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From the New York Times:

How Fiction Becomes Fact on Social Media
By BENEDICT CAREY OCT. 20, 2017

… In the coming weeks, executives from Facebook and Twitter will appear before Congressional committees to answer questions about the use of their platforms by Russian hackers and others to spread misinformation and skew elections. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Facebook sold more than $100,000 worth of ads to a Kremlin-linked company, and Google sold more than $4,500 worth to accounts thought to be connected to the Russian government.

Agents with links to the Russian government set up an endless array of fake accounts and websites and purchased a slew of advertisements on Google and Facebook, spreading dubious claims that seemed intended to sow division all along the political spectrum — “a cultural hack,” in the words of one expert.

Does anybody ever notice how ludicrously small these amounts are?

 
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  1. Years ago my wife and I had a business. We would tag a business card to a wholesaler’s weekly ad in the newspaper, $165 per/week. Simple math shows that our tag ads cost us $7920 per year, back in the late 80s early 90s. $4500 seems like a miniscule amount.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Trelane
    Buffalo Joe doxxed:

    https://get.pxhere.com/photo/horizon-cloud-sky-cosmos-view-atmosphere-panorama-reflection-vehicle-flight-space-usa-arctic-globe-nasa-outer-space-science-clouds-earth-stars-canada-planet-iss-astronauts-orbiting-flyover-arctic-ocean-aerial-photography-space-station-astronomical-object-great-lakes-atmosphere-of-earth-ice-cap-1198207.jpg
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  2. Broski says:

    A positive effect of Pournelle’s passing is the refreshed attention upon Matthew 7:3 (KJV)’s sacred eloquence.

    Read More
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  3. Anonym says:

    The return on equity of these Russians is incredible. Just think, for only $100k and this one weird trick, you can win an election! Who needs Rove or even Bannon when for less than $100k you can buy an election!

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    • LOL: Broski, Frau Katze
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  4. …. spreading dubious claims that seemed intended to sow division all along the political spectrum — “a cultural hack,” in the words of one expert.

    Yes because the United States in 2016 was kind of a transcontinental version of the Smurfs’ village or Hobbits’ Shire. It was the Russians who ruined all that. Someone needs to enter Asterix and the Roman Agent in as evidence of just how it was done.

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    • Replies: @Frau Katze
    Don't forget that American NGOs used to be active in Russia. They were eventually kicked out (I'm not sure if they all left).

    So we can target Russia but how dare they do the same thing. Of all the nerve.
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  5. Ivy says:

    Radio Free Europe and similar media might have even spent more than $4,500 a year to influence foreign things, but that’s different just because. And it was a long time ago, and so there.

    Read More
    • LOL: bomag
    • Replies: @ben tillman

    … In the coming weeks, executives from Facebook and Twitter will appear before Congressional committees to answer questions about the use of their platforms by Russian hackers and others to spread misinformation and skew elections.
     
    Wake me when Congress investigates the use of NBC, CNN, ETC. to spread misinformation and skew elections.
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  6. The Russian government and the Russian mafia are entitled under the First Amendment and Supreme Court precedents to spend as much as they wish on US media and ads to influence US voters. So are Americans and any other foreigners that may wish to spread their messages here.

    The assumption that authorities should regulate who can be told what by whom is totalitarian. Free people can hear what the Russian government has to say and then decide what they think about it. And free markets in speech and attention have been the law in America since the founding.

    The paternalistic new lefty anti-Russia campaign is built on smuggling in foreign totalitarian policies about control of speech and ideas.

    Read More
    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    Remember to vote, Owen.
    , @Yngvar

    The Russian government and the Russian mafia are entitled under the First Amendment and Supreme Court precedents to spend as much as they wish on US media and ads to influence US voters.
     
    Not true. See: Foreign Agents Registration Act.
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  7. Does anybody ever notice how ludicrously small these amounts are?

    In a word, yes.

    Sometimes one gets the same sense about stories of campaign contributions. “So-and-so gave $1,000 to a campaign, and three other lawyers on his team gave between $250 and $2,000″ misses the mark. Legal limits on individual donations make it so that the real stories involve bundling and PACs.

    Reports on Weinstein and Mueller both often make this mistake.

    As for Russian efforts to effect American anything, those acts are no different from what most governments do. The US is probably the biggest player, doing it more than anybody else.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Broski

    “So-and-so gave $1,000 to a campaign, and three other lawyers on his team gave between $250 and $2,000″ misses the mark.
     
    Except insofar as it exposes partisan enthusiasm of the literal money-where-mouth-is variety, such as among a large swath of Mueller’s political hench/hitmen.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Some of the people you read about give those levels of amounts to both sides too. Now, why would someone do that? Let me explain. I think the small amounts are just to get the attention of the sleazy politicians. The real money will be worked out in different ways later on; there are a myriad ways when government is as large as it is now. For the really big shots, the big bucks can be laundered via speaking engagements (man, that’s really gone up lately. Darn inflation!) and book publishing/purchasing, cough, Hildabeast, cough, cough.

    The money given to both sides is not to particularly elect someone, cause why fight against oneself? No, it’s to let whomever wins know that they will owe you, and you are one of their “special constituents” that can actually get into the congressman’s office when he is there. I’ve never gotten to do that, though I’ve tried, as I am not special. I ride on regular-length buses, if at all, and usually in the back, because of my race (and lack of CCP right now).
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  8. newrouter says:

    >“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”
    ― Theodore Dalrymple<

    https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/67950.Theodore_Dalrymple

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Dalrymple has one thing wrong. Humiliation is the weapon used to keep you in line if convincing you doesn't work. Tyrants are perfectly okay with conviction; in fact, it's simpler and easier than humiliation.
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  9. unit472 says:

    If its all they have its what they have to go with. It almost makes me feel embarrassed- for Russia. Couldn’t Putin have put the grip on some Russian oligarch for some Clinton sized campaign contributions. Putin doesn’t need the money for his own election and, if he asked for a few million to run a real psy-ops campaign to influence the 2016 election, what Russian billionaire would refuse?

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  10. bomag says:

    Agents with links to the Russian government set up an endless array of fake accounts and websites and purchased a slew of advertisements on Google and Facebook…

    Endless array? Is that a countable or an uncountable infinity?

    How many is a slew?

    Also: we send countless agents and money to other countries, and all we have to show for it is hatred and endless immigration. The Russians spend $104,500 and they get one of our elections. We should hire them.

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  11. Broski says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Does anybody ever notice how ludicrously small these amounts are?
     
    In a word, yes.

    Sometimes one gets the same sense about stories of campaign contributions. "So-and-so gave $1,000 to a campaign, and three other lawyers on his team gave between $250 and $2,000" misses the mark. Legal limits on individual donations make it so that the real stories involve bundling and PACs.

    Reports on Weinstein and Mueller both often make this mistake.

    As for Russian efforts to effect American anything, those acts are no different from what most governments do. The US is probably the biggest player, doing it more than anybody else.

    “So-and-so gave $1,000 to a campaign, and three other lawyers on his team gave between $250 and $2,000″ misses the mark.

    Except insofar as it exposes partisan enthusiasm of the literal money-where-mouth-is variety, such as among a large swath of Mueller’s political hench/hitmen.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    That is true -- and alarming -- in the case of Mueller and his team.

    In Weinstein's case, however, it doesn't give any indication at all of how he has influenced American politics and popular thought. I'm learning more about that by reading iSteve now than I have ever seen anywhere else. Before this, Harvey to me was just a big, fat asshole who lived in my old town and came into my office a couple of times. (Lots of people around there have Harvey Weinstein stories. He exemplifies a certain type of entitled prick that lives there.)

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  12. Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that Bill O’Reilly’s sexuality has done tens of millions of dollars worth of damage:
    “Publicly known harassment settlements involving Mr. O’Reilly have totaled about $45 million”.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/21/business/media/bill-oreilly-sexual-harassment.html

    O’Reilly has likely spent more on one crowded elevator ride than the Russians supposedly spent to throw a whole US election.

    Read More
    • LOL: Alden
    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    If you had to counsel an attractive young women on career choice these days--strictly on financial grounds, without moral qualms about being a disgusting parasite--has to be to find an opportunity to cash in on a sexual harassment suit. You aren't going to find a Bill O'Reilly very often, but find your way to be in the proximity of a powerful man, known to be sexually interested/aggressive, wiggle your ass ... and it's pretty much money. I'm sure there's some specific lawyer advice, but the bottom line is it's pretty much open ended. "Unwanted" sexual attention. It's pretty easy to generate sexual attention. Then you say it's unwanted, made you uncomfortable, created anxiety, etc. etc.
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  13. $5000 a month was my Google Adwords budget in 2004. This for a tiny company that custom made lasers for industrial “machine vision.”

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  14. @Broski

    “So-and-so gave $1,000 to a campaign, and three other lawyers on his team gave between $250 and $2,000″ misses the mark.
     
    Except insofar as it exposes partisan enthusiasm of the literal money-where-mouth-is variety, such as among a large swath of Mueller’s political hench/hitmen.

    That is true — and alarming — in the case of Mueller and his team.

    In Weinstein’s case, however, it doesn’t give any indication at all of how he has influenced American politics and popular thought. I’m learning more about that by reading iSteve now than I have ever seen anywhere else. Before this, Harvey to me was just a big, fat asshole who lived in my old town and came into my office a couple of times. (Lots of people around there have Harvey Weinstein stories. He exemplifies a certain type of entitled prick that lives there.)

    Read More
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  15. Jeb! wildly outspent Trump as did Hillary!

    Being effective may be better than being rich.

    Read More
    • Replies: @eD
    "Jeb! wildly outspent Trump as did Hillary!"

    Actually one of the depressing lessons I took from the 2016 that outspending your opponent and getting the media in your corner still works.

    People forget this by how the Electoral College broke the way it did, but despite being a horrible candidate in many ways, Clinton still got more votes. There is no Electoral College in elections for other offices, and in most elections bad candidates win pretty routinely by outspending their opponents and getting more favorable media coverage (or the election not being covered at all), though granted you do need both for this to work.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    ¿What's the matter, muchaco, ran out of upside-down exclamation points?

    ¡HERE YOU GO!

    ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

    That's 100 of them, which should last until I try to give America away again in 2020. That'll be 100 pesos, senor, and I don't want no steeenkin' ¡beetcoin!

    ¡Don't say I never gave you nothin'!

    It's ¡Jeb! to you, sir, and don't you forget it.


    Sincerely,

    Senor Buusch, traitor-in-law to ex-presidente.

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  16. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    They’re small, but that’s sort of the point of “asymmetric” and “fourth generation warfare”: very small investments yielding relatively high returns. Social media is a medium that allows such leverage. You don’t need to spend huge sums anymore to have an impact.

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  17. eD says:
    @anony-mouse
    Jeb! wildly outspent Trump as did Hillary!

    Being effective may be better than being rich.

    “Jeb! wildly outspent Trump as did Hillary!”

    Actually one of the depressing lessons I took from the 2016 that outspending your opponent and getting the media in your corner still works.

    People forget this by how the Electoral College broke the way it did, but despite being a horrible candidate in many ways, Clinton still got more votes. There is no Electoral College in elections for other offices, and in most elections bad candidates win pretty routinely by outspending their opponents and getting more favorable media coverage (or the election not being covered at all), though granted you do need both for this to work.

    Read More
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  18. anon says: • Disclaimer

    Trump’s campaign thru CA sent out 1.3 Billion targeted FB message impressions. Are the few hundred thousand impressions allegedly from the Russian going to make a big influence??

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  19. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @newrouter
    >“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is...in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”
    ― Theodore Dalrymple<

    https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/67950.Theodore_Dalrymple

    Dalrymple has one thing wrong. Humiliation is the weapon used to keep you in line if convincing you doesn’t work. Tyrants are perfectly okay with conviction; in fact, it’s simpler and easier than humiliation.

    Read More
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  20. J.Ross says: • Website

    >notice how small
    Almost all the reaction on 4chan when this charge came out could be summarized as “that’s what Soros poured into Ferguson every hour.”

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  21. Wilkey says:

    How much money has Mexico spent on getting its expats to vote in U.S. elections? How much money did it spend on those guides telling its citizens how to successfully immigrate illegally to the US? Or is it racist to ask?

    Read More
    • Agree: bomag
    • Replies: @Sean c
    Remember Carlos Slim is funneling money into the NYT. Did they buy any Facebook ads?
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  22. VFM 9054 says:

    I want to find the guy who managed to fix the election for less than $5000 and hire him to do all of my marketing.

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    • LOL: Jim Don Bob
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  23. Wilkey says:

    “Does anybody ever notice how ludicrously small these amounts are?”

    About 1/4th what Hillary and Bill receive for a single speech.

    About 1/20th of Eric Cantor’s salary for the first year after he left Congress.

    About 1/10th what your typical ex-congressman earns each year as a lobbyist.

    Smaller than the average Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment settlement, which themselves were ridiculously small.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lagertha
    Oh, but they are DONE. They are cooked and discarded. And, worse, people hate their children. No one survives the next 20 years. This is the history I was told by my grandparents. We are entering an existential crisis.
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  24. Lagertha says:

    so, like Iraq has weapons of destruction and shit?……..

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  25. RT (which a Russian government-funded news channel) claimed that the US govt is responsible for 9/11.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    RT anchor speaks about the 9/11 cover up.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI2s4v9XY3U
    , @bomag

    RT... claimed that the US govt is responsible for 9/11.
     
    Nothing there that we haven't heard before in great detail on the usual sites.

    Before I start worrying about secret Pentagon programs on nano-thermites, I'll worry about the wide open conspiracies to replace traditional Americans with more compliant foreigners; most recently articulated by John McCain and George W.
    , @ben tillman

    RT (which a Russian government-funded news channel) claimed that the US govt is responsible for 9/11.
     
    Well, there's absolutely no doubt about that. Whether or not government agents or quasi-agents helped to plan the attack, or managed or directed foreigners who planned the attack in the way they did with McVeigh, or intentionally let the attack happen, or merely grossly negligently allowed it to happen, the undeniable fact is that the government brought the alleged perpetrators to live among us. That by itself makes the USG fully responsible for the attack.
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  26. Lagertha says:
    @Wilkey
    "Does anybody ever notice how ludicrously small these amounts are?"

    About 1/4th what Hillary and Bill receive for a single speech.

    About 1/20th of Eric Cantor's salary for the first year after he left Congress.

    About 1/10th what your typical ex-congressman earns each year as a lobbyist.

    Smaller than the average Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment settlement, which themselves were ridiculously small.

    Oh, but they are DONE. They are cooked and discarded. And, worse, people hate their children. No one survives the next 20 years. This is the history I was told by my grandparents. We are entering an existential crisis.

    Read More
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  27. @JohnnyWalker123
    RT (which a Russian government-funded news channel) claimed that the US govt is responsible for 9/11.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ugCIjzHptA

    RT anchor speaks about the 9/11 cover up.

    Read More
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  28. Does anybody ever notice how ludicrously small these amounts are?

    Has anyone proposed that the Russians weren’t interested in spending money, but in making money?

    Follow the affiliate marketing deals.

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  29. JohnnyD says:

    Meanwhile, Haim Saban, who cares more about Israelis than Americans, gave Hillary ten times as much money…

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/haim-saban-hillary-clinton-donor-230711

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  30. The US govt funds a broadcaster called Radio Free Europe. Read below.

    Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is a United States government-funded broadcasting organization that spreads news, information, and analysis to countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, where it claims “the free flow of information is either banned by government authorities or not fully developed”.[3] RFE/RL is a 501(c)(3) corporation that receives U.S. government funding and is supervised by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an agency overseeing all U.S. federal government international broadcasting services.[4]

    During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe broadcast US govt propaganda into Soviet-dominated nations. Read more below.

    During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe (RFE) was broadcast to Soviet satellite countries and Radio Liberty (RL) targeted the Soviet Union. RFE was founded as an anti-communist propaganda source in 1949 by the National Committee for a Free Europe. RL was founded two years later and the two organizations merged in 1976. Communist governments frequently sent agents to infiltrate RFE’s headquarters. Radio transmissions into the Soviet Union were regularly jammed by the KGB. RFE/RL received funds from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) until 1972.[5] During RFE’s earliest years of existence, the CIA and U.S. Department of State issued broad policy directives, and a system evolved where broadcast policy was determined through negotiation between them and RFE staff.[6]

    Radio Free Europe worked directly to boost liberal Russian Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Eventually, due to partly to Gorbachev’s policies, the Soviet Union fell apart.

    During the Mikhail Gorbachev era in the Soviet Union, RFE/RL worked hand in hand with Glasnost and benefited significantly from the Soviet regime’s new openness. Gorbachev stopped the practice of jamming the broadcasts, and dissident politicians and officials could be freely interviewed by RFE/RL for the first time without fearing persecution or imprisonment.[67] By 1990 Radio Liberty had become the most listened-to Western radio station broadcasting to the Soviet Union.[68]

    Boris Yeltsin worked directly with Radio Free Europe.

    Its coverage of the 1991 August coup enriched sparse domestic coverage of the event and drew in a wide audience from throughout the region.[69] The broadcasts allowed Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin to stay in touch with the Russian people during this turbulent period. Boris Yeltsin later expressed his gratitude through a presidential decree allowing Radio Liberty to open a permanent bureau in Moscow.[70]

    Radio Free Europe helped push the Velvet Revolution, which ended Soviet domination of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It even reported a false story about the Czech police killing a student, which played a major role in motivating many Czechs to join the anti-Soviet revolution.

    RFE/RL also played a significant role in the 1989 Velvet Revolution, which brought an end to the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. Following the November 17 demonstrations and brutal crackdown by Czechoslovak riot police, RFE/RL’s Czechoslovak service reported that a student, Martin Šmíd, had been killed during the clashes. Although the report later turned out to be false – Šmid was alive and well – the story is credited by many sources with inspiring Czechoslovak citizens to join the subsequent (larger) demonstrations which eventually brought down the communist government.

    America’s ruling class (politicians, media, intelligentsia, CIA) are angry that the Russian govt supposedly interfered in America’s political affairs, but (assuming they’re correct) how is this any different from Radio Free Europe? The ruling class claims that the Russians boosted Trump’s campaign, but RFE worked directly to further anti-Communists like Gorbachev and Yeltsin.

    Why can we interfere in Soviet/Russian political affairs with our RFE media propaganda, but they can’t interfere in our politics?

    Are Gorbachev and Yelstin illegitimate because they received support from RFE?

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    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    I'm reminded of this video of Putin getting genuinely annoyed at a Russian "liberal" media owner for his dishonest reporting. Apparently Putin does not say "throw mud at me" but something a little coarser.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yo4ilzvB7o
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    You are a young guy, Johnny, but lots of us here were around during some portion of the Cold War and know about all this.

    The bad thing about Radio Free Europe is you couldn't understand any of the words coming out. The good thing is, it didn't matter what Michael Stipe was singing, it's the melody and the sound:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK1xD8RClbM
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  31. BenKenobi says:
    @(((Owen)))
    The Russian government and the Russian mafia are entitled under the First Amendment and Supreme Court precedents to spend as much as they wish on US media and ads to influence US voters. So are Americans and any other foreigners that may wish to spread their messages here.

    The assumption that authorities should regulate who can be told what by whom is totalitarian. Free people can hear what the Russian government has to say and then decide what they think about it. And free markets in speech and attention have been the law in America since the founding.

    The paternalistic new lefty anti-Russia campaign is built on smuggling in foreign totalitarian policies about control of speech and ideas.

    Remember to vote, Owen.

    Read More
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  32. Trelane says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    Years ago my wife and I had a business. We would tag a business card to a wholesaler's weekly ad in the newspaper, $165 per/week. Simple math shows that our tag ads cost us $7920 per year, back in the late 80s early 90s. $4500 seems like a miniscule amount.

    Buffalo Joe doxxed:

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    If you zoom in, you can see the mist off of the falls, Trelane. I’ve been wondering how many sets of locks that shipping canal has, going from Erie (over 600’ msl) way down to Ontrario (350’ or so?). That’s a beautiful picture, but I can’t make out Joe’s house. Is it the one with that dark green Gran Torino parked in the driveway? Look at the finger lakes.
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  33. The press is our Caligula’s horse.

    Those who actually run things have hired these insipid clowns to rub our noses in their dominance.

    (The free press was once the crown jewel or our republic, as the Senate was to Rome’s. Just as Caligula sent his horse to the Roman Senate to expressed his well-earned contempt for what that institution had become, so do our rulers send these clowns to shown their similar sentiments.)

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    • Replies: @Olorin
    Don't forget, Incitatus as consul in fact had far more horse sense than many of the Senators of that period.
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  34. Now the ultra-conscentious Rs can’t say “there’s not one shred of evidence” or whatever. There’s now a shred, which is a different argument than nothing.

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  35. I’m glad there honest men like Benedict Carey committed to getting to the bottom of this conspiracy. Thanks to him, it’s all beginning to make sense. $100,000 and $4,500. With their willingness to spend such princely sums, it’s easy to see how the Russians were able to subvert democracy and help Trump steal the election.

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  36. Sean c says:
    @Wilkey
    How much money has Mexico spent on getting its expats to vote in U.S. elections? How much money did it spend on those guides telling its citizens how to successfully immigrate illegally to the US? Or is it racist to ask?

    Remember Carlos Slim is funneling money into the NYT. Did they buy any Facebook ads?

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  37. @JohnnyWalker123
    The US govt funds a broadcaster called Radio Free Europe. Read below.

    Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is a United States government-funded broadcasting organization that spreads news, information, and analysis to countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, where it claims "the free flow of information is either banned by government authorities or not fully developed".[3] RFE/RL is a 501(c)(3) corporation that receives U.S. government funding and is supervised by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an agency overseeing all U.S. federal government international broadcasting services.[4]
     
    During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe broadcast US govt propaganda into Soviet-dominated nations. Read more below.

    During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe (RFE) was broadcast to Soviet satellite countries and Radio Liberty (RL) targeted the Soviet Union. RFE was founded as an anti-communist propaganda source in 1949 by the National Committee for a Free Europe. RL was founded two years later and the two organizations merged in 1976. Communist governments frequently sent agents to infiltrate RFE's headquarters. Radio transmissions into the Soviet Union were regularly jammed by the KGB. RFE/RL received funds from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) until 1972.[5] During RFE's earliest years of existence, the CIA and U.S. Department of State issued broad policy directives, and a system evolved where broadcast policy was determined through negotiation between them and RFE staff.[6]
     
    Radio Free Europe worked directly to boost liberal Russian Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Eventually, due to partly to Gorbachev's policies, the Soviet Union fell apart.

    During the Mikhail Gorbachev era in the Soviet Union, RFE/RL worked hand in hand with Glasnost and benefited significantly from the Soviet regime's new openness. Gorbachev stopped the practice of jamming the broadcasts, and dissident politicians and officials could be freely interviewed by RFE/RL for the first time without fearing persecution or imprisonment.[67] By 1990 Radio Liberty had become the most listened-to Western radio station broadcasting to the Soviet Union.[68]
     
    Boris Yeltsin worked directly with Radio Free Europe.


    Its coverage of the 1991 August coup enriched sparse domestic coverage of the event and drew in a wide audience from throughout the region.[69] The broadcasts allowed Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin to stay in touch with the Russian people during this turbulent period. Boris Yeltsin later expressed his gratitude through a presidential decree allowing Radio Liberty to open a permanent bureau in Moscow.[70]

     

    Radio Free Europe helped push the Velvet Revolution, which ended Soviet domination of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It even reported a false story about the Czech police killing a student, which played a major role in motivating many Czechs to join the anti-Soviet revolution.



    RFE/RL also played a significant role in the 1989 Velvet Revolution, which brought an end to the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. Following the November 17 demonstrations and brutal crackdown by Czechoslovak riot police, RFE/RL's Czechoslovak service reported that a student, Martin Šmíd, had been killed during the clashes. Although the report later turned out to be false – Šmid was alive and well – the story is credited by many sources with inspiring Czechoslovak citizens to join the subsequent (larger) demonstrations which eventually brought down the communist government.

     

    America's ruling class (politicians, media, intelligentsia, CIA) are angry that the Russian govt supposedly interfered in America's political affairs, but (assuming they're correct) how is this any different from Radio Free Europe? The ruling class claims that the Russians boosted Trump's campaign, but RFE worked directly to further anti-Communists like Gorbachev and Yeltsin.

    Why can we interfere in Soviet/Russian political affairs with our RFE media propaganda, but they can't interfere in our politics?

    Are Gorbachev and Yelstin illegitimate because they received support from RFE?

    I’m reminded of this video of Putin getting genuinely annoyed at a Russian “liberal” media owner for his dishonest reporting. Apparently Putin does not say “throw mud at me” but something a little coarser.

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  38. Thomas says:

    Facebook has already started some creepy “fact checking” system. If you’ve shared links that designated fact checkers (like politifact.com) deem insufficiently truthy, you now get a warning. I’m assuming shadow bans (or actual bans) will be coming before long.

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  39. Mr. Anon says:

    $105,000? That’s a mere fraction of what Johnnie Trie delivered to the 1996 Clinton/Gore campaign on behalf of his Chinese Military Intelligence patrons. Maybe the Democrats should cry out the refrain “Where’s the Outrage”, like Bob Dole did.

    Perhaps Vlad had already spent so much greasing Madame Secretary and her libidinous husband on the Uranium One deal, that he didn’t have much left over to put his pal, The Donald, in office.

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  40. kihowi says:

    Talking about small amounts, I have to laugh every time there’s talk of an enormous Russian propaganda network with thousands (that’s thousands, people!) of fake Twitter accounts.

    The going rate for a thousand Twitter accounts is about ten dollars, I believe.

    Google “buy Twitter accounts” and you too could rival the KGB in espionage.

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  41. 22pp22 says:

    Wow.

    I have the power to skew the net election. It’ll cost me my savings but it’ll be worth it.

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    • Replies: @Olorin
    Hm, maybe this is behind all this immense garment-rending about these little amounts. I.e., motivating Mr. and Mrs. Joe Sixpack-Boomer to get involved in donating. (See what happens when you don't donate four-figure amounts? Gronald Grumpf-Hitler wins because of the KGB!)

    Or maybe it's cognate to the MoveOn tactic of bringing in people by getting them to donate $3, or Bernie Bros and their, what was it, $27?

    Research on cognition and motivation shows that getting a person to pay something--anything-- for something increases their later memory of it, interest in it, and probability of extended support of it. As our host noted regarding Dale Carnegie's motivational practices a few days ago--the way to ensure a person's devotion to you is to get them to do you favors.

    "Well, I can't outspend RUSSIA for god's sake--$4,500!--but I can contribute two percent of that!"

    Actually I figure the only reason this gets reported is that we have laws to this effect, and the reporting of it lets the big playas distract from the seven- to nine-figure amounts of other influence-buying.

    However as someone mentioned above, going down those lists of small potatoes does supply a pretty good poll of which individuals with which interests/inclinations are supporting which candidate. I've found that useful at the local election level. I.e., if the same three people support the same two people, when I see them supporting two other local candidates, I have a better idea of which way to go or not.

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  42. Josh says:

    I suppose “Agents with links” is supposed to make me think of the KGB. Everybody has “links” to the government.

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  43. Lurker says:

    Russian hackers and others to spread misinformation and skew elections.

    I’m still waiting to hear what the dreaded misinformation consisted of. It’s like the manifest benefits of diversity – constantly implied but never described.

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  44. @Trelane
    Buffalo Joe doxxed:

    https://get.pxhere.com/photo/horizon-cloud-sky-cosmos-view-atmosphere-panorama-reflection-vehicle-flight-space-usa-arctic-globe-nasa-outer-space-science-clouds-earth-stars-canada-planet-iss-astronauts-orbiting-flyover-arctic-ocean-aerial-photography-space-station-astronomical-object-great-lakes-atmosphere-of-earth-ice-cap-1198207.jpg

    If you zoom in, you can see the mist off of the falls, Trelane. I’ve been wondering how many sets of locks that shipping canal has, going from Erie (over 600’ msl) way down to Ontrario (350’ or so?). That’s a beautiful picture, but I can’t make out Joe’s house. Is it the one with that dark green Gran Torino parked in the driveway? Look at the finger lakes.

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  45. CK says:

    ” Does anybody ever notice how ludicrously small these amounts are? ”
    It ain’t the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
    Those Russian sponsored ads were Pit bulls compared to the Chihuahuas that the Clinton and Trump campaign promenaded across the media horizon.

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  46. I’m sure there are a few at the top levels of the LP (Lyin’ Press) that do really understand the numbers, but you may be surprised at how innumerate most reporters are. Unfortunately, one could say the same for a majority of Americans. One Million or one Billion, they’re both big numbers so same difference, right?

    This reminds me of whenever a promised and long-waited-for US Feral Gov’t shutdown occurs we hear about how you won’t be able to hike in Yosemite, and the Air/Space museum in Washington, FS will be closed and a hundred other wonderful things that don’t add up to 0.001 % of the budget will be shut down. The ratio won’t be mentioned, or the people might understand the numbers then. People are better with ratios, as they don’t have to do the (albeit, easy) math in their heads.

    The US southern border wall/barrier is an example. Even based on costs of building interstate highway mileage (which usually requires more land purchases too), and even at extremely wasteful US Gov’t prices, the cost is a day or so of US Feral Gov’t spending. It’s a pittance. Don’t give me any crap about we can’t afford it – it hasn’t been built because there are powerful people who don’t want it built.

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  47. @Buzz Mohawk

    Does anybody ever notice how ludicrously small these amounts are?
     
    In a word, yes.

    Sometimes one gets the same sense about stories of campaign contributions. "So-and-so gave $1,000 to a campaign, and three other lawyers on his team gave between $250 and $2,000" misses the mark. Legal limits on individual donations make it so that the real stories involve bundling and PACs.

    Reports on Weinstein and Mueller both often make this mistake.

    As for Russian efforts to effect American anything, those acts are no different from what most governments do. The US is probably the biggest player, doing it more than anybody else.

    Some of the people you read about give those levels of amounts to both sides too. Now, why would someone do that? Let me explain. I think the small amounts are just to get the attention of the sleazy politicians. The real money will be worked out in different ways later on; there are a myriad ways when government is as large as it is now. For the really big shots, the big bucks can be laundered via speaking engagements (man, that’s really gone up lately. Darn inflation!) and book publishing/purchasing, cough, Hildabeast, cough, cough.

    The money given to both sides is not to particularly elect someone, cause why fight against oneself? No, it’s to let whomever wins know that they will owe you, and you are one of their “special constituents” that can actually get into the congressman’s office when he is there. I’ve never gotten to do that, though I’ve tried, as I am not special. I ride on regular-length buses, if at all, and usually in the back, because of my race (and lack of CCP right now).

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  48. Jack D says:

    Notice the phrasing- “more than $4,500″. The amount must be something like $4,562. Printing the actual number makes it sound ludicrously small, especially to a New Yorker – one month’s rent on a small Manhattan apartment or a high end pocketbook. “More than $4,000″ sounds even worse. So “more than $4,500″ (which also has the virtue of ambiguity – a billion is more than $4,500) was the best that they could do.

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  49. Steve, in keeping with Sapir-Whorf you’re always looking for snappy words to describe new phenomena. The one you want here is “media hacking”. It’s a thing now. Everyone does it. The hate hoaxes are a subspecies.

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  50. @anony-mouse
    Jeb! wildly outspent Trump as did Hillary!

    Being effective may be better than being rich.

    ¿What’s the matter, muchaco, ran out of upside-down exclamation points?

    ¡HERE YOU GO!

    ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

    That’s 100 of them, which should last until I try to give America away again in 2020. That’ll be 100 pesos, senor, and I don’t want no steeenkin’ ¡beetcoin!

    ¡Don’t say I never gave you nothin’!

    It’s ¡Jeb! to you, sir, and don’t you forget it.

    Sincerely,

    Senor Buusch, traitor-in-law to ex-presidente.

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  51. @JohnnyWalker123
    The US govt funds a broadcaster called Radio Free Europe. Read below.

    Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is a United States government-funded broadcasting organization that spreads news, information, and analysis to countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, where it claims "the free flow of information is either banned by government authorities or not fully developed".[3] RFE/RL is a 501(c)(3) corporation that receives U.S. government funding and is supervised by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an agency overseeing all U.S. federal government international broadcasting services.[4]
     
    During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe broadcast US govt propaganda into Soviet-dominated nations. Read more below.

    During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe (RFE) was broadcast to Soviet satellite countries and Radio Liberty (RL) targeted the Soviet Union. RFE was founded as an anti-communist propaganda source in 1949 by the National Committee for a Free Europe. RL was founded two years later and the two organizations merged in 1976. Communist governments frequently sent agents to infiltrate RFE's headquarters. Radio transmissions into the Soviet Union were regularly jammed by the KGB. RFE/RL received funds from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) until 1972.[5] During RFE's earliest years of existence, the CIA and U.S. Department of State issued broad policy directives, and a system evolved where broadcast policy was determined through negotiation between them and RFE staff.[6]
     
    Radio Free Europe worked directly to boost liberal Russian Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Eventually, due to partly to Gorbachev's policies, the Soviet Union fell apart.

    During the Mikhail Gorbachev era in the Soviet Union, RFE/RL worked hand in hand with Glasnost and benefited significantly from the Soviet regime's new openness. Gorbachev stopped the practice of jamming the broadcasts, and dissident politicians and officials could be freely interviewed by RFE/RL for the first time without fearing persecution or imprisonment.[67] By 1990 Radio Liberty had become the most listened-to Western radio station broadcasting to the Soviet Union.[68]
     
    Boris Yeltsin worked directly with Radio Free Europe.


    Its coverage of the 1991 August coup enriched sparse domestic coverage of the event and drew in a wide audience from throughout the region.[69] The broadcasts allowed Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin to stay in touch with the Russian people during this turbulent period. Boris Yeltsin later expressed his gratitude through a presidential decree allowing Radio Liberty to open a permanent bureau in Moscow.[70]

     

    Radio Free Europe helped push the Velvet Revolution, which ended Soviet domination of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It even reported a false story about the Czech police killing a student, which played a major role in motivating many Czechs to join the anti-Soviet revolution.



    RFE/RL also played a significant role in the 1989 Velvet Revolution, which brought an end to the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. Following the November 17 demonstrations and brutal crackdown by Czechoslovak riot police, RFE/RL's Czechoslovak service reported that a student, Martin Šmíd, had been killed during the clashes. Although the report later turned out to be false – Šmid was alive and well – the story is credited by many sources with inspiring Czechoslovak citizens to join the subsequent (larger) demonstrations which eventually brought down the communist government.

     

    America's ruling class (politicians, media, intelligentsia, CIA) are angry that the Russian govt supposedly interfered in America's political affairs, but (assuming they're correct) how is this any different from Radio Free Europe? The ruling class claims that the Russians boosted Trump's campaign, but RFE worked directly to further anti-Communists like Gorbachev and Yeltsin.

    Why can we interfere in Soviet/Russian political affairs with our RFE media propaganda, but they can't interfere in our politics?

    Are Gorbachev and Yelstin illegitimate because they received support from RFE?

    You are a young guy, Johnny, but lots of us here were around during some portion of the Cold War and know about all this.

    The bad thing about Radio Free Europe is you couldn’t understand any of the words coming out. The good thing is, it didn’t matter what Michael Stipe was singing, it’s the melody and the sound:

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    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123

    lots of us here were around during some portion of the Cold War and know about all this.
     
    Apparently our media/political elites don't remember any of this. They act shocked, on a daily basis, that a foreign power interfered in US elections. Nobody ever mentions RFE and our interference in Soviet elections.

    Even Trump defenders don't mention RFE. Seems like everybody forgot about it.

    ......and yes, good music played a major role in bringing down the Soviet Union. Perhaps the Russians should fund Russian pop stars and broadcast their music here.
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  52. bomag says:
    @JohnnyWalker123
    RT (which a Russian government-funded news channel) claimed that the US govt is responsible for 9/11.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ugCIjzHptA

    RT… claimed that the US govt is responsible for 9/11.

    Nothing there that we haven’t heard before in great detail on the usual sites.

    Before I start worrying about secret Pentagon programs on nano-thermites, I’ll worry about the wide open conspiracies to replace traditional Americans with more compliant foreigners; most recently articulated by John McCain and George W.

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    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123

    Nothing there that we haven’t heard before in great detail on the usual sites.
     
    No, not really. The mainstream media do not broadcast any critique of the US govt's official 9/11 story. 40% of the public doubts the official story, but you never their views broadcast on tv. Very strange.....

    Before I start worrying about secret Pentagon programs on nano-thermites, I’ll worry about the wide open conspiracies to replace traditional Americans with more compliant foreigners; most recently articulated by John McCain and George W.
     
    That's a non sequitur. What does immigration have to do with 9/11?

    Non-sequitur: A conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement.
     
    Anyway, here's a thought for you to consider. Many of the posters here (such as you) are totally mistrusting of the US govt's immigration/race policies, but you totally trust everything the US govt says about 9/11. Is it possible that the same US govt that lies on immigration/race is, perhaps, not being totally honest about 9/11?

    Consider how 9/11 was used to justify the Iraq War (a war that killed 5,000 US troops, injured 1 million troops, wasted $5 trillion). Consider how Bin Laden (who was a sickly man on dialysis) was supposedly surviving for 10 years in a huge mansion in Abbotabad (which is right next to massive Paki military base). Consider how we were never shown Bin Laden's body after his supposed "death." Consider how Bin Laden's body was supposedly thrown in the sea right after his "death." The US govt claimed this sea burial was done to "respect" Islam - except that Islam only does ground burials, never sea burials. Consider how when Saddam and his sons were killed, their dead bodies were broadcast on tv and then buried in the ground....... Why was Bin Laden handled differently?

    Yes, I think we should totally trust the US govt's 9/11 story.
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  53. Tiny Duck says:

    1. We need a governmental agency to monitor and police social media

    2. Anonymous commenting needs to be banned. Leonard Pitts has pointed out his this would end abusive trolling

    3. We need to go to war with Russia

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  54. How much did Russia spend per capita to develop atomic weaponry compared to the US? The Russians exploded the world’s largest hydrogen bomb. Also, the Russians were the first in space while their economy was not match for the US.
    In a lot of ways the Russians appear to get more bang for their buck than the Americans. Poor Hillary spent well over $1.5 billion to lose the election, while the Russians spent over $100,000 to bring the unelectable Trump to power.
    Another example is when it came to buying uranium assets using Hillary’s influence. In this case it cost millions of dollars more than it should because of American inefficiency. This is why Putin is so popular in Russia, he delivers more for much less when compared to the Americans.

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  55. Spreading dubious claims? The Russians were adhering to the Democratic Party talking points, weren’t they?

    So the Russians were bad because they ran adds or “impressions” supporting BLM, BDS or whatever other cause Democrats or Liberals support, but this was evil because it confirmed the opinions of Trumpists or Deplorables about Democrats or Liberals?

    Professor, I’m confused!

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  56. Olorin says:
    @Desiderius
    The press is our Caligula's horse.

    Those who actually run things have hired these insipid clowns to rub our noses in their dominance.

    (The free press was once the crown jewel or our republic, as the Senate was to Rome's. Just as Caligula sent his horse to the Roman Senate to expressed his well-earned contempt for what that institution had become, so do our rulers send these clowns to shown their similar sentiments.)

    Don’t forget, Incitatus as consul in fact had far more horse sense than many of the Senators of that period.

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  57. Olorin says:
    @22pp22
    Wow.

    I have the power to skew the net election. It'll cost me my savings but it'll be worth it.

    Hm, maybe this is behind all this immense garment-rending about these little amounts. I.e., motivating Mr. and Mrs. Joe Sixpack-Boomer to get involved in donating. (See what happens when you don’t donate four-figure amounts? Gronald Grumpf-Hitler wins because of the KGB!)

    Or maybe it’s cognate to the MoveOn tactic of bringing in people by getting them to donate $3, or Bernie Bros and their, what was it, $27?

    Research on cognition and motivation shows that getting a person to pay something–anything– for something increases their later memory of it, interest in it, and probability of extended support of it. As our host noted regarding Dale Carnegie’s motivational practices a few days ago–the way to ensure a person’s devotion to you is to get them to do you favors.

    “Well, I can’t outspend RUSSIA for god’s sake–$4,500!–but I can contribute two percent of that!”

    Actually I figure the only reason this gets reported is that we have laws to this effect, and the reporting of it lets the big playas distract from the seven- to nine-figure amounts of other influence-buying.

    However as someone mentioned above, going down those lists of small potatoes does supply a pretty good poll of which individuals with which interests/inclinations are supporting which candidate. I’ve found that useful at the local election level. I.e., if the same three people support the same two people, when I see them supporting two other local candidates, I have a better idea of which way to go or not.

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  58. Google sold more than $4,500 worth to accounts thought to be connected to the Russian government.

    Write that without giggling.

    I dare you.

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  59. scrivener3 says: • Website

    division all along the political spectrum

    That means the ads were as much ainti-Trump as Ainti-Hillary, meaning the Russians were not trying to help Trump get elected but were trying to increase divisions and dissatisfaction in general. Sort of kills the narrative.

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  60. @bomag

    RT... claimed that the US govt is responsible for 9/11.
     
    Nothing there that we haven't heard before in great detail on the usual sites.

    Before I start worrying about secret Pentagon programs on nano-thermites, I'll worry about the wide open conspiracies to replace traditional Americans with more compliant foreigners; most recently articulated by John McCain and George W.

    Nothing there that we haven’t heard before in great detail on the usual sites.

    No, not really. The mainstream media do not broadcast any critique of the US govt’s official 9/11 story. 40% of the public doubts the official story, but you never their views broadcast on tv. Very strange…..

    Before I start worrying about secret Pentagon programs on nano-thermites, I’ll worry about the wide open conspiracies to replace traditional Americans with more compliant foreigners; most recently articulated by John McCain and George W.

    That’s a non sequitur. What does immigration have to do with 9/11?

    Non-sequitur: A conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement.

    Anyway, here’s a thought for you to consider. Many of the posters here (such as you) are totally mistrusting of the US govt’s immigration/race policies, but you totally trust everything the US govt says about 9/11. Is it possible that the same US govt that lies on immigration/race is, perhaps, not being totally honest about 9/11?

    Consider how 9/11 was used to justify the Iraq War (a war that killed 5,000 US troops, injured 1 million troops, wasted $5 trillion). Consider how Bin Laden (who was a sickly man on dialysis) was supposedly surviving for 10 years in a huge mansion in Abbotabad (which is right next to massive Paki military base). Consider how we were never shown Bin Laden’s body after his supposed “death.” Consider how Bin Laden’s body was supposedly thrown in the sea right after his “death.” The US govt claimed this sea burial was done to “respect” Islam – except that Islam only does ground burials, never sea burials. Consider how when Saddam and his sons were killed, their dead bodies were broadcast on tv and then buried in the ground……. Why was Bin Laden handled differently?

    Yes, I think we should totally trust the US govt’s 9/11 story.

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    • Replies: @ben tillman

    That’s a non sequitur. What does immigration have to do with 9/11?
     
    Come on, man. The alleged perpetrators were immigrants. The official story should have ushered in an immediate and severe reduction in immigration. That it did not demonstrated clearly that immigration/race replacement is the government's top priority.

    Of course, I don't believe the official story. How could I? The only "evidence" is the self-serving narrative publicized by the prime suspect's public relations apparatus.
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  61. @Achmed E. Newman
    You are a young guy, Johnny, but lots of us here were around during some portion of the Cold War and know about all this.

    The bad thing about Radio Free Europe is you couldn't understand any of the words coming out. The good thing is, it didn't matter what Michael Stipe was singing, it's the melody and the sound:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK1xD8RClbM

    lots of us here were around during some portion of the Cold War and know about all this.

    Apparently our media/political elites don’t remember any of this. They act shocked, on a daily basis, that a foreign power interfered in US elections. Nobody ever mentions RFE and our interference in Soviet elections.

    Even Trump defenders don’t mention RFE. Seems like everybody forgot about it.

    ……and yes, good music played a major role in bringing down the Soviet Union. Perhaps the Russians should fund Russian pop stars and broadcast their music here.

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  62. what majority of commenters both here and at NYT fail to realize is that from Russian perspective it makes little to no difference for issues important to Russia who wins White House so there is little point to try influencing the race. American foreign policy vs. Russia has been consistent throughout Bush and Obama years and would continue its course regardless whether Trump or Clinton would won the race. Sanctions, NATO expansion, meddling in Ukrainian affairs (I saw numbers of 5 billions spent on opposition prior to 2014 coup) will continue. It’s all driven by geopolitical considerations.

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  63. @Ivy
    Radio Free Europe and similar media might have even spent more than $4,500 a year to influence foreign things, but that's different just because. And it was a long time ago, and so there.

    … In the coming weeks, executives from Facebook and Twitter will appear before Congressional committees to answer questions about the use of their platforms by Russian hackers and others to spread misinformation and skew elections.

    Wake me when Congress investigates the use of NBC, CNN, ETC. to spread misinformation and skew elections.

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  64. @JohnnyWalker123

    Nothing there that we haven’t heard before in great detail on the usual sites.
     
    No, not really. The mainstream media do not broadcast any critique of the US govt's official 9/11 story. 40% of the public doubts the official story, but you never their views broadcast on tv. Very strange.....

    Before I start worrying about secret Pentagon programs on nano-thermites, I’ll worry about the wide open conspiracies to replace traditional Americans with more compliant foreigners; most recently articulated by John McCain and George W.
     
    That's a non sequitur. What does immigration have to do with 9/11?

    Non-sequitur: A conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement.
     
    Anyway, here's a thought for you to consider. Many of the posters here (such as you) are totally mistrusting of the US govt's immigration/race policies, but you totally trust everything the US govt says about 9/11. Is it possible that the same US govt that lies on immigration/race is, perhaps, not being totally honest about 9/11?

    Consider how 9/11 was used to justify the Iraq War (a war that killed 5,000 US troops, injured 1 million troops, wasted $5 trillion). Consider how Bin Laden (who was a sickly man on dialysis) was supposedly surviving for 10 years in a huge mansion in Abbotabad (which is right next to massive Paki military base). Consider how we were never shown Bin Laden's body after his supposed "death." Consider how Bin Laden's body was supposedly thrown in the sea right after his "death." The US govt claimed this sea burial was done to "respect" Islam - except that Islam only does ground burials, never sea burials. Consider how when Saddam and his sons were killed, their dead bodies were broadcast on tv and then buried in the ground....... Why was Bin Laden handled differently?

    Yes, I think we should totally trust the US govt's 9/11 story.

    That’s a non sequitur. What does immigration have to do with 9/11?

    Come on, man. The alleged perpetrators were immigrants. The official story should have ushered in an immediate and severe reduction in immigration. That it did not demonstrated clearly that immigration/race replacement is the government’s top priority.

    Of course, I don’t believe the official story. How could I? The only “evidence” is the self-serving narrative publicized by the prime suspect’s public relations apparatus.

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  65. @JohnnyWalker123
    RT (which a Russian government-funded news channel) claimed that the US govt is responsible for 9/11.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ugCIjzHptA

    RT (which a Russian government-funded news channel) claimed that the US govt is responsible for 9/11.

    Well, there’s absolutely no doubt about that. Whether or not government agents or quasi-agents helped to plan the attack, or managed or directed foreigners who planned the attack in the way they did with McVeigh, or intentionally let the attack happen, or merely grossly negligently allowed it to happen, the undeniable fact is that the government brought the alleged perpetrators to live among us. That by itself makes the USG fully responsible for the attack.

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  66. Yngvar says:
    @(((Owen)))
    The Russian government and the Russian mafia are entitled under the First Amendment and Supreme Court precedents to spend as much as they wish on US media and ads to influence US voters. So are Americans and any other foreigners that may wish to spread their messages here.

    The assumption that authorities should regulate who can be told what by whom is totalitarian. Free people can hear what the Russian government has to say and then decide what they think about it. And free markets in speech and attention have been the law in America since the founding.

    The paternalistic new lefty anti-Russia campaign is built on smuggling in foreign totalitarian policies about control of speech and ideas.

    The Russian government and the Russian mafia are entitled under the First Amendment and Supreme Court precedents to spend as much as they wish on US media and ads to influence US voters.

    Not true. See: Foreign Agents Registration Act.

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  67. @Cagey Beast
    Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that Bill O'Reilly's sexuality has done tens of millions of dollars worth of damage:
    "Publicly known harassment settlements involving Mr. O’Reilly have totaled about $45 million".
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/21/business/media/bill-oreilly-sexual-harassment.html

    O'Reilly has likely spent more on one crowded elevator ride than the Russians supposedly spent to throw a whole US election.

    If you had to counsel an attractive young women on career choice these days–strictly on financial grounds, without moral qualms about being a disgusting parasite–has to be to find an opportunity to cash in on a sexual harassment suit. You aren’t going to find a Bill O’Reilly very often, but find your way to be in the proximity of a powerful man, known to be sexually interested/aggressive, wiggle your ass … and it’s pretty much money. I’m sure there’s some specific lawyer advice, but the bottom line is it’s pretty much open ended. “Unwanted” sexual attention. It’s pretty easy to generate sexual attention. Then you say it’s unwanted, made you uncomfortable, created anxiety, etc. etc.

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  68. @Cagey Beast
    .... spreading dubious claims that seemed intended to sow division all along the political spectrum — “a cultural hack,” in the words of one expert.

    Yes because the United States in 2016 was kind of a transcontinental version of the Smurfs' village or Hobbits' Shire. It was the Russians who ruined all that. Someone needs to enter Asterix and the Roman Agent in as evidence of just how it was done.

    Don’t forget that American NGOs used to be active in Russia. They were eventually kicked out (I’m not sure if they all left).

    So we can target Russia but how dare they do the same thing. Of all the nerve.

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