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March 13, 2018

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Charles, that was priceless!

It looks like Nikki Haley may be the next to go. Unless Trump has (or at least had, at the moment that she was speaking) changed position on Russia's latest attack in the UK.

The United States believes that Russia is responsible for [attacking] two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent,” Haley said at the U.N. in New York.

"Russia must fully cooperate with the U.K.'s investigation and come clean about its own chemical weapons program," she added.

prediction: Russia is going to get away with this, with only minor sanctions. just like it's got away with Crimea, and the election stuff.

just like it's got away with Crimea, and the election stuff.

And the Litvinenko murder.

It's complicated, though. Expelling diplomats is one thing, but those winters can be chilly.

From the FT in January:

Russia’s gas exports to Europe rise to record high

State-run Gazprom supplies close to 40 per cent of Europe’s supply

It's not a minor issue in the UK, either.

These are articles about gas; I'll try to chase down oil later.

One thing the attacks on Alexander Litvinenko and Sergei Skripal have in common is that both used poisons readily traceable to the Russian state. The Russian government has denied responsibility both times, but it can't possibly expect anyone to believe it.

I suppose they could employ conventional assassins if they wished, so why have they gone out of their way to incriminate themselves?

why have they gone out of their way to incriminate themselves?

In a word: intimidation. To intimidate others who might work with the West, they have to know who will come after them.

I don't think that explanation quite works. Other (potential) defectors would take note however the murder is committed.

Maybe part of the point is precisely to make the point that no one can do a thing about it. It's laughing in the world's face.

They don't seem to be bothering to hide this kind of thing, either.

So the scary question is: what are they doing that they *are* taking pains to hide?

I have been entertaining myself by sending Russian flags as gifts. I got a pretty big R flag off Amazon for five dollars ans sent it as a present to Congressman Nunes . The gift card said something like " Something for you to salute besides he Republican party". This evening I will send one to Trump with a note that will say Something to salute besides yourself. I plan to work my way own a list of House Repubicans. I hope I am upsetting the target. Yes I knw they dont answer their own mail, but hopefully the flag andthe note will be delivered.

"Maybe part of the point is precisely to make the point that no one can do a thing about it. It's laughing in the world's face."

Who else does that remind us of?

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS774US774&ei=Zn2qWpqIO8K4jwOn0qX4Bw&q=gazprom+stock+given+to+republicans&oq=gazprom+stock+given+to+republicans&gs_l=psy-ab.12...29777.40557.0.42506.25.24.1.0.0.0.242.2808.0j20j1.21.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..3.15.1958...0j0i67k1j0i22i30k1j33i160k1j33i21k1j33i22i29i30k1.0.DFuxJT5FBvc

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/08/03/tangled-web-connects-russian-oligarch-money-gop-campaigns

Also, Rosneft. Those republican bank and brokerage accounts in the Caribbean stuffed with Russian paper.

Republican love offshore drilling two ways.

Rosneft has a subsidiary that sells rope.

Be careful what we say around here. Some of our lurkers are republicans working for Putin/mp enterprises.

I fear for your future, wonkie.

Poking a murder syndicate with a stick like that.

Where did Kudlow buy his cocaine, I'd like to know?

Why wasn't he arrested for possession and use, if everyone at Bear Stearns knew about it?

I mean, I know that bucket shop hauled in suitcases full of the stuff through the freight elevator, but still.

Who protected him?

Who protected him?

Jefferson, Franklin and Grant.

Washington and Lincoln cound't be bothered.

Whatever the republican party coughs up is Evil, even as the principalities inside that party's heaving maggoty carcass fight it out amongst themselves.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-political-forces-behind-rex-tillersons-firing/

We really all ARE going to die.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/trump-wh-wonkas-shite-factory.gif

via Balloon Juice

The history of the United States as written by Roald Dahl.

Canada and Mexico are going to need more fissionable material:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-admits-lying-canada-trudeau-trade-deficit

"laughing in the world's face."

Fucking Americans, and I include myself among them because I've waited until it's now too late to do something about the vermin republican infestation, need to be harassed, cavity-checked, and pistol-whipped at entry points along our northern and southern borders.

Are you now, or have you ever been, a registered Republican?

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-administration-unveils-sanctions-on-russians-for-interfering-in-us-elections-2018-03-15?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Will this end up like when the Kennedys went after Sam Giancana?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hMz9pLHmUA

Will Paul Ryan be found dead in mp's bed?

Who ya gonna call?

Maggots feeding on maggots:

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/03/qotd-person-who-made-bad-decision.html

The money trail between the Russian Mafia and republicans and the NRA goes back decades:

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/03/qotd-person-who-made-bad-decision.html

It whips those doggies right thru the heart of Texas.

This cite instead on that last one:

http://juanitajean.com/out-of-the-clear-blue/

The Republican/NRA poster family:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/dylann-roofs-sister-arrested-for-taking-weapons-to-school

Ya asks a question and ipso fatso, someone pipes up:

From whom did Kudlow buy his cocaine?

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-who-talks-about-executing-drug-dealers-vouched-for-two-of-them?via=newsletter&source=AMDigestOrig_ABTest

Does mp have Security Clearance?

We really all ARE going to die.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7-60tyLQhA

By a historical accident due to the fact that I was dragged round the world too much as a child, I have lived longer in my apartment than anyone else I know has lived anywhere. When I bought this apartment, the area was still infested by artists and bohemians, but in the ensuing decades it has been gentrified to the max and my road is now the home of a couple of (very minor) Russian oligarchs. One of them installed some very unusual (unprecedented actually) heavy duty security a few months ago, a year or two after they bought the place, such that visitors have to wait in the street by a video entry system before they can even get into the front yard, and today I see that the other one is installing the same thing. So I'm guessing Russians in London (and everywhere else) are none of them sleeping too well.

on the bright side, our incoherent, unstable and stupid administration is actually going to slap some more sanctions on Russia. sure, these are more of those individually-targeted things that really just make us look silly. but, maybe it's better than totally ignoring the issue.

FYI, here's the long-form version of that Twitter story about "conservative" voices at the NYT.

on the bright side, our incoherent, unstable and stupid administration is actually going to slap some more sanctions on Russia

Has there been a generals' coup ??

Good piece, cleek, thanks.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/mueller-subpoenas-trump-organization-demands-russia-documents-report-2018-03-15?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

A New Yorker review of a movie depicting the death mp and his minions' maneuvering afterwards:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/03/19/the-death-of-stalin-dares-to-make-evil-funny

But change the title to its American version:

"The Death Of mp Dares To Make Funny Evil"

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/mueller-witness-george-nader-convicted-pedophile

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/03/americans-love-torture/

Why wasn't he arrested for possession and use, if everyone at Bear Stearns knew about it?

Rich white guys don't go to jail for blow.

Rich white guys don't go to jail for blow.

As I noted above (March 14 9:21 PM) just like a potential executive order to assassinate drug dealers, such things mainly get applied enthusiastically in minority neighborhoods. (Although occasional exceptions can be made of college students.)

Republicans running Texas apparently allow, or hire, Russians and their dupes to steal elections in that State.

Wall? Texas needs a dome.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/possible-russian-trolls-try-register-texas-democratic-convention-n856801

Decent federal employees, not the jackbooted republican vermin among them, need to carry deadly weapons at all times:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/state-department-white-house-targeting-career-staff-dem-letter

I want Gingrich to fuck with me. Please.

How dumb do you have to be (or how dumb do you have to think we are) to register to participate remotely in a US political convention . . . using an e-mail address that ends .mail.ru??? (For those who don't know, .ru is a country code for Russia.) Amazing. And also makes me wonder how many similar efforts are enough smarter to not use obviously Russian accounts.

makes me think it's just 4chan assholes screwing around for the lulz.

Americans strive to be exceptionally full of shit:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/another-woe-for-home-buyers-is-the-house-spying-on-you-2018-03-13?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Somehow, worrying about what someone selling the house will hear you, a prospective buyer, say isn't that big a deal to me. Much bigger would be, how sure are you that, once you complete the transaction, those camera and microphones are no longer sending to the previous owner's phone?

In my mind, a major flaw in the whole Internet of Things is all those gadgets in your home, most with minimal security built into their software, sending information off to the cloud. Does one (or all) get hacked? Do they do more than just their nominal function -- like, does the dusting gadget also photograph all the books, magazines, photos, etc. you have lying around?

Or say you have an indoor/outdoor weather station, which sends weather information to the cloud, where (depending on your settings) anybody can see it. If temperature, wind speed and direction, and rainfall is all it's sending out, probably not a big deal. (Unless the rainfall numbers show that you are watering your yard during drought restrictions, of course.) But if it's got a microphone and camera in there as well? Does it? Are you sure? Have you taken it apart and looked?

I'm ignoring, since it probably doesn't hurt you personally, the possibility that the little computers on those gadgets can be hacked to participate in a DOS attack. Fun times we live in!

Sorry, that was a bit off topic for something that isn't an open thread.

Sorry, that was a bit off topic for something that isn't an open thread.

We just thought you had been hacked...

Ah for the days when a "hack writer" was merely someone who wrote mediocre prose in quantity.

Wow, Count, I didn't think Americans loved torture that much, though I had an inkling when "Zero Dark Thirty" was almost unanimously well reviewed - good heavens.

Here's an international comparison:

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/02/09/global-opinion-use-of-torture/

WaPo says Trump will give McMaster the ax.

What Fox News talking head will take McMaster's place?

From the WaPo piece (sorry no link, I read it on an app):

Several candidates have emerged as possible McMaster replacements, including John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Keith Kellogg, the chief of staff of the National Security Council.

Kellogg travels with Trump on many domestic trips, in part because the president likes his company and thinks he is fun. Bolton has met with Trump several times and often agrees with the president’s instincts. Trump also thinks Bolton, who regularly praises the president on Fox News Channel, is good on television.

I have nothing to add.

Said it before, and it's still true, and still very unpleasant:

If you want torture to go back into the "box of things NEVER to be done again", either:

A. Frogmarch the W torturers and their commanders, enablers, and apologists, harsh trials, PUBLIC executions: short drop, long dangle.

B. Widespread torture practiced against the GOP and the domestic terrorists in their midst.

Could do both, but doing neither guarantees that torture will be part of our 'culture' for the foreseeable future.

Kudlow is a disaster.

Of course, he won't have a lot of influence, but what he does have will be awful.

It is just amazing that that jackass could be appointed to the job.

It just gets worse and worse.

Thank god the technocrats are no longer running the show. Competence will be the death of us.

As I said above, I'll get seriously worried (about Trump getting us into an unnecessary war) if Bolton replaces McMaster.

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