Did Ukraine "interfere in our election?"

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2019

Why we can't have nice things:
Trigger warning! We start today with a statement so vile that it may rock your world.

The statement in question goes like this:

Even a tribalized player like Devin Nunes will make the occasional accurate statement.

Rep. Nunes will, on occasion, make an accurate statement! He did so Thursday morning, near the start of that day's hearing, when he offered these remarks about something Fiona Hill had apparently said or suggested:
NUNES (11/21/19): I’d also like to take a quick moment on an assertion Ms. Hill made in the statement that she submitted to this committee, in which she claimed that some committee members deny that Russia meddled in the 2016 election.

As I noted in my opening statement on Wednesday, but in March, 2018, Intelligence Committee Republicans published the results of a year-long investigation into Russian meddling. The 240 page report analyzed 2016 Russian meddling campaign, the US government reaction to it, Russian campaigns in other countries and provided specific recommendations to improve American election security. I would asked my staff to hand these reports to our two witnesses today just so I can have a recollection of their memory. As America may or may not know, Democrats refused to sign on to the Republican report. Instead, they decided to adopt minority views, filled with collusion conspiracy theories. Needless to say, it is entirely possible for two separate nations to engage in election meddling at the same time, and Republicans believe we should take meddling seriously by all foreign countries regardless of which campaign is the target. I’d like to submit for the record, a copy of our report titled Report on Russian Active Measures. I yield back.
With an allowance for imprecise language, the accurate statement is this:
"It is entirely possible for two separate nations to engage in election meddling at the same time."
"Meddling" is an imprecise term, as is "interference." But once we've allowed for this imprecision, it's obvious that the gentleman's statement is accurate:

In theory, two different nations could monkey around in the same U.S. election!

That said, did Ukraine "meddle" or "interfere" with the 2016 election? Within our current tribal wars, this question has been bouncing around in the past two weeks, almost always being discussed in a muddled, incoherent manner.

Last night, Rachel Maddow confused the issue in record-setting fashion. She did so by taking this poorly-composed front-page report from today's New York Times and making it even more cloudy.

Because Maddow routinely plays this way, she shouldn't be on the air. In an attempt to offer some minor clarity, here are the claims in question:
Russian "interference"
Almost everyone agrees that the Russian government participated in the 2016 election in several illegal ways. Most dramatically, the Russian government "hacked" (stole) large quantities of DNC emails, then loosed them upon the world.
As far as we know, very few public officials dispute this fact. One who does is Donald J. Trump, who may be crazy enough to believe it was really the Ukrainian government which engaged in these acts.
Ukrainian "interference"
Many Republicans claim that certain Ukrainian officials "interfered in the election" is less egregious ways, with specific examples being cited.
The distinction between these two states of affairs is quite easy to make. That said, liberal pundits and mainstream journalists have spent a lot of energy in recent weeks seeming to obscure this distinction, thereby strengthening tribal narrative.

Inevitably, this morning's front-page report in the Times does a very poor job nailing down this distinction. Last night, Maddow set a new world record for selective presentation as she muddied the issue even further. But then again, what else is new?

Maddow strikes us as a thoroughly hapless tribalized true believer. As such, and due to her limitless self-adoration, she just shouldn't be on the air.

We've posted that statement by Nunes because it's plainly accurate. Plainly, two different nations could engage in "election meddling" at the same time and in the same election.

In a rational world, journalists would try to explain the types of charges being lodged against the two countries in question. Having explicated the claims, journalists would almost surely note that the "interference" engaged in by Russia went well beyond the level of "interference" with which Ukraine is being charged.

That's what would happen in a rational world. In a world in which Maddow is the highest-rated "corporate liberal," massive efforts will be made to keep us rubes barefoot and clueless—to create massive confusion about what's being said.

On Thursday, Fiona Hill stood accused of getting out over her skis with respect to these issues. According to Nunes, she had seemed to say that Republican members of the committee dispute the claim that Russia meddled or interfered.

Nunes and one or two others challenged this claim or suggestion. For today, we're going to show you what Hill said in reply.

Hill is being lionized for her evident brilliance. For ourselves, we don't think we've ever seen anyone so stunningly coherent in a major public forum, excluding Noam Chomsky of course.

That said, part of Hill's brilliance consists in her ability to keep more than one thought in her head at one time. This rare capacity is put on display in the remarks below.

During Thursday's hearing, Rep. Himes asked her if certain actions by Ukrainian officials struck her as "election interference." Plainly, Himes wanted her to say no. We thought it might be worth presenting what Hill said instead.

As Hill's remarks begin, she's speaking about a 2016 op-ed column by the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. "Mr. Castor" is Steve Castor, the committee's Republican counsel. We're working from this transcript:
HIMES (11/21/19): Does that sound like election interference to you?

HILL Well, I would say that it’s probably not the most advisable thing to do for an ambassador because you never know who’s going to win. And I think that the second piece that was presented to me at great length, and I want to thank Mr. Castor for making me go back and read it again because when you asked me the questions about it, I did remember the piece.

Kenneth Vogel is a very well-known and, as you’ve pointed out, extremely good journalist, and I’d remembered reading this back in the day in January of 2017 but it’d been a long time between then and October. And you gave me a copy and I went back and read it again. Because I think it actually is extraordinarily important, it gets to this issue here.

Mr. Vogel points out that the Ukrainian government—again, they wouldn’t have done very well at the [INAUDIBLE], I’m picking up the issue I pointed out at the beginning of today—they bet on the wrong horse.

They bet on Hillary Clinton winning the election. And so they were trying to curry favor with the Clinton campaign, it’s quite evident here.
And he relates to some extent, individuals and some Ukrainian officials like Mr. Avakov, the Interior Minister and a number of other people that he names here and that have been named at various points. And talks about how they were trying to collect information as ranking member Nunes said on Mr. Manafort and on other people as well.

However, I do want to point out that the crux of the article here by Mr. Vogel, as he said, there was little evidence of a top-down effort by Ukraine. And he makes a distinction between the Russian effort that was personally directed by Russian President Putin and involve the country’s military—personally directed by Russian President Putin and involve the country’s military and foreign intelligence services.

Now, I don’t think that those two things are exactly the same. I also mentioned in my deposition of October 14th that in fact many officials for many countries, including Ukraine, bet on the wrong horse. They believed that Secretary Clinton, former Senator Clinton, former First Lady Clinton was going to win. Many said some pretty disparaging and hurtful things about President Trump, and I can’t blame him for feeling aggrieved about them. And when we were setting up head of state visits—and remember, I have a portfolio of 50-plus countries plus NATO and the European Union—we thought it prudent to collect as much as possible about comments that people might’ve said about the president during the campaign, when he was either one of the candidates to be the nominee for the Republican party or when he was actually the candidate running against Hillary Clinton.

I’m sorry to say that an awful lot, and perhaps I shouldn’t name them here because it will have consequences, an awful lot of senior officials in many governments, including our allied governments, said some pretty hurtful things about the president. I would also personally take offense at some of the things that were said if I were the president. Now, the difference here, however, is that that hasn’t had any major impact on his feelings towards those countries. Not that I have seen. But I’ve also heard the president say—and he said it in public, so I’m not revealing any kind of executive privilege here—that Ukraine tried to take me down.

What I have seen [INAUDIBLE] ill-advised Ukrainian officials—Ambassador Chaly’s been removed as being the ambassador from here—made some pretty, you know, unpleasant statements or ill-advised op-eds. But I could list a whole host of ambassadors from allied countries who tweeted out, who had public comments about the president as well, and it did not affect security assistance, having meetings with them. If it would, there’d been a lot of people he wouldn’t have met with.

HIMES: Thank you, Dr. Hill. Mr. Chairman, I seek unanimous consent to add to the record a political article of December 1st, 2016, entitled, "Russia accuses Ukraine of sabotaging Trump." It outlines Russian senior officials making allegations that there was Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.
For ourselves, we would be less diplomatic in our assessment of the crazy claims repeatedly made by President Trump, in which he seems to claim that it was Ukraine which conducted the hacking of the DNC emails.

That said, the press corps, in a typical maneuver, has agreed that we mustn't discuss the possibility that Trump is cognitively impaired. This makes it difficult to stage a serious discussion of his endless crazy statements, which he may even believe.

Donald J. Trump keeps making crazy statements about CrowdStrike and Ukraine. That said, and as far as we know, no Republican members of the committee have been making such claims.

Himes suggested that committee members have been creating confusion through their claims about the "Russia hoax." That too calls out for clarification, and has done so for a very long time. But on a show like the Maddow Show, you'll get nothing but selective information, and in a paper like the Times, the performance won't be much better.

(The standard pundits on MSNBC have failed to offer this type of clarification. Mainly, they sit around repeating whatever Nicolle just said. Nicolle was last seen helping George W. Bush waterboard people while placing anti-gay marriage propositions on various state ballots. Today, she's a rather unreliable star on our own tribal side.)

Hill said that various Ukrainian officials engaged in "ill-advised" conduct during the 2016 campaign. We don't know if we agree with that assessment, but that's what she said. She also said she understands why Trump resents this past conduct.

You will never see such clips when you watch Maddow mug and clown and cavort while seeking to make you love her more fully. Instead, you'll see segments like last night's closing segment, an insult to the public intelligence which ought to get its disordered author taken off the air.

Are we humans capable of dispassionate analysis? Are we capable of holding more than one tiny thought, or one sole narrative, in our tiny heads at the same time?

Fiona Hill plainly is. The fruits of that ability will be disappeared on corporate liberal cable. They'll be aggressively pimped on Fox.

Are we humans capable of competent analysis? Especially at times of tribal war, the answer has always been no. For ourselves, we don't see a good way out of the current mess, but we'd recommend a lot more Russia Expert Hill and a lot less Circus Clown Maddow.

This was Maddow's cloaing segment last night. If you aren't insulted by this of stone-cold clowning and self-adoration, one more obvious statement can be made:

You yourself are part of The Problem! Is there any way out of this mess?

Starting Monday: The nature of The Problem

Full disclosure: We'd hoped to be able to discuss this New York Times book review on this weekend morning. As is the norm at this very strange newspaper, it's completely and totally incoherent, on the highest "academic" levels.

Unfortunately, Maddow's clowning superseded. On the brighter side, her clowning helps answer an age-old question:

Why can't we have nice things?

64 comments:

  1. If there was ever any doubt that Somerby spouts the conservative line, today's post should remove it.

    Somerby lives on the East Coast and thus may be forgiven for not understanding what a tool Nunes is. Hill was not wrong about attributing beliefs to the Republicans because Nunes himself enumerated every conspiracy theory contrived to exonerate Trump and every conspiracy theory used by the right in his opening remarks and questioning. You don't need to look beyond him to confirm Hill's generalization. Note that she didn't say all Republicans believed that stuff, just some. And Nunes above all.

    Now we hear via the NY Times that Nunes was one of the folks running around Ukraine trying to find support for the conspiracy theories invented by Russia. Somerby says he doesn't know who on the Republican side was supporting such theories. Nunes was. It was his main role and he started off each round, as ranking member, by asserting those theories.

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  2. tldr, and I'm not prepared to risk vomiting by reading any quotes from the goebellsian Hill lady.

    As for Ukraine officials affecting the US election campaign, there's hardly any controversy there. They published, for no apparent reason, parts of the 'black ledger' with the name of Mr Manafort in it, forcing Mr Manafort's resignation. Not to mention that Ukro-MP Serhiy Leshchenko, a fella on Soros payroll, made it his business to target Mr Manafort with various leaks and sensational 'revelations'.

    These are the facts, uncontroversial facts.

    And of course CrowdStrike, the entity that, technically, initiated the russiagate, is also closely connected to the Kiev regime, through its founder, Mr Alperovitch, ranking member of the so-called Atlantic Council.

    Would this satisfy you, dear Bob, and dispel your doubts? It probably won't. You are, after all, a member of the liberal zombie cult...

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    1. Alperovitch was born in Russia but is an American Citizen. He emigrated in his teens. He and his father lived in Moscow, not Ukraine. He went to Georgia Tech and then worked for McAfee before starting his own firm with his father. No Ukraine connection at all.

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    2. When you hear someone talking about Soros, it is code for globalist Jews and reflects anti-semitism. Black ledger is another debunked conservative conspiracy theory without substance. Not surprising to hear Mao tout it and using anti-semitic slurs.

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    3. "Black ledger is another debunked conservative conspiracy theory without substance."

      Too bad you didn't tell them that back when Mr Manafort had to resign because of it.

      Also, a rule of thumb: when your zombie cult leaders label something "debunked conspiracy theory" and a "thoughtcrime", it's 100% chance that that's the god's honest truth.

      And this is one rule, dembot, that never fails.

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    4. Ah, dembot at 1:57 PM. Sorry I missed your dembottery.

      Unlike you, zombies, I don't judge people by the places they were born in. Like I said, he's a VIP at the Atlantic Council: war-mongering, Russophobic, neocon 'think-tank'. The snake-pit that currently has high hopes for Ukraine, as the place they hope will trigger a nuclear war. They're funny that way.

      Incidentally, financed, in part, by Soros, among other obnoxious characters.

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    5. "I don't judge people by the places they were born in."

      Yup. He judges them by how much they help his buddies in the Establishment. That's why he currently loves Trump. For Mao, everything is judged on the grift. He'd drop Trump in a NY second, if Trump ever turned his back on Mao's Establishment pals.

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    6. Mao supports Russia and Russian objectives, Russian propaganda and disinformation, and of course, Trump. Mao is not a tool of "the Establishment" whatever you mean by that. The Establishment doesn't go around smearing people by trying to link them with Soros, for example. And Mao keeps talking about global conspiracies. Mao will drop Trump the minute his Russian bosses tell him to.

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    7. "I don't judge people by the places they were born in."

      Your support for open borders is duly noted.

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  3. "Why can't we have nice things?"

    Presumably, the nice thing was Somerby's criticism of a review of Tim Park's latest book.

    For the record, there can be nothing nice about that postponed article. Remember the Republicans complaining that there was too much hearsay? Here we have Parks talking about Manotti's theory of consciousness to three researchers who are neuroscientists studying cognitive phenomena but none of whom is actually a theorist on consciousness or conducting consciousness research. For example, one studies facial expression recognition in babies. And Parks himself has no scientific background. But Somerby is going to talk about impreciseness in language or complain about scientific metaphors or some such.

    Can't wait!

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  4. The whole point of the invention of the Ukraine election interference conspiracy theory is to clear Russia and blame the Democrats.

    When Somerby argues that there can be meddling by two countries, he ignores the purpose of the conspiracy theory, to exonerate Russia. When Trump promotes the Ukrainian theory and insists that his staff pursue "investigations," he is doing Russia's bidding.

    So you cannot assume that there could be meddling by two distinct countries as Somerby wishes to do. There could possibly be meddling by each and every one of the countries of the world, but that wouldn't suggest that we should investigate all of them. There is no basis for singling out Ukraine other than Russia's attempt to shift blame and Trump's willingness to help them.

    And now Somerby expresses the same willingness to play Russia's game. Consistent with his style, he first praises Fiona Hill, then criticizes her (which is his main reason for bringing her up) in order to preserve the plausibility of the Ukraine conspiracy and excuse Republicans for pursuing it. In that way, he once again carries water for the conservatives. But this time, he also carries water for Russian interference in our politics and Trump's enabling of Putin's meddling (of which he is a beneficiary, while he engages in other behavior that materially benefits Russia, including withdrawal from Syria and abandonment of the Kurds, furnishing of weapons to Ukraine but specifying that they cannot be used against Russia (in the Eastern part of the country), supporting Russia's meddling in the Brexit decision, trying to get Russia included in the next G7 meeting, and so on.

    Fiona Hill was trying to sound a warning. Somerby urges us to ignore her warning. Because Somerby's charter is to improve critical thinking, it is hard to believe he doesn't know what the bigger picture is. He claims he watched the hearings. He should understand that the so-called investigations are a subterfuge and that there are ulterior motives at work. Yet he writes as if he had no understanding of this.

    I hate to say it, but Somerby is a bad person.

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    1. OK, let’s go:

      The whole point of the invention of the Ukraine election interference conspiracy theory is to clear Russia and blame the Democrats.

      Of course.

      When Somerby argues that there can be meddling by two countries, he ignores the purpose of the conspiracy theory, to exonerate Russia.

      No, when TDH says that two countries can meddle, he’s 1) stating an obvious fact, and 2) pointing out that this is an ongoing Republican talking point, with Ukraine being country #2.

      When Trump promotes the Ukrainian theory and insists that his staff pursue "investigations," he is doing Russia's bidding.

      Of course.

      So you cannot assume that there could be meddling by two distinct countries as Somerby wishes to do.

      Stop trying to figure out TDH’s wishes. What he says is the blindingly obvious fact that more than one country might possibly be a meddler.

      There could possibly be meddling by each and every one of the countries of the world, but that wouldn't suggest that we should investigate all of them.

      Of course not. Where does TDH say that we should investigate every country in the world? Ukraine is a candidate because the Devin Nuneses of the world have insisted on this narrative. This is a claim that should be debunked.

      And now Somerby expresses the same willingness to play Russia's game.

      Russia’s game is the Republican’s game — to deflect blame from blameworthy parties. TDH wants our side to be capable of competent analysis, i.e., to meet head on the claims of treasonous morons like Devin Nunes and his Master in the White House. The way Fiona Hill did in her testimoiny, and the way in which Rachel Maddow seems unable to do on her show.

      Consistent with his style, he first praises Fiona Hill,

      Yes, he does. He says, “For ourselves, we don't think we've ever seen anyone so stunningly coherent in a major public forum,….” and “[P]art of Hill's brilliance consists in her ability to keep more than one thought in her head at one time.”

      then criticizes her

      Yes, he does. He says, “For ourselves, we would be less diplomatic in our assessment of the crazy claims repeatedly made by President Trump,….”

      In other words, Hill, familiar with the world of diplomacy, was too diplomatic to call Trump crazy. You got a problem with that?

      in order to preserve the plausibility of the Ukraine conspiracy and excuse Republicans for pursuing it.

      Where did you get that, genius? Nowhere does TDH claim it’s plausible for Ukraine to have been the meddling party.

      Fiona Hill was trying to sound a warning. Somerby urges us to ignore her warning.

      Yes, she was, and no he didn’t. TDH even says he wants more of people like Hill. Where did you come up with the idea that TDH wants us to ignore Hill, genius?

      I hate to say it, but Somerby is a bad person.

      You, on the other hand, are a bad reader and a terrible person.

      And I don’t hate saying that.

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    2. The whole Russia interference story is blown up way out of proportion by Democrats to take the focus off their own shortcomings. It's crazy to see Democrats resort to such a sleazy tactic and their rank and file get duped by it so completely.

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    3. This is the basis for singling out Ukraine https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446

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    4. Deadrat, you agree with what I say up until I point out Somerby's support for the Ukraine story line, his massive mental gymnastic effort to preserve Trump's conspiracy theory.

      First Somerby highlights part of Nunes statement, where he says that two countries can meddle at the same time. While that is theoretically possible, there is no evidence that Ukraine meddled, and there IS evidence that meddling by Ukraine was a Russian story promoted to shift blame for meddling from Russia to Ukraine and also drive a wedge between the US and Ukraine. THAT is what Fiona Hill testified to. But Somerby seizes on the fact that there could be Ukrainian meddling in order to blame Maddow for not pursuing that thread -- that Trump and his minions may have been correct to investigate Ukraine and that there is some basis for what Trump did. Somerby also highlights Hill's statement about the hurtful things said by many officials about Trump (to curry favor with Clinton) as evidence of Ukrainian wrong doing against Trump. Actually Hill says that many many leaders said the same things about Trump yet he was only retaliating against Ukraine, and that this was done at Russia's urging. That is the part that Somerby ignores and he does so in order to support Nunes and other Republican statements that there was a basis for investigating Ukraine meddling. So, Somerby twists Hill's words to his own purpose, which, despite lip service about Trump's craziness, is to support the need for investigation of Ukraine.

      Of course Somerby never comes right out and says anything clearly. So you have to look at the juxtaposition of ideas to see that he is giving succor to Nunes and not supporting Hill's main point, which is that Nunes and Trump are being duped by Russian meddling, which continues up to the present.

      Somerby complains that Maddow doesn't acknowledge the ways in which Nunes is correct -- that many other countries could have meddled in our election (despite the lack of evidence for such interference beyond Russia).

      And again you call me a bad reader because I don't agree with your opinions. Somerby tries to camouflage his opinions, burying them in the chaff of supposed media criticism, but the bottom line with him is always a reason to listen to Republican talking points, in this case that there was good reason to focus on Ukraine and the president did nothing wrong to insist on investigations and Biden is just accidental collateral damage in Trump's legitimate crusade against corruption. Republicans = good, Democrats = bad.

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    5. If Somerby is correct that Trump is mentally ill, then the maxim of mental health professionals applies here: "No collusion with a delusion." This means you don't humor mentally ill people by pretending to belief in their delusions. You are supposed to reflect reality back to mentally ill people because their own reality testing is impaired and it helps them to know what other people consider reality. People have failed Trump by never doing that throughout his life, because of his wealth and power. But that doesn't make his current delusions real. Somerby is wrong to indulge the fantasy that perhaps Ukraine did meddle and perhaps the Republicans have a point that Maddow should listen to. That would be a disservice to the American people who rely on media to reflect reality to the best of their ability. Distorting reality to make Republicans feel better by humoring their delusions is a mistake that is harmful for the mentally ill and confusing for everyone else.

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    6. I point out Somerby's support for the Ukraine story line, his massive mental gymnastic effort to preserve Trump's conspiracy theory.

      This is untrue, which makes you a bad reader. I will demonstrate this fact by quoting TDH’s words. You will refuse to agree with me because you claim to be able to read TDH’s mind. That makes you a terrible person.

      First Somerby highlights part of Nunes[‘] statement, where he says that two countries can meddle at the same time. While that is theoretically possible,….

      So far, so good. All three of us are in violent agreement.

      there IS evidence that meddling by Ukraine was a Russian story promoted to shift blame for meddling from Russia to Ukraine….

      So far, even better. We three are still in agreement. TDH says, “As far as we know, very few public officials dispute this fact“ and “… Donald J. Trump, … may be crazy enough to believe it was really the Ukrainian government which engaged in these acts.” In other words, you have to be crazy to believe that the Ukrainians, not the Russians, were the bad actors. In fact, TDH goes on to say, “The distinction between these two states of affairs is quite easy to make.”

      But then you go off the rails:

      But Somerby seizes on the fact that there could be Ukrainian meddling in order to blame Maddow for not pursuing that thread -- that Trump and his minions may have been correct to investigate Ukraine and that there is some basis for what Trump did.

      But that’s not what TDH took Maddow to task for. It’s not that she didn’t pursue the matter. In TDH’s eyes, she did, but failed to make the distinction that he says should have been easy to make. He says, “Maddow set a new world record for selective presentation as she muddied the issue even further.” Get that? Maddow “muddied the issue,” i.e., she failed to make clear that Russian and Ukrainian actions were different. Shoulda been easy to do, but she didn’t do it.

      Now, in this TDH may be right and Maddow is the clowning fool he says she is, or he may be wrong and Maddow has actually behaved like a competent journalist. I’m agnostic on this question since I don’t watch Maddow. But that’s a different issue.

      You charge straight ahead:

      That is the part [Trump’s retaliation against Ukraine] that Somerby ignores and he does so in order to support Nunes and other Republican statements that there was a basis for investigating Ukraine meddling.

      But he actually says that you have to be crazy to believe what Nunes and his fellow grotesques believe. You missed that, which makes you a bad reader. You plunge on:

      So, Somerby twists Hill's words to his own purpose, which, despite lip service about Trump's craziness, is to support the need for investigation of Ukraine.

      But TDH doesn’t “twist” Hill’s words. He quotes her directly and at length. More bad reading. But you’ve also decided you know TDH’s real “purpose”— to support investigating Ukraine. Nowhere does TDH call for an investigation of Ukraine, and your claim otherwise makes you a terrible person. TDH faults Maddow and the NYT for not explaining clearly the simple distinction between the accepted fact of Russian interference and the crazy claim of Ukrainian interference.

      And again you call me a bad reader because I don't agree with your opinions.

      No, I call you a bad reader because your claims about what TDH writes are contradicted by the words of the blog entry.

      (con't)->

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    7. <-(con't)

      Somerby tries to camouflage his opinions, burying them in the chaff of supposed media criticism,….

      This is more of your mind reading, trying to guess what TDH “tries” to do and what his “real” opinions are. And it’s what makes you a terrible person.

      You then conclude by re-writing the blog entry to make it say that there’s good reason to “focus on Ukraine,” that Trump did “nothing wrong,” that Trump’s charges are “legitimate,” that Republicans “= good,” and that Democrats “= bad.”

      TDH never says to “focus” on Ukraine. He wants journalists to explain the difference between Russia and Ukraine. TDH doesn’t say that Trump has a legitimate position. He says Trump’s position is crazy. And he never mentioned Democrats at all.

      That you claim otherwise makes you a bad reader. That you do this kind of thing repeatedly, even after you’ve been corrected makes you a terrible person.

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    8. @deadrat
      “He wants journalists to explain the difference between Russia and Ukraine.“

      That is precisely what the Times
      article, among many others, is attempting to do...The article that Somerby criticizes without actually analyzing here. All you have to do is use Google, and you come up with dozens of articles discussing and debunking the GOP’s Ukraine theory.

      And you say he claims “Trump’s position is crazy.” But he is specifically taking about Trump’s *crowdstrike* theory, which Somerby claims Republicans on the committee have not (yet) embraced. The more general theory, that Ukraine interfered is being pushed by Republicans, not just Trump. And that is what Hill characterized as dangerous.

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    9. So you’re saying that TDH’s complaint about the NYT report has no merit. You may be right. I followed the link and scanned the article. Seems pretty straightforward to me. So I don’t know why TDH says it’s “poorly composed.”

      But if you can read for comprehension (and you’re not a terrible person), there’s still no way to reasonably claim that TDH thinks the Russo-Republican story is legit.

      I’m not sure what you’re getting at with the” *crowdstrike* theory.” Are you saying that TDH has restricted his characterization of the claims about Ukraine to crowdstrike? This seems to me a very narrow reading of the blog entry. But even were that true, it’s hard to read that entry as siding with Republican spin.

      Unless, of course, you’re a bad reader and a worse person.

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  5. "For ourselves, we would be less diplomatic in our assessment of the crazy claims repeatedly made by President Trump, in which he seems to claim that it was Ukraine which conducted the hacking of the DNC emails."

    The theory isn't that Ukraine hacked the DNC emails. It is that Crowdstrike, an American company, engaged with the DNC to perpetrate a fraud in which they provided access to their own files in order to blame Republicans in collusion with Russia for hacking and manipulation of the election. In other words, the Democrats are being blamed for what the entire intelligence community says was Russian interference.

    And Somerby wants to say that maybe Ukraine could have hacked too. That isn't even the content of the conspiracy theory.

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    1. Forgot the part where the DNC server was shipped to the Ukraine in order to prevent investigators from finding out...what?

      So, how is Ukraine involved exactly? Russia wishes to drive a wedge between America and Ukraine in furtherance of its territorial aggression. Russia wants Ukraine to be blamed for what Russia did. If Ukraine is seen as an enemy then Russia can take hostile action against it with greater impunity. The rest of the world will not rise to Ukraine's support against Russian aggression if Ukraine is portrayed as a bad actor.

      This only benefits Russia and Trump's election prospects, not the US people and certainly not the world. It makes the US look like a Russian puppet and massive dupe in the world's eyes and thus undermines all of our international goals.

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  6. Let's not pretend the problem is Trump. His lawyer, his Secretary of State, the acting Chief of Staff, the Secretary of Energy, and the ranking member of the House intelligence Committee have been shown be in the tank for Russia./ Putin. Before it's said and done McConnell, Graham, and a half dozen more members of the Republican Congress will be shown to be under Kompromat too.

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    1. Yes, it’s like the 50’s all over again, but with less telegenic people.

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    2. "Yes, it’s like the 50’s all over again, but with less telegenic people."

      True dat.

      Hmm. Well, to be fair, the Gordon Sondland guy certainly appears to be "under" someone's "Kompromat".

      Changing his story to the opposite within a couple of weeks - to comply with the zombie narrative? Complete with a 45 minute speech full of zealous dembottery?

      I dunno. What other explanation is there?

      Delete
    3. Sondland decided he didn't want to go to jail for perjury.

      Delete
    4. Dembot, you don't go to jail for not making long dembot speeches and not sharing with the world what you believe did or didn't happen.

      Sorry, not a good explanation.

      Delete
    5. That's correct, Mao.
      You go to jail for lying under oath. That's both a reality, and a succinct explanation for why Sonderland changed his story.

      Delete
  7. Russian "interference"
    Almost everyone agrees that the Russian government participated in the 2016 election in several illegal ways. Most dramatically, the Russian government "hacked" (stole) large quantities of DNC emails, then loosed them upon the world.


    There's zero evidence to that effect, fwiw.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read the Mueller report.

      Delete
    2. Ha ha. As if Trump voters needed Russia to be turned on by Trump's bigotry.
      The Right-wing corporate media has to lie to make it look like it was Russia and not America's white supremacy fetish.
      What's your excuse?

      Delete
    3. Show us where in the Mueller Report. What page?

      Delete
  8. ' massive efforts will be made to keep us rubes barefoot and clueless—to create massive confusion about what's being said.'

    Indeed, and Trumptards like you do that as well. Fortunately, TDH lacks the audience to be a useful idiot for Trump, so one should just call him a 'useless idiot' for Trump.

    ReplyDelete
  9. there is massive evidence Russia hacked the DNC and that Trump knew all about it.
    Also why do you allow pussys who dont use their real name engage in name calling

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Provide the evidence then dumbasss. There's NO evidence.

      Delete
    2. The evidence is summarized in the Mueller report.

      Delete
    3. OTOH, there is ample evidence that Trump voters were turned on by his bigotry. So much so, that 3 years later every other alternative explanation is a joke.

      Delete
    4. Where in the Mueller report? What page? "Russia hacked the DNC and that Trump knew all about it."?

      Actually, what is in the Mueller Report is statement and statement expressing they found nothing of the sort as I have proven here before.

      But show me what page the Mueller Report gives evidence "Russia hacked the DNC and that Trump knew all about it."


      Show me dumb fuck.

      Delete
    5. Dumbshit:

      Pg 61 Mueller Report

      " The investigation did not find evidence that the Trump Campaign recovered any such Clinton emails, or that these contacts were part of a coordinated effort between Russia and the Trump Campaign. "

      Show me where though. Know it all MSNBC robot dumbass. Show me where the Mueller report summarize the evidence that Russia hacked the DNC and Trump knew all about it.

      Show me dumb fuck.

      Delete
    6. Pg 66 Mueller report:

      In particular, the investigation examined whether these contacts involved or resulted in coordination or a conspiracy with the Trump Campaign and Russia, including with respect to Russia providing assistance to the Campaign in exchange for any sort of favorable treatment in the future. Based on the available information, the investigation did not establish such coordination."

      Dumb fuck moron. Good job keeping the focus off of the real issues that got Trump elected, hence handing him another W in 2020, dumbass dumbfuck TV robot..

      Delete
    7. It's so interesting these idiot dumb fuck cable TV liberal sheep have this fantasy that inside the Mueller report there is all sorts of damning evidence connecting Russia and Trump but they are too stupid and lazy to even read the thing which has zero evidence of collusion, conspiracy or coordination as it repeats over and over and over.

      We live in crazy times.

      Dumbfucks: let me tell you something. The cable news and the no longer relevant blogs to which you are turning to for information are lyingy to your. face. Trump was elected because of the diminishing relevancy of Democrats! And Democrats inability to appear meaningful to average people's lives. This Russia thing has been a huge distraction away from that as they seem to be wishing the center will hold and vast majorities will continue to be as foolish and gullible as you stupid fucks are but they are so wrong, the center will not hold, it's already falling out and that fucking game is over. The Democratic party is toast. The gig is up. People are not as dumb and gullible as you. It's a very interesting situation because for the most part you are smart people who mean well. You just got caught in a fraudulent media echo chamber and got played hard.

      "Evidence summarized in the Mueller report". Fucking pathetic and sad.

      Delete
    8. 2:45,
      The Democratic Party has been today since they passed the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s.

      You'd have to be dembot zombie to not realize Trump won because voters love the sweet, sweet bigotry Trump gave them.

      Russia. LOL.

      Delete
    9. What's stupider? Thinking Trump was elected due to Russian meddling, or thinking it wasn't because Trump voters crave bigotry?

      Delete
    10. Dumbfucks:

      "electorate believes the impeachment inquiry is connected to the priorities of politicians and the media—not of ordinary voters—and an electorate confused and dispirited by the nonstop parade of Washington scandals."

      "Independents see impeachment as a continuation of the partisan bickering and media excess that began even before his inauguration. By massive margins, Independents say that the impeachment issue is “more important to politicians than it is to me” (62% to 22%) and “more important to the media than it is to me” (61% to 23%). It is hard to read this as anything but a warning to the Democratic leadership and candidates: Stop talking about issues that matter to you, not to me."


      https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/11/new-poll-suggests-democrats-impeachment-push-could-alienate-key-voters

      Welcome to your forthcoming 2020 loss to Trump thanks to your pathetic gullibleness and corrupt and insane leadership. You could not be, it would be impossible to be more out of touch than you have currently made yourself. It's weird. But what can I say? You suck. And you're stupid. You're chronic masturbators who have been deadened by television and charlatan, irrelevant bloggers.

      Delete
    11. 9;17,
      Blah, blah, blah. Try not to have a stroke, working yourself up with that idiocy.
      Trump will win in 2020, because Democrats passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and America has a white supremacy fetish.

      Delete
    12. It always backfires,. That's why no politician runs for election touting law and order.

      Delete
  10. Here, Bob,
    a good piece by Yasha Levine of The Exile fame
    .

    Excerpt:
    "Lev Golinkin explained in the Nation a few months ago that the release of that ledger by Leshchenko and NABU was an important event — and a direct intervention in the election. “The story rocked the 2016 election, given Manafort’s position as head of Trump’s campaign. The Hillary Clinton campaign immediately seized on it as proof that Manafort—and therefore Trump—was tied to Yanukovych and the Kremlin,” he wrote. “Manafort was ousted based on handwritten pieces of paper—the story would’ve never gone anywhere without NABU and Leshchenko’s vouching for the ledger’s authenticity. That’s as direct as it gets.”

    But three years later, this episode has been wiped from the collective memory of our media and political establishment. What used to be fact is now smeared as either a pro-Trump rightwing conspiracy theory or Russian propaganda — and probably both. But saying that it didn’t happen doesn’t change the historical record."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://www.thedailybeast.com/impeachment-hearings-gop-pushes-black-ledger-conspiracy-that-the-fbi-debunked-years-ago

      This was not meddling by Ukraine in the 2016 election because the FBI had independent bank records showing payments to Manafort two years before the election, before Trump's nomination. Manafort's problems predated the election and were already known to the FBI. Those bank records showed that the so-called black ledger was not a forgery.

      The current conspiracy theory ties this to Ukrainian government meddling in the election instead of Manafort's personal problems with Russia-supporting oligarchs. This is confusing because the current government is not the same Russia-supporting government as existed during the 2016 election.

      Mao is supporting the pro-Trump rightwing conspiracy theory which is also Russian propaganda. Manafort went to jail and no one is claiming that he didn't do anything wrong, least of all Democrats.

      Clinton had other evidence of Trump's ties to Putin, not Yanukovych. It was called the Steele Dossier, remember? But how exactly did Manafort become Trump's unpaid campaign manager?

      Delete
    2. "Manafort's problems predated the election and were already known to the FBI."

      I'm sure he had many problems predated the election. Nevertheless, he did become the campaign manager, and served until the 'black ledger' thing came out and was used by the psycho-witch and her propaganda machine.

      "the current government is not the same Russia-supporting government as existed during the 2016 election."

      Bullshit. You're off by 2 years, dembot.

      Any more word-salads from your zombie cult's HQ? Don't be shy; go ahead, spit it out.

      Delete
    3. The impact of the successful 2016 Russian campaignremains evident today. Our nation is being torn apart. Truth is questioned. Our highly professional and expert career foreign service is being undermined.
      U.S. support for Ukraine—which continues to face armed Russian aggression—has been politicized.

      The Russian government’s goal is to weaken our
      country—to diminish America’s global role and to
      neutralize a perceived U.S. threat to Russian interests.

      President Putin and the Russian security services aim tocounter U.S. foreign policy objectives in Europe, including in Ukraine, where Moscow wishes to reassert
      political and economic dominance.

      I say this not as an alarmist, but as a realist. I do not think long-term conflict with Russia is either desirable or
      inevitable. I continue to believe that we need to seek ways of stabilizing our relationship with Moscow even as we counter their efforts to harm us. Right now, Russia’s
      security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election. We are running out of time to stop them. In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote
      politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.


      I give you Mao, Exhibit A.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  12. “The distinction between these two states of affairs is quite easy to make. That said, liberal pundits and mainstream journalists have spent a lot of energy in recent weeks seeming to obscure this distinction, thereby strengthening tribal narrative.”

    The “distinction”, according to Hill, is that one (Russian interference) is actual interference, whereas the other (Ukrainian “interference”) is not interference, and furthermore, claiming otherwise is not only wrong but dangerous.

    It isn’t mainstream journalists who are “obscuring” a distinction since the two situations are fundamentally different. It is the Republicans who are obscuring the distinction in order to promote the Trump-Putin narrative.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Somerby, the media critic, lashes out at the Times and Maddow, without quoting a word from either to justify his charges.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "The distinction between these two states of affairs is quite easy to make."

    The only distinction that I see is that certain Ukro-politicians and bureaucrats conspicuously exposing Manafort's financial misconduct during the campaign is a factual matter. It's in the public domain, open for everyone to see.

    ...while the so-called 'Russian meddling' is, at this point in time, a mere conspiracy theory, spread by the liberal zombie cult, pro-zombie spooks, and goebbelsian zombie media.

    Supposed Russian spooks, some with non-existent military ranks, are indicted, with the perfect knowledge that the allegations will never need to be proven in a courtroom. Everything is justified by secret evidence. One inducted company (Concord Management) actually went to court, and the government case has gone nowhere, to the point where the government had to modify the indictment.

    So far, I haven't seen anything, dear Bob, to convince me that 'Russian meddling' is anything more than a bullshit narrative, full of fear- and hate-mongering, zombie-style.

    Oh well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice, Mao.
      Now try making an argument in good faith. I wish you all the luck in the world.

      Delete
    2. Mao,
      OTOH, the evidence that Trump was elected due to his bigoted statements on the campaign trail is overwhelming.

      Delete
    3. The most bigoted statement in the campaign was Hillary's, when she said "half" of Trump supporters fit into a "basket of deplorables."

      Delete
    4. The problem with Hillary's statement was the math, not the bigotry.
      After all we now know, who still thinks Republican voters aren't pieces of shit? Everyone KNOWS it, including the media. That's why they cover it up with their nonsense distractions.

      Delete
  15. Somerby chooses to emphasize, out of the entire set of public impeachment hearings, a false and debunked GOP narrative about “Ukraine meddling in the election”, and then acts as if the media doesn’t discuss the false narrative (they do), then acts as if this purported omission is some damning failure of liberal tribalism, even though the Republicans are the ones peddling conspiracy theories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dumbfuck:

      https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446

      Delete
    2. 12:18,
      Good point. That's what's happening with the GOP overstep of criminalizing immigration. It's backfiring, and I'll be surprised if the USA doesn't have open borders by 2024.

      Delete
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