What’s all this nonsense about CrowdStrike?

A friend wrote to me yesterday and asked it I could explain what Donald Trump is trying to get at when he invokes the name CrowdStrike. What follows, slightly edited, is my response to him. I thought that I’d share it here as well, as some of you, I suspect, may find yourselves in conversations with relatives over Thanksgiving who have a less than firm grasp on the tiller of reality.

OK, first of all, to set the stage, here’s Donald Trump talking about CrowdStrike on Fox and Friends this past Friday.

As you’ll recall, the subject of CrowdStrike also came up in Donald Trump’s now infamous July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. After Zelensky tells Trump that he would like to acquire more Javelin anti-tank weapons systems from the United States in order to help push back invading Russian forces, Trump responds with the following.

Alright, but what does all of that mean? Why is Donald Trump rambling about the Sunnyvale, California-based cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, which, by the way, contrary to what Donald Trump apparently thinks, is not owned by a wealthy Ukrainian, and does not have possession of a Democratic National Committee server?

Well, to start to make sense of it all, we have to go back to the July 27, 2016 hacking of Democratic Party emails by the Russian government, a fact which, as you know, has since been corroborated by every single one of our nation’s 17 intelligence agencies. Well, it would appear as though not everyone is convinced. And among those who aren’t convinced just happens to be the President of the United States, who famously stood on a stage in Helsinki, Finland in June of 2018, and said that he accepted the word of Vladimir Putin, who had told him that the Russians didn’t do it, over the unanimous assessment of our U.S. intelligence agencies. And that’s what all this is about.

Today, when you hear Donald Trump mention “CrowdStrike,” it’s shorthand for an alternate reality in which Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election on the behalf of the Trump campaign… an alternate reality in which, instead, the Democratic Party, working with the Ukrainians, hacked their own server in order to frame the Russians. [It’s unclear to me why, if the Democrats had the wherewithal to carry out such a sophisticated operation, they wouldn’t have instead just hacked the Trump campaign, and put Clinton in the White House, but I guess their sinister plan to bring socialism to America must have required that the Republicans first be allowed to pack the courts with conservative justices, give enormous tax breaks to the wealthy, and dismantle the social safety net.]

OK, with all of that said, here’s a little more background from the Washington Post.

…The Democratic National Committee was hacked in 2016. The hack was conducted by Russia, as The Post reported at the time and as determined in part by analysis of the DNC network by the California-based firm CrowdStrike. Since Russian culpability was problematic to both Trump and Russia at the time, their defenders looked for ways to undermine the attribution. Some settled on the idea that CrowdStrike’s analysis was suspect because one of the firm’s co-founders is part of a nonprofit organization that receives funding from a wealthy Ukrainian. Bingo-bongo, you’ve got yourself a conspiracy theory.

It’s wrong in two ways. The first and most obvious is that there’s no evidence at all that the third-degree relationship of the Ukrainian in any way affects CrowdStrike’s work. The other way in which it’s wrong is that CrowdStrike wasn’t the only group to determine that Russia was responsible. In fact, the government determined that independently, and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III obtained indictments against a dozen Russians that included detailed analysis of how the hack was conducted and the stolen material distributed.

Trump has constantly questioned the DNC hacking in various ways, lifting up questions about it as a way of offering slivers of doubt about Russia’s role — and by extension the validity of the Russia probe, in which members of his campaign were implicated. He spoke regularly, for example, about how the DNC didn’t turn over “its server” to the FBI, a claim that’s goofy because (a) there wasn’t a server at the DNC but instead a cloud-based network of databases that was accessed, and (b) the FBI got images of the necessary devices, which were precise copies of what those devices contained. Trump, not an IT specialist, thinks of this as being like a crime scene where someone isn’t handing over a fingerprint-covered knife. That’s not how it works…

OK, so are you following this? CrowdStrike, just to sum up, isn’t a Ukrainian company, and it isn’t owned by a wealthy Ukrainian. It’s a respected U.S. cybersecurity company, started by ex-McAfee executives, that was hired by the DNC to assess the damage of the 2016 hack and insure that the same thing could not happen again. And, to reiterate, they did not abscond with a physical server that is now being hidden in Ukraine, as the President continues to claim. The DNC hack actually involved 140 servers, most of which were cloud-based, and none of which are actually “missing”.

So, when Donald Trump says on Fox and Friends, “You know, the FBI’s never gotten that server. Why did they give it to a Ukrainian company?”, it’s absolute and total bullshit. There never was a single DNC server. The FBI had access to everything, and reached the same conclusion as CrowdStrike as to who was responsible for the hack. And no Ukrainian company was ever involved. None of this is actually up for debate in the real world, where everyone knows exactly what happened. If you don’t believe me, just read the Mueller report, where it’s all laid out in exquisite detail.

As Robert Mueller himself said at the time of his report’s release, “Russian intelligence officers who are part of the Russian military launched a concerted attack on our political system… (T)hey used sophisticated cyber-techniques to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. They stole private information and then released that information through fake online identities and through the organization WikiLeaks. The releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate.”

But, as they’re known to do, the Russians offered an alternative reality, one which took root here in America through the conspiracy-friendly message board 4chan, and has since made its way to the very top of the Republican Party. Here, with more on that, is an excerpt from NBC News.

…An anonymous post from March 2017 on the far-right 4chan message board teased a conspiracy theory that would eventually make its way to the White House.

“Russia could not have been the source of leaked Democrat emails released by Wikileaks,” the post teased, not citing any evidence for the assertion.

The post baselessly insinuated that CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm that worked with the Democratic National Committee and had been contracted to investigate a hack of its servers, fabricated a forensics report to frame Russia for election interference. The 4chan post was published three days before then-FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

And that was how it started. That post is the first known written evidence of this unfounded conspiracy theory to exonerate Russia from meddling in the 2016 election, which more than two years later would make its way into the telephone call that may get President Donald Trump impeached. (Federal law enforcement officials have repeatedly made it clear that Russia unquestionably did meddle in the election.)

In the years that followed the original 4chan post, at least three different but related conspiracy theories would warp and combine on the fringes of the internet, eventually coalescing around Ukraine’s supposed role in helping Trump’s 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Ukraine wasn’t originally part of the theory, but in July, Trump floated CrowdStrike’s name during a call with the president of Ukraine as just one piece of a convoluted conspiracy accusation…

So, Ukraine wasn’t originally part of the CrowdStrike conspiracy theory. That part was just added recently. And that, my friends, is how we came to be where we are today… and why Republican elected officials, like Senator John Kennedy, are saying publicly that Russia may not have been responsible for the 2016 hack, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary… Just check this out.

For what it’s worth, it was reported last week that U.S. Senators were recently briefed by intelligence officials who made it clear to them that Russia has initiated an active measures campaign designed to shift blame for what happened in 2016 to Ukraine. The following excerpt is from the New York Times.

…Republicans have sought for weeks amid the impeachment inquiry to shift attention to President Trump’s demands that Ukraine investigate any 2016 election meddling, defending it as a legitimate concern while Democrats accuse Mr. Trump of pursuing fringe theories for his benefit.

The Republican defense of Mr. Trump became central to the impeachment proceedings when Fiona Hill, a respected Russia scholar and former senior White House official, added a harsh critique during testimony on Thursday. She told some of Mr. Trump’s fiercest defenders in Congress that they were repeating “a fictional narrative” — and that it likely came from a disinformation campaign by Russian security services, which themselves propagated it.

In a briefing that closely aligned with Dr. Hill’s testimony, American intelligence officials informed senators and their aides in recent weeks that Russia had engaged in a yearslong campaign to essentially frame Ukraine as responsible for Moscow’s own hacking of the 2016 election, according to three American officials. The briefing came as Republicans stepped up their defenses of Mr. Trump in the Ukraine affair.

The revelations demonstrate Russia’s persistence in trying to sow discord among its adversaries — and show that the Kremlin apparently succeeded, as unfounded claims about Ukrainian interference seeped into Republican talking points. American intelligence agencies believe Moscow is likely to redouble its efforts as the 2020 presidential campaign intensifies. The classified briefing for senators also focused on Russia’s evolving influence tactics, including its growing ability to better disguise operations…

So that’s where we are today. Not only did Dr. Fiona Hill testify before the House Intelligence Committee, warning the Republicans of the damage they were doing by parroting Kremlin-authored conspiracy theories, but members of the intelligence community have been briefing members of Congress behind closed doors on the same subject. For some reason, however, Republicans continue to aid the Russians in their quest, pushing the false narrative that it was Ukraine, and not Russia, that interfered in our 2016 election.

Here, because I can never share it enough, is video of Fiona Hill testifying last week before the House Intelligence Committee. Please watch it and share it with everyone you know.

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82 Comments

  1. Posted November 24, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Two more Republican Senators pushing the Russian disinformation campaign about Ukraine; Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley.

  2. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 24, 2019 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    “The FBI had access to everything”

    Show evidence.

  3. iRobert
    Posted November 24, 2019 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    HW, to what did the FBI not have access?

  4. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 24, 2019 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Questioning a conspiracy theory is not being a conspiracy theorist—it is the opposite. Marchell Maydow has been a conspiracy theorist for awhile now. For 2 years he asserted a theory that Trump/Russia/ Wikileaks colluded to get Trump elected.

    1) The Mueller report did not find sufficient evidence of collusion.

    2) Assange was not interviewed by Mueller (!) despite his claim that Russia did not provide the emails.

    3) Crowdstrike was hired by the DNC, instead of the fbi, to examine and provide analysis of the servers despite Comey claiming that the fbi requested to look at the servers prior to the job being given to Crowdstrike. Yes, the intelligence community asserts Crowdstrike is right.

    Please answer this Mark: When is the first time you heard that there was a conspiracy theory that Ukraine and not Russia meddled in our elections? It was Rachel Maddow about a month ago, right? Do you not find that odd? Again, where is the Republican, involved in the inquiry, who, according to you and Schiff, asserts Ukraine and NOT RUSSIA meddled in our election. John Kennedy said he doesn’t know—probably because he has questions!

    Was Marchell Maydow one of those people who said “the intelligence community said there is WMD’s so I guess there is WMD’s?”

    Come on man.

  5. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 24, 2019 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    iRobert,

    You have a valid question. I usually offer my point #3 in a softer way. The truth is I have read different things. Comey’s assertion that the FBI wanted to have access to the servers, but that the job was given (?) to Crowdstrike, to do the forensics and analysis, has always swayed me that having Crowdstrike handle the DNC hack is odd—and possibly a break in the chain of evidence. I am open to hearing counter evidence. I have also accepted that the Mueller report accepted Crowdstrike findings as more or less of a given. Here too I am open to counterevidence…

  6. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 24, 2019 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Is there evidence that Grassley and Johnson are asserting it was Ukraine and not Russia who meddled in our elections—as Rachel asserted? Please Mark, don’t tell me you were trying to answer my simple question with that Maddow clip.

  7. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 24, 2019 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, Thank you MM for giving us the go to talking points. Things you seemed to have lefts out.
    Remember this is all more important than ….
    The Democratic establishment needs to make this to be the election issue….
    Nothing the Democratic establishment is doing is moving Trumps base…..
    Trump has higher favor ability polls now than before impeachment began….
    The Corp. Elite is afraid of Sanders, Gabbard, Yang and the people…
    Human Beings get to start voting in 70 days…
    Bloomberg (the third billionaire this cycle who wants to be President) just took out the largest one week ad buy in history.
    I wonder why the Corp. Dems are betting the entire house on this house of cards?

  8. John Brown
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    I think what Mark is meaning to say is that Agent orange should go before a firing squad for treason. Anyone apologizing for a illegitimate president who repeats Kremlin propaganda is no American.

  9. Posted November 25, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    FF: “Please Mark, don’t tell me you were trying to answer my simple question with that Maddow clip.”

    9:06 PM Mark posts video clip.

    10:16 PM FF posts his question.

    So, no, FF, I did not travel back in time to respond to you.

  10. Sad
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    This should be good.

  11. Eel
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Please tell me that there’s a connection between CrowdStrike and Comet Ping Pong.

  12. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I asked the simple question multiple times in the other thread.

    So your comment was detached from my questions? Maybe you did not read those questions. Ok, I accept that. The question remains: Is there one Republican involved in the inquiry, like you and Schiff assert, has who has asserted that Ukraine and not Russia meddled in our elections? Why not answer the basic question just now? Instead you give me a quip about time-travel?

  13. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Where is your evidence the FBI examined the DNC servers as you claim, barky?

  14. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    “Eel
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink
    Please tell me that there’s a connection between CrowdStrike and Comet Ping Pong.”

    There is one.

  15. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    A lot of things were connected to Comet Ping Pong through David Brock (Media Matters). Alefantis/Brock – Brock/Perkins Coie – Perkins Coie/Crowdstrike/Fusion GPS

  16. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    We are not asking anyone to decipher the Sphinx here. We are asking for basic evidence to back up truth claims.

    It seems like ambitious journalists would have wanted to report on a widely (?) held conspiracy theory by Trump supporters and Republican politicians that Supposedly posited that it was Ukraine and not Russia that meddled in our election. It seems like they would have reported on it a lot and prior to September 25 2019. Where are all of those articles? I find it odd. We have all of these articles, now, that trace back the supposed conspiracy theory to 4chan—years ago… Odd. But I believe in time travel so don’t let me influence you on what is odd and what is not odd.

  17. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Regardless of what they say everyone on both sides knows it was Seth Rich, not Russia. That will to be exposed when the Senate calls Julian Assange to testify. Ukraine definitely helped Hillary with dirt on Manafort though.

  18. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I don’t know that. I just think there are so many red flags it is reasonable to have lots of questions.

  19. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    To clarify: I think there are many red flags unrelated to events related to Seth Rich. Not having questions, even if Seth Rich never existed. seems wildly unreasonable to me.

  20. Rick Perry
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    How dare you say these things. Don’t you know what Donald Trump is “the chosen one,” chosen by God himself?

    https://twitter.com/ananavarro/status/1198822763433254912?s=20

  21. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Aloha FF, Glad some body besides me also believes in time travel. Scientist have traveled millions of years into the past. We actually know the composition of the air. We know what temperatures were like, sea level, even rough approximations of where the continents were (one of my favorite time travelers is Otzi the iceman). Using our powers of deduction and even more ordinary science we have been able to travel a short distance into the future. No need to go to far, because if we don’t change–like right now–no one is going to want the future, because we know how this all ends.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-50504131?SThisFB&fbclid=IwAR2TpDOxole8jzno5Ffi-ovs8OXG6qJJzljL6eYzREXH8hxXLY7pnRYNqVc

    saw the above article just after finishing an article from 2010 on the 40 year lag time between cause (rising green house gas emissions) and the effect (higher green house gas concentrations and consequent higher temperatures and more chaotic weather). We are currently experiencing the effects of our green house emissions up to 1980. In that year Co2 concentrations at Mr. Mauna Loa were 326 ppm (1956 315 ppm same location– 1850 ice core samples show 281 , we went over 400 ppm 5 years ago, yesterday 411 ppm). Our current record level high emissions will create record high Co2 concentrations in the atmosphere 40 years from now. Most people would rather do fantasy time travel rather than the real deal.

  22. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Trash comment by Ananovarro.

    Why all the attempts to gaslight folks?

  23. Anonymous Two
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Mark, did you hear the GOPer from Texas who spoke to Hill and got her to corroborate that Putin is threatened by the U.S. fracking industry and that he publishes anti-fracking pieces in RT in an effort to get it banned in the US so he doesn’t have to compete with it? The double-edged insinuation was that 1) just because something helps Putin doesn’t mean it’s bad and 2) that environmentalists could (and are, by the fossil fuel industry think tanks) be also fairly accused of being in Putin’s pocket. Thought that was very cynical and a clever way to provide cover for right-wing conspiracy theorists pedaling falsehoods.

  24. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    The word is peddling, Jean. A peddler carries a sack. A pedaler or a back-pedaler as the case may be is on a bike.

  25. Al
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Only the first two Crowdstrike LPs were any good.

  26. Jean Henry
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Wasn’t me, HW. Guess again.

  27. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Could be Frosted Flakes for all I know hahaha! Doesn’t matter. Loving life here.

  28. Lynne
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    What gets me is that there are still people out there who think Trump is an honest man. He clearly isn’t. Nor is the GOP these days. They have sold their souls.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/11/17/party-lying-liars/

  29. Sad
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    HW you like this soldier posing with a dead body? That’s f’d up!

  30. iRobert
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Mark does actually own a time machine. He just can’t remember when he parked it.

  31. Anonymous
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Tucker Carlson on FOX: “Why do I care what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia? I’m serious. Why shouldn’t I root for Russia? Which by the way I am.”

    https://twitter.com/NikkiMcR/status/1199135926955466753?s=20

  32. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    Tucker had already travelled back to correct his statement before Anonymous brought the contents of his post back into our future.

    Nobody liked any of that.

    https://youtu.be/DsC8jQXRbQE

  33. Kit
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Kennedy was forced to reverse his statement as well.

    “I was wrong,” GOP Sen John Kennedy admits to @ChrisCuomo, more than 24 hrs later. “The only evidence I have, & I think it’s overwhelming, it was Russia who tried to hack the DNC computer. I’ve seen no indication that Ukraine tried to do it.”

  34. iRobert
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Senator Kennedy’s father was wrong, for not always wearing a condom.

  35. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    So that is another Republican who on closer examination does not believe “ it was Ukraine and not Russia who meddled in our elections”? Is there one? Schiff has asserted it many times….

    Clarification is not walking back.
    Clarification is not being forced to reverse.

  36. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    We can be 100% certain that condoms are about 85% effective against pregnancy.

  37. iRobert
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Well, FF, another few minutes have passed, so he might believe something completely different.

  38. iRobert
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    When Kennedy got kicked in the head, the folks of Louisiana should have elected the mule that did it to the Senate. They’d have been better represented.

  39. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Accepting the evidence we have is different from possessing knowledge. I doubt that will change in Kennedy’s mind.

    I accept the evidence we have but also think it is unreasonable to fail to be critical of the the methods of gathering that evidence.

  40. iRobert
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    We live in a time when people can’t tell the difference between “folksy” and brain-damaged.

  41. iRobert
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I don’t think Senator Kennedy knows which way is up.

  42. Grant
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Just when I thought that the comments section on this site couldn’t get any more ridiculous…..

    “Roger Stone’s source must have been Seth Rich…. (T)hey probably met at Comet Ping Pong in 2014.”

    HW has to be a parody account.

  43. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Aloha, according to this article they have identified how Russian trolls operate. They do it by high lighting the differences between Americans by using tweets that divide Americans culturally so that “compromises” become hard or impossible. Given this analysis I wonder who the Russkies on this page really are

    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/russia-troll-2020-election-interference-twitter-916482/

  44. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Interesting article DD.

    For starters I think it is pretty easy to identify the MM commenters who are/are not addicted to Twitter and Facebook. Their critical thinking has significantly eroded over the past few years as they all signed their brains up for the Big Commercial.

  45. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    We have the agents of trolls here and they signed up for it!

  46. John Brown
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    It’s obviously the guy who pretends to engage in a systematic approach to unmask the ruskie stooges.

  47. Lynne
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    LOL. FF, you are not in a position to judge anyone else’s critical thinking ability.

  48. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, Here is a pretty good analysis of the quagmire the Democrats are creating for themselves. And why the better part of valor might be censure not impeachment.

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/

  49. iRobert
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    I’m increasingly seeing us all in this mess together, regardless of our differences. The public is screwed in every scenario.

  50. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Try to stay humble and open minded, Lynne.

  51. Sad
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Pete Buttigieg is a lying Mother Fucker!

    Will The Root deliver the death blow to Mayor Pete? What about Bloomberg with stop and frisk? That seems pretty bad.

    https://www.theroot.com/pete-buttigieg-is-a-lying-mf-1840038708

  52. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    I think I am being generous when I say the author of the article gave an extremely uncharitable interpretation of what Pete was saying.

  53. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    If you agree then why don’t you defend your guy Pete and attack that garbage article? Why so passive, sad?

  54. Sad
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Oh.

    I don’t know.

    https://www.theroot.com/pete-buttigieg-called-me-heres-what-happened-1840055464

  55. Jean Henry
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Excellent articles Sad. You really set up FF. Maybe Mayor Pete can bring back reasonable discourse. Not a snowflake like iRobert, FF, EOS and HW. He can handle confrontation. He can see other points of view. He can understand the rhetorical necessity of getting called a lying MF every once and a while.

    It wasn’t a garbage article FF. The two pieces together are some of the best stuff I’ve read in a while. Made me wonder what I’m doing here. Thanks, Sad.

  56. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, no wonder I died two years ago. It is what my generation is doing.

    https://www.yahoo.com/money/distinctly-american-phenomenon-workforce-dying-160006062.html

  57. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Aloha Sad, cool articles. Just wondering, what is Mayor Pete’s take on Bolivia?

  58. Sad
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know.

    But I like the fact that he understands and speaks Spanish.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2019/11/26/warren-nosedives-buttigieg-climbs-poll-074054

  59. Jean Henry
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Mayor Pete hasn’t said a word about Bolivia. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that the Dem candidates condemn a coup. (Only Sanders has– he loves to do meaningless shit) They should condemn Morales at the same time though for breaking the constitution to run again and then rigging the election. (Sanders didn’t)

    Bolivia has had 15 coups in 120 years. DD would have you believe they are all our fault.

    Coups d’état in Boliva

    April 12, 1899: José Manuel Pando overthrows Severo Fernández
    August 12, 1920: Bautista Saavedra overthrows José Gutiérrez
    June 28, 1930: Carlos Blanco Galindo overthrows Hernando Siles Reyes
    December 1, 1934: José Luis Tejada Sorzano overthrows Daniel Salamanca Urey
    May 20, 1936: David Toro overthrows José Luis Tejada Sorzano
    July 13, 1937: Germán Busch overthrows David Toro
    December 20, 1943: Gualberto Villarroel overthrows Enrique Peñaranda
    July 21, 1946: Néstor Guillén and Tomás Monje overthrows Gualberto Villarroel
    May 16, 1951: Hugo Ballivián overthrows Mamerto Urriolagoitía
    April 16, 1952: Víctor Paz Estenssoro overthrows Hugo Ballivián
    November 5, 1964: René Barrientos overthrows Víctor Paz Estenssoro[1]
    October 7, 1970: Juan José Torres overthrows Alfredo Ovando Candía
    August 21, 1971: Hugo Banzer overthrows Juan José Torres[2]
    July 17, 1980: Luis García Meza overthrows Lidia Gueiler Tejada[3]
    2019 Bolivian political crisis

  60. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, JH I thought you said you were reading the posting here more carefully. I understand why you just gloss over a dolt, but I did post Tulsi’s ”
    Tulsi Gabbard

    @TulsiGabbard

    What happened in Bolivia is a coup. Period. The United States and other countries should not be interfering in the Bolivian people’s pursuit of self-determination and right to choose their own government.
    30.2K
    3:25 AM – Nov 22, 2019

    a few days ago. Anyway what I really wanted to say is—another time traveler showed up recently.
    https://www.unilad.co.uk/news/18000-year-old-puppy-found-frozen-in-ice-oldest-confirmed-dog-ever/?fbclid=IwAR0mtgK-UponeOYPmtJuGyXKoC7axFFnLaEsR2r-YqyymLzDCvOYs4BSdv4

  61. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Aloha JH, In answer to your question, I don’t know about all 120–but this latest one I think we do have our hands in. Are you in support of Trumps immediate recognition of the coup government?

  62. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Aloha, evidently there is pretty good evidence that the 1971 coup was engineered and supported materially by the US. On November 10
    Pompeo calls for new elections at 1;40 pm.
    Secretary Pompeo

    @SecPompeo

    Fully support the findings of the @OAS_official report recommending new elections in #Bolivia to ensure a truly democratic process representative of the people’s will. The credibility of the electoral system must be restored.

    Morales announces new elections (news articles posted indicate before 3 pm).
    The Generals show up and “persuade him” that he should resign instead of finishing his constitutional term. Hours later to avoid a fascist organized blood bath, he resigns and flees the country. ie. US recognizes the coup government on November 13 without new elections, calls for new elections or any interest in how the Government transferred from the Constitutionally elected government to the coup regime.
    Morales was willing to have new elections, he did not fear them—the US and the fascist christians wanted him gone, who cares about elections. I doubt there will be a free election in Bolivia for a very long time.
    You can follow the intricacies of Russiagate and know that Trump is subverting the constitution–but you lack the the ability to see US power being used. Interesting.

  63. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Aloha, excellent visual image of two different inaugurations

    https://www.facebook.com/Redfishstream/photos/a.371605656616605/823956031381563/?type=3&theater

    which side do you think is the “right” side?

  64. Sad
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    DD did you want Morales to be president for life?

    Why do you think everything is so black and white?

  65. Jean Henry
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    DD– I had forgotten about Tulsi. It was nice.

  66. Jean Henry
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Are you in support of Trumps immediate recognition of the coup government? No. Obviously. That does not mean I have to support Morales, who was far outside of any constitutionality when the generals came in. It amazes me, DD, that you feel so much righteousness about one side and then will give the other a total pass. Morales fucked up and into a vacuum of leadership all sorts of nastiness can happen.

  67. Jean Henry
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    DD_ I do not know how US power was used in the coup and neither do you. I suspect it is so. That wouldn’t;t surprise me at all and it’s deeply unfortunate. I don’t support US meddling in South American politics. It’s a horrid history. But Bolivia has been wildly unstable politically for a long time and that is not our fault.

  68. Jean Henry
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    “Morales was willing to have new elections, he did not fear them” — because he rigged the last one.

    There should be free and fair elections in Bolivia. There won’t be any for a long time. We agree on that.

  69. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Yeah, it was a great article. My favorite part was when Pete tried to clarify the authors misinterpretation and the author saw that as a little-small-step- victory without realizing how Pete could have been interpreted in a way that revealed actual agreement. Pete never was not trying trying to convey some poor-family-values-amongst-struggling-black-people argument.

    Garbage.

  70. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Sorry for the poorly worded last sentence. Pete was not making an argument that the problem is poor family values.

  71. Jean Henry
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    When discussing race in a white supremacist country the implication of racist arguments like ‘poor family values’ matter FF. Pete suggested examples matter. The author’s reply was that a few outlier examples of success don’t overcome the realities of living within systemic inequity. Such examples are often used to justify perpetuating it. That’s where the rub was in that conversation. Acknowledge the complexity, Mayor Pete.

    The work of dismantling systemic inequity is complex, multi-faceted and daunting and should not be simplified to make it more palatable to white people. Black Americans don’t need a boost, they need equity, full stop.

    Pete’s job as a politician was not to lecture or even defend himself but to listen. It sounds like he did just that. Someone showing some emotional intelligence around race must really gall you, FF.

  72. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    “Grant
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink
    Just when I thought that the comments section on this site couldn’t get any more ridiculous…..
    “Roger Stone’s source must have been Seth Rich…. (T)hey probably met at Comet Ping Pong in 2014.”
    HW has to be a parody account.”

    If I didn’t say that you are a dickhead, right?

  73. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Aloha JH, I have asked you repeatedly “What gives us the right to meddle or intervene in other countries?” You evidently do not have an answer beyond, “That wouldn’t;t surprise me at all and it’s deeply unfortunate.”
    Your liberal false equivalency–they are both bad so it’s ok for the US to do “unfortunate” things to other nations. Makes me want to puke. Hey you know there were some native Americans who didn’t like white folks, so wholesale genocide is “unfortunate” but hey both side are bad. The regime we established in Bolivia is right in line with the old “only good indian is a dead indian” mentality, so “unfortunate”.
    But hey, let’s talk about racism in America and how “unfortunate” it is that Mayor Pete just can’t get any traction among blacks and other poc.

  74. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Jean: Good god. You can’t possibly think I was saying that “poor family values” arguments don’t matter and are not racist? Wtf is wrong you Jean? Read! Think!

    Sad: Do you think Pete was trying to convey a “poor family values” argument?

  75. Sad
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Pete just wants to make things better.

  76. Jean Henry
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    DD– Not all ‘meddling’ s the same. Many citizens of other countries ask for our aid. I have many criticisms of our Foreign and military aid programs and even more so of CIA engagement outside of critical security interests. IT’s all tremendously complex. Unorrutnately these issues can not be discussed reasonably with an isolationist who goes compulsively into righteous attack mode whenever he sees an opening. You bore me.

  77. Bob
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Time to talk about how this once rich field of Democrats is starting to look not so great. Warren is slipping in the polls every day. Biden is just too dumb. Mayor Pete is a nice but empty suit. Worse, he is likely to get about ten black votes total. Nobody likes Booker, Harris or Amy whatsherface. Bloomberg is a goddamn George W loving nightmare. Face it. The only candidate who has consistently maintained popularity and high poll ratings is Bernie. He’s the only real change candidate who can peal votes from the Donald. Even Chomsky says so. Sorry Jean and Lynne, you aren’t nearly as smart as Chomsky. You better go bro or it’s four more years of Trump.

  78. Sad
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Do you really encounter people that like Sanders?

    I admit Mayor Pete is not perfect, but empty suit seems a bit harsh. I have been surprised by the number and diversity of people that are giving Pete a hearing.

    However I never encounter any Bernie supporters. I do know a few. But I hardly ever encounter anyone who expresses great interest in Sanders. I read that Obama would try to tank his nomination if he thought he was going to be the candidate.

  79. Bob
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    You mean except for the giant crowds he attracts? You’d probably know there were a lot more if he wasn’t getting an even bigger media blackout than he got last time. No less than Obama himself is working behind the scene to derail Bernie again. Do I wish he were younger, less white or a woman with the same ideas, principles and support? Yeah, I sorta do. But the fact is he’s probably the best shot for defeating Trump. Warren is tepid choice and her move to the center isn’t going to help. Biden? Jesus help us if he’s our candidate. He’s a walking gaffe.

  80. Jean Henry
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Bob– he attracted giant crowds last time and still lost. It’s his campaign strategy to do a few large events instead of smaller appearances and tours. The optics are good but they don’t change to polls which do not look good for Sanders. Biden won’t be our candidate either. Pete has a shot. Warren fucked up by not realizing that many people like their insurance and will not get politically engaged in health care debate until you tell them you are going to take it away. People engage in political activism from oppositional energy. That’s what populism runs on, but they tend to vote for hope. Someone is going to have to figure out how to offer that to more people than it scares. Warren gave her lead away to Mayor Pete. Sanders is still running on name recognition and not Biden. He has a better campaign this year. Better policies and better strategy, especially re voters of color. But he’s still Bernie and while most people in this country want change, I don’t think enough want what he’s selling. I’d be thrilled to be wrong. just want a Dom to win.

  81. Jean Henry
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    It is funny how autocorrect changes Dem to Dom. I mean HRC was a total Dom but I don’t think any of the current Dem field really qualifies. Maybe Klobuchar…. Hmmmm.

  82. Jean Henry
    Posted November 28, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Kamala could get the job done but she rarely looks like she believes what she’s selling. It’s all very staged.

    Amazing that among 20 candidates not one exudes ball busting strength.

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  1. […] Here’s an excerpt from that 1985 exchange, which, if you’re anything like me, you’ll find incredibly prophetic, given what we’re living through today. […]

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