Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, October 07, 2017

On May 21, 2016, a handful of people turned out to protest the opening of a library at an Islamic Center in Houston, Texas. Two held up a banner proclaiming #WhiteLivesMatter. A counter-protest began across the street; video shows a noisy but non-violent confrontation. The rally -- called "Stop Islamization of Texas" -- was called and promoted by a Facebook page called Heart of Texas, which had wrongly alleged that the Islamic library had received public funding. But the Heart of Texas page listed no contacts in the Lone Star state. In fact, it was operated by a "Troll Factory" called the Internet Research Agency thousands of miles away in St Petersburg, Russia, CNN has learned.

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Generating anti-Muslim sentiment in the US was one of the goals of the Russian campaign. CNN reported Tuesday that some ads bought on Facebook were aimed at reaching voters who might be susceptible to anti-Muslim messages, even suggesting that Muslims were a threat to the American way of life.

A source familiar with the matter tells CNN that Heart of Texas was among the 470 accounts and pages that Facebook turned over to Congress, following its investigation into ads generated by the Internet Research Agency. Neither the Facebook page nor a companion Twitter account @ItsTimeToSecede is still accessible. The link between Heart of Texas and the Russian campaign was previously reported by Business Insider.

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FTA: The Houston rally sheds light on an effort originating in Russia to sow discord in the U.S. through social media; in this case it had real impact on the ground.

Not only were police on the scene, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Texas, Mustafaa Carroll, told CNN that his organization had contacted the FBI about comments posted on the Heart of Texas page before the protest. One of them read: "Need to blow this place up. We don't need this ---- in Texas."

#1 | Posted by madscientist at 2017-10-06 12:18 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Hahaha.
Russia understands the American electorate better than the DNC and the GOP.

#2 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-10-06 12:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

What they don't need in Texas is Russian trolls fomenting violence.

#3 | Posted by Corky at 2017-10-06 12:23 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

What they don't tell you about the Lone Star State is that States are graded on a 4 star scale.

#4 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2017-10-06 12:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I never expected to see the right ignore Russian attacks on the United States. All my life the right has banged the drum on the Soviet/Russian threat. Now Putin can do anything he wants to harm us and they roll over and hope he'll scratch their bellies.

#5 | Posted by rcade at 2017-10-07 12:49 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Its not that Russia is above engaging in such behavior, its that we don't really know anything, since every day, the CIA is busy promulgating propaganda while posing as a website in Russia. This is but one of the revelations provided by Wikileaks, a far more reliable source of information than our own Government.

If we really know this to be a fact, sanctions are certainly justified.

We should be concerned that the deep US State is engaged in justifying war with Russia. This is madness. Invasion is impossible which leaves only first strike, a US plan that has been on the books for ages.

#6 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-10-07 01:20 PM | Reply

#5 | POSTED BY RCADE

We started banging this drum last summer when it first became evident, and at a point where Hillary's election looked to be inevitable based on polling and what was then thought to be common sense. Still today, much of what Russia did was as much about sowing discord and mistrust into our domestic institutions as it was about helping to elect Trump, which it seems they've long since regretted because of his mental instability and narcissistic unpredictability. I'm sure they wanted to see just how effective their methods would be in affecting the US election and even they were caught gobsmacked that they actually succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

There is one huge reason the GOP refuses to take this act of espionage and treason seriously and that is because the results benefit them where it counts the most. It will probably take the upcoming criminal indictments (money laundering / foreign-connected money run through PACS and funneled back to candidates and the RNC, etc.) under RICO charges to start changing the majority's minds and cause those unaffiliated to flee in panicked haste.

#7 | Posted by tonyroma at 2017-10-07 01:36 PM | Reply

Julian Assange is a Russian puppet who has completely erased any credibility that he or Wikileaks ever had.

#8 | Posted by rcade at 2017-10-07 01:40 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Assange finds himself in a very difficult situation to say the least. What do you think the Russian agenda is anyway? As far as I can see they just wanted to open trade with the West, especially Eastern Europe, a situation the Deep US State considers intolerable. They called it Glasnost or something like that.

Is there any reason to believe they are capable or seek global domination, like us? Only China stands in our way and even the Deep State isn't stupid enough to take them on. We were stupid enough to give them all our technology in exchange for cheap labor to temporarily improve the bottom line and permanently destroy our competitiveness.

Wikileaks has an excellent track record, near perfect as far as I know, unlike CIA testimony before Congress.

#9 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-10-07 01:57 PM | Reply

W.C.Fields, "you can't cheat an honest man". and it's their true inner feelings that so readily

respond to a call for a display of bigotry and meanness. we're being cheated out of the promise

of freedom and equality our bill of rights gave to us.

Another great American philosopher, Pogo said, " I have met the enemy..and he is us "

The russians laid it on the table...but we picked it up

#10 | Posted by ABlock at 2017-10-07 02:03 PM | Reply

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You can see more of the ads at the article linked to here:

Here's what fake Russian Facebook posts looked like

www.drudge.com

#11 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-10-07 02:12 PM | Reply

"There is one huge reason the GOP refuses to take this act of espionage and treason seriously and that is because the results benefit them where it counts the most. "

It hurt them individually though:

Cruz Aide Backs Inquiry of Russian Meddling in GOP Primary
After a torrent of web attacks during the GOP primary, fmr. Cruz Aide Ron Nehring tells Ari Melber authorities should investigate Russian backing for Trump during the entire election cycle

www.msnbc.com

Watts also noted that Russians likely targeted every candidate in the campaign -- including one member of the Intelligence Committee, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

"They were in full swing during both the Republican and Democratic primary season -- and may have helped sink the hopes of candidates more hostile to Russian interests long before the field narrowed," Watts said. "Sen. Rubio, in my opinion, you anecdotally suffered from these efforts."

www.cnn.com

#12 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-10-07 02:17 PM | Reply

I'm not sure if I posted this first I'm sure that its alarming how effective these liars in Russia are.

#13 | Posted by Tor at 2017-10-07 02:27 PM | Reply

"The russians laid it on the table...but we picked it up"

Russian active measures seek to exploit existing divisions (political, social, racial, religious, ethnic) within a given country. They don't create those divisions, but they try to amplify them. So far, there success rate in the US has been pretty good.

#14 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-10-07 02:31 PM | Reply

. So far, there success rate in the US has been pretty good.
#14 | POSTED BY GAL_TUESDAY

and you have to admit that it says as much about us as it does about them

#15 | Posted by ABlock at 2017-10-07 02:42 PM | Reply

Consider the following from truthdig:

One might think that the expensive fiasco of the 2016 Clinton campaign would leave Democrats disenchanted with political models. Campaign manager Robby Mook placed a near-religious faith in Ada, a computer programming language that modeled the electorate 400,000 times a day, apparently assuring the techno-crazed Mook that he knew exactly how changing events were affecting voters. Such was his belief in "analytics" that he didn't bother to take polls in the closing weeks of the race, with fatal results.

Nevertheless, the Democratic establishment professes to believe that where Mook failed, Putin succeeded. If this were so, then Putin should set up shop as a campaign consultant in this country.

#16 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-10-07 03:10 PM | Reply

On the other hand, once the vote tally starts rolling in, it is easy, using simple arithmetic, to see where a few votes here and there can flip the outcome, only because of the the electoral college system. Republicans control two thirds of the voting machines, most machines can be changed in 30 seconds or less and there is no paper trail for one quarter of the ballots. Prediction of human behavior is not required.

#17 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-10-07 04:17 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

"Nevertheless, the Democratic establishment professes to believe that where Mook failed, Putin succeeded. If this were so, then Putin should set up shop as a campaign consultant in this country. "

Putin and Parscale (and Kushner and Cambridge Analytica):

How Facebook ads helped elect Trump

Trump campaign digital director Brad Parscale says Donald Trump won election on Facebook with highly targeted ads -- and infrastructure was a key issue

"Twitter is how [Trump] talked to the people, Facebook was going to be how he won," Parscale tells Stahl. Parscale says he used the majority of his digital ad budget on Facebook ads and explained how efficient they could be, particularly in reaching the rural vote. "So now Facebook lets you get to ... 15 people in the Florida Panhandle that I would never buy a TV commercial for," says Parscale. And people anywhere could be targeted with the messages they cared about. "Infrastructure ... so I started making ads that showed the bridge crumbling ... that's micro targeting ... I can find the 1,500 people in one town that care about infrastructure. Now, that might be a voter that normally votes Democrat," he says. Parscale says the campaign would average 50-60,000 different ad versions every day, some days peaking at 100,000 separate iterations – changing design, colors, backgrounds and words – all in an effort to refine ads and engage users.

www.cbsnews.com

#18 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-10-07 04:28 PM | Reply

"and you have to admit that it says as much about us as it does about them"

Yes. The divisions are real and that won't change, but we need a better informed public. We need increased media literacy, i.e., education into how to tell real news from fake news and propaganda.

#19 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-10-07 04:37 PM | Reply

we control the vertical..we control the horizontal..resistance is futile

#20 | Posted by ABlock at 2017-10-07 04:40 PM | Reply

#20 We'll see if this goes anywhere:

"Senator Martin Heinrich is leading the charge to update American election laws so that the origins of political ads on social media are at least as transparent as those on TV and in print. Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat, is also part of the Senate Intelligence Committee that is tracing Russia's 2016 tactics. "Paul Manafort made an awful lot of money coming up with a game plan for how Russian interests could be pushed in Western countries and Western elections," Heinrich said, referring to a mid-2000s proposal Manafort pitched to a Russian oligarch. "Suddenly he finds himself in the middle of this campaign. If there is a person who I think is very sophisticated in this stuff, and runs in pretty dicey circles, that is the place where I would dig.""

This is the bottom line question: did Team Trump and the Russians work together to target voters:

Yet analysts scoff at the notion that the Russians figured out how to target African-Americans and women in decisive precincts in Wisconsin and Michigan all by themselves. "Could they have hired a warehouse full of people in Moscow and had them read Nate Silver's blog every morning and determine what messages to post to what demographics? Sure, theoretically that's possible," said Mike Carpenter, an Obama administration assistant defense secretary who specialized in Russia and Eastern Europe. "But that's not how they do this. And it's not surprising that it took Facebook this long to figure out the ad buys. The Russians are excellent at covering their tracks. They'll subcontract people in Macedonia or Albania or Cyprus and pay them via the dark Web. They always use locals to craft the campaign appropriately. My only question about 2016 is who exactly was helping them here."

www.vanityfair.com

#21 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-10-07 04:56 PM | Reply

"who exactly was helping them here"

That's easy, not Trump, who is a neophyte, the REPUBLICAN PARTY was ultimately in charge. They have far more expertise and direct access than Russia.

more from truthdig:

One fundamental issue with models is that they do not cope well with change, such as the kind that happens in an election race, or, for that matter, a war. During the Vietnam War, for example, a group of eminent physicists sold Defense Secretary Robert McNamara on the idea that an "electronic fence" consisting of thousand of sensors scattered across the Ho Chi Minh trail and relaying sounds, smells and other data denoting the passage of enemy supply columns could, when processed by the largest computer then in existence, yield an infallible model of the enemy's whereabouts. It took the Vietnamese a week to figure out that if they introduced simple, unanticipated changes, such as hanging buckets of urine on trees far off the trail to fool the smell-sensors, the billion-dollar fence would be rendered ineffective.

The other, and perhaps more serious problem with models, is that their creators and custodians come to believe in them, sometimes to an obsessive degree. Mook's devotion to Ada serves as an obvious case. Commenting on this phenomenon, former Pentagon analyst Chuck Spinney suggested that "the laborious act of devoting so much mental and emotional energy to the construction of a model tends to displace the modeler from the world being modeled take on more importance than the matchup of the model to reality. The model becomes the ‘reality' to the modeler's mind and model/reality mismatches become ‘anomalies,' which are psychologically easy to dismiss as outliers." Spinney repeatedly encountered this "self-delusion" in the Pentagon among military officials and weapons contractors during his 30-year career.

#22 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-10-07 05:15 PM | Reply

I agree the RNC was crucial to Trump having some of the data he did. What role did Cambridge Analytica play and where did they get the data they had on voters, which went well beyond anything collected by the RNC? They didn't get it from the Russians, one assumes, but what connection, if any, did they have to Russia:

Potential Lawsuit Could Reveal How Trump Targeted Voters on Facebook and If There's Any Connection to Russia

Donald Trump wouldn't have won the 2016 election if it weren't for Facebook. That's according to Theresa Hong, one of the main brains behind the digital arm of his presidential campaign. Hong was referring to the fact that Facebook allowed political campaigns to target ads to voters based on data that the social media network collects on users. And Trump's campaign was masterful at it, in large part thanks to Cambridge Analytica, the data-targeting team that worked to make sure Trump made it to the White House.

. . . .A new legal push in the United Kingdom could reveal how exactly Cambridge Analytica -- and by extension the Trump campaign -- was able to target voters the way that it did, and whether any links to the Russian targeting campaign might exist.

www.slate.com

#23 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-10-07 05:30 PM | Reply

Truthdig article BV is citing:

A Misguided Faith in Computer Models of U.S. Voters

www.truthdig.com

#24 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-10-07 05:37 PM | Reply

...none of which is necessarily illegal, unlike some of the less talked about ---- that goes on. If a felon list is fake why isn't that a crime? Is it even good public policy to prevent felons from voting, once they've served their sentence?

#25 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-10-07 05:41 PM | Reply

Most of our media is owned by international corporations who have destroyed our democracy and taken much more from the American people than Russia ever has or will. We are constantly bombarded with manipulative messages meant to support a hostile oligarchy. And I'm supposed to whizz myself over Russia dabbling in media manipulation on Facebook?

Give me a break.

#26 | Posted by Sully at 2017-10-08 12:08 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The anti-Hillary articles milions of red-blooded Americans liked so much turned out to be propaganda from a hostile foreign power designed to influence our election.

It's a former head of the KGB's wet dream, Sully.

#27 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-10-08 12:19 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Russia's election hacking has boiled down to pretty standard international espionage and media manipulation of the type that even the r.cades and corkys can't honestly argue that we don't participate in. Think of the sovereign nations' elections that we have overtly meddled in, and "explain like I'm 5" two things please: 1) why are we treating Russia's actions as though they are unprecedented, and 2) why is it immoral when it happens to us, but it is for the good of humanity when we do it to others?

Serious question, I'd like to know how the party democrats are maintaining moral outrage at this. It seems self serving and intellectually dishonest to choose Russia's actions as the point to become morally outraged over less-than-honest interactions between nations pursuing different interests.

#28 | Posted by Ottodog at 2017-10-08 12:47 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Plenty of other nations don't have pay to play elections like we do.

We're a lot more susceptible to this because of how the First Amendment has been interpreted with respect to elections.

About the only thing you can't do is campaign at the polling place on the day of election.

#29 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-10-08 01:04 PM | Reply

The anti-Hillary articles milions of red-blooded Americans liked so much turned out to be propaganda from a hostile foreign power designed to influence our election.
It's a former head of the KGB's wet dream, Sully.

#27 | POSTED BY SNOOFY AT 2017-10-08 12:19 PM | REPLY

Yeah, Hillary's approval ratings were through the roof before Russia started posting amateurish porn for hacks on Facebook.

Sell your drivel somewhere else, not interested.

#30 | Posted by Sully at 2017-10-08 01:50 PM | Reply

You don't think propaganda is effective?

What's Madison Avenue then?

Why do corporations spend billions on Advertising if it doesn't do anything?

I think you are satisfied that Hillary is not President and you haven't thought past that part.

But if you would really like to lay out the case that propaganda is ineffective, you have the floor.

#31 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-10-08 02:06 PM | Reply

You don't think propaganda is effective?

#31 | POSTED BY SNOOFY AT 2017-10-08 02:06 PM | FLAG:

No. That isn't true. And nobody would think that is true based on anything I've ever said. You resort to dishonest trolling when you don't agree with someone but can't refute them.

Your surrender is accepted. Now bugger off.

#32 | Posted by Sully at 2017-10-08 02:16 PM | Reply

You don't think anti-Clinton propaganda on Facebook had any effect?

Why would you think that? Do you think other types of advertising on Facebook have no effect?

#33 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-10-08 02:26 PM | Reply

"Yeah, Hillary's approval ratings were through the roof before Russia started posting amateurish porn for hacks on Facebook."

Ever heard of the straw that broke the camel's back?

Hillary's approval ratings could have taken a hit because of Russian propaganda on Facebook, right?

#34 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-10-08 02:29 PM | Reply

"You don't think propaganda is effective?
#31 | POSTED BY SNOOFY AT 2017-10-08 02:06 PM | FLAG:
No. That isn't true. And nobody would think that is true based on anything I've ever said"

Right so what I'm asking you to explain is how come the Hillary propaganda had no effect if you're aware that propaganda in general can work.

What's the disconnect?

#35 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-10-08 02:32 PM | Reply

Right so what I'm asking you to explain is how come the Hillary propaganda had no effect if you're aware that propaganda in general can work.
What's the disconnect?

#35 | POSTED BY SNOOFY AT 2017-10-08 02:32 PM | REPLY | FLAG:

The examples I've seen are pretty pathetic and look designed to appeal to partisan hacks but its possible that some people were swayed. I'm also sure that some people were swayed by decades of the corporate owned media's pro-Hillary propaganda. My point isn't that Russia had no effect it is that Russia's attempts at propaganda are dwarfed in both volume and effectiveness by that of corporations. And corporate rule of the US is a much bigger threat to Americans than Russia. So I'm not going to jump up and down over Russia's quaint attempts while ignoring that Americans are constantly manipulated by corporate owned media like the rest of you suckers do. If the rest of you monkeys want to dance every time the old man starts turning the handle, that is your problem.

#36 | Posted by Sully at 2017-10-08 02:49 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

On 60 minutes tonight. Parscal(?) pumped $94 million in targeted ads through Facebook and other social media sites for Trump, using all the bells and whistles Republican Facebook employees could educate him on, with 100 employees. He thinks the bot story is a joke.

So this guy ran rings around Robby Mook and his Ada program, which Hillary was depending on. This dwarfs any real or alleged Russian effort by a factor of about 10,000. He plans on doing it again in 2020.

#37 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-10-08 08:06 PM | Reply

"My point isn't that Russia had no effect it is that Russia's attempts at propaganda are dwarfed in both volume and effectiveness by that of corporations."

In that case, which corporations had more effective anti-Clinton propaganda?

Breitbart? The GOP? Alex Jones?

Just curious if you can back up that opinion of yours.

#38 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-10-08 08:12 PM | Reply

Anyway, I'm only harping on this to highlight the effectiveness of propaganda. It's one of the big takeaways from the 20th century.

#39 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-10-08 08:38 PM | Reply

Google uncovers Russian-bought ads

Google found tens of thousands of dollars were spent on ads by Russian agents who aimed to spread disinformation across Google's platforms.

www.washingtonpost.com

#40 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-10-09 11:50 AM | Reply

Leave it to Texans to be puppets of the Russians. LOL. Of course it makes sense. As an outsider looking in, it is hard to imagine a group of ignorant close minded people who it would be easier to manipulate.

#41 | Posted by moder8 at 2017-10-09 01:12 PM | Reply

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