July 17, 2018

"There have always been two parts to the Trump-Russia probe: the what-Russia-did part... and the get-Trump part...."

"Trump's problem is that he has always refused, or been unable, to separate the two. One is about national security and international relations, while the other is about Donald Trump. The president clearly believes if he gives an inch on the what-Russia-did part — if he concedes that Russia made an effort to disrupt the election — his adversaries, who want to discredit his election, undermine him, and force him from office, will take a mile on the get-Trump part. That's consistent with how Trump approaches other problems; he doesn't admit anything, because he knows his adversaries will never be satisfied and just demand more."

Writes Byron York at The Washington Examiner.

302 comments:

1 – 200 of 302   Newer›   Newest»
rhhardin said...

He's misreading Trump. Trump is taking Putin as telling the truth because it's a way of starting fresh with Russia, which is how a deal can be made.

The media wants Putin as an enemy at the moment for its own reasons, but Trump wants him for a deal. Put America first.

Jonathan Graehl said...

Suppose Trump opposes "Russia really did a number on us" narratives (that are pushed because of anti-Trump) because they undermine him - why shouldn't he? Seems pretty important to not roll over and lose the PR wars like 'conservatives' love to.

Gahrie said...

That's consistent with how Trump approaches other problems; he doesn't admit anything, because he knows his adversaries will never be satisfied and just demand more."

And he's right.

rhhardin said...

This has come up before. Remember when somebody asked Trump about Russia killing people and Trump said everybody kills people.

That's setting up something with America's enemies to start over clean.

Gahrie said...

Could somebody please provide me with the date that Russia became the bad guys again? Seems to me it was sometime soon after Trump won the election.

Michael K said...

Trump sees Putin as a rival, not a demon. The political left has trouble separating the two but they will flip as soon as a Democrat is president again. I think that will be a while.

rhhardin said...

Slightly related, felix culpa

Pardon in its immediate sense is connected with the moral phenomenon of fault. The paradox of pardon lies in its retroaction; from the point of view of common time it represents an inversion of the natural order of things, the reversibility of time. It involves several aspects. Pardon refers to the instant elapsed; it permits the subject who had committed himself in a past instant to be as though that instant had not past on, to be a though he had not committed himself. Active in a stronger sense than forgetting, which does not concern the reality of the event forgotten, pardon acts upon the past, somehow repeats the event, purifying it. But in addition, forgetting nullifies the relations wit283h the past, whereas pardon conserves the past pardoned in the purified present. The pardoned being is not the innocent being. The difference does not justify placing innocence above pardon; it permits the discerning in pardon of a surplus of happiness, the strange happiness of reconciliation, the "felix culpa," given in an everyday experience which no longer astonishes us.

Levinas Totality and Infinity p.283

Trump isn't offering a pardon but the scheme is parasitic on it. That's why it works in a deal.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

If the establishment wants to get in a tizzy they should focus on cleaning out politics in the national security agencies.

All this is the price we pay when the President can't trust his own agencies.

Obama, Brennan, Comey, Lynch, Yates, etc all knew this would happen when they politicized the intelligence community (actually all the domestic agencies too).

If the GOPe wants to bitch let them bitch about that.

Shane said...

Did yesterday look good? No, but there was nothing to be gained by being confrontational or accusatory.

Granted, President Trump could have accomplished the same without further sacrificing what remaining appearance of ability or integrity the "deep state" has left. The bunkered bureaucracy created this antagonism, as much as both sides have perpetuated it.

Just as the media has fostered the false accusation that Pres Trump labelled them the "enemy of the people" (when what he said was "the enemy" was "fake news" -not all media), the media, who ignored all of the Obama administration's posturing with Russia on the red "reset" buttons, and asking for time for "more flexibility", and the "1980's are calling", cannot make any allowance that there may be a method to what was done yesterday. (And I greatly respect Byron York.)

The media run the same schtick time and again. They labelled the meeting with Kim Jong Un a failure/catastrophe even before it was over. Kavanaugh, The tax cuts. Everything. Nothing is a catastrophe if everything is. There is little credibility if all insistence is on a prepared, and repeated narrative.

Yancey Ward said...

I still want to see the evidence backing, for example, the indictments announced Friday. Here is what I no longer accept- I don't accept assertions from US government officials describing this evidence.

There is a possibility that York doesn't consider- Trump, being the president, has seen the evidence and understands that it isn't conclusive in any fashion, but can't reveal any of this because of the Catch 22 he is trapped in.

Khesanh 0802 said...

Great analysis of the "summit" by Roger Simon. The title is "Putin Summit may prove to be Trump's finest hour". I also read a good piece the other day about negotiating with the Chinese which I will revisit and post.

Birkel said...

How dare Trump deny us our storyline, in which we conflate these very same issues?

Trump rejects the game because he sees it as a game. W would have played and lost.

Shane said...

Good point, Yancey Ward.

rehajm said...

Could somebody please provide me with the date that Russia became the bad guys again?

About the time lefties didn't need to mock Mitt Romney anymore.

Khesanh 0802 said...

... which relates to this post!

Nonapod said...

That's consistent with how Trump approaches other problems; he doesn't admit anything, because he knows his adversaries will never be satisfied and just demand more

Yup. Never apologize, never concede a point. Does Trump believe that Russians tried some stuff during the election? Sure. Will he admit it? No, because of the door that it would open up. It's strategy. You may think it's bad strategy, but it's strategy none the less.

MayBee said...

When Russia did all these bad things-- who was President and what did he do? Why, 2 years later, is Trump supposed to make it his #1 priority?

If Russia meddled in our elections-- what are we doing to get our elections meddle-proof. We all know berating someone to stop doing something that is in their own interest isn't going to help. The fact that those yelling the loudest about "meddling" aren't asking for any pro-active protection tells me a lot.

Jim at said...

It appears to me the hand-wringers on the right - and those running around with drool buckets hanging off their chins on the left - would've been fine with Trump publicly calling Putin a liar yesterday. On the world stage. A liar. To his face.

But I suspect they'd be screaming if he did that, too.

buwaya said...

The simplest way to model this situation is to understand it all as a cold civil war.

Its not a new idea, but the model fits extremely well.

There is no way to discuss anything across sides in this, as like all wars it is a zero-sum game. There is no way for both to win something. The pot is power, and it is fixed. There is no negotiation possible either, as there is nothing to trade out of that fixed quantum of power.

One side must lose.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

What? Teh media report endlessly that Russian meddling was to help Trump, and Trump knew about it and was in on it.

That's what the hack press, the democrat party and the Brennen Deep state (but I repeat myself) want everyone to believe.

MayBee said...

"Trump's problem is that he has always refused, or been unable, to separate the two.

I agree with this, but the truth is nobody separates the two. Trump was asked about the "meddling" yesterday *because* they want to keep reminding Trump they don't find him legitimate. It's obvious, because nobody is outraged at Obama didn't do anything at the time, and nobody rationally thinks a minor email hacking campaign is an international crisis.

h said...

In case you wonder where Rush gets some of his insights: he said almost exactly the same thing today.

buwaya said...

The civil war concept is total. Its not simply power as in who makes rules in Washington.

It extends down to every classroom, who get to tell the myths to the kids, and in every occupation or business. Each side has favored knowledge, favored myths, favored entertainments, favored businesses and professions, favored families, favored ethnicities.

Its a total war of peoples. Just not yet violent.

Joshua Barker said...

Bullshit... There is only 1 part... GET TRUMP by any means necessary... Nobody gave a damn about supposed Russian meddling back when Obama was President... in fact the left laughed and ridiculed Romney when he said that Russia was our #1 geo-political foe... not to mention that the level of Russian "interference" in our election pales in comparison to what the US does around the world every day, and what other countries like Mexico and Britain have done (and continue to do) to us...

So spare me the false dichotomy... Anyone with two brain cells knows that the left's histrionics over "muh Russia" are completely situational and opportunistic, and if they were somehow able to get Trump out of office, they would cease to give two shits about Russia the following nano-second...

cubanbob said...

Brennan, Clapper, Strozk, Comey.... Trump is right. The intelligence services tried to rig an election and failing that attempt to remove Trump. At best these guys and their accomplices are criminals and at worst traitors. All the wailing regarding the hacking and interference in the election is contrived bullshit. The simple fact is that had Obama forced Hillary to comply with the law and not allowed her to conduct State Department business outside the internal network of the State Department there would be a hacking issue. But then again if she had only used State's servers should do her influence peddling and other financial scheming. In addition despite all of the shouting, no one has alleged that the emails were bogus, plants created to hurt the Clinton campaign. Email has been around since the Reagan Administration and has been used by the various Secretaries of State since then on government servers before Hillary and after her. She had no excuse and Obama even less to allow her to flout the law. If Brennan and Clapper were serious men instead of frauds they would have been on Clinton for her massive breach of national security. So the only thing that the hacking exposed is that the DNC is corrupt and conspired with the Clinton campaign to sabotage the Sanders campaign and that Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and various Obama Administration officials are criminals. Finally is there any credible evidence that the so-called hacking and election interference resulted in as much as one person switching their vote from Clinton to Trump? The pollsters should conduct a poll asking if anyone switched their vote away from Clinton because of the hacking-email server scandals and so-called election interference.

Bay Area Guy said...

Why is John "I love Gus Hall" Brennan so unhinged about Putin, Russia and Trump?

Does anyone on planet earth believe that Russia will once again invade Poland? Finland? I doubt it.

It might be this:

Russia always wanted to be a more "western" country, but, of course, world communist domination took precedence, and, thankfully, failed. (Thanks, Reagan!).

So, 30 years after the Cold War, what does Russia want? It has 144 Million people. 80% are Russians, 71% are Russian Orthodox. It sells a shitload of oil and natural gas. It's run by the Russian version of Al Capone's old Chicago gang circa 1928.

So, again, what does it want?

Well, I wouldn't say it's the primary thing it wants, but one thing it wants is to fight Islamic terrorism.

And we want to fight Islamic terrorism.

And there is a convergence of interest of these two great powers in fighting Islamic terrorism.

And John Brennan sees this. And he doesn't like this unity. And he would rather there be a wedge between these two superpowers

Hey, just brainstorming here, could be wrong.

Tommy Duncan said...

Jan 21, 2009 · The new Obama administration is willing to talk to Iran "without preconditions" and will work towards the abolition of nuclear weapons, the White House said today.

Drago said...

Maybe: "I agree with this, but the truth is nobody separates the two."

The lefties know they and their deep state pals abused our entire law enforcement, intelligence service capabilities and federal depts to unconstitutionally spy on and disrupt an opposing domestic political opponent during a campaign and for years used those same capabilities to disrupt all domestic political opponents.

IRS tea party abuse.
Congress itself.
Opponents of the Iran Deal.
Trump campaign and possibly every single republican in the race.

Additionally, the complete corruption of all those agencies led to massive wealth transfers to democrats in general and Bill/Hill in particular.

obama fundamentally transformed all of Washington DC into a Chicago Ward operation for the dems.

Uranium One is a perfect example. And who was intimately involved in that shyster move?

Hillary, russian oligarchs, multiple federal depts and most importantly, Mueller, Comey and Rosenstein themselves.

How very very nice for them....

Oso Negro said...

How about someone acknowledge that the Russians try to hack us all the time as we try to hack them? Then acknowledge that the real disruption to the democratic process was Hillary and the DNC running a crooked game, followed by being sore losers. Trump has been way more gracious to Hillary than he should have been.

Sebastian said...

@MK: "Trump sees Putin as a rival, not a demon. The political left has trouble separating the two but they will flip as soon as a Democrat is president again."

Of course. The Universal Theory of Progressive Instrumentalism says that enmities, like ethics and linguistics and everything else, are strictly tools. Under O, up to at least 2012, being nice to Vlad, was prog tool. Even in Syria and on Iran, O and JFK eagerly worked with the Russians. Hill was happy to take their $145M. But then came 2016 and Dems got their emails taken and the deep state needed insurance against a Trump win, so Vlad became a monster again.

Not because of Chechnya or Crimea or Syria or dead journalists or an airliner shot down. No: prog instrumentalism focuses strictly on prog power.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The coordinated efforts by the Democrat Party, The MSM Democrat Party Press and the Brennen-Clinton Deep State are obvious.

Trump stole the election from poor victim wonderful Hillary. The deplorables were all duped and tricked by Russian facebook ads. The deep state/Hillary was the natural successor and Trump/Russia tricked and hacked and Trump was in on it.

Pimp*

Khesanh 0802 said...

Can't find the article. The essence of it was that the Chinese usually get a deal maker to end up bidding against himself as they refuse better offer after better offer ( you see that in mergers a lot). In Trump's case: he won't do it. He just keeps upping the ante for the Chinese to get into the game. I'll keep looking.

Hagar said...

I do not think Russia is a rival to the U.S. (Though China is.)
However, it very much is a rival to the other European "powers," and that is why they really should spend 2% or more, perhaps 2% exclusive of US arms purchases - buying tanks and aircraft from the U.S. and just parking them for lack of personnel to operate and maintain them does not really do much for national defense preparedness - on their own military establishments.

Khesanh 0802 said...

@ Bay area guy I think Brennan is over the top because he was a key part of the plot to nullify Trump. He knows if the whole story comes out there is a good chance he is going into the meat grinder. He's also nuts!

Balfegor said...

Re: Nonapod:

Yup. Never apologize, never concede a point. Does Trump believe that Russians tried some stuff during the election? Sure. Will he admit it? No, because of the door that it would open up. It's strategy. You may think it's bad strategy, but it's strategy none the less.

I'm undecided, personally as to whether Trump thinks Russia did in fact try to meddle or not. On the one hand, common sense would tell us that Russians have been trying to meddle in other countries' elections since World War II and probably before, so of course they've continued to the present.

On the other hand, I don't know that Trump shares that view of history. If he's starting fresh in the present, what he knows is that there's this whole pack of sleazy characters, from Brennan down to Strzok, who all hate him and fear him, want to use this Russia business to bring him down by hook or by crook, and aren't even particularly trying to hide it. And then there's all these other "respectable" people around him trying to gaslight him into disbelieving the evidence of his own senses -- telling him that no, all these people in the intelligence services aren't trying to undermine him. And these obviously untrustworthy characters are the exact same people who are telling him that Russia did X, Y, and Z. So he may genuinely not believe them.

It is, in miniature, the entire crisis of authority of the professional classes today. Sure, the professionals might be telling you the truth. But even though we blew up our credibility a long time ago, we still keep repeating -- in ever more hysterical tones -- our argument from authority: "Why don't you dumb bumpkins just shut up and believe us???"

Chuck said...

Here's the part I liked about the column (and I like Byron York a lot):

So in response to the "Who do you believe?" question in Helsinki, Trump could simply have said: I believe the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the Intelligence Community. I believe the verdict of U.S. agencies. Russia did it. We've retaliated and we'll do more. But my adversaries at home have turned this into a politically motivated crusade to cripple the president of the United States, and it's time to stop it. Now, let's talk about issues that are vital for the future of America and the world.


That is so freaking easy. Somebody is going to have to explain to me what the downside of that is. Because after saying that, Trump can go back to Twitter and start over again whining about "witch hunts" and "NO COLLUSION" and "Crooked Hillary" without having compromised himself at all.

You all seem to like Trump, for things he actually does; I tell you, Trump could have a much easier time doing those things, and getting more things done, if he wasn't such a clumsy, inarticulate, and even reckless asshole.

Sebastian said...

Piling on, of course, but:

The "Trump-Russia probe" is about using Russia to get Trump. By any means necessary.

One narrative. But then, there always is just One Narrative.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

One Narrative/One Party.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

All this pressure to get Trump to say "Russia helped me by embarrassing Hillary by exposing her own corruption"

Fuck off.

readering said...

You can't teach an old dog new tricks. In Hel photos Trump looked very old, especially the one featured by Drudge.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Chuck - just this part

But my adversaries at home have turned this into a politically motivated crusade to cripple the president of the United States, and it's time to stop it. Now, let's talk about issues that are vital for the future of America and the world.

Gahrie said...

Trump could have a much easier time doing those things, and getting more things done, if he wasn't such a clumsy, inarticulate, and even reckless asshole.

It would also help if everyone got over their butthurt and stopped talking shit about him 24-7.

WisRich said...

Chuck said...
Here's the part I liked about the column (and I like Byron York a lot):

So in response to the "Who do you believe?" question in Helsinki, Trump could simply have said: I believe the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the Intelligence Community. I believe the verdict of U.S. agencies. Russia did it. We've retaliated and we'll do more. But my adversaries at home have turned this into a politically motivated crusade to cripple the president of the United States, and it's time to stop it. Now, let's talk about issues that are vital for the future of America and the world.


That is so freaking easy. Somebody is going to have to explain to me what the downside of that is. Because after saying that, Trump can go back to Twitter and start over again whining about "witch hunts" and "NO COLLUSION" and "Crooked Hillary" without having compromised himself at all.

7/17/18, 12:38 PM

Because Chuck, we all know that the MSM will omit the second half of the paragraph and hammer home that Trump acknowledges the meddling and thus his Presidency is illegitimate.

Balfegor said...

Re: Chuck:

That is so freaking easy. Somebody is going to have to explain to me what the downside of that is.

Have you ever followed a public debate in the US? People don't participate in good faith! As soon as he says he accepts that Russia "did it," then the next demand is going to be that he accept that Russia tried to make you President. And then his opponents will try to draw him into that debate so they can get him to say words they can cut up and use to argue he thinks he's an illegitimate President.

I do wish he could articulate it in those terms, but it's pure wishful thinking to imagine that would close off the issue and let him focus on the things that matter.

Etienne said...

The take-away, is that Schumer and Pelosi are not normal people, so normal rules do not apply.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Khesanh 0802,

@ Bay area guy I think Brennan is over the top because he was a key part of the plot to nullify Trump. He knows if the whole story comes out there is a good chance he is going into the meat grinder. He's also nuts!

That might be it - Occam's Razor. But that's all? It seems so small. His expressed hatred for Trump is pretty clear. But one would think as CIA Director he would have some bigger, geo-strategic views on things that he might think are threatened.

Also, thanks for your service, Man!

Nonapod said...

Balfegor said... I don't know that Trump shares that view of history.

Obviously I don't know what's in Trump's head either. But to me it seems fairly obvious that even with the most cursory knowledge of history one would conclude that Russia is fully capable of attempting election shenanigans in the US and that it would be in their interest to sow chaos.

But maybe I'm giving Trump too much credit. Maybe he really is an idiot. Certainly all sorts of people have accussed him of being an idiot many, many times before. And yet somehow he ends up on top. Can that all just be dumb luck? Or just a dumb populace? Is America just stupid? If you subscibe to the "Trump's an idiot" theory, one of those possibilities has to explain his unbelievable success. Or maybe his adversaries aren't as smart as they believe they are?

Darkisland said...

$400mm

$400x10^6

$400,000,000

However you write it, that is a lot of money for a British subject (ex US citizen) to be illegally to Crocked Hilary's campaign.

Does anyone care?

Sounds like there was more British meddling in our elections than Russian.

Lots of Russian's miss Stalin. Browder is not Russian but there is a close family connection directly to Stalin. Is Browder trying to get the band back together?

Is that the real problem in Russia? Putin vs the Stalinists?

John Henry

John Henry

buwaya said...

"Does anyone on planet earth believe that Russia will once again invade Poland? Finland? I doubt it."

If Putin had an idea that he could take Estonia and Latvia at little cost, he would.

However, he might have to fight the Poles to do it.

If the Poles fight the cost could be high, and the prospect of that is a deterrence.
The present Polish government would fight for Latvia and Estonia.

Its interesting that the current German government has arranged for a propaganda campaign against the current Polish government, besides not being much use on the matter of deterring Russian ambitions re the Baltics. It smells as if someone want to fix something.

Chuck said...

Balfegor said...
Re: Chuck:

"That is so freaking easy. Somebody is going to have to explain to me what the downside of that is."

Have you ever followed a public debate in the US? People don't participate in good faith! As soon as he says he accepts that Russia "did it," then the next demand is going to be that he accept that Russia tried to make you President. And then his opponents will try to draw him into that debate so they can get him to say words they can cut up and use to argue he thinks he's an illegitimate President.

I do wish he could articulate it in those terms, but it's pure wishful thinking to imagine that would close off the issue and let him focus on the things that matter.


So Trump chose, as you suggested. And now, instead of "his enemies" going after him, Trump's got New Gingrich saying that this debacle was the worst mistake of Trump's presidency. With seemingly every member of the Republican Conference in the United States Senate joining in criticism.

Ann Althouse said...

“Could somebody please provide me with the date that Russia became the bad guys again? Seems to me it was sometime soon after Trump won the election.”

President Romney started it.

Clark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yancey Ward said...

Chuck asked:

"That is so freaking easy. Somebody is going to have to explain to me what the downside of that is."

Prove to me that Russia did the hacking, Chuck. Just because the US intelligence agencies tell Mueller and Congress that doesn't make it a fact. Just because I am an American doesn't mean I have to put faith in everything my government tells me- I write this because we have been lied to over and over during my entire life by that same government and its officials.

I want to see the evidence before I will accept any assertions about what it actually is. This is why I want to see Putin get one of his indicted GRU officers to show up in court- because that seems to be the only hope of ever getting to the bottom of this story. We already see Mueller and the DoJ trying to wriggle out of going to court over the first set of Russian indictments- why would they do that? The most obvious explanation would be that Mueller and his team know that they could never prove the case in court- that the indictment was a bluff and/or a political operation all along. I suspect the same thing would happen if Putin sends one or more of the indicted officers to court here- you would suddenly see Mueller trying to delay going to trial, or again pass the case off to a normal DoJ team to do the embarrassing walkbacks.

To your credit, you are always asking for Trump to support his assertions- you really need to apply that same skepticism to the rest of the US government. When you don't, you make yourself look stupid and dishonest.

Clark said...

"Trump could simply have said: . . . I believe the verdict of U.S. agencies. Russia did it." York's idea is that Trump should have just said this and moved on to other more important things. But this would be hard for Trump to say because what "Russia did it" means turns crucially on what "it" means in that sentence. Trump would not be inclined to add support to the get-Trump-crowd's bullshit claims about what the Russians in fact did.

robother said...

So, Putin offers to make everyone of the guys Mueller indicted last week available for questioning by Mueller in Russia. Putin invites Mueller to file an extradition request under the treaty the 2 countries have. Why is no one in the MSM or Mueller or the DOJ acknowledging this and jumping at the opportunity? Because Mueller knows he has no case, that this is just being done for political show to undermine anything Trump might accomplish in Helsinki. Mueller has no desire to litigate any of this in a public court in Russia or even the USA.

Any Republican or conservative who wants Trump to acknowledge Russian interference in the 2016 election is being played for a sucker by the Democrats and the Deep State. Just like anyone who thinks Watergate was not a Deep State hit job on Nixon, that the same rules would've applied equally to LBJ or any other Democrat President. They didn't, they don't and they never will. Trump gets it. No Republican who doesn't get this will ever be elected in the USA.

J. Farmer said...

I can't recall so long ago, but what was wrong with the much maligned US-Russian "reset" in 2009?

Bay Area Guy said...

@Buwaya sez:

"If Putin had an idea that he could take Estonia and Latvia at little cost, he would."

You might be right. And, if Russia did, I would reassess. But this unpleasant hypothetical, hopefully, is not very likely.

But I don't believe Estonia or Latvia should be part of NATO. That's a bridge too far. We should not go to WWIII -- after a grueling 44 years of Cold War -- over these tiny countries that border Russia.

Drago said...

"Because Chuck, we all know that the MSM will omit the second half of the paragraph and hammer home that Trump acknowledges the meddling and thus his Presidency is illegitimate."

Oh, LLR Chuck is fully aware of how his dem allies and the lefty MSM would handle that statement.

Thats precisely, PRECISELY, why LLR Chuck demands it.

Remember, all the dems and all these fine upstanding republicans let obama cut secret deals with Iran all over the place with zero, zero, real pushback.

AJ Lynch said...

The over-arching goal of the Deep State and the resistance and the MSM is to delegitimize Trump.

So let's see the DOJ indict Hillary and Abedin and Cheryl Mills first for mishandling classified documents to prove they believe in the rule of law. Afterwards, I may listen to their theories about who and what may have tried to interfere with our elections. Until then , the FBI, Mueller, DOJ, MSM, etc are illegitimate in my eyes and they can all fuck off.

Balfegor said...

Re: Nonapod:

But maybe I'm giving Trump too much credit. Maybe he really is an idiot. Certainly all sorts of people have accussed him of being an idiot many, many times before. And yet somehow he ends up on top. Can that all just be dumb luck? Or just a dumb populace? Is America just stupid? If you subscibe to the "Trump's an idiot" theory, one of those possibilities has to explain his unbelievable success. Or maybe his adversaries aren't as smart as they believe they are?

He can't possibly be an idiot. But he's in a situation where all his principal sources of intelligence information are people who were emotionally devastated by his election and are constantly acting out. There's a gap between "it makes sense that Russia would try to do something" and "Russia did these specific things" and the gap is being filled by evidence and analysis from emotionally unstable people who fantasized about preventing his election. It's not stupid or irrational for him to be suspicious of the intelligence services, when people associated with them have behaved in flagrantly unprofessional ways, and the people in charge are constantly denying or minimizing the misconduct.

narayanan said...

BAG said
"Well, I wouldn't say it's the primary thing Russia wants, but one thing it wants is to fight Islamic terrorism. And we want to fight Islamic terrorism."

But W Europe elites do not want to fight terrorism, Elite Dems/Repubs too do not want.

this is the problem - allies in nostalgia not based on present facts or future goals.

Gahrie said...

I can't recall so long ago, but what was wrong with the much maligned US-Russian "reset" in 2009?

Nothing except Obama and Hillary fucking it up. That's the point. It was fine to try and improve relations in 2009, and it's fine to try and improve them today.

Bruce Hayden said...

“If the establishment wants to get in a tizzy they should focus on cleaning out politics in the national security agencies.”

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/07/17/paranoia-may-destroy-ya-the-collective-response-from-the-co-conspirators/#more-151895

Think about the bigger questions: Why would former administration officials feel the need to engage in such discourse? What exactly does their response say about their personal attachment to current events? …and more importantly, what do they all have in common?

If you note they are all connected to the intelligence apparatus, and more specifically the well documented FISA abuse, well, yeah, things start making a lot of sense. After all, at the center of all the intelligence corruption in 2015/2016 is the exploitation of FBI/NSA databases for political opposition research and weaponization.

The over-the-top responses to a meeting and press conference between President Trump and Russian President Putin highlights the extent to which the prior officials have formed all of their defenses around the Russian conspiracy narrative. They are all-in.

The Russian conspiracy narrative was formed as both their insurance policy against a Trump administration; and a necessary collective defense -passed on to Robert Mueller inc- to ensure an offense was always present to insure their activity never surfaced.


Most of the motives of perps here are obvious, but Sally Yates may need refreshing. Among other sins, as DAG, she did several notable things. One was greatly increasing the number of people who could view unmasked FISA Title VII communications. The other, is that she put the two organizations dealing with FISA in the DoJ (NSD and FBI NSB) off limits to the IG. And the FISA Title VII abuse was rampant during the 2nd half of 2015 and 1st half of 2016, with roughly 85% of better than 1k queries being by contractors.

narayanan said...

My thought is Byron York is baiting the trap for to catch Trump oh be so reasonable

Yancey Ward said...

Balfegor wrote:

"There's a gap between "it makes sense that Russia would try to do something" and "Russia did these specific things" and the gap is being filled by evidence and analysis from emotionally unstable people who fantasized about preventing his election."

It is actually worse than this- the public has been allowed to see none of the relevant evidence. The only evidence the public has actually seen are the text messages and the public statements of Obama officials who leave literally no doubts at all about their anti-Trump animus. Everything related to the hack itself is argument from authority originating in the DoJ and the US intelligence agencies- the same organizations for which people like John Brennan, Sally Yates, James Clapper, Andrew McCabe, James Comey, and Peter Strzok worked. For all those latter individuals, how many do we not know about and still work there.

This is full transparency of the evidence is the only solution for me. I have lost faith in these institutions, and no amount of assertion from them will ever reverse that. It is time for the cards to go on the table face up.

Yancey Ward said...

And if Trump doesn't force this out into the open, then his presidency will have been a complete failure in my estimation. He has it within his power make all of this public, and in my opinion, he has the duty to do so. Will he or won't he? I don't know.

Gahrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
narayanan said...

YW said " It is time for the cards to go on the table face up"

and that none of the repubs are demanding this - should make one wonder what do the deep state hold on them?

CR said...

When George W Bush was unfairly blamed for Hurricane Katrina, he responded with contrition, but he gained nothing and it only made his enemies more ravenous. Trump doesn’t have a contrite cell in his body. He concedes nothing.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

Nothing except Obama and Hillary fucking it up. That's the point. It was fine to try and improve relations in 2009, and it's fine to try and improve them today.

But the Russian reset was criticized before it was even tried. And it did work. Relations with Russia did improve. But the GOP's side was that Russia was "our number one geostrategic foe."

J. Farmer said...

@buwwaya:

If Putin had an idea that he could take Estonia and Latvia at little cost, he would.

And your evidence for this is what? And what does "take Estonia and Latvia" even mean?

narayanan said...

"The Right has believed that Russia never stopped being our enemy and were attacked for that."

then they cannot be in support of Trump's approach either - hence their contribution to the piling on .

Balfegor said...

Re: Chuck:

So Trump chose, as you suggested. And now, instead of "his enemies" going after him, Trump's got New Gingrich saying that this debacle was the worst mistake of Trump's presidency. With seemingly every member of the Republican Conference in the United States Senate joining in criticism.

I think Trump is focused on the bottom line here. And the bottom lin is "so what?" Congress will agonize about it for a while, and if they really feel het up about it, they'll vote for more sanctions on Russia. Which is a great way of making ordinary Russians hate us, but is otherwise mostly just symbolic (if we try to make the sanctions too effective, the EU will throw a fit because Gazprom has them by the throat). And in a week or two, people will move on to the next outrage, the next "worst mistake" in his Presidency.

If this kerfuffle turns out to actually matter, then in a week or two Trump will just walk it back, only without ever admitting that he's doing so -- it wouldn't be the first time he's done that.

buwaya said...

The most pressing geopolitical problem in the world is not Russia or Iran or North Kore, or even China (China may well become a pressing problem, but that probably not for a while yet).

The most pressing problem is US political and social instability due to the ongoing cold civil war. Even the immediate consequences of an "event" in this conflict could be profound, and global.

Big Mike said...

Beautifully reasoned, Balfegor. Should Trump trust an FBI that is stonewalling Congress, and that put a dingbat like Strzok in charge of the Clinton investigation?

Leland said...

Here is what I no longer accept- I don't accept assertions from US government officials describing this evidence.

This is a bit like the AGW debate in which we are told all the experts agree that it is real and happening, that evidence exists, yet they don't actually provide the evidence for us to review. We are to just take the word of the experts.

When we then decide to look at what evidence we do know (are often sense of the climate around us or history of US and Russian/Soviet relations) and attempt to reconcile it with the experts, the experts don't come across as rational.

Big Mike said...

(Referring to Balfegor’s comment at 1:28)

dbp said...

" because he knows his adversaries will never be satisfied and just demand more.""

To the extent York is correct about Trump, Trump is also correct about his adversaries--they will never be satisfied.

Chuck said...

Yancey Ward said...
...
...

This is full transparency of the evidence is the only solution for me. I have lost faith in these institutions, and no amount of assertion from them will ever reverse that. It is time for the cards to go on the table face up.


Yancey Ward said...
And if Trump doesn't force this out into the open, then his presidency will have been a complete failure in my estimation. He has it within his power make all of this public, and in my opinion, he has the duty to do so. Will he or won't he? I don't know.


Huh. At first, I thought you might be talking about the finances and tax returns of Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization.

Balfegor said...

Re: Big Mike:

(Referring to Balfegor’s comment at 1:28)

Haha, I am on all sides of this debate.

buwaya said...

"And what does "take Estonia and Latvia" even mean?"

To install a puppet government as in the Donets or Abkhazia or South Ossetia, or to annex them outright a la Crimea. There are large Russian minorities in these countries and moreover there is an irredentist faction of these people in both countries as well as in Russia.

bagoh20 said...

"Trump's problem is that he has always refused, or been unable, to separate the two."

Wait. Who can't separate the two? If the media and Dems didn't believe they could stick this to Trump, we wouldn't even know about it. If Clinton won would there even be a Russian story? Conflating it with Trump is the entire reason there is a story, becuase the Russians, the Chinese, the Israelis, the British and many other including the US does this stuff all the time, and nobody is surprised or cares.

Qwinn said...

Re: his enemies never being satisfied, just look at Chuck. He tried to make a big deal about the Trump Putin meeting being private, asserting that that would be highly unusual. When its proven that it isnt unusual at all, was Chuck satisfied? Of course not. Didn't reduce the urgency with which Chuck demands his answers even one iota.

tcrosse said...

But the Russian reset was criticized before it was even tried. And it did work. Relations with Russia did improve. But the GOP's side was that Russia was "our number one geostrategic foe."

That happened during the Administration of President Mitt Romney.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Kristallnachke!
Maddow!

Drago said...

LLR Chuck has admitted that he is only here to smear Trump, just like all the dems and lefties.

Yancey Ward said...

Chuck,

The future of the country depends far less on the state of Trump's tax returns and finances because Trump will leave office in 6 and 1/2 years at a minimum. The integrity of and trust in organizations like the DoJ and the CIA are far more important to me. That you don't understand this really says a great deal about you.

Gahrie said...

But the Russian reset was criticized before it was even tried. And it did work. Relations with Russia did improve. But the GOP's side was that Russia was "our number one geostrategic foe."


1) Russia has been our #1 geostrategic foe since 1945. Perhaps rival would be a better word since the fall of the USSR? Today a case could be made that China is more of a threat.

2) How did our relations improve? When did they stop improving and why? When did they become the enemy again and why?

Jay Elink said...

J. Farmer said...
@buwwaya:

If Putin had an idea that he could take Estonia and Latvia at little cost, he would.

And your evidence for this is what? And what does "take Estonia and Latvia" even mean?
****************************

You can start here:

Some background (and a prediction that didn't come true):

https://www.newsweek.com/counting-down-russian-invasion-baltics-414877 (Newseek citing info from a thinktank)

https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/07/russia-still-can-overrun-the-baltic-nato-countries-in-about-60-hours.html

Putin has been pushing Russian ethno-nationalism for quite a while, and to him the millions of Russians living in the Baltic states are oppressed and are clamoring to be rescued. He has also engaged in cyber-warfare against Estonia, which is far advanced in the deployment and application of advanced network technologies.

But NATO holds him in check.

bagoh20 said...

Personally, I don't trust the intelligence community any more than I trust Putin. Should we list all the times they have been wrong recently - fatally catastrophically wrong? Now I do believe that Russians hacked the Dems. They seem to have very poorly guarded data - negligently guarded. I also believe that Trump had nothing to do with it, and that many people in the intelligence community were willing to lie and cheat to make it look like he did, becuase, in their own words they have said that they had that very motivation with hysterical zeal.

Begonia said...

“Could somebody please provide me with the date that Russia became the bad guys again? Seems to me it was sometime soon after Trump won the election.”

I thought it started during the Bush administration when Russia invaded Georgia and became closer to Iran. Russia continues to get ever-closer to Iran.

But I think the true date that Russia became the bad guys was in 2014 when they sent troops into Ukraine and annexed Crimea. Which was under Obama. I recall that republicans were very critical of Obama for his lack of action on that.

In 2014 a russian-made missile shot down Malasia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine. Russia continues to deny that it was their missile.

Then in 2015 Russia interevened in the Syrian civil war, on behalf of Assad. One could argue that the Syrian Civil war has become a proxy civil war, so basically they are an enemy of US interests in Syria.

Gahrie said...

Putin has been pushing Russian ethno-nationalism for quite a while, and to him the millions of Russians living in the Baltic states are oppressed and are clamoring to be rescued.

You say that like it is a bad thing.

J. Farmer sees nothing wrong with such ambitions. He's perfectly willing to allow Putin to consolidate the Russian people wherever they are.

Bruce Hayden said...

A couple more things to keep in mind about the former intelligence agency heads getting all butt hurt.

DNI Clapper was the one behind getting the Steele Dossier published. The MSM had it, but wouldn’t run with it because it was so scurrilous and badly sourced, right before an election. They needed a news “hook”. What that was, was that Clapper dispatched Comey to Trump to inform him of the Dossier, which he kinda did, but skipped most of the more scurrilous details, likely, I think, because of his weak stomach for that sort of thing. When he reported back to Clapper that Trump had been briefed, they notified the news organizations that they now had their hook (that Trump had been briefed), and the MSM happily published it.

There is a lot still under wraps about the CIA’s part, but what seems to have happened was that Maltese diplomat Joseph Misfud told Carter Page that the Russians had emails that the Trump campaign might be interested in seeing. Then, a month later, Australian Ambassador Downer had drinks with Page, and appears to have tried to get him to admit to interest in the Russian supplied emails. Ultimately, and no one outside the conspiracy seems to know how, this information was brought to the attention of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. Peter Strzok flew to London and appears to have met with Ambassador Downer and Stephen Halper. This appears to have been the official passoff to the FBI. The key though is the realization that these men were almost assuredly CIA assets, and the techniques utilized were the type that the CIA routinely utilizes. What this appears to mean is the CIA, using its overseas assets, essentially very likely created the predicate utilized by the FBI to open the counterintelligence investigation that ultimately culminated in the 4 Title II FISA warrants on Carter Page (who had, BTW, been an FBI informant up until that time, and asked several times, when they were working on the FISA warrants, to meet with them, to no avail). Which is to say that it is very likely that this whole thing was orchestrated by DNI Clapper, with both CIA Dir Brennan and FBI Dir Comey doing their assigned parts. Oh, and there are significant connections between Fusion GPS and these three foreigners (Misfud, Downer, and Halper), for anyone keeping track.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Hillary losing was the left's brain-Kristallnacht

Shouting Thomas said...

I've been waiting, prof, for your assessment of the press conference.

You're not planning on offering one?

bagoh20 said...

"“Could somebody please provide me with the date that Russia became the bad guys again? "

1917?

“We have always been at war with Eastasia.”

Nonapod said...

When it comes to Eastern Europe, it seems to me that Putin absolutely would love nothing more than to bring the old Eastern Block nations under the Russian umbrella once again, effectively reducing them to Suzerainties or vassal states of Russia. It also pretty obvious that Putin is far, far more likely to engage in subversive conquest rather than an open hot war of any kind. As he did in Crimea, he'd rather subvert, undermine, and otherwise sabotage the existing governments of those Nations and replace them with pliant puppet governments.

Putin has zero interest in actually getting into a real war with NATO. That would far too costly and risky. Why do that when you can conquer using more cold war style tactics?

Chuck said...

buwaya said...
"And what does "take Estonia and Latvia" even mean?"

To install a puppet government as in the Donets or Abkhazia or South Ossetia, or to annex them outright a la Crimea. There are large Russian minorities in these countries and moreover there is an irredentist faction of these people in both countries as well as in Russia.


Estonia and Latvia are NATO members. It would trigger Article 5. And the Europeans are probably less afraid of Putin, and more devoted to NATO, than Trump.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Trump peeing on a mattress in Moscow or grabbing pussy in some past life, is much worse that a Private Server for personal enrichment as a top government official in the US government.

Even if the peeing on a mattress story is totally bogus.

n.n said...

The allegations of foreign influence, would be incomplete without inclusion of Britain, France, China, Iran, Israel, Qatar, etc. Anyone with a footprint in the press, culture, and other widely disseminated information outlets.

As for the indictments, a refusal to provide evidence is self-defeating. Statements about tracing identities, not merely regions, and systems, is affirmative exposure of American intelligence assets including people and methods.

That said, so can we be certain that the burglary that was not a burglary and subsequent abortion of a DNC insider was not an Obama or Clinton hit? Then there was the social security related hit at the beginning of Obama's first term. Not to mention the precedent for DNC dictatorial rule to favor Obama over Clinton that recurred to favor Clinton over Sanders.

So, what did we learn. The establishment is corrupt? Progressively so. That the DNC is filled with rampant diversity (e.g. racism, sexism)? It's their identity. That politically inconvenient people in close proximity die?

tcrosse said...

Putin has been pushing Russian ethno-nationalism for quite a while, and to him the millions of Russians living in the Baltic states are oppressed and are clamoring to be rescued.

Much as the ethnic Germans in the Sudetenland oppressed by the Czechs in 1938. Nothing for us to object to.

Yancey Ward said...

Do I think the Russians hacked the DNC? I don't really doubt it. They also have probably hacked the RNC. Indeed, the GRU wouldn't be doing its job if it didn't try all the time to hack any US political/government entity. The same applies to the CIA and the NSA with regards to the Russians. What you really have to prove to me is that the Russians used the results by giving them to Wikileaks- this really comes down to who Guccifer 2.0 really is- there is strong circumstantial evidence that Guccifer 2.0 was a construct of Crowdstrike and the DNC as a response to learning their information had been obtained by someone who had given it to Wikileaks. The manner in which Guccifer 2.0 revealed himself in July of 2016 argues quite strongly for it being the Clinton Campaign itself, with the help of Crowdstrike.

The Mueller indictments, curiously, can tell us all these specific GRU officers and what they each did, but somehow can't tell us which one of them played the role of Guccifer 2.0- instead trying to tell us it was a composite of all 12 indictees. This is odd- which computer was Guccifer 2.0 working from? If Mueller really does have the evidence his indictments claims to have, then why not tag Guccifer 2.0 specifically to one of these officers? It really does look like far less is known about Guccifer 2.0 than is known about the 12 GRU officers, and so Mueller was forced to make him some sort of composite in the indictment. This has to be explained.

buwaya said...

Among others, I believe the Poles and Balts.
As in Nassim Talebs rubric, they have "skin in the game".
Poland is increasing its defense spending and is redeploying its best units to the East.
The current government is also setting up a military posture where it can conceivably go it alone, with less reliance on Nato help, which echoes its distrust of the Germans.

Polish planning assumes aggression against Latvia-Estonia-Lithuania, and the apparent plan is to reinforce them with all it can mobilize, through the "Suwalki Gap".

Drago said...

LLR and Dem Cuckholster Chuck: :Estonia and Latvia are NATO members. It would trigger Article 5. And the Europeans are probably less afraid of Putin, and more devoted to NATO, than Trump."

Demonstrably false on all points.

Thus keeping alive LLR Chuck's perfect alignment with lefty narratives AND getting every geo-political analysis wrong, instinctively.

An impressive feat, though completely expected for a self-described smear artist.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

JFarmer,

Two good questions. First I don't think too many people thought the reset was a bad idea at the time. They mocked Hillary's embarrassing button. The reset became a problem for a lot of people after Russia annexed Crimea and sent troops to fight in Eastern Ukraine (and shot down a civil jetliner--dont forget).

I think Putin would be willing to take parts (if not all) of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. There a large populations 1/4 to 1/3) of Russian speaking people in these countries and large enclaves in the east. Many Russian stories about the Russian minorities being mistreated. Same playbook as Eastern Ukraine (but that mostly blew up in Putin's face).

Rabel said...

One thing I saw in reading the indictments is that the specificity of the allegations is such that:

1. We must be deeply embedded in the computer systems of the Russian intelligence organizations.

2. We were deeply embedded at the time the alleged intrusions took place.

In other words, we not only know what they did, but - we were watching them when they did it. The implications of the latter point raise a bundle of questions about the people who were in charge of the out intelligence agencies at the time.

Balfegor said...

Re: Begonia:

But I think the true date that Russia became the bad guys was in 2014 when they sent troops into Ukraine and annexed Crimea. Which was under Obama. I recall that republicans were very critical of Obama for his lack of action on that.

Yes. And immediately before, we had already turned on Russia when we backed the Maidan uprising, which overthrew the democratically elected President of the Ukraine. Unclear whether we supported them materially, but our government at least provided them with rhetorical support . So I think that already represented a clear shift from Obama's attitude in 2012 and "more flexibility."

Thinking back, actually, it's actually surprising how clearly Romney saw the Russian threat. After the South Ossetia flare-up in 2008, I don't think there really was all that much to signal Russia's return to the geopolitical stage, so it's sort of understandable that Obama was complacent. Or maybe I've just forgotten everything because the events post-2014 were so much more dramatic.

Drago said...

The Europeans are so very very devoted to NATO that they refuse to meet their commitments, have completely and utterly hollowed out their militaries and are happy to cut massive energy deals with Putin which put them at an astonishing strategic risk.

LOL

Michigan lawyer indeed..

Rusty said...

J. Farmer said...
"@buwwaya:

If Putin had an idea that he could take Estonia and Latvia at little cost, he would.

And your evidence for this is what? And what does "take Estonia and Latvia" even mean?"

Because , like Crimea, he can.
Article 5, Chuck? Youwant to hang your arguement on Germany's 2 and a half combat brigades?

Francisco D said...

Two points:

1). The days of spies sneaking into a room to film secrets has been long over. They Hack! We Hack! Everyone Hacks! Hacking had little impact on the election, if any. The hacking we should worry about is industrial espionage.

2). Trump has just released a statement saying that he mispoke and meant to say the opposite about Russian election hacking.

I am tired of the hysteria.

buwaya said...

"Estonia and Latvia are NATO members. It would trigger Article 5. And the Europeans are probably less afraid of Putin, and more devoted to NATO, than Trump."

What does "devotion" mean?

It is hard to see that the "Europeans" are more devoted to Nato as the Germans are currently unable to mobilize even one armored brigade to support the Poles or Balts. The Estonians for one don't seem very confident in the practical utility of Article 5. The Poles want US troops, which they can trust, permanently in Poland. Not some German, "European" promise, backed by nothing.

n.n said...

Russia invaded Georgia to confront the Georgian government targeting its northern population.

Russia "annexed" Crimea following the Western-backed coup that deposed the democratically elected government and forced a refugee crisis.

I'm surprised they didn't react to the war on Serbia and subsequent division of that country.

There is no evidence of Soviet-era ambitions for globalization. All of their actions to date have been provoked and their response to foreign intrusions and influence measured.

Balfegor said...

Re: Chuck:

Estonia and Latvia are NATO members. It would trigger Article 5. And the Europeans are probably less afraid of Putin, and more devoted to NATO, than Trump.

Yeah, that's why the Europeans are always in a tizzy whenever we try to impose sanctions on the Russians. And pushing for us to reduce sanctions on Russia. Oh yeah, they're really tough on Russia, those Europeans. Haha. The Bundeswehr is absolutely ready to defend fortress Europe from the Russian war machine.

Well, plucky little Poland might, I guess.

buwaya said...

Laws mean nothing, if there are no tanks or aircraft to enforce them.

This is a great sin of lawyers when playing in the wrong field.
They assume laws will be enforced by - someone.
Lawyers are the cart, assuming a horse. But there probably isn't a horse.

J. Farmer said...

@buwaya:

To install a puppet government as in the Donets or Abkhazia or South Ossetia, or to annex them outright a la Crimea. There are large Russian minorities in these countries and moreover there is an irredentist faction of these people in both countries as well as in Russia.

@Bill, Republic of Texas:

The reset became a problem for a lot of people after Russia annexed Crimea and sent troops to fight in Eastern Ukraine (and shot down a civil jetliner--dont forget).

I think Putin would be willing to take parts (if not all) of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. There a large populations 1/4 to 1/3) of Russian speaking people in these countries and large enclaves in the east. Many Russian stories about the Russian minorities being mistreated. Same playbook as Eastern Ukraine (but that mostly blew up in Putin's face).


Ethnic Russians are a supermajority of Crimea. They are about 10% of Latvia's population and maybe a little less than a quarter of Estonia's. Also, do not forget that what brought Russia into Ukraine was a western-backed putsch against the legal government.

roesch/voltaire said...

Its telling that Trump is already walking back his statements.

n.n said...

after Russia annexed Crimea and sent troops to fight in Eastern Ukraine (and shot down a civil jetliner--dont forget

Russia set up a firewall to protect assets and people in Crimea by their request and in compliance with their own interests, thereby preventing a refugee crisis or worse. All that we know of the civilian jet overflying a known war zone is that it was hit with a missile of Russian design.

readering said...

Trump abandons his toadies.

Yancey Ward said...

On Crimea:

The 2001 census, conducted by The Ukraine itself, revealed that 70% plus of the population spoke Russian as a first language and that only 10% declared Ukrainian as a first language. The same census as a whole in The Ukraine (including Crimea) had Ukrainian at 67%.

Crimea was only a part of The Ukraine SSR because of a 1950s decree within the Soviet Union. You might not like the annexation of the Crimea back into Russia, but the fact is that the region is ethnically Russian and has been for a very long time in history. We wouldn't be having this discussion at all if the Soviets hadn't issued the 1950s reassignment of the region internally. All of the former SSRs along the western line would probably do well to, at some point, agree to some border changes- such large ethnic heterogeneities are likely to be long term problems best dealt with in peaceful negotiations and internal plebiscites.

buwaya said...

Russia has no ideological ambitions. We are back to Peter the Great territory.

Russia is a great power looking for advantage where it can find it. It is opportunistic. Putin is by nature a salami slicer. Putins Russia can be expected to grab something nearby if it is valuable and easy to steal. They are a threat to some of their neighbors, but not to the world.

Drago said...

LLR Chucks clearly demonstrated ignorance regarding European actions and capabilities related to NATO is rivaled only by his complete lack of political electoral understanding.

Unsurprisingly all his latest hot takes on this subject match up perfectly with the left wing narratives.

Unexpectedly.

Balfegor said...

Re: roesch/voltaire:

Its telling that Trump is already walking back his statements.

I guess they did some polling or something and people reacted poorly. Eh, I think the same thing happened last year when Trump and Putin met, didn't it? Although the reaction was less hyperbolic then.

I'm still undecided as to whether Trump actually believes that, or is just saying it because it makes sense of him to say that right now. You can tell he's trying to put some clear boundaries on what he's saying (e.g. no impact, no collusion) for precisely the reasons articulated in this thread -- that he knows his opponents are going to latch on to this and try and force the discussion in a different direction.

Drago said...

readering: "Trump abandons his toadies."

LOL

Folks, this is all the lefties have left!

Gee whiz, impeachment again seemed so close, AGAIN!, just hours ago!

Tough break fella.

Better luck next time with whatever the next 'The World Is Ending' lefty ploy.

I must say it is fun to watch you and LLR Chuck and all your lefty pals get all "'splody headed' every 15 minutes!

Drago said...

R/v: "Its telling that Trump is already walking back his statements."

Trump offered up a change to one word.

Not "statements".

I am sorry for your loss.

readering said...

LOL indeed.

Levi Starks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Balfegor said...

I'd admit, though, I didn't expect the walkback to come in 24 hours -- I thought it would be at least a week (as reflected in my comment above) . . .

Derek Kite said...

Hillary and the DNC were stupid and incompetent. Hacking is a fact of networked life. Anyone who runs a server just needs to see the logs. It is constant, automated and from time to time if there is something interesting on the other side well designed, diabolically clever and effective.

Who is doing it? Everyone, from the smart kid on your block to China, Russian, the NSA, Japan, etc. Everyone.

Hillary was blitheringly stupid to run State department business on her essentially open network and email system. Unbelievably idiotic to think that she could hide things. Her aide's pervert husband had a copy of the email archive. Who else did? She lost the election not because Russia hacked, but because she was utterly incompetent and left the door open.

The DNC the same. One would think that these people would know how bad things would turn out if their internal conversations became public. Or maybe not. So somehow we are to entrust the running of the country to idiots who can't do even the most basic security hygiene on their systems?

The same incompetence has been shown throughout. Even that stupid FBI agent blathering on to his girlfriend using text messaging. Does this highly placed security agent to which we entrust our security not know the slightest thing about security, or take it even a little bit seriously?

All the best and the brightest people have been exposed as utterly incompetent. No wonder they desperately want to blame Trump. Anyone, except themselves.

Drago said...

Balfegor: "I'd admit, though, I didn't expect the walkback to come in 24 hours "

If it were more significant and/or substantive it might have been.

mezzrow said...

We can either declare Trump a buffoon or genius. Either way, he keeps finding ways to make his critics look worse than him, which is a considerable undertaking. If you doubt me, stick around for the next act.

There's a popcorn BOGO at the Publix. I'll be back in ten minutes. Time to load up.

There's more to this than meets the eye, if genius. If buffoon, we're riding the wings of chance. What could possibly go wrong?

hstad said...

Blogger rhhardin said...
He's misreading Trump. Trump is taking Putin as telling the truth because it's a way of starting fresh with Russia, which is how a deal can be made. The media wants Putin as an enemy at the moment for its own reasons, but Trump wants him for a deal. Put America first. 7/17/18, 12:03 PM

Excellent points and more importantly, you have enough discipline, in your comments, not to get sucked into TDS and anti-Russian B.S.

The MSM just uses this event as another ratings bonanza. With them it is "follow the money" and you will get their motivation.

Hagar said...

We should not go to WWIII -- after a grueling 44 years of Cold War -- over these tiny countries that border Russia.

If you won't fight for those tiny countries, you won't fight for the larger ones - like say Poland and Germany - either.

And BTW, they are not that tiny; they just were not much heard from under the Soviet umbrella.

And "after a grueling 44 years of Cold War"? Give me a break. The US has not experienced grueling anything, except the South during the Civil War.

Drago said...

The good news for r/v, readering, LLR Chuck and the entire lefty team is they still have a 20 foot tall balloon of Trump!

#DemLeftyLLRChuckWinning!

roesch/voltaire said...

Yes those double negatives can trip up the Liar in Chief. This grammatical corrections should make all the Trump supporters happy.

Drago said...

Hagar: "If you won't fight for those tiny countries, you won't fight for the larger ones - like say Poland and Germany - either."

That sounds awfully axiomatic.

What evidence exists to support this assertion?

Darkisland said...

Apparently Tass has as much trouble with numbers as some commenters here. They are now saying that it was only $400m, not $400mm as previously reported.

They blame translation error.

Still a lot of money for a British subject to be giving to an American politician. Even one as sleazy and crooked as Hilary.

John Henry

Drago said...

r/v: "This grammatical corrections should make all the Trump supporters happy."

LOL

Read it again, slowly.

Absolutely perfect.

Michael K said...

Rush Limbaugh was having a ball today on the TRump-Putin thing.

Darkisland said...

Apparently Tass has as much trouble with numbers as some commenters here. They are now saying that it was only $400m, not $400mm as previously reported.

They blame translation error.

Still a lot of money for a British subject to be giving to an American politician. Even one as sleazy and crooked as Hilary.

John Henry

Oso Negro said...

I wonder how many of you besides n.n. and I have Russin visas or have ever visited Russia? It is NOT the Soviet Union. There are fewer Communists than you can find in a Berkeley meeting of the faculty senate. The two that are left are super- annuated geezers waving the hammer and sickle outside of Lenin’s Tomb. Which happens to be across the street from a shopping mall that is a veritable temple of capitalism.

Drago said...

r/v: "This grammatical corrections should make all the Trump supporters happy."

Yep, a fan of obamacare actually wrote that. Just now. Without irony.

Hey r/v, if you like your uncorrected grammatical errors, you can keep your uncorrected grammatical errors. No one is going to take them away from you. Period.

And that offer is valid in all 57 states.

Ask any corpseman. Especially those that speak Austrian.

Michael K said...


Russia has no ideological ambitions. We are back to Peter the Great territory.


That's probably why R/V is upset at them. He loved them when they were all communists.

The left is so funny. They were all "The Yanks Are Not Coming!" until Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, then it was all, "Second Front Now!"

You guys crack me up R/V.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

I do think that it is imperative that Congress, in particular, gets to the bottom of the FISA Title VII abuse that was, apparently, rampant until discovered and shut down by NSA Dir Rogers in April/May of 2016. It is very likely that that is the source of the Steele Dossier having the wrong Michael Cohen going to Prague. How else, besides looking at Customs and Immigration records, by name, could this mistake have been made? And the most logical and likely way for Fusion GPS to have done so, would have been as one of the contractors that the FBI NSB allowed to access and search NSA’s Title VII FISA databases. We know from redacted FISC opinion declassified 4/26/2017 that there was rampant abuse, with some 85% of the database likely over 1k searches of those databases, over the previous year (ending in 5/2016), having been by FBI contractors who had no legal right to have been in those databases. Required minimization was not being done. Because of the scale of the abuse, Adm Rogers shut down 702 (US Person) searching in May, 2016. And this doesn’t count the hundreds of unmasking done by some in the White House during the first half of 2016, possibly using someone else’s credentials.

FISA, a result of CIA excesses discovered by the Church Commission in the 1970s, originally only covered wired communications, and esp tapping of phones. Then 9/11 happened, and everyone woke up to the realization that technology had greatly changed in the intervening 30 or so years. As a result, the PATRIOT Act added Title VII that covered electronic communications, such as email and the like. As a result, the NSA set up a massive database that could be utilized to tie together information from different sources, to help us in our War on Terror. Along with cell phone location and billing records, and a lot of email, the databases bring together information from through the govt too (including ICE and IRS records). The problem though was that it was still subject to the 4th Amdt, at least for US Persons (citizens and legally resident aliens), esp when in the US, through a process of “minimization”, which was supposed to work by masking the identies of USPERS, and only unmasking them when properly justified by a currently open investigation etc. This whole minimization requirement seems to have been obliterated when the Obama Administration weaponized FISA Title VII database searching. It very much looks like the WH was unmasking better than one communications a day (when the Bush WH rarely did, because they were intelligence consumers, not intelligence creators). And then the FBI apparently was allowing contractors to do whatever searching they wanted, which very likely mostly meant opposition research on opposing Democrats (Sanders) and Republicans.

The problem is that the NSA FISA databases were created for a very good reason. We desperately need our intelligence agencies to be able to prevent attacks on our homeland. To be able to connect the dots, which wasn’t done for the 9/11 attacks. BUT the Obama Administration routinely abused the built in safeguards, and just as routinely violated the 4th Amdt rights of the citizens and legally resident aliens who were targeted in those FISA Title VII database searches. FISA was reauthorized last year without addressing these issues, and very well should have.

Darkisland said...

Blogger buwaya said...

To install a puppet government as in the Donets or Abkhazia or South Ossetia, or to annex them outright a la Crimea.

Wasn't there an election a few years back where the people of Crimea, mostly ethnic Russian as several have pointed out, got to vote on whether to be part of Russia or part of Ukraine?

1,233,002 votes, 80.42% of all registered voters, 96.77% of all votes cast for being part of Russia

31,997 votes 2.09% of registered voters voted to restore the Constitution and remain in Ukraine.

Hardly sounds like an annexation. Sounds like people choosing who they want to be.

Why do you hate democracy so, Buwaya?

John Henry

roesch/voltaire said...

Mr. Trump said the misunderstanding arose from his use of a “double negative.”

“The sentence should have been ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,’ sort of a double negative,” he said.

Except he didn't use the double negative originally. But Trump supports will pull in any examples to justify the con.

Darkisland said...

Source for the numbers above

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_status_referendum,_2014#Official_results

John Henry

Darkisland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

This is all such obvious boring domestic partisan power wrangling, it is really hard to care. Had the roles been reversed, we'd be having the same fight except it would be the GOP/Fox News set on the hysterical offense and the DNC/MSNBC set playing defense. As it stands now, the roles are simply reversed.

How else to explain, for example, the massive swing in positive attitudes of Russia between Democrats and Republicans in just the last several years with no obvious change in Russian behavior. For a good number of people, they don't think or know much about Russia. But they do know partisan politics. I am on Team A, Team A is against Russia, so being against Russia is the right thing.

Derangement Syndrome is endemic. All that changes is which side is suffering from it at any given point in time.

Rick said...

J. Farmer said...

[If Putin had an idea that he could take Estonia and Latvia at little cost, he would.]

And your evidence for this is what? And what does "take Estonia and Latvia" even mean?


He doesn't know what "take" means? Apparently Russians taking Georgia and the Ukraine don't provide evidence? How absurd.

but what was wrong with the much maligned US-Russian "reset" in 2009?

Mostly that it was juvenile, a middle school drama class effort. Compare the elites acceptance of that (even ignoring the bumbling missteps in delivery) and criticism of various Trumpisms. But the stunt also implied Americans caused the poor state of relations rather than Russian actions. Since Farmer stated this here naturally he doesn't see that as a problem but most Americans do.

Darkisland said...

What about the $400m to Crocked Hilary, R/V?

Is that OK with you? Should it be investigated and prosecuted if it turns out to have been illegally contributed, as it seems to be?

John Henry

Drago said...

r/v (hilariously): "“The sentence should have been ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,’ sort of a double negative,” he said.

Except he didn't use the double negative originally."

LOL

Correct. That was the correction. Hence Trump offering up the correction.

Next up for r/v: politicians who say they are correcting previous comments actually didn't use the corrections in their original comments!!eleventy1!!11!!111!

If that isn't impeachable, I don't know what is....

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

During today’s meeting, I addressed directly with President Putin the issue of Russian interference in our elections. I felt this was a message best delivered in person. Spent a great deal of time talking about it. And President Putin may very well want to address it, and very strongly, because he feels very strongly about it, and he has an interesting idea.

Trump has several times stated he accepts the IC conclusion the Russians meddled. My guess more under pressure than a true belief.

But again, it is a serious matter when the IC gets politized. The damage is the president doesn't know if he can trust them.

The blame lies squarely on the Obama administration and their dirty political tricks.

n.n said...

Oso Negro:

I have never been to Russia. I rarely if ever leave America. Not really a fan of traveling to establish negative or positive spaces. However, I understand that Russia is less gray and its people less automatons than portrayed during the Cold War with the Soviets. What was your experience?

Bruce Hayden said...

“What you really have to prove to me is that the Russians used the results by giving them to Wikileaks- this really comes down to who Guccifer 2.0 really is- there is strong circumstantial evidence that Guccifer 2.0 was a construct of Crowdstrike and the DNC as a response to learning their information had been obtained by someone who had given it to Wikileaks. The manner in which Guccifer 2.0 revealed himself in July of 2016 argues quite strongly for it being the Clinton Campaign itself, with the help of Crowdstrike.”

I remain unconvinced that the DNC emails that ended up on Wikileaks came from Russian hacking, or that Guccifer 2.0 had anything to do with it. Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, as well as the timestamps, tell us that it was an inside job.

buwaya said...

"Hardly sounds like an annexation. Sounds like people choosing who they want to be.
Why do you hate democracy so, Buwaya?"

As a conservative of the (very) old school I must distrust democracy ab initio.

Granted, the Russians had an excellent romantic-nationalist if not legally valid claim on the Crimea, and for that matter the Donets, simply on ethnic grounds.

But then so did Germany in 1938, in the so-called Sudetenland. And so do so many others. You could, for instance, make an excellent case for the Mexican annexation of many US border counties.

Michael K said...

Crimea was only a part of The Ukraine SSR because of a 1950s decree within the Soviet Union. You might not like the annexation of the Crimea back into Russia, but the fact is that the region is ethnically Russian and has been for a very long time in history.

I have never gotten this issue as important. The move to bring the east bloc countries into NATO was very provocative. Maybe it was a good idea and I know they wanted it to happen but I'm not sure it was worth the confrontation with Russia.

Yeltsin was sabotaged by the "economists" we sent over there, like Jeffery Sachs, who is a Trump hater like Krugman and has done about as much good in the world.

Not everybody is a fan.

At an October 7 conference on “Defending Public Higher Ed,” organized by the Professional Staff Congress union of faculty staff at the City University of New York (CUNY), speaker after speaker praised the Occupy Wall Street protest, while a CUNY Internationalist Clubs activist warned that the protests are dominated by bourgeois populism. Minutes later the word spread that Sachs was speaking at OWS. Hastening to the square, Internationalist supporters saw Sachs, having finished his presentation, chatting with the crowd.

Not even the lefties like him.

Phil 3:14 said...

You know after reading all of these comments about the Trump/Putin presser yesterday I wonder why so many commenters here were so upset/indignant/riduculing about Obama's "more flexible comment" or Hillary's reset button.

Its all good, right?

Yancey Ward said...

Again, lets make it perfectly clear- there are two issues here:

(1) Did Russia hack the DNC?

(2) Did Wikileaks get the DNC e-mails from the Russian govnernment?

These are separate questions- I believe the first just because of what the GRU is supposed to do, but I have seen zero evidence of the latter being true. It might be true, it might not. It should be an easy thing to prove by laying out the evidence for all to see, but the US government to date has not done that. I don't think it ever will unless a case goes to court requiring it, and I suspect if a defendant shows up demanding due process, the indictment against him will be withdrawn.

StephenFearby said...

As previously predicted in a yesterday thread, Trump went full monty today on walking back his self-inflicted Helsinki problem. Allowing those not on the left to finally exhale, at least until he bloviates again.

DC
"President Donald Trump accepted the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election and said he misspoke during his Monday press conference with President Vladimir Putin.'

http://dailycaller.com/2018/07/17/trump-says-he-misspoke-on-russian-meddling-accepts-intelligence-assessment/

Washington Examiner
Trump says he misspoke, accepts US intelligence on Russian meddling

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/white-house/trump-says-he-accepts-u-s-intel-on-russian-meddling

Trump does a lot of biggly misspeaking but rarely admits to it.

buwaya said...

" I am on Team A, Team A is against Russia, so being against Russia is the right thing. "

This is why it is helpful to retain perspective. It is not an easy thing though.

Sebastian said...

"All that we know of the civilian jet overflying a known war zone is that it was hit with a missile of Russian design"

No, that is not "all that we know." If the MSM did their jobs, they'd ask Putin about the actual information reported by the Joint Investigation Team.

In particular, "The JIT is convinced that the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17, originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade (hereinafter 53rd brigade), a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation."

roesch/voltaire said...

While Trumps talks about how he meant to use "sort of a double negative" which his private schools taught him not to use because they can be confusing. But there is no confusion in the amount of money I and other tax payers are being billed to support Trump's golf courses where he loves to stay on his official visits. I think this might be double dipping?

Gahrie said...

You know after reading all of these comments about the Trump/Putin presser yesterday I wonder why so many commenters here were so upset/indignant/riduculing about Obama's "more flexible comment"

I was upset because it demonstrated that Obama was basically admitting to duping the American people. At the time, I expected the Democratic Party to cooperate with Russia.

or Hillary's reset button.

The only problem I had with that was the fact that Hillary and Obama fucked it up. That was embarrassing.

I had much problem with the "80's want their foreign policy back" remark than either of these.

Darkisland said...

All the talk about the "reset" button drives me absolutely up a wall.

folks, IT WAS NOT A RESET BUTTON no matter what label Crocked Hilary chose to put on it.

Federal law defines that button (Red, maintained contact, yellow background) as an "Emergency Stop" button and describes in detail what it must do. It must stop everything and kill all power. With a couple exception for things like low voltage control power.

Crocked Hilary pretending it was a "reset" button was illegal. It cannot, under federal law, be used for anything other than an "Emergency Stop".

Hilary broke the law and should be charged. We couldn't get Capone in jail for rackets, but got him for tax evasion. Maybe we can't get CH for all her shenanigans but can get her in jail for misuse of the button.

Whatever does the job.

John Henry

Andrew said...

It's good to come to this blog and find rationality and emotional stability. My workplace has CNN on in the lobby and break room, and it's enough to drive a man insane.

Something I appreciate about Trump is how much stamina and endurance he has, while withstanding tremendous oppositional pressure. It's superhuman. I don't mind if he has to have a big ego in order to persevere. I've never seen anything like it. Most people would wilt and crumble.

And so now Trump's "treason" in expressing skepticism about his intelligence agencies has eclipsed the "what about the children?!" hysteria from the past couple of weeks. I wonder what the next cataclysm will be?

The media has been crying wolf for so long, no one gives a damn anymore.

Yancey Ward said...

Buwaya,

This a situation where you do what you can get away with. Hitler made off with the Sudetenland successfully. His mistake was trying to take half of Poland, too, and then later the European portion of the Soviet Union.

This is Realpolitik in action. As long as Russia is annexing super-Russian territories, they are likely to face no real push back from any part of NATO other than empty words and posturing.

Khesanh 0802 said...

Meanwhile US Marines are training Ukrainian soldiers and a combined forces exercise (Sea Breeze) is taking place on Russia's doorstep. Trump has clarified his position so all the hoo-hah can move on to Stormy Daniels or whatever is next.

Apparently Lisa Page's closed door testimony was helpful to clarify who the bad boys were in the FBI conspiracy.

I thought that the most meaningful thing said at that presser yesterday was Putin admitting that Trump had made very clear the US's displeasure over Crimea.

Yancey Ward said...

No one is going to risk a nuclear war over Crimea or even the Baltic States- at least those heavily ethnic Russian portions. No one.

J. Farmer said...

@Rick:

He doesn't know what "take" means? Apparently Russians taking Georgia and the Ukraine don't provide evidence? How absurd.

Except the Russians have not taken Georgia or Ukraine.

Mostly that it was juvenile, a middle school drama class effort. Compare the elites acceptance of that (even ignoring the bumbling missteps in delivery) and criticism of various Trumpisms. But the stunt also implied Americans caused the poor state of relations rather than Russian actions. Since Farmer stated this here naturally he doesn't see that as a problem but most Americans do.

Except that the Russian reset was a good idea and achieved substantive things. The problem is that it was criticized not on its merits but on its partisan affiliations. For many conservatives, the reset was bad because a Democrat was doing it.

The 2008 Russo-Georgia conflict was a minor affair that should not substantially disrupt US-Russian relations, which are far more consequential and substantial.

Yancey Ward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
buwaya said...

"This is all such obvious boring domestic partisan power wrangling"

It is obvious, and it is about power indeed, but it is not boring.
This whole phenomenon, absurd as it may seem, is crucial.

Its extremely dangerous.

This open enmity between the structure of the state and its chief.
And between social castes.

Drago said...

r/v: "While Trumps talks about how he meant to use "sort of a double negative" which his private schools taught him not to use because they can be confusing."

LOL

Read that again slowly.

Absolutely perfect.

Again.

Francisco D said...

"This is all such obvious boring domestic partisan power wrangling, it is really hard to care.

Agreed. It is predictable and disingenuous.

Not to excuse Republicans, but it seems that today's Democrats really believe that most of us are ignorant and stupid. Maybe they are just hoping we are.

Drago said...

Francisco D: "Not to excuse Republicans, but it seems that today's Democrats really believe that most of us are ignorant and stupid."

Given the lefties base voters and willingness of the LLR's to play along with whatever they say, can you blame them?

J. Farmer said...

@Yancey Ward:

No one is going to risk a nuclear war over Crimea or even the Baltic States- at least those heavily ethnic Russian portions. No one.

Very true. Which is why NATO expansion eastward is such a foolish and dumb idea. And yet just last weak NATO voted to offer membership to Macedonia.

Russia and Ukraine have a very complicated relationship, and Ukraine has been the traditional route by which Russia has been invaded and nearly destroyed several times over the past two centuries. They have significant security concerns over their relation with Ukraine. What precipitated the most recent crisis were efforts by the US and Europe to overthrow the Ukrainian government and move it into the Western orbit. Victoria Nuland was recorded on the phone musing about who should be put in charge following the coup against Yanukovych.

Drago said...

buwaya: "Its extremely dangerous.

This open enmity between the structure of the state and its chief.
And between social castes"

I'm not sure "castes" is appropriate here, as heredity is not anywhere near as important as simply income level and explicitly stated political beliefs.

Yancey Ward said...

One minor correction to the following:

"Hitler made off with the Sudetenland successfully."

And the entirety of Czechoslovakia!

Michael K said...

the amount of money I and other tax payers are being billed to support Trump's golf courses where he loves to stay

I assume you were fine with Mochelle and her mother and the mother's cronies flying to China on AF2 for fling.

What diplomatic purpose did serve, if you don't mind my asking ?

buwaya said...

"Except the Russians have not taken Georgia or Ukraine."

They took substantial parts of both and effectively clipped their wings.
They invaded just enough.

In the case of Georgia, they took the critical defensible ground of the mountain passes, and put themselves in a position to cut communications with the coast. Via holding Abkhazia, ditto on the seacoast proper. Georgia is now indefensible against Russian pique.

Michael K said...

I'm not sure "castes" is appropriate here, as heredity is not anywhere near as important as simply income level and explicitly stated political beliefs.

They are all educated in the same places by the same people. People like Kerry did not inherit wealth. He did it the old fashioned way.

By marrying heiresses. Caste is not a bad term. It implies status without achievement, which is pretty close.

Jim at said...

Trump abandons his toadies.

Well, no. Unlike some, we 'toadies' continue to look at the overall picture and not some comments from a press conference after an informal discussion.

And that overall picture is: Russia exploited a bunch of idiots in the Clinton campaign and Obama looked the other way because Hillary was a lock to win.

Except, Trump won and you fools have been screaming at the sky - over every, stinking, little thing - ever since.

n.n said...

The JIT is convinced that the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17, originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade (hereinafter 53rd brigade)

"convinced". If we have specific, actionable evidence, then we should bring it to court.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

The panic response of the frightened fiction based Media has been amazing to watch. They must know the end is near, so they are doing the cable news version of a glorious bonzai charge. They want Trump to attack Russians enemies instead of his domestic Deep State enemies. But all Trump has to do is change nothing and wait them out until its over.

One good effect is seeing many pretend Trump supporters exposing themselves and instantly changing sides. That will make the debris at the bottom easier for Trump to sort out as the swamp is drained. And that includes Murdoch's boys new management now in charge at Roger Ailes once great Fox News.

Begonia said...

I don't get the "President Mitt Romney" joke. Was there a previous post on Althouse about that? I have not been a regular reader for very long.

Also, I find it disturbing the number of apologists for Russia on this page. a couple of you sound like employees of the Internet Research Agency--the russian troll farm.

I agree that everyone's spy agencies are spying on everyone else and that is to be expected. I would be pissed if the NSA weren't actively trying to hack into Russian politician's accounts. The difference is that, as far as I know, the NSA hasn't leaked their hacked emails to the advantage or detriment of one candidate. The other issue here is that Russia is actively trying to manipulate the outcome of elections in many countries, such as France and Germany and Brexit. At some point, someone needs to call them out on it and say "enough!" Maybe the internal investigation of a sitting US president is not the right way to do it though, since the investigation just seems to be making Trump defensive and therefore unable to admit that Russia DID try to influence the election. Just working this out.

Yancey Ward said...

"Georgia is now indefensible against Russian pique."

Georgia was always indefensible against Russian pique. That is simple reality.

Yancey Ward said...

Was just on Powerline. I critiqued Paul Mirengoff and Scott Johnson for their blind assertions that we have to trust the US intelligence agencies assertions. Had my comments deleted for doing so. Scratch a GOP-elite very just shallowly, and you find someone who can't take criticism at all.

tcrosse said...

I don't get the "President Mitt Romney" joke. Was there a previous post on Althouse about that? I have not been a regular reader for very long.

See Althouse @1:18

buwaya said...

"Hitler made off with the Sudetenland successfully."

Yes he did, in large part by exploiting the justification of ethnic nationalism. This was very fashionable at the time. This was why Czechoslovakia existed in the first place. To a degree it was the biter bit.

But in so doing he made Czechoslovakia indefensible. The Wehrmacht had the mountain passes and open ground into the Bohemian plain. Which they also nearly surrounded, holding Austria, and could attack from the North, South and West. Czechoslovakia under such conditions was helpless.

Holding defensible ground has long been a reasonable goal for a nation state. It is the justification, for instance, for Israels' retention of parts of the West Bank, within their border walls.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Georgia was always indefensible against Russian pique. That is simple reality."

-- More than just kind of true. If Russia wanted it, and they thought they could take it without too much external blowback, they would.

roesch/voltaire said...

Your right MK it sort of like Trump criticizing Obama for playing too much golf and then plays almost twice as much. Please show me the cost of that flight to China and compare it to all the money spent on by the government for Trump owned properties; its difficult to get concrete figures but last August alone his stay at Trump National Golf Club cost at least $185,000 for starters. Double negatives, double dipping -- he is master of both.

buwaya said...

"Georgia was always indefensible against Russian pique."

Much less indefensible if it still held the mountain passes.
Part of this is how much would it cost an attacker.
Cost:Benefit calculations.

Yancey Ward said...

Begonia wrote:

"The difference is that, as far as I know, the NSA hasn't leaked their hacked emails to the advantage or detriment of one candidate."

Well, you don't know that about the NSA, nor do you know that the Russians actually gave the material to Wikileaks. This is what you must prove to me. I don't take assertions that it is true absent the evidence itself that is supposed to support the statements. The public hasn't seen this, and as far as I can tell, Congressional committees have based their own assessments on the very same assertions that Mueller made in his indictments. The evidence has not been examined publicly in any fashion.

Night Owl said...

The leftist media is backpedaling on the Trump/Russia  collusion story because even they are ready to admit to its fake news, (even if the true-believers in the far-left dem base are not.) But they are desperate  for Trump to play along  and at least lend credence to the narrative that the Russians  "interfered" with the election so that they can attempt to justify the Mueller witch-hunt, explain -- to themselves and their lunatic followers-- why Hillary lost, and continue in their attempts to invalidate Trump's presidency.

Trump won't play their game because he knows he gains nothing by blaming Putin for doing something that Obama knew about and didn't care about. Obama not only knew about the Russian meddling but admitted publicly that there was no way the Russians could rig an  American election.

Trump's win is proof that it's not easy to rig an American election; if it were the dems would have been celebrating a Hillary win in 2016. The hacked DNC emails showed the DNC and their media lackeys tried their hardest to rig the election for crooked Hillary.

This rage over "russian interference" is more bullshit theater from the  left; just like the crying and moaning about the poor caged children that they didn't care about when Obama was President.  Rage on assholes; as melania's jacket said, no one cares.

Drago said...

buwaya: "They took substantial parts of both and effectively clipped their wings.
They invaded just enough."

Similar to Chechnya and other regions that were originally agitating for independence.

J. Farmer said...

@buwaya:

It is obvious, and it is about power indeed, but it is not boring.
This whole phenomenon, absurd as it may seem, is crucial.

Its extremely dangerous.

This open enmity between the structure of the state and its chief.
And between social castes.


I think the "enmity between the structure of the state and its chief" is a bit overplayed. Between social castes is, however, much more salient. And it is why I so frequently say, "America is doomed."

Yancey Ward said...

Buwaya,

The passes were irrelevant to the defense of Georgia from Russia. We know this because Russia took them with little effort.

Drago said...

Michael K: "By marrying heiresses. Caste is not a bad term. It implies status without achievement, which is pretty close."

"Caste" carries powerful hereditary implications that are not as applicable in the US as they are elsewhere.

buwaya said...

"The other issue here is that Russia is actively trying to manipulate the outcome of elections in many countries"

Many countries are actively trying to manipulate the outcome of elections in many other countries. Not least the US.

And many countries have tried to manipulate US elections, quite effectively, Mexico for instance. And Russia has manipulated US politics for its own purposes often, long before 2016.

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