Reporters should always be nervous when intelligence sources sell them stories. Spooks don't normally need the press. Their usual audiences are other agency heads, and the executive. They can bring about action just by convincing other people within the government to take it.... ..... there are big dangers for the press. If we engage in Times-style gilding of every lily the leakers throw our way, and in doing so build up a fever of expectations for a bombshell reveal, but there turns out to be no conspiracy – Trump will be pre-inoculated against all criticism for the foreseeable future.... Reporters should be scared to their marrow by this story. This is a high-wire act and it is a very long way down.... Matt Taibbi, Rolling StoneAt a time when the Democratic Party should be calling for single payer health plans more than ever, all we hear is "Russia, Russia, Putin, Putin." That is all we heard from Hillary during the campaign too. Nothing has changed.
The Democrats are clinging desperately to the Russian Rock instead of articulating a Bernie like agenda that appealed to so many people in the primaries, including many who voted for both Bernie and Trump.
With little in the tank for the Dems -- look who they are touting in 2020 - Corey Fuck'n Booker? Cuomo the pig --- they are putting their prayers that there is something there on Trump and Russia as they go chasing after every single crumb. And say it is true and we get Pence -- would anything change?
Matt Taibbi, who lived in Russia for years, in Rolling Stone addresses the Russia issue:
Why the Russia Story Is a Minefield for Democrats and the Media
There is a lot of smoke in the Russia story.... it could... be true that both the Democratic Party and many leading media outlets are making a dangerous gamble, betting their professional and political capital on the promise of future disclosures that may not come.Matt has a few examples of over hype. Here is one:
We have to remember that the unpopularity of the press was a key to Trump's election. Journalists helped solve the billionaire's accessibility problem by being a more hated group than the arrogant rich. Trump has people believing he shares a common enemy with them: the news media. When we do badly, he does well.
Trump calls us "enemies of the people" who purvey "fake news." Together with what vile ex-CNN turncoat Lou Dobbs calls the "global corporatists" who own the major media companies, we are said to comprise the "opposition party."
We can't afford to bolster these accusations of establishment bias and overreach by using the techniques of conspiracy theorists to push this Russia story. Unfortunately, that is happening.
Take the Times story about Trump surrogates having "repeated contacts" with Russian intelligence officials (an assertion that can mean anything, incidentally – as a reporter in Russia I had contact with Russian intelligence officials, as did most of my colleagues and friends in business, and there was nothing newsworthy about those interactions). That story not only didn't explain whether the contacts were knowing or unknowing, it also brought up a host of other "dots" in the Russia narrative for the reader to connect. For instance, the Times mentioned the bizarre (and unverified) dossier prepared by Christopher Steele. Whether the Steele material was in any way connected to the contacts to which the Times referred was unclear, but the paper plowed ahead...Bernie Sanders takes the party to task for its failures in this video posted by Jim Horn at Schools Matter
Sanders on "Enormous Neglect" and "Ultimate Failure" of Democratic Party
And Shaun King in the Daily News goes even further:
At a time when Donald Trump is the least liked President ever measured at this point in his first term, the Democratic Party has found a way to be even less liked than him. This is how Donald Trump wins a second term. This is how congressional Republicans win the next midterm elections. This is how conservatives not only maintain their current power from coast to coast, but also expand it. The Democratic Party is deeply unpopular – period. It’s a fact. Don’t look away. Don’t call me a Bernie Bro. It’s a problem that must be seriously addressed..... Shaun King, Daily News
Dem Party: 36%/52%
The Democratic Party is deeply unpopular – period. It’s a fact. Don’t look away. Don’t call me a Bernie Bro. It’s a problem that must be seriously addressed. Not a day goes by when I don’t have people reach out to me and ask if it would be worth it to start a credible alternative to what the Democrats are offering. Most people, I believe, would also be open to a brand new way of business for the Democratic Party, but core leaders seem hell bent on doing the same old crap.http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/king-democratic-party-doesn-unpopular-article-1.2993659
I love that Shaun King mocks the Bernie Bro charge --- the usual Hillary supporter charges -- and yes, that has come from our pals in Unity Caucus.
As for me, I don't know where the hell I'm at. Much of the left turns me off. Liberals turn me off. The right wing free marketeers are nuts. The centrists Dems are proven failures, as Bernie points out.
I am reading more leftist stuff -- The Nation, Jacobin -- and also a book on Orwell and Churchill -- both critics of the left even though Orwell was a leftist and probably some sort of anti-Stalin Trotskyist.
Anyway, I think we are not far off from going back to living in caves, so what difference will it all make anyway? I mean 7 billion or 10 billion people as oceans rise and major areas of the globe become incapable of sustaining life -- ie see massive heat wave on southern Australia recently. Put enough rats in a small cage and watch what they do to each other. Trump as the current King Rat may be only the first warning sign.
ADD ON: Just saw this from The New Republic calling for Blue States to virtually secede from the union in this letter to Red states:
Shocking as your electoral victory felt to us in Blue America, we should have seen it coming. To paraphrase Virgil “the Turk” Sollozzo from The Godfather, the Democrats, with all due respect, had been slipping. Twenty years ago, could any organization as stone-cold crazy as the Tea Party have gotten to them? The staggering defeats that Democrats sustained, at every level of government, in the midterm elections of 1994, 2010, and 2014 have now reduced them to the largely impotent, makeshift, regional party they were from the Civil War all the way to the Great Depression.
That string of unrelenting electoral catastrophes should have tipped us off that there was something deeply, alarmingly wrong at the core of the party. Losses of that magnitude, over that period of time, are like a bright red dashboard light you’ve never noticed before that suddenly starts flashing insistently. Accompanied by a shrill beeping sound. And a voice repeating, “Warning, warning!” And a plume of smoke pouring from under your hood.
Yet the party elites drove blithely on, chatting on their cell phones about their demographic advantages and the imminent demise of the Republican Party, until the air bags had deployed, the steering wheel had come off in their hands, and the rims of their tireless wheels were grinding sparks off the curbside. At this point, there’s no retooling this burnt-out Chevy Cruze into a vehicle still capable of going coast-to-coast.