Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Manafort and Deripaska: More Secret Russian Connections in the Trump Team

by Nomad

The tangled web woven by President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, just keeps getting more and more tangled.
And now there's this:

The Associated Press is now reporting that Manafort 
"secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics."
That's quite a bold claim. It's also one that would flatly contradict Trump administration assertions that Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests.
Nope, never. Fake news, people!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Trumpcare, Paul Ryan, and Founding Father Dr. Benjamin Rush's Warning

by Nomad

Last Thursday, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was interviewed by MSNBC’s Chuck Todd. It wasn't very interesting, to be honest with you.
As expected, Ryan performed the same retractions and dodges and, in order not to be accused of saying anything either for or against the president, twisted more than a talented contortionist.

We can't really blame Trump for his slanderous tweets against Obama because, as Ryan said, ten-year-old Twitter is "new" and 70-year old presidents can't be blamed for not understanding how all this new technology stuff works.
Ryan really said that.

Watching a grown man squirm like that is hard to watch. It wasn't any easier to view knowing that there really were people out there who might actually believe him.
However, among all of this intentionally complicated fast talk, there was one thing he said that caught my ear.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Film Friday- Two Short Films from "The Perennial Plate"

by Nomad

The two films I've chosen this Friday are actually a pair of episodes from the two-time James Beard Award-winning online weekly documentary series, The Perennial Plate.
This show is a dedicated to socially responsible and adventurous eating.
All of the episodes can be found here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hybrid Warfare: NATO Investigates Putin's Troll War against the West 2/3

 by Nomad

In Part One of this series, we took a look at the basic principles of Russia's hybrid warfare campaign on social media based on a 2015 NATO report. In this segment, let's take a look at how these techniques have been used in practice. In addition, we will look at the role that Russian hybrid warfare played in the 2016 campaign.
That's a puzzle that's still missing quite a few pieces.

Early Warnings

I don’t think anybody knows that it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia—I don't, maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?Donald Trump, September 26, 2016
This remark by candidate Trump in last months of the campaign must have struck many informed observers as extremely peculiar. His denial of Russian hacking didn't fit into the established timeline.
Only a few months earlier, on July 27, in the heat of the campaign, Trump had invited Russian hackers to find the 30,000 Hillary Clinton's emails. 
And a month before that, June 15, 2016, a hacker calling himself Guccifer 2.0 explain he had given the hacked emails to WikiLeaks. The emails reportedly came complete with telltale Russian-language formatting errors. Yet, Trump was still inexplicably denying what was already obvious.