Weaverbird + 2018-08   66

Tech's most egregious violations of user privacy - Axios
Technologies that have become ubiquitous in the daily lives of most Americans — from ride-sharing and dating apps to social media — are using sketchy practices and violating user privacy information, while most of us are unaware.

Why it matters: With tech becoming more and more sophisticated, users don't pay as close attention as they probably should to what they're signing on for and if their information is being inappropriately used.
2018-08  tech  privacy  data  security 
10 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Notes on the 2018 Republican Party of Texas Platform
Last week, thousands of Republicans from across the state gathered at their biennial convention, and just like at the Texas Democratic Convention later this week, produced a document called the platform — a comprehensive list of values and goals of a political party.

Unsurprisingly, the new Texas GOP platform solidifies my view, and the view of millions of Texans, that we must do everything in our power to end the stranglehold of one-party rule in our state. Below is an embed of this platform, and below that, you’ll find my commentary on some of the most distressing things that we could very well see become reality, soon, if the Texas Democratic Party is unable to get off the back burner and start winning elections again.
2018-08  politics  gop  texas 
10 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Louis C.K. Has Clearly Learned Nothing — and I'm Done (Guest Column) | Hollywood Reporter
Once the industry has stopped enabling toxicity and begun prioritizing the needs of survivors, we can talk about paths to rehabilitation for abusers. Hard pass on Louis C.K. though: He used his comeback to do more damage.
2018-08  #MeToo 
10 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Trump Was Involved in Planning the New FBI Headquarters, Report Says | Fortune
President Donald Trump was directly involved in decisions concerning the construction of a new FBI building, according to a government report released Monday. Trump’s involvement in this decision is notable due to a potential conflict of interest: the Trump International Hotel is essentially across the street from the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover headquarters.
2018-08  corruption  money  government 
10 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Bank of America freezes account after asking proof of residency | The Sacramento Bee
In recent months, Bank of America has been accused of freezing or threatening to freeze customers’ accounts after asking about their legal status in the U.S.. In July, the Washington Post reported that multiple customers had been locked out of their accounts after Bank of America questioned whether the account holders were U.S. citizens or dual citizens.
2018-08  racism 
10 weeks ago by Weaverbird
U.S. denying passports to American citizens along Mexico border - The Washington Post
The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown.
2018-08  racism 
10 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Oath Keepers announce national ‘Spartan’ training program aimed at ‘violent left’ | Southern Poverty Law Center
Claiming that the “violent left” is preparing an insurrection designed to grab “illegitimate power,” the Oath Keepers’ president and founder Stewart Rhodes this week announced on their website that his group is organizing training sessions around the United States aimed at helping militiamen and “Patriots” prepare for “lethal force” at far-right events in cities targeted for right-wing protests.

Appearing on Infowars with host Owen Shroyer on Monday, Rhodes explained that Oath Keepers is organizing “Spartan Training Groups” in every state with the aim of bolstering efforts to combat “antifa and the far left.” He spun the effort as part of a larger vision of becoming a national militia that could be called into action by President Trump:
2018-08  rightwingnutjobs  batshitcrazy 
10 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Jerry Falwell Jr. says Sessions has lost evangelical support - POLITICO
Falwell said Sessions lost the group’s loyalty “a long time ago" and has not stopped the Justice Department from going after Trump's allies. Last week, the president’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted of fraud and his onetime lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to tax evasion and campaign finance violations.

“A lot of Republicans pretend to be friends to conservatives and the faith community for decades when they really were not,” Falwell said. “I don’t know if he’s in that category. If he was really a fair person, he’d be going after both sides.”
2018-08  religion  politics  hypocrisy 
10 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Trump’s rage-tweets about Google reveal a frightening truth about the midterms - The Washington Post
Trump is unleashing endless lies and attacks directed at the mechanisms of accountability that actually are functioning right now — the media, law enforcement and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation — to persuade his supporters not only that they shouldn’t believe anything they hear from these sources, but also to energize them and get them to vote, to protect him from those institutions’ alleged conspiracy against him.

At the same time, that campaign of lies is designed to get Republican voters out for the purpose of keeping in place the mechanism of accountability that is not functioning right now — the GOP-led Congress — preventing a Democratic takeover of the House, which would impose genuine accountability.
2018-08  media  politics  campaign2018 
10 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Why Louis C.K.'s return to standup was the wrong move 9 months after admitting to sexual misconduct | EW.com
And so, after what were undoubtedly the world’s most introspective ten months, Louis C.K. decided to surprise a possibly unwilling audience by claiming the stage in front of them, forcing them to watch him perform.
2018-08  #MeToo 
10 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Louis C.K. Hasn’t Earned His Comedy-World Redemption
The renowned stand-up comedian made what many have labeled a “comeback” performance on Sunday night. But he’s yet to atone for his sins—far from it.
2018-08  #MeToo 
10 weeks ago by Weaverbird
The GOP's New Pre-Existing Conditions Promise Is A Fraud | HuffPost
Senate Republicans claim their bill will protect people with pre-existing conditions. It won’t — unlike Obamacare, which does.
2018-08  healthcare  law  congress  gop  hypocrisy  politics 
10 weeks ago by Weaverbird
President Trump warns evangelicals of 'violence' if GOP loses in the midterms - CNNPolitics
US President Donald Trump, facing scrutiny for hush money payments to a porn star and a former Playboy model, pleaded with evangelical leaders for political help during closed-door remarks on Monday, warning of dire consequences to their congregations should Republicans lose in November's midterm elections.

"This November 6 election is very much a referendum on not only me, it's a referendum on your religion, it's a referendum on free speech and the First Amendment. It's a referendum on so much," Trump told the assemblage of pastors and other Christian leaders gathered in the State Dining Room, according to a recording from people in the room.
"It's not a question of like or dislike, it's a question that they will overturn everything that we've done and they will do it quickly and violently. And violently. There is violence. When you look at Antifa -- these are violent people," Trump said, describing what would happen should his voters fail to cast ballots.
2018-08 
10 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Congressional investigations into Trump: Republicans have a list - Vox
Republicans on the Hill have again and again claimed that there is no Donald Trump scandal worth investigating. But in a sign that maybe they aren’t operating totally on the level, Jonathan Swan at Axios reports that a “senior House Republicans office” has compiled a spreadsheet of all the things they believe House Democrats will investigate if they win a majority in November — and they are terrified of what these inquiries might turn up.
2018-08  politics  corruption  gop  congress 
10 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Russian Internet Trolls Weaponized Vaccine Skepticism
Internet trolls and disinformation warriors intent on spreading political and social discord in the United States disseminated anti-vaccine messages on Twitter since 2014, according to a research report published this week.

The messages, which are associated with accounts known to be Russian trolls and the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency, masqueraded as legitimate Twitter accounts to “undermine the public health: normalizing these debates may lead the public to question long-standing scientific consensus regarding vaccine efficacy,” wrote the authors of the report.
2018-08  science  health  anti-science 
11 weeks ago by Weaverbird
How Will Trump's Presidency End? - The Atlantic
A tyrant is unloved, and although the laws and institutions of the United States have proven a brake on Trump, his spirit remains tyrannical—that is, utterly self-absorbed and self-concerned, indifferent to the suffering of others, knowing no moral restraint. He expects fealty and gives none. Such people can exert power for a long time, by playing on the fear and cupidity, the gullibility and the hatreds of those around them. Ideological fervor can substitute for personal affection and attachment for a time, and so too can blind terror and sheer stupidity, but in the end, these fall away as well.
2018-08 
11 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Stop Blaming Investigators More Than Criminals for Trump's Woes | National Review
At the end of a yet another tawdry, scandalous week, I’m seeing the same thing I see at the end of every other tawdry, scandalous week. Lots of folks on the right continue to believe that the true scandal is not that the president may be a felon or that he surrounded himself with actual felons, but rather that their conduct has been investigated at all.

While every investigation should be bounded by the law and Constitution, it’s past time to get over the obsession with the very existence of the Mueller investigation (or with the spinoff Cohen investigation in the Southern District of New York.) No one forced Donald Trump to hire the collection of crooks and grifters who orbited his campaign.
2018-08 
11 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Why Manafort and Cohen Thought They’d Get Away With It — ProPublica
Beginning with a charge to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, special counsel Robert Mueller has fallen upon a rash of other crimes. In doing so, he has exposed how widespread and serious our white-collar fraud problem really is, and how lax enforcement has been for years.

At least he is also showing a way out of the problem. He and his team are demonstrating that the proper attention, resources, technique and experience can go a long way to rectify the white-collar prosecution crisis.
2018-08  money  power  corruption 
11 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Trump chose Putin over America right in front of us.
This conclusion doesn’t require any wild theories about kompromat or dual loyalty. Everything Trump has done can be explained by traits and motives he displays every day: narcissism, insecurity, ruthlessness, and spite. He enjoys the celebrity of meeting with well-armed dictators. He’s obtuse to moral distinctions between regimes or systems of government. He sees no difference between the national interest and his personal interests, or between getting campaign help from Americans and getting it from a foreign power. And he’s obsessed with domestic enemies. He’s far more interested in using Putin to pummel Democrats than in working with Democrats to confront Putin.

These ingredients have been sufficient to turn Trump, in effect, against his own country. Putin didn’t need to collude with him. All Putin had to do was praise Trump, signal his support for Trump in the election, offer him a prestigious geopolitical relationship, and come to his defense when U.S. intelligence agencies accused Russia of helping Trump win. That put the intelligence agencies on the wrong side of Trump, and it put Putin on the right side. And that’s how we ended up where we are today: with a president who defends Putin’s crimes and persecutes former U.S. officials who exposed those crimes.
2018-08 
11 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Ryan Zinke’s old football buddy is reviewing climate research at Interior. Seriously. - Vox
It turns out that, since the beginning of 2018, all scientific research is being funneled through a political review process. Specifically, the Department of the Interior is reviewing all scientific funding requests above $50,000 to ensure that grants “better align with the administration’s priorities.”

Why not leave reviews to DOI staff, as has traditionally been done? Because Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke views career staff, many hired under President Barack Obama, untrustworthy.

“I got 30 percent of the crew that’s not loyal to the flag,” he told an oil industry group in 2017. Career staff may view themselves as public servants, loyal to principles that transcend partisanship, but that’s not the kind of loyalty Zinke wants.
2018-08  gop  politics  science  anti-science  corruption  climate 
11 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Ted Cruz Staff, USAID Met With Group That Called Apartheid A 'So-Called' Injustice | HuffPost
The leaders of a South African group that has referred to apartheid as a “so-called” historical injustice recently toured Washington and met with top members of the U.S. government, including officials at the U.S. Agency for International Development and staffers for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). They even bumped into national security adviser John Bolton. 

AfriForum, an Afrikaner rights organization, promotes the idea that white people in South Africa are under attack by that country’s government. It has been trying to spread its message internationally. 
2018-08  racism  africa  gop  politics 
11 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Georgia County Can't Back Up Its Excuse For Plan To Disenfranchise Black Voters | HuffPost
Officials in majority-black Randolph County lack the data to back a proposal to shutter most voting spots.
2018-08  politics  corruption  voting-rights  racism  gop 
11 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Verizon throttled fire department’s “unlimited” data during Calif. wildfire | Ars Technica
"County Fire has experienced throttling by its ISP, Verizon," Santa Clara County Fire Chief Anthony Bowden wrote in a declaration. "This throttling has had a significant impact on our ability to provide emergency services. Verizon imposed these limitations despite being informed that throttling was actively impeding County Fire's ability to provide crisis-response and essential emergency services."
2018-08  net-neutrality  regulation  government  internet 
11 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Top Republican on Tax Subcommittee Received Yacht Loan From Foreign Bank Lobbying on 2017 Tax Bill | Capital & Main
Federal records show that one of Rep. Vern Buchanan’s LLCs financed foreign bank loans to purchase a yacht and a private luxury jet.
2018-08  politics  money  power  congress  corruption 
11 weeks ago by Weaverbird
President Trump Rants About Windmills Killing Birds - Climate Change Leads Arctic Ice to Melt Faster, Worse Storms and Wildfires
We seem to have gotten used to the idea that the President of the United States is a world-historical clown whose worldview is rooted in fragments of reality he internalized decades ago and now filters through the kaleidoscope of his severely limited reasoning faculties. He is an emblem of arrogant stupidity, a case study in the essentially destructive quality of stubborn anti-intellectualism that pervades American life.

There is an emerging genre of journalism just trying to parse what the hell Donald Trump said in this one instance. It appears to be a nest of falsehoods and decades-old personal beefs. After all, the indications are that Trump hates wind power so much because a Scottish firm tried to build a wind farm off the coast of his golf course there, which he feared would ruin the views. He's spent the years since spreading misinformation about wind energy and fine-tuning his concern-trolling about dead birds. Yeah, the guy whose administration is dismantling the Endangered Species Act is real worried about avian welfare.
2018-08 
11 weeks ago by Weaverbird
A ‘perjury trap’ isn’t the real reason Trump won’t answer Mueller’s questions - The Washington Post
Though Trump might well commit perjury if forced to answer Mueller’s questions, he won’t face prosecution for it. But everyone would see him desperately distract, deflect and dissemble in answer to questions about Russia and obstruction of justice. And it isn’t just the content of specific lies he might tell. Facing an informed interrogator able to ask follow-up questions, he would also almost certainly wind up looking evasive, self-contradictory, disingenuous — in a word, guilty.

That’s the real danger that Trump faces: not legal danger, but political danger. An interview with Mueller might not make impeachment and removal from office more likely (he has a firewall of Republican support in Congress to prevent that), but it will almost certainly make a defeat in 2020 more likely.
2018-08 
11 weeks ago by Weaverbird
How white women use strategic tears to silence women of colour | Ruby Hamad | Opinion | The Guardian
The legitimate grievances of brown and black women are no match for the accusations of a white damsel in distress
2018-08  race  racism  culture  privilege  politics 
11 weeks ago by Weaverbird
It’s OK to Be White, but It’s Not Enough | Village Voice
At its hollow core, whiteness is nothing in particular: It’s an airless vacuum, bereft of any affirmative quality. To be white in America is merely to benefit from the absence of racial discrimination. To be white in America is to walk a path that contains no hurdles based on the color of one’s skin, one’s name, one’s outward presentation to the world. To be white is to benefit from a history of slavery, theft, and colonization that transpired before you were born; it’s to reap the harvest, without any effort on your own part, of centuries of religious and intellectual justification for violence. It’s playing life, like a video game, on the easiest setting. There’s no shame in being born white, but there’s no pride in it either, because it is by definition a category bereft of specificity.
2018-08  race  racism  history 
11 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Trump and Omarosa Fought With Veterans Over ‘Apocalypse Now’
Trump Picked Fight With Vietnam Vets Over Who Better Understood What Agent Orange Was

President Trump is comprehensively unfit for his job. He’s bad at the big, historically important stuff, like understanding legislation and how it gets passed, setting coherent diplomatic goals and then pursuing a rational strategy for advancing them, and not orchestrating crimes against humanity.

But he’s every bit as bad at the little things. The man is simply incapable of fulfilling his most basic responsibilities as the figurehead of the American State — responsibilities like giving a speech to the Boy Scout Jamboree without bringing up the orgies he once attended on his friend’s yacht, or making a condolence call to the bereaved widow of a fallen soldier without insinuating that her husband was responsible for his own death, or hosting a White House solar eclipse party without staring directly into the sun, or meeting with Vietnam veterans about their health-care concerns without getting into fight about whether he understands the difference between napalm and Agent Orange better than they do.
2018-08 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Scores of ex-spies join in rebuking Trump over security clearances - POLITICO
An avalanche of retired senior intelligence officials and spies have joined more than a dozen of their former bosses in issuing a public rebuke of President Donald Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearance of John Brennan, the ex-CIA chief who has become a strong critic of the president.

In a rare public campaign, a total of 60 former CIA station chiefs, analysts and operations officers — along with a former director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center — declared on Friday afternoon their “firm belief that the country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views.”

“We believe equally strongly that former government officials have the right to express their unclassified views on what they see as critical national security issues without fear of being punished for doing so,” they added in a brief statement.
2018-08 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
White House drafts more clearance cancellations demanded by Trump - The Washington Post
The White House has drafted documents revoking the security clearances of current and former officials whom President Trump has demanded be punished for criticizing him or playing a role in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to senior administration officials.

Trump wants to sign “most if not all” of them, said one senior White House official, who indicated that communications aides, including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Bill Shine, the newly named deputy chief of staff, have discussed the optimum times to release them as a distraction during unfavorable news cycles.
2018-08 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
I Was a Mercenary. Trust Me: Erik Prince’s Plan Is Garbage. - POLITICO Magazine
Mercenaries are back, a dangerous trend occurring in the shadows. Their very lack of accountability is their main selling point; they offer plausible deniability and brute force to those too weak or squeamish to wage war. Customers are buying too, with mercenary proliferation in Afghanistan, Congo, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen. Clients include countries, extractive industry and even terrorists. This trend may one day alter international relations: When anyone can rent a military, then super-rich and large corporations can become a new kind of superpower. Worse, mercenaries can start and elongate conflicts for profit, breeding endless war. A world with more mercenaries means a world with more war, which is why Prince’s proposal is so dangerous.
2018-08 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says in an interview he's rethinking the core of how Twitter works - The Washington Post
Earlier this month, Apple, Facebook and Spotify took action against Alex Jones, the founder of Infowars, whose videos, podcasts and other content have spread conspiracy theories about political figures and attacked victims of the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Initially, Twitter broke with its peers and allowed Infowars to continue using its service.
2018-08  twitter  socialmedia 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
It's Time to Quit Twitter
Jones and his Infowars channel have been blocked on Apple, YouTube, and Facebook, according to the Guardian, but Twitter is still holding out and no one really knows for sure why. But one working theory is that since the site has become more and more the domain of people with extremist and hateful views, they probably don’t want to piss off their user base.
2018-08  twitter  socialmedia 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Why should you delete your Twitter account Friday, August 17th?
It’s time the social media platform enforces its own rules against Alex Jones—and for decent humans to log out until they do.
2018-08  twitter  socialmedia 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
AP Exclusive: Google tracks your movements, like it or not
Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to.

An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.

Computer-science researchers at Princeton confirmed these findings at the AP’s request.
2018-08  privacy  security  google 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
The conviction of a computer scientist who searched “insider trading” should concern us all | The Outline
This isn’t me putting on a tinfoil hat, either. In 2013, the ACLU expressed concern that the Justice Department was improperly obtaining our search results, while last year, the organization pointed out that the vast majority of individuals whose internet activity is monitored by the government are never informed that they were surveilled in the first place. And within the government, Ron Wyden, the senior Democratic Senator from Oregon, has been dogged in his quest to understand the degree to which law enforcement has access to Americans’ data and how. Wyden recently called out the FBI for “misstat[ing] the number of devices rendered inaccessible by encryption” in what appeared to be an attempt to establish a legal right to access encrypted devices or to water down encryption technology so that they can gain access to more of our shit than they already have.
2018-08  privacy  surveillance  police_state 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Stephen Miller Is an Immigration Hypocrite. I Know Because I’m His Uncle. - POLITICO Magazine
If my nephew’s ideas on immigration had been in force a century ago, our family would have been wiped out.
2018-08  immigration  politics 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Trump’s diplomatic learning curve: Time zones, ‘Nambia’ and ‘Nipple’ - POLITICO
Several times in the first year of his administration, President Donald Trump wanted to call Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the middle of the afternoon. But there was a problem. Midafternoon in Washington is the middle of the night in Tokyo — when Abe would be fast asleep.

Trump’s aides had to explain the issue, which one diplomatic source said came up on “a constant basis,” but it wasn’t easy.
2018-08 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Trump’s remarkable admission on the central qualification for White House staffers - The Washington Post
But she kept her job, even after Kelly complained — Kelly, whose job was to guide Trump’s White House staff. Why? What is the one quality Manigault Newman possessed that was sufficient for Trump to argue she keep her job?

She praised Trump.
2018-08 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
White House: It’s in ‘Public Interest’ for Staff to Skirt Ethics Rules to Meet With Fox News
White House counsel Don McGahn exempted Bill Shine from ethics rules so he can have meetings with his former colleagues at Fox News.
2018-08 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
The ministry of propaganda
Fox News has always been a partisan network seeking, above all, to advance the prospects of the Republican Party. But during the Trump administration, it has become something much different. It has effectively transformed into a state-run propaganda network.

There is no distinction between the White House’s communication strategy and Fox News’ editorial strategy.

The latest evidence came Monday when The Daily Beast reported that White House counsel Don McGahn waived federal ethics laws so that Communications Director Bill Shine can speak freely with Fox News executives. Shine came to the White House last month after being forced out of his top role at Fox News for covering up allegations of sexual harassment.
2018-08 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Trump disputes parts of defense law as an affront to his authority - The Washington Post
President Trump said he does not have to abide by parts of the $716 billion defense bill he signed into law Monday because they encroach on executive authority, pushing back on attempts by lawmakers to constrain him on foreign policy and military matters.
2018-08 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Not one Republican supports a bill to protect domestic violence victims
The GOP is shrugging its shoulders at an urgent deadline to renew the most important U.S. law protecting abuse victims.
2018-08 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Stonekettle Station: Hunting the Unicorn -- to Extinction
Show up and vote.

I might have said it more than once.

I didn’t mention Hillary. I didn’t mention Bernie. I said, show up and vote in 2018, in 2020. Show up and vote and you can win.

And got tens of thousands of responses, many telling me why liberals can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t, show up and vote.
2018-08  politics  batshitcrazy  liberal 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
The real reason Donald Trump just called off his military parade - Palmer Report
So it’s fair to conclude that this parade is being called off because there is every indication that Donald Trump and his party are going to fare very poorly in the November elections. Trump may not be able to grasp that reality, but certainly his handlers know it. They may have used the American Legion statement as a way of convincing Trump to pull the plug, but the upshot here is that this is a sign that Team Trump expects the GOP to get wiped out in the midterms. Now voters just have to get out there and make it happen.
2018-08 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Ryan Zinke blames ‘environmental terrorist groups’ for severity of California wildfires - The Washington Post
Wildfires strike California every year. But they’re getting worse, causing deaths and uprooting communities. But who is to blame for these increasingly destructive wildfires?

According to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, it’s “environmental terrorist groups.”

During a radio interview with Breitbart News, Zinke said that “environmental terrorist groups” are preventing the government from managing forests and are largely responsible for the severity of the fires. But fire scientists and forestry experts have said climate change is the main factor behind the problem.
2018-08  climate_change  anti-science  batshitcrazy 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Koch group condemns ‘divisiveness’ and ‘lack of leadership’ in Washington - The Washington Post
Top officials with the donor network affiliated with billionaire industrialist Charles Koch this weekend sought to distance the network from the Republican Party and President Trump, citing tariff and immigration policies and “divisive” rhetoric out of Washington.

At a gathering of hundreds of donors at the Broadmoor resort here, officials reiterated their plans to spend as much as $400 million on policy issues and political campaigns during the 2018 cycle. Earlier this year, they announced heavy spending aimed at helping Republicans to hold the Senate. But in a warning shot at Trump and the GOP, network co-chair Brian Hooks lamented “tremendous lack of leadership” in Trump’s Washington and the “deterioration of the core institutions of society.”
2018-08 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
WATCH: ICE, Border Patrol testify at Senate hearing on family separations | PBS NewsHour
The Senate Judiciary Committee is demanding answers from federal immigration officials about the Trump administration’s separation of migrant children from their families and its struggle to reunite them, a fraught effort that’s drawn election-year criticism from both parties.
2018-08  immigration 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
The Justice Department Finds 'No Responsive Records' to Support a Trump Speech - Lawfare
It isn’t every day that the Department of Justice acknowledges formally that the president of the United States lied in a speech to Congress. But that’s how I read a letter I received a few days ago from the department’s Office of Information Policy in connection with one of my Freedom of Information Act suits against the department.

No, the Justice Department letter does not come out and say what it clearly means: that President Trump, early in his tenure, was untruthful both about the role of foreigners in terrorism and terrorism-related crimes and about Justice Department data on the subject.

But that is what the letter says if you read between the lines.
2018-08 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
Senate Republicans shoot down extra funds for election security - The Washington Post
Senate Republicans voted down a bid Wednesday to direct an extra $250 million toward election security in advance of the 2018 midterms, despite heightened warnings from intelligence officials that foreign governments will try to interfere in the contests and evidence that some lawmakers have already been targeted.
2018-08 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
Trump’s Answer to Corruption? More Corruption
In the quaint old days, someone like Ryan Zinke would have been bounced months ago. But this administration makes you forget about Zinke by cooking up 18 other scandals at once.
2018-08 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
Kobach promised cities help. It cost them millions | The Kansas City Star
“Ambulance chasing” is how Grant Young, a former mayor of Valley Park, describes Kobach’s role. Young characterized Kobach’s attitude as, “Let’s find a town that’s got some issues or pretends to have some issues, let’s drum up an immigration problem and maybe I can advance my political position, my political thinking and maybe make some money at the same time.”
2018-08 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
Trump claims Queen Elizabeth kept him waiting – POLITICO
The president’s visit to Britain was broadcast live on television, including footage of the 92-year-old queen waiting for Trump for 12 minutes and looking at her watch.
2018-08 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
Trump’s ‘bizarre’ voter fraud panel found none, former member Matthew Dunlap says - The Washington Post
Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, one of the 11 members of the commission formed by President Trump to investigate supposed voter fraud, issued a scathing rebuke of the disbanded panel on Friday, accusing Vice Chair Kris Kobach and the White House of making false statements and saying that he had concluded that the panel had been set up to try to validate the president’s baseless claims about fraudulent votes in the 2016 election.
2018-08 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
YouTube Bans Infowars’ Alex Jones for Spewing Hate Speech
The internet’s king of conspiracy theories just lost millions of followers after Google’s sister company pulled the plug. Twitter, however, is open for business.
2018-08 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify ban Infowars' Alex Jones | Technology | The Guardian
Publishing platforms have faced strong pressure to take action against Jones and Infowars over the past few months, but Apple was the first major company to sanction the broadcaster in its entirety, narrowly beating Facebook to the punch.
2018-08 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
Assume Nothing – Talking Points Memo
TPM Reader JB makes a very good point in this email. It’s still generally assumed that even if the Trump Tower meeting shows intense desire to collude, it was a bust. Nothing actually came of it. They tried to collude. But they couldn’t make it happen. Literally everything else that the Trump Team has told us about this meeting – including that it happened – has been a lie. It seems almost absurd to assume this one critical claim is true.
2018-08 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
Betsy DeVos’s yacht is nothing compared to her summer home - Vox
Betsy DeVos’s summer home deserves a special place in McMansion Hell
Kate Wagner dissects the shingle-style Michigan summer home of the education secretary.
2018-08  humor  architecture 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
New Details About Wilbur Ross’ Business Point To Pattern Of Grifting
There are bigger allegations. Over several months, in speaking with 21 people who know Ross, Forbes uncovered a pattern: Many of those who worked directly with him claim that Ross wrongly siphoned or outright stole a few million here and a few million there, huge amounts for most but not necessarily for the commerce secretary. At least if you consider them individually. But all told, these allegations—which sparked lawsuits, reimbursements and an SEC fine—come to more than $120 million. If even half of the accusations are legitimate, the current United States secretary of commerce could rank among the biggest grifters in American history.
2018-08  corruption  politics 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
Trump’s rally rhetoric is going to get somebody killed - The Washington Post
It is safe to surmise that Trump feels the walls closing in. And if Democrats seize control of the House in November, he will face a lineup of committee chairmen, armed with subpoena power, who are determined to do their constitutional duty of holding the administration accountable.

So Trump reportedly plans to spend as much time as possible on the campaign trail, desperately trying to stoke enough fear, resentment and anger among the GOP base to produce a big turnout that saves the House majority. What a surprise: Trump intends to make the election all about Trump.
2018-08 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
Why Does Betsy DeVos’s Family Yacht Fly a Foreign Flag? Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ Administration and the Cayman Islands
We already know that Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s family shipping consortium routes its business through the Marshall Islands—a notoriously secretive tax haven. Federal records detail how Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton and Federal Reserve board appointee Randal Quarles held parts of their personal fortunes in investments based in the Cayman Islands, which are not necessarily required to adhere to America’s domestic financial regulations.

Now there’s DeVos, one of the heirs of Amway’s multilevel marketing empire. When the family’s 164-foot yacht was untethered from a Huron, Ohio, dock, it was flying a flag of the Cayman Islands, where the yacht is registered, according to VesselTracker. According to federal records, the yacht is owned by RDV International Marine, which is an affiliate of the company that controls the DeVos family’s fortune.
2018-08  corruption  hypocrisy  politics 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
The Shadow Rulers of the VA — ProPublica
How Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter and two other Mar-a-Lago cronies are secretly shaping the Trump administration’s veterans policies.
2018-08 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
Twitter says Infowars hasn't 'violated our rules.' It looks like that's not the case
But a CNN review of Jones' accounts show that all of the videos that initially led the other tech companies to take action against Jones were in fact posted to Twitter by Jones or InfoWars. All were still live on Twitter as of the time this article was published. CNN noted this in a request for comment from Twitter on Wednesday morning, before Harvey's email was made public. The company declined to comment at the time.
2018-08  twitter 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
After Charlottesville, White Nationalists Are Winning - The Atlantic
Fox News anchors and high-profile politicians are now openly pushing the racism of the alt-right. The fringe movement’s messages have permeated the mainstream Republican Party.
2018-08 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
Twitter admits InfoWars violated its rules, but says it will remain on the platform
Twitter said Friday that the accounts belonging to far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his fringe media organization InfoWars would, for now, remain online, one day after a CNN investigation found that Jones' Twitter accounts appeared to have repeatedly violated the company's rules.
2018-08  twitter 
august 2018 by Weaverbird

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