How Putin Felt The Bern- Detailing Russian Interference In The Sanders Campaign.

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.

Putin's Other Puppets.
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?

The question of just how big of an effect did the Sanders campaign have on the final election can be gauged by looking at how bad he hurt her in the swing states where American elections are decided. Take a look at these numbers from 2016 Democratic primary exit polls taken from West Virginia- not a swing state, but dramatic and indicatory nonetheless.

Forty four percent is nearly half the Bernie supporters who voted in the West Virginian primary.
Forty-four percent! Nearly half the Bernie supporters who voted in the West Virginian primary planned to later vote for Trump. That speaks for itself.

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.

Far-right hardliner and former National Security Adviser Ret Gen. Michael Flynn dines with Russian President Vladimir Putin and far-left Green Party 2016 US Presidential election candidate Jill Stein. This dinner is a good look at what it looks like at the exact moment where the far left and the alt-right converge.
Far-right hardliner and former National Security Adviser Ret Gen. Michael Flynn dining with Russian President Vladimir Putin and far-left Green Party 2016 US Presidential election candidate Jill Stein. This dinner is a good look at what it looks like at the exact moment where the far left and the alt-right converge.

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.

Politico’s Michael Crowley put the case together days after the riot-causing WikiLeaks email dumps in July 2016.

“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.

Trump's SOTU Cheered for Anti-Socialist Theme he stole from us.
Trump and Bernie- Two sides of the same coin.

Means: Vladimir Putin may well be the richest man on Earth, by some estimates having more money than Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos combined. He more then had the means to pull off a job like this.

Hermitage Capital Management CEO Bill Browder told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he believes the Russian president is “the richest man in the world” with a net worth of $200 billion.

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.”

Everything that belongs to the territory of the Russian Federation Putin considers to be his,” exiled Russian banker Sergei Pugachev told the Guardian (Pugachev once earned the nickname “Putin’s banker.”) He said that “any attempt to calculate [Putin’s net worth] won’t succeed. He’s the richest person in the world until he leaves power.”

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.

Thank You For Not Lying!
Thank You For Not Lying!

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.

Angry socialist gathers his forces for battle on his own Party.
Angry socialist gathers his forces for battle on his own Party.

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 37-page indictment resulting from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation makes it clear. Russian nationals and businesses definitely worked to boost the campaigns of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Green party nominee Jill Stein in an effort to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton, even as they did the same thing to Trump’s Republican opponents on the right.

The Russians “engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump,” according to the indictment, which was issued a year ago in February.

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.

This is what we're fighting.
This is who they are.

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.

Therefore, when we found out today that according to the indictment, Russia’s Internet Research Agency had a “strategic goal to sow discord in the US political system”,including the election, it was far from a surprise to us.
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.
At any rate, back then, they could still lean smugly back and say, Show me the proof. Today, however, the evidence is laid flat out in any number of places, such as Robert Mueller’s February 2018 indictment of thirteen Russian nationals, who had posted “derogatory information about a number of candidates”.
They bought ads and communicated with people tied to the Trump campaign and others in order to coordinate political activities. They even went so far as to coordinate their activities on our soil.
The indictment also mentions a February 2016 memo to Internet Research Agency staff. The instructions given were to post political content on US social media sites and “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them).”
“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 rarely misses work. But he did manage to be absent when it came time to vote to sanction Oleg Deripaska's aluminum company. Deripaska is a close friend and personal ally of Putin. He was also the owner of Paul Manafort's debt.
Bernie rarely misses work. But he did manage to be absent when it came time to vote to sanction Oleg Deripaska’s aluminum company. Deripaska is a close friend and personal ally of Putin. He was also the owner of Paul Manafort’s debt.

Unbelievably, he claimed he couldn’t show up for the Deripaska vote because he was meeting with the women who accused his campaign of sexual misconduct. Even the most rabid and dishonest and insane penner of political hit pieces could not make this stuff up. Truth really is stranger than fiction.

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.”
Missouri News, a Russian troll account that Twitter has since deleted (they've been pretty cool about cleaning up their act, unlike Facebook or even worse You Tube) is shown here giving the Sanders campaign a hand.
Missouri News, a Russian troll account that Twitter has since deleted (they’ve been pretty cool about cleaning up their act, unlike Facebook or even worse YouTube) is shown here giving the Sanders campaign a hand.
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.
Tad Devine and Paul Manafort together with Konstantin Kilimnik, the shadowy Ukrainian figure wanted for questioning by the special counsel Robert Mueller.
Tad Devine and Paul Manafort together with Konstantin Kilimnik, the shadowy Ukrainian figure wanted for questioning by the special counsel Robert Mueller.

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.

Although it has been very hard for Sanders followers to face this, it is our opinion that Devine too was working with the Russians and that Sanders most likely knew he was getting help from Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton. That help came in some very strange ways.

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.

One of the letters they wrote him flagged more than 1,500 questionable donors. Soon after, Tad Devine was paid almost a million dollars in one month by the Bernie Sanders campaign.

We know that the Russians had been plotting to interfere for more than a year before the election took place. The Steele Dossier said the Russians have been cultivating Trump for at least five.

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!

"Thousands of inauthentic Twitter accounts emerge when exploring tweets where @TulsiGabbard's handle appears (large highlighted cluster includes ~20K accounts) cc: @yoyoel @delbius @vijaya" Thanks to @GeoffGoldberg!
“Thousands of inauthentic Twitter accounts emerge when exploring tweets where @TulsiGabbard’s handle appears (large highlighted cluster includes ~20K accounts) cc: @yoyoel @delbius @vijaya” Thanks to @GeoffGoldberg!

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.

Does Trump Work For Putin Directly? The FBI Has Been Asking Since May of 2017.

Does Trump work for Putin directly? The FBI's been looking into it- and so have we.

One of the biggest bombshells yet in the Russiagate case was dropped on America this evening. As the #TrumpShutdown entered its third week and the first missing paycheck came up for millions of Americans, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced that it has been pursuing an investigation into whether Donald Trump was working for Vladimir Putin directly, either knowingly or unwittingly.

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.

In related news, it came out this week that Paul Manafort broke the terms of his plea agreement in regards to his actively sharing and exchanging data from the Trump campaign with his Russian handlers. Turns out that $19 million dollars Manafort owed to Oleg Deripaska, Putin’s buddy the aluminum oligarch, came back to haunt him after all.

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.

Manafort had a good friend from his glory days fixing Ukrainian elections for Putin, Konstantin Kilimnik, pictured here in this photograph, not far from Tad Devine of the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Top consultant to the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign Tad Devine, hanging out with Paul Manafort and Konstatin Kilimnik.
Top consultant to the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign Tad Devine, hanging out with Paul Manafort and Konstatin Kilimnik.

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.

Even Fox News hosts have been admitting that what Manafort did with the Russians constitutes collusion. There is no doubt about it, and this is, in its own way, even more damning for Trump than the Mueller investigation.

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.

Scared Of A Beating- Why The Bern Isn’t Feeling Beto.

We'll take Beto over Bernie any day!

The followers of Bernie Sanders have declared an increasing and unproductive war on Beto O’Rourke, up and coming Democrat who has many of the same values- and strategies- that they do. This is coming at a time when both men are deciding whether they will run for the United States presidency. It’s unfortunate that they’re going this route, but it isn’t that surprising.

We have seen in the past how ugly Bernie can get when he is scared of a beating. He’s afraid of Beto, and he should be. O’Rourke is young, progressive, and levelheaded.  He also has Bernie’s feared Revolution Messaging working for him. He has the support of both wings of the party and has been careful to maintain relations with both-not that it’s doing him much good with them at the moment.

During the 2016 presidential election, O’Rourke endorsed Clinton, but he waited until the race was close enough to over so as not to weigh in for one side heavily over the other. He also praised Sanders. “We are fortunate to have had such a vigorously contested nomination. Secretary Clinton will be a better general election candidate and president because of the principled, passionate campaign run by Bernie Sanders,” he told the El Paso Times. “I am deeply grateful that he made campaign finance, military intervention and growing income inequality central to the Democratic nomination debate.”

That was generous, in our view. That’s the kind of guy Beto is.

If Sanders and his followers do end up tearing into him in earnest, it would not be the first time they have done tremendous damage to the causes they espouse, not to mention to America. They voted for Trump just to spite Hillary Clinton and her supporters, and now look where we are. Trump is doing all he can to rip America up at the roots at Putin’s behest.

In terms of a military payoff, look what Putin got this week alone. Trump yanked us out of Syria so unexpectedly that even the guy who talked him into it, the Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan, is said to have been shocked. He almost turned around and asked Trump to stay. Vladimir Putin was undoubtedly thrilled, though. Then Trump decided to start making noise about Afghanistan. Then he removed General James Mattis from his post as Secretary of Defense two months early. And finally, he shut down the government over a wall that no one except a bunch of insane people among the alt-right really wants or thinks they’re getting.

Every bit of this was predictable to anyone with common sense. One did not need a political science major to know that if Trump won, we would all be living in a world of total chaos. But to the members of #BernieOrBust, all of this was a small price to pay for hamstringing Hillary Clinton. Their rabid hatred of her is how they got involved with the Russians. When Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel appointed to investigate Trump’s involvement with the Russian interference of our 2016 election, brought his case against Paul Manafort this fall to trial, Bernie’s manager Tad Devine was the first witness called.

Earlier this year, when Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals and three Russian entities for helping the Kremlin interfere in the last presidential election, a February 2016 memo was circulated to Internet Research Agency staff showing instructions given to post political content on US social media sites and “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them).”
No wonder Bernie’s people don’t want him to touch “the Russia thing”, not that that stops them from accusing anyone who disagrees with Bernie as being under Russian influence themselves.

Earlier today, in fact, our Facebook webmaster informed me that three Bernie trolls had been removed from our page, as they were going on there spouting about how Millennial Democrats has been hacked and are all Russians. Wrong! Think again. Actually, all that type of baseless accusation does is to cloud the issue even further. More help for Putin.

It’s important to point out that not all Bernie supporters are Bots or Bernie Bros. 9 out of 10 Bernie supporters did go on to vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election. But among the ones who did not, there is a subset of them who are known for being racist, sexist, and mean. 

Their shabby treatment of Joy Reid in particular stands out. This picture, a shameful disgrace to America, says it all.

Image result for Racist Bernie Bros and Joy Reid

Don’t take it to heart, Beto. Nothing you do will ever be good enough for them. Moderation is a virtue. There’s no doubt you fully realize that fending off slanderous attacks from the right and far left alike are part of the job of being a Democrat. Their reviles and hatred are a sure sign that you are doing an excellent job, and should be interpreted as a sign of success. You came out of the blue all but completely and nearly beat one of the most well-recognized and entrenched Republicans in the nation, Tea Party Ted Cruz, and turned Texas purple in the process. You’re a winner.  If you run, no one will touch Bernie. That’s why his supporters are after you.

Bernie Sanders has two renamed post offices to show for his nearly three decades in the Congress. His accomplishments really are that limited. Nor is he alone among his set in being a progressive with no record of making progress. Radical left darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example, has yet even to begin her own career, and is currently spending all her days disrupting her own people. Why not go protest the Republicans about climate change? Who knows, but it’s certainly convenient for them that she doesn’t, and that she rather chooses to spend her time harassing Nancy Pelosi who is genuinely great. We have spoken highly of her in the past and done our best to be fair and give her a chance, but those hopes become more distant by the day- and by the tweet.

Going forward, we’re going to reaffirm something that we were partially founded to address. All millennials are not for Bernie! We’re just not. We’re not, and we never will be. We are a very large generation, and most of us are sane. But Bernie supporters have a way of being extremely loud and visible, and it creates a false impression and a narrative the mainstream media that we are here to dispel.

In the beginning and at the end of the day, Millennial Democrats are Democrats. We love our country, we love our party, and we love the world order that our grandparents fought and died to build for us. When it comes time to say where we stand with the socialists, who say it is broken and should be entirely discarded, we must draw a line in the sand completely.

In 2016, that line became a trench.

There has been healing since then, and lines of communication have been gradually opened. The left is no longer as divided, and the demonic frenzy that possessed the Bernie people who rioted in the streets of Philadelphia back in July of 2016 seems to have dissipated somewhat. That’s good because we fervently hope the radicals do not put us to the test again. Our voices are united and strong, and we are ready for anything, come what may. We have come to believe in ourselves, and in each other. If the Bernie Bros come for Beto O’Rourke or any other Democrat, they will find readiness in waiting for them.

The Russiagate Crescendo- Mueller Hones In On Trump Directly.

Trump and Putin- A lackey and his boss.

In the months leading up to the Blue Wave earlier this month, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation went all but silent, a nod to fairness and decency from the Justice Department, who did not want to influence the elections by showing all the people what an utter swine its Republican president is just before they went to the polls.

The elections ended, America took a deep breath, and all of us waited for the report that’s been so long in coming.

Then things started exploding.

At this point developments with Russiagate are coming so hot and heavy that it’s hard to keep up with them all. Paul Manafort’s plea agreement has been violated because he lied to Mueller’s prosecutors and got caught. Sometimes the lies we humans tell are quite revealing.

At any rate, he can’t go back on it. That plea is final, and Manafort has admitted his guilt. They may also now hit him with the old charges they’d withheld. Looking like life in prison for that guy, or Russian radiation poison on the streets when he gets out. Nobody’s fault but his own.

Another guy who did some pleading was Trump’s old lawyer Michael Cohen, just today, admitting that he perjured himself in last year in front of Congress about the proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow that was being planned out during the campaign.

Cohen made his admission while pleading guilty Thursday in federal court to a charge from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office. He also had some other interesting things to say about the role of the fascinating person known as Individual One in recent court filings. Who is this primary source of a person, you ask?

None other than our very own non-president, Donald Trump.

Cohen made it contritely clear that he lied out of a sense of obligation to Trump. “I made these statements to be consistent with Individual-1’s political messaging and out of loyalty to Individual-1,” Cohen said.
Individual-1 was identified in court filings as Trump. And Cohen identified him as such in a New York courtroom Thursday.
Mueller has now honed in officially on the man who colluded with our worst enemy to steal the highest office in our land- yet never learned the way to spell collusion. It makes one feel a tiny twinge of pity for the demented old man. He isn’t the world’s worst man, he’s just a foolish and silly one.
His friends, however, are the very worst. And he was in constant contact with them all the way through this thing, just as we here at Millennial Democrats have joined millions of other Democrats in predicting from Day One. He was on the phone left and right with Roger Stone, and Stone was in touch with Guccifer 2.0. Probably he had a pipeline of some sort to Julian Assange at Wikileaks.
In related news, Assange is to be tried for espionage as soon as we can roust him from his Ecuadorian embassy home and get him back here to answer for his crimes. He too has his day in court coming.
Emails between Stone and right-wing conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, who has said he expects to be indicted for his own role in this whole mess, provide bedrock evidence that every word of the Trump team’s party line is provably false. One wonders just how long Mueller has known about all this.

Either way, Corsi told investigators that Stone, his associate, asked him in the summer of 2016 to get in touch with WikiLeaks. They needed data about unreleased materials relevant to the presidential campaign, the draft court papers say.

“Get to (Assange) [a]t Ecuadorian Embassy in London and get the pending (WikiLeaks) emails,” it said. How much more clear can you get?
In the meantime, Trump himself is in the same old meltdown mode he has been in since before he even got elected. He’s in over his head, and must now play his role as he’s been paid to. We have always known that Putin has something on him, and it’s looking like we’re very close to finding out what.
Expect Trump to lash out in desperation, he has none of Nixon’s principles and all of his meanness and corruption. He will never quietly resign, and might do anything trying to save himself. Victory is near, but that is always the most dangerous time. Great caution and attention must be paid to the following two months.
One thing is for sure, however. We will be here for it, raising awareness and giving you the facts. See you in the trenches!

Cyber-Defense For Democrats! Security Measures For Midterms.

#CyberDefenseForDemocrats

Hello, world!

We have received numerous requests for a focus piece regarding cyber-defense for Democrats, especially right now as we are going into the midterms. In it is an introduction to a number of the techniques we can use to defend ourselves going forward. Knowledge is power. Pass it on.

Regular readers of Millennial Democrats will not require a lot of explanation as to how and why the threat of Russian hacking is real. We have been up against it for years. The time has come to soberly and objectively assess Russia’s cyberwarfare capabilities, and examine how we plan to fight back.

In 2016, America was caught off guard and we got a bloody nose. Guys like Roger Stone’s buddy Guccifer 2.0, or the guys in Fancy Bear pulled a fast one, to be sure.

But it’s important not to overstate the case. It is not accurate to attribute cybernetic omniscience to the Russians and their zany bots and fake news.

They had the element of surprise back then. Most people had no idea what they were doing(and rolled their eyes at those who were trying to warn them, but that’s another subject). These days things are very different.

Regardless of the lies of the great orange malignance, America knows the Russians are out to get us. Trump is sticking his head in the sand on this and will do nothing to help us, so we’re going to have to learn to help ourselves, and each other.

It’s too bad we’ve got no national leadership on this, but it is what it is. We’ll get by on our own.

In starting out, the most important thing to keep in mind is this: Hackers rely on our mistakes, and mistakes are most often made when we don’t know we are making them. They need to catch us off guard, and their job is to find creative ways to use their tools to get us to slip up.

The first place a smart hacker will look is outside the box, so to speak. They’re always looking for ways to burrow in that you wouldn’t think to look for.

Employing a given system, be it a human being or a PC, for a purpose it wasn’t designed for is what hacking means. However, if you’re careful, neither you nor your computer will end up thus employed. It’s all about being careful.

Hackers are clever, be they Russian or from elsewhere, but they are far from invincible. We’ve already stopped a number of Russian cyber-assaults directed at Democrats this year, such as the ones aimed at our Claire McCaskill.

Without the element of surprise, hackers have many limitations. It’s not that easy to brute-force open a website. Just ask these guys:

This is the IP address of a hacker, purportedly from Beijing, who is always doing his best to get in here. Have at it, pal.
This is the IP address of a hacker, purportedly from Beijing, who is always doing his best to get in here. Have at it, pal.

Basic cyber-hygiene techniques would cut down on more than 80 percent of cyber attacks and cyber thefts, according to Herbert Lin, senior research scholar for cyber policy and security at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. It will benefit us to learn a few.

There is a great deal of white-hat(ethical hacking) work that can be done to defend America in this realm, and most of it has to do with how careful we are.

We repeat- It’s all about being careful. This cannot be repeated too often.

Every technique that hackers use, be they DNS attacks against home routers, phishing emails, malware, botnets, or what have you, is ultimately something we can avoid.

In this piece, we’re going to talk about a few common mistakes made by end-users(that means us, the consumer) and how they are exploited by criminals. We’re also going to talk about some of these cyber-hygiene measures and assign them three rules of thumb.

  1. Don’t open strange emails.
  2. Don’t click on strange links.
  3. Don’t accept chat messages from people you don’t know, particularly on Facebook.

Before we get started, think for a second about all your other social media accounts. Are they just as secure as your Facebook or Twitter? Make sure they are! That’s the first place a hacker will go to collect more data about you. You’re particularly vulnerable to having your account on the ones you don’t often use pried open.

As an aside, this is also why you don’t want to use the same passwords for everything. Passwords are obviously critical, as somebody who’s got them has got all your information at his fingertips. Be careful!!

A great deal of a hacker’s job revolves around getting the passwords of their victims. Their most popular tools are all various ways to apply “spear-phishing” hacks, designed to steal passwords and personal data. The unlucky “phish” who opens one has become a victim and is now open to all kinds of trouble.

There are all kinds of ways to go spear-phishing. A brand new one showed up not long ago when U.S. government agencies recently received letters via snail mail.

They came with CDs inside, and they contained malware, according to cybersecurity researcher Krebs on Security. The infected discs were accompanied by a Chinese-postmarked envelope and a “confusingly-worded” letter.

That is just like what they do on Facebook. Hackers make links that look like YouTube videos and various other innocuous things, and they write you some goofy little messages. They look like some cute little harmless thing. Actually, they’re viruses. And you’re hit.

One example that all readers of this blog will vividly recall took place on March 10, 2016, when the first volley of malicious e-mail messages hit the inboxes of thirty people who were closely associated with the Hillary Clinton campaign. Inside them were links that were actually viruses, like worms on a hook.

Nearly all of them were failures. All but one, actually. But one was enough.

Within nine days, a horrendous amount of critical data had been stolen and passed along to Wikileaks, to be strategically released in a way they figured would hurt us. It did.

Those leaked e-mails, in which Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was seen to be fussing over Bernie’s lack of ability to fill out campaign finance forms correctly, were spun up into a narrative that Bernie(who lost by four million popular votes) had been cheated.

Bernie or Bust bought it, there were riots in the streets of Philadelphia, and a rift was torn in the Democratic Party that still has yet to heal.

All of that was made possible, with just a few phished passwords.

To combat phishing is to make sure everyone knows how common and damaging these attacks can be. Everyone should keep their guard up when checking emails, and they should report any email they find suspicious.

It’s necessary to point out here that Facebook phishing in particular is horrendously easy. They can hack you right through your chat box. We recommend in the strongest possible terms that you put as little of your personal information as possible on Facebook.

They save everything. They’re like a gigantic data collection firm, and they’ll sell your personal information to companies like Cambridge Analytica who will use it to hurt us all.

Why risk it?

Facebook presents about a million added vulnerabilities to all of us that use it. When Edward Snowden was asked what to do to keep your data safe on that platform, his response was, “Delete your account.”

We can’t recommend that, as Facebook gives us access to 2 billion people, but we can recommend this much. If people you don’t know send you strange messages on Facebook, don’t accept them.

Facebook was made to brief congressional aides just last week Tuesday about the newest outbreak of anti-Democratic disinformation, which is already said to be evolving into something more sophisticated. Excerpts from that briefing are shown below.

“We are looking at just some of the malicious material that already may be circulating or will be released before the midterms. It also bears repeating that we know the campaign of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) was targeted.”

Cyber-intelligence experts see this as being major, and with clear reason.

Moving on, it isn’t only Facebook and social media you’ve got to be careful with. Websites too are vulnerable.

Anecdotally, the webmaster of this site has seen hackers from all over the world try to take us down, from Beijing, China to Lviv, Ukraine, from Adelaide, Australia to Beauharnois, Quebec. They use all kinds of tricks, but they’ve never gotten in and they never will.

This is not because I’m a cyber-genius who speaks binary code, but because WordPress is awesome. Sucuri, the plugin that keeps safe all of us Millennial Democrats, is likewise excellent. They care about their clients and they hold the same liberal values sacred that we do.

WordPress users should strongly consider using Sucuri, not least for the reverse IP trace it automatically performs. This has the benefit of letting you know a lot more about who’s trying to hack you. Sometimes it will tell you everything.

Once a flower store owner from Adelaide, Australia tried to hack us. By using a reverse IP trace, Sucuri let us know who she was as soon as she had done so. Then we went to a site called WhatismyIPaddress.com, put it in, and voila.

We were able to get the name of her business by looking at the name of her domain. We then used that to look her up, and jackpot. We found the store’s address, website, and owner. We also found far-right garbage smeared all over her life.

I could put her on blast right here with a screenshot like this one:

My (possibly) Chinese friend, saying hello to me again. Hi, buddy. Change your ways!
My (possibly) Chinese friend, saying hello to me again. Hi, buddy. Change your ways!

Then the hunter would rapidly become the hunted.

Luckily for her, I’m not that mean. But the next guy might be. It’s a dangerous game for newbies (noobs- learn your hacker-ese) to play. It’s easy to run into trouble.

Change your life, would-be hacker flower store owner! Mend your wicked ways, before it’s too late.

Speaking of WordPress, using the two-factor authentication feature they offer as part of their platform is another good idea. This is a highly effective security measure and is available for Facebook, Gmail, WordPress, and many other major platforms.

Using this feature means a second device’s input will be required to access email accounts or websites on new computers, usually by prompting you and sending an SMS code to your phone or whatever. This can prevent scammers from accessing compromised accounts.

In addition to good cyber-hygiene, which amounts to common sense, caution, and our three rules of thumb, there are some tools we can use to make our online experience safer still. You may find this necessary, from time to time.

A VPN, or virtual proxy network service, will allow you to register as being somewhere that you’re nowhere physically near. It allows you to safeguard your IP address. You do not want hackers to have your IP address, as it can be used to hurt you in a bewildering multitude of ways. This is probably the biggest reason to use a VPN.

Guccifer 2.0 recently made a mistake and forgot to turn his VPN on, and we connected him to an IP address connected to Russian intelligence. Now his whole identity is blown because he didn’t use his VPN.

We strongly recommend getting one of these, specifically IVPN. They take protecting their customers super seriously and they are located on the Rock of Gibraltar. That fortress strikes me as a good place to keep anything valuable.

HotspotShield is another good one, and also NordVPN. There’s a lot of them; shop around and find one that’s right for you. We feel it’s worth repeating that they are a very good investment.

Additional tools include TOR(The Onion Router), which offers a former naval encryption system that we can now all use. Tor takes all your internet traffic and routes it through its own network, providing total anonymity.

The DuckDuckGo browser, which Tor employs, is good to know about also. It has a number of different features that keep you safe, including a “Flame” feature that burns up all your cookies in a second. Pretty cool.

We suggest you learn Linux, because it is more secure, and 99% of viruses are designed to attack Microsoft products. 

Russian hackers have been targeting home routers of individual people en masse, using what is called a DNS attack. We suggest you check your home router often, using the website Secure Router.

Secure Router is a great free feature that allows you to check if your router has been compromised with the click of a button. Doing this regularly cannot hurt and takes less than a second.

In closing, it’s important to emphasize that this is an introductory piece, and not meant to be totally comprehensive. These techniques will do a lot to keep you safe, but nothing is a substitute for doing your own research.

So far, this has not been the kind of cyber war imagined in the past, with nations taking out each other’s power grids before a mass invasion, although Russian malware continues to turn up in our power stations.

It’s more like a new type of proxy war. Like it or not, against our will, we have begun a new phase of the Cold War, on digital battlefields where you meet the enemy directly, but behind a screen.

Now, just as then, there is a need for deterrence, to defend the nation and hopefully prevent a further escalation of tensions. There is more at stake than we can even put into words. We need to be ready.

There are bigger dangers here than the usual America vs. Russia, liberal world order vs the new world order that the extremist crazies keep screaming that they want kind of thing. This is different completely.

One superpower actively destroying the democratic process of another is new and very dangerous, especially since Russian destability tactics rely heavily on disinformation and a systematic devaluing of the truth.

If nothing is true, everything is permissible. And then our entire species starts down the road to guns and roving mobs.

Disinformation and a post-truth reality are unacceptable, and so is Russian interference into our election, regardless of how many Fox News devotees will slobberingly say otherwise.

We have only got one party ready to defend our democracy from the foreign agitators’ who are trying to destroy it, and that is the Democratic Party. Accept no substitutes.

Due diligence is the key. Hackers will look for things you might be neglecting. Get in some good habits and keep yourself alert, because it all comes down to one thing.

If you are politically active as a Democrat, you are not paranoid. You are a target. Defend yourself.

Bernie’s Old Manager Tad Devine Called As Witness In Manafort Trial.

Bernie, his campaign manager Tad Devine, and Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort.

One of the chief strategists of Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, Tad Devine, has finally gotten a phone call from Robert Mueller.

He has been listed as one of 35 witnesses who will be called to the stand in the upcoming trial of Paul Manafort to provide information about their lobbying activities in Ukraine, where he was Manafort’s right-hand man for many years.

The Devine-Mueller conflict has been coming for a long time, because of the strong Russian support for Bernie Sanders, and because he is a former business partner in Manafort’s lobbying operation.

He and Manafort have been working together for a long time, at least since 2004, the year the Orange Revolution took place in Ukraine.

At that time they both were the property of Ukraine’s notoriously corrupt and incompetent president, Viktor Yanukovych.

That revolution took place because Yanukovych, who hired both Manafort and Devine as chief political advisors during their 2004 election, was so corrupt and the election so obviously fixed.

In 2010, when the future Sanders adviser began working for Yanukovych, he and his Party of Regions had already been suspected of poisoning their political rivals and murdering journalists.

He, in turn, was the property of Vladimir Putin. It’s not hard to see the trickle-down effect at work.

This was not the only time recently that Tad Devine’s name has come up in connection with Paul Manafort’s– or Robert Mueller’s.

A list of exhibits filed in a Virginia federal court last Wednesday contained a number of interesting pieces of data, including emails between the two.

Another one was his name being plastered all over phone calls with both Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik, who is Manafort’s Ukrainian employee.

Kilimnik is the guy they call Manafort’s Manafort, a reference to the fact that as Manafort has long been considered the key to understanding Trump’s role in all this. Kilimnik is thought to be the key to understanding Manafort’s.

Last week a picture of Paul and Tad popped up, sitting next to each other in Ukraine, all smiles. Their buddy Kilimnik, who Manafort tried getting to go tamper with witnesses for him, was right there too.

It seems crystal clear. These are the guys who cooked this up. Together. Soon there will be solid proof.

When Robert Mueller’s team first unearthed this, back in February, the Justice Department released an indictment related to Russia’s interference in our election. It had a lot of very interesting information, including these words from Russian intelligence.

“Use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump—we support them).”

It’s so similar to what happened in 2016 that it’s eerie. The only difference was that in 2004, Manafort and Devine were working together directly, whereas in 2016 they were ostensibly opposed to one another.

That is very convenient for the enemy.

In the end, Bernie lost by four million votes, although you will still hear the embittered remnants of Bernie or Bust complaining about superdelegates having cost Bernie the election.

The Russians did all they could to encourage that narrative.

An unreal percentage of the Facebook groups formed in support of Bernie Sanders were infiltrated and administered by foreign hackers(often Macedonian) who were there for no reason other than to spread slander and lies about Hillary Clinton.

It worked.

Ten percent of the Sanders campaign were those who signed the Bernie or Bust petition. Likewise, ten percent of Bernie’s voters ended up voting for Trump.

Those very same sad sack Busters were juicy prey for the Russians, who seem to have known they would be, right from Day One. They couldn’t have planned it better.

The primary medium they used to reach our people was Facebook, which in many ways is a world unto itself. Back then it was overrun with accounts who had convinced themselves fanatically that Bernie was a shoo-in to win.

They were deeply hurt and angry when he did not, so much so that they turned the last few months of the primary into an absolutely miserable time, filled with acrimony and division.

While Hillary Clinton was celebrating a hard-fought victory, and Paul Simon played the first notes of Bridge Over Troubled Waters, the Bernie supporters got so mad that they rioted in the streets of Philadelphia. They caused a schism in the Democratic Party that we are still healing from.

Why? Because Wikileaks dumped hacked DNC emails showing Debbie Wasserman-Schultz fussing over Bernie’s inability to fill out campaign forms.

On a side note, it is our extreme pleasure to report that Julian Assange, that foul organization’s leader, is facing imminent expulsion from Ecuadorian embassy he’s been hiding in like a rat these past few years.

The question is, to whose benefit? Who stirred them up so much, and why was it so effective? How could they have been so convinced he would win a completely lost battle? It didn’t add up, and at the time it really felt wrong. On every level.

Once the reports on the Russian cyber-tactics used in 2016 started coming out, and we started seeing them describe the things we had all experienced, it all fell right into place.

And once we started looking into it closely we saw examples everywhere. Just about as often as the name of Tad Devine.

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.

A personal anecdote. 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, particularly on Facebook.

The time has come for America to look objectively at this whole situation, through the eyes of Robert Mueller, and to do what it takes to remedy it. That means traveling across party lines, and going wherever the trail leads.

It has been our opinion for a long time that trail will eventually highlight Tad Devine as the Russians’ man inside the campaign of Bernie Sanders. Now that his role has been revealed, many an important piece of this puzzle is about to start falling into place.

As this story continues to develop, we’ll be keeping you posted on all of it.

Unrequited Love at the Treason Summit- Donald’s Worst Excuse.

A very ugly Donald.

On the subject of this week’s Helsinki summit, in which the forty-fifth president of America slobbered on himself in the presence of Putin, there is almost nothing to say. Words fail all but completely.

On Twitter, it was trending as #TreasonSummit.

For once, America is well-nigh united. Everyone is disgusted with Trump, except for the loathsome toady Pence(who the Trump guys will hate no matter what, as he wavered on the “Grab ’em” tape), a man who has fallen all over himself to slobberingly praise his master Donald. Even the likes of Neil Caputo reviled him as weak.

Trump has a reputation as being a real tough guy, especially during a debate.

His attempt to loom over Hillary Clinton was memorable(and pathetic), as was the rough treatment he gave both “Low Energy” Jeb Bush, and “Little Marco” Rubio during the debates of the Republican primary.

Many expected him to go after Putin this same way, especially given that Robert Mueller just charged twelve Russian nationals with the hacking of our election last Friday.

Here’s what he said instead.

“I think the United States has been foolish,” Trump said, to explain poor U.S.-Russia relationships.

Undoubtedly it is true that America is not perfect. No one with even a cursory familiarity with American history would claim otherwise.

But what a thing to say to the President of Russia, architect of one of the most brutal regimes on Earth! Especially considering that they’re illegally occupying Ukraine and that they have been cyber-attacking all the world for years.

If I were Trump, I’d have gone public with this thing from Day One. Thanks for your help, Russia! Now allow me to reward you, by annihilating your ability to do anything like this ever again.

I would have gone right to the NSA with everything my campaign had learned about how they operate, and I would have seen to it that information was used to keep our country safer in the future.

This is not about Republicans vs. Democrats, or at least, it shouldn’t have been, and still doesn’t have to be. This is Russia vs. America, a struggle of hundreds of years. There’s a lot more at stake here than one man’s pride and power.

Unfortunately, Donald Trump does not realize this.

Later on Monday, the Justice Department charged the woman who tried to set up a back-channel of communication with the Trump campaign, Maria Butina, as being an agent of the Russian Federation.

Tuesday she was hit with a grand jury indictment, which added a more serious charge of acting as an agent of the Russian government. This carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

This was on an investigation completely separate from that of Robert Mueller’s and offered some of the most explicit evidence yet that there were Americans who worked willingly to aid and abet the Russian efforts. And where, you ask, did they find Americans blind enough to reality to go along with something like this?

The pro-gun conspiracy world, of course, also known as the National Rifle Association, where Butina was shown in photos she put on Facebook attending events.

It all just goes to show. You cannot trust the right. They will do or say or willfully deny anything to take or keep power, even in the face of things like Sandy Hook and the Holocaust. That is what fascism is.

That is particularly relevant considering how they all jumped on the anti-Russia bandwagon yesterday when the President’s weakness became repugnant past a certain point. Mitch McConnell tried to talk tough, saying “The EU is friend to the US. Russia is not.”

But just the day before, Trump himself classified the E.U. as an enemy, too. It seems like the GOP and the Russians have been pretty cozy all along.

The final indignity was delivered on Sean Hannity’s talk show, where Trump was guided through the Fox News interpretation of current events. He lamented that reporters keep asking about Russian election interference, rather than what he considers issues of substance.

“I thought that President Putin was very, very strong,” he said, sighing like a lovesick calf.

Incoherent and Inconsistent- G7 Summit Ends in Chaos.

G7-SUMMIT-CANADA

The G7 summit was held in Canada over the weekend, and America had to suffer the indignity of being represented there by its president.

Trump was at his very finest this weekend. He blew it every chance he got. His conduct was so awful that Putin could have scripted it.

This annual summit, to say the very least, is a big deal.

It involves the bringing together of seven major industrialized nations, nations who represent more than 60% of global net worth between them, to discuss economic conditions and other major global issues. It’s something that is best not taken lightly for anyone who happens to be the president of one of those countries.

Trump arrived late, left early, and used the opportunity to start a petty fight with his peers. In doing so, he showed everyone exactly how seriously he takes major global issues.

In so doing, he has thrown the international trading order into chaos, and most likely put the US on the path to a trade war.

The city of Quebec hosted the event, which was quite a miserable place to be, by all accounts.

Theresa May of Britain referred to the summit as a “difficult occasion”.

Angela Merkel of Germany used the term “sobering experience”.

And French President Emmanuel Macron criticised Trump’s “fits of anger”.

The fight started after Trump pulled the US out of a newly arranged agreement, blaming the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau whom he derided as “dishonest and weak”.

A sort of agreement called a summit communique was finally reached, thanks to an all-night negotiating session by officials from all sides. For a few brief hours, it started to look like the nightmare was ending.

But after leaving for Singapore, Trump tweeted personal attacks on the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and said that he had told his representatives not to sign, turning what had already been a tense meeting of the world’s leading industrialized democracies into a fiasco.

“PM Justin Trudeau acted so meek and mild,” he tweeted. “Only to give a news conference after I left saying that ‘US tariffs were kind of insulting’ and ‘he will not be pushed around’.

“Very dishonest and weak” he claimed, adding in a separate tweet: “I have instructed our US reps not to endorse the communique.”

Trump was very unhappy with the likes of Trudeau and Merkel, our time-honored and trusted allies. But he wasn’t so unhappy with the G7’s missing partner Russia, which was suspended from the group – then called the G8 – in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

On Friday, Trump called for Moscow to be readmitted to the group, making it the G8 once more.

This is no longer unbelievable. Recently retired four-star general Barry McCafferty recently commented sadly that he believes Trump to be a “threat to national security” because Putin has something on Trump.

This seems clear to us, and if he’s not being actively directed, it’s because he’s too predictably destructive to require that type of micromanaging. Better to just let him sling his feces as he will.

It’s usually a point with Trump not to pay his bills, but this time he seems determined to keep his promise to pay off for the Russian dictator. He accepted the job of busting up American alliances at Putin’s behest.

Ruining our relationships with our closest European allies is what Putin’s Russia wants. They hope to create complete and total chaos, enough to bring down the entire world order so that they can realign it as subordinate to Russian interests. It is why they put so much time and money into getting him elected.

It’s as if Littlefinger crawled out of Game of Thrones and off the TV screen. I can see him now with his little ratty face, saying “Chaos is a ladder.”

As this goes down, we’ve got to raise awareness. We have to continue to let people know what’s going on because our president is lying to us with a zeal that would have impressed Joseph Goebbels. Regardless of what he may say, the other countries of G7 deserve our love and support.

We’ve all been in this together for a very long time, long enough for history to show many times over that internal discord and disunity in the Western world give openings to extremist enemies. We who live in the G7 nations need each other.

The era of isolationism is over, for better or for worse. It’s never coming back. America can either live up to its international obligations or watch the world order that it’s holding up collapse. It is a disastrous disgrace that so much can be decided by one awful and incompetent man.

In future days to come, when millennials hold the majority of the seats of power, it will be our responsibility to see that a failsafe mechanism against a repeat of this situation is installed. In the meantime, however, we’ve got little choice but to watch as Trump makes his mess. This is how a teacher of preschool must feel.

Israel and the Iran Deal Pullout- 45th Upends Middle Eastern Balance.

Trump ruins all he touches.

Donald Trump has dealt a severe blow to the global order with his decision to pull the United States out of the Iranian nuclear agreement, causing a major rift with European allies and raising tensions in the Middle East.

Concerns are growing daily that the recent decisions made by Donald Trump will do much to destabilize a region that has long been unstable anyway.

Israel and Iran, both of whom seemed emboldened in the face of the new situation, fired missiles at each other Wednesday across the Syrian border. They followed up with bristling threats in a steep escalation of tensions.

In days, we’re set to make the Israeli embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, something other US presidents have held off on, due to their reasonable belief that it would not help us keep the peace down there.

The merits and flaws of the embassy move itself are not our points of focus here. It’s a separate issue.

We’d like to give our best wishes to the people of Israel and Iran, and all other people, for that matter. If everybody there is cool with the embassy being in Jerusalem, then we’re happy for them. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Our issue is the haphazard and ill-thought out manner in which the current executive administration made this decision. There is no sign at all that Trump fully understands just how serious his decisions have become. He’s not a reality TV star anymore.

We have also seen this recently in North Korea, as Trump boasts of his ability to “bring the North Koreans to the table”. The North Koreans bring themselves to the table, every time they need a few bucks. But Trump doesn’t get it. He seems to really think that Kim is giving up his nukes.

Kim is never giving up his nukes, of course, and neither will anybody else who manages to get them, now that they’ve seen how Trump reneged on the nuclear arrangement we had with Iran. What a mess. It’s been quite a while since Iranians were burning American flags in the streets, and screaming “Death to America!” But they sure are doing it now.

Former Mideast negotiator Dennis Ross, speaking on NPR, said Trump’s decision to abrogate the terms of the nuclear deal is likely spurring Iran to show the US that it will pay a price, which most likely led to the missile launches Wednesday.

Dr. Alina Polyakova of the Atlantic Council gave a talk on the world order last year, in which she illustrated its fracture points, meaning geographical locations that constitute stressors upon it. Ukraine was one, Syria was another. We can now add Iran and Israel to that list.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe could no longer depend on the United States, comments that were echoed by French President Emmanuel Macron. Both leaders had made eleventh-hour trips to Washington to try and talk Trump out of the leaving the Iran pact.

“It’s another blow to the trans-Atlantic alliance,” said Sen. Bob Menendez(D-N.J.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “The Europeans don’t know what to make anymore about how strong and how deep our alliance is with them. And we need them. We critically need them to achieve many of our goals, both as it relates to Iran and other things.”

Everyone in the world seems to get this, except for our 45th president.

Perhaps the situation was summed up worst by the National Security Council’s senior director for strategic assessment, Victoria Coates.

“I think it shows you that the President is absolutely doing the right thing here,” Coates said to reporters during a press conference held Friday. “It is not upsetting any regional balance; in fact, his leadership is what’s bringing the region together.”

Good thing Iran doesn’t have any nukes. In a few years, though, hold on to your hats.

Cold War Two-US Helps Ukraine With Anti-Tank Missiles.

The battle continues.

The United States has authorized the sale of lethal Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, to deter the Russians from attempting further aggression there.

This is the only smart thing we have seen this administration do since bringing retired four-star general John Kelly on board as Chief of Staff. Someone had a good idea and saw that it was successfully carried out.

One wonders who’s responsible.

Senator John McCain, for one, made it clear that he supported this plan, and urged Trump “to fully utilise security assistance funds provided by the Congress to enable Ukraine to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

This is unfortunately necessary. It’s all part of what has turned into the largest military buildup between Russia and NATO since the end of the Cold War.

Several months ago, two Russian warships armed with cruise missiles entered the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Denmark.

In response, a defence ministers meeting in Brussels was held later the same day. Germany, Canada and other NATO allies pledged to commit forces to Eastern Europe and the defence of Ukraine.

This current bout of trouble got started in earnest after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014. That move destabilized the whole region badly and has made it one of the weakest points in the global order ever since. The violence there has killed more than 10,000 people since then.

In order to understand the context of this struggle, it is necessary first to examine Russia’s strained relationships with most of its former satellite states, particularly Ukraine.

The Kremlin has always had a vested interest in controlling Ukraine. It is an important territorial asset. It allows them a highly profitable pipeline route to Europe. It is home to one of Russia’s few warm-water ports. And it presents a strategic buffer zone between Russia and the powers of NATO.

For all those reasons, Moscow has worked for generations to keep Ukraine in the position of a submissive younger sibling. It was the largest of their satellite states, and the one it took most effort to control. A great deal of bad blood on both sides remains.

Ukraine’s nearly three-year battle against Kremlin-backed separatists in the east erupted into the worst fighting in two years in late January. Exactly why the fighting intensified right then remains unclear. But they started right as Trump took power.

There’s concern this will worsen Russo-American relations, but it doesn’t seem likely given the subservience of Trump to Putin. It’s surprising Trump’s administration allowed this deal to go through, however. Not many saw it coming, including this contributor to Millennial Democrats.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto summed it up best. “So far, whenever we tried to work, we had to face American pressure not to do it and European pressure not to do it.
Now … there will be no American pressure.

Unfortunately for the lovable Mr Szijjarto, Trump got caught and his influence neutered.

A sovereign nation has every right to prevent foreign tanks from constantly rolling through their lands. And Ukraine has been given the means to defend itself.

The new American-made Javelin anti-tank missiles they have just been equipped with will cut through Russian tanks like a hot knife through butter.

Perhaps now the Russians will decide to go home.

One can only imagine what it must be like for these people, living as they are directly under the cleaver. The current war was started when the Russians came into these people’s town, gave money and guns to the local Mafia, and told them to go start fights around town, which they did. When the police showed up to pacify the situation, the Kremlin pounced.

Citing Ukrainian suppression of the Russian-speaking minority, the Kremlin used the domestic grievances of a sovereign nation as a cheap excuse to have at their robbery and slaughter.They wanted that Crimean port, and so they took it.

It’s sickening, and it forces us to ask a question, as we think back on the early days of Hitler- If we leave Ukraine to its fate, do we deserve better? Who will rescue our children, if we let theirs be fed to the beast?

By this logic, the Pentagon laid its plans.

 State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the US had decided to provide “enhanced defensive capabilities” to help Ukraine build its military long-term, defend its sovereignty and “deter further aggression”

The time after Communism collapsed was a hopeful one for humanity, and it’s really too bad Putin ruined that, but nevertheless it is a fait accompli. It’s best to be realistic about it and prepare the necessary restraints.

It’s crucial to remember that what happened to us was the latest in a ten-year timeline of Russian aggression, and not only cyber, as the Ukrainian example proves. This is an international struggle. Putin has his tentacles in every European country’s radical fringe groups, and he’s been causing trouble for everyone, not just us. This long-awaited show of solidarity is a good start.

 

 

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