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Trump was in the UK the past few days.  Meanwhile … back at the ranch ….

Remember this?

 

Well, now this!

Read: Mueller indictment against 12 Russian spies for DNC hack

It comes days before President Trump’s summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Special counsel Robert Mueller just released an indictment against 12 Russian intelligence officers.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Special counsel Robert Mueller just indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers, accusing them of interfering in the 2016 US presidential election.

They are charged with hacking the computer networks of members of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. They allegedly coordinated to release damaging information to sway the election under the names “DCLeaks” and “Guccifer 2.0.” However, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told reporters that it’s unclear if their efforts changed the outcome of the election.

Read the indictments >>>>

(Proof he’s an amateur or, really, a puppet. Experienced dictators know better than to leave home while a sh*tstorm is brewing.  Even Putin knows Trump is in too deep and doesn’t give a fig. THAT should light a fire under some kettles.)

 

 

 

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Having studied Russian at Moscow State University and having been a Ford Foundation Fellow in Soviet Studies, Condoleeza Rice was George W. Bush’s Russia expert. No one, Republican or Democrat, questioned her qualifications in that realm.

It is, therefore, stunning that she has chosen to side with Vladimir Putin against her successor at the State Department, Hillary Clinton.

dailycaller.com

Rice Blames Hillary For Russian Election Meddling

Benny JohnsonReporter At Large

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice put some of the blame for Russian election on Hillary Clinton in a wide-ranging MSNBC interview on Thursady

Rice, who has considerable experience with Vladimir Putin, did not hold back on her assessment of the motivations behind Russian election meddling.

She said that then-Secretary of State Clinton criticizing Putin for Russia’s 2012 elections encouraged the foreign leader to seek revenge. Rice said that Putin is an “eye for an eye” kind of person and that he was out to hurt Clinton in order to prove that America could also have flawed elections.

“With Vladimir Putin, this was an eye for an eye. He’s an eye for an eye kind of person, and Hillary Clinton criticized his election. Now he wants to show that he can sow chaos in ours.”

 

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Condi is wrong on several counts.

1. Hillary commented (no she did not “meddle” – that is something different but back to that later) on the 2010 Russian parliamentary elections not Putin’s 2012 presidential election.

In her memoir of her State Department years, Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton portrays Putin’s worldview as “shaped by his admiration of the powerful czars of Russian history” and his view of geopolitics as a zero-sum game. Following the December 2010 parliamentary elections in Russia, widespread reports of fraud brought tens of thousands of protestors out into the frigid Russian streets. Hillary recalls stating, “The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted…. That means they deserve fair, free, transparent elections and leaders who are accountable to them.” She goes on to describe Putin blaming her for “setting the tone” for the widespread demonstrations that followed the elections. Nothing in Hillary’s memoir nor elsewhere  provides any account of Hillary speaking out against Putin’s 2012 reelection or any protests, for that matter.

2.  Hillary Clinton was not “meddling” when she made her comments. This is meddling. As secretary of state, Hillary was well within her “paygrade” to make a comment regarding elections and unrest in another country.

3. Victim-blaming is always a cheap shot and always wrong! It is especially disturbing coming from a former secretary of state about her successor. I have this quote in the right sidebar here. It bears repetition. “What I have always found is that when it comes to foreign policy, it is important to remember that politics stops at the water’s edge.” -HRC 11-04-10. Had Condi remained at the State Department in December 2010, she, too, would have been expected to comment on the elections and protests in Russia – especially given her academic background. Would her remarks have been so different?

The cyber attacks against independent election observers that Hillary describes in Chapter 11 of Hard Choices foreshadow some of what we saw happen here in 2016. Some. But not all. Not the worst. We also deserve fair, free, transparent elections and commentary about a foreign country from a candidate never justifies elements from that country interfering in our elections in any way.

Reuters Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meets with President-elect Barack Obama’s Secretary of State nominee Hillary Clinton at the State Department.

 

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File this under “you can’t make this stuff up.”


Bernie Sanders on Wednesday blamed Hillary Clinton for not doing more to stop the Russian attack on the last presidential election. Then his 2016 campaign manager, in an interview with POLITICO, said he’s seen no evidence to support special counsel Robert Mueller’s assertion in an indictment last week that the Russian operation had backed Sanders’ campaign.

The remarks showed Sanders, running for a third term and currently considered a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, deeply defensive in response to questions posed to him about what was laid out in the indictment. He attempted to thread a response that blasts Donald Trump for refusing to acknowledge that Russians helped his campaign — but then holds himself harmless for a nearly identical denial.

In doing so, Sanders and his former campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, presented a series of self-serving statements that were not accurate, and that track with efforts by Trump and his supporters to undermine the credibility of the Mueller probe.

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Theatre of the Absurd at its best! Who was the sole 2016 candidate talking about Russian meddling?

Setting the Record Straight on the 17 Intel Agencies

July 7, 2017 by still4hill

Just to keep the record straight, here are the 17 intel agencies that we have been hearing about since Hillary Clinton brought them up during one of the debates.

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I am not particularly worried about Bernie running in 2020. I asked this question and got this answer.

Q: How many public high schools are there in Vermont?

A: There are 149 high schools in Vermont, made up of 83 public schools and 66 private schools. Vermont ranks as the 50th state in terms of student enrollment and 48th in terms of total number of schools. It ranks 2nd for the student/teacher ratio and sits 8th for the percentage of students on free or reduced lunches.
high-schools.com/directory/vt/

This may not sound like a lot of high schools but bear in mind that the population of Vermont is 623,657 (2017) as opposed to 8,537,673 (2016) in New York City. That works out to 7.3% of the population of NYC.

Sometimes the oddest, most random stars align.

The Stoneman Douglas students and their allies among high school students nationwide will, I am confident, make sure the VT high school students know about Bernie’s connections to and donations from the NRA as well as his voting record on gun control. They will make sure eligible students register and vote. I am pretty sure he is not long for the Senate in this respect much less the Oval Office.

Blame Hillary? Give me a break! Jeff Weaver? Give me another break!

The kids are all right. They’ve got this now. It’s not the revolution Bernie imagined. But it is a revolution. In fact, it is not even partisan! It is positional. Where do you stand on AR-15s? That is their question. Heads will roll in November. It is very premature to talk about 2020.

DSCN2715

DSCN2716

 

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The news, yesterday, of Mueller’s  indictment of 13 Russian nationals who impersonated Americans on social media for the purpose of influencing the 2016 presidential election should serve as a reminder and a warning.  ABC News reports that Rod Rosentein remarked “This indictment serves as a reminder that people are not always who they appear to be on the internet. The indictment alleges that the Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence and democracy. We must not allow them to succeed.” (Please note his use of the simple present tense: “want to.”)

The creation and proliferation of “U.S. personae,” as referred to in the indictment, is not simply a matter of history or current events. The indictment validates what we have long suspected based on the Steele memos.

usatoday.com

Russia also helped Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein in election

Michael Collins, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – It turns out Donald Trump wasn’t the only candidate the Russians allegedly tried to help during the 2016 presidential campaign.

A 37-page indictment resulting from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation shows that Russian nationals and businesses also worked to boost the campaigns of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Green party nominee Jill Stein in an effort to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton.

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 Friday.

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These “U.S. personae”  also are and should be of concern for the future with midterm elections coming up this year and one 2020 presidential campaign already launched (Trump’s).

Otherwise intelligent people have questioned why I am concerned about foreign agents posing as Americans passionately imploring Hillary Clinton to run again in 2020.  They don’t see the inherent flaw and hypocrisy in prosecuting Trump forces for Russian influence peddling and turning a blind eye to an eastern European entity doing the same thing on the Dem side – specifically, repeatedly calling on HRC to run again and using the hashtag #Hillary2020 on every post. They do not see the peril in recruiting potentially hundreds of thousands to a false campaign claiming that only one person can cure our ills. That alone should set off bells and whistles. When did we hear that before? From whom? Trump!

One particular foreign entity was recently appointed “administrator” at a Hillary Clinton Facebook page boasting 165K “likes.” Think of the damage possible. This is not simply a campaign that will end in disappointment for many. It is crafted to engender rage and division within the party when Hillary does not run.

I was gratified to see this article since it coincides with what I have been saying in my own series of troll chronicles. Often it is the tiny function words that non-native speakers get wrong.


The Slatest

The FBI special counsel’s Friday indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three companies including a notorious online troll farm did a few things: It revealed that the surge of grass-roots organizing for the 2016 presidential election was at least partly astroturf. It confirmed that the whirligig of ire directed at Hillary Clinton was not completely genuine. And it reasserted the importance of correct grammar.

The indictment includes charges against Mikhail Ivanovich Bystrov and Mikhail Leonidovich Burchik for creating aliases like “Matt Skiber” and “joshmilton024@gmail.com,” part of an alleged effort to organize anti-Clinton rallies and wire money to unwitting U.S. collaborators. The social media campaign was vast: One agent bragged about creating “all these pictures and posts, and the Americans believed that it was written by their people.”

It was altogether an impressive undertaking. But while Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein reminded us that “people are not always who they appear on the Internet,” maybe we should have known. It wouldn’t have taken the FBI: A fastidious English major could have seen the Russians’ inexplicable capitalizations, stiff sentences, and missing articles.

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OK! I plead guilty. I was an English major as an undergrad and taught high school English back when we still devoted some hours of every week to grammar instruction. I followed that up with doctoral studies in applied linguistics. As a linguist, I am a descriptivist rather than a prescriptivist – that simply means I am not a member of the uniformed grammar police. Nevertheless, as I have mentioned in the troll chronicles, language usage provides a powerful clue in sniffing out false U.S. personae.

Here are a few annotated examples of Facebook posts by the pro-Hillary Hungarian troll I have been investigating. Bolded emphasis is mine.

Our Hillary, the doer she is, already has a vision of a better future and she warns us we all need to show up at the polls and vote blue¹. Mama is delighted and proud to see that Women’s March had drawn² millions of protesters, she says women are strong and resilient. Women of all colors and ages had enough², and together we are unstoppable. Mama’s hometown, Chicago as well as Los Angeles and even Texas saw a record number of protesters, and we expect to see a beautiful #BlueTsunami in the fall of 2018. We learned resilience from Hillary, from the way she stood her ground through the hard-fought campaign. Protesters say that the majority wore Hillary gears³ – thank you for the wonderful news, Lisa Leikus. #Hillary2020 #Onward #PowerToThePolls

¹ We see many instances of 1st person plural pronouns implying that the writer is a U.S. voter.

² Two inappropriate uses of the past perfect tense which normally indicates an action that began and was completed in the past. In the first instance, the present perfect would have been the choice of a native speaker who knows that the “drawing” is not complete and continues in the present. In the second instance the same is true. “Women have had enough.” The present perfect would have been the choice of a native speaker since this state continues in the present.

³ They were not wearing Hillary “gears” unless they were wearing analog Hillary Clinton watches. They were wearing Hillary gear – a mass noun (non-count) including all manner of clothing and accessories associated with any of Hillary Clinton’s political campaigns. Mass nouns operate as if singular.

THIS. This is Hillary gear.

Image result for images of gears

NOT THESE. These are gears.

January 31

Our beautiful Hillary should hold a State of Union speech today, since the sane majority wants her. The psychopath is already plagiarizing her! Why would any of us watch him or click on the news that feature him? Like Auntie Maxine said, “I do not trust him, I will not listen to his lies, he does not deserve my attention.” Plus, the lowest rating views he get, the less support he will receive* from American press. It will also hurt his fragile ego. Let’s skip everything that features Trump! Hear the lies already? Clean coal does not exist, and no, the economy is not booming, the dollar’s value is steadily down since Trump occupied the White House, and the Trump bubble will burst. Plus, unlike Bill and Obama, he will increase debt and deficit. #Hillary2020 #StillStanding #StillWithHill

*Native speakers would have opted for the comparative rather than the superlative here, and there is the issue of subject-verb agreement – “he gets” not “he get.”

Our beautiful Hillary was sharp, smart, and straightforward at the Makers Conference. She warned us to #VoteBlue in the midterm elections to make a difference – we must remember how crucial it is, our future depends on it. Mama warns us that we see an all-out attack against democracy and a war on facts, truth, and reason, and the only way to defend ourself for a brighter future is to vote. We also need more women in politics – we already say a record number of women running for office, thanks to Hillary. Nobody did more for the safety and dignity of women than Hillary Rodham Clinton. #Hillary2020 #Onward

All those first person reference words!!!! And there is that incongruous singular form of a plural reflexive pronoun: ourselves not ourself.

From today: February 17

It is official now, at least 13 Russian persons were involved with Trump’s hate-filled campaign against our Hillary. The Russians used false American personas, false Facebook accounts and false email addresses. Campaign rallies that featured an actress, Hillary in prison uniform, were organized by Russians. Hillary warned us in advance, saying 17 intelligence agencies warned us against Russia’s suspicious moves. Mama also gave us an insight in her What Happened. Thank goodness for Robert Mueller who casts lights in the shadows*, it is frightening what we find there. Those who accused us of making up the Russian interference story must feel embarrassed by now. #Hillary2020 #HillaryWarnedUs #Onward

*I can’t even! The irony of this post! And, of course, there is another issue of a mass noun – light – being treated as a count noun.

Another grammatical indicator of a foreign troll is the linguistic variation exhibited by these entities indicating multiple writers on a single page or a feed from a managing source mixed with commentary by an individual. Some posts are letter perfect while others contain language usages atypical of native speakers. Other dead giveaways at this particular page:

1/ Ignorance of our bicameral legislature – “she” doesn’t know Senators from Congressional representatives. They are all “leaders.” Why bother with specifics?

2/ Timing. It took her six days to figure out that we had elections in November.

3/ Some picked up the “mama” references from the getgo. Americans do not call HRC “mama.”

4/ If you go back far enough, you will see that “she” apparently never heard of Hillary Clinton until 2015.

I am cognizant that there are bona fide American voters whose English is not perfect. My point here is that language usage is a clue. Having picked up these clues, I did confront this persona via a series of private exchanges. The nationality I guessed was verified. I encouraged  a change of pronouns contending that the use of the first person was a lie that encouraged readers to infer that they were interacting with an American.  That was when “she” shut me down by blocking me. I remain unsure that this is a she. It may be a they, and they may include a few “he”s. I can say this: when confronted, first she argues by trying to justify or rationalize the error in the post. After 4 exchanges or so, she employs the Kellyanne Conway strategy in reverse. When Kellyanne is backed into a corner, she switches to the “What about Hillary?” mode. This troll switches to the “You must be a Trump supporter” mode.

The objection is not that she is a foreign national. The objection is that she is impersonating an American while:

1. Encouraging protest against Democrats other than HRC,

2. Attacking U.S. law enforcement,

3. Running polls to collect data on American voters,

4. Encouraging Americans to react online to fake news, e.g. the market “crash.” If it is wrong for Trump & Co. to benefit from Russian intrusion, it should be equally repugnant for our side to encourage Hungarian intervention.

To be clear: The objection is not to a foreigner supporting Hillary. The objection is to a foreigner impersonating an American and “guiding” American voters.

It all goes to show you the power of the little words. The function words that seem so obvious to native speakers can be challenge for English language learners. For trolls, they can also be a hidden weapon to be deployed at a strategic moment in the future when, once again, we will wonder what hit us.

If you remember how you felt late on Election night 2016, be very wary of trolls like this. If we want to unseat Donald Trump, buying into a fake Hillary Clinton campaign is the surest path to defeat. That is the power of “we.”

You can learn something new about cloud by visiting our website here at https://www.salesforce.com/what-is-cloud-computing/

dscn8630

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What a week! Talk about men who crucified Hillary getting their #JustDesserts! #PoeticJustice! #Karma!

 

 

 

bloomberg.com

Kushner Is Said to Have Ordered Flynn to Contact Russia

by Eli Lake @elilake More stories by Eli Lake

National Security

Now that the retired general has pleaded guilty, the president’s son-in-law could be one of the next dominoes to fall.

Jared Kushner back when he was willing to be photographed next to Mike Flynn.Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea Friday for lying to the FBI is alarming news for Donald Trump. But the first person it’s likely to jeopardize will be the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Two former officials with the Trump transition team who worked closely with Flynn say that during the last days of the Obama administration, the retired general was instructed to contact foreign ambassadors and foreign ministers of countries on the United Nations Security Council, ahead of a vote condemning Israeli settlements. Flynn was told to try to get them to delay that vote until after President Barack Obama had left office, or oppose the resolution altogether.

That is relevant now because one of Flynn’s lies to the FBI was when he said that he never asked Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak, to delay the vote for the UN Security Council resolution. The indictment released today from the office of special prosecutor Robert Mueller describes this lie: “On or about December 22, 2016, Flynn did not ask the Russian Ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution.”

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Yes, I borrowed part of that header from a chapter in Hillary Clinton’s book. Interesting not simply for their historical perspective, a couple of articles that popped up today present cautionary tales.

The first, a report from Time on how Russian hackers attacked Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, provides not only a blueprint of how that happened but also implies safeguards to be implemented in the future.

While we, of course, expect that Democratic Party officials and future campaigns will improve security going forward based on this knowledge, there are precautions each of us can and should take as individuals. Cyberspace is where a lot of campaigning and organizing takes place, and in the 2016 cycle most of us here were using the internet in communication with the campaign. Any weak link in the network potentially endangers the community and whole operation. We all have an obligation to keep ourselves and each other secure.

So although this is a long read (save it for weekend brunch perhaps), it is a must read. We all go forward better armed if we are informed.


(WASHINGTON) — It was just before noon in Moscow on March 10, 2016, when the first volley of malicious messages hit the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The first 29 phishing emails were almost all misfires. Addressed to people who worked for Clinton during her first presidential run, the messages bounced back untouched.

Except one.

Within nine days, some of the campaign’s most consequential secrets would be in the hackers’ hands, part of a massive operation aimed at vacuuming up millions of messages from thousands of inboxes across the world.

An Associated Press investigation into the digital break-ins that disrupted the U.S. presidential contest has sketched out an anatomy of the hack that led to months of damaging disclosures about the Democratic Party’s nominee. It wasn’t just a few aides that the hackers went after; it was an all-out blitz across the Democratic Party. They tried to compromise Clinton’s inner circle and more than 130 party employees, supporters and contractors.

While U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia was behind the email thefts, the AP drew on forensic data to report Thursday that the hackers known as Fancy Bear were closely aligned with the interests of the Russian government.

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The second article, from The Daily Beast, is shorter but equally important. A character sketch of a Russian troll who fooled many, some of them very smart, prominent people, it provides some insight into an how an individual online troll profile appears, communicates, and corrals the unsuspecting into its sphere of influence.

Readers here know that I have been on a campaign to warn folks about an eastern European troll I uncovered and the troll characteristics I discovered in tracking down this entity.

Your Facebook Friend Might Be a Troll If …

September 16, 2017

Location, Location, Location

September 21, 2017

Hillary Clinton is Not Your ‘Mama’ – Stop Calling Her That!

October 22, 2017

I was gratified to find that the Daily Beast article portrayed a character more similar to ‘my troll’ than not.


Jenna Abrams had a lot of enemies on Twitter, but she was a very good friend to viral content writers across the world.

Her opinions about everything from manspreading on the subway to Rachel Dolezal to ballistic missiles still linger on news sites all over the web.

One website devoted an entire article to Abrams’ tweet about Kim Kardashian’s clothes. The story was titled “This Tweeter’s PERFECT Response to Kim K’s Naked Selfie Will Crack You Up.”

“Thank goodness, then, that there are people like Twitter user Jenna Abrams to come to the celebrity’s wardrobe-lacking aide,” reads a Brit & Co. article from March of 2016.

Those same users who followed @Jenn_Abrams for her perfect Kim Kardashian jokes would be blasted with her shoddily punctuated ideas on slavery and segregation just one month later.

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Unlike hackers who seek to breach secure gateways and capture guarded information, trolls seek to gather an audience and influence it or elicit a reaction, usually emotional. While you in fact know little to nothing about them – their location for instance, their actual nationality, who they really are  – they learn a lot about you! Your location, your opinions, even your habits.

So much about Jenna Abrams was similar to ‘my troll’ that they could be sisters.

  1. The impersonation of an American;
  2. The range in types of posts/comments (seemingly frivolous to some embedded with a clear political message);
  3. The linguistic variations among posts (indicating more than one person doing the writing);
  4. The familiarity in imparting ‘information’ (or disinformation – both Jenna and my troll like “Did you know…?”);
  5. The trademark of the troll: targeting an emotional response.

These are just a few similarities I noticed.

If you campaigned the way I did, then you probably at least doubled your Facebook friends and those you follow on Twitter in the course of the 19 months of the 2016  election cycle. It was impossible to spend a lot of time checking deeply into friend requests, and we wanted all the friends and followers we could muster to get people involved. It would be foolhardy to try a deep check on every new friend.

When you read the Daily Beast article and also my post about Facebook friends, you get an idea of how a foreign troll impersonating an American can trip an alarm and why it is important to identify them.

 

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If this is found to be the case, what is the solution?


By Joe Rothstein

Donald Trump spent much of the 2016 campaign warning us that the result of the presidential election would be rigged. Events of the last few weeks suggest he may have been right and that his presidency is illegitimate.

Here’s what we have learned in those last few weeks:

1. The Republican and Democratic co-chairs of the Senate Intelligence Committee endorsed the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that Putin’s government engaged in propaganda and hacking campaigns to influence the outcome of 2016 U.S. election. The use of “hacking” in their assessment is significant for reasons I’ll discuss in a moment.

2. The Russian propaganda campaign mirrored the way the Trump campaign itself used Facebook advertising to target voters, strongly suggesting collusion.

3. The National Security Agency and Equifax, two of the most secure data repositories in the world, reported that they were successfully hacked, undermining claims that state and county voting systems, many built on consumer software, were impenetrable to outside manipulation.

Let’s first consider the propaganda question.

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