Friday, December 30, 2016

Will Congress Prevent Trump From Cozying Up With Cozy Bear?


Ultimately, the American people are going to want to know what Trump and his inner circle knew about Russian hacking— and when did they know it? McConnell and Ryan— who aggressively covered it up during the election— are now trying to cover their own asses by pretending to be indignant over Russia helping steal the election for their candidate. Blaming Obama for failing too prevent Russian hacking, Miss McConnell lisped menacingly that Russians “are not our friends… Sanctions against the Russian intelligence services are a good initial step, however late in coming. As the next Congress reviews Russian actions against networks associated with the U.S. election, we must also work to ensure that any attack against the United States is met with an overwhelming response.”

While Trump is babbling about forgetting the Russian cyber-attack that placed him in the White House and “getting on with our lives,” Obama announced the public sanctions he’s taking yesterday, ejecting 35 Russian intelligence operatives from the United States and imposing sanctions on Russia’s two leading intelligence services.
Trump will now have to decide whether to lift the sanctions on the Russian intelligence agencies when he takes office next month, with Republicans in Congress among those calling for a public investigation into Russia’s actions. Should Mr. Trump do so, it would require him to effectively reject the findings of his intelligence agencies.

Asked on Wednesday night at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., about reports of the impending sanctions, Mr. Trump said: “I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on. We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I’m not sure we have the kind, the security we need.”

President Obama, in a statement, put in a subtle dig at Mr. Trump’s unwillingness to talk about Russia’s role. “All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions,” he said. He said he acted after “repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government” and called the moves “a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior.”

The samples of malware were in what the Obama administration called a “joint analytic report” from the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security that was based in part on intelligence gathered by the National Security Agency. A more detailed report on the intelligence, ordered by President Obama, will be published in the next three weeks, though much of the detail — especially evidence collected from “implants” in Russian computer systems, tapped conversations and spies — is expected to remain classified.
Although you still have some Trumpist nut-jobs who prefer Putin to Obama and would sell out the U.S. in a moment— look at the tweet below from Arizona right-wing psychopath Trent Franks— even most Republican lawmakers understand the gravity of this. On CNN with Jake Tapper, Adam Kizinger (R-IL), a former combat pilot and currently a major in the Air National Guard, said he can’t defend Trump’s self-serving position. "Yeah, I can't defend that, and I am not going to," said Kinzinger. "I think to disparage the intel-gathering mechanisms that we have here is not the right answer… I hope when he is actually sworn in as president, you know, now the weight of the world has fallen onto him and he realizes that ... for the last eight years America has given up its role in a lot of areas to Russia, we need to claw that back. So I hope that changes on Inauguration Day.”

Meanwhile hawks like John McCain (R), Lindsey Graham (R) and Ben Cardin (D) in the Senate and Adam Schiff (D) and Brad Sherman (D) in the House are vowing to take the lead on even stronger sanctions against Russia, regardless of what Trump is up to with Putin. Many in Congress fear that Putin will have Trump obliterate the sanctions and measures as soon as he gets into the Oval Office. Many Democrats want the Senate to pass legislation going even further than Obama, something that will put congressional Republicans in a bind, where they have to choose between the country (+ their own integrity) and Trump, now widely seen as a Putin puppet. Ryan is furiously working behind the scenes to prevent any legislation that ties Trump’s hands in rewarding Putin for the GOP electoral victory in November.

Not everyone agrees, of course. This video clip, I feel bad to say, was a real meeting of two self-described open minds, who are convinced Russia means the U.S. no harm. And maybe they're right; I've said all along we'll never know for sure, although we can be sure all sides have their own agendas and none of them have any sense of responsibility to The Truth.

Last word on this (at least for this morning)-- Republican Party strategist Rick Wilson goes off on an anti-Trump/Putin tweet storm:

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At 7:06 AM, Blogger Rory Mohr said...

Still the guy has to imply that in eight years, Obama's fault. WTF is wrong with Rs?

At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on history, and assuming they believe a cozy relationship with putin means electoral success, I would look for the Democraps to immediately cozy up to them and start fellatin.

That's what they did with the big money after Reagan lunched Carter in '80.

At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nowhere in the media is there any connection to Candidate Hillary making threats to wage war against Russia with this alleged hacking.

If I were Putin, I would be taking such threats seriously. I would more clearly see the NATO forces being moved up to my very border (remember how freaked out Americans became with Russian IRBMs in Cuba? Ask your grandparents.) than any Americans do.

There also remain many Russians alive who not only remember Operation Barbarossa, but risked death to expel the Wehrmacht, an effort which cost Russia well over 20 million casualties. How could they not see Hillary's threats and the NATO forces as anything but an invasion threat?

I won't claim that Russia means the US no harm. These nations are competing over who gets to run a pipeline through Syria, after all. But if someone is going to push someone in a display of physical dominance, they better expect a push back at least as strong.

I remain very sceptical about these alleged Russian incursions into cyberspace. The motives of those making the claims are hardly pure. No proof has been offered, and I'm more likely to buy a car from Joe Isuzu than I am to believe either the incompetent Obama administration OR the venal Trump cabal. I'm even willing to believe that this hacking mess is a Democratic Party plot to complicate Trump's ascendancy, except that the Obummer losers couldn't find their way out of a open paper bag on its side in the rain.

Fuck both "parties". To paraphrase the late John Belushi, "We COULD have had Bernie! But NOOOOOOOOOO!"

At 2:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Anon @ 8:27 AM

I would suggest another, ample, justification for the ALLEGED hacking would be the economic sanctions imposed by Obumma in 2014.

This is an integral part of the "legacy" that HRC promised to extend.

Here is the link to 2015 SOTU address in which Obumma boasts of the sanctions having put the Russian economy in tatters:

What would the US have done if Putin had put similar sanctions on us and THEN boasted that they had made a tatters of our economy.

The USA IS exceptional: in its arrogance, hypocrisy and brutality.

John Puma

At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't disagree, Mr. Puma, but such sanctions would be following the same strategy which led Japan to spin the cylinder and attack Pearl Harbor. Sanctions should be seen as a step toward war.

I don't see the Russians being stupid enough to start a war they can't win, but they aren't going to back down against a US which is led by fools and deluded power mongers. They will fight back. That they have been so restrained to date indicates they aren't too worried about American bluster.

It is said that the top generals are always prepared for the last war. American History is rife with such evidence. Russia has seen total war twice in its modern history, so they know what the costs would be. American leaders have no clue. Russian countermeasures are likely already in place to counter the computerized American command and control structure. How will our video game trained-military be able to fight a big war against a powerful and modern army such as Russia's without someone to tell them what to do and when?

That philosophy didn't work well for the Japanese, and it won't work well for the US.

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon @ 7:51 AM

If you think I am in favor of sanctions, you are wrong.

I do agree that the US sanctions on Russia could well lead to war.

My point was, simply, if Russia had imposed sanctions and boasted how it had crippled us, we would not have retaliated with mere "cyber attacks."

I do NOT believe in the hysteric propaganda of Russia hacks.

John Puma

At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Puma

I may well have not expressed myself as clearly as I might have. We are essentially in agreement about the ridiculousness of the allegations and the response of the lame and incompetent Obamb-a misAdministration.

At 1:35 AM, Blogger John said...

To Anon @ 11:29AM:

I thought so but wasn't sure.



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