The other big news is the recent good decision of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Justice Democrats to form a good working partnership with the DCCC by agreeing that they themselves will no longer be using their power to attack good Democrats stands as an excellent example of this tendency.
It also stands as a good example of people growing up, getting smart, learning to work together so that actual progress can be made instead of just a lot of talk about it.
This, in our opinion, is a significant reason to be hopeful.
Evolution is an interesting process. As with all things, political landscapes dissolve, as Charles Bukowski once wrote, giving place to new forms of organization and new alliances. Tomorrow’s friend might well be an enemy today. New hope for an understanding with this quarrelsome fifth of our party has finally arisen.
The exact opposite has been getting portrayed by the media, however, and as a result of the prodding and attacks AOC and her friends are getting hit with, they are in danger of reversing themselves, when we had been making such progress. We should get out there and let them know that the radical loony left is not their only option.
This story began developing after the Blue Wave hit home last fall, and taught us all some new lessons about how 2018 article from SplinterNews.com-which is back to its usual tricks in more recent articles, not to get it twisted- entitled “Where Does The Democratic Left Go From Here?” We were sincerely happy to report that it indicated good things. It was looking like they actually appeared to be learning from past mistakes and have agreed to no longer attack their fellow Democrats who live in starkly red areas. We can’t lose those moderate red-state people, and we’re not going to risk them to win over the impossible. And may wonders never cease, the Justice Democrats may have seen this too.
“There was this theory of change that was along the lines of, ‘There is a lot of potential for progressive policies to win over rural whites, so we can have a night where we back true progressive in likely R or solid R districts, and the media finally realizes this is how you win,’” progressive strategist and writer Sean McElwee told Splinter. “For two years some of the best organizers I know were running [swing district candidates] Jess King’s and Randy Bryce’s and Leslie Cockburn’s races, and they all lost.”
Yes, they did, Mr. McElwee. Yes, they really did.
That aside, I like that term, thought I. Democratic Left. That makes sense and is good sound strategy. It is of the highest importance that we take every opportunity to affirm Democrats and shed light onto our good party.
At any rate, unlike a usual JD dialogue, here’s been nothing insane said so far! Who could be unhappy? Not me!
Of course, it did not take long before all their old friends on the fake left-the ones who really do just exist to make our lives harder- jumped in to start ripping them up for it.
This commitment from @AOC & @justicedems, both of whom I have a ton of respect for, is a very bad one. Promising not to primary incumbents in contested seats buys into the false narrative that bold progressives can’t win in certain places & licenses bad politics in those places. pic.twitter.com/GGhPKNs13F
The negative spin on this quote is due to its origin being from an article published by the Intercept, fake-left sultan Glenn Greenwald’s organization. It’s a clear warning to AOC that she’d better toe the line! Come back to help us destroy the Democratic Party, or else!
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, I ask you: When have we ever treated you with such disingenuousness? Please learn from this. Do not go back to chewing up your own! As for the DCCC primary embargo decision, please do not expect us to actively aid and do business with people who are openly trying to hurt us.
Up until now, we have never, ever had cause to speak a single kind word for the Justice Democrats, because the list of their follies and blunders comprised their whole history. I figured there was a very good chance it would be that way forever. But lately, following Hillary Clinton’s saying four words to her on Twitter, both AOC and the organization that made her, the Justice Democrats, have been acting recently like they just might be getting close to being one of us, so to speak.
But just recently, before the phony left started kicking up and prodding them to uproar, they made the one smart decision I have ever seen any of them make in deciding to come to a good-faith arrangement not to use their power cannibalistically against their own people anymore, by trying to primary out good Democrats in red parts of the country. It appears to be a possibility we will not have to engage in a death-struggle after all.
But that means we in the sane center are going to have to get out there and tell them what we want from them before they end up backing off on this and going the other way. We cannot let the fake left be the only ones with voices in this argument. The DCCC has made a good decision, and we need them to accept it and go back to work.
They’ve been talking about good work, too.
“We’re going to be heavily focused on blue districts [in 2020], but we believe these ideas resonate everywhere,” Justice Democrats executive director Alexandra Rojas told Splinter Magazine. This time, a Justice Democrat is making sense.
The tweet from radical leftist and political pundit Ben Spielberg shown above is actually a misrepresentation of what Alexandra Rojas was saying, and a disingenuous one at that. This is what they do, guys! You already know that, because you’ve been joining them for going on half a decade, but now you’re learning what it’s like to be on the receiving end.
When people start ripping you up for making sense, that’s when you know you are becoming a true Democrat! It’s your digital Red Badge of Courage.
“The answer to why not [go after both safe seats and swing seats] is that we don’t have any f*cking money to do both. We can either get another Randy Bryce or Ocasio-Cortez, and please give me Ocasio-Cortez.”, said McElwee later in the article.
On that, at least, we should all be able to come together. Ironstache? Really? Gee whiz.
If the Justice Democrats want to be real Democrats, then sooner or later they’ll have to put their formerly hateful ways behind them and come to work with us side by side. Both of us will then be strong enough to do what we’ve been doing all along-raising awareness gradually, by threading our information into logical places where it counts.
We would absolutely welcome this, and the past be damned.
These were all the things I was thinking about the other day, as I scrolled down my Twitter feed, where I came across an interesting discovery.
How interesting, I thought, that this should be turning up now!
How unbelievably interesting.
Most readers of this blog will already know who the smug fellow talking is. That’s Cenk Uygur, founder of the Young Turks radio show. He’s been an enemy all along, for the reasons we’ve already mentioned. He was one of the most powerful voices the Justice Democrats had until he was forced to resign over the discovery of sexually perverse essays he’d written in the past. He remains closely tied to their organization.
This sure has been happening a lot these past few years! That’s why Glenn Greenwald and his cronies over at The Intercept are the ones screaming most loudly that Russiagate was fake, even though it’s actually their line that is the fake narrative.
Forget it, Lee Harvey Greenwald. This guy lives to shoot down Democrats.
Here he is still boasting. He thinks he's gotten away with it. Greenwald has been a traitor since Snowden. He thinks this exonerates his own wrongdoings and Russian entanglements. Never. Forget it, Lee Harvey @ggreenwald . This guy lives to shoot down Democrats. #FBR#Resistancehttps://t.co/iaE9kpgJNp
For the record, we still completely agree with the above words.
We Democrats have always been for progressive values; in fact, we largely created and defined them in the more recent half of the Roosevelt project that created them, first Theodore and later Franklin Delano. That has never been our issue here. The difference has always been that we at Millennial Democrats haven’t felt the need to claim we were different, or better than our predecessors in the Greatest and baby boomer generations. We remember the first with our hearts, and we still work closely with the second, and we are very proud of it.
It certainly would be nice if this leftward were actually to happen, speaking for myself, and there’s no doubt that a step has been taken. I’ll be happy to revise my opinion if things continue on in this way. Many Democrats advocated, in 2016, for a kinder, gentler policy when it came to how to handle the pool in which the Justice Democrats were born, meaning Bernie Sanders and his screaming pack of brats.
I did not.
I thought Hillary Clinton was treating them with kid gloves and I didn’t think their conduct justified that. HRC was a very decent sort, in spite of the three decades worth of manufactured slanders that have been vilely laid upon her, and she seemed to genuinely care about what they thought and how they felt, all the way to the end.
To say the very least, in the mildest possible tone, I did not concur.
It was hard not to conclude that those people truly hated us. There is no way to overstate the hostility we faced. During the election, one of our contributors was told that they hoped she was gang-raped, due to her refusal to support their chosen master.
The editor of Millennial Democrats was written hundreds of hate mail letters, called every foul thing in the book, and falsely reported on Facebook to the point where I could hardly turn around. Yet still, I persisted in trying to reason with them and went around saying Vote Blue No Matter Who. Those efforts were worthless.
These are the reasons why we’re not taking this for granted, either. It may well be just another time they’re going to do us like Charlie Brown missing mean Lucy’s yanked-away football. But we’ve still got to try; even if we know they will just yank the ball away at the last second, we have still got to try for our kick. The stakes are that high, in 2020.
I have always believed that the whole Justice Democrats organization and its people are unbelievably foolish and stubborn and filled with juvenile contrariness. It all goes back to the landslide defeat of Bernie Sanders. They have done nothing but attack their own people, that being us Democrats, so we have rightly viewed them as enemies, kept close tabs on them, and readied ourselves to fight them as hard as we could. Trouble has been raging hot all week over this, and we’re with the DCCC ten thousand percent, just as we’ve always been.
This kind of thing has been an ongoing problem now for well over two years, just with the Justice Dems specifically. Today is the second of April, the day after April Fool’s Day, which seems like a good time to be writing about the fake left. 2019 is already a third over. The 2020 election has taken on a gigantic, all-but-apocalyptic significance, and the primary season looms vast above, like a gathering storm.
All sincere progressives, even the most radical, know that those of us who are on the left and would see us not lose everything we have fought for in terms of every progressive value there is had better come together now before it is too late. Only the insincere infiltrators who are clearly just controlled opposition
Obviously, we are not going to beat Donald Trump in this condition, any more than we did back then.
These are all the reasons why it is to be hoped for in the extreme that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Justice Democrats are sincere. We are not in any way opposed to the idea of a permanent reconciliation, or living in a world where Justice Democrats and Millennial Democrats can both rest easy, knowing one another to be Democrats in more than name only. We will once again reach forth the olive branch. Cooperation and socialism are not the same.
In the end, it seems clear that we all have the most to gain by doing what Hillary Clinton always said, and move Forward Together. A long time ago, when they came up with their insolent #WeWillReplaceYou slogan, we came up with a counter-hashtag expressing our sincere sentiments, #WeWillEmbraceYou.
It was not our most popular article, but we wrote it, and we meant it, and we’ll dust it off if we think it will be worth it. If AOC and the Justice Democrats can be won away from the fake-left Greenwald crazies thoroughly, then maybe for now, their origins don’t so much matter (although you can bet we will not forget them). If she wants to be an asset she will have to prove it, but if she does turn out to be sincere, I can promise we will thoroughly embrace her.
Now that the Russiagate investigation seems to be winding down, and a conviction for the illegitimate president Donald Trump is not certain to appear as the light at the end of the tunnel, Republicans are gloating and he is acting vindicated, even before the report comes out. That is their prerogative, of course. But the proof is right there in the pudding.
The right-wing gloaters who say stupid things like “Their (us Democrats) narrative is breaking down” are far from correct when they do. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see him nailed to the wall, but that sure doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be. Trump both looks and is acting guilty and scared by the Russia investigation. A series of fresh disclosures on Tuesday showed that there is every reason for him to feel threatened by the shadow it has cast over his life, business and presidency. What we seek, solid information that Trump did indeed collude, probably sits in a deep crypt somewhere within the KGB building over there in Russia.
Trump’s own conduct led to the investigation and has been the chief witness against him all the while. He’s deflected, minimized, rationalized, and flat out denied his role in all this, even as he called on Russia for help during the debates and got it. Robert Mueller will soon provide the voters with the information they need to decide what really happened, and even if Trump finds a way to block it, the damage is done already. It’s been done since the day James Comey was fired. We know who he is.
Even without a smoking gun, the cat is out of the bag.
The cat is out of the bag too on Putin’s blatantly anti-American plotting. His element of surprise is gone and with it his only chance to do more than giving us a bloody nose. Realigning the world to suit Russian interests will never happen for him now. The spotlight is on and it will stay on. We know now that they never considered the Cold War to really be over, and we’re watching for their next move. They will never do this to us again.
For more than three years now, we’ve been blowing the horn of alarm as to what the Russians and other foreign actors online have been doing to our politics. From the Macedonians running the Facebook groups of Bernie Sanders to Tad Devine, Bernie’s manager, having been Paul Manafort‘s old crony and Ukrainian election fixing buddy, all of it was more real than any of us wanted to believe. Public awareness has been thoroughly raised worldwide, and that means something.
Say what you want about Putin, but he’s the single most powerful man on Earth. He’s not just some slob like Trump. He’s not going to put years into coming up with a plan just to blow it on something as basic as a written order delivered by hand- which is what it would have taken for Mueller to take down Trump directly. We never expected we’d be able to prove that.
What we can prove is bad enough, though. Three of the top strategists opposing Hillary Clinton in 2016 had been doing Putin’s bidding in this regard for over a decade, on both sides of our political spectrum. Calling that coincidence requires a suspension of belief so enormous that the average adult won’t be able to stomach it. The eyes of the world are on it now.
So what’s it all been for? If it’s not going to end with Trump in handcuffs, was it really worth it? What comes next? These are all the questions Americans are asking themselves right now, and for once and all time, we say yes. To protect the sanctity of elections is to safeguard democracy itself.
Thirty-two people found themselves behind bars for the part they played in this, with more to come. The next time some trash can of a slob decides to get in bed with America’s worst enemy, they’ll have this to refer to when considering the consequences and weighing the cost. Most will turn back, and there will be a strong precedent to smash into bits the would-be traitors who decide to cross the line.
In the last analysis, we fought this battle for the noblest of reasons- pure patriotism. We had to be sure that Putin’s puppets couldn’t run away with the White House. The last thing we needed was a fragile, easily manipulated president allied with one of the most corrupt and brutal regimes in the world. Taking that on was the true goal, and we did it.
So be proud, Democrats! You stood up when the going was hard, you fought through some of the worst conditions anyone has ever seen, and the United States of America is better for it. In order to safeguard our rights and our democracy, the most vigorous political action has been and will be necessary. The Russiagate investigation showed the world just how vigorous we can be once we’ve decided to fight.
Donald Trump has just gotten through with a week that many are calling the worst of his entire presidency. The highly anticipated Congressional testimony of former Trump fixer and recently disbarred attorney Michael Cohen raised a litany of allegations against his former boss this week, including new information relating to the Russiagate scandal. The hearings were dramatic in the extreme, and Cohen ended up implicating both the president and his inner circle in potential crimes on multiple accounts. This combined with the debacle that was the second Kim Jong-Un summit, and you’ve got the makings of a real disaster seven days.
Trump’s defense, as it always is, is to deny everything and shower slander upon his current enemy. Cohen is a liar, he says, and should not be believed. They parrot this line at Fox News, and his base does the same in day-to-day life, so who to believe? Politico’s Jack Schafer pointed out that Donald Trump has told more than 8,000 lies since becoming president. As for his former attorney, the disgraced Cohen, there is no doubt that he is also in every way a liar. No doubt about it. Remember that video clip of him arrogantly shrugging and saying, “Prove it!” in reference to the lies of his boss? I have always found it hard to find pity in my heart for him, although compassion is something one human owes another regardless of the circumstances. He confessed to lying to Congress and is prison-bound for it.
But the thing to remember is that for all Cohen’s faults, he never would have gotten in such trouble as this on his own. He was ordered down this path by an extremely corrupt wannabe mobster of a man. Everything he did, every lie he told, was all on the behalf of Donald Trump. I watched that testimony, and it had every look of being genuine. When he called his former boss a “conman”, you could tell he meant it. Like a man unburdening his soul, come what may. We wish Mr. Cohen our best in restoring decency into his life. For once in his existence, he has done the right thing without equivocating. He’ll be called upon again to tell and retell his story.
House Democrats plan to use Cohen’s testimony as an obvious reason to summon key witnesses and pursue investigative avenues that we Democrats could never get the crooked Republicans to look at. One of those same crooked Republicans, Representative Matthew Gaetz, threatened Cohen over Twitter. That is likely to trigger an investigation of him, too. We can count on a steady flow of public hearings involving those closest to the president as time goes on.
During it all, Trump was down in Hanoi meeting with Kim Jong-Un of North Korea in an all-but impromptu sideshow designed to deflect attention from the Russiagate scandal. While there, he disgraced the nation again with his poor negotiation skills and bluster. His attempt to shock the world by getting up and storming out of the deal just made us look bad. In that regard, it was reminiscent of everything else he does. He doesn’t seem to understand any better now than he did three years ago during the first months of the primaries. He’s not in a Manhattan real estate negotiation anymore. This kind of childish tactic might work on a construction company you’re trying to stiff. But its hardly going to get Kim to surrender his nukes! The very idea!
Kim knows perfectly well his nukes got him his seat at the table of the big boys. He is not giving up those nukes any more than Putin or Xi is. Trump and everyone else has to accept that. We all live under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust. Personally, I’m more concerned about Putin’s hypersonic missiles that could wipe out the Pentagon in under five minutes. Trump had not a word to say about that. They’re all doing this now on the right. They’ve got this lousy excuses for everything of “Oh, he just needs it for his base”. Those people and their sickening equivocation are like toxins to America. Michael Cohen at least is done making excuses. Now it’s time for Trump to be held accountable too.
As these words were being written, Trump went off the rails on Robert Mueller at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in the longest rant of his presidency. He attacked Democrats as socialists, johnny-come-lately that he is. He’s still patting Bernie Sanders on the head and encouraging him, all the while bringing us closer and closer to a society in which we lose our freedoms.
Going forward, it’s important that we keep the pressure on Trump, while also taking care to let people know the many differences between liberal or social democracy and the horrible disaster that is socialism. The onus of blame for this should properly be placed on libertarian and Republican support of the far left.
“Nothing is more extreme than the Democrats’ plan to completely take over American energy and completely destroy America’s economy through their new $100 trillion Green New Deal,” Trump said, describing the extreme Ocasio-Cortez plan to tackle climate change as a “high school term paper written by a poor student.”
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.
As the Venezuelan crisis worsens, and the country’s failing socialism system continues to demonstrate why the likes of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are foolish, we are seeing the illegitimate president Trump’s new strategy at work. Now the long game becomes clear. Using no less a mouthpiece than the 2019 State of the Union Address, Trump both charted his 2020 strategy and scored big points by taking the time to score a shot on socialism, vowing that America will never be a socialist country.
It’s a little late to stand on that now, Donald, but we don’t kid ourselves that will stop you from trying.
This is what we’ve been warning against all along. The fake left is just as anti-Democrat as the right; why? How is it that their interests always manage to coincide? What were they playing at? Why has Trump been so soft on socialism until now? Why not during the election, when America really needed to hear all of our leaders saying it?
Because then it would have been too early.
In Ocasio-Cortez, in the few very loud members of our generation that have been hoodwinked into supporting this truly evil and invasive form of government, the Republicans now have a walking personification of all they have been fighting with their money to create: a just accusation that Democrats are socialists, and that to support us is to personally become the vector of socialism. It’s George McGovern all over again.
Meanwhile, the Venezuelan situation provides a vivid example of how big disaster socialism can be. At the end of the SOTU speech, Trump did what he’s going to be doing a lot- pointing to Bernie Sanders in silence, looking horrified, waiting for the people to become so disgusted they can’t take it and vote against their interests. Policy be damned, they will say. Look at that blue clown suit. I would rather burn than have that guy as my president.
The claim that we Democrats are going to turn America into a Venezuelan socialist hellscape looks like something new, but as every reader of this blog will be aware, they’ve been laying the groundwork for it for the last several years. Contrary to Trump’s new narrative, the Democratic Party has never embraced Bernie Sanders. We do share some policies, but he goes too far with them and makes them look ridiculous. Now he’s got AOC there with him, screaming for seventy percent income tax rates on the rich and protesting Nancy Pelosi over climate change.
In the meantime, Tulsi Gabbard got involved as well, protesting Trump’s decision to condemn Maduro, which is about the one thing he has ever done right.
On both extremes of the political spectrum, everyone and everything they have is engaged in making the Democratic Party appear to be tilting left, at just the right moment for Trump.
“It seems to me that DJT has zero interest in expanding his coalition, and is going all-in on making the Democratic alternative unpalatable, hence the focus on opposing ‘socialism,’ ” the Republican strategist Michael Steel, a former senior adviser to the House G.O.P. leadership, told the New Yorker’s Susan B. Glasser in an e-mail the morning after the speech.
The entire Trump era, in many ways, feels like a return to the days of Richard Nixon. Parallels abound in terms of personnel, power, and politics. Perhaps above all else, a feeling that a growing extremity is pervading our country and reaching a dangerous level is strongly troubling American consciousness. It feels like chaos is everywhere. In such circumstances, history has shown that just about anything can happen.
One wonders if that isn’t the socialistic schemers’ whole point.
Cold War-era divisions have emerged along the same old lines as always. Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro is backed by Russia, China, and Cuba, which don’t want to lose an ally in the region. He has accepted billions in Russian and Chinese aid as his country’s economy has exploded, and is now deeply indebted to some guys that are even worse than him. The Russian government has said it is considering installing an airbase in Venezuela, and there’s no doubt at all he’d let them do it. One wonders how Trump’s tough talk on Venezuela will jive with this desire of his boss. It’s one thing to stand up to a pack of screaming wingnuts, Donald. Try standing up to Putin for a change, why don’t you.
The Venezuelan situation, complete with right-wing exiles now involved in the political scene of Miami, brings us back to the good old days of international rancor over Latin American populist revolutions. One of the standard tropes of the Nixon era was the constant trouble over the Cuban Revolution, an event which saw its sixty-year anniversary pass by last month.
In that troubled time, revolutionary leader Fidel Castro managed with the help of the famous Che Guevara to overthrow the unpopular strongman Fulgencio Batista. Having done it, he went on to construct what he promised would be a more egalitarian Cuban regime. Soon after, he made sure to announce formally what U.S. military leaders and top officials had long known anyway- that this regime would be a communist one.
In a televised address not long after, Castro declared, “I am a Marxist-Leninist and shall be one until the end of my life.” He went on to state that, “Marxism or scientific socialism has become the revolutionary movement of the working class.”
The American right was empowered by that enough to justify decades worth of grotesque savagery. Shadows of doubt will always loom over the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
It’s important to note what Castro said there about socialism, “scientific” or otherwise. True communism, as envisioned conceptually by Karl Marx, is very different from the centralized socialism that grew into fruition in places like Cuba and the Soviet Union. The idea was to give over national resources to the working class, to be administered in some unknown way, at which point these completely unprepared and unsuspecting people are sent off to go to town creating a utopia (the Greek word for “nowhere”).
No one knows what that utopia might have looked like since it never happened.
What did happen was socialism, meaning that the State took ownership of absolutely everything and set about instantly setting itself up as the sole power in the land, choosing for everyone what they would have and not have, and creating a new type of elite based on party loyalty and bureaucratic efficiency. One tiny central hub, e.g. Moscow, controls every scrap of land and enjoys total autonomy within it. Every evidence shows this practice to have caused an unreal amount of human misery everywhere it has been tried; for example, China locked an entire ethnic population, the Uighurs, more than a million deep into labor camps last fall. This is not a dream.
All this history lessoning aside, we can all see what’s going on here. Trump is making a big show out of his sudden anti-socialism posture, but actually, it’s disingenuous in the extreme for him to do so. He has subscribed all along to the usual American far-right strategy, which is to consider liberals the true enemy, not communists or socialists.
This is why Trump sided with Bernie Sanders in 2016. Instead of saying at that time, Socialism is a disaster and we should all come together on this, he chose to court a bromance with the Bern and reviled us for “stealing” the election from the man Hillary Clinton beat by nearly four million votes. His base has oft-repeated this slanderous claim.
Trump waited until Nancy Pelosi gave him permission to give the 2019 SOTU before he would finally go after the fake left. We’ve been here cleaning house the whole time, and he wants to co-opt all the hard work we Democrats have done. He thinks it’s the right time to cash in. But long before the day this started, the right has done all it can to empower and incite the socialists because they know it will make things harder for us. They want Ocasio-Cortez to be the face of our Party more than anything.
Now they’ve got their Goldstein, in the 1984 scenario.
The far right uses the far left to manipulate the public all the time. That’s what agent provocateurs are for. That’s what the Nixon era taught us, and it’s why we need to be so careful now.
It’s important to realize that this could have deep implications for us. Florida is one of the most key of all the swing states, as anyone who remembers the 2000 presidential race was stolen from Al Gore can tell you. The political scale there is so evenly weighted that percentages involving tenths of a percent are often what decide its elections.
For Trump to gain support from the Venezuelan emigre community of Miami at this time would be extremely bad for our chances in 2020. He is hitting a lick off posturing as anti-socialist, but he did the opposite in 2016. Going forward, it will be incumbent upon us to raise awareness on this. Trump is a Johnny-come-lately at this game. He’s really just a poser.
In the last analysis, the thing to remember is this: Trump has not stood for democracy or its institutions at all. The World Economic Forum no longer considers America to be a full democracy, because of him. MAGA hats have become like armbands worn by Nazis, and Trump is the white power symbol successor of Hitler. It’s worth reminding the world that fascism came from socialism. It was the branch of it designed by Mussolini. The alt left and the far right is exactly the same entity.
“The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves,” said Vladimir Lenin a hundred years ago.
Here at Millennial Democrats, we refuse to accept a false equivalency. We equally reject the totalitarian nightmares that arise both from fascism and socialism, and from that posture, we call not only for the resignation of the disgraced dictator Nicholas Maduro.
We call with equal lungpower for the resignation of the disgraced dictator Donald Trump.
Frankly, what more can you really ask out of a single day? Speaking on my own behalf, I can say for sure. I couldn’t be any happier if I had won the lottery. I have just been sick over where this country is headed. Eight hundred thousand federal workers, going for a month without pay. It’s been one indignity after another, since the day this began and long before.
Trump’s presidency is now two years and five days old, and every day of it has been an insult to common sense and decency. Remember the first travel ban? He hadn’t been in office for two weeks, and it was worldwide pandemonium in airports. Seven continents worth of airports, clogged and logjammed with people who were suddenly- and artificially- stranded. That was the first time Trump caused a disaster for America- disaster is his favorite word- but it sure wasn’t the last. He has used this word constantly all throughout his political career. But ever since the Democrats retook the House, he has been using actual disasters as a bargaining chip and a way to deflect attention. He is said to have been convinced Pelosi would cave, and he lamented deeply.
Who knows what Trump was thinking. It’s unreal that he could have self-deluded to this extent. If he thought he was going to come in here and bluster and bully Nancy Pelosi into giving him a wall, that’s a joke. Our Speaker could probably beat that old clown in a fistfight, let alone the political arena. Remember the G7 Summit in 2017, when he had to ride a golf cart behind all the other world leaders, who were all in shape and walking? That was great for our world image, let me tell you. Old, winded, out-of-shape America. Just look at them. So much for the Art of the Deal.
Disasters they are, but the disasters are of his own creation. This is a gigantic humiliation for Trump. He capitulated completely, but not before nearly tanking the economy, causing thousands of federal workers to file for unemployment relief, and causing significant cracks in that base of his that used to forgive him anything. His poll numbers went into nuclear meltdown. He got not one dollar for a wall. He shut the government down for absolutely nothing, and he is now the laughingstock of every single person in the world. He’s on Twitter at this very moment, whining about how he wishes people would “listen to his words” about why this is not the most gigantically cowardly and buffoonish concession in the history of all mankind. You’ve got to be kidding. This is the penultimate cave. It’s the Mammoth of caves. It’s really more like a cavern.
Thirty-five days, the government stayed shut down over this. What a total and gigantic waste. Citizens were about to lose their food stamps, and that would have really killed people, especially the sick and the very old. Trump came very close to committing his administration’s second atrocity; we’ve known for a while that his administration’s ICE has literally lost nearly fifteen hundred little kids, so we can’t call it the first. This one would have been all his fault, though. No one else to blame; Trump starved old people to death to get Russiagate out of the news. Quite a legacy; perhaps that’s why he caved. If so, it would be the one worthy thing he has done during this whole affair, which of course is why the conservatives are reviling him, specifically as a “Wimp”.
Ann Coulter congratulated the departed George Herbert Walker Bush on no longer being the biggest wimp ever to hold the office. Undoubtedly, that is so. The whole thing was the ravings of an idiot in the first place, a foolish campaign promise, something for the slobs at his rallies to scream for alongside “Lock ‘er up!” Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) blames the far-right Freedom Caucus. “I hope he ignores them for the next three weeks,” King said. “It’s the charge of the Light Brigade. It’s the Valley of Death.”
These days it’s not Hillary Clinton who is facing prison time and getting locked up. It’s all of Trump’s friends, and that brings us to the second piece of the day’s big news. This morning, federal prosecutors kicked in the door of Roger Stone, self-described political dirty trickster, and hauled him off to jail. It cost him $250,000 to bail himself out, which he probably got from some Russian still hoping to hit an easy lick. We’d like to say that’s over with for Russia. Unfortunately, Bernie Sanders had to try and spoil the day by running for president again, so there will probably be plenty of fresh acrimonies for them to exploit, especially during the primaries. We’ll get to that soon. For tonight, we would like to say God bless America and express to him our deepest gratitude. Because very soon we will be saying goodbye to Donald Trump.
Roger Stone may have sworn his loyalty, but that won’t do Donald any good, because Roger is just a poser anyway. No serious person would tattoo Richard Nixon’s face on their back. He missed the boat on Watergate and has spent the rest of his life yearning for the halcyon days when domestic fascism was strong enough to create this kind of scandal without the help of Russian rubles. Sleep well, Roger Stone. You sold out your country to the Russians, the worst enemies of America. And while the others did it for greed, or because of misplaced convictions based on sexism, you did it strictly out of malice, because that is what you do. Enjoy going down in the history books next to Benedict Arnold and Vidkun Quisling.
How sweet it is. Remember that one documentary for Netflix he did, Get Me Roger Stone? “I revel in your hate!” he defiantly shot at Democrats. Hate isn’t the word, exactly; more like loathing and disgust. We might have thrown up our hands then, but now we’re smoothing back our hair with them. Go ahead and revel, then, Rog. Have a blast, right there in your prison cell, eating Ramen noodles with Paul Manafort. His We’ll all be reveling together, in that case. It’s been a great day for America. Today, we stayed the land of the free, and the home of the brave. We have not, as Mark Twain once said, exchanged our honor for a phrase. If a phrase is needed, then perhaps this Republican president of yesterday’s will suffice.
“Mr. President, tear down that wall.” -Ronald Reagan
Here on the eve of the confirmation of the new Attorney General pick, William Barr, questions abound about the Russiagate investigation and the eventual fate of the special counsel Robert Mueller chosen to administrate it. Barr has been critical of Mueller’s investigation but has stated that he will not interfere. We’ll see. To put it mildly, serious reasons exist to doubt the sincerity of America’s abortive failure of a forty-fifth president when he says he will not fire Mueller, the man who has compiled the case that will likely destroy him. Barr seems like a rubber stamp brought in to do just that, the hatchetman of Russian assets. We hope he proves us wrong.
If Trump does fire Mueller, it will be highly reminiscent of another corrupt president who fired a special prosecutor, president Richard Milhous Nixon. Nixon’s firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox began the end of his presidency, and so conventional wisdom has held that Trump will not go there. Congressional Republicans have also said that the firing of the special counsel Mueller would be a crossing of the line for them, although it’s true we have no reason to believe them either. They have caved to Trump on everything and often in the most shameful imaginable ways. Devin Nunes, former chairman of the House Intelligence Oversight Committee, was recently found to be deliberately covering up House findings in order to protect Trump.
When considered as part of the whole incident, it seems clear this could be destined to bring us into uncharted territory completely if Trump does go the Nixon route. It wouldn’t save him, and it would damn him further in the opinion of many, but he wouldn’t resign as Nixon did. His conduct during the lengthening and unnecessary #TrumpShutdown proves him once again to be utterly without scruples. It is certain he will use the country as hostages again in the process of getting the Russiagate spotlight off of him. Thus, we have no choice but to conclude that the conventional wisdom- which also did not predict the shutdown, or the fool’s errand that was the travel ban, or the Helsinki debacle, or any number of other horrible things- is probably wrong again.
Of course Trump would fire Mueller. ‘Don’t expect Trump to go quietly’, read a Washington Post article published on January 14th. He’s got the whole country held hostage at this moment, he unrepentantly lies about anything that happens to cross his mind, and he thinks he’s “winning”, whatever that even means in the context of a ruined economy and a devastated government. I guess it means getting Employee of the Month from Vladimir Putin. Firing Mueller would fit right in as the stupidest and worst for America thing he could possibly do. It’s a glaring absence in his resume as it is.
In related news, Trump, who was in the news over the weekend for having sworn his interpreters in his three closed-door meetings with Putin to secrecy, has taken an increasingly aggressive and door-closed stance toward Mueller’s requests for an in-person interview. Gone are the days when he boasts of having done nothing and means his crimes. The Trump of yesterday always said of Mueller that “No one wants to speak more than me“. That line is yesterday’s news, although references to the “Fake News Media” that has plagued him like the Furies remain plentiful. As usual, Trump blames himself for nothing, and provides an object- and abject- example to American children of what a spoiled brat at its worst can do.
News that the special counsel has already drafted a report- a report that draws the most damning possible conclusions- joined the confiscation of notes taken during his closed-door meetings with Putin as the two top stories in the news this weekend. Trump‘s behavior toward the Russian president was the focus of Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein on Sunday, when he appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources. While there, Bernstein- whose investigative journalism helped to take down Nixon- said the special counsel investigating Trump will find he “helped Putin destabilize the United States and interfere in the  election.” Any Facebook activist can tell you this. We’ve seen it develop from the day they prepared the Wikileaks dumps.
We would also like to give a farewell salute to the former and departing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who did not have to pick someone who would look into this as hard as Mueller would, and acted with integrity throughout in spite of Republican reviles. His decency and professionalism will be missed.
In the last analysis, from the standpoint of this illegitimate infantile president, sitting back and letting this atomic report fall on him would most likely be better than trying to resist the inevitable by trying to bring this to an end. Cracks in Trump’s base are said to be forming at last, and as these people realize what they’ve been buying into, more and more of them will be looking for a new home, and a sane alternative. Our capacity to find this for them will prove to be a critical part of success for us as we move forward. Russia has been the chiefest enemy of America for nearly a hundred years now, and most Americans still know that. Reminding them is the way to go moving forward.
The New York Times reported late Friday that federal investigators are said to have become so alarmed by Trump’s conduct after he fired former FBI director James Comey that they at once opened a probe into whether the orange infant in the White House has been secretly working with Russia, all along, for Putin himself.
According to sources considered reliable by that venerable newspaper, counterintelligence officials were assigned to the case.
Let’s talk about that word for a minute, counterintelligence. Google Dictionary gives an excellent working definition. It refers to activities designed to prevent or thwart spying, intelligence gathering, and sabotage by an enemy or other foreign entity. Therefore, counterintelligence agents are only assigned to cases serious enough to be considered a risk to national security.
In other words, this is earth-shaking beyond all belief for Donald Trump.
Russia is and has for much of our history been the chief global rival of America. For our president to be in the actual employ of their president is clearly a worst-case scenario. We’ve been saying this for years, of course.
Now the big boys are saying it too.
For a counterintelligence committee to be examining not only whether Trump’s actions were undermining national security, but also whether he was working at the behest of the Kremlin, is clearly of the most phenomenal importance.
On Rachel Maddow‘s Friday night television show, AM Joy Reid of MSNBC was standing in, and hosted Former Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi for an interview. He said that the FBI would only even consider a decision of this magnitude without having evidence of the most utterly compelling nature, something on the level of taped conversations and the like.
Trump has been screaming for years that the whole Russian collusion story is nothing but fake news, and his sheer vehemence gave him some early successes in getting people to stop using the word.
Collusion is back on the table to stay, after this.
Just last week Time tracked down the man Deripaska used to get Manafort to pay up. “He owed us a lot of money,” Victor Boyarkin told Time. “And he was offering ways to pay it back … I came down on him hard.”
As much as Manafort is a detestable character, what does it say about America, that Russians can come over here and push our people around like this with impugnity? This has to be stopped at once. It is our opinion that the Russian Mafia, the feared ROC, should be pored over and removed from its influence from every scrap of our fair nation. Not even the garbage should be left over for them- aluminum cans are worth billions! Just ask Oleg Deripaska.
Kilimnik, a shadowy and truant figure long believed to hold many pieces of this puzzle, is known by the nickname of Manafort’s Manafort. He is connected to Russian intelligence services like the GRU, which also hosted Fancy Bear and Guccifer 2.0, the hackers who got Julian Assange the hacked DNC emails that he dumped on us through Wikileaks.
The Wikileaks succeeded beyond their wildest imaginations.
Nevertheless, the Bernie Bots and Bros rioted in the streets of Philadelphia over minor written exchanges proving that Debbie Wassermann-Schultz and Bernie did not like each other. It was the biggest single coup of the Trump campaign’s whole summer, and also the night that Russiagate became something tangible.
The Russians were said to be overjoyed. The emails themselves were played up so much by Trump and his base that by the time they were released, it did not matter what was in them, and it turned out to be nothing to an extent that was simply huge.
The information pipeline that got all this done featured Manafort, his campaign deputy Rick Gates, and Kilimnik funneling many files full of Trump campaign information to bring back to Deripaska, and received many back in return. It was reciprocal and totally coordinated. Manafort knew what he was doing to America every last step of the way.
Deripaska’s not that much of a political guy, but he does have one big interest in giving Trump a hand. He is extremely close to Putin and relies on him to keep his personal fortune. All of Russia works and eats at Putin’s order; he has more control than Stalin did over there.
In the last analysis, Manafort was not chosen because of his consummate skill or charming personal characteristics. He was chosen because he was convenient, due to the money he owed for those Cayman Island hotels he burned up Deripaska’s friendship for. Many email exchanges between the two indicate Manafort’s frequent and pleading queries as to whether or not the two of them were “good”. He had that Boyarkin ogre ready to pick his bones, he was scared, and he’d been their guy so long by then that he felt there was no turning back.
So he made a devil’s bargain to sell out his country, in order to save his behind. That is the most rotten and cowardly choice that anyone can ever make. Manafort’s name will be reviled throughout all of human history, and as with the Benedict Arnolds and Vidkun Quislings of history, his name will be held up as an example of greed and cowardice to serve mankind’s final generations with a lesson that resounds with eternal importance.
Going forward, we must reexamine the entire concept of treason. We should view the Cold War as a conflict which never ended, but rather shifted forms and chosen new battlefields in the virtual realms of politics. In that scenario, Trump would be a traitor by every metric, and this is the most truthful narrative.
Last week Senator Dianne Feinstein referred information regarding a claim of serious sexual assault committed by Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh’s alleged victim had intended to remain anonymous, but on Sunday morning, she stepped forward. “I was in fear for my life during that encounter,” she said.
On Sunday, psychologist Christine Blasey Ford came forward as the author. Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations- but it’s not really looking very good for him. Years of psychotherapy notes confirm it, and she even went so far as to have a polygraph done on herself.
She passed, too. One wonders if Kavanaugh will have the same amount of guts.
Senate judiciary proceedings relating to the confirmation hearings of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, got off to a rough start for the Republicans on their first day, and things have not improved for them. Our Democratic leadership has been out there in full effect the whole time.
Rising star Kamala Harris led the first round of protests, making sure Chuck Grassley was unable to continue moving the hearing along until Kavanaugh cut out his weaseling and answered her question. She was great and we are very proud of her.
Senator Patrick Leahy did an op-ed piece for the Washington Post on Thursday, eloquently stating his case for why he will never support Kavanaugh for a seat on our Supreme Court.
He brought to light a number of instances of Kavanaugh’s involvement in old e-mail scandals that predated Hillary Clinton, back when a bunch of them got stolen from Democratic senators during the W. Bush administration, and said he “cast aside truth in pursuit of raw ambition.”
“Unimpeachable integrity must never be optional,” Leahy wrote in a powerfully worded op-ed published by the Washington Post.
Our issue with Kavanaugh not only that he may very well repeal Roe vs. Wade and make abortion illegal again- which would kill many women. It’s also that they’re covering up his background so we can’t see who he is. It’s bad enough when they do that with people who are running for President or Congress. Supreme Court justices serve for life.
The issue of how powerful the American judiciary is cannot be overstated. Of the three branches of our government, it is by far the strongest. The Supreme Court has the power of judicial review, meaning they have to approve any legislature before it becomes law. They can shoot holes in anything any president or Congress tries to do.
The supreme power in the land is the judiciary, hence the term Supreme Court. We don’t want this guy to have it.
On Thursday California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee released a statement regarding her referral of information regarding Kavanaugh’s nomination to the FBI, who conducts background checks on potential government employees.
Turned out it was a sexual assault allegation. What a surprise. What a pack of jackals like this is doing in our government is beyond me. It’s bad enough we’ve got to share a planet with them.
On Wednesday, Trump called Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, who co-wrote the piece, “sloppy” and a “degenerate fool” in response. Bernstein retorted on Twitter that he has spent his “life as a journalist bringing the truth to light, through administrations of both parties.”
That may be true, but it sure isn’t what Trump wants to hear. And it isn’t what he wants people to do. That’s why he’s always going on vile rampages and outbursts against the American press, people whose jobs are getting more dangerous by the day.
Anytime in the past that we’ve had this sort of thing, we’ve always come together to insist that we won’t have it. Whoever our leader has happened to be at the time has always done what they could to help things calm down. They certainly haven’t made it their policy to make things worse by inciting it.
The fact that Trump is doing just the opposite is yet another warning, a huge flashing neon sign, that things have gone wrong and we are now all in a really bad situation.
Their survey ranked 180 countries based on factors such as pluralism, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of their news.
Unsurprisingly, the report specifically calls out Trump as the reason for the United States’ reduced standing.
“A media-bashing enthusiast, Trump has referred to reporters as ‘enemies of the people,’ the term once used by Josef Stalin,” the report says.
Trump has done more than anyone to appropriate and misuse the term “fake news” in retaliation for critical reporting, even though his campaign was the source of most of the garbage that brought the term into common use.
Last year Trump released a doctored pro wrestling video of his halcyon days hanging out at the Madison Square Garden, clotheslining an opponent who has the CNN logo slapped over his head. It was pretty ridiculous to think that such a man is now our president, but that is nevertheless how it went.
The first time it was merely silly, but nobody is laughing now.
This morning, on the topic, the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent wrote that whether rhetorical excesses can be blamed for violence or the threat of it is a complicated topic, with no easy answers.
I’m not sure I agree. The complexity lies only in degree; it seems pretty clear that people can whip each other up into violence if they’ve got a stage and a microphone.
You don’t have to be Adolf Hitler or Charles Manson, either; there’s no wizardry of dialect needed. Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst told his fans to “get angry” at Woodstock ’99, and they did, and people rioted, and a girl got gang-raped in the middle of the mosh pit.
Is Fred Durst a man who is blessed with the same rhetorical gifts as Cicero or Demosthenes? Doubtful, but he does at least seem to be better than Trump. Was he solely at fault? No. But he certainly helped to kick things off.
Likewise, our nation’s 45th president will have helped to kick off his own fanatical followers, if any of them decide again to actually do what he’s been nudging them to do, and treat members of the press as though they really were Enemies of the People.
Here at Millennial Democrats, we want to emphasize how important a free press is, how important it is to adhere to journalistic standards. Without one we’re back in the Dark Ages. The media is the friend of the people, because they bring the people its information. It’s good to promote this point of view, going forward.