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The Russian Hack; and, perceptions...

To be clear, I do not believe that the Russian hack is the reason Donald Trump is president-elect. The hack is but one of a number of factors that led to his victory. Among others, in no particular order, were Hillary Clinton's shortcomings as a candidate and a campaign that in retrospect looks painfully inept (see, for example, Edward-Isaac Dovere, How Clinton lost Michigan — and blew the election), an equally ineffectual Democratic National Committee under the leadership of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a well funded and effective decades-long smear campaign waged against Clinton by wealthy, right-wing extremists aided and abetted by some odd bedfellows on the left, susceptibility of "the people" to demagoguery and appeals to emotion, prejudice, and scapegoating for which Trump has no small talent, the generally shameless and shameful performance of what passes for the press, etc. Trump will win the electoral college vote on December 19 barring some unforeseen development. I accept that he will be our next president. I am losing sleep over it, but I accept it and move on.

The pertinent point for the moment is that the Republican Party on the whole is blowing off the Russian hack. These worthies who love to wrap themselves in the flag, who continually remind us that we do well to remember Samuel Johnson's maxim that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, are with few exceptions bizarrely unconcerned by the all but indisputable proposition that a foreign government not kindly disposed to US interests meddled in and to some degree influenced a presidential election. Precious few public officials of the Republican persuasion are exhibiting an iota of honor and integrity as this affair unfolds. John McCain is one exception, Lindsey Graham another. There may be others. My differences with McCain and Graham are many and run deep. On this I give them their due.

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My place of employment has witnessed a spate of retirements due to a benefits change that takes effect with the new year. Yesterday at a retirement party a colleague inquired about my retirement plans. I replied that I will be sixty-five in August and while from a financial standpoint I should stay on, from a mental life and quality of life perspective...well, I am all but certain I will pull the plug in August. She expressed surprise, not that I might retire but at my age, saying she expected me to say that retirement was eight, nine, ten years down the road. Apparently she took me to be in my mid-fifties. That raised spirits that have been foundering for all sorts of reasons, the prospect of Trumpist rule only one of them. Today, at another retirement party, another colleague noted that with all the retirements she and I are now the senior people in our building. Ah, well, you take the bad with the good.

Happy holidays and all the best in the coming year of resistance to the Trump regime. Ciao.

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