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YellowFever
01 Jan 17,, 17:33
If you look at all the inflammatory headlines it's always "Hackers used Zero day"* but if you actually read the story, it's always a variation of "The hacking group that hacked the DNC has been known to use Zero days before".

The FBI report was pretty clear.

"In summer 2015, an APT29 spearphishing campaign directed emails containing a malicious link to over 1,000 recipients, including multiple U.S. Government victims. APT29 used legitimate domains, to include domains associated with U.S. organizations and educational institutions, to host malware and send spearphishing emails.

In the course of that campaign, APT29 successfully compromised a U.S. political party. At least one targeted individual activated links to malware hosted on operational infrastructure of opened attachments containing malware. APT29 delivered malware to the political party’s systems, established persistence, escalated privileges, enumerated active directory accounts, and exfiltrated email from several accounts through encrypted connections back through operational infrastructure.

In spring 2016, APT28 compromised the same political party, again via targeted spearphishing.

This time, the spearphishing email tricked recipients into changing their passwords through a fake webmail domain hosted on APT28 operational infrastructure. Using the harvested
credentials, APT28 was able to gain access and steal content, likely leading to the exfiltration of information from multiple senior party members.

The U.S. Government assesses that information was leaked to the press and publicly disclosed."

In simple terms, they sent out emails saying "Your passwords are compromised.* Click here to input new password"...and they sent it out to everybidy, not just the Democrats....and the links directed them to websites that the Russians controlled.

*I guess if you can say they did use Zero Days.....and those Zero Days were named Podesta and the ITs that the DNC employed.

JAD_333
02 Jan 17,, 00:29
And this is why I said Barry played this rather badly....no disasterously.

I have no doubt the NSA has the capability to nail down exactly who hacked us. And maybe even some humint or intercepts reveal the intents. But now we are at a point where he started something stupidly and the only way to prove what he says 100% is to reveal some of our capabilities.

JAD, did you not see this coming when Obama started this whole "review" bullshit?

Come to think of it, there's a range of possibilities behind Obama's review. Policy solidification; warning shot across the bow (screw not with our election process); peek-a-boo-we see you; political cover for election defeat; reveal Putin's cretinous side; I'm-a-good-guy legacy building; highlight Trump's budding love affair with an avowed enemy; bowing to public & congressional pressure; stealing thunder from Trump's pre-inaugural chest pounding; -- from here the gruel gets thinner.

I'm inclined to believe that Obama was boxed in on this. He didn't act last summer, so he says, because he didn't want to seem to be interfering in the election (a la Comey). Of course, he flew around making speeches for Clinton, so one wonders. An equally plausible explanation is that he didn't expect Clinton to lose, so why risk action that may have seemed he was using his office to help her. I think the answer lies somewhere in between.

But then Clinton lost, and suddenly he faced the real possibility that the Russian hacks may have helped Trump win. Media speculation became white hot and, no doubt, so did the most of the Democratic leadership and a good many GOPers, too. Doing nothing was no longer an option for him. That is, if he wants to remain a force in Democratic circles. So, he initiated a "review", which word suggests he had been dealing with the problem all along. The rest you know.



Yes, those who were briefed probably knows the hackers and methods but the problem is we do not and half the population think it's total bullshit while over 50% of Democrats think the voting machines were being hacked.


You're absolutely right. It is a problem when insiders know for sure where the hack originated while the outsiders (public) don't. A credibility gap exists, and it would sure be nice if it were closed so we all could be sure the government is telling the truth. But may be too high a price to pay for public comfort. Revealing methods and tech could ultimately compromise our cyber warfare capabilities. Weighing that possibility against the positives of closing the credibility gap, there's no doubt in my mind which way to go--we have to keep our methods under wraps. That means the public has to accept their president's word and whatever skimpy proofs he puts forward. If he's lying, eventually the truth will out, just as the Iraq war exposed the bad intel on WMD.



Also, he didn't take any actions when the Russians and the Chinese were snooping around something imporant, like the Pentagon servers or other national security servers.

But now?

Now when a friggin gmail account got hacked and released the Democrats dirty laundry? Now it's a matter of national security????

Oh he also included some sob story of how a diplomat got harrassed at Moscow way back when....as if to try desperately to convince us he was righteous on this.


It's too soon to judge Obama's handling of this.

In fact, some of the Chinese hackers you mentioned have been identified (https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/us-charges-five-chinese-military-hackers-cyber-espionage-against-us-corporations-and-labor) and there are outstanding warrants for their arrest. Also, we don't know what other countermeasures have been taken.

The only reason I can think of as to why Obama mentioned the harassment of US diplomats (spies) in this context was to illustrate Russia's disregard for international norms and maybe to get their goons to lay off.



Secondly, and I am also replying to snapper' question earlier on here:

No, I am not one damn bit concerned about what the Russians did to us.

I was a bit concerned earlier when I thought they used malwares or zero days to hack into the DNC or other institutions but they used FRIGGIN SPEAR-PHISHING.

Sure, the FBI report made it out to be some exotic method that the Russians developed but as I stated before, it's the same amateurish method used by thousands of kids 20 years ago.

Some common sense would've prevented this whole fiasco.

We ought to care less about how the Russians did the hack than the effect it has had on our election process. I would rather a foreign leader openly support a US candidate than break into his opponent's office, steal files, and give them to the media.

But this was no Watergate ordinary burglary where the intruders were actual people. It was a cyber crime done through the world wide web using exploits to harvest electronically stored files, and it was a low risk crime. The people behind it were miles away and nowhere near the targeted premises. Given the enormous store of such files all over the world, these types of cyber break-ins pose a huge threat to everyone.

I think retaliation, when state actors are involved, and legal action, when private entities are behind it, will escalate as the number of such intrusions grow and begin to damage national institutions, etc. So, in a way, I don't see Obama's retaliation as overdone this time compared to past countermeasures. I see it as an escalation in countermeasures to deal with the growing number and severity of intrusions.

And, if I may add, I believe we'll begin to see treaties specifically to control international cyber activity.


I bet our American tech geeks probe all over the world too and just because some of theirs managed to trick some of our dumb people into giving them their passwords is no reason to get concenred about.

It's cyber warfare and they managed to win a tiny battle on this one that the Democrats and The Media somehow turned into a huge disaster.

In fact, I would even call it a blessing in disguise as it taught us an imporrant lesson before something really important did leak this same way.


Right. The leaked material was ho-hum, at least for people who are accustomed to the two-faced nature of parties and other entities in the public eye. But for the average Joe, discovering a scrubbed, virtuous, caring, and smiling public figure is the product of careful calculation and bickering behind the scenes, he feels cheated. For a candidate for office, the result may be loss of support.

The DNC/Podesta leaks may or may not have cost Clinton votes. But that is mainly an issue for Democrats. For the rest of us, the issue is attempted manipulation of national elections. This time it was stolen files comprising moderately embarrassing documents. What will it be next time? We have to go after the perpetrators of this kind of crime so that future potential perpetrators will think twice before trying to manipulate future elections.




Also let's strip this down to the bone. They did not release some national secret, they released some emails from Podesta. The contents were embarrassing but there was nothing there that we didn't already know. Did the
Dem party prefers Hillary over Bernie? Yes, and anybody that spends even a minute reading a newspaper knew this. Were the "mainstream" media cozy with Hillary? Yes we knew this. Hell, I bet the whole world knows this.

So what new revelations did we find out because of the leaks?

Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero.


There is another way to look at it. For example, a girl shoots at President Ford, but misses. A robber breaks into a bank vault and finds it empty. Do we dismiss the acts because no harm was done?



Ooops....gotta cut this short. I need to get drunk in the next hour to celebrate the New Year.


Geez, I thought you were already drunk. ;-0

snapper
02 Jan 17,, 00:41
Good summary +1 or 'like' etc..

citanon
02 Jan 17,, 00:46
It just goes to show how feckless an inept the Obama administration is.

I had the idiocy put in some work in one of the administration's vaunted initiatives a few years back and sure enough beneath the hype there was a whole lot of nothing and ended on a whimper with a bunch of insiders gaining benefits to do not much of anything for selection reasons that no one else could fathom because it was nontransparent to the extent that not only did people not know the selection methods, but that it was even happening when it happened.

Now this hacking incident. I'd find it positively shocking if the Russians weren't trying to hack both parties. In fact, were that the case, were I Putin I'd fire the spies and the bosses. Of course the Russians were hacking. It's a no brainier.

But to first exaggerated the impact of a few leaked emails until a quarter of the country think Putin put Donald Trump in the White House, and then, come up with a response as feeble as sending some spies back to mother Russia and closing down a couple of vacation homes? To have an august "multi-agency taskforce" put together a deep dive that produces something I could have written in a weekend after spending half a day Googling "Russian hacking methods" and "computer security"?

Good riddance to these 2nd rate losers.

YellowFever
02 Jan 17,, 08:34
*

Geez, I thought you were already drunk.* ;-0

Come to think of it, I was drunk. :D

I think it was a residual effect fron exchanging posts with tankie.

You just read the guy's post and you find yourself slowly getting drunk. :P

JAD, I think you're giving Obama way more credit than he deserves.

The media didn't turn this issue red hot until AFTER Obama went public with his order for a "review".

Also I, and many Trump supporters found the level of politics played by this Director of the CIA and all his negative remarks twoards Trump pretty alarming.

When was the last time a sitting director of one of our intelligence agencies spoke up so vehemently against a candidate before an election?

So maybe many people had a reason to suspect a report from the CIA saying the Russians "hacked" an election to help Trump pretty unbelievable.

You and I both know the CIA, as far as guessing the intents of foreign powers go, is not a group of people who gathers all the information and they all come to a consensus.

Rather it's a lot like the State Department where multiple views are reached and submitted and what usually rises to the top are those reports that reflect the thinking of the brass...brass that is usually appointed by the President and mirros his point of view.

How this works is that most intelliegence agencies are far from "impartial people with one goal of keeping America safe" is far from reality. Like other departments they are full of political hacks and whoever kisses the brass ass most usually rises to the top.

WMD anyone?


Frankly, I wouldn't have been so upset if the term "hacking the election" didn't come up. That term leads me to believe this was a political act more than anything else.

In fact, the more I think about this, the more I'm pretty sure it was a political act.

How did the narrative from the White House go from "hacking the election" to "an attempt to influence our institution and election" if they did have absolute proof that the Russians did indeed attempt to do exactly that?

Your quote:



We ought to care less about how the Russians did the hack than the effect it has had on our election process


was right on the money but not in the way you think. The Russians (and the Chinese and whoever) did hack us before Podesta's emails and there will be much much more future hacking. As you say it is a cheap way to gather intelligence without a high price to pay politically.

But the "effect" it had on our election process and institution was 100% caued by the media and a pretty peeved Democrat Party that wants to stick it to Trump pretty badly.

Look, Putin is a thug.

A simple patting of the shoulder and a "Hey look, Vlad, ole buddy, we know you're hacking into our systems.Please stop" is not going to deter him.

I believed Obama when he said we have much more capability than the Russians do when it comes to cyber capabilities.

If (and that's still a mighty big if) Obama knows for sure Putin did this to get Trump elected, the wise way to handle it would have been:

1) Keep it quiet and find the person that leaked thd CIA report to the press and nail his balls to the wall.

And

2) Use all our resources in the cyber realm to attack Putin mercilessly.

Thugs or even regular leaders don't stop using a weapon (and that's all this really is) just because others ask him to stop. He has to realize that this weapon can hurt him equally, if not more, in order for him to come to the table to hammer out a treaty banning it.

Instead we got what citanon outlined before my post. Pretty ineffective, pretty late and pretty lame.

Putin is laughing his skinny little bald ass off right now because a simple harmless little hack is hurting us way, WAY more than it should because Obama made a big deal out of it.

A small Putin victory became a huge one.

Putin is a lot likeTrump in the way they see the media.

They do not care what the media says. And they do not really care about political attacks...at least not the way regular politicans care.

It's what made them so beloved by their supporters.

And Obama is trying to use the same old ways to hurt them and it's not working.

You said it yourself before, JAD, there is no way we could do a do over election....

So what is this "review" really accomplishing?

Oh by the way, was there an offical statement that the review was completed?

If so, why didn't we hear about it?

(Oh god, please don't tell me this 13 page report by the FBI & DHS was the culmination of the review)

And if not, why the hell were the sanctions imposed without waiting for completed review?

Pure politics.

Mihais
02 Jan 17,, 09:03
May I remind you, gentlemen, that it is the FBI that nailed it with Huma's mails a few days before the elections?
If it were any doubts of effective Russian efforts to manipulate the elections,they would have shut up.

YellowFever
02 Jan 17,, 09:13
May I remind you, gentlemen, that it is the FBI that nailed it with Huma's mails a few days before the elections?
If it were any doubts of effective Russian efforts to manipulate the elections,they would have shut up.

Sorry Mihais, tankie's posts are still affecting my brain.

Can you repeat what you said?

Edit: Ah, Abedin's email fiasco.

YellowFever
02 Jan 17,, 09:45
Huckabee is the man.

My feelings exactly:


https://youtu.be/pu01zWDqZXs

tankie
02 Jan 17,, 11:58
Sorry Mihais, tankie's posts are still affecting my brain.


Likewise , your PM has shown the real you huh , well you can f##k off mush , 1st you liked my ass pic , which aint mine , then you send me PMs confessing your a ponce or is it F A G where u live ? and can you visit ,,well no ya cant , im all wimmin luvvin , so sod off ,wanker.

Parihaka
02 Jan 17,, 16:19
uhhhhhmmmm????

Doktor
02 Jan 17,, 18:38
uhhhhhmmmm????

Never seen elderly couple having a chit-chat?

tankie
02 Jan 17,, 19:10
uhhhhhmmmm????

across the pond banter n slag offs hari tiss all ,,,yella comin outta the closet . lol

troung
02 Jan 17,, 19:14
I am no Obama fan in any way but when Trump calls on Moscow to hack to the Clinton campaign... and it seems highly likely at least that they did, you would dismiss it and "move on"? .

He made a joke regarding Hilldog deleting/hiding emails from her time at state. Partisan hacks and the clueless missed the humor and have transformed it to a "call for a hack."

Democrat emails got leaked and showed corruption, funny goings on, and complicity between the Democrats and the legacy media; that's the story. Putin didn't make them write those emails, or not campaign in certain states. Te evidence for a Putin hack is slim to nonexistent. This is the Zero trying to muddy the waters as much as possible before he is out of office and a bunch of people trying to come up with excuses (other than they all suck) for losing despite the media being in the tank and outspending a hobby politician two to one.

YellowFever
02 Jan 17,, 20:04
I have come to the conclusion that tankie is Anthony Weiner and he is bitter that he cost Hillary the election.

42993

astralis
03 Jan 17,, 15:34
probably time to start that new thread. Congress is getting an early start on draining that swamp...lol.

====

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/02/house-republicans-vote-to-rein-in-independent-ethics-office/

House Republicans vote to rein in independent ethics office
By Mike DeBonis and Karoun Demirjian January 2 at 8:13 PM

Defying the wishes of their top leaders, House Republicans voted behind closed doors Monday night to rein in the independent ethics office created eight years ago in the wake of a series of embarrassing congressional scandals.

The 119-to-74 vote during a GOP conference meeting means that the House rules package expected to be adopted Tuesday, the first day of the 115th Congress, would rename the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) as the Office of Congressional Complaint Review and place it under the oversight of the House Ethics Committee.

Under the proposed new rules, the office could not employ a spokesperson, investigate anonymous tips or refer criminal wrongdoing to prosecutors without the express consent of the Ethics Committee, which would gain the power to summarily end any OCE probe.

The OCE was created in 2008 to address concerns that the Ethics Committee had been too timid in pursuing allegations of wrongdoing by House members. Under the current House ethics regime, the OCE is empowered to release a public report of its findings even if the Ethics Committee chooses not to take further action against a member.

The move to place the OCE under the Ethics Committee’s aegis stands to please many lawmakers who have been wary of having their dirty laundry aired by the independent entity, but some Republicans feared that rolling back a high-profile ethical reform would send a negative message as the GOP assumes unified control in Washington. President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to “drain the swamp” and has proposed a series of his own ethics reforms.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) opposed the amendment to the House rules package, speaking out against it in the Monday evening conference meeting, according to two people in the room.

But the measure’s sponsor, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), said in a statement that it “builds upon and strengthens” the current arrangement and that it improves the due process rights for the House members under investigation and witnesses interviewed in the course of OCE probes.

“The OCE has a serious and important role in the House, and this amendment does nothing to impede their work,” Goodlatte said.

Goodlatte’s amendment to the House rules “provides protections against any disclosures to the public or other government entities,” according to a summary provided by his office, and also mandates that the Ethics Committee — not the OCE itself — make any referral of a potential criminal violation to law enforcement.

“Feedback from Members and staff having gone through review by the OCE has been that those under investigation need increased protection of their due process rights, greater access to basic evidentiary standards, and a process that does not discriminate against them for invoking those rights,” the summary said. “The amendment seeks to strengthen each of these needs while maintaining the basic core of OCE’s functions.”

The measure also prohibits limits the OCE’s jurisdiction to the previous three Congresses, aligning its statute of limitations to the Ethics Committee’s.

An OCE spokeswoman declined to comment Monday. Because Monday’s vote was taken in a private party meeting, there is no public tally of how members voted on the proposal.

Ethics watchdog groups warned that the amendment could undermine public confidence in Congress.

“Threatening its independence is a disservice to the American people who need a nonpartisan body to investigate the ethical failures of their representatives,” said Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, a watchdog organization. “The fact that they do not want an Office with ‘Congressional Ethics’ in the name is a pretty good metaphor for how ethics scandals will be dealt with if this rule passes.”

Democrats, then in the House majority, established the OCE in 2008 in the aftermath of the lobbying scandal surrounding Jack Abramoff to conduct ethics investigations free from political influence. But in recent years, some members of Congress have sought to limit the office and its work.

At the start of the last Congress, Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) pushed for a rule change to stress that people being investigated by the OCE could not be denied their constitutional rights and had a right to counsel. According to media reports, Pearce raised the objection because he felt a staffer in his office had been treated unfairly.

The OCE’s rules permit people under investigation to work through a lawyer.

Last summer, Pearce repeated such complaints during comments on the House floor, when he proposed an amendment to limit the OCE’s funding, arguing that it was justified by government-wide budget restrictions and the need “to give notice to the OCE that we’re watching what you’re doing.”

The pushback hasn’t come only from Republicans. In 2011, Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) — who had been subject to an OCE investigation — drafted an amendment to slash funding from the OCE by 40 percent, calling the office “redundant and duplicative” of the House Ethics Committee. That amendment was rejected.

Democrats pounced Monday on the Republicans’ move. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement that the GOP “has acted to weaken ethics and silence would-be whistleblowers” and that the proposed arrangement “would functionally destroy” the OCE.

“Republicans claim they want to drain the swamp, but the night before the new Congress gets sworn in, the House GOP has eliminated the only independent ethics oversight of their actions,” Pelosi said. “Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of the new Republican Congress.”

The House Ethics Committee is composed of sitting members of Congress, five Republicans and five Democrats, while the Office of Congressional Ethics is run by a six-member board with two alternates. One alternate position is vacant.

It does not have subpoena power, but its reports and investigations are often a first vetting in situations where members are alleged to have violated the rules of congressional conduct. Several of the cases reviewed by the OCE have been referred to the House Ethics Committee for further proceedings.

Unlike most congressional committees, the Ethics Committee is evenly divided between the majority and minority parties. A senior GOP aide not authorized to comment publicly on the matter noted Friday that because of that, Republicans could not act unilaterally to protect members of their own party.

But in the decades before the OCE was created, the Ethics Committee was routinely criticized for protecting lawmakers of both parties by sanctioning members in only the most egregious and well-publicized cases.

In the Senate, there is no equivalent of the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Double Edge
03 Jan 17,, 21:04
Definitely agree that the long-term goal is to undermine Western democracy, but don't see evidence Russia's doing a killer job here. Just seems like they are bumbling along, and if we found crumbs, it's because they aren't doing such a hot job.

The National Front sure isn't winning any elections in France and Trump pulled this one from the jaws of defeat.
No need to do a killer job the way your press & intelligence agencies shouted about it was good enough. So what was the response. 35 diplomats got sent back, two compounds shut down. This incident is over and done with regardless of what some people think.

Putin's reaction. Nothing. Trump thanks him.

The stage is set for a meet and Putin has the initiative. Chosen secstate is a recipient of the kremlin's order of friendship. WHAT!

Now lets see what comes out of it.

JAD_333
03 Jan 17,, 21:14
*

Come to think of it, I was drunk. :D

I think it was a residual effect fron exchanging posts with tankie.

Cheap date, cheap high...what more can you ask for? :-)




JAD, I think you're giving Obama way more credit than he deserves.


Maybe I should have quantifed it. C+ up from an F last summer.



The media didn't turn this issue red hot until AFTER Obama went public with his order for a "review".

It's was hot enough all the while the emails were dribbling out.



Also I, and many Trump supporters found the level of politics played by this Director of the CIA and all his negative remarks twoards Trump pretty alarming.

When was the last time a sitting director of one of our intelligence agencies spoke up so vehemently against a candidate before an election?

So maybe many people had a reason to suspect a report from the CIA saying the Russians "hacked" an election to help Trump pretty unbelievable.


Brennan did comment a few times before the election. Last April, I believe, he said the CIA would refuse an order to return to waterboarding and/or other rendition techniques that Trump said he favored. In August (?) he pushed back when Trump claimed he could tell by their body language that CIA agents who gave him security briefings were unhappy with Obama for not taking their advice. Brennan said agents were too professional to take sides. That was soon after the GOP convention. Insofar as I can recall, these were the only times Brennan spoke up before the election.

Not until AFTER the election did the CIA assess that Russian hacking was done to help Trump win. Brennan obviously approves of the assessment, although the FBI demurred, citing a lack of evidence. That earned Brennan criticism for playing politics. More recently, Brennan sat for a BBC interview that some GOP legislators characterized as a hit job on Trump. After listening to the interview, I felt it was much ado about nothing: an outgoing senior official defending current policies. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38152706




. . .most intelliegence agencies are far from "impartial people with one goal of keeping America safe" is far from reality. Like other departments they are full of political hacks and whoever kisses the brass ass most usually rises to the top.

WMD anyone?

Well, having been one of those "political hacks" at DoD and having worked with CIA briefers and other intel guys, I naturally have a different view. It was often the case that journalists, commentators, and assorted other critics of what we did didn't know what they were talking about. As for ass kissing, it doesn't go far with the brass. Yes, there are exceptions. As for disagreeing with your boss, as happened to me a few times, you better have your ducks lined up, and if you do, you'll be appreciated. The biggest mistake outsiders make is to judge the whole by idiocy and abuses of a few.

Yes, it's true that politics influences the direction of some intel work, and that's to be expected. The world turns on political and geopolitical considerations. For example, the Reagan military build-up in the early 1980s, which was deemed necessary after gains by the old USSR during the 1970s began to close the arms gap, depended on getting Congress to agree to a massive increase in military spending. It fell to the intelligence agencies to make the case, which they did admirably. But the CIA has also been misused. For example, when the WMD in Iraq issue came around 20 years later, the agency felt its case wasn't ready for prime time. But Dick Chaney and company demanded it be used anyway. Again it was a political imperative, both domestically, with Congress set to vote on whether to support an invasion of Iraq, and geopolitical, with the administration driving to create a coalition force for the invasion. Once put on the sacrificial altar to help build political support for a weak case, it was inevitable that the agency's reputation would suffer for years to come.




Frankly, I wouldn't have been so upset if the term "hacking the election" didn't come up. That term leads me to believe this was a political act more than anything else.


Yeah, it a media invention--headline writers. Obama's statements have a more labored name for them: "...aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election."
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/12/29/statement-president-actions-response-russian-malicious-cyber-activity




Look, Putin is a thug.

Just the kind of guy Trump has been dealing with all his life. You know the saying: You can't bullshit a bullshitter.




(Oh god, please don't tell me this 13 page report by the FBI & DHS was the culmination of the review)

And if not, why the hell were the sanctions imposed without waiting for completed review?

Pure politics.

Ya think there ought to be a detailed report of methods and sources made public before the administration acts on what it knows in secret? I respectfully disagree. A pragmatist would argue that the right to know doesn't trump national security. Pure politics? It doesn't follow that Obama's retaliation was meant to make a subtle case that the hack caused Clinton to lose, although some could see it that way If it had just been a foreign illegal entry into a privately-owned server and the theft of documents, the Justice Department would have asked for indictments, if they could finger the culprits. The State dept would have its ambassador lodge a formal complaint to the head of the country involved. But this particular hack endangered our constitutional process for electing presidents. Had it worked beyond any doubt, we'd all be up in arms no matter which party was the target. But because it didn't, we are floundering around, bickering over stupid stuff. We should all be damned worried about the potential for this to happen again, possibly in more covert ways, and we should back the president, who incidentally is living up to his oath here, in imposing sanctions on the country that was to blame for the interference. IMO, the sanctions were pretty mild. Putin gets an attaboy from Trump for not retaliating. Well maybe Putin is like the cat who swallowed the canary...he knows he did it, so why prolong the agony. You can bet the farm that he would be jumping up and down like a wounded ape if he was innocent.

JAD_333
03 Jan 17,, 21:19
probably time to start that new thread. Congress is getting an early start on draining that swamp...lol.

====

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/02/house-republicans-vote-to-rein-in-independent-ethics-office/

House Republicans vote to rein in independent ethics office
By Mike DeBonis and Karoun Demirjian January 2 at 8:13 PM



Although it's been reversed, looks bad for the GOP. Agree with Trump; poor beginning for the new Congress.

Start that new thread... ;-)

Doktor
03 Jan 17,, 22:02
Although it's been reversed, looks bad for the GOP. Agree with Trump; poor beginning for the new Congress.

Start that new thread... ;-)

Since we quote "comedians" lately...


Andy Borowitz
Bravo to the House Republicans, for using their first vote of the year to strip power from a congressional ethics board. That's exactly what's been wrong with Congress: TOO MUCH FUCKING ETHICS.

I liked Andy, but he is becoming boring with his Anti-Trump rants. OK, we got it, like 2 months ago. Get over it and move on.

TopHatter
03 Jan 17,, 23:19
As requested, we're starting a new thread for what will undoubtedly be an "entertaining" political circus here in the U.S., with consequences that could reverberate around the globe.

May God have mercy on our souls...

DOR
04 Jan 17,, 06:59
Robert Lighthizer, USTR nominee, is a protectionist lobbyist. If he manages to influence the administration’s trade policy, American standards of living are going to deteriorate because of higher import duties.

He reportedly will report to Commerce Secretary (nominee) Wilber Ross, rather than directly to the President as US Trade Representatives have done for 55 years. That might be dicey, as Lighthizer lobbyed for industry while Ross was being a vulture capitalist.

DOR
04 Jan 17,, 07:05
JAD_333,

Plucked from the now-closed 2016 US General Election thread …


But the CIA has also been misused. For example, when the WMD in Iraq issue came around 20 years later, the agency felt its case wasn't ready for prime time. But Dick Chaney and company demanded it be used anyway. Again it was a political imperative, both domestically, with Congress set to vote on whether to support an invasion of Iraq, and geopolitical, with the administration driving to create a coalition force for the invasion. Once put on the sacrificial altar to help build political support for a weak case, it was inevitable that the agency's reputation would suffer for years to come.

Thanks for confirming what I’ve been saying for many years, and several people here have been denying: The decision to invade Iraq was made on the basis of unsound information packaged for purely partisan political purposes.

drhuy
04 Jan 17,, 07:48
JAD_333,

Plucked from the now-closed 2016 US General Election thread …



Thanks for confirming what I’ve been saying for many years, and several people here have been denying: The decision to invade Iraq was made on the basis of unsound information packaged for purely partisan political purposes.

"arab springs" and the subsequent regime changes were made on the basis of unsound information packaged for purely partisan political purposes.

astralis
04 Jan 17,, 14:22
lol, are there any more of Assad's talking points you would like to spout?

YellowFever
04 Jan 17,, 18:58
probably time to start that new thread. Congress is getting an early start on draining that swamp...lol.

====

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/02/house-republicans-vote-to-rein-in-independent-ethics-office/

House Republicans vote to rein in independent ethics office
By Mike DeBonis and Karoun Demirjian January 2 at 8:13 PM

Defying the wishes of their top leaders, House Republicans voted behind closed doors Monday night to rein in the independent ethics office created eight years ago in the wake of a series of embarrassing congressional scandals.

The 119-to-74 vote during a GOP conference meeting means that the House rules package expected to be adopted Tuesday, the first day of the 115th Congress, would rename the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) as the Office of Congressional Complaint Review and place it under the oversight of the House Ethics Committee.

Under the proposed new rules, the office could not employ a spokesperson, investigate anonymous tips or refer criminal wrongdoing to prosecutors without the express consent of the Ethics Committee, which would gain the power to summarily end any OCE probe.

The OCE was created in 2008 to address concerns that the Ethics Committee had been too timid in pursuing allegations of wrongdoing by House members. Under the current House ethics regime, the OCE is empowered to release a public report of its findings even if the Ethics Committee chooses not to take further action against a member.

The move to place the OCE under the Ethics Committee’s aegis stands to please many lawmakers who have been wary of having their dirty laundry aired by the independent entity, but some Republicans feared that rolling back a high-profile ethical reform would send a negative message as the GOP assumes unified control in Washington. President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to “drain the swamp” and has proposed a series of his own ethics reforms.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) opposed the amendment to the House rules package, speaking out against it in the Monday evening conference meeting, according to two people in the room.

But the measure’s sponsor, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), said in a statement that it “builds upon and strengthens” the current arrangement and that it improves the due process rights for the House members under investigation and witnesses interviewed in the course of OCE probes.

“The OCE has a serious and important role in the House, and this amendment does nothing to impede their work,” Goodlatte said.

Goodlatte’s amendment to the House rules “provides protections against any disclosures to the public or other government entities,” according to a summary provided by his office, and also mandates that the Ethics Committee — not the OCE itself — make any referral of a potential criminal violation to law enforcement.

“Feedback from Members and staff having gone through review by the OCE has been that those under investigation need increased protection of their due process rights, greater access to basic evidentiary standards, and a process that does not discriminate against them for invoking those rights,” the summary said. “The amendment seeks to strengthen each of these needs while maintaining the basic core of OCE’s functions.”

The measure also prohibits limits the OCE’s jurisdiction to the previous three Congresses, aligning its statute of limitations to the Ethics Committee’s.

An OCE spokeswoman declined to comment Monday. Because Monday’s vote was taken in a private party meeting, there is no public tally of how members voted on the proposal.

Ethics watchdog groups warned that the amendment could undermine public confidence in Congress.

“Threatening its independence is a disservice to the American people who need a nonpartisan body to investigate the ethical failures of their representatives,” said Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, a watchdog organization. “The fact that they do not want an Office with ‘Congressional Ethics’ in the name is a pretty good metaphor for how ethics scandals will be dealt with if this rule passes.”

Democrats, then in the House majority, established the OCE in 2008 in the aftermath of the lobbying scandal surrounding Jack Abramoff to conduct ethics investigations free from political influence. But in recent years, some members of Congress have sought to limit the office and its work.

At the start of the last Congress, Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) pushed for a rule change to stress that people being investigated by the OCE could not be denied their constitutional rights and had a right to counsel. According to media reports, Pearce raised the objection because he felt a staffer in his office had been treated unfairly.

The OCE’s rules permit people under investigation to work through a lawyer.

Last summer, Pearce repeated such complaints during comments on the House floor, when he proposed an amendment to limit the OCE’s funding, arguing that it was justified by government-wide budget restrictions and the need “to give notice to the OCE that we’re watching what you’re doing.”

The pushback hasn’t come only from Republicans. In 2011, Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) — who had been subject to an OCE investigation — drafted an amendment to slash funding from the OCE by 40 percent, calling the office “redundant and duplicative” of the House Ethics Committee. That amendment was rejected.

Democrats pounced Monday on the Republicans’ move. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement that the GOP “has acted to weaken ethics and silence would-be whistleblowers” and that the proposed arrangement “would functionally destroy” the OCE.

“Republicans claim they want to drain the swamp, but the night before the new Congress gets sworn in, the House GOP has eliminated the only independent ethics oversight of their actions,” Pelosi said. “Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of the new Republican Congress.”

The House Ethics Committee is composed of sitting members of Congress, five Republicans and five Democrats, while the Office of Congressional Ethics is run by a six-member board with two alternates. One alternate position is vacant.

It does not have subpoena power, but its reports and investigations are often a first vetting in situations where members are alleged to have violated the rules of congressional conduct. Several of the cases reviewed by the OCE have been referred to the House Ethics Committee for further proceedings.

Unlike most congressional committees, the Ethics Committee is evenly divided between the majority and minority parties. A senior GOP aide not authorized to comment publicly on the matter noted Friday that because of that, Republicans could not act unilaterally to protect members of their own party.

But in the decades before the OCE was created, the Ethics Committee was routinely criticized for protecting lawmakers of both parties by sanctioning members in only the most egregious and well-publicized cases.

In the Senate, there is no equivalent of the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Morons.

First day out and they step on their cranks.

snapper
04 Jan 17,, 19:31
"arab springs" and the subsequent regime changes were made on the basis of unsound information packaged for purely partisan political purposes.

On what do you base this? Just another wannabe partisan statement from you. How many Arab countries you ever visited? There are people there who have agency of their own quite independent of your partisan sunglasses.

JAD_333
04 Jan 17,, 20:35
JAD_333,

Plucked from the now-closed 2016 US General Election thread …

Thanks for confirming what I’ve been saying for many years, and several people here have been denying: The decision to invade Iraq was made on the basis of unsound information packaged for purely partisan political purposes.

Not entirely. But we'll leave it at that. Don't want to get into an Iraq debate here.

Doktor
04 Jan 17,, 20:52
On what do you base this? Just another wannabe partisan statement from you. How many Arab countries you ever visited? There are people there who have agency of their own quite independent of your partisan sunglasses.

You've lost me here. Might be my English.

astralis
04 Jan 17,, 20:55
Doktor,

IE people can do things independently, they don't need to be told by the CIA/West to do it, which is what drhuy was not so subtly hinting at.

in any case, here's an interesting set of charts. we'll see where we are in four years' time.

www.nytimes.com/2017/01/03/opinion/2016-in-charts-and-can-trump-deliver-in-2017.html

Parihaka
04 Jan 17,, 21:09
As a sort of related, why is the Obama administration continuing to pour arms and munitions into Syria when any possible chance for a victory for anyone but Assad dried up two years ago? Isn't it simply prolonging everyones misery and dramatically increasing the casualty rate?

Doktor
04 Jan 17,, 21:12
Doktor,

IE people can do things independently, they don't need to be told by the CIA/West to do it, which is what drhuy was not so subtly hinting at.

in any case, here's an interesting set of charts. we'll see where we are in four years' time.

www.nytimes.com/2017/01/03/opinion/2016-in-charts-and-can-trump-deliver-in-2017.html

Thanks for the clarification. Well, things do not work with independent shops in this neck of the woods. Not even in your own hood, let alone with the neighbors. Great powers set the dynamics, this is what they do, and the small(er) players should adopt, or at least stay of the radar.

WRT chart rom NYT: 12 million illegal immigrants? I've read a 30mn figure somewhere.

astralis
04 Jan 17,, 22:11
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/sep/01/donald-trump/donald-trump-repeats-pants-fire-claim-about-30-mil/

Doktor
04 Jan 17,, 22:15
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/sep/01/donald-trump/donald-trump-repeats-pants-fire-claim-about-30-mil/

Meh, was not referring to Trump himself or Breitbart & Co.

Question. What happens if the numbers are somewhere in between. They are illegal, so he is right noone has the hard numbers, but just estimates.

astralis
04 Jan 17,, 23:13
from the politifact piece.


All of these figures come from subtracting known legal immigrants from the total number of foreign-born people documented in the U.S. census and then controlling for the estimated percentage of unauthorized immigrants who refuse to answer the census.

Researchers at all of the organizations told us Trump’s statement is wildly inaccurate.

There is "absolutely zero possibility" for the number to be just 3 million or as many as 30 million," according to Robert Warren of the Center for Migration Studies, a nonpartisan immigration policy think tank.

"There is strong evidence that the number is 11 million, with a plausible margin of error of plus or minus 1 million," he said.

Jeffrey Passel, a demographer at the Pew Research Center, called both of Trump’s numbers "virtually impossible" and explained why. On the low end, survey data shows large enough foreign-born populations and legal admissions that there could not be as few as 3 million people.

The high-end of Trump’s offered estimate is contradicted by the limited number of housing units in the United States, Mexico and Central America’s census data and surveys’ size, and U.S. data on admissions and departures.

"There’s simply no way for an additional 20 million people to be in the country and have escaped detection," Passel said.

Doktor
05 Jan 17,, 00:42
That doesn't answer the question. It only shows they are certain and have some data to back it up.
We've seen so much of this confidence and lame ooops sorry later.

snapper
05 Jan 17,, 01:34
As a God loving, small state/low tax, strong defence conventional 'conservative' I think we conservatives all over have to root out and put and end to these so called 'alt right' types who in fact have more in common with the commies of the past and the neo nationalists (in some countries) of today.

tbm3fan
05 Jan 17,, 03:22
Exactly what the hell is with this? If he sides more with Putin than our intelligence agencies then I have a word for that.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/04/politics/us-intelligence-trump/index.html

JAD_333
05 Jan 17,, 05:04
When asked, Assange says he didn't get the stolen emails from the Russians. Wrong question. He should have been asked if the emails could have been stolen by the Russians and passed to him by a non-Russian intermediary. It would be easy enough for any hacker to do, giving Assange plausible deniability.

Doktor
05 Jan 17,, 07:25
When asked, Assange says he didn't get the stolen emails from the Russians. Wrong question. He should have been asked if the emails could have been stolen by the Russians and passed to him by a non-Russian intermediary. It would be easy enough for any hacker to do, giving Assange plausible deniability.

Leading questions

JAD_333
05 Jan 17,, 08:42
Leading questions

Okay, your honor. So, Mr. Assange, can you say that the person or persons who gave you the stolen files did not get them from a Russian source?

Or, did the person or persons who gave you the files say where they got them?

Mihais
05 Jan 17,, 08:48
As a God loving, small state/low tax, strong defence conventional 'conservative' I think we conservatives all over have to root out and put and end to these so called 'alt right' types who in fact have more in common with the commies of the past and the neo nationalists (in some countries) of today.

It seems you are not too much allowed to be God loving,have a small state and low tax with the current crop either.
Nationalism is good.Too much international crap and we get in trouble.I noticed a pattern.The likes of EU are popular in poor countries with poor administration.But otherwise it is sub-standard.Romania,Ukraine...

DOR
05 Jan 17,, 12:48
Meh, was not referring to Trump himself or Breitbart & Co.

Question. What happens if the numbers are somewhere in between. They are illegal, so he is right noone has the hard numbers, but just estimates.

"somewhere in between" ?

A says, "There are 100 billion people on planet earth."
B says, "No, there are about 7 billion."

A says, "But, what if the "real" number is somewhere in between?"

If a nonsensical number is used as the upper limit, and the argument is made that the "real" number is somewhere in between that and a good estimate, the nonsensical number serves only to confuse.

Doktor
05 Jan 17,, 14:34
"somewhere in between" ?

A says, "There are 100 billion people on planet earth."
B says, "No, there are about 7 billion."

A says, "But, what if the "real" number is somewhere in between?"

If a nonsensical number is used as the upper limit, and the argument is made that the "real" number is somewhere in between that and a good estimate, the nonsensical number serves only to confuse.

Fine. Tell me it didn't happen before and I am buying your argument.

astralis
05 Jan 17,, 15:46
doktor,

dude, your argument consists of 'well, people have been wrong before so why should we trust any figure.'

this is not something that can be debated.

astralis
05 Jan 17,, 16:26
Senate Bill to Slash Embassy Security Funds in Half until US Embassy Jerusalem Officially Opens
(https://diplopundit.net/2017/01/05/senate-bill-to-slash-embassy-security-funds-in-half-until-us-embassy-jerusalem-officially-opens/)
lol...

Doktor
05 Jan 17,, 22:17
doktor,

dude, your argument consists of 'well, people have been wrong before so why should we trust any figure.'

this is not something that can be debated.

Exactly. Just like estimates.

tbm3fan
05 Jan 17,, 23:11
Senate Bill to Slash Embassy Security Funds in Half until US Embassy Jerusalem Officially Opens
(https://diplopundit.net/2017/01/05/senate-bill-to-slash-embassy-security-funds-in-half-until-us-embassy-jerusalem-officially-opens/)
lol...

Nice. So if it takes 10 years to build one out, not an impossibility, then we put all other buildings and staff at risk? Eternal capital give me a break.

Luckily Hilary got out before they can blame her for the next attack when it comes.

bonehead
06 Jan 17,, 03:05
Exactly what the hell is with this? If he sides more with Putin than our intelligence agencies then I have a word for that.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/04/politics/us-intelligence-trump/index.html

Be careful what word you use. In addition to getting political, our "intelligence" agencies have shown gross incompetence both domestically and globally.

JAD_333
06 Jan 17,, 07:31
Nice. So if it takes 10 years to build one out, not an impossibility, then we put all other buildings and staff at risk? Eternal capital give me a break.

Luckily Hilary got out before they can blame her for the next attack when it comes.

The article you posted referenced the following provision in the bill, and said that it would affect security at US embassies. I suppose the author had to write something eye grabbing, but he's wrong.


Restriction on Funding Subject to Opening Determination.–Not more than 50 percent of the funds appropriated to the Department
of State for fiscal year 2017 under the heading “Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance” may be obligated until the Secretary
of State determines and reports to Congress that the United States Embassy in Jerusalem has officially opened.

Security, in this context, means continuation of State's long-range program to improve security at all its embassies and legations, much of which is complete. Most of what remains to be done has already been "obligated" to contractors, suppliers, etc. "Obligated" is the key word here. Since Congress only appropriates money for one year's worth of expenses at a time, yet also authorizes multi-years programs, the costs in each of the out-years are 'obligated' and included in subsequent annual budgets until the authorization is fulfilled. So any projects State has already contracted would not be affected. Only authorized projects not yet contacted would be, and then only some of them. State wouldn't necessarily be crippled from obligating an urgent project in full, but it would have to put less urgent projects in limbo to stay under 50%. The embassy wouldn't take long to establish. It can be a small rented building with basic staff, while the real day-to-day work is done somewhere else. This wouldn't lessen the symbolism and political impact of it.

This is all academic, since the bill has little chance of passage in its present form. Mainly, I just wanted to deflate the implications of the article.

YellowFever
06 Jan 17,, 09:27
1) since JAD made it look like I started this thread, it better have over 20 pages before it dies or I will trolll every one of you till the end of your WAB lives.

2) just realized this is the first time I wouldn't mind seeing the first lady in a bikini....

YellowFever
06 Jan 17,, 09:44
Sorry just wanted to lmao one more time before re-engaging in this thread...


https://youtu.be/Ut0TaegQ-kw

astralis
06 Jan 17,, 20:23
https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/conservatives-ready-to-support-1-trillion-hole-in-the-budget/2017/01/05/76d4bf34-d391-11e6-a783-cd3fa950f2fd_story.html

Conservatives ready to support $1 trillion hole in the budget

By Kelsey Snell and David Weigel January 5 at 6:35 PM

Some of the most conservative members of Congress say they are ready to vote for a budget that would — at least on paper — balloon the deficit to more than $1 trillion by the end of the decade, all for the sake of eventually repealing the Affordable Care Act.

In a dramatic reversal, many members of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus said Thursday they are prepared later this month to support a budget measure that would explode the deficit and increase the public debt to more than $29.1 trillion by 2026, figures contained in the budget resolution itself.

As they left a meeting with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday, some of the conservatives said that spending targets contained in the budget for fiscal 2017 are symbolic. The real goal of the budget legislation, they argued, is to establish an opportunity to finally make good on GOP promises to repeal President Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

“I just came to understand all the different ideas about where we go next,” said Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), a member of the House Freedom Caucus that typically opposes massive spending increases. Schweikert now says he will probably vote for the budget resolution.

The growing conservative consensus comes nearly one year after the approximately 40-member group announced it would rather torpedo the entire budget process than vote for a fiscal blueprint that increased spending without balancing the budget.

But fiscal discipline now seems to be taking a back seat to the drive to repeal Obamacare.

“I’d like to see a replacement on Obamacare pretty quick,” said Rep. Brian Babin (R-Tex.). “Would I like to see [the budget] balance? Certainly. Absolutely. I’ve got 13 grandchildren, and I don’t want to see them buried under $30 trillion of debt.”

The Freedom Caucus has not taken an official position on the budget — 80 percent of them need to agree to do so — but many members said the dramatic spending increases created in the 2017 budget measure were only technicalities. They contend that voters understand some sacrifices need to be made to gut the health-care law.

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) told reporters that the group will decide Monday on an official position on the budget.

“The real question is: Does it change the top line number on what we’re spending?” Meadows said. “Does it increase spending — or does it become a vehicle that maintains our current spending levels and allows us to repeal” the Affordable Care Act?

Other Republicans, including Paul, still question whether it is ever acceptable to support deficit increases, no matter how symbolic. Paul described Thursday’s meeting, which attracted 23 Freedom Caucus members and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), as a first step.

“I wanted to make sure that conservatives in the House knew that, together, we can have impact and influence on what the budget will be,” Paul said. “I heard one person say that, well, we’ll vote for this now, but we won’t in four months. My point is that the Republican leadership will come back and say, ‘You already voted for it once; why not vote for it a second time?’ ”

Many in the conservative clique emerged ambivalent about Paul’s argument.

“I’m not staking out a position on the budget just yet,” Babin said after the meeting.

Mainstream Republicans are urging their typically implacable conservative colleagues to turn a blind eye to the spending numbers for now. Republican leaders are using a complicated quirk of the budget process to repeal Obamacare without the threat of a blockade by Senate Democrats.

Budget legislation is considered under special rules in the Senate that allow a simple majority of 50 senators rather than the normal 60 needed for almost everything else. There are 52 Republicans in the Senate this year, and there is virtually no hope that any Democrat would agree to dismantle Obama’s health-care law.

The budget introduced this week in the Senate includes instructions for committees to begin repealing the ACA. GOP leaders want Republicans to focus on language requiring members of four committees to produce bills seven days after Trump’s inauguration that each would save $1 billion over a decade by slashing ACA elements.

Not all conservatives are convinced. Paul is joined by deficit hawks like Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) who worry their voters won’t countenance even a seemingly meaningless vote to increase the deficit.

“If you’re going to do a symbolic budget resolution, why not put in a good number?” Brat asked Thursday. “People are very cynical, and I need a message so I can go back home with a straight face.”

The collective shrug from other conservatives is the latest evidence that Paul’s protest would be a familiar, lonely one. His floor speech attacking the budget measure for making no attempts at deficit reduction — it projects a $9 trillion increase in the debt by 2026 — was preempted by statements from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), pledging to vote for the resolution anyway.

That position has made Paul one of very few Republicans still talking about the debt as a national crisis worth building legislation around. During his presidential campaign, which ended after the 2016 Iowa caucuses, Paul made a number of attempts to draw attention to the national debt and to promote his annual plans to balance the budget with steep spending cuts.

Months later, most of the Freedom Caucus — 17 members — voted against the GOP’s 2016 budget on debt-reduction grounds. The new budget resolution makes even fewer concessions on debt reduction. For Republicans who frequently described the debt as a threat to their children’s futures, it’s a difficult sell.

“We want to keep in mind the overall picture, both the deficit and how tired people are Obamacare,” said Rep. Randy Weber (R-Tex.). “I do think there’s a danger of the Republicans actually owning this.”

snapper
06 Jan 17,, 23:00
Latest report on the hacks during the US election (Background to “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions
in Recent US Elections”: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution); https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

Clapper & Co giving evidence to Armed Services Committee on cyber attacks (including China, Iran etc);


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaHRqbnlPjE

If this should go in the International Defence and Terrorism bit please move; wasn't sure.

Markobee
06 Jan 17,, 23:51
Sympathies but our American friends are screwed. Putin won this round.

Doktor
06 Jan 17,, 23:57
*grabs popcorn*

Is this how Obama retaliates to the Russian interference?

TopHatter
07 Jan 17,, 00:36
Sympathies but our American friends are screwed. Putin won this round.

This is what happens when you have a former KGB agent going up against a community organizer.

Markobee
07 Jan 17,, 00:41
This is what happens when you have a former KGB agent going up against a community organizer.

I suppose the west can't get too grumpy considering what we did in Iran, Nicaragua etc..

Still sucks though

YellowFever
07 Jan 17,, 00:51
This is what happens when you have a former KGB agent going up against a community organizer.

43012

Markobee
07 Jan 17,, 00:54
Well funny..
But at least Obama knows checkers.. Trump will be playing snakes and ladders

astralis
07 Jan 17,, 01:15
joe,


This is what happens when you have a former KGB agent going up against a community organizer.

eh...how much did Bush intimidate Putin?

point is -not- "bush sucked too" but just to point out that Putin, and Russia in general, is necessarily more aggressive precisely because one can only do so much against a nuclear power. Putin invaded Georgia in 2008 because he was pretty confident NATO would not respond. in Ukraine, to a point-- up until the US began indicating not-so-subtly that the price the Russians would pay would go up exponentially the further west they went.

we'll need to do the same here. Obama has stated that Russia will pay a proportional price, and a start has been made; but unfortunately given the timing it will be up to the next President to continue making Russia pay such a price. I do not see that happening.

which means the next time I hear a conservative use the term 'useful idiot' there will be a glaring example right there.

Doktor
07 Jan 17,, 01:18
Sorry for asking, but how do US Intel Community exactly know what Putin ordered his agencies?

Thank you.

citanon
07 Jan 17,, 01:21
Isn't the answer obvious?

Doktor
07 Jan 17,, 01:26
Isn't the answer obvious?

So, why the fuss if the others do the same? It's your failure (if this really happened), and instead of focusing how to prevent this from repeating, we get this pointing of fingers. Leaders don't blame others for the mistakes.

YellowFever
07 Jan 17,, 02:25
The question everybody should be asking is had Hillary won, would Obama be frothing at the mouth like this.

Judging by his past reaction to other numerous hacks, I highly doubt it.

TopHatter
07 Jan 17,, 02:29
joe,
eh...how much did Bush intimidate Putin?
I'll say the same thing that I've said for the last 8 years when people defend Obama that way:

If your best defense of Obama is a comparison to George W Bush, then you've proven my point.

TopHatter
07 Jan 17,, 02:31
The question everybody should be asking is had Hillary won, would Obama be frothing at the mouth like this.

Judging by his past reaction to other numerous hacks, I highly doubt it.

Nope, he wouldn't be. If the Russians had hacked the GOP and Trump, then Obama would've been clucking his tongue in admonishment of their poor cyber security.

snapper
07 Jan 17,, 02:39
This is what happens when you have a former KGB agent going up against a community organizer.

"There is no such thing as a former KGB man" VVP.

Chunder
07 Jan 17,, 03:27
eh...how much did Bush intimidate Putin?

point is -not- "bush sucked too" but just to point out that Putin, and Russia in general, is necessarily more aggressive precisely because one can only do so much against a nuclear power. Putin invaded Georgia in 2008 because he was pretty confident NATO would not respond. in Ukraine, to a point-- up until the US began indicating not-so-subtly that the price the Russians would pay would go up exponentially the further west they went.


Putin Invaded Georgia and NATO didn't respond because it Georgia isn't NATO.

No, Russia shot down an airliner. The considerable Resistance to sanctions by enough European countries, buckled - and that is with Obama, Mekel and Hollande in power. No - what brought about sanctions reluctantly was the absurd situation that France was in the process of selling amphibious assualt ships beforehand (and continued the process) until it became politically untenable and diplomatic pressure from the Dutch to avenge the murdered especially with French military gear showing up in Russian Tanks the French sold to Moscow became too much. Bluntly - things will work for Russia if Europe trades with it.

There isn't one geopolitical foe of the Obama administration that believes the price they will pay will exceed the 'norms' it breaks. This one won't either. Heck if you guys wanted to stick it to the Russians, increase funding to the Ukraine. But that won't happen. That would actually be realpolitik.

astralis
07 Jan 17,, 03:51
joe,



If your best defense of Obama is a comparison to George W Bush, then you've proven my point.

the very next line states that is not my point. the diffuse nature of cyber operations along with the lack of real options to properly inflict proportionate costs on Russia means that Russia has a high incentive to continue these type of operations no matter whom is President. and that was one of the findings in the intelligence report (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/06/us/politics/document-russia-hacking-report-intelligence-agencies.html?_r=0).

this would be true even if the next President was the reincarnation of Reagan. remember, the Soviets tested Reagan repeatedly as well.

astralis
07 Jan 17,, 03:55
Chunder,


Heck if you guys wanted to stick it to the Russians, increase funding to the Ukraine. But that won't happen. That would actually be realpolitik.

not really?

what costs would doing that impose on Russia? it's no longer Russian boys doing the dying out there; it's their puppets whom they could give a crap about.

and if push comes to shove, it so happens that Russia has demonstrated that they are willing to put tank divisions in the Ukraine. NATO is not. there is an asymmetrical balance in terms of willingness to use force.

drhuy
07 Jan 17,, 04:30
Sympathies but our American friends are screwed. Putin won this round.

did putin sabotage sander campaign? or was it hillary? i'm kind of confused. how exactly did he win?

drhuy
07 Jan 17,, 04:31
joe,



eh...how much did Bush intimidate Putin?

point is -not- "bush sucked too" but just to point out that Putin, and Russia in general, is necessarily more aggressive precisely because one can only do so much against a nuclear power. Putin invaded Georgia in 2008 because he was pretty confident NATO would not respond. in Ukraine, to a point-- up until the US began indicating not-so-subtly that the price the Russians would pay would go up exponentially the further west they went.

we'll need to do the same here. Obama has stated that Russia will pay a proportional price, and a start has been made; but unfortunately given the timing it will be up to the next President to continue making Russia pay such a price. I do not see that happening.

which means the next time I hear a conservative use the term 'useful idiot' there will be a glaring example right there.

obama did state lots of things wrt national security, none of it make any sense. "red line" 'jv team" duhhh?

astralis
07 Jan 17,, 04:50
uh are you making an argument about what i stated or are you just vomiting a few words you heard on fox?

drhuy
07 Jan 17,, 04:58
uh are you making an argument about what i stated or are you just vomiting a few words you heard on fox?

wait, so obama didnt say anything about "red line" in syria or isis "jv team"? all fake news?

astralis
07 Jan 17,, 05:20
i honestly have no clue what you're trying to get at.

drhuy
07 Jan 17,, 06:22
i honestly have no clue what you're trying to get at.

thats obama is completely cluessless and worthless when it comes to foreign affairs.

"Obama has stated that Russia will pay a proportional price... blah blah blah" so what? he also stated that assad cant cross the red line, that isis just jv team. see what he accomplished so far? even if he had 8 years, he wouldnt be able to do make russia pay any price.

snapper
07 Jan 17,, 06:42
Not sure it is fair to compare 'Dubya's' and Obama's Muscovite policy; Bush did after all have other very legitimate fish to fry after 9/11.

DOR
07 Jan 17,, 10:16
wait, so obama didnt say anything about "red line" in syria or isis "jv team"? all fake news?

It astonishes me how many people who are capable of remembering "red line" can't seem to remember Putin saying he would take care of Syria, and that the US didn't have to put boots on the ground ... to the vast relief of the US military, and civilian leadership and the US people.

Syria is Putin's problem; he asked Obama to let him take care of it.

snapper
07 Jan 17,, 10:40
It astonishes me how many people who are capable of remembering "red line" can't seem to remember Putin saying he would take care of Syria, and that the US didn't have to put boots on the ground ... to the vast relief of the US military, and civilian leadership and the US people.

Syria is Putin's problem; he asked Obama to let him take care of it.

A. Putin didn't "ask", he bluffed Obama out of his 'red line' and B. This is precisely the problem that critics of Obama's foreign policy (or lack of it) complain about; he didn't 'get it' - nor by the way did Hilary and all the "reset" rubbish. To be fair though they did learn from their mistakes which I think is more than the next idiot will do. Frankly I want to know about his business 'empire'; who does he owe money to? If he owes money to Moscow is he not compromised?

GVChamp
07 Jan 17,, 12:45
The last series of Presidents entered office almost entirely clueless about what they were doing. Trump is an exceptional case, but the only President in my lifetime who took office actually prepared was Bush I.

If Trump were an absolute idiot, he wouldn't have a "business empire." He'd be one of the wonderful homeless people I see on the street every day (though I have my doubts as to how "homeless" some of them are).

Obama's foreign policy fuck-ups are fuck-ups that Clinton would've made too, but the 90s had easier geopolitical circumstances. The only real new form of exceptional idiocy was Obama's Israel stance, which I am convinced encouraged Abbas to act like a total asshole and entirely squander an easy peace deal given that Hamas was totally out of the picture and Abbas barely hanging on.


Overall, Obama reminds me of one of those coastal liberal idiots that think they know what Americans want, despite not knowing anyone who owns a pickup truck.


Also just finished the report on Russia's influence in the election, which comes out to a big ball of nothing. Outside the Gang of Eight no one has a damned idea what the attribution methods are. Except for the publicly released report on Dec 29, which has the following description:

The Daily Beast recounted that the report "was widely criticized by cybersecurity experts for being little more than a hodge-podge of random Internet Protocol addresses and code names for hacker gangs suspected of having ties to Moscow."[101]

It defies belief that Russia released Podesta emails in October and November 2016 to help Trump win, given that the prior batch of emails did nothing to affect the election at all, and given that no one thought Trump had ANY chance of winning at that time, INCLUDING Trump.
There's a more convincing argument that the emails released prior to the DNC were intended to influence the election, as it looked like Trump had a real shot at the time.

Doktor
07 Jan 17,, 13:41
Okay, your honor. So, Mr. Assange, can you say that the person or persons who gave you the stolen files did not get them from a Russian source?

Or, did the person or persons who gave you the files say where they got them?
I missed this.

Why don't you make a totally parallel non-partisan special prosecutor office to examine that? You know, something your administration highly supports and encourages elsewehere.

astralis
07 Jan 17,, 16:31
drhuy,


thats obama is completely cluessless and worthless when it comes to foreign affairs.

"Obama has stated that Russia will pay a proportional price... blah blah blah" so what? he also stated that assad cant cross the red line, that isis just jv team. see what he accomplished so far? even if he had 8 years, he wouldnt be able to do make russia pay any price.


thank you for that insightful commentary that has little to do with the argument that i made.

point is that Russia has always done aggressive stupid stuff no matter whom is President. the way they do it has changed with the times, that is all.

astralis
07 Jan 17,, 16:38
GVChamp,


Also just finished the report on Russia's influence in the election, which comes out to a big ball of nothing.

it's standard Russian info-ops.

it wouldn't have been such a big deal had the President-Elect not screamed like a narcissistic man-child and pissed on everyone except the Russians, to include fellow Republicans and the intelligence community, in his various responses.

YellowFever
07 Jan 17,, 17:17
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwi-89f1trDRAhVDlFQKHZ6lCC4QFggyMAY&usg=AFQjCNEA7Nv3C4vPkcIa735oLR5FpfUYlQ&sig2=u5QU84LzH8huwm_UBAVAzw

YellowFever
07 Jan 17,, 17:32
So yeah, about the only revelation I read is that our intelligence agencies knows a hell of a lot more about RT America than they know about the hacking as one third of the report is about them?

Secondly, I learned that RT America, not to mention Al Jazeera and BBC are all kicking the ass of CNN on You Tube.

But it's OK because CNN is kicking their asses on Twitter.

Thirdly, the report tries very hard to convince us that RT is nothing but a propoganda vessel of Russia.

Woop-dee-do...tell us something we don't know please.

I don't know how that relates to hacking the election but it just goes to show you that their propoganda networks are much more viewed than the DNC propoganda network.

YellowFever
07 Jan 17,, 18:00
So did anyone of you NOT know that the Russians, Chinese, Norks, and every other hostile nation (and some friendly ones) were attempting to hack us to gain information and influence over us for the last decade or so?

Speak now please as I would really like to know who you are.

astralis
07 Jan 17,, 18:34
YF,

there is a difference between hacking to gain information and hacking to actively influence an election...

astralis
07 Jan 17,, 18:35
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ethics-office-warns-that-trump-gop-rushing-cabinet-confirmations/2017/01/07/caa74460-d4f9-11e6-9cb0-54ab630851e8_story.htmlPolitics

Ethics office warns that Trump, GOP rushing Cabinet confirmations

By Ed O'Keefe January 7 at 12:05 PM

A federal watchdog agency responsible for reviewing the backgrounds of White House Cabinet nominees has warned that his office has been overwhelmed by the task of vetting Donald J. Trump’s selections.

In a letter to Democratic senators dated Saturday, the head of the Office of Government Ethics also warned that Republicans are trying to take the unprecedented step of holding hearings for Cabinet picks before they’ve completed requisite paperwork to ensure there are no ethical, financial or criminal concerns.

Walter M. Shaub Jr., the ethics director, said it is “of great concern to me” that several of Trump’s nominees have not completed an ethics review before hearings are scheduled to begin next week.

Plans for at least seven Trump nominees to sit for hearings on Capitol Hill in the coming days “has created undue pressure on OGE’s staff and agency ethics officials to rush through these important reviews,” Shaub wrote. “More significantly, it has left some of the nominees with potentially unknown or unresolved ethics issues shortly before their scheduled hearings.”

Shaub added: “I am not aware of any occasion in the four decades since OGE was established when the Senate held a confirmation hearing before the nominee had completed the ethics review process.”

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Trump’s choice to be the next attorney general, and Rex Tillerson, the former ExxonMobil CEO, whom Trump nominated to serve as secretary of state, are scheduled for confirmation hearings in the coming week. So is Betsy DeVos, a billionaire GOP power broker nominated to serve as education secretary.

The letter could undermine GOP hopes of swiftly holding hearings next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday — around the same time that Trump is also expected to outline ways he will separate himself from his vast business holdings while serving as president.

The letter adds fuel to Democratic concerns that the incoming administration as well as congressional Republicans are attempting to rush the confirmation of Trump’s top picks.

The ethics office’s concern “makes crystal-clear that the transition team’s collusion with Senate Republicans to jam through these Cabinet nominees before they’ve been thoroughly vetted is unprecedented,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in response. “The Senate and the American people deserve to know that these Cabinet nominees have a plan to avoid any conflicts of interest, that they’re working on behalf of the American people and not their own bottom line, and that they plan to fully comply with the law. Senate Republicans should heed the advice of this independent office and stop trying to jam through unvetted nominees.”​

It wasn’t immediately clear what Senate Republicans might do. Aides to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

YellowFever
07 Jan 17,, 19:16
YF,

there is a difference between hacking to gain information and hacking to actively influence an election...

Tell Netanyahu that.

I guess releasing truthful emails is infinitely worse than using American taxpayer money to try to influence an ally's election.

snapper
07 Jan 17,, 19:40
If Trump were an absolute idiot, he wouldn't have a "business empire." He'd be one of the wonderful homeless people I see on the street every day (though I have my doubts as to how "homeless" some of them are).

A. Trump was born into money. B. We do not know what his 'empire' consists of; it may be paper and deeply in debt.



Also just finished the report on Russia's influence in the election, which comes out to a big ball of nothing. Outside the Gang of Eight no one has a damned idea what the attribution methods are.

Just suppose - hypothetically speaking - that someone had intercepted conversations among senior Muscovite 'officials' where they were discussing their strategy about how and when to spill the beans they had collected. Would it be wise to say so bearing in mind these 'officials' may give more?[/QUOTE]


I

bfng3569
07 Jan 17,, 20:08
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/barack-obama-stop-insulting-our-intelligence-hacking-18980

'The official Electoral College results came in today. Donald Trump won. Vice President Joseph Biden said, “It is over.”

Except that it isn’t. In an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of Trump’s win, his detractors are going into overdrive to exploit Russian shenanigans and to create a climate of hysteria. It is obvious that Russia attempted to interfere in the election. We fully support investigating what occurred in recent months. Nevertheless, we take issue with the rush to judgment by the media, Congress and, not least, President Obama and his political appointees.

It is difficult to avoid the sense that Trump’s detractors want to hobble not only his foreign policy, but his impending presidency. Already the fevered atmosphere is redolent, if anything, of the early 1970s, when Richard M. Nixon’s liberal establishment foes used his transgressions—some fabricated, others real—to drive him from office. Now it seems that Trump’s enemies want to accomplish this feat even before he has officially entered the White House. For all the talk of Trump as a danger to democracy, who is trying to question and even to overturn the outcome of America’s democratic process? The obviously aggrieved Trump is justified in referring to the matter as a “political witch hunt.”

There can be no doubting that Trump himself has not always been careful in how he depicts Russian hacking or, for that matter, Julian Assange. It was injudicious of him to declare during the campaign, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing” from Clinton’s email server. But let’s get real: given his assertive personality, it is no surprise that Trump would attack his critics, and there is indeed much to criticize. More important, after meeting senior Obama administration intelligence officials, Trump acknowledged that Russia and other nations have tried to hack into U.S. systems and said that he would require his subordinates to produce a report and a plan within ninety days of his inauguration. This is exactly the right way to proceed.

The problems start with the hasty hearings that are being held by Congress, and the intelligence report issued by the administration. There is no cogent national-security reason to race to conclusions about Russian actions based on testimony by officials leaving office after a political defeat. The Senate Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday provided Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain another opportunity to ventilate their hostility to Moscow and raise doubts about Trump’s relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Of course, it also provided a veneer of bipartisanship to what is otherwise a heavily partisan affair. Graham’s cavalier policy advice—“If we don’t throw rocks, we’re going to make a huge mistake”—adds very little to America’s public discussion.

Meanwhile, neither McCain nor Graham has offered adequate explanation for their strange inattention to the fact that weak or absent counterterrorism cooperation with Russia can cost American lives, something quite apparent in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. When the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Sen. Richard Burr, holds a hearing next Tuesday with FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., we hope that the committee’s members will adopt a more intellectually rigorous posture.

Then there is the deplorable role of President Obama, which has received less attention than it deserves. Obama has steadily been trying to box Trump in on Russia policy, starting with the new sanctions that he announced last week. If Obama were really interested in an impartial review of what transpired or, more to the point, an effective U.S. policy response, he would wait to submit a comprehensive and objective report to the incoming administration. Instead, he and his aides are busy leaking information to embarrass Trump, such as the meaningless tidbit that some Russian officials celebrated his win. Since many despised Hillary Clinton, they probably did. Just as Israeli officials surely did. And just as Chinese officials would likely have cheered if Hillary Clinton had won. Does that make Secretary Clinton a Manchurian candidate? Attempting to use foreign reactions to U.S. elections as a measure of patriotism is misleading, dangerous and wrong.

At the same time, the vitriol surrounding the hacking episode has also spilled over into the media, which is feasting on the story. For example, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo told Kellyanne Conway, the incoming counselor to Trump, that Trump’s skepticism about the hacking episode is tantamount to “sheltering Russia.” This inflammatory language, in which any doubts expressed by Trump or others are said to amount to pro-Putin apologies, opens up the attackers to a similarly ugly charge—are they in fact enablers of ISIS who are endangering American lives by refusing the prospect of working with Russia to stop Islamic terrorism? After all, the September 11 attacks came well after the Clinton administration refused Putin’s offer to cooperate against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. That decision might have cost three thousand American lives.

The more the Russian hacking episode is politicized for domestic purposes, the less likely it is that Americans will ever know what really happened. Why is it that the FBI has only now stated that its officials did not have direct access to the Democratic National Committee’s servers, the “scene of the crime”? The truth is that that there is an urgent need to study and assess Russian efforts, not to mention Chinese and North Korean cyber war efforts. The national security threat represented by cyber war, after all, is hardly confined to Russia. Nor is this all. To draw useful conclusions, any serious report would have to evaluate Russia’s perceptions, motives and objectives much more seriously. To what degree was the Kremlin animated by the desire to retaliate for previous American efforts to intervene in Russian domestic politics? To what degree was it focused on stopping or merely discrediting Hillary Clinton? Did Moscow officials really think they could sway an election whose outcome most observers—including America’s most sophisticated political analysts—considered a foregone conclusion?

So far, no one has produced any evidence that Russia tipped the election in Trump’s favor. But the lurid allegations swirling around the election simply underscore the importance of avoiding a new round of Cold War McCarthyism, in which any sympathy for an opening to Moscow becomes synonymous with appeasement or even treason. The issue isn’t simply Trump. It’s America’s ability to conduct a rational foreign policy based on something other than demonization of opposing views. More than that, we must avoid destroying American democracy in order to save it.

Last but not least, the hacking scandal-mongers should stop insulting Americans’ intelligence by expressing shock that Trump might question the judgment, if not the integrity, of Obama appointees like Lt. Gen. James Clapper. After all, Clapper fired Trump’s incoming National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn in what Flynn described as retaliation for his unheeded warnings about the continuing danger of radical Islamist terrorism.'

Doktor
07 Jan 17,, 20:17
Just suppose - hypothetically speaking - that someone had intercepted conversations among senior Muscovite 'officials' where they were discussing their strategy about how and when to spill the beans they had collected. Would it be wise to say so bearing in mind these 'officials' may give more?

Why suppose? It's happening. Might not be happening 24/7, but sure it is happening.

Don't believe me? Let me repeat my question "How does th US intel community knows what Putin ordered his intel community?"

Anyone holding a position thinking they are not watched are naive (not to use a stronger word).

YellowFever
07 Jan 17,, 20:31
A. Trump was born into money. B. We do not know what his 'empire' consists of; it may be paper and deeply in debt.

He started his business(es) with a 1 million dollar loan from his dad. Granted he was in debt for up to 14 million to his dad at one time but he turned it into a multi-billion dollar empire.





Just suppose - hypothetically speaking - that someone had intercepted conversations among senior Muscovite 'officials' where they were discussing their strategy about how and when to spill the beans they had collected. Would it be wise to say so bearing in mind these 'officials' may give more?

No supposing about it.

The only way they could have ascertained Russia's intent was through humint or intercepted conversations. Barry did a stupid thing by saying we know of their intent with "high confidence".

The intelligence community omitting how we got this information....is still telling Russia way too much.

1) If this is a WAG from the intelligence community, Putin is laughing his ass off.

2) If this is true, we just revealed a lot of our capabilities.

Once again, Barry played this horribly.

astralis
08 Jan 17,, 04:05
YF,


I guess releasing truthful emails is infinitely worse than using American taxpayer money to try to influence an ally's election.

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/mar/25/blog-posting/blog-claims-us-funded-anti-netanyahu-election-effo/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/03/26/rubios-claim-that-obama-sent-his-political-machine-to-israel-to-defeat-netanyahu/


2) If this is true, we just revealed a lot of our capabilities.

lol...no.

the UNCLAS report reveal absolutely nothing. there are layers upon layers of disclosure officers whom would review this stuff and scrub this beforehand. those reports pretty much rely on the american populace's trust in the intel community to get things right. as a comparison, the publicly provided Mandiant report on Chinese cyber-hacking contained a LOT more than this.

the secret report provided to select members of Congress will reveal more, somewhat.

and the top secret report provided to the President...and the President-elect...-that- will contain the methods, sources, etc as needed.

YellowFever
08 Jan 17,, 06:55
YF,



http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/mar/25/blog-posting/blog-claims-us-funded-anti-netanyahu-election-effo/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/03/26/rubios-claim-that-obama-sent-his-political-machine-to-israel-to-defeat-netanyahu/



How about a much newer article from Wapo.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2016/07/12/ngo-connected-to-obamas-2008-campaign-used-u-s-tax-dollars-trying-to-oust-netanyahu/?utm_term=.e20fcd58fa9c





lol...no.

the UNCLAS report reveal absolutely nothing. there are layers upon layers of disclosure officers whom would review this stuff and scrub this beforehand. those reports pretty much rely on the american populace's trust in the intel community to get things right. as a comparison, the publicly provided Mandiant report on Chinese cyber-hacking contained a LOT more than this.

the secret report provided to select members of Congress will reveal more, somewhat.

and the top secret report provided to the President...and the President-elect...-that- will contain the methods, sources, etc as needed.

I'm surprised at you, man.

You really think the Russians need us to spell out sources and methods for them? They owned one of the two best intelligence gathering apparatus at one time you know.

Hell, they're still one of the best.

You think the very fact that Obama says he knows of their intent didn't kick their intelligence community into high gear trying to ascertain how we know?

It's logical to assume that what they are doing as we speak is review all methods of communication with regards to the "election hack" and who wrote what to whom and who had access to those notes..etc.

In other words, Obama needlessly put humint (if any) and signal intercepting operations at risk.

And all for what?

So he can embarrass the incoming president and put some worthless sanctions on some individuals and kick some Russians out of the country?

Well, Putin shrugged that off.

So what harm did we did to him?

Nobody says the Russians had a direct influence on the election. AND EVEN IF THEY DID, what can we do about it?

Are you advocating an election do over?

Because if we follow the advice of some Democrat retards and do a election do over, it will be one of the biggest constitutional crisis this country has ever seen.

Honestly, at this point, this has nothing to do with Trump or the election for me.

Hey, the Rooskies put one over us. Get over it and let's move on. Because every single day this continues, it's another day that Putin is laughing at our expense.

I know the press is frothing at the mouth and they're mainly to blame for keeping this going because of their hatred of Trump.

But Barry and the Democrats sure aren't helping matters with their actions.

On a personal note, this election cycle has been so much fun for me....not because Trump won. Hell, I think there is a good chance the guy is going to do something stupid.

No, I found it so enjoyable because, first, the Hildabeast didn't win, and second, the reaction from the Democrats and the left after the election has been so stupid as to cause me many nights of laughing my ass off.

But as an American, enough is enough.

We are about to get Trump as our leader whether we like it or not and I just find it stupid to keep this going for political points because ultimately, we are hurting America more than we will ever hurt Trump politically.

Move on.

DOR
08 Jan 17,, 10:13
A. Putin didn't "ask", he bluffed Obama out of his 'red line' and B. This is precisely the problem that critics of Obama's foreign policy (or lack of it) complain about; he didn't 'get it' - nor by the way did Hilary and all the "reset" rubbish. To be fair though they did learn from their mistakes which I think is more than the next idiot will do. Frankly I want to know about his business 'empire'; who does he owe money to? If he owes money to Moscow is he not compromised?

I didn't realize you were at that G20 meeting in Moscow, the one where Obama had decided he needed to put American troops on the ground in Syria, in a big way. The one where the Executive Orders were prepared, and the message informing Congress was drafted.

You know, the meeting where Obama gave Putin a courtsey heads up, and Putin blanched at the prospect of losing his last Mid-East ally.

I guess you had to be there.

astralis
08 Jan 17,, 16:07
YF,


How about a much newer article from Wapo.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...=.e20fcd58fa9c

that's an opinion piece by Jennifer Rubin, the conservative opinion writer/Ted Cruz supporter. and a 'NGO with connections to President Obama’s 2008 campaign' using parts of their whopping $350K grant...is not the same as an authoritarian leader directing hacking.


You really think the Russians need us to spell out sources and methods for them? They owned one of the two best intelligence gathering apparatus at one time you know.

Hell, they're still one of the best.

You think the very fact that Obama says he knows of their intent didn't kick their intelligence community into high gear trying to ascertain how we know?


that makes no sense. that means if ANY us official so much as says 'x country hacked us', that will mean they're putting intel operations at risk?

and every time the FBI or CIA caught Russian operatives in the Cold War and announced it, by that same standard aren't they putting operations at risk too? seriously, dude...no.


Nobody says the Russians had a direct influence on the election. AND EVEN IF THEY DID, what can we do about it?

Are you advocating an election do over?

i'm advocating for stronger protection of the US electoral process. it was ridiculous how the FBI had ONE low-level person to inform the DNC IT dept (and not even in person) that there was suspicious activity. the time it took for the US to respond (and that is a legitimate ding on Obama).

and the likelihood that our extremely pro-Russian President-Elect will likely put the kibosh on all of this should be disturbing to anyone.

seriously, there's stuff we can do outside a strawman argument of an impossible 'election do-over'.

snapper
08 Jan 17,, 16:29
He started his business(es) with a 1 million dollar loan from his dad. Granted he was in debt for up to 14 million to his dad at one time but he turned it into a multi-billion dollar empire.

So HE says but then he won't even release his tax returns (or lack of them).



Once again, Barry played this horribly.

Would you suggest that the President say nothing? No doubt you would castigate his silence if it became know; damned either way. I do not think the public reports reveal any serious leads for them; indeed those who claim it says "a load of nothing" are complaining for precisely that reason.


I didn't realize you were at that G20 meeting in Moscow

No I wasn't there but when you have drawn a 'red line' if you back out because someone asks you to then do you must expect people to question your credibility.

Doktor
08 Jan 17,, 16:49
YF,



that's an opinion piece by Jennifer Rubin, the conservative opinion writer/Ted Cruz supporter. and a 'NGO with connections to President Obama’s 2008 campaign' using parts of their whopping $350K grant...is not the same as an authoritarian leader directing hacking.



that makes no sense. that means if ANY us official so much as says 'x country hacked us', that will mean they're putting intel operations at risk?

and every time the FBI or CIA caught Russian operatives in the Cold War and announced it, by that same standard aren't they putting operations at risk too? seriously, dude...no.



i'm advocating for stronger protection of the US electoral process. it was ridiculous how the FBI had ONE low-level person to inform the DNC IT dept (and not even in person) that there was suspicious activity. the time it took for the US to respond (and that is a legitimate ding on Obama).

and the likelihood that our extremely pro-Russian President-Elect will likely put the kibosh on all of this should be disturbing to anyone.

seriously, there's stuff we can do outside a strawman argument of an impossible 'election do-over'.

If the other candidate was electable and had no dirty pants, the other candidate would have been elected. Shame, no dirty laundry was pulled out for the winner. Oh, wait.

YellowFever
08 Jan 17,, 17:14
YF,

i'm advocating for stronger protection of the US electoral process. it was ridiculous how the FBI had ONE low-level person to inform the DNC IT dept (and not even in person) that there was suspicious activity. the time it took for the US to respond (and that is a legitimate ding on Obama).


If I remember the chain of events correctly, the FBI (as you say a low-level one) did contact the receptionist at the DNC office and he/she sat on it for awhile not believeing the agent. Valuable time was wasted, coupled with the comedy of errors of miscommunication once the IT dept. was aware of the problem.

It was just a collection of human errors that let the Russians in in this case.

And as I said before, the dact that Barry didn't say anything just goes to show you that the man doesn't take any actions without considering the politics first.




and the likelihood that our extremely pro-Russian President-Elect will likely put the kibosh on all of this should be disturbing to anyone.



He is now officially brief on the subject and already he has changed his tune. He is no longer saying he finds it "highly unlikely" that the Russians hacked us (or rather the DNC). He is saying nothing in the reports indicate the vote has changed.

So let's give the guy a chance and wait until we see what he does after he gets in office.

My whole thing is they atacked us covertly. So let's attack them covertly or really put major sanctons on them to hurt the entire country as opposed to a few thugs worth millions by taking away a few thousand dollars from them.

And I still don't know what you mean by "protection of the US electoral process"

Can you explain that to me?

How was it damaged?

citanon
08 Jan 17,, 19:52
Asty, YF

1: it's the DNC's responsibility to safeguard DNC's emails. All sorts of legally and morally dubious activities can occur during campaigns. Having the government safeguard the IT of either party would place the government in serious conflicts of interest.

2: the NSA and the government can and should advice IT teams of qualified presidential candidates on major known cyber threats but the teams need to have classified cleared individuals who can handle the pertinent government briefings and implement solutions. This will have to be a part of the qualification process.

3: both major parties, national security pertinent US business entities, and major internet and IT companies need to work collaboratively in a government sponsored and advised framework to implement robust and transparent cyber security. This should be one of the major non-covert responses to the hacking. (Notably absent from mention by the Obama administration).

4: what neither party nor the government should do is to grossly exaggerate the effects of Russian efforts. This, in and of itself seriously amplifies the effects of Russian efforts. Yet, this is exactly what the Obama administration, the Democrats, some Republicans, and parts of the intelligence community have done, playing right into Russian hands and self-inflicting the great majority of the actual damage.

snapper
08 Jan 17,, 20:51
He is now officially brief on the subject and already he has changed his tune. He is no longer saying he finds it "highly unlikely" that the Russians hacked us (or rather the DNC). He is saying nothing in the reports indicate the vote has changed.

Really? According to Trump only "'stupid' people, or fools" would not want good relations with Moscow... So all the Chechens, Georgians, Ukrainians and Syrians - not to mention Muscovites - who have lost family members or homes to this criminal regime through no choice of their own should forget it and 'move on'? Of course much the same was argued by Chamberlain in the last century. Even the fact that there was an attempt to interfere in US democracy must be dismissed... What sort of signal does that send?


Question: what would you have done differently?

When you are a major power you have major responsibilities. I have already said elsewhere that I do not regard it wise to draw 'red lines' - particularly in public; "all options remain on the table" is by and large the better response no matter what you may be planning to do or not do. However once a major power does draw a 'red line' you have to be damn ready to back it up in full, no matter where it might lead. If it has meant an air campaign or a 'no fly zone' fine; if it had involved IAEA or some other form of international monitoring being imposed fine. If it had involved the removal of Assad and required 'boots on the ground' it would have to be done and then passed over to a UN or Arab League temporary peacekeeping force until a new Government was able to manage by itself.

In retrospect (which is easy of course) I would say clearly the West should have gone in; not doing created a vacuum and allowed our enemies to exploit our seeming weakness.

JAD_333
08 Jan 17,, 23:50
Ok, folks, let's get back on topic. Nothing wrong with mentioning Syria within the context of the thread topic, but it's gone past that point now. If anyone wants to continue, please take it to the Syria thread.

Parihaka
08 Jan 17,, 23:59
Ok, folks, let's get back on topic. Nothing wrong with mentioning Syria within the context of the thread topic, but it's gone past that point now. If anyone wants to continue, please take it to the Syria thread.

Sorry Jad, you posted while I was typing, I'll move the last few posts over there. (http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/showthread.php?t=62934&page=154&p=1019531&viewfull=1#post1019531)

YellowFever
09 Jan 17,, 02:28
Really? According to Trump only "'stupid' people, or fools" would not want good relations with Moscow... So all the Chechens, Georgians, Ukrainians and Syrians - not to mention Muscovites - who have lost family members or homes to this criminal regime through no choice of their own should forget it and 'move on'? Of course much the same was argued by Chamberlain in the last century. Even the fact that there was an attempt to interfere in US democracy must be dismissed... What sort of signal does that send?


Uh....umm...yeah.

43023

Get back to me if you want to discuss the election hack and how it affects American politics.

In the meantime, there are many new posts for you to salivate at in the Syria thread so I suggest you rant there.

JAD_333
09 Jan 17,, 03:35
Sorry Jad, you posted while I was typing, I'll move the last few posts over there. (http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/showthread.php?t=62934&page=154&p=1019531&viewfull=1#post1019531)

Much obliged, Pari...

DOR
09 Jan 17,, 11:46
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday ripped Republicans who are "gleeful" about Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election, saying anyone who isn't condemning the meddling is "a political hack."

“Most Republicans are condemning what Russia did. And to those who are gleeful about it — you're a political hack. You're not a Republican. You're not a patriot,”

http://origin-nyi.thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/313194-graham-republicans-gleeful-about-russia-election-interference-are

snapper
09 Jan 17,, 12:27
Uh....umm...yeah.

Get back to me if you want to discuss the election hack and how it affects American politics.

In the meantime, there are many new posts for you to salivate at in the Syria thread so I suggest you rant there.

It's not about any crime of any one criminal regime but the fact that your next President is ok with that. What does that say about liberty?

Chunder
09 Jan 17,, 13:12
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday ripped Republicans who are "gleeful" about Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election, saying anyone who isn't condemning the meddling is "a political hack."

“Most Republicans are condemning what Russia did. And to those who are gleeful about it — you're a political hack. You're not a Republican. You're not a patriot,”


But if you stay comparatively silent about Rampant IP espionage, theft of personal details, and or National defense programs, in an actual hack (not phishing) That's completely OK.

Nope, this intelligence thing has been blurred for political reasons - the Democratic process wasn't hacked. The effect on the voters is completely dubious, especially given MSM's complicit Democrat bias in failed reporting of Wiki leaks, and those that now see the process of conflating Intelligence Reports for political narrative will distrust your Intelligence agencies even more even if their assessment is that Russia did try to influence the election (Ho hum, pot, meet kettle) because of the frankly rather irresponsible way that information is reported.

Good work Dems, and (presumably) those same retards at the GOP with the Slam Dunk that was WMD. You managed to conflate hacking of a private political entity as if it was the government itself (last time I checked the U.S.A wasn't a CCP one party state). But at least you managed to make 52% of registered Dems believe machines were hacked (who can't respect election results now).

It's becoming clearer just why Trump won - not that it means a free pass on his history either.

GVChamp
09 Jan 17,, 15:28
GVChamp,



it's standard Russian info-ops.

it wouldn't have been such a big deal had the President-Elect not screamed like a narcissistic man-child and pissed on everyone except the Russians, to include fellow Republicans and the intelligence community, in his various responses.
The President-Elect screamed about it because it was front-page half-news in the NY Times, leaked by administration officials (or high-ranking Democratic law-makers), and part of an obvious effort by Progressive Media to at a minimum discredit Trump and a long-shot effort to overturn election results. Again, Progressives were in Hillary's office in a manner of hours/days telling her that it was HIGHLY PROBABLE the voting machines WERE hacked, and rigged, and that Hillary should contest the results.
These were "cyber security experts," by the way.
Looking at the data a little closely, though, it's obvious they entirely jumped the gun and had NO EVIDENCE for the claims that machines were hacked.

I have no idea what forms the base of the intelligence agencies judgments. I assume it is better than the "the vote was rigged" judgment, but I see no convincing reason to trust the intelligence agencies estimation of "high confidence" and their timeline/narrative doesn't even make sense (by 2016 Russia had developed a clear preference but their cyber-operation to influence the election results started in December 2015?)


I'm a Russia-hawk, so whatever, attack Russia (should've done it in 2004!), but it's obvious the narrative the Progressives are trying to advance and was obvious when they were trying to convince us Trump was the Manchurian candidate. It's really not going to do anything, GOP leadership is going to support Trump, the GOP base is going to support Trump, and no one cares what Lindsey Graham thinks.

astralis
09 Jan 17,, 15:43
I'm a Russia-hawk, so whatever, attack Russia (should've done it in 2004!), but it's obvious the narrative the Progressives are trying to advance and was obvious when they were trying to convince us Trump was the Manchurian candidate. It's really not going to do anything, GOP leadership is going to support Trump, the GOP base is going to support Trump, and no one cares what Lindsey Graham thinks.

ALL of this could have been very easily deflected by merely nodding one's head and saying "yes, yes very serious charges, we will look into this in a bipartisan way, but in the end Russia did not influence the ultimate results of the election."

pretty much what Pence was trying to say from the beginning, and what Trump is now kinda sorta grudgingly saying.

instead the President-Elect -chose- to scream about it in possibly the worst way, ie insulting everyone EXCEPT for the Russians. he didn't HAVE to- he could, you know, be a mature adult.

of course as you said, from your perspective this is all to the good because it will certainly increase the political price that the administration will need to pay if they want to get friendly with Russia.

YellowFever
09 Jan 17,, 15:51
ALL of this could have been very easily deflected by merely nodding one's head and saying "yes, yes very serious charges, we will look into this in a bipartisan way, but in the end Russia did not influence the ultimate results of the election."

pretty much what Pence was trying to say from the beginning, and what Trump is now kinda sorta grudgingly saying.

instead the President-Elect -chose- to scream about it in possibly the worst way, ie insulting everyone EXCEPT for the Russians. he didn't HAVE to- he could, you know, be a mature adult.

of course as you said, from your perspective this is all to the good because it will certainly increase the political price that the administration will need to pay if they want to get friendly with Russia.

Thats because the narrative from the start has been the Russians "hacked the election", giving false impressions that somehow Putins antics put Trump directly in the White House.

That was impossible to prove and the intelligence geeks said as much.

So better it would have been had they said that on day one.

GVChamp
09 Jan 17,, 16:36
ALL of this could have been very easily deflected by merely nodding one's head and saying "yes, yes very serious charges, we will look into this in a bipartisan way, but in the end Russia did not influence the ultimate results of the election."

pretty much what Pence was trying to say from the beginning, and what Trump is now kinda sorta grudgingly saying.

instead the President-Elect -chose- to scream about it in possibly the worst way, ie insulting everyone EXCEPT for the Russians. he didn't HAVE to- he could, you know, be a mature adult.

of course as you said, from your perspective this is all to the good because it will certainly increase the political price that the administration will need to pay if they want to get friendly with Russia.
Responsible adults do not leak half-baked unresearched rumors to fake news outlets like the Washington Post and New York Times. Political hacks do, and the response they got was deserved. If Senior Democratic Leadership wants to create a narrative and poison discourse, Trump will respond 10-fold, which I think it is a perfectly good response.


The actual inter-agency report was not prepared until, what, last week? We've been talking about this since November? So what's the talk been? Speculation, with sanctions issued based on speculation. Even still, none of us have access to the information, and even Congress doesn't. Only senior legislative officials and the Executive does.

YellowFever
09 Jan 17,, 16:49
Classic example of how Trymp and the media are both acting inappropriately.

Trump says just the right thing in the offical statement after the classified breifing...and then goes on Twitter and basts off.

And a typical hack calling Trump's offical statement false because we do not know exactly how much the hack helped Trump.


https://youtu.be/_Dq3NIby9Pg

Probably the next "big" item on the lefty agenda:

How much effect the hack had on the election.

It won't go anywhere but it'll hurt Trump so let's do it.

astralis
09 Jan 17,, 16:50
GVChamp,


Responsible adults do not leak half-baked unresearched rumors to fake news outlets like the Washington Post and New York Times. Political hacks do, and the response they got was deserved. If Senior Democratic Leadership wants to create a narrative and poison discourse, Trump will respond 10-fold, which I think it is a perfectly good response.


you mean the 'narrative and poison discourse' which led a certain candidate to say "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you'll be able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you'll probably be rewarded mightily by our press"? :-)

the DNC first announced that something funny was going on in May-June 16, after they hired Crowdstrike to look into it. that Crowdstrike report already blamed Russian government agencies. -not- November. intel officials were stating that this was true by July. the first official pronouncement by ODNI/DHS was in October.

to put it in a way that you and YF might better appreciate, think of the way Clinton first responded to the media regarding her private server issues. reflexive Clintonworld deny-deny-deny, which just made things worse. Trump's response to all of this has been quite similar in result, giving the PERCEPTION that the Russians have successfully driven a wedge between the incoming administration and the US intel agencies which will work for him.

JAD_333
09 Jan 17,, 17:44
Losing sight of the real challenge is easy in today's atmosphere of gobbledygook surrounding the Russian hack. Russian leaders, Trumpites, and non-partisan commentators all fuzz up the hack in tangential considerations. After all, what does the hack have to do with WMD really. Nothing. But it makes a nice distraction from the reality of what happened, and shows how absurdly some people reason. Are we to believe that the WMD fiasco has been repeated in hundreds, more likely thousands of CIA assessments since then? How does one wrong assessment render all that follow wrong? Well, of course, citing it over and over again distracts from the danger of what really happened. And there's the China hacks excuse, leading people to accuse Obama of hypocrisy for imposing visible sanctions on Russia, but not China, as if equating the two puts them in the same category. Just more distraction; China's hacks are national security threats, whereas Russia's in this case are existential--threats to our democratic process. Also a distraction is Trump's insistence that the government's assessment (https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf) constitutes a deliberate attempt to undermine his election victory. I can understand his suspicion in this regard. Little done in Washington is not somehow political. But come Inaugural Day he will take an oath to "protect and defend" the Constitution from all enemies "domestic and foreign". If Russia's hack is nothing else, it is a threat to free and open elections. Why else are some of the most vehement critics of Russia's hacks Republicans. Trump will continue to downplay Russia's meddling in order to advance his aim of improving relations with Putin, but if so he may find himself on a fool's errand, as one experienced Russia hand warns:

http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/07/opinion/sunday/how-we-fool-ourselves-on-russia.html?ref=opinion&_r=0


How We Fool Ourselves on Russia

By WILLIAM J. BURNS
JAN. 7, 2017

In the quarter-century since the end of the Cold War, profound grievances, misperceptions and disappointments have often defined the relationship between the United States and Russia. I lived through this turbulence during my years as a diplomat in Moscow, navigating the curious mix of hope and humiliation that I remember so vividly in the Russia of Boris N. Yeltsin, and the pugnacity and raw ambition of Vladimir V. Putin’s Kremlin. And I lived through it in Washington, serving both Republican and Democratic administrations.

There have been more than enough illusions on both sides. The United States has oscillated between visions of an enduring partnership with Moscow and dismissing it as a sulking regional power in terminal decline. Russia has moved between notions of a strategic partnership with the United States and a later, deeper desire to upend the current international order, where a dominant United States consigns Russia to a subordinate role.

The reality is that our relationship with Russia will remain competitive, and often adversarial, for the foreseeable future. At its core is a fundamental disconnect in outlook and about each other’s role in the world.

It is tempting to think that personal rapport can bridge this disconnect and that the art of the deal can unlock a grand bargain. That is a foolish starting point for sensible policy. It would be especially foolish to think that Russia’s deeply troubling interference in our election can or should be played down, however inconvenient.
Continue reading the main story

President Putin’s aggressive election meddling, like his broader foreign policy, has at least two motivating factors. The first is his conviction that the surest path to restoring Russia as a great power comes at the expense of an American-led order. He wants Russia unconstrained by Western values and institutions, free to pursue a sphere of influence.

The second motivating factor is closely connected to the first. The legitimacy of Mr. Putin’s system of repressive domestic control depends on the existence of external threats. Surfing on high oil prices, he used to be able to bolster his social contract with the Russian people through rising standards of living. That was clear in the boomtown Moscow I knew as the American ambassador a decade ago, full of the promise of a rising middle class and the consumption of an elite convinced that anything worth doing was worth overdoing. But Mr. Putin has lost that card in a world of lower energy prices and Western sanctions, and with a one-dimensional economy in which real reform is trumped by the imperative of political control and the corruption that lubricates it.

The ultimate realist, Mr. Putin understands Russia’s relative weakness, but regularly demonstrates that declining powers can be at least as disruptive as rising powers. He sees a target-rich environment all around him.

If he can’t easily build Russia up, he can take the United States down a few pegs, with his characteristic tactical agility and willingness to play rough and take risks. If he can’t have a deferential government in Kiev, he can grab Crimea and try to engineer the next best thing, a dysfunctional Ukraine. If he can’t abide the risk of regime upheaval in Syria, he can flex Russia’s military muscle, emasculate the West, and preserve Bashar al-Assad atop the rubble of Aleppo. If he can’t directly intimidate the European Union, he can accelerate its unraveling by supporting anti-Union nationalists and exploiting the wave of migration spawned in part by his own brutality. Wherever he can, he exposes the seeming hypocrisy and fecklessness of Western democracies, blurring the line between fact and fiction.

So what to do? Russia is still too big, proud and influential to ignore and still the only nuclear power comparable to the United States. It remains a major player on problems from the Arctic to Iran and North Korea. We need to focus on the critical before we test the desirable. The first step is to sustain, and if necessary amplify, the actions taken by the Obama administration in response to Russian hacking. Russia challenged the integrity of our democratic system, and Europe’s 2017 electoral landscape is the next battlefield.

A second step is to reassure our European allies of our absolute commitment to NATO. American politicians tell one another to “remember your base,” and that’s what should guide policy toward Russia. Our network of allies is not a millstone around America’s neck, but a powerful asset that sets us apart.

A third step is to stay sharply focused on Ukraine, a country whose fate will be critical to the future of Europe, and Russia, over the next generation. This is not about NATO or European Union membership, both distant aspirations. It is about helping Ukrainian leaders build the successful political system that Russia seeks to subvert.

Finally, we should be wary of superficially appealing notions like a common war on Islamic extremism or a common effort to “contain” China. Russia’s bloody role in Syria makes the terrorist threat far worse and despite long-term concerns about a rising China, Mr. Putin has little inclination to sacrifice a relationship with Beijing.

I’ve learned a few lessons during my diplomatic career, often the hard way. I learned to respect Russians and their history and vitality. I learned that it rarely pays to neglect or underestimate Russia, or display gratuitous disrespect. But I also learned that firmness and vigilance, and a healthy grasp of the limits of the possible, are the best way to deal with the combustible combination of grievance and insecurity that Vladimir Putin embodies. I’ve learned that we have a much better hand to play with Mr. Putin than he does with us. If we play it methodically, confident in our enduring strengths, and unapologetic about our values, we can eventually build a more stable relationship, without illusions.

William J. Burns is president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former Deputy Secretary of State. He served as U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2005 to 2008.

YellowFever
09 Jan 17,, 18:14
Can someone please tell me how the Russian hacks were a "threat to free and open election" or "our election process"?

I keep asking and nobody seem to answer me.

I voted for Trump knowing he was an asshole.* I voted for Trump knowing a vote for him would be a vote against Clinton.

I knew way before the* emails ever leaked that she had shady practices in the Clinton foundation.* I knew of her cozy relations with the press and I knew the DNC much prefered her over Bernie.

I knew all this and still voted for Trump.

In effect what you are saying is the American people can't be trusted to arrive at their own conclusion as to how they voted.

And why is it that Trump is left holding the bag on this one when he had absolutely zero to do with it?

Why isn't Obama roasted over the coals for letting this happen and not saying something before the results of the elections were known.*

What new revelations did we find out?

That Russia (and the Chinese and the Norks and Iran and everyone including the kitchen sink) is attacking us through cyber means to gain our secrets?

We knew that.

We knew Wikileaks is hell bent on exposing our secrets and Asdange doesn't care where the leaks come from.

So how did they hurt our election process?

Please explain that to me.

Did those life long Democrats in the Wisc. Mich. and Penn wanted to vote for Hillary and changed their votes because of the released emails?

I'd like to see you try without calling the American voters stupid.

JAD_333
09 Jan 17,, 18:26
It appears the classified version of the report (“Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”) convinced Trump of Russia's culpability, although he continues to view it as an attempt to cast doubt on his election victory.

http://www.yourstephenvilletx.com/news/20170108/priebus-trump-accepts-us-intel-blaming-russia-for-hack

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/01/08/reince_priebus_says_trump_accepts_russia_is_to_bla me_for_election_season.html

IMO, the Russian hacking didn't help Trump much, if at all. Trump would have won by a greater margin in the battleground states had it not been for pussygate. The hack mostly reinforced Trump's existing supporters. Hillary's supporters saw it for what it was, a slimy attack on their candidate. I trace her defeat back to Bernie Sanders's challenge in the primaries and the bitter disappointment his followers felt when he lost.

Parihaka
09 Jan 17,, 19:18
GOP leadership is going to support Trump, the GOP base is going to support Trump, and no one cares what Lindsey Graham thinks.I disagree. Trump may have destroyed the GOP electoral machine but the vast majority of congressmen and senators are establishment. Trump has two opposition parties to deal with, not one. His only real option is to do as Obama did, rule by fiat.

TopHatter
09 Jan 17,, 19:34
I disagree. Trump may have destroyed the GOP electoral machine but the vast majority of congressmen and senators are establishment. Trump has two opposition parties to deal with, not one. His only real option is to do as Obama did, rule by fiat.

Agreed, I don't see the GOP being a rubber-stamp for Trump at all.

For one thing, they'd like to get reelected...and that means distancing yourself from the crazy that's to follow January 20th.

astralis
09 Jan 17,, 20:23
it seems to me that the GOP will do its best to ensure that the Trump Presidency is not humiliating-- IE they're not going to press impeachment proceedings on Trump even if massive conflict of interest issues arise.

but if there's any real Trump policy that deviates from the standard conservative catechism, they will do their best to ignore it.

there hasn't been all that much of that, because his biggest deviation is on trade issues where the executive has the most power anyways. they've also been trying their best to hem-haw their way around the proposed Trump infrastructure plan, too.

by the way, i find the term "establishment" GOP and whatever it is that Trump represents to be meaningless. a significant portion, if not most, of the GOP members of Congress were a part of the 2010 Tea Party wave after all.

JAD_333
09 Jan 17,, 20:40
Can someone please tell me how the Russian hacks were a "threat to free and open election" or "our election process"?

I keep asking and nobody seem to answer me.

I voted for Trump knowing he was an asshole.* I voted for Trump knowing a vote for him would be a vote against Clinton.

I knew way before the* emails ever leaked that she had shady practices in the Clinton foundation.* I knew of her cozy relations with the press and I knew the DNC much prefered her over Bernie.

I knew all this and still voted for Trump.

In effect what you are saying is the American people can't be trusted to arrive at their own conclusion as to how they voted.

And why is it that Trump is left holding the bag on this one when he had absolutely zero to do with it?

Why isn't Obama roasted over the coals for letting this happen and not saying something before the results of the elections were known.*

What new revelations did we find out?

That Russia (and the Chinese and the Norks and Iran and everyone including the kitchen sink) is attacking us through cyber means to gain our secrets?

We knew that.

We knew Wikileaks is hell bent on exposing our secrets and Asdange doesn't care where the leaks come from.

So how did they hurt our election process?

Please explain that to me.

Did those life long Democrats in the Wisc. Mich. and Penn wanted to vote for Hillary and changed their votes because of the released emails?

I'd like to see you try without calling the American voters stupid.


Forget for a moment that the Russians were behind the DNC hack, and consider the imbalance it created. One of the major parties had all its filing cabinets stolen and the contents made public. The other did not. Is that fair? You can bet the farm that the RNC's files were just as juicy and filled with opposition research, none of it revealed, whereas the DNC's opposition research was and may have helped GOP congressional candidates win in several close district elections. Of course, much more was revealed in the files.

"Free and fair elections", if I may borrow from an independent source (https://www.ait.org.tw/infousa/zhtw/DOCS/prinDemocracy/election_dem.html), "allow people living in a representative democracy to determine the political makeup and future policy direction of their nation's government." Obviously, any secret attempt by a foreign entity to control the outcome of an election infringes on this right. It's none of their fu*king business. Thus, by definition, the hack, now attributable to Russians cannot be seen as anything else but a threat to free and fair elections. Left unchecked the threat will grow. More and more entities with a stake in the outcome of our elections at a national, even state, level will try to sway our elections. Making a big deal out of Russia's hack may seem like a tempest in a teapot, but Americans who think so lack foresight.

Now one might argue, as some do, that the DNC servers were relatively insecure. So they got what was coming to them. That's the same argument rapists use when they argue that the woman's dress was seductive. The argument doesn't fly. The hack was illegal. If the RNC had done the hack, grand juries would be convening as we speak. In this case, a foreign government or its proxies did the hack. But it was still illegal under our laws. We aren't doing much to punish it, but we can convey our intolerance to this kind of meddling and raise public consciousness to the threat by making a stink about it. It affects us all, regardless of party. That's why the GOP has taken the lead in launching Congressional investigations into the leak.

Well, no. I'm not calling American voters stupid. Stupid is as stupid does.

JAD_333
09 Jan 17,, 20:57
it seems to me that the GOP will do its best to ensure that the Trump Presidency is not humiliating-- IE they're not going to press impeachment proceedings on Trump even if massive conflict of interest issues arise.

but if there's any real Trump policy that deviates from the standard conservative catechism, they will do their best to ignore it.

there hasn't been all that much of that, because his biggest deviation is on trade issues where the executive has the most power anyways. they've also been trying their best to hem-haw their way around the proposed Trump infrastructure plan, too.

by the way, i find the term "establishment" GOP and whatever it is that Trump represents to be meaningless. a significant portion, if not most, of the GOP members of Congress were a part of the 2010 Tea Party wave after all.

Asty:

We want Trump to succeed. And it's way too early to be passing judgement on him. Congress and the Supreme Court will be doubly more important going forward as checks against any illegal or outlandish actions on his part. If he outright breaks the law, he could well face impeachment (not as Clinton did, but as Nixon did, when both parties had no choice but to participate).

By the way the Tea Party caucus has about 35 members in the House and 4 in the Senate. Hardly a majority. They're dedicated to "fiscal responsibility" which isn't far from the mainstream GOP position, if not always reflected in its actions.

tbm3fan
09 Jan 17,, 20:57
Can someone please tell me how the Russian hacks were a "threat to free and open election" or "our election process"?

I keep asking and nobody seem to answer me.



I was thinking of doing so even though the reasons are blatantly if one thinks about it. However JAD_333 did such a great job of it I would simply say what he said.

astralis
09 Jan 17,, 23:25
JAD,


Asty:

We want Trump to succeed. And it's way too early to be passing judgement on him.

oh, i'm not passing judgment on what his administration has done...because his administration hasn't started yet. :-)

as for success, as you know the definition will be different depending on party. i sure hope the US becomes more prosperous, etc...but i sure don't wish to see the dismantling of the ACA without a better replacement, nor do i want to see deficits grow to give tax cuts to the wealthy.



By the way the Tea Party caucus has about 35 members in the House and 4 in the Senate. Hardly a majority. They're dedicated to "fiscal responsibility" which isn't far from the mainstream GOP position, if not always reflected in its actions.

i'm not referring to the Tea Party caucus specifically-- IIRC, most of the Republican congressmembers are fairly new and elected as part of the 2010 wave.

in any case the mainstream GOP position has shifted so far to the right that there's virtually no difference between, say, the Tea Party Caucus and the Republican Study Group-- at most you're talking tactical timing. there IS a difference, however small, between what Trump supports and what your average GOP congressmember supports. which is why Trump won on the backs of defecting Dems and thus has little allegiance to the GOP, as we saw frequently during the election and as we see now.

(as an aside, it was also rather darkly amusing during the election to see Ted Cruz fans finding out to their shock and horror that epithets like RINO were being used on THEM.)

between repealing the ACA and especially the hated taxes that are a part of the ACA, Trump's infrastructure plan, Ryan's tax cut plan...don't see deficits being a real concern (https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/conservatives-ready-to-support-1-trillion-hole-in-the-budget/2017/01/05/76d4bf34-d391-11e6-a783-cd3fa950f2fd_story.html) for the GOP here.

JAD_333
10 Jan 17,, 01:33
JAD,



oh, i'm not passing judgment on what his administration has done...because his administration hasn't started yet. :-)

lol...a lot people think it has already started...


as for success, as you know the definition will be different depending on party. i sure hope the US becomes more prosperous, etc...but i sure don't wish to see the dismantling of the ACA without a better replacement, nor do i want to see deficits grow to give tax cuts to the wealthy.

Agree completely.

The minimum threshold for success will be not making things worse than they are.

GVChamp
10 Jan 17,, 02:21
GVChamp,



you mean the 'narrative and poison discourse' which led a certain candidate to say "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you'll be able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you'll probably be rewarded mightily by our press"? :-)

the DNC first announced that something funny was going on in May-June 16, after they hired Crowdstrike to look into it. that Crowdstrike report already blamed Russian government agencies. -not- November. intel officials were stating that this was true by July. the first official pronouncement by ODNI/DHS was in October.

to put it in a way that you and YF might better appreciate, think of the way Clinton first responded to the media regarding her private server issues. reflexive Clintonworld deny-deny-deny, which just made things worse. Trump's response to all of this has been quite similar in result, giving the PERCEPTION that the Russians have successfully driven a wedge between the incoming administration and the US intel agencies which will work for him.


Anything prior to the inter-agency report isn't a consensus view of the US government, it's speculation that I as a voter have absolutely no ability to assess the reliability of. And how were the reports of hacking into the DNC reported? As a cudgel to attack Trump, because he's obviously the Manchurian Candidate.

If people want to play it politically, it's going to get played politically. And I don't really blame them, but I am going to roll my eyes when people are obviously trying to score political points at Trump and then complain when Trump throws it back at them.

Personally I don't see how Trump could have handled it better. This "Bash everyone who attacks me" isn't the demeanor of a civilized President, but you don't treat scum with anything besides boxing gloves.


This particular action isn't a big deal, otherwise Moscow would already be a glow ball and we'd all be dead. Contrast what happened here if Russia had actually tried rigging elections or tried to assassinate Hillary. This crosses a red-line but it's info-propaganda, not an offensive operation. That's not to say we shouldn't respond (again, should've done it in 2004), but it's not an act of war.

Should also add that the anti-fracking, anti-oil pipeline crowd is also firmly aligned with the Russian infowars campaign as well, not that anyone is using that to score cheap political points.

YellowFever
10 Jan 17,, 02:54
Edit: Apologies...I keep getting these tiny stars when I copy/paste fron my phone




Forget for a moment that the Russians were behind the DNC hack, and consider the imbalance it created. One of the major parties had all its filing cabinets stolen and the contents made public. The other did not. Is that fair? You can bet the farm that the RNC's files were just as juicy and filled with opposition research, none of it revealed, whereas the DNC's opposition research was and may have helped GOP congressional candidates win in several close district elections. Of course, much more was revealed in the files.

Two points:

Was it fair to Hillary or the DNC?* Of course it wasn't. No denying it.

What do you think should have been done?* I don't have* idea one...you tell me.

Should we have delayed the election?

Should we have made the Republicans release their emails?

I think we both agree those are ludicrous ideas.

So what should have been done?

Because as soon as those emails were released, we were not going to have a "fair and free election" by your standards with no way to rectify the situation.

So let's..ahem....move on (apologies to snapper for using that word)


"Free and fair elections", if I may borrow from an independent source, "allow people living in a representative democracy to determine the political makeup and future policy direction of their nation's government." Obviously, any secret attempt by a foreign entity to control the outcome of an election infringes on this right. It's none of their fu*king business. Thus, by definition, the hack, now attributable to Russians cannot be seen as anything else but a threat to free and fair elections. Left unchecked the threat will grow. More and more entities with a stake in the outcome of our elections at a national, even state, level will try to sway our elections. Making a big deal out of Russia's hack may seem like a tempest in a teapot, but Americans who think so lack foresight.
*

In my eyes, I see no difference in a foreign power trying to influence matters of other countries affairs, either covertly or overtly.

Tankie is still pissed about Obama going over there and trying to influence their BREXIT vote. LoL.

And I never said the problem should be left unchecked to grow and cause greater damage in the future.* What I am saying is it is a big deal and the steps Obama took look feable and weak and just what exactly did it accomplish?

Yes, Putin got one over us, and yes, we should cause a stink and whine like hell.** And yes, we are doing that right now.

Yes, we should use overt means to cause them damage (we better be doing this right now because if it comes out sometime in the future that those "sanctions" are the only steps Obama took, I will definitely agree with Bluesman that this guy is indeed WORSE.THAN.CARTER.)

So what else can we as a nation do?

Pretty much nothing in public and just take our lumps and go on.

Now, as stated above, if you do nothing OUT of the public eyes, then I would be extremely pissed.

People are worried Trump will do nothing when he gets to the White House.

Well, I'm more pissed Obama did nothing for the past 8 years to tell the truth.

What I find offensive about this whole episode is that it is big deal and we should concentrate on that but there are some on the left trying to make political hay out of this.

Indeed there are* whispers (started when the "election hack" made the airwaves and getting stronger) growing by the day from the left that Trump is an "illegitamite" president.

I've never thought much of Joe Biden but the man earned my respect the other day with his handling of the ratification process.

Look, they tried to influence an election. There is a big difference between the words "influence" or "control" or "hack".

Hell, everyone foreign and domestic tries to influence our election one way or another. Saudis giving money to Hillary is influencing our election.

I do not think this episode meets the criteria of threatening an "open and free election"* or "process of an election" simply because you try to influence it.

If you use the words "control" or "hack", then it does.*

I guess it's a matter of personal choice on what word to use dependong on your political beliefs.

But now, I think even Obama using the word "influence"....which tells us something.

Now one might argue, as some do, that the DNC servers were relatively insecure. So they got what was coming to them. That's the same argument rapists use when they argue that the woman's dress was seductive. The argument doesn't fly. The hack was illegal. If the RNC had done the hack, grand juries would be convening as we speak. In this case, a foreign government or its proxies did the hack. But it was still illegal under our laws. We aren't doing much to punish it, but we can convey our intolerance to this kind of meddling and raise public consciousness to the threat by making a stink about it. It affects us all, regardless of party. That's why the GOP has taken the lead in launching Congressional investigations into the leak.

If we are talking about rape, I would agree with you.

A more accurate analogy would be if a person kept leaving his front door open when he knows there are thieves all over the place.

If he gets robbed MORE THAN ONCE because he kept getting tricked into giving his keys out, he at least deserves a slap upside the head and a "what were you thinking" speech.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't punish the thieves or make stealing painful for the thieves or not making the neighborhood aware of the thieves around but I won't give the guy that got robbed multiple times a hug and I definitely won't give him much sympathy.

And as you say, we aren't doing much to punish the robbers but we are spending a whole lot of times making the neighbor, who had nothing to do with the robbery (Trump) explain himself while we should be spending the time fortifying the house.

citanon
10 Jan 17,, 02:55
Except for the recent interim, Russia has always been trying to subvert and influence our elections. Cyber now adds new vulnerabilities.

We need to respond to Russia with a comprehensive strategy that leverages our advantages and patches our vulnerabilities.

First, we need to upgrade our conventional military footprint in Europe.

Second, we need to recapitalize and reinvigorate our nuclear weapons enterprise and expand our deployed arsenal back to parity with the Russians.

Third, we need to vigorously pursue the third offset in military capabilities.

Fourth, we need to develop and put into practice covert cyberband disinformation capabilities centered around Russian vulnerabilities.

Fifth, we need to ensure the continuation of a robust sanctions regime.

Sixth, we need to ensure long term continuation of a low ceiling in global energy prices.

Lastly, all of this should be done while our leadership utilizes conciliatory diplomacy to define the overt US Russian competition within safe boundaries and seek cooperation where ever possible. Our strong and far reaching actions need to be offset by conciliatory and face saving words in public.

So far, Trump seems to be checking or say that he will check a lot of the above boxes. Thus, I remain optimistic about his ability to manage Russia.

In dealing with Russia, we need to remember the teaching of Louis XI: "He who does not know how to dissimulate dies not know how to rule."

DOR
10 Jan 17,, 10:45
Mitch McConnell …the hypocrisy is strong in this one.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has returned an identical letter that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent to Harry Reid in 2009 on the Cabinet nomination process, calling on Republicans Monday to comply with the same conditions Republicans demanded when it came to President Obama’s nominees. At the time, McConnell was the minority leader and Democrats controlled the nomination process.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/chuck-schumer-turns-the-tables-on-mitch-mcconnell-in-senate-confirmation-process/


Republicans Think Capitol Hill’s Rules Are for Suckers

To an impressive extent, the story of Barack Obama’s presidency was written by Republican congressional leaders, who recognized that Robert’s Rules of parliamentary order weren’t binding on anyone—but that Democrats would proceed as if old comities would ultimately prevail.

For years before the 2008 election, Senate filibuster rules had been put to slowly increasing use, but when Mitch McConnell became minority leader in 2007 he turned supermajority requirements into the expectation rather than the exception. The GOP’s massive-resistance approach to obstructing Obama’s agenda was an innovation, but to people paying attention to the late George W. Bush years it wasn’t unexpected.

After regaining power in Congress, Republicans would later weaponize the debt limit and other basic, deadline-driven legislative responsibilities. They used hostage-taking tactics to impose a conservative agenda on Democrats, rather than negotiate with them toward mutually agreeable compromises. This pattern prefigured the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and McConnell’s decision to void Obama’s power to appoint a new justice with a full year left in his second term.

https://newrepublic.com/article/139707/republicans-think-capitol-hills-rules-suckers

JAD_333
10 Jan 17,, 21:14
Two points:

Was it fair to Hillary or the DNC?* Of course it wasn't. No denying it.

What do you think should have been done?* I don't have* idea one...you tell me.

Should we have delayed the election?

Should we have made the Republicans release their emails?

I think we both agree those are ludicrous ideas.

So what should have been done?


I agree those are ludicrous ideas. Nothing could have been done to redress the unfairness to Clinton once the leaks began appearing.

Actually, I was just answering your question, what are free and fair elections. You had said in previous posts that nobody answer it, so I gave it a go. I don't have anything to add to it.




Because as soon as those emails were released, we were not going to have a "fair and free election" by your standards with no way to rectify the situation.


Correct, but those standards are not mine alone. They go back to the founding fathers. My degree is in poly sci, so I was already familiar with the concept.




In my eyes, I see no difference in a foreign power trying to influence matters of other countries affairs, either covertly or overtly.

The difference is right in your sentence. Covertly is in secret; overtly is in the open. The difference is akin to stealing money or earning it. Would the KGB alert the FBI that they are about to hack the DNC's servers? No; because it's illegal. If they want to do it, they'll do it secretly. On the other hand, they can do it legally by directing RT Television-US, their puppet in the US, to fashion stories critical of the candidate they don't want to win and lay off the one they do want to win, which they did. But at least RT's stuff can be seen and judged true or not by everybody. The candidate can deny it or counter it through speeches and media interviews. But countering the words in documents stolen from your own party is a much harder lift.


Tankie is still pissed about Obama going over there and trying to influence their BREXIT vote. LoL.

Yeah, bad form, but open and above board. No hacking Nigel's sex tapes, if he has any.


And I never said the problem should be left unchecked to grow and cause greater damage in the future.* What I am saying is it is a big deal and the steps Obama took look feable and weak and just what exactly did it accomplish?


There could be more here than meets the eye. Mount intel reports and encourage Congressional investigations to attract public and media attention. Objectives: First, inform the people that a foreign government messed with our election. We must prevent future intrusions (need budget to fund security measures). Second, strengthen public opinion to prevent next administration from radically changing US foreign policy toward Russia.



What I find offensive about this whole episode is that it is big deal and we should concentrate on that but there are some on the left trying to make political hay out of this.

Indeed there are* whispers (started when the "election hack" made the airwaves and getting stronger) growing by the day from the left that Trump is an "illegitamite" president.

I've never thought much of Joe Biden but the man earned my respect the other day with his handling of the ratification process.



Those voices will never go away. The establishment, GOP and Dems, knows it's best to accept the election results and have a smooth transition.

Short of real collusion with Putin, Trump is in the clear.

tankie
10 Jan 17,, 21:30
Edit: Apologies...I keep getting these tiny stars when I copy/paste fron my phone




Forget for a moment that the Russians were behind the DNC hack, and consider the imbalance it created. One of the major parties had all its filing cabinets stolen and the contents made public. The other did not. Is that fair? You can bet the farm that the RNC's files were just as juicy and filled with opposition research, none of it revealed, whereas the DNC's opposition research was and may have helped GOP congressional candidates win in several close district elections. Of course, much more was revealed in the files.

Two points:

Was it fair to Hillary or the DNC?* Of course it wasn't. No denying it.

What do you think should have been done?* I don't have* idea one...you tell me.

Should we have delayed the election?

Should we have made the Republicans release their emails?

I think we both agree those are ludicrous ideas.

So what should have been done?

Because as soon as those emails were released, we were not going to have a "fair and free election" by your standards with no way to rectify the situation.

So let's..ahem....move on (apologies to snapper for using that word)


"Free and fair elections", if I may borrow from an independent source, "allow people living in a representative democracy to determine the political makeup and future policy direction of their nation's government." Obviously, any secret attempt by a foreign entity to control the outcome of an election infringes on this right. It's none of their fu*king business. Thus, by definition, the hack, now attributable to Russians cannot be seen as anything else but a threat to free and fair elections. Left unchecked the threat will grow. More and more entities with a stake in the outcome of our elections at a national, even state, level will try to sway our elections. Making a big deal out of Russia's hack may seem like a tempest in a teapot, but Americans who think so lack foresight.
*

In my eyes, I see no difference in a foreign power trying to influence matters of other countries affairs, either covertly or overtly.

Tankie is still pissed about Obama going over there and trying to influence their BREXIT vote. LoL.

And I never said the problem should be left unchecked to grow and cause greater damage in the future.* What I am saying is it is a big deal and the steps Obama took look feable and weak and just what exactly did it accomplish?

Yes, Putin got one over us, and yes, we should cause a stink and whine like hell.** And yes, we are doing that right now.

Yes, we should use overt means to cause them damage (we better be doing this right now because if it comes out sometime in the future that those "sanctions" are the only steps Obama took, I will definitely agree with Bluesman that this guy is indeed WORSE.THAN.CARTER.)

So what else can we as a nation do?

Pretty much nothing in public and just take our lumps and go on.

Now, as stated above, if you do nothing OUT of the public eyes, then I would be extremely pissed.

People are worried Trump will do nothing when he gets to the White House.

Well, I'm more pissed Obama did nothing for the past 8 years to tell the truth.

What I find offensive about this whole episode is that it is big deal and we should concentrate on that but there are some on the left trying to make political hay out of this.

Indeed there are* whispers (started when the "election hack" made the airwaves and getting stronger) growing by the day from the left that Trump is an "illegitamite" president.

I've never thought much of Joe Biden but the man earned my respect the other day with his handling of the ratification process.

Look, they tried to influence an election. There is a big difference between the words "influence" or "control" or "hack".

Hell, everyone foreign and domestic tries to influence our election one way or another. Saudis giving money to Hillary is influencing our election.

I do not think this episode meets the criteria of threatening an "open and free election"* or "process of an election" simply because you try to influence it.

If you use the words "control" or "hack", then it does.*

I guess it's a matter of personal choice on what word to use dependong on your political beliefs.

But now, I think even Obama using the word "influence"....which tells us something.

Now one might argue, as some do, that the DNC servers were relatively insecure. So they got what was coming to them. That's the same argument rapists use when they argue that the woman's dress was seductive. The argument doesn't fly. The hack was illegal. If the RNC had done the hack, grand juries would be convening as we speak. In this case, a foreign government or its proxies did the hack. But it was still illegal under our laws. We aren't doing much to punish it, but we can convey our intolerance to this kind of meddling and raise public consciousness to the threat by making a stink about it. It affects us all, regardless of party. That's why the GOP has taken the lead in launching Congressional investigations into the leak.

If we are talking about rape, I would agree with you.

A more accurate analogy would be if a person kept leaving his front door open when he knows there are thieves all over the place.

If he gets robbed MORE THAN ONCE because he kept getting tricked into giving his keys out, he at least deserves a slap upside the head and a "what were you thinking" speech.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't punish the thieves or make stealing painful for the thieves or not making the neighborhood aware of the thieves around but I won't give the guy that got robbed multiple times a hug and I definitely won't give him much sympathy.

And as you say, we aren't doing much to punish the robbers but we are spending a whole lot of times making the neighbor, who had nothing to do with the robbery (Trump) explain himself while we should be spending the time fortifying the house.

Wheres the like button , haaaa Mr kenyaobumma , influenced our brexit vote n im pissed orrff ,,,,,nahhhhhhh Jason , im chuffed haktchooly , another gig he f####d up . heheh .

JAD_333
10 Jan 17,, 21:32
Mitch McConnell …the hypocrisy is strong in this one.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has returned an identical letter that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent to Harry Reid in 2009 on the Cabinet nomination process, calling on Republicans Monday to comply with the same conditions Republicans demanded when it came to President Obama’s nominees. At the time, McConnell was the minority leader and Democrats controlled the nomination process.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/chuck-schumer-turns-the-tables-on-mitch-mcconnell-in-senate-confirmation-process/

You left out an important detail. The letter was dated February 12, 2009. Most of Obama's cabinet appointments had been confirmed by that time. The letter listed basic procedures for completing the advice and consent phase of sub-cabinet appointments. The senate as yet to reach that phase, so it is premature to accuse McConnell of hypocrisy. I am surprised that Schumer resorted to this cheap trick.

YellowFever
10 Jan 17,, 21:48
Yeah, I just busted all your points in my post number 131.

Neener Neener!

What are you going to do about it?


Umm...nothing.

I can't dispute anything you said.

Curse you!

YellowFever
10 Jan 17,, 21:52
Wheres the like button , haaaa Mr kenyaobumma , influenced our brexit vote n im pissed orrff ,,,,,nahhhhhhh Jason , im chuffed haktchooly , another gig he f####d up . heheh .

:O

I would love to know what "chuffed haktchooly" means...

tankie
10 Jan 17,, 22:40
:O

I would love to know what "chuffed haktchooly" means...

It means , im rather cockahoop , very pleased , actually over the moon in my pleasure , gorrit av ya , tosser .

Doktor
10 Jan 17,, 23:15
Umm...nothing.

I can't dispute anything you said.

Curse you!

He indeed did it. Curses bounce off of him. What you gonna do?

Doktor
10 Jan 17,, 23:16
:O

I would love to know what "chuffed haktchooly" means...

Puffed easter decorating chicken. All nice.

JAD_333
10 Jan 17,, 23:17
Umm...nothing.

I can't dispute anything you said.

Curse you!


Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
Yeah, I just busted all your points in my post number 131.

Neener Neener!

What are you going to do about it?
Umm...nothing.


Where'd that quote come from. It's not mine. Come on, fess up.

Toby
10 Jan 17,, 23:28
It means , im rather cockahoop , very pleased , actually over the moon in my pleasure , gorrit av ya , tosser .
A reet Numpty ad se lol

snapper
10 Jan 17,, 23:48
Short of real collusion with Putin, Trump is in the clear.

What would constitute 'collusion'? If he was in debt to Muscovite money? There is clear evidence he at least was - see past FT articles.

43029

JAD_333
10 Jan 17,, 23:52
What would constitute 'collusion'? If he was in debt to Muscovite money? There is clear evidence he at least was - see past FT articles.

Snapper

By "collusion with Putin" I meant scheming with Putin to hack DNC servers. I don't know about Trump's debts to Russian entities, if any.

YellowFever
10 Jan 17,, 23:53
He indeed did it. Curses bounce off of him. What you gonna do?

Ummm, like I said, nothing.

This week happens to be "Be nice to senior citizens and moderators of online forum" week.

Thus Mr. JAD is dual qualified.

YellowFever
10 Jan 17,, 23:54
Where'd that quote come from. It's not mine. Come on, fess up.

I read minds.

That's what you were thinking when you wrote posts #131.

:P

snapper
10 Jan 17,, 23:56
Should he actually in be debt to Muscovite mob money - which all flows back to Vova - would you consider his position as kompromat? I know for a fact that there is British info on this.

YellowFever
10 Jan 17,, 23:57
It means , im rather cockahoop , very pleased , actually over the moon in my pleasure , gorrit av ya , tosser .

Then why can't you say, "I'm very pleased." like a normal person, ya tosser.

YellowFever
10 Jan 17,, 23:59
A reet Numpty ad se lol

We had a very nice guy that used to translate what tankie said.

Unfortunately he isn't with us anymore.

You are more than welcome to take over the job.

Please?

Doktor
11 Jan 17,, 00:04
We had a very nice guy that used to translate what tankie said.

Unfortunately he isn't with us anymore.

You are more than welcome to take over the job.

Please?

Nope. There is no suitable sub for Mr. DL.

Doktor
11 Jan 17,, 00:05
Then why can't you say, "I'm very pleased." like a normal person, ya tosser.

Must be the last word you used.

Toby
11 Jan 17,, 00:24
We had a very nice guy that used to translate what tankie said.

Unfortunately he isn't with us anymore.

You are more than welcome to take over the job.

Please?

I wonder how many Yanks would love to hear a British PM tell them to surrender their sovereignty to a foreign power coz if they didn't they go to the back of the que in terms of trade....Highly inaccurate remark by Obama and totaly F-ckin dumb!

snapper
11 Jan 17,, 00:51
"Collusion"?: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.html

Toby
11 Jan 17,, 01:14
"Collusion"?: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.html

I wondered where I left that......Such a grass Snapper...

snapper
11 Jan 17,, 01:19
Wasn't me who published it old boy but it is indeed the "British dossier". So I ask again... who is Igor Diveykin?

Parihaka
11 Jan 17,, 04:26
"Collusion"?: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.html

If my heart wasn't set in stone against them I'd feel kind of sad watching the American left-wing media shredding themselves. (http://boards.4chan.org/pol/thread/106514445#p106520376)

InExile
11 Jan 17,, 04:40
If my heart wasn't set in stone against them I'd feel kind of sad watching the American left-wing media shredding themselves. (http://boards.4chan.org/pol/thread/106514445#p106520376)

Like the great leftist leader Senator John McCain

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/fbi-chief-given-dossier-by-john-mccain-alleging-secret-trump-russia-contacts

Parihaka
11 Jan 17,, 04:52
Like the great leftist leader Senator John McCain

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/fbi-chief-given-dossier-by-john-mccain-alleging-secret-trump-russia-contacts

I've always said he's a democrat (http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/showthread.php?t=66478&page=8&p=1010726&highlight=mccain#post1010726) :-))

Parihaka
11 Jan 17,, 05:02
I wondered where I left that......Such a grass Snapper...

I sooo need the like button

JAD_333
11 Jan 17,, 09:03
"Collusion"?: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.html

Ah, you've been over to BuzzFeed.

No reputable news org, not even CNN would publish it, even though they've had it for months. Unable to verify any of it. That doesn't mean there isn't any truth in it. It's a typical intelligence report...he said-she said. Whether those sources are reliable or not, and whether the former MI-15 agent who compiled it is for real, no one on the outside knows. The FBI has had it since last year and supposedly it's under investigation, although Comey wouldn't comment when asked at hearings on the Hill the other day. Trump was given a summary of it when he was briefed on the DNC-hack intel last Tuesday. Predictably, he's tweeted that it's 'FAKE NEWS. A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT'. I truly hope it's not true, for reasons I am sure you and everyone here would understand.

JAD_333
11 Jan 17,, 09:11
I've always said he's a democrat (http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/showthread.php?t=66478&page=8&p=1010726&highlight=mccain#post1010726) :-))

Oh no, Mr.Bill...don't say that. Some of us Republicans like our good guys just the way they are.


No like button for you... ;-)

Mihais
11 Jan 17,, 09:15
Should he actually in be debt to Muscovite mob money - which all flows back to Vova - would you consider his position as kompromat? I know for a fact that there is British info on this.

Info is everywhere.Reliable and verified is a bit rare.The thing is simple.Trump was a contender for 18 months.He was a public figure all his life.If nothing showed up all this time,either he is superman or there is nothing.The election was the most vicious in living memory.His opposition made a fuss of everything and if there was nothing they invented things.We can presume that unoficially the security agencies were asked about ways to hit him.
They had to hit Hillary instead.
If the British had something that was rock solid,it wouldn't go via RUMINT to you.It would have gone discreetly to the American counterparts.Because it was almost public policy to oppose Trump.

Either way,talking is often confused with actions.Trump is a big unknown so far wrt Russia.
The best thing is to stop worrying about him and accelerate Intermarium integration.
He has only 4 years,which isn't a long time.

snapper
11 Jan 17,, 09:20
Check out Carter Page's Moscow travels - as the report says. I would agree though it is very much 'raw materiel'.


Trump is a big unknown so far wrt Russia.

You seriously think so? There is clear evidence that Moscow interfered in the US election, the number of treaties and agreements they have broken, lies they have told, people they have killed - apart from invading 2 neighbours since Vova turned up in the Kremlin - not to mention cyber attacks... and Trump can bad mouth everyone - Mexicans, Muslims - even the PM of Canada (of whom I am no fan) and some actress but only praise consistently Vova and this does not strike you as odd?

Doktor
11 Jan 17,, 09:44
Check out Carter Page's Moscow travels - as the report says. I would agree though it is very much 'raw materiel'.



You seriously think so? There is clear evidence that Moscow interfered in the US election, the number of treaties and agreements they have broken, lies they have told, people they have killed - apart from invading 2 neighbours since Vova turned up in the Kremlin - not to mention cyber attacks... and Trump can bad mouth everyone - Mexicans, Muslims - even the PM of Canada (of whom I am no fan) and some actress but only praise consistently Vova and this does not strike you as odd?

Well, at least you can give NATO the credit for not intervening in neighboring countries. The big powers play as they will, get used to it.

snapper
11 Jan 17,, 09:56
the former MI-15 agent

Presumably if based in Moscow SIS rather than MI5.

Mihais
11 Jan 17,, 10:13
Check out Carter Page's Moscow travels - as the report says. I would agree though it is very much 'raw materiel'.



You seriously think so? There is clear evidence that Moscow interfered in the US election, the number of treaties and agreements they have broken, lies they have told, people they have killed - apart from invading 2 neighbours since Vova turned up in the Kremlin - not to mention cyber attacks... and Trump can bad mouth everyone - Mexicans, Muslims - even the PM of Canada (of whom I am no fan) and some actress but only praise consistently Vova and this does not strike you as odd?

Yes.And will only change when actual facts happen.That being said I already put the worst case scenario up front.
Plus I always warmed up to the idea of fighting Russia without much American help.
Because frankly ,the Russians don't frighten me much.If a mobilization of one man in 500 can stop the Russians in the best conditions an invader can dream,like it happened in Ukraine,is only a matter of fighting their potential minions via political,economical and intelligence means for the rest of EE.
All while building a military detterence locally.If it were up to me Ukraine would be by now armed to the teeth,with a 50 billion aid package for its economy.

Trump ain't alone and the US military isn't a bunch of morons.They won't cut and run in the next 4 years,unless they have to fight for their lives vs the Chinese.

snapper
11 Jan 17,, 11:57
I of course agree with you regarding their 'fearsomeness' and the intermarium where we have had surprising problems with the Poles who despite their own blueprints went for the Croatian 'north south' option first rather than Ukrainian/Litwa/Belarus 'east west' option though the first high speed trains are now running between Krakow and Lwow (Lviv). The thing is much of the 'intermarium' plan is infrastructure; the canal route from Poland, through Belarus to Ukraine and the Black Sea etc. I note Belarus has just liberalised it's visa regime for Poles and Ukrainians. Military projects are of course in it but the Polish Presidency of the V4 - where they did have a real chance to make the case - has in my view been hampered (not least by the Huns) and proved a failure but then maybe I was expecting too much.

DOR
11 Jan 17,, 12:00
Nothing good is allowed to come out of a GOP-controlled congress when there is a Democrat in the White House, not even to support crucial, urgent national interests. OK, there is one exception: when it hands lots of money to corporations that generally can be counted on to donate to GOPer campaign coffers. Other than that, Nothing.

The GOPers would rather wait until unemployment is a full percentage point below the historic average (which was 5.6% in the 60 years to end-2007) before recognizing the necessity of investing in infrastructure and the obvious savings of doing it at low interest rates.

= = = = =

citanon has some interesting ideas.

→ upgrade our conventional military footprint in Europe.
In response to cyber attacks on our democracy? Doesn’t seem appropriate.

→ recapitalize and reinvigorate our nuclear weapons enterprise and expand our deployed arsenal back to parity with the Russians.
See above. You don’t fight a cyber war with nukes.

→ vigorously pursue the third offset in military capabilities.
Ah, now we get to next gen systems.

→ develop and put into practice covert cyber band disinformation capabilities centered around Russian vulnerabilities.
Much more appropriate.

→ continuation of a robust sanctions regime.
Old school. Minimally useful against widely dispersed attackers.

→ long term continuation of a low ceiling in global energy prices.
Totally off subject and likely to do more long-term damage than anything.

→ utilize conciliatory diplomacy to define the overt US Russian competition within safe boundaries and seek cooperation where ever possible. Our strong and far reaching actions need to be offset by conciliatory and face saving words in public.
When did “face saving” become a military or national security necessity?

snapper
11 Jan 17,, 12:27
My dear fellow, you need to get off your partisan horse imv: This was not attack on the US Democrat Party but an attack on democracy in the US. All citanon's suggestions and more are warranted, particularly increased support (and pressure to reform) in Ukraine where we have been fighting them for two years on all fronts and winning; you are at war whether you chose to like or believe it or not. Welcome to reality.

bfng3569
11 Jan 17,, 15:18
Nothing good is allowed to come out of a GOP-controlled congress when there is a Democrat in the White House, not even to support crucial, urgent national interests. OK, there is one exception: when it hands lots of money to corporations that generally can be counted on to donate to GOPer campaign coffers. Other than that, Nothing.

The GOPers would rather wait until unemployment is a full percentage point below the historic average (which was 5.6% in the 60 years to end-2007) before recognizing the necessity of investing in infrastructure and the obvious savings of doing it at low interest rates.

= = = = =
[

infrastructure???

Obama rebuilt our infrastructure in his first few months in office, all 'shovel ready' jobs too.

troung
11 Jan 17,, 18:50
Why the Russia-Trump Memos Are Dubious

11:58 AM, Jan 11, 2017 | By THOMAS JOSCELYN


A set of memos alleging disturbing ties between President-elect Donald Trump and Russian officials has set off yet another media firestorm concerning Russia's putative role in the 2016 presidential election. Many people have had copies of the memos for some time, but the documents were published online by BuzzFeed only after CNN reported that U.S. intelligence officials had briefed both Trump and President Obama on the allegations contained therein.


The content of the memos, their sourcing to anonymous or non-existent witnesses, and obvious political taint make this story highly suspect. Here are several reasons why.


First, the public doesn't even know who the author of the memos is or if he or she is truly an honest broker of information. And many of the underlying sources cited in the memos are unnamed. Therefore, they can't be questioned about their supposed testimony.



According to CNN, the memos were "compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible."


So, anonymous "US intelligence officials" have claimed than an unnamed "former British intelligence operative" is "credible"—which means next to nothing.


Even if this person was "credible" in the past, it doesn't mean that he or she is "credible" on this issue. BuzzFeed candidly reported that the memos were "prepared for political opponents of Trump," meaning that there is an obvious political motivation in play here.


Second, while the ultimate source of the memos may or may not be "credible," the allegations contained in the memos have not been substantiated or verified. Indeed, CNN makes it clear that the FBI is "is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations…but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump."


Which raises an important question: If the allegations haven't been confirmed, then why were they included in briefings given to both Trump and Obama? Did the briefers simply note that these allegations were swirling around, or did they give any weight to them?



What makes this even more curious is that some of the allegations are so specific that the FBI should be able to substantiate, or disprove, the basic fact pattern pretty quickly.
http://www.weeklystandard.com/why-the-russia-trump-memos-are-dubious/article/2006240

troung
11 Jan 17,, 22:16
he Strange Things We Found in the Trump Kompromat Memo
18:00 (GMT)
Photo: A mural in a Moscow pub. Photo by Aleksandr Zemlianichenko/Meduza

UPDATED: Much has been written about a memo passed around intelligence and media circles purporting to contain kompromat about president-elect -- a Russian word that means "compromising material" held to blackmail an enemy or leak to the press to embarrass him.

As we reported, Trump himself has called the entire report "fake news" as part of a "witch hunt" and some of the key figures named have denied the implications in the report.

In its first story on the memo, The Guardian called out the English spelling of the word "Alpha" and the claim that the suburb of Barvikha was "reserved for elites" as tips that the memo was written by people who didn't know facts about Russia and therefore could be fake.

These two points are trivial indeed compared to other strange aspects of the memo; many English speakers would anglicize the word "Alfa" to "Alpha" for the name of the bank; and dachas are indeed reserved in the Russian leadership's system of perks, although oligarchs as well as some ordinary people do live in Barvikha, including those who work at the elite compounds.

The memo has clearly been cobbled together from various different reports, and if it is true that the reports originated in a firm owned by a former British MI6 agent, there are few Briticisms at all in the report, either in spelling or lexicon ("programmes" is on page 4, "organisation" on page 18). So it has been summarized and rewritten, perhaps with mistakes introduced along the way.

What we'd like to point out are some of the very curious claims about how the Russian intelligence system works, and recent facts of political life.

Many of the allegations about Trump have been known for months and were covered in The Interpreter's four-part series for The Daily Beast. Of particular interest were Trump's possible links to figures in Russia, some with ties to the Kremlin or organized crimes, to whom Trump may be indebted in some way.

What this new memo recounts are claims of actual actions taken by individuals already known in the Trump story to blackmail the real estate mogul -- and it is these allegations which will continue to hang over the Trump presidency regardless of his own dismissal or the failure of the press to find "smoking guns."

Even so, we have to point out that certain episodes in this report do not seem consistent with what we know about Russia, and either they are bizarre enough to be true or evidence that it is false in part or in whole.

-- The section that claims that Michael Cohen, a lawyer for Trump, met with a Russian operative says that the Russian is in a "parastate" agency and "under cover," but works for Rossotrudnichestvo. That is a state agency that cultivates emigres and foreigners abroad and *is* a state agency which reports to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It functions like the Soviet Friendship Committee but has even more reach as it also sponsors cultural activities abroad. So it's not very secret and would probably not be used for a covert meeting, although it is used to find agents of influence.

Cohen reportedly met Russian officials, including possibly Russian politician Konstantin Kosachev in August in Prague. The dossier (page 18) claims that Kosachev as a "plausibly deniable" figure not in the executive but the Russian legislature had "facilitated" the contact and by implication, could have attended the meeting.

Cohen denies he was in Prague during the dates indicated, although he does say he went to Italy in July. The drive to Czech republic from whatever town he visited in Italy would be between 650 and 1000+ miles -- not a realistic trip to meet a Russian agent. Cohen also claims he was in New York In September.

As we reported, CNN's Jake Tapper claims that the Michael Cohen in question was not in the Czech Republic, and the dossier references a different Michael Cohen.

Kosachev, former head of the State Duma's Foreign Relations Committee, has issued a statement on his Facebook page denying the claims about him in the report or any involvement in the affair. Kosachev is currently the chair of the Committee on International Relations of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament. He served in 2012 as the head of Rossotrudnichestvo, the Russian state agency for cooperation with emigres and foreigners.

First, Kosachev notes that he left the position of chair of the State Duma's Foreign Relations Committee five years ago, although he is identified in the report as still holding that title in the Duma. Second, he says he does not know Michael Cohen "with all due respect." And third, he says he has not been to Prague or any other Czech city in more than five years. We found him at a conference in Prague titled "Democracy in the Post-Soviet Space" -- but in 2012. It seems unlikely that if he went to another conference more recently, there would be no press coverage.

-- Carter Page, said now to be a former advisor to Trump and owner of Global Energy Capital, has close ties to Gazprom and allegedly met with high-ranking Russian officials on frequent travels to Russia. But as we reported last year, he denied he met Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin -- and indeed, why would someone as important as Sechin meet with a former advisor to Trump? The issue isn't just the difference in their levels; the issue is the political fall-out that could occur should Sechin's meeting with Page be exposed.

But what's most odd about the claims for that meeting are that Sechin allegedly offered Page/Trump the 19.5% of shares in Rosneft that eventually went to Qatar and Glencore. It just doesn't make sense that Sechin would offer these shares to either a small American energy company or an American real estate mogul who do not have the cash for such a big investment (it sold for more than $11 billion) and who are not even in the oil business. The Russian news service RBC was sued last year by Sechin for reporting that the government warned the British oil company BP, which already owns shares in Rosneft, not to get involved in this deal (so as not to obtain a controlling share), and the shares were frequently rumored to be shopped to "Asians" or proxies for Rosneft/Russia itself. It just doesn't seem plausible that they could ever have been offered to Americans in any form, especially these Americans. And to get Trump on their side, the Russians wouldn't need to force him to spend money he didn't have on an oil company in Russia where he would stick out like a sore thumb.

-- The weirdest part of the memo for Russia-watchers is the notion that Russian presidential administration spokesman Dmitry Peskov was handed this very sensitive dossier of Trump kompromat [compromising material] to manage, and then supposedly overplayed his hand, and he and others suffered the consequences.

Peskov himself dubbed these claims "pulp fiction" today at a press briefing, Gazeta reported.

First, it makes no sense to have the PR voice of the presidential administration handling a dossier of this nature -- he wouldn't have compiled it as part of his job description, and it would be handled by intelligence agencies, either the FSB (Federal Security Service] or SVR [Foreign Intelligence Service]. He might be an end user of parts of such a dossier, but he himself didn't publicize them (unless he did so as part of his office's job telling state media what and what no to write).

It is plausible that Sergei Ivanov, previously Putin's chief of staff, as a trusted former KGB officer and long-time crony of Putin's, might have had this job "outside the usual channels." But the claim Ivanov was "backed by the SVR" then (not the FSB, which would have had to gather the kompromat inside Russia) doesn't make sense -- nor does the strange odyssey of this dossier "from the MFA to Ivanov/SVR to Peskov." All of this is odd; given agency rivalries and chains of command and mandates, it does not make sense. Intelligence just doesn't work that way.

Then there is the claim that Ivanov was removed from his job over this blowback. This is an interesting tidbit because the dismissal of this trusted aide was very sudden, and no one can really explain why he was removed; he himself may really have wanted to leave voluntarily. Ivanov did not fall from favor; Putin made him a special envoy on the environment, and he retains his seat in the National Security Council.

The Trump memo certainly provides an explanation, then, for his sudden departure, but it equally could be cited as evidence that the dossier is fake since the authors don't realize how the Kremlin works. If Putin did not trust his own intelligence agencies to handle such a sensitive matter and wanted personal control over it, he would not likely give the job to Peskov or even Ivanov, but rather he might bring in Viktor Zubkov, his former body guard -- former head of the Federal Protection Service which guards the leaders and the Kremlin grounds, and who is now head of the National Guard.

Perhaps this is a very garbled version of a story that does involve Ivanov in the links of people handling the Trump dossier. As we reported, even after he was fired, Ivanov was sent out to do spin control on the 'Russia wants Trump as president' story, walking it back. That was both evidence that Ivanov was still very much in favor in the Kremlin and that the Kremlin needed to downplay the story. But the wild bungling and overplaying of hands described in the account don't square with the way the hacks and media coverage have been handled. They maintained plausible deniability, and needed only a slight nudge to be effective.

-- The part that has the most attention is the least substantiated. Could it be that someone as important as Trump orders prostitutes for the presidential suite, and they all disappear and are silent after taking bribes? Really? This seems bizarre and meant as a red herring. Trump has always been careful to surround himself with aides and lawyers who keep scandal away. We're to believe that he'd be indiscreet enough in Russia to hire prostitutes?

The most important aspect of this report is not whether it is true or flawed but the use to which it has been put -- notably by the US intelligence community in confronting Trump and trying to get him to believe he could be compromised by the Russians. Obviously, it's easier for the intelligence community to use a thing like this than its own real reports.

Of course, the entire memo could be yet another Russian disinformation operation of its own, as now total chaos has broken out in the media over it.

The report is based on the agents' network of a figure close to British intelligence. That means it is likely available to UK intelligence which cooperates with US intelligence. The US may have its own sources or the same sources, and may have found it convenient to have the information get to Trump and the media this way -- in other words, the copy given to the US intelligence by Senator John McCain may not have been their only copy..

The sources have very high access and that seems surprising, then, that they end up in a report that is shopped around widely like this because, with some digging, any of those involbed could be exposed. Who is that Russian emigre in the Trump camp? Is that Felix Satter or somebody else?

So far, the Russian-language state and independent media have reported on the Trump kompromat memo as an event, summarizing the BuzzFeed article and claiming that none of the allegations are verified. But Russian media has not provided a detailed critique of the allegations raised, such as the claim of Peskov's or Ivanov's involvement, and Ivanov's dismissal and replacement by Anton Vaino, who was portrayed in the memo as "clean" in terms of having no involvement in the Trump campaign. Perhaps that's because the Kremlin is as much of a black box for them as it is for us.

Gazeta.ru has questioned a key element of the memo, that Trump was assigned the job of providing intelligence on what Russian oligarchs do abroad. We found that odd as well, as we were unable to find any actual ties between major oligarchs and Trump, although he became involved with second-tier wealthy Russian businessmen like Arif Agalarov in the Miss Universe beauty pageant in Russia. Gazeta said they didn't think Trump would have anything to contribute that Russia's own networks would not report. They also expressed doubts about the sexual allegations.

To be sure, it is a classic feature of Russian intelligence tradecraft to hook in informants by giving them jobs to do like reporting on something, even if Russian intelligence knows it already. And dangling prostitutes to create kompromat situations is another classic move.

An earlier version of this post appeared at Minding Russia.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
. http://www.interpretermag.com/live-updates-new-allegations-emerge-that-russia-is-blackmailing-donald-trump/?pressId=15920

FJV
11 Jan 17,, 23:13
If the documents are true, then.

The fact that the Russians flat out stated that this document is untrue, means that their secret service cannot blackmail Trump without some nasty side effects.
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/russia-vladimir-putin-compromising-intelligence-donald-trump-fabrication/

A release of damaging information on Trump, for instance a piss sex tape, would prove that the document is true.
It would also prove that the Russian secret service has indeed been influencing / "hacking" the US election as stated in the document.
And it would prove Putin to be a liar

So the moment the Russian secret service carrries out the threat part of the blackmail, they create bigger problems for themselves than for Trump.
Because of this statement carrying out a blackmail threat hurts Putin the Russian secret service much worse than Trump.
Trump would most likely get away with a bit of embarrasment in a kindof "Clinton / Kennedy / J Charlie Sheen" way.
(considering public opinion and that a lot of average people do all sorts of wierd stuff in their bedrooms)

All of a sudden any possible blackmail is now based on a hollow threat or at the very least results in a Mexican standoff.

Why would Putin and his Russian secret service painstakingly gather incriminating information on Trump only to make carrying out a blackmail
practically impossible? Against their own self interest?

Most likely this report is fake news. Because if the report was real, Putin and his Russian secret service would not wreck their efforts and their
statement would neither deny or confirm anything in this report. (One never can be 100% sure though)

Now on the other hand if you are CIA you make up a document with some truths and some propaganda you want the public to believe.
Should Putin and his Russian secret service confirm any single thing in this document, then the public will also believe the propaganda.

snapper
11 Jan 17,, 23:17
And it would prove Putin to be a liar

That we already know.

FJV
11 Jan 17,, 23:19
That we already know.

Still, loss of face = bad for Putin.

JAD_333
12 Jan 17,, 05:35
Nothing good is allowed to come out of a GOP-controlled congress when there is a Democrat in the White House, not even to support crucial, urgent national interests. OK, there is one exception: when it hands lots of money to corporations that generally can be counted on to donate to GOPer campaign coffers. Other than that, Nothing.


Dor, were you away from the planet in 2015?



http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/in-case-you-missed-it-congress-passed-some-big-bills-in-2015/


In case you missed it, Congress passed some big bills in 2015


BY Quinn Bowman December 30, 2015 at 4:47 PM EST
WASHINGTON, DC -

Congress passed several major bills in 2015, despite continued partisanship and a leadership shakeup in the House. Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The dirty open secret about Capitol Hill is that there’s a very narrow window in which significant legislation can pass between the campaigns that reshape Congress every two years. It’s the new normal, formed by the rise of partisanship and big-money politics.

But after half a decade of divided government, in which congressional Democrats worked to stymie President George W. Bush and, conversely, congressional Republicans used every opportunity to block or roll back President Obama’s agenda, something changed in 2015: Congress passed significant bipartisan legislation that was signed into law by the president.

The list includes a major reform to the K-12 education system, a long-awaited fix to Medicare’s formula for paying doctors and a five-year agreement on how to fund the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

That isn’t to say that the enormous gulf between conservative congressional Republicans and Obama has disappeared — Republicans in 2015 were successful for the first time in passing a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the president’s signature legislative achievement, through both chambers. But after years of gridlock that led to a near default on the nation’s debt and a two-week government shutdown in 2013, this year was a feast of legislative compromise and achievement

Here’s what was accomplished:

Doc Fix

A complicated 1997 Congressional budget agreement created a formula for paying doctors who treat Medicare patients. Unfortunately for the doctors, that formula regularly cut their pay, leaving doctors unsure of their income each year. Congress repeatedly voted for more money to make up for the gap.

That “doc fix” ritual continued until 2015, when then-Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi worked out a change to the formula. Over five years, a new formula will pay doctors based on the quality of care they provide, not just the amount of care.

The $210 billion measure sailed through the Senate and House, and was largely deficit-financed.

Highway bill
Drivers on Interstate 580 approach the MacArthur Maze interchange in heavy traffic near Oakland, California, in this 2007 file photo. Photo by Noah Berger/AP

This month Congress passed the first long-term highway funding bill since 2009. Photo by Noah Berger/AP

Prior to this year, Congress hadn’t passed a long-term funding bill for the nation’s transit and infrastructure since 2009.

Negotiators in the House and Senate were finally able to hammer out an agreement this month that easily passed both chambers. One of the most important aspects of the bill is that it shores up the highway trust fund, which pays for the highway system using revenue from the federal gasoline tax. The fund has been running out of money since 2008, causing disruption to road repair and construction nationwide.

Like the doc fix, the highway measure relies on a creative financing solution that does not involve taxes. The $305 billion bill is paid for in part by transferring money from a Federal Reserve account and selling part of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Budget deal

Since 2010, battles over spending have been the main event in the long-running feud between Obama and House Republicans.

But in late December of this year, House Speaker Paul Ryan and other leaders worked with Obama on a massive spending bill that funds the government until next October. Although House conservatives had helped remove Boehner from office over similar deals, there were no widespread hard feelings toward Ryan this time. In a rare moment of bipartisanship, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Ryan and Obama all praised each other’s work after the bill sailed through Congress.
In a rare moment of bipartisanship, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Ryan and Obama all praised each other’s work after the budget deal sailed through Congress.

The spending bill was paired with a package of tax cuts known as tax-extenders, meant to entice some Republicans to vote for both measures. Those $650 billion in tax cuts were also deficit-funded (notice a theme?)

Security and visa waivers

This quiet reform moved through Congress as part of the massive appropriations bill mentioned above.

In the aftermath of the ISIS-linked terror attacks in Paris, Republicans and some Democrats in the House rushed to pass a bill making it harder for Syrian refugees to enter the country. It didn’t reach Obama’s desk.

A separate proposal that was already in the works was ultimately included in the spending agreement. That measure makes changes to the visa waiver program that allows citizens from 38 “friendly” countries easy access to the U.S. The reform requires residents of those countries who are originally from or have visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria in the past five years to go through a stricter visa review process before entering America. Several of the Paris attackers were born in Belgium and France, two of the countries in the visa waiver program.

The European Union and Iran are not at all happy with the reform.

Education reform

Congress also overhauled the No Child Left Behind federal education reform bill signed into law by President George W. Bush. The Every Student Succeeds Act transfers power from the federal government to the states, giving states more say on how to evaluate teachers and improve schools.

The education bill was yet another example of legislators from different parties — led by Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington and Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee — working closely together on a product nearly every member of Congress supported.

What’s next in 2016?

For all of Congress’s success this year, legislative action in 2016 will likely grind to a halt. Major legislation typically falls by the wayside during presidential election years. And with Obama leaving office, he has even less leverage over Congress.

One possible area of compromise is criminal justice reform. A group of senators from across the political spectrum teamed up to write legislation earlier this year that reduces mandatory minimum sentences for some drug crimes, among other reforms. Obama has also expressed interest in working on that issue.

Also pending is congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a massive trade deal between the U.S. and 11 Asian countries that’s a priority for the White House. The deal could be finalized next year, although opponents from both sides of the aisle are already trying to block the agreement.

Parihaka
12 Jan 17,, 10:36
Dor, were you away from the planet in 2015?

Be kind to him, he's been in England

DOR
12 Jan 17,, 11:02
Dor, were you away from the planet in 2015?

Be kind to him, he's been in England



2015, 2015 . . . that would be the 114th Congress, right?

Speaker Boehner invites a foreign head of state to address a joint session of Congress without consulting the POTUS.

Senator Cotton and 46 other GOPer Senators (out of 54) sign a letter to Iran undermining American foreign policy.

But, perhaps you’re thinking of the (largely unfunded) $305 billion, five-year infrastructure spending bill. That's like, $61 billion a year!
Whoopee?

That’s the one that is supposed to be paid for not by user fees of gas taxes but by passport fees, Fed dividends and other “free” money.

That’s the transport infrastructure bill that authorized the Ex-Im Bank through 2019 and funds new crop insurance.

Is that the bill you're thinking of?

snapper
12 Jan 17,, 11:37
Still, loss of face = bad for Putin.

So Putin threatens "do this or we spill the beans", Trump says "Go to hell"; it all (if anything) comes out; taped conversations, sex tapes or whatever, Trump is impeached and maybe jailed and Putin loses? Not following your logic here...

Monash
12 Jan 17,, 12:35
Trump considers appointing 'anti-vaxer' to head review committee.

http://http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/trump-meets-anti-vaccine-activist-after-raising-fringe-theory-trail-n705296

Albeit his transition team has started back-peddling in the last 24 hours WTF?

FJV
12 Jan 17,, 18:58
So Putin threatens "do this or we spill the beans", Trump says "Go to hell"; it all (if anything) comes out; taped conversations, sex tapes or whatever, Trump is impeached and maybe jailed and Putin loses? Not following your logic here...

And Putin is confirmed "controlling" the US election which will cause the diplomatic shit to hit the fan for Russia.
It will take them decades to live this down.
Russia will be isolated from the entire West for decades and this move will be back on widespread citizen support.

Maklng all trade /export impossible with the richest part of the world for decades is not a good deal for getting Trump impeached.
Lets face it the largest consumer market is still in the US.

No access to customers, no access to the latest tech, diplomaticly shunned in international matters, being regarded with extreme suspicion by everyone else.

Cold war 2 for Russia, without allies.

Pulling dirty tricks without nasty consequences ain't all that easy.

JAD_333
12 Jan 17,, 19:03
2015, 2015 . . . that would be the 114th Congress, right?

Speaker Boehner invites a foreign head of state to address a joint session of Congress without consulting the POTUS.

Senator Cotton and 46 other GOPer Senators (out of 54) sign a letter to Iran undermining American foreign policy.

But, perhaps you’re thinking of the (largely unfunded) $305 billion, five-year infrastructure spending bill. That's like, $61 billion a year!
Whoopee?

That’s the one that is supposed to be paid for not by user fees of gas taxes but by passport fees, Fed dividends and other “free” money.

That’s the transport infrastructure bill that authorized the Ex-Im Bank through 2019 and funds new crop insurance.

Is that the bill you're thinking of?


You mean things didn't go exactly the way you'd like them to go, and you blame that on there being a democrat in the White House. But if you were to take the conservative point of view, you'd see things differently. Speaking of obstructionism, I don't suppose you were critical of the Democratic-majority congress obstructing the GOP agenda when Bush was in the White House.

tankie
12 Jan 17,, 19:27
And Putin is confirmed "controlling" the US election which will cause the diplomatic shit to hit the fan for Russia.
It will take them decades to live this down.
Russia will be isolated from the entire West for decades and this move will be back on widespread citizen support.

Maklng all trade /export impossible with the richest part of the world for decades is not a good deal for getting Trump impeached.
Lets face it the largest consumer market is still in the US.

No access to customers, no access to the latest tech, diplomaticly shunned in international matters, being regarded with extreme suspicion by everyone else.

Cold war 2 for Russia, without allies.

Pulling dirty tricks without nasty consequences ain't all that easy.

Looks like my booze cruise around the muscovite dens are well n truly trumped now then grrr

JAD_333
12 Jan 17,, 19:40
And Putin is confirmed "controlling" the US election which will cause the diplomatic shit to hit the fan for Russia.
It will take them decades to live this down.
Russia will be isolated from the entire West for decades and this move will be back on widespread citizen support.

Maklng all trade /export impossible with the richest part of the world for decades is not a good deal for getting Trump impeached.
Lets face it the largest consumer market is still in the US.

No access to customers, no access to the latest tech, diplomaticly shunned in international matters, being regarded with extreme suspicion by everyone else.

Cold war 2 for Russia, without allies.

Pulling dirty tricks without nasty consequences ain't all that easy.


Not quite that extreme, but no doubt this is an embarrassment for Putin. He, of course, never expected Russia to be caught in the act. Trump put the icing on the cake at his press conference yesterday. Keep in mind that he had been somewhat of a defender of Russia by calling into question US intel. Having now come around to believing that Russia was behind the hack, other countries will conclude that, if the number one skeptic was convinced by the classified intel, then the intel must have been solid. Assange had better watch his six, as well. Holed up in an embassy in London makes it hard for him to be sure the DNC emails didn't originally come from Russian sources.

astralis
12 Jan 17,, 20:34
JAD,


Not quite that extreme, but no doubt this is an embarrassment for Putin.

not sure why he would be embarrassed, though. as far as he's concerned, the Russian people are eating this up because it shows their influence as more than a has-been regional power.


Having now come around to believing that Russia was behind the hack, other countries will conclude that, if the number one skeptic was convinced by the classified intel, then the intel must have been solid.

not sure which other countries doubted the veracity of the intel. Trump seemed to have been a sole outlier.

doubt there's going to be a Cold War 2 because the soon-to-be POTUS has made it crystal clear that he wants to have close relations with Putin. his advisors, his statements, the fact that he's willing to repeatedly take political hits to be friendly with Russia to the point where what would normally be ridiculous documents almost sound plausible.

astralis
12 Jan 17,, 20:36
tankie,


Looks like my booze cruise around the muscovite dens are well n truly trumped now then grrr

there's only one place to do a right proper booze cruise and that is California.

tankie
12 Jan 17,, 21:22
tankie,



there's only one place to do a right proper booze cruise and that is California.

Righty ho then , but Moscow was on my bucket list , shame with all the crap to go thro for a visa , right then where dya suggest in sunny/C then .

SteveDaPirate
12 Jan 17,, 21:39
Righty ho then , but Moscow was on my bucket list , shame with all the crap to go thro for a visa , right then where dya suggest in sunny/C then .

San Diego is a pretty choice spot. Beautiful beaches, beautiful women, a great big naval base, and Tijuana just across the border in Mexico...

For other diversions it has arguably the best zoo in the world (https://www.google.com/maps/place/San+Diego+Zoo/@32.735316,-117.1512347,17z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x80d95495497f80c9:0x5df0f437 2635e247!2sSan+Diego+Zoo!8m2!3d32.735316!4d-117.149046!3m4!1s0x80d95495497f80c9:0x5df0f4372635 e247!8m2!3d32.735316!4d-117.149046), you can tour an Aircraft Carrier (https://www.google.com/maps/place/USS+Midway+Museum/@32.713826,-117.1751483,335m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x80d954ab2a6e80c1:0x fbb78930404553b2!2sUSS+Midway+Museum!8m2!3d32.7137 398!4d-117.1751265!3m4!1s0x80d954ab2a6e80c1:0xfbb78930404 553b2!8m2!3d32.7137398!4d-117.1751265) (highly recommended) and Submarine, has a first class aquarium (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Birch+Aquarium+at+Scripps+Institution+of+Oceanogra phy/@32.8657614,-117.2512897,18.25z/data=!3m1!5s0x80dc06b3fc72b0a7:0xd82fb17a29f6f030! 4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x80dc06b3fd50a7fb:0xbc5cbdfb7a585f a9!2sBirch+Aquarium+at+Scripps+Institution+of+Ocea nography!8m2!3d32.8658117!4d-117.2506888!3m4!1s0x80dc06b3fd50a7fb:0xbc5cbdfb7a5 85fa9!8m2!3d32.8658117!4d-117.2506888), etc.

tankie
12 Jan 17,, 22:16
Cheers Steve .

tankie
12 Jan 17,, 22:37
Obammas parting shot goodbye and something for Trump to sort out .

US military
Russia says US troops arriving in Poland pose threat to its security
Early deployment of biggest American force in Europe since cold war may be attempt to lock Trump into strategy
Ewen MacAskill Defence correspondent
Thursday 12 January 2017 18.54 GMT First published on Thursday 12 January 2017 10.39 GMT

The Kremlin has hit out at the biggest deployment of US troops in Europe since the end of the cold war, branding the arrival of troops and tanks in Poland as a threat to Russia’s national security.

The deployment, intended to counter what Nato portrays as Russian aggression in eastern Europe, will see US troops permanently stationed along Russia’s western border for the first time.

About 1,000 of a promised 4,000 troops arrived in Poland at the start of the week, and a formal ceremony to welcome them is to be held on Saturday. Some people waved and held up American flags as the troops, tanks and heavy armoured vehicles crossed into south-western Poland from Germany, according to Associated Press.

But their arrival was not universally applauded. In Moscow, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “We perceive it as a threat. These actions threaten our interests, our security. Especially as it concerns a third party building up its military presence near our borders. It’s [the US], not even a European state.”

The Kremlin may hold back on retaliatory action in the hope that a Donald Trump presidency will herald a rapprochement with Washington. Trump, in remarks during the election campaign and since, has sown seeds of doubt over the deployments by suggesting he would rather work with than confront Putin.

But on Thursday Nato officials played down Trump’s comments, saying they hoped and expected that he would not attempt to reverse the move after he became president on 20 January.


US to speed up deployment of troops to Poland, Romania and the Baltic
Read more
That prediction was reinforced by Trump’s proposed defence secretary, James Mattis, and his proposed secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who backed Nato during Senate confirmation hearings.

Mattis, in rhetoric at odds with the president-elect, said the west should recognise the reality that Putin was trying to break Nato.

Tillerson, who has business dealings in Russia, described Russia’s annexation of Crimea as “as an act of force” and said that when Russia flexed its muscles, the US must mount “a proportional show of force”.

Nato was caught out by the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has struggled to cope with Russia’s use of hybrid warfare, which combines propaganda, cyberwarfare and the infiltration of regular troops disguised as local rebels.

In response, the US and its Nato allies have been steadily increasing air patrols and training exercises in eastern Europe. The biggest escalation is the current deployment of US troops, agreed at last summer’s Nato summit in Warsaw.

The move was billed as an attempt to reassure eastern European states who have been calling for the permanent deployment of US troops in the belief that Russia would be less likely to encroach on territory where US troops are present.

Peter Cook, the Pentagon press spokesman, said: “The United States is demonstrating its continued commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure Nato allies and partners of America’s dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine.”

Poland in particular has pressed for a permanent US troop deployment since soon after the fall of communism in 1989.

Nato officials insist that the US and other alliance troops deployed to eastern Europe are not “permanent”, which would be in breach of an agreement with Russia. The US plans to rotate the troops every nine months, so it can argue they are not in breach of the Russian treaty, but effectively there will be a permanent presence.

Deployment was originally scheduled for later in the month but a decision was made last month to bring it forward, possibly a move by Barack Obama before he leaves office to try to lock the president-elect into the strategy.

The troops from the Third Armor Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, based in Fort Carson, Colorado, along with hundreds of armoured vehicles and tanks, were moved from the US to Germany last week for transit by rail and road to Poland and elsewhere in eastern Europe. The US is sending 87 tanks, and 144 armoured vehicles.


As well as being stationed in Poland, the US troops will fan out across other eastern European states, including Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania.

The UK is also contributing to the buildup of Nato forces in eastern Europe. The UK formally took command this week of Nato’s response force, made up of 3,000 UK troops plus others from Nato who will be on permanent standby ready to deploy within days. The contributing countries include the US, Denmark, Spain, Norway and Poland.

Few at Nato seriously believe that war with Russia is likely but there have been dangerous developments, with escalation on both sides, including a buildup of Russian troops. Russia alarmed Poland and other eastern European states by moving nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles to its naval base at Kaliningrad in the autumn. At the time Nato regarded the move as a response to its own deployments.

The Polish foreign minister, Witold Waszczykowski, voicing concern in eastern Europe that Trump might do a deal with Putin, said this week he hoped that any such reconciliation would not be at Poland’s expense.

snapper
13 Jan 17,, 00:23
And Putin is confirmed "controlling" the US election which will cause the diplomatic shit to hit the fan for Russia.

They have already broken countless agreements (Helsinki, Budapest even the UN Charter) quite apart from interfering in your election and have an in coming President who they almost certainly have kompromat on... Is Trump about to do anything? Not a hope; he is compromised. I mean one can hope but seriously the way blackmail works is that the blackmailed party has less power than the blackmailer. Your logic is flawed.

Doktor
13 Jan 17,, 00:27
In essence Putin outsmarted Obama, he dodged the bullet with sanctions, expelling from G8... and installed a POTUS under Barry's watch? Is this what you are saying?

citanon
13 Jan 17,, 02:48
They have already broken countless agreements (Helsinki, Budapest even the UN Charter) quite apart from interfering in your election and have an in coming President who they almost certainly have kompromat on... Is Trump about to do anything? Not a hope; he is compromised. I mean one can hope but seriously the way blackmail works is that the blackmailed party has less power than the blackmailer. Your logic is flawed.

The Russians have got nothing. What are they going to say? He made deals with them? He hired prostitutes to do kinky stuff? It's out there already. It doesn't stick. Even if it was real and they have actual video tapes, he'll call them fakes. Then, just to prove they are fake, Trump is going to do stuff that really hurts Russia. So, even if the Russians had anything, all they can do is STFU and deny.

The Russians do understand well how blackmail works. You blackmail people in positions of vulnerability and limited power. You don't blackmail someone like Trump. Blackmailing somebody like that is like blackmailing the mob. Metaphorically speaking, you'll end up face down in the gutter.

JAD_333
13 Jan 17,, 03:35
JAD,



not sure why he would be embarrassed, though. as far as he's concerned, the Russian people are eating this up because it shows their influence as more than a has-been regional power.

Not embarrassing at home, but among world leaders and diplomats. His homeys are like fans who boo when they know the foul was called correctly.




not sure which other countries doubted the veracity of the intel. Trump seemed to have been a sole outlier.

Outlier, yes, but soon to be president.

You better than I know that every country assesses important developments in other countries. When Trump was disparaging the administration's claim that Putin/Russia did the hacking, some countries were uncertain what the truth would turn out to be. This gave Putin some degree of plausible deniability. But now Trump had his much heralded classified briefing and has changed his tune. Now he's a believer. So I would imagine that analysts working in foreign ministries around the world would conclude that Russia is probably guilty as charged. After all, Trump, who heretofore was a non-believer, would not have changed his mind unless he had seen evidence almost as good as a signed confession by Putin.



doubt there's going to be a Cold War 2 because the soon-to-be POTUS has made it crystal clear that he wants to have close relations with Putin. his advisors, his statements, the fact that he's willing to repeatedly take political hits to be friendly with Russia to the point where what would normally be ridiculous documents almost sound plausible.

Without being specific, I think Trump sees Putin as part of a plan he has. Naturally, he would be annoyed at anything that threatens his chances to get off to a good start with Putin, so much so that he considers the political hits he takes as the price of success down the road.

DOR
13 Jan 17,, 11:03
You mean things didn't go exactly the way you'd like them to go, and you blame that on there being a democrat in the White House. But if you were to take the conservative point of view, you'd see things differently. Speaking of obstructionism, I don't suppose you were critical of the Democratic-majority congress obstructing the GOP agenda when Bush was in the White House.

There's a major difference between the way Congressional/Senate Democrats behaved under George W Bush -- i.e., as a loyal opposition, despite the lies the administration told to launch an unnecessary war of aggression against a nation that wasn't involved in 9/11 -- and the efforts to undermine the Obama Administration while its trying to manage the Bush Depression.

Demanding budget cuts while staring a depression in the face is not looking after national interests.
Threatening to shut down the government while still in the process of rebuilding faith in the financial system is not looking after national interests.
Actions that result in a downgrading of nation's credit rating -- thereby increasing the cost of servicing W's debts, for no reason -- is not looking after national interests.
Trying to unfund, repeal, recall or otherwise disrupt Obamacare while the nation is facing its worst economic crisis in 75 years is not looking after national interests.

Blindly confirming presidential nominees, without proper vetting, would be as much against the national interest as was refusing to even consider the president's nominee for the Supreme Court.

Doktor
13 Jan 17,, 11:19
There's a major difference between the way Congressional/Senate Democrats behaved under George W Bush -- i.e., as a loyal opposition, despite the lies the administration told to launch an unnecessary war of aggression against a nation that wasn't involved in 9/11 -- and the efforts to undermine the Obama Administration while its trying to manage the Bush Depression.

Demanding budget cuts while staring a depression in the face is not looking after national interests.
Threatening to shut down the government while still in the process of rebuilding faith in the financial system is not looking after national interests.
Actions that result in a downgrading of nation's credit rating -- thereby increasing the cost of servicing W's debts, for no reason -- is not looking after national interests.
Trying to unfund, repeal, recall or otherwise disrupt Obamacare while the nation is facing its worst economic crisis in 75 years is not looking after national interests.

Blindly confirming presidential nominees, without proper vetting, would be as much against the national interest as was refusing to even consider the president's nominee for the Supreme Court.

How is downgrading of the credit rating ONLY Congress's fault? It was the Administration who went full retard on S&P rating downgrade. Also, it was due to the deficit rise who were made by, khm, khm... your saint.

TopHatter
13 Jan 17,, 17:13
How is downgrading of the credit rating ONLY Congress's fault? It was the Administration who went full retard on S&P rating downgrade. Also, it was due to the deficit rise who were made by, khm, khm... your saint.

Congress has the power of the purse.


https://youtu.be/KIbkoop4AYE

JAD_333
13 Jan 17,, 20:26
There's a major difference between the way Congressional/Senate Democrats behaved under George W Bush -- i.e., as a loyal opposition, despite the lies the administration told to launch an unnecessary war of aggression against a nation that wasn't involved in 9/11 -- and the efforts to undermine the Obama Administration while its trying to manage the Bush Depression.

Demanding budget cuts while staring a depression in the face is not looking after national interests.
Threatening to shut down the government while still in the process of rebuilding faith in the financial system is not looking after national interests.
Actions that result in a downgrading of nation's credit rating -- thereby increasing the cost of servicing W's debts, for no reason -- is not looking after national interests.
Trying to unfund, repeal, recall or otherwise disrupt Obamacare while the nation is facing its worst economic crisis in 75 years is not looking after national interests.

Blindly confirming presidential nominees, without proper vetting, would be as much against the national interest as was refusing to even consider the president's nominee for the Supreme Court.

What you term national interests are partisan interests. There has been an ongoing struggle between progressives and conservatives over the growing number of social programs and their cost to taxpayers. If you think the struggle would be pretty or that conservatives would continue to go along to get along, you are mistaken. In all the examples of conservative obstructionism you gave, the gravity of them was as much due to the intransigence of the liberal side as it was to the conservative side. This is not a struggle between good guys and bad guys, but of politicians with different viewpoints. Which viewpoint prevails depends on the electorate, and as you can see, the electorate is more conservative these days, witness the GOP majorities in the House and Senate and among state governors and statehouses. You would do yourself a service to reexamine your views in light of the shifts underway, particularly the burden they put on taxpayers.

JAD_333
13 Jan 17,, 20:34
So who is Carter Page who figured prominently in the now infamous report? Apparently, nobody. Here's a journalist's attempt to find out going back to the time Trump mentioned that he was one of his foreign affairs advisors. Weird.





The Mystery of Trump’s Man in Moscow

Reports of deep Russian ties swirl around Trump advisor Carter Page. Oddly, nobody in Russia seems to have heard of him.

By Julia Ioffe

September 23, 2016

In March, in a bold “Oh yeah?” moment during an interview with the Washington Post’s editorial board, Donald Trump took the paper’s dare and revealed, then and there, his very short list of foreign policy advisers. There were just five, though he said, “I have quite a few more.” The list was a head-scratcher, a random assortment of obscure and questionable pundits. One of the names, offered without elaboration, was, “Carter Page, PhD.”

Who? (more at: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/09/the-mystery-of-trumps-man-in-moscow-214283

citanon
13 Jan 17,, 21:22
What you term national interests are partisan interests. There has been an ongoing struggle between progressives and conservatives over the growing number of social programs and their cost to taxpayers. If you think the struggle would be pretty or that conservatives would continue to go along to get along, you are mistaken. In all the examples of conservative obstructionism you gave, the gravity of them was as much due to the intransigence of the liberal side as it was to the conservative side. This is not a struggle between good guys and bad guys, but of politicians with different viewpoints. Which viewpoint prevails depends on the electorate, and as you can see, the electorate is more conservative these days, witness the GOP majorities in the House and Senate and among state governors and statehouses. You would do yourself a service to reexamine your views in light of the shifts underway, particularly the burden they put on taxpayers.

Like.

Doktor
13 Jan 17,, 22:50
Congress has the power of the purse.


https://youtu.be/KIbkoop4AYE

I am on my mobile to copy paste S&P's rationale on the downgrade, but from memory, it included both the Congress and the WH, as well as the spike in the deficit (or debt, as you will).

astralis
13 Jan 17,, 23:23
moreover, there's the issue of mandatory vs discretionary spending.

citanon
14 Jan 17,, 01:58
I am on my mobile to copy paste S&P's rationale on the downgrade, but from memory, it included both the Congress and the WH, as well as the spike in the deficit (or debt, as you will).

That and S&P's desire to be taken as a serious institution again after whoring itself out to every bank in the lead up to the financial crisis.

Parihaka
14 Jan 17,, 04:07
I disagree. Trump may have destroyed the GOP electoral machine but the vast majority of congressmen and senators are establishment. Trump has two opposition parties to deal with, not one. His only real option is to do as Obama did, rule by fiat.
And as if by magic

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/burr-says-intel-panel-will-investigate-possible-russia-trump-links-233621) (R-N.C.) said late Friday that his committee will investigate possible contacts between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, reversing himself one day after telling reporters that the issue would be outside of his panel’s ongoing probe into Moscow’s election-disruption efforts.

Burr and the intelligence panel’s top Democrat, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, said in a joint statement that the committee's probe would touch on "intelligence regarding links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns" as well as Russian cyberattacks and other election meddling outlined in an intelligence report released last week.


The committee will use “subpoenas if necessary” to secure testimony from Obama administration officials as well as Trump’s team, Burr and Warner said.

The bipartisan Senate announcement came hours after several House Democrats aired their frustrations with FBI Director James Comey following a classified briefing on Russian election disruption. The Democrats were livid that Comey refused to confirm whether he is conducting an inquiry into potential Trump ties to Russia — a question that he publicly declined to answer earlier this week.

DOR
14 Jan 17,, 11:35
How is downgrading of the credit rating ONLY Congress's fault? It was the Administration who went full retard on S&P rating downgrade. Also, it was due to the deficit rise who were made by, khm, khm... your saint.

Doktor,

In 2011 the Tea Party went to war with the administration over the budget, and by threatening to force an unconstitutional default (i.e., refuse to raise the debt ceiling), led Moody’s (June), S&P (August) and Fitch (November) to downgrade America’s credit rating. Fitch again threatened to cut the credit rating in 2013, due to a repeat of the same (off-election year) scorched earth tactics. When the Tea Party backed off in 2014, Fitch raised its rating back to AAA, and specifically cited the reasons why.

As for the deficit, the sole reason it increased dramatically was the severe loss of revenues caused by the Bush Depression. Current tax receipts fell 23% in 2009. As for expenditures, they were virtually flat in nominal terms in 2010-13, declining as a share of GDP every year from 2009 to 2015 and falling year-on-year in real terms in 2011-14.

You can crunch the numbers yourself here: https://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cfm?ReqID=9&step=1#reqid=9&step=1&isuri=1
Table 3.2 is particularly interesting.


Oh, and just by the way: the deficit and the debt are two very, very different things.

DOR
14 Jan 17,, 11:43
What you term national interests are partisan interests. There has been an ongoing struggle between progressives and conservatives over the growing number of social programs and their cost to taxpayers. If you think the struggle would be pretty or that conservatives would continue to go along to get along, you are mistaken. In all the examples of conservative obstructionism you gave, the gravity of them was as much due to the intransigence of the liberal side as it was to the conservative side. This is not a struggle between good guys and bad guys, but of politicians with different viewpoints. Which viewpoint prevails depends on the electorate, and as you can see, the electorate is more conservative these days, witness the GOP majorities in the House and Senate and among state governors and statehouses. You would do yourself a service to reexamine your views in light of the shifts underway, particularly the burden they put on taxpayers.

JAD_333,

Exactly. There has been a healthy competition between progressives and conservatives for many years, but in times of crisis both sides push together.
Except in these past eight years.

The budget debate hasn’t been about programs (other than Obamacare) in more than 10 years. It is about Keynesian vs. Austrian responses, it is about the constitutional requirement that the federal government’s debts “shall not be questioned,” and its about undermining anything that might show a Democratic Administration to be effectively dealing with the economic crisis.

To equate the two sides, conservative obstructionism and progressive policy recommendations is not appropriate. To suggest that it is merely a difference of political views, rather than an effort to deliberately undermine the administration’s efforts to mitigate the worst effects of the Bush Depression is misleading.

Parihaka
15 Jan 17,, 04:20
Two interesting comparisons post-election.
Victor Davis Hanson on Trump and the American Divide
http://www.city-journal.org:8080/html/trump-and-american-divide-14944.html

and a revisit to the defence of Kevin Williamson
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/432796/working-class-whites-have-moral-responsibilities-defense-kevin-williamson.

Williamson's error of course was not his assertion that rural America is riddled with the breakdown of family, drugs and welfare dependency. What he did wrong is firstly assert that these problems grew of their own accord, instead of spreading like an infection from the major cities and secondly to claim these rural communities deserved to die, whilst ignoring the majority of the suburbs in his own city.
His local poverty and dysfunction is useful to him, the few allowed to work in his district cleaning up after him are cheap and plentiful; the poverty in other regions he feels simply need to go away. Die.
It's the perfect snapshot of why Trump defeated not only the Democrats, but the Republicans as well, and will continue to do so.

InExile
15 Jan 17,, 06:30
It's the perfect snapshot of why Trump defeated not only the Democrats, but the Republicans as well, and will continue to do so.

Maybe, but so far Trump seems to only confirm his reputation as a used car salesman or con-man. His appointments, while sprinkled with some outsiders are mostly Establishment people, Goldman Sachs, hawks, long term Republicans. Its likely that the policies of the new Government will only exacerbate the problems of those who voted for Trump. Repeal of Obamacare, tax cuts for the wealthy, gutting regulations that would benefit only the 1%. Perhaps picking a trade war with China and Mexico that would cause a long term recession on the scale of the financial crisis of 2008.

It is possible that Trump supporters might ignore the pain to their pocketbooks and continue to support Trump because he 'makes them feel good'. Or they might rationalize it to be the fault of liberals and the left.

However, I think there is a limit to the gullibility of people. That and the extent of the damage that Trump and the Republicans will cause to the economy and the working class. The bungling of George W Bush caused an almost 10% shift from 2004 to 2008

Parihaka
15 Jan 17,, 09:40
Maybe, but so far Trump seems to only confirm his reputation as a used car salesman or con-man. His appointments, while sprinkled with some outsiders are mostly Establishment people, Goldman Sachs, hawks, long term Republicans. Its likely that the policies of the new Government will only exacerbate the problems of those who voted for Trump. Repeal of Obamacare, tax cuts for the wealthy, gutting regulations that would benefit only the 1%. Perhaps picking a trade war with China and Mexico that would cause a long term recession on the scale of the financial crisis of 2008.

It is possible that Trump supporters might ignore the pain to their pocketbooks and continue to support Trump because he 'makes them feel good'. Or they might rationalize it to be the fault of liberals and the left.

However, I think there is a limit to the gullibility of people. That and the extent of the damage that Trump and the Republicans will cause to the economy and the working class. The bungling of George W Bush caused an almost 10% shift from 2004 to 2008
I think you're conflating BAU political activity with the current war. Conservatives have examined and copied all the methodologies of the left and inflated them with steroids. This war will far outlast Trump, McCain, the Bush dynasty, the Clinton dynasty or any of the other players. Trump is the current front man, plenty are already lining up to take his place.
And there is a limit to the tolerance, not gullibility, of the hoi polloi, that tolerance is in IMO breached. They know Trump is a con man, he was simply the best option available at the time to start breaking up the two-party-one-ideology dictatorship currently ruling the United States and the Presidency is far easier to capture than either of the houses.

Edit to add: Oh, and yes, as far as I can read the tea-leaves conservatives pretty much globally are totally prepared to burn it all down.

InExile
15 Jan 17,, 10:13
I think you're conflating BAU political activity with the current war. Conservatives have examined and copied all the methodologies of the left and inflated them with steroids. This war will far outlast Trump, McCain, the Bush dynasty, the Clinton dynasty or any of the other players. Trump is the current front man, plenty are already lining up to take his place.
And there is a limit to the tolerance, not gullibility, of the hoi polloi, that tolerance is in IMO breached. They know Trump is a con man, he was simply the best option available at the time to start breaking up the two-party-one-ideology dictatorship currently ruling the United States and the Presidency is far easier to capture than either of the houses.

Edit to add: Oh, and yes, as far as I can read the tea-leaves conservatives pretty much globally are totally prepared to burn it all down.

There might a core of voters, as you say who are prepared to 'burn it down', but if Trump's policies start to hurt the pocketbooks and 401Ks of ordinary Americans, say like 2008, even in this age of hyper partisanship, there will be a swing to the Democrats of atleast 5-10%, basically ensuring defeat for the Republicans in 2020.

I think that Trump is an overreach on the part of the anti-globalists. They might have gone with someone who might have carried out their agenda on a more modest scale and much more competently, say like Ted Cruz, but by foisting Trump on the country and the world, with his temperament, and possibility to do great damage, they risk an even greater backlash against themselves and a risk of being discredited by association with Trumpism, even more than what is being faced by globalism at the moment.

JAD_333
15 Jan 17,, 19:05
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/01/14/democratic-rep-lewis-trump-not-legitimate-president.html

There's a new badge of honor making the rounds. Inclusion in the Trump Tweet Hall of Fame. Celebrated people opposed to Trump seem to be scrambling to goad Trump into firing off a Tweet about them. The latest is Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga, a hero of the Selma march and a lieutenant of the Rev Martin Luther King, who said he didn't regard Trump as a "legitimate" president, which prompted Trump to fire back, “Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart.” Lewis, like, McCain is a historical figure, and that seems to invite Trump's disrespect. In any case, I imagine creating an award which would go to those maligned in a Trump tweet. What would it be named? We have Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, Razzis, etc...

troung
15 Jan 17,, 20:52
Don't air an opinion if you don't want to be criticized back. Lewis whined because the person he supported lost and called the winner illegitimate. He wasn't sitting on his door step looking at flowers and mean old Trump showed up yelling at him.

Monday is not John Lewis day, nor does a taking part in great movement fifty years ago mean no one may criticize you when you open your pie hole. And he likes the race bait (did it with McCain and the tea party)and run his mouth.

Both men have been in office too long. McCain's greatest act as a politician has been to give us Sarah Palin...

astralis
16 Jan 17,, 04:22
Well, citanon, just checking to see if you still have confidence on Trump's ability to be tough on Russia...

Between slamming NATO, floating the idea of lifting sanctions on Russia, and denigrating the EU, is there a single thing where he is -not- following Putin's interests?

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-01-15/trump-calls-nato-obsolete-and-dismisses-eu-in-german-interview

Skywatcher
16 Jan 17,, 05:31
Now he's offering to reduce nukes levels even further in return for lifting the Crimean sanctions.

If Putin bites, the GOP might decide "***k it, let's start impeachment hearings post haste".

citanon
16 Jan 17,, 05:38
Well, citanon, just checking to see if you still have confidence on Trump's ability to be tough on Russia...

Between slamming NATO, floating the idea of lifting sanctions on Russia, and denigrating the EU, is there a single thing where he is -not- following Putin's interests?

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-01-15/trump-calls-nato-obsolete-and-dismisses-eu-in-german-interview

My thoughts are let's wait until he actually gets in office and sea what he actually does.

He's linking the lifting of sanctions to reduction of Russian nuclear arsenal, obsolescence of NATO with low European contributions. What these words actually mean will depend very much In the substance of his actions.

For one thing, thanks to the Obama administration we now have substantially less deployed nuclear warheads than Russia. Putting nuclear arms control back on the agenda might entail first putting US warhead counts back to parity, or requiring Russia to come down to US levels.

Trump is starting the game as a negotiator. He put cabinet picks who are tough minded realists. He is constrained by a hawkish Congress. So, we can afford to see where he actually goes with this.

Skywatcher
16 Jan 17,, 16:46
Readying the actual review sounds like he wants to cut everyone's nuclear weapons arsenals (that's going to do wonders for planning the nuclear modernization). Guess the Chinese warhawks won't have to bother with boosting the 2nd Artillery after all.

No to mention the suicidal gullibility of trusting Putin on anything.

Toby
16 Jan 17,, 17:06
No to mention the suicidal gullibility of trusting Putin on anything. but it's somehow strangely ok to trust Iran??

Skywatcher
16 Jan 17,, 18:06
but it's somehow strangely ok to trust Iran??

Who said anything about Iran? Stop trying to weasel out of the facts just because you can't handle the real world.

Toby
16 Jan 17,, 18:11
Who said anything about Iran? Stop trying to weasel out of the facts just because you can't handle the real world.
And you'd know where the real world was?

GVChamp
16 Jan 17,, 18:29
Who said anything about Iran? Stop trying to weasel out of the facts just because you can't handle the real world.

The outgoing loser president and his enablers.

Russia has a long history of nuclear disarmament, as long as its history of cheating on nuclear deals.

Outgoing loser President also signed a nuclear reduction deal with Russia, but I suppose it's okay when the Chosen One does it.

kato
16 Jan 17,, 18:51
My thoughts are let's wait until he actually gets in office and sea what he actually does.
Listening to the weekly press conference of the German government right now (sorta like C-SPAN).

Inbetween denying that the interview is reason enough for Germany to procure nuclear weapons and reiterating that "we have a different opinion on Iran" that sentence is pretty much what is repeated ad nauseam in it. While so far completely omitting any questions or answers on Russia.

JAD_333
16 Jan 17,, 21:15
JAD_333,

Exactly. There has been a healthy competition between progressives and conservatives for many years, but in times of crisis both sides push together.
Except in these past eight years.

"Except in these past eight years." Not so. Review your history with emphasis on the 1800 election, the War of 1812, the 1850s before the Civil War, and the post WWI period.

Fast forward, the Republicans made no attempt to hide their resistance to Obama's legislative agenda after the 2010 elections put them in control of the House. The high water mark for Obama occurred in the first 2 years of his presidency with the passage of the ACA (Obamacare), when the Democrats were still in control the House. It was also the high water mark for the whole progressive movement, and simultaneously the crossing of a line in the sand for conservatives. Heretofore, Republicans in Congress had participated in various progressive initiatives over the years, and were usually able to achieve compromises that moderate them to some extent. The passage of the ACA was different. The Democrat-dominated House and Senate Obama inherited basically overrode GOP objections to the bill and passed it with not a single GOP vote. Throughout the 14 months it took to pass the ACA, the Democrats made a lame show of encouraging GOP input, but yielded little of significance to them. In the Congressional elections later that year (2010), the Democrats were trounced, losing 50 seats to the GOP and control of the House.

And you wonder where healthy competition between the parties went. The GOP now controls both houses of Congress, most statehouses and state legislatures, and now the White House. Rejection on that order is not for lack of cooperation from GOP legislators, but a message to them from the electorate not to cooperate in further progressive attempts to add yet more social programs.





The budget debate hasn’t been about programs (other than Obamacare) in more than 10 years. It is about Keynesian vs. Austrian responses, it is about the constitutional requirement that the federal government’s debts “shall not be questioned,” and its about undermining anything that might show a Democratic Administration to be effectively dealing with the economic crisis.

The clash between the Keynesian and Austrian schools of economics is over-hyped. Keynes agreed with Heyak on the need to set boundaries for government interference in the economy. The debt-ceiling fight was in a way about boundaries. The risky approach the Tea Party GOP took to get a budget compromise didn't entirely settle the matter. Some believe, as you do, that it was an unconstitutional approach, but it was never about US debts being questioned. Rather it was a revolt against the constitutional principle being used as a hammer to secure one debt limit increase after another, in other words, pushing the boundaries even farther away. Anyway it did result in half a cake; spending was reduced.


To equate the two sides, conservative obstructionism and progressive policy recommendations is not appropriate. To suggest that it is merely a difference of political views, rather than an effort to deliberately undermine the administration’s efforts to mitigate the worst effects of the Bush Depression is misleading.

It's one thing to tolerate partisan views, but another to utter them as if they were facts. There is far more to conservative obstructionism over the past few years than simply spite.

Skywatcher
16 Jan 17,, 22:06
And you'd know where the real world was?

Well, you obviously don't, so the duty is incumbent on me to do so.

Skywatcher
16 Jan 17,, 22:07
The outgoing loser president and his enablers.

Russia has a long history of nuclear disarmament, as long as its history of cheating on nuclear deals.

Outgoing loser President also signed a nuclear reduction deal with Russia, but I suppose it's okay when the Chosen One does it.

I didn't say anything about Obama, you nit. Are you really that dense, or one of those one ruble trolls?

astralis
16 Jan 17,, 22:17
citanon,


My thoughts are let's wait until he actually gets in office and sea what he actually does.

indeed...yet his words alone have already caused consternation among our allies (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe-leaders-shocked-as-trump-slams-nato-eu-raising-fears-of-transatlantic-split/2017/01/16/82047072-dbe6-11e6-b2cf-b67fe3285cbc_story.html)and rejoicing among our enemies (http://www.rferl.org/a/russia-welcomes-trump-nato-obsolete/28236452.html).

and it's more extreme on either end than obama ever engendered.


Trump is starting the game as a negotiator.


it's off to a great start when his opening gambit is to badly weaken the deterrence value of NATO for...what exactly?



He put cabinet picks who are tough minded realists. He is constrained by a hawkish Congress. So, we can afford to see where he actually goes with this.

the executive branch is far stronger when it comes to foreign policy.

the funny thing is that you're essentially saying the same thing that i am, only not openly; Trump is such that he requires...his own selected cabinet...of "tough minded realists" (of which only Mattis fits that bill) and a "hawkish Congress" to constrain him.

astralis
16 Jan 17,, 22:18
guys- no personal insults please.

Toby
16 Jan 17,, 22:27
Well, you obviously don't, so the duty is incumbent on me to do so.

Go duck yourself spanner

YellowFever
16 Jan 17,, 22:29
guys- no personal insults please.

Aw come on Asty, let the guys play a little.

This is why I love WAB

No "f*ck you, you're delusional!" or "back to you a**hole!"

Even the insults are civilized. :)

YellowFever
16 Jan 17,, 22:30
Go duck yourself spanner

And Toby busts up my post even as I typed it...LoL.

Toby
16 Jan 17,, 22:36
And Toby busts up my post even as I typed it...LoL.

Sorry... but what a nob ..ed! Not you yellow

JAD_333
16 Jan 17,, 23:04
My thoughts are let's wait until he actually gets in office and see what he actually does.




I agree, but will stay alert and prepared to resist any moves on his part that threaten our basic institutions. Beware if he starts saying the ends justify the means.

It's oddly refreshing that we have in him a leader who says out loud what he thinks as opposed to leaders who say the right thing in public while suppressing what they really think. It's troubling that he has those thoughts in the first place. In no way does this openness redeem his naivete on domestic and international issues. Like you say, we'll see what happens after the Inauguration. I have noticed, however, that his public statements and tweets, while still rancorous, show tiny signs that he is learning. In his return fire on Rep Lewis, he ended by asking Lewis for help with urban troubles. A small thing, but telling. Then, today, he issued a nice tribute to MLK and had a meeting with MLK III. Kushner's advice?


But I don't think he'll ever let his Twitter account grow cold. He learned at a young age that hard retaliation throws people off their game, and in later years he learned from Roy Cohen that he best defense is an outsized, audacious offense works.

YellowFever
17 Jan 17,, 00:31
I agree, but will stay alert and prepared to resist any moves on his part that threaten our basic institutions. Beware if he starts saying the ends justify the means.

It's oddly refreshing that we have in him a leader who says out loud what he thinks as opposed to leaders who say the right thing in public while suppressing what they really think. It's troubling that he has those thoughts in the first place. In no way does this openness redeem his naivete on domestic and international issues. Like you say, we'll see what happens after the Inauguration. I have noticed, however, that his public statements and tweets, while still rancorous, show tiny signs that he is learning. In his return fire on Rep Lewis, he ended by asking Lewis for help with urban troubles. A small thing, but telling. Then, today, he issued a nice tribute to MLK and had a meeting with MLK III. Kushner's advice?


But I don't think he'll ever let his Twitter account grow cold. He learned at a young age that hard retaliation throws people off their game, and in later years he learned from Roy Cohen that he best defense is an outsized, audacious offense works.

Major Like.

I took great joy in this election, not because Trump won but because the Democrats (or more specifically, Hillary) lost.

And despite how I must sound like defending Trump, I do have major reservations on how he will perform in office.

But I agree 100% with what Steve said in the other thread :


The checks and balances remain in place. Our political process, alone, makes near impossible enacting sweeping, radical legislation quickly. Advise and consent still rules and the net effect is to dampen mavericks who won't play by those rules.

I'm counting on those institutions and processes neutering Trump's worst efforts. Still, this is going to be some seriously weird sh!t for the next four years.

I believe in our system and even if Trump fucks up majorly (a pretty even bet I think) and turns out to be worse than our resident Democrats predict, we'll still be OK.

I also think it's a good thing that a maverick comes along once in awhile to yank the chains of those career politicans.

JAD_333
17 Jan 17,, 07:48
And despite how I must sound like defending Trump, I do have major reservations on how he will perform in office.

But I agree 100% with what Steve said in the other thread :


The checks and balances remain in place. Our political process, alone, makes near impossible enacting sweeping, radical legislation quickly. Advise and consent still rules and the net effect is to dampen mavericks who won't play by those rules.

I'm counting on those institutions and processes neutering Trump's worst efforts. Still, this is going to be some seriously weird sh!t for the next four years.


YF

I'm somewhere in there with you. But I didn't vote for him because I felt his lifestyle and business ethics were a poor example for the upcoming generation. When you compare his leadership style to those of great leaders, like Washington, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and FDR you realize how deficient he is, at least going in.

But he'll be our president, and on day one he deserves our support. On day 2, who knows.

It will be interesting at first to watch this odd man operate, much like it was interesting to watch our first black president operate, and if I may add, Obama comported himself extremely well throughout as a family man and a boss.

Now that Trump's going to be our president, I want him to succeed. Like you point out, just in case he goes rouge, we have the necessary institutional safeguards to check him.

YellowFever
17 Jan 17,, 08:37
YF

I'm somewhere in there with you. But I didn't vote for him because I felt his lifestyle and business ethics were a poor example for the upcoming generation. When you compare his leadership style to those of great leaders, like Washington, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and FDR you realize how deficient he is, at least going in.



True...

But then again, how many presidents did we have meeting those standards? :)

As long as he doesn't blow up the world or...ummm...get to know interns on a carnal basis in the Oval Office, I'll be fine with it.

I am not expecting much from him.

As I said before he is a New York liberal and I guess the only thing I want from him is to submit somewhat conservative names to the judicial branch.

I'll be fine with it if he does that and then have literal running gun battles with the members of congress for the next 4 years.





But he'll be our president, and on day one he deserves our support. On day 2, who knows.



Who knows indeed.

On the other hand he could surprise me greatly and be only half as damaging to the USA as Barry was.




It will be interesting at first to watch this odd man operate, much like it was interesting to watch our first black president operate, and if I may add, Obama comported himself extremely well throughout as a family man and a boss.



Never said Barry was a bastard. And I wouldn't mind having a beer with the guy.

But if a guy in the Oval Office can somehow....umm....Make America Great Again....I really don't mind if he's an asshole.





Now that Trump's going to be our president, I want him to succeed. Like you point out, just in case he goes rouge, we have the necessary institutional safeguards to check him.

About the only thing he did as President-Elect so far is piss off the Democrats and the press.

Sure, Putin might be happy...but he, along with the rest of the world leaders are probably thinking what the hell he's going to do once he enters office.

Obama, Clinton, Bush senior and junior were all known commodities.

I really don't mind that our enemies AND allies are having to play guessing games with the new prez.

InExile
17 Jan 17,, 09:43
Major Like.
I believe in our system and even if Trump fucks up majorly (a pretty even bet I think) and turns out to be worse than our resident Democrats predict, we'll still be OK.

.
Part of me wishes that Trump does fucks up majorly, atleast so that Republicans face the consequences for electing such a buffoon to POTUS.

But then again, it wont be so pleasant for the rest of us, so I hope we get through the next four years without calamity.

DOR
17 Jan 17,, 11:37
but it's somehow strangely ok to trust Iran??

Sort of like trusting the USSR with SALT I and SALT II.

DOR
17 Jan 17,, 11:56
JAD_333,

I’m not sure how “a healthy competition between progressives and conservatives for many years,” led you to early 19th century political conflicts, but I’ll accept the post-WWII ear. Healthy: nondestructive, supportive of national interests. Competition: differences of opinions, yet no denial that the other side is worthy.

But, discussing GOPer “resistance” to Obama’s policies without reference to the worst economic and financial crisis in 75 years makes it somehow seem OK to work against the national interests. It isn’t. It never was.


As for Obamacare, given that it was nothing more (and a bit less) than what GOPers had proposed in the past, the opposition is very hard to understand. Unless, of course, the opposition has nothing whatsoever to do with healthcare and everything to do with who gets the credit.

GOPers negotiated in bad faith. They had no intention of voting for Obamacare, regardless of what compromises were agreed upon. So, even though there was no single-payer plan, not a one of them voted for it.

Pelosi’s biggest failing was in not tearing up the compromise and going right back to the original draft. If the GOPers didn’t want to work with the Democrats, then they shouldn’t get any say in the outcome.


In a broader arena, I will agree that there is far more to conservative obstructionism than simply spite. There’s a deep desire to win power at whatever cost . . . what ever the cost. That’s the main difference between the two parties: Democrats, up until now, have not been willing to burn down the house in order to win.

In economics, the differences between Keynesian and Austrian policy preferences are not over-hyped. The entire European Union still-at-double-digit-unemployment-rates is wholly due to the Austrian-inspired austerity approach. The US and UK’s sub-5% rates, on the other hand, are Keynesian results.

I’m a macro-economist; this is what I do. So at least grant me a bit of respect in my field as I bow to other people’s superior knowledge and experience in, say, logistics or airframes.

GVChamp
17 Jan 17,, 15:53
I didn't say anything about Obama, you nit. Are you really that dense, or one of those one ruble trolls?

The person you quoted obviously implied it.

Let me go back to what you said:


No to mention the suicidal gullibility of trusting Putin on anything.
American Presidents have signed deals with Russia/USSR with varying degrees of success over since the 40s. The most recent one was the last President. If you're someone thinking Trump is unique, then you're the one with ideas that are quite far removed from reality.



WRT to economic policy:
The correct response to economic recession is almost certainly the Keynesian one. Even viewpoints that we don't think of as Keynesian, like Milton Friedman, are using a lot of the same fundamental analysis. It's just a question of using fiscal stimulus vs. monetary stimulus.

I can respect not trusting massive government spending: tax cuts are just as effective according to Romer's research and gives government less ability to pick winners and losers. Plus, a lot of the infrastructure projects we want are not shovel-ready jobs, and when we try to expedite production and ignore environmental regulations, we get DAPL'd.
Using money to pay states not to lay off teachers is a political winner, but of questionable value.

But even if you are skeptical about fiscal stimulus, the Republican coalition hammered monetary stimulus and Ben Bernanke, too. This definitely ticked off Bernanke, and you can easily tell that from his memoir.

Then you have the nuts like Ron Paul who want gold. No thanks!

Toby
17 Jan 17,, 16:37
Sort of like trusting the USSR with SALT I and SALT II.
Kind of different....in that religion wasn't a factor

DOR
17 Jan 17,, 16:50
Kind of different....in that religion wasn't a factor

It's stretches a reasonable assumption beyond the breaking point to assume that Islam is more important to Iran's leaders than their nation. Please provide evidence.

Toby
17 Jan 17,, 16:53
It's stretches a reasonable assumption beyond the breaking point to assume that Islam is more important to Iran's leaders than their nation. Please provide evidence.

Fair point.

FJV
17 Jan 17,, 18:39
Aw come on Asty, let the guys play a little.

This is why I love WAB

No "f*ck you, you're delusional!" or "back to you a**hole!"

Even the insults are civilized. :)

It is all fun and games, until someone hires 2 Russian prostitutes to pee in your bed.

YellowFever
17 Jan 17,, 18:44
It is all fun and games, until someone hires 2 Russian prostitutes to pee in your bed.

And sometimes even that can be fun and games.

citanon
17 Jan 17,, 18:53
I agree, but will stay alert and prepared to resist any moves on his part that threaten our basic institutions. Beware if he starts saying the ends justify the means.

It's oddly refreshing that we have in him a leader who says out loud what he thinks as opposed to leaders who say the right thing in public while suppressing what they really think. It's troubling that he has those thoughts in the first place. In no way does this openness redeem his naivete on domestic and international issues. Like you say, we'll see what happens after the Inauguration. I have noticed, however, that his public statements and tweets, while still rancorous, show tiny signs that he is learning. In his return fire on Rep Lewis, he ended by asking Lewis for help with urban troubles. A small thing, but telling. Then, today, he issued a nice tribute to MLK and had a meeting with MLK III. Kushner's advice?


But I don't think he'll ever let his Twitter account grow cold. He learned at a young age that hard retaliation throws people off their game, and in later years he learned from Roy Cohen that he best defense is an outsized, audacious offense works.

JAD,

I agree with you. We've heard a lot of talk so far that, to my ear, consists of very ambiguous language designed to maximize negotiating room and strategic options. He's said some things that are shaking up the status quo and making people anxious. It could mean that he's naive or it could mean that it's prelude to some smart moves. The real key is the actions.

For example, for a long time we've wanted Europeans to pay more for defense. If some tough words about NATO will shake them out of complacency then it will be good for the alliance in the long run. After all, we are facing opponents who listen to actions much more than to words. On the other hand, if it's the prelude to actually damaging the alliance, then it's something I and many other conservatives will oppose.

On Russian sanctions and nuclear weapons, I think it's a smart move linking the two. Do we expect sanctions will get Russia to ever return Crimea? No. So is the plan going forward choking Russian finances with a permanent sanctions regime? This also has problems, lest we think that creating ever greater antagonism and isolation in the world's largest nuclear power is a good thing. As we were just discussing earlier, Russia's primary basis for acting as a superpower is its nuclear weapons arsenal. Thanks to Obama's folly, they now have close to 500 more deployed nuclear warheads than the US. Those masters of wishful thinking who are so prominent in the "mainstream" public discourse say that's only a temporary situation created by modernization of Russian deployed weapons. I'm not holding my breath. Trump is linking sanctions regime directly to substantial cuts in the core component of Russia's national power, meaning that they can choose more cooperation but only by moderating ambitions to further leverage their strategic capabilities. I think that is a fair trade.

Let's note also that a cut to parity, with no reduction in current deployed US nuclear arsenal, would see Russia decommission hundreds of warheads.

Let's also note that to create pressure for disarmament, we may have to re-expand our arsenal back up to parity with the Russians. This matches what Trump stated regarding greatly increasing the nuclear capabilities. Our strategic weapons enterprise are sorely in need of rejuvenation.

On the other hand, if Trump uses this to cut a sweet heart deal that requires no significant change of course or sacrifice from the Russians, then we have a problem.

These are just two issues amongst many where the President elect's words leave much ambiguity that has been overlooked in the media hysteria. I'm hoping for his success but ready to oppose him if his actions harm the country.

astralis
17 Jan 17,, 18:54
GVChamp,


American Presidents have signed deals with Russia/USSR with varying degrees of success over since the 40s. The most recent one was the last President. If you're someone thinking Trump is unique, then you're the one with ideas that are quite far removed from reality.

the unique thing about Trump in this singular aspect is not that he wants to make a deal with Russia. it's -how he's going about it-. OK, he wants to negotiate; and right off the bat he weakens his own bargaining position by undermining NATO. he then talks about removing sanctions on Russia and then de facto recognizing Russian aggression vis-a-vis Ukraine as part of a future deal.

it's one thing to say "i'd like another round of nuclear discussions", it's another to show just how far you're willing to go before the discussions even begin.

if it wasn't clear why Trump went into bankruptcy earlier, it's certainly becoming clear now.



WRT to economic policy:
The correct response to economic recession is almost certainly the Keynesian one. Even viewpoints that we don't think of as Keynesian, like Milton Friedman, are using a lot of the same fundamental analysis. It's just a question of using fiscal stimulus vs. monetary stimulus.

or both now. monetarism is dead courtesy of the Great Recession, showing the limits of monetary policy.


I can respect not trusting massive government spending: tax cuts are just as effective according to Romer's research and gives government less ability to pick winners and losers. Plus, a lot of the infrastructure projects we want are not shovel-ready jobs, and when we try to expedite production and ignore environmental regulations, we get DAPL'd.

it's been a while since I read the Romer study but IIRC all she said was that "they work", not necessarily that "they work just as effectively".

and certain types of tax cuts are more effective than others. in the context of a demand-starved economy, tax cuts on the lower/middle classes tend to get spent right away and thus are more effective as stimulus. tax cuts on the wealthy tend to not spur demand, with the extra money going into savings instead.

GVChamp
17 Jan 17,, 21:13
From a fiscal stimulus perspective, most conservatives support payroll tax cuts. Upper-income tax cuts are probably not the most stimulating option.

I don't think all of us agree that monetary stimulus doesn't work or that the Zero Lower Bound is anything meaningful. There's always the option of money helicopter, and there's a lot of options between QE and money helicopter.

I might have thoughts WRT negotiations with Russia, but Trump has negotiated far more deals than me, so any advice I give would just be ridiculous. It's also obvious that Russia is never going to give up Crimea, no one is going to make them, and those sanctions on Russia aren't going to last forever, so what's your issue with stating the obvious? They are going to be on the table in any future negotiations with Russia.

NATO signaling is telling the Europeans and Americans that there is a new sheriff in town and to recognize they are going to have to make some behavioral changes to work with the new administration. Trump's not bending over backwards to work with them (especially since they have zero leverage).

astralis
17 Jan 17,, 23:47
GVChamp,


From a fiscal stimulus perspective, most conservatives support payroll tax cuts. Upper-income tax cuts are probably not the most stimulating option.


yet the impetus of every single Republican tax cut plan is upper-income tax cuts.


I don't think all of us agree that monetary stimulus doesn't work or that the Zero Lower Bound is anything meaningful.

what monetarism is saying is that monetary stimulus is enough to work alone, and indeed is -preferable- to fiscal stimulus. the Great Recession showed that elements of both are needed.


I might have thoughts WRT negotiations with Russia, but Trump has negotiated far more deals than me, so any advice I give would just be ridiculous.

feh, and Obama has negotiated far more deals than you too but that sure doesn't keep him from getting criticized :-)


It's also obvious that Russia is never going to give up Crimea, no one is going to make them, and those sanctions on Russia aren't going to last forever, so what's your issue with stating the obvious? They are going to be on the table in any future negotiations with Russia.

Trump is essentially -agreeing with Putin- on every single major foreign policy goal Putin has vs Europe BEFORE negotiations even start, and signaling his readiness to throw American allies under the bus.

that's a novel negotiation tactic.

tbm3fan
18 Jan 17,, 00:53
YF

I'm somewhere in there with you. But I didn't vote for him because I felt his lifestyle and business ethics were a poor example for the upcoming generation. When you compare his leadership style to those of great leaders, like Washington, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and FDR you realize how deficient he is, at least going in.

But he'll be our president, and on day one he deserves our support. On day 2, who knows.

It will be interesting at first to watch this odd man operate, much like it was interesting to watch our first black president operate, and if I may add, Obama comported himself extremely well throughout as a family man and a boss.

Now that Trump's going to be our president, I want him to succeed. Like you point out, just in case he goes rouge, we have the necessary institutional safeguards to check him.

I have to say both you and Yellowfever are optimistic about the guy. Wish I could be but as I said I have followed him since the mid-70's and didn't like him then. His self-centered ego was obvious as can be back then. Worst of all I consider him to be a bully. We all know bullies or should to some extent. We also know that if they don't meet the consequences of their bullying then they will continue all their life since it always worked. That is why I said he needed a good shot in the nose in high school so he might learn those consequences. Being the new small 2nd year kid in a small Catholic high made me a target. However I was extremely vicious with them after they tried something on me. They actually learned as one can see when they signed my yearbook. The third guy who tried it stumbled out of my house and never heard from again. As they say a zebra doesn't change it's stripes and so Trump will continue to attack and bully all those who criticize him in any shape, form or matter. It is too late for him to change himself. He acts more out of reflex, like a one celled animal, than anybody I have ever seen.

DOR
18 Jan 17,, 10:59
From a fiscal stimulus perspective, most conservatives support payroll tax cuts. Upper-income tax cuts are probably not the most stimulating option.

I don't think all of us agree that monetary stimulus doesn't work or that the Zero Lower Bound is anything meaningful. There's always the option of money helicopter, and there's a lot of options between QE and money helicopter.

I might have thoughts WRT negotiations with Russia, but Trump has negotiated far more deals than me, so any advice I give would just be ridiculous. It's also obvious that Russia is never going to give up Crimea, no one is going to make them, and those sanctions on Russia aren't going to last forever, so what's your issue with stating the obvious? They are going to be on the table in any future negotiations with Russia.

NATO signaling is telling the Europeans and Americans that there is a new sheriff in town and to recognize they are going to have to make some behavioral changes to work with the new administration. Trump's not bending over backwards to work with them (especially since they have zero leverage).

Upper income tax cuts are counter-productive as an economic stimulus measure. The lead to more savings than spending, whereas lower-income tax cuts or negative taxes lead to more spending than savings. The differences are very clear and extremely well documented.

Monetary policy was never intended to work in isolation. But, after Congress went on strike against the economic recovery, monetary policy has been all that's left. As evidence, consider that in 2011 (-3%), 2012 (-1.9%), 2013 (-2.9%) and 2014 (-0.9%) government consumption expenditure and gross investment was moving in exactly the wrong direction to support monetary policy, economic recovery or basic national interests. See: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/A822RL1A225NBEA

If you don’t like QE ∞ blame it on fiscal policy.

GVChamp
18 Jan 17,, 15:30
Republicans are going to push for upper-income tax decreases in all cases. This needs to be separated intellectually from counter-cyclical fiscal policy. Milton Friedman's statement was also "support any tax cut for any reason." That's not an endorsement of it as counter-cyclical policy.

I don't think it's any more unethical than "if you like your plan, you can keep it." Politicians lie, that's what they do.

I also don't think that the Great Recession shows that fiscal policy is needed to recover. We have been at ZLB for years but the various QE programs were still effective, even if the Fed didn't want to jack up their balance sheet enough to fill the entire output gap. I also don't think it's obvious that we want to close the entire output gap with fiscal policy, when we will then be stuck with a massively expanded government spending money on questionable things, and permanent deficits or increased taxes to pay for it.

What's worse from a conservative perspective? A lengthy recession or a New Deal 2.0? You're going to get near unanimous agreement that New Deal 2.0 is worse, because we'll be stuck with it. Forever.


Also, from a conservative perspective, what's worse? Using a recession to reduce tax rates or bowing to 50+% marginal tax rates (which we think are unethical outside of war), or the 90+% that Bernie Sanders and about half of Democrats advocate for?

snapper
18 Jan 17,, 16:29
Trump is essentially -agreeing with Putin- on every single major foreign policy goal Putin has vs Europe BEFORE negotiations even start, and signaling his readiness to throw American allies under the bus.

that's a novel negotiation tactic.

Believe me it hurts... like.

DOR
18 Jan 17,, 18:06
Republicans are going to push for upper-income tax decreases in all cases. This needs to be separated intellectually from counter-cyclical fiscal policy. Milton Friedman's statement was also "support any tax cut for any reason." That's not an endorsement of it as counter-cyclical policy.

I don't think it's any more unethical than "if you like your plan, you can keep it." Politicians lie, that's what they do.

I also don't think that the Great Recession shows that fiscal policy is needed to recover. We have been at ZLB for years but the various QE programs were still effective, even if the Fed didn't want to jack up their balance sheet enough to fill the entire output gap. I also don't think it's obvious that we want to close the entire output gap with fiscal policy, when we will then be stuck with a massively expanded government spending money on questionable things, and permanent deficits or increased taxes to pay for it.

What's worse from a conservative perspective? A lengthy recession or a New Deal 2.0? You're going to get near unanimous agreement that New Deal 2.0 is worse, because we'll be stuck with it. Forever.


Also, from a conservative perspective, what's worse? Using a recession to reduce tax rates or bowing to 50+% marginal tax rates (which we think are unethical outside of war), or the 90+% that Bernie Sanders and about half of Democrats advocate for?

What might have been if Congress had worked with the Administration to alleviate the worst effects of the Bush Depression? We'll never know. But, what we can know is what happened in the past. That's why we have the Keynesian approach: spend money when demand is slack, and recoup it when demand is strong.

We have an example of the hands-off approach ca. 1930. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, for example, raised the cost of doing business at a time when few companies thought they’d be able to pass on cost increases to their customers. Beggar Thy Neighbor policies aren’t a good idea. Neither is letting the banks fail in massive numbers, wiping out household (and business) savings. Of course, neither was as bad as Congress’ counter-cyclical tax increase.

Staying on the gold standard was the equivalent of dramatically tightening monetary policy, exactly the wrong thing to do.