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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 60,847

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Swan's "source with direct knowledge" was just trying to kick Kavanaugh out of the news cycle

But Trump allies are privately imploring him to cut Kavanaugh loose to save Republicans’ electoral chances in the midterms.

So for those keeping score at home: Gabe Sherman's "source briefed on Trump’s thinking" says that Jonathan Swan's "source with direct knowledge" was just trying to kick Kavanaugh out of the news cycle for a few hours. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/09/trump-wanted-to-nuke-rosenstein-to-save-kavanaughs-bacon?mbid=social_twitter


The mother of all false alarms

DAG Rosenstein is NOW attending a previously scheduled meeting at White House as the Deputy Attorney General, says a person familiar. It is a principal meeting. Report that he resigned is not correct, the person says.


"A clumsily choreographed prelude to a purge, with MSM lending itself to Trump for propaganda."

Media a total failure

So it looks like the *White House* is behind pushing reports Rosenstein has resigned, and Rosenstein’s camp is saying he will force the WH to fire him:https://twitter.com/kaitlancollins/status/1044238183020531712

This is a clumsily choreographed prelude to a purge, with MSM lending itself to Trump for propaganda. The anon NYT oped, the in-house NYT propaganda on Rosenstein Friday, and today's reports all present Trump's delusions as fact while simultaneously playing down Trump's crimes.


Yale Law School this a.m.

Yale Law School students fill a hallway sitting in silent protest over allegations that Brett Kavanaugh assaulted at least 2 women.


NBC: Rosenstein en route to White House, won't resign and will force them to fire him.

NBC's Pete Williams, gold standard in #DOJ reporting, says #Rosenstein en route to White House, won't resign and will force them to fire him. As I am told, Vacancies Act only kicks in if he resigns.


Krugman: "We were supposed to ignore all this and focus on how fine a man he is."


Worth remembering that Kavanaugh is a hard-line, radical right-winger who would surely bring down Roe v Wade, hammer workers' rights, and undermine government regulation. We were supposed to ignore all this and focus on how fine a man he is.


Dear GOP - from: Every survivor in America

Dear GOP,
You KNEW there was another accuser that was being vetted to come forward, so you tried to rush Dr. Ford and call her bluff and push a vote. It didn't work. You drew first blood, but didn't kill us and now we're coming for you.
Every survivor in America


Jane Mayer discusses her very credible sources re: Kavanaugh


Jane Mayer on CBS: "We found classmates had been talking about this for weeks ... There'd been an email chain of Yale classmates of Kavanaugh talking about 'will this thing come out' long before Christine Blasey Ford came forward. We felt the public ought to know about this."

snippet from video:

“There’s a very sober background source, who was not part of the party, was not drunk, heard about it either that night, he thinks, or the next day,” she said. “When I asked him myself, does he remember this, and is he sure that Kavanaugh was the person he heard about in this. He said to me, ‘I am 100 percent sure.'”

“He’s mentioned it to other people in grad school over the years,” Mayer continued. “His classmates were talking about it in July, before Christine Blasey Ford came forward. We have looked at the e-mails, they’re chattering about it, saying, ‘Boy, if the FBI investigates him, there are going to be some stories here that are going to put an end to his nomination.'”

Another source contacted Mayer and Farrow to share her concerns about Kavanaugh friend Mark Judge, who Ford claims was an accomplice in her near-rape.

“Her name is Elizabeth Rasor, and she was at Catholic University with (Judge), and she said, ‘I feel a moral obligation to correct the record here,'” Mayer said, paraphrasing her source. “‘What he’s saying about how there’s no way that this could have happened because they only knew boys, they only roughhoused with boys, there were no girls basically in their lives,’ she said, ‘Mark Judge told me that he’ — I don’t want to say anything too scuzzy on television — ‘but told me that he had sex when she was at Georgetown Prep with some of his friends, all with the same drunk woman at the same time.'”

“She’s saying this on the record,” Mayer added, “and she is a teacher now, and she said, ‘I wouldn’t betray confidences ordinarily, but I felt it was just too important, and I needed to say there’s another picture of Georgetown Prep social life than the one that he painted — and he knows that.'”


This Modern World: Cavalcade of Kavanaugh


Jane Mayer was very busy this weekend - yes, the Russians stole the election for Trump

How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump
A meticulous analysis of online activity during the 2016 campaign makes a powerful case that targeted cyberattacks by hackers and trolls were decisive.

Jane Mayer
September 24, 2018 5:00 AM


Jamieson argues that the impact of the Russian cyberwar was likely enhanced by its consistency with messaging from Trump’s campaign, and by its strategic alignment with the campaign’s geographic and demographic objectives. Had the Kremlin tried to push voters in a new direction, its effort might have failed. But, Jamieson concluded, the Russian saboteurs nimbly amplified Trump’s divisive rhetoric on immigrants, minorities, and Muslims, among other signature topics, and targeted constituencies that he needed to reach. She noted that Russian trolls had created social-media posts clearly aimed at winning support for Trump from churchgoers and military families—key Republican voters who seemed likely to lack enthusiasm for a thrice-married nominee who had boasted of groping women, obtained multiple military deferments, mocked Gold Star parents and a former prisoner of war, and described the threat of venereal disease as his personal equivalent of the Vietcong. Russian trolls pretended to have the same religious convictions as targeted users, and often promoted Biblical memes, including one that showed Clinton as Satan, with budding horns, arm-wrestling with Jesus, alongside the message “ ‘Like’ if you want Jesus to win!” One Instagram post, portraying Clinton as uncaring about the 2012 tragedy in Benghazi, depicted a young American widow resting her head on a flag-draped coffin. Another post displayed contrasting images of a thin homeless veteran and a heavyset, swarthy man wearing an “undocumented unafraid unapologetic” T-shirt, and asked why “this veteran gets nothing” and “this illegal gets everything.” It concluded, “Like and share if you think this is a disgrace.” On Election Day, according to CNN exit polls, Trump, despite his political baggage, outperformed Clinton by twenty-six points among veterans; he also did better among evangelicals than both of the previous Republican nominees, Mitt Romney and John McCain.

In her Post article, Jamieson wrote that it was “hard to know” if Russian propaganda and dirty tricks—including the steady release of hacked e-mails, starting with Democratic National Committee correspondence that was leaked just before the Party’s convention—had made a decisive difference in 2016. Nevertheless, she argued, the “wide distribution” of the trolls’ disinformation “increases the likelihood” that it “changed the outcome.”

After the article’s publication, she returned to her sabbatical project on the debates, with a newly keen eye for Russian trolls and hackers. After reviewing the debate transcripts, scrutinizing press coverage, and eliminating other possibilities, Jamieson concluded that there was only one credible explanation for the diminishing impression among debate viewers that Clinton was forthright: just before the second debate, WikiLeaks had released a cache of e-mails, obtained by Russian hackers, that, it said, were taken from the Gmail account of Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. They included excerpts from speeches that Clinton had given to banks, for high fees, and had refused to release during the campaign. The speeches could be used by detractors to show that, despite her liberal rhetoric, she was aligned with Wall Street. The hacked content permeated the discourse of the debates, informing both the moderators’ questions and the candidates’ answers. All this, Jamieson writes, gave legitimacy to the idea that Clinton “said one thing in public and another in private.”

During the second debate, on October 9th, before 66.5 million viewers, one of the moderators, Martha Raddatz, relayed a question submitted by a voter: Did Clinton think that it was acceptable for a politician to be “two-faced”? The question referred to a leaked passage from one of Clinton’s previously unreleased paid speeches; Russian hackers had given the passage to WikiLeaks, which posted it two days before the debate. In the speech, Clinton had cited Steven Spielberg’s film “Lincoln” as an example of how politicians sometimes need to adopt different public and private negotiating stances. The point was scarcely novel, but the debate question—which took her words out of context, omitted her reference to the movie, and didn’t mention that Russian operatives had obtained the speech illegally—made Clinton sound like a sneaky hypocrite. When Clinton cited “Lincoln” in order to defend the statement, Trump pounced.

“She got caught in a total lie!” Trump said. “Her papers went out to all her friends at the banks—Goldman Sachs and everybody else. And she said things, WikiLeaks, that just came out. And she lied. Now she’s blaming the lie on the late, great Abraham Lincoln!”

The dynamic recurred in the third debate, on October 19th, which 71.6 million people watched. When Trump accused Clinton of favoring “open borders,” she denied it, but the moderator, Chris Wallace, challenged her by citing a snippet from a speech that she had given, in 2013, to a Brazilian bank: “My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.” Again, there was no mention of the fact that the speech had been stolen by a hostile foreign power; Wallace said that the quotation had come from WikiLeaks. The clear implication of Wallace’s question was that Clinton had been hiding her true beliefs, and Trump said to him, “Thank you!” His supporters in the audience laughed. Clinton said that the phrase had been taken out of context: she’d been referring not to immigrants but to an open-bordered electric grid with Latin America. She tried to draw attention to Russia’s role in hacking the speech, but Trump mocked her for accusing Putin, and joked, “That was a great pivot off the fact that she wants open borders.” He then warned the audience that, if Clinton were elected, Syrians and other immigrants would “pour into our country.”

The fact-checking organization PolitiFact later concluded that Trump had incorrectly characterized Clinton’s speech, but the damage had been done. Jamieson’s research indicated that viewers who watched the second and third debates subsequently saw Clinton as less forthright, and Trump as more forthright. Among people who did not watch the debates, Clinton’s reputation was not damaged in this way. During the weeks that the debates took place, the moderators and the media became consumed by an anti-Clinton narrative driven by Russian hackers. In “Cyberwar,” Jamieson writes, “The stolen goods lent credibility” to “those moderator queries.”

As Jamieson reviewed the record further, she concluded that the Russian hackers had also been alarmingly successful in reframing the American political narrative in the crucial period leading up to the second debate. On Friday, October 7th, two days before it took place, three major stories landed in rapid succession. At 12:40 p.m., the Obama Administration released a stunning statement, by the Department of Homeland Security and the director of National Intelligence, accusing the Russian government of interfering in the election through hacking. This seemed certain to dominate the weekend news, but at 4:03 p.m. the Washington Post published a report, by David Fahrenthold, on an “Access Hollywood” tape that captured Trump, on a hot mike, boasting about grabbing women “by the pussy.” Then, less than half an hour later, WikiLeaks released its first tranche of e-mails that Russian hackers had stolen from Podesta’s account. The tranche contained some two thousand messages, along with excerpts from the paid speeches that Clinton had tried to conceal, including those that would be mentioned in the subsequent debates. (Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, has denied working with the Russian government, but he manifestly despises Clinton, and, in a leaked Twitter direct message, he said that in the 2016 election “it would be much better for GOP to win.”)


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