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How Conservative Drudge Report Became Russian Propaganda Tool

The Russians didn’t just screw the red hat wearing Chumph fools – they screwed their favorite news sources as well. By now, the Russians use of bots to control Breitbart and Alex Jones’ Infowars site are well known. The Russians, given free reign by white wing press whose journalistic integrity is only just below that of supermarket tabloids announcing the latest sighting of Elvis, or little green men from Mars. The formula to get them to bend over was simple, make it salacious and anti-Liberal. Within those confines the slow-witted ignorati would absorb and believe anything.

Here is how the Russians turned Drudge into their sock puppet, and turned him into a “Useful Idiot”-

How Matt Drudge became the pipeline for Russian propaganda

Drudge Report has linked nearly 400 times to RT, Sputnik News, TASS since 2012

On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 passengers and crew. The next day, President Barack Obama alleged that the responsible parties were Russian-backed separatists seizing territory in the region following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Obama’s statement came amid a furious effort by Russian propaganda outlets to foster confusion about the act. In their telling, the tragedy had actually been a failed attempt by Ukrainians to shoot down President Vladimir Putin’s plane.

The Russian propaganda effort received a substantial boost when right-wing internet journalist Matt Drudge highlighted a story on the topic from RT.com, the website of the Russian government-backed English-language news channel RT. Drudge titled the resulting item on the Drudge Report, his highly trafficked link aggregation website, “RT: Putin’s plane might have been target…” in bright red text.

After Drudge propelled the RT story to his massive audience, it was picked up by right-wing U.S. conspiracy websites. (Others on the right warned that Drudge had gone too far by aiding a Russian disinformation campaign.)

This was not an anomaly. Drudge has for years used his site as a web traffic pipeline for Russian propaganda sites, directing his massive audience to nearly 400 stories from RT.com and fellow Russian-government-run English-language news sites SputnikNews.com and TASS.com since the beginning of 2012, according to a Media Matters review. Those numbers spiked in 2016, when Drudge collectively linked to the three sites 122 times.

Drudge’s increasing affinity for and proliferation of Russian propaganda comes amid what The New York Timescalls “a new information war Russia is waging against the West.”

RT and Sputnik News are part of what the Times’ Jim Rutenberg has termed “the most effective propaganda operation of the 21st century so far,” a coordinated network of state-controlled TV and online media outlets and social media accounts that take advantage of the traditional protections of Western liberal democracies to undermine public confidence in the governments of those nations. TASS, which has received less attention in the United States, is a Russian news agency similar to The Associated Press but owned by the state.

Russia’s English-language propaganda operation came under increasing scrutiny from the U.S. intelligence community during and following the 2016 presidential election, during which, according to U.S. intelligence agencies, it was part of an effort to bolster now-President Donald Trump’s campaign. Mixing slanted coverage with outright lies, the state media effort promotes an anti-establishment worldview featuring criticisms of the U.S. from both the far left and far right, packaged with the same strategies used by modern American news outlets to increase viewership.

When the Kremlin’s interests converge with the right’s interests in undermining Democratic politicians like former President Barack Obama and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, its outlets find prominent allies in the U.S. conservative media landscape. As Andrew Feinberg, the former White House correspondent for Sputnik News, has explained, the Russian media outlets are part of the “right-wing media ecosystem,” with their stories picked up and promoted by prominent far-right news sites like Breitbart.com and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars.com.

For decades, Drudge has played a dominant role in that ecosystem. The Drudge Report is one of the most highly trafficked news websites in the country, and because it simply aggregates links, it is the top source of referral traffic to a host of right-wing and mainstream news websites. That ability to create a firehose of traffic leads some reporters, especially on the right, to craft stories for the explicit purpose of getting Drudge links, allowing him to serve as the media’s assignment editor. And the media outlets benefiting from that traffic are not only U.S. traditional media or conservative outlets, but the press organs of one of the nation’s top adversaries.

To measure this effect, Media Matters wrote a program to crawl through Drudge’s archives and create an index of all instances in which the website linked to pages that included the URLs “rt.com,” “sputniknews.com,” or “tass.com.”

We found that the Drudge Report has promoted dozens of RT articles every year since 2012. Soon after Sputnik launched in November 2014, it, too, began regularly receiving attention from Drudge. TASS articles receive much less promotion, but Drudge’s website features a permanent link to the TASS main page (listed as ITAR-TASS).

As the U.S. presidential race and Russia’s machinations both escalated in 2015, the number of Russian propaganda articles promoted by Drudge shot up to 79 for the year. The total jumped again to a high of 122 articles in 2016, before dropping down to 45 this year through September 18.

The articles Drudge highlighted cover a wide range of U.S. and international topics, but — as one might expect from the content of Russian propaganda outlets — many fall into discrete categories that fit the interests of the Kremlin.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, for example, several of the Drudge-promoted articles reported on the contents of emails and voicemails the U.S. intelligence community says were stolen from the Democratic National Committee or former Clinton campaign chair John Podesta by Russian hackers.

Others promoted the claims of WikiLeaks founder and former RT host Julian Assange. Drudge highlightedcoverage from Russian propaganda outlets of his attacks on Clinton and his contradiction of the U.S. intelligence community over whether Russia was the source of the Democratic emails he published.

Drudge has also regularly turned to RT and Sputnik for unskeptical coverage of statements from Putin and other Kremlin officials, including their denials of Russian election interference, their criticisms of the U.S. role in Syria, and their efforts to undermine NATO members.

And he’s frequently highlighted the Russian outlets’ conspiracy theories and hysterics, including their reports on meetings of the “mysterious Bilderberg Group,” debunked claims that Google manipulated its search results to favor Clinton, and warnings of increasing Western support for satanism.

Drudge’s affinity for Russian president Vladimir Putin and his propaganda outlets is undoubtedly a major asset for the Kremlin. Drudge has rare power as a media gatekeeper due to his unusual ability to push reporting from previously unknown outlets to a massive audience.

Jones’ Infowars — also a favorite of the Russian government — is a case study in the potential impact of sustained promotion from Drudge. A 2013 Media Matters study found that the Drudge Report linked to Infowars hundreds of times over the previous two years, giving the conspiracy theory website crucial exposure to the rest of the right-wing media space.

As Jones himself put it, Drudge was the “one source who really helped us break out, who took our information, helped to punch it out to an even more effective level.”

Putin could say the same.

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Russian Spy Cabal in Chumph Administration Suffers First Exposure – Flynn Suspected of Being on Russian Payroll

The first cookie crumbled in the Chumph administration. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned today after being exposed making phone calls to the Russian Ambassador. What isn’t being discussed very much is two things. First, it appears that Mr Flynn attempted to use a possibly Russian, encrypted phone in those conversations to cover his tracks. Second, and even more devastating, that the US Army has Flynn under investigation for receiving payments from the Russians.

That is Treason, any way you shake it. And even worse is Flynn appeared to be acting on orders of the Chumph. Meaning the Chumph was complicit. Further, Flynn isn’t the first in the Chump’s inner circle to have been on the Russians payroll – suggesting a high likelihood there are more Russian spies in the cabinet.

Republicans still resisting acting on intelligence of the Russians hacking the election for Trump are also committing treason – and when this all comes out, need to be hung on the Gibbet next to the traitors as accomplices.

Ludlum, anyone?

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Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn Resigns

In a few hours, he went from having Trump’s “complete confidence” to being the first major casualty of the administration.

National security adviser Michael Flynn resigned late Monday, following revelations that he discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador in the days surrounding their imposition ― and weeks prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Retired Lt. Gen. Joseph Keith Kellogg Jr. will serve as acting national security advisor until a full-time replacement is named, the White House announced. Kellogg, as well as Vice Adm. Robert Harward and retired Gen. David Petraeus are the three candidates in line to succeed Flynn, according to the administration.

Flynn’s resignation came after a tumultuous few days of revelations about his ties to Russia and his role in attempting to ease sanctions that were put in place weeks before the Trump administration took office.

In late December, President Barack Obama announced the sanctions, which included the expulsion of 35 Russian intelligence operatives, in response to Russian interference in the November election designed to help Trump win.

Flynn at first denied that he had discussed the sanctions when he spoke with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He said the conversations concerned setting up a phone call between Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin and offering condolences after the murder of a Russian diplomat in Turkey.

But following a Washington Post report ― based partially on transcripts of the conversations ― Flynn’s office revised his earlier statements, and said that he couldn’t recall whether the topic of sanctions had come up. On Monday night, the plot thickened, with The Washington Post reporting that top officials at the Department of Justice warned the Trump administration weeks ago that Flynn might have been compromised by Russian influences and The New York Times reporting that the Army had investigated whether Flynn received payments from the Russian government in 2015.

As the revelations have piled up, the question has turned to why the Trump administration didn’t act sooner to sever ties. Trump has faced his own criticism for being too cozy to Russia.

When Putin’s response to Obama’s sanctions was uncharacteristically subdued, for example, Trump praised the Russian leader for his savvy. (Putin did not respond by expelling suspected American intelligence agents as is normally done, and instead said he hoped relations would improve after Trump took office.)

Trump also has been loath to concede the Russian actors played a role in the 2016 elections, even though U.S. counterintelligence agencies concluded in October that Russia and WikiLeaks ― which many in the intelligence community believe is a mouthpiece for Russian spy agencies ― were trying to interfere. A follow-up report released Jan. 9 added that Russia had been actively trying to help Trump and hurt his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Flynn, like Trump, has advocated a closer relationship with Russia as an ally in the fight against Islamic terrorism. He appeared at an awards dinner honoring the Kremlin-sponsored RT network in 2015, at which he was seated beside Putin.

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Rep. John Lewis Books Sell Out on Amazon

John Lewis books are selling out everywhere…

Rep. John Lewis’s books sell out following Donald Trump’s attacks

One side-effect of Rep. John Lewis’s heated and very public spat with President-elect Donald Trump: Ballooning interest in books written by the civil rights icon.

The Georgia Democrat’s “Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement” was sold out on Amazon and was the site’s No. 2 bestseller. Used copies of the hardcover edition were going for nearly $100.

Claiming the top spot on the list was another book by Lewis: “March,” a graphic-novel trilogy about the civil rights movement. The third installment won the National Book Award last year.

Amazon listed both books as “temporarily out of stock” on Sunday. Sales for both had ballooned more than 100,000 percent, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Disclosure: Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, is also the owner of the The Washington Post.)

On Friday, Lewis said he didn’t see Trump as a legitimate president and wouldn’t be attending the inauguration for the first time in 30 years.

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No Longer America’s Guardian – The FBI Sold Out to the Commies

The FBI – whose senior executives sold out to Trump prior to the election, with the release of a fake investigation targeting Hillary Clinton…

Has been compromised, and has sold out.

Almost nothing they have to say about National Security, the election, or  Homeland…can be trusted.

Putin accomplished something generations of other commie leaders couldn’t Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev over 70 years through guns, missile, atomic bombs, proxy war, and a cold war , couldn’t beat America. Along comes Putin, using white American racism as a tool – and a good portion of white America bends over and spreads wide.

We are now a fucking communist bitch satellite state. Bought and paid for by lower class white racism. No wonder they are called “Red” States.

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FBI and CIA give differing accounts to lawmakers on Russia’s motives in 2016 hacks

 

In a secure meeting room under the Capitol last week, lawmakers held in their hands a classified letter written by colleagues in the Senate summing up a secret, new CIA assessment of Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.

Sitting before the House Intelligence Committee was a senior FBI counterintelligence official. The question the Republicans and Democrats in attendance wanted answered was whether the bureau concurred with the conclusions the CIA had just shared with senators that Russia “quite” clearly intended to help Republican Donald Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton and clinch the White House.

For the Democrats in the room, the FBI’s response was frustrating — even shocking.

During a similar Senate Intelligence Committee briefing held the previous week, the CIA’s statements, as reflected in the letter the lawmakers now held in their hands, were “direct and bald and unqualified” about Russia’s intentions to help Trump, according to one of the officials who attended the House briefing.

The FBI official’s remarks to the lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee were, in comparison, “fuzzy” and “ambiguous,” suggesting to those in the room that the bureau and the agency weren’t on the same page, the official said.

The divergent messages from the CIA and the FBI put a spotlight on the difficulty faced by intelligence and law enforcement officials as they try to draw conclusions about the Kremlin’s motives for hacking Democratic Party emails during the 2016 race. Officials are frequently looking at information that is fragmentary. They also face issues assessing the intentions of a country expert at conducting sophisticated “influence” operations that made it hard — if not impossible — to conclusively detect the Kremlin’s elusive fingerprints.

The competing messages, according to officials in attendance, also reflect cultural differences between the FBI and the CIA. The bureau, true to its law enforcement roots, wants facts and tangible evidence to prove something beyond all reasonable doubt. The CIA is more comfortable drawing inferences from behavior.

“The FBI briefers think in terms of criminal standards — can we prove this in court,” one of the officials said. “The CIA briefers weigh the preponderance of intelligence and then make judgment calls to help policymakers make informed decisions. High confidence for them means ‘we’re pretty damn sure.’ It doesn’t mean they can prove it in court.”

The FBI is not sold on the idea that Russia had a particular aim in its meddling. “There’s no question that [the Russians’] efforts went one way, but it’s not clear that they have a specific goal or mix of related goals,” said one U.S. official.

The murky nature of the assessments is maddening many lawmakers who are demanding answers about the Kremlin’s role in the presidential race. The FBI, under Director James B. Comey, is already under fire for dropping a bombshell letter days before the election on the discovery of new emails potentially related to the Clinton private server investigation. The emails proved irrelevant to the case. On Saturday, outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) called on Comey to resign, saying the FBI director deliberately kept quiet evidence about Russia’s motives before the election.

With so much of the evidence about Russia’s alleged role in the election shrouded in secrecy because of strict classification rules, Democrats and Republicans in Washington who have access to the underlying intelligence say they have struggled to make their respective cases, leaving an already deeply divided public convinced that both sides are shading their conclusions to help the candidate they backed on Election Day.

The clamor from Democrats and some Republicans for a more fulsome accounting prompted the White House on Friday to announce that President Obama had ordered a full review of Russian cyber actions during the 2016 campaign. The president wants the report to be completed before he leaves office next month. Officials said Obama intends to declassify as much of the report as possible. Lawmakers, in turn, want the review to be accompanied by a joint congressional investigation.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2016 in Second American Revolution

 

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Is Marco Rubio the Hispanic Herman Cain? Tio Thomas… Indeed.

Not sure whose headlights Marco Rubio stepped in front of today, but fresh on the heels of a Washington Post story about Rubio lying about his parent’s immigration to the US, and the possibility he my not be Constitutionally eligible to serve as as Senator or VP…

Comes this story about the loss of love for him in the Hispanic community, for what us black folks would call inveterate Tomming.

A light skinned version of Herman Cain or Alan West.

Has Marco Rubio sold out?

Poor Marco Rubio. Florida’s junior senator could have been a contender. Instead, he’s become a caricature.

In parts of the Hispanic community, Rubio is thought of as just another ambitious politician who is willing to sell out Latinos to curry favor with Anglo colleagues. That’s what you hear from Internet chatter, letters to the editor, Latino listservs and comments on Spanish-language media.

Just seven months after taking office, the Republicans’ great Latino hope has squandered the one thing that made him unique, interesting and valuable to his party: the potential that he could help mend fences with disaffected Latino voters alienated by the GOP’s simplistic and mean-spirited approach to the immigration issue. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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“Cash and Carry” Supreme Court Sells America Down the Tubes

The most corrupt court in America, also happens to be it’s highest.  Whether performing judicial fellatio for the Koch Brothers, or a political hand job in the Citizens United case – the 5 conservative justices on the Supreme Court are sold to the highest bidder…

Starting with Tommie Clarence and of course, Antonin Scalia.

My biggest disillusionment with the Obama Administration and crop of Yellowback Democrats is, while they are willing to go after their own – such as Charlie Rangel and “Cash Jefferson”…

There has been an utter refusal to bring Republican miscreants to justice, whether it was the criminal underworld of the previous Bush Administration – or the current legislation for sale Republican Congress… Or the Supreme Court Justices who flaunt both the rules and the Law.

I often work in Third World countries. This sort of corruption is often an endemic problem. and one of the major roadblocks to progress. Conservatives make America as corrupt as one of those Tinpot Dictatorships – each and every day. Indeed, the United States is now 22nd on the World Corruption Index.

The Supreme Court closes the door to justice

Has the Supreme Court lost faith in the American court system? That is a strange question to ask about the justices who sit at the top of the country’s judicial hierarchy. But in case after case in the just-completed term, the court, usually in 5-4 decisions with the conservatives in the majority, denied access to the courts.

Consider just a few of the examples:

• The court ruled that patients who suffer devastating injuries from generic prescription drugs cannot sue the manufacturers for failing to provide adequate warnings even when drug companies making the non-generic versions of the same drugs can be sued on the same basis.

• The court held that standard clauses in consumer contracts calling for arbitration preclude consumers from joining class-action suits even when the effect almost surely would be that no individual lawsuits would be filed because the amount involved was too small.

• The court decided that employees who claim to be victims of sex discrimination cannot sue in class actions when the employer has a policy that prohibits discrimination.

• The court concluded that a man who spent 18 years in prison for a murder that he did not commit could not sue the prosecutors who hid key evidence.

• The court said that taxpayers cannot bring an action in federal court arguing that a state impermissibly established religion by giving tax credits that go almost entirely to religious schools.

• The court held that prisoners convicted in state court cannot obtain a hearing in federal court even when they have new evidence that calls into question their convictions — because of matters such as ineffective defense counsel or failure of prosecutors to turn over evidence — notwithstanding a federal statute that expressly authorizes such hearings.

 
 

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Surprise! Surprise! In the Bag Republican Judge Rules Against Health Care

Nothing like having “special” judges to rule for “special” people…and in this case to toe the Party line.

A Bush appointed judge agreed with the right wing Kook – now isn’t that a surprise?

With all of the problems we have right now in terms of unemployment, the foreclosure scams, and a host of other issues…

WTF is this POS wasting Virginia’s money on this?

Va AG Ken "The Kook" Cuccinelli

The Right Wing Ideologue Judge - Henry Hudson

 

Federal Judge Declares Health Care Reform Unconstitutional

A federal judge declared the Obama administration’s health care law unconstitutional today, siding with Virginia’s attorney general in a dispute that both sides agree will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court. US District Judge Henry E. Hudson on is the first federal judge to strike down the law, which has been upheld by two others in Virginia and Michigan. Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli filed the lawsuit challenging the law’s requirement that citizens buy health insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014.

Cuccinelli argued that the federal government doesn’t have the constitutional authority to impose the requirement. Hudson, a Republican who was appointed by President George W. Bush, sounded sympathetic to the state’s case when he heard oral arguments in October, and the White House expected to lose this round. Officials told reporters last week that a negative ruling would have virtually no impact on the law’s implementation, noting that its two major provisions—the coverage mandate and the creation of new insurance markets—don’t take effect until 2014. Other lawsuits are pending, including one filed by 20 states in a Florida court; Virginia is not part of that lawsuit.

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2010 in Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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