As We All Know

Mainstream media outlets like NPR and The New York Times keep saying that Russia hacked the 2016 presidential election. Now we’re making policies and launching investigations based on those stories. Maybe it’s true. But there’s still no concrete evidence available to the public.

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About Ted Rall

Ted Rall is the political cartoonist at ANewDomain.net, editor-in-chief of SkewedNews.net, a graphic novelist and author of many books of art and prose, and an occasional war correspondent. He is the author of the biography “Trump,” to be published in July 2016.

43 thoughts on “As We All Know

  1. Oh Look! Here are some absurd images which don’t exist from a massive absurd disinformation campaign that never happened. The ONLY possible explanation is a massive hoax perpetrated by the FBI (who is sad that Hillary lost) and the CIA (who is sad that the cold war is over) and the NSA (in it for the lulz) and Facebook (who … uh, well I’m sure there is some rational explanation other than the obvious one.)

    http://www.businessinsider.com/russian-facebook-ads-2016-election-trump-clinton-bernie-2017-11/#this-ad-ran-as-early-as-2015-1

    </nose_rubbing>

    • But no reference on BusinessInsider to:

      http://www.gregpalast.com/crosscheck-overwhelmingly-purges-legitimate-voters/

      That’s likely because Democrats don’t have what it takes to do a full frontal attack on Republicans without damaging their access to their own contributor base.

      Shame on Facebook for stealing information from US citizens, profiling them, and then targeting them with information they are likely to believe is true.

      I hope the Democrats and Republicans both choke on the crap they sling at each other.

      • > Shame on Facebook …

        Oh, Hell yeah!

        Also shame on the US [and other] citizens who didn’t bother to read the EULA, thus giving their information away for free.

        > … profiling them, and then targeting them with information they are likely to believe is true.

        Facebook & Twitter are both deliberately coded to promote viral stories. They may be kitten vids or jihadist propaganda – the algorithms neither understand nor care. They will impartially steer you towards content that you are more likely to share, quote, or ‘like’ … and if you do, they will reinforce your behavior with more of the same.

        Engineers call that ‘feedback’ – it’s what makes amplifiers squelch and bridges collapse.

        Consider Jonestown, Heaven’s Gate, and the Waco Whackos – people programmed to do the unthinkable simply by repeating a meme to each other over and over. FB and Twitter have automated that process, coupled it with machine learning and given it over to devices which think far faster than their supposed masters.

        We can only hope this technology is never discovered by those with hidden agendas.

        “In Soviet Russia you do not program computer, computer program you. – Yakov Smirnoff (probably)

        “This device is so powerful that it can only be used for good or … evil” – Firesign Theater

      • Or as Mr Palast writes : «Wake up, Dummycrats, it ain’t the Russians.» But pretending that the problem with Mr Trump is that he is Gospodin Putin’s «puppet» is more fun and doesn’t require that portions of the brain other than those engaged in finger motor function is engaged….

        Henri

  2. I note that a certain poster here who thinks that «rolling off yo mama» is civilised discourse is whinging about others being «rude». Poor thing !…

    Henri

  3. «Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
    That alone should encourage the crew.
    Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
    What I tell you three times is true.

    In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
    In the midst of his laughter and glee,
    He had softly and suddenly vanished away—
    For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.»

    Henri

    • In Church?

      Millions of believers in a conceptual object doesn’t mean it really exists. Peter Pan lost his existence when the lost boys stopped believing in him.

      That doesn’t mean that a when a mob of a million believes in the existence of something that the belief is without consequence.

      Millions believed that Colin Powell really brought a glass vial of anthrax before congress when selling a war.

    • Heliocentrism. germ theory, evolution, the hole in the ozone layer, global warming …

      There’s a significant difference between “expert” and “mob;” that’s why they’re called “experts.”

      • “Heliocentrism. germ theory, evolution, the hole in the ozone layer, global warming …”

        No argument with any of these.

        All of these things are indicated by evidence.

      • These things are not real because of experts;they are real independent of experts.

        Because there are experts of exorcism is not evidence of demonic possession.

  4. The «Russian’s hacked the elections» meme has now been explained as Russians posted comments on Facebook (which, as everybody knows, is contrary to the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which mandates that people in that country be protected from opinions not approved by the political establishment) plus the fact that certain powerful people (and not merely those in Mr Trump’s retinue, but those people don’t seem to be being investigated with the enthusiasm displayed in the case of Mr Trump’s circles), which latter can hardly come as a surprise to anyone….

    But why spend time on such inconsequential matters as the US making and threatening war all over the world, or a tax «reform» explicitly designed to benefit what Mr Sanders calls the «billionaire class», when one like a modern (?) Chicken Little can run about screaming «The Russians are coming ! The Russians are coming !» ?…

    Henri

    • An apology to Mr Assange ? Surely you (and Mr Goodman) jest – as is widely known, Mr Assange runs an organisation that «walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service». Surely such cannot expect an apology from «democratic» Democrats ?!!…

      Henri

  5. We know that Zionists interfere massively in US elections, but not a word about this because both parties are on the take.

    And valid criticism of either a woman or a Zionist leaves one open to charges of misogyny or antisemitism due the flood of real misogyny and antisemitism that shields these bad actors behind identity politics.

    • We know that (insert power structure here) interfere massively in US elections, but not a word about this because both parties are on the take.

      😉

      The charges you talk about are certainly made, though they luckily seem to have lost lot of their punch as the establishment is bleeding their ability to control the discourse.

  6. Mainstream media outlets like NPR and The New York Times keep saying that Russia hacked the 2016 presidential election. [citation needed]

    While other writers look at a mountain of evidence & insist there must be an alternative explanation without actually offering up any credible theories whatsoever. Telltale symptom: concentrating on one facet (e.g. “emails”) while ignoring the other 999. (spearphishing, government funded trolls, obstruction of justice at the highest levels, secret meetings, lies about secret meetings, covert business connections, lies about covert business connections, laundering money from covert business connections, universal agreement among international intelligence agencies and private cybersecurity firms …)

    Let us not forget that arrests are being made. Are we seriously to believe that Robert Mueller is arresting people because he’s just really sad that Hillary lost? Does anyone want to stand up and make that statement?

    Ted? Anyone? Hello?

    The election was a year ago, maybe it’s time to stop obsessing about Hillary and pay attention to current events.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_interference_in_the_2016_United_States_elections
    (now with 373 documented references)

      • When the speaker of the international Save the Whales association books an appointment with a businessman running for office, said businessman will instinctively tell them that what happens to the whales appears to be (note weasel words) terrible, just terrible, and when elected he would certainly “review” the situation and come to a balanced and fair conclusion (i.e. weighing how strongly voters feel about protecting whales against whatever stacks of million$ bills the whaling industry is prepared to send as bribes).

      • “Are we seriously to believe that Robert Mueller is arresting people because he’s just really sad that Hillary lost?”

      • “Muller Indicts Ham Sandwich ” versus “In FBI We Trust”.

        I’d rather see these two drowning parties each try to save themselves by climbing over and pulling the other under.

        What will it take for these parties to discredit themselves before the American people?

    • Concentrating on one facet (e.g. “emails”) while ignoring the other 999. (spearphishing, government funded trolls, obstruction of justice at the highest levels, secret meetings, lies about secret meetings, covert business connections, lies about covert business connections, laundering money from covert business connections, universal agreement among international intelligence agencies and private cybersecurity firms …)

      CH,
      You’re taxing the people who want to see evidence of a conspiracy before feeling strongly about it with quite a lot to explain. Shouldn’t the burden of proof be on the one coming forward with an accusation? And I totally agree how frustrating it is that the topic about what the Russkies did keeps shifting but find that a weakness about the stronger claims of meaningful collusion.

      I’m getting really tired of “defending” concentrated power of crappy Russian oligarch-state-capitalism who certainly pull a lot of questionable shit plus normal diplomatic and lobbying efforts to try to thaw the new cold war that any department of state would make when not drinking themselves into a stupor (of course they want to repeal the Magnisky Act or at least keep this alive as an issue).

      (insert concentration of power here) is to be expected to nowadays spearfish, fund trolls, create social media personas to push messaging breaking the EULAs of the facebooks and twitters (btw also openly paying those same monopolies for privileged treatment). The “political class” of lobbyists and creative accountants such will launder money for anyone and cook their books (be their regular companies, cartels, countries like Greece or Ukraine). They will have meetings with both parties and both parties will try not to be too forthcoming about those – if they’re smart without violating some old transparency laws too openly.

      Please note I’m not saying they’re not shitheads and I’m not saying that they didn’t break laws left and right – even though election spending is basically de-regulated in the U.S., uniquely among nations. What I am saying is that I haven’t seen anything yet that would indicate that they’re being more shitty than what we would have expected and please don’t let ourselves be instrumentalized by getting selectively worked up about their shittiness on cue but look beyond to the actual extent of excrement, and the institutional structures that mandate crapping on the public.

      Arrests are being made.
      Arrests are being made to some b-list shitheads who laundered money for the Ukrainian oligarchy. Let’s file these small players under U for Ukraine in our thick folders (laundering money for companies like Apple to countries like Zambia). Arrests were made for some idiot apparently for giving the wrong date for a meeting in the same way that arrests are not being made for the jokers who pushed predatory loans, invented loans out of thin air, bundled these loans into intentionally opaque instruments, bribed credit-rating agencies (who still operate) to rate them AAA, destroyed the lives of millions, then robosigned foreclosures even after everything blew up.

      Because it is politically expedient.

      What irks me is that the whole Russiagate thing is, intentionally or not, designed to drive a wedge between liberals and leftists, and even between leftists – and I’m playing nicely into their hands by letting myself be drawn out into debating with people whose opinions I generally value but at whose fervor about Russiagate I am perplexed…

      • «What irks me is that the whole Russiagate thing is, intentionally or not, designed to drive a wedge between liberals and leftists, and even between leftists – and I’m playing nicely into their hands by letting myself be drawn out into debating with people whose opinions I generally value but at whose fervor about Russiagate I am perplexed…» Well, if it is «designed» – and I agree it is – than it must be intentional, even in the event that that particular aspect of the design is not its main thrust. The best succinct account of this matter – if, perhaps, all too long for those who intentionally restrict their attention span – I’ve yet seen is the following, from the pen/keyboard of Robert Parry….

        Henri

      • > at whose fervor about Russiagate I am perplexed…

        I am equally perplexed as to why Ted & the Rallies are essentially defending Trump & co. I – for one – would love to see him go down in flames.

        Of course, any election meddling is serious business, but when we’re talking secret backroom deals with an unfriendly government it’s elevated to a whole new level. (It’s also illegal for private citizens to negotiate with foreign governments)

        Still waiting: should Nixon have resigned?

        Everything you’ve said about Trumpco is equally true about Nixon; and corruption existed in 1972 as well. The difference, of course, is that instead of *American* thugs and a physical breakin, Trump has [allegedly] brokered a deal involving foreign thugs and a virtual breakin.

      • @ CH

        alright, let’s go one more round 😉

        I am equally perplexed as to why Ted & the Rallies are essentially defending Trump & co. I – for one – would love to see him go down in flames.

        Sure… but does it make sense?

        James “The Amazing” Randi dedicated his life to revealing how magic tricks were done to unmask self-styled miracle workers. He was convincing to the extent that true believers were frequently left with to suggest that the miracle worker would achieve by magic what Randi could achieve by trickery. To this Randi always replied: “If they’re doing it by magic, they’re doing it the hard way!”

        This is what the whole Russiagate complex feels to me. The Russians had essentially nothing tangible to offer to Trump. Perhaps they were stupid enough to fall foul of some regulations, nonetheless. Perhaps those should be enforced for once. Sure. If Trump really won a U.S. election due to Russian influence surely it would be the hardest possible way of going on about it?

        Does the end justify the means?

        The people taking up Russiagate and running with it also feel like those true believers to me. If they had anything tangible, why use this convoluted approach built on insinuations, guilt-by-association, trust-us-we’re-the-experts, trust your friends in the intelligence agencies (after Snowden!) appeals? If there was a “Russiagate” they’re surely going the hard way about it!

        But those means are not only byzantine, I think they’re also pernicious.

        There are 100s of things Trump should be attacked for, true to form Bernie is focusing on domestic issues to demonstrate that Trump has already brutally betrayed each and every one of his campaign promises that would have benefited the 99%. The same could be done on foreign policy – where Trump flirted with isolationism and normalizing relations with Russia – but which is now officially given over to the Pentagon along with somehow even more of a share of GDP.

        Russiagate has become the blue dog dems way to not having to talk about social justice and keeping Cold War 2.0 at full steam.

        Now for the outcome:

        Let’s say by some quirk of Karma Trump goes down in flames and we get President Pence – provided we don’t get into a hot (nuclear) war. Then what? Impeach Pence for having misled Congress about having discursive relations with another women without his wife present? Then what?

        And, yes, the hypocrisy:

        There is no shortage of people who have legitimate grievances over the racism that was Trump’s campaign, including hundred of millions of Mexicans and, well, women. Complaining about email hacking is just a little rich when they set up a private server illegally just so they wouldn’t have to comply with transparency laws while the NSA was illegally reading everybody else’s.

        Complaining about media wrongdoings by Russians controlling <1% of the media when HRC had the most editorial endorsements of major media this side of North Korea – is even richer.

        Pinning this on demonized outsiders – Russians – is undoing the one clear difference there was between establishment repugs and dems: not engaging in outright racism to divide and conquer.

      • Still waiting: should Nixon have resigned?

        I didn’t affirm this truism since you were already complaining about length and I admit I don’t get why this is important to you.

        I can do one better: Nixon should have been tried for crimes against humanity. Friends now?

        Seriously – was that rhetorical or did you think I’m a fan of Tricky Dick (under whose watch the EPA was founded 😉

        Everything you’ve said about Trumpco is equally true about Nixon; and corruption existed in 1972 as well. The difference, of course, is that instead of *American* thugs and a physical breakin, Trump has [allegedly] brokered a deal involving foreign thugs and a virtual breakin.

        You’re now the one dragging those emails back in, just so this analogy can work even superficially – we’re comparing Nixon’s marshaling of state power against a section of the establishment and to cover up previous crimes to what Trump may have done before taking office. Btw thanks for making this chain explicit, I really haven’t heard that charge made openly, it is usually only insinuated, much like Iraq! 9-11! Iraq! 9-11! 😉

        Not one link in this chain resonates with anything I’ve learned about human nature and institutions. Why would any semi-competent hacker need to wait a green light from Trump to “break into” those email servers with their shitty security? And didn’t Trump openly call for dirt on Hillary by hacking on the campaign trial just to rub it in? So what exactly is left to do in those back room deals – should they have been stupid enough to have engaged in?

        For the off-chance that they have been, can we please only speculate wildly about it for one hour per day max – and without demonizing Russians like it’s the 1950s – until we get anything remotely like evidence ;-?

      • > > > should Nixon have resigned?

        It’s not rhetorical in the least. As I noted earlier Nixon was [allegedly] guilty of similar – decidedly smaller – crimes than those of which Trump is accused.

        Ergo: If Nixon’s [alleged] actions were ungood, then Trump’s [alleged] actions were ++ungood.

        True or False?

      • @CH
        ok, final round – I really don’t get why you’re so invested in this, please explain.

        My understanding of Nixon – who held office before my time – and potential contemporary parallels in a nutshell:

        Nixon did not resign because he realized that he wasn’t behaving like a good person. He didn’t resign because he escalated an illegal war killing millions. He didn’t resign because Fred Hampton got assassinated by the state on his watch. He didn’t even resign because … you get the idea.

        He apparently made 3 mistakes. 1) He moved against part of the establishment and annoyed parts of the “deep state”. 2) He did so at a time where he had burned too much political capital with the part of the establishment that backed him. 3) He seriously antagonized large parts of the public with his open contempt and textbook use of a negative: “I am not a crook”. (Even so he interestingly still had quite some support left after making every mistake possible.)

        Now Trump – is he guilty of “similar” stuff? Should he resign? Will he be impeached?

        1) Trump didn’t actually antagonize the parts of the establishment that lean D that much yet (however they demonize him) – any more than Obama antagonized the Republican side of the isle (however they demonized him). And I do not think that the alphabet soup agencies live in fear that a big reorganization is in the works anymore, of they ever did.
        2) Trump gave the parts of the establishment that lean R every last item on their wishlist – thanks to “Russiagate” even the overdue new Glasnost with Russia is not in the cards, further inflating the dollar values of our dear friends in the Carlyle group.
        3) Trump broke even more campaign promises than Obama but still has some popular support left. What’s a president gotta do to get disrespect around here?!? Not that that’s very important in the new gilded age…

        So Trump needn’t worry about impeachment still – as long as he does not mislead congress on having had sexual relations with an intern he can channel Alfred E. Neumann: who? me? worry?

        “Should” Trump resign? Clearly, he “should” have withdrawn his name from tall buildings, quietly moved to a house in the countryside, and taken up mindfulness meditation and painting pictures of himself in the shower well before even running for president, at the very latest after the Trump U fiasco.

        Is he guilty? Yes. He already escalated the unmanned assassination by ballistic explosives program and relaxed the “collateral damage” guidelines for crying out loud.

        Talking to lobbyists seems the least of his problems, he probably needs to do this far less as he prizes himself for knowing what fellow businessmen/rulers want without having to listen to their envoys just by assuming that they crave the same stuff as he does, with decency and the rule of law seen merely as hurdles of political correctness to overcome before Atlas gets bored and shrugs.

        I would be surprised if any of this were anything I posted was news to most people here. Still, maybe you can understand a little better why in the light of all this why I cannot begin to imagine what Nixon parallels really do for building a case against Trump. But there is a strong possibility that we’re talking past each other 😉

      • > I really don’t get why you’re so invested in this, please explain.

        Not sure I’m ‘invested’ – I merely respond when Ted or others start talking about Russiagate. I do find Ted’s one-note symphony rather annoying, though.

        I do enjoy debate for it’s own sake, but there seem to be many here who are incapable of polite discussion with someone with whom they disagree. (Present company excluded.) Some of those folks were quite rude & I’m enjoying rubbing their noses in the facts as they unfold.

        I asked about Nixon because I do see very strong parallels, (which you quoted above) I did not believe you to be a fan, and I’d happily see him tried for war crimes as well.

        I do believe we’ve got tangibles, we’ve got DJTJR dead-to-rights on influence peddling (what does Russia get out of it? Dropping the Magnitsky act is a nice start. What else?

    • “[Y]ou’re a traitor” or a Republican, say the binary-minded believers in a reality that offers two, and only two choices.

      As if nothing exists to the left of right-wing Democrats.

      • «As if nothing exists to the left of right-wing Democrats.» But Glenn, isn’t that the very definition of «traitor» ? Principium tertii exclusi….

        Henri

      • @ mhenri

        There are only two kinds of people – those who believe in Principium tertii exclusi and those who do not. 😉

      • The law of excluded middles may be used to prove to the Binary Minded that only Hot and Cold are valid concepts and that Warm is a fiction, to the satisfaction of our cognitively impaired Manichean friends.

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