Russia and the NRA

McClatchy reports today that the FBI is investigating whether the National Rifle Association received money from the Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign. The NRA, of course, backed Donald Trump heavily. I’m going to work through the article in some detail, because it’s hard to get at the bottom line.

The news is that there is an investigation into Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is closely connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The sources did not say whether there was evidence that the NRA received Russian money.

The extent to which the FBI has evidence of money flowing from Torshin to the NRA, or of the NRA’s participation in the transfer of funds, could not be learned.

In late 2015, [Torshin] hosted two dinners for a high-level NRA delegation during its week-long visit to Moscow that included meetings with influential Russian government and business figures.

The article details connections between Maria Butina, who is connected to Torshin and has set up a pro-gun group in the US, and an NRA lawyer. Torshin is also a friend of Dana Rohrabacher, the California congressman who loves Russia.

It’s an FBI counterintelligence investigation, but it seems to be coordinated with the Mueller investigation. These paragraphs reference both. They seem to be separate, but likely coordinated.

FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said.

It is illegal to use foreign money to influence federal elections.

It’s unclear how long the Torshin inquiry has been ongoing, but the news comes as Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sweeping investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including whether the Kremlin colluded with Trump’s campaign, has been heating up.

The article goes on to detail NRA spending on the election, perhaps more than was reported. Organizations like NRA don’t have to file the detailed reports that campaigns do. It also provides more information about Torshin, who has been accused of money laundering in Spain and of ties to Russian organized crime.

“Two people with close connections to” the NRA are sources for the article. Neither the NRA, the FBI, nor the Mueller investigation were willing to comment.

Here’s more about a 2015 meeting between NRA officials and Russians, referenced in the McClatchy article.

 

It’s hard to keep track of all the connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. The structure of news articles and the desire of media to provide background make it hard to know what is really news in any given article. It’s necessary to pick an article apart, sentence by sentence, to figure out what is actually being said and who is saying it.

Let’s step back. The sheer number of Russian connections or attempts to connect with the Trump campaign is unprecedented. This NRA connection (whether or not it includes money), Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, the June 9, 2016, meeting, and more, particularly if we count Donald Trump’s trips to Russia and his Russian-related connections like Felix Sater and his investments in Azerbaijan.

If other candidates had this number of connections, we haven’t heard about them, and it’s hard to believe that Hillary Clinton, in particular, could keep them secret. How about Marco Rubio? Ted Cruz? Rand Paul?

Robert Mueller has a lot more information than we do and is working on more. Toward the end of the 1990s, we had one wall covered with paper on which we were working out the structure of the Soviet nuclear complex. I imagine Mueller has a wall like that. Maybe more than one.

 

Cross-posted at Nuclear Diner.






172 replies
  1. 1
    Mike in DC says:

    I imagine that’s the ultimate Vizio chart, tracking the Trump-Russia connections.

  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    And remember we’ve been all over this here at Balloon Juice for well over a year. In the comments and on the front page. Such as:
    https://www.balloon-juice.com/2017/12/03/what-does-penetration-at-all-levels-actually-mean/

  3. 3
    JPL says:

    OT fyi if you want to cancel your digital access to the NYTimes, they have a special promotion today… You can subscribe for $6.00 a month. I mentioned that democracy dies in darkness and that I have been considering cancelling for a long time. That even at $6.00 a month, I can’t support their coverage.

    I had to wait for a representative for fifteen minutes. Seems that they are busy today.

  4. 4
    ThresherK says:

    Worst. Red Dawn. Sequel Pitch. Ever.

  5. 5
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    So the NRA was laundering dirty Russian mob money to give to the Trump campaign?

    Good thing that’s 100% legal now, or the criminal charges could be serious.

  6. 6
    Wag says:

    This ongoing slow drip, drip, drip of information must be driving the White House insane. I know that I’m being driven crazy, but for completely different reasons. I feel like a kid in a candy shop with my nose pressed against the glass.

  7. 7
    JPL says:

    @Snarki, child of Loki: But Justice Kennedy said that wouldn’t happen.

  8. 8
    Aimai says:

    Peter Stone, lead author, is my cousin!

  9. 9
    NorthLeft12 says:

    Why am I not shocked that the NRA would betray their own country and work with unfriendly foreign governments?

    They have been working against the interests of Americans for the last twenty years or so.

  10. 10
    Angrifon says:

    I’m so old I can remember when Trump’s team denied that they’d had any contact with the Russians at all…

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Yarrow says:

    If other candidates had this number of connections, we haven’t heard about them, and it’s hard to believe that Hillary Clinton, in particular, could keep them secret. How about Marco Rubio? Ted Cruz? Rand Paul?

    Rand Paul for sure. And what about the only other Senator to vote along with him against Russian sanctions.

  13. 13
    Kay says:

    @Wag:

    I wish I had more faith in the FBI. It is very difficult for me to get past what seems in hindsight to be very blatant politicking on their part in the Clinton/Trump race. I want an explanation. Credibility matters. It makes absolutely no sense to me that they were investigating both Clinton and Trump yet only the Clinton investigation was exploited and treated as “political”

    They should call Comey back up. We know more now than we did when he was fired. His actions are inexplicable, given what we know now.

    This isn’t sour grapes. It matters NOW, today, because they are the law enforcement agency. If they have some petty bullshit beef based on their feelings around police brutality protests that needs to be aired and put aside. I don’t feel I can rely on them.

  14. 14
    Neldob says:

    Off topic, should we be contributing to Conor Lamb in PA?

  15. 15

    Penetration at all levels is easy when half the country already wants what Russia offers them money to do.

  16. 16
    Yarrow says:

    And what was Sheriff David Clarke doing meeting with Russian gun manufacturers and hanging out with Russian foreign ministers? Why would a county sheriff be doing that? This stuff was all out in the open.

    Red Square near the Kremlin with a Russian officer. Met earlier with Russian Foreign Minister who spoke on Mid East. pic.twitter.com/ZcDdQB65lb— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) December 10, 2015

    Visited a Russian gun manufacturer today and test fired weapons including an Orsis T5000M sniper rifle. 338 cal. pic.twitter.com/DwAagzT6qI— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) December 11, 2015

  17. 17
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Aimai:

    Very cool! Izzy’s grandson?

  18. 18
    catclub says:

    @Snarki, child of Loki:

    So the NRA was laundering dirty Russian mob money to give to the Trump campaign?

    Good thing that’s 100% legal now, or the criminal charges could be serious.

    all the Russian mob company has to do is incorporate in the US and then fund a 504 ‘public interest’ group – then it is all legal.

  19. 19
    blackcatsrule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Adam, I cannot thank you enough for all your posts on what is happening in our country and the world since before the election last year (also some pretty good recipes). They confirm that I am not losing my mind at what is happening, and help me to more clearly explain things to other people who may not be aware of what is going on.

  20. 20
    catclub says:

    @JPL: yeah, he said there would be disclosure of donors to 504’s. sunlight is the best disinfectant – we get darkness and mold.

  21. 21

    No FP post about the government shutdown/DACA ?

  22. 22
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Adam, if you’re here, I just read this article the other day. It’s in the Financial Times from 2015, so before the Paris Agreement on climate. However, this part caught my eye:

    [Oliver] Geden [of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs] explains Russian thinking: “We can’t use large areas of our country because they are so cold. Why should we worry about warming?” Indeed, climate change may be a Russian policy goal.

    Could climate change denialism also be something that’s partly encouraged and funded by Russia?

  23. 23
    sherparick says:

    The folks here are going to have more and more awkward feelings about FISA and Section 702. https://www.lawfareblog.com/merits-supporting-702-reauthorization-despite-worries-about-trump-and-rule-law

    It is likely that the intelligence that has led this investigation probably came from intercepted communications to the Russian actors discussed in this article under Section 702 of FISA. The coverage of this subject by the Times and even the WaPo has been awful (losing James Risen has pretty much destroyed the Times ability to cover this issue, another reason to drop the subscription if and when Paul Krugman stops writing his column). What sort of power could Trump and a private army of intelligence agents could use under it.

  24. 24
    dmsilev says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Throw CHIP in there as well; apparently Trump got a bug up his ass about that this morning.

    I don’t think anyone really knows WTF is going on. I’d say the chances of a shutdown are real and increasing, but beyond that ????

  25. 25

    @dmsilev: Winning. America is great again.

    The President said take out Haitians and now DHS has barred them from applying for temporary worker visas.

  26. 26
    Spanky says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Penetration at all levels is easy when half the country already wants what Russia offers them money to do.

    Bingo!

  27. 27
    dmsilev says:

    @schrodingers_cat: TPM just now:

    For a little less than four hours Thursday, President Donald Trump asserted that funding for CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, should not be included in a Republican continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown before Friday.

    His position threw a wrench into congressional Republicans’ plans to use CHIP as leverage to gain Democratic votes without including legal protections for young undocumented people in the funding bill, as Democrats have demanded.

    Then, at least according to the White House, Trump changed his mind.

    “The President supports the continuing resolution introduced in the House,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement to TPM.

    A well-oiled machine. And by well-oiled, I mean that most of the staff are probably drinking heavily.

  28. 28
    Mike in DC says:

    @Yarrow:
    Which is really messed up, because thawing the siberian permafrost will release massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere and greatly accelerate warming effects.

  29. 29
    catclub says:

    @Yarrow: what denialism. there can easily be winners and losers with climate change – and it is not that hard to identify both. and winners are likely to be in arctic/semi-arctic regions that get warmer. (But too bad about polar bear extinction)

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    @sherparick: You get enough free articles a month to read Krugman. I canceled today, because I don’t want any of my money going to their digital coverage. I still have a crossword subscription though.

  31. 31
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    The President said take out Haitians and now DHS has barred them from applying for temporary worker visas.

    This is just awful. The whole immigration situation is so wrong and awful. All of it. From the travel ban in January onward.

  32. 32
    Kay says:

    So I read more than a few of the submissions to the NYTimes giant free ad for the Trump Administration and among all the boring conservative endorsements of the tax cuts (they think) they’re getting was this general theme of disorder. They really do see the country the way he does, where people “like him” are not as powerful as they were and that this is some grave injustice because they are DUE the top slot. They think he has restored order and by that they mean put them back on top, in their rightful place. I’m obviously willing to accept that I came to it biased and maybe saw what I expected to see – entirely possible and perhaps even likely- but I don’t think they did themselves any favors because this theme really lines up with what liberals say about them. They pretty much made you-alls’ argument. The anger came from a perceived or real loss of what they think they are owed as a birthright, which is to be on top. Culturally. Economically. In all the ways that matter.

  33. 33
    Yarrow says:

    @Mike in DC: It certainly will. But hey, more land! Honestly, I think there will be migrations from coastal areas inward and very hot areas to cooler areas. In that sense, Russia and in our region Canada will be looking at inward migration.

    @catclub: The denialism that climate change exists at all (heard it from a 30’s-ish white guy at, of all things, an organic gardening event last weekend). The denialism that if it does exist that it has anything to do with what humans do. That denialism. In the case of Russia, having climate change deniers making policy would be good for them because, as you said, they’d be a winner (in some ways) as the climate warms.

  34. 34
    No Drought No More says:

    Its own political hubris, hatreds, and legislative overreach, in combination with a fatal ROT* at the top of their party, have opened tens of millions of American eyes to the unalloyed depravity of the republican party. Those eyes will remain open. Although it will manifest itself in different form-or-forms in the future, the republican party has already effectively destroyed its reputation with Americans forever (thank god), even as it continues to eviscerate American democracy in the process. It’s a shame we can’t take the trash out at this very moment, but we’ve got good rules and good laws to protect us as we wait. Decent Americans need only stay faithful to those rules and laws from now on to finish the job. Which, I am confident, we will…

    LaPierre must be feeling pretty cocky today, it being common knowledge that Trump pardoned the infamous Sheriff Joe of Arizona (Trump also recently pardoned a crook once profiled on American Greed; that guy got busted because he couldn’t stomach the thought living within the confines of Belgium, a country from which he could not be extradited, and that’s no joke). LaPierre must also be sweating bullets because he knows Trump is also a lunatic, one whom, on a whim, could as easily insure his sorry ass is incarcerated for the rest of his sorry life. Is this a great cou ntry, or what?

    * (ROT= Russia Owns Trump”).

  35. 35
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @catclub: Those regions will get warmer, but it won’t make them arable.

  36. 36
    tobie says:

    @Yarrow: Even if Geden’s suggestion that Russia would like global warming, I take his suggestion seriously. Geden’s done tons of interesting work on the problems of geotechnological fixes to carbon emissions. I’ve learned a lot from him.

  37. 37
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kay:

    I wish I had more faith in the FBI. It is very difficult for me to get past what seems in hindsight to be very blatant politicking on their part in the Clinton/Trump race.

    In a real sense, though, it’s a mistake to think about the FBI as being a single entity. Individual field offices have different priorities and different cultures. There’s good evidence that the NY FBI office has been compromised by people in cahoots with Trump. That doesn’t mean the whole FBI is corrupt any more than the Boston office’s involvement with Whitey Bulger means the whole FBI is corrupted by the Mob.

  38. 38
    Spanky says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Those regions will get warmer, but it won’t make them arable.

    Or even habitable, since thawed tundra will take a loooong time to drain, and the permafrost goes down hundreds of feet.

    (Just think of the skeeters, too!)

  39. 39
    catclub says:

    @Kay: Thanks for letting us know how the mangos were rotten. quel surprise!

  40. 40
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NorthLeft12:

    Not just any foreign government: an anti-Muslim, white supremacist foreign government.

    Their dedication to white supremacy is what unites them across national borders.

  41. 41
    NCSteve says:

    One thing I find perplexing is how they say the FBI investigating the link and then say

    It’s unclear how long the Torshin inquiry has been ongoing, but the news comes as Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sweeping investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including whether the Kremlin colluded with Trump’s campaign, has been heating up.

    They conspiciously do not say that Mueller is investigating the Russia-NRA link. And yet, they go out of their way to suggest there is some linkage between Mueller and the FBI investigation–which may merely be that two separate investigations of Russian interference are occurring at the same time, which would be the literal reading, or by subtext, Mueller is doing, or is aware of, or coordinating with the FBI on this. Or something.

    And I don’t speak Obscure Beltway-Insider Media Signal fluently enough to understand what they’re really saying. What I do know is that Mueller was explicitly charged with taking over a then-existing FBI investigation into Russian interference in the election. Whether this investigation was part of the one he took over or not is unclear and, if it’s unclear, it’s because, for some reason, sources went out of their way to make sure it would be unclear.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: Would not surprise me in the least.

  43. 43
    catclub says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Boston office’s involvement with Whitey Bulger means the whole FBI is corrupted by the Mob.

    Now, J Edgar Hoover saying there is no organized crime in the US,… that might indicate system wide corruption. But that would never happen.

  44. 44
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Spanky:

    (Just think of the skeeters, too!)

    I was once in northern Manitoba in summer. I have no earthly idea what possessed any humans to settle there.

  45. 45
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mike in DC:
    Not to mention that the permafrost areas won’t be very useful when they melt. It’s not as if they have good soil or anything, so all Russia will be getting is the world’s largest swamp, and at the cost of flooding St. Petersburg and other coastal cities.

  46. 46
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Hey, did you see where Hungary apparently has an active arrest warrant for your buddy Seb Gorka? Has had it active since Sep, 2016.

  47. 47
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Aimai: Please pass this on to him, just in case he’s not already tracking on it:
    NRA funding is supposed to largely come from two places. The first is membership, specifically the lifetime memberships. The second is funding from within the firearms industry even though the National Shooting Sports Foundation is actually the official industry lobbying group. NRA-ILA’s funding, as was reported in the article, is opaque because it is a lobbying firm, not the NRA proper. It is unclear just how separate from the NRA proper the NRA-ILA is as a semi-separate arm is.

    But here’s the deal: the NRA is completely opaque about its membership, especially the lifetime memberships. They claim around 4 million, but they’ve been making that claim for decades. A lot of people question just how many of those 4 million are still alive, especially as a lot of younger firearms owners have decided to support groups other than the NRA like the 2nd Amendment Foundation, the extremist Gun Owners of America, National Association for Gun Rights (which seems to exist only to raise money), and/or the state level firearms groups.

    So if the membership really isn’t increasing. And a significant number of those life members are aging out/dying off, where’s the NRA’s money coming from? That the Russians, or anyone else including the Kochs or the Mercers or other wealthy right wing donors, would funnel money to and through the NRA would not be surprising. The holy grail here is to get ahold of the life membership rolls and the determine just how much smoke the NRA has been blowing about how many members it actually has. As in how many life members are still alive.

  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Speaking of firearms, Eastern Europeans, and stupidity:

  49. 49
    ruemara says:

    @Neldob: Yes. He’s the democratic challenger and it’s an election next week.

  50. 50
    glory b says:

    @Neldob: I have. He’s wishy washy on leadership, his opponent has adds out saying he’s Pelosi’s pick for the district and I know that’s a sore subject.

    He comes from a family that’s active in local politics in Western PA, good Dems. He’s more moderate than left, but I don’t know if anyone more left could win.

    His opponent is a theocrat.

  51. 51
  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: And that the charges could go back to 2009. Yep, I’ve seen it.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: The borscht. Now that he can’t be sheriff, nor a DHS official, he lives only for the borscht.

  55. 55
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @blackcatsrule: Thanks. Cheryl deserves a lot of credit too! She’s done yeoperson’s work on this stuff here, on her own site, and on her twitter feed.

  56. 56
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I’ll have a shutdown post tonight. Most likely. Depending on how much insanity occurs between now and then.

  57. 57
    Mike in DC says:

    The wait for the next wave of indictments is a tad aggravating at times, in light of various outrages du jour.

  58. 58
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @catclub:
    There will only be losers if the permafrost melts and releases massive amounts of methane. In a few hundred years, humanity could go extinct. What are the odds Earth turns into a slightly larger Venus?

  59. 59
    trollhattan says:

    This is like one of Noam Chomsky’s fever dreams actually coming true.

  60. 60
    Mike in DC says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:
    This is a bit overstated. It would make the situation markedly worse, but even if it happened AND we burned all the fossil fuels entirely within a century or two, we still wouldn’t turn into Venus. But it would be a serious threat to our species’ survival.

  61. 61
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You can get good borshch/borscht in Milwaukee.

  62. 62
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sherparick: They couldn’t. This stuff is pretty commonly misunderstood because of GG’s execrable opining combined with Assange and Snowden crap.

    What is almost never reported is that the DOJ/FBI has a team of career attorneys who do nothing but prepare warrant requests for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). The reason that the FISC approves so many requests is that any warrant submission to surveil or do anything else covered under 702 (or the other sections for that matter) has to survive this internal scrutiny and quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) review. These career attorneys are brutal on these request applications. They go through them with fine tooth combs. Anything that doesn’t look kosher gets kicked back to the agents and the prosecutors they’re working with either for correction/redo or with instructions to not resubmit till you actually have cause to do so. Similarly, and despite trying to push the borders, the Intel Community as collectors also have internal teams looking to monitor these things. When they don’t work correctly or someone cuts corners, we actually find out about it because the FISC smacks them down and around. Hence the round of reporting back in October and November about how the FISC had come down hard on the NSA for pushing the boundaries too far.

    There is a very legitimate debate to be had about how the FISC is structured, its rules, transparency, etc. And about just which, how many, and how much surveillance power the US government via the intel community should have. But far too often the discussion completely ignores the safeguards in place.

  63. 63

    @NCSteve: That was unclear to me, too. One of the problems of interpreting this article. I’m not sure it’s the sources – could be the reporters too, either not clear themselves or not able to write it clearly.

  64. 64
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NCSteve: Mueller inherited oversight of the Russian active measures counterintelligence task force. This is predominantly an FBI task force out of the National Security section supplemented with folks from across the intel community, as well as Treasury’s FINCEN. If it involves Russia and the election, it is under his supervision.

  65. 65
  66. 66

    @Gin & Tonic: You know that’s a parody account, I hope.

  67. 67
    tommo says:

    Why not? With Citizens United and international corporations now being considered American Citizens, why not let hostile foreign governments also help ruin our elections? Doesn’t Putin deserve First Amendment rights in our elections the same as Exxon?

  68. 68
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: McLovin!

  69. 69
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It is clearly where he became addicted.

  70. 70
    GregB says:

    @Yarrow:

    Yikes. I had postulated that as an aside to a friend not long ago, now, whoomp, there it is.

    Talk about monsters.

  71. 71
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Worst criminal conspirators ever!

  72. 72
    J R in WV says:

    @ruemara:

    Regarding Conor Lamb, I guess there may be a primary next week, but the general election is March 16th. I just kicked in a little more, didn’t make it a repeating donation because your post made me think that wouldn’t matter, but it would have. I’ll be back, though!

    ETA typo

  73. 73
    Adam L Silverman says:

    If anyone cares, here’s what the Armed Intelligentsia has to say. The author is a Chicago area firearms instructor and is on the President’s Firearms/2nd Amendment Advisory Committee, which he tells his readers he can’t talk about. Apparently they’ve classified the 2nd Amendment. Who knew?
    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.c.....turns-nra/

  74. 74
    danielx says:

    @JPL:

    And the moon is made of exceedingly edible green cheese, and pigs might have wings, too.

  75. 75
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Again, why is executive privledge a thing?
    @Adam L Silverman:
    I don’t want to be infected by the crazy. Can you give us a tldr version of the article since you appear to be immune to memetic contagions?

  76. 76
    Roger Moore says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    You’d think something like this might have come up during his immigration proceedings. Why can’t America stop dangerous, violent criminals like Seb Gorka from coming here?

  77. 77
    Mnemosyne says:

    @sherparick:

    Why do you think GG and other compromised folks on the left have been screeching about the FISA renewal? It ain’t because they love liberty so damn much.

  78. 78
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Twenty quatloos to any reporter who asks Possum Queen, “Since the president claims to be targeted by a witch hunt, is he in fact a witch?”

  79. 79
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Doesn’t even apply here. Can’t invoke it for the campaign and/or transition period. And the Supreme Court ruled during Watergate that you can’t invoke it if doing so covers up a crime.

    What it is intended to do is protect aides and advisors and department heads to provide candid advice to the President without it becoming dirty laundry to air as a result of partisan oversight by Congress or a fishing expedition in the courts. It is supposed to be tailored and limited.

  80. 80

    @Adam L Silverman:
    While Snowden’s ‘revelations’ were still being misrepresented everywhere, I learned here on Balloon Juice that warrants in all courts are approved at something like a 98% rate, for the simple reason that there are clear rules about what will get a warrant approved. Nobody submits a warrant that won’t go through.

  81. 81
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Roger Moore: Seb appears to have not fully disclosed several things on his application. Like the Vitezi Rend crap.

  82. 82
    danielx says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Reading the comments is akin to wading through a sewer.

  83. 83
    trollhattan says:

    I really, really want this to happen.

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @trollhattan: With that amount of adipose tissue, I’m sure he floats. Draw your own conclusions.

  85. 85
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I see. And that’s not what Trump is doing? Tailoring and limiting it?

  86. 86

    @Adam L Silverman: Not much there beyond the usual Trumpian “Not a puppet! You’re the puppet!”

    Arms sales are likely a part of this, though. I thought about adding a bit about that to the post but wanted to get the post out quickly. Small arms sales are big exports for both the US and Russia. They are more necessary to Russia because of their very limited economy, which relies mostly on oil and needs more manufacturing exports.

  87. 87
    danielx says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    Mueller is a crackpot, nothing here to see, obligatory mention of Clinton.

    Rinse, repeat.

    ETA: also too, this is one of many reasons Dems are going to get hosed in November. Or maybe that was in the comments.

  88. 88
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Yep. But the FISA reviewer team at the DOJ/FBI are supposed to be super sticklers. My understanding is that they do not mess around at all.

  89. 89
    blackcatsrule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Absolutely yes. Thank you Cheryl!

  90. 90
    Kay says:

    OOps! he had a warrant out the whole time he was at the White House!

    I don’t know how that slipped past our rigorous vetting of Donald Trump and his co-conspirators.

    The public knew NOTHING about these people. Nothing. They still know next to nothing. Maybe we won’t have to pay for this with some giant catastrophe but if we somehow escape it will be thru sheer dumb luck. Because we were flying blind, or kept in the dark, take your pick.

  91. 91
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @danielx: Give the comments to this one a read. I happen to be very casually acquainted with the site owner/publisher, had emailed him, and unbeknownst to me he turned this into a post. The comments are nuts!
    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.c.....le-effect/

  92. 92
    Roger Moore says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    If we had a sane, non-corrupt government, wouldn’t that result in him being stripped of his fraudulently earned citizenship and deported?

  93. 93
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @danielx:
    That’s what I thought from the article title. “Witch hunt”. I’m sure the author thought Bengazi was a witch hunt too. And Whitewater.

  94. 94
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Nope. By claiming it applies to the transition, which it can’t actually cover, he’s trying to expand it. It’s why Congressman Gowdy was beside himself about this being the most bizarre invocation of executive privilege he’d ever seen. And that’s at least two really bad hair cuts too many!

  95. 95

    […] Cross-posted to Balloon Juice. […]

  96. 96
    germy says:

    what’s going on?

    Looking into reports that the Manhattan District Attorney's Office @ManhattanDA raided Newsweek/IBT Offices today….sources say police have been there for hours. The DA has declined to comment.— Avi Asher-Schapiro (@AASchapiro) January 18, 2018

    Sources say that the DA's investigation has been going on for 17 months & is related to the "procurement of servers." DA's warrant allowed police to photograph the news org's server room. https://t.co/jbJKmWcjDO— Avi Asher-Schapiro (@AASchapiro) January 18, 2018

  97. 97
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: The commentariat there are nuts. Almost every comment thread gets quickly derailed into InfoWars territory. I read them for amusement. I don’t comment there at all. I did when that email of mine became a guest post. And on a couple of related items, but the insanity and the actual attacks are just nuts. Though I do like the comments from Joe R. who likes to routinely cite his own manifesto, which isn’t actually available anywhere. He’s so apoplectic all the time that his comments read like sputtered speech.

  98. 98
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Roger Moore: I don’t know. Way outside of my areas of expertise. I’m sure there’s some review process. I’m also sure, given his wife is a senior political appointee at DHS, that it isn’t happening any time soon.

  99. 99
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I especially like the first one:

    So according to Adam Silverman they should have just turned in their guns, not fought back and marched to the ovens without giving a fight for their lives. No thanks, Adam, I’d go down fighting whether it was futile or not!!!

    Don’t forget the spirit of ’76. New England farmers beat, or at least held off, the world’s biggest super power in the world at Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill. NH and VT militia beat professional mercenaries at Bennington.

    You gotta fight… for the right… TO KEEP AND BEAR!

    “Jaime from North Dakota” and “Craig” think life is an action movie where the good guys always win. They were butthurt that their fantasies wouldn’t really work if the enemy was depraved enough to kill all of the insurgents, including their families.

    But let’s be real. Gun nuts like them would have been in the SS killing the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.

  100. 100
    Incitatus for Senate says:

    The current deal with Amazon Prime:

    The Washington Post free for 6 months, then renews at $3.99 a month.

    P.S. Please, please stop giving the NYT money.

  101. 101
    Kay says:

    Alan Yuhas‏Verified account
    @AlanYuhas
    Follow Follow @AlanYuhas
    More
    Hungary has an outstanding warrant out for Sebastian Gorka, Hungarian police post this photo to warn the public

    Sadly, the US public were not warned. Too late! We’re always the last to know. Can they pick him up on the Fox set? I’ll be happy to alert them if I spot this criminal on Fox and Friends.

  102. 102
    Kelly says:

    Sigh, I miss the old days when gun nuts were into high quality bolt action rifles and hand loading ammunition. Also older weapons with beautiful wood stocks and grips.

  103. 103
    PPCLI says:

    @Adam L Silverman: He weighs the same as a duck?

  104. 104
    Roger Moore says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    A quick check says that yes, USCIS can revoke your citizenship if they discover you lied during the application process. I would dearly love to see this happen to Gorka.

  105. 105
    Rand Careaga says:

    You know, if this NRA/Russia investigation pans out, the headline writers will be missing a bet if they don’t work the term “smoking gun” into the product.

  106. 106
    Neldob says:

    Thanks for the C Lamb PA info.

  107. 107
    Roger Moore says:

    @PPCLI:
    I suggest we try building a bridge out of him.

  108. 108
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Black flies in summer in northern MN?

  109. 109

    Here’s one theory (check the whole thread) as to why there were so many contacts with the Trump campaign. This makes some sense on the Russian side, but it doesn’t explain why the Trump side seems to have been so receptive. It also will make for a very messy investigation and difficult-to-follow news reporting.

  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: They also didn’t read the actual post. Almost none of Jewish Germans at the time had guns. The orthodox/ultra-orthodox had no tradition of firearms usage for sport or defense. And the emancipated Jewish Germans largely didn’t either. So you’re dealing with a couple percent of the population, with only a fraction of it having any sort of history of firearms usage and familiarity. This is not the basis for a successful insurgency.

    I’d personally prefer to go down fighting myself. Using whatever I have at hand. And I know what I’d prefer to have at hand for something like this. But there’s what I want and there’s reality. And part of that reality is that if I have a suitable weapon at hand and manage to kill and/or wound a decent number of attackers, am I just ensuring I’m going to be killed on the spot or am I opening others up for reprisal? This was part of MLK’s strategic and tactical calculus when he chose non-violent resistance. And a key point of contention with others who believed that it didn’t matter whether the resistance was non-violent or violent, the pushback would be violent.

  111. 111
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: It depends on whether they have Interpol issue a Red Notice.

  112. 112
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Yarrow:

    Could climate change denialism also be something that’s partly encouraged and funded by Russia?

    Wait what? This hasn’t been a part of peoples’ models of US climate change denial? (As a possibility at least.) Other aspects include the risk of “unexpected” dramatic positive feedback (e.g. the permafrost submerged since the last ice age melting, and etc.), and all the extinction possibilities that come with a +8C+ scenario (e.g. ocean anoxia). Also massive human migration from China north. These would affect Russia negatively.

  113. 113
    chris says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Been there, saw the giant mosquito.

    The only place that may be worse is Labrador which has mosquitoes and black flies and deer flies. The bugs drove at least one early explorer insane.

  114. 114
    Captain C says:

    @catclub: Or perhaps they did indeed have some very compromising photos of him dressed as Rudy Giuliani.

    (I’ve also heard rumors of much more compromising pics than that, that involved his #2 Clyde Tolson, but those should probably be taken with a grain of salt.)

  115. 115
    ChrisS says:

    @Yarrow: Sure could. Most of RUssia’s wealth is tied up in fossil fuel reserves.

  116. 116
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @PPCLI: Yep, this duck:

  117. 117
    ruemara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Oh man, some of the crackpot gun owners I know link to that. The minute I see them on a gun tear, I ignore them. It goes from 0 to lunatic real fast.

  118. 118
    Immanentize says:

    @Roger Moore: That link overstates th epower to deny citizenship retroactively, as

    The U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the scope under which the federal government can strip naturalized Americans of their citizenship …., ruling that false statements made during the naturalization process had to be relevant to gaining citizenship in order to justify revoking it later.” Maslenjuk v. United State

    In that case, the US argued that any falsehod was sufficient (as your link suggests). It is not a huge difference, but it will be a different matter to prove….

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    @trollhattan:

    What we need is a 239-pound duck … 🦆

  120. 120
    Immanentize says:

    Adam, apologies, I hit Post before closing my blockquote… can you help me at 118 (no edit powers)… thanks

  121. 121
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: Done

  122. 122
    Adam L Silverman says:

    What an asshole!

  123. 123
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Neldob: Speaking from PA, I say… YES! If you can support Democrats in special elections, please do so.

    http://www.padems.com/pa18/

  124. 124
    The Moar You Know says:

    Interesting that the Russians would think that warming up their massive landmass would benefit them. It wouldn’t. What happens when you have a gigantic area of land that’s warm is that most of it becomes a huge desert, with the only areas getting rainfall at the eastern coasts, and that for only a couple of hundred miles inland. Warming to that extent will kill the largest forest on the planet, which will put a crimp in our oxygen supply. You’re talking about taking the climate back to something approximating the Triassic.

    See Antarctica, African Sahara, China, Australia. The US is an outlier in that regard, and still half this country is uninhabitable desert made habitable by unsustainable irrigation.)

  125. 125
    Roger Moore says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Almost none of Jewish Germans at the time had guns. The orthodox/ultra-orthodox had no tradition of firearms usage for sport or defense. And the emancipated Jewish Germans largely didn’t either.

    OTOH, practically every German man who was born before about 1903 would have served in the military. They were really scraping the bottom of the barrel by the end of WWI, and they didn’t exempt Jews from service. So that gives you a fairly large base of men who were at least nominally trained in military uses of firearms. The big problem was there just weren’t enough Jews in Germany to make much of go of it, even if they were all fit and well armed.

  126. 126
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @ruemara: They’re an interesting bunch.

  127. 127
    J R in WV says:

    @tommo:

    What a shame that Vlad is not a natural born US citizen – wait, could there be a birth record for Vlad Putin, here in US? Why Not!!! Long lost brother of Dumpf!!

    Putin for President of US also Too !!!

  128. 128
    The Moar You Know says:

    The comments are nuts!

    @Adam L Silverman: Never has the rule “don’t read the comments” been so true. Holy shit. I made it about 8 in and threw in the towel.

    You: here’s reasons why this wasn’t effective
    Them: don’t give a fuck gimme my warm, comforting guns

    Then the anti-semites and Jesus squadron showed up and I was done.

  129. 129
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Roger Moore: Correct and correct. There were Jewish German WW I vets. However, they were too few in numbers within an already fairly small community that historically had little tradition with firearms usage for any reason.

    It also ignores the larger reality that the actual armies of a number of European countries, including the French, could not stop the NAZIs. An armed Jewish German standoff would have been an interesting historical artifact, but like the Warsaw ghetto uprising it would have largely failed and failed spectacularly. This week is actually the anniversary of the larger, and non-Jewish, Warsaw uprising (which a number of those commenters confused/conflated with the Warsaw ghetto uprising). It failed too. Largely because the Red Army was parked across the river and wouldn’t move because Stalin had ordered them to stand and do nothing. One way or another, barring massive state on state warfare, the NAZIs were going to do what they wanted to do and implement what they wanted to implement.

  130. 130
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Adam L Silverman: As I red elsewhere, isn’t this ‘taxation without representation?’ And doesn’t constitution say we have right to assemble, and petition for redress of grievances?

  131. 131
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Moar You Know: I liked the Jewish guy that called me a self hating Jew for insulting Israel. When I called him on it, as in what does Israel have to do with this, he never responded. The funniest bit is when someone who’d read my stuff at other sites, when I’d front page for other people, showed up and pushed back.

  132. 132
    JR says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Britain was probably the world’s best navy but the best land army was definitely Prussia. Or maybe Austria. France right there, too.

  133. 133
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Why is Secretary Chao’s hair purple? And why is she wearing an American flag?

  134. 134
    rp says:

    This recent Greenwald comment is one of his best:

    Glenn Greenwald

    Verified account

    @ggreenwald
    7h7 hours ago
    In the US, the richest and most politically powerful are immunized even for the most egregious crimes – from torture to the Wall St. crisis. In Brazil, oligarchs and the politically powerful are being imprisoned for corruption. Which sounds like the “shit hole” country to you?

  135. 135
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    Don’t we have an extradition treaty with Hungary?

  136. 136
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: I do not know.

  137. 137

    @Adam L Silverman: Hey, Cotton:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

  138. 138
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Roger Moore: That was the entire basis of the Justice Dept’s OSI.

  139. 139
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Incitatus for Senate:

    P.S. Please, please stop giving the NYT money.

    They keep showing that their focus is on pleasing Trump supporters so let Trump supporters support them. We’ll see how that works since as recently as yesterday, Trump was ragging on them for publishing so-called fake news.

  140. 140
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    This guy…. I’m certain the “Capitol Police” will love hearing from every congresscritter who receives uncomplimentary communications. They should all start doing this.

    “This letter is immediate notification that all communication must cease and desist immediately with all offices of US Senator Tom Cotton,” the letter states. “All other contact will be deemed harassment and will be reported to the United States Capitol Police.”

  141. 141
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): You missed the part that reads: “unless it hurts lil Tommy Cotton’s fee fees”.

  142. 142
    jl says:

    @The Moar You Know: I don’t know if the US is an exception. Climate change due to increased CO2 will increase maximum rainfall events in many areas of the country, but will decrease in some. But it will increase droughts (defined as consecutive days with no rainfall at all) for nearly the whole country. I think northern Maine and NW of Washington state only exceptions.

  143. 143
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Punk.

  144. 144
    trollhattan says:

    This person (Joni Ernst’s long-lost twin?) would make a fine replacement for Senator Flake.

    Representative Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) took umbrage Thursday night with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin’s (D-Ill.) recent comments about a deal for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, or Dreamers, during a segment with Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

    Also running in the fall to take exiting Senator Jeff Flake’s spot, McSally claimed she was angered and more worried about U.S. military troops overseas.

    “It’s infuriating, Tucker. This is the point that I brought up in the White House meeting last week, and I was moved when I heard Dick Durbin say there’s lives hanging in the balance, or something like that,” McSally said according to Mediaite. “I was like moved to jump in and say the only lives that are hanging in the balance are those of our military, the men and woman that are serving overseas, putting their lives in harm’s way.”

    McSally continued: “While our troops are over there risking their lives for us, these guys are dicking around.”

  145. 145
    Andrey says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Eh, it’s not clear that this is actually bad. They allege harassment and multiple offenses from a single person. It is possible for a constituent to cross the line to harassment.

    We have lots of things to be angry at Republicans for that are much better substantiated.

  146. 146
    germy says:

    Another key figure in the Torshin-NRA-Trump nexus: Torshin's "special assistant" Maria Butina, who attended one of Trump's first campaign events in April 2015 — during which Trump signaled his willingness to lift sanctions on Russia./8/https://t.co/bgnpzkvRD3— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) January 18, 2018

    Here's Trump in 2015, suggesting to Maria Butina (Russian crime boss Alexander Torshin's special assistant) that he would lift sanctions on Russia."I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin… I don't think you'd need the sanctions."/9/ pic.twitter.com/dCXqktvSKs— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) January 18, 2018

  147. 147
    Roger Moore says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I suspect that one of the things that throws people off is hearing that 6 million Jewish people were killed in the Holocaust and thinking this means there were close to that number in Germany. Yeah, if there had been 6 million Jews in Germany and they had been as heavily armed as crazy American gun-humpers, they could have made life unpleasant for the Nazis before they were all killed. But most of those Jewish people were scattered across Europe* and were never concentrated in a large enough group with access to weapons to make much of a difference.

    *Including a fair number who had left Germany while that was still an option but had the misfortune to wind up in countries the Nazis eventually conquered.

  148. 148

    Twitter thread about “chain migration” a Nazi propaganda term currently used being by the NeoNazis in the WH.

  149. 149
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    Don’t we have an extradition treaty with Hungary?

    I have no idea but I would pay to see an onsite, live arrest of a Fox news commenter/international criminal-fugitive. Now that would be some good reality tv.

  150. 150
    ArchTeryx says:

    @The Moar You Know: Congrats! You found the Mos Eisley of comment threads!

  151. 151

    @Kay: Isn’t Hungary deep in the embrace of white supremacists too?

  152. 152
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Kay: I only have faith in Mueller’s investigation. The FBI and Comey did all they could to blow up Secretary Clinton’s campaign during the weeks before the election. All that nonsense about Weiner and Huma Abedin threw a wrench in the election cycle and Secretary Clinton didn’t have enough time to change the discourse. The FBI and Comey are one of the key reasons we have Trump in the White House and we should never forget that.

  153. 153
  154. 154
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @schrodingers_cat: That’s going to play hell with the Mar al Lago staffing.

  155. 155
    Fair Economist says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Also massive human migration from China north. These would affect Russia negatively.

    Yup, in the bad scenarios China loses the entire lower Yangtze Valley, and many, many other cities including Guangzhou and Beijing. Probably something like half its population will have to move. If 600 million Chinese are looking for a place to live to the north, does anybody think Siberia will stay Russian?

  156. 156
    Roger Moore says:

    @Gelfling 545:
    I’m sure Donald Trump would never stoop to violating immigration law when hiring workers at any of his properties. He’s the most ethical, law abiding businessman in the entire world.

  157. 157
    J R in WV says:

    @Kay:

    I would pay a LOT to see that. Chained up and dragged out, screaming profanities and Hungarian ranting. A LOT ~!!

    Better than a Insane Clown Posse show! Not that I’ve ever seen one, just the thought, ya know.

  158. 158
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @trollhattan: Is McSally riled up enough to call out Trump for sending soldiers into Niger without proper military equipment? Is she riled up enough to demand “Benghazi-style” inquiries into what happened in Niger to those four soldiers who were killed by terrorists there? McSally and other Republicans only care about phantom, mythical troops. They could care less about the ones who actually serve this country and sometimes lose their lives doing so.

  159. 159
    jl says:

    @schrodingers_cat: The buzzfeed link in the tweet says it’s for a gun/ammo charge.
    Hungary is a warning to the US: reactionaries used an electoral win to make constitutional changes that entrenched them in authoritarian nationalist rule.
    Paul Krugman followed the frightening descent of Hungary into authoritarianism for quite a while, back when the ruling party forced the constitutional changes.

  160. 160
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @jl:
    I’d like to think that if that ever happend here, millions would rise up to overthrow the GOP (it would probably be them).

  161. 161
    Redshift says:

    If other candidates had this number of connections, we haven’t heard about them, and it’s hard to believe that Hillary Clinton, in particular, could keep them secret. How about Marco Rubio? Ted Cruz? Rand Paul?

    I don’t recall seeing anything from the Clinton campaign (though they may have made a statement at some point), but there was a time when wingnuts were whining on Twitter about “It’s not fair! They didn’t ask the Obama campaign how many contacts they had with Russia!”, and several senior Obama campaign staffers came back with “We’d be happy to tell you: none. It’s normal to have none.”

  162. 162
    Mnemosyne says:

    @trollhattan:

    I’m guessing McSally is unaware that one of the things that qualifies a person for DACA is serving in the armed forces. So she’s desperate to stand up for our troops … as long as they can prove they’re citizens.

  163. 163
    jl says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Interesting to watch public response to any Congresscruds who are sending out cease and desist orders to persistent constituents. Wonder if the liar Sen Cotton is the only GOPer doing it. I’m sure that crummy stunt will produce some nice attack ads for his next election.

  164. 164
    nycmt says:

    @Roger Moore: my paternal step grandmothers first husband was a veteran of the German Army in World War 1. when he was arrested on Kristallnacht, oma went berserk trying to hide his service revolver

  165. 165
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The ACLU was on it within minutes. He may be in for some trying times. Personally, I think he’s too sensitive for his current line of work.

  166. 166
    Greenergood says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The BBC had Mr Gorka as an infuriatingly frequent spokesman for the Trump Admin until, well, November 2017 – so what made the Beeb change its mind?

  167. 167
    Roger Moore says:

    @nycmt:
    My maternal grandfather just missed serving in WWI. He was 14 when the war ended, and Germany was scraping the barrel hard enough he probably would have been drafted if it had gone on any longer. He was fortunate enough to get the hell out of Germany in 1933, and to get his whole extended family out early enough they were able to bring some money out with them. He was also very fortunate part of the business deal they used to get the money out involved him moving from Paris to London.

  168. 168
    MomSense says:

    @Kay:

    My hypothesis is that Comey assumed, like the media and most of government, that Clinton would win. He knew the Republicans would go after him and the FBI for playing favorites, failing to prosecute her for the EMAILZ, or some other bullshit so he fired off that letter and had that horrid press conference in July to try to protect FBI funding with a Republican Congress in full political theater mode with a Clinton administration.

  169. 169
    J R in WV says:

    @Andrey:

    Dude, ONE GUY used a crude slur to a woman, but many others not mentioned by Cotton’s staff just raised issues Cotton didn’t want to talk about. I’ll let you guess about which issues Cotton didn’t want to hear about. Standard liberal nonsense, though!

  170. 170
    Dan B says:

    Yarrow and CatClub

    Climate change will be disastrous for Siberia. The warning will not be smooth. Already permafrost, which covers immense swaths, is melting. It turns into lakes, not land. Polonias are exploding at an increasing rate. South of the permafrost the forests are burning as a result of creeping acidity and heat waves. Last summer huge fires swept the region blanketing Lake Baikal in deadly smoke. Change will be erratic and at times disastrous. A billion Chinese will have no where to go. There will be no reliable agriculture unless it is indoors, a huge undertaking and paradigm shift. It would prudent for them to explore settling semi arid lands to the west of Beijing than to flee north. But neither option is certain to be viable.

    For more info Robert Scribbler is an excellent resource on future, and current, conditions in the arctic, and elsewhere.

  171. 171
    Dan B says:

    “creeping aridity” in Southern Siberia, not creeping acidity… auto correct, grrr.

  172. 172
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: in “Eichmann in Jerusalem” Hannah Arendt makes the point that the Nazis were in the habit of torturing the hell out of any Jews who offered armed resistance, as well as visiting grotesquely disproportionate reprisals on the rest of the community. Tends to have adampening effect on resistance, was her takeaway observation. Not that I’d expect the nuts who comment on gun sites would grok the point.

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