Hierarchy vs. Fairness is the dominant Manichaean struggle of our age, and perhaps every age before it: shall we structure our society with a strict hierarchical system of highs and lows, with power concentrated at the top? Or shall we have an egalitarian society where truth, justice, and fairness rule the day?

There are a lot of stories, myths, and narratives centered on this question: hierarchy or fairness? Cultural wars and actual wars have been waged — numerous times throughout history.

We are fighting a new incarnation of that war now in our nation, as civil unrest spreads following yet another extrajudicial murder by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin — who knelt on the neck of George Floyd for a jaw-dropping 8 minutes and 46 seconds: 2 minutes and 53 seconds beyond the point where Floyd lost consciousness and 1 minute and 54 seconds past the point fellow officers checked to confirm he had no pulse.

That is a staggeringly long time.

There is simply no credibility to the typical excuse that Chauvin somehow feared for his life — from an unarmed, handcuffed, prone, unconscious, and then lifeless George Floyd. Arrested over an allegedly counterfit $20 bill. Meanwhile Congress appropriates hundreds of billions and even trillions for big business and last I heard, no arrests had been made. Curious.

It starts in childhood

Psychologists like Alice Miller and Darcia Narvaez attribute this troubling mentality — this mentality that exhibits complete disregard for human life — as originating in our child-raising “techniques.” At one time corporal punishment for youth was the rule and not the exception; not uncoincidentally, the Hitler Youth of Germany had been largely raised under the “advice” of Daniel Gottlieb Moritz Shreber who advocated beating babies from a young age so the importance of obedience would be drilled into them early on.

It wasn’t until much later we learned that traumatized and neglected children display severe lesions affecting up to the 30 percent of the areas of the brain responsible for controlling emotions. In other words, “traditional” authoritarian child-rearing in the fundamentalist religion style of “spare the rod, spoil the child” produces emotionally crippled adults — who tend to enact the revenge fantasies of their internal repressed rage as adults later in life. They simply need be provided with an “authorized” scapegoat.

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt

Miller goes on to suggest the psychological survival mechanism of denial employed by abused children to survive their situation leads them to develop the kind of emotional blindness in adulthood that will turn the other way when witnessing violations of another person’s humanity — or may even be induced to carry them out. We’re all familiar with Nazi Adolf Eichmann’s “defense” of why he should be exonerated for behaving like a robotic killer: “I was just following orders.”

Teaching children to be obedient or be emotionally abandoned — whether through physical abuse or emotional abuse or both — is the key to unlocking this mystery of the appeal of hierarchy and authoritarianism which is seeing a resurgence not just in the United States but around the world — especially in Europe as well. Miller calls it “poisonous pedagogy” — not just parents but many other forms of authority indoctrinate youth in this vicious cycle and benefit from the creation of obedient individuals by amassing and maintaining power.

The kicker is we are not supposed to recognize this process — and if we do, we most certainly are not supposed to speak up about it. We are supposed to remain unaware that our deference to authority is merely a construct; a thin veneer over the insecurity of power that hopes desperately to continue wielding absurd moral authority over the masses. This collective and complicitous denial keeps us all locked in the dance of abuser and abused — essentially pretending it isn’t happening all around us including in our own homes.

The Founders advocated fairness

For all the right wing enjoys brandishing the Constitution as fundamental law, they tend to often miss the forest for the trees — that the founding fathers wrote extensively on their views and consideration in constructing a new nation towards the end of the 18th century, and that those views were decidedly against the arbitrary rule of kings and the strict striations of class as seen in the empires of Europe. They sought to get away from the cult of personality paradigm of the divine right of kings, believing that the rule of law should hold sway and that men ought to govern themselves through a political process with enough checks and balances to ensure no single branch or individual could wield too much power over others.

James Madison especially was a big believer in the “wisdom of crowds” to arrive at a better, more morally appropriate solution to legislation and problem solving. Moreover they were extremely uncomfortable with the role of slavery at the founding of the nation, despite being simultaneously apiece with the times and not entirely living up to those professed ideals.

Nevertheless, the role of ideals is to move us forward towards better times; to continually improve our individual and collective characters to get closer to living them out. Taking the founding ideals of fairness and equality as the guiding north star of a new nation and falling short is, in my humble opinion, still leagues farther along than giving in to the indulgent impulse towards supremacy and hierarchy and calling it a day. It’s the essence of progressivism as a vehicle for a narrative of self-growth — as opposed to the narrative hierarchy offers, which is static; dead; inert. There can be no change, no dynamism to a system which defines a priori everyone’s place in society.

Hierarchy is the politics of death.

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In contrast to the cult of personality, the rule of law is a moral force. It’s an ethical tour de force that’s been hard-fought and won in democracies around the world beginning with the French Revolution. And it’s still going on today — everywhere citizens are struggling to achieve political power and equality.

When justice holds sway, there is a true objective arbiter and an ethical framework society can hang from. Imperfect though its actual execution by actual humans may be, the rule of law provides a fundamental basis for agreement on what is right, what is wrong, and how best we shall live in our societies.

The Right-wing and the rule of law

The right-wing faction once gave lip service to the rule of law — when they still had a monopoly over it. Now that they no longer do, the extreme right has abandoned it in favor of a venal power grab in the form of an essentially fascist idea: the Cult of Personality.

In Donald Trump and in authoritarian leaders around the world, the Cult of Personality reigns. These leaders go out of their way to flout the law. They repeatedly allege or assert that they are above it; that they are special. They allege that they’re so special as to be immune to application of the rule of law that applies to other citizens.

When the justice goes dark, trouble brews. When the cult of personality holds sway, entire societies become vulnerable to propaganda, disinformation, gaslighting, fakery, and lies of all kinds. Without a grasp of the truth — and mechanisms within the structure of society to champion it and root it out — societies cannot make informed decisions. They cannot effectively self-govern, and cannot wholly wield the political power a democracy is meant to endow them with. Without the rule of law, freedom is not just imperiled — freedom is dead.

It is most certainly a dark and stormy evening.

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This past week we had a serious, unironic “debate” about whether or not senicide is a reasonable “plan” for handling the coronavirus crisis. This under the pretense that the other course of action — following the advice of medical professionals and epidemiologists to stay home and socially distance ourselves to curb the spread of covid-19 — is tantamount to shutting down the economy, which is tantamount to killing more people than the virus will.

Meanwhile, Congress passed a $2 trillion relief package, one quarter of which will go to the billionaire class with precious little oversight as to how it can be spent — and still apparently no one seems to have the slightest bit of confidence that the world’s richest economy can possibly weather the storms of depressed consumer demand for even several weeks much less the potentially many months this pandemic will rage across the planet. Perhaps this reveals that The Economy simply isn’t as robust as we tell ourselves it is during better times.

Dead Men Pay No Taxes

The proposed Sophie’s Choice between weeks or months of physical separation and allowing many people to die all around us is a false frame.

Millions of people dying is bad for The Economy in a very similar way to how having ICE eject millions of people from the economy is bad for The Economy. Insofar as economies require a labor force, and insofar as governments require revenue from taxation to pay for the infrastructure upon which The Economy rests, having millions of people depart from them is not a pathway to improving the economy — it is the opposite.

However, perhaps The Economy itself has become a contested concept. There may be a class-based and/or ideologically-based difference of opinion on what this concept means. Perhaps there is now:

  • the economy: the traditionally-held view of economies as markets in which individuals labor and contribute value, and trade assets in mutually beneficial ways to allocate resources efficiently
  • The Economy: a sort of shell game played by the right-wing authoritarian cohort in which the Plebes are starved of infrastructure and resources to the point of being mired inside an Eternal Present — in which we lurch from crisis to crisis — that brokers no hope for the future and no actual policy being made, other than the “policies” which continue to print money from the Federal Treasury for the purposes of propping up the precariously fragile billionaire class whose claims of meritocratic supremacy are stretched thinner and thinner each time the shells are moved yet again

Starving the Beast kills it: Feature or bug?

On paper, “Starving the Beast” is passed off as deeply held ideological libertarianism and neoliberalism regarding the fundamental goodness of small government. In practice, starving beasts tend to die of preventable causes — and if governments are to retain the kind of power needed to be a check and balance on a growing hypercapitalist economy, they must indeed grow as well.

But beyond the general case, our specific circumstances of global pandemic lead us to a reasonable question: if laissez-faire capitalism and the free hand of the market is supposedly both sufficient to solve all human problems and vastly superior than the socialist hand of government at doing these things, then why are we in such a pickle? Why hasn’t the Invisible Hand managed to come up with its own solution to the mass death we are currently experiencing?

Or is the answer we might hear one that is too grim to bear — having been provided a clue this week in the grumbling of sacrificing the old to save the young — that a certain part of the political spectrum believe this is the market working as intended. That mass death is an acceptable “negative externality” of laissez-faire capitalism and that we bleeding-heart liberals ought to suck it up and grow thicker skin, rather than demand that governments step in to prevent preventable human atrocity.

Not only am I afraid of the answer — I’m afraid we’ll never get a straight answer in the world of political ketman we seem to have blundered into. In this world, right-wing elites including numerous elected officials continue to give lip service to a democracy that has been systematically hollowed out since the redoubling of the conservative movement in the 1970s to present, to currently resemble a geopolitical reality closer to that of modern Russia than to anything James Madison or Alexander Hamilton would have recognized.

It is technically possible that psychologically speaking, they themselves are actually unaware of this seismic shift in ideological views from that of democratic power and Constitutional authority to one of authoritarian rule and total technocratic control — but I think it’s more likely they’re simply not saying it out loud.

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fund or maintain civic necessities such as:

  • clean water delivery
  • sewage removal
  • electricity generation and delivery
  • garbage and recycling removal
  • public safety
    • police forces
    • fire protection
    • emergency response
    • flood control
  • a justice system
    • courts
    • jails
  • transportation
    • road planning and construction
    • bridge planning and construction
    • street lights
    • traffic lights
    • driver licensing
    • airports
    • railroads
    • subways
    • buses
    • parking
    • snow plowing
  • mail service
  • sidewalks
  • parks and recreation
  • schools
  • libraries
  • property and county records
  • land surveys
  • research and development
  • public health
    • hospitals
    • pollution control and remediation
    • food supply testing
  • legislation
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metaphormeaningnotes
pick your brainI need to gather information that you have
mental spacea way to describe how much of your thoughts are occupied by a specific topic, event, person, etc.
in the back of my mindstored for usage later
out of my mindtemporarily unable to think clearly; often, drunk, stoned, high, etc.๐Ÿคช
lose my mindgo crazy; generally in a more permanent sense than “out of my mind”
mind meldto be completely in sync with someone else on an idea, plan, concept, etc. without having to communicate very extensively or at all
brainlessof low intelligence; stupid; without thought
on my mindI’m thinking about you
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speak, sistah!

see also: Shoshanna Zuboff (who wrote the seminal work on surveillance capitalism), Don Norman, Dystopia vs. Utopia Book List: A Fight to the Finish, surveillance capitalism dictionary

Some takeaways:

  • surveillance won’t be obvious and overt like in Orwell’s classic totalitarian novel 1984 — it’ll be covert and subtle (“more like a spider’s web”)
  • social networks use persuasion architecture — the same cloying design aesthetic that puts gum at the eye level of children in the grocery aisle

Example:

AI modeling of potential Las Vegas ticket buyers

The machine learning algorithms can classify people into two buckets, “likely to buy tickets to Vegas” and “unlikely to” based on exposure to lots and lots of data patterns. Problem being, it’s a black box and no one — not even the computer scientists — know how it works or what it’s doing exactly.

So the AI may have discovered that bipolar individuals just about to go into mania are more susceptible to buying tickets to Vegas — and that is the segment of the population they are targeting: a vulnerable set of people prone to overspending and gambling addictions. The ethical implications of unleashing this on the world — and routinely using and optimizing it relentlessly — are staggering.

Profiting from extremism

“You’re never hardcore enough for YouTube” — YouTube gives you content recommendations that are increasingly polarized and polarizing, because it turns out that preying on your reptilian brain makes you keep clicking around in the YouTube hamster wheel.

The amorality of AI — “algorithms don’t care if they’re selling shoes, or politics.” Our social, political, and cultural flows are being organized by these persuasion architectures — organized for profit; not for the collective good, not for public interests, not subject to our political will anymore. These powerful surveillance capitalism tools are running mostly unchecked, with little oversight and with few people minding the ethics of the stores of essentially a cadre of Silicon Valley billionaires.

Intent doesn’t matter — good intentions aren’t enough; it’s the structure and business models that matter. Facebook isn’t a half trillion dollar con: its value is in its highly effective persuasion power, which is highly troubling and concerning in a supposedly democratic society. Mark Zuckerberg may even ultimately mean well (…debatable), but it doesn’t excuse the railroading over numerous obviously negative externalities resulting from the unchecked power of Facebook in not only the U.S., but in countries around the world including highly volatile domains.

Extremism benefits demagogues — Oppressive regimes both come to power by and benefit from political extremism; from whipping up citizens into a frenzy, often against each other as much as against perceived external or internal enemies. Our data and attention are now for sale to the highest bidding authoritarians and demagogues around the world — enabling them to use AI against us in election after election and PR campaign after PR campaign. We gave foreign dictators even greater powers to influence and persuade us in ways that benefit them at the expense of our own self-interest.

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We’re talking literal ocean surface temperature rises of 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit — an extraordinary delta, leading to a negative spiral feedback loop with coastal areas now suffering from extremely hot weather for the region.

Areas of Alaska are becoming uninhabitable, and impacts to the overall ecosystem are severe. Mass mortality events occur with regularity. Whether we call it climate change or not, we can’t stand idly by while geothermal conditions get worse and worse. The time to act is now.

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When usability pioneers have All the Feels about the nature of our creeping technological dystopia, how we got here, and what we might need to do to right the ship, it’s wise to pay attention. Don Norman’s preaching resonated with my choir, and they’ve asked me to sing a summary song of our people in bulleted list format:

  • What seemed like a virtuous thing at the time — building the internet with an ethos of trust and openness — has led to a travesty via lack of security, because no one took bad actors into account.
  • Google, Facebook, et al didn’t have the advertising business model in mind a priori, but sort of stumbled into it and got carried away giving advertisers what they wanted — more information about users — without really taking into consideration the boundary violations of appropriating people’s information. (see Shoshana Zuboff’s definitive new book on Surveillance Capitalism for a lot more on this topic)
  • Tech companies have mined the psychological sciences for techniques that — especially at scale — border on mass manipulation of fundamental human drives to be informed and to belong. Beyond the creepy Orwellian slant of information appropriation and emotional manipulation, the loss of productivity and mental focus from years of constant interruptions takes a toll on society at large.
  • We sign an interminable series of EULAs, ToS’s and other lengthy legalese-ridden agreements just to access the now basic utilities that enable our lives. Experts refer to these as “contracts of adhesion” or “click-wrap,” as a way of connoting the “obvious lack of meaningful consent.” (Zuboff)
  • The “bubble effect” — the internet allows one to surround oneself completely with like-minded opinions and avoid ever being exposed to alternative points of view. This has existential implications for being able to inhabit a shared reality, as well as a deleterious effect on public discourse, civility, and the democratic process itself.
  • The extreme commercialization of almost all of our information sources is problematic, especially in the age of the “Milton Friedman-ification” of the economic world and the skewing of values away from communities and individuals, towards a myopic view of shareholder value and all the attendant perverse incentives that accompany this philosophical business shift over the past 50 years. He notes that the original public-spiritedness of new communication technologies has historically been co-opted by corporate lobbyists via regulatory capture — a subject Tim Wu explores in-depth in his excellent 2011 book, “The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires.

Is it all bleak, Don?! His answer is clear: “yes, maybe, no.” He demurs on positing a definitive answer to all of these issues, but he doesn’t really mince words about a “hunch” that it may in fact involve burning it all down and starting over again.

Pointing to evolution, Norman notes that we cannot eke radical innovation out of incremental changes — and that when radical change does happen it is often imposed unexpectedly from the outside in the form of catastrophic events. Perhaps if we can’t manage to Marie Kondo our way to a more joyful internet, we’ll have to pray for Armageddon soon…?! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

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I’m giving Better Oats my just-invented Everyday User Experience Award for this simple twist: turning the pouch into the measuring cup you need to deliver the correct amount of liquid to your instant oatmeal. Understated and genius.

cof
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How shall we think about Russia’s ongoing intrusion into the U.S. political realm — especially its attacks on the heart of democracy: our election system?

I think James Madison — the Father of the Constitution — would have had many choice words about this development. Since we cannot alas ask him his opinion any longer, perhaps his parting words to the beloved country he was instrumental in creating can suffice:

The advice nearest to my heart and deepest in my convictions is the Union of the States be cherished and perpetuated. Let the open enemy to it be regarded as a Pandora with her box opened; and the disguised one, as the Serpent creeping with his deadly wiles into Paradise.”

— “Advice to My Country,” James Madison, 1834
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This list casts a wide net in enumerating the various principals of interest to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election… and beyond. The Russia scandal has continued to unspool throughout the Trump presidency, including the real estate magnate’s first impeachment over his extortion of Ukraine, and his second impeachment over the armed insurrection he incited following his failed re-election bid. It continues to this day.

Plus, don’t miss the RussiaGate Lexicon — and please note these are both works in progress and being updated frequently as new details emerge about the Russia scandal, the Trump family criminal organization, and Putin’s revanchist influence in American politics.

Bestiary

LabelNationalityTypeKnown for
AmericanCivil servantTop aide to Hillary Clinton
LatvianBankOne of the largest private banks in Latvia
RussianOligarchRussian steel magnate whose Evraz company was given the green light to supply steel to DAPL by the Trump administration
LobbyistA company seeking to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East in partnership with a sanctioned Russia company; Mike Flynn was working for them without having disclosed it to the US government as required.
Russian
RussianOligarchEmin's father; a wealthy Russian-Azerbaijani oligarch who has received lucrative construction contracts from the Kremlin. Known as "Putin's Builder"
RussianOligarchPopular Russian-Azerbaijani singer and businessperson who may have facilitated a handoff of hacked information to Donald Trump Jr via surrogates
RussianRussian Mafia
UkranianOligarchUkranian steel magnate who brokered the relationship between Paul Manafort and defeated presidential candidate Victor Yanukovich
RussianForeign IntelligenceFormer Soviety spy who attending the June 9 meeting in Trump Tower between Don Jr, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya
RussianOligarchCEO of Lukoil, Russia's second largest oil and gas company, that sought the services offered by Trump data firm Cambridge Analytica
RussianBankLargest private commercial bank in Russia, that reportedly had a mysterious secret server connection to the Trump Organization during the campaign. The head of Alfa Group is the father-in-law of Dutch lawyer Alex Van Der Zwaan, currently serving 30 days in federal prison after being indicted by the FBI in the Mueller investigation.
AzerbaijaniWife of Emin Agalarov and daughter of the president of Ajerbaijan.
CompanyHead of Crowdstrike, the US security firm that first broke the results of the DNC hack investigation, concluding the Russian military intelligence agency was behind it.
RussianForeign IntelligenceIRA-controlled Twitter account, an anti-immigration persona with 24,000 followers
AmericanMedia OutletHelped bury stories portraying Trump in a bad light before the election, via catch and kill methodology among others
ChineseCompany
Flight 93
AmericanCompanyThe House might come after messaging records for principals.
Oligarchco-founder of Bayrock and Kazakh-born Soviet official turned real estate tycoon
UkranianMember of the Ukranian parliament who says Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen and business crony Felix Sater confirmed the White House received his โ€œpeace proposalโ€ (suggesting Russia โ€œleaseโ€ the country for 100 years)
AustralianHackerEditor-in-chief of Wikileaks and former hacker from Australia, currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London on the lam from rape charges in Sweden; he is suspected of coordinating with the Russian government on the cyber attack on the American election in 2016.
RussianOligarchRussian banker and consultant who bought Bank of Cyprus's Russian-based businesseses; a transaction overseen by Wilbur Ross
UkranianPoliticianFormer Prime Minister of Ukraine who was ousted in the Maidan revolution along with President Viktor Yanukovych.
CypriotBank
AmericanPrincipal actor
Suspected organized crime figure who accompanied Ivanka and Don Jr to Russia in 2007-2008
RussianOligarchHead of investor relations for Rosneft who met with Carter Page in Moscow after his 2016 speech.
RussianWorked at the Internet Research Agency
FrenchForeign IntelligenceCooperated with Russia in the Syrian civil war and nominated Putin for a Nobel Peace Prize; Donald Trump, Jr. spoke at an event held by Baussart's French think tank.
CompanyEmployed Felix Sater for a number of shady real estate dealings involving Mr Trump. Founded by Tevfik Arif, a Russian oligarch.
RussianForeign IntelligenceAn IRA-controlled Facebook group that bought ads in support of the Trump campaign, and had over 200,000 followers by the time it was finally deactivated in mid-2017
Civil servantTrump's pick to lead the DOJ's criminal division; once represented a Putin-tied Russian bank
RussianHackerHacker group
RussianJournalistWell-known journalist who was the founding editor of Russiaโ€™s top business daily, Vedomosti, as well as the first publisher of the Russian edition of Forbes; left the country during the Brain Drain. โ€œThe Kremlin doesnโ€™t care because it doesnโ€™t consider the likes of me Russiaโ€™s best and brightest,โ€ he told me by email after his departure to Germany in the summer of 2014. โ€œTo them, weโ€™re the traitors, the fifth column.โ€
Russian26-year-old former worker at the Internet Research Agency in Russia who has spoken to the US media about his experiences in the "factory of lies"
AmericanLawyerU.S. Attorney who was prosecuting the Prevezon Holdings case when he was fired by Trump, shortly after which the huge case about to go to trial abruptly settled.
RussianForeign IntelligenceIRA-controlled persona claiming to want to teach African-Americans self-defense to protect themselves when contacted by police, that hired an actual self-defense instructor in NY to offer classes sponsored by Black Fist
RussianForeign IntelligenceIRA-controlled account posing as grassroots activists
Americanhis company Colt Ventures provided data management services to the Trump campaign
AmericanCivil servantJohn Kerry's deputy secretary of state under Obama
RussianForeign IntelligenceWorked for the Internet Research Agency from at least April 2014 to at least July 2014; she served on the translator project and oversaw the group's data analysis operations. She is one of the operatives who traveled to the United States to gather intel.
PoliticianRussian deputy foreign minister
RussianForeign IntelligenceDirector of FSB circa 2015
Foreign IntelligenceWorked for the Internet Research Agency from at least November 2013 to at least October 2014. She was at one time head of the translator project, along with other positions.
Civil servant
AmericanIntelligence CommunityActing CIA director under Obama; one of the 3 who brief Trump and Obama about the Russian attack on Election 2016
AmericanCompanyLLC begun by Maria Butina and Paul Erickson in South Dakota
AmericanLobbyistMajor Trump campaign donor and Deputy Finance Chair of the RNC, who suspiciously took hundreds of millions of dollars from the UAE and was working on a business deal with the corrupt Prime Minister of Malaysia implicated in a heist of $4.5 billion dollars. Had himself been charged with felony bribery, ended up turning state's witness, plea-bargained his case down to a misdimeanor while those he bribed went to prison. Also, he was reportedly negotiating a deal wherein he stood to benefit to the tune of $75 million, to drop the Feds' case into the Malaysian theft.
AmericanActivistFounder of Hermitage Capital, who worked with Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky to uncover a $230 million money laundering scheme from Prevezon Holdings into NYC real estate. He has sought justice for the murder of Magnitsky in 2009.
RussianForeign IntelligenceOne of the 13 Russian nationals indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in February 2018, in connection with the Internet Research Agency's attack on the U.S. 2016 election. Burchik was Executive Director, the #2 in the organization, from at least March 2014.
AmericanPolitician(R-NC) and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, one of the committees in Congress conducting Russia investigations
AmericanLobbyistHelped Trump write his first foreign policy speech
Russian
RussianForeign Intelligence"Personal assistant" to Alexander Torshin, she claims to have started several gun rights organizations in Russia
AmericanMedia OutletOriginally broke the story of the Steele dossier and published what of it they had.
RussianForeign IntelligenceOne of the 13 Russians indicted by Robert Mueller's Special Counsel in February 2018, Bystrov was General Director -- the organization's highest-ranking position -- by April 2014.
BritishCompanyData analytics company that worked for the Trump campaign and has been indicted in the UK for data theft.
AmericanUnregistered Foreign AgentMember of Trump's campaign team, in charge of communications for New York. Left the campaign after voicing approval of the installation of Paul Manafort, replacing Corey Lewandowski as Trump's campaign manager.
AmericanCompanyCloud computing company that hosted the Trump Organization and may have information on the Alfa Bank link during the campaign
FrenchFrench right-wing group that hosted a Trump trip to Paris during the home stretch of the campaign
AmericanMedia PersonalityAlt-Right personality in the U.S. who lives in Orange County, CA
AmericanMedia PersonalityBowing out of politics after announcing a move to Fox and whining about the cost of living as a Senator
LawyerRussian prosecutor general
AmericanIntelligence CommunityDirector of National Intelligence under Obama; one of the 3 who brief Trump and Obama about the Russian attack on Election 2016
AmericanPolitician
AmericanPolitician
AmericanIntelligence CommunityDirector of National Intelligence who testified that there is no doubt Russia sees its 2016 efforts as having been successful.
AmericanLawyerTrump's personal lawyer. Convicted of various federal crimes including campaign finance violations; sentenced to 3 years in prison.
AmericanLawyerTrump's mentor and ruthless, vicious lawyer
AmericanPoliticianSenator from Maine who has been a voice of moderation within the Republican-controlled Senate, siding several times with the Democrats and voting against her own party.
AmericanIntelligence CommunityBeing fired by Donald Trump as the FBI Director
AmericanIntelligence Communitynew leader of the House Intelligence Committee's Russia probe after the recusal of Devin Nunes
RussianCompanyCompany owned by Yevgeniy Prigozhin, known to be nicknamed "Putin's Chef" and inside the Russian president's inner circle.
AmericanCompanyprovided data management services to the Trump campaign, and an investor in VizSense -- a social media company who worked reportedly for the campaign and for Michael Flynn
AmericanPoliticianLeader of the House Intelligence Committee, one of the Congressional committees investigating the Russia scandal
AmericanLawyerHusband of Kellyanne Conway, a lawyer who has represented a corporation accused of bribing Russian officials
AmericanOligarch
AmericanPoliticianCriticized the firing of Sally Yates: "If dedicated government officials deem [Trump's] directives to be unlawful and unconstitutional, he will simply fire them as if government is a reality show."
LobbyistManaging director of ACU Strategic Partners, a firm Mike Flynn was consulting for regarding building nuclear power plants in the Middle East.
AmericanMedia PersonalityIntermediary between Roger Stone and Wikileaks, an arm of the Russian intelligence apparatus
AmericanNew York Republican Party Chairman and son-in-law of Richard Nixon who recommends Carter Page to the Trump campaign
Roger Stone's publicly identified intermediary between himself and Julian Assange of Wikileaks. When subpoena'd by Congress, he pled the Fifth.
RussianCompanyReal estate developmenr firm owned by the Agalarovs, that secured the Moscow location for Trump's 2013 Miss Universe pageant
AmericanCompanyOne of the US private security contractors who implicated the Russians in the hack of the DNC servers.
AmericanMedia PersonalityThe reigning Miss Universe at the time of the 2013 Moscow pageant (and former Miss USA, and noted Trump favorite)
AmericanPoliticianranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, one of the first to request an investigation into Michael Flynn
AmericanIntelligence CommunityWhite House director of cybersecurity
American
AmericanCompanyPolitical consulting company created by Paul Manafort in 2005.
RussianForeign IntelligenceA cutout of the GRU, this account directly released and coordinated with Wikileaks to release more widely the stolen emails from Clinton, the DNC, and the DCCC
American
AmericanLobbyistGOP strategy firm hired by Facebook to besmirch its rivals and tar them with accusations of being tied to George Soros
OligarchEx-wife of Rupert Murdoch, friend of Ivanka Trump, and friend of Russian oligarhcs + Putin (rumored to be Putins' girlfriend)
American
AmericanGovernment agency
RussianOligarchRussian billionaire and Kremlin insider barred from the US due to organized crime links [contact w/Paul Manafort]
GermanBankBoth the Risk Division's Goup Risk Office and Credit Risk Management teams are under scrutiny from House Democrats at the HPSCI for due diligence on Trump transactions that have anything to do with the bank's own confirmed history of laundering Russian money.
RussianForeign IntelligenceChief executive of the state-run Russian Direct Investment Fund, their sovereign wealth fund, who met with Erik Prince at a bar in the Seychelles, with George Nader present.
Company started by Paul Manafort in 2011 to consult, lobby, and do PR for Ukranian dictator Victor Yanukovich, whom Manafort helped get elected in 2010 until fleeing the country in 2014.
FSB handler of Russian DNC hacker
UkranianTerritoryArea of Ukraine where a counter-revolution emerged after students ousted former President Viktor Yanukovych and Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and overthrew the government.
RussianForeign IntelligenceAn IRA-controlled Facebook group with more than 250,000 followers by the time it was deactivated in mid-2017
AmericanTech tycoonCo-founder and CEO of Twitter and Square
Top Australian diplomat in Britain, who had drinks with George Papadopolous in London the night he blabbed about the Russians having dirt on Hillary Clinton.
RussianForeign IntelligenceHacker group
RussianRussia's most well-known neo-fascist ideologue, & Kremlin confidant
RussianFounder of the successful VKontakte social network website, often described as Russiaโ€™s Facebook. Durov said he had been forced out of the company over his refusal to co-operate with the security services, and that his company was now under the โ€œfull controlโ€ of Kremlin-friendly figures
AmericanCivil servantObama White House press secretary in 2016
OligarchMMA star, former Trump business partner, and friend of Putin
CompanyOne of Oleg Deripaska's companies whose sanctions were lifted by the Trump administration.
RussianForeign IntelligenceHacker group connected to the Kremlin
American Unregistered Foreign AgentAttempted to set up a backchannel between the NRA and the Russian government during the Trump campaign.
Foreign Intelligenceex-KGB chief linked to helping the Christopher Steele dossier on Trump, reportedly found dead in the back of his car in Moscow on Boxing Day
LobbyistNGO entity created by Manafort and Gates in Belgium in 2012 to serve as an "arm's length" front for their work with Yanukovich.
RussianCompanyOne of Oleg Deripaska's companies whose sanctions were lifted by the Trump administration.
AmericanCompany
RussianPrincipal actorFictional corporate twin entity to the IRA (indicted by Mueller) that is suing Facebook on First Amendment grounds... surely to go up to a COTUS tipped by Kavangaugh, as all such hyper-controversial cases are liable to be?!?!
RussianForeign IntelligenceHacked Democratic Party emails during the 2016 US presidential election; also hacked MAcros campaign emails in France.
BritishPoliticianFormer UKIP leader now under investigation for ties to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange
AmericanIntelligence CommunityInvestigation of domestic terror units and criminal cells, as well as foreign criminal groups within the U.S.
RussianRussian Parliament
AmericanPoliticianOverseeing the process generally of national and state elections
AmericanPoliticianUS Senator from California who published Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS's transcript of testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
AmericanCompanySecurity firm
UkranianOligarchUkranian oligarch and nagural gas magnate who got sweetheart deals within Putin's inner circle
AmericanCivil servantJohn Kerry's chief of staff
IcelandicCompanyIcelandic hedge fund with ties to Putin, that invested in Trump Soho via FBI informant and convicted felon Sal Lauria
AmericanIntelligence CommunityAs the new NSA director he advocated military intervention in the Middle East and an alliance with Russia; later it turned out he'd accepted undisclosed payments from the Rurkish government and lied about undisclosed meetings with the Russian Ambassador, ๎ค‚Sergey Kislyak
AmericanCompany
CompanyHosted the meeting in the Seychelles between Erik Prince and Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russia's sovereign wealth fund
AmericanMedia Outlet
AmericanMedia Outletsee: Washington Free Beacon
RussianOligarchinvested $200m in Uber (?)
AmericanCompanyErik Prince's company, who has ignored document requests from Congress relating to the meeting in the Seychelles with Kirill Dmitriev
RussianForeign Intelligencethe Russian Federal Security Service
AmericanPolitical research firm hired first by conservative billionaire, later by the Clinton campaign, that ultimately led to the Steele dossier.
RussianPrincipal actorWorked at the Internet Research Agency before being employed at Facebook
Intelligence Community
AmericanIntelligence Community
AmericanLobbyistPaul Manafort's right hand man, indicted along with the former Trump campaign manager for a number of federal crimes from money laundering to illegal foreign lobbying and tax evasion.
RussianMedia Outlet
RussianCompanyRussia's energy monopolgy and largest gas company
American
GeorgianNation-stateFormer Soviet state
RussianMilitaryRussian General who wrote seminal asymmetric warfare doc
JournalistJournalist and author who has lived extensively in Russia and studied the rise of Putin
RussianActivistLeader of the Ukranian pro-Russian separatists in Donbas, he is alleged to have been connected to the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17
AmericanPoliticianPublicly "predicted" the Comey "re-opening" of Clinton's emails when the Anthony Weiner laptop was found
RussianRussian MafiaFormer Boris Berezovsky associate turned up murdered in the UK, 8 days after the poisoning and attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal in London.
Russian MafiaPublicist of Russian-Azerbaijani singer Emin Agalarov who set up the June 9 meeting between Don Jr, Kushner, Manafort, and the Russians
AmericanCompanyOnline search company whose system was gamed, hacked, or perhaps simply used intentionally to sow disinformation to some of the most vulnerable citizen targets, as identified by stolen and purchased predictive user data.
RussianPoliticianGlasnost
HungarianMedia PersonalityFormer counterterrorism analyst for Fox News who joined the administration as an adviser; his ties to the Hungarian right had come increasingly under scrutiny before his departure from the White House. Prior to immigrating to the United States, Gorka had mounted an unsuccessful political career in Hungary and, in doing so, once expressed support for a far-right militia in the country.
AmericanA watchdog organization for financial and other high-profile crimes within the U.S.
AmericanPolitician(R-SC) Chair of the House Oversight Committee
AmericanPolitician(R-IA)
RussianIntelligence CommunitySoviety military intelligence services
AmericanGovernment agencyHas been asserted by TFA that documents were "unlawfully" given to the Special Counsel's Office by this agency, including parts susceptible to privilege.
RussianHackerA cutout of the GRU, this account directly released and coordinated with Wikileaks to release more widely the stolen emails from Clinton, the DNC, and the DCCC
AmericanCivil servantHillary for America IT chief
AmericanIntelligence CommunityTestified before the House Intelligence Committee on the probable ability of the Russians to hack an election
AmericanMedia PersonalityMade claims on his show that the Steele dossier launched the Russia probe, which isn't accurate.
EuropeanPoliticianInformal name given to the set of former European politicians whom Paul Manafort and Rick Gates paid to espouse pro-Yanukovich talking points.
AmericanLawyerRepresenting Trump in the Stormy Daniels case; also represented Terry Bolea in the Gawker trial
AmericanPoliticianMember of the House Intelligence Committee, one of the Congressional committees investigating the Russia scandal
The investment fund client of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who uncovered a $230 million money laundering scheme through New York real estate via Prevezon, a Russian holding company.
AmericanPrincipal actorYet another former White House Communications Director, she resigned the day after giving 9 hours of testimony on the Hill to the House Intelligence Committee. Til then she had been the longest-running current member of the Trump campaign.
American
AmericanCivil servantUS Ambassador to Russia
AmericanLawyerPaul Erickson's lawyer
Tied to VizSense Inc. and White Canvas Group, 2 firms that did business with Michael Flynn
RussianChristian fascist philosopher who inspired much of Vladimir Putin's political philosophy
AmericanCompanyPlatform used by the Russian disinformation campaign that House Democrats want to subpoena
AmericanCompanyPlatform used by the Russian disinformation campaign that House Democrats want to subpoena the transition team for records of
RussianPrincipal actorWell-known troll farm with ties to the Kremlin, funded and run by Russian oligarch and "Putin's Chef" Yevgeniy Prigozhin (who also oversees private mercenary military forces in Syria and Ukraine.
RussianForeign Intelligence
Media OutletThe main Bolshevik newspaper in the early 20th century
AmericanPolitician
RussianOne of Putin's closest allies, he's the head of anti-narcotics in Russia; has spoken out against marijuana legalization in the US (!)
RussianForeign IntelligenceIRA-controlled Twitter account claiming to be a Virginian Trump supporter with 70,000 followers
RussianPoliticianChechnya's Kremlin-backed leader, who is thought to be behind the murder of Putin critic and opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. Kadyrov received a medal from Putin the month after Nemtsov's murder.
Russian, AmericanForeign IntelligenceFormer KGB agent who became a U.S. citizen and grew critical of Putin's regime.
RussianOligarchSole shareholder of Prevezon, implicated in the $230m theft of Russian taxpayer dollars
RussianRussian Mafia8th person at Don Jr's June 9 meeting; VP at Crocus Group, owned by Aras Agalarov โ€” a lawyer for the Russian real estate firm, he has been identified by the Government Accountability Office as part of a large ring of Russian money-laundering operations.
AmericanLawyerMike Flynn's lawyer
AmericanPoliticianGeorgia secretary of state who bristled at the idea of DHS's warning about the election integrity and attempts to hack voter registration
AmericanPoliticianSecretary of State under Obama from 2013 to 2018
AmericanCompanyWestern PR firm that helps place pro-Russian op-eds in Western media (like Putin's in NYTimes on 9/11/13)
RussianIntelligence CommunityThe Soviet secret service, renowned for ruthlessness and duplicity
RussianDaughter of a Russian oligarch, married to Alex van der Zwaan -- the first to go to prison in the Mueller investigation.
RussianOligarchRussian oligarch billionaire, principal of Alfa Bank (Russia's largest privste bank) and the father-in-law of Alex van der Zwaan who has pleaded guilty to MUeller's team.
RussianOligarchEx-oil tycoon unexpectedly freed by Putin ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics
RussianPrincipal actorFAN's chief accountant and an indictee under Mueller's Russian investigation
RussianForeign IntelligencePaul Manafort's business associate in the Ukraine
RussianForeign IntelligenceRussian Ambassador who spoke with ๎ค‚Mike Flynn [tracker] about lifting sanctions in undisclosed series of meetings
CompanyCompany formed by Peter Smith to facilitate and manage his question to find Hillary's missing emails.
RussianOligarchYoung Russian billionaire who claims to have been instrumental in getting Trump elected.
RussianForeign Intelligence
Cambridge Analytica researcher who oversaw the harvesting of 50 million Facebook user accounts' info who also moonlighted as a lecturer at St. Petersburg University
RussianMedia OutletLong-respected business newspaper purchased by pro-Kremlin oligarch Alisher Usmanov
RussianLeninist Youth League organization for Communists aged 14 to 28 in the late 80s & early 90s
Russian
RussianCEO of VTB, one of the largest Russian banks (and under US sanctions)
HungarianOne of the leaders of Jobbik, Hungary's pro-Putin rightist party, who is accused of being a Russian spy.
RussianForeign IntelligenceOne of the two main suspects in the UK's murder investigation case of former FSB/KGB spy turned informant and expat dissident, Alexander Litvinenko -- killed by polonium-210 poisoning after having tea with the two then-current KGB officers in November, 2006.
RussianForeign IntelligenceSenior Putin aide who attended the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in lieu of Putin.
RussianForeign IntelligenceThe Dutch intelligence community alerted the DNC way back in 2015 that they had been hacked back in 2014.
RussianPrincipal actor
Former Bayrock partner who filed a lawsuit in January, 2017 alleging tax evasion of as much as $250 million in income + Russian money laundering
RussianForeign IntelligenceServed as Director and 3rd highest employee within the Internet Research Agency, from at least September 2013. She was one of two employees of the IRA who obtained visas and entered the United States on June 4, 2014.
RussianForeign IntelligenceRussian diplomat recalled to Russia, fearing his cover would be blown re: heavy involvement in the 2016 election, including the veterans' pensions ruse
AmericanOligarchFather of Jared, the elder Kushner committed campaign fraud, blackmailed his own sister, and spent time in federal prison before re-emerging to help run the family business and, of course, suck at the teat of the Presidency
AmericanPrincipal actorThe evil son-in-law so evil he owned a billion dollar building at 666 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan
AmericanCompany
AmericanIntelligence CommunityFormer chief of the DOJ's Counterintelligence & Export Control Section
Russian MafiaFBI informant and convicted felon who brokered a $150 million deal for Sater with FL Group, an Icelandic hedge fund tied to Putin that also invested in the Trump Soho project
PoliticianRussian Foreign Minister
FrenchPoliticianhead of the French far-Right party
RussianHackerRussian hacker who ran the sprawling Kelihos botnet, a massive spam and scam network; indicted by a US grand jury on 4/21/17
Russian
RussianOligarchRussian "king of diamonds" who was a partner in Prevezon (involved in the Magnistsky-exposed money laundering of $230m in Russian tax dollars) and sold several floors of the NYTimes building in Manhattan to Jared Kushner
RussianFormer police investigator from the Siberian city of Surgut, who left the force after becoming disgusted by the โ€œculture of corruptionโ€ he had witnessed, and moved to Moscow in 2009. Inspired, like so many others, by the anti-Putin protests of 2011โ€“12, Leviyev, a tattooed 29-year-old, is now one of the countryโ€™s top โ€œsocial media dissidentsโ€.
RussianOligarchRussian Canadian CEO of developer Talon (Trump Toronto); had no previous experience in real estate or construction
AmericanLobbyistDonald Trump's first campaign manager; succeeded by Paul Manafort.
Alleged mobster and associate of John Gotti, who is on video with Trump in the 80s at a WrestleMania event
RussianOligarchRussian steel mogul who made $830m in 3 days after the election
RussianForeign Intelligenceformer Russian FSB agent who informed on Putin's connections to the Russian mafia and was assassinated by polonium-210 poisoning in 2006
Russian
Ties to the Romneys?!
RussianForeign IntelligenceOne of the two main suspects in the UK's murder investigation case of former FSB/KGB spy turned informant and expat dissident, Alexander Litvinenko -- killed by polonium-210 poisoning after having tea with the two then-current KGB officers in November, 2006. Lugovoy is currently a sitting member of the Russian parliament: deputy of the State Duma.
RussianCompanyRussia's second largest oil company after Rosneft, they contracted with Trump data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica
AmericanCivil servantUS Attorney General under Barack Obama
AmericanJournalistHost of the most popular nighttime news show on MSNBC; she's been following the Russia story aggressively for over a year in meticulously detailed fashion.
Lawyerlawyer who tried to expose the theft of $230 million of Russian taxpayers' money by Prevezon Holdings (laundered into NYC real estate) before being arrested and allegedly tortured prior to his death in a Moscow prison in 2009; the 2012 Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act is a landmark human rights act named after him.
RussianForeign IntelligenceDivision of the GRU that carried out the second half of the Russian attack on our democracy -- cyber intrusions and hacking of stolen materials from the Clinton campaign, disseminated by WikiLeaks
AmericanPrincipal actor
AmericanIntelligence CommunityHead of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security who confirmed to NBC News that the Russians successfully infiltrated "an exceptionally small number" of voter regidstration rolls in 21 states.
RussianForeign IntelligenceIRA-controlled accouunt created in May 2016 to promote IRA-organized rallies in support of the Trump Campaign
AmericanPolitician
AmericanIntelligence CommunityDeputy Nartional Security Advisor under Mike Flynn. Asked to step down by HR McMaster.
AmericanLawyerWhite House counsel from XXXX-XXXX
AmericanPolitician
AmericanCompanySocial media and blogging community frequented by the Russians during their efforts at sowing propaganda and discord during the American 2016 Presidential election.
RussianPoliticianRussian Prime Minister
AmericanOligarch
AmericanPrincipal actorShadowy billionaire Trump backer and donor who also backs Breitbart, Cambridge Analytica, and John Bolton.
Holds Trump debt
BritishForeign IntelligenceBritish intelligence agency; the rough equivalent of the American CIA.
Director of the London Academy of Diplomacy who meets with George Papadopoulos in Italy.
Oligarchpart owner of Novatek who made $1.9b from the stock pop post-Trump
RussianForeign IntelligenceGRU cyberunit dedicated to targeting military, politival, governmental, and non-governmental organizations outside of Russia, including the U.S. Separate from this investigation, Unit 26165 was charged by a grad jury for hacking the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the World Doping Agency, and other international sport associations.
RussianForeign IntelligenceA GRU unit engaged in cyber operations, including assisting in the release of the documents stolen by Unit 26165, the promotion of those releases, and the publication of anti-Clinton content on social media accounts operated by the GRU. This unit also hacked computers belonging to the stater boards of elections, secretaries of state, and U.S. companies supplying software and other technology related to elections.
AmericanPrincipal actorAggressively anti-immigrant advisor to Trump, co-writing many of his most vitriolic speeches
BelarusianRussian MafiaTrump associate, head of the Russian-American chamber of commerce, and one of the sources of the Steele dossier
RussianPrincipal actorFormer worker at the Russian troll factory, the Internet Research Agency, who told the Western press what it was like inside the farm.
RussianRussian MafiaNotorious mobster
EmiratiThe crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
LawyerWorld's fourth largest offshore law firm, whose files were published as the Panama Papers in a German newspaper
AmericanCivil servantSpecial Counsel at the DOJ, investigating RussiaGate
Ministry of Internal Affairs; supervises all police, prisons, and "public order militias"
AmericanLobbyistLebanese-American businessman who lobbies for the UAE, and was at the meeting in the Seychelles with Erik Prince and the Russians
RussianActivistPutin critic and activist blogger; has been arrested, charged, & sentenced several times (but recognized as a political prisoner by NGOs)
RussianPoliticianPutin critic and opposition politician who was shot dead in Moscow in 2015 by a member of the Chechen security forces
RussianCompanyRestaurant of Yevgeny Prigozhin that became a favorite of Putin's, netting Mr Prigozhin lucrative contracts for shady operations as "Putin's Chef"
Russian
BritishPrincipal actorCEO of Trump data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica
RussianForeign Intelligencea forerunner to the KGB under Stalin
AmericanLobbyistHosted a number of conduits between the Trump campaign and Russian nationals, particularly Russian billionaires and oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin.
AmericanIntelligence Community
AmericanCivil servantFormer Trump aide who made a series of bizarre statements on cable TV before testifying to Robert Mueller's team
AmericanPolitician
AmericanMedia OutletWebsite owned by Jarek Kushner as part of Observer Media
AmericanMedia OutletMedia company owned by Jared Kushner.
AmericanMedia PersonalityAmerican TV host
UkrainianSuccessor ruling party in Ukraine after Victor Yanukovich fled to Moscow and his Party of Regions toppled.
HungarianPoliticianPresident of Hungary, noted for his pro-Putin and anti-refugee beliefs
BritishCompanySteele's research firm
dead โ€” Bryan Cohen's father-in-law (brother of Trump's personal lawyer
RussianMedia OutletRussia's TV network
Holds Trump debt
AmericanPrincipal actor
RussianForeign IntelligenceIRA-controlled Twitter account claiming to be a Texan Trump supporter with 70,000 followers
AmericanPrincipal actorMember of the Trump campaign who has pled guilty in the Robert Mueller investigation and flipped to become a cooperating witness. Will serve jail time.
AmericanPrincipal actorHead of the Trump campaign's digital operation
UkranianUkranian political party run by Victor Yanukovych, the pro-Putin dictator ushered into power by Paul Manafort.
American
AmericanPrincipal actorHelped American Media bury stories unfavorable to Trump leading up to the election -- a campaign contribution violation, not to mention a moral violation
AmericanPrincipal actorVice President of the United States
RussianPrincipal actorPutin's press secretary. Michael Cohen was in touch with him as late at June 2016, during the presidential campaign, in talks over the Trump Tower Moscow deal.
Fox News counterterrorism analyst & one of Trump's 5 initial national security advisors
AmericanCivil servantHis stolen emails were one of several tronches of stolen documents released by Wikileaks at strategic moments during the 2016 presidential election campaign.
RussianForeign IntelligenceRussian agent who received intelligence information from American energy consultant Carter Page beginning in January 2013
RussianWorked for the Internet Research Agency as its head of IT from April 2014 to at least July 2014; he oversaw the buildout of the U.S. infrastructure for the Russian operations.
AmericanCivil servantCIA Director who went from praising to condemning Wikileaks
UkranianPoliticianUkranian president
CypriotCompanya Cyprus company that has invested in Manhattan real estate and which prosecutors allege was the receptacle for some of the $230 million stolen from Russian taxpayers in 2007; part of Hermitage Capital, the investment fund Magnitsky was investigating until his murder in a Moscow prison in 2009.
AmericanCivil servant
RussianForeign Intelligence"Putin's Chef" -- a former caterer and restauranteur who now runs Vladimir Putin's internet propaganda operations via the Internet Research Agency as well as overseeing mercenary forces operating in Syria and Ukraine.
AmericanOligarchSec. of Education Betsy DuVoss's brother, who met a Russian oligarch in the Seychelles during the campaign to talk about lifting sanctions. Founded and runs Blackwater, a formidable private security firm often accompanying US military operations as the theater of war becomes increasingly privatized and mercenaries find themselves duking it out in the desert armed with the plausible deniability of being at arm's length from their country's official foreign policy.
AmericanMedia Outlet
RussianActivist
RussianPrincipal actor
AmericanPoliticianMember of the House Intelligence Committee, one of the Congressional committees investigating the Russia scandal
AmericanCompanyWas asked by House Democrats on March 7, 2018 to provide intel on the scope and scale of the Russian disinformation effort on their platforms during the 2016 election
RussianCompanyOne of the first private companies or "collectives" formed under Gorbachev's glasnost reforms, it brokered the first proto-Internet within the Soviet Union and first connection to the outside world โ€” playing a key role in thwarting the attempted coup against Gorbachev by the KGB in August, 1991
RussianMoscow-based entity begun by Maria Butina and Alexander Torshin -- odd, in a country with no gun rights at all.
AmericanCompanyHosted Donald Trump during his 2013 visit to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant
Russianextreme nationalist party in Russia c. 2003 that hinted at ethnic cleansing; The Guardian reported it had actually been set up as a prop by Putin & cronies, to draw votes away from the other far-right Communist Party
AmericanLobbyistHired by Alfa Bank: a former REagan administration official
AmericanIntelligence CommunityAdmiral and Director of the National Security Agency under Obama; one of the 3 who briefed Trump and Obama about the Russian attack on Election 2016
AmericanPoliticianRepresentative (R-CA 48th District) since 2013; dubbed "Putin's favorite Congressman"
RussianPutin ally implicated in the Panama Papers
RussianCompanyRussia's state oil company
RussianMedia OutletRussia's official government newspaper
AmericanPoliticianUS Secretary of Commerce and single largest shareholder of the Bank of Cyprus, the famous haven for Russian oligarchs to stash their billions
Russian
CEO of Vornado, a $20 billion real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns 49.5% of Jared Kushner's building at 666 Fifth Avenue; he's also on Trump's economic advisory team
RussianMedia OutletRussian state-owned news service
RussianMedia OutletThe Kremlin's new video news agency
RussianCompanyOne of Oleg Deripaska's companies whose sanctions have been lifted by Trump's Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
RussianRussia's sovereign wealth fund
Russianpart of the far-right coalition within Russia seeking to build an international consensus, this group advocates "Christian Orthodox imperial nationalism"
RussianPoliticianRussian Deputy Foreign Minister
AmericanPoliticianSpeaker of the House (R-WI) and a Trump defender and denialist
RussianOligarchthe โ€œFertilizer Kingโ€ โ€” fertilizer billionaire who purchased Trump's Palm Beach mansion for $95 million, but never moved in
AmericanOligarch
AmericanCivil servant
RussianRussian MafiaRussian mobster and FBI informant who runs Bayrock, a money-laundering firm designed to hide dirty Russian money in Trump's taxes
Saudi ArabianNation-state
RussianBankRussia's largest bank
AmericanCivil servantTrump press secretary for all of 10 days
AmericanPrincipal actorManaged the Trump campaign's social media
AmericanPoliticianTop-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee overseeing that chamber's Russia investigation
AmericanTrump's longtime security chief and confidant
AmericanLawyerNew York State Attorney General who has a long history of legal cases with Trump
AmericanPolitician(D-NY) and Sen. Minority Leader
RussianOligarchPresident of Rosneft at the time Exxon violated Russian sanctions to help protect his property interest
RussianForeign IntelligenceAn IRA-controlled Facebook group that bought ads in support of the Trump Campaign, and had over 130,000 followers at the time it was deactivated in mid-2017
AmericanLawyerTrump's personal lawyer
AmericanPrincipal actorTrump's first US Attorney General, before Bill Barr. He has recused himself from the Russia investigation because of his curious, multi-part memory loss of meetings with Russian agents.
UkranianOligarchUkrainian steel magnate & partner at Talon International who is managing Trump Toronto hotel as it goes into default
AmericanPresident of the Miss Universe Organization, who reported directly to Trump at the time of the 2013 Moscow pageant
RussianDirector of PArtnership Marketing for vKontakte, a Russian social media site, that had communications with the Trump campaign about setting up a profile.
Company
AmericanMedia OutletConservative broadcasting conglomerate gobbling up local TV stations and forcing them to air canned right-wing footage with each segment.
AmericanHead of research firm Fusion FPS who commissioned the Christopher Steele dossier.
AmericanOligarchBillionaire financier who originally commissioned research firm Fusion GPS to start compiling opposition research on Donald Trump. He abandoned the project after Trump secured the nomination.
LawyerLaw firm retained by Paul Manafort and Rick Gates to "whitewash" Victor Yanukovich's imprisonment of his political rival, Yulia Tymochenko, in Ukraine.
RussianForeign IntelligenceAn IRA-controlled Facebook account that organized a pro-Trump rally near Trump Tower in mid-2016
RussianFormer Russian official turned British spy who was attacked with his daughter Yulia with nerve gas in southern England, reputedly by agents of the Kremlin.
RussianSergei's daughter
AmericanCivil servantHead of the State Dept's intelligence bureau under Obama
AmericanAlleged to have solicited help on the dark web in finding Hillary's "missing" emails from the Russians
AmericanCompanyOne of the social networks the Democratic oversight committees want to send document requests to, to request more intel on the scope and scale of the Russian campaign on their platforms
AmericanIntelligence CommunityControversial former employee for private firms working within the US government who absconded with millions of top secret NSA and other departmental intelligence documents, fled to Hong Kong where he alerted the press, and flew on to Moscow where he lives under the protection of the Kremlin.
PolishPolish workers' party confronting Communism in the late '80s
Russian
Nuclear non-proliferation expert who briefed Mike Flynn on the ACU's nuclear program and rejoiced that he would be named head of the NSA.
AmericanCivil servantTrump's press secretary
RussianMedia OutletRussian news wire proffering fake news
RussianPolitician
AmericanPrincipal actorEx-Facebook security chief
GermanForeign IntelligenceNickname for the Ministry of State Security in East Germany during the Cold War
BritishForeign IntelligenceFormer British MI6 intelligence agent who put together the Steele Dossier on Donald Trump's dealings with Russia
AmericanLobbyistLong-time political advisor best known for being part of Richard Nixon's "Dirty Tricks" crew who perpetuated Watergate among much else; he "predicted" the release of Clinton's hacked emails
RussianForeign IntelligenceAn IRA-controlled Facebook group
RussianForeign IntelligenceAn IRA-controlled Facebook group that bought Facebook ads in support of Donald Trump
Media PersonalityWorks for Sputnik in Russia. Never responded to an official Congressional inquiry.
Russian
RussianMedia OutletRussia's largest blogging service via acquisition of LiveJournal from Six Apart
RussianPrincipal actorPutin's disinformation machine
RussianIntelligence CommunityRussian foreign intelligence service
AmericanPoliticianDemocrat on the House Intelligence Committee
Company
RussianRussian Mafiaorganized crime ring based in St. Petersburg w/ties to Putin; led by Gennadiy Petrov and Aleksandr Malyshev
LobbyistGOP strategy firm hired by Facebook
RussianForeign IntelligenceAn IRA-controlled Twitter account posing as the Tennessee GOP Party.
AmericanTrump for America, Inc., the business entity formed to handle the Trump transition
AmericanPrincipal actorU.S. Secretary of State and former CEO of Exxon
Oligarch23% owner of natural gas company Novatek, who made $1.8b from surges in pro-Russian market following Trump's election
RussianProgram director at the Russian International Affairs Council, a government-funded think tank, who met with George Papadopolous to try to establish a meeting between Trump and Putin.
RussianRussian MafiaNicknamed "The Little Taiwanese," he's one of Russia's most notorious mobsters. At the time of the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, he had been indicted in the U.S. for protecting a high-stakes illegal gambling operation run out of Trump Tower.
RussianPrincipal actorRussian central banker, Putin confidant, NRA whisperer, handler of Maria Butina
RussianRussian MafiaRan a Russian-American gambling crime ring out of Trump Tower. Serving 5 years for racketeering.
RussianForeign IntelligenceDepartment within the IRA dedicated to U.S. operations
AmericanPrincipal actor
AmericanPrincipal actor
American
AmericanPrincipal actor
AmericanOligarchDonald Trump's father, who built the family real estate fortune and handed it off to his son to ruin it
AmericanPrincipal actorDaddy's little girl
AmericanPrincipal actor
AmericanPrincipal actor
AmericanPrincipal actor
Russian
AmericanCompanyWas asked by House Democrats on March 7, 2018 to provide intel on the scope and scale of the Russian disinformation effort on their platforms during the 2016 election
UkranianCompanyUkranian state-owned company who was the target of a bribery offer from ACU Strategic Partners -- who Mike Flynn was working with -- to accept a $45 billion contract to build reactors in Saudi Arabia in exchange for supporting the lifting of sanctions levied against Russia by the US and EU.
TurkishNation-state
RussianMedia OutletIndependent Russian broadcaster
AmericanCompany
UkranianPoliticianRan against Victor Yanukovich in the 2010 Presidentials elections, and was jailed by him under spurious charges following his Paul Manafort-aided win.
Holds Trump debt
RussianForeign IntelligenceAn IRA-controlled Facebook account that had over 300,000 followers at the time it was finally deactivated in mid-2017
RussianPolitical Party of Russian PResident Vladimir Putin
RussianOligarchPutin-connected oligarch with connections to secretary of commerce ๎ค‚Wilbur Ross [tracker]
RussianRussian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin who met with Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort, and Kared Kushner at Trump Tower in June 2016 about the dirt Russia had on Hillary Clinton. At the time she was representing Prevezon Holdings in the case the U.S. Justice Department had brought against them for a $230 million money laundering scheme that lawyer Sergei Magnitsky had uncovered.
AmericanCompanyProvided social media services to the Trump campaign and Michael Flynn
RussianRussian social network; equivalent analog to Facebook
RussianBankRussian state-owned development bank, under investigation for Russian election interference
Company$20 billion REIT that's an ~equal partner with Jared Kushner in the 666 Fifth Ave. building in Manhattan; Steve Roth, CEO, is an advisor to Trump
BankExecutive at Deutsche Bank's private wealth unit who helped finance many of Trump's real estate projects after other banks (and the "regular" side of Deutsche Bank) wouldn't deal with him any more, following massive losses
RussianBankRussia's largest commercial bank; under US and EU sanctions for money laundering
AmericanPolitician(D-VA) โ€” top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee
Media Outlet
AmericanMedia Outletvenerable local paper purchased by Jeff Bezos in 2013
American
American
AmericanPolitician
AmericanPrincipal actor
The House HPSCI committee wants to subpoena them for communication records relating to principals in the Trump campaign
AmericanIntelligence Community
AmericanLobbyistUndertook Turkey-related work for Michael Flynn
AmericanCivil servantSupposed to be a civil servant but often a lobbyist, The White House includes the President and high-level senior staff
Hacker
Globalumbrella term for Russia's movement to unite an international extreme far-right coalition
Americancandidate for the next FBI Director, to replace James Comey
AmericanWhistleblower from Trump data team Cambridge Analytica who revealed the existence of a formerly secret client: Lukoil, Russia's #2 oil and gas company
UkranianPoliticianUkraine's former pro-Moscow president; he paid $12.7 million to help influence the Ukranian election his way before being ousted from power in 2013. Paul Manafort made many of the millions he later laundered with Rick Gates via undisclosed lobbying for Mr Yanukovych.
AmericanDeputy Attorney General under Barack Obama and Acting Attorney General following the inauguration of Donald Trump. She was dismissed by him after 10 days when she instructed the Justice Department not to allow Trump's Muslim ban to be enforced because it violated the law and the Constitution.
American
RussianPoliticianFirst President of the Russian Federation, after he orchestrated Russia's exit from the USSR (and thus, its downfall, as all the Soviet satellite republics followed suit). He ruled from 1991 to 1999, never quite managing to usher in a true democracy before settling on a successor, an obscure and unknown former KGB officer stationed in East Berlin during the Second World War: Vladimir Putin.
AmericanCompanyFavored propaganda platform for Russian agents used in the cyberattacks against the 2016 election
Russian
"Young Army" โ€” created in 2015 by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to "encourage patriotism among schoolchildren"
AmericanOligarchCEO of Facebook, whose platform was used by the Russians in their influence campaign against the 2016 U.S. elections
DutchDutch lawyer caught lying to the FBI about his law firm Skadden's report on Ukranian dictator Victor Yanukovich's imprisonment of his presidential rival Yulia Tymochenko in Ukraine. Has plead guilty to Robert Mueller's team.
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In the 1930s and 40s we had the New Deal (thanks, FDR!). In 1938, Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act, setting legal limits on the maximum number of hours worked and the minimum wages allowed. Child labor was outlawed, and union laws allowed collective bargaining — resulting in much-needed wage growth and improved conditions for workers.

Republicans fought it then, claiming it was an essentially socialist program, and an economic enemy to business and growth. However, it was the very opposite of that — the war and post-war years were ones of productivity and prosperity, widely and broadly. A strong middle class was formed, changing the life and culture of America forever. The very image of the 1950s Average Family with a white picket fence (emphasis on the white) and 2.5 children the right-wing seems to have nostalgia for was made possible by massive government investments into the US economy and labor force — investments which paid off handsomely and broadly for all, with the notable exception (once again… sort of a theme around here…) of Black Americans, who were largely carved out of the GI bill and given the meagre leavings of the superior education and housing benefits doled out to white veterans.

In the mid-1970s this growth engine finally began to falter, and since the 80s, we’ve instead had the Raw Deal. An ever-escalating version of a Libertarian’s wet dream: deregulation of numerous industries including finance (leading to the housing crash of 2007-8) and energy (leading to the Enron scandal, where traders joked about frying grandmas in CA for fat bonuses), a steadily less progressive tax system (down from a whopping 94% in 1944 down to 28% under Reagan), and endless waves of cuts to social programs that had been designed to level the opportunity playing field after centuries of explicit discrimination.

The thing is, when people feel hopeful, they work harder.

When there is hopelessness, there is less urgency to work hard to maintain the conditions and systems that make one feel so hopeless. If you know the game is rigged, how futile does it seem to keep playing?

Libertarians lament about the size of the pie, which is as good a modern version of “let them eat cake” while the plebes swill McD’s and pay through the nose for health care as any.

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As members of the white male oligarchy fall all over themselves to mock the Green New Deal in their prostrate subservience to special interest lobbyists and Wall Street, there’s an opportunity hanging out in the wind (…but mostly in the sun) for Main Street.

People who claim that solar power isn’t scalable are living like it’s 1999, or 1984, or maybe 1924. Solar power has been shown to so far follow the edicts of Moore’s Law, which describes the doubling of the number of transistors on the same size chip every 18 months to 2 years — leading to predictable cost reductions over time for technologies that exhibit this kind of growth curve.

Meanwhile, the substrates upon which solar photovoltaic cells can be deployed are getting smaller — ridiculously smaller. Thinner than a strand of human hair. Of course those solar implementations are still insanely expensive, but give Moore’s Law and markets some time to work and at some point (and probably in this lifetime, for some of us) we’ll be in a world where PV cells are everywhere — almost literally. We will pass out of the age of fossil fuel scarcity and into an age of true energy abundance, in which power can be harvested from almost any given surface.

So, get yourself a nice little solar ETF and plow some money into it, or squirrel away little bits over time — whatever you can afford. Eventually you’re liable to be laughing all the way to the bank as the dinosaurs cry themselves to sleep at night before the feverish petroleum-soaked nightmares set in.

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Anger is the defining emotion of the internet.

It’s designed to whip you up into a frenzy in order to foment cheap pageviews. Its interest is in you becoming a histrionic attention whore, such that you suck in as much clandestinely stolen user data to your platform of choice as possible. Turns out, conflict gets attention.

Anger is also notably the “loophole” emotion — it’s the invisible one men get to have, while claiming for generations upon generations that “women are too emotional to be entrusted” with leadership or anything meaningful, really. Meanwhile male anger and aggression have killed hundreds of millions and wreaked destruction upon the earth many times over, as fragile masculinity is repeatably and predictably triggered over any little old thing.

A neat trick.

A story.

A lie.

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