Thursday, February 15, 2018

Topline: Aleksei Navalny and the "Oligarch Huntress"

Life is busy and filled with distractions. We wanted to make sure you saw these articles about the pressing issues facing our country.

Stand Up Republic
 

Life is busy and filled with distractions. We wanted to make sure you saw these articles about the pressing issues facing our country.

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Missed Kremlin Connections 
The Daily Beast — Feb. 12, 2018
This past week saw a new development in L’Affaire Russe, courtesy of an unexpected source. Aleksei Navalny, the last remaining presidential candidate in Russia genuinely opposed to Putin, posted an expose linking Oleg Deripaska (Paul Manafort’s Russian benefactor) to a Kremlin intermediary with a heavy influence on Russian foreign policy. Navalny, who is generally hesitant to embrace Trump-Russia theories, believes that this may be a key development in the probe into the president’s Russian connections, as this is a direct line that can be traced from Manafort to the Kremlin.

Ideas  

In Defense of Democracy 
Foreign Policy Magazine — Feb. 13, 2018
The challenge to the United States in coming decades stems not only from traditional security concerns from revisionist powers like China and Russia, but from an ideological struggle pitting democracy against authoritarianism. Moscow and its allies in the West seek to delegitimize democracy around the world through a constant disinformation campaign, because a healthy and stable democracy is a direct challenge to the argument that only an authoritarian strongman can bring order to society. Countering this argument is not only good for democratic values, it’s in America’s national interest.

Russia  

The Double Life of a Twitter Troll 
The Kansas City Star — Feb. 14, 2018
The Kansas City Star traces the development of a particular Russian disinformation account on Twitter. When it first came to prominence, it claimed to be an African-American male warning Missouri protesters that the KKK was rampaging through the streets. Later, the account became “Deplorable Lucy,” a pro-Trump, middle-aged white woman. Suffice to say, the Kremlin is ultimately on no one's side here – Moscow only seeks to inflame partisan hatred throughout America.

A Crime and Lack of Punishment 
The Atlantic — Feb. 13, 2018
At a hearing before Congress yesterday, the leaders of the American intelligence community issued a warning: Russia will again attempt to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections. This is a serious national security issue, and the president’s continued refusal to even acknowledge it has become a critical liability for American democracy.

Technology  

The End of Fact? 
BuzzFeed News — Feb. 11, 2018
Leaders in tech innovation are warning of an “infocalypse,” a point at which the dissemination of false information reaches the communications equivalent of critical mass. We are approaching a moment where, thanks to technological advances, “anyone can make it appear as if anything has happened, regardless of whether or not it did.” This development bodes ill for our ability to sustain a pluralist democracy in the modern world, at least if the problem is not confronted soon.



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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Topline: Tribalism's Expanding Reach

Life is busy and filled with distractions. We wanted to make sure you saw these articles about the pressing issues facing our country.

Stand Up Republic
 

Life is busy and filled with distractions. We wanted to make sure you saw these articles about the pressing issues facing our country.

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In Defense of the Rule of Law 
New York Magazine — Feb. 5, 2018
One of the more insidious aspects of GOP leaders’ attacks on federal law enforcement is its effect of politicizing even the most basic institutions of governance. If everything is reduced to basic tribalism, then there is no way corrupt leaders and members of their “team” can be held accountable. The Nunes memo was only the latest in a long line of efforts to delegitimize all government institutions that are, by design, nonpartisan, and it will certainly not be the last.

Accountability  

Cash for Conmen? 
The Daily Beast — Feb. 7, 2018
While the election of Trump has spurred something of a civic awakening in American society, some unscrupulous actors have used this newfound enthusiasm for personal gain. Organizations engaged primarily in self-promotion and self-dealing have seen a lucrative business opportunity in exploiting anti-Trump sentiment for their own ends. While it’s important to make your voice heard, it’s also necessary to make sure your dollars are going primarily to a good cause.

Governance  

Vote Local 
The Houston Chronicle — Feb. 2, 2018
The Houston Chronicle reminds us of the importance of political participation. With low voter turnout, especially in party primaries, our political system is often dominated by more extreme ideological candidates who can turn out a more passionate base. The best way to counter this movement to the extremes at a local level is to turn out to vote consistently at every stage of the electoral process.

Ideas  

Citizen Soldiers are Citizens First 
The Washington Post — Feb. 7, 2018
We’re more accustomed to seeing this kind of fascination with military power in tinpot third world dictatorships, but here we are. Though bone spurs in his foot sadly prevented him from military service of his own, the president has frequently co-opted the nation’s respect for the uniform and used it to bolster his own flagging popularity. While respect for those who have served is healthy, the over-politicization of military support is a dangerous trend in a constitutional republic.

Russia  

Trying to Tarnish Steele 
Just Security — Sept. 6, 2017
John Sipher, former member of CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service, explains the Steele “dossier” and places its information into the proper context. Essentially, the “dossier” is not a dossier, but a raw intelligence product, a collection of information gleaned from primary sources that still needs to be vetted and verified by further research and analysis. As Steele’s work was the primary target of the infamous Nunes memo, it’s becoming ever more important to know the facts of his work and that of his sources, much of which has been validated.











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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Topline: L’Affaire Russe

Life is busy and filled with distractions. We wanted to make sure you saw these articles about the pressing issues facing our country.

Stand Up Republic
 

Life is busy and filled with distractions. We wanted to make sure you saw these articles about the pressing issues facing our country.

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Trump, Nunes, and the Defenders of Moscow 
Observer — Jan. 30, 2018
This week featured a bonanza of new information on L’Affaire Russe: from the Nunes “memo,” to sabotaged sanctions, to the revelation of secret channels of communication between Sean Hannity and Julian Assange (who runs WikiLeaks in the service of the Kremlin). The consistent theme here, as John Schindler points out, is that this administration always operates in the best interests of the Kremlin as best it can given the constraints of our own institutions and American public opinion.

Ideas  

Building a Better Republic 
The Atlantic — March 2018
Yascha Mounk takes a look at the state of American democracy. The feeling of a disconnect between the people and the government led to the authoritarian populism of Donald Trump, but his election has only empowered the special interests that led to this feeling in the first place. How, then, can we best restore accountability to the system, and what limits are there on the manifestation of populism in our government?

The Investigation  

House GOP Versus Law Enforcement 
Bloomberg — Jan. 31, 2018
House Republicans, led by the indefatigable congressional henchman of the president, Devin Nunes, have cobbled together a “memo” on the FBI designed to torpedo the legitimacy of the Mueller investigation. This memo is based on classified information Nunes has never seen and is rife with inaccuracies, reflecting the lengths to which the Trump GOP will go to protect a compromised president.

Russia  

Crime and a Lack of Punishment 
Lawfare — Jan. 30, 2018
Lawfare provides a helpful primer on this week’s news on Russia sanctions. These sanctions were intended to punish the Kremlin for interference in the 2016 election and deter future such interference. The administration has largely refused to act, leaving American democracy vulnerable to Russia’s information war.

Technology  

Big Data, Big Problems 
The New York Times — Jan. 29, 2018
Strava, a fitness tracking app, contained data which could be used to identify military bases from user information. This not only raises national security concerns over a relatively benign fitness app, it highlights the risks of big data, especially as we give up a great deal of information about ourselves when we use this kind of technology.











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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Topline: #ReleaseTheMemo, Another Nunes Conspiracy

Life is busy and filled with distractions. We wanted to make sure you saw these articles about the pressing issues facing our country.

Stand Up Republic
 

Life is busy and filled with distractions. We wanted to make sure you saw these articles about the pressing issues facing our country.

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Another Nunes Conspiracy Scam 
New York Magazine — Jan. 24, 2018
Last we saw Congressman Devin Nunes, he was frantically trying to gin up a variety of conspiracy theories regarding “unmasking” to vindicate the president’s Twitter ramblings. After recusing himself from the Russia investigation, he’s reemerged to again attempt to do the administration’s dirty work, authoring a secret memo designed to cast aspersions on the integrity of the law enforcement agencies defending our country against foreign interference.

Ideas  

Czeching in on Europe 
The Washington Post — Jan. 23, 2018
An upcoming election in Czechia features a close race for the incumbent, a pro-Kremlin conspiracy theorist who vilifies Muslims and journalists, against a pro-Western centrist. Though we think a great deal about the battle for democracy at home, the Czech elections show that this fight is taking place across the Atlantic as well, and that our friends and allies are confronting similar challenges.

America’s Lost Partnership 
Asia Society Policy Institute — Jan. 18, 2018
As the American role on the world stage is intentionally diminished by the current administration, other nations are stepping into the vacuum. China, in particular, has been strengthened by America’s retreat, but even our allies have decided to move on without us. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is going ahead without the United States, in what is both an economic blow and an embarrassing indication of abdicated leadership.

Rule of Law  

G-Men Under Pressure 
The New York Times — Jan. 23, 2018
More reports regarding the president’s efforts to exert influence over leading FBI officials confirm what the entire Comey saga had already suggested: Donald Trump sees himself as unbeholden to the rule of law. His constant efforts to stymie the independence of law enforcement suggest not only a blatant disregard of the Constitution, but also raise questions about just what he’s trying to hide from the FBI.

Russia  

Divide and Conquer 
The Atlantic — Jan. 23, 2018
A recent release of information on Russian trolls active on Twitter revealed that they were among the most active — and vituperative — users of both the #BlackLivesMatter and #BlueLivesMatter tags. The Russians identified a fault line in our politics and attempted to exploit it. Here, The Atlantic looks at how their strategy lines up with the strategy of division employed by the president to shore up his own support.











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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Topline: Flake's Fiery Floor Speech

Life is busy and filled with distractions. We wanted to make sure you saw these articles about the pressing issues facing our country.

Stand Up Republic
 

Life is busy and filled with distractions. We wanted to make sure you saw these articles about the pressing issues facing our country.

  Sort By: Importance   

Donald’s Iron Curtain 
The Hill — Jan. 17, 2018
Senator Jeff Flake took to the floor of the Senate yesterday to denounce Donald Trump’s frequent attacks on the free press, an effort to preempt the president’s promised “Fake News Awards.” Whether or not Trump understands the broader political significance of his personal vendetta against the media, his attacks are doing lasting damage. A free and independent press is a cornerstone of democracy, and must be protected.

Ideas  

A Ship of State on Stormy Seas 
Slate — Jan. 17, 2018
In the wake of the allegations about Donald Trump recently paying porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an extramarital affair, Yascha Mounk reflects on how odd it is that this distasteful episode isn’t a bigger deal. Under any other administration in American history, this would have been the scandal that defined, and potentially ended, the presidency; yet, for Donald Trump, it’s just last week’s news. The fact that we are collectively pretending this is normal is evidence of the degradation of our norms of political behavior.

Populism in America 
Politico Magazine — Jan. 14, 2018
Politico takes a deep dive into the concept of populism, and its recurring role in American politics. Putting the current era in historical context is helpful in charting a path forward. Populism may rely on justifiable anger in voters, but it rarely uses that anger in constructive ways – rather, it assigns scapegoats and promises unrealistically easy solutions to complex problems.

The Investigation  

Bannon in the Barrel 
The Washington Post — Jan. 17, 2018
Robert Mueller’s investigation is proceeding with the efficiency you would expect from a career professional. Steve Bannon, recently fallen from the president’s graces after the publication of Michael Wolff’s book on the Trump administration, has agreed to answer Mueller’s questions. This likely will add a significant piece to the puzzle the investigative team is constructing regarding the Trump team’s alleged ties to the Kremlin.

Rule of Law  

The Real Domestic Terror 
Defense One — Jan. 17, 2018
Defense One looks at the threat to public safety posed by a resurgent white nationalist movement. While the administration is laser-focused on radical Islam, the reality is, white supremacists "killed more Americans…than any other domestic extremist group" in 2017. Violent extremism in all its forms is antithetical to democracy, and it doesn’t get any worse than extremism based on bigotry.











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Monday, January 15, 2018

VIDEO: How Democrats actually redefined "fascism"

If students in America knew THESE shocking things about fascism that have been taken out of their textbooks, they would never become Democrats.




Friday, January 12, 2018

Organize Others to Stand Up in Your State

Last month, we announced that we were looking for dedicated volunteers to join our Stand Up Republic State Leaders program. The response from enterprising men and women just like you was remarkable. We are almost ready to select our candidates, but we are doing one more push before we select our first group of leaders.

 

Friend,

Last month, we announced that we were looking for dedicated volunteers to join our Stand Up Republic State Leaders program. The response from enterprising men and women just like you was remarkable. We are almost ready to select our candidates, but we are doing one more push before we select our first group of leaders.

If you have not applied to be a State Leader yet, please apply today!

As a State Leader, you will help us build SUR in your home state, creating a network of Americans dedicated to promoting liberty, equality and truth in America at a time when these values face increased threats. This is a leading volunteer role in our grassroots program, and state leaders will work directly with the SUR senior team to:

  • Help grow and organize SUR's grassroots network at the state level
  • Help establish a state-level SUR leadership team
  • Organize members for various activities including call-in campaigns and other efforts to influence state and national elected officials on key issues
  • Organize and hold meetings with state and local SUR members
  • Coordinate with SUR and other state leaders to organize regional events
  • Manage state-level social media pages

If you are willing to join us in this important work, apply today.

As we continue to grow, we will need more and more volunteers at our side. But you could be one of the first to help organize our network and spread our message. This is a unique opportunity and one we hope you will consider.

Friend, your fellow Americans are standing up. Will you?

— Evan and Mindy


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