The Russian Angle

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, had plan to ‘greatly benefit the Putin Government’ – Telegraph/AP

President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics. The allegations,

Posted in Noted & Quoted, The Russian Angle

Manafort’s Ukrainian ‘blood money’ caused qualms, hack suggests – POLITICO

The texts, posted on a darknet website run by a hacktivist collective, appear to show Manafort’s family fretting about the ethics, safety and consequences of his work for Yanukovych. And they reveal that Manafort’s two daughters regarded their father’s emergence

Posted in Noted & Quoted, The Russian Angle

Benjamin Wittes: How to Read What Comey Said Today – Lawfare

If there’s anything mitigating the bad news for the White House here, it is that Comey may have also sent subtle signals that the matters under investigation are not principally about the personal conduct of Trump himself. While this is

Posted in Noted & Quoted, The Russian Angle Tagged with:

Robert Kagan: Republicans are becoming Russia’s accomplices – The Washington Post

The party’s current leader, the president, questions the intelligence community’s findings, motives and integrity. Republican leaders in Congress have opposed the creation of any special investigating committee, either inside or outside Congress. They have insisted that inquiries be conducted by

Posted in Noted & Quoted, The Russian Angle

John Cassidy: Donald Trump Versus the World – The New Yorker

“By oath, intelligence officials’ first duty is to ‘defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,’ “ Evan McMullin, the former C.I.A. operative and Republican congressional aide, who ran for President last year as an

Posted in Noted & Quoted, The Russian Angle

National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say – The Washington Post

The emerging details contradict public statements by incoming senior administration officials including Mike Pence, then the vice president-elect. They acknowledged only a handful of text messages and calls exchanged between Flynn and Kislyak late last year and denied that either

Posted in Noted & Quoted, The Russian Angle

@Khanoisseur: “Exhaustive, ever-growing Trump-Russia dossier created by @funder turned into easy-to-read format by @Martin_Niemolle” – Twitter

Russia? What Russia? Never Heard of It. From: “Exhaustive, ever-growing Trump-Russia dossier created by @funder turned into easy-to-read format by @Martin_Niemolle https://t.co/Hwn4xzDAYW”

Posted in Noted & Quoted, The Russian Angle

David Sanger: U.S. Reacting at Analog Pace to a Rising Digital Risk, Hacking Report Shows – The New York Times

It was telling that within an hour of the release of the report on Friday, the secretary of homeland security, Jeh Johnson, declared for the first time that America’s election system — the underpinning of its democracy — would be

Posted in Noted & Quoted, The Russian Angle, War

Nick Cohen: Russian treachery is extreme and it is everywhere – The Guardian

In the past, Britain would have looked to the US for support and leadership. Now, and with the worst timing imaginable, at the very moment when Brexit is tearing up our relationship with Europe, Britain has to wonder if America

Posted in Noted & Quoted, The Russian Angle

@SenJackReed (Senator Jack Reed): “Here is the declassified intelligence report on Russian hacking that is now publicly available” – Twitter

“Here is the declassified intelligence report on Russian hacking that is now publicly available: https://t.co/lbLbWb6Ms4” From: Senator Jack Reed on Twitter: “Here is the declassified intelligence report on Russian hacking that is now publicly available: https://t.co/lbLbWb6Ms4”

Posted in Noted & Quoted, The Russian Angle

Noted & Quoted

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The rise of the military, if coupled with the undermining of civilian aspects of national power, demonstrates a spiritual exhaustion and a descent into Caesarism. Named after Julius Caesar — who replaced the Roman Republic with a dictatorship — Caesarism is roughly characterized by a charismatic strongman, popular with the masses, whose rule culminates in an exaggerated role for the military. America is moving in this direction. It isn’t that some civilian agencies don’t deserve paring down or even elimination, nor is it that the military and other security forces don’t deserve a boost to their financial resources. Rather, it is in the very logic, ideology, and lack of proportionality of Trump’s budget that American decline, decadence, and Caesarism are so apparent.

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Foreigners often get Mrs Merkel all wrong. She is not the queen of Europe, nor has she any desire to be it. She is a domestic leader and politician whose mounting international stature is always a function of her ability to serve the interests and predilections of German voters. It is predominantly because Germans, for deep historical and cultural reasons, feel so “European” that that she talks and acts in a “European” way. Perhaps all the more for this, Mrs Merkel’s comments today illustrate how much Trumpandbrexit has hurt America and Britain in the past months. They have made it not just possible but also electorally beneficial for a friendly leader of a crucial partner to bash them in public. And more than that: to do it with sincerity.

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My hope is that you will continue to live our values and the mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.

DONNIE TRUMPO HAS INVOKED A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS AND HE’S WIPING HIS ASS WITH OUR MOST SACRED DOCUMENT THIS IS THE FOURTH TIME I HAVE EXPLICITLY TOLD YOU THAT YOU HAD BETTER STEP UP

If you do that, you too will be sad when you leave, and the American people will be safer.

SORRY YOU’RE GOING TO BE FIRED AS WELL BY THIS CANCER ON THE AMERICAN STATE IT’S GOING TO BE WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER BUT THE COUNTRY’S FREEDOM IS ACTUALLY AT STAKE HERE DESTROY HIM LIKE A GREAT AVENGING EAGLE

Working with you has been one of the great joys of my life. Thank you for that gift.

IF I EVER MEANT ANYTHING TO YOU MY G-MEN AND G-WOMEN YOU WILL BURN THIS MOTHER DOWN

Jim Comey

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State of the Discussion

+ From early on, Trump gave his adversaries abundant excuses to declare him illegitimate, or illegitimate as far as their principles were concerned. To skip ahead [. . .]
Theodicy of Trump – a Tweet-Drizzle (OAG #11)
Wade McKenzie
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ Only the retrospective knowledge that Trump, against every establishment anticipation, won the election lends the idea that Hillary Clinton ought to have refused to participate [. . .]
Theodicy of Trump – a Tweet-Drizzle (OAG #11)
+ I'd go much further than perhaps you might expect in supporting your criticism of the Democrats here, or crucial aspects of it. There's no reason [. . .]
Jennifer Rubin: Pro-Trump Republicans will get nothing, not even retention of a House majority – The Washington Post

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Tweets toward an Inquiry into Inquiry, in relation to Ideologies

There are progressive and liberal ideologies or ideological constructs, but the desirability of progress and its attainment via rational and open ("liberal") inquiry remain pre-conditions of any authentic (authentically "discursive") discussion.[...]

All the News that's Fit to Kill (OAG #8)

The Post appears to be promising to narrate the death of democracy - or, if unconsciously, to be revealing an intention to embody it.[...]

On Emulating the TP vs Trump's GOP

"Remember when everyone lectured Tea Party they should speak sweetly to woo liberals & so they toned down & then they won 2010? / Me neither."[...]

King of the World

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Commenter Ignore Button Plug-In Now Available from the WordPress Repo

Commenter Ignore Button (CIB) lets a user to put one or more commenters "on ignore." To have such an option enabled is a frequent request at blogs and other sites where comment threads are plagued by trolls or other problematic commenters, but where site operators prefer to err on the side of open discussion - or don't want to get involved unless they really have to. Once users become generally aware of the option, people just seeking attention may either be more polite or move somewhere else, while regular commenters - and lurkers - may become more willing to engage.[...]

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Adding wp.media Multiple Image Selection to WordPress Plug-Ins

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Friend Dog Studios: 2016: The Movie (Trailer) - YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z04M6NhkIKk[...]

Postscript to future historians from Xmas 2016 (OAG #8)

We would be compelled to conclude that something must have been (and very likely remains) profoundly wrong with a political culture or political media - of which Matthew Yglesias and Vox are, of course, typical parts - that could be dominated by an issue to be judged intrinsically trivial, and dominated to the point of determining eventual collective decisions of undoubted significance.[...]

Commenter Ignore Button 0.99

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Si Vis Bellum, Part 3: Always Again

If members of the present younger generation in particular seem unable to articulate or comprehend the basis of a still operative policy consensus, they can hardly be faulted if their elders, even those running for the highest office in the land, can no longer do so either. We seem to be preparing and in effect demanding - perhaps cannot help but to require - a repetition, or at least a reinforcement, of the very old lesson.[...]

Aleppo, D.C. (OAG #7)

The Fall of Aleppo and the virtual Fall of Washington are linked not just by the lead sponsors or perpetrators of such unimaginable or until recently unimaginable crimes, but by a long and apparently far from finished history of bipartisan and cooperative failures and omissions that, removed from context, provide illimitable opportunity for internecine partisan assault, and therefore for intensification of the underlying conditions of political paralysis and strategic hypochondria that made them possible, and that made events like them, and new ones, virtually certain.[...]

Si Vis Bellum, Part 2: Catastrophes

America aims to be as much and as little interventionist and militarist as required in order to avoid ever becoming as catastrophically interventionist and militarist as she, in competition or cooperation with potentially many others, could be.[...]

Operation American Greatness: Russiagate Links 12 Dec 2016

You got a better name for it?[...]

Thesis on the Great Trumpian Victory (OAG #6)

... that the great victory of the Trumpists would be in the destruction of faith in the American system, now approaching the consensus position.[...]

Patti Smith Sings "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" at Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize Ceremony

I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin’/ I saw a white ladder all covered with water/ I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken/ I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children...[...]

Si Vis Bellum, Part 1: "Militarism" and "Interventionism"

The un-clarity or confusion, or confusion of confusions, regarding the meaning of these two terms is typical of this historical moment, which in one sense can be thought to have simply befallen us, having never been willed into existence by anyone, but in another sense can be viewed as the predictable and desired product of choices made over the course of at least two or now three presidential elections, in as self-conscious a manner as a mass democratic system is able to undertake.[...]

Comments on "Islam is the rock on which the liberal order broke?"

History may instead record that what broke this latest "liberal order" (a typical contradiction in terms), as before and likely again, as inevitably, was the latest liberal order itself. Yet historians may alternatively - or also - someday record that it was liberalism that finally broke Islam or the Islamic Order, and, perhaps, in so doing repaired one or both - though it may always be too early to say so.[...]