THE PROBLEM: Wicker said Ukraine hacked the DNC emails!


Except that's not what he said:
Question! Did Ukraine meddle (or perhaps "interfere") in our 2016 election?

As a general matter, we'd be inclined to say no. But rather plainly, it all depends on what the meaning of "meddle in" is! It even depends on what we mean by "Ukraine."

(Are we talking about the Ukrainian government? Are we talking about a certain number of Ukrainian officials? For people who seek clarity, these are easy distinctions to make. For people who want to promulgate tribal narratives, such niceties will disappear.)

At any rate, how about it? Did Ukraine meddle in our election? Tribal minds have been debating the point over the past week or so, producing such triumphalist headlines as this one at New York magazine:
Trump Ally John Kennedy Walks Back Conspiracy That Ukraine Meddled in 2016 Election
In fact, Kennedy didn't walk back the claim that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election. He walked back a different claim—the claim that it was Ukraine who hacked the DNC emails.

For people with two IQ points to bang together, those are two different claims. But at times of tribal warfare, we humans seek the pleasing stories that our high tribal priests will provide.

In the article bearing that headline, New York's Matt Stieb actually gets something right. In his actual text (as opposed to that headline), Stieb correctly reports that Kennedy, this past Monday night, rejected his previous claim "that Ukraine hacked DNC emails."

Stieb got that point right! But at times of heavy tribal war, fictional narrative never sleeps. Instantly, Stieb proceeded to a bungled presentation:
STIEB (11/26/19): Speaking with Chris Cuomo on Monday, Kennedy admitted that he “was wrong” about the conspiracy that Ukraine hacked DNC emails and pinned the job on Russia.

Though Kennedy stepped away from the claim, it’s unlikely that Republicans will fully abandon the idea just because it isn’t true. On Meet the Press on Sunday, Senator Roger Wicker told Chuck Todd that “Ukrainians themselves tried to interfere.”
Is the one tiny word "fully" supposed to bail that turkey out?

From that presentation, a reader would naturally think that Wicker had asserted that it actually was Ukraine which hacked the DNC emails.

In fact, Wicker said no such thing on Meet the Press. But within our own hapless, floundering tribe, "fictional narrative" is leading many of our tribal sachems to pleasure liberal readers and viewers with pleasing fictional claims.

Brian Williams was especially fictitious last night—remarkably so, in our view. But this is the way tribal fiction works, given the unhelpful wiring of our flawed human brains.

Did Ukraine meddle in our 2016 election? In a related but different question, did Roger Wicker actually say that Ukraine hacked (stole) the DNC emails?

Plainly, the answer to the second question is no. But at times of tribal warfare, the highly limited human mind will start creating and spreading tribal fictions.

These tribal fictions are now being spread wherever the "liberal"/Democratic viewpoint is sold. In our view, this is the latest manifestation of a decades-old phenomenon, in which spectacular liberal and mainstream incompetence helped bring George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump to power.

Did Wicker say that Ukraine hacked the DNC emails? Anyone who watches the tape should be able to see that he didn't. But at tribalized times like these, our sad human minds start to fail.

(To watch the Meet the Press tape, just click here. Stieb links to that slippery Vox report to support his own bungled claim.)

Does it matter if people like Stieb peddle such tribalized fictions? Actually, yes, it does.

Journalists aren't playing with dolls when they sit before their screens and pimp their pleasing claims. And when members of warring tribes are handed competing false and/or misleading stories, the problem we're all living with moves us in the direction of civil war.

It's fairly easy to state the various facts which are involved in this matter. One such list would look like this:
According to the U.S. intelligence community: According to the U.S. intelligence community, the Russian government stole emails from the DNC and turned them loose on the world. Fiona's Hill statement to this effect has made her a liberal hero.

According to Fiona Hill: According to the widely-quoted Hill, various Ukrainian officials behaved in "ill-advised" ways during the 2016 election. They did this because they "bet on Hillary Clinton winning the election. And so they were trying to curry favor with the Clinton campaign."
Within our liberal and mainstream hive, Hill's remarks about the Russians are being reverentially quoted. In ancient tribal fashion, her remarks about the Ukrainian officials were instantly disappeared.

Personally, we're not all that concerned about what the Ukrainian officials did. That said, Hill said that Trump had every reason to be upset by their ill-advised conduct. ("I can’t blame him for feeling aggrieved...I would also personally take offense at some of the things that were said if I were the president.")

Thus spake Fiona Hill, though you'll only hear this here.

At any rate, those who regard the Ukrainian conduct as "meddling" aren't saying that the Ukrainians hacked the DNC emails! This is a stunningly simple distinction, except when hapless tribal sachems start sanding facts and engineering silly conflations to tell us things we'll enjoy.

On Friday, we'll show you what Williams did last night. His presentation was fairly amazing—but then, he worked very hard, in 1999 and 2000, to send George W. Bush to power. (At the time, his oligarch was GE's Jack Welch, then the bossman of NBC Hews.)

Later, Williams invented so many weird stories about himself that he lost his network job. He's been exiled to the realm of cable, where he tells us the things we'll enjoy.

When it comes to journalists like Stieb, they and their predecessors have been failing you for decades. The haplessness of our liberal and mainstream elites is one of the biggest stories of the past thirty-plus years. You're seeing its latest manifestations as you're pleasured by claims that people like Wicker said things they didn't say.

It feels good to be treated this way. We turn to cable each night to be pleasured.

It's also the problem we're all living with. Can you really see a good way out of this ongoing, low-IQ mess?

Coming Friday: Brian feeds the herd


  1. "But rather plainly, it all depends on what the meaning of "meddle in" is! It even depends on what we mean by "Ukraine.""

    This kind of parsing interferes with actual communication between people. It should be left to lawyers. Everyday people call this weasel wording (or in Somerby's case, weasel reading). It is how people cheat and con each other, not how they talk to each other.

  2. “In fact, Kennedy didn't walk back the claim that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election. He walked back a different claim—the claim that it was Ukraine who hacked the DNC emails.”

    The hacking of the DNC was part of the meddling/interference/ratf**king of the 2016 election. This was perpetrated by Russia, not Ukraine.

    When Kennedy or anyone else speculates that Ukraine may have hacked the emails, he is thereby pushing the notion that Ukraine meddled/interfered in the election in the “top-down” way that Fiona Hill described.

    Somerby is engaging in inane and Orwellian hair-splitting to try to find liberal bias in this.

  3. "In ancient tribal fashion, her remarks about the Ukrainian officials were instantly disappeared."

    Hill's remarks about the people who wrote op-eds and said derogatory things about Trump were not talked about on the left because they substantiated the FACT that Ukraine did not interfere in our election. Hill went on to say that many other individuals in numerous countries did the same thing and were not being investigated for interference the way Ukraine was by Trump & his minions.

    There is no reason to talk about what these individuals did under the assumption that Hillary would be elected, given that it provides no support for any conspiracy theory advanced by the Republicans (borrowed from the nut jobs among them).

    The question is why Somerby thinks any attention should be paid to this at all. This is another example of why he sounds so much like a Republican so much of the time. It is "what aboutism" and that is a ploy of conservatives to distract from Hill's main point, which is that the Russians did interfere and that isn't just her opinion but was the result of investigation by our intelligence agencies and is summarized in the Mueller report.

    1. "Personally, we're not all that concerned about what the Ukrainian officials did."

      If that's the case, why is Somerby making so much fuss about the non-event that was supposedly disappeared? No one spends time discussing things that didn't happen or that are of little concern to anyone. Why does Somerby insist that the Democrats must talk about such non-things?

    2. 1:14,
      It's because it's a Right-wing talking point, that Somerby repeats it.

  4. Another subtlety is the distinction between believing something vs. thinking that it's possible or suspicious. I don't believe that the reason Joe Biden used Obama's clout to get Ukraine to fire a prosecutor was to protect his son from an impending investigation. However, I suspect that may have been the case. Suspicion is sufficient to justify demanding an investigation.

    1. Glad to hear you supported the Mueller investigation, and you now support the ongoing House investigations, and the investigations by SDNY. Because, heaven knows, there’s a lot of suspicion around Trump.

    2. Hunter Biden was hired by Burisma after its investigation for money laundering. Biden was part of the cleanup. There was no investigation of Burisma pending when Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to get rid of Shokin, who was manifestly corrupt. Replacing Shokin with a less corrupt prosecutor would have hurt Hunter if Burisma were dirty to the extent that the new prosecutor was less corrupt and more willing to look into firms like Burisma. So this claim about Joe Biden protecting his son makes no sense.

      So, David, if you suspect that Joe Biden was trying to protect his son by pressuring Ukraine (never mind Obama's instructions and the desires of the EU), then it is because you don't know anything about the situation. It is very easy to look this stuff up at Wikipedia before you run around yelling for an investigation.

    3. "to fire a prosecutor was to protect his son from an impending investigation"

      Dear David, dembot at 1:35 PM is right that Creepy Joe wasn't protecting his son. He was protecting Burisma.

      Burisma paid Creepy Joe & Son Protection Racket, Inc. to squash the investigations against Burisma, and Burisma got exactly what it paid for.

    4. There was no pending investigation. Shokin was fired because he took bribes and was not conducting investigations he should have initiated. Burisma had already been investigated and was cleaning itself up.

      Your claim that Biden was protecting Burisma makes no sense because all Burisma had to do was pay Shokin (or his successor) and that would have been much cheaper. There was no investigation pending. Inventing an imaginary investigation to make your theory plausible is bankrupt thinking, Mao.

      Burisma was virtue signaling by hiring Hunter Biden. They also hired a former President of Poland for their board. They were trying to find clean board members to show their intention to stop being corrupt after being investigated after the 2014 revolution. All corporations do this, choosing board members they hope will enhance their image and help them with their connections. Much has been made of the money paid to Biden's firm but it is chickenfeed and wouldn't have motivated anything corrupt. Board members are typically very wealthy people who don't need the small amounts Hunter Biden was paid (which include consulting fees to his firm, not just his own stipend for being on the board).

    5. "Shokin was fired because he took bribes"

      Those who are accused of taking bribes get investigated, indicted, and, should it be proven in court, convicted. Mr Shokin wasn't accused, indicted, investigated, or convicted.

      "all Burisma had to do was pay Shokin"

      You shouldn't judge others by the standards of your zombie cult VIPs, dembot.

    6. Here is a highly readable and brief source that explains why he was not himself prosecuted:

      Several of his assistants were caught with diamonds and other valuables in their homes, suggesting bribery. He wasn't tried for political reasons.

    7. Suspicion does not suffice. Anyone can suspect without good cause. Investigations cause harm even to the innocent. That's why investigations require a probable cause to suspect. At least, they used to.

    8. Well, if all your goebbelsian multi-billion-dollar PsyOp teams have managed to come up with is some other people (who weren't his 'assistants', incidentally) suspected of bribery, then Mr Shokin has gotta be crystal clean indeed.

      Surprising and hard to believe (with any knowledge of the Ukrainian government), but that's the only reasonable conclusion, I'm afraid.

    9. They were his assistant prosecutors, according to Wikipedia.

    10. Watching Right-wingers waiving away treason against the United States of America is the least surprising thing to happen in my lifetime.

    11. November 27, 2019 at 1:23 PM - whether or not I support the various investigations of Trump, I wouldn't say that those investigating Trump should be impeached. Impeaching Trump for investigating someone who behaved suspiciously is ludicrous.

    12. Trump didn't investigate Biden or have him investigated by the USA FBI or CIA or other American investigatory service. He asked a foreign country to investigate a US citizen. The other country didn't want to do it, so Trump withheld defense funding to pressure them to announce that they would do it.

      The reason for the public announcement was to make it appear that the persecution of Biden was coming from someone other than Trump. It was to make it appear that Ukraine was meddling in our election by attacking Trump's adversary. It was to support the conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, similarly meddled in 2016. And it was to avoid any responsibility on his own part for "investigating" Biden. In the process of this manipulation, Trump harmed national security interests and helped Russia (see Fiona Hill's statement for a rundown of exactly how he did that).

      This is why Trump is being impeached.

      Note that the idea that Trump was truly interested in suspicious corruption by any member of a corporation operating in the Ukraine is ludicrous on its face.

    13. AnonymousNovember 27, 2019 at 9:25 PM - Assuming that your description is accurate, what crime is that?

    14. David in Cal is willing to overlook all of Trump's crimes, because Trump gives him the bigotry David craves.

    15. Got it. Trump is chickenshit and I am a bigot. However, what Trump is alleged to have done is not a crime.

    16. Bribery is a crime. Even if a self-admitted sexual predator does it.

    17. Conditioning foreign aid on certain behavior is not bribery. In fact, it's quite normal. BTW note that the aid was not going to any particular individual. It would be different if Trump were offering money personally to, say, the President of Ukraine.

      Joe Biden boasted about foreign aid to Ukraine being contingent on firing a prosecutor. Military aid is often contingent on spending the money for American arms. Neither of these is bribery.

    18. *** Public Service Announcement ***

      David in Cal is an idiot both ethically and intellectually.

      Of course it’s not illegal to set conditions for foreign aid. Biden famously announced the condition of getting rid of a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor in return for loan guarantees to Ukraine. If the condition is corrupt, however, it falls under the rubric of bribery. Here’s the relevant section from the United States Code (emphasis mine):

      Title 18§201. Bribery of public officials and witnesses....
      Whoever … (B) being a public official, … demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally for … any official act performed or to be performed by such official or person;

      1. Pubic official = Donald Trump, President
      2. demand = conducting a phony investigation into a political rival and public announcement of such by the President of Ukraine
      3. personal value = political advantage in being able to smear a political opponent
      4. official act = release of military aid.

      #2 is called the quid; #4 is called the quo. Notice that Biden’s demand involved no personal gain for himself.

      In addition, Trump’s hold on Congressional appropriations constitutes something called impoundment, an action that the Supreme Court declared illegal in Train v City of New York, 420US35 (1975). Trump’s refusal to abide by this Supreme Court decision is an abuse of power. If you’re not an idiot, you can see that this in itself is an impeachable offense.

    19. deadrat - if you take those words extremely literally, then Biden also committed bribery. Firing that prosecutor meant that his son would not be investigated. That was something of value to Biden. But, IMHO that expanded definition is not really appropriate, neither to Biden nor to Trump. They were both asking for action that was justifiable as well as benefiting them personally.

      BTW deadrat, what do you mean by "phony" investigation? Where in the evidence did that come from? Certainly Trump's words in the phone call in no way said or implied that Trump wanted a phony investigation.

      You mention impoundment. Trump did not impound the aid, he delayed it.

    20. I think it's against the law to solicit or accept campaign help from foreign officials, bribery or not. Anything of value.

      So yes, he/they broke THAT law. This legal point has been forgotten in all the quid pro quo talk.

    21. *** Public Service Announcement ***

      David in Cal is an idiot both ethically and intellectually. I warn commenters not to engage in discussions with him for the good and sufficient reason that I don’t: if you argue with an idiot, pretty soon people won’t be able to tell the difference. I also urge commenters not to insult David — I’m looking at you mm — because reasonable people do not ascribe agency to idiots. As I’ve long said, heaping vituperation on David is like going to the Special Olympics to boo the losers.

      Even a nine year old caught with his hand in the cookie jar knows that it will avail him nothing to rat out his siblings for the same transgression. A tu quoque defense is still a guilty plea.

      David in Cal can do no more than regurgitate here the right-wing talking points that are his sole diet of political information. And these talking points sometimes involve legal issues, which I discuss as a matter of public service. If legal issues make your eyes glaze over, I fully understand. Thus

      <tl;dr> Trump is a criminal and David in Cal is an idiot.

      For those of you still with me, consider the following topics:

      1. There isn’t the slightest evidence that Hunter Biden was ever the target of an investigation by authorities in Ukraine or that Joe Biden had any knowledge at all of his son’s activities in Ukraine. If Joe Biden is under any reasonable suspicion of breaking US law, then we have a mechanism in place to deal with that. It’s a treaty with Ukraine of the type called MLAT or Mutual Legal AssistanceTreaty, which allows each country to enlist the help of the other in investigating criminal activities of their respective citizens. The treaty names a contact for inquiries, and in our case, it’s the AG. Until and unless William Bar activates the provisions of the treaty, it’s a safe bet that accusations against Joe Biden are just typical Republican crap.

      2. We can be sure that Trump wasn’t interested in rooting out corruption in Ukraine in return for giving that country military aid. We have a mechanism to do that as well. It’s called a “presidential finding” (legal term: Memorandum of Notification). (The President is required by law to deliver a MON to certain Congressional committees for every covert CIA action.) If Trump was concerned about Ukrainian corruption, he could have asked that foreign aid to Ukraine be made contingent on a Presidential finding of suitably honest governance. He didn’t. Remember that Trump’s lackeys controlled both Houses of Congress for the first two years of his term.

      3. Train v City of New York, which invalidated impoundment, isn’t directly a Constitutional case, but one of statutory interpretation. The decision makes impoundment unavailable to the President if an appropriation bill is written to preclude impoundment. Congress has made appropriations subject to the Budget Control Act of 1974. Title X of that act, known as the Impoundment Control Act, with Train effectively eliminates Presidential impoundment.

      The Impoundment Control Act requires that the President submit a rescission request to not spend appropriated funds. Congress has 45 days to approve the request, and if it doesn’t, the funds must be spent. Trump held up Ukraine’s aid for more than 45 days with no rescission request. A staffer for the Office of Management and Budget has testified that two people (unnamed) left the Office over the legality of holding up the aid to Ukraine.

    22. I think it's against the law to solicit or accept campaign help from foreign officials, bribery or not. Anything of value.

      Here’s the law (emphasis mine):

      52USC§30121. Contributions and donations by foreign nationals
      (a) Prohibition
      It shall be unlawful for-

      (1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make-

      (A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;

      (B) a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or

      (C) an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 30104(f)(3) of this title); or

      (2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.

      Trump would be implicated in paragraph (2).

      So yes, he/they broke THAT law. This legal point has been forgotten in all the quid pro quo talk.

      Well, they (the Ukrainians) didn’t, since they never followed through. But there’s reason to be cautious here. Yes, the law says “other thing of value,” but when courts interpret laws, they can apply a rule called eiusdem generis or “things of the same kind.” This happens when a statute says “A, B, C, or other things….” A court may interpret that as “A, B, C, or other such like things” and carefully investigate the common attributes of A, B, and C.

      In the case of this campaign finance law, all the specific things prohibited are monetary, and a court might rule that the law meant to prohibit only money (or convertible equivalents). Scandal avoidance (in the case of Stormy Daniels) or scandal mongering (in the case of the Bidens) might not qualify.

      It’s not clear when or if the application of eiusdem generis would come into play as there’s been very little adjudication of 52USC§30121.

    23. " They were both asking for action that was justifiable as well as benefiting them personally."

      Meh. Creepy Joe's Crime Family was paid millions for protecting Burisma. That's a quid pro quo, plain and simple.

      But The Donald does not personally benefit from investigating Creepy Joe.

      The Fake Indian does. Bernie The God does. All the other zombie clowns running for zombie cult nomination do.

      But the Donald? How would he personally benefit? That's nonsense, David.

    24. "Trump is chickenshit and I am a bigot. However, what Trump is alleged to have done is not a crime."

      Wow. David with a 67% hit rate. I'm super impressed.

    25. BTW deadrat, what do you mean by "phony" investigation? Where in the evidence did that come from?

      Donald J Chickenshit's top guy- one of the self styled "three amigos", david, you treasonous bastard.

      SCHIFF: And in order to perform that official act [a meeting in the Oval Office], Donald Trump wanted these two investigations that would help his reelection campaign, correct?

      SONDLAND: I can’t characterize why he wanted them. All I can tell you is this is what we heard from Mr. Giuliani.

      SCHIFF: But he had to get those two investigations if that official act was going to take place, correct?

      SONDLAND: He had to announce the investigations. He didn’t actually have to do them, as I understood it.

      GOLDMAN: Giuliani and President Trump didn’t actually care if they did them, right?

      SONDLAND: I never heard, Mr. Goldman, anyone say that the investigations had to start or be completed. The only thing I heard from Mr. Giuliani or otherwise was that they had to be announced. ... President Trump presumably, communicated through Mr. Giuliani, wanted the Ukrainians on-record publicly that they were going to do those investigations.

      GOLDMAN: You never heard anyone say that they really wanted them to do the investigations.

      SONDLAND: I didn’t hear either way.

    26. "Donald Trump wanted these two investigations that would help his reelection campaign, correct?"

      Dear Hillary, indeed, fulfilling their campaign promises (the promise to "drain the swamp", in this case) is what politicians do (and should do) to help their reelection campaigns.

      ...I wonder what Mr Schiff's campaign promises were that got him elected, and how he is fulfilling them. Not very well, I hear:
      "Schiff's 28th congressional district has seen a 12 percent spike in homelessness over the last year, with 59,000 homeless people now living in Los Angeles County, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. And 75.2 percent of those homeless citizens are unsheltered and without refuge.

      Barbosa said Schiff should be using his time and resources to help his home district, rather than trying to settle an old political score with Trump and the GOP.

    27. mm - thank you for that text. I wondered where that story about not wanting an investigation had come from.

      There is a logical flaw in Sondland's testimony. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

      Sondland said he didn't hear Giuliani specifically ask for an investigation. He clarified his statement, saying he didn't hear either way whether or not they really wanted an investigation. But, Sondland didn't hear anyone say they did NOT want an investigation.

      Also, Trump's words to the Ukraine President pretty clearly implied that he wanted an investigation.

    28. Mao, you poor stupid fucking trumptard. Catch up, will you. You need to go to Kiev and find that Ukrainian billionaire owner of Crowdstrike and get the damn DNC server from him. What the fuck are you waiting for? This will clear the whole matter up. Bwahahahaha!!!! Trump is gonna drain the swamp by finding a mythical Ukrainian who has the DNC server!!!!! You poor twisted trumptard dittohead.

    29. The ignorant nicknaming the informed "Hillary", is brilliant.

  5. ‘Senator Roger Wicker told Chuck Todd that “Ukrainians themselves tried to interfere.”’

    As the GOP, so Somerby.

    The Republicans hope you think that what certain Ukrainians did was “interfering” in our election, and that that word “interfere” gets confused in viewers’ minds with the “interference” that Russia committed, and voila, Trump’s conspiracy theories are normalized and his impeachable conduct was therefore somehow justified.

    And yet, Somerby complains about mainstream journalists muddying the waters...

  6. "At any rate, those who regard the Ukrainian conduct as "meddling" aren't saying that the Ukrainians hacked the DNC emails! This is a stunningly simple distinction, except when hapless tribal sachems start sanding facts and engineering silly conflations to tell us things we'll enjoy."

    Some people are saying exactly that. They are saying that the DNC conspired with Ukraine to hack its own server in order to blame Republicans for colluding with Russians. That's why they wanted that DNC person to testify. It is why they keep asking the Ukraine where the DNC server is. (They think it was shipped to Ukraine by Crowdstrike in order to keep evidence of complicity away from investigators.)

    Somerby needs to go back and listen to that series of "Are you aware that...[insert element of conspiracy theory here]..." questions that were asked of witnesses during the hearing. It wasn't about Ukrainians writing op-eds.

    Somerby wants to let the Republicans walk back their debunked theories. Why should that happen? Key Republicans have been trying to keep up with the shifting lies and theories tossed out to muddy the water by Trump and his supporters. It is difficult, but why should they be allowed to do that? It not only confuses the public and prevents anyone from seeing what they are claiming, but it prevents Democrats from pinning them down so that their mistaken claims (e.g., lies) can be debunked effectively. In that sense, Somerby is interfering with the left's attempts to uncover truth and show the public what has been happening in Trump's administration.

    Why is Somerby helping the right this way? Maybe tomorrow he will tell us.

    1. 'Why is Somerby helping the right this way?'

      Because he is a Trumptard.

  7. I thought Somerby was going to talk about Jim Jordan today!

  8. "For people with two IQ points to bang together, those are two different claims. "

    Duh. But of course your comrades from your hate-mongering zombie cult don't have any functioning brain cells (or I.Q points, if you prefer) at all.

    "It feels good to be treated this way. We turn to cable each night to be pleasured."

    Why, sure, if you're a zombie. And you are a bunch of zombies, so everything is perfectly normal.

    1. If you are just banging your IQ points around, you can many any number of specious claims and endless ponder the definitions of words big and small. We used to call that "mental masturbation" when I was in grad school.

      Somerby, with his massive IQ points, surely understands that the phrase "be pleasured" refers to sex, just like stuffing bucks in her pants does. For most people who watch cable news, a bit of entertainment is not particularly sexual. But to each his own, and we won't judge Somerby by his perversions.

  9. According to the U.S. intelligence community, the Russian government stole emails from the DNC and turned them loose on the world. Fiona's Hill statement to this effect has made her a liberal hero.

    Then again, as Comey The God admitted under oath, this conclusion is based on taking the analysis provided by Crowdstrike -a firm hired by the DNC, with Ukrainian ties- at it's word. No analysis of the DNC by the intelligence agencies was allowed to be performed.

    Funny that's never mentioned.

    1. "No analysis of the DNC by the intelligence agencies was allowed to be performed."

      Yes, it's true.

      The spooks, in this case, were careful to leave themselves an excuse to avoid responsibility, should things get out of hand (highly unlikely, but not impossible).

      On the other hand, event if these 'intelligence agencies' did perform direct analysis, who would believe anything they say?

      Certainly not anyone who isn't a brain-dead liberal and was alive in 2003.

    2. The DNC was the victim. This is like the prosecution at a rape trial whining because they cannot portray the victim as the slut she probably was.

      No analysis of the DNC was going to undo the positive evidence that was uncovered of wrongdoing by others, not the DNC. Are you really forgetting who won the election? Do you imagine that if Hillary and the DNC had rigged anything, they would have lost? Trump may be an incompetent goofus but Hillary was not.

      Talk about brain dead!


    3. The DNC had CrowdStrike analyze its network and share findings with the FBI, which Comey called an acceptable substitute.

      “We have never taken physical possession of any DNC servers,” CrowdStrike said in a blog post. “When cyber investigators respond to an incident, they capture that evidence in a process called ‘imaging.’ It involves making an exact byte-for-byte copy of the hard drives. They do the same for the machine’s memory, capturing evidence that would otherwise be lost at the next reboot, and they monitor and store the traffic passing through the victim’s network. This has been standard procedure in incident response investigations for decades. The images, not the computer’s hardware, provide the evidence.”

      Go fuck yourself, Mao.

    4. And where is your server, Hillary?

    5. Hillary turned over everything. Her attorneys went through her emails to determine which were personal and which were not, then turned the non-personal ones over to the FBI. Conservatives make a lot of noise about a server that was destroyed, but that happened before there were any investigations ongoing and the data was transferred to a new server. It was destroyed because you don't want anything to fall into the wrong hands when a computer is taken out of service because it is obsolete or not working well.

      This conservative mantra that Hillary was hiding 30,000 emails or a server or whatever is ridiculous because she has shown greater transparency than our president or any previous president in responding to all investigations. Asking for her server is part of the campaign to portray her as a criminal engaged in all sorts of nefarious business (some in pizza parlors).

    6. But where is that server?

    7. Hillary here: none of your fucking business, asshole.

    8. Mao has discriminating tastes. He's not going to fuck a mouth-breathing moron like Mao.

  10. What would happen if all liberals stopped watching cable news?

    1. They would be less informed about the facts that counter the Republican conspiracy theories and lies told by Trump and his supporters.

    2. They might turn to social media to get news, which would make them more susceptible to the manipulations already in progress by Russia in support of Trump's reelection and intended to sow discord in our society.

    3. Being less unified and less aware of the arguments countering Russian and Republican propaganda, they would be more willing to vote for third party candidates and folks like Tulsi Gabbard, designed to draw votes from a potential Democratic nominee.

    4. Being less unified, it would be harder for whoever was nominated on the left to win the election, perhaps allowing Trump to win again.

    5. They would be less able to counter their Republican friends' arguments and less able to convince friends and neighbors to vote Democratic.

    6. By weakening support for Democratic candidates and views, the road would remain open for corporations to plunder our country's resources and keep people in ignorance and poverty. The more this happens, the harder it will be to oppose, thus weakening our resistance to fascism.

    7. If the USA is distracted by infighting and less unified around core democratic values, it will be less able to exert pressure on Russia to contain its empire-building objectives and balance Russia's influence in the rest of the world, including Cuba (where Russia is offering missiles) and Africa. As Russia gains strength, the likelihood of wars of aggression increases.

    Somerby might be making arguments about how to improve cable news. Instead, he is urging people not to watch it. He is claiming that left cable shows are just as propagandistic as right ones. But the right is advancing Russian interests. Whose interests does the left cable advance? Corporations to a limited extent (mainly the owners of the cable news networks and their sponsors), but not some foreign country that is an enemy of the USA. And the propaganda consists of arguments and evidence against the right, not against our society or values. And I just don't see the same level of lying on left cable news.

    We can all stipulate that Rachel Maddow is occasionally unfunny and should give up comedy. We can agree that Brian Williams inflates his bio. But this is nothing beside what Tucker Carlson does.

    So, what on earth does Somerby think he is accomplishing here? It is hard to answer that question in any reasonable way, so I must conclude that he is part of the Republican noise machine, an agent of Russian interference who is willing to hand our country over to enemies in the name of personal financial benefit -- just like the other Republicans.

    1. 'what on earth does Somerby think he is accomplishing here'

      Somerby would like to be a useful idiot for Trump, but he lacks the audience, so he must be content with being a useless idiot for Trump.

  11. Things are crazier than TDH even presents it. What about the US history of interfering in other countries' elections? Like in the 1990's when we stepped in to help Yeltsin win? Or when the US goes further, and arranges for elected governments to be overthrown - like in Iran, Chile, and some would say, now, in Bolivia? So Russia (as apparently agreed by both the Dems and the GOP) hacked the dems emails - everybody is spying on everyone else, including the US. The hacked emails may have had some effect on Clinton's loss - but there were a multitude of other reasons that also contributed. (I could easily list 20). Some (e.g., Noam Chomsky) claim, not without reason, that Israel interfered in our last election more than Russia. We've gone off the rails here, and it doesn't help the Dems. They're not being smart. The Dems sound like the cold warriors of the last century, crediting the CIA & FBI, and demonizing Russia (not that there isn't stuff to demonize Russia about, as was the case in the 50's, 60's etc).

    1. Didn't your mother ever teach you that two wrongs do not make a right?

      Would you like to catalogue whose presidencies these various acts took place under? It might be illuminating.

      If the Democrats sound like the cold warriors of the 50s & 60s, it is because Putin is behaving like the
      USSR of that period. He has obvious ambitions to reunite Russia and consolidate global power over Eastern Europe, and he is extending his reach to areas just as the Russians did before (e.g. threatening the US by placing missiles in Cuba, providing aid to conflicts in Africa, and look what has happened in Syria).

      There is also a lot of evidence that the Russians interfered in the Brexit election as much as they did here too. They are making fine progress in their plan to destabilize the Western alliance and destroy the major democracies. If this doesn't alarm you, you should ask yourself why not. Perhaps it was because you haven't seen what the USSR was like in the past?

    2. "The hacked emails may have had some effect on Clinton's loss - but there were a multitude of other reasons that also contributed"

      Meh. It's not the leaked emails that had this effect; it's what was in those emails. It's what they revealed: an utterly corrupt mafia-like operation, on the national scale.

      It gets exposed, and its response is not to repent and reform, but to fight to preserve itself, using goebbelsian tactics: lies, smears, fear- and hate-mongering. If this thing, in its current incarnation, manages to survive and take over, then, I believe, we're all finished.

    3. @AC/MA
      You are forgetting that Russia did more than hack the DNC, although that is bad enough. They spread disinformation. Perhaps most significantly, they hacked into statewide election systems. No one seems to know for sure if any damage was done. And I don’t see how America’s interference in other countries’ elections is any reason to shrug our shoulders if Russia does it to us. We shouldn’t do it to others, but neither should we allow others to do it to us. The GOP is complicit with Trump in trivializing or ignoring Russian interference, which was quite real, as I stated. If they succeed in messing with election systems in ways that change the outcomes, there is no possibility of a fair election.

      And it isn’t a question of “demonizing” Russia. It is the factual concern with their interference, both past and ongoing, that “Dems”, and anyone concerned with the integrity of our elections, that is the issue, not demonizing of Russia for some fanciful or trivial reason. And it is a recognition that Putin is actively trying to undermine Western alliances and using Trump to help accomplish this.

      If Israel interfered, or others, that should also be investigated. You would need more than Chomsky’s word on that, but why is it not imperative that we investigate and stop Russian interference?

      Why you think this is “bad for the Dems” is unclear. Trump deserves to be impeached for many reasons, only one of which is conspiring with foreign governments to influence our election. What he did and continues to do is bad for the country. The Dems are doing the right thing.

    4. To the 2 anons - I'm afraid you have swallowed too much narrative. Do you think that Russia has that much power to manipulate elections by opening up some fake facebook accounts? whatever fake news they might have transmitted, it was a drop in the ocean compared to all the crap that was and is out there. It's absurd to think this was a significant contributor to the outcome of the election. There were far more significant reasons that she lost.

    5. Mao - the hacked emails revealed "an utterly corrupt mafia-like operation"???? And you're complaining about the dems being goebbelsian???
      Nobody read those emails, and I bet less than 1 in a thousand could explain what was so bad in them. If you are going to make such a toxic accusation, please surprise me and provide proof.

    6. Yes, it revealed an utterly corrupt mafia-like operation.

      Citizens sued them (the DNC). The DNC argued in court that indeed they are a mafia-like operation, but that's perfectly legal. That was their defense, and they won.

      The top layer of your zombie cult is full of well-connected lawyers, y'know. So, anything goes.

      "Later in the hearing, attorneys representing the DNC claim that the Democratic National Committee would be well within their rights to “go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way.” By pushing the argument throughout the proceedings of this class action lawsuit, the Democratic National Committee is telling voters in a court of law that they see no enforceable obligation in having to run a fair and impartial primary election.

      The DNC attorneys even go so far as to argue that the words “impartial” and “evenhanded”—used in the DNC Charter—can’t be interpreted by a court of law. Beck retorted, “I’m shocked to hear that we can’t define what it means to be evenhanded and impartial. If that were the case, we couldn’t have courts. I mean, that’s what courts do every day, is decide disputes in an evenhanded and impartial manner.”"

    7. Russia?
      As if white people needed Russia to get them to vote for a bigot.

      Are you new here?

    8. Jesus Mao, the best you can do is an opinion column from the Jared Kushner owned New York Observer?

    9. Here, dembot:"go+into+back+rooms+like+they+used+to+and+smoke+cigars+and+pick+the+candidate+that+way"

      1000+ google hits, find the one you prefer.

  12. TDH is simply asking that cable news handle information responsibly. If they were capable of that, Susan Rice could have been defended from the ridiculous Benghazi attacks. And Warren could have been defended from the ridiculous treatment of her plan to pay for Medicare For All. That would have been nice.

    1. Um, did Somerby defend Warren? Did you read this Somerby post?:

      His first question is:
      “Should Candidate Warren (and even Candidate Sanders) be more forthcoming regarding the way they would fund a Medicare-for-all plan?”

      And then he proceeds to quote from a disingenuous Brownstein piece, without critically analyzing it, and says “Oof! Such reporting suggests the possibility that our tribe's "resistance thinking" has inspired a type of political naivete and irrationality which may be hard to deal with when the numbers start hitting the fan in a general election.”

      And that’s aside from the fact that Somerby has pronounced that all the Democratic candidates are terrible. Yeah, that sounds just like he’s asking the news media to do better.

      Somerby is part of the problem now.

  13. It's not just Somerby. It's all Right-wingers.

  14. 'Can you really see a good way out of this ongoing, low-IQ mess?'

    The best way out is to realize that TDH is not a liberal, but a Trumptard.

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