Hugh
Someday please tell me your take on our current political thing. But I don’t want you to feel pursued. When you feel like it. 
MAR 16TH, 10:00PM

Hugh
What are you thinking about this political moment? Come on, you can do it. Tell me what this looks like from your side of things.
MON 10:58PM

Hugh
OK, tell me about Michael Flynn. Did Trump know about his connections to Turkey and Russia? Did Pence? And how quickly and thoroughly should this whole attack on our sytem be whitewashed and forgotten? 🙂 😐 😐  Unless of course her emails are still the big story here…

FRI 5:07AM
Walt
This is exactly why FB is such a waste of time for talking politics; instead of reasoned discussion, it encourages snarky bumper stickers.  Interesting to see that you apparently seem to think that Comey was out there with his Calabash pipe and magnifying glass investigating Trump himself. In the real world, of course, the investigations continue and have produced new subpoenas for Flynn’s associates since Comey was fired. Not to mention the simultaneous congressional investigation.

Hugh
Obviously I don’t mistake Comey for the investigator. He was the political will power and determination for the FBI investigation – and his second in command (acting head) is already compromised by acceding to Trump request to portray news story about Russia as unimportant.

Walt
And if your position is that government officials can break laws and violate federal procedural safeguards, handle all of their classified communications on unsecured home servers, lie about it to congress, and destroy 30,000 subpoenaed emails rather than cooperate with the inevitable investigation is *not* a big deal, that’s an interesting viewpoint on proper governance. I’m sure you will apply it evenly regardless of which party happens to be in office.

Walt
So I don’t currently see anything being swept under a rug as far as Flynn is concerned. Also interesting to see all the folks who were convinced that Comey stole the election and the fact that trump hadn’t fired him was an outrage (and proof that Trump is corrupt) change their minds the very instant trump fired him. That very millisecond Comey became some kind of secular saint who was the only bulwark against Vladimir Putin moving into the White House, and the fact that Trump fired him was proof that Trump was corrupt. I haven’t seen so many smoking 180s since my friend Hunter was practicing his bootlegger turns back in Shenandoah County.
FRI 12:44PM

Hugh
If nothing is being swept under the rug about Flynn, why does the WH flatly refuse the request of a bipartisan investigation for background information on Flynn? Not a jot or a tittle shared. RE Comey, A person can believe that someone made a terrible choice in one situation but was playing a positive role in other ways. Comey screwed the pooch in regard to the Weiner computer nonsense but was a solid investigator toward Trump/Russia. The idea that Trump fired Comey for being unfair to hillary because a deputy attorney general told him to is hilarious! And he has stepped on his dick about 14 times since then admitting it was actually about the Russia probe. Trump asked Comey to swear loyalty to him and Comey refused.

In the footsteps of Sally Yates and Preet Bharara Trump fires someone getting too close to where the bodies are buried.

But I have a what if. What if Sally Yates never made an issue of Michael Flynn? What if no outsider was ever in her position and played that role? We’d still have Flynn as national security advisor in the pay of Russia (pay is established fact) and also representing Turkey but secretly as his own little treasonous gold mine.
Would THAT bother you? Even a little? I love you man, but your defense of country, which is so “high alert watch dog” against insecure email use is so Alfred E Newman about hostile foreigners manipulating our election and the current administration. There may be no “proven in court” yet but there are still smoking guns lying all over the place and you act like it’s silly and partisan to take that seriously.
These don’t have to snarky bumper stickers if we just talk. I had to poke you with a stick to annoy you enough to chat. So um sorry about that.

FRI 10:35PM

Hugh
I’m reacting to a sense of distress that I can’t find the amount of common ground with you that I expect to. Not blaming you or calling you dumb, it’s because the current white house stinks of unconstitutional, “men not laws” government and I expect to find you by my side.
As I would be at yours in prelude to a coup from the other side.
SAT 6:45AM

Walt
Don’t worry -I know you don’t think I’m slow in the noggin. So as to the other side, were you upset that the previous administration used executive orders to overturn the effects of legislation? Or that they started wars without congressional authorization? The stink of unconstitutionality has been around for a long time, and the reactions to it seem to me to be highly selective. Where you stand depends on where you sit, as it were.

Hugh
I’m not black or white on executive orders, context is important and they aren’t inherently unconstitutional but Obama at a total of 277 is lower than Reagan at 381 or GW Bush at 291 so your focus on Obama is peculiar. I dislike Trump during his theoretical honeymoon period opting for executive orders because even his own party disagrees with him. This seems especially egregious. Also Reagan attacked Grenada without congressional support so once again why Obama? Are you referring to Libya? In terms of lives lost and treasure squandered, Bush’s unnecessary but congressionally approved Iraq adventure was a sucking chest wound compared to Obama’s Libyan knee boo-boo. You are extremely partisan in your perception of the balance between examples of hurting our own interests vs accomplishing things we want that are good for us. And if Trump keeps up his rate of executive orders he’ll be over 500 at the end of 4 years.
Walt
And you seem to be operating on the assumption that a coup is in progress, and that is not an idea where we have common ground. I remember hearing from the fringes that President Bush would declare martial law in order to prevent Obama taking office, this idea that Trump is staging a coup seems just as silly.

Hugh
The fringes never shut up for 8 years that Obama was behaving despotically and planning some sort of ultimate abuse of power…did you hear those fringes? I think you did. But THEY don’t stick with you because you’re kind of in the same general bathwater. Thus your earlier illustrations were all “Bad Obama” illustrations even though they weren’t good illustrations numerically.
It isn’t that a coup is in progress, it is that an authoritarian with an unstable grip on reality and zero respect for our system of government is actively challenging balance of power issues every chance he gets aided by a number of powerful republicans with no moral center (McConnell and Ryan for two) because meanwhile they are getting more of what they want than usual and don’t want to waste a republican majority by holding our freakishly bad president accountable.

Also you should recognize that by referring to the fringe as your foundation for earlier over the top claims you are ignoring the large area of really mainstream, regular republicans who seriously fear what Trump is normalizing day by day. They also are outraged at the acceptance of Russian interference and afraid reasonably that as Trump takes zero steps to protect us from such interference by covering his ass and dismissing the importance of the attack (and I’m quoting dick cheyney here) we are sitting ducks for more in the future.

Your apparent complete lack of concern with our election hack and what it means now and in the future seems to me dereliction of patriotism.
Walt
And that’s part of the problem I have with FB – is such small spaces, we tend to focus only on areas where we disagree, and over time that leads us to think we are farther apart than we really are.
SAT 12:41PM

Walt
You know, it could be that I’m unconcerned that Trump colluded with the Russions to hack the election because there’s no evidence that it ever happened. You have that concept in your head, and if even Dianne Feinstein (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAxaalddaqI) saying that after extensive briefings on the investigation she has seen no evidence of any such collusion won’t convince you, I’m pretty sure you won’t hear it from me. Still, this investigation has been ongoing since before the election, and has thus far come up empty. If you have evidence to back up your assertion, by all means bring it forward.

Former Senate Intel Chair Dianne Feinstein: No Evidence Of Russia-Trump Camp Collusion
Senate Intel Chair Diane Feinstein: No Evidence Of Russia-Trump Camp Collusion (May 3, 2017)
youtube.com

SAT 3:03PM

Hugh
Well let’s start with this. The Russian hacked the election: Agree or disagree?
SAT 5:51PM
Walt
I have seen no evidence to support that assertion.
12:13AM

Hugh
You personally, what about every national intelligence agency?
Hugh
Well I think i’ve hit simple contrarian territory with you here. There’s not going to be any fun trying to convince you to read meaningful articles and such, your mind is clearly made up.
6:21AM

Walt
Show me the reports from any -let alone every- national intelligence agency that reaches the that Russian hacking into the election system flipped a single state or district. It’s bad enough that they tried to intervene in our election (though it’s a sin that we have been often enough guilty of elsewhere.) But an attempted hack is not hack except to script kiddies bragging on the nets. I have seen too many people moving straight from “the Russians hacked the election” to “therefore the election has no legitimacy.” Before I’ll accept “the Rooskies stole it for Trump” I want to see how the results of Russian hacking flipped a single state or district.

Walt
So let’s start there: did Russian hacking interfere with the election process in such a way as to cause votes cast for Hillary to be counted for Donald? If not, we don’t have a Hack, and we can start speaking constructively about influence and attempted influence.
1:49PM

Hugh
It’s an excellent idea to stop and define our terms or else we are doing the grown-ups-talking-politics version of babies in parallel play. However, your framing of the argument is too biased in favor of your own conclusion. It might as well be “Therefore, I win.” For this to be anything more than a self-fulfilling victory lap there should be enough openness and uncertainty in the argument along with some bottom line clarity, that we both have to work. You’ve essentially said, “prove to me a claim you never made” which is as unworkable as me saying “Prove there WASN’T a hack”. We should both have a territory that isn’t pre-surrendered by the argument itself. What’s the point otherwise?

Powerful and even desperate people are hiding information about what took place during the election, both by covering up the past (even including murder, I believe) and by using expert skills to engineer the safety of covert operations; it would be ridiculous to think that all the facts either of us need are just a link away.

Also, though circumstantial evidence can be brushed away as such, individual piece by piece, there is such an absurd amount of basically circumstantial evidence concerning Trump colluding with Russians that taken as a whole it becomes a compelling image though drawn as a thousand single stand alone marks on the paper. Would that image finally prove my point? It might depend on the discipline and context. There are different kinds of proof in symbolic logic and the legal system for only 2 examples out of many. I would say the image tells a story a savvy person knows how to interpret rather than constituting some sort of metaphysical absolute proof. I won’t endeavor to paint that picture in these general points but perhaps later.

I disagree with your terms that only a direct Russian hack of voting machines/results would constitute a “real” hack or one meaningful enough to worry about and fight back against. The Russians: They did hack Democratic party computers. They did give this information (along with false red herring information designed to look genuine) to Wikileaks. They coordinated with Wikileaks to release bits of this at critical junctures in the campaign, apparently as a response to the devastating “grab them by the pussy” disaster. There was a release like 12 hours later.

There is clear evidence that Russian hackers took extreme advantage of vulnerabilities in the relationship of news and social media, generating buzz about false stories and often timed to dovetail with the talking points of the moment by Donald Trump. This meant that fake news (“Hillary has been arrested”, “she’s about to be arrested”, “She stole money”, etc, etc) was being directed to selected groups. They also seriously hacked Google analytics and other services to make it more difficult to find accurate information on things they didn’t want people seeing. There also is evidence supporting Russian ACCESS to voter databases etc, this may have been used more to further “poison the well” with enhanced accuracy.

They successfully hacked our political parties, our social media, and our search engines. This had huge repercussions on news reporting. Thus they hacked the entire campaign throwing dirt in the eyes of every American trying to understand what was even really happening. The election was the fruit of the campaign and the campaign was utterly tainted by Russia.

There’s a good chance they NEVER directly hacked the voting machines/results. For you to draw the line there and only there is like deciding an ecosystem is healthy because you saw some apex predators and some plants. All that and more is established fact.

The image I talked about before, made of circumstantial yet compelling evidence is what points to Trump’s almost certain collusion with the Russians and his dark money conflicts of interest with them.
Seen by Walt at 1:49pm
Hugh
Sorry for the wall of text. I copy your stuff out to text editor so this cramped interface doesn’t make me crazy.

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