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Wow, It Gets Bigger

Last night I noted that a top Russian spy who is the number two person in the FSB department which allegedly oversaw the US election hacking operation had been arrested and charged with treason. Was he a sacrificial lamb and olive branch to Trump? A way for Putin to claim that his spy services had perhaps gone rogue? Or was he suspected of being a source to US intelligence? People who fall from grace in Putin's Russia are often dealt with with trumped up criminal prosecutions. But treason is a special charge.

Well, now we have reports that Sergei Mikhailov is suspected of being a US asset at the heart of Russian intelligence.

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Top State Dept Leadership Resigns En Masse

This is pretty stunning. Josh Rogin at the Post is reporting that unexpectedly yesterday, the top career leadership at the State Department all resigned. These are not Obama era appointees but career FSOs who've served under Presidents of both parties.

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Dems, Make Trump Own His Wall Humiliation

Donald Trump has given Democrats an immense gift with his latest Wall cave. As I've noted, Mexico paying for the Trump Wall has never been mainly about budgets or money. It's about dominance and humiliation. Countries defeated in war pay war indemnities. They are forced to agree to unequal treaties. Trump is all about dominance politics and humiliation. Forcing a foreign country to pay for a wall to keep its own citizens out of another country is almost the definition of national humiliation, as the Mexicans have themselves made abundantly. Although less deadly, it's symbolically comparable to how China forces families to pay for the bullets used to execute their relatives.

And yet here we are, one week in and Trump has managed his colossal self-own. Who's paying for it? We're paying for it! Or, who's paying for it? Mexico! How? On layaway! Or with some kind of forced promissory note which they themselves reject and say they'll never pay. Trump has made all of America into the first stiffed Trump vendor of his administration.

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Russian Spy Tied to DNC Hacking Arrested for Treason

I had seen references to this over the last two days. But those references were in publications I was not familiar with or, so I was told, in Russian language publications which I couldn't read. But now The New York Times is reporting that the number two man in the department which purportedly oversaw the hacking campaign against the Democratic party in the United States, Sergei Mikhailov, has been arrested for treason.

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Watch Out, Donald

Government office that protects whistleblowers fires a warning shot across Trump's bow on gag orders and non-disclosure agreements. Here's the story.

Your Basic Primer on Why Trump's Voter Fraud Claims Are Bullshit

With President Trump lying about widespread vote fraud in the 2016 election (which he won!), I thought it was time for a refresher and primer on the entire issue of voter fraud.

TPM has been reporting on this story as one of the central points of our editorial focus for more than fifteen years. I'm proud to say there is probably no issue about which we have more institutional knowledge and few publications that have more institutional knowledge of or experience reporting on this issue.

Voter fraud is extremely rare in the United States. Organized voter fraud (which is basically required to commit fraud at scale) is close to non-existent. And voter impersonation fraud - voting in the name of another person - all but never happens.

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Technology Columnist Chris Mims Answering Qs About Our Tech Future, Today @ 1 p.m.

Christopher Mims writes Keywords, a weekly column on technology, for The Wall Street Journal. Before joining the Journal in 2014, he was the lead technology reporter for Quartz and has written on science and tech for publications ranging from Technology Review, Smithsonian, Wired, the Atlantic, Slate and other publications. Mims, who has degree in neuroscience and behavioral biology from Emory University, lives in Baltimore. Join him for a live chat on technology, science and innovation on Wednesday January 25 at 1 p.m. If you'd like to participate but don't have Prime, join here.

That Sounds Right

Another candidate for DNC Chair was just on MSNBC making his case for himself, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. I've never heard of him before. But he closed out with this ....

Look, we've got a fight. We've also got to be fighting for our values. For far too long, Democratic strategy and policy has been organized completely around Republican strategy and policy.

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