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Our 2016 TPM Senate Scoreboard

Like the TPM Electoral Scoreboard, the 2012 TPM Senate Scoreboard was one of our most popular features during the 2012 cycle. And today's we're debuting the 2016 TPM Senate Scoreboard. It debuts with 49 seats in the Dem column, 49 in the GOP column and 2 in the toss up category. Check it out!

Into the Alt-Left, Alt-Right Russian Alt-Universe

States run news services of all sorts. There's the BBC which functions or at least did function as a national news source of record for the country itself. There's Germany's Deutsche Welle and the US Voice of America, which fill out the spectrum from the BBC to the public diplomacy model. Russia Today, known as RT, operates nominally on something like the Deutsche Welle model but has leaned in an increasingly propagandistic direction over recent years. RN popped up in the Trump/Putin story because Trump's top military advisor, retired General Mike Flynn sometimes writes for RT and was hosted last December, along Green Presidential candidate Jill Stein, at Putin's table in Moscow to celebrate RT's anniversary.

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How Russia's New Defense Doctrine Is Like Fox News

Yes, believe me, I can really vindicate that headline.

Over the last year or so I've read a few think tank papers (I think from Rand, perhaps not) on Russia's evolving defense doctrine (sometimes called Next Generation Warfare, Hybrid Warfare or the Gerasimov Doctrine, after the current chief of the Russian General Staff). The gist of it is a move away from traditional war-fighting with tanks and ICBMs and aircraft carriers to something more like the asymmetric warfare we associate with small states or non-state actors. This is not surprising. As I explained in my earlier post, Russia purports to be and in some ways remains a Great Power but must do so on the back of an economy that is at best middling in global terms. For point of comparison: Russia's GDP by their official exchange rate is $1.325 Trillion. Compare that to South Korea ($1.77 Trillion), Brazil ($1.773 Trillion), Italy ($1.816 Trillion), United States ($17.95 Trillion). To live up to Russia's Great Power or even regional power pretensions means a dramatic rethinking of the terrain of warfare and defense and a radical expansion of what is considered legitimate war-fighting and what is considered a legitimate target.

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Some Side Thoughts on Russia

Over the weekend I wrote a post which I said would be part of a series on Russia. That's coming. But the first post led to a brief interchange with TPM Reader BS, which I wanted to share here in full, his notes and my replies.

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At Your Fingertips

You know we have PollTracker and our Electoral Scoreboards here at TPM to keep you up to date on the latest numbers for all the races around the country. But I wanted to point out that we now have the "toplines" for both just below the navigation bar up at the top of the TPM front page. See "Election Scoreboards" just below the TPM logo. And then all the data is to the right. There you'll find the current PollTracker Avg for the presidential national horse race polls and the Electoral Scoreboard tally of electoral votes. Click through on either to go to the full data.

Just a reminder. Want to be absolutely sure you're totally up to date with all the polls in the races that matter to you? Download the free Polltracker smartphone app. It's available for iPhone and Android devices. And it notifies you every time a poll is released in races you choose to follow.

Weakness Not Strength

With the furor over the Trump campaign and the on-going DNC et al. hacking story, I've become increasingly interested in what was already a pet interest of mine: the growing list of Russian propaganda networks operating in the West and Russia's growing embrace of asymmetric warfare, particularly information warfare, whether in the form of hacking, surreal state-sponsored trolling operations or news and propaganda networks operating more or less openly with state sponsorship. But before getting into a series of posts on the subject, I wanted to start with one key and often overlooked point.

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