Saturday, October 17, 2020

What the F – SB?

(A post from D-Jay -- rendered all the more pertinent by this insane interview in the Daily Beast and this very unnerving message from Steve Bannon.)

WTF? That’s it? Rudy Giuliani’s half-baked Russian propaganda drop in the New York Post is Trump’s October surprise – the dreaded “Big Smear?” As Joseph laid out in detail in his last post, and as the mainstream media has also noticed, it was laughingly inept -- the very antithesis of good intelligence agency tradecraft. I thought the FSB was better, much better, than that.

They are.

So the question is…why?

With the clear involvement of Russian intelligence, why was this so poorly done?

At this point, we can only speculate, but several possible answers come to mind:

1. The “best” is yet to come.
Could be, but time is running out, especially with all the entirely predictable early voting going on this election cycle. What’s more, stupid stuff like this only serves to undermine the believability of any better-crafted smears which might come later.

2. The focus this time will be on direct tampering with the count.

Not impossible, but looking at all the statistical evidence from elections past (the “red shift,” etc.) the Republicans are already doing this – and it’s widely believed that anything more than a 5% swing would be too obvious. What exactly could Putin & Company add to this? A more plausible scenario, at least to Joseph and me, is that Putin’s hacking has uncovered the mechanisms by which the Republicans have been doing this and he’s been holding (or using) the info as party-level kompromat.

3. Putin wants Trump to lose.

“WTF!!!” I hear you saying. But bear with me for a minute while I explore this hypothesis.

First of all, let’s ask why Putin has been backing Trump in the first place. 

Is it because he thinks he’ll be a competent leader who’ll put a priority on improved U.S. – Russian relations? Yeah, right. Trump? Putin isn’t anywhere near that foolish. 

Is it because he views Trump as an asset that can be controlled? No doubt that’s part of it, but this is a dangerous game. There is an excellent chance it will eventually come to light and be recognized by a critical mass of the American people as the treason it is. At that point, the whole thing could easily blow up in their faces and lead to a unified USA on an anti-Russian crusade. 

I would put it forward that Putin’s game is much bigger – and more insidious – than that. That what he really wants is nothing less than the collapse of the United States, at least as an effective deterrent to him. 
A fracturing of American society and a descent into chaos – the more violent the better – would be the ideal outcome from Putin’s point of view.

Trump has already gone a long way towards accomplishing this goal. The U.S. is more divided against itself than at any time since the Civil War. It is all too easy to imagine that, with a well-placed spark, the shooting will start.

What is the electoral outcome that would make this most likely?

Democrats being Democrats, a clear Trump win would be accepted by them and we would be on the road to out-and-out authoritarianism.  At that point, would Don (forgive the pun), like any good mob boss who gained control of a much bigger and more powerful gang, really be willing to maintain total and undying allegiance to his old Russian godfather?  Trump being Trump, would it take him very long to decide that HE should be the top dog?

I think not.

At that point, Trump would probably have enough control over the flow of information in the U.S. that whatever kompromat Putin has on him could either be squelched or just be dismissed as “fake news!” And as for the $400 million debt? Peanuts…if you have full control of the U.S. Treasury.

I’m also sure that Putin is enough of a student of history to remember the last time a Russian despot cooperated with an authoritarian leader of a more powerful country. That was Stalin joining forces with Hilter to dismember Poland. Soon afterwards, the Wehrmacht kept right on rolling into the Soviet Union, resulting in the deaths of millions and millions of Russians. 

Not the kind of outcome Putin would like to see.

No, the best glide path for Vlad would be a Biden victory that is close enough for Trump to challenge, and for the members of the T-cult to be so radicalized and cut off from reality that they would gladly take up arms on his behalf.

In short…exactly what we are seeing on the horizon now.

Too paranoid?

God, I hope so!

I have had vague thoughts along those lines, but I did not pursue them the way that D-Jay has.

I don't think the majority of the neo-Confederates have the courage of their monstrous convictions. They signed up to enjoy a lynching bee--thinking that thrill will finally swell their pale members to something longer than three inches--not face actual combat.

If Biden wins, I doubt we will see worse from the neo-Confederates than a few more assault-rifle massacres by "lone nuts", and maybe an OKC-type bombing or two. Very bad, to be sure, but not a Second Civil War.

However, we must vote as if we're ten points behind, and remain vigilant for the usual Russopublican cheating.

It’s a grim tribute to the kudzu-like tenacity of neo-Confederate culture, and the efficacy of the Russopublican cheating techniques and propaganda network, that the orange SOB isn’t looking at a Mondale-caliber defeat in the Electoral College.
I semi-agree with Ivory Bill. Well, actually, it all comes down to my mood on any given day: Sometimes I have a certain residual faith in my fellow human beings, and sometimes I am a total cynic.

The right is filled with rage-junkies. No, not ALL rage-addicts are male: I know from personal experience that plenty of women also buy into QAnon-style bullshit. And the more strident feminists are rage-junkies of a different variety.

But, but, but...could all of this pent-up rage lead to actual Civil War?


But it is also people that American citizens will balk at that. Most people don't want war. They want to go to the ball game, or to get high while watching superhero movies.

Even those who SAY that they desire war may well change their tune when actual bodies start to pile up. I can recall how sick and dispirited some fringe-types became after the Oklahoma City bombing. Remember those horrible pictures of dead children? Paranoia-junkies addicted to Bill Cooper's rantings looked at those images and they asked themselves: "Wait. THIS is where we're heading...?"

I know what I'm talking about. Back in the day, I talked to people in that world.

Are things much different now? Have hearts hardened THAT much over the past twenty-odd years? Are QAnoners really THAT wedded to their fear-fantasies of Satanic child-abusers lurking in underground bases?

Deep down in their secret places, they must occasionally hear that small voice of doubt -- the voice that asks: "But what if you're wrong...?"

Oops. One of my sentences got messed up in the rewrite. I meant "But it is also POSSIBLE that American citizens will balk at that."
Please share some thoughts on how the Silicon Valley players fit into all of this? Is it good or bad that they are censoring people’s notes, tweets, and content. Could that be part of the plan? To get us used to more fascist censorship?
I think it will come down to our military, intelligence community, the other law enforcement agencies and most of all the Attorney General and how strong and committed the AG will be to restore law and order. Militias and other weaponized groups can be controlled and prosecuted with the right approach early on . Biden , if he is elected, should take the gloves off and not tolerate any violence on any level.
Former Trump fixer Michael Cohen, doing time for Trump's misdeeds, told Ari Melber that Rudy is a "drunk"

"Trump speaks and behaves like the mob boss and this is what he's doing," Cohen added. "He's using his soldier, but the problem here is that Rudy isn't a soldier. Rudy is — Rudy is drunk all the time, which is a big problem and that's what makes him susceptible because his faculties are gone. He behaves crazy."

I've seen him drink to the point like he's a high school drunk," Cohen claimed. "And it makes him susceptible. He takes the information that he gets and provides it to the president and simply because Rudy — who used to be considered, you know, I mean, a real litigator and he was considered to be America's Mayor — he's now really just a joke. And he takes it right back to Trump and Trump listens to it."
Trump listens to anyone that tells him what he wants to hear and he isn't picky about the motives or the mental condition of his ass kissers. What is surprising is that Rudy has been allowed to operate in any capacity by law enforcement since Trump got elected. He has been laundering money and working with Russians and God knows who else for years. His once colleagues have publicly been saying that he has lost his mind and has no credibility left for a long time.
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