The Maskirovka Slips Part IV: Kompromat 2 and a Second Orange Revolution Too… Updated with a Bit of Watergate Too!

intel-cognitive-maskirovka-doctrine

This morning Kurt Eichenwald reported out a story in Newsweek on Russian interference in the US election. Specifically how Russia has been feeding information into the US through selective leaks of both real and doctored information (kompromat) to influence the election, as well as damage the US, its standing in the world, NATO, and the idea of liberal democracy that the US and its EU and NATO allies and promote. And that Russia’s kompromat operations directed at the US are part of a wider, ongoing series of kompromat operations intended to achieve Putin’s strategic objectives of weakening the US, discrediting liberal democracy, and weakening the EU and NATO.

In phone calls, meetings and cables, America’s European allies have expressed alarm to one another about Donald Trump’s public statements denying Moscow’s role in cyberattacks designed to interfere with the U.S. election. They fear the Republican nominee for president has emboldened the Kremlin in its unprecedented cybercampaign to disrupt elections in multiple countries in hopes of weakening Western alliances, according to intelligence, law enforcement and other government officials in the United States and Europe.

Here is how Moscow operates its campaigns: Hackers pilfer information from a variety of organizations both inside and outside Western governments; that is distributed to individuals who feed it into what a source told a European intelligence expert was a “pipeline.” This so-called pipeline can involve multiple steps before hacked information is disclosed through the media or online. For example, that source reported that documents in the United States intended to disrupt the American election are distributed through WikiLeaks. However, there are so many layers of individuals between the hackers and that organization there is a strong possibility that WikiLeaks does not know with certainty the ultimate source of these records; throughout 2016, the site has been posting emails from various Democratic Party organizations that were originally obtained through Russian hacking.

The Russian penetration in the United States is far more extensive than previously revealed publicly, although most of it has been targeted either at government departments or nongovernment organizations connected to the Democratic Party. Russian hackers penetrated the White House, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the State Department. The State Department cyberattack, which began in 2014 and lasted more than a year, was particularly severe, with Russian hackers gaining entry into its unclassified system, including emails. (Hillary Clinton left the State Department in 2013, which means that if she had used its unclassified email system rather than her private server—a decision that has dogged her throughout the campaign—any of her emails on the government system could have been obtained by Russian hackers.)

And the point of all this?

The Kremlin’s campaign is motivated not so much to support Trump as it is to hurt the Democratic nominee. During Clinton’s time as secretary of state, Putin publicly accused her of interfering in Moscow’s affairs. For example, her statement that Russian parliamentary elections in December 2011—which involved blatant cheating—were “neither free nor fair” infuriated Putin. He was also encouraged by the relentlessly positive comments about him by Trump, even after the Republican nominee began receiving criticism within his own party for sounding too supportive of the Kremlin, according to information obtained from within Russia by a Western intelligence source.

Eichenwald also provides some support to David Corn’s reporting at Mother Jones that Trump himself was compromised when in Russia.

Both Trump and Clinton were monitored by Russian intelligence during their visits to Moscow over the years, according to American and European intelligence sources, in hopes of gathering kompromat—compromising material about a politician or public figure. The dossier on Clinton mainly contains recordings of conversations and intercepted phone calls; the intelligence source said the dossier has been controlled by Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman. When she was secretary of state, however, Clinton knew her conversations in Moscow might be recorded, so the dossier appears to have been used mainly for intelligence rather than to embarrass her with allies, the source said. The Kremlin also has both video and audio recordings of Trump in a kompromat file. Newsweek could not confirm if there is anything compromising in those recordings.

Aaron Azlant, a former DOD analyst now working in Silicon Valley, has reported at Little Atoms that the Trump campaign appears to be working off of the political communication and disinformation handbook produced to help separate Crimea from Ukraine.

The candidate that lobbyist and political consultant Paul Manafort advised was not a polished politician. He was prone to outbursts and many questioned whether he had the proper temperament for the presidency. His subsequent campaign took place in a highly-charged media environment, full of barely-concealed threats, brazen displays of unprecedented hostility, routine violations of political and social norms, and many other provocations that appeared to be designed to undermine faith in the electoral process itself. He, some noted darkly, was obviously the choice favoured by the Kremlin. Eventually, Viktor Yanukovych claimed victory in the 2004 Ukrainian presidential contest, though few could expect the chaos that would result.

This year, the RAND Corporation did a study on the communications style that Russia used after its Crimean annexation – an event that had its origins in Yanukovych’s first victory –  that makes for fascinating reading. It suggests that the Kremlin has effectively updated Soviet-era propaganda methods and merged it with 21st century media techniques. The rules of thumb that RAND derives from Russian propaganda methods in 2014 are as follows:

1. Give people a lot of information all at once through as many channels as possible.

2. Disseminate your message quickly, and make it a highly repetitive one.

3. Don’t worry at all about lying or presenting incomplete or otherwise inaccurate information.

4. Don’t worry at all about whether your story contradicts itself.

It is perhaps uncomfortable how well these rules of thumb map to the efforts by one candidate in the 2016 US presidential campaign, who also hired Manafort to work for him, and who also doesn’t seem to have much use for extant political norms. That Manafort had any effect on the generation of these rules seems hard to prove; that, as a figure who eventually worked on media campaigns for a political party that was openly calling for the disintegration of Ukraine into Russia, he would have been unaware of Kremlin tactics seems hard to deny. And although Donald Trump probably has something of a knack for this media approach naively, it’s also the case that the kinds of deliberate strategies that Manafort might have learned abroad would find a natural home in a Trump campaign.

And the Manafort connection ties back to Eichenwald’s reporting:

America’s European partners are also troubled by the actions of several people close to Trump’s campaign and company. Trump has been surrounded by advisers and associates with economic and familial links to Russia. The publicized connections and contacts between former campaign manager Paul Manafort with Ukraine have raised concerns. Former Trump adviser Carter Page is being probed by American and European intelligence on allegations that he engaged in back-channel discussions with Russian government officials over the summer. Page did travel to Moscow, but he denies any inappropriate contact with Russian officials. The allies are also uneasy about retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, a Trump adviser who was reportedly considered a possible running mate for the GOP nominee. Last December, Flynn attended a dinner at the Metropol Hotel in honor of the 10th anniversary of RT, a Russian news agency that has been publicly identified by American intelligence as a primary outlet for Moscow’s disinformation campaigns. Flynn, who was two seats away from Russian President Vladimir Putin at the dinner, has frequently appeared on RT, despite public warnings by American intelligence that the news agency is used for Russian propaganda.

Two days later, The New York Times reported that Manafort, then Trump’s campaign manager, may have illegally received $12.7 million from Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions; Manafort has denied any wrongdoing, and his lawyer, Richard Hibey, said his client never received any such payments. Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign not long after the article ran. According to information obtained from inside Russia by Western intelligence, Putin later met with Yanukovych in secret near Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad. Yanukovych assured Putin there was no documentary trail showing payments to Manafort, although Putin told associates he did not believe the Ukrainian president, according to the information obtained by the Western intelligence source.

Eichenwald also reports that our EU, NATO, and other Western allies and partners are now very, very concerned about a Trump presidency precisely because they do not understand why he and his closest advisors discount US intelligence and are solicitous of Vladimir Putin.

Officials in Western Europe say they are dismayed that they now feel compelled to gather intelligence on a man who could be the next president of the United States but believe they have no choice. Moscow is seen as a direct threat to their interests—both in its aggressive efforts to reshape global alliances and for its power to damage Western Europe, which obtains almost 40 percent of its natural gas from Russia. Should the United States, the last remaining superpower, tilt its policies away from NATO to the benefit of Russia, the alliance between America and Western Europe could be transformed in unprecedented ways. And so, for perhaps the first time since World War II, countries in Western Europe fear that the American election, should Trump win, could trigger events that imperil their national security and do potentially irreparable harm to the alliances that have kept the continent safe for decades.

I highly recommend clicking across and reading the rest of Eichenwald’s article as it goes into great detail about how Russia has conducted this operations, as well as the politics of it at the highest echelons of Russian politics and power. I also, highly recommend Azlant’s piece, and the RAND Note he references, for a fuller understanding of the disinformation campaign.

Updated at 5:25 PM EDT

I have no idea if this is related, but David Corn just reported out exclusively at Mother Jones that the DNC has been bugged.

In an episode reminiscent of Watergate, the Democratic Party recently informed the FBI that it had collected evidence suggesting its Washington headquarters had been bugged, according to two Democratic National Committee officials who asked not to be named.

In September, according to these sources, the DNC hired a firm to conduct an electronic sweep of its offices. After Russian hackers had penetrated its email system and those of other Democratic targets, DNC officials believed it was prudent to scrutinize their offices. This examination found nothing unusual.

In late October, after conservative activist James O’Keefe released a new set of hidden-camera videos targeting Democrats, interim party chairwoman Donna Brazile ordered up another sweep. There was a concern that Republican foes might have infiltrated the DNC offices, where volunteers were reporting to work on phone banks and other election activities. (For some of their actions, O’Keefe and his crew have used people posing as volunteers to gain access to Democratic outfits.)

The second sweep, according to the Democratic officials, found a radio signal near the chairman’s office that indicated there might be a listening device outside the office. “We were told that this was something that could pick up calls from cellphones,” a DNC official says. “The guys who did the sweep said it was a strong indication.” No device was recovered. No possible culprits were identified.

Click on over and read the whole thing.

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191 replies
  1. 1
    cat says:

    Has anyone identified where the fake documents from the polling company and Senator Tom Carper originated? I have not been able to find anything. They seem to have sprung up out of nowhere.

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    I read it this morning. Yikes.

    None of this matters to his core voters. Nothing any media org outside of what Fox News reports does to them.

  3. 3
    MisterForkbeard says:

    This is actually something that bugs me quite a bit: Trump refuses to acknowledge or believe our own intelligence agencies (and those of allied countries) about the targeted Democratic hacking by Russia. It seems like there’s literally two explanations for this, and either is disqualifying:

    1) Trump is pigheaded enough to refuse to believe anything that doesn’t help him personally, regardless of its potential cost or consequences.

    2) Trump is (through financial ties or worst case blackmail) owned by Russian interests.

    This should be a huge story, dwarfing any obviously fake leaks from rogue FBI agents in NY.

  4. 4
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @cat: I’ve been wondering this too. I keep seeing “these fake documents have appeared”, but I can’t find out from where. Presumably not WikiLeaks, but instead some russian propaganda outlet like RT?

  5. 5
    Chris says:

    The Kremlin’s campaign is motivated not so much to support Trump as it is to hurt the Democratic nominee. During Clinton’s time as secretary of state, Putin publicly accused her of interfering in Moscow’s affairs. For example, her statement that Russian parliamentary elections in December 2011—which involved blatant cheating—were “neither free nor fair” infuriated Putin. He was also encouraged by the relentlessly positive comments about him by Trump, even after the Republican nominee began receiving criticism within his own party for sounding too supportive of the Kremlin, according to information obtained from within Russia by a Western intelligence source

    And as you say later, I have no doubt he’s encouraged by Trump’s constant sniping at NATO allies, references to how he’s going to renegotiate the alliance, and generally the prospect that he’ll put severe strain on the alliance at the very least, and break it up at worst.

  6. 6
    Weaselone says:

    Why are you wasting our time with this when there are emails that could potentially be from Hillary to talk about?

  7. 7
    Applejinx says:

    This is exactly what it looks like.

  8. 8
    Cacti says:

    Watergate 2.0?

    DNC informs FBI that it has evidence its offices were bugged.

    One wonders if it wasn’t the G-men doing the bugging.

  9. 9
    debbie says:

    This is all getting to be too much to bear. For those of you with Baroque-period knowledge, what do you think of this? I don’t think pills and alcohol will pull me through this frigging election.

  10. 10
    trollhattan says:

    1. Give people a lot of information all at once through as many channels as possible.
    2. Disseminate your message quickly, and make it a highly repetitive one.
    3. Don’t worry at all about lying or presenting incomplete or otherwise inaccurate information.
    4. Don’t worry at all about whether your story contradicts itself.

    Welp, that’s basically tattooed to the back of BiP’s non-mouse hand because it describes him to a “T.”

  11. 11
    cat says:

    @MisterForkbeard: I am not sure how Wikileaks is releasing information. I can’t vouch for the integrity of the dumps one way or another.

  12. 12
    fergie says:

    Thank you for assembling all of this information and making it understandable.
    Scary times
    fergie

  13. 13
    PPCLI says:

    I read that too. It was really an excellent article. And depressing as hell that nobody apparently cares.

    Loosely connected because of the Russian businessman connection (Sorry if it’s old news, but, but I’m amazed that it isn’t getting a higher profile given that Trump wants to “run America like he runs his business”.) The Trump Tower in Toronto has just gone bankrupt.

    http://www.politico.com/magazi.....ada-214412

    Apparently what Trump means by “run it like I run my business” is that he will lease his name to the US for a fee, after the United States is purchased by a sketchy Russian financier. Then the new United States of Trump will quickly go bankrupt.

  14. 14
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    I’m waiting for the FBI to reopen the travel office investigation. There were a couple of answers she gave that give rise to further queries regarding management methods that could be useful for new contracting.

    As a plus, she would be under oath again and having to testify to 25 year old events from memory, so there could be whole new avenues for perjury within the statute of limitations.

  15. 15
    J R in WV says:

    Adam, at the top of this story, you use the word “kompromat” to refer to material extracted from sources like the DNC, the State Dept, etc, and altered to fit the purposes of the Russians. Then later on the same word “kompromat” appears to mean real factual information compromising a target person, like Trump or Lt Gen. Flynn.

    Film of Trump’s oiled up orgy in Moscow, for example.

    Same word for two different types of misinformation? or what? maybe I’m just confused… but thanks for the information!

  16. 16
    slag says:

    I think part of why this stuff doesn’t exactly resonate with me is that it feels a bit unbelievable. How reliable is this type of story, really?

    Personally, I’m hyper-concerned about being the mirror image of “Clinton went to Moscow for a week; so, clearly he’s a Manchurian candidate.”

  17. 17
    drylake says:

    The thing that to me is utterly incomprehensible is the lack of concern by the right-wing of the GOP and their mouth-breathing base about plainly evident interference from the Kremlin, the inner sanctum of evil for these people for decades. This harkens back to America First and the isolationism that seemed to have vanished after Pearl Harbor and the Cold War consensus that followed. In the many years after c. 1947 I can recall many critiques of the Cold War consensus, but they all came from the Left, with nary a peep of complaint from anywhere on the Right. Have really jumped all the way from early 1941 to now with no way-stations in between?

  18. 18
    Betty Cracker says:

    Here’s one graf from the Newsweek article that made me feel like we’re through the fucking looking glass:

    Trump’s behavior, however, has at times concerned the Russians, leading them to revise their hacking and disinformation strategy. For example, when Trump launched into an inexplicable attack on the parents of a Muslim-American soldier who died in combat, the Kremlin assumed the Republican nominee was showing himself psychologically unfit to be president and would be forced by his party to withdraw from the race. As a result, Moscow put its hacking campaign temporarily on hold, ending the distribution of documents until Trump stabilized, both personally and in the polls, according to reports provided to Western intelligence.

    The Russians assumed Trump had proved himself unstable and would be replaced. The. Russians. Not the Republican Party, though, and we’ll soon see just how large a percentage of our electorate finds the fucking lunatic shitbird CiC material. God help us.

  19. 19
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Checking in quickly to review your great post here. Wonder if you have an opinion on some stuff I’ve been reading that there is a major opposition between some Trump backers in the FBI and the (foreign) national security agencies and many generals, who strongly distrust Trump.

    A schism between domestic and foreign intelligence services? Has there been anything quite like this before?

  20. 20
    jk says:

    Adam,

    Great post and thanks for all of the links!

    OT

    Trump ghoul Rudy Giuliani is now on CNN.

  21. 21
    Chris says:

    @drylake:

    I think enough of the neocons are in fact concerned about it, which is why you’ve seen some real denunciation of Trump from within the Republican foreign policy establishment, with all its Cold Warrior roots.

    But these people have no domestic constituency. It’s all in Washington.

  22. 22
    Mike in dc says:

    @drylake:
    The enemy of my enemy etc.

  23. 23
    GrandJury says:

    @MisterForkbeard: I totally agree. All the email nonsense is microsopically small compared to how big this scandal should be. It’s quite amazing how Trump gets a pass on all the Russian ties, influence, and denial about it. This should be in the media 24/7 but it’s not. Not to mention all the women coming forward. It’s quite amazing how the media has completely stopped reporting any of it…like it never even happened.

    You can’t tell me that stories of potential Russian meddling and spies and Trump as a manchurian candidate and possible rape and sexual assault, and dodgy tax history and and and…etc etc etc. are less intriguing stories than friggin emails about normal gov’t stuff that have already been investigated to death.

  24. 24
    Betty Cracker says:

    @slag: That might explain why more people aren’t concerned about it — it sounds outlandish. But some of the material is incontrovertible, including the fact that Trump is discounting the evidence presented by numerous US intelligence agencies.

  25. 25
    slag says:

    @Betty Cracker: See…that’s the kind of stuff that makes me think, “Really?”. It seems almost too easy. I half expect Borat to come out from behind the curtain.

  26. 26
    Chris says:

    @Brachiator:

    A schism between domestic and foreign intelligence services? Has there been anything quite like this before?

    Well, if you put it that way, World War Two was basically this. J. Edgar Hoover was spitting mad that the OSS was created as a separate agency for foreign intelligence when he wanted to be in charge of that as well. His FBI probably expended at least as much effort in World War Two fighting the OSS as it did fighting the Axis, and in fact succeeded in having it closed down in 1945 for a couple years, until the Cold War convinced people to bring it back as the CIA.

    But a schism to the point of blithely ignoring the possibility of penetration by a hostile foreign superpower? No. I don’t think even Hoover did that. He might’ve considered the Mafia beneath his notice, but not the KGB.

  27. 27
    LeeM says:

    Adam, I enjoy your posts, because you link stories into a cohesive plot. I hope that this whole endeavor gets the proper investigation after the election, and really, truly corrupt actors get their due. It’s starting to look like an Ian Fleming novel with outlandish villians,

  28. 28
    Mike J says:

    The Kremlin’s campaign is motivated not so much to support Trump as it is to hurt the Democratic nominee.

    As much as they would like to hurt the Democratic nominee, I think they really want to hurt the democratic nominee.

  29. 29
    slag says:

    @Betty Cracker: Yeah I believe that. It doesn’t take much to get me to believe that Trump is a stupid as I think he is.

  30. 30
    dmsilev says:

    Assuming, for the sake of argument and for the sake of our country, that Trump loses on Tuesday, how does the Republican Party get fixed? We need two sane parties in this country, because if nothing else sooner or later the Democrats will lose the Presidency. I don’t really see a way out, unless the Trumpenvolk become so dispirited by their loss that they just disengage politically, which would free up at least a bit of space for GOP politicians to be at least vaguely sane without getting primaried into oblivion. There are too many of these people to just hope that the GOP withers away and we eventually get a fissuring of the Democrats into center-ish and left-ish parties.

  31. 31
    🐾BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: After that, they can look into the dildos on the White House Christmas tree.

  32. 32
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Speaking of bugs!
    http://www.motherjones.com/pol.....een-bugged

    Exclusive: The Democratic National Committee Has Told the FBI It Found Evidence Its HQ Was Bugged
    Back to Watergate?

    DAVID CORN
    NOV. 4, 2016 4:48 PM

    In an episode reminiscent of Watergate, the Democratic Party recently informed the FBI that it had collected evidence suggesting its Washington headquarters had been bugged, according to two Democratic National Committee officials who asked not to be named.

    In September, according to these sources, the DNC hired a firm to conduct an electronic sweep of its offices. After Russian hackers had penetrated its email system and those of other Democratic targets, DNC officials believed it was prudent to scrutinize their offices. This examination found nothing unusual.

    In late October, after conservative activist James O’Keefe released a new set of hidden-camera videos targeting Democrats, interim party chairwoman Donna Brazile ordered up another sweep. There was a concern that Republican foes might have infiltrated the DNC offices, where volunteers were reporting to work on phone banks and other election activities. (For some of their actions, O’Keefe and his crew have used people posing as volunteers to gain access to Democratic outfits.)

    The second sweep, according to the Democratic officials, found a radio signal near the chairman’s office that indicated there might be a listening device outside the office. “We were told that this was something that could pick up calls from cellphones,” a DNC official says. “The guys who did the sweep said it was a strong indication.” No device was recovered. No possible culprits were identified.

    The DNC sent a report with the technical details to the FBI, according to the DNC officials. “We believe it’s been given by the bureau to another agency with three letters to examine,” the DNC official says. “We’re not supposed to talk about it.”

    A Democratic consultant who has done work for the DNC, who asked not to be identified, says he was recently informed about the suspected bugging.

    The DNC officials will not say what countermeasures were subsequently taken. “As a general policy, we don’t talk about such efforts,” the other DNC official says. But this official adds, “You have to take all of this incredibly seriously.” The first DNC official notes, “We are the oldest political party in this country, and we are under constant attack from Russia and/or maybe others.”

    Adam Hodge, a spokesman for the DNC, says, “The DNC is not going to comment on stories about its security. In all security matters, we cooperate fully with the appropriate law enforcement agencies and take all necessary steps to protect the committee and the safety and security of our staff.”

    The FBI did not respond to a request for comment.

  33. 33
    Regnad Kcin says:

    @Brachiator: In America? No.

  34. 34
    Betty Cracker says:

    @slag: Yeah, but the truly horrifying thing in that part of the story actually happened — Trump’s attack on the Khans. We all heard it, and a frighteningly large percentage of our fellow citizens apparently didn’t find it disqualifying. The only thing remotely questionable is whether or not the Russians really reacted as Eichenwald’s sources claim. Sounds plausible enough to me.

    Hell, I thought Access Hollywood thing was the death knell for Trump’s campaign. There’s still a chance it might be if women do as I expect and deliver the highest gender gap ever recorded, putting Clinton over the top. But it makes me sad and angry that Trump’s unconscionable attacks on the Khans didn’t sink him, or his outrageous proposal to ban all Muslims, or his risible slander about immigrants. Anything less than a landslide loss for Trump is a stain on this country, and sadly, it looks like we’re going to have to wear that stain. I’m truly ashamed, as an American.

  35. 35
    Brachiator says:

    @Chris:

    But a schism to the point of blithely ignoring the possibility of penetration by a hostile foreign superpower? No. I don’t think even Hoover did that. He might’ve considered the Mafia beneath his notice, but not the KGB.

    Of course, the US used the Mafia during WW II. They may have been criminals, but they were patriotic criminals.

  36. 36
    trollhattan says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Joe McCarthy himself would be completely flummoxed by today’s Republican Party. Still wrong, just for a completely new set of reasons.

  37. 37
    Chris says:

    @dmsilev:

    Assuming, for the sake of argument and for the sake of our country, that Trump loses on Tuesday, how does the Republican Party get fixed? We need two sane parties in this country, because if nothing else sooner or later the Democrats will lose the Presidency

    This is probably my biggest concern with our politics, and has been since long before Trump. The GOP at this point is certifiably batshit, and since the ultimate root of that batshittiness is its voters, that’s not something that can be fixed – anyone who tries will simply be voted out. Toss in the fact that, Trump or no Trump, whichever president they put in next is likely to leave us with even more damage than even Dubya did (and boy is that a scary thought).

  38. 38
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @slag: To anyone who has been paying any attention at all, this is completely believable. This story just has me nodding and going yup, yup.

    I’d write more, but I’m on a phone on the train.

  39. 39
    JMG says:

    If Trump wins, and until they count the votes that has to be considered, the entire Western Alliance that has kept Europe stable for 70 years will be over on Jan. 20, 2017. I’m not sure a combination of Bismarck, Disraeli and FDR could cope with what would come next, let alone him.

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MisterForkbeard: They had been putting them on Sputnik News and then on Wikileaks. After Eichenwald IDed the doctored email attributing an out of context quote from his reporting on what happened at Benghazi to Sidney Blumenthal and blew the whistle on what had happened, I think they switched dissemination conduits.

  41. 41
    Ian says:

    Eichenwald also reports that our EU, NATO, and other Western allies and partners are now very, very concerned about a Trump presidency precisely because they do not understand why he and his closest advisors discount US intelligence and are solicitous of Vladimir Putin.

    Can’t say that I blame them.

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    I wonder what the kompromat on Baud! looks like.

    How do you say FOIA request in Russian?

  43. 43
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cacti: Just put an update up top. Apparently its golden oldies week!

  44. 44
    trollhattan says:

    @JMG:
    That first Trump meeting with Angela Merkel…awkward!

  45. 45
    Gravenstone says:

    @drylake: The thing that to me is utterly incomprehensible is the lack of concern by the right-wing of the GOP and their mouth-breathing base about plainly evident interference from the Kremlin

    That’s because the only goal of the contemporary Republican party is to rule, not govern. And they will embrace any and every means available towards that end.

  46. 46
    trollhattan says:

    @Baud:

    How do you say FOIA request in Russian?

    More vodka, komrade?

  47. 47
    Enhanced Voting Techinques says:

    @drylake:

    This harkens back to America First and the isolationism that seemed to have vanished after Pearl Harbor and the Cold War consensus that followed. In the many years after c. 1947 I can recall many critiques of the Cold War consensus, but they all came from the Left, with nary a peep of complaint from anywhere on the Right. Have really jumped all the way from early 1941 to now with no way-stations in between

    The Defense Cons left the GOP over Bush II Excellent Iraq Adventure and the Neo-Cons were driven out. So now it’s only the know-Nothing Nativists Left. It’s not so much like the GOP skipped from 1941 as from 1856.

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker: Yes. Me too. My generous standard for feeling ok about Trump’s popular vote total was 40%. He’ll probably beat that.

  49. 49
    Gravenstone says:

    @Betty Cracker: They simply chose to suspend putting effort into what appeared to have become a suspect and unreliable asset. Once that asset stabilized and again appeared to be of use, the effort was renewed.

  50. 50
    Chet Murthy says:

    @slag: Indeed. And the now public testimony of multiple women ought to be equally devastating. As should the tax records thus far released. As should the public testimony of legions of contractors who got stiffed.

    Thing is, as other have noted up-thread, none of it seems to stick. None of it. So you think “heck, it can’t be this obvious”. But it is. 40% of our countrymen are about to vote for a man -this- unfit. -This- unfit.

  51. 51
    Woodrowfan says:

    @drylake: actually there was an isolationist right, including Senator Taft of Ohio, that opposed NATO. They were a minority but one reason why Eisenhower ran in 1952 was to keep Taft from getting the nomination.

  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @J R in WV: Yep, I did the definition in last night’s post. In short kompromat operations include leaking first true (to establish credibility) and then doctored information (partially false or completely false) information to tarnish a person or organization and collecting compromising information to at least pressure if not flip/coopt a person. I’ve seen the term used both ways.

  53. 53
    Ian says:

    @trollhattan:
    I kind of miss that awful f*ing troll. It was really easy to get under his skin.

  54. 54
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @slag: Very. Perhaps the most important reason, Newsweek’s lawyers, not just its editors, will have gone over this with a fine tooth comb before clearing it for publication. The same with Corn’s at Mother Jones. Little Atoms not so much, but that all makes sense in terms of just describing what we’re observing against an actual analytic product that delineates it.

  55. 55
    Kathleen says:

    @Brachiator: I’ve long believed there is an “invisible government” mired in political intrigue and disputes and power struggles. I also believe JFK’s murder was a conspiracy in which certain people with American intelligence agencies planned. I know that is very unpopular view. Yes, I think we’ve been here for a long time. This is not new. In the past people were shot. Now they’re mercilessly hounded and marginalized. There are also some who claim Watergate was another event manipulated by rogue intelligence operatives. I also believe that we still have power. I just think this is a reality we face.

  56. 56
    Chris says:

    @JMG:

    If Trump wins, and until they count the votes that has to be considered, the entire Western Alliance that has kept Europe stable for 70 years will be over on Jan. 20, 2017. I’m not sure a combination of Bismarck, Disraeli and FDR could cope with what would come next, let alone him.

    Yep. Kept Europe stable, enhanced the common defense of all concerned, reaffirmed the values that the nations involved held in common, established a power bloc that was capable of keeping the Russians and Chinese in check, made possible the demilitarization of Germany and the decolonization of France and Britain by guaranteeing their security… There are any number of reasons why a Trump presidency would be catastrophic, but I can’t possibly overstate the magnitude of that one (which, sadly, is probably one of the lowest ones on the average American’s radar).

  57. 57
    Steppan says:

    Short of someone releasing hard evidence of this collusion (if there is any), I can’t see anything changing.

    ..who am I kidding, it still wouldn’t change anything if these last two weeks of FBI drama have been anything to go by.

    Like, this reporting’s been around what, all summer? We’re getting new entries, but nothing that could be called relevatory – that would have convincing power if someone were skeptical. Unless I’m missing the significance here, which is likely.

  58. 58
    drylake says:

    The one tiny silver lining to this mass of ominous strorm cloud is that, assuming HRC wins, the Neo-cons, as demonstrated by the fact that no one in the GOP is listening to them at all vis a vis the Russia threat, will not be able to claim a mandate next time they try to push into a war. Scant comfort, though

  59. 59
    Turgidson says:

    @GrandJury:

    When future generations ask us how such a demented dolt got so close to the presidency (I refuse to entertain the possibility of the other outcome), we’ll say “well, you know, Hillary Clinton spent 40 years in public service and served a US Senator and Secretary of State, but she wrote some emails on a private server, so it really wasn’t clear who was worse.”

    And the younger person will have this thought enter their head: Drop dad off at the loony bin.

    I mean, really, historians studying this election are going to think the entire fucking country got severely concussed while on an acid bender. If they’re charitable.

  60. 60
    dr. luba says:

    I wonder what BiP (Bob in Pskov) would have to say about all this…….besides that somehow it is all the fault of Ukrainian Nazis.

  61. 61
    Anoniminous says:

    @dmsilev:

    how does the Republican Party get fixed?

    The current base dies off until the remainder become electorally impotent.

  62. 62
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: I commented this, in reply to someone else last night. I’ve seen Tapper’s tweets and others’ comments. I think this is absolutely correct. The Intel Community (IC) is 18 agencies – 17 under the DOD and the CIA. The counterintelligence stuff is going to be done two ways. Everything foreign facing will be done by the IC and the people working on it will be the analysts who specialize in this. They are very, very smart, very high speed, very good researchers and analysts. The domestic facing side with be done by the FBI, which is a law enforcement agency and the special agents investigating that angle are cops, Federal cops, but cops nonetheless. Two very different cultures, two very different approaches, and two very different ways of looking at the world. Finally, the FBI is kind of in a strange place. DHS for all its made up of lots of other agencies mashed together basically has the domestic security and intel for domestic security lead. So what does that leave for the FBI, which sees itself, perhaps correctly, as the agency that’s supposed to do that and did it prior to DHS being created.

  63. 63
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Turgidson: People outside the US already think that.

  64. 64
    JMG says:

    @Chris: Trump voters don’t think the rest of the world is quite real. It’s a scary show they see on TV. They have no idea how scary it can really get. We were at the height of power in 2001 when 9/11 happened. It’s not so much that we’re weaker now, but the rest of the world, including some very unfriendly places has grown in power. Attempts to “bomb the hell out of them” will come to serious, dangerous grief.

  65. 65
    Chris says:

    @Woodrowfan:

    @drylake: actually there was an isolationist right, including Senator Taft of Ohio, that opposed NATO. They were a minority but one reason why Eisenhower ran in 1952 was to keep Taft from getting the nomination

    It was a changing-of-the-guard thing. Taft’s view was the mainstream position of isolationist Republicans in the first half of the twentieth century. After WW1 and WW2 and the budding Cold War, isolationism had taken some serious hits in the eyes of the public, and when you combine that with the right wing’s allergy to communism, you get the conversion of the GOP to Eisenhower’s view of internationalism.

  66. 66
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jk: I’m aware. He spins any more he’s going to create a localized tornado.

  67. 67
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: With a fox? In a box?

  68. 68
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JMG: If that happens, despite the size of our military, Americans are going to find out really, really fast just how other states and societies feel when we and our allies and partners decide that their governments and leaders and behavior – both foreign and domestic – are a threat. I doubt Americans, as well as the American news media, will be able to handle this and process it in any meaningful way.

  69. 69
    Mike J says:

    @Baud:

    How do you say FOIA request in Russian?

    Polonium.

  70. 70
    slag says:

    @Betty Cracker: I definitely do all the head-shaking myself. But after 8 long years of W and his problematic pretzel-eating and his fire-starting VP and his “just a few bad apples” approach to foreign relations, I have no faith in 40% of the American voting public’s decision-making skills.

    The idea that the Russian government would be so shocked actually feels less believable to me than does the idea that Americans would still support an angry circus peanut for president.

  71. 71
    nutella says:

    @dmsilev:

    how does the Republican Party get fixed? We need two sane parties in this country, because if nothing else sooner or later the Democrats will lose the Presidency.

    The Rs don’t want two sane parties running the country according to the US constitution and laws. They want to preserve white supremacy and are more than happy to throw out the existing US constitution and laws to keep it. Trump is just contributing to a larger coordinated effort by the Republican party.

  72. 72
    Chris says:

    @slag:

    I definitely do all the head-shaking myself. But after 8 long years of W and his problematic pretzel-eating and his fire-starting VP and his “just a few bad apples” approach to foreign relations, I have no faith in 40% of the American voting public’s decision-making skills.

    Likewise. It’s hard enough just to get enough Americans to get their head on right when it comes to things that do affect them directly and visibly. When it’s something the bulk of which is in another country altogether…

  73. 73
    piratedan says:

    what is incredibly sad is that we have one political party, essentially claiming to revere Lincoln as one of their earliest significant politicians, and they have essentially tossed that birthright in the dumpster for the express purpose of staying in power. Not to serve the public, not to follow set of ethics or moral principles, just to stay in charge, no matter what.

    accepting racists, fine
    promoting sexism, hey, that’s what white guys in charge do
    making sure that the rich stay rich
    denying equality, much less opportunity to others… works for them
    rig the game, yup, we can do that

    You can not have a major political party who’s essentially regressed to the status of working out the end of Monty Python’s Argument Sketch. That is essentially what the GOP has become. At this point, it needs to be pointed out, calmly and clearly that one political party cannot run on a continuous platform of hate and be devoid of ideas.

  74. 74
    Original Lee says:

    @JMG: This. I am convinced that quite a lot of Trump voters are not worried about Putin because they believe foreign leaders stick to their own countries and nothing he could do from Russia would have an impact on them at all.

  75. 75
    Peale says:

    @Anoniminous: Well its great that on a presidential level we’re doing o.k. But having to wait until 2052 to finally be done with them seems a bit much. My guess is that if the GOP finally finds a presidential candidate again who can run as a “united not a divider” they might be o.k. But since they are going to spend the next 4-8 years whipping up the “why hasn’t she been arrested yet” base every day that they can, I don’t see them offering much new in 2020 or 2024.

  76. 76
    hovercraft says:

    @jk:
    Rudzilla will be on with Tweety at 7, something to look forward to. Tweety just loves him some Rudy, I wonder which one I’ll want to kill more. Hmmm.

  77. 77
    J R in WV says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    “these fake documents have appeared”, but I can’t find out from where.

    You can’t imagine that they just call a “friend” at campaign HQ and tell them or email them their newest release of putrid slush? Because I can!

  78. 78
    Mary G says:

    It is relevant to current events to note that the FBI is basically a collection of middle-aged white men. https://t.co/CTtncDfEtf pic.twitter.com/V0lm7G3q2A— Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) November 3, 2016

  79. 79
    Chris says:

    @slag:

    And

    I definitely do all the head-shaking myself. But after 8 long years of W and his problematic pretzel-eating and his fire-starting VP and his “just a few bad apples” approach to foreign relations, I have no faith in 40% of the American voting public’s decision-making skills.

    may I add that Republican foreign policy in the Bush era is another place where you can pretty clearly see that the seeds of Trumpism have been in the party for a long time.

    Yes, there is a gap between saying, as John Bolton did, that most of the UN should be dynamited and there should only be one permanent member on the Security Council, or, trying, as Rumsfeld did, to move NATO headquarters from Belgium to Poland because how dare those fucking waffle-eaters refuse to back us in Iraq… and talking about disbanding NATO outright or calling for turning the alliance system into a protection racket, as Trump is now doing. But the difference is one of degree more than anything else, and it’s not hard to see how the former led to the latter.

    I was reading right wing blogs a lot more at the time, and the opinion that, because some French people called us cowboys, we should just fucking disband NATO, that’ll learn ’em, was already very widespread at the time.

  80. 80
    japa21 says:

    During Clinton’s time as secretary of state, Putin publicly accused her of interfering in Moscow’s affairs. For example, her statement that Russian parliamentary elections in December 2011—which involved blatant cheating—were “neither free nor fair” infuriated Putin.

    IOW, Putin and Trump have pretty much the same reaction to criticism, it’s just that Trump only has Twitter at his disposal and Putin has more elaborate means available.

    But both very thin skinned.

  81. 81
    jk says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I’m truly ashamed, as an American.

    Same goes for me.

    Yesterday, I heard a radio report in which an undecided millennial voter offered the following assessment: Trump is bombastic and many of his statements trouble me, but I can’t see myself voting for a liar like Hillary Clinton.

    I wish I could speak to this millennial voter and ask her where the fuck she’s been for the past 2 years. Has she not seen or heard the various fact-checking studies that concluded that Trump has lied more than any other presidential candidate during this campaign.

  82. 82
    Peale says:

    @jk: These last “undecideds” are the least interested in politics and pretty much all of them will end up staying home.

  83. 83
    hovercraft says:

    @Baud:
    He’ll easily top 40, while I’m not quite ready to give him 47, it’ll be closer to that than to 40, the biggest downer is that he is so far above Goldwater. SAD!

  84. 84
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I just saw that. That’s fantastic, in the sense that it’s horrible but good that we know about it.

    Super curious where the bug comes from. Maybe some friendly FBI leaks can inform us that Hillary bugged the DNC headquarters as a false flag operation or something. I’m joking, but I’m sure we’ll see this argument on the right if this story gets any legs.

  85. 85
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Adam L Silverman: So is there confirmation that falsified documents appeared on Wikileaks? Because that would be big.

    If these known false documents showed up on other sites only, that would still be important, but slightly less so.

  86. 86
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @hovercraft: But if this story is turning in a Russian spies-and-Watergate direction, Matthews might be all wound up about THAT, because he’s so immersed in Cold War culture. But he’ll probably talk about how Trump should be talking about issues like trade and foreign wars and winning over the white working class.

  87. 87
    Anoniminous says:

    @Peale:

    The key to being done with the bigots is flipping the House. Whether that comes about through attrition or the state Democratic Parties decide to get their act together and when either or both of those happens is beyond my ken.

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @slag:

    It’s annoying to feel like the mirror image of a right-wing conspiracy theorist, but these are all actual facts. Trump’s previous campaign manager REALLY DID work for Putin.

    Frankly, the success of the propaganda partly depends on people like you not believing it. The purpose is to throw so much chaff in the air that people just give up trying to figure out what the truth is.

    IM (inexpert) O, I doubt the Russians really thought that Trump had a chance, and they mostly did this to sow political discord here. But they’ve been successful beyond their wildest dreams thanks to sheer luck (and the media sucking eggs). The closest analogy I can think of is the 9/11 attacks — al Qaeda didn’t really think the buildings would collapse, but their pilots managed to hit them at just the right spot and the implausible but possible thing happened.

    Sometimes the implausible is the correct answer.

  89. 89
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @debbie: Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I’m a Baroque art historian — I found that particular aria and performance beautiful but only comforting in that the story of women being used and left, especially women of power (think Dido and Aeneas) to be an age old story. I remember reading Virgil’s Aeneid in high school, and I had issues with Dido in that she was utterly bereft from her abandonment. She was the ruler of her people, and she didn’t care enough about them to live. Thank god things are different now.

  90. 90
    Baud says:

    @jk: The media seeks out these people.

  91. 91
    Mr Rogers says:

    @drylake: the argument I have seen is that since Obama didn’t take Putin seriously enough as a geopolitical foe in 2012 to engage in more foreceful diplomacy he is about to blunder us into a shooting war with Russia by reacting negatively to Russian interference in the 2016 election so republicans have no choice but to support the candidate the Russians are hacking our system to support.

    Yes, really.

  92. 92
    Betty Cracker says:

    @jk: You’re nicer than me. I want to punch those fucking idiots in the neck.

  93. 93

    @jk: To me, the phrasing “I can’t see myself” means that person sees only herself.

  94. 94

    @Betty Cracker: Or Putin has threatened them with Polonium tea or Trump has blackmail material on the big media bosses.

  95. 95
    debbie says:

    @Cheryl from Maryland:

    Joyce DiDonato was interviewed on NPR this afternoon, and it just seemed like something beautiful I could take in the car with me to escape from the reality of the news and the election.

  96. 96
    WaterGirl says:

    @slag:

    I think part of why this stuff doesn’t exactly resonate with me is that it feels a bit unbelievable. How reliable is this type of story, really?

    That’s exactly what I said to Robin Atlas, a friend of mine during my freshman year in college, when she told me about this break-in at a big hotel in Washington DC around 1972.

    “If that was happening, it would be all over the news everywhere”, I said. I voted for Nixon.

    Robin, wherever you are, I am so sorry I didn’t believe you.

  97. 97
    D58826 says:

    From the WAPO:

    By Amber Phillips
    No spoilers here: We’ll (hopefully) find out in four days who’s going to be our next president. But if you had asked me this time last week if Donald Trump would be president, I would have said: “Not likely.” Hillary Clinton just had too big of a lead in too many states.
    Ask me if Trump would be president today, and I’ll say: “It’s possible.” Clinton still has a lead in enough states to get her over the 270 mark, but some key parts of the electoral map are moving in Trump’s favor. Here’s where things stand now:

    We at The Fix see three states in particular that are moving either within reach of Trump or out of reach of Clinton:
    1) Ohio and 2) Arizona, once toss-up states, now seem to be leaning Republican. Arizona is traditionally a red state, so its voters seem to be falling in line with their party. Ohio’s late-game shift is good news for Republicans: No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio, and Trump seems to be shoring up support among the state’s older, white voters.

    Donald Trump at a rally in Ohio. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)
    3) New Hampshire. Once a state Clinton lead by as many as nine points, it’s now one of the closest races in the nation. The question keeping Clinton up at night is probably: Could other swing states tighten the way New Hampshire has?
    In our calculation, Clinton still wins the presidency today. But Trump is closer to the White House than ever before.
    P.S.: Remember that professor who has predicted 30 years of presidential elections correctly? He still thinks Trump is going to win. The Fix’s Peter Stevenson chatted with him late last week to find out why; click to watch the video.

    In the meantime working my way thru Malcolm Nance’s ‘The Plot to Hack America’. Now Trump is one ofthe following:
    1. an active KGB agent (unlikely)
    2. a passive actor for Putin to manipulate (likely)
    3. or just a useful idiot who is so compromised that the Pentagon would not issue him a vendor’s permit to sell hot dogs in the parking lot.

    We then have his advisors/inner cicrle. Manafort may no longer be with the campaign but he and Trump go way back. There are a numbner of others all with ties to the Russian oligarchy/mafia. None of these people would be allowed on the WH tour let alone give office space in the West Wing.

    And then we have the GOP. A party that has shown it self to be as corrupt as any Russian mafia and more than willing to close it’s eyes to the danger that Trump represents just to gain power and out of hatred for Obama/Clinton.
    The information that Nance is reporting surely know to the IC and the top GOP office holders, like McCain, Ryan, McConnell, who have access to the most secret intelligence briefings. That they could not put their ego’s aside and unite behind one non-Trump during the primary will simply darken their reputations even more.

    The GOP has spent 30 years turning Hillary into a characture of the most evil person top have ever lived. The result is that the top law enforcement agency in the country, the one charged with protecting us from Russia spies, is riddled with Trump supporting Hillary haters. They seem willing to do anything to get him elected. There was a tweet that summed it up – Hillary is running against the GOP, the KGB, and the KKK.

    And then we have the news media. E-mails, e-mails, Hillary is shrill, and more e-mails. The information that Nance has in his book and that Eichenbery is reporting on have all been out in the public record or could have been uncovered with a bit of digging.

  98. 98
    Lizzy L says:

    @Mr Rogers:

    he is about to blunder us into a shooting war with Russia

    WTF? Where do the folks presenting this argument say that this military action is about to manifest? Syria? South Ossetia? Ukraine? All of them, Katie?

  99. 99
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The FBI did not respond to a request for comment.

    I think that’s because the FBI was busy trying to figure out how to get back into the DNC offices to retrieve whatever bug was in there before it could be traced back to the FBI.

  100. 100
    Tilda Swinton's Bald Cap says:

    @D58826: Sam Wang says:

    It is totally over. If Trump wins more than 240 electoral votes, I will eat a bug.

  101. 101
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Tilda Swinton’s Bald Cap: Some people do this voluntarily.

  102. 102
    WaterGirl says:

    @piratedan: Well done!

  103. 103
    Baud says:

    @D58826:
    @Tilda Swinton’s Bald Cap:

    I notice Vox has put up a “it could be closer than we think” post. Who knows? They all lie for clicks.

  104. 104
    Mr Rogers says:

    @Applejinx: @Lizzy L: it was surrounding the comments from Russian politicians that if Hillary wins nukes will get used, which appeared around the same time that the administration was directly calling out Russian interference

    Since everything Obama does is by definition wrong the right thing is to not complain about the Russian hacking, which wouldn’t be happening Romeny we had bloodied Putins nose in 2013. And we Libs are all now dick swinging interventionists for complaining about it now.

  105. 105
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mr Rogers: That was Zhirinovsky, who is fucking insane.

  106. 106
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Finally, the FBI is kind of in a strange place. DHS for all its made up of lots of other agencies mashed together basically has the domestic security and intel for domestic security lead. So what does that leave for the FBI, which sees itself, perhaps correctly, as the agency that’s supposed to do that and did it prior to DHS being created.

    Thanks for the reply. Your musing here that the FBI may feel as though it has been left without a mission is very intriguing. Makes a lot of sense.

    We’ve had an FBI (in Hoover) that thought of itself as standing apart from the president. An FBI that sees itself as hostile to a president, have we seen anything quite like this before? I noted in another reply that in Pakistan, the military and the intelligence service seem to pursue interests that are independent of the government. To have that here would be inherently destabilizing.

  107. 107
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Baud: They’re all also hedging bets. If Trump does somehow pull a win out of his ass, most of the news agencies want to have a “See, we told you so” article to shield themselves from bias arguments. And also so they can sound smart. Don’t expect it to amount to much.

  108. 108
    Mr Rogers says:

    @cat: @Gin & Tonic: Well _ I _ know that. But to the right wing he’s a solid representation of the Russian government. Whom we should attack for taking over Crimea. Which their candidate doesn’t acknowledge happened. But we shouldn’t call them out for interference in the election. Which also didn’t happen. But calling them out for it makes us hypocritical.

    My head was exorcist spinning at this point.

  109. 109
    D58826 says:

    And one more item that I forgot to add to the previous post. The GOP from top to bottom is made up of blind power mad wannabe dictators. We have had 8 years of birtherism and images of Obama as a monkey from ‘responsible’ republicans and no push back from the GOP leadership.

    Now if Hillary wins we will have:
    1. routine ‘jokes’ about killer her, such as the recent comment from Senator Burr. It’s bad enough if some candidate for dogcatcher in Flyspeck Wisc. says it but a sitting US Senator.
    2. The attempt to block Hillary’s SCOTUS nominations and just about every one else while they are at it. This is the way a war hero like John McCain wants to end his Senatorial career?
    3. Unending House/Senate investigations using the powers of congress, on the taxpayers dime, to paralyze her administration. And why would anyone want to serve in her administration and become the target of these witch hunts.
    4. Impeach Impeach Impeach. Even if they can’t gain a conviction in the Senate it still brings her administration to it’s knees. Look how it tied up the government in 1998/99.

    I am glad these people are flag waving, lapel pin wearing, pledge of allegiance spouting patriots. Imagine what they would be doing if they weren’t so patriotic.

  110. 110
    Barbara says:

    @Betty Cracker: I too was struck by that part of the article. The Russians were sure that attacking the mother of a soldier who died in action would be too reprehensible for too many people. It’s sad that countries we don’t even particularly like are sitting around wondering how low he can go and how scared they should be.

  111. 111
    Lizzy L says:

    @Tilda Swinton’s Bald Cap: He wrote that on October 19th. Stands by it today.

  112. 112
    Hal says:

    @D58826:

    Could other swing states tighten the way New Hampshire has?
    In our calculation, Clinton still wins the presidency today. But Trump is closer to the White House than ever before.
    P.S.: Remember that professor who has predicted 30 years of presidential elections correctly? He still thinks Trump is going to win. The Fix’s Peter Stevenson chatted with him late last week to find out why; click to watch the video.

    OK, so basically Clinton is going to win, but just in case she doesn’t, here’s and article and a video. I don’t give a fuck about Arizona. That fact that it was ever in play should be the story, not the inevitable red state stays red story. Ohio and New Hampshire? Obviously I wish Ohio was in the bag, but as long as she wins Pennsylvania I’m good. New Hampshire can go fuck itself with Arizona.

  113. 113
    D58826 says:

    @Baud: All of which I hope is true. But this year has been so unpredictable it is still unnerving.

    But even if Hillary wins, the GOP will block everything she does, the FBI will work with the GOP in Congress to gin up scandals, one of our two parties has been taken over by Trumpism and maybe even the KGB, 45% of the American public will believe passionately that the election was stolen. This will not go away on 11/9. The militia movement has been energized and while most of it may be just talk it only take one nut with an AR15 to create havoc. There is some speculation that the Trump supporter who ambushed those two cops may have felt that his actions were validated by the Trump rhetoric. Not a short straight line tp blaming Trump but once you normalize the violent rhetoric it may push a nut over the edge. We actually had a US Senator making a joke about Hillary being a target.

  114. 114
    Barbara says:

    @Chris: I think the only thing that begins to turn it around is a rollback of some of the gerrymandered districts, combined with an inability to keep relying on gerrymandering because of the depth of demographic changes. More and more pols beginning in places like New Jersey, New York and California are going to find it impossible to win. Two of the most gerrymandered states (defined by the mismatch between the overall congressional make-up and the statewide majority voting patterns) are Pennsylvania and Virginia. Michigan is probably not far behind. These are the states where we really should be focusing resources in the midterms and governor’s election. And apart from low taxes and outlawing abortion I still don’t think there is any unified Republican platform on any issue. Their goal is to turn the whole country into Kansas. It would be comical if it weren’t so frightening.

  115. 115
    Baud says:

    @D58826:

    Someone here put up a quote from Grant the other day. Basically, after listening to all his general talk about what Lee was going to do to them, he said, “Now I want to hear about we are going to do to Lee.” (I’m butchering it. the original was better).

    I don’t want to hear about what the GOP will do. Hillary has seen it all. We just need to get her elected.

  116. 116
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Yes, if you go to my post on this last night and click through to the Esquire article you’ll see a discussion of tampering by the cyber security company owner that was interviewed. Similarly the link to Politico where the interviewed Malcolm Nance. Nance is a retired Navy Master Chief who’s one of the top Intel guys out there as a subject matter expert. He’s been stating that these have been doctored/falsified for a couple of months now. He’s written a book about it and is frequently on MSNBC where he’s the NBC/MSNBC in house subject matter expert.

  117. 117
    Tilda Swinton's Bald Cap says:

    @Hal:

    I don’t give a fuck about Arizona. That fact that it was ever in play should be the story, not the inevitable red state stays red story. Ohio and New Hampshire? …. New Hampshire can go fuck itself with Arizona.

    Love it.

  118. 118
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @FlipYrWhig: It depends whether his producers bring it to his attention. I’m sure it will be on Maddow and O’Donnell. Most likely on Hayes. But how many people total watch those shows? Not all that many.

  119. 119
    Cermet says:

    Putin is the most dangerous enemy we have face in a very long time; remember, Putin is a puppet of the FSB (old name, KGB.) This makes Putin far more dangerous because he can be easily replaced. WE need to undermine all aspects of the Russian empire and isolate that country until either the Russian people wake up (unlikely) or it collapses again due to its over extension … wait, that is us! We are the insane hyper military power right now trying to have a military that exceeds all needs by an order of magnitude; that is consuming all our economic power as a small elite gains all the wealth of the middle class; this elite is using the thug party and its masses to gets it way – buying up the media is just part of the problem. All the ass wipe Putin the puppet need do is watch and laugh as we are consumed by our over extension.

  120. 120
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @D58826: The Fix’s map, and Cilliza in general, have been largely ridiculed all day. He’s really not very good at this and should find something more beneficial to humankind as an occupation.

  121. 121
    Tilda Swinton's Bald Cap says:

    @Lizzy L: Yep, I copied that from today’s post.

  122. 122
    DCrefugee says:

    We are really down the rabbit hole now. Pretty good narrative; we’ll see if it holds/builds into Tuesday.

    But they buried the lede: The news here is that the DNC *did not* have the place swept for bugs on a regular basis. Unbelievable…

  123. 123
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mr Rogers: That was Zhirinovsky. Thing Alex Jones, but as a member of Congress.

  124. 124
    Tilda Swinton's Bald Cap says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Clarice Starling and Eliot Ness, Cilliza is such a tool

  125. 125
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    if women do as I expect and deliver the highest gender gap ever recorded

    This reminds me: Did y’all get the email from Meryl Streep this morning, urging that we stand together as badass women to elect Hillary? I’m curious about whether they really targeted it to women.

  126. 126
    Barbara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: This is what I have concluded. They will stop listening to us, stop automatically siding with us in international organizations and slowly (or quickly depending on how crazy things got) disengage from our sphere of influence. Germany, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and other countries all trust us enough to let us operate militarily within their borders. How long would that continue? The net result over time would be the diminution of American power. Perhaps this would not be a totally negative result, but the notion that it would happen because people no longer trusted us is bad, very bad.

  127. 127
    Ruckus says:

    @slag:

    I have no faith in 40% of the American voting public’s decision-making skills.

    Do you really think it was ever a whole lot better or that the percentage was really that much smaller? I don’t, although I’m not a historian I have studied American history a bit and I think that there always has been and always will be people who really only think in reactionary terms, never any forethought nor actual logical processing. Don’t believe me? How many people will follow any Brand New Thing, that promises to make them thinner, more sexy, more anything but smarter? Mad Men was less a drama and more of a historical tale.

  128. 128
    D58826 says:

    @Baud:

    I don’t want to hear about what the GOP will do. Hillary has seen it all. We just need to get her elected.

    Grant had an army at his command. W/o majorities in both Houses Hillary can’t get much done. There was a time and a place (I’m old enough to remember it) where there a middle ground for the parties to met at. The D’s wanted 50 billion for food stamps, the R’s wanted 20 and they compromised at 35. That kind of compromise is gone. Heck even Ryan’s speaker-ship might not be safe. If the D’s pick up a number of seats in the house, they probably will come from Ryan’s more ‘moderate’ allies. If Ryan is re-elected with democratic votes he will be on a very short leash from both sides of the aisle.

  129. 129
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Tweety has the smallest audience of the three I think, definitely smaller than Rachel, not sure about Hayes. Well at least he made me feel more assured about PA in that first segment. His and Haley Jackson’s assessment of Michigan would bother me more if Joy hadn’t said that the people on the ground said they’ve got it. So at this point they are still searching for a path. Now time for Dracula. Let’s see if Tweety is cozy or combative.

  130. 130
    Baud says:

    @D58826: She’ll get done what she can get done. Frankly, the problem isn’t Hillary, it’s Dems who like to talk about fighting but then get frustrated at the drop of a hat.

  131. 131
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Smiling Mortician: I got that too, so maybe not that well targeted.

  132. 132
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: I think what you have is that the FBI is a cop shop for all that its a Federal cop shop. And despite all its technical prowess in law enforcement and criminal analysis, etc its still a cop shop. And it looks at the world very different than the rest of the IC and DHS does. Moreover, it isn’t independent. Its one subordinate agency within the Department of Justice, which has a very distinct culture from the FBI. And the DOJ career personnel are very, very different than the FBI career personnel. So that’s a major culture clash. The DOJ is very diverse. The FBI is overwhelmingly white, male, and still predominantly Catholic. DOJ is not! And the IC is made up of one fully civilian agency (CIA) and a whole bunch of agencies with a mix of uniformed service and civilians. Some of those civilians are career civilians, some are retired uniformed service that have transitioned to the civilian side. And, as I wrote, the difference between looking at everything as a crime versus looking at everything as intelligence for a variety of purposes.

    That said, Kallstrom was a special agent in charge (SAC) and then the Supervisory Special Agent in Charge (SSAC) in the NY Field Office for a very long time. Everyone in that office, that came up in that office, who is senior now was someone he had a hand in helping to grow up as an agent. So his longstanding dislike of the Clintons may have been learned by his former proteges, which would also explain the problems.

    When you look at the institutional dynamics of these outfits, as well as the leadership ones, and the overall organizational cultures and structures and how they all interact you can get a pretty good idea of what is going on without needing to start getting overly creative.

  133. 133
    Barbara says:

    @jk: When you talk to an anti-vaxxer you often find a person who doesn’t give a fig about vaccination and doesn’t know the first thing about why they think it is bad. No, it’s just a very visible means of asserting opposition to all those mediocre followers, and they think it confers a kind of status on themselves as independent or creative or discerning or just different. I am convinced undecideds and so-called independents are similar. To decide is to be with the crowd. And when they do decide it is often for very idiosyncratic reasons so they are not really like the other followers. Part of me wants to say something to the effect of, so because you don’t really have any talent or brains or ideas that obviously separate you from the hoi polloi you have to manufacture something to make you feel different. Okay, rant over.

  134. 134
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I never realized how Catholic the FBI was.

    Interesting that the NY office couldn’t keep her from being elected Senator.

  135. 135
    D58826 says:

    @Baud:

    it’s Dems who like to talk about fighting but then get frustrated at the drop of a hat.

    Very Very true. or stay home in the midterms because Obama didn’t deliver that second unicorn to every one.

    I think she is going to win on Tue. it’s just that the race is close enough that some black swan event between now and Tue. could tip it to Trump. Not likelyu but with a Trump even a 1% chance is to much.

  136. 136
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Barbara: Patriotic service to the Rodina is still strong in Russia. One of Putin’s greatest weaknesses is the deaths of the Russian Soldiers in Crimea, Donbass, and Syria – all of whom are officially not there. So they are ghost soldiers and not afforded proper acknowledgement and recognitions. The families of these Soldiers killed in action, but never acknowledged by the Russian state, is an open wound in Russia.

  137. 137
    Baud says:

    @D58826:

    Trump even a 1% chance is to much

    Agreed. He hasn’t hidden who he is. No one has any excuse.

  138. 138
    Barbara says:

    @D58826: The Fix is the Washington Post’s little corner of Trump hope. Chris Cilliza has been seizing on every hypothetically possibly positive development for Trump since at least June.

  139. 139
    hovercraft says:

    Rudy lying his ass off, says he was just teasing a speech he was going to give as well as the Ad’s that they were working on. Hasn’t spoken to an active FBI agent for nine months. Tweety lets his bullshit slide. Tweety is trying to pin him down on what felony she committed, Rudy slithers away, but he’s spinning but Tweety is refusing to accept his crap, accuses him of pulling banana republic crap. Criminalizing the opposition. Tweety asks him about the contradiction in claiming that Christie is innocent, calls him out for his double standard. Rudy says he takes Christie at his word, accuses Kelly and Berloni of lying. Tweety calls him of trying to have it both ways, he has no more information than anyone else, so he’s just giving his opinion. he knows as much as anyone who reads the newspaper. Accuses Rudy of vigilante justice.

  140. 140
    D58826 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m reading his book now. It sounds like enough of this information was open source or easily discoverable with a little digging. But it takes some time and effort to find the information and more time and effort to digest it. For the most part the media no longer does that kind of investigative journalism. It’s ratings/click driven to improve the corporate (i.e. the 1%) bottom line.

  141. 141
    mike in dc says:

    I think my emotional swing this past week was from worry (polls tightening) to relief(strong early voting numbers, debunking of FBI leaks) and finally, deep and abiding anger. These muthaphuckas over here…and here…and here…are trying to steal this election. We can’t let that happen. And when this is over, there needs to be a reckoning.

  142. 142
    Ruckus says:

    @piratedan:

    At this point, it needs to be pointed out, calmly and clearly that one political party cannot run on a continuous platform of hate and be devoid of ideas.

    People have been doing this for some time. No one on their side is going to listen because that’s exactly what they want. This is why a two party representative system is prone to failure. It takes 2 working sides that have approximately similar goals. Right now we have 2 sides, one of which is trying to make governing impossible for what looks like the majority of the people and one who wants to move forward and make life at least livable for everyone. Those 2 goals are in no way compatable. So until one side decides to either hold it’s breath till it turns (OK you know I had to say it) blue or change it’s mind about being spoiled brats we will have this kind of disruption of normal living. And as I said above, this really isn’t any different than we’ve had since the inception of this experiment. That it’s worked as well as it has is actually amazing to me, that it hasn’t imploded before is even more amazing, that it survives relatively intact will surprise me even more. We really are seeing history being made and it’s rarely pretty. I hope it works, I’d like to have a somewhat peaceful retirement, after working for over 55 yrs.

  143. 143
    Quinerly says:

    @hovercraft:
    Good summary!

  144. 144
    Ruckus says:

    @hovercraft:
    Kill?
    No. Staked out naked in the desert over ant hills and smeared with honey. In the summer. Or something like that.
    If you are gong to seek revenge, make it pay for a while first. The end is the same, the trip is longer.

  145. 145
    hovercraft says:

    @Baud:
    The GOP tried, Gulilani was the ringer who was going to stop her before she could begin to chart her way to the White House. Unfortunately for them he couldn’t keep it in his pants and he was very public about it. So when he started to tank in the polls he dropped out, citing his prostrate cancer. She was branded a carpet bagger, but she worked her ass off in upstate NY, the media mocked her for her listening tour, but it worked.

  146. 146
    Baud says:

    @hovercraft: I hope she does a listening tour as president. People like her more when they experience her directly instead of through the media filter.

  147. 147

    @mike in dc: That’s pretty much my emotional state this week too. I’m furious. I also think I feel this election more personally that I’ve ever felt about an election before, maybe because of the first woman president vs a misogynist who’s exposing the misogyny riddling much of the population.

  148. 148
    D58826 says:

    Oh FSM, trending on Twitter is the Infowars report that the Hillary campaign is performing satanic rituals. We are truly past the point of going down rabbit holes.

  149. 149
    jk says:

    @Barbara:

    Chris Cilliza is a smarmy insufferable douchebag. Anytime, I see him on tv, I change channels

  150. 150
    Baud says:

    @D58826: That should help with the youth vote.

  151. 151
    🐾BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: KO covered that pretty well in today’s edition of “The Closer”.

  152. 152
    hovercraft says:

    @Ruckus:

    Staked out naked in the desert over ant hills and smeared with honey. In the summer.

    Since this is Jersey, and I can see Staten Island from my window, I’m thinking take the Outer borough bridge Staten Island has plenty of those City rats, strip them naked (eye bleach), cover them in pizza in a land fill. That would be more apropo, for NYC. Or we could stick to Jersey tactics and visit a cement factory.

  153. 153
    D58826 says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: Me to. But at 70 with my retirement fund Trump proofed as much as possible I don’t think it will affect me in a direct way. On the other hand my 30 something nieces, their kids, etc. will live in a world of hurt if Trump, post election Trumpism and a GOP that is bats*t crazy isn’t stopped.

  154. 154
    Cacti says:

    Breaking:

    Suspicious package found at Cleveland site of Jay-Z free concert for Hillary.

    Bomb squad has been deployed to the scene.

  155. 155
    hovercraft says:

    @D58826: @Baud:
    Pack it in libtards they’ve figured us out, she’s doomed.
    Baud it’s time to put on your Superman cape and save the day for us. We will GOTV for you, satan will send the word out.

  156. 156
    Lizzy L says:

    @Hal: Totally disagree about Arizona. There are Democrats in Arizona. (My brother is one.) Arizona is filled with new, mostly Latino/Latina voters, who are voting for Hillary. There may not be enough of them this election to pull Arizona blue, but by 2018 or 20120, with normal attrition, Arizona will flip blue. I’ve been calling Arizona all afternoon, phone banking for Hilz, getting the word out about early voting, thanking people for their support. I’ve been talking to a lot of Latinas. It feels great to be part of the effort.

  157. 157
    D58826 says:

    Even the markets are getting nervous:’Investors continue to brace for a possible upset win by Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton as new revelations about investigations into the Clinton Foundation and Clinton’s private email server have tightened the polls.

    and these are the people who put their money where their mouth is – http://www.msn.com/en-us/money.....;ocid=iehp

  158. 158
    hovercraft says:

    @Cacti:
    Tweety just showed a picture from inside the venue, he said Hillary is due to speak at 8, everything looked normal. Maybe near the venue, but not at the venue?

  159. 159
    different-church-lady says:

    @trollhattan: The question is: why here? Does the Kremlin really think convincing 73 squishy liberals Putin can do no wrong is going to swing this election?

  160. 160
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @hovercraft: Pedant alert, but that’s actually called the Outerbridge Crossing. It’s named after an engineer, Paul Outerbridge. Not Outer Bridge.

  161. 161
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Unless things have changed, I am eligible to run for president but ineligible to be an F.B.I. agent because one parent was born outside the U.S. and is a naturalized citizen.

    Not that either job is one I’d want or seek.

    This must gall Rudy. Good.

    Only A Handful Of Lawyers At This Firm Support Donald Trump — And One Of Them Is Rudy Giuliani

    According to campaign contribution data from Open Secrets, individuals employed by Greenberg Traurig have made 186 donations to Hillary Clinton this election cycle. By contrast, five have given to Donald Trump.

    /blockquote>My limited understanding is that his former firm, Bracewell Giuliani, acts in some capacity as representation for the NY F.B.I. office and/or its personnel, also too.

  162. 162
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I used to regularly follow a site called English Russia. It is a picture blog of life in Russia, past and present. The military figures heavily in normal life there and heroes are revered. Not being able to account for their missing would be a big thing. Regular folks might not have much of a say about a lot of things but they will remember.

  163. 163
    D58826 says:

    @D58826: I wonder if CNN/MSNBC will have that well know expert in all things satanic – Christine -I am not a witch – Odonnell?

  164. 164
    Cacti says:

    @hovercraft:

    Tweety just showed a picture from inside the venue, he said Hillary is due to speak at 8, everything looked normal. Maybe near the venue, but not at the venue?

    Idk. Report made it sound like it was near the entrance (some people stopped from entering, others told to stay inside the building).

  165. 165
    D58826 says:

    @Ruckus: Didn’t the families of the Russian dead in Afghanistan play a role in the reforms that Gorby tried to implement?

  166. 166
    hovercraft says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Good to know, we always just call it 440, but that wouldn’t have meant anything to anyone. I have to say I’m a terrible metro NewYorker, the only reason I ever went to the World Trade Center was because of out of town guests once, I drove by it a million times but would have never bothered going in. Still haven’t been to the top of the Empire State Building.

  167. 167
    🐾BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @NotMax:

    Unless things have changed, I am eligible to run for president but ineligible to be an F.B.I. agent because one parent was born outside the U.S. and is a naturalized citizen.

    So you’re in the same boat as a certain Donald J. Trump.

  168. 168
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    This is not really apropos of anything except FBI, but I once knew an FBI agent in NYC (this was 50+ years ago) named — I swear this is true — Gay Walter Valentine III.

    I always thought the fact the he was the third generation male of his family to be saddled bestowed with such a name was a nice touch.

    He was, as I recall, a very decent guy. Didn’t know him well, but AFAIK he was the only FBI agent I ever met.

  169. 169
    🐾BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @hovercraft: Sounds like me and the Bradbury Building here in downtown LA. I went inside for the first time this year(again yesterday), it’s absolutely incredible.

    Bradbury interior.

  170. 170
    Ruckus says:

    @hovercraft:
    Actually whatever fits your fancy, I just don’t think doing it quick is the best way. I don’t like the death penalty either. Give them plenty of time to think about what they did. And even if they like thinking about it, there isn’t anything they can do about it. It isn’t as much fun as an ant hill in the desert or a rats dinning room in the city but the same effect is there. And I do agree about the eye bleach concept. I wasn’t trying to make anyone lose their dinner, just showing that I cared about doing this right.

  171. 171
    divF says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    The Bradbury Building is gorgeous. Did you ride up in an elevator?

  172. 172
    jk says:

    @Peale: @Betty Cracker: @Baud: @Iowa Old Lady: @Barbara:

    Hearing someone call Hillary Clinton a liar when there’s an avalanche of evidence demonstrating that Donald Trump is the biggest liar to ever seek the presidency makes me want to place this voter and others like her inside a time machine that would take her back to the Dark Ages.

    Can’t wait till this damn election is over and Jeffrey Lord, Kayleigh McEnany and all the other slimy Trump surrogates who’ve polluted the airwaves can crawl back into the sewers where they belong.

    After Hillary is declared the winner on Election Day, I hope someone will put up a celebratory Open Thread for people to post links to their favorite music, flim/tv show clips, comedy routines, art works, etc to serve as as an antidote to all the toxicity that Trump and the other Republican sleazebags have injected into our political bloodstream during this campaign season.

  173. 173
    Ruckus says:

    @D58826:
    My retirement fund was destroyed by bush and co and so I’ve got to protect what little I can put together before working is no longer an option. And this is one of the things that galls me most about the current repubs, is that they don’t seem to have any regard for their future, other than it has to be white. Personally I like green a lot better, I’ve never been able to spend white at the grocery store or get my landlord to accept it.

  174. 174
    Jess says:

    I’m surprised no one has commented on this:

    Hillary Clinton left the State Department in 2013, which means that if she had used its unclassified email system rather than her private server—a decision that has dogged her throughout the campaign—any of her emails on the government system could have been obtained by Russian hackers.

    Did y’all sign a pact not to mention HRC’s emails? I guess I didn’t get that memo…
    Can’t resist: BWaahahahahaaha!

  175. 175
    jk says:

    @hovercraft:

    Rudy Giuliani and Chris Matthews deserve each other. I can’t decide which one of these bozos I find more nauseating. Giuliani is a lying scumbag, but at least he’ll disappear from the airwaves after Hillary wins; whereas Chris Matthews will still be polluting the airwaves after Election Day.

  176. 176
    hovercraft says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    Great picture, beautiful building I love the stained glass.

  177. 177
    Ruckus says:

    @D58826:
    Don’t know. There are others here who are far more up on life in Russia. Closest I’ve been is having worked with a fellow from Saint Petersburg, who came her in 94 with his wife and daughter, speaking almost no english and he has been successful as a programmer. Very nice people, his daughter graduated college not long ago. And working with a few fellows decades ago in the metalworking field.

  178. 178
    🐾BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @hovercraft: I don’t think it’s stained glass, just really old; the building was built in the late 1800’s(that qualifies as old around these parts).

  179. 179
    🐾BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @divF: You can’t go beyond the ground floor, it’s LAPD’s internal affairs office.

  180. 180
    hovercraft says:

    @jk:
    We all pray to Pasta Goddess that he disappears, but I doubt he will.

  181. 181
    Hob says:

    Unsurprisingly, the general response to this kind of thing among the fervent anyone-but-Clinton contingent among my lefty friends on Facebook is: any really terrible news about Trump is helpful to Clinton, therefore it’s all bullshit made up by Clinton and you’re a sucker if you think any of it matters. The latest twist is that they found out about Kurt Eichenwald’s problems in 2005 with possible conflict of interest/investigative fuckups on a child porn story, so this is now apparently adequate reason to dismiss all of Eichenwald’s current reporting and all other reporting on Russian shenanigans written by people who are not Eichenwald.

    I think I’m going to go back to not reading Facebook for a while…

  182. 182
    Karen says:

    @debbie:

    Is any of this actionable?

  183. 183
    Hob says:

    @Jess: Why are you surprised no one commented on that point today? It’s been widely known for over a year, and I’ve seen it brought up many times in discussions of Clinton’s email server and whether it had any bearing on security.

  184. 184
    Hob says:

    @cat: According to Reuters from earlier today, no one’s answered your question yet: “Like the Carper letter, it was not immediately clear where the fraudulent document [the ‘dirty bomb’ one] had originated or how it had begun to circulate.”

    I’ve seen blog posts that mention Wikileaks when talking about this story, but since they don’t cite any sources other than that same reporting, I’m pretty sure that is just bloggers jumping to conclusions (and/or misunderstanding the one reference to Wikileaks in the Reuters story, where the Clinton campaign called these documents “part of a desperate stunt to capitalize on the leak of Democratic emails by Wikileaks”— which I took to mean the previous emails that everyone already knows were from Wikileaks, not a claim that this new crap was also from them).

  185. 185
    Applejinx says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: “A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies!” :D

  186. 186
    WaterGirl says:

    Anyone who is still paying attention to any of the shit they are slinging at Hillary Clinton has not been paying attention to what’s going on.

  187. 187
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Tilda Swinton’s Bald Cap: Elliot Ness worked for the Treasury Department, not the FBI.

  188. 188
    cat says:

    @Hob: Which makes it seem like a deliberate misinformation campaign following a playbook favored by the Russians. Did I miss this happening before 2016?

  189. 189
    Jeffro says:

    @Barbara:

    When you talk to an anti-vaxxer you often find a person who doesn’t give a fig about vaccination and doesn’t know the first thing about why they think it is bad. No, it’s just a very visible means of asserting opposition to all those mediocre followers, and they think it confers a kind of status on themselves as independent or creative or discerning or just different. I am convinced undecideds and so-called independents are similar. To decide is to be with the crowd. And when they do decide it is often for very idiosyncratic reasons so they are not really like the other followers. Part of me wants to say something to the effect of, so because you don’t really have any talent or brains or ideas that obviously separate you from the hoi polloi you have to manufacture something to make you feel different. Okay, rant over.

    As rants go, this was quite excellent.

  190. 190
    Jess says:

    @Hob: I like how bluntly it’s stated here in an article appearing in the most mainstream of mainstream media. Those of us following the story may have already commented on that fact, but it sure doesn’t seem to have sunk in with the general populace.

  191. 191
    Ed says:

    United States Act of War Against Russia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFJvf9gefjs

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