Twin Peaks, Mulholland Dr. and the 17 Enigma



David Lynch and Twin Peaks return this May so I thought I'd take this opportunity to re-post this analysis of the classic Lynch film Mulholland Dr., which started life as a follow-up TV series to Twin Peaks. It appears there will be 17 episodes in all, if the series clocks in at 18 hours and the first episode is two hours long. A cast list comprised of 217 actors has been announced.

PASADENA, Calif. - Showtime's revival of David Lynch and Mark Frost's groundbreaking 1990 TV series "Twin Peaks," first announced more than two years ago, finally has a premiere date: Sunday, May 21.

The series, which will clock in at 18 hours and was entirely directed by Lynch, will have a two-hour premiere, with weekly episodes following that. "We've seen the whole thing," Showtime CEO David Nevins told the Television Critics Association on Monday. "It's the pure heroin version of David Lynch."
Lynch's last released film was the brilliant yet pitch-black Inland Empire (2006), very much a companion piece to Mulholland Dr. Note that the period spanning from Twin Peaks to Inland Empire is 17 years and from Mulholland Dr to the new Twin Peaks is also 17 years. David Lynch will 71 on Friday, the inverse of 17. 

David Bowie appeared in a brief yet memorable cameo in the feature film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.



Maybe the simplest description I can offer of Synchromysticism is "the bleed-over of dream logic into consensus reality." The keys to this process are myth, symbol and co-incidence.

If symbol and myth is indeed the lingua franca of some higher function of consciousness, it could well be that manipulating that consciousness could certainly re-structure our reality paradigm. I'm saying not only our perception of reality, but even the causal order of that paradigm.

However, by investing yourself in this process you often find yourself living in a world governed not by reductionism and determinism, but by a real-time variant of dream logic. Not always a pleasant place to be, believe me.



Dream logic is David Lynch's lifeblood. Although some reviewers have dismissed Mulholland Dr. and Inland Empire as jumbled navel-gazing, there are very simple keys in these films that unlock the mysteries. Even before I discovered these clues I felt the films made perfect sense, even if I couldn't quite nail it down. Knowing now what these films are about (at least what many people interpret them as, Lynch never makes any definitive statements on the films' meaning) doesn't demystify them for me, it does the exact opposite. With a friggin' unholy vengeance.

The film (released 10/12/01, or one month and one day after 9/11) gets its name from the famous Los Angeles street, which in turn is named in honor of William Mulholland, the LA water baron. Mulholland inspired Roman Polanski's 1974 film Chinatown, which starred Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston (who played the Mulholland character) and was based on a Robert Towne (Parallax View, Firm, Mission Impossible) screenplay.

Mulholland's birthdate? 9/11/1855.


The film pretends to be a standard mystery: a would-be starlet named Betty (played by Naomi Watts) arrives in Hollywood to house-sit for her aunt, only to find a beautiful and mysterious brunette named Rita (played by Laura Harring) who is suffering from amnesia. Throughout the film there are disconnected subplots- a man who dreams of a demon living in a restaurant parking lot, a film director with the Kabbalist-sounding name Adam Kesher (meaning "connection," played by Justin Theroux) threatened by a crime boss, and an idiotic hitman who is looking for Rita. Sprinkled throughout are some old school Hollywood icons- Chad Everett, Lee Grant, Robert Forster, Ann Miller. Michael J Anderson (Twin Peaks, Carnivale, X-Files) also makes an enigmatic appearance.

Rita is looking for clues to her own identity, which leads her to an apartment of a woman who has committed suicide. Halfway through the film, Rita vanishes and a totally different story begins. Watts now plays a failed actress scorned by her glamorous but sadistic lover Camilla (played by Harring), who humiliates Diane by taking her to a party celebrating her engagement to Adam Kesher.

That's all I'll say for now. Let's run the number...

The apartment of the suicide is- yes, you guessed it - 17.


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Watts' characters are from Deep River, Ontario which lies smack dab on which route? You guessed it- 17.

"Rita" takes the name from a Rita Hayworth poster. Hayworth's birthdate? The 17th.


Now here's where it starts to get interesting- when we first meet Betty, she's wearing a bright red cardigan. When Camilla dumps Diane, she's wearing a flaming scarlet dress. This color identification repeats itself throughout the film.

"Scarlet" and "17" take us to back to Jack Parson's old obsession- the Scarlet Woman, the Whore of Babylon from Revelation 17...

Is Lynch, the maverick artist, condemning the bitch goddess of Hollywood (like Rome, a city of hills) as the Whore of Babylon? That would be the obvious answer, but we don't see any further connections, obvious ones at least.

That kind of mythologizing isn't really Lynch's style, and Camilla - the obvious whore stand-in - merrily runs off with her Adam while jilted Diane lies dead in number 17. A detail-obsessive like Lynch wouldn't leave those loose ends dangling. We have to consider that this is bleed-over from the powerful subconscious contents Lynch is playing with.




And then we have this weird conjunction- Watts pregnant with Liev Schreiber (my wife's second cousin, for those of you keeping track), who played the Gregory Peck character in The Omen remake (released 6/6/06, which is Hollywood's idea of clever symbolism). Interesting connection back to Mulholland Dr, since The Omen is essentially a take-off on Rosemary's Baby, directed by Chinatown director Polanski.

If Hollywood is Lynch's Babylon (more likely it's his saṃsāra), it's interesting to note that Parsons' Scarlet Woman, Marjorie Cameron, played the Whore of Babylon in Kenneth Anger's Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (which was re-released in 1966 with the subtitle, "The Sacred Mushroom Edition"). Anger later penned the Hollywood Babylon books.

In this light, the name "Diane" takes on added resonance connecting back to Parsons and his crowd.

What's a 17 without a 33? Laura Harring has a birthday on March 3. Watts would later play a Hollywood icon herself, the lover of the mighty Kong. Here she is atop 33rd Street in Masonic Manhattan in the King Kong movie poster. A strange reversal of scale takes place in the climax of Mulholland Dr., when Diane watches in horror as two tiny versions of the elderly couple she meets on her arrival in Hollywood crawl under the door at #17.

Remembering that William Mulholland's birthday was 9/11, we shouldn't forget the previous remake of King Kong, from 1976.

Minor details take on resonance- Robert Towne's adorable daughter, Ka-Hathor-Ein, plays Adam's assistant Cynthia (another moon goddess name). This actress' birthday is on the 17th, too.

Kesher's wife Lorraine dumps him for a pool cleaner, played by none other than Mr. Montana himself.  Cyrus stated in 2011 that he feared for his daughter Miley and that his family was "under attack by Satan."

And speaking of genes and mushrooms, the hitman is played by Mark Pellegrino, who guest-starred in the X-Files episode "Hungry," which immediately followed the FieldTrip/Biogenesis/Sixth Extinction blowout (and was actually filmed between them).

Pellegrino is best known for playing Lucifer on Supernatural.





Then there's this classic Lynch scene- Adam Kesher's confrontation with the enforcer known as the Cowboy, played with inhuman intensity by Monty Montgomery, a non-actor who's the founder of this organization....



When I first began looking seriously into symbol and Synchronicity, I took a very deterministic view towards it. But as the evidence and the connections multiplied, I realized that I was holding onto a comforting fantasy rather than surrender myself to a process I could not understand, and thereby never hope to control.

Which is all just another way of saying that I think David Lynch might have a tighter grip on the true nature of reality than the rest of us do.

I'll let the Cowboy have the last word...

Spy vs Spy: The Russia (Un)Reality Show

Oh, the utter lack of self-awareness

Why am I growing leery of all this "CIA coup" talk we're hearing in the media? 

Exactly because we're hearing it in the media. I didn't cut my teeth on all those old issues of Covert Action Quarterly to just turn around and buy whatever narrative the media is flogging.


This all feels orchestrated and stage-managed to me. Like everything about this election and its aftermath. Some kind of game is playing out here, I just can't grasp at the contours of it. Which is a good thing, probably. For me.


For some reason I can quite put my finger on, it makes perfect sense that a man known to most of the public as a reality TV star is at the center of this open-air psychodrama unfolding in front of us, this contrived Clash of the Titans, this bizarro Battle of the Billionaires.

So much of this is ultimately a new media put-on, Trump battling (read: trolling) the press, shooting out tweets with his meaty fingers. The charge is being led by The Washington Post (owned by Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com fame) and The New York Times (owned and operated by Carlos Slim Helu, the Mexican telecom magnate), and the once-mighty/now-endangered CNN bringing up the rear.


And for a guy who's the focus of a firestorm of controversy and the ostensible target of attack from some of the most powerful forces in the country, he doesn't seem to be sweating it too much. Near as I can tell, at least. Even the ultraliberal Newsweek has the headline today: "Don't Kid Yourself - Trump Is Winning." 

That raises some red flags, by my reckoning. Is this just another performance for a seasoned reality TV hand? Have we finally come to this?


Think about it for a minute: why dump all this Russia stuff out when all the paperwork has been completed? The recounts didn't pan out, the Hamilton Elector campaign went nowhere, the Electoral College voted, the results were ratified by Congress. It's a done deal. 


These painfully-earnest celebrity videos, the Golden Globes speeches, aren't moving the needle at all. They're just inspiring eye-rolling, resentment and hathos, even among Trump-haters. No one cares about the status anxieties of the unjustly-pampered and impossibly-rich. 

Chris Rock put it best: “If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets.” 

SUCH A THING AS PRECEDENT

I'm pretty sure I know where all this is all eventually going, I'm just not sure what exact road they're planning to take. But I guarantee that a lot of people cheering on the new McCarthyism are definitely not going to like where the bus lets off. 

How do I know this, you ask?

Well, the CIA's track record isn't entirely classified is it? I mean, there's the matter of testing LSD on children as young as five, testing radiation on pregnant mothers and on the mentally-handicapped, overthrowing democratically-elected governments and setting up death squads, flooding our cities with illegal drugs...


...need I go on? I hope not.

But hey, there's an election to try to undo. So already having sold their souls (and the working and middle classes everywhere) to Wall Street, Bilderberg and Silicon Valley billionaires, the Democrats have given up their last scraps and shreds of hair, skin and sinew to the fucking CIA, of all people.

And how does the CIA apparently plan to repay them?

Well, according to this report, by installing the man who would like nothing better than to crush what is left of their party into a finely-ground powder into the Oval Office:

For these two reasons, there are people inside the CIA who would love to see the unpredictable tycoon replaced by vice-president-elect Mike Pence, a man who they feel they can work with. 
Of course, it is well-known that the CIA has an infamous record of plotting coups d’etats against democratically elected governments in other countries — for example, in the early-Fifties when it helped the Iranian military overthrow premier Mohammad Mosaddeq and reinstate the Shah, and the ousting of Chile’s president Salvador Allende in 1973. 
The atmosphere is currently so feverish in Washington that there are well-informed people who now believe that the CIA is contemplating a version of the same thing in America itself.
Wouldn't that just be a kick in the pants? Give the Left Trump's head on a platter and put their worst fucking nightmare in the White House?

Mike Pence, an inveterate partisan warrior who would not only work night and day to gut all their favorite programs but won't lead with his chin the way Trump does. A much harder target who will come armed with an increasingly-radicalized Republican Congress (led by Ayn Rand devotee Paul Ryan) and a seriously pissed-off police force looking for payback after eight years of Obama.  Not to mention a vengeful GOP voter base, who will baying for blood just in time for the midterms.

That's 
the CIA we all know and unlove.



But is any of this actually true? The Media has seized on Trump's tactical assent with the Russia hacking report, but that means that they are now taking the word of the CIA and Donald Trump as gospel when the only evidence presented thus far is use of Ukrainian not Russian-  malware, that hackers can obtain anywhere on the Dark Web.

Not familiar with what's going on in the Ukraine, are we? Not familiar with the "color revolution" that Obama Administration neocons engineered, that just happened to bring real-life Nazis to power? From Globalist mouthpiece Foreign Policy:
Yes, There Are Bad Guys in the Ukrainian Government 
It's time for a frank conversation about some of the unsavory characters in Kiev. 
Sound policy, however, can only be based on sound analysis of the players involved. That requires conceding the point — even when made by the Kremlin — that more than a few of the protesters who toppled Yanukovych, and of the new leaders in Kiev, are fascists.
Here's video of a mass rally of the Soros-funded Ukrainian fascists. And then there's this recent story:
RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian police have unveiled a plot led by a Ukrainian armed movement to recruit Brazilian neo-Nazis with combat experience to fight pro-Russian rebels in the European country’s civil war. 
A series of raids took place last month in seven cities on the homes of neo-Nazis in order to prevent possible attacks against Jews and gays in Porto Alegre, according to Brazilian police, who seized vast amounts of Nazi propaganda material and also illegal ammunition, reported the Zero Hora news portal.
Nice friends we have there. Still think the Russians shot that jet down?

Bizarro-World in the comics was funny. Not so much here.

RUSSIARUSSIARUSSIA

In the middle of the New McCarthyites' New Red Scare came a blockbuster headline: Trump and Vladimir Putin to hold summit. Suddenly every newly-minted CIA-lover's worst nightmare had come true- Trump really was Putin's puppet, by gum!

Only problem was the story is not true:
The Russian embassy in London has denied that Russian president Vladimir Putin will meet President-elect Donald Trump in Iceland following his inauguration on January 20. 
The Sunday Times newspaper wrote that Trump's team have told British officials that the new US leader plans to meet Putin within weeks of becoming president. But the Russian embassy in London has downplayed the report.
A spokesman for the embassy told Business Insider on Sunday that the report is "complete rubbish" and suggested that we look at the embassy's Twitter feed, where the embassy has been referring to the report as #fakenews. 
Two aides to Trump also denied The Sunday Times story, according to Reuters. "The story is a fantasy," one Trump aide told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. Another said the report was not true.
Did anyone happen to notice that the Trump team has been running ops to smoke out leaks, by its own admission? Did the unimaginably credulous press corps, desperate to throw any negative or sensationalistic headlines they could, bother to verify this story? 

These privileged pajama-boys and girls in the press are not dealing with Obama Administration whiz kids from Oberlin and Vassar anymore.

Now they're dealing with men who have killed and tortured people. A lot of men who have killed and tortured a lot of people, if you start counting all the adjutants and assistants, I'm sure. They're dealing with men who would probably like nothing more than to kill them if they can figure out a way to get away with it. Think I'm exaggerating?




How bizarre has the world you are now living in become? The liberal New Yorker is hailing Marine General James Mattis, late of Central Command, as a bulwark against the perceived authoritarianism of a New York native who spent his life in the libertine worlds of casinos, beauty pageants and network television. 

I mean, where do you start?

Need I remind you this guy's nickname is "Mad Dog?" Here's a couple quotes from his time in Iraq to let you know that he earned the moniker:

“I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.” 
“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet."
Some savior, New Yorker.

Now ask yourself; do you think these people are afraid of reporters?

WHAT IF?

Look, I could be wrong but the fact remains that the CIA had all the time in the world to take Trump down if that's what they were really after. They had the primaries, the elections, the Electoral College and both their hands up the ass of the entire mainstream media since at least the 1980s. All of it, from stem to stern.
  
This feels like something else. 

What if there was a war among the intelligence hierarchy, one side lost and this is all just face-saving? This is all just brush-clearing, steam-letting, which the victors are indulging before they bring the hammer down? What if Trump is trolling in order to draw attention away from what is coming down the pike?

Maybe this Russia unreality show is just one giant "red" herring. Maybe the War in Heaven has already been fought and settled.

Why would I think this?


The news that the Clinton Global Initiative is closing down might have something to do with it. The Clintons used this mammoth cash machine as an extremely effective power base while out of office and cultivated unimaginable wealth, power and influence with it:
Since Bill Clinton launched CGI as an arm of the Clinton Foundation in 2005, its members made more than 3,550 commitments and pledged to raise $125 billion to meet them, according to a Bloomberg News calculation based on annual reports. The group says its work has affected 430 million people in 180 countries. In philanthropy circles, CGI is widely credited with creating a new framework for giving and action, convening powerful figures from government, business and charities to address global problems. Members would pay for the privilege to meet and brainstorm solutions, then make financial commitments, often multi-year plans costing tens of millions of dollars.
This closing is based on paperwork filed with the State of New York and yet no major media outlet will cover the story. Why? Mainstream site Politico reported on the mass layoffs there back in Septermber.

What's different now?



Maybe this will give you a clue. 

I'm no prophet. Prediction is a tough racket, given the random variables constantly swirling around, banging into one another like protons in an atom smasher. But I can say this- the powers that be played the Global game and there was one clear, unambiguous winner: Communist China.

It's why China seems to be the odd man out at Davos this year, Monopoly board under its arm, forlornly trying to get an increasingly-reluctant world to play along again.


And after a number of years-absence, China's horrific smog problems are headline news again. 

I believe there is a new Cold War coming. But collating all the stories and taking the measure of the Trump junta, I don't believe it will necessarily be with Russia.


Spy vs Spy: What Was This Election Really About?




Well, what a show they're putting on for us, eh? The Deep State has come out of the shadows and into the mainstream and splashed onto the headline news. I said right after the election that the secret wars had only just begun and I was half-right; they're not-so-secret.

And I'm actually wondering about what kind of wars they actually are.


If you've been (wisely) avoiding the newsmedia, the CIA's latest apparent ratfucking was leaking a dossier put together as opposition research by one of these so-called private intelligence outfits, which sound more and more like fly-by-night con artists the more we hear about them. The report ran the gamut, and gave the clients some salacious gossip and potentially damaging innuendo, but none of it was properly sourced and the report was filled with errors. 

The dossier made the rounds to the media late in the election cycle but most journalists smelled a turd and passed. The Clinton campaign did as well. But CNN chief Jeff Zucker, who hates Trump even more than your average media maeven, ran with a story claiming intel chiefs briefed Trump and Obama on it and touched on some of the less-sensationalist details.

Social-justice-clickbait-farm Buzzfeed ran the entire report, kicking off the #Pissgate storm on Twitter (based on claims the germophobic Trump hired hookers to do golden showers) and brought the wrath of the rest of the media down on its head, claiming they'd given Trump ample ammo to attack the press for excessive partisanship and "fake news."


Glenn Greenwald wrote sagely on the whole mess, placing the finger of blame squarely on the CIA:
The serious dangers posed by a Trump presidency are numerous and manifest... 
But cheering for the CIA and its shadowy allies to unilaterally subvert the U.S. election and impose its own policy dictates on the elected president is both warped and self-destructive. Empowering the very entities that have produced the most shameful atrocities and systemic deceit over the last six decades is desperation of the worst kind. Demanding that evidence-free, anonymous assertions be instantly venerated as Truth — despite emanating from the very precincts designed to propagandize and lie — is an assault on journalism, democracy, and basic human rationality.

Beyond all that, there is no bigger favor that Trump opponents can do for him than attacking him with such lowly, shabby, obvious shams, recruiting large media outlets to lead the way. When it comes time to expose actual Trump corruption and criminality, who is going to believe the people and institutions who have demonstrated they are willing to endorse any assertions no matter how factually baseless, who deploy any journalistic tactic no matter how unreliable and removed from basic means of ensuring accuracy? 
All of these toxic ingredients were on full display yesterday as the Deep State unleashed its tawdriest and most aggressive assault yet on Trump: vesting credibility in and then causing the public disclosure of a completely unvetted and unverified document, compiled by a paid, anonymous operative while he was working for both GOP and Democratic opponents of Trump...
The former MI6 agent allegedly behind the document has reportedly "now fled his Surrey home and is ‘terrified for his life.'"

Well, maybe.


DNI James Clapper was forced to issue a statement clarifying that the intelligence community did not take the dossier seriously and did not include it in their evaluation:
"The [intelligence community] has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions," Clapper noted
But even so CNN spun that statement as "US spy chief rejects Trump's attack over Russia dossier." 

Priceless.


But CNN may have another very good reason for trying to play the Spy vs Spy game. CNN may get sold-off from TimeWarner to smooth the way for the pending merger with AT&T, which would cripple the struggling cable news network:
Trump said on the campaign trail that he wouldn’t approve the deal.
It was much debated in media circles if the press conference run-in would move the needle on Trump’s stance.
 
Some pondered whether Time Warner would have to sell off CNN to get the deal approved. 
“If AT&T had to spin off CNN to get the deal approved, I suspect they would be willing to do so,” said analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson. 
“The CNN story puts an exclamation mark on the deal and what’s always been the biggest risk to this deal — political concerns in the White House,” Cowen & Co. analyst Paul Gallant, told The Post.
Former CIA agent Philip Giraldi- no fan of Trump either- looked at the document and had this to say: 
My suspicion would be that the report is a composite of some fact, a lot of speculation, and even some fiction. It is very similar to the types of media-focused disinformation produced by both CIA and KGB in Europe in the 1970s and 1980s, where a little bit of factual information would be used to provide credibility for a lot of speculation and false stories that were intended to sow doubt and confusion. In this case, the original intent might well have been to discredit Trump personally; its release at this time is likely intended to delegitimize his presidency, or to narrow his options on recalibrating with Russia. 
I expect, however, that much of the possibly tall tale being told will unravel as the FBI continues and expands its investigation. Trump has predictably denounced the entire matter as “fake news.” He may be right.
Fake something, at least.

But the question must be asked: who really benefits from this? The people pouncing on the report already hate Trump to the point of utter distraction anyway. If Trump was rattled he didn't seem to be at his press conference and I really don't think he's that good an actor. 
And Trump's supporters see this as just more media monkey-business, more Democrat dirty tricks. 

But what if it's not? What if there's a much deeper game being played on the field? A game we can barely perceive because the moves are so subtle and insidious? What if this is more like Kabuki theater or professional wrestling than civil war?

The hits just keep on coming: in the latest ostensible attempt to delegitimize the election comes the investigation by Obama appointee Michael Horowitz of the FBI's handling of the Clinton email scandal.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced that the investigation would also review FBI Director James Comey’s decision to disclose that the FBI was recommending against prosecuting Clinton for her private e-mail server and then revealing days before the election that more emails had been found on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner.
The inspector general will also also investigate whether an FBI deputy director whose wife received financial support in her state election from a close Clinton ally should have been involved in the election and whether the Department of Justice’s assistant attorney general, who was close to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, should have been recused from matters. 
Additionally, Horowitz will looking “Allegations that Department and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public information” and allegations that the FBI improperly released information that may have interfered in the election. 
But is this just keeping the endless campaign going, the way all of these stories seem to be? Keeping the tension stoked, keeping the partisan fervor fired up?

What is happening while we're distracted by all of this sensationalism and conflict?

I'll tell you one thing;  the strange volte-face from the Trump camp on Russia. All of a sudden the tone and timbre on Putin has changed. I have to say that it always rang a bit false to begin with; businessman Trump may have wanted to ingratiate himself with the Russian strongman, but is there really room for two alpha males on the block?

But a voice in my head keeps telling me, "it was a confidence game all along. These Cold War types don't change their stripes." And sure enough..

James 'Mad Dog' Mattis calls Russia 'adversary,' claims confidence in intelligence community:
WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Donald Trump's pick to lead the Pentagon put Russia at the top of a list of threats to U.S. interests on Thursday and told Congress that America must be ready to confront Moscow where necessary, even as he backed Trump's bid for better relations. 
The remarks by retired Marine General James Mattis were the latest by one of Trump's Cabinet picks that veered away from the president-elect's campaign rhetoric, which included praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin and pledges to improve ties with him. 
"I'm all for engagement but we also have to recognize reality in what Russia is up to," Mattis said, adding there were a "decreasing number of areas" where the United States might cooperate with Moscow. 
Asked about the main threats to U.S. interests, Mattis said: "I would consider the principle threats to start with Russia." 
Mattis said he wanted to meet with the new Trump national security team to "craft a strategy to confront Russia for what it's done," when questioned about the possibility of new U.S. sanctions.
This isn't Maverick Mattis going out on a limb- all of Trump's appointees have been sounding downright bellicose in their appearances before the Senate. And Trump is infamous for his insistence that his people toe the party line or take a walk. 

Just ask Chris Christie.

So clearly the change in tone is coming from the top. Does "Make America Great Again" mean "Make America Reagan Again?" Because I'm sure getting flashbacks here.


DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH

We still haven't heard the evidence linking the hacking to Russia and we probably never will. What claims we did hear came from those "private security firms" again, who have absolutely zero financial incentive not to find the culprit you asked them to look for, whether or not it actually exists. 

And now it's looking like Trump won't spill the beans either.

Be logical for a moment here: if anyone even suspected that the Russians were really involved the material would have been pulled off the Web faster than you could say "National Security Act" and no one but a few weirdos would have questioned it.  The Clinton campaign could have made a huge hash of it during the campaign but barely made a peep. And the intelligence agencies' official estimate was based on the Democrats' paid-for intel from private sources to begin with. 

And now the Trump team is suddenly going along with all this nonsense?

So what is really going on here?

Well, I don't know anything special. I'm not read into any meetings or copied on any memos. But let me just supply you with a few dots. You connect them how you see fit...

ITEM: France’s election shows Europe’s line against Russia is fraying
VLADIMIR PUTIN must wonder what he did right. From the refugee crisis to Brexit, Europe’s troubles have allowed the Russian president to portray himself as a bulwark of stability in a region of chaos. America’s election brought an apparent Kremlin sympathiser to the White House. And now France is on the same track. François Fillon’s victory over Alain Juppé in the presidential primary of the centre-right Republican Party leaves an avowed friend of Mr Putin as the favourite to occupy the Élysée after next spring’s election. (Mr Fillon’s most serious rival, the nationalist Marine Le Pen, has a yet more marked Moscow tilt.) 
Historical revisionism is one thing. More worryingly for Germany, France’s partner in the four-party “Normandy format” set up to negotiate with Russia and Ukraine, Mr Fillon wants to scrap the economic sanctions that the European Union imposed on Russia over Crimea and its incursions in eastern Ukraine. Opinions in the EU are divided on Russia, from hawks like the Balts and Poland to doves like Italy and Hungary. 
So far Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, has held the club together, ensuring a regular rollover of the toughest measures. But the consensus is slowly fraying; to lose the French would be a shock.
Isn't that interesting. How about this?

ITEM: China's President Xi Jinping will seek to promote "inclusive globalisation."  
"Economic globalisation is facing resistance," vice foreign minister Li Baodong said at a briefing on Xi's Davos visit. 
Beijing will respond to the international community's concern over globalisation by putting forward China's opinions on how to "steer economic globalisation towards greater inclusiveness", he said. 
This year's forum, from January 17-20, is expected to be dominated by discussion of an outbreak of public hostility towards globalisation and US President-elect Donald Trump, whose tough talk on trade, including promises of tariffs against China and Mexico, helped win him the White House. Trump will be sworn in on Jan. 20. 
Li said criticism of trade protectionism levelled at China, by Trump and others, was unjust. "Trade protectionism will lead to isolation and is in the interest of no one," he said.
Because China was the only country to benefit from Globalization, of course. And is using that windfall to build up its military...

But let's get to the core of the election issue...

ITEM: President Obama is leaving the White House with majority disapproval among members of the military...
Obama's move steep reduction of U.S. forces stationed in Afghanistan after a troop surge, and his withdrawal of forces from Iraq in keeping with a status of forces agreement, doesn't appear to have carried support in the the military. 
The poll said 49 per cent backed President-elect Donald Trump in the campaign, compared to just 29 per cent for Hillary Clinton. 
ITEM: Report shows Marines extremely dislike Hillary Clinton
According to the survey, more than 83% of troops question Mrs. Clinton’s honesty and trustworthiness, mainly because of the scandals involving Benghazi and her personal email server. The report also showed that among Marines — only 8.6% said they’d vote for Hillary.Each touted their support among military brass during the campaign.
ITEM: Hillary Clinton Has Few Fans in the Military
Hillary Clinton is still in line to win the Democratic Party's nomination to be the next commander in chief, but few Americans in the military have a good impression of her. 
A new RallyPoint/Rasmussen Reports national survey of active and retired military personnel finds that only 15% have a favorable opinion of Clinton, with just three percent (3%) who view the former secretary of State Very Favorably. 
What about the unreported story of the past eight years; the military's retention problem?
ITEM: By the end of this year, the Air Force is expected to be short about 700 pilots and it still needs 4,000 more maintainers– airmen that repair and work on aircraft.  
Several months ago, the service created a new policy that would give $2,000 bonuses to new airmen who signed up to be maintainers. 
“It’s going to take us years to get out from under this because we are bringing in new people that will just swell the ranks of the more juniors and it will take years to season them,” James said.
What about the porkbarrel weapons programs that greedy politicians love and military brass hate?

ITEM: Failure of new U.S. weapons systems may be more than science fiction

A war between China and America is a favorite subject of armchair military analysts. Why would it happen? How would it play out? Authors have written thousands of pages online and off trying to answer these questions. 
The novel particularly shines when the writers depict the failures of the Pentagon’s newest weapons systems. Over the past decade, U.S. taxpayers have poured trillions of dollars into fancy new weapons, such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Littoral Combat Ship, though defense experts warned of their many failings.
And finally, the story that may well have decided this election: 

ITEM: A Department of Defense official said Tuesday that Russia could overrun NATO within 60 hours, but maintained it would be more difficult to do so after 2017.
Michael Carpenter, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, affirmed a February analysis by the RAND Corporation, which determined that it would take Russian troops a maximum of 60 hours to reach the capital cities of Estonia or Latvia.
Why after 2017? Oh....