Author Topic: United States of Russia?  (Read 15174 times)

Kris

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #200 on: January 12, 2017, 03:57:36 PM »
During an anti-Russia House speech on Thursday by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), C-SPAN was knocked off the air by Russia Today, an English-language network run by the Russian government.

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/c-span-broadcast-of-anti-russia-speech-by-dem-congresswoman-knocked-off-the-air-and-replaced-by-russian-state-tv/

United States of Russia, indeed.
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thesvenster

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #201 on: January 12, 2017, 04:09:39 PM »
In the whole brouhaha about Russian hacking, there's a couple of things that don't seem to be talked about.

First, there was no hacking, even alleged, of the actual votes.

Second, the "hacking" that did take place was targeted at the Democratic Party, a non-governmental entity. This spearfishing of official's gmail accounts wouldn't have taken a state actor. The party officials who had their emails exposed were very sloppy with their information security, as were their organizations. So the jury is out whether it was Russia or not.

Third, how much did those exposed emails really change anyone's mind? I read through some of them. Mostly mundane stuff. No smoking guns. Nothing illegal or even that scandalous.

RangerOne

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #202 on: January 12, 2017, 04:11:25 PM »
Sounds like more hacktavists... that pretty bad. I can only really interpret that kind of behavior as chaotic. Its seems those kind of hacks could only serve to turn American's more against Russia. Or maybe someone is hoping it will further polarize the right and left.

Another few years of stuff like this and I would imagine most Americans would be ready to completely shit on Russia at every turn and shun their government and any form of cooperation.

RangerOne

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #203 on: January 12, 2017, 04:22:16 PM »
In the whole brouhaha about Russian hacking, there's a couple of things that don't seem to be talked about.

First, there was no hacking, even alleged, of the actual votes.

Second, the "hacking" that did take place was targeted at the Democratic Party, a non-governmental entity. This spearfishing of official's gmail accounts wouldn't have taken a state actor. The party officials who had their emails exposed were very sloppy with their information security, as were their organizations. So the jury is out whether it was Russia or not.

Third, how much did those exposed emails really change anyone's mind? I read through some of them. Mostly mundane stuff. No smoking guns. Nothing illegal or even that scandalous.

Good questions. I get the feeling from many anti Clinton people that they felt her behavior  was a illegal and smoking gun for her being 100% corrupt.

I personally like you found the emails to be mostly benign insider deals, back scratching and basically all the stuff we assume the DNC and RNC were doing anyway.

I also think the to me saying an election was hacked means "they hacked votes". That would clearly be a terrible circumstance demanding a remedy.

A foreign country running a smear campaign  based on real document leaks and disinformation on the internet is a far less tangible crime. I don't like it and I think we should fight that behavior by foreign states. But I don't think it is necessarily wise to inflame anger and destabilize our own government as part of the process to combat this behavior. At least part of the motivation for spending so much time talking about this "hacking" is certainly to either destabilize or box in the Trump administration with regards to his policies on Russia.

The way this is being handled is certainly in part political but I am not sure entirely what consequence the intelligence community and the DNC are hoping for.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #204 on: January 12, 2017, 04:25:56 PM »
In the whole brouhaha about Russian hacking, there's a couple of things that don't seem to be talked about.

First, there was no hacking, even alleged, of the actual votes.

Second, the "hacking" that did take place was targeted at the Democratic Party, a non-governmental entity. This spearfishing of official's gmail accounts wouldn't have taken a state actor. The party officials who had their emails exposed were very sloppy with their information security, as were their organizations. So the jury is out whether it was Russia or not.

Third, how much did those exposed emails really change anyone's mind? I read through some of them. Mostly mundane stuff. No smoking guns. Nothing illegal or even that scandalous.

There were some democrats that alleged the possibility of electronic voter fraud, those have died down.

For your third point, I have to disagree. Hillary Clinton was killing Bernie Sanders in he primary. During that time there were allegations of the establishment rigging the system but it was widely dismissed. The DNC leaks revealed there was rampant manipulation occurring. This dissuaded some Bernie Sanders voters and others in the centre. Later leaks or hacks like the Podesta emails further eroded trust in Clinton.

At one point in time I could enumerate and describe each e-mail scandal and give a detailed timeline on when they occurred and how they were or were not inter-related. I literally threw up my hands and gave up after the seventh incident. Vox recently released a video that suggested that the constant barrage of "email scandal" headlines were an aggravating factor in the determination of the election.

thesvenster

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #205 on: January 12, 2017, 04:27:44 PM »
In the whole brouhaha about Russian hacking, there's a couple of things that don't seem to be talked about.

First, there was no hacking, even alleged, of the actual votes.

Second, the "hacking" that did take place was targeted at the Democratic Party, a non-governmental entity. This spearfishing of official's gmail accounts wouldn't have taken a state actor. The party officials who had their emails exposed were very sloppy with their information security, as were their organizations. So the jury is out whether it was Russia or not.

Third, how much did those exposed emails really change anyone's mind? I read through some of them. Mostly mundane stuff. No smoking guns. Nothing illegal or even that scandalous.

Good questions. I get the feeling from many anti Clinton people that they felt her behavior  was a illegal and smoking gun for her being 100% corrupt.

I personally like you found the emails to be mostly benign insider deals, back scratching and basically all the stuff we assume the DNC and RNC were doing anyway.

I also think the to me saying an election was hacked means "they hacked votes". That would clearly be a terrible circumstance demanding a remedy.

A foreign country running a smear campaign  based on real document leaks and disinformation on the internet is a far less tangible crime. I don't like it and I think we should fight that behavior by foreign states. But I don't think it is necessarily wise to inflame anger and destabilize our own government as part of the process to combat this behavior. At least part of the motivation for spending so much time talking about this "hacking" is certainly to either destabilize or box in the Trump administration with regards to his policies on Russia.

The way this is being handled is certainly in part political but I am not sure entirely what consequence the intelligence community and the DNC are hoping for.

Hacking the actual voting machines would be very difficult. They would have to individually targeted, and the hackers would leave many foot prints.

Russia may have well run had an information operation to help Trump. But proving that got Trump elected would be difficult to do, which is why it's more plausible.

thesvenster

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #206 on: January 12, 2017, 04:30:27 PM »
In the whole brouhaha about Russian hacking, there's a couple of things that don't seem to be talked about.

First, there was no hacking, even alleged, of the actual votes.

Second, the "hacking" that did take place was targeted at the Democratic Party, a non-governmental entity. This spearfishing of official's gmail accounts wouldn't have taken a state actor. The party officials who had their emails exposed were very sloppy with their information security, as were their organizations. So the jury is out whether it was Russia or not.

Third, how much did those exposed emails really change anyone's mind? I read through some of them. Mostly mundane stuff. No smoking guns. Nothing illegal or even that scandalous.

There were some democrats that alleged the possibility of electronic voter fraud, those have died down.

For your third point, I have to disagree. Hillary Clinton was killing Bernie Sanders in he primary. During that time there were allegations of the establishment rigging the system but it was widely dismissed. The DNC leaks revealed there was rampant manipulation occurring. This dissuaded some Bernie Sanders voters and others in the centre. Later leaks or hacks like the Podesta emails further eroded trust in Clinton.

At one point in time I could enumerate and describe each e-mail scandal and give a detailed timeline on when they occurred and how they were or were not inter-related. I literally threw up my hands and gave up after the seventh incident. Vox recently released a video that suggested that the constant barrage of "email scandal" headlines were an aggravating factor in the determination of the election.

Possibly. Russia may have run had an information warfare operation going on. But that's a lot different from "hacking."

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #207 on: January 12, 2017, 05:09:31 PM »
In the whole brouhaha about Russian hacking, there's a couple of things that don't seem to be talked about.

First, there was no hacking, even alleged, of the actual votes.

Second, the "hacking" that did take place was targeted at the Democratic Party, a non-governmental entity. This spearfishing of official's gmail accounts wouldn't have taken a state actor. The party officials who had their emails exposed were very sloppy with their information security, as were their organizations. So the jury is out whether it was Russia or not.

Third, how much did those exposed emails really change anyone's mind? I read through some of them. Mostly mundane stuff. No smoking guns. Nothing illegal or even that scandalous.

There were some democrats that alleged the possibility of electronic voter fraud, those have died down.

For your third point, I have to disagree. Hillary Clinton was killing Bernie Sanders in he primary. During that time there were allegations of the establishment rigging the system but it was widely dismissed. The DNC leaks revealed there was rampant manipulation occurring. This dissuaded some Bernie Sanders voters and others in the centre. Later leaks or hacks like the Podesta emails further eroded trust in Clinton.

At one point in time I could enumerate and describe each e-mail scandal and give a detailed timeline on when they occurred and how they were or were not inter-related. I literally threw up my hands and gave up after the seventh incident. Vox recently released a video that suggested that the constant barrage of "email scandal" headlines were an aggravating factor in the determination of the election.
And I have a tough time getting mad at Russia for exposing the bad behavior of the Democrats. "They tilted the election by exposing our efforts to tilt the election" is pretty sad and laughable.
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Kris

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #208 on: January 12, 2017, 05:31:50 PM »
Trump's own choice to head the CIA believes that " the upper echelons of the Russian government worked to elect the president-elect."

https://www.buzzfeed.com/alimwatkins/cia-nominee-believes-russians-wanted-trump?utm_term=.ptQ5451K5#.wyyJjJ38J
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thesvenster

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #209 on: January 12, 2017, 05:37:55 PM »
Trump's own choice to head the CIA believes that " the upper echelons of the Russian government worked to elect the president-elect."

https://www.buzzfeed.com/alimwatkins/cia-nominee-believes-russians-wanted-trump?utm_term=.ptQ5451K5#.wyyJjJ38J

That's a very vague statement though. There's a world between Russia cleverly disseminating information or disinformation to help Trump and Russia "hacking" the election.

Lagom

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #210 on: January 12, 2017, 05:38:44 PM »
In the whole brouhaha about Russian hacking, there's a couple of things that don't seem to be talked about.

First, there was no hacking, even alleged, of the actual votes.

Second, the "hacking" that did take place was targeted at the Democratic Party, a non-governmental entity. This spearfishing of official's gmail accounts wouldn't have taken a state actor. The party officials who had their emails exposed were very sloppy with their information security, as were their organizations. So the jury is out whether it was Russia or not.

Third, how much did those exposed emails really change anyone's mind? I read through some of them. Mostly mundane stuff. No smoking guns. Nothing illegal or even that scandalous.

There were some democrats that alleged the possibility of electronic voter fraud, those have died down.

For your third point, I have to disagree. Hillary Clinton was killing Bernie Sanders in he primary. During that time there were allegations of the establishment rigging the system but it was widely dismissed. The DNC leaks revealed there was rampant manipulation occurring. This dissuaded some Bernie Sanders voters and others in the centre. Later leaks or hacks like the Podesta emails further eroded trust in Clinton.

At one point in time I could enumerate and describe each e-mail scandal and give a detailed timeline on when they occurred and how they were or were not inter-related. I literally threw up my hands and gave up after the seventh incident. Vox recently released a video that suggested that the constant barrage of "email scandal" headlines were an aggravating factor in the determination of the election.
And I have a tough time getting mad at Russia for exposing the bad behavior of the Democrats. "They tilted the election by exposing our efforts to tilt the election" is pretty sad and laughable.

It's also a straw man conservatives are already clinging to as they miss what is actually troubling about all of this, which has been discussed in some detail.

Lagom

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #211 on: January 12, 2017, 05:40:21 PM »
Trump's own choice to head the CIA believes that " the upper echelons of the Russian government worked to elect the president-elect."

https://www.buzzfeed.com/alimwatkins/cia-nominee-believes-russians-wanted-trump?utm_term=.ptQ5451K5#.wyyJjJ38J

That's a very vague statement though. There's a world between Russia cleverly disseminating information or disinformation to help Trump and Russia "hacking" the election.

To repeat myself two posts in a row, no one here is claiming Russia "hacked" the election in the way you seem to mean it. There are plenty of other things to be disturbed about.

Kris

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #212 on: January 12, 2017, 05:45:36 PM »
Trump's own choice to head the CIA believes that " the upper echelons of the Russian government worked to elect the president-elect."

https://www.buzzfeed.com/alimwatkins/cia-nominee-believes-russians-wanted-trump?utm_term=.ptQ5451K5#.wyyJjJ38J

That's a very vague statement though. There's a world between Russia cleverly disseminating information or disinformation to help Trump and Russia "hacking" the election.

To repeat myself two posts in a row, no one here is claiming Russia "hacked" the election in the way you seem to mean it. There are plenty of other things to be disturbed about.

I'm pretty disturbed by how many conservatives are very untroubled by this Russian involvement precisely because they're happy it hurt HRC. It's depressing as hell that as long as the involvement helped tilt things their way, it's not a problem for them. As though it's not possible for them to see the larger picture, somehow. It really makes me shake my head.
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thesvenster

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #213 on: January 12, 2017, 05:55:35 PM »
Trump's own choice to head the CIA believes that " the upper echelons of the Russian government worked to elect the president-elect."

https://www.buzzfeed.com/alimwatkins/cia-nominee-believes-russians-wanted-trump?utm_term=.ptQ5451K5#.wyyJjJ38J

That's a very vague statement though. There's a world between Russia cleverly disseminating information or disinformation to help Trump and Russia "hacking" the election.

To repeat myself two posts in a row, no one here is claiming Russia "hacked" the election in the way you seem to mean it. There are plenty of other things to be disturbed about.

I'm pretty disturbed by how many conservatives are very untroubled by this Russian involvement precisely because they're happy it hurt HRC. It's depressing as hell that as long as the involvement helped tilt things their way, it's not a problem for them. As though it's not possible for them to see the larger picture, somehow. It really makes me shake my head.

Conservatives may not be troubled because there have been nothing but allegations so far. No evidence, just conjecture on the part of intelligence agencies.

Part of the problem is that anything the Russian did appears to ephemeral and unquantifiable. We can't really measure how much a possible information/disinformation campaign helped Trump or hurt Hillary, or point to anything really. There isn't a legal basis for doing much about it either.

If Russia had attacked one of our carrier groups, or massively hacked our voting machines, we could clearly point to something and respond, but not so much with this.

It wouldn't be the first time Russia used information warfare against us. The USSR's propaganda strategy abroad took advantage of our open society to further their agenda all the time.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #214 on: January 12, 2017, 06:05:15 PM »
Conservatives may not be troubled because there have been nothing but allegations so far. No evidence, just conjecture on the part of intelligence agencies.

Part of the problem is that anything the Russian did appears to ephemeral and unquantifiable. We can't really measure how much a possible information/disinformation campaign helped Trump or hurt Hillary, or point to anything really. There isn't a legal basis for doing much about it either.

If Russia had attacked one of our carrier groups, or massively hacked our voting machines, we could clearly point to something and respond, but not so much with this.

It wouldn't be the first time Russia used information warfare against us. The USSR's propaganda strategy abroad took advantage of our open society to further their agenda all the time.

I mean, we addressed all of these points already, and raised a number of others that are seriously concerning, including some that have effectively nothing to do with Russia and entirely to do with Trump's handling of the situation. It doesn't matter that we can't quantify whether this actually influenced the election. If you don't understand why, there are 5 pages of discussion that can help clarify.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #215 on: January 12, 2017, 06:16:12 PM »


I'm pretty disturbed by how many conservatives are very untroubled by this Russian involvement precisely because they're happy it hurt HRC. It's depressing as hell that as long as the involvement helped tilt things their way, it's not a problem for them. As though it's not possible for them to see the larger picture, somehow. It really makes me shake my head.

I wouldn't agree with "untroubled", more like "tempered".  Still, the truth comes out little by little, eventually.  You might find that even you have changed your position on this matter in a year or so.  Personally, I'd be shocked to find out that there are actual intelligence agencies in this world that have not attempted to influence elections in other countries in a similar manner.  It says more to me about the quality of online security for our government and sort-of government institutions than it says about the motives or moral codes of the Russian government.  And I'm still not convinced that the Russians actually did the release, even if it was in their interest to do so.  There really wasn't any way for them to know that releasing the info would swing the election, and keeping the info under wraps makes it more useful to undermine a Clinton presidency later on.  Can you imagine what would have happened, if Wikileaks had released this data dump after the election?  Not only would there have been a crap load of upset conservatives, there would also have been a crap-load of upset Bernie Sanders supporters.  That might have resulted in the first impeachment of a president-elect.  Or worse.
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thesvenster

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #216 on: January 12, 2017, 06:21:05 PM »
Conservatives may not be troubled because there have been nothing but allegations so far. No evidence, just conjecture on the part of intelligence agencies.

Part of the problem is that anything the Russian did appears to ephemeral and unquantifiable. We can't really measure how much a possible information/disinformation campaign helped Trump or hurt Hillary, or point to anything really. There isn't a legal basis for doing much about it either.

If Russia had attacked one of our carrier groups, or massively hacked our voting machines, we could clearly point to something and respond, but not so much with this.

It wouldn't be the first time Russia used information warfare against us. The USSR's propaganda strategy abroad took advantage of our open society to further their agenda all the time.

I mean, we addressed all of these points already, and raised a number of others that are seriously concerning, including some that have effectively nothing to do with Russia and entirely to do with Trump's handling of the situation. It doesn't matter that we can't quantify whether this actually influenced the election. If you don't understand why, there are 5 pages of discussion that can help clarify.

I read through the 5 pages.

What I don't see is that 5 pages is the "so what"? of this all. In an open society like ours with freedom of speech and press, how do you prevent a foreign power from disseminating information/disinformation especially if they do it from with in their own borders?

So assuming the allegations are true, what do you want? Another election? More sanctions against Russia? War? Trump to step down?

Lagom

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #217 on: January 12, 2017, 06:35:43 PM »
I read through the 5 pages.

What I don't see is that 5 pages is the "so what"? of this all. In an open society like ours with freedom of speech and press, how do you prevent a foreign power from disseminating information/disinformation especially if they do it from with in their own borders?

So assuming the allegations are true, what do you want? Another election? More sanctions against Russia? War? Trump to step down?

I mean, if you really read all 5 pages, you skimmed a lot if you don't think those were also addressed. The point of this is not about figuring out ways to stop them from doing this (although we should try our best, obviously). Also, the "allegations" (regarding election meddling) are true--that's pretty indisputable at this point barring an amazingly coordinated conspiracy between over a dozen agencies that any government worker can tell you typically do not collaborate well. And frankly if they were going to bother, I think they would manufacture a much better bombshell than this. Whether the Trump camp colluded with Russia remains less substantiated although there is troubling circumstantial evidence that I truly hope doesn't pan out. I would prefer not to be alive to witness the fallout from the first outright traitorous president in US history. For now I'm going to presume that particular angle is overblown.

Regardless, that is largely beside the point. As for your question of what I want, Obama's response seemed reasonably good. We want to discourage nations from going too far in this inevitable meddling, just as with the China hacking thing a while back. When other countries mess with us, the response is not to call their president smart and/or deny that they actually messed with us. The response I expect of my leader is to stand up to them and enact carefully considered consequences (never war, which is always the worst option). Do you really want the leader of the free world to be a spineless bootlicker? I thought you conservatives valued strength in your leadership.

ETA - Finally, as I've said what must have been a dozen times by now, none of this would require Trump to step down. This is why I question whether you read the thread.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 06:38:10 PM by Lagom »

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #218 on: January 12, 2017, 07:11:52 PM »
Obama's response would have been much more appropriate before the election. Waiting until after was a pretty poor move, made to score political points and not actually defend America 's interests.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #219 on: January 12, 2017, 08:37:43 PM »
Obama's response would have been much more appropriate before the election. Waiting until after was a pretty poor move, made to score political points and not actually defend America 's interests.

Huh? If he had done it before the election that would have had every Republican crying to high heaven about how he was trying to influence it himself. I am struggling to see your logic here that his approach was somehow more political.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #220 on: January 13, 2017, 06:12:27 AM »
Obama's response would have been much more appropriate before the election. Waiting until after was a pretty poor move, made to score political points and not actually defend America 's interests.

This is pretty far from the mark.  He addressed the issue privately with Putin before the election.  If he had done anything else prior (like most of his advisors suggested) it would be instantly viewed as an attempt to influence the election for Hillary.  He specifically waited until after the election so there could be no accusations of him trying to sway the election.  But then again he is Obama, so there literally is no correct course of action from the POV of the R's

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #221 on: January 13, 2017, 09:55:46 AM »
I read through the 5 pages.

What I don't see is that 5 pages is the "so what"? of this all. In an open society like ours with freedom of speech and press, how do you prevent a foreign power from disseminating information/disinformation especially if they do it from with in their own borders?

So assuming the allegations are true, what do you want? Another election? More sanctions against Russia? War? Trump to step down?



I mean, if you really read all 5 pages, you skimmed a lot if you don't think those were also addressed. The point of this is not about figuring out ways to stop them from doing this (although we should try our best, obviously). Also, the "allegations" (regarding election meddling) are true--that's pretty indisputable at this point barring an amazingly coordinated conspiracy between over a dozen agencies that any government worker can tell you typically do not collaborate well. And frankly if they were going to bother, I think they would manufacture a much better bombshell than this. Whether the Trump camp colluded with Russia remains less substantiated although there is troubling circumstantial evidence that I truly hope doesn't pan out. I would prefer not to be alive to witness the fallout from the first outright traitorous president in US history. For now I'm going to presume that particular angle is overblown.

Regardless, that is largely beside the point. As for your question of what I want, Obama's response seemed reasonably good. We want to discourage nations from going too far in this inevitable meddling, just as with the China hacking thing a while back. When other countries mess with us, the response is not to call their president smart and/or deny that they actually messed with us. The response I expect of my leader is to stand up to them and enact carefully considered consequences (never war, which is always the worst option). Do you really want the leader of the free world to be a spineless bootlicker? I thought you conservatives valued strength in your leadership.

ETA - Finally, as I've said what must have been a dozen times by now, none of this would require Trump to step down. This is why I question whether you read the thread.

The media want something on Trump, I don't think there's any doubt about that. Trump hasn't exactly played nice with them so them gunning for him is understandable.

If he acknowledged Russian meddling, that would taint him before he even took office, giving his political opponents a huge stick to hit him with. I can see why that's off the table for him. These are frickin' politicians we're talking about here.

I reviewed the pages again to see if this point had been made and I did not see it.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #222 on: January 13, 2017, 10:43:26 AM »
Remember when it was a big deal for a presidential candidate to have tried marijuana when they were in college?

Trump's responses to the Russian hacking scandal have weakened him in my eyes. If he had stood up and said this isn't acceptable no matter who was elected - I would have been more impressed. Instead he seems whiny to me.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #223 on: January 13, 2017, 11:20:28 AM »
Obama's response would have been much more appropriate before the election. Waiting until after was a pretty poor move, made to score political points and not actually defend America 's interests.

Huh? If he had done it before the election that would have had every Republican crying to high heaven about how he was trying to influence it himself. I am struggling to see your logic here that his approach was somehow more political.

And to do something, or wait to something, that is the correct course of action purely because political opponents will whine about it is just about the definition of political motivation. The proper time to point out interference is not after your side has lost, but even before the event is over, even if your side is winning.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #224 on: January 13, 2017, 01:07:09 PM »
The media want something on Trump, I don't think there's any doubt about that. Trump hasn't exactly played nice with them so them gunning for him is understandable.

If he acknowledged Russian meddling, that would taint him before he even took office, giving his political opponents a huge stick to hit him with. I can see why that's off the table for him. These are frickin' politicians we're talking about here.

I reviewed the pages again to see if this point had been made and I did not see it.

*boggle*

I and others explicitly addressed this multiple times. Again - if he acted presidential for once, he could easily acknowledge it without tainting the legitimacy of his presidency. It's simple. Ignore that aspect of the problem (he's good at ignoring things, plus it really is arguable whether this actually swung the election) while condemning Russia's actions as unacceptable. BAM, strong leadership. Instead, he continues to look like a weak-kneed, thin-skinned coward who has no problem with other countries meddling in our affairs as long as it helps him and/or hurts his opponents. Pathetic, really. Like I said, at least you used to be able to count on Republicans to offer candidates with a backbone.

Plus even he now has acknowledged that they "probably" did some stuff, but that it doesn't matter because his landslide victory was so yuge. Or something.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #225 on: January 13, 2017, 03:49:17 PM »
Cartoon in today's The Times
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #226 on: January 13, 2017, 03:51:03 PM »
Cartoon in today's The Times

I actually imagined the relationship the other way around, with Putin as the pampered cat.  But more like it was in Dune.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #227 on: January 13, 2017, 11:04:59 PM »
Obama's response would have been much more appropriate before the election. Waiting until after was a pretty poor move, made to score political points and not actually defend America 's interests.

This is pretty far from the mark.  He addressed the issue privately with Putin before the election.  If he had done anything else prior (like most of his advisors suggested) it would be instantly viewed as an attempt to influence the election for Hillary.  He specifically waited until after the election so there could be no accusations of him trying to sway the election.  But then again he is Obama, so there literally is no correct course of action from the POV of the R's

Umm... he campaigned relentlessly for Hillary Clinton. I'm not sure how much more he could have tried to get her elected. It's not as if he was trying to appear impartial to who won, or that this information was so secret it couldn't be released. It was held back strictly for political theater; though this is consistent with much of his presidency, I'm still disappointed. It's likely all of his advisors were telling him to allow this information to be released because it would have been the right thing to do.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #228 on: January 14, 2017, 12:21:28 AM »
Obama's response would have been much more appropriate before the election. Waiting until after was a pretty poor move, made to score political points and not actually defend America 's interests.

This is pretty far from the mark.  He addressed the issue privately with Putin before the election.  If he had done anything else prior (like most of his advisors suggested) it would be instantly viewed as an attempt to influence the election for Hillary.  He specifically waited until after the election so there could be no accusations of him trying to sway the election.  But then again he is Obama, so there literally is no correct course of action from the POV of the R's

Umm... he campaigned relentlessly for Hillary Clinton. I'm not sure how much more he could have tried to get her elected. It's not as if he was trying to appear impartial to who won, or that this information was so secret it couldn't be released. It was held back strictly for political theater; though this is consistent with much of his presidency, I'm still disappointed. It's likely all of his advisors were telling him to allow this information to be released because it would have been the right thing to do.

I still fail to see your reasoning here. If Obama pushed forward with this info earlier, there is a relatively good chance Trump would have sunk with it, especially if its release was timed just right. That President Obama would wait until after the election to release info that very obviously would have helped HRC could somehow be seen as "political theater" really makes no sense whatsoever to me. Perhaps you could expand on why you think this timing fits that narrative more than any other?

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #229 on: January 14, 2017, 12:43:36 AM »
I still fail to see your reasoning here. If Obama pushed forward with this info earlier, there is a relatively good chance Trump would have sunk with it, especially if its release was timed just right. That President Obama would wait until after the election to release info that very obviously would have helped HRC could somehow be seen as "political theater" really makes no sense whatsoever to me. Perhaps you could expand on why you think this timing fits that narrative more than any other?

The release was timed to avoid complaints from a major political party. How is this not a strictly political reasoning?

Would releasing the information that showed there was concerted effort by Russia to affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election through hacking and fake news funding been political if released before the election? Sure - but it would have given the voting public a fuller knowledge of the issues raised from said hacks, and would have been much less politically motivated than keeping it a secret (you know, in the most transparent administration) purely to avoid having political opponents use the information against the candidate one supports.

While they both have political ramifications, one has its basis in free and open election; the other is a politically motivated cover-up.

Hopefully this expounded upon the reasoning.
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sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #230 on: January 14, 2017, 09:50:42 AM »
While they both have political ramifications, one has its basis in free and open election; the other is a politically motivated cover-up.

Are you suggesting that Obama promoted a politically motivated cover-up to help Donald Trump? 

That's a new one.  People hate him for lots of reasons, but "he's secretly a Republican" isn't usually on the list.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #231 on: January 14, 2017, 10:58:56 AM »
Yeah I still don't get it, but I do agree that I wish he had done so earlier. In other news, we now have conservative icon Bill Kristol tweeting this:

"It's telling, I'm afraid, that Donald Trump treats Vladimir Putin with more respect than he does John Lewis."


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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #232 on: January 14, 2017, 12:06:31 PM »
While they both have political ramifications, one has its basis in free and open election; the other is a politically motivated cover-up.

Are you suggesting that Obama promoted a politically motivated cover-up to help Donald Trump? 

That's a new one.  People hate him for lots of reasons, but "he's secretly a Republican" isn't usually on the list.

Yeah.  I love an appropriately deployed "thanks, Obama" just like the next guy, but blaming Obama for this is missing the forest for the trees.  Shouldn't we spend most of our outrage on the one who is colluding with Putin? 

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #233 on: January 14, 2017, 01:56:19 PM »
While they both have political ramifications, one has its basis in free and open election; the other is a politically motivated cover-up.

Are you suggesting that Obama promoted a politically motivated cover-up to help Donald Trump? 

That's a new one.  People hate him for lots of reasons, but "he's secretly a Republican" isn't usually on the list.

You are clearly misunderstanding.  The fact that withholding this information helped Trump was not the reason it was withheld, merely a predictable side effect. Do you not agree this information should have been released earlier, and that it was not released at a more appropriate time purely to avoid political ramifications?

If you disagree that it should have been relaesed earlier, that is fine, but unless the reasoning is something other than  "because Trump could have used it to attack Obama" than you are still agreeing with my overall premise.

If one agrees it should have been released earlier, they also must agree that it wasnt released for political reasons (as admited by the current administration) and thus basically agree with my premise as well.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #234 on: February 13, 2017, 12:46:55 PM »
Hey looky here. To the surprise of no one, it seems Flynn was talking to the Russians about lifting sanctions before he should have after all. But I'm sure he was totally acting on his own and in no way coordinating with anyone else within the Trump camp, so thank goodness for that.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #235 on: February 13, 2017, 07:53:36 PM »
And they've corroborated some parts of that dossier...I'm still waiting to see when this finally blows up.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #236 on: February 13, 2017, 09:46:03 PM »
Great balls of fire!!  I just heard Flynn resigned. Is it true?!

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #237 on: February 13, 2017, 09:51:37 PM »
Yep, he "resigned."

The wheels have started to come off.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #238 on: February 13, 2017, 09:56:46 PM »
So now we know how bad it needs to be for any of the swamp creatures to resign/get-thrown-under-the-bus. The next question - who knew what and when?

What makes me mad is that if there was even a whiff of impropriety on the part of the Democrats, Republicans would howl bloody murder, and the Dems would cave in. About time the party developed a spine.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #239 on: February 13, 2017, 11:28:51 PM »
Yep, he "resigned."

The wheels have started to come off.

What I don't understand is why the press isn't calling this by it's commonly known name: treason.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 11:41:59 PM by sol »

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #240 on: February 14, 2017, 04:22:56 AM »
It's looking more and more as though Melania made the right decision: no point disrupting your son's education because his father has a short-term work assignment.

At this stage I'd be tempted to put money on Trump being imprisoned, bankrupted and divorced before his 4 years are up.  Field is wide open on the nature of the criminal charges.
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #241 on: February 14, 2017, 05:31:14 AM »
Yep, he "resigned."

The wheels have started to come off.

What I don't understand is why the press isn't calling this by it's commonly known name: treason.

Me, too.  This is treason, and I want to know who else on the trump campaign has been committing treason, up to and including trump himself.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #242 on: February 14, 2017, 07:24:50 AM »
Yep, he "resigned."

The wheels have started to come off.

What I don't understand is why the press isn't calling this by it's commonly known name: treason.
And why is he being allowed to resign instead of being charged with treason?

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #243 on: February 14, 2017, 07:32:14 AM »
Yep, he "resigned."

The wheels have started to come off.

What I don't understand is why the press isn't calling this by it's commonly known name: treason.
And why is he being allowed to resign instead of being charged with treason?
His resignation doesn't prevent a charge of treason.  Who would be the prosecuting authority, and can the recorded phone conversations be admitted as evidence?

Also, if Flynn is guilty of treason, the next question is: were there co-conspirators (I'm guessing yes, from what he has said about taking the fall on it) and what proof is there against them?
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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #244 on: February 14, 2017, 08:43:51 AM »
None of Flynn's wrong-doings will have much political impact until congressional Republicans decide to turn on Trump. Right now, they are mostly holding steady in their nothing-to-see-here approach, but cracks are starting to show in the facade. Yesterday Paul Ryan  stated that people (whoever could this be?) who are extremely careless with classified info should be denied access to it, presumably in response to Trump's flagrant open-air national security dealings at Mar-a-Lago.

When will they turn on Trump? My guess is that they are waiting for the mountain of evidence of collusion with Russia to build and turn from circumstantial to confirmed. Most Republicans are smart enough to know that they do NOT want to go down in history as patsies in a cover-up of a foreign governments' intrusion in the US, and that's where this train is headed, so we know they'll need to get off this ride eventually.

Flynn was the first instance of confirmed collusion, more will certainly come. When hard proof drops that Trump knew and was involved -- and, at this point, it seems impossible that he didn't know (and if he truly didn't know that is a problem in its own right) -- they'll turn on him quickly, and en masse.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 08:47:00 AM by scantee »

sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #245 on: February 14, 2017, 12:31:45 PM »
I think Paul Manafort was the first case of confirmed collusion.

Remember back when republicans pretended to be outraged by perceived mishandling of classified information?  Trump just had a top secret diplomatic meeting in a public place, and his national security advisor committed treason and then lied to the administration about it.

This whole thing shades of Watergate and Iran-Contra.  What is it about republican administrations that causes them to so flagrantly break the law in pursuit of more executive power?  Why do people who profess patriotism so actively undermine American ideals?

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #246 on: February 14, 2017, 02:49:25 PM »
Per CNN, a short summary of what is known so far:

WHAT WE KNOW:

Trump knew Flynn misled officials on Russia calls "for weeks," White House says.
There are now bipartisan calls for an investigation into Flynn.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer says Trump asked for Flynn's resignation. Kellyanne Conway said it was Flynn who decided to resign.


He knew for weeks and was waiting for...what? For Flynn to get busted by the press, I guess? The two major mouthpieces diverge on whether he was fired or left on his own. Cracks upon cracks.

My favorite response was when Trump and friends tried to pivot into complaining about the leaks as if we should be shocked and horrified by them.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #247 on: February 14, 2017, 03:03:52 PM »
I will say it until I am blue in the face, if you voted for Trump almost entirely on the fact that you felt Clinton was irresponsible and dangerous based on her past behavior. And that Trump was better because he has clean political record. Then you were being ridiculous.

Trump and many of his merry band have given every indications both past and present that they would be every bit as shitty or worse than anything the Clinton's have been willing to do in reality or in the tabloids.

From day -365 he has been a cesspool of lies and conflicts of interest but I guess since he is not a politician its all good.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #248 on: February 14, 2017, 03:25:49 PM »
One thing that may sway Trump supporters on this issue:

Russia is tight with Iran, and one of the big swirling questions is how much of our intelligence is ending up in Putin's hands via one or more compromised individuals in the WH.  Once with Putin, there is a high likelihood that some of that info ends up in Iran.  Given how ginned up the right wing is against Iran, I can't imagine that they'd be OK with our secrets being diverted to ayatollahs.  or maybe I'm a zillion steps behind the Bannons of the world, and he is hoping for exactly this to trigger a war?  I can't understand it, but the right wing does seem anxious for an Iran war to happen.  It would benefit Russia as well by driving up oil prices.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #249 on: February 14, 2017, 05:17:34 PM »
I'm not sure I understand the seriousness of the situation.

Flynn, a civilian at the time spoke to Russian ambassador about sanctions.

Apparently it is illegal to do so as a civilian. As prepping for the job, isn't this understandable though?

The conversation led to Putin ultimately not expelling diplomats, and kinda preserved decent diplomatic ties. Is this not desirable?

Apparently he lies to Pence, leading to Pence telling press nothing was discussed regarding sanctions.

What difference does it make really?

Am I missing something? Is there some sort of lynchpin that ties it all together?  Perhaps I'm used to public officials getting away with at worse, but this seems pretty minor.