The Russia connectionThe cost of Trump’s weakness toward Russia; Obama & Russian meddling; Russian trolls fool Texans, and more

Published 23 February 2018

· Trump supporters, conservatives rage over Russian bot purge, #TwitterLockOut

· How Putin meddles in Western democracies

· The human cost of Trump’s weakness toward Russia

· What Obama did, didn’t do and couldn’t do in response to Russian interference

· Will Mueller indict Russians over the DNC hacking Next?

· U.S. does little to combat Russian meddling in upcoming elections

· As Washington gears up to tackle foreign influence, how effective can it be?

· Was Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta involved in satanic “spirit cooking”?

· Assigning blame for Russia’s election meddling

· How unwitting Americans encountered Russian operatives online

· Russian trolls and fake news are set to get much worse, warns former White House adviser

· How Russian trolls tried to fool Texans

· Trump’s new “blame Obama” approach to Russian election meddling, explained

· Why the Mueller indictment doesn’t allege the Russians swung the election


Trump supporters, conservatives rage over Russian bot purge, #TwitterLockOut (Jessica Guynn, USA Today)
Conservative Twitter users raged against the social media company, lobbing accusations of left-wing bias and censorship after thousands of followers were wiped out in an overnight bot purge. The suspension of multiple accounts followed the indictment by special counsel Robert S. Mueller of Russian nationals for meddling in the U.S. election, including using fake accounts on Twitter to conduct “information warfare” against the United States.

How Putin meddles in Western democracies (Economist)
And why the West’s response is inadequate

The human cost of Trump’s weakness toward Russia (Samantha Vinograd, Just Security)
Chemical weapons attacks, aerial bombardments, malnutrition, sexual violence and other means of torture define Syria, with a new massive atrocity every few weeks. There is no end in sight, and Russian support for Assad has been the common thread through seven years of horror. The solution lies in convincing Putin that his support for Assad will wreak consequences so unpalatable that his cost-benefit analysis shifts.

What Obama did, didn’t do and couldn’t do in response to Russian interference (Philip Bump, Washington Post)
It has proved hard for social media companies to completely uproot trolls apparently working on behalf of the Russian government. After all, the point of those trolls’ activity has been to blend in with regular all-American trolls who have free rein on Twitter and Facebook. So it is not the case, as President Trump implied Wednesday morning, that Russian interference in American politics came to a complete stop at noon on Jan. 20, 2017. Russian social-media accounts are still at work, evading Twitter’s screening system, dipping into our ongoing political conversations and advocating the positions most likely to frustrate people. Trump’s implication that the interference stopped on his Inauguration Day is an attempt to suggest the problem lay only at Barack Obama’s feet. That Trump, himself, has done almost nothing to hold Russia accountable for its behavior — as indirectly made clear by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday — means he would rather talk about what Obama did or did not do.

Will Mueller indict Russians over the DNC hacking Next? (Bob Dreyfuss, The Nation)
Dutch evidence could help the special counsel target the Cozy Bear hackers.