Monday, April 03, 2017

Why Trump Lies

The Los Angeles Times doesn't think much of America's newly minted president. Just two months into Trump's first and only term, the paper is publishing a four-part editorial. The second part, Why Trump Lies, is scathing.

He is dangerous. His choice of falsehoods and his method of spewing them — often in tweets, as if he spent his days and nights glued to his bedside radio and was periodically set off by some drivel uttered by a talk show host who repeated something he’d read on some fringe blog — are a clue to Trump’s thought processes and perhaps his lack of agency. He gives every indication that he is as much the gullible tool of liars as he is the liar in chief.

He has made himself the stooge, the mark, for every crazy blogger, political quack, racial theorist, foreign leader or nutcase peddling a story that he might repackage to his benefit as a tweet, an appointment, an executive order or a policy. He is a stranger to the concept of verification, the insistence on evidence and the standards of proof that apply in a courtroom or a medical lab — and that ought to prevail in the White House.


Northern PoV said...

Good to see one or two tRump posts NOT about Russia, Mound.
Perhaps there's hope for you... to escape the mass hysteria bubble. ;-)

"Whatever the truth about Trump and Russia, the speculation surrounding it has become a dangerous case of mass hysteria"

Matt Taibbi

"One way we recognize a mass hysteria movement is that everyone who doesn't believe is accused of being in on the plot. This has been going on virtually unrestrained in both political and media circles in recent weeks."

The Mound of Sound said...

"everyone who doesn't believe is accused of being in on the plot." WTF? NPoV, even for you, that's a bit much.

Scotian said...

But her emails/transcripts!!! *said in best righteous Berner outrage tone of voice*

As to the rest, anyone that fails to see the clear actions of Russia last year, well as far as I am concerned they have disqualified themselves as being worth taking seriously on national security intelligence community issues, period. The patterns for this were obvious and overwhelming last year for "bleep's" sake! Regardless of whether there was collaboration/collusion going on within Trump's campaign with the Russians is still an open question (if a very smoke impregnated/saturated one), that there was a clear attack by Russia, using sophisticated cyber hacking tools and then information dispersal, and misinformation mass pumping out there all against one person in particular, HRC, and for another Trump, is beyond any sane dispute, I just cannot understand those not seeing it. That does not make them a part of any plot, it just makes them stupid, ignorant, uniformed, self-delusional, take your pick, but that is not the same as saying someone is on on a plot, as I just saw in this thread done on ZERO basis for doing so.

I mean really, anyone that did not already know that Donald J Trump is an outrageous and constant liar and self promoter well before he even started in on the Birther nonsense after just googling his name, well no hope for those folks in terms of being educatable. Anyone last year that dared to equate HRC and DJT on honesty, again, discredited themselves as anyone worth taking seriously. Regardless of what one thought of her politics and policies, HRC was clearly the far more honest person and candidate running, PERIOD. When ideology and partisanship overrides one's lying eyes showing reality, that is the point where you lose me.

Sorry, but this still being a thing even after the level of obviousness that something happened, that Trump and his people are unhealthily connected to Russians in so many ways on so many levels from the top down, and yet we still have people unable to drop their own partisan defining glasses to see reality while claiming it is the rest of us that are blind yet only they see clearly. Well...*shrug*... my patience for such behaviour took a sharp nosedive last November 9th.

The Mound of Sound said...

People who doubt that this meddling happens and that it swings elections, Scotian, know nothing about how often the U.S. has itself meddled in others' elections usually to achieve the desired effect.

The United States has a rich history of manipulating public opinion abroad. Why people can't imagine that Russia could do that to the United States, exploiting a profoundly divided electorate, is beyond curious.

Scotian said...


Agreed. I will admit I was also a little surprised at just how well they read the American landscape this time out, especially the difference from the use of DC Leaks when they first tried dumping the hacked DNC emails, but then used WikiLeaks so effectively a month later in time for the Dem Convention. It is in advising the Russians about a better method for release that I could see some of the possible collaboration potentials within team Trump and Russia, because they did suddenly up their game in terms of targeting by quite a bit. In any event, the idea that Russia didn't do something as blatant as this, I mean really, just how far into disconnection from realityland does one have to be? One can argue as to motivations involved, but that it happened? Really?

The US also has a history of not (at least not this openly!) meddling in the affairs of nations with the capacity to really strike back at it, though, more secondary powers, especially during the Cold War period. What we saw Russia willing to chance, I cannot honestly think of a fair comparison from the US. I'd love to know of one if you can think of any, because this was startling for its obviousness, and loudness, as Comey himself said, they were "unusually loud" in this operation, which is NOT the normal way these things are done.

I was saying last summer that I could fell, smell, taste the momentum equivalents of icebergs floating in the IC world, I said so then. I didn't know what it was, but the feel of it was unlike anything I has ever sensed before, and it was a major matter, whatever it was. So I was less than surprised to discover the FBI had started a counter-intelligence operation into not just Russia involvement but also whether there was any American collaboration of any kind, especially from the Trump campaign since it was clear the Russian behaviour was one sided, harm Clinton and aid Trump.

What worries me is that if this is not taken as seriously as it needs from the outset, it invites not just repetition, but replication, and these tools are DANGEROUS to ALL of us that believe in free speech and thought, regardless of what our other political beliefs are. I feel very much like I'm trying to convince people that stopping to measure the curtains as they burn while the entire block is on fire is not a wise use of perspective and focus.

What really pisses me off is finding out just how much the Berners were fed Russian propaganda. I knew they were getting fed anti-Clinton excrement, but I had at the time assumed it was dark money from the more usual GOP sources always aimed at a Clinton. I was surprised even then though to notice how often RT kept getting referenced, and it did cause me to wonder since when did official Russian media become any more reliable for information on politics than FOXNEWS.

So of course they aren't going to admit they were also Russian dupes, despite being exactly that, which means they all have that much more invested in willful blindness. Normally in politics I shrug it off and sigh with disgust, but this is not one of those things I can do that with, I simply see it as too important.

That's me though, but I refuse to pretend otherwise, nor to apologize for it, because I really think things are that bad, and it is long past time people started paying attention and getting out of their narrow partisan silos and see the wider reality where we are ALL being screwed!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

BTW, talk about hacking democracies: the 'deep state' American government – you know, the one the people are too gullible to vote for that holds all the actual power – just finished tearing up the democratic government in Ukraine in 2014.

Imagine if the people were in charge of the American government? Then American corporations would have to earn their money instead of sicking their IA spooks on foreign democracies so they can leech up all their valuable assets and resources.

Jesus. You'd probably have a shorter list if you named off all the 2nd and 3rd world countries the US DID NOT invade either directly or by proxy since 1945 – you know, the post-colonialist period, where this kind of behavior was supposed to be left behind in our barbarous past because it was a racist crime against humanity that triggered 2 world wars?

So Americans drive NATO right up to Russia's doorstep and usurp Ukraine, violating every goddamn post-Cold War treaty with Russia that was ever signed. The people of Crimea vote to join the Russian Federation in response. And fucking Russia winds up with sanctions.

Oops, silly me. I must be a gullible with a weak mind easily penetrated by Russian spy satellites. You better watch out or you might become a Russia lover too! (The only way you can save yourself: never think about anything! That's how they get you with their psionic Satellite Mind technology!!)

Scotian said...


Da Comrade.

Really, FU.

More seriously, Russia made emails a constant refrain for months, so when Comey 11 days out suddenly adds weight to them with that announcement out of the blue, he is doing so on ground already saturated by months of Russian actions and disinformation. The one does not exclude the other, as you so mockingly tried to make it appear it must e. I have always said I saw two black swan events, the Russian involvement for Trump against Clinton, and the way the chief LEO of the USA improperly inserted himself into the closing days of the election against one side, a side he didn't have under investigation I might add while he DID have the other/Trump under actual counterintelligence and criminal investigation, was decisive, but it didn't happen in isolation either, which is where the Russian actions matter too.

As for Crimea, Da Comrade, I am always going to take the Russian side over NATOs, because that is the kind of traitorous scum I am. THAT is how what second anonymous reads to me.

I also notice that your hours of posting are right in the middle of the day for Russia, and given the clear massive online professional Russian troll presence, given your arguments in both comments, suspecting you to be Russian Trolletariat, no longer an unreasonable concern anymore.


Seriously, this is massive male bovine excrement with these anonymous twits that followed my last comment. I hear Russian talking points coming out of their mouths, not reasoned thought and analysis, hence my pointed commentaries to them and about them.

Northern PoV said...

This comment board is full of irony ... if you can recognize it ... and fully illustrate the opening quote:

"One way we recognize a mass hysteria movement is that everyone who doesn't believe is accused of being in on the plot. This has been going on virtually unrestrained in both political and media circles in recent weeks."

....from a gullible Bernie Bro Russian dupe

Scotian said...


If that is aimed at me, it doesn't fit, as I noted already in comments prior to this one. If you are using it regarding my comments to the anonymous', well, that is the profile of a professional troll, and given the arguments and the timestamp, given the reality of the state sponsored trolling operations we have seen over the past year, it is not unreasonable to postulate these two being members of such a crew, and frankly given the vapidness of their arguments, I gave them the amount of serious consideration they were due. Notice I am not dismissing your comments as snarkily, but actually with something more substantive.

Otherwise, what is your basis for making this point, for the second time I would note, and what are you trying to say with it other than possibly as a means of trying to discredit the entire notion of Russian involvement in the American election, with specific aims, and that it was really that openly done? For aside from that purpose I fail to understand nor see any meaning to this statement you have now repeated.

Seriously, the Russia thing is not mass hysteria, it is mass reaction to what is in plain view. Although, given the seriousness and gravity of the matter a certain amount of hysteria about it might actually be a good thing in terms of getting action taken abut it, but that is incidental and not what you are clearly using/quoting hysteria to be meaning.

Dana said...

The rise of Russia under anyone at all is taken as a good thing by some people. The brother of a friend is an old red, labour guy and he's thrilled that Russia is back - he doesn't care how or who and he's less interested in what happens to Russia's neighbours than he is in the expansion of Russian influence.

It's of no matter that Russia isn't red anymore. It's Russia - the mindworm is so deeply embedded that there might as well have been no fall of the wall or collapse of the Union.

I seem to see a lot of that.

Northern PoV said...

I know it hurts to consider other explanations but this is so contrary to the prevailing memes it is almost funny....

I once met an older Estonian who LOVED the USSR and lamented its demise. That made me question a whole lot of conventional wisdom.

The Mound of Sound said...

NPoV, I read Roberts' screed and it's riddled with holes and illogic. I've followed Roberts for years and I own a couple of his books. He's okay on economics, since his epiphany, but cyber intelligence? No, I don't think so. He makes a lot of claims without much evidence which seems to be increasingly common these days. Maybe that trend heralds the decline of America, something I think most of us can perceive.

The Mound of Sound said...

Dana, what's taken as the rise of Russia suits many people in a wide range of ways.

Anyone who has read this blog over the last 10 plus years knows I haven't hesitate to criticize the U.S., particularly the Bush/Cheney regime, for marching NATO to Russia's doorstep. That provoked an inevitable response favouring strongman rule and the transition to a kleptocratic state. The Russian people have never known a society where they weren't ruthlessly exploited by the powerful. That's their entire history. Unrest is surfacing among young Russians infuriated with the corruption of Putin and his oligarchs but Russia has dealt with their kind before.

Russia is entitled to our dispassionate although wary understanding but never our sympathy or support.

Dana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Northern PoV said...

Another Putin stooge:
Chomsky: With U.S. History of Overthrowing Govts, Outrage over Russian Hacking Claims is Laughable

Dana said...

So NPoV, you're essentially saying Russia didn't interfere because everything reported in the main stream news media is false, and even if they did so what, the US had it coming.

There. I think I got it now.

Mound, I think this period of strongman rule became inevitable when Yeltsin did nothing to curb the accumulation of power by the Bratva and simultaneously elevated the leftovers from the KGB. Both of which are merely myths of course.

Northern PoV said...

No one knows who hacked who. It doesn't really matter as they were all side issues to the main drama.

In the past months we've seen no proof of Russian gov't involvement but we have seen proof that the CIA has the ability to hack and leave a false trail.

If there was a Russian hack it was minor in effect compared to any number of factors - the biggest one being the terrible choice of democratic candidate - another being the infantile state the media has been reduced to .... that all set the stage for the decisive Comey intervention.

Americans just can't shoulder the blame - so blame Russians.

The Mound of Sound said...

Why do you imagine, NPoV, that the FBI or the CIA or anyone would serve up to you on some platter the evidence they have of Russian interference in this election? Even when Comey appeared before the House intelligence committee he declined to provide information to the representatives until their follow-on, closed session. I would not expect to be made privy to that information but I do note that America isn't alone in warning of Russian and other cyber probing and attacks. Perhaps you would prefer to believe the Germans. The Baltic states have been experiencing something similar. China managed to get reams of F-35 data and code out of the Pentagon, Lockheed and British Aerospace without sending a single agent into their quarters.

Yes there were other reasons for the election outcome. You can assert this is minor but, he who propounds must prove, and you've offered nothing by way of proof to demonstrate that. Clinton, after all, did win the popular vote by 3-million and lost several states that could have handed her the presidency by remarkably narrow margins. In other words, your assertion is hollow.

Dana said...

Here's a little fake news for you NPoV.

"After Putin returned to the presidency in 2012, Russia introduced terror management into its foreign policy. In its invasion of Ukraine in 2014, Russia transformed units of its own regular army into a terrorist force, removing insignia from uniforms and denying all responsibility for the dreadful suffering they inflicted. In the campaign for the Donbas region of southeastern Ukraine, Russia deployed Chechen irregulars and sent units of its regular army based in Muslim regions to join the invasion. Russia also tried (but failed) to hack the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election.

In April 2015, Russian hackers took over the transmission of a French television station, pretended to be ISIS, and then broadcast material designed to terrorize France. Russia impersonated a “cybercaliphate” so that the French would fear terror more than they already did. The aim was presumably to drive voters to the far-right National Front, a party financially supported by Russia. After 130 people were killed and 368 injured in the terrorist attacks on Paris of November 2015, the founder of a think tank close to the Kremlin rejoiced that terrorism would drive Europe toward fascism and Russia. Both fake and real Islamic terrorism in Western Europe, in other words, were thought to be in the Russian interest.

In early 2016, Russia manufactured a moment of fake terror in Germany. While bombing Syrian civilians, and thus driving Muslim refugees to Europe, Russia exploited a family drama to instruct Germans that Muslims were rapists of children. The aim, again, seems to have been to destabilize a democratic system and promote the parties of the extreme right."

From a larger article in Slate which is an excerpt from On Tyranny by Timothy Snider.