A remarkable article has just come out in deVolkskrant.
The Dutch intelligence agency AIVD, in 2014, hacked the computer network of a university building next to Red Square in Moscow. They saw an operation that they identified as Cozy Bear, also known as APT 29. They were able to read security cameras in the building and have pictures of some of the Cozy Bear group, which numbers about 10. They see Cozy Bear hacking into the US State Department and the Democratic Party. They notify US intelligence. According to the article, the NSA and FBI are able to counter the attacks, but it doesn’t say how. The NSA is able to watch the Russians changing their methods, which is very useful. Possibly not so useful now, but things may have changed still further since then.
The Dutch were in Cozy Bear for over a year. They learned a lot, and we can be sure that not all of it is in this article. They say there is “no question” that the Kremlin is behind the hacking.
The US sent cake, flowers, intelligence, and technology to AIVD.
However, Trump’s denial of Russian hacking and concomitant leaking from the US intelligence services about help from “a Western ally” have irritated the Dutch. Intelligence services shouldn’t leak. The Dutch are now more careful about sharing intelligence.
The sources for the article are “six American and Dutch sources who are familiar with the material, but wish to remain anonymous.”
Seems an interesting time for this article to appear, with Republicans scurrying around trying to fog up the issue in the best traditions of Russian disinformation.
Much more detail at the article.
I don’t read Dutch. Was this in Pashkov House? I don’t know what else would be a “university building” near Red Square.
It’s also kind of interesting that this came out right after Pete Hoekstra totally pissed off the Dutch after arriving to be their new US Ambassador. Probably not related, but still funny.
@zhena gogolia: Did you click the link? It’s in English. It may have to do with browsers, but the URL I see looks like it’s the actual article. All the article says is “a university building.”
I’ll just put this here.
Least surprising thing ever. Has it been you, Adam, or both predicting that previous allies (1) weren’t going to trust us with intel anymore and (2) were going to go ahead and start dropping dimes on Trump’s enmeshment with Russia?
Maybe it’s the building on Mokhovaya. I clicked the link and got Dutch. It’s immaterial, I was just curious.
@zhena gogolia: Some browsers will translate.
@Cheryl Rofer: I got a prompt in Dutch about accepting cookies. When I clicked the green button that said something like “Ja, ich akcepter kookies.” I got to an English page.
I got English except for the question about accepting cookies.
@zhena gogolia: Once you accept the cookies, it pops up in English. It’s a fascinating, if rare, exercise in present tense narrative.
ETA It’s as if Michel Butor became a reporter.
So the upshot from this article is that we have yet more confirmation that Russians were specifically targeting Democrats to help Republicans. That’s good, but I don’t see it changing any minds and it doesn’t connect Republicans or Trump to the Russians.
Though it does show that Trump is actively harming both our electoral security AND our intelligence/security relations with our allies. Hooray. Though the interesting thing here is that it’s a twofold problem: They’re alarmed about Trump, but they’re ALSO alarmed at the fact that our intelligence service is defending itself against him by leaking. So that’s new.
I clicked the OK button, and the article was in English.
@Baud: After reading those words, who the fuck could ever take GG seriously again?
@dr. bloor: It’s been pretty obvious for a while that things would go that way.
I saw a speculation that this article is a warning to the US intel community not to leak any more. But, OTOH, there’s a lot of information here. Probably won’t burn any sources because it’s from a while back, and, as the article notes, computer methods change pretty frequently. Or it could be, as I speculate above, and American idea to fight back against the Nunes et al. disinformation campaign. Both Dutch and American sources are noted.
@MJS: People who took him seriously before this despite all the evidence that they shouldn’t.
@Baud: It won’t change his thinking at all, and aside from the fading novelty involved in watching a smart man make himself look like an idiot, it’s not going to be worth listening to him try to dismiss this information.
@Origuy: Yes, I forgot to say that.
@dr. bloor: I don’t follow him, but places I do follow (including here) have been commenting on him lately.
It’s an outrage that Obama’s minions in Belgium illegally spied on the government of a foreign country!
I think Adam is right about allies’ ICs getting sick of Dolt 45 and starting to drop a dime on his fat, disgusting ass.
@MisterForkbeard: The more Trump denies the obvious Russian involvement (because you just know he’ll do it again, soon), the more ridiculous his related assertions of “No collusion” and “No obstruction” become.
@Baud: He’s like human malware.
So tomorrow is my first payday. YAY. Also, this is gonna be an easy job for me. Been doing it for 30 years. My boss is great, but she sees that this job is gonna be easy for me, so she’s giving me some tough assignments at the onset. OK, I’m in. There is nothing worse than being bored at work.
Adam would like this line: “That’s how the AIVD becomes witness to the Russian hackers harassing and penetrating the leaders of the Democratic Party, transferring thousands of emails and documents.”
@Baud: Oh, morons. Yep, you’re right. Momentarily forgot about them.
My thought while reading this post. Silverman said that this would happen.
@geg6: I can’t imagine the Dutch think that Putin taking over America is a good thing, and they probably are appalled at Nunes and Johnson and the entirety of the Republican Congress turning on our own people. They probably let the “deep state” AKA our intelligence professionals know beforehand and have wrapped up the op for a while now.
Also, too, it’s kind of a “neener-neener, Vladimir, see what we did in your own front yard, asshole?” pwn. Computer networks go both ways, bitch.
I just heard odious Chuckles the Toddler ask equally odious Stuart Taylor if Trump submitting to questioning by Mueller is just a perjury trap. Luckily Taylor was honest enough to say that it’s only a trap for a liar, and that in fact Trump has no choice. I then changed the channel until Ari Melber starts.
Snoopy Bear would have been more apropos.
Is the audience for this even really American? (Since too many over here seem to be invested in sticking our fingers in our ears and going LaLaLaLa really loud re: TrumpRussia).
I think the audience is the Davos crowd, since the completely NatSec pig-ignorant POTUS is over there speechifying and having some sort of fancy dinner with businessmen (and yes, that is the accurately gendered plural term. No businesswomen were invited – or maybe none accepted?)
I’d see this as a Dutch reminder that this President is not to be trusted. At all.
Who took him seriouisly before?
Really, who pays attention?
How many votes does he move?
The leftier than thou purity ponies who might pay attention don’t vote, or will never vote for a Dem, anyway.
GG is one among many people from whom we should never hear again.
@Baud: Been there, read that.
Major Major Major Major
@Baud: Remember, it’s only collusion if you ask for it from a demon you summoned at a crossroads during a blood moon.
I saw the headline and thought, Wow, Ronald Reagan watched the Russians hack the Democrats?
@MJS: The funny thing about all this is that I keep seeing articles (and even Dem representatives) saying “we haven’t seen clear evidence of collusion yet”, when we have several instances of attempted collusion by the Trump campaign, and even more examples of the Russians assisting the Republican party.
I’m open to the idea that we haven’t uncovered obvious and open examples of explicit collusion yet… because the Trump campaign was staffed by incompetents – they dearly wanted to cheat with a foreign enemy, but couldn’t ever quite connect the dots. Instead they just had to passively accept help, along with occasional direct “Please hack Hillary” requests they could pretend were jokes.
@Major Major Major Major:
I didn’t know that. That’s gonna bite me in the ass in 2020.
@Baud: Just blame an intern.
Who gives a phuck what Greenwald thinks, or what he is waiting for. He’s definitely someone consumed with a sense of his own importance. Much like Trump.
He was just “Dutch,” not “the Dutch.”
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Baud: a couple of reporters have started asking the White House in the person of The Beast* itself and Jethrene, how they define “collusion”. I’ve been wanting them to ask how Slabhead Donnie’s “I love it” email was not collusion, but this is just as good if they keep it up.
* that was the question that prompted his tantrum about never getting no respect as a candidate
@zhena gogolia: There are only two things I can’t stand in this world: People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures, and the Dutch.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Well, for a fair bit of time, a certain top 11,000 blogger
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
“The Russians never signed an NDA. I don’t enter into deals without an NDA. Therefore, no collusion.”
I think our allies have been major sources all along. If they leak appropriate intelligence to counter Republican disinformation, if gives our IC plausible deniability.
The same people who took him seriously before. It’s not as if he had any credibility left to lose on the issue.
Yeah, I always want to ask these people, “So you’re going to be fine with it if the Democrats ask for and get Chinese hackers and govt help in the next election, right?”
Major Major Major Major
@Roger Moore: I can confirm that these are the only people on my newsfeed sharing the article.
@MomSense: If we survive this, we’ll have to throw our allies a party.
Question to the group. Although we are still in the “Was there collusion?” phase, are we past the “Did the Russians even do anything?” phase? I haven’t heard Seth Rich’s name misappropriated in a while.
It’s still hard to fathom what the Republican leadership hope to gain from discounting Russian efforts, if they are in fact a real and significant threat to the US. It’s one thing to pander to their base for political purposes, something else altogether to ignore or underestimate the Russians.
And yet, here are conservatives using evangelical minister Franklin Graham to sell the public on the idea that God Almighty chose Trump to make America great again, and the vile Obama and Hillary inspired “deep state” is plot a coup against the Baby Jesus’ favorite president, Donald The Good.
Fox News has gone from propaganda to hysteria.
@Corner Stone: Heh, if you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much.
I know that during the Drone Wars I was viewed as a sort of authoritarian lite for not buying in to Wikileaks and Greenwald but it is because I have suspected all along that Greenwald is a ratfvcker.
My parents are veterans of the civil rights and anti Vietnam movements. The SDS met in our basement. They know a thing or two about sniffing out ratfvckers and I paid attention.
@MomSense: I don’t have your pedigree, but if I may pat myself on the back, I think I’m pretty good a identifying false friends like that.
mike in dc
I’m chuckling that the mighty Russian cyber machine got infiltrated by the Dutch. They even hacked a security camera, so they could watch the hackers in real time. Don’t mess with Netherlands, I guess!
@Baud: Tab A was just made to go into Slot B. What’s wrong with that?!?
@MomSense: I got annoyed when I was told that GG’s point was to question authority and I said I am, I need to know why he’s releasing this stuff with his own spin, how do I know nothing has been edited from WikiLeaks and why WikiLeaks can’t say who funds them. Why am I only supposed to question those guys but not you guys? Do you even skeptic right?
I think that we will also learn more about Snowden as this progresses.
@Major Major Major Major: I thought that was just for improving your guitar skills?
@ruemara: Don’t you even know who the baddies are, ruemara? Jeez.
@Brachiator: Fox has totally gone propaganda. I can’t imagine what their business plan is beyond Trump.
The plan of the Republican leadership seems to be to make people disbelieve all information. The wide variety of stories they are peddling reminds me of the stories the Russian government put out after some of their guys shot down the Malaysian airliner MH17. Seemed like a new story every day, often conflicting with earlier ones. They photoshopped obvious fakes – one purported satellite shot showed an airliner that would have had to have been several miles long. Just keep the nonsense coming.
I had an argument earlier today with a Facebook friend who has totally drunk the Fox Kool-Aid. I added the Volkskrant article to the discussion.
@Baud: The folks who think identity politics are bad seems to be accurate. Left or right, they’re not in my corner.
@Brachiator: But we are in a coup d’etat. What Graham gets wrong is that Trump is the result, not the subject of it.
One more reason Comey should be considered incompetent for not being willing to come forward about Russian intentions while at the same time Calling out Hillary for some emails he hadn’t even seen yet was important and necessary.
@Cheryl Rofer: OTOH, here’s Shep Smith:
Speaking of not sharing intelligence with U.S. anymore, I wonder how many of the other “Five Eyes” members are holding things back from us now?
I should rephrase. I wonder if less than four of the other Five Eyes members are holding things back from us.
@ruemara: All politics are identity politics.
@Gravenstone: Graham is perfectly ok with the Russians helping the GOP do a coup against American democracy because they stopped the Hillarybeast from taking over and that’s all that really matters.
mike in dc
Off Topic: Details of Trump’s immigration proposal have leaked, and it’s pretty effing bad:
Everyone eligible for DACA, not just those who applied, would have a “path to citizenship” that would take 10-12 years, this would be about 1.8 million people
25 billion for the wall
An end to family-sponsorship-immigration, euphemistically called “chain migration”
An end to the diversity visa lottery
The latter two changes would reduce legal immigration to the US by 30-40%. That might include people who gain citizenship by marriage. It’s an unacceptably steep ransom to pay to keep Dreamers from being deported. I think when the Dreamers realize they wouldn’t be permitted to sponsor their parents or relatives for citizenship, they wouldn’t be too enthusiastic about it, either.
If you want to bug the NY Times, here’s an opportunity. I left a question about the October 2016 surprise article that said the FBI wasn’t investigating Donald Trump.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I’m scared to admit how much “Slabhead Donnie” looks like “Siubhan Duinne” at a quick glance!
I also took the previously unfashionable position of not bowing at the altar of the great good progressives Assange, Greenwald, and Snowden.
@SiubhanDuinne: Now that you mention it, I’ve never seen you two in the same room together. Hmmm.
If someone had slapped me awake from a drunken stupor in 1990 and told me that when Conservative and Liberal America got divorced 26 years hence, the libtards would get custody of patriotism and the NFL, I’d have accused the prophet of being on crack.
@B.B.A.: No shit. I had no idea.
@Cheryl Rofer: Is there a GoFundMe to buy Shep a drink or twelve?
@Betty Cracker: Also the FBI, don’t forget them!
@Jeffro: Except the NY field office.
@Cheryl Rofer: here’s mine:
I am quite enjoying yelling at people on Twitter in my real name now. No one has even blocked me, which is kind of upsetting,
@Major Major Major Major: Cue Jerry Falwell, Jr.: “Well, yes, maybe it was a blood sacrifice to a demon at the crossroads, but this happened before Trump was President, and he’s a changed man, so I think he gets a mulligan on this one.”
Paul Ryan: “Listen, I do not support blood-sacrifices to demons at cross-roads, but even if the President did do these things, that doesn’t make it collusion.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “You don’t get it – the President isn’t doing the demon’s bidding, the demon is doing the President’s bidding. There’s absolutely nothing improper or illegal about that.”
Devin Nunes: “It’s outrageous that intelligence sources were monitoring the President’s blood-sacrifices to infernal princes. I demand an immediate investigation of the pro-Hillary cabal at the FBI and NSA.”
This is about a million squillion percent O/T, but what did you think of the Bolshoi’s new production of Romeo and Juliet the other day?
Personally, I thought it was terrific as a production. Great sets, costumes, lighting, and I loved that they interpolated a movement from Prokofiev’s “Classical Symphony” for (I think) a pas de deux for Juliet and Paris. There were moments when close-ups of Juliet revealed her as being in her early 30s but she danced like a dream. And I adored the Mercutio. Altogether, a gorgeous afternoon.
What did you think? Are you seeing any other Bolshoi transmissions this season?
Shep Smith has long been the only sane person at Fox News. I used to think that his insurance policy was that he had Polaroids of Roger Ailes consorting with a marsupial, but now that Ailes is dead I don’t know what keeps Smith in place. Maybe he’s got pictures of Rupert Murdoch consorting with Roger Ailes and a marsupial.
J R in WV
Franklin Graham apparently can’t tell the difference bweteen actual Christians like President Obama and Secretary Clinton, and anti-Christians like Trump et al. I have long suspected that Mr Graham was dumber than a box of hammers, this proves it is so.
Drumpf doesn’t even know how the books of the bible are named out loud. Well, he may have learned some of that after “Two Cornithians” at Liberty University, but still. Has never read the Book, ever. Never goes to church without cameras in tow. Not a Christian by any standard.
This should be obvious. They think the Russian efforts will continue to support them for long enough to take complete control of the government. Once they have sufficient control, they can undermine democratic government to the point they won’t have to worry about elections, so foreign interference in elections won’t be an issue anymore.
@ruemara: Mr. Government Transparency, Julian Assange, made everyone who worked for Wikileaks sign an NDA which also contained a non-disparagement clause.
Never laid eyes on the guy.
No Slabhead! No Slabhead! You’re the Slabhead!
@Steeplejack: Shep Smith is useful as Fox’s answer to the “Trump Propaganda Channel” accusation. He in no way refutes it – he’s a token. But his presence allows the rightists to pretend to themselves that Fox is balanced, fair, and hears all viewpoints even as they reflexively discount him and say he’s being paid by Democrats, etc.
@J R in WV:
Oh I think he most certainly can…or rather, he could if he wanted to, or rather, he could if it were really about being a Christian.
He’s not dumb. He – like Trumpov, like Ryan, like McConnell – know what color sheets his supporters wear.
@J R in WV:
He can certainly tell the difference. He just doesn’t realize he’s been worshiping at the church of Mammon for his whole life, so he calls his fellow Mammon worshipers Christians and discounts the people who actually believe in Christ.
will get you
@Baud: It was kind of embarrassing…neither parent really wanted them. Awkward!
(but in the end, the Repubs took them, out of the goodness of their hearts)
@mike in dc: Unless you take the long view. This deal gets Dreamers off the table once & for all. As the R’s no longer seem to care about deficits, go ahead and build the effing wall then remind people at every opportunity that WE paid for it not the Mexicans which means Trump is an incompetent liar. And last, this country is getting less white each passing year. I have to believe at some point in the next decade or so the D’s will hold the House, Senate, and White House. Revisit immigration then. And there’s the added bonus of all the White Nationalists losing their mind over giving amnesty to illegals. Just my two cents.
Major Major Major Major
@PJ: Paul Ryan: “the textbook definition of satanism”
Also Paul Ryan: “we need a signature on this tax bill”
@mike in dc: I’m not entirely sure that Dreamers need to be able to sponsor their parents. Granted, if their kids have been around long enough to becomes a Dreamer then they’ve been productive members of society for some time, and they’re clearly people we want to have here.
But part of the point of DACA/DreamerFix is that the Dreamers are Americans in every sense but the legal one, and through no fault of their own. The parents are pretty damn Americanized by now, but they knowingly broke the law. Allowing your kid to sponsor you for legal status is sort of rewarding that initial decision to immigrate illegally. So I’m of two minds about it: While their parents certainly have demonstrated they’d be good citizens, I can also see why people would want to keep them out.
Shep Smith has always puzzled me so I looked up the schedule. He’s on at 3PM so fox can say it fairly reports the news but I’ll bet his numbers are tiny. The younger ones are at work and the retired demographic is napping. Anyone know where to find viewer numbers?
mike in dc
@Marcopolo: It’s not the wall that’s the problem in that deal. It’s ending family-sponsored-migration. If it nullilfies existing applications in progress, then millions who have been waiting a decade or longer are shit outta luck. It reduces legal migration by 30-40%. Ending “chain migration” is the poison pill in the deal here. Luis Gutierrez, who is a huge supporter of the Dreamers, came out strongly against the proposal, largely because of the wall and because of the proposal to end family-based migration. This is a hostage negotiation, and Trump is asking for a Gulfstream G-V chartered to a non-extradition country, plus 10 million dollars and 3 supermodels of his choice, plus he gets to kill 3 people and random on his way to the airport. It’s a terrible deal and we shouldn’t feel obliged to take it just because he’s going to shoot the hostages if we don’t.
I agree. It was a beautiful production. She danced beautifully and her technique impeccable. Her pointe work was gorgeous. Of course I’m a sucker for the balcony scene which has the most romantic music and is every young dancer’s dream.
I didn’t go with the intention of being critical. It was a perfect escape.
I haven’t looked at the calendar. When is the next performance?
If we survive this, we’ll be spending decades trying to rebuild trust with out allies.
Even with an all Democratic government, our allies will still rightly be asking, “But what happens next time Republicans are in charge of the Presidency, or one of the branches or your Congress? How can we trust you with our intelligence when we know you may have to share it with a party who will, without a thought, publicly share it for political gain?”
I’m sure the GOP would take -.5 seconds to remind voters that Dems signed on for the taxpayers building the wall (to ‘legitimize illegals!’, to boot!), infuriating the Dem base and reinforcing to the GOP that Dems always cave. Fuck. The. Wall. Tell Trumpov to shove every last brick up his ass.
@Baud: I thought of the NY Field Office when the story came out about the secret group this week. I wouldn’t put it past them. Though they weren’t working against Trump, that’s for sure.
@Steeplejack: Tie me kangaroo down, sport?
@mike in dc: Well, I compliment you on having the over the top rhetoric down cold. I’m not a lawyer but I’d have to believe if you are currently legally working your way through the system to become a citizen that you’d have a strong argument for being grandfathered in. And again, my point is that down the road demographics/politics favor the left taking full control of the government. Revisit immigration then when a bunch of the R bigots are dead and there are more of us. In the meantime, the issue we face with the Dreamers is in our face now, we are the minority party without a lot of leverage, and that and being on the right side of the issue isn’t a lot to work with.
@Steeplejack: I thought Shep Smith was one of the two interviews Trump was granting at Davos this week. I must have remembered that wrong. If that was true, he’s sure not going to get an interview now.
mike in dc
@Marcopolo: What I’m saying is, don’t just take the first deal you’re offered. Negotiate away the worst parts of the offer first. Just assuming we will be able to correct these policies down the road is a big lift. You only need 41 Republican votes in the Senate to block any changes in immigration policy. So that 30-40% drop in immigration is likely to last quite a while. I’d rather take only the 800k Dreamers in exchange for funding 30-50% of the cost of the wall, than have the Dems get rolled eating this shit sandwich.
Let’s not get started on Rolf Harris here . . . .
@Jeffro: This. No Dem who votes to fund the wall is ever getting a primary vote from me again, or a general vote if the election is between two Dems. I don’t care what they get in trade for it, it’s an absolute dealbreaker.
mike in dc
@KithKanan: As Luis Gutierrez noted, they could save money and just build a statue of a hand with an extended middle finger pointing south.
@mike in dc: No, you said it was “an effing bad deal.” I don’t think it’s a great deal, and sure the Ds should try to improve it, but there is something in it to work with vis a vis the Dreamers.
(P2+ is short for persons age 2 and up, fancy jargon for total audience.)
So the Democrats have to get amnesty for–bluntly–illegal immigrants from the literal nazis who control the entire US government, while not giving up anything in return? I’m glad we’re being realistic here.
I’ll be seeing them all.
Lady of the Camellias is the Camille/La Traviata story.
From what I can tell, Flames of Paris looks to be a version of Les Miz or maybe A Tale of Two Cities or something. Just judging by the costumes in clips I have seen, it appears to take place during the French Revolution, but I really don’t know a thing about it.
Giselle is Giselle. My favorite ballet in the world, ever, bar none. I think it may have been the first proper ballet I ever saw, at age about 5 — certainly one of the first — and I own at least half a dozen DVDs of various productions and performances. Love every note of the score and every step of the choreography. I wouldn’t miss it!
I’ve known and loved the Coppélia music since I was a little girl, but have never seen it danced, so am very much looking forward to it!
@Jeffro: Nope. And if giving Trump his pet project is the cost of protecting Dreamers I will take that deal any day of the week. Real human lives me a lot more to me than just about anything else.
@Chyron HR: If I had my way the Democrats wouldn’t give the Republicans a single vote for naming a fucking post office. Yes, this would force the Republicans to blow up the filibuster to keep the government open. Since I hate the filibuster, I’m fine with that.
I realize the Democrats probably aren’t stupid enough to actually do this… but seriously, fuck cooperating with lying traitors.
Ooh, I love Giselle and I danced in Coppelia so those two are a must. I haven’t seen the other two and I’m curious – so a I guess ai have to see them all.
mike in dc
@Marcopolo: ending family based migration and the diversity lottery also affects real human lives. And assuming existing applicants will be grandfathered in is a very shaky assumption. Hint: Tom Cotton and Steve King really, really want these provisions enacted. And not for purely symbolic political purposes.
@Roger Moore: RE: It’s still hard to fathom what the Republican leadership hope to gain from discounting Russian efforts
I don’t think this is obvious at all. What kind of idiot would presume that they could safely subvert this country’s intelligence and law enforcement operations and trust the Russians not to later focus attacks on Republicans or on other aspects of American life?
“Trust us, Mr Trump. We promise only to interfere in your elections one time. And if you dismantle and cripple your FBI and CIA, this is no concern of ours. We would never take any action that would affect or imperil the United States. We have no global ambitions. We love you.”
Really? Would Trump and the entire Republican Party and every greedy ass oligarch really believe and accept this?
@NotMax: Interesting, thanks. Those must be the liberal Fox viewers and a healthy number of hatewatchers. Poor guy is not well liked among the RWNJS.
@Brachiator: Republican leadership and the Russians both want the same thing – a weakened federal government. Putin doesn’t want the US to stop existing, he just wants our alliances and our soft and hard foreign power to dissipate so that he can gobble up more territory in Eastern Europe and have more power globally. He wants the US weakened like the Soviet Union was weakened after 1989 (thus his support for things like Cal-Exit). But he definitely wants the US to exist (presumably along his own “sovereign democracy” lines) so that he can do business with US companies (most notably the oil deal with Exxon Mobil.)
The Republicans obviously also want a weakened federal government, with little or no taxation power, no federal regulation of business, an end to social safety nets (so they can scoop all of that money for themselves), and no worries about human or civil rights or environmental concerns, domestically or internationally, which might interfere with their business interests. But they are a minority party, so there is no way they can maintain control in a functioning democracy – Russian interference in elections helps them maintain power. So in their eyes, it’s a win-win situation. Maybe at some point down the road, their interests will diverge, and they’ll have to deal with a much bigger problem than they anticipated, but long-term foresight is not something Republicans are known for or even care about (the Rapture is near!)
With the gusher of info we already got this week, I’m a little scared of tomorrow’s news dump. Feels like shit is starting to go down for real.
@MisterForkbeard: It wouldn’t just be Dreamers’ parents. It would the parents and siblings of anyone who immigrated – including all legal immigrants.
@mike in dc: According to this proposal citizens will not be able to sponsor their own parents. That is cruel. My friend sponsored her father who was in India (all his children are here) so that they could be near him in his final years when he was suffering from dementia. She had to prove that they had enough funds to be able to sponsor. They sold his house in India to raise those funds. The whole process took a year. My friend and her husband are both citizens, she is a naturalized citizen married to blue eyed and blonde American guy from the Midwest. So as it stands its not an easy process. But T and his nativist buddies want to get rid of this ability.
@mike in dc: It is a fucking horrible proposal.
What about agreeing the White House’s budget request for this financial year and undertaking to consider future funding requests on a year by year basis subject to them evidencing that the money for the previous year has been recouped from Mexico sonehow? Isn’t that what the President promised the American people?
We all know that’s never going to happen.
Alternatively building the wall will take years, and there will be plenty of deep red Republicans who will fight the Fed’s compulsory purchasing their land. The court cases will add even more time.
I’m willing to bet that only a small part will be built before Dems retake control of the Congress or the government at which point you can stop work on the wall and even start knocking it down. A kind of reverse infrastructure project.
These are the true sticking points.
@Omnes Omnibus: Also this:
DACA recipients are instantly deportable if they lose a job
Greg Siskind’s summary here
North Korea is up there in the rankings, at number 6. Might need to work out interestingly lawful payment methods. Not sure China or DPRK has sufficient Western-democracies-effective propaganda talent though.
A Chinese citizen was telling me that it is understood that political activity (they are not active, just to be clear) gets one “invited for tea” in China. They do things with a heavier hand in China, and with 20mm(?) anti-aircraft cannons in the DPRK.
(I’m trusting the photo-analysts’ words on this one.)
@J R in WV:
You’re entirely correct on the rest of your comment, though.
@Betty Cracker: @PJ: I just want to compliment the two of you on these comments.
@Manyakitty: I didn’t live through Watergate. Is this at all similar to what things felt like in August-September 1974?
David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch
I don’t get it. Why did the Dutch hack Fozzy Bear?
It certainly felt that way to people who followed politics. I actually played hookie from high school for several days to watch the Congressional Watergate hearings* in the months preceding Nixon’s resignation (*mostly the Senate hearings, if memory serves).
My family didn’t follow politics much, though my parents always voted (mom hated Nixon, dad was more ‘meh’). I don’t recall strong opinions from either parent about actual impeachment though. My grandmother was more into the news, but an utter cynic about politics (“they’re ALL crooks”).
It’s been too long for me to remember what polling was like back in the day, both locally (southwestern Ohio) and nationally, although I’ve occasionally seen some journalistic retrospectives in the ensuing years that have that kind of information, such as it was. I do seem to recall that some of the Letters to the Editor were…something else. [Those stone-cold racists and what are now MAGA chuds have always been with us, and I have to assume that a lot of the worst literary bile was intercepted by editors in those pre-internet days.]
@sharl: Thanks for the info.
I just have a tough time imagining there are going to be three more years of this (or, if this really is the Darkest Timeline, seven). It feels like things are at an unsustainable pace now. I mean, the Doomsday Clock just moved two minutes to midnight. (Which does give me an excuse to jam Iron Maiden, but I mean… fuck.)
REVEALED: Dutch perfidy!
They will grind you under the wooden heel of their tyranny!