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12 December 2016

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Valissa

Thanks for the link! Additionally, suggest folks read the great comment by "Realist" @ December 13, 2016 at 2:22 am.

Edward Amame

Col Lang

You're a supply sider? Supply-side economics has virtually no support from professional economists. Even David Stockman has denounced supply side. The rich are tucking away those tax breaks and CEO bonuses in off-shore accounts, not spending them and now $ trillions are concentrated at the top. What'll stimulate the economy in 2017 is demand, not supply. Who's gonna hire people to make stuff that people aren't buying because they can't afford it?

Look at what the GOP is proposing now. Voucherizing Medicare, cutting Soc Sec by a third, gutting banking regulations. And now I'm reading about Trump voters are baffled/concerned that he and the the GOP will actually do what they said they would and take their health insurance away. Really? Seriously? I'm married to someone with a pre-condition who has private health insurance and I'm terrified that the entire private market goes away when the ACA does, so I was sure a s*it not gonna vote for the clown who was gonna screw up our health care system even more.

If his cabinet appointments are any indication, Trump intends to hand over the exec branch to movement conservatives and the same elites that your committee rails against.

My prediction: a s*itshow is on the way.

turcopolier

EA

I am not interested in labels and I don't care what economics professors think. what I have told you is a simple matter of economic reality. The more money you have in income the more likely you are too spend it on capital goods or invest it because you don't need it for current expenditures. If you do not think that is true you really do not like capitalism and want a socialist state, "from each according to his means," etc. pl

Valissa

The ODNI and FBI have a slightly different view than the CIA.

Exclusive: Top U.S. spy agency has not embraced CIA assessment on Russia hacking – sources http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-intelligence-idUSKBN14204E
While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA's analysis of Russian hacking operations, it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, said the officials, who declined to be named.

The position of the ODNI, which oversees the 17 agency-strong U.S. intelligence community, could give Trump fresh ammunition to dispute the CIA assessment, which he rejected as "ridiculous" in weekend remarks, and press his assertion that no evidence implicates Russia in the cyber attacks. …

An ODNI spokesman declined to comment on the issue. "ODNI is not arguing that the agency (CIA) is wrong, only that they can't prove intent," said one of the three U.S. officials. "Of course they can't, absent agents in on the decision-making in Moscow."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose evidentiary standards require it to make cases that can stand up in court, declined to accept the CIA's analysis - a deductive assessment of the available intelligence - for the same reason, the three officials said.

The ODNI, headed by James Clapper, was established after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the recommendation of the commission that investigated the attacks. The commission, which identified major intelligence failures, recommended the office's creation to improve coordination among U.S. intelligence agencies. …

In an angry letter sent to ODNI chief Clapper on Monday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said he was “dismayed” that the top U.S. intelligence official had not informed the panel of the CIA’s analysis and the difference between its judgment and the FBI’s assessment.

Noting that Clapper in November testified that intelligence agencies lacked strong evidence linking Russian cyber attacks to the WikiLeaks disclosures, Nunes asked that Clapper, together with CIA and FBI counterparts, brief the panel by Friday on the latest intelligence assessment of Russian hacking during the election campaign.
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Edward Amame

Col Lang

Then look at the evidence for some economic reality. From Reagan/supply side until 2007, the CBO reported the gap in income more than tripled between the top 1% and everyone else. From 2009 to 2011, the net worth of households in the upper 7% rose by about a third, while the net worth of the rest of us dropped by 4%.

I like capitalism, but it needs to be regulated. The 2008 financial crisis was the result of systemic fraud in which elite capitalists stole $trillions and NOBODY got jailed for it.

And you do know what Ryan and company intend for Medicare, Soc Sec and banking regs, right?

Kooshy

HawkOfMay And Nancy
I also think Russians tried to influence our elections, so did the Israelites, Arabs, Europeans and anybody else in the world that US elections can effect thier lives including me and you but I don't believe Putin and Russians were instrumental in electing Mr Trump to office I actually my think I was more instrumental doing that since I at least had one vote they didn't. IMO saying we accept the resaukt of the election and Trump will become president unless so and so happens is a double talk,is just a sneaky keeping the door open to when opportunity knocks.
Nancy, I am not a republican, or a right supporter and I am not a Clinton Borgist supporter, I voted for Mr Trump and I stand by my choice, since the system wants and directs me to use "my judgment" choosing the lesser of the two evils they let pass the nomination process. You can't blame me or the majority who voted for Trump since we are not blaming you for letting Clintons cheat Bernie in the primaries.

hemeantwell

"5) Constant valorization of Russian tradition, culture, history, hagiographical portrayal of Putin and highlighting American/western decline with contempt and ridicule. "

To me, spouting off like that would be such an obvious mistake that it would make sophisticated coordination doubtful. If some people want to find their way to admiring a regime dependent on the Russian Orthodox church as an ideological prop, fine, but don't bet the farm on it.

The better move is simply to ask Americans to appreciate Russia's situation in both historical and current terms. You could call it humanizing propaganda with a significant factual base. Oliver Stone's "Hidden History" did that quite well, and he was largely drawing on William Appleman Williams.

turcopolier

EA

Don't talk down to me you little pr--k. Rich people got richer? So what? That didn't make other people poorer. What did that is exporting industry to China, Vietnam, etc. Your plutocrat leftist pals the Clintons were instrumental in that. pl

Fred

Edward,

Perhaps now you will begin to understand why Trump won and Hilary lost.

shepherd

Great post. Having worked on similar things for 20 years, mostly in the private sector, not surprised. My take is that the Russians overplayed their hand or lost control of the thing. You want to fly under the radar with this kind of work, and now there will be bipartisan Congressional hearings. That’s not an ideal outcome, regardless of who’s in the White House.

doug

It's not going to happen absent something akin to Gov. Edward's comment about a "dead girl or live boy." I'm guessing 3 faithless electors at most.

kao_hsien_chih

I've always thought that there is a bit of distinction between "truth" and "facts," but, lately, these two concepts have often been conflated.

I don't think "facts" are disputable, but, at the same time, "facts" available are almost always incomplete. So different people can have different facts, but only because they see different things. Facts, for everyone, are always the same when they see exactly the same thing. At the same time, facts are never complete.

"Truth," on the other hand, is what you infer from the facts. It is, ultimately, facts plus opinions, experiences, beliefs, backgrounds, intuitions, cultures, and so on. So some people's truths are different from others, even if they are derived from the same set of facts.

When people believe in the same "truths," in this sense, it signifies not only that they have the same "facts," but that they interpret them the same way, or, in other words, they share the same backgrounds, beliefs, culture, etc. I.e. they belong to the same "cultural tribe," with all the associated implications, negative and positive. At the same time, of course, an officially sanctioned "truth," enforced by a "ministry of truth," is a common, officially "required" worldview that is forced upon the populace by the state authority, which strikes me as very bothersome. (although, somewhat ironically, I do think some version of a common cultural understanding is desirable, in order to build up and sustain "nationhood," "community," or whatever the case might be.) The problem, of course, is that not all "truths" are equal: some truths are (probably) more true than others--but not necessarily because the holders of these truths insist that they are, I don't think.

hemeantwell

"i'm thinking the Deep State has lost their minds"
Raimondo over at Antiwar.com thinks that we're looking at divisions in the Deep State. Pulling from Marcy Wheeler, he's raising the idea of a Saudi-CIA connection.
http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/12/11/stop-cia-coup/
I can't evaluate and would appreciate comments. But, like someone up-thread suggested, there may be divisions in the Deep State that are making it look incoherent.

crf

The suggestion I made may initially bolster the "Media Elite". However the Washington Post and New York Times (for example) mainly give voice to the cares of elites because the poor and lower middle classes largely do not subscribe to them or read them. If poorer Americans could get a subscription or two to papers of their choice (any paper at all) for "free" (thanks to my proposed federal tax credits), voices in the print media would begin to reflect the voices of the readers.

An informed populace is critical to a healthy democracy. I think it is absolutely a democratic imperative, and even a national security need, for citizens to have access to diverse, accurate and comprehensive print media.

The use of industry targeted tax credits is hardly revolutionary. Think of the mortgage interest deduction (although my idea would be for the credit to be fully refundable, so those paying little to no tax would still have their subscription 100% paid for by Uncle Sam via their tax refund.

Edward Amame

Col Lang

If this is posted twice apologies in advance.

I'm sorry, no offense was intended.

Edward Amame

Fred,

Trump won because Trump voters wanted more tax cuts for the wealthy, cuts to Soc Sec, medicare voucherized, the individual health insurance market destroyed, and Dodd-Frank gutted? If so, they'll be thrilled with things come 2017.

The Twisted Genius

Valissa,

The internal IC argument is over the intent of this Russian operation. That makes sense to be. The only way to determine intent in something like this is to have an agent in place, steal the right document either digitally or physically, wait for a leak or have the Russians tell us. The chance of any of that happening is pretty slim.

Oddlots

I admit I read this last night and am not up with comments but need some feedback as it's been buzzing in my head all day. There's something about considering "info-war" tactics that completely fails to take the measure of what's going on.

Consider this:

- in the democratic west we are subject to "trade deals" negotiated behind closed doors by technocrats. Our elected representatives cannot even see the documents in question except for under strict conditions like being watched over and not being allowed anything but - if I recall - a pencil and paper.

- meanwhile in the Ukraine it would appear that the way to decide a trade deal is to have a running, what, 4 month long street battle (with eye-watering levels of violence against the state) to decide such complex problems and this is heartily organized, funded and egged on by the same people who accept the above as normal practice within western political culture.

My point is not simply the hypocrisy. There's lots more to say even than that. For instance the joke is that tariffs are at such a low historically speaking that those that exist are barely worth the trouble to meet over. Fluctuations in currency would likely account for a similar "frictional" cost to business. (It's all really about creating a corporate strangle hold on democratic institutions... as suggested by the secrecy.

What I'm trying to get at is - and I think it's good news ultimately - this: I think Brexit, Trump etc. are symptoms of the majority rejecting the kind of sophisticated ideological dodges implicit in the above contradiction.

To try and bend this back to the subject at hand: whether American or Soviet / Russian I suspect a lot of the "info-war" / psy-ops" doctrine is in effect a "self-blinding."

My sympathies lie with the eastern Ukrainians and the Syrians (and therefore) Russians because they didn't initiate any of the conflicts they and their populations are victims to and they are proving themselves willing to fight them off. That's a very old, simple narrative. I can't imagine any amount of sophisticated - let's face it - salesmanship would ever be able to overcome that very non-post-modern fact.

The Twisted Genius

pl,

I think EA has a point here. One of the ways rich people got richer was by exporting industry to China and other places. That did make people poorer. Rather than making capital investments, the rich have largely stuck to accumulating their wealth. Ford became enormously wealthy and still paid his workers enough to buy the products he manufactured. I fully understand that the idea of taking pride in providing a good product at a fair price is a quaint anachronism and that the business of business is to make money, but we now have decades of failure of trickle down economics.

Valissa

Yes, and I think the other important question is how much of an effect the Russian operation actually had. Seems like it would be hard to measure that too.

The Twisted Genius

Valissa,

Measuring the effect will be damned near impossible. I do think it's having a more corrosive effect on us now, than before the election. I wonder if that was foreseen.

Valissa

Ding, ding, ding... you win the kewpie doll ;)

According to this article there is one definite and two probable defectors...

RNC keeps close tabs on Electoral College vote http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/rnc-trump-electoral-college-232537
To date, just one Republican — Chris Suprun of Texas — has publicly revealed an intention to cast a vote for someone other than Trump. ...

Convincing anti-Trump Republicans to withstand pressure and remain on the Electoral College for the purpose of voting against Trump has proven difficult. Aside from Suprun, there are two additional Republican electors who have strongly suggested they wouldn’t vote for Trump. But those two electors, Art Sisneros of Texas and Baoky Vu of Georgia, are promising to resign and let pro-Trump electors replace them on Dec. 19.

Most early reports indicated that Vu and Sisneros had already resigned because they issued statements indicating their intention to do so. But, in a quirk of the long-overlooked Electoral College rules, there is no mechanism for them to quit until the day of the vote. On that day, if they choose to stay home, the remaining electors will vote to replace them with alternates. In the meantime, anti-Trump electors and their allies have been pleading with both men to change their minds and vote against Trump.

Vu and Sisneros told POLITICO they still intend to quit.
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Valissa

Personally I think the major "corrosive effect" is coming from the sore losers on the Dem side. The constant denying of the legitimacy of the election and attempt at triggering a soft coup is absolutely NOT the Russian's fault. That's Hillary and her allies in the DNC & Borg, hard at work attempting to stay relevant and in power.

Followup question for you TTG... what about Israeli interference in US elections? That's much more blatant and pervasive, as well as covert. How does the IC community feel about that? Or how about influence from Saudi Arabia? Do they really think Russian influence attempts are worse or more dangerous than those two countries?

Fred

Edward,

"From 2009 to 2011, the net worth of households in the upper 7% rose by about a third, while the net worth of the rest of us dropped by 4%."... "The 2008 financial crisis was the result of systemic fraud in which elite capitalists stole $trillions and NOBODY got jailed for it." What part of your own writing do you not understand?

Tidewater

Tidewater to Tidewater.

From the National Archives and Records Administration: "There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law that requires Electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their states. Some states, however, require Electors to cast their votes according to the popular vote. These pledges fall into two categories--Electors bound by state law and those bound by pledges to political parties.

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Constitution does not require that Electors be completely free to act as they choose and therefore, political parties may extract pledges from Electors to vote for the parties' nominees. Some state laws provide that so-called "faithless Electors" may be subject to fines or may be disqualified for casting an invalid vote and be replaced by a substitute Elector. The Supreme Court has not specifically ruled on the question of whether pledges and penalties for failure to vote as pledged may be enforced under the Constitution. No Elector has ever been prosecuted for failing to vote as pledged."

Now, from a quick glance at some of the different ways the Electors are instructed to act in a few of the states. States like Michigan (16 important Electors), as I interpret their law, require that the "faithless Elector" has automatically resigned his or her position, and a replacement Elector will be immediately appointed in his or her stead. Of course, this could be interesting to the media--a protest vote.

In the state of Washington, the wording is interesting. "If there is a vacancy occasioned by death, refusal to act, neglect to attend..."
So a vote for Hillary, I surmise, would be "a refusal to act"-- which would thereby automatically become a vacancy. Neat.

Also in Washington you pick up a little fine of one thousand dollars.

In some states if you are late, say, for a noon meeting of the Electors, any eligible citizen available is immediately chosen to be an Elector. Just anyone in sight. Open the door, look down the hall...

What would happen if existing checks and balances somehow failed and there was a Constitutional crisis? There are still some states that do not have the fail-safes of Michigan, Washington, or Virginia. I think that the U.S. Supreme Court would step in and rule that any Electors who are "pledged" must vote their pledge to their party or be replaced. And that existing state law in states that do have laws governing the Electors is constitutional. In other words, the time has come at long last to decide that the Constitution does in fact, and has all along, required Electors to vote honorably. Electors must toe the line. And why not? It's simple enough, isn't it? The Supremes might just use the "replacement" method and go easy on criminal penalties or heavy fines. Would not automatic replacement of an apostate quite neatly do the trick? If current constitutional law holds that Electors are "not completely free to act" it doesn't seem like that great a leap to "disappearing" a "Faithless Elector." Problem solved.

I don't think it would ever need to go either to the Senate or the House of Representatives. The Supreme Court could act very quickly on this.

It happens "First Monday after the second Wednesday in December following the election.."

I was wrong that the Electors get to meet in Washington in January. They just FexEx the votes to Biden. And disappear.

We'll know on December 19!

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