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.


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.


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.


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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