MAP Book Club - Rigged (1 Viewer)

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RobF

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The poll is done, and our first book is:

Rigged: America, Russia, and One Hundred Years of Covert Electoral Interference by David Shimer.

Thanks for the suggestion to @MT15! The goodreads link above has links to sellers.

Please post below if you're joining in for this book, and update when you've got your copy, so we know when everyone who's reading this one is ready to go and we can get stuck in. (No rush, I think I suggested originally giving everyone a week or so to get hold of a copy).

We'll use this thread for discussion as well. This book is split into two parts (part one, The Hidden History, part two, 2016), with eight chapters in part one and five in part two, so we can try and loosely structure the pace and discussion around those, depending on who's in and how fast we all want to go.

Discussing: Chapter One (Enter Lenin) and Two (The CIA in Italy) starting Thursday 25th.
 
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DaveXA

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They pointed to two things that he kept a grasp of no matter what... moderates, as you stated, and the black vote. None of the other candidates could break his hold on them.

It was interesting heading all the behind-the-scene stories they uncovered.
I'm wondering something. What percentage of the black vote are are moderate/centrist Democrats? I know the Democrats have long done well in courting the black vote, at least relatively speaking, but there are a lot of religious black people out there. I've spoken at predominantly black churches and visited a few over the years, and one thing that got my attention and seemed was a common thread, was they were passionate about their faith, and they treated me like I was a member of the family. It was always a good time. The reason I mention that is we tend to think Christians are monolithic conservatives, but that's certainly not the case in the churches I visited. I didn't really get to talk politics with them, but my hunch was that most of the folks I talked to were conservative Democrats, particularly regarding abortion and death penalty issues, but they swing the other way on some other social issues.

Maybe some of you guys can affirm or provide an alternative view, but this was just from my somewhat limited experiences.

Anyway, the reason I bring that up is maybe Biden being a bit more of a big tent Democrat and appealing to moderates was part of why he won the black vote in the primaries.

I forget who it was, but Biden picked up a significant black endorsement, maybe Jim Clyburn? Once he got that endorsement, he never looked back.
 

GrandAdmiral

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I'm wondering something. What percentage of the black vote are are moderate/centrist Democrats? I know the Democrats have long done well in courting the black vote, at least relatively speaking, but there are a lot of religious black people out there. I've spoken at predominantly black churches and visited a few over the years, and one thing that got my attention and seemed was a common thread, was they were passionate about their faith, and they treated me like I was a member of the family. It was always a good time. The reason I mention that is we tend to think Christians are monolithic conservatives, but that's certainly not the case in the churches I visited. I didn't really get to talk politics with them, but my hunch was that most of the folks I talked to were conservative Democrats, particularly regarding abortion and death penalty issues, but they swing the other way on some other social issues.

Maybe some of you guys can affirm or provide an alternative view, but this was just from my somewhat limited experiences.

Anyway, the reason I bring that up is maybe Biden being a bit more of a big tent Democrat and appealing to moderates was part of why he won the black vote in the primaries.

I forget who it was, but Biden picked up a significant black endorsement, maybe Jim Clyburn? Once he got that endorsement, he never looked back.
Yeah, it was Clyburn (they mentioned an interesting story of what it took for Biden to get his endorsement before the S.C. primary).

There is a common misconception that black people are far left progressives. That's farthest from the truth. We are more Joe Biden moderate and in some instances Bill Clinton moderate (who was farther right than Biden in my opinion). A lot of it has to do with faith, but our interpretation of faith is not quite the same as in white churches, not just amongst Protestant faiths, but the Catholic faith as well.
 

GMRfellowtraveller

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I'm wondering something. What percentage of the black vote are are moderate/centrist Democrats? I know the Democrats have long done well in courting the black vote, at least relatively speaking, but there are a lot of religious black people out there. I've spoken at predominantly black churches and visited a few over the years, and one thing that got my attention and seemed was a common thread, was they were passionate about their faith, and they treated me like I was a member of the family. It was always a good time. The reason I mention that is we tend to think Christians are monolithic conservatives, but that's certainly not the case in the churches I visited. I didn't really get to talk politics with them, but my hunch was that most of the folks I talked to were conservative Democrats, particularly regarding abortion and death penalty issues, but they swing the other way on some other social issues.

Maybe some of you guys can affirm or provide an alternative view, but this was just from my somewhat limited experiences.

Anyway, the reason I bring that up is maybe Biden being a bit more of a big tent Democrat and appealing to moderates was part of why he won the black vote in the primaries.

I forget who it was, but Biden picked up a significant black endorsement, maybe Jim Clyburn? Once he got that endorsement, he never looked back.
Here’s an interesting pod about this subject

 

MT15

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I just finished the chapter on Soviet interference in the West German parliament, and it was really interesting. Just starting the chapter on Soviet interference in American elections, going back to Nixon. It seems like it will be even more fascinating. I found it telling that national defense and CIA folks of that time thought that Russia wasn‘t interfering, while former KGB folks tell a different story. important paragraph:

“Oleg Kalugin, the former KGB general, had a different story to tell. While stationed in the United States from 1958 to 1970, he worked tirelessly to interfere in American elections, including by spreading disinformation, finding and releasing damaging information about presidential aspirants, and attempting not just to coordinate directly with candidates but to develop influence over them. “That was part of the job,” he said, “to promote those who would make less damage to the Soviet Union in the election.” Then as now, Moscow’s objectives were threefold: to sow discord within the United States, undermine hostile candidates, and promote friendlier ones.”

— Rigged: America, Russia, and One Hundred Years of Covert Electoral Interference by David Shimer
 

MT15

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See if this doesn’t sound depressingly familiar

“The KGB’s disinformation operations focused on two minority groups: black and Jewish Americans. The success of these schemes depended largely on the media, which, in the pre-digital era, operated as a gatekeeper in determining what information reached the public. To attract the attention of reporters, the KGB mailed anonymous anti-Semitic letters to Jewish leaders, arranged for swastikas to be painted onto synagogues, and paid assets to desecrate Jewish cemeteries. “We spread anti-Semitic, anti-Negro [materials] inside the United States,” Kalugin recalled, “just to show that America is behind it all, not Russia, oh no, on the contrary: America is not as it tries to present itself to the world. It’s anti-Semitic; it’s militaristic; it’s the devil.” 24 The goal was to persuade regular people, Americans and non-Americans alike, to hold the United States in lower regard. If a staged hate crime made its way into a major newspaper, Moscow considered it an operational success.”

— Rigged: America, Russia, and One Hundred Years of Covert Electoral Interference by David Shimer
 

DaveXA

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See if this doesn’t sound depressingly familiar

“The KGB’s disinformation operations focused on two minority groups: black and Jewish Americans. The success of these schemes depended largely on the media, which, in the pre-digital era, operated as a gatekeeper in determining what information reached the public. To attract the attention of reporters, the KGB mailed anonymous anti-Semitic letters to Jewish leaders, arranged for swastikas to be painted onto synagogues, and paid assets to desecrate Jewish cemeteries. “We spread anti-Semitic, anti-Negro [materials] inside the United States,” Kalugin recalled, “just to show that America is behind it all, not Russia, oh no, on the contrary: America is not as it tries to present itself to the world. It’s anti-Semitic; it’s militaristic; it’s the devil.” 24 The goal was to persuade regular people, Americans and non-Americans alike, to hold the United States in lower regard. If a staged hate crime made its way into a major newspaper, Moscow considered it an operational success.”

— Rigged: America, Russia, and One Hundred Years of Covert Electoral Interference by David Shimer
In other words, we're our own worst enemy.
 

MT15

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So the KGB does things covertly to bring out the worst in people, and it’s our own fault?
 

DaveXA

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So the KGB does things covertly to bring out the worst in people, and it’s our own fault?
If we accommodate them, yes of course. We're essentially playing into their hands. They're basically exploiting our weaknesses. But, we're allowing it to happen more than they're causing it.
 

RebSaint

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I was tapped by one of our local libraries to lead a discussion group about the history of voting rights in this country; I just finished the readings, so obviously my suggestions would be stuff I've already read, but I was fairly impressed with the depth and breadth of the books. Below was my favorite.


So I respectfully submit this book for some future discussion. The other books were very good, too but this one stood out regarding dealing with contemporary challenges, re: voting and voting rights.
 

MT15

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If we accommodate them, yes of course. We're essentially playing into their hands. They're basically exploiting our weaknesses. But, we're allowing it to happen more than they're causing it.
Sorry, but I find this just perplexing. How are we accommodating the KGB? They’re covert. The vandalism is done anonymously, the KKK letters do not say, this is from the KGB.

Their presence on line is meant to deceive. They pose on line as American groups, they have posed as veterans groups and as black rights groups. When you interact with such a group you don’t know who they are.

What should we do to not “allow” them to do this?
 

DaveXA

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Sorry, but I find this just perplexing. How are we accommodating the KGB? They’re covert. The vandalism is done anonymously, the KKK letters do not say, this is from the KGB.

Their presence on line is meant to deceive. They pose on line as American groups, they have posed as veterans groups and as black rights groups. When you interact with such a group you don’t know who they are.

What should we do to not “allow” them to do this?
We are "accommodating" them because we're responding exactly like we want them to. We're at each other's throats and are angry/afraid because we are allowing ourselves to be manipulated by social media, news media and current events.

Instead of responding with fear and lashing out at each other, we should be uniting as a country vs a common enemy. The problem is we had an idiot in the WH and a Republican party who for years has refused to work with Democrats. And now that the shoe is on the other foot, the majority is essentially responding in kind.

Our county would be a mess without the interference though. We're only too distracted to notice that the Russians are content to let us destroy ourselves from within.
 

DaveXA

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Sorry, but I find this just perplexing. How are we accommodating the KGB? They’re covert. The vandalism is done anonymously, the KKK letters do not say, this is from the KGB.

Their presence on line is meant to deceive. They pose on line as American groups, they have posed as veterans groups and as black rights groups. When you interact with such a group you don’t know who they are.

What should we do to not “allow” them to do this?
Fwiw, I admit it's pretty subjective and we probably don't know to what extent or how successful the CIA and KGB ops are because, for obvious reasons, they're not going to reveal a whole lot about their current clandestine ops.
 

insidejob

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So, I finished the book this weekend and, I must say, it truly was eye opening.

And the 2016 Russia section that ended the book was just disturbing. Of course, we'd already heard and known bits and pieces of what was revealed in the book but this really just confirmed a lot of it for me. I thought it was pretty funny how literally nobody would respond or agree to go on the record for that part of the book while part one was chock full of ex-officials willing to speak openly about all of it since it's settled history that's widely accepted as fact while 2016 is still too fresh and could possibly light the fuse to some kind of international incidents.

Like someone mentioned earlier in the thread regarding "audiobooks" (I'm still going to call them books on tape lol) there are some parts that I want to go back and reread without the audio because even though I just read along with it for about 80% of it, there are some things I'm sure I missed. I can say this about Audible in particular - there is no way in hell I'll ever get a subscription with them. My mom had one and she decided to cancel it. She did it online. Well, every few months, she starts getting charged $16.99/mo. again and has to call them to get them to reverse the charges. Being that they're owned by Amazon, I was surprised she could ever get a phone number in the first place, but there is something wrong or shady about their billing practices.

Anyway, I'd give the book a solid 5/7 (that was the thing for 100%, right?) and think anyone who has any interest in this should give it a read. It really is a page turner. I'm about to walk out the door to get to an 11:00 doctor's appointment so I just wanted to give my overall impression/thoughts on the book.

I have this book by Dan Rather that was given to me that is a short read - but was very highly recommended. It's at home and I can't remember the name. I don't necessarily think it's something y'all would think is worth being used in this club, but from what I have read so far, it's really good. I'm kinda OCD so I searched it. This is the book: What Unites Us - By Dan Rather & Elliot Kirschner (Paperback) : Target

Here's a blub about it:

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"I find myself thinking deeply about what it means to love America, as I surely do." --Dan Rather


At a moment of crisis over our national identity, venerated journalist Dan Rather has emerged as a voice of reason and integrity, reflecting on--and writing passionately about--what it means to be an American. Now, with this collection of original essays, he reminds us of the principles upon which the United States was founded. Looking at the freedoms that define us, from the vote to the press; the values that have transformed us, from empathy to inclusion to service; the institutions that sustain us, such as public education; and the traits that helped form our young country, such as the audacity to take on daunting challenges in science and medicine, Rather brings to bear his decades of experience on the frontlines of the world's biggest stories. As a living witness to historical change, he offers up an intimate view of history, tracing where we have been in order to help us chart a way forward and heal our bitter divisions.

With a fundamental sense of hope, What Unites Us is the book to inspire conversation and listening, and to remind us all how we are, finally, one.
Then again, maybe it is the kind of thing we should read and discuss since it's more about what makes us all Americans and how we've lost our way to get to the point we are in the current political climate than it is something heavy and focusing on the dirty side of political machinations that tear us apart both domestically and internationally. You can also get it used in paperback for dirt cheap which is always a bonus.

Anywho...I'm glad to have read it and look forward to whatever we read next. Off to get my chest x-ray!
 
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insidejob

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There's a new podcast I stumbled upon a little while ago about Russia, Trump, Maria Butina and what I assume is going to be more details that were kept from ever see g the light of day by Trump and his administration. It's called Spy Affair. It's on Apple Podcasts but I'm sure it's on any major source. It's apparently going to be 6 episodes total. There are only three available on Apple Podcasts so they may be trying to force you to join the site that actually hosts/probably owns this podcast. Then again, episode one just came ojt a few weeks ago.

Anyway..
 

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