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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

MEDIA TUESDAY / MUELLER INDICTMENTS OLD NEWS FOR MAINSTREAM RUSSIAN MEDIA



Move over John Le Carre* and Richard Condon** because your Russian espionage fiction has just been trumped by real life events.

Case in point, on Monday, February 22 the Washington Post published “The Russian Journalist Who Helped Uncover Election Meddling is Confounded by the Mueller Indictments.”  Here are a few lines from the Post’s Adam Taylor:

“...A 37-page indictment issued by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team on Friday brings fresh American attention to one of the strangest elements of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election: The Internet Research Agency (IRA), a state-sponsored “troll factory” in St. Petersburg. But much of the information Mueller published on Friday about the agency’s efforts to influence the election had already been published last October — in an article by a Russian business magazine, RBC.
Russian Journalist Andrey Zakharov
“In a 4,500-word report titled “How the 'troll factory' worked the U.S. elections,” journalists Polina Rusyaeva and Andrey Zakharov offered the fullest picture yet of how the “American department” of the IRA used Facebook, Twitter and other tactics to inflame tensions ahead of the 2016 vote. The article also looked at the staffing structure of the organization and revealed details about its budget and salaries...”

The Russian reporters were taken aback how the story was such big news in the U.S. when it was no bombshell in Russia. It adds up to a whirlwind of espionage reality.

Click here for the Washington Post article.

Click here for the Russian article.

Click here for Mueller’s 37 page indictment.


Wait there’s more:
Let’s go back to 2015, when New York Times Magazine penned “The Agency.”  Proving the Russian Trolling Agency was operating in plain sight before the U.S. 2016 Presidential elections.

Note the date next to byline, above
Click here for The Agency via BuzzFeed.


Notes: * Author John Le Carre wrote “The Russia House.”

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**Author Richard Condo wrote “The Manchurian Candidate.”

Monday, February 19, 2018

MEDIA MONDAY / ANOTHER DAY OF INFAMY FROM A SPINELESS SENATE

As of February 2018
Anniversary of Trump Signing Bill Revoking Obama-Era Gun Checks for People With Mental Illnesses

GUEST BLOG / By  Ali Vitali, NBC News—A year ago,
President Donald Trump quietly signed a bill into law rolling back an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase a gun.

The rule, which was finalized in December 2016, added people receiving Social Security checks for mental illnesses and people deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs to the national background check database.

Had the rule fully taken effect, the Obama administration predicted it would have added about 75,000 names to that database.

President Barack Obama recommended the now-nullified regulation in a 2013 memo following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 20 first graders and six others dead. The measure sought to block some people with severe mental health problems from buying guns.

Both the House and Senate on February 28, 2017 passed the new bill, H.J. Res 40, revoking the Obama-era regulation.

Trump signed the bill into law without a photo op or fanfare. The president welcomed cameras into the oval office that Tuesday for the signing of other executive orders and bills. News that the president signed the bill was tucked at the bottom of a White House email alerting press to other legislation signed by the president.

The National Rifle Association “applauded” Trump’s action. Chris Cox, NRA-ILA executive director, said the move “marks a new era for law-abiding gun owners, as we now have a president who respects and supports our arms.”

Everytown For Gun Safety President John Feinblatt said he expected more gun control rollbacks from the Trump administration. In a statement to NBC News, he called the action "just the first item on the gun lobby’s wish list" and accused the National Rifle Association of "pushing more guns, for more people, in more places."

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., a leading gun control advocate in Congress, called out Republicans over the move.

"Republicans always say we don’t need new gun laws, we just need to enforce the laws already on the books. But the bill signed into law today undermines enforcement of existing laws that Congress passed to make sure the background check system had complete information," he said in an emailed statement.

Senate vote on H.J. Res 40
Source United States Senate

YEAs ---57
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Capito (R-WV)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cotton (R-AR)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Daines (R-MT)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Enzi (R-WY)
Ernst (R-IA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Gardner (R-CO)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kennedy (R-LA)
King (I-ME)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Paul (R-KY)
Perdue (R-GA)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rounds (R-SD)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-SC)
Shelby (R-AL)
Strange (R-AL)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Wicker (R-MS)
Young (R-IN)
NAYs ---43
Baldwin (D-WI)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Coons (D-DE)
Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Duckworth (D-IL)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Harris (D-CA)
Hassan (D-NH)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Hirono (D-HI)
Kaine (D-VA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Markey (D-MA)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Peters (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Udall (D-NM)
Van Hollen (D-MD)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)

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Wyden (D-OR)