Russiagate Open Thread: How Many Repub Senators Does the GRU Already Own?

Sure, it’s not like anyone paying attention didn’t already know this, but you’d think verification of a long-standing, ongoing attack against America by a foreign power would get some traction in the news, yes?

The long-pending report by the Intelligence panel concluded that Russia directed an aggressive social media campaign to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton and help Trump in the 2016 presidential election and warns similar efforts to interfere in U.S. politics are still under way. It was a bipartisan endorsement of the finding made by U.S. intelligence agencies and often questioned by Trump.

The report, two years in the making, found that the Internet Research Agency “was overtly and almost invariably supportive of then-candidate Trump to the detriment of Secretary Clinton’s campaign.” As part of that effort, it targeted African-Americans through social media more than any other group…

Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the committee’s top Democrat, warned of more interference to come in next year’s election. “There’s no doubt that bad actors will continue to try to weaponize the scale and reach of social media platforms to erode public confidence and foster chaos,” he said…

Among the findings were efforts by the Kremlin-directed IRA to convert social media into real-world actions. Operatives posing as U.S. political activists also “sought help from the Trump campaign to procure campaign materials and to organize and promote rallies.”…

The panel urged that lawmakers consider expanding to social media the existing transparency requirements for political advertising on TV or the radio. Facebook, Google and Twitter have all put together ad transparency databases, but differences between them persist and legislative vehicles, such as the “Honest Ads Act” that Warner supports, have stalled.

Senator Kamala Harris, a member of the Intelligence Committee who’s running for the Democratic presidential nomination, said in a statement that the Russian tactics were “designed to suppress the votes of black Americans in particular” and that social media companies must step up their efforts to fight disinformation. She said they need to “ensure their workforces are diverse enough to identify and understand the cultural nuances that foreign actors exploit to divide and harm Americans.”

(Yeah, I still don’t trust Burr, because he’s retreated to the ‘what could us poor Repubs do? They held a gun to our heads!’ defense. Squeak the f*ck up, at the very least, traitor-enabler.)

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Late Night Open Thread: (Slightly NSFW) Like & Share

Urkranium-1 Open Thread: The ‘Unified Morons Theory’

(Matt Davies via

There is a growing body of empirical support for Marcotte’s theory:

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Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Snippets for Insomniacs

“Becaue universal background checks would be… intrusive… “

Somebody watched one too many Cold War thrillers…

Finally… minor, but still irksome:


Open Thread: Moscow Mitch / Massacre Mitch

(Mike Luckovich via

Adam K. Raymond, in NYMag“How ‘Moscow Mitch’ Is Helping Democrats”:

Wednesday marks two weeks since the KDP began selling its line of Moscow Mitch merch, headlined by a red T-shirt with the slogan “Just say nyet to Moscow Mitch.” In that time, the party, which is also selling beer koozies, shot glasses, and Cossack-style hats, has brought in $500,000 on 13,526 unique sales. Each of those is a donation to the KDP, and more than 90 percent have come from people like Weedon who have never before given to the state party.

“We knew he was underwater, but this really gave us an indication of how angry the people are,” said Nicole Erwin, communications director for the KDP. She added that the Moscow Mitch items are the largest merch campaign the party has ever done. “It blows everything else out of the water,” she said.

Erwin traced the idea for the Moscow Mitch merch back to Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony last month. The former special counsel warned of the Russian government’s continued “efforts to interfere in our election,” and McConnell, who had infamously stopped the Obama administration from making a bipartisan condemnation of Russian election interference in 2016, responded by blocking two pieces of election-security legislation in the Senate…

“We felt like the KDP was in a really unique position to hold the Senate majority leader accountable,” Erwin said. “We’ve really seen the sales take off, and we feel like it’s largely because we have this warning that we need to do something to ramp up election security. And even though bipartisan election security has been proposed, Mitch McConnell refuses to take a stand.”…

(Jeff Danziger via