After a Lot of Hype, Russian Interference Turns Out Not to Amount to Much

For more than two years, we have been treated to vague rumors and leaks about alleged Russian interference in American elections beginning in 2016. However, there has never been much detail provided. Now, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats has testified before Congress, and the details are finally coming out. It turns out that there aren’t many details at all. To the contrary, the American intelligence community accuses Russia of using Russian media outlets to promote Russian points of view, and of bringing attention to divisive issues in American politics. It never occurred to anyone that these issues are legitimate and deserve to be discussed ,or to say perhaps what matters is the issues themselves.

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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.

53 thoughts on “After a Lot of Hype, Russian Interference Turns Out Not to Amount to Much

  1. Oh, Look! yet another Trump/Manafort crony – one with a long history of lying about his Russian connections & hiding the profits therefrom – has flipped:

    https://www.vox.com/2018/8/31/17805310/sam-patten-mueller-plea-manafort

    This is bizarre. How could all these people strike a plea bargains, given that there is nothing they could possibly know that Mueller would find interesting? No collusion, no wrongdoing, no hacking, no interference, just people innocently discussing orphans over vodka shots.

    “Patten also admits to helping his Ukrainian oligarch client get around the prohibition on foreign donations to Donald Trump’s inauguration committee.”

    … but that is NO EVIDENCE of anything whatsoever. An American politician could never allow himself to be influence by mere money. There is no reason to assume that there would be any pro promised for this particular quid. What’s wrong with receiving illegal donations from foreign entities anyway?

    Nothing to see here, move along, go back to sleep. You can trust Duh Don. It’s no reflection on him that all his buddies are crooks with Russian ties …

  2. <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/21/us/politics/paul-manafort-trial-verdict.html"Mr. Manafort was convicted of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failure to disclose a foreign bank account.

    Some here would have us believe that tax fraud, bank fraud, and failure to disclose a foreign bank account constitute «Russian interference» in the US presidential elections of 2016. For my part, being able to read –

    Mr. Manafort’s trial did not touch directly on Mr. Mueller’s inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election or on whether Mr. Trump has sought to obstruct the investigation.

    – I hold with Ted :

    After a Lot of Hype, Russian Interference Turns Out Not to Amount to Much

    Henri

  3. Ted’s a republican – he’s following their script exactly.

    It didn’t happen.
    Well, if it happened, Trump didn’t know about it.
    Okay, so Trump knew about it – but it doesn’t matter.
    What’s wrong with talking to Russians, anyway….?

    Benedict Arnold was just talking to Brits
    Vidkun Quisling was just talking to Germans
    The Rosenbergs were just talking to Russians
    Brutus was just talking to Longinus

    Next up: “What’s wrong with a little treason anyway?”

    • I think Ted has a not-so-secret man-crush on Putin. He’s an old-style lefty and dreams of having a strongman sorting things out.

      For Great Justice, of course…

    • “Ted’s a republican – he’s following their script exactly.”

      Conservative Democrats always respond this way when people to their left vary from conformance with their dogma.

      Democrats think non-conformity is the province of Republicans.

      They’re wrong.

      • > Democrats think non-conformity is the province of Republicans.

        Wait … what? Sorry, I’m an old hippy – the very epitome of non-conformist. I’m still wearing my pony tail and tie-dyes.

        OTOH, you’re also following the republican script, defending Trump to the hilt. The available evidence suggests you’re a Republican as well.

        Moreover, Republicans tend to think in black v. white. i.e. if you’re against Trump you must be for Hillary (as shown in your post above)

        Me, I’m against both Trump and Hillary, that being a sign of a true Independent.

      • @Glenn – you do realize you’re on the same side as the Unamerican Teacher, right? Doesn’t that give you pause?

      • “Wait … what? Sorry, I’m an old hippy – the very epitome of non-conformist. I’m still wearing my pony tail and tie-dyes.”

        Seriously, CH? Do you expect to be given points in an argument based on style of dress?

        Should you be classified as a supporter of Ted Nugent based his style of dress?

        Perhaps you are confusing rhetoric and dialectic.

        Of course, I will not debate or mistake rhetoric as a mutual search for the true.

        Rhetoric is… but the habit of a bold and ready wit.

        And thank you andreas5 for shedding light on an otherwise obscured topic. Your thoughtful comments are always welcomed by me.

      • @Glenn – I’m really having trouble parsing your reply, here – I can but try:

        > Do you expect to be given points in an argument based on style of dress?

        Actually, I was making fun of your post. Are you serious about Ds seeing Rs as noncomformists? ‘cuz that’s not the way I remember it.

        Rs tend to be strict conformists, parroting the party line – that being the same party line you & Ted are both reciting ad nauseum.

        > And thank you andreas5 for shedding light on an otherwise obscured topic

        Misrepresenting the facts is shedding light?

        A5 is trying to blur distinctions and minimize crimes. (i.e. spearphishing is much bigger than mere phishing, email wasn’t the only cyber attack involved, and Cozy Bear is hardly a mom-n-pop op.)

        I spell that “intellectual dishonesty” and wonder why those on the side of TRVTH need to resort to such sophomoric tricks.

      • Since you are having difficulty, CH, let me try to help.

        You push one to the limit.

        Reading your comments is dehydrating; it’s like depriving someone of water on a hot summer’s day.

        And now, if you’ll forgive me, I shall have a drink.

      • Ted’s displaying justified skepticism about Russia-gate, considering who’s been pushing it and how they’ve essentially been telling us “trust us, we’re not lying THIS time.” Because it’s basically the same people who’ve lied to us about Vietnam, the Cold War, Iraq, Syria, Libya, illegal domestic surveillance in the 60s, collecting every email, infiltrating radical organizations, CIA involvement in drug trafficking, generally violating the constitution, etc.

        It’s been weird watching the American centre-left (including many good friends) lose their critical thinking skills and accept as gospel what’s coming out of institutions (CIA, FBI, NSA) that have a long history of abuse of power and lying to the American people. And ignoring the very real motivation for them to lie about Russian interference in the 2016 election- furthering a Cold War with Russia that justifies more defense spending and supports the interests of those bureaucracies that make up the National Security State. All because they can’t accept how Trump won otherwise, ignoring how the Democrat’s neo-liberal policies for 30 years pushed enough the White working class into voting for Trump for him to beat the worst Democratic candidate ever (and this includes such sterling candidates as Gore, McGovern, Dukakis, and Mondale).

      • «Because it’s basically the same people who’ve lied to us about Vietnam, the Cold War, Iraq, Syria, Libya, illegal domestic surveillance in the 60s, collecting every email, infiltrating radical organizations, CIA involvement in drug trafficking, generally violating the constitution, etc.» Not to worry, austerlitz99, soon the DNC will appeal to a source whose reputation for accuracy and probity, unlike that of the (un)intelligence agencies, cannot be denied…. 😉

        Henri

    • CH,

      sigh… this is disingenuous at best. It shouldn’t be too hard to entertain the skeptic/denialist perspective any more than the liberal mainstream one. In the end of the day I don’t even much care which perspective you adopt, but please make an effort of understanding both.

      Here is what may be behind the progression you outline:

      Early stages: we looked at all the stuff and most of it is hearsay. Very little substance, no proof. Therefore strictly speaking we remain skeptical in the absence of evidence. In practice, though, we tend to call bullshit – given the documented lies the “intelligence” apparatus (that eats as much money as all our universities and research labs combined) has told us.

      Mid stages: looks like a little of the evidence is in. Documented troll farms with the budget of a mom and pa store. A possible vehicle for a unimpressive phishing attack on a mail server (though other possibilities remain) on an absolute idiot who fell for it. [Unfortunately we hardly ever engage with why those emails were potentially incriminating in the first place].

      Let’s look at the background of expected shenanigans outside of elections: Nowadays any mid-level movie release has a budget for astroturf and dozens of fake reviews on IMDb. Any of the hundreds of rich guys who spend heavily on politics gets easily tons of play on social media ads. My own server running an old Wiki with a email function has invited quite sophisticated attacks just so someone could send a few hundred spam emails.

      And here we’re talking secret service of a medium-sized country with a strong tech sector – come on, would do you expect? This is highly selective outrage, we would expect people from the U.S., Saudi-Arabia, Israel, Canada, EU, China, etc. to have thrown their weight around, probably more than Russia. It is possible that perhaps Russians got more value for their money this time around and rank higher in terms of “interference” than one would expect. However, we will never know since that would require looking at the whole problem and to break this selective focus on Russia.

      Final stages: We are a bit aghast at the level of disconnect from the liberal side: much like money only has value because other people believe it has, so Russiagate is an issue because we make it one (and therefore need to patrol “our own” side and heckle “denialists”).

      From far away, I agree this can be made to fit the narrative that CH has laid out, “proving” that people who like to read Noam Chomsky are just like people who like to listen to Rush Limbaugh. Also it has the advantage of fitting into a sound bite whereas the “selective focus of background activity we all along knew existed” frame is rather unwieldy – even though Ted managed quite well in 4 panels.

      • @A5 – that’s a lot of words, very few of which actually address my arguments. Mostly it’s vague hand waving, so I won’t bother to address it.

        I’ll pick one bit, though – “A possible vehicle for a unimpressive phishing attack on a mail server”

        You’re off by a couple orders of magnitude. This was not a random phishing attack. It was a spearphishing attack.

        The attackers knew the names and positions of the people they targeted, not to mention the fact that they worked for the DNC. They included payloads specifically designed to subvert election-related software, it was disguised as documentation for said software, and the return address was forged to make it appear that it came from the manufacturer of that software. It was a sophisticated enough forgery that it made it past the spam filters.

        That ain’t no mom-n-pop operation.

        But again, the **REAL** question is whether the President of the United States of America conspired with an unfriendly foreign power to undermine the very foundation of our republic.

        **IF** that happened, would you consider it to be important? (Note: this is a simple yes-or-no question. It does not require hundreds of words to answer. It requires just one word, that being either “yes” or “no.” )

      • > @A5 – that’s a lot of words
        sayz the person who keeps posting the wiki page with gazillions of footnotes 😉

        btw how many (wo)man-hours do you reckon the sophisticated spearfishing attack to have involved?

        The answer to the trick question if of course yes.

        Btw there is no shortage of crimes that recent administrations have committed for which there already is ample evidence, and there is a rather thick web of criminal activity that Trump was involved in even before entering politics for which there are already verdicts.

        But let’s see how the collusion would have taken place:

        The Donald: Hello? Am I speaking to the dastardly Putin?
        dastardly Putin: Da. We decided we like you to win so we already allocated 0.01% of FSB budget to undermine the sanctity of previously untainted US election campaign. But I would like to co-ordinate our efforts with you and leave a paper trail while doing so just because.
        TD: Great. Have you good material on the witch?
        dP: The best. But we only publish material through good friend Julian if you promise you will help us in future – even though promise made in secret is not enforceable. I know you are a man of word irrespective of previous betrayals of business partners, acquaintances, financiers, contractors, clients, journalists, students, apprentices, and sex workers.
        TD: I make the most beautiful promise.
        dP: Da. Also we have Kompromat pee tape. We hand it to Julian if you don’t keep promise. Even though we lose all our leverage as soon as we publish. Forget I said that. Now excuse me I have to go spearfishing without a shirt.
        TD: Nooooo. Not the Kompromat pee tape. Poutine! (tries and fails to do a William Shatner impersonation).

      • @A5 – the difference, of course, is in the signal-to-noise ratio. You manage to type a lot of words without saying much of anything, while that wiki page is chock full of interesting info. (Info you insist doesn’t exist even as you complain about its size. Interesting, that.)

        “The answer to the trick question if of course yes.”

        I’ll hold you to that – but first I’ll note that it is in no way a trick question.

        So, now that we’ve settled the question of whether treason is important – why in the world would you devote so much time to defending duh Donald from those charges?

        Your stock answer is “because I want to bust him on financial shenanigans” – which neatly explains why you want to bust him on financial shenanigans, but in no way addresses why you *defend* him against other charges.

      • > But let’s see how the collusion would have taken place:

        Or, DJTJR could have met with a Russian spy in Trump Tower.

      • «But let’s see how the collusion would have taken place: …» Waiting for the film, Andreas – hope you get a position as consultant. +1 !… 😉

        Henri

      • > @A5 – the difference, of course, is in the signal-to-noise ratio. You manage to type a lot of words without saying much of anything, while that wiki page is chock full of interesting info. (Info you insist doesn’t exist even as you complain about its size. Interesting, that.)

        As I said, all those info does not seem to go beyond the to-be-expected background activity. Everybody who is anybody gets hacked, from Jennifer Lawrence to Sony to Iranian nuclear plants.

        The perhaps more interesting part is that skeletons in closets usually are left under the carpet as per agreement between gentlemen. Obama did not question how Mitt Romney made his money, nor did Romney attempt to expose Obama as a creature of the Chicago machine.

        However, apparently Russia is fair game (mere domestic criminality is still out of bounds, as is corruption with official allies).

        This selectivity is worrisome as in the U.S. context it would be so much easier to regulate hedge funds and to address domestic corruption, even freeze arms deals with Middle Eastern cronies, than to have a positive effect on far away Russian domestic politics. If anything, probably only a de-escalation would give the Russian loyal opposition more breathing space and legitimacy…

        > “defending” Trump [sic]

        I have a very hard time understanding how anything I’ve posted could be construed such.

        Perhaps it is true that anybody who is not talking about hammering Trump with Russiagate – or God forbid, lamenting that there is no oxygen left to talk about nuclear weapons or climate change – may appear as being soft on the nail-to-be-hammered.

        In any case, the Russiagate project seems to be doing quite well (for itself that is, alas less so for addressing human needs on the ground) quite irrespective of whether I sign up or not.

        @ Henri,
        Merci for the kind words.
        It really would make a dashing movie. Then again satire is hard these days, it is hard to compete with reality as created by the likes of Sasha Baron-Cohen 😉

      • @A5

        Case in point, see above. Many words, little content. e.g. Mitt Romney and arms deals in the ME are irrelevant to the case at hand. (As is approximately 80% of the post)

        The referenced page includes, among other things, technical details on the hacking which you have so woefully misrepresented. No, a targeted attack like that is nothing like the random noise any web-facing server sees. You’re comparing apples and aircraft carriers. The disconnect is so ludicrously huge that I’m having difficulty responding in a polite manner, this is the best I can do: “If you honestly don’t understand the difference, then you are unqualified to hold an opinion on the matter.”

        You have consistently, repeatedly, and scornfully attempted to disprove the DastardlyRussiansGate story. That is most assuredly a defense of Trump, you can’t have it both ways.

      • @CH

        You are saying that 80% of what I say is effectively off topic. However, it has been clear from the start that we disagree here, including especially on what the topic is, what is legitimate boundaries are, and how it should be approached. This is why I had wanted to engage with you in the first place in order to better understand your perspective.

        If all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail – and 80% of what people say is just plain weird as it is unrelated to hammers. It is mildly ironic that this was the actual topic of Ted’s cartoon which is hovering over this overgrown message tree.

        It is frustrating to try to engage someone who is actively negating your perspective.

        To your one technical point: when I mentioned constant low-level attacks on any and all servers I was making the point that much more sophisticated attacks on servers belonging to persons of interest are constantly occurring in business as usual. How many (wo)man-hours work do you think the spearfishing attack entailed? Maybe I’m spoiled from reading too much Snowden but I found the alleged incident rather pedestrian (if effective) compared to some of the stuff that they were routinely pulling.

        In my previous comment I actually referenced the Stuxnet attack on an actual nuclear plant – an incident that would seem to be dwarf even the wildest claims of “Russiagate” – but even this was more or less taken in stride (did not lead to a hot war). The Iranian public even voted in a relative moderate in response.

        The rest of the world is rather apprehensive about our presidents and chancellors phones being monitored and our tech companies compromised in massive industrial espionage. We don’t throw fits in the face of such attacks – although we do recognize them as criminal acts. Luckily we do not regard them as acts of war or else the Earth surface would resemble the moon by now.

    • The First Amendment to the Constitution says ‘Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….’ In other words, anyone in the jurisdiction of the United States, to include Facebook and Twitter, and the rest of the Net, has free speech. It isn’t treason to criticize our government or other institutions. If you think that should be changed, work on changing the Constitution to the tyranny model of your choice.

      • A secret protocol to that Amendment, available only to the Illuminati, Anarcissie, states «save when those exercising those rights are foreigners or suspected of having connexions to foreigners, particularly, but not limited to Russians». Thus, as ever in the Shining City on a Hill, everything is just hunky-dory….

        Henri

      • @Anarcissie

        Conspiracy to commit a crime is not protected speech, and never has been. … or would you let all those worthies I named off the hook?

        Judas Iscariot was just talking to the Sanhedrin …

    • > All because they can’t accept how Trump won otherwise

      Thank you, that’s one more bit of corroboration to my ongoing argument: that the deniers believe it’s all about Hillary. Two years after the election, and they’re still fighting the loser. They couldn’t care less whether the POTUS committed treason, they’re all hung up about Hillary. That’s no less partisan than supporting Hillary or Trump either one.

      I do not remember Facebook or Twitter lying to us about the cold war. Can you provide documentation? Nor do I remember a half dozen independent cybersecurity firms lying to us about Vietnam, and request documentation of that as well. Also, about why they want to restart the cold war.

      Of course, the whole argument is fallacious – “they lied to us once, therefore they always lie” – so…. the FBI was lying about Al Capone, were they? The CIA was lying when they warned Bush about 9-11? The NSA was lying about Snowdon leaking secrets? Cybersecurity Agencies lie whenever they warn the public about a new threat? Is that it?

      Yes, sometimes intelligence agencies lie. But they also vie for turf, they’re competitors, any one of those agencies or firms could blow the whistle. In order for this conspiracy theory to work, EVERYBODY has to be on board, (thousands of people) EVERYBODY has to tell the same lie, and NOBODY can ever break the silence.

      Yet no-one has spoken up, even though they have much to gain; and everything to lose should they get caught.

      It just doesn’t add up.

      • But Wait! There’s More!

        The president lied to us about Vietnam, Watergate, and Iraq – ergo the president always lies and therefore the president is lying whenever he tweets “no collusion”

        Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive …

        The president told us there were WMDs in Iraq, but the CIA said there weren’t. They were both lying, so Iraq exists in some sort of Schrödinger-esque state wherein they simultaneously do and do not have WMDs. (and the probability wave cannot collapse because we can’t find any intelligent observers. :-D)

        Norman, coordinate!

        Special prosecutors always lie, so therefore Nixon must be innocent, and there was some there there in Whitewatergate after all!

        Now listen carefully, Norman: I am lying.

      • Crazy H-

        I’m just asking for skepticism and pointing out the evidence isn’t there yet to prove Russiagate.

        I mean have you looked at any of the work by VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity) on the metadata provided by Guccifer 2.0 on which the accusations of Russian hacking are largely based? Where they show it couldn’t have been a hack but it was a file transfer to a flash drive, blowing up the entire Russiagate narrative. Or the more recent analysis by cyberexpert Adam Carter that shows for what’s supposed to be a bunch of skilled Russian GRU hackers they left an awful amount of evidence (including using a Russian VPN) that they were Russians when they could easily have hidden their tracks much better (when the DOS attacks on Georgia and Latvia could not be traced to them, so they clearly CAN attack and hide where it’s coming from). Or that the grammatical errors of Guccifer are NOT consistent with that of a native Russian speaker? How about the NSA document leaked to the Intercept which states their assessment of GRU involvement can’t be directly proved? Whisteblowers Bill Binney and Ray McGovern have repeatedly called out Russiagate’s lies.

        https://consortiumnews.com/2018/08/13/too-big-to-fail-russia-gate-one-year-after-vips-showed-a-leak-not-a-hack/

        As you can probably guess from my disagreements with American Teacher I am the opposite of a Trump supporter. Would call myself a Radical leftist if you wanted to pigeonhole me. Like Ted, I don’t think Russiagate will succeed and the Democrats will suffer when it becomes obvious “There’s no big there there” to quote Peter Strzok and Russiagate comes to nothing. I want to fight Trump on the issues so when we do beat him, we can make some positive changes to the country in the left direction.

      • >when we do beat him

        You are not going to beat Trump.

        >make some positive changes in the left direction

        That means less liberty, less freedom, but the right to more stuff, food, air conditioning, the list is infinite.

      • @austerlitz99

        > Where they show it couldn’t have been a hack but it was a file transfer to a flash drive, blowing up the entire Russiagate narrative.

        It may (or may not) explain the source of Hillary’s leaked emails, but I’m vague on how copying files to a flash drive accomplishes spearfishing attacks and hacks on the database servers in 20-odd states. That’s hardly blowing anything up.

        Nor does it explain why congressional republicans, Facebook, and Twitter have jumped on the bandwagon.

      • @austerlitz99

        I did my homework on the VIPS thing (thanks, btw)

        So, it wasn’t ‘whistleblowers’ in that Bill Binney and Ray McGovern weren’t insiders leaking secrets, but rather outsiders giving their two cents. Not all of the VIPS people signed the memo, and some of them have subsequently backed out.

        Other security experts have also questioned their conclusions.

        https://www.thenation.com/article/a-leak-or-a-hack-a-forum-on-the-vips-memo/

        My $0.02 – I don’t know, which is why I’ve pretty much stopped talking about Hillary’s emails. There are plenty of other clues without them.

        Alternative explanations all raise their own questions (if a Bernie Bro copied the emails, why did he wait until Bernie was already out of the race to publish them? They were quite obviously released at a point in time which benefited Trump at Hillary’s expense.

        DISCLAIMER: I’m happy Hillary lost. I am in no way trying to prove that it’s Russia’s “fault” – I’m only interested in Trump. (also the pure entertainment value of the political theater.)

  4. The Russians are not doing things properly. That’s the problem.

    They should be creating a corporation. The corporation should be creating a PAC. The PAC then makes political contributions and hires lobbyists. The corporation should also be hiring former senior government employees, former staffers and former elected officials as consultants. They should be paying for speaking engagements, and etc.

    People need to get paid, and this email hacking approach doesn’t do it. If they want a voice in our election process, they need to do it properly.

  5. The Russian investigation should be shut down immediately and everyone working on it should be assigned to the investigation of Mollie Tibbetts’ disappearance.

    The disappearance of Mollie is real news.

    • Yes, an American may have been murdered. Other real news is that in an average day, 10-100 people are murdered in the Syrian War. Likewise in Yemen. Other real news includes that in a typical day 8,000-plus *children* die of malnutrition (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/jun/06/malnutrition-3-million-deaths-children). That is a “September 11” sized event every few hours.

      Imagine if we focused our resources on these issues!

      • Well, if Hillary didn’t set the Middle East on fire and Trump wasn’t continuing Obama’s policy of backing the Saudi’s, those things would not be happening.

        Let’s not mix the apples and oranges and compare two things that cannot be compared.

        You do care that Mollie may have been murdered? You’re not trying to minimize her disappearance, are you?

      • @American Teacher, I care deeply about all of the tens of thousands who die needless each day. I can get by each day only because (a) I work to try to solve the problems and (b) otherwise, I don’t think about it.

        Unfortunately, our government’s cozying up with dictators began a long time ago. Instead of partnering with those who promise military cooperation, we need to partner with those who provide democracy and freedom for their citizens. Please help me to achieve this.

        On the nutrition front, if we could send monetary aid rather than food, we would stop undercutting and bankrupting the local farmers. Nations could have a chance at becoming food secure. It would cost practically nothing to make this change. Please help me to achieve this.

        Malnutrition and war may be two of the biggest causes of needless death, but they are not the only ones. We should also help the Mollie Tibbettses of the world, those who die of easily preventable diseases, etc. Please help.

      • Oh, show me the way, Lee.

        And by all means, let’s try to find Mollie last.

      • @American Teacher, each of us who has time or money enough can easily do a part in making the world a better place. I am glad that you are helping with the Mollie Tibbetts disappearance.

      • Naturally, Lee, I have contributed to her reward fund.

        To what other causes should I send my money? Please advise me.

      • It sounds like you already have good causes that you support. If you are looking for more, I recommend taking a look at Bread for the World bread.org. Another one that I recommend is Habitat for Humanity habitat.org.

      • Those are wonderful ideas, Lee.

        Maybe I can put my carpentry skills to good use in some blighted urban area.

        And did you know that foregoing meat and adapting a plant based diet helps to alleviate hunger?

        And maybe you’ll find it in your heart to do something for Mollie.

      • Unamerican Gym Teacher typed (with one finger) “Maybe I can put my carpentry skills to good use in some blighted urban area”.

        Great idea – how about Honduras?

        https://www.habitat.org/where-we-build/honduras

        “To what other causes should I send my money?”

        Honduras could definitely use money that wasn’t connected with drugs or the war thereupon. You have expressed a great deal of concern about the “humanitarian crisis at our border.” If you truly want to stem the tide of refugees, you’ll fix the problems that cause them to flee in the first place.

        Or you could explain why the life of one white girl is more important to you than the lives of millions of brown ones.

    • > Let’s not mix the apples and oranges and compare two things that cannot be compared.

      So … if you’re opposed to comparing apples and oranges, why did you do so in your first post?

    • You’re so full of shit. I think you know that there’s no reason to believe a team of data analyst nerds digging through campaign paperwork and communications for Robert Mueller have skills that are transferable to hunting down a missing person in Iowa, or that they necessarily belong to agencies who have jurisdiction to do so.

      I get it. You’re trying to say we should all care about the missing white girl more than we care about recent developments in international information warfare, and then if we ask why we should care more about this specific missing person than any of the many outstanding missings persons cases that you aren’t choosing to use as rhetoric, much less why we should care more than we care about conspiracies to undermine our entire system of government, it will prove that we’re all anti-white racists or whatever you Fox News-style dipshits believe about the left. You are so goddamn stupid.

      Fuck off, and fuck anyone dumb enough to try to engage you in a good faith argument. You’re full of shit.

      • Well, Steve, you just proved yourself rather dumb by responding to me, didn’t you?

        If you understood my initial comment correctly, you would know that I think that the Mueller investigation is time and money wasted; however, some people cannot accept that Trump won and will spend the next six years trying to derail him. Good luck with that!

        Alas, that is time and money that could go to something real, like finding Mollie.

        So sorry you’re undone Here’s a Big Red Wave!

  6. So, basically, according to Ted’s thesis, the whole investigation amounts, more or less, to a whole bunch of people trying to tell us, again, why Hillary Clinton totally didn’t lose the election.
    It wasn’t that she was a flawed candidate.
    It wasn’t that she was a DINO warhawk.
    It wasn’t that she couldn’t win the Electoral College (which is the preset method for winning the election).
    It wasn’t that the DNC could only cheat sufficiently to steal the primary from Bernie Sanders for her (fun fact: I don’t recall ANYONE saying that the RNC gimmicked the primary to swindle the other candidates; say what you will about Trump, he at least won his primary fair and square).
    It wasn’t that she wouldn’t release the Goldman Sachs speeches.
    It wasn’t her telling people that the level of healthcare she gets can’t be given to the lumpen masses.
    It wasn’t her woodenness..
    It wasn’t the whole raft of her centrist policies.
    It wasn’t that she’s been in politics for 30-odd years and her list of accomplishments is still remarkably padded by a bunch of low-hanging fruit.

    No. It was that the other side said a bunch of shit about her behind her back. Considering that she has two faces, that’s a remarkable trick. IMO.

    • Ay-yup. Just the world’s biggest and most secretest conspiracy ever. Bigger than 9-11 and the fake moon landing put together and multiplied by the Kennedy assassination.

      Thousands of actors – competitors, strangers, and outright enemies – all telling the same lie, without a single one blowing the whistle all because they’re very sad that Hillary lost.

      – OR –

      A bunch of dishonest businessmen with a history of doing business with dishonest Russian businessmen cut yet another dishonest deal for their mutual profit.

      But that’s just crazy talk …

      • No. It’s not crazy talk. But you make it sound like both issues are not simultaneously possible.

        Sure, a bunch of crooks did another crooked thing at Team Trump. Donald Trump’s camp is filled with so many shady deals it’s like Vegas during a partial solar eclipse.

        But look at what the DNC was doing. Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate. The DNC wanted her to win because that worked better for the DNC leadership. To hell with Sanders; he was going to put the people first.

        A whole lot of people are still not talking about the big elephant in the room: They made a significant error in supporting Hillary, and that error was obvious from the beginning and became more and more obvious as the primaries continued. Even worse, in politics, people don’t remember the campaigns you win; they remember the ones you lose. When Sanders asking Hillary Clinton to release the Goldman Sachs speeches and she didn’t, the sound you heard was the iceberg dragging along the hull. Clinton lost. To Donald Trump. The only candidate (that I can think of) who had no military service and no prior political positions in, what, 100 years? It’s like Mike Tyson getting rolled by a 12-year-old with a roll of quarters in her fist.

        And because of the spectacular nature of Clinton’s lose, everyone associated with her HAS to come up with something to allow them to save face. So they declare that Trump cheated. What else can they do? “Trump and his batch of amateur hicks whupped our asses”?

      • > you make it sound like both issues are not simultaneously possible.

        Then I have not expressed myself well.

        I absolutely believe that it’s possible to oppose both Trump and Hillary. Moreover, I do not believe that opposing one is tantamount to supporting the other.

        There may be others on this forum who support that false dichotomy – it’s not my place to argue their positions.

        But I will mock them mercilessly ….

  7. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; …

    Of course, this Constitutional guarantee against laws «abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press» doesn’t apply to speech or equivalents by those dastardly Russians or those equally dastardly Chinese – or, perhaps, even by insufficiently loyal Swedes (hope they knock on the door rather than, pistols drawn, breaking it down)….

    Henri

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