Excellent point--"Despite talk of $1 trillion in infrastructure spending, critics suspect much of that will come in the form of subsidies to private firms that are punitive to consumers rather than stimulative. In other words, taxpayers could end up paying to build a private toll road that will then turn around and charge them tolls. No extra disposable income there, negating any potential boost to overall economic growth. " Pedro Da Costa
" the result of this new Russophobic hysteria is to create a precedent for the CIA and even more shady and shadowy forces to unseat an elected President....common cause is being made with the worst actors in American politics. And, more, to sanction a public interrogation of whoever they deem hostile to their interests. This is the useful idiot meme on steroids. It is the white liberal class ASKING for totalitarian government." John Steppling
"white America loves to congratulate itself on its tolerance and democratic principles. The master narrative of liberal white America is one that has been distilled down to the most basic tropes of superiority and privilege. The deplorables …the flyover state populace…those angry left behind working class americans are seen as inferior. They are made fun of, constantly, by the educated classes. And the alignment of liberal white America with the CIA and a McCarthyist sensibility is not in the least surprising. For liberals are not tolerant. They are bigoted and close minded and arrogant. They are blind to their own privilege in ways that make one’s head spin. Trump won for two reasons that are interwined. One is the anger of the forgotten working class. And yes, that class are often racist and bigoted. But most are not, not really. And second, and more importantly, by the liberals who uncritically accepted a serial liar and criminal as their candidate. And while many who supported the illusion that was Bernie turned in anger to vote AGAINST Hillary, or just didn’t bother to vote, the educated gatekeepers of American culture (sic) were the ones really responsible. Eight years of war crimes and destruction of civil liberties was IGNORED. It is still ignored. Trump is the result. He is the unvarnished face of America, accept that or not." John Steppling
What the U.S. intelligence agencies said was different:
Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence [emphasis added].
First, this is an "assessment," in other words, guesswork. The CIA and FBI are think it is a really good guess ("high confidence"), the NSA not so much. Which is curious because the NSA is the agency that would have the most evidence, since it, not the FBI or CIA, intercepts all Internet and other electronic communications.
he U.S. intelligence public assessment about Russian hacking is this:
Russia’s intelligence services conducted cyber operations against targets associated with the 2016 US presidential election, including targets associated with both major US political parties.
We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU) used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com to release US victim data.These conclusions were an ex-post-facto reversal of the original FBI conclusions reported by the New York Times two days before the elections:
WASHINGTON — For much of the summer, the F.B.I. pursued a widening investigation into a Russian role in the American presidential campaign. Agents scrutinized advisers close to Donald J. Trump, looked for financial connections with Russian financial figures, searched for those involved in hacking the computers of Democrats, and even chased a lead — which they ultimately came to doubt — about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.
Law enforcement officials say that none of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government. And even the hacking into Democratic emails, F.B.I. and intelligence officials now believe, was aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump.The FBI had initiated the investigation more than a year earlier, but did not even bother to examine the compromised Democratic National Committee computers before they were wiped clean....
The turmoil when the DNC network and computers were taken down in June and reinstalled from scratch would have afforded any DNC staffer or security contractor the perfect opportunity to copy whatever they wanted....
We're told these are hyper-sophisticated secret attacks but the Podesta email trick is so pedestrian you can look it up in the dictionary. And apparently it was not even exploited to plant software in Podesta's machine (or that of his aides), only to harvest emails from Google's servers.
The Russians supposedly were both fiendishly clever and completely clueless. They realized how damaging the revelation of real documents and emails would be ... but didn't do it when it would have been most damaging, during the primaries. When they release it, they do it through Wikileaks, where it will have the least impact, instead of doling giving it to the New York Times and other news organization.
There is one word that best describes this story: bullshit.