liberalism and they got screwed by it. Capitalisms greatest trick was to convince the many that it & democracy are the same thing. When actually, on many levels, they are totally at odds with each other.

, NadaZero , 11 Feb 2017 11:47
"Democracy is a great word, whose history, I suppose, remains unwritten, because that history has yet to be enacted." --Walt Whitman
, EpicHawk , 11 Feb 2017 11:47
Laws aren't final, they evolve with the needs of society. While I support this decidion I find all of this a bit silly and typical of that strange world.. "this is the law, therefor blabla.." I don't get why people even decide to study it in university. Most law students are like : "Yeah I don't know what to pick. Lets do Law, it'll give me a good job". Empty stuff really..
, Brexit_to_Democracy , 11 Feb 2017 11:47
Can someone please explain how the court has over ruled the executive order? From what I understand it's because it would harm some Americans - but does that mean using the same logic courts can undo tax increases, spending cuts, changes in abortion law? Or if the travel ban was instead passed by congress it would then be beyond the remit of judges?
, Brexit_to_Democracy Brexit_to_Democracy , 11 Feb 2017 11:51
And guns!! Surely judges could determine the second amendment can lead to a lot of harm?!
, referendum Brexit_to_Democracy , 11 Feb 2017 12:21
One example given was schools. Banning students from state universities, or professors, by preventing them from entering the country, was damaging to the schools capacity to earn money ( in tuition fees) and provide state education. Then there was the example of forcibly separating families.

But this part of the ruling does not exist on it's own, it goes together with another part of the ruling, which was that there was no good reason for this action, since the Government had failed to provide that any person from any of these countries was a threat - which was the reason given in the executive order. For this and other reasons the Executive order was deemed to be not legally enforceable.

Another problem is that this was an executive order, just a piece of paper signed by Trump, and the President does not have sole authority to make laws, there is also the judiciary and legislative branches - the courts and congress. If the travel ban had been passed by congress then the courts would probably have not been able to overturn it. In this game of stone scissors paper, the executive doesn't beat the other two - it needs one of them to rubber-stamp the decision if challenged. The argument that a presidential order should be all powerful and must be obeyed regardless of whether it was legal or not, was deemed by the judges to be anti constutional and thrown out of court.

The other examples you give of tax increases or spending cuts or abortion might indeed cause harm, but providing they are not anti-constitutional, and they get through congress, and are not illegal, the harm wouldn't be taken into account.

, Treflesg , 11 Feb 2017 11:48
I would not have voted for Trump. I would not have voted for quite a few American Presidents before him either.
But the hyperbole about Trump is being overdone.
The USA is one of the oldest democracies on earth, and, one of only ten nations that have lasted as democracies for more than a century.
By overstating Trump's impact, you are not helping.
, mondopinion Treflesg , 11 Feb 2017 12:12
It is actually a kind of hysteria. I remember Senator McCarthy's communist hysteria, and also the marijuana hysteria which swept through schools when I was a child in the 1950s.
, Tongariro1 , 11 Feb 2017 11:48
I'm a little surprised that there seems to be less debate in the USA about the electoral college for the presidency than I thought likely. Of course, the electoral college is a completely redundant if it never leads to a different result from a straightforward popular vote. As I understand it, the electoral college is designed to ensure that smaller states have a voice greater than their population size alone would deliver.

But in a nationwide poll, on a binary issue, such as the election of the president or Brexit, I would have thought that each vote should count equally. SNP supporters might differ in this view, as would presumably US Democratic Party supporters.

, unclestinky , 11 Feb 2017 11:48
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.- H. L. Mencken.

Working so far.

, MightyBuccaneer , 11 Feb 2017 11:49

Public support for the rule of law and democracy can no longer be taken for granted.


"no longer"?

There was a mysterious absence of support for the rule of law when Obama used drones to extrajudicially assassinate American citizens.

, MightyBuccaneer , 11 Feb 2017 11:51

Only 53% of those surveyed said that they "trust judges more than President Trump to make the right decisions for the United States." In this cross-section of Americans, 38% said they trusted Donald Trump more than our country's judges. 9% were undecided.

This means absolutely nothing regarding whether people support democracy and the rule of law.

Were the results about Obama, the very same result would probably be interpreted as racism by the liberal media.

, innnn , 11 Feb 2017 11:51
Another poll from Public Polling Policy says that by a margin of 51/23 Trump supporters agree that the Bowling Green massacre shows that Trump's travel ban is a good idea.

That's shows what you're up against and also why both Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer 'misspeak' so often.

, cidcid , 11 Feb 2017 11:51

A new national survey suggests that we can no longer take for granted that our fellow citizens will stand up for the rule of law and democracy

Dear Austin, let me educate you a bit about the basics. The rule of law and democracy cannot both exist simultaneously in one society. The former has never been an American tradition. Read Tocqueville.

The rule of law is characteristic of a totalitarian state where it is enforced by civil servant. The basic principle of such a state were described by Shang Yang 2400 years ago: a civil servant obeys the law, regardless of the will of his superior. Everyone obeys the law from top to bottom.

In democracy people are judged by courts of jury. Which rule as they like, representing the public opinion, not the written law. Constitution doesn't exist either. Teddy Roosevelt explained when asked if his orders are constitutional: "The constitution was created for the people, not the people for the constitution".

One nice example: the famous "Affirmative Action". It is obviously inconsistent with the most basic constitutional principle, that people are born equal. But it existed because the public didn't mind.

, MathiasWeitz , 11 Feb 2017 11:52
It makes me really wonder if americans (and other nations) are feeling something like a 'weimar' moment, when the germans in 1933 lost trust in their very young democracy after living for years under economic hardship and political pariah.
There is so much that resembles the nazi-era, this xenophobia, that started with a slow decay of civil rights, the erosion of check and balances without the need to change the constitution.
When we are heading for the similar kind of fascism like germany eighty years ago, at what point people should be held responsible for making a stand ?
, MightyBuccaneer , 11 Feb 2017 11:54

Schools, civic groups, and the media must to go back to fundamentals and explain what basic American political values entail and why they are desirable.

Agreed. Special emphasis should be placed on accepting the results of elections, there appears to have been a recent surge in undemocratic sentiment on that front.

, MrHubris MightyBuccaneer , 11 Feb 2017 11:57
How about special emphasis on debunking lies from people like the cowardly, liar Trump? Share Facebook Twitter
, therebythegrace MightyBuccaneer , 11 Feb 2017 12:48
Are you confusing "accepting the results of elections' with 'denying people the right to peacefully protest'?

If so, I think you are the one who could do with going back to the fundamentals and learning about what democracy entails.

Share Facebook Twitter
, eltonbraces MrHubris , 11 Feb 2017 12:50
Perhaps sweet, caring, sharing Hillary could visit and put them straight.
, CortoL , 11 Feb 2017 11:54
Democracy? What democracy? Share Facebook Twitter
, Streona25 , 11 Feb 2017 11:55
Can you have a democratic plutocracy?
, michaelmichael , 11 Feb 2017 11:56
"Americans aren't as attached to democracy as you might think"

you only just realised?? Wow

'Democracy' is just a handy label for when the US wants to bomb another sovereign state

, ErikFBerger , 11 Feb 2017 11:56
"... trust judges more than President Trump to make the right decisions for the United States."

This question is badly worded. It is not judges role to lead the country. The question should have been:

"Should judges uphold the law to the best of their understanding, even if that means nullifying an order by president Trump?"

, UnashamedPedant , 11 Feb 2017 11:59
That link to the Federalist of 1788 on Checks & Balances is wrong. Here is the correct version:
http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa51.htm
, ayupmeduck2 , 11 Feb 2017 11:59
I suspect that it's a change in what the word democracy means to people. Even the older generation are starting to understand that the 'democracies' that we live under in the western world are horribly distorted. Big corporations, even foreign ones, have far more access to the elected executive than the actual voters. Governments dance to the tune of powerful media. Votes don't often count for much at all.

With this background it's no wonder that the Brexit voters feel drunk with power. For once they voted on something and believe that they will get exactly what they voted for. The final irony is that for most of them they don't realise that they were turkeys voting for Christmas. Brexit could have possibly bought them some benefits, but the Tories seem determined to deny them even that. Once the realise they have been swindled, what then for democracy?

, sd0001 ayupmeduck2 , 11 Feb 2017 13:31
People have lost faith in democracy, politics, the judicial system and, yes, economics.

Voting to remain in the EU, is a vote for the status quo...if you're lucky. They want more government, not less. It is not a 20-50 year project. It is forever, and they will not stay still. It will evolve, and not regress politically.

The UK government will have to change, and they have the chance. They may not succeed, but I believe they will try, and the pressure from the people will be more direct.

The EU don't want to change. If it was an economic union and not a political one, then it would be a great organisation.

Forget the garbage about wars and instability. That comes from economic success, with NATO providing any security until that comes to fruition to the developing countries.

, FCBarca , 11 Feb 2017 12:00
No surveys needed to arrive at these conclusions I am afraid, apathy and mistrust of govt has been eroding for decades. US government is a cesspool of corruption and in no small way is aided by the fact that its citizens have given tacit approval for the erosion of their own civil liberties and rights while celebrating the war machine that has increasingly rolled on for more than 3 decades

The abyss looming for the US, and by extension the world, can be traced back to a populace that abandoned democracy and freely gifted the cronies the mandate to accelerate the erosion.

Solution? Kill apathy and not only get back involved but remain vigilant to preserve checks & balances

, Knapping , 11 Feb 2017 12:00
Forty years ago, democracy was more or less synonymous with prosperity. Given it's now wider spread to many poorer states across the world, as well as the incredible increase in the standard of living in non-democratic countries, principally China, this is no longer the case. I suspect we have not made the case for democracy as an end in itself, nor as a route to distributing prosperity more widely, or as a corollary of 'The Free Market'.
, J092939 Knapping , 11 Feb 2017 12:13
This (democracy relates to prosperity) is insightful. Will we all be able to operate democratically when climate issues and exhaustion of resources vs. population force us to manage the decline?
, timiengels , 11 Feb 2017 12:02
A thought provoking article. Like many things it comes down to terminology .what, for example is democracy? Are the US or UK systems really democracies when it is clear that laws are enacted in the interests of a narrow group of citizens and corporations who have the power to lobby, especially in the US where bribery has been legalized with respect to lobbying.

Beyond this, look at US attempts to come up with some sort of climate change plan. All of these flounder on the twin rocks of democracy with its lobbying (we'll never get voted in again) or economic cost to the tax payer (we'll get voted out next time).

Democracy is always presented in our schools, TVs, books and newspapers as a universal good, when in reality there are good democracies and bad democracies with the US and UK versions actually being on the bad side what with an unelected second chamber of grandees in the UK and the US in a state of perpetual wars of choice.

Countries are what they do. The US starts wars. The UK follows the US into wars. Most countries whether democratic or not, don't start many wars (Germany hasn't started too many wars since 1939). Many countries that don't start wars are actually controlled by non democratic governments or military juntas .and personally I would prefer non democracies that don't start wars. It's not a difficult concept to grasp.

The main problems with all forms of government is abuse of power and it goes on in democracies as much as any other type of government. Look at Tony Blair astride the globe hoover-ing up millions instead of being sitting next the Bush in a 6X8 feet cell. When Britain and America fell asleep and accepted total state surveillance as the price they had to pay to stop a handful of terrorist deaths each year, they set themselves up for this power to be abused in the future and badly abused.
What's the answer? Really it begins at home with lessons in honesty, modesty, selflessness and the like. The reality and the kids are plonked down in front of the TV watching the avarice of the Kardashians there is little hope.

, uuuuuuu , 11 Feb 2017 12:02
After the horrors of WWII most people in the developed world understood both, the dangers and merits of democracy. In fact there is a conventional wisdom that it is totalitarian regimes which start wars, never democracies. By and large that may be true, but I don't think it is true in every instance.

But the major motivation for people is to press their own advantage, even it is to the detriment of somebody else. Even if it is quite evident that it is to the fatal detriment of somebody else. I guess religion describes this as our original sin. If that goal of personal advantage is better secured by a dictatorship then people (e.g. in 1930s Germany) will support that. Democracy is not a value in itself for the majority, but just a means to an end. After all, I suspect many would prefer to be rich in a totalitarian state, rather than poor in a democracy (especially those people who have never lived under a totalitarian regime).

What people like Trump do is to legitimise this drive/desire/greed as something positive (greed is good, greed works), when all of our upbringing has told us otherwise. Otherwise we could just take to killing our siblings to acquire their larger bedrooms.

I suspect the horrors of WWII have to be repeated to re-learn that lesson.

, Peter55 , 11 Feb 2017 12:03
oh well who cares. let the US rip itself apart from the inside, we all knew it was gonna happen sooner or later.

there will be no need for a terrorist attack to destroy the US ,they manage that fine on their own. a 50/50 split in the population over values and believes? Regardless of who's right and who's wrong. Its so damaging that by the end of Trump Pax America will be history.

US cant even keep control in their own backyard atm, thousands are killed within their own boarders every year by their own people, most average people will never get enough paid to sustain a adequate living condition, they struggle heavily with race and race related problems. They struggle heavily with females and female right.
But most importantly they are not united, americans hate americans now. Many americans hate their fellow americans more than they hate outside enemies. And thats a fact. How can a society like that survive?

The US will eat itself and Trump will probably earn a billion on it, he is after all a business man. He does what suits him best. But did anyone actually expect something els?

, baxterb , 11 Feb 2017 12:03
Make them afraid, then exploit that fear like there's no tomorrow. Heartening that people don't fall for it though.
, Bluejil , 11 Feb 2017 12:04
It does correlate with research that says one third of US residents believe you must be Christian to be American ( http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/02/01/what-it-takes-to-truly-be-one-of-us /). Jesus makes the laws.

Take it a step further and apparently the word of Jesus is that you pull the ladder up after you and you look to the demagogue giving false praise to fantastical notions and mocking democracy.

, Fred Ducleaux Bluejil , 11 Feb 2017 12:17
There is much confusion between "Christian" America and America's Judeo-Christian Heritage. Books have been written.

The heritage is what gave America, and Europe, Liberal Democracy and freedoms understood as "self-evident." That is, embedded and safe from lawyers and politicians. You do not need to be a "Christian" to enjoy the freedomos the heritage gives to all.

, nottaken Fred Ducleaux , 11 Feb 2017 15:57
"self-evident" is a strong clue that the constitution was informed more by man-centred Enlightenment than by residual Judeo-Christian Heritage.
The majority of the framers were Atheists or Deists; any reference to God was part of the necessary legitimizing and marketing process. Since then it has been a process of Christianity (read: Protestantism) being merged with the civic religion, to the point where they are indistinguishable. Both have been mightily degraded in the process.

More recently, corporate America's propaganda campaign to merge Christianity with Capitalism, fronted by Rev. J Fifield, was hugely successful, and has brought us to the present pass.

, mikedow , 11 Feb 2017 12:04
Sitting politicians create the laws the judges interpret.

That seems to be a necessary reminder.

Share Facebook Twitter
, AgainstDarkness , 11 Feb 2017 12:05
"While millennials may be politically liberal in their policy preferences... "

They are not politically liberal. They might be vaguely called "socially liberal", supporting the causes prescribed to them by a new "progressivism" in the name of ill-defined tolerance, diversity etc.

None of the above implies an understanding of liberal democracy.

There have been many strains of the "left" in the past that would be classified as "liberal" under current American terminology but were totally undemocratic. That was why the term "democratic left" was invented to separate left-wing people that really believe in democracy.

The modern "progressive identarian" is not a liberal.

, Fred Ducleaux , 11 Feb 2017 12:08
If you are a Green Card holder and leave the US you can incure tax liability for up to 10 years. Taxation without representation.

But........the most flagrant departure from Democracy is giving the lawyers the final say on what is, or is not, the law. The legislature can pass whatever bills they may like but if the lawyers say it is offensive or phobic it will be struck down. The "Supreme" Court is the ultimate power in the USA and none are elected by the people and none can be removed by the people. The only way they go is in a box.

Sad to say, Tony Blair (surprise surprise!) created the same undemocratic monster in our country and even labelled it the same way: "Supreme." Unelected, unaccountable and as politically motivated as its US counterpart.

, Jack Taylor Fred Ducleaux , 11 Feb 2017 12:20
By lawyers I guess you mean judges?
, snavep Fred Ducleaux , 11 Feb 2017 12:22
No the SC in the US can decide a law is contrary to the constitution.
Can you give a single example where the UK SC has 'struck down' any legislation? They have declared govt decisions contrary to existing law including common law. You do seem to have a habit of coming on here making stuff up.
, lochinverboy , 11 Feb 2017 12:08
In the context of first past the post, democracy is a total con. If you examine those democracies with FPTP you wintness the most right wing governments on the planet that use this system. PR as is used across Europe prevents these extremes and all votes count. Do you think the Tories OR Labour will rush to change to this? No chance. Lastly, here and in the US, you have a choice of two broadly similar parties who serve the rich and powerful who have engineered democracy largely by contolling the press, to suit their own ends. By definition therefore, democracy here and in the US is a caricature of what was originally intended for the people and not fit for purpose.
, Graz100 lochinverboy , 11 Feb 2017 12:20
I support the introduction of PR, but it is a mistake to assume that any kind of voting system or institution will stop the collapse of democracy/ democratic institutions Economic and social strife will tend to overcome all safeguards when the public starts to feel desperate. A good example and warning from history is the rise of the Nazi party in pre WW2 Germany. Trump and the republicans have yet to destroy democracy and I see no suggestion that T will refuse to stand fro reelection.
, Zojo lochinverboy , 11 Feb 2017 12:32
I agree that the reason democracy has lost its lustre is because both her and in the US we are offered no real choice. In terms of economic policy, the "There is No Alternative" party always wins. Unsurprisingly, people start to believe that there IS no alternative, and therefore the choice on offer is not genuine. They then either lose interest in voting altogether, or look for more extreme offerings which seem to be truly different.
, brightheart , 11 Feb 2017 12:14
Bringing up the 'law and order' issues combined with blaming it on immigrants is typical of far right regimes that want to undermine democratic values and move towards dictatorship.
, IanPitch , 11 Feb 2017 12:19 Guardian Pick
By casting aspersions on the judiciary, Trump is echoing past dictators. First, he questions their independence and then, when another terrorist incident occurs (whether white or non-white) he can say 'I told you so, this atrocity is all the judge's fault'. America has truly entered a new dark age. Let's pray that good men and women will continue to uphold and defend the Constitution and the rule of law... Share
, politicsblogsuk IanPitch , 11 Feb 2017 12:33
An independent judiciary and a free press are considered the pillars or cornerstones of a properly functioning democracy.

Once you undermine them or the public's trust in them, it is much easier to move the political centre of gravity towards fascism.

So, why is Trump attacking the judiciary and fee press?

, mondopinion politicsblogsuk , 11 Feb 2017 13:08
I for one no longer think the mainstream 'free press' is balanced or impartial.
, AgeingAlbion , 11 Feb 2017 12:23
Democracy has been in decline in the west for some time now, and it isn't just the right or the left which has abandoned it. Nearly every western country has a bill of rights (either a strong version eg the US which can strike down legislation or a weaker one eg the U.K. where the courts award damages for breaches and make declarations of incompatibility). The EU has pros and cons but no one could pretend it is democratic. The UK still has the House of Lords. The Canadian academic James Allen has written a good book on it - how elites have now decided they know best.

We need to be wary of this endless erosion of majority rule. Tin pot dictators the world over have always had an excuse for ignoring the majority. Latin American military Juntas always explained that they had to have power to ensure security. Human rights lawyers say they are needdd to uphold the ever evolving concept of human rights. The Church used to insist it should have power to enforce God's rule. The Fijian army in 1987 made an openly racist coup (attracting minimal opprobrium and next to no action from the international community). Even those who think there are sound reasons to ignore the majority have to admit they're not in great historical company

, Philip J Sparrow AgeingAlbion , 11 Feb 2017 12:40
"those who think there are sound reasons to ignore the majority"

People like Socrates/Plato, John Stuart Mill, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, James Madison, Alexis de Tocqueville...

, emmasdad AgeingAlbion , 11 Feb 2017 12:49

The EU has pros and cons but no one could pretend it is democratic.

The EU is not a state; it is 28 member states acting collaboratively in a number of specified policy areas. As such, the appropriate comparison is not between the EU and a state but between the EU and other collective bodies through which states cooperate with one-another such as the UN or NATO. In terms of giving representation to ordinary citizens of its member states, I would say the EU compares extremely favourably.

Moreover, the only two bodies in the EU that are able to enact legislation (and can only do so through the agreement of both bodies) are the EU Parliament, which is directly elected by the citizens of the member states and the Council, which consists of members of the Governments of the member states, which, in turn, have been put in place by the citizens of the member states through whichever electoral system is employed in each member state. We don't need to 'pretend' that the EU is democratic; it's system of governance IS democratic in the same way that the governance structures of western democracies are democratic.

, Vintage59 emmasdad , 11 Feb 2017 15:01
To put that more succinctly, no one can pretend the EU is democratic but many will still argue that it is if it fits their purposes.

Amusing.

, Gilbert3 , 11 Feb 2017 12:23
Fewer people believe in the importance of democracy because we're several generations on from almost having lost it. In the same vein we're more likely to have a major war than we were 40/50 years ago because none of the major world leaders have experience of one. It's cyclic. We become complacent and smug until it happens again.
, Gilbert3 , 11 Feb 2017 12:23
Fewer people believe in the importance of democracy because we're several generations on from almost having lost it. In the same vein we're more likely to have a major war than we were 40/50 years ago because none of the major world leaders have experience of one. It's cyclic. We become complacent and smug until it happens again.
, Andy Wong Ming Jun Gilbert3 , 11 Feb 2017 14:28
History is a cycle. In this respect I agree with Steve Bannon. He's not nuts, he's just someone who knows how to read the winds very well like a wolf.
, theshining , 11 Feb 2017 12:35
"It was a stirring victory for the rule of law and reaffirmation of the independence of the judiciary."
It most certainly was NOT anything of the kind. It was an act of judicial arrogance and a deliberate attempt to undermine the long upheld power of the President to take actions that HE considers required for the safety of the nation. What the ruling basically did was substitute judicial preferences for Presidential preferences no matter that the Constitution was clearly not supportive of this usurpation of power. you can review LOTS of legal opinions that state precisely this. An horrendously POLITICAL decision that will come back to haunt the courts.
A defense of 'democracy' that begins with a defense of an arbitrary and demonstrably BAD court ruling is pretty much fatally flawed from the jump.
Democracy works for as long as the fracture points in society are papered over with a commonality of basic interests. When that is not the case, democracy cannot endure. The US (and others will follow) is fracturing into pieces that simply don't like each other for VERY fundamental reasons, including the definition of a Nation State and what it means.
Democracy works when things go well. It cannot work when it all falls apart. Oh and it also of course fails when the majority have a vested interest in getting stuff 'free', and can vote to have their demands enacted no matter the consequences.
LOTS of places are not democracies. It really isn't the future. Too many fault lines coming up.
, kristinezkochanski , 11 Feb 2017 12:35
Only 53% of those surveyed said that they "trust judges more than President Trump to make the right decisions for the United States."

One of the reasons why I am very sceptical of opinion polls or surveys is that they often ask the wrong questions. It is not for judges to make decisions about what is best for the country which this question clearly implies. Their job is to judge what complies with the law.

Judges do not make political decisions about what is right for the United States any more than they do about what is right for the UK. It is this lack of understanding which leads to them being called enemies of the people.

, ennCarey , 11 Feb 2017 12:38
Here is the great George Carlin summing it all up in just 3 minutes and 14 seconds.

It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it - George Carlin

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

, dv420uk , 11 Feb 2017 12:38
It all boils down to education. Democracy can't work when you have so many people prepared to believe and base their vote on 'fake news' (a nicer way to say lie).

Governments in a democracy need to make having a well educated public a priority. Provide a high standard education for all the population up to secondary school level for free (or at a rate affordable to everyone) and you greatly diminish the chances of another Trump/Brexit.

, therebythegrace dv420uk , 11 Feb 2017 12:52
And that's why both the Tories and the Republicans have placed so much effort in undermining our education systems.

They do not want an educated populace who are capable of critical thinking.

, CyrusA dv420uk , 11 Feb 2017 12:59
And hopefully diminish the chances of more "moderate" alternatives bringing the Population to its knees? Was Thatcher more "moderate" than Trump or did the Me Generation that she created usher in May and Trump.
, Budanevey , 11 Feb 2017 12:39
One person's victory is another's defeat. Politicians and voters are divided on judicial appointments to the Supreme Court, and the 4-4 split in the current court illustrates that the rule of law is simply another reflection of politics.

I think the Ninth Court made a big mistake. Why? Because playing politics with the law can have serious unintended consequences. American Presidents have been resorting to shock and awe against Muslims because they can't use tough domestic security measures to protect Americans at home for fear of US judges taking an uncompromising view of constitutional rights. Trump's predecessors have not only resorted to foreign military action, but they have taken risks with extra-legal measures like Rendition, Secret Prisons, Torture and Drone attacks.

The Ninth Court may uphold the constitutional rights of people coming from war zones to attend universities in Washington State, but the real world consequence of their hostility to domestic security measures will be to corner existing and future presidents in to bombing suspected terrorists abroad, making the world infinitely less safe with regime-changing wars.

, SkiSpy Budanevey , 11 Feb 2017 12:45
They have a hostility to unlawful, unconstitutional presidential edicts. That's a good thing. Share Facebook Twitter
, Budanevey SkiSpy , 11 Feb 2017 12:55
Congress gave the President the power to exclude people from the US on national security grounds. The University of Maryland maintains the Global Terrorism Database which lists more than 150,000 attacks since it began.

96% of current terrorism killing more than 7000 people each year is claimed by jihadis. President Trump first mentioned his proposed temporary ban after the murders in San Bernardino.

I don't think its unreasonable to restrict people coming from these war zones when they've been murdering people elsewhere, including Paris, Brussels, Berlin etc. It seems that US judges can't be persuaded that the right to life is more important than the temporary inconvenience of not being able to attend universities in Washington State unless and until such people murder Americans on American soil. I wouldn't call that 'constitutional'. It's offensive stupidity and irresponsible.

How man

, Joe Soap Budanevey , 11 Feb 2017 13:17
If Americans were so concerned about the right to life they would do something about their almost non-existent gun laws. Terrorists don't have to kill Americans since Americans are doing such a good job of it on their own.
, brap123 , 11 Feb 2017 12:40
Americans are waking up to the fact that the elite and establishment don't care about the them. The media lies, the courts are trying to let in terrorists. TRump is the only one who is fighting for the people. Trump is fighting for truth, Trump is fighting for our safety, even though the establishment is desperate to make us less safe (my guesss do the 1% can profit somehow). Fake news by the media is only continue to push this

Trump is fighting for Americans, we need to unite behind him. He will never let us down, and never lie to us.

, c23e , 11 Feb 2017 12:40
It's funny how Americans use Christianity as a weapon and are always quoting an eye for an eye etc instead of love your neighbour. If you are a Christian then surely you should realise that the old testament which is The Torah is all about revenge and anger whereas the New Testament is all about forgiveness and love and if the two come from the same God then that God has a spilt personality!

Also looking at history if you remember that Islam is 600 years younger than Christianity ask yourself what were Christians doing 600 years ago and you will see a lot of it was the same as what Jihardis are doing today - torture, beheadings and killing of those seen as apostates in the name of religion.

And remember American was founded by those seeking religious freedom despite the fact they oppressed the religions of the Native Americans and then went on to break more than 400 treaties with the Native Americans over the years.

Even the declaration of independence was signed mainly by slave owners ( which is surely anti-christian) and apartheid reigned in the US until Martin Luther King.

Land of the free and home of the brave is some king of joke played on the people but only noted by historians.

, PureReason2017 , 11 Feb 2017 12:44
To an important degree extensive, well-understood and articulately defended democracy only "matters" if you ascribe a large role to the [nation/federal] state - if you think it should spend very large amounts of money, address all manner of social problems, and regulate everything people do to reduce risk and enforce equality/diversity. If you believe in a minimal state (as most of the US founders did) then a much clearer and less pressing kind of democracy for national affairs is fully adequate. It is at the local level - in the states and counties, the towns and cities - that regular and engaged democracy is essential. And this report does not look at that at all. It is only bothered about who gets to drive forward the all-powerful state. If Pres Trump - and it is a very big if - wants to reduce the role of the state, then the significance of his actions through that state become clearer and more capable of control.
, Paul B PureReason2017 , 11 Feb 2017 13:00
surely the problem is that so much of what happens in a modern democracy cannot be carried out at a local level. You cannot have a local level internet. You cannot decide where your highways and trains are going to go purely at the local level. You cannot, in most cases, feed and clothe and support your population at the local level and any form of trade requires agreements that take place at a much higher level.
, Junkets , 11 Feb 2017 12:46
It's a very interesting phenomenon. The 'attraction' of Trump is that he's a loose cannon and doesn't seem to have that much control over a lot of what he says. The remarks about Putin and America's own predilection for killing people - which caused him to be called anti-American for actually speaking the truth - is a case in point. He is the precise opposite of your usual buttoned up on-message politician and that, quite frankly, is refreshing. He is precisely where our democracy itself has led to. Because of its reliance on professional politicians who say one thing and mean another, his tendency to blabber and say just what's on his mind, must be perceived as a virtue. Where this will lead, I have no idea, but he is definitely opening up new unexplored territory and what we might find in it is anyone's guess. As the old Chinese curse goes, "May you live in interesting times."
, Junkets Junkets , 11 Feb 2017 12:57
For those thinking of impeaching Trump, think what the alternative will be. Pence. Now that guy really is scary - scarier even than Bannon.

[Jan 23, 2017] We need an alternative to Trumps nationalism. It isnt the status quo

Notable quotes:
"... The era of neoliberalism ended in the autumn of 2008 with the bonfire of financialisation's illusions. The fetishisation of unfettered markets that Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan brought to the fore in the late 1970s had been the necessary ideological cover for the unleashing of financiers to enable the capital flows essential to a new phase of globalisation in which the United States deficits provided the aggregate demand for the world's factories (whose profits flowed back to Wall Street closing the loop nicely). ..."
"... when the bottom fell out of this increasingly unstable feedback loop, neoliberalism's illusions burned down and the west's working class ended up too expensive and too indebted to be of interest to a panicking global establishment. ..."
"... Thatcher's and Reagan's neoliberalism had sought to persuade that privatisation of everything would produce a fair and efficient society unimpeded by vested interests or bureaucratic fiat. That narrative, of course, hid from public view what was really happening: a tremendous buildup of super-state bureaucracies, unaccountable supra-state institutions (World Trade Organisation, Nafta, the European Central Bank), behemoth corporations, and a global financial sector heading for the rocks. ..."
"... Their purpose was to impose acquiescence to a clueless establishment that had lost its ambition to maintain its legitimacy. When the UK government forced benefit claimants to declare in writing that "my only limits are the ones I set myself", or when the troika forced the Greek or Irish governments to write letters "requesting" predatory loans from the European Central Bank that benefited Frankfurt-based bankers at the expense of their people, the idea was to maintain power via calculated humiliation. Similarly, in America the establishment habitually blamed the victims of predatory lending and the failed health system. ..."
"... It was against this insurgency of a cornered establishment that had given up on persuasion that Donald Trump and his European allies rose up with their own populist insurgency. They proved that it is possible to go against the establishment and win. Alas, theirs will be a pyrrhic victory which will, eventually, harm those whom they inspired. The answer to neoliberalism's Waterloo cannot be the retreat to a barricaded nation-state and the pitting of "our" people against "others" fenced off by tall walls and electrified fences. ..."
"... This is all about globalisation, specifically wage deflation for the working classes from competing with emerging markets and freedom of movement, and also from offshoring of working class jobs to emerging markets. ..."
"... Until there is a viable alternative economic philosophy, nationalism is the future, whether we like it or not. ..."
"... Enough is enough. Globalisation is now only working for the rich and powerful. The model is simple - globalisation lowers the cost for consumers of everything, because the lowest cost geography produces everything (China, India etc), which is great until nobody has a job any more, so nobody can afford anything. ..."
"... The challenge is not to stick with the status quo, it's to find an alternative to nationalism that works for everyone. ..."
"... Fine words, but we're along way from that right now. What's happening in Europe, and across the Atlantic, is really only just getting started. Our elites may well be suffering from a crisis of legitimacy, and yet they are still very much in control. ..."
"... Neoliberalism is based on the acceptance that the rich elite are deserving of their wealth and privileges. The elite have used their mouthpieces, such as tabloids and think tanks, to ram this home; but the banking crisis of 2008 helped disabuse people of this myth that justifies rampant inequality in the US and the UK in particular. ..."
"... Trump and Brexit are expressions of the paradigm shift that is underway; but up till now, rather ironically, a billionaire and a rich former stockbroker have been the voice of protest, because it is they who have the money, connections and vanity to ensure they are heard. ..."
"... These classes of "globalization losers," particularly in the United States, have had little political voice or influence, and perhaps this is why the backlash against globalization has been so muted. They have had little voice because the rich have come to control the political process. The rich, as can be seen by looking at the income gains of the global top 5 percent in Figure 1, have benefited immensely from globalization and they have keen interest in its continuation. But while their use of political power has enabled the continuation of globalization, it has also hollowed out national democracies and moved many countries closer to becoming plutocracies. Thus, the choice would seem either plutocracy and globalization – or populism and a halt to globalization. ..."
"... Some of the gains of the top 5 percent could go toward alleviating the anger of the lower- and middle-class rich world's "losers." ..."
"... the history of the last quarter century during which the top classes in the rich world have continually piled up larger and larger gains, all the while socially and mentally separating themselves from fellow citizens, does not bode well for that alternative ..."
"... Social Neoliberals (mass immigration, family breakdown, individualism etc) combine with economic Neoliberals (profit maximisation, global capital movements etc) to get their way. ..."
"... I'm fairly sure that in time it will be shown that thier is a cabal of think-tanks and supranationalists who have perverted everything to thier own benefit. How and why does a Labour Peer get free accomodation on Baron Rothschilds' estate? How and why does the royal bank Coutts get bailed out by the taxpayer with no strings attached? ..."
Jan 23, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
The answer to neoliberalism's Waterloo cannot be a retreat to barricaded nation-states and the pitting of 'our' people against 'others' fenced off by high walls

A clash of two insurgencies is now shaping the west. Progressives on both sides of the Atlantic are on the sidelines, unable to comprehend what they are observing. Donald Trump's inauguration marks its pinnacle.

  1. One of the two insurgencies shaping our world today has been analysed ad nauseum. Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen and the broad Nationalist International that they are loosely connected to have received much attention, as has their success at impressing upon the multitudes that nation-states, borders, citizens and communities matter.
  2. However, the other insurgency that caused the rise of this Nationalist International has remained in the shadows: an insurrection by the global establishment's technocracy whose purpose is to retain control at all cost. Project Fear in the UK, the troika in continental Europe and the unholy alliance of Wall Street, Silicon Valley and the surveillance apparatus in the United States are its manifestations.

The era of neoliberalism ended in the autumn of 2008 with the bonfire of financialisation's illusions. The fetishisation of unfettered markets that Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan brought to the fore in the late 1970s had been the necessary ideological cover for the unleashing of financiers to enable the capital flows essential to a new phase of globalisation in which the United States deficits provided the aggregate demand for the world's factories (whose profits flowed back to Wall Street closing the loop nicely).

Meanwhile, billions of people in the "third" world were pulled out of poverty while hundreds of millions of western workers were slowly sidelined, pushed into more precarious jobs, and forced to financialise themselves either through their pension funds or their homes. And when the bottom fell out of this increasingly unstable feedback loop, neoliberalism's illusions burned down and the west's working class ended up too expensive and too indebted to be of interest to a panicking global establishment.

Thatcher's and Reagan's neoliberalism had sought to persuade that privatisation of everything would produce a fair and efficient society unimpeded by vested interests or bureaucratic fiat. That narrative, of course, hid from public view what was really happening: a tremendous buildup of super-state bureaucracies, unaccountable supra-state institutions (World Trade Organisation, Nafta, the European Central Bank), behemoth corporations, and a global financial sector heading for the rocks.

After the events of 2008 something remarkable happened. For the first time in modern times the establishment no longer cared to persuade the masses that its way was socially optimal. Overwhelmed by the collapsing financial pyramids, the inexorable buildup of unsustainable debt, a eurozone in an advanced state of disintegration and a China increasingly relying on an impossible credit boom, the establishment's functionaries set aside the aspiration to persuade or to represent. Instead, they concentrated on clamping down.

In the UK, more than a million benefit applicants faced punitive sanctions. In the Eurozone, the troika ruthlessly sought to reduce the pensions of the poorest of the poor. In the United States, both parties promised drastic cuts to social security spending. During our deflationary times none of these policies helped stabilise capitalism at a national or at a global level. So, why were they pursued?

Their purpose was to impose acquiescence to a clueless establishment that had lost its ambition to maintain its legitimacy. When the UK government forced benefit claimants to declare in writing that "my only limits are the ones I set myself", or when the troika forced the Greek or Irish governments to write letters "requesting" predatory loans from the European Central Bank that benefited Frankfurt-based bankers at the expense of their people, the idea was to maintain power via calculated humiliation. Similarly, in America the establishment habitually blamed the victims of predatory lending and the failed health system.

It was against this insurgency of a cornered establishment that had given up on persuasion that Donald Trump and his European allies rose up with their own populist insurgency. They proved that it is possible to go against the establishment and win. Alas, theirs will be a pyrrhic victory which will, eventually, harm those whom they inspired. The answer to neoliberalism's Waterloo cannot be the retreat to a barricaded nation-state and the pitting of "our" people against "others" fenced off by tall walls and electrified fences.

The answer can only be a Progressive Internationalism that works in practice on both sides of the Atlantic. To bring it about we need more than fine principles unblemished by power. We need to aim for power on the basis of a pragmatic narrative imparting hope throughout Europe and America for jobs paying living wages to anyone who wants them, for social housing, for health and education.

Only a third insurgency promoting a New Deal that works equally for Americans and Europeans can restore to a billion people living in the west sovereignty over their lives and communities.


bag0shite

This is all about globalisation, specifically wage deflation for the working classes from competing with emerging markets and freedom of movement, and also from offshoring of working class jobs to emerging markets.

Liberalism has created so much wealth for the west and has dramatically reduced inequality over the last century, however it is no longer working for those on lower incomes in the west.

Until there is a viable alternative economic philosophy, nationalism is the future, whether we like it or not.

chantaspell -> bag0shite 1d ago

nationalism is the future, whether we like it or not.

No it's not. Because what we've got, although flawed, is far superior to Nationalism's false promises. Nationalism will, or perhaps already has, peaked.

bag0shite -> chantaspell

... go and tell that to all the families who don't have a job because their roles were offshored to Eastern Europe or China. Got and tell that to truck drivers who earn a pittance because there is essentially an infinite supply of Poles willing to do it for peanuts.

Enough is enough. Globalisation is now only working for the rich and powerful. The model is simple - globalisation lowers the cost for consumers of everything, because the lowest cost geography produces everything (China, India etc), which is great until nobody has a job any more, so nobody can afford anything.

The challenge is not to stick with the status quo, it's to find an alternative to nationalism that works for everyone.

MMGALIAS -> bag0shite 1d ago

This is all about globalisation, specifically wage deflation for the working classes from competing with emerging markets and freedom of movement, and also from offshoring of working class jobs to emerging markets.

The working classes have voted against their own interests in the last 3 decades, now we are all supposed to feel sorry for them when the neoliberal policies they have voted for have come back to bite them?

Northman1

"The answer can only be a Progressive Internationalism that works in practice on both sides of the Atlantic. To bring it about we need more than fine principles unblemished by power. We need to aim for power on the basis of a pragmatic narrative imparting hope throughout Europe and America for jobs paying living wages to anyone who wants them, for social housing, for health and education.

Only a third insurgency promoting a New Deal that works equally for Americans and Europeans can restore to a billion people living in the West sovereignty over their lives and communities".

These are fine aspirations. You precede them by saying that we cannot:

"...retreat to a barricaded nation-state and the pitting of 'our' people against 'others' fenced off by tall walls and electrified fences".

This presumably refers to physical barriers to prevent illegal immigration and tariff barriers to prevent free trade.

Tell me though how you can achieve the aspirations you set out whilst allowing millions of people from the third world to flood into Europe at an enormous economic and social cost and also trading freely with countries that don't trade fairly (e.g. China with its currency manipulation, government subsidies, product dumping and lack of environmental/ safety/ worker protection regulations)

greenwichite -> Northman1

He's brilliant on the problem...lame on the solution.

And wrong.

The answer is to only trade freely with countries that play by the same environmental, currency and labour-rights rules as we do.

Otherwise, we are just allowing ourselves to be undercuts by cheats.

That's not "barricading" oneself anywhere...it's basic common sense, which has unfortunately eluded our leaders for decades. In Thatcher's case, I think she was quite happy for mercantilist, protectionist Asian powers to destroy our industry, for her own party-political purposes.

MMGALIAS -> Northman1

and also trading freely with countries that don't trade fairly (e.g. China with its currency manipulation, government subsidies, product dumping and lack of environmental/ safety/ worker protection regulations)

The West doesn't trade freely either, just ask the African farmers who are tariffed into poverty by the EU.

Tiresius -> legalizefreedom

I agree. It's a well argued piece and I agree with the conclusion that neither the neo liberal free trade consensus , nor its reaction , will provide an answer to the worsening economic condition of the blue collar west. I also am convinced that in the longer term the only real answer is a return to the principles of social democracy and equity of opportunity.

This will however be a long march. Neo liberalism has been in the ascendant for over 30 years , it has brought some significant benefits to a few in the west , and many elsewhere , and of course a lot of Chinese billionaires , a large number of western voters have lost or are losing faith in a system that has failed to deliver rising living standards for them , incurred high levels of debt and reduced social mobility.

It is a failure of the narrative of the centre left that those people are persuaded by increasing protectionism rather than social democracy. So now we will see where the reaction to free trade liberalism takes us , it has to run its course before the prescriptions of social democracy can be reformulated , hopefully with more inspiring leaders than at present.

Andrew Skidmore

'Only a third insurgency promoting a New Deal that works equally for Americans and Europeans can restore to a billion people living in the West sovereignty over their lives and communities.'

Fine words, but we're along way from that right now. What's happening in Europe, and across the Atlantic, is really only just getting started. Our elites may well be suffering from a crisis of legitimacy, and yet they are still very much in control.

From the Trump administration Whitehouse website:

'The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration. President Trump will honor our men and women in uniform and will support their mission of protecting the public. The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.'

Hmmmmmm....?

thetowncrier -> Andrew Skidmore

As ever, a master of subtlety. I expect the American Stasi to come into being by the end of next week, with a brand new special 'badge' to go with their black shirts.

2bveryFrank

Neoliberalism is based on the acceptance that the rich elite are deserving of their wealth and privileges. The elite have used their mouthpieces, such as tabloids and think tanks, to ram this home; but the banking crisis of 2008 helped disabuse people of this myth that justifies rampant inequality in the US and the UK in particular.

Trump and Brexit are expressions of the paradigm shift that is underway; but up till now, rather ironically, a billionaire and a rich former stockbroker have been the voice of protest, because it is they who have the money, connections and vanity to ensure they are heard.

They, however, are very unlikely to deliver and then true and genuine voices of the people will emerge - voices that will target the root causes of discontent rather than convenient, nationalistic scapegoats such as immigration.

ReasonableSoul -> 2bveryFrank

"and then true and genuine voices of the people will emerge - voices that will target the root causes of discontent rather than convenient, nationalistic scapegoats such as immigration."

So working class people who struggle to compete for the low wage jobs and strained welfare services that are taken by migrants are not allowed to protest immigration policy?

Recent mass migrations (of the last 30 years) are unprecedented.

In Europe, whole towns have been transformed, particularly culturally.

Imposing huge demographic changes on a people is a form of authoritarian social engineering.


SeenItAlready

This is covered by a report in YaleGlobal (and a similar one in the Harvard Business Review) from 2014 which adds a few stats showing how middle-class salaries in the 'Western World' were the only ones to stagnate in the period 1998 to 2008 (and obviously drop post 2008, but that isn't covered):
http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/tale-two-middle-classes

This is the last section of that report:

The populists warn disgruntled voters that economic trends observed during the past three decades are just the first wave of cheap labor from Asia pitted in direct competition with workers in the rich world, and more waves are on the way from poorer lands in Asia and Africa. The stagnation of middle-class incomes in the West may last another five decades or more.

This calls into question either the sustainability of democracy under such conditions or the sustainability of globalization.

If globalization is derailed, the middle classes of the West may be relieved from the immediate pressure of cheaper Asian competition. But the longer-term costs to themselves and their countries, let alone to the poor in Asia and Africa, will be high. Thus, the interests and the political power of the middle classes in the rich world put them in a direct conflict with the interests of the worldwide poor.

These classes of "globalization losers," particularly in the United States, have had little political voice or influence, and perhaps this is why the backlash against globalization has been so muted. They have had little voice because the rich have come to control the political process. The rich, as can be seen by looking at the income gains of the global top 5 percent in Figure 1, have benefited immensely from globalization and they have keen interest in its continuation. But while their use of political power has enabled the continuation of globalization, it has also hollowed out national democracies and moved many countries closer to becoming plutocracies. Thus, the choice would seem either plutocracy and globalization – or populism and a halt to globalization.

Another solution, one that involves neither populism nor plutocracy, would require enormous effort at the understanding of one's own longer-term self-interest. It would imply more substantial redistribution policies in the rich world. Some of the gains of the top 5 percent could go toward alleviating the anger of the lower- and middle-class rich world's "losers." These need not nor should be mere transfers of money from one group to another.

Instead, money should come in the form of investments in public education, local infrastructure, housing and preventive health care. But the history of the last quarter century during which the top classes in the rich world have continually piled up larger and larger gains, all the while socially and mentally separating themselves from fellow citizens, does not bode well for that alternative

Personally I see the whole US election here... written a couple of years before it happened:


moranet -> Rusty Woods

Just as in the 1920s early 30s, when centrist governments attempting mild redistributive banking reforms -MacDonald, Herriot, Van Zeeland, Azaρa- came up against a "Wall of Money" when the financial markets reacted, and were overthrown in favour of orthodox liberal governments (the 'technocratic insugency' described by Prof. Varoufakis). And when public opinion inevitably lost its patience, propelling harder nosed reformers close to power... that's when political and financial elites discovered rule by executive decree and the adjournment of parliaments.

So we know very well what happens next in Europe, when liberal capitalism and liberal-democracy find themselves on opposing teams.

anewdawn

There are two sorts of nationalism in my view. There is the nasty, evil, Nazi style that promotes the insane social darwinism, and superiority, but a hypocritical imperialism towards other states and countries.

There is another type of nationalism that good decent people who really care about democracy would approve of however. It is the sort that seeks to protect the poor and the middle classes by stopping global corporations from off shoring their jobs to sweatshops in countries that have lower human rights records for the purpose of cheap labour and more profit. There is the sort of nationalism that promotes local democracy as opposed to tying countries up to TTIP and TPP which undermines the governments and laws of individual countries. There is a type of nationalism that seeks to protect their neighbors by insisting on fair trade and good treatment of workers in other countries.

If you listen to Trumps speech, he seems to be the second type when he promises to bring back jobs to the rust belt, but only time will tell if he really is of the first type - it will surface soon in his attitude to invasions of the middle east and control of the global corporations.

ID0118186 -> anewdawn

But those same middle classes are part of the problem, they want their consumer goods, their iPods and iPhones and iPads, but they don't want to pay the real cost of them if they were made by well-paid and well-trained skilled workers in their own country.

You have to address the whole issue: you can't have cheap prices and protectionism, unless you let wages fall to near the same level that they are in developing countries - also unpopular.

So if you want nationalism as you describe it, be willing to pay 50 to 100% more for many goods and services; or buy a lot less, which kills your economy anyway.

epidavros -> anewdawn

And then there is also the phoney internationalism of the EU - which is really a turbo charged nationalism of what will soon be 27 countries bent on protectionism, technocratic rule and a firmly closed mindset with a firmly debunked ideology.

toadalone -> anewdawn

I like your description of the two nationalisms. I think Varoufakis' point is that that kind of nationalism can't survive on its own, as an island in a globalised world: nationalists of that kind have to work together with their neighbouring counterparts to make their respective benign nationalisms function. It's a very difficult proposal to bring to fruition, even though I think it's right.

As for Trump: I think that seasoning campaign speeches with a flavour of benign nationalism is, sadly, little more than a well-established PR technique. I don't believe what Trump says for an instant (partly because he constantly breaks the fourth wall by saying the complete opposite a few days later).

Other leaders who deploy this flavour of nationalism are more complicated. Viktor Orbαn, for instance. It's very difficult to tell, with him, how much of his protectionist-nationalist rhetoric is genuine (but impossible to implement, given Hungary's membership of the EU), and how much of it is just more of the same dangle-shiny-things-in-front-of-the-voters-while-doing-what-you-want. And as with Trump, Orbαn's "benign" nationalism comes as just one flavour in a dish also heavily flavoured with demented backward-looking authoritarian nationalism, with Kulturkampf and all the other trimmings.

The weird thing about Trump is how he turns these contradictions into a kind of conscious performance art. It's possible to view Orbαn as someone who's cracking up a bit under the pressure of believing six impossible things before breakfast. Trump is more healthy (from the Trump's own point of view, of course, not from ours). He's embraced the crazy completely, and revels in it. While probably reserving some quiet time for himself, in which he can privately drop the mask, or rather the 500 different masks.

QuayBoredWarrior -> ReubenK1

Perhaps you should read this bit again:

The answer can only be a Progressive Internationalism that works in practice on both sides of the Atlantic. To bring it about we need more than fine principles unblemished by power. We need to aim for power on the basis of a pragmatic narrative imparting hope throughout Europe and America for jobs paying living wages to anyone who wants them, for social housing, for health and education.

Only a third insurgency promoting a New Deal that works equally for Americans and Europeans can restore to a billion people living in the West sovereignty over their lives and communities.

If you need to know what the New Deal involved, I suggest you Google it or buy a book about it. If there is a library still open near you, you might able to borrow a book for free.

I think what is suggested is a new New Deal, an interventionist strategy to replace the laissez-faire, the-market-knows-best approaches of the 80s/90s/00s. The details of which will need to be hammered out as we progress. BTW, the New Deal was a haphazard and piecemeal programme that was often based on hope over accepted wisdom. The aim was stabilisation and an end to the mass impoverishment of American workers. If we have this aim, I'm sure we can work out what needs to be done. It won't only be professors who come up with suggestions but all those who coalesce behind these aims.

The first thing necessary is to loosen the grip of those who bang on about deficit reduction above all else. This counter-productive approach needs to be crushed. It works for no one and it doesn't work for the future. The services being destroyed will have to be built up again and the deficit-above-all-else proselytisers have no strategy for this at all. It's as if their true aim is to see them destroyed forever.

SeenItAlready

Their purpose was to impose acquiescence to a clueless establishment that had lost its ambition to maintain its legitimacy. When the UK government forced benefit claimants to declare in writing that "my only limits are the ones I set myself", or when the troika forced the Greek or Irish governments to write letters "requesting" predatory loans from the European Central Bank that benefited Frankfurt-based bankers at the expense of their people, the idea was to maintain power via calculated humiliation. Similarly, in America the establishment habitually blamed the victims of predatory lending and the failed health system.

Not only that...

They also came out with the wheeze of getting the poor to fight amongst themselves

I'm convinced that is what is behind the explosion in Identity Politics we have seen over the last few years - where different groups are encouraged to dislike each other on gender, gender-orientation and and racial lines. Of course social class is kept well out of any of these discussions... in spite of it being the source of most of the real repression

SeenItAlready -> SeenItAlready

different groups are encouraged to dislike each other on gender, gender-orientation and and racial lines. Of course social class is kept well out of any of these discussions... in spite of it being the source of most of the real repression

Likewise immigration where the immigrants themselves are made an issue of and blamed or defended... of course in reality salary dumping and job losses have nothing to do with them

The wealthy class who encouraged the immigration of cheap labour, who did not provide any protection for workers impacted by it and who then effectively sacked local workers in favour of cheaper labour have again pulled-off a very neat trick by shifting the terms of the debate to the innocent immigrants who were simply following opportunity and invitations. Likewise the immigrants feel that they are being persecuted by the locals...

And so the rich sit back and rub their hands with glee... poor immigrants and poor locals fighting, poor men and poor women fighting, poor whites and poor non-whites fighting. No chance of the pitchforks arriving for quite a while, if ever...

FreddySteadyGO -> SeenItAlready

And so the rich sit back and rub their hands with glee... poor immigrants and poor locals fighting, poor men and poor women fighting, poor whites and poor non-whites fighting. No chance of the pitchforks arriving for quite a while, if ever...

Absolutely, its all far too convenient.

Social Neoliberals (mass immigration, family breakdown, individualism etc) combine with economic Neoliberals (profit maximisation, global capital movements etc) to get their way.

I'm fairly sure that in time it will be shown that thier is a cabal of think-tanks and supranationalists who have perverted everything to thier own benefit. How and why does a Labour Peer get free accomodation on Baron Rothschilds' estate? How and why does the royal bank Coutts get bailed out by the taxpayer with no strings attached?

SeenItAlready -> FreddySteadyGO

My reply to you got totally deleted, it seems that saying to much about this subject is not acceptable to these people, which I guess is no surprise considering...

I said in my removed message that I didn't think there was any 'conspiracy' and that it was the normal divide-and-conquer behaviour which people in power have applied since time immemorial to those they would wish to control

Now I've changed my mind...

mysterycalculator

Could it be that Francis Fukuyama got it wrong with his historicist vision of liberal democracy as the final stage in a Hegelian dialectic? Should he have gone with Marx's interpretation of Hegel's dialectic instead, arguing that political freedom without economic freedom is not enough? If so, then the argument for a redistributive social justice has to be the way forward. Though as Karl Popper was keen to point out, Hegal and historicist visions are bunk. Though interestingly Popper had much more time for Marx. A redistributive social justice within the checks and balances of a liberal democratic internationalist social order - that might be a way forward!

Sven Ringling

As long as this problem is seen as a left vs right, we won't address it. Trump's ideas are in many cases very left. He wants to subsidise jobs through tarifs/trade wars/ anything that reduces imports and therefore benefits job creation in their large market with a large trade deficit in the short run.
Corbyn wants to subsidise the poorer part of the population directly or through public services taking the money directly from businesses and the rich - though he is not disinclined to isolationism either.

Both recipies work in the short run, both are likely to backfire in the long run the way they are currently pushed.

It was Labour's big mistake to think UKIP is on the right and therefore a risk for the Tories only.

And this Greek clown considered left is not far from that American clown. Clowny-ness is actually their mist defining feature.

ReasonableSoul

Maintaining funcional borders is not a "retreat to a barricaded nation-state and the pitting of 'our' people against 'others' fenced off by tall walls and electrified fences."

Even liberal Sweden became so overwhelmed by the endless stream of migrants/refugees arriving that it had to shut the border.

ID614534 1d ago

2

3

Why does every debate about the nation state have to be economic? Peoples of the world are often tied to their places of birth by language religion and culture. Not every song has to be sung in an American accent and we don't all want to replace Nan's pie recipe with a Big Mac and fries.

Share

Facebook Twitter

Report


epidavros 1d ago

6

7

Fine words, but the problem is that there is no progressive internationalism and there are no real progressives. The response to the EU referendum widely seen to have been a call to end unmanaged migration and undue interference of those very supra national, unaccountable elite bodies you mention has been to call for the UK to be punished, to pay the price, to be treated entirely differently from trade partners like Canada and dealt with as a pariah. Not progressive. Not international. And very much the problem, not the cure.

The huge irony here is that with all this talk of populism and barricading behind borders the UK and USA are seeking to tear theirs down, while the EU is erecting ideological barricades to protect its elite and their project.

One thing is for sure - the solution is not the status quo. Either in the USA or the EU.

[Jan 21, 2017] James Mattis confirmed as secretary of defense

Jan 20, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

The Senate confirmed the appointment of retired general James Mattis as secretary of defense on Friday, making him the first member of Donald Trump's cabinet cleared to take office.

The Senate vote was passed by 98-1 after Trump signed a waiver making Mattis exempt from a law that blocks senior officers from taking the defense secretary job within seven years of retirement. Mattis has been out of uniform for three years.

The single vote against his confirmation was from Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, a Democrat who argued the bar should remain in place on the grounds that civilian control of the military was a fundamental principle of US democracy.

[Jan 21, 2017] One man sporting a T-shirt that said: "The witch is dead

Jan 21, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Hundreds of thousands of his supporters poured into Washington from all over the US, partly to savor this moment of history and partly to celebrate that the country was theirs again .

Many of the Trumpistas were making their first visit to the nation's capital. "With the help of our new president, to remind the world why America was great to begin with," said Jimmy Kirby, 46, an electrician from Nashville, Tennessee, who had driven 11 hours to have his first taste of the city.

Another newcomer, Jeff Krotz, 49, from Buffalo, New York, used edgier language. A military veteran, he said: "Nobody respects us. There's no God in the country any more, and the way I see it if you don't like the way we do things here you can go somewhere else."

Shirts proclaiming "Proud member of the basket of deplorables" were peppered through the crowd, as were those demanding "Hillary for prison 2016". Others had an even more malevolent ring, with one man sporting a T-shirt that said: "The witch is dead".

"This is the mood of the world," said Richard Pease, 53, a printing sales executive from New Hampshire. "You just watch: first Brexit, then Trump, next Marine Le Pen for France. People want their lives back."

Asked to elaborate, Pease said: "I'm a white male who owns firearms. At least for the next four years I get to keep my guns and my balls."

[Jan 20, 2017] The architect of supply-side economics is now a professor at Columbia University, former University of Chicago economist Robert Mundell is an academic charlatan

Notable quotes:
"... For the architect of the euro, taking macroeconomics away from elected politicians and forcing deregulation were part of the plan ..."
"... The idea that the euro has "failed" is dangerously naive. The euro is doing exactly what its progenitor – and the wealthy 1%-ers who adopted it – predicted and planned for it to do. ..."
Jan 20, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
RC AKA Darryl, Ron :

Thanks to New Deal democrat, who made me curious about yesterday's "comment section in re Summers' piece." Then thanks to Ron Waller for his comment which closed with: (Good read: "Robert Mundell, evil genius of the euro".)

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jun/26/robert-mundell-evil-genius-euro

Robert Mundell, evil genius of the euro

Greg Palast

For the architect of the euro, taking macroeconomics away from elected politicians and forcing deregulation were part of the plan

The idea that the euro has "failed" is dangerously naive. The euro is doing exactly what its progenitor – and the wealthy 1%-ers who adopted it – predicted and planned for it to do.

That progenitor is former University of Chicago economist Robert Mundell. The architect of "supply-side economics" is now a professor at Columbia University, but I knew him through his connection to my Chicago professor, Milton Friedman, back before Mundell's research on currencies and exchange rates had produced the blueprint for European monetary union and a common European currency.

Mundell, then, was more concerned with his bathroom arrangements. Professor Mundell, who has both a Nobel Prize and an ancient villa in Tuscany, told me, incensed:

"They won't even let me have a toilet. They've got rules that tell me I can't have a toilet in this room! Can you imagine?"

As it happens, I can't. But I don't have an Italian villa, so I can't imagine the frustrations of bylaws governing commode placement.

But Mundell, a can-do Canadian-American, intended to do something about it: come up with a weapon that would blow away government rules and labor regulations. (He really hated the union plumbers who charged a bundle to move his throne.)

"It's very hard to fire workers in Europe," he complained. His answer: the euro.

The euro would really do its work when crises hit, Mundell explained. Removing a government's control over currency would prevent nasty little elected officials from using Keynesian monetary and fiscal juice to pull a nation out of recession.

"It puts monetary policy out of the reach of politicians," he said. "[And] without fiscal policy, the only way nations can keep jobs is by the competitive reduction of rules on business."

He cited labor laws, environmental regulations and, of course, taxes. All would be flushed away by the euro. Democracy would not be allowed to interfere with the marketplace – or the plumbing.

As another Nobelist, Paul Krugman, notes, the creation of the eurozone violated the basic economic rule known as "optimum currency area". This was a rule devised by Bob Mundell.

That doesn't bother Mundell. For him, the euro wasn't about turning Europe into a powerful, unified economic unit. It was about Reagan and Thatcher.

"Ronald Reagan would not have been elected president without Mundell's influence," once wrote Jude Wanniski in the Wall Street Journal. The supply-side economics pioneered by Mundell became the theoretical template for Reaganomics – or as George Bush the Elder called it, "voodoo economics": the magical belief in free-market nostrums that also inspired the policies of Mrs Thatcher.

Mundell explained to me that, in fact, the euro is of a piece with Reaganomics:

"Monetary discipline forces fiscal discipline on the politicians as well."

And when crises arise, economically disarmed nations have little to do but wipe away government regulations wholesale, privatize state industries en masse, slash taxes and send the European welfare state down the drain.

Thus, we see that (unelected) Prime Minister Mario Monti is demanding labor law "reform" in Italy to make it easier for employers like Mundell to fire those Tuscan plumbers. Mario Draghi, the (unelected) head of the European Central Bank, is calling for "structural reforms" – a euphemism for worker-crushing schemes. They cite the nebulous theory that this "internal devaluation" of each nation will make them all more competitive.

Monti and Draghi cannot credibly explain how, if every country in the Continent cheapens its workforce, any can gain a competitive advantage.
But they don't have to explain their policies; they just have to let the markets go to work on each nation's bonds. Hence, currency union is class war by other means.

The crisis in Europe and the flames of Greece have produced the warming glow of what the supply-siders' philosopher-king Joseph Schumpeter called "creative destruction". Schumpeter acolyte and free-market apologist Thomas Friedman flew to Athens to visit the "impromptu shrine" of the burnt-out bank where three people died after it was fire-bombed by anarchist protesters, and used the occasion to deliver a homily on globalization and Greek "irresponsibility".

The flames, the mass unemployment, the fire-sale of national assets, would bring about what Friedman called a "regeneration" of Greece and, ultimately, the entire eurozone. So that Mundell and those others with villas can put their toilets wherever they damn well want to.

Far from failing, the euro, which was Mundell's baby, has succeeded probably beyond its progenitor's wildest dreams.

[Needless to say, I am not a fan of Robert Mundell's.]

Reply Friday, January 20, 2017 at 07:07 AM Peter K. -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 20, 2017 at 07:19 AM
Excellent article!

"It puts monetary policy out of the reach of politicians," he said. "[And] without fiscal policy, the only way nations can keep jobs is by the competitive reduction of rules on business."

Reminded me of a point made by J.W. Mason:

http://jwmason.org/slackwire/what-does-crowding-out-even-mean/

"..It's quite reasonable to suppose that, thanks to dependence on imported inputs and/or demand for imported consumption goods, output can't rise without higher imports. And a country may well run out of foreign exchange before it runs out of domestic savings, finance or productive capacity. This is the idea behind multiple gap models in development economics, or balance of payments constrained growth. It also seems like the direction orthodoxy is heading in the eurozone, where competitiveness is bidding to replace inflation as the overriding concern of macro policy."

Peter K. -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 20, 2017 at 07:30 AM
I wonder how this fits with the national savings rate discussion of Miles Kimball and Brad Setser.

Like would they advise Greece to boost their national savings rate or doesn't it matter since Germany controls monetary policy?

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Peter K.... , January 20, 2017 at 08:58 AM
"I wonder how this fits with the national savings rate discussion of Miles Kimball and Brad Setser."

[Don't know and it sounds like way too much work for me to try to figure out. Savings rate is not a problem for us and it is difficult to see how Greece could realistically increase theirs sufficient to change anything without some other intervention being made first to decrease unemployment and increase output.]

pgl -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 20, 2017 at 09:47 AM
It is also too much work for PeterK. If he can't cherry pick it, he don't bother.

But note our net national savings rate has been less than 2% for a long, long time.

[Jan 19, 2017] Davos without Donald Trump is like Hamlet without the prince

From comments: "Saying Davos without Trump is like Hamlet without the prince implies a dignity about the event which is rather far fetched. More like the Dark Side without Darth Vader ... trouble is, Davos ain't fiction." "The biggest cabal of sociopathic criminals the world has ever known."
Notable quotes:
"... This is not new. Klaus Schwab, the man who founded the World Economic Forum in the early 1970s, warned as long ago as 1996 that globalisation had entered a critical phase. "A mounting backlash against its effects, especially in the industrial democracies, is threatening a very disruptive impact on economic activity and social stability in many countries," he said. ..."
"... Schwab's warning was not heeded. There was no real attempt to make globalisation work for everyone. Communities affected by the export of jobs to countries where labour was cheaper were left to rot. The rewards of growth went disproportionately to a privileged few. Resentment quietly festered until there was a backlash. For Schwab, Brexit and Trump are a bitter blow, a repudiation of what he likes to call the spirit of Davos. ..."
"... It would be wrong, however, to imagine that business is terrified at the prospect of a Trump presidency. Boardrooms rather like the idea of a big cut in US corporation tax. They favour deregulation. They purr at plans to spend more on infrastructure. Wall Street is happy because it thinks the new president will mean stronger growth and higher corporate earnings. ..."
"... 'Policy decisions-not God, nature, or the invisible hand-exposed American manufacturing workers to direct competition with low-paid workers in the developing world. Policymakers could have exposed more highly paid workers such as doctors and lawyers to this same competition, but a bipartisan congressional consensus, and presidents of both parties, instead chose to keep them largely protected.' ..."
"... Good article by the way. Recommend others to read. Thanks. ..."
"... Stop trying to shackle every conservative to the desperate and ugly views of the few. Deplorables and their alt-right kin, are so small in number. We ought keep an eye on the Deplorables but little else ... they're politically insignificant. I wish you'd stop trying to throw the average Republican voter into the basket of bigoted, racist rednecks. It's deplorable! ..."
"... Saying Davos without Trump is like Hamlet without the prince implies a dignity about the event which is rather far fetched. More like the Dark Side without Darth Vader ... trouble is, Davos ain't fiction. ..."
"... Why would Daniel go into the lion's den? Trump is committed to stopping the excesses of the "swamp rats" most of whom are at Davos. The world will be turned on its head in 2017; it is going to be interesting to watch the demise of those at the top of the pyramid. ..."
"... What exactly is the "Spirit of Davos" then? A bunch of fat, rich elderly men and their hangers-on troughing themselves to the point of bursting on fine wines and gourmet food, while paying lip-service to the poor? ..."
"... One question for Davos might be: how are you going to resolve differences between the vast majority of people who exist as national citizens, and the multinational elite? It's not a new question. ..."
"... Multinationals, corporate and individuals, can dodge the taxes which pay for services we all rely on but especially citizens. ..."
"... Davos is not restricting attendance to high office bearers. Trump could have gone, had he wanted to, or he could have sent one of his family/staff - that's how Davos works. ..."
"... Bilderberg is by invitation, as far as I know, Davos by application and paying a high membership, plus fee. But the fact he is not represented could be a good sign if it means that the focus is on solving domestic issues as opposed to spending so much time and resources on international ones. ..."
"... My own take on the annual Davos circus is as follows:. It is a totally useless conclave and has never achieved anything tangible since its inception. ..."
"... This gives an excellent opportunity for those who hold so-called "numbered" or other secret bank accounts in the proverbially secretive Swiss banks to have their annual tete-a-tete with their bankers and carry out whatever maintenance has to be done to their bank accounts. After all, in tiny Switzerland, it is only a hop from one town to another. No one will miss you if you are not visible for a day or two. If any nosy taxman back home asks: "What was the purpose of your visit to Switzerland?", one can say with a straight face: "Oh, I was invited to be a keynote speaker at Davos to talk about the increasing income disparity in the world and on what steps to take to mitigate it."! ..."
"... I think globalisation is inhumane. Someone calculated that if labour were to follow capital flows we would see one third of the globe move around on a constant basis. One son in Cape Town a daughter in New York and a brother in Tokyo. It's not how human societies operate we are group animals like herds of cows. We need to be firmly rooted in order to build functioning and humane societies. That is the migration aspect of globalization the other aspect is the complete destruction of diverse cultures. ..."
Jan 19, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Trump's influence can also be felt in other ways. The manner in which he won the US election, tapping in to deep-seated anger about the unfair distribution of the spoils of economic growth, has been noted. There is talk in Davos of the need to ensure that globalisation works for everyone.

This is not new. Klaus Schwab, the man who founded the World Economic Forum in the early 1970s, warned as long ago as 1996 that globalisation had entered a critical phase. "A mounting backlash against its effects, especially in the industrial democracies, is threatening a very disruptive impact on economic activity and social stability in many countries," he said.

Schwab's warning was not heeded. There was no real attempt to make globalisation work for everyone. Communities affected by the export of jobs to countries where labour was cheaper were left to rot. The rewards of growth went disproportionately to a privileged few. Resentment quietly festered until there was a backlash. For Schwab, Brexit and Trump are a bitter blow, a repudiation of what he likes to call the spirit of Davos.

It would be wrong, however, to imagine that business is terrified at the prospect of a Trump presidency. Boardrooms rather like the idea of a big cut in US corporation tax. They favour deregulation. They purr at plans to spend more on infrastructure. Wall Street is happy because it thinks the new president will mean stronger growth and higher corporate earnings.

In Trump's absence, it has been left to two senior members of the outgoing Obama administration – his vice-president, Joe Biden, and secretary of state John Kerry – to fly the US flag.

Just as significantly, Xi Jinping is the first Chinese premier to attend Davos and has made it clear that, unlike Trump, he has no plans to resile from international obligations. The sense of a changing of the guard is palpable.

missuswatanabe

It's the way globalisation has been managed for the benefit of the richest in the developed world that has been bad for the masses rather than globalisation itself.

I thought this was an interesting, if US-centric, perspective on things:

'Policy decisions-not God, nature, or the invisible hand-exposed American manufacturing workers to direct competition with low-paid workers in the developing world. Policymakers could have exposed more highly paid workers such as doctors and lawyers to this same competition, but a bipartisan congressional consensus, and presidents of both parties, instead chose to keep them largely protected.'

http://bostonreview.net/forum/dean-baker-globalization-blame

Sunny Reneick -> missuswatanabe

Good article by the way. Recommend others to read. Thanks.

Paul Paterson -> ConBrio

Decent, hardworking Americans facing social and economic insecurity, whether on the right or left, ought to be the focus. We need to deal with the concerns of the average citizen, however it is they vote. Fringe groups don't serve our attention given tbe very real problems the country faces.

Stop trying to shackle every conservative to the desperate and ugly views of the few. Deplorables and their alt-right kin, are so small in number. We ought keep an eye on the Deplorables but little else ... they're politically insignificant. I wish you'd stop trying to throw the average Republican voter into the basket of bigoted, racist rednecks. It's deplorable!

What we should concern ourselves with is the very real social and economic insecurity felt by many in red states and blue states alike. Those decent and hardworking Americans, regardless of party, are joined in much. Deplorables aren't the average Republican voter and didn't win Trump an election - they are too few to win much of anything.

What you keep referring to as Deplorables are decent Americans seeking change and socioeconomic justice. You are mixing up citizens who happen to vote for the GOP withbwhite nationalist scum. How dare you tar all conservatives with the hate monger brush!

Spunky325 -> Paul Paterson

Actually, before taking office, Trump strong-armed Ford and GM into putting more money in their American plants, instead of moving more production to Mexico. He's also questioned cost-overruns on Air Force One and several military projects which is causing companies to back off. I can't think of another American president who has felt it was important to keep jobs in America or who has questioned military spending. Good for him!

Paul Paterson -> Spunky325

You've made it quite clear "you can't think" as you've bought into the ruse. The question is why are you so boastful about it? Trump's policies are even seen by economists on the right as creating staggering levels of debt, creating more economic inequality and unlikely to increase jobs.

Among many flaws, they point out tax proposals that hurt the poor and middle class to such a degree it almost seems targeted. This is the same economic plot that has failed working Americans repeatedly. You folks are getting caught up in a time share pitch and embracing policy that has little chance to help the average American - however it is they vote. It isn't supposed to but y'all are asleep at the wheel.

DrBlamm0

Saying Davos without Trump is like Hamlet without the prince implies a dignity about the event which is rather far fetched. More like the Dark Side without Darth Vader ... trouble is, Davos ain't fiction.

johhnybgood

Why would Daniel go into the lion's den? Trump is committed to stopping the excesses of the "swamp rats" most of whom are at Davos. The world will be turned on its head in 2017; it is going to be interesting to watch the demise of those at the top of the pyramid.

bilyou

What exactly is the "Spirit of Davos" then? A bunch of fat, rich elderly men and their hangers-on troughing themselves to the point of bursting on fine wines and gourmet food, while paying lip-service to the poor?

Maybe Trump just decided to trough it at his tower and avoid hanging out with a grotesque bunch of insufferable see you next Tuesdays.

Ricardo_K

One question for Davos might be: how are you going to resolve differences between the vast majority of people who exist as national citizens, and the multinational elite? It's not a new question.

Multinationals, corporate and individuals, can dodge the taxes which pay for services we all rely on but especially citizens.

James Patterson

Xi's statements on a trade war are completely self serving. But his assertions that he is against protectionism and unfair trading practices is laughably hypocritical. China refuses to let any Silicon Valley Internet company one inch past the Great Firewall. Under his direction the CCP has imposed draconian regulations, which change by the week, on American Companies operating in China making fair competition with local Chinese companies impossible.

The business climate in China is reprehensible. The CCP has resorted to extortion, requiring that U.S. tech companies share their most sensitive trade secrets and IP with Chinese state enterprises or get barred from conducting business there. Sadly, U.S. companies entered China with high expectations and invested hundreds of millions of dollars in factories, labs and equipment. This threat has caused many CEO's to sacrifice their company's long term viability by transferring their most closely guarded technological advances to China or face the loss their entire investment in China. Even so, multinationals are beginning the Chinese exodus led by those with less financial exposure soon to be followed by companies like Apple despite significant economic ties.

True, most people believe a 'trade war' with China means America is the defacto loser because of dishonest reporting. The truth is that America's economic exposure to China is extremely limited. U.S. exports to China represent only 7% of America's total exports worldwide; which in turn accounts for less than 1% of total U.S. GDP (Wells Fargo Economics Group 2015). Most of America's exports to China are raw materials, which can be redirected to other markets with some effort. So even if China blocked all U.S. exports tomorrow, America's economy could absorb the blow with minimal damage. This presents the U.S. government with a wide range of options to deal with China's many trade infractions and unfair practices as aggressively or punitively as it wishes.

europeangrayling

Poor Davos attendees. You feel for them at their fancy alpine Bilderberg. It's like the meeting of the mafia organizations, if the mafia became legal and respected now and ran the world economy. And I don't think those economic royalists at Davos miss Trump, Trump was a small fish compared to the Davos people. They make Trump look like a dishwasher.

They are just pissed Trump came out against the TPP and those globalist 'free trade' deals, and doesn't want more regime change maybe. They like everything else about Trump's policies, the big tax cuts, environmental and banking deregulations galore, it's like Reagan 2.0, without the 'free trade'. But they really want that 'free trade' though, those guys are used to getting everything. Imagine if Bernie won, they would really hate that guy, he is also against the TPPs and trade, and for less war, and against everything else they are used to. And that's good, if those honorable brilliant Davos gentleman don't like you, that's not a bad thing.

soundofthesuburbs -> soundofthesuburbs

With secular stagnation we should all be asking why is economics so bad?

Keynesian redistributive capitalism went out with Margaret Thatcher and inequality has been rising ever since (there is a clue there for the economists amongst us).

How did these new ideas rise to prominence?

"There Is No Nobel Prize in Economics

It's awarded by Sweden's central bank, foisted among the five real prizewinners, often to economists for the 1% -- and the surviving Nobel family is strongly against it."

"The award for economics came almost 70 years later-bootstrapped to the Nobel in 1968 as a bit of a marketing ploy to celebrate the Bank of Sweden's 300th anniversary." Yes, you read that right: "a marketing ploy."

Today's economics rose to prominence by awarding its economists Nobel Prizes that weren't Nobel Prizes.

No wonder it's so bad.

Global elites can use all sorts of trickery to put their ideas in place, but economics is economics and if doesn't reflect how the economy operates it won't work.

Secular stagnation – what more evidence do we need?

HauptmannGurski -> bcarey

Davos is not restricting attendance to high office bearers. Trump could have gone, had he wanted to, or he could have sent one of his family/staff - that's how Davos works.

Bilderberg is by invitation, as far as I know, Davos by application and paying a high membership, plus fee. But the fact he is not represented could be a good sign if it means that the focus is on solving domestic issues as opposed to spending so much time and resources on international ones.

Meanwhile, alibaba's Jack Ma said in Davos that the US had spent many trillions on wars in the last 30 years and neglected their own infrastructure. Money is for people, or some such like, he said. Just mentioning it here, because the MSM tend to dislike running this kind of remark.

Rajanvn -> HauptmannGurski

My own take on the annual Davos circus is as follows:. It is a totally useless conclave and has never achieved anything tangible since its inception.

Did it, in any way, with all the stars in the financial galaxy gathered in one place, warn against the 2008 global financial meltdown? The real reason why so many moneybags congregate at a place which would be shunned by all who have no affinity for snow sports may be, according to my own reckoning, may not be that innocent and may even be quite sinister.

This gives an excellent opportunity for those who hold so-called "numbered" or other secret bank accounts in the proverbially secretive Swiss banks to have their annual tete-a-tete with their bankers and carry out whatever maintenance has to be done to their bank accounts. After all, in tiny Switzerland, it is only a hop from one town to another. No one will miss you if you are not visible for a day or two. If any nosy taxman back home asks: "What was the purpose of your visit to Switzerland?", one can say with a straight face: "Oh, I was invited to be a keynote speaker at Davos to talk about the increasing income disparity in the world and on what steps to take to mitigate it."!

Roland33

I think globalisation is inhumane. Someone calculated that if labour were to follow capital flows we would see one third of the globe move around on a constant basis. One son in Cape Town a daughter in New York and a brother in Tokyo. It's not how human societies operate we are group animals like herds of cows. We need to be firmly rooted in order to build functioning and humane societies. That is the migration aspect of globalization the other aspect is the complete destruction of diverse cultures.

If everyone drives Toyota and everyone drinks Starbucks we lose the diversity of culture that people claim they find so valuable. And replaces it with a mono-culture of Levi jeans and McDonalds. Wealth inequality is really something that can be reduced if you look various countries score higher in this regard than others while still being highly successful market economies but I think money is secondary to the displacement and alienation that come with the first two aspects of globalisation. I find it strange that it is now the right that advocates reversing these neoliberal trends and the left that seems to champion it. I was conscious during the 90's and anti-globalisation was clearly a left wing issue. For whatever reason the left just leaves room for the right to harvest the grapes of wrath they warned about many years ago. Don't blame the "populist" right ask why the left left them the space.

[Jan 19, 2017] WikiLeaks' impact: an unfiltered look into the world's elite and powerful

Jan 19, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
The leaks also revealed that US diplomats had been ordered to take part in an intelligence-collection operation at the United Nations targeted at the secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, and the permanent security council representatives from China, Russia, France and the UK.

Washington wanted diplomats as well as the intelligence agencies to pick up details such as credit card numbers, email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers and even frequent-flyer account numbers of UN figures as well as "biographic and biometric information on UN security council permanent representatives".

The secret "national human intelligence collection directive" was sent to US missions at the UN in New York, Vienna and Rome; 33 embassies and consulates, including those in London, Paris and Moscow.

The cable raised questions about the dividing line between diplomats and spies in Washington's eyes, and without doubt made UN and other foreign officials think very carefully about subsequent meetings with US diplomats.

US officials have asserted that the release of the material endangered the lives of US diplomats' foreign sources. The state department legal adviser at the time, Harold Koh argued the document dump "could place at risk the lives of countless innocent individuals" as well as "ongoing military operations".

He accused WikiLeaks of endangerment "without regard to the security and the sanctity of the lives your actions endanger".

There are no proven cases of deaths directly attributable to the release of the cables. But there was no doubt about the breadth and depth of the embarrassment.

[Dec 31, 2016] Trump praises Putin over US sanctions – a move that puts him at odds with GOP

Notable quotes:
"... Trump is exactly where he is today because he attacked that same party. He called bullshit on the Bush's claims to have made the US safer and called bullshit on the idea that Iraq was something that we should still do in hindsight. He trashed the idea of free trade and TTIP - another Republican shibboleth. He refused to go down the standard Republican route of trashing social security... ..."
"... All he needs to do is call bullshit on this 'evidence' of Russian hacking and remind everyone that it wasn't Russians who manned the planes on 9/11. Trump is a oafish clown - but he's not a standard politician playing standard politics. He can shrug off this oh-so-clever manoeuvre by Obama with no trouble. ..."
"... Sanctions = token gestures that will soon fade into the distance. Much like you know who. Obama is salty because of Kilary getting whupped and Putin out-playing him in Syria. Never thought I would see the day when I sided with Trump over Obama. Interesting times. ..."
"... Yes, the so-called liberals are losing all over. They blame everyone but themselves. The problem is that they have been found out. They were not real liberals at all. They had little bits of liberal policies like "Gay rights" and "bathrooms for Transgenders" and, of course, "Anti-Anti-Semitism Laws" and a few other bits and pieces with which they constructed a sort of camoflage coat, but the core of their policies was Corporatism. Prize exhibits: Tony Blair and Barak Obama. ..."
"... The extreme Left and extreme Right ("Populists") are benefiting by being able to say what they mean, loud and apparently clear. People are not, on the whole, politically sophisticated but they do realise that they have been lied to for a very long time and they are fed up. That is why "Populists are making such a showing in the polls. People don't believe in the centre's "Liberalism" any more. ..."
"... Obama acting like a petulant child that has to leave the game and go home now, so he's kicking the game board and forcing everyone else to clean up his mess. Irresponsible. ..."
"... Obama will be making to many paid speeches to be doing anything of the sort. And frankly I suspect he be silent, because Trump is soon going to know where all the bodies were buried under Obama, just like Obama knows where all the bodies are buried from the Bush area. You are a wishful thinker, if you think Obama is going anything after he leaves office. ..."
"... So the person awarded a Nobel Peace Prize uses his last weeks in office to sour relations between the only 2 superpowers on Earth for - what ? ..."
Dec 30, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

The president-elect has been consistently -> skeptical about the US intelligence -> consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor – the reason for Obama's new sanctions. At one point, he suggested the culprit might have been China, another state or even a 400lb man in his bedroom .

On taking office in January, Trump might therefore be expected to simply end the Obama sanctions. And as president, he could do so; presidential orders can simply be repealed by the executive branch.

But the situation is not that simple. If Trump did choose to remove the sanctions, he would find himself at odds with his own party. Senior Republicans in Congress responded to the Obama sanctions by identifying Russia as a major geopolitical foe and criticizing the new measures only as a case of too little too late. Some promised a push for further measures in Congress.

Trump may therefore choose not to reverse the new sanctions. If so, he will find himself at odds with the man he so constantly praises.

On Friday, the Kremlin responded to the moves, including the expulsion of 35 suspected intelligence operatives and the closing of two Russian facilities in the US, with a shrug . Putin, it seems, is willing simply to wait until Trump moves into the Oval Office. Trump's tweet suggested he is too.

But such provocative words could not distract the media and public from another domestic concern for Trump – the growing perception that his predecessor has acted to his disadvantage .

"The sanctions were clearly an attempt by the Obama administration to throw a wrench into – or [to] box in – the next administration's relationship with Russia,"

vgnych, 30 Dec 2016 18:56
All Obama does with his clumsy movements is just attempting to blame Russians for Democrat's loss of elections. Also he is obscuring peaceful power transition while at it.

All what Trump needs to do is to just call the looser a loser a move on.

Max South , 30 Dec 2016 18:56
White House/StateDep press release on sanctions is ORWELLIAN: corruption within the DNC/Clinton's manager Podesta undermines the democracy, not its exposure as claimed (let alone the fact that there is still no evidence that the Russian government has anything to do with the hacks).

The press release also talks about how the security of the USA and its interests were compromised, so Obama in effects says that national security interest of the country is to have corrupt political system, which is insane.

This argumentation means that even if Russian government has done the hacking, it was a good deed, there is nothing to sanction Russia for even in such case.

CDNBobOrr , 30 Dec 2016 18:58
'Fraid both Putin and Trump are a lot smarter than Barry. Putin's move in not retaliating and inviting US kids to the Kremlin New Year party was an astute judo throw. And Barry is sitting on his backside wondering how it happened.
antobojar , 30 Dec 2016 19:00
.. Probably Obama's "exceptionalism" made him so clumsy on international affairs stage..

.. just recently.. snubbed by Fidel.. he refused to meet him..
.. humiliated by Raul Castro, he declined to hug president of USA..
.. Duterte described.. hmm.. his provenance..
.. Bibi told him off in most vulgar way.. several times..
.. and now this..
..pathetic..

P.S.
You may be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupidities they can think of, plus some that are beyond imagination."
Charles de Gaulle.

ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 19:07
Sanctions = token gestures that will soon fade into the distance. Much like you know who.

Obama is salty because of Kilary getting whupped and Putin out-playing him in Syria.

Never thought I would see the day when I sided with Trump over Obama. Interesting times. Share Facebook Twitter

foolisholdman -> ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 20:01
Yes, the so-called liberals are losing all over. They blame everyone but themselves. The problem is that they have been found out. They were not real liberals at all. They had little bits of liberal policies like "Gay rights" and "bathrooms for Transgenders" and, of course, "Anti-Anti-Semitism Laws" and a few other bits and pieces with which they constructed a sort of camoflage coat, but the core of their policies was Corpratism. Prize exhibits: Tony Blair and Barak Obama.

The extreme Left and extreme Right ("Populists") are benefiting by being able to say what they mean, loud and apparently clear. People are not, on the whole, politically sophisticated but they do realise that they have been lied to for a very long time and they are fed up. That is why "Populists are making such a showing in the polls. People don't believe in the centre's "Liberalism" any more.

bready , 30 Dec 2016 19:22
"US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor "

Are your mentors still thinking that people will swallow that fable? The same mentors who understated Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania?

foolisholdman -> bready , 30 Dec 2016 19:36
bready

"US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor "

These people either think that an ex-British Ambassador is not an important witness or they don't want to hear anything that contradicts the narrative they have been told to spin. It has to be one or the other.

rocjoc43rd -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:45
Obama will be making to many paid speeches to be doing anything of the sort. And frankly I suspect he be slient, because Trump is soon going to know where all the bodies were buried under Obama, just like Obama knows where all the bodies are buried from the Bush area. You are a wishful thinker, if you think Obama is going anything after he leaves office.
cosmith , 30 Dec 2016 19:27
So the person awarded a Nobel Peace Prize uses his last weeks in office to sour relations between the only 2 superpowers on Earth for - what ?

American party politics /
Spite ?
Ideological hatred ?

For those of you who are too young to remember, look up "Cold War" and look for references
to Hawks and Doves.

Who are the Hawks now - and who are the Doves ?

The Left/Liberal paradigm is so drastically in need of updating that it is becoming downright dangerous.

Hell hath on fury like a self defined "liberal" scorned.

Haigin88 , 30 Dec 2016 19:30
R.E.M.: 'Exhuming McCarthy'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMedTmZKo38
gottliebvera , 30 Dec 2016 19:34
I think Obama is behaving in a most petulant and non-presidential manner. Lack of decorum as parting shot. Good going.
philo41z , 30 Dec 2016 19:37
We watched trump defeat republican favourites to get the nomination. He has not really needed them as much as they have felt they need him. Then he has big oil in his transition team, tillerson if I am not mistaken, connected to exxon which has oil interests in Russia....

rocjoc43rd , 30 Dec 2016 19:38
I also think this is Obama's move to direct attention away from the cease fire in Syria. There the US has been supporting all these groups, flying air missions and dropping special forces in Syria for years now, and the US has no seat at the table of the cease fire negotiations. That should be very embarrassing for the US, but it apparently is not, because all the media wants to talk about are these sanctions, which seem pretty trivial to me. The Obama/media machine scores another hollow victory. Can't wait until this guy is out of office.
stormsinteacups , 30 Dec 2016 19:38
Still no proof of any meddling by the Russians. Only a last gasp attempt by a weak president in what is starting to look like a boys against men tussle with Putin. Add the Syria ceasefire brokered by Turkey and Putin to this to show how Obama is being outmanouvered at every turn.
Sad to see what a far cry from Obama the candidate Obama the president has turned out to be.
gandalfsunderpants , 30 Dec 2016 19:41
Action makes propaganda's effect irreversible. He who acts in obedience to propaganda can never go back. He is now obliged to believe in that propaganda because of his past action. He is obliged to receive from it his justification and authority, without which his action will seem to him absurd or unjust, which would be intolerable. He is obliged to continue to advance in the direction indicated by propaganda, for action demands more action.
Jacques Ellul:
Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 19:43
Obama just got dissed big time by Putin. What an inglorious end to an inglorious eight years.
DogsLivesMatter -> Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 20:05
The Obama administration should be thanking Russian efforts to end the war in Syria. We know the MIC wanted this civil war to go on for another decade.
MacCosham , 30 Dec 2016 19:44
Oh for christ's sake, once again:

There were no hacks, the emails were LEAKED!

Probably by Democrats disgusted by the way Bernie was treated.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/

PS once you are there, read everything else Craig Murray has written there. This is the ambassador HM government fired for daring to speak out against the Uzbek government's human rights abuses.

PanopticonPlanet , 30 Dec 2016 19:45
All Americans should be alarmed that their country is now losing its edge in terms of the manipulation of other countries' electoral processes. This is "unpresidented". Where previously we had implemented such actions ourselves without fear of reciprocation we should be concerned that we are no longer immune to such machinations by other states. These events may represent a turning point as regards our accepted global hegemony. Share
Tribal War -> PanopticonPlanet , 30 Dec 2016 19:52
USA hacks
USA spies
USA interferes with foreign regimes
USA is number 1 bully and hypocrite

The damn cheek of Russian hack spies interfering with US election and setting them up with an idiot

brianboru1014 , 30 Dec 2016 19:47
Obama has been anti-Russia long before Trump came into the picture.
This article is more of a wish list than anything else.
We are told by 'experts' that 'There is now a public record of what Russia did'

Where is it? I would love to see this.
I do know that the 2 countries that carry out most cyber attacks in the world are the US and it's main ally in the Middle East. Just ask the Iranians what they did.

Leucocephalus , 30 Dec 2016 19:48
Obama complaining about Russian influence in American elections.

Last time I've checked it was Mr. Obama that warned British people against Brexit, wasn't? What about the deposition of an ELECTED president in Ukraine with their support of Obama and EU? Let's talk also about regime changes in Syria, Lybia and Egypt undertaken under Obama's administration? Perhaps we could also remember that Obama's agencies spied 3 million of Spanyards, Merkel, Dilma Rousseff (Brazilian President) and so on... WHAT A HIPOCRISY, OBAMA!!!!

mtkass -> Leucocephalus , 30 Dec 2016 20:07
You have hit the nail on the head on all your points. But America and especially the American military needs a boogy man to justify the trillions of dollars of American tax payer money they request to keep their military empire going. Imagine if there was no boogy man and the conclusion was to half the American military to a size only equal to the next 6 largest militarys instead of the present 13. Incidentally, most of the next largest militarys are allies of the United States.
This whole kerfuffle about Russian hacking has the stink of shooting the messenger. What about concentrating on what was in the leaked e-mails. They showed a high level of deep corruption in the DNC. That is the importance of the hacked e-mails. Whoever hacked and released them to the American public has done the America public a great favor. If Wasserman Shultz in cohoots with Hillary had not swung the primaries in favor of Hillary and if Obama had remembered that the constitution says the government is for the people and by the people (the peoples choice was by a huge margin for Bernie) and come out for Bernie, we wouldn't be in the CF we are in right now. I thought Obama is a constitutional lawyer. So much for the constitution. The only statesman in this mess is Putin. Thank heaven for his level headedness. The American pronouncements have the stink of the build up to another false flag operation (the CIA revelations themselves are probably a false flag operation). I hope Putin can keep his 'cool' in the face of American provocation.
Huddsblue , 30 Dec 2016 20:03
Well what a spiteful, petty man this Obama has turned out to be! This is the first time his side hasn't 'won' and he can't take it so throws his toys out the pram and risks further souring relationships with the East. Thank goodness Putin rose above it.
ID1516963 -> Huddsblue , 30 Dec 2016 20:10
Ha! Obama has obviously nothing to lose and decided to make hay in the limited time he has. More mischief making. Love it. Let's face it the master spiteful petty man is the one about to occupy the white house.

voice__of__reason

, 30 Dec 2016 20:13
This just shows the real character of Obama. Queering the pitch for Trump and the incoming administration. But well done Putin for sidestepping. Clever. Much smarter than Obama. In the end lawyers make bad Presidents and bad Prime Ministers.
TheChillZone , 30 Dec 2016 20:15
Bit of a pot-kettle interface going on here. America leads the way in the hacking of public servers around the world and spying on friend and enemy alike. Not long ago the CIA tapped into Angela Merkel's mobile phone and I don't remember the same level of public outcry. Seems like America is affronted that Russia and others are now doing what the US has done for years. And if it is in fact the Russians - proof not yet forthcoming - this wasn't a hack into the electoral system at all; it was a simple phishing email that the US officials were silly enough to click onto the link.
And finally - what eventually was released was the truth. Clinton was favoured by the DNC, she did say those things to Goldman Sachs, a CNN reporter did provide her with the questions before the presidential debates. The truth is that the US elections were corrupted, but not by the Russians - the culprits lie a little closer to home.
Kano59 , 30 Dec 2016 20:18
With Putin declaring he'll wait to see what Trump's policies are, then it seems he has at least that in common with the US electorate.
Harry Bhai , 30 Dec 2016 20:22
Obama tried to corner Russia, and almost all GOP lawmakers applauded Obama's action. Called it was well overdue. But our smart president-elect comforted crying Putin right away by calling him a smart man for not taking any actions. It is becoming more and more clear that Trump and Putin are made for each other. I think Trump is keeping Putin on his side to take air out of overinflated Chinese balloon. May be he was advised by his team. No one knows his game plan.
flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:32
Nearly 40 years ago , at the height of the cold war when I joined up to serve my country, never did i dream the day would come when I had more respect for the leader of Russia than a president of the USA and that I would have more faith in the Russian media than our own fake media.

That's what 40 years of liberalism does i guess. Share Facebook Twitter

TyroneBHorneigh -> flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:38
40 years of Neo-liberalism.
Sparky Patriot , 30 Dec 2016 20:37
Not content with merely stealing the silverware, BO is intent on causing as much mischief as possible before being booted out of the White House, but the Russians are not falling for it. They will be dealing with Donald Trump in a few weeks, and there is no need to respond to Barry's diaper baby antics.
I'm sure the Russians are hacking our internet systems, but the DNC emails that went to WikiLeaks did not come from them. The content, outlining Podesta's plan to discredit Bernie supporters by falsely tying them to violent acts, would indicate that a disgruntled and disgusted DNC employee was more likely the source.
rocjoc43rd , 30 Dec 2016 20:38
The liberal media, I can't wait until they claim that Trump has few paths to victory from this trick bag he is in. We are living in the dying days of the Obama administration. Things will be very different January 20, 2017. Things that appear difficult or impossible now will suddenly be taken care of with the stroke of a pen. It will be exciting to see. Just a few months ago, Trumps path to victory was so small that he shouldn't even bother trying, then it was the electors will do something about Trump. It was all nonsense. This to about Obama limiting Trump is nonsense. Obama's lines in the sand are completely without effect.
HollyOldDog -> asiancelt , 30 Dec 2016 21:37
It is of course impossible as the USA has the most and claimed most advanced spying network on the planet. It totally surrounds both friends and foes alike - with such technical ability the only country who could spy and influence (e.g. arm twisting Merkal is a prime example) on any country at will is the 'exceptional ' US Government.

furiouspurpose

, 30 Dec 2016 20:54
If there was genuine evidence that Russia had somehow swayed the election, Hilary Clinton - who desires power above all other things - would now be bringing a legal case to overturn the result and get a re-election.

But there is no evidence - only lies and cynicism. A few weeks ago I was convinced that US politics had hit a nadir and that it couldn't smell any worse or get any more ridiculous. How wrong I was.

ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 20:55
The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it's done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University.

That number doesn't include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn't like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring. [...]

In 59% of these cases, the side that received assistance came to power, although Levin estimates the average effect of "partisan electoral interventions" to be only about a 3% increase in vote share. ( Source )

I understand why some may find outside interference objectionable, but I reckon many of those who think so fail to recognise America's far-from-faultless behaviour. Curses are like chickens; they always come home to roost.

Of course had the DNC leadership and the Clinton camp behaved ethically in the primary by not conspiring to tip the scale in Clinton's favour, the hack would have found nothing. What we have now is Obama forced to divert the public attention because of yet another messy scandal Hillary finds herself involved in. Clinton must be one of the most blessed people on earth; everyone bends over backwards to accommodate her ambitions.

europeangrayling -> ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 21:23
Also the CIA-Belgian assassination of Lamumba in 61, Congo's first democratically elected president, for the same 'geopolitical' aka 'big business' reasons as the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 53, who wanted the nationalize Iranian oil for their people, and Lumumba had similar 'socialist' ideas for all the vast Congolese resources. To cut out the western business interests. And think how well the Congo has fared since, one of the worst, saddest places, chaos, civil war, more dead than in Rwanda or anywhere I think. They have not recovered from that.

And Iran, they were democratic, secular, elected a guy like Mossadegh, they were 'European', but the the US and Britain overthrew him on behest of British-US oil interests, installed the Shah, their puppet dictator, and the blow-back was the Iranian religious right-wing revolution and dictatorship some 20 years later. And now the Iranian people and our 'foreign policy' are suffering.

And all these US and CIA 'activities' the government had admitted and declassified, like the Gulf of Tonkin lie and false flag in Vietnam, because it was so long ago nobody cares, so it's no 'conspiracy' here, just history. But now these Clinton Democrats they really love and trust anything the CIA says, of course, they are big patriots now, and call people unpatriotic and foreign agents if they question the so honorable CIA, because they are on Hillary's side now.
And the CIA in cahoots with Bush and Cheney also told us how there were these big, scary WMDs in Iraq, and mushroom clouds, and how Saddam had links with Al Qaida, all obvious lies, that any amateur who knew basic world history could tell you even then.

And speaking of 'meddling', and overthrowing democratic governments, the US did the same under Obama and Hillary in Honduras just a few years ago, backed the violent coup of a democratic leftist government there, and they still refuse to call it a coup, and have legitimized the new corrupt and violent regime, are training their army, etc. Even though the EU and the US ambassador to Honduras called it a coup at the time.

And for the same reasons, that leftist government didn't want to play ball with big US and western 'business interests', energy companies, didn't want to sell them their rivers and resources like the new 'good' regime now. And since that coup, 100s of indigenous activists and environmentalists have been killed, like Berta Caceres, and the violence and corruption has gone up big time under the new regime, with 1000s more killed 'in general'. Yet Obama is so concerned about 'the integrity of democracy' and elections and freedom and all that, what a nice guy.

fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 20:58
The real question that Americans should be asking why Barack Obummer failed again to provide security in case of hacking Democrat's emails?

Clinton did not deny that emails published by WikiLeaks were genuine.
That is called freedom of press.
What's wrong with public finding the truth about Clinton? Share Facebook Twitter

RadLadd -> fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 21:00
As soon as you post "Obummer" you show yourself to be immature. Share Facebook Twitter
an opinion -> RadLadd , 30 Dec 2016 21:09
He is Obummer. Share Facebook Twitter
Paull01 -> fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 21:13
They are private servers, why would the government have any involvement whatsoever in the servers of political parties during an election?

The whole point is interference in the election process not who they interfered with. Share Facebook Twitter

roman vega , 30 Dec 2016 20:59
Send Obama to therapist ... urgent.. Share Report
roman vega -> J.K. Stevens , 30 Dec 2016 21:07
Haven't you noticed that whole of the West has already moved that way? I do not mean pro-Putin, I mean priority of national interests at home and some isolationism.
HollyOldDog -> MtnClimber , 30 Dec 2016 21:30
Obama is leaving office with the record of saving American troops lives by the process of using drones which on dodgy information mainly target wedding parties. Share Facebook Twitter
geofffrey , 30 Dec 2016 20:42
Appears suspiciously likely that Obama is just bitter that his legacy is about to be dumped in the nearest skip on Jan 20, and wants to make trouble for Trump during his last 3 weeks in office.

Hard to see how Putin could have engineered Hillary Clinton's defeat, given she won the popular vote by 3 million.

Also Obama is extremely hypocritical as the CIA has repeatedly interfered in the affairs of other countries over the past 60 years.

I hope Trump and Putin become buddies. Share

Burnaby1000 -> geofffrey , 30 Dec 2016 20:45
The CIA never released emails of any country's people. It's simply bad tradecraft, meaning that it can't be used when one really needs it. Share Facebook Twitter
geofffrey -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:51
Didn't Wikileaks release those emails.. Share Facebook Twitter
melodrama1 -> geofffrey , 30 Dec 2016 20:56
The story is that they were 'leaked' to Wikileaks and that only stuff that helps Trump was leaked. There are loads of Republican/Trump mails that remain secret (presumably). Sounds plausible to me but the how the hell would I know? Share Facebook Twitter
tomspen , 30 Dec 2016 20:42
Putin outmaneuvers Obama, again. Share Facebook Twitter
pragmata -> tomspen , 30 Dec 2016 20:47
Obama outmanoevres Trump. Share Facebook Twitter
J.K. Stevens -> tomspen , 30 Dec 2016 20:47
Putin goes rogue. You're putin me on. Share Facebook Twitter
tomspen -> pragmata , 30 Dec 2016 20:48
Not really. Democrats lost the election, through their own fault, and now Putin is waiting till Trump comes in office. All will go swimmingly and we can look forward to better relations between the USA-Russia. Win win. Share Facebook Twitter
furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:42

On Thursday, the Arizona senator John McCain and South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham said in a joint statement: "The retaliatory measures announced by the Obama administration today are long overdue.

That's all I needed to know. If lunatic war monger John McCain wants to ratchet up the tension with a nuclear power - then it is very wise to do the opposite. Share

Burnaby1000 -> furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:44
But he has 48 Dems who support him, and most Republicans. Share Facebook Twitter
MtnClimber -> furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:45
Sure. Let's let Putin control our democracy. He and his BFF, Trump, will keep our democracy safe /s Share Facebook Twitter
J.K. Stevens -> furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:45
Putin is/has been the provocateur. Keep up. Share Facebook Twitter
Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:43
Wouldn't it be hilarious if a revolution broke out next year in Russia, over the downward spiralling Russian economy, just when Putin thinks he has victory in sight?

But wait--didn't that happen in 1917?

Yep, think it did... Share Facebook Twitter

pawsfurthought -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:51
Parallels with the public mood in Russia leading up to 1917? Zero. Share Facebook Twitter
Burnaby1000 -> pawsfurthought , 30 Dec 2016 20:58
"Peace, Land, Bread!!!!!"

Parallels -- 100% Share Facebook Twitter

HollyOldDog -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 21:21
Ah! The evident effects of sipping too much Death Wish Coffee 64 fl.oz - 3,472 mg of caffeine it could do serious damage to your brain. Share Facebook Twitter
osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 20:44
Wow, the Trump/kremlin brigade zoomed in on this comments section faster than greased lightening! Good to know that some people just love them some fascism! Share Facebook Twitter
Burnaby1000 -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 20:50
They HAVE been doing this for quite some time. Share Facebook Twitter
furiouspurpose -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:10
Red baiting won't close down the debate. There's still no evidence of Russian hacking of the US election.

And fascism is shouting people down who ask for evidence and don't just follow the President because he is attacking the outsiders. Share Facebook Twitter

TheControlLeft -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:12
It's preferable to the Obama brigades sponsorship of Islamic terrorism Share Facebook Twitter
EmperorWearsNoCloths , 30 Dec 2016 20:45
Good move by Obama. Trump will soon have to clarify where he stands in regards to Putin. Share Facebook Twitter
HollyOldDog -> EmperorWearsNoCloths , 30 Dec 2016 21:12
I don't usually follow American elections but is this the usual way to hand over to a new president is to try to kick him in the teeth? Share Facebook Twitter
Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:47
As always, it is the US Senate that brings forth the best in the US inuncertain times.

It was Republican senators who were very critical of Bush that eventually got him to do the surge.

Similarly, it will be the Senate that applies pressure in the right place to keep Trump in check.

Who knows, he may even come up with one or two good ideas. Share Facebook Twitter

grodhagen -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 21:10
It were GOP senators leading the huzzas for invading Iraq too. But Ted Cruz? James Inhoffe? Half of the GOP senators are just hirelings for big business. Share Facebook Twitter
Putzik , 30 Dec 2016 20:48
It's not too late fir Obama to cluster bomb Russian troops in Syria and Ukraine.

Now that would certainly constipate the Golden Domed donald. Share Facebook Twitter

HollyOldDog -> Putzik , 30 Dec 2016 21:09
Such a move - did you manage to think this one up by yourself? Or is it just recient history repeating itself - you have only a one tracked mind, a bit like your icon. Share Facebook Twitter
Putzik -> HollyOldDog , 30 Dec 2016 22:37
I am not aware that the US has yet bombed the Russian fascist hordes.

Never too late though, eh? Share Facebook Twitter

dddxxx , 30 Dec 2016 20:49
The fact that the Russian sanctions makes things difficult for blowhard Trump is not the issue nor the intent. President Obama was acting in response to Russia's interference with our diplomats and cyber attacks. This needed to be done. As to Trump, that's tough. Share Facebook Twitter
furiouspurpose -> dddxxx , 30 Dec 2016 21:06
No - he was reacting to Russia "hacking the elections". What specifically did they do? What evidence exists of this? Share Facebook Twitter
WillKnotTell -> furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 21:16
The lack of evidence is the evidence. Ask any Trumpeteer and believer of Peter Schweizer. Share Facebook Twitter
monsieur_flaneur , 30 Dec 2016 20:49
Obama, envisioning a spot on Mt Rushmore, exits a laughing stock. Ah well

Not4TheFaintOfHeart , 30 Dec 2016 20:59
Why would Russia be happy that Clinton lost? Why would any foreign power be happy that Clinton lost?...
How many years did HRC, in her arrogance-fuelled denial, provide foreign intelligences with literally tonnes of free info??!
furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 21:03

Trump might therefore be expected to simply end the Obama sanctions. .... But if he did choose to do so, he would find himself at odds with his own party.

Trump is exactly where he is today because he attacked that same party. He called bullshit on the Bush's claims to have made the US safer and called bullshit on the idea that Iraq was something that we should still do in hindsight. He trashed the idea of free trade and TTIP - another Republican shibboleth. He refused to go down the standard Republican route of trashing social security...

All he needs to do is call bullshit on this 'evidence' of Russian hacking and remind everyone that it wasn't Russians who manned the planes on 9/11. Trump is a oafish clown - but he's not a standard politician playing standard politics. He can shrug off this oh-so-clever manoeuvre by Obama with no trouble.

an opinion -> hawkchurch , 30 Dec 2016 21:07
Putin is playing obama like a fiddle and make him irrelevant!
diddoit , 30 Dec 2016 21:04
Make America and Russia ... Great Again.

Intelligence sharing, to tackle terror, is only the start of what's likely to become a strong partnership.

I bet Intel agents can hardly wait ..lol

Munchausen007
Simple solution, publish the commenter geolocation and ban proxy, clean the comment section from putinbots. Putin like ASBO's must stop to do more harm against democracy.
Down2dirt -> Munchausen007 , 30 Dec 2016 19:17
What a foolish comment.
Ilurktostudyyouall -> Munchausen007 , 30 Dec 2016 19:39
And what happens when you begin to realise many are not putinbots?
Not4TheFaintOfHeart -> Ilurktostudyyouall , 30 Dec 2016 19:58
I'm sure they'll find some excuse to get around that... 'It's elephants all the way down', don't forget
Julian Beach , 30 Dec 2016 19:06
...an attempt rendered utterly futile by Putin refusing to carry out tit-for-tat expulsions.

Premier League trolling. Again.

fivefeetfour -> Jonathan Stromberg , 30 Dec 2016 22:47
There's still no evidence regarding the origin of the cyber attack. I've seen you posting a link to the report. The first line in it is a disclaimer: "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within". Which is very wise from them.
ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 19:07
Sanctions = token gestures that will soon fade into the distance. Much like you know who. Obama is salty because of Kilary getting whupped and Putin out-playing him in Syria. Never thought I would see the day when I sided with Trump over Obama. Interesting times.
foolisholdman -> ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 20:01
Yes, the so-called liberals are losing all over. They blame everyone but themselves. The problem is that they have been found out. They were not real liberals at all. They had little bits of liberal policies like "Gay rights" and "bathrooms for Transgenders" and, of course, "Anti-Anti-Semitism Laws" and a few other bits and pieces with which they constructed a sort of camoflage coat, but the core of their policies was Corporatism. Prize exhibits: Tony Blair and Barak Obama.

The extreme Left and extreme Right ("Populists") are benefiting by being able to say what they mean, loud and apparently clear. People are not, on the whole, politically sophisticated but they do realise that they have been lied to for a very long time and they are fed up. That is why "Populists are making such a showing in the polls. People don't believe in the centre's "Liberalism" any more.

Potyka Kalman , 30 Dec 2016 19:09
Oh the War Party. Trump rally should point them out as such. So the light shines in those dark spots.

You Russians have a strange sense of humour.

AveAtqueCave , 30 Dec 2016 19:13
Ben, I found Glenn Greenwald's take on you quite interesting. Have you responded? And, yes, I know, my polite and pertinent question will violate the terms here.
Ilurktostudyyouall -> AveAtqueCave , 30 Dec 2016 19:42
Cheers for that. False news angle now in total tatters
furiouspurpose -> AveAtqueCave , 30 Dec 2016 21:36
What does Glenn Greenwald know? With his crappy little "Pulitzer Prize".
John Blenkins -> AveAtqueCave , 30 Dec 2016 23:17
Good to see someone with the bollox to call a spade a spade.
More importantly it helps lift the eyelids of those who think our msm tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
AveAtqueCave -> Tercole , 30 Dec 2016 19:22
The American system is based on open legal proceedings.

Have you seen the evidence Russia perpetrated the leaks?

Please provide.

Terry Phillips , 30 Dec 2016 19:19
You just know these people, like Johnny boy, who are pointing fingers at Russia are doing so based upon long laid plans to bind up Trump from building a healthy relationship with Russia which would put an end to terrorism and likely all of these petty little wars that are tearing the world to pieces. These people want war because division keeps them in power and war makes them lots of money. I hope that Trump and Putin can work together and build a trust and foundation as allies in that together we can stamp out terrorism and stabilize the worlds conflicts. Everything these people do in the next 20 days has a single agenda and that is to cause instability and roadblocks for Trump and his team. Hope is just around the corner people so let's help usher it in.
Ilurktostudyyouall -> 79pentland , 30 Dec 2016 19:54
Don't trust anyone until you know them. Been married and watched it turn to shit? You can't really trust anyone. The same can be said for any country member.
bready , 30 Dec 2016 19:22
"US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor "

Are your mentors still thinking that people will swallow that fable? The same mentors who understated Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania?

foolisholdman -> bready , 30 Dec 2016 19:36
bready

"US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor "

These people either think that an ex-British Ambassador is not an important witness or they don't want to hear anything that contradicts the narrative they have been told to spin. It has to be one or the other. Share

bready -> foolisholdman , 30 Dec 2016 19:54
Some people don't need to hear narratives to discern the cheap tricks of politics.
86753oh9 , 30 Dec 2016 19:24
First... let's see some actual evidence/proof. Oh, that's right, none has been offered up.
Second... everyone is upset that the DNC turd was exposed, but no one upset about the existence of the turd. ?

Obama acting like a petulant child that has to leave the game and go home now, so he's kicking the game board and forcing everyone else to clean up his mess. Irresponsible.

TheWindsOfFreedom -> 86753oh9 , 30 Dec 2016 19:33
Hundred times repeated lie will become the truth... that's the US officials policy for decades now. In 8 years, they did nothing, so they are trying to do "something" in the last minute. For someone, who's using his own brain is all of this just laughable. United States are not united I guess. Guess, that Merkel is the next on the list...
Fulhamred , 30 Dec 2016 19:26
Hopefully now this will enable senate and congress republicans to prevent these crazy ideas of Russian appeasement take hold and pursue a hardline against Russia, Hamas, Iran and Cuba.
Down2dirt -> Fulhamred , 30 Dec 2016 19:31
They'll probably do that. Business as usual. To pursue a hard line against Isis enablers like Saudi and Qatar, now that would be a surprise.
Individualist -> Down2dirt , 30 Dec 2016 19:35
Actually the biggest ISIS enabler was Cheney.
Down2dirt -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:42
Well you're probably right about that.
Waaarrrggghhh , 30 Dec 2016 19:27
Not really. Obama is just making himself look like an idiot.
rocjoc43rd -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:45
Obama will be making to many paid speeches to be doing anything of the sort. And frankly I suspect he be silent, because Trump is soon going to know where all the bodies were buried under Obama, just like Obama knows where all the bodies are buried from the Bush area. You are a wishful thinker, if you think Obama is going anything after he leaves office.
cosmith , 30 Dec 2016 19:27
So the person awarded a Nobel Peace Prize uses his last weeks in office to sour relations between the only 2 superpowers on Earth for - what ?

American party politics /
Spite ?
Ideological hatred ?

For those of you who are too young to remember, look up "Cold War" and look for references
to Hawks and Doves.

Who are the Hawks now - and who are the Doves ?

The Left/Liberal paradigm is so drastically in need of updating that it is becoming downright dangerous.

Hell hath on fury like a self defined "liberal" scorned. Share

Individualist -> cosmith , 30 Dec 2016 19:33
So you are blaming the President (the current one) for addressing the fact that a foreign power attempted to mess with a US election?
rocjoc43rd -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:42
I think you can blame Obama for underestimating Putin. Remember when he told Putin before the 2012 election off mike that he would have more leeway after the election. Remember when Romney in 2012 warned us that Russia was a big threat and Obama thought that was silly. Obama has been outclassed by Putin at every turn. Whatever else you may say about Trump, he recognizes that Putin is worthy adversary not one to be marginalized. Putin has manage to marginalize the US in Syria despite all the money and effort we have dumped into it.
Banker1 -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:48
The foreign power did the American people a favor when it exposed the corruption within the Democratic Party; something the establishment media was apparently unable or unwilling to do. Rather than sanctioning Putin, Americans should be thanking him!
Haigin88 , 30 Dec 2016 19:30
R.E.M.: 'Exhuming McCarthy'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMedTmZKo38
Mick Readdin , 30 Dec 2016 19:31
Whatever the outcome, the winner is.... Putin!

His recent announcement (no tit-for-tat) was masterful politicking. Should Trump refuse to do anything, Putin knows he can wrap Trump around his finger, with the added bonus of both US houses kicking off.

If Trump does do something, relations will sour and Putin can blame the US.

gottliebvera , 30 Dec 2016 19:34
I think Obama is behaving in a most petulant and non-presidential manner. Lack of decorum as parting shot. Good going.
UnitedundertheSun -> Jonathan Stromberg , 30 Dec 2016 23:10
Attack Russia with a wet lettuce? Oh the pain! And gives Putin the high moral ground. Brilliant politics from Obama.

All to hamfistedly conceal what a rotten dysfunctional political organisation he heads.

Obama plays snakes and ladders while Putin is playing chess.

VultureTX -> Pitthewelder , 30 Dec 2016 21:50
" and decides not to accept it he will have to make it public,"

Solely a presumption on your part, a simple statement by the new agency heads saying that the info is inconclusive and the method of the investigation will not be revealed cancels your whole argument. Sure the press will howl, but Trumps using Twitter to talk to the people and unless someone leaks you got nothing.

chelsea55 , 30 Dec 2016 19:35
Seems a no brainer, reverse Obama's ridiculous posturing gesture. As if the US doesn't have a long track record of interfering in the affairs of other countries.
chelsea55 -> LithophaneFurcifera , 30 Dec 2016 21:57
Personally I think the US should do as it wishes but it's extremely hypocritical to act shocked when the same meddling is returned by others. Obama is acting foolishly as if the final weeks of his presidency have any genuine traction on future events.
philo41z , 30 Dec 2016 19:37
We watched trump defeat republican favourites to get the nomination. He has not really needed them as much as they have felt they need him. Then he has big oil in his transition team, tillerson if I am not mistaken, connected to exxon which has oil interests in Russia....if trump removed big oil from his team maybe he can get out of this without escalating the issue or appearing to be a putin puppet...

[Dec 31, 2016] The last hissy fit of neocon Obama is probably connected with the loss of Alepo and being sidelined in Syria

Notable quotes:
"... I also think this is Obama's move to divert attention away from the cease fire in Syria. ..."
"... The Obama/media machine scores another hollow victory. Can't wait until this guy is out of office. ..."
"... The Obama administration should be thanking Russian efforts to end the war in Syria. We know the MIC wanted this civil war to go on for another decade. ..."
"... Oh for christ's sake, once again: There were no hacks, the emails were LEAKED! Probably by Democrats disgusted by the way Bernie was treated. ..."
"... All Americans should be alarmed that their country is now losing its edge in terms of the manipulation of other countries' electoral processes. This is "unprecedented". ..."
"... Red baiting won't close down the debate. There's still no evidence of Russian hacking of the US election. And fascism is shouting people down who ask for evidence and don't just follow the President because he is attacking the outsiders. Share Facebook Twitter TheControlLeft -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:12 It's preferable to the Obama brigades sponsorship of Islamic terrorism Share Facebook Twitter monsieur_flaneur , 30 Dec 2016 20:49 Obama, envisioning a spot on Mt Rushmore, exits a laughing stock. Ah well Share Janjii , 30 Dec 2016 20:54 Russia defeated the US in the Ukraine and recently it received an even harder blow Syria. Next think you know the US 'administration' makes a fool of itself by expelling 35 RF officials, who would have though that! Sad to see this beautiful continent is being compromised by someone's puppets in the white house. Nato is crumbling now that Turkey t-he gateway to the Balkans, the Caspian, to the Stannies- rethinks its ties with US/NATO and moves towards Russia. It is crumbling beacuse the world begins to understand that the rationale behind 'operation gladio' /strategy of tension is still ruling the US admin. We could do without NATO, and could use a US government supporting peace rather than an administration creating war. Even Germany starts to realize that, because of the abundance of US military bases in this country, Germany is in fact 'occupied territory', a US colony if you will. The USA has underestimated people on this planet who, as opposed to US politicians, were able to put current politics in a historical perspective. US policymakers took a part of Heidegger, Locke, Freud, Descartes and others without knowing their interpretations were at least incomplete. It results from the way in which US universities teach the discretized model of two extremes with the requirement of choosing one of these without putting both in one perspective: 'Descartes or Pascal' (not both as the French do); 'black or white'; 'with or against us'. The result Americans aimed for was a stable socio-political model, same with 'Neue Sozialismus'. What they obtained was a polarized world, because, a rigid stable model can only be governed by suppression (which the Military industrial Complex is currently doing) and we do not want that. Trump may lack political experience, he may be supported by a group of ideosyncratic wealthy people attracting bad press from 'regulated media'. Equal chance of Trump having a positive or negative effect on US internal and external policy-making, and on the relationship with RF. But, Trump has one advantage: the more the Obama 'administration' barks, the more support Trump will receive to change what Bush-Clinton-Obama have ruined for their electorates; the more to celebrate for the Russians on January 13. LMichelle -> Janjii , 30 Dec 2016 20:57 Bingo. This is not about the integrity of US elections. It's about being punked in Syria this week. The problems with the electoral process in the US were massive before 2016 and never received this many Presidential press conferences. Share ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 20:55 The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it's done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University. That number doesn't include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn't like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring. [...] In 59% of these cases, the side that received assistance came to power, although Levin estimates the average effect of "partisan electoral interventions" to be only about a 3% increase in vote share. ( Source ) I understand why some may find outside interference objectionable, but I reckon many of those who think so fail to recognise America's far-from-faultless behaviour. Curses are like chickens; they always come home to roost. Of course had the DNC leadership and the Clinton camp behaved ethically in the primary by not conspiring to tip the scale in Clinton's favour, the hack would have found nothing. What we have now is Obama forced to divert the public attention because of yet another messy scandal Hillary finds herself involved in. Clinton must be one of the most blessed people on earth; everyone bends over backwards to accommodate her ambitions. Paull01 -> ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 21:18 Please provide an example of a political party behaving ethically during an election campaign? You reckon the republicans weren't trying to tip the scales away from Donny? Also, Clinton lost despite getting way more votes so Donny will be president and it is pointless to continue to indulge in bashing Hillary, she is now just another elderly lady enjoying her golden years. Share Facebook Twitter europeangrayling -> ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 21:23 Also the CIA-Belgian assassination of Lamumba in 61, Congo's first democratically elected president, for the same 'geopolitical' aka 'big business' reasons as the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 53, who wanted the nationalize Iranian oil for their people, and Lumumba had similar 'socialist' ideas for all the vast Congolese resources. To cut out the western business interests. And think how well the Congo has fared since, one of the worst, saddest places, chaos, civil war, more dead than in Rwanda or anywhere I think. They have not recovered from that. And Iran, they were democratic, secular, elected a guy like Mossadegh, they were 'European', but the the US and Britain overthrew him on behest of British-US oil interests, installed the Shah, their puppet dictator, and the blow-back was the Iranian religious right-wing revolution and dictatorship some 20 years later. And now the Iranian people and our 'foreign policy' are suffering. And all these US and CIA 'activities' the government had admitted and declassified, like the Gulf of Tonkin lie and false flag in Vietnam, because it was so long ago nobody cares, so it's no 'conspiracy' here, just history. But now these Clinton Democrats they really love and trust anything the CIA says, of course, they are big patriots now, and call people unpatriotic and foreign agents if they question the so honorable CIA, because they are on Hillary's side now. And the CIA in cahoots with Bush and Cheney also told us how there were these big, scary WMDs in Iraq, and mushroom clouds, and how Saddam had links with Al Qaida, all obvious lies, that any amateur who knew basic world history could tell you even then. And speaking of 'meddling', and overthrowing democratic governments, the US did the same under Obama and Hillary in Honduras just a few years ago, backed the violent coup of a democratic leftist government there, and they still refuse to call it a coup, and have legitimized the new corrupt and violent regime, are training their army, etc. Even though the EU and the US ambassador to Honduras called it a coup at the time. And for the same reasons, that leftist government didn't want to play ball with big US and western 'business interests', energy companies, didn't want to sell them their rivers and resources like the new 'good' regime now. And since that coup, 100s of indigenous activists and environmentalists have been killed, like Berta Caceres, and the violence and corruption has gone up big time under the new regime, with 1000s more killed 'in general'. Yet Obama is so concerned about 'the integrity of democracy' and elections and freedom and all that, what a nice guy. fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 20:58 The real question that Americans should be asking why Barack Obummer failed again to provide security in case of hacking Democrat's emails? Clinton did not deny that emails published by WikiLeaks were genuine. That is called freedom of press. What's wrong with public finding the truth about Clinton? Share Not4TheFaintOfHeart , 30 Dec 2016 20:59 Why would Russia be happy that Clinton lost? Why would any foreign power be happy that Clinton lost?... How many years did HRC, in her arrogance-fuelled denial, provide foreign intelligences with literally tonnes of free info??! Share furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 21:03 Trump might therefore be expected to simply end the Obama sanctions. .... But if he did choose to do so, he would find himself at odds with his own party. Trump is exactly where he is today because he attacked that same party. He called bullshit on the Bush's claims to have made the US safer and called bullshit on the idea that Iraq was something that we should still do in hindsight. He trashed the idea of free trade and TTIP - another Republican shibboleth. He refused to go down the standard Republican route of trashing social security... ..."
"... All he needs to do is call bullshit on this 'evidence' of Russian hacking and remind everyone that it wasn't Russians who manned the planes on 9/11. Trump is a oafish clown - but he's not a standard politician playing standard politics. He can shrug off this oh-so-clever manoeuvre by Obama with no trouble. ..."
Dec 31, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
On Friday, the Kremlin responded to the moves, including the expulsion of 35 suspected intelligence operatives and the closing of two Russian facilities in the US, with a shrug. Putin, it seems, is willing simply to wait until Trump moves into the Oval Office. Trump's tweet suggested he is too.

But such provocative words could not distract the media and public from another domestic concern for Trump – the growing perception that his predecessor has acted to his disadvantage .

"The sanctions were clearly an attempt by the Obama administration to throw a wrench into – or [to] box in – the next administration's relationship with Russia," said Boris Zilberman, a Russia expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

"Putin, in part, saw through that and sidestepped it by playing good cop to [Russian foreign minister Sergey] Lavrov and the [state] Duma, who were calling for a reciprocal response."

rocjoc43rd, 30 Dec 2016 19:38

I also think this is Obama's move to divert attention away from the cease fire in Syria. There the US has been supporting all these groups, flying air missions and dropping special forces in Syria for years now, and the US has no seat at the table of the cease fire negotiations.

That should be very embarrassing for the US, but it apparently is not, because all the media wants to talk about are these sanctions, which seem pretty trivial to me.

The Obama/media machine scores another hollow victory. Can't wait until this guy is out of office.

stormsinteacups , 30 Dec 2016 19:38
Still no proof of any meddling by the Russians. Only a last gasp attempt by a weak president in what is starting to look like a boys against men tussle with Putin. Add the Syria ceasefire brokered by Turkey and Putin to this to show how Obama is being outmaneuvered at every turn.
Sad to see what a far cry from Obama the candidate Obama the president has turned out to be.
gandalfsunderpants , 30 Dec 2016 19:41
Action makes propaganda's effect irreversible. He who acts in obedience to propaganda can never go back. He is now obliged to believe in that propaganda because of his past action. He is obliged to receive from it his justification and authority, without which his action will seem to him absurd or unjust, which would be intolerable. He is obliged to continue to advance in the direction indicated by propaganda, for action demands more action.
Jacques Ellul:
Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 19:43
Obama just got dissed big time by Putin. What an inglorious end to an inglorious eight years.
jamie smith -> Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 19:47
An inglorious bastarde!
DogsLivesMatter -> Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 20:05
The Obama administration should be thanking Russian efforts to end the war in Syria. We know the MIC wanted this civil war to go on for another decade.
MacCosham , 30 Dec 2016 19:44
Oh for christ's sake, once again: There were no hacks, the emails were LEAKED! Probably by Democrats disgusted by the way Bernie was treated.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/

PS once you are there, read everything else Craig Murray has written there. This is the ambassador HM government fired for daring to speak out against the Uzbek government's human rights abuses. Share

Yer Man -> MacCosham , 30 Dec 2016 19:57
No, no, you see you just put the word "consensus" before a pathetically transparent lie and then apparently it magically becomes evidence based and well sourced...
PanopticonPlanet , 30 Dec 2016 19:45
All Americans should be alarmed that their country is now losing its edge in terms of the manipulation of other countries' electoral processes. This is "unprecedented".

Where previously we had implemented such actions ourselves without fear of reciprocation we should be concerned that we are no longer immune to such machinations by other states. These events may represent a turning point as regards our accepted global hegemony.

Tribal War -> PanopticonPlanet , 30 Dec 2016 19:52
USA hacks
USA spies
USA interferes with foreign regimes
USA is number 1 bully and hypocrite

The damn cheek of Russian hack spies interfering with US election and setting them up with an idiot Share Facebook Twitter

brianboru1014 , 30 Dec 2016 19:47
Obama has been anti-Russia long before Trump came into the picture.
This article is more of a wish list than anything else.
We are told by 'experts' that 'There is now a public record of what Russia did'

Where is it? I would love to see this.
I do know that the 2 countries that carry out most cyber attacks in the world are the US and it's main ally in the Middle East. Just ask the Iranians what they did. Share

Think Clear -> brianboru1014 , 30 Dec 2016 20:00
I think all American presidents are anti Russian. Sounds like you was born 2005 or you just doing your British citizenship. You don't know much so read this Life in the uk test Share Facebook Twitter
MaryLeone Sullivan -> brianboru1014 , 30 Dec 2016 20:02
Ask Britain for their MI6 files on Russia. See how far you get with that. Share Facebook Twitter
UralMan -> brianboru1014 , 30 Dec 2016 20:13

We are told by 'experts' that 'There is now a public record of what Russia did'

Where is it? I would love to see this.

Whaaat!? You don't believe the most democratic democrats on their word? Share Facebook Twitter

Leucocephalus , 30 Dec 2016 19:48
Obama complaining about Russian influence in American elections.

Last time I've checked it was Mr. Obama that warned British people against Brexit, wasn't? What about the deposition of an ELECTED president in Ukraine with their support of Obama and EU? Let's talk also about regime changes in Syria, Lybia and Egypt undertaken under Obama's administration? Perhaps we could also remember that Obama's agencies spied 3 million of Spanyards, Merkel, Dilma Rousseff (Brazilian President) and so on... WHAT A HIPOCRISY, OBAMA!!!! Share

mtkass -> Leucocephalus , 30 Dec 2016 20:07
You have hit the nail on the head on all your points. But America and especially the American military needs a boogy man to justify the trillions of dollars of American tax payer money they request to keep their military empire going. Imagine if there was no boogy man and the conclusion was to half the American military to a size only equal to the next 6 largest militarys instead of the present 13. Incidentally, most of the next largest militarys are allies of the United States.

This whole kerfuffle about Russian hacking has the stink of shooting the messenger. What about concentrating on what was in the leaked e-mails. They showed a high level of deep corruption in the DNC. That is the importance of the hacked e-mails. Whoever hacked and released them to the American public has done the America public a great favor. If Wasserman Shultz in cohoots with Hillary had not swung the primaries in favor of Hillary and if Obama had remembered that the constitution says the government is for the people and by the people (the peoples choice was by a huge margin for Bernie) and come out for Bernie, we wouldn't be in the CF we are in right now. I thought Obama is a constitutional lawyer. So much for the constitution. The only statesman in this mess is Putin. Thank heaven for his level headedness. The American pronouncements have the stink of the build up to another false flag operation (the CIA revelations themselves are probably a false flag operation). I hope Putin can keep his 'cool' in the face of American provocation.

DogsLivesMatter -> Deeptank , 30 Dec 2016 20:03
May he take John McCain, Mitch McConnell and Lindsey "I do declare" Graham with him.....please? Share Facebook Twitter
Georwell , 30 Dec 2016 19:51
Obama:

Check , haha !

Putin - Check&Mate !

HoHo, and Happy New Year little duck ! Share Facebook Twitter

vgnych , 30 Dec 2016 19:57
It starts to look as if Putin and Trump wipe their shoes on Obama at this point, and it is Obama who asked for it. Embarrassing. Share Facebook Twitter
SallyWa , 30 Dec 2016 20:00
I've read Guardian's article on Russia's response to Obama's tantrum. Yep, it's clear why Obama lost to Russians and can't cope with it. Now use your own advice, Barry. Go to the back of the queue. Share Facebook Twitter
DogsLivesMatter , 30 Dec 2016 20:02
They were gossipy emails ffs. If that was all it took for H. Clinton to lose to Trump, then the Democrats really need to do an autopsy on itself. Or, here's a thought, VISIT the states where you need the support to win. This is becoming soooooo boring! Share Facebook Twitter
Huddsblue , 30 Dec 2016 20:03
Well what a spiteful, petty like man this Obama has turned out to be! This is the first time his side hasn't 'won' and he can't take it so throws his toys out the pram and risks further souring relationships with the East. Thank goodness Putin rose above it. Share Facebook Twitter
ID1516963 -> Huddsblue , 30 Dec 2016 20:10
Ha! Obama has obviously nothing to lose and decided to make hay in the limited time he has. More mischief making. Love it. Share Facebook Twitter
irenka_irina , 30 Dec 2016 20:06
Few words left.....the future presidency and its administration is an absolute farce....a 'free for all' for Trump and his cronies. Watch the rich get even richer and the poor get screwed. America chose....they have to deal with it.
Unfortunately for those of us who aren't are going to be screwed as well. Lack of tact and ignorance of diplomacy could ignite a power keg. Share Facebook Twitter
Huddsblue -> irenka_irina , 30 Dec 2016 20:07
That was the Obama administration you've just described in a nutshell. Share Facebook Twitter
SeekAndYouShallFind -> dutchcanadian , 30 Dec 2016 20:40
The problem is no one trusts the agencies you mentioned anymore based on their past record....

As regards the FBI being no friend of the democrats, didn't they just let her off for storing thousands of classified emails on a private server?
Besides, the whole world knows that the US have been sponsoring changes of Govs around the world so it comes across as completely hypocritical.

This appears to be a smokescreen for numerous embarrassing issues relating to the election & foreign policy.

For the record, I'm not a putin bot or fan if DT. So tired of the same old hackie responses to anyone who questions the narrative. It's getting really boring. Share

BG Davis , 30 Dec 2016 20:12
"Obama's Russia sanctions: an attempt to tie Donald Trump in knots ".... Facebook Twitter
voice__of__reason , 30 Dec 2016 20:13
This just shows the real character of Obama. Queering the pitch for Trump and the incoming administration. But well done Putin for sidestepping. Clever. Much smarter than Obama. In the end lawyers make bad Presidents and bad Prime Ministers. Share
TheChillZone , 30 Dec 2016 20:15
Bit of a pot-kettle interface going on here. America leads the way in the hacking of public servers around the world and spying on friend and enemy alike. Not long ago the CIA tapped into Angela Merkel's mobile phone and I don't remember the same level of public outcry. Seems like America is affronted that Russia and others are now doing what the US has done for years. And if it is in fact the Russians - proof not yet forthcoming - this wasn't a hack into the electoral system at all; it was a simple phishing email that the US officials were silly enough to click onto the link.
And finally - what eventually was released was the truth. Clinton was favoured by the DNC, she did say those things to Goldman Sachs, a CNN reporter did provide her with the questions before the presidential debates. The truth is that the US elections were corrupted, but not by the Russians - the culprits lie a little closer to home.
Harry Bhai , 30 Dec 2016 20:22
Obama tried to corner Russia, and almost all GOP lawmakers applauded Obama's action. Called it was well overdue. But our smart president-elect comforted crying Putin right away by calling him a smart man for not taking any actions. It is becoming more and more clear that Trump and Putin are made for each other. I think Trump is keeping Putin on his side to take air out of overinflated Chinese balloon. May be he was advised by his team. No one knows his game plan. Share
Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:28
This shows Putin's strengths and weaknesses.

He is a great tactician. It certainly makes Obama look less threatening.

But he is a horrible strategist. A good strategy doesn't surprise. It makes plain to one's opponent that things will only get worse--and one had better accommodate sooner rather than later. It was at the heart of Reagan's strategy, which destroyed the SU.

And this is exactly the situation that Putin faces with or without sanctions. The renewed fracking is going to keep oil and gas at lows not seen since the 90s. What was interesting was that even Putin's stooge in the UK, Krassnov, said that Russia faced a very dire economic future. Whatever Trump does, few Republicans are going to be accommodating after:

1) Crimea and Donbass
2) Blasting Aleppo to smithereens
3) Trying to throw the US election

The latter is an existential threat to every lawmaker, and they are hopping mad at the thought that it could happen again.

Ironically, Putin is proving ever more clearly that Obama should have used air power in 2013, as Putin has done in 2016.

It is a lesson that will not be lost on a Republican Congress.

That hates Putin's guts.

SeekAndYouShallFind -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:59
1) situation caused by US Newland causing havoc in Ukraine by spending millions on regime change.
2) caused by US arming terrorists
3) lol - no serious person believes the Reds had any influence. It was the candidate. (If interference in someone else's election was an international crime, the US would be in the dock every 6 months!)

The fool trump cannot do any worse than what's been occurring the last 15 years! Wars, invasions, terrorist support and dossiers on mythical WMDs! It's been a disaster. US foreign policy is heavily influenced by the CFR. He won't have a say in it. They will continue in the same diabolical fashion.

Happy New Year!

flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:32
Nearly 40 years ago , at the h
flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:32
Nearly 40 years ago , at the height of the cold war when I joined up to serve my country, never did i dream the day would come when I had more respect for the leader of Russia than a president of the USA and that I would have more faith in the Russian media than our own fake media.

That's what 40 years of liberalism does i guess. Share Facebook Twitter

TyroneBHorneigh -> flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:38
40 years of Neo-liberalism. Share Facebook Twitter
Sparky Patriot , 30 Dec 2016 20:37
Not content with merely stealing the silverware, BO is intent on causing as much mischief as possible before being booted out of the White House, but the Russians are not falling for it. They will be dealing with Donald Trump in a few weeks, and there is no need to respond to Barry's diaper baby antics.
I'm sure the Russians are hacking our internet systems, but the DNC emails that went to WikiLeaks did not come from them. The content, outlining Podesta's plan to discredit Bernie supporters by falsely tying them to violent acts, would indicate that a disgruntled and disgusted DNC employee was more likely the source. Share
Nick Richardson , 30 Dec 2016 20:40
Of course everyone on here decrying Obama's actions knows far more and understands the cyber-attacks/election interference issue far better than the combined resources and considered judgement of the US intelligence community.
Of course you do. Goes without saying, all you have to do is cite an example of incompetence or malfeasance by US intelligence agencies in the past and you rest your case.
Or maybe it's like parents who can't accept their child has been a bully or a general shit at school. If you are a fan of the Trump-Putin axis you'll go through any self-deceiving contortions necessary to avoid accepting reality.
Stop defending the indefensible. It happened, Obama acted (albeit slowly) and now Trump quite properly will be expected to justify any softening of position.
Yer Man -> Nick Richardson , 30 Dec 2016 21:29
They've told us nothing. They are known repeat liars.
Only question is, why do you take them at their word and nothing further? Share Facebook Twitter
raharu -> Nick Richardson , 30 Dec 2016 21:34
Talking about self-deceiving contortions while performing your own mental gymnastics. It's quite a show.
You say "stop defending the indefensible", while waving away any past instances of malfeasance by US intelligence agencies in the past. To be explicit: yes, that includes meddling in other countries' political affairs. Share Facebook Twitter
HollyOldDog -> asiancelt , 30 Dec 2016 21:37
It is of course impossible as the USA has the most and claimed most advanced spying network on the planet. It totally surrounds both friends and foes alike - with such technical ability the only country who could spy and influence (e.g. arm twisting Merkal is a prime example) on any country at will is the 'exceptional ' US Government.
geofffrey , 30 Dec 2016 20:42
Appears suspiciously likely that Obama is just bitter that his legacy is about to be dumped in the nearest skip on Jan 20, and wants to make trouble for Trump during his last 3 weeks in office.

Hard to see how Putin could have engineered Hillary Clinton's defeat, given she won the popular vote by 3 million.

Also Obama is extremely hypocritical as the CIA has repeatedly interfered in the affairs of other countries over the past 60 years.

I hope Trump and Putin become buddies. Share

furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:42

On Thursday, the Arizona senator John McCain and South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham said in a joint statement: "The retaliatory measures announced by the Obama administration today are long overdue.

That's all I needed to know. If lunatic war monger John McCain wants to ratchet up the tension with a nuclear power - then it is very wise to do the opposite. Share

furiouspurpose -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:10
Red baiting won't close down the debate. There's still no evidence of Russian hacking of the US election.

And fascism is shouting people down who ask for evidence and don't just follow the President because he is attacking the outsiders. Share Facebook Twitter

TheControlLeft -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:12
It's preferable to the Obama brigades sponsorship of Islamic terrorism Share Facebook Twitter
monsieur_flaneur , 30 Dec 2016 20:49
Obama, envisioning a spot on Mt Rushmore, exits a laughing stock. Ah well Share
Janjii , 30 Dec 2016 20:54
Russia defeated the US in the Ukraine and recently it received an even harder blow Syria. Next think you know the US 'administration' makes a fool of itself by expelling 35 RF officials, who would have though that!

Sad to see this beautiful continent is being compromised by someone's puppets in the white house. Nato is crumbling now that Turkey t-he gateway to the Balkans, the Caspian, to the Stannies- rethinks its ties with US/NATO and moves towards Russia. It is crumbling beacuse the world begins to understand that the rationale behind 'operation gladio' /strategy of tension is still ruling the US admin. We could do without NATO, and could use a US government supporting peace rather than an administration creating war. Even Germany starts to realize that, because of the abundance of US military bases in this country, Germany is in fact 'occupied territory', a US colony if you will.

The USA has underestimated people on this planet who, as opposed to US politicians, were able to put current politics in a historical perspective. US policymakers took a part of Heidegger, Locke, Freud, Descartes and others without knowing their interpretations were at least incomplete. It results from the way in which US universities teach the discretized model of two extremes with the requirement of choosing one of these without putting both in one perspective: 'Descartes or Pascal' (not both as the French do); 'black or white'; 'with or against us'. The result Americans aimed for was a stable socio-political model, same with 'Neue Sozialismus'. What they obtained was a polarized world, because, a rigid stable model can only be governed by suppression (which the Military industrial Complex is currently doing) and we do not want that.

Trump may lack political experience, he may be supported by a group of ideosyncratic wealthy people attracting bad press from 'regulated media'. Equal chance of Trump having a positive or negative effect on US internal and external policy-making, and on the relationship with RF. But, Trump has one advantage: the more the Obama 'administration' barks, the more support Trump will receive to change what Bush-Clinton-Obama have ruined for their electorates; the more to celebrate for the Russians on January 13.

LMichelle -> Janjii , 30 Dec 2016 20:57
Bingo. This is not about the integrity of US elections. It's about being punked in Syria this week.
The problems with the electoral process in the US were massive before 2016 and never received this many Presidential press conferences. Share
ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 20:55
The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it's done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University.

That number doesn't include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn't like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring. [...]

In 59% of these cases, the side that received assistance came to power, although Levin estimates the average effect of "partisan electoral interventions" to be only about a 3% increase in vote share. ( Source )

I understand why some may find outside interference objectionable, but I reckon many of those who think so fail to recognise America's far-from-faultless behaviour. Curses are like chickens; they always come home to roost.

Of course had the DNC leadership and the Clinton camp behaved ethically in the primary by not conspiring to tip the scale in Clinton's favour, the hack would have found nothing. What we have now is Obama forced to divert the public attention because of yet another messy scandal Hillary finds herself involved in. Clinton must be one of the most blessed people on earth; everyone bends over backwards to accommodate her ambitions.

Paull01 -> ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 21:18
Please provide an example of a political party behaving ethically during an election campaign? You reckon the republicans weren't trying to tip the scales away from Donny?

Also, Clinton lost despite getting way more votes so Donny will be president and it is pointless to continue to indulge in bashing Hillary, she is now just another elderly lady enjoying her golden years. Share Facebook Twitter

europeangrayling -> ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 21:23
Also the CIA-Belgian assassination of Lamumba in 61, Congo's first democratically elected president, for the same 'geopolitical' aka 'big business' reasons as the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 53, who wanted the nationalize Iranian oil for their people, and Lumumba had similar 'socialist' ideas for all the vast Congolese resources. To cut out the western business interests. And think how well the Congo has fared since, one of the worst, saddest places, chaos, civil war, more dead than in Rwanda or anywhere I think. They have not recovered from that.

And Iran, they were democratic, secular, elected a guy like Mossadegh, they were 'European', but the the US and Britain overthrew him on behest of British-US oil interests, installed the Shah, their puppet dictator, and the blow-back was the Iranian religious right-wing revolution and dictatorship some 20 years later. And now the Iranian people and our 'foreign policy' are suffering.

And all these US and CIA 'activities' the government had admitted and declassified, like the Gulf of Tonkin lie and false flag in Vietnam, because it was so long ago nobody cares, so it's no 'conspiracy' here, just history. But now these Clinton Democrats they really love and trust anything the CIA says, of course, they are big patriots now, and call people unpatriotic and foreign agents if they question the so honorable CIA, because they are on Hillary's side now.
And the CIA in cahoots with Bush and Cheney also told us how there were these big, scary WMDs in Iraq, and mushroom clouds, and how Saddam had links with Al Qaida, all obvious lies, that any amateur who knew basic world history could tell you even then.

And speaking of 'meddling', and overthrowing democratic governments, the US did the same under Obama and Hillary in Honduras just a few years ago, backed the violent coup of a democratic leftist government there, and they still refuse to call it a coup, and have legitimized the new corrupt and violent regime, are training their army, etc. Even though the EU and the US ambassador to Honduras called it a coup at the time.

And for the same reasons, that leftist government didn't want to play ball with big US and western 'business interests', energy companies, didn't want to sell them their rivers and resources like the new 'good' regime now. And since that coup, 100s of indigenous activists and environmentalists have been killed, like Berta Caceres, and the violence and corruption has gone up big time under the new regime, with 1000s more killed 'in general'. Yet Obama is so concerned about 'the integrity of democracy' and elections and freedom and all that, what a nice guy.

fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 20:58
The real question that Americans should be asking why Barack Obummer failed again to provide security in case of hacking Democrat's emails?

Clinton did not deny that emails published by WikiLeaks were genuine.
That is called freedom of press.
What's wrong with public finding the truth about Clinton? Share

Not4TheFaintOfHeart , 30 Dec 2016 20:59
Why would Russia be happy that Clinton lost? Why would any foreign power be happy that Clinton lost?...
How many years did HRC, in her arrogance-fuelled denial, provide foreign intelligences with literally tonnes of free info??! Share
furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 21:03

Trump might therefore be expected to simply end the Obama sanctions. .... But if he did choose to do so, he would find himself at odds with his own party.

Trump is exactly where he is today because he attacked that same party. He called bullshit on the Bush's claims to have made the US safer and called bullshit on the idea that Iraq was something that we should still do in hindsight. He trashed the idea of free trade and TTIP - another Republican shibboleth. He refused to go down the standard Republican route of trashing social security...

All he needs to do is call bullshit on this 'evidence' of Russian hacking and remind everyone that it wasn't Russians who manned the planes on 9/11. Trump is a oafish clown - but he's not a standard politician playing standard politics. He can shrug off this oh-so-clever manoeuvre by Obama with no trouble.

[Dec 19, 2016] Michigan unemployment agency made 20,000 false fraud accusations – report

Notable quotes:
"... One bankruptcy attorney told the Detroit Metro Times he had as many as 30 cases in 2015 tied to debt from the UIA; before the automated system was implemented, he said he would typically have at most one per year with such claims. The newspaper also found claimants who were charged with fraud despite never having received a single dollar in unemployment insurance benefits. ..."
"... A pair of lawsuits were filed in 2015 against the UIA over Midas. According to a pending federal case, in which the state revealed it had discontinued using Midas for fraud determinations, the system "resulted in countless unemployment insurance claimants being accused of fraud even though they did nothing wrong". ..."
"... Blanchard told the Guardian in February that many unemployment applicants may not have realized they were even eligible to appeal against the fraud charge, due to the setup of Midas. Attorneys representing claimants have said that many refuse to ever apply for unemployment benefits again. ..."
"... Levin, who represents part of metropolitan Detroit, said in his statement that Michigan officials had to fully account for the money that has flowed into the unemployment agency's contingent fund. ..."
Dec 18, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
Michigan government agency wrongly accused individuals in at least 20,000 cases of fraudulently seeking unemployment payments, according to a review by the state.

The review released this week found that an automated system had erroneously accused claimants in 93% of cases – a rate that stunned even lawyers suing the state over the computer system and faulty fraud claims.

"It's literally balancing the books on the backs of Michigan's poorest and jobless," attorney David Blanchard, who is pursuing a class action in federal court on behalf of several claimants, told the Guardian on Friday.

The Michigan unemployment insurance agency (UIA) reviewed 22,427 cases in which an automated computer system determined a claimant had committed insurance fraud, after federal officials, including the Michigan congressman Sander Levin, raised concerns with the system.

The review found that the overwhelming majority of claims over a two-year period between October 2013 and August 2015 were in error. In 2015, the state revised its policy and required fraud determinations to be reviewed and issued by employees. But the new data is the first indication of just how widespread the improper accusations were during that period .

The people accused lost access to unemployment payments, and reported facing fines as high as $100,000. Those who appealed against the fines fought the claims in lengthy administrative hearings. And some had their federal and state taxes garnished. Kevin Grifka, an electrician who lives in metro Detroit, had his entire federal income tax garnished by the UIA, after it accused him of fraudulently collecting $12,000 in unemployment benefits.

The notice came just weeks before Christmas in 2014.

"To be honest with you, it was really hard to see your wife in tears around Christmas time, when all of this went on for me," Grifka said.

The computer system claimed that he had failed to accurately represent his income over a 13-week period. But the system was wrong: Grifka, 39, had not committed insurance fraud.

In a statement issued on Friday, Levin called on state officials to review the remaining fraud cases that were generated by the system before the policy revision.

"While I'm pleased that a small subset of the cases has been reviewed, the state has a responsibility to look at the additional 30,000 fraud determinations made during this same time period," he said.

Figures released by the state show 2,571 individuals have been repaid a total of $5.4m. It's unclear if multiple cases were filed against the same claimants.

The findings come as Michigan's Republican-led legislature passed a bill this week to use $10m from the unemployment agency's contingent fund – which is composed mostly of fines generated by fraud claims – to balance the state's budget. Since 2011, the balance of the contingent fund has jumped from $3.1m to $155m, according to a report from a Michigan house agency.

The system, known as the Michigan Integrated Data Automated System (Midas), caused an immediate spike in claims of fraud when it was implemented in October 2013 under the state's Republican governor, Rick Snyder, at a cost of $47m.

In the run-up to a scathing report on the system issued last year by Michigan's auditor general, the UIA began requiring employees to review the fraud determinations before they were issued.

The fraud accusations can carry an emotional burden for claimants.

"These accusations [have] a pretty big burden on people," Grifka said. While he said the new findings were validating and his own case had been resolved, he called for state accountability.

"There's no recourse from the state on what they're doing to people's lives. That's my biggest problem with all of this."

Steve Gray, director of the University of Michigan law school's unemployment insurance clinic, told the Guardian earlier this year that he routinely came across claimants facing a significant emotional toll. As a result, he said, the clinic added the number for a suicide hotline to a referral resource page on the program's website.

"We had just a number of clients who were so desperate, saying that they were going to lose their house they've never been unemployed before, they didn't know," said Gray, who filed a complaint with the US labor department in 2015 about the Midas system.

The fines can be enormous. Residents interviewed by local news outlets have highlighted fraud penalties from the UIA upwards of $100,000 . Bankruptcy petitions filed as a result of unemployment insurance fraud also increased during the timeframe when Midas was in use.

One bankruptcy attorney told the Detroit Metro Times he had as many as 30 cases in 2015 tied to debt from the UIA; before the automated system was implemented, he said he would typically have at most one per year with such claims. The newspaper also found claimants who were charged with fraud despite never having received a single dollar in unemployment insurance benefits.

A pair of lawsuits were filed in 2015 against the UIA over Midas. According to a pending federal case, in which the state revealed it had discontinued using Midas for fraud determinations, the system "resulted in countless unemployment insurance claimants being accused of fraud even though they did nothing wrong".

Blanchard told the Guardian in February that many unemployment applicants may not have realized they were even eligible to appeal against the fraud charge, due to the setup of Midas. Attorneys representing claimants have said that many refuse to ever apply for unemployment benefits again.

A spokesman for the unemployment insurance agency, Dave Murray, said it appreciated Levin's work on the issue and said it was continuing "to study fraud determinations".

The agency had already made changes to the fraud determination process, he said, and "we appreciate that the state legislature this week approved a bill that codifies the reforms we've set in place".

Levin, who represents part of metropolitan Detroit, said in his statement that Michigan officials had to fully account for the money that has flowed into the unemployment agency's contingent fund.

"While I am pleased that $5m has been repaid, it strikes me as small compared to the amount of money that was collected at the time," he said. "Only a full audit will ensure the public that the problem has been fully rectified."

ManuSHeloma 12 Feb 2016 9:02

Another failure of Gov Snyder's administration: first Flint water, now this. What can the people of Michigan expect next? The recall of Snyder should be automated.
stuinmichigan pepspotbib 12 Feb 2016 10:02
It's not just Snyder and his lackies. You should see the radically gerrymanderd Michigan legislature, run by rightist extremists, directed by the Koch Brothers, the DeVos family and others, via the ALEC program that provides them with the radical right legislation they have passed and continue to pass. Snyder ran saying that sort of stuff was not really on his agenda, but continues to sign it. He's either a liar, an unprincipled idiot, or both. It's bad here. And it's getting worse.
DarthPutinbot 12 Feb 2016 9:09
What the f*ck is wrong in Michigan? Split it up among the surrounding states and call it good. Michigan destroyed Detroit and cutoff their water. Michigan deliberately poisoned the residents of Flint. Too many Michigan lawyers are crooks or basically inept. The court system screws over parents in divorce cases. And now, Michigan is wrongly trying to collect money from people on trumped up fraud charges. Stop it. The federal government needs to take over the state or bust it up.
Non de Plume 12 Feb 2016 9:23
Hell, when the system *works* it's ridiculous. Watching my Dad - who had worked continuously since 14 years old save a few months in the early 90s - sitting on hold for hours... At least once a week, to 'prove' he still deserved money from a system he paid into. Hours is not an exaggeration.

And now this. Goddammit Lansing! How many other ways can you try to save/take money from the poor and end up costing us so much more?!?

Bailey Wilkins stuinmichigan 12 Feb 2016 21:56
Nothing against The Guardian's reporting, but if you follow the links, you'll see FOX 17 has been covering the story locally since last May. It's their investigation that got the attention of all the other publications (including Detroit Metro Times.) Local papers could have done a better job though, agreed on that.
talenttruth 12 Feb 2016 12:48
Leering, Entitled Republican bastards like Governor Snyder simply HATE poor people. And THAT is because all such bullies are cowards, through-and-through, always selecting as their "victims" those who can't fight back. And, since such Puritan Cretins as Snyder "Believe" that they are rich because of their superior merit, it stands to reason (doesn't it) that "poor people" (actually, all us Little Folk) have NO merit, because we didn't inherit a Trust Fund, Daddy's Business or other anciently stolen wealth. These people deserve stunningly BAD Karma. Unfortunately, Karma has its own timeline and doesn't do what seems just, on a timely basis (usually).
Jim Uicker 12 Feb 2016 13:29
With today's sophisticated algorithms, computers are used to flag insurance claims all the time. The hit rate is usually much better than 8%. But how can they even consider automating the adjudication of fraud? Fraud is a crime; there should be a presumption of innocence and a right to due process. Without telling people they had a right to appeal, didn't this system violate the constitutional rights of Michigan's most vulnerable citizens: those with no job and therefore no money to defend themselves?

And what about the employers who paid unemployment insurance premiums month after month, expecting the system to protect their employees from business conditions that would necessitate layoffs? Michigan has defrauded them as well, by collecting premiums and not paying claims.

Jim Uicker 12 Feb 2016 13:51
Even if the problem with Midas can be entirely blamed on the tech workers who built and tested the software, there is no excuse for the behavior of the Snyder administration when they became aware of the problem. Just like the cases of legionnaires disease, where the state failed to alert the public about the outbreak and four more people died, the Snyder administration is again trying to sweep its mistakes under the rug.

Before taking Midas offline, the UIA refused to comment on the Metro Times investigation, and Snyder himself artfully avoided reporters' questions after being made aware of the result of an investigation by a local television station. Now the state only revealed that it shut down Midas to a pending lawsuit.

The state spent $47 million dollars on a computer system and then took it offline because it didn't work. The flaws in the system are now costing the state many millions more. This level of secrecy is evidence of bad government. The state is supposed to be accountable to taxpayers for that money! Even if the Snyder administration isn't responsible for all of these tragedies, it is definitely responsible for covering them up.

Jefferson78759 12 Feb 2016 13:55
This is the GOP "governing"; treat the average person like a criminal, "save" money on essential infrastructure like water treatment, regardless of the consequences.

I get why the 1% votes GOP but if you're an average person you're putting your financial and physical well being on the line if you do. Crazy.

MaryLee Sutton Henry 12 Feb 2016 22:30
I was forced to plead guilty by a public defender to the UIA fraud charge & thrown in jail for 4 days without my Diabetic meds or diet in Allegan county. As it stands right now the State of Michigan keeps sending me bills that are almost $1000 more then what the county says I own. I have done community service, and between witholding tax refunds and payments I have paid over $1200 on a $4300 total bill. I have literally spend hours on the phone with UIA and faxing judgements trying to straighten this out, yet still get bills for the higher amount from UIA. Its a nightmare, I have a misdominer, until its paid and refuse to pay no more then $50 per month until they straighten this out. Maybe joining the class action law suit would help. Does anyone have any better ideas??
Teri Roy 13 Feb 2016 13:27
My son and I both got hit, I was able to dispute mine but he has autism and they would not dismiss his, so at 24 yrs old he's paying back 20 grand in pentailies and interest. Just not right
Outragously Flawless 14 Feb 2016 9:42
I also received a letter stating I owe and hadn't file taxes since 2007. I had to find all of my taxes from 2007 to 2013 my question is why did they wait over 5yrs to contact me, or is that the set up H&R block does my taxes and they didn't have records that far back.#sneakyass government

[Dec 14, 2016] Opinion Putin didnt win this election for Trump. Hillary Clinton did

Notable quotes:
"... That those scheming Russians were clever enough to hack into voting machines, but not clever enough to cover their tracks? ..."
"... It's strangely reminiscent of the days of the Red scare, minus the Reds. ..."
"... The displaced machinists in the industrial midwest, whose votes helped put Trump in the White House, believe that free trade deals are responsible for their economic woes and they never trusted Clinton's turn against the TPP. ..."
"... was Clinton's campaign for you, bereft of principle and pathologically concerned with "optics" at the expense of substance. ..."
"... They were so confident of their inevitable victory that they wrote off the old industrial states in favor of luring upscale suburbanites who normally vote Republican. They hoped they would be so revolted by Trump that they would vote for her, but they didn't. ..."
"... It's panic over loss of control. They aren't pondering ways to make things better for the American people. Not in the Beltaway. Not the duoploy. The handwringing is strictly about control and pasification of the population. ..."
"... The long, long list of dodgy-donors to The Clinton Foundation told large numbers of Democrat voters everything they needed to know about a potential Hillary Clinton presidency. This, and the 'knifing' of Bernie, sealed her fate. ..."
"... America will never, and should never, forgive Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. ..."
"... At last! Someone on this newspaper talking common sense. ..."
"... Absurd! She was a rich white hawkish neolib who has no one but herself and the Democratic Pary to blame for the terrible loss which will seal the supreme court for years. Face facts!! She couldn't even beat Trump and was widely viewed as a fraud. ..."
"... The person who lost the Presidential Election in USA is Hillary Clinton. She, like Blair is a war monger. I, if I had a vote, would not have voted for her. ..."
"... If she had been elected we would have had bigger and better wars in the Middle East. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan never ended despite Obama calling the Iraq war a "strategic mistake". One that continued for another eight years. To those two we have added Syria and Lybia. ..."
"... " ...reflecting on how baseless our self-image as the world's greatest democracy is. " The rest of the world has known that for decades. ..."
"... I don't understand how accurate reporting by Wikileaks of politicians' emails is considered 'interference' with the US elections. To me, it seems helpful. If a US newspaper made the report, they would probably get a prize. If a foreign organization made the report, so what? People abroad are free (I hope) to comment on US matters, and people in the US are free to read it or not. ..."
"... Perhaps they mean the Guardian's politics. Identity politics has been thoroughly rejected and instead of learning from the experience, Guardian has been electing to throw more of the same tactics, except louder ..."
"... Americans across the political spectrum are happy to use Putin to distract them from reflecting on how baseless our self-image as the world's greatest democracy is. ..."
"... You're absolutely right. Putin is the boogeyman for every ill, real or purported, of his own society, and when the American political system and its institutions prove to be broken, Putin gets to be the boogeyman for that, too. What a powerful man! He must be pleased. ..."
"... This is an ultimate truth because it explains why Merkel will not be elected. These days Putin is in full control of the world and is responsible for everything. ..."
"... Let's thank Hillary for that. There is a very good news: on the 20th January we'll cut all Saudi supply channels to the IS and kill all the bastards within 2 months. ..."
"... In the modern world it is enough to do nothing to be a good man, eg if Bush, Blair, Obama and Clinton didn't create ISIS, the world would be a much better place. You do not even need to be smart to understand this. ..."
"... It's crazy. Even if the Russian hacking claims are legitimate, the leaks still revealed things about the Democrats that were true. It's like telling your friend that their spouse is cheating on them, and then the spouse blaming you for ruining the marriage. ..."
"... The Clinton campaign spent like drunken sailors, on media. This is a new role for the media giants that took care of Clinton's every need, including providing motivational research and other consultants. ..."
"... The ongoing scenario that now spins around Putin as a central figure is a product of "after shock media". ..."
"... To weave fictional reality in real time for a mass audience is a magnum leap from internet fake news. This drama is concocted to keep DNC from going into seclusion until the inauguration. ..."
"... Doug Henwood is absolutely correct. This obsession with the supposed foreign interference is baseless. All the real culprits operate within our own system. ..."
"... Trump's embrace of Russia and decision to end the neocon-neoliberal agenda of regime change skewer two of the corporate establishment's cash cows - arms sales to the numerous conflicts in the Middle East initiated by the corporate cabal, and arms sales to NATO and all the new post Cold War NATO members to continue the buildup of armaments on Russia's borders." ..."
"... I'd love to be pleasantly surprised, and I note that already Trump's campaign has put down TWO odious political dynasties, AND the TPP -- all very healthy developments. ..."
"... The only thing that kept the contest somehow close was the unprecedented all-media fear campaign against Trump. ..."
"... It was always Hillary's election to lose and she lost it simply because she was not to be trusted. Her very public endorsement by gangster capitalist Jay-Z told you all you needed to know about who she represented. ..."
"... I was dubious before, but I'm now actively concerned. This crop of Democrats and their deep state cohorts are unhinged and dangerous. They see me and my families' lives as an externality in their eventual war with Russia. As Phyrric a victory as there could possibly be. They are psychotic; not only waging countless coups and intelligence operations abroad, but now in plain sight on American soil. The mainstream media seems to invoke the spirit of Goebbels more vividly with each passing day. Their disdain and manipulation of the general populace is chilling. They see us not as people to be won-over, but as things to be manipulated, tricked and coerced. Nothing new for politicians (particularity the opposition) - but the levels here are staggering. ..."
"... January couldn't come soon enough - and I say that as strong critic of Trump. ..."
"... A good article to counterbalance the reams of rubbish we are hearing in the US election post-mortem. Anyone who had neural activity should have known that when you steal the candidacy, you certainly won't get the votes. Clinton effectively handed the election to Trump by not having the humility, humanity and honesty to admit defeat by Benie Sanders. ..."
"... There's always the possibility of course, that the US establishment realised Clinton's blatant warmongering wasn't 'good for business'. ..."
"... So maybe, they thought, we can get the Russkies 'on side', deal with China (ie. reduce it to a 'client state'/ turn it into an ashtray) - and then move on Russia and grab all those lovely resources freed up by global warming.... ..."
"... Only her campaign volunteers knew, her message to the public was "dont vote for Trump" which translates to, I could lose to him, vote for me! ..."
"... The Podesta emails confirmed what many people already suspected and knew of Hillary and her campaign. Those who were interested in reading them had to actually look for them, since MSM was not reporting on them. It's not as if an avid MSNBC or CNN watcher was going to be exposed. ..."
"... It's hilarious how the major Left outlets (Washington Post) are now telling it's readers how Russia is to blame for people voting against Hillary due to the Podesta emails, when they didn't even report on the emails in the first place. ..."
"... EVERYTHING about the system all halfway decent people detest, is summed up in the figure of Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... Like Donald said, she had 'experience', but it was all BAD 'experience'. ..."
"... she is a frail, withered old woman who needs to retire - def the wrong democrat choice, crazy ! Berni.S would have won if for them - he is far more sincere ..."
"... "The displaced machinists... believe that free trade deals are responsible for their economic woes and they never trusted Clinton's turn against the TPP. But that was Clinton's campaign for you, bereft of principle and pathologically concerned with "optics" at the expense of substance." ..."
"... This argument is as asinine as the one the author opposes. It was a collusion of events that led to this result, including the failure of both parties to adapt to an evolving economic and social climate over decades. The right wing hailing the collapse of liberalism as a result of decades of liberal mismanagement conveniently forget their own parties have held the reins for half that time, and failed just as miserably as the left.... ..."
"... It's quite bizarre to see "progressives" openly side with the military industrial complex, which is threatened by a president elect weary of more warfare. ..."
"... It's to be expected from career politicians like McCain who is kicking and screaming, but it's shameful to see supposed liberally-minded people help spread the Red Scare storyline. ..."
"... Obama has behaved dreadfully, first he or his office gets one of its poodles namely MI6 to point the finger at Putin re cyberwar, which was swiftly followed by the International Olympic Committee looking at Russia for 2012 Olympic games, the elections in the US and the Democrats CIA coming out with unsubstantiated nonsense (funny how they never like, providing collaborative evidence - on this or anything that supposedly Russia has done) then there is Syria, and Obama and the Democrats were the cheerleader for regime change, because they have been out manoeuvred in that sphere. All of it in less than a week. ..."
"... If Obama, the administration, and the CIA were smart they would have realised that a concerted effort to blame Putin / Russia would be seen for what it is - a liar and one of trying to discredit both the outcome of the US elections, the dislike of HRC, and her association with Wall St. - she raised more money for her campaign than Trump and Sanders put together (if the Democrats had chosen Sanders, then they would have stood a chance) and that their hawk would not be in a position to create WW111 - thank goodness. The Democrats deserved what they got. ..."
"... This organ of the liberal media (no scare quotes required - it is socially liberal and economically neoliberal), along with many others, dogmatically supported Clinton against Sanders to the point of printing daily and ridiculous dishonesty, even going so far as to make out as if anyone who supports any form of wealth redistribution is a racist, sexist, whitesplaining dude-bro. ..."
"... The Wikileaks emails proved the votes were rigged against Sanders, it why Debbie W Shulz had to resign ..."
"... The election was close, and if one less thing had gone wrong for Hillary she would have won. However I think an important thing that lost her the election was identity politics. She patronized Afro-Americans and Hispanics, by tell them that because they are Trump-threatened minorities, they should vote for her. In the same vein, gays and women were supposed to vote for her. But what she was really telling these groups was that they should revel in their supposed victimhood, which was not a great message. ..."
"... Completely agreed! The onus for defeat belongs to the Democrat party leadership as well. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both understood where the momentum of the election was headed before anyone else did. The election was won and lost in the white blue collar Midwest. A place that decided that diet corporatism is decidedly worse than a populist right wing extremist. ..."
"... No one here believed the ridiculous about-face Hillary pulled on the question of the TPP. I guarantee you Bernie would have cleaned Trump's clock in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and perhaps Ohio and Iowa. ..."
"... "Our self-image as the world's greatest democracy...." Well, speaking for myself and plenty of other Americans, I never said anything like that about us. In fact, like a lot of people I wish we would stick to our own business, quit trying to be the world's cop, and cease meddling in other countries' affairs. ..."
"... Assuming that it really was the Russians who done it, I guess they had a better game plan than the Saudis. ..."
"... Her 'deplorables' comment was every bit as telling as Mitt Romney's '47%'. We really needed to know about her 'public versus private positions', even if it only confirmed what everybody already knew. I am not 100% sure the system made the worst choice in raising up Donald Trump. ..."
"... The American voters heard a steady stream of these arguments. Some may have simply ignored them. Others took them into consideration, but concluded that they wanted drastic change enough to put them aside. White women decided that Trump's comments, while distasteful, were things they'd heard before. ..."
"... Reliance on the sanctity of racial and gender pieties was a mistake. Not everyone treats these subjects as the holiest of holies. The people who would be most swayed by those arguments never would have voted for Trump anyways. ..."
"... Colin Powell said Clinton destroys everything she touches with hubris. Seeing as how she destroyed the democrat "blue wall" and also had low turnout which hurt democrats down the ticket I agree. ..."
"... All this hysteria about the USA and Russia finally working together than apart doesn't help either for it appears that the [neoliberal] lefties want a perpetual war rather than peace. ..."
"... The CIA being outraged about a foreign state intervening in an election is quite funny. They have intervened so many times, especially in Latin America, to install puppet regimes. ..."
"... As for hacking... does anybody believe the CIA has never hacked anybody? ..."
Dec 13, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

Hillary Clinton was the symbol of neoliberal globalization and contept of neoliberal for common poeple (aka deplorable). That's why she lost. this is more of the first defeat of neoliberal candidate in the USA then personal defeat of Hillary. She was just a symbol, or puppet, if you wish.

... ... ...

And what exactly are the claims made by these Putin-did-it stories? That were it not for Russian chicanery, Hillary Clinton would have won the popular vote by five million and not almost three million? That displaced machinists on the banks of Lake Erie were so incensed by the Podesta emails that they voted for Trump instead of Clinton? That Putin was pulling FBI director James Comey's strings in his investigation of the Clinton emails? That those scheming Russians were clever enough to hack into voting machines, but not clever enough to cover their tracks?

It's strangely reminiscent of the days of the Red scare, minus the Reds.

... ... ...

The displaced machinists in the industrial midwest, whose votes helped put Trump in the White House, believe that free trade deals are responsible for their economic woes and they never trusted Clinton's turn against the TPP. But that was Clinton's campaign for you, bereft of principle and pathologically concerned with "optics" at the expense of substance.

They were so confident of their inevitable victory that they wrote off the old industrial states in favor of luring upscale suburbanites who normally vote Republican. They hoped they would be so revolted by Trump that they would vote for her, but they didn't.

... ... ...

Of course there are questions about our voting machines. The American balloting system is a chaotic mess, with an array of state and local authorities conducting elections under a vast variety of rules using technologies ranging from old-fashioned paper ballots to sleek touch-screen devices.

The former take forever to count, and the latter are unauditable – we can have no idea whether the counts are accurate. The whole system is a perfect example of a quote attributed (probably falsely) to Joseph Stalin: "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." It's not a system that inspires trust, but we barely discuss that.

LMichelle , 14 Dec 2016 03:07

It's panic over loss of control. They aren't pondering ways to make things better for the American people. Not in the Beltaway. Not the duoploy. The handwringing is strictly about control and pasification of the population.

And you're shocked? I'm shocked you expected more.

cvneuves , 14 Dec 2016 02:49
The really amazing story about the presidential elections 2016 was actually not Clinton or Trump. It was how close the US actually got to get its first socialist, or factually rather social-democratic president. Americans are craving for more justice and equality.

And no, Clinton does not stand for any "left values". Therefore the media favored her.

Pu2u2skeete -> dphaynes , 14 Dec 2016 02:43
The long, long list of dodgy-donors to The Clinton Foundation told large numbers of Democrat voters everything they needed to know about a potential Hillary Clinton presidency. This, and the 'knifing' of Bernie, sealed her fate. A reincarnated Tricky Dicky would have trounced her, too.
poikloik098 -> Mansplain , 14 Dec 2016 03:05
Weird in your mind only. A letter just before the election suggesting that Clinton might be indicted? And was she? Of course not. Match the letter's release with the polls at the time to see it's influence.

Clinton's problems such as her email server were nothing compared to all the baggage that Trump carries, yet Trump's problems were blithely ignored by many because they thought Trump would make a difference.

AveAtqueCave , 14 Dec 2016 02:19
America will never, and should never, forgive Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
jmac55 , 14 Dec 2016 02:18
At last! Someone on this newspaper talking common sense.

For the last twenty years, (way before we even knew Putin's name) the Republican Party have promoted, fomented and instigated the most ludicrous lies and calumnies about the Democratic Party and particularly Hilary Clinton, who they quite rightly recognised as a future Democratic Presidential candidate.

They have politicised: education, defense, Federal Parks, water, race, religion and even the air we breath in their efforts to ensure victory and to this end, they bought and paid for populist uprisings against Democratic politicians, like the now abandoned Tea Party.

The problem was that even when Republicans were elected, they obviously couldn't keep their own nonsensical promises to their now rabid audience who no longer trusted their own elected Government.

When Trump, a disestablishment, anti-Government candidate came along, the electorate (naively) saw a possibility of the change they have been promised.

Of course the Russians prefer Trump over Clinton, since they can see the destruction he can cause their geopolitical adversary and Putin would say as much as he can to support Trump...errr....even though it would be counter-productive with conservative voters...but it is unlikely that he bears anywhere near the blame that the Republican Party does, who foolishly allowed their own 'attack dog' to bite them on the arse.

I'm sorry to say that the Republican Party (and the US) has to suck this one up and admit...(to mix my hackneyed metaphors) that they've blown themselves up with their own petard!

joanne Ward , 14 Dec 2016 02:17
I think with hindsight Bernie Sanders is going to be blamed for dividing the Democratic Party and bolstering the Republican propaganda against the Clintons. If only we had stuck together with Clinton we wouldn't be facing the Trump disaster now. Hillary Clinton is not evil and she was very highly qualified--to paraphrase Brando, we could have had progress instead of a disaster, which is what we have now.
sand2016 -> joanne Ward , 14 Dec 2016 02:25
Absurd! She was a rich white hawkish neolib who has no one but herself and the Democratic Pary to blame for the terrible loss which will seal the supreme court for years. Face facts!! She couldn't even beat Trump and was widely viewed as a fraud.
FriendlyEmpiricist -> Fred1 , 14 Dec 2016 02:28
You fool, the Libertarian party is the largest third party in the US and they mostly take votes from the Republicans. Stop blaming third parties when their existence demonstrably helps the Democrats. Or perhaps you dream of a world where conservatives still support their third party just as much as they ever did but lefties all move in perfect lockstep? If so, it's time for a reality check.
pacificist , 14 Dec 2016 02:14
Up jumped Hilary Benn with the theory that Jeremy Corbyn had caused the Brexit vote. His resignation and the denunciation of 172 Labour MP's based on an "indisputable fact" that nobody believes to be true today. The person who lost the Presidential Election in USA is Hillary Clinton. She, like Blair is a war monger. I, if I had a vote, would not have voted for her.

If she had been elected we would have had bigger and better wars in the Middle East. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan never ended despite Obama calling the Iraq war a "strategic mistake". One that continued for another eight years. To those two we have added Syria and Lybia. The west, like Russia, is dabbling in other people's wars. They have been made one hundred times worse.

What Hillary would not have dabbled in is the industrial decline in the "Rust Belt" states. She is proposing to do nothing. So they had the prospect of no rectification at home with yet more wars abroad. No wonder they stayed at home. Hillary and Nu Labour are the same: belligerancy in the Middle East coupled with tame pussy cat against failing capitalism at home. The middle east has got total destruction from the west and total nothingness but austerity (ie more failure) as the action plan for capitalism. They are on the "same page" then!

Jympton , 14 Dec 2016 01:48
" ...reflecting on how baseless our self-image as the world's greatest democracy is. " The rest of the world has known that for decades.
helenus , 14 Dec 2016 01:48
I don't understand how accurate reporting by Wikileaks of politicians' emails is considered 'interference' with the US elections. To me, it seems helpful. If a US newspaper made the report, they would probably get a prize. If a foreign organization made the report, so what? People abroad are free (I hope) to comment on US matters, and people in the US are free to read it or not. It could be argued that only reporting democratic emails is distorting the truth: I'd say its a step towards the whole truth. I welcome all disclosures that are pertinent to a good decision by US voters.
PostTrotskyite -> helenus , 14 Dec 2016 01:53
When did hacking become legal?
helenus -> PostTrotskyite , 14 Dec 2016 02:57
ask Snowden
DMontaigne -> 14122016 , 14 Dec 2016 02:26
The Guardian helped Trump? How many Americans actually read the Guardian?
Mansplain -> DMontaigne , 14 Dec 2016 02:46
Perhaps they mean the Guardian's politics. Identity politics has been thoroughly rejected and instead of learning from the experience, Guardian has been electing to throw more of the same tactics, except louder
Pu2u2skeete , 14 Dec 2016 01:42
Citizens of the UK are by far the most heavily surveilled in the western world. This has been the case since long before the ubiquitous introduction of CCTV cameras.
HomoSapienSapiens , 14 Dec 2016 01:35

Americans across the political spectrum are happy to use Putin to distract them from reflecting on how baseless our self-image as the world's greatest democracy is.

You're absolutely right. Putin is the boogeyman for every ill, real or purported, of his own society, and when the American political system and its institutions prove to be broken, Putin gets to be the boogeyman for that, too. What a powerful man! He must be pleased.

Only, the thing is, the American political system and its institutions - American democracy - weren't undermined overnight. It took several decades and it was done by Americans who weren't so keen on democracy. Can't fob that off on Putin, try as they might.

If American power takes a big fat fall like Humpty Dumpty, don't look to Vladimir Putin, look in a fucking mirror. That's where you'll find the culprit.

PreziDonald -> PostTrotskyite , 14 Dec 2016 01:28
This is an ultimate truth because it explains why Merkel will not be elected. These days Putin is in full control of the world and is responsible for everything.
PreziDonald , 14 Dec 2016 01:23
Let's thank Hillary for that. There is a very good news: on the 20th January we'll cut all Saudi supply channels to the IS and kill all the bastards within 2 months.
PreziDonald -> shampacanada , 14 Dec 2016 01:43
In the modern world it is enough to do nothing to be a good man, eg if Bush, Blair, Obama and Clinton didn't create ISIS, the world would be a much better place. You do not even need to be smart to understand this.
Your Donald.
From where you'd rather be.
With love.
Lafeyette , 14 Dec 2016 01:13
It's crazy. Even if the Russian hacking claims are legitimate, the leaks still revealed things about the Democrats that were true. It's like telling your friend that their spouse is cheating on them, and then the spouse blaming you for ruining the marriage.
Althnaharra , 14 Dec 2016 01:05
The Clinton campaign spent like drunken sailors, on media. This is a new role for the media giants that took care of Clinton's every need, including providing motivational research and other consultants.

The ongoing scenario that now spins around Putin as a central figure is a product of "after shock media". Broadcast media bounced America back and forth from sit-com to gun violence for decades, giving fiction paramount value. To weave fictional reality in real time for a mass audience is a magnum leap from internet fake news. This drama is concocted to keep DNC from going into seclusion until the inauguration.

judyblue , 14 Dec 2016 01:04
Doug Henwood is absolutely correct. This obsession with the supposed foreign interference is baseless. All the real culprits operate within our own system.
Chukcha Rybak , 14 Dec 2016 01:04
What happened to Guardian today ? A reasonable story. Unreal feel
AveAtqueCave , 14 Dec 2016 00:51
Maybe, in four years, Trump's administration can oversee a secure election. Unlike the Obama folks, who seem to make a calamity out of any project bigger than making a sandwich.
Pu2u2skeete -> AveAtqueCave , 14 Dec 2016 00:59
Obama still has access to lethal drones, watch your back.
TheMediaSux , 14 Dec 2016 00:49
This hullabaloo really highlights the disdain the establishment has for the American voter. They thought they had it tied up. They thought they had pulled one over on the American people. They are not interested in what the voter actually wants.

And this raises questions about why our servicemen and women are making sacrifices. The establishment story-line talks about our brave soldiers dying so we can have free elections. Or something like that. The establishment does not care about free and fair elections. In fact, this hullabaloo should have demonstrated to everybody that the establishment does not respect or accepts the results of elections that don't go their way.

AveAtqueCave -> TheMediaSux , 14 Dec 2016 00:53
Look at WikiLeaks. They died so Hillary could present her ever-so-clever "tick-tock on Libya" and make fools think she's a constructive foreign policy force.
AveAtqueCave , 14 Dec 2016 00:48
Trump blows, but I'm relieved incompetent Hillary Clinton and her gang of bloodthirsty bunglers aren't going to be in the white house.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz should have shown more respect to her party's membership.

Pu2u2skeete -> AveAtqueCave , 14 Dec 2016 00:55
H. Clinton would have started a war against Russia in Syria come January; and war against Russia in The Ukraine shortly after. Trump could yet end civilization as we know it: thereagain the CIA might 'JFK' him early doors before he's able to.
DogsLivesMatter -> Pu2u2skeete , 14 Dec 2016 01:25
Trump might start a war with Iran. He will have the backing of Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordon. That frightens me just as much if not worse.
Pu2u2skeete -> DogsLivesMatter , 14 Dec 2016 01:30
Fully agree with you. Trump's victory is certain to have incalculable consequences for life on earth. I believe he will give Netenyahu the green light to use tactical nuclear weapons against Iranian nuclear and military facilities. I am no fan of Trump.
Pu2u2skeete , 14 Dec 2016 00:43
American 'exceptionalism;' The World's Policeman; The greatest country on earth. Descriptions believed and espoused by the USA. So Exceptional is America that it claims a God-given right to interfere with or sabotage political parties, foriegn governments (democratically-elected or not) and sovereign states anywhere it chooses. Now we have the hilarious spectacle of a historically blood-drenched CIA (Fake News Central) squawking and squealing completely fabricated nonsense about Kremlin interference in Trump's election victory. Tell that to the tens of millions slaughtered in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and the many other nations and people's around the globe who have had first hand experience of American Exceptionalism. You could not make it up..
Fred Lunau -> Pu2u2skeete , 14 Dec 2016 01:43
Well said. Sad but true.

cvneuves , 14 Dec 2016 00:41
Arguably, Clinton and the DNC themselves showed very little respect for democracy, as we know from leaks. And now they are whining because of a democratic outcome they don't like.

We should discuss two things:

- the content of the mails
- and the ethical question: did the hacker, whoever it is, did democracy rather a service than a disservice? From when on is a piece of information so valuable that its origins don't matter anymore?

Media, at least in times when msm still had some moral clout, often relied in their investigative journalism on source which by themselves were not necessarily ethically bona fide - but the public interest, the common good benefited by the information.

Had Clinton won the election and we only found out now about the trickery that aided in her success we would have a major dilemma. We would have to have endless discussions now about her legitimacy.

LibertineUSA , 14 Dec 2016 00:26
I am one who firmly believes that Clinton lost this election because of Clinton's and the DNC's ineptitude and hubris.

But that doesn't mean the Russians weren't running a psy-ops campaign of fake news stories and misinformation about Clinton and this election on Facebook.

Which was more responsible for Clinton's loss? Most probably Clinton's ineptitude but the fake news campaigns on Facebook had some effect. It needs to be addressed...

diddoit -> LibertineUSA , 14 Dec 2016 00:35
But hadn't Hillary made it personal by saying Trump was Putin's puppet etc?
She even refused to state whether she'd seek to impose a no-fly zone over Syria; this despite leading Generals telling her it would mean going to war with Russia and Syria.

Given all that, it's hardly surprising the Russian Duma broke into spontaneous applause upon the confirmation of her defeat. She'd very much cast herself as the enemy of Russia in the campaign.

LibertineUSA -> diddoit , 14 Dec 2016 01:12
With the naming of Rex Tillerson, a close business, and personal, friend of Putin, to be Secy. of State I am not sure the argument can be made that she was wrong in her assessment.
Mizzentop , 14 Dec 2016 00:21
This article is absolutely right. Trump was not a good candidate and for him to beat Clinton should be setting alarm bells ringing in Democrat HQ. The left though does have an entrenched culture of deluding itself and convincing itself that its a victim of things beyond its control. That lack of self awareness and inability to be brutally honest with itself is a major reason why the left wins many fewer elections than the left. It is also why there are never shock wins for the Democrats or Labour because they always assume too much. The Tories and Republicans are very good at understanding their weaknesses and mitigating them to win elections.
Aaron Aarons -> Mizzentop , 14 Dec 2016 00:41
It's absurd to consider Clinton and the mainstream Democrats as part of "the Left". Even the best of the Democrats are generally more on the Right than on the Left, in that they are pro-capitalist and defend the national interests of U.S. imperialism. Add to that their almost unanimous support for the settler colony called "Israel" and there's very little leftism to be found among them.
JamesHeartfield -> ID8701745 , 14 Dec 2016 00:31
Cunning of Putin to go back in time and persuade the framers of the US constitution to institute an electoral college, so that he could put his own candidate in place all those hundreds of years later.
No. Both candidates fought an election under the same rules. In the run up to the vote, Hillary's spokesmen often argued that even if the vote was close, they had the electoral college sewn up. She has nobody to blame but herself.
ID5073867 , 14 Dec 2016 00:11
There are plenty of villains who contributed to the electoral downfall of HRC, mostly, though, it's HRC who is primarily responsible, with a big assist from an arrogant & politically inept DNC. Hillary won a bare majority of women, plus the average income of Trump voters exceeded that of Hillies' supporters. Then all the groundwork for the deplorables was laid by Bill, who got rid of Glass-Steagell. Too much is being made of the machinist from Erie & the deplorables generally & if the Dems don't take a serious look at themselves we'll have Agent Orange for 8 rather than 4 deplorable years.
freeandfair -> S , 14 Dec 2016 01:52
For goodness sake, it is not foreign governments , it is information. With advance of social media and internet it became so much harder to control the information that gets out.
That is where we are in a post-propaganda world. You are not only receiving your government approved daily portion of brainwashing but propaganda and brainwashing and information from various sources, all with their various interests. It is your job a s an individual to decide what to believe. You can't put the jinni back in the box.
cvneuves , 14 Dec 2016 00:10
It is all about a narrative to suit the agenda. Had Trump outspent Clinton 2:1 he would now be reviled as the candidate of arms industry, pharmaceuticals and big banks. Had Clinton defeated him it would be celebrated as a successful setback for the aforementioned industries; the intelligence of the voters would have been praised. But then supposedly, Clinton was more supported by disadvantaged groups, albeit they then also would be disadvantaged with regards to their education.

It will always end up in absurdity. However, the notion that "Putin" (never with first name, or Mr, preferably pronounced "Poot'n") decided the US presidency is, interesting.

Usually the issue simply is, crap candidate, crap result.

diddoit , 14 Dec 2016 00:09
Had Sanders been the candidate and had he lost to Trump, I doubt very much he'd have started all this blaming the Russians nonsense.

Ultimately, Hilary had terrible trustworthiness ratings from nearly 25 years in frontline politics; every shortcoming ruthlessly exploited along the way by her and her husband's political opponents. Ignoring all that historic baggage(dating back to the early '90s) as irrelevant and blaming defeat on the Russians makes everyone supporting that theory look equally absurd.

MayorHoberMallow , 14 Dec 2016 00:08
In the 2016 Presidential election, in the 49 States other than California, Trump won the popular vote and enough electoral votes to win the election.
In California, the most populous State in America, the popular vote was so overwhelmingly in favor of Hillary Clinton that she ended up winning the overall popular vote.
The electoral college is working exactly as the Founding Fathers intended.
cvneuves -> ID8701745 , 14 Dec 2016 01:08

No he didn't. Check your facts and try again.

He did, in fact Trump is 600,000 votes ahead of Clinton without California.

Trump 62,916,237 - California 3,916,209 = 59,000,028
Clinton 65,758,070 - California 7,362,490 = 58,395,580

Amazing, the difference a fact check can make, isn't it? Thanks for alerting me to a fact check.

Zacky Olumba , 13 Dec 2016 23:58
In Shakespeare's book "Julius Caesar" the dictator was told not to go to the Capitol where he will be murdered. His wife warned him, the soothsayer warned him but he ignored it. Caesar's wisdom was consumed in confidence...confidence that he will be crowned king, confidence that all Romans (most stupid people then) loved him, and confidence that those who surround him are his 'friends.' He adamantly went to the Capitol and was murdered.

Clinton ignored most rural areas and I totally agree with the writer along this line "They were so confident of their inevitable victory that they wrote off the old industrial states in favor of luring upscale suburbanites who normally vote Republican." Clinton and her team paid dearly for it just like Caesar did. Blaming Russian for the loss is like "You made me do it."

Simon Speed , 13 Dec 2016 23:53
In the UK, Rupert Murdoch accesses a Prime Minister as readily as any government minister and wields at least as much influence. At least he is open and honest about this. Similar oligarchs exert their power more discretely. Murdoch's an Australian born US citizen (for business reasons) with a truly global empire.

A country's big rich have always ruled it's politics. Imperial powers have intervened in their spheres of influence . But now the big rich are international and, it seems, 1st world electorates are getting a taste of what 3rd world people have become used to.

What strikes me is the reluctance of the US political elite (including Obama) to intervene, even when there's a suspicion of vote rigging. The right of the rich and powerful to control the electoral process (as they have long done) trumps the national-interest (US v. rival powers) side of politics.

It's a confusing globalized world.

LastNameOnTheShelf , 13 Dec 2016 23:41
Hilary Clinton won the popular vote. More people voted for her. What is the deal with the electoral college? How is it possible to have such a huge discrepancy between the two. What is the point of blaming the candidate when they can lose while winning?

And what is the point of blaming the candidate for their campaign when large numbers of Americans are prepared to believe the most random bullshit? What did you want her to do, lie more often? Because apparently, that's what it takes.

86753oh9 -> LastNameOnTheShelf , 13 Dec 2016 23:52
this does a good job of explaining how the electoral college system works. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXnjGD7j2B0 ->
MayorHoberMallow -> LastNameOnTheShelf , 14 Dec 2016 00:09
From my comment above... "In the 2016 Presidential election, in the 49 States other than California, Trump won the popular vote and enough electoral votes to win the election.
In California, the most populous State in America, the popular vote was so overwhelmingly in favor of Hillary Clinton that she ended up winning the overall popular vote.
The electoral college is working exactly as the Founding Fathers intended."
Keith Schoose -> LastNameOnTheShelf , 14 Dec 2016 00:20
The election is decided by Electoral Votes. Everyone including Hillary knew that. Complaining that she won the popular vote while losing in the Electoral College would be similar to the loser of a soccer match complaining they lost 1-nil even though they outshot the victor by a 6-1 margin. Whine all you want about the popular vote, it is irrelevant.

Hillary Clinton visited Arizona in the last week of the election, while visiting Wisconsin ZERO times in the general election campaign. The trip to Arizona was a waste of time.

She lost because she was a horrible candidate with terrible strategy. All these people bleating about "Putin" and or the "popular vote" make me laugh.

Afterthoughtbtw -> RobertAussie , 14 Dec 2016 00:10
With respect, you're going to have to back up some of those claims in the second paragraph and how they could apply to Russia.

As for the first paragraph, a few things come to mind.

Firstly, it's a huge simplification - there are things like public interest laws to be borne in mind when talking about the press having to obey the law. I don't think there is much doubt that this was in the public interest. I mean what Clinton did with the email server was actually illegal. If someone hacked into a mob boss' computer, got evidence of his/her crimes, and leaked them to the press, would you criticise the hacker or the mob boss?

Secondly, how on earth was this selectively released to favour one side? How do you favour one side over the other when you only have information on one side. You are literally saying that you shouldn't report on one side's wrongdoings if you can't find anything wrong about the other's! If these are genuine - which absolutely no-one to do with Clinton has denied - then that is all there is to it. Reality isn't partisan.

Or are you talking about how it was released? You mean dumped en masse onto Wikileaks? How was that showing bias in any way? I just don't understand what you are trying to claim here.

Finally this comment makes me suspect you don't appreciate the American political climate:

But, given the result, the section of the press that would investigate hasn't got the money or power to do so. You can be assured the Fox network would have devoted billions to the investigation had HRC won though.

Fox News aren't the only people with money - indeed, Clinton vastly outspent Trump in the election... by roughly half a billion(!) dollars.

JamesHeartfield -> fairviewsue , 14 Dec 2016 01:24
O ! The Director of the CIA says it, then it must be true? Forgive me, but isn't this an organisation created to spread disinformation around the world, overthrow foreign governments, and subvert democracy? Which elections in the world has the CIA not tried to influence? Time Magazine openly boasts that the US government and agencies had a direct role in securing the election of President Yeltsin (who sold off a significant share of the country's assets under US advice, and plunged Russia into the worst recession since the 1930s). Hillary Clinton openly supported the management of the elections for the Palestine National Authority in 2006. Bill Clinton openly agitated for the overthrow of President Aristide.
Now that the CIA's most assiduous supporters have lost office, up pops the CIA, blaming the Russians, like we were in some bad 1950s Cold War pastiche. Get real. Take responsibility for your own failures, Democrats. Time to cleanse the stables.
hashtagthat , 13 Dec 2016 23:21
The CIA: the organisation that brought us WMD, a Gulf war, 100,000s of deaths and the birth of ISIS. The original fake news masters.

Highly credible.

Mark222 , 13 Dec 2016 23:12
Where is even the proof of Russian propaganda? It all seems to come from an "Anonymous source", without verfication I don't see how this is any more legitimate than the rest of the post truth fake news out there that people believe just because it confirms their biases.
LastNameOnTheShelf -> Mark222 , 13 Dec 2016 23:45
The CIA claim to know that Russian hackers leaked the Clinton campaign emails to Assange. You can, of course, disbelieve them, but they're not a random anonymous source exactly.
Rosie423956 -> LastNameOnTheShelf , 14 Dec 2016 00:17
Except the sources within the CIA are anonymous. The same CIA who has wrought wars, coups, interfered with elections. That CIA. Anonymous source.

This would be funny, except...oh hell, it's still funny.

JamesHeartfield -> LastNameOnTheShelf , 14 Dec 2016 00:56
The CIA ! Trustworthy source !
cvneuves -> Sappho53 , 13 Dec 2016 23:17
Putin extremely powerful man. Make regime change in Amerika without needing invasion or rebels. Soon regime change also in many Europan countries by sending copies of emails to small room in embassy of little country in London.

You know how powerful Putin? Last week even show finger to Chuck Norris! Chuck Norris now call Putin "sir".

James Harris -> Sappho53 , 14 Dec 2016 01:43
Uterus or bust went bust a good while back. Give it up
Michronics42 , 13 Dec 2016 22:50
Thank you, Doug Henwood for pointing out what the wholly-owned corporate "pundits" choose not to divulge to coincide with their own agendas.

Hillary was a disastrous choice for the "Democratic" party, but the vast majority of Democratic politicians were just too feckless to support Bernie Sanders, so now we have an equally terrible choice in Donald Trump.

That Clinton and Trump even competed for the presidency is in itself an indication of just how disconnected and undemocratic U.S. politics has become.

Moreover, as Henwood (a frequent and unsparing critic of Clinton, Inc. over the years) has pointed out both Democrats and Republicans are supporting the Russia conspiracy theory in a cowardly attempt to distract the U.S. public from the real and far more dire crisis, which is Washington's enormous political dysfunction not Russia's complicity. (Read Henwood's essay: Stop Hillary! Vote no to a Clinton Dynasty in Harper's Magazine, November 2014 - one article a month is free for reading).

Yes, the electoral college is a ridiculous throwback to slavery which should be abolished, but its dissolution is just one of many things I'd like to see eradicated from a governing body that has long stopped representing the interests of working class Americans; unless, of course you have the influence and money for such access.

The non-violent and powerful Black Lives Matter, Moral Mondays in North Carolina and Standing Rock protesters (reinforced by U.S. veterans and other supporters) have demonstrated that change is possible if we're carefully focused on uprooting and replacing government corruption.

Francisco Carvajal , 13 Dec 2016 22:49
A silly binary-it's not either Putin or Clinton but a complex conjecture. Can't we raise our intellectual level closer to the complexity of our world?
SubjectiveSubject , 13 Dec 2016 22:46
The West support for regimes like Israel and Saudi Arabia makes it hard to present a credible case against Putin on any issues but, rigging the election is just absurd. These days people are more clued up and know Hillary lost because she was not trusted, carried baggage and was funded by big banks. It is rather worrying that we've gone backward and Nazi propaganda tactics are the norm again.
skiloypet , 13 Dec 2016 22:42
There was a 50/50 chance the Democrats would take the fall from grace; both parties are out of touch with mainstream, middle-class America, it's just coincidence Trump manifested himself when he did. Neither party had a good message or a good messenger; the dark phenomenon of Trump could have come from either party, the nation was so desperate for change. Yet the GOP really maneuvered for Jeb Bush to begin with; the Democrats, with a significantly smaller field, laid their bet on Clinton. The public's rejection of both Bush and Clinton left the door open for a GOP interloper, Trump; and Clinton was pushed on the Democrats rather than Sanders.

Even the GOP will have buyers remorse if/when they cannot temper Trump.

Patrick Moore , 13 Dec 2016 22:34
As someone who wanted Hilary to win, it is difficult to disagree with any of this.

If she couldn't beat Trump - who about three times a day said something idiotic or repugnant, then she really was the wrong candidate

Since he won Trump has actually sounded miles more sensible. I can't help feel that if he had adopted his current tone before the election that he would have won by a landslide

samuel glover -> Herr_Settembrini , 13 Dec 2016 22:55
"This was the strategy not because Clinton was was incompetent; it was the strategy because all available data pointed to the fact that it was working."

What a joke.

She had a billion dollars in her campaign fund. The money she spent on "data" was just money flushed down the sewer. (No doubt various Clinton hangers-on got very nice "consulting" fees.) She was a Democrat who publicly bragged about her devotion to **Henry Kissinger**.

She lost to **Donald Trump**. I think even Martin O'Malley could've beaten Trump; I'm certain Sanders could. Only Hillary Clinton had the "magic" necessary to lose to a casino and real estate huckster.

She was always a lousy candidate, and she's an incompetent politician as well. Dems can face that, face reality, or keep going as they are, in which case there won't **be** a Democratic Party before long.

MountainMan23 , 13 Dec 2016 22:24
Agreed. HRC, DNC and the Clintonistas are the only ones responsible for her loss. But there's more to their post-election pushback than just shifting the blame, a lot more.

Demonizing Russia isn't just about seeking a scapegoat. Trump's embrace of Russia and decision to end the neocon-neoliberal agenda of regime change skewer two of the corporate establishment's cash cows - arms sales to the numerous conflicts in the Middle East initiated by the corporate cabal, and arms sales to NATO and all the new post Cold War NATO members to continue the buildup of armaments on Russia's borders.

That's a lot of anticipated arms sales and a lot of every bit as anticipated political "donations" from the corporate establishment.

amuel glover -> MountainMan23 , 13 Dec 2016 23:00
" Trump's embrace of Russia and decision to end the neocon-neoliberal agenda of regime change skewer two of the corporate establishment's cash cows - arms sales to the numerous conflicts in the Middle East initiated by the corporate cabal, and arms sales to NATO and all the new post Cold War NATO members to continue the buildup of armaments on Russia's borders."

That's a mighty optimistic forecast, but it's not impossible. I think Trump is likely to be a disaster, and even if he isn't, an unleashed Republican gang is a horrible thing to imagine. Still, I'd love to be pleasantly surprised, and I note that already Trump's campaign has put down TWO odious political dynasties, AND the TPP -- all very healthy developments.

cvneuves , 13 Dec 2016 22:23
Hillary Clinton lost because the majority of the voters were nauseated by her by her fake perma- smile which might as well have been installed by cosmetic surgery. The well rehearsed, worn-out, hollow on-message crap she spouted had zilch credibility and as much resonance. She had nothing to say to the electorate.

That the Clinton spent about twice as much as the Trump camp in this case did not work to her favour: every appearance on tv made her lose voters.

The only thing that kept the contest somehow close was the unprecedented all-media fear campaign against Trump.

I have never had any doubt that that Trump would get the job. What surprised me though, is that only one in 200 eligible voters bothered with the Green's Jill Stein: they are supposedly relatively highly committed to their causes.

Another mistake of the Clinton campaign, btw. was to focus on scandal. My experience of 45 years of campaigning tells me "scandal" does not win any campaigns.

cvneuves -> Walter Masterson , 13 Dec 2016 22:45

99% of the weapons in the Trump arsenal were Trumped up Hillary "scandals"

They did not decide it. Neither did the new "sexual victim" paraded every couple of days by the Clinton camp. Scandal and counter-scandal are part of every campaign and ignored by non-committed voters.

What did it for Trump was, that he spoke unscripted, thus came across a somewhat more genuine, and at least acknowledged the victims of de-industrialisation, for which he could not be blamed, but Clinton could. Clinton did not have anything she could present apart from "better equipped because of experience" - with an undistinguished actual record. The name Clinton can be blamed for the plight of the "rust-belt".

Juillette , 13 Dec 2016 22:19
Americans have paid a heavy price because of free trade deals and they want a different direction. In the last 15 years there is a noticeable difference in opportunity and wages and most of our politicians don't care. Hillary lost this because she supported most free trade and outsourcing jobs to India and China. They DNC has a chance to reform but they choose not to. I hope Bernie starts a new party and leaves the neo liberals behind. Who knows where Trump will take us but if he adds to the swamp he will be a one term president. Right now it looks like he is repaying his Wall Street fundraisers and big oil super pacs. Our politicians deserve the embarrassment for ignoring our citizens struggles.
PennyCarter -> Juillette , 13 Dec 2016 22:25
I mostly see your argument and respect it. However I was not aware that trump was subject to enormous support from super-pacs or Wall Street?
Juillette -> PennyCarter , 13 Dec 2016 22:58
Steven Mnuchin with ties to Wall Street stepped in when no one else would and fund raised for Trump. Mnuchin is picked as secretary of treasury. Big oil supported Cruz and moved to Trump with a few superpacs that Kellyanne Conway managed. Both Wall Street and energy will be deregulated. Also tax reform for corporations. He will have to follow through on new trade deals, tax on imports and immigration or he will only help the 1%. We will see if he follows through...
samuel glover -> PennyCarter , 13 Dec 2016 23:02
His appointments aren't those of a guy intent on keeping Wall Street at arm's length. **Three** cabinet posts to Goldman Sachs alums?!?!? C'mon.....
Solomon Black , 13 Dec 2016 22:18
But didn't Obama dismiss Romney's warning that Russia was a threat to America in 2012. Democrats double standard.
Walter Masterson -> Solomon Black , 13 Dec 2016 22:31
Short answer: no.

Keith Schoose -> Solomon Black , 14 Dec 2016 00:57
Short answer: Yes.

Mauryan , 13 Dec 2016 22:18
CIA? The one which came up with the truth about WMDs in Iraq?

Who can trust an intelligence agency that has become a legalized criminal organization?

I think Aliens changed the course of the election and not Putin :-)

Patrick Moore -> Mauryan , 13 Dec 2016 22:41
Exactly. So Goldman Sachs as well as the CIA are supporting Hilary. What's not to love about that.

Difficult to even think of a more toxic endorsement

MarinaAs , 13 Dec 2016 22:14
You sir are simply, wrong! read:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/12/12/1609989/-It-s-the-Russian-arctic-shelf-stupid
kritter , 13 Dec 2016 22:14
The only person the democrats are helping with this is Putin.

diddoit -> kritter , 13 Dec 2016 22:25
Indeed,

I bet in Moscow they're quite enjoying this notion Putin can simply dismiss any govt on earth by simply letting loose a few hackers and propagandists. And probably thinking if only.

The west looks like its collectively losing its marbles. Political systems, like tastes and fashion change naturally over time. Our two party systems struggle to cope with any change, thus the bewildered politicians within these parties lash out.

PennyCarter -> diddoit , 13 Dec 2016 22:33
It seems the Arab spring has finally reached America
MOTCO , 13 Dec 2016 22:11
The US have been obsessed with the commies for so long they can't see where the new threats are coming from.
SteveTory , 13 Dec 2016 22:09
On November 25, 2016, the Obama administration said the results from November 8, "accurately reflect the will of the American people." The following day, the White House released another statement saying, "the federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyberactivity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on Election Day."
Herr_Settembrini -> SteveTory , 13 Dec 2016 22:38
And? Does anybody claim that any foreign power hacked the voting machines themselves?

The claim is that Russian directed operatives hacked the DNC, etc. in an attempt to find embarrassing material that would damage Clinton's candidacy. They succeeded.

mismeasure -> Herr_Settembrini , 13 Dec 2016 23:49
We know about the claims. What about the evidence?
suddenoakdeath , 13 Dec 2016 22:04
Doug Henwood trying to beat the Bernie Sanders drum. What I heard from Bernie Sanders Townhall in Wisconsin is that people blamed illegal immigrants for their situation. Deep down inside they have been Trump supporters for a while. That is why Trump won Wisconsin.
Wiseaftertheevent , 13 Dec 2016 22:02
A Labour MP is claiming that Putin also fixed the Brexit vote - which also shows how people will blame anyone but themselves for losing a vote. There is not one Clinton supporter who would have complained about the result had she won the Electoral College and lost the popular vote.

That is not to say that the system should not be changed but Democrats and/or Clintonites should not try to change it retrospectively. That would mean chaos.

ATLcitizen7 , 13 Dec 2016 22:02
Totally agree with this article by Mr. Henwood. If Democrats, and Republicans for that matter, want to go on a wild goose chase to blame Russians for the election outcome, with basically no hard evidence to back their claim, rather than look at the real reasons why they lost (disaffected angry citizens and not being able to compete with Trump because they chose lousy candidates) then they deserve to continue losing their future elections. So be it.
Mystik Al , 13 Dec 2016 22:01
If she had not spent so much time calling Trump a Misogynist while taking money from Saudi Arabia then maybe , just maybe she would have not come across as the most deceitful and toxic candidate the US has ever seen.
NancyVolle , 13 Dec 2016 21:58
Hillary Clinton lost Pennsylvania, Michigan & Wisconsin solely because of NAFTA & TPP. Bill & Hillary Clinton supported NAFTA. Hillary Clinton had a history of supporting TPP & Obama was actively pushing it. When Hillary Clinton changed her position on TPP people in the old industrial heartland were not convinced that was sincere. The Russians were not responsible for Hillary, Bill & Obama's history of support for trade deals that facilitate moving jobs to low wage countries that suppress unions, allow unsafe working conditions & don't have meaningful environmental regulations.
seho90 , 13 Dec 2016 21:56

Julian Assange denies that the Russian government was the source of the hacked emails to and from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta that WikiLeaks published. Of course, there's no way of knowing if he's telling the truth – but regardless of their source, how much influence did they have on the election outcome?

oh, right

so when the Wikileaks reveals evilness of the conservatives, it's good, but when the liberals get revealed, he's not telling the truth?

give me a break.

Wikileaks is a neutral source, not a conservative or a liberal one.

PennyCarter -> seho90 , 13 Dec 2016 22:04
I agree with you. However may I add that the point is not whether Assange is of good character or whether Wikileaks is left or right. The point is has any Wikileaks releases been proven false in the last 10 years or so?
Herr_Settembrini -> seho90 , 13 Dec 2016 22:32

Wikileaks is a neutral source, not a conservative or a liberal one.

Bull. Assange dripped, dripped, dripped the leaks so that it would do maximum damage to Clinton. Whether he has conservative or liberal leanings is irrelevant. What in incontrovertible, however, is that he has an anti-Clinton bias.

What the leaks revealed is exactly the kind of internal policy debates, calibration of message, and gossipy venting that occurs in any political campaign. Only out of context did they appear damaging.

calderonparalapaz , 13 Dec 2016 21:43
Is Guardian running cold war propaganda?

"Anonymous Leaks to the WashPost About the CIA's Russia Beliefs Are No Substitute for Evidence"- Glen Greenwald

https://theintercept.com/2016/12/10/anonymous-leaks-to-the-washpost-about-the-cias-russia-beliefs-are-no-substitute-for-evidence /

ewmbrsfca , 13 Dec 2016 21:41
The other big elephant in the room is that nearly half of those eligible to vote did not. Instead, the hysterical US media engage the gullible populace in yet another game of mass distraction, and soon Putin will be forgotten and all will salivate over the Oscar nominations. Thus the United States of Amnesia will settle into its usual addictive habit of running after any "news" that holds the promise of distractive entertainment. Never mind the nation's democracy... "We amuse ourselves to death" (Neil Postman).
Mike Kiepe , 13 Dec 2016 21:37
This article is spot on. Tulsi Gabbard 2020
PennyCarter , 13 Dec 2016 21:34
Otto Bismarck once said: "laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made"

To paraphrase, I guess you could also say the same about elections. Leaks revealing behind the curtains shenanigans of any election would turn most stomachs. After seeing this election I may become a vegetarian.

Huddsblue , 13 Dec 2016 21:32
Too right. It was always Hillary's election to lose and she lost it simply because she was not to be trusted. Her very public endorsement by gangster capitalist Jay-Z told you all you needed to know about who she represented.
chris200 , 13 Dec 2016 21:12
I used to work for an American oil company. Clinton was the one thing that united Democrats and Republicans over lunch time chats. She was unsuitable, and unfit for office. People voted not necessarily for Trump, but against Clinton. Don't blame Trump for this result. Blame the democrats and their poor candidates. So far I like his choice of cabinet members. Except for the banker they are men that create wealth by providing work for talented people. Not something the Guardian understands.
merrykoala -> LDWWDL , 13 Dec 2016 21:27
So your prime character witness for Hillary Clinton is.....Bill Clinton.

Good luck with that.

FYI mishandling protectively marked documents is wrongdoing, which James Comey testified that she had. Had it been ANYBODY other than a presidential candidate their feet wouldn't have touched the floor.

Justin Chudgar , 13 Dec 2016 21:09
What the author fails to emphasize is the degree to which Dem. party 'insiders' like DWSchulz and DBrazile and so on sabotaged their own nomination process by biasing the pre-primary and primary contests in favor of Clinton in subtle and stupidly obvious ways.

Had this been a contest between Trump and B. Sanders, M. O'Malley, J. Biden, E. Warren, etc. there would have been no Podesta emails to care hack, no home server to investigate, etc. By tipping the scales in favor of Clinton early, parts of the Dem. party caused the current outcome.

piouspish , 13 Dec 2016 20:58
I was dubious before, but I'm now actively concerned. This crop of Democrats and their deep state cohorts are unhinged and dangerous. They see me and my families' lives as an externality in their eventual war with Russia. As Phyrric a victory as there could possibly be. They are psychotic; not only waging countless coups and intelligence operations abroad, but now in plain sight on American soil. The mainstream media seems to invoke the spirit of Goebbels more vividly with each passing day. Their disdain and manipulation of the general populace is chilling. They see us not as people to be won-over, but as things to be manipulated, tricked and coerced. Nothing new for politicians (particularity the opposition) - but the levels here are staggering.

January couldn't come soon enough - and I say that as strong critic of Trump.

erewhon888 , 13 Dec 2016 20:39
There is an update to yesterday's Guardian article. Update: David Swanson interviewed Murray today, and obtained additional information. Specifically, Murray told Swanson that: (1) there were two American leakers ... one for the emails of the Democratic National Committee and one for the emails of top Clinton aide John Podesta; (2) Murray met one of those leakers; and (3) both leakers are American insiders with the NSA and/or the DNC, with no known connections to Russia.
michaelmichael , 13 Dec 2016 20:38
"Putin didn't win this election for Trump. Hillary Clinton did"

Nailed it. If the Democrats had fielded someone who actually represented the people (and who spoke the truth) instead of a corporate shill, the outcome would have been very different.

They had the ideal candidate in Sanders and they fucked him out of it. But have they learned anything? I seriously doubt it.

Patrick Perroud , 13 Dec 2016 20:37
Mrs Clinton is not blaming others. She never did. It's the CIA - backed by the 17 US intelligence agencies - that's saying Russia interfered with the election process in the USA.

In UK as well, the MI6 said something similar a few weeks ago. Germany is also concerned about the next elections in France and Germany. If any of this was true then it would be a serious threat against democracy in Western countries.

So who's blaming who? Deep cheaters or bad loosers? The CIA could be wrong but is probably correct this time. Trying to bury this unanimous call from western secret services under contempt is significant by itself.

Thatoneguyyouknow -> Patrick Perroud , 13 Dec 2016 21:06
" It's the CIA - backed by the 17 US intelligence agencies - that's saying Russia interfered with the election process in the USA. "

Way to parrot FAKE NEWS.

That is a COMPLETE LIE. Unless you honestly believe that agencies like the DEA and NASA's "intelligence" conclusively found "proof" that does not exist. That TALKING POINT was a lie when CLINTON'S CAMPAIGN originated it, and it is STILL a lie.

But hey, it's only wrong when the "bad guys" on the "other team" spread fake news and engage in intellectual dishonesty, right? When it's the "good guys" it's just a case of the "ends justify the means" and perfectly acceptable, right?

samuel glover -> Patrick Perroud , 13 Dec 2016 23:43
"Mrs Clinton is not blaming others. She never did."

Bullshit. Just last week she resurfaced (can't she grasp the idea of the graceful exit?) to yammer on about the menace of "fake news". Because of course we all know that before 2016, all American elections have been exercises in fair-mindedness and scrupulous devotion to truth.

stellendar , 13 Dec 2016 20:37
It's funny how media simply refuses to admit that Trump did it.
Russians, Hilary, polar bears - none of them had anything to do with it - HE WON.
Live with it.
Hmeckardt , 13 Dec 2016 20:36
The clickbait headline is frustrating. No serious person is accusing Russia of having caused Clinton's loss. Instead, serious people (including, thankfully, leading Republicans) are demanding that we take a thoughtful and comprehensive look at the evidence that Russia intended to influence the election. That's a necessary step for protecting our democracy and it's irresponsible to ascribe political motives to that task.
Bauhaus -> Hmeckardt , 13 Dec 2016 20:42
What about the $20 million given to Clinton from Saudi Arabia, did that influence the election or don't we talk about that?
James Harris -> Bauhaus , 13 Dec 2016 20:44
Sssshhh don't mention facts that don't support the agenda
HeeeresJohnny , 13 Dec 2016 20:34
There was a good article in The Intercept the other regarding the CIA's unsubstantiated (and subserviently published by the media) claims of Russian interference - how it has essentially become a willy-waving contest between the CIA and the FBI in the wake of the elections; how the CIA is an inherently untrustworthy organisation and the media allowing "senior officials" to dictate the news with empty leaks and no evidence (while shouting the loudest about fake news) is folly.

https://theintercept.com/2016/12/10/anonymous-leaks-to-the-washpost-about-the-cias-russia-beliefs-are-no-substitute-for-evidence /

Eric Hurley -> HeeeresJohnny , 13 Dec 2016 20:53
The CIA is untrustworthy? what about the FBI?

HeeeresJohnny -> Eric Hurley , 13 Dec 2016 21:05
As far as I know, the FBI isn't currently leaking unsubstantiated "news" with the potential of provoking dangerously poor relations with Russia.
Thatoneguyyouknow -> Eric Hurley , 13 Dec 2016 21:12
"The CIA is untrustworthy?"

Have you ZERO knowledge of history? WHAT in their ENTIRE EXISTENCE has given you a ONE SINGLE BIT of faith in their credibility?

michaelmichael -> Dzomba , 13 Dec 2016 20:40
"but using covert methods to manipulate the flow of information in the public debate to undermine a candidate is totally unacceptable"

the US prefers to engineer military coups

finnja , 13 Dec 2016 20:32
Very true. It takes an abysmal candidate to lose against (quoting Jimmy Dore here:) Donny Tinyhands.
It takes a special brand of dense to run
- for Wall Street (against reinstatement of Glass Steagall)
- for a direct military confrontation with nuclear power Russia (wich Clinton's pet-project of no-fly zones in Syria would have signified)
- for trade deals (nobody bought Clinton was suddenly against that)
and expect the DEMOCRATIC base to turn out.
Jesus Christ, Donny ran to the left of Hillary on all three issues. Not that anyone trusts him to keep any promise, but at least he didn't outright spit in the face of the people who want less war, less neoliberalism and less Wall Street cronyism while running for election.
No Democratic candidate worth his/her name would have lost against Trump, not even if the Axis of Evil (whoever that currently is) had hacked all their emails, photobooks and private porn-flicks, in which they starred, and had them all run nonstop 24/7 on every screen on Earth.
2fingersup2tories , 13 Dec 2016 20:23
I'm shocked!!! Aren't the Russians to blame for everything???
My t.v breaking, the rain outside, brexit, Donald trump, the Iraq war, the death of Jesus, those damn Russians, nothing is safe around those monsters.
Hilarious
enodesign , 13 Dec 2016 20:19
Thanks for this article .

You are so correct .

I am so sick and tired of hearing those whining elite democrats gone incessantly about white males , the FBI , Putin , Russia , stupid red state citizens , etc., etc ..

I want say ' Shut the fuck up ! ..... and look in the bloody mirror ' .

I am a classic liberal .... always have been ..... always will be ...... and I don't know what you would like to call these corrupt , elitist , contemporary democrats but you certainly can not call them real liberals .

I call them designer democrats . They care only for their particular pet issues and they ongoing pursuit of notions of their own superiority . They routinely generalize in highly sexist and racist fashions and through the use of political correctness seek to silence all of their critics .

I , simply , loath them .

They sabotaged Bernie Sanders campaign . Bernie Sanders ..... the nicest , most caring man to come along in American politics in the past 50 years . Not since , FDR , John and Robert Kennedy have we seen such hope for average people .

But oh , no ..... Bernie was an outsider ..... not part of their corrupt , elite club . He was a threat to their ongoing party . He had to go .

They didn't give a shit about what was good for the people . They only cared about themselves and their exploitation of the Democratic Party and it's traditional status ..... and their vulgar corruption of genuine liberalism for their own purposes .

The Democratic Party establishment will now undergo a long , long overdue cleansing . The Clintons are the first to go as they should be . Two total career political scoundrels , if ever there were any . Lies and secrecy were all that you ever got from them aside form the horrific repeal of the 'Glass-Steggall Act ' and the Stock Trade Modernization Bill which lead to the licensing of the financial elite to plunder the economy , ruin the lives of countless average Americans and turn the economy into a complete casino .

Elitist to the core , they were .

Imagine an elite , spoon fed , self-interested urbanite like Hillary Clinton telling some poor white male schmuck living in some small town , who for economic reasons has never had a good full time time and works 3 temporary part-time jobs to pay the bills that he is privileged .

Bloody ridiculous !

Talk about overt sexism . Talk about overt racism .

It's these kinds of behaviours that doomed Hillary Clinton .

She only has herself to blame .

If she really had cared about average people she would have not sabotaged Bernie Sanders and she would have stepped aside back in June when every poll indicated the she could not beat Trump and that Bernie could beat him by 10 to 15 points .

Now , we the people are stuck with a Trump presidency ..... something which you can pretty much be assured is going to be un mitigated disaster in ways that we can't even begin to imagine yet .

Lord help us .

Good-bye Democratic Party elites ..... don't let the fucking door hit on the way out .

I wish I could say that it was nice knowing you but it wasn't .

Go off to your designer lives and pontificate about what is good for people ..... a subject that you know little about and really don't give a damn .

Go back to Davos and party with the financial global elite for they are really your people .... your kind . Certainly , average hardworking , genuinely liberal people are not .

Liberalism exists for all people not just the self-anointed few .

Treflesg , 13 Dec 2016 20:14
Have you noticed how recently the 'we are not racist and you are' left have started to use the Chinese and Russians as convenient foreign bogeymen to scare the people with?

Awkward economic figures, blame the Chinese.
Awkward diplomatic issues or you lost a vote, blame the Russians.

The problem with this is that our media then amplifies these attacks on China and Russia, they hear them, and they start to resent it and respond. And our future relations with two major world powers are made worse than they needed to be.

sarkany , 13 Dec 2016 20:13
A good article to counterbalance the reams of rubbish we are hearing in the US election post-mortem. Anyone who had neural activity should have known that when you steal the candidacy, you certainly won't get the votes. Clinton effectively handed the election to Trump by not having the humility, humanity and honesty to admit defeat by Benie Sanders.

He was not a perfect choice, but he could have been a candidate who was everything that Trump wasn't - uncorrupted, honest, and with a clearly thought out and principled agenda.

All Trump was facing was someone as entitled and establishment as he was,. but with less of what passes for 'the human touch' across the pond.

There's always the possibility of course, that the US establishment realised Clinton's blatant warmongering wasn't 'good for business'.

The Russians are no doubt aware that the US has to try and cut the Gordian knot - Washington cannot face down China and Russia at the same time; and the two countries are mutually supportive in the UN and are developing many economic projects together.

So maybe, they thought, we can get the Russkies 'on side', deal with China (ie. reduce it to a 'client state'/ turn it into an ashtray) - and then move on Russia and grab all those lovely resources freed up by global warming....

yohoot , 13 Dec 2016 20:12
Seems to me like the Clinton agenda of big oil, big banks and alot of lies won the WH. Hillary's big corporate donors are on Trumps transition team. Surely they didnt want her to win, since she adopted Sanders regulatory, tax the wealthy platform, hence Clinton was duped with marketing strategy which turned voters off, she was reduced to name calling over promotong policy...what did she represent? Only her campaign volunteers knew, her message to the public was "dont vote for Trump" which translates to, I could lose to him, vote for me!
Benjohn6379 , 13 Dec 2016 19:58
The Podesta emails confirmed what many people already suspected and knew of Hillary and her campaign. Those who were interested in reading them had to actually look for them, since MSM was not reporting on them. It's not as if an avid MSNBC or CNN watcher was going to be exposed.

So, if you were seeking them out, A: you probably already suspected those things and B: you weren't going to vote for Hillary to begin with.

It's hilarious how the major Left outlets (Washington Post) are now telling it's readers how Russia is to blame for people voting against Hillary due to the Podesta emails, when they didn't even report on the emails in the first place.

theshining , 13 Dec 2016 19:57
FINALLY sanity intrudes. For one article and one day. But hey , progress is progress. Trump will NOT be what you think him to be. He will be far better. He will still do things you don't like, but not REALLY bad things. :-)

There was no reason to vote for Clinton as the article says. She offered nothing except the entitlement of HER. It wasn't enough. Thank The Gods. EVERYTHING about the system all halfway decent people detest, is summed up in the figure of Hillary Clinton. And evidently (and I stand to be corrected) she didn't even have the stones not to melt down on election night and Podesta had to go out there and be a complete buffoon.

Trump might be an unknown but Clinton and her used up party were a complete known. Like Donald said, she had 'experience', but it was all BAD 'experience'. Trump might not fix the problems but at least he's going to try. Clinton didn't even see the problems.

Raleighchopper , 13 Dec 2016 19:48
-> Neoliberalism turned our world into a business. And there are two big winners
Fearmongering Donald Trump and optimistic Silicon Valley seem to epitomize opposing ideologies. But the two have far more in common than you think

Steady now Graun, 2 sensible articles in 1 day.

quasar9uk , 13 Dec 2016 19:48
it did her a really big favour because she was and still is in poor health and the stress of high office would have been fatal for her probably
quasar9uk -> kronfeld , 13 Dec 2016 22:20
she is a frail, withered old woman who needs to retire - def the wrong democrat choice, crazy ! Berni.S would have won if for them - he is far more sincere
Ken Kutner , 13 Dec 2016 19:48
Here is the key paragraph: "The displaced machinists... believe that free trade deals are responsible for their economic woes and they never trusted Clinton's turn against the TPP. But that was Clinton's campaign for you, bereft of principle and pathologically concerned with "optics" at the expense of substance." Funny the author fails to notice that that describes to a T Trump's campaign, and actually his whole life. That description applies to Trump several orders of magnitude moreso than it applies to Hillary Clinton's life. If you think Trump is really interested in bringing jobs, especially good paying jobs back, you are willfully blind.
Prydain , 13 Dec 2016 19:43
"Putin didn't win this election for Trump. Hillary Clinton did"

Trump won, he played the game brilliantly to the rules (including the electoral college system), Clinton lost (you can't win it for the opposition, you can just lose, and the Democrats didn't put out their best hope) and Putin was irrelevant in terms of any interference (although maybe Trump voters would rather the US develop a better relationship with Russia, but that's down to Trump in playing that card).

SwansonDinner , 13 Dec 2016 19:39
This argument is as asinine as the one the author opposes. It was a collusion of events that led to this result, including the failure of both parties to adapt to an evolving economic and social climate over decades. The right wing hailing the collapse of liberalism as a result of decades of liberal mismanagement conveniently forget their own parties have held the reins for half that time, and failed just as miserably as the left....
HellisEmpty , 13 Dec 2016 19:38
It's quite bizarre to see "progressives" openly side with the military industrial complex, which is threatened by a president elect weary of more warfare.

It's to be expected from career politicians like McCain who is kicking and screaming, but it's shameful to see supposed liberally-minded people help spread the Red Scare storyline.

Aquarius9 , 13 Dec 2016 19:27
A good article Henwood.

The Democrats are in full blown tantrum mode, throwing teddies out of their pram and spitting dummies across the room, because their warmonger and deceitful candidate HRC, didn't win, that's why there has been all this bad news nonsense about Putin and/or Russia since last week.

Obama has behaved dreadfully, first he or his office gets one of its poodles namely MI6 to point the finger at Putin re cyberwar, which was swiftly followed by the International Olympic Committee looking at Russia for 2012 Olympic games, the elections in the US and the Democrats CIA coming out with unsubstantiated nonsense (funny how they never like, providing collaborative evidence - on this or anything that supposedly Russia has done) then there is Syria, and Obama and the Democrats were the cheerleader for regime change, because they have been out manoeuvred in that sphere. All of it in less than a week.

If Obama, the administration, and the CIA were smart they would have realised that a concerted effort to blame Putin / Russia would be seen for what it is - a liar and one of trying to discredit both the outcome of the US elections, the dislike of HRC, and her association with Wall St. - she raised more money for her campaign than Trump and Sanders put together (if the Democrats had chosen Sanders, then they would have stood a chance) and that their hawk would not be in a position to create WW111 - thank goodness. The Democrats deserved what they got.

ohforgoodnesssake -> PanYanPickle , 13 Dec 2016 19:35
This organ of the liberal media (no scare quotes required - it is socially liberal and economically neoliberal), along with many others, dogmatically supported Clinton against Sanders to the point of printing daily and ridiculous dishonesty, even going so far as to make out as if anyone who supports any form of wealth redistribution is a racist, sexist, whitesplaining dude-bro.
WitoldLutoslawski -> zootsuitbeatnick , 13 Dec 2016 19:14
The Wikileaks emails proved the votes were rigged against Sanders, it why Debbie W Shulz had to resign
Raleighchopper , 13 Dec 2016 18:59
Or more precisely the Superdelegates and the Democratic National Committee did. Her Goldman/Morgan Stanley speechs were in 2013 ffs, they all knew she had form and was 'viewed as an insider' as Obama put it in The New Yorker interview.
danubemonster , 13 Dec 2016 18:58
The election was close, and if one less thing had gone wrong for Hillary she would have won. However I think an important thing that lost her the election was identity politics. She patronized Afro-Americans and Hispanics, by tell them that because they are Trump-threatened minorities, they should vote for her. In the same vein, gays and women were supposed to vote for her. But what she was really telling these groups was that they should revel in their supposed victimhood, which was not a great message.
Stetson Meyers , 13 Dec 2016 18:45
Completely agreed! The onus for defeat belongs to the Democrat party leadership as well. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both understood where the momentum of the election was headed before anyone else did. The election was won and lost in the white blue collar Midwest. A place that decided that diet corporatism is decidedly worse than a populist right wing extremist.

No one here believed the ridiculous about-face Hillary pulled on the question of the TPP. I guarantee you Bernie would have cleaned Trump's clock in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and perhaps Ohio and Iowa.

ojeemabalzitch , 13 Dec 2016 18:36
"Our self-image as the world's greatest democracy...." Well, speaking for myself and plenty of other Americans, I never said anything like that about us. In fact, like a lot of people I wish we would stick to our own business, quit trying to be the world's cop, and cease meddling in other countries' affairs.

If we do that, then I could care less about our image or what the rest of the world thinks. Let some other country be the "leader of the Free World." Who died and left the US in charge, anyway? Not one war we have fought since WWII has been worth the price of one drop of American blood.

Steve Gustafson , 13 Dec 2016 18:31
Assuming that it really was the Russians who done it, I guess they had a better game plan than the Saudis. I consider the Russians to have done us a favor of sorts by exposing Hillary's secret Wall Street speeches and the machinations of the DNC. Her 'deplorables' comment was every bit as telling as Mitt Romney's '47%'. We really needed to know about her 'public versus private positions', even if it only confirmed what everybody already knew. I am not 100% sure the system made the worst choice in raising up Donald Trump.

And even so, if it takes four years of Trump to remove the people who thought Hillary was a good candidate from power in the Democratic Party, it may work out for the best in the long run. And if it takes four years of Trump to show the people who voted for Trump that Republican ideologues can only make their problems worse, so be it. It's mostly the hubris that amuses me at this point. They thought they were the pros. They had the money. They had the ground game. All they did wrong was to preselect and preordain a candidate nobody wanted.

Steve Gustafson -> Kevin Watson , 14 Dec 2016 04:13

abuses women, advances the cause of racism, attacks women's rights, is xenophobic

The American voters heard a steady stream of these arguments. Some may have simply ignored them. Others took them into consideration, but concluded that they wanted drastic change enough to put them aside. White women decided that Trump's comments, while distasteful, were things they'd heard before.

Reliance on the sanctity of racial and gender pieties was a mistake. Not everyone treats these subjects as the holiest of holies. The people who would be most swayed by those arguments never would have voted for Trump anyways.

Bronxite -> Kevin Watson , 14 Dec 2016 02:21
Colin Powell did not advise Clinton to do that, and even if he did she was a fool to take his advice when her boss Obama explicitly told her not to keep a private server. Colin Powell said Clinton destroys everything she touches with hubris. Seeing as how she destroyed the democrat "blue wall" and also had low turnout which hurt democrats down the ticket I agree.
Max von Berg , 13 Dec 2016 18:09
Zero evidence other than "he said, she said" regarding any involvement of Russian espionage agencies in the U.S. elections but the left, incredulous once the result didn't go their way, are now clinging to anything to divert attention from the issues that HRC ignored and Trump embraced.

All this hysteria about the USA and Russia finally working together than apart doesn't help either for it appears that the [neoliberal] lefties want a perpetual war rather than peace.

noteasilyfooled , 13 Dec 2016 18:01
The CIA being outraged about a foreign state intervening in an election is quite funny. They have intervened so many times, especially in Latin America, to install puppet regimes.

As for hacking... does anybody believe the CIA has never hacked anybody?

Anyway, had the emails not existed, there would have been nothing with which to help Trump. The Democrats have only themselves to blame. Bernie Sanders or ANY other candidate without the Clintons baggage could have done a better job f beating Trump. They wanted Hillary at all cost; they lost!

GuardianFodder -> noteasilyfooled , 13 Dec 2016 18:55
Christmas cracker joke for you;

Q: Why has there never been a coup in the US?

A: Because Washington doesn't have an American embassy....

[Dec 11, 2016] Something fishy about President Obama decision to investigate Russian influence of the recent Presidential elections

Notable quotes:
"... My perspective from across the ocean has always been that the McCarthy philosophy was the least admirable episode in recent US history. ..."
"... It's almost as if the West, or at least Western Elite circles who have strived to saturate the airways with Russia-the-bogey-man material since the year dot, can they, on the back of this one-sided propaganda machine, wheel-out blame directed towards Russia for .... well almost anything they desire. ..."
"... If only Barack Hussain Obama had not taken it upon his self to interfere in our referendum with his clear 'Back of the queue' threat, it may have been possible to not think he is a hypocrite. ..."
"... I suspect this is one last roll of the dice by the 'democrats' to keep Trump out of office. ..."
"... Obama is foolishly upping the ante, not on Putin, but on Trump. Trump's instinct will be to put a 10x hurt on Obama for this. Don't punk Trump. ..."
"... They are desperate to discredit the winner. It is as ineffective as any of his failed policies ..."
"... In other words, Obama admits he hasn't kept America secure versus 21st-century threats. ..."
"... Obama has said the intelligence agencies had the proof that Russia interfered with the election. With all their proof why order a review? Can't wait until Obama leaves office. ..."
"... what, is the USA the new Latin America, and Russia the new CIA ? forever meddling surreptitiously to undermine and overthrow other sovereign nation states democratic processes ? that's just so unfair ..."
"... It is a funny joke, but on the essence I would advise to read investigative report "The New Red Scare" in Harpers. The evidence of Russian government having anything to do with any hacks is literally non-existing. ..."
"... The US, heckler of the world for decades, stirring trouble wherever the dart falls, and yet Russian hackers and North Korean hookers are to blame for 99.9% of the worlds problems. Reality is, if the US didn't move past its own borders for 10 years the world would be already a much, much better place. ..."
"... The Guardian probably shouldn't go along in helping build the new McCarthyist, Cold War narrative, especially when it's just a bunch of US politicians and media figures repeating politically expedient, but factually unsupported claims. The Western media is trying to be Hearst Newspapers in the Spanish-American war. ..."
"... This is explicitly bad because it allows the suppression of dissent, of creating blacklists, the military industrial complex to further consolidate power, and to blame all sorts of domestic failures on shadowing foreign influence. ..."
"... But when Judith Miller, the NYT, George Bush and Hillary Clinton used fake news to kill hundreds of thousands, Obama told us to get over it, to "look forward and not backward." ..."
"... The United States has attempted to push its democratic ideologies on countries all over the world, using means much more direct than hacking. Yet they cannot take a fraction of what they dish out. If Russia is indeed intervening to aid nationalists around the world, then Russia is a friend and should be welcomed with open arms. Trump should do the same, and used the powers of the United States to undermine [neoliberal] leftists around the globe. ..."
Dec 11, 2016 | , discussion.theguardian.com
Mauryan , 9 Dec 2016 18:29
Interesting - Obama never ordered an independent probe into 9/11 or invasion of Iraq or on the Wall Street Collapse. Somehow Russian hacking seems to be more draconian than all the above.

And Russians somehow got into the brains of the disgruntled white population, and controlled Trump's brain so that he would be voted to power. Then they still control Trump's brain so much that he is wanting to let NATO countries pay for their security, make Japan, South Korea and everyone else where US maintains its bases to pay for themselves.

And then suddenly there is a news of a thousand Russian athletes doing well in 2012 London Olympics due to enhanced drugs. Until now, no one knew about this or heard about it.

It is not that I am supporting Russia all of a sudden. It is just that I am not supporting the attempt to create enemies out of thin air and make them monstrous as needed, while covering even more sinister schemes that need public attention.

Obama is part of the same system too that runs everything from behind the curtains. He still is a good man. But he has only some much room to function within and survive.

Karahashianders -> Mauryan , 9 Dec 2016 18:48
A good man is not capable of bombing 7 countries in 8 years' time. People are too naive to believe that someone could look as nice and sound as nice as Obama and push to advance the agenda of some of the most evil and power-hungry megalomaniacs on the planet.
Woodenarrow123 , 9 Dec 2016 18:28
It was Wikileaks that did it.

I don't know if the Russians provided Wikileaks with the actual emails or not but Wikileaks like so many news organisations before them released info obtained illegally that they thought the public had a right to know.

Now Assange has effectively been imprisoned in an Embassy in London for around 5 years on bogus charges and his reputation was damaged by the same charges - Obviously Obama does not want to give any credit to Assange and he knows he has played a part in this outrageous persecution.

This would also a could time to remind fellow commentators here about the Nuland - Pyatt conversation that was recorded by Russia and released. This conversation showed the the involvement of two high ranking US Politicians in the armed coup in Ukraine where an elected albeit corrupt leader was forced to flee the country.

200gnomes -> Woodenarrow123 , 9 Dec 2016 18:39
wikileaks did it because the MSM refuses to do it.
joeblow9999 , 9 Dec 2016 18:28
NOTHING in the DNC or Hilly campaign emails has been refuted by anyone. The corrupt DNC and Hilly got caught.

This is literally like a pedophile complaining to the police because someone stole their illegal porn. Absolutely shameful.

neighbor65003 , 9 Dec 2016 18:23
US intelligence? is this the same intelligent agency that gave us Iraq WMD report? They have no credibility
DaveCP , 9 Dec 2016 18:22
After reading the first two pages of comments here, it is tempting to believe the bear contributes to these forums on quite an organised scale.

I fail to see what possible fear anyone could have from whatever evidence exists being seen by, at least, those with a vested interest.

diddoit -> DaveCP , 9 Dec 2016 18:27

The period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from 1950 to 1956 and characterized by heightened political repression against supposed communists, as well as a campaign spreading fear of their influence on American institutions and of espionage by Soviet agents.

The third Red Scare? *clutches teddy bear*

Only one slight problem ...there aren't any reds in charge in Russia anymore.

diddoit -> DaveCP , 9 Dec 2016 18:38
My point being, there is no great ideological clash anymore. Assange volunteered the fact the email data didn't come from the Russians. And whether Trump is better than Hillary is open to debate.
DaveCP -> diddoit , 9 Dec 2016 18:42
My perspective from across the ocean has always been that the McCarthy philosophy was the least admirable episode in recent US history. I doubt many people want to return to that but surely, demonstrable evidence in either direction is the only antidote to accusations and conspiracy theories, and is needed now more than ever in this supposed 'post truth' era. Reply Share
thinkandleap1234 , 9 Dec 2016 18:22
I assume that Obama is being told to do this, and probably by the same people who backed the Clinton individual for POTUS. The American people must be exceedingly dumb if they fall for this rubbish.
jamese07uk , 9 Dec 2016 18:18
It's almost as if the West, or at least Western Elite circles who have strived to saturate the airways with Russia-the-bogey-man material since the year dot, can they, on the back of this one-sided propaganda machine, wheel-out blame directed towards Russia for .... well almost anything they desire.

Problem is, are the public still eating out of their hands!?

Brext and the Trump victory is suggesting - not all of us by a long way.

Boris66 , 9 Dec 2016 18:15
If only Barack Hussain Obama had not taken it upon his self to interfere in our referendum with his clear 'Back of the queue' threat, it may have been possible to not think he is a hypocrite.
john D , 9 Dec 2016 18:14
I was more worried about Soros and democracy NGOs then i was of russian hackers this election.
wtfbollos , 9 Dec 2016 18:13
what a joke, america has been 'interfering' (i.e. bombing and destroying) how many countries since 1945?? incredible hypocrisy and sickening double-standards.
IronBorn , 9 Dec 2016 18:13
War propoganda. Will the White Helmets be saving Russian civilians too? I suspect this is one last roll of the dice by the 'democrats' to keep Trump out of office.
sejong , 9 Dec 2016 18:09
Obama is foolishly upping the ante, not on Putin, but on Trump. Trump's instinct will be to put a 10x hurt on Obama for this. Don't punk Trump.
timolin , 9 Dec 2016 18:06
They are desperate to discredit the winner. It is as ineffective as any of his failed policies. He is completely useless.
AveAtqueCave , 9 Dec 2016 18:04
In other words, Obama admits he hasn't kept America secure versus 21st-century threats.
WoodenNickel , 9 Dec 2016 18:04
Obama has said the intelligence agencies had the proof that Russia interfered with the election. With all their proof why order a review? Can't wait until Obama leaves office.
Clotsworth , 9 Dec 2016 17:59
what, is the USA the new Latin America, and Russia the new CIA ? forever meddling surreptitiously to undermine and overthrow other sovereign nation states democratic processes ? that's just so unfair
smellycat , 9 Dec 2016 17:57
Oh dear. Russia causes regime change in America. What a laugh. What goes around comes around.
Max South -> smellycat , 9 Dec 2016 21:10
It is a funny joke, but on the essence I would advise to read investigative report "The New Red Scare" in Harpers. The evidence of Russian government having anything to do with any hacks is literally non-existing.
FMinus , 9 Dec 2016 17:57
The US, heckler of the world for decades, stirring trouble wherever the dart falls, and yet Russian hackers and North Korean hookers are to blame for 99.9% of the worlds problems. Reality is, if the US didn't move past its own borders for 10 years the world would be already a much, much better place.
IanB52 , 9 Dec 2016 17:57
The Guardian probably shouldn't go along in helping build the new McCarthyist, Cold War narrative, especially when it's just a bunch of US politicians and media figures repeating politically expedient, but factually unsupported claims. The Western media is trying to be Hearst Newspapers in the Spanish-American war.

This is explicitly bad because it allows the suppression of dissent, of creating blacklists, the military industrial complex to further consolidate power, and to blame all sorts of domestic failures on shadowing foreign influence. This is exactly what countries like Iran and North Korea do. Bravo guys, for keep this story going for almost half a year with no substantial proof whatsoever.

AveAtqueCave , 9 Dec 2016 17:55
But when Judith Miller, the NYT, George Bush and Hillary Clinton used fake news to kill hundreds of thousands, Obama told us to get over it, to "look forward and not backward." What a waste of 8 years.
Ginen , 9 Dec 2016 17:54
Obama's last exercise in futility.
hadeze242 -> Ginen , 9 Dec 2016 18:04
he suddenly discovered, 2-3 wks ago, that he was enthusiastic about space technology and exploration. He (that is his ghost writers) published a 1 p. article about his love of space. Fact is, first thing great-mind Obama did 8yrs ago is gut NASA's budget. He never mentioned space once in 8 yrs. Suddenly, he is a fan. Creepy ... how does he deal with his hypocritical self every morning?
ShoppingKingLouie , , 9 Dec 2016 17:53
Political theatre. He will be out of office before anyone will even be asked to take office.

Its hilarious that The Guardian tries to frame US Intelligence as a single cohesive unit. Its a splintered multi-headed hydra that will never act on this. Once again Obama brings righteous powerful leadership to the act of being ineffective.

Benjohn6379 , 9 Dec 2016 17:51
"Cold War 2: Tear Down This Firewall"

Starring:
Shirtless Putin
Legacy Obama
Hillary "I'm Not Trump" Clinton
Donald "OG Troll" Trump
Super Elite Genius Ninja Russian Hackers
The Poor Defenseless Victim DNC
John "Let's All Just Laugh at The Risotto Recipe and Not Pay Attention to any of my Other Emails" Podesta
80's synth "rock" and really bright neon clothing

And featuring: Lou Diamond Phillips as.....Guccifer 2.0

worryingmother -> Benjohn6379 , 9 Dec 2016 18:14
Like Rocky Horror, but more psycho. Where has Lou Diamond Phillips been, anyway.
calderonparalapaz , , 9 Dec 2016 17:45
News Media Reports of governments hacking foreign govts and private Companies:

CNN
http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/16/technology/nsa-hacking-tools-snowden /

Bloomberg News
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-05-23/how-the-u-dot-s-dot-government-hacks-the-world

Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/powerful-nsa-hacking-tools-have-been-revealed-online/2016/08/16/bce4f974-63c7-11e6-96c0-37533479f3f5_story.html?utm_term=.2ea1198b2a8b

The Intercept: The NSA would know about Russian Hacking
https://theintercept.com/2016/07/26/russian-intelligence-hack-dnc-nsa-know-snowden-says /

UK Gauardian
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/09/nsa-spying-brazil-oil-petrobras

RT News
https://www.rt.com/usa/us-hacking-exploits-millions-104 /

UK Mirror: hacking German Govt
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/angela-merkels-phone-hacked-american-2485433

Ryan Wei , 9 Dec 2016 17:45
The United States has attempted to push its democratic ideologies on countries all over the world, using means much more direct than hacking. Yet they cannot take a fraction of what they dish out. If Russia is indeed intervening to aid nationalists around the world, then Russia is a friend and should be welcomed with open arms. Trump should do the same, and used the powers of the United States to undermine [neoliberal] leftists around the globe.
John malkovich -> CrankyMac , 9 Dec 2016 19:49
No its by the letter actually. Libya, Yemen backed by US, Pakistan, Tunisia had some financial and military backing. Obama is the drone king. And Ukraine well have you heard of Victoria nuland before? Regime change in Ukraine cost the taxpayer 5 billion dollars

[Dec 11, 2016] Russia has always been the convenient whipping boy for the United States

Notable quotes:
"... Outrageous how the Russians interfered with the Koch brothers and Soros's electoral process... ..."
"... No one, not the government agencies, not those ominous private security firms, no one presented even a shred of evidence for any involvement of the Russian government. Not even some lackluster ambiguous data, it was all anecdotal stuff, 'confidence' and fluffy rhetoric. ..."
"... The McCarthy-esque paranoia spread by the Clinton campaign to deflect from the content of those emails took foothold it seems. ..."
"... If the evidence were to hand, actually existed, it would have been all over the front pages of the WaPo, NYT and other major news outlets, not just in the US but everywhere else too. Investigating this 'evidence' is, to borrow William Gibson's simile, "Like planning to assassinate a figure out of myth and legend". The usual 'national security considerations' which have been and will continue to be adduced, as reasons for not publishing the evidence is pure triple-distilled BS and pretty much everyone knows that it's BS. ..."
Dec 11, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
kropotkinsf , 9 Dec 2016 18:44
Russia has always been the convenient whipping boy for the United States. We manufactured the cold war because we needed an enemy to prop up our war economy. We built the Soviet Union into this monolithic bogey man, spoiling to crush the west, enemies of "freedom," in order to keep the west scared and pliant and in our pocket. After so-called communism collapsed, we found new enemies in the middle east but they lacked the staying power. So now it's back to Russia. Maybe the Russians did hack into the DNC. If so, they merely exposed the damning material. They didn't write it.
discreto , 9 Dec 2016 18:44
Oh boy the knives are out against Russia, first I read about the 2012 Olympics which even if it is true I would hold the British Olympic Committee responsible for the failure to find out about the doping at the time of the Games and not 4 years later. I have just read US, Obama is now pointing the finger at Russia for the outcome of the US Elections oh dear they are really scraping the barrell to look for someone to blame instead of finding out why their own people decided to vote for Trump. This is all typical American hyperbole and nonsense and a concerted effort on America's efforts to orchestrate the next War.
America is so way behind with any modern services, they apparently do not have their bank cards with pin or contactless as yet.
DogsLivesMatter -> discreto , 9 Dec 2016 18:49
Have you seen this documentary?
https://www.rt.com/shows/documentary/369619-drugs-sport-doping-scandal /
ShoppingKingLouie -> discreto , 9 Dec 2016 18:50
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/dec/08/vladimir-putin-hillary-clinton-russia
Puro , 9 Dec 2016 18:43
Unlucky failed mainstream media lost all confidence of its readership and are now broke. What will they do next? ask for money saying that they're helping others whilst keeping most of it?
bishoppeter4 , 9 Dec 2016 18:41
The Russians are coming ! = The sky is falling ! It's the 1950s again.
ShoppingKingLouie , 9 Dec 2016 18:40
Yet The Guardian spews anti Trump hatred and propaganda everyday to a US audience and no one is investigating the UK for meddling.

Seems fishy.

MasonInNY -> ShoppingKingLouie , 9 Dec 2016 18:46
Why would the UK wish to meddle in a US election? Or France, Germany, Finland, or Italy? Russia, though... :)
ShoppingKingLouie -> MasonInNY , 9 Dec 2016 18:48
Why did the NSA spy on those very same countries?
Logicon , 9 Dec 2016 18:39
Outrageous how the Russians interfered with the Koch brothers and Soros's electoral process...
dongerdo , 9 Dec 2016 18:38
No one, not the government agencies, not those ominous private security firms, no one presented even a shred of evidence for any involvement of the Russian government. Not even some lackluster ambiguous data, it was all anecdotal stuff, 'confidence' and fluffy rhetoric.

But if it makes them happy....

The McCarthy-esque paranoia spread by the Clinton campaign to deflect from the content of those emails took foothold it seems.

mike muse , 9 Dec 2016 18:36
If the evidence were to hand, actually existed, it would have been all over the front pages of the WaPo, NYT and other major news outlets, not just in the US but everywhere else too. Investigating this 'evidence' is, to borrow William Gibson's simile, "Like planning to assassinate a figure out of myth and legend". The usual 'national security considerations' which have been and will continue to be adduced, as reasons for not publishing the evidence is pure triple-distilled BS and pretty much everyone knows that it's BS.
Jim Chaypull -> mike muse , 9 Dec 2016 19:32
Yeah sure, just like how it was 'all over the front pages' about what really happened on 9/11, who was really involved etc.

And don't give me any of that conspiracy theory, tin-foil hat bs either...unless you are able to be honest about this conspiracy: 19 or 20 strip-club lovin, don't-need-no-takeoff/landing-lessons jihadists used box-cutters to overpower jet air planes and with the-luck-of-the-century HIT NOT ONE....BUT TWO skyscrapers at the EXACT SPOT where the 47 concrete -steel inner columns were weak enough to cause 'pancaking' of the undamaged 60-90 UNDAMAGED FLOORS. Collapsing (and pulverizing concrete into dust) the building into itself.

And then weirdly enough a small cabal of PNAC signees who in writing had expressed that pax-americana was going to be 'difficult unless a pearl harbor like event happens' had almost as much Luck-of-the-century as the jihadists when......WA LA....into their lap.....a new pearl harbor.

suzie009 , 9 Dec 2016 18:36
Is it possible that if Bernie Sanders had been up against Trump he may have won??

That's the real question that needs addressing - together with why wasn't he chosen!

JuliusSqueezer -> suzie009 , 9 Dec 2016 18:41
He definitely would have won.
jmac55 , 9 Dec 2016 18:35
Nonsense!

Trying to blame one of the most flawed and undemocratic election process's in the Western hemisphere on the Russians is laughable to the point of hysteria.

The dumb-ed down bigoted electorate is a direct result of decades of a two party political system, backed up by a compliant media, that fosters mindless patriotism and ignorance rather than enlightenment and intelligent discussion on the problems facing the country.

Never have I seen a better example of your own dog biting you on the arse!

But Clinton lost the election because the Republicans realised she was certain to be the Democratic Presidential candidate fifteen years ago and they began their smear campaign against her right there and then, and a lot of it stuck.

When you add to that tens of thousands on the left like me who voted for her...but would not campaign for her because we didn't agree with her disastrous blunder in helping to overthrow Qaddafi in Libya ( a country that is now a feudal backwater) and her stated goals of regime change in Syria and all the while she had a domestic policy was cosying up to the bankers and Wall Street elites, whilst ignoring blue collar Americans without jobs and prospects for their future...the almost inevitable result is Trump as President of the United States.

'Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud, hatch out!'

The US will get what it deserves...and it deserves Trump I'm afraid.

[Dec 11, 2016] Glencore stuns the oil-trading business with a deal to take a big stake in Rosneft

Dec 11, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
mrpukpuk, 9 Dec 2016 22:24
In the meanwhile: Glencore stuns the oil-trading business with a deal to take a big stake in Rosneft

http://www.economist.com/news/business/21711503-sanctions-are-not-impediment-they-were-expected-be-glencore-stuns-oil-trading

[Dec 10, 2016] why the US elite loves so much to demonise Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Russia has an independent foreign policy and acts in what it perceives as it's own best interests. It has refused to become a vassal state of the West and is a threat to the Empire's full-spectrum dominance. Worst of all it has begun trading outside the $US in energy and other resources with China and Iran. ..."
"... President-elect Donald Trump's transition team said in a statement Friday afternoon that the same people who claim Russia interfered in the presidential election had previously claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. ..."
"... The neoliberal corporate machine is wounded but not dead. They will use every trick, ploy and opportunity to try to regain power. The fight goes on. ..."
Dec 09, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

From: Barack Obama orders 'full review' of possible Russian hacking in US election Spncer Ackerman in New York and David Smith in Washington

Geoff Smythe , 24m ago

Well, if Rupert Mudroach, an American citizen, can influence the Australian elections, who gives a stuff about anyone else's involvement in US politics?

The US loves demonising Russia, even supporting ISIS to fight against them.

The United States of Amnesia just can't understand that they are run by the military machine.

As Frank Zappa once correctly stated: The US government is just the entertainment unit of the Military.

Nataliefreeman, 11 Dec 2016

Altogether the only thing people are accusing the russians of is the wikileaks scandal. And in hindsight of the enormous media bias toward Trump it really comes of as little more than leveling the playing field. Hardly the sort of democratic subversion that is being suggested.

And of course there is another problem and that is in principle, the DNC server could have had malware in an e-mail that set up a NAT entry that made the connecting computer appear somewhere else, with the entry deleted afterwards. Typically, IP table modifications aren't logged, so this would not be detectable.

In principle, the DNC server could have had malware in an e-mail that ran a SED script at a specific time that changed any occurrence of one IP address with another. Not sure anyone would bother with this, but it's why good system admins place so much emphasis on securing logs. However, it's obvious we're not talking about good admins.

In principle, every router between the DNC server and Russia has the potential to be hacked, with a tunnel added to send the traffic somewhere else in the world with new source and destination addresses. This is known as router table poisoning. It is preventable but the mechanisms are rarely ever used because the security services want to be able to do this themselves. There are some nice logs of the NSA using this.

In principle, someone along the way could tap into the fibre, spoofing IP addresses and injecting/sniffing packets. The U.S. even has a submarine designed for this, but optics aren't complex and any number of neo-phone phreaks could have the hardware.

In principle, someone at an ISP or backbone service could have had a laptop plugged into a switch or router to do the same thing, or lit up a strand of dark fibre to let some uber-wealthy business do this. And there's no shortage of uber-wealthy businesses who aren't keen on Democrats. This technique is used for local and remote network diagnostics, no reason it can't be used nefarious, it's not like the hardware cares why a wire is plugged in.

In principle, the supposed destination machine could have been hacked to relay the packets in encrypted form to the South Pole or a college campus in Texas. There are many examples of client machines being hacked to do this. It's basically what zombie machines are in botnets.

In practice, it is flat-out guaranteed that none of the security agencies could distinguish this from a Russian attack. Nothing in the area monitored could tell the difference. We know, for a fact, that college kids spoofing a scan from China have fooled the DoD and NSA on previous occasions, it has caused international incidents.

So we have known forms of attack that are known to exist, aren't complex and in some cases are already used for attacks. They are 100% untraceable.

HollyOldDog -> Nataliefreeman, 11 Dec 2016 01:4
Don't know about Russians, but in the early 2000's the Ukrainian hackers had some nasty viruses embedded in email attachments that could fuckup ARM based computers.
smellycat -> waltercarl67, 11 Dec 2016 00:0
Time to stop attempting regime change in other countries then, if you condemn it in your own. What goes around comes around.
caveOfShadows , 10 Dec 2016 23:1
European governments tried to elect Hillary Clinton.

Latin American and Asian allies of the US tried to elect Clinton.

Top leaders of France, the UK, Germany, all leaked to US newspapers, with dire warnings of how Trump's election would lead to bad outcomes.

Many countries made as clear as possible, without coming out officially for a candidate, that they were for the election of Clinton.

Mexico tried to get Clinton elected. Believe me, they did. Not officially, of course, but almost.

But all we hear about is Russia.

Wonder why???

uyCybershy -> caveOfShadows , 10 Dec 2016 23:1
Russia has an independent foreign policy and acts in what it perceives as it's own best interests. It has refused to become a vassal state of the West and is a threat to the Empire's full-spectrum dominance. Worst of all it has begun trading outside the $US in energy and other resources with China and Iran.
imperfetto , 10 Dec 2016 23:0
Mainstream media are now busy repressing any news and any questioning about facts, as the last battle in their support to jidaists fighting the Syrian Army. This is the dark pit where our so called free press has fallen into.
Flugler -> imperfetto , 10 Dec 2016 23:1
Yep had a chat with an army mate yesterday asked him what the fcuk the supposed head of MI6 was on about regarding russian support for syrian govt suggesting russian actions made terrorism more likely here in UK. He shrugged his shoulders and said he hoped putin wiped the terrorists out...
smellycat -> imperfetto , 10 Dec 2016 23:4
Western media are in full panic as Aleppo falls with all sorts of gruesome tales about the mistreatment of their favourite terrorists in Aleppo and a strange silence on the whereabouts of their '250K civilians' under siege
Of course no news on the danger to the civilians of W,Aleppo, who have been bombarded indiscriminately for months by the 'moderates' in the east of the city or the danger to the civilians of Palmyra, Mosul or al Bab.
Geoff Smythe -> smellycat , 11 Dec 2016 01:3
Or the 50,000 that have been evacuated out of Aleppo by the Russian military.

https://www.rt.com/news/369869-syria-evacuation-civilians-aleppo /

Merseysidefella , 10 Dec 2016 21:5
I cant believe the Fake News outlets are still making a big deal about this issue. Obomber is leaving in a cloud of failure as he deserves.
I΄ll still look for the Guardian articles on football which are excellent.
Cheers!
GuyCybershy -> confettifoot , 10 Dec 2016 21:0
The Sanders movement inside the Democratic party did offer some hope but this was snuffed out by the DNC and the Clinton campaign in collusion with the media. This is what likely caused her defeat in November and not some Kremlin intrigue.
dopamineboy , 10 Dec 2016 20:5
"Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state."
― Noam Chomsky, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda.
dopamineboy , 10 Dec 2016 20:5
"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality," Karl Rove.
caveOfShadows -> dopamineboy , 10 Dec 2016 23:1
Don't use quotes when you are doing a fake attribution.
dopamineboy , 10 Dec 2016 20:4
New Canadian documentary - All Governments Lie. "It lucidly argues that powerful interests have been creating supercharged fake stories for decades to advance their own nefarious interests. And the institutional media have too often blithely played along." The Globe and Mail.
joinupthedots , 10 Dec 2016 20:4
Fake news....No news.....None sense news?

Uncle Sam has been doing it for years and the degree of incestuousness between MSM and the "Agencies" is all right here (just one example)

http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKmeyerM.htm

smellycat -> joinupthedots , 10 Dec 2016 20:5
That's some serious shit
'"The same sons of bitches," he hissed, "that killed John F. Kennedy."
stoneshepherd , 10 Dec 2016 20:2
No comments about Seth Rich the DNC staffer Assange hinted had leaked the Podesta emails to Wikileaks and was subsequently shot multiple times and died at 04:20 on a Washington DC street in a 'motiveless' crime in which none of his possessions were taken.

Hmmm....

Flugler -> stoneshepherd , 10 Dec 2016 20:3
Distract the masses with bullsh*t , nothing new...
Trump needs to double up on his personal security, he has doubled down on the CIA tonight bringing upmtheir bullsh*t on WMD. Thing are getting interesting...
Liesandstats , 10 Dec 2016 19:2
Meanwhile the good guys with their Smart bombs indulge in a spot of collateral damage. (Or war crimes as it's described when Russians do it).

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-90-iraqi-soldiers-killed-in-mosul-from-us-airstrikes/

This article is jiberish, as are the ones trying to say that the Russians caused Brexit.

sunflowerxyz , 10 Dec 2016 19:1
The russian hacks of US DNC Servers aren`t the end of the story:

The romance between far-right, anti-immigrant European parties and Vladimir Putin's Russia springs not just from practical ties of support but a shared conservative reaction against liberalism, globalization, and multiculturalism, and a celebration of Putin, in the words of the scholar Alina Polyakova, as "as a staunch defender of national sovereignty and conservative values who has challenged US influence and the idea of 'Europe' in a way that mirrors their own convictions."

This same spirit suffused the Brexit campaign in the U.K., whose longtime populist champion, Nigel Farage, has combined fierce demands for British independence from Europe with fawning admiration for Putin.

Yet the Russian boost to Brexit did not come only from the right.

Russian media lavishly praised the successful campaign for Labour Party leadership of the far-left candidate Jeremy Corbyn, a NATO and EU skeptic whose extremely tepid support for the Remain campaign contributed to the narrow victory of Brexit.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/12/russia-liberal-democracy/510011/?utm_source=twb

GuyCybershy -> sunflowerxyz , 10 Dec 2016 19:3
The rise of the right wing in Europe is due to the fact that Social Democratic parties have completely sold out to neo-liberal agenda.
Powerspike , 10 Dec 2016 19:1
Spreading lies about the very real Podesta emails and their importance seems to be a fake news stock in trade. Since Hillary was responsible I'm not sure where Putin comes into the picture.
https://theintercept.com/2016/12/09/a-clinton-fan-manufactured-fake-news-that-msnbc-personalities-spread-to-discredit-wikileaks-docs /
GuyCybershy , 10 Dec 2016 19:0
So Putin's plan to undermine U.S. voter confidence was to simply show what actually happens behind the scenes at the DNC, how diabolical!
Powerspike , 10 Dec 2016 18:3
"If we can revert to the truth, then a great deal of one's suffering can be erased, because a great deal of one's suffering is based on sheer lies. "
R. D. Laing
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
US politicians and the MSM depend on sheer lies.....
Powerspike -> KassandraTroy , 10 Dec 2016 18:5
They are playing a game. They are playing at not playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me. I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.
R. D. Laing
+++++++++++++++++++++++++
I'm sick of jumping through their hoops - how about you?
James7 , 10 Dec 2016 17:2
"Tin Foil Hat" Hillary--
"This is not about politics or partisanship," she went on. "Lives are at risk, lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days to do their jobs, contribute to their communities. It is a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly."

We fail to see how Russian propaganda has put people's lives directly at risk. Unless, of course, Hillary is suggesting that the increasingly-bizarre #Pizzagate swarm journalism campaign (which apparently caused a man to shoot up a floor tile in a D.C. pizza shop) was conjured up by a bunch of Russian trolls.

And this is about as absurd as saying Russian trolls were why Trump got elected.

"It needs to be said," former counterintelligence agent John R. Schindler (who, by the way, believes Assange and Snowden are both Russian plants), writes in the Observer, "that nearly all of the liberals eagerly pontificating about how Putin put Trump in office know nothing about 21st century espionage, much less Russia's unique spy model and how it works. Indeed, some of the most ardent advocates of this Kremlin-did-it conspiracy theory were big fans of Snowden and Wikileaks -- right until clandestine Russian shenanigans started to hurt Democrats. Now, they're panicking."

(Nonetheless, #Pizzagate and Trump, IMHO, are manifestations of a population which deeply deeply distrusts the handlers and gatekeepers of the status quo. Justified or not. And with or without Putin's shadowy fingers strumming its magic hypno-harp across the Land of the Free. This runs deeper than just Putin.)

Fake news has always been around, from the fake news which led Americans to believe the Pearl Harbor attack was a surprise and completely unprovoked .

To the fake news campaigns put out by Edward Bernays tricking women into believing cigarettes were empowering little phallics of feminism. (AKA "Torches of Freedom.")

This War on Fake News has more to do with the elites finally realizing how little control they have over the minds of the unwashed masses. Rather, this is a war on the freaks, geeks and weirdos who've formed a decentralized and massively-influential media right under their noses.

Laissez Faire Today

James7 -> fedback , 10 Dec 2016 17:3
and there may be some truth to that. An article says has delved into financial matters in Russia.

Kremlin Connection? The TRUTH About Hillary's Shady Ties To Russia REVEALED
Find out why insiders say Clinton has some explaining to do.

Americans have no idea just how closely Hillary Clinton is tied to the Kremlin! That's the shocking claim of a new report that alleges the Democratic nominee is secretly pals with Vladimir Putin and his countrymen.

Peter Schweizer, the author of Clinton Cash, has published a report that claims that that Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was on the executive board of a foreign company that received $35 million from the Kremlin. "The company was a transparent Russian front, and how much Podesta was compensated - and for what - is unclear. In addition, Podesta failed to disclose his position on that board to the Federal government, as required by law," John Schindler of the Observer wrote.

As Radar previously reported, when Clinton was secretary of state, she profited from the "Russian Reset," a failed attempt to improve relations between the U.S. and Russia.
chweizer wrote, "Many of the key figures in the Skolkovo process - on both the Russian and U.S. sides - had major financial ties to the Clintons. During the Russian reset, these figures and entities provided the Clintons with tens of millions of dollars, including contributions to the Clinton Foundation, paid for speeches by Bill Clinton, or investments in small start-up companies with deep Clinton ties." Schweizer also details "Skolkovo," a Silicon Valley-like campus that both the U.S. and Russia worked on for developing biomed, space, nuclear and IT technologies. He told the New York Post that there was a "pattern that shows a high percentage of participants in Skolkovo who happen to be Clinton Foundation donors."

BaronVonAmericano , 10 Dec 2016 17:0
So it's true because the CIA said so.

That's the gold standard for me.

So let me be the first to thank Russia for providing us with their research.

Instead of assassination, coup or invasion, they simply showed us our leaders' own words when written behind the public's backs.

I'm no fan of Putin, but this was a useful bit of intelligence you've shared with us.
Happy Christmas, Vlad.

Next time why not provide us with the email of all our banks and fossil fuel companies; you can help us clean up both political parties with one fell swoop that way.

GuyCybershy -> BaronVonAmericano , 10 Dec 2016 17:0
"Truth is Treason in the Empire of Lies" - Ron Paul
greyford14 -> GuyCybershy , 10 Dec 2016 17:1
Be careful there, Ron Paul is an FSB agent of Putin, according to the Washington Post.
elias_ , 10 Dec 2016 17:0
At least Tucker Carlson is able to see through the BS and asks searching question.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRkeGkCjdHg
GuyCybershy -> elias_ , 10 Dec 2016 17:1
Dems are so out to lunch that they make FOX pundits seem sane. I would say the Democratic party is beyond hope of saving.
sblejo , 10 Dec 2016 16:4
The U.S. is getting what it deserves, IF Russia was even dumb enough to meddle. The government in this country has been meddling in other countries' affairs sixty years, in the Middle East, in South America and other places we don't even know about. The result is mayhem, all in the 'interests' of the U.S., as it is described.
Burnaby1000 , 10 Dec 2016 16:4
Note that most supporters of the Russian hacks never (and cannot) present rational arguments, just dubious talking points--AKA Fake News.

But it is fun to spot the gaps in their logic, and the holes in their stories.

Great sport--rather like hunting hares.

GuyCybershy -> Burnaby1000 , 10 Dec 2016 16:4
We need to trust the CIA, they'd never fix evidence to manipulate the American public.
BaronVonAmericano -> Burnaby1000 , 10 Dec 2016 16:5
Where's the gap in this logic:
A) The American public has been offered ZERO proof of hacking by the Russian government to alter our election.
B) Even if true, no one has disputed the authenticity of the emails hacked.
C) Therefore, the WORST Russia could have done is show us who are own leader are when they don't think we're listening.
D) Taken together, this article is pretty close to fake news, and gives us nothing that should outrage us much at this time -- unless we are trying to foment war with Russia or call for a military coup against the baboon about to take the oath of office.
foolisholdman , 10 Dec 2016 16:3
Hacking by unnamed individuals. No direct involvement of the Russian government, only implied, alleged, etc. Seems to me that if Hillary had obeyed the law and not schemed behind the scenes to sabotage Bernie S. there would have been nothing to leak! Really this is all about being caught with fer fingers in the cookie jar. Does it matter who leaked it? Did the US public not have a right to know what the people they were voting for had been up to? It's a bit like the governor of a province being filmed burgling someone's house and then complaining that someone had leaked the film to the media, just when he was trying to get re-elected!
GuyCybershy -> foolisholdman , 10 Dec 2016 16:3
The US public has a right to know what CNN, New York Times and the Washington Post want them to know.
sblejo -> foolisholdman , 10 Dec 2016 16:4
It is called passing the buck, and because of the underhanded undermining of Bernie Sanders, who was winning, we have Trump. Thank you Democratic party.
aidanfahey , 10 Dec 2016 16:3
I am disappointed that the Guardian gives so much prominence to such speculation which is almost totally irrelevant. Why would we necessarily (a) believe what the superspies tell us and (b) even if it is true why should we care?

I am also very disappointed at the Guardians attitude to Putin, the elected leader of Russia, who was so badly treated by the US from the moment he took over from Yeltsin. I was in Russia as a visitor around that time and it was obvious that Putin restored some dignity to the Russian people after the disastrous Yeltsin term of office. If the US had been willing to deal with him with respect the world could be a much better place today. Instead the US insisted in trying to subvert his rule with the support of its supine NATO allies in order to satisfy its corporate rulers.

GuyCybershy -> aidanfahey , 10 Dec 2016 16:5
They expected Russia to fall apart like the USSR and then they could march in and pick up the pieces. Putin prevented this and this why they hate him.
NickinHalifaxNS , 10 Dec 2016 16:2
If this is true, the US can hardly complain. After all, the US has a long record of interfering in other countries' elections--including CIA overthrow of elected governments and their replacement with murderous, oppressive, right-wing dictatorships.

If the worst that Russia did was reveal the truth about what Democratic Party figures were saying behind closed doors, I'd say it helped correct the unbalanced media focus on preventing Trump from becoming President. Call it the globalization of elections.

BaronVonAmericano , 10 Dec 2016 15:5
First, the government has yet to present any persuasive evidence that Russia hacked the DNC or anyone else. All we have is that there is Russian code (meaningless according to cyber-security experts) and seemingly baseless "conclusions" by "intelligence" officials. In other words, fake news at this point.

Second, even if true, the allegation amounts to an argument that Russia presented us with facts that we shouldn't have seen. Think about that for a while. We are seeing demands that we self-censor ourselves from facts that seem unfair. What utter idiocy.

This is particularly outrageous given that the U.S. directly intervenes in the governance of any number of nations all the time. We can support coups, arm insurgencies, or directly invade, but god forbid that someone present us with unsettling facts about our ruling class.

This nation has jumped the shark. The fact that Trump is our president is merely confirmation of this long evident fact. That fighting REAL NEWS of emails whose content has not been disputed is part of our war on "fake news," and the top priority for some so-called liberals, promises only worse to come.

elias_ , 10 Dec 2016 14:5
>> Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said Russia had "succeeded" in "sow[ing] discord" in the election, and urged as much public disclosure as is possible.

What utter bullshit. The DNC's own dirty tricks did that. Donna Brasille stealing debate questions and handing them to Hillary so that she could cheat did that. The FBIs investigation into Hillary did that. Podesta's emails did that. The totally one-sided press coverage (apart from Fox) of the election did that. But it seems the american people were smart enough to see through the BS and voted for trump. Good for them.

And we're gonna need a lot more than the word of a few politicised so-called intelligence agencies to believe this russo-hacking story. These are the same people who lied about Iraqi WMDs so they are proven fakers/liars. These are also the same people who hack EVERYONE else so I, quite frankly, have no sympathy even of the story turns out to be true.

MrIncredlous , 10 Dec 2016 14:4
Obama is a disgrace to his office.

Announce "consensus" (not unanimous) "conclusion" based in circumstantial evidence now, before the Electoral College vote, then write a report with actual details due by Jan 20.
Put a proven liar in charge of writing the report on Russian hacking.
Fail to mention that not one of the leaked DNC or Podesta emails has been shown to be inauthentic. So the supposed Russian hacking simply revealed truth about Hillary, DNC, and MSM collusion and corruption.
Fail to mention that if hacking was done by or for US government to stop Hillary, blaming the Russians would be the most likely disinformation used by US agencies.
Expect every pro-Hillary lapdog journalist - which is virtually all of them - in America will hyperventilate (Twitter is currently on fire) about this latest fact-free, anti-Trump political stunt for the next nine days.
Or, as a reader put it, this is a soft coup attempt by leaders of Intel community and Obama Admin to influence the Electoral College vote, similar to the 1960s novel "Seven Days in May."

DanielDee , 10 Dec 2016 14:4
When the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security release a joint statement it is not without very careful consideration to the wording.
Therefore, to understand what is known by the US intelligence services one must analyse the language used.

https://www.dhs.gov/news/2016/10/07/joint-statement-department-homeland-security-and-office-director-national

This is very telling:
"The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts."

Alleged:
adjective [attributive]
said, without proof, to have taken place or to have a specified illegal or undesirable quality

Consistent:
adjective
acting or done in the same way over time

Method:
noun
a particular procedure for accomplishing or approaching something

Motivation:
noun
a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way

So, what exactly is known by the US intelligence services?

Well what we can tell is:
the alleged (without proof) hacks were consistent (done in the same way) with the methods (using a particular procedure) and motivations (and having reason for doing so) with Russian State actions.

There is absolutely no certainty about this whatsoever.

elias_ , 10 Dec 2016 14:4
Thank God Obama will be out of office soon. He is the biggest disappointment ever. He has ordered the death of THOUSANDS via drone strikes in other people's countries and most of the deaths were innocent bystanders. If President Xi of China or Putin were to do that we would all be calling them tyrannical dictators and accusing them of a back door invasions. But somehow people are brainwashed into thinking its ok of the US president to do such things. Truly sickening.
Flugler , 10 Dec 2016 14:4
Says the CIA the organisation set up to destabilise governments all over the world. Lol.....
Congratulations for keeping a straight face I hope Trump makes urgently needed personnel changes in the alphabet soup agencies working against humanity for very many years.
Susanna246 , 10 Dec 2016 13:1
Beware !

This is an extremely dangerous game that Obama and the political elites are playing.

The American political elites - including senetors, bankers, investors, multinationals et al, can feel power and control slipping away from them.

This makes them very dangerous people indeed - as self-preservation and holding onto power is their number one priority.

What they're aiming to do ( a child can see what's coming ), is to call into question the validity of Trump's victory and blame the Russians for it.

The elites are looking to create chaos and insurrection, to have the result nullified and to vilify Putin and Russia.

American and Russian troops are already lined up and facing each other along the Eastern European borders and all it takes is one small incident from either side.

And all because those that have ruled the roost for so many decades ( in the White house, the 2 houses of Congress and Wall St ), simply cannot face losing their positions of power, wealth and political influence.

They're out to get Trump, the populists and President Putin.

God help us all.

MacTavi5h , 10 Dec 2016 12:5
This is starting to feel like an attempt to make the Trump presidency appear illegitimate. The problem is that it could actually make the democrats look like sore losers instead. We've had the recount, now it's foreign interference. This might harm them in 2020.

I don't like that Trump won, but he did. The electoral college system is clearly in the constitution and all sides understood and agreed to it at the campaign commencement. Also some, by no means all, of commenters saying that the popular vote should win have also been on referendum BTL saying the result isn't a legitimate leave vote, make your minds up!

I don't want Trump and I wanted to remain but, by the rules, my sides lost.

alexfoxy28 , 10 Dec 2016 12:5
Yet in August, Snowden warned that the recent hack of NSA tied cyber spies was not designed to expose Hillary Clinton, but rather a display of strength by the hackers, showing they could eventually unmask the NSA's own international cyber espionage and prove the U.S. meddles in elections around the world.

http://yournewswire.com/snowden-claims-russia-can-expose-u-s-meddling-in-foreign-elections /

nishville , 10 Dec 2016 12:3
A reader's comment from the Independent:

Will the CIA be providing evidence to support these allegations or is it a case of "just trust us guys"? In any event, hypocrisy is a national sport for the Yanks. According to a Reuters article 9 August 2016 "NSA operations have, for example, recently delved into elections in Mexico, targeting its last presidential campaign. According to a top-secret PowerPoint presentation leaked by former NSA contract employee Edward Snowden, the operation involved a "surge effort against one of Mexico's leading presidential candidates, Enrique Peρa Nieto, and nine of his close associates." Peρa won that election and is now Mexico's president.

The NSA identified Peρa's cellphone and those of his associates using advanced software that can filter out specific phones from the swarm around the candidate. These lines were then targeted. The technology, one NSA analyst noted, "might find a needle in a haystack." The analyst described it as "a repeatable and efficient" process.

The eavesdroppers also succeeded in intercepting 85,489 text messages, a Der Spiegel article noted.

Another NSA operation, begun in May 2010 and codenamed FLATLIQUID, targeted Pena's predecessor, President Felipe Calderon. The NSA, the documents revealed, was able "to gain first-ever access to President Felipe Calderon's public email account."

At the same time, members of a highly secret joint NSA/CIA organization, called the Special Collection Service, are based in the U.S. embassy in Mexico City and other U.S. embassies around the world. It targets local government communications, as well as foreign embassies nearby. For Mexico, additional eavesdropping, and much of the analysis, is conducted by NSA Texas, a large listening post in San Antonio that focuses on the Caribbean, Central America and South America."

zulugroove -> nishville , 10 Dec 2016 13:4
Fake news!! ...That would be a Clinton / Obama , reply!!
CTG2016 , 10 Dec 2016 12:0
Breaking news! CIA admits people in USA aren't smart enough to vote for the person right person. Why blame Russians now?
Come on. Let's move on and enjoy the mess Trump will start. This is going to be worse than GWB.
We should all just enjoy the political comedy programs.
Gallicdweller , 10 Dec 2016 11:1
The CIA accusing a foreign power of interfering in the election of a showman for president - it would take me all day top cite the times that this evil criminal organisation has interfered in the affairs of other countries, ordered assassinations, coups etc. etc. etc
Dave Harries , 10 Dec 2016 10:4
Yes like the "help" the CIA gave to the Taliban, Bin Laden and Co. when the Russians were in Afghanistan.
Then these dimwits from the CIA who taught Bin Laden and Co guerrilla warfare totally "missed" 9/11 and Twin Towers with all their billions of funding.
So basically this is a total load of crap and if you think we are going to believe any reports vs. Russia these fools at the CIA are going to publish then think again.
fedback , 10 Dec 2016 10:4
During the election our media was exposed as in essence a propaganda tool for the Democrat campaign and they continue the unholy alliance after the election
Liesandstats , 10 Dec 2016 10:4
Instead of trying to blame the Russians how about reflecting on why the Democrats picked such a dreadful candidate.
ana ruiz , 10 Dec 2016 10:2
Pathetic move from an organisation that created ISIS and is single handling every single conflict in the world. Here we have a muppet president that for once wants to look after USA affairs internally and here we have a so alleged independent organisation that wants to keep bombing and destabilising the world. Didn't Trump said he wanted to shake the FBI and CIA ? Who is going to stop this machine of treachery ? : south America, middle east ...Asia ... they put their fingers on to create a problem- solution caveat wereas is to create weapons contracts /farma or construction and sovereign debt . But it never tricles down to the layperson ..
Tim Jenkins , 10 Dec 2016 10:2
"We are Not calling into question the election results"
next White House sentence - "Just the integrity.. " WTF

What more do you need to know - Bullshit Fake News.. propaganda, spoken by the youngest possible puppet boy White House Rep. who almost managed to have his tie done up..

I am bookmarking this guy, for a laugh! White House Fake Newscaster ..:)

Worth watching the sides of his mouth onto his attempt to engage you with the eyes, but blinking way too much before, during and after the word "Integrity".. FAKE!

His hand signals.. lmfao, so measured, how sweet.. now sack the sycophants !

fedback , 10 Dec 2016 10:2
People should know that these Breaking News stories we see in Western media on BBC, Guardian etc, about Russian interference are in fact from Wash Post and NY Times quoting mysterious sources within the CIA.
Of course we know that Wash Post and NY Times were completely objective during the election and didn't favor any party
fedback , 10 Dec 2016 10:0
Russia made Hillary run the most expensive campaign ever, spending 1.2 billion dollars.
Russia stole Hillary's message to the working people and gave her lousy slogans
Tim Jenkins , 10 Dec 2016 09:5
My real comment is below, but work with me, for a moment.
So, since 2008, eh? Barack has thought carefully, with a legal mind.

Can't we somehow blame the Russians for the whole Economic collapse.. coming soon, Wall Street Cyber Crash, screwed up sKewed up systems of Ponzi virus spiraling out of control..

blame the Russians , logic, the KGB held the FED at gunpoint and said "create $16.2 Trillion in 5 working days"
jeez, blame anything and anybody except peace prize guy Obama, the Pope, Bankers & Israel..

Now can we discuss the Security of the Pound against Cyber Attack.. what was it 6% in 2 minutes, early on Sunday morning, just over month ago.. whoosh!

It seems more important than discussing an election where the result was always OBVIOUS!

And we called it, just like Kellyanne Conway..

Who is Huma Abedin? I wish to know and hear her talking to Kellyanne Conway, graciously in defeat.. is that so unreasonable?
********
Obama wishes to distract from exceedingly poor judgement, at the very minimum....
after his Greek Affair with Goldman Sachs.. surely.

As for his other Foreign Policy: Eternal Shame, founded on Fake News!
Obama the Fake News Founder to flounder over the Russians, who can prove that he, Obama supports & supported Terrorism!

Thus this article exists, to create doubt over the veracity of evidence to be presented over NATO's involvement in SYRIA! Obama continues to resist, or loose face completely..

Just ask Can Dundar.... what he knows now and ask Obama to secure the release of Can Dundar's wife's passport, held for no legitimate reason in Turkey! This outrageous stand off, from Erdogan & Obama to address their failures and arrogant disrespect of Woman and her Legal Human Rights is Criminal.. & a Sickness of Mind that promotes Dictatorship!

Mainstream Media - Fake News.. for quite some time!
& Obama is guilty!

Powerspike , 10 Dec 2016 09:4
President-elect Donald Trump's transition team said in a statement Friday afternoon that the same people who claim Russia interfered in the presidential election had previously claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/09/trump-team-same-people-who-say-russia-meddled-in-election-said-iraq-had-wmds/#ixzz4SQWsDXpZ
alexfoxy28 , 10 Dec 2016 09:1
It's getting funny as Biden promised cyber attack on Russia weeks before Trump was elected .. due to Russian hackers?
uptonogoode -> alexfoxy28 , 10 Dec 2016 09:5
Link?
alexfoxy28 -> uptonogoode , 10 Dec 2016 09:5
http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/721851/russia-joe-biden-obama-cyber-attack-war-clinton-putin-US-moscow

or just google about it.

ArtherOhm , 10 Dec 2016 08:5
Is the USA, as author of windows software, really unable to prevent foreign hacking?

Do the CIA never do anything like this?

Do we actually have any evidence rather than just a lot of allegations?

Shotcricket -> Burnaby1000 , 10 Dec 2016 09:0
'Russia like to surprise' ?

The one certainty of the US/EU led drive to remove an elected leader just in their 2nd year after an election that saw them gain 47% of the popular vote was the Russki response, its borders were immediately at open 'threat' from any alliance. NATO or otherwise, the deep sea ports of eastern Ukraine which had always been accessed by the Russki fleets would lose guaranteed access etc....to believe the West was surprised by this action, would be to assume the US Generals were as stupid as the US administration, they knew exactly the response of the Russkis & would have made no difference if their leader had been named Putin or Uncle Tom Cobbly.

In some ways the Russkis partitioning of the East of Ukraine could well minimise the possibility of a world conflict as the perceived threat is neutralised by the buffer.

The Russkis cyber doodah is no different to our own the US etc, they're all 'at it' & all attempt to inveigle the others in terms of making life difficult.....not too sure Putin will be quite as comfortable with the Pres Elects 3 Trumpeteers though as the new Pressie looks likely to open channels of communications but those negotiations might well see a far tougher stance......still, in truth, all is never fair in love or war

Powerspike , 10 Dec 2016 08:4
.....that the CIA is not only suddenly involved, but suddenly at the forefront, may well reflect President-elect Trump's stated policy intentions being far removed from those that the CIA has endorsed, and might be done with an eye toward undermining Trump's position in those upcoming policy battles.
At the center of those Trump vs. CIA battles is Syria, as the CIA has for years pushed to move away from the ISIS war and toward imposing regime change in Syria. Trump, by contrast, has said he intends to end the CIA-Saudi program arming the Syrian rebels, and focus on fighting ISIS. Trump was even said to be seeking to coordinate anti-ISIS operations with Russia.
The CIA allegations could easily imperil that plan, as so long as the allegations remain part of the public discourse, evidence or not, anything Trump does with respect to Russia is going to have a black cloud hanging over it.
http://news.antiwar.com/2016/12/09/cia-claims-russia-intervened-to-get-trump-elected /
Nataliefreeman , 10 Dec 2016 08:3
Oh dear Obama trolls? Food for your starved thoughts:

Your degree of understanding IT is disturbing, especially given how dependent we are on it.

This is all very simple. The process by which you find out if and how a machine was hacked was clearly documented in the Russian "Internet Audit", run by a group of Grey Hats.

Grey Hats: People concerned about security who perform unauthorized hacks for relatively benign purposes, often just notifying people of how their system is flawed. IT staff have mixed reactions(!), the illegality is not disputed but the benefit of not being hit by a Black Hat first can be considerable at times. Differentiation is rare, especially as some hacktivist groups belong here, causing no damage beyond reputational by flagging activity that is not acceptable to the hacktivists.

Black Hats: These are the guys to worry about. These include actually destructive hacktivists. These are the ones who steal data for malicious purposes, disrupt for malicious purposes and just generally act maliciously.

Nothing in reports indicates if the DNC hack was Grey Hat or Black Hat, but it should be obvious that there is a difference.

IP addresses and hangouts - worthless as evidence. Anyone can spoof the former, happens all the time (NMap used to provide the option, probably still does), Grey Hats and Black Hats alike have the latter and may break into other people's. It's all about knowing vulnerabilities.

That voting machines were even on the Internet is disturbing. That they and the DNC server were improperly configured for such an environment is frightening - and possibly illegal.

The standard sequence of events is thus:

Network intrusion detector system identifies crafted packet attacking known vulnerability.
In a good system, the firewall is set to block the attack at that instant.

If the attacker scans the network, the only machine responding to such knocks should be a virtual machine running a honeypot on attractive-looking port numbers. The other machines in the zone should technically violate the RFCs by not responding to ICMP or generating recognized error codes on unused/blocked ports.

The system logger picks up an event that creates a process that shouldn't be happening.
In a good system, this either can't happen because the combination of permissions needed doesn't exist, or it doesn't matter because the process is root jailed and hasn't the privileges to actually do any harm.

The file alteration logger (possibly Tripwire, though the Linux kernel can do this itself) detects that a process with escalated privileges is trying to create, delete or alter a file that it isn't supposed to be able to change.
In a good system with mandatory access controls, this really is impossible. In a good system with logging file systems, it doesn't matter as you can instruct the filesystem to revert those specific alterations. Even in adequate but feeble systems, checkpoints will exist. No use in a voting system, but perfectly adequate for a campaign server. In all cases, the system logs will document what got damaged.

The correct IT manager response is thus:
Find out why the firewall wasn't defaulting to deny for all unknown sources and for unnecessary ports.
Find out why the public-facing system wasn't isolated in the firewall's DMZ.
Find out why NIDS didn't stop the attack.
Non-public user mobility should be via IPSec using certificates. That deals with connecting from unknown IP addresses without exposing the innards of the system.
Lock down misconfigured network systems.
Backup files identified by file alteration detection as corrupt for forensic purposes.
Revert files identified by file alteration detection as corrupt to last good version.
Close permission loopholes. Everything should run with the fewest privileges necessary, OS included. On Linux, kernel permissions are controlled via capabilities.
Establish from the logs if the intruder came through a public-facing application, an essential LAN service or a non-essential service.
If it's a LAN service, block access to that service outside the LAN on the host firewall.
Run network and host vulnerability scanners to detect potential attack vectors.
Update any essential software that is detected as flawed, then rerun the scanners. Repeat until fixed.
Now the system is locked down against general attacks, you examine the logs to find out exactly what failed and how. If that line of attack got fixed, good. If it didn't, then fix it.
Password policy should prevent rainbow attacks, not users. Edit as necessary, lock accounts that aren't secure and set the password control system to ban bad passwords.

It is impossible from system logs to track where an intruder came from, unsecured routers are common and that means a skilled attacker can divert packets to anywhere. You can't trust brags, in security nobody is honest. The sensible thing is to not allow such events in the first place, but when (not if) they happen, learn from them.

GraemeHarrison , 10 Dec 2016 08:2
If the USA is to investigate the effect of foreign governments 'corrupting' the free decisions of the American people in elections, perhaps they could look into the fact that for the past three decades every Republican candidate for president, after they have won the nomination of their party, has gone to just one foreign country to pledge their firm commitment/allegiance to that foreign power, for the purpose of shoring up large blocks of donors prior to the actual presidential election. The effect is probably more 'corrupting' than any leak of emails!
SamSamson , 10 Dec 2016 08:2
Obama should confess to creating ISIS, sustaining ISIS & utilising ISIS as a proxy army to have them do things that he knew US soldiers could never be caught doing!!!

They then spoon fed you bullshit propaganda about who the bad guys were, without ever being to properly explain why the US armed forces were prevented from taking any hostile action against ISIS, until they were FORCED TO, that is, when Putin let the the cat out of the bag!!!

LordTomnoddy , 10 Dec 2016 08:1
Hilarious. One would've thought Obama of all presidents would be reluctant to delve too deeply into this particular midden. As the author of the weakest and most incompetent American foreign policy agenda since Carter's, it's much the likeliest that if China or Russia have been hacking US elections, then by far the biggest beneficiary will have been himself.
Tim Jenkins , 10 Dec 2016 08:1
Just another attempt to distract from realities, like:-

From:cheryl.mills@gmail.com To: jpalmieri@hillaryclinton.com, john.podesta@gmail.com Date: 2015-05-28 12:12 Subject: Fwd: POLITICO Playbook

cdm Begin forwarded message: > From: Lynn Forester de Rothschild <lynn@elrothschild.com> > Date: May 28, 2015 at 9:44:12 AM EDT > To: Nick Merrill <nmerrill@hrcoffice.com>, "Cheryl Mills (cheryl.mills@gmail.com)" <cheryl.mills@gmail.com> > Subject: FW: POLITICO Playbook > > Morning, > I am sure you are working on this, but clearly, the opposition is trying to undercut Hillary's reputation for honesty (the number one characteristic people look for in a President according to most polls) ..and also to benefit from an attack on wealth that Dems did the most to start I am sure we need to fight back against both of these attacks. > Xoxo > Lynn > > By Mike Allen (@mikeallen; mallen@politico.com), and Daniel Lippman (@dlippman; dlippman@politico.com) > > > > QUINNIPIAC POLL, out at 6 a.m., "Rubio, Paul are only Republicans even close to Clinton": "In a general election, ... Clinton gets 46 percent of American voters to 42 percent for Paul and 45 percent of voters to 41 percent for Rubio." Clinton leads Christie 46-37 ... Huckabee 47-40 ... Jeb 47-37 ... Walker 46-38 ... Cruz 48-37 ... Trump 50-32. > > --"[V]oters say 53-39 percent that Clinton is NOT honest and trustworthy, but say 60-37 ... that she has strong leadership qualities. Voters are divided 48-47 ... over whether Clinton cares about their needs and problems." > > --RNC's new chart - "'Dead Broke' Clintons vs. Everyday Americans": "Check out the chart below to see how many households in each state it would take to equal the 'Dead Broke' Clintons." http://bit.ly/1Avg8iE

Blind leading the Blind.. & Obama knows that very well after it was clear that Clinton was NEVER trusted by the Voters, which makes Debbie and the DNC look like a complete bunch of..

Idiots?!?! STILL BLAMING The RUSSIANS.... instead of themselves!

She was and always will be unelectable due to exceedingly poor judgement, across the board.

Can we move on?

Polly123456 , 10 Dec 2016 08:0
Who is in charge of Internet security in the US government? Because it seems full of holes. Last time it was the Chinese and this time it's the Russians, yet not one piece of evidence to say where hacks have come from. How much are these world class Internet security people paid? And why do they still have a job? People sitting in their bedrooms on a pc from stores like staples have hacked their security regularly.
AlexPeace , 10 Dec 2016 08:0

In 2016, he said, the government did not detect any increased cyber activity on election day itself but the FBI made public specific acts in the summer and fall, tied to the highest levels of the Russian government. "This is going to put that activity in a greater context ... dating all the way back to 2008."

Extremely vague. Seems like there is no evidence at all to suggest any Russian involvement, but they need to pretend otherwise. Blah, blah, blah, Weapons of mass destruction... Apollo mission, etc
FMinus , 10 Dec 2016 08:0
Ole, Russians exposed the DNC emails, we knew about that. I though this should investigate Russians vote rigging, but I guess not. I for once welcome anyone who hacks my government and exposes their skeletons, so I can see what kind of dirty garbage I had leading or potentially leading my country.

Maybe the DNC should play fair and not dirty next time and put a candidate forward without skeletons that still reek of rotting flesh.

Robert Stokes -> FMinus , 10 Dec 2016 08:3
You rig electronic voting machines by reflashing the firmware or switching out the sd cards. Can't be done remotely.
Baldrick Daacat , 10 Dec 2016 07:5
And the CIA has never intervened in a foreign election?
VibePit -> Baldrick Daacat , 10 Dec 2016 08:0
Oh heaven forbid!! The Shah of Iran was democratically elected but of course. . .
HeathCardwell , 10 Dec 2016 07:2
Don't believe any of this at all.
American has been thee most corrupt and disgusting western nation for decades, run by people who are now being shown for who they really are and they're shitting themselves big time. The stakes don't get higher than this.
theonetruepainter , 10 Dec 2016 07:1
What's the point of this?

The American people don't want Clinton because she is a liar and a dangerous psychopath who also ignored the working people.

If you want to change that, get her treatment. Don't try to undermine the election result.

theonetruepainter , 10 Dec 2016 07:0
How can you not respect Putin?

He's spent the last few years making fools out of Clinton, Kerry and the obomber.

If you didn't want him to let Crimea rejoin Russia, then you shouldn't have initiated the coup that broke up Ukraine.

Peter Turner , 10 Dec 2016 07:0
What a total load of double talk. There is zero integrity in anything CIA says or does since the weapons of mass destruction deal or before that it was the Iran Contra deal and before that it was the Bay of Pigs. Now we have this rigging os the election results based on zero evidence. The whole thing is just idiocy. What is Obama trying to achieve?The end game will be for Obama to go down in history as ... let's just say he is not the smartest tool in the shed when it comes to being a so called world leader. Well done Obama you have now completely trashed what is left of your legacy.
LondonLungs , 10 Dec 2016 06:5

"CIA concludes Russia interfered to help Trump win election – report "

You might as well ask accountants to do a study on wether it's worthwhile to use an accountant. Part of the CIAs job is to influence elections around the world to get US-Corporation friendly gov'ts in to power. So yes of course they are going to say that a gov't can influence elections, if they said otherwise then they'd be admitting they're wasting money.

Ted Reading Reading 10 Dec 2016 06:3
So, it was the Russians! I knew it must've been them, they're so sneaky. All HFC had was the total backing of the entire establishment, including prominent Republican figures, the total fawning support of the entire main-stream media machine which carefully controlled the "she's got a comfortable 3 point lead maybe even double-digit lead" narrative and the "boo and hiss" pantomime slagging of her opponent. Plus the endless funds from the crooked foundation and murderous fanatics from the compliant Gulf states, and lost. But hey, do keep this going please, it'll help the Trumpster get a second term! Trump/Nugent 2020.
righteousfist01 , 10 Dec 2016 06:2
It's possible the Russians hacked and released the documents. However the report is not saying the Russians created them.

So whatever was so deplorable about them was all Democrat

Nataliefreeman -> righteousfist01 , 10 Dec 2016 06:3
Good point. Add that the whole election was dogged is the most glaring media bias and suddenly Russia comes off as simply leveling the playing field a bit
12inchPianist , 10 Dec 2016 06:1
CIA finds Russia had covertly influenced election. CIA finds FBI had overtly influenced election. Fancy that!
ashleigh2 , 10 Dec 2016 06:1
The 'secret' enquiry reported to Congress that the CIA concludes etc, etc, etc. Then yet more revelations from 'anonymous sources' are quoted in the Washington Post and The New York Times reaching the same conclusions.....talk about paranoia, or are the Democrats guilty of news fakery of the highest order to deny the US voters....
Nataliefreeman , 10 Dec 2016 05:5
Ooh Obama...there's a little snag about this investigation.

In principle, the DNC server could have had malware in an e-mail that set up a NAT entry that made the connecting computer appear somewhere else, with the entry deleted afterwards. Typically, IP table modifications aren't logged, so this would not be detectable.

In principle, the DNC server could have had malware in an e-mail that ran a SED script at a specific time that changed any occurrence of one IP address with another. Not sure anyone would bother with this, but it's why good system admins place so much emphasis on securing logs. However, it's obvious we're not talking about good admins.

In principle, every router between the DNC server and Russia has the potential to be hacked, with a tunnel added to send the traffic somewhere else in the world with new source and destination addresses. This is known as router table poisoning. It is preventable but the mechanisms are rarely ever used because the security services want to be able to do this themselves. There are some nice logs of the NSA using this.

In principle, someone along the way could tap into the fibre, spoofing IP addresses and injecting/sniffing packets. The U.S. even has a submarine designed for this, but optics aren't complex and any number of neo-phone phreaks could have the hardware.

In principle, someone at an ISP or backbone service could have had a laptop plugged into a switch or router to do the same thing, or lit up a strand of dark fibre to let some uber-wealthy business do this. And there's no shortage of uber-wealthy businesses who aren't keen on Democrats. This technique is used for local and remote network diagnostics, no reason it can't be used nefarious, it's not like the hardware cares why a wire is plugged in.

In principle, the supposed destination machine could have been hacked to relay the packets in encrypted form to the South Pole or a college campus in Texas. There are many examples of client machines being hacked to do this. It's basically what zombie machines are in botnets.

In practice, it is flat-out guaranteed that none of the security agencies could distinguish this from a Russian attack. Nothing in the area monitored could tell the difference. We know, for a fact, that college kids spoofing a scan from China have fooled the DoD and NSA on previous occasions, it has caused international incidents.

So we have known forms of attack that are known to exist, aren't complex and in some cases are already used for attacks. They are 100% untraceable.

Bosula , 10 Dec 2016 05:5
How about a Presidential review covering US interference in the elections of countries around the world?
Paulare -> Bosula , 10 Dec 2016 06:2
But where to start?

UK, Australia, Chile, Nicoragua, Cuba, Philippines, Malaysia, Germany...?

such choice..

Bosula -> Paulare , 10 Dec 2016 08:0
Yes. Maybe do it on a regional basis across the globe.
Anarchy4theUK , 10 Dec 2016 05:4
Of course the Americans would never interfere in other people's elections would they?...........I imagine the Russians wanted to avoid a nuclear war with war monger Hilary & who can blame them?
Nataliefreeman -> Anarchy4theUK , 10 Dec 2016 06:1
Y'know really all they seem to be looking possibly guilty of is the wikileaks scandal. Compare that to the enormous media bias regarding Trump and suddenly the Russians at worst come off as evening the playing field so as to help an election be less biased...
Kris Penny , 10 Dec 2016 05:4
When certain members of the public would believe one man over those who have more intelligence in a follicle than he will ever have floating in his cranium is when you realise that a place like Guantanamo should exist, exclusively for them.
http://www.allgov.com/news/where-is-the-money-going/surprise-cost-of-ammo-for-us-navy-destroyers-new-guns-800000-a-shot-161114?news=859762
Newmacfan , 10 Dec 2016 05:3
Paranoia about Russia has arrived at the laughable, almost like the fable of the boy who cried wolf! Even the way the CIA statement is worded makes you smile. "silk purse sows ear"? Everyone is clutching at straws rather than looking down the barrel at the truth......that folks is what is missing from Western Politics......"The Truth" !
StephenO , 10 Dec 2016 04:3

Obama expected the review to be completed before he leaves office...

Really?? Obama wants a "deep review" of internet activities surrounding the elections of 2008, 2012, and 2016; and he wants this done in less than 40 days? And it encompasses voting stations throughout the 50 states? That's the definition of political shenanigans.

Dom Michaels -> pureist , 10 Dec 2016 04:3
Seeing as how the CIA interfered with Ukraine before and during the overthrow of Yanukovich, and with Moscow protests a few years ago...... seems like everyone is always trying to interfere with each-other. Hypocrisy abounds
MarkThomason , 10 Dec 2016 03:5
This is not really a fight against Trump. That is lost. This is an intramural fight among Democrats.

This is desperate efforts by the corporate Democrats to hang on to power after Hillary (again) lost.

Excuses. Allegations without sources given, anonymous.

Remember that the same people used the same media contacts to spread fake news that the Podesta leaks were faked, and tried to shift attention from what was revealed to who revealed it.

GuyCybershy -> MarkThomason , 10 Dec 2016 04:0
Agreed. Another reason why the Democratic party is not worth saving. 13 million voted for Sanders in the primary, that is enough to start a new party.
Fabr1s , 10 Dec 2016 03:4
if the Ruskies did it, there's something funny: they did it on Obama's watch and her protege, Hillary, lost it. The system is a real mess in this case.

Kris Penny , 10 Dec 2016 03:4
Read and research further...
https://www.dhs.gov/news/2016/10/07/joint-statement-department-homeland-security-and-office-director-national
GeoffP -> Kris Penny , 10 Dec 2016 04:0
Interesting link. It raises a particularly salient question: assuming the Russians did indeed do it - and after the whole CIA yellow cake thing in Iraq, no one could possibly doubt national intelligence agencies any more - does it particularly matter?

Did the Russians write the emails? The betrayal of Sanders, the poor protection on classified materials, the cynical, vicious nonsense spewed out by the HRC campaign, the media collusion with the DNC and HRC: did the Russians do these things too? Or was that Clinton and the DNC? Silly question, I'm sure.

sejong -> jcadams , 10 Dec 2016 03:5
Russia's competence with computer hacking and cyber espionage is a given

So what? What about Chinese or Israeli competence in these areas?

This is Fake News that exists only because Clinton lost.

The real news is about in competence by HRC, DWS, and the DNC in foisting a sure loser on American voters.

naomh -> sejong , 10 Dec 2016 03:5
Thank you for speaking the truth!!!!
GeoffP -> jcadams , 10 Dec 2016 04:0
Well, chief, the Wisconsin recount is in and the results are staggering: after the recount, Clinton has gained on Trump by 3 votes... and Trump gained on Clinton by a heady six votes. One begins to wonder at the 'Manchurian candidate' claim.
third_eye , 10 Dec 2016 03:3
It is precisely charades like this that millions in the US and around the world have given up on the establishment. Business as usual or rather lying as usual will only alienate more not-so-stupid citizens. It speaks volumes about their desperation that they're are actually employing such obviously infantile tactics on the Russia even as they continue to paper over Hillary's tattered past. The result of the investigation is totally predictable..................Yes, the Russians were involved in hacking the elections, but..........for reasons of national security, details of the investigative process and evidence cannot be revealed.
Longleveler , 10 Dec 2016 03:2
If the Russians really wanted Trump to win that means they helped Hillary win the Democratic primaries because Bernie would have beat Trump.. There was a mess of hanky-panky going on to defeat Bernie, and deflecting the blame to a foreign actor should keep the demonstrators off the streets.
If someone is gullible enough to believe the Russians did it they'd also believe that Elvis made Bigfoot hack the DNC. That's even more plausible since bigfoot is just a guy who spends so much time sitting at his computer he lost all interest in personal hygiene.
Will D , 10 Dec 2016 03:1
The Democrats are really desperate to find anything they can use to challenge the results of the election.

Either way they look foolish - openly investigating the possibility of Russian hacking which acknowledges that their electoral systems aren't well secured, OR look really foolish if they find anything (whether real or faked).

The big question now is if, and how much, they will fake the findings of the investigation so that they can declare the election results wrong, and put Clinton into the White House.

Clearly, it is a case of desperate times calling for desperate measures. It is incredible that one man can make the largest Western nation look so ridiculous in the eyes of the world.

madeiranlotuseater , 10 Dec 2016 02:4
Pot calling the kettle black. Reveal fully what the CIA get up to all over the planet. The phoney intel America has used to go to war causing countries to implode. The selective way they release information to project the picture they want. I am not convinced that Russia is any better or any worse than the USA.
onofabeach , 10 Dec 2016 02:3
I can understand the Russians wanting Obama in 2008 and 2012 because he is a weak leader and totally incompetent.

I can also understand Putin preferring DJT to HRC.

It's about time the planet settled down a little bit, Trump and Putin will do more for world peace in the next year than Obama achieved in his 8 wasted years in charge.

The Democrats have yet to realise the reason for their demise was not the racists, the homophobes, the KKK, the Deplorables, the misogynists, the xenophobes etc etc etc.

It was Hillary Clinton.

Get over it, move on, stop whining, get out of your safe room, put the puppy down, throw the play dough away, stop protesting, behave like an adult.

As much as I am enjoying the monumental meltdown of the left, it is getting sad now and I am starting to feel very sorry for you.

BoBiel , 10 Dec 2016 02:2
Georgia Says Someone in U.S. Government Tried to Hack State's Computers Housing Voter Data

http://www.wsj.com/articles/georgia-reports-attempt-to-hack-states-election-database-via-ip-address-linked-to-homeland-security-1481229960

http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2016-12-08/georgia-accuses-us-of-trying-to-hack-its-election-systems

123Akava , 10 Dec 2016 02:1
What a sad bunch of clowns. But the time is ripe. You and your sort are done Obama, Hillary Clinton, Juncker, Merkel, Hollande, Mogherini, Kerry, Tusk, Nuland, Albright, Breedlove, SaManThe Power and the rest of the reptiles. With all respect - mwuahahaha! - you will soon sink into the darkness of the darkest places of history, but you won't be forgotten, no you won't!
poppetmaster , 10 Dec 2016 02:0
The Democrats still don't understand that the problem in American politics is everything that happened BEFORE election day.

How can you worry about the ballot boxes when the entire process from beginning to end is utterly corrupt.

CarlHansen , 10 Dec 2016 02:0
As for the Podesta email. John Podesta was so stupid that he gave out his password in a simple email scam that any 8 year old kid could have conducted. I wouldn't be surprised if Assange did it himself. Assange will be celebrating at the demise of Hillary.
phobeophobe , 10 Dec 2016 02:0
Guys! Your side lost the election. Get over it & stop looking for excuses.

I don't think it was the Russians, it was just a lot of people got sick of being told what to think & how to behave by your side of politics.

It is because people who disagree with you are either ignored, shut-down or called names with weaponised words such as "racist, bigot, xenophobe, homophobe, islamophobe, you name it. You go out onto the streets chanting mindless slogans aimed at shutting down debate. You have infiltrated academia and no journalism graduate comes out of a western univerity without a 60 degree lean to the left. People of alternative views to what is now the dominant social paradigm are not permitted to speak at universities. Once they were the vanguard of dangerous ideas. Now they are just sheep pens.

You have infiltrated the mainstream media so of course people need to go to Info Wars, Breitbart & Project Veritas to get the other side to your one-sided argument.

Your side of politics has regulated the very words we speak so that we can't even express a thought anymore without being chanted down, or shut down, prosecuted or sued.

There was once a time when it was the left who spoke up for freedom of speech. It was the left who demanded that a man be judged by the content of his character & not the color of his skin & it was once the right who used to be worried about the Russians taking over our institutions.

Have a look at yourselves. Look at what you've become. You've stopped being the guardians of freedom & now you have become the very anti-freedom totalitarians you thought you were campaigning against.

Bleating about the "popular vote" doesn't cut it either. That's like saying, the other side scored more goals than us but we had possession of the ball more times. It is sad for you but it is irrelevant.

Trump won the election! Get over it!

Let's see what sort of job he does before deciding what to do next.

Nataliefreeman , 10 Dec 2016 01:5
News flash for all the obamabots:

In principle, the DNC server could have had malware in an e-mail that set up a NAT entry that made the connecting computer appear somewhere else, with the entry deleted afterwards. Typically, IP table modifications aren't logged, so this would not be detectable.

In principle, the DNC server could have had malware in an e-mail that ran a SED script at a specific time that changed any occurrence of one IP address with another. Not sure anyone would bother with this, but it's why good system admins place so much emphasis on securing logs. However, it's obvious we're not talking about good admins.

In principle, every router between the DNC server and Russia has the potential to be hacked, with a tunnel added to send the traffic somewhere else in the world with new source and destination addresses. This is known as router table poisoning. It is preventable but the mechanisms are rarely ever used because the security services want to be able to do this themselves. There are some nice logs of the NSA using this.

In principle, someone along the way could tap into the fibre, spoofing IP addresses and injecting/sniffing packets. The U.S. even has a submarine designed for this, but optics aren't complex and any number of neo-phone phreaks could have the hardware.

In principle, someone at an ISP or backbone service could have had a laptop plugged into a switch or router to do the same thing, or lit up a strand of dark fibre to let some uber-wealthy business do this. And there's no shortage of uber-wealthy businesses who aren't keen on Democrats. This technique is used for local and remote network diagnostics, no reason it can't be used nefarious, it's not like the hardware cares why a wire is plugged in.

In principle, the supposed destination machine could have been hacked to relay the packets in encrypted form to the South Pole or a college campus in Texas. There are many examples of client machines being hacked to do this. It's basically what zombie machines are in botnets.

In practice, it is flat-out guaranteed that none of the security agencies could distinguish this from a Russian attack. Nothing in the area monitored could tell the difference. We know, for a fact, that college kids spoofing a scan from China have fooled the DoD and NSA on previous occasions, it has caused international incidents.

So we have known forms of attack that are known to exist, aren't complex and in some cases are already used for attacks. They are 100% untraceable.

DanielDee , 10 Dec 2016 01:3
Joe Biden unwittingly gave the game up when he spoke to the press with indignation of the Russian hacks. The US would respond in kind with a covert cyber operation run by the CIA. First of all it would be the NSA, not the CIA. Secondly, it's not covert when you tell the press! Oh Joe, you really let the Obama administration down with that gaffe! Who would believe them now? A lot of people it would seem. Mainly those still reeling from an election they were so vested in
fedback , 10 Dec 2016 01:2
Unfortunately our media has lost all credibility.
For years we were told it was necessary to remove the dictator Assad in Syria. The result, a country destroyed, migrant crisis that fuelled Brexit and brought EU to its knees.
Now they are going to sell the 'foreign entities decided the US election'.
It's just a sad situation
GuyCybershy -> fedback , 10 Dec 2016 01:2
Syria has been destroyed because Western client states in the Middle East wanted this to happen. Assad had a reasonably successful secular government and our medieval gulf state allies felt. threatened by his regime. there was the little business of a pipeline, but of course that would be called a "conspiracy theory".
SomersetApples , 10 Dec 2016 01:1
If Obama has resources to spend on investigations, he should be investigating why the US is providing guided missiles to the terrorist in Syria. We had such great hopes for him, and he has proved to be totally useless as a president. Rather than giving us leadership and guidance he is looking under his bed for spooks. Just another example of his incompetence at a time when we needed leadership.

Looking for proof of espionage will be like trying to prove a negative and only result in a possible or at best a likely type of result for no purpose. It would just be another case of an unsupported accusation being thrown about.

Facing up to the question of who is supplying weapons to terrorist would require the courage to take on the Military Industrial Complex and he hasn't got it. Trump will be different.

ID3053875 , 10 Dec 2016 01:0
If the russians did interfere in the USA elections perhaps is a bit of poetic justice.
The USA has interfere in Latin America for over hundred years and they have given us Batista, Somoza, Trujillo, Noriega, Pinochet, Duvaliers , military juntas in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Streener in Paraguay to name a few. They all were narcissists, racists and insecure. The american people love this type of leader now they got him in the white house may be from Russia with love. Empires get destroyed from within, look at Little Britain now, maybe the same will happen soon in the USA.
Viva China , is far from Latin America
nbk46zh , 10 Dec 2016 01:0
So if the US managed to somehow get rid of Russia and China, what would they do then? How would it justify hundreds of billions in defense spending? Just remember, the US military industry desperately needs an external enemy to exist. Without it, there is no industry.
ID5151903 , 10 Dec 2016 01:0
No I disagree. I don't think it was a conpriscy. It was just decades of misinformation, lies, usually perpertrated by our esteemed foreign minister. The man is a buffoon , liar and incompetent. It is quite amusing to see how inept, Incompotent and totally unsuited this man child is to public office.
PullingTheStrings , 10 Dec 2016 01:0
Good to see alot of Americans on here back into Mccarthyism/Paranoia/scapegoating/Witch hunting/Propaganda.
smellycat , 10 Dec 2016 01:0
Clinton's 'Russia did it' cop-out
https://off-guardian.org/2016/12/09/clintons-russia-did-it-cop-out /
prairdog , 10 Dec 2016 00:4
Why should we trust US intelligence which is essentially US propaganda?
DanielDee , 10 Dec 2016 00:3
Another red herring that smacks of desperation. The final death throes of a failed administration. These carefully chosen words reveal a lot. The email leaks were "consistent with the methods and motivations" of Russian hackers. In layman's terms its the equivalent of saying "we haven't got a clue who it was but it's the kind of thing they would probably do". Don't expect a smoking gun because it doesn't exist, otherwise we would have known about it by now.
PostTrotskyite -> DanielDee , 10 Dec 2016 00:3
It's not just the US who has accused Putin of meddling in their domestic affairs. Germany and the UK have made the same allegations. Are they wrong too?
DanielDee -> PostTrotskyite , 10 Dec 2016 00:5
I think anyone with reasonable intelligence would take each accusation on a case by case basis. There is no doubt that Russia conducts cyber operations, as the US and UK and Germany does. There is also little doubt that significant Russophobia exists, particularly since the failed foreign attempt of regime change in Syria that was thwarted by Russia. On that last point many citizens of the West are coming to the realisation that a secular government in Syria is preferable to one run by jihadists installing crude sharia law (Libya was certainly a lesson). Furthermore, if Hillary Clinton had succeeded one dreads to think of the consequences of her no-fly-zone plans. Thankfully she didn't succeed, no doubt in part to wikileaks revelations, who for the record stated that did not result from Russian hacks
sejong , 10 Dec 2016 00:2
Fake News is mass gaslighting, removing any sense of what is real. Biggest psy-op ever.
gondwanaboy , 10 Dec 2016 00:1
Barack Obama orders 'full review' of possible Russian hacking in US election


FAKE NEWS ALERT

JCDavis -> gondwanaboy , 10 Dec 2016 00:2
They already stated their conclusions, now they have to find evidence.
Yodasyodel , 9 Dec 2016 23:5
Hows the election recount going? You know the one this paper kept going on about a few weeks ago in Wisconsin that was supposed to be motivated by "Russian Hacking" in the election? Not very well but you have gone quiet. Also I see the Washington Post has been forced to backtrack for implying news outlets like Breitbart are Russian controlled on the advice of their own lawyers....after all calling someone a Russian agent without a shred of evidence is seriously libellous and they know it. Russian agents to blame yeah ok Obama no doubt the Easter Bunny will be next in your sights you fraud.
Wilderloo , 9 Dec 2016 23:5
Look no further than Hillarys private server. Classified information sent and received and Obam was part of it. Obama is a liar and a fraud who is now blaming the Russians for crooked Hillarys loss.
SUNLITE , 9 Dec 2016 23:5
Feed the flames of the war mongers that want Russia and Putin to be our bogeyman.Feed the military industrial complex more billions.The U.S. Defense budget is already 10 times that of Russia ,feed NATO already on Russia's boarder with tanks ,troops and heavy weapons.i did expect more from this pres,... The lies ,mis information and propaganda has worked so well since the end of WW2,upon a public who has been fed those lies {and is to busy with sports ,gadgets,games, alcohol and other drugs }for 70 yrs by a compliant,for profit lap dog media more interested in producing infotainment and profits than supplying information..If you don't think the "public" isn't very poorly informed and will believe anything ,..just look at who the next prez will be..
GuyCybershy -> SUNLITE , 10 Dec 2016 00:0
I don't think it's true that Trump voters were less informed than Clinton voters. The public knows that they all lie, they simply choose the one who's lies most appeal to them.
Alexander Bach , 9 Dec 2016 23:5
Did he also order to investigate the Clinton's deeds revealed by the 'hackers'?
fedback , 9 Dec 2016 23:3
Unfortunately Obama is not leaving office with dignity.
This action is another attempt to delegitimize the election of Trump. We already have the recount farce going on.
If Republicans had tried to delegitimize the election of Obama we know what the reaction from media would have been. An outcry against antidemocratic and racist behaviour
USApatriot12 , 9 Dec 2016 23:3
The corporate media is so predictable at this point. The news cranks up the anti-Russia hysteria while the guys over in entertainment roll out a slick fantasy about anti-Nazi resistance. It all adds up to a big steaming pile of crap but you hope it will push enough buttons to keep the citizens chained to their their desks for another quarter. Don't bet on it. As a great American said at another time of upheaval, you can't fool everyone forever...
GuyCybershy -> USApatriot12 , 9 Dec 2016 23:3
We're supposed to condemn "white nationalism" in The US and UK while supporting it in Ukraine.
GeeDeeSea -> GuyCybershy , 9 Dec 2016 23:4
That's not all. We in US and UK are supposed to condemn jihadists in Iraq while supporting them Syria.
James7 -> Eddy Cannella , 9 Dec 2016 23:2
Hillary? Although I would lean to more "Grey."

Kremlin Connection? The TRUTH About Hillary's Shady Ties To Russia REVEALED
Find out why insiders say Clinton has some explaining to do.

Americans have no idea just how closely Hillary Clinton is tied to the Kremlin! That's the shocking claim of a new report that alleges the Democratic nominee is secretly pals with Vladimir Putin and his countrymen.

Peter Schweizer, the author of Clinton Cash, has published a report that claims that that Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was on the executive board of a foreign company that received $35 million from the Kremlin. "The company was a transparent Russian front, and how much Podesta was compensated - and for what - is unclear. In addition, Podesta failed to disclose his position on that board to the Federal government, as required by law," John Schindler of the Observer wrote.

As Radar previously reported, when Clinton was secretary of state, she profited from the "Russian Reset," a failed attempt to improve relations between the U.S. and Russia.
chweizer wrote, "Many of the key figures in the Skolkovo process - on both the Russian and U.S. sides - had major financial ties to the Clintons. During the Russian reset, these figures and entities provided the Clintons with tens of millions of dollars, including contributions to the Clinton Foundation, paid for speeches by Bill Clinton, or investments in small start-up companies with deep Clinton ties." Schweizer also details "Skolkovo," a Silicon Valley-like campus that both the U.S. and Russia worked on for developing biomed, space, nuclear and IT technologies. He told the New York Post that there was a "pattern that shows a high percentage of participants in Skolkovo who happen to be Clinton Foundation donors."

raymondffoulkes , 9 Dec 2016 23:1
So it's anti-Russia propaganda today again, all over the Guardian as well as everywhere else.

I daresay they have a few things (perhaps a tad more important than football and athletics) to say about us as well..

smellycat -> raymondffoulkes , 9 Dec 2016 23:2
Sour grapes at the liberation of Aleppo and their loss of face.
I'm surprised they haven't started asking about the missing 250K civilians,who must even now be languishing in Assad's dungeons.
Keeping that one for tomorrow probably.
nbk46zh , 9 Dec 2016 23:1
When Cheney used the terror alert levels to keep the US population in the constant state of fear, the Democrats denounced it as fear mongering. Now they're embracing the same tactics in the constant demonization of Russia. Look, it's raining today! Russia must be trying to control the weather in the US! Get them! Utterly ridiculous.
stegordon21 , 9 Dec 2016 23:0
The US has been the most bloodthirsty, aggressive nation in my lifetime. Where the US goes we obediently follow. Yet as Obama (7 countries he's bombed in his presidency, not bad for a Nobel Prize Winner) continues to circle Russia with NATO on their borders. We're continually spun headline news that Russia is the aggressor and is continually meddling in foreign affairs. We are the aggressors, we are the danger to ourselves and it's we who are run by megalomaniac elites who pump us full of fear and propaganda.
nbk46zh , 9 Dec 2016 23:0
Malicious cyberactivity... has no place in international community... No? When West does it, then it's for democratic purposes? But invading countries on a humanitarian pretense does? So Democrats are still looking to blame Russia for everything not going their way I see. This rhetoric didn't work for Clinton in the election and it won't now. Stop with this nonsense
GuyCybershy -> nbk46zh , 9 Dec 2016 23:1
There wasn't a lot of outrage about the use of the "stuxnet" virus against Iran. You see, when we do it is always for a good cause.

Paulare , 9 Dec 2016 22:5
Take the long view folks.

The Egyptian Empire lasted millenum,
The Greek and Roman Empires a thousand years, give or take.
The Holy Roman Empire centuries.
The British and French circa 200 years.
The USSR about 70, the USA 70 and counting

This is just the cyclical death throes of empires played out at ever increasing speed before our very eyes.

DexDex , 9 Dec 2016 22:5
5 articles abut Russia, again. This is the Russia interference in the Guardian. Putin must be stopped.
Earl_Grey -> DexDex , 9 Dec 2016 23:0
NATO has bought a subscription to the Guardian
TonyBlunt , 9 Dec 2016 22:5
Is all this hoohaa the BBC and the Guardian trying to get some revenge for the Russian liberating East Aleppo?
TheIPAResistance , 9 Dec 2016 22:5
This is exactly why we should never move to electronic voting. Can you imagine the lengths the IPA would go to ensure their men security the power they need to roll out their neoliberal agenda? As a tax-free right wing think tank composed of rich like Rinehart, Murdoch, Forrest, et al. the sky's the limit.
Anthony1152 , 9 Dec 2016 22:4
The five stages of dealing with psychological trauma: Anger, Denial, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Hillary and the Democrats are still at stage one and two. Obama is only beginning stage one as events dawn on him.
TheCharacteristicEquation 9 Dec 2016 22:4
I really do feel the established media and its elite hierarchy are vexed by both the Trump victory and Brexit here in the UK. Now the media attention turns to a report on another of its perpetual campaigns, namely Russia, and corruption in sport.

I'm not going to doubt the 'findings', but I know humans are corrupt ALL over the world, but it does strike me that no Western outlet, ever prints anything positive about Russia. I mean - nothing, zero!

dallasdunlap , 9 Dec 2016 22:3
If, indeed, the Russian government gathered the DNC and Podesta info released by Wikileaks, the Russians did the American people a favor by pulling back the curtain on behind the scenes scheming by Clinton campaign potentates.
Of course, I don't believe the Democratic claim that Clinton lost the election because of the Russians and the FBI.
GuyCybershy -> dallasdunlap , 9 Dec 2016 22:4
Podesta's password was "p@ssword". Inexcusable carelessness.
smellycat , 9 Dec 2016 22:3
Nothing wrong with a bit of regime change now and then, so we've been told. No good crying when the Russians do it to you.
sammy3110 , 9 Dec 2016 22:3
It's instructive to see the Guardian drag up Reagan's "Evil Empire" spiel, but only after Hillary lost.
GeeDeeSea , 9 Dec 2016 22:3
US backed a coup, or set up a coup, to overthrow the democratically elected government in Ukraine which led to war. Putin's payback seems fully justified.
theenko -> GeeDeeSea , 9 Dec 2016 22:4
sweet fucking jesus

Yanukovych is a disgrace to Ukrainian's everywhere and a traitor to his country. Fucking Putin puppet should be in jail.

GeeDeeSea -> theenko , 9 Dec 2016 22:4
sweet fucking jesus

Porshenko is a disgrace to Ukrainian's everywhere and a traitor to his country. Fucking Obama puppet should be in jail.

Earl_Grey , 9 Dec 2016 22:3
Oh my, a foreign country may have had a tiny influence on a US Election.

How about investigating the overthrow of the Democratically elected Govt in Ukraine, or the influence the US has had on the Syrian Govt, or even in Australia, where the Chinese Govt donates massive amounts of money to Political Parties (note, there's no link of course between Chinese Govt donations and Chinese Companies being able to buy most of Australia and employ Chinese Nationals in Australia on Chinese conditions and 500,000 Chinese Nationals being able to buy Real Estate in Sydney alone... none whatsoever).

bcnteacher , 9 Dec 2016 22:3
Good call! Something is fishy about the US electoral system.
COReilly , 9 Dec 2016 22:2
I'm not a policy or think tank wonk, but isn't Russia just a euphemism for China. Aren't their geopolitical interests linked. You just say Russia because China has us by the financial balls (I'm sure the Guardian would prefer to NOT be censored on the mainland) right? Package it that way and I'm on board. My love of Dostoevsky goes out the window. Albeit I still think Demons one of the best novels ever written. Woke me up.
fedback , 9 Dec 2016 22:1
Survivor of Bosnian sniper fire Hillary Clinton decries fake news in speech yesterday
Aaron Aarons , 9 Dec 2016 22:1
I'm all in favor of delegitimizing the incoming semi-fascist Trump/Pence regime, and find Obama's talk of a smooth transition disgusting. However, I reject the appeal to Russophobia or other Xenophobia.

BTW, Obama and his collaborators like Diane Feinstein have done a lot to prepare the legal basis for fascistic repression under the new POtuS.

Sund Fornuft , 9 Dec 2016 22:1
I already know what the comission will find. They will find evidences that Iraq holds vast ammonϊnt of weapons of mass destruction! Oh wait, that was already used.
kalander , 9 Dec 2016 22:0
Obama has been as useless as his predecessor young Bush. His policies generally are in tatters and the US neo cons evil fantasy of full spectrum dominance has met its death in Syria. Bravo.
ShoppingKingLouie , 9 Dec 2016 22:0
The neoliberal corporate machine is wounded but not dead. They will use every trick, ploy and opportunity to try to regain power.

The fight goes on.

fedback , 9 Dec 2016 21:5
After an election cycle with proven collusion between the DNC/Hillary Clinton campaign and our media, our media has the nerve to come up with the term 'fake news'.
Hypocrisy at its finest
John Urquhart , 9 Dec 2016 21:5
Nobody does paranoia like the yanks. To the rest of the world, the unedifying spectacle of the world's biggest bullies, snoops, warmongers, liars and hypocrites complaining about how unfair life is, is pretty nauseating. Most of America's problems are home-grown.
ShoppingKingLouie , 9 Dec 2016 21:5
Why fake the news when you can just strong the media companies into muzzling their criticism?

http://nypost.com/2016/12/09/mika-brzezinski-says-clinton-camp-tried-to-pull-her-off-the-air /

mjp3470 , 9 Dec 2016 21:5
And the final report will conclude with something along the lines of:
'After a thorough, exhaustive investigation of all relevant evidence concerning the potential of foreign interference in the United States electoral process, the results of the investigation have shown that, although there remain troubling questions about the integrity of U.S. cyber-security which should prompt immediate Congressional review, there has been uncovered no conclusive evidence to support the conjecture that cyber attacks originating with any foreign actor, state or individual had any significant effect on the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election, and that there is no cause or justification for the American People to question the fairness of or lose faith in the electoral process and laid out by and carried out according to the Constitution.'
I do Holiday cards too.
garenmel -> mjp3470 , 9 Dec 2016 22:2
My hat off to you sir/madam. This was great!
Powerspike , 9 Dec 2016 21:5
Georgia's Secretary of State is accusing someone at the Department of Homeland Security of illegally trying to hack its computer network, including the voter registration database.
In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, copied to the full Georgia congressional delegation, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp alleges that a computer with a DHS internet address attempted to breach its systems.
http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/309530-state-of-georgia-allegedly-accusing-homeland-security-of-attempted-hack

Wake up and smell the BS, the hacking is being done by people a lot nearer home.....

feliciafarrel , 9 Dec 2016 21:5
Oh dear, the GOP seem to have forgotten what they were saying about Putin and the Kremlin a short while back:

The continuing erosion of personal liberty and fundamental rights under the current officials in the Kremlin. Repressive at home and reckless abroad, their policies imperil the nations which regained their self-determination upon the collapse of the Soviet Union. We will meet the return of Russian belligerence with the same resolve that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. We will not accept any territorial change in Eastern Europe imposed by force, in Ukraine, Georgia, or elsewhere, and will use all appropriate constitutional measures to bring to justice the practitioners of aggression and assassination.

https://www.gop.com/platform/american-exceptionalism/

Are they going to conveniently forget all decency and morality? Is the white supremacist agenda in the GOP finally in the ascendant?

Russian Troll (Number 254) 9 Dec 2016 21:5
I as a Russian Troll do not like this investigation and will do or say anything in order to change your mind. Putin is not a problem, the EU is.
Powerspike , 9 Dec 2016 21:4
..... prohibiting "fake" or "false" news would be a cure worse than the disease, i.e., censorship by other means. The government cannot be trusted with distinguishing fake from genuine news because it has ulterior motives. News the government dislikes would be conflated with fakery, and news the government approved would be conflated with truthfulness. Private businesses like Facebook cannot be trusted with distinguishing fake from genuine news because its overriding mission is to make money and to win popularity, not to spread truth. It would suppress news that risked injury to its reputation or profits but leave news that did the opposite undisturbed.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/5/reflections-fake-news /
GuyCybershy , 9 Dec 2016 21:4
"The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying".

http://www.alternet.org/media/anonymous-blacklist-promoted-washington-post-has-shocking-roots-ukrainian-fascism-eugenics-and

GuyCybershy , 9 Dec 2016 21:3
Clinton lost even though she outspent Trump two to one. She was just a lousy candidate who ran a terrible campaign.
fimbulvinter -> GuyCybershy , 9 Dec 2016 21:4
Uh excuse me but that sort of introspection doesn't fly. She was flawless and the blame rests solely on Russia/alt-right/Sanders/Third Parties/Racism/Misogyny/Alignment of the stars/etc/etc
emilyadam , 9 Dec 2016 21:3
I thnk the idea that russia has world domination is quite laughable, what else they gonna be blamed for next, reduction of giraffe population!Lol
I think a teeny wee paranoia is setting in, or outright deliberate propaganda, too obvious
Jim Moodie , 9 Dec 2016 21:3
Is this worse than when the two CIA operatives were caught searching through files in the Offices of the British Labour Party about thirty years ago. What goes around comes around.

The CIA hacks have been destabalisuping Government for a at least seventy years.

One thing is pretty obvious paper ballots and a different ballot for each is much harder to rig.

It is ironic it takes a despot life key Trump to bring the issue to a head AFTER unexpectedly won.

freeandfair -> Jim Moodie , 9 Dec 2016 21:3
"Is this worse than when the two CIA operatives were caught searching through files in the Offices of the British Labour Party about thirty years ago. What goes around comes around."

The CIA were caught hacking into the US Congressional computers just 6 or so months ago. Nothing came out of it.

guest88888 , 9 Dec 2016 21:3

possible Russian hacking in US election

Based on the fact that the US 2000 (and possibly 2004) election was outright stolen by George Bush Jr., perhaps the propagandists in the White House and media ought to be looking for a "Russian connection" in regards to our illustrious former president.

Texas_Sotol , 9 Dec 2016 21:3
I'm shocked--shocked--to hear that our close Russian allies have done anything to influence and undermine the stability of other countries. Preposterous accusation! And to try to become huge winners in the Western Hemisphere, by cheating? Vitriolic nonsense!

Many posters here actually believe that Good Old Russia should just stick with what they do best. That's poison!

Fencewalker -> Bluebird101 , 9 Dec 2016 21:4
Rather like the Litvenenko inquiry...full of maybe's and possibilities, with not a shred of hard, factual proof shown - demonstrating that the order came from the Kremlin.
It's just a total accident that Putin's most vocal opponents keep getting shot in the head, gunned down on bridges, suffering 'accidents' or strange miscarriages of (sometimes post-mortem) 'justice' and fall victim to radiological state-enacted terrorism in foreign countries. No pattern there, whatsoever.
Informed17 , 9 Dec 2016 21:3
I am at a loss. On the one hand, I hear about Russian economy in tatters, gas station posing as a country, deep crisis, economy the size of Italy, rusty old military toys, aircraft carrier smoking out the whole Northern hemisphere, etc. On the other hand, I hear about Russian threat all the time, which must be countered by massive build up of the US and EU military, Russia successfully interfering in the elections in the beacon of democracy, the US, with 20 times greater economy, with powerful allies, the best armed forces in the world, etc. Are we talking about two different Russias, or is this schizophrenia, pure and simple?
jamese07uk -> Informed17 , 9 Dec 2016 21:3
It's always easy to find reasons to fear something, added to that the psychology of the unknown, and we have the makings of very powerful propaganda. Whatever Russia's level of corruption, and general society, I feel I cannot trust the Western media anymore 100%. There seems to be a equally sinister hidden agenda deep within Western Elites - accessing Russia's land, political and potential wealthly resources must surely be one of them!? The longterm Western agenda/mission?
spiridonovich , 9 Dec 2016 21:1
The Democratic Party's problem is Russia, which the President is rightly putting front and center. All Russians are the summit of eviality, and must be endlessly scapegoated in order for Democrats to regain power for the nation's greater good.

Democrats' problems have nothing to do with corruption, glaring conflicts of interest, favoritism, ass-licking editors, crappy data, lacking enthusiasm, and horribly poor judgement.

None of these issues need to be publicly addressed, being of no consequence to independent voters, and the President, Guardian, et al. must continue their silent -- and "independent" -- vigil on such silly topics, if Democrats are to have any hope of cultivating enough mindless, enraged, and abandoned sheep to bring them future victories.

ImmortalTao , 9 Dec 2016 21:1
I admire Trump, Putin & Farage. Don't agree with them but I have admiration for them. They show all the cunning, calculating, resourcefulness that put the European race on top. Liberals don't like that and want to see the own people fall to the bottom. Thankfuly the neoliberal elite are finishedm
MJMaguire , 9 Dec 2016 21:1
Absurd nonsense - the third anti-Russian story of the day. Very little of this has much traction because of the sheer volume of misinformation coming out about Russia. there are very good cogent reasons why the Democrats lost the US election - none of them have anything to do with Russia.
slats7 , 9 Dec 2016 21:0
another pathetic attempt to delegitimize Trump. wanna know why he won? look in the mirror, Barry.
oldsunshine -> slats7 , 9 Dec 2016 21:2
Will Obama see Clinton if he looks in the mirror??
Bluejil , 9 Dec 2016 21:0
I can't see a thing wrong with reviewing the last three election cycles, if there is any doubt at all and to put speculation to bed, it should be done.
CurtBrown -> Bluejil , 9 Dec 2016 21:1
Why stop at the last three?
Karl Marks -> CurtBrown , 9 Dec 2016 21:4
Because the US is more concerned about money than democratic integrity.
dicksonator , 9 Dec 2016 21:0
So the US intelligence servies aren't doing similar operations?

If they werent, heads would roll as they have a considerable budget. Did we learn nothing from Edward Snowden? Are Russia just better at this? I doubt it.

I think both sides conduct themselves in a despicable manner so please dont call me a Putin apologist. Well, feel free actually, I could'nt care less.

gray2016 , 9 Dec 2016 21:0

Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election


US interference:

COUNTRY OR STATE Dates of intervention Comments
VIETNAM l960-75 Fought South Vietnam revolt & North Vietnam; one million killed in longest U.S. war; atomic bomb threats in l968 and l969.
CUBA l961 CIA-directed exile invasion fails.
GERMANY l961 Alert during Berlin Wall crisis.
LAOS 1962 Military buildup during guerrilla war.
142 more rows

Shall I go on with anoter 142? US lying scumbags

yeCarumba -> gray2016 , 9 Dec 2016 21:0
the vietnam fiasco alone is enough to disqualify america from any criticism about interference in internal affairs
they practically destroyed the country
KitKnightly , 9 Dec 2016 20:5
The pathetic way the media are pushing this big-bad-Russians meme is a little depressing.

This "hack" is totally fictional, the wikileaks e-mails were almost certainly that...leaks. As most o their output has been over the years. For 95% of the Wikileaks existence there have been absolutely zero connections with "the Kremlin", in fact they have leaked stuff damaging to Russia before now.

The Russian's did not hack the DNC, or rig the election, this is yet another example of the political establishment hysterically pointing fingers and making up lies when their chosen side loses an election.

freeandfair -> KitKnightly , 9 Dec 2016 21:3
I remember how North Korea was blamed for Sony hack. I think they were even cut from the internet for a day and there was all this talk of punishing them. And then later it came out that very likely wasn't North Korea. Only the news cycle already moved on and nobody cared.
mismeasure , 9 Dec 2016 20:5
Traditionally, the best Cold Warriors have been right-wing liberals. In the absence of policies that concretely benefit the people they engage in threat inflation and demagoguery.
SergeyL , 9 Dec 2016 20:4
In 90s US set all figures in Russia - from president to news program anchor. Elections of 96 were ripped by American "advisors" so that Eltsyn with 3% rating "won" them. It's payback time.
Shaemus Gruagain , 9 Dec 2016 20:4
Oh how wonderful it is to watch them smart and the bonus? no more Obamas.
uest88888 -> PeteCW , 9 Dec 2016 21:3
And yet the so-called "Russian trolls" (which is apparently anyone who exercise a modicum of skepticism) seem to be winning here at CiF based on the number of likes per comment, which is likely why the NSA sponsored propagandists and clueless dopes are getting so increasingly shrill.
Mattster101 , 9 Dec 2016 20:3
If you take a wider view, this is all really about keeping the Dems in the game, trying to undo the Trump validity and give them another go in 4 or so years. Really, seems quite desperate that a man that allowed 270000 wild horses to be sold for horsemeat this year across the border to Mexico, brought HC in to his own cabinet having said 'she will say anything and do nothing', knowing what a nightmare that would make, and is going to watch his healthcare get ripped to shreds, needs more accomplishments in his last year, aka Obama, ergo, let's investigate the evil russians and their female athletes with male DNA ( you would think I am making this stuff up, but I am not ) ... Come on Grandma, where are you when we need you most
nolongersilent , 9 Dec 2016 20:3
we must somehow, subvert the despicable populace that elected trump. we must erase from history the conceding of president elect clinton - newpeak from the ministry of truth. we'll get her into the white house if it takes more cash, lies, and corruption. after all, who needs democracy in the democratic party when we have big brother. democracy just confuses the members. we'll send the despicables through the ministry of love to re-educate them, of course, this IS 1984 after all....we will vote for you, the intelligentsia of the left knows what is best for you.
eldudeabides , 9 Dec 2016 20:3
Should Hillary have been disqualified (and prosecuted) for having access to debate questions beforehand?
Nete75 , 9 Dec 2016 20:3
"Malicious cyber activity, specifically malicious cyber activity tied to our elections , has no place in the international community. Unfortunately this activity is not new to Moscow. We've seen them do this for years ... The president has made it clear to President Putin that this is unacceptable."

Note how carefully it specifies that it is cyber activity tied to the american elections that is inappropriate. I presume that is simply to avoid openly saying that mass-surveillance by the US government of everyone's private email, and social network accounts doesn't come under that "no place in the international community" phrase. You know, one does wonder how these people's faces don't come off in shame when whinning about potential interference by foreign governemnts after a full 8 years or so of constant revelations of permanent spying and mass-surveillance by the US government of international leaders and ordinary citizens worldwide.

Boghaunter , 9 Dec 2016 20:2
So the DNC was hacked - so what. Hacking is so common these days as to be expected. A quick perusal of the internet provides some SIGNIFICANT hacks that deserved some consternation:

9/4/07 The Chinese government hacked a noncritical Defense Department computer system in June, a Pentagon source told FOX News on Tuesday.

Spring 2011 Foreign hackers broke into the Pentagon computer system this spring and stole 24,000 files - one of the biggest cyber-attacks ever on the U.S. military,

On the 12th of July 2011, Booz Allen Hamilton the largest U.S. military defence contractor admitted that they had just suffered a very serious security breach, at the hands of hacktivist group AntiSec.

5/28/13 The confidential version of a Defense Science Board report compiled earlier this year reportedly says Chinese hackers accessed designs for more than two dozen of the U.S. military's most important and expensive weapon systems.

June 2014 The UK's National Crime Agency has arrested an unnamed young man over allegations that he breached the Department of Defense's network last June.


1/12/15 The Twitter account for U.S. Central Command was suspended Monday after it was hacked by ISIS sympathizers (OK twitter accounts shouldn't be a big deal. Why does US CentCom even HAVE a twitter account???)

5/6/15 OPM hack: China blamed for massive breach of US government data

Omoikani , 9 Dec 2016 20:2
And so the neocon propaganda machine trundles on, churning out this interesting material day after day. The elephant in the room is that if you get hacked you have no knowledge of this until your private stuff is all over the internet, and the chances of finding out who did it are zilch. Everyone in IT security knows this.
johhnybgood , 9 Dec 2016 20:1
Another "fake news" story. Does anybody with a pulse really believe that Russia hacked the DNC? The US Security Services admitted that it was NOT Russia; the likelihood is that the leaks were provided to Wikileaks by insiders within the US Administration - they wanted to ensure that Hillary did not win. None of the actual revelations were covered by the MSM, and "the Russians did it" was a convenient distraction.
Omoikani -> johhnybgood , 9 Dec 2016 20:2
All people that on earth do dwell have no clue who hacked the DNC to the amusing end that Podesta's e-mails ended up on the internet, but it suits a dangerous political narrative to demonise Russia until it becomes plain logical to attack them.
peterward881 , 9 Dec 2016 20:0
YES YES let attack Russia, YES YES YES, Russia Russia we should carry on attacking Russia. We the journalists are well paid by the man from Australia. YES YES we must to carry on attacking Russia and forget the shit happening in other countries. YES YES it is our duty.
guest88888 , 9 Dec 2016 20:0

Election hacking: Obama orders 'full review' of Russia interference

And I guess Obama has also ordered the Guardian to do a full court press of anti-Russian propaganda, just judging by the articles pumped out on today's rag alone.

The US government is seemingly attempting the "Big Lie" tactic of Joseph Goebbels and instigating support in the public for war against Russia. By repeating the completely unsubstantiated allegations that Russia has somehow "interfered with the election" they hope, without any genuine basis, to strong arm the public into accepting a further ramping of tensions and starting yet another illegal war for profit.

Chirographer , 9 Dec 2016 19:5
There's nothing wrong with conducting the investigation, but shouldn't it have been done before accusing Russia?

And aren't all the people cited in the article political appointees, Democrats or avowed Trump enemies, and then there's closing, " A spokesman for the director of national intelligence declined to comment."

Karega , 9 Dec 2016 19:5
Surely of all the Orders Obama might issue during his last weeks in office, why does he choose to give a stupid Order that effectively makes US some sort of Banana Republic? This man was/is more hype than real! At a stroke of a pen he seriously undermines the integrity of the US Electoral System. Whatever credibility was left has now been eroded by these constant and silly claims that somehow Russians installed Trump as President. Doesn't that make Trump some sort of Russian Agent?
Meanwhile MSM keeps on streaming some fake news and theories and then Obama Orders US intelligence to dig deeper. This is lunacy!
alexfoxy28 , 9 Dec 2016 19:5
Obama certainly understands that Russia is not the reason why Trump was elected. However, he wants to create new obstacles on the way of normalization of relations between the US and Russia and make it more difficult for Trump.

However, Trump is not a weak man, not a skinny worm; and he can hit these opponents back so hard that international court for them (for invasions into sovereign countries) will lead to their life sentences.

Ginen , 9 Dec 2016 19:5
Only two weeks ago the Obama Administration publicly stated there was no evidence of cybersecurity breaches affecting the electoral process, as reported in the NYT :

The administration, in its statement, confirmed reports from the Department of Homeland Security and intelligence officials that they did not see "any increased level of malicious cyberactivity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on Election Day."

The administration said it remained "confident in the overall integrity of electoral infrastructure, a confidence that was borne out." It added: "As a result, we believe our elections were free and fair from a cybersecurity perspective."

Was Obama lying then or is he lying now?
imperfetto , 9 Dec 2016 19:5
Is there any limit to the ridicolous, Mr. Obama? what is this? a tragicomic play of the inept?
Here we are with the most childish fabrication that it must be the Russians' fault if Trump won the election. I'll be laughing for an entire cosmic era! And all this after US publically announced that they were going to launch a devastating acher attack against the badies: the Russians, which of course didn't work out. Come on, this is more comedy that a serious play.

What probably is going on, the readers can gather by having a look at the numberless articles that are being published by maistream media against the Russians.
Why this histeric insurgence of Russofobia? Couldn't it be that it is intolerable for the US and their allies to see the Russians winning in Aleppo, and most of all restoring peace and tollerance among the population returning to their abbandoned homes.

brothersgrimm , 9 Dec 2016 19:3
I think Hillary, in part, lost the election due to all the fake news being pumped out by the mainstream corporate media, doing her bidding. People are tired of it, along with all the corruption and lies that came to the surface through the likes of Wikileaks.
Trump is a terrible alternative, but the only alternative people were given, so many went with it.
Now we see fake news making out the Russians to be the bad guys again, pumping out story after story, trying to propagandize the population into sucking up these new memes. Russia has its problems, and will always act in its own self-interest, but it's nothing compared to the tactics the US uses, bullying countries around the world to pander to its own will, desperately trying to maintain its Empire.
RoachAmerican , 9 Dec 2016 19:3
Examine something real, Nuclear Hillary. It must be time for Spring Planting??
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/04/23/us/clinton-foundation-donations-uranium-investors.html?_r=0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syEjkPyqRew
Minutes 20 to 25
Uranium One Wyoming
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html

http://www.npr.org/2015/04/23/401781313/clinton-foundation-linked-to-russian-effort-to-buy-uranium-company
https://youtu.be/jkfE10g8xbc
at 25 minutes et seq
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkfE10g8xbc&feature=youtu.be


Below, first paragraphs are the most important
http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson/five-questions-about-the-clintons-and-a-uranium-company

The 1 2 3 Step of Acquisition of Uranium One
http://www.businessinsider.com/the-clintons-putin-and-uranium-2015-4

Going Private Part Public Company Disappears
http://www.wise-uranium.org/ucscr.html

http://www.pravdareport.com/russia/economics/22-01-2013/123551-russia_nuclear_energy-0 /
Coward Comey needs to go.

Joelbanks , 9 Dec 2016 19:3
The scripture tells us those who live by the sword will perish by it.

America was in the interference of other countries' elections before its ugly 2016 presidential election. Remember Ukraine and Secretary Hillary Clinton's employee Victoria F****the EU Nuland in Ukraine. Now we have the makings of some kind of conflict with Russia over its alleged meddling in America's elections. More global tension= More cash flowing into the US equity market, money printing by another means.

hardlyeverclever , 9 Dec 2016 19:3
I'd be surprised if the Russians weren't trying to affect the outcome of the election. The Brits had a debate in Parliament on Trump, Obama made threats to the UK on the Brexit vote, so who knows what we're all doing in each others elections behind closed doors while we are clear to do so publically.

The MSM's absolute refusal to address the leaks in a meaningful way (other than the stuff about recipes) suggests to be no one felt it a big deal at the time.

alexfoxy28 , 9 Dec 2016 19:3
Obama could realise that Hillary's viewes on Putin and Russia did not help her at all. People are not that stupid, they see well, use own brains and not so easily impressed by whatever CNN says to them.
Alun Jones , 9 Dec 2016 19:2
John McAfee said that any organization sophisticated enough to do these hacks is also sophisticated enough to make it look as though any country they want did it. So it could have been anyone.
palindrome , 9 Dec 2016 19:2
Obama earlier this year: Russia is not a world power, only a regional power.

Obama now: Russia has the power to manipulate the USA election.

Which one is it then?

Of course it's all bull...Obama is another establishment puppet who cannot accept that people have figured out their modus operandi.

diddoit , 9 Dec 2016 19:2
It's reported today on Ars Technica : ThyssenKrupp suffered a "professional attack"

The steelmaker, which makes military subs, says it was targeted from south-east Asia.

..the design of its plants were penetrated by a "massive," coordinated attack which made off with an unknown amount of "technological know-how and research."

The internet and precious information...

alexfoxy28 , 9 Dec 2016 19:2
Neoliberals are just desperately losing ideological competition at home and abroad. They cannot convince people that they are right because it's not what's going on.

It does not matter what some others say, it's what really goes on matters.

alexfoxy28 -> imipak , 9 Dec 2016 21:0
But there is innate, basic self-interest in all people (that does not depend on education, ethnicity, race) and people know it instinctively well. They will not go against it even if all around will tell otherwise.
alexfoxy28 -> alexfoxy28 , 9 Dec 2016 21:1 0 1
simulacra27 , 9 Dec 2016 19:2
The fake news channel brought to you by Obama and co.
p.s. I mean that people cannot be manipulated by others at this basic level when some higher level manipulative tools are used.
Kasem3000 , 9 Dec 2016 19:1
I love how this has now become solid fact. No confirmation, nothing official but it is no common fact that the Russians interfered. How many reports do we hear about US interference with foreign countries infastructure through covert means.
ShoppingKingLouie , 9 Dec 2016 19:1
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/dec/08/vladimir-putin-hillary-clinton-russia

Meh. Seems like tampering happens all the time. How many elections in South America did the USA fix? How many in the middle east and Africa? I think this "russian's did it" rhetoric is counterproductive as it is stopping Democrats from doing the introspective needed to really understand why HRC lost the election.

ShoppingKingLouie , 9 Dec 2016 19:1
How can you on the one hand crusade against "fake news" and on the other promote this:

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/dec/08/artist-alison-jackson-self-publishes-spoof-trump-photos-despite-fear-of-being-sued#comments

Sutir Comed , 9 Dec 2016 19:0
Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot and there was credible evidence that the Russians had rigged the election in favor of the Democrat. The right-wing echo chamber would be having seizures! These people are UTTER HYPOCRITES. And they would obviously rather win with the help of a hostile foreign power than try to preserve the integrity of our elections.
MayorHoberMallow , 9 Dec 2016 19:0
Russia may or may not have hacked the DNC. I'd like to find out. I hope the DNC aren't enough of doofusses to assume this wouldn't be in the realm of possibility.
I presume that the U.S. has its own group of hackers doing the same Worldwide. This is not a criticism; I would expect the U.S. intelligence community to learn what our rivals, and even some of our friends, are up to.
Timothy Everton , 9 Dec 2016 19:0
This is getting to be pretty lame. I have doubts that "Russia" could interfere to any great extent with our elections any more than we could with theirs. Sure, individuals or organizations, and more than likely in THIS country, could do so. And they have, as we saw with the DNC and Sanders campaign (and vice versa). Let's not go into an almost inevitable nuclear war over what is quite possibly "fake news".
dreylon , 9 Dec 2016 19:0
Russia did this, Russia did that
its getting very boring now, you have lost all credibility
you have cried wolf to many times
stop trying to manipulate us
Johnny Kent , 9 Dec 2016 18:5
When will the Democrats get it? It wasn't the Russians, who are blamed for everything, including the weather, by desperate Western failed leaders, but an unsuitable candidate in Clinton, which lost them the Election. Bernie Sanders would have walked it.
Catonaboat , 9 Dec 2016 18:5
Well Guardian I do believe you hit a nerve, I don't think I've ever seen a more one sided BTL. Me thinks some people do protest too much.
Iaorana , 9 Dec 2016 18:5
Regarding the notorious "fuck the EU " on the part of the US "diplomat" Victoria Nuland "the State Department and the White House suggested that an assistant to the deputy prime minister of Russia Dmitry Rogozin was the source of the leak, which he denied " Wiki
Good occasion to substantiate the accusation which ,substantiated or not,will remind the "useful idiots" of the "change of regime " US policy and who started the Ukrainian crisis.
Lafcadio1944 , 9 Dec 2016 18:5
Boy, oh boy, fake news is everywhere just read this headline!

Election hacking: Obama orders 'full review' of Russia interference

Which states as fact there was interference by Russia and that the investigation is to determine how bad it was.

NO EVIDENCE WHAT SO EVER has been offered by anyone that Russia interfered in any way.

FAKE NEWS!!

Mike5000 , 9 Dec 2016 18:5
Voting machine hacking is a very serious problem but you generally need physical access to a voting machine to hack it.

Anyone notice thousands of Russians hanging around in Detriot, Los Angeles, etc election HQs? How about Clinton drones?

If the DNC hadn't rigged the primary we'd be celebrating president-elect Bernie. If they hadn't rigged the general Hillary would have lost by a landslide.

ShoppingKingLouie , 9 Dec 2016 18:5
We never investigated this tho did we Former President Obama?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/dec/08/vladimir-putin-hillary-clinton-russia

Time to put on your big girl pants, accept defeat and leave gracefully.

Powerspike , 9 Dec 2016 18:5
1000 Russian athletes were doping in the 2012 Olympics - but it's taken until now to realise it?!
Russia influenced the 2016 US election?!
Russia is presently "influencing" the German elections?!
Russia is killing civilians and destroying hospitals with impunity in Syria?!
etc
Wow! Russia is taking over the world, it must be stopped, can anyone save us? Obama? Trump? NATO?
Look out! Russian armies are massing on the border ready to sweep into Europe.......arrhhh!

I love the smell of gibberish in the morning!

geofffrey , 9 Dec 2016 18:4
***Newsflash***

Reads:

"..ex-prime minister Anthony Charles Lynton Blair of the United Kingdom, and Hillary Rodham Clinton of the United States of America, have formally announced a new transatlantic political party to be named: The Neoliberal Elite Party for bitter anti-Brexiters and sore anti-Trumpettes.

dahsab , 9 Dec 2016 18:4
Rather rich coming from my country which has interfered in elections around the world for decades. I suppose it's only cheating if the other team does it.

Not that they'll find any evidence. Just another chapter in the sad saga of the Democrats unwillingness to admit they ran the worst candidate & the worst campaign in recent memory. It's not our fault! Them dirty Russkies did it!

[Dec 05, 2016] The US grand strategy post-Bush was to reposition itself at the heart of a liberal economic system excluding China through TTIP with the EU and TPP with Asia-Pac ex. China and Russia. The idea was that this would enable the US to sustain its hegemony.

Notable quotes:
"... It has been an absolute failure. Brexit has torpedoed TTIP and TPP has limited value - the largest economy in the partnership, Japan, has been largely integrated in to the US for the past 70 years. ..."
"... IMO the biggest failure of the US has been hating Russia too much. The Russians have just as much reason to be afraid of China ..."
"... It's old Cold War thinking that has seen America lose its hegemony -- similar to how the British were so focused on stopping German ascendancy they didn't see the Americans coming with the knife. ..."
Sep 27, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
Dante5 1d ago
The US grand strategy post-Bush was to reposition itself at the heart of a liberal economic system excluding China through TTIP with the EU and TPP with Asia-Pac ex. China and Russia. The idea was that this would enable the US to sustain its hegemony.

It has been an absolute failure. Brexit has torpedoed TTIP and TPP has limited value - the largest economy in the partnership, Japan, has been largely integrated in to the US for the past 70 years.

IMO the biggest failure of the US has been hating Russia too much. The Russians have just as much reason to be afraid of China as the US do and have a pretty capable army.

If the US patched things up with the Russians, firstly it could redeploy forces and military effort away from the Middle East towards Asia Pac and secondly it would give the US effective leverage over China -- with the majority of the oil producing nations aligned with the US, China would have difficulty in conducted a sustained conflict.

It's old Cold War thinking that has seen America lose its hegemony -- similar to how the British were so focused on stopping German ascendancy they didn't see the Americans coming with the knife.

[Dec 05, 2016] Trump campaign is a similar to Brexit crusade by grassroots activists against big banks and global political insiders . by those who feel disaffected and disenfranchised

Notable quotes:
"... Speaking to a local radio station before the joint rally, Farage urged Americans to "go out and fight" against Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... "I am going to say to people in this country that the circumstances, the similarities, the parallels between the people who voted Brexit and the people who could beat Clinton in a few weeks time here in America are uncanny," Farage told Super Talk Mississippi. "If they want things to change they have get up out of their chairs and go out and fight for it. It can happen. We've just proved it." ..."
"... It's not for me as a foreign politician to say who you should vote for ... All I will say is that if you vote for Hillary Clinton, then nothing will change. She represents the very politics that we've just broken through the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. ..."
Aug 24, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

...the British politician, who was invited by Mississippi governor Phil Bryant, will draw parallels between what he sees as the inspirational story of Brexit and Trump's campaign. Farage will describe the Republican's campaign as a similar crusade by grassroots activists against "big banks and global political insiders" and how those who feel disaffected and disenfranchised can become involved in populist, rightwing politics. With Trump lagging in the polls, just as Brexit did prior to the vote on the referendum, Farage will also hearten supporters by insisting that they can prove pundits and oddsmakers wrong as well.

This message resonates with the Trump campaign's efforts to reach out to blue collar voters who have become disillusioned with American politics, while also adding a unique flair to Trump's never staid campaign rallies.

The event will mark the first meeting between Farage and Trump.

Arron Banks, the businessman who backed Leave.EU, the Brexit campaign group associated with the UK Independence party (Ukip), tweeted that he would be meeting Trump over dinner and was looking forward to Farage's speech.

The appointment last week of Stephen Bannon, former chairman of the Breitbart website, as "CEO" of Trump's campaign has seen the example of the Brexit vote, which Breitbart enthusiastically advocated, rise to the fore in Trump's campaign narrative.

Speaking to a local radio station before the joint rally, Farage urged Americans to "go out and fight" against Hillary Clinton.

"I am going to say to people in this country that the circumstances, the similarities, the parallels between the people who voted Brexit and the people who could beat Clinton in a few weeks time here in America are uncanny," Farage told Super Talk Mississippi. "If they want things to change they have get up out of their chairs and go out and fight for it. It can happen. We've just proved it."

"I am being careful," he added when asked if he supported the controversial Republican nominee. "It's not for me as a foreign politician to say who you should vote for ... All I will say is that if you vote for Hillary Clinton, then nothing will change. She represents the very politics that we've just broken through the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom."

[Dec 04, 2016] Trump victory as yet another sign of collapse of neoliberalism

Notable quotes:
"... Hillary Clinton and her lackeys will be taking a lot of heat for their shady actions in the primaries, get berned! ..."
"... How could Hillary be the best qualified candidate of all time??? She was a liar. Just being a woman does not automatically make you the best person ..."
"... A nice way of understanding this is the media, pollsters and pseudo liberal's use of the term popularist. This has been identified as the danger and a type of ignorance/stupidity if you just reflect for a moment it could be seen as a synonym for the majority. ..."
"... Trump' victory marks the profound failures of the political and economic system in America and across the West. It is a complete failure of the Clinton and the DNC establishment approach to politics ..."
"... The Guardian should have supported Bernie Sanders' campaign. There was a systemic failure to acknowledge and recognise the intense disillusionment and sweeping anti-establishment zeitgeist among huge numbers of the electorate both in America and Europe. ..."
Nov 13, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
Philip Leung 4d ago

Hillary Clinton and her lackeys will be taking a lot of heat for their shady actions in the primaries, get berned!

smithchart 4d ago

Clinton is a horribly corrupt dynast on the Saudi payroll.

It's not misogyny. It's not racism.

Sometimes, when you offer people a shit sandwich they'll pass.

ID449590 , 9 Nov 2016 12:3>

How could Hillary be the best qualified candidate of all time??? She was a liar. Just being a woman does not automatically make you the best person, there are other honest and more competent women.

Granted Trump isn't ideal but Hilary was equally divisive and assumed the whole fiasco was about her being the first woman to make it into the white house than the policy issues that needed serious tackling.

NeilBarna , 9 Nov 2016 12:3>
This is a revolution against the media and the pollsters stuck in the washington/westminster bubble. It was obvious to any objective observer that Trump was going to win.

The liberal media and the pollsters just as in Brexit have had an incredulous bioptic view of what was happening.

Not once in 18 months has there been a serious attempt to understand Trump's appeal and what he was really saying, not once.

A nice way of understanding this is the media, pollsters and pseudo liberal's use of the term popularist. This has been identified as the danger and a type of ignorance/stupidity if you just reflect for a moment it could be seen as a synonym for the majority.

The people want change even if it comes from Trump. I wonder if Farage is thinking of staying on as leader?

muttley79 , 9 Nov 2016 12:3>
Trump' victory marks the profound failures of the political and economic system in America and across the West. It is a complete failure of the Clinton and the DNC establishment approach to politics.

The Guardian should have supported Bernie Sanders' campaign. There was a systemic failure to acknowledge and recognise the intense disillusionment and sweeping anti-establishment zeitgeist among huge numbers of the electorate both in America and Europe.

[Dec 04, 2016] Is liberalism really to blame for Britains (and Americas) ills?

The soft neoliberalism (or The Third Way) promoted by Clinton and Blair now is replaced with a splash of far right nationalism. the level of anger in the bottom 99% and a refusal to accept the lies and propaganda by the top 1% created a crisis of legitimacy for neoliberal elite. Moreover, right years of king of "bait and switch" Obama with his typical for neoliberals unconditional love for financial elites has revealed that change can be delivered only through radical means...
Notable quotes:
"... Of course in the age of inverted reality, spin and obfuscation, the true nature of [neo]iberals is quite the reverse. Just like the fabians they seek to divert attention from their real goals by describing themselves as mirror opposites. ..."
"... The [neo]liberal elite is nothing of the sort, they seek to control, manipulate and suppress everything which doesn't fit their hidden purpose, which is to promote the flat earth globalisation of the debt pyramid on behalf of the banking cartel and the likes of the Rothschild's. ..."
"... They are despicable creatures, full to the brim with breath-taking hypocrisy, happy to claim faux indignation over widening inequality and falling living standards while they promote the pyramid scheme of debts which causes it. They may dream of a world government with socialism for the masses and largesse for the elites, but as sure as the sun rises in the east, such concentration of power, wielded by those least suitable to hold it, would create an authoritarian tyranny like seen before. ..."
"... Essentially, Third Way liberalism as practised by Clinton and Blair, but even more so by those who followed them (Clinton and Blair were, let's not forget, populists of a sort), is predicated on the belief that you can fashion a winning mandate to govern by appealing to a consensus among middle class professionals, the liberal rich, and what they saw as a new, unideological class of 21st century workers - the socially liberal, politically apathetic, precariously situated masses who hover somewhere between traditional working class and educated middle. ..."
"... They did this by appealing to issues of social identity while reinforcing the economics of the right-wing neoliberal ushered in by Thatcher and Reagan. They were, at the same time, losing working class votes - but their analysis of the economics told them that the (in a Marxist sense) working class was an endangered species. ..."
"... 2008 exploded this fiction but its architects remain wedded to the cause. They personally enriched themselves by opening-up traditionally popular parties to the donations and interests of corporate capitalism. Look beyond Blair and the Clintons and you will see hundreds of centre-left politicians growing fat on an endless stream of corporate money: Cory Booker, Chuck Schumer, DWS, Howard Dean (in the US), Ben Bradshaw, Chris Byrne, Alastair Campbell, Jack Straw (in the UK) ..."
"... Deregulated capitalism tends to monopolies and the rise of a rentier class epitomised on Wall Street and property speculators like Donald Trump. ..."
"... Global capitalism pits workers against workers in an endless spiral of wage deflation and this fosters divisions between those whose class interests are, in fact, the same. The alienation that is an intimate part of capitalist production ..."
"... Marx also made a distinctive between productive and fictitious capital - share prices, derivatives and other financial instruments, arbitrage and all the other heinous arsenal of second-order exploitation. Neoliberalism has delivered productive capital into the arms of fictitious capital and ushered us into a world governed by nobody so much as orchestrated according to the graph-lines of the global stock markets. It has turned the spectacle from social relations mediates by images into the beating heart of how, where and why wealth moves the way that it does. The unreality has seeped into every aspect of lived experience. ..."
"... I am less despondent then I was under Obama and his smooth delivery of a hope and change always deferred. ..."
"... Or Hillary Clinton and her revolution of upper-class women with their own specific class interests. There is organising taking place right now and making demands that this system will not satisfy - because it is designed to do the exact opposite. ..."
"... I would rather speak with an alt-right troll than a liberal because one is searching for answers in the wrong place where the other glibly renders apologies for the system from which they seek to profit at the expense of those to whom they offer nothing but false sympathy. ..."
"... There is a mobilisation of anger and a refusal to accept the fictions spun by the ruling class that can potentially be harnessed for permanent change - and, moreover, 8 years of Obama and his pathological love for financial elites has revealed that radical change can be delivered only through radical means. ..."
"... But as others have said really we mean neoliberalism, not liberalism. Liberalism and capitalism are not the same thing and cant be used interchangeably, liberalism is a set of beliefs and capitalism is a set of practices which are sometimes at odds with one another. On the other hand, neoliberalism as a set of beliefs explicitly accepts the hegemony of capital and the expansion of the market economy into all areas of society and life. ..."
"... the reformist and incrementalist view of a progressive social democracy that balances state and market for the betterment of all is con. ..."
"... I don't think that Trump and Brexit mark an epochal shift; I think they are signs of disintegration. The more significant (though still not epochal!) moment was the 2008 financial crisis - and the complete failure of the political elites of Europe and America to address its fallout. This, by the way, was also far from the unforeseeable calamity that it was characterised as being in many sections of the media. Many economists and political analysts had discussed deregulation and unsustainable debt in terms of future crises; it wasn't prophesy, but a basic understanding of how unrestricted market capitalism (especially when reliant on the vicissitudes of shares/bonds/derivatives) operates. ..."
"... More broadly, I agree with you - history is not some untroubled march of the working class to freedom (alas!) It is contingent, messy and unexpected. We have agency - and we have to use it (another thing I believe has been reignited in the last 8 years). One of many ironies of the present situation is that neoliberal politicians believed that the educated precariat they were helping to create would be unideological, politically apathetic consumers - and yet it is the young who are returning the repressed in the form of unrest, economic demands, and the re-introduction of class into political discourse. ..."
"... Okay though, back to reality! That, I concede, is a very American and European perspective that does not take into account the global developments in Asia, Africa or Latin America. I actually lived in China for a while as a young man, and it struck me at the time that the society offered a possible, if bleak, template for the future - a technocratic, one-party state in which people trusted them to deliver the right decisions through a central bureaucracy but with consumer freedoms sufficient to forestall unrest. This is, perhaps, an alternative to the dissent and potentially unrest I have described - and what makes the latter imperative...? ..."
"... Oh, and what you wrote about waste is very interesting. I certainly agree that it, "efficiency" (usually code for cuts and/or transfer from public to private stewardship), are over-fetishised. In fact, ridiculously so. The waste of most governments is staggering and yet they attack only certain areas. What America squanders on its military is the most obvious of examples - or its increasingly repressive police. ..."
"... The point with Trump - and Brexit too - is not so much what it means to the man himself (or Brexit-profiteers like Boris Johnson) but how his victory gets brandished to confer legitimacy and political cover for a newly emboldened syndicate of zealously right-wing politicians and the corporate interests they represent (especially in America, where the majority of Congressional Republicans are little better than local union bosses who have been installed by the Mafia to carry their water and hold their places to exclude anyone else attaining any uncorrupted power or autonomous control). ..."
"... We are seeing this happen right now as Trump fashions his administration - there are a lot of lobbyists, reactionary financiers, neoconservative mavens, embittered figures from the intelligence community, and evangelical culture warriors suddenly footloose and demob happy after 8 years of Barack Obama and his patented brand of Fidel-loving, radical Chicago organising, spectacularly lukewarm but yet (according to Fox) apocalyptically awful, anti-American, Socialist Revolution. ..."
"... Much of the above will be familiar from Bush files - a man who was seldom happier than when sunk into his Lay-Z-Boy learning how to eat pretzels safely from Barney, his Scottish Terrier. His main role was to show up when required and gurn for the cameras, narrow his peepers and regurgitate what the teleprompter feeds him, before signing the executive orders dreamt up by his dream-team of vampyric, far-right champions of such American glories as the Vietnam War, Watergate, Iran/Contra, and more Latin American coup d'etats than even Henry Kissinger could shake his razor-studded cudgel at. ..."
"... The fact is that Trump cares about victory and basking in the light of his own self-proclaimed greatness – and now he's won. I doubt he cares nearly as much about mastering the levers of government or pursuing some overarching vision as he does about preening himself in his new role as the Winner of the World's Greatest Ever Reality TV Show. He may have thrown red meat to the crowds with the gun-toting, abortion-hating campaign rhetoric, but that is the base for every contemporary Republican's bill of fare. I don't believe he gives a tinker's cuss about those issues or any of the other poisons that constitute their arsenal of cultural pesticides. ..."
"... Like all rich people, he wants to pay as little tax as possible without breaking the law (or at least breaking it outrageously enough to attract the notice of the perennially over-worked, under-resourced IRS). ..."
"... And finally, like most rich people, he refuses to accept that governments can or should regulate transactions or industries in ways that may even slightly inhibit their unbound, irrepressible pursuit of their self-interests and unquenchable desire for more, more and yet again more. ..."
"... These basic right-wing tenets, of course, all easily translate into concrete policy - that's what the Republicans do best. ..."
"... But beyond that, there is the small matter of the world's most highly evolved and comprehensive system of state surveillance and repression - a confluence of agencies, technologies, paranoia and class war that was embraced and embellished by Obama from the moment he brought his glacial approach to change to the highest office in the land – indeed, he showed that he was quite comfortable signing off on historic erosions of constitutional freedoms provided it was endorsed by his ever-responsible friends in Langley and The Pentagon. ..."
"... So while Trump and his administration may in many ways resemble the familiar class warriors of Republican presidencies past, albeit with added evangelical vim, viciousness and vapidity courtesy of Mike Pence, let's not forget that his frequently displayed authoritarianism will have ample opportunity to be both stress-tested and to revenge itself on a plethora of opponents. ..."
"... The point, really, is to move beyond the office of the President, which is always absurdly fetishised in American politics to the detriment of scrutiny that should be directed elsewhere - at his team, his cabinet, his appointments, and his place in the web of Congressional Republicans, lobbyists and corporate money – the nexus of interests that really dictates policies and determined which political battles get fought aggressively, which cast aside. ..."
"... People will not see a new dawn, but the delirious rush to expand those chaotic, inhumane, amoral, and utterly unaccountable market forces that have already seeped far too deep into the already grotty political system. Trump is only a piece of this large and ugly tapestry – a figurehead for an army of cultural and social vandals serving alongside economic thieves and assassins. These are, moreover, the experts in how to instrumentalise economic inequality to serve the very politicians responsible for fostering the inequality in the first place and those most wedded to beliefs capable only of making matters worse for all but themselves and their donor-owners. ..."
"... But let's not be lulled by the familiarity of parts of this story. Familiar from Reagan and Bush Jnr, as well as Clinton and Obama (albeit with a more fulgent presentation and the skilled performance of sympathy to sugar the pill). ..."
"... [Neo]Liberalism is an ideology, it has many variations and even definitions for people. Arrogance, superiority, disdain, refusal to engage etc. A moral certainty more in line with doctrinal religion. ..."
"... The first question to ask is why these right wing commentators are attacking liberalism . Is it because they want a better society in which everyone gets a chance of a decent life ? Do they actually care about the people they claim to speak for - they people right at the bottom of the social scale ? ..."
"... The answer , of course, is no. They see attacking liberalism as a means of defending their own privileges which they believe liberalism and the gradual progress of recent years towards a more equal society have undermined. ..."
"... Since they are basically conning the underprivileged and cannot deliver what they promise the right will find itself driven to even more extremes of bigotry and deceit to maintain its position. The prospect is terrifying. ..."
Nov 18, 2016 | www.theguardian.com


MintonVase33 3d ago

Of course in the age of inverted reality, spin and obfuscation, the true nature of [neo]iberals is quite the reverse. Just like the fabians they seek to divert attention from their real goals by describing themselves as mirror opposites.

The [neo]liberal elite is nothing of the sort, they seek to control, manipulate and suppress everything which doesn't fit their hidden purpose, which is to promote the flat earth globalisation of the debt pyramid on behalf of the banking cartel and the likes of the Rothschild's.

They are despicable creatures, full to the brim with breath-taking hypocrisy, happy to claim faux indignation over widening inequality and falling living standards while they promote the pyramid scheme of debts which causes it. They may dream of a world government with socialism for the masses and largesse for the elites, but as sure as the sun rises in the east, such concentration of power, wielded by those least suitable to hold it, would create an authoritarian tyranny like seen before. Power in all forms should be spread into as many hands as possible, monopolies are always bad yet, once again, the illiberal's love a monopoly because they're not what they seem.

tempestteacup 1d ago Guardian Pick

...You certainly have a point that the experiences in the UK and the US are different for lots of reasons - historic alignments of the major parties, political corruption, and the different points where class, race, gender and geographical location intersect - but the latter-day form of liberalism tried - and failed - to do the same thing in both countries.

Essentially, Third Way liberalism as practised by Clinton and Blair, but even more so by those who followed them (Clinton and Blair were, let's not forget, populists of a sort), is predicated on the belief that you can fashion a winning mandate to govern by appealing to a consensus among middle class professionals, the liberal rich, and what they saw as a new, unideological class of 21st century workers - the socially liberal, politically apathetic, precariously situated masses who hover somewhere between traditional working class and educated middle.

They did this by appealing to issues of social identity while reinforcing the economics of the right-wing neoliberal ushered in by Thatcher and Reagan. They were, at the same time, losing working class votes - but their analysis of the economics told them that the (in a Marxist sense) working class was an endangered species. The Republicans in America willingly played into this fantastical analysis by engaging in the culture wars - politically useful but also economically necessary as a distraction from the growing cross-party consensus on how to enshrine, extend and improve the means of capitalist exploitation through deregulation and debt.

2008 exploded this fiction but its architects remain wedded to the cause. They personally enriched themselves by opening-up traditionally popular parties to the donations and interests of corporate capitalism. Look beyond Blair and the Clintons and you will see hundreds of centre-left politicians growing fat on an endless stream of corporate money: Cory Booker, Chuck Schumer, DWS, Howard Dean (in the US), Ben Bradshaw, Chris Byrne, Alastair Campbell, Jack Straw (in the UK) .

Evolutions and developments require always refreshed analysis but the basic principles by which we subject those developments to our analysis remain fundamentally the same: capitalism is a system by which wealth is transferred from the workers to those owning the means of production. Deregulated capitalism tends to monopolies and the rise of a rentier class epitomised on Wall Street and property speculators like Donald Trump.

Global capitalism pits workers against workers in an endless spiral of wage deflation and this fosters divisions between those whose class interests are, in fact, the same. The alienation that is an intimate part of capitalist production is carried over into the social relations between workers and can only be short-circuited by acts of radical organising - revolution begins with a question that the system cannot answer and ends with a demand that refuses to be denied.

Marx also made a distinctive between productive and fictitious capital - share prices, derivatives and other financial instruments, arbitrage and all the other heinous arsenal of second-order exploitation. Neoliberalism has delivered productive capital into the arms of fictitious capital and ushered us into a world governed by nobody so much as orchestrated according to the graph-lines of the global stock markets. It has turned the spectacle from social relations mediates by images into the beating heart of how, where and why wealth moves the way that it does. The unreality has seeped into every aspect of lived experience.

And yet, strangely, I am less despondent then I was under Obama and his smooth delivery of a hope and change always deferred.

Or Hillary Clinton and her revolution of upper-class women with their own specific class interests. There is organising taking place right now and making demands that this system will not satisfy - because it is designed to do the exact opposite.

I would rather speak with an alt-right troll than a liberal because one is searching for answers in the wrong place where the other glibly renders apologies for the system from which they seek to profit at the expense of those to whom they offer nothing but false sympathy.

There is a mobilisation of anger and a refusal to accept the fictions spun by the ruling class that can potentially be harnessed for permanent change - and, moreover, 8 years of Obama and his pathological love for financial elites has revealed that radical change can be delivered only through radical means.

joropofever -> tempestteacup 2d ago

I would agree about this idea of a vacuum being created by the political class but really I think the political turmoil is a reflection of the economic inequality, economics shaping the political. But as others have said really we mean neoliberalism, not liberalism. Liberalism and capitalism are not the same thing and cant be used interchangeably, liberalism is a set of beliefs and capitalism is a set of practices which are sometimes at odds with one another. On the other hand, neoliberalism as a set of beliefs explicitly accepts the hegemony of capital and the expansion of the market economy into all areas of society and life.

I think what you are saying (correct me if wrong) is that the reformist and incrementalist view of a progressive social democracy that balances state and market for the betterment of all is con. Marxists said this view would result in the state becoming a conduit for the accumulation of power in the hands of capital and the gradual destruction of welfare and social institutions, and they were right.

My question is then though is how do you achieve this transformation (though I don't know what you would think best) without running the risk of a right-wing and nationalist hijack? History is littered with cases where well intended left-wing revolutions and social movements helped sow the seeds for later horrors. As you say, the prognosis and world view of the radical left and the alt-right are not miles apart.

tempestteacup -> joropofever 2d ago

More excellent and pertinent questions!

I don't think that Trump and Brexit mark an epochal shift; I think they are signs of disintegration. The more significant (though still not epochal!) moment was the 2008 financial crisis - and the complete failure of the political elites of Europe and America to address its fallout. This, by the way, was also far from the unforeseeable calamity that it was characterised as being in many sections of the media. Many economists and political analysts had discussed deregulation and unsustainable debt in terms of future crises; it wasn't prophesy, but a basic understanding of how unrestricted market capitalism (especially when reliant on the vicissitudes of shares/bonds/derivatives) operates.

And I don't accept that this is an anglocentric point of view. There are crises across Europe, although none have as yet had quite the before/after drama of the Brexit and presidential votes. In France, the Front National are basically the second party. In Italy, the chaotic 5 Star Movement are on the verge of toppling the prime minister and making gains elsewhere. In Hungary, Fidesz and the borderline neo-fascist Jobbik dominate political discourse, as the Law and Justice party have come to do in Poland. Even in Scandinavia, the Danish People's Party and True Finns have made significant, even decisive, inroads on political discourse.

Commentators are fond of saying that the left-right divide has been scrambled. Doubtless they would cite some of these as examples - many of the European nationalist parties I have mentioned are in favour of strong welfare protections, and use race, country of origin, religion or ethnicity as a dividing line. To me this does not signify the same thing - the Nazis were called National Socialists for a reason, and while the purges of the 30s and the war brought the anti-semitic mass murderers into the ascendancy, there were many founder-members like Strasser and Rohm who were essentially socialists with a racial or nationalist element.

But look, you're right - the events of 2016 are, as we speak, being interpreted, exploited and spun to the benefit of the prevailing conditions. One would expect no different - it's why I was not surprised that the Tory bloodletting post-Brexit gave way to such a painless transition, just as it appears to be doing in America under President-elect Trump. It's what the ruling class do - protect their interests. What I believe has happened is that there is now a rupture within the left (in its broadest sense) and that rupture is defined by those who believe economic change will deliver social justice on the one hand and those who believe in cosmetic changes without challenging the economic system.

More broadly, I agree with you - history is not some untroubled march of the working class to freedom (alas!) It is contingent, messy and unexpected. We have agency - and we have to use it (another thing I believe has been reignited in the last 8 years). One of many ironies of the present situation is that neoliberal politicians believed that the educated precariat they were helping to create would be unideological, politically apathetic consumers - and yet it is the young who are returning the repressed in the form of unrest, economic demands, and the re-introduction of class into political discourse.

If I may be allowed to spit-ball for a moment, this is, to my mind, a pivotal moment in history. Those of us adults but under 40 are the last vestiges of the 20th century and its traditions of dissent, revolt and counterculture. We are, so to speak, the children of the 1960s. And those from the 1960s are still here - there is a living link, and in revolutionary terms, such things matter. In a period where we could potentially prevent catastrophic, irreversible climate change, there is no more time. It is imperative that we make our stand now, with those who lived through the last revolutionary period in the west, to keep that flame of revolt alive - or, better yet, to stoke it into a pyre. Because without those signal historical developments, those noble challenges, the flame dies down and is covered in ashes....

Okay though, back to reality! That, I concede, is a very American and European perspective that does not take into account the global developments in Asia, Africa or Latin America. I actually lived in China for a while as a young man, and it struck me at the time that the society offered a possible, if bleak, template for the future - a technocratic, one-party state in which people trusted them to deliver the right decisions through a central bureaucracy but with consumer freedoms sufficient to forestall unrest. This is, perhaps, an alternative to the dissent and potentially unrest I have described - and what makes the latter imperative...?

tempestteacup -> joropofever 2d ago

Oh, and what you wrote about waste is very interesting. I certainly agree that it, "efficiency" (usually code for cuts and/or transfer from public to private stewardship), are over-fetishised. In fact, ridiculously so. The waste of most governments is staggering and yet they attack only certain areas. What America squanders on its military is the most obvious of examples - or its increasingly repressive police.

I was more concerned, though, with the general sustainability of a system where decisions are made by criteria other than profit/loss, demand/supply. You're right about direct democracy (it's been ages since I've read Raymond Williams so I'm glad you reminded me to do so again!) - but how does that work when it comes to resources that have to be shared over large areas? Is it possible to build, step by step, a democratic structure of shared ownership that is both responsive to individual communities and responsible in its disposition of resources on the basis of needs rather than profits?

tempestteacup -> ForgetThePolitics 1d ago

Sorry but I can't agree with that. Popular in terms of electoral success and populist in terms of generating fervid support through direct, emotionally charged appeals to your audience's most passionately held interests, fears or aspirations while adopting their language and mobilising their energy, are two very different things. Obama was popular but not, it turned out, a populist – despite the narrative of his early presidency, inflected as it still was with the delirious, joyous cheers the followed his rhetorically rich but studiously vague Yes We Can barnburner (of sorts).

The point with Trump - and Brexit too - is not so much what it means to the man himself (or Brexit-profiteers like Boris Johnson) but how his victory gets brandished to confer legitimacy and political cover for a newly emboldened syndicate of zealously right-wing politicians and the corporate interests they represent (especially in America, where the majority of Congressional Republicans are little better than local union bosses who have been installed by the Mafia to carry their water and hold their places to exclude anyone else attaining any uncorrupted power or autonomous control).

We are seeing this happen right now as Trump fashions his administration - there are a lot of lobbyists, reactionary financiers, neoconservative mavens, embittered figures from the intelligence community, and evangelical culture warriors suddenly footloose and demob happy after 8 years of Barack Obama and his patented brand of Fidel-loving, radical Chicago organising, spectacularly lukewarm but yet (according to Fox) apocalyptically awful, anti-American, Socialist Revolution.

There are legions of pissed off, fired up kingpins from the fossil fuel industry already itching to fire up the federal shredders fired up and set loose in the EPA. There are batallions of combat-ready, obscenely wealthy people and dynasties for whom there is no such thing as too much, and who are salivating just as they imagine the glorious bonfire of taxes that their Republican lackeys have a chance to build and dance around in one of their pagan rituals of money worship and rapacity as a fetish of a heavenly future. And they can build it on the floor of a Congress they also dominate, before embarking on a mission to extend their current gains during the 2018 mid-terms, when several precariously held Democratic Senate seats in otherwise Trump-friendly states will be up for re-election.

Much of the above will be familiar from Bush files - a man who was seldom happier than when sunk into his Lay-Z-Boy learning how to eat pretzels safely from Barney, his Scottish Terrier. His main role was to show up when required and gurn for the cameras, narrow his peepers and regurgitate what the teleprompter feeds him, before signing the executive orders dreamt up by his dream-team of vampyric, far-right champions of such American glories as the Vietnam War, Watergate, Iran/Contra, and more Latin American coup d'etats than even Henry Kissinger could shake his razor-studded cudgel at. It was their interests, energies, vendettas and connections that provided the real substance for a presidency characterised above all by the elevation of anti-intellectualism to the level of essential and authentic patriotic performance (preparing ground now bulldozed across by a Trump-shaped figure reveling in the sheer winningness of it all).

The fact is that Trump cares about victory and basking in the light of his own self-proclaimed greatness – and now he's won. I doubt he cares nearly as much about mastering the levers of government or pursuing some overarching vision as he does about preening himself in his new role as the Winner of the World's Greatest Ever Reality TV Show. He may have thrown red meat to the crowds with the gun-toting, abortion-hating campaign rhetoric, but that is the base for every contemporary Republican's bill of fare. I don't believe he gives a tinker's cuss about those issues or any of the other poisons that constitute their arsenal of cultural pesticides.

Like all rich people, he wants to pay as little tax as possible without breaking the law (or at least breaking it outrageously enough to attract the notice of the perennially over-worked, under-resourced IRS). Like many rich people, he believes that his wealth is objective and irrefutable proof of his personal excellence; that this proves how America is truly a land of opportunity, where hard work, innovation and good old moxie can transform any Joe Schlubb on Main Street into a millionaire princeling of the Upper West Side - thus demonstrating that social investment in education or spending to address issues like systemic discrimination is just throwing money at life's losers.

tempestteacup -> ForgetThePolitics 1d ago

And finally, like most rich people, he refuses to accept that governments can or should regulate transactions or industries in ways that may even slightly inhibit their unbound, irrepressible pursuit of their self-interests and unquenchable desire for more, more and yet again more.

These basic right-wing tenets, of course, all easily translate into concrete policy - that's what the Republicans do best. It is what should be expected.

But beyond that, there is the small matter of the world's most highly evolved and comprehensive system of state surveillance and repression - a confluence of agencies, technologies, paranoia and class war that was embraced and embellished by Obama from the moment he brought his glacial approach to change to the highest office in the land – indeed, he showed that he was quite comfortable signing off on historic erosions of constitutional freedoms provided it was endorsed by his ever-responsible friends in Langley and The Pentagon.

If, as would be unsurprising, public unrest spreads and civil disobedience intensifies while Trump begin work on the familiar Republican transfer of wealth, with Black Lives Matter hardening their resistance and resolve in the face of police brutalities now able to justify themselves in terms of sympathetic views espoused by the incoming President himself; with white working class voters realising that their interests have been, were always going to be, betrayed; with environmental activists mobilised in deadly earnest and in a desperate effort to push back against potentially catastrophic energy and industrial policies that imperil everyone's future; as young people schooled in the Bernie campaign seek to organise and resist the excesses of a Trump presidency that few accept as legitimately representative of them or their lives, and as the despair of the country increases under a divisive, duplicitous and avaricious administration soaked in the very corruption it was such a winning strategy to declaim - well, then Trump has at his fingers the shiniest forms of repression that money and 21st century technology can provide: blanket surveillance online and in the streets, habeas corpus perilously undermined by legislation like the NDAA, hyper-militarised police forces trained in the use of obscenely excessive force, obscenely high sentences imposed by one of the army of judges perversely satisfied by every extreme species of punitive justice at their fingertips, along with prosecutors who consider the multi-year deprivation of freedom in a brutalising prison system as a badge of professional honour, all the while dreaming up criminal indictments that are so overzealous they look for felonies to charge the felonies with. Many warned that the step-by-step construction of this multi-layered, barely controllable system (to complement the steady erosion of civil liberties and constitutional rights) betrayed a potentially disastrous lack of foresight. It would not always rest in the command of people unwilling to test its full extent, and once you have created such possibilities in law, in storage rooms of equipment, in training drills and operating manuals, it is only a matter of time before they will be invoked in reality (and seldom in the exact ways they were originally intended or designed).

tempestteacup -> ForgetThePolitics 1d ago

So while Trump and his administration may in many ways resemble the familiar class warriors of Republican presidencies past, albeit with added evangelical vim, viciousness and vapidity courtesy of Mike Pence, let's not forget that his frequently displayed authoritarianism will have ample opportunity to be both stress-tested and to revenge itself on a plethora of opponents. Add in the fact that the Republicans have achieved an unexpected, clean sweep of Congress, as well as holding an unprecedented number of governorships. They can act from a position of unparalleled strength, and as a strength that came unexpectedly one should not be surprised if they start wielding it recklessly. They can do so, also, after 8 years of stultification and political paralysis, placed under restraints in order the more effectively to effectively perform their new definition of Congressional work: obstruct everything the President attempts to do. They only receive the occasional fun day-out to the Benghazi hearings or when they could play find the gavel during the 2013 sequester.

So I would expect a lot of pent-up resentment, plenty of lunatic ideas and plenty of hubris that sees no problem in airing them as if they were the wisdom of Solomon. Their opposition is disastrously enfeebled after years of poor candidates being selected on the basis of their ability to toe the corporate line rather than define and then achieve political goals. There is a chance here, in other words and before demographic changes make future Republican presidential victories more remote, to pursue their most cherished, most ideological, most shameless, lunatic, idiotic, corrupt, destructive and irresponsible policies. Trump's bulbous slab of torso-meat, congenitally bound to seek and fill every available limelight, can provide cover as they rip up every r