Posts by Russell Brown

  • Hard News: RNC 2016: A literal shitshow,

    Well, that escalated quickly.

    The Democratic National Committee reported some weeks back that it had suffered an attack on its email systems by Russian hackers.

    The fruit of that attack showed up yesterday in the hands of Wikileaks, which has now published 20,000 emails. The contents of the emails may make some DNC staffers cringe – there might even be someone let go by the time it’s done – but there are no bombshells so far. It’s not like it was a secret that the DNC and the Sanders camp weren’t getting on at the time, but one email in particular suggesting that the committee's CFO was looking for a way to publicly play on Sanders' atheism is a bad look.

    The problem is that the email dump contains the unredacted personal information – credit card and Social Security numbers, passport details – of more than a thousand donors who have done nothing wrong. They’ve been doxxed by Wikileaks and it seems like a deliberate attempt to intimidate.

    Quite a few people are drawing the conclusion that Putin is behind all this. Which wouldn’t be too surprising given Assange’s previous accommodations with the Russian leadership.

    Meanwhile Josh Marshall has gathered evidence suggesting that there’s more than mutual admiration binding Putin and Trump. Notably, the Trump projects that have received very big infusions of cash from shady interests close to Putin.

    There is something between a non-trivial and a substantial amount of circumstantial evidence for a financial relationship between Trump and Putin or a non-tacit alliance between the two men. Even if you draw no adverse conclusions, Trump’s financial empire is heavily leveraged and has a deep reliance on capital infusions from oligarchs and other sources of wealth aligned with Putin. That’s simply not something that can be waved off or ignored.

    Meanwhile, Julian Assange has lost the plot on the Wikileaks Twitter account as he touts the DNC emails; tweeting weird anti-semitic messages, deleting them, then tweeting again. It really seems there’s something very ugly going on here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: RNC 2016: A literal shitshow,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: RNC 2016: A literal shitshow, in reply to Rich Lock,

    You forgot to mention that former candidate Ben Carson has attempted to ‘two-degrees-of-separation’ Hilary Clinton with Lucifer. As best I can make out, because she wrote her thesis on Saul Alinsky, and because Saul Alinsky’s book ‘rules for radicals’ acknowledges Lucifer, that clearly makes her a witch.

    Yes, there's a little preface where Alinsky makes a wry reference to Lucifer as "the original radical", but that was enough for Dr Ben. It was hilarious – and also easy enough to find tweets from people who lapped it up.

    I can never reconcile Carson's status as a skilled and innovative neurosurgeon with the palpable stupidity of his thoughts on most other things.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: RNC 2016: A literal shitshow,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: RNC 2016: A literal shitshow,

    The story of today was Cruz’s coded (but very obvious to the faithful) encouragement for people to “vote your conscience” (i.e.: not Trump). He was jeered off the stage and the crowd seemed surly thereafter. The Trump camp then went through a variety of responses, first claiming that they knew what he was going to say, then that it was an outrage, then that it was no big deal.

    The rest of Cruz’s speech was unremittingly vile and deceitful. I genuinely can’t tell whether these people actually believe what they’re saying (the part about Obama letting in refugees who were Isis terrorists was a particularly nasty falsehood), but the rubes lap it all up. It’s clearly dangerous. But, then, Christie’s witch-trial routine yesterday was probably worse. It just seems like a real lowering of the bar on what’s acceptable.

    Trump’s VP pick, Mike Pence, later gave the most coherent speech of the convention, steering clear of his creepy views on abortion, science and the like. (This is a man who signed a law requiring that funerals be held for miscarried and aborted foetuses.)

    Ironically, Trump had left the building.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: RNC 2016: A literal shitshow, in reply to simon g,

    One exploded with excitement, the other barely noticed the story.

    Paddy actually wrote a hot take demanding that Trump must now resign or be dumped. Bless.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: RNC 2016: A literal shitshow,

    I feel I should quote Trump's Razor in full:

    "Ascertain the stupidest possible scenario that can be reconciled with the available facts"

    I really think Josh has captured something here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: RNC 2016: A literal shitshow, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    Or possibly, she's real and an "Alan Smithee". Loyal employee and all that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: RNC 2016: A literal shitshow,

    Okay the Facebook page is dated six hours ago, the same time as the Trump statement was released. Quick fake, imo.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: RNC 2016: A literal shitshow, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    If I’m following correctly it went something like this:

    You missed one step – the NY Times report, which named Matthew Scully and John McConnell as the original speechwriters:

    This account of how a speech written by professionals was transformed into the problematic version delivered on Monday night at the Quicken Loans Arena is based on interviews with more than a dozen people involved in and close to the Trump campaign. Many of them spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose details that were supposed to remain confidential.

    It reinforces dominant themes of Mr. Trump’s campaign that still linger from the primary, which his team has struggled to change: a deliberately bare-bones campaign structure, a slapdash style and a reliance on the instincts of the candidate over the judgments of experienced political experts, like Mr. Scully and Mr. McConnell.

    The two original speechwriters were not aware of how significantly the speech had been changed until they saw Ms. Trump deliver it on television Monday night, along with the rest of the country.

    We're still left with the unlikely proposition that McIver, having had Michele Obama's speech read to her over the phone, reproduced chunks of it verbatim in in her substitute speech. Would a professional writer really do that?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21198 posts Report Reply

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