Monday, December 12, 2016

Last Call For Gloves Off

The White House isn't splitting hairs on this CIA Trump/Russia revelations, outright saying that Donald Trump knew full well he was benefiting from Putin's propaganda machine.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said there’s no denying Trump benefitted from Russian hacking of political organizations during the campaign season.

“You didn’t need a security clearance to figure out who benefited from malicious Russian cyber activity,” Earnest said during the daily press briefing.“The president-elect didn’t call it into question," he continued. "He certainly had a pretty good sense of whose side this activity was coming down on.

Earnest rattled off a long list of reported ties between Trump’s team and Russia, suggesting that members of Congress and the public knew of those connections before the election.

The spokesman also threw the White House’s support behind a congressional effort to investigate the claims, which came to light last Friday in a Washington Post report.
President Obama last week directed the intelligence community to compile a report into Russian hacking tied to U.S. elections. Earnest said the results could aid congressional investigators.

He noted that the only information published from the hacks, which reportedly hit Democratic and Republican groups, pertained to Democrats.

“It’s all information that is, as far as I can tell, undisputed,” Earnest said. “One conclusion it does lead me to is the special responsibility that members of Congress have to take a close look at this. Particularly those members of Congress who endorsed Trump in the elections.”He said some Republican lawmakers backing Trump are “wringing their hands about this” effort.

“I think they should spare us the hand-wringing and fulfill their basic responsibility, since the bar has been raised, based on their political choices.”

This is some pretty explosive stuff from the White House here.  They're loaded for bear on this and absolutely signaling a fight here.  So are Senate Democrats led by the outgoing Harry Reid (for now.)

In an exit interview with the Huffington Post, Senate Minority Harry Reid (D-NV) said that he believes that the Trump campaign was "in on" efforts to damage Hillary Clinton's campaign by using WikiLeaks.

Someone in the Trump campaign organization was in on the deal. I have no doubt. Now, whether they told [Trump] or not, I don’t know. I assume they did. But there is no question about that,” Reid told the Huffington Post in an interview. “So there is collusion there, clearly.”

If you were somehow under the impression that the White House was going to soft-pedal this and be polite?  Hell no.  And good for them.  I am definitely hoping some of this evidence gets declassified and given to reporters, the sooner the better.

But It's Just A Theory...A Game Theory

Author and corporate strategist Eric Garland gave an interesting and messy analysis of the current Russia/Trump long game on Twitter on Sunday, and it's been captured on Storify for people to read.

It's worth a read and does have some good content, but I caution you, it's pretty rambling at points and other people have done better jobs for a fraction of the credit Garland is getting for this, and that's a problem.  Still, it's another point of view worth looking at. And yeah, the Russians kicked us when we were down, just like we did to them in 1990.

I Don't Have The Energy Anymore To Care

Trump looks like he's going to name former Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy.  You know, the infamous third department Perry couldn't name in the GOP debates when asked which federal departments he wanted to get rid of.

Donald Trump has narrowed his search for energy secretary to four people, with former Texas Governor Rick Perry the leading candidate.

People familiar with the president-elect’s selection process said two Democratic senators from energy-producing states -- Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia -- are also in the mix, along with Ray Washburne, a Dallas investor and former chairman of the Republican National Committee.

If Trump picks any of the four he’ll break with recent tradition of putting scientists at the top of the Energy Department. Among other things, the agency is responsible for policies on the safe handling of nuclear material and on emerging energy technologies.

Trump met with Perry and Washburne while attending the Army-Navy football game in Baltimore on Saturday. It was at least the second time he’d spoken to the men for potential roles in the new administration. Trump interviewed Heitkamp at Trump Tower in New York on Dec. 2, and is scheduled to meet with Manchin on Monday.

Again, the Obama administration's Department of Energy, under Dr. Ernest Moniz, was vital in coming up with the president's clean energy plan. Under Perry, it will certainly become the Trump's climate change denial arm as America will get back into the natural gas and nuclear plant business. After all, we'll need to award plenty of government power plant projects to Trump's oil, gas, and coal donors, and we'll have to purge those pesky climate change scientists after all.

Meanwhile, Trump's friends in Saudi Arabia and Russia are happily looking at even more oil production cuts to send oil prices up worldwide.  I sure hope you didn't think the Trump era was going to continue with gas prices at $2.00 a gallon, did you?

Who did you think was going to end up paying for those hundreds of billions in oil profits?



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