He speaks power to truth

There’s some question as to whether Donald Trump knows how disliked he is. He may not, it may be beyond his ken. This is even with recent Earth events still reverberating, as they say. This is even though he just went through the world’s most bruising popularity contest and lost by millions of votes.

You’d figure he would take note of what just happened. You’d figure because of that he would become more humble, or gracious. Instead, he’ll say America’s true feelings can be found in the Electoral College: he won in a “landslide.” Trump the man is an utter marvel in this respect. He spends the great majority of his precious time gilding and filigreeing his public persona. Yet he continues to wear his hair the same way, like a crepe, and he persists in treating women the same way, like they were pets.

In terms of polling data, there’s virtually no good news for Trump. The results generally point in the same direction: He’s widely disliked and inspires little confidence in his presidential abilities…

Trump’s contrast with Obama in late 2008 is stunning: Obama entered 2009 with a 68 percent favorable rating. Today, Trump’s favorable rating stands at an anemic 43 percent. And if history is any indication, that rating is almost certain to go down once the new president takes office.

If anything in life can be said to be true, that’s it. Once the responsibilities of president set upon you, the game gets a lot harder. Everybody is watching, and there’s nowhere to hide. Everybody has demands, and they never end. The honeymoon fades, the popularity tumbles, and the drudgery begins.

You would think Trump would be aware of all this, too.

The President-elect spoke with the paper to defend Russia hours before his briefing with intelligence officials scheduled for Friday.

You wouldn’t think he’d try to jump-start his presidency by taking sides against his own country. You wouldn’t think he’d reject the assessments of the executive branch of his own government in favor of a foreign power. But you’d be wrong.

Donald Trump said the focus on Russian involvement in hacking the 2016 election is “a political witch hunt.”

“China, relatively recently, hacked 20 million government names,” he told The New York Times in an interview publish Friday, referencing the past breach of computers at the Office of Personnel Management. “How come nobody even talks about that? This is a political witch hunt.”

I was so puzzled by this comment I had to look up the term’s definition. Witch-hunt: a campaign directed against a person or group holding unorthodox or unpopular views. Well, pity poor Russia.

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia directed a vast cyberattack aimed at denying Hillary Clinton the presidency and installing Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office, the nation’s top intelligence agencies said in an extraordinary report they delivered on Friday to Mr. Trump.

The officials presented their unanimous conclusions to Mr. Trump in a two-hour briefing at Trump Tower in New York that brought the leaders of America’s intelligence agencies face to face with their most vocal skeptic, the president-elect, who has repeatedly cast doubt on Russia’s role.

Why the lamentable Putin et. al. hold these “unorthodox or unpopular views” is a bit mysterious. The report offers its own theory.

When it appeared that Mrs. Clinton was more likely to win, it concluded, the Russian effort focused “on undermining her future presidency,” with pro-Kremlin bloggers preparing a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #DemocracyRIP. It noted that Mr. Putin had a particular animus for Mrs. Clinton because he believed she had incited protests against him in 2011.

Hillary Clinton, what a surprise. Intelligence officials are scandalizing Donald’s election on behalf of the woman who opposed him – a power hungry Washington millionaire, elite-est of the elite, and symbol of all that is self-serving and corrupt in the flesh. They’d want to come to her rescue, wouldn’t they? And then they’d want to use Russia for their own purposes – the making and disseminating of propaganda. Of course they would…

The conclusions in the report were described on Thursday to President Obama and on Friday to Mr. Trump by James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence; John O. Brennan, the director of the C.I.A.; Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency; and James B. Comey, the director of the F.B.I.

…because a demagogue will say anything (really, just ask him). What a comical farce. And what a shiftless and shameless group, blaming third parties without a shred of credibility.

I have my own feelings about all this, certainly. But I’d rather not let on, I’d rather you draw your own conclusions. I won’t say that Donald here is a kind of national hero, spitting in the face of crony conniving. That would be something for America to decide. But for the rest of the world, I’ll say this. Should you end up being dragged into one of our sordid affairs, you couldn’t ask for a better friend…

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