Readers mine, it’s been a long four years, and no mistake is possible to make about it. Long, and ugly. The second week of 2020 is now underway, and the opposition is turning up the pressure now for all that they are worth. New tactics abound daily; we’re seeing a virtual onslaught from every angle- but, fear not, Democratic family, because we’re used to it by now. A lowly impostor aping my website is not the worst I’ve seen- but there is an intimacy to such an escalation that I once again find rather terrifying- not to mention truly irritating.
“Welcome! At Millennial Democrats, we are responding to millennial concerns and getting involved in the political process as millennials. Our message and our stance is clear. We are Democrats. We believe in helping actual people make actual changes for the better, in their lives and in society. As the youngest generation of voters, we’re about finding new and innovative ways to do that going in to the future. We are going to uphold the time honored traditions of Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama, by finding new ways to do good for the people living in the world. There is a reasonable alternative to the pandemonium created by the current administration. Please join us in the task of helping the concept evolve.” -Millennial Democrats, 7/17.
That, as most of you will recognize, is this site’s Home Page, its introductory paragraph. There have been signs before that people dig how I set up the site, with the city of New York and all; just seemed to fit, although my true interest here lies in the writing. It became obvious that this was the plan right from the top of their new Page, where they ripped off my language in the most shameless and inferior fashion.
“Millennial Democrats represent a group unlike any the US political process has ever seen. This organization is made up of volunteers who want to impact the political process and are tired of politics as usual. We are responding to the millennial generation’s concerns and are getting involved in the political process. We have learned from the history of Franklin Roosevelt, Barack Obama, and even politicians like Abraham Lincoln that there are alternatives to tribal politics: rational activism.” -an anonymous Brandon De Graff, speaking as the Impostor Millennial Democrats.org.
It’s not even subtle. I began looking into the website’s owner. It didn’t quite take me twenty minutes to find him. Or if it was over, it was just over:) I found his girlfriend and everything. Her name doesn’t need to get published here.
So the natural question begs itself. What are the haps with that website?
I’m going to make an example out of this one.
Today a teammate and close friend brought me a meme made by Kaivan Shroff, the guy who does the very first Millennial_Dems on Twitter and also, I believe, on Instagram. I will freely admit I came in second in the beginning by about two weeks, it’s how we ended up MD-America on Facebook and Twitter.
Kaivan’s all right, we have similar moderate views and have always managed to comfortably co-exist. When I found out the meme was his I relaxed there, we know each other and follow each other on Twitter. I intend to reach out for collaboration one of these days, two independents with good hearts and a will to speak truth to power.
It would have been nice to have Brandon’s help too, but that’s not how this story goes.
As we write these words, the Iranian trouble is kicking into overdrive, impeachment is kicking off, and all of it is being handled in the most shoddy, slipshod, slovenly, sloppy and nowhere near secretive enough manner. Hezbollah has killed several Americans already (not that Tulsi Gabbard will bother to condemn her own best buddies), Iran is firing missiles at us, Iraq has firmly handed us an eviction notice for our soldiers and through it, all, above the din, rises the high reedy voice of Donald Trump, screeching at us to trust in the intelligence community. In short, the saga continues, half dystopia and half tragicomedy, bordering on hysteria.
One does not know whether to laugh or to cry.
Of course, this all raises a fairly basic question- MD, what are you screwing around for? There’s big shit in the news! This can wait, can’t it? Shouldn’t you be writing about Iran?
Quick answer? Of course, I should, and so I have been. It’s basically done, tomorrow’s article, covering the whole story in as succinct a tone as I can muster- a remarkably difficult task given the complexity of writing about Middle Eastern power dynamic, but one I’ll gladly tackle every time I get a chance. It is a perfect microcosm of what is going on everywhere for Democrats large and small. Foreign hackers, domestic trolls no less vicious, elected politicians of both Parties, and all the big money in America without are targeting us every single day.
Just the same, it’s got to wait until tomorrow. I’m making a point with this article, a simple one, and that is this. When they target our social media accounts and silence our voices, they are taking out the only weapons in the whole civil rights arsenal we can really use with safety and daring both, and this, of course, cannot be allowed. We already know the Iranian Cyber Army cannot be far away. It’s only a matter of time.
When the Northern Kurds of Syria were hit by the Turkish the day Trump left them hanging last fall, it wasn’t long before dying humans were reaching out to the world, sharing footage desperately of the atrocities committed in those hours in the hopes of exciting enough world outrage for the killing to stop. I’m proud to say I’m among the people chosen to spread those videos, and I did. The same thing happened last week when Iranian general Soleimani was killed. I was brought the video without even asking before 24 hours had gone by. Those things would never have happened for me had it not been for the online digital awareness-raising mouthpiece I have built.
Visibility in politics is our greatest defense against the literal one-world police-state the monopolist elite are building, and this we get through social media also; in fact, even such monumental events as the Arab Spring could never have taken place without Twitter. This is why in addition to my website Mariah Carey’s Twitter account was targeted by the Chinese on New Year’s Eve. It is not a game at all. We get our power here.
So when someone decides to target your work like this fakir of a Bernie Bot has me, it means they are trying to disarm you completely. In a world where the true struggles between sovereign states are all on social media now; there are no “hot wars” (meaning straightforward military battles) worth fighting, this cannot be allowed.
It was just over 24 hours ago when I happened to Google my website, the first time I’ve had to do so in quite a while. I half-fooled myself. It actually took a moment to take in fully what I was seeing: a second Millennial Democrats WordPress blog, gussied up to look as much like mine here as possible. Surreal as it seems, the fact is undeniable. An impostor has suddenly popped up online, and is using my name and my brand to mislead and waylay our people.
This too cannot be allowed.
It was very strange to see my work thus aped and replicated, by a smug little weasel who is thinking to ride my coattails and eat crumbs from my table to live. Strange and upsetting, in fact. I wasn’t expecting it at all and indeed had no idea it existed. Before today it’s been a bit since I needed to Google myself, and this whole time before there’s only ever just been two of us Millennial Democrats, both myself, seen today on top, and the Millennial_Dems who are a bit older than us. We get along fine. But this guy in the middle? He’s new, and he’s up to no good. His name is Brandon, his last name probably isn’t De Graff, and this is his picture.
He is baiting people off of Facebook onto Reddit and undoubtedly worse places later. That’s my big thing, you know; he’s cloaking his predatory instincts with my work and aesthetic.
Ever read that old Stephen King novella, Secret Window, Secret Garden?
You stole my story, Brandon, so to speak. That’s patently unacceptable, and more so for you than for me.
Those who use their strength and wit to poison and destroy their fellow children of God are damned. Change your ways now, for soon it will be too late. You’d better do some thinking about what I could have done to you if I weren’t so nice a guy. The next guy you try to pillage and rob may not be so forgiving.
I could have chosen many other pictures, including some I found in a certain kind of registry database, the kind you do NOT want your job finding out about; those pictures are in an as-of-yet unpublished, sort of, unabridged article, you might say; I like to think it’ll be Brandon’s choice whether or not that one comes out.
But I chose this one, with full respect to the JW Cassel in the brave post calling him out, because it came along with a real Democrat’s completely correct opinion of him as a lousy piece of garbage, one who voted for Jill Stein out of Bernie or Bust resentment.
The latest Tweets from BC DeGraff (@BrandonDegraff1). Don’t follow me if you’re not a Bernie Supporter. I’m NOT a Democrat. I’m not a Republican. I’m a Progressive writer.
Which is to say, he prison shanked the United States. Right in the guts.
For shame, Brandon. To stoke an unfair grudge this far. Cultivated for no good reason except sexism, deniable only because of Jill Stein’s milkwater gender. You lit your country on fire. We agree on one thing, at least; there’s not a Democratic bone in your body. But since you have decided to step up and claim your false flag title, please allow me to bring you up to speed.
A Democrat will stop at absolutely nothing. I think you are likely to regret, sir, your decision not to ape someone else’s hard work instead of mine.
I found him by Googling the large hashtag on the site’s front page- which sure does look a lot like my site’s front page-#ANYFUNCTIONINGADULT, itself this year’s Vote Blue No Matter Who.
That brought me to two Facebook Pages with the same name, one big, one little. It must have been the big one he made on purpose. The little one appears to be the default landing place for his Reddit threads, and that’s where he biffed it. I soon found the same comments were posted on Reddit. A few more back and forths and around the net later and I had everything.
They are going to muddy our waters by pretending to be us and capitalize on all our hard work for free, all the while diluting and perverting our message with all the Bern-feeling drivel they can muster. Just look at the Friends List on this guy.
Worst I’ve seen since Oliver the Macedonian, Brandon the Impostor. You guys should join pro wrestling and be a tag team- or join the President’s Cabinet.
Jesus God. That’s not just feeling the Bern. That’s positively molesting him.
From there I found a Facebook Page by the same name, and from there a Reddit account that appears to be managing a subreddit for Rachel Maddow, one u/akacats. It appears fraudulent, to understate the point unto ludicrousness.
It did not take long to realize I was down the Bern rabbit hole again, and it also didn’t take long to realize I most probably had found me a big juicy bunny, too.
Any Functioning Adult. I wonder which one of the usual suspects came up with this one? This kind of crap goes around every year; it’s nothing but a cheap trick, a way to get real Democrats to drop their guard. Last time it was Vote Blue No Matter Who.
Bernie’s people are not Democrats and take great pride in the ignominious fact; they’re more like carjackers, bullies, and thugs like the guy in the image I used for this article. That’s why he’s come sniffing around trying to steal my work. He made some lousy movie about the Bernie or Bust movement; if I can find a pirated copy or make a fresh one, I’ll give it a watch. The whole last four years have been like having the flu anyway; what’re a few extra retches among friends and Millennial Democrats? Brandon’s friend below who uses that button as her avatar at least had the capacity to be honest about that, which is more than I will say for him.
It just goes to show; if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em- or, if that’s not an option because you’re a radical, impersonate them and waylay those who support them. He’s put this honey trap out there to punish and hurt you, loyal readers, to get to me. They’ll continue doing this kind of crap, too, unless I can find a way to make such a course of action unpalatable for them.
So that’s what I’ve been working on. All evening, in fact.
The many Bernie Bots I showed earlier were most of his friends, of course. But the usual alt-right types were there in dreadful plenty also. That Any Functioning Adult 2020, ostensibly imploring us to recognize Donald Trump as the greatest threat, the only threat worth considering, is entitled to its opinion, of course; I thought the same myself in 2016, as I said before.
But if she is a sincere Democrat, and it’s nothing but policy differences dividing her and us, what in God’s holy name is she up to supporting the Brexit?
Regular readers of this blog will not be suspicious when I tell them there’s more of this kind of thing; a lot more. did find some things to write about what they might find inconveniencing, although of course nothing malicious or illegal.
Just good, old fashioned open-source intelligence can give you all the dirt you need- or cleanliness, in this case. Clear, pristine, virgin cleanliness. Got to hand it to ya, Brandon. You’re a regular Peter the Hermit where that subject is concerned. Sh4rki would be proud.
Brandon De Graff, this is your cue to start listening.
#AltRightIsFarLeft; this is just one more bitter ratf*cking testimonial. You seem to know this quite well judging by who your friends are, Mr. Akacats on Reddit. But always remember where there’s life, there’s hope. You have been deep in the counsel of the enemy, There is much good you could still do. Come back to the path of reason. Talk to me, we’ll help you tell your old friends to go to hell. There’s just one thing, really. As a sign of good faith, I’ll be needing you to take the fake website down or I will have to keep digging; if this is what I found after 20 minutes, what would I find in a month?
Civil political discourse is one thing; welcome to the arena, but be warned now: you have crossed the tideline out into dark waters. Do not make me sink you there.
The name of Bernie Sanders did not appear on the ballot in a single state during the 2016 general election. But a large share of the blame for this disaster that is the current administration lies squarely on his shoulders.
The Bernie or Bust movement was a nightmare, the blatant racism and sexism shown by his campaign were a worse one. But in terms of national security, however, worst of all was the Russian support, particularly on social media, that kept his campaign alive long past the point of reason.
Using illegally acquired data from Wikileaks, emails that suggested little wrongdoing, the Russians successfully goaded Bernie, and his supporters showed his anger on the streets of Philadelphia, while inside the Democratic National Convention, Paul Simon played the first notes of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”.
Bernie’s conduct, when questioned about this, has been defensive and rude, and this reaction has added to the number of raised questions that linger to this day about where the senator stands on the shadowy foreign figures who were once involved with his campaign.
The evidence is clear that Sanders became the Ralph Nader of 2016, peeling off just enough votes from the Democratic candidate to spoil the election. All the chaos he created on the left drained just as much support away from Hillary Clinton as it took for Donald Trump to win. By this point, the proof is huge and glaring that he, and to a less well-known and effective extent, Jill Stein, allowed themselves to be used as Putin’s other puppets.
We had hoped he would be smart enough not to split the whole left by running again, but that is not going to be the case. So now that Bernie Sanders has formally declared his candidacy, a bad but not unexpected move, we’re coming across a lot of different questions regarding what manner of man he is.
Is he a socialist? Yes. He’s been calling himself a “Democratic Socialist” since the 1960’s. The word “Democratic” is not a qualifier; it is better off deleted. He means he’s a socialist, plain and simple.
Is he less than one hundred years old? We’re not sure, but he claims to be. Birth records support this claim, technically, but not by much.
Is he an escaped Walking Dead extra? No one can say for certain, either way.
All of these are good questions, and the disturbing answers to them raise serious concerns about his viability to compete in a general election. But the big questions are these. How much damage did Bernie Sanders do in 2016, and how bad were the Russians infested in his campaign apparatus?
In the three states that put Trump in the Oval Office, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, a high number of voters who voted for Sanders in the Democratic primary in those states crossed over and voted for Trump in the general election.
One in ten, to be exact. We’re talking thousands of people here. Registered Democrats who went so far as to actually vote for Trump.
Is it true that he and his campaign were involved in the Russian plot to interfere with our 2016 presidential election? The one that Trump says was fake news, but was actually so real it’s truly awful?
The answer to that question is a resounding yes, and we’re going to make the case for it thoroughly.
Let’s start by taking a look at the Russian motive, means, and modus operandi for giving Bernie Sanders a hand against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.
Motive: Vladimir Putin wanted to cost Hillary Clinton the election, by any means necessary. The most effective, obvious, and accessible ways for him to do it was to give her opponents a hand.
One of these opponents was Donald Trump, the obvious recipient of most of Putin’s goodwill. Another, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, was physically present at the infamous December of 2015 dinner meeting with former National Security Adviser and Retired General Michael Flynn. The third, and the focus of this article was Bernie Sanders, her primary opponent.
Former U.S. officials who worked on Russia policy with Clinton have laid out the reasons for this in detail. Vladimir Putin, of course, is the multibillionaire dictator of Russia who paid for all this to take place.
Hillary Clinton strongly condemned the validity of Russia’s parliamentary elections in December of 2011. This made Putin very unhappy. He had his anger communicated directly to President Barack Obama.
“Former U.S. officials who worked on Russia policy with Clinton say that Putin was personally stung by Clinton’s December 2011 condemnation of Russia’s parliamentary elections, and had his anger communicated directly to President Barack Obama. They say Putin and his advisers are also keenly aware that, even as she executed Obama’s “reset” policy with Russia, Clinton took a harder line toward Moscow than others in the administration. And they say Putin sees Clinton as a forceful proponent of “regime change” policies that the Russian leader considers a grave threat to his own survival.”
“He was very upset [with Clinton] and continued to be for the rest of the time that I was in government,” said Michael McFaul, who served as the top Russia official in Obama’s national security council from 2009 to December 2011 and then was U.S. ambassador to Moscow until early 2014. “One could speculate that this is his moment for payback.”
He ended up getting it, but not without a lot of domestic help. It came from the far left, and it came from the alt-right, suggesting strongly what we strongly believe: The alt-right and the far left are one.
A spokesperson for the publication told Town and Country Magazine that was because they haven’t been able to figure it out. “While Forbes has been able to track money tied to Putin’s allies, we have not been able to come up with a defensible, provable estimate of his net worth.”
For a guy like this, throwing a few tens or even hundreds of millions into manipulating the elections of other countries to make them more amenable to Russian interests is nothing. It would almost be strange if he didn’t do it.
Putin has paid for “destability” campaigns worldwide. The far right is not alone among radicals in getting plenty of Russian assistance. The far left, which has shown just as strong a resurgence as its counterpart since the Great Recession happened, is also getting more than its fair share. Russia, it seems, is never short of rubles to spend on troublemaking.
Director of the Political Capital Institute Peter Kreko has been recently involved in research regarding this matter. He concluded two facts about the intentions of Putin. First, that he is becoming the frontman of a worldwide anti-human rights movement, and second, that he is investing in, stirring up, and inciting radicals on both ends of the spectrum that are trying to “sabotage democracy in Europe”.
Kreko describes Russian tactics focused on destabilizing the EU and advancing Moscow’s ideology. This includes supporting parties and candidates on the margins, such as Bernie Sanders, or Jill Stein and the Green Party.
In America, we are experiencing many problems with so-called progressives who are still insisting, in the face of the overwhelming evidence that keeps piling up, that “the Russia thing” is simply a distraction from the main issue, that in their view being how the DNC cheated Bernie Sanders (it didn’t). These people are doing the entire human race a grand disservice.
By turning a blind eye to the machinations of the most nakedly aggressive power to arise in the world since Hitler’s Third Reich, for the sake of stoking a petty grudge, they are in fact helping to make possible the same specific chaotic social conditions that in the past allowed far-right populist movements like Germany’s National Socialism to thrive.
They don’t understand that they are being duped by people who long ago grew cynical and full of boredom regarding the sorts of dreams and theories Bernie Sanders is espousing. After all, they invented most of it, and more a hundred years ago.
The left’s affiliation with the Kremlin can be explained better via the “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” principle. Marx long taught that Communists should make any such alliances as are helpful toward the ultimate goal of dissolving the State. Russia’s state-controlled economy, which promises to keep “big capital” in check, has proved attractive as a model for many anti-capitalists.
Democratic Socialists, such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have clearly labeled themselves as anti-capitalist. This would have made them extremely valuable to Soviet propagandists working from inside the KGB. It still does.
Modus Operandi: Hiring hackers to spread dirt and lies around to influence elections is part of the Russian toolkit. The 2016 plan was not a new strategy, but rather a direct descendant of the original Cheka Disinformation Office, founded by “Iron” Felix Dzherzhinsky in 1923. Working both ends of the radical spectrum, left and right, to destabilize the interior of an enemy country. That is what they do.
Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has a researcher named Ben Buchanan working for them, also a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The focus of his research lies in examining how nations use their capabilities for attack and espionage in cyberspace against one another and examining the strategies that drive this usage. His words in their unaltered form may help to shed some light.
“There is a demonstrated pattern of Russian cyber operations stretching back several decades. One major early case, dating from the late 1990s, is commonly referred to as Moonlight Maze. In that case, Russian hackers penetrated a wide range of American networks for espionage purposes. Since then, Russian cyber operations have continued to expand greatly, hacking into key military, political, and economic institutions.”
“These operations show adeptness in several ways. Perhaps most significant is that they demonstrate how the Russians have developed new digital methods to accomplish old tasks. A series of espionage cases show the Russian aptitude for gathering information using computer hacking. The 2007 attack on Estonia and 2008 attack on Georgia are an exhibit of how Russia uses cyber operations against democratic states. Though we have somewhat less information about it, the 2015 blackout in Ukraine—the first ever publicly known case of a power outage caused by cyber-attack—shows the potency of cyber-attacks that appear to be Russian in origin. And the 2016 election interference demonstrates that the Russians have married their longstanding history of influence operations with their more recently developed capacity for hacking.” -With thanks to the Wilson Center.
The particulars of how these political digital influence campaigns worked out in practice in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary will be only too memorial to any Democratic activist who was around in 2016. We’ve included an anecdote that sums up what they were trying for precisely.
Around September 14 in 2016, for example, one “account specialist” of a Russian-controlled Facebook group called “Secured Borders” was reprimanded for having a “low number of posts dedicated to criticizing Hillary Clinton.”
The specialist was also told, “it is imperative to intensify criticizing Hillary Clinton.”
Later on, Russian operatives used accounts they controlled — including an account called “Woke Blacks” and “Blacktivist” — to urge Americans to vote for third-party candidates or not to vote at all. “Choose peace and vote for Jill Stein,” one such message read. “Trust me, it’s not a wasted vote.”
Not for Russia, anyway.
No, indeed, Donald Trump was not the only candidate the Russians tried to help during the 2016 presidential campaign. One other name was mentioned specifically. Senator Bernard Sanders, I-VT. The Mueller indictments of a year ago offer solid confirmation of what we have been saying all along. The specific mention of Trump and Sanders shows that the Russian government decided early on to oppose Clinton.
A personal anecdote, that I’ll admit to having shared before. The editor of Millennial Democrats was online alongside legions of others, out there for HRC from 2015 onward, every day, for many hours. Anyone who was there back then can tell you. It can be stated categorically that there was a tangible, palpable disinformation campaign going on against Hillary Clinton. It worked, too. The Bernie Bots truly hated us, and their viciousness knew no bounds at all.
It still doesn’t.
In my experience, this blog and its affiliate Millennial Democrats Facebook Pages and Millennial Democrats Twitter account, which is a fifty state plus nationwide apparatus, has been attacked by Trump trolls maybe one out of ten in the ratio of how often it has been attacked by Bernie trolls. This has little to do with what side of the country we are talking about. It goes right across the board.
I’ve written in a 3 to 1 ratio of pieces targeting the right rather than the far left, although it is my deeply-held conviction and the conclusion pointed to by evidence that they are the same entity. But even when the week of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation is taken into account this remains true. Any moderate Democratic activist online will tell you the same.
You would go into groups and talk to people, who were steadfast in their refusal to listen far beyond the bounds of reason or even fanaticism. These guys were professionals.
It was like they were getting paid per response. They all seemed to be equipped with the same list of hit points about Hillary Clinton. This became clear after a while because the very same slanders would be laid out every time, in sequential order. In many cases the wording was actually identical, although most took the time to switch about at least a thing or two. And they were just as prevalent on the left as on the right.
It got especially bad during the last month of the Democratic primary, which was a very horrible time filled with chaos and division.
During this time, we were savagely attacked. Anything we posted would be Reported as Spam/Abuse by political adversaries from both the alt-right and radical left. We were barraged with nasty messages and threats; as a matter of fact, we continue to get them. They just keep rolling in, day after day, month piled on top of month. It’s called gaslighting; they want to wear you down so you give up.
One particularly rabid group of Bernie Sanders supporters told one of our contributors that they hoped she was gang-raped.
The list is long, sick, and sordid. Drop by drop, it has convinced us to take an unequivocal stance of #NeverBernie– and stick to it.
During the 2016 electoral cycle itself, nobody wanted to listen. Most Bernie supporters still will not listen; many today will actually go so far as to claim that Russia is participating in the campaign against Bernie.
This is the equivalent of a mugger calling for help as he snatches an old lady’s purse.
“Looks like we finally know for sure why Bernie would not vote to sanction Russia,” I wrote at the time, still in a state of shock at just how surreal it was for Bernie to reinforce all this by being one of two senators who refused to pass the bill for new sanctions in 2017.
He just called in sick for the vote to lift sanctions on close Putin ally Oleg Deripaska’s aluminum company recently. And this from a guy who very rarely misses work. Of the new crop of presidential candidates, only Elizabeth Warren has missed fewer votes than Bernie.
Bernie’s people have never wanted him to touch “the Russia thing”, and most even to this day will make claims about how “it’s not all about Russia” and we need to “Talk about the issues”. They want to laugh it off, even while when it comes time to talk about what Trump was doing. This is hypocritical. When Trump does it, it’s a big threat. But when Bernie does it, it’s as though it is just a little fun.
This gives you a look at how it was back then. It’s a Russian Twitter account called “Missouri News” (@MissouriNewsUS), which sent out pictures of Sanders and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt with the line “Bernie Sanders is basically a New Deal Democrat, #feeltheBern.”
Our entire intelligence community unanimously agrees that they’re targeting us. We know that they’ve been able to get malware into our power grids. We know also that they’re considered a complete menace in Europe, where they have demonstrated their ability to turn off the lights on huge swathes of Ukraine and take Estonia offline completely. But Bernie will not talk about it, so they simply will not look at it.
They will physically squirm in real life conversations. They remind me of Fox News devotees.
“A guy who was on my staff … checked it out and he went to the Clinton campaign, and he said, ‘You know what? I think these guys are Russians,’” Sanders said.
A former Clinton campaign staffer told Politico it was nonsense that Sanders’ campaign had reached out to Clinton’s about potential Russian interference. “No one from the Sanders campaign ever contacted us about this” — not in September, and not in “April and May.”
They never said or did a thing of that nature. Nothing of the sort ever happened. Not once. Not even after Bernie had offered his weak, half-throated endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
Guy on your staff, eh, Bernie? And just to think. All of this is before we’ve even mentioned Tad Devine.
Devine was Bernie’s chief campaign strategist, the most senior of advisers to the 2016 Sanders campaign. He was also the good friend and colleague of decades of Paul Manafort, who at the same time was running the Trump campaign. Devine was the first witness called at Manafort’s trial. Here is a picture of Tad Devine with Paul Manafort and the man suspected to be his contact within Russian intelligence, Konstantin Kilimnik, himself wanted by Mueller’s team for questioning and likely more.
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank did a piece at the time, titled “The Deep Cynicism of Bernie Sanders’ Chief Strategist“. It pointed out how during his run as chief strategist for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, Devine was always the first to scream and howl about the corrupting influence of money in politics. He said “our economy is rigged,” that “special interests” buy politicians, that “all of the new wealth is going to the top of America,” that there is a “corrupt system of campaign finance” of which Hillary Clinton offered an “egregious” example.
Sanders, by contrast, “supported the little guy.”
But as we know by now, Devine had worked repeatedly to secure the election of one of the world’s most corrupt political figures and then his allies, Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych, a crooked pro-Putin autocrat.
Thanks to Mueller’s prosecution of Paul Manafort, who earlier this weekend saw a heavily redacted- to the tune of eight hundred pages- sentencing memo presented to the court on his behalf, the former Trump campaign chairman and business associate of Devine, we now have the glimpse of Devine’s possible role in organizing Russian help for Bernie.
Though he is hardly the first to grab cash from foreign leaders, the ease Devine had in making the switch from cold-blooded profiteer strategist to social reformer firebrand strategist seems reptilian to us in the very extreme. It’s exactly that type of bold callousness that the Russians would look for in an asset.
Tad Devine is a figure of great interest in the Russiagate investigation, in our opinion. We’ve been expecting the special counsel assigned by the Justice Department to look into Russian meddling in our 2016 election cycle, Robert Mueller, to get around to him sooner or later.
Put it this way: If Manafort is the key to understanding exactly what the Russians were doing for Trump, and Kilimnik is the key to understanding what Manafort did for the Russians, then Devine, their old friend, is the key to what the Russians were doing for Bernie. He is by far the most likely connection between the Russians and the Sanders campaign. It is our view that this connection has not been explored anywhere near thoroughly enough, and we encourage our readers to write in with what they know. We would make responsible use of it.
Radio Free Europe provides some light on the situation by providing a March 31, 2014 email from Tad Devine to Rick Gates, who in 2016 was the chief aide to Manafort, and later became a star witness against him.
There we find that Devine was the one to write Yanukovych’s 2010 victory speech. That detail was found attached to his email to Gates, in the form of a draft agreement for Manafort’s firm to work on another Ukrainian’s campaign.
That all these people know each other so well cannot be a coincidence. No wonder Trump the other day said “I like Bernie”, all atwinkle in his smiling eyes.
By the time the Fourth of July rolled around in 2016, the Federal Election Commission had repeatedly contacted the Sanders campaign with warnings that hundreds of his donors exceeded the $2,700 contribution limit. They further warned him that hundreds more may have been foreign nationals illegally giving Sanders money. The Sanders campaign, however, did not take any action.
It bears repeating that it’s a very convenient coincidence, that three of the top strategists who ran against Hillary Clinton has been doing Putin’s bidding in this capacity for longer than a decade.
Last Thursday afternoon there was a meeting of the Senate Intelligence Committee on the subject of Russian meddling into our 2016 election cycle.
During it, Retired Gen. Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency, said that Russian operatives targeted both liberal and conservative voters in its disinformation campaigns during the 2016 election.
Democratic committee co-chair Sen. Mark Warner (VA) asked the panel if they had any doubt that Russia had attempted to interfere in some aspects of the 2016 election. Alexander said not only did he have no doubt, he could get very specific.
“Senator, I think what they were trying to do was drive a wedge within the Democratic Party between the Clinton group and the Sanders group,” said Alexander. This seems clear at this point to everyone but the willfully uninformed and the fanatically indoctrinated (and disingenuous Republican and other conservatives/libertarians).
The supporters of Bernie Sanders were ruthlessly taken advantage of by the Russians, who used their genuine zeal and idealism as a hammer for smashing Democratic unity to bits. They were duped by false information that came from within the Kremlin itself, and thus unwittingly became Putin’s other puppets.
The man who was in the best position to act as a conduit between the headquarters of the Sanders campaign and the Kremlin was Tad Devine.
This picture provides a vivid reminder of what Democratic activists on Facebook and Twitter have been warning everyone about in the direst of terms since 2015, namely, that the Bernie Sanders campaign was just as lousy with Russian entanglements as the Trump campaign was.
Devine may well hold an important piece of the puzzle here, which undoubtedly lies within the Sanders campaign. As Robert Mueller continues his journey to this discovery, our prayers will be with him.
By now this article has grown to prodigious length, and we applaud the reader who has followed the line all the way home. In his Rise of the Roman Empire, the ancient Greek Polybius said that the most important reason to learn history is so you have a chance to make good predictions about what may happen in the future. Russian interference is heating up for 2020 like never before, Trump has given no funding to the new national cyber-coordinator job, which basically leaves us on our own again, and we’ve got to be prepared for new forms of the same old tricks. Check out our article on Defense for Democrats.
Since this electoral cycle began, Sanders supporters have been joined and even overshadowed by the Tulsi Gabbard trolls.
One allied group of our friends recently created a Facebook page, Tulsi Gabbard Must Go. It’s been around all of a month, and yet, hundreds of trolls have fallen on it since then, like wild dogs. Some of them have shown up to troll the blog, also, like this charming lady.
Lisa Wolf Edit
This wasn’t written by a millennial. This was obviously written by a neo-liberal, 3rd Way Baby Boomer and stinks of David Brock. Reply
As for David Brock, we have good things to say about him and every other dedicated Democrat, but we don’t personally know the guy. What I will say, is that I like the smell of my hair pomade. The pleasing fragrance is half the point.
Getting back to Tulsi and Bernie and the rest of the fake left, none of this is very surprising. They’re collecting paychecks for it. Check out the amount of fake activity that accompanies everything she tweets. Keep in mind, Twitter is fighting this. Facebook is not. There are two billion people using Facebook. How incomparably worse must it be!
From this, we can see that the fake left has found a new stronghold in Bernie’s close ally.
Going forward, raising awareness on all this will become more and more important, and although the story is long and multifaceted, the narrative is clear throughout. Russia and Vladimir Putin were definitely feeling the Bern. Look for them to feel him some more as we head into the next presidential cycle.
In fact, it has become increasingly clear that the future of the nation depends largely on the future of the Democratic Party, since only Democrats seem to care about it. It has become critical for us to ask some questions about ourselves and where we’re going, after the midterms and beyond.
What is the nature of Democratic ideology? What does it mean to be a Democrat? This is something many of us have thought about a lot, especially since 2016. It has changed quite a bit over the years. Experience and study both have taught us to be wary of any ideology that requires a true believer. Thus, although it does not exist as a crystalline and brittle dogma, incapable of change, it does still have a form. And although it is profoundly sickening to dignify Trump’s raving with a well-thought out response,
The time-honored policies we’ve been using since Franklin Roosevelt, like that of nearly everyone in the western world, belong rightly to the tradition of Social Democracy. That is profoundly different from being a socialist, which even the most reputable and intelligent of leftist publications, Jacobin Magazine, is in total agreement with us on this matter; one headline of theirs we came across while researching this read simply, Democratic Socialism Isn’t Social Democracy.
The difference is simple. We want to retain our free market economy, and not hand it all over to bureaucrats. We also wish to see it tempered of its harshness by a social net of citizen relief.
That’s not what everyone wants, and I get that, although it’s hard to accept, especially now, when the stakes are so high. Democratic ideology means having respect for others, which means a certain amount of agreeing to disagree. We cannot try to force it! People must come around on their own. We’ve got to use reason, not ugliness. We don’t want to hurt anyone over the way they think, just the opposite. We need their help to do our share to ensure that our government is healthy and to be sure we remain realistic about its prospects.
Everybody’s got a set of ideologies these days, one sometimes feels, and many are meant to deliberately waylay and mislead. Many seem artificial. Others seem insensitive, and still others downright stupid. While utopian thinkers are thinking about their utopia, the world outside is going right along as it always has, regardless of anyone’s thoughts or ideas. Current events do not suggest it’s the right time to retreat into philosophy and get lost in obscurity.
We need to get out there and fight.
Revolutionary-minded people have their talking points in order. They will not take long in getting around to Robert Owen or the Paris Commune or what have you as examples that things might be otherwise because a few people wanted them to be; a few words about the former seem in order here. In 1825, Owen bought the town of New Harmony, Indiana and established a utopian colony there-or tried to.
New Harmony prospered at first. But it wasn’t long before the residents fell to quarreling about politics and religion. By 1828, it had failed. Sound familiar? If they’d have been short on resources it would have gone the way of the Donner Party. This why Sir Thomas More chose the word Utopia to describe his 1516 vision of a perfect society.
The word “utopia” is the Greek word for “nowhere”.
Socialists do not understand the nature of capitalism. They believe it to be a system of government. It is not. Capitalism is an entity! It is the raw, naked force, the self-governing force, of the free market itself. Economist Adam Smith called it the Invisible Hand, and observed the patterns it arranges society into.
Those patterns are the trouble with socialism, which asserts itself along unrealistic principles that are inconsistent with human behavior, which is not going to change overnight. Humans are heavily pattern-based creatures. We do the same things in every generation. Bees don’t just wake up one day and start building pyramid shaped hives, no matter how talented the beekeeper.
We have got to find a way to bring this realization home to all of our fellow Millennial Democrats before it’s too late. It’s as if some of us have been in a bubble ever since the 2016 primary election and Bernie Sanders, repeating the same slogans to each other left and right. It has led to other generations slandering us and considering us to be unintelligent and unrealistic.
This is incredibly wrong and unfair. Once the dialogue begins, most of us are fair and decent, just as much so as anyone else. We are capable of thinking with reason. How dare we be held accountable for the conduct of the six-hundred-year-old Bernie? We’re going to be fine, thank you very much.
All we have to do is point out some basic things to one another.
We have to understand that socialism means state ownership, which is synonymous with public ownership but doesn’t sound as nice. It means to build an apparatus so huge that people can hardly fill it, and then hand over the keys to completely untested and radical persons. This has not gone well in the past. The entire systemic concept makes socialism, by its very nature, highly subject to despotism. We must come to thoroughly understand this.
Although the two terms sound alike, a massive gulf exists between the socialistic nightmares of Franz Kafka and social democracy, the highly decent governmental system that made the meatpacking industry in Chicago clean its act up after Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle.
The process of trade and money started up in society right away. It was the reason society was necessary. Capitalism is raw desire, and without society, it walked around in the hearts of cavemen, snatching from the others where it could. It was brutal, but it also allowed us to compete with more powerful forms of life. We realized back then that what makes us great is also what makes us dangerous. The human being is a sword with many edges.
There’s certainly no getting rid of capitalism. It exists and appears to be an integral part of human culture. So what to do with it? This has been the question since before humans wore pants. It came at the cost of two World Wars and a galaxy of other atrocities, but at this point, humans have channeled capitalism and made it work for us, and it has given us everything we have, problems and progress alike.
Every form of social organization, every form of government, is an attempt to give capitalism a saddle and riders. In America, we have the strength of the Roman Republic shoring up the walls of Greek democracy. Six thousand years of societal evolution has combined to give us the advantage we enjoy, as a nation. All we have to do is just take care of it.
And we’re going to give that up for- what, exactly? The half-baked regurgitations of Marx and Lenin that the far left has been shouting for these last few decades? Their “plan” is equivalent to cutting the basket ropes of a hot air balloon you are in because the sun is getting in your eyes. Destructive and ineffective. For all the disasters you cause in the process of cutting those ropes, the sun will still be in your eyes.
In the last analysis, regardless of who tries what, our nations and empires follow the same cycles of death and rebirth that our bodies do. During those cycles, the same things have happened in every generation. Most of them are not very nice.
Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States does a great job of illustrating just how ugly those struggles can get. Hundreds and hundreds of pages, and on each a grocery list of vivid atrocities. Yet still, somehow amid the dung-pile, he finds grounds to claim that humans can just unlearn it all, that we can just lay down and retire the entire concept of a State since people in a mob are so obviously capable of being objective and fair.
Most of us can’t even quit drinking caffeine.
Discussions about the nature of government have become much more common and much more critical for millennials than ever before. We must succeed where Bernie failed, and learn to correctly identify not only socialism, but also capitalism and understand its nature as an entity.
I ask you, readers- Have you ever read or seen Dune? The book, by Frank Herbert, the movie by David Lynch? If not, consider the recommendation made. It provides a perfect metaphor for the relationship between government, capitalism, and society.
Society is the Fremen sandriders. Capitalism is the sandworm. The government is the hooks they used to control where the sandworm goes.
The socialists want to act like the sandworm is not there, even while its jaws snap shut around them. They’d like it all to be theories and talk, and they ignore the grim realities behind many of their ideas. They think it’s just people waving hooks around and desert. They are slowing down the rest of us, in our quest to keep from being eaten.
On the other hand, the Republicans think that letting the sandworms go about without the hooks is good, which is so ridiculous and crude as to make a man throw up. In essence, both the right wing and the far left wing, are completely nuts. We need the government to regulate things, and this is why. We just don’t want to give it all the power. We’ll get by all right, we just have to keep moving forward together. Like Hillary Clinton said.
As John Locke said, the goal of government is not to restrict or negate the rights of man. It’s to ensure them. Even the most cursory glance at our sad yet vibrant history is enough to explain why we must have one. So let’s cut out all the nonsense and pining for the hunter-gatherer days and big revolutions and get to work cleaning our backyards. We can argue over terminology after we take back the House of Representatives.
There’s an enormous amount of work to do before a meaningful change will come to America, and most of it will not be done in our lifetimes. We can’t change that, but we can carry our load as best as we’re able, and we can be the change we want to see in the meantime. In a Democrat’s ideology, that is good enough. We don’t need to rise up in revolution; random acts of violence are not the answer. The answer is to look at the world in a spirit of love and kindness and to vote a straight Democratic ticket. In this election, and in every other.
This Millennial Democrats contributor happens to remember that Bill O’Reilly was on the radio the night of Obama’s victory in 2008 calling her “dangerous”.
This is why National Review, Breitbart, and Townhall have got Google locked down this morning when you type in her name.
The treatment of Nancy Pelosi as of late by the far left, in particular, is despicable. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that to bite the hand that feeds is the behavior of a spoiled child. This person has been one of our most dedicated and historical leaders.
She and Chuck Schumer even had good luck for a while, talking sense into Trump on the DACA deal, until Sean Hannity was allowed to overrule them.
In 2005, when becoming House Speaker was still a hope rather than a reality, Pelosi played a central role in destroying efforts by George W. Bush to try partially privatizing Social Security. When fellow Democrats asked her when she might release a competing plan of her own, her reliable answer, according to one aide, was, “Never. Does never work for you?” It worked. Bush’s effort was a fiasco.
But it wasn’t until Pelosi became Speaker of the House and had the support of a Democratic White House that the conditions arose for her to truly become a legend.
It has become a cliche to try and distance oneself from her or to say some crap about how she’s got “baggage”. This is what you call cowardice. It’s indecent. Period. It joins the Republicans and the loony left extremists in slinging filth at someone who doesn’t deserve it.
Republicans will be running nasty campaign ads linking Democratic candidates to Nancy Pelosi, whether or not she is still Speaker. That’s what they do. Long after she’s retired, that will be a dirty trick they use.
So stop falling for it! Stick up for your friends! Stick up for those who have helped you! Attacking your own side is good for no one but your opponents.
Nancy Pelosi has led Democratic resistance to Donald Trump since the day he won the election.
A terrible blow against world stability was struck on Sunday when coalition talks broke down between Angela Merkel’s conservatives, the center-right, pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Green Party.
Nigel Farage and his #Brexit are infamous, and the hashtag #Dexit(for Deutschland Exit) has begun to rear its head. The division of their country would lead to a great division in the E.U. Putin wants to break us off bit by bit.
There’s already chaos here in America. Remember the #CalExit?
The day after the election, a small and previously ignored fringe movement called Yes California was trending on Facebook and Twitter, using the aforementioned hashtag, #CalExit. They’d been around since 2014, gathering signatures to get a vote for Californian secession in the voting referendum. It didn’t go very far back then, but in November of last year, a lot of people stopped at least long enough to give it a think.
For a week or two, in the chaos and despair surrounding the election of Trump, a lot of people were looking for answers and solace anywhere they could find them. In this terrible state of mind, California becoming its own country almost seemed like a good idea.
Trump was Russia’s dog, and we were not willing to live under Putin’s thumb. So it felt to many like we had to come up with something. And so, Yes California gained some adherents and raised some enthusiasm.
But then, in December, a very unlikely visitor showed up in Russia, as a fresh emigre.
It was Lous Marinelli, the self-proclaimed leader of the #CalExit movement.
Speaking to a room full of reporters in Moscow, flanked by photos of Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chavez, Marinelli went on to bitterly rail against American hegemony. From Washington’s foreign policy to the difficulties of the U.S. immigration system, Louis Marinelli decided, he could “no longer live under a U.S. flag”, and that henceforth he would make his home in the southern Ural Mountains.
On that day, near the end of 2016, Marinelli unveiled his primary project. With its logo emblazoned on a banner unfurled behind him, Marinelli welcomed visitors to the “Embassy of the Independent Republic of California.”
That opponent was Martin Schulz, leader of the Social Democrats (SPD), who has been referred to as the Bernie Sanders of Germany.
Germany’s Die Linke party, which literally means “The Left”, has outdone itself in support of Russia. One of its leading figures declared that Crimea legally belongs to Russia, a sore point throughout all of NATO.
If Putin can pull off ruining Germany it will render the EU as helpless as America now is, and give Russia a free hand everywhere. This is why they are never short of rubles to spend on troublemaking.
Keeping the European Union and the United States in a perpetual state of crisis is a tremendous boon to the Russians. Crisis and chaos are prerequisite conditions for radicalism, and whether it’s right or left doesn’t matter a bit. They’re trying to use each other.
Russia’s state-controlled economy, which promises to keep “big capital” in check, has proved attractive as a model for many far-left anti-capitalists, but there are a few unpleasantries they keep wanting to sweep under the rug. More than half the country’s criminal groups have ties to its government. It is naked, unregulated, brutal capitalism at its worst, without any of the kindnesses our social democracy displays.
The trouble is that all this crisis and empowered radicalism gives both sides many opportunities to incite mayhems. We all saw what happened in Charlottesville. There were violent clashes in Berkeley, CA not long after that. If these tendencies are not held in check by a strong and involved middle class, they will polarize our entire political atmosphere. That would be to the mutual detriment of all Americans, which is precisely what Putin is after.
Director of the Political Capital Institute Peter Kreko has been recently involved in research regarding this matter. He concluded two facts about the intentions of Putin. First, that he is becoming the frontman of a worldwide anti-human rights movement, and second, that he is investing in, stirring up, and inciting radicals on both ends of the spectrum to “sabotage democracy in Europe”.
In America, we are experiencing many problems with who are still insisting, in the face of the overwhelming evidence that keeps piling up, that “the Russia thing” is simply a distraction from the main issue, that in their view being how the DNC cheated Bernie Sanders. These people are doing the entire human race a grand disservice.
By turning a blind eye to the machinations of the most nakedly aggressive power to arise in the world since Hitler’s Third Reich, they are in fact helping to make possible the same specific chaotic social conditions that in the past allowed far-right populist movements like Germany’s National Socialism to thrive in the first place.
They don’t understand that they are being duped by people who long ago grew cynical and bored regarding the socialist dreams and theories Bernie Sanders is espousing. After all, they invented most of it, and more a hundred years ago.
By now it has become clear to all but the deliberately blind and woefully ignorant that what happened in November here in America was not an isolated event, nor one that should have been unexpected. Rather, it is part of a consistent and growing phase of aggressive Russian attempts to rebuild at the expense of NATO and the United States. It is this generation’s turn to manage the old and fundamental struggle of authoritarianism vs. benevolence.
If Angela Merkel falls now, her fate will be perceived across the world as a big setback for the liberal and internationalist ideas that she has championed. Hillary Clinton was ruined in this same way and for this same reason. This will be a giant setback to everyone on the left. We must come together and stand with the Chancellor now.
It’s a shame that simply by pointing some of these things out, a lot of people are going to get mad. It is not our intent to hurt feelings or point fingers. We fully realize that most of Bernie Sanders’ supporters in 2016 stood with him out of genuine conviction. We know they are good people. It is not as though we enjoy being the bearers of bad news. We find it regretful that these things have to be discussed at all.
But the simple fact remains. Moderates have been savaged by a whole galaxy of various dirty tricks. We are up against some really rough customers here. They attack from unexpected angles. We are asking for the help of the progressive wing of the party. Please share with us what you know.
The problem does not belong just to the far right alone, although it’s true that they’re usually the ones paying for it. It has infected the left as well, and not only the green wing. The recent betrayal of Donna Brazile comes to mind. It affects us all, and we will come to the table with anyone who is earnest about finding a way to solve the biggest problem of our times.
Sooner or later, we’ve all got to calm down, shake hands, and start to figure out what we’re going to do. We might as well start now, while we still have time. Soon it will be too late.