Links – December 12, 2016

Sorry to be depressing, but we need to be aware of how we can lose our democracy, given many of the things that Donald Trump and his administration-to-be have said and done. It’s not an overnight change, but one little thing after another. The best thing is to avoid getting into those little things. More from Masha Gessen, this time on similarities between how Trump is likely to govern and what we see in Vladimir Putin.

The Russian hack. Explainer from Max Fisher. This is a couple of days old, and more is coming out every day. Long story with details of the FBI-Democratic National Committee interaction. The Russians hacked selected Congressional races, too. And now intelligence officials are saying they have “high confidence,” their jargon for “almost completely sure” that Putin directed the hack.

An additional hack of the Clinton campaign just a few days before the election?

Emptywheel lists information necessary to prove the Russian hack. David Frum has five questions about the hack.



A very long and entertaining tweet stream, storified, on how we got to where we are, with Donald Trump as president-elect and Russian interference in our election. I think that parts are poorly supported, but it does make a consistent story.

There is much rehashing of what went wrong for Hillary Clinton during the election. Here’s the best thing that has been said about that.

Background on Rex Tillerson, chairman of Exxon Mobil and apparently Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, from Steve Coll and Julia Ioffe. Trump continues to play reality-tv with selections of his cabinet. More on Tillerson. Carter Page has been in Russia the last week or so, and so has Jack KingstonJohn Bolton: A prime mover of the Iraq WMD fiasco.

Rose Gottemoeller has negotiated the New START Treaty and has managed many nuclear nonproliferation programs. She is now Deputy Secretary General of NATO. That position is decided by NATO. Some in the Trump transition team are trying to have her removed so they can put in their person (guy). NATO isn’t having it. (Disclosure: I’ve worked in one of Gottemoeller’s programs, and I think the world of her.)


When daily intelligence briefings prevented nuclear war.

Some tidbits about Russia’s foreign policy concept document.

Should we have intervened in Syria? I don’t know and neither do you. What is happening in Syria is horrifying. What can or could have been done about it is very, very unclear.

Taiwan has shown an interest in acquiring nuclear weapons. Will it go back to that?

Trump’s Asia Advisors Want to Scrap the “Three Communiques” with China. Apparently Trump thinks that he can make a deal with China, ignoring all of the history that has gone before.

The continuing MOX saga: Congress voted funding for the plant.

Is there something to learn from the Nuclear Freeze movement of the 1980s? Photo from here.