back to article Prez Obama expels 35 Russian spies over election meddling

President Barack Obama has ordered the expulsion of 35 suspected Russian spies in response to "malicious cyber activity and harassment" by Putin's government for attempts to undermine the 2016 election. In a statement issued on Thursday, Obama ordered a number of actions in response to "the Russian government’s aggressive …

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Trollface

I wonder...

Why that Russian tweet sounded so much like it could have been written by Trump...

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Re: I wonder...

Is it because both are raging authoritarian populists?

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Windows

Re: I wonder...

It's 2016.

Everybody is a raging authoritarian populist.

You can just distinguish people by how many countries they have already bombed.

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Roo
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Re: I wonder...

"Why that Russian tweet sounded so much like it could have been written by Trump..."

It would make sense given that Trump seems to be doing Putin's dirty work these days.

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Re: I wonder...

> It would make sense given that Trump seems to be doing Putin's dirty work these days.

Riding the Duma? Explain!

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WTF?

Re: Dan 55 Re: I wonder...

"....raging authoritarian populists...." You talking about Obama? I mean, it's not like the industry has been warning for years that the grid (and other utilities - remember the Stuxnet furor?) are badly protected against hacking, yet all of a sudden (when the DNC needs to blame an election result on it) Obama starts "punishing" the Russians! I'd have to say this is far too little and far too late from the Obama administration, just a frustrated tantrum rather than what they should have started years ago. It's not like the idea of air-gapping was born yesterday (IIRC, the Bell-LaPadula security model talked about it in the '70s!), so - given the shrieking about Chinese and Russian hacking for at least the last five years - why hasn't anyone in Obama's administration done anything to enforce basic security measures like air-gapping as a Federal requirement on utility operators, let alone areas like voting machines? It's not like Gee Dubya didn't set the ball rolling with the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Properly enforced air-gapping virtually eliminates the threat of the kind of phishing attacks used in Vermont. But no, Obama was more interested in "building his legacy" than actually focusing on real issues.

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Re: I wonder...

https://twitter.com/pwnallthethings/status/816621553643294720

Seems a fair enough bet the Russians were involved tbh.

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Coat

Re: I wonder...

Michael Morell: "In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr Putin had recruited Mr Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

My coat is the one with the "Spotter's Guide to Black Helicopters" in the pocket.

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Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

This is the report

https://www.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/publications/JAR_16-20296A_GRIZZLY%20STEPPE-2016-1229.pdf

Other than highlighting Weiners laptop got pwned (clicked on link to underage girls) at the bottom of page 2 it provides no evidence of The Russians hacking

the DNC (it was an insider leaking)

Podesta gmail account (standard phishing from script kiddie)

Clintons basement server (was never hacked).

There is something wrong with the system when a Lame Duck President can be issuing Executive Orders from his holiday complex in Hawaii three weeks before he is made redundant.

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Devil

Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

"There is something wrong with the system when a Lame Duck President can be issuing Executive Orders from his holiday complex in Hawaii three weeks before he is made redundant."

more like irrelevant.

Obaka's just doing whatever damage he can on the way out the door. Of course HE doesn't see it that way, but that's the overall effect. Hell, might as well screw Israel as much as possible to placate the Islamists while we're at it, blame Russia, make a stupid lame attempt at "retaliation" like we're on a kindergarten playground or something.

What a Maroon! Well, some people at least expected this kind of thing. So you have a pile of executive orders being issued, while he can, without a care as to the consequences, since the election is OVER and HIS SIDE LOST. So he'll get his "digs" in anyway.

Let's see how long it takes for Congress and Trump to undo it all...

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

No, he's taking a stand against the terrorist state of Israel for the genocide they commit against Palestinian children on a daily basis. Of course, it's nowhere near enough and he should have done it 8 years ago. Thankfully Israel's days are numbered though.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

"the genocide they commit against Palestinian children on a daily basis"

I doubt that committing genocide every day is sustainable, surely they would run out of children to murder?

Or you're just talking crap.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

The DNC leak:

The contents of some are certainly discrediting for the Democrats. I see the most important one as the old Podesta email which showed Citibank's Michael Froman decided on almost every Obama cabinet position.

But the most disturbing consequence is that the (assumed) leaker, Seth Rich, was murdered. I previously didn't believe the "trail of bodies" stories about the Clintons. But this time the circumstances are too suspicious.

The media described him as a "worker" or "operative", yet he his title was Director of Voter Expansion Data (Turnout) since 2014.

The DC police went out of their way to describe the killing as a robbery that went wrong. But nothing was taken, and police are usually hesitant to label something as a robbery when the evidence doesn't point to it.

He was shot several times, even while on the ground, while in a camera blind spot, which is rare for that area. Would a dumb robber have scoped out the blind spots?

Even Seth's family (dad) is shown on TV telling people to not speculate on anything other than robbery. Most families want a serious investigation, and they tend to not believe the simple excuse.

As we know, WikiLeaks hinted that Seth was its source. http://yournewswire.com/wikileaks-seth-rich-leaked-clinton-emails/

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

"Let's see how long it takes for Congress and Trump to undo it all..."

Apparently Paul Ryan and quite a few republicans are in full agreement with Obama on this, and Trump has actually issued a statement using more than 140 brain cells :

"Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated about the facts of this situation."

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

Bob Rocket:

It is not however wrong for someone to become a president despite winning less votes than the losing candidate?

Lame argument anyone ...

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

The GOP thanks Russia and the rogue FBI groups for assisting them to Absolute Power.

But now, the GOP wants the Power only for itself, and must kick Russia out to complete the coup d'etat.

This is the nature of POWER.

The investigations found that Russia meddled, and cyber-war will result.

Look for a Trump impeachment early, followed by a Pence presidency and the end of democracy.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

Look for a Trump impeachment early, followed by a Pence presidency and the end of democracy.

Democracy ended some while ago in many "democratic nations" where you have entrenched political parties who have adjusted the system to try and ensure that no challenger parties can get a foothold, and the established parties play Buggins turn for who runs government.

The extensive and blatant gerrymandering of electoral boundaries in the US is a fine example. In the UK a broadly similar situation has been upset by the emergence of electors failing to follow the script, whereas in the US, Trump had to take on the Republican party, whose establishment didn't want to back him.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

thegroucho,

the US system is not based on the overall popular vote it is based on elector constituences, Trump won more constituencies than Clinton so he gets to be President.

This is similar to the UK where the electorate vote for MPs and MPs decide on the PM.

The issue is that the US election was on Nov 9th but the outgoing President doesn't hand over power until Jan 20th. In the UK, the Government is dissolved before the election and a new Government constituted as soon as is practicable afterwards.

President Obama is just working out his notice (by holidaying in Hawaii) he should not have the levers of power, these should fall back to the Senate/Governors until the new President is sworn in.

(in order to stop a petulant outgoer trashing the place before they go).

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

I'm sorry to see some reflexive downvoting on your post as it's entirely factual. The CIA have a history of lying - including to their own government (example, they lied about their use of torture to a House Committee) and interfering with multiple country's democratic processes. They have a long and documented history of such. They even ran drugs to finance themselves independently of US government funding. In contrast, Wikileaks provide substantiated information and as far as I'm aware, have never been caught lying about such matters. Wikileaks say it's not Russia and was in fact a leak from within the DNC. CIA say it isn't but refuse to provide evidence - again, even to their own government. (The Chair of the House Intelligence committee was refused a briefing from them when he requested one).

Any logical and evidence based balance of probabilities would be to say that Wikileaks is more likely telling the truth.

And if it is a leak rather than hacking, then the immediate logical follow-up is that the CIA will want to prevent the truth emerging. Someone willing to leak that data is also someone who could plausibly confess to it. Seth Rich is one of the suspected sources of the leak. He could demolish the CIA's entire case by going public as the source. Or rather he could before he coincidentally died a few miles from his house in an alleged robbery. Fun fact: people who mug you for your wallet and phone are usually content to just get those items and run. They don't normally go out trying to shoot people dead. (Especially, you don't normally find their victims dying from multiple shots to the back).

So again, it's a shame to see some people go "Conspiracy Theory" and vote it down (or do so for other reasons). Maybe my post will be too, but there's nothing in the above that is implausible nor flawed reasoning. What it comes down to is that some people don't want to accept the liklihood that people in the US government are willing to have someone killed to suit their agenda. Despite that such people have knowingly killed hundreds of thousands with wars like Iraq or the bombing of Libya knowing full well that such loss of life would be the result. To reject the idea that the CIA or similar would assasinate someone or that people in government would turn a blind eye to it, is to reject countless historical cases where they have done exactly that, and on far grander scale than one life.

In short: which group has the greater credibility - Wikileaks or the CIA. Based on evidence one has to say the former. If the former is telling the truth is it the case that US parties have the motive and demonstrated willingness to dispose of someone who could expose them. Overwhelmingly yes to both of those again. None of this is unsupported so downvote away!

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

“It is not however wrong for someone to become a president despite winning less votes than the losing candidate?”

It’s happened a few times in Australia, when the party with the smaller popular vote got the majority of seats. It’s a fundamental flaw with a system laughingly called “democratic”: you don’t actually vote for the policies or the leader, you vote for a party who has voted for a candidate who has voted for a leader who has bolted together some policies to make the whole thing look as if they’re doing something to justify your vote. And this only every 3 or 4 years.

A majority of a majority isn’t always a majority (70% of 70% is only 49%).

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

> I'm sorry to see some reflexive downvoting on your post as it's entirely factual.

Have a non-reflexive down-vote purely for not being able to understand that a factual post can be completely worthy of a down-vote.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

" In the UK a broadly similar situation has been upset by the emergence of electors failing to follow the script"

There were two scripts. There was the script you mean (i.e. the one supported by every main party at the last election because it was the right thing to do), and the alternative - that our country had been 'taken away', promises of windfalls to the NHS, threats of 70 million brown turkish hordes descending on us, the dismissing of any business concerns as merely 'project fear'.

2017 is the year when we find out how little anyone had thought about the real consequences of Brexit, and just how far politicians are likely to pursue the idiotic in an attempt to save face.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

Oh, and the genocide started just right now, as his side lost the elections?

I don`t like Trump, but the actions Obama is taking are a disgrace, and he should be ashamed of doing them after the vote and a few weeks from leaving office.

If he wanted to mess with Israel, he had two terms to do it. Chose not to, but now, he is messing around... this is not in the interest of the USA.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

"There is something wrong with the system when a [...] President can be issuing Executive Orders [...] three weeks before he is made redundant."

There's only one president at a time, and there is a formal handover ceremony which in this case is in a few weeks. How else do you expect the system to work?

It takes a long time to count all the votes in the US, so naturally the presidents can't be swapped straight after election day, as the result is still uncertain at that point.

It would be possible to swap once the Electoral college votes are all in, but the US loves it's spectacle and rallies, and those take some time to organise (catering has to be organised, musicians have to be booked etc.), and so there's a period of time to allow this organisation to happen.

Assuming Trump makes it to the end of his term, he also will continue to be the president, with all the powers that entails, until the next one is sworn in. This is normal.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

Do you not understand how the US electoral system, (as defined by the founding fathers), works? It's a bit like the UK One too!

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

"a Lame Duck President can be issuing Executive Orders"

Under the American political system there can only be one ... president at any given moment in time. Obama is still president and has the power to issue orders like this ... and in time, Trump will gain the same power. I wonder if you will be making the same complaint in four years time when Trump is leaving office?

Of course, it has been the Republican position that Obama has been a "Lame Duck" president for eight years now so I'll not be holding by breath on this.

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Re: which group has the greater credibility - Wikileaks or the CIA

Neither has any real credibility as far as "truth" goes, although when it comes to getting rid of Presidents I'd say that the CIA has the edge.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

>>"Have a non-reflexive down-vote purely for not being able to understand that a factual post can be completely worthy of a down-vote."

When a post is entirely factual, I like to see disagreement with the contents take the form of reasoned argument rather than just voting them down without explanation. At the time of my post (and still to the time I post this), the person I replied to had been modded down by a number of people but nobody had actually given any reason why anything they wrote was wrong. Which is not that surprising as what they wrote is easily verified.

I fully understand that one could vote down a purely factual post - for example any of those interminable "Try Linux" posts every single sodding time there's a story about a Windows issue no matter how off-topic it is; or if there's obvious lack of context or understanding such as "It was really cold last week" on a story about global warming. But this is neither so yes, I do find it disappointing when I see an on-topic, being voted down by a few people but none of whom dispute that it's actually accurate.

Do we know that Seth Rich was the leaker? No, we don't. Can we say it's very possible he was? Yes - we have a more reliable source stating it was a leak and he is a likely candidate and there are several actual hints that he was as well. It's pretty reasonable to suggest that his being shot multiple times in the back near his home in Bloomberg could be linked to an agency well-known for assassinations. Given that if it was a leak then someone (plausibly Seth Rich) was in a position to discredit said agency's story. If someone's first reaction to reading the above is "Conspiracy Theory" rather than "but that part doesn't make sense", then I humbly and politely ask them to take a few moments and ask themselves if there is anything that is obviously wrong in it. Nobody is saying we know it to be the case. But it's perfectly possible and, if one thinks that Wikileaks is telling the truth, then it actually becomes quite likely.

So short version: clearly I do understand that a purely factual post can be worthy of a downvote. But isn't it better to actually point out the obvious flaws in it? And if that isn't easily done, then downvoting isn't the next best thing, imo.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

>>"If he wanted to mess with Israel, he had two terms to do it. Chose not to, but now, he is messing around... this is not in the interest of the USA."

Oddly enough (odd because I'm a long-term critic of Israeli foreign policy), I agree with you. There's a real air of 'ha! they can't punish me now!' about Obama's recent shifts on Israel. I mean unlike you (I'm guessing, could be wrong), I actually want to see the US stop blindly supporting Israel but it's hardly heroic on Obama's side, more like a kid on the last day of school knowing the teachers can't put him in detention. I guess I'll take what I can get but like you say - he's had two whole terms to do this. This isn't really very helpful.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

Correction. That is the report of what has so far been made public.

Intelligence is rarely made available wholesale to the general public as it tends to reveal how much we know and how we know it.

The President has been and Congress will be hearing a great deal more than anything you'll find on the interwebs.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

>>"The President has been and Congress will be hearing a great deal more than anything you'll find on the interwebs."

Important correction in turn: The president will be, but members of Congress have been refused access. There was a closed briefing for selected members.

Lack of access severely limits expert analysis and independent corroboration. Ultimately, I believe this will come down to "do you trust the CIA".

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Windows

Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

> The President has been and Congress will be hearing a great deal more than anything you'll find on the interwebs.

Yeah, I would love a clear explanation of #Pizzagate. Sounds like partisan bullshit, until suddenly it kinda, sorta, really doesn't. It also has troubling "third rail" aspects for MSM outfits. Compare this with the presswise destruction of Assange of a kinda, sorta rape that happened.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

Was Seth Rich the leaker? Well, I'm not aware of any evidence that he was. But even if he was - what follows from that? Does it mean Russia is innocent?

Hell no.

If Wikileaks had any interest in "full disclosure", then there was absolutely no need for the materials to be released the way they were - staggered across several weeks, with promises of press conferences and 'teasers' released to the media beforehand. That was a well orchestrated campaign, and I don't have the slightest doubt it was the Russians who orchestrated it, in co-operation with the Trump campaign. (Witness the time Trump referenced a story based on a misquote that had, at that time, only ever been published in RT.)

Putin's fingerprints are all over Trump's victory, with or without Seth Rich or any other stooge who may have helped out his little game of kingmaker. I suspect that a thorough investigation would find the same dabs on the Brexit result - at the very least, there's no doubt the trolls of Olgino were very active in the British media this summer.

But the interference in America was blatant. What's more, the CIA recognises it as straight out of their own playbook - it was exactly the kind of campaign that the US ran in Ukraine back in 2004.

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Re: Palestine

The issue with Israel and Palestine is the fact that Israel refuses to admit that what they're doing is wrong. They insist on trying to reclaim the historic kingdom of Israel from 2000 years ago, while seeing the Palestinians as little more than a nuisance to be eradicated.

The way I see it there are only 4 possible solutions to the issue:

1. The 2 State Solution. Basically what the UN Resolution is demanding, an end to illegal villages on Palestinian land and a recognition of Palestine as a nation. In return Palestine recognises Israel as a nation. Remember, part of the reason Palestine doesn't recognise Israel is because many of them were forcefully expelled from their homes. Land they owned and farmed for generations was taken from them at gunpoint and handed over to total strangers.

2. Continue as is. Basically nothing changes, for Palestinians they'll see continuing encroachment on their lands, as they're forceably removed. Israel will see continued attacks from Palestinians as the Palestinians get increasingly desperate and disillusioned.

3. A Single State Solution. Israel effectively annexes Palestine completely, forcing the remaining Palestinians out of the country (they've already made it clear that they will not accept Palestinians into Israel as it would require Israel to no longer be a Jewish State). Every country around Israel has already stated they won't accept any more Palestinian refugees since the last expulsion by Israel.

4. A Single State Solution. If the Palestinians won't leave, and Israel effectively annexes Palestine to ensure the Palestinians can't retaliate you basically carpet bomb from one end of Palestine, to the other, killing every single man, woman and child living there. (They've come pretty close to doing this already, stopping short of completely flattening Gaza City.)

At the end of the day there will be no peace until both sides sit down and listen to the other side. The irony is Blair actually had the experience to do this, but blew his credibility with Iraq. Maybe Jerry Adams should have a go instead?

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Windows

Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

"Witness the time Trump referenced a story based on a misquote that had, at that time, only ever been published in RT."

Proof that Trump's campaign outfit reads RT in spite of John Kerry telling all good US citizens not to?

the trolls of Olgino were very active in the British media this summer.

Please explain how Internet trolls lead to a successful Brexit vote. Several inferences are missing here.

"But the interference in America was blatant."

Still don't see the blatantness. Citation needed.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit @Steve Knox

Intelligence is rarely made available wholesale to the general public as it tends to reveal how much we know and how we know it. ….. Steve Knox

Correction, Steve.

Intelligence is rarely made available wholesale to the general public as it tends to reveal how little is known about everything in intelligent community circles and central intelligence agencies. Thinking up things daily to test out live in the fields of public opinion and private interest without knowledge in everything, is no way to effectively control and command virtual reality enterprises. The result of such a charade of dim-witted escapades is the sub-prime present you now have delivered daily into your lives by mass media operations. And y’all entertain and believe it to be uncontrollable and leaderless.

Oh how easily are the fooled led to suffer follies, for nothing just happens as if by magic. Everything is scripted for smarter disciplines to follow and realise with conspiring leaderships.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

I would like the US to stop supporting Israel, and I think that it is not in the best interest of the US tu support, in general, "bad things in the name of power". When I say the US, I mean "the majority of the US population".

I am not a US citizen, and I don´t live in the US (we could, my wife is a US citizen).

What I think is bad for the US is this thing of burning the house before the new tenant comes in, as we have been kicked out. This is really bad for the US. Strategies have to be at least medium term, and a President that us going out has no mandate to do these things. It is just wrong.

I did not go into these things because I did not want to appear to be judging from a bias. Albeit I am, but the opposite that you thought I was.... I try to be fair.. of course I fail, but I least I try.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

>>"I did not go into these things because I did not want to appear to be judging from a bias. Albeit I am, but the opposite that you thought I was.... I try to be fair.. of course I fail, but I least I try."

Sorry, no offence was meant and I agreed with your post. It was a surmise as I said at the time. I found it interesting and positive that even two people who (I thought at the time) had different political views, could agree on the destructiveness of Obama's current approach. Apologies for guessing wrong.

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Happy

Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

@ Mark Simon

We had the same system in Finland too but it become more and more obvious that those 200 electors had their own agenda with all their secret meetings and what not. Since then we vote directly for the President, all political parties together and all in the television too. And why not, the President should represent the hole country after all. That a "MP" represents his constituency is an other question and understandable.

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Trollface

Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

Maybe the USA should get rid of the electoral college if they dislike it so much. They could have a proportional representation system... Like Russia does. ;)

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

In parliamentary systems it's much worse. In Canada, a person can become Prime Minister typically with 39% of the vote. It could be that in the Democracy of Ancient Greece, that same person might have been exiled (ostracized) by an overwhelming 60% of the electorate. Coulda woulda shoulda, but the same guy was Prime Minister until the 61% found a happy interlocking way to "vote strategically".

In the 1960 election, Wikipedia shows Kennedy winning the popular vote, but it's murkier than that, see this map and the commentary about Alabama at the bottom. Kennedy won in the Electoral College 303-219, meaning that there was only one state with enough EC votes to be called a "swing state", NY. Harry F. Byrd received 15 EC votes, though he had not been a candidate for President. Stuff that in your college and smoke it.

To the person who said that the EC is part of the system and then in the same comment went on to complain that the outgoing President should be neutralized, I say: "Your slip is showing!"

I rather like Obama's outgoing flourish. Even though USA and Russia are both nominally constitutional democracies, there's still a bit of antipathy toward "Rooskies", and Obama is making whatever conciliatory position Trump might have in mind look like he's being soft on the "Rooskies". That can work to the Dems' advantage in 2020 or even 2018. Despite Netanyahu's hissy fit, USA (b.1776) has been like both father and mother to Israel (b.1948), but being in the same family doesn't always mean getting what you want. Rare are the opportunities for telling a delicate offspring that they have gone too far, and this is one.

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@Rob D. -- Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

Have a non-reflexive down-vote purely for not being able to understand that a factual post can be completely worthy of a down-vote.

Then you can have some downvotes for not providing factual information that refutes the original. Downvotes around here are sometimes just a knee-jerk as people don't want to hear the truth. To quote: "You can't handle the truth"... applies here.

Politics isn't about honesty. It's about power and getting elected. If the truth gets stomped into the ground and buried, the ones that action benefit don't care as they got what they wanted.

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

@GrapeBunch,

The EC system is the one under which this election was run, a different system (popular vote for example) would have produced a different campaign from both the main players, I find the EC system a bit bizarre but the UK runs its own mad system (all electoral systems are mad, the key is to find one that everybody agrees is rubbish and use that).

Would President Obama have behaved the way he is doing now had Hillary won ?

I personally don't think he would have done, his outbursts seem to me to be petty and vindictive, it sullies the good work he has done in the past and sets a dangerous precedent for future action by outgoing Presidents.

It appears childish and petulant, if I behaved like that my mum would've slapped my legs, that other Democrats applaud his actions shows just how far they have fallen.

They will be out of power for a very long time, this sorry episode will haunt them for a generation at least.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

"There is something wrong with the system when a Lame Duck President can be issuing Executive Orders..."

That's a valid argument. I trust that in 4 or 8 years you will apply the same logic to Trump.

"from his holiday complex in Hawaii"

So if we look back into the Reg archives 8+ years ago, we'll see you complaining about W working from Crawford?

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

"I doubt that committing genocide every day is sustainable, surely they would run out of children to murder?"

The CIA "World Factbook" estimates neonatal mortality rate in the Gaza Strip to be 17 per 1000 vs 3.5 per 1000 for Israel as a whole. Something isn't right there.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

In short: which group has the greater credibility - Wikileaks or the CIA.

That's not as much of an either-or decision as you seek to portray, the third option is neither.

Wikileaks had a very clear agenda. One of the first things you want from any source that protrays itself as being "for the people" is that it refrains from bias, otherwise it is not offering facts to allow people to make up their own mind, it is actively influencing people. If they had been digging as deep in GOP leaks as Democrats they would have had more credibility, but with this they blew the last remnant of credibility they had. They had an opportunity to reclaim credibility, and they studiously avoided taking it.

The CIA is also not exactly without agenda, and has pretty much become too big for anyone to control - again, not a source with much remaining credibility.

In conclusion, I would not trust either. Both have a raging allergy to accountability* and transparency, so I'd not have any confidence in either doing something that was even remotely associated with assisting democracy.

* As demonstrated on numerous occasions by Assange™

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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

"There is something wrong with the system when a [...] President can be issuing Executive Orders [...] three weeks before he is made redundant."

also try

"There is something wrong with the system when a [...] President can be issuing Executive Orders [...] three weeks can not be issuing Supreme Court nominations a year before he is made redundant."

yeah . . . yeah . . . i know . . . one has nothing to do with the other . . . except that it does!

Obama hasn't been my idea of the best president he could have been but the (dis)loyal opposition has been just awful from day one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

Palestinian territories population increase rate is estimated around 2%, birthdate around 25 per 1000.

Total pop around 6 million.

Gaza strip estimated around 3% (8 yrs ago) and 40 per 1000 (10years ago)

There's also the Palestinian diaspora of about 4million

Israel about 2% pop increase rate. On 8.5 million (75% of which are Jews)

It's a numbers game.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Palestine

"The issue with Israel and Palestine is the fact that Israel refuses to admit that what they're doing is wrong. "

The political power in Israel has slowly shifted from European Jews influences to those of Jews who were expelled from Arab countries after 1948/67/73. The result is the increasing adoption of the "winner takes all" style of power that is more prevalent in countries in the region.

It is not helped by the Jewish religious hard-liners who hate the culture of a liberal democratic Israel. They often hold a balance of power and are out-breeding the rest of the Israeli Jews. They want their biblical lands restored to them alone - and that is the political impetus behind the West Bank settlements.

It was said of Yasser Arafat that several times he "snatched defeat from the jaws of victory" by refusing what were seen as unrepeatable major opportunities for a two-state deal. He wanted everything.

Israel pulled out of Gaza - forcibly removing their settlers in the process. They left behind intact working agricultural and industrial infrastructure that could be put to good economic use. These facilities were then looted and destroyed by the people of Gaza. The political understanding that their withdrawal would result in less cross-border rocket attacks from Gaza by militants proved worthless.

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Silver badge
Pint

Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

@ J. R. Hartley

I don't think you meant to say "Thankfully Israel's days are numbered though." literally. Israel is run by a regime dragging the whole population towards fascism and apartheid at an accelerating speed. All because they want to keep it all. And they want to make the two state alternative go away.

We all know this, there is noway to hide it, nor is it. The UN resolution you find (all of it) on YouTube and it's worth the time. Took me about four beers. At the very end you find the Israeli regime representative with the most childish and appalling speech in that room.

The US did the right thing not to veto that resolution. Kerry's speech is appropriate too, and listen to the whole speech and not just to some snippet you find on YouTube. There are lots of both Israelis and Jews around the world who oppose this regime and its goals. They need all the support we can give them and I wish they would stand up and speak out louder. And for the rest I would hope they stopped turning a blind eye to the reality.

What else, time to wish everybody a better next year.

I haven't been able to decide what to call this 2016 year yet. Is it the "Year of the hairs", the "Year of the lying arseholes" or the "Year of the men children". So help me out.

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