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December 12, 2016

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The CIA has discovered solid proof that Russia hacked the US election. The proof was contained in a notebook uncovered under a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction recently found in Iraq.

The CIA, "earning your trust for 70 years".

There once was a man from Leningrad

He harbored a grudge that was very bad

He said with a grin, as he led with the spin

'Now YOUR empire collapses into the bin.'

Here's a quote from the highest ranking CIA officer in Europe in the lead up to the second Iraq War:

"[The source] told us that there were no active weapons of mass destruction programs," Drumheller is quoted as saying. "The [White House] group that was dealing with preparation for the Iraq war came back and said they were no longer interested. And we said 'Well, what about the intel?' And they said 'Well, this isn't about intel anymore. This is about regime change.' "

So...CIA analysts knew there were no WMDs. But the White House had other plans.

But that couldn't possibly happen with Trump in charge. For one thing, he apparently doesn't like to bother with intelligence briefings. After all, he as a big brain and he's really smart. Much smarter than the generals, or the CIA, or the NSA, or, well, anybody.

Besides, if he does have a question, his dear buddy Vladimir will explain things to him.

Blame Cheney, Wolfy, et al, not the career CIA professionals, for Iraq:

https://news.vice.com/article/the-cia-just-declassified-the-document-that-supposedly-justified-the-iraq-invasion

And don't forget CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Good points Rogue and Franklin.

"One of the Snowflakes" how many times have you been in county?

You exhibit a certain type of profile.

Trump's personal history has been widely reported before the election, so none of this should really shock us. He was not merely unqualified to be president by ordinary standards of political vetting but even more so by his horrifying behavior as a businessman and human being. Tony Schwartz, the author of The Art of the Deal, warned us obsessively what an existential threat Trump was in this way. There's one overarching reason why Trump won despite what would have instantly killed anybody else's chances: he validated the ugliness, cruelty, racism, stupidity, and bigotry of ordinary Americans. That's it. We can make excuses for these people all day long but they took a sacred responsibility of citizenship and defiled it a way that rapists would a young virgin. If you voted for Trump, you deserve our everlasting contempt. If you vandalized your civic responsibility by voting for Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, or writing-in Bernie Sanders, or your pet goldfish, you're no better. In fact, you're worse because you made an exercise in self-expression of what was to anyone with any sense at all a grave situation.

I have a friend from Phoenix (and Rogue reader) visiting here who thinks the situation is so dire that electors might pick Mike Pence instead of Trump. I agree the situation is dire but since Republicans have long transcended ordinary decency and patriotism, I think it's a rather remote possibility to expect something mindful and sober from them. They have already discounted the hacking along with Trump's pro-Russian positions. Just win, baby, as Al Davis would have said. Pence, needless to say, would govern as an authentic right-wing extremist, not just Steve Bannon's (and Vladimir Putin's) puppet.

I do think Trump will now back off the Tillerson appointment to State. If you lose McCain, Graham, and Rubio, it probably won't fly. That said, it will be someone nearly as odious, or maybe even more so. The astonishing far-right appointments of billionaires, hacks, zealots, and utterly unqualified apparatchiks to high positions does suggest the way Trump will govern, not by any effort to unite the country but to accelerate the break-up of The United States of America.

The Civil War has been revived on a playing field where the traditional checks and balances of institutional counterweights no longer apply. The Neo-Confederacy senses its strategic advantage now and I doubt they'll back off anymore than they absolutely have to. If you feel apprehensive about the future, it's time for a reality check. You haven't seen anything yet.

The Ryan-Pence game plan is to use the Trump presidency as a trojan horse to allow them in to dismantle social and environmental programs. Keep Trump in place for now until the dismantle job is complete or Trump gets in the way. That's the Republican way.

Ahahahaha. The (admittedly perfectly legal, however behind-the-curtain and sordid) knee-capping of Sanders in the primaries raise no outrage.

Hackers of Russian influence in the general, buttressing Hillary's opponent... OMG everybody is doing their Alex Jones impression.

Yea, pretty funny.

Hey, I'm grieving, too. I wish we had our first woman president. Perhaps, more to the point, I wish we didn't have our first lemon-puckered black-hole narcissist as president.

It's one of those "whose ox was gored" situations. It smells like... hypocrisy.

So, Petro, you are still deeply in love with this man from Vermont, this man called Sanders?

For lefty Betrayal Queens, what matters isn't political effectiveness but winning moral stature by walking around with a knife sticking dramatically out of one's back.

I'm with anon. Ryan-Pence at the national level and Center for Arizona Policy at the AZ state level concern me way more than the antics of Trump and his transition process.

Trump can't really drain the swamp, but he is giving them a run for their money.

Ah yes the set up and the take down.

10-4 Ruben, I have always thought the Theocratic Pence was more dangerous to the USA than Donald the Asshole Clown. Between now and 012016 it will be perilous times as we wait to see if the helium filled Trump goes down like the Hindenberg.

You are just another hysterical liberal now. I supported Hillary. She lost. Move on. Whatever lame revelations came from the leaked emails were nothing compared to P*ssygate. Yet Hillary still couldn't get people to vote for her.

"You"?

Thank you for being the voice of reason helping to expose the trumpocracy.

STEPHEN SAID, " she still couldn't get people to vote for her".
And the 3 million votes she is ahead by were all cast by illegal Black Mexican Muslims. Right Dudas?

This "you lost, get over it" reminds me of "Just lay back, close your close your eyes, and think of England." Nope. Not happening.

But to my point, the key here is, "This is worse than Watergate. It won't go away it must not be allowed to go away."

Keep the pressure on, Rogue.

Right, Lash.

From liquid democracy to algorithmic dictatorship. We now have proof that Facebook really is the devil's work:

The Tech That Turns Each Of Us Into A Walled Garden - High Scalability

"Divided We Are Exploitable

... to create an internet that silos and segregates people by class, by race, etc, so they can be more easily targeted as prey, by predatory industries like for profit colleges and loan companies. ...

The big change is: there’s now no difference between ads and content. Content, the information you see on your feed, is targeted at you just like ads. And that content can be anything and serve any purpose. There’s no implied social contract for content to be true. Content is now weaponized for a purpose. In other words: content is now propaganda. ...

Democrats Fought The Last War ...

What’s Old: targeting, organizing and motivating voters.

What’s New: Moneyball meets Social Media with a twist of message tailoring, sentiment manipulation and machine learning. ...

The Dark Side Of Facebook - How The Tech Works

... Your profile data is then fed into automated systems that build and deploy targeted messaging campaigns that exploit very recent increases in the power of smart algorithms and cheap compute resources. This is the first time in history this sort of thing has been possible at scale. That's the promise of the cloud. ...

Is The New Politics An Existential Threat To Democracy?

... The incentives all run towards creating division. ...

The future portends only more of the same. This is assured by the continued aggregation of masses of people onto just a few services and the high profitability and zero-marginal economics of digital data collection and targeting. ...

It’s the ultimate in identity politics, a direct appeal to the self with few countervailing forces.

It’s now trivially easy to create resentment at scale using automation. It has never been easier to create divisions of us vs them. This is the acid that dissolves a democracy. ...

Are Critical Thinking Skills The Answer?

No. ... The problem is because of a neat trick of human psychological that if we see a message repeatedly we will think it’s true ...

Rather than democratizing the world technology is poised to only deepen the divide. Who saw that coming?"

Since when is the Washington Post or NYT a credible source of information? Not in the last several years. They post the worst examples of 'false news' that they hypocritically whine about.
Get a grip......

“For lefty Betrayal Queens, what matters isn't political effectiveness but winning moral stature by walking around with a knife sticking dramatically out of one's back.”

Yea, Hall, like you’re not the ones who lost this election.

And Bernie would have won? Explain how that would have happened in the real world.

It's irrelevant, in this context, whether or not Sanders would have won.

I simply made the observation that Clinton captured the blue flag, and that her contingent failed to capture the red flag.

The complaint from Walter Hall was that PRIMARY losers were somehow relevant in the general election, and I would contend with some credibility that the Democrats were GENERAL ELECTION losers.

One of these things is more consequential than the other... addressed to the dude who thinks *he* has a knife sticking out of his back.

Fuck you. The DNC fucked we. Talk all you want. That's how we crazy lefty folk see it.

We'll see what sticks to the wall.

I don't disagree with the fact that Russia was probably behind the email hacks but I am having such a difficult time wrapping my head around the Russia story for one very simple reason -- Obama was campaigning for Hillary when these hacks were taking place and he still publicly stated that the election results would be considered fair once the ballots were counted. Granted, he may have been directly referring to the election day rigging concern from the far right (that their votes, calculated more often than not by a (R) State Recorder, would simply not be counted) but, honestly, if the most transparent administration in history isn't speaking up when he sees what is going on, how were people to know the Russia threats were credible? Candidate Clinton will say anything. Candidate Trump will say anything. Their surrogates follow suit, on every topic, regardless of the facts as they will spin anything. I expect the Chief Executive to open his mouth when he sees foreign tampering with our elections, regardless of which candidate it favors. Silence, in this case, signals complacency. And one has to wonder, was Obama's silence a political decision with the understanding that being honest about Russia would inevitably redirect attention back to the Clinton Foundation and all of Hillary's financial ties with foreign heads of state?

I'll continue to hammer this point until either I or the DNC die (at this rate, I'd put my money on the DNC), this party needs credibility. The identity that they try to sell (compassionate, progressive, inclusive) simply does not jive with the actions of party leaders. Russia tampered with the election and Hillary still won the popular vote. Nine times out of ten, she probably wins the EC vote in this election too. When you're the strong favorite and you blow your lead, you need to look first at yourself. That is, what if it hadn't been Russian hackers but, instead, domestic techies who hacked Podesta's account? I think it would still matter that the DNC did not run a fair primary. I think it would still matter that reaching out to hispanics is the 'Taco Bowl Engagement' within the DNC. I think it would still matter that Hillary's transcripts show she was more than happy to place blame on borrowers for the housing collapse when talking to GS executives. These are all matters of policy that have nothing to do with Clinton's opponent. This the leadership of the DNC being exposed for who they really are -- which is just another shade of corporate green that bows to the same Wall Street masters as the GOP.

That which can be destroyed by the truth, deserves to be destroyed by the truth. The DNC is being destroyed by the truth -- and their response is to blame Trump. And that is why this party is effectively dead.

These intellectual purity tests, whether on the Left or the Right, always come with a price.

We, as a nation, are about to pay a very heavy price for Clinton's perceived failings.

While our new government tries to turn back the clock a hundred years, and things fall apart accordingly, I hope our leftists purists find comfort in their imagined moral and ethical superiority.

Petro, I'm not sure what you want us to validate. Bernie's perpetual victimhood because Debbie Wasserman-Schultz did or didn't do something? Really? Or was it a mean e-mail from one DNC staffer to another about your messiah? How exactly was he screwed? Bernie, a non-Democrat gets to hijack a party to which he has never belonged to or shown any loyalty and this is the betrayal of the century? Because actual Democrats preferred someone who was loyal to the party? Heaven forfend. The real Democrat got 3.5 million more votes and she somehow stole what was legitimately Bernie's?

So Hillary loses to Trump despite getting close to 3 million more votes than he did, despite James Comey, Russian intelligence, and our so-called liberal media perpetually hounding her, and really despite the fact that we live in a post-truth world where a pathological liar is seen by idiots as a necessary corrective to the frustrations of ambiguity and complexity. Yes, reality bites, but let's keep some perspective here. If you want to believe your gadfly messiah would have beaten Trump in your alternative reality, you are free to think so. But you're not free to make a fucking victim out of him. Please: grow up. No one screwed him or you over.

Ruben, it looks more and more like Trump is going to go along with the Ryan-Pence domestic agenda. His cabinet appointments collectively appear amazingly to be to the right of Ryan. It is all Republican right or extreme right for the foreseeable future. No way will their legislative or administrative implementations during the next eight years be reversed by a successor Democratic Party in my life time.

Hillary made strategic mistakes. Sanders coulda, shoulda woulda. They are history and irrelevant now. Time to move on.

Interesting piece from TPM: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/nyt-report-podesta-russian-phishing-attack-typo
There's a lot of blame to hand out if that's your thing. Here's some.
Once again the Dems couldn't beat the biggest clown around. Yeah, yeah, Nader, Berni-bros. yadda yadda. Will the Democratic establishment take a long good look at itself eventually? Crystal ball says...Nah. It's a party of comfortable wanna-be insiders; too many of their long lost and former constituency are outsiders.

Imagine for a moment sanctimonious lefties decided to worm their way into The Evil That Is The Democratic Party. Instead of sitting on the sidelines feeling abused and neglected they got off their asses and actually worked for something instead of seeing themselves as life's perpetual victims. Could it work? Well, there's a apt example out there and it's called the Republican Party. It's now a party of extremists up and down the line, from the lowliest precinct committeemen to the president-elect himself. What used to be a traditional political party is now so extreme it actually works with enemy governments to undermine their own. Interesting times.

This is a problem, needless to say. They are a clear and present danger to this nation, for one thing. But they do win because the base votes every chance they get. They don't sit out elections in order to preen their superiority on blogs like this one. They don't make the perfect the enemy of the good because their fee-fees are hurt by the Establishment. Instead of playing Beautiful Losers they back every Republican they can. They don't splinter into vanity political parties that screws their own political coalition. And the net result is that they get rewarded with a party that now reflects them to a very unhealthy degree.

I'm happy, obviously, that the Democratic Party isn't insane with zealotry. I'm proud that they continue to stand up for minorities (thank goodness they're not listening to their retro-revolutionary Bernie on this score). And I'm very happy they understand politics is about something loftier than burning down the house. Who woulda thunk? A party of mature people doing responsible things. The horror, the horror.

There's a party out there for you abused victims of The Establishment. They're called the Green Party, utterly ineffectual but mostly earnest and sincere. They never win except in their own minds where they're always just one election cycle away from permanently sticking it to the Democrats. So, if you don't really want the responsibility of governance but still need to see yourselves as noble victims, you have a home. No whining, please. Just open the door to that broom closet and make yourselves at home.

I do not understand how you continue to defend the DNC leadership, soleri. Elections are a results-based business and the Democrats are passing muster -- yet you continue to point the finger at everyone but the party leadership.

I never thought Sanders would have defeated Trump -- but I also didn't think Trump could defeat Clinton so who really knows? I will say this though -- DWS tampering with the primaries hurt Clinton in the general election. The Clinton strategy was simple and it was clear to everyone: enter the race with a familiar and popular-enough candidate (Hillary), let the GOP challengers damage each other for four months through the primaries while Hillary runs, effectively, unopposed. Like Obama in '12, this would lead to an easy general election race where Hillary can enter the convention with a large lead and then just has to hold off the GOP challenger as he tries to pivot from all the insanity that it takes to win the Republican Primary. Obviously, this didn't work and the issues that could have been addressed in the Primary (private server, Clinton Foundation donors, GS speech transcripts) at the expense of some unimportant primary votes ended up costing her votes in the general.

Now, soleri, I know you're going to "But Trump" me on this. That's fine. But, regardless of the election cycle and the GOP challenger, this is a bad practice for the Democrats. Not just in an election cycle in a strong anti-establishment environment. Not just because they got caught. This bad for future races. Who is the up and comer in the Democratic Party now? The GOP has Rubio, Cruz, and Kasich all with strong Presidential name recognition (and currently hold Senate/Governor seats). The Democrats have -- Hillary? Bernie? Elizabeth Warren?

The Democratic Party is dead. Nancy Pelosi, Hillary, and all the usual suspects who have been getting their asses handed to them by the GOP for years are not relinquishing control. This is their show and that's the bottom line. Any conversation about policy or platform or influencing the party is strictly an academic exercise. We can influence the Democratic establishment as much as we can the GOP.

Good thing it's easy enough to just blame it all on Trump.

Blaxsabbath, I'm not going to play political operative with you since I'm not really into game theory. Clearly, Hillary's campaign was less than ideal as were her own political talents. That said, the neuroscientist and political prognosticator Sam Wang said earlier this year that a Democrat was no better than an even bet to win. The political scientist Allan Lichtman predicted Trump would win based on his 13 "keys"formula that has predicted every winner since 1984 EXCEPT this year because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. There were other factors, principally the Comey letter, which Wang says shaved two points off Hillary's popular vote, along with the subject of this very blog, Russian ratfucking of the American election in service of their American counterparts, the Republican Party. http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/12/how-did-trump-win-fbi-and-russians

Blaming the Democratic Party for this loss is both irrelevant given that they didn't manage Hillary Clinton's campaign, and suggestive of an underlying motive on your part: to simply continue this far left blame game that helps Republicans by turning your low-information cohort into apathetic cynics. Frankly, I wish you would take up another hobby. Vandalizing the one vehicle the progressive coalition has will hurt a lot of people. Obviously, you really don't care about them or the planet that will careen to catastrophic climate change thanks to a Trump presidency. This is why I call your tribe "snowflakes". When you make politics about yourselves and your purity, you're essentially telling people that what matters here is self-expression and personal vanity.

I will admit to being very tetchy about this subject, as my intemperate comments often show. Every time holier-than-thou lefties like you decide to help Republicans, our job as progressives get much harder. We lost a significant share of the Millennial vote thanks to Bernie, Jill, and all the other self-flattering dweebs who value being right over actual progressive values, not to mention the lives of real people YOU damage with your political narcissism.

The Democratic Party may well be up for grabs. It's the only actual coalition party left in America, and if it goes, there's no telling what will replace it or the reasonable political actors willing to compromise to keep the system healthy. You don't either despite all your brave talk here. The country as a whole needs to decide if giving up democracy is really worth the cost of self-righteousness, certitude, and a toxic blame game.

Republicans have permanently jumped the shark and are now composed of nihilists in service of sociopathic ideals. I don't really think making the Democratic Party their mirror image here would help the nation in any way. It would accelerate the trend to post-truth politics where people select their information according to their confirmation bias. Once "news" merely becomes one more scrap of meat to fight over, the wolves of our inner nature will destroy what remains of our comity and civic restraint. I get the impression reading your comments that it's all a game to you. If so, you really need to take a deep look within. Millions of people will suffer under a system that is inherently dysfunctional. Politics is our only means of settling these differences. The Republican Party no longer cares to sustain our national project. Neither no you. You are a frightening reminder of the pernicious effects of abstract ideologies and cults.

soleri driving people away from the Democratic party, one post at time.

This was the first national election since the Supreme Court dismantled the Voting Rights Act.

That, as much as Comey or Russia's meddling, determined the outcome of the election.

As a result, we now have a stooge of the Russian oligarchy in the White House, whose only policy is "show me the money".

It doesn't matter if you're a moderate, a liberal, a socialist, or a screamin' greenie, if you're not wealthy and white, with a few very rare exceptions, you're fucked.

I’ll wait for properly sourced information before judging any GOP involvement in the leaking of Demo E-Mails. The true irony though is that Weki posts are considered to be more credible than almost any other outlet. The traditional media have a real problem here. Call me cynical, but I take the national news with a very jaundiced approach. It’s rarely “fake”; buts it’s almost never entirely truthful.

That the Soviets/Russians are spying/influencing the political scene in the US is hardly new; they’ve been at it since the 1930’s.

The US engages in the same thing. Isn’t that the crux of the Snowdon issue. If I remember correctly, he leaked info about US hacking everything/everyone in sight.

My take on the situation. The Russians, or whoever hacked the Dems (and I guess the GOP too), had intelligence that was very perishable. What value would it have a year from now? Like pundits everywhere, they saw a HRC victory in a near land-slide. Releasing when they did was not to spin the election, but to sling a little mud on HRC.

As an aside, if you agree that if the hacking of the DNC system was serious security breach, then what of HRC’s server, which was surly hacked?

Spot on, Soleri and B. Franklin.

Let's not forget that Hillary has the largest popular vote win in history.

Interesting:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/12/09/fast-food-damnation/?module=BlogPost-Title&version=Blog%20Main&contentCollection=Opinion&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs&region=Body&_r=0

wkg, there's absolutely no evidence that HRC's server was hacked, however. Yeah, yeah: facts! When they don't serve your propaganda needs, discount them! That's what I getting at when I wrote how the Republican Party has completely jumped the shark. Not only does it collude with a foreign enemy to damage our democracy, it tells low-information voters like you that reality is actually inverted, that Hillary Clinton was somehow a threat and not itself. Get acquainted with the phrase "useful idiot" because it describes something uncomfortably close to reality.

One more thing you don't know: Hillary used a secure State Department device to send highly sensitive communications. She used her own server for personal and non-sensitive information. She did so because she wanted to be able to speak frankly without other people like Judicial Watch issuing FOIA requests. This is really the entire controversy, whether there were three e-mails with a marking "C" suggesting "classified" information. This is the lowest "secrecy" rating there is, and after exhaustive research, those three e-mails were determined to have been inaccurately marked.

So, there's your Scandal of the Century, right up there with the fake Benghazi outrage. Kevin McCarthy, the GOP congressman actually spilled the beans that the entire purpose of the Benghazi hearings was to damage Clinton. Needless to say, Republicans lied a lot too, insinuating that there was a "stand down" order that Clinton issued to the US military. First off, she never had that authority, let alone an overview of the situation which was obscured in the fog of war and by a distance of 9,000 miles.

I don't mean to pick on you but there are reasons you're a Republican. Truth is simply whatever your propaganda apparatus tells you it is. Whether it's Fox News, congressional Republicans,Brietbart, or Fake News on Facebook, you will believe without any critical thinking whatever they feed you. I will say this however: the Bernie Bros are no better in this way. I saw them regurgitate right-wing talking points during the primary to damage Clinton on my FB timeline. When I would cite Snopes or some other refutation, they would delete my comment. This is how totalitarian regimes train their citizens to regard "truth", not as a value in itself but merely something to disregard according to their political needs. Donald Trump himself is a pathological liar, who you apparently had no problem voting for. After the election he told his idiotic followers that he would not jail Hillary Clinton like he told them. I'll say this for him: as horrifying as he is as a human being, he's not nearly as stupid as base Republicans.

soleri -

As a bottom line question, is now the time for significant change within the leadership of the Democratic Party and why?

soleri, your comments provide much insight and make me proud to be a life long Democrat.Your perception on the snowflake brigade is spot on. They are trumpsters in BS clothing even if they don't possess enough self-awareness to realize it. They have little life experience outside of crazy Arizona.

As an embassy employee, I worked with many military brass. They acknowledged that their being part of the diplomatic community meant they reported to a civilian boss, the US ambassador. To me personally over beers they made it clear that if hostilities broke out against the compound they took orders from the DOD or NSC, not State Department. Smearing Clinton for Bhengazi is analogous to blaming the Secretary of Defense personally for all military casualties. And yet, Republicans were wildly successful in the smear campaign with their Republican base.

A GOP investigation of Russiagate will not happen base Putin and his gang are WHITE
Russians.

Ah, the hand wringing and finger pointing just can't stop, can it? Fact: HRC was perhaps the most qualified presidential candidate in recent history. Fact: HRC was the wrong candidate. Fact: He who shall not be named Is The Worst president-elect EVER. Fukt: USA. Any disagreement, anyone?

It's time for me to take a break. I said in a recent thread how perilous intense opposition is to the human psyche. I'm at that point. I hope to get back in when times are less polarized. Our basic political contract is now in jeopardy, which in a global superpower is disturbing. At some point, all of us have to step back from the brink of extreme partisanship. It's doing serious harm to our ability to work together. If I have one thought to leave here, it's to keep skepticism and self-doubt alive in our politics. We need to check each other's excesses and worst impulses with kindness.

What I find so unconscionably ironic is that the SAME (supposedly) uber-patriotic? Republicans, who are so quick to (willfully) define socialism as communism, and who have heretofore viewed the USSR/Russia as the ultimate enemy, NOW "look the other way" at Trump's and Tillerson's extremely questionable friendship with Putin.

These pseudo-patriotic Republicans ought to be put into the gulag for their treason.

And by pseudo-patriotic Republicans, I mean ALL of those who aren't calling for Trump and Tillerson to be investigated for treason.

These pseudo-patriotic Republicans have ALWAYS been about curtailing freedoms they didn't like. Now they have a compatriot brother-in-arms in Putin. He knows a thing or two about "clampdowns."

Or, as Stalin (Putin's hero) said to the Jews, "Get with the pogrom!"

Jon, once again this has been a great column. Regardless of the differences in words posted here its been a good thing as we need to keep talking.

I was dissapointed that Terras Dudas didn't take up my offer for coffee a few days ago while I was in Tucson. Maybe next time.

Again the Earths Condition is my biggest concern and I don't see the God people stepping up to embrace climate change issues. Looks like Trumps appointments are those that think thier god keeps replinishing coal. But they do continue as they have for centuries continue to go to war in the mame of god. They slaughter each other and the planets resources in the process. Many years ago I suggested that the last great war would be between two Theocratic tribes, is this it?

Have some good rides Soleri. And wave at Jon and Petro as they glide by on the lite rail. My Honda Fit has 140000 on it and currently is taking a nap next to a tall Sajuaro. Hasta luego.

To ALL the fair-weather, pseudo-patriotic Republicans crying, evidence, please: When the senior REPUBLICAN congressional members, who have access to the secret evidence, say the Russians influenced the election by hacking, THAT IS PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE! Take your ROSE-COLORED glasses OFF!

Hillary may have lost, but do YOU want to take a chance on us losing the country to tyranny because you DON'T WANT an investigation into Putin hacking the Democratic e-mails--which Trump invited Putin to do??? Or are you another blind horse, as in, "A Nod's as Good as a Wink..to a Blind Horse?"

Putin is ready to ride YOU to victory.

Cal, you know we're in trouble when a formerly obvious threat to the US as Russian involvement in the election just gets a collective shrug from those supporting Trump.

Please reference "The Cult of Personality," lyrics by Living Colour.

Cal,

I do see a pattern in Trump's appointments that says, "I don't give a flying rat's ass about the climate because it's about the money, baby."

If you see how many fossil fuel and climate change skeptics are being nominated, the scientific consensus would seem to mean NOTHING to Trump.

But there's a silver lining: Putin may do us in before Mother Nature!

Cal,

I'm sure Terry has a positive reputation in her community.

A coffee date with the Cactus Casanova would be of no benefit to her reputation in the old pueblo.

But then being a Trump supporter in the Old Pueblo might be like being the last gringo at the Alamo?

soleri,

With all due respect (I mean that), I don't see many Republicans, Tea Partiers, or Alt-Righters viewing kindness as a virtue. The world to them is for the TAKING by the most Machiavellian. Dog eat dog.

Most of them see kindness, empathy, and sympathy as being the province of bleeding hearts, suckers, and the weak.

Big loss for readers here, Soleri, but I understand. Hope you will continue to read the columns.

The fast food article brings up an interesting conundrum.

The more fast food you eat, chances are the more health care you will need. All that salt, all that sugar, all that fat will sooner or later cause massive problems, whether they be coronary, renal, intestinal, or just good old American morbid obesity.

Fast food is often the first choice of low wage earners. You know, the people who need the dreaded Obamacare most...

So, the political party of choice of many fast food consumers will soon take away their access to affordable health care.

Of course, they can always wait until the heart attack or diabetic coma and use the emergency room option. As I recall, that is the Republican healthcare proposal for poor people in its entirety.

For the record, it doesn't cost much more to eat healthily. It does, however, require discipline and planning and a rejection of the typical American's diet.

@ B. Franklin: Interesting article at Granola Shotgun about locally sourced food:

“So I’ve been seeking alternatives to achieving my personal goal of resilience while also disengaging from the vulnerable just-in-time corporate supply chain and its opaque practices.”

https://granolashotgun.com/2016/12/04/shortening-the-supply-chain/

sort of off topic, but wkg did mention the word "shotgun".

Now that Dylann Roof was found guilty, he needs to be walked out behind the courthouse and filled full of lead.

We have to nip these hate crimes in the bud.

His smug look needs to be erased in a very public way.

IMHO

Robert Parry at Consortium News expresses skepticism about Russian influence here(of course he's not privy to the congressional briefings.) He refers to a piece in the Daily Mail (which I haven't seen) indicating that a British diplomat says that he took a cache of DNC e-mails from a disgruntled DNC staffer, and then got them to Wikileaks. Parry is careful to say "If he's telling the truth." He also says that, of course the Russians were hacking, but they weren't necessarily supplying WL.

I pray for civility, unity, and ethics in our politics, a revival in our land, and for all of us to earnestly do our best to be good neighbors to each other. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a pleasant holiday season filled with positivity and light.

Mark, you have ended this thread on the best possible note. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

You do realize that when you pray you're just talking to yourself, don't you?

And that Christmas is just an artificial construct, cobbled together from a variety of sources to keep the masses in line with a hopeful faerie tale?

Happy Winter Solstice.

I wish the thread could have ended with Teri. Such a simple thing to leave it alone. But it was not to be.

I don't make fun of your humanism or whatever; why do you feel the need to disparage my faith? Oh, I know: Only stupid people are believers, much less Christians. So — clutch your pearls — add me to the group. Merry Christmas. Or seasons greetings to everyone else.

This thread must apparently end on its natural disputative note.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. If I’ve offended any “true” Christians then a biblical pox on my heathen ass.

This is America, after all, and we are all free to believe whatever we want. For 33 more days, at least. Then, who knows?

Perhaps I overreacted because of my life long exposure to the tens of millions of “phony” Christians who show no signs of obeying their Christ’s teachings, who rage against an imagined War on Christmas, who have charity for no one who is different from them, whether it be by skin color, sexual orientation, religion, or economic status, who listen in nodding agreement to sermons filled with hate and bile and do not speak out, who build palatial houses of worship to impress their God while millions go hungry and homeless, and whose votes just put a sybaritic sociopath in the White House.

Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all you true Christians.

Thanks, BF. I appreciate anyone who uses mea maxima culpa. You're an essential part of this blog.

That was quite a back handed mea culpa.

Let's try this.

FELIZ NAVIDAD

THE END.

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