Fareed has it right on this one…
Evidence that Russian State Hackers interfered in the US Elections of 2016 is irrefutable. The only real question left is whether the collusion between Chumph Campaign leadership and Putin’s FSB/KGB rises to the level of being a crime. At some point, probably later this year, Independent Counsel Robert Meuller will hopefully provide answers to that with detailed evidence on whatever conclusion his office makes as a result of that information. With the evidence that has been made public so far – there is little doubt that conclusion will be Treason, which is why Putin’s Bitch is so actively researching if he can pardon himself and his kids from criminal prosecution and jail.
The US is under constant attack by the Russians, most recently in Vermont where Russian FSB/KGB penetrated the power grid, and two weeks ago while Chumph and Putin palled around affectionately at the G20, Russian hackers went after US Nuclear Plants.
The US Government response to this? Not much, other than to bunker-up against the security flaws identified by the Russian attacks. Patch and defend. Chumph won’t allow any sort of retaliation and or crackdown against his Russian allies. Leaving America vulnerable and at the mercy of Russian spies and agents.
So what is left?
Shutting down Russian Cyber-spy operations by responsible American corporations. And yes, that option is limited by laws which Putin’s FSB/KGB doesn’t have to follow. So it is a bit like a one-armed boxer entering the ring.
Microsoft has taken the lead, and since December has been busily chopping away at the apparatus of one of the most egregious Russian Government spy operations – Fancy Bear.
Here is hoping other companies join the fight, because at this point our National Security infrastructure largely has their hands tied by politics in the New Cold War.
One would hope some patriotic corporation or entity would assist in developing an organization or effort by our non-governmental Black Hats to take these Putin fuckers down.
Microsoft is going after Fancy Bear, the Russian hacking group that targeted the DNC, by wresting control of domain names controlled by the foreign spies.
A new offensive by Microsoft has been making inroads against the Russian government hackers behind last year’s election meddling, identifying over 120 new targets of the Kremlin’s cyber spying, and control-alt-deleting segments of Putin’s hacking apparatus.
How are they doing it? It turns out Microsoft has something even more formidable than Moscow’s malware: Lawyers.
Last year attorneys for the software maker quietly sued the hacker group known as Fancy Bear in a federal court outside Washington DC, accusing it of computer intrusion, cybersquatting, and infringing on Microsoft’s trademarks. The action, though, is not about dragging the hackers into court. The lawsuit is a tool for Microsoft to target what it calls “the most vulnerable point” in Fancy Bear’s espionage operations: the command-and-control servers the hackers use to covertly direct malware on victim computers. These servers can be thought of as the spymasters in Russia’s cyber espionage, waiting patiently for contact from their malware agents in the field, then issuing encrypted instructions and accepting stolen documents.
Since August, Microsoft has used the lawsuit to wrest control of 70 different command-and-control points from Fancy Bear. The company’s approach is indirect, but effective. Rather than getting physical custody of the servers, which Fancy Bear rents from data centers around the world, Microsoft has been taking over the Internet domain names that route to them. These are addresses like “livemicrosoft[.]net” or “rsshotmail[.]com” that Fancy Bear registers under aliases for about $10 each. Once under Microsoft’s control, the domains get redirected from Russia’s servers to the company’s, cutting off the hackers from their victims, and giving Microsoft a omniscient view of that servers’ network of automated spies.
“In other words,” Microsoft outside counsel Sten Jenson explained in a court filing last year, “any time an infected computer attempts to contact a command-and-control server through one of the domains, it will instead be connected to a Microsoft-controlled, secure server.”
Historically, Fancy Bear has mostly targeted Windows with its malware, and has leaned heavily on Microsoft products when choosing domain names—thus giving Microsoft standing in the lawsuit. On Friday, after months of litigation and thousands of pages of filings, a judge in Alexandria, Virginia is scheduled to hear Microsoft’s motion for a final default judgment and permanent injunction against Fancy Bear.
Also known as APT28, Sofacy, Pawn Strorm and Strontium—Microsoft’s preferred moniker—Fancy Bear has been conducting cyber espionage since at least 2007, breaching NATO, Obama’s White House, a French television station, the World Anti-Doping Agency and countless NGOs, and militaries and civilian agencies in Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Fancy Bear’s most notorious intrusions targeted the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign last year, as part of Moscow’s efforts to help Donald Trump win the White House, according to U.S. intelligence findings.
How did the Chumph fail the country?
Let’s count the ways.
President Donald Trump’s first six months have been defined by his often angry and tasteless tweets, his ham-handed efforts to denigrate and undercut the multiple investigations into Russian influence in the 2016 election and the stalemated legislative battle to repeal and replace Obamacare.
But Trump is right in saying he has significantly influenced government and the nation’s image — though much of his impact has been negative. His most significant clear-cut triumph was installing conservative Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. He can take credit for slowing the inflow of illegal immigrants. And his impact has gone well beyond that, a conclusion on which two recent articles from opposite ends of the ideological spectrum agreed.
“While You Obsessed over Trump’s Scandals, He’s Fundamentally Changed the Country,” headlined Sam Stein in the liberal HuffPost. “Reporters only want to talk about Russia, instead of what Team trump is getting done,” was part of the headline over conservative Kimberly Strassel’s column in The Wall Street Journal.
With contrary attitudes, they cited some identical examples, from authorizing the Dakota Access Pipeline to easing environmental restrictions on energy protection.
Strassel hailed the Fish and Wildlife Service for slowing an endangered species listing for the Texas Hornshell, a freshwater mussel she said “threatens significant harm to the Texas economy.” Stein expressed concern over easing Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements for reporting worker injury data and letting coal companies dump debris into local streams.
Here are some other Trump “achievements:”
-Embraced autocrats in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Egypt and abandoned longtime U.S leadership in seeking to enhance democracy and human rights.
-Insulted U.S. allies in Europe, especially Germany, and undercut longstanding U.S. treaty commitments.
-Compromised Israel’s intelligence sources.
-Spurred more divisiveness in an already divided Middle East by setting off a squabble between Saudi Arabia, a major U.S. ally, and Qatar, home of the region’s biggest U.S. military base.
-Undermined U.S. global leadership on climate change by withdrawing from the Paris agreement, joining only Syria and Nicaragua as nonparticipants.
-Reversed decades of Republican support for free trade, ceding leadership in Asia to China by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and elsewhere by encouraging the British exit from the European Community.
-Proposed a budget with massive cuts that would shred the social safety net and cripple longstanding governmental functions.
-Created uncertainty in the nation’s health care system by sending inconsistent administrative signals and supporting legislation that could deprive millions of people health insurance coverage, undermine Medicaid health support for lower income Americans and give wealthy taxpayers a massive tax cut.
-Mismanaged the federal government by failing to fill many top spots and installing an inexperienced, dysfunctional White House staff.
-Expanded the policy of deporting dangerous illegal aliens by including many people with minimal records, stable jobs and American families.
-Created a commission to investigate his unproven allegations of voter fraud because he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.
-Reversed decades of bipartisan cooperation in extending environmental preservation of national landmarks.
-Hired foxes to watch the chicken coops by filling his administration with archconservatives, many with records opposing the very agencies in which they work, and curbing civil rights and environmental enforcement.
-Committed potentially impeachable offenses of obstructing justice that prompted appointment of a Special Counsel by firing FBI Director James Comey, because of his probe into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia, and urging other intelligence officials to pressure Comey to halt the probe.
-Undermined the courts with denunciations of judges and their decisions affecting his administration’s policies, especially those curbing his hastily issued ban on Muslim travel from certain countries.
-Without evidence, accused former President Barack Obama of illegally wiretapping his phones.
-Repeatedly misrepresented his administration’s policies and trashed officials with whom he has disagreements, calling the ousted Comey “a nut job,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer the “head clown” and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi an “incompetent.”
-Intensified racial and other divisions by reducing governmental civil rights guarantees and reversing protections for sexual and racial minorities.
-Violated his own self-proclaimed ethics laws by allowing officials to deal with issues affecting their former employers. Permitted multiple instances in which he and other family members benefit financially from his presidency.
-Waged a vendetta against news outlets subjecting his administration to scrutiny, calling the mainstream media the “enemy of the American people” and denouncing unfavorable stories as “fake news.” Undercut White House press institutions intended to facilitate dialogue between the presidency and the public.
Trump has failed so far to enact promised measures to increase economic growth, resulting in reduced long-term forecasts. Many economic numbers he touts exaggerate his impact and denigrate the carryover effect of positive Obama policies. Military progress against ISIS has not eased its terrorist threat.
The result: the least support for any new modern president, an exacerbation of domestic divisions, and unprecedented global disdain and embarrassment.
Yeah – They are laughing at the Chumph clown…
America is a joke under an incompetent buffoon.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull offered his best impression of President Donald Trump on Wednesday night at an event packed with reporters, joking that he and the president “are winning so much. We are winning like we have never won before.”
The remarks came at the Canberra press gallery’s Mid Winter Ball, an event similar to the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington, where the president traditionally delivers light-hearted, joking remarks. Trump, who has loudly complained about his treatment by the press, broke with decades of tradition and did not attend this year’s event.
Turnbull’s event, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, was supposed to be off the record, but recordings of his remarks nonetheless emerged.
“It was beautiful. It was the most beautiful putting-me-at-ease ever,” the prime minister said, impersonating Trump’s speaking style to applause and laughter from the crowd. “The Donald and I, we are winning and winning in the polls. We are winning so much. We are winning like we have never won before.”
“We’re winning in the real polls. You know, the online polls. They are so easy to win. I have this Russian guy. Believe me, it’s true. It is true,” he continued.
Just for the fun of it, Google compiled a list of the word most frequently misspelled by state. Check out your state!
Honestly West Virginia and Connecticut – “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”?
Race in America is a amorphous thing. Most likely what “classification” you fall into will be based on your looks.
I have a family relationship with the Shinnecock Tribe, and from the pic below, knew this author’s mother, and possibly her father. The Reservation is pretty small, and all of the teens often gathered together at the beach. There was a NYC connection as well. I am not Native American (Not one drop according to my DNA test), however one of my Uncles married a Native American and lived on the reservation. I spent a number of summers both working and visiting the Reservation and am an Honorary Member of the Tribe. Which doesn’t mean anything in terms of identity, but does mean because of my Uncle’s marriage I have a few cousins there.
My family has everything from blonde haired, blue eyed to deepest ebon. The first of which caused a lot of problems back in the day. As a teen, I struggled with the existence of both black and “white” relatives. To understand that, you have to understand the historical context of the 60′ black “awakening”.
I don’t share Ms Joseph’s thoughts about Donezal. The only thing I see there is a tragedy.
I am white, I am black, I am Native American. And I know what it’s like for people not to see all of who I am
On a hot, humid New York City morning in 1980, I stood with my mother in the checkout line of an A&P supermarket near our home. As she pushed our groceries along the cashier’s belt with me trailing behind, mom realized she had forgotten her wallet at home, but she had her checkbook. Leaving me standing alone in the line for a moment while she saw the manager to have her check approved, the clerk refused to bag our groceries and hand them to me. She was black, and I was white. “These groceries belong to that woman over there,” the woman nodded towards my mother. “They ain’t yours.” Confused, I said, “But that’s my mother. I’ll take them for her.” She looked me up and down. “No,” she said, her voice cold.
The clerk refused to believe that indeed I belonged to, and came from, my black mother, until mom returned to find me choking back tears. She gave the clerk a tongue lashing, which was not her style, and we left the market. Later, mixed Native American and black children threw stones at me near my home on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation as I rode my bike. They yelled, “Get off our land, white girl!” These painful and strange experiences gave me my first taste of racial prejudice, and they have stayed with me all these years.
I am a child of many nations. I am white, I am black, I am Native American. I am West Indian, German, Irish. Brown and light together — integrated, not inter-racial, because race means nothing when you come from everywhere.
This Sunday’s New York Times Race-Related section ran a fascinating piece on DNA and racial identity by West Chester University professor Anita Foeman. For the past decade, she has asked hundreds of people to take part in ancestry DNA tests, and to date, over 2,000 have participated. “But first,” she wrote, “I ask people how they identify themselves racially. It has been very interesting to explore their feelings about the differences between how they define themselves and what their DNA makeup shows when the test results come in.”
Those results are often startling to the subjects and rife with racial stereotypes, Foeman found. According to her studies, some who came up with surprise Asian heritage in spite of looking white or brown noted, “That’s why my son is good at math!” Others who explored African heritage responded, “I thought my biological father might be black; I heard he liked basketball.” Many of us harbor deeply-rooted prejudices that we aren’t even aware of, until it matters to us.
I don’t remember what mom said that day in the supermarket, but I can tell you that while she had been the object of many, many racist remarks and challenging situations in her life, she was not entirely prepared for what happened that day. That’s not to say she didn’t talk about the reality of how our family was different from others. To try to address the dearth of literary references to kids who looked like me, my mother physically altered my childhood books, using markers to make one parent brown and other other white, while the child originally drawn remained white-appearing, like me. But the scene in the supermarket still took her by surprise.
Confrontations over race can still catch Americans unprepared, such as when Rachel Dolezal, the now-former head of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP, appeared on the media radar. Dolezal, who stopped by Salon recently to talk with me on her book tour, was born white but identifies as black and calls herself “transracial.”
Dolezal was “outed” two years ago by her biological parents for not being black as she had claimed, and subsequently resigned from the NAACP. She became a polarizing figure under heavy media scrutiny as she appeared to dodge questions about her unconventional chosen identity. She has been unable to continue to work as a university instructor of African and African American art history, and to this day is despised by many observers, black and white, for posing as a black person.
My Salon colleague D. Watkins, an African American writer from Baltimore, wondered why Dolezal couldn’t just “use her whiteness to advocate for black people,” rather than making up and living in her own fantasy world where race and ethnicity no longer cause any social or political delineations. He is one of many to hold this opinion, and it’s one I agree with.
Rebecca Carroll wrote for Dame in 2015 about what she calls Dolezal’s “apocalyptic, White privilege on steroids” with a palpable anger shared by many people of color. When I talked to my childhood writing mentor Barbara Campbell, a former New York Times reporter who is African American and has two multiracial sons, she wondered about Dolezal with a mix of anger and genuine confusion. “What is wrong with that woman? I feel empathy for her, because she is clearly delusional, but she can step out into the world as a white woman any time she wants to stop being ‘black.’ Black women don’t have that luxury.”
Campbell explained that growing up in St. Louis, she had many light-skinned relatives who resembled Dolezal and could “pass” for white, but otherwise lived their lives as people of color. “They would go to ‘work white,’ because they could earn more money and get better-paying jobs, but then they would go home and be black.”
But this Dolezal thing — this is a horse of another color entirely. Why, wondered many, would someone white want to live within the very real challenges of being black in America, when she had a choice? Dolezal’s explanation? She doesn’t define herself by race, just a feeling of affinity with the black culture she’s always had.
As one might expect, the last few years have been tough since her exposure, she told me, noting her newly adopted legal name, Nkechi Amare Diallo, which she claimed was a “gift” to her by a Nigerian man. When she arrived at our offices, it was hard to know what to think, or believe. Frankly, it was hard to feel any animosity at all, despite the vitriolic sentiments many of my dark and light-skinned family, friends and colleagues had for Dolezal. She arrived carrying her beautiful, light brown baby son, Langston Hughes (Yes. Stop. That’s his name. What can you do?), who was cared for by her adopted black sister, Esther. Dolezal appeared like any other tired, working mom. I offered her coffee, and empathy, rather than taking an adversarial approach.
I did suggest, however, that some of the passages in her new book, “In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World,” were outrageous and possibly specious. Dolezal shrugged. “I don’t expect everyone to agree with or believe me,” she said. Among her claims: she grew up living in a tee pee in Montana (my Native American percentage shudders). She was beaten by her parents and forced to weave and wear a coat loomed from dog hair. She identified with people of color from an early age, after reading her grandmother’s National Geographic magazines, and spread mud on her face to try to feel what it was like to have brown skin. Dolezal has said some very polemical things, some — dare I say — dumb things, that do not make her a sympathetic figure. Comparing her white Montana childhood to what chattel slaves experienced, even if indeed she was miserable, is a stretch by any measure, and engendered rightful animus from real black folks…Read the Rest Here