Sunday, January 8, 2017

Betty MacDonald, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a crusade


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Hello 'Pussy' this is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle:  

Your public rejection of the C.I.A., and by extension the rest of the country’s intelligence community, over the assessment that Russia interfered in our presidential election is not only an unprecedented political challenge for our national security establishment — it is a danger to the nation.
Do you have any idea why they feel so ashamed? I do!  

Should I remain in bed, leave my country or fight against the dragon?

( see also the story by Wolfgang Hampel
' Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say ' )
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The Egg and I Film Illustration


The Betty MacDonald Networks Foto.

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Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle author Betty MacDonald on Vashon Island
<p>Time Out of Mind (1947) - avec Betty et Don MacDonald et Phyllis Calvert</p>

Betty and Don MacDonald in Hollywood

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Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm (1954) is my favourite book in Betty MacDonald's  comic series about the expert child-curative Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.

The series begins with Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and continues with Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's farm and Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. 

None of the books can be considered novels, but episodic problems with children and their exasperated parents in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's neighbourhood, and the always winning solution provided by Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. 

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm (illustrated by Maurice Sendak) has Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle move from her "upside-down house" to a farm, bought with her husband's pirate treasure found at the end of the last book. 

Unlike that book, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle uses no magic for her cures; the farm itself does the most good: fresh air, animals, and responsibility are what children seem to really need. 

In 1996 Betty MacDonald's Family had been interviewed by Betty MacDonald fan club founder - author Wolfgang Hampel.

Especially Betty MacDonald's youngest sister Alison Bard Burnett had a perfect memory and told very funny stories about the original Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Stories. 

Alison Bard Burnett and her family has been mentioned in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic.

Which one is your favourite Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle book?

We are very interested in your favourite Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle cure.

Send us a mail, please and you might win several of our new Betty MacDonald fan club items.

Deadline: January 31, 2017

This is my favourite Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle cure. 

The Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Won't-Take-a-Bath Cure 


We'll never forget the magical fireworks in London.

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel thinks that Edinburgh would be ideal for one of the future Betty MacDonald fan club events.

We totally agree with Wolfgang. 

Vita Magica by Wolfgang Hampel is really fascinating and very interesting.

Wolfgang Hampel introduces life and work of Betty MacDonald at Vita Magica January 2017.

Wolfgang Hampel and Friends of Vita Magica visited Minister of Science of Baden-Württemberg, Theresia Bauer in Stuttgart.

They visited Landtag and had a great time there.

We are looking for your favourite city for International Betty MacDonald fan club event 2017.

Send us your votes please.

Deadline: January 31, 2017

Edinburgh is the first UNESCO city of Literature.

Edinburgh's Hogmanay New Year's Eve Fireworks 2016 /2017 are great. 

My favourite is Heidelberg.

Heidelberg is UNESCO city of literature too.

Do you have any books by Betty MacDonald and Mary Bard Jensen with funny or interesting dedications? 

If so would you be so kind to share them?

Our next Betty MacDonald fan club project is a collection of these unique dedications.

If you share your dedication from your Betty MacDonald - and Mary Bard Jensen collection you might be the winner of our new Betty MacDonald fan club items.

Thank you so much in advance for your support.








Thank you so much for sending us your favourite Betty MacDonald quote.

You'll be able to read more info during January.

We are so glad that our beloved Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is back.

New  Betty MacDonald documentary will be very interesting with many new interviews.

Alison Bard Burnett and other Betty MacDonald fan club honor members will be included in Wolfgang Hampel's fascinating project Vita Magica.
Very exciting Betty MacDonald fan club news! 
Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel is going to present life and work of Betty MacDonald in Vita Magica January 2017.
You'll be able to read more info during January!
Vita Magica December was very successful.

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel invited a very famous author.

The visitors enjoyed Vita Magica very much.  

A great event! 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel interviewed Betty MacDonald's daughter Joan MacDonald Keil and her husband Jerry Keil.

This interview will be published for the first time ever.

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New Betty MacDonald documentary will be very interesting with many interviews never published before.

We adore Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli 

Thank you so much for sharing this witty memories with us.

Wolfgang Hampel's literary event Vita Magica is very fascinating because he is going to include Betty MacDonald, other members of the Bard family and Betty MacDonald fan club honor members.

It's simply great to read Wolfgang Hampel's  new very well researched  stories about Betty MacDonald, Robert Eugene Heskett, Donald Chauncey MacDonald, Darsie Bard, Sydney Bard, Gammy, Alison Bard Burnett,  Darsie Beck, Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde Reynolds Jensen, Sydney Cleveland Bard, Mary Alice Bard, Dorothea DeDe Goldsmith, Madge Baldwin, Don Woodfin, Mike Gordon, Ma and Pa Kettle, Nancy and Plum, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and others.

Vita Magica was very witty and enjoyable.

We know the visitors had a great time there.

Congratulations dear Letizia Maninco, Wolfgang Hampel and Friedrich von Hoheneichen!

Linde Lund and many fans from all over the world  adore this funny sketch by Wolfgang Hampel very much although our German isn't the best.

I won't ever forget the way Wolfgang Hampel is shouting ' Brexit '.

Don't miss it, please.

It's simply great!

You can hear that Wolfgang Hampel got an outstandig voice.

He presented one of Linde Lund's favourite songs ' Try to remember ' like a professional singer.

Thanks a million!

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli  and our 'Italian Betty MacDonald' - Betty MacDonald fan club honor member author and artist Letizia Mancino belong to the most popular Betty MacDonald fan club teams in our history.

Their many devoted fans are waiting for a new Mr. Tigerli adventure.

Letizia Mancino's  magical Betty MacDonald Gallery  is a special gift for Betty MacDonald fan club fans from all over the world.

Don't miss Brad Craft's 'More friends', please. 

Betty MacDonald's very beautiful Vashon Island is one of my favourites.

I agree with Betty in this very witty Betty MacDonald story  Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say by Wolfgang Hampel.

I can't imagine to live in a country with him as so-called elected President although there are very good reasons to remain there to fight against these brainless politics.

WHEN I wrote in August 2016, in this newspaper, that Donald J. Trump’s character traits posed a national security threat, I didn’t imagine that the first manifestation of that dynamic could play out with the very organization where I spent the first 33 years of my career, the Central Intelligence Agency.
President-elect Trump’s public rejection of the C.I.A., and by extension the rest of the country’s intelligence community, over the assessment that Russia interfered in our presidential election is not only an unprecedented political challenge for our national security establishment — it is a danger to the nation.

Don't miss these very interesting articles below, please.

Did dinosaurs fart their way to extinction?

We don't know what those other cycles were caused by in the past. Could be dinosaur flatulence, you know, or who knows? - Dana Rohrabacher

Lately, it appears Trump has gone back into the field to drag in a whole new bunch of State contenders. 

My favorite is Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, a person you have probably never heard of even though he’s been in Congress since the 1980s and is currently head of the prestigious Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats.
Rohrabacher is also a surfer and former folk singer who once claimed global warming might be connected to “dinosaur flatulence.” 

Did dinosaurs fart their way to extinction?

Don't miss the very interesting articles below, please.

I think the future dinosaur flatulence will be the behaviour of 'Pussy' and his very strange government.

Poor World!    Poor America! 

The most difficult case in Mrs.Piggle-Wiggle's career

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Hello 'Pussy', this is Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. 

You took calls from foreign leaders on unsecured phone lines, without consultung the State Department. We have to change your silly behaviour with a new Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle cure. I know you are the most difficult case in my career - but we have to try everything.......................

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel sent his brilliant thoughts. Thank you so much dear Wolfgang! 
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Hi Libi, nice to meet you. Can you feel it?

I'll be the most powerful leader in the world.

Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say

Copyright 2016 by Wolfgang Hampel

All rights reserved 

Betty MacDonald was sitting on her egg-shaped cloud and listened to a rather strange guy.

He said to his friends: So sorry to keep you waiting. Very complicated business! Very complicated!

Betty said: Obviously much too complicated for you old toupee!

Besides him ( by the way the  First Lady's place ) his 10 year old son was bored to death and listened to this 'exciting' victory speech. 

The old man could be his great-grandfather.

The boy was very tired and thought: I don't know what this old guy is talking about. Come on and finish it, please. I'd like to go to bed.

Dear 'great-grandfather' continued  and praised the Democratic candidate.

He congratulated her and her family for a very strong campaign although he wanted to put her in jail.

He always called her the most corrupt person ever and repeated it over and over again in the fashion of a Tibetan prayer wheel.

She is so corrupt. She is so corrupt.  Do you know how corrupt she is? 

Betty MacDonald couldn't believe it when he said: She has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.

Afterwards old toupee praised his parents, wife, children, siblings and friends. 

He asked the same question like a parrot all the time:

Where are you? Where are you? Where are you?
I know you are here!

Betty MacDonald answered: No Pussy they are not! They left the country.

They immigrated to Canada because they are very much afraid of the future in the U.S.A. with you as their leader like the majority of all so-called more or less normal citizens. 

By the way keep your finger far away from the pussies and the Red Button, please.

I'm going to fly with my egg-shaped cloud to Canada within a minute too.

Away - away - there is nothing more to say! 

Real vs. Ersatz

I can understand the reason why Betty MacDonald, Barbara Streisand, other artists and several of my friends want to leave the United States of America.

I totally agree with these comments:

This is incredible! I'll You get what you pay/vote for and Trump is the epitome of this ideology. America I won't feel bad for you because you don't need my sympathy for what's coming but I am genuinely scared for you. 'Forgive them lord for they know not who they do' or maybe they do but just don't care about their future generations who will suffer for this long after the culprits have passed away. 

Is the USA like North Korea where you can't trust other politicians?

That's it. 

Put Ivanka in! Put Ivanka in! Put my whole family and friends in! '

What about Putin? 

Or the leaders from China and North Korea?

Wouldn't it be a great idea to put them in too?

What about very intelligent and qualified Sarah Palin? 

André Maurice Dayans Foto.

I found this in Wikipedia about her:

In 2006, Palin obtained a passport[88] and in 2007 traveled for the first time outside of North America on a trip to Kuwait. There she visited the Khabari Alawazem Crossing at the Kuwait–Iraq border and met with members of the Alaska National Guard at several bases.[89] On her return journey she visited injured soldiers in Germany.[90]

That's the reason why very intelligent and brilliant Sarah Palin knows the World very well. 

Sarah and ' Pussygate '  will rule America and the World - what a couple. 

I am neither Christian enough nor charitable enough to like anybody just because he is alive and breathing. I want people to interest or amuse me. I want them fascinating and witty or so dul as to be different. I want them either intellectually stimulating or wonderfully corny; perfectly charming or hundred percent stinker. I like my chosen companions to be distinguishable from the undulating masses and I don't care how. - Betty MacDonald

Daniel Mount wrote a great article about Betty MacDonald and her garden.

We hope you'll enjoy it very much.

I adore Mount Rainier and Betty MacDonald's outstanding descriptions

Can you remember in which book you can find it?

If so let us know, please and you might be the next Betty MacDonald fan club contest winner. 

I hope we'll be able to read Wolfgang Hampel's  new very well researched  stories about Betty MacDonald, Robert Eugene Heskett, Donald Chauncey MacDonald, Darsie Bard, Sydney Bard, Gammy, Alison Bard Burnett,  Darsie Beck, Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde Reynolds Jensen, Sydney Cleveland Bard, Mary Alice Bard, Dorothea DeDe Goldsmith, Madge Baldwin, Don Woodfin, Mike Gordon, Ma and Pa Kettle, Nancy and Plum, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and others - very soon.

It' s such a pleasure to read them. 

Let's go to magical Betty MacDonald's  Vashon Island.

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  and Betty MacDonald fan club research team share their recent Betty MacDonald fan club research results.

Congratulations! They found the most interesting and important info for Wolfgang Hampel's oustanding  Betty MacDonald biography.

I enjoy Bradley Craft's story very much.  

Don't miss our Betty MacDonald fan club contests, please. 

You can win a never published before Alison Bard Burnett interview by Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel. 

Good luck!  

This CD is a golden treasure because Betty MacDonald's very witty sister Alison Bard Burnett shares unique stories about Betty MacDonald, Mary Bard Jensen, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Nancy and Plum. 

Wolfgang Hampel's Betty MacDonald and Ma and Pa Kettle biography and Betty MacDonald interviews have fans in 40 countries. I'm one of their many devoted fans. 

Many Betty MacDonald  - and Wolfgang Hampel fans are very interested in a Wolfgang Hampel CD and DVD with his very funny poems and stories.

We are going to publish new Betty MacDonald essays on Betty MacDonald's gardens and nature in Washington State.

Tell us the names of this mysterious couple please and you can win a very new Betty MacDonald documentary. 


Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerl is beloved all over the World.

We are so happy that our 'Casanova'  is back.

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are going to share very interesting info on ' Betty MacDonald and the movie The Egg and I '. 

Another rare episode (from March 21 1952) of the short-lived comedy soap opera, "The Egg and I," based on best selling book by Betty MacDonald which also became a popular film.

The series premiered on September 3, 1951, the same day as "Search for Tomorrow," and ended on August 1, 1952. 

Although it did well in the ratings, it had difficulty attracting a steady sponsor. This episode features Betty Lynn (later known for her work on "The Andy Griffith Show") as Betty MacDonald, John Craven as Bob MacDonald, Doris Rich as Ma Kettle, and Frank Twedell as Pa Kettle.

Betty MacDonald fan club exhibition will be fascinating with the international book editions and letters by Betty MacDonald.

I can't wait to see the new Betty MacDonald documentary.

Enjoy a great breakfast at the bookstore with Brad and Nick, please.

In the country Sunday is the day on which you do exactly as much work as you do on other days but feel guilty all the time you are doing it because Sunday is a day of rest. - Betty MacDonald

Enjoy a better Sunday with less or no work,


Don't miss this very special book, please.

Bildergebnis für Betty MacDonald Christmas

Vita Magica 

Betty MacDonald 

Betty MacDonald fan club

Betty MacDonald forum  

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I 

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( Polski)   

Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel -   

Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia  ( English / German )

Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )

Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )

Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )

Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French ) 

Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)

Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University 

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel 

Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD

Betty MacDonald fan club items 

Betty MacDonald fan club items  - comments

Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I  

Betty MacDonald fan club groups 

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund  

Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Greta Larson

Betty MacDonald fan club fan Heiderose Teynor

Rita Knobel Ulrich - Islam in Germany - a very interesting ZDF  ( 2nd German Television ) documentary with English subtitles 

Trump’s Dangerous Anti-C.I.A. Crusade

Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times
This article has been updated to reflect news developments.
WHEN I wrote in August 2016, in this newspaper, that Donald J. Trump’s character traits posed a national security threat, I didn’t imagine that the first manifestation of that dynamic could play out with the very organization where I spent the first 33 years of my career, the Central Intelligence Agency.
President-elect Trump’s public rejection of the C.I.A., and by extension the rest of the country’s intelligence community, over the assessment that Russia interfered in our presidential election is not only an unprecedented political challenge for our national security establishment — it is a danger to the nation.
While Mr. Trump’s statement on Friday that he had a constructive meeting with senior intelligence officials on the Russian hacking issue was a step in the right direction, his disparagement of American intelligence officers over the last few months is likely to cause significant damage to the C.I.A.
Mr. Trump has questioned the agency’s competence — repeatedly asking, often via Twitter, how we can trust the organization that incorrectly judged that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (criticism that, in my mind, is unfair for an agency that has changed dramatically in the last 15 years). But he has also accused the agency of being biased and political, implying, in comments to The Times, that the C.I.A. manufactured its Russia analysis to undercut him. Mr. Trump, in essence, said that the agency’s officers were dishonorable. To the men and women of the C.I.A., sworn to protect the nation, this was a gut punch.

Mr. Trump’s behavior will weaken the agency, an organization that has never been more relevant to our nation’s security. The key national security issues of the day — terrorism; proliferation; cyberespionage, crime and war; and the challenges to the global order posed by Russia, Iran and China — all require first-rate intelligence for a commander in chief to understand them, settle on a policy and carry it out.
How will President Trump know whether the Iranians are living up to their commitment not to produce a nuclear weapon without good intelligence? How will he know how close North Korea is to mating a nuclear weapon to a long-range missile and detonating it over American soil? How will he know whether the Islamic State or Al Qaeda is plotting another 9/11-style attack?
The president-elect’s rhetoric will undermine the effectiveness of the C.I.A. in two key ways. First, expect a wave of resignations. Attrition at the C.I.A., which has been remarkably low since Sept. 11, 2001, will skyrocket. The primary motivator for some of our smartest minds to go to work at the C.I.A. is to make a difference to national security, to play a role in keeping the country safe. All of the sacrifices — from the long hours, polygraph tests, unfair media criticism, not to mention the real dangers to life and limb — are worth it, if you are making a difference.
If the president rejects out of hand the C.I.A.’s work, or introduces uncertainty by praising it one day only to lambaste it on Twitter that afternoon, many officers will vote with their feet. These officers cannot be easily replaced. It takes years of training and, more important, on-the-job experience to create a highly capable case officer, analyst, scientist, engineer or support officer. It would take at least a decade to recover from a surge in resignations.
There is precedent for this. When President Jimmy Carter’s C.I.A. director, Stansfield Turner, made it clear that, in his view, technology was making human intelligence obsolete, hundreds of officers departed. He then fired hundreds of others who questioned his approach; it took years for the agency to return to its pre-Turner strength. The Trump resignations could make the Turner departures pale by comparison.
The president-elect’s rejection of the agency will weaken it in a second way. American intelligence agencies do not work alone; we rely on strong ties to parallel organizations in countless countries. Why would a foreign intelligence service take the C.I.A. seriously (and share important information with it) when the American president doesn’t? A strong relationship between the C.I.A. and the president is a key incentive for other intelligence services to work with Langley. Take that away, and our foreign relationships — which are absolutely critical in the global fight against terror, proliferation, you name it — will suffer.
And why would a foreign agent take extraordinary risks to spy for the United States if his or her information is not valued? Knowing their information is making its way to the president is an important motivator for spies. Would the modern-day Adolf Tolkachev, the C.I.A.’s most important agent within the Soviet Union — who was executed as a spy in 1986 — sign on to work for Donald Trump? I doubt it. The potential loss of critical information could be extraordinary.
Mr. Trump’s attacks on the agency surprised me, but they shouldn’t have. It is not a coincidence that Mr. Trump, who has never let facts get in the way of his opinion, would fight with the organization whose very reason for existence is to put facts on the table. He will have similar fights with other government agencies, and our country will suffer for it.

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Trump's Election Spoils Putin's Narrative To The Russian People

Until 2016, US politics, with its two major parties and billion dollar elections, seemed impenetrable. The Kremlin’s foreign media arms, RT and Sputnik, attracted small US audiences, and only fringe parties heeded the Kremlin’s siren call. Almost 60 percent of Americans consider Russia an unfriendly power.
Despite these facts, Russia played a major role from the start to finish of the 2016 campaign. Trump campaign officials, who had consulted for Russian-friendly clients, were forced to withdraw, while Clinton’s top campaign officials with similar ties were left alone. Trump’s campaign comments about Putin, NATO, and ISIS opened him to charges of pro-Russian leanings. Few took notice of RT’s 2013 revelation of Clinton’s private email account that reinforced her reputation for dishonesty two years later. WikiLeaks’s release of thousands of damaging DNC, Podesta, and other private accounts starting in June left Hillary with the weak defense that “the Russians did it; pay no attention.”

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With the shocking election of Trump, some Democrats now blame Russian intervention for the upset. A cooperative media has concluded, as the New York Times put it, that “Russian hacking was meant to help elect Mr. Trump.” The political establishment has thus concluded that the Russian state hacked the emails to elect Trump, who will cancel sanctions, weaken NATO, and betray Ukraine. Per this line of thinking, Russia’s intervention thus invalidates Trump’s presidency.
Trump’s unexpected 2016 election was a monumental intelligence/media/political failure that deserves serious non-partisan investigation of the following open questions:
Did Putin order the hacks?
Putin has repeatedly denied ordering any cyber-attack on US politics. He maintains that “the complexity of modern hackers made it ‘extremely difficult’ to definitively say who was responsible for the leak, and suggested that they can disguise their activities and ‘leave their mark,’ or even the mark of others." Putin is a known liar; so we should not take his word seriously, but we should listen to what he says.
In past “black “operations, Putin has maintained space between himself and the actual perpetrators to disguise his involvement. The Anna Politovskaya and Boris Nemtsov murders involved complicated layers of sub-contractors, hired killers, Chechen clans, and Russian underworld. The Russian mercenaries fighting in east Ukraine were purportedly paid by a Russian oligarch, not the Kremlin. The London judge in the Litvinenko polonium poisoning could only conclude that Putin was a “likely” defendant because a murder in a foreign country would have to be approved “at the highest levels.”
Obama invoked the same logic in justifying new sanctions for Russian hacking: "Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin…. this happened at the highest levels of the Russian government." A CNN assessment, based on intelligence leaks, claims that “the use of the advanced tools suggests Russian President Vladimir Putin was involved in the hacks…. But neither of the sources said they knew of specific intelligence that directly ties Putin to the attack.”
The likely result of a serious investigation would be a strong suspicion that Putin ordered the hacks because such operations “require high-level approval.” The Kremlin will continue to invoke “plausible deniability,” and we may have to increasingly take action in the absence of certainty of guilt.
Who carried out the cyber attacks? 
After the DNC hack, a cyber firm (Crowdstrike) was hired by the Democratic National Committee to investigate. Crowdstrike promptly assigned blame to two cyber organizations purportedly associated with Russian intelligence. According to the released FBI-DHS Grizzly Steppe report  “two different RIS [Russian Intelligence Service] actors participated in the intrusion into a U.S. political party.” They used simple spearphishing and then extracted material with a high level of sophistication. Notably, the FBI-DHS report asserts that Russian intelligence cast a broad net of 1000 targets. Another hacker (or hacking organization), calling itself Guccifer 2, with suspected ties to Russian intelligence, claimed that it hacked the DNC and Clinton Foundation and turned the material over to WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks itself has denied that it obtained the material from Russia but from a disgruntled insider. We need more detailed intelligence reports to determine whether multiple cyber-attackers are claiming the same hack.
The US intelligence community, according to leaks, appears convinced that Russian governmental agencies are behind the hacks because of their sophistication. At least one tech company claims that the hackers used outdated codes that are widely available for download. Another unanswered question, therefore, is why such sophisticated hackers left traces to identify them almost immediately? Could this, as cautioned by Rolling Stone’s “Something About This Russian Story Stinks,” turn out to be a historic intelligence failure: “The problem with this story is that, like the Iraq-WMD mess, it takes place in the middle of a highly politicized environment during which the motives of all the relevant actors are suspect. Nothing quite adds up.”
Was the motive to elect Donald Trump?
To be true, reports of “incontrovertible evidence” that Putin wanted Trump elected require that our spies know Putin’s innermost thoughts. If so, they know more than all of Russia.
What would have been Putin’s primary motive? As I have written on numerous occasions, WikiLeaks was a godsend for Putin to “show corruption in American politics.” The Kremlin media has regaled the Russian public with the US press’s own accounts of a rigged election, conspiracies against Bernie Sanders, of Soros, Goldman Sachs, and the Saudi princes determining the election outcome, the cozy relationship between the Clinton campaign and the press, and the Clintons growing rich from their political connections. Putin could now ask: Who gives these Clintons the right to criticize me and my elections? What more revenge against Hillary Clinton could Putin ask for?
The use by Russian media of WikiLeaks for domestic consumption makes a very strong case that Putin wanted the hacked emails to bolster his tenuous hold on domestic power. The impact on the US election was secondary.
Would Putin have seriously thought he could help elect Trump? As noted by none other than Henry Kissinger, Putin, like everyone else, would have expected a Clinton victory, perhaps even a landslide, based on the polls. For Putin “to antagonize the president-to-be by getting into an open support of the opponent doesn’t make any sense to me.  They were hacking, but the use they allegedly made of this hacking eludes me.” The answer to Kissinger’s question: The hacking was meant for a domestic audience.
Would Putin have preferred a Clinton or a Trump? A victorious Clinton would offer Putin hostile predictability, but her base would restrain her from an aggressive military and foreign policy. Trump would be unpredictable, would build up US armed forces, and have to make strong deals to meet his electoral promises. Even worse for Putin, Trump would promote US energy development and drive down the energy prices on which Putin’s Petrostate rests.
Trump’s election spoils Putin’s narrative
Russian propagandists, fully expecting a Clinton victory, played up Trump as the Don Quixote candidate – a shining knight fighting against all odds -- about to be rolled over by the crooked American political establishment. The unanticipated consequence of his surprise victory, therefore, is an unwelcome affirmation of American democracy for the Russian people. Not only did Putin’s rubber-stamp parliament celebrate Trump’s victory. Ordinary Russians used the occasion to take a drunken holiday. Russia's enemy lost and Russia's "friend" won.
The 2016 election shows Russians that, in America, a candidate can come out of nowhere – a David to slay the Goliath of crooked American politics. This is contrary to Putin’s narrative of a decadent, greedy, and aggressive US establishment that uses its political monopoly to cut down a Trump-like candidacy. This is the last message Putin wants delivered to the Russian people with his own carefully-orchestrated election scheduled for 2018.
Trump’s election leaves Putin with a choice. He can use his propaganda to turn Trump into a monster on par with George Bush, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton or he can use the brief window of a positive US presidential figure to explore whether there are real opportunities to repair US-Russian relations. Putin must decide whether his regime can survive without the US as enemy number one.
The WikiLeaks release of Clinton-camp emails has readied an indifferent America for a serious discussion of the worldwide threat of Russian aggression through both soft and hard power. Unfortunately, politicians on both sides of the aisle seem intent on turning such an investigation into a political football from which we learn nothing, while Putin's nuclear saber rattling makes such a study even more urgent.

Trump’s War on the Intelligence Community Is All About Ego

And it won't end well—for him or for America.

Donald Trump has long resorted to Twitter as a forum for childish feuds. It was on Twitter that he famously taunted comedian Jon Stewart for having a stage name (which led Stewart to respond with a meme that Trump’s original name was Fuckface Von Clownstick, which set off even more angry Trump tweets). Despite now being president-elect, Trump has continued to use social media to attack his foes, which include not just foreign countries (as when he berated China for “one-sided trade” and not helping to contain North Korea) but the government agencies he’s going to have to work with in order to protect the American people.
On Friday, Trump is scheduled to meet with heads of the intelligence community, who will brief him on their findings about Russian interference in the election. But he has already made clear this week that he doesn’t really want to hear what they have to say.

What’s notable about these tweets isn’t just that Trump is, rather suspiciously, disputing a briefing he hasn’t yet heard. He’s also making a false claim: The briefing wasn’t delayed, having always been scheduled for Friday.Still, that’s par for the course when it comes to Trump’s tweets. But now we’re learning that his feud with the intelligence community goes beyond Twitter. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Trump believes the nation’s top spy agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, has become “bloated” and “politicized.” Trump and his advisors are “also working on a plan to restructure the Central Intelligence Agency, cutting back on staffing at its Virginia headquarters and pushing more people out into field posts around the world.” An anonymous source close to the Trump transition told the Journal, “The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world has become completely politicized. They all need to be slimmed down. The focus will be on restructuring the agencies and how they interact.”
As president, Trump would be perfectly within his rights to question findings by the intelligence community and restructure it to suit his needs. He also wouldn’t be the first president to feud with the intelligence community—at his own risk. “No president has ever taken on the CIA and come out looking good,” an unnamed White House official told the Journal. This is perhaps too sweeping a judgement, but there is definitely a troubled history.
John F. Kennedy, angered by the failure of the Bay of Pig invasion and inadequate information during the Cuban Missile Crisis, was preparing a wholesale revamping of the CIA in the months before his assassination. Jimmy Carter came to office during a time when the CIA was widely discredited by revelations of its involvement in overseas assassinations, and he pushed for the agency to do less covert operations and focus on providing analysis. Carter explicitly condemned the “CIA’s role in plotting murder and other crimes.” Carter would change his policies in the tail-end of his presidency, when he found that CIA covert actions were necessary to respond to the Iranian Revolution and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Kennedy and Carter fought the CIA on policy grounds. But Trump’s feud has a much more personal cast—in part because it springs from questions about the legitimacy of his presidential victory, and in part because Trump tends to invest every dispute with narcissistic rage. In this way, Trump is closer to Richard Nixon, whose fight with the CIA was entangled with his wounded ego and insatiable pride.
Nixon used to refer to the CIA as “those clowns out at Langley.” As historian Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones wrote in the book The CIA and American Democracy,
“Neurotic personal feelings underlay that bias [against the CIA]. For example, he was unable to justify his assertion that the Agency conspired against him in the 1960 election. He also clung to a similar, largely irrational suspicion that the American social elite was pitted against him.” Resentful and fearful of the CIA, Nixon tried to ensnare the agency in his corruption, at one point trying to set it up to take the fall for the Watergate break-in. He wanted the CIA to tell the FBI to lay off the investigation because it had national security implications. CIA head Richard Helms refused to let the agency be a scapegoat.

He’s Making a ListTrump is more paranoid and dangerous than Nixon.
Nixon is a revealing parallel to Trump. Both can be seen as maestros of resentment with a populist anger fuelled by a sense that snooty experts are looking down on them. Unappeasable in their rancor, both men adopted a stance of reflexive hostility toward the professionals who administer the state. This anti-professionalism is very different in spirit from attempts to reform the intelligence community as pursued by Kennedy or Carter. The goal of anti-professionalism is not just to get the bureaucracy to work better, but to subdue it, to bring in under the command of the president so that it lacks the independence to offer analysis that displeases the leader. On CNN on Wednesday, former CIA official Philip Mudd said Trump “can question the intelligence. He cannot humiliate the people who have offered their lives to collect that intelligence.” The word “humiliate” is key. The president-elect, as always on Twitter, is playing a game of dominance, asserting his alpha-male right to rule. The problem is that a humiliated intelligence community will also be a hobbled one, much more likely to tell the president what he wants to hear and not offer the critical analysis that informs good decision-making. Such an intelligence community might also seek a more receptive audience, in the form of leaks to the press, and then Trump himself would be the humiliated one.

sh golf courses.” Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the president-elect, denied that the two had discussed the subject, only for Trump to later confirm that the topic had, in fact, come up in their conversation.

* This entry originally misstated that Trump intervened at Turnberry, his other golf course in Scotland. We regret the error.

Those Indian Business Partners
It didn’t take long after the election for President-elect Trump to be seen in public with international business partners. According to a November 19 article in The New York Times, Trump took a break from his transition schedule to meet with three Indian real-estate executives who are currently building a Trump-branded apartment complex in Mumbai. According to both Trump and the Indian businessmen, the meeting was essentially congratulatory in nature; a picture posted by one of the executives on Twitter shows the four men smiling broadly and giving a thumbs-up to the camera. However, that the meeting happened in the first place suggests that Trump does not currently have any qualms about forestalling official state business for personal business.
On top of that, the meeting raises questions in the blind-trust realm as well. The president-elect himself was not the only member of his family there; two Facebook photos show that Ivanka and Eric Trump both attended the meeting as well. Their presence serves as a reminder that their father seems so far uninterested in maintaining even the nominal separation between himself and his assets that he repeatedly said he would create during the campaign.
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That Envoy From the Philippines
One leader with whom Trump already has an advantage over President Obama is Rodrigo Duterte, the similarly brash president of the Philippines. Duterte, who has threatened to “break up with America,” told Obama to “go to hell,” and called the president a “son of a whore,” expressed admiration for Trump, noting that, among other similarities, they both enjoy swearing.
Duterte’s affinity for Trump apparently goes beyond vulgar word choice. Late in October, Duterte appointed a longtime business associate of Trump’s as a special envoy to the United States, an announcement that became public shortly after the election. This appointment in particular raises questions because it is just as open to exploitation by Duterte as it is to Trump, as the Filipino president could intend to use his new envoy’s relationship with Trump to strengthen the Philippines’ hand. Whichever side the appointment does eventually benefit, however, the situation is nevertheless fraught with conflicts between the three men’s personal and political interests.

Trump Says He'll Tell All on Hacking

President-elect Donald Trump, with his wife Melania, speaks with reporters at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Dec. 31. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President-elect Donald Trump, with his wife Melania, speaks with reporters at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Dec. 31. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President-elect Donald Trump is warning that he knows "things other people don't know" about claims that the Russian government was behind the hacking of political groups during the U.S. presidential election, and is promising to spill the beans "Tuesday or Wednesday."
Trump, who has refused to acknowledge U.S. intelligence assessments that determined the hacking was directed by the highest levels in the Russian government, said he's been skeptical because he wants U.S. intelligence officials to be 100 percent sure.
"I just want them to be sure because it's a pretty serious charge," Trump told reporters in an impromptu New Year's Eve press conference.
"If you look at weapons of mass destruction, it was a disaster, and they were wrong," he said. "So I want them to be sure. I think it's unfortunate if they don't know. I know a lot about hacking, and hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else."
"I also know things other people don't know," Trump added. "So they cannot be sure of this situation."
When a reporter asked Trump what he knew about the hacking situation, Trump said: "You'll find out Tuesday or Wednesday," with no explanation for the delay. His comments were made at Trump's Palm Beach estate.
The president-elect has said he plans to meet with intelligence officials in coming days to learn more about the allegations.
Trump, who says "no computer is safe" when it comes to keeping information private, said, "if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way."
President Obama ordered sanctions on Russian spy agencies last week, closed two Russian compounds and expelled 35 diplomats the U.S. said were really spies. The Russian government has denied the allegations.

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China’s State Media Has Been Mocking Donald Trump’s ‘Unpresidented’ Tweet

"Trump is not behaving as a President who will become master of the White House in a month"

China’s state media has again questioned the leadership qualities of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, gleefully highlighting the misspelling of the word unprecedented in a tweet he sent responding to the seizure of an American underwater drone by the Chinese navy on Thursday. “China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it of water and take it to China in unpresidented [sic] act,” Trump tweeted, before deleting and reposting the message with the correct spelling of unprecedented. He took again to Twitter to add: “We should tell China that we don’t want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!” Both Washington and Beijing have sought to downplay the spat in official channels. On Saturday, China agreed to return the device, which was taken 57 miles northwest of the Philippine port of Subic Bay. China says the unmanned reconnaissance vehicle, which was apparently collecting unclassified scientific data, was seized to maintain the safety of passing vessels. “China resolutely opposes these [reconnaissance] activities,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Yang Yujun said, according to Chinese state newswire Xinhua. On Sunday, the Chinese Communist Party–linked Global Times newspaper questioned Trump’s response in an editorial and highlighted his misspelling in the headline: “‘Unpresidented’ Trump adds fuel to fire.”
“He seemed emotionally upset, but no one knows what he wanted to say,” read the article. “Trump is not behaving as a President who will become master of the White House in a month.”
During his campaign, Trump repeated accused China of currency manipulation and stealing American jobs, and vowed to slap 45% tariffs of Chinese imports. Since his election victory, Trump has further infuriated the Beijing leadership by accepting a phone call from the President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen — breaking almost four decades of diplomatic protocol that saw no direct contact between American and Taiwanese leaders.
Beijing claims sovereignty over the self-governing island of 23 million and has vowed to retake it by force should Taipei ever declare independence. When Beijing lodged a formal complaint about Trump’s phone conversation, Trump said that American acknowledgement of China’s position that Taiwan is part of “one China” was up for negotiation.
“Since [Trump] has not taken office, China has kept a calm attitude toward his provocative remarks,” read the Global Times editorial. “But if he treats China after assuming office in the same way as in his tweets, China will not exercise restraint.”
Ordinary Chinese, however, are seeing the funny side of Trump’s spelling error. “Dude, you would have failed the Chinese college English exam,” posted one user on China’s Twitter-like microblog Weibo.
“What if Trump just is pretending to be stupid?” posted another. “Businessmen shouldn’t be this dumb, and Trump is successful in business.”
With reporting by Zhang Chi / Beijing

Trump’s Press Secretary Begs The American People To Stop Mocking Donald Trump

Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer went on national television to complain that the American people are mocking Donald Trump and called on every American to support the president-elect instead of mocking him.

Trump’s Press Secretary Begs The American People To Stop Mocking Donald Trump
Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer went on national television to complain that the American people are mocking Donald Trump and called on every American to support the president-elect instead of mocking him.
Video of Trump press secretary Sean Spicer on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos:

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Spicer was talking about Trump trying to take credit for jobs that were already announced when he claimed that the American people are mocking and undermining the president-elect:

So the idea is everyone wants to talk about the tweets he sent. But I would actually focus on the action he’s getting. Donald Trump is not president yet and he’s getting action, successes and wins, both abroad and here at home.

Everything he does right now, he gets — he speaks for the head of Sprint, gets 5,000 jobs moved from abroad. And everyone starts to mock him. Oh, those jobs were already announced. They weren’t. The sales jobs have been a previous announce. These jobs were coming from abroad to America.

And instead of trying to mock him or undermine him, it’s time that people started to give him credit for actually getting things done.

Trump is mocked because he isn’t getting anything done. The president-elect is taking credit for things that already happened, or the accomplishments of others. For example, Trump took credit for the good economic numbers in November despite the fact that the growing economy has nothing to do with him because he is not yet the president. Trump took credit for the horrible Carrier deal that Mike Pence negotiated, and Trump is trying to pass off the Sprint job announcement, which he had nothing to do with, as an accomplishment.”

President-elect Donald Trump’s Press Secretary was practically begging America to stop making fun of the incoming president. Trump isn’t going to find much popular support for his presidency because the majority of voters did not support him.
If Trump continues to act like a narcissistic and petty reality television star instead of a president, he is going to mocked.
One can only imagine the howls of laughter from Republicans if Obama’s press secretary would have gone on national television and complained about the American people making fun of him.
Trump isn’t even in office yet, but his team is demanding credit for things that they have not done, which is exactly why the American people will continue to mock the president-elect. 

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Joy Drewfs Keep mocking, he doesn't like it, too bad. Not my president.😡

Donald Trump praises 'very smart' Vladimir Putin for not expelling US diplomats in response to sanctions

Donald Trump last night praised Vladimir Putin as "very smart" for not engaging in a tit-for-tat row with the US over the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats accused of espionage.
In a piece of high diplomatic theatre, the Russian president defied expectations of a Cold War-style mutual expulsion and instead met the Obama administration's sanctions with a show of magnanimity.
Chiding the outgoing president for a provocation designed to undermine US-Russian relations, Mr Putin chose instead to look forward to the incoming administration of Mr Trump who has promised a re-set with Moscow. 
"We will not create problems for American diplomats. We will not expel anyone," he said. “Furthermore, I invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the Christmas and New Year tree in the Kremlin.”

He added: "Further steps towards the restoration of Russian-American relations will be built on the basis of the policy which the administration of President D. Trump will carry out."
Earlier Sergei Lavrov, the  foreign minister, publically recommend that Russia expel 35 US diplomats and close down two  US diplomatic compounds. 
"Russia's foreign ministry... has requested that the Russian president approve declaring as personae non gratae 31 employees of the US embassy in Moscow and four diplomats from the US consulate in Saint Petersburg," Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said in televised comments.
The move would have amounted to a tit-for-tat response to American sanctions. 
President Barack Obama's said on Friday the US would expel 35 Russian diplomats and close down two diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland in retaliation for Moscow directing hackers to interfere in the presidential elections. 
The announcement provoked fury in Moscow, where many officials attacked Mr Obama personally for the move. 
Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister, wrote on Twitter that the current administration was "ending its term in anti-Russian agony."
The foreign ministry called the decision a "crushing blow to the prestige of America and its leadership."
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry wrote on Facebook: "Today America and the American people have been humiliated as their own President." 
The Russian Embassy in London called it "Cold War deja vu", and said the US "wanted to destroy" ties with Moscow.
The diplomatic officials from the Russian embassy in Washington and its consulate in San Francisco were deemed "persona non grata" and told to leave the country within 72 hours.
Mr Obama said the 35 expelled diplomats were "intelligence operatives".
He also announced it was closing two compounds owned by the Russian government, and used for intelligence operations, in New York and Maryland, from noon on Friday.
At the same time he ordered sanctions against Russia's GRU and FSB intelligence agencies, and six named Russian individuals.
They included Lt Gen Korobov, head of the GRU, and three of his deputies. The other two were Alexei Belan and Yevgeny Bogachev, two Russians wanted by the FBI for cyber crimes for years.
Also sanctioned were three computer companies alleged to have provided "material support" to the GRU.
The developments marked an unprecedented new low in US-Russian relations under Mr Obama's presidency.
Mr Obama accused Russia of "aggressive harassment" and said "all Americans should be alarmed by Russia's actions". He said hacking "could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government".
Mr Obama said: "These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm US interests in violation of established international norms of behaviour. Such activities have consequences."
He added: "This is not the sum total of our response to Russia’s aggressive activities. We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicised."
A US official added: "By imposing costs on the Russian diplomats in the United States, by denying them access to the two facilities, we hope the Russian government reevaluates its own actions."
It was understood that Russia's ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak, will not be one of those expelled.
It comes after the the CIA and FBI concluded that Russia was responsible for hacking the Democratic Party and releasing embarrassing emails with the intention of helping Mr Trump to win the White House.
Russia has repeatedly denied the hacking accusations. A spokesman for Russia's Foreign Ministry said: "If Washington really does take new hostile steps they will be answered. "Any action against Russian diplomatic missions in the US will immediately bounce back on US diplomats in Russia."
Mr Trump said he would meet intelligence officials next week to hear evidence of the Russian hacking.
He said: "It's time for our country to move on to bigger and better things.
"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 on the facts of this situation."
Kellyanne Conway, one of Mr Trump's top advisers, told CNN that Mr Trump stood by his claims that it was unclear whether Russia carried out the hacks and insisted that alleged Russian hacking was being used to try and delegitimise Mr Trump's victory.
The US State Department said the expelled diplomats had been "acting in a manner inconsistent with their diplomatic or consular status".
It also said the US actions were a response to increased harassment of US diplomats in Moscow over the last year. In 2001 the US expelled 50 Russian diplomats from the country over accusations of spying. Russia responded in kind, ordering 50 US diplomats to leave its own country. 
The Russian Embassy in London added in its 'lame duck' memed tweet: "Everybody, including the American people, will be glad to see the last of this hapless administration."
According to one US official there are a total of about 100 Russian spies in the US, so about one third of them are being ejected.
The compound being closed in Maryland is a sprawling coastal estate purchased by the Soviet Union in the 1970s. It is listed as the summer retreat for the Russian embassy but has been used for espionage, according to US officials.
The Kremlin accused the US of an "aggressive foreign policy" and behaving "like a bull in a china shop".
Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said: "There is no alternative here to the principle of reciprocity. We will deliver significant discomfort to the US side in the same areas.
"We consider this decision and these sanctions unjustified and illegal under international law."
US officials said they were aware of reports that Moscow may have ordered the closure of the Anglo-American School in the Russian capital - attended by many children of diplomats - but they could not confirm those reports, said news agency AFP.
Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry's spokeswoman, denied reports about the school closure on Friday morning. 
Lisa Monaco, Mr Obama's homeland security adviser, said: "These 35 individuals were basically collecting intelligence. They were intelligence officers operating here and using these compounds for intelligence collection.
"We are expelling those 35 intelligence officers and their families and shutting down that intelligence collection activity."
She added: "We are prepared for retaliatory steps the Russian government may take."
The Russian Embassy in Washington said a plane was being sent from Moscow to pick up those who had been expelled.
A spokesman said: "For diplomats and their families to leave the US an aircraft of the Rossiya Special Flight Squadron will be sent to the US."

How could Russia respond?
Vladimir Putin has ruled out direct retaliation for now, but he also says Russia "reserves the right" to respond. Here are a number of options he and his advisers could be considering. 
  • Expel US diplomats. Sending American officials home would be a traditional tit-for-tat response more or less in line with the rules of international diplomacy. The Russians could up the ante by kicking out Ambassador John Tefft (the US has said it is not expelling Russia's ambassador), which would leave a key post for Donald Trump to fill when he takes power on January 20.
  • Shut down US diplomatic compounds. The foreign ministry has denied plans to close the American School in Moscow, which is popular with expat families. However, it could close the Embassy holiday dacha at Serebryany Bor on the Moscow outskirts. 
  • Something else. Previous "asymmetric" responses to American moves have included banning US citizens from adopting Russian orphans and banning food imports from countries that sanctioned Russia over its annexation of Crimea. 
  • Do nothing. With Donald Trump entering the White House on January 20, the Kremlin could decide it is worth refraining from countermeasures as a goodwill gesture to the new president. Instead it may confine itself to insulting Tweets about Barack Obama.  

Donald Trump: The Russian Poodle - by Nicholas Kristof

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"Frankly, it’s mystifying that Trump continues to defend Russia and Putin, even as he excoriates everyone else, from C.I.A. officials to a local union leader in Indiana. Let’s be clear: This was an attack on America, less lethal than a missile but still profoundly damaging to our system. It’s not that Trump and Putin were colluding to steal an election. But if the C.I.A. is right, Russia apparently was trying to elect a president who would be not a puppet exactly but perhaps something of a lap dog — a Russian poodle.  Now we come to the most reckless step of all: This Russian poodle is acting in character by giving important government posts to friends of Moscow, in effect rewarding it for its attack on the United States.  "So it’s critical that the Senate, the news media and the public subject Tillerson to intense scrutiny.  We must be vigilant and recognize what is afoot!" WOOF!

Read the rest of the story HERE:


SundayReview | Op-Ed Columnist

Donald Trump: The Russian Poodle

In 1972, President Richard Nixon’s White House dispatched burglars to bug Democratic Party offices. That Watergate burglary and related “dirty tricks,” such as releasing mice at a Democratic press conference and paying a woman to strip naked and shout her love for a Democratic candidate, nauseated Americans — and impelled some of us kids at the time to pursue journalism.
Now in 2016 we have a political scandal that in some respects is even more staggering. Russian agents apparently broke into the Democrats’ digital offices and tried to change the election outcome. President Obama on Friday suggested that this was probably directed by Russia’s president, saying, “Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin.”
In Watergate, the break-in didn’t affect the outcome of the election. In 2016, we don’t know for sure. There were other factors, but it’s possible that Russia’s theft and release of the emails provided the margin for Donald Trump’s victory.
The C.I.A. says it has “high confidence” that Russia was trying to get Trump elected, and, according to The Washington Post, the directors of the F.B.I. and national intelligence agree with that conclusion.
Both Nixon and Trump responded badly to the revelations, Nixon by ordering a cover-up and Trump by denouncing the C.I.A. and, incredibly, defending Russia from the charges that it tried to subvert our election. I never thought I would see a dispute between America’s intelligence community and a murderous foreign dictator in which an American leader sided with the dictator.

Let’s be clear: This was an attack on America, less lethal than a missile but still profoundly damaging to our system. It’s not that Trump and Putin were colluding to steal an election. But if the C.I.A. is right, Russia apparently was trying to elect a president who would be not a puppet exactly but perhaps something of a lap dog — a Russian poodle.
In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair was widely (and unfairly) mocked as President George W. Bush’s poodle, following him loyally into the Iraq war. The fear is that this time Putin may have interfered to acquire an ally who likewise will roll over for him.
Frankly, it’s mystifying that Trump continues to defend Russia and Putin, even as he excoriates everyone else, from C.I.A. officials to a local union leader in Indiana.
Now we come to the most reckless step of all: This Russian poodle is acting in character by giving important government posts to friends of Moscow, in effect rewarding it for its attack on the United States.
Rex Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, is a smart and capable manager. Yet it’s notable that he is particularly close to Putin, who had decorated Tillerson with Russia’s “Order of Friendship.”
Whatever our personal politics, how can we possibly want to respond to Russia’s interference in our election by putting American foreign policy in the hands of a Putin friend?
Tillerson’s closeness to Putin is especially troubling because of Trump’s other Russia links. The incoming national security adviser, Michael Flynn, accepted Russian money to attend a dinner in Moscow and sat near Putin. A ledger shows $12.7 million in secret payments by a pro-Russia party in Ukraine to Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort. And the Trump family itself has business connections with Russia.
It’s true that there will be counterbalances, including Gen. James Mattis, the former Marine commander who has no illusions about Moscow and is expected to be confirmed as defense secretary. But over all it looks as if the Trump administration will be remarkably pro-Putin — astonishing considering Putin’s Russia has killed journalists, committed war crimes in Ukraine and Syria and threatened the peaceful order in Europe.

So it’s critical that the Senate, the news media and the public subject Tillerson to intense scrutiny. There are other issues to explore as well, including his role in enabling corruption in Chad, one of the poorest countries in the world. The same is true of his role in complicity with the government of Angola, where oil corruption turned the president’s daughter into a billionaire even as children died of poverty and disease at a higher rate than anywhere else in the world.

Maybe all this from Russia to Angola was just Tillerson trying to maximize his company’s revenue, and he will act differently as secretary of state. Maybe. But I’m skeptical that his ideology would change in fundamental ways.
This is not only about Tillerson just as the 1972 break-in was not only about the Watergate building complex. This is about the integrity of American democracy and whether a foreign dictator should be rewarded for attacking the United States. It is about whether we are led by a president or a poodle.

Ross Douthat and Maureen Dowd are off today.
I invite you to sign up for my free, twice-weekly email newsletter. Please also join me on Facebook and Google+, watch my YouTube videos and follow me on Twitter (@NickKristof).
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Anne MacDonald Canham



Beijing Airpot

Mr. Tigerli in China

Copyright 2016 by Letizia Mancino
translation by Mary Holmes
All rights reserved  

Yes Betty, either or it seems he wanted to fly only with Singapore Airways.

Boeing or Airbus, it’s just the same isn’t it? Aren’t they both just fat birds with 500 passengers?

Yes, but Singapore Airlines has the most beautiful airhostesses: delicate, fine, graceful…  Mr. Tigerli had looked forward to the flight so much!

So the little man was disappointed?

You just can’t imagine how disappointed he was.
 But thank God one of the hostesses was a pretty Chinese girl. Mr. Tigerli purred loudly but she didn’t hear him because the purring of the Airbus 380 was even louder.

The poor cat!

You’ve said it Betty. Mr. Tigerli was in a very bad mood and asked me for a loud speaker.

I’m sure you can get one in 1st Class.

“”Russian Girl” had even heard you over the roar of the Niagara Falls” I said to Mr. Tigerli. “You are a very unfaithful cat. You wanted to get to know Asiatic girls. That’s how it is when one leaves one’s first love”.

And what did he say to that?

“Men are hunters” was his answer.

Yes, my dear cat, a mouse hunter. And what else did he say?

Not another word. He behaved as if he hadn’t heard me.

The Airbus is very loud.

I told him shortly “Don’t trouble yourself about “Chinese Girl”. There will be enough even prettier girls in China. Wait till we land in Guilin”.

Did he understand you?

Naturally Mr. Tigerli understood me immediately. Yes, sweetheart, don’t worry. They will find you something sweet to eat.

And he?

He was so happy.

No problem going through the immigration control?

Naturally!  Lots of problems. How could I explain to customs that the cat had come as a tourist to China to buy shoes?

Fur in exchange for shoes…

Don’t be so cynical Betty!

Cat meat in exchange for shoes?

I said to the officials. He isn’t a cat, he is Casanova.

He came through the pass control with no trouble!

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Is this Mr. Tigerli?

Dare we face the question of just how much of the darkness around us is of our own making? - Betty MacDonald
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Take an illustrated day trip through Washington state’s largest city with artist Candace Rose Rardon.

Linda White yes,if my health allows.I have a few problems but is something I have always wanted to do,especially as I reread her books.

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