rgl7194 + gov2.0   3780

Trump's GOP Moves Beyond Hypocrisy - The Atlantic
The president’s supporters live a double-folded state of being, in which the same action that’s shameful for Democrats is praiseworthy for the GOP.
“Democrats have become the party of crime,” President Donald Trump declared on Thursday night at a rally in Missoula, Montana. At the same rally, Trump praised as “my kind of guy” a member of Congress who violently attacked a reporter, choked him, and then lied to the police about his crime.
Just a week before, Trump had praised his party as the party of “law and order and justice.” And only a week before that, The New York Times had published a huge, meticulously detailed report alleging decades of deliberate financial and tax fraud by Trump and his family.
gov2.0  politics  trump  GOP 
yesterday by rgl7194
FBI security expert: Apple are “jerks” about unlocking encrypted phones | Ars Technica
"Apple is pretty good at evil genius stuff," FBI official laments at conference.
Federal Bureau of Investigation officials are continuing to voice their displeasure with Apple's approach to iPhone security, with one FBI official reportedly calling the company "jerks" and an "evil genius" this week.
Apple has repeatedly made it more difficult to access data on encrypted iPhones, making Apple customers safer from hackers but also preventing the FBI from breaking into phones used by suspected criminals.
"At what point is it just trying to one-up things and at what point is it to thwart law enforcement?" FBI forensic expert Stephen Flatley said yesterday while speaking at the International Conference on Cyber Security in Manhattan, according to a report by Motherboard. "Apple is pretty good at evil genius stuff."
apple  privacy  security  encryption  gov2.0  politics  FBI  iphone 
2 days ago by rgl7194
FBI expert calls Apple "jerks" over encryption - Six Colors
Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin:
“At what point is it just trying to one-up things and at what point is it to thwart law enforcement?” FBI forensic expert Stephen Flatley said yesterday while speaking at the International Conference on Cyber Security in Manhattan, according to a report by Motherboard. “Apple is pretty good at evil genius stuff.”
Flatley also used the word “jerks” to describe Apple and its approach to iPhone security, according to Motherboard.
I guess it’s like the old saying goes: one person’s “evil genius” is another’s “champion of personal privacy.”
apple  privacy  security  encryption  gov2.0  politics  FBI  iphone 
2 days ago by rgl7194
CIA’s in-house board games can now be yours thanks to FOIA request | Ars Technica
After SXSW 2017 reveal, CIA releases buckets of marked-up board game design notes.
If you're wondering: yes, these documents include enough rules and materials to help budding CIA officers print and play their own versions of the games Collection Deck and Kingpin: The Hunt for El Chapo. Unfortunately, the released files don't come close to printing-grade quality, owing both to low resolution and fax-grade 1-bit color. Ambitious board gaming fans will have to pick up the aesthetic slack themselves. (Here's to hoping someone creates entries at BoardGameGeek to inspire such an effort. As of press time, no BGG entries for either game exist.)
gov2.0  spying  games  SXSW  CIA 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Best bad idea ever? Why Putin’s nuclear-powered missile is possible… and awful | Ars Technica
Nuclear-powered cruise missiles? The US worked on them in the 1950s.
In a March 1, 2018 speech before Russia's Federal Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed new strategic weapons being developed to counter United States ballistic missile defenses. Two of these weapons are allegedly nuclear powered: a previously revealed intercontinental-range nuclear torpedo and a cruise missile. As Putin described them:
Russia’s advanced arms are based on the cutting-edge, unique achievements of our scientists, designers, and engineers. One of them is a small-scale, heavy-duty nuclear energy unit that can be installed in a missile like our latest X-101 air-launched missile or the American Tomahawk missile—a similar type but with a range dozens of times longer, dozens—basically an unlimited range. It is a low-flying stealth missile carrying a nuclear warhead, with almost an unlimited range, unpredictable trajectory and ability to bypass interception boundaries. It is invincible against all existing and prospective missile defense and counter-air defense systems.
Defense and nuclear disarmament experts did a double take. "I'm still kind of in shock," Edward Geist, a Rand Corporation researcher specializing in Russia, told NPR. "My guess is they're not bluffing, that they've flight-tested this thing. But that's incredible."
russia  war  military  gov2.0  politics 
2 days ago by rgl7194
It Looks Like Mueller May Have a November Surprise | Vanity Fair
The special counsel will reportedly release key findings from the Russia probe shortly after the midterms.
Even for someone who’s shunned the public eye and spoken solely through indictments for the past year and a half, Robert Mueller has been uncharacteristically quiet in recent weeks. This is, of course, by design—Justice Department guidelines stipulate that prosecutors should avoid taking any major steps close to elections. And unlike former F.B.I. director James Comey, those who’ve worked with Mueller expected him to hew closely to D.O.J. protocol. “The one thing I am confident of is that he is going to make sure that he doesn’t do anything on the timing front that would interfere with the midterm elections,” Glenn Kirschner, a former homicide prosecutor who reported to Mueller in the 1990s, told me last month. “It wouldn’t surprise me if the indictment went completely radio silent between now and the midterms.”
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
3 days ago by rgl7194
Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » The Power Of Protest
These people feel inviolate.
You cannot reach them and they don’t want to be reachable. That’s why they live behind gates, fly private and vacation in locations you’ve never heard of. There are a lot of bad actors these days, but now they’re being called out.
Like Purdue Pharma. Individuals run that company, and they’ve got our nation hooked on opiates. They say they’re just trying to salve our pain, but the truth is they spread false information to gain market share and profits, they literally said OxyContin was not addictive, even though no study ever proved that, just a comment from a doctor in a hospital after dealing with patients after treatment.
Someone’s got to pay for our flaws. Especially now that Wall Street has not.
I know, I know, you feel powerless, but never forget, the youth stopped the Vietnam War.
gov2.0  politics  SCOTUS  protest  lefsetz 
3 days ago by rgl7194
Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Kavanaugh/Ford
He acted like a guy who always gets his way.
There’s a path. I’m not sure the underclass can see it, I’m not even sure the middle class can see it. Where you go to a good prep school to get into a good college to go to a good graduate school to end up at the top of the heap. In the legal world, it’s about making partner. You do well in law school to get into a great firm where you work your butt off and…
It usually doesn’t go this way. Life has a way of bumping you off the track. Not everybody can make partner, never mind get a job with a top-tier firm. And there are personal challenges. Your own health, that of your family. Death, accidents. No one lives a charmed life.
But Brett Kavanaugh believes he’s entitled to one.
boarding_school  gov2.0  lefsetz  money  politics  SCOTUS 
3 days ago by rgl7194
Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Ramirez/Kavanaugh
...So when I hear Kavanaugh and his cronies denying their behavior, I have to speak up, because it’s BAKED IN!
You see there are two Americas, the privileged and the not. And most people never encounter privilege. They watch “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous,” but the truly rich try not to be famous and will never be on a show like this. And they can bury bad news, by hiring David Boies, as Harvey Weinstein did to try and keep stories out of the “New York Times,” which was also paying for Boies’ firm’s services. You see it’s a club, and you’re not in it. Even worse, you don’t know about it...
gov2.0  politics  money  SCOTUS  boarding_school  lefsetz 
3 days ago by rgl7194
Watch Willie Nelson Perform At Beto O’Rourke Campaign Rally | Consequence of Sound
Nelson debuted a new song called "Vote 'Em Out", and O'Rourke joined him for "On the Road Again"
With less than six weeks to go until the November 6th midterm elections, Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke staged a massive rally in Austin on Saturday night. The rally featured Texas music legend Willie Nelson, marking his first-ever public performance in support of an active candidate.
During his brief set, Nelson debuted a new song in honor of O’Rourke called “Vote ‘Em Out!”. “The biggest gun we got/ Is called the ballot box/ If you don’t like who’s in there, vote ’em out,” Nelson sings on the song.
Later, as Nelson was wrapping up his set, O’Rourke joined him on stage to sing along to “On the Road Again”.
music  country  beto  gov2.0  politics  video 
4 days ago by rgl7194
Leonard Cohen Wrote a Poem Called “Kanye West Is Not Picasso” | Consequence of Sound
The poem is included in Cohen's new posthumous collection, The Flame
Last week brought the release of The Flame, a posthumous collection of poetry and lyrics written by Leonard Cohen in the months prior to his death in November 2016. As singer-songwriter Amanda Shires points out, one such entry is titled, “Kanye West Is Not Picasso”.
music  politics  poem  gov2.0 
4 days ago by rgl7194
Watch Spoon Cover The Clash’s “Clampdown” At Beto O’Rourke Rally in Dallas | Music News | Consequence of Sound
Beto had specifically referenced the London Calling track in a previous debate with Ted Cruz
With midterm elections just around the corner, campaigns on both sides of the aisle are operating in full force. For Texas Senatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke, who is looking to replace former Office actor Republican incumbent Ted Cruz, that has included rubbing elbows with some of indie rock music’s elite. O’Rourke did some of that just last weekend at the inaugural Buffalo Tree Festival in Dallas, where he shared a bill with the likes of Spoon, The Polyphonic Spree, Sarah Jaffe, and At the Drive-In off-shoot SPARTA.
As the one-day music event doubled as a political rally for the 46-year-old former punk rockin’ Beto, Spoon included an especially appropriate cover song during their 11-track set. The Austin-based outfit dished out The Clash’s London Calling cut “Clampdown”.
music  country  beto  gov2.0  politics 
4 days ago by rgl7194
Stream Willie Nelson – “Vote ‘Em Out” (Anti-Ted Cruz Song) | New Music | Consequence of Sound
Nelson first played the stirring number last month during a campaign rally for Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke
Willie Nelson headlined an Austin rally in support of Democratic Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke last month, marking his first-ever public performance in support of an active candidate. There, he debuted a new song, “Vote ‘Em Out”, which one can surmise is about the state’s current senator, Ted Cruz. Now, Nelson has shared a studio version of the cut.
“The biggest gun we got/ Is called the ballot box/ If you don’t like who’s in there, vote ’em out,” Nelson sings on the song, which rides along electric strums, some jaunty piano, and a stirring strain of harmonica.
Hear it below.
music  country  beto  gov2.0  politics 
4 days ago by rgl7194
Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Beto O’Rourke
...And then along comes Beto O’Rourke.
It’s kind of like a rock star. At first no one’s paying attention. Then you start hearing a few words. He’s got a unique name, not given at birth, you laugh and wonder where it comes from. And it used to be rock stars were outsiders, with rough edges, outlaws, true to themselves.
And that’s who Beto O’Rourke is. That’s why he appeals. Want to make it in the music game? Be yourself. Be honest. Speak to the audience not the gatekeepers. Don’t try to win over everybody, just those who count.
Beto O’Rourke is running in Texas. He’s visited all the counties in Texas. He’s not like a polished musician running to convince fans of genres who don’t like their music to listen. That’s the MTV paradigm, broad and for everyone. Now we’re in the era of niches. There is no center, no outlet that reaches everybody. There’s only one superstar, and that’s Donald Trump. We all have an opinion, we all watch his antics, and the rest of what goes on is a sideshow...
music  beto  gov2.0  politics  lefsetz 
4 days ago by rgl7194
Watch Beto O’Rourke air drum to The Who in Whataburger Drive-Thru | Consequence of Sound
"Keith Moon! Tell me who's a better drummer?"
Long before he ran for a U.S. Senate seat in the great state of Texas, Beto O’Rourke played in a punk band called Floss alongside Cedric Bixler-Zavala. While Bixler-Zavala went on to form seminal outfits like At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta, O’Rourke sought a career in public service, and is now looking to rid Texas of GOP booger-eating dufus and possible Zodiac Killer, Ted Cruz. As polls have tightened, Cruz, stupidly, has made O’Rourke’s punk rock days as the basis of attack ads, believing voters wouldn’t dare support a hip, relatable modernist in favor of a crusty college republican who also happened to be a serial masturbator.
music  beto  gov2.0  politics 
4 days ago by rgl7194
Willie Nelson to Perform at Beto O’Rourke Political Rally | Music News | Consequence of Sound
"Beto embodies what is special about Texas, an energy and an integrity that is completely genuine"
Country legend and marijuana supporter Willie Nelson is no stranger to the political ring. Whether he’s performing on the White House’s South Lawn for President Jimmy Carter or getting Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe in trouble for taking a picture with pot on the table, ol’ Willie isn’t afraid to cross music and politics. However, when he plays a rally for Texas Democratic Senatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke later this month, it’ll be his first-ever public performance in support of an active candidate.
music  country  beto  gov2.0  politics 
4 days ago by rgl7194
DNA test results allow Elizabeth Warren to turn the tables on Trump | MSNBC
It was just a few months ago when Donald Trump presented a new idea about how he’ll attack Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), whose Native American ancestry has long been a point of preoccupation for the president. Imagining a 2020 debate, Trump told an audience of supporters about his future plan.
“I’m going to get one of those little [DNA testing] kits and in the middle of the debate, when she proclaims she’s of Indian heritage…,” Trump said. “And we will say, ‘I will give you a million dollars, paid for by Trump, to your favorite charity, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian.’ And we’ll see what she does. I have a feeling she will say no, but we will hold it for the debates.”
gov2.0  congress  politics  trump  DNA 
4 days ago by rgl7194
Президент зустрівся з українськими пластунами: Ви – українці нової формації, які будуть будувати і боронити нашу державу — Офіційне інтер
Президент Петро Порошенко у День захисника України відвідав Пластовий вишкільний центр та зустрівся з членами Національної скаутської організації України «Пласт».
Президент зазначив, що гасло пластунів: «Сильно! Красно! Обережно! Бистро!» повною мірою характеризує вихованців найстаршої української скаутської організації, також офіційно існує у восьми країнах світу: Австралії, Аргентині, Великобританії, Канаді, Німеччині, Польщі, Словаччині та США.
ukraine  gov2.0  plast  scouting 
4 days ago by rgl7194
Large Majorities Dislike Political Correctness - The Atlantic
Youth isn’t a good proxy for support of political correctness, and race isn’t either.
On social media, the country seems to divide into two neat camps: Call them the woke and the resentful. Team Resentment is manned—pun very much intended—by people who are predominantly old and almost exclusively white. Team Woke is young, likely to be female, and predominantly black, brown, or Asian (though white “allies” do their dutiful part). These teams are roughly equal in number, and they disagree most vehemently, as well as most routinely, about the catchall known as political correctness.
Reality is nothing like this. As scholars Stephen Hawkins, Daniel Yudkin, Miriam Juan-Torres, and Tim Dixon argue in a report published Wednesday, “Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape,” most Americans don’t fit into either of these camps. They also share more common ground than the daily fights on social media might suggest—including a general aversion to PC culture.
politics  gov2.0  PC  racism  sexism  LGBT 
4 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Not Voting Doubles the Value of Someone Else’s Vote
David Foster Wallace, back in 2000:
If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible psychological reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote.
Jason Kottke:
Please check your registration status and register to vote… it takes two minutes. Voter registration deadlines are fast approaching in many US states — there are deadlines tomorrow in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.
Kottke wrote that yesterday, so those registration deadlines are today. I don’t care who you want to vote for, I implore you to register and vote. And if you think you are registered, double-check. It really does just take a minute.
quotes  voting  gov2.0  politics  election  daring_fireball 
7 days ago by rgl7194
Apple tells Congress it found no signs of hacking attack | Reuters
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) top security officer told Congress on Sunday that it had found no sign of suspicious transmissions or other evidence that it had been penetrated in a sophisticated attack on its supply chain.
Apple Vice President for Information Security George Stathakopoulos wrote in a letter to the Senate and House commerce committees that the company had repeatedly investigated and found no evidence for the main points in a Bloomberg Businessweek article published on Thursday, including that chips inside servers sold to Apple by Super Micro Computer Inc (SMCI.PK) allowed for backdoor transmissions to China.
amazon  apple  china  chip  daring_fireball  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain  gov2.0  congress 
7 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Statement From DHS Press Secretary on Recent Media Reports of Potential Supply Chain Compromise
Official statement from DHS:
The Department of Homeland Security is aware of the media reports of a technology supply chain compromise. Like our partners in the UK, the National Cyber Security Centre, at this time we have no reason to doubt the statements from the companies named in the story. Information and communications technology supply chain security is core to DHS’s cybersecurity mission and we are committed to the security and integrity of the technology on which Americans and others around the world increasingly rely. Just this month — National Cybersecurity Awareness Month — we launched several government-industry initiatives to develop near- and long-term solutions to manage risk posed by the complex challenges of increasingly global supply chains. These initiatives will build on existing partnerships with a wide range of technology companies to strengthen our nation’s collective cybersecurity and risk management efforts.
For me, having the current U.S. government weighing in publicly on this issue does not fill me with any sense of confidence or reassurance on either side of this story.
But, still: Bloomberg’s Big Hack story should eventually be fully-corroborated, if true. According to their report, there are thousands of compromised servers out there. If there are, security experts will eventually identify these rogue chips and document them.
And whatever you think of a statement from DHS, from what I’ve heard, this is only beginning. Apple is not letting this go.
amazon  apple  china  chip  daring_fireball  hack  privacy  security  server  supply_chain  gov2.0  press_release 
7 days ago by rgl7194
‘This guy doesn’t know anything’: the inside story of Trump’s shambolic transition team | News | The Guardian
Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball and The Big Short, reveals how Trump’s bungled presidential transition set the template for his time in the White House
Chris Christie noticed a piece in the New York Times – that’s how it all started. The New Jersey governor had dropped out of the presidential race in February 2016 and thrown what support he had behind Donald Trump. In late April, he saw the article. It described meetings between representatives of the remaining candidates still in the race – Trump, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders – and the Obama White House. Anyone who still had any kind of shot at becoming president of the United States apparently needed to start preparing to run the federal government. The guy Trump sent to the meeting was, in Christie’s estimation, comically underqualified. Christie called up Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, to ask why this critical job had not been handed to someone who actually knew something about government. “We don’t have anyone,” said Lewandowski.
politics  trump  gov2.0  election  SMH 
7 days ago by rgl7194
Dear young people, "Don't Vote" - YouTube
NAIL Communications
Published on Sep 24, 2018
This country belongs to whoever shows up. And do you know who shows up for every election? Old people. But only 46% of people18-34 years old voted in the last election.
So the elderly have a disproportionate influence on our politics and our country. And a lot of them would like to keep it that way.
If you want your voice to be heard, go to www.KnockThe.Vote for all the info you need to register and vote.
Thanks to the many who volunteered their time and talent to help bring this campaign to life. Especially Brooklyn Fire Proof for donating studio space, Hand Held Films for donation of Red Epic Dragon camera package, lenses and lighting and Final Frame, NYC for color conform and sound mixing.
humor  politics  advertising  gov2.0  voting  election  youtube 
7 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Senator Ron Wyden: U.S. Senate, Staff Targeted by State-Backed Hackers
Frank Bajak and Raphael Satter
Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said in a Wednesday letter to Senate leaders that his office discovered that “at least one major technology company” has warned an unspecified number of senators and aides that their personal email accounts were “targeted by foreign government hackers.” Similar methods were employed by Russian military agents who leaked the contents of private email inboxes to influence the 2016 elections.
Wyden did not specify the timing of the notifications, but a Senate staffer said they occurred “in the last few weeks or months.” The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.
But the senator said the Office of the Sergeant at Arms , which oversees Senate security, informed legislators and staffers that it has no authority to help secure personal, rather than official, accounts.
I’m going to guess the “major technology company” is Google, simply because Gmail is the leading email provider. If you ever wonder why Ron Wyden seems almost amazingly well-informed on very technical computer security matters, keep in mind that Christopher Soghoian is on his staff as a senior advisor.
gov2.0  politics  google  gmail  daring_fireball  congress  russia  hack  security  privacy 
7 days ago by rgl7194
Creative Politics | About
Creative Politics synthesizes the best of liberal and conservative ideals with technology and history to generate policies/strategies that are well outside the beltway, a 21st century Federalist Papers in action, leavened with imaginative/innovative features designed to restore the joy of political endeavor…
“It always seems impossible, until it’s done…”
–Nelson Mandela
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Creative politics.  Today it seems like an oxymoron if ever there was one, but ‘twas not always so.  For most of our history, America was the leading force in the world for innovation in government policy and political strategy, much as we still are in business, science, and the arts. The world’s first country founded on an idea, our decentralized system created ‘laboratories for democracy’ at every level of government. A steady stream of immigrants from all over the world ensured constant creative ferment. Our culture was ahistorical, always looking forward, with optimism, rather than getting stuck in the past.
politics  gov2.0  quotes 
7 days ago by rgl7194
Trump set to sign bills lifting pharmacist 'gag orders' on drug prices
The president is expected to approve legislation Wednesday that will allow pharmacists to share lower drug prices with patients.
For years, most pharmacists couldn't give customers even a clue about an easy way to save money on prescription drugs. But the restraints are coming off.
When the cash price for a prescription is less than what you would pay using your insurance plan, pharmacists will no longer have to keep that a secret.
President Donald Trump is expected to sign two bills Wednesday that ban "gag order" clauses in contracts between pharmacies and insurance companies or pharmacy benefit managers — those firms that negotiate prices for employers and insurers with drugstores and drugmakers. Such provisions prohibit pharmacists from telling customers when they can save money by paying the pharmacy's lower cash price instead of the price negotiated by their insurance plan.
trump  pharmacy  drugs  gov2.0  politics  health  insurance 
7 days ago by rgl7194
Ecumenical Patriarchate Agrees To Recognize Independence Of Ukrainian Church
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has agreed to recognize the independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a move immediately hailed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko but slammed as "catastrophic" by Moscow.
A synod meeting in Istanbul chaired by Patriarch Bartholomew I, who is considered the leader of the 300-million-strong worldwide Orthodox community, or "first among equals" of Eastern Orthodox clerics, decided on October 11 to "proceed to the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine."
The synod, however, made sure to warn against violence and attempted property takeovers.
The move, which comes amid a deepening row in Orthodox Christianity over the Ukrainian Church's bid to formally break away from Russia's orbit, was hailed by President Petro Poroshenko as "something that we have dreamed of, waited for a long time, and fought for all the time."
But the Russian Orthodox Church condemned the decision as "catastrophic."
ukraine  church  religion  russia  politics  gov2.0 
9 days ago by rgl7194
Ukraine’s Orthodox church granted independence from Russia ties | Financial Times
The head of global Orthodox Christianity has decided to grant Ukraine its own church independent of Russia’s patriarchate, in a politically charged move that defies sharp warnings from Moscow.
The decision is a victory for Ukraine in a wider struggle against Russia that encompasses Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its continued support for separatists fighting against Kiev in the east of the country. But it has been condemned by Russian officials, who have warned it threatens to trigger the biggest Christian schism in a millennium.
While both Ukraine and Russia share the same orthodox Christian roots that date back to 988, a new Kiev-based Orthodox church formed in the 1990s has seen its support swell since 2014, propping up longstanding efforts to attain canonical recognition as an independent Ukrainian church. 
ukraine  church  religion  russia  politics  gov2.0 
9 days ago by rgl7194
Ukraine wins approval for historic split from Russian church | Reuters
KIEV/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Ukraine secured approval on Thursday to establish an independent church in what Kiev says is a vital step against Russian meddling in its affairs, but the Russian clergy fiercely opposes the biggest split in Christianity for a thousand years.
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko (L) meets with Patriarch Filaret, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate, in Kiev, Ukraine October 11, 2018. Mykhailo Markiv/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS
At a three-day synod presided over by the Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul, seat of the global spiritual leader of roughly 300 million Orthodox Christians, endorsed Ukraine’s request for an “autocephalous” (independent) church.
The synod will “proceed to the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine,” a statement said.
The synod took several decisions to pave the way for Ukraine to set up its church, including rehabilitating a Ukrainian patriarch excommunicated by the Russian Orthodox Church for leading a breakaway church in the early 1990s.
In retaliation, the Russian Orthodox Church said it would break eucharistical relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Interfax news agency quoted a spokesman as saying.
ukraine  church  religion  russia  politics  gov2.0 
9 days ago by rgl7194
Disinformation, ‘fake news’ and influence campaigns on Twitter
THIS STUDY IS ONE OF THE LARGEST ANALYSES TO DATE ON HOW FAKE NEWS SPREAD ON TWITTER BOTH DURING AND AFTER THE 2016 ELECTION CAMPAIGN.
Using tools and mapping methods from Graphika, a social media int­elligence firm, we study more than 10 million tweets from 700,000 Twitter accounts that linked to more than 600 fake and conspiracy news outlets. Crucially, we study fake and conspiracy news both before and after the election, allowing us to measure how the fake news ecosystem has evolved since November 2016.
russia  propaganda  gov2.0  politics  twitter  fake_news  election 
10 days ago by rgl7194
California Password Law | 1Password
California just became the first state to put a cybersecurity law on the books for any internet-connected devices that are made or sold in the state. This new legislation goes into effect January 2020 and is designed to protect consumers by setting higher security standards for smart devices.
To comply with this new law, companies will either need to set a unique password for the device at the time of manufacture or prompt people to set a new password during the initial device setup.
state  gov2.0  passwords  privacy  security  california 
10 days ago by rgl7194
No need for President Trump to worry: NFL TV ratings doing just fine
The numbers don’t lie.
Remember that the next time President Donald Trump or one of his minions do.
NFL ratings are not tanking in response to the player protests. In fact, they’ve had little, if any, effect, according to a new USA TODAY analysis of Sunday Night Football viewership last season. Less than a percentage point decline in markets where Trump won big in 2016 – the same as markets where neither he nor Hillary Clinton had a significant advantage.
Even more telling is that in markets where the local team was good – say, Pittsburgh or New Orleans – ratings were higher. In markets where the local team was bad – pointing at you, Phoenix and Indianapolis – ratings were lower.
football  tv  protest  politics  gov2.0  trump  kaep  statistics 
10 days ago by rgl7194
President Trump, NFL protests and ratings: Deep dive into numbers
Did President Trump's attacks on player protests hurt NFL ratings? We looked at the numbers.
Who’s winning, President Trump or the NFL?
We dove into the numbers to see what's really been going on since quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the national anthem in 2016, and since player protests became a political rallying point for President Trump in 2017.
We examined TV viewership for Sunday Night Football in 37 markets in 2016 and 2017. The data, courtesy of Comscore, shows the percent of TVs in a market that were tuned to the big game. Then, we looked at how people in those places voted in the last Presidential election — plus a bunch of football factors.
There was some evidence of a Trump effect. But it was, at best, weak.
What really stood out was that people stuck with football if there was a "football reason" to watch. The data show that quality football and home team loyalty drove the TV audience far more than political tribalism.
As has been well-documented, NFL viewership on TV was down in most places. A little over half of markets we analyzed saw a year-over-year decline in the share of the TV viewers watching Sunday Night Football.
football  tv  protest  politics  gov2.0  trump  kaep  statistics 
10 days ago by rgl7194
'NAFTA' Replacement Extends Canada's Copyright Term to Life +70 years - TorrentFreak
After months of negotiations, Canada, the United States and Mexico have agreed on the final text of a new trade deal. The new agreement is set to replace NAFTA and comes with various copyright-related changes. Canada will have to extend its copyright term by 20 years, for example. The agreement also provides a safe harbor for ISPs who will have to help deter piracy.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Canada, and Mexico was negotiated more than 25 years ago.
Over the past quarter-century trade has changed drastically, especially online, and to accommodate these changes the three countries have been working hard to modernize the international deal.
canada  copyright  politics  gov2.0  foreign_relations  trade 
12 days ago by rgl7194
Russian election meddling in the US and beyond
On Thursday 20 September 2018, the US targeted 33 individuals and entities with sanctions over interference in the American Presidential election in 2016.
This followed the US Justice Department’s indictment of 12 Russian officials. Previously, 13 Russian citizens as well as the Internet Research Agency, Concord Management and Concord Catering had been charged with interfering with the US political system.
Russian military intelligence officers created false online personas and websites in order to stage the release of stolen election-related documents, falsely claiming their activities were the work of ‘American hacktivists’. The Russian influence campaign also created a number of Twitter accounts that posed as local American media outlets
The part of the Russian disinformation attack on the American elections which was carried out by the St. Petersburg “troll factory” was a more than two-year long operation involving dozens of employees, hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of dollars. The campaign also included purchasing election advertisement, which focused on race, LGBT, religion and guns.
gov2.0  politics  election  russia  hack  propaganda  social_media 
12 days ago by rgl7194
Chrystia Freeland and the art of the deal - Macleans.ca
Spread thin and up against a bullying opponent, Chrystia Freeland saved NAFTA and emerged as the politician to watch in Ottawa. Now what?
When the deal was finally done, Chrystia Freeland could boast with a fair degree of credibility that she’d seen from the start how the tortuous NAFTA negotiations would unfold. “I predicted that there would be moments of drama,” the foreign minister reminded reporters in Ottawa on Oct. 1, the day after Canada came to terms with the U.S., as the clock ticked down toward the White House-dictated midnight deadline. “And I also spoke about our confidence that, at the end of the day, the economic logic behind this relationship meant we really believed it was going to be possible to modernize NAFTA in a way that was good for everyone.”
It was pure Freeland. The self-assurance that impresses many and rubs others the wrong way. The upbeat, matter-of-fact tone she relentlessly maintained through 13 months of gruelling, high-stakes bargaining to preserve the nearly quarter-century-old trade deal that underpins Canada’s most vital economic relationship. Had she failed, all her optimism, in hindsight, would be sounding painfully naive. Since she succeeded, that voice belongs to the most ascendant politician in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Ottawa.
canada  foreign_relations  gov2.0  politics  trump 
12 days ago by rgl7194
Chrystia Freeland, warrior princess - The Globe and Mail
Chrystia Freeland doesn’t take herself too seriously.
Two weeks ago, she landed in Washington for another round of tough NAFTA negotiations. She wore a white T-shirt that her kids had given her. On the back it said: “Keep Calm and Negotiate NAFTA.” On the front it said: “Mama ≠ Chopped Liver.”
Indeed she’s not. The proposed deal she helped to make is far from perfect, but it’s good enough, and in many ways it’s better than expected. And with an erratic bully in the White House, many Canadians feel we’re lucky to just avoid disaster. We can stop holding our breaths now.
Among the biggest winners in these trade negotiations is Ms. Freeland herself, who, over months of upbeat media briefings, became the face of the Canadian negotiating team. By now, she is certainly the most prominent female politician in Canada. She may also be the most popular federal politician, period. In a gushing profile last year, Toronto Life called her “democracy’s last best defender.” The New York Times, no less, suggested recently that she’s prime ministerial material.
How, then, did she handle her job as chief negotiator?
canada  foreign_relations  gov2.0  politics  trump 
12 days ago by rgl7194
Everything You Need to Know for the Midterm Elections - The New York Times
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When are the midterms?
What’s at stake in Washington?
What about outside of Washington?
Who’s going to win the House?
If Democrats take the House, what happens?
If Republicans keep the House, what happens?
How many House seats do Democrats need to pick up to take over the House?
How do they get there?
How many Americans live in competitive congressional districts?
Which states have the most competitive House races?
Does my vote matter?
Can I vote early?
How late can I register? Where do I vote?
Will my vote be safe?
What role is social media playing in the midterms?
What is Facebook doing differently?
How does the special counsel investigation affect the midterms?
What kinds of policy discussions have dominated races?
Do Democrats have a chance to take the Senate, too?
Which Republican-held seats must the Democrats win to have any shot at capturing the Senate?
If the House and Senate split, what are the odds of any major legislation getting passed for two years?
What sort of Republican candidates made it through the primaries?
Is it really the “Year of the Woman”?
What candidates are making Democrats excited?
What candidates are making Republicans excited?
Who can make history this year?
Have scandals affected the House outlook at all?
Is it common for a president to defend those accused of crimes on political grounds?
Which Washington power players stand to lose the most on Election Day?
Are there ballot measures worth watching?
Are the midterms just a referendum on Mr. Trump?
Is Mr. Trump a boon or a liability for Republican candidates?
Can I trust the polls?
O.K., the midterms end and then what?
gov2.0  politics  election  guide  nytimes 
13 days ago by rgl7194
Chrystia Freeland: The woman who poked the elephant but squeaked out a deal | Financial Post
What makes Canada’s most recognizable politician next to Justin Trudeau tick?
Don Freeland, a retired lawyer and farmer with a 6,000-acre spread in Peace River, northwestern Alberta, was in the cab of his combine Tuesday afternoon, hurrying to bring in the barley harvest before the bad weather hit. It has been a cold, damp September out West, Freeland said, and farmers just have to deal with it. Besides, there are much more irksome issues than the weather, including the “dirty rotten dairy monopoly that every political party panders to and that should be disbanded altogether — in my opinion.”
Freeland has other opinions, including of his eldest daughter, Chrystia. Better known as Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister and the trade representative U.S. President Donald Trump declared, and not via a tweet, that he did not “like” during the end days of the tense 14-month negotiation that produced the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) — a deal that, among other things, gave American dairy farmers a cow’s udder more access to Canadian markets.
“I think it’s a good deal for Canada — and it had to happen,” Don said. “Canada didn’t have much choice, eh? And remember: Chrystia is not the boss.”
canada  foreign_relations  gov2.0  politics  SMH  trump 
13 days ago by rgl7194
How Kavanaugh Will Change The Supreme Court | FiveThirtyEight
Since July, when President Trump announced his most recent nomination to the Supreme Court, FiveThirtyEight has been analyzing the effects of a potential Justice Kavanaugh — a potential that is now reality. Kavanaugh was confirmed on Saturday by a 50-48 vote in the Senate. Based on what we know about measuring the ideology of justices and judges, the Supreme Court will soon take a hard and quick turn to the right. It’s a new path that is likely to last for years.
Chief Justice John Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, will almost certainly become the new median justice, defining the court’s new ideological center. As measured by Judicial Common Space scores — which use the popular Martin-Quinn method for justices, based solely on their actual votes — the center of the court will be about as conservative as it was when Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a Ronald Reagan appointee, was the median justice in the 1990s and early 2000s. According to these scores, the court’s center will now cross from mildly liberal to solidly conservative.
SCOTUS  gov2.0  politics  trump  538  conservative 
14 days ago by rgl7194
Donald Trump has turned America into a place where victims are mocked and being merciless is a virtue | The Independent
Trump could not have mocked someone’s account of sexual abuse in the first week of his candidacy. He and the culture he represents have built up to this and they are still building
I was delighted to hear that the Nobel Peace Prize has gone to two people fighting to end sexual violence rather than to a golf enthusiast with bog roll on his shoes who likes to publicly mock those who say they are victims of sexual violence. Restores faith, y’know?
Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad were selected over Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un to win this year’s prize  “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict”.
Mukwege is a gynaecologist who, despite threats to his own life, has looked after thousands of people who have been sexually assaulted in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Murad is a 25-year-old Yazidi woman who was kidnapped by Islamic State militants and held as a sex slave. She also has the astounding bravery to talk about it. I watched her interview with Sarah Montague, not an easy thing to do but when a woman has been through such dementedly horrific experiences (made all the more maddening when you know she is just one of thousands of Yazidi women who are considered “spoils of war”) and is brave enough to tell people about it, listening is frankly, the least we could do.
trump  politics  gov2.0  sexism  racism  hate 
14 days ago by rgl7194
Polarization in Poland: A Warning From Europe - The Atlantic
Polarization. Conspiracy theories. Attacks on the free press. An obsession with loyalty. Recent events in the United States follow a pattern Europeans know all too well.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series that attempts to answer the question: Is democracy dying?
On december 31, 1999, we threw a party. It was the end of one millennium and the start of a new one; people very much wanted to celebrate, preferably somewhere exotic. Our party fulfilled that criterion. We held it at Chobielin, the manor house in northwest Poland that my husband and his parents had purchased a decade earlier, when it was a mildewed ruin. We had restored the house, very slowly. It was not exactly finished in 1999, but it did have a new roof. It also had a large, freshly painted, and completely unfurnished salon—perfect for a party.
The guests were various: journalist friends from London and Berlin, a few diplomats based in Warsaw, two friends who flew in from New York. But most of them were Poles, friends of ours and colleagues of my husband, who was then a deputy foreign minister in the Polish government. A handful of youngish Polish journalists came too—none then particularly famous—along with a few civil servants and one or two members of the government.
gov2.0  politics  poland  europe  democracy 
14 days ago by rgl7194
The CDC Is Publishing Unreliable Data On Gun Injuries. People Are Using It Anyway. | FiveThirtyEight
For journalists, researchers and the general public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention serves as an authoritative source of information about Americans’ health, including estimates of how many people are killed or injured by guns. The agency’s most recent figures include a worrying uptick: Between 2015 and 2016, the number of Americans nonfatally injured by a firearm jumped by 37 percent, rising from about 85,000 to more than 116,000. It was the largest single-year increase recorded in more than 15 years.
But the gun injury estimate is one of several categories of CDC data flagged with an asterisk indicating that, according to the agency’s own standards, it should be treated as “unstable and potentially unreliable.” In fact, the agency’s 2016 estimate of gun injuries is more uncertain than nearly every other type of injury it tracks. Even its estimates of BB gun injuries are more reliable than its calculations for the number of Americans wounded by actual guns.
gov2.0  report  guns  data  politics  538 
14 days ago by rgl7194
It's better to pass over 10 innocent nominees than to risk having a justice guilty of assault on the Supreme Court
The FBI investigation — satisfactory or not — into sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh is now complete and the Senate will soon start voting on the nomination.
A senator who wants to do the right thing may experience this upcoming confirmation vote as a tragic choice in either direction. Setting aside issues of temperament or possible lies to the Judiciary Committee, the conflict at its core is between two impulses. A vote to confirm Kavanaugh seems equivalent to disbelieving Christine Blasey Ford — or, perhaps worse, believing her but deciding a distant sexual assault doesn’t matter. At the same time, a vote against Kavanaugh seems to amount to destroying a person’s reputation and career by dredging up allegations of teenage misconduct.
The choice is not so stark, however. There is a third way.
In order to see this, we need to remind ourselves of how jurors in criminal cases consider their choices. Kavanaugh supporters have been quick to analogize the current proceedings to a criminal trial, and those who oppose his nomination have been as quick to respond that it is not a trial, but a job interview. But there is an important analogy to draw to criminal trials, just not the one we’ve been hearing about.
gov2.0  politics  SCOTUS  FBI  sex  crime  congress 
15 days ago by rgl7194
The Cruelty Is the Point - The Atlantic
President Trump and his supporters find community by rejoicing in the suffering of those they hate and fear.
The Museum of African-American History and Culture is in part a catalog of cruelty. Amid all the stories of perseverance, tragedy, and unlikely triumph are the artifacts of inhumanity and barbarism: the child-size slave shackles, the bright red robes of the wizards of the Ku Klux Klan, the recordings of civil-rights protesters being brutalized by police.
The artifacts that persist in my memory, the way a bright flash does when you close your eyes, are the photographs of lynchings. But it’s not the burned, mutilated bodies that stick with me. It’s the faces of the white men in the crowd. There’s the photo of the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Indiana in 1930, in which a white man can be seen grinning at the camera as he tenderly holds the hand of his wife or girlfriend. There’s the undated photo from Duluth, Minnesota, in which grinning white men stand next to the mutilated, half-naked bodies of two men lashed to a post in the street—one of the white men is straining to get into the picture, his smile cutting from ear to ear. There’s the photo of a crowd of white men huddled behind the smoldering corpse of a man burned to death; one of them is wearing a smart suit, a fedora hat, and a bright smile.
politics  psychology  trump  gov2.0  hate 
15 days ago by rgl7194
Days before trade deal, Trump said Canada’s foreign minister ‘hates America’ - The Washington Post
President Trump publicly praised Canada’s leaders this week after announcing a new trade deal, sending them his “highest regards.” But only three days before the deal was announced, Trump privately railed against Canada’s foreign minister, saying that “she hates America.” It was just one moment in a stunning performance the president gave to donors at an off-the-record fundraising event last week.
Trump held court for more than an hour during an appearance at a Sept. 27 Protect the House PAC event at Trump International Hotel in Washington, speaking on a wide range of topics, two attendees told me after the event. Fresh off his 80-minute news conference following meetings at the United Nations the day before, the president gave the donor crowd a show that they said took Trump’s increasingly freewheeling, no-holds-barred public speaking style to a new level.
trump  gov2.0  politics  foreign_relations  canada  SMH 
15 days ago by rgl7194
Opinion | The Senate Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh. Signed, 2,400+ Law Professors. - The New York Times
The following letter will be presented to the United States Senate on Oct. 4.
Judicial temperament is one of the most important qualities of a judge. As the Congressional Research Service explains, a judge requires “a personality that is even-handed, unbiased, impartial, courteous yet firm, and dedicated to a process, not a result.” The concern for judicial temperament dates back to our founding; in Federalist 78, titled “Judges as Guardians of the Constitution,” Alexander Hamilton expressed the need for “the integrity and moderation of the judiciary.”
We are law professors who teach, research and write about the judicial institutions of this country. Many of us appear in state and federal court, and our work means that we will continue to do so, including before the United States Supreme Court. We regret that we feel compelled to write to you, our Senators, to provide our views that at the Senate hearings on Sept. 27, Judge Brett Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land.
gov2.0  congress  SCOTUS  op-ed  legal  nytimes 
15 days ago by rgl7194
Brett Kavanaugh's Confirmation: The Guardrails Fail - The Atlantic
The conflict over Trump’s Supreme Court nominee exposed the fast-eroding institutional barriers to the president’s authoritarian instincts.
The Republican-controlled Senate appears poised to confirm a Supreme Court justice who believes in presidential immunity to criminal investigation. He was handpicked by a president whose wealth was inherited through tax fraud, whose former personal attorney has implicated him in a federal crime, and who is the focus of an ongoing investigation into a foreign attack on American democracy.
For the past two weeks, the debate over Kavanaugh has focused on the psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford’s emotional testimony before the Senate that Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her as a teenager, and Kavanaugh’s furious denial. But once Kavanaugh revealed himself as an unrestrained partisan actor, Republicans rallied to his support. Americans do not know for certain that Ford’s allegations are true, but they do know for certain that no one with the authority to do so ever made a real effort to find out.
gov2.0  politics  trump  SCOTUS  congress  POTUS 
15 days ago by rgl7194
Trump may be guilty of massive tax fraud. Don’t let it fall down the memory hole. - The Washington Post
It has been less than two days since we learned that Donald Trump and his family appear to have engaged in a years-long conspiracy to commit tax fraud on an absolutely gigantic scale, evading hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes they owed to the federal government. We learned this from a mother lode of documents obtained by the New York Times — including tax returns, business records and bank records.
And nearly everyone seems to have already forgotten.
It is difficult to keep track of every Trump scandal, I know. Even in an ordinary week, there are a hundred things competing for your attention and, especially this week, with the Supreme Court nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh dominating the news, it can be difficult to turn to something else. But this is no ordinary scandal. It’s positively earth-shaking, or at least it should be.
trump  corruption  politics  gov2.0  business  taxes  money  family  fraud 
15 days ago by rgl7194
Our system is too broken to assess the sexual assault claim against Kavanaugh.
No wonder the accuser wants to stay silent.
This, then, was the fatal flaw of #MeToo: We thought that patriarchal systems, based in entrenched power, and supported by others in power, could be brought down by individual, brave women.
Why don’t women come forward? The story now unfolding on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and an unidentified woman who alleges that he sexually assaulted her when they were in high school underscores why. This is what we do know: The woman went to her congresswoman with a complaint about President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, that dated back to high school. The complaint is that he and another boy violently assaulted (but did not rape) her at a party. She put that complaint in a letter, which the congresswoman will not discuss, citing confidentiality. That letter was also sent to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office, who promised confidentiality.
sex  crime  gov2.0  politics  women  legal 
17 days ago by rgl7194
James Madison’s Mob-Rule Fears Have Been Realized - The Atlantic
The Founders designed a government that would resist mob rule. They didn’t anticipate how strong the mob could become.
James madison traveled to Philadelphia in 1787 with Athens on his mind. He had spent the year before the Constitutional Convention reading two trunkfuls of books on the history of failed democracies, sent to him from Paris by Thomas Jefferson. Madison was determined, in drafting the Constitution, to avoid the fate of those “ancient and modern confederacies,” which he believed had succumbed to rule by demagogues and mobs.
Madison’s reading convinced him that direct democracies—such as the assembly in Athens, where 6,000 citizens were required for a quorum—unleashed populist passions that overcame the cool, deliberative reason prized above all by Enlightenment thinkers. “In all very numerous assemblies, of whatever characters composed, passion never fails to wrest the sceptre from reason,” he argued in The Federalist Papers, the essays he wrote (along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay) to build support for the ratification of the Constitution. “Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.”
history  politics  gov2.0  1700s 
17 days ago by rgl7194
Trump and Manafort Are Coordinating in the Russia Probe - The Atlantic
The two have a joint-defense agreement, which allows their legal teams to share information—and could help the president’s former campaign chairman angle for a pardon.
President Donald Trump has tried to distance himself from his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, insisting that Manafort only worked for him for a very short time and that his recent convictions on tax- and bank-fraud charges have nothing to do with the campaign. But Trump’s and Manafort’s legal interests may be more aligned than either of them have let on.
According to Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, Manafort and Trump are part of a joint-defense agreement that allows them to share confidential information about the Russia investigation under the protection of attorney-client privilege. “All during the investigation we have an open communication with them,” Giuliani recently told Politico. “Defense lawyers talk to each other all the time, where, as long as our clients authorize it, therefore we have a better idea of what’s going to happen. That’s very common.”
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
17 days ago by rgl7194
Paul Manafort Pleads Guilty--And Helps Robert Mueller - The Atlantic
It looks like Trump's former campaign manager 'broke.'
Today’s guilty plea by Paul Manafort brings to a close the criminal investigation of his conduct. But it is likely just the beginning of the next phase of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into 2016 election interference.
The plea is a significant success for the special counsel. It allows Mueller to avoid the uncertainty, time, and expense of a trial. And the criminal information filed by the special counsel closely ties Manafort to the pro-Russia party in Ukraine, bolstering the Russia aspect of the investigation. In its amazing detail, the criminal information sends a message to the world:  “I have the goods” on Manafort. That message will not be lost on others under investigation.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
17 days ago by rgl7194
Manafort Guilty Plea: Robert Mueller Files New Charges - Bloomberg
Manafort admits laundering $30 million related to Ukraine work
Stunning turn for aide who had denied crimes for years
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team scored a significant victory as President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman pleaded guilty to conspiring against the U.S. and agreed to cooperate in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The former campaign aide, Paul Manafort, admitted Friday to a decade of crimes related to his work as a consultant for pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine. While none of the charges relates to his work for the president, he was Trump’s campaign chairman for several months, and his links to Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs have been a focus of Mueller’s prosecutors. Manafort joins several other Trump aides who have pleaded guilty and are helping Mueller, including Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Manafort’s former right-hand man, Rick Gates.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
17 days ago by rgl7194
Robert Mueller Is Winning | The New Republic
The special counsel outmaneuvered Trump’s implicit offer to pardon Paul Manafort and secured his most significant victory yet.
Robert Mueller first dropped Paul Manafort into the criminal-justice system last October, and he’s been tightening the vise ever since. The special counsel has flipped Manafort’s close associates and used their testimony against him. He persuaded a judge to revoke Manafort’s house arrest and send him to jail for trying to tamper with other witnesses. And he made a convincing enough case for a jury to find Manafort guilty on eight fraud-related counts in last month’s trial in Alexandria, Virginia, all but guaranteeing the 69-year-old political operative a hefty prison sentence.
On Friday, Manafort finally cracked from the pressure. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice in a D.C. courthouse. He also admitted his guilt to ten charges on which the Alexandria jurors failed to reach a verdict. And in exchange for a lighter sentence to be determined later, Manafort gave Mueller his prize after eleven months of labor: a binding agreement to “cooperate fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly ... in any and all matters as to which the government deems the cooperation to be relevant.”
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
17 days ago by rgl7194
Winners and losers from the Manafort plea deal - BBC News
Two years after being forced from his position as chair of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, 10 months removed from his indictment on multiple counts of unregistered foreign lobbying and financial fraud, and just days before his second trial was set to begin, Paul Manafort has thrown in the towel.
The long-time Washington power player's fight against the special counsel investigation is over not with a bang, but with a plea deal. In exchange for prosecutors dropping five of the seven remaining charges against him and agreement not to retry portions of his previous case, Manafort agreed to "co-operate fully and truthfully" with their future efforts.
According to the presiding judge, such co-operation includes sitting for interviews and briefings with Robert Mueller's team, handing over any relevant documents, and testifying before any future grand juries or, if necessary, criminal trials.
Even though the Manafort case was tangential to the central thrust of Mr Mueller's inquiry - relating to his work as a lobbyist, and not possible ties between the Russian government and the Trump campaign - this still marks a significant development in the special counsel's investigation.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
17 days ago by rgl7194
Manafort Is Cooperating With Mueller. Now What? - The Atlantic
Paul Manafort’s decision to cooperate with Robert Mueller could clarify several of the biggest mysteries of the Russia investigation.
What kind of threat does Paul Manafort now pose to Donald Trump? Robert Mueller’s indictment of the fallen lobbyist is a masterful portrait of a craven man and his methods. But the chronology contained in the document filed this morning takes us right up to the eve of Manafort joining the Trump campaign, and then leaves the reader bursting with curiosity about what comes next. While Mueller has tied up all sorts of narratives about Manafort’s strange career in Ukraine, so many strands of the Manafort story remain maddeningly untidy.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
17 days ago by rgl7194
Paul Manafort's Stunning Decision to Help Robert Mueller - The Atlantic
The president and his former campaign chairman have spent months sharing information about the Russia investigation. Now Manafort has decided to help the government.
After more than four decades of lobbying on behalf of Republican politicians, foreign dictators, and oligarchs, Paul Manafort is flipping on his last client: President Donald Trump.
The president’s former campaign chairman has agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the investigation of a potential conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow, prosecutors said in court on Friday, and has already proffered information to the Justice Department. Manafort also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, avoiding the spectacle of a second trial in Washington, D.C.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
17 days ago by rgl7194
Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father - The New York Times
The president has long sold himself as a self-made billionaire, but a Times investigation found that he received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s.
President Trump participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents, an investigation by The New York Times has found.
Mr. Trump won the presidency proclaiming himself a self-made billionaire, and he has long insisted that his father, the legendary New York City builder Fred C. Trump, provided almost no financial help.
But The Times’s investigation, based on a vast trove of confidential tax returns and financial records, reveals that Mr. Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate empire, starting when he was a toddler and continuing to this day.
nytimes  trump  corruption  politics  gov2.0  business  taxes  money  family  fraud 
17 days ago by rgl7194
Trump Touted Accomplishments in U.N. Speech. Leaders Laughed | Time
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, President Donald Trump boasted that his administration had already “accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country” — a claim that provoked unintentional laughter from the audience of global leaders.
“In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” Trump said at the beginning of his address. “So true!”
Audible laughter from the audience followed.
“Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s okay,” Trump said in response.
Before he was elected president, Trump frequently lamented that “the world is laughing at us,” as he criticized policies of the Obama Administration.
SMH  trump  gov2.0  politics  foreign_relations  twitter 
20 days ago by rgl7194
Stephen Colbert laughs along with the U.N. General Assembly.
When the United Nations laughs, Stephen Colbert laughs with them. Donald Trump was scheduled to be the second speaker at the U.N. General Assembly yesterday, but he showed up so late that the president of Ecuador had to stand in for him. Colbert thinks he should know better, since he understands New York traffic, and has some advice for him: “Just take the subway. I know it smells like pee, but rumor is you like that.”
When he finally arrived, Trump addressed the U.N. by stating that in his administration’s short life they have “already accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” The assembly found this remark so amusing that they all just started laughing, and even the president had to chuckle and admit he “didn’t expect that reaction.” But he should take comfort in Colbert’s words, “They’re not laughing at you, they’re laughing with each other at you.”
SMH  trump  gov2.0  politics  foreign_relations 
20 days ago by rgl7194
Who’s laughing now? The science behind the UN’s reaction to Trump | Sophie Scott | Opinion | The Guardian
The sniggering response to the president’s boasts proves laughter is a powerful weapon
It was very hard not to wince when Donald Trump scored a solid laugh in his speech at the United Nations. Of course, this is partly because laughter isn’t commonly heard at the UN but is also because laughter is always meaningful to humans.
Part of the way humans respond to laughter is to work out whether we are included in it or excluded from it, and whether we are being laughed with or laughed at. I see people’s brains truly light up in the MRI scanner when they listen to laughter, as they’re trying to figure this all out.
And this matters to us because we’re social primates, and laughter is a social behaviour: we laugh to make and maintain social bonds, as well as to show the strength of our friendship with those we are laughing with.
SMH  trump  gov2.0  politics  foreign_relations 
20 days ago by rgl7194
Trump urges world to reject globalism in UN speech that draws mocking laughter | US news | The Guardian
President says: ‘We embrace the doctrine of patriotism’
Laughter breaks out when Trump boasts of achievements
Donald Trump urged other nations to reject globalism and embrace patriotism at a speech to the United Nations that was interrupted by derisive laughter from other world leaders.
In the course of the bombastic address, Trump highlighted the achievements of his presidency, lashed out at enemies – Iran foremost among them – and railed against multilateralism in its spiritual home, the UN general assembly (UNGA).
In one of the more remarkable moments in the history of the annual UN summit, the chamber broke out in spontaneous laughter at Trump’s claim that “in less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country”.
Clearly taken aback, Trump said: “I didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s OK.”
SMH  trump  gov2.0  politics  foreign_relations 
20 days ago by rgl7194
Here’s Why World Leaders Are Laughing at Trump - POLITICO Magazine
His hapless Iran strategy is just one example of a deeply confused foreign policy.
President Donald Trump’s visit to the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week has been … confused. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo advertised that Trump would like to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and then Trump claimed (implausibly) to have turned down Rouhani’s request for a meeting, while also (peculiarly) calling him “an absolutely lovely man.” He lauded sovereignty, promising “the United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship” while threatening to sanction countries that choose to work with Iran.
SMH  trump  gov2.0  politics  foreign_relations 
20 days ago by rgl7194
The world is laughing at President Trump - The Washington Post
That is bad news for America.
Back in January, I pointed out the discomfiting fact that the world hated President Trump. Whether one looked at Pew polling data, Gallup polling data or Trump’s inability to negotiate new deals, the evidence was pretty clear:
The Trump administration has paid a high price for trying to articulate its America First foreign policy. In return, the United States has gained . . . nothing. In his first year, Trump can point to no new alliances, trade deals or favorable basing agreements. Trump obsesses (wrongly) about trade deficits, but they increased with both China and Mexico in 2017. The dollar is not surging in response to a growing U.S. economy. Trump’s biggest foreign policy accomplishment is the military campaign against the Islamic State, which is basically a continuation of Obama’s 2016 strategy.
. . . The United States is losing its global standing because the world hates Donald Trump. Anyone who tells you differently is selling you something.
SMH  trump  gov2.0  politics  foreign_relations 
20 days ago by rgl7194
The UN General Assembly Just Laughed in Trump’s Face as He Bragged of His Successes – Mother Jones
“Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s okay.”
President Donald Trump on Tuesday prompted audible laughter on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly as he attempted to describe the impressive accomplishments of his presidency. 
“In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” Trump said as the audience broke out in laughter. “So true.”
Acknowledging the startling response, the president smiled and said, “Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s okay.” Many noted that the moment, while brief, perfectly distilled how world leaders view their US counterpart.
SMH  trump  gov2.0  politics  foreign_relations 
20 days ago by rgl7194
The world's leaders may regret laughing at Donald Trump - CNN
Trump at UN: 'I didn't expect that reaction' 00:58
Nic Robertson is CNN's international diplomatic editor. The opinions in this article belong to the author.
(CNN)It was a laugh that was heard around the world.
It was also a laugh that the world -- or at least its leaders -- had at the expense of President Trump.
Beginning his speech at the United Nations General Assembly this week, Trump didn't appear to expect the humorous interlude as he launched into a recital of his achievements in office to date.
There was no serious stumble, but a short pause, perhaps taking in what was happening.
Within seconds, Twitter lit up.
SMH  trump  gov2.0  politics  foreign_relations 
20 days ago by rgl7194
UN members laugh at Trump after claim his administration has 'accomplished more than almost any in US history' | The Independent
The president praised his administration's work on domestic issues, and bragged about his meeting with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un
Members of the United Nations‘ General Assembly have laughed at Donald Trump after he told them his administration had “accomplished more than almost any ... in the history of our country”.
Mr Trump on Tuesday began his address by noting that this is the second time he has spoken to the UN General Assembly, and then began to tout the progress his administration has made since he took office.
“One year ago I stood before you for the first time in this grand hall. I addressed the threats facing our world, and I presented a vision to achieve a brighter future for all of humanity,” Mr Trump, who has frequently claimed the US is laughed at internationally for weak international policies, said.
SMH  trump  gov2.0  politics  foreign_relations 
20 days ago by rgl7194
Donald Trump's UN Remarks Have Become the Butt of Jokes - The Atlantic
The president has often warned that the United States has become the butt of global jokes, and with a silly boast on Tuesday, he demonstrated it.
Everyone’s got their own recurring nightmare—naked in class, teeth falling out, whatever. For Donald Trump, that nightmare is that the world is laughing at the United States, and on Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly, the nightmare came true.
The president’s public remarks are littered with warnings that America is, or might be, the butt of the globe’s jokes.
“The world is laughing at us,” Trump said on the stump in October 2016. “We don’t win at the borders. We don’t win with taking care of our vets. We don’t win with anything. We don’t win anymore. We will start winning again like you’ve never seen before.” He’s kept it up since entering office. “At what point does America get demeaned? At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?” he asked in June 2017. “The world is laughing at us. The world is laughing at the stupidity of what we have done with immigration,” he said in August.
SMH  trump  gov2.0  politics  foreign_relations 
20 days ago by rgl7194
Supreme Court Orders Disclosure For Dark Money, As New Report Unveils Some Donors : NPR
The Supreme Court on Tuesday insisted that many donations to predominantly conservative political nonprofit groups — what's often called dark money — be disclosed, seven weeks ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
The ruling closes, at least for now, a loophole that has allowed wealthy donors to finance aggressive ads while staying anonymous. Crafted by the Federal Election Commission nearly 40 years ago, the loophole flourished after the 2010 Citizens United ruling.
The court set aside an order issued by Chief Justice John Roberts on Saturday. The social welfare group Crossroads GPS, a defendant in the lawsuit, had fought to stall disclosure while it prepares to appeal. It failed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and then appealed to the Supreme Court.
politics  gov2.0  lobbying  dark_money  SCOTUS  legal 
20 days ago by rgl7194
Supreme Court Lets Stand Ruling on Dark-Money Disclosure - The Atlantic
Advocates for greater campaign-finance disclosure said the high court’s move would enable voters to find out who’s paying for the campaign ads they’re seeing on television.
Secret money in politics will soon be a lot less secret. The Supreme Court on Tuesday let stand a lower-court ruling forcing politically active nonprofit groups to disclose the identity of any donor giving more than $200 when those groups advertise for or against political candidates.
Until now, such nonprofit organizations—generally those of the 501(c)(4) “social welfare” and 501(c)(6) “business league” varieties—could keep their donors secret under most circumstances.
politics  gov2.0  lobbying  dark_money  SCOTUS  legal 
20 days ago by rgl7194
AP Exclusive: WikiLeaks files expose group's inner workings
LONDON (AP) — Julian Assange had just pulled off one of the biggest scoops in journalistic history, splaying the innards of American diplomacy across the web. But technology firms were cutting ties to his WikiLeaks website, cable news pundits were calling for his head and a Swedish sex crime case was threatening to put him behind bars.
Caught in a vise, the silver-haired Australian wrote to the Russian Consulate in London.
“I, Julian Assange, hereby grant full authority to my friend, Israel Shamir, to both drop off and collect my passport, in order to get a visa,” said the letter , which was obtained exclusively by The Associated Press.
The Nov. 30, 2010, missive is part of a much larger trove of WikiLeaks emails, chat logs, financial records, secretly recorded footage and other documents leaked to the AP. The files provide both an intimate look at the radical transparency organization and an early hint of Assange’s budding relationship with Moscow.
wikileaks  gov2.0  politics  spying  email  leak  russia  security  privacy 
21 days ago by rgl7194
Michigan Activists Pushing Anti-Gerrymandering Amendment - The Atlantic
Voters Not Politicians gathered an astounding 425,000 signatures in Michigan to secure a spot on the November ballot for a proposed constitutional amendment creating a citizens’ commission for redistricting.
LANSING, Michigan—Katie Fahey walks in to the Grand Traverse Pie Company, blocks from the state capitol, wearing a black T-shirt that announces her cause. voters should choose their politicians, it reads, not the other way around.
As Fahey steps to the counter to order lunch, the cashier, a 20-something like her, recognizes the message. Last year, he tells her, he signed the initiative petition circulated by Voters Not Politicians to ban gerrymandering.
“We got almost a half a million people to sign,” enthuses Fahey, who founded the group in 2016 based on her viral Facebook post.
“That’s for the midterms?” asks the cashier’s co-worker.  
“Yeah! So, Yes on 2, November 6!” Fahey says. “We just need 2 million voters. It’s fine! We got this.”
Fahey’s bravado is both sincere and ironic. An improv troupe founder and a mile-a-minute talker, the short-statured, dark-haired 29-year-old projects an idealistic energy that helped inspire thousands of volunteers through a massive, low-budget petition drive. She’s also wittily understating her group’s mammoth task ahead—and its high stakes for democracy, in Michigan and beyond.
gerrymandering  politics  gov2.0  voting  election 
25 days ago by rgl7194
The Plot to Subvert an Election: Unraveling the Russia Story So Far - The New York Times
For two years, Americans have tried to absorb the details of the 2016 attack — hacked emails, social media fraud, suspected spies — and President Trump’s claims that it’s all a hoax. The Times explores what we know and what it means.
ON AN OCTOBER AFTERNOON BEFORE THE 2016 ELECTION, a huge banner was unfurled from the Manhattan Bridge in New York City: Vladimir V. Putin against a Russian-flag background, and the unlikely word “Peacemaker” below. It was a daredevil happy birthday to the Russian president, who was turning 64.
In November, shortly after Donald J. Trump eked out a victory that Moscow had worked to assist, an even bigger banner appeared, this time on the Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington: the face of President Barack Obama and “Goodbye Murderer” in big red letters.
Police never identified who had hung the banners, but there were clues. The earliest promoters of the images on Twitter were American-sounding accounts, including @LeroyLovesUSA, later exposed as Russian fakes operated from St. Petersburg to influence American voters.
The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto United States soil in New York and Washington. The banners may well have been intended as visual victory laps for the most effective foreign interference in an American election in history.
politics  russia  gov2.0  trump  election  nytimes  hillary 
25 days ago by rgl7194
Credit Freezes are Free: Let the Ice Age Begin — Krebs on Security
It is now free in every U.S. state to freeze and unfreeze your credit file and that of your dependents, a process that blocks identity thieves and others from looking at private details in your consumer credit history. If you’ve been holding out because you’re not particularly worried about ID theft, here’s another reason to reconsider: The credit bureaus profit from selling copies of your file to others, so freezing your file also lets you deny these dinosaurs a valuable revenue stream.
Enacted in May 2018, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act rolls back some of the restrictions placed on banks in the wake of the Great Recession of the last decade. But it also includes a silver lining. Previously, states allowed the bureaus to charge a confusing range of fees for placing, temporarily thawing or lifting a credit freeze. Today, those fees no longer exist.
krebs  security  privacy  credit_freeze  free  gov2.0 
29 days ago by rgl7194
Inside ALEC: How Corporations Ghost-Write Anti-Consumer State Telecom Legislation ·
[Stop the Cap! has written extensively about the pervasive influence some of the nation’s largest cable and phone companies have on telecommunications legislation in this country.  On the state level, one group above all others is responsible for quietly getting company-ghost-written bills and resolutions into the hands of state lawmakers to introduce as their own.]
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the latest corporate response to campaign finance and lobbying reform — a Washington, D.C.-based “middle man” that brings lawmakers and corporate interests together while obfuscating the obvious conflict of interest to voters back home if they realized what was going on.
ALEC focuses on state laws its corporate members detest because, in many cases, they represent the only regulatory obstacles left after more than two decades of deregulatory fervor on the federal level. State lawmakers are ALEC’s targets — officeholders unaccustomed to a multi-million dollar influence operation. The group invites lawmakers to participate in policy sessions that equally balance corporate executives on one side with elected officials on the other. Consumers are not invited to participate.
business  lobbying  gov2.0  politics  GOP  stop_the_cap  conflict_of_interest 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
The 2008 Crash Was Not a Singular Event - WhoWhatWhy
How a Decade of Financial Crisis Changed the World
The holy grail of physics is a unified field theory that somehow explains both the micro and macro aspects of how the world works. The same holds true for what Thomas Carlyle called the “dismal science” of economics, as we seek to understand the causes and consequences of the 2008 financial meltdown.
In this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, Jeff Schechtman talks with economic historian Adam Tooze, professor of history at Columbia University and award-winning author, about a reinterpretation of the 2008 financial crisis through the lens of what came before and what followed in its wake.
On this tenth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Tooze explains how, contrary to popular mythology, this was not just a problem that started in the US and rippled outward, but a global problem: the first real crisis of the global age.
economics  finances  banking  stock_market  2000s  gov2.0  politics  podcast  transcript 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
You Can't Change Hatred—But You Can Outvote It
There’s an old saying: “When the horse is dead—dismount.”
It’s time to stop beating that horse, America. It’s not going anywhere.
I’ve tried for three years now.
I’ve tried to understand them.
I’ve tried to listen to them.
I’ve tried not to assign motive to them, not to speculate as to why they voted the way they voted, not to believe they consented to every cruel thing their vote birthed and enabled.
I’ve tried not to caricaturize them; not to make them into one-dimensional stereotypes, not to treat them as some fictional other whose presence posed a threat.
I’ve tried appealing to their sense of decency, to their capacity for compassion, to their faith in Jesus.
politics  gov2.0  hate  voting  election  religion 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Collective Interests: Going Numb on 9/11 - WhoWhatWhy
Another year has passed since 9/11, and it seems as though accountability for those who financed and supported the perpetrators is further from reality than ever.
While yet more evidence has surfaced this year about the people involved in covering up the crime, secrecy reigns supreme in Washington. Yelling “national security” a whole lot, which US intelligence officials and lawmakers tend to do when they don’t want classified information released for public consumption, has a funny way of locking up scandal nice and tight.
Additionally, the major news outlets rarely mention the involvement of high-ranking Saudis in the plot or the cover-up. So the anniversary has become a day of little more than patriotic memorials and sorrow, while deferred justice is left to what remains of the court of public opinion.
But there is precious little progress on that front.
gov2.0  politics  terrorism  911  security 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
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