First, Trump’s idiotic tweet from earlier today:
Unless you catch "hackers" in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn't this brought up before election?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2016
Trump wouldn’t be able to locate a power source for a laptop if there were a glowing neon cord to follow, so I think it’s safe to dismiss his assessment of the difficulty of identifying hacker signatures. But his question about why it wasn’t brought up before the election makes me wonder if he’s cognitively impaired.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked about this issue today. Here’s an excerpt from TPM’s report:
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest defended the intelligence community on Monday against charges from President-elect Donald Trump that their assessments of Russian interference in the U.S. election couldn’t be trusted.
“President Obama is certainly not the first president to have enjoyed the benefits of the experts in our intelligence community,” Earnest said in his daily press briefing, responding to a question about Trump’s recent comments. “I’m confident that the President-elect would benefit from that advice, if he remains open to it.”
“You did not need a security clearance to figure out who benefited from malicious Russian cyber activity,” Earnest said in response to a separate question.
“The president-elect did not call it into question. He called on Russia to hack his opponent. He called on Russia to hack Sec. Clinton. So he certainly had a pretty good sense of whose side this activity was coming down on,” he continued. “The last several weeks of the election were focused on a discussion of emails that had been hacked and leaked by the Russians. These were emails from the DNC and John Podesta, not from the RNC and Steve Bannon.”
Earnest followed up by pointing out that the GOP knew Russia was meddling before election day, and they need to own that. From CSPAN’s clip, published at Crooks & Liars:
“And yes, this is all material that was known by Republican politicians in the Congress that endorsed the president elect. And how they reconcile their political strategy and their patriotism is something they will have to explain.”
Thank you, Mr. Earnest. That needed to be said.
Ten electors from the Electoral College have asked to review intelligence prior to their vote next week. Now risotto chef and former Clinton campaign chair John Podesta has weighed in (TPM again):
“The bipartisan electors’ letter raises very grave issues involving our national security,” Clinton campaign manager John Podesta said in a statement obtained by Politico. “Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed.”
“Each day that month, our campaign decried the interference of Russia in our campaign and its evident goal of hurting our campaign to aid Donald Trump,” he continued. “Despite our protestations, this matter did not receive the attention it deserved by the media in the campaign. We now know that the CIA has determined Russia’s interference in our elections was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American.”
And good old Harry Reid points the finger at Comey (via CNN):
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Monday FBI Director James Comey was “heavily involved as a partisan” in the weeks leading up to the election and that Comey’s actions handed the presidency to Donald Trump.
The retiring Nevada Democrat said Democrats “would have won the majority in the Senate and would have won the presidency but for Comey.”
“It’s obvious he was a partisan in all this,” Reid told CNN’s Manu Raju in an interview. “There’s information out there. He had it, I’m confident. And he ignored it.”
He said Comey “significantly” helped make Trump the President-elect, faulting his failure to condemn Russian hacking of Democratic operatives and his handling of the investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s email server.
I don’t think any of this will amount to a hill of beans, BTW. Barring some crazy twist, Trump will be sworn in on January 20th. But I’m heartened to see Democrats with a platform speaking out. The 2016 election was tainted, and Trump’s presidency should be delegitimized before it begins and every day he illegitimately occupies the Oval Office.
I, too, would be surprised if this somehow results in Trump not taking office 1/20.
BUT 1) it’s the right thing to do, because it HAPPENED and it’s wrong, and 2) it will hobble Trump’s “presidency” even further. I just want to see all the GOP painted with the same shade of shit. Good on Earnest for his swipe at GOP congresscritters who knew about Russia’s interference and still supported Trump.
Thanks for the link to the “Ten electors from the EC have asked to review intelligence…”, Betty. Someone had asked me for a link to it in an earlier thread and I forgot to get around to it until just now (I saw it in The Hill)
It’s only Monday afternoon…let’s see what the rest of the week brings!
Idiotic, nothing — Trump is making what, from his perspective, is an important point . . . Before the election, this actually wasn’t his responsibility — it was the responsibility of the intelligence community, and the House and Senate Intelligence committees, and President Obama. If those people didn’t do anything, well . . . President-Elect Trump hates to lob you in front of a bus, but hey, we’re all standing around here by the road and there’s a Greyhound steaming past, something’s gotta be done.
Remember, the primary lesson when dealing with Trump is that everyone gets it but him . . . apparently that’s going to apply to some people high up enough that they probably thought they were immune.
“Each day that month, our campaign decried the interference of Russia in our campaign and its evident goal of hurting our campaign to aid Donald Trump,” he continued. “Despite our protestations, this matter did not receive the attention it deserved by the media in the campaign.”
And there you have it. CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the rest will forget to tell you this part of the story.
Good. Fight. Don’t let the media wander off to the next shiny object.
*$*@!ing audit logs…how do they work?
Trump’s reality is whatever he decides its supposed to be. Actually I think thats the Republican party’s motto as well.
What’s Up With Trump and Putin?
by Nancy LeTourneau
December 12, 2016 1:03 PM
The big story right now is the extent to which Russia and Vladimir Putin involved themselves in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win. The president-elect is doing his usual spin job on the news, with his most recent lie being that the topic didn’t come up during the campaign. For anyone tempted to believe him, they’ll have to answer for this:
But for those who have legitimate questions about what actually happened, there are a few important things to keep in mind. First of all, during the entire primary and general election campaigns, we heard the word “rigged” a lot. As far as we know, that is not what Russia did. While there were concerns about a possible attempt to hack voting systems, there is no evidence that happened. So when you hear things like this from Republicans, that is important to keep in mind.
That is an attempt to divert the conversation from the evidence suggesting that Russia tried to influence the election in favor of Mr. Trump. More precisely, that Russia was involved in hacking emails at both the DNC and RNC – but only leaked those from the former.
While we don’t have access to all of the evidence collected by the CIA, what we have witnessed goes beyond what has been leaked to the press about their reports to members of Congress. First of all, we know that candidacies like Trump’s are something Russia has backed all across Europe.
Major Major Major Major
If there ever was a time to have used the bully pulpit…
@Nick: Trump answered a question about it and encouraged them to do it at a press conference.
Sure would be the awesome if the Electoral College folks showed some spine and voted for Hillary. I don’t expect that but it sure would solve a whole lotta problems.
If nothing else, it will open up public opinion enough to allow Trump’s term to be checked in some capacity.
There have been so many times when we were panicking but Obama had had a plan all along. I pray that at our time of greatest need he comes through again.
@kindness: Only need 37 of Trump’s electors to put country before Putin…er, I mean party…
Wouldn’t surprise me to hear a certain national leader address the country by the end of the week.
@Major Major Major Major:
Sorry. Does not exist.
OT, but check this out. The song is so appropriate right now. https://youtu.be/ZrBmDqDytHI
Major Major Major Major
@Corner Stone: Giving a speech flanked by the leaders of the intelligence community doesn’t exist?
I’m going to post this again. The day the electors vote is key. But it’s not finalized until January 6, 2017.
Objections to the Electoral College vote can be made and submitted in writing. It takes one member of the House and one Senator. Even if the Electoral College certify the vote, if enough intel has come out between the vote next week and January 6, there is still a possibility that something could happen to change the vote certification. Joe Biden will still be VP and preside over the vote as the President of the Senate.
What do you think Putin will have to say?
@Major Major Major Major: I can’t say I recall ever seeing one. But no, specifically, the bully pulpit does not exist.
You still don’t get it do you? It doesn’t matter if Trump tweets doublespeak or the complete opposite of the truth. Once he says it, to all his followers and all his quislings, it is now the Truth. Anyone who disagrees is partisan and probably a traitor.
Just listened to Patti Smith doing Dylan’s “A Hard Rain Is Gonna Fall” at the Nobel ceremony. Having 2 darling young sons makes it even more moving and powerful.
@Thoroughly Pizzled: From your lips to God’s ear.
Major Major Major Major
@Corner Stone: Fine. “If ever there was a time to have taken bold executive action and publicly pressed forward, hard, on a point unilaterally…”
Unless you catch “hackers” in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking.
Unless you catch literally catch them the moment they are hacking, it’s impossible to know for sure they’re doing it. Because they throw bleach over their computers to cover their tracks.
@Jeffro: But is there an episode of Celebrity Apprentice to pre-empt by then?
Major Major Major Major
@germy: After that, for all we know it’s some 400-pound guy in bed, or Barron Trump.
The Russia story seems to be gathering some steam. Glad to see Josh and Harry saying what needs said. Obama needs to do it, too. I’m sorry but no amount of protocol or concern for the delicate fee fees of idiot America can override this danger to our country and anyone who has had briefings or seen any of the intelligence on this and isn’t behind a massive effort to get to the bottom of it and find out how many, if any at all (I know, but let’s pretend there’s doubt), people in the RNC and Trump camp have these ties to Putin and Russia and how cozy those ties actually are. Obama needs to come out and address the public on the severe nature of this threat. Mike Morrill is calling this the 2016 equivalent to 9/11. I tend to agree.
Not in the sense that he can’t remember, but in the sense that he’s a pathological liar. He’s saying that it wasn’t brought up before the election because he thinks that will help him; memory nothing to do with it.
@Major Major Major Major: When herr drumpf made his “400-pound guy in bed” wisecrack, I felt a disturbance in the force; as if a million RW internet trolls had gasped in unison.
You’re right that this almost certainly will not stop Trump from taking office on January 20. But it’s still a lot more than a hill of beans that rancor and distrust of our entire system of government will be greatly increased. I am afraid that it will not motivate people who sat this election out to vote next time, but will confirm their belief that it’s all a pointless sham. And if the CIA has solid evidence for the reported tampering, it will be the greatest constitutional crisis the country has ever faced, except perhaps for the Civil War.
I am also not very sure that V. Putin thought this one out very carefully. Like the rest of us, he’s getting a guy with no experience, supreme confidence that he knows more than anyone else, and an irritable bowel for a brain. Anything could happen.
The President still has a month to order up a special prosecutor to investigate the involvement of the Russians and their domestic agents. Subpoena power, follow leads to wherever they might go. Recommend prosecutions, issue exhaustive report. Our new battle cry: “Remember the
I’d love to see people meet him at every public stop with signs in Cyrillic that say ‘You owe us. Pay up.”
Get that Pravda Presidency started off on the correct foot.
EDIT – the correct phrase as I see it is вы нам, должны платить.
Public opinion is swayed by repeated and loud arguments from the other side.
There is a reason why years of punching the librul media worked, by the years of “incompetent gummint” is firmly implanted in Americans minds.
We need to keep this up day after day, years if need be and never shut up about it.
@tamiasmin: I’ll repeat what I saw in the comments section of a small town newspaper:
This is what his supporters are telling each other.
Major Major Major Major
@germy: Don’t forget that our progressive betters think that, either through karma, ’embracing’ ‘neoliberalism’, or otherwise spurning Saint Bernard, we earned this.
@rikyrah: Trump’s first intelligence briefing, in August, was incredibly contentious. He took Christie and Flynn–the guy who used to take a paycheck from Putin for appearing on RT–and Flynn lost his shit, asking questions and casting doubt on what they were being told so aggressively that Christie had to shush him. Then, after that Trump started blowing them off, Flynn got more important and Christie appeared to lose interest in being in Trump’s administration.
There is very little chance that they weren’t briefed on this at that briefing And it’s likely that news is what set off Flynn and what caused Cheetolini to to start blowing him off.
A somewhat less far-fetched possibility is if Trump electors having second thoughts got together and settled on a list of Republicans that they’d vote into a tie for third. Say they gave Romney, Ryan, Kasich, Cruz, Rubio, Scott Walker, Mitch McConnell, and Tom Cotton five votes each, which would punt the election to the House. (The House can vote for any of the top 3 vote-getters, and presumably if there were a tie for third, they could choose among the top two and all the people who tied for third.)
The cool thing about this is that it would force the House Republicans to either reject Trump, or make an affirmative choice for Trump. If they chose him, he would be on their heads.
I hadn’t thought of that (at the time) but you’re probably right. And Cheeto must have turn a mighty red color when the briefing touched on that subject.
Major Major Major Major
Aren’t we basically just deciding whether to have a massive, possibly fatal constitutional crisis now, in the spring, or slightly later still?
Because Turtle McShitweasel put the kaibosh on it, you complete fucking eedjit.
The Moar You Know
Not for the swearing in on Jan 20. That’s a done deal. But it will make a difference down the line, which is why it needs to be hit hard and repeated – forever. Just like “young bucks buying T-bones with food stamps”, we gotta do the same thing. “Russian hackers put Trump in office”. Never stop saying it. It matters, after forty years. Ask Hillary if you don’t believe me.
@Major Major Major Major: If HRC had won the electoral vote but lost by 3 million popular votes, repubs (and the nightly news) would be calling it a constitutional crisis.
Major Major Major Major
@germy: Sure, but I meant a real one. A democrat sneezing is a constitutional crisis for them.
Yes he does.
@The Moar You Know:
This. It needs to be said every day in every way in every possible venue. To your family and friends, to all of our elected officials at every single level, to the local newspaper, to the local broadcast news, to national publications and to national cable and broadcast news.
It needs to be deafening. That is my plan, anyway.
“NO PUPPET! NO PUPPET! YOU’RE THE PUPPET!! NO, YOU’RE THE PUPPET”
Leaving aside that Trump has no idea how you track down hackers, he also seems to be forgetting that there could be other means by which NSA et al. could figure out that the hacking had been at Russia’s direction. But that’s not exactly a surprise.
Oh, God, the President-elect communicates with the public only thru Twitter. Standards have already fallen so far.
@Doug R: Speaking of Celebrity Apprentice, has anyone seen any move to boycott the show and the advertisers? Seems like if Trump is executive producer that shaming the advertisers might be something to focus on to highlight his conflict of interest.
@Major Major Major Major:
Pretty much, yeah. I think we should rip the band-aid off ASAP, myself, while there might still be one or two institutions standing. If it doesn’t happen until 2018, the damage will already be really bad.
They want us to cringe and cower and silence ourselves.
i follow a bunch of infosec people on twitter and the fact that this was done by russians (although whether directly state sanctioned is still murky) has been known for months. the top security firms have all taken a look at this and came to the same conclusions. that this issue was not the defining issue of the campaign is an indictment of all our institutions.
@geg6: Agreed, and I hope he will. He’s in an excruciatingly difficult situation — I get that. But this is a national emergency, and he’s the one politician MOST Americans like and trust. Even if it doesn’t change the outcome, it’s important for the president to talk to us about this, and the sooner the better.
Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class
Conservatives have neither spine nor shame. The folks selected as electors are true believers and party loyalists in every sense of the word.
I do hope that as the news gets out that the Seventh Fleet is getting hammered by PLA Navy action (along with a high casualty count) in the South China Sea midway through next year, that James Comey will have the basic honor to call a press conference and confess his sins (and identify the contact people at the Trump campaign and the RNC) before pulling out his service pistol and doing himself on live TV.
@germy: That’s just nuts. It is, however, easily addressed (as are all of these crazy-ass Trump ideas, nominations, and BS) by asking one simple question: “What if it were Hillary we were talking about here?”
As in, “What if it were Hillary who was underwater by 2.8M popular votes”? “What if Hillary had been the beneficiary of a hostile foreign power’s intelligence services and hacking?” “What if Hillary had appointed a half dozen $1M+ campaign donors to head agencies they had no background in?”
It’s versatile, you have to admit – covers all questions and double standards here
Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class
I’m boycotting everything Burnett does, as well as his advertisers.
@Jeffro: I often find myself playing the “what if” game. Like I’ll take drumpf quotes and tweets and wonder “Imagine if Obama had said this stuff in 2008?”
Found this on twitter
If this has been mentioned.. sorry
@Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: Good for you. But is there any organized boycott? Maybe a catchy slogan tying Mark Burnett to Putin?
@JPL: I hadn’t seen that. Let’s start following the money. Even Martha Stewart got tossed in prison for insider trading.
Trump is ignorant or lying It was brought up before the election, from places inside and outside the federal government. The miserable dishonest weasel McConnell, who now wants to try to corrupt and control the investigation on the Senate side, is the main reason concerns from federal intelligence agencies were not made more public before the election.
Edit: and IMHO, McConnell should have been told to go to hell before the election and federal intelligence agency concerns officially disseminated.
@Major Major Major Major: Yes, thanks be to Vlad.
The general public is usually very slow to grasp most new concepts thrown their way. It takes a lot of working through denial to comprehend a direct attack on the democracy they know. I’m actually surprised that things are developing this fast. And hopeful.
We are, and will be, in uncharted territory for a while. But we still have Obama and Reid for a few more weeks, and I think the EC is spinning up on this pretty fast, as they should.
But if the end result is that everyone shrugs their shoulders and Trump takes the oath on 1/20, then EVERY election going forward will be tainted by the stench of this one.
Totally agree with you. Better now than seeing what is in store in 4 or 8 years.
And I see that TPM is saying that Ryan is now on board with an investigation. Wonder why he and the Turtle are suddenly seeming so concerned? As of Friday, neither of them gave a shit and said as much.
Hillary brought it up to his face in all three debates.
@geg6: What do the Russians have on Ryan? They must have something on McConnell.
Yep. Our media looked at emails that had been stolen by a hostile foreign power and said, “Hey, look, they said something slightly mean about Bernie Sanders!”
It never even occurred to them that the source might be a problem. Not even once.
The Republicans are preparing to turn our foreign policy over to Russia, and they don’t give a shit. They’re gleeful about it! They don’t care that we’re a Russian client state now as long as they can kill Social Security and Medicare.
Jesus, it’s like I’ve walked into a fucking nightmare. Our country is being turned over to a foreign power and our elites are fucking cheerleading it, because at least Comrade Putin isn’t a filthy Democrat.
@geg6: They can only attempt damage control if they’re on board the train. And this train has already cleared the station and picking up steam fast.
Still, I hope it’s too late for Turtleman to contain the damage to his reputation and career that certain revelations may create.
I don’t believe that it wouldn’t have mattered. I think voters would care that Russia wanted Trump elected because they would have wondered WHY Russia wanted Trump elected. That this was withheld from them denied them information they should have had. No one should have made the decision that it didn’t matter for them. They should have been given what Senators and DC had.
Can you imagine if their personal emails had been released?
There must be a million grotesque nuggets there.
@germy: What, God’s chosen country needs advice from the former Evil Empire?
@Yarrow: I thought republicans were the party of tort reform. It seems like they sue at the drop of a hat (or ushanka, I should say).
I’m assuming that they’re hoping to slow-walk any investigations and then magically find no problems once Comrade Trump is safely inaugurated.
I never would have dreamed that elected officials of the United States of America would be a-okay with the US becoming a client state of Russia, but that’s where we are.
@Major Major Major Major: I think would only be a Constitutional crisis if vote hacking were uncovered. We don’t know that happened or not yet. But since at least two states’ voter registration rolls were hacked, it needs to be investigated.
@geg6: Ryan and McConnell are masters of treachery and PR, I wouldn’t put too much into anything they profess to think. I think McConnell is playing a double game. He wants to try to corrupt and control the investigation as much as possible. Or maybe they want Trump as damaged as possible to increase influence of Pence? Pence would be a better tool to get their agenda through. They realize that Trump is too much of a risky waking disaster waiting to happen? Who knows?
Trump probably wants electors to sign an NDA before voting. This guy….
@germy: Horror show.
They promised Ryan his heart’s desire: ending Social Security and Medicare forever, with no consequences to himself or his party.
Why would he need anything else?
As Rikyrah says, uh huh, uh huh:
Maybe they can insist on using some of Carly’s HP printers to distribute any necessary paperwork.
Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class
Metric fuckton of pressure from all those IC professionals who are fearful of their life’s honest work coming undone, not to mention being potential targets for Putin’s polonium pellets. Plus, there are more than a few old cold warriors rolling around on KStreet and at the defense contractors that can’t be happy.
This is a bipartisan snowball rolling downhill. Probably not soon enough, but feathers are ruffled, and some of those who are ruffled aren’t exactly without connections or resources.
I agree with most that this won’t stop Trump from being inaugurated on 1/20. But it will only take a few GOP senators to keep his appointments from being confirmed. McCain and Graham are already in that realm, specially for those that have any ties to Russia. One or two more and his appointments in some areas will be stopped.
@Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class:
Someone mentioned (in another thread?) that Trump’s Russian connections were being discussed on “The View” today.
Suburban housewives and retired people are only just now waking up to what really happened and what they voted for.
He is a monster, plain and simple.
@Mnemosyne: Agreed. It’s jaw dropping, But the Republican officials are naive if they think they can control this situation, that by slow walking the investigation and ending up with “nothing to see here” that will save them. It will not. Russia still has the information from the hacks. The Republicans are all just sitting ducks for the Russians to blackmail them or drop the info to embarrass them. This will not end well for them. If they think they can control it they’re idiots.
Yes. Yes, he is.
What seems like every institution in this country and much of the public has, over the last twenty to fifty years, become so reflexively primed towards punching Democrats in general, and towards certain assumptions about Democrats in particular (they’re the peacenik appeaser objectively-pro-fascists; they’re the ones that enemies of America want in power because they’re so weak; Republicans are the nationalist patriotic ones who don’t take any shit from our enemies) that they simply have no idea what to do with information like this. Up is down and black is white. In the absence of any frame of reference, a ton of them simply continued as if all the old assumptions were still valid, and went into denial as to what their own lying eyes were telling them.
@Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: Unacceptable. I demand nothing less than traditional seppuku including the second with the katana behind in case of his cowardice.
Yeah, and the Trump Family also dropped this over the weekend:
Sorry, but Ivanka and Jared are gross, arrogant people. It’s gross that they’re planning on taking the place of people who work hard and prepare and would be there on merit. They’re both adults. They don’t have to behave as poorly as Trump. They could do the right thing, but they won’t.
The Trump Family are the kind of people regulations and “norms” were intended for- they lack any capacity to self-police. People like this are why we need and have rules. They over-reach. They take and take and take.
@germy: At the extreme right fringe of #IOKIYAR you’ll find #IOKIYAT apparently
@Poopyman: I think it is fully possible that Dems will hold their own hearings if McConnell doesn’t do a serious invetsigation. Won’t have the bells and whistles of a full inquiry, but this time, I think the media will cover it.
I have had one experience in life with a pathological liar and it only lasted about a month thank goodness, but he didn;t seem able to notice when he had told us the opposite the day before or even the hour before. He had to one up everything anyone said about themselves even if it was just a personal detail and not a boast. Another employee said her mother was a nurse at a local hospital, he said his wife was a doctor there. She was a nurse the same as the mother and why lie? Then he flirted with customers and other employees and said he wasn’t married when we had met his wife and daughters a few days ago shown around by him….he lied all the time and could not shut up nor did he seem to expect us to remember anything. originally we were all unsuspicious but we couldn’t help but realize he was a liar. Very unsettling and unreal. We got rid of him by calling the owner and 16 out of 18 of us telling the owner what was going on. Exception was him and his best friend that he had just hired. The owner listened to our stories that sounded to wild to be true and giggled while we talked. I thought he didn’t believe us but he fired the guy that night. And had the locks changed.
Of course they think they can control it, but it’s too late. The Russians don’t fuck around when it comes to this stuff. They will have no compunction about neutralizing any Republican who tries to stand in their way, up to and including poisoning.
If Ryan and McConnell think they can outmaneuver Putin, they are in for a very, very bad surprise.
You can do this with most any GOP official you want, as far back as oh 1994, I’d say, but keeping it more current is better. Sometimes it’s actually helpful: I’ve gotten a few friends to understand how “Clinton Rules” work by doing this.
@Mnemosyne: Here’s a link to the clip of the ladies on The View talking about. (Raw Story link). They’re all pretty outraged. The View audience is full of “security moms.”
@Chris: Well, I have no witnesses to vouch for me on this blog, but I have been telling my Baltic connections for years that the GOP would cut a deal with the Russians in a second and sell them out for power of money, and NATO would not be much help to them if that happened.. They found that hard to believe. I hope things don’t spiral out of control, and we scrape out of this with just some some lessons learned the hard, but not catastrophic, way.
The corporate media won’t learn. I saw an article where the oligarch running Time Warner was kissing Trump’s ass and accusing the Democrats of being a bigger threat to a free press, I suppose in an attempt to kiss whatever butt he can to try to get his merger through.
@japa21: Where is Chaffetz on this? He used to seem so…. eager.
I listened to that earlier today and I was crying by the end of it. It’s like a requiem for the country.
He’s not cognitively impaired — well, all right, he might be, but this is not the evidence of it. Here he is simply lying. but it is important to understand why he lies. It is not because he gains any benefit from it. It is not even “just because he can”. It is because telling someone the truth grants them equal standing — and Trump, like all conservatives, has a total emotional block against doing that. Lying, in other words, is merely a manifestation of sadism — one of many possible manifestations.
The gray adder
The inauguration is still open to the public, right? A few well placed people waving Russian flags might make the news and really piss Trump off on his special day.
@The gray adder: Just because the inauguration has been open to the public before doesn’t mean it will this time. Cracking down on dissent is what authoritarians do.
Iowa Old Lady
Not only was Russian hacking brought up, but Trump himself was one of the people who did it when he urged Russia to hack Clinton.
Gas lighting is going to make us all crazy.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I was skeptical of this argument, but given how fast Ryan and McConnell have folded today, you might be right.
Davis X. Machina
@Major Major Major Major: The vote is on acute v. chronic….
But of course they never will have to. This is so far beyond horrible and incomprehensible that I’m finding it difficult to process.
@The gray adder: I am sure it will be as open as it has been, which is, a swearing in followed by a parade and the president and his spouse driving from Capitol Hill to WH, getting out around the FBI building. It has been other than this only when it was so cold they basically gave up once the swearing in was over, and there was no parade. Can’t remember whether that was the first or second Reagan inauguration. GWB’s second inauguration was pretty ugly. Anti-war demonstrators threw tomatoes and eggs. The Bushes did not leave their armored vehicle.
@Iowa Old Lady: No puppet! You’re the puppet!
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yeah! Take that, Sorkin!
Davis X. Machina
@The gray adder: No protests. Not where anyone will notice, though. The Park Service Police have seen to that.
@The gray adder: I would absolutely donate to a fund that supplied event goers with expenses and Russian flags. That is a bang up idea.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I don’t know about ‘folded’…here’s Ryan still trying to have his cake and eat it too:
so if you are Paul Ryan:
1) Russian meddling is unacceptable
2) Putin is dangerous
3) But intelligence that notes that Russia meddled in our elections to favor Putin’s Puppet is “exploiting…for partisan purposes” and “potentially jeopardizes our national security”.
As opposed to, say, putting a Russian stooge and his Russia-loving gang of wackaloons in charge of the entire US government.
Between Ryan and McConnell, I can’t decide who deserves the hotter room in hell.
In the context of everything going on now, It’s worth watching that debate moment again. Trump almost seems to be reflexively nodding in a agreement as she lists his pro-Russia agenda.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Corner Stone: Sore winnerism, Corner Stone? How Trumpian of you. I thought you were more of a philosopher
Even more mystifying than why R’s aren’t full throated against Russian interference is the question of why in the hell Aaron Kaufman insists on installing air rides on every project he works on?
Beautiful and urgent writing from @summerbrennan about the perversion of language as precursory to loss of democracy.
if trump is allowed to take the reigns of power – end of story.
To the extent that they think this through, I think they figure that their country, their real country, was lost a long time ago when it was usurped by
Hispanicsillegal immigrants and blacksgangsters and Muslimsterrorists and liberalscommunists, people who were never supposed to be allowed to take over the government. We’re the real enemy, and always have been. Allying with the Russians to boot us out is simply the equivalent of allying with one foreign power in order to kick out the foreign power that’s currently occupying you.
Of course, the phrase “to the extent that they think this through” is doing a lot of heavy lifting here. Most of them are either in simple denial, or going through the “but liberals are worse!” motions in order to avoid the issue.
Remember the lady who called our First Lady an ape in heels? She’s getting her job back. Her organization has a contact us page. I suggest we all do so.
Remember in 2012 when a Republican battle cry, led by Romney, was that Russia was the gravest foreign threat the US faced?
Don’t you just love the “should not cast doubt on the clear and decisive outcome of this election” part, too? Yes, Russia may have meddled, but we know that the outcome of the election was pure and untainted all the same, because… because to consider any other possibility would be to deny a result that we simply will not put back into question no matter what, because power matters more to us than anything else.
This is a tweet explaining the harm done to this country with the GOP repeal of Obamacare.
This is what has kept me up nights. People will die.
Are the Electors asking for info all Hillary pledges? If not, if there is bipartisan representation, this can have legs. If they are, the mouth breathing authoritarians will just write it off as partisan whining. They only know what their chain of command relays. If that gets short circuted (and I’m afraid it will take more than a few tRump electors, McCain and Lindsey Graham) tRump could enter office a cripple.
Also too, Mitch McConnell should end up hanging from a meat hook.
@rikyrah: I’ve been following her a bit now – she and Sara Kendzior (sp?) often have good insights.
I noticed it at the time and mentioned it to my John. He brought that up to me over the weekend. I had forgotten I said it.
Good to see all those undergrad classes back in the late 70s/early 80s I took on the Soviet Union still paying off for me. Putin may be an autocratic oligarch, but so, too, were pretty much all the Soviet leaders of my lifetime. So he’s a pretty familiar character to me. And it makes me wonder if I’d be one of those CIA people the Hair Furor disses now because the only recruitment interest I got back then (poli sci majors were not big with the recruiters then or ever) was by the CIA. My young liberal self was horrified and told them I wasn’t interested. I was aiming for State and diplomacy, not the CIA and spooks.
McConnell Says No to Infrastructure Spending as a Priority
by Nancy LeTourneau
December 12, 2016 3:38 PM
The one remaining item in Trump’s campaign promises that would actually have the potential to help working class Americans is his proposal to spend $1 trillion to upgrade our infrastructure. While it is still unclear what the spending plan would look like – and plenty of concerns that it would be more about lining the pockets of construction companies – it still had the possibility to boost job growth. There was also the prospect of creating what Greg Sargent called “a nightmare scenario for progressives.”
That’s one of the reasons why I’ve been looking out for any signs about what’s up for this proposal. I’ve already noted that infrastructure spending doesn’t show up on the priority lists of either Mike Pence or Paul Ryan. Given that Trump has basically turned over control of Congressional affairs to his vice-president, it is critical to notice not only the lack of mention from the Speaker, but its failure to make the list for Pence.
Over the weekend I actually listened to the speeches from both the president and vice-president elect in Iowa last week. Trump touted his infrastructure plan, but it didn’t get a mention from Pence. Otherwise, their lists of priorities pretty much overlapped. Interesting…isn’t it? Perhaps there is a disagreement going on in the inner circles of the Trump camp over this issue. We all know that Steve Bannon has been touting the idea of a huge infrastructure plan winning over working class voters. But perhaps that’s all part of the con job. Who knows?
Today, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell became the first Republican to actually put the kibosh on the idea of infrastructure spending as a priority. While touting the fact that Congress will use the budget reconciliation process next month to repeal Obamacare and then again this spring to pass tax cuts, he weighed in with this:
@Chris: “Yes, there was cheating…and at the behest of a hostile power…and technically my guy didn’t even come close to representing a majority of voters…however, I REALLY REALLY WANT TO REPEAL THE ENTIRE SAFETY NET BECAUSE AYN RAND so let’s just let that all go…”
He’s nuts. Which is I guess what passes for a Republican “wonk” these days.
@Jeffro: More and more I am convinced that the Russians have a lot of hacked documents from the GOP and have told Ryan et al. that they better go along with this or they are screwed.
Yeah, but the way they address is nowadays is to say “ohhh, someone tried to warn you about the Russian threat, but nooo, you liberals wouldn’t listen…”
Them being conservatives, though, scolding liberals for not anointing Mitt Romney our savior four years ago is the extent of their action (is, in fact, basically their substitute for action). Any actual action is out of the question.
I’m looking forward to Oliver Stone’s Trump biopic/2016 election movie, “The Siberian Candidate.”
@rikyrah: This is a beautiful piece of writing.
@Jeffro: Need a wonk? Someone who will wonk? Knows what it is to wonk?
Well, sir, may I present to you the wonkiest wonk that ever wonked a wonk! And as a bonus we will throw in the zombie eyes while he starves your grandma!
And now, for the MTP Daily test…
They are. It’s just that “tort reform” means the weak and powerless can’t use the courts to attack their betters.
@geg6: Can you imagine the outcry if the shoe was on the other foot? Russia’s interference should be shocking to all Americans, political party be damned.
Republicans have spent the better part of the last 8 years getting control of many out-of-control situations and coming out ahead.
The Senate fought Obama tooth and nail, his first two years in office, and they were rewarded.
They shut down the government, nearly defaulted on the debt and are incapable of passing a budget, but they came out ahead.
They blocked Obama’s SCOTUS nominee, refused to do their jobs, and seem to be coming out ahead.
They can stall and obfuscate as much as they want, because until there’s an actual backlash against them specifically, and not just politicians in general or Congress, I do not believe they cannot come out ahead.
Man. I am about as cynical about the elite media as anyone and my expectations that they’ll do the right thing, or even try not to do the wrong thing, are almost nil. But even I was just amazed at how they covered the hacking of the emails. The fact that a hacking occurred and that our intelligence agencies were saying, with growing certainty every day, that Russia was doing it, was at best a footnote after they blared out “SOME DNC DRONE SAID MEAN THINGS ABOUT BERNIE IN APRIL”.
If ever there was final, definitive, unmistakable proof that the political media cares only for drama and the horse race, that fucking spectacle was it. An adversarial foreign power directly meddles in the election in order to aid DONALD F’ING TRUMP – not a relatively sane or predictable Republican like Kasich or Mittens, Donald f’ing Trump – and the media takes the mildly embarrassing but totally inconsequential DNC backbiting and smack talk and runs with it until they croak from exhaustion and Trump is somehow President-elect.
In a sane world (ha!), the so-called journalists who participated in that shameful spectacle would commit seppuku. Seriously.
@p.a.: There’s one Republican elector who signed the letter asking to be briefed about the Russian interference in the election. From the Poltico article on it:
Who President-Elect Ferret Head owes money to:
Mother Jones breaks it down in a nice chart
@rikyrah: They’re just nuts. I guess one hope is that they will be so flagrant and open in their betrayal of their own base, that enough of the marginally attached dupes will revolt in the mid-terms.
And, yes, I suspect there is no such thing as a pure white working class economic concerns vote that went to Trump, otherwise, why did they not pay attention to the Democratic primary which had two (count ’em, two) candidates that actually addressed those economic issues instead of watching the GOP toxic clown show? But what Ryan and McConnell want to do is to try to kill a lot of them off, and quickly. Maybe that will get their attention. What fun is there in being a bigot if you’re dead, or about to die roaming to empty food banks, dumpster diving and scraping up money for shelter, forget about finding medical care on a ingeniously designed to be totally inadequate Medicare voucher?
@Iowa Old Lady:
You are crazy, to believe anyone will hold the shitgibbon responsible for anything it says. The pace of the wurlitzer of lies is having it’s intended consequences, between the constant lying, the terrible people being floated for cabinet positions, and the terrible policies being proposed and in some cases passed by Ryan and the rest of the Lord of the Flies brigade, there is no time to dwell on any one thing, liberals are being portrayed as a group of sore losers who are whining about everything. Gas lighting and gish gallop are the new norm, the media is too stupid to notice they are still being played by this moron.
What Alexander Hamilton Would Want
by Martin Longman
December 12, 2016 2:18 PM
Our first president was from Virginia, and our second president was from Massachusetts. In fact, our first six presidents were from one of those two states. It’s an oversimplification, but the competition between Virginia and Massachusetts in the early part of our Republic was not unlike the competition we have today between Democrats and Republicans.
Now, I’d never want to compare Donald Trump to George Washington, but perhaps it would be less startling to imagine a situation in which John Adams had been elected in 1796 despite losing the popular vote, and that he had been openly friendly to King George III, asked him to intervene in the election, steal, read and disseminate Thomas Jefferson’s private mail correspondence, and then began appointing British loyalists as his top advisers and nominating them to positions like Secretary of State.
As it was, Adams was only elected because one elector each in Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania defected to his cause. But if it had been widely known prior to the Electoral College meeting in their respective states that Adams had been surreptitiously aided by the British Crown, the electors would have had to contemplate what Alexander Hamilton wrote about their job description in the Federalist No. 68. To begin with, Alexander explained why they had created the Electoral College:
The number one concern was to avoid allowing a foreign power “to rais[e] a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union.” We would have the people vote for electors who would be watchful for foreign interference. Those electors would be chosen for this purpose and this purpose alone. It would be hard to know who they would be beforehand, which would make it hard for a foreign power to bribe them.
Davis X. Machina
You do realize that the prospect of neoliberal warmonger Hillary directing the executive branch is a far greater threat to the welfare of the workers than anything Trump could conceivably do, which he wouldn’t anyways.
At least that’s what I heard at the time….
@gene108: I wasn’t talking about what they can do here. I’m talking about Russia can and will do against them. If they let Trump and Putin get away with this then they are owned. Blackmail will be the least of their worries.
@rikyrah: Wow! That needs to be highlighted by a Front Pager.
Yep. By and large, the GOP has acted like domestic insurrectionists for the past 8 years, and for the 8 years before that they were the most incompetent governing party since at least the 1920s. And yet, here we are. I decided long ago that there was no bottom they could sink to that would discredit them with enough voters to force them to moderate.
My only hope going forward is that the closest the GOP came to total oblivion was after they had had unfettered power for a spell and everything they touched turned to such a rank odor of shit that they couldn’t Gish Gallop their way out of it anymore and eventually paid for it at the polls in 2006 and 2008. The best I can hope for is that they prove incompetent enough to lose power more quickly this time, before they run the country permanently into the ground. My fear is that Trump will figure out how to escape accountability by tossing out shiny objects for the pathetic media to chase while blaming brown people and convenient “others” for his own fuckups. He’s gotten this far with that strategy, after all.
@hovercraft: Media is not stupid. This is what their bosses want. This vulture capitalism’s last stage. Sell everything for its parts and become rich.
@Jeffro: And I would add to those questions, what if it were Democrats who decided to choose party and Putin over the country in order to obtain unfettered power? The MSM would be declaring Shumer disqualified for Senate Majority leader and demanding he step down. McConell should be shamed into resigning as far as I’m concerned, and his wife should withdraw her pending nomination to Cheetohlini cabinet.
@rikyrah: Will be effing hilarious (and disgusting!) to watch the reactionaries howl if there is a revolt in the electoral college. I guess it will be a chance for us damned liberals to yell “But it’s a Republick, not a Democracy!!!”.
Edit: I am hoping that we get Hamilton’s ‘a spectacle both hilarious and disgusting’ rather than Madison’s ‘a tragedy or a farce, or perhaps, both’ out of this mess. If we get to Madison’s warning, the ‘perhaps both’ will be too close for comfort.
@germy: In other words, no voter fraud and no rigging.
Trump’s former adviser, Carter Page, is in Moscow saying this. In. Moscow.
But it said this was a priority, the economically anxious told me this was how jobs were going to come back, between scrapping permanent funding for coal miners health insurance, ( many coal counties voted 70 to 80% for this), these real Americans are getting their just rewards. For better or worse, urban America and blue states are the economic drivers of this country. While we will all feel the pain from these destructive policies, rural areas will feel them more. Congratulations morons.
Davis X. Machina
@Belafon: No. Not post-facto. Not of the prosecutable kind. LBJ-Texas-Senate kind.
But plenty ex ante. lots of ‘shaping the electorate’, by various means.
WASF. The Chinese:
I’m impressed you still have the stomach for it, apart from a couple of brief, and I mean very brief, peeks at AM JOY, I have abstained from any cable news since the “event.” Chuckles is one of the worst idiots out there, and he always finds guests who are as terrible as him.
When I read earlier in the day that McConnel and Ryan were considering congressional hearings, my first thought was that would be a good set-up to have impeachment proceedings against Trump and install Pence.
I think Pence would probably be worse, but who the fuck knows at this point
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Davis X. Machina: I don’t know how much money Stein has left, and I believe the MI courts shut down the recount effort there, but whatever remains should go into investigating whatever went on with the voting machines in Detroit. She should give the money to the ACLU and Publica.
and then go away.
@Yarrow: That is good news. The Chinese may be wise enough to wait him out.
Trump is total bad news. Even on the one or two things that he (out of chance, probably) has right, Trump is nightmare. We need to aggressively push against the toxic ‘one China’ policy that the PRC loves so much. But Trump’s BS is not going to do anything about it, other than maybe get people killed for no reason, it will be a mess.
Chucklehead Todd is very high up on the shortlist of “journalists” who ought to have committed seppuku by now. If he had any shame or self-awareness. Which he doesn’t. He is, after all, on record saying that Republican lies are A-OK as long as they can be described as “messaging successfully.”
The ask from the electors should be both briefing on this and release of Mister Trump’s taxes and then potentially a more robust divestiture of particular assets. All of these would be elements related to the kind of Manchurian candidacy scenario where you could then argue for electors exercising that safety-backstop role.
The strongest play against the trump regime right now is the tax angle. Everyone knows he promised to release them, and they play fundamentally into illegitimacy.
Like most of these morons who pollute our airways, he is not a journalist, repeating bullshit whispered into your ears by congresscritters and their staffers is not journalism. They spread gossip, they are no better that Perez Hilton.
It’s really tough to say, isn’t it? I mean, Pence is definitely “worse” in the sense that he is a true believer in the GOP’s most heinous agenda items, from their Granny and Poor-Starving fiscal and economic goals to their “let’s party like it’s 1899” social policies. And he would be motivated to see that shit through in a way that Trump probably isn’t. But then again, Trump appears to listen to whoever he last spoke to, so his maladministration might do all of the shit Pence wants anyway, while he’s busy tweeting about the failing NYTimes or whatever.
On foreign policy, Pence would probably be a blast from the neocon past, but mostly within the mainstream on Russia and NATO and the sensitive dance we dance with China. I guess that’s better in that it’s more stable and predictable. I would worry about many, many things in a “Pence Administration” but his finger on the nuclear button or the breakout of a war due to Trump’s lack of impulse control wouldn’t be high on that list. With Trump, I genuinely do have those concerns, bigly.
@bupalos: I agree. And I kinda wish the president would give a prime time speech saying so. It wouldn’t even have to be phrased in an accusatory way. The facts are compelling: We have no idea how much Trump owes to whom since he is the least transparent candidate in history. He said he’d release his tax returns. In the interest of healing a divided nation and erasing doubts about Trump’s legitimacy, he should be urged most strongly to release his tax returns, so we can see that he’s not in hock up to that weird arsenic cotton candy thing on his head to Russian oligarchs. (wink-wink)
Ella in New Mexico
Something Harry Reid said in his interview at Huffington Post really disturbs me:
There’s a video to accompany the article that is quite interesting
That is a pretty cold insult to Perez Hilton.
The crap the corporate media pumps out has sunk below the level of Tiger Beat gossip, it is so much more lame than that now.
@Major Major Major Major:
He’s good with the Cyber.
@Yarrow: I consider this treasonous speech.
Ella in New Mexico
I guess it’s how we all define “worse”.
Four years of kleptocratic chaos and the defacto coup of our government by Russia or your everyday, run-of-the-mill fucking scary right-wing religious Republican who will make our lives miserable but still seems to respect the sovereignty of the United States and the seriousness of the job of being President.
Jesus Christ Lord please speak to these electors and put a wild hair up their assess so they save the country from fucking doom.
I can’t find which post spoke to the delegitimization of the Trump administration, but I think we’re already there. I don’t think he should take office, but I know that won’t happen. If nothing else, over the next 4 years, I’ll szvor the constant reminders of the illegitimacy of the administration that constantly pimped Obama’s illegitimacy. It seems like kharma to me.
Davis X. Machina
Give the media, with phasers set to ‘Normalize’, some time to work. Trump will be at worst just another president, and at really worst, Best President Ever, in six months.
@Ella in New Mexico: In what way does that disturb you? That Harry Reid said it? Or the content of it?
@Davis X. Machina:
The Park Service Police are going to need a bigger boat.
This is tagged an open thread, so may I just register a small rant?
I still get emails occasionally from the Clinton campaign, and the DSCC, and other Democratic leaders and lawmakers. All they want me to do is buy swag at discount prices. Is this all they want me to do? Is this all they require of me? Is this their immediate plan for meeting this crisis?
I’ve seen few people here, like Kay, talk about electors voting their conscience. Why should the electors do any such thing if the opposition doesn’t take a stand for what they want? Would Hillary even accept an Elector College victory if such a thing were to occur? She hasn’t said.
I’m concerned that the Democratic Party’s leadership is basically defaulting on meaningful political opposition and is hoping that they’ll be able to effectively counter Trump with Strongly Worded Letters.
Davis X. Machina
@Timurid: I sure as hell hope so…
So, why don’t we just swear in Putin on January 20 and cut out the middle man?
It would be mighty sad if everyone started referring to Trump as Donny Putinobitch.
That’s definitely not what’s showing up in my email box. Maybe you’re on the wrong mailing lists?
@germy: The idiocy of that comment makes me want to hit something. Argh.
@Feebog: Well we do know he’s a billionaire. Still trying to figure out what the orange dumbo is.
I would love to sneak out the night before the inauguration and plant russian flags in the yards of the handful of trumpsters living in my neighborhood. Of course they would probably poison my dogs or blow up my house in retaliation.