The Russians are Coming- Mueller Indictments and New Cyber Threats.

WorldwideThreatsHearing

Robert Mueller’s investigation took a dramatic turn on Friday, as grand jury indictments were handed out to 12 different Russians, all formally associated with Russian intelligence, for their hack of the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

On the same day, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned America in the direst of terms to watch out for Russian cyber-thugs this fall. Coats told us to expect “Unprecedented levels of cyber-hacking,” and said, “The warning lights are blinking red again.”

These two issues are directly tied together. The Mueller indictments laid out detailed allegations of how Russia sought to manipulate Americans through social mediaexploit computerized state voting systems and hack the email accounts of Democratic committees and party leaders.

The part of the story these indictments have shed light on focused on how Russian cyber-thugs took cues from the orange malignance in the White House himself, as the Russian government laid out its plan to boost Trump’s bid for the White House.

The court documents also highlight alleged collaboration between Russian hackers and “Organization 1”, clearly fitting the WikiLeaks profile, to steal data from and harm the campaign of Hillary Clinton. We have given some examples below.

“For example, on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office.”

July 27 2016 was the night of the first 2016 presidential debate. During that debate, Trump memorably said “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing… I think you will probably be rewarded mightily…”

Barton Gellman, a leading intelligence reporter, responded to this revelation in a tweet: “This is OMFG material. Trump explicitly asks ‘Russia’ to hack Clinton, and Russian intelligence starts trying *the same day*. We look for secret evidence of ‘collusion’ but Trump’s end was always in plain sight. Now we know Russia took his request as a guide to further crimes.”

The indictment also made specific mention of “a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump,” seeking to “help u.”

That got people talking. Right away. And not long after, the conversation came around to Roger Stone.

Stone has admitted that he is the unnamed Trump campaign regular who corresponded with Russian hackers such as Guccifer 2.0, now known to be a creation of the Russian intelligence services.

Stone previously boasted screenshots of the conversation online, in which Guccifer 2.0 wrote, “please tell me if i can help u anyhow… it would be a great pleasure to me.” That was back in the good old days before the indictments started coming down and dozens of people started going to prison.

Since then, his tone has changed a little.

“My 24-word exchange with someone on Twitter claiming to be Guccifer 2.0 is benign,” he pleaded in a text to Rolling Stone.

You’re entitled to your opinion, Rog, but the rest of the world does not agree.

In related news, photos have been circulating the Internet of Roger Stone’s old partner and possible future cellmate Paul Manafort, disheveled and miserable and inside of a prison cell. It might not be as spiffy as the office of their old lobbying firm, but it will have to do.

Regular readers of Millennial Democrats will not require many reminders of how the Russians pulled off this act of cyber-warfare against the world’s most powerful country. We lived through it and were on the front lines of the battle against it.

There is a certain sense of vindication, in seeing what we all have been warning people about these last two horrible years laid right down in black and white. Roger Stone is almost certainly going to prison, and that too is a decent consolation prize.

But there’s also a tremendous frustration at the lack of an appropriate response coming down from the White House.

Russia openly prepares to hack us once again, the American alt-right vows to help him do it, and what is being done by our President? Nothing.

Our top cyber-security expert was sacked and his department gutted months ago. Trump has opened the doors for new Russian hacking, just as he called for their help on the televised debate two years ago.

Trump is still meeting with Putin on Monday, and he’s still holding rallies for his base on a regular basis. History will revile him for this and for everything else. Until the Blue Wave comes in November, we must draw our comfort from that.

In the meantime, we’ve got hard fighting up ahead, and we are ready for it. This is what we’ve been training for, ever since the elections.

In the weeks to come, we’re going to be focusing a lot on cybersecurity measures we can take, and on key Democratic primary races that the Russians or Republicans may target. Gaslighting is likely to be the least of it.

The Mueller indictments tell us how the Russians did this to us last time. The Coats warning tells us that it’s coming again. Going forward, we’ll be filling the need to study the first carefully so that we’ll be ready for the second. The Russians are coming, and we’ve got to hold the line.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Don’t Waste Your Skills on Socialism!

Don't waste your skills on socialism!

The current political landscape of America is realigning, and it’s time to fight hard for the parts of it worth preserving. Right now, the only thing holding our democracy up at all is the professionalism and decency of the Democratic Party. Keeping that intact means keeping our backyards clean and looking out for our own.

The defeat of Joe Crowley at the hands of 28-year-old socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in last Tuesday’s New York primary has therefore presented a few difficulties for the writer of this article.

I am generally very much against throwing primary challenges at elected Democrats. It’s a waste of time and money. But I do think there are times when it is genuinely placed upon our hearts to commit to certain actions, including running for office, because we sincerely think we can do some good.

Ocasio-Cortez is undoubtedly something of a wunderkind and is in many ways a credit to all Millennial Democrats. She’s smart, she’s tough, she’s courageous, she’s well-spoken- and she’s in big danger of getting in her own way completely.

Millennials, this is just what we are trying to avoid when we get into politics.

We have seen before how progressives can get in the way of progress. Socialism is evil. The political party who acts as its vector is not long for this world. That is one of the big takeaways of the twentieth century. No one political candidate is worth allowing our party to become the vehicle of a highly dystopian system.

Changes in the whims and trends of the American political consciousness will come and go, but some things will always be the same. Experience and skill are not easy to acquire. And socialism is evil!

Running the country is not the same thing as running a bar, which is literally what Ocasio-Cortez was doing by way of employment last year at this time. The whole thing could easily shape up as a disaster.

If she bungles this somehow she’s likely to get killed next fall, and the seat will go back to the Republicans.

The Queens-Bronx district is heavily Democratic, making her a favorite over Republican Anthony Pappas in November, but so was Joe Crowley, who was a time-tested professional. A great deal now rides on the shoulders of a completely untested element. We wish her the best, as we take a deep breath.

It’s important to realize that this candidate has embarked down a dangerous path. In helping the opposition get rid of one of our strongest leaders, she’s already become an asset of Donald Trump, the guy she told Morning Joe Scarborough she doesn’t want to focus on.
Joe Crowley was a professional. He has been in Congress for twenty years. He will be missed. As for Ocasio-Cortez, I kind of like the lady. She’s done and said a couple of neat things. She went down to the border and checked in on those poor little kids Trump has got locked up in cages, and that’s important to me, not to mention to anyone with a heart and soul.
But why, why does she have to be a socialist? It’s a tragic waste!
At this time we will support any Democrat over any Republican, but it is with the gravest of reservations that we extend any support at all to a card-carrying socialist.
Socialism is not our friend and it is not our salvation. Historically, it has held liberalism and freedom in contempt and has planned to solve problems in the most heartless and brutal of ways.
Most Americans know this, and hold democracy to be sacred. This is why the Ocasio-Cortez’s of the world can almost never win in a general election, and why the Republicans are so elated that she pulled this off. They have been waiting all this time to hang the tag of socialists on us. Now they finally have just cause.
Just the same, for all the talk about this, it is our opinion that it’s not a major disaster for the Democratic Party. One seat out of four hundred does not a revolution make. Bernie’s endorsement has been the kiss of death all along and will continue to be.
Sooner or later, someplace or somewhere, the Berniecrats were going to score an upset, and it’s true that in many ways she’s a very good candidate. This is the year of the Democratic woman, after all.
It benefits only the Republicans when Democrats waste time and energy taking each other out and ripping each other up; we’re not going to do that. That is the whole point of political gaslighting.
We’re not going to throw any dirt at her for beating our guy, because we’re not that petty, and we know she’s going to face plenty of thrown dirt in the months to come, no matter what. The Republicans are going to rip up every inch of her life and see what’s under the carpets. We pray that she has kept her closet clean.
On the off chance that she reads this article, we would like to implore Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to strongly consider the following.
Burn your Democratic Socialist card. Suggest changes to the party without bashing those who’ve paved the way for you.  Use your voice and your power responsibly and with moderation. Choose effective and organized role models, not the long-winded and irascible Bernie Sanders.
Since the election was stolen from Hillary Clinton, we have called out for leaders, and you are who showed up. The way you entered the scene might not be our favorite choice, but you’re a Democrat now, and ultimately, we’re glad to have you.
Don’t let yourself be wasted on socialism.