The Maskirovka Slips VIII: My Real Fear (Updated)


(Updated below)

I wasn’t going to do my next Maskirovka post until Sunday night, dealing with the NY Times article about Russian cyber operatives placing evidence of child pornography on their targets computers as part of kompromat operations. But the news that broke earlier this evening, as well as the previous posts and comments, have made me decide to put one up. Specifically my real fear of the true scope of the Russian cyber influence operations. I cannot prove what I’m going to write, it is simply speculation, but it is informed speculation.

My real fear of the Russian cyber kompromat and influence operations is not just that they hacked the DNC, the DSCC, the DCCC and John Podesta’s emails. Nor is it that they then, as Malcolm Nance has stated, modified some of those emails before using Wikileaks to distribute them in pursuit of compromising the Clinton campaign to both sow chaos and make American democracy look chaotic and unappealing and, as has now been reported, install Donald Trump as the President. Rather it is that the Russians used their cyber operatives to hack both the Democratic and Republican parties, including the RNC, Republican Senatorial Committee, Republican Congressional Committee, and various elite and notable GOP members. Both David Corn and Kurt Eichenwald have reported evidence that the President-elect himself was the subject of a kompromat operation, though it is unclear if it was successful.

While it is now well documented that the Russians publicly compromised the Democrats, my real fear is that they’ve privately compromised the Republicans. By doing so they not only make America look bad, and the idea of liberal democracy, both of which are among Putin’s strategic objectives. But they also have leverage and influence over the GOP – the party that now controls both chambers of Congress, the Presidency, and a majority of state legislatures and state houses. Russia has believed that it is in a new Cold War with the US for well over a year. What better way to get an advantage by publicly compromising one political party in the US and privately compromising the other? And this is my biggest fear over the Russian cyber based influence operations in the 2016 Presidential election.

Based on what the Washington Post reported this evening, we are in a cyber war, if not an outright one. And while there has been much discussion as to what war in cyberspace looks like, we had better get in gear and get real serious about moving from concept to doctrine to reality very quickly. All that remains to be seen now is what, if anything, is done in response.

Update at 12:40 AM EST

The New York Times has now reported that Russia did indeed hack the GOP, they just did not release the information. So we do appear to have a public Russian kompromat of the Democrats and a private Russian kompromat of the Republicans. The only question that remains to be seen is what the Russians are leveraging their private kompromat of the Republicans for.

WASHINGTON — American intelligence agencies have concluded with “high confidence” that Russia acted covertly in the latter stages of the presidential campaign to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances and promote Donald J. Trump, according to senior administration officials.

They based that conclusion, in part, on another finding — which they say was also reached with high confidence — that the Russians hacked the Republican National Committee’s computer systems in addition to their attacks on Democratic organizations, but did not release whatever information they gleaned from the Republican networks.


161 replies
  1. 1

    Good point, Adam. I plan to write something tomorrow. Lots of “who knew what when” and “why didn’t they say something.” Stuff that bears thinking through.

  2. 2
    mike in dc says:

    Russia censors the public internet there, da? I wonder if it’s possible to knock out their censorship apparatus for a meaningful period of time, then dump a bunch of hacked stuff on the Russian public.

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    The GOP are traitors to this country. What else do you need to see?

  4. 4
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I’m afraid you’re reading this wrong. The real scandal is the alacrity with which Democratic senators colluded with the CIA to leak this story.

    Neo-liberals and the deep state, working together. Surely that’s a greater threat to the Republic than anything the Russians can do?

  5. 5
    RaflW says:

    Times seems to be saying Repubs were also hacked, just not leaked.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Like I wrote, I can’t prove this, I’m just scared this is the case.

  8. 8
    Mike in NC says:

    We’ve been in cyber warfare with the Chinese and Russians for the past 15 to 20 years.

  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @RaflW: I’ve seen that speculated on. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now, think I actually put it in a comment about two or three weeks ago.

  10. 10
    Millard Filmore says:

    As a Microsoft hater from way back, I must ask: does using Linux or BSD provide any useful protection, provided good passwords are used?

  11. 11
    mike in dc says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Well, not the incoming administration, of course. But weakening support for Putin by disseminating their private casualty reports from Ukraine, documents assessing how many civilians Assad has killed, bank statements for various hidden government plutocrat accounts, etc. would be one way to retaliate.

  12. 12
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    I guess we can finally call the Cold War.

  13. 13
    JJ says:

    I saw an interview with Biden shortly before the election. The topic of Russian hacking and our apparent impotence around it was raised. Why wasn’t the US doing something about it? Joe got a twinkle in his eye and said that “we are and when it’s the right time we’ll all know”. God I hope that wasn’t just stagecraft.

  14. 14
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled: Same as the Civil War.

    Aggregage score over both legs, home and away:
    Bad guys 2, Good guys 0.

  15. 15
    MomSense says:


    I said that over the summer. It was not plausible to me that only the DNC and other Democratic organizations were hacked. Some information you make public and/or modify to do damage and other information you keep private for leverage.

  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Updated up top!

  17. 17
    Mike G says:

    I expect a Trump Administration to be as vigilant and effective on this issue as the Bush Administration was about terrorism for its first eight months in office — lazy and disinterested if they can’t make a buck or make political hay out of it. Because Republicans.

  18. 18
    MomSense says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Sorry I got sucked into a wicked text storm with my kids about the news and missed your request for the link in that older thread.

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MomSense: No worries, I found it and updated up top.

  20. 20

    Starting to feel an awful lot like we’re about to watch World War I again.

  21. 21
    Yarrow says:

    @RaflW: Yes, the NYT did indicate that. It has seemed pretty obvious. Why would they only hack the Democrats? They wouldn’t. They’d hack both and then sit on everything from one party for leverage.

    If the Republicans don’t get on board with this CIA investigation they really are traitors. If they think downplaying the investigation is going to save them they are very wrong. Russia will use their info.

  22. 22
    mike in dc says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Gee, I wonder how this affects the odds of a bipartisan congressional investigation into this actually happening? My guess is “between slim and none. And Slim just left town.”

  23. 23
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    We only have 40 days. Forty days before American democracy is possibly snuffed out forever.

  24. 24
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @mike in dc: Depends whether Senators McCain and Graham do what they have said they will do. I don’t see much happening on the House side.

  25. 25
    MomSense says:


    With all of this coming out, there is no way to credibly call this election free and fair. We cannot just shrug our shoulders and say oh well. We are in a cyber war with a hostile foreign power who just rigged the election with the help of the FBI, Republican Senators, Republican legislatures and their voter suppression laws, broken voting machines in MI, Crosscheck and purging voter rolls. And the media failed to report what was happening.

  26. 26
    Cat48 says:

    I read in a uk paper, think it was the Independent, that an unknown hacker had hacked their Central Bank & took money. It was 2 or 3 wks ago.

    Would the US do that?

  27. 27
    Davis X. Machina says:

    With all of this coming out, there is no way to credibly call this election free and fair.

    Look at this through their eyes. “Screw ‘free’. Screw ‘fair’. The right side won. By any means necessary isn’t just for the brothers any more.”

  28. 28
    Yarrow says:

    Exactly. I don’t know where we go from here but to pretend the election was free and fair and not influenced by the Russians is a lie.

  29. 29
    jacy says:

    Not being snarky here — when does this stop being “cyberwar” and actually become war war? I’m feeling a bit unsettled.

  30. 30
    Yarrow says:

    Harry Reid’s deputy chief of staff is on fire on twitter.

    First tweet:

    I'll say it: NYT interviewed Reid for this story. He said things contrary to the story. NYT discarded the interview.— Adam Jentleson (@AJentleson) December 10, 2016

    The NYT article is the October 31 one where they FBI said they investigated Trump and found no clear ties to Russia.

  31. 31
    Yarrow says:

    Second tweet:

    Maybe some want to know why the NYT seemed to cover for Comey's FBI?Maybe even some at the NYT? Maybe not?I'm just asking questions.— Adam Jentleson (@AJentleson) December 10, 2016

  32. 32
    MomSense says:


    I think cyber war can be just as deadly. Think of all the systems you can shut down by hacking them.

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jacy: When there are actual physical effects, not just those in non-cyberspace. For instance, the power grid in Manhattan or Chicago or DC is taken down during a blizzard and people are physically harmed. Something that actually causes non-virtual harm and would instigate something more than a cyber response.

  34. 34
    NotMax says:

    Friday news dump, will be dismissed anywhere near the Potomac as old news come Monday.

  35. 35
    Yarrow says:

    @MomSense: There’s a reason Germany advised its citizens this summer to stockpile water and canned goods. They said it was because of risk of cyber attacks and disruptions of power, water, etc. Didn’t make much news here because EMAILS.

  36. 36
    jacy says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I guess in my head, I’m thinking more along the lines of civil war. When do we become at such odds with our own government (which has ceased to really be our government) that the social structure starts to collapse?

    I guess all the idiots who, in their own heads, were the heroes in “Red Dawn” finally get to act out their fantasies….

  37. 37
    Mary G says:

    I said back some time ago when somebody said Trump is Tony Soprano that I thought Trump is the sporting goods store owner who gets to gambling and has to let Tony and his crew bust out his store. Putin is Tony Soprano.

    Since Russia’s real objective isn’t really Trump rules the world, but America and Europe in disarray, I could see them waiting until after inauguration day, then using Assange to dump Trump’s tax returns and all the unsavory stuff they have on him and his crew and watch what happens hoping we fight amongst ourselves and take our eye off the ball.

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: What the President announced was that an After Action Report be compiled by the Intel Community (IC) and publicly released prior to January 20, 2017 from the information that the IC has gathered and briefed appropriate leadership on in regards to Russia’s influence/kompromat operations.

  39. 39
    MomSense says:


    Yup. We have not been preparing for this adequately at all. One of my real concerns about our news media is that their insistence on covering every issue as a horse race or a political messaging battle is that every issue is viewed in that frame. So a sitting president and his administration cannot inform the citizenry of cyber attacks by a foreign power because the media would manipulate that into partisan president trying to sway election with controversial claims. Of course anything he said would be evidence of how bad both sides are.

  40. 40
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    I predicted earlier today that it will be his bromance (he thinks) partner who takes Trump down. Now that he won, Trump really believes he’s all that, and he and his buddy Vladimir are not only bros, but peers.

    However, sooner or later he will cross Putin, and His Orange Idiocy will be in for a surprise. Those KGB folks don’t play beanbag, and I can’t imagine that there isn’t some serious bad shit the Russians can disclose about the President elect. I also believe that Putin gains much more by taking down a POTUS than with a war – he theoretically (realistically?) risks no losses because the US isn’t going to start shooting because POTUS is humiliated. I think. But I believe His Orange Idiocy now “knows” he’s a tough guy and piss off his buddy with some stupid posturing.

    Which I guess is overly simplistic, now that I’ve read your analysis, Adam. Much more effective to extort cooperation from the GOP government. The nightmare continues to get worse. The dust bunnies are very kind, however. I plan to spend more time with them.

  41. 41
    Kay says:

    It’s sad. Trump and the rest of the wrecking crew will do so much damage before this is over. He’s not even in office yet and it’s a giant fucking chaotic mess.
    I didn’t think any election could go worse than Bush v Gore but this tops that one by a mile. At least there the Supreme Court waited until AFTER the election to jump in and give it to Bush. You had a fighting chance. Now they don’t even wait until the polls close.

  42. 42
    Timurid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    So are you still going with ‘we have no choice but to grin and bear it?’
    If somehow this whole situation were completely reversed, with a horribly compromised Democratic candidate winning by an electoral college fluke… I doubt the opposition would be so polite. Because they know that Republicans would threaten real violence when backed into a corner, whereas the rejection of a Democrat demagogue would end mostly with lots of posturing and maybe some Black Bloc kiddies breaking a bunch of windows. At what point is ‘we have to give them what they want because violence’ no longer a tenable position?

  43. 43

    @efgoldman: Plenty of emoprogs don’t believe in patriotism. That argument isn’t outlandish, if that’s where you’re coming from.

  44. 44
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @efgoldman: I too see the destruction of the republic as poetic justice. Morons.

  45. 45
    mike in dc says:

    The Man in the High Castle Rise Luxury Apartment Building.

  46. 46
    Yarrow says:

    @MomSense: Agreed and good point. The media is useless. It’s clickbait and breathless horse race coverage. Elections don’t have to last 2 and 4 years. The media enables it. They could do their job and investigate and inform. But they don’t.

  47. 47
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Major Major Major Major:Correct. Les travaileurs n’ont pas de patrie is an ancient tradition on the left.

  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Timurid: I’m not saying, nor have I ever said, we have to grin and bear it. I’ve said we have to hold the line. And I’ve defined what that means in two posts and a number of comments. What I’ve not suggested is doing something stupid.

  49. 49
    Kay says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    Trump and the Trumpsters are flying high. At those rallies he’s holding they chant “lock her up” and Trump jeers at Clinton for planning fireworks displays on election night. He’s still discrediting US elections, too. Today he said no one knows what happens after early vote locations are “locked” – he puts “locked” in quotes.

    Not one thing changed after the campaign ended, and it won’t change. This is who and what he is. If anything he’s gotten more arrogant and authoritarian since the election. It will get much, much worse. There is no humility in this person, no capacity to admit error or back down or adjust to a new role. It’s like hoping straw turns into gold. He doesn’t have these elements within him.

  50. 50
    jk says:


    At what point is ‘we have to give them what they want because violence’ no longer a tenable position?

    We’ve reached that point. I have serious concerns about what this nation and planet will look like after 4 years of a Donald Trump Clusterfuckistan administration.

  51. 51
    JGabriel says:


    I guess all the idiots who, in their own heads, were the heroes in “Red Dawn” finally get to act out their fantasies….

    I think all the wingnuts who, in their own heads, were the heroes in “Red Dawn” are about to find out they were the Red Cyber-Army’s Cyber-Pawns.

  52. 52

    @Timurid: #LockThemUpandRunItBack

    I called for this a few hours before the story broke.

    This will be three Republican Presidents/nominees in my lifetime and the fourth in my parents’ that have likely been traitors.

  53. 53
    divF says:

    @efgoldman: Yeah, I’ve been reading that thread, and it occurs to me to ask how Balloon Juice manages to dodge the tendentious bloviating old-school leftists that The Blog Next Door seems to be infested with on occasion. (Not that I’m complaining, mind you).

    Speaking of tendentious bloviating old-school leftists, Bill Mandel, of Pacifica radio fame, just died at the age of 99.

  54. 54
    Yarrow says:


    Not one thing changed after the campaign ended, and it won’t change. This is who and what he is. If anything he’s gotten more arrogant and authoritarian since the election. It will get much, much worse. There is no humility in this person, no capacity to admit error or back down or adjust to a new role. It’s like hoping straw turns into gold. He doesn’t have these elements within him.

    Agreed, Kay. The election has emboldened him, just as its emboldened his supporters.

    I remember the pathetic media hanging on his every word and wishing it into the magical “pivot.” They were willing him to change, to become “presidential.” He never did. He can’t.

  55. 55
    jk says:


    There is no humility in this person.

    There is no humanity in Donald Trump. He’s a pathological lying sack of shit with delusions of grandeur. The country is totally fucking screwed for the next 4 years with this maniac in charge.

    And fuck his children too and fuck the assholes like Joe Scarborough, Mark Halperin, Howie Kurtz et al who were more than happy to carry water for him during the campaign.

  56. 56
    Elie says:

    Hubris is evident and the Gods are plenty offended. My concern is that it isn’t just him that is corrupt but also much of the Republican congress and Really unfortunately many Repub state leaders. It will collapse it’s just how to bring it about relatively safely. His and their nature is to force the extreme

  57. 57
    Morzer says:


    Trump can’t back down. He can’t sell his holdings because he’s carrying too much debt. He can’t admit to the mountain of lies he told because he’d never make it to the inauguration alive. He can’t admit that he is owned financially by a variety of shady actors. He can’t admit that his little orange balls are in Putin’s KGB gauntlet and the iron fist is closing. Trump thought he was a made man, maybe even a Don – now he’s learning that he’s a fully owned subsidiary of much smarter, more ruthless men. He demanded respect – and they said “Shut the fuck up, Donny.”

    As for the rest of us, we are just collateral damage in the GOP scheme to make oligarchy permanent, whatever the cost to America.

    One bright bit of news: the thoroughly corrupt and authoritarian Park Geun-hye has been impeached in Korea. People have been talking about mass-Tweeting this at Trump and reminding him that she may be just the first corrupt would-be tyrant to fall in the near future.

  58. 58
    Kay says:


    We’re all relying on career people in the federal government. That;s the truth.

    Most of these managers he’s hiring have never run a public agency or entity before- not even at a state or city level. They will have absolutely no idea what they’re doing and of course he has no idea what he’s doing either. He and his secretary of education held a rally in Michigan today. Neither one of them has any idea what they’re talking about. They’re shouting out random phrases. DeVos intersperses her free market slogans with vaguely religious mumbling about what’s “in her heart”. Thousands of employees, hundreds of programs, billions of dollars. She’s in charge.

    This woman has never run A SCHOOL, let alone a giant public agency. The assistant principal at the public school down the street is VASTLY more qualified than either of them.

  59. 59
    divF says:

    @efgoldman: Don’t get me wrong, Pacifica (KPFA in these parts) was a godsend during the 70’s. But old Bill was painful to listen to.

    ETA: As for the people we are complaining about, they are not the regular crew of commenters, who are by and large sensible. But it seems the very theoretical types will occasionally parachute in, each time with a different nym. Most of our trolls lack the level of pretension of these folks.

  60. 60
    Elie says:

    I shudder at the thought of how the first natural disaster will be managed. Or God forbid some disease outbreak. The scope of incompetence was bad under Bush but this is beyond breathtaking. And it seems they have NO idea how bad things will get either.

  61. 61
    Yarrow says:

    This seems like like it could be the next thing to happen:

    Proof of collusion between Russia and Trump campaign is next shoe to drop. Trumps statement about CIA essentially guaranteed it.— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) December 10, 2016

  62. 62
    Kay says:


    I don’t think he is connected to reality enough to worry. I know that’s terrifying but he’s not even at the point where he says “wow this is a big complicated job and I have no fucking idea what I’m doing”. He doesn’t have the capacity to get even to that point, where he would then be capable of doubt or concern or then adjustment.

    In plain language, he’s crazy. Not operating in the same reality as most other people.

  63. 63
    piratedan says:

    well, the Reid Chief of Staff tweet makes me wonder, if it’s not just the GOP that was compromised but also the Grey Lady herself. Lets face it, they are the narrative setter that a LOT of the media rides the coattails on and if we take a look at their behavior during the electoral process from the standpoint of a media entity that drives what the News actually is… in their mind, based on the coverage presented…

    There were Grave questions surrounding the actions and behavior of the Democratic candidate due to possible conflicts of interest between her time as Secretary of State, her position in the decision making process for their charitable foundation and in the fact that she spoke, for money, to many different business entities. Then her actions in regards to her use of technology in her position as SOS and her actions as SOS. I don;t have an issue with the scrutiny, when its justified. The fact that there was nothing there, they KNEW there was nothing there and they flogged the living shit out of it KNOWING there was nothing there has to raise questions about WHO the fuck is deciding that THIS was news.

    Then you turn this on its head and look at the lack of coverage of the GOP President elect and the litany of things said, done, promised and the number of lawsuits pending and the past history of behavior and the current group that was associated with this campaign and I have to wonder, exactly WHO was deciding what to cover and how to cover it.

    If someone can say who these people are who have been making these calls, I would be very interested in finding their motivation for doing so. Granted the NYT is not exempt. Hell Trump really didn’t even have to buy any airtime… essentially, he was never off of it.

  64. 64
    Morzer says:


    I think he’s connected enough to reality to know that he’s going to have to do as he’s told by the GOP, but not connected enough to be able to look like a sane, coherent adult while doing it. I find Trump despicable and fairly clearly a Russian stooge, but I fear those who will come after him more. Pence, Ryan, McConnell and their fellow oligarchical theocrats aren’t going to have any mercy on their fellow-citizens. I fear the time is coming when, despite all of Adam Silverman’s exhortations to us to hold the line and be reasonable, they may succeed in forcing the nation into an actual civil war, as opposed to the cold civil war of the last 50 years.

  65. 65
    Yarrow says:

    Comey knew all this and sent his letter anyway.— digby (@digby56) December 10, 2016

    I wonder what the Russians have on Comey.

  66. 66
    Kay says:


    I keep thinking about this piece I read after the financial crisis. The mistake people continually make with risk is they assume things will continue as they have before. People who voted for Trump assumed the things they rely on would continue to operate because they have always operated before, no matter who was in charge. It seems like a safe bet but it’s really not- it isn’t based on anything other than a kind of magical thinking that says things will stay more or less the same as they are independent of real events and peoples’ actions.

  67. 67
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @piratedan: None of us should subscribe to the New York Times after this. They betrayed this nation.

  68. 68
    T S says:

    @efgoldman: Where a GOP voter will keep blaming liberalism for why Trump is screwing them over, the Bernie Bots will keep cursing Hillary no matter what they suffer from under Trump. On their hospice death beds (made necessary by losing health care coverage), they’ll rasp out, “Hillary would…have been… just as…baaaaaaaad!” beeeeeeeeeeeeep.

    PS – you once told me to stay hidden in a closet because there might be monsters, making fun of me for freaking out that Hillary might lose. Call me Newt. There are monsters.

  69. 69
    Peale says:

    @MomSense: yep. We could find out tomorrow that Russia has somehow emptied the accounts of Citibank and plunged the Midwest into a permanent blackout and the best the news media could do is speculate what this means for 2020. If Russia is wise they’ll spread chaos everywhere but New York and Washington so the punditry can ignore what’s going on.

  70. 70
    Elie says:

    Unfortunately he has appointed/selected some really bad but organized and focused actors who are single minded even if wrong. He flits around mKi g his tweets and rallies and they are back at the ranch actually building the evil things that are going to happen. He is their figurehead but the brains are in His core group Bannon and his son in law

  71. 71
    Morzer says:


    Breitbart is vehemently against Andrew Pudzer, which suggests that Bannon isn’t really running the show much.

  72. 72
    grumpy old man says:

    All of this makes me just ask: NSA – what are you providing for the money being spent on you? If security is your domain. You’re failng. Based on your budget – you should know everything. Assuming this is true – what is your response?

  73. 73
    Elie says:

    You are so right. People assume things really can’t go that far off the rails because they just can’t. Well history has many examples of the fact that things can get very sideways and sometimes remarkably fast.

  74. 74
    Kay says:


    I think it’s quite seriously a bad situation too. I agree with you.

    I’m to the point where it starts to seem unreal, and that’s hard because you feel disconnected. It’s like you’re watching all these people pretending this is normal but you’re pretty damn sure YOU’VE never seen anything like this before, so a lot of the chattering seems oddly irrelevant. It’s a slow motion crack up. A lot of people seem to be working really hard to say the car is NOT actually headed off the cliff but I don’t believe them because I’m watching it go.

  75. 75
    mike in dc says:


    God willing. The question, in the event of such proof: What now? The GOP would try to brazen it out. The Obama administration might be paralyzed by hesitation over being seen as overturning the results of the election if there’s an actionable crime to charge Trump and his team with. On the plus side, it would fucking bury Trump’s legitimacy. “He cheated” would be his political epitaph.

  76. 76
    Elie says:

    They may have several centers of power. They have always had and Trump seems to encourage infighting. Like a clan of velaciraptors

  77. 77
    Davis X. Machina says:


    Some people don’t need to be turned, they’re true believers.

    Comey is a reliable Party cadre. He understands that the organs of the state, like the FBI, exist to serve the Party, and not the other way round, because it is the Party that is the Vanguard of the Revolution, it is the Party that will usher in the dictatorship of the proletariat Trumpenproletariat. After all, the state is fated to wither away.

    All power to the Soviets of jackleg preachers and hedge fund managers!

  78. 78
    goblue72 says:

    @T S: And the Clintonistas of BJ will continue the cry about “Berniebots” and “Bernibros” and the all-powerful “Left”, tilting at windows as the reason their shitty candidate with her shitty campaign lost and the shitty insiders who have ruined the Democratic Party continue to lose Congressional seats and state houses.

  79. 79
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay: Yes! This is exactly how it feels. It’s like you’re watching it, yet you’re in it. It’s all happening fast yet in slow motion. And all these people who should be paying attention aren’t. It’s a really weird feeling.

  80. 80
    Morzer says:


    There’s air under the wheels, but this ain’t Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

  81. 81
    Davis X. Machina says:


    You mean like those things we used to think of as “norms”?

    The fat guy from “Cheers” is the only one left.

  82. 82
    Elie says:

    This too. It’s hard not to scream sometimes.

  83. 83
    divF says:

    @goblue72: I retract everything I said above about us attracting a better class of trolls.

    Not as pompous as the ones next door, to be sure, but more inclined to drone boringly on the same subject over and over …

  84. 84
    Morzer says:


    Smeagol and Deagol. And you know which one became the model for Trump’s lank strands of hairlike substance.

  85. 85
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @goblue72: I’m glad you’ve got your priorities straight!

    Really, can we even call her a fatally flawed candidate when she easily took the popular vote despite running against the Republicans, the press, the FBI and the Russian government?

  86. 86
    Morzer says:

    @T S: @goblue72:

    Remember that the the Trumpzis will happily rape, butcher and eat you alive while you squabble. But, if you are happy to share the same stew-pot, by all means keep whining about a primary that is long over.

  87. 87
    Elie says:

    I think they see it but don’t know what to do. Contrary to what many have said here I think the print media has been pretty direct and open in their acknowledgement. At one point I was reading Katherine Parker of all people begging the electors to be patriots and not vote for him. I read their alarm and bitterness but what can they do? The most able to do something is the Republicans. If things got unimaginably bad the military? The systems main protection was in preventing this guy from ever getting here but when that failed there isn’t much to do. I am sure lots of folks are sitting up late at night thinking on options but at this point everything is high risk and pretty hard to do

  88. 88
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @Elie: God, I could not stomach the military stepping in and taking care of Trump. We’d be like Rome, run by the Praetorian Guard. The integrity of the democracy would be broken.

  89. 89
    Elie says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled:
    Oh I get that and do not desire it. Just laying out what options could exist.

  90. 90
    Morzer says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled:

    You’d prefer a democracy run by the Russian military? That’s what this fraudulent election is currently offering as our other choice.

    Either way, the system seems pretty definitively broken to me.

  91. 91
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Elie: Oh God, not the military. Nothing good happens when a Democracy goes down that path. I’d rather take my chances with a Trump impeachment in a year or two.

  92. 92
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @Morzer: Obama taking care of it would be better. Even violent revolution by the people and a new Constitutional Convention would be better than a military coup. Of course Trump may go for the military coup before we do.

  93. 93
    Yarrow says:

    Who will be the first to call for a #newelection? This time without outside intervention.— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) December 10, 2016

  94. 94
    Elie says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled:
    Exactly. His choice of all those generals may be on purpose?

  95. 95
    Morzer says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled:

    Any violent revolution by the people would need the army’s blessing to succeed and survive, which makes it effectively a military coup by proxy.

  96. 96
    T S says:

    @efgoldman: I WISH YOU WERE RIGHT!!! I wanted to enjoy your “I told you so’s!”””

  97. 97
    T S says:

    @goblue72: Aaaaand…there you go. You had a choice on election day…not what you wanted, but it was the choice you had…and there was clear difference. Not voting Clinton, whether it was write-in, 3rd party, staying home, or actually voting Trump all elected Trump as President. And here we are. That was a total fuckup. Idiots.

  98. 98
    Elie says:

    You have a point. Jeez are we in a strange land anymore!

  99. 99
    Morzer says:


    Well, there’s always the Maverick John S Mc *cough*. Or principled Mormon Bishop Mitt Ro *cough*.

    Sorry, something stuck in my throat and I had to laugh to get it out.

  100. 100
    seaboogie says:


    And the Clintonistas of BJ will continue the cry about “Berniebots” and “Bernibros” and the all-powerful “Left”, tilting at windows as the reason their shitty candidate with her shitty campaign lost and the shitty insiders who have ruined the Democratic Party continue to lose Congressional seats and state houses.

    So, just to remind you – Bernie lost the primary. He didn’t win it. Couldn’t win the primary, even though in your mind he would have won the general.

    Dems picked up a couple of seats in the House and Senate, but not nearly enough. Didn’t lose seats. Picked some up.

    Feel all your feels, but they aren’t facts. Re-litigate all your lost fantasy stuff to your heart’s content in your own mind. The rest of us are trying to deal with the new absurd reality. And we are not blaming the Bernie-bro-bots, we just wish you’d shut the hell up .

  101. 101
    mai naem mobile says:

    I don’t know if he did but I don’t think he did but I think President OBama should have told HRC about this. This whole thing is really scary. Why didn’t the MSM talk about this?. I find Chuck Todds tweets tonight seriously ridiculous. It’s like an eight year old that you’ve been playing the hiding the coin in the ear magic trick and he figures out you were just distracting him. This is the guy who is the host of the premier Sunday political talk show. Good lord. Bet he doesn’t know shit about Russia or Putin.

  102. 102
    mike in dc says:

    The options available depend upon whether proof of Trump’s collusion is a) available, b) discovered and c) produced, and when. If before 12/19/2016, it’s remotely possible that enough electors could balk at voting him in, though it would then depend upon the GOP going against their own short term political interests in validating the electors’ switch. If before the new Congress is sworn in, then it’s extremely unlikely that the Republican congress would throw out the election results and choose a compromise candidate unsullied by ties to Trump or Russia. If before Trump is sworn in, there’d have to be an actionable offense for the Obama administration to step in and arrest and charge Trump(and Pence) before they were sworn in. That would be unprecedented constitutional territory, to put it mildly. A new election would have to be scheduled. I suspect it would trigger a de facto civil war.

    Realistically, I don’t see any of that happening. What I could see is a CIA report that strongly hints at collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, and then a Senate committee investigation that gets slow-walked(or fast-tracked, alternatively, to minimize the damage) and soft-sells its conclusions. Of course, if we flip the House in 2018, that committee’s report could well result in an impeachment recommendation for President and VP.

  103. 103
    T S says:

    @Morzer: If you are aiming that at me too (not clear), I’m not whining about a fucking primary. At worst, I’m whining about a long gone general election. However, I am also whining about people recriminating at Hillary because I know for an absolute fact that whoever the D’s run in 2020 won’t be good enough for most of them, and we will just cede full control to the fascists, now and forever.

  104. 104
    Morzer says:

    @T S:

    Either way, just stop. It serves no purpose except to distract people from the ugly-ass Russian-owned orange elephant in the room.

  105. 105
    sukabi says:

    Adam, given the predilections of a large part of the GOP the Russians most likely didn’t have to plant anything, just retrieve the incriminating info and use for leverage.

  106. 106
    Yarrow says:

    @Morzer: I’ve been saying that John McCain may be thinking of his legacy and what better way to end his career than as American Hero saving the country from the Russian puppet.

  107. 107
    Morzer says:

    @mike in dc:

    I fear Obama has gone into judicious chin-stroking mode and still has visions of tutoring Trump into a more civilized human being. Good luck with that one, Barack.

  108. 108
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Morzer: lol they’ll be being walked into the gas chambers personally by Kris Kobach and be talking about how corrupt Hillary was and what a saint Bernie was.Meanwhile Bernie and Hill have had public executions.

  109. 109
    Mnemosyne says:


    I didn’t think any election could go worse than Bush v Gore but this tops that one by a mile. At least there the Supreme Court waited until AFTER the election to jump in and give it to Bush.

    I still say that the 2000 election was what gave Rove the idea of gerrymandering the whole damn country so the Republicans could win with a minority of the vote. If so, then I hope there’s a hell and that Sandra Day O’Connor is burning in it (or will burn, I can’t remember if she’s still alive and I don’t want to look it up).

  110. 110
    Yarrow says:

    @mai naem mobile: So true. Chuck Todd has been awful. “Did Russia hack our election? Trump says no! Both sides!”

  111. 111
    Morzer says:


    If John McCain cared about his legacy, he wouldn’t have been up to his ears in corruption with Charles Keating, he wouldn’t have spent years cheating on his long-suffering wife whom he dumped after she suffered a serious accident, and he wouldn’t have embarrassed the nation by selecting a gibbering, small-town fascist wannabe as his VP pick. The only constant in McCain’s career has been its unscrupulous lack of principle, courage and competence in any field you care to name. There are few certainties in American politics, but the endless cowardly smallness of John McCain is one of them. He’s not going to put anything on the line before other people have taken all the risks and won the game, at which point he’ll slither out from behind the couch and pose for the cameras.

  112. 112
    Elie says:

    Possible but he might be thinking of the impact of handing the government over to a known by that time traitor. History might not be so kind to him. By calling for the investigation he is putting down some skin and at least a little warning but we will see. I have no idea but hope for some sort of miracle that would make this all be ok. It won’t be

  113. 113
    Morzer says:

    @mai naem mobile:

    This is one of the rare times when both sides really do do it – and both sides will go to the abattoir together because they were too damn invested in proving each other wrong – and all the while Trump was getting the secret police good and ready.

    There’s nothing more stupid (or more typically Democratic) than re-litigating a past primary in the face of an impending fascist demolition of America.

  114. 114
    Yarrow says:

    @Elie: Yeah, this was the way I was leaning with my comment. I agree McCain isn’t some paragon of virutue. He has spoken out about investigating Russian involvement in the election – both he and Graham have, which is more than almost all GOP elected officials have done.

  115. 115
    ruemara says:

    @mai naem mobile: Uh, he did. She knew. Mook knew. It was brought up. Can we not blame Obama for it? Because that was tedious after the first 2 hours when this story broke.

  116. 116
    Morzer says:


    The only thing McCain cares about is self-promotion. This way, if something does bring Trump down, he can emerge and hope to be Secretary of Defense to the new regime. If the investigation goes nowhere, he’ll tell Trump that he was blocking treason by the Democrats.

  117. 117
    Gretchen says:

    I’m thinking there’s a sex tape of the Donald that they’re holding for maximum impact. Americans who travel to Russia take it for granted that their hotel rooms are bugged. If bugged, why not outfitted with video cameras? And who is willing to bet that if Donald answered his door and found three cute young Russian blondes who offered to have sex with him, that he’d say “No, I’m married and faithful to my wife.”

  118. 118
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sukabi: I know of rumors about several of them, they’ve been floating around for years. But I have no idea. It might, however, explain why the GOP didn’t bother to bring the Russian sanctions up for renewal before the Congress recessed. This means they can be made to just go away with executive action in the new year.

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    @T S:

    This whole thing unfolded in such an insane way that at this point I’m most comfortable saying that you had something pretty darn close to a genuine premonition. Hopefully you are not continuing to have them.

  120. 120
    Yarrow says:

    @Gretchen: I’ve read some suggestions by people who know Russia well that there is indeed a sex tape of Trump. The thought turns one’s stomach. But yeah. He’s not smart enough nor does he have enough willpower not to do that.

  121. 121
    Morzer says:


    My bet is that Russia holds a significant amount of Trump’s debt. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they had acquired him back in 2011 and that he is significantly poorer – quite possibly in serious debt – than anyone believes. It would explain the desperate refusal to release his tax returns, for one thing.

  122. 122
    T S says:

    @Morzer: No, actually, I think you are wrong. I think people droning on about Hillary being real villain still ARE part of the problem. I’m arguing against that, because the idea of “Trump’s horrors are Hillary’s fault” is a pattern of thought that helps the GOP divide and conquer the progressive vote for next time. MY point is that, hey, given what just happened, maybe change your mind and take the lesser evil next time, PLEASE! if we even have that chance.

    But you could be a real ass and tell me my words aren’t important or moving enough to matter, and that I’m still just making useless noise, anyway. Fine. But that’s not a problem with my message, just my station in life and my abilities. Saying that, you’d just be being nasty.

  123. 123
    Morzer says:

    @T S:

    You are wasting time and making excuses. The primary is done and we need to fight Trump, not fantasize without data about what might have been. Stop indulging yourself and think about what matters.

  124. 124
    Yarrow says:

    @Morzer: That seems to be the general thinking. The only banks that would lend to him were Russian. He’s in debt up to his eyeballs to the Russians. Highly compromised in multiple ways. Just about the only person or thing he hasn’t criticizes this entire campaign is Russia/Putin. That’s not an accident.

  125. 125
    Elie says:

    Do you think that the CI A and FBI have those tax returns and other financial information of a damning nature? I do. I suspect they already know and are tying up loose ends at the I R S.

  126. 126
    Yarrow says:

    @Elie: It would be poor intelligence work if they didn’t have his tax returns. They’ve got to know what ties he’s got – who he owes money to, who essentially owns him. Now…will they be leaked?

  127. 127
    Elie says:

    @Yarrow: he also borrowed from Deutchebank big time

  128. 128
    Morzer says:


    I have some doubts. If they wanted them, they could have found them, but did they want to find them? The evidence so far suggests that they didn’t and don’t.

  129. 129
    Yarrow says:

    @Elie: Yeah. Isn’t that the only bank anyone could find that he’d borrowed from? I mean, officially find?

  130. 130
    Morzer says:


    They are the only big bank that currently does business with him – that we know of. They also have a very badly battered reputation after the events of the last decade.

  131. 131
    3am says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Is this realistically recoverable? 40 days, 9 days until the EC. What are practical options?

  132. 132
    Elie says:

    They are first gonna be cross checked and tabbed w all essential info hence for the call by Obama for the multi agency investigation. A lot of folks in the Republican Party may be drawn in and this maybe can be used to get their cooperation rather than going down with the ship for treason. I have no idea what they will do but I don’t think it will be leaked. I think it has to be a straight ahead set of provable and devastating conclusions. One possible strategy might be to devastate all those Russian banks where Putin probably keeps a lot of his dough. We should destroy the Russian economy if at all possible such that the whole thing collapses (yeah I know not likely)

  133. 133
    Elie says:

    @Morzer: what evidence is that? I think they know but there are a lot of factions in both agencies and this stuff is pretty loaded.

  134. 134
    Morzer says:


    what evidence is that?

    Starts with James, ends with Comey.

  135. 135
    T S says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’ve just had a lot of experience watching grandiose narcissists/sociopaths get their way because people can’t process who they really are. There is really nothing that happened during the election related to normalizing his behavior or secretly siding with it in the voting booth or dismissing the alarmists as shrill goofballs that I hadn’t seen before in real life.

  136. 136
    T S says:

    @Morzer: I wouldn’t call commenting to me late on a Friday night NOT wasting time. Talk about whatever you want when you want, because I sure do… but all this, “I’m gonna waste my time on a Friday night lecturing you about wasting your time!” is kind of laughable.

  137. 137
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Just reiterates how fucked we all are. If one wants to take the long view, this is going to signal the rise of Russian and Chinese influence around the world, and the events of this year mark the end of the post-WWII order and will see both Europe and the U.S. revert back to old internal sectarian strife.

    Yay. Glad I’m only 30 years old so I get to live through what I missed from 70-80 years ago, but this time with nuclear weapons floating around.

  138. 138
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Corky the Clown is dead. 2016, this year really blows.

  139. 139
    Morzer says:

    @T S:

    Whining pointlessly is wasting time. How long will it be before you people get over a primary that is long past and completely irrelevant to the situation at hand?

  140. 140
    WaterGirl says:

    @MomSense: Yes. Could not agree more. But I don’t know what we do about it.

    Edit: and of course the thread is dead. oh well.

  141. 141
    MomSense says:


    Yes this is exactly the issue. He has been in this situation before where he was in debt wAy over his head and had to find lendlrs outside of American banks.

  142. 142
    Gindy51 says:

    @Gretchen: Prolly with a very young Ivanka look a like….

  143. 143

    Putin’s long game is to capture the US military and use it as the first line weapon in the New Crusade to wipe Islam off the face of the Earth. The American people will support this.

    What would be interesting would be to know whether Putin has covertly supported the un-Constitutional Christianization of the US military over the past two decades.

  144. 144
    debbie says:

    Jeez, I wish I could stay up later, but this news that Putin also hacked the GOP makes it obvious he’ll be looking to bribe, compromise, or otherwise blackmail the Trump Administration. I say it’s time to go the Security Council. Even if a resolution can’t be passed, the information has to get out to the rest of the world.

  145. 145
    tybee says:


    we just wish you’d shut the hell up


  146. 146
    EZSmirkzz says:

    The perils of empire, good sir. Until Americans, all of us, become cognizant of one fact, that America is an empire, unlike historical empires that we like to compare ourselves to, will we reach that point where we can choose if we prefer empire to democracy.

    Our world order is hardly any different than the law and order our rightest wing feathers are continually demanding here at home. There is a distinction without a difference. Americans refuse to see this, and will continue to fail to see this so long as the conservatives and radical Republicans continue to see enemies only at home. That is a long stretch for those whose only political intentions are the assumption and retention of power for powers sake.

    Until such time then, people like myself are wasting our breathe even speaking to the matter that you are addressing. After the American inspired, ( to say the least,) color revolutions on the Russian frontiers, and Hillary’s State Department’s involvement in all of that, then only the ignorant are surprised by the Russian reaction.

    My speculation is that the Russians are very aware of Republican efforts to insure the election of a Republican president, and that 1% leverage is what the Russians are holding over Trump and McConnell’s heads. Cyber snooping is not the sole purview of the Three Letter Agencies, (TLA’s) and Murdock’s press holdings, but I think we will find that most of our news gathering apparatus, the mainstream/traditional media are also actively compromising other people’s computers as well.

  147. 147
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    I’m going way out on a limb, but I think the Russians have a tape of Trump having sex with say, a 13-year old or even younger. Remember the tape that has him talking about a 10 year old? What normal, sane, man talks this way about a child? Think about what he says about his own daughter and the public pictures of her and him. Ivanka is treated more like a wife than Melania, who is his actual wife. She certainly is more present than Melania is. And btw, what about Melania?

    Also, before it goes down the memory hole, remember the lawsuit from a girl who claims he raped her when she was 13?. And his “partying” with a known pedophile? Add that to reports that he owes $650 million to certain shady characters, and he knows at least, he’s cooked sooner or later. If he doesn’t pay or does things they tell him to, that stuff comes out, and he’s forever cooked.

  148. 148
    aimai says:

    @JJ: well, its way too late for stagecraft.

  149. 149
    Chris says:

    While it is now well documented that the Russians publicly compromised the Democrats, my real fear is that they’ve privately compromised the Republicans.

    My fear is that they didn’t have to.

  150. 150
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @3am: Sorry for the late response, I went to bed. The only answer I have is I do not know. We are in uncharted territory. The Constitution provides no guidance here and neither do the Founders and Framers, outside of Hamilton’s Federalist 68, which because of modern, state level legislation making the selection and activity of electors partisan actions, is basically inoperative.

  151. 151
    Kathleen says:

    @efgoldman: I agree. Comments over there are getting Booman Comment Section awful (I’ve totally stopped reading Booman, even if he’s quoted here). I agree with your reason for why that is.

  152. 152
    Kathleen says:

    @piratedan: @Yarrow: I wonder what the Russians have on the NYT.

  153. 153
    Kathleen says:

    @Morzer: I don’t think so.

  154. 154
    Brachiator says:

    Shit, I almost want to say that if American intelligence agencies allowed the Russians to play us, even when the West has the best cyber people in the universe, then we deserve what we got.


    But this is a conundrum without an easy answer.

  155. 155
    Kathleen says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Sadly, at this point, I don’t think a tape like that would have an impact on the media or his supporters, which is the root cause of why we’re where we are today.

  156. 156
    InternetDragons says:


    You referenced a post I made a week or so ago about Trump and the characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I’ll share those characteristics here again because Trump’s responses are much easier to understand if you keep this information in mind. My only caveat is that I wouldn’t normally engage in diagnosis-at-a-distance. But these aren’t normal times.

    You’ll note that Trump doesn’t just fit a few of these categories, by the way. He nails the whole fucking list:

    Diagnostic criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

    Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
    Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
    Exaggerating your achievements and talents
    Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
    Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
    Requiring constant admiration
    Having a sense of entitlement
    Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
    Taking advantage of others to get what you want
    Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
    Being envious of others and believing others envy you
    Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

    Comment from the Mayo Clinic: “Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence, it’s not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal and value yourself more than you value others.”

  157. 157
    Brachiator says:


    You referenced a post I made a week or so ago about Trump and the characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I’ll share those characteristics here again because Trump’s responses are much easier to understand if you keep this information in mind.

    This is just as useless as saying that Trump is a Gemini.

    You say that this helps us understand Trump. Can it help us predict his behavior? Could we have known in advance that he would irritate China by taking a phone call from the president of Taiwan?

    Otherwise, the only point I see to this is that it makes us feel better because we have a nice little label to pin on Trump.

  158. 158
    Bill Wright says:

    After scanning this blog and ensuing comments….there is this little bell that keeps going off. I keep trying to squelch it, ya know. Because the little bell is tied to a “too simple” concept. Except the Russian secret services are VERY good at the long game and they always look for a weak patsy. Confidence players can be weak…and real estate moguls who play the high leverage stakes can be considered playing the risky long cons.

    So this little bell keeps ringing the syllables…KAS-PER-SKY KAS-PER-SKY KAS-PER-SKY like the NINE TAYLORS in the Dorothy Sayers novel. Ya gotta wonder how many computers and systems are “protected” by Kaspersky anti-virus software at a low or system level? Take a look at the Wikipedia article……Not where the HQ is.

    Can anyone say–Sleeper with a backdoor?

    And no, I am not a conspiracy theorist. And I am too damned old to believe in coincidences. Would like to see, though, if some dots connect somewhere…even if by faint-to-see lines. Hackers get into the damnedest places by all sorts of methods.

    As Mr. Silverman noted. Informed speculation. Kaspersky Labs “found” the Stuxnet worm. Informed speculation says they could have created it, set it loose… As Mulder said…”the truth is out there”…

  159. 159
    Miss Bianca says:

    @MomSense: Damn, you walk away from the Internet for 24 hours and all freaking hell breaks loose again. This shitshow could make Watergate look like a minor break-in.

  160. 160
    Miss Bianca says:

    @goblue72: Fuck off, troll. If all you can think about right now in the face of mounting evidence that the Russians gamed this election with the active collusion of the GOP is how shitty a candidate you think Hillary Clinton was, then that says mountains about you as a human being. Mountains of nothing good.

  161. 161
    fuckwit says:

    Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

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