Senator Cardin’s Report on the US Security Concerns of Russian Active Measures and Cyberwarfare

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) has overseen the production of a report on the US security concerns regarding the Russian active measures and cyberwarfare campaigns against the US and a number of European states. This is a minority staff report prepared for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The report can be found at this link or downloaded below. A section by section summary can be found at this link or downloaded below.

Final_Cardin_Report Section by Sections of RR 1-8

For those interested, here’s the video of the German Marshall Fund’s event about the report with Senator Cardin and Congressman Hurd.

Responding to Russia’s Attacks on Democracy

January 10, 2018 | 8:45AM to 10:30AM EST
Washington, DC

Discussants

  • Panel 1: U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (D-MD)
  • Panel 2: U.S. Congressman Will Hurd, Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security (R-TX)

Moderator

  • Secretary Michael Chertoff, former United States Secretary of Homeland Security

While Americans have recently been awakened to the threat of Vladimir Putin’s efforts to undermine democratic institutions in the United States, such tactics are all too familiar to our European partners and allies who have been on the frontlines of Russia’s assault on democracy. There is much we can learn from the history of Russia’s activities aimed at undermining democracies in Europe, as well as from how our European partners and allies respond. The U.S. government, including the Executive Branch and Congress, must take steps to work with our European partners and allies to defend against and deter such activities in the future.

Please join the Alliance for Securing Democracy at The German Marshall Fund of the United States for a two-part discussion. The first conversation will feature U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as he presents findings from his new report, “Putin’s Asymmetric Assault on Democracy in Russia and Europe: Implications for U.S. National Security.” This will be directly followed by a conversation with U.S. Representative Will Hurd on Russia’s threat to U.S. national security. Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff will moderate both sessions.

Open thread!

137 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    The cop who killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice wants his job back
    Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via email
    By Taylor Dolven Jan 9, 2018

    The cop who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 may get his job back after nearly eight months off the force.

    The Cleveland Police Department fired Officer Timothy Loehmann in May 2017, not for killing Rice, but for lying on his job application. On Wednesday, Loehmann will begin arbitration proceedings, a third-party review of his firing, according to Northeast Ohio Media Group, in hopes of getting his job back.

    https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/mbppdq/the-cop-who-killed-12-year-old-tamir-rice-wants-his-job-back

  2. 2
    Jeffro says:

    Never before in our history has so clear a threat to U.S. national security been so clearly ignored by the sitting president.

    Hey Republicans – you sure you want to keep trying to defend this guy? The guy whose vanity is endangering our country’s security? You really want to lose that (unearned, unmerited) 60+ year advantage on ‘who do you trust to keep America safe’?

    Please proceed, GOP.

  3. 3
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    There is no downside for Dems to release everything they have.

  4. 4

    Will we ever find out how much active help from Republican operatives that the Russians got? Data mining is not magic, who gave Cambridge Analytica the inputs or told them what data to collect, for their number crunching and analysis ?

  5. 5
    Miss Bianca says:

    Yowza.

  6. 6
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @rikyrah:

    watching whiteness work is soul sucking.

  7. 7
    The Moar You Know says:

    Hey Republicans – you sure you want to keep trying to defend this guy? The guy whose vanity is endangering our country’s security? You really want to lose that (unearned, unmerited) 60+ year advantage on ‘who do you trust to keep America safe’?

    @Jeffro: This is how it’s been sold to the GOP idiots:

    1. Russians are white, love Jesus, hate Muslims, hate queers, hate dark folks and unlike America, they do something about it. With bullets. What a man that Vlad is!
    2. They put Hillary in her place!
    3. Cleek’s Law – libtards don’t like Russian interference in our elections, so let’s have some more please

    They trust both Trump and Putin and that isn’t going to change, because that’s what they were told to do. GOP voters don’t make decisions, they do what they’re told.

  8. 8
    Mary G says:

    So glad that Democrats have gone on offense with facts. It’s not usually in them to be aggressive and play hardball, so I am glad that they have.

  9. 9
    Betty Cracker says:

    @rikyrah: I’m surprised he hasn’t applied to ICE.

  10. 10
    trollhattan says:

    @Mary G:
    I think they’ve been spending a lot of energy on “What do the people want?” rather than “What’s the right thing to do?” which, of course is what the people want.

    And today the right thing to do is nail these fvckers to the wall.

  11. 11
    Jeffro says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    They trust both Trump and Putin and that isn’t going to change, because that’s what they were told to do. GOP voters don’t make decisions, they do what they’re told.

    Yup.
    Except the number of Republican voters overall, and Trump support within the party, continues to dwindle, bit by bit. Sure there will always be a hard core (probably, oh, around 27% of voters?) that will gladly keep taking orders as long as the ‘right’ people are the ones giving the orders. But in the meantime, things like this report – and the questions it engenders – have multiple benefits for Dems.

  12. 12
    Calouste says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m surprised ICE didn’t seek him out and offer him a job.

  13. 13
    Yarrow says:

    Oh, god. This is a real thing.

    WH sent a list of video clips (from CNN) and tweets to back up Trump claim that he’s received “letters” from “anchors” praising his performance at DACA meeting pic.twitter.com/wH7XHf79Tk— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 10, 2018

    Click through for the image that shows the various “anchors” that supposedly praised him. Dana Bash, who everyone here noted did sort of praise him, is included of course.

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Betty Cracker: Unless they issue a waiver, he can’t be hired unless he gets the terminated for lying on his application reversed. I think that’s the real reason for the arbitration: so that he can be hired at another agency/department. If this hadn’t been headlines and he’d just been a bad at his job cop or a bad cop and they quietly used this as the excuse to get with him he could move and get picked up by another department as most don’t check and in some places they’re prohibited from checking. But because of all the publicity he’s locked out. And rightly so. The attempt to reverse the firing is so he can go back to work in law enforcement. Even though empirical evidence would seem to indicate that this is a bad idea.

  15. 15
    cain says:

    Can we do a class action suit against Facebook as well? The number of anecdotes I have heard about people turning into fascists because of facebook/russian posts is alarming. I feel like a good smiting is required. A friend I know was literally breaking into tears because her warmed hearted mother who taught her how to be a good person has turned into someone she doesn’t recognize.

  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Calouste: DHS and its subsidiary agencies don’t have a recruitment arm. This has caused a lot of issues.

  17. 17
    Yarrow says:

    @cain: Mark Zuckerberg assured everyone at New Years that he’d do better. LOL.

  18. 18
    lurker dean says:

    glad to see sen. cardin’s report.

    on the other hand, i just checked yahoo news and google news – nothing about the fusion gps transcript, except an article about the orange idiot’s tweet about difi. it’s shocking that testimony suggesting that the potus is a russian stooge is not the headline everywhere.

  19. 19
    gorram says:

    Wasn’t sure if you all had seen this yet – they’re revoking citizenship for naturalized citizens on the basis of inconsistent/incomplete records.

  20. 20
    Roger Moore says:

    Never before in our history has so clear a threat to U.S. national security been so clearly ignored by the sitting president.

    James Buchanan would like a word. Not that “James Buchanan ignored an even more obvious security risk” is a good defense.

  21. 21
    opiejeanne says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Good questions. If only we could imagine who might have done such a thing.

    (glad to see you back here)

  22. 22
    Mike in DC says:

    @gorram:

    We really need some post election polling of latinos vis a vis Trump’s approval rating with them. I’m guessing high single to low double digits (7 to 14%?)

  23. 23
    oatler. says:

    “We left it in a cellar, where it subsequently died.”

  24. 24

    I’m getting the impression our Democrats might have some sort of coordinated Russia-interference-awareness campaign going on.

    Back at the office today. The incoming-work tubes are all clogged up per usual, though I’m hearing from management that (for unfathomable corporate reasons) we might have to rewrite significant portions of our codebase by June, which will put all actual progress (including the project I’m supposed to be leading, I imagine) on the back-burner.

    ETA Oh, and I just finished a short story, yay

  25. 25
    jl says:

    @lurker dean: The transcript of Simpson’s testimony clearly shows that the GOP leadership, and particularly Grassley and Graham, are acting in extreme bad faith with their criminal referral on Steele, and have allowed lies about Simpson’s testimony to go unanswered. Maybe corporate media not reporting on it since to do so honestly would be perceived ‘impolite’ and ‘unfair and unbalanced’? Can’t have that.

  26. 26

    @gorram: I did see that, there is a lot of hyperbole surrounding many immigration stories, right now. There was also a report from McClatchy about the non renewal H1-B extensions for those who have won the approval intent to immigrate and are already in this country.
    (GC application is a two step process, first you win the approval for intent to immigrate and then you adjust your visa status if you are already in the United States on another visa (work visa, fiance visa etc) or get your green card from a consulate. In both cases you undergo and clear the requisite background checks.)
    Which turned out to be hyperbole.
    A lot of the details in the Rewire story are fuzzy. Some of these individuals were supposedly in deportation proceedings and they changed names or something like that. I would like to know more before hitting the panic button.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    Hungry Joe says:

    Brave Sir Issa ran away
    (No!)
    Bravely ran away away
    (I didn’t!)
    When danger reared its ugly head
    He bravely turned his tail and fled
    (No!)
    Yes, brave Sir Issa turned about
    (I didn’t!)
    And gallantly he chickened out.

    This is going to save me some miles on my car, as I had committed to driving to up north San Diego County to precinct-walk for whoever ends up running against him. Now I have to decide whether it’s worth the time (and miles) to go after that SOB Duncan Hunter Jr.

  29. 29
    eemom says:

    @Mary G:

    YES. Great to see them growing some pairs of balls and going after Dump — instead of, you know, spending their time driving their own colleagues out of the Senate.

  30. 30

    @Mike in DC: According to Gallup his approval among Hispanics is 24%, as high as it’s ever been (low is 15%, ~December 1).

  31. 31
    lurker dean says:

    @jl: it’s like we’re in the twilight zone. the president is a russian stooge and two senators threaten the former agent of an ally to cover it up, but the news is that the orange idiot tweeted difi. now imagine if the transcript was about hillary or pbo.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    The Moar You Know says:

    Now I have to decide whether it’s worth the time (and miles) to go after that SOB Duncan Hunter Jr.

    @Hungry Joe: You know the score with that district, you live here too. I do not see it flipping to Dem, possibly ever, but he is so uniquely awful I’d prefer to see it go to another GOPer rather than stay in his filthy hands. That fucker cannot stop stealing.

    Of course, neither could his dad, but his dad was MUCH better at hiding it. Fucking Junior is just staggeringly incompetent.

  34. 34
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @lurker dean: Yeah but if it was some foolishness about Benghazi or email servers, it would be covered ad nauseam.

  35. 35
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Major Major Major Major: 24% is high when you consider all of the Latino migrants whom Trump has deported and is trying to deport.

  36. 36

    @Patricia Kayden: ISTR that the high rate of military service (ETA and conservative religions) among Hispanics leads to more Republicanism than one would guess just going by actual issues.

  37. 37
    trollhattan says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Of course, neither could his dad, but his dad was MUCH better at hiding it. Fucking Junior is just staggeringly incompetent.

    Isn’t it interesting how commonly second-generation politicians are worse than the first? One could put a plug in for Jerry junior being more skilled and ethical than dad, but I didn’t live in CA under Brown Sr. so don’t know a tenth of his story.

  38. 38
    The Moar You Know says:

    Was hate-browsing Issa’s website for schadenfruede to fap to and ran across this. I think this might have factored into his decision: the Trump admin was going to insure he lost, between this and the tax bill. And he’s tied at the waist to Trump, no way to get out of it. I bet he runs again in 2020 or 2022 after Trump is out of the picture.

    Press Release
    Jan 4, 2018
    VISTA, Calif. — Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista), a member of the House Climate Solutions Caucus, released the following statement in response to the Department of the Interior’s oil drilling plan:

    “It’s not the time to reopen California’s shoreline to new drilling. Secretary Zinke has said that the ‘states and local communities’ will have a voice, but Californians have made themselves clear: they do not want new drilling off our coasts. I will work to ensure that voice is heard and that California’s coastal areas are taken out of consideration.”

    LOL DIAF MOTHERFUCKER

  39. 39

    @opiejeanne: Thanks, I am glad to be back.

  40. 40
    bemused says:

    @Yarrow:

    He’s bottomless hole of neediness.

  41. 41

    @Mike in DC:
    My understanding is that roughly one fourth of Hispanics basically consider themselves white and are delighted to hear that these nasty brown immigrants are being put in their place. This is hearsay, so take it with a grain of salt.

  42. 42
    The Moar You Know says:

    One could put a plug in for Jerry junior being more skilled and ethical than dad, but I didn’t live in CA under Brown Sr. so don’t know a tenth of his story.

    @trollhattan: I would just flat-out not say that, and I’m a Jerry fanboy. But his dad…his dad is fucking legend.

  43. 43
    Kraux Pas says:

    While I don’t discount the effect of Russia’s campaign of disinformation, empowering of fringe groups, and cyberattacks; I suspect they pale in comparison to the direct assault on democratic institutions by Republicans.

    Russia can’t prevent American citizens from voting. American voters may not have been as credulous with respect to Russian disinformation if Republicans hadn’t been waging a decades-long war on the very concept of truth being verifiable by an arbitrator such as the news media. American people would be more apt to understand the threat posed by Russia if Republican leadership weren’t trying to hide it for temporary political benefit.

    I can understand the Rs’ position though; if Russia’s perversion of democracy resembles what you want at home, why not quietly accept the assist?

  44. 44

    @Frankensteinbeck: This is also my understanding and caveats as well

  45. 45
    Roger Moore says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    ISTR that the high rate of military service (ETA and conservative religions) among Hispanics leads to more Republicanism than one would guess just going by actual issues.

    There are also a fair number of Hispanics whose families either immigrated a long time ago or who have actually been living here since here was part of Mexico. They’re thoroughly Americanized and are pretty much indistinguishable from Anglos politically.

  46. 46
    gvg says:

    @Adam L Silverman: isn’t he the cop that washed out of his home area police department because he was so afraid he was terrible at shooting? So that department recommended he go into some other field? And some of it was on film?
    If so, some people insist on throwing themselves in briar patches and off cliffs.
    I hope most police departments have at least some background checks. What I can recall makes me think he was not meant to be a cop even if Tamir had never crossed his path.

  47. 47

    @Roger Moore: And of course there are the Rubios and Cruzes of the world.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    eemom says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    if Republicans hadn’t been waging a decades-long war on the very concept of truth

    ftfy

  50. 50
    Kraux Pas says:

    @eemom: Well, it’s certainly more concise. It is, however, a segment of what I said, verbatim. So I don’t know about “fixed.”

    How about “quoted?”

  51. 51
    Chris says:

    Never before in our history has so clear a threat to U.S. national security been so clearly ignored by the sitting president.

    Well, I mean, there was “Bin Laden Determined To Strike Within U.S…”

  52. 52
    jl says:

    @The Moar You Know: I’m not aware of any major scandal during Pat Brown’s administration, let alone anything touching Pat Brown himself. California was lucky in having a string of very competent, moderate to progressive, Dem and GOP governors from WWII (Olson, Earl Warren, Goodwin Knight) through Pat Brown.

    The only thing I ever heard about Pat Brown that cast doubt about him into my mind was when Arnie the Gubernator said he looked to Pat Brown and Ronald Reagan as models for how to be governor of California. But now Arnie looks like a GOPer we would like to have rather than the current bunch of crooks, and I’d like to get him a high quality fake ID so he could at least run and get beat in a GOP primary for president.

  53. 53
    gvg says:

    The Independence Police Department hired Loehmann on July 11, 2012. Less than five months later, Deputy Chief Jim Polak said in an assessment that Loehmann was “distracted” and “weepy” during firearms qualification training. Loehmann later told a supervisor that he was having issues with a girlfriend, records show.

    “He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal,” Polak wrote in a Nov. 29, 2012 letter.

    I can’t find the video I thought was out there but the guy has a history not just with Tamir of lying and wandering off the job or disobeying orders….I wouldn’t hire him for anything, not just police work.

  54. 54
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Interesting:

  55. 55
    trollhattan says:

    D.C., the city throws some serious shade at Putin’s Russia.

    Washington DC has renamed the street the Russian embassy sits on after a murdered Russian opposition politician. The city council voted to rename the street outside Russia’s embassy complex after Boris Nemtsov, who was shot outside the Kremlin in 2015. A statement from the council said the decision to honour the “slain democracy activist” passed unanimously.

    Russian politicians criticised the move, with one MP labelling it a “dirty trick”.

    The decision was specifically targeted at “the portion of Wisconsin Avenue in front of the Russian Embassy”, according to the Washington council’s statement.

    Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted the leader of the nationalist LDPR party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, as saying US authorities “specifically want to play dirty tricks in front of the Russian Embassy”. Another politician from the Communist Party, Dmitry Novikov, told the agency: “The US authorities have long been absorbed in their own game of interfering in Russian internal affairs.”

    Mr Nemtsov, a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was shot in February 2015 while walking home from a restaurant in Moscow.

    I love this.

  56. 56
    Adria McDowell says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Miami Cubans, basically.

  57. 57
    trollhattan says:

    @Chris:
    Hey now, asses were totally covered back then!

  58. 58
    Roger Moore says:

    @trollhattan:

    Isn’t it interesting how commonly second-generation politicians are worse than the first?

    I think there are two explanations:
    1) Most would-be politicians are failures, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that most children of successful politicians are less successful than their parents.
    2) There’s a degree of false sorting, where we tend to treat politicians who are way more successful than their parents more like first generation politicians than like second generation. So Jimmy Carter gets treated as a self-made man in politics rather than the much more successful son of a small-time politician.

  59. 59
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Chris:

    Never before in our history has so clear a threat to U.S. national security been so clearly ignored by the sitting president.

    Well, I mean, there was “Bin Laden Determined To Strike Within U.S…”

    Hmm, well they’re certainly similarly clear, though I suspect the Russian one has a clearer outlook on methodology. How much a threat either was can’t be determined until we see how our populace and democratic institutions weather the sustained attack by Trump and the Republicans and Russia.

    However, where I take exception is that Russia’s attacks aren’t being ignored by the President. At this time, I would best describe his reaction as “sweeping it under the rug.”

    ETA: …while also loudly proclaiming his wisdom in performing this act and shaming anyone who points out that there ever was dirt or that the dirt remains, even if under a rug.

  60. 60

    @Roger Moore: The children of successful people are also rather notorious for not being as successful as their parents.

  61. 61
    jl says:

    @Adria McDowell: I think that the majority of Puerto Ricans consider themselves racially White as well. I think Hispanics generally are more aware of the difference between ethnicity and conventional racial classifications, since there are Black and Asian, mestizo, and Native American, Hispanics as well as White. US media continually conflates notions of race and ethnicity, because they are ignorant, or because they like to flack sensationalistic BS about Whites becoming a racial minority in the US any day now.

  62. 62
    Barbara says:

    @Roger Moore: And the more prosaic reason: the first generation was propelled to success by their own initiative and skills, and the second generation much more so by the influence of the first than by their own native political abilities. There are decent second generation politicians, but for every Patrick Kennedy there are probably a lot more Kathleen Kennedy Townsends.

  63. 63
    Jeffro says:

    I’m having a very meta-ish discussion with RWNJ dad on this…he “doesn’t dispute” that Russia interfered in our election. But he’s so Fox-ified that he can’t/won’t accept anything the Post or CNN says as true. Oh and plus, his ‘core beliefs’ are stronger than any media. I’m like, “One of my core beliefs is that you follow the facts wherever they lead, and adjust accordingly”.

    It doesn’t hurt that this was part of Sen Cardin’s report:

    “If everything is a lie, then the biggest liar wins.” At their core, the Kremlin’s disinformation operations seek to challenge the concept of objective truth…. For Putin and the Kremlin, the truth is not objective fact; the truth is whatever will advance the interests of the current regime. Today, that means whatever will delegitimize Western democracies and distract negative attention away from the Russian government. It means subverting the notion of verifiable facts and casting doubt on the veracity of all information, regardless of the source.

  64. 64
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    Russia can’t prevent American citizens from voting.

    Yes, they can. There’s strong evidence that Russian hackers tampered with the voting rolls in some states. Knocking people off the voting rolls is a very effective way of preventing them from voting. I’m not denying the validity of your big-picture point that Republicans deserve more of the blame than Russians, but don’t underestimate what the Russians have done. Also, too, when the Republicans are getting substantial Russian funding, who gets the credit/blame for their actions?

  65. 65
    scott (the other one) says:

    @Jeffro: Well, the big question is: why are they doing it? Right? I mean, most of them must have some idea how dirty and compromised Trump is. So…why are they still doing it? Some of it’s simple fear of his supporters, sure. Some of them are stupid and don’t believe it. Some are greedy and want to get what they can from the trough while they can. But I feel like the big elephant in the room the MSM has come close to touching is how many of them are themselves compromised. The behavior of Grassley and Graham, for instance, is beyond troubling—it’s very nearly terrifying. Our democracy–society, in fact–is predicated upon the majority of people behaving according to some very basic and long long-held principles. Trump has tossed those aside. And rather than even feign outrage any more, the leaders in teh GOP are aiding and abetting him. There is a non-zero chance it’s because they know how much Russia had to do with this and they themselves are caught in the same web. And the implications for the survival of our country are terrifying.

  66. 66
    Hungry Joe says:

    @The Moar You Know: “Was hate-browsing … for schadenfruede” is, I’m sorry to say, how, were I keeping a journal, it would, more often than not, begin. (That’s five commas crammed into a 22-word sentence, for those of you keeping score at home.)

  67. 67
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It seems they have some outreach. It doesn’t look like it’s going very well, though.

  68. 68
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Hungry Joe: That’s impressive.

  69. 69

    @Hungry Joe:

    That’s five commas crammed into a 22-word sentence, for those of you keeping score at home.

    I’m glad you commented on it so I didn’t have to. Shit, here I am doing it anyway.

  70. 70
    Chris says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    My understanding is that roughly one fourth of Hispanics basically consider themselves white and are delighted to hear that these nasty brown immigrants are being put in their place. This is hearsay, so take it with a grain of salt.

    One thing I noticed living in Miami for four years is that there are quite a few Latino immigrants who, regardless of whether they vote Democrat or Republican here, sound exactly like right-wing social darwinists when describing the politics in their countries of origin. All the problems in those countries come from hordes of lazy parasites lying around all day collecting welfare checks; corrupt politicians are enabling them by showering them with money in order to win their votes while good hardworking citizens can’t catch a break; even the Church is being corrupted by those horrid “liberation theology” movements that’re really Marxist Jesus-haters… etc, etc, etc. Not just Cubanos, either. Venezuelans, Argentinians, Colombians… There’s quite a few immigrants who vote Democrat out of self-preservation because they realize what Republicans want to do to them, but who would be thrilled to hop on board the Randroid bandwagon if it only gave them a reason.

    (Which should come as no surprise given the number of “ethnic whites” who jumped ship for Nixon/Reagan last century as soon as they weren’t in the crosshairs anymore).

  71. 71
    jl says:

    @scott (the other one): I think another motivating factor is fear of GOP primaries that will be determined by hard core Trumpist voters, since that is about all that is left of the GOP primary base that still is motivated to turn out for an election. After the primaries the ones who want to stay in their partisan cesspool will have to think about the general election.

    So, several factors make it hard to figure why they are selling their souls down the river right now.

  72. 72
    eemom says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    “Fixed” is just a figure of blog speak. I meant to emphasize that there’s no qualification to their war on truth, with respect to source of verification or anything else. The “truth” is what they say it is.

    I hate them.

  73. 73
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Barbara: Patrick Kennedy was a lightweight who wouldn’t have stood a snowball’s chance in hell had his surname been “Jones.”

  74. 74
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Russia can’t prevent American citizens from voting.

    Yes, they can. There’s strong evidence that Russian hackers tampered with the voting rolls in some states.

    Word. Research time I guess.

    I’m not denying the validity of your big-picture point that Republicans deserve more of the blame than Russians, but don’t underestimate what the Russians have done. Also, too, when the Republicans are getting substantial Russian funding, who gets the credit/blame for their actions?

    This is a little more difficult than, yet oddly similar to, the chicken/egg question but I think I’ll come down squarely on the side of the Republican fucks Fox are worse. At least Russians are acting in their own national interest.

  75. 75
    Roger Moore says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    The children of successful people are also rather notorious for not being as successful as their parents.

    Sure, but again, how much of this is a result of the second generation being objective failures and how much is regression to the mean? The more successful you are, the harder it is for your kids to measure up. For example, even with all her advantages, it would be nearly impossible for Malia Obama to be more successful than Barack.

  76. 76
    Chyron HR says:

    @jl:

    I’d like to get [Schwarzenegger] a high quality fake ID so he could at least run and get beat in a GOP primary for president.

    Why would not being legally allowed to hold office prevent someone from running in the GOP primary?

  77. 77
    David Evans says:

    @Major Major Major Major: It’s a statistical phenomenon known as regression to the mean. Basically if any of the parent’s success is due to luck, there’s no reason it would carry over to the child. And if any of it is genetic, the child only carries half the parent’s genes. On average, children are nearer the population average than their parents.

  78. 78
    David Evans says:

    Ah, Roger Moore beat me to it.

  79. 79
    Sab says:

    @rikyrah: I live near Cleveland, I know a lot of local cops from other cities, and Cleveland cops aren’t cops : they are an alternative street gang.

  80. 80
    Elie says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I’m glad too!

  81. 81
    opiejeanne says:

    @jl: Goodwin Knight kissed me when I was a baby. My mother always thought that was hilarious.

  82. 82

    @Roger Moore: @David Evans: I am aware of this, I was just saying that it’s not unique to politicians.

  83. 83
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Patrick Kennedy was a lightweight who wouldn’t have stood a snowball’s chance in hell had his surname been “Jones.”

    I’m pretty happy with Joe Kennedy III. When I’ve seen him speak in public he seems quite knowledgeable across a range of things, does a good job getting heard among the hundreds of Congressfolk, and isn’t the odious Stephen Lynch who was redistricted away from me.

    ETA: Also I hear he’s a part-time dreamboat captain.

  84. 84
    Chris says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    Sweeping it under the rug, and, of course, he almost certainly colluded in it.

    (There’s also the fact that, while I’m 90% sure this is considered crimethink, I consider the Russian attack on our electoral system to be a far greater national security threat than 9/11).

  85. 85
    jl says:

    @Chyron HR: ” Why would not being legally allowed to hold office prevent someone from running in the GOP primary? ”

    Good point. They should make it an official policy for 2020.

  86. 86
    dr. bloor says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Mental Health Parity. As Grandma always said, credit where it’s due.

  87. 87
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Chris:

    (There’s also the fact that, while I’m 90% sure this is considered crimethink, I consider the Russian attack on our electoral system to be a far greater national security threat than 9/11).

    At least no one died…yet.

  88. 88
    Elie says:

    @jl:

    Its pretty much accepted that there is racism among Latin populations against black Latins. This is true in Cuba as well as most other Latin countries and stems from the same place as American white racism. It was a big issue in Cuba prior to the revolution and Castro used the fact that Batista was a mulatto (half black) to stir anti regime opposition among wealthy white Cubans. After the revolution Castro embraced the blacks and browns to support the revolution since many of the wealthy whites had already left. The wealthy in Cuba are STILL for the most part, white Cubans.

    Most Latinos, however, get the deal and do not support Trump or his white supremacist views. II would take that poll with a big grain a salt.

  89. 89
    Chris says:

    @Jeffro:

    I’m having a very meta-ish discussion with RWNJ dad on this…he “doesn’t dispute” that Russia interfered in our election. But he’s so Fox-ified that he can’t/won’t accept anything the Post or CNN says as true. Oh and plus, his ‘core beliefs’ are stronger than any media. I’m like, “One of my core beliefs is that you follow the facts wherever they lead, and adjust accordingly”.

    Also, one of the core beliefs of pretty much everyone in this country used to be “if a foreign country, much less a foreign country as hostile and powerful as Russia, interferes this blatantly in our democratic elections, we’ve got bigger problems than covering the ass of the person we happened to vote for.”

    (This, by the way, probably explains the whole “wow, I’m so glad the Democrats grew some balls, it’s so uncharacteristic!” that people have been commenting on here. This isn’t a usual issue. Standing up for your own sovereignty is, like, the most elementary function of a national government – if nothing else, in the very basic sense of “if our elections are to be tampered with, it should be by people within our borders!” Democrats are still learning to cope with the fact that they’ve just become the only people in the government who care about this, but they’re realizing that whatever the situation, this isn’t something you can just ignore).

  90. 90
    JGabriel says:

    @Jeffro:

    Hey Republicans – you sure you want to keep trying to defend this guy? The guy whose vanity is endangering our country’s security? You really want to lose that (unearned, unmerited) 60+ year advantage on ‘who do you trust to keep America safe’?

    It really is way past time for Democrats to start repeatedly and vociferously calling Republicans “weak on security.

  91. 91
    glory b says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I read in the jezebel.com comment section that a lot of this may be eneral republican support based on pro life religiosity.

    Some escapees from the Catholic and Evangelical churches were saying we don’t realize how much of their family and friends’ voting patterns are based on one issue, anti abortion. One commenter said that some of them can lean kind of liberal, but the “babies” have to be saved, first and foremost.

    They said the rest of us don’t realize how brainwashed they are.

  92. 92
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @dr. bloor: 16 years in congress and his one significant piece of legislation was for an issue that affected him personally.

  93. 93
    trollhattan says:

    @Kraux Pas:
    RFK Jr. is the one who’s earned a permanent spot on my shitlist. Fucking antivax baby-killing MFer.

  94. 94
    Roger Moore says:

    @scott (the other one):
    I think the key thing is that Trump is not really a break with what the Republicans have been doing for a long time. He’s just overt to the point of brazenness where they have been trying to be subtle. They speak in code words and dog whistles, while Trump is openly racist and praises Nazis. They try to give special deals to their friends, while Trump is openly corrupt. They’ve tried to gradually subvert the justice system, while Trump appoints obviously unqualified hacks and dares anyone to stop him. He’s doing what they were always too timid to try.

    That puts the rest of the party on the fence. On the one hand, they want him to succeed so they can follow in his footsteps. On the other hand, they’re afraid he’s going to get caught and take his followers down with him. So they’re trying to protect him covertly while pretending to be independent as a cover. The more they’re convinced he’s going to succeed, the more overt their protection and the less convincing their independence will be; the more they’re convinced he’ll be caught the more furtive their assistance and the more genuine their independence will be.

  95. 95
    Chris says:

    @scott (the other one):

    Well, the big question is: why are they doing it?

    Because they’re running on a completely tribalized ethos 50 years in the making, and they hate us more than they hate any foreign adversary. Trump is one of them, any opposition to him de facto puts them on our side, therefore on Trump’s side they go. The ones with the most independence are fucking off and quitting the party altogether, but aligning with a member of the other party is simply asking too much.

  96. 96
    jl says:

    @Elie: Most Puerto Ricans self-identifying as racially white has a history that predates Trump. Would be interesting to see how Trumpismo changes that. Also would be interesting to learn the extent to which Hispanics who self-identify as racially White deal with fact that White bigots in the US vigorously disagree with them.

  97. 97
    JCJ says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    4.4 commas per word. I wonder if that is some sort of record.

    btw – thank you for not mentioning the fapping referred to in the original post from @The Moar You Know

  98. 98
    HeleninEire says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I think he kinda knew that too. Not to long after Teddy died Patrick either quit or decided not to run again (can’t remember which). He was also a raging alcoholic like his father and mother before him. He tried to please his dad and then decided that enough was enough. He’s been sober for a while now and speaks out about addiction. He may have finally found his calling.

  99. 99
    Elie says:

    @Roger Moore:

    What you say and the reality that some have been bought by Russian money and Kompromat may be in play for them as well. Those who can escape are maybe seeing the handwriting on the wall and know that all the threads are pulling out and the fabric they support is unweaving. I believe that we will find corruption to be widespread…

  100. 100
    Brachiator says:

    @jl:

    I think that the majority of Puerto Ricans consider themselves racially White as well. I think Hispanics generally are more aware of the difference between ethnicity and conventional racial classifications, since there are Black and Asian, mestizo, and Native American, Hispanics as well as White. US media continually conflates notions of race and ethnicity, because they are ignorant

    This oversimplifies greatly. Colorism and racism is its own special thing in Latin America and Brazil. There was (and still is for some) a whole elaborate ranking system based on color and degrees of African or Native American ancestry.

    One of my favorite Puerto Rican poems (cannot link it just now) is about a “white” Puerto Rican who hides his black grandmother in the kitchen whenever his friends come over.

    Some months ago, a Latino worker at the local food truck tried to impress a woman by saying that he was descended from the Conquistadors. She looked at him for a second to see if he were serious, then laughed in his face.

    To further complicate things, a co-worker of mine is from Cuba, looks African American or Puerto Rican to those who don’t know her, but has a Chinese grandfather (Asian workers imported to work in Cuba in the 19th century).

    In US history, late 19th century early 20th century Jim Crow laws tried to make a hard line between black and white.

  101. 101
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @HeleninEire: He decided not to run for re-election the year after his father died.

  102. 102
    Elie says:

    @jl:

    Holding aside any intrinsic racism, its hard for me to believe that any Puerto Rican with any character could support Trump after what we all observed about how Puerto Rico was treated. I just cannot believe that they would think that was ok and support Trump, but I am sure that there will be a few…

  103. 103
    Chris says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    I’m not denying the validity of your big-picture point that Republicans deserve more of the blame than Russians, but don’t underestimate what the Russians have done. Also, too, when the Republicans are getting substantial Russian funding, who gets the credit/blame for their actions?

    This is an argument that always tends to pop up in the CIA’s coups – how much did our interference matter and how much was it local forces? Though of course, anyone who was involved is guilty whether or not their participation was essential.

  104. 104
    glory b says:

    @gvg: Yes, that’s true.

    Interestingly, he washed out at a small town department, the chief said he was unfit for the force, for a variety of reasons, most of them emotional.

    The chief recommended he not consider law enforcement, so he went to the city (Cleveland) where they may have looked at the fact his father was in law enforcement (I think he was a retired FBI agent), and failed to check with the department that fired him.

    After the shooting, his father was quoted as saying he wanted to leave the small town force for the (relatively) big city where there was more “action.”

  105. 105
    Adria McDowell says:

    @jl: I am Puerto Rican. You aren’t telling me anything I didn’t know. Lol. ;-) You pretty much nailed it.

    The concept of “whiteness” in Latin America is far more fluid than in the US, as well- it’s kinda like a reverse “one drop rule.” I find it laughable, since, unless your family literally just stepped off the boat, if you scratch a Latin American deep enough, you’ll find a black/mestizo/indigenous person there.

    You’d be surprised at how many Puerto Ricans (both on the island and stateside) still give der Doofus a pass. It baffles me, but here we are.

  106. 106
    Roger Moore says:

    @Elie:
    One more point I would make is that it’s unlikely that any Russian kompromat came about by accident. There may be a few Republicans who have ordinary skeletons in their closets that the Russians found and used to blackmail them, but my guess is they’re a minority of the ones the Russians have compromised. The majority are ones who were trying to find political advantage and were eager to take what the Russians were offering. That goes hand in hand with the general Republican contempt for democratic norms; they got caught by Russian feelers because they were willing to break the rules in the first place.

  107. 107
    Peale says:

    @Chris: I think the Democrats are at the upward limit for Latino support anyway. There’s no reason 70-30 needs to become 80-20. It would be nice, and probably possible, but Democrats would need to change their approach and they have shown no signs of being able to do so. What they need to do, though, is focus on finding a million or two more Hispanic voters to come to the polls. Even if the new voters come out at 60/40, the Democrats come out ahead. I’m looking for signs that that is happening (it didn’t happen in 2016), and I’m not seeing it.

  108. 108
    trollhattan says:

    Wish we could sub out our sports commentary to the BBC. Chelsea v Arsenal, right now.

    I know I’m supposed to give you updates every 15 minutes or so but I’m struggling tonight.

    A game hasn’t broke out yet. Apart from that shot from Victor Moses, the best of the night so far has been John Murray and Pat Nevin talking about Hector Bellerin’s clothing at London Fashion week.

  109. 109
    Elie says:

    @Adria McDowell:

    On NPR there was a report on a study of Bonobos (kind of like Chimpanzees) that revealed that they prefer authoritarian even cruel pack leaders rather than leaders who are kind and caring. The researchers were going to examine whether this was true for Chimpanzees too. There may be a deeply imbedded trait in humans, which makes sense given the number of authoritarians that are leaders in the world. Sad statement

  110. 110
    Adria McDowell says:

    @Brachiator: This kind of oversimplification is unfortunately necessary, given the average American’s knowledge of Latin American history. I consider BJ commenters (myself excluded) to be far above the average American in intelligence and empathy, despite their “jackal-ness.” :-)

  111. 111
    Roger Moore says:

    @Chris:

    This is an argument that always tends to pop up in the CIA’s coups – how much did our interference matter and how much was it local forces?

    Of course. We could never topple a government covertly if there weren’t already plenty of locals who wanted our help to do it. This kind of thing always depends on hammering away at the cracks that already exist in a society. It’s how colonial powers were able to take over countries with populations far larger than their own, and it’s how we’ve toppled other governments. It’s just a surprise that the cracks in our own society were big enough somebody was able to take advantage of them so successfully.

  112. 112
    Adria McDowell says:

    @Elie: It could also be the commonly held view that the PR government is corrupt, so they view der Doofus as “not that bad.” It’s almost as if there are no Puerto Ricans in NY who could set them straight! *face palm*

  113. 113
    Elie says:

    @Roger Moore:

    You are likely to be right about that and unfortunately, its a big group that bought it. Of course they have no choice but to protect the hive. Mueller probably has the goods on a few of them — this is so dangerous for his team and him! Desperate people do desperate things…

  114. 114
    Jeffro says:

    @Elie: What did Bill Clinton say? Folks will go for ‘strong and wrong’ over ‘weak and right’ – not all of them, but enough. Hard to move past that kind of hard-wiring unless we stand up to ‘wrong’ and go hard at them, every time.

  115. 115
    But her emails!!! says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    Lucky. I’m still stuck with Lynch as my Representative.

  116. 116
    Suffragette City says:

    I’ve been reading the transcript and it is AMAZING.
    I think Trump is terrified of the dossier and today’s announcement of libel laws (really 1st amendment) being changed proves it.
    Bill Browder is not looking too good..in fact I’m wondering if he’s been able to somehow manipulate the US which has allowed him to continue dodge his RU taxes. Yet I have no real reason to doubt his info on Magnitsky.

  117. 117
    Chris says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    At least no one died…yet.

    Yes, but as callous as it is to say, this is one thing that isn’t always measured in body count.

    (Example: the Allied invasion of France probably caused a lot more physical harm to the country than the German invasion had four years earlier, if only because it took a lot longer and covered more of the country. But the latter is usually considered a much greater national security threat).

    In this case: the jihadists killed a big bunch of people on 9/11, but that was also literally the only thing they could do. The odds of them taking over the country, even by proxy, the odds of our political system ever being significantly influenced into something more in line with jihadist beliefs and strategic goals, was always nil. Russia, on the other hand, has already done more to turn us into a Cold War style banana republic taking its orders from a foreign superpower than, well, anyone in the entire history of the United States.

  118. 118
    Peale says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Yeah. That’s kind of the problem. The population of actual voters who are affected by these issues is probably smaller than we tend to think. That’s kind of the key. And probably why the Democrats can only go so far with being the “friend of the immigrant” party. (It’s also possible that the nephews and nieces of the uncles and aunts who came 20 years ago seeking shelter “temporarily” after a hurricane or earthquake and are still hanging around are relieved that they might finally be rid of them. Who knows? Its always possible that the idea that Latino families are stronger than white families is just a fabulous story. (joking, joking).)

  119. 119
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Elie: I thought bonobos were the ones who were more egalitarian and communitarian in their social organization and the chimps were the proto=fascists, but I’m hardly an expert so WTF do I know?

  120. 120
    Chris says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It’s just a surprise that the cracks in our own society were big enough somebody was able to take advantage of them so successfully.

    I always thought that Republicans would go full-on Vichy if the circumstances ever arose. I just thought those circumstances would have to be, well, the same as the ones that gave rise to Vichy – a conquest by a foreign power, in other words, something that would never happen in the U.S. The fact that they were willing to go this far for something as banal as winning an election is what was a shock.

  121. 121
    jl says:

    @Adria McDowell: I was just reporting info I’ve read on demographics in Puerto Rico, and from what friends from various places in Latin America have told me about their perceptions of the difference between conventional racial classifications (that I think biologically, are BS) and ethnicity.

    One thing that puzzles me about your comment and those of others, is that there is some relationship between a Hispanic self-identifying as racially White and supporting Trump, or that I thought there was a connection. I didn’t mean to imply or suggest that at all. For whatever reason, many Hispanics self-identify as White, maybe because of the ‘colorism’ one commenter mentioned above.

    Edit: and I think many bigot and racist people in the US self-identify as White, when historically, they were not considered so, not not very long ago were not in the club. Those with Southern European, Irish and Slavic ancestry come to mind. But I guess their side needs converts now to fill out their dwindling ranks, so they have been let into the club and given a pass.

  122. 122
    Mary G says:

    Well, I have some good news where, God I hate to say it, this administration behaved well. I posted before about my house mate’s green card renewal application. He filled it last March and they gave him an extension until December, then when that ran out they said it was taking a long time to process and they could not extend it again, but to bring in his passport and they would mark it there.

    Everyone said he should get a lawyer. He’s had speeding tickets galore. We were begging him not to go, but he did and they gave him a one year visa. Whew.

  123. 123
    Elie says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I was surprised too… I wish that I could remember the study they cited. I’ll try to find it on NPR and share it

  124. 124
  125. 125
    Elie says:

    @Roger Moore:

    MLK always said that racism in the United States could undermine the very existence and viability of this nation… that how blacks are treated reflects deeper commitment to the values in the Constitution and that those values must be upheld by practice or that the whole thing would fall apart. You cannot have justice and liberty for some and expect that it will be there for all. Once that is no longer the case, you just have a shell. Our task I to see if we can truly bring it back for all as a core belief….

  126. 126
    Chris says:

    @Elie:

    MLK had a quote, which I can’t find right now, arguing that if white people were forced to choose between democracy and white supremacy, too many of them would choose white supremacy.

    I think even he might have been surprised, though, to know that if forced to choose between national sovereignty and white supremacy, too many white people would choose white supremacy.

  127. 127
    Adria McDowell says:

    @jl: Oh, I didn’t think you were really making the connection between white identifying Hispanics, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some connection (which is why I think it was touched upon). Perhaps it has to do with trying to identify with the “winning team” or desperately trying to prove that they are one of the “model” minorities? I’m reluctant to speak for all Hispanics on the issue, but personally, I reject any attempt to identify with a political party that treats minorities (or LGBT or Muslims or immigrants, the poor, etc) with contempt. All I know is that the GOP (and certainly Trump) wouldn’t piss members of my own family if they were on fire, and I can’t understand anyone that would be okay with that.

    Again, just my view of things. Thanks for your perspective!

  128. 128
    Elie says:

    @Chris:

    For some reason, equality, fairness and justice does not resonate for some… it requires too much and forces one to hold oneself accountable for your own success. So much easier to label anything you do as success (hence the support for a clearly incompetent and disgusting Trump because he is white). Its extreme insecurity about one’s capabilities and the more insecure, the more reactionary, I would guess.

  129. 129
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Elie: Huh! This wonderful world! Thanks for looking that up for me!

  130. 130
    stinger says:

    @Hungry Joe: All is well — none of us will be eating or shooting your leaves.

  131. 131
    cain says:

    @Yarrow:

    @cain: Mark Zuckerberg assured everyone at New Years that he’d do better. LOL.

    Yeah, now that he realized what he was getting for all those Russian rubbles.

  132. 132
    J R in WV says:

    @Chris:

    …I consider the Russian attack on our electoral system to be a far greater national security threat than 9/11.

    Absolutely. The 9/11 attacks were horrible. I was at work, and my boss came into my office ans said “A plane has flown into a World Trade Center tower!!” and I asked, what kind, like a Cessna, or a big airliner? and he didn’t really know.

    Then one guy who had a tiny B&W portable in his cube was watching, and we all crowded into his cube – it was obviously NOT a small general aviation aircraft (which do hit high-rise towers from time to time!) but a major airliner. Then the second tower was hit while we were watching.

    Horrible. I went home not long after that, where I didn’t have access to much but local TV broadcast, all fuzzy. But the Bush Jr. administration, as planned, used the whole horrible event as effectively as if they had planned it, to create “homeland security” And Transportation Security, etc. That was worse for the country than the attack itself.

    And now here we are, with a Russian stooge in charge of the country!

  133. 133
    lowtechcyclist says:

    Since I’m a Maryland resident, I made a point of calling Cardin’s office today to give him a big thumbs-up for this report. Wanted to make sure he knows he’s got constituents who notice and approve when he does something more than just be a reliable Dem vote. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, just that in a state as reliably Dem as Maryland is, being a reliable Dem vote is my base-level expectation.)

  134. 134
    Bill Arnold says:

    @cain:

    Can we do a class action suit against Facebook as well? The number of anecdotes I have heard about people turning into fascists because of facebook/russian posts is alarming.

    Good luck with that. However, Facebook is an equal-opportunity propaganda platform. As long as that’s the case, progressives should be working it. (Twitter too.) And also, or perhaps especially, working on real-time identifying and neutering/spiking right-wing/fascist/deliberate-division-induction propaganda efforts, which are often low-budget, even shoestring operations.

  135. 135
    J R in WV says:

    @Brachiator:

    In US history, late 19th century early 20th century Jim Crow laws tried to make a hard line between black and white.

    Yes they did, and it was a one-drop law in many places, and more than 1/16 in others. But even there, if they thought there was one drop, you would be harassed our of town. IIRC.

    My grandma was from KY, born in the late 1800s, and wore a big bonnet when she worked outdoors, and long sleeves. Neighbor here locally, very aged, wore more clothes to work her garden in her 90s than I do running a tractor in the cold. Didn’t want to get the least bit dark from a tan, perhaps lest they be thought a passing negro.

    Or so I assumed. Maybe they both had some Native American in them and worried they would get really dark…?

  136. 136
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Major Major Major Major: For density, still haven’t laid a glove on the opening line of “I’m Your Handyman” –

    Comma comma comma comma com comma comma

  137. 137
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Roger Moore: “Regression to the mean,” my aching arse. The primary reason, IMHO, is the same as the reason that corporate performance is negatively correlated with the bonus the top bozos got for the previous year’s performance: Last year (or last generation) a generally mediocre guy (its always a guy) got a few lucky breaks, & this year/generation the breaks aren’t showing up.

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