Okay, okay, I get.  No one has actually “proven” that it’s Russia behind the hacks of the DNC and now state election registration systems data, but I’m going to go with the FBI’s assessment that the ultimate source is Russia connected.  Probably.  Most likely.  Pretty sure.  So somebody prove me – and the FBI – wrong.  But the kicker in all of this hacking crap is the latest revelations that it’s not only that data is stolen (including credit card and Social Security numbers – thanks a bunch Julian!) but that stolen documents are doctored and then released to the media containing false information even though it looks, and is passed on as, authentic.  It’s sort of like the Planned Parenthood videos manipulated by the Center for Medial Progress to make it look as if PP was selling baby parts for profit.  (A couple of court cases have totally debunked this. Then too so did a Congressional Hearing but that hasn't stopped Republicans from defunding Planned Parenthood at every opportunity.)   So far, Arizona’s and Illinois’ voter rolls are known to have been hacked and the FBI has issued a warning for other states to beef up the security of their voter registration data.   

Dana Milbank’s column in today’s WashPo outlines the latest hacks on Arizona’s and Illinois’ voter records as well as the more or less world wide disinformation campaigns Putin’s Russia undertakes in order to influence the outcomes of elections and referenda in countries that don't happen to be Russia.  Documents stolen from George Soros “Open Society Foundation” (Soros is probably the biggest contributor to Democratic candidates and causes) were altered and then released to create the false impression that Russian anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny was funded by Soros.  The pro-Russian hacking group, CyberBerkut, had inserted Navalny’s name, bogus dollar amounts and fabricated wording into a document that had been hacked.   During the Cold War the Soviet Union famously mounted a disinformation campaign – somewhat successful since I recall some articles about it – that the AIDS pandemic was a CIA plot.  

So the Cold War is over.  Or so we thought.  A recent New York Times article revealed that Russian aligned groups have attempted to undermine Sweden’s military partnership with NATO.  False information that NATO soldiers could rape Swedish women with impunity (What?) and that there’s a secret nuclear weapons stockpile in Sweden are the kinds of false facts that were spread through the media by Russian linked (but only a rumor) operatives.  Back in 2014 Russia spread conspiracy theories about the downing of Malaysian Airlines jet that helped justify their invasion of the Crimea.  Russia has also meddled in the domestic politics of France, the Netherlands, Great Britain and elsewhere spreading false info that helped extremist political parties to destabilize these European countries.

So what does all of this have to do with our Presidential election this year?  Well, we’ve already heard from Wikileaks’ Julian Assange that he has much more damaging material about Hillary Clinton that he plans to release in October.  He still maintains that the data from the hacked Democratic National Committee did not come from Russian groups but I, for one, am not buying it any more.  October Surprises, the release of damaging info about a candidate, are intended to disrupt the voting process by inserting inflammatory information into the process, through the media, with insufficient time to adequately analyze its veracity.  Lat minute damaging revelations could cause folks to switch their votes, as the narrative goes.  

The Clinton scenario Assange is envisioning goes like this:  doctored documents like those uncovered in the George Soros case, would be released to the media say two weeks before the November 8th election.   Let’s say that these documents showed that Hillary Clinton had secret meetings with big donors to the Clinton Foundation and that she exchanged e-mails with them showing that she gave then special treatment in the form of plum positions in the State Department or fat State Department contracts.  Or maybe it would take the form of a hitherto unreleased Fairfax County, VA, police report detailing Hillary Clinton’s undeniable involvement in the murder of Vince Foster. (Look, who knows?  There are literally dozens if not hundreds of alleged crimes to choose from.)  

Upon release of the false info, the media would erupt in “Breaking News Headlines” like “Proof that Hillary Murdered Vince?” or “Saudi Prince Given Plum State Department Job
Illegally” or similar.  We would be bombarded with headlines and pundit-talk about how horrible, how devious, how untrustworthy, how evil is the former Secretary of State.  The FBI would begin an investigation and the House of Representative would subpoena Hillary to another unproductive hearing.  This would go on – just as it did with the doctored Planned Parenthood videos that resulted in several Red States defunding the organization and House attempting to do same – for weeks, well past that Tuesday election date when folk who might have supported Clinton reluctantly now see that their worst fears about her honestly have come true. 

And The Donald wins the 2016 Presidential Election.

So let’s all remember when the October Surprise hits the media this October, that all the other scandals and exposes about Hillary Clinton for the past twenty years have amounted to precisely nothing. 

Have A Great Day And Stay Alert For Disinformation!

 Dana Milbank's piece is here.


Some of you might be aware that Trump is developing a huuuuuge luxury hotel here in D.C.  The building is historic, was originally a U.S. Post office, its rescue from wrecking balls in 1971 gave rise to "Don't Tear It Down" the city's first private preservation group, and is on a 99 year lease from the Federal Government (GSA) who actually owns the building.  Part of the agreement terms of the lease include property tax payments to the city (Federally owned property is exempt from local D.C. taxes) via a formula that Trump agreed to.  After all, his project takes a Federal building and turns it into a profit making commercial venture.

Well, even before the project opens (a "soft opening" is scheduled for September 12th) the Trump folks are protesting the $1.7 million tax bills for 2015 and 2016.  Trump maintains that the city's assessed value of the project's lease  - $98 million reduced to $91 million after Trump appealed - is only worth $28 million.  Why or how GSA estimated the insurance value of the project was $150 million while under construction and $220 million when completed as stated by the lease agreement, is unknown.  After all it's the Gubment and they don't know what they're doing, right?

But here's the really cute part of this whole controversy:  In typical Trump fashion, he has filed a court suit against the city over his tax bills.  Trump has paid only half of the $1.7 million tax bill issued by the city for 2016 and can't challenge the 2017 assessment in court  until he pays his 2017 tax bill and the city's review process is completed.  Here's what city attorney's had to say:

"Like the timely filing of a refund suit for Tax Year 2015, the payment of tax before suing for tax years 2016 and 2017, and the exhaustion of administrative remedies prior to suit for Tax Year 2017, jurisdiction still matters.  The technicalities of tax statutes much be adhered to."  

While parsed in legal bureaucrateeze, what the city is essentially telling Trump that just like the rest of us who live in D.C. you have to abide by the rules whether you like them or not.

One More Day.  Trump Goes To Mexico.  Hope He's Not Detained.



  1. Hey, I think I might have some insight behind the State Election hack of Arizona and Illinois along with what the October surprise might be. Overtime I've started to recognize a pattern with these "Guccifer 2.0" hacks Aka the russian group known as Fancy bear. He never seems to announce or leaks any information from his hacks until after authorities and the Media have already reported that Such and Such systems were hacked. One could argue that the reason for this is that it would be stupid for him to leak documents to a system he still has access to as it would result in him being kicked out. But there's another explanation, one which likely plays into their overall strategy.... Credibilty. They want the Authorities and Media to first publicly report that these systems had indeed been hacked, because people are more likely to accept leaked information as legitimate if they know that it comes from a source that has publicly admitted to being hacked.

    Up till the now the leaks we've seen have been embarrassing at Best or boring at worst. There really haven’t been any silver bullets to Hillary's campaign in any of these releases. So if the purpose of these leaks is to derail Hillary's campaign why even bother with some of these weaker leaks, why not just wait till 2 weeks before the election and release a bunch of legitimate docs with a few fabricated docs capable of killing the Clinton campaign? By going forward with a series of smaller leaks over a longer period of time, they've actually tipped off the media and the Democrats into realizing that this might all be leading up to an October Surprise. So given that the Dem's are now likely putting together skilled teams capable of analyzing and refuting any fabricated info that may be leaked, what exactly was Russia trying to achieve by taking this route? Simply put the primary purpose behind this extended series of leaks hasn't been to hurt Hillary it's actually been to achieve two specific goals:
    A. It was to establish in the minds of the public and the media that the information released in these leaks are credible. And with each subsequent leak this idea is further reinforced until a large segment of population and media start blindly excepting all future leaks as credible.
    B. By releasing a new leak every few weeks they insure that neither the media nor the public forgets about the existence of these hacks and leaks. That way when they release their silver bullet, people aren't like "Where the hell did this come from?"

    So basically, everything up to now has been done for the purpose of establishing credibility, this is where the media reports on the State Election Hacks come in. Most people reporting on these hacks seem focused on whether the goal of these hacks was to somehow alter the results of the November Presidential election. But the true purpose behind them wasn't about the Nov election but rather the Primaries. If you're looking to alter state results for the Prez election then IL and AZ aren't the states you'd target. Neither is a Swing State, IL has voted Dem by a 10-20 point margin since 92 and AZ has voted Rep by a 6-10 pt margin. What these two states do have in common is that both have been cited by Bernie supporters as evidence that the primaries were rigged. Noting that in IL exit polls showed Bernie up by over 2%. Meanwhile the Arizona Primary was fraught with so many technical issues that their is currently an ongoing investigation by the Justice department into the problems that occurred during it (,_2016#Controversy_and_allegations_of_voter_suppression_and_electoral_fraud). So basically I think that Russians intend to provide fabricated documents from within a State Election Board showing that HRC colluded with an official involved in running one of these contentious primaries into rigging the results for her.


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