Streetwise Professor

July 24, 2016

A Remedial Lesson in Internet Research for Michael McFaul

Filed under: Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 7:21 pm

I responded to a typically smarmy Tweet from ex-US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul (@mcfaul), and this started a set-to that is so amusing that I have to share it.

Don’t bother looking for the conversation. You can see my half, but the brave Sir Robin McFaul deleted his Tweets. Gutless. But understandable, given how he fared. But (as the conversation demonstrates) Mr. McFaul is not exactly Internet savvy, and he didn’t count on the wonders of screencaps. So like a bad burrito, Mike, this conversation is going to come back up. Enjoy.

The smarmy Tweet was McFaul’s contribution to the attempt to distract attention from the DNC leak. He said (I can’t show it b/c he deleted it and since it is what I replied to it doesn’t show up in my Notifications) something to the effect that he hopes that our intelligence services are investigating Russian involvement in an attempt to influence the US election. Crucially, he said that he hoped that they would inform us of the outcome soon.

I replied:

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 7.42.01 PM

He responded (smarmily):

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I replied:

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His retort:

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But then McFaul lost interest in substance, and resorted to the ad hominem fallacy that has become so prominent in the Clintonoid response to embarrassing facts. Don’t argue the facts, raise questions about the person with the temerity to bring those facts to light.

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“We professors.” LOL.

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Here’s where it gets hilarious. He couldn’t figure it out!

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Try it at home! I bet you can do it. I bet your three year old can do it. Maybe if you have a really smart cat.

Then he gets nasty and personal:

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 6.02.16 PM

“I’m guessing the avatar isn’t you too?” Too funny! What was his first clue?

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Finally, 20 minutes later–I kid you not!–he figures it out:

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Don’t like me telling you to stick it, Mike? You got off easy. Try talking that smack to my face and see how it works out for you. And as for your “we at Stanford” snark: not impressed. More ad hominem, appeal to authority fallacies.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 7.58.24 PM

As a service to other Internet challenged geniuses who are dying to know my super-secret identity in two clicks, here is a step-by-step instruction.

First, click on the link to my blog in my Twitter bio:

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Second, click on the “bio” link in the upper right hand corner:

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And voila! You learn–I hope you are sitting down–that I am Craig Pirrong. Who knew?

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 6.51.00 PM

Behold, ladies and gentlemen, the point man of US Russian policy 2012-2014.* Hillary, of course, was the architect of US Russian policy from 2009-2013. Should we be surprised what a total clusterfail it was?

Seriously, it is beyond rich that Hillary and McFaul and others who were involved in US foreign policy during that era shriek about how awful Putin and the Russians are today. They enabled it. Yes, Putin et al are who they are, but incompetent and feckless US policy–and policymakers–bear a large share of the blame for the dysfunctional state of US-Russia relations, and for emboldening Putin.

This is also exactly why I think people are nuts to conclude that Putin wants Trump in the White House. He has to be licking his chops at the prospect of a Hillary presidency. After all, who else than this would he want leading his primary adversary?:


A picture is worth 1000 words. Need I say more?

* More humor. The mainstream media drooled all over McFaul because of his use of Twitter. So techie of him! Oh, and by the way, his main accomplishment on Twitter as an ambassador was to provide the world with a stream of entertaining Russian Tweets trolling his idiocy.



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  1. Seriously, it is beyond rich that Hillary and McFaul and others who were involved in US foreign policy during that era shriek about how awful Putin and the Russians are today. They enabled it.


    I am getting a huge kick out of all the articles appearing all of a sudden about how Trump is Putler’s ass-hole buddy, and they are joined at the hip.

    I guess that reset button, which was mistranslated, suddenly disappeared from the revisionist history by Killery and the Democrats.

    I guess all the Dems who were gluttonizing themselves on business in and with Russia is simply – well, “it didn’t happen.”

    Kremlinoids were very practiced at revising history.

    So are Killery and the Dems.

    Comment by elmer — July 24, 2016 @ 8:22 pm

  2. I mean, you don’t exactly come off the best in that interaction…

    Comment by John Hall — July 24, 2016 @ 9:06 pm

  3. Putin pre-2012 was 180 degree different from the Putin of today. And nobody back then knew if he was even going to stay in power. So given that context, “the reset” was a perfectly reasonable policy. And to give more context, “the reset” followed the previous administration’s nonchalant response to Russia starting a war with Georgia and chopping off a piece of its territory.

    Comment by aaa — July 24, 2016 @ 10:03 pm

  4. The initial tweet from him is not deleted (I did mention another/later one, that was):

    Problem in your case: he blocked you.
    (this block also applies to visitors of your TL, btw, so I can’t see it either, directly (but I can click the actual URL above the quoted tweet)
    (and it *used* to be, until a few weeks ago, before the last Twitter change, that you could copy/paste such a link (by reading it first from a different account (hint: get a second account for stuff like this!)), and open it intact in your usual account (and then reply/retweet as if nothing happened….:)) but that no longer works.

    PS: I far from religious, but now I pray to god that this digi-phobe guy had a much better (and lethally stringent!) digi-staff around him, in his embassy, than HRC.

    PPS: this is why you want as a taskbar button in your browser….;))
    (I have that button-extension in Opera, should be a version for all other browsers too?)

    Comment by Wilhelmus Janus — July 24, 2016 @ 10:13 pm

  5. Putin pre-2012 was 180 degree different from the Putin of today. And nobody back then knew if he was even going to stay in power.

    I disagree…the change occurred around 2007 when the oil price went through the roof and he started being very belligerent towards foreign oil companies, with Shell being forced to surrender the Sakhalin II project in 2008. It was also in 2008 that, as you say, Russia effectively annexed Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Both of these policies he has doubled-down on in the 8 years since, and they could be said to be typical of his rule. He was Prime Minister between May 2008 and May 2012, and nobody with any clue thought he would not assume the presidency immediately afterwards. The “reset” fiasco took place in 2009, when it was clear what direction Putin intended to take Russia in.

    Comment by Tim Newman — July 25, 2016 @ 5:27 am

  6. Perfect examples of why Trump is the Republican nominee in comments 2. and 3. above (ideological BS and cognitive dissonance with reality).

    In 2. above Professor did not use appropriately PC coded language when his honor was impugned.

    3. Is just bizzare. Putin made no 180 degree change sometime after 2012 and informed opinion was that Medvedev was his artifice to stay in office from day one. Putin mentioned that he didn’t want to change the Russian Constitution at that time. I suppose those of McFaul’s ilk dreamt that in fact Medvedev blew in on an irrepressible democratic wind and the KGB antidemocrats were blown away by that same wind. Ideological fantasy and nothing more.

    Comment by pahoben — July 25, 2016 @ 6:24 am

  7. It should have been перезагрузка (perezagruzka — Rus. for reset, reload) instead of перегрузка (peregruzka — Rus. for overload, overcharge).

    It seems like Killery, with the mis-translation, actually encouraged Putler and his Putinistas to go forth and do their worst in Georgia, Ukraine, the Balkans, Syria, and everywhere else.

    “overcharge” or “overload”

    SWP is right – Behold, ladies and gentlemen, the point man of US Russian policy 2012-2014.* Hillary, of course, was the architect of US Russian policy from 2009-2013. Should we be surprised what a total clusterfail it was?

    Well, no, especially when they couldn’t even get the word right, such that LIARov looked bemused and surprised.

    PS – Way back, I had no trouble finding out the identity of SWP. No instructions needed, and no “Stanford etiquette” necessary.

    Comment by elmer — July 25, 2016 @ 7:23 am

  8. Democrat appeasement tradition and fuck-ups of today, under the Hildebeast and Obama, have a long tradition in the Dems:

    On April 12, 1978, President Jimmy Carter hailed Romanian tyrant Nicolae Ceausescu as a “great national and international leader.” I was standing next to Carter in the White House, and I could hardly believe my ears. Ceausescu despised appeasers. While driving away from that official ceremony at the White House, he took a bottle of alcohol and splashed it all over his face after having been affectionately kissed by President Carter in the Oval Office. “Peanut-head,” Ceausescu whispered in my ear.

    Three months later, I was granted political asylum in the United States, and I informed President Carter that he was praising the wrong man. In fact, Ceausescu was an international terrorist and arms smuggler who was also selling off Romanian Jews and Germans for Western currency. The result?

    Carter alleged that the KGB had staged my defection in order to destroy his excellent relations with Ceausescu, and he ordered that I be deported back to Romania.

    On the memorable day of July 19, 1979, President Carter did it again. He affectionately kissed Leonid Brezhnev on both cheeks during their first encounter in Vienna. Brezhnev also despised appeasers — in his own way. Five months after the infamous Carter-Brezhnev kiss, a KGB terrorist squad assassinated Hafizullah Amin, the American-educated prime minister of Afghanistan, and replaced him with a Soviet puppet. Then the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. President Carter feebly protested by boycotting the Olympic Games in Moscow. That compromise gave rise to the Taliban regime and Osama bin Laden’s anti-American terrorism. The rest is history.

    Comment by elmer — July 25, 2016 @ 7:36 am

  9. Stanford has fallen a long way since the days of Herbert Hoover as Thiel points out. Education has been replaced by ideological induction.

    Comment by pahoben — July 25, 2016 @ 8:42 am

  10. What? He only went to Stanford.
    The loser.

    Unseriously, prof, you need to change the rhythm of your schtick in the swill bucket to get the best gags out of these creeps.

    Comment by bloke in france — July 25, 2016 @ 4:23 pm

  11. Lol. Craig, you never disappoint.

    Anyone who thinks the Russians hacked into the DNC emails but didn’t hack into Hillary’s server is going to get a lesson in technology when the emails from Hillary’s server are released in mid-October.

    Comment by Charles — July 25, 2016 @ 9:03 pm

  12. One way to look at it is Trump is surfing a wave of cognitive dissonance right down Pennsylvania Avenue. The source of the wave is idiots like McFaul and his running dogs.

    The FBI investigated and Hillary is blameless-cognitive dissonance alarm sounding and red lights flashing.

    Comment by pahoben — July 26, 2016 @ 3:44 am


    JULIAN ASSANGE: JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, I mean, that’s interesting. We have seen that with a lot of other publications. I guess there’s a question: What does that mean for the U.S. Democratic Party? It is important for there to be examples of accountability. The resignation was an example of that. Now, of course, Hillary Clinton has tried to immediately produce a counter-example by putting out a statement, within hours, saying that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a great friend, and she’s incorporating her into her campaign, she’s going to be pushing for her re-election to the Congress.

    So that’s a very interesting signaling by Hillary Clinton that if you act in a corrupt way that benefits Hillary Clinton, you will be taken care of. Why does she need to put that out? Certainly, it’s not a signal that helps with the public at all. It’s not a signal that helps with unity at the DNC, at the convention. It’s a signal to Hillary Clinton partisans to keep on going on, you’ll be taken care of. But it’s a very destructive signal for a future presidency, because it’s—effectively, it’s expanding the Overton window of corruption. It doesn’t really matter what you do, how you behave; as long as that is going to benefit Hillary Clinton, you’ll be protected.

    Comment by elmer — July 26, 2016 @ 6:54 am

  14. McFaul is in complete denial mode on the abject failure of the “reset”. So drying like “sure we got ourselves a war or two in Europe, but was not improved logistics to Afghanistan worth it?” Just read this revealing conversation with Illarionov: . Hurry up before it’s deleted

    Comment by Ivan — July 26, 2016 @ 1:48 pm

  15. “So drying”=Something. Tablets seem to have a mind of their own.

    Comment by Ivan — July 26, 2016 @ 2:26 pm

  16. My view always was the Bill Clinton was instrumental in setting the stage for Putin’s rise to power. All the whining about civil rights violations against Chechens in Moscow and elsewhere in Russia along with Yeltsin’s cryptic remark that Mr Clinton should remember that Russia has nuclear weapons too and this not long before he named Putin as his successor. Maybe it was inevitable but I think not.

    What a perfectly matched corrupt couple they are. A cold howling wind must have blown through their wedding ceremony. They were married in their house since risk high that a church would collapse on them during the ceremony.

    Comment by pahoben — July 27, 2016 @ 4:52 pm

  17. The real world? See what happens in academia when you’re called unethical. Good Lord! This McFaul is a joke.

    Comment by Methinks — July 29, 2016 @ 8:34 am

  18. So Elmer = Ion Mihai Pacepa ?!

    Comment by Mudak — July 29, 2016 @ 9:32 pm

  19. @Tim-Exactly right. He settled the hash of his domestic challengers (Berezovsky, Gusinsky, Khodorkovsky) in 2000-2003, but didn’t become an international menace until several years later, and it was definitely the rise in oil prices that drove that. In 2007 I wrote a post titled “Cocaine [Oil] Blues” where i made that point: the reference in the title is to a Johnny Cash song about a guy who takes a shot of cocaine and kills his woman. I followed up with a couple of posts extending the analogy in 2008 and 2011.

    The first of those posts points out that this was not a phenomenon that was new with Putin. The oil price spikes in the 1970s sparked Soviet adventurism, and the crash in prices was a fatal blow to the USSR.

    Putin has been more restrained during the low price periods–pre-2006, 2008-2009, and the last couple of years. Though in this last down cycle, he has found other ways of carrying out his aggressive policies.

    To me this has always been the most striking demonstration of Russian economic and political primitiveness. A purely extractive system that is dependent on commodity prices, and whose “leaders” believe they are destined for world domination at the top of the price cycle, precisely because they forget that commodity prices do cycle viciously.

    Now Putin is apparently in the middle of determining who will get control of Bashneft. What a commentary on the country. Can you imagine a US president giving a rat’s ass about who buys EOG or Chesapeake?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — July 29, 2016 @ 9:55 pm

  20. @charles-Thanks. I try to exceed expectations!

    To expand on something I tweeted earlier today. DNC: hacked. Democratic Congressional Committee: hacked. Clinton Campaign: hacked. Clinton Foundation: hacked. Hillary’s server? Fort Knox, baby, Fort Knox.

    Anyone who believes that her server wasn’t hacked by everyone from Russia to China to Iran to North Korea to random black hats is delusional.

    I saw Podesta interviewed the other day. He said that the fact that her emails haven’t been released show that her security was great. Yeah, John, you go on believing that. Whatever gets you through the night, dude.

    But maybe he’s right. If the DNC, etc. had Secret Service agents guarding their servers like Hillary did hers, they would have been safe! LOL.

    The emails may not be released only because they would be more useful as blackmail than to torpedo Hillary’s campaign. But yeah, I think that it’s pretty likely that Trump’s wish will come true on this.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — July 29, 2016 @ 10:13 pm

  21. @Charles-Craig? Who is this “Craig”?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — July 29, 2016 @ 11:09 pm

  22. @Tim-The mention of the “castling” of Putin and Medvedev illustrates perfectly the cluelessness of McFaul, Clinton, and Obama. They actually thought that Medvedev was an independent player and that they could deal with him and freeze out Putin. I thought this was nuts at the time, and said so. I think you did too. It was both dismaying and comical to watch Obama try to play divide and conquer, buddying up to Medvedev and dissing Putin. Medvedev couldn’t take a piss without Putin giving the OK, and anybody with eyes could see that.

    A perfect illustration of Orwell’s maxim: “There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” That, and a talent for self-deception and believing what they wanted to be true, rather than what was obvious to a properly skeptical eye.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — July 29, 2016 @ 11:48 pm

  23. Putin’s truculence correlated to price of oil:

    Comment by Ivan — July 30, 2016 @ 5:57 am

  24. To play HRC’s advocate, the “reset” did make certain sense in the context of spring 2009. The August 2008 war had been a disaster for the US-trained Georgian army. Russia showed a measure of restraint and readiness to negotiate, however hypocritical, when it stopped its advance on Tbilisi. HRC could have said: “You tricked our proxies into thinking they should strike and kick you out. Bad idea. Anyway, thanks for not bombing Georgia into the stone age. Now let’s be friends.”

    (BTW Peter Schweizer is claiming in the NYT that the “reset” included a “major technology transfer initiative.”)

    As for “Putin pre-2012,” don’t underestimate the power of hindsight. A lot of Russians – incluing a significant slice, perhaps the majority, of the educated classes – were actually hoping Medvedev would run for president in 2012 in a somewhat more competitive election than the previous three. The Putin-Medvedev “castling” announced in September and the rigged Duma election held in December 2011 provoked a series of protest rallies in 2011-13. Some claim that Putin was shocked to see the urban middle class, supposedly the prime beneficiary of its economic policies in the oil-rich years, turn against him. Whether for that reason or some other, the Kremlin responded with targeted repression and populist rhetoric. That was definitely a contrast to the Medvedev years.

    Comment by Alex K. — August 1, 2016 @ 7:46 am

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