Military coup supported by Trump admin appears under way in Venezuela.
Butina 'jeopardized this country's national security' says judge
Yuri Kartyzhev (34) of Novgorod, Russia, was fined for hurting President Putin's feelings after he referred to the country's leader as a "fantastical fuckhead." He was the first person to be charged under a new law that forbids people from saying anything "disrespectful" about government officials.
From The Independent:
By Wednesday afternoon, a tweet introducing the #Putinisafantasticalf***head hashtag was trending, with over 5,000 engagements. As some pointed out, its 2,400 retweets amounted to a potential £870,000 in fines.
The collective Russian internet’s quicker wits said they were interested to know where Kartyzhev had gone wrong: perhaps Putin was not a fantastical f***head, but a real one?
Leonid Volkov, a prominent aide to opposition leader Alexei Navalny, led the charge on Twitter: “If the phrase fantastical f***head is offensive, how can we say it without offending government?,” he wrote.
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Dems fight for unredacted report's release
The admitted agent for Russia was connected with the NRA and pro-Trump U.S. political groups.
The first line of Jon Lee Anderson's long-awaited profile of Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro in the New Yorker is a real killer. “The authoritarian leaders taking power around the world share a vocabulary of intolerance, insult, and menace...” Read the rest
Security services firm FireEye says two hacker groups known to be sponsored by the Russian government of Vladimir Putin are waging cyber-attacks currently against European government systems. Read the rest
Devin Nunes (previously) is a Trump-loyalist whose scandals have ranged from secretly moving his family farm to make it easier to hire undocumented workers to a bizarre obsession with the Steele Dossier; and like a lot of far-right types, he's big on "preventing frivolous lawsuits" (which is to say, he wants to make it harder for the public to sue companies that harm them, which is why he cosponsored last year's Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act.
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Trump's former campaign chief faced up to 25 years in prison, was sentenced to less than four.
In Sweden, officers of the Swedish Security Service have arrested a person who worked “in a high-technology sector” and is believed by investigators to be a Russian agent. Read the rest
As Naomi Klein documents in her classic and seminal book The Shock Doctrine, disasters and upheavals are the bread-and-butter of global looters, who use the collapse of civil society or the default of debtor states to privatize state assets at pennies on the dollar, then milk them into further crises, which create more chances for looting -- but the collapse of the USSR was different, because the spies and strongmen who rode out that collapse ensured that public assets were only given to domestic looters, not off-shore oligarchs.
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“Deliberate, coordinated effort by top Trump campaign officials to subvert the will of the American people”
I heard former CIA 'clandestine serviceman' Jon Sipher on Renato Mariotti's fantastic podcast On Topic.
Sipher describes how Trump and Putin's colliding interests are far more threatening to the future of democracy than answering the question "was there collusion?"
The entire story was published by The Atlantic here.
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Two Donald Trump supporters were recently photographed at a rally wearing shirts emblazoned with the phrase i’d rather be russian than a democrat. To some supporters of President Trump, praising Russia and denigrating Democrats is simply a means of expressing tribal loyalties, or of goading liberals. However, as heated political rhetoric becomes part of the media landscape, such fringe views are becoming more mainstream, displaying an increasing convergence of interests between Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the views of Trump supporters.
While many Americans are concerned that the Trump campaign may have colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election, Trump’s outright convergence of interests with Putin’s Russia may well prove far more damaging for U.S. interests in the long run. Convergence can be defined as distinct groups doing the same things for different reasons, or as a unity of interests evolving from separate starting points. Both Putin and Trump seek to inject chaos into the U.S. political system. They support an assault on U.S. foreign-policy elites, encourage fringe and radical groups, and envision a United States untethered from traditional allies. They also share a willingness to utilize informal and semi-legal means to achieve their goals. The common interest shown by Russia and the alt-right in exploiting fears surrounding the routine Jade Helm military exercise in Texas in 2015?
Trump received 10 personal updates from Michael Cohen and encouraged a planned meeting with Vladimir Putin. “Make it happen,” Trump said of the Putin meeting.
How much more evidence does America need that Donald Trump isn't working for us, but for Russia? Read the rest