Can This Be True?

The Democratic National Committee’s server was hacked last week, and embarrassing (although not very surprising) emails publicly released. The obvious intent was to create division right before the Democratic Convention, and to feed suspicions about Hillary Clinton’s nomination.

Voters and pundits can draw their own conclusions about the contents of the emails. The more intriguing–and troubling–question involves the source of the mischief. A number of media outlets have noted that the FBI’s investigation is focused upon Russia and Vladimir Putin.

My first reaction to the suggestion that Putin might be interfering with America’s election was a very pronounced eye roll. (I’m not much for conspiracy theories. In a different context, that sounds like the sort of wild accusation Trump would come up with.)

And yet..the FBI says the hackers were Russian, and this article by Anne Applebaum in the Salt Lake Tribune does give one pause.

The secret plot to control America, launched from abroad, is an old theme in American pop culture. “The Manchurian Candidate,” a film made in 1962, imagined a Chinese scheme to engineer a coup d’etat. Aficionados of paranoid thrillers may also recall “Lucky Bastard,” a 1998 Charles McCarry novel, which featured a U.S. president controlled by a Soviet case officer who happens to be his wife.

But now it is 2016, truth is stranger than fiction, and we finally have a presidential candidate, Donald Trump, with direct and indirect links to a foreign dictator, Vladimir Putin, whose policies he promotes. And yet it is not secret, it is not a plot, there is no conspiracy. No one has been hypnotized or recruited by foreign intelligence. Just as Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Front, openly accepts Russian money, the Trump campaign advertises its Russian links and pays no real political price.

Applebaum details Trump’s considerable business connections with Russia, and his efforts to attract Russian investment in his real estate projects. As she notes , Trump has also surrounded himself with “people whose deep links to the corrupt world of Russian business would normally disqualify them from U.S. politics.” She cites campaign operatives, among them Carter Page, a foreign policy aide who has long-standing connections to Russian companies and who supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who worked for several years in Ukraine for Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian president ousted in 2014.

Although Applebaum doesn’t mention it, the LA Times reports that retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn,another close Trump advisor, flew to Moscow last year to attend a gala banquet celebrating Russia Today, the Kremlin’s propaganda channel, and was seated at the head table near Putin. Flynn is evidently a regular guest on Russia Today.

Russian state media is actively supporting Trump, and Applebaum says that whatever resources Putin is investing in Trump’s campaign, they are paying dividends.

For even if Trump never becomes president, his candidacy has already achieved two extremely important Russian foreign policy goals: to weaken the moral influence of the United States by undermining its reputation as a stable democracy, and to destroy its power by wrecking its relationships with its allies. Toward these ends, Trump has begun repeating arguments identical to those used on Russian state television. These range from doubts about the sovereignty of Ukraine — earlier this week, Trump’s campaign team helped alter the Republican party platform to remove support for Ukraine — to doubts about U.S. leadership of the democratic world. The United States has its own “mess” to worry about, Trump told the New York Times on Wednesday: It shouldn’t stand up for democracy abroad. In the same interview, he also cast doubt on the fundamental basis of transatlantic stability, NATO’s Article 5 guarantee: If Russia invades, he said, he’d have to think first before defending U.S. allies.

None of this, of course, is absolute proof that Putin and the Russians were behind the hack of the DNC. But it once again underlines the manifest dangers of Trump’s capture of the GOP–and the unthinkable consequences of a Trump Presidency.

77 thoughts on “Can This Be True?

  1. I’ll have to look up my source, but there was a piece in one of the more technical corners of the internet about a place in St Petersburg that serves as a department of Digital Dirty Tricks.

    While private hackers are trying to get credit card numbers and other info, this gov’t sponsored organization isn’t focused so much on control of foreign contries as disruption & doubt. By hacking both government & private networks, insecurity and uncertainty are spread, and the release of fortuitously revealed information is just gravy.

    It’s actually a very clever plan when you think about, and the fact that it’s coming from a country currently run by the former head of the KGB makes almost cinematic sense. The dissention & confusion sown are probably just as effective as a big show trial or natural disaster. FUD supplemented by iFUD.

    I’d argue in favor of responding in kind, but everything I read tells me Russia is already in a state of chaos & anarchy, with a thin veneer of police state. Welcome to the 21st century, everyone.

  2. Lest we forget Trump has been supported by, and supports, both Putin and Netanyahu. Both leaders have shown a propensity to direct US policy.

  3. Ron Skurat, I read the same piece I believe. Have been Googling to no avail so far. I thought it was in the New Yorker, but could be wrong. Regardless, yesterday Trump denied he has any investments in Russia…which was a pretty good ploy, as the real point is we know he they have significant investments in him! Wouldn’t it be nice to see those tax returns?

  4. First a disclaimer regarding the use of the term “I” in this paraphrase: “Even though I am a conspiracy theorist, that doesn’t mean there are no conspiracies.”

    Everything about Trump opens his family history and his personal past to speculation regarding sources for their/his unending source of millions (now reportedly $13 BILLION net worth), plus his questionable ability to repeatedly open new businesses after bankrupting previous businesses and non-payment of millions in bills too numerous to keep track of. His connections to Russia should be closely looked at and considered; this should have been done thoroughly and results publicly reported by the GOP long before he reached the position of presidential nominee for the Republican party. This makes me suspicious of conspiracies regarding Russia involving the Republican party itself. Adding fuel to the current smoldering fire of dissension within the Democratic party and using the public displeasure with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz as DNC Chair has culminated in her being ousted…only to return via an appointment by Hillary Clinton. This appointment has displeased many of us for various reasons and added ammunition to the staunch Bernie Sanders’ supporters. Face it, people, Trump has learned political tricks on his way to the White House. An old Russian adage, “Do not stir shit with stick, it will cause stink.” Will somebody please take that stick away from Trump!

    Sheila:
    “(I’m not much for conspiracy theories. In a different context, that sounds like the sort of wild accusation Trump would come up with.)

    And yet..the FBI says the hackers were Russian, and this article by Anne Applebaum in the Salt Lake Tribune does give one pause.”

    What better way to distract attention from Trump himself than to cast blame elsewhere; and Trump placing blame on the Russians (in his warped mindset) could have been and attempt to cast blame on his own “business partners”.

    Sheila:
    “None of this, of course, is absolute proof that Putin and the Russians were behind the hack of the DNC. But it once again underlines the manifest dangers of Trump’s capture of the GOP–and the unthinkable consequences of a Trump Presidency.”

    The above quote feeds into the DWS fiasco. Trump’s choice of Pence as his running mate was initially laughable; till considering his possible reasoning in opting for our own namby-pamby, pseudo Christian, education controlling, anti- women and anti-LGBTQ former governor. Trump has stated he will let Pence handle the foreign and domestic issues while he is off doing…WHAT?

    Is Russia aware that Trump is not above using their support as long as it benefits him – and helps him get elected – but that he could turn around and declare war on them if he is elected? Or does all of this make me a conspiracy theorist?

  5. Nancy and Marv; you two have condensed my long, drawn out saga to two simple sentences…roflmao!

    But, in my defense; living alone (and currently in fear of my own government) I have a need to vent and this is my primary source.

  6. If this is indeed a deliberate attempt by Russian state security, the GRU, to meddle in our politics and affect the outcome of a Presidential election then that alone is a very serious matter. Obviously, as this author has written, his aim is destabilize the EU and NATO and complicate and denegrate our relationships with those organizations with the latter being critical to our whole national security posture and forward defense. If this can be proven and with tangible hard evidence that can be made public then there needs to be the strongest protest possible lodged with the Russian government and Putin himself.

    Donald Trump, just like any other candidate for elected office, MUST release his tax information and if there is a shred of evidence within that documentation that he has obtained financing in any way from anyone or anything in Russia then that should disqualify him as a candidate for President. We are where the rubber meets the proverbial road on this and we cannot blink or flinch in rooting out the truth of what has happened.

    This is no way lets the DNC off the hook for their deplorable and heavily biased conduct in regard to their abandonment of the tradition stance of being neutral but supportive in regard to all of their candidates at any level. All those that were involved in this, just like Wasserman-Schultz (whose ego must be enormous and off-kilter) should be immediately sacked.

    Nevertheless, the even bigger issue is that Russian state security apparatchiks are possibly trying to throw the election of a President of the United States and that, very simply, cannot be tolerated.

  7. Trump is the emperor. Putin is the tailor. It is pretty easy to manipulate someone whose only focus is himself.

    As to the e-mails themselves, they show that Democratic Party employees wanted the Democrat to win the nomination, rather than the Independent. I don’t tecall that any of those ideas were actually put into practice. I know no one brought ub Bernie’s religion during the campaign. So it is much ado about nothing.

  8. Follow the money…..tales from Watergate. The investments and funding from Russian sources should transparent. Another reason Trump’s tax returns should be made public. Trump has always been a self promoter and his motivation has always been money. Why do you think Trump decided to run for office?

  9. I think instead of casting their eyes across the pond perhaps they should take a serious look at 2 brothers here in this country. Also there has been a steady beat of the war drum directed at Russia and Putin for a long time now. This seems to me to be another thump on the drum.

  10. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. . . .”~Charles Dickens, The Tale of Two Cities

  11. Yes,who cares about the content of the e-mails? What is important is the hack itself! The evil doers are guilty! The red menace is upon us! Hmmmm. This explains the monies donated to the Clinton Foundation. It’s no accident certain interests are supporting her and have brought back an old theme. This time it’s Cold War v2.0. The donors of team Clinton want to bring back the Cold War. Didn’t we learn anything the last time? Billions spent for nothing.Excepting of course,the multimillions made by defense contractors.

    It’s funny,on this forum in recent months Bernie supporters were castigated for “conspiracy theories” wrt the primaries. Now,the sycophants of the DNC and the Clintonistas are using conspiracy theory to denounce the public display of the DNC e-mails.We MUST win at all costs! Rule of law(s) be damned! We are exceptional and the USA is the greatest country evah on earth! America is still great!

    Trump should disclose his taxes. Clinton should disclose the contents of her speeches given to G Sachs,et al.

    It also makes one wonder,which is more important,the hacking of DNC e-mails? Or the lack of secure connections used (extreme carelessness) by the SoS for official government business?

    Democrats have lost their minds.

  12. Here is some sanity :

    An excerpt:

    Washington’s Blog asked the highest-level NSA whistleblower in history, William Binney – the NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information, who served as the senior technical director within the agency, who managed six thousand NSA employees, the 36-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency and the NSA’s best-ever analyst and code-breaker, who mapped out the Soviet command-and-control structure before anyone else knew how, and so predicted Soviet invasions before they happened (“in the 1970s, he decrypted the Soviet Union’s command system, which provided the US and its allies with real-time surveillance of all Soviet troop movements and Russian atomic weapons”) – what he thinks of such claims:

    More behind the fold…

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/07/nsa-whistleblower-not-so-fast-on-claims-russia-behind-dnc-email-hack.html

  13. George Will has suggested the reason Trump has not released his tax returns is because of Russian money…it would certainly make sense. Not to mention the love fest between Putin and Trump and then all the close ties to the country….problem his supporters won’t care, they won’t believe it unless Fox News actually reports that it is true

  14. The allegations about Trump and his relations with the Russians are ALARMing. Sheila’s last paragraph:

    “None of this, of course, is absolute proof that Putin and the Russians were behind the hack of the DNC. But it once again underlines the manifest dangers of Trump’s capture of the GOP–and the unthinkable consequences of a Trump Presidency.”

    What Sheila said is the major point. At this point in time, the DNC, in its way, is probably as corrupt as the RNC or whatever.

    William will try to find fault in anything that Sheila says. Nevertheless, I believe he serves a very useful purpose. In today’s world, anything of importance must be vetted.

  15. All of this misses the point in my opinion. The DNC is supposed to treat all candidates equally. Misdirecting the furor towards the Russians is obscuring to fact that the DNC broke its own rules to favor one candidate over another. The anger of the Sanders supporters is understandable. They feel cheated and rightly so.

  16. Here’s an article with informative linked articles that explain Trump’s long-term desire to build a hotel in Russia – witout success. Of greater concern is that he has become very reliant on wealthy friends of Putin for over half a billion ($650 Million) in LOANS. Trump’s several bankruptcies and failed businesses have made him a bad risk in the eyes of American lending institutions.

    Putin has used similar approaches to destabilize other countries.

    When Trump was in Scotland, his response to the Brexit upheaval was that it would be good for his golf course. Trump’s views everything as a competition. If Putin’s friends suddenly called Trump’s loans due at a time when Putin was posing a strategic threat of some sort, it’s hard to imagine that Trump could or would put aside his own competitive and financial interests to prioritize the interests of our country or our allies. I have to wonder if dependence on those Russian loans is a reason why Trump is questioning ALOUD whether the US would defend our NATO allies. VERY scary.

  17. Geraldine,

    The problem is we all have different points. There’s Sheila’s, William’s, mine, your’s and everyone else’s. As i mentioned before, America is far from perfect. Consequently, it is better examined by its imperfections.

  18. Boiled down to it’s simplest form, extremists are those among us who are the easiest to manipulate.

    That explains not the vilians but their followers.

    Followers have faith and Faith. They first believe and then they think.

    Humanity is truly the valley of the blind. We each float around in the tiniest of bubbles formed by the infinitesimal range of our senses, our experiences, and our intellect and declare that our bubble, because it’s all that we know, contains the whole universe, a concept that we lable ego.

    Extremists are merely those in the smallest bubbles and they are the easiest prey for vilians. They are literally defenseless.

    How does one reduce this helpless existence? Simple in concept, harder in execution. Expand your bubble. We lable that education.

    The vilians have always been and will always be among us and look like us. The only difference they don’t think like us. They have the minds of predators and believe that they can only live at the expense of others. It’s a dangerous Universe for us who believe that we live because of others and not at the expense of others.

    Strangely we admire entertainers who play roles we know are make believe but believable. But, we abhor those with the same skills that we must trust to govern us. They must follow a script too of that which cannot yet be. We lable that hope and aspiration. Full frontal hope that was on display last night vs full frontal fear last week.

    Education is the application of skepticism. Show me the evidence. Unfortunately nobody is there to show us, we each must pursue it.

    Are you pursuing knowledge or others? Is your bubble getting bigger or is it tiny and easy prey for vilians? Do you hope for a future better than now?

  19. Geraldine. Bernie is my hero but, IMO, not the most qualified for President. Why do you discount my opinion or the votes of millions of others in the Democratic Primary by having more faith in conspiracy than Democracy?

  20. We should all vote for Hillary as an anti-Trump vote, then we should proceed to tear the Democratic Party to pieces, bit-by-bit.

  21. Regarding Russia, of course this should be investigated by the U.S. government, and steps should be take to reward little Vlad for his bad behavior. But really, hasn’t this sort of thing been going on in all directions since the Cold War started? We should really be blaming the DNC for their lousy security. What is with Democratic politicians and email security?

  22. People in small bubbles confuse proof and evidence. Evidence is the search for proof which is typically defined as the preponderance of evidence. Before proof there is typically a change in the odds from unknown to likely, either way, and it’s foolish not to play those odds judiciously to minimize risk.

    There are two situations concerning the DNC. One is the crime. The preponderance of evidence says Russian state criminals. The other is the content of the emails which, apparently few have bothered to study because they find faith more comfortable than fact.

    Did they show that some on the DNC favored HRC over Bernie? Why on earth would that surprise anyone? That’s the nature of Democracy! Bernie fans were Bernie fans before the vote why do they claim Hillary’s fans don’t deserve the same?

    Much extremist ado about nothing.

  23. Everyone is worried about Russian money influencing Trump? Ok. Now that the infamous 28 pages of Saudi complicity has been released,should we not be more worried about the multimillions given to the Clinton Foundation by the regime of the house of Saud? A ruthless regime that treats women,gays and others worse than dirt?

    I guess I’ve got my ideals and priorities all wrong. Vote Hillary! She will tell them to “Cut it Out!”

    Nothing to see here…..Just move along and be a good little lemming.

  24. We’re never coming out of this rabbit-hole-to-hell until all voters can step back from their entrenched partisan beliefs – Democratic or Republican – and objectively view the current mess we’ve made of our Democracy or, at least, the mess we’ve allowed our politicians to make of our Democracy while we weren’t paying attention.

    Like Sheila prefaced in her blog, I’m not drawn to conspiracies and tend to view political conspiracies like those bright, shiny objects used to distract infants and gullible people from their original focus as mentioned in Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development. According to Piaget, somewhere between the ages of 8 and 12 months, an infant will develop ‘object permanence’ and can no longer be fooled or distracted from its focus by dangling a bright new shiny toy. That says a lot about our populace.

    Living in a global world it’s not unusual for presidential candidates to have working relationships with foreign leaders. Just as Trump evidently has a business relationship with Putin, so too has Bill Clinton, via the Clinton Family Foundation, had a relationship via his receiving a $500,000 speaking fee in 2010 paid by Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin and the bank that brokered a multi-million dollar uranium deal under Ms Clinton’s SOS term that give the Russian government control over a sizable portion of America’s uranium production capacity.

  25. Why weren’t the e-mails of the Republican National Committee hacked and disclosed? I think there would have been some juicy messages passed back and forth as “insiders” sought to derail Trump’s candidacy in favor of one or another “regular” member of the GOP. I find it odd that only the DNC’s e-mails are hacked. This is one more matter to add to what I believe is a compelling case of Putin’s attempt to interfere with our elections. Of course, the United States would be a bit hypocritical in outrage.

  26. Mark, I’ve entertained your idea. Why hack only the DNC? Perhaps hackers ultimately give up when they run up against a tightly designed IT system.

  27. I think that William is confused. When people or companies make campaign donations they are limited to defraying the cost of campaigning not given to the candidate. They are given to influence voters not candidates.

    There are an infinite number of reasons for all interests to care about who is creating or enforcing our laws. We are a world power after all. What happens here does not stay here but has global implications.

    William apparently hangs around a lot with vilians and therefore assumes that’s all that there are. If he was anywhere near correct about that the human race would have annihilated itself long ago.

    Now, to be clear, I believe that the vast, vast majority of campaign costs are wasted. They misinform rather than inform voters. If there is one issue here as important as climate change it’s campaign finance reform not because it favors or disfavors certain candidates but because it’s nearly 100% wasted just because without matching the competition’s spending candidates fail to get chosen.

    We simply don’t need to waste those billions on that valueless effort.

  28. Mark, Russia favors GOP victory for obvious reasons. Why on earth would they be interested in favoring Democrats?

    Hacking any secure system requires a great deal of expertise that’s only available to a very select few institutions.

    We have no idea how many times RNC systems have been hacked or any other systems for that matter.

    The vilians who have or may not have done that perhaps have no reason to hamper the election of villains.

  29. For those ascribing to a conspiracy, ‘who’ discovered the emails appears to be more important than ‘who’ wrote the emails and ‘what’ they wrote. Which came first?

    I’m still flabbergasted that two DNC staffers could carry on an email conversation discussing a Clinton Fund Raiser for a Latino community and reference the event as the “Taco Bowl”.

  30. Pete:”William apparently hangs around a lot with vilians and therefore assumes that’s all that there are. If he was anywhere near correct about that the human race would have annihilated itself long ago.”

    I’m not the one comparing a NY Real estate mogul to Hitler. Interests do not give politicians millions for no good reason. If you want to refuse that money is influencing the political milieu,go ahead,I wouldn’t expect anything less from a brand loyalist. Most of the posts here contradict themselves–especially considering how everyone here believes themselves to be so bright and smart.

    Russian money behind Trump? Not as disconcerting as the House of Saud giving millions upon millions to the Clinton Foundation. Both groups,the Clintons and the House of Saud are venal enterprises. Nevermind the entire looting of the US Treasury for the purpose of the GWOT was 9/11. We have a candidate that has accepted monies from the political crime syndicate/theocracy that perhaps gave the premiss for a lot of the chaos for the last 15+ years.

    Again,nothing to see here….Just move along and be a good little lemming.

  31. My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. Union General Carl Schurz, responding to Stephen Decatur who said: “Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong.”

    There was a CIA Scheme called Operation Mockingbird dating back to the 1950’s. Among it’s purposes was to spread disinformation and information favorable to US “Interests” which could be Corporate or Political. This scam involved the press. The Media willingly and sometimes not knowingly were manipulated into spreading propaganda. I am certain CNN, and MSNBC will haul out a variety of serious looking experts to solemnly tell us “informed but anonymous sources” tell us blah, blah, blah – It’s Putin’s fault.

    It is remarkable this accusation against Russia seemed to be at the ready in the wings, just waiting for it to be activated across the entire Media. Then to make it even darker Putin and Trump were added to the mix. I am surprised the McMega-Media here in the USA has not yet accused Edward Snowden of playing a part in Trump’s and Putin’s nefarious ploy.

    It is not Russia that has surrounded the USA with military bases and US allies like NATO. The USA has started far more wars, engaged in more coups since 1945, than the Soviet Union or Russia has. Yet, the Exceptional Nation is not to be questioned.

  32. Amazing comments…most of them sure to blame someone for the hack….Focus of the email problem was who did it and why…and of course names were thrown out.

    BUT to my amazement…the focus isn’t on the emails hacked…WHY IS THAT? How the voting was being manipulated by the DNC? The Democrats didn’t seem to care about that at all. WHY IS THAT? The Language of the DNC staffers? Again, no one seems to care about the nasty comments/language. WHY IS THAT? It sure lets everyone know what is more important than be manipulated/laughed at/used by their own party.

    Curious that those responding didn’t seem to care about the substance of the emails…

  33. I try to find something that I can agree with in everybody else’s posts. In the post above it’s:

    “Interests do not give politicians millions for no good reason.”

    Seems obviously true.

    I, personally, don’t have billions to give so I give supporting those who I think would be best for the country what I can afford which are words. For me that probably represents about the same personal effort as folks like the Donald writing a million dollar check.

    The difference here between William and I is not that quote but rather faith in Democracy. I know that my words as well as someone else’s dollars can make a difference to other open minded people in deciding who’s best to hire for or fire from the critical jobs of administering our government. It’s even possible though unlikely that my words will influence someone we hire. Wouldn’t that be great!

    Extremists have no trouble deciding who to vote for just as many have no trouble deciding which god to worship.

    So, we who rely on intellect and evidence and education have to do the heavy lifting in a Democracy. That’s a job that I’m very willing to do as the price for freedom. Call me crazy. That’s why I invest so much time and effort in expanding the bubble that is my reality whereas William invests his time in preying on the smallest bubbles that he can find, other extremists.

    Hey, democracy has room for everyone who is willing to make the world a better place. I don’t have to get folks like William to agree with me as long as a majority of Americans do and I see that happening now.

    Great! Now I can rest in peace knowing that my kids and theirs and theirs ad infinitum will live as free as what was given me.

  34. Dianne why do you assume that people who judge the significance of the email contents differently than you do don’t care about it?

  35. Oh, one other detail William. Interests don’t give politicians millions. They give media millions to hype causes that make the donors lives easier be those corporate or real people’s lives.

  36. “We’re never coming out of this rabbit-hole-to-hell until all voters can step back from their entrenched partisan beliefs – Democratic or Republican – and objectively view the current mess we’ve made of our Democracy or, at least, the mess we’ve allowed our politicians to make of our Democracy while we weren’t paying attention.”

    BSH; I totally agree with you on this but…I have stated several times that I RESENT being forced to vote the straight Democratic ticket. I was an Independent voter for many years; watched candidates and parties, their promises, actions and inaction and voted for the candidate – not the party. Have also stated before that I worked for the City of Indianapolis for almost 20 years; from 1972 under Mayor Lugar, through all 16 progressive years of Mayor Bill Hudnut (which was the foundation on which the Republican party was founded) and 2 years, 3 months and 11 days under Herr Goldsmith. I KNOW the Republican party of the past 15-20 years is the party foundation Goldsmith began in this city – a microcosm of the Nixon administration. You are correct; we, the voters have somehow allowed this to happen or we would not be living in fear of life under the command of Trump and Pence.

    When – IF – the Republican party returns to sanity I will enjoy returning to my Independent voting status.

  37. JoAnn, I know that you’ll yell at me for offering more words than you care to read but I think that you’ve hit on an important point.

    The GOP has been dragged from its previous job as a political party into becoming a cult for extremists. We should all hope for its recovery but prepare to abandon it in place. There’s more than enough diversity among Democrats to morph into the two party system with independents between.

  38. New York Post quote:

    “Then there’s Russian investor Sergei Kurzin. He worked for Marc Rich in the 1990s, traveling around Russia looking for suitable investment opportunities in the crumbled former Soviet Union.

    An engineer by training, Kurzin has been involved in lucrative deals in Kazakhstan and other countries, including the lucrative Uranium One deal that involved Bill Clinton and Frank Giustra.

    Russia bought 20 percent of all uranium production capacity in the US, a deal that needed to be signed off on by the State Department when it was headed by Hillary Clinton. While the deal was going through, Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 to give a speech in Moscow, paid for by a Russian investment bank promoting the uranium deal.

    Kurzin, meanwhile, donated $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.”

    After the Marc Rich pardon.

    What about the Re-set Button?

  39. William thinks that it’s Bill that’s running for President. Wrong Clinton William.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Rich
    Here are the facts about Mark Rich.

    Sounds a lot like Trump and he should have never been pardoned, a thought that Bill Clinton also expressed.

    Of course the pardon was inconsequential except in principle because he could not be extradited from Switzerland and he was dying.

  40. Of course many of my ilk believe that all advertising is disingenuous, purposely misleading, and useless. We could make it all illegal but that would cost us all entertainment and the little bit of news that’s left. It would also make us harder to reach for new products.

    There must be a better solution though that’s more cognizant of our limited planet and unlimited greed.

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