TRUMP ANTI-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION RANTING INCREASINGLY INCOHERENT
POLITICO reports, “President Donald Trump questioned Monday morning why the Obama-era Justice Department launched an investigation into his campaign in the midst of the 2016 election, positing that then-President Barack Obama had sought to kneecap the Trump campaign and bolster that of Democrat Hillary Clinton. ‘Why did the Obama Administration start an investigation into the Trump Campaign (with zero proof of wrongdoing) long before the Election in November?’ Trump wrote on Twitter, leveling allegations that dispute previously reported details. ‘Wanted to discredit so Crooked H would win. Unprecedented. Bigger than Watergate! Plus, Obama did NOTHING about Russian meddling.’” Huh? Sounds like the old propaganda 101: convince your opponent of that which you are guilty. The Washington Examiner adds, “Former CIA Director John Brennan said President Trump’s Monday tweet claiming former President Barack Obama agreed to the Russia investigation to scuttle his election chances shows that Trump is getting more nervous about Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.” On Monday the former CIA Director tweeted, “This tweet is a great example of your paranoia, constant misrepresentation of the facts, and increased anxiety and panic (rightly so) about the Mueller investigation. When will those in Congress and the 30 percent of Americans who still support you realize you are a charlatan?” Damn.
T REX IS A RUSSIAN FAKE SECRETARY OF STATE + OTHER STEELE STUFF
The New Yorker has the most extensive profile to date on Christopher Steele in which we learn for the first time that “Steele was paid a hundred and sixty-eight thousand dollars for his work,” among other salacious — and occasionally treasonous details about the Russian-backed imposters pretending to run our government at this moment. The New Yorker notes, “Steele’s interest in Trump did not spring from his work for the Clinton campaign. He ran across Trump’s name almost as soon as he went into private business,” as, “Two of his earliest cases at Orbis involved investigating international crime rings whose leaders, coincidentally, were based in New York’s Trump Tower.” The New Yorker adds, “One of them was Chuck Blazer, a top fifa official who had embezzled a fortune from the organization and became an informant for the F.B.I. Blazer had an eighteen-thousand-dollar-per-month apartment in Trump Tower, a few floors down from Trump’s residence.” And the other was “a suspected Russian organized-crime figure named Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov,” whose crime “syndicate was based in an apartment in Trump Tower.” “Steele told friends, ‘It was as if all criminal roads led to Trump Tower,’” The New Yorker reports. The so-called Deep State Trump says has lined up against him was largely inactive when presented with the information in 2016 as they were “mindful of the Hatch Act, which forbids government employees to use their positions to influence political elections.” Meanwhile, “Steele believed that the Russians were engaged in the biggest electoral crime in U.S. history, and wondered why the F.B.I. and the State Department didn’t seem to be taking the threat seriously.” Meanwhile as State was not discussing what to do, “a similar debate was taking place inside the Obama White House and the U.S. intelligence agencies.” The New Yorker notes, “Robert Hannigan, then the head of the U.K.’s intelligence service the G.C.H.Q., had recently flown to Washington and briefed the C.I.A.’s director, John Brennan, on a stream of illicit communications between Trump’s team and Moscow that had been intercepted. (The content of these intercepts has not become public.)” Additionally, “the C.I.A.’s assessment that the Russians were interfering specifically to boost Trump was not yet accepted by other intelligence agencies, and it wasn’t until days before the Inauguration that major U.S. intelligence agencies had unanimously endorsed this view.” And of course, “Obama and his top advisers did not want to take any action against Russia that might provoke a cyber war,” not realizing they were already in one. Most disturbingly though is the new detail from “a memo that he [Steele] wrote in late November, 2016”. Unlike the others, “This memo, which did not surface publicly with the others, is shorter than the rest, and is based on one source, described as ‘a senior Russian official.’ The official said that he was merely relaying talk circulating in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but what he’d heard was astonishing: people were saying that the Kremlin had intervened to block Trump’s initial choice for Secretary of State, Mitt Romney.” Goddamn well that explains the Russian Order of Friendship medal recipient T Rex, also known as our fake Secretary of State.
From The New Yorker.
OUR FAKE SECRETARY OF STATE WANTS TO SLASH DEMOCRACY BUDGETS
The Washington Post reports, “Buried in the State Department’s fiscal 2019 budget request is a proposal not only to slash the budget of the National Endowment for Democracy but also to disassemble its relationships with its core institutes, including the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute. For the NED and those institutes, the proposal is an assault not only on their organizations but also on the pro-democracy mission they are dedicated to.” The Washington Post adds, “The Trump administration proposal would allow the NED to continue issuing small grants but move funding of its core institutes to the State Department, where the IRI and NDI would have to compete with private contractors. The organizations involved argue that keeping funding decisions at arm’s length from the State Department allows the NED network to do things on the edges of the pro-democracy movement that the U.S. government can’t or won’t”. The Washington Post notes, “The proposal initially came out of the Office of Management and Budget, even though the State Department did not formally ask for it.” The Washington Post adds, “More broadly, the battle over the NED grants is a small but important piece of the ongoing struggle over America’s mission.”
From The Washington Post.
SAM NUNBERG STARS IN THE IT NEVER FUCKING ENDS SHOW
The Washington Post reports, “Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg said Monday that he has been subpoenaed to appear in front of a federal grand jury investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election but that he will refuse to go.” So he spent all day and night yesterday talking to the press in what some likened to the spectacle of O.J. Simpson’s high-speed white Bronco chase two decades ago. Early afternoon, “In an interview with The Washington Post, Nunberg said he was asked to come to Washington to appear before the grand jury on Friday. He also provided a copy of what appears to be his two-page grand jury subpoena seeking documents related to President Trump and nine other people, including emails, correspondence, invoices, telephone logs, calendars and ‘records of any kind.’” The Washington Post gave a whiff of what was to come in noting, “Nunberg said he was planning to go on Bloomberg TV and tear up the subpoena.” Then by evening, CNN was reporting, “On Monday afternoon, newsrooms in across Washington were brought to a standstill. Everyone in them was glued to the television, as a wild interview unfolded live on MSNBC with a former aide to Donald Trump. Sam Nunberg seemed to be imploding before everyone’s eyes.” In the live TV interview, “or nearly 20 minutes, and then later again and again, politicos and journalists couldn’t believe what they were seeing. Nunberg was laying bare his interactions with the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election — not to mention insulting President Trump and some of his former colleagues.” The word Jerry Springer-esque comes to mind, so do our notions of reality television, which thrives on drama and cascades of insults. CNN adds, “But Nunberg wasn’t done. Within minutes he was on air with CNN’s Gloria Borger. Then again with CNN’s Jake Tapper and New York news station NY1.” CNN continues, “Later on MSNBC, Nunberg appeared with three lawyers including host Ari Melber for more than 30 minutes. The interview turned into what seemed like a legal advice session.” Bizarrely, CNN left out the most bizarre moment that occurred on their network when prime time host Erin Burnett said he smelled of alcohol. The end result of all this? CNN reports, “Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Monday that the House panel needs to interview former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg as part of its Russia investigation.”
SENATOR WYDEN PRESSES NRA OVER RUSSIAN MONEY
McClatchy reports, “A senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee pressed the National Rifle Association Monday to divulge whether it has concealed financial support from Russia during the 2016 election campaign by channeling the money to a nonpolitical account whose donors need not be publicly disclosed. In a letter to the NRA’s top lawyer, Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon also asked whether the powerful gun lobby group can state firmly that it has ‘never wittingly or unwittingly’ received money ‘from individuals or entities acting as conduits for foreign entities or interests.’” McClatchy notes, “The NRA gave an unusually early endorsement to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in May 2016 and became his biggest financial backer, spending $30 million on his behalf.” McClatchy adds, “In a brief reply to Wyden’s initial letter on Feb. 15, NRA General Counsel John Frazer cited the organization’s ‘longstanding policy’ prohibiting the use of money from foreigners – either individuals or entities – for election purposes in compliance with a federal law barring cash from abroad in all U.S. political campaigns. However, Frazer did not directly deny that the group had received any money from Russia.”
RUSSIAN HACKER BOASTS HACKING BIGGER THAN DISINFO IN AMERICA OP
Fast Company reports, “Konstantin Kozlovsky is ready to talk. The 29-year-old blonde-haired Russian hacker at the center of the intrigue surrounding the Kremlin’s cyberattacks on the 2016 U.S. presidential election currently sits in a high-security prison with the forbidding name of Matrosskaya Tishina (Sailor’s Silence) in northeastern Moscow. Kozlovsky is officially charged with stealing millions from Russian banks, but he’d prefer to brag about how he built the software used to hack the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and other U.S. targets.” Fast Company notes, “At a small hearing in a Moscow court earlier this month, with only a handful of media outlets present, Kozlovsky said he was ready to present detailed evidence that the Kremlin was directly involved in a series of high-profile attacks, including compromising the DNC’s computer systems in 2016, as well as those of the U.S. government, military, social media companies, and leading U.S. publishers.” Fast Copany adds, “Kozlovsky noted that the Russians’ use of social media for propaganda purposes, as described by the defendants named in the indictment recently handed down by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, actually played a less significant role in achieving Russia’s objectives than hacking.” Fast Company reports, “his detainment at Matrosskaya Tishina has been extended through May 18.” One caveat here: the interview was carried out by an intermediary and not in person.
From Fast Company.
MAN EXPOSED TO UNKNOWN SUBSTANCE IN UK EX-RUSSIAN SPY
The BBC reports, “A man who is critically ill after being exposed to an unknown substance in Wiltshire is an alleged former Russian spy. Sergei Skripal, a 66-year-old Russian national, was granted refuge in the UK following a spy swap between the US and Russia in 2010.” The BBC adds, “Police declared a major incident on Sunday after a man and a woman were reported ill in a shopping centre in Salisbury. The substance is still unknown.” The Guardian adds by way of background, “A former Russian army colonel convicted of passing the identities of Moscow agents working undercover in Europe to MI6 in 2006, Sergei Skripal arrived in the UK as part of a high-profile spy swap in 2010. Skripal was sentenced to 13 years in jail for spying for Britain in Russia in August 2006 after being convicted of ‘high treason in the form of espionage,’” so clearly he remains a target. The Guardian notes, “Russian prosecutors said he had been paid $100,000 by MI6 for information, which he had been supplying since the 1990s when he was a serving officer.” Professionally, “Skripal served in Russia’s GRU military intelligence until 1999, reaching the rank of colonel. He then worked at the Russian foreign ministry’s office in Moscow until 2003, when he went into business,” The Guardian adds.
From the BBC and The Guardian.
WHAT BECOMES OF A BROKEN LIFE: THE NASTYA RYBKA STORY CONTINUES
The New York Times reports, “A Belarusian escort with close ties to a powerful Russian oligarch said from behind bars in Bangkok on Monday that she had more than 16 hours of audio recordings that could help shed light on Russian meddling in United States elections. The escort, Anastasia Vashukevich, said she would hand over the recordings if the United States granted her asylum.” The New York Times adds, “‘If America gives me protection, I will tell everything I know,’ Ms. Vashukevich said on Monday. ‘I am afraid to go back to Russia. Some strange things can happen.’” The New York Times notes, “Ms. Vashukevich took part in a small protest in Moscow last year defending Harvey Weinstein after he faced numerous accusations of sexual abuse. Standing mostly naked near the American Embassy, she and four other women held signs with slogans such as ‘Hands Off Harvey’ and ‘Harvey Weinstein Welcome to Russia.’” Russian state-run Sputnik claims, “The US Embassy in Minsk (Belarus) has commented on the reported request of Nastya Rybka (her real name is Anastasia Vashukevich) and self-proclaimed ‘sex guru’ Alex Lesley (Alexander Kirillov) for political asylum in the US, saying they can’t get it outside the US. The maximum they can count upon is refugee status.” Russian state-run Sputnik recalls, “The couple has been reported earlier by Thai outlet to have contacted the US mission in Bangkok after they were detained in Thailand together with their eight associates for giving sex lessons to Russian tourists without a work permit and with expired visas. According to local authorities, they are to be blacklisted and deported to their home countries – for Rybka it’s Belarus, while Kirillov and seven other men and women are from Russia.” Russian state-run Sputnik notes, “To smooth her way to the US she has revealed she is ready to trade ‘evidence’ on Russian ties with Donald Trump’s campaign, without specifying what exactly. Russian state-run Sputnik adds, “The arrest came hot on the heels after Vashukevich made headlines in Russia earlier this year claiming she had had an affair with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, publishing videos and photos on her social media accounts. Before that she was also caught in Russia for having sex in public and took part in controversial sex trainings together with Kirillov.”
ABC News reports, “Michael Flynn, the retired Army general and ex-Trump national security adviser who pleaded guilty last year to lying to FBI agents about his Russian contacts, has put his Virginia home up for sale to pay mounting legal fees”. ABC News adds, “Flynn’s 13-year-old, three-bedroom townhouse in Old Town Alexandria outside Washington, which he bought three years ago, was listed for sale in December with an asking price of $895,000 — money he will use to pay his high legal defense debts, his brother Joe Flynn said Monday.”
From ABC News.
CHAPEL OF LOVE
ABC News reports, “George Papadopoulos, the onetime Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who became the first witness to cut a deal with the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Office, married his Italian fiancé in an intimate ceremony in Chicago over the weekend. Papadopoulos married Simona Mangiante, an accomplished Italian lawyer, on March 2. The two met during the campaign, while both were stationed in London, and they were engaged as Papadopoulos became enmeshed in the growing investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.” ABC News notes, “Mangiante, who worked as a lawyer in the European Parliament, became well known for her fierce defense of Papadopoulos, who had been written off by other Trump aides as a ‘coffee boy.’ She said the man she was marrying ‘set up meetings with leaders all over the world’ for senior campaign officials and was ‘constantly in touch with high-level officials in the campaign.’” ABC News recalls, “Both she and Papadopoulos had worked at different times for Professor Joseph Mifsud, then the director of the London Academy of Diplomacy. Court records filed by Mueller describe how a professor approached Papadopoulos after learning of his role in the Trump campaign. The court filing does not name the professor, but Mangiante identified him as Mifsud.”
From ABC News.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
TRUMP IS TRANSFORMING A NATION OF LAWS INTO LAWLESSNESS
CNN reports, “No president has been doing so much so fast to transform the law in America. Just as no president has shown such little regard for its norms and traditions.” CNN adds, “Over the past year, the Trump administration has reversed the US government’s legal position on voting rights and election law, on the arbitration of workplace disputes, labor union power, and protections for gay and transgender people.” CNN notes, “Perhaps more visibly, if not as consequential, has been Trump’s holding himself out to be an arbiter of what’s fair and just in America.” CNN adds, “The Trump administration may see fewer defeats in the future, as it has been able to appoint a far higher number of appeals court judges than past administrations at this point in the first term. The headway on judicial appointments traces in part to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s action blocking on a series of Obama nominees. Leading that list was Merrick Garland, chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, whom Obama selected after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016.”
FAKE RUSSIAN POTUS ORDERS POTUS SEAL TEE MARKERS FOR GOLF CLUBS
ProPublica reports, “In recent weeks, the Trump Organization has ordered the manufacture of new tee markers for golf courses that are emblazoned with the seal of the president of the United States. Under federal law, the seal’s use is permitted only for official government business. Misuse can be a crime.” ProPublica adds, “Eagle Sign and Design, a metalworking and sign company with offices in New Albany, Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky, said it had received an order to manufacture dozens of round, 12-inch replicas of the presidential seal to be placed next to the tee boxes at Trump golf course holes. Two tee markers are placed on the ground at the start of a hole on golf courses to indicate where golfers should stand to take their first swing.” ProPublica notes, “An order form for the tee markers reviewed by ProPublica and WNYC says the customer was ‘Trump International.’ The Facebook page for Eagle Sign and Design shows a photo of the markers in an album with the caption ‘Trump International Golf Course.’” ProPublica notes, “A law governs the manufacture or use of the seal, its likeness, ‘or any facsimile thereof’ for anything other than official U.S. government business. It can be a criminal offense punishable by up to six months in prison.” Just tally up the crimes and add this one to the outstanding tab.
TRUMP ORGANIZATION LOSES BATTLE FOR PANAMA PROPERTY
The Washington Post reports, “Workers began removing the Trump name from the only Trump-branded hotel in Latin America on Monday after the majority owner of the Trump Panama hotel won a legal battle to eject the president’s company as its manager. In early afternoon, a worker hooked a crowbar behind the ‘T’ in the large ‘Trump’ sign outside the hotel along Panama City’s waterfront and hit the crowbar with a hammer.” The Washington Post adds, “In about a minute, the worker had removed the entire name. For the third time since Inauguration Day, the Trump brand was coming down from a hotel.” The Washington Post notes, “Earlier Monday, majority owner Orestes Fintiklis — a Cypriot businessman now based in Miami — said that a Panamanian legal official had allowed him to take over the hotel’s administration. The legal official had visited the hotel that morning with a police escort.” And with theatrical flair, The Washington Post adds, “‘And now, as you guessed it, I will play the piano,’ Fintiklis told a crowd of reporters. He then began to play a tune on the piano in the hotel lobby, repeating a ritual that he had used to mark previous victories in the case. This time, he played what he said was a traditional Greek song, ‘Accordeon,’ an anti-fascist anthem, and he sang along in Greek.”
From The Washington Post.
PORN STAR PAYOFF DEEMED SUSPICIOUS BY BANK
The Wall Street Journal reports, “The bank used by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer to wire $130,000 to a former adult-film actress flagged the transaction as suspicious and reported it to the Treasury Department”. The Wall Street Journal adds, “The lawyer, Michael Cohen, wired the money to a lawyer for former actress Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels, from an account at First Republic Bank.” The Hill cites the pay-walled Wall Street Journal report and notes Cohen “complained to friends following the 2016 election that he had not been reimbursed for his payment.”
IS THIS DECLARATION ANOTHER VICTORY FOR THE “GERASIMOV DOCTRINE”?
Foreign Policy carries a piece by Mark Galeotti who writes, “Everywhere, you’ll find scholars, pundits, and policymakers talking about the threat the ‘Gerasimov doctrine’ — named after Russia’s chief of the general staff — poses to the West. It’s a new way of war, ‘an expanded theory of modern warfare,’ or even ‘a vision of total warfare.’” According to Galeotti, “There’s one small problem,” and it’s evidently not that the journalists who write such rubbish do not know what they might be talking about but rather, “It doesn’t exist. And the longer we pretend it does, the longer we misunderstand the — real, but different — challenge Russia poses.” Before we get into what it is not, what is it that people are really talking about when they talk about the “Gerasimov doctrine”? Basically it’s three things: 1. There is no war and peace instead war operates on a continuum even during peace time, 2. A doctrine of flooding the zone with disinformation and 3. Obliterate the truth so relativisim rules. It is, in other words, the standard basket of initial and ongoing active measures, which paves the way for Russia to capture a state. So it is probably not a new doctrine per se. Now Galeotti claims, “I feel I can say that because, to my immense chagrin, I created this term, which has since acquired a destructive life of its own, lumbering clumsily into the world to spread fear and loathing in its wake. Back in February 2013, the Russian newspaper Military-Industrial Courier— as exciting and widely read as it sounds — reprinted a speech by Gen. Valery Gerasimov.” TRUMPISTAN WATCH does not know how true this is as it has understood that Estonia’s intelligence service had it translated and was distributing it to Western intelligence services, at least according to former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on a panel with British journalist Peter Pomerantsev at The Atlantic Council last fall. Galeotti writing in Foreign Policy concludes, “The ‘Gerasimov doctrine’ was never meant to mean anything, and it doesn’t. It’s time to move past it.” Pomerantsev, author of Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible about Putin’s Russia, might indicate that this statement is in fact the ultimate demonstration of the victory of “Gerasimov’s doctrine”.
From Foreign Policy.
RUSSIA STANDS READY TO SWOOP IN TO PAKISTAN
Reuters reports, “As U.S. influence in Islamabad wanes, Pakistan’s former adversary Russia is building military, diplomatic and economic ties that could upend historic alliances in the region and open up a fast-growing gas market for Moscow’s energy companies. Russia’s embrace of Pakistan comes at a time when relations between the United States and its historical ally are unraveling over the war in Afghanistan, a remarkable turnaround from the 1980s, when Pakistan helped funnel weapons and U.S. spies across the border to aid Afghan fighters battling Soviet troops.” Reuters notes, “Though the Moscow-Islamabad rapprochement is in its infancy, and it is neighbor China that is filling the growing void left by the United States in Pakistan, a slew of energy deals and growing military cooperation promise to spark life into the Russia-Pakistan relationship that was dead for many decades.” Reuters adds, “The cozier diplomatic ties have so far focused on Afghanistan, where Russia has cultivated ties to the Afghan Taliban militants who are fighting U.S. troops and have historic links to Islamabad. Moscow says it is encouraging peace negotiations.” Yeah, right.
LET’S GO TO THE VIDEOTAPE
The Washington Post reports, “Among the many fascinating details contained in Jane Mayer’s profile of former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele in the New Yorker [in today’s BREAKING] is a passing reference to an episode of CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ that aired July 24, 2016. On that episode, host Jake Tapper interviewed three people: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who would shortly thereafter see his rival in the Democratic primaries accept the party’s nomination for the presidency; Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook; and Donald Trump Jr.” Spoiler alert: no one looks good here but Clintonworld. The Washington Post notes, “July 24 was two days after WikiLeaks began releasing thousands of documents stolen from the Democratic National Committee. The Post had reported the previous month that the DNC had been hacked, citing initial and subsequent analyses that linked the hacks to the Russian government. The effect of the release was to undermine and disrupt the Democratic convention, which began July 25 and focused on bridging the gap between supporters of Sanders and Clinton.” And so, “Tapper asked Mook for the Clinton campaign’s reaction to the release.” The Washington Post adds Mook said, “I think the DNC needs to look into this and take appropriate action, and I’m sure that they will. What’s disturbing to us is that we — experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails. And other experts are now saying that the Russians are releasing these emails for the purpose of actually helping Donald Trump.” Mook added later, “I don’t think it’s very coincidental that they are being released at this time to create maximum damage on Hillary Clinton and to help Donald Trump”. Tapper sort of woke up from his perma-slumber to remark, “But it is a very, very strong charge that you’re leveling here,” adding, “You’re basically suggesting that Russians hacked into the DNC and now are releasing these files through WikiLeaks to help elect Donald Trump.” To which Mook replied, “this isn’t my assertion,” and, “There are a number of experts that are asserting this.” In the same show, The Washington Post notes, “Tapper asked Trump Jr. to respond to Mook’s claim that Russia wanted to help his father.” Uday told Tapper, “Well, it just goes to show you their exact moral compass,” adding, “It’s disgusting. It’s so phony.” Now The Washington Post notes, “Trump Jr. was speaking about 50 days after he received an email from a music promoter named Rob Goldstone. One of Goldstone’s clients was Emin Agalarov, a musician in Moscow who’d met candidate Trump in 2013 at the Miss Universe pageant.” Goldstone offered Uday Clinton dirt on behalf of the Russian government, to which Uday replied, “if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.” Really tells you something about Uday’s moral compass. The best people.
From The Washington Post.
DARKNESS AT NUNES ISN’T JUST A RUSSIAN WHORE, HE’S HUMORLESS
The Washington Post reports DARKNESS AT NUNES, “told Fox News Channel that a skit Stephen Colbert did mocking Nunes’s memo alleging FBI bias in the Russia investigation is a danger to the country. ‘Devin Nunes is a REDACTED,’ says a memo Colbert circulated on Capitol Hill, asking Democratic and Republican members of Congress to fill in the blank.” The Washington Post points out “two things” with DARKNESS AT NUNES’ fallacy concerning what he calls a danger to the nation: “1. We live in a free-speech society, and, 2. Colbert is a comedian.” It’s sad that any member of Congress forces The Washington Post to remind us, “Through the First Amendment, this country’s founders allowed Colbert to make fun of whichever powerful person he wants to without fear of retribution from that person.” Of course, “Nunes’s ‘danger’ comment makes more sense when viewed through an authoritarian lens — that free speech can somehow undermine government that has been functioning for nearly 250 years,” The Washington Post notes, less we have forgotten.
From The Washington Post.
REDDIT REMOVES RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA LINKED ACCOUNTS
The Hill reports, “Reddit said Monday they had removed ‘a few hundred accounts’ linked to Russian propaganda Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, writing under the username spez, said the site removed accounts that they ‘suspect are of Russian origin or content linking directly to known propaganda domains.’” Hey guys, about time! And so their drip-drip of omissions begins as The Hill adds, “The CEO did concede that propaganda was shared indirectly using the platform, citing users who were sharing content that was later revealed to be from Russian agents but did not know that at the time.” Sure, buddy. Citing an earlier report The Hill notes, “Content from sites backed by the troll farm — the Internet Research Agency — were often upvoted on subreddits like r/The_Donald and r/HillaryForPrison leading up to the 2016 election, according to The Daily Beast.”
From The Hill.
RUSSIAN PARANOIA ON FULL DISPLAY: CUTTING OFF THE INTERNET EDITION
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “An adviser to President Vladimir Putin has raised the prospect that the West may seek to disconnect Russia from the global Internet and said that Moscow is ready to deal with such a development if it occurs.” Does it not sound like they are prepared to cut off the internet and then blame the West? Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty notes, Western governments have not issued such a threat, but German Klimenko, Putin’s Internet adviser, contended on March 5 that it was a possibility.”
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