What if Trump Were Running Against Putin? The Struggle to Sell Clinton as a Democratic Inevitability.

Uncle Volodya says, "And thus I clothe my naked villainy With odd old ends stol'n out of holy writ; And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.”

Uncle Volodya says, “And thus I clothe my naked villainy, with odd old ends stol’n out of holy writ; and seem a saint, when most I play the devil.”

The fortuitous discovery of perhaps thousands of emails exchanged with Hillary Clinton’s private email server, recovered from the computer belonging to sexual cluster bomb Anthony Weiner and his estranged missus – Clinton Chief of Staff and vice-chair of her election campaign Huma Abedin – has once again interrupted the manufactured momentum of Clinton inevitability. First and foremost, it reemphasizes the transient nature of Clinton’s understanding of ‘truth’; she clearly did not turn over to the FBI all emails on the server which were not of a personal nature. Or perhaps it is the concept of ‘personal’ with which she has an imperfect understanding, so that it includes ‘things which might get me in trouble’.

Several sites have attempted to make sense of this election campaign, which is noteworthy as it pits perhaps the two most despised people in America against one another for the increasingly tawdry prize of President of the United States. Let me say that again – the only thing unusual in these times of negative campaigning and character assassination is that a popular candidate has not emerged – it remains to be determined only who is less hated. Anyway, of those sites, the best I have seen can be found at the Archdruid Report (thanks, Cortes); poignantly entitled, “The Last Gasp of the American Dream”, it is at pains to explain – among other things – that the claim this is the most important election in American history is simply a flailing attempt to lend some dignity and appearance of deliberation to a process that has become nine parts entertainment mixed with one part immature graduation kegger. There’s an old military parable which is a cruder analogy of “You can’t put lipstick on a pig”, and it’s, “You can’t buff a turd”.  It is, frankly, impossible to invest the ongoing election process in America with anything like dignity, and it is instead increasingly apparent to uncomfortable Americans and gobsmacked internationals that it is a desperate contest by a serial liar to prevent an interloper from outside the insular American political class from occupying the highest office. The Clinton campaign’s subtext that repudiating Clinton is spitting in the face of women everywhere is a cheap trick – no further demonstrations are necessary to prove women can do anything men can do which does not require superior upper-body strength, and there are a few women who can do even that. Speaking in the broadest and most general terms, there are some fields in which women are a little better than men, and some in which they generally do not perform as well. But there are virtually none women just can’t do, and it should be clear that gender has nothing to do with a natural ability to assume the office of president.

Having led in with that, we’re going to change direction a little. Things here generally have a Russian angle, and this is no exception. We’ve all seen the ludicrous accusations that Russia is backing Donald Trump, and is inveigling to rig the election for him – might even tamper with the votes counted by voting machines which are not connected to the internet, while Moscow feeds Trump a steady stream of hacked emails it steals from honest politicians, which begs the question of how they could be incriminating if that were the case. But that’s not the angle I want to look at, either. Nope – what I’d like to review today is the unremitting demonization and public vilification of Donald Trump, in the framework of America’s political dissections of how autocratic and savage Russia treats its political opposition. So what I’d like you to imagine is that Donald Trump is running against Vladimir Putin, for the presidency of the Russian Federation.

In 2007, onetime chess champion and part-time aggrieved political dreamer Garry Kasparov told the New York Times that the Russian government led by Vladimir Putin had blocked his presidential run by putting the word out that nobody in Moscow was allowed to rent a building to him, so that he and his unregistered political organization could hold a nominating convention, without which he could not register as a candidate. Since those who own such buildings in Moscow take their rental orders directly from the Kremlin, it is impossible to imagine they just don’t like Kasparov and don’t want to rent to him; no,  “It was clear that there had been an order from above to prohibit us from gathering anywhere.” Couldn’t have had anything to do with his holding Bosnian citizenship at the time and living in New York.

What would the New York Times think, I wonder, about an article in Russian activist media which suggested Garry Kasparov was a threat to Russian national security because of a comment he had made about another politician’s dangerous access to classified information, owing to his inability to control his sexual appetites? An article which went on to say that since Garry Kasparov had had a number of affairs and bragged about them, he was in effect admitting that he himself was a national security risk? That’s the article RedState published on Donald Trump. Who was the politician he assessed had dangerous access to privileged information? Anthony Wiener. Was Trump right? You tell me.

In 2014, Russian real-estate lawyer and self-professed anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny was arrested for breaking the conditions of his house arrest by appearing at a demonstration. The Washington Post was openly admiring of his chutzpah. When he was given a suspended sentence with no jail time for a fraud conviction, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke called the Moscow court decisions a “disturbing development designed to punish and deter political activism.” The following year, the daring political activist sawed off his ankle bracelet and announced he would not comply with the conditions of his house arrest, and he was fined the equivalent sum of $10.00 for destroying state property. Barbarism!!

I wonder what those publications would think about an article in the Russian press which announced that Alexei Navalny might be sent to prison for three years because the registration on his private jet had expired three months before. An article that managed to work in the opinion that Alexei Navalny was an odd colour. I suspect they might scream as if they were being microwaved alive.

Look, you get it. The American press demands the coddling of opposition politicians in Russia to the extent that the ruling government must almost help them win, while at home a standard prevails which mocks and reviles the political opposition in everything from ads for underwear which will let women menstruate on a picture of Trump’s face to articles which announce the dropping of a rape lawsuit against him as if it were affirmation of his guilt.

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. If national pride is ever justifiable or excusable it is when it springs, not from power or riches, grandeur or glory, but from conviction of national innocence, information, and benevolence. Officeholders are the agents of the people, not their masters.” Once the possibility of holding influential public office in the United States of America uplifted, inspired. Now, as the character of Colonel Nathan Jessup spits in “A Few Good Men”, politics is a punchline.

That might not be so hard to understand if America did not have such lofty democratic demands of its enemies.

 

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1,649 Responses to What if Trump Were Running Against Putin? The Struggle to Sell Clinton as a Democratic Inevitability.

  1. et Al says:

    The Stack via Antiwar.com: FBI signs Twitter surveillance contract
    https://thestack.com/world/2016/11/15/fbi-signs-twitter-surveillance-contract/

    The FBI has signed a contract with Dataminr, a company that sifts through the Twitter newsfeed to identify issues and trends in real time. Dataminr will provide the bureau with an advanced alerting tool with licenses for over 200 users at the agency that will give the FBI the capability to search the complete Twitter firehose in real time, using customized filters.

    Dataminr also agreed to provide 24-hour support in creating searches and filters, and helping the agency to troubleshoot issues.

    Only an estimated 1 percent of tweets are made available to the public through Twitter’s API. Using Dataminr, the FBI will now have access to all messages written on Twitter,…

    …In May of this year, Twitter blocked Dataminr from entering into a similar agreement with the CIA. Dataminr, which is 5% owned by Twitter, had also accepted investment from In-Q-Tel, the non-profit investment arm of the CIA, and were conducting an unpaid system test for the agency. However, Dataminr ended the contract with the CIA due to a long-standing policy at Twitter barring the government from using the social media platform as a surveillance tool….
    ####

    Hardly news, but worth reminding everyone that what you put out there on the ether is public, whether you mark it private or not.

  2. Moscow Exile says:

    Supreme Court overturned verdict in re Alexey Navalny’s Kirovles case

    Retrial!

    “I’m sick of travelling to Kirov. Nnow I have to go through the whole cycle all over again”, Medusa quoted Navalny.

    According to Navalny, by sending the case for retria .the Supreme Court has not fulfilled the ECHR decision.

    Navalny himself has repeatedly stressed that it is crucial to cancel the sentence in order to give him the opportunity to participate in the next elections including the presidential ones. As matters now stand, according to Russian law he cannot participate in presidential elections until 2033.

    Navalny for president?!

    • marknesop says:

      Wonderful; now the western press gets another free ride on the “Navalny stole a forest” comedy wagon all over again.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        In the Russian blogosphere there are some who say he’s in for a nasty surprise: he’ll be found guilty again, but this time, no Mr.Nice Guy judge — he’ll get sent down for sure.

        Well, it seems it’s what he’s always wanted …

  3. et Al says:

    UPI: Russia withdraws from International Criminal Court
    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2016/11/16/Russia-withdraws-from-International-Criminal-Court/9111479297470/

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree withdrawing Russia from the International Criminal Court, following the recent withdrawals of Gambia, Burundi and South Africa….

    …a day after the ICC released a decision in which it recognized the existence of an international armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, while also classifying Russia’s presence in the Crimean peninsula as a military occupation….
    ####

    It’s just not cricket!* WTF is going on here? First we had the weird South China Sea ruling that also that made one of Taiwan’s islands suddenly a non-island and now we have the ICC making this ruling. Why now? Then again, like at the UN since Ban Ki-Moon is heading out of office where he and various UN agencies seems to have suddenly grown some balls and come out swinging (vis Aleppo etc), there seems to be an explosion of lawfare going on. I would love to read some background to this latest gaffe.

    Why a gaffe? Because Kiev and its sponsors have strained every possible muscle to avoid calling its war on its own citizens a civil war, thus an ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’, so that Kiev would not be in breach of IMF rules. Now the ICC says it is an international conflict. Russia may quit the ICC, but what of those members that remain (UK, Fr, De) who go along with the ATO bollox? Are they to going to ignore the ICC ruling or are they going to accept it. This is a fine mess. It seems that the ICC’s credibility is going down the tubes partly because it has allowed itself to be dragged in to the West vs. Russia politics.

    * International Cricket Council

    • marknesop says:

      This is simply symptomatic of Washington’s determination to drag everything down with it, and I imagine you will find American pressure behind the ICC ruling – it appears to be de rigueur these days to render astonishing verdicts without the requirement to show any evidence substantiating them. It’s hard to imagine Russia has enough regular military forces in Ukraine to prevent the Ukrainian army from victory without there being some evidence of their presence, whilst Kiev proudly admits to the presence in its military ranks of foreign mercenaries. But getting Russia to withdraw from the ICC counts as a victory these days, as in western eyes it suggests Russia is not willing to be bound by the rule of law; a characteristic it obviously shares with backward African republics.

    • cartman says:

      Russia was never a member of the ICC to begin with. An executive’s signature means very little, as proven by the Yukos case. It would give the executive an enormous amount of power.

      I know that the west is moving towards a post-Republic, imperial arrangement. Besides Obamacare, the only accomplishments of Obama came through executive orders. A overpowered center has become the norm.

      • shargash says:

        Exceptionalistan doesn’t like the ICC either. From Wikipedia: “Three signatory states—Israel, Sudan and the United States—have informed the UN Secretary General that they no longer intend to become states parties and, as such, have no legal obligations arising from their former representatives’ signature of the Statute.”

        IIRC, the ICC has only ever prosecuted Africans. All African states should withdraw from it on account of its blatant racism. Actually, everyone should withdraw from it. A court that limits its prosecutions to a subset of criminals has no legitimacy.

        Also interesting (from Wikipedia): “Ukraine, a non-ratifying signatory, has accepted the Court’s jurisdiction for a period starting in 2013.”

  4. Northern Star says:

    http://www.ibtimes.com/will-russia-go-war-ukraine-under-trump-president-elect-hopes-have-better-relations-2446780
    “Last week, Ukrainian politician and former prisoner of war Nadiya Savchenko appealed to Trump to toughen sanctions against Moscow. Savchenko is a former fighter pilot in the Ukrainian ground forces who was captured by a pro-Russian militia in 2014 in eastern Ukraine and handed over to Russia.”I’d like to attract your attention to the problem of international support and protection of territorial integrity of Ukraine inasmuch as the United States of America as a state is ahead of protecting Western-European Values in the world and always gave the support for the Ukrainian people in their aspiration to joint the family of the countries that stick to the democratic values, inviolability of frontiers, law supremacy,” Savchenko wrote in a Facebook post.
    “Ukraine suffers from Russian Federation aggression, it has lost part of its territory, ten thousands of its soldiers, volunteers, civilians have been killed on the battle-field, a great number of Ukrainian hostages are illegally detained in the prisons and are subjected to tortures by the Russian Federation,”,she added.

    Perhaps the Russians erred in releasing this fascist whore as opposed to executing her:

    http://www.pravdareport.com/russia/politics/31-03-2016/134010-nadezhda_savchenko-0/
    “In 2014, Amnesty International condemned the Aidar Batallion for having committed war crimes, including abductions, unlawful detention, ill-treatment, theft, extortion, and possibly executions against the people of the Donbass. These Nazis were also condemned for blockading humanitarian aid to their own people, former citizens of Ukraine, in an effort to starve them to death. Even the members of Poroshenko’s government accused the Aidar Batallion of committing a “rain of terror” on the regions they occupied. Eventually the government disbanded the unit, after elements of the battalion turned like rabid dogs on the Kiev regime itself. The accounts, police reports, news reports, eyewitness testimonies even I have heard, condemn the members of this para-military unit as criminals. They are not heroes, please understand. Nadezhda Savchenko, and her comrades looted and pillaged, acted out the worst manner of crimes against not just the civilians of the Donbass, but the people of the regions outside the contended zone. From Lawlessness in the Kherson area, where people were robbed, kidnapped, or worse, to the Ukrainian TV Channel 17 being silenced, the right wing fascists Poroshenko and his fellow oligarchs have used have one mission. Savchenko’s job, and the job of her battalion fellows, was to help Poroshenko and his American handlers to strike fear into the populace. And this is what they have done all along.” – See more at:
    http://www.pravdareport.com/russia/politics/31-03-2016/134010-nadezhda_savchenko-0/#sthash.wF1sn8eK.dpuf

  5. Today several Finnish media outlets released stories about the great HIV apocalypse in Russia. According to them over 1% of people in St.Petersburg and Leningrad oblast are HIV positive. It is the biggest share outside of third-world countries (maybe Estonia comes close, but Russia-haters will point out that most of Estonia’s HIV positives are ethnic Russians).

    This has had some effect in Finland too, because this year there has been a spike of HIV infections in eastern Finland (Finnish Karelia) and most of those infections are related to Russia (usually Finnish man getting an infection from a Russian woman).

    • Another thing they mentioned that the HIV epidemic in Russia is starting to spread from “lower classes” (junkies etc.) to more “normal people” (people who work, have families and children etc.).

    • Patient Observer says:

      I understand that under US leadership, Afghanistan has massively increased opium production causing a flood of cheap and readily available heroin in Russia and throughout the world

      http://listcrux.co/top-10-countries-known-for-producing-opium/

      Afghanistan’s opium production has always been a threat to global security and since the past decade, it has been more so. Despite 10 years of US-led war on the nation, opium production in Afghanistan reached a stupendous record-high in 2013 and we are yet to see what the next year has to bring. In fact, this year, Afghanistan has produced more opium than rest of the world combined!

      Reminds one of the US led war against ISIS.

      I hope that after helping Syria clean up the terrorists, Russia can return to Afghanistan and put the drug lords out of business. Who knows, perhaps a Trump-led US would help.

      On the local scene, a 16 year old boy who went to the same school as my son died from a heroin overdose. Our community is averaging about one death per week from drug overdoses. Death to drug dealers.

      • kirill says:

        Death to the scum that give these dealers a “roof”. I live in a very nice part of town and it is clear that one of my neighbours is a dealer but he acts as if he has no cares in the world. It is clear that he is not afraid of the cops. You can tell by the way the dealers act that they are not on their own. If some average sap tried to pull something like this they would be behind bars faster than they could blink.

        The drug trade in the USA and Canada is a part of the corruption of the elites. It is a global enterprise and there are way too many officials involved for this to be some sort of simple crime. Organized crime exists in a symbiosis with the government in the real world.

      • Jen says:

        In my part of Sydney where drug dealing is rife among private school kids on train stations most weekdays, the dealers are the kids themselves.

      • Russia could have already destroyed those Afghan opium fields if it wanted to. Russia has the military capabilities for that.

        And, in retrospect, Russia should have never supported the NATO invasion in Afghanistan as it did in 2001. It was a mistake.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          They must have chickened out from doing so.

          And they are always making mistakes!

          They are stupid.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Typical Slavs, really — and Russians are the worst of that sad breed because they are not pure, having suffered miscegenation with slitty-eyed Mongol types, ain’t that right?

            Oh yeah! And don’t forget the Jews amongst them!

            (sarcasm)

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          There are 1 million servicemen in the Finnish military. That’s more than Russia has at the moment. Seeing as your own fine country suffers from that also, karl, why didn’t you, Finns, destroy them instead?

          Or is it because you are afraid? Too cowardly? Or too ineffective? Or are you in bed with the terrorists and opium dealers?

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Thing is, I suspect that the Finns never fully recovered their martial spirit and self-respect following this debacle:

            The Finno-Korean Hyperwar (8245 – 6172 BC), fought between the two most powerful empires of the world, the Ancient Finnish Empire and the Hwan Empire.

            The Finnish Empire (ancestors of the Europeans), and the Hwan (ancestors of the East Asians).

            The war between these two ancient superpowers brought about the collapse of the Hyper Era, and created a 45 thousand year dark age until the revival of civilization in the Near East and the Indus Valley, along with the Xia Empire, an attempt at restoring the Hwanguk Empire.

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “The Finno-Korean Hyperwar (8245 – 6172 BC), fought between the two most powerful empires of the world, the Ancient Finnish Empire and the Hwan Empire.”

              This could not possibly be true! What about Ancient Ukrian Civilization which was the first human civilization in history?

              See? Ancient Ukrian civilization formed 140 000 years ago!

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Yukie propaganda as ever about their fictive state!

              • yalensis says:

                If you look at the website of the Finno-Hwan war, it lists among the combatants and allies:
                500 Imperial Jedi Knights
                20,530 augmented cavalry
                Great Imperial Starfleet
                300 Korean Proto-Ninjas
                Jackie Chan
                2100 Ursine Cavalry
                32,500 Pre-Horse Archers
                Lemurian Fleet
                2500 Swiss Mercenaries
                A Tyrannosaurus Rex

                Clearly, the Ursine Cavalry were proto-Moskals, they would have fought on the side of the Hwan Khans.
                I am thinking that the ancient Ukrians also took part in this war, but on the side of the Finns. They were either the Pre-Horse Archers, or they rode on back of the the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

                P.S. – the website forgot to mention the forces of the Pre-Mammoth Cavalry, led by General Hannibal The Cannibal.

              • marknesop says:

                Whoever does not bounce on his tail is a Moskal.

                • Patient Observer says:

                  I am having trouble accepting the above. The Atlanteans and Lemurians were clearly the the dominant civilizations of the era and properly regarded the Finnish as an uncivilized tribe of self-important buffoons. I can not speak of the Hwan but suspect that they are the famous lost tribe of Lemuria.

              • Jen says:

                Of course all these events took place just before the famous K-T asteroid event some 65 million years ago.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  No, during the Finno-Korean Hyperwar hostilities lasted for over 2,000 years, starting in 8,245 BC and ending in 6,172 BC with thee total defeat of the Finnish Empire.

                  Since that time, it was all downhill for the Finns until Lenin gave them independence in 1917.


                  Galactic Battle Ship piloted by legendary Yukie mercenary Savcheno-Pizda


                  Very likely a Khokhol mercenary.


                  Part of the eventual winning team

        • marknesop says:

          The Taliban virtually eradicated the poppy crop in the space of two years. Then in came the United States (your heroes, because they are so big and important and wealthy and decisive), and presto! Out went the Taliban, and the poppy crop rebounded and recovered.

  6. ucgsblog says:

    Corruption: wearing clothes you own. Nope, I’m not kidding. You see, Ivanka Trump wore a bracelet from a company that she owns. One of the company’s employees, not Ivanka, used the 60 Minute segment to hawk the bracelet: https://www.yahoo.com/style/ivanka-trump-wore-a-10k-bracelet-from-her-own-label-on-60-minutes-and-social-media-is-erupting-174930008.html

    “Ivanka Trump hawking $10,800 bracelet she wore on 60 Minutes. Total lack of class, dignity, sense of appropriateness. God help us.”

    “Ivanka Trump pitching reporters to write about $11k bracelet she wore on 60 Minutes – no conflict of interest here, please look away.”

    “Ivanka Trump’s jewelry company is using her 60 Min appearance to market a $10k bracelet. Let the corruption & conflict of interests begin!”

    Ok, couple of things for that trio of dolts. First, corruption is when you promote a program, like Obamacare, and let the pharmaceutical industry jack up prices. It’s not about wearing products that you own. If Michelle Obama wore products that she owned, would their commentary be any different? Probably. So yes, there is no conflict of interest here, but I might buy that bracelet. Looks good.

    Also, Ivanka was asked to do an interview by 60 minutes. What she did is known as Product Placement Advertising, and is very common in America, otherwise why would James Bond drink beer? Whining about it shows a total lack of class, and a total lack of dignity. It’s one of those times where the comments are much better than the article;

    “She may wear her own designs of jewelry and clothing. But if it were not for the media writing stories about it I would have never known they were from her collection. So really it’s the hypocritical media that is promoting her products–and then blaming her.”

    “Donald Trump’s annual salary as President is $1 … Chelsea Clinton was paid $900,000 per year to run The Clinton Foundation … Dear Media, please report both sides.”

    “Are you people (media) f’in kidding here? You’re going to ridicule someone because they wore jewelry from their own line? It’s apparent that no matter what the Trumps do they can’t win in the media’s eye. And the sad thing is, gullible people buy into it.”

    “Oh you wacky libs. Michelle Obama wears a $9200.00 and she is the most fashion forward person ever to walk the earth But a billionaires daughter wears something classy and it’s the end of the world. I am loving how this Trump win is driving you all more insane than you already are. Give it a rest.”

    “Why is the media attacking a woman? So she likes pretty things. And it wasn’t paid for by the taxpayer.”

    And Ivanka responded beautifully:

    “The beauty of America is that people can do what they like, but I prefer to talk to the millions, tens of millions of American women, who are inspired by the brand and the message that I’ve created,” she said. “My advocacy of women, trying to empower them in all aspects of their life, started long before this presidential campaign did. I’ve never politicized that message. People who are seeking to politicize it because they disagree with the politics of my father — there’s nothing I can do to change that.”

  7. Patient Observer says:

    Was watching ABC and CBS network news broadcasts this evening. Apparently, Trump spoke with Putin, the Japanese President and other world leaders without asking for briefings from the State Department! Seems like Mr Trump wants to make his own assessments.

    I think that he is just now realizing that Washington is a bottomless cesspool. The only people he can trust is family and a few other outsiders. All others are compromised. And I suspect that the psychological games against Trump will start in earnest.

    They may seek his removal before the inauguration. I wonder if Pence would then be President. I don’t know if the Constitution addresses such a scenario. Perhaps the Supreme Court will order a redo on the election; this time Hillary versus, say, Jeb Bush or some other joke.

    • et Al says:

      I do have to wonder if he can pull it off. Having seen Obama having to manage ‘personalities’ such as Klinton at the USDoS (apparently) going in the other direction, maybe trying to control everything is a step too far. What he needs is a consummate insider who is loyal to him (House of Cards) who can manage and if necessary, move out anyone who gets above their station without too much fuss. He will almost certainly have to make a public firing of a top official early on so if he can find such an effective insider and cohesive krew, all the better.

      Another way of doing it is having competing personalities and competences that can be used to cancel out each other, thus depending on direct support from Trump himself. Such a tall order.

      All the media squealing over potential choices only serves to serve business as usual
      , though on the plus side Trump doesn’t listen to the press, so I’d say the psychological games have already long been in play. He’d better swing those balls.

      • Jen says:

        Probably why Trump was asking for security clearance for his son-in-law Jared Kushner to sit with him during meetings – he needs someone he can trust with him to vet contenders for the various cabinet postings.

        • marknesop says:

          It does look as if Trump is going to just do this without following any rules – but really, why should he? It comes back to what I said earlier about Trump owing nobody for his victory except his voters; his own party establishment did all it could to prevent him from winning, and there is no reason any of those people should be able to expect a cabinet appointment now. He probably wants people he knows to help him manage this unwieldy apparatus without having to call on experts in politics who will expect the ability to run things in exchange for their expertise.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Petro Poroshenko also claimed that he spoke with Trump. UkrMedia immediately proclaimed this a glorious peremoga.

      This evening Russian prankers Lexus and Vovan said it was them, and promised to present the record of the conversation by the weekend.

      Ah, good to know that even in our tumultuous time at least some things are unchanged – like “The First Rule of the Ukraine” – every Peremoga becomes a Zrada.

  8. Moscow Exile says:

    November 16, 2016.

    Kirby at his most magnificent!

    • Patient Observer says:

      Yes, I always enjoy his bumbleness.

    • marknesop says:

      “I’m not going to put Russia Today on the same level as you independent media”. Jesus wept. And then he just looks like a fool for gabbling on about state-owned media. Like the Washington Post and the New York Times are independent media.

      • yalensis says:

        Well, RT can’t expect to be treated with the same respect as, say, Al Jihazeera!

        My only criticism of Gayane Chichakyan is that she should have gone mum when Matt Lee was coming to her rescue.
        Ladies: Never interrupt the chivalrous knight when he is trying to defend your honor!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      A State Department official later apologized to Chichakyan and emailed the reporter a detailed statement with the locations of the allegedly bombed hospitals originally sent by “HEALTH CLUSTER TURKEY HUB / Health Cluster partners & NPM.”

      The statement said three hospitals were hit by airstrikes in Atarib, outside Aleppo, while two hospitals and a mobile clinic were hit in the Idlib province, resulting in several reported deaths and injuries and rendering the medical facilities out of service.

      It did not, however, lay blame on any party for the alleged strikes.

      [my stress]

      See: State Dept dismisses question from RT, says won’t treat it like other media

      • marknesop says:

        Uh huh. ‘Health Cluster Turkey’ is comprised of NGO’s, and of a total of 13 reporting, 10 are in Aleppo. There are none in Damascus.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Our Masha Zakharova, who as the representative of the Russian foreign Ministry holds similar conferences with the press, including foreign ones, said that if “something similar happens again”, then in Russian ministry briefings, United States reporters will be allocated a “special place”.

        “I owe you one”, promised Maria at a briefing to American journalists and to pindosi all around the world.

        See: Я скучаю по Дженнифер Псаки

        I miss Jennifer Psaki

        • marknesop says:

          Oh, please, please – assign them a ‘journalist compound’; a chain-link-fenced area on the fringe of the parking lot, in which they have to remain and from which they are free to shout their questions should anyone actually come out of the building.

          I am beginning to develop an enormous crush on Masha; what a woman.

    • et Al says:

      Maybe Steve Carell could be induced to play the lead role in a ‘Mr. Kirby goes to Washington’ biopic?

  9. Moscow Exile says:

    About Ulyukayev: He is 100% a crook, but he won’t get sent down for this.

    According to Navalny, there’s an Ulyukaev offshore account in Cyprus:

    Formally, the offshore business belongs to Ulyukaev’s dad, but if Alexei Ulyukaev is now 60, then his dad is definitely over 80 (14 Dec turns 85! – Ed. H). I seriously doubt that he directs some kind of business and needs a Cyprus company to do that. It was registered offshore on 19 May 2011, that is, when Ulyukaev was the First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank…

    By the way, earlier journalists had found another Ulyukaev offshore business: Ronnieville Ltd in the British Virgin Islands. The company was registered in 2004, shortly after Ulyukaev’s arrival at the Central Bank. The director was his son from his first marriage, Dmitry, who was then… 21. Two years later, there appeared a new director for the offshore company — 23-year-old Yulia Khryapina, an employee at the Gaidar Institute and Ulyukaev’s second wife, who is the same age as his son, and by that time had already borne Alexei Valentinovich [Ulyukaev] a son. What wonderful things were happening in Russia: the offspring and wives of high-ranking officials were almost all talented businessmen, yet somehow the country was impoverished!

    In the Panama Papers it was revealed that Ulyukaeva’s son has a Virgin Islands offshore account founded 21 years ago. Later, Ulyukaeva’s wife became director of the offshore account

    In 2015, he earned 60 million and his wife 15 million . That’s four times more than the salary of the President of the USA” — Navalny.

    Oddly, all the relatives of the speaker (father, son, wife) have an offshore firm. But the speaker certainly could not take a bribe, oh no…” — Navalny.

    See: Алексей Навальный: «Улюкаев на 100% жулик!»

    Aleksei Naval’ny: “Uklyukaev is 100% a crook!”

    My my my, the wailing liberal, kreakl “Yaroslavnas” at Ekho Moskvy, Novaya Gazeta, Kommersant, RBK etc. are certainly not going to feel too pleased with Lyosha!

    I wonder what the BBC Moscow correspondent thinks of all this — that is if she can pull herself from watching the state-run TV channels here?

    • marknesop says:

      Ha, ha!! Great catch!

    • yalensis says:

      Slight correction to the translation: There is subtle nuance there in the first line, it should read:

      “He is 100% a crook, but that’s not the reason why he will be sent down.”

      In other words: They WILL put him in prison, but not because he’s a crook; but for a different reason.

      • marknesop says:

        It’s Navalny trying to have his cake and eat it, too. The accused is a guilty member of fat-catatoria, but his former pals are selling him down the river as part of their stinky political games, because the Putin regime does not care about corruption.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Navalny lists Uklyukaev’s questionable offshore activities and speaks of the former minister’s enormous income as well as that of his wife, stating that the former minister is a crook for sure, but says he won’t be convicted for these reasons but that he will be sent down — yet he doesn’t state what he will be sent down for.

          Oh, I get it!

          He won’t be sent down for his being a crook, of which accusation Navalny is 100% sure, but for political reasons.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            No doubt he will say the same of himself if he is given a custodial sentence at Kirov having been proven guilty in court of law: I have been convicted for political reasons not because I have been found guilty of committing criminal offences.

            And there is always the rider, of course, that proof of guilt under Russian law in Russian courts is always unfounded.

            • yalensis says:

              It’s even more subtle than that. It’s a variation on the argument of:
              “Sure, I stole a cookie, Mom. But Jimmy stole a cookie too, and yet he didn’t get punished. Why are you singling me out?” [for political reasons!]

              You hear this type of argument in traffic court:
              “Your Honor, I admit that I was speeding. But all the other cars were speeding too. Why did the officer single me out amongst all the speeding cars?”

              The assumed answer is, something like: (1) because I’m black, (2) because I’m not black, (3) because I drive a flashy red car, (3) because I was easier to nab, (4) for political reasons — something like that.

  10. Moscow Exile says:

    Only a bird in a gilded cage?

    Ulyukaev is under house arrest and has been electronically tagged

    HRW! WHERE ARE YOU???

    Экс-глава Минэкономразвития Улюкаев будет сидеть в золотой клетке
    Former Minister of Economic Development, Ulyukaev, shall sit in a golden cage

    His “cage” is a 313-square metre (374 sq.yd.) apartment in an “elite” house situated in an “elite” area almost in the countryside and right on the city limits.

    Over the next two months, former economy minister Alexei Ulyukaev will not be able to leave the walls of his apartment in the Moscow elite residential complex “Golden Keys” without the permission of the investigator. Under exceptional circumstance will he only be able apply for emergency medical care. He is not allowed to receive visitors, to use a means of communication — a telephone, the Internet, interviews.


    The Gilded Cage

    Just as Vasileeva had to while away 2.5 years surrounded by her baubles, bangles and beads in her centrally located Moscow hovel — and go shopping and visit the hairdressers’ as well!.

    And then, in May of this year, she got sent down for 5 and came out last August.

    Here are some pictures of a 5-room apartment in the house where Ulyukaev will be tormented:

    For rent: 5-room apartment,.Minskaya Street, Golden Keys-2

    A snip at 210,000 rubles ($3,231) a month!

  11. Moscow Exile says:


    Ulyukaev’s arrest in the eyes of the liberal intelligentsia

    • Moscow Exile says:

      I remember when the director of Gastronom № 1, Moscow, was shot because he had been a thieving bastard and was found guilty of “gross corruption”.

      SOVIET MILLIONAIRE’S PATH TO THE FIRING SQUAD
      By SERGE SCHMEMANN
      Published: November 25, 1983

      MOSCOW, Nov. 24— The former director of Moscow’s best food store, once purveyor of delicacies to the Soviet elite, has been sentenced to death for corruption.

      The unusual announcement from the Soviet press agency Tass of the extreme measure taken against Yuri K. Sokolov, and of long prison terms handed down to four of his associates, was viewed as a strong signal that Yuri V. Andropov, the Soviet leader, intends to pursue his year-old crackdown on corruption in high places.

      Mr. Sokolov had been director of Gastronom No. 1, an ornately decorated store on Gorky Street that is popularly known as Yeliseyevsky’s because it occupies the premises of a celebrated prerevolutionary delicatessen of that name.

      Mr. Sokolov was famed in Moscow as supplier of scarce delicacies to well- placed and well-heeled Muscovites, and his regular customers reportedly included Galina Churbanov, the daughter of the late Leonid I. Brezhnev and wife of Yuri M. Churbanov, a former First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, who has reportedly been demoted to a relatively minor post in Murmansk.

      Arrested After Brezhnev’s Death

      Mr. Sokolov was arrested in November 1982, soon after Mr. Brezhnev’s death and Mr. Andropov’s rise to power. News of the arrest spread rapidly through Moscow, although it was not until April that the arrest was officially confirmed by the Soviet press.

      The arrest was taken as a clear signal that Mr. Andropov was determined to stamp out the official corruption that had become prevalent in Mr. Brezhnev’s last years. The fact that one of Mr. Andropov’s first targets was linked to the Brezhnev family and to many of Moscow’s senior officials was regarded as an indication that high connections would no longer provide protection against prosecution.

      Tass said that the Supreme Court of the Russian republic sentenced Mr. Sokolov to death and confiscated his property for ”systematic involvement in bribe-taking through misuse of his position and the commission of various illegal machinations with food products.”

      Tass said Mr. Sokolov’s deputy, I. V. Nemtsev, and three section chiefs, V. A. Grigoriev, V. F. Yakovlev and H. V. Svezhinsky, were sentenced to long prison terms and confiscation of property.

      Astronauts’ Appeals

      It was said here that the investigation had revealed extensive connections between Mr. Sokolov and the Moscow elite. In the course of the inquiry, groups of astronauts and other high- ranking officials reportedly made statements on Mr. Sokolov’s behalf, but to no avail.

      Mr. Sokolov was described as having led a notoriously lavish life, and his son reputedly studied at Cambridge University in Britain. His value lay in his ability to procure large amounts of delicacies that are normally unavailable to ordinary Muscovites and are rationed even among the elite, such as caviar and smoked sturgeon.

      The action against Mr. Sokolov was only one of several taken against people associated with Mrs. Churbanov and the Brezhnev family in the months before and after Mr. Brezhnev’s death. Her name was linked in January 1982 to the arrest of one ”Boris the Gypsy,” who was said to have been found in possession of a hoard of diamonds, and with the name of Anatoly A. Kolevatov, chief of the national circus directorate, who was accused of taking bribes.

      The death penalty for gross corruption is not infrequently imposed in the Soviet Union, although its application in cases as celebrated as Mr. Sokolov’s is rare. The most prominent official to have been executed for corruption in recent years was Vladimir I. Rytov, a Deputy Minister of Fisheries, who was sentenced to death in the wake of a major corruption scandal in his ministry in 1979 involving the smuggling of caviar to the West.

      The “Mrs. Churbanov” mentioned above was Galina Leonidovna Churbanova, neé Brezhneva, Leonid Brezhnev’s daughter.

      In January 1982, as part of Andropov’s anti-corruption campaign while Leonid Brezhnev was still alive, several prominent jewelry smugglers who all had links with Galina Brezhneva were arrested, with some of them even receiving the death sentence. It was later proven that Galina was smuggling jewelry out of the Soviet Union on such a scale as to threaten the business of De Beers Consolidated Mines, a group of companies concentrated on mining of diamonds. Brezhneva was detained by the authorities, being summoned in one instance to the KGB headquarters for questioning. Being the daughter of Leonid Brezhnev resulted in dismissal of the charges against Galina; she was, however, internally exiled by the Andropov administration. When Mikhail Gorbachev became General Secretary the criminal investigations against Galina and her brother, Yuri, were resumed. Her brother, Yuri Brezhnev, a former First Deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Trade, and her husband, Yuri Churbanov, were both arrested on charges of corruption. However, investigators were never able to produce any solid charges against Galina for her post-1982 criminal activities. In her later life, Galina had become an alcoholic and usually signed statements without reading them properly — Wiki.


      Inside the former Soviet Gastronom № 1, today’s Eliseevsky Store in Moscow.

      Weird but wonderful place!

    • marknesop says:

      Sounds political, according to Michael McFaul.

  12. Moscow Exile says:

    LinkedIn blocked in Russia!

    17 November, 2016

    LinkedIn направлена на блокировку операторам связи

    Network operators directed to block LinkedIn

    On August 4, a claim had been put forward by the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) that LinkedIn was violating the law on the storage of personal data, in that such data was being stored in servers outside of Russia: the law requires that personal data on Russian citizens be stored on servers within Russia

    Today the Tagansky court agreed and issued the blocking order.

    During the course of the day LinkedIn is expected to become inaccessible.

    But I’m not a Russian citizen!

    I want my LinkedIn!!!!

    HRW, where are you?

    🙂

  13. Moscow Exile says:

    Karl, what kind of swinishness is this? Why did they put up a memorial plaque to you and not to me?

  14. Lyttenburgh says:

    BTW, remember Eka Zguladze? One of Georgian varangians in Yatsenyuk’s government, tasked with the reform of the Ukrainian police? Maria Alexandrovna Gessen even wrote an article about her (and she totally has hots for Eka). Well, a couple of weeks ago, just a few days of Saakashvili’s resignation, Zguladze buggered off from the sinking ship Ukraine as well. And now this:

    Paris (where she lives with her hubby), Saint Germain blv, Eka and another former minster Aivars Abromavicus are taking coffee and talking about the fun times. They, both of them, don’t care about visas or their lack in the Ukraine.

    That’s what EuroMaidan stood – and jumped – for!

  15. et Al says:

    NY Daily News: Trump appoints Michael Flynn as national security adviser: report
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/trump-appoints-michael-flynn-national-security-adviser-report-article-1.2876693

    … Like Trump, Flynn sees a military ally in controversial Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he was seated next to at a banquet in Moscow last year. Flynn has also appeared several times on the state-owned TV station, Russia Today, which the U.S. State Department has accused of being a mouthpiece for Putin…
    ####

    I just wonder if there are any responsible and rational persons of influence in Washington who still think that fighting the Islamic State while continually pissing off Russia, China and the rest of the world by sponsoring coups (aka ‘color revolutions’) is a really bright idea? I’m sure there are plenty.

    For a quarter of a century of unrestricted stupidity to do wtf it wants with little or no direct consequence, there are at least two generations of Americans* who know no other way to deal with the world that has completely changed around them. They simply cannot cope with competent and cogent opposition so have to resort to throwing their toys out of the pram when they are reasonably challenged (sic USDoS spox Kirby mentioned by you guys above). Imagine if they tried to do that at home with their families or at the store or the various agencies they have to talk to at one time or another. Their own compatriots will simply tell them to FO. So if they can manage it at home, then they can manage it abroad if they wish.

    The good news is that those who follow the my way or the highway behavior is sabotaging themselves and their own credibility. We see this most clearly with the epic media fail over the reporting of the presidential elections, we see this with US officials mouthing off, and we see this with those who want the Electoral College to not vote Trump in as president. Normal people will just stop listening, just stop relying on mainstream media for news or automatically believe everything the government is saying. This shift has already been happening for quite a while, but I think that recent events will push more people in this direction. The fantasy of US exceptionality isn’t believable any more. You can repeat the fantasy, but there is no evidence to be seen and there will always be a minority who will squeal until the waters close above them.

    * Political, media & thinkstani classes etc.

    • Northern Star says:

      “I just wonder if there are any*** responsible and rational persons*** of influence in Washington who still think that fighting the Islamic State while continually pissing off Russia, China and the rest of the world by sponsoring coups (aka ‘color revolutions’) is a really bright idea?”

      No……

  16. et Al says:

    Washington Examiner: Rep. Rohrabacher, Afghan expert, knows Putin, emerges as State pick
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/rep.-rohrabacher-afghan-expert-knows-putin-emerges-as-state-pick/article/2607504

    With confirmation concerns increasing for President-elect Trump’s top two picks to run the State Department, Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton, top officials are now considering California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a top House foreign policy expert, according to sources…
    ####

    It would be too good to be true.

  17. PaulR says:

    Latest hyperbole from the Atlantic Council, ‘The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses’: https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2016/11/17/the-enemy-within/

  18. Patient Observer says:

    Don’t leave home without it.

    Two stories below; the Mir card gaining real traction and a failed cyber attack on Russia’s major banks.

    https://sputniknews.com/russia/201611171047541144-mir-may-replace-visa-mastercard-in-russia/

    Sberbank first joined Russia’s new national payment system in December 2015. Russia was forced to create the system in 2014, after Russian banks facing US and European sanctions began experiencing concerns and problems with Visa and MasterCard, including the threat that Russia may be cut off from the SWIFT system of payments.

    16 million Mir payment cards are expected to be issued before the year is out, with up to 45 million more issued in the coming year. According to Expert, “such widespread use of the Mir card will deal a serious blow to Visa and MasterCard’s business in Russia. However, this will necessitate increasing the network of banks and ATMs that Mir can be used at. In any case, Mir makes the Russian economy stronger and more resilient against external attacks.”

    Target Five Large Russian Banks Last week, five of Russia’s largest banks, including Sberbank, were targeted by moderate-to-heavy intensity cyberattacks. Sberbank confirmed that it had thwarted a powerful DDoS attack on its servers. The attacks were successfully repulsed. Global media commenting on the attacks could not help but connect the cyberattacks to US Vice President Joe Biden’s public warning that Washington would ‘retaliate’ in response to unproven allegations that Russia was involved in the campaign to hack the Democratic National Committee this past summer.

    I would tend to agree that the cyber attacks were orchestrated by US elements to “warn” Russia to stop doing something that they never did. In other words, a failed attempt at cyber bullying.

  19. yalensis says:

    Everybody:
    I posted this today, it’s Lyttenburgh’s new opus on Modern Russian Culture.
    Every member of the “Thinking Class” needs to read this!

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      I’d like to thank yalensis for both encouraging me to basically re-write, edit, and expand what I’ve written previously on the topic and also I’d like to thank him for giving me a platform to launch my aptily named “crie de coeur”*.

      Disclaimer – it is NOT just a repetition of my earlier two comments long wall-of-text rant, but a real article, with even more links, pics (curtesy of yalensis) and epigraph or two.

      So, if you want to expose yourself to the modern Russian Culture (and it’s behind the scenes side) – welcome and have a nice time reading it!


      _______________
      * Use of French gives you bonus points when trying to pass for a cultured person.

  20. Moscow Exile says:

    Obama 16:58 at press conference in Germany:

    Russia is an important country. It is a military superpower. It has influence in the region and it has influence around the world. In order for us to solve many big problems… it is in our interest to work with Russia… we should all hope for a Russia that’s successful…

    Short memory?

    See: Arse-Wipe Grauniad

    • et Al says:

      Obama was much happier with unicorns, fairies, goblins, wizards and witches, well that is at least what he sold and was dutifully reproduced by the media & the America forever crowd.

      The world has always been run by Realpolitik ffs.That is why the West has been repeated kicking Russia in the balls for 25 years & kissing Chinese ass. Russia weak, China strong. You adapt your policy to realities. If you don’t, you get kicked in the balls. Only deluded f/kwits think otherwise, the same f/kwits who are careful about criticizing the West’s partners in terror based in the Gulf states and elsewhere.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        That Fox News stuff above is way out of date!

        I thought it was reporting what Obama has been saying in Germany.

        It’s not! It’s just over a year old!

      • marknesop says:

        There certainly were some surprises in there. I was unaware, for example, that there were once 280 million Russians. And that Angela Merkel knows what men want. I mean, with her apparently being a man herself, and all. What was all that “Chancellor Of The Free World” bullshit, if not Angela Merkel having to prove that she is a man?

    • Northern Star says:

      Beat me to it!!!!!!

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      RuNet is joking now that “Obama began with Russia-as-a-gas-station, and ended up with Russia-as-SuperPower”.

  21. Northern Star says:

    “But Obama said his hope is that Trump is “willing to stand up to Russia where they are deviating from our values and international norms.”
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/17/politics/obama-europe-germany-angela-merkel/index.html

    And THAT ladies and gentlemen is-in a nutshell- at the core of the current geopolitical problem (crisis).
    Exactly who the fuck is this bitch-Obama- to dictate to Russia or for that matter anywhere else on the planet what values and norms they should entertain….same wrt any other delusional arrogant american motherfucker as POTUS
    What a GD clueless empty suit clown…..Please just STFU until 1-20-17

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Is he implying that “our values” correspond to “international norms”?

      • Northern Star says:

        He is insisting that “Murica is THE ‘Decider’ of what constitutes appropriate international norms and/or values..any deviation from the thus proclaimed “Murican standards will ipso facto be casus belli….in order to bring about the proper alignment with “Murican norm and values.

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, hopefully Trump will put his foot down and make Russia adopt policies that allow people to use whatever washroom they want to, depending on what gender they feel that day, the way western values dictate. Less military parades and more gay pride parades, please, Mr. Putin. Learn some western values, why not?

  22. Northern Star says:

    Recently some Stooges were yakking about national Healthcare setups elsewhere-as opposed to the American boondoggle sewer of corruption….Well it looks as if the UK having taken monumental steps forward with the decades old NHS is now furiously backsliding into privatisation
    of healthcare delivery:
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/11/17/priv-n17.html

    • Northern Star says:

      @ucgsblog:
      http://paulryan.house.gov/issues/issue/?IssueID=9969

      Any thoughts on Ryan’s (Healthcare) Hope???

      • ucgsblog says:

        At this point the Republicans are going to dismantle the healthcare insurance industry, After that, they will force capitalism on the health industry, which would be ironically better than what we have today for the majority of Americans. However, it will suck for the poor and those with pre-existing conditions.

        The plan also takes a swing at pharmaceutical companies, by rewarding doctors for not over prescribing medication. I’m not happy that it jettisons those with pre-existing conditions and the poor, but considering the state of US Healthcare, it’s probably one of the better plans available.

  23. Northern Star says:

    ein klein alptraummusik:
    Some of the Stooge TrumpTroopers ought read this…..she seriously speaks truths some of you would rather not hear
    e.g.:
    “Even Bernie Sanders couldn’t rush fast enough to get on the Trump side of the line, declaring himself a member of the white working class (his and his wife’s three homes and high six-figure income aside) and cautioning Democrats—who belong to a party of which he is still not a member—to start focusing on these voters too. Sanders ran a campaign that echoed Trump’s in many ways; appealing to a majority white, populist audience that hated Hillary Clinton more than it disdained Republicans. A majority of Black Americans were unimpressed, which is why he didn’t become the nominee, and they should be unsurprised that he is dropping them faster than he and his supporters wrote off “the South” as insignificant during the primary campaign.”

    Why am I not surprised???…an arrogant loudmouth jew limosine (SUV) liberal…who is just as racist as Killary at heart..just as I suspected

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/17/president-elect-donald-trump-gets-to-work-betraying-his-backers.html

    • shargash says:

      Yawn. Lots of unsourced speculation. The author also seems to accept the canard that Trump won because of racism. I liked this better: http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/11/16/you-are-still-crying-wolf/.

      “Trump made gains among blacks. He made gains among Latinos. He made gains among Asians. The only major racial group where he didn’t get a gain of greater than 5% was white people.”

      Trump won because Hillary was a horrible candidate who ran a horrible campaign. Enough of the traditional Democratic voters either stayed home or switched sides to give Trump the win. They Ds have no one to blame but themselves, but they seem to be working themselves into a frenzy to try to blame someone, anyone, else.

      BTW, I am NOT a Trump supporter.

      • Jen says:

        Ahhh, I was gonna post this link too. Thanks for that!

        I originally found it over at Bernhard H’s Moon of Alabama blog.

        As for this:
        “… They Ds have no one to blame but themselves, but they seem to be working themselves into a frenzy to try to blame someone, anyone, else …”

        – you’re not far wrong: Killer K went pyrotechnical on her campaign people and James Comey when she realised she had lost:
        https://thehornnews.com/hillarys-secret-election-night-meltdown/

    • marknesop says:

      I certainly didn’t love Bernie Sanders – I said he was the least horrible of three and was the least likely to start a war. And left out of that narrative is the damage the Democrats did to his campaign, deliberately, in order to ensure Hillary was the nominee. I think Sanders might have beaten Trump, although it is irrelevant to m e who the American president is so long as it is not Clinton.

      Every single one of the candidates – including those who never got past the first weeks of jousting- would have written policies which favour the one percent. Does the author imagine Clinton is a populist? And I defy the author of that piece to show me one policy Trump has so far enunciated which constitutes ‘bucking up men’.

  24. Moscow Exile says:

    A classic case of kreakl psychotic disorder:

    This is not Russia rising off her knees, but the USSR climbing out of its coffin.

  25. Northern Star says:

    @ Yalensis
    “Imitating a Jewish accent, Mrs Zakharova said Jewish people had told her: “‘Marochka, understand this – we’ll donate to Clinton, of course. But we’ll give the Republicans twice that amount.’ Enough said! That settled it for me – the picture was clear.”
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38018439

    Ummm..exactly how does one do a “jewish accent” whilst speaking Russian??
    Is there a universally detectable yiddish inflection???

    LOfreakin’L !!!!!

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “Ummm..exactly how does one do a “jewish accent” whilst speaking Russian??
      Is there a universally detectable yiddish inflection???”

      Yup, there is one. It’s hard to explain to the people, who don’t speak Russian. In short – it has a particular word order (more reflecting the one of the English or the German, cause Yiddish of Ashkenazis), adds some interjections like “таки”, burring (non-pronounciation of the “r” sound), a particular way of accentuated pronuanciation of some words (“что” (what) becomes “чьто”, “вы” (plr. “you”) becomes “ви”)

      “The diplomat’s remarks caused shock. Anti-US propagandists in the last century peddled an idea that rich New York Jews controlled US politics.”

      Only among the ignorant. I won’t link this article, but A. Karlin had on his unz blog a post titled “Sovok Jews 4 Trump”. Virtually all of Brighton Beach was “Red”. Because it’s easy and oversimplifying to lump all people of vaguely same category into one heap, and the recent elections should have served as a wake up call for the dumb sociologists and analytics.

      What is “white” anyway? There is pretty little on what a hillbilly from the eastern Kentucky and a “progressive” Mid-Western college graduate can agree upon – yet they are both lumped into the “White” demographics. The Jews are also lumped into these heap, because doing otherwise would be a racism, anti-Semitism and micro-aggression. Yet they are differen from other “whites”, and even within them there are huge difference, like between the long established populations who can trace back their origins to late 19 – early 20 cc, and more recent arrivals from the USSR and former USSR countries.

      Really, what a hypocrisy, I say! The so-called “progressives” came up with, what, 100+ sexual orientation/gender identies and their combinations, but can’t come up with more real identities of the bigger groups of the US population, to study them and their issues? That would be more useful.

  26. ucgsblog says:

    Russia’s next target: Latvia! Let’s see what a clueless “brainiac” has to say: http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/11/16/how-world-war-iii-could-begin-in-latvia/amp/

    “Four years ago, I predicted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Here’s my next prediction, which by now will strike many people as obvious: The Baltics are next, and will pose one of President-elect Donald Trump’s first and greatest tests. It probably won’t take the form of an overt invasion.”

    Russia’s invading Latvia by not invading Latvia. So far we have the amazing clarity from “experts” that we’re used to. How shall Russia invade Latvia by not invading?

    “Russian President Vladimir Putin has a clear goal and a grand strategy. But it’s not the most realists perceive. Some argue that he is driven by fundamentally rational, defensive goals: NATO expansion appeared threatening and Russia is pushing back. The West expanded its sphere of influence at Russia’s expense, and Russia is now retaliating. That’s why the “Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault,” according to John Mearsheimer. As with most academic realist analysis, this is nonsense. Putin is not driven by cold calculations of rational self-interest, because no human is. We are not Vulcans. We are driven by our perception of self-interest as shaped and defined by our deeper presuppositions and beliefs — which is to say, our ideology or religion.”

    Putin is not T’Pol. No humans are driven by rational self-interest, states Paul Miller, probably not realizing that he’s commenting on his own lack of rationality. Perhaps the real reason that Dubya invaded Iraq, is because Saddam said his dick was too small. Miller’s on the case!

    “Putin believes hegemony over Russia’s near-abroad is necessary for Russian security because of his beliefs about Russian nationhood and historical destiny. Putin (and, perhaps more so, his inner circle) isn’t merely nationalist. The Kremlin appears to be driven by peculiar form of Russian nationalism infused with religion, destiny, and messianism. In this narrative, Russia is the guardian of Orthodox Christianity and has a mission to protect and expand the faith.”

    This is known as recycling. While “experts” probably do not recycle in real life, they probably recycle old arguments. Let me just tweak that a bit: “Ayatollah believes hegemony over the Middle East is necessary for Iran’s security because of his beliefs about Iran’s nationhood and historical destiny. Ayatollah (and, perhaps more so, his inner circle) isn’t merely nationalist. They appear to be driven by peculiar form of Islamic nationalism infused with religion, destiny, and messianism. In this narrative, Iran is the guardian of Islam and has a mission to protect and expand the faith.” Remember guys, recycle! The article continues, so please, someone, cue the laugh track!

    “A truly rational Russia would not see NATO and European Union expansion as a threat, because the liberal order is open and inclusive and would actually augment Russia’s security and prosperity. But, for Putin and other Russians who see the world through the lens of Russian religious nationalism, the West is inherently a threat because of its degeneracy and globalism. In this view, NATO is not the benign guarantor of liberal order in Europe, but the hostile agent of the degenerate West and the primary obstacle to Russian greatness. Thus, Putin’s grand strategy requires breaking NATO. Specifically, he must make the Article V mutual security guarantee meaningless.”

    I love it when the “experts” provide actual examples to back up their bullshit, since I can tear those apart with relative ease. If Putin wanted to make Article V meaningless, he would push for Georgia to enter NATO, hold provocations in South Ossetia, and blast Georgia’s military to smithereens when Saakashvili decided to end it. But did he? Nope. He bitterly opposed Georgia’s NATO entry, issued a statement on August 5th to end the provocations, did not capture Tbilisi, and promoted a prisoner exchange, while letting the EU negotiate a peace treaty.

    “Putin has already succeeded in eroding NATO’s credibility. His last two targets, Georgia and Ukraine, were not NATO members, but in 2008 had been explicitly and publicly assured that they would be granted Membership Action Plans, the roadmap to membership. Russia clearly and publicly opposed any steps towards NATO membership for both countries — and then proceeded to invade them. Russia’s invasions of Georgia and Ukraine created disputed territories — South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Crimea — occupied by Russian soldiers. No country will ever join NATO while being partly occupied by Russia.”

    Wait, what? Russia’s invasion of Georgia created Abkhazia? Wow, I mean I get that it’s geared towards an ignorant audience, but an audience THAT ignorant? What the actual fuck? Laugh track is not going to be enough. Get me a captain, a Captain Morgan! Here’s a brief History of Abkhazia, Georgia, and Russia. The Russian Empire annexed Georgia in 1801, and Abkhazia in 1822 according to Nicolas Raisanovsky’s, A History of Russia. He taught at Berkeley.

    A map of Imperial Russia in 1917, lists Georgian and Abkhaz Administrations separately, as the Tiflis and Sukhum Governates: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c4/Zapadnye_gubernii_Rossii_1917.png

    During the Russian Civil War, Abkhazia temporarily joined the Transcausian Democratic Republic, as an autonomous region. When the reincorporation into the USSR happened, Abkhazia was denied the right to be an independent SSR, and entered the USSR as the Abkhaz ASSR. When the USSR started to fall apart, the SSRs declared independence from the USSR, but they denied the same privilege to the ASSRs within the SSRs. In the Caucasus, that led to warfare, and the ASSRs becoming de facto independent. That was in the early 1990s. So by the time that Putin came to power, Abkhazia and Georgia had a History of almost two centuries as autonomous of one another. Putin did not create it. But Paul Miller boldly disagrees with these actual facts: “Russia’s invasions of Georgia and Ukraine created disputed territories — South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Crimea — occupied by Russian soldiers.” The article continues:

    “Putin now has the most favorable international environment since the end of the Cold War to continue Russian expansion. European unity is fractured. Alliance members are questioning the value of the mutual security pact. And the next American president seems openly favorable to Russia and ready to excuse Russia’s irresponsible behavior. Putin’s next step is more dangerous than the previous ones, because he is likely to move into the Baltics, which are NATO members. He will not send large formations of uniformed Russian soldiers over the international border — even the most cautious NATO members will not ignore an overt conventional invasion.

    Instead, Putin will instigate an ambiguous militarized crisis using deniable proxies, probably in the next two years. Perhaps Russian-speaking Latvians or Estonians (a quarter of Latvians and Estonians are ethnically Russian) will begin rioting, protesting for their rights, claiming to be persecuted, asking for “international protection.” A suspiciously well armed and well trained “Popular Front for the Liberation of the Russian Baltics” will appear. A few high-profile assassinations and bombings bring the Baltics to the edge of civil war. A low-grade insurgency may emerge.”

    Hmm, looks like someone is recycling again. Let me just make a few changes: “A country that seeks to spread something will instigate an ambiguous militarized crisis using deniable proxies, probably roughly around 2014. Perhaps some nationalists will begin rioting in the capital, protesting for their rights, claiming to be persecuted, asking for “international recognition.” A suspiciously well armed and well trained nationalist battalions will appear. A vexing sniper shootout with government forces will bring an unknown country to the edge of civil war. A low-grade insurgency may emerge.” I don’t know why, but that sounds awfully familiar. Not sure why though. Anyone know?

    “Russia will block all United Nations Security Council resolutions, but will offer its unilateral services as a peacekeeper. The North Atlantic Council will meet. Poland will lead the effort to invoke Article V, declare the Baltics under Russian attack, and rally collective defense against Russian aggression. The Germans and French will fiercely resist. Everyone will look to the United States to see which way the alliance leader tilts.

    If the Alliance does not invoke Article V, NATO’s mutual security guarantee becomes functionally meaningless. No alliance member will put any faith in the treaty to guarantee it’s own defense against Russia in the future. The geopolitical clock will rewind to 1939. Some Eastern European states may choose to bandwagon with Russia. Others, starting with Poland, will begin arming to the teeth. Putin’s dream of a fractured West and an open field in Europe will be realized. But if the Alliance does invoke Article V, it will be tantamount to a declaration of war by the West against Russia. And that’s when Trump will have to decide if the defense of Latvia is worth risking World War III.”

    Russia will offer its unilateral services as peacekeeper… riiight. So in addition to recycling and lacking knowledge of Caucasian History, the author seems to fail to grasp how peacekeepers work.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Latvia… Latvia… Oh dear-dear me… A bit of politically incorrect facts about Latvia:

      Transl: “Latvian President: We have no own economy left”. The country virtually lacks its own economy. We are totally dependant on the EU. This opinion vocied the president of Latvia Raymond Veyonis

      Next, politically incorrect question – about indominatble Latvian militray, proud descendatns of the SS divisions of the moderate Nazis. Pray, tell me – how many tanks do they have? Planes? Artillery pieces? I’m not asking about a warfleet – I’m cruel, heartless, but even this would be too low for me (yes, even Lyt has standards).

    • Moscow Exile says:

      A kreakl with whom I now have the misfortune to work recently told me that NATO had expanded eastwards for one reason only: Russian nuclear capability and the fact that Putin is president.

      He firmly believes that Russia would, at the first opportunity, invade the Baltics as it has already done so with the Ukraine.

      And the fact that Putin would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons in order to “regain former Soviet republics” all for the greater glory of a reborn Soviet Union under his leadership, has been made abundantly clear by the Evil One when he stated publicly that if it had been necessary, he would have used nuclear weapons when annexing the Crimea.

      The very fact, as I pointed out to him, that NATO eastern expansion began long before Putin first became president in 2000 made not one whit of difference to his argument.

      Oh, and he always refers to the government here as “mafia”.

      He is a very unhappy man and thinks his motherland is a shithole. He pours forth his miseries to me because he believes that I, as a Westerner, all the more so in view of the fact that I am an Englishman, must be in full agreement with his opinion as outlined above.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Trump election: Baltic warning over Russian move on Nato

        Lithuania has warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin may test Nato in the weeks before Donald Trump becomes US president.
        Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said he was “very afraid” for the Baltics, as well as the Syrian city of Aleppo.

        Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told the BBC simply: “Russia is not a superpower, it’s a super problem”.

        Russia insists it is not a threat, arguing that Nato is responsible for stoking regional tensions by expanding eastwards and moving its military hardware towards Russian borders

        Mr Linkevicius said there was a danger that Mr Putin would see the period between now and the inauguration of Donald Trump in January as an opportunity to test the military preparedness and diplomatic determination of the Western alliance.

        • marknesop says:

          In his dreams. He probably hopes some incident will transpire which can be spun as Russia making a lunge for the Baltics, so that Bammy will ride to the rescue in the sunset of his presidency, and touch off the big war so many seem to be craving.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I keep stumm (mostly) because he pays me.

        I hate being such a whore, but I have to feed my family.

        I must be one of those legendary whores that has a heart of gold!

    • marknesop says:

      Everyone knows the Baltics are a must-have for Putin. Because they’re so progressive and prosperous and…and free. Well, that and Putin wants to prove to the world that NATO will not go to war over the Baltics. And once that domino has fallen, why, he’ll just gobble up country after country until the world is Russia and a tiny United States. You know, where the free people live.

      I played a little game by reading your comment first, before even reading the source article, to see if I could guess the author. I guessed Mark Galeotti.

  27. Lyttenburgh says:

    Provocation of KGB/FSB!

    First of all – turns out Ed Lucas’ personal pleasure object (aka “The Economist”) has no idea, who are the Chinese. Second – the depiction of MLP is uncanonical! I protest! We, human masses, demand more canonical depiction of Marine Le Pen!

  28. et Al says:

    euractiv: EU approves Ukraine visa-free travel
    http://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/eu-approves-ukraine-visa-free-travel/

    …A statement said the 28 EU member states had agreed visa-free travel for EU and Ukraine citizens for stays of not more than 90 days in any 180-day period as all requirements had been met…

    …The proposal now goes to the European Parliament for approval…
    ####

    I don’t see the EP voting against this. Anything that brings down the cost of employing cleaners and childminders in Brussels, even illegally, is only a bonus for MEPs.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      You forgot to mention the cost of whores in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg!

      Atrocious prices they charge!

      Bit of fair competition from Banderastan will be good for trade.

      • et Al says:

        Neuters
        http://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-eu-ukraine-idUSKBN13C1SG
        …Implementation, however, will take time as further negotiations are needed between the EU states, the European Parliament and the bloc’s executive European Commission.

        The decision on Thursday also says visa liberalization for Ukraine should not take effect until after the bloc – wary of a repeat of last year’s refugee influx – rolls out a beefed-up mechanism to lift any visa waivers in case of emergency…
        ####

        ME, I’m not sure there would be much difference as prostitution is already controlled by Balkan organized crime groups not to mention the traffiking of humans, so there are already plenty of Ukrainian ladies working in those places already with no paper. Freelancing or price undercutting would not be tolerated.

    • marknesop says:

      Yet it will be hailed by the Poroshenko Bloc as the political victory of the century, what the Maidan was all about, and Ukrainians will gather together their possessions in anticipation of moving to the EU to become assistant bank managers and mid-level executives. Hope springs eternal.

  29. et Al says:

    The Conservative American via Antiwar.com: Repairing the U.S.-Russia Relationship
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/repairing-the-u-s-russia-relationship/

    By Daniel Larison

    I was part of the second panel at TAC‘s foreign policy conference yesterday on U.S.-Russian relations. Here are the remarks I gave:

    U.S.-Russian relations are worse than they have been at any point since the end of the Cold War, and both governments have defined their interests in Syria and Ukraine in such a way that it is difficult to see how they will improve in the near future unless one of them changes its positions. We can’t control how Moscow interprets its interests in these places, but we can reassess and modify how we think about ours.

    Great powers always have some competing and conflicting interests, and so the task of wise political leaders is to distinguish between disputes over what are ultimately tangential interests and those that genuinely touch on matters of vital importance and then to find ways to manage disputes over the latter without stumbling into armed conflict. …
    ####

    More at the link. There was also on interesting comment to the article:

    VikingLS says:
    November 17, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    “Not exactly sure that the Baltic States would be terribly reassured by a more relaxed US attitude toward Russia.”

    I lived in the Baltics for a while, I like it there, but to be blunt, so what?

    Even when I was there, which was prior to their entry into the EU and NATO, but after the ascension of Putin, the Estonians put their museum about the deportations directly across from the Russian Embassy and hung a banner across the street with a hammer and sickle with “No people, no problem” written in Estonian. That’s not the action of a people who are afraid.

    Honestly, given that the Baltic states also benefit from being a jumping off point for people who want to do business in Russia, but not be in Russia, they’d be better off if the situation deescalated.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      They’re better off dying out, and they’re too thick to do anything else.

      • yalensis says:

        From a Comparative Linguist POV, it will be a shame really to see those 2 ancient Indo-Aryan languages (Lith and Latv) die out. But without Communist curation, those languages are doomed, unfortunately.
        Oh well, at least they have been properly written down, again mostly thanks to the Communists, before all people stop speaking and writing them.

  30. et Al says:

    ABC News via Antiwar.com: Europe’s Top Cop Fears Blowback From ISIS ‘Squeeze’
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/europes-top-cop-fears-blowback-isis-squeeze/story?id=43613157

    … Europol Director Rob Wainwright welcomed the progress made by the U.S.-led coalition against the terror group and predicted its eventual downfall, but told ABC News that Western European nations are challenged with the task of tracking returning foreign fighters and neutralizing any threat they may present.

    Trained Abroad, Attacking at Home

    “What we are particularly concerned about in the European security environment is the extent to which that [coalition military campaign] might squeeze the terrorist fighters that have flocked there in the last couple of years to come home — to come home and carry out the kind of atrocities that we have already seen in Paris and Brussels and other locations,” Wainwright said. …

    … Several European countries from NATO, such as France and the United Kingdom, are part of the coalition pounding ISIS from the air, assisting in training moderate Syrian rebels or providing aid and shelter to war refugees.

    Concerned about the threat posed by returning fighters, a major priority for intelligence agencies has been to identify all foreign fighters who’ve traveled to join the so-called “caliphate” declared in 2014 by the terror group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. ..
    ####

    No surprise of yet another piece of journalism that refuses to join the dots that the ‘moderate Syrian rebels’ who the West has been training are also part of terrorist groups that have been targeting Europe, say like former Tadjik special forces colonel trained by the US Gulmurod Khalimov:

    http://thefreethoughtproject.com/isis-military-commander-blackwater/

    …Former Tajikistan Special Forces colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, defected to the ranks of ISIS last year and publicly declared jihad against the West. After being trained in the United States by private military contractor Blackwater, Khalimov has reportedly been promoted from within the Islamic State organization and has been named the new chief military commander for the global terror group….

    …The new Islamic State battlefield commander is certainly no stranger to U.S. military and intelligence officials. Former Tajik Special Forces colonel Gulmurod Khalimov reportedly received special counterterrorism training through the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security/Anti-Terrorism Assistance program and received training in Baton Rouge, Louisiana prior to his joining the Islamic State.

    Khalimov also received training from elite instructors in Russia in addition to his training in the United States, an unnamed U.S. official told the Washington Post…

  31. yalensis says:

    Everbody please to indulge in continuation of Lyttenburgh’s polished rant . This section goes into the history of the European, Soviet and kreakle intelligentsia.

  32. et Al says:

    In bad news, the Unites States has cleared the sale of 72 F-15QA’s to state sponsors of terrorism and the ISIS/ISIL/DEASH/Whatever, Qatar!

    http://alert5.com/2016/11/18/qatar-cleared-to-buy-72-f-15qas/

    In good news, the eeevil Russians have used the ‘new’ Tu 95MSM in combat for the first time in Syria using the Kh-101 cruise missile:

    http://alert5.com/2016/11/18/tu-95msm-just-made-its-combat-debut/

    In ‘whatever’ news, Kuwait has also been cleared to buy F/A-18E & F’s. I wonder if the KuAF has improved its atrocious performance since Desert Storm? I guess if they use Pakistani pilots like Saudi Arabia, its quite likely..

    http://alert5.com/2016/11/18/kuwait-cleared-to-buy-32-fa-18es-and-8-fa-18fs/

    • Patient Observer says:

      Those planes would provide a good live fire exercise for any Russia forces or Syrian forces under Russian air cover that they may attack. Seriously, what good are they? Perhaps they could have use against Iran.

      I suspect the purchase is mostly motivated by political considerations – a lot of business for the US defense industry, a billion in bribes and ongoing political and soft power support from the US.

  33. et Al says:

    EU Observer: No voters in Dutch Ukraine referendum ‘not anti-EU’
    https://euobserver.com/tickers/135961

    Voters who rejected the EU-Ukraine treaty in a Dutch referendum last April did not do so because of an anti-EU sentiment, according to an academic study published on Friday. Only 7.5% of No voters cast an anti-EU vote. The biggest motivation for No voters (34.1%) was “corruption in Ukraine”. Some 16.6% were “afraid Ukraine would join the EU”. Dutch PM Rutte is still in talks on next steps.
    ####

    Corruption? Ukraine? How is that possible? MIlk & Honey definitely!

  34. Moscow Exile says:

    Swiss fighters “escort” Russian delegation flying across Swiss airspace en route to Lima:

    Швейцарские F-18 увязались за самолетом российской делегации

    Swiss F-18s follow Russian delegation aircraft

    Two Swiss air force fighters flew dangerously close a Russian delegation airliner flying to Peru for an APEC summit.

    Ever on guard against those Russian monsters!

    Well done!

    Thank you for making the world a safer and freer place to live in!

    • Jen says:

      Yes, in case one F-18 crashes into a mountain; the other is needed to call for help.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-swiss-air-airplane-idUSKCN11611L

      The article notes that the crash on 29 August 2016 was the third crash of an F-18 fighter jet in three years. Talk about tempting fate!

    • marknesop says:

      Any minute now, Jens Stoltenberg will appear to make an official NATO statement protesting this rash and provocative action, and to lecture the Swiss that two wrongs do not make a right. Any minute now. I’m pretty sure.

      Keep fucking around like that, and official aircraft will go with a national fighter escort. And that is just a recipe for trouble.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Well, those Swiss air force fighters must have put some kind of jinx onto that Russian Il-96 in which lying Russian Kremlin pool journalists employed by their Kremlin bosses in the Kremlin controlled news agency were heading for Peru in order to report on an APEC summit there and from where they were under Kremlin orders to disseminate mendacious and malevolently biased reports: the heap of Soviet aviation junk is now grounded in Lisbon, where it had landed in order to refuel.

        God smiles on the righteous and sows perdition amongst sinners!

        (This news must not have reached the Land of the Lakes yet.)

    • Patient Observer says:

      I believe that the story will be reported as a Russian civilian aircraft flew dangerously close to Swiss military aircraft on routine maneuvers.

  35. Moscow Exile says:

    RT (English) has caught up with the news now:

    Plane with Russian journalists on way to Peru tracked by Swiss fighter jets (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

    That’ll show those Russian swine what’s what!

    Only way to deal with bullies!

      • Moscow Exile says:

        No provocation, says the Russian pilot:

        «Никакой провокации в действиях швейцарских пилотов не было»
        There was no provocation whatsoever by the Swiss flyers

        “The commander of our aircraft knew that there would be such an escort”, deputy political editor Andrei Baranov has said live on Radio “Komsomolskaya Pravda” [video].

        The politics department deputy editor of “Komsomolskaya Pravda”, Andrey Baranov has commented on radio “KP” about the incident in the sky over Switzerland, when two local air force fighters came dangerously close to an aeroplane flying a Russian delegation to the Peru APEC summit.

        “Our relationship with the West is now so tense that there immediately appeared a version of the Swiss flyers’ action — that this was another provocation, a challenge to the Russian side, but in actual fact there was no provocation in this paradoxical situation. In Switzerland it is accepted that special flights from other countries are accompanied by air force fighters when flying over Swiss territory.

        An agreement about this had been reached with the Russian side beforehand. The commander of our aircraft knew that there would be such an escort, and did not even have to change course. He had forewarned the passengers about this, so there were no grounds for their being afraid.

        I must say that this episode differs in a far better way to that which happened in the spring of this year, when, over neutral Baltic waters, NATO fighters very closely approached a Russian aircraft in which Russian Federation Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu was flying to Kaliningrad. For us, that really was a provocation and these actions have received a serious diplomatic response from the Russian Federation.

        But it was much simpler in this instance: the Swiss escorted our flight to the Swiss-French border, gave a wave with their wings and left. Of course, perhaps the Swiss pilots could have kept a little further away, but on the other hand, our fellow journalists had a unique opportunity to take a few shots and comment on the episode for their publications”, concluded Andrei Baranov.

        That’s good news!

        I will no longer consider boycotting Swiss cheese, chocolate and watches.

        There was talk in the Duma yesterday of starting such boycotts, though.

        There are some dickheads there, though. One has proposed a law by which Apollo’s courting tackle, visible on a 100 ruble note, be covered up.

        That’s Apollo who’s above the Bolshoi portico. His statue there has its penis covered — it wasn’t originally, but sometime during Soviet times it was. When they were doing major renovations on the theatre these past 5 years or so, they said Apollo’s pride and joy would be revealed in all its godly glory, but it wasn’t: I checked with binoculars after the great re-opening!

        However, old Apollo lets it all hang out on a 100 ruble note, and some duma chump is offended by this.

        Bashful Apollo at the Bolshoi:

        Apollo on a 100 ruble note displaying what he’s got

        When and why the offending penis was covered up is still a matter of debate:

        See: Bolshoi Theatre accused covering up Apollo

        • Jen says:

          Interesting that the debate doesn’t extend to the horses’ tackle and I wondered why until I saw an image of the full picture at Huffington Post.

          Whoever originally did that illustration for the 100-ruble note just glossed over those details. Compare that picture to the original statue in this photo:

          – which shows much more detail.

          • Jen says:

            After leaving Switzerland, the plane landed in Lisbon for refuelling and a malfunction was discovered. The journalists have since departed for Lima to attend the APEC summit on another plane.

        • marknesop says:

          Statuary penises, for some reason, are a realistic size and therefore do not inspire feelings of inferiority in the general male public; at the same time, there is hardly anyone over the age of three who does not know what one looks like. Those who are not fond of them – lesbians, mostly – say they look like a turkey neck. On a prepared-for-the-oven turkey, I presume. I don’t understand what the big deal is, and since they have been around for cultures which make the decadent gay-loving west look like an episode of Bowling For Dollars in rural Kentucky, you could hardly describe them as a symbol of social collapse and hedonistic liberalism run amok.

            • marknesop says:

              Ah, but your example’s packet is not on the slack, which changes the picture entirely.

              I learned how to talk like that from “Viz”.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                I refer you to Lewis’s statue, Liverpool, which sculpture allegedly represents the spirit of Liverpool reborn following nightly visits to that fair city by the Luftwaffe.

                The statue is on the corner of Lewis’s department store on Lime Street:

                Its official name is “Liverpool Resurgent”.

                A close up:

                Fondly labelled by Scousers (the natives of Liverpool, whose nickname is taken from the name of a seafarers’ dish called “lobscouse“) as “Dickie Lewis” or “Nobby Lewis” or “The Cock of the North”.

                What uncouth folk!

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Well go and wash your mouth out then!

            • Jen says:

              Statues of satyrs were a special case, they were always portrayed with large penises to demonstrate their bestial, irrational natures. Statues of gods (apart from Pan, who was half-beast in form and therefore in temperament) had small penises to reflect their cool, unruffled and usually cold-blooded attitudes to the trials and tribulations of mortals.

              There’s a famous Roman statue of Pan raping a she-goat at the Naples National Archaeological Museum:

              The Greeks also used special posts or columns called herms to mark out territory and roads and these herms were sculpted with heads on top and erect penises lower down. The gods were originally made and worshipped in these forms (during the later Archaic age of ancient Greek history which ended about 700 BC) before the Greeks discovered how to carve free-standing realistic statues.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Phallus Symbol, Roman Bridge Remains, Chester, England

                The symbol represented good fortune and protection against evil. Here, it is likely that the symbol was carved to guard the boundary demarcated by the river.

                There are others others along the Roman Wall in Northumberland and Cumberland, presumably to put the heebie-jeebies up the Picts.

                Here’s one of them:

                Though they say they were a good luck symbol and were carved so as to ward off evil, I don’t believe one word of it!

                I think these carved phalli were a Roman equivalent to “Kilroy was here!”, but carved by the ubiquitous and famous legate Bigus Dickus:

                • Jen says:

                  Sounds like the symbolism of the erect penis as a boundary or territory marker (and warning enemies to stay away) could be very ancient and its origins go right back into prehistory. I’ve heard that even male baboons that stand sentry on the edges of their troop’s territory do so with erect penises.

                • marknesop says:

                  I try to make that my policy whenever I stand sentry duty, too. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.

                  I wonder what baboons think of?

              • yalensis says:

                I can’t help but notice those herms penises are uncircumsized.

  36. Patient Observer says:

    The UK’s Royal Fleet will be left without an anti-ship missile due to financial concerns, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) has confirmed, leading to experts questioning how secure Britain will be without the vital weaponry.

    The MoD is used to having Harpoon missiles, however due to budgetary concerns the Navy will be forced to use its 4.5 inch gun with a range of just 17 miles.

    https://sputniknews.com/military/201611181047600850-uk-weapons-weak-defense/

    Paaaatheeeetic! Much smaller Russian vessels would easily dispatch the these British ships to Davey Jones locker.

        • yalensis says:

          Er…. Please to ignore those last 5 seconds of a scalliwag-interloper inserting himself into an otherwise great vid!

        • Special_sauce says:

          The doggerel! It burns!

          Notice the Civil War style epaulettes are back in vogue among Merkin fighten men. And women.

          • yalensis says:

            Point taken. Okay, here is one with no doggerel. Just the Mother Lode! And hopefully no O’Bammy sticking his snout at the end:

            • yalensis says:

              Magnificent poetry, divinely inspired:

              I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
              “As ye deal with my condemners, so with you my grace shall deal”;
              Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
              Since God is marching on.

              He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
              He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat;
              Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet!
              Our God is marching on.

              In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
              With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
              As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
              While God is marching on.

              • Fern says:

                A friend of mine is a head teacher in an old-fashioned school that still holds old-fashioned assemblies where old-fashioned hymns are sung. One day the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ was on the menu and my friend thought the words sung by the pupils seemed a little odd so listening more closely this is what he heard:

                The original verse reads “…he has trampled out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored..” whereas what the kids actually sang was “…he trampled out the village where the great giraffe is stored….”

                Which I think makes almost as much sense as the original version.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  As a small child I went through several years of singing wrong words or just nonsense to hymns at school assemblies because I hadn’t a clue what the words that I heard when taught them meant.

                  I well remember singing the first lines of the Christmas carols “We Three Kings” and “Good King Wenceslas” as “We three kings of oareh and tar…” and “Good King Wenses last looked out …” respectively.

                  More often than not, though, I and my peers used to sing our own versions of those above two carols, and others:

                  We three Kings of Orient are,
                  One in a taxi and one in a car,
                  One on a scooter blowing his hooter,
                  Following yonder star.

                  Good King Wenceslas knocked a bobby senseless
                  Right in the middle of Marks and Spencer’s,
                  Another came out and gave him a clout
                  And knocked King Wenceslasl senseless.

                  While shepherds washed their socks at night
                  All seated round the tub
                  A bar of Sunlight soap came down
                  And they began to scrub.

                  Well, it’s only 5 weeks to Christmas!

                  Catholic Christmas, that is, as Mrs. Exile, Orthodox heretic ,calls it.

                  I call it Yule.

                  🙂

                • yalensis says:

                  “He has trampled down the village where the great giraffe is stored….”

                  You made my day, Fern, I laughed until my head fell off.
                  Kids are so funny!

                  (By the way, those are actually the correct words. And John Steinbeck wrote a famous novel based on that, called “The Great Giraffe”. About an impoverished giraffe who wandered through Dustbowl Kansas looking for a federal hand-out.)

          • marknesop says:

            When they’re not embedded with the Kurdish militia, and wearing their uniform badges.

  37. Cortes says:

    Great to observe a proper Ukrainian patriot not afraid to stand up against the corrupt élites preventing God’s own garden of black earth from prospering:

    http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/russian-media-mikheil-saakashvili-planning-new-revolution-ukraine/ri17668

    • marknesop says:

      If Misha thinks he is going to turn Ukraine into Big Georgia, he had better think again – Poroshenko will just revoke his citizenship if he keeps on lipping it up. I imagine Poroshenko is craving a return to private life and enjoying his money, which he built up nicely during his presidency. But he won’t like the idea of going out as a disgrace and being succeeded by Saakashvili. Normally such a tub of shit would not command much of a following, but in Ukraine you can never be sure; there doesn’t seem to be much rationality on show there.

  38. Cortes says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/18/aleppos-childrens-hospital-bombed-as-it-treats-chlorine-gas-victims

    Only four functioning hospitals for 250k people in East Aleppo, bleats Emma Graham Harrison. Maybe she should pay a visit to Glasgow and bemoan the lack of functioning hospitals in a city of circa 650k people.

  39. Patient Observer says:

    If it happened in Russia, it would have been called an ecological catastrophe. Here, its just fun and off-beat:

    https://www.rt.com/usa/367455-white-foam-blob-california/

  40. Patient Observer says:

    Just musing – there will likely be an economic crash when the toxic tide of debt comes in.

    With that a given, who do you think will be blamed? Who? the Donald! That’s who.

    I would think that he is being set up for every ill that will befall the US and most especially the economy. After his 4 years (if he survives that long), with the US likely in a deep recession if not depression, he will be be painted as the source of all failings. His populist ideas including a possible rapprochement with Russia will be discredited by the MSM. Heck, the MSM would blame Putin, working through Trump, for the collapsing economy. And, then the neocon takeover begins in earnest. We will have our Cold War with Russia and China and the US population’s brief fling with freedom will soon be written out of official history.

    • kirill says:

      But that gives Russia four more years to get its military in order. This is a substantial amount of time. The delay of Operation Barbarossa in the east (1941 instead of 1939) allowed the USSR to increase its war potential by 40%. This directly contributed to the Nazis basically losing by 1943.

  41. Moscow Exile says:

    Guess who hasn’t got an invitation? …

    According to “Vesti” Ukraine, no Porky invite for the inauguration. He’ll do some hand shaking after the party is over — long after!

    Порошенко не пригласили на инаугурацию Трампа

    Poroshenko not invited to Trump inauguration
    In social networks this news has been responded to with a sense of humour
    Petrenko Roxolana
    18 November 2016, 20:16

    The President of the Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, has not been invited to the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

    It has become known that Trump will only meet Poroshenko after the inauguration – and only then in February 2017, whereas the American president’s inauguration ceremony takes place on 20 January 2017.

    In social networks, this news has been responded to with humour: “Poroshenko has not been invited to the inauguration of US President Trump. Now Tsigalko (press Secretary of the Ukrainian President – ed.) should declare that the president is busy protecting Europe from a Russian invasion, so he has had no time to visit office parties in countries outside of the European Union. But at the same time, he has sent Trump an SMS greeting with happy smilies”, wrote the journalist Denis Gorokhovsky.

    As “Vesti” has already written, in the US, experts have suggested that Trump give the Crimea to Russia in exchange for assistance to the Ukraine. An American analyst, who has worked in the Ukraine, has written a programme for the improvement of relations between the White House and the Kremlin as regards questions connected with the Ukraine.

    We should remind readers that the President of the United States [sic], Donald trump, has confirmed that he and Vice-President [sic] Mike Pence have spoken with the President of the Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko.

    Meanwhile, in Kyrgyzstan an accomplice to the prankers who fooled around with Poroshenko has been detained. The detainee has been put under lock and key until the consequence of all the circumstances of the case be ascertained.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      In answer to the question in a Russian blog as regards why Porky had not been invited to the January 20 presidential inauguration, there came the following responses:

      They’ll call again
      19 (11.4%)

      They’ll call again, but to another president of the Ukraine
      10 (6.0%)

      They are afraid that he’ll get pissed and act like a hooligan
      39 (23.4%)

      I’s a signal to Poroshenko (Это знак Порошенко — not sure how to translate that! Literally: “It’s Poroshenko’s sign”.)
      12 (7.2%)

      Poroshenko is not fucking well needed by anyone.
      84 (50.3%)

    • Patient Observer says:

      Rodney “I don’t get no respect” Dangerfield had much in common with Porky:

      My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you’re ugly too.

      I found there was only one way to look thin: hang out with fat people.

      The way my luck is running, if I was a politician I would be honest.

      I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out.

      I looked up my family tree and found out I was the sap.

      I’m at the age where food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact, I’ve just had a mirror put over my kitchen table.

      This morning when I put on my underwear I could hear the fruit-of-the-loom guys laughing at me.

      My wife wants sex in the back of the car and she wants me to drive.

      My wife met me at the door the other night in a sexy negligee. Unfortunately, she was just coming home.

      My mother never breast fed me, she told me she only liked me as a friend.

      I remember the time I was kidnapped and they sent a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof.

      I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous – everyone hasn’t met me yet.

      I have good looking kids. Thank goodness my wife cheats on me.

  42. Moscow Exile says:

    Poroshenko’s press secretary has confirmed that Porky was interviewed yesterday for 6 hours as part of an investigation into the killings of the “Heavenly Hundred”.

    Poroshenko questioned for six hours on Euro-Maidan events

    • marknesop says:

      What a waste of time – Poroshenko is unlikely to have had anything to do with it, although he probably knows more than the average dolt. But there are those in his government who played an active part before he was anything more than just a face in the crowd, and I doubt he was freezing his fat ass off on the Maidan, living in a tent and coughing on tire smoke.

  43. Patient Observer says:

    Here is an interesting interpretation of Trump’s selection of cabinet and advisor positions:

    https://sputniknews.com/politics/201611191047623363-trump-administration-analysis/

    It is not about politics, but Trump‘s peculiar management style, Timofey Bordachev, Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at Russia’s High School of Economics, told RIA Novosti.

    “Those who have been studying the business biography of the newly elected president have noted that he has always played off his high-ranking employees against each other. While doing so he remained above the fight,” he said.

    And

    Gevorg Mirzayan, an assistant professor of the Political Science department at the Financial University in Moscow pointed out two purposes for the nominations.

    “Trump needs to consolidate the Republican Party, hence he should nominate representatives of different party groups to key positions in his administration to win the support of the whole party,” he told RIA Novosti. Surveillance © Photo: Pixabay Trump National Security Team Reportedly Wants to Dismantle Top US Spy Agency The second purpose is to form an administration that doesn’t look too “dovish” or too “hawkish” to be able to avoid further accusations of excessive loyalty towards Moscow, he suggested. Thus without an image of a ‘dove” who neglects the national interests, he will be able to normalize Russian-American relations, the expert said.

    The above brings rationality to the diverse selections made by Trump.

    However, the black swan event will be an economic collapse (fast or protracted over several years). That will be the defining event in the Trump presidency. I have no inkling how he or those who may replace him would respond.

    • Jen says:

      I had guessed myself that Trump was going to run the government as a business corporation. Surrounding himself with people of competing viewpoints, and hiring on the basis of experience and skills (and not on the basis of loyalty, as Hillary Clinton might have done) would be two ways Trump can change the government and its culture. Trump’s main problem in this respect is that the diversity of viewpoints within the military, the NSA or other government agencies might already be too narrow and he needs a Republican version of Stephen Cohen who has always advocated for engagement with Russia, along with other people from outside Washington DC but with experience in state legislatures for the various departments.

      If running the US government as a large mock business enterprise brings a change in its culture so it becomes more open and accountable to the public, less directed by ideology and identity politics, and gets rid of people engaged in building up their own little empires within the different departments, then Trump might just be the President the US needs at this moment in time.

      Interesting that Russian academics have noted the outlines of Trump’s likely cabinet and what they suggest he plans to do, and no-one else has. Does this imply that Americans and others in the West have lost sight of how large business corporations could be run, or should be run, and everyone is fixated on fake “entrepreneurship” or “self-entrepreneur” (whatever that means) models of running a business where it’s every man, woman, child and dog for itself?

      • Patient Observer says:

        I agree and I suspect Trump regards Putin as a fellow CEO and perhaps the best one on the planet. Trump may have noted how Putin did an incredible turnaround of Russia and it all started with three objectives: restore the integrity of the borders, rebuild the industrial base and run off the globalists/liberals/kreakles. I am certainly not the first one to say this and I think that there is a lot of basis for that analysis. However, Trump will have a far more difficult challenge and frankly I don’t think he has enough allies or smarts to pull it off.

        A more fundamental problem is that the US has not yet reached rock bottom. So, its delusions remain strong. Trump, as said before, may be a false dawn unless the bottom is closer than suspected and he has new allies (perhaps foreign allies).

        • Jen says:

          Not only might Trump lack enough allies or the intellectual depth (individual or collective: even if he lacks the smarts, the people around him should be able to back him up with a narrative that makes economic sense, even if it comes after events) but he does not have the luxury of time. Putin was not quite 50 years of age when he became President and started to redirect Russia’s path away from neoliberal capitalism. Trump is 70 years old and he hasn’t yet begun the swamp-draining, a process that would certainly take more than 2 terms to achieve.

          • Patient Observer says:

            I forgot about Trump’s age. He likely has just enough energy to get him through one term. And unlike Reagan who had some pretty advanced dementia in his 2nd term, Trump will not be coddled and humored; only be faced with intensified attacks as his energy and focus wanes.

            He does have children who could pick up the torch and develop a political dynasty. But it is doubtful in my mind if any could (assuming any of them wanted) to win the presidency unless the father really does pull off a miraculous turnaround.

            I think that the best we could reasonably hope from Trump is:
            – a lessening of the potential for war with Russia,
            – fostering the awareness in the US population that the MSM, Congress and in general the elites are not to be trusted and
            – a rejection of the narrative offered by the MSM as to what is and is not important to the US population (decent jobs vs gender identification for example)

            Perhaps a credible 3rd party will finally develop in the US but I think that is unlikely unless led by a strong personality with independent wealth like another Trump. I just recalled that H. Ross Perot had a similar MO as Trump but not as over-the-top. He was doing quite well politically until, IIRC, the media launched attacks on his family at which point he concluded it was not worth it (something like that). I could imagine him thinking let the bastards hang themselves. If he did have such thoughts, he would have been right although it may have taken more time than anticipated.

            • marknesop says:

              I concur with your expectations for the Trump presidency, if he manages to last a full term. I doubt we will see another successful candidate from outside the political class in our lifetimes, and some forget that the only thing which allowed Trump to win despite the forces arrayed against him was his wealth – otherwise, he would simply have been spent out of the race the way any other everyman who entered would be and will be. His success is a measure of how fed-up the voters are, but I doubt it will inspire any real change in the political class. They will just tailor their campaigns differently next time around: “President Trump’s election to office was a wake-up call for America; you spoke, and we listened, and bla bla bla and likewise bla de bla.” They’re not really listening to anything except what will allow them to put things back on the right road next time around, and have not actually learned any lessons at all although they will pretend to having acquired a deep humility and respect from the American voters’ emphatic rejection of the political class this time around. But really they’re only concerned with restoring the historic balance of things, and getting politics back as the exclusive playground of politicians.

              Trump is just a placeholder, because politics is a long-term game. It’s possible that before next election, a genuinely moderate populist from the political class will emerge. I don’t know where from, and it’s not very likely, but it’s possible. Meanwhile, kicking the can of world destruction down the road four more years is sufficient unto the day.

    • marknesop says:

      Trump knows very well that much of the Republican party, including all of its political establishment apparatus, would as soon stab him in the back as look at him, and would betray him in an instant if the situation were to its advantage. He therefore owes no political party his loyalty and – I hope – knows he can never win the Republicans’ honest support. Thus he should not waste any time trying.

  44. Moscow Exile says:

    Premature babies in Aleppo removed from incubators after air strikes hit city’s only hospital
    Attacks prompt White House to condemn Syrian regime and Russia for “heinous actions”

    Premature babies in Aleppo have been removed from their incubators after air strikes destroyed hospitals across the city, prompting condemnation of the Syrian government and Russia by the US and the UN.

    Harrowing video footage shows tiny babies being removed from their incubators in a smoke-filled ward, with nurses reduced to tears as they detach the tubing providing support and wrap the babies in blankets.

    Now where have I heard a similar story before? ….

    Why doesn’t the White House just shut the fuck up or, failing that, send a drone flying off to Moscow so as to zap the Evil One … and any bystanders in his vicinity?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      “The Syrian regime and its allies, Russia in particular, bear responsibility for the immediate and long-term consequences these actions have caused in Syria and beyond” — said Susan Rice, of course.

      And as one of its sources, dear old Aunty BBC quotes “a volunteer with the White Helmets Civil Defence force” who told the AFP news agency that he had “never heard such intense artillery bombardments”.

      See: Syria conflict: Aleppo hospitals ‘knocked out by bombardment’

      • Patient Observer says:

        Aleppo must be one of the most intensely scrutinized area on earth – drones, satellites, radars and electronic sensors of every type by both US and Russia. Yet, the DOS (Department of Shit?) exclusively relies on the “Observer” dude in London and other miscreants for their claims of sinister Russian air strikes. The DOS needs a ‘tard wrangler for these various groups.

        The other possibility is that Russia has perfected stealth on every wavelength including visible light and have zero-noise jet engines.

    • kirill says:

      Recycling the same bullshit as used to justify the first Iraq war. Every time there is a war, babies are trotted out to justify escalation and slaughter. By the million. This baby ploy works on the suckers every time. Personally I don’t give a flying f*ck about these babies even if they actually existed and actually died. This planet has not shortage of them and new ones can be made at any time. One fictional baby is not worth the lives of thousands of adults.

      • yalensis says:

        “Personally I don’t give a flying f*ck about these babies even if they actually existed and actually died.”

        Thar’s our Kirill – Give him a round of applause, Ladies and Gentlemen!

        P.S. – he’s insane (….)

    • marknesop says:

      There is no shame to be found in western journalism, and their credo is we will not knowingly lie. But they will take the word of any activist group regardless if it has an agenda to promote and a demonstrated history of lying, falling back on their supposed responsibility to report differing points of view and eyewitness accounts. How could we know it was just made up?

      And that incubator story did such a great job of mobilizing public fury and revulsion when it was faked in Kuwait, who knows? Maybe it’ll work again.

      Cheer up, though – every time the Russians think they’ve laid waste to the last hospital in Aleppo, another ‘last one’ pops up.

  45. yalensis says:

    Next installment of Lyttenburgh rant up on my blogsite.
    This is where it starts to get really interesting, and gets into that thorny question:
    If the government is paying for culture, then do the art directors have to abide by government policies? Even if they disagree with said policies?

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