rgl7194 + gov2.0   3568

Dems on fire in Farmington for McMurray rally - News - MPNnow - Canandaigua, NY
FARMINGTON — Farmington not long long ago didn’t have a Democratic committee.
“Here were are, six months later, with 100 in a room,” said John Hurley, chair of the Ontario County Democratic Committee, inside a noisy Mertensia Park Lodge Tuesday evening filled with people waving Vote McMurray signs.
Democrat Nate McMurray, the Grand Island town supervisor running for the 27th Congressional District, arrived to a cheering crowd energized by recent developments. U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, who was to be McMurray’s Republican opponent, was indicted last week on insider trading charges and then suspended his campaign. Now, Republicans are scrambling to find a way to replace Collins on the ballot.
“With the recent indictment on, it is chaos for the Republicans and its seems pretty on our side,” McMurray remarked during his address to a packed lodge. “The biggest worry is that he will coast through this — the Republican party will do anything to keep this seat, even prop this man up,” he said.
“It’s about to get uglier,” McMurray said. “There is a lot of anger out there — the good news is they know who he is now.”
Dems  victor  gov2.0  politics 
yesterday by rgl7194
Omarosa Manigault Newman releases recording made in White House Situation Room - The Washington Post
Omarosa Manigault Newman, the fired White House aide seeking publicity for her new memoir about her time in the Trump administration, said in an interview Sunday that the way Chief of Staff John F. Kelly dismissed her involved a “threat” and shared an audio recording of Kelly she said she made in the Situation Room.
The recording was played on NBC News’s “Meet the Press,” where Manigault Newman was interviewed by Chuck Todd.
In the purported recording, which would constitute a serious breach of White House security, Kelly is heard complaining about her “significant integrity issues” and saying he wants to make her departure “friendly” and without “any difficulty in the future relative to your reputation.”
trump  politics  audio  gov2.0 
4 days ago by rgl7194
Why Is Dinesh D’Souza Embraced by Conservatives? - The Atlantic
Under President Trump, the most outrageous and aggrieved polemicists are thriving.
Few have enjoyed quite so spectacular a comeback under President Donald Trump as the conservative polemicist and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza. In 2012, D’Souza resigned as president of a Christian college amid charges of adultery and deception. In 2014, D’Souza pled guilty to violating federal campaign-finance laws. He was sentenced to eight months of confinement followed by 52 months’ probation.
Now, as the saying goes, D’Souza is back—and bigger than ever. He has reinvented himself as something like the court intellectual of the age of Trump. Trump pardoned D’Souza on May 31, 2018. At the beginning of August, Donald Trump Jr. cohosted the premiere of D’Souza’s latest movie, Death of a Nation. The movie compares Donald Trump to Abraham Lincoln and his Democratic opponents to Nazis. Afterward, Trump Jr. delivered a memorable summation of what he had learned from the film. “You see the Nazi platform in the early 1930s and what was actually put out there ... and you look at it compared to like the DNC platform of today, and you’re saying, man, those things are awfully similar, to a point where it’s actually scary.”
If you need a historian’s point-by-point refutation of D’Souza’s grotesque and absurd abuse of history, Princeton’s Kevin Kruse has posted a useful recapitulation.
gov2.0  politics  conservative  trump 
5 days ago by rgl7194
Are you still sure there’s no need to worry? - The Washington Post
“Don’t worry, the institutions will stop him.” Or: “Don’t worry, he hasn’t done any real damage yet, the institutions have stopped him.” How many times have you heard some version of this analysis since the election of President Trump? Sometimes, the speaker is an optimist, someone with faith in the U.S. Constitution. Sometimes, the speaker is a skeptic, someone who dislikes the alleged “hysteria” of those who think Trump’s corrupt habits, autocratic language and authoritarian behavior are doing lasting damage. Either way, they are reassured, and reassuring: Congress will stop him. The judiciary will stop him. The FBI, the Republican Party, the Constitution will stop him. Don’t worry.
corruption  gov2.0  politics  trump 
5 days ago by rgl7194
“I’d Rather Be A Russian Than A Democrat”: MAGA Morons Show Their Loyalty
Republicans are scared. So scared that some cultist members have amped up their propaganda arsenal to include t-shirts that read, “I’d Rather Be A Russian Than a Democrat”. These frightening cult specimens were sighted at a recent rally in Ohio, where the Republican party has converged to pull out all the stops to save a conservative house seat. The good news is that despite the desperation and effort of Republicans, their attempts appear to be failing. Democrats are surging in Ohio.
The only ones more ignorant than Trump are the ones who voted for him. Look at the shirts that says I would rather be Russian then a Democrat. Do they not realize the Democrats as well as Republicans are Americans ? pic.twitter.com/lBOVlwDDS6
— Amici Journal (@amici09) August 5, 2018
gov2.0  politics  trump  GOP  twitter 
6 days ago by rgl7194
The number of fact-checkers around the world: 156… and growing
he number of active fact-checking projects around the world now stands at 156, with steady growth driven by expanding networks and new media partnerships that focus on holding public figures and organizations accountable for what they say.
And elections this year in the United States and around the globe mean that number will likely increase even more by the time the Duke Reporters’ Lab publishes its annual census early next year. Our map of the fact-checkers now shows them in 55 countries.
There were 149 active fact-checking ventures in the annual summary we published in February, up from 44 when we started this count in 2014. And after this summer’s Global Fact summit in Rome — where the attendee list topped 200 and the waitlist was more than three times as long — we still have plenty of other possible additions to vet and review in the coming weeks. So check back for updates.

Among the most recent additions is Faktiskt, a Swedish media partnership that aggregates reporting from five news organizations — two newspapers, two public broadcasters and a digital news service. We’ve seen other aggregation partnerships like this elsewhere, such as Faktenfinder in Germany and SNU FactCheck in South Korea. (This is a different model from the similarly named Faktisk partnership in Norway, where six news organizations operate a jointly funded fact-checking team whose work is made freely available as a public service to other media in the country.)
factcheck  gov2.0  politics  news 
6 days ago by rgl7194
Large ISPs, Flushed with Capital, Blame Consumer Protections for Their Disregard of Rural America | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Companies like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon are going around to state legislatures and telling them that any laws they pass that protect consumers will harm their ability to deploy networks in rural America. They claim that any legislator eager to protect their constituents from the nefarious things that can be done by companies that control access to the Internet is somehow hurting residents most desperate for an Internet connection. But their lack of willingness to invest has nothing to do with laws like net neutrality or privacy, because today they are nearly completely deregulated, sitting on a mountain of cash, and have no shown intention of connecting rural Americans to high-speed Internet while their smaller competitors take up the challenge.
ISP  broadband  EFF  money  gov2.0  politics 
8 days ago by rgl7194
Captive Audience: How Florida's Prisons and DRM Made $11.3M Worth of Prisoners' Music Disappear | Electronic Frontier Foundation
The Florida Department of Corrections is one of the many state prison systems that rely on private contractors to supply electronic messaging and access to electronic music files and books for prisoners.
For seven years, Florida’s prisoners have bought music through Access Corrections, a company that took in $11.3 million selling songs at $1.70 each—nearly twice what the typical song costs on the marketplaces available to people who aren’t incarcerated. This is hardly exceptional: prisons also charge extremely high rates for phone calls. The FCC briefly capped this at $1/minute (much higher than normal calling rates), only to have the Trump FCC abandon the policy rather than fight a court challenge.
EFF  state  gov2.0  crime  music  DRM  corruption 
8 days ago by rgl7194
12 Russian Intelligence Agents Indicted For Hacking DNC Emails
The US Justice Department has announced criminal indictments against 12 Russian intelligence officers tied to the hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the 2016 US presidential election campaign.
The charges were drawn up as part of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election by Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel, and former FBI director.
The indictments against 12 Russian military officers were announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during a DoJ press conference on Friday—just 3 days before the Russian leader Vladimir Putin is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump.
All 12 Russian officers are members of the country's GRU military intelligence unit and are accused of carrying out "large-scale cyber operations" to hack into DNC network and steal Democrats' emails to influence the 2016 presidential election.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  hack  email 
9 days ago by rgl7194
Congressional candidates run with thousands in student debt
Andrew Janz has raised millions of dollars for his campaign as a Democrat running for Congress in the Central Valley. But the 34-year-old is used to big numbers: After working his way through undergraduate, graduate and law school, he owes about $300,000 in student debt — more than his mortgage.
Janz is part of a groundswell of younger politicians who are on the front lines of America’s student debt crisis. Seven congressional candidates running in California this year owe at least $10,000, according to a Bay Area News Group analysis of financial disclosures filed with the House ethics office. In addition, seven members of the state’s congressional delegation, all of whom were elected within the last six years, are still paying off thousands of dollars in student loans. Three others reported being in debt for their kids’ education.
That means roughly one out of every six Californians on the ballot for Congress in November owe student debt — together, they’re more than $1.1 million in the red.
gov2.0  politics  education  university  money  congress  economics 
9 days ago by rgl7194
What You Found In 3 Million Russian Troll Tweets | FiveThirtyEight
Last week, FiveThirtyEight published nearly 3 million tweets sent by handles affiliated with the Internet Research Agency, a Russian “troll factory.” That group was a defendant in one of special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments, which accused the IRA of interfering with American electoral and political processes.
We shared the data with the public in concert with the researchers who first assembled it: Darren Linvill and Patrick Warren, both of Clemson University. Their hope, and ours, was that other researchers, as well as our broader readership, would explore the tweet data, share their findings and improve the data set, all with a goal of understanding Russian interference in American politics.
“So far it’s only had two brains looking at it,” Linvill said of the data last week. “More brains might find God-knows-what.”
538  election  gov2.0  politics  russia  troll  trump  twitter 
9 days ago by rgl7194
Battle Over Opioids: Surprising Push-Back, and Not from Dealers - WhoWhatWhy
The first known victims of prescription opioids were not hardened addicts who stole the drugs to get high. They were injured workers, whose treatment was driven by a narrative that changed the way doctors thought about pain. Now, says the physician who discovered those first deaths, a “huge counter-narrative” may be putting some unsuspecting patients in danger.
Nearly two decades ago, Dr. Gary Franklin identified 32 “definite or probable” deaths of injured workers in Washington State that had been caused by opioid medication. Franklin is medical director for Washington State’s Department of Labor and Industries, and a vice president of the nonprofit Physicians for Responsible Prescribing (PROP).
He was troubled that the affected workers had sustained only “routine injuries” — sprains and low back pain.
“The teaching at the time was that you should use opioids liberally, in everyone with pain,” Franklin said. “Doses were going through the roof.” The deaths, he said, occurred simply because the workers had taken the medication their doctors had prescribed. “They’re not suicides,” he told WhoWhatWhy. “A doctor gives a patient opioids. They go to sleep and don’t wake up.”
But when he discussed his findings at a meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, “I was practically yelled out of the room. They didn’t want to hear it.”
drugs  health  big_pharma  pharmacy  gov2.0  politics  medical  money 
9 days ago by rgl7194
Historian on comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler: “My resistance … is being overcome” | Salon.com
Historian Richard Frankel, an expert on Nazi Germany, says history doesn’t have to repeat itself — if we stop it
President Donald Trump is a symptom of a much larger problem. New research suggests that Trump's supporters are so motivated by racism and bigotry that they may be willing to overturn American democracy so that white right-wing Christians like themselves can maintain continued power over our society.
Ultimately, history teaches many lessons. The question then becomes whether we are willing to learn them. How is Donald Trump similar to, or different from, authoritarians and fascists such as Adolf Hitler? In what ways are "regular people" and Trump's "average" supporters implicated and responsible for his assault on democracy and campaign of cruelty? To what extend does the cruelty of Trump and his enablers toward immigrant children and other groups channel the evils of the Nazi regime? Do individuals working together have a chance to slow down Donald Trump and the Republican Party's assault on American democracy?
politics  gov2.0  history  trump  racism  KKK 
9 days ago by rgl7194
Retracted: How an Alt-Right Bot Network Took Down Al Franken
Newsweek has retracted its story about a conservative botnet effort to force the resignation of Senator Al Franken.
The initial report was based on research conducted by Unhack The Vote, a group examining outside influence in U.S. elections and politics. It alleged that a "decidedly alt-right" botnet "weaponized" anti-Franken stories and amplified pressure on Franken to resign after allegations of sexual misconduct. Newsweek was unable to independently verify their claims after a further review of their work.
Newsweek regrets the error.
The retracted story identified Mike Cernovich as one of the "prominent, real, live members of the far right" who "spewed thousands of [twitter] posts" pressuring Senator Franken to resign. In a letter through his attorney, Cernovich has alleged the story wrongly connected him to a foreign bot network, falsely suggesting he was a foreign agent. Newsweek did not intend any such implication, and regrets any misunderstanding.
alt-right  botnet  congress  franken  gov2.0  politics  propaganda  sexism  social_media 
10 days ago by rgl7194
The Abortion Debate Isn’t As Partisan As Politicians Make It Seem | FiveThirtyEight
The debate over Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, is likely to be dominated by discussion about abortion as the court, if Kavanaugh is confirmed, would have five solidly conservative justices, which may mean it’s willing to strike down Roe v. Wade. And that discussion will likely be split by party: Almost all the Democrats you see on cable news and on the floor of the Senate will strongly defend abortion rights, while anti-abortion activists will be among Kavanaugh’s most prominent advocates, even if they don’t outright say they think he will vote to strike down Roe.
But the way the abortion debate plays out in national politics, particularly around judicial nominations, does not reflect how the broader public views this issue. The issue is not a 50/50 Democrat/Republican split, as the plurality of Americans consistently take the “pro-choice” position over the “pro-life” one. And the public, unlike political elites, is not completely divided along party lines on this issue. There is a large bloc of Republicans who support abortion rights. There is a smaller, but still sizable, group of Democrats who oppose abortion rights.
politics  abortion  debate  538  gov2.0 
10 days ago by rgl7194
Eight AT&T Buildings and Ten Years of Litigation: Shining a Light on NSA Surveillance | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Two reporters recently identified eight AT&T locations in the United States—towering, multi-story buildings—where NSA surveillance occurs on the backbone of the Internet. Their article showed how the agency taps into cables, routers, and switches that handle vast quantities of Internet traffic around the world. Published by The Intercept, the report shines a light on the NSA’s expansive Internet surveillance network housed inside these sometimes-opaque buildings.
EFF has been shining its own light on NSA Internet surveillance for years with our landmark case, Jewel v. NSA. In more than 10 years of litigation, we’ve made significant strides.
internet  privacy  security  gov2.0  NSA  spying  EFF 
10 days ago by rgl7194
U.S. Treasury moves to protect identities of 'dark money' political donors | Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury said on Monday that it will no longer require certain tax-exempt organizations including politically active nonprofit groups, such as the National Rifle Association and Planned Parenthood, to identify their financial donors to U.S. tax authorities.
The policy change, heralded by conservatives as an advance for free speech, maintains donor disclosure requirements for traditional charity groups organized to receive tax-exempt donations under a section of the Internal Revenue code known as 501(c)(3), the Treasury said.
But the move frees labor unions, issue advocacy organizations, veterans groups and other nonprofits that do not receive tax-exempt money from meeting confidential disclosure requirements set in place decades ago.
gov2.0  politics  dark_money 
10 days ago by rgl7194
How Deep Is Your Knowledge of the Deep State? - WhoWhatWhy
Go Deeper With the Help of Our Sampler of Articles
Regardless of how one feels about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, there is no doubt that his bombshell indictment of a dozen Russians on Friday shifted the dynamics ahead of President Donald Trump’s meeting in Helsinki with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Many Americans are concerned about Trump’s bizarre relationship with Putin, and WhoWhatWhy’s own coverage has shown that they probably should be. Therefore, they may feel that the announcement of the indictment, which charges the Russians with hacking Democratic email accounts in an effort to help Trump in the 2016 presidential election, was a good thing ahead of the Helsinki summit. After all, it put pressure on Trump not to take it too easy on Putin — as he has done in the past.
gov2.0  politics  trump  conspiracy  deep_state 
10 days ago by rgl7194
We’re Divided On Patriotism Too | FiveThirtyEight
We at FiveThirtyEight hope you had a very patriotic Fourth of July — whatever that means to you. A YouGov poll, released this week, checked in on Americans’ feelings on patriotism and revealed some stark differences along — what else? — partisan lines.
Overall, the survey found that 76 percent of Americans consider themselves “very” or “somewhat” patriotic. But between Republicans and Democrats, there were pretty big differences: A whopping 97 percent of Republicans placed themselves in the “very” or “somewhat” categories, compared with 71 percent of Democrats. That’s a gap of 26 percentage points. Even more starkly, 72 percent of Republicans consider themselves to be “very” patriotic (the highest level of patriotism), compared with 29 percent of Democrats — a 43-point gap.
gov2.0  politics  survey  538  patriots 
10 days ago by rgl7194
Betsy DeVos’s yacht is nothing compared to her summer home - Vox
Kate Wagner dissects the shingle-style Michigan summer home of the education secretary.
Two weeks ago, somebody untied Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s $40 million yacht from its mooring. It got me thinking about another opulent display of wealth owned by DeVos: her 22,000-square-foot nautical-themed summer mansion, located in Holland, Michigan. Just a few more years of climate change and it’ll be floating too.
My mission for the past three years as the creator of the architectural humor blog McMansion Hell has been to unpack what makes mansions like DeVos’s so terrible, from both an architectural and social standpoint. It’s bad enough that we have a president who oversaw a massive redistribution of wealth toward the already wealthy through tax breaks. What’s worse is that obscenely wealthy people like him waste all their money building pseudo-castles and other eclectic tragedies, all while wagging their finger at the rest of us telling us to eat cake.
houses  architecture  education  gov2.0  politics 
10 days ago by rgl7194
Americans Know Where They Stand On The Mueller Investigation | FiveThirtyEight
Friday’s news that the Justice Department had indicted 12 Russian agents in connection with interference in the 2016 U.S. elections was a major development in the fast-moving Robert Mueller investigation. But that doesn’t mean it will change anyone’s mind in the long run.
Since Mueller was appointed special counsel in May 2017, his investigation has brought charges against 35 people or businesses, including former Trump confidants Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn in late 2017. But while American opinion about Russian involvement in the 2016 election has shifted over that time, the shift hasn’t always been lasting.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  538 
10 days ago by rgl7194
How The Putin-Trump Press Conference Rates On Our Trump Opposition Scale | FiveThirtyEight
When President Trump backtracked (slightly) from controversial remarks he made on Monday in which he questioned the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusions that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election, I wasn’t surprised. It was another demonstration that what usually forces Trump to back down from a confrontation or concede defeat is not just the intensity of opposition (particularly if it’s coming only from congressional Democrats), but the breadth of that opposition: Trump usually feels compelled to respond in some way when powerful blocs in American politics combine to resist him.
In the 24 hours after Trump’s comments in Helsinki, Democrats on Capitol Hill were of course furious about them. But so were some Republicans, including those who typically criticize Trump and even a few Trump allies. Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, issued a statement affirming his confidence in the intelligence community’s findings that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election; issuing the statement was an aggressive step, since Coats is a Trump political appointee. And the media was unusually unrestrained in attacking Trump, a tenor perhaps best illustrated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper declaring on air that Trump’s behavior was “disgraceful,” and Fox News’ Abby Huntsman writing on Twitter that “No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus.”
politics  trump  gov2.0  congress  news  legal  538 
10 days ago by rgl7194
GOP Criticism Of Trump Is All Talk — But It Still Matters | FiveThirtyEight
Critics of President Trump want Republicans to do more. The argument goes something like this: Some Republicans like Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona have cast Trump as historically dangerous, leading a “daily disassembling of our democratic institutions,” in Flake’s words. Trump critics argue that, if this is their view, this moment in history compels them to do everything possible to limit Trump — to oppose Trump more than just rhetorically. With McCain suffering from brain cancer and not on Capitol Hill, the Senate is basically divided between 50 members who vote with the GOP and 49 who vote with the Democrats. Flake or any other Republican senator, their critics argue, could single-handedly grind Trump’s entire agenda to a halt. They could prevent a vote on Brett Kavanaugh, the president’s nominee for the Supreme Court, or force a vote on legislation protecting special counsel Robert Mueller.
Instead, the few Republicans in the Senate willing to criticize Trump1 have mostly done only that, spurring some eye-rolling exasperation from people who want action, not just words. But we think this vein of criticism of Trump-skeptical Republicans is, well, kind of wrong. It ignores the power of words to serve as a reminder that Trump isn’t an entirely normal Republican, and that he doesn’t have complete Republican support — at least, not all the time. It’s true that Flake and other Trump-skeptical Republicans could do much, much more. But that doesn’t mean what they’re doing now is meaningless.
gov2.0  politics  congress  trump  538 
10 days ago by rgl7194
What The Rise Of Kamala Harris Tells Us About The Democratic Party | FiveThirtyEight
In the days after Hillary Clinton’s defeat, the two people who seemed like the Democratic Party’s most obvious 2020 candidates, then-Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, hinted that Clinton had gone too far in talking about issues of identity. “It is not good enough for somebody to say, ‘I’m a woman; vote for me,’” Sanders said. Other liberals lamented that the party had lost white voters in such states as Ohio and Iowa who had supported Barack Obama, and they said Democrats needed to dial back the identity talk to win them back.
But that view never took hold among party activists. Liberal-leaning women were emboldened to talk about gender more, not less, after the 2016 election. We’ve had women’s marches and women running for office in greater numbers than ever — all while emphasizing their gender. President Trump’s moves kept identity issues at the forefront, too, and gave Democrats an opportunity both to defend groups they view as disadvantaged and to attack the policies of a president they hate.
politics  gov2.0  Dems  congress  immigration  538  women 
10 days ago by rgl7194
Russians Are Targeting Private Election Companies, Too — And States Aren’t Doing Much About It | FiveThirtyEight
The American election system is a textbook example of federalism at work. States administer elections, and the federal government doesn’t have much say in how they do it. While this decentralized system has its benefits, it also means that there’s no across-the-board standard for election system cybersecurity practices. This lack of standardization has become all the more apparent over the past two years: Hackers probed 21 state systems during the lead-up to the 2016 election and gained access to one. But the federal government and states don’t appear to have made great strides to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. To do so, they’d need to deal with not only their own cybersecurity deficits but also those of the private companies that help states administer elections.
Voting machine manufacturers and the makers of election software and electronic poll books (which are lists of eligible voters) are crucially intertwined with state election systems. All states, to some extent or another, rely on these private companies for election products. But despite the central role these companies play, state regulations of them are relatively lax. That’s a problem, especially at a time when these companies are, along with state governments, targets of foreign agents of chaos.
election  gov2.0  politics  state  hack  russia  security  privacy  538 
10 days ago by rgl7194
Why We’re Sharing 3 Million Russian Troll Tweets | FiveThirtyEight
When historians try to appraise Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, which historical artifacts will they use? Then-candidate Donald Trump’s speech imploring Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s emails, perhaps. The soccer ball Vladimir Putin gave President Trump at their summit in Helsinki probably merits inclusion. And then there are the tweets — millions of them.
Earlier this year, as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, the Justice Department charged 13 Russian nationals with interfering in American electoral and political processes. The defendants worked for a well-funded “troll factory” called the Internet Research Agency, which had 400 employees, according to one Russian news report. From a bland office building in St. Petersburg, the agency ran a sophisticated and coordinated campaign to sow disinformation and discord into American politics via social media. This often involved Trump’s favorite medium: Twitter.
politics  russia  twitter  troll  gov2.0  trump  election  538 
10 days ago by rgl7194
The Day Donald Trump Told Us There Was Attempted Collusion with Russia | The New Yorker
August 5, 1974, was the day the Nixon Presidency ended. On that day, Nixon heeded a Supreme Court ruling and released the so-called smoking-gun tape, a recording of a meeting, held two years earlier, with his chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman. Many of Nixon’s most damaging statements came in the form of short, monosyllabic answers and near-grunts—“um huh,” the official transcript reads, at one point—as he responds to Haldeman’s idea of asking the C.I.A. to tell the F.B.I. to “stay the hell out of” the Watergate investigation. The coverup is clearly of Haldeman’s design. Nixon’s words are simple: “All right. Fine.” Then, “Right, fine.”
Haldeman’s idea seemed clever. He believed the F.B.I. was close to concluding that the break-in at the Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate hotel was the work of a C.I.A.-led operation, which had something to do with Cuba and the Bay of Pigs. Nobody would have to actually lie, he seems to suggest—it wasn’t “unusual” for the C.I.A. to warn the F.B.I. to drop an investigation that could harm national security. “And that will fit rather well because the F.B.I. agents who are working the case, at this point, feel that’s what it is. This is C.I.A.”
politics  trump  russia  corruption  election  gov2.0 
11 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller Is Not the End, but Just the Beginning - WhoWhatWhy
With every news cycle we eagerly gobble down the “feel good” pieces by “expert” tea-leaf readers predicting the coming comeuppance for Trump and his cadre. These experts posit the risks the Trump forces face, delight in the prospects, and offer hope that the end of our long national nightmare is at hand.
Of course, no one actually knows, but that doesn’t matter. We are now so exhausted, so worried, so desperate for relief, we consume these pieces as though they were penned by Nostradamus himself.
The trouble is the more we learn, the less we seem to understand what’s actually afoot. In fact things are more likely to go the other way, and in big way.
Let’s, in the name of balance, consider the worst-case scenario of what might happen after special counsel Robert Mueller announces the final results of his investigation.
corruption  crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
11 days ago by rgl7194
Can Science Save Politics? Or Will Politics Ruin Science? | FiveThirtyEight
Science has never truly been separate from the political system that funds it and uses the tools it creates. But scientists have not traditionally pushed so hard to make that relationship explicit, or to be the ones in charge of it. In the past, said Shaughnessy Naughton, the former chemist who founded 314 Action, scientists have sort of believed that they could just put the facts out there and the evidence would speak for itself. Before this, it had been rare for scientists to get involved in politics. “But it’s clear now that politicians are unashamed to meddle in science. And the way to push back is getting scientists elected. We have to have a place at the table,” she said.
When Gupta tries to win the Aug. 7 Democratic primary in the Michigan 11th, he won’t be just a lone guy with a science background running for Congress — a single data point, if you will. Instead, he’s part of a much larger sample — dozens of people trying to grant science some political power. It’s not clear that a commitment to STEM will help him win, though, nor is it clear what happens if Gupta and other science candidates do make it into office. That could mean more evidence-based policy — or more well-intentioned newbie politicians absorbed into the same old political machine. It could mean newfound respect (and research dollars) for science. Or it could turn “science” into a dog-whistle word for “liberal.”
Nobody knows what the result will be. There’s a word for what Gupta is running in this election, and it’s not “campaign.” It’s “experiment.”
gov2.0  science  politics  election  538 
11 days ago by rgl7194
New Rules to Protect Data Privacy: Where to Focus, What to Avoid | Electronic Frontier Foundation
For many years, EFF has urged technology companies and legislators to do a better job at protecting the privacy of technology users and other members of the public. We hoped the companies, particularly mature players, would realize the importance of implementing meaningful privacy protections. But this year’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, following on the heels of many others, was the last straw.  Corporations are willfully failing to respect the privacy of technology users, and we need new approaches to give them real incentives to do better—and that may include updating our privacy laws.
To be clear, any new regulations must be judicious and narrowly tailored, avoiding tech mandates and expensive burdens that would undermine competition—already a problem in some tech spaces. To accomplish that, policymakers must start by consulting with technologists as well as lawyers.  After the passage of SESTA/FOSTA, we know Congress can be insensitive about the potential consequences of the rules it embraces. Looking to experts would help.
EFF  data  privacy  security  opt-in  sharing  breach  gov2.0 
11 days ago by rgl7194
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Driving New Energy And Money To Progressive Candidates | HuffPost
After defeating a Democratic Party boss, she’s a new kingmaker — and even the establishment wants in.
At a Democratic gubernatorial candidate forum in Detroit on Monday, progressive underdog Abdul El-Sayed knew just the thing to get the crowd going.
“Who here has heard of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?” he asked.
Had they ever. More than 600 miles away from Ocasio-Cortez’s district, the crowd of several hundred Michiganders roared with excitement.
“She showed us that when we are honest about our message, when we are truthful about where our money comes from, when we are willing to speak clearly about the policies we believe in, and we are willing to stand up to the establishment, we win elections,” El-Sayed continued.
Dems  gen_z  gov2.0  politics 
11 days ago by rgl7194
Putting a Face (Mine) to the Risks Posed by GOP Games on Mueller Investigation – emptywheel
I’d like to put a human face — my own — to the risk posed by GOP gamesmanship on the Mueller investigation.
Sometime last year, I went to the FBI and provided information on a person whom I had come to believe had played a significant role in the Russian election attack on the US. Since that time, a number of public events have made it clear I was correct.
I never in my life imagined I would share information with the FBI, especially not on someone I had a journalistic relationship with. I did so for many reasons. Some, but not all, of the reasons are:
I believed he was doing serious harm to innocent people
I believed (others agreed) that reporting the story at that time would risk doing far more harm than good
I had concrete evidence he was lying to me and others, including but not limited to other journalists
I had reason to believe he was testing ways to tamper with my website
I believed that if the FBI otherwise came to understand what kind of information I had, their likely investigative steps would pose a risk to the privacy of my readers
corruption  crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
11 days ago by rgl7194
Has the Right-Wing Spin Machine Met Its Match? - WhoWhatWhy
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the perfect figurehead for the progressive movement in the US. At 28, she represents a new generation of Americans. As a Hispanic woman, she represents minorities. As a Democratic Socialist, she represents different solutions to the growing inequality in the US.
But don’t be surprised if conservatives, who will attack her for precisely the reasons listed above, will be the ones to talk about Ocasio-Cortez the most. To them, the Democratic Socialist who shocked the political world by beating Democratic incumbent Joseph Crowley in the primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District, is the ideal person to scare their base into action.
politics  gov2.0  Dems  gen_z 
11 days ago by rgl7194
What Connects FIFA, the World Cup, Trump, Mueller, Comey, Putin, and Christopher Steele? - WhoWhatWhy
You may remember that back in May of 2015, senior FIFA officials were arrested on corruption charges in Zurich. Those arrests rocked the foundations of the world’s most popular sport. But little did we know at the time that the case was so wide-ranging and complex that its reverberation involved the FBI, the IRS, Donald Trump, Christopher Steele, Robert Mueller, James Comey, and Vladimir Putin.
As the final of the World Cup is played in Russia this weekend, the WhoWhatWhy podcast features a conversation with investigative journalist Ken Bensinger, who spells out the 40-year history of bribery, corruption, and money laundering that has been at the heart of world-wide professional soccer.
Ken Bensinger was part of the team at BuzzFeed that uncovered the Christopher Steele dossier. He’s also become the go-to authority on the complexity of the world’s biggest sports scandal.
corruption  crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  soccer 
11 days ago by rgl7194
The Utility of the RussiaGate Conspiracy | FAIR
New McCarthyism allows corporate media to tighten grip, Democrats to ignore their own failings
To the shock of many, Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential elections, becoming the 45th president of the United States. Not least shocked were corporate media, and the political establishment more generally; the Princeton Election Consortium confidently predicted an over 99 percent chance of a Clinton victory, while MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (10/17/16) said it could be a “Goldwater-style landslide.”
Indeed, Hillary Clinton and her team actively attempted to secure a Trump primary victory, assured that he would be the easiest candidate to beat. The Podesta emails show that her team considered even before the primaries that associating Trump with Vladimir Putin and Russia would be a winning strategy and employed the tactic throughout 2016 and beyond.
russia  conspiracy  politics  gov2.0  trump 
11 days ago by rgl7194
Paul Manafort's Trial Is About More Than Him or Mueller - The Atlantic
With Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman on trial, America is reckoning with its very serious kleptocracy problem.
On the eve of the Paul Manafort trial, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin casually announced that Donald Trump’s administration was considering a fresh $100 billion tax cut for the wealthy. The two events—the trial and the tax cut—should be considered plot points in the same narrative. Manafort had grown very rich by looting public monies, and Mnuchin was proposing an arguably legal version of the same.
Unlike past Trump tax cuts, this proposed cut would be implemented by executive fiat, without a congressional vote—a highly unusual and highly undemocratic act of plunder that would redirect money from the state to further enrich the American elite, not to mention Mnuchin himself.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  corruption 
12 days ago by rgl7194
Disinformation and ‘fake news’: Interim Report
By authority of the House of Commons of UK Parliament
Fifth Report of Session 2017–19
Report, together with formal minutes relating
to the report
Ordered by the House of Commons
to be printed 24 July 2018
Read the whole report here.
There are many potential threats to our democracy and our values. One such threat arises from what has been coined ‘fake news’, created for profit or other gain, disseminated through state-sponsored programmes, or spread through the deliberate distortion of facts, by groups with a particular agenda, including the desire to affect political elections.
Such has been the impact of this agenda, the focus of our inquiry moved from understanding the phenomenon of ‘fake news’, distributed largely through social media, to issues concerning the very future of democracy. Arguably, more invasive than obviously false information is the relentless targeting of hyper-partisan views, which play to the fears and prejudices of people, in order to influence their voting plans and their behaviour. We are faced with a crisis concerning the use of data, the manipulation of our data, and the targeting of pernicious views. In particular, we heard evidence of Russian state-sponsored attempts to influence elections in the US and the UK through social media, of the efforts of private companies to do the same, and of law-breaking by certain Leave campaign groups in the UK’s EU Referendum in their use of social media.
In this rapidly changing digital world, our existing legal framework is no longer fit for purpose. This is very much an interim Report, following an extensive inquiry. A further, substantive Report will follow in the autumn of 2018. We have highlighted significant concerns, following recent revelations regarding, in particular, political manipulation and set we out areas where urgent action needs to be taken by the Government and other regulatory agencies to build resilience against misinformation and disinformation into our democratic system. Our democracy is at risk, and now is the time to act, to protect our shared values and the integrity of our democratic institutions.
uk  gov2.0  report  fake_news  propaganda  russia 
12 days ago by rgl7194
Figure of the Week: $400 Million
Last week, a series of articles was published in the U.S. media relating to a $400-million donation allegedly made by U.S.-born financier Bill Browder to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election campaign.
The figure was quoted by  Russian President Vladimir Putin himself at a news conference on 16 July following his meeting with Donald Trump in Helsinki. He claimed that Browder’s hedge fund stole the money from Russia through tax evasion.
The Kremlin had “solid reason” to believe U.S. intelligence officers had “guided these transactions,” according to the Russian President, and he offered U.S. investigators to question 12 Russian intelligence officers charged with hacking Democratic computer networks during the U.S. election in exchange for Washington handing Browder over to Russian investigators.
The story appeared in leading U.S. publications including The New York Times, The Atlantic, Timemagazine, and Newsweek, which all quoted Browder as rejecting the claim and insisting he had never made any political donation to Hillary Clinton or any other political candidate.
The New York Times reporter Kenneth P. Vogel said on Twitter that his newspaper had investigated the $400-million allegation and found it “completely without evidence.”
We tried to fact-check PUTIN’s claim that @BillBrowder‘s associates donated $400M in un-taxed Russian $ to @HillaryClinton‘s campaign, but it was so completely without evidence that there were no pants to light on fire, so I hereby deem it “WITHOUT PANTS.” https://t.co/js3XprGK1T
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) July 16, 2018
russia  propaganda  fake_news  election  hillary  gov2.0  twitter  factcheck 
15 days ago by rgl7194
Almost 80% of US workers live from paycheck to paycheck. Here's why | Robert Reich | Opinion | The Guardian
America doesn’t have a jobs crisis. It has a ‘good jobs’ crisis – where too much employment is insecure, and poorly paid
The official rate of unemployment in America has plunged to a remarkably low 3.8%. The Federal Reserve forecasts that the unemployment rate will reach 3.5% by the end of the year.
But the official rate hides more troubling realities: legions of college grads overqualified for their jobs, a growing number of contract workers with no job security, and an army of part-time workers desperate for full-time jobs. Almost 80% of Americans say they live from paycheck to paycheck, many not knowing how big their next one will be.
Blanketing all of this are stagnant wages and vanishing job benefits. The typical American worker now earns around $44,500 a year, not much more than what the typical worker earned in 40 years ago, adjusted for inflation. Although the US economy continues to grow, most of the gains have been going to a relatively few top executives of large companies, financiers, and inventors and owners of digital devices.
usa  jobs  economics  money  gov2.0  politics 
16 days ago by rgl7194
She warned America that Russia hacked our voting rolls. Why is she in jail? | Will Bunch - Philly
Last week’s news that special counsel Robert Mueller had the goods on 12 high-level Russian spies whose job was to hack computers and muck up America’s 2016 presidential election was a political bombshell —  but also a resounding vindication for a 26-year-old Georgia woman with the wonderfully poetic name of Reality Winner.
In the spring of 2017, with public concern mounting about the extent of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, federal officials still sought to assure people that there’d been no major success in penetrating electronic voting systems. But Winner, a commended Air Force veteran with a top-secret security clearance, then working for a government contractor, had seen evidence that federal officials weren’t telling the whole truth.
russia  whistleblower  election  gov2.0  trump  crime  hack 
17 days ago by rgl7194
Oligarchs of the World, Unite! - WhoWhatWhy
Last week, the Trump administration took a major step toward helping one of society’s most vulnerable groups: politically active billionaires.
Although these oligarchs admittedly have vast fortunes at their disposal, politicians across all levels in their back pockets, and armies of lawyers on their side, they still had to comply with pesky reporting requirements when funneling millions of dollars to political organizations that do their bidding.
But the “drain the swamp” administration put a stop to that. On July 16, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that some tax-exempt — yet overtly political organizations — like the National Rifle Association (NRA) no longer had to identify their big money donors to US tax authorities.
gov2.0  politics  corruption  trump  charity 
18 days ago by rgl7194
The Consumer's Guide to Spectrum's Possible Demise in New York State ·
New York’s Public Service Commission on Friday set the stage for ‘an orderly transition’ ending Spectrum’s brief life in New York, to be replaced with a ‘to be announced’ new cable operator to serve the needs of New York subscribers.
Or so the New York Public Service Commission hopes.
Although Friday’s 4-0 unanimous decision to revoke Charter’s merger deal in New York is a public relations and legal nightmare for the country’s second largest cable operator, we suspect top executives are getting a good night’s sleep tonight, not too concerned about the immediate consequences of today’s stunning vote.
Losing New York is what Wall Street would call “a materially adverse event” for any cable operator. New York City is the country’s largest media market. Billions of dollars worth of cable infrastructure, subscriber and advertising revenue, and prestige are at stake. Despite the ‘vote to revoke,’ Charter’s attorneys have signaled for weeks they intend to preserve and protect the cable company’s legal rights, and it is almost certain the PSC’s merger revocation order will meet a court-ordered injunction as soon as next week.
cable_tv  broadband  new_york  stop_the_cap  gov2.0  legal 
18 days ago by rgl7194
Trump’s Ex-Attorney Michael Cohen Now a Russiagate Whistleblower? - WhoWhatWhy
What You May Not Know About Trump’s ‘Consigliere’
Michael Cohen, once President Donald Trump’s right-hand man, may have just dealt his boss the biggest crisis of his presidency. Trump, Cohen claimed, knew in advance about the infamous Trump Tower meeting in which Russians offered his son Donald Trump Jr. dirt on Hillary Clinton. And Cohen is willing to make this assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller. Chris Cillizza of CNN responded with this:
“Holy crap.”
Holy crap, indeed! When have you ever heard CNN use such an expression? This may be the strongest evidence yet of collusion between the two camps.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
18 days ago by rgl7194
Different US Election Maps Tell ‘Different Versions of the Truth’ | WIRED
ON MAY 11, 2017, a reporter named Trey Yingst, who covers the White House for the conservative news network OANN, tweeted a photo of a framed map of the United States being carried into the West Wing. The map depicted the 2016 election results county-by-county, as a blanket of red, marked with flecks of blue and peachy pink along the West Coast and a thin snake of blue extending from the northeast to Louisiana.
It was a portrait of the country on election night, but on Twitter, it was also a Rorschach test.
election  politics  gerrymandering  visualization  gov2.0  data  maps 
19 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Different US Election Maps Tell ‘Different Versions of the Truth’
Issie Lapowsky, writing for Wired:
Conservatives replying to Yingst’s tweet interpreted the expanse of red as proof of their party’s dominance throughout all levels of government. Liberals viewed the map as a distortion, masking the fact that most of that redness covers sparsely populated land, with relatively few voters.
In reality, both sides are right, says Ken Field. A self-proclaimed “cartonerd,” Field is a product engineer at the mapping software company Esri and author of a guidebook for mapmakers called Cartography. The problem, he says, isn’t with people’s partisan interpretation of the map. The problem is believing that any single map can ever tell the whole story. “People see maps of any type, and particularly election maps, as the result, the outcome, but there are so many different types of maps available that can portray results in shades of the truth,” Field says. “It’s a question of the level of detail that people are interested in understanding.”
Really interesting examples of data visualization in this piece.
daring_fireball  election  politics  gerrymandering  visualization  gov2.0  data  maps 
19 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: 'The Worst Case Scenario Has Been Obvious for a While'
Josh Marshall, writing at TPM:
There is no reasonable explanation for the simple facts we see other than that Russia has some kind of hold over President Trump.
I know that sounds wild and I have a very hard time sometimes quite believing it myself. But it’s so overwhelmingly obvious that we need to get real with ourselves and recognize what is happening. I don’t know what the specific details are. I don’t know whether Russia has some compromising information on the President, whether they have enticed him with personal enrichment. I truly don’t know. But none of the standard explanations — truculence, trolling, anger over questioning the legitimacy of his election — none of them remotely add up as an explanation. In the future, when we know more details, we will have a difficult time explaining how any serious people continued to think there could be an innocent explanation.
I don’t think it’s the infamous pee tape because even if real, the pee tape might not sink Trump. I think it’s money — that Trump’s entire company, and therefore his personal wealth, is held afloat entirely by Russian money and Putin could pull the plug on it with a snap of his fingers. But whatever it is, it seems clear there’s something they’ve got on him.
trump  money  corruption  gov2.0  politics  russia  daring_fireball 
19 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Hillary Clinton Was Right
Hillary Clinton’s remarks during a 2016 debate on Donald Trump being a “puppet” of Vladimir Putin have proven depressingly spot-on. Everything she said in this clip has come to pass.
gov2.0  politics  election  hillary  trump  russia  daring_fireball 
19 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Trump Kowtows to Putin
Jonathan Swan and Mike Allen, reporting for Axios:
Over the course of the press conference, Trump:
Sided with Russia over his own law enforcement.
Turned a question on Russian election interference into a rambling dialogue on Hillary Clinton’s email server and his electoral college votes.
And stood by, nodding, while Putin repeatedly lied about election interference.
John McCain:
Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. […]
No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant.
trump  politics  gov2.0  russia  daring_fireball  mccain 
19 days ago by rgl7194
Fake News and Fake Solutions: How Do We Build a Civics of Trust?
We need to start serious conversations about systemic social challenges, rather than tinkering with their effects
In his recent manifesto, Mark Zuckerberg asserts that the response to our dysfunctional and conflict-ridden politics is to build a stronger global community based on ubiquitous interconnection. We know of course that Facebook stands to profit from this utopian vision, and we should be skeptical of the motives underlying Zuck’s position. But it’s worth taking a second look at the idea of working on underlying economic and political issues in our societies, rather than focusing on the effects of online expression — particularly in the context of the moral panic over “fake news.”
The consternation about fake news from Western journalists, scholars of propaganda, and policymakers has inspired waves of stories and talk-shopsaddressing its growth as a threat to our public discourse, our journalism, and our systems of governance. And we see many attempts to understand, fix, or apportion blame. Yet many of the proposed fixes are deeply problematic because they advocate overly broad and vague restrictions on expression. Solutions that would limit suspected “fake” expression or strongly encourage private intermediaries to restrict some kinds of speech and prioritize or “whitelist” others are particularly troubling.
This week, Germany was the latest country to introduce a plan that would force social media companies to monitor and censor some kinds of online expression. Justice minister Heiko Maas wants to put regulatory pressure on social media companies, and especially Facebook and Twitter, to police expression, asserting that they have failed to do so voluntarily. Draft legislation proposes to fine social media companies up to €50 million for failure to quickly delete hate speech, fake news, and other types of misleading speech.
In this context, we can look to countries that have created regulatory regimes to control online expression — such as China — not as entirely “other”, but perhaps as cautionary examples. When posing solutions to fix fake news, we should be extremely careful not to build our own self-censorship machines.
fake_news  politics  social_media  gov2.0  news 
19 days ago by rgl7194
New York State Opens Tax Probe Into Trump Foundation
New York is opening up a new front in its legal battle against the Trump Foundation. After a nearly two-year investigation, New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed a civil suit against President Trump and his three oldest children last month, accusing their charity of violating campaign finance law, of self-dealing, and of illegally coordinating with Trump’s presidential campaign. Now, the state has opened an investigation into whether the Trump Foundation violated state tax laws, which could lead to a criminal referral for possible prosecution.
According to the New York Times, state officials would not say when the Department of Taxation and Finance opened its investigation, or what specific activities are being examined, though the issues will likely overlap with Underwood’s suit.
new_york  state  legal  gov2.0  trump  charity  family  finances 
19 days ago by rgl7194
Putin Raised Browder's Name in Helsinki with Trump - The Atlantic
Putin’s decision to reference William Browder at the post-summit press conference provided even more evidence that a 2016 meeting between Trump-campaign officials and a Russian lawyer was blessed by the Kremlin.
As Russian President Vladimir Putin stood next to President Donald Trump during a joint press conference in Helsinki on Monday, a wealthy banker turned human-rights activist named William Browder was on the Russian leader’s mind.
Asked whether he would consider extraditing the 12 Russian intelligence officers accused by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of hacking into Democratic organizations during the 2016 presidential election, Putin fell back on an old Cold War tactic—whataboutism—and accused U.S. intelligence officials of helping Browder funnel $400 million worth of cash he allegedly stole from Russia in the form of unpaid taxes into Hillary Clinton’s campaign. “We have a solid reason to believe that some [U.S.] intelligence officers accompanied and guided these transactions,” Putin said.
russia  politics  gov2.0  trump  election  hillary 
19 days ago by rgl7194
Barack Obama Responds to Trump–Putin News Conference - The Atlantic
The former president finally did what his supporters have waited for him to do since Donald Trump became president. He spoke up.
Less than 24 hours after an astonishing joint news conference between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, in which Trump sided with Putin over his own intelligence agencies, former President Barack Obama finally did what his supporters have waited for him to do since he left the Oval Office.
He spoke up, forcefully, with a dire warning about the direction of global politics. “I am not being alarmist, I’m simply stating the facts,” Obama said in a closely watched speech in South Africa.
“Look around,” he said. “Strongman politics are ascendant, suddenly, whereby elections and some pretense of democracy are maintained, the form of it, where those in power seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning.”
gov2.0  politics  obama  trump  russia 
19 days ago by rgl7194
Trump is a sad, embarrassing wreck of a man - The Washington Post
America’s child president had a play date with a KGB alumnus, who surely enjoyed providing day care. It was a useful, because illuminating, event: Now we shall see how many Republicans retain a capacity for embarrassment.
Jeane Kirkpatrick, a Democrat closely associated with such Democratic national security stalwarts as former senator Henry Jackson and former senator and former vice president Hubert Humphrey, was President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations. In her speech at the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, she explained her disaffection from her party: “They always blame America first.” In Helsinki, the president who bandies the phrase “America First” put himself first, as always, and America last, behind President Vladimir Putin’s regime.
trump  politics  gov2.0  op-ed 
19 days ago by rgl7194
Trump Only Has One Scandal - The Atlantic
The myriad Trump scandals can obscure the fact that they’re all elements of one massive tale of corruption.
The sheer volume of Trump scandals can seem difficult to keep track of.
There’s the ongoing special-counsel investigation into whether the Trump campaign aided a Russian campaign to aid Trump’s candidacy and defeat his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton; there’s the associated inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey, whom he had asked not to investigate his former national-security adviser; there are the president’s hush-money payments to women with whom he allegedly had extramarital affairs, made through his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and facilitated by corporate cash paid to influence the White House; there is his ongoing effort to interfere with the Russia inquiry and politicize federal law enforcement; there are the foreign governments that seem to be utilizing the president’s properties as vehicles for influencing administration policy; there’s the emerging evidence that Trump campaign officials sought aid not only from Russia, but from other foreign countries, which may have affected Trump’s foreign policy; there are the ongoing revelations of the president’s Cabinet officials’ misusing taxpayer funds; there is the accumulating evidence that administration decisions are made at the behest of private industry, in particular those in which Republican donors have significant interests.
trump  gov2.0  politics  corruption 
19 days ago by rgl7194
Reporters, Facing a Hostile White House, Try a New Tactic: Solidarity - The New York Times
It was a subtle exchange, about 20 minutes into yet another clamorous White House press briefing, and a casual viewer of Wednesday’s proceedings would be forgiven for missing it.
But an unusual show of solidarity between rival journalists seemed to signal a new approach by the White House press corps toward an administration that regularly uses briefings to deride, and divide, the news media.
gov2.0  politics  news  nytimes  trump 
19 days ago by rgl7194
Senator Asks US Government to Remove Flash From Federal Sites, Computers
In a letter sent today, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden asked officials from three government agencies to come up with solutions and procedures that mandate the removal of Adobe Flash content from all US government websites by August 1, 2019.
The Senator is urging US government officials to act in light of Adobe's Flash end-of-life date scheduled for the end of 2020, after which Adobe announced it would cease to provide any technical support for the software.
flash  congress  security  privacy  web2.0  gov2.0 
23 days ago by rgl7194
Let’s Get the Facts Straight About Mueller and His Investigation - WhoWhatWhy
A lot has, rightfully, been made this week of President Donald Trump’s bizarre behavior when it comes to Russia and its apparent campaign to tilt the 2016 presidential race in his favor. While it wasn’t exactly surprising that the US president once again appeared to do his Russian counterpart’s bidding, the reason why this keeps happening continues to puzzle people.
Some believe that Trump’s frail ego can’t handle any notion that he did not beat Hillary Clinton fair and square. Others are raising the possibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin “having something” on Trump. The fact that people are even entertaining this theory is breathtaking in itself.
Whatever drives Trump’s actions, it is also the reason why he and his allies seek to undermine the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller. They are doing this in a variety of ways, including arguing that the basis for the entire probe is illegitimate, that it is unconstitutional, and that Mueller’s team is biased. And that’s just over the past few weeks.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
25 days ago by rgl7194
Investigative Report: On The Trail Of The 12 Indicted Russian Intelligence Officers
A U.S. grand jury charged 12 Russian citizens on July 13 with interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election by organizing cyberattacks on the computers of Democratic Party figures during the campaign.
The indictment contains the names of the dozen accused, who are described as “employees of the GRU,” referring to Russian military intelligence. In addition, the indictment contains the numbers of the military units that they allegedly serve in and a relatively detailed account of the methods they purportedly used to break into the computers and publish the information they acquired in the hacking attacks.
RFE/RL has conducted its own open-source investigation into those accused intelligence operatives, although there is relatively little openly available information about the men or their military units.
But some information does seem important: One of the accused participated in a 2014 conference of hackers on the topic of “infiltration, hacking, and the national peculiarities of cyberwarfare.” The building in the Moscow suburb of Khimki that is referred to in the indictment as “the Tower” can be connected to the founder of the pro-Kremlin Antimaidan propaganda organization.
And the military unit that allegedly carried out the distribution of the stolen information through WikiLeaks and anonymous social-media accounts is based at the same address as GRU officer Oleg Ivannikov (known as Orion), who has been named by the independent Bellingcat research organization as a participant in the events that led to the July 2014 downing of the MH-17 passenger jet over eastern Ukraine.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
25 days ago by rgl7194
Judge reveals the five witnesses given immunity in exchange for testifying against Manafort
The federal district court judge presiding over former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort’s Virginia trial for tax and bank fraud committed while working on behalf of Russia—not to be confused with the federal judge overseeing his trial on similar charges in D.C.—has granted special counsel Bob Mueller’s request for five witnesses to receive immunity. Just a few hours after that Monday ruling, Judge T.S. Ellis revealed the five witnesses’ identities. 
We don’t know what they’ll be testifying about or why exactly immunity is necessary—Mueller just said they’d have to invoke the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination otherwise—but we know their names:
James Brennan
Donna Duggan
Conor O’Brien
Cindy Laporta
Dennis Raico
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
25 days ago by rgl7194
Why Do Conservatives Make Excuses for Donald Trump? - The Atlantic
Some commentators are bending over backwards to make excuses for the president.
Donald Trump’s brazen violation of principles American conservatives were once thought to cherish—from free trade to family values to a hard line against America’s foes—has split right-leaning pundits into three camps. At one extreme are the pure sycophants. For them, conservatism is whatever Trump says it is. Many, like Sebastian Gorka, were unknown until Trump’s presidency, which means they can applaud whatever he does without worrying that people will notice they’ve abandoned principles they formerly held. At the other extreme are anti-Trump conservatives like George Will, Bret Stephens, and David Frum, who frankly acknowledge that Trump has desecrated conservative principles—along with liberal democratic ones—and as a result denounce him in the harshest of terms.
Then there’s the middle group: The “to be sure” conservatives. They want to remain faithful to principles they once championed. But they also want to be as faithful as possible to a president who enjoys near 90 percent approval among Republican voters. Thus, their writing includes “to be sure” paragraphs that breeze by Trump’s blatant assaults on long-held conservative values in their rush to find something, anything, to congratulate him for.
trump  politics  gov2.0  conservative 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
The Sharp CNN Commentator Telling Trumpers 'Boy, Bye' | Politics & Power | OZY
Because she’s keeping CNN woke.
Her eyes open wide and turn left as she blinks and looks away from her CNN co-panelist, Kayleigh McEnany, who is extolling Donald Trump’s good deeds. The effect is cartoonish — and secures the Eye Roll in the Angela Rye pantheon of internet gold.
She’s made for a social media video-clip age, in which a well-debated point means you DESTROYED someone. YouTube is crammed with Rye highlights, from using a Beyoncé-inspired “Boy, bye” to shut down Trump ally Corey Lewandowski to calling talk-show host and former congressman Joe Walsh a “bigot” who doesn’t deserve a televised platform. But it is the Eye Roll that best captures how Rye lets you know what she thinks, even when it’s not her turn to speak. Or, as her former boss, Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, puts it: “She’s not bashful.”
trump  politics  news  gov2.0 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
A Key Coincidence of the Russia Hacking Scandal - The Atlantic
A new indictment charges that Russians tried to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails on July 27, 2016—the same day that Donald Trump publicly asked them to do so.
The broad outlines of Friday’s indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, charging 12 Russians with conspiracy, identity theft, and money laundering in connection with hacking during the 2016 presidential election, are not surprising. The hacking of the Democratic National Committee has been public knowledge since July 2016, and even then, the authorities publicly stated that the perpetrators were Russian government officials. Other details, such as the apparent involvement of WikiLeaks and Trump adviser Roger Stone, were also known. Some of the details, however, are striking.
On July 27, 2016, at a Trump press conference in Florida, the candidate referred to 33,000 emails that an aide to Hillary Clinton had deleted from the former secretary of state’s personal email server. The DNC had recently announced the Russian intrusion, and Trump speculated that if Russia broke into the DNC, it would have accessed Clinton’s emails, too.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Strzok
Defiant. Knowledgeable. Unrehearsed. Intense.
I don’t care which side of the aisle you’re on, whether you’re a Trumpster or not, one thing is clear, you weren’t gonna mess with Peter Strzok.
For far too long the government has been demonized. Taxes. Unions too. Inept people sucking at the tit of the American economy. The right has defined the debate, the left has remained silent, or played into the right’s trap. To the point where people believe government doesn’t work and all politicians are bad and the best idea is to put the government in a tub and drown it.
This is the guy who captured the illegals. This is the guy who inspired “The Americans.” This is a patriot. This is someone who takes his job seriously. While you’re posting to Instagram, he’s saving your ability to do so. WHAT AN INSPIRATION!
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  strzok  trump 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
Kodak Bitcoin Mining 'Scam' Killed by SEC
Back in January, the tech world balked when a Kodak-branded Bitcoin miner called the Kodak KashMiner was unveiled at the CES trade show in Las Vegas. It seems that photography and cryptocurrency enthusiasts weren’t the only ones that balked: the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) actually blocked the KashMiner from moving forward.
BBC News reports that the Kodak KashMiner scheme collapsed after critics called the product a “scam” and the SEC responded by halting its sale.
What’s more, Kodak tells the BBC that the third-party company behind the Kodak-branded miner, Spotlite USA, never officially licensed the Kodak brand for use on the miner, which was apparently a rebadged version of the popular Antminer S9 by the Chinese company Bitmain.
kodak  bitcoin  scam  gov2.0 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
The Mueller Investigation Keeps Growing Fast | FiveThirtyEight
At a surprise news conference on Friday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that the Justice Department would be charging 12 Russian intelligence officers with a wide range of offenses, including conspiracies to hack the Democratic National Committee, state election systems and other targets. This brings the total number of the people charged in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election to 32.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  538 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
FBI Investigator Rejects Accusations of Anti-Trump Bias  - The Atlantic
Special Agent Peter Strzok weathered hours of testimony that included pointed questions from Republicans accusing him of being hostile to the president.
Republicans hammered FBI Agent Peter Strzok over several hours of testimony Thursday, seeking to discredit the long-running federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and to portray Strzok as a symbol of an agency hopelessly tainted by bias against President Donald Trump. The hearing quickly descended into a partisan spectacle that Strzok warned would be “another victory notch” in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s belt. Through it all, Strzok maintained that he had never compromised his duties, and that the investigation was both justified and being carried out with the highest integrity.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  strzok 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Peter Strzok Hearing: Watch FBI Agent’s Searing Testimony
FBI agent Peter Strzok has long been one of — if not the — central villain in the Republican Party’s (fictional) story of how “deep state” Democrats conspired to exonerate Hillary Clinton for her criminal email activity — and then launch a “witch hunt” aimed at destroying an innocent Donald Trump.
This is because Strzok had participated in both the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the special counsel’s probe into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia — but was removed from the latter last summer, after an internal investigation discovered that he had expressed a low opinion of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential race in text messages with his colleague Lisa Page. (Why this was supposed to be scandalous is unclear — a hefty chunk of congressional Republicans publicly expressed the same opinion at various points in 2016.)
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  strzok 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
The Strzok hearing damaged our democracy - The Washington Post
TEMPERS BOILED over on Capitol Hill Thursday as Peter Strzok, the FBI official at the center of President Trump’s attempts to discredit special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, testified before a joint meeting of two House oversight committees. With all its yelling and interruptions, the hearing was a fitting coda to the hyperpartisan farce of an investigation that House Republicans have conducted into the FBI and Mr. Mueller’s Russia probe.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  strzok 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Republicans Thought Peter Strzok Would Be a Punching Bag. He Just Knocked Them Out.
He was supposed to be a key in the imaginary conspiracy Trump’s congressional lackeys and media fantasists have desperately tried to write as history. He was having none of it.
Those who forget the lessons of televised congressional hearings are doomed to repeat them, which is why the morning segment of the Capitol Hill show trial of veteran FBI agent and former head of the Bureau’s Counterespionage division Peter Strzok turned into a disaster for Republicans.
Donald Trump’s congressional enablers, sycophants, and political suck-ups wanted a punching bag, but Strzok instead delivered one of the rarest of moments: the full Joseph N. Welch.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  strzok 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Peter Strzok just gave a hard-to-rebut defense of the objectivity of the Russia investigation’s origins - The Washington Post
To hear President Trump tell it, FBI agent Peter Strzok was hopelessly biased against him and his candidacy. Trump has tweeted criticisms of Strzok repeatedly, often in personally disparaging terms, and on at least two occasions has suggested that Strzok’s involvement in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election had a specific goal: preventing him from becoming president.
Strzok was a central player in the dueling investigations during the 2016 campaign. He was involved in the initial investigation into former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and opened the investigation into possible connections between Trump’s campaign and the Russian effort to influence the election’s outcome. He was subsequently involved in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s continuation of that investigation until Mueller learned of texts Strzok sent to Lisa Page, another FBI employee with whom the agent was engaged in an extramarital relationship. Those texts included some disparaging Trump in stark terms, prompting Mueller to remove him from the effort last July.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  strzok 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Russia Indictment Proves Robert Mueller Has the Goods on Collusion
Wittingly or unwittingly, a huge cast of American characters was in on the plot.
The conspiracy had as its object impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful governmental functions of the United States by dishonest means in order to enable the Defendants to interfere with U.S. political and electoral processes, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
—United States of America v. Internet Research Agency et. al.
Goddamn them all.
Goddamn the hackers. Goddamn the journalists who laundered the pilfered material. Goddamn any of them who treated Roger Stone as a source, or as a cute prankster, instead of the nasty vandal he’s always been. Goddamn the pundits who chortled over the pilfered material. Goddamn the politicians who profited from the hacking. Goddamn the politicians who minimized the hacking. Goddamn the politicians who still stonewall about the hacking. Goddamn the “activists” who ranted about “McCarthyism” when anybody pointed out that the 2016 presidential election had been poisoned from afar. Goddamn them all as traitors, if not to the American nation, then to everything that ever made that nation worth the bother.
They conspired, wittingly or unwittingly. They colluded, wittingly or unwittingly. They are accessories, before and after the fact, to the hijacking of a democratic election. So, yes, goddamn them all.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Mueller’s Blockbuster Indictment of Russian Officials - The Atlantic
With the special counsel’s latest indictment, Americans are one step closer to knowing the truth of what happened during the 2016 election.
It’s always on Fridays. Almost like clockwork, each new indictment from the Special Counsel’s office released on a Friday afternoon, just in time to disrupt the weekend news cycle. Not that anyone is complaining, because this week’s indictment is a blockbuster—an 11-count indictment of 12 Russian military officers alleging that they engaged in a hacking campaign against Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
12 Russian Intelligence Officers Indicted In Mueller Investigation | HuffPost
A grand jury convened by special counsel Robert Mueller brought the charges in connection to the DNC hack during the 2016 campaign.
WASHINGTON ― A grand jury convened by special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials in connection with the hack of a DNC server during the 2016 election.
All 12 of the defendants were connected to GRU, a Russian Federation intelligence agency within the Russian military.
Defendants registered the domain “DCLeaks.com” and falsely claimed to be “American hacktivists.” They used Facebook and Twitter to promote the website.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
12 Russian Agents Indicted in Mueller Investigation - The New York Times
WASHINGTON — The special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election issued an indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers on Friday in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton presidential campaign. The indictment came only three days before President Trump was planning to meet with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Helsinki, Finland.
The 29-page indictment is the most detailed accusation by the American government to date of the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 election, and it includes a litany of brazen Russian subterfuge operations meant to foment chaos in the months before Election Day.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  nytimes 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
12 Russian intel officers indicted for hacking the DNC and Clinton campaign | Ars Technica
Charges are part of the probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.
The US Justice Department on Friday filed criminal indictments that accuse 12 Russian intelligence officers of carrying out the 2016 hacks on the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of Hillary Clinton. The officers—one of whom operated under the persona of Guccifer 2.0—then dispersed sensitive communications in an attempt to influence the results of the 2016 election, prosecutors alleged.
The indictments were filed by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the presidential campaign of President Donald Trump and the Russian spies US intelligence agencies say interfered with the 2016 election. So far, Mueller’s team has indicted 32 people, including members of a Russian company that blanketed social media with fake news stories and senior members of the Trump campaign. Friday’s indictments were disclosed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at a press conference in Washington, DC.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
US Charges 12 Russian Intelligence Officers for Hacking DNC, Running DCLeaks
BREAKING —The US Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted today 12 Russian intelligence agents on hacking charges related to the 2016 US Presidential Election.
According to a copy of the indictment obtained by Bleeping Computer, the 12 accused are part of Unit 26165 and Unit 74455 of the Russian government's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), the country's military intelligence service.
Group accused of infamous DNC hack
The DOJ claims the group is responsible for hacking the computer systems of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), in 2016, ahead of the US Presidential Election. The group also actively targeted and hacked individual members part of the Clinton Campaign, the DOJ said.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Mueller indicts 12 Russians for hacking into DNC - POLITICO
The indictments come days before Trump is set to meet Putin in Helsinki.
Special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian military officers on Friday, and accused them of hacking into the Democratic National Committee to sabotage the 2016 presidential election.
The indictments, announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, come just days before a scheduled Monday summit in Helsinki between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Mueller investigation: 12 Russians indicted for hacking, Rosenstein announces - The Washington Post
A dozen Russian military intelligence officers were indicted Friday on charges they hacked Democrats’ computers, stole their data and published those files to disrupt the 2016 election — the clearest connection to the Kremlin established so far by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of interference in the presidential campaign.
The indictment against members of the Russian military agency known as the GRU marks the first time Mueller has taken direct aim at the Russian government, accusing specific military units and their named officers of a sophisticated, sustained effort to hack the computer networks of Democratic organizations and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Mueller probe: 12 Russians indicted for DNC hack - CNNPolitics
Washington (CNN)The Justice Department announced indictments against 12 Russian nationals as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, accusing them of engaging in a "sustained effort" to hack Democrats' emails and computer networks.
All 12 defendants are members of the GRU, a Russian federation intelligence agency within the main intelligence directorate of the Russian military, who were acting in "their official capacities."
The revelations provide more detail on the sophisticated assault on the US election in 2016, including the release of emails designed to damage Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The indictment was announced at almost exactly the moment that President Donald Trump rolled into the quadrangle of Windsor Castle to meet the awaiting Queen Elizabeth II in the symbolic highpoint of his visit to Britain.
crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
President Donald Trump's Child Migrant Crisis Has Awoken Something in the Resistance—and the Country
The country's head is clearing. The spell of the reality show presidency* is wearing off.
Optimism may be illusory, but it’s all we have at this point, so, when it stirs, anywhere, it’s worthy of nurture and support. Over the past week, ever since the administration*’s crimes against humanity along the southern border were revealed, there became an edge to the political opposition that has not been there through all the marches and the rhetoric that have attended this government since the president* was inaugurated. Up until now, all of the #Resistance has contained a barely acknowledged undercurrent of futility. It was not that the opposition was empty. It was that it generally broke like a wave on a seawall when it collided with the immutable fact that the president*’s party controlled every lever of political power at the federal level, as well as a great number of them out in the states, too.
trump  gov2.0  politics  children  immigration 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
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