The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Open Thread

As usual, feel free to use the comments to this post to discuss topics unrelated to recent articles.


Sanders Comes to Save Capitalism, Not Destroy It


Nevada Caucuses


  1. My suggestion to the “intelligence” community: Leak it. Leak it all. Leak everything you’ve got: concrete or myth. Leak everything you’ve got on every pResident this side of Ike. Everything: the bankrupt money laundering casinos, the cocaine, the hookers, the baby-raping. Everything you’ve got on the Israeli and Russian interferences in our elections. “9/11”. Benghazi!©.

    If you can find media with the courage to print it.

    Might have to start a blog …


    It wasn’t a leak, Ten Bears. Per his legal obligation, Maguire and his staff informed Congress accordingly. Maguire was, before being abruptly terminated for not being a devout loyalist, doing his duty per the law. He was a member of Trump’s administration, not a member of the DNC. He’s not a Clintonite. At what point is Trump required to take accountability versus blaming Hillary & Obama & the Dems while providing cover & apologia for Putin?

    Thank you, Bernie, for taking my advice yesterday and addressing the Russian menace. You’ll need to be much more emphatic in your addressing of the Russian menace going forward. You need to make it clear that anyone who truly supports you cannot possibly also provide apologia for Putin and Trump and cannot blame everything on the Dem establishment and the deep state.

  3. nihil obstet

    My suggestion to the political community: break the intelligence community into a thousand pieces. Actually, that was what JFK said needed to be done to the CIA. Of course, he didn’t live long after saying it. You don’t need to be what the establishment calls a conspiracy nut to see that the intelligence agencies are in fact dumb down agencies. Kennedy was reacting to the “intelligence” the CIA provided that resulted in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Since then intelligence agencies have bred like rabbits. They missed the oncoming Iranian revolution, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the 9/11 attacks and were used to promote Hussein’s arsenal of nuclear and biological weapons, and apparently magic delivery systems that spelled imminent terror to the U.S. We can suspect that any useful information that they do have is shared with our enemies, since more than 850,000 employees have the highest level of security clearance. I’d bet there’s more than one or two interested in being an information broker.

    And while they missed the kind of info from abroad that we supposedly have a CIA for, they have instituted a surveillance state on Americans that the KGB would have loved to be able to do under Stalin. Meanwhile, of course, public policy (and even some laws!) is classified so that letting out information is punishable by imprisonment. I suspect that there are some dogs and cats that get to classify documents on “Bring your pet to work day.”

  4. bruce wilder

    From the tail end of the Bernie thread
    February 22, 2020
    “A thoroughly first-rate man in public service is corrosive,” the former president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce argued in an interview published in the journal Nation’s Business in 1928. “He eats holes in our liberties. The better he is and the longer he stays the greater the danger. If he is an enthusiast–a bright-eyed madman who is frantic to make this the finest government in the world–the black plague is a housepet by comparison.”

    Me: Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again

  5. bruce wilder

    Sanders said what he had to on “Russia” I suppose, but the ripples of paranoid insanity that continue to roll thru the American political discourse from the Machiavellian decision of Clapper and Brennan to promote the “Russian interference” meme in cooperation with the Clintonistas continue to concern me.

    I just watched a recent segment on MSNBC — I do not normally watch television and so have little feel for these things unless I seek them out — where there was lots of paranoia about Facebook as well as Russia and almost zero factual reporting and absolutely no critical reasoning. The main focus seemed to be undermining the legitimacy of political resentments and grievances of people with no connection to Russia.

    We have the spectacle of our own deranged bot,, going on and on about NC being a nest of Putin agents.

    I am old enough to remember when a certain segment of the center-left that I identified with, took some pride in critical reason and objectivity — “reality-based community” we joked in response to a story about the madness infecting the Bush II Administration. But, now everyone seems content with whatever emotionally satisfying narrative is on offer today for the consumption of whichever political tribe we identify with.

    I honestly wonder whether we are watching the professional application of a form of “fire-retardant” foam to our political discourse. Is this how the PTB are suppressing the potential of a Sanders campaign to ignite populist discontent?

    If so, I can see it may be working quite well.

  6. bruce wilder

    Re: Russia & Turkey duking it out over Idlib

    Anyone want to bring that discussion here?

    Erdogan seems to be having a meltdown. I doubt the Turkish military, as huge as it is, can actually be used strategically. The trouble with being a NATO ally is that the U.S. never gives any NATO ally enough pieces to play an independent game. Hegemony and all that.

    Benjamin is right that Assad’s government remains the sole claimant to be the legitimate government of Syria under international law and Turkey’s support for a motley remnant of crazed rebels is not a very convincing argument at this late stage for “a negotiated settlement”.

    The Russians have shown that the Syrian army has sufficient tactical competence and discipline to execute successfully within the strategic frame the Russians have laid out and which Russian diplomacy — a wonder to behold — can support internationally.

    U.S. strategy in the region has often put the Americans on opposed sides or resulted in the U.S. subsidizing its own sworn enemies, and all with no end in sight.

    On the grand morality of it all — one would think even Hugh would tire of r2p b.s. by now. The corruption of the OPCW investigation is almost shocking, except we know lies are the currency of neocon politics everywhere.

    The moral calculus, it seems to me, has to favor the side that wants to bring the Syrian civil war to an end and has the means and will to do it. The war itself is the greatest evil. Whether accepting that Assad will remain in power is to be deeply regretted depends more than a bit on whether one can believe there were ever realistic alternatives that could be better. American media, mirroring the determined ignorance of the Blob, the American foreign policy establishment, which loves perpetual chaotic civil wars and hates knowing anything of local conditions, has never inquired into why Assad has been able to maintain support inside Syria, nor into why the Saudis wanted to undermine him by supporting Al Qaeda and similar radical sectarians.

    American policy in Syria, in effect, has been to perpetuate the conflict, which is morally indefensible, and in supporting opposed sides, including forces actively hostile to U.S. interests, has proven stupid, wasteful and self-destructive. I do not know if Americans can ever get past the wall of righteousness and patriotism to question the elite “deep state”, but if they (we) can, we ought to get on with it.


    For those who haven’t seen this yet, I highly suggest it. It’s an excellent documentary. It shows what creeps the KGB are. Ukraine is part of it. The KGB faked documents and provided them to Israel so Israel could execute an alleged Nazi war criminal. The KGB are the ultimate shit stirrers which is exactly what they’re doing with America’s political process. Israel went so far as to push Dov Eitan out of his hotel room window to prevent him from helping in the defense’s appeal. It’s titled The Devil Next Door. It’s about the prosecution and persecution of John Demjanjuk who was accused of being Treblinka’s Ivan the Terrible.

  8. StewartM


    I was watching MSNBC where Sanders was taking heat from the sage, assembled, talking heads about his insinuation that the Washington Post sat on the story about Putin also working to back Sanders too until the day before the Nevada caucuses. He also took heat from those same sage talking heads for “why didn’t he say anything earlier?”

    Well, Sanders was told about a month ago, right? Did it take the Post that long to pick up this open secret, especially since is a repeat of the 2016 allegations? And also, isn’t Sanders or any other congresscrittter not supposed to talk about briefings involving classified data? Isn’t that too one of their cherished “norms?”

    Moreover, this didn’t stop them about also yapping about the “Bernie Bros” even though the evidence certainly wouldn’t be inconsistent with these being plants by the Dem establishment as well as those dastardly Russians. Cherry-picking the evidence, indeed.

  9. Hugh

    nihil obstet, the intelligence agencies have had many major misses and failures, but in the cases of 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, most of the onus should have fallen on the policymakers. The intelligence agencies did know something was up just before 9/11. They didn’t know exactly what. They were frantically trying to get the White House to do something, but were basically blown off. The Saudi hijackers themselves were able to get into the US because under Saudi pressure the US had made it easy for Saudi nationals to get into the US, because what could go wrong?

    As for WMD, Cheney had interested parties pushing war and loose on the facts like Ahmed Chalabi and he had his own conduits into intelligence chaff that the intelligence agencies had not found credible, but which he Cheney went through again and cherrypicked.

    I would say too that it is less the CIA and much more the NSA and to some extent the FBI who trash American’s Fourth Amendment rights protecting them “against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

    StewartM, it is a spectacle to see MSNBC commentators wrestling, after Bloomberg’s implosion and Buttigieg’s fizzle, with the real likelihood that Sanders whom they loathe might actually be the nominee against Trump whom they loathe even more. They can no longer ignore him which is what they mostly have done up to now. They can’t dismiss him which is what they did on the rare occasions his name did come up. So they go back and forth. They acknowledge his strength, because they have to now. But this doesn’t stop them from sticking a shiv into him whenever they can, holding him to standards they would never think to hold any of their preferred candidates to (as when they try to explain how Bernie isn’t the real frontrunner because his polling levels need to be compared against the entire Democratic field) or coming up with increasingly lame and farfetched scenarios how a fourth or fifth place candidate like Warren or Klobuchar could end up the “consensus” candidate at a brokered convention. If you can stomach it, I suggest watching Chris Matthews for real Sanders insanity. Matthews recently tied Sanders to socialism, socialism to Castro, and Castro to shooting journalists like him Chris Matthews. The message being that if Sanders is elected he Chris Matthews is a goner.

  10. Mark Pontin

    Bruce Wilder writes: ‘I honestly wonder whether we are watching the professional application of a form of “fire-retardant” foam to our political discourse. Is this how the PTB are suppressing the potential of a Sanders campaign to ignite populist discontent?’

    Do you ‘honestly wonder’ or is that just a rhetorical device, Bruce?

    Because the answer is patently obvious to a man of your intelligence. Just in case it isn’t, though, I worked as a professional journalist for almost two decades and based on my experience I can assure you: Yes, of course, this is absolutely and precisely one of the main ways that the PTB suppress populist discontent.

    It’s the Moronic Inferno, in a phrase. Always has been to some extent, to be sure, e.g. “Freedom of the press belongs to who owns a printing press,” “Get me the pictures and I’ll get you you the war,” and so on.

    But the utterly fact-free, you-can’t-satirize-this level of it all that’s become the case since 2008 derives from the total criminality of the means by which the PTB preserved their wealth structure and dominance — “foamed the runway” for financial capitalism with the blood and lives and misery of the American people, in other words — afterwards.

    That’s the elephant in the room nobody can be permitted to look at or talk about: the fact that America in 2020 is fairly obviously ruled by a kleptocracy.

    Moreover, it is a kleptocracy of world-historical proportions and it is incompetent — and in no small measure composed of sociopaths (who, contrary to the public glamorization of them, are frequently incompetent because they often don’t think long term).

    The Moronic Inferno, like I say.

  11. realitychecker

    Clearly, this is the time when serious people need to take serious conspiracy theories seriously.

    A propos of that wisdom, I must note that all the people alleged to be getting help from the RUSSIANS!!!! are white! Very, very white. Suspiciously so, it is respectfully submitted.

    Classic disinformation and distraction tactic at work here: It does not take a genius (although I am glad to be helpful with this) to realize that once all the white wannabe leaders are smeared with Putin-Puppet branding, the path will be clear for the unruliest black folks to take over the entire country!!! (After all, they are the ones who are truly most like the Russian Commies, always wanting free stuff from everybody else and all.) It seems obvious that this may be what Marx had in mind all along! (Reportedly, Marx was half black, because Groucho Marx had a love child with Dorothy Dandridge in a time machine in 1937; it all fits!!!!!)

    Of course, one cannot entirely dismiss the other possibility, that even the black takeover threat is a mere monkey’s paw to obscure that the true intended recipient of Russian assistance is those damn Quakers!!!! Nobody ever sees them coming, but we know they have been deemed to be terrorist material here in the recent past; these things require the strictest scrutiny.

    In fact, the Washington Post recently reported (and I believe it was confirmed by Carlos Slim who owns a big piece of the New York Times (the aspens, the aspens! please remember about the roots, people!) ), that a guy who lives in Williamsburg in BROOKLYN (name withheld) said that a neighbor of his who is suspiciously peaceful in demeanor was observed in a dirty alleyway actually QUAKING IN HIS BOOTS! What else do you need to know? WAKE UP, for Dog’s Sake!

    I’m telling you, this is a real danger–those Quakers are feeling their oats . . .

    Unnamed intelligence sources are never wrong. And neither am I (usually).

    Hopefully M. 450 and Mlle. Hugh (I heard things!) can add their insights to help clarify this terrifying mess. I’ll be hiding under the covers, hoping . . .

    Keeriiiist, I hope this doesn’t get held in auto-mod until it’s TOO LATE; Ian, tarry not, the fate of the Repugnic is in your glands, er, hands. If you can keep it. 😉

  12. Benjamin


    “The KGB are the ultimate shit stirrers which is exactly what they’re doing with America’s political process.”

    What are you, Joy Ann Reid? The KGB hasn’t existed in almost thirty years.

  13. I don’t think the Ruskies support any more than the disruption. The harm wrought will take years, decades, generations even, to repair. If at all. Whatever Putin’s plan was has paid off in spades; drumpf uck is a useful idiot, and the nature of useful idiots is when no longer useful, well… be lucky to keep the cannolis. And I’m not so confident as others Bernie can win against this machine. Not so confident any of ’em can. I don’t think it matters to the Ruskies. They have their preferences, sure, but the harm has been done, coup counted, horses stolen while we slept.

  14. bruce wilder

    Whatever Putin’s plan was has paid off in spades

    I do not like to concede that there was ever any there, there.

    RT was legitimate and above-board. If the Russians were responsible for exposing Hillary Clinton’s circumvention of campaign finance laws, I say, thank you.

    The Russians have done no discernible damage to whatever the Bushes, Clintons, and Obama left standing.

  15. Hugh

    After its participation in the 1991 coup against Gorbachev, the KGB was split up by Yeltsin. Most of it became the FSK which existed from 1991 to 1995 when it was re-organized into the current FSB which continues to occupy the KGB’s old headquarters in Lubyanka Square. In one of Yeltsin’s stupidest moves, he put Putin as its head in 1998. So yes, the name changed, but no, the KGB never went away.

    BTW it is the military’s GRU formed by Stalin in 1942 which has been running most of the election interference ops in US elections. It was also the principal player behind the seizure of Crimea and keeping the rebellion in eastern Ukraine going.

    Another BTW, the USSR ended at the end of 1991. I remember reading a magazine article about three years before this (that I have never been able to track down again) by an eccentric but well thought of independent researcher who laid out beautifully the demographic shifts (Great Russians ceasing to be a majority) that were going to split the USSR apart. The intelligence community may not have foreseen the fall of the USSR, but this guy nailed it.

  16. Willy

    Tell me if I’m wrong, but as I understand the tone of most commenters in this place, Trump, Putin, Russia Russia…, etc. are not necessarily causes but symptoms (though of course those things produce problems of their own).

    So when MSNBC continuously discusses such things every single night without going any further to describe the causes, it’d be on the same level as them continuously describing the symptoms of coronavirus every single night without going any further to debate what anybody is or can be doing about it.

    Not fake news, but low-value news.

  17. Benjamin


    “election interference ops”

    There are no such ops.

  18. nihil obstet

    Every government that has the resources attempts to direct other states for its own benefit, international laws about sovereignty notwithstanding. A legitimate, competent government sets up a system which limits the ability of the other states to cause harm. Outraged howling about Russian interference is silly. The Russian government has a duty to try to bring about an American government that is as favorable to Russia’s interests as possible.

    It is the duty of the American people and government to design a system that reflects popular will. If money is the determinant, well, money has no nationality. In terms of what works, there’s no difference between American billionaires’ money, Russian oligarchs’ money, Chinese money, Saudi money. Hackable voting machines designed so that the right people can insure the right results will allow the wrong people to influence the results.

    I’m willing to fight tooth and nail for honest elections. I just can’t get bent out of shape because commies kept billionaires from getting their way.

  19. Mark Pontin

    Hilarious. MSNBC reporter deeply distraught in Nevada.

    “These are people who work on the strip within two and a half miles of the Bellagio, largely people of color of those, the majority are Latino, and they are clearly at least from eyeballing it, *LARGE SIGH* strongly in favor of Bernie Sanders” #UnidosConBernie

    Chris Mathews will doubtless be on national TV blubbering about the insurgent Stalinist menace of Bernie Sanders again in short order.

  20. Z

    It looks like the voters in NV support the same candidate as the Russians who are rigging the election.


  21. Mark Pontin

    Re. Chris Mathews: every time you think it can’t get more you-can’t satirize-this, they find a new level of idiocy to descend to. The latest —

    ‘MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Compared Bernie Sanders’ Nevada Performance To The Nazi Invasion Of France’

  22. bruce wilder

    always the careful journalist identified Reynaud, the Premier of France, as “the general” — this from reading “last night”. (There actually was such a call from Reynaud to Churchill, so there’s that.)

  23. Ché Pasa

    What I heard of NPR’s coverage (didn’t watch any teevee) of the Nevada caucuses indicated disbelief that the voters would actually favor Bernie. They were almost desperate to feature anti-Bernie voices from people on the street. It was almost laughable, especially when one of the reporters seemed aghast that Culinary Workers Union members “seem to have” voted for Bernie.

    Online, I’ve seen both smug satisfaction from pro-Bernie sites and essentially denial from some of the anti-Bernie sites. They’d rather talk about anything else.

    Joe Lockhart has written an opinion piece calling on Bloomberg to use his money to Stop Bernie IMMEDIATELY!!!1 OK. Beyond ludicrous.


  24. Hugh

    “election interference ops”

    Benjamin: There are no such ops.

    And yet curiously in July 2018 grand jury indictments were returned against 12 GRU officers for some of the ops you say don’t exist. Do you have a magic wand or something you wave to try to make all the facts you don’t like go away?

  25. Stirling S Newberry


    1. The Mainstream Media is paid by pharmo companies.
    2. The audience is comfortably over 55.

    Thus in-and-out, they are anti-Bernie, by default.

  26. Tom R

    After a clear victory with an impressive coalition across Nevada, I think it may be time for moderate Democrats to quit cutting down their eventual nominee. There are many good arguments for democratic socialism that I’m still waiting to see advanced. For instance, for small businesses to be done with processing any kind of healthcare claims is a big plus. And it still seems that taxpayers think that their taxes will go up without really understanding that their health insurance premiums will literally disappear under Medicare for all. And where are all the ads from all the doctors I know that believe single payer is the only just way to provide healthcare? Because Bernie keeps calling himself a socialist we will have to go with that label but I do appreciate Paul Krugman‘s point that Bernie is really just an FDR Democrat. And what that really means, as Ian has pointed out, is getting back to 1944 while the Trumped-out GOP wants to return to 1928.

  27. Benjamin


    Against officers who will never see the inside of a US court room, thus meaning the charges will never have to be proven?

    And on that note, funny story. One of the companies indicted as part of the ‘Russian disinformation campaign’, Concord Management and Consulting, is in fact fighting back in US courts:

  28. Dan

    There are many good arguments for democratic socialism that I’m still waiting to see advanced. For instance, for small businesses to be done with processing any kind of healthcare claims is a big plus.

    I think the Sanders campaign should begin a direct appeal to small business owners. In addition to the health care benefits you mention, the obvious truism is that having more money in more people’s pockets will help small business. People will have a net savings with M4A and will have more money due to increased minimum wage and union participation. The childcare benefits and tuition-free college and trade schools will help the small business owner immensely, both personally and again due to the fact that these programs will free up more discretionary money for customers to spend.

    I know the campaign is much more focused on expanding the voter base . I agree with that strategy and it’s clear it’s paid handsome dividends already. The Hispanic/Latino vote across the country is going to be dominated by Sanders the rest of the way, and he’s going to continue to make substantial inroads with the African American community as well. I see no reason why tweaking the message a bit to include a wider potential audience would be a liability. This will speak directly to a lot of folks who may feel left out by constant appeals to the working class.

    Small business owners don’t generally view themselves as working class. And many of their employees don’t either, even though they are. It’s a different dynamic, a different relationship than what’s found in a mid or large sized company, whether unionized or not. The relationship of the small business owner to his or her employees is quite unique. It’s often more akin to an extended family of sorts. It would be wise to include these “families” in the message.

  29. Hugh

    Benjamin epitomizes the Trumpist mentality. He is just going to believe whatever he believes. No level of evidence is too low to validate his beliefs, and no level of evidence will ever be high enough to contradict them. How convenient. How worthless.

  30. @hugh

    “No level of evidence is too low to validate his beliefs, and no level of evidence will ever be high enough to contradict them. ”

    Please tell us more about the evidence. According to Lazare:
    “But it may be a distinction without a difference since the only evidence that Mueller puts forth in the public version of his report is a New York Times article from February 2018 entitled “Yevgeny Prigozhin, Russian Oligarch Indicted by US, Is Known as ‘Putin’s Cook.’”

    Is this also your “level of evidence”?

  31. Speaking of Russiagate and phoney “evidence”, there’s a recent article at consortiumnews by Ray McGovern @

    “The U.S. was in talks for a deal with Julian Assange but then FBI Director James Comey ordered an end to negotiations after Assange offered to prove Russia was not involved in the DNC leak”.

    The traitor Comey is now out of power (though un-indicted and un-convicted, as he apparently will remain), but look what the article also says,

    “These were the Vault 7 releases, which led then CIA Director Mike Pompeo to call WikiLeaks “a hostile intelligence service.””

    Pompeo is another Deep State jerk, who is more about protecting the Deep State than the United States, much less Trump, who appointed him:

    I’m sure we can depend on the geniuses at Fox news to put the relevant questions to Trump about Pompeo’s true loyalties….

    It’s hard to believe that Trump is so stupid that he just can’t figure out that he’s surrounded himself with various and sundry devils, including Pompeo. I assume they have dirt on Trump that they have blackmailed him with. And/or, they have made clear that Trump’s troubles with the Deep State will be minimized as long as he plays along with them.

    Gee, I wonder what Mueller’s level of interest was in seeing Assange’s evidence – NOT!

  32. bruce wilder

    Skepticism about the assertions and insinuations of what appears to be a deliberate and ethically unbounded full-blown propaganda and disinformation campaign involves some difficult navigation around obstacles of narrative seduction, moral presumption, planted surmise, semantic generalization and the like.

    I agree with Benjamin’s general approach: concede nothing is as it appears (because it surely isn’t). Half-truth plays a major part in this construction, but strategically conceding a half-truth risks accepting some hidden half-lie. It is tempting to do so, to reach some common ground, some common reference point with one’s interlocutor, but in such a deliberately entangled narrative construction, it is just as likely to result in tumbling down the 🐇 rabbit hole.

    Hugh, always (and usually rightly) proud of his command of fact, is liable to fall victim to seeding trivia. The Russia,Russia,Russia narrative has offered up lots of detailed trivia about the various acronyms representing Russian intelligence agencies, along with Guccifer Fancy Bear and other mysterious persona. It is a psychological minefield. Hugh offers this aside upthread: . . . the military’s GRU formed by Stalin in 1942 which has been running most of the election interference ops in US elections. It was also the principal player behind the seizure of Crimea and keeping the rebellion in eastern Ukraine going.. Now what did that aside communicate? That Russian military intelligence played its expected functional role in supporting the military seizure and securing of Sebastopol and Crimea? That non-revelation would not have been very informative, would it? It is certainly a true fact though, so adds to the credibility of the rest of the statement which is larded with dramatic and emotionally freighted language. They are not doing their job, you see, they are “the principal player” implying the agency of a prime mover. Stalin is introduced apropos of nothing, but lends his sinister reputation to the tone. (Stalin did not found Russian military intelligence; he may have given them their famous acronym, which Putin wants to restore.) “most of” is a nice touch added to the label “election interference ops” creating a vague numerancy on top of a prejudicial abstraction combined with the jargon of espionage, “ops”. These are classic tactics of hypnosis, inducing thoughts in the reader that wander beyond any specific facts into the land of imagining and dramatic narrative. How did they “interfere”? The number and specifics are left to vague recollection of the reader to construct in imagination. Did the Russians interfere in counting the vote? Helpfully, a number of false, later “corrected”, stories were seeded thru the Media that imply the Russians may have hacked registration rolls, the electrical grid, and who knows what. Hugh does not spread such misinformation, of course, but he uses rhetorical formulae that leverage it.

    The Russia,Russia,Russia narrative and the impeachment story derived from it forms a kind of false reality. It is a woven whole, and has to be denied whole, before we can all crawl back to reality. Not because no threads of truth appear in the weave, but because those threads are there to draw you in. They dangle there waiting to be unraveled, as a kind of bait.

  33. Hugh

    Benjamin is a Russian troll and is playing you for saps. There is a goofy part of the left the instant Russia is mentioned go ballistic. Putin is a thug, a murderer, a dictator, and a kleptocrat. But you would think that he was some kind of cross between Mother Teresa and Albert Einstein the way they knee-jerk defend him. It is non-stop don’t believe your lying eyes.

    The conviction rate in a federal court is north of 90%. A GRU officer in a national security case would be 100%. But it being Russia all of sudden we get all this naw, naw, big doubts. I’m surprised no one has started blathering about the Deep State.

    Benjamin goes on about Putin defending the “legitimate” government in Syria and Syria’s territorial integrity. Putin wouldn’t give a sh%t about Syria if Russia didn’t have a naval base there that allowed them to project power into the Mediterranean. And territorial integrity? Seriously, where was that concern when he invaded and seized Crimea? Where was that concern when he set up a Russian client state in the northern third of Georgia? Where is it when a rebellion in eastern Ukraine which was sputtering out was given new life when Putin put the GRU in to run and finance it?

    And Trump? Anything that does that touches Russia he is instantly immunized to. That very rich and very lethal Russian oligarchs would trust their money to a multiply failed scumbag rings no alarm bells for them. All perfectly natural and above board for them. Nothing to see here, move along.

    And election interference? It’s like they’re six. Are Russians interfering in US elections: 2016, 2018, 2020? Of course. Are they very effective? In the operations themselves, it’s pretty sketchy. But in spreading chaos and discrediting the process, they are worth their weight in gold.

    In my neck of the woods, we have a saying: “You can’t fix stupid.” So I have no hope that any of this will make a difference to those who have bought into this goofiness, but it still should not go unchallenged. And if the left wants any credibility outside its own echo chamber, it really needs to dispense with this really, really weird nonsense.

  34. bruce wilder

    @Hugh: Benjamin is a Russian troll and is playing you for saps.

    That kind of unsupported slander is shameful.

    You foaming at the mouth every time Putin’s name is mentioned is not helpful or insightful.

  35. Benjamin

    Hey, Hugh. Give me one iota of actual evidence for your claims.

    And nice strawman. I don’t think Putin is a saint. But I also don’t think he’s a Saturday morning cartoon villain.

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