The Best People

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

(Cartoonist - Adam Zylgis)

In other news, New York state investigators have subpoenaed Michael Cohen in connection to their criminal investigation of Trump's defunct "charity" foundation. The Trump Foundation was really just a slush fund.

Meanwhile, NBC News reports that congressional Democrats have made plans to respond in the event that Trump fires or tries to fire special prosecutor Robert Mueller. The plans include nationwide protests within hours and demands for a floor vote to rehire Mueller or protect his documents.

Democrats have drafted a wide-ranging contingency plan should Mueller be fired or President Donald Trump take other steps to quash the Russia investigation, like firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein or pardoning key witnesses.

Of top concern in the first 24 hours of such a move would be preventing Mueller’s documents from being destroyed and his team disbanded, according to interviews with nearly a dozen lawmakers, congressional aides, Democratic operatives and attorneys involved in the planning. [...]

And in cities across the country, rallies would be hastily scheduled for 5 p.m., if Mueller is fired before 2 p.m. on any given day. If he’s fired in the late afternoon or evening, the protests would be set for noon the following day.

Finally, Facebook and Twitter say they've deleted hundreds of fake accounts linked to Iran. It appears many of the Iranian accounts appealed to the left and gained trust by pushing progressive causes and then using that influence for other things. Just like the Russians.

The account used hashtags like “#Resist” and #NotMyPresident when tweeting out anti-Trump sentiments. It also weighed in against the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. “The #Senate has a responsibility to reject any nominee who would fail to be a fair-minded constitutionalist. That is #BrettKavanaugh. We must #StopKavanaugh.”

This is a much longer topic for another day, but Americans including liberals (especially liberals?) really need to consider what it means that our foreign adversaries know they can easily influence and hijack our movements just by using a few buzzwords and hashtags.

Just because someone says the right things at certain moments doesn't necessarily mean you can trust them. Be skeptical. Don't become a true believer in your own bullshit. Cult of personality is bad. Confirmation bias is bad.

Buzzwords and slogans are not a substitute for actual plans and policy.

Should we "Abolish ICE?" Maybe. Do we need "Medicare For All?" Absolutely. Should we "Stop Kavanaugh?" Yes. But if you can't advocate for these positions without a slogan or a hashtag, others are going to exploit that. This is an even bigger danger if you weaponize a slogan against people who more or less agree with you in principle but refuse to sign on to a buzzword. I'm looking at the far left here.

Maybe John Oliver should do an explainer on information warfare and why we're so vulnerable to it.

  • Aynwrong

    So with Iran interfering, I guess the Ratfuckers Republicans can finally express some genuine concern over the influence of a foreign nation.

    Democrats should take this very seriously but shouldn’t for one second think they have good faith actors in the GOP to reach out to.

    • What we also need to remember is that Russia and Iran are coordinating now more than ever before. As the US cede’s more influence in the region every day, Russia is filling that void and Iran is smart enough to jump on the bandwagon early. Not to mention the fact that Iran is supporting Bashar in Syria and so are the Russians.

      • Badgerite

        Good point.

  • katanahamon

    And isn’t the best part of a state investigating that Rump won’t be able to pardon anyone convicted..? Am I understanding this correctly?

    • Draxiar

      You are. Someone convicted in a state based prosecution can’t be pardoned by the president.