You’re So Vain

This is a pretty good place to start off a discussion:

In an extraordinary development Thursday, the Obama administration announced a series of sanctions against Russia.

Thirty-five Russian nationals will be expelled from the country. President Obama issued a terse statement seeming to blame Russia for the hack of the Democratic National Committee emails.

“These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government,” he wrote.

Russia at first pledged, darkly, to retaliate, then backed off. The Russian press today is even reporting that Vladimir Putin is inviting “the children of American diplomats” to “visit the Christmas tree in the Kremlin,” as characteristically loathsome/menacing/sarcastic a Putin response as you’ll find.

This dramatic story puts the news media in a jackpot. Absent independent verification, reporters will have to rely upon the secret assessments of intelligence agencies to cover the story at all.

Many reporters I know are quietly freaking out about having to go through that again. We all remember the WMD fiasco.

“It’s déjà vu all over again” is how one friend put it.

Apparently, our media is so desperate to learn a lesson from the way they were played in the Iraq WMD debacle (as always, the excellent Operation Desert Snipe from 2003 sets the standard) that what they have chosen to learn is nihilism and nothingness with a dash of learned helplessness.

There simply is no comparison between the WMD story and the Russian hacking. The Obama administration has no Office of Special Plans ginning up fake bullshit about the Russian hacking, feeding it directly to the media through backchannels, all in direct contradiction to what the intelligence services are actually saying. There is no Doug Feith, Ahmad Chalabi, Paul Wolfowitz or Judy Miller. John Kerry isn’t standing before the UN lying about what the Russians have done like Colin Powell and his fucking aluminum tubes.

But that is where many in the media are today, pretending it’s the same thing, and it’s all so shadowy, and we can’t know anything, and who knows what Obama’s motives are, and we can’t trust anything the intelligence services say (and these are the same people who will turn around and cite Bush as culpable for not paying ample attention to the infamous August 6th, 2001 briefing on Osama bin Laden’s intent and act appalled that Trump is not attending intelligence briefings). That’s the benefit of nihilism- you can believe in everything and nothing at the same time, and push both as capital T Truth simultaneously.

So that is where we find ourselves now- in an asymmetric warfare in which we believe nothing that the intelligence services say (and trust me, I think healthy skepticism is good and I don’t trust those fuckers as far as I can throw them and with my bad shoulder, blah blah Ferris Bueller), but everything leaked by the Russian hackers. We demand proof, but then dismiss anything that is offered- “It’s not enough! We need more,” knowing full well that publicly offering more would jeopardize data collection methods, reveal what we know and how we know it, reveal sources, and burn agents. It’s almost like in a rush to learn things, they forgot about Valerie Plame.

It’s fertile ground, this nihilism. You get to say that Obama’s actions are both too much and not enough. You can say it was too late, and that it was unnecessary anyway. When you believe in nothing, you are never wrong and always right. You can pretend someone making a mistake is the same as intentionally lying or hysterical (all the while giving fodder for those who want it to ignore everything). You’re always the smartest kid in the class when you shout out the answers after the test have been graded.

And to maintain this, you have to really work to believe nothing. You have to thoroughly dismiss Trump’s long record of fellating Putin. You have to ignore Paul Manafort’s Russian connections. You have to pretend Rex Tillerson doesn’t exist. Or Carter Page. And Roger Stone never said this. And that Julian Assange does not have an agenda.

You must also feign concern about pointing out Russian hacking might lead to nuclear escalation. Now it’s been decades since my foreign policy courses in poly sci. and seminars named things like Superpowers of the Nuclear Age, but I don’t recall the mutual masturbation society that is the current Trump/Putin relationship being discussed in the MAD sections. The only real danger we have right now is friction burns as Trump and Putin dryhump each other on twitter.

It’s also not surprising that many of the people who are outright dismissing the Russian hacking were some of Clinton’s biggest critics. A part of me thinks that dismissing the Russian hacking is part of their unwillingness to cede any of her loss to Trump to anything other than her being the absolute worst person in the world and an even worse candidate. Now let’s be clear, because I know I will be misquoted. I don’t think that the leaks were THE reason she lost. But they were a reason. To deny this is absurd. The leaks were taken out of context, pushed on every front page of every newspaper, and elevated everyday campaign talk into something sinister. Hell, I have listened to people around here conflate the Clinton email server with the DNC email hacks as proof that Clinton violated the law and was unsafe with her emails, all of which ignores the fact that Clinton was never sending action items or top secret stuff through her emails to begin with, because there is a whole separate system for that kind of communication. I still don’t think most journalists fucking understand THAT, which is in and of itself another reason for my current disgusted viewpoint on our failed media experiment.

Clinton lost for a number of reasons. She had high negatives (Clinton fatigue) due to a 30 year campaign by the GOP. She had a media relentlessly flog minutae over substance. She could have visited a few battleground states more. She had Bern or Busters and Jill Stein idiots sapping the vote. She had voter suppression killing the vote in several key states. She had the media flogging a ridiculous fucking email story. She had the unprecedented and unconscionable behavior of James Comey. And she had the Russian hacking and DNC emails.

Let me put it this way. In medical care, there is a phrase/condition called multiple morbities. What it basically means is that a number of conditions can co-occur and ultimately lead to a patient’s demise. When people die, more often than not, there were a number of things going on, each of which could be fatal in its own right. You can suffer from diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, liver failure, etc. When a patient dies, the doctors don’t sit around saying things like “ONE THING IS FOR SURE, THE OBESITY HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS.” The hacking isn’t what killed the patient, but it sure contributed. But that’s what the deniers want you to believe.

The absolute worst thing about this nihilistic behavior is that they think they are masquerading as heroes speaking truth to power, lauding themselves for their skepticism. Except they aren’t. They’re getting in some parting shots at Obama (who was never good enough for them anyway- HE KILLED SINGLE PAYER- THE 60 VOTES WERE THERE! JUST ASK ANYONE AT THE NOW DEFUNCT FIREDOGLAKES COMMENT SECTION!) and enabling the real power, which is the unified Republican House, Senate, and White House, and soon to be Supreme Court, as well as the several dozen Republican statehouses, who, as we saw during the Bush years, are more than willing to destroy anything and everything, including intelligence agencies, if it means they can starve poor people, start wars at will, keep women and minorities in line, and cut taxes in the rich.

So thanks guys for your fucking service to the nation, you dickheads.

*** Update ***

The fact that people think the Russians hacked the election is not proof of Democratic or intelligence services or WH perfidy, it’s just more evidence that the American people are really fucking stupid and partially because you are so fucking bad at your job. Here’s example fucking A:

Talk about disappointments. The US government’s much-anticipated analysis of Russian-sponsored hacking operations provides almost none of the promised evidence linking them to breaches that the Obama administration claims were orchestrated in an attempt to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

Interfering with the election is NOT fucking hacking the vote totals, and no one has claimed the latter, you fucking pinhead.

262 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    At least they are also not taking Trump’s word about his conflicts of interests.

    //

  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    The MSM only finds their skeptical side when it comes to things Democrats say. When Republicans say it, they swallow any bullshit they’re fed.

    And when Republicans and Democrats are saying opposite things, it only compounds the problem.

    Shorter me: co-signed, all of it.

  3. 3

    “….So thanks guys for your fucking service to the nation, you dickheads.”

    This. Exactly.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    Also, you are shrill.

  5. 5
    Humdog says:

    Bush wanted to go to Iraq, so they made up a reason. What is the reason Pesident Obama, Mr. No drama, would make this stuff up? Is the idea that the IC is afraid of the rancid Cheeto and are trying to undermine him? Who benefits from falsely accusing Russia?
    Does not compute

  6. 6

    Ladies and gentlemen, our Vichy press.

  7. 7

    Hmm. I don’t see your buddy Greenwald’s name here anywhere.

  8. 8
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    JUST ASK ANYONE AT THE NOW DEFUNCT FIREDOGLAKES COMMENT SECTION!)

    A few of them seem to have found their way over here

    they think they are masquerading as heroes speaking truth to power,

    again, I could name nyms…. I think Betty Cracker called it “cosplay radicalism”

  9. 9

    Has Taibbi always been an idiot? I liked his takedowns of Tom Friedman, but haven’t followed him very closely.

  10. 10
    James Powell says:

    They’re getting in some parting shots at Obama . . . and enabling the real power, which is the unified Republican House, Senate, and White House,

    Of course this is what they are doing. The press/media don’t know much, but they do know how to suck up to power. And if you happen to be a career-minded press/media creature, ever since before you even went to bed on November 8, you’ve been massaging all your Republican friends and working hard to establish your “independence” from that evil liberal media.

    We are going to be waxing nostalgic about the professionalism of the press/media during the Bush/Cheney years.

  11. 11
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Many reporters I know are quietly freaking out about having to go through that again. We all remember the WMD fiasco.

    I wonder which reporters he knows. The ones I see on TV don’t seem to have much memory of the Iraq War, much less the run-up to it

  12. 12
    Trentrunner says:

    If you won’t say it, I will: The Russian/Wikileaks email story and the Comey announcements put CLINTON EMAILZ1!! back in the headlines in the closing days of the election, every day.

    Did it make 80,000 votes’ worth of difference?

    You’re goddamn right it did.

  13. 13
    Ryan says:

    Go fuck yourself media. No matter what you do, you will never be anything more than the libtard, lamestream media to these people. Time to act accordingly. Less fellation, more investigation.

  14. 14
    raven says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Name me, Jane banned me when she hooked up with Grover and I harassed here ass until she put the hammer down.

  15. 15
    Pogonip says:

    I have a cold and am going to bed early, so I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a good, or at least better, 2016. 2016 was the year I was orphaned so I sure won’t be sorry to see it go.

  16. 16
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Ending the year strong, Cole. Good for you.

  17. 17
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I think Cole is focused on those who are relevant and are actually read.

  18. 18
    Adam L Silverman says:

    The US Intel Community’s (IC) estimate of the Russian cyber operations, including dezsynformazia and hacking, and, perhaps kompromat, is a high confidence estimate. To see what the term high confidence means for the IC, and for everyone who consumes their products to make policy, develop strategy, or conduct tactical operations, the IC’s own doctrinal definitions are below.

    https://www.nctc.gov/docs/ITACG_Guide_for_First_Responders_2011.pdf

    understanding estimative language 14
    When the Intelligence Community uses words such as “we judge” or “we assess”— terms that are used synonymously—as well as “we estimate,” “likely” or “indicate,” the Intelligence Community is trying to convey an analytical assessment or judgment. These assessments, which are based on incomplete or at times fragmentary information, are not a fact, proof, or knowledge. Some analytical judgments are based directly on collected information; others rest on assessments that serve as building blocks. In either type of judgment, the Intelligence Community does not have “evidence” that shows something to be a fact or that definitively links two items or issues. Intelligence judgments pertaining to likelihood are intended to reflect the Community’s sense of the probability of a development or event.

    The Intelligence Community does not intend the term “unlikely” to imply that an event will not happen. It uses “probably” and “likely” to indicate that there is a greater than even chance. The Intelligence Community uses words such as “we cannot dismiss,”
    “we cannot rule out,” and “we cannot discount” to reflect an unlikely—or even remote—event whose consequences are such that it warrants mentioning. Words such as “may be” and “suggest” are used to reflect situations in which the Intelligence
    Community is unable to assess the likelihood generally because relevant information is nonexistent, sketchy, or fragmented.
    In addition to using words within a judgment to convey degrees of likelihood, the Intelligence Community also ascribes “high,” “moderate,” or “low” confidence levels based on the scope and quality of information supporting its judgments.
    1. “high confidence” generally indicates that the Intelligence Community’s judgments are based on high-quality information and/or that the nature of the issue makes it possible to render a solid judgment.
    2. “moderate confidence” generally means that the information is
    interpreted in various ways, that the Intelligence Community has alternative views, or that the information is credible and plausible but not corroborated
    sufficiently to warrant a higher level of confidence.
    3. “low confidence” generally means that the information is scant,
    questionable or very fragmented and it is difficult to make solid analytic inferences, or that the Intelligence Community has significant concerns or problems with the sources.

    And
    https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICD/ICD%20203%20Analytic%20Standards.pdf

    e. Implements and exhibits Analytic Tradecraft Standards, specifically:
    (I) Properly describes quality and credibility of underlying sources, data, and methodologies: Analytic products should identity underlying sources and methodologies upon which judgments are based, and use source descriptors in accordance with lCD 206, Sourcing Requirements/or Disseminated Analytic Products, to describe factors affecting source quality and credibility. Such factors can include accuracy and completeness, possible denial and deception, age and continued currency of information, and technical elements of collection as well as source access, validation, motivation, possible bias, or expertise. Source summary statements, described in lCD 206, are strongly encouraged and should be used to provide a holistic assessment of the strengths or weaknesses in the source base and explain which sources are most important to key analytic judgments.

    (2) Properly expresses and explains uncertainties associated with major analytic judgments: Analytic products should indicate and explain the basis for the uncertainties associated with major analytic judgments, specifically the likelihood of occurrence of an event or development, and the analyst’s confidence in the basis for this judgment. Degrees of likelihood encompass a full spectrum from remote to nearly certain. Analysts’ confidence in an assessment or judgment may be based on the logic and evidentiary base that underpin it, including the quantity and quality of source material, and their understanding of the topic. Analytic products should note causes of uncertainty (e.g., type, currency, and amount of information, knowledge gaps, and the nature of the issue) and explain how uncertainties affect analysis (e.g., to what degree and how a judgment depends on assumptions). As appropriate, products should identify indicators that would alter the levels of uncertainty for major analytic judgments. Consistency in the terms used and the supporting information and logic advanced is critical to success in expressing uncertainty, regardless of whether likelihood or confidence expressions are used.

    (b) To avoid confusion, products that express an analyst’s confidence in an assessment or judgment using a “confidence level” (e.g., “high confidence”) must not combine a confidence level and a degree of likelihood, which refers to an event or development, in the same sentence.

    ETA: I removed section (a), which has the table of terms and probabilities because the formatting didn’t copy over and it was a mess to read, so click across if you want to see what it looks like.

  19. 19
    Hill Dweller says:

    Hell, you don’t even have to go back to Iraq/WMD fiasco. These assholes who are suddenly circumspect had no problem pushing every bullshit ebola talking point right before ’14 midterms. They literally dropped the ebola story the day after the midterms. Most of the Beltway are only concerned with self-preservation.

  20. 20
    Hunter Gathers says:

    White people, collectively, are playing stupid. That way, when the shit hits the fan, they can hoocoodanode away the Trumpocalypse.

  21. 21

    @Bobby Thomson: lefties on my FB feed cite The Intercept all the time.

  22. 22
    opiejeanne says:

    John, your post is righteous, but this little nugget caught my attention:

    Vladimir Putin is inviting “the children of American diplomats” to “visit the Christmas tree in the Kremlin

    If I were one of those diplomats,I would not be letting my kids go to that party.

  23. 23
    Jim Foolish Literalist says:

    @raven: I meant the “If Obama hadn’t been afraid to fight…, etc, crowd

  24. 24
    raven says:

    @Jim Foolish Literalist: Yea, I remember them well.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Starfish says:

    @Mingobat f/k/a Karen in GA: Yeah, he is a jackass.

  27. 27
    Another Scott says:

    @Pogonip: Best wishes to you as well. I hope you’re over your cold quickly. Rest easy.

    BTW, every time I see your ‘nym, I think of Walt Kelly. :-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  28. 28
    trollhattan says:

    @Mingobat f/k/a Karen in GA:
    He was good with the financial crisis and the banksters (vampire squids) but I suspect his years living in Russia are in heavy play here.

  29. 29

    @trollhattan: I’ve noticed he was only good at describing the financial crisis. His proposed remedies for all the problems he points out are not good. Just like Marx, who I can only presume is one of his idols.

  30. 30
    Starfish says:

    @trollhattan: The size of his ego ruins a lot of his stories for me, and it comes across more when you see him in interviews. You could probably do a YouTube search for those.

  31. 31
    Another Scott says:

    @opiejeanne: Are you remembering Saddam’s party for the UK diplomats, also too?

    :-(

    Fortunately, we’re not to that point yet. Not quite…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  32. 32
    Sloegin says:

    It’s funny that WMDs are the reason that the intelligence services are being ignored now. The R’s claimed they were misled by the intelligence services after it was clear that there was nothing there.

    It wasn’t the intelligence services that were doing the misleading about the reasons for the war. It never was.

  33. 33
    Yarrow says:

    OT – If anyone is looking to make some last minute donations at the end of the calendar year, Planned Parenthood is offering a 3 to 1 match for any donations. Some of other worthy organizations might be offering the same thing.

  34. 34
    lamh36 says:

    Well…you’ve been saving the best for last huh John.

    Great post!

  35. 35
    opiejeanne says:

    @Another Scott: I don’t even remember that event but I do read a lot and I have a dark imagination.

  36. 36
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    from Cole’s update

    Interfering with the election is NOT fucking hacking the vote totals, and no one has claimed the latter, you fucking pinhead.

    This is one of the problems I have with people referring to this as a “Cyber 9/11” or Pearl Harbor. The number of Clinton supporters who think that vote counts were directly tampered with by Russia is being used as “both sides” evidence in stories about fake news.

  37. 37
    hitchhiker says:

    @Sloegin:

    It wasn’t the intelligence services that were doing the misleading about the reasons for the war.

    I keep waiting for some cadre of people inside those orgs to be out of fucks to give. I mean, they’d be vilified and prosecuted and discredited and run out of town … but for goddamn once it would be healthy for us all to hear the actual story.

  38. 38
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    number of Clinton supporters who think that vote counts were directly tampered with by Russia

    You’ve met these people? I’ve never run across any.

  39. 39
    Yarrow says:

    When the goal of the news changed from conveying information and explaining concepts and events with relevant context to making money we were all screwed. There is no incentive except to get eyeballs and clicks. The entire structure needs to be changed. Sure, there are a few good reporters and journalists. There always will be. But in general it’s about eyeballs and clicks. Content is irrelevant.

  40. 40
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I think “co-morbidity” is a far more useful and appropriate term than “perfect storm” for discussing what happened in the 2016 election. Thanks, John.

  41. 41
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @raven:

    Jane banned me when she hooked up with Grover and I harassed here ass until she put the hammer down.

    Wear it with pride, raven.

  42. 42
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: You’ve met these people? I’ve never run across any.
    I haven’t met any, but I don’t get out much.

  43. 43
    Schlemazel says:

    I work in IT security. I have experience working with NSA (back in the mid 90s) and with DHS. I know some of the experts they rely on and the reputations of many more. I know how they can easily determine the source of the attacks and I probably only know 10% of what they do. This is a forensics investigation, nothing like intel gathering. if those 17 agencies are reporting they have evidence they do have evidence. This would not be at all like the bullshit Bush boys telling the agencies to filter out anything they didn’t want to hear. This is a case of them having evidence that is was Russian in origin and that the players are involved in many other hacks all geared to the benefit of the Putin regime.

    That they won’t share all that they know is important to maintain secrecy on their methods. Chances are the Russians involved know 85% of it (and 15% we don’t know) and that gap in knowledge prevents the Russians from getting away with worse in the future.

  44. 44
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: So 50% say there was Russian vote hacking, and 40% say the number of uninsured has increased or stayed the same. All righty.

  45. 45
    Pogonip says:

    @Another Scott: Thank you! We have met the enemy and he is us.

    Achoo.

  46. 46
    sukabi says:

    @efgoldman: except our media isn’t any good at that any more either… Now if you want to discuss who throws the best beltway parties, I’m sure you’ll get a 5000 word dissertation on that, but they can’t be bothered to even “follow the fucking money” any more.

  47. 47
    patroclus says:

    I remember going to the Yearly Kos Convention in 2007 in Chicago and I went to the firedoglake meet-up because some attendees told me that there were “really cool” people there. But basically, it was just Jane yelling out a bunch of nonsense and then turning the mic over to a bunch of other ranters – each of which were given a rapturous level of applause, led by Jane. I got up and walked out quietly. It really was quite absurd. And most of us were all united back then against W…

    But yeah, the media is virtually worthless, even though we’re counting on the Fourth Estate to protect us from Trump and his minions because the voters in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania sure didn’t. And frickin Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi won’t either.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    gene108 says:

    @Sloegin:

    It wasn’t the intelligence services that were doing the misleading about the reasons for the war. It never was.

    Even with all the bullshit intelligence, by the fall of 2002 (October, I think), Congress agreed to give Bush, Jr. power to use military force.

    And Bush, Jr. declared he’d use military force, if a Saddam did not let the weapons inspectors back in, after Saddam kicked them out four years earlier.

    And Saddam blinked. Inspectors were back in looking where we told them to look. They were going to complete their findings by the summer of 2002.

    So to summarize, even with the intel community, Bush & Co, and the media all putting their thumbs on the scale for war, we had a very good, peaceful, way to verify Saddam’s weapon’s capability on the ground in Iraq.

    The call to go to war falls solely on George W. Bush. Period.

    Even if WMD’s were a real threat, there were inspectors there to verify the claims. Even with misleading intel, there was no goddam reason to go to war over WMD’s, because inspectors were on the ground.

    The decision is to actually pull the trigger lies 100% with George W. Bush.

    Anything else absolves that fool of responsibility he alone bears.

  50. 50
    Hildebrand says:

    @James Powell:

    The press/media don’t know much, but they do know how to suck up to power.

    Interesting, though, that the press never sucked up to Obama. They hated him, and never let him forget their disdain.

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    @patroclus: When people show you who they are, believe them.

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Baud says:

    @Pogonip: Feel better. Happy New Year.

  54. 54
    Starfish says:

    If you do a Google search on Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, the older stories go back to at least June.

  55. 55
    burnspbesq says:

    @trollhattan:

    He was good with the financial crisis

    Up to a point. He has a very limited knowledge of criminal and securities law, and even less knowledge of the Federal Rules of Evidence, all of which can come in handy when you start arguing that certain people should be in jail.

  56. 56

    @trollhattan: I remembered something about his having spent time in Russia. Not sure if that’s a factor or if he’s just an idiot.

    Or hey, why not both.

  57. 57
    raven says:

    Many people have been wounded in an attack on a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey’s NTV reports.
    Footage appears to show a number of ambulances and police vehicles outside the Reina nightclub, in the Besiktas area of the city.
    NTV says two attackers were involved, with CNN Turk reported they were dressed in Santa costumes.
    Istanbul had been on high alert for any terror attacks, with some 17,000 police officers on duty in the city.
    There were reportedly several hundred people in the nightclub at the time.

  58. 58
    Baud says:

    @Mingobat f/k/a Karen in GA: Everyone we prop up seems to eventually fail us.

  59. 59
    patroclus says:

    Taibbi’s written a few good articles but I thought he became well-known only because he likes to F-Bomb a lot. He’s less annoying than GG but not by a lot. I don’t think he’ll fluff Putin as much as GG because he’s not as friendly with Snowden, but the fact that he’s fluffing Putin now is a very bad sign. I have hope that he’ll see the light again, but I’m doubtful about GG.

  60. 60
    Baud says:

    @raven: Real or false flag? You decide.

  61. 61
    gene108 says:

    Clinton lost for a number of reasons. She had high negatives (Clinton fatigue) due to a 30 year campaign by the GOP. She had a media relentlessly flog minutae over substance. She could have visited a few battleground states more. She had Bern or Busters and Jill Stein idiots sapping the vote. She had voter suppression killing the vote in several key states. She had the media flogging a ridiculous fucking email story. She had the unprecedented and unconscionable behavior of James Comey. And she had the Russian hacking and DNC emails.

    I will add there is no way for liberals / Democrats to get around the media narrative, unless they are as good as Bill Clinton or Barack Obama in getting ahead if it and defining what it is.

    The media was hell bent on Republicans finally getting control of the Senate, in 2014, so they soft peddled the craziness of Republicans in close races, unlike what happened in 2012 and 2010, where folks like Angle, O’Donnell and Akins embarrassed themselves and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

    And in 2016, they became obsessed with Hillary’s emails, to the exclusion of almost everything else.

    I do not know how to bitch slap sense into the media.

    Part of me hopes Trump copies Putin and throws some of those fuckers in jail. I want the media to suffer.

    I want the Trump White House to stop doing daily press briefings, so all those motherfuckers in the White House press pool are out of a fucking job.

    I want Andrea Mitchell to be forced to live at home with her old, gross, disgraced husband and never be on TV again.

    Fuck ’em all. They sure have fucked us over the years.

  62. 62
    Yarrow says:

    @sukabi: Sarah Kendzior makes the point that she lives in Missouri and the media knows nothing about where she lives or “the heartland” in general. They parachute in and write some story. Most of the time the reporter doesn’t really grasp what’s going on. But they won’t pay reporters to be on the ground there. They say it’s too expensive. But those beltway parties…I’m sure those are free.

  63. 63
    Elie says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    I will say however that voter suppression in some states were a big factor through activities such as moving addresses of polling places, decreasing polling places, broken machines in and around Detroit and practices such as throwing out all ballots initially rejected by the machines due to vote correction etc. There was a lot of stuff going down in some states. WI, MI and PA — all with Republican Secy of state were full of monkey business. Adding to that unfortunately, Clinton’s people did not have a cadre of lawyers in every state ready to march into court and worst of all, a real seeming disinclination to fight to the last dog dies… Jill and Gary also cost us in key states. So yeah, no one hacked the voting machines from Russia, but the GOP hacked (as in corrupted), the voting process in many states.

  64. 64
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @gene108: And in 2016, they became obsessed with Hillary’s emails, to the exclusion of almost everything else.
    I do not know how to bitch slap sense into the media.

    Do you imagine that if Chris Cillizzza and Dana Milbank had done a high-larious joke ad for “Asshole’s Brew” by Jeb Bush in ’08 they’d have been retained at the Washington Post, much less covering the 2016 campaign? Cillizza’s one of those people who make me reach for the mute button, and I sure as shit don’t read “The Fix”, but I gather he was all emails, all the time for the last year.

  65. 65
    sukabi says:

    @patroclus: think taibbi was trying for Hunter Thompson flair in his writing and got too caught up in his early “success” …think he’s bought into his own bullshit to be taken seriously any more…

  66. 66
    Yarrow says:

    @gene108:

    I want the Trump White House to stop doing daily press briefings, so all those motherfuckers in the White House press pool are out of a fucking job.

    I think they’re looking into that. They’re also starting some Trump TV online station and are going to disseminate info that way. NuPravda.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    Elie says:

    @Hildebrand:

    And he hated them back — which turned out to be a problem for HIM not THEM. Hillary was going down the same trail. You just can’t do that.

    I will also add that Bill cost Hillary almost as much as Comey. If he had kept his stupid ass off of Loretta’s plane, Comey would not have had the opportunity to do what he did because Loretta would not have felt the need to recuse herself. She chickened out and didn’t order him on the final letters to not do what he did (who knows why), but Bill set that whole thing off with his stupid, pump headed ass.

  69. 69
    EBT says:

    @raven: Whenever I see the name Grover, I can’t help but think of the Something Awful moderator who built a shitty 2 story house out in a swamp and the whole thing fell to pieces.

  70. 70
    lollipopguild says:

    “But Putin really really likes me, and my BFF Vlad would never ever lie to me!”

  71. 71
    HeleninEire says:

    It’s midnight here in Dublin. Happy New Year, my Balloon Juice friends. I hope 2017 is a banner year for all of you. I cannot stop thinking about what “Linda M” said here in the Debbie Reynolds thread. She wrote:

    “My mother used to say that what you do on New Years Day you do the whole year.”

    I took that as a challenge for pro-activity. I am not partying tonight (not that I ever really do on NYE). Instead I am bingeing on re-runs of “Extras” to start my year off laughing.

    Tomorrow I will get up early and go for a run/walk (really right now it’s mostly walking, but I’ll get there!) on the quays of the River Liffey. My trail is about 4 miles long. I hope to be running the full course by spring. I then need to polish my resume and application for a dream job that’s open at Trinity College, my dream employer. It’s due no later than January 4th.

    Finally, an early dinner and of course I’ll end the night with my fantasy boyfriend Sherlock Holmes.

    I hope 2017 brings you all joy and peace and calm. Most especially calm.

    I tend to shy away from sentiment, but truly, I cannot imagine my life without this crazy-ass community of Assholes, Curmudgeons, Academics…..and Baud!! Thanks to you all. Even the Assholes. Yeah, you know who you – I mean we – are.

    Happy New Year.

  72. 72
    cokane says:

    great post cole, this was a disappointing article by Taibbi, the 2003 Iraq similarities just are not there. Taibbi seems to miss the fact that the UN inspectors were completely at odds with the Bush Admin assessment as were a number of European countries, the complete opposite in this case. Moreover the critical issue in Iraq was that Bush exaggerated what the IC was saying, not that the IC was completely wrong.

    More troubling is that Russian interference in other countries has been (and will be) more damaging, as they cannot defend themselves as well as the US. So failing to call it out and providing bullshit cover like this just helps an authoritarian regime bully the little guys in the future.

  73. 73
    Yarrow says:

    @Elie: Bill was stupid to ask to meet her but so was Loretta Lynch to agree to meet him. She could have told him no he couldn’t meet her on the plane, that it wouldn’t look good. That whole thing was dumb on both their parts. How do two experienced political people not understand how something like that will look?

  74. 74
    Baud says:

    @Elie:

    And he hated them back — which turned out to be a problem for HIM not THEM. Hillary was going down the same trail. You just can’t do that.

    I can’t blame them because that came from the rank and file.

    I also disagree about Bill’s impact, but that’s too speculative for me to debate.

  75. 75
    gene108 says:

    Apparently, our media is so desperate to learn a lesson from the way they were played in the Iraq WMD debacle (as always, the excellent Operation Desert Snipe from 2003 sets the standard) that what they have chosen to learn is nihilism and nothingness with a dash of learned helplessness.

    I think a lot of the media hate Obama. They hate that he’s squeaky clean. They hate the lack of leaks from his Administration. They hate how he turned the economy around. They hate his name for being Muslim-y. They hate the color of his skin.

    And they hate him for trying to foist another white-trash Clinton as his successor.

    Because the media sure-as-shit isn’t deploying as much skepticism about whatever lies Donald Trump has been spewing for two years, as they did regarding Obama’s relationship with Rev. Wright or Obama’s birth certificate.

    They will swallow all of President Donnie’s shit sandwiches and tell us how good they taste, because Donnie is a white man, a Republican, and wealthy and that makes him legitimate in their eyes, unlike Democrats.

    His Cabinet picks have as many conflicts of interest as Trump, from Tillerson to DeVos, but hey, he’s President and if he wants to appoint folks to enrich themselves that’s his business.

    Fuck, I remember Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court getting derailed because the media actually reported valid criticisms about him. Not too long ago, Bolton’s would be nomination for Sec of State, in the Bush years, was hampered by pushback.

    But I see so little skepticism against Trump’s picks, who have as many or more issues, in comparison.

  76. 76
    Baud says:

    @HeleninEire: Happy New Year, Helen.

  77. 77
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole @ Top:

    Apparently, our media is so desperate to learn a lesson from the way they were played in the Iraq WMD debacle …

    I’ve got a lesson our media could learn: Don’t fucking trust Republicans.

  78. 78
    Elie says:

    While I think we have media problems, the information we need is THERE… we are not prevented from finding it and propagating, disseminating it. We can pick and chose and feedback.

    I think WAPO has generally been doing a good job over the whole election and aftermath. They ARE mainstream so I don’t expect them to call for the dissolution of the Trump regime, but they have been pretty strident with very overt and vocal columns by surprises Eleanor Parker and Jennifer Rubin — who I NEVAH saw as kindred to my values before this. Even the Gray Lady has articles and columns but you have to pick through and other outlets as well.

    Look, I have had my quarrels with the MSM — but they are made up of individuals and not all of them are bug fucked crazy or stupid. Somehow, through and by the end of this, we have to figure out how to build the relationships necessary to save our assess (if possible). While we bitch about them, it is no lie that if the worst we fear about the Trump regime comes true, these people will have to risk their lives — literally, to bring the truth out. We are not going to encourage that by saying they are all shit. We have to cultivate and use what we can and keep our eyes out for the bros and sisters we need to support and somehow, protect …

    Just sayin

  79. 79
    Yarrow says:

    @HeleninEire: Happy New Year, Helen! That is good advice from Linda M’s mother. I will put it into practice tomorrow.

  80. 80
    raven says:

    @HeleninEire: You too! Our dear friend is in London tonite!

  81. 81
    Elie says:

    @Yarrow:

    Its one of those mysteries we will never understand. I wonder if both of them lay awake thinking about things. Loretta also had to think about why she didn’t risk forbidding Comey from that letter 11 days out. Why, why why???She should have told him they would find his body if he dared put his fingers near that keyboard to type or send that letter.

  82. 82
    raven says:

    @Elie: He’s a fucking jackass.

  83. 83
    debbie says:

    @Yarrow:

    As in, she should have known to protect Bill from himself?

  84. 84

    Screw the Judean People’s Front! Splitters!

    Once Clinton won the primary, I refrained from any further criticism of her. Now that she has lost the general I am also refraining from any criticism of differences among the opposition to the Trump administration because, frankly, we need all the help we can get. We cannot afford to keep this conflict going and this applies to Republicans who have broken with Trump, Clinton supporters who are still fighting with Sanders supporters, and Sanders supporters who are still fighting with Clinton supporters.

    We have no excuse. We know the fate of the Communist leader Thälmann, who once said “After Hitler, our turn.”

  85. 85
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Elie: I agree, but that wasn’t the question asked in the poll.

  86. 86
    Yarrow says:

    @JGabriel:

    I’ve got a lesson our media could learn: Don’t fucking trust Republicans.

    Same with Democrats. Comey is a Republican. Democrats need to stop appointing Republicans. Didn’t the NC Dems get screwed at the last minute with that “bathroom bill” thing. The Republicans said they’d do something in that special session and then lied about it. Something like that. Lesson: Don’t trust Republicans. They have proven they are party first, country last.

  87. 87
  88. 88

    Shit. It’s going to be a long four years. I think it’s going to be up to us from here on out. We can’t count on the press to do what it needs to, so we all have to step up and broadcast everything Trump says and does. Most of us have a fairly short reach, but taken together, we can have more influence and power than it might seem that we do. We need to make the most of it. It’s time for us all to step up and be the press we need.

  89. 89
    Elie says:

    @raven:

    Yeah. How do you forgive that? Besides all his tom-catting around and putting HIS Presidency at risk, he had one more big play — fucking up HER shot.

  90. 90
    Mary G says:

    @gene108: I think they also hate Obama because he has been so “no-drama” throughout his campaigns and administration. Drama and incompetence generate clicks and therefore money for media. Les Moonves said right out – Trump is good for CBS.

    Going forward, America has gotten the government 46% of them deserve. The rest of us will just have to keep trying things or wait until there’s a GWB-style failure, when a Democrat will again be elected to clean up the mess and then get thrown out again once it’s been fixed because he or she isn’t entertaining enough.

    I have a cough like a foghorn and can’t find the rest of my Z-pack. Happy New Year, everybody, since when I locate it I’m probably just going back to bed.

  91. 91
    raven says:

    @Elie: Maybe he didn’t want to be the first lady.

  92. 92
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @HeleninEire: Happy New Year, still got another 8 hours here on the proper coast.

  93. 93
    Elie says:

    @Yarrow:

    I think that was an issue but I also think that both Loretta and even Obama had a failure of nerve at critical junctures. No rule takes care of all that. Both needed to think very differently and both had to be willing to break rules — which they were not. Obama should have blown the lid off the Russian thing in the summer and weathered being accused of trying to tip the scales. He got gun shy from all the GOP screaming. The reality of the situation and the confirming data would have brought turmoil for shure, but we probably would not be looking at President Elect Trump. Maybe anyway.

  94. 94
    Yarrow says:

    @debbie: No, she should have known that Bill getting on her plane meant that she would be perceived as getting involved in the Hillary emails issue outside the investigation. As a result she would not be seen as neutral. She gave away HER power when she allowed that. As a result she was not able to clamp down on Comey. Bill was dumb to ask for the meeting. She was dumb to allow it. They both had agency.

  95. 95
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @HeleninEire:

    “My mother used to say that what you do on New Years Day you do the whole year.”

    My grandmother always said the same thing. So I am going to start the day tomorrow with a walk around the lagoon in front of my townhouse (two laps, if it’s not raining and the geese don’t attack me) and then do some serious tidying/decluttering as a start on the year’s biggest project.

    Tomorrow I will get up early and go for a run/walk (really right now it’s mostly walking, but I’ll get there!) on the quays of the River Liffey.

    My kind regards to Annalivia Plurabelle.

    Happy New Year, Helen, and all best luck to you in 2017!

  96. 96
    gene108 says:

    @Elie:

    Part of me hopes their lives are at risk. Fuck ’em.

    They had a simple fucking hypothesis to deal with: tens of millions of dollars have been spent investigating wrong doing by the Clintons. Other than Bill being a bad husband, no wrong doing was found. No abuse of power of privilege has been found.

    Therefore, we can conclude the Clintons are honest people, for the most part, or they are nefarious evil doers, who just have not been caught.

    The media chose the latter.

    They did not have to.

    There is ample reason, based on past failed investigations, to have given Hillary the benefit of the doubt on a whole slew of issues.

    For all the digging Farnethold and Eichenwald did on Trump, no one went out of their way to say, “wait a minute, so what if donors to the Clinton Foundation asked for favors. The important thing is did they receive favors, which they did not. Therefore the Clintons are honest.”

    It is not difficult to do, to reach the alternate conclusion that if years of smears and millions spent in investigations turn up nothing, the people, who are constantly being accused are not the problem.

    But the media chose not to.

    So fuck ’em.

    I hope a few wind up in jail for pissing off Trump.

  97. 97
    Yarrow says:

    @raven: I got the impression that Bill both wanted Hillary to win and didn’t want her to win. He thinks she’s great and knows she would have been a good president. But he seemed conflicted for some reason. Maybe that she would show him up or he wanted to be top dog forever or didn’t want to be First Gentleman. I always felt something was off there. His words and energy would sometimes match where he seemed all in for Hillary. And other times they didn’t.

  98. 98
    debbie says:

    @Yarrow:

    I disagree. I’m not sure how many people would tell an ex-President to go away. Regardless, she didn’t ask him in; he took it upon himself. The consequences are his.

    More importantly, I’m sure more than a few here would pen very good reviews for the latest book on Donald Trump.

  99. 99
    Elie says:

    @Elie:

    To add to my comment: Loretta had a failure of nerve to directly order Comey to not release that letter. She would have had blow back from leaks or who knows, but that letter would not have been dropped and if it had, she could have FIRED him.. But she would have to be ready to fall on the sword. Both she and Obama, if they had done those things, would have opened a whole other can of worms that would have introduced huge turmoil and possibly not worked anyway (in that Hillary still might not have won). We will never know. I know that Loretta, Bill, Obama and others lay awake at night thinking about what-ifs on this god cursed election.

  100. 100
    Jim Foolish Literalist says:

    billy eichner ‏@ billyeichner 30 Dec 2016
    Almost 2017 and still writing OH MY GOD YOU UNEDUCATED MORONS VOTED FOR A MISOGYNIST SOCIOPATH on all my checks

  101. 101

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    “My mother used to say that what you do on New Years Day you do the whole year.”

    My grandmother always said the same thing. So I am going to start the day tomorrow with a walk around the lagoon in front of my townhouse (two laps, if it’s not raining and the geese don’t attack me)

    Be careful or else you’ll have that to look forward to all year.

  102. 102
    James Powell says:

    @Hildebrand:

    Interesting, though, that the press never sucked up to Obama.

    I think they would have done more sucking up to Obama and been somewhat less inclined to be stenographers for the Republicans if the Democrats hadn’t completely collapsed in the 2010 midterms.

    In order to get the Beltway to be less “wired for Republicans” we would need an extended period of Democratic domination. We’ve not had that since the 70s.

  103. 103
    mai naem mobile says:

    I’m depressed about the whole upcoming governmental/political/media situation. I just feel like the GOP is nit only better than the Dems at the media thing but they hold the financial edge as far as FOX,Breitbart and media ownershio. We’re depending on Pierre Omidyar and Jeff Bezos to save our bacon.

  104. 104
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @debbie:

    I’m not sure how many people would tell an ex-President to go away.

    Most attorneys that I know would, it’s a pretty clear conflict.

  105. 105
    debbie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Having survived numerous goose onslaughts at my previous apartment, I can suggest you take an umbrella with you, the larger the better. Point the umbrella at them if they’re too close and then open it quickly. Freaks them out to no end. And if one charges you, poke at it with the umbrella.

  106. 106
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Elie: Bill shouldn’t have tried to get on that plane, he went to law school, he knows. The AG shouldn’t have let him on the plane. After it occurred, she should have recused herself and appointed a deputy AG to handle Comey.

  107. 107
    hellslittlestangel says:

    History repeats itself, first as tragedy (HS Thompson), then as farce (Taibbi).

  108. 108
    Yarrow says:

    @debbie: Well, maybe. But she’s not “people.” She’s the Attorney General in generally overseeing the department that was investigating his wife. I don’t know how it all worked, but I doubt Bill just wandered across the tarmac and up the steps and into her plane all on his own. Both of them have security detail. It had to be arranged somehow. Somewhere in those arrangements she could have said no. Former president or not.

  109. 109
    rikyrah says:

    Scott Dworkin
    ‏@funder

    RT:Trump Hotels & Trump Membership Card both have a #RUSSIAN phone number for customer support-on their official #Trump websites #TrumpLeaks

  110. 110
    Emma says:

    We need to stop taking the Republican framing for every Clinton action. We have to stop psychoanalyzing Bill and Hillary. We have to stop doing the Republicans’ job for them!

  111. 111
    rikyrah says:

    Sarah Kendzior Verified account
    ‏@sarahkendzior

    Sarah Kendzior Retweeted southpaw

    People truly don’t seem to grasp this. There are no checks and balances unless enforced. The Constitution is a piece of paper unless upheld.

  112. 112
    raven says:

    @Emma: Uh, the election is over, what difference does it make?

  113. 113
    patroclus says:

    Aw man. I’m watching HBO and they just showed the replay of Hodor holding the door. It was just as emotionally wrenching as it was the first time. RIP Hodor.

  114. 114
    Suzanne says:

    @gene108: I want the media to be more straightforwardly partisan. I want them to completely eviscerate Trump. I want to mock the hell out of the people who voted for him who are now screwing themselves out of health insurance or jobs or other benefits. I want to see profiles of West Virginia coal miners who voted for Trump and still lost their jobs, because coal is dead. I want them to expose religious leaders who cozied up to Trump and are of course filthy hypocrites.

    Seriously. I want to see it all.

  115. 115
    rikyrah says:

    Bradd Jaffy Verified account
    ‏@BraddJaffy

    NYT— $12.7 million in secret payments from Putin ally to Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort

  116. 116
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @rikyrah: I wonder what “Make America Great Again” is in Russian.

  117. 117
    debbie says:

    @raven:

    Because looking to the future is no fun!

  118. 118
    debbie says:

    @patroclus:

    I just finished watching the second season. Boy, GOT’s better than I thought it would be.

  119. 119
    Emma says:

    @raven: Because it simply reinforces their narrative. Over and over again we reinforce their narrative. Where the heck do you think the “even the liberal…” cliche comes from?

  120. 120
    Elie says:

    @debbie:

    LOL!! Learn something every day! (Maybe it might work on some humans?)

  121. 121
    debbie says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Google says, “Sdelat’ Ameriku velikoy Snova.”

  122. 122
    rikyrah says:

    Maximilian Hess
    ‏@zakavkaza

    YUGE story on #Rosneft and Citgo / #PDVSA – Venezuela’s default could hand Russia control of strategic US oil assets

  123. 123
    MomSense says:

    @Mingobat f/k/a Karen in GA:

    Taibbi lived in Russia and wrote about it. Warning, it’s deplorable.

  124. 124
    Elie says:

    @Emma:

    I hear you and I abided by that for years. But its over now, and its hard not to take a clear eyed look at it. I fucking wish it hadn’t been so. And let me say, I will respect YOUR telling me to shut up. I truly don’t want to cause more damage. I am like one of those people in an accident who needs to relive all the pieces that led to the crackup, slowly considering which, if avoided, could have prevented their major injury…

  125. 125
    debbie says:

    @Elie:

    It also works on squirrels, for what that’s worth.

  126. 126
    patroclus says:

    @debbie: It’s the best thing on TV worldwide! I also highly recommend reading Dan Jones’ The Plantagenets and The Wars of the Roses for context.

  127. 127
    raven says:

    @Suzanne: Add I hope he totally fucks up the VA.

  128. 128
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @opiejeanne: Once the band strikes up “The Rains of Castamere” it’s already too late.

  129. 129
    Mnemosyne says:

    @HeleninEire:
    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Me three. My plans for tomorrow include laundry, working on my novel, a nice walk, and hanging out with my husband — all things I need to be doing more of in the New Year.

    And on Monday, the Rose Parade on TV.

  130. 130
    Elie says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Bingo. WHY didn’t she? Speculation is all we have here… so many stupid mistakes by so many people

  131. 131
    Emma says:

    @Elie: Me too, actually. But the thing is, if we discuss it only from a point of “Bill should have known better” we already let them set the narrative. We need to assume this from the beginning: Why are you trying to judge Democrats with a different standard than Republicans? Why are you? Who pays you? Why?

  132. 132

    @rikyrah: I have acquaintances who insist that Hugo Chavez is a hero and Venezuela would be great if the west hadn’t bankrupted them.

  133. 133
    debbie says:

    @patroclus:

    Thanks for the recommendations. I remember reading a series of 3 books on the Plantagenets when I was in high school that was really good.

  134. 134
    Baud says:

    @Emma: FWIW, I agree with you. I’m trying to avoid participating in discussions that involve self-flaggelation.

  135. 135
    rikyrah says:

    Nada Bakos Verified account
    ‏@nadabakos

    As a CIA officer, if I had a colleague talking like Trump is about Putin, I would think he was turned.

  136. 136
    debbie says:

    @efgoldman:

    Striking alliteration. ;)

  137. 137
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah: I saw that yesterday. Yes. Our institutions are worthless unless we enforce them. Checks and balances worthless. Constitution worthless. We have to stand up for them.

  138. 138
    Elie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Got THAT right.

    Everything that matters — relationships, commitments to major values — have to happen. PLUS I am having my first grilled goat leg for dinner — marinating overnight in herbs and cooking on Weber tomorrow. Other food: bourbon sweet potato casserole, collard greens, black eyed peas with pico de gallo and my Grandmothers ass kicking egg nog for dessert (got plenty of bourbon in THAT too)

  139. 139
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Mnemosyne: Tomorrow and Monday, hiking(weather permitting).

  140. 140
    Elie says:

    @debbie:

    When squirrels attack? OMG! That’s a problem for some?

  141. 141
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah: You know, this has been really obvious to regular people for awhile. Trump never speaks poorly of Russia or Putin. Never. He’ll say anything and everything negative about everyone else. Average citizens. Companies. Other countries. Elected officials. Who and whatever. But never Russia or Putin. If people aren’t wondering why that is the case, they’re seriously deluded.

  142. 142
    stinger says:

    @HeleninEire: Happy New Year! I’m envious of your life!

  143. 143
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    @debbie:

    I don’t like to piss off the geese. I actually love them (not their shit, but I can avoid that) and I always look forward to those spring days when the goslings hatch and begin following their parents around. They are so fluffy and cute!

  144. 144
    encephalopath says:

    @Yarrow:

    If people aren’t wondering why that is the case, they’re seriously deluded.

    From what I gather, it’s the perpetual infusion of Russian money into the Trump real estate companies that keep them solvent.

    Without that money, the whole thing would unzip and collapse because in reality, Trump currently has a negative net worth.

  145. 145
    debbie says:

    @Elie:

    When I was a kid, there was a rabid squirrel in the neighborhood who would run at kids playing outside. It would chase them, and when a kid ran inside their house, it would leap and cling to the door screen. It took a few weeks for the squirrel to be caught and taken away.

    When they’re running around in the spring, chasing each other, I do get a bit creeped out. Sometimes I just raise my arms up and they’ll run off. I guess it makes me look bigger.

  146. 146
    sacrablue says:

    RIP Father Mulcahy, William Christopher.

  147. 147
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    What Would Carrie Do?

  148. 148
    debbie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Then you haven’t had them nest a couple feet from your door. I have, and it was a very miserable two weeks before the landlord finally got rid of them.

  149. 149
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Emma:

    I’m with you. It’s easy to say now what the errors were, but it’s all Monday morning quarterbacking. The fact that she still got 2.8 million more votes than Comrade Trump is what makes me lean more towards thinking Republican voter suppression was more at fault than specific errors by Hillary or her campaign or her family. All of this Bill and Loretta Lynch stuff is 20/20 hindsight.

  150. 150
    Yarrow says:

    @encephalopath: As far as I can tell, it’s all speculation. Who knows what the Russians have on Donald or why he’s so careful never to speak ill of them. Lots of speculation but no confirmed reasons.

  151. 151
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The MSM needs to be purged. It’s filled with GOP assholes who will look the other way at the shenanigans of any Rethug politician, but suddenly get all skeptical and shit when a Dem does something, anything. Mrs Greenspan and the Toddler both demonstrate this routinely.

  152. 152
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Elie:

    We’re keeping it simple tonight, but it turns out that the lucky New Year’s food of my (Italian side) people is risotto, so now that’s sounding good for dinner tomorrow.

    (I know black-eyed peas are more all-American, but I never liked ’em.)

  153. 153
    Yarrow says:

    @Mnemosyne: None of the Bill and Loretta Lynch stuff makes any difference now. With the possible exception that people who might be in high profile positions can learn from those errors and not do that kind of thing.

  154. 154
    Lit3Bolt says:

    Taibbi is signaling RT and Trump that he’s more than willing to play ball.

    In his narrative, Russia, GG, and Assange are without agenda and simple bystanders, while the Democrats are so nefarious they engineered a story to explain their November defeat in June.

    Taibbi wants to get some of that sweet gravy from the idiots that GG, Bernie, Stein, and Assange have lathered up.

    Left or Right, it’s all about the Grift.

  155. 155
    Mnemosyne says:

    @debbie:

    Geese can be mean, especially when they’re nesting or protecting their babies. It makes total sense to me that they (and all birds) are the direct descendants of the dinosaurs.

  156. 156
    NeenerNeener says:

    @sacrablue: And California “First Dog” Sutter Brown, too.

  157. 157
    Cacti says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Hmm. I don’t see your buddy Greenwald’s name here anywhere.

    Yep.

    The BJ front page has been damn near stone silent about St. Greenwald’s ball washing of the dictator of Russia.

  158. 158
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Plus they have beady black eyes.

  159. 159
    bago says:

    @patroclus: Oh, THAT’s why the Hodor memes stopped. Go fig.

  160. 160
    Elie says:

    @Yarrow:

    This. As Jefferson said, a republic is great — IF we can keep it. Turns out that aint easy once you don’t have everyone supporting each other. The divisions that were exacerbated to gain power using the hatred and tribalism turned out incredibly easy to fracture our national will and sense of unity… All the isms or any of the isms were just fine… It took just one amoral person willing to take it to the point of extremity and BOOM, we are in South Africa, or Russia, just like that. All these people (me included, Obama, McCain, leaders of past administrations) — thought it was much more solid — had dedicated careers to law and public policy that turn out to be worthless if the worst happens. Like so many Syrian refugees — doctors, lawyers, store owners — in a raft bobbing in the Mediterranean, they are nobodies shunned by the world. They thought they were solid people contributing to their communities — communities that no longer exist…

    We took way too much for granted. Obama knows that now and that will be his curse, cause it must be extremely painful. We all thought that the structure and the will to support the structure with certain conventions of behavior were sacrosanct. Some significant percent of us, however, voted for complete destruction (including the assholes voting for Jill and Gary), blindly not knowing what that will mean. If I could separate my fate from theirs, I would go to hell gladly enjoying their suffering as the assholes lose Medicare, Medicaid ACA and along with it their homes and material stability. I would relish laughing in their stupid white faces. Like they taunted us after the election: “Get over it — WE won!” Yeah Bay-Bee!

    I wish that I could get over the bitterness of all this. I hope I can find a way to overcome and help to make this better, to survive and rebuild. I am hoping that the way will become more clear but right now, my big joy is looking at the hummingbirds at my feeder in the middle of the winter in Wa state. It is my pleasurable duty to brew up nectar and make sure they have fresh, non frozen nectar everyday. Bless them for prevailing. They are my models..

  161. 161
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @debbie:

    Not nest, but I’ve certainly, more than once, opened my front door to find Mama and Papa Goose, along with 6-8-10 little goslings, blocking the path to my car. The parents take every move, every gesture, as a potential attack on their babies and can get very fierce. I’ve dealt with them for years. Still adore them.

  162. 162
    trollhattan says:

    @Emma:
    A to the bloody men. Waste of time, energy and credibility.

  163. 163
    Elie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    They’re symbolic for small change. Collards are as we call them, “foldin money” or bills. The peas and collards are about wishing forward financial success in the New Year (for us colored people anyway)

  164. 164
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yep. Anserine raptors.

  165. 165
    Elie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I just have a smile seeing the situation you describe in my mind’s eye…

    My dad was chased by two swan parents when he accidently wandered too close to their cygnets during a walk…. They “goosed” him but he was able to make it away with a good story and laughs. They are pretty intimidating though…

  166. 166
    Dr. Ronnie James, D.O. says:

    A few folks on here are wondering about Taibbi’s motives (aside from, you know, the idealistic purity he’s known for). If you read his earlier work at The Exile when he was based in Russia, there was a lot of hard drugs, sporadic solicitation (for journalistic purposes, natch), assaulting a reporter (with a pie filled with horse semen), etc. – all very “Let’s Play Gonzo!” And those were the stories they *chose* to publish. It’s not that hard to imagine Taibbi got into some things he wished he hadn’t in Moscow, and maybe someone shook the tree and has video…

  167. 167
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    O/T.

    No one here will be surprised to know that 2016 refused to go quietly. William Christopher (Father Mulcahy on M*A*S*H) died today at the age of 84.

    RIP, Father. Your character was a wise, gentle man, and by all accounts the actor who portrayed him was, too.

    I will not say “RIP 2016.” I hope you suffer the torments of the damned for all the pain you’ve inflicted upon us. Good fucking riddance.

  168. 168
    Joyce H says:

    Here’s the sentence from the quoted article that I can’t get past:

    This dramatic story puts the news media in a jackpot.

    Puts the media in a jackpot?! What the heck does that even MEAN?

  169. 169
    p.a. says:

    football thread seems dead but if you go to espn 3 you can watch the game 100% via skycam feed with only the stadium announcer audio. Kind of cool in a vertigo-inducing way.

  170. 170
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Valdivia broke her toe today. It’s a little thing but still…

  171. 171
    Baud says:

    @Joyce H: Probably sounds better in the original Russian.

  172. 172
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    for any What the Fuckers in the house,

    marc marron ‏@ marcmaron 30 Dec 2016
    Monday is @ springsteen day on @ WTFpod!

    I just saw an ad for that Young Pope series coming up on HBO– is that Diane Keaton playing a nun? Is this gonna be some kind of parody of trashy/glamorous soap operas? he typed hopefully

  173. 173
    bago says:

    Inherited money and name recognition is basically a cheat code. Only idiots think that because they’re winning the game with cheat codes, they are actually good at the game.

  174. 174
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Ouch, the wife did that a couple of years ago.

  175. 175
    Baud says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I hope you suffer the torments of the damned for all the pain you’ve inflicted upon us. Good fucking riddance.

    Why do I feel like that will end up in my eulogy?

  176. 176
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Try talking to Mama and assuring her you won’t hurt her babies and would she please let you walk to your car. I had success with that once when a Mama with goslings had stopped a line of horses headed from a field back to the barn with students as the were walking too close to her pond (and shore where the family lounged). I promised her I wouldn’t let any horses or students trouble her babies but I really needed her to stop alarming the horses (and the students on the horses) so they could get over to the barn.

    She must have believed me as she piped down and everybody went by. The next day she had 6 goslings paddling around in puddles in the jump ring across from their pond. Everyone thought it was quite weird, except for me and Mama.

  177. 177
    encephalopath says:

    @Yarrow:

    Who knows what the Russians have on Donald or why he’s so careful never to speak ill of them.

    That’s why we won’t see Trump’s tax returns or other details of his financial holdings except through subterfuge. Because then we would see who, exactly, is pulling which string. (NO, YOU’RE THE PUPPET)

  178. 178
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Ah, no. I’m so sorry to hear that. Injuries, illnesses, any adversity over the holidays — especially at the tag-end of a year like this — is a consummation devoutly to be avoided.

    Hope 2017 is much better for all of us in every way.

  179. 179
  180. 180
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I should be thankful if that’s the worst of it.

  181. 181
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Elie:

    That’s what rice is for Italians — apparently it’s rice, lentils, and raisins, but not necessarily in the same dish! Goes all the way back to the Romans.

    And I think black-eyed peas on New Year’s is one of those things that has jumped into mainstream American culture and isn’t just for Black folks anymore. I know a fair number of non-Southern white people who do it as well.

  182. 182
    SiubhanDuinne says:

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

    Try talking to Mama and assuring her you won’t hurt her babies and would she please let you walk to your car.

    The Goose Whisperer.

    I’m actually not bad at that. I must have a reassuring tone in my voice, because I can generally navigate around them with only a few mutters and ruffling of feathers, not full-bore attacks.

  183. 183
    Elie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Maybe it was always mainstream? I just know in our black household, my grandmother insisted on it …

  184. 184
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @efgoldman:

    No, they’re lovely. Bad-tempered I will grant you.

  185. 185
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I hope it wasn’t the pinky toe. Not only did it hurt like hell for two weeks after I did it, it still bugs me two years later. And the only thing they could do for me was stick a little cotton in between that toe and its neighbor and tape them together.

  186. 186
    Elie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Is this “our” Valdivia? Haven’t seen her comment here in ages? Hope she tapes it down and it heals fast. Do you know her?

  187. 187
    Elie says:

    @efgoldman:

    You are mean.. Why is that necessary — to hurt them? They are doing what they should do — protecting their goslings.

  188. 188
    Elie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Need ice on it after taping and regular ibuprofen (helps keep down inflammation)

  189. 189
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Oh, and if the doc approves, remind her to ice it constantly. 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off (to prevent frostbite). It will keep the swelling down and help with the pain.

  190. 190

    @Baud: well, your web presence would certainly be missed. I’d have to make a robot I’d miss you so much.

  191. 191
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Elie:

    Jinx! ;-)

    ETA: When I went to urgent care the day after I broke my toe, the very cute Dr. Dmitri complimented my toe-wrapping self-care.

  192. 192
    UnderTheRadar says:

    @Starfish:
    Speaking as a state cybersecurity professional who collaborates with DHS and other federal agencies, the earlier advanced persistent threat (APT) identifiers of Team 28 and Team 29, go back much earlier.

  193. 193
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @efgoldman:

    Absolutely not! I love and admire them, would NEVER harm them. I’m surprised at you!

  194. 194
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Elie:

    Yup. Co-signed, seconded, ditto, THIS.

  195. 195
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I’ve seen that episode.

  196. 196
    Elie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Uh-huh — Dr Dmitri is key here, I can tell…

  197. 197
    Mike in NC says:

    Not staying up until midnight, though that was a tradition we got dragged into by wife’s best friend when we lived in NoVA. Never looked forward to driving 30 miles to get home afterwards with dozens of drunks (and cops) on the road.

  198. 198
    Baud says:

    @Elie: The mystery of women in SoCal breaking their toes EXPLAINED!

  199. 199
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Elie:

    What, just because I still remember his name two years later? 😂

    As my mom would say, I may be married, but I’m not dead.

  200. 200
    geg6 says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Yeah, I’ve never met one either.

    I read a post that called the hacking a new 9/11, but it was in the context of it being a direct attack on our country by an enemy. Can’t remember who wrote it (was it on TPM?), but never heard or read anyone claiming the actual votes were hacked.

  201. 201
    Temporarily Max McGee (Until Death!) says:

    @Dr. Ronnie James, D.O.:

    Hell, Taibbi wasn’t even the best writer on the staff at The Exile. That honor goes to Mark Ames, who, after some aging-induced levity, is still a better writer than Taibbi, and not by just a little bit.

  202. 202
    Baud says:

    @efgoldman: I’d still vote for a goose over Trump.

  203. 203
    Baud says:

    @geg6: I’ve heard speculation, but no one who says it definitely happened.

  204. 204
    Mnemosyne says:

    @efgoldman:

    Oookay. Backing away slowly …

  205. 205
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    This is a place I wouldn’t want to be tonight*, good thing I went 2 nights ago.

    *Grand Park, where the LA New Year’s Eve festivities are happening.

  206. 206
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Happy New Year to Balloon Juice! I may pop back before the festivities Chez Q, but once they begin I doubt I’ll have typing skillz. French 75 is the celebratory beverage. Aptly named after artillery.

  207. 207
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Elie: Hey, who doesn’t want a cute doctor?

  208. 208
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: That’s gorgeous.

  209. 209
    opiejeanne says:

    @Yarrow: So is the Clinton Foundation. 3X your contribution.

    I gave to both PP and the Clinton Foundation because I can’t think of another charity that has been more thoroughly vetted.

  210. 210
    Underpaid Propagandist says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (Until Death!): Per Ames, Taibbi was a heroin junkie in Mother Russia.

    Ames was great in trolling “Libertarians.”

  211. 211
  212. 212
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Ahhhh! I hope she is okay. I am feeling very sympathetic to anyone with damaged digits right now.

  213. 213
    Elie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Oh believe me, I totally understand! Um yeah — nothing like stimulation of all those pheromones… I hope they never die!

  214. 214
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Mnemosyne: You did see my pic of the sign in Arcadia about peafowl?

  215. 215
    Feathers says:

    @Joyce H: Perhaps a spoiler for William Gibson’s The Peripheral. I swear 2016 made this 2015 novel seem far more prescient than is comfortable.

    @efgoldman: A goose produces two pounds of shit a day. Yes, I did a research project on watershed issues. Geese are a major problem for water quality in the areas where they live full time but is not their native habitat.

  216. 216
    Baud says:

    @efgoldman: Now if the goose had a private email server. . . .

  217. 217
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: Yes, but it’s cold(for us) and raining right now.

    ETA: I should note, the bright white light on the top of LA’s City Hall is the Lindbergh beacon, I’ve only seen it on a few times.

  218. 218
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    O/T, but your gifted animator friend got a lovely obit in the NYT.

  219. 219
    Temporarily Max McGee (Until Death!) says:

    @efgoldman:

    In the forests of Michigan it’s the deer. They have no natural predators left in most of the state, they feed off of crops and pass bovine tuberculosis to the dairy and cattle herds, they cause all sorts of automobile accidents. Can’t give away enough doe licenses to keep the population in check.

    And our fucking neighbors have trained the family of white-tails in our woods to eat from their fucking hands!

    Yes, Mnemosyne, I’m advocating for shooting Bambi’s parents.

  220. 220
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @opiejeanne: @Yarrow: So is the Clinton Foundation. 3X your contribution.
    that’s great news– I’ll make a donation now, even though I signed up for monthly donations already.

    Along those lines, I was thinking of adding a regular donation to an environmental group: Does anyone know one that is politically effective? I was thinking of the Natural Resources Defense Council. The Sierra Club left a bad taste in my mouth when they endorsed Lieberman in ’06.

  221. 221
    Elie says:

    Ok now. I donot mean to be instrusive, but its quite clear several people here know about Valdivia and can comment on her broken toe to Omnes. Are they a “thing” or friends or whatever? Is there a need for secrecy that I don’t understand? I promise, its all just fine to me… just watching the back and forth and my initial question to Omnes was not responded to. Not trying to butt in, just used to converse with Valdivia and wondered about her…

  222. 222
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Elie: It is, and she just hasn’t been around here for quite a while.

  223. 223
    Baud says:

    New thread. Less scrolling.

  224. 224
    Temporarily Max McGee (Until Death!) says:

    @Underpaid Propagandist:

    Ames was great in trolling “Libertarians.”

    He still is.

  225. 225
    Baud says:

    @Elie: She’s on Twitter. Not sure about her and Omnes, but they are in different states.

  226. 226
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: She’s commented on a few of my pics on Flickr, but not as of late.

  227. 227
    Elie says:

    @efgoldman:

    Birds do not have rectums. They cannot control their poop and when it comes out. Canada geese, which you cite, eat only grass and poop it back out. Its wonderful mulch. In some ways, humans are vermin like. We own more of the destruction on this planet than any other species. Are you supporting mass human exterminations? If not — well, Happy New Year!

  228. 228
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: New thread, just for you!

  229. 229
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (Until Death!): Happy New Year!

  230. 230
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Yes. My comment was a notice, not a request.

  231. 231
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: Ah, it was unclear.

  232. 232
    Temporarily Max McGee (Until Death!) says:

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

    You too! Back in the summer I didn’t know if I could hack it through 2016.

  233. 233
  234. 234
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    (I know black-eyed peas are more all-American, but I never liked ’em.)

    Add a diced red pepper to them. Helps tremendously.

  235. 235
    lol chikinburd says:

    Pluses: Hit my year-end target weight on the dot tonight. Merely underemployed instead of un-. Have place to live in city I love. Have a chance to avoid family history of diabetes with these lifestyle changes that have me targeting weights. Buses are free tonight.

    Minuses: Mom and country still dead. Future got a lot more than a year shorter in the space of a year. Still a few hours left of said year.

    Aside: You should slow down for geese on the road, in hopes you can roll over them slowly enough not to fuck up your car. Geese are assholes.

  236. 236
    pluky says:

    @Mnemosyne: Having the ability to make up a plate of black-eyed peas and corn meal mush was often all that stood between life and starvation. The body craves what the soul remembers.

  237. 237
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (Until Death!):

    At least people usually eat deer after they shoot them (and the people who kill the deer and don’t use the meat are assholes). That’s different than beating them to death with a baseball bat.

  238. 238
    The Fool says:

    outstanding post

  239. 239
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s different than beating them to death with a baseball bat.

    I suppose you are opposed to duck presses too.

  240. 240
    geg6 says:

    @gene108:

    As someone whose mother was an actual journalist, I agree with you.

    I don’t trust anyone or any outlet of the MSM. Any fucks I had to give about them ran out on 11/8.

  241. 241
    Temporarily Max McGee (Until Death!) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    And who hasn’t bayonetted a blue jay?

  242. 242
    CaseyL says:

    @debbie: Thomas Costain wrote a number of wonderful books set in Plantagenet times. Are those the ones you read?

  243. 243
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @efgoldman: The matrons of an old and stately urban neighborhood next to the university (and a large wooded park) objected to the needed herd culling. They raised funds to hire an aerial survey to count the herd and hired a sharp shooter to tranquilize does. Teams carried them to a field hospital where a vet spayed them and vet techs supervised recovery to a point at which they could be carried (groggy) back into the woods to wake up fully. I think 42 does had successful surgery, and 2 were overdosed at initial sedation shot – both were aged, and it’s hard to dose by eye when you need to drop them.

  244. 244
    Ruckus says:

    @Elie:
    Local supermarket had 4 packs of black eyed peas in the freezer cabinet, top shelf, all the way back. Four very nice black ladies all trying to no avail to get them. I’m about 5’11” with a wing span of about 74 inches and I couldn’t reach them. Had to climb on the door sill and could just barely reach the last 2 bags. They were so happy to have the peas, so I have to say that at least the last few hrs of this yr are going OK for 5 of us.

  245. 245
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @efgoldman:

    The last few years, they have allowed a doe season in the Blue Hills reservation South of Boston, where absolutely no hunting of any kind used to be allowed, for exactly the same reason. It was that, or have hundreds of them starve.

    I actually litigated a case just like this back when I was wet behind the ears. You will not be surprised to hear that the Georgia Supreme Court sided with the deer killers. Disease, starvation, and collisions with cars–they were a huge problem.

  246. 246
    SgrAstar says:

    @Elie:

    As Jefferson said, a republic is great —

    Franklin. :)

  247. 247
    Ruckus says:

    @Baud:
    I’d vote for goose shit all over drumpf.

  248. 248
  249. 249
    chopper says:

    @Baud:

    a goose once bit my sister…

  250. 250
    Elie says:

    @Ruckus:

    LOL — Good job!

  251. 251
    Elie says:

    @SgrAstar:

    Ok.. Improve my historical quotes.. Thanks!

  252. 252
    Ruckus says:

    @lol chikinburd:
    LOL, roll over them slowly. Nice.

  253. 253
    Elie says:

    @Baud:

    Thanks much… not that it matters,,, was just curious…

  254. 254
    debbie says:

    @CaseyL:

    Wow, that’s them! I recognize the covers. Thanks!

  255. 255
    No One You Know says:

    @debbie: The Three Edwards? I loved those books. Although A Distant Mirror by Tuchmann enabled me to understand Isabella and Edward better.

  256. 256
    Another Scott says:

    @opiejeanne: Great ideas. Thanks for the pointers.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  257. 257
    J R in WV says:

    @gene108:

    The last time I watched NBC news was one of the nights of one of the party conventions this summer. What ended them for me was Andrea Mitchell, coming on to comment on a speech I had just watched and heard with my own eyes and ears. She outright lied about what I had just witnessed, which floored me. The gall of that woman, to stand there are tell blatant falsehoods about the speeches people were watching, things we had just witnessed.

    It was as though she thought she could redefine reality right there in front of us! I was infuriated – changed to C-Span for my convention coverage – I don’t need reporters to tell me what I just witnessed! I especially don’t need reporters to tell me I saw and heard something different from what I just witnessed!!

    Since then we’ve been watching CBS evening news, which is less of a strain than NBC news turned out to be.

    ETA: John Cole, a good article. Thanks, best new year’s wishes for you! For all the strident jackals, happy new year!!

  258. 258
    debbie says:

    @No One You Know:

    That was also a great book.

  259. 259
    CaseyL says:

    @debbie: I read those so long ago I can’t remember how old I was. Possibly in my teens. Reading Thomas Costain kindled my love of history.

    @No One You Know: I think I have, or at least have read, everything Tuchman wrote. Irreplaceable! I haven’t found any other writer of history like her, with that combination of knowledge, wit, and you-are-there vivid writing style.

  260. 260
    Ramalama says:

    I’m in Guadeloupe, surrounded by French people, some of whom timidly asked me how Trump could be elected when Hillary got so many more votes. While, yes, it’s fun to romp on Teh Media, can we also dole out some ire at the bloody Electoral College?

  261. 261
    Lee Hartmann says:

    Thank you John for this.

    As Tiny Tim would have said, “God help us every one.”

  262. 262
    Tim in SF says:

    Clinton lost for a number of reasons.

    Your point on multiple morbidity is a great one. I’ve said as much (less concisely) in arguments with others:

    In an election as close as W and Gore, any small one thing could make the difference – like the butterfly ballot.

    In an election as close as Trump and HRC, it would take a couple small things or one medium thing. And what did we get? Several small things and (at least) two medium things.

    ————-
    Small things:

    — Russian propaganda efforts by way of Wikileaks.

    — Voter suppression by the Republicans in North Carolina and Wisconsin, which seemed to have gone off without a hitch.

    — Fake news phenomenon – brand new in this election – whereby more people shared fake news than the top 19 credible media outlets (according Buzzfeed, IIRC)

    — Mainstream media was absolutely awful and unfair – in building up Trump for ratings and money, the false equivalence with Hillary, and practicing the “Clinton Rules” of journalism. I mean, how does an esoteric InfoSec email server scandal loom larger than the rise of blatant authoritarianism in ostensibly freedom-loving America?

    — Sexism – some people just weren’t ready to vote for a woman

    — Millennials – Hillary had a problem with millennials, I think a lot because of Bernie Sanders – he introduced her to an entire generation new to politics as The Lady From Goldman Sachs (which was false and wrong – she had a better plan for Wall Street than Senator Sanders did). A lot of those millennials threw their votes away – either by not voting or voting for Jill Stein, the Ralph Nader of the cycle. Or for Johnson.

    — And, of course, Trump’s daily scandals kept the conversation on him, around him, and well off the issues, which the polling says is where Hillary did well with voters (as in, she was doing better with voters when she was talking about the economy and not good when responding to Trump’s daily madness)

    ————-
    Medium things:

    — Comey press release, round one (Wherein Comey, after admitting there is no evidence criminal wrongdoing, proceeds on a ten minute tirade about Hillary – an absolutely unprecedented move. Have *you* ever seen a prosecutor announce at a press conference they are not pressing charges for lack of evidence, and then the prosecutor goes on and on, offering up his personal opinion about how bad the defendant is? I haven’t either.)

    — Comey press release, round two (Wherein Comey announces ONE WEEK before the campaign that there might be some new horribleness we “just” discovered and whereby the press reacts as if it were the most important, scandalous revelation in the history of mankind)

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