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octoberlib

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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Current location: Charlotte, NC
Member since: Fri Sep 14, 2012, 12:15 AM
Number of posts: 13,658

Journal Archives

'Sustained and ongoing' disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates

A wide-ranging disinformation campaign aimed at Democratic 2020 candidates is already under way on social media, with signs that foreign state actors are driving at least some of the activity.The main targets appear to be Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), four of the most prominent announced or prospective candidates for president.


A POLITICO review of recent data extracted from Twitter and from other platforms, as well as interviews with data scientists and digital campaign strategists, suggests that the goal of the coordinated barrage appears to be undermining the nascent candidacies through the dissemination of memes, hashtags, misinformation, and distortions of their positions. But the divisive nature of many of the posts also hint at a broader effort to sow discord and chaos within the Democratic presidential primary.


The cyber propaganda — which frequently picks at the rawest, most sensitive issues in public discourse — is being pushed across a variety of platforms and with a more insidious approach than in the 2016 presidential election, when online attacks designed to polarize and mislead voters first surfaced on a massive scale.

Recent posts that have received widespread dissemination include racially inflammatory memes and messaging involving Harris, O’Rourke and Warren. In Warren’s case, a false narrative surfaced alleging that a blackface doll appeared on a kitchen cabinet in the background of the senator’s New Year’s Eve Instagram livestream.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/20/2020-candidates-social-media-attack-1176018

Trump grows frustrated with Coats, leading some to fear he might be fired

President Trump has grown increasingly disenchanted with Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, who has served as the nation’s top intelligence official for nearly two years, leading some administration officials to worry he will soon be dismissed, according to people familiar with the matter.

The president has never seen Coats as a close or trusted adviser, the people said, but he has become more frustrated with him in recent weeks over public statements that Trump sees as undercutting his policy goals, particularly with respect to reaching a disarmament agreement with North Korea.



Trump is still “enraged” about Coats’s congressional testimony on national security threats last month, believing that the director undercut the president’s authority when he shared intelligence assessments about Iran, North Korea and the Islamic State that are at odds with many of Trump’s public statements, said one adviser who spoke with the president over the weekend.

Trump had seemed to put the episode behind him and claimed shortly after the hearing that Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel told him they’d been “misquoted” in their comments at the televised hearing.But privately, the president has continued to fume, and this weekend he told the adviser that Coats, a former Republican senator from Indiana, is “not loyal” and “he’s not on the team.”


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-grows-frustrated-with-coats-leading-some-to-fear-he-might-be-fired/2019/02/19/66574240-3464-11e9-854a-7a14d7fec96a_story.html?utm_term=.eb6cdaaccd39

Nick Sandmann (Covington student) is suing WaPo for $250 million dollars

The complaint is ridiculous.

NOW COMES NicholasSandmann, by and through his parents and natural guardians, Ted Sandmann and Julie Sandmann, and by and through his counsel, states his Complaint against Defendant, WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post(“the Post”) as follows:INTRODUCTION1.
The Post is a major American daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C. which is credited with inventing the term "McCarthyism" in an editorial cartoon published in 1950.
Depicting buckets of tar, the cartoon made fun of then United States Senator Joseph McCarthy's "tarring" tactics of engaging in smear campaigns and character assassination against citizens whose political views made them targets o f his accusations.
2.In a span of three (3) days in January of this year commencing on January 19, the Post engaged in a modern-day form of McCarthyism by competing with CNN and NBC, among others, to claim leadership of a mainstream and social media mob of bullies which attacked, vilified,and threatened NicholasSandmann(“Nicholas”), an innocent secondary school child.
3.The Post wrongfully targeted and bullied Nicholas because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red “Make America Great Again” souvenir cap on a school field trip to the January 18 March for Life in Washington, D.C.when he was unexpectedly and suddenly confronted by Nathan Phillips (“Phillips”), a known Native American activist, who beat a drum and sang loudly within inches of his face (“the January 18 incident”) .
4.Nicholas stood quietly and respectfully for several minutes after being targeted and bullied by Phillips and Nicholas’body language remained non-aggressive and passive throughout the incident.

Nicholas is 16-years of age,is 5’9” in height and weighs 115 pounds.
6.The school field trip to the Nation’s capital was the first out-of-state trip Nicholas had ever taken without being with his family.
7.In targeting and bullying Nicholas by falsely accusing him of instigating the January 18 incident, the Post conveyed that Nicholas engaged in acts of racism by“swarming” Phillips,“blocking”his exit away from the students,and otherwise engaging in racist misconduct.
8.The Post ignored basic journalist standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented,biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump(“the President”)by impugning individuals perceived to be supporters of the President.


etc. https://www.dropbox.com/s/rnio82555v8eiqk/2019-02-19%20Sandmann%20%20vs.%20Washington%20Post%20-%20Complaint.pdf?dl=0



https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1098201685518893056

“The Washington Post ignored basic journalistic standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump.” Covington student suing WAPO. Go get them Nick. Fake News!


Grifters gonna grift.

Grand Canyon visitors may have been exposed to radioactive material for two decades

The National Park Service was storing three buckets full of highly radioactive uranium in the visitor area of its Grand Canyon museum for nearly two decades, according to the park safety manager.

The 5-gallon buckets were located near the taxidermy exhibit, and one was so full of uranium ore that it couldn’t be sealed, according to Elston “Swede” Stephenson, a manager who sent a rogue email to all Park Service employees earlier this month, AZ Central reports.

Tour groups, often including children, sometimes spent 30 minutes or more near the taxidermy exhibit for demonstrations. Using standards set by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Stephenson calculated that children could have been exposed to doses of radiation above federal safety standards within three seconds. Adults could have been exposed to dangerous doses in under 30 seconds.

For unknown reasons, the three buckets full of uranium were moved from a basement in Grand Canyon park headquarters to the Grand Canyon museum when it opened in 2000, according to Stephenson. The buckets were discovered by accident in March 2018 when the hobbyist teenage son of a park employee brought a Geiger counter into the taxidermy-collection room.

https://qz.com/1553777/a-teenager-found-radioactive-material-in-the-grand-canyon-museum/


This is nuts.

Nancy Pelosi to Europe: Trump is not the boss

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants Europe to know who's really boss in Washington — and it isn't President Donald Trump.

Pelosi and a delegation of U.S. lawmakers were in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday to reassure European partners at a time when transatlantic relations have been deeply fractured by Trump's criticism of allies and his unpredictability in policymaking.


Among the messages that Pelosi said she brought to the EU capital was that the U.S. president is not all-powerful. Of course, it was a lesson Europeans watched her teach Trump in the standoff over a recent government shutdown — where she forced the president to back down.

Pelosi said that one European colleague had asked why the House of Representatives had only recently adopted a resolution in support of NATO. She said that she explained it was because she and the Democrats had only retaken control of the majority at the start of the year. "I said because we just got the majority and then we can control, we can manage what goes on to the floor," Pelosi said. "But once the Republican colleagues had the opportunity to vote on this, H.R. 676 NATO Support Act — what was it? 357 to 22 no's. I think that that sends a very clear message."

https://www.politico.eu/article/nancy-pelosi-to-europe-donald-trump-is-not-the-boss/

Dark money is pushing for a no-deal Brexit. Who is behind it?

By George Monbiot

Almost everywhere trust in governments, parliaments and elections is collapsing. Shared civic life is replaced by closed social circles that receive entirely different, often false, information. The widespread sense that politics has become so corrupted that it can no longer respond to ordinary people’s needs has provoked a demagogic backlash that in some countries begins to slide into fascism. But despite years of revelations about hidden spending, fake news, front groups and micro-targeted ads on social media, almost nothing has changed.

In Britain, for example, we now know that the EU referendum was won with the help of widespread cheating. We still don’t know the origins of much of the money spent by the leave campaigns. For example, we have no idea who provided the £435,000 channelled through Scotland, into Northern Ireland, through the coffers of the Democratic Unionist party and back into Scotland and England, to pay for pro-Brexit ads. Nor do we know the original source of the £8m that Arron Banks delivered to the Leave.EU campaign. We do know that both of the main leave campaigns have been fined for illegal activities, and that the conduct of the referendum has damaged many people’s faith in the political system. But, astonishingly, the government has so far failed to introduce a single new law in response to these events. And now it’s happening again.



Since mid-January an organisation called Britain’s Future has spent £125,000 on Facebook ads demanding a hard or no-deal Brexit. Most of them target particular constituencies. Where an MP is deemed sympathetic to the organisation’s aims, the voters who receive these ads are urged to tell him or her to “remove the backstop, rule out a customs union, deliver Brexit without delay”. Where the MP is deemed unsympathetic, the message is: “Don’t let them steal Brexit; Don’t let them ignore your vote.”So who or what is Britain’s Future? Sorry, I have no idea. As openDemocracy points out, it has no published address and releases no information about who founded it, who controls it and who has been paying for these advertisements. The only person publicly associated with it is a journalist called Tim Dawson, who edits its website. Dawson has not yet replied to the questions I have sent him. It is, in other words, highly opaque. The anti-Brexit campaigns are not much better. People’s Vote and Best for Britain have also been spending heavily on Facebook ads, though not as much in recent weeks as Britain’s Future.

As they must know better than most, the rules on such spending are next to useless. They were last redrafted 19 years ago, when online campaigning had scarcely begun. It’s as if current traffic regulations insisted only that you water your horses every few hours and check the struts on your cartwheels for woodworm. The Electoral Commission has none of the powers required to regulate online campaigning or to extract information from companies such as Facebook. Nor does it have the power to determine the original sources of money spent on political campaigns. So it is unable to tell whether or not the law that says funders must be based in the UK has been broken. The maximum fines it can levy are pathetic: £20,000 for each offence. That’s a small price to pay for winning an election.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/13/dark-money-hard-brexit-targeted-ads-facebook?CMP=share_btn_tw

'Pro-family leaders' ask House GOP leader to reinstate Rep. Steve King's committee memberships

group of about 200 people calling themselves “pro-family leaders” is calling for Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) to be reinstated to the committee assignments he lost as part of the fallout last month for reportedly questioning whether the term “white nationalist” should be offensive.

A letter to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — which King shared Tuesday on Twitter — also asks for McCarthy to publicly apologize for the punishment, calling it a rush to judgment.

“Unlike North Korea, we in the United States are ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and hold to the principles of Western Civilization, as Rep. King so admirably does,” the letter says.

Its signatories include former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), evangelical author James Dobson and William Owens, founder and president of the Coalition of African American Pastors.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pro-family-leaders-ask-house-gop-leader-to-reinstate-rep-steve-kings-committee-memberships/2019/02/12/5bcc47ce-2ef3-11e9-86ab-5d02109aeb01_story.html

A record 7 million Americans are 3 months behind on their car payments, a red flag for the economy

A record 7 million Americans are 90 days or more behind on their auto loan payments, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported Tuesday, even more than during the wake of the financial crisis.Economists warn that this is a red flag. Despite the strong economy and low unemployment rate, many Americans are struggling to pay their bills.

“The substantial and growing number of distressed borrowers suggests that not all Americans have benefited from the strong labor market,” economists at the New York Fed wrote in a blog post.

A car loan is typically the first payment people make because a vehicle is critical to getting to work, and someone can live in a car if all else fails. When car loan delinquencies rise, it is usually a sign of significant duress among low-income and working-class Americans.

The New York Fed said that there were over a million more “troubled borrowers” at the end of 2018 than there were in 2010, when unemployment hit 10 percent and the auto loan delinquency rate peaked. Today, unemployment is 4 percent and job openings are at an all-time high, yet a significant number of people cannot pay their car loan.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/02/12/record-million-americans-are-months-behind-their-car-payments-red-flag-economy/

Amy Klobuchar will be on Fox News tonight at 6ET with Brett Baier

https://twitter.com/kasie/status/1095395966713298944


TONIGHT, 6p ET: 2020 Presidential Candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar Joins 'Special Report’ with @BretBaier
Tune in at 6:00pm ET to see the must-see "Special Report" sit-down, which will be Klobuchar's first Fox News interview since announcing her candidacy.


Kasie Hunt @kasie Underscoring @amyklobuchar’s attempt to play to voters outside the base

Woot! Retired astronaut Mark Kelly running for Senate in Arizona

https://twitter.com/MSNBC/status/1095307554178191362

JUST IN: Retired astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, says he will run for US Senate in Arizona.


https://twitter.com/ShuttleCDRKelly/status/1095301632093433864
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