SocraticGadfly: 8/14/16 - 8/21/16

August 19, 2016

#DNCLeaks. #DemsInPhilly, and Manchurian Candidate Putin-Trump conspiracy thinking (updated)

Maybe it's not full-on conspiracy thinking, but its at least 50 percent conspiracy thinking to claim, as has Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, that Russian President Vladimir Putin is deliberately timing the leaks of hacked emails to help Donald Trump.

(Update, Aug. 19: Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort has resigned over issues of his "connections" to pro-Russian Ukrainians.)

First, the first hacked emails that have been released date back to March 2015, three months before Trump announced his candidacy. (That said, we don't know when Guccifer 2.0 started the hacks.)

Second, the leaks started a five weeks before the RNC, undercutting Mook's "timing" issue, at least for Guccifer. Julian Assange and Wikileaks? That's different, on the release timing.

And, Julian Assange has weighed in, saying the timing of the leaks; release was his, for anti-Clinton revenge, And the NYT has backed off the Putin ideas, calling it 'unproven speculation.'

Third, it IS conspiracy thinking, IMO, to claim Trump changed the GOP platform's Russia plank to make it even more "friendly," in coordinated timing with the email leaks. Loose cannon Donald Trump is NO Manchurian Candidate.

Fourth, as last December's fracas between Bernie Sanders and DNC staff showed, DNC servers have long had known security problems. Apparently, DNC Chairwomen Debbie Wasserman Schultz was either too cheap, or else too beholden to DNC cybersecurity contractors, to get that fixed. Apparently, Team Mook and the rest of Camp Clinton was too cheap, or too beholden to the DNC's anti-Sanders coordination, to push her to do that.

Fifth, other Manchurian Candidate bullshit, from Josh Marshall, gets destroyed here.

Sixth, as Adam Johnson notes, Putin's FSB would actually have to be pretty inept to be behind this.

Others, like Vice's Motherboard, are also saying that people need to back off direct claims the Russian government is directly linked.

Shoot me dead; James Taranto, wingnut WSJ columnist, says something sensical on the issue. And yes, if you look in context, it's semi-clear that he was joking.


Update: We have a semi-plausible, at a minimum, non-Russian hacker suspect now too. "Detox Ransome" is a money-first, not ideological hacker. But, if he already got into DNC servers last fall, he could just wait for the highest bidder. Assange still gets Wikileaks' tip jar filled pretty regularly, I think. Sounds like a very plausible marriage of convenience.

I would think either Ransome or Assange could spoof fake Russian metadata,m too, either halfway well with a few errors or maybe deliberately well with fake errors.

And, Epoch Times, the reporting site, is NOT Russia Today or Sputnik News. It's my Chinese-American Falun Gong practitioners.

August 18, 2016

Ken Salazar and Hillary Clinton's #fail on #climatechange, #fracking, #DeepwaterHorizon

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton announced earlier this week that, if she were elected, former Colorado senator Ken Salazar, President Obama's first Secretary of the Interior, would serve as leader of her transition team.

That would be the Kenny Boy Salazar:
• Who lied about issues related to the Deepwater Horizon blowout;
• Who was a non-transparent part of the (not) "most transparent administration in history;
• Who "cheerled" for federal coal sales;
• Who lied about what the Endangered Species Act covers;
• Who threatened to sue, as a private individual, to block ESA enforcement;
• Who refused to clean house at Interior; and
• Whose brother was once in bed with the Koch Bros.

So, anti-frackers are right to complain, but Salazar's anti-environmentalism runs a lot deeper than anti-fracking.

Well, for all the Democrats, and the David Brock machine, who smear Jill Stein as being anti-science, along with a Green deserter like Dan Arel for a far more minuscule Socialist party in a fractured Socialist landscape who does the same, this proves who is really anti-science.

I've long said the Paris accord of this spring, with zero enforcement mechanisms, is aspirational bullshit. This just underscores that.

Democrats don't truly take climate change seriously, and Hillary Clinton is going in reverse.

August 17, 2016

Movement skeptics, or Skeptics™, get politicized over Jill Stein, try to deny it

In the controversy, largely manufactured, over Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein's stance on vaccines and autism, I have once again (as in far from the first time) had reason to be skeptical of so-called "movement skeptics," or Skeptics™, to the point of scorn in some cases.

Specifically, any amateur or professional movement skeptics, like Galen Broaddus, already blocked on Facebook, who dishes it out on Stein then lyingly says that Hillary Clinton's multi-decade connection to The Family/The Fellowship is only ephemeral. (Its non-ephemerality is shown in a variety of her political stances on socio-cultural issues.) Or, they try to pretend, contra the evidence, that Clinton's not an American imperialism warhawk, one part of an establishment that wants to foment war with Russia. Yet more here on Clinton and warhawkery. Paul Fidalgo's another willing to be skeptical, or beyond, about Stein, Trump, and, Johnson, but turn blind eyes toward Clinton.

This starts with folks like Michael Shermer, Brian Dunning and Penn and Teller conflating libertarian politics and skepticism. Then came Brian Dunning's wire fraud and worse, groupies who thought he was innocent even after his guilty plea.

Third, speaking of groupies, is the series of sexual harassment allegations in movement skepticism, followed by the series of apparent coverups.

And now this.

Movement skepticism membership is no more a guarantor of moral or intellectual superiority than is atheism. (I've long said that about atheism versus the general populace.) And, along the likes of the best of Stoicism, shouldn't r Skeptics™ be able to see beyond, and work beyond, fear-driven behavior? Because that's exactly what it's doing right now.

The funnier, and also more hypocritical side of all of this, is that Ive called on movement skeptics to take their focus outside their narrow bounds. But John Horgan, in his calling them out, probably recognizes, like me, that that's not happening, Massimo Pigliucci, a better skeptic than any died-in-the-wool Skeptics™, has been distancing himself from them more and more for several years.

August 16, 2016

TX Progressives talk flooding, stereotypes, 1 percenters

The Texas Progressive Alliance announces that all of its members have renamed themselves "Simone" as we bring you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff notes the changes to the voter ID law that were approved last week.

Harris County Republicans completed the epic fail trifecta with Commissioner Steve Radack's "enjoy your floods!" remarks, which piled on the continuing troubles of DA Devon Anderson and Sheriff Ron Hickman.  PDiddie at Brains and Eggs posted that that Democrats have a good shot at a clean sweep of these three offices, and only one of them should require a little effort to accomplish.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is appalled at the McAllen Monitor for publishing an oped describing how to strip TWO Supreme Court Justices from Barack Obama.

Socratic Gadfly, as he continues to recover from a fairly bad broken arm, tells 1 percenters he's not a freeloader because of the legitimate assistance of workman's comp.

Like most around Houston, Texas Leftist was quite surprised to hear/ see Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack's insensitive comments about flood victims.  Thankfully his Democratic challenger Jenifer Pool was quick to respond. This race may have just gotten interesting.

Neil at All People Have Value saw a mother steer her young daughter away from some Legos at the Lego store saying that a Lego airplane and truck was for boys. Neil wondered what is wrong with people. APHV is part of


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Space City Weather explains why hurricanes go where they go.

Christopher Hooks reads Greg Abbott's silly book so you don't have to.

The TSTA Blog reminds us that school finance depends on legislators, not lottery players.

Paradise in Hell counts all the ways that George P. Bush's endorsement of Donald Trump is awesome.

John Nova Lomax ponders the morality of Steve Miller's rock classic Take The Money And Run.

August 15, 2016

The Israel Hillary Clinton supports

Per this piece, the arrest of Palestinian males, and juveniles, along with Israeli security forces of various types growing more ready to shoot to kill, makes Palestinians sound like African-Americans.

Fortunately, more and more American organizations are getting this message, and doing something at least a bit akin to BDS.

Hillary? Even though her own church denomination of childhood is among those organizations, she still wants to write a blank check to Netanyahu.

Vote Green.