Hunter’s Laptop Bites Back

Let’s start with something cheerful. Ewan Palmer writes at Newsweek that Jim Jordan is in deep trouble.

A number of legal experts and Democratic figures have now suggested Jordan and other Republicans could face consequences if it is found Russian intelligence was the source of the alleged false bribery claims they said justified the impeachment of Biden.

Jordan’s office has been contacted for comment via email.

Tristan Snell, a lawyer and former assistant attorney general for New York state, claimed on X, formerly Twitter: “Jim Jordan, Chuck Grassley, and James Comer were either duped by Smirnov and the Kremlin—or they were in on it.

I’m gong to guess “duped,” becase we are not exactly talking about the sharpest crayons in the box. See also Jim Jordan fact-checked on live TV at Raw Story.

The story thus far, if you missed it, is that (as we learned last week) the Burisma bribery allegations against Joe Biden were entirely false; the informant, Alexander Smirnov, was lying. And now we know that Smirnov was being fed the allegations by Russian intelligence.

David Kurtz, TPM:

The implications of this Russian operation are staggering, especially for the willing Republicans and right-wing media stooges who were the useful idiots propagating the disinformation for years. The James Comers, Chuck Grassleys, Jim Jordans of the world have been trafficking in this stuff as the purported basis for a Biden impeachment, which is itself tightly yoked to Trump’s campaign for re-election. Right-wing outlets, most notably Fox News, have been amplifying the claims not dozens or hundreds but thousands of times over the past several months.

Everywhere you turn, it’s Russia either helping Trump directly or indirectly by damaging Trump’s foes. The pattern is clear and persistent but also so sweeping and far-reaching that it really requires taking a step back to grasp the full scope of it all. It has dominated right-wing media, become an accepted “fact” among MAGA adherents, and allowed elected Republicans to play mainstream media like a cheap fiddle. All those breathless Biden impeachment process stories? They’re an outgrowth of this disinformation campaign.

Useful idiots, indeed.

There’s more going on, but my wifi has been on again, off again for several hours. I’ve got a techie comng tomorrow. I’m going to post this while it’s working.

19 thoughts on “Hunter’s Laptop Bites Back

  1. No disrespect for those who do wifi, but I prefer to have my networking hooked in physically to avoid the problem. Can you do that? (Not everyone can, I know!)

    If you can, that can usually help troubleshoot – can you get out to, e.g., Google Maps? Then the internet connection is working, it's the wifi, or, vice versa.

    If you can't, I hope the tech knows a heck of a lot more ways to help than I know :-).


      • Yeah, that was pretty crummy, incomplete advice, because all it could have told you was whether you probably needed to replace the unit – which the repair person would have determined anyway. Sorry – I do IT troubleshooting at work, so I sometimes forget that other people *don't* :-).

  2. Can't wait for the investigations to start when the Dems take the House. The wall of disbelief among rank and file Republicans regarding their Putin-loving representatives has to be destroyed. I imagine Step 1 is a trial and conviction of Smirnov, Step 2 is an investigation into the corruption in the House.

    There's few things more irritating than bad wi-fi. If your laptop can handle an ethernet cable and your router has enough ethernet outlets, you should get a cable to connect the two, minimally as a backup. Your tech guy should be able to help.



  3. "I’m gong to guess “duped,”

    I beg to differ, it has been at least since 2016 that one GQP'er after another is either directly connected or at least caught up in promoting the Kremlin's lies to both shape policy and interfere with our elections. It starts at the top, Stump is a Russian asset and as far as I'm concerned so are the 147 "republicans" who refused to certify the 2020 election. I keep hearing the word duped and "willful idiot", no these people are working in Putin's interest. They are either taking orders from the Kremlin or the Kremlin's objectives align with theirs. Either way they are not working in the best interest of the United States or our allies. Fucking Russian assets every last one of them.

    • I'm inclined to agree with Uncledad, "I was duped!" will be their excuse, and they should rehearse saying that.  To whatever extent tRump is willing and eager to do and say whatever pleases Putin, which is pretty much anything and everything, the tRump loyalists in office are willing and eager to do anything and everything for tRump and therefore Putin by extension.  They may not secretly be card-carrying members of the Communist Party and may not have signed their names in blood, but they have sure gone that hole that tRump pulled them into without hesitation.  They are taking orders from the top Kremlin agent in the US, openly in plain sight.

      And to the extent that Dems are anti-Putin, the GOP of course must reflexively be the opposite.

    • or the Kremlin's objectives align with theirs.

      That's what I believe,but nevertheless, it still makes them dupes or willful idiots. Putin is indirectly telling them what they want to hear so they gobble it up. Sorta like Marla Maples supposedly telling Donald Trump that having sex with him was the best sex she ever had. I'm sure having that slob drooling all over her wasn't exactly nirvana.

      • "it still makes them dupes or willful idiots"

        Well if all we had was them promoting Kremlin disinformation to injure a political opponent then yeah maybe just dupes and willful idiots. But we have the GQP actively participating in election interference for the benefit of Putin. We also have most of the GQP refusing aid to Ukraine effectively handing huge chucks of (and eventually all of it) Ukraine to Putin. We have a huge chuck of the GQP promoting the idea that we should withdraw from NATO, or at least change the membership terms that would effectively eliminate many european countries from being able to maintain membership. Combine that with the wing-nut media's fawning over Russia's racist, homophobic policies (they sent Tucker over there to wax poetic about how much better life in Russia is compared to the USA) and in my opinion you have a political party that has been co-opted by the Kremlin.

    • I don't think they've been 'duped' and I don't think they're willful idiots. I think they've been caught with their pants down. While I am pretty much a prude not given to lurid detail, it would be interesting to know

    • In WWII, (before my time) Hitler invaded Russia. Roosevelt and Churchill quickly formed an alliance with Joe even though Stalin was known to be a ruthless and ambitious tyrant. Why? Hitler was the main enemy and keeping a second front open divided the Nazi forces. Demolishing Hitler completely was the goal – anybody going in that direction was a friend of the US & UK.

      The GOP has formed an alliance with Putin, another known tyrant. The GOP has an enemy they are committed to demolishing – the Democrats. To that end, anybody against true democracy is their friend. 

      Let me clarify the term "true democracy." The US has been for most of US history, a "managed democracy." That is: a form of government where the majority in both parties defer to the ultra-rich and the sensibilities of the mainstream clergy. The government was supposed to keep things running for the rich and in keeping with popular rules of "decency." 

      There's been a theme of attrition to the formula "managed democracy" for some time. Starting with FDR, the rich were taxed heavily for the benefit of the most needy during the Depression. This was a radical departure from the policies of the previous two Republican administrations who could not do enough for the rich. FDR and later Democrats instituted Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, child labor protection,  wage and hour rules, protection for union organization, workplace safety (OSHA), and environmental protection. (To be fair, the EPA was signed into existence by Nixon.) Post WWII, the military began to end racial apartheid in the ranks. This (IMO) was a precursor of the Civil Rights Movement. MLK became an icon, not only to Black Americans but he won the respect of white citizens. Democrats split over the issue of real racial equality eventually driving the Dixiecrats into the minority. (Until they became Regan Republicans, turning the party of Lincoln into the party of racism.) 

      To be fair, the Republicans produced some statesmen, conservatives who were loyal to Constitutional principles. And the Democratic party embraced and elevated some sleazy people. Bill Clinton comes to mind. That was a turning point for the Democrats to form an alliance with big money, trying to play it down the middle, cutting deals with Wall Street for their benefit and advancing social justice when big money wasn't too opposed. IMO, Clinton ushered an era of institutional bipartisan political corruption. K Street grew its power and anything was possible for a price.

      Rush Limbaugh deserves the blame for the rise of hateful fact-free opposition to all the values espoused by Democrats. Fox is bigger, better financed, and more influential but Rush wrote the book on relentless, twisted, and malicious media propaganda. The critical feature that makes "propaganda" the right word is that Rush's formula abandoned any adherence to facts. As long as they're hating on the Democrats, no lie is too low. (Until you get sued for billions.) But millions of citizens in the US are emotionally addicted to a daily fix of resentment against Democrats. 

      I don't think anyone has researched that the teen revolutionaries of the 60s produced a generation of liberal-thinking teens who hit college in the 80s. Nobody paid much attention to how college liberal arts in the 80s questioned the traditional value system (generally rejecting organized religion) and embraced the idea that "love is love." So a new civil framework of morality evolved, supported by Hollywood. 

      It was in various professions that a shift in traditional values hit mainstream society – but quietly. MDs and psychologists recognized as a medical fact that gender identity didn't always conform to whether your body's plumbing was internal or external. Teachers, especially in HS, began teaching that the variety in sexual identity is NOT abnormal, not a sickness, and not to be ridiculed or supppressed. 

      What's this got to do with the GOP in bed with Putin? In the last decade (or so) the fans of Limbaugh and his ilk have bought into a nightmare. The sky is falling! First, people of color are going to outnumber white people. (Fact.) Women are asserting equality in the workplace and the bedroom. (Fact.) Men are undergoing emotional castration because women are rejecting male dominance. (I guess that must hurt – I would not know because I treat women around me -wife, daughters, and women I work around with respect.) 3) The decline in the wealth of the middle class is because of liberal policies. (Utter BS) The decline of the middle class is because of decades of bipartisan policies that benefitted the rich at the expense of the regular wage earner. 

      The MAGA Republican is in the fight to ELIMINATE the opposition. He thinks he's fighting for "traditional Christian values." None of those values a MAGA is willing to kill for has a damn thing to do with anything Christ said. The top tenth of one percent is terrified. If unhappy conservatives ever realize that people of color are not a threat and women want equal rights and opportunity, they will likely realize the root cause of the real problems they have is the ultra-rich who are picking their pockets, as well as mine. Democracy gives us the power to claw back the wealth and punish the offenses of the rich. So 'true Democracy" has to go and "managed democracy" has to become institutionalized. (And the original Constitution does NOT.) 

      MAGA needed a charismatic leader. They picked Trump. The billionaire class of aristocrats didn't pick Trump. He resonates with the audience of Limbaugh and his successors. Limbaugh played on the feelings, not the intellect of his audience. Trump learned how to tap it. When he goes down, the movement splinters like the Catholic Church after the Reformation. Taking Trump down, hard and permanently – that's the whole game.

      • "millions of citizens in the US are emotionally addicted to a daily fix of resentment against Democrats"

        I was at the VA clinic the other day and some guy had a meltdown and began screaming at the at the staff (happens quite frequently) anyway some asshole standing next to me turns and says: "must be a democrat". I looked him right in the eye and said: "I'm a democrat what's the fucking problem"? His face turned bright red he turned and walked away. Must have been a republican!

  4. O.T. so yeah I think the GQP has been co-opted by the Kremlin but they also have been infiltrated by what I would call a Christian version of the Taliban. Alabama's supreme court recently effectively banned IVF because "embro's are children". These people are christo-facists or as maha more politely refres to them as the "fetus people". The chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court actually put these words in the official opinion of the court:

    “Human life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God,” he wrote in a concurring opinion that invoked the Book of Genesis and the prophet Jeremiah and quoted at length from the writings of 16th- and 17th-century theologians.

    “Even before birth,” he added, “all human beings have the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without effacing his glory.”

    These people will not stop until fundamentalist Christianity is the law of the land!

    • I am reminded of something someone more sarcastically clever than I once said, "We must protect the rights of Spermatazoa-Americans!".

    • I'm with ya 100% Uncle Dad. TRF (GRU?) asset yup. That was made obvious in the first year of TFG's presidency. (Helsinki, then the time he had a long 1 to 1 meeting with Putin and wouldn't allow anyone from the US govt in the room…duh!). I had hopes for the Mueller report but that flopped with the public. A long time ago I stopped hoping he'd be revealed as a traitor through evidence of actual espionage. A long as he keeps doing things that serve a foreign leader and harm the US, who cares whether he's provably and/or technically a foreign spy. There are breadcrumbs all over the place.  The most telling: He wouldn't heed the advice of any of the experts in our own government, but eagerly lapped up advice from a brutal dictator halfway around the world. A man absolutely totally oppositional to suggestions from competent Americans, but open to advice from the one person he looks up to.

      The Theocracy thing is extremely scary. Takeover of the US by a so-called movement that is a hybrid of ISIS, Taliban and Iran, wrapped in the flag, pretending to be Christian while worshipping the Anti-Christ. They claim to be Christians when they are the opposite, and then complain that Christians are persecuted in this country. No. There is no persecution of Christians in the US, instead there are freedom loving Americans who will not stomach an anti-Christ movement capturing our government. We must defend the rule of law and the Constitution.   

  5. For Putin and Russia, and their purposes, the GQP is full of not only willful idiots, but useful ones as well.

    Those of us in the reality-based universe are not useful idiots.

    Or idiots at all.

    But we may be willful.

    For instance, I'm willful when it comes to the ideals of democracy, freedom, and equality.

    And I hope to be useful, when it comes to that troika.

    • "troika" highlight right click search google for trokia, thanks new word!

      How long will it take for our media to shuffle the Navalny story to the bottom of the pile. Putin's media goons in mama russia have certainly buried the story already, Fox took a couple days longer, sad thing is our mainstream corporate shills won't keep the story alive much past a couple weeks. His story aligns with people like Mandela, unfortunatly Russia has thourougly suppressed any disent and  pressure from outside sources is minimal not sure it would work at all anyway. We should offer to trade Tucker Carlson for Navalny's corpse!


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