Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 05, 2019

Mueller Report Claims Much Proves Little - Aaron Maté

An excerpt from a long piece by Aaron Maté who points at the huge holes in the Mueller Report about alleged Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election.

CrowdStrikeOut: Mueller’s Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims

At a May press conference capping his tenure as special counsel, Robert Mueller emphasized what he called "the central allegation" of the two-year Russia probe. The Russian government, Mueller sternly declared, engaged in "multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election, and that allegation deserves the attention of every American." Mueller's comments echoed a January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) asserting with "high confidence" that Russia conducted a sweeping 2016 election influence campaign. "I don't think we've ever encountered a more aggressive or direct campaign to interfere in our election process," then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a Senate hearing.

While the 448-page Mueller report found no conspiracy between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, it offered voluminous details to support the sweeping conclusion that the Kremlin worked to secure Trump's victory. The report claims that the interference operation occurred "principally" on two fronts: Russian military intelligence officers hacked and leaked embarrassing Democratic Party documents, and a government-linked troll farm orchestrated a sophisticated and far-reaching social media campaign that denigrated Hillary Clinton and promoted Trump.

But a close examination of the report shows that none of those headline assertions are supported by the report’s evidence or other publicly available sources. They are further undercut by investigative shortcomings and the conflicts of interest of key players involved: 

  • The report uses qualified and vague language to describe key events, indicating that Mueller and his investigators do not actually know for certain whether Russian intelligence officers stole Democratic Party emails, or how those emails were transferred to WikiLeaks.
  • The report's timeline of events appears to defy logic. According to its narrative, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced the publication of Democratic Party emails not only before he received the documents but before he even communicated with the source that provided them.
  • There is strong reason to doubt Mueller’s suggestion that an alleged Russian cutout called Guccifer 2.0 supplied the stolen emails to Assange.
  • Mueller’s decision not to interview Assange – a central figure who claims Russia was not behind the hack – suggests an unwillingness to explore avenues of evidence on fundamental questions.
  • U.S. intelligence officials cannot make definitive conclusions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee computer servers because they did not analyze those servers themselves. Instead, they relied on the forensics of CrowdStrike, a private contractor for the DNC that was not a neutral party, much as “Russian dossier” compiler Christopher Steele, also a DNC contractor, was not a neutral party. This puts two Democrat-hired contractors squarely behind underlying allegations in the affair – a key circumstance that Mueller ignores.
  • Further, the government allowed CrowdStrike and the Democratic Party's legal counsel to submit redacted records, meaning CrowdStrike and not the government decided what could be revealed or not regarding evidence of hacking.
  • Mueller’s report conspicuously does not allege that the Russian government carried out the social media campaign. Instead it blames, as Mueller said in his closing remarks, "a private Russian entity" known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA).
  • Mueller also falls far short of proving that the Russian social campaign was sophisticated, or even more than minimally related to the 2016 election. As with the collusion and Russian hacking allegations, Democratic officials had a central and overlooked hand in generating the alarm about Russian social media activity.
  • John Brennan, then director of the CIA, played a seminal and overlooked role in all facets of what became Mueller’s investigation: the suspicions that triggered the initial collusion probe; the allegations of Russian interference; and the intelligence assessment that purported to validate the interference allegations that Brennan himself helped generate. Yet Brennan has since revealed himself to be, like CrowdStrike and Steele, hardly a neutral party -- in fact a partisan with a deep animus toward Trump.

None of this means that the Mueller report's core finding of "sweeping and systematic" Russian government election interference is necessarily false. But his report does not present sufficient evidence to substantiate it. This shortcoming has gone overlooked in the partisan battle over two more highly charged aspects of Mueller's report: potential Trump-Russia collusion and Trump's potential obstruction of the resulting investigation. As Mueller prepares to testify before House committees later this month, the questions surrounding his claims of a far-reaching Russian influence campaign are no less important. They raise doubts about the genesis and perpetuation of Russiagate and the performance of those tasked with investigating it.

The full Maté piece, which in details lays out each of the above points, is available at Real Clear Investigations.

Posted by b on July 5, 2019 at 16:29 UTC | Permalink

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donkey @99: unsubstantiated opinions

In other words: please wait for official sources to tell you how you are being screwed. Until then, don't try to think for yourselves - just sit back and enjoy the ride.

And in other news: big brother loves you.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 6 2019 14:19 utc | 101

karlof1 @ 31

i'm not trying to dissuade you...and you expressed the initial skepticism after all...

I'm I the only one sensing the Current Oligarchy wants to ensure the true story is never revealed or the numerous law breakers prosecuted

it's another HUGE story, like the missing 21 trillion, that nobody's talking about. kinda tells me all i gotta know.

but i'm not trying to dissuade you, i'm actually curious myself to see how far Tulsi will go!

Posted by: john | Jul 6 2019 14:34 utc | 102

Sorry to have mischaracterised you. Your contributions are a major reason why I come here, daily, to follow the discussions. The same can be said of many others of the rational class, as the Berliner Ensemble performs a cabaret.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 6 2019 14:36 utc | 103

Gruff - thank you for adding at least this very thin, quickly googled gruel (Russia has been re-nationalising its oil industry for years so this is nothing new) to your assertions and the dumb adhominems.

The articles above try to spin what is happening in Russia as a negative thing, but of course they are writing from an imperialist perspective and the changes in Russia are bad for the empire. These are actually very positive developments.

You still rely on your own dubious assertions and "wishin and hopin" that someday socialism will re-occur in Russia. Nationalising large economic sectors, especially with your best friends and political allies firmly in corporate control (with your enemies dead, imprisoned and/or bankrupted) isn't exactly the same as socialism, is it? Socialism is a system which removes wealth from the ownership class and re-distributed to the working class, spreading it equitably.

Do you have any credible source of information to indicate this is happening in Russia today?

I'm definitely still open to "seeing" what you (and Karlof1) "see" but I require more than a few quickly researched links and orwellian verbal card tricks to be persuaded.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 6 2019 15:07 utc | 104

Gruff may have gotten over his skis a bit with "socialism" in Russia.

If I may, I think the distinction he means to describe is Russia's strong central government as caretaker of the social compact vs. government in US that acts as 'service provider' to corporations.

Europe has also traditionally been more "socialist" with a stronger regulatory regime, but they've been moving toward the US model for a generation (or more).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 6 2019 15:23 utc | 105

Jackrabbit - you mean "in your words."

Thinking for oneself is definitely the correct approach. I wouldn't call what you do thinking, much more like constantly spinning to score cheap political debate points which in fact lead nobody anywhere.

The overthrow of the "corporate media narrative" controlled by the global elites will not be attained further deluding ourselves with a different fake narrative.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 6 2019 15:33 utc | 106

106 meant in reply to JR at 101...I more or less agree with JR's comment at 105 if he removed the..."Russian government as a caretaker of the social compact"...this sounds good but how true a statement is this? To varyibg degrees all governments perform this role.

Isn't it more accurate to state the Russian government, like the US, Chinese and EU governments act as caretakers and protectors of the favoured upper classes, however those cohorts are determined in each state?

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 6 2019 15:48 utc | 107

donkeytale @107

Russia undercut the power of the oligarchs - many of whom were aligned with the West.

After the end of the Cold War, the West tried to overthrow the Russian government via Western-backed economic "shock therapy" that resulted in severe social dislocation (misery). Putin restored the State with a focus on the welfare of the people - taking actions that are generally derided in the West as authoritarian and nationalist.

In his landmark interview last year, Kissinger famously said that the West had miscalculated how much misery the Russian people would accept (see the interview for exact wording). IMO this is an admission of what the West expected from "sock therapy": the overthrow of the Russian state replaced by a Western-aligned government.

Doesn't mean there aren't any oligarchs left (which you love to trumpet), but their ability to gang up against the State and the people's interests is greatly diminished.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 6 2019 16:08 utc | 108

typo @108:

sock therapy ==>> shock therapy

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 6 2019 16:11 utc | 109

>> sock therapy ==>> shock therapy

The original kinda worked in its own way, JR. ;-)

Posted by: oglalla | Jul 6 2019 16:42 utc | 110

Doh. I was thinking “sock puppet therapy”. But, that was my misreading.

Posted by: oglalla | Jul 6 2019 16:45 utc | 111

Jackrabbit @ 107 -

I don't disagree with what you state regarding post-USSR capitalist development and I guess I can concede that Putin has devolved the political power of certain oligarchs in favour of the state (and certain state-favoured oligarchs), however what I don't see is any evidence for this:

Putin restored the State with a focus on the welfare of the people.

Beyond speech making in reaction to his own post re-election polls dropping precipitously when the government announced tax increases and a steep increase in the retirement age, what has Putin accompished for the welfare of the Russian people? You mean he gets props merely for overturning those unpopular laws?

My objective is for people to realise that by creating a falsely glowing narrative of Russian and Chinese leadership in relation to the decadent West we don't improve our own economic status in the West or those of working people in Russia or in China or anywhere.

Just a silly internet game we play to no positive affect for anyone, least of all ourselves. As in conspiracy theorising this tendency merely calls attention to our own delusional helplessness.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 6 2019 17:10 utc | 112

@91 Thanks for your insightful comment. Bookmarked it for future reference.

Posted by: Joanne Murray | Jul 6 2019 17:18 utc | 113

It might be helpful for those wishing to understand the inevitability of the developments taking place in China and Russia to look into Karl Polanyi's The Great Transformation, published first in 1944, the same year that saw its nemesis, Hayek's The Road to Serfdom begin to pollute the minds of men.

Essentially Polanyi pointed out “...that the idea of the self-regulating market implied a stark utopia. Such an institution could not exist for any length of time without annihilating the human and natural substance of society; it would have physically destroyed man and transformed his surroundings into a wilderness.”

In other words the sort of capitalism we now call neo-liberalism simply could not be sustained. Even in 1944 (while Woody Guthrie was singing about the wonders of the Grand Coulee Dam) Polanyi foresaw the imminence of environmental catastrophes, caused by growth unrestrained and, in broader terms, unplanned.

Writing in the war, Polanyi saw it as the culmination of a long process which, in the 1930s had brought about the collapse of society into economic depression and fascism. A student of modern British history and the 'Long Peace" of 1815-1914 he understood the nature of that first capitalist society

“…the peculiarity of the civilisation the collapse of which we have witnessed was precisely that it rested on economic foundations. Other societies and other civilisations, too, were limited by the material conditions of their existence-this is a common trait of all human life, indeed of all life, whether religious or nonreligious, materialist or spiritualist. All types of societies are limited by economic factors. Nineteenth century civilisation alone was economic in a different and distinctive sense, for it chose to base itself on a motive only rarely acknowledged as valid in the history of human societies, and certainly never before raised to the level of a justification of action and behaviour in everyday life, namely, gain. The self regulating market system was uniquely derived from this principle….”
Polanyi's diagnosis is well understood in China-how would it not be in the primary victim of the imperialism that he was describing? And in Russia where the 90s provided an expensive crash course in the suicidal nature of neo-liberal "pure capitalism' of the sort based on Hayek's ruling class politics, posing as economics.
Whatever you may call the system in Russia, and it really doesn't matter what term is favoured, it, like the 'mixed economies' of the post war world of the 1940s-1970s, involves the tight regulation of the commanding heights of the economy. Without such regulation Russia would not exist, not least because NATO, taking advantage of am arms industry given away to foreigners and speculators of the Browder kind, would have occupied it. And resumed the slave trade from which the peoples of Russia took their name.
Polanyi recognised that, far from being a stage in the evolution of the economy, “The Industrial Revolution was merely the beginning of a revolution as extreme and radical as ever inflamed the minds of sectarians, but the new creed was utterly materialistic and believed that all human problems could be resolved given an unlimited amount of material commodities.”

“No society could, naturally, live for any length of time unless it possessed an economy of some sort; but previously to our time no economy has ever existed that, even in principle, was controlled by markets. In spite of the chorus of academic incantations so persistent in the nineteenth century, gain and profit made on exchange never before played an important part in human economy. Though the institution of the market was fairly common since the later Stone Age, its role was no more than incidental to economic life.
"We have good reason to insist on this point with all the emphasis at our command. No less a thinker than Adam Smith suggested that the division of labour in society was dependent upon the existence of markets, or, as he put it, upon man’s “propensity to barter, truck or exchange one thing for another.” This phrase was later to yield the concept of Economic Man. In retrospect it can be said that no misreading of the past ever proved more prophetic of the future.”

“…. Herbert Spencer, in the second half of the nineteenth century could, without more than a cursory acquaintance with economics, equate the principle of the division of labour with barter and exchange, and, another fifty years later, Ludwig von Mises and Walter Lippmann could repeat the same fallacy. By that time there was no need for argument.…”
“In point of fact, Adam Smith’s suggestions about the economic psychology of early man were as false as Rousseau’s were on the political psychology of the savage. Division of labour, a phenomenon as old as society, springs from differences inherent in the facts of sex, geography, and individual endowment; and the alleged proclivity of man to barter, truck or exchange is almost entirely apocryphal. While history and ethnography know of various kinds of economies, most of them comprising the institution of markets, they know of no economy prior to our own, even approximately controlled and regulated by markets.”

The reality is that states which wish to preserve their sovereignty, which is to say the right to govern themselves, are bound, in resisting the Empire, to control the direction of their economies. And, indeed, their socio-economic policies, their education system, their pension regime, their healthcare provision...everything, from the blind dictates of the marketplace whose tendency is to reduce the planet to a desert.

I happen to suspect that Putin is, in terms of ideology, attracted by the simplicities of neo-liberalism. And that the last thing to interest him would be an academic debate on economic theory. But that hardly matters-as the product of a Soviet education he understands that ideology is not very important when it clashes with necessity. And the necessities that he faces, like those China faces, do not allow his government to indulge in the society shattering, economy devastating policies which, for example, the USA and the UK have adopted, choosing to allow billionaire crooks, speculators 'wide boys' and 'spivs' (as we used to call black marketeers) to get very rich while the nation itself descended, first into poverty and then into civil war, followed usually by foreign occupation.
Socialism, after all is not a society modeled on the instructions of Marx's (self anointed) disciples, but the recognition that communities depend upon mutual supports in order to survive: the newborn, left to its own devices either dies or is butchered by hungry entrepreneurs. The sick, if not nursed and assisted, die or waste away starving. The old, if nobody cares for them do not last long (life expectancy rates are declining in the UK and the USA). What we see developing in eurasia may not be socialism (according to the rarified standards of the sectarian), but it is not barbarism either.
And what is being practised by the Empire, in the United States, in Venezuela, Iran, Palestine and the crumbling United Kingdom is just that a descent into barbarism in which the strong rule, the vulnerable are devoured and survival depends upon the making of corrupt bargains: prostitution in one of its myriad forms.

After all the path being followed by the eurasian societies was pioneered by Carey and the American System not to mention his intellectual mentor Friedrich List who recognised that national economies left to the mercies of neo-liberal free trade would never develop except as imperial peripheries. Neither List nor Carey any more than Bismark and Lincoln were socialists, they were merely intent on preserving their societies' economies from the control of the capitalist dominated marketplace.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 6 2019 17:27 utc | 114

Bevin @114

Very interesting comment and quotes from Polanyi's seminal work. Only now he is being effectively rediscovered.

Like Gabor mate, another insightful Hungarian! I was blown away when I discovered him, following some directed research into macroeconomic matters, following sort of my own trail. I couldn't believe his was not household name, given the strange relevance to current goings on, even as he lived quite some time ago.

Posted by: Merlin2 | Jul 6 2019 17:37 utc | 115

@ karlof1 | Jul 6 2019 1:13 utc | 56

”What I see Russia slowly moving to is Socialism with Russian Characteristics just as China's moving toward its version.”

That's the way it has seemed to me for some time now, but you are literally the only person I know of who has expressed a similar belief.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jul 6 2019 17:40 utc | 116

I am sorry but citing Mr. Mate without looking at how Marcy Wheeler eviscerates his lame arguments really does a disservice to the discourse over the Mueller investigation. Just to be clear Bob's range he could investigate was limited in scope due to the DOJ memo and the report did not include the separate counterintelligence investigation.

Here is just one post on Rodger Stone and the Crowdstrike information. Aaron Mate has never read the Mueller Report and is too mentally deficient to understand all he actors and participants, but go ahead and believe these lies as they seem to comfort most on this site.

Posted by: Greg Hunter | Jul 6 2019 17:45 utc | 117

donkeytale @112:

what has Putin accompished for the welfare of the Russian people?

Look back at poverty and suicide rates of Russia in the 1990's when Western oligarchs held sway.

... by creating a falsely glowing narrative of Russian and Chinese leadership in relation to the decadent West we don't improve our own economic status in the West or those of working people in Russia or in China or anywhere.

But it's not "falsely glowing". That's myopic - resulting from viewing their progress in isolation. Look at the relative progress vs the "decadent West" and at their progress in light of the obstacles put in their path.

Who got the "peace dividend" after the Cold War? There was none. It went to Military Industrial Complex (MIC) for boondoggles like F35 and Israel (estimated $7 trillion for ME wars). The Middle Class got squashed. Because the West doesn't need to tout their superior lifestyle after they've vanquished their enemy. And it would only get worse under the unilateral NWO wet dream of Western oligarchs.

So our own economic status is likely to be better when the Western elite have competition. That checks, to some degree, Western elites inclination toward fascism and racism. An inclination that results, from time to time, in spectacular cruelty and disregard for human rights and norms of civilization such as: atrocities of the Western-back Pinochet government; massacres of the Nicaraguan Contras; "shock therapy" in Russia; the illegal invasion of Iraq & Abu Graib; CIA rendition and torture; the use of Jihadi proxies in Syria; and much more.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 6 2019 18:13 utc | 118

@114 bevin... thanks for sharing all that.. it gives the present moment in time a disturbing look.. like all experiments, some end in failure and i suspect the neoliberal aside from being a bit of a climax to what has been set in motion many years ago, is destined to destroy itself and hopefully be replaced with something more meaningful to the masses..

@117 greg hunter... ew is like a constant echo chamber with only those willing to agree 24/7 allowed to comment..

Posted by: james | Jul 6 2019 18:16 utc | 119

Doh! Meant to add treatment of the Palestinians to the list.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 6 2019 18:17 utc | 120

@ Posted by: Greg Hunter | Jul 6 2019 17:45 utc | 117

Yes, Aaron Mate is too stupid to understand the Mueller Report -- THAT'S the problem.

Better trolls, please.

Posted by: Stygg | Jul 6 2019 19:27 utc | 121

Greg Hunter @117: Wow, she's defending Crowdstrike, I didn't realize she was that complicit, she must have more skin in the game than I thought. She'll never get back her credibility after this.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 6 2019 19:50 utc | 122

@117 it is hard to believe your write stuff like this without being paid to do so. did you even read the mate article? you didn't address any of the substance, you just ad hommed him.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 6 2019 19:51 utc | 123

Bemildred 122

Just what we'd expect from Marcy Squealer.

Posted by: Russ | Jul 6 2019 20:01 utc | 124

about sock therapy, it does not have to be wrong

on the basis of the sock as a noun, it is cryptic... but sock is also a verb:
transitive verb. : to hit, strike, or apply forcefully: sock a home run, an area socked by a blizzard. intransitive verb. : to deliver a blow : hit. sock it to.

So Russia was socked by a so-called therapy.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 6 2019 20:04 utc | 125

donkytale vs Gruff

Clearly, "capitalism with a strong direct role of state in the economy" and "socialism" are nomenclature issues, and ideologically, used differently by different "schools".

Any time an enterprise is under control of the state there is a potential of abuse that can nix the "creative power of capitalism" or "social benefits of socialism". Sometimes it is called "rent seeking". Some degree of abuse is impossible to avoid. I would cautiously agree with Gruff that the doctrinaire critique of "nationalization" totally misses the point, and aggregate and anecdotal data suggests positive trends in Russia. Some of those trends were actually stimulated by Western sanctions.

The most destructive corrupted trend is transferring the looted gains abroad, thus eliminating any "trickle down effect". Ukraine seems to be the case, and Russia was manifestly the case in the shock therapy years. However, "personal sanctions" make it unsafe for Russian tycoons to park majority of their gains abroad, so they have to invest more at home. Moreover, excessively free trade is particularly detrimental to oil countries because they cannot compete using low wages, weak currency etc, so they become service and real estate oriented with dim "post oil" prospects. Sanctions allow to introduce counter sanctions and stimulate manufacturing and agriculture.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 6 2019 20:26 utc | 126

donkeytale @112:

what has Putin accomplished for the welfare of the Russian people?

Look back at poverty and suicide rates of Russia in the 1990's when Western oligarchs held sway.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 6 2019 18:13 utc | 118

One can argue that this is a low bar comparison. One metric touted by "patriotic Russians" is the balance of births over deaths. Decrease in the "longevity" is a symptom of worsened healthcare and social pathology when people without positive prospects in life turn to alcohol, drugs and risky behaviors, and conversely, increase of births may be a symptom of optimism among the younger generation. So Russia increased longevity and birth rate, and it was stressed that it is not on the account of increasing Muslim minority. but core Russian provincial regions that no longer suffer from decline.

On economic side, after the last drop in oil prices that was "coordinated" with Western sanctions, the drop in the economic indicators was shallow and now it is over, both production and wages increasing, employment being robust.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 6 2019 20:57 utc | 127

Jackrabbit @118: The Middle Class got squashed

America's Record-Long "Expansion" Was Just The Rich Getting Richer As The Middle Class Died

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 6 2019 21:07 utc | 128

Piotr @127

Good point. Thanks. That's a better metric.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 6 2019 21:09 utc | 129

@ donkeytale | Jul 6 2019 17:10 utc | 112

”Beyond speech making in reaction to his own post re-election polls dropping precipitously when the government announced tax increases and a steep increase in the retirement age, what has Putin accompished for the welfare of the Russian people?”

Here – try these:

>Between 1999 and 2013, Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) leaped nearly 12-fold from $1,330 per capita to more than $15,560 in 2013, outpacing even China’s remarkable economic growth.
>Russia reduced its debt as a percentage of GDP by over 90%, from 144% in 1998 to less than 14% in 2015!
>Gross national income per capita rose from $1,710 in 2000 to $14,810 in 2013.
>Unemployment fell from 13% in 1999 to below 5% in 2014. Among the working population (those aged 15-64), 69% have a paid job (74% of men).
>Only 0.2% of Russians work very long hours, compared to 13% OECD average
>Poverty rate fell from 40% in the 1990s to 12.5% in 2013 – better than U.S. or German poverty rates (15.6% and 15.7%, respectively)
>Average monthly income rose from around 1,500 rubles in 1999 to nearly 30,000 rubles in 2013.
>Average monthly pensions rose from less than 500 rubles to 10,000 rubles.

For a whole lot more – with listed sources, go here:

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jul 6 2019 21:59 utc | 130

bevin @114--

Bravo!! I once intoned the form of political economy I saw as the only potential form as the next paradigm is crossed into--Communalism is what I called it.

AntiSpin @116--

IMO, it's easier for most to comprehend a mixed socialistic economy needing little explanation rather than having to take the time to explain how Communalism might function and why its resiliency makes it the only sensible socio-economic organization capable of adapting to the demands placed on humanity as our current paradigm changes, which would require a book-length essay.

It seems I comment on the dueling philosophies on a weekly basis--Zerosumism versus Win-Winism--and the very huge chasm in their fundamental differences. Polanyi was very prescient--my philosophy prof said he was more important to read than Marx, but that didn't mean ignore Marx. Neoliberalism promotes the Hobbesian War of All Against All excepting those insulated elites who collect the wealth being wasted. Science Fiction has illustrated such societies and the outcomes they generate perhaps most famously in a 1969 Star Trek episode, "The Cloud Minders".

I'm adding this bit of campaign verbiage from Gabbard as an FYI as it makes a significant point:

"Tulsi is Trump’s biggest threat because she has integrity, experience and courage - and she isn’t owned by the political establishment or the military industrial complex that’s been dividing this country and running it into the ground through both Republican and Democratic administrations." [Italics original; bolding my emphasis]

Tulsi's willingness to speak out against the destructive policies of not just Republicans but Democrats as well shows her independent nature and willingness to look at issues on an individual basis related to serving the genuine interests of the US public, which is something more Nader-like than Sandersesque.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 6 2019 23:58 utc | 131

More evidence of the hoax:

EU’s ‘Russian meddling’ alert system not detecting any meddling

Still MSM, politicians act like this is the biggest threat ever today, its crazy.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 7 2019 10:42 utc | 132

I've family visitors the last few days. I appreciate all the responses and will read in detail, consider and reply when able.

Today I simply skimmed the thread. I see much made of the statistics regarding income and longevity gains. Of course, someone once said something appropriate about the validity of arguing with statistics, which to me means context is everything.

Increasing from a lower number always yields a higher percentage than when starting from a higher number. But what about other related economic factors?

"Cost of living" for instance. How much has CoL increased since the fall of the Soviet Union? How much disposable income does the avarage Russian retain today compared to his salary?

This seems to me to a very important question to consider when comparing the increased welfare of the average citizen compared with the post USSR starting point or other nations today.

And this is not a loaded question, I'm curious. I would expect the average Russian has much more disposable income today then under the USSR and much less than compared with US/EU average.

The basic Gruff/donkeytale/Jackrabbit starting point, are these gains the result of socialist policies, capitalist policies, or the authoritarian dictates of the "great man?"

Jackrabbit's asertion implies the "great man," that Putin has looked out for the welfare of the Russian people, appears correct to me on the evidence antispin presents. Will this always be the case, that another great man will follow the great man? (and I agree Putin is a "great man", especially in relation to current world leaders). What if, as seems to typically occur, a less than great man follows the great man?

What type of political/economic system remains in place post-Putin is a highly debatable and interesting supposition to consider.

bevin's lengthy comment which I skimmed most likely addresses this question. Also noted, Piotr Berman, JR and some others. All worthy of study, research (AKA "googling") and response. I'll post in the current open thread which is probably best as time has moved on and I'm OT anyway.

Thanks again.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 7 2019 14:43 utc | 133

His name was Seth Rich.

Posted by: Eddie | Jul 7 2019 22:31 utc | 134

Mueller works for the Trump administration
That's a fact, but apparently all Trump has to do is tweet that
its a witch hunt and a coup attempt and 99% of the nation thinks Mueller is working for the Democrats.

Posted by: jim | Jul 12 2019 21:57 utc | 135

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