Friday, February 21, 2020

UPDATED: How Convenient!

Sean Davis
What a coincidence that Russia always happens to support whoever the Democrat party elites are trying to destroy at any given point in time. The seditious morons behind these idiotic leaks aren’t even trying anymore. It’s embarrassing.
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NEWS: Bernie Sanders briefed by U.S. officials that Russia is trying to help his presidential campaign 
3:50 PM · Feb 21, 2020

UPDATE: Since you're unlikely to read this longer non-sarcastic version of this story in the MSM, here's an excerpt from Consortium News--Are US Intel 'Officials' Meddling In US Election With "Report" Russia Is Aiding Sanders? Nothing actually new:

With Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders spooking the Democratic establishment, The Washington Post Friday reported damaging information from intelligence sources against Sanders by saying that Russia is trying to help his campaign. 
If the story is true and if intelligence agencies are truly committed to protecting U.S. citizens, the Sanders campaign would have been quietly informed and shown evidence to back up the claims.

Instead the story wound up on the front page of the Post,
“according to people familiar with the matter.” Zero evidence was produced to back up the intelligence agencies’ assertion. 
“It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken,” the Post reported. That would tell any traditional news editor that there was no story until it is known.  
A day after The New York Times reported, also without evidence, that Russia is again trying to help Donald Trump win in November, the Post reports Moscow is trying to help Sanders too, again without substance. Both candidates whom the establishment loathes were smeared on successive days.

I suppose that by releasing the Sanders portion of the smear a day after the Trump smear, the Intel Community operatives are trying to use a sort of double whammy on Sanders. First they smear him with the Russia Hoax stuff to try to detach more "moderate" voters, then they associate Sanders with Trump to try to detach the real tinfoil hat brigade--more mainstream Dems.


  1. Today it’s common sense Sean’s point.

    Just four years ago this would be considered a wild fringe theory.

    I feel Amazement, sadness, and appreciation for all of the hard work that has been done to expose the biases and corruption that was hidden for so long.

  2. The deepstate is playing with political dynamite messing with Bernie Bro’s. The Establishment is desperate, and is doing their usual win at any cost methods. They don’t see the danger of a backlash.

    Bear in mind, The past Russia helped BS did help the Democrats retake the house and hamstring the Trump administration for its first three years, got a special counsel appointed, and resulted in the impeachment of Trump. Huge positive results of this political dirty trick for the deep state, Democrats, and media allies so far, at little cost so far.

    1. In the 2016 general election Hillary only got 75% of Bernie primary voters. That's not good. If Bernie is screwed out of the nomination again I believe the results will be worse.

  3. Will Chamberlain is suggesting that perhaps Trump should order a full scale investigation into the Bernie Sanders Russia Briefing leak?Bernie Sanders Russia Briefing leak. I like that idea.

    1. This is a pretty good game where USA operatives interfere in our election and then attempt, with a moderate amount of success, to pin the blame on Donald Trump, Bernie and Russia.

      I hope that they can be exposed.

    2. That's what Grennell and Patel are there for, I would guess.

    3. You can tell by the Fake News/Dem response that the appointments of Grennell and Patel are effective.

      I look forward to Trump's second term, hopefully with a Rep House and increased Rep Senate, with the caveat of conservative.

      And on that point, I think more Trump-supporting candidates will run, and win.

      No more RINOs ala Pierre Delecto.

  4. There appears to be a deep seeded pathology in the DNC about Russia conspiracies. Anyone Hillary Clinton does not like is automatically promoted by Russia. Trump, Gabbard, and now Sanders. Really, though, if Russians were trying to sew turmoil in American politics, they could do no better than to pay attention to the paranoia of Democrats and follow suit. It is almost as if the DNC is telegraphing to the Russians precisely who it is they should support. But I could also easily believe this is just one more play from the tired playbook of the deep state.

    1. I've puzzled over this phenomenon. The only thing I've come up with, and it's still a bit unsatisfactory, is that Hillary and her inner circle--having come of age during the Cold War and strong anti-Communism as a unifying factor among conservatives--viewed allegations of Russian collusion as an easy way to discredit any GOPer from the right. They assumed that mere allegations would lead to hysterical rejection of the GOPer by the right.

    2. Beside Trump, Gabbard, and now Sanders, you can add Jill Stein as HRC's "Russian stooge" targets.
      All of the last three of these are on the Left, so, if the point of these ploys is to snow the "strong anti-Communism" Right, it's playing with fire, esp. with the "pro-peace" Left.
      Last nite Tucker had on Aaron Mate, who stressed Bernie's long "pro-peace" record.

    3. I had in mind the original "Russia Hoax" target: Trump. Will it also play on the Left? Probably not the 'traditional' Left that Sanders appeals so strongly to, but rather to the globalist war mongering Left, the Clintonites.

    4. I think you're right, Mark. There's a certain element of pathology involved. This ongoing Red Sca...m brings to mind the earlier "PropOrNot" nonsense by unnamed actors published by The Washington Compost (naturally) claiming near-scientific data proving that virtually everybody and everything not supporting HRC were Russian bots or assets of some sort. If it wasn't abundantly clear already, a very deep and thorough investigation of the USIC is beyond imperative. To say they're out of control is a serious understatement at this point.

    5. mark wauckFebruary 22, 2020 at 10:35 AM
      > I've puzzled over this phenomenon.

      Russians are the perfect villains!

      1. It's a documented fact the Russians have been doing information warfare against the US for just under a 100 years. If you are going to lie, it helps to have some facts to back you up.
      2. The Russians are not major political contributors in the US, unlike the Chinese.
      3. There is no major political lobby, unlike the Israelis.
      4. You don't need to worry about claims of Racism, unlike the Iranians or Saudi's.
      5. The Russians are actually happy to be the villain, since it increases their perceived power, and hurts the image of the US.
      6. The Ukrainians are happy, and supportive of the Russian Villain meme, supporting it with Manafort's black book, etc.

      Personally, I was surprised the Democrats going from the mistranslated Russian Reset Button, Obama's snide remark "1980's called" to Russian Collusion. I am amazed at how effective the Russian Collusion Meme has been, it's been one the most successful dirty tricks in US politics I know of, so far. I pray that changes, and it is seen in history as an over reach of the deep state that resulted in historical changes that reduced their power. This depends on Durham's report and Trump's 2nd term, but we will see. Trumps action this past week are making me more hopeful.

  5. On one of my own blogs I have published an article titled Simpson and Steele wanted the FBI to investigate Millian.

    There, I argue that in August 2016 Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele decided to disassociate themselves from Sergei Millian -- who is called "Person 1" in the Horowitz report.

    Both Simpson and Steele suggested to the FBI that Millian should be investigated for working for Russian Intelligence. Simpson told the FBI that Millian was "a double-agent".

    In fact, the FBI did open a counterintelligence investigation of Millian.

    1. Nice blog post, but I think the dissociation is more easily and rationally explained- Simpson and Steele wanted to make it look like Millian was Russian intelligence. Millian may or may not be a Russian agent- I am agnostic on the issue- but it serves Simpson and Steele's purposes if he is and they can get the FBI interested in him.

    2. In other words, they didn't care if he was or wasn't a Russian agent- they would have acted exactly the same even if they were sure he wasn't.

  6. Most people are ignoring the deeper issue: it makes no sense for Russia to try to "help" any US presidential candidate defeat another one, from a game theoretic POV.

    1. the influence Russia can wield in swaying voters in a US election is nil. They can at most cause a small % (probably well under 1%) of votes to move around at the margins, when candidates and supporting PACS spend literally $2-3 billion to influence voters during the campaign. A bunch of weird Facebook ads and goofy retweeting from some troll farm cannot "steal the election" from Hillary or anyone else, unless the election is so close, it's literally too close to call.

    2. If the outcome of the election is obvious e.g., Reagan vs Dukakis, there is no point to the Russians intervening at all; the vote difference/electoral votes is so lopsided that Russians meddling would have no chance of changing the outcome. So they would not intervene, because they can't change the outcome, or do not need to.

    3. If the candidates are so close you can't be sure who will win, foreign meddling might make a difference, but it would require them knowing exactly where a small amount of effort would swing enough electoral votes to make a difference. I opine that there is no way for Putin to know such things any better than the respective candidates' campaigns in the US, which have armies of experts analyzing data to figure where to expend the remaining resource of the campaign to swing the swing states to their candidate in the final days of the campaign. Furthermore, any effort the Russian mount with their pathetic Facebook ads and twitter bots pales in comparison to the resources the campaigns will pour into the swing states when their analyses make it clear where they must focus. The effect of any Russian influence with their relatively modest hamfisted tactics would be utterly unmeasurable noise level; the electoral equivalent of farting into a gale force wind to slow it down.

    Given this inability to effectively influence the outcome of a close presidential election, the odds of it working are small, and the risks large, while the probability of getting a preferred candidate as the next US President is essentially 50/50, by definition of a close election. The risk of intervening and trying to put the Russian thumb on the scales is that if the non-preferred candidate wins anyway (50/50 chance regardless of what the Russians choose to do,) and finds out the Russians tried to help defeat the resulting President, they are going to have at least 4 years, if not 8, of very frosty relations with that President specifically and the US government in general. That risk isn't worth the meager slim chance the Russian election influence could have swung the election the other way. Ergo, it is not worth the effort and risk for Putin to pick sides and try to help a preferred candidate, so in a narrow election, they would not intervene.

    Thus, we see in an election whose results are obvious ahead of time, there is no reason or benefit to Russian active measure to support one candidate over another, and the same is true where the outcome is a toss-up, where the risk to Russian getting it wrong (50/50) and having 4-8 years of bad relations with Washington, far outweigh the probability of actually changing the outcome (probably less than 1%) with their ineffective measures multiplied by whatever meager benefit they'd get from a more preferred president than they get from less preferred president.

    So, from a game theoretic standpoint, there is almost no upside to Russia intervening covertly in the US presidential election by trying to back any particular candidate, while there is huge downside to doing so.


  7. Part II

    Putin is many things; evil sinister, sneaky, KGB through and through... but one thing he isn't is stupid. He is not going to take that kind of risk when the "net present value" of covert intervention to back a US presidential candidate has a large negative value, because if I can figure this out, so can Putin and his advisors.

    The final observations:

    1. the only scenario in which Russia benefits from covertly insinuating itself into a US presidential election is the extent to which the results of the election are distrusted because their "election meddling" was detected and becomes known to US voters after the election. This is the "sewing distrust and chaos/undermining the legitimacy of the eventual POTUS" strategy for the Russians, in which they do some token messing around in the US presidential election; some things they do may seem to favor one candidate, while others may seem to favor another candidate. The Russians will know whoever loses will cherry-pick the Russian meddling evidence, focusing on that which was deleterious to their campaign or helped the winner, and cry: "Foul -- the Russians stole the election from ME!!!" [insert photo of Hillary HERE]

    That's the only scenario I can think of under which a modest amount of Russian meddling with a net zero bias for any particular candidate in the US presidential election buys them trouble with the new Administration, but guarantees an enormous distrust in the outcome of the election by about half the US population (those who supported the loser,) and a growing distrust in Democratic systems in general. This will help hamstring any new administration, regardless of what candidate wins, and if lucky, will result in endless DOJ investigations, Special Counsel appointments, Congressional hearings run by the Opposition Party, Impeachments, etc., all of which tends to mire the new administration in a Scandal Swamp, giving Russia more leeway to maneuver around the world doing what Putin is interested in doing, while the US has a president mired in scandal and under constant attack by his political enemies (and in Trump's case, the MSM as well,) and whose power is emasculated as a result of the increased polarization inside the US engendered by the modest net-undirected meddling that is selectively seized on by the loser and her supporters to question the legitimacy of the entire Federal government. Thus, in any close US presidential election, there is a massive net positive benefit to Russia by meddle in it, in a net neutral way, and be sure it is noticed. And, that benefit accrues regardless of which candidate wins. That's a far better strategy for Russia (or any foreign country, for that matter) than picking a preferred candidate and trying to illegally (but ineffectively) assist them.

    End Part II

  8. Part III

    2. If Russia wants to influence US policy, the far better technique -- compared to trying to help a preferred candidate win -- would be to find compromising material on the winning candidate or his family, etc., and use it to blackmail him. That goes not only for President, but also to a lesser extent, many other government officials. A single photo of a powerful politician in bed with a live boy or dead girl, or in flagrante delicto with barnyard animals, buys a whole lot more benefit to Putin than a coin-flip chance that a slightly preferred candidate became the POTUS. Thus, Putin knows that a Ruble spent on digging dirt about such people pays much greater dividends to Russia in the long run than spending it on ineffective, silly Facebook ads and twitter bots during a US election Again, Putin is evil, nasty, amoral, etc., but he's not stupid. Thus, his intelligence service are no doubt combing every nook and cranny for dirt on everyone in a position of influence or importance in or to the US government.

    They are also striving to identify people in useful positions who can be recruited to help them, exploited by money, blackmail, perceived lack of appreciation by superiors, and ideological/religious appeals, or a linear combination of the above, (as MW knows all-to-well about from his own experience with his brother-in-law's situation.)

    N.B. This is also how you can tell that the very first claim in the Steele dossier about Putin having a film of Trump and the micturating prostitutes in the Moscow hotel, with which he was supposedly able to use as blackmail material to force Trump to "do his bidding" while POTUS, but it existence is leaked from current and/or former top level Russian Intelligence operatives via intermediaries to x-MI-6 agent Christopher Steele, so he can include it in his oppo research memos paid for by Hillary's campaign and the DNC, who also concurrently reports it to the FBI, is utterly preposterous. Such kompromat, if it existed at all, would have been one of the most closely held secrets in the history of the Kremlin, maybe more valuable than the Cambridge double agents (Philby, etc.) recruited the KGB in the 1930s during the Soviet era. An absolute minimum number of people would even know of its existence, "based on need to know." And the idea that a current or former head of Russian Intelligence appartus would blab about it to anybody is ludicrous, assuming they even knew such material even existed. It would be, to use le Carre's terminology, "the Crown Jewels" of an Intelligence agency.

    Thus we may conclude there is either no such film, or the Russian government does not have it, or it does not exist at all. If it existed and they didn't have it, they would likelwise not talk about it, because to talk about it is to destroy its blackmail value -- you can't blackmail a wife cheater who knows his wife already knows he's cheating -- hence to talk about what Trump and the prostitutes putatively did in the Hotel room is to render the information and film useless as blackmail material once the public have all heard the story. And that means there is no such film, and, in all likelihood, the entire story was fabricated to begin with.

    In summary, the "Russian meddling in the election to help candidate 'X'" narrative has NEVER made a lick of sense, when viewed from a Russian game-theoretic standpoint, and that applies as much today as it does to 2016, or any other time past or future you wish to choose. Ergo, it's not a question of are they helping Trump or Bernie or BOTH (which also logically makes no sense) in 2020; it's that the Russians would never choose a preferred candidate in any US election in which they meddle, and the meddling is to sow chaos and distrust in the POTUS, and our electoral systems in general, whomever is elected.

    And it doesn't take a boatload of classified intel to figure this out. It didn't take any, at all.


    1. @EZ

      You are right: it made and makes no sense for Russia to meddle in a US presidential election for the purpose of influencing the outcome.

      I suppose you are also right that Russian meddling with a net zero bias for any particular candidate could buy them some theoretical advantage but with a substantial downside.

      The foregoing is entirely theoretical however since there is no dispositive evidence that Russia actually meddled in the election.

      The claim was made up by the Clinton Campaign.

  9. Democrat Media are self-discrediting. They are Fake News good only to laugh at.
    The "Intelligence Community" is also now a term of ridicule, after feeding their pro-Democrat conspiracy theories to Democrat Media to publish for 3+ years.
    The self-immolation of D.C. Democrats is nearly complete. But they are flailing wildly and screaming in agony. We simply have to vote this November to finish the job.

  10. The same probably should be said, on prior "meddling" by Chinese, Saudis, Israelis, Mexicans....
    But the Dems/ MSM have talked, as tho no other countries ever did squat!

  11. “It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken,” the Post reported.

    Damaging information?? Hahahahaha! Where's my pony?

    Zero evidence was produced to back up the intelligence agencies’ assertion.

    "Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges."
    --The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

    This is the same game plan as the Russia hoax/coup as drummed up by Glenn Simpson/FusionGPS. Plant the idea in the media, sourced to an intelligence or security service, spurring the public's imagination to speculate about the meaning--and you're off to the races with gossip, innuendo, and slander.

    Media, in the current environment, is about launching speculative ideas and the inferences therefrom, then cable TeeVee gets to spend a week reporting on the reactions to the speculation, rehashing the narrative a thousand ways until the Big Lie is firmly implanted in the public consciousness as "what really happened."

    Um, when did you stop beating your wife, Mr. Sanders?

    It's not news, it's entertainment. News division executives have surreptitiously, even unwittingly, decided their programming would attract more viewers were it more like "House of Cards" infected with a dose of Reality TV.

    Our world is influenced by so-called professionals infected with the belief that their "models" better describe reality, and then are at a complete loss when reality doesn't cooperate by diverging from their model.

    Count the ways: Wall St. with trading algorithms; the Federal Reserve with interest rate targeting; the Congressional Budget Office with 10-year fiscal budgets; Global Warming/Climate Change models; News media satisfied to publish speculations with anonymous sources, rather than report know facts; and the coup de grace, the wildly misnamed Intelligence agencies, all stuck in information bubbles of their own making who never understand that actions have consequences, often disfavorable, because other parties have a say in the outcome.

    It turns out the "Wizard of Oz" (what's behind the curtain) and "Alice in Wonderland" (words mean what I say they mean) is surprisingly closer to reality than to fantasy. Unfortunately.

    1. "It's not news, it's entertainment."

      Definitely not a rerun that I'd have chosen to have inflicted on me.

    2. Someone characterized teh Dem debate earlier this week as "Political Demolition Derby."

      Apt description.