Monday, September 25, 2017

NFL chief Goodell visits city of Philadelphia to explore its criminal justice system in response to request from NFL player. August letter from 4 players asks NFL to declare November month of Unity for teams to engage with players in social activism-ESPN, 9/21/17

Thurs., 9/21/17, "NFL players seeking month dedicated to social activism," ESPN

"A group of four players sent the NFL a memo in August requesting league support and asking for a month to be dedicated to social activism, not long after commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly had talked to several players regarding their game-day activism efforts.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and wide receiver Torrey Smith, and former Arizona Cardinals wideout Anquan Boldin co-authored a 2,740-word document intended to push the NFL to honor activism in an effort "similarly to what the league already implements for breast cancer awareness, honoring military, etc."

The letter was obtained by Yahoo! Sports and originally published Wednesday night.

"We would like November to serve as a month of Unity for individual teams to engage and impact the community in their market," the memo states.

The letter was prepared shortly after Goodell spoke with several players who had protested on game day before the regular season kicked off, the Yahoo! report stated, citing two sources.

"For us, support means: bear all or part of the weight of; hold up; give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act. We need support, collaboration and partnerships to achieve our goal of strengthening the community," the letter stated.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy issued a statement on Goodell's visit to Philadelphia, where he and Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie accepted an invitation by Jenkins to take a closer look at the city's justice system.

"Commissioner Goodell has been talking with players for some time about social justice issues and how to recognize the progress and the important work of our players in their communities across the country," McCarthy said in the statement.

"Malcolm invited the commissioner to Philadelphia a couple weeks ago to see and share in what they've been doing to impact criminal justice reform. Joined by Mr. Lurie, the Commissioner spent the day along with Malcolm and others meeting with community leaders and representatives of law enforcement. The commissioner is grateful to our players both for sharing their experiences and for all the important work they are doing in the community."

The meeting in Philadelphia occurred after the memo was sent to Goodell by the four players.

Bennett, Jenkins, Smith and Boldin either didn't return requests for comment to Yahoo! or declined to discuss the memo, citing an agreement to keep talks private, according to the website.

The league declined to comment on the memo to Yahoo! Sports but told ESPN's Josina Anderson on Thursday that "We are continuing to work directly with the players. These are private conversations."

Boldin retired in late August, two weeks after signing a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills. He said in a statement that he felt "drawn to make the larger fight for human rights a priority. My life's purpose is bigger than football."

Earlier this month, the NFL affirmed it had no plans to investigate Bennett's behavior during an August incident in which he was detained and handcuffed by police in Las Vegas.

The league was responding to a letter Goodell had received from the president of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, the union that represents police officers in that city. In the letter, the union alleged that Bennett made false accusations against Las Vegas police and asked the league to "conduct an investigation, and take appropriate action."

Bennett, who accused the Las Vegas police of unfairly targeting him and pointing a gun at his head, sat on the bench during the national anthem for a Seahawks preseason game on Aug. 13 and said at the time, "I can't stand right now. I'm not going to be standing until I see the equality and freedom.""


Sunday, September 24, 2017

German establishment 'stunned' that so many Germans voted against further participation in their own genocide. Alternative for Germany (AfD) becomes first party of its kind to enter parliament in more than 50 yrs. Merkel bloc sinks to 32.9% of vote-Reuters

9/23/17, "Merkel hangs on to power but bleeds support to surging far right," Reuters, Paul Carrel, Maria Sheahan, Berlin

"German Chancellor Angela Merkel won a fourth term in office on Sunday but Europe’s most powerful leader will have to govern with a far less stable coalition in a fractured parliament after her conservatives haemorrhaged support to a surging far right.

Two years after Merkel left German borders open to more than 1 million migrants, the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) stunned the establishment by becoming the first far-right party to enter parliament in more than half a century.

The AfD won 13.0 percent of the vote - more than expected and one of many shocks on a night of drama that saw Merkel’s conservatives get their worst result since 1949, and her main Social Democrat (SPD) rivals their worst since 1933.

Describing the far right’s success as a test for Germans, Merkel insisted she had a mandate to govern - a formidable challenge as she has little choice but to cobble together a three-way coalition with a pro-business group and the Greens.

“Of course we had hoped for a slightly better result,” a humbled Merkel said after her conservative bloc slumped to 32.9 percent of the vote - down from 41.5 percent at the last election in 2013.

But she added: “We are the strongest party, we have the mandate to build the next government - and there cannot be a coalition government built against us.”

The euro EUR=E4 slipped around 0.4 percent in early Asian trading as it became clear the results would make forming a coalition tricky for Merkel.

Coalition building could take months as Merkel’s only straightforward path to a majority in parliament would be a three-way tie-up with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens - an arrangement untested at national level."


Trump got highest share of black vote for a Republican in 30 years-Powerline, Steven Hayward

"Trump—he got the highest GOP share of the black vote in 30 years."

9/23/17, "Civil War on the Left, Part 47: Obama, Please Go Away!" Powerline, Steven Hayward

"We know that black turnout in the last election [2016] was down from 2012, when black turnout was actually higher than white turnout....Maybe the fact that Obama was no longer on the ballot-and Hillary was-might explain why some black voters stayed home (or voted for Trump—he got the highest GOP share of the black vote in 30 years).

Or maybe blacks are tired of Democrats in general, and Obama in particular. Obama is currently making plans for his presidential library and community action center to be located on the south side of Chicago. The mostly black neighborhood where it is planned to be built isn’t happy about it, and not buying Obama’s happy talk about how it will bring prosperity to the neighborhood.

From the Chicago Tribune: 

Obama’s promises for presidential center may not be enough this time for African-Americans by Dahleen Glanton

"...A nasty fight over a community benefits agreement with the Obama Foundation has exposed an unexpected rift between the former president and some of the South Side residents who helped lift him to prominence. 

Not everyone on the South Side, it seems, thinks Obama did enough for black folks during his eight years as president. And as he prepares to build a presidential center that will pay tribute to his legacy, some South Siders are calling him out for what they consider broken promises.

Obama consistently has asked residents to trust that he will do right by them. The presidential center, he insists, will provide a wealth of opportunities specifically designed to meet the needs of Chicagoans who have long been overlooked. But this time, according to one activist, there will be no “Amen, kiss the ring.”"...


Comment: For the record, the above Powerline author, Steven Hayward, isn't a Trump fan boy. Hayward was one of National Review's famous 22 "Conservatives Against Trump," in its Jan. 21, 2016 issue. 


Added: Despite what the GOP E wants you to believe, white votes matter too. In 2012, more white voters chose Obama over Romney (a GOP E dream candidate=guaranteed-to-lose) in 5 crucial swing states: Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Wisconsin:

"Romney lost the white vote to Obama in five crucial swing states: Maine (42 percent of the white vote), Minnesota (47 percent), New Hampshire (48 percent), Iowa (48 percent) and Wisconsin (49 percent).

3/30/2016, "Ann Coulter: It’s Only Trump," Breitbart, Ann Coulter 

"The only question for Republicans is: Which candidate can win states that Mitt Romney lost?

Start with the fact that, before any vote is cast on Election Day, the Democrats have already won between 90 and 98 percent of the black vote and 60 to 75 percent of the Hispanic and Asian vote. Unless Republicans run the table on the white vote, they lose.

If there’s still hope, it lies with Trump and only Trump. Donald Trump will do better with black and Hispanic voters than any other Republican. But it’s with white voters that he really opens up the electoral map.

A Republican Party that wasn’t intent on committing suicide would know that. But Stuart Stevens, the guy who lost a winnable presidential election in 2012, says it’s impossible for Republicans to get one more white vote and the media are trying to convince the GOP that he’s right.

Stevens says Romney tapped out every last white voter and still lost, so he says Republicans are looking for “the Lost Tribes of the Amazon” hoping to win more white votes: “In 1980, Ronald Reagan won 56 percent of white voters and won a landslide victory of 44 states. In 2012, Mitt Romney won 59 percent of whites and lost with 24 states.”

Apparently, no one’s told Stevens about the 50-state Electoral College. The national white vote is irrelevant. Presidential elections are won by winning states. (Only someone who got his ass kicked running an eminently electable candidate might not know this.)
Excluding third parties and breaking it down to a two-man race, Mitt Romney won 88 percent of the white vote in Mississippi, but only 40 percent of the white vote in Massachusetts. What sense does it make to talk about his national percentage of the white vote with disparities like that?

Romney lost the white vote to Obama in five crucial swing states: Maine (42 percent of the white vote), Minnesota (47 percent), New Hampshire (48 percent), Iowa (48 percent) and Wisconsin (49 percent). He only narrowly beat Obama’s white vote in other important swing states — Illinois (51 percent), Colorado (52 percent), Michigan (53 percent), Ohio (54 percent) and Pennsylvania (54 percent).

Increasing the white vote in these states gives Trump any number of paths to victory.

If Trump wins only the same states as Romney, but adds Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois — where Romney’s white vote was below his national average — Trump wins with 280 electoral votes. (Romney wasn’t an ideal candidate in the industrial Midwest.)

Trump could lose any one of those states and make up for it by winning Minnesota and Wisconsin — where Romney actually lost the white vote. Or he could lose two of those states but add victories in places outside the Rust Belt, where Romney’s white vote was also below average, such as Colorado, Iowa, Maine and New Hampshire. (In 1992, Ross Perot came in second in Maine, beating George Bush.)

I haven’t even mentioned Florida, where Trump recently trounced Stuart Stevens’ dream candidate, Marco Rubio, a sitting senator — and a Cuban! — in a 20-point rout. Republican primary voters outnumbered Democratic primary voters in that election by more than half a million votes.

If Trump wins Florida, he needs to win only two or three of the 10 states where Romney either lost the white vote outright or won a smaller percentage of it than he did nationally.

Stevens’ analysis assumes that there will be no new voters — and, again, there isn’t a mammal on the North American landmass who knows less about winning presidential elections than Stuart Stevens.

It’s as if we’re only allowed to divvy up the pile of voters from 2012. Unless you voted in 2012, you can’t vote in 2016! Use it or lose it, buddy.

That’s not how it works.

Trump is saying he’ll bring in lots of new people, as he has throughout the primaries. In the Florida GOP primary, for example, Trump got nearly half a million more votes than Romney did in 2012 — and about half a million new people voted. Trump may be wrong, but it’s insane to say that it’s impossible for him to bring out new voters.

What’s impossible is for any Republican candidate, other than Trump, to win a single state Romney lost. Ted Cruz’s corny speaking style is creepy to anyone who doesn’t already agree with everything he says. He’s the less likable, more hard-edged version of Romney. Every other Republican is, one way or another, a less attractive version of Romney.

Maybe 50 years of Third World immigration means it’s too late, and even Trump can’t win. But it’s an absolute certainty that any other Republican will lose."


Why the hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin? WaPo, #1 booster of US taxpayer funded war with Russia, says Putin doesn't have 'bedrock' US values, favors 'spheres of influence.' But many US presidents have accomodated 'spheres of influence'-Pat Buchanan...(The Deep State's #1 enemy is the American people, not Russia. They figure WWIII will shut us up for awhile. They certainly wouldn't allow us to elect a president-notice their quick nullification of the 2016 election and votes of 63 million Americans)

"It seems that the American deep state is so frenzied in this way that its inhabitants can no longer see straight: they are ready to risk despoiling not just the "recalcitrant" abroad but America herself. And the way they are going about trying to “have her,” may well ruin the deep state too, as collateral damage."
July 14, 2017, "Russia Baiters and Putin Haters," Pat Buchanan

"Is Russia and enemy of the United States?" NBC’s Kasie Hunt demanded of Ted Cruz. Replied the runner-up for the GOP nomination, “Russia is a significant adversary. Putin is a KGB thug.”

To Hillary Clinton running mate Tim Kaine, the revelation that Donald Trump Jr., entertained an offer from the Russians for dirt on Clinton could be considered “treason.”

Treason is giving aid and comfort to an enemy in a time of war.

Are we really at war with Russia? Is Russia really our enemy?

Why Russia is a Hostile Power” is the title of today’s [7/14/17] editorial in The Washington Post that seeks to explain why Middle America should embrace the Russophobia of our capital city:

Vladimir Putin adheres to a set of values that are antithetical to bedrock American values. He favors spheres of influence over self-determination; corruption over transparency; and repression over democracy.
Yet, accommodating a sphere of influence for a great power is exactly what FDR and Churchill did with Stalin, and every president from Truman to George H. W. Bush did with the Soviet Union.

When East Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, Poles rose up against Communist regimes, no U.S. president intervened. For those nations were on the other side of the Yalta line agreed to in 1945. 

Bush I and James Baker even accused Ukrainians of “suicidal nationalism” for contemplating independence from Russia.

When did support for spheres of influence become un-American?

As for supporting “corruption over transparency,” ex-Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili resigned in disgust as governor of Odessa in November, accusing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, our man in Kiev, of supporting corruption.

As for favoring “repression over democracy,” would that not apply to our NATO ally President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, our Arab ally Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt, and our Philippine ally Rodrigo Duterte? Were U.S. Cold War allies like the Shah of Iran and Gen. Augusto Pinochet of Chile all Jeffersonian Democrats? Have we forgotten our recent history?

The Post brought up the death in prison of lawyer-activist Sergei Magnitsky in 2009. Under the Magnitsky Act of 2012, Congress voted sanctions on Russia’s elites.

Yet China’s lone Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, sentenced to 11 years in prison for championing democracy, died Thursday of liver cancer, with police in his hospital room. Communist dictator Xi Jinping, who makes Putin look like Justin Trudeau, would not let the dying man go.

Will Magnitsky Act sanctions be slammed on China? Don’t bet on it. Too much trade. Congress will do what comes naturally — kowtow. Yet our heroic Senate voted 98-2 to slam new sanctions on Russia.

What are the roots of this hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin, whom a Fox analyst called “as bad as Hitler”?

During the Cold War, every president sought detente with a USSR that was arguably the most blood-soaked regime of the century.

When the Cold War ended in December 1991, the Soviet Union had dissolved into 15 nations. Moscow had given up her empire, a third of her territory, and half the population of the USSR. Marxist-Leninist ideology was dead. An epochal change had taken place.

Yet hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin seem to exceed anything some of us remember from the worst days of the Cold War.

Putin’s Russia is called imperialist, though Estonia, next door, which Russia could swallow in one gulp, has been free for 25 years.

Russia invaded Georgia. Well, yes, after Georgia invaded the seceded province of South Ossetia and killed Russian peacekeepers.

Russia has taken back Crimea from Ukraine. True, but only after a U.S.-backed coup in Kiev replaced the elected pro-Russian regime.

Russia has intervened to back Bashar Assad in Syria. Yes, but only after our insurgent allies collaborated with al-Qaida and ISIS to bring him down. Is Russia not allowed to support an ally, recognized by the U.N., which provides its only naval base on the Med?

Russia has meddled in our election. And we have meddled in the affairs of half a dozen nations with “color-coded revolutions.” The cry of “regime change!” may daily be heard in the U.S. Capitol.

Putin is not Pope Francis. But he is not Stalin; he is not Hitler; he is not Mao; and Russia today is not the USSR. Putin is an autocrat cut from the same bolt of cloth as the Romanov czars.

His cooperation is crucial to the peace of the world, the freedom of the Baltic States, an end to the Syrian civil war, tranquility in the Persian Gulf, and solving the North Korean crisis
While our tectonic plates may rub against one another, we are natural allies. The Russia of Tolstoy, Pushkin, Solzhenitsyn and the Orthodox Church belongs with the West.

If America stumbles into a war with Russia that all our Cold War presidents avoided, the Russia baiters and Putin haters will be put in same circle of hell by history as the idiot war hawks of 1914 and the three blind men of Versailles in 1919."

Added: Excerpts from two Alastair Crooke articles: The frenzied American deep state in its zeal for control may take the US down before it can get to enemies abroad:

"It seems that the American deep state is so frenzied in this way that its inhabitants can no longer see straight: they are ready to risk despoiling not just the "recalcitrant" abroad but America herself....Trump "now has been rendered “helpless”: in respect to détente with Russia...spitefully, by his own party, working with the Democrats, to empty Trump's constitutional prerogatives in policy--and to seize them for Congress."...

8/26/17, "How the Deep State Ties Down Trump," Alastair Crooke, Consortium News

"President Trump has had his foreign policy hands and feet tied by the Russia (and Iran) Sanctions Act. He now has been rendered “helpless”: in respect to détente with Russia — gulliverized, spitefully, by his own party, working with the Democrats, to empty Trump's constitutional prerogatives in policy--and to seize them for Congress....

It seems that the American deep state is so frenzied in this way that its inhabitants can no longer see straight: they are ready to risk despoiling not just the "recalcitrant" abroad but America herself. And the way they are going about trying to “have her,” may well ruin the deep state too, as collateral damage.

The Russia Sanctions Act may have been conceived both to paralyze President Trump, and to validate the “Putin-stole-the-Election” narrative, but it precisely removes any chance of Messrs Mattis, McMaster, Kelly and Tillerson to succeed with seizing America as world proconsul.

Russia, China and Iran, now linked by again being threatened by sanctions, are now firmly embedded into a strategic coalition – and they are determined to resist."...     


Second article:

"America’s ability to pursue or even to have a foreign policy is non-existent in the face of its internal civil war."..."Executive powers have been transferred to Congress:" 

8/6/17, "Playing Politics with the World’s Future," Alastair Crooke, Consortium News

"Finally...the U.S. Congress has produced a piece of legislation. And it passed with quasi-unanimous, bi-partisan support. Only its substance is not so much a deep reflection on the foreign policy interests of America, but rather, the desire to hurt, and incapacitate the U.S. President in any future dealings with Russia. (And never mind the worrying impulse towards conflict with Russia this entails, or its collateral damage on others).

The aim has been to see President Trump hog-tied, and “tarred and feathered” for his “risky behavior” on Russia. This aim simply has overpowered any other considerations--such as likelihood that the outside world will conclude that America’s ability to pursue or even to have a foreign policy is non-existent in the face of its internal civil war.  It is a key juncture. For an overwhelming majority of Democratic and Republican Senators and Congressmen, bringing down “The Donald” is all--and the devil take the consequences for America, in the world....

The U.S. President had little option but to sign the legislation, but that does not mean that diplomacy is completely blocked. As expected, he issued a Signing Statement (see here), in which, while accepting the mandate of Congress, Trump took issue with the new Congressional encroachments into his prerogatives (Article Two of the Constitution) in terms of foreign policy, and he reserved the right to decide on how the Congressional mandate might be implemented (i.e. in respect to the quadrilateral negotiations over Ukraine)....

As indicated earlier, Trump’s Republican base (unlike support from the Republican establishment) is not eroding, but rather is becoming angered and resentful. The more the MSM and the East Coast élites attack the deplorables’ “alt” news and websites – the greater the pushback, it seems....  

The point here is that the Republican [voters'] support for Trump’s desire for détente with Russia has not eroded one jot, whereas the “concern” of the Independents and even among Democrats is eroding somewhat."...


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Steve McIntyre: Guccifer 2.O and "Russian" Metadata: The “Russian metadata” (“breadcrumbs”) are worthless for attribution, let alone attribution at “high confidence”-9/23/17...Nor do they exemplify "suberb tradecraft" as CrowdStrike gushed

"When a document is opened in Word for no purpose other than to change the default language to Russian and change the user name to Феликс Эдмундович, I would not jump to the conclusion that they had done so accidentally....To the extent that exposure by mistake is being relied on for attribution of Guccifer 2 to Russian intelligence services, it is worthless as evidence and an embarrassment to the security firms and intel community who promulgate it."...(from "Conclusion")

9/23/17, "Guccifer 2 and “Russian” Metadata," Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit

"The DHS-FBI intel assessment of the DNC hack concluded with “high confidence” that Guccifer 2 was a Russian operations, but provided (literally) zero evidence in support of their attribution. Ever since Guccifer 2’s surprise appearance on June 15, 2016 (one day after Crowdstrike’s announcement of the DNC hack by “Russia”), there has been a widespread consensus that Guccifer 2 was a Russian deception operation, with only a few skeptics (e.g. Jeffrey Carr questioning evidence but not necessarily conclusion; Adam Carter challenging attribution).

Perhaps the most prevalent argument in attribution has been the presence of “Russian” metadata in documents included in Guccifer 2’s original post – the theory being that the “Russian” metadata was left by mistake. I’ve looked at lots of metadata both in connection with Climategate and more recently in connection with the DNC hack, and, in my opinion, the chances of this metadata being left by mistake is zero. Precisely what it means is a big puzzle though.

Reliance on “Russian Metadata” in Attribution 

Lest anyone believe that it is wildly improbable that US attribution is based on anything as flimsy as such metadata, I’ll provide a series of excerpts from leading articles. In making this selection, I’ve tried to find relatively authoritative articles. I’m unaware of any dissenting articles in mainstream media.  

Motherboard, June 16 url 

"However, considering a long trail of breadcrumbs pointing back to Russia left by the hacker, as well as other circumstantial evidence, it appears more likely that Guccifer 2.0 is nothing but a disinformation or deception campaign by Russian state-sponsored hackers to cover up their own hack—and a hasty and sloppy one at that…it’s “more likely than not” that the whole operation, including the Guccifer 2.0 part, was orchestrated by Russian spies, according to Thomas Rid, a cybersecurity expert…The leaked documents contain metadata indicating they’ve been opened and processes on multiple virtual machines, as the independent cybersecurity researcher known as Pwn All The Things pointed out on Twitter on Wednesday. Some of these machines had different configurations, including one with the Cyrillic language setting and the username of “Iron Felix,” referencing Felix Dzerzhinsky, the first head of the Soviet intelligence services." 

Vocativ, June 16 url 

"But there’s something funny about those Word files. While most are listed as originally written by Warren Flood, the name of a political strategist for the Democratic party, all five are listed as being most recently revised by someone named “Феликс Эдмундович,” an apparent pseudonym and reference to early Soviet hero Felix Dzerzhinsky. Other firms agreed that it was possible, if not likely, that Guccifer 2.0 was created by the same Russian state-sponsored actors originally described in the hack." 

Arstechnica, June 16 url 

"We still don’t know who he is or whether he works for the Russian government, but one thing is for sure: Guccifer 2.0—the nom de guerre of the person claiming he hacked the Democratic National Committee and published hundreds of pages that appeared to prove it—left behind fingerprins implicating a Russian-speaking person with a nostalgia for the country’s lost Soviet era.  

Exhibit A in the case is this document created and later edited in the ubiquitous Microsoft Word format. Metadata left inside the file shows it was last edited by someone using the computer name “Феликс Эдмундович.” That means the computer was configured to use the Russian language and that it was connected to a Russian-language keyboard. More intriguing still, “Феликс Эдмундович” is the colloquial name that translates to Felix Dzerzhinsky, the 20th Century Russian statesman who is best known for founding the Soviet secret police. (The metadata also shows that the purported DNC strategy memo was originally created by someone named Warren Flood, which happens to be the name of a LinkedIn user claiming to provide strategy and data analytics services to Democratic candidates.) 

Exhibit B is this opposition research document on Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Exhibit B is also written in Word. Several of the Web links in it are broken and contain the error message “Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.” But in a PDF-formatted copy of the same document published by Gawker a few hours before Guccifer 2.0’s post went live, the error messages with roughly the same meaning appear in Russian. 

The most likely explanation is that the Russian error messages are an artifact left behind when the leaker converted the Word document into a PDF. That kind of conversion would be expected if the leaker’s PC was set up to use Russian. 

All three pieces of evidence were teased out of the documents and noted on Twitter by an independent security researcher who goes by the handle PwnAllTheThings." .. 

CSO Online, June 23 url 

"Metadata found within the leaked DNC documents included snippets of Russian." 

Threat Connect, June 29 url 

"Although the proof is not conclusive, we assess Guccifer 2.0 most likely is a Russian denial and deception (D and D) effort that has been cast to sow doubt about the prevailing narrative of Russian perfidy. 

There are signals that appear purposefully left behind to make a compelling case for a non-state Russian or Eastern European actor operating independently, such as cyrillic references to Felix Dzerzhinsky." 

Rid, Motherboad Vice, July 25 

"The evidence linking the Guccifer 2.0 account to the same Russian operators is not as solid, yet deception operation—a GRU false flag, in technical jargon—is still highly likely….The metadata in the leaked documents are perhaps most revealing: one dumped document was modified using Russian language settings, by a user named “Феликс Эдмундович,” a code name referring to the founder of the Soviet Secret Police, the Cheka, memorialised in a 15-ton iron statue in front of the old KGB headquarters during Soviet times. The original intruders made other errors: one leaked document included hyperlink error messages in Cyrillic, the result of editing the file on a computer with Russian language settings. After this mistake became public, the intruders removed the Cyrillic information from the metadata in the next dump and carefully used made-up user names from different world regions, thereby confirming they had made a mistake in the first round." 

NYT, Dec 13, 2016 url 

"Cyberresearchers found other clues pointing to Russia. Microsoft Word documents posted by Guccifer 2.0 had been edited by someone calling himself, in Russian, Felix Edmundovich — an obvious nom de guerre honoring the founder of the Soviet secret police, Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky. Bad links in the texts were marked by warnings in Russian, generated by what was clearly a Russian-language version of Word." 

Washington Post July 2017  url 

"The accidental inclusion of Russian-language metadata in some of the leaked files, as well as some error messages that were printed in Russian. In later releases of the same files, those messages were removed." 

Guccifer 2’s June 15 Cut-and-Paste 

Adam Carter ( has been the leading critic of the above theory. I’ve relied on his ideas in the following exposition, but my approach is also heavily influenced by my Climategate experience. 

First of all, the metadata in controversy is not the file metadata  which one sees in directory listings, but internal Word metadata (e.g. author, default language). If you simply upload a Word document to a public location, you don’t change its internal Word metadata. There are dozens of such examples both in Climategate and even in the Guccifer 2 cf.7z and ngpvan.7z dossiers. 

In Guccifer 2’s first drop (June 15), Word metadata was changed in four documents (1.doc, 2.doc, 3.doc and 5.doc). In the first three documents, G2 successively cut-and-pasted the contents of three documents (Donald Trump Report, Dec. 19, 2015; 2016 GOP Presidential Candidates, May 26, 2015; HRC Election Plans, May 26, 2015) into a single (older) document template (perhaps emptied document), which had originated with Warren Flood, a former employee of Joe Biden, and which had been modified prior to insertion of the fresh contents. G2 set the user name for the Word session as Феликс Эдмундович, Felix Edmundovich [Dzershinski, the first Cheka director.] The default language of the Warren Flood template had been modified to Russian. The document itself is in RTF (readily readable in Notepad using techniques described by Carter at g-2). Originals of the three documents later traced by Jimmysllama to Podesta emails 30498, 55782, 3405. 

For all three documents, the very first line of the RTF sets default language to Russian (lang1049):

Later in the RTF, Felix Edmundovich in Cyrillic is introduced through the following line:

A fourth Word document in the June 15 dump (Promises and Proposals – National Security and Foreign Policy, Sep 4, 2008) was opened and saved by user “user” without corresponding changes to metadata.
The fifth Word document in the June 15 dump (National Security Transition Planning, undated) originates from the 2008 Obama transition. It does not use the Warren Flood template. User Феликс Эдмундович changed the default language to Russian and saved.

These operations all took place in a single half-hour in the early afternoon of June 15. The Warren Flood template was “created” at 13:38 with the first three documents saved by Феликс Эдмундович at 14:08, 14:11 and 14:12 respectively. The fifth document was created by jbs836 at 14:13 and saved by Феликс Эдмундович at 14:13.

None of these operations were required in order to upload the documents – indeed, they required additional, otherwise pointless work. The only changes to the documents were the setting of the default language to Russian and setting of the username to Феликс Эдмундович. When these metadata were (quickly) discovered, the discoverers proclaimed that these metadata had been exposed to them by “mistake” – a wardrobe malfunction, so to speak.


Within a few hours, Matt Tait (blogging as @pwnallthings) noticed the “Russian” metadata in the G2 documents, pronouncing it as a laughable “Russian opsec fail” by the very same Russians to whom Crowdstrike had attributed “superb” “tradecraft

The other “smoking gun” was the appearance of Cyrillic characters in the version of the Trump oppo research published by Gawker as a pdf – occurring in converting the Word document to pdf (with Russian default language).


Follow-up Guccifer 2 Posts 

When the Феликс Эдмундович alias was “discovered”, Guccifer 2 reacted by posting up 8 documents on June 17 with username Ernesto Che [Guevara], 10 documents on June 30 with username Chen Du and 4 documents on July 6 with username Nguyen Van Thang, after which he didn’t bother with such artifices. 

In an “interview” on June 21, Guccifer 2 said that these usernames were a form of “watermark” [translated from Romanian fikigranul"]




Adam Carter 

At his webpage, Adam Carter has eloquently ridiculed the idea that Guccifer2’s “Russian” metadata was left by “mistake”. Whereas Jeffrey Carter has stated that there is nothing in Guccifer 2’s conduct that is inconsistent with him being an unaffiliated hacker, Carter has argued that Guccifer 2 is a false flag operation carried out by Crowdstrike on behalf of the DNC (rather than a false flag operation carried out by the Russians.) 




If I encountered a document which had been most recently modified by a user using the pseudonym “J. Edgar Hoover”, I would not jump to the conclusion that the document originated with U.S. counter-intelligence or police. If anything, I would presume the opposite – that the username was satirical. 

When a document is opened in Word for no purpose other than to change the default language to Russian and change the user name to Феликс Эдмундович, I would not jump to the conclusion that they had done so accidentally or attribute the subsequent exposure of “Russian” metadata to a sort of wardrobe malfunction. I would presume the opposite: that whatever I saw was being shown to me intentionally. 

To the extent that exposure by mistake is being relied on for attribution of Guccifer 2 to Russian intelligence services, it is worthless as evidence and an embarrassment to the security firms and intel community who promulgate it. 

Could one picture a circumstance in which an insouciant Russian intelligent service intentionally signed their own name to the Guccifer 2 hack? Why would they want to stick a finger in the US eye so ostentatiously? 

Can one picture a circumstance in which a hacker (US or eastern European) might want to misdirect towards Russia? Hackers don’t want to be caught and put in jail. Anything that they say has to be taken with one or more grains of salt. Guccifer 2 has no obligation to say things that would help him get caught. If the US intel community is convinced that “Russia” hacked the DNC, they aren’t going to look for hackers in the US Eastern time zone. At the time, there was no “Russia, Russia” hysteria and little reason for G2 to think that a little misdirection could cascade into an international incident. Or the explanation may be something else entirely. 

The bottom line is that the “Russian metadata” (“breadcrumbs”) are worthless for attribution, let alone attribution at “high confidence”.  I’ll survey other lines of G2 attribution separately, but they are, if anything, even worse."

Friday, September 22, 2017

Russia Foreign Minister Lavrov says Obama administration spoiled US-Russia relations. Lavrov at UN news conference said Obama "put this time bomb in US-Russia relations, I didn't expect that from a Nobel Peace Prize winner." As to alleged Russian meddling in 2016 election, Lavrov said after a year of inquiries, "we did not see a single fact," asked Rex Tillerson for evidence, but pathetic Tillerson told Lavrov it was "confidential." Lavrov dismissed that, considering volume of leaks-NY Times, 9/22/17

9/22/2017, "Russia Says ‘Small-Hearted’ Obama Administration Spoiled Ties," NY Times, Somini Sengupta, United Nations

"Russia’s top diplomat said Friday that the Obama administration had been “small-hearted” and vindictive toward his country, spoiling relations and jeopardizing cooperation on critical issues including the Syria conflict. 

The remarks, by Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov, came during a news conference he held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. 

U.S.-Russia relations are suffering not from the fact that there are conflicts but rather because the previous U.S. administration was small-hearted and they were revengeful, Mr. Lavrov said. “They put this time bomb in U.S.-Russia relations. I didn’t expect that from a Nobel Peace Prize winner. 

Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for former President Barack Obama, did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. 

Mr. Lavrov was referring to the steep slide in relations between Washington and the Kremlin over a variety of issues, including the imposition of sanctions on Russia in connection with Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine. 

He said he had never bargained with his Western counterparts about the lifting of sanctions. He also dismissed allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 American presidential election to tilt the outcome in favor of Donald J. Trump instead of Hillary Clinton. 

Even after a year of inquiries, Mr. Lavrov said, “we did not see a single fact.” 

Mr. Lavrov said he had asked his American counterpart, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, for evidence of Russian meddling in the election and was told it was confidential. 

Mr. Lavrov dismissed that contention as well.

You know I cannot believe that,” he said. “Information is leaking all the time. 

Especially in an investigation that involves so many people, he went on, “it cannot be so that not a single fact is leaked. It would have been leaked. 

There are still large gaps between the Russian and American positions on a number of matters, from the question of what to do about Iran to how to handle the North Korean nuclear crisis. 

On Iran, Mr. Lavrov said he agreed with European diplomats who this week rejected American demands to reopen the 2015 nuclear agreement. The deal has been endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, Mr. Lavrov said, and if there are other concerns about Iran, such as its ballistic missiles program or its role in Syria, they should be addressed separately.

“Bringing together apples and oranges would be wrong, especially in such a complicated issue as the Iran nuke deal,” Mr. Lavrov said. 

On North Korea, he said it was time to “calm down the hotheads” and consider offers of mediation, including one by Secretary General António Guterres of the United Nations. Mr. Lavrov advocated what he called a “reasonable” approach to resolving the standoff, “instead of kindergarten fights between children.”"



Putin praised Obama leading up to Nov. 2012 election, said Obama re-election would be better chance to resolve missile defense, that Romney would widen rift. Putin gushes that Obama is "an honest person who really wants to change much for the better"-Reuters, 9/6/2012 

9/6/2012, "UPDATE 1-Russia's Putin defiant on Syria, says Romney "mistaken"," Reuters, Moscow

"Putin held out hope for an end to a dispute with Washington on missile defence if President Barack Obama were re-elected in November, telling Russia’s RT television he was an honest person who really wants to change much for the better”. 

Putin took aim at Obama’s Republican rival Mitt Romney, calling his criticism of Russia “mistaken” campaign rhetoric and suggesting a Romney presidency would widen the rift over the anti-missile shield the United States is deploying in Europe."...



The forgotten man and woman in this country, they stood up, and we beat the swamp. But, alas, 10 months later, guys, the swamp, it’s trying to hijack this presidency-Sarah Palin, 9/21/17, campaigning in Alabama for Judge Roy Moore

9/22/17, "Sarah Palin: ‘We Voted to Put America First, Not the Political Elite That Ignored Us for Decades’," Breitbart News

"Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said at a campaign rally Thursday night for Alabama Republican Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore that the swamp is “trying to hijack” Donald Trump’s presidency,, the Washington Post’s Jenna Johnson reports. 

From the Washington Post:

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican backed by the Tea Party movement, suggested that [in supporting Luther Strange over Roy Moore] the president was misled by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, whom the crowd repeatedly booed. Jan Morgan, a spokeswoman for the Citizens for Trump grass-roots group, said “the president was ill-advised when he made his decision.” And former Alaska governor Sarah Palin accused the swamp — which is what Trump likes to call the Washington establishment — of trying to overpower the president.

The forgotten man and woman in this country, they stood up, and we beat the swamp. But, alas, 10 months later, guys, the swamp, it’s trying to hijack this presidency,” said Palin who...was one of the leaders of the Tea Party movement that predated the Trump movement. “The swamp is trying to steal the victory that we worked so long and hard for — to steal the victory that a lot of us put our reputations on the line for. We voted to put America first, not the political elite that had ignored us for decades.”

Palin described Moore as being “deplorable before deplorable was cool,” borrowing the label that Democrat Hillary Clinton applied to some Trump supporters last year.

A vote for Judge Moore isn’t a vote against the president,” Palin said. “It is a vote for the people’s agenda that elected the president. It’s for the big, beautiful movement that we’re all a part of. The president needs support to keep the promises that elected him. So we’re sending Trump someone who has our back, not Mitch McConnell’s…Make no mistake, ‘Big Luther’ is Mitch McConnell’s guy.”"...

Read the rest of the article, here."

Added:  Referenced above, "The Forgotten Man," once remembered by Trump:

"The Forgotten Man," Jon McNaughton painting

Jon McNaughton
on Feb. 3, 2012 about this painting:

"Against the background of a darkening sky, all of the past Presidents of the United States gather before the White House, as if to commemorate some great event. In the left hand corner of the painting sits a man. That man, with his head bowed appears distraught and hopeless as he contemplates his future. Some of the past Presidents try to console him while looking in the direction of the modern Presidents as if to say, "What have you done?" Many of these modern Presidents, seemingly oblivious to anything other than themselves, appear to be congratulating each other on their great accomplishments. In front of the man, paper trash is blowing in the wind. Crumpled dollar bills, legislative documents, and, like a whisper—the U.S. Constitution beneath the foot of Barack Obama. The Forgotten Man. Go to"


1/20/17, "Trump's Inaugural Address Was Like No Other in History," Gary

"I don't know which phrase will get quoted in the future. But I'll tell you one that grabbed my attention: "This American carnage stops right here and stops right now." American carnage. He has it, exactly.

But this is more likely to stick: "From this moment on, it's going to be America First." 

He is not the polished speaker that John Kennedy was. He does not have the hearts of the people in the way that Franklin Roosevelt did in the midst of the Great Depression. He is not the rhetorical master that Abraham Lincoln was. But more than any President I have ever heard or read at an inaugural, he laid out his agenda, showed how that agenda is a fundamental break from the political past, and promised his supporters that he would not betray them. The implication is obvious: previous Presidents have all betrayed them. And they have. Four of them were standing behind him when he said it. This was a breach of etiquette. I loved it.

No matter what happens in terms of the details of his administration, and no matter what happens to the economy as a result of central bank profligacy, Donald Trump delivered an inaugural address that is going to go down in history. His enemies will try to bury him in his own words. But that plays into his hands. They will have to use his own words to bury him. It's Catch-22 for the establishment. Let the battle begin!"

Added: From Ann Coulter as Trump is about to sell us out: If he fails on immigration, "Donald Trump will go down in history as the man who killed America." 

9/13/17, "NO AMNESTY IS A GOOD AMNESTY," Ann Coulter 

"Donald Trump is being told that amnesty for "Dreamers," or DACA recipients, will only apply to a small, narrowly defined group of totally innocent, eminently deserving illegal immigrants, who were brought to this country "through no fault of their own" as "children." (Children who are up to 36 years old.)

Every syllable of that claim is a lie, and I can prove it.

To see how DACA will actually work, let's look at another extremely limited amnesty that was passed in 1986. 

Farmers wanted temporary guest-worker permits for their cheap labor, so that they could continue pretending that the Industrial Revolution never happened and refuse to mechanize. (And, boy, did that work! We haven't heard a peep about "crops rotting in the fields" since then.)

The agricultural amnesty was supposed to apply to -- at most -- 350,000 illegal aliens. It would be available only to illegals who were currently in the country doing the back-breaking farm work that no American would do. Without them, crops would wither on the vine. They were saving us from starvation!

Talk about deserving. Are any Dreamers saving us from starvation?

But instead of guest-worker permits, then-Rep. Charles Schumer -- from the lush farmland of Brooklyn -- decided to grant full amnesty to any illegals who had done farm work for at least 90 days in the previous year.

That's pretty restrictive, isn't it? In the end, "up to 350,000 farm workers" turned into 1.3 million.

Oh well, what are you going to do? No use worrying -- let's just move forward and get all these people voter registration cards!

This innocent little amnesty for a small, clearly defined group of illegals quickly became amnesty for anyone who applied. The same thing will happen with any other amnesty, no matter how strictly the law is written. (And it won't be written strictly.)

In the first few years of the agricultural amnesty, internal Immigration and Naturalization Service statistics showed that 888,637 legalization applications were fraudulent. According to immigration agents, "farm workers" stated in their interviews that cotton was purple or that they had pulled cherries from the ground.

Of the 888,637 fraudulent applications, guess how many our government approved. Answer: More than 800,000.

The agricultural amnesty was so carefully administered that not one, but TWO of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers were in this country because of it. (More on that in another column.)

The main problem with the farm worker amnesty, the DACA amnesty or any amnesty is that everyone involved in the entire immigration apparatus is feverishly working, on the taxpayer's dime, to transform this country into a Third World hellhole. Lawyers for La Raza and lawyers for the government both believe it is their mission to humiliate and destroy white Christian America. (Actually, this country is "biracial Christian America," plus a few Amerindians and anyone else who assimilated to Western European culture.)

There are multitudes of them, and they will never, ever stop.

Congress could pass a law granting amnesty to any 7-foot-tall, left-handed, red-headed illegal aliens from Lichtenstein -- and hundreds of left-wing outfits would instantly set to work, demanding amnesty for witch doctors, cannibals, pederasts, terrorists and the rest of the multicultural universe that makes America so vibrant.

On the other side of the application process would be government immigration bureaucrats who either used to work at La Raza, or hope to in the future.

On the off chance that some particularly risible amnesty application is denied by a stodgy rules-follower in our immigration bureaucracy, that denial will be litigated before a federal judge in Hawaii, then appealed to the Ninth Circuit.

For two decades after the 1986 amnesty, the federal courts were tied up with dozens of class-action lawsuits brought on behalf of illegal aliens -- regular illegal aliens, farm worker illegal aliens and still-in-Mexico illegal aliens -- challenging every aspect of the law.

Is that how American tax dollars should be spent? On endless litigation, brought by America-hating activists on behalf of people who have no right to be in our country
and decided by Democrat-appointed judges? (Who are also America-hating activists.)

And when their work is done, there will be a lot more Democrat-appointed judges because there will be a lot more Democrats.

Lawyers sued over everything -- the absence of Creole interpreters, the requirement that illegals have proof of prior farm work and the rare denials of amnesty. Congress desperately tried passing laws that would prevent courts from hearing these cases -- all to no avail. Left-wing lawyers just had to pick the right judge, and they won.

In 2005 -- nearly 20 years after the 1986 amnesty -- the Ninth Circuit was still granting amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who claimed they had been unfairly denied because they were not in the country for the first amnesty. Seriously.

No matter how the law is written, as long as anyone is eligible for amnesty, everybody's getting amnesty.

President Trump is the last president who will ever have a chance to make the right decision on immigration. After this, it's over. The boat will have sailed.

If he succeeds, all the p@ssy-grabbing and Russia nonsense will burn off like a morning fog. He will be the president who saved the American nation, its character, its sovereignty, its core identity. But if he fails, Donald Trump will go down in history as the man who killed America."
copyright Ann Coulter


Comment: Across the entire US political class, as soon as each is elected, he immediately turns his focus to the needs of non-Americans. This is considered normal. In the case of elected Republicans, they eventually start scolding and lecturing the people who elected them.