A former Republican state chair, writing in USA Today: I Never Expected the Democratic Convention to Inspire Me. But it did. She concludes: “I can’t help but wonder what next week’s Republican convention will look and sound like. How will Donald Trump’s circus of hate and exclusion compare?”
But what you really need to read this weekend — even before the latest n BOREF (below) — is Senator Blumenthal’s op-ed in the Washington Post.
That great newspaper’s “Democracy Dies in Darkness” motto has never been more apt:
. . . America’s elections are under attack.
This week, I reviewed classified materials in the Senate’s Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility and received a similarly classified briefing on malign foreign threats to U.S. elections. I was shocked by what I learned — and appalled that, by swearing Congress to secrecy, the Trump administration is keeping the truth about a grave, looming threat to democracy hidden from the American people. On Friday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a statement that only hints at the threats.
The facts are chilling. I believe the American public needs and deserves to know them. The information should be declassified immediately.
The publicly available facts are terrifying enough. A report released on Wednesday by the State Department outlined in detail attempts by Russian front groups, fake individual online identities and state-funded media to sow disinformation and dissension . . . Russian intelligence operations have perfected the art of laundering distorted and fabricated narratives through media networks, covert hacking, international proxies and others to undermine democracies, attack the United States’ global image and silence criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Though the report was focused on Russia’s global influence campaign, there is no reason to think the United States is immune from its destructive and destabilizing efforts. The sophisticated tactics and techniques described in the report make Moscow’s past interference and nefarious actions look like child’s play.
. . . I understand the utility of a classification system that shields intelligence sources and methods. . . . Used appropriately, classifying certain information is essential to protecting the country.
But overly broad restrictions do the exact opposite. Unnecessary classification politicizes the national security apparatus and, in this case, keeps the American people in the dark about efforts by foreign adversaries to destroy the bedrock of the nation’s democracy: free and fair elections.
The Trump administration’s refusal to share with the American public any information about the Russian threat to the November election is simply unacceptable. Making parts of intelligence reports public is hardly unprecedented. In fact, classified reports frequently include declassified summaries in recognition of the fundamental role transparency plays in a functioning democracy.
. . . The White House has no problem with declassification when it protects the president’s interests. Why not support declassification to help protect America’s democracy?
Instead, by keeping the facts cloaked in secrecy, the Trump administration and its Republican allies on Capitol Hill invite disinformation and give deception a toehold in the American electorate. . . .
Protecting the nation’s democratic values should be a bipartisan imperative. Those of us in Washington should not risk looking back and saying, if only we’d known, we could have done something. We do know. We can do something. It starts with sharing the truth.
A new, bipartisan report from the Senate Intelligence Committee confirms, unambiguously, that the Justice Department had good reason to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. It also indicates that investigators were right to examine potential conspiracy with the Kremlin by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Again, this is a bipartisan report, not a partisan Democratic attack document. It is endorsed by Republican committee chairman (on leave), Richard Burr of North Carolina, by acting Chairman Marco Rubio of Florida, and by all other Republicans on the committee in addition to the committee Democrats.
. . . The report contains 952 pages of evidence and analysis showing that these Russian efforts were a serious intelligence threat. . . .
In sum, repeat after me: The investigation into Russian perfidy was not a hoax. There was no hoax. There was no hoax. Trump fans need to get this through their heads.
. . . the Justice Department would have been derelict not to investigate (even had the controversial “Steele dossier” not existed). . . .
The Justice Department investigation, later conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller, produced dozens of indictments and (so far) 10 convictions. As the new Senate report makes clear, the Russian activities were highly nefarious. They needed to be unearthed and punished, and the information obtained from the investigation should be used to guard against Russian and other foreign electoral mischief in the future. . . .
“The Russia thing” was not a hoax, conclude the Republican senators. Including Tom Cotton!
And I would suggest that the “climate thing” is not a hoax.
And the “virus” is not a hoax.
Trump is a hoax.
The now-Republican-embraced Q-Anon is a hoax . . . as Bill Maher explains. You need to watch.
So make your plan to vote! This NBC News website has state-by-state info on vote by mail and in-person voting.
And what comes after we win?
Andrew R.: “A clear, in depth examination of the militia/Boogaloo movement that will rise when Trump loses. Don’t dismiss this just because it seems outlandish. It is a reality.”
→ I desperately hope not. But right now I’d say that, with Trump’s help, Putin is winning the Second Cold War.
BONUS (satire, but no hoax):
BOREF was up 40% Wednesday, sort of, on not quite 10,000 shares.
I say “sort of” because with this super-thinly-traded thinly stock, if someone put in an order to sell 10,000 shares, it would collapse. (So when buying or selling BOREF, use “limit orders.”)
You would think the reason it went up was the news, as described here late Monday night complete with a video, that “Test Drive” is set for September 15. A major milestone in this long saga. WheelTug seems to work! And — at least in the company’s estimation — finally to be ready for prime time viewing.
I went on to fantasize in that post about a $2 billion value for BOREF’s stake in WheelTug some years from now (which with 5 million shares outstanding would be $400/share) . . . unless they could net $200,000 per year per plane ($800 a share) from 10,000 planes ($1,600 a share).
Tuesday the stock rose from $4.97 to $5.05 on 1,800 shares — not quite $10,000 worth. I’ve had dental work that cost more than $10,000.
But Wednesday, a few more people hopped on — including me. (Which is insane, because I already have so much of it.) Volume hit 9,805 shares, 1,150 of them mine. My last 40 shares were filled at $7.40 before the stock settled back down to close at $7. (Oddly, the high for the day was shown as $7, but trust me: I paid an extra 40 cents for those 40 shares, and every $16 matters to a child of children of the Depression.)
Thursday and Friday it traded as high as $10, but look: This is not — remotely — your typical stock. It’s a gamble, to be taken only with money we can truly afford to lose.
All I know is that the economics of cutting as much as 20 minutes out of each flight are hugely compelling for airlines (and would be a boon for airports and passengers) . . . so unless and until the stock goes much higher, I plan not to sell a single share. Even knowing full well that something terrible could happen to keep this from ever coming to fruition.
On the off-chance you’ve read this far, have a great rest of the weekend and Monday!
Quote of the Day
I do count my blessings, but then I end up counting those of others who have more and better blessings, and that pisses me off.~Bob Mankoff New Yorker cartoon caption
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