The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619

Different Mysteries Left and Right

Susan Rice is the leaker. A political Flack. Running an operation to discredit the new president before he took office. Rice is at least guilty of a felony. At least that’s the story the right wing commentators are telling. In The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619.

On the left it’s a different story. National security became a top concern after someone hacked the DNC computers. The Russians did it. The Russians did it because Trump did some kind of back room deal.

Opinion Is Not News

In America’s increasingly partisan media most people only want their beliefs confirmed. There’s no chance a political point of view different from my own can be right. Is there? A sea of information. Where opinion masquerades as fact and personalities beat the drums. We’re supposed to dance to their rhythm.

We Know Nothing…yet

Real Facts? In The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619 we’ll see there are few facts. Russians hacking the DNC? Not so fast. Trump making deals behind the scenes with Putin? Obama ordering illegal surveillance of a president elect? Maybe. Maybe not.

Tin Foil Hats Anyone?

Evidence supporting claims of the right and left in this case is thin. All of it has the classic elements of conspiracy theory. So we’ll take a moment in The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619 to detail the known facts. You can draw your own conclusions. Mystery lovers beware though. We’re along way from wrapping this one up in the final chapter.

Basic Framework

Is Susan Rice a political operative? What is the legal framework regarding National Security Agency intercepts. Why did the Trump administration leak NSA documents to a congressmen? What provoked the president to tweet he was ‘wiretapped’ in the first place? Is there a difference between a wiretap and an NSA intercept? Who gets to see intercepts? What are the significant legal justifications for executive orders in 2011 and 2017 allowing sharing in the first place. Lots of questions.

Where There’s Smoke

One thing is true. The dust kicked up by the Susan Rice story obscures real developments. North Korean Missiles. Syrian chemical weapons. Congressional action on the ACA, Tax Reform and Immigration. We’ll talk about it in The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619.

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Podcast 588-Russians Coming!

 

CIA Report on Russian Hacking

On this week’s Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show, we’re back in a news rich environment. The release of the CIA Report on ‘Russian Hacking‘ adds to the latest tempest in a teapot. A skeptical President Elect Trump got a briefing from top intelligence officials in the Obama Administration last week. What does ‘Russia Hacks The US Election’ mean to you? Does it mean the Russians managed to get control of voting machines and change votes in key states. Decidedly no.

In Podcast 588-Russians Coming! The story goes, the Russians, under order from President Putin, hacked into the DNC through John Podesta’s email, gaining access to the server for months. The Obama administration also has been told by its US intelligence employees that the Russians were responsible for the release of sensitive material from the DNC severs to Wikileaks. Oh, and the Russia Today network put a new TV show on critical of Hillary Clinton. The Russians also apparently employed a number of Internet trolls in service to Donald Trump. Or something like that.

The subliminal message here is Americans have lost control of their political process and therefore should have no faith in its outcome, which oddly seems like the original goal of Russia’s alleged interference. Proving the Russians hacked into the DNC is hard enough to prove. Proving it had any effect on the election is quite another. One should never say never and skepticism should be the first approach for people who want to believe the Russian Hack story and those who do not. Still, there are reasons why this is one story that may never be proven. Find out why in Podcast 588-Russians Coming!

While Trump supporters remain skeptical, Clinton supporters have latched onto the Russian Hack story as the new grand conspiracy theory in all that ails America. However, if you’re looking for a smoking gun you may be waiting a long time. Like the famous WMD in Iraq story, when a president asks the intelligence community to ‘prove’ something, a ‘report’ will be issued. Reports issued because a president wants one, usually include a ‘preponderance‘ of evidence.

Remember how the CIA managed to convinced Congress and most of the people in the country going to war against Iraq was necessary? While the left attacked Bush and the CIA for its ‘preponderance of evidence of WMD’s in Iraq’ finding, suddenly they’re ready to believe the ‘Russia Hack’ story. Even though we all know how the WMD story turned out for George W. Bush, the left wonders how else Hillary Clinton’s loss could be explained. It had to be the Russians.

2016’s presidential race heralded a tectonic shift in politics in the United States and perhaps the world. How politics is conducted. How it is reported on. How races are measured and predicted. Considering this shift, is it impossible to suggest people in the great lakes region in 2016 reached the point where they were just fed up with politics as usual? Maybe the cozy relationship between big government types, Hollywood and Wall Street just got to be too much for the little guy? Bernie Sanders thinks so. Senator Sanders has called Clinton out for choosing to hang with Gentry-Liberals rather than campaigning in Wisconsin and Michigan in the final stretch when it might have made a difference.

Foreign involvement in the US political process is nothing new. During the effort to ratify the US Constitution, in an effort to support arguments for an indirect election of the President through the Electoral College, The Federalist talked about foreign involvement in US Presidential elections. Historian Barbara Tuchman wrote a book about British subterfuge to get the US into World War I. The Soviets attempted to influence US politics through the creation and promotion of the American Communist Party from the 1920’s on. During those early decades of the twentieth century, some American intellectuals thought the Soviets had solved the problems of industrialization. Some Americans were happy to move to the glorious Soviet Union.

Will the new president plan a reorganization of the United States’ far flung fleet of intelligence agencies? The OSS was originally tasked with the collection and interpretation of strategic information. After the National Security Act of 1947, the newly formed CIA took up the job with some additional responsibilities. Federal agencies tend to grow and morph from their original mandate as time goes on. The United States now has scores of intelligence agencies. Are we sure our Congress and President knows what these agencies actually do? Are we sure that our government can actually supervise intelligence services that have a long history of making serious mistakes?

What is this story obscuring right now? As we argue about the ‘preponderance of evidence’ linking a spear phishing scheme to the DNC servers, a scheme that succeeded because DNC officials who should have known better did not follow security procedures, politicians in Washington, our State Capitols and City Councils are stealing us blind.

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Podcast 582-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-57

Podcast 582-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-57. Hillary Clinton’s Tribe Throws a Temper Tantrum. The Electoral College will soon gather in respective state capitols for the purpose of choosing the the next president of the United States. In a last ditch attempt to influence the outcome of this final hurdle for Republican President-elect Trump, democrat supporters are hurling unsubstantiated charges regarding Russia, Wikileaks, Fake News and Hacks. I separate and break down very different story lines behind it all in Podcast 582-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-57.

New protests say the Electoral College should be abolished because it isn’t ‘democratic’, all while they try to influence electors to vote for Clinton rather than Trump. ‘The Electoral College’ is our last line of defense, they shout. Perhaps the most absurd assertion of all; ‘This is how Hitler came to power’. I also break this down in Podcast 582-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-57. The Electoral College for all its faults is in fact a democratic process. Getting rid of the Electoral College as an institution would be a very complex process involving amending the US Constitution.

The so called ‘Russian Hack’ is actually a constellation of assertions and claims, circumstantial at best, from shadowy sources in the US Intelligence Community. Suddenly very entertaining ‘Fake News’ stories on the Internet require complex rules and warning labels from social media in what amounts to a George Soros funded violation of our First Amendment rights under the US Constitution. If you can’t make baseless assertions about child sex rings at Pizza Restaurants in Washington, you can’t make baseless assertions about Russians ‘hacking’ the US Election to put Trump in the White House.

What about the Hitler comparisons? How did the Nazis come to power in Germany in the 1920’s? How did Hitler come to power in the early 1930’s? How are these factors different from the Representative Republic known as The United States of America? Attempts to intimidate and influence Electors to comparisons of Trump to Hitler and Republicans to Nazis, fevered assertions about the wily Russians as Hillary Clinton’s Tribe Throws A Temper Tantrum.

We’re living through an age of disruption as technology destroys centralized processes, including a massive, sclerotic Federal Government. Forget Republican and Democratic. There are really two poles now. Tyranny and Liberty. Which do you choose? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul, X Government Cars and Hydrus Performance.

(Editor’s Note: Since this show was produced and posted, the Washington Post is reporting Director of National Intelligence Clapper, and FBI Director Comey have ‘signed on’ to the assessment of the CIA regarding Russian “intervention in the US Election for the purpose of influencing its outcome”. This assessment remains classified and is therefore not public and one should read the statements of Clapper and Comey on this matter for more details.)

Podcast 529

First Night at EAA. Sunday nights are load in nights for exhibitors, fly-ins, and media at the EAA AirVenture Air Show at Osh Kosh, Wisconsin. I always celebrate with a regular podcast, live from just under the control tower as we start a new week, on the First Night at EAA. It’s late. Everyone is asleep, but I am getting in the last few thoughts on the coming show, and new developments in the political world this weekend. Having just come from the RNC at Cleveland and witnessing the divisions in the Republican party firsthand, it’s a little weird to see the same kinds of fissures developing with the democrats at Philadelphia with the specter of the democrat establishment killing the grassroots too. Throughout this hot and stormy Sunday I’ve been thinking about a recent email exchange with a Trump supporter that says so much about American politics today. A gentleman who normally sends me great jokes via email suddenly swerved into politics exhorting me and a few score others on his email list to ‘vote Trump’. Why? Because Trump is going to get rid of NAFTA and the TPP and bring all the jobs back to the United States. I decided to press him to find out exactly why he thinks what he thinks and why he would take the unusual step of pushing his friends to vote Trump. It took several emails to learn he just ‘feels’ Trump is the best guy, Trump is like Lincoln, Trump knows what to do and he’ll do it, and don’t make me explain this stuff, google it. Then he asks me what I think of the questions I asked him! That serves as a debate in the land of Trump. A place where everyone gets what he wants, when he wants it, because Trump said so. A place where one bright morning a box will arrive from China and everyone will open it up and find a note that reads, “Sorry about taking your job at the bucket factory way back in 1997 but we needed it. Here it is back, slightly used but we hope you’ll forgive us”. There it is people. Donald J. Trump is going to get Uncle Joe his job back at Bethlehem Steel so he and Martha can buy back the 1993 Buick Regal, which the GM plant in Flint will be making again thanks to old ‘I’ll make the trains run on time’ Trump. I realized, while ordering coffee at the concessions stand next to the beautiful B-25 out here on the airfield, that there are a lot of 50+ children out there. Thinking is just too hard. Researching facts takes too much time. Actually learning the contours of an issue is a job no one wants. Lots of final thoughts — for the time being — on the convention, the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the DNC chair, and the impending Trump presidency. Or not. Thank God I can talk about airplanes for the next few days! Sponsored by Hydrus Performance.

Podcast 378

Mercury Retrograde. Astrologists say when Mercury goes ‘retrograde’ it wreaks havoc with mechanical and electronic equipment, makes communications difficult and puts teeth in Murphy’s Law. In this case ‘retrograde’ means to go backwards. Now, Mercury does not go backwards; its orbit around our sun does not change one iota, but it supposedly ‘appears’ to be moving backward in the sky. What does a mercury retrograde do to a fifteen year old ambulance, repurposed as a mobile podcast studio, traveling across the country? Listen to this podcast and find out. From Illinois to Indiana, visiting an old friend, with ambitious plans to install Ham and CB radio communications, and WIFI Antenna. Attempting to this, we encountered nothing but problems. Oddly enough, Mercury Retrogrades are supposed to be good for making plans and catching up with old friends, finding good deals, and resting up. While most women seem to have a hundred ‘best friends’, men pretty much have two, or one. It’s great to hang out with someone who has known you since you were a kid; someone you haven’t talked to in decades, but you pick up right where you left off. Lest some readers decry all this reliance on astrology, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the hokum of the stars and the hokum of today’s economists, who despite accolades, fur hats, and purple capes, can’t seem to figure out whether the US economy is growing, not growing, or contracting. Even worse, every ‘news’ story you read on the subject seems to repeat one fairy tale or outright lie, over and over again. Don’t worry though, no one’s looking at economic stories, they’re too busy counting the Republican candidates for President and getting lost in the details of a presidential campaign that has come too early, and too loudly for any civilized people. While the news media covers this political circus, the real political circus is about to pass a trade law — supported by the “Chambers of Italian Fascism” — Americans are forced to turn to Julian Assange and Wikileaks for the details, which suggest a far reaching agreement bigger than NAFTA with provisions that have little to do with free trade. How is your congressman voting? While the FBI circles over our cities in unmarked civilian planes, listening to our cell phone conversations, and Republican congress is also about to pass a ‘patch’ that will save Obama Care if key provisions are struck down by the US Supreme Court. Hey wait! Didn’t republicans run on repealing the ACA? Surprise! Sponsored by X Government Cars.