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This is from his Russian Wikipedia page. For reals.

The digital wing of the Trump campaign is being scrutinized by investigators to see whether it helped Russia’s propaganda operations during the 2016 elections, according to a story by McClatchy’s DC Bureau published Wednesday. If there turns out to be anything to it, it could be far bigger than Donald Jr. talking to a Russian Lawyer lady about adopting some Russian babies, maybe:

Congressional and Justice Department investigators are focusing on whether Trump’s campaign pointed Russian cyber operatives to certain voting jurisdictions in key states – areas where Trump’s digital team and Republican operatives were spotting unexpected weakness in voter support for Hillary Clinton, according to several people familiar with the parallel inquiries.

The Russian propaganda effort directed both human commenters and internet bots to spread pro-Trump or anti-Clinton stories — often fake news like the impending total collapse of Hillary’s internal organs, or the #Pizzagate nonsense — on Twitter and Facebook, and some investigators believe they specifically targeted voters in very close states, even down to particular congressional districts or voting precincts. Also, McClatchy reporters Peter Stone and Greg Gordon note that the Russian trolling effort was active against Trump’s primary opponents, and in May 2016, as Trump was sewing up the Republican nomination,

a U.S. intelligence intercept picked up Russians discussing ways to spread news damaging to Clinton, two people familiar with the matter said.

That pushes back the timeline for Russian attempts to push Trump and damage Clinton to at least May of last year, before Don Jr. got that email offering him some yummy dirt on Clinton, courtesy of the Russian government.

The investigators are also looking at whether WikiLeaks had U.S.-based help in coordinating the release of particular chunks of pirated emails in response to developments in the U.S. presidential campaign. California Rep. Adam Schiff, Wonkette’s sexy nerd boyfriend who’s the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, says

he wants to know whether Russia’s “fake or damaging news stories” were “coordinated in any way in terms of targeting or in terms of timing or in terms of any other measure … with the (Trump) campaign.”

One of McClatchy’s sources said Justice Department investigators think it’s unlikely the Russians running the bot and troll networks would have had enough familiarity with trends in the American election to have “known … which high-impact states and districts in those states” to target. This seems entirely possible, given the demonstrably inferior efforts of Russian diplomats at doing memes. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity, which by Donald Trump’s criteria means Stone and Gordon completely made the whole thing up.

Or maybe not, since Adam Schiff also says he wants his committee to determine whether any Trump campaign aides guided Russian deployments of fake news and leaked documents, and whether there was “any exchange of information, any financial support funneled to organizations that were doing this kind of work.”

Jared Kushner was at least nominally the head of the Trump campaign’s digital media efforts. In 2015, he hired Brad Parscale, who ran much of the campaign’s actual digital operations from Texas. Parscale, who collected boatloads of money from the campaign, is expected to testify for at least one of the several congressional committees investigating the election and Russia.

As of yet, nobody’s saying there’s a direct link between the Trump digital operation and Russian online propaganda/dirty tricks, but the Russians’ seeming ability to target trolls and bots where and when they’d be helpful has raised some eyebrows:

Mike Carpenter, who in January left a senior Pentagon post where he worked on Russia matters, also has suspicions about collaboration between the campaign and Russia’s cyber operatives.

“There appears to have been significant cooperation between Russia’s online propaganda machine and individuals in the United States who were knowledgeable about where to target the disinformation,” he said, without naming any American suspects.

The same goes for Congressional investigators, like Democratic Senator Mark Warner, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. In a May interview with Pod Save America, Warner said,

“I get the fact that the Russian intel services could figure out how to manipulate and use the bots […] Whether they could know how to target states and levels of voters that the Democrats weren’t even aware (of) really raises some questions … How did they know to go to that level of detail in those kinds of jurisdictions?”

The Russians appear to have targeted women and African-Americans in two of the three decisive states, Wisconsin and Michigan, “where the Democrats were too brain dead to realize those states were even in play,” Warner said.

Twitter’s and Facebook’s search engines in those states were overwhelmed, he said, meaning they couldn’t discern fake news from real news.

“On your news feed, you suddenly got … ‘Hillary Clinton’s sick’ or ‘Hillary Clinton’s stealing money from the State Department,’” said Warner.

Go listen to the whole podcast, it’s really some great political geek stuff.

So did Russian disinformation matter in the election outcome? We keep hearing the Russians didn’t actually hack vote results, but the possible effects of their targeted troll and bot efforts is harder to measure. As Stone and Gordon note, the margins of Trump’s electoral vote victory in three pivotal states, while HISTORICALLY HUGE, was narrow enough that if the Russians influenced a few thousand voters, it may have made a difference:

Clinton lost the decisive states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania by a combined 77,744 votes out of 13.9 million ballots cast. could have won Michigan if 5,353 Trump voters had gone for her instead, Wisconsin if 11,375 votes had flipped to her and Pennsylvania if 22,147 Trump voters had instead picked her.

We’re not saying the Russian disinformation effort threw the election. But it certainly looks like they were suspiciously good at sending out fake news where and when it could do maximum damage, and that Donald “She doesn’t have the stamina to be president” Trump was awfully receptive to making use of that propaganda as well. Gosh, maybe someday we’ll find out what was really going on. Until then, we’ll just go with the assumption Hillary was being mind-controlled by Ukrainian operatives.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click the “Donate” linky to help! The Russian bots are really not pulling their weight when it comes to donations.

[McClatchy / Pod Save America]

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  • Jeffocaster in the East

    Follow the money………..

    • UncleTravelingMatt

      Start checking sham consulting firms like the one lewandowski was getting the munnies funnelled to.

  • memzilla Ω
    • BMW
    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      The brainwashing worked extremely well.

      • SeeTrain65

        “Ron Reagan’s Brain Wash … Cleans away all those annoying, unsightly neurons that keep you thinking. … Just look for the vacuous face of the 40th President of the United States on every bottle!”

        “I use Ron Reagan’s Brain Wash … and so do I!” – Ronald Reagan

      • “M”

        That’s actually more accurate than you think.

        That fear loop they keep screaming on Faux Noise and AM Hate Radio actually aggravates certain centers in the amygdala that help them grow really efficient at blocking out common sense and actual facts.

        Google “conservative brains” – it won’t be pretty, but you’ll know why they are SO INTRACTABLE and what is actually going on.

    • Bigby

      Well, to be fair, when the Russians (or US non-traitor Intel people) finally throw a couple of fucking treacherous asshole Party Before Country Rethugs under the bus,”OMG That’s AWESOME!” is going to be my reaction, too. Probably with a “hahahahaha” thrown in for good measure. Maybe even a “conservative tears are so quenching and delicious” thrown in for good measure.

      • “M”

        I will be
        soooo drunk a few hours later.

        I’m going to wait to make sure they’re going to jail.
        Then I’m going to drink champagne till my head explodes the next day.

    • WotsAllThisThen

      I can only imagine how they’ll applaud when reporters start dying under mysterious circumstances.

      • “M”

        They have already found a suicide note for Peter Smith, that old Republican oppo research dude.

        Mm-hmm.

  • Gayer Than Thou

    I paid good money for Jared’s webcam live show, and it was just Hillary coughing up a lung with the Russian national anthem in the background! Zero out of five stars, would not do again.

  • Michael Smith

    Nothing is out of bounds when you are saving America from the liberals!

    • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

      That’s Fox “News” new slogan.

    • coozledad

      Treason in defense of racism is American as Nixon.

      • “M”

        lawd

    • Dudleydidwrong

      Barry Goldwater lives again! Uff da!

  • Latverian Diplomat

    I don’t know if I’m more depressed that they did all this shit together, or that it worked (in an Electoral College sense, anyway).

    “I voted for Trump because Ivan the Facebook bot was very convincing!”

  • OrdinaryJoe

    Connecting dots, this would explain why Jared and Manafort inexplicably show up uninvited to the meeting with the Baabby Lady. Have to be sure she isn’t some con selling something they already have paid for.

  • BMW

    After I watched the news yesterday, I couldn’t help but wonder…Are we really going to starting throwing the word “Cyber” around all willy-nilly again like it’s the 90s or something? I thought we killed the word off around the time we decided to put the letter “i” in front of everything.

    • schmannity

      This is all because of the Y2K bug.

    • Everrett Fanuelli

      Y2K, Bruh!

    • Gayer Than Thou

      Which reminds me – have you heard of the hottest new app? iCollusion. It’s the best!

      • Latverian Diplomat

        “iCollusion wants your location and political affiliation data. OK?”

        • Gayer Than Thou

          “Your Russian contact is 3 minutes away.”

    • Wild Cat

      Everyone will blame Y2K, but it’s really the K-Y.

    • OrdinaryJoe

      You must work in Cupertino. The “i” thing is an Apple deal. The rest of the world still attaches “cyber’ or “e” to many electronic geewhizes.

      • Latverian Diplomat

        “I like that cyberbullying term. One of my favorites.”
        — Donald Trump

    • Msgr_MΩment

      Right. I think the guilty parties have been exiled to a gulag in i-ia.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Cyberspace sounded cool the way William Gibson described it, then it turned out to be just Second Life.

      • WotsAllThisThen

        It’s not a game. It doesn’t have winners or losers. Well, it has losers.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok9GZf-aICs

      • Msgr_MΩment

        and all the inhabitants turned out to be Leisure Suit Larry.

        • Latverian Diplomat

          That’s not what I meant by “swordfights” in cyberspace.
          — Neil Stephenson

    • JMP

      Donald kept talking like that, because he’s a very, very old elderly man who is completely out of touch with the modern world, and his cultists and the media just followed along with it.

  • SayItWithWookies

    Wait til we find out that the GOP and the Russians have been cooperating in voter suppression efforts for years. Hey, has Chris Kobach filed a foreign contacts disclosure? Maybe he should.

  • Msgr_MΩment

    . Also, McClatchy reporters Peter Stone and Greg Gordon note that the Russian trolling effort was active against Trump’s primary opponents, and in May 2016, as Trump was sewing up the Republican nomination,

    Paging LIttle Marco and Kennedykillersspawn Ted.

    Bury the rag deep in your face
    For now’s the time for your tears

    • Dudleydidwrong

      Kudos for the Hattie Carroll reference!

  • This is all going to politically end with a fistful of pardons and a resolution from Congress telling Trump he’s been very naughty and he must never ever collude with or cooperate with Russian intelligence agents to subvert the democratic process in 2018 and 2020 ever again we’re super-serious and can we get back to the very important business of making sure Grandma isn’t buying the luxury brand cat food with her Social Security checks?

    • UncleTravelingMatt

      Too bad John Tower isn’t around to explain to the American people how important it is that they never get an explanation of what happened.

      • GoutMachine

        Ah, this takes me back to a joke we’d tell in elementary school (I was ~10 when Iran-Contra happened): What do you call a bunch of toilets stacked on top of each other? JOHN TOWER.

        We were 10.

        • UncleTravelingMatt

          Your 10 year old humor was much more topical than mine was.

          • GoutMachine

            Probably a product of my grandparents, who were delegates to the ’84 GOP convention in Dallas, where I grew up.

  • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

    If collaborating with Russia is this successful, imagine how well collaborating with China will work.

  • Scooby

    Wow, the number of votes she lost by wouldn’t even fill a football stadium.

  • JMP

    Next, the administration is going to say that all the collusion with Russia was done by Donald’s best friend, Jim, who you woulnd’t know because he lives in Canada.

    http://www.avclub.com/article/trump-might-have-imaginary-friend-named-jim-258024

  • Latverian Diplomat

    Twitter’s and Facebook’s search engines in those states were overwhelmed, he said, meaning they couldn’t discern fake news from real news.

    “On your news feed, you suddenly got … ‘Hillary Clinton’s sick’ or ‘Hillary Clinton’s stealing money from the State Department,’” said Warner.

    It’s become common practice in tech to quickly put out lousy implementations with obvious flaws, and fix them later. Fortunes have been made from this strategy. It seems that when implementing things like a news service, the consequences can be dire.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      As long as revenue is flowing in, it’s all good.

      • Marion in Savannah

        The spice must flow.

    • I believe that’s called “The Bethesda Gambit”.

      • Latverian Diplomat

        Sorry, I don’t get the reference? Is that to Bethesda Games? Or something else?

        • Yes. They’re well known for releasing very, very broken games and then patching them (or, more often, letting the community patch them with mods) later. The games are still awesome, but so. many. bugs.

          • Latverian Diplomat

            OK, cool.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    Every last one of these vile motherfuckers are guilty, guilty, guilty.

    Mueller just has to dot the is and cross the ts

    • Komsumverweigerer Ron

      I wish he’d learned shorthand.

  • BigCSouthside

    This would be fairly easy and low risk for J Kush to do. Use a cutout to give Russia a back door to data. If caught claim hack

  • proudgrampa

    HEADLINE: TRUMP BLAMES OBAMA ADMINISTRATION FOR JR’S MEETING WITH RUSSIAN LAWYER

    For Fuck’s Sake.

    • ltmcdies

      well this will set a precedent for every house breaker from here on….”your honor…the house was sitting there with an open window. Not my fault I went in”

    • Komsumverweigerer Ron

      Oh, like we didn’t all know that was gonna happen.

  • Joe Beese

    What could the First Son-In-Law be charged with here?

  • Marion in Savannah

    OT — I think we’re now officially living in SciFi world.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/science/film-clip-stored-in-dna.html

  • Wild Cat

    2000. Jeb Bush Florida.
    2004. Ken Blackwell Ohio.
    2008. They Didn’t Want It—Let the Blah Guy Fix It.
    2012. They want it back, but there’s a SNAFU. Rove has a meltdown on Election Night on Fox when the Blah Guy retains Ohio.
    2016. We know about Russia; there’s other stuff out there, too. Bank on it.

    • SeeTrain65

      1. Thank you for bringing up Ken “Oreo” Blackwell.
      2. Thank you again for bringing up Ken “Oreo” Blackwell.

      • Wild Cat

        He did it for Jesus.
        Let’s thank Jesus for destroying our lives.
        Thank you, Jesus, you bastard.

        • SeeTrain65

          I know. All during election night I was saying, “Jesus, I knew Blackwell would fuck this thing up and give the election to Chimpy again!”

          • Wild Cat

            I knew 33 minutes into the Election Night results on 11/8/16 that my old age would be spent in hell. The fact that he was competitive and winning showed corruption all around.
            We have to accept that we’ve been living in an illusion of democracy. We have to accept that only we can take it back.
            And quite honestly, the Dems were heavily warned about this and have done nothing for almost two decades.

      • Msgr_MΩment

        The only election in the last seven (24 years!) where they allegedly received a plurality of votes.

      • Everrett Fanuelli

        Michael Steele was the Oreo guy I believe.

        • SeeTrain65

          I go by Mike Evans’ (Lionel Jefferson) line on an episode of All In The Family: “Black on the outside, white on the inside.”

          Blackwell meets all those qualifications.

          • Wild Cat

            No Zebra jokes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-)

          • SeeTrain65

            Being honest, I’m still worried about using “Oreo.”

          • Wild Cat

            It became a porn term in the 1970s. And now it’s outdated even in that genre.

        • Wild Cat

          He headed the RNC. Blackwell was in charge of counting the votes in Ohio.

      • onedollarjuana

        With a computer in his office directly linked to voting tallies. Hmmmm.

  • Reximus
  • Msgr_MΩment

    California Rep. Adam Schiff, Wonkette’s sexy nerd boyfriend who’s the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, says…

    He certainly has one of the top-ranked members here at the wonket, IYKWIMAITTYD.

    • proudgrampa

      I have been in love with Adam since the day we met (on MSNBC).

      • Msgr_MΩment

        Rachel and Chris are the best pimps.

    • OutOfOrbit

      Pix of you member will get you in trouble, sir.

    • Eileen Besse

      Hubba-hubba.

    • SeeTrain65

      “Red-hot legislatin’ action!”

    • Alienist

      I like your whatever-you-call-that-string-of-letters at the end of your post. When I was in medical school on a psychiatry rotation, I had a resident who started his patient’s chief complaint with “TIWSOTCMMOBWS….” I asked him what it meant and he told me, “There I was, standing on the corner minding my own business when suddenly…”

      • Msgr_MΩment

        My favorite such collection of letters is TLA, which stands for Three-Letter Acronym.
        WTTLG,P! We’re through the looking glass, people!

        • bobbert

          Also, too, ETLA..

          Because FLA doesn’t have 4 letters.

      • SeeTrain65

        Soon to come at anti-Trump rallies: “ICBISHTPTS.”

        “I can’t believe I still have to protest this shit.”

      • Unmutual Tetsu Kaba

        The version my paramedic son hears continues with “some dude” did whatever and the description of some dude is always “wearing jeans and a T shirt” (like least helpful description ever). This some dude in jeans and T shirt is a one man crime spree.

  • AnnieGetYerFun

    Nyet, nyet. This is another great big nothing бутерброд.

    • proudgrampa

      A big bowl of nothing borscht.

      • OutOfOrbit

        And now you’re speaking Jerry!

      • AnnieGetYerFun

        My nona used to make the most amazing nothing borscht!

    • OutOfOrbit

      You speak Russian TOO?!

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    he wants to know whether Russia’s “fake or damaging news stories” were “coordinated in any way in terms of targeting or in terms of timing or in terms of any other measure … with the (Trump) campaign.”

    That’s my congress critter’s polite way of saying this:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4d9a8ed5f0c0672c129b28a7241e30ddf0ab740f8a1a2125e2504e4572177a62.jpg

  • Persistent Tennessee Rain

    For anyone who may have missed this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OauLuWXD_RI

    Samantha Bee interviews Russian trolls.

  • borninatrailer

    Our executive branch is stocked to the bring with Ruskie spies! And a sprinkling in our legislative branch too!

    That’s old school comedy. Yakov Smirnoff eagerly awaits his return to relevance.

    • SeeTrain65

      “In Soviet Union, Russians blackmail you!”

      • borninatrailer

        “In Soviet Russia, politicians blackmail you.”

        Maybe…? Or maybe we should both just leave it to Yakov.

  • schmannity

    These alt right Putin fluffers and Trump ticklers make me sick. How many trillions have I and every other U.S. taxpayer paid since 1945 opposing Russia? 33000 dead in Korea. 55000 dead in Vietnam (service in which Donnie dodged). Who were their biggest military supporters? I knew people in my parents’ generation who refused to buy Japanese or German cars because of WWII. Now, because Russia allows some buildings to be built with Trump’s name on them and its mobsters, oligarchs, and state-controlled banks are willing to lend Trump money when no one else would, all that is forgiven and Trump’s malignant brood would undermine American democracy if there is a dollar to squeeze out of it? I don’t think so.

    • WotsAllThisThen

      At least South Korea is making decent phones and cars now. Vietnam, we should have just left alone, they would have been able to make our clothes a lot sooner.

    • Swampay

      I feel weirdly ripped off. After all the arguments I had with my (ex-marine, 2 tours in Viet Nam) stepdad in the 70s about how the war in Viet Nam was probably a bad idea, and all the proxy wars in the 3d world seemed to be doing us more harm than good, and that most Russians probably were just trying to get on with their lives and didn’t really care about the US, and that maybe treating the Soviets as a wily adversary instead of an existential threat, now his intellectual peers (he’s passed away, PBUH) are arguing, “Hey, Russia interfering in our election, pfft, that’s nothing. Have you heard about Hillary’s emails?”*

      *Convoluted sentences seem to be my thing today. That whirring sound you hear is my 7th grade English teacher, Mrs Krasich, spinning in her grave.

      • MrTusks

        That’s the craziest thing. The Boomers literally had drills for nuclear attacks by Russia in grade school, and now they’re totally cool that one of the relics of that era is buddies with a guy they know is easily influenced by promises of power?

        But then I remember they also thought Obama was a pussy for not starting WWIII with them over Ukraine, and am reminded that tax cuts are the only thing that matter. Never mind that they’re probably not in the bracket that will actually benefit, wouldn’t live long enough to get much out of it in any event, and have mortgaged out their grandchildren’s futures simply out of spite.

        Your parents risked everything to fight the last true threat to civilization, Boomers, all for you. You should be ashamed.

    • To be fair, the US spent 70 years fighting COMMUNISM, not Russia.

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    Parscale, who collected boatloads of money from the campaign, is expected to testify for throw Donald and Co under the bus before at least one of the several congressional committees investigating the election and Russia.

    /fixed, I hope

  • William
    • timpundit

      All the winning right there, folks.

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson
  • Swampay

    The Russkies are starting to look kinda stupid around this. They could have quietly gone on subverting the election but they chose to discuss it with the blabbiest blabbermouthed blab-fishes this side of Blab City.

    UNLESS………

    This whole thing where our country doesn’t trust our own government, where all the fact based facts suggest that our government is corrupt and our president is corrupt and stupid and making sweet conspiracy with Russia in their bottoms, while a significant number of deplorables and even semi-plorables hates the facts and the people who fact them and would rather destroy our country than admit they were wrong*. It kinda leaves our country – I dunno, destabilized? Unstable? Not functioning very well? Fucked up? LIke even maybe that was the goal of the country that has sought to destabilize our country for the past 75 years?

    In the words of Boris Badenov, “Is more genius then usual! ”

    *Yes, that’s all one sentence! Lovely, isn’t it? I think it’s even grammatical (except for the some of the funny words that are explicitly NOT grammatical). Take THAT, Mrs. Krasich!

    • WotsAllThisThen

      If their goal is to maximize political chaos in the U.S., the strategy of colluding with one side then giving the other side a trail of bread crumbs might be a good one.

    • SadDemInTex

      Of course it’s about destabilizing the entire West. The question is really are there enough of us to keep it on track?

    • Msgr_MΩment

      Bohumil Hrabal is unimpressed.

      • SeeTrain65

        But Papa Hemingway is.

    • TJ Barke

      The Russians win no matter what, but to different degrees.

      • laughingnome

        Yeah but they still have a shitload of problems in their own country. They should pay more attention to them – kinda like our Neocon war hawks who always want to meddle in other parts of the world while the roads, rails, and airports fall apart here.

        • Komsumverweigerer Ron

          Which tells me that there’s no real difference between them and the Russian oligarchs. Neither gives two farts in a snowstorm about their country, only what they can take for themselves.

        • TJ Barke

          Yeah, but what they wanted was to neuter our capacity to act on the world stage, which they are doing.

      • laineypc

        He can’t make concessions to them now, it completes the narrative of Russian meddling/kompromat.

        • TJ Barke

          They still win if America’s standing on the world stage is diminished, and we are unable to interfere with Russian foreign policy goals.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Keeping a big operation secret is really hard…that’s the one thing that most elaborate conspiracy theories are unwilling to admit.

      The point is, they got what they wanted, and there’s no sign of that changing any time soon, so who cares who finds out now, when it’s too late?

      • WotsAllThisThen

        Besides, if anyone finds out, it will be reported in the media, and then… FAKE NEWS!

        • Snark Tank Full of Resistance

          Colbert had an “In Memorium” segment for the death of “Fake News” last night.

      • Swampay

        I honestly don’t see a way forward that restores trust and respect for the government. Impeach Trump? And be stuck with Pence? Impeach them both? and then….? Declare the government lame duck until 2020? New presidential election (gods forbid) in 2018?

        • Latverian Diplomat

          A Democratic win too big to steal is the only thing I see helping. That can’t really happen until 2020.

          I don’t see Trump getting impeached, not by this congress, but I could see some backroom sweetheart deal being cut to convince him to resign. IIRC, Nixon’s resignation/pardon deal did a lot of damage to faith in government as well.

          • Paul

            I was a hippy in those years. A lot of our faith was damaged before that. Bay of Pigs. Vietnam. Assassinations of the Kennedys, MLK, Medgar Evers, the poor students gunned down at Kent State. Nixon’s ratfucking and subsequent pardon merely sealed the deal. Been downhill since.

    • Beowoof14

      The part that gets left unsaid is the republicans are quite happy to undercut the evil government and do so every chance they get. They believe if they can destroy the government so right wing utopia will magically appear with no poors, sick or disable people

      • House0fTheBlueLights

        They don’t believe in right wing utopia. Half of them believe in power, and the other half of them believe in money. How they get it is completely immaterial, as long as they have it all.

    • (((fka_donnie_d)))

      At the risk of sounding like a broken record.

      As a first-generation Russian immigrant, I can absolutely guarantee that Putin has no strategic foreign policy whatsoever. Every fucking thing he does is for domestic consumption. Even assuming the investigation conclusively proves that his ratfucking had no effect on the final outcome, he still gets everything he wants. He got away basically scot-free ratfucking the elections of the last remaining superpower, and then he made us spend millions (if not billions) on an investigation into something everybody already knows. His base (which is, believe it or not, about 80% of the Russian population) will eat that shit up. And, if Larry O’Donnell is to be believed last night, he gets to skate on various shady tricks he uses to dodge sanctions. His only major problem is that now nobody will touch sanctions repeal with a 10-foot cattleprod, but that’s only a serious problem if his owners find a serious replacement for him – not likely.

      • Swampay

        Fascinating, thanks for this.

      • marxalot

        Yep. Putin is part of a long and weird pattern of behaving on the foreign stage, before the foreign press, in order to be viewed by the domestic population. The two-stage mirror, or double-consciousness, goes back at least to the Thirty Years’ War. It doesn’t matter what the rest of the world does: it matters how the Russian people see the foreign press reacting to Russia. And in a lot of cases, the “worse” the reaction is, the more positive the reflection on the autocrat.

        • (((fka_donnie_d)))

          what was going on in 30 years war?

          • marxalot

            Tsardom trying to grab more of Poland, largely, nipping at the heels of the combatants and attempting to interpose itself into diplomatic relations.

      • Paul

        Who are his owners? I thought he had everyone in his pocket with the threat of prison and taking their fortunes?

        • (((fka_donnie_d)))

          Oligarchs. He only jails the ones who don’t pay him. Some of them are too big to jail. Berezovsky may be one, most likely we will never know names.

          • Paul

            But are they powerful enough to overthrow him? I thought those oligarchs made their money only because Putin let them. And do they have balls? It would likely take several of them acting together to accomplish their goals. Could they trust each other?

          • (((fka_donnie_d)))

            They are definitely powerful enough to overthrow him, but without a viable replacement they will just start infighting. So any serious discussion about changing figureheads has to start with a serious candidate.

          • Paul

            OK. Thanks.

          • (((fka_donnie_d)))

            Not to mention, if they go any great length of time without a good figurehead they risk a real popular uprising. Since they’re first in line to swing from the lampposts, they’d kinda like to avoid that :).

    • Paul

      Anybody hurt by that run on sentence?

  • mardam422

    That cyber stuff can be so fucking hot!!!

    • WotsAllThisThen

      I only hope Sandra Bullock can get the floppy disk to the authorities in time.

      • Everrett Fanuelli
        • Joe Beese

          Is that the girl from the bus?

          • shastakoala

            Was it speeding?

        • Thiazin Red

          I really want to do a 90s “OMG the Internetz will kill us” movie marathon.

      • Msgr_MΩment

        By the time she’s done with it, it’ll be a hard drive.

      • Augustus

        WELCOME TO MOZART’S GHOST *early 90’s guitar riff*

  • Skwerl the Taco Hunter
  • Oblios_Cap

    I believe the Rooskies manipulated the vote count but we’ll keep being told they didn’t so that the electorate will continue to have some faith in the voting process.

    YMMV

    • Latverian Diplomat

      It’s possible, but not necessary to explain the results, IMHO.

      Given the sad state of our voting machines and the lack of audit trails, it’s impossible to know either way.

  • Scooby
    • Unmutual Tetsu Kaba

      Another day ending in y.

    • TJ Barke

      Why didn’t you stop me from committing treason!?

  • Msgr_MΩment

    I think the only really interesting question left is: does Ivanka take Daddy’s side or hubby’s side when they inevitably turn on each other?
    Or does she find a hunky federal prosecutor to ride off into the sunset with?

    • Bobathonic

      That’ll conundrum will make for some weird pillow talk.

      With Daddy.

    • Good_Gawd_Yall

      Daddy has more money (on paper) and enormous wrath and vengeance; hubby has massive debt (who buys something with the number 666 anyway?) and is quite likely to do actual prison time. It’s not even a hard question.

      • efoveks

        Plus Daddy so far has avoided prison for his exploits. Daddy-in-law Kushner however… not so lucky. She likes her conmen to not be caught. Probably.

    • SeeTrain65
      • Msgr_MΩment

        “I moved on him like a bro. But I couldn’t get there. And he was married.”

        • Snark Tank Full of Resistance

          “If you’re famous enough, they let you get away with it. Grab ’em by the cock, they let you get away with it.”

          • Three Finger Salute

            “Speak softly and grab him by the hockey stick”

    • Persistent Tennessee Rain

      Someone remind her that Justin Trudeau is unavailable.

      • shastakoala

        Wouldn’t matter. It’s inherited.

  • Beanz&Berryz

    What’s wrong with a little cybering? It’s not like it’s cheating.

  • Everrett Fanuelli

    Did you know France is out oldest ally? A lot of people don’t know that. Trump, obviously, during his speech with Macron didn’t know that. Trump is right though. A lot of Americans don’t know that because stupid.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Bastille Day celebrates the first steps toward the execution of the French King that helped us, FWIW. :)

      • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

        “Should we honor our treaty, King Louis’ head?”
        “Uh, do whatever you want, I’m super dead!”

    • Persistent Tennessee Rain

      Jesus Hussein Christ. Seriously? Maybe we should create a civics test that candidates have to pass in order to be on the ballot. This is embarrassing as hell. FFS, also too, anyone who has been to see Hamilton fucking knows that. Holy Shit. Hallelujiah. Pass the Tylenol.

      • Thiazin Red

        Even without that, how many towns and cities have a Lafayette street, park, both? My shitty town had like 20 streets total and one of them was Lafayette street.

        • Persistent Tennessee Rain

          Okay, so he did say France is our oldest ally and he did mention Lafayette. However, he also threw in the gratuitous, “A lot of people don’t know that.” And, by now, we all know that is code for, “I never knew that until just now.”

          • Thiazin Red

            People don’t know that, everyone learns it in elementary school, same thing.

    • Persistent Tennessee Rain

      Listening now. Macron is very gracious. I’m not to trump shitting words from his cake hole yet.

      http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/watch-live-trump-frances-macron-hold-joint-news-conference/

    • marxalot

      Well, shee-it. Having driven down who knows how many Lafeyette Sts, visited the Historic French Legation (movie nights!), eaten lunch in Beaumont, read the papers of Beauregard Mirabeau Lamar, and ridden the LaSalle Rapids ride at Six Flags, I was totally unfamiliar with that until just now!

    • Hemp Dogbane

      If he says “Did you know…” it’s the tell that he just learned something.
      “Lots of people are saying good things about Lafayette. Good things.”

      • Thiazin Red

        He is America’s favorite fighting Frenchman.

  • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

    OT: Let the rigging commence. Sure, the CBO “will take too long”, so let’s let a partisan hack give us the answer we want!
    https://twitter.com/byrdinator/status/885513743261741056

    • WotsAllThisThen

      Shucks. Tom Price can score that bill in the time it takes to type a one page report.

    • Martini Ambassador 🍸

      Alternative scoring to go with the alternative facts. Sure, why not?

    • Msgr_MΩment

      Alternate score: A+ for Effort.

    • The KGB Ate Our Votes

      I heard a pundit on Hannity’s radio show advocating for letting multiple entities score the GOP healthcare bill. You know, make it a competition to see who could come up with the best numbers.

      • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

        Get a Hollywood accountant to do it. I mean, if they can show how blockbusters that made 9-figure box offices actually lost money they can do anything.

      • Unmutual Tetsu Kaba

        The alternative facts olympics?

    • Canis Greyhame

      Remember when America was supposed to be a country where you were entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts? I want that country back.

  • Martini Ambassador 🍸
    • Msgr_MΩment

      You take that back! Hillz loves us all, unworthy though we be!

    • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

      Subtitle: Especially you, Bill. You know what you did.

    • GoutMachine

      All of the upfists for the meet and right use of “all y’all.”

  • Unmutual Tetsu Kaba

    A fascinating question on Trump's very detailed knowledge of the meeting with the Russian attorney he knew nothing about.🤔🤔🤔 https://t.co/52qt9sfRXU— Eric Garland (@ericgarland) July 13, 2017

    • MynameisBlarney

      And besides. It was Obama’s fault for letting that rooshan mob lawyer (that no son of his ever met, believe me) into the US in the 1st place.
      Bigly.

      https://www.democraticunderground.com/10141819875

    • Joe Beese

      Those details are from Junior’s description of the meeting, for what little that’s worth.

      Nothing new there.

  • Reximus

    Uh-oh…be well Jimmah!

    Jimmy Carter hospitalized for dehydration during Habitat build

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/13/jimmy-carter-hospitalized-for-dehydration-during-habitat-build.html

  • William
    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      Hey, c’mon man. Not cool.

    • yyyaz

      No. Seriously. The prison-industry in this country is so far beyond the pale of anything civilized nations have.

    • House0fTheBlueLights

      Prison rape jokes are pretty much the definition of against The Rules.

      • William

        There is actually no mention or suggestion of rape. I did try to bring to light albeit not very effectively how it might be for Donald to find himself in the position so many women were in when he felt like he had license and privilege to assault them because he is a “star”. Tic tacs not included.

  • Nounverb911
  • Jeffocaster in the East
    • John Thorstensen

      A trip over to Time’s own website confirms that it is real.

  • shastakoala

    Total collapse of internal organs can be hitched up by your bootstraps.

  • The KGB Ate Our Votes

    CNBC reports — The Congressional Budget Office on Thursday released its analysis of President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal and, in doing so, refuted his claim that his plan will balance the federal budget in a decade. The Trump administration estimated a $16 billion surplus by 2027, but according to the CBO, it would actually be a $720 billion deficit.
    .
    “I am so good at math. I do the best math. Believe me. Believe me”

  • La forza del resistino

    ‘Bitch set Me up’ take II
    Loretta Lynch smuggles Russian lawyer lady into the country.
    Bill looks her over on the tarmac and gives thumbs up.
    Lynch flies her to NYC and gives her cab fare to get to Trump Tower.
    voilà

    • Jeffocaster in the East

      Loretta Lynn is a good country girl and patriotic…..oh wait….never mind….

  • Blackest Noobs

    he probably did…they all probably committed treason…not for loyalty to Mother Russia but so they could make more money…everyone associated with Trump is like the character Burke in Aliens who wanted to bring back the xenomorph to make a buck.

    they all should be put up against a wall and shot with votes…LOTTSA VOTES.

  • The KGB Ate Our Votes

    Clinton lost the decisive states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania by a combined 77,744 votes….never passed the smell test with this dog.

    • Vincent Ricola

      This dog cosigns.

      • The KGB Ate Our Votes

        (( high paw ))

        • shastakoala

          Woof word

      • Dudleydidwrong

        Does a dog cosine by pissing on a log?

        • Werewolf

          I think you’re off on a tangent here.

          • Oblios_Cap

            Oh, say can you secant…

        • SeeTrain65

          The sines are there for all to see.

        • Bobathonic

          Yes, in a circle, rithmically.

  • Dudleydidwrong

    Nothing new here. As I recall my Russki history learnings, Aaron Burr became president when Catherine (The Great) manipulated the vote while in bed with a horse.

    Oh, wait….

  • Joe Beese
    • laughingnome

      His buddy Jim told him.

    • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

      One would think he would think twice about making fun of others over bankruptcies, but who am I kidding, this dude doesn’t live in our reality.

    • kaydenpat

      Such empathy!! Such class!! So Trump.

      • GunToting[Redacted]

        wow

      • TJ Barke

        We should feed him to a Shiba Inu.

    • Bub, the truculent Zombie

      Even then he was so statesmanlike – so Presidential!

    • Oblios_Cap

      Gee, I wonder what Spy ever did to him?

      Spoiler: I used to read Spy faithfully. I know exactly why he has been pissed at them all of these years

      • SeeTrain65

        (Psst … Oblios_Cap … one more time for those of us with short-term … all right and long-term … memory loss … how do you do the shading again?)

        • mailman27

          Hover yer curser

          • SeeTrain65

            Sorry, wasn’t clear perhaps.

            I meant THE HTML CODE (you know, the stuff between the ).

          • BradtheBot

            You use hello
            Eliminate spaces after and before the

          • SeeTrain65

            I knew it started with an “s,” but thought it might be something like “stealth” or “secret.”

            Thanks BradtheBot!

        • crisptickle

          you do “show source” in your browser.

          • SeeTrain65

            Good idea, but I don’t think of that because it annoys me when I do it accidentally. Plus, it always reminds me of my C- grade in CIS 100 when I went to College way back in the late 1700s.

        • Oblios_Cap

          Bracket Spoiler> and bracket/ spoiler>, with “bracket” being <. (if I typed it without spelling it out, you'd only see this:

          • SeeTrain65

            I think since I asked you there have been about 4,516 people who’ve told me this, so to stop me asking stupid questions again, I just wrote it long hand and stapled it to my forehead. ; )

            But thanks again.

  • Mr. Blobfish

    Conclusion? Treason. I don’t rhyme as good as Smellyanne.

  • kaydenpat

    Drip. Drip. Drip. This will soon become a deluge because these are the sleaziest, most corrupt folks to ever occupy the White House — at least in my memory.

    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      Harding and Grant come the closest, scandal-wise. But both of those were ostensibly the result of the two men being far too trusting of friends and acquaintances (who later turned out to be crooked) and there was little evidence that they themselves were corrupt.

      • LucindathePook

        and Grant had some redeeming military abilities.

  • Jeffocaster in the East

    “Russia annexing the US is good for the economy, good because they have fabulous healthcare, and because Putin is a quality guy. Like my sons. Hillary’s emails prove all this. Ask the Fox News organization. And Congress. Make America Great Again, comrade.”

  • Moebym Reborn

    OT News: Kid Rock is running against Debbie Stabenow in 2018.

    Great. What are his qualifications, again?

    • SeeTrain65

      Joe C. would be a better candidate. Even the decayed, rotting corpse of Joe C. would be a better candidate.

    • WotsAllThisThen

      I guess the Dems might have to recruit Kanye West after all.

      • Moebym Reborn

        I thought Kanye supported Trump. Who knows what he really stands for, anyway (well, aside from himself).

        • Old town Urbandale

          Besides, America’s all about dynasties these days. Chelsea Clinton’s over 35 by now, isn’t she?

          • Moebym Reborn

            Yes. She’s 37. Clinton or not, she’s far more qualified than the current president, and certainly far more qualified than a certain other famous First Daughter who doesn’t need to be named.

    • Blackest Noobs

      it’s bullshit.

      As the article stated : “As of Wednesday evening, the F.E.C. had not yet processed a filing from Ritchie, meaning that it’s still unclear whether this is merely a promotional gag or an earnest proclamation of intent.”

      Kid Bored Rock is releasing a new album….this is more likely a publicity stunt than actual bid for office.

      • Rags

        don’t bet on it. This is a new reality.

        • Blackest Noobs

          AGAIN…if you run for office, you have to file paperwork.

          NO.PAPERWORK.HAS.BEEN.FILED.

          Occam’s Razor….what is the more likely outcome….KID BORED trying to score publicity points (capitalizing on his “friendship” with Trump) for his shitty new album or mr rockstar wanting to actually have to work a “REAL” job?

          my bets are on the former.

    • GoutMachine

      Instead of a Doomsday Clock, can we get an Idiocracy Clock? Or is it already fifteen minutes past midnight on that one?

    • Relativicus

      Charlie Pierce is fond of saying that Trump is the inevitable conclusion to forty years of conservative insanity. I think he’s being short-sighted. I fear Trump is the beginning of an entire new era — one where we continue to elect people who have no understanding of government whatsoever, little competence to lead, and no business Running for local dog catcher — which is itself the conclusion of forty years of conservative insanity.

  • Canis Greyhame

    Wait, hold on, back the truck up! Are we uncovering evidence that pro-Trump Russian trolls also attacked OTHER REPUBLICANS in the primary?

    McClatchy: “Watts, now a cybersecurity specialist with the Foreign Policy Research Institute, said the targets included former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.”

    How’s the GOP supposed to feel about accepting foreign attacks on U.S. sovereignty if it turns out the Trump campaign also colluded with Russians in an attack on their own goddamn process for nominating candidates? At that point they don’t even have the party-before-country instinct to fall back on, it’s just hooray for international coup attempts (that at least get us a few Supreme Court picks along the way).

    • WotsAllThisThen

      I didn’t think the face-eating leopard party would eat MY face!

      • Canis Greyhame

        They didn’t realize the Leopards-eating-faces Party was actually eating their own faces the whole time!

        • Nockular cavity

          It’s leopards eating faces all the way down.

          • H0mer0

            and hopefully GOP eating feces all the way down.

    • OutOfOrbit

      If the GOP can wrap their brains around this idear, they’ll 1st & last be pissed, but then always too inflixble to change course.

      • C4TWOMAN

        Maybe, maybe not. There’s already some breaking ranks over the ACA repeal.

        • OutOfOrbit

          True.

          • Old town Urbandale

            Don’t count the NO votes before they’re cast.

    • Bub, the truculent Zombie

      Remember when Hillary allegedly being given a debate question was an unspeakably foul crime?

      • thegirlwiththekittentattoo

        WELL ACTUALLY, that was much, much worse than anything that Trump or the Russians could have done because she obviously conspired with the DNC to rig the primary. I am quite sure of this because I don’t know what “conspire,” “rig,” “several million more votes,” or “a base that’s supported her for years” mean. Also, too BERNIE WOULD HAVE WON BECAUSE HE IS INFALLABLE SO THERE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN ANY OPPO RESEARCH OR SMEAR CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA TOTALLY WOULD HAVE BUTTED OUT IF HE HAD BEEN THE NOMINEE!!!

        Did I do it right?

    • C4TWOMAN

      Following all this the question growing in my mind is, did Russia not just enable Trump’s presidency, but help him secure the nomination?

      By all logical, historical accounts, Jeb Bush should have walked away with the nomination…

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        of course they did- no other GOP candidate would serve nearly as well as patsy/wrecking ball/useful idiot as the boy king. Besides, this gave them a dress rehearsal for the general election and an opportunity to fine tune the process. The fact that Jeb/Rubio/Kasich et al aren’t screaming from the high heavens shows what utter cowards they all are

        • C4TWOMAN

          In that case I still wonder if at first it was just about smearing Killary, and compromising the nomination/election was an after thought. Even Trump was(apparently) surprised he won….

    • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

      The rationale remains the same no matter what he does: legislation and judges. Once he ceases to be useful to them is when they’ll turn on him.

  • Joe Beese

    You are cordially invited…

    President Donald Trump’s eldest son has been invited to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee — and the panel’s chairman says he’s willing to subpoena him if necessary.

    Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told reporters Thursday he was sending Donald Trump Jr. a letter asking him to testify and hoped he would come “pretty soon,” perhaps as early as next week.

    Grassley added that he is willing to wield his subpoena pen to compel Trump Jr.’s attendance.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/13/donald-trump-jr-testify-congress-240507

    • WotsAllThisThen

      Oh good, this is what Junior said he wanted right?

    • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

      “We want him in front of this committee so we can run interference for him and concoct a thinly plausible alibi for Fox and our other media organs to run with until the next scandal begins the cycle all over again.”
      “Err, Senator Grassley, don’t you mean ‘get his story straight’?”
      “… No.”

      • Old town Urbandale

        “Sorry, can’t make it to your vote on the kill-the-poor-and-sick-and-oh-yeah-Obama-sucks bill, I’ve got these important hearings to attend.”

    • SeeTrain65

      Yeah, keep that “subpeona pen” in your pants, Chuck.

      Oh, wait. I completely misunderstood that sentence. Sorry.

  • (((fka_donnie_d)))

    So, the new talking point is, “everyone in politics would have taken this meeting”.

    From the guy who promised to not act like a normal politician.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XltWe4PZLN4/Td7A3YKsjlI/AAAAAAAALGk/JnDPKzu4eF8/s1600/tmp.jpg

  • Joe Beese

    Senate Republicans released a new draft of their bill to repeal Obamacare Thursday, which tentatively includes a controversial amendment from Ted Cruz. The change is aimed at building enough GOP support to open debate on the bill next week, but it’s not clear the votes will be there.

    Some senators aren’t even sure the bill will get a vote next week given opposition from a cross-section of Republicans. …

    Some Republican senators now believe it will be a victory to even open debate on the legislation passed by the House, one senator familiar with the negotiations said.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/13/senate-republicans-health-care-bill-cruz-lee-240498

    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      It’s time for:
      Lowered. Expectation. THEATER!

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      Anything but actually try to fix the existing program- fuck these people

  • CutterTeam

    Just like I’m pretty sure the Administration has already changed the nuclear launch code to 1-2-3-4-5, I’m guessing the bot executable is stored on Kushner’s laptop in the C:TreasonRussiaHillary folder.

  • Joe Beese
  • Daniel Hooper

    Russia may not have directly hacked voting machines, but it’s sounding like they were hacking people psychologically. If you throw up enough detour signs, there aren’t a lot of average citizens who are going to get out and investigate to see if the detour is really necessary or that the detour is sending them through some very sketchy areas.

    • Three Finger Salute

      Which is why it’s the perfect crime that nobody can really get punished for. One man’s propaganda is another’s “armchair opinion blog.” All of it legally comes under free speech, and you can’t just geoblock half the Internet because they’re foreign or don’t like what they’re saying. You can’t mandate that people write facts on the Internet. You can educate, but since a little more than 2/3 of the country now believes that education is itself harmful to our “national values,” short of going full Soviet and brainwashing the public at indoctrination camps, people are going to be free to believe what they want to believe even if it comes from hostile foreign sources or tabloid garbage like Fox.

      Even Europe and Canada, which have “hate speech” laws, don’t go that far. The worst you’d get in trouble for is calling Obama that word. Accusing him of being a “leftist,” however, doesn’t even so much as come under libel laws because the term “leftist” is itself subjective. Who’s he to the left of? Someone, that’s for sure. And he belongs to the Democratic Party, which is not the Republican party, and does have a platform that wavers between progressive reformism and centrist compromise rather than right-wing reactionary. So is Obama a leftist? He’s not Mao, but he’s certainly not Franco either. Whether it’s an insult to run away from or defend against is another matter entirely. You may as well call Hillary a woman or Trudeau a Canadian.

  • Carpe Vagenda
  • weejee

    Political rust never sleeps.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1afd54f2f53c04bf4a8d25d3acbc4d7520d8bb3a801cfc2683b6fc781d22d9ca.jpg

    / with apologies to Neil Young & Crazy Horse

  • AnnieGetYerFun

    Sincere question for the legal types that hang out in this non-commenting section: is it illegal to use comments to spread anti-candidate propaganda? And if it’s not, is it illegal to hire a foreign company to do it for you?

    • Panika MCD

      it’s illegal for a campaign, candidate or PAC to pay for or receive an in-kind donation of that sort from a foreign national–which includes foreign based companies. it’s also illegal to not disclose those donations if they are made by an American national. it is not illegal for people to spread it on their own, though.

      • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

        And that’s why “dark money” is such a concern. Lot of belief that the black-box PACs and dark money outfits are skirting the foreign national laws.

        • Panika MCD

          yes there is. you should see the FEC forward in the 2012 manual about Citizens United. it’s a pretty big “FUCK YOU!” to SCOTUS for that ruling.

        • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

          Because what’s to keep a foreign National from contributing to a non profit that doesn’t campaign directly for the candidate, but creates plenty of other mischief that just happens to benefit said candidate?

          • Panika MCD

            depends on how much of that gets away from the NPs stated purpose as filed with the IRS.

      • AnnieGetYerFun

        Thank you. And would bot and human-posted comments count as an in-kind donation? Could a campaign set up their own bot networks to spread malicious and false comments?

        • Panika MCD

          let me look in the manual for that second one, but the first would be illegal only if the campaign, candidate or PAC filed with the FEC–or a group which should have files with the FEC, another count in and of itself–accepted or solicited it. but we’re getting away from the question of whether someone gave them access to Voter Vault.

          • AnnieGetYerFun

            Thanks, I appreciate the learned input.

          • Panika MCD

            I’m not finding anything, you may want to ask someone more familiar with libel laws. HOWEVER, if the campaign had created its own bot network–and this also applies to independent communications expenditures (the funding of bot networks in this case) by individuals, corporations, unions and PACs–all materials disseminated in that manner would still require a disclaimer notice (that little thing at the bottom of political materials saying who paid for it).

    • TJ Barke

      There’s probably no laws about that in particular, but as I understand it’s illegal to seek foreign aid for you campaign.

      • Panika MCD

        it says “accept or solicit” in the FEC manual.

    • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

      Time was, foreigners can and have come to the U.S. for their own political ends, including opposing specific people or legislation, and are allowed to do so (see Citizen Genet, for example). That said, they’re usually asked to leave fairly quickly. We’re in a new frontier here where foreign agents can spread misinformation or propaganda without even passing our borders, and the law (and law enforcement) hasn’t caught up.

      • Three Finger Salute

        And it never will. We’re in a globalized world now, and one man’s “propaganda” is still everyone’s 1A speech. You can’t just geoblock Russia or issue a “travel ban” against hostile foreign powers sending traffic through the Internet. If we could, Press TV wouldn’t be accessible and neither would anything from Saudi Arabia. Fuck, even Cuba has a rudimentary “cyber network” where you can read Castro’s last blog post at Granma. North fucking Korea has their own YouTube channel!

        The new “cyberwar” will be a much biglier one than disabling nuclear warheads with Stuxnet or fighting identity theft. It’s a propaganda war for the minds and hearts of the citizenry and it’s going to get ugly just like every other war for the ideological soul of a man.

        Russia has already won half the battle, because the 60M+ people who voted for Trump already had preexisting prejudices against Democrats and their diverse constituents that could easily be exploited and amplified all the way to the ballot box. We were not ready for Obama and will never have another one as a result.

        The fact that the Republicans already have the ball in their court as a result means that their policies are going to succeed and literally kill millions of people at home (through tearing down infrastructure) and abroad (through endless war). If the goal is to save people’s lives, the Republicans have to be defeated as though they are, themselves, a rogue element of a now apartheid government aiming to suppress and ultimately crush the majority-minority “aspirant constituency” once and for all.

        But that’s going to mean taking all the gloves off and becoming that which we hate — fighting the same fight of fraud and suppression against conservatives and then having to admit that both sides must do it because one side is willing to fight dirty. If they enlist Russia, we’ll have to enlist, I dunno, Europe and Canada. But what do you do when parts of their government also have rogue hijackers (like the Brexiteers and the increasingly unhinged Tories) waiting in the wings and seeking to undermine the legitimacy of our allies too?

        Either we fight dirty, or we stay playing by the books and keep getting hit below the belt. Either way, the fact that we’ve been dragged down to the level where that even becomes a dilemma means the terrorists have already won.

        https://ronniemcbrayer.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/pogo.jpg

    • Lance Thrustwell

      I am from Moldovia; you would like to discuss rates?

  • Joe Beese

    Right-leaning HotAir:

    Did Jared … lie to the president about what the Veselnitskaya meeting was really about? As I recall, Mike Flynn misleading Mike Pence about what he’d said to Kislyak on sanctions was a firing offense. How much worse is the offense if it’s the president himself who’s being misled about something as gravely serious as an attempt at collusion? And how much worse would it be if, after lying to Trump, Jared and his team turned around and handed Don Jr’s emails to the Times to make sure that Junior, not Jared, took all of the heat politically for the Veselnitskaya meeting?

    http://hotair.com/archives/2017/07/13/quarantine-trump-lawyers-reportedly-trying-wall-off-russiagate-conversations-jared-kushner/

    • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

      Much as I despise the little twerp, Kushner at least seems like the voice of reason-ish in a cabinet that features a sentient herpes boil (Bannon) and various self-interested finance guys. I don’t doubt for a second that Bannon is fueling the idea that Kushner misled or lied to Trump in order to clear the field of any and all moderating influences on Trump.

      • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

        I originally breathed a sigh of relief when it seemed like Bannon was on the outs. Im not sure who is worse anymore. Kushner because of his sheer arrogance and incompetence, or Bannon, because he’s evil and he may have the capacity to learn from his mistakes.

        • Mormos

          bannon, obviously bannon. the man is a dug in tick.

          “governments come and go, tallyrand remains.”

      • Three Finger Salute

        Well, if a 12-year-old with a crackle counts as the “voice” of reason.

      • Lori

        Jared is a self-interested finance guy. Just ask the government of Qatar

    • Relativicus

      Well, it’s better than “Putin was really helping Clinton.”

  • Panika MCD

    Also, McClatchy reporters Peter Stone and Greg Gordon note that the Russian trolling effort was active against Trump’s primary opponents,

    THIS! this is exactly what I emailed Cornyn about that got me a personal response…well, that and referring to Cruz as “the junior senator” rather than by name. I didn’t think that they had access to voter data, but that if they had messed with the general, then there was no reason to believe that they didn’t mess with the primary–and that it is likely that they were sloppier about it at that point.

    the other question is whether Parscale and/or Kushner (and it would have been Kushner because Parscale isn’t that kind of an idiot or prick) gave the Russians access to Voter Vault (the GOP version of NGP-VAN). if he did, we all have to get new VUIDs and move because that would be the only way to scramble the data they would have at that point. we also may lose the VAN….FUCK.

  • Serai 1
  • Jenny

    And here’s the part where they connect the dots right to the The Republican Party. I sure hope Rinse Penis likes prison!

    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      Also Cambridge Analytica, Bannon, and the Mercers. Please please please.

    • TJ Barke

      Jenny, please, his name is Rancid Prepuce.

      • Lance Thrustwell

        Runt’s Prolapse.

    • canes_pugnaces

      I always assumed that it was wretched pubis? Which is it?

  • Lance Thrustwell

    If THIS – or anything this explicit – pans out, that’s when you’re going to see some rank & file Republicans jumping ship. The meeting with the lawyer was wrong, but you could still make the argument that they were just looking for things Hillary did that were actually, y’know, wrong, and they would have required proof, and so forth.

    With this? Not so much!

    • Old town Urbandale

      Yeah, but there’s also going to be a hell of a lot of them thinking, “I wonder if Russian propaganda bots could help my reelection campaign?”

      • Lance Thrustwell

        Yeesh. True.

    • Panika MCD

      you still can’t receive that from a foreign national.

      • Lance Thrustwell

        Oh, I know! I’m just trying to guess at their convenient rationalizations about that.

        • Lord Jim

          I get what you’re saying. Trump could kick a baby on the White House lawn and his excuse would be “Ya know, kicking a baby is not so bad. It was a really mean baby, shat all over me and everything. Terrible baby.” Lame-ass excuses from the admin. make me wonder why they even bother to defend their actions. Why don’t they just go with the old, Nixonian “If the President does it, it’s not illegal” thing?

          • Lance Thrustwell

            Right! Just needs an update: If anyone who was or is associated with the man who happens to be president at the moment does it, it’s not illegal!

          • Panika MCD

            I think they have…

          • laineypc

            The problem is, this MO is by now second nature. This is how Trump has navigated his way through life, gaslighting and grifting for greed and ego. Takes no thought. Actually governing, learning how to govern, that’s a lot to ask.

        • Panika MCD

          anyone who has read the manual–and Manafort has–can’t rationalize ot hat way. since he was present, that excuse falls apart.

          • Lance Thrustwell

            True, true.

      • Lord Jim

        Doesn’t take a PhD in PolSci to figure out that getting oppo research from a hostile foreign power is not a good idea any way you slice it.

  • Sophia

    OT but Bwhahaha

    Pence: Leaders should be humble, exercise self-control

    Vice President Pence shared advice Wednesday with a group of students in Chicago on how to be a leader like President Trump, saying a leader must be humble and exercise self-control.

    http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/341666-pence-leaders-should-be-humble-exercise-self-control?

    • WotsAllThisThen

      And tweet like a 12 year old who forgot to take his Ritalin.

    • Lance Thrustwell

      That is some transparent self-advertising right there.

    • GoutMachine

      I see this as him setting himself up as next POTUS.

    • Canis Greyhame

      But when a man is alone in the presence of a not-mother-wife harlot, self-control is naturally an impossible expectation.

      • Lance Thrustwell

        Well, naturally.

        • Lord Jim

          Because men were made by God to mindlessly and uncontrollably fuck any female-shaped object in reach.

          • Lance Thrustwell

            Reminds me – if you visit my house, you might not want to touch the mannequins.

          • Lord Jim

            The heart wants what the heart wants…XD

          • Pax Americana Per Ars Smith

            “Mother says so.”

  • marxalot

    Update: campus is clear. Shots came from driver/passenger in a car chasing another car onto campus. Cops doing cleanup. Everyone’s okay here.

    • Lance Thrustwell

      I missed your earlier announcement! Glad everything’s okay.

    • Lord Jim

      Good to know. I didn’t catch the news of what’s going on with you; in any case, glad that all are ok.

    • Sophia

      Thanks for letting us know

    • Excellent. That kind of thing happened once, on the campus I work at, and we were on lockdown until 6 p.m.

    • MizzMazz

      Glad all is well. Scary shit.

  • ltmcdies

    OT: An American in Paris…making the world vomit one stupid comment at a time

    https://twitter.com/NBCNightlyNews/status/885560830229712896

    • Beanz&Berryz

      That’s how Trump thinks you say ” you’re hot,” in French.

    • OutOfOrbit

      incontinent at both ends, shit just slips out now & then.

    • Sophia

      Srsly, deep sigh

    • Nounverb911
      • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

        Anyone think that might have been revenge for what Macron did to his hand, or is that too far back for Trump to remember?

        • Zippy W Pinhead

          bingo- pick on his wife because he humiliated him

          • Lord Jim

            Because narcissist. Remember, they share a key characteristic of psychopaths – no empathy or remorse.

      • OutOfOrbit

        It’s pathological–he can’t stop himself.

      • H0mer0

        look at those arms! She needs to work out more/sn

    • Canis Greyhame

      You can take the slumlord out of the slum, but you can’t take the slum out of the slumlord.

      • Lord Jim

        Damn. Bullseye.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      The Fugly American. I’m surprised they invited him.

      • Lord Jim

        This guy should make Fugly Americans embarrassed. I swear, the Beverly Hillbillies were more mannered and refined than the Trump crime family.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      I’m surprised he didn’t open her mouth to check her teeth…

    • sadboy

      Watch out for his hands, Brigitte! The guy’s a grabber!

    • shastakoala

      I have the distinct feeling Dear President Carter will leave this world in the aide of the the less fortunate. Best wishes.

      • OutOfOrbit

        He has paid his dues many times over.

    • Panika MCD

      never forget that we will never be as badass as President Carter building houses with Habitat for Humanity at 92!

      • Lord Jim

        President Carter is clearly of the “Let your light so shine” sect of Christianity. Tragically, “evangelicals” have forgotten him and turned to licking the rancid butthole of the Trumpenfuhrer.

        • Panika MCD

          he also is in the Golden Rule group and that which believes in service to their fellow man and that which believes being “stewards of the Earth” means taking care of it.

          • Lord Jim

            Clearly a heretic. Burn him.

          • Panika MCD

            obviously, he reads. reading, as many people are saying, is witchcraft–which is also too heresy. most people don’t know that!

    • H0mer0

      I misread it as “he was feeling feline.”

  • Nounverb911
    • GoutMachine

      My god, he really does look like Alec Baldwin’s character.

    • Zippy W Pinhead
      • Lord Jim

        Je suis Jim? :P

        • Three Finger Salute

          Je suis Groot?

      • Pax Americana Per Ars Smith

        “Jim Hebdo, that’s his name! Charlie’s brother!”

    • MississippiLefty

      Trump really thinks he is being charming.

      • natoslug

        I thought that was his “I farted” face.

    • natoslug

      If only France were like America, with a strong NRA keeping us all safe, they would be completely free of violence. Especially gun violence. I mean really, when’s the last time you heard of a shooting here in the good ol’ U.S. of A?

    • H0mer0

      WTF was that?

      • HarpyLibtart

        That’s the “You’re not laughing at this crazy orange fool, you are NOT laughing; you’re the President of France, just hold it in til the cameras leave.” face.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    Alablamma won’t let bars and restaurants sell pitchers of margaritas, because they think the alcohol “settles” and upright Alablammians can’t be sure they’re getting all the booze what they paid for. http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/07/alabama_abc_says_no_to_margari.html

    The stoopid is especially humid down there: This is the same ABC that banned a wine with an artsy-fartsy label that apparently was just too much for Alablammians to handle.
    http://media.npr.org/assets/blogs/thetwo-way/images/2009/07/Cycles-Gladiator-Label-f4db8d13b9ecdcaaa1e85044aa15fc712b04dcc8-s600-c85.jpg

    Of course, “Banned in ‘Bama” was all the winery needed to quadruple their sales in the 49 normal states.

    • OutOfOrbit

      A wine with legs! Nice butt too.

      • Lord Jim

        Nice bod, butter face…XD

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        definitely a red wine

      • whitroth

        And her hair!

    • Lance Thrustwell

      I have had wine from that label! I think it was a white or rosé, but I’m not sure. I remember liking it.

  • Zippy W Pinhead

    if you want to get the skinny on what Jared was up to, just read up on Strategic Campaign Group and Cambridge Analytica

  • spangled

    cambridge analytica and the Mercers are so fucking sketchy and i think the key to all of this.

    the guardian piece about how their targeted algorithms affected the brexit vote is truly eye-opening:
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/07/the-great-british-brexit-robbery-hijacked-democracy

    and if they had the voter roll information (from russian hackers) on top of their already exhaustive data?

    • BillEGoatSmirk

      And what’s going to happen if the Trump/Kobach fake voter integrity commission gets the information that it wants? Our voting info then goes straight to the RNC or even worse, Trump’s Russian handlers. …The only good news there is that about half the states told them to fuck right off and that the ACLU filed suit last week.

  • Thiazin Red

    OT: I feel special, the admins like me enough to include me in their gossip.

    • stubbornirishlass

      Gossip not allowed, nor are comments.

  • Lord Jim

    Russians found an easy target in an American anti-intellectual electorate consumed by sexism, racism, and xenophobia. People don’t even care that they got played by the Russians – they got what they wanted. I sometimes think people would voluntarily suck the fetid cock of Satan if they were promised that he would ejaculate the embittered tears of liberals.

    • Three Finger Salute

      Not just any liberals, but the coalition of the aspiring, as it’s called. The crux of the matter is that Obama’s suit was too tan. That’s all 2/3 of the electorate cares about: making sure we never get a president with a tan suit ever again. And that we never have a president with a female identity, or anyone else for that matter. An orange casino magnate with a cuckoo’s nest on his head is fine, because hey, all those other “good” presidents had powdered wigs — and none of them had a natural tan.

      I do not blame Obama. However, I think the DNC apparatus — the majority having come of age during 1960s social upheaval, when fights were fought and eventually won for the recognition of humanity for everyone not a straight WASP male — is naive, too idealistic, and too much a believer in the whole RFK “see things as they should be and ask why not” doctrine. They got well ahead of the game, thinking that the U.S. was (or should be) at a point where having a black man be president wouldn’t lead to a massive pendulum swing so far to the right it would knock Hitler off his bar stool.

      They were wrong. We are not Europe or Canada and will never be Europe or Canada. Gore is a straight, white guy who lost due to malfeasance in Florida, but he also had the albatross of the Clinton administration hanging around his neck. Most, if not all, of which was nothingburgers ginned up by Lizard Gingrich and the angry GOP, who were royally pissed that this uppity young hillbilly and his outspoken wife had dared to interrupt the sacrosanct Reagan Revolution. But enough people were tired of nonstop late-night dick jokes and wanted the Clintons and anyone associated with them to disappear forever.

      Joe Biden might not have had the Obama baggage the same way Gore did, because Obama at least was never involved in a (manufactured?) sex scandal. But I do think the DNC should have nominated anybody but Hillary — and will have to nominate anyone but a minority and/or female if we’re to win in 2020 and not just “stand for principles.” All these commenters talking about a Warren/Harris ticket or Al Franken or even the Kennedy boy (for his sake, considering historical precedent, another Kennedy running for office is a bad idea) and that we’re going to push through and get single-payer and basic income and have our own Merkel clone at the helm while a VP Trudeau opens up the Department of Unicorn Hugging are fantasizing. The U.S. is not the kind of country where this can happen. It already did — and Trump is the result.

      We need to be realistic. We’re never going to have any more outlier demographic precedents. The most the U.S. can hope for is to have another straight WASP guy at the helm steering the country on a relatively stable course. We have to be content with floating in a kiddie pool rather than speeding through on a yacht around the world’s oceans. Otherwise, we’ll drown. But even he has to be spotless. Which means basically, the DNC has to be a little bit more Republican (gasp), a little more “family values” and a lot less overt radicalism (by U.S. standards), without going full fascist like the actual GOP. If we nominate anyone but Mister Rogers — and a muscular Mister Rogers, because if we nominate an actual Mister Rogers, he’ll just get written off as a “cuck” — we’re going to lose yet again.

      • tomamitai

        They got well ahead of the game, thinking that the U.S. was (or should be) at a point where having a black man be president wouldn’t lead to a massive pendulum swing so far to the right it would knock Hitler off his bar stool.

        I’m such a cynical pessimist that I was surprised no one ever took a shot at him. Maybe the obesity epidemic saved him, given that the demographic most likely to hate him that much is also the one too fat and lazy to get off their asses and do something about it.

    • Roadstergal

      “I sometimes think people would voluntarily suck the fetid cock of Satan if they were promised that he would ejaculate the embittered tears of liberals.”

      I am saving this for posterity. Depressing and true.

  • Donkey Option

    I remember back during the election talking to someone who was pretty liberal, but after the whole John Podesta email leak, there were all of these emails. “But in the emails, there were all of the incriminating things.” The leak of the emails was so huge. Not that it actually contained anything bad, but it was so easy for “people” to just make up the “in the leaked Podesta emails, Hilary talks about how dumb everyone who votes for her is” stories and you couldn’t really dubunk them. There was too much to wade through, so most people didn’t fact-check them. And all I could say was “that isn’t true,” and try to link them the facts, but it was fighting an uphill battle.

    • Lord Jim

      Made worse by the reality that facts don’t matter all that much to far too many people.

    • Roadstergal

      I went for a dive trip to the Channel Islands a month before the election. I heard a gal on the boat talking to another diver about how she just didn’t like that Hillary ‘wasn’t trustworthy.’ Nothing specific, nothing real – but a dedicated campaign of disinformation leaves people with just the taste in their mouths that Trump and Putin wanted to put there.

  • willi0000000

    t’Rump and Co. not smart enough to do the fine targeting shown by the russians . . . i suspect they did it using republican national committee data . . . possibly with direct republican help.

    • Gorillionaire

      I agree that all those rats are complicit. Today the GOPers shot down a proposal to suspend Prince Kushner’s security clearance.

    • H0mer0

      That would be Cambridge Analytica (everything but “Anal” is silent)
      (I made that up because I never grew up.)

  • laineypc

    This country will never be the same. I feel like I barely recognize it. I can only hope that some really smart and good people are standing by to pick up the pieces once this Russia thing blows us up and that the majority of Americans will feel compelled to act for the common good.

  • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

    Trump says “fixing healthcare harder than settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” and something like “Don. Jr. is just a wee lad, and din’t know who dat lady law person was and heard nothing no ways”.

    Note: Don. Jr is 10 days younger than French President Macron.

  • SayItWithOtters

    My nearly-80-year-old stepmother somehow became a hardcore Bernie-bro, even though she’d been pretty conservative before. (For whatever reason, she’s HATED the Clintons since the early ’90s.) She ruined Thanksgiving this year with a long, drunk tirade detailing every last conspiracy theory, including Pizzagate, until the whole kids’ table was sobbing.

    She will never ever, admit she got played, and I doubt any Trumpers will either. It’s pretty much impossible convince people they’ve been conned.

    • Kooolest G

      my wife was a bernie bro in the beginning, so she joined a faceplace group for bernie. she got so disgusted by the vitriol towards hillary that she switched and ended up voting for hillary in the primary (although by the time it got to CA it was already pretty much over). so in the one case the russian plot backfired, but I’m sure it worked on lots of other people

  • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

    Hmmm?

    A Republican donor and operative from Chicago’s North Shore who said he had tried to obtain Hillary Clinton’s missing emails from Russian hackers killed himself in a Minnesota hotel room days after talking to the Wall Street Journal about his efforts, public records show.

    In a room at a Rochester hotel used almost exclusively by Mayo Clinic patients and relatives, Peter W. Smith, 81, left a carefully prepared file of documents, which includes a statement police called a suicide note in which he said he was in ill health and a life insurance policy was expiring.

    the Chicago Tribune obtained a Minnesota state death record filed in Olmsted County that says Smith committed suicide in a hotel near the Mayo Clinic at 1:17 p.m. on Sunday, May 14. He was found with a bag over his head with a source of helium attached.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-peter-smith-death-met-0713-20170713-story.html

    • Ducksworthy

      Helium? Did he die screaming like a Munchkin? Wait, who would go to Rochester, MN, where there’s is the Mayo Clinic and various businesses catering to the needs of oil Sheiks and not much else, and then commit suicide?

  • stubbornirishlass

    Is it me, or has Rudy “you’ll see” Giuliani been uncharacteristically mum lately?

  • puredog

    Wait — I sense snark. Are you saying that Hillary WASN’T being mind-controlled by Ukrainian operatives? Whoa, if not true!

  • Ducksworthy

    No foul play whatsoever. Nyet!

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