34 thoughts on “News/Politics 8-14-17

  1. The Russian hack that wasn’t…..

    Turns out the info was most likely leaked by a DNC employee. I expect Hannity to start kicking the Seth Rich horse some more after this.


    “Remember when the Russians hacked the DNC email and records system last year? Yeah, about that…

    Cyber experts have been digging through all of the available material for over a year now trying to pin down exactly what happened but the answers to date have been less than satisfying. This isn’t the first time, but now another report has come out saying that the standard explanation we’ve been given (Russia, Russia Russia) doesn’t appear to hold water. The interesting aspect here is that this one isn’t coming from some right wing source with an ax to grind against Hillary Clinton, but rather from The Nation, a source which is generally only a couple of steps removed from being a DNC public relations firm.

    The author is Patrick Lawrence, and if you take a look at other entries from his recent body of work, well… let’s just say he doesn’t spend his free time filling in for Rush Limbaugh. Lawrence’s report is a lengthy think-piece which initially spends quite a while on the background of the story and how critical the idea of Russia being behind the leaks is to many of President Trump’s detractors, But then he gets down to the complicated tale of the experts analyzing all of the evidence and the reasons they have for reaching these two, key conclusions (emphasis added):

    There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee’s system on July 5 last year—not by the Russians, not by anyone else. Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak—a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system. This casts serious doubt on the initial “hack,” as alleged, that led to the very consequential publication of a large store of documents on WikiLeaks last summer.

    Forensic investigations of documents made public two weeks prior to the July 5 leak by the person or entity known as Guccifer 2.0 show that they were fraudulent: Before Guccifer posted them they were adulterated by cutting and pasting them into a blank template that had Russian as its default language. Guccifer took responsibility on June 15 for an intrusion the DNC reported on June 14 and professed to be a WikiLeaks source—claims essential to the official narrative implicating Russia in what was soon cast as an extensive hacking operation. To put the point simply, forensic science now devastates this narrative.”

    “The analysis of the leaked documents is lengthy and of interest, but it also lends support to the underlying theory which prompted so many people to doubt the Russia claims in the first place. I’m not sure I personally buy into this one hundred percent, but they rely on the belief that the NSA currently has programs in place which can capture any and all electronic transfers of data to and from a known source (such as the DNC servers). If the data had been nabbed by the Russians or anyone else they should have been able to pin that down in fairly short order. But a year later they have not done so. Clearly they don’t want to reveal any of their methods or sources, but there should have been a conclusion long before now.”


  2. Yesterday I bought a new suit for less than I paid for my first suit when I graduated from college 41 years ago. Mr. Trump and his protectionism could reverse that trend.


  3. It seems that the NY Mag writer has a strange understanding of what is ‘incoherent’.

    It sounds like the DNC servers need to finally be turned over to the FBI…


  4. Tychicus, To accept The Nation/ Trump Cult version of events forces you to ignore my favorite part of the story:

    That is the times before the leaks were released by Wikileaks when the FBI tried multiple times to warn Hillary’s people that they had been hacked by the Russians and Hillary’s crew rebuffed the FBI agents fearing they were trying to arrest her.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. No winners here, only losers.


    “Let’s get something out of the way: Charlottesville is not about Confederate statues or Robert E. Lee or the Civil War or American history. What happened on Friday night and Saturday is about power, specifically about forcing the great mass of Americans to choose sides in a zero-sum clash between contemporary American versions of Weimar gangs.

    The Left’s damnatio memoriae campaign to tear down Confederate statues shares something in common with the white supremacist impulse to stage tiki-torch rallies in defense of those statues: the ultimate goal isn’t to re-litigate the Civil War but to polarize the American body politic, to force the mainstream into a kind of crude tribalism.

    Political violence and street fights of the kind we saw over the weekend in Charlottesville aren’t altogether new in America. We have seen such clashes — albeit less deadly ones — nearly every year for almost a decade. In nearly every case, they have been sought out and instigated by the extreme left.

    But Richard Spencer and his sparse band of J. Crew Nazis chose the Lee statue for the site of their rally on Saturday for the simple reason that it was the best location for attracting attention and provoking a violent counter-protest from armed cadres of left-wing street fighters, which it did. They came to town, apparently from all over the country, looking for a fight that would be televised.

    That strategy follows a certain logic, especially if your movement is small (estimates of white supremacist attendees were in the hundreds). For the left-wing counterprotesters, showing up en masse to attack such a gathering follows the same logic. The point is to put on a spectacle.

    The fact is, neither the extreme left or the extreme right are representative of any significant constituencies in American politics. They do not wield actual power, but they have realized a way to exert out-sized influence through the instigation of publicly staged violence.”


  6. 2 sides of the same coin.


    “Using ‘Racist’ As A Weapon
    Antifa’s violence is closely connected to leftist labeling of Republicans—an important point politicians, thought leaders, and the media need to take seriously. Going back to the 1960s when conservatives were called Nazis for supporting law and order, the label of racist has been a club Democrats have used to beat Republicans into submission. If you’re for border control, you’re a racist. If you oppose affirmative action, you’re a racist. If you want greater opposition to radical Islam, you’re a racist. If you don’t believe there’s institutionalized racism in America, you’re a racist. Basically, if you don’t agree with Democrats, you’re a racist.

    This is the climate into which Trump stepped when he ran for president. He pushed against it. He was labeled a racist. His supporters were labeled racists. Of course, lurking there in the shadows were the real racists—the white supremacists—who were happy to have anyone speaking out for national interests and cultural protectionism. They glommed onto Trump and claimed him as their own. Trump, however, denounced the Klu Klux Klan and has rejected racism in all its forms. Mostly, he has ignored the radical right, much as Hillary Clinton ignored the radical leftists who supported her. But the label of racist has stuck.

    The narrative that Trump and his supporters are racists has been perpetuated by Democrats—and they’re good at it because they were writing that narrative long before Trump came onto the scene. It has been pushed on social media by leftists and repeated by politicians who stoke the flames of perceived racial inequality, labeling everyone who disagrees with them a racist. Worst, NeverTrump Republicans have indirectly joined with these groups by parroting them in their labeling of Trump and his supporters.

    This narrative has been amplified with the Charlottesville clash. Now, everywhere you turn someone on the Right is being accused of racism. Those who don’t characterize the violence the Charlottesville according to the Left’s narrative are racists. All groups who stand for constitutional principles are racists. The National Rifle Association is racist. The entire GOP is racist. Any writer who criticizes Black Lives Matter for its violence is racist. The impression is that racists are everywhere; whites are oppressing blacks; Trump is a danger!”

    What About the Other Side of the Mob?
    Yet we’ve been hearing very little about the violent anti-fascists the Left has tolerated and even encouraged. We hear complaints about Trump giving a nod to the radical Right, but we hear precious little about Democrats, liberals, and the mainstream Left giving not only a nod but a nudge to the violent radical Left.

    “When the masked antifa activist was filmed assaulting Spencer on Inauguration Day, another piece in The Nation described his punch as an act of ‘kinetic beauty,’ Beinart wrote. “Slate ran an approving article about a humorous piano ballad that glorified the assault. Twitter was inundated with viral versions of the video set to different songs, prompting the former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau to tweet, ‘I don’t care how many different songs you set Richard Spencer being punched to, I’ll laugh at every one.’”

    Violence against Republicans and anyone deemed a “racist” by the Left has gone mainstream. Now, with actual racists showing up and violence ensuing, Antifa and its supporters in the Democratic Party feel even more justified attacking everyone they’ve judged as a fascist, and many in America are tolerating it or at least deflecting blame onto Republicans.

    Fueling this are liberals who have been infecting America with the idea that our country is intrinsically racist—a notion Obama perpetuated. It’s in our DNA, he said. We are racist even if we don’t know we’re racist. We’re not judged by our actions or personal guilt, but by those who have determined our collective guilt because of past injustices, our conservative beliefs, politics, and associations. We are the real danger, not anti-fascists who are actually engaging in violence in their ongoing war with the radical Right.”


  7. False equivalency is the wrong approach to take here. The alt right showed up to protest and intent on sparking violence. Yes the left responded but you don’t let Nazis protest in peace — do not allow them any sense of legitimacy or grievance. For the press and Trump to attempt to portray violence on “many sides” has been accepted as a victory by the alt right press and they are right — its a victory and will encourage them to further perpetuate violence and protest elsewhere.

    The real failure however is a failure of policing. The police are always willing to show up heavily armed when a few black people walk in the street or when native americans burn some sage in the middle of the badlands yet will back off when the alt right, neo-nazis, militia types, etc show up armed and spoiling for a fight. As the civil authority, the police should’ve step in prior to the clashes but backed off out of respect (and perhaps agreement) with the right.

    For the right to attempt to disown the alt right is just slightly less than lubricous. The alt right is a redressing of the racist right that’s always had a presence — the klan, john birch society, neo-nazis, white identity groups, etc — They were there in the 20s, again in the 50s, resurfaced in the 80s and are rearing their head again. They come up for air and publicity when they feel comfortable in the public eye. In the Trump administration, they feel comfortable enough to make public statements.


  8. I love it Ricky.

    So the liberal rag NY Mag says it’s incoherent, because it’s writer is clueless on the topic, and you lap it up. The liberal Nation’s article was quite detailed and it’s obvious it was over the head of the NYMag writer, as several in the comment section noted. What the NYMag writer calls incoherent is actually a detailed, data included, piece of journalism, unlike his supposed “debunking.” which was short on details. Not surprising he would find it incoherent, since it’s obviously out of his league.

    All of this would be moot if the DNC would just turn over their servers for investigation. But they won’t.

    As for the piece from The Nation, here it is. Let’s have people make up their own minds.



  9. HRW,

    Paragraph 1

    Stop ignoring the far left fringe, the Antifa, and their major role in all of this. They are no better than the KKK.

    Paragraph 2

    I agree…. somewhat. The police should have declared it an unlawful assembly from the get go because they didn’t have a permit. Roust them, crack some heads if necessary, and move on. You also ignore the BLM and Antifa rallies that burned building, assaulted people, and destroyed property. The police stood down there too, but you seem OK when the idiots are on the left. And you can thank Obama for police reluctance. He built that. Your insinuation that police agree with them is just your baseless opinion.

    Paragraph 3

    Yes, they’ve always been there. Small, shunned by the majority, and mostly ignored, as they should be. But this time things got out of hand because Antifa, another small group who should be ignored and shunned decided to make it bigger. They’re just as responsible. As for blaming Trump…. how original. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I believe the unanimous conclusion of all of the Western intelligence agencies.

    The Trump Cult believes Hannity and The Nation.

    Mueller will straighten it out.

    However, my point remains unanswered. If Russia wasn’t involved in the hacks of the Democrats, why did the FBI try repeatedly to warn Hillary of Russian hacks long before any of the hacked material was leaked to the public?


  11. “I believe the unanimous conclusion of all of the Western intelligence agencies.”

    Of course you do, because you think they’re saying what you want to hear. They could clear this up, but won’t because they’d have to expose themselves and their tactics to do so. Plus, they’re stilling busy searching Iraq for the WMD’s they insisted were there when they helped Bush Jr. push his agenda. They’re not exactly a trust worthy bunch.


  12. I didn’t ignore the left but this wasnt their demo and they didnt adopt terrorist tactics. There’s no equivalency here.

    The left have noted the soft approach of law enforcement to right wing militias and neo Nazis and have compared it to the use of extreme force on the left. Natives were pummeled with pepper spray, rubber bullets, clubs, water cannons etc when they were unarmed and peaceful. Militias carry guns and are treated with soft hands. This discrepancy will not be tolerated for long.

    So the solution is to tolerate Nazis walking in your streets? To tolerate us to give them legitimacy.

    Trump had several opportunities to disavow the support of the altright at a press conference. He ignored the opportunity. How hard is it for the president to condemn their support. Its a political no-brainer — “I refuse any support Nazis offer me and condemn their ideology.” Yet he didn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “I didn’t ignore the left but this wasnt their demo and they didnt adopt terrorist tactics. ”

    True, it wasn’t their rally. As for the second part… Then what is all this?


    “So the solution is to tolerate Nazis walking in your streets? To tolerate us to give them legitimacy.”

    What part of “The police should have declared it an unlawful assembly from the get go because they didn’t have a permit. Roust them, crack some heads if necessary, and move on.” did you not understand? I thought I was quite clear.


  14. Dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Drl Albert Mohler: http://www.albertmohler.com/2017/08/13/letter-berlin-lessons-history-heresy-racial-superiority/

    Berlin has done everything possible to sweep Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime from its visible memory. This is not done dishonestly. The motivation is to prevent any possible celebration of Hitler or Naziism. Just last week, some foreign tourists were arrested for posing in a Nazi salute in Berlin. This is a city that advertises its tolerance of just about any lifestyle. But for the Nazi salute — no tolerance. Berlin is determined that the ghosts of the Nazis do not reappear in neo-Nazis.

    Imagine, then, how the news from Charlottesville, Virginia breaks in Berlin. A demonstration billed as an effort to “Unite the Right” leads to counter protests and violence. Among those who attended the demonstration on Friday night were self-identified neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Photos quickly appeared in Berlin, showing protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia — in the United States of America — offering the raised arm of the Nazi salute…

    America has yet to deal with the lessons of our own history. We have never been utterly conquered so that we had to. The lessons of slavery and Jim Crow segregation–all predicated on claims of white supremacy–have yet to be fully learned or even fully acknowledged. Our walls are not made of concrete and barbed wire, but they remain walls. Our churches have sometimes defended those walls, to our everlasting shame.

    American Christians are fully accountable to the lessons of history, and we have our own hard reckoning to do. But we are far more accountable to the gospel of Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 2:13-15, Paul tells us: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace.”

    Paul does not merely admit this to be true–that God is creating “one new man” as a new humanity in Christ–he celebrates this truth as central to Christ’s gospel. If we do not celebrate this truth, we have not tasted the salvation accomplished by Christ.

    Seen from Berlin, the news from Charlottesville is alarming. Seen as a Christian, the images are heartbreaking. The ideology of racial superiority is an evil anti-gospel that leads to eternal death.

    The lessons of history are warning enough. The lessons of heresy are even more pressing. Brothers and sisters in Christ, we dare not miss the lessons of history and heresy. God will judge us. This we know.

    In 1930s Germany, there were streetfights between the Communists and the Nazis. I said several years ago that Nazism was the greater danger to the developed West, as Communism was only ever successful in countries which were undeveloped (early 20th century Russia was not a developed country). In a battle between left and right extremists, history teaches us that the right extremists win. I have spoken on here about how I see a rising level of right-wing extremism among young white men of a conservative bent, and of the dark world of internet conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial into which I have seen at least one enter, and know several more who are hovering on the brink. It is tempting to brush off this as an isolated incident, but there was the stabbing in Portland Oregon by another young man who made no secret of his racism. There was the shooting in the Quebec mosque by a young man who again publicly supported far-right policies. There was killing of nine by Dylan Roof who wanted to start a race war. It was that shooting which prompted a reexamination of Confederate monuments and which led to the decision to remove the statutes in Charlottesville. I imagine Roof is pretty pleased with the results of this demonstration. This is neither an isolated nor an insignificant event.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Watch most of your video but not sure white you linked it. The beginning shows the Black Bloc throwing bricks through Starbucks. However most of your video is a protest in Austin where students protest Richard Spencer. The police response was fairly incompetent and involving hitting a few students. Other than that it was a fairly benign demo. No use of terrorism, no driving cars through crowds or even Starbucks.

    I cite Oliver because he effectively calls out Trump’s non response not as a news source. Although he is more accurate than most news org…..


  16. AJ — I’m referring to your first video. The one you just posted seems to be an argument fueled more by tetestrone and a disdain for the press than a specific ideology or act of terrorism. Not an excuse of course but definitely a differentn type/level of violence.

    Roscuro makes a good point — fascism is generally more successful than communism in the developed world.
    I agree since it has a middle class base and sympathy from some of the governing elites and law enforcement.


  17. So you missed the Antifa flag and marchers surrounding the assaulted reporter? It was just testosterone? Tell him it’s a differing level of violence. I doubt he believes you.

    Both sides acted up and assaulted the other side. The press bares some responsibility for all this nonsense as well.


    “The hardcore racists out there are pariahs everywhere except in the mainstream media, where they’re treated as incredibly important.

    On the other hand, the same mainstream media that has elevated the Alt-Right has been silent as violence has increasingly become a mainstay at liberal protests, including the counter-protest of this event. A few shops getting looted or people getting hurt doesn’t stop the media from describing a liberal event as a peaceful protest. Even the counter-protests in Charlottesville were widely described as “peaceful.” Yet, protesters chanted “From the Midwest to the South, punch a Nazi in the mouth,” a female reporter was punched by one of those counter-protesters, the organizer of the rally was hit, and other people were attacked. That’s not peaceful. That’s something LIBERAL POLITICIANS should be asked to condemn.

    In other words, Nazi and KKK members are HORRIBLE. The violent liberal counter-protesters are ALSO horrible. James Alex Fields, Jr? Who appears to have marched at the rally before plowing into a crowd? I condemn what he did. I also condemn the Bernie supporter who shot up a congressional Republican softball game. Additionally, I will condemn the next person on the Left or the Right who kills someone over politics, which seems inevitable when you have opposing sides carrying shields and weapons to political rallies. Those condemnations don’t make a damn bit of difference as long as the liberal media keeps elevating white supremacists and excusing the violence of the Alt-Left. I’m genuinely sorry people are dying at political rallies, but it would be surprising if the death at Charlottesville were the last one. Their blood will be on the hands of the liberal media.”

    They keep feeding the false narratives that bring these people to prominence. Stop mainstreaming the fringes.


  18. Anyone who thinks Trump is a Nazi sympathizer hasn’t looked at his family and thought it through. All violence should be condemned in this debacle, and has been.

    It’s my understanding that the Nazis had a permit to protest (I can’t believe I’m writing that sentence). I do not understand why they allow large counter-protests in the same vicinity as a legal protest. Organized counter-protesters should not have been that close when they had to know it was a volatile situation. I don’t think the police handled it as well as they should have. But then, as they say, hindsight is 20/20, and it’s all too easy to sit in the safety of my home and critique when I’m not in danger of being hit with a broken bottle or baseball bat.

    I expect the man who drove the car into the crowd will be treated as a domestic terrorist. Rightfully so. I wish I could say this is all surprising. But I have thought that the persistent violence in response to the election has been festering an escalated counter-response.

    And I think we are still not focused on the root problems such as the lack of good employment opportunities all over, especially in black communities where unemployment is extremely high, and an out of control judiciary and DOJ that permits abuses such as those that happened in Ferguson. Add to that our outdated affirmative action policies, and it’s a recipe for…well, Charlottesville. And maybe more. :–(


  19. You can’t blame the liberal media, affirmative action, etc for an act of terrorism. Let the Nazis take responsibility for their actions.

    Would we let al-queda off for their acts of terror due to US troops in Saudi Arabia, the existence of Israel, etc? I doubt it. Unless we want to treat Nazis like little snowflakes, we shouldn’t offer excuses or spread the blame. Its their fault and they should own it.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. HRW, Every person who commits an act of violence is responsible for it. Nazis are responsible for Nazi violence, just as others are responsible for their own. No one is giving anyone a pass, but you can pretend that they’re getting a pass if you like. I’m just not surprised, and I like to consider ways to improve our situation.


  21. Debra, there is a time and a place for everything. Al Mohler had the right response. He rightly recognized that for the Church in America, and, as a prominent member of the biggest evangelical denomination in America, a denomination founded due to racism of which they since have repented, he had to speak out unequivocally. Trump himself may not be a Nazis sympathizer based on his son-in-law’s ethnicity – although, here again, the early history of the German Nazis did include Jewish members before they were murdered as the party gained strength – but the “Unite the Right” demonstrators in Charlottesville, in addition to wearing Neo-Nazis gear, also wore Trump gear. There is a clip of David Duke at the protest saying that they were there to carry out Trump’s goals. In the light of those facts, Trump should have been much clearer in his initial response. This is the man that speaks his mind using the strongest of terms on all subjects, from terrorist attacks in other countries to the personal characteristics of his political opponents, and he couldn’t strongly condemn Neo-Nazis? The Neo-Nazis declared their delight, blasphemously declaring “God Bless Him”. That the evangelical vote helped Trump to win is widely known and it is also widely known that from the beginning of his campaign, Trump was also supported by Neo-Nazis – he even retweeted them a couple of times. It is not absurd for people to conclude that there could be an association between evangelicals and Neo-Nazis. I know there is, since I know an evangelical who is a Holocaust denier, and I have seen the so-called ‘Christian’ material that he read which encouraged him to take that position. I also know from speaking to and reading material from Christians in America that there are still members of the KKK who are also church members. In concentrating on the right wing extremists in his post, Al Mohler rightly recognized that evangelical Christians needed to obey their Lord’s command:

    Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a log in your eye? Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:3-7, HCSB)

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Perhaps you are right, Roscuro. This does not seem to be a propitious day for rational discourse. So I will bid you a peaceful evening. :–)


  23. One of the under-appreciated roles of the President is to be the head of state, to take the right tone and to speak for all Americans after a tragedy. We think of Reagan’s moving speech after the Challenger disaster. Clinton did fine after the Oklahoma City bombing and Little Bush rose to the occasion after 9/11.

    At 90, Queen Elizabeth excels at this role. You may have seen videos of her visiting the injured in the hospital after the Manchester bombing.

    Two days after Charlottesville, Trump was issuing rage Tweets to a black pharmaceutical executive who had resigned from one of his councils.

    I really would prefer a baboon as the head of state. He couldn’t behave any worse than Trump.


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