Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,

(NEWS) Important political stories - December 12-13, 2016

I need a title for these. When it was a fundamentalist watch, I called it the Cultural Warfare Update. That doesn't fit here.

----- 1 -----
Guess who said this was their goal: "the strategic control of the USA...and the refusal to allow liberal values to dominate us."
leahmcelrath on Twitter
11 December 2016

[I'm including the links and full text of this entire thread.]

@leahmcelrath 7h7 hours ago
Alexandr Dugin is Putin's geopolitical ideological mentor. He outlined a vision for a new Russian Empire. Above is part of his strategy.

@leahmcelrath 7h7 hours ago
Alexandr Dugin has a Facebook page. Days after the U.S. election, he posted "So. Washington is ours."

@leahmcelrath 7h7 hours ago
I encourage you to read Dugin's FB page for yourself, while remembering he is literally Putin's idealogical mentor:

‏@leahmcelrath 7h7 hours ago
During the U.S. presidential campaign, Dugin "endorsed" Donald Trump.

@leahmcelrath 6h6 hours ago
Dugin's Facebook page is awash with praise for Trump and celebrations of Trump's win.

‏@leahmcelrath 6h6 hours ago
Dugin's (read: Putin's) ideology is a bizarre blend of white supremacy and a geographical emphasis on "Eurasia".

@leahmcelrath 6h6 hours ago
The explicit, literal goal of Dugin's/Putin's ideology is destruction of Western liberalism and destabilization of Western democracies.

@leahmcelrath 6h6 hours ago
Guess who else besides Putin likes Dugin (and writes for his website)? "Alt Right" founder and darling of Breitbart: Richard Spencer.

@leahmcelrath 6h6 hours ago
This is Richard Spencer retweeting Alexandr Dugin's tweet featuring an article by Spencer on Dugin's website:

@leahmcelrath 5h5 hours ago
Richard Spencer's wife is a Russian scholar who has translated Dugin's work to English.

@leahmcelrath 3h3 hours ago
Spencer's "Alt Right" neo-Nazi rebrand gained a natl platform on Breitbart thanks to Trump advisor Steve Bannon:

@leahmcelrath 3h3 hours ago
This is a thorough compilation on @dailykos of resources regarding Putin, Dugin, Spencer, Bannon, and Trump:

@leahmcelrath 3h3 hours ago
Key to understanding Durbin/Putin and Bannon/Trump: Their shared ideological goal is restoring white male supremacy a/k/a "TRADITIONALISM".

@leahmcelrath 2h2 hours ago
Please note: I'm NOT using "white male supremacy" in some sort of race or gender studies buzzword way here. This is their LITERAL goal.

@leahmcelrath 2h2 hours ago
Under traditionalist ideology, outgrowths of liberalism like sexual/racial equality, reproductive freedom, & same-sex marriage are anathema.

@leahmcelrath 2h2 hours ago
This is why conservatives Republicans like @davidfrum and @BillKristol speak out against Trump and his ilk. There's an ideological split.

@leahmcelrath 2h2 hours ago
United in their aversion to multiculturalism and liberalism, these so-called traditionalists reach out to one another across national lines.

@leahmcelrath 2h2 hours ago
However, while traditionalists might reach out across national boundaries, the reality appears to be Russia has played THE dominant role.

@leahmcelrath 2h2 hours ago
Much of what we perceive to be American fringe right wing content appears to originate from Russia's Dugin.

@leahmcelrath 2h2 hours ago
Anti-Muslim fear mongering? Dugin. Anti-liberalism? Dugin. Anti-Soros? Dugin. Satanic pedophile rings? Dugin. Swamp metaphors? Dugin.

@leahmcelrath 2h2 hours ago
It's as though Dugin threaded his arm right through Steve Bannon's orifices and into Trump's bottom to make the Donald a literal puppet.

@leahmcelrath 2h2 hours ago
Trump + Breitbart + viral false news written in Balkans & shared on FB + Twitter "alt right" & "alt left" social botnets = destabilization

@leahmcelrath 2h2 hours ago
Dugin's ideology was spread throughout the U.S. campaign season via a massive Russia propaganda and cyber warfare campaign.

@leahmcelrath 2h2 hours ago
I'm not saying the United States doesn't have its own native fractures. Racism and misogyny are thickly woven in our cultural fabric.

@leahmcelrath 2h2 hours ago
In war, you seek to exploit the weaknesses of your enemy. Putin poured *massive* resources into existing U.S. fissures to crack them open.

@leahmcelrath 1h1 hour ago
That's how I got started down this line of inquiry: I noticed on the DAY AFTER THE ELECTION that the MAGA botnets were gone. Gone. Poof.

@leahmcelrath 1h1 hour ago
I didn't think to make copies of my block lists beforehand because I didn't understand botnets. I thought even "trolls" were real people.

@leahmcelrath 1h1 hour ago
Like all vocal Clinton supporters, I was targeted hard over the last year. I blocked hundreds, perhaps thousands, of MAGA accounts.

@leahmcelrath 1h1 hour ago
When I noticed the MAGA silence the day after the election, I checked my block list. Only a few dozen of those accounts remained.

@leahmcelrath 1h1 hour ago
When I realized those accounts had been a weapon of either the Trump campaign itself or a supporting entity (i.e. Russia), I began digging.

@leahmcelrath 1h1 hour ago
A lot of the MAGA/grandma/veteran/Christian/IStandWithIsrael accounts? Botnets. A lot of the Bernie Bro/NeverHillary accounts? Botnets.

@leahmcelrath 1h1 hour ago
Many Americans on social media during this election thought we were fighting with each other when we were really being targeted by psy-ops.

@leahmcelrath 1h1 hour ago
To bring this back to Dugin: 1. Internally destabilizing the U.S. weakens us. 2. A weak U.S. is easier to overpower strategically.

@leahmcelrath 1h1 hour ago
Putting a Putin puppet in office as POTUS? That's the coup de grace. We must do everything legally in our power to stop it. #RESIST

----- 2 -----
The CIA’s Absence of Conviction
Craig Murray
11 Dec 2016

[Craig Murray is a former ambassador from Great Britain to the United States. He does not believe the CIA's findings on Russian involvement in the election. What I know of him is limited, but he has some degree of historical credibility, and I am _not_ aware of him flying off into conspiracy wingnuttery in a general sense, unlike many in the proposed Trump cabinet.]

I have watched incredulous as the CIA’s blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story – blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of emails showing Clinton’s corruption. Yes this rubbish has been the lead today in the Washington Post in the US and the Guardian here, and was the lead item on the BBC main news. I suspect it is leading the American broadcasts also.

A little simple logic demolishes the CIA’s claims. The CIA claim they “know the individuals” involved. Yet under Obama the USA has been absolutely ruthless in its persecution of whistleblowers, and its pursuit of foreign hackers through extradition. We are supposed to believe that in the most vital instance imaginable, an attempt by a foreign power to destabilise a US election, even though the CIA knows who the individuals are, nobody is going to be arrested or extradited, or (if in Russia) made subject to yet more banking and other restrictions against Russian individuals? Plainly it stinks. The anonymous source claims of “We know who it was, it was the Russians” are beneath contempt.

[Note: as per last mail, there is now a non-anonymous source, but he wouldn't've known about that when he wrote this column.]

[Note: This blog post is being converted into "conclusive evidence" that it was "a Washington insider" who leaked the DNC material to Wikileaks. This is being repeated unquestioned in Trumpist and Trump-friendly circles. See:

Note that The Duran is a Russian media site run by Vladimir Rodzianko:

...who also runs an important show on Russia Today (RT). It is also being used as evidence that "insiders" led by Hillary Clinton are planning a coup d'etat against Donald Trump.]

----- 3 -----
Bipartisan Senate Group Calls for Probe of Russian Hacking in US
ABC News
Dec 11, 2016, 9:34 AM ET

[Meanwhile, this is also going on]

A group of Democratic and Republican senators are calling for bipartisan support for an investigation into cyberattacks against the United States by foreign governments following reports of alleged Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Saying that cyberattacks by foreign governments pose "grave threats" to U.S. national security, the senators' statement said: "This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country."

Two Democratic senators -- Chuck Schumer of New York and Jack Reed of Rhode Island joined two Republican senators -- John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina -- in issuing the statement.

----- 4 -----
It's amazing how much these Totally Not Nazis love invoking Nazis.
Twitter, Breitbart
(Collected by Solarbird)

Breitbart invokes Nazi playwright and poet laureate Hanns Jonst ("When I hear culture... I reach for my Browning") against the concept of peer-review in science ("When you hear a scientist talk about 'peer review,' you should reach for your Browning'):

And climate scientists start getting pictures of Browning pistols in their twitter feeds:

Hanns Jonst:

The Breitbart article, which solves your "peer-reviewed science is a good thing" "fallacy" by referring people to CFACT, a Washington, D.C. based political action group lobbying against environmental protection. They also argue other points, such as asserting that there was no nuclear disaster at Fukushima. This is the article link:

Relevant excerpt:

Everyone on the Alarmist side of the argument is forever invoking “consensus” and “peer-review” because the Appeal to Authority is all they’ve got. Their science is tainted beyond redemption and the only hope they’ve got of persuading the world that it’s not is to hide the facts behind barriers of supposed expertise: “You little people cannot possibly be expected to understand these complex matters. Instead you must take on trust the expertise of the climate scientists who have written all these learned papers. And the reason you can take on trust the expertise of their learned papers is that they have been carefully assessed by other climate experts in the process we call ‘peer-review'”.


Bear this in mind next time you find yourself in an argument about climate change with an Alarmist. Almost certainly, they will attempt to pour scorn on your relative lack of scientific expertise. To which you can safely and confidently reply that the authorities they are invoking as their arbiter of higher truth are very likely a bunch of charlatans and chancers.

Also be sure to point out – as I do in my book Watermelons – that neither Watson and Crick nor Einstein were peer-reviewed.

Then finally, if they still won’t shut up, sock them with this: The Climate Truth File from CFACT, in which you’ll find every cod-scientific fallacy about climate change debunked.

----- 5 -----
Department Of Energy Defies Trump, Won't Name Climate Change Workers
NPR News | December 13, 2016

The Department of Energy is refusing the Trump transition team's request to name those who have worked on climate change within the department, because of concerns about what the incoming administration will do with the names. President-elect Donald Trump has denied climate change is real.

NPR's Jennifer Ludden tells our Newscast unit the request of such names was included in a 74-question document distributed to the agency's workforce. Jennifer says, "The Trump team wants the names of career employees and contractors who have attended U.N. climate talks over the past five years. It also wants emails about those meetings."

----- 6 -----
Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump
Washington Post
By Brady Dennis December 13 at 11:07 AM

[The Harper administration in Canada went on a wholesale ransacking of scientific and engineering libraries. This fear is _not_ unfounded.]

Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference.

The efforts include a “guerrilla archiving” event in Toronto, where experts will copy irreplaceable public data, meetings at the University of Pennsylvania focused on how to download as much federal data as possible in the coming weeks, and a collaboration of scientists and database experts who are compiling an online site to harbor scientific information.

“Something that seemed a little paranoid to me before all of a sudden seems potentially realistic, or at least something you’d want to hedge against,” said Nick Santos, an environmental researcher at the University of California at Davis, who over the weekend began copying government climate data onto a nongovernment server, where it will remain available to the public. “Doing this can only be a good thing. Hopefully they leave everything in place. But if not, we’re planning for that.”

----- 7 -----
Trump Says He Won't Sell His Businesses To Address Conflicts Of Interest
NPR News
December 11, 2016 2:39 PM ET

President-elect Donald Trump suggested Sunday that he will not sell off his business operations to avoid conflicts of interest during his presidency. He said he will instead allow his grown children to manage them.

"My executives will run it with my children. It's a big company. It's a great company. But I'm going to have nothing to do with management," Trump told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.

Trump said recently that he will take steps to separate himself from his business operations and will announce details at a major press conference this coming Thursday. That announcement led to speculation about whether Trump planned to divest himself from his businesses by selling off his vast network of hotels, golf courses and licensing agreements.

But the comments Sunday suggest nothing has really changed since Trump first began addressing the issue during the campaign, and that Trump has no intention of selling.

----- 8 -----
The Kremlin Gloats Over Trump’s CIA Tantrum
Nobody in Moscow is admitting Putin or his minions ordered attacks on the U.S. elections, but the Kremlin is pleased as punch with the result.
Anna Nemtsova
12.12.16 9:01 PM ET

[I'm including this Daily Beast article mostly because it's one of the few I've seen that actually talks to Russians about all this. It has no conclusions, but at least they're talking to actual Russians.]

MOSCOW — The news that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump called CIA claims about Russia’s involvement in the election process “ridiculous” was cause for celebration in Russia.


So Russian hackers, as such, are not big news here, and in this case their actions are defended in language similar to that used when describing the “little green men” who seized parts of Ukraine.

“We cannot exclude the fact that some patriots in the government, or in the intelligence and in non-governmental circles, could help Wikileaks pin down the U.S. criminals [in the Obama administration], so Hillary [Clinton] gets defeated,” Sergey Markov, a member of the Public Chamber, said in a phone interview with The Daily Beast on Monday. Markov said that he wrote “recommendation notes” on this issue to President Putin, which he passed to the country’s leader via Kremlin channels.


“To investigate we have to first hear the CIA report with hard evidence,” Irina Borogan, a journalist from told The Daily Beast. Borogan and her partner Andrei Soldatov investigated Russian cyber crime staged by the Kremlin for more than six years. “I suppose that the attack on the Democratic Party was ordered by the Kremlin,” she told The Daily Beast, but nobody in the press here has the wherewithal to prove it.

Former Duma Deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov said it’s not surprising the groups of hackers who’ve been dubbed Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear are alleged to work in close connection with the Russian ministry of defense.

“Even 10 years ago the Kremlin had the so-called ‘Hundred Cyber Officrs’ trained for cyber war,” Ryzhkov told The Daily Beast. “I would not be surprised if they moved more than 100 officers to targeting the U.S.”

But, again, at the level of the public and the press, there is no proof. So Russia’s independent outlets cannot wait to hear the names of Russian officials or their cronies (or a guy “sitting in a bed” somewhere in Novosibirsk, if you will) who are helping Trump.

----- 9 -----
Russia’s American coup
The U.S. is finally waking up to the fact that it has been turned into a subordinate ally to Russia, thanks to Putin and Trump
Scott Gilmore, for MacLean's
December 12, 2016

[For those unaware of it, MacLean's is a respected Canadian news magazine.]

Some of the most important moments in history happen fast, like a flash of lightning. A tank crosses a border or a prince is assassinated and everyone knows the world has changed, even before the sound of thunder rolls over them.

Other epochal shifts are more subtle and incremental. In 18th-century England, very few people would have known what a Spinning Jenny was, and fewer still would recognize what the automation of weaving meant for the world.

For the last two years we have been living through one of those less obvious historic transformations. It didn’t happen all at once, it’s still not over, and even now we can’t say how deep or far it will go. But it happened, moment by moment, until we woke up in a cold day in December and realized that Moscow had effectively installed the next president of the United States.

That sounds hyperbolic, doesn’t it? Even writing it I have to pause and stare at that sentence. But these are the facts: The CIA and over a dozen other U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Russia hacked into both the Republican and Democratic party computers. Senior Russian officials have admitted that they leaked the Democratic data to WikiLeaks. Those emails were then strategically published over the course of the presidential campaign. Why? A member of the House Intelligence Committee states there is “overwhelming evidence” Russia’s goal was to elect Donald Trump.

----- 10 -----
GOP leaders shield Trump from expanded Russia probe
Despite calls for expanded investigations, Republicans are content with their existing oversight of alleged Russian misdeeds.
By Austin Wright
12/12/16 06:30 PM EST

[This is what you get when you set a recent precedent of shielding previous administrations from, say, punishment for systemic use of torture.]

Congressional Republicans spent years investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails and launched a special committee to get to the bottom of the Benghazi attacks.

But when it comes to alleged Russian interference in the presidential election, the GOP appears to be taking a more restrained approach.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) are rejecting growing calls for a wide-ranging special congressional panel to investigate the issue, instead pointing to the narrower oversight work already being performed by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

This approach offers no guarantee that final investigative reports will ever be released to the public — and potentially shields President-elect Donald Trump from a deeper congressional investigation looking into Russia’s motives.

----- 11 -----
Transition Adviser Peter Thiel Could Directly Profit From Mass Deportations
Spencer Woodman, for The Intercept

Palantir Technologies, the data mining company co-founded by billionaire and Trump transition advisor Peter Thiel, will likely assist the Trump Administration in its efforts to track and collect intelligence on immigrants, according to a review of public records by The Intercept. Since 2011, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has paid Palantir tens of millions of dollars to help construct and operate a complex intelligence system called FALCON, which allows ICE to store, search, and analyze troves of data that include family relationships, employment information, immigration history, criminal records, and home and work addresses.

In a separate multi-million-dollar contract signed in 2014, Thiel’s $20 billion company is building a complex case management system for ICE’s HSI, which processes tens of thousands of civil and criminal cases each year.

Working closely with a President-elect who has pledged to dramatically expand ICE, Thiel’s varied connections to the immigration agency place him in a position to potentially benefit financially from a deportation campaign that carries highly personal stakes for millions of Americans.

----- 12 -----
Intelligence figures fear Trump reprisals over assessment of Russia election role
Spencer Ackerman
The Guardian

Legislators overseeing the CIA and other intelligence agencies have told the Guardian they will be vigilant about reprisals from Donald Trump over an internal assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to ensure Trump’s victory.

Fears of retaliation rose within US intelligence agencies over a tense weekend that saw Trump publicly dismiss not only the assessment but the basic competence of the intelligence apparatus.

“When the president-elect’s transition team is attempting to discredit the entire intelligence community [IC], it has never been more important for the IC and Congress to guard against possible political pressure or retaliation against intelligence analysts,” Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, told the Guardian.

Like his Democratic colleagues on the panel, Wyden is pressing Barack Obama for additional public disclosures revealing Russian electoral interference. Such pressure has placed the CIA and other intelligence agencies between the incoming president to whom they will soon answer and a chorus of legislators, mostly but not exclusively Democrats, who consider the Russia hack a national emergency.

----- 13 -----
Electors want briefing on Russian interference
The Hill
By Jennifer Calfas - 12/12/16 10:33 AM EST

Ten Electoral College electors have asked U.S. intelligence officials for more information on ongoing investigations surrounding President-elect Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia.

The group of electors, which includes the daughter of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), wrote an open letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asking for the information ahead of their Dec. 19 meeting to formally vote for the next president.

“The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations,” the letter read. “We further require a briefing on all investigative findings, as these matters directly impact the core factors in our deliberations of whether Mr. Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States.”

Nine Democrats and one Republican signed the letter. The Republican, Christopher Suprun, has said that he won't vote for Trump when the Electoral College meets.

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

Tags: news, political
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