HEY, AMERICA, RUSSIA is laughing at us. President Vladimir Putin has our political class in Washington chasing their tails. Who is responsible for this paranoia?

Isn’t it obvious? We’re being played. It’s psychological warfare and they are using our obsession with honesty, fairness and perfection to divide us and our overreaction to events is playing right into their hands.

Putin got this mess started by interfering in the 2016 election. It wasn’t hard. But it didn’t have any effect on the outcome. Much ado about nothing. But it got us thinking, thus the paranoia.

Putin fueled the fire by saying he might take the opportunity to influence the 2018 midterm elections. That has sent shock waves through the halls of the Capitol. Even if they do nothing, Americans will obsess about it.

Playing on this madness, Putin poked his finger in our eye again, recently, by saying Russia has a new nuclear missile that no military in the world can intercept.

Plus, his “evil” scientists are working on a nuclear-powered underwater drone that can be armed with a nuclear-warhead. Let’s ratchet up the lunacy.

Even if Putin is just toying with us, America will spend tens of billions of dollars to defend against these phantom weapons. We just want to be sure they aren’t bluffing.

Because of Putin’s boasts, instead of working on domestic issues, we have thousands of government attorneys and investigators chasing their tails looking for incriminating evidence. They are helping to divide our country.

Democrats, along with a host of Republicans, are sure the Russians conspired to sow discord in the U.S. political system by helping to elect Donald Trump. How else do they explain the humiliating loss by Hillary Clinton?

“What they did was show how easy it is to manipulate our partisanship, unreliable liberal media and inept government agencies using social media to undermine our fragile democracy,” said Dick Carchman of Columbia, Va.

Jouko Jaakola of Wellington, Fla., said “If it is a crime to sow discord in the U.S. political system, why hasn’t Congress been indicted?”

Billions of dollars were spent on TV advertising, robo calls, direct-mail propaganda, yard signs, bumper stickers and social media campaigns, paid for by donations from millions of average Americans who were attempting to influence their friends and neighbors to vote. Many of the ads were false or misleading, yet no one was prosecuted.

Bob Gust of Bloomington, Minn., challenges us “Show me one person who was misled by something on the internet that caused him or her to change their vote.

“Ask them to describe in detail the alleged misinformation and why the voter chose to believe it instead of what was already provided by every other source.”



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LET’S SAY it’s National Collegiate Athletic Association Basketball Final Four weekend and you park yourself in your favorite chair in front of your 65-inch, high-definition TV to watch the games. Tip-off is just minutes away, when your cable or satellite system malfunctions.

Consumers are cutting the cord because they deal with sudden blackouts, annoying set-top boxes, inscrutable bills, limited mobility, soaring monthly fees and difficult customer service. When subscribers aren’t happy, innovators aim to offer alternatives.

Cable system failures actually happened Super Bowl Sunday and millions of people had to deal with outages during the game. Savvy technology people weren’t deterred. They watched the Super Bowl on Hulu or Sony’s PlayStation™Vue. What?

When his cable system malfunctioned before the Super Bowl, David Pierce had an alternative. He fired up his Roku player and opened YouTube TV, the live-TV service from video giant Alphabet. Pierce, a millennial, is a technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal.

Pierce said the entire broadcast industry is being reinvented. For now, YouTube TV is leading the pack, but the battle for supremacy isn’t over, and Roku and Apple TV will be forces going forward.

There might be 10 industry powerhouses working on the problems being expressed, and Pierce predicts that alliances will be formed and the best parts of each innovator will come together, and the revolution will be underway.

Presently, there are competitors with great ideas that come at a reasonable fee. But when they are bundled, they are as expensive as a package. It’s a matter of time before someone bundles a package that will appeal to the mass market.

The future of TV is being decided now. The days of just turning on the TV and watching favorite shows may be coming to an end. Hightech broadcasts are great, but solving the puzzle of blackouts, programming, mobility and soaring fees won’t be easy.