Thursday, February 22, 2018

Topline: It's Time to Acknowledge Trump Doesn't Want to Stop Putin's Meddling

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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The Kremlin’s Accomplice 
The Daily Beast — Feb. 19, 2018
Stand Up Republic co-founder Evan McMullin evaluates the inaction of the administration on the threat the Kremlin poses to the United States. Last week, the Department of Justice indicted 13 Russian nationals for their role in the campaign to undermine American democracy. Yet, the president and his allies continue to downplay the importance of this critical issue, even refusing to implement sanctions to act as a deterrent. This leads to an unpalatable but inevitable conclusion: they do not care that Russia acts against the United States, so long as it benefits them politically.


Politics and Intelligence Don’t Mix 
OZY — Feb. 19, 2018
John McLaughlin, former deputy director and acting director of the CIA, makes a case for taking the politics out of Congressional oversight of intelligence. Balancing the secrecy necessary for clandestine operations with the transparency necessary for a democracy is a delicate act – it requires entrusting our representatives with the oversight power that we as citizens cannot wield over our intelligence services. When representatives like Devin Nunes abuse that trust for partisan political gain, our institutions are weakened significantly as a result.


A Refuge for Failed Populists 
The Washington Post — Feb. 20, 2018
This week, the Conservative Political Action Conference takes another nosedive on its ideological death spiral, welcoming the discredited castoffs of foreign populist and illiberal movements. This international gathering, convened by those who unironically embrace the term “America First,” represents a departure from any coherent conservatism based on principle. Case in point: the Le Pen family has historically advocated for a noxious French ethno-nationalism and statist authoritarianism, and now finds its representative an honored guest at CPAC.

Rule of Law  

Democracy and Its Discontents 
The American Prospect — Feb. 16, 2018
A summary and review of three important books for our current democratic predicament makes the important point: “if a democratic system of government is to endure, all parties must acknowledge that the imperative of preserving the rules that define and protect that system takes precedence over the goal of achieving power.” Thus, our current populist fervor threatens to erode democracy by eliminating the rules by which the system is governed.


“Deep Fakes” is Deep Trouble 
Lawfare — Feb. 21, 2018
2016 was a banner year for disinformation. Unfortunately, it may also represent the mere tip of the iceberg. Lawfare takes a look at some recent advancements in technology that will likely enable almost anyone to create fake video or audio of major public figures that would be virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. The implications are clear: this technology “threatens to erode the trust necessary for democracy to function effectively,” as it will become ever more difficult to distinguish fiction from reality.

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