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Former CIA director George Tenet, who ran agency during Iraq debacle: The agency has a checkered relationship with the truth. Credit: WikiCommons.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I wish 2016 would hurry up and get the fuck out of the way, so the world can move on to a happier and better 2017. Surely, it can’t be any worse. (Right? Right?)

I’m trying to write about Washington, but at this point it’s really hard not to just go to bed and finish off the rest of Stranger Things (highly recommended, by the way) and Narcos. Look, the rules were a joke, especially the Electoral College, and the election was effectively a sham but Trump won fair and square, as it were.

It doesn’t matter at this point if Bernie would have beat Trump or why Hillary lost. And FYI, there was obviously no single reason, it was a combination of dozens of factors along with the fact that she was a shitty, unlikeable candidate. Trying to determine at this point precisely why Hillary went down in flames is about as useful as speculating for the next month on why the Cleveland Browns are not going to win the Super Bowl.

Barring something unforeseen, Trump is going to be president. His government will be staffed at its highest levels by Fortune 500 CEOs, high finance executives and military officials. If you don’t like it, and I know I don’t, stop trying to reverse the outcome of the election and start thinking about how to oppose the incoming administration.

Calls to block Trump now — from the Jill Stein recount hoax to claims that his election is illegitimate due to Russian intrusion — are a waste of time and just build support for him. Put aside for the moment that the people who are peddling the “Russia Stole Our Election” line overlook that the CIA has been meddling in elections overseas for years as well as just overthrowing governments.

That doesn’t mean Russian interference in the U.S. election would be OK, but the moral outrage on the part of news outlets (like the New York Times and Washington Post) that have supported or whitewashed CIA intervention overseas is hard to take seriously.

Meanwhile, there’s so much bullshit flying around when it comes to the Russian story that it’s impossible to separate fact from fiction. Vladimir Putin might well have sought to influence the election but a lot of the sensational pre-election reporting on the topic was thinly sourced propaganda and easily dismissed.

Maybe there’s something to the hysterical reporting of the past few days “confirming” that Russia effectively worked for the Trump campaign but it depends entirely on CIA and intelligence community assurances. Intelligence sources lie, it’s part of the job description. And the New York Times‘ story today says the the C.I.A.’s conclusion “does not appear to be the product of specific new intelligence obtained since the election” but was “an analysis of what many believe is overwhelming circumstantial evidence — evidence that others feel does not support firm judgments — that the Russians put a thumb on the scale for Mr. Trump, and got their desired outcome.”

So maybe there’s really a massive Russian conspiracy here but at this point we have a combination of CIA claims and circumstantial evidence. If there’s hard evidence it should be possible to publish it.

Either way, Trump takes office in about a month. If proof emerges that he collaborated with the Russians to steal the election, he could be impeached. Trying to block him now looks like a third rate coup attempt.

 

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  • Phil Perspective

    Put aside for the moment that the people who are peddling the “Russia Stole Our Election” line overlook that the CIA has been meddling in elections overseas for years as well as just overthrowing governments.

    That doesn’t mean Russian interference in the U.S. election would be OK, but the moral outrage on the part of news outlets (like the New York Times and Washington Post) that have supported or whitewashed CIA intervention overseas is hard to take seriously.

    This: https://twitter.com/jricole/status/808019516647014400 … is the hilarious topper.

  • ScottTMcLarty

    Jill Stein’s recount is only a “hoax” if you assume that her goal is to reverse the outcome of the election. There are plenty of reasons to undertake an effort to ensure fair and accurate elections, especially if one is an alternative-party candidate competing in an election system in which the laws in many states have been designed to favor candidates from the two major parties.

    http://www.jill2016.com/why_are_you_really_doing_this
    http://www.jill2016.com/recountfaq

    • Brian McKeever

      She was my candidate–but the recount effort was a bad joke at best. Why not demand recounts in Minnesota and New Hampshire as well so it doesn’t look like you are carrying Hillary’s water? It was a lot of money wasted that could have gone to much better use.