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February 16, 2018

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"Fighting for" this or that is an interesting meme.

It's certainly a staple of political rhetoric, sometimes hilariously so. Remember Sarah Palin declaring, in her VP nomination acceptance speech, that she would "fight for" families with special-needs kids? I do, but I don't remember a single Very Serious Person asking who the hell she expected to have to fight against.

I say anybody who proposes to "fight for" anything without explicitly naming who the fight will be against should be convicted of 1st Degree Triteness on the spot.

--TP

People who have other priorities?

Name, not describe.

--TP

Fair enough

Yeah. I will fight against ... wait for it! ... my adversaries!

Basically, our vocabularies suffer from shrinkage. We actually mean that we will work hard, struggle even, for whatever cause we are pushing. But the warrior meme has gotten so imbedded in our culture that "fight" has become the goto verb.

Trite, indeed. Not to mention the cognitive dissonance when someone says that they will fight against violence.

I guess the National Enquirer isn't so objective after all. I'm all over their Obama the nigger and Clinton the lesbian doing threesomes with Putin.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/playboy-models-trump-claims-buried-by-national-enquirer-in-2016-are-aired-in-new-yorker-2018-02-16?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Regarding Death Panel: She meant, via her argle bargle, that she would fight WITH special needs kids, in a tag team match with partner Paul Ryan, both of them with one arm tied behind their backs to make things sportsmanlike.

She meant that she would punch special needs four eyes in their heads and yank their oxygen tubes out BEFORE removing the ramps that enable the kids access to schools and workplaces and government offices, the better to push them down the stairs after they are escorted from Ryan's doorstep.

She meant, instead of IQ tests, FuckQ tests for the kids with an audience of cackling alt-Nazis attending.

Her own kids, special in their own right, will get their own reality shows shooting cripples from helicopters.

i can't wait until it comes out that Trump paid for someone to have an abortion. i have a stopwatch all ready to go, so i can measure, to the second, how long it takes "conservatism" to flip-flop on abortion.

cleek,
be prepared for a long wait as the trump exception shall certainly apply.

Count, I'm disappointed. I had a bet with myself that you wouldn't be able to resist the name of the National Enquirer's CEO. (If an author named a character like this, it would be a sign of a really bad novel.)

Regarding the Update:
It seems like a deft approach by Mueller. Indicting the Russians involved keeps the focus on his primary mandate: Russian interference in the election. Which seems likely to make it harder to maintain the "Witch hunt!" argument.

Not that I expect it to keep him from going after various bits of money laundering, etc., as he comes across them. But reminding people what the original question was seems like a good move -- over and above being what he was tasked to do.

Yeah, it's the foot in the door. Once people accept this (assuming they do), it makes it harder for them to reject other stuff tied directly to it.

be prepared for a long wait as the trump exception shall certainly apply

Nah, it'll go well for him. He'll just claim (rather unprecedentedly) true repentance.

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

I can't wait to see the reaction from the Clinton conspiracy theorists. I'm sure the logic will be very straightforward.

wj, I'm disappointed in myself as well.

David Pecker's mother should be ashamed of herself.

It''s not quite as funny as the Enquirer's Editor-in-Chief's name .... Bigus Dickus .. and his hobbies, but here we are:

https://www.spin.com/2017/12/dylan-howard-national-enquirer-us-weekly-top-editor-sexual-harassment/

He's in charge of "content" at the Enquirer and related publications. I try to keep an eye cocked at the check-out counter.

I'm, whatcha call, a cock-eyed optimist.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-rebounds-as-rosenstein-says-no-allegation-any-american-participated-in-unlawful-activity-with-russia-2018-02-16?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Righto!

https://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-democratic-convention-2016-live-donald-trump-invites-russia-to-hack-1469636224-htmlstory.html

https://www.salon.com/2016/12/14/gop-super-pac-linked-to-paul-ryan-used-illegally-hacked-material-against-democratic-house-candidates-report/

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/23/mitch-mcconnell-russia-obama-joe-biden-359531

In relation to gun control, I do NOT favor firing squad control. For Republicans, unlimited and fully subsidized firing squads should be made available to the millions of them.

To save THEM money, they'll dig their own trenches to fall in.

FWIW, the professional Dem politicos in my circle are still focused on keeping a damaged Trump in a box while Dems pick up more seats in Congress through '20 as well as the presidency in '20.

They are willing to trade Trump judicial appointments and regulatory rollbacks for greater control down the road.

I don't know how the party can pull that off without pissing off huge parts of their base.

So here's a question: The bipartisan bill on DACA got "only" 54 votes in the Senate. Which is to say, it's got a majority and could pass -- what it can't get is cloture. So how about going forward anyway? If some Senators want to stand up and talk for hours (or days) in order to stop it, why not call their bluff and make them actually do it.

OK, it would interfere with the Senators taking the holiday weekend off and going home for a few days. But it might be worthwhile seeing if the anti-(any-and-all)-immigrants crowd would be willing to actually do the work of talking it to death. (But then, maybe those macho guys aren't tough enough to talk for hours on end. Unlike certain ladies in the House....)

Rosenstein says no allegation any American participated in unlawful activity with Russia

wow. Rosenstein is getting misinterpreted like crazy, out there in Greater Wingnuttia. what he said was :

"there is no allegation, in this indictment, that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity"

and

"there is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election"

this comes at 5:10 or so in the linked video:
https://www.nbcnews.com/video/rosenstein-13-russians-charged-for-interfering-in-us-election-1163439683571

he's not exonerating Trump, or saying there was no knowledge or involvement or collusion. he's just saying this particular indictment doesn't have anything to say about those things.

FWIW, the professional Dem politicos in my circle are still focused on keeping a damaged Trump in a box while Dems pick up more seats in Congress through '20 as well as the presidency in '20.

They are willing to trade Trump judicial appointments and regulatory rollbacks for greater control down the road.

I don't know how the party can pull that off without pissing off huge parts of their base.

I'm not sure what else they are supposed to do. Are you saying if they gain control of the House or Senate in the midterms they're just going to sit on their hands?

I think they are trying figure out how to sit on their hands without looking like they are sitting on their hands.

Of course these are professional Dem operatives in *Florida* who have managed to lose two gubernatorial elections to a Voldemort cosplayer.

My concern is that I've not seen any indication that Pelosi wants to move quickly on impeachment, so this may be more than just Floriduh politics at play.

he's just saying this particular indictment doesn't have anything to say about those things.

I had already guess this without looking into it at all. Not that it makes me a super-impressive guesser or anything. That's just how things seem to work in the modern whisper-down-the-lane information pipeline.

Pdm,

Have you got any idea what those Dem politicos in Florida mean by
"keeping a damaged Trump in a box"?

--TP

They are willing to trade Trump judicial appointments and regulatory rollbacks for greater control down the road

It's impossible that 2020 will yield enough Democrats to impeach Trump since 2/3 are needed in the Senate. What people are weighing is whether having an impeachment proceeding in the House is worth it if there's going to be nothing in the Senate. It's not a matter of ceding anything real to Republicans in terms of judicial appointments. Even if Dems get a majority in the Senate, they can't impeach, but they can block judicial appointments.

Sorry, substitute "2018" for "2020" in my 3:47.

and Mueller has already bagged one guy on the "identity fraud" stuff.

Good points, regarding Rosenstein:

Consider that the images and propaganda Russian and East European hackers, meddlers, and election thieves were peddling were supplied by the republican party and the mp campaign.

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/02/oh-look-who-helped-with-lock-her-up.html

The National Enquirer's, Brietbart's, the RNC "news" sites, and Boris and Natasha's coverage of the Democratic Party and Clinton were identical in timing and placement.

A little fun for everyone:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-pathetic-inadequacy-of-the-trump-opposition/

people i want to fight:

the jerks that have been calling us every day to try to get us to disclose "information from our utility bill" so they an "give us a refund".

people who are not handicapped who park in handicapped places.

people who take up more than one space when they park.

people who leave crappy tips.

my wife's in boston today, ferrying the mother of a good friend of ours from the airport to lodging near the hospital where her son (our friend's brother) is laid up after having three strokes, probably due to the quart of rum a day he's apparently been drinking since his father died a month or so ago. our friend can't do it because she lives on a farm in the ardennes, so my wife is doing it, because she is an extraordinarily excellent person. the son's girlfriend and ex-wife (two separate people) are likely to be on hand, and generally do not get along, but are united in their disinterest in the mother being present. said mother has some vascular memory issues, and is generally old and dealing with being a widow and the mother of a drunken stroke victim, and is missing her daughter who is probably knee deep in cows and maybe wild boar right about now. son's girlfriend and ex-wife have both announced that, if mom "needs help", they will not be providing it.

girlfriend and ex-wife are also people i want to fight.

i'm delighted to see somebody kicking ass and taking names on the f***ing with the american electoral process tip.

...probably due to the quart of rum a day he's apparently been drinking since his father died a month or so ago.

I can relate to that. I had been drinking a bit more than usual in the months after my father's death in November. (Plus holidays, plus Eagles Super Bowl run and victory and parade, just for good measure.) Fortunately, to the extent that I'm an alcoholic, I am an easily satisfied one, so I haven't gotten close to half that per-day amount. Still, a bit of drink on an almost daily basis is troubling. That seems to have subsided over the last couple of weeks, thankfully.

...because she is an extraordinarily excellent person.

As one would expect of Mrs. russell.

I was truly shocked by Se7en when it came out; it's basically a pulp movie, but so nasty, humourless and mean-spirited that you think it's much deeper than it actually is - Fincher is a clever guy and a great director, but I only really like "Zodiac", which has some true depth of character (with "The Game" and "Panic Room" distant seconds - "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is well done but completely unnecessary since the original is very good). I liked Mindhunter.


Pankaj Mishra reviews Ta-Nehisi Coates:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n04/pankaj-mishra/why-do-white-people-like-what-i-write

I guess you could take that last part a couple of ways. I meant it in the nice one.

Interesting link, novakant. I'll have to read the last 4 or 5 paragraphs when I get home.

Peter Wang,15

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is well done but completely unnecessary since the original is very good

The Swedish Millennium Trilogy movies are very good. I especially like the third one.

Perhaps due to the author dying before editors could get their hands on the books, the books have more subplots than a national forest marijuana plantation.

And headscratchers like why would the titular character submit to sexual abuse from her guardian to get her money when she had the skills to practically pull money out of thin air?

"Interesting link, novakant."

Agree (for the most part). :)

my wife is doing it, because she is an extraordinarily excellent person

She sounds like an absolute superhero. Good luck to her, here's hoping her example will shame girlfriend and ex-wife into behaving vaguely reasonably.

And headscratchers like why would the titular character submit to sexual abuse from her guardian to get her money when she had the skills to practically pull money out of thin air?

CharlesWT, didn't she have to keep seeing him to avoid being re-committed to the loony bin and being at the mercy of that horrific psychiatrist?

Anyway, she didn't "submit to sexual abuse" after he forced her to give him a blowjob the first time, she went back equipped with the hidden video camera in order to entrap him into being blackmailable in the future....

Agree (for the most part). :)

Yeah, it could have been a bit less wordy while still making the point no less well. Still worth the read. (I feel so unAmerican!)

Is Tom Clancy still writing spy-vs-spy potboilers? I only ask because it's not my turn to keep an eye on him this week. If he is, I can't wait for his no-doubt-forthcoming The Hunt for Red November.

If John Le Carre has another novel in him, I look forward to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Trump.

What I worry about is the potential Ken Burns miniseries Civil War Two: the Russo-Confederate Victory.

--TP

Just a reminder, since it's Mueller time:

Clinton's election was sabotaged. Some folks here saw it live.

People who aren't worried about Trump/Putin should start posting comments about "moving Putin to the left."

No wonder ObWi has turned into a science fiction blog. That's fine.

As one would expect of Mrs. russell.

She sounds like an absolute superhero.

she is a remarkable and unassuming woman of parts, and is an order of magnitude more than i deserve.

Clinton's election was sabotaged.

ya think?

the time is out of joint. don't know what will put it right, exactly, or when.

science fiction's got nothing on plain old reality.

Was there anything new today, other than the particular people were identified? I didn't see anything we didn't know.

Oh, except the headline on CNN that said Trump couldn't call it a witch hunt anymore,which is silly, followed by a careful explanation of why "in this indictment" is important which was true.

This neither confirms that there is no collusion nor that there was.

I don't know a single person who doesn't believe the Russians were using social media to muck around.

So, good for Mueller, seriously, he caught some bad guys. The ones he was supposed to be looking into all along.

do you have a point here,marty?

and who has he been looking into that he wasn't "supposed to be looking into all along"?

I think Marty’s point is that he’s been pulled in the direction of supporting the findings of the investigation, which will make it harder to deny future findings that will be intertwined with the ones he’s already accepted.

The shoe, that other one - it’s gonna drop.

so, who has mueller been looking into that he wasn't supposed to be looking into?

I am not sure what hsh said, I was seriously asking if there was something new besides identifying the particular individuals, because what I read didn't seem to have anything.

I admit to not reading the whole indictment, I listened to Rosenstein and read some of the articles. So just asking.

russell, it seems from this he was looking in some of the right places. As far as I can tell this is the first indication they have looked at Russian tampering in the election.

I'M not sure Manaforts finances from 2014 have much to do with his charter. Not that I object too much that he is in trouble.

Sorry for the delay in responding ... I relocated to the coast for the weekend and I needed to engage in heavy drinking to align my chakras with the prevailing tide, temperature and blood alcohol levels.

I have no fncking clue what the politicos mean by "keeping a damaged Trump in a box." One of them mentioned the value of poking Trump with a stick to elicit a crazy tweet when they needed to goose the base. I like hanging out with these guys up to the point that I no longer feel like a cynical asshole by comparison, then I need to leave before I punch one of them in the taint on general principle.

Even without a super majority in the Senate, the Dems need to engage in a good faith effort to impeach Trump. This isn't the charge of the light brigade ... even if they can't remove Trump from office, they still win politically. Apparently the risk of loosing Trump as a political foil and causing a Pence presidency are so bad that they are willing to risk alienating the base by only making a token effort at impeachment.

If Trump is impeached, is it a "token effort" just because the Senate doesn't convict? Seriously, what does it take to be more than a token effort?

I'd also be interested if anyone here thinks that there might be Republican votes to remove from Senators who would prefer a President Pence. Either because they like Pence's views, or just because Trump has gotten too embarrassing / toxic.

There might well be R votes in the Senate to remove Trump, if only it was a "secret ballot". But, it's not.

Pollo de muerto talks good.

Even without a super majority in the Senate, the Dems need to engage in a good faith effort to impeach Trump.
There is no such thing as a good faith attempt to impeach Trump. There will never, never, ever be 15+ Republican Senators willing to vote to remove Trump from office.

Assuming the Democrats get the House in 2018, they will have two options:

1) Not impeach Trump, and do their best to discredit him other ways.

2) Have Trump acquitted by the Senate. Because that's what will happen if they impeach. The media will spin it as a great victory for Trump too - once that happens, any criticism of Trump will be met by "but he was acquitted".

Tony P: Clancy's dead, so he's not writing any more of anything.

Helena Ramsay

Josh Marshall's thoughts, unfortunately behind a paywall, about the indictment

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/prime-beta/notes-on-muellers-new-indictments

However, his takeaways are

1. The US appears to have an impressive level of surveillance on the actors in question, travel records, email communications between the operatives managing the plot, money transfers, communications with various US residents (albeit apparently unwitting). If I was a US national and did anything wrong in this whole caper, I would be very nervous after reading this document. Mueller’s investigators appear to have a vast amount of very granular information about this plot, more frankly than I imagined and I suspect far more than is included in this indictment.

2. We are hearing that the same actors (though perhaps not the same actual people) are already at work on the 2018 election. This gives a feeling for just what kinds of activities US intelligence officials are talking about. President Trump has apparently been totally passive about this. Law enforcement and counter-intelligence are, one would hope, acting on their own. But that kind of lack of focus, intentional and deliberate lack of focus, inevitably has an effect.

3. Always remember with indictments and charging documents, the government doesn’t have to and seldom does reveal all the information it has. It is impossible to read this document and not think there’s a great deal more Mueller’s investigators know and are holding back. Frequently specific actors remain anonymous while others are named and indicted. We’re not told why.

He gives specific passages in the indictment to back that up, and argues that there's more going on that is coming down the pipe.

If you want to follow this stuff, you may want to support Josh.

Count-

Get me to the coast and put a few drinks in me and this bird turns into a salty dog.

FE-

I think they need to do 2 and I think it's a no-brainer because it's the right thing to do*; these guys were worried that there are more Senate pubs willing to dump Trump one would think. They were looking at the electoral map for 2020 and apparently there are enough purple state/vulnerable pubs up for reelection make it close; or at least too close for their comfort. They are pushing for scenario 1 and are doing so based completely on calculus that maximized Dem gains in Congress and in state houses.

LP-

I'm a prime member at TPM and a paying member of American Ideas Institute (i.e., The American Conservative). Venn diagram party of one.

* I'm assuming Trump is dead to rights on at least obstruction.

I'M not sure Manaforts finances from 2014 have much to do with his charter. Not that I object too much that he is in trouble.

2014 is hardly too early to be involved in a 2016 Presidential run. raising money, laying the groundwork, feeling-out the terrain. that's perfectly believable. a lot happens before a campaign is officially declared (partially for money-making regulation reasons).

so, it's possible that Manafort, Page, Don Jr, whomever, was involved in buying Russian favors, which (hypothetically) could be connected to what Mueller announced Friday.

we won't know if Mueller doesn't look.

and if Mueller finds tangential crimes while pursuing serious crimes, it would be a mistake for him to not try to leverage the former for info about the latter.

I am not expecting to persuade people, but here I what I think.

1. The truly effective thing the Russians apparently did was to obtain the DNC emails. This was effective because it showed the DNC was colluding with the Clinton campaign and contributed to an already widespread and to some degree justified sense of cynicism about our institutions. Wikileaks claims the source was someone else— true or not, it has at least a superficial plausibility because this is also the sort of thing a whistleblower would do. The end result was possibly some Sanders supporters who refused to vote for Clinton in November, but whether that made a difference would be hard to show.

Incidentally, the wikileaks dump also showed the influence of a witless Hollywood billionaire on the Clinton campaign named Haim Saban. The far left covered this. The point being that the most effective propaganda is sometimes effective on people because it is true.

2. The Russian social media stuff is a tiny fraction of the vitriol that has been part of our politics all along. They could pass themselves off as Americans because they were employing the same level of low level childish nonsense that is pervasive on talk radio, cable news, and the internet. Try reading the comments after any Yahoo news piece and you will see some amazingly stupid political crap even after stories which are not political. The Russians didn’t invent this. They copied it and deployed it on a much smaller scale than we do to ourselves.

3. Yes, people who employ fraud and steal identities should be prosecuted. Calling this a huge national security treat is pathetic. If internet trolls, Russian or not, are a huge national security threat then you might as well just give up on this whole democracy thing because we have been lying and BS’ ing for as long as we have existed and adding some foreign trolls does not constitute a fundamental change. Yes, expose the Russian aspect and try to stop it, but the way the NYT editors and others treat this is hysterical.

4. My posts wouldn’t be complete without some whataboutism and eqivalencies and this part could go on for days. I don’t apologize for this. Those who talk against “ purity” are implicitly employing their own criteria for deciding which bad things are more important than others. But we interfere in other countries and they in ours and sometimes right out in the open. Bill Clinton interfered in Israeli elections against Netanyahu. It was open. Netanyahu openly interfered in ours in 2012. Time Magazine bragged about our interference for Yeltsin in 1996, who was a disaster for Russia in ways Trump can so far only dream about. Haaretz had a piece linked by the NYT recently about how Al Jazeera exposed Israeli scheming against politicians in Britain. They apparently have a documentary about that in the US and a New Jersey Democratic congressman wants Al Jazeera to be registered as a foreign agent because of this not yet released American documentary.

And that’s before we get into arming terrorists and supporting coups and bombing civilians.


If the Russians try hacking voting machines then that will be serious, not least because it also means anyone could do it. You will be able to judge how worried people are by seeing if (as the nakedcapitalism people recommend) they all demand paper ballots hand counted in public. If they don’t, then they aren’t really worried, they don’t really see this as a major threat, or they prefer a hackable system for some reason.

Here is the Haaretz piece linked by the NYT.


https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/al-jazeera-we-reported-undercover-in-u-s-pro-israel-orgs-1.5456748

And here is the NYT piece where I found the Haaretz link

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/09/us/politics/trump-qatar-lobbying-embargo.html#click=https://t.co/dugsxOXyfj">https://t.co/dugsxOXyfj">https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/09/us/politics/trump-qatar-lobbying-embargo.html#click=https://t.co/dugsxOXyfj

You have to scroll down and if you weren’t aware of the issue I suspect most people would miss it.

If the Russians try hacking voting machines then that will be serious,

serious enough that we won't be told to STFU because the US has done something wrong somewhere ?

i have my doubts.

Yes, expose the Russian aspect and try to stop it, but the way the NYT editors and others treat this is hysterical.

Donald, people on ObWi have implicitly and explicitly said (I almost said admitted, but they didn't have to be forced to admit) that the US has at times indulged in great skulduggery, with regard to other countries' democratic processes among other issues. It's good of you to say that the "Russian aspect" should be stopped, but as far as I can gather, apart from a widespread acceptance that Russia/Putin means the US/Western democracies no good and should be countered, the main point of what you call hysteria, in the NYT, here and elsewhere, is to identify, prosecute and convict Americans who may have been aiding and abetting Russia in its destabilisation project. This latest indictment is widely seen as a step toward achieving this by making the investigation unstoppable. Forgive me if I misunderstand you, but you never seem to address the particular issue, which even Trump gets, of collusion.

From the Count's link:

A majority of Democrats now has a favourable view of George W Bush - shudder...

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/357109-poll-dems-have-favorable-view-of-george-w-bush

Schafer says that the Russian accounts his organization tracks now follow a well-worn path. First, he says, they tweet out news and breaking developments. This helps them to gain attention and attract new followers. Then they begin tweeting highly inflammatory material to fan the flames of partisanship.

Finally, Schafer says, the accounts shift to conspiracy theories. "They build this narrative of, 'You are being lied to by the government, by the media, by everyone else, so don't trust anyone or anything,' " he says. "It's not just divisive, there's an erosion quality to it as well — of eroding trust."

golly. ya don't say.

marty, thanks for your reasonable reply to my quite blunt comment.

fwiw, mueller's brief is quite broad. he's authorized primarily to investigate coordination between the trump campaign and the russian government, but he is also authorized to prosecute any federal crimes he discovers in the course of the investigation.

so, manafort, gates, flynn. and i will say that undisclosed employment by a foreign nation while either running a campaign for POTUS or acting as national security advisor for same really ought to attract attention.

i don't care if trump is impeached or not. if he is impeached, he will immediately be embraced as a martyr to the machinations of the tyrranical deep state and another million ar-15's will fly off the shelves.

that said, it would be good to establish some basic baseline of competence and regard for the responsibilities of office. we've had profoundly bad presidents before, but it would be worthwhile to draw the line somewhere.

what i want is for mueller's investigation to proceed to its conclusion without interference, and for the findings to be acted upon in whatever way is appropriate.

i put my odds at slightly less than even, but i am confident in mueller's personal integrity. i think he'll do the best job that it's possible to do.


"This latest indictment is widely seen as a step toward achieving this by making the investigation unstoppable."

Really? It isn't just an indictment of people who have been identified has having broken US laws?

It seems to be inevitable that anything that happens in this investigation gets overly interpreted by both sides.

It isn't just an indictment of people who have been identified has having broken US laws?

i think the word "just" here is misplaced.

the indictment establishes that there was, in fact, illegal interference in the US electoral process carried out by foreign nationals, and specifically Russian foeign nationals.

if your intent was to build a case that US nationals invited, encouraged, or participated in such a thing, you would first need to establish that such a thing in fact existed. beyond the level of rumor or "everybody knows" conventional wisdom.

its also useful, if you are trying to demonstrate "collusion" however defined, to be able to identify specific individuals and/or organizations as the counterparties.

to donald's points, yes "we all do it", but I'm also delighted to see these creeps rolled up. and if you think that Russian influence in US policy wouldn't result in bombs landing on somebody's head, i say you are mistaken.

we have our flaws, and they are manifold, but we ain't Russia. let's keep it that way.

it being a "whatever" thread, i'll add that i don't have to work this weekend for the first time in about a month, i've got a fresh pot of tea on, and ashkenazy is playing the moonlight sonata on my stereo.

so, a not-bad day, in spite of it all.

gota smell the flowers, y'all.

if your intent was to build a case that US nationals invited, encouraged, or participated in such a thing, you would first need to establish that such a thing in fact existed. beyond the level of rumor or "everybody knows" conventional wisdom.

its also useful, if you are trying to demonstrate "collusion" however defined, to be able to identify specific individuals and/or organizations as the counterparties.

Amen.

If the Russians try hacking voting machines then that will be serious...

Living in a state where the vast majority of the ballots are paper, I'm more concerned about hacking the voter registration database/system.

Colorado would have handily finished first overall in a recent Pew study of election security except for two measures that automatically punish vote-by-mail states heavily. According to the Secretary of State's office, we've been getting a lot of visitors from other states who want to study our audit processes.

russell, I see that is important. It helps if you are trying to establish a conspiracy to show there was a crime, even if,say, the conspiracy is mostly the cover up.

I have said that one of the differences between this and Watergate was the absence of the proof of the original crime. I am not sure that the tie is as direct here but at least there is a crime to build a conspiracy around.

Next challenge I suppose is three things:

1) Is there any conspiracy, based on the breadth of what they did it becomes harder to imagine a US actor that had motive to willingly participate

2) Since most of the indictments are about how they did it, would the US actors be accountable for that

3) Is there proof of a link to the Russian government, which would be required for a collusion charge.

"First, he says, they tweet out news and breaking developments. This helps them to gain attention and attract new followers. Then they begin tweeting highly inflammatory material to fan the flames of partisanship"

Finally, Schafer says, the accounts shift to conspiracy theories. "They build this narrative of, 'You are being lied to by the government, by the media, by everyone else, so don't trust anyone or anything,' " he says. "It's not just divisive, there's an erosion quality to it as well — of eroding trust."

Such familiar words.

These two paragraphs are the precise working boilerplate and mission statement the conservative movement in America has been charged with carrying out since the John Birch Society handed it to Barry Goldwater as he prepared for the 1964 election with the direction to halt all civil rights and rollback all social insurance legislation since 1932.

Every republican candidate at every level of government ever since has those two paragraphs as the summarizing abstract at the top of their campaign platforms.

It was Ronald Reagan's catechism. Richard Nixon's minions, many still with us like draculian retreads, have those words placed in time capsules and shoved up their fundaments for safe-keeping.

When Rush Limbaugh decided to haul the draft-dodging boils on his ass from high school sports broadcasting to employ them in the service of the total pollution of the airwaves, those two paragraphs were his touchstone.

Ibit for every piece of shit traitorous conservative radio and TV FOX News operative since.

Paul Weyrich and Richard Viguerie's mothers sewed those words into their jockey shorts.

Phyllis Schafly's bunny suit in which she seduced Bill Bennett was sewn from the itchy fabric of those two paragraphs.

Grover Norquist? Case closed.

The Kochs? Their raison d'etre with Daddy's money.

Art Pope in North Carolina? You got it.

The Falwells. Pat Robertson. William Bright. Those two paragraphs were Genesis, verses one and two.

The soon to be prayed over inhabitants of the Texas Governor's Office have those paragraphs engraved into the gun metal of their concealed and unconcealed weaponry.

Newt Gingrich? Those two paragraghs were the contract. But not with any reputable American we know.

Ayn Rand put those two paragraphs to her droning music in the scene wherein Dagny Taggart jacks off John Galt as they neared the edge of the gulch.

When Moe Lane left here in a snowflake snit to sign on at Redstate to help peddle their brand of horseshit, he was presented with those words on a scroll. Erick Erickson, that righteous prat, merely added the exclamation marks.

Putin and his operatives are Johnny come latelies in their support of this poisonous movement.

The Russians and the Eastern European AND American hackers and anonymous influencers are merely the latest contractors hired by the conservative movement to carry out their mission.

And then there is mp. An apotheosis of the poison fed into the American brain stem for 60 years by the conservative movement, but not the last one and not the deadliest. There's more to come.

The subhuman filth in the Arizona statehouse are just now drafting legislation to abolish the 17th Amendment. THEY and they alone would be able to choose the Senators to "represent" that State, if in fact they don't secede from the Union.

I know what I want.

Everyone here knows what it is.

1) Is there any conspiracy, based on the breadth of what they did it becomes harder to imagine a US actor that had motive to willingly participate

there are plenty of things out there that could, with more digging, turn out to be just such a conspiracy. interesting associations and unlikely coincidences.

Mueller probably knows things he isn't telling us.

Stay away, asshole(s):

https://www.thedailybeast.com/parkland-students-to-president-trump-stay-far-away-from-us?via=newsletter&source=Weekend

I see Rick Scott, who stole millions of dollars from Medicare, many times over, and which he capitalized on to win the hearts and minds of republican old fucks in Florida ON Medicare to become Governor, is calling for the resignation pf FBI Director Chris Wray over claims that agency has knowledge of the school shooter's intentions.

This seems awfully convenient.

Now, were I an unfumigated Alex Jones of the insane Left, which I am, but only in the powerless context of the OBWI commentariat, I would broadcast to my millions of impressionable, armed minions that the Broward County (Broward again, hanh? Broward and Waco seem to have most of the fun. What gives with that?) high school murders are a false flag operation carried out by deep state mp republicans in the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of the Federal Government on behalf of the entire conservative movement's effort to purge all government of all individuals who do not pledge undying loyalty to that pigfucking movement.

I would have witnesses on my show attesting to the presence of Alex Jones himself, that fucking subhuman murderer, in the vicinity of the school at the time of the shooting, perhaps disguised as a crosswalk guide ushering kids back into the school as the murderer approached.

I would read vaguely sourced communications between Scott's people and the mp White House and the conservative filth in the New York office of the FBI leading up to the conservative sport shooting event.

The Republican Party ordered these hits to go after bigger game.

True or false? It doesn't matter in pigfuck republican America.

Whatever helps kill the conservative movement will become enshrined fact.

What? You think I haven't been observing and internalizing the methods of the anti-American conservative movement for 40 years?

And to dispel charges of partisanship in these charges, let me repeat: Fuck the hapless Democratic Party.

What comes after the republican party is destroyed and made illegal on American soil is of no interest or consequence to me.


https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/16/us/exclusive-school-shooter-instagram-group/index.html

He's a dyed in the wool racist NRA republican. If Manchuria was the name of a red state, that would be his address.

Word:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7APmRkatEU

i shouldn't bother, but i've been lurking in Breitbart comment sections, reading what they think of Nikolas Cruz. and it's truly shocking how many of them believe all of the nonsense that was pushed by Russian twitter bots about Cruz. the "commie shirt", "he was a registered Democrat", "he was dressed in black in that one picture therefore: ANTIFA", "'Cruz' means he was Hispanic". everything the Russian bots pushed, they believe, and repeat, and defend. no matter how thoroughly debunked the story is, they believe it.

makes it tempting to think that a lot of the people there are, in reality, Russian trolls themselves.

if Mueller finds tangential crimes while pursuing serious crimes, it would be a mistake for him to not try to leverage the former for info about the latter.

Actually, if I have understood correctly, his mandate includes prosecuting any criminal activity that he comes across in the course of his investigation, regardless of whether it is part of the Russian effort.

so, a not-bad day, in spite of it all.

Here, too. It's even supposed to hit 70. Now if we could just get some rain....

) Is there any conspiracy, based on the breadth of what they did it becomes harder to imagine a US actor that had motive to willingly participate

2) Since most of the indictments are about how they did it, would the US actors be accountable for that

3) Is there proof of a link to the Russian government, which would be required for a collusion charge.

As noted above, 1) isn't really all that hard to imagine. For some, money is all the motivation needed for voluntary participation. And that's before we come to the question of involuntary participation.

As for 3), I'm not sure proof of a link to the Russian government is required in order to establish conspiracy to work with foreign (Russian) nationals to influence the election. I don't really think that you'd need to get to "preponderance of the evidence", let alone "beyond a reasonable doubt," that the Russian government was supporting (if not controlling) said foreign actors.

As I may have mentioned, I get a daily news e-mail from the Economist. Today's included this fascinating bit on a potentially revolutionary technique:

Before regulators will approve a drug for clinical trial in humans, promising compounds are tested in a laboratory, usually on animals such as rats and dogs. But an alternative process, using what are called “organs on a chip”, has just taken a big step forward. Such devices contain a colony of human cells that have been coerced into replicating the function of a particular organ. Tiny pipes mimic a blood supply. In a study this week in Nature Communications Imperial College London report that that a liver chip developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and CN Bio, a British company, responded to a hepatitis B viral infection in the same way that a real human liver would. That shows such chips have the potential to produce data that are more realistic, and cheaper, than using laboratory animals. Organ chips for the heart and lungs could be next.
"Organs on a chip" -- could make drug research faster, more accurate, etc., etc., etc. And it's good for us to occasionally take note that technology (whatever the anti-science crowd may thing) does help make things better.

Although, just to demonstrate that the technologists don't always get it perfect, there this:
https://youtu.be/HUE9mCN7sek

"Organs on a chip"

mmm. canapes.

I see it more as a "mighty Wurlitzer"...

"As for 3), I'm not sure proof of a link to the Russian government is required in order to establish conspiracy to work with foreign (Russian) nationals to influence the election. I don't really think that you'd need to get to "preponderance of the evidence", let alone "beyond a reasonable doubt," that the Russian government was supporting (if not controlling) said foreign actors."

Unless, of course, there's a "link" based on unhinged speculation, misreading tweets, and blatantly ignoring "the calendar" that connects to Hillary, in which case YES IT IS A CONSPIRACY, IT HAS BEEN PROVEN!1!!

Motivated "reasoning" is killing us.

FFS, the whole "Cruz is a white nationalist" thing was based on a 4chan prank.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/16/florida-shooting-white-nationalists-415672

humanity cannot survive

his mandate includes prosecuting any criminal activity that he comes across in the course of his investigation, regardless of whether it is part of the Russian effort.

authorization to do exactly that is granted explicitly in the order that established mueller's investigation.

look, trump is a crook. not because of any of this, he's just a crook. no US bank will lend him money. his business partners are felons and russian mafiosi. the folks buying his properties are anonymous offshore cash buyers working through shell companies. he's been successful sued for fraud under the RICO statute.

he's a crook, his kids are crooks, the folks running his campaign were and are crooks, thugs, and grifters. there is nothing sound or decent in the man that i can see.

he ran for president and won, so he's the president. that exposes him to much closer scrutiny than he ever received as a tv show personality and real estate developer. that appears to cause him some distress. too bad.

mueller has been granted a fairly broad scope for investigation. if he wants to get into trump's finances, he can do so. if he wants to get into any kind of co-operation between trump's campaign and/or trump personally, and foreign nationals acting illegally to interfere in the election, he can do so, and it doesn't matter if those folks were acting explicitly on behalf of the russian government or not. although in the case of the internet research center, there's not much daylight there.

mueller appears to be running an extremely thorough and disciplined investigation, for which we all owe him our thanks. he appears to be taking his time, dotting all of his i's and crossing all of his t's, and doing his homework. whatever case or cases he is building, he appears to be doing so deliberately and by the book.

i have no idea where this is all gonna land, and really nobody here does. wherever it goes, that's where it's gonna go. if that means trump goes, then it means trump goes, and if it doesn't, then he doesn't.

the republic is not going to stand or fall based on whether trump remains in office. trump is just the symptom. the fact that an individual like donald j trump had any chance in hell of attaining the office of POTUS points to much larger problems.

why would anyone vote for that guy? that's th question that needs answering.

Snarki, what is illegal about collusion IS colluding with a foreign government.

It's why I recognized you can have a conspiracy to illegally do stuff other than that.

Yes, people who employ fraud and steal identities should be prosecuted. Calling this a huge national security treat is pathetic.

Donald, I'm wondering what this is in reference to. While I am sure there are people calling this a huge security threat, but the stuff I'm reading is talking about how this is Mueller carefully assembling his case. If I missed someone hyperventilating here about the security threat of this, feel free to point them out, but I feel like the commentariat here isn't prone to that kind of over exaggeration.

Chris Hixon

Thanks for the names of the slain, lj.

Nice to see there is one equity market with a little shame:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/russian-stocks-tumble-on-mueller-indictments/ar-BBJdZ8F

https://www.joemygod.com/2018/02/17/homocon-jim-hoft-chuck-c-johnson-paul-nehlen-others-sued-falsely-naming-teen-killer-driver/

I hope these three appreciate there are governmental institutions and procedures to protect them from savage vengeance.

makes it tempting to think that a lot of [Breitbart commenters] are, in reality, Russian trolls themselves.

Russia has a staff of hundreds whose 40-hour jobs are to troll internet communications. I guarantee you they have substantial presence in basically every well-frequented or influential comments section, including leftish ones.

Russia has a staff of hundreds whose 40-hour jobs are to troll internet communications.

What? Governments can create jobs? That can't be true.

FE: ... well-frequented or influential comments section ...

Whew!

--TP

including leftish ones

yup. i'm pretty sure i saw some on Kevin Drum's site back in 2016.

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