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Member since: Mon Jun 13, 2016, 01:17 PM
Number of posts: 4,035

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The Science of Fake News

As per Deborah Byrd of Earth Sky News

"A big and hopeful thing happened at the end of last week in the area of fake news. On March 9, 2018, the largest-yet study of fake news was published in Science. Accompanying it was a second article in Science, in which scientists called for:

… interdisciplinary research to reduce the spread of fake news and to address the underlying pathologies it has revealed.

The large study is titled The Spread of True and False News Online. Soroush Vosoughi of MIT was its lead author, working with co-authors Deb Roy and Sinan Aral. All of these researchers work in MIT’s Laboratory for Social Machines; that is, they’re trained to study and ultimately understand what most of us find unfathomable, the spread of information online. They found that:

Falsehood also diffused faster than the truth. The degree of novelty and the emotional reactions of recipients may be responsible for the differences observed."


You can read the full studies here:



"Trolls Across America: Mapping the Most and Least Troll-Ridden Places in the U.S."

"Internet Rule #1: Never read the comments. People are not always their best selves there. To find out exactly how bad the bad behavior is, we partnered with Disqus, an online commenting platform (disclosure: WIRED.com uses it) to quantify the problem.

Co-founder Daniel Ha says toxic posts have been an issue from day one, and he sees it as a human problem, not a technological one: 'It’s never really going to go away.' The company analyzed 92 million comments over a 16-month period, written by almost 2 million authors on more than 7,000 forums that use the software. (So sites like Infowars and the Wirecutter are included, but Facebook and Twitter are not.) The numbers reveal everything from the trolliest time of day to the nastiest state in the union."


Democratic incumbent wins re-election in VT.

"Weinberger re-elected as Burlington mayor

Miro Weinberger will serve a third term as Burlington mayor, according to unofficial election results tallied by the Burlington Free Press.

Weinberger defeated two independent challengers: Carina Driscoll and Infinite Culcleasure. Driscoll won Ward 3, and Culcleasure won Ward 8, which includes the University of Vermont campus. Weinberger won the remainder of the districts.

The mayor campaigned primarily on his accomplishments during his first six years in office, including a financial turnaround that he said has given him his greatest sense of achievement.


Barack Obama Is the Most Popular Politician in the Country

according to the latest Harvard-Harris CAPS poll. The most popular serving politician as per Harvard-Harris is Mike Pence.


"Bernie Blames Hillary for Allowing Russian Interference"

According to Politico, the senator and Jeff Weaver also denied Mueller's assertion that Russian actors backed his campaign.

"The remarks showed Sanders, running for a third term and currently considered a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, deeply defensive in response to questions posed to him about what was laid out in the indictment. He attempted to thread a response that blasts Donald Trump for refusing to acknowledge that Russians helped his campaign — but then holds himself harmless for a nearly identical denial."


"Sanders said that his campaign had shared information with the Clinton campaign about suspected Russian anti-Clinton trolls on a campaign Facebook page. But Weaver later acknowledged that the Vermont senator had no firsthand knowledge that this had happened. Weaver said Sanders based his remark on an article published by NBC’s San Diego affiliate over the weekend about a campaign volunteer who claimed to have conducted his own investigation and brought the findings to the Clinton campaign in September — an assertion flatly denied by a former Clinton campaign aide."


"Sanders repeatedly refused to say why he didn’t call out Russian involvement during the campaign. Clinton's campaign regularly raised suspicions of Kremlin-backed activity during the home stretch of the race."


"Sanders has faced questions since Friday about why he has not more strongly condemned the Russian actions that benefited his campaign. On Wednesday, liberal writer Joan Walsh of The Nation tweeted in response to Sanders’ comments about Clinton: 'Seriously, this could be the end of Sanders 2020. Someone who cares about him ought to tell him how badly he stepped in it today.'"

What's next? The media and Republicans demanding that HRC apologize for what the Russian's did in 2016?


Sign Gabby Gifford's Gun Pledge.

Sign Gabby’s Pledge:
The cycle has to end, but it will only happen when politicians realize they have more to fear from you than they do the gun lobby.

Take Gabby's Pledge:

"I promise you that if we cannot make our communities safer from gun violence with the Congress we have now, I will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress, one that puts communities' interests ahead of the gun lobby's. I will Vote Courage in November and support candidates who will stand up to the gun lobby and take action to make our communities safer."

All donated funds will go directly to Gabby's PAC rather than into the coffers of any opportunistic politicians who may try to co-opt her cause.


Ending tort immunity for gun manufacturers was in the 2016 Democratic Platform.

Preventing Gun Violence
With 33,000 Americans dying every year, Democrats believe that we must finally take sensible action to address gun violence. While responsible gun ownership is part of the fabric of many communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe. To build on the success of the lifesaving Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, we will expand and strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws; repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to revoke the dangerous legal immunity protections gun makers and sellers now enjoy; and keep weapons of war—such as assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines (LCAM's)—off our streets.

Drive this point home if you happen to be talking to any Republicans who are appalled by the events of last week.

Very young people have been speaking out the past few days, sounding a loud and clear "enough is enough" to Washington. Their activism is inspiring.

I hope they also confront their parents and grandparents with the simple question, "Who did you vote for in 2016?"


Joe Scarborough accuses "the Clintons" of selling missiles to China in 1999

and getting caught lying about it. His source? Super sleuth Senator Jim Inhope's over-the-top allegations. (To be fair, Phyllis Schafly also expressed concern, calling for a second impeachment of Clinton, this time for treason.)

Here's how the NYT covered the story in real time.

"The Clinton Administration notified Congress today that it had approved the export of technology to China to permit the launching of a communications satellite aboard a Chinese rocket next month."


The certification was the first such notice to Congress under the law, which was passed in the aftermath of a Congressional uproar last year over the transfer of sensitive missile technology to China.

The idiotic Scarborough made his snarky aside on this morning's show and, for good measure, conflated the president and HRC (who was FLOTUS at the time) in the treasonous act.


For some context, he's the wiki biography of the statesman distinguished Mr. Inhofe.


This Budget Deal May Be The End Of The House Freedom Caucus

"The House Freedom Caucus, the ultra-conservative group of 30-40 Republicans that pushed former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to resign and has often been the bane of current Speaker Paul Ryan's existence because of its take-no-prisoners attitude, may be completely neutered by the budget deal."


"In other words, there will be less for the House Freedom Caucus to do, less opportunity to do it and far fewer reasons for others to listen to anything it has to say. Even if it continues to exist, today might well be the day we point to as the moment when the HFC stopped being important and anyone cared about it."


Maureen Dowd Silent on NYT Decision to Shield Serial Sexual Harasser

Back in December, MoDo waxed righteously indignant over Hollywood's propensity to shield and protect powerful men who harass industry women.

"There has been lip service given to fixing the inequality, but no one in power ever raised holy hell about it — not the women studio chiefs, not the male studio executives, not the unions."


"That’s why monsters were allowed to roam, feeling entitled to human sacrifices, vulnerable young women offered at the altar of art, ambition and box office."


"There are a lot of well-meaning people with power in Hollywood. But they have looked the other way for far too long on shameful imbalances."


"No wonder, given the state of Washington and Hollywood, Dictionary.com chose “complicit” as its word of the year."

Ms Dowd has remained remarkably silent concerning her newspaper's decision to shield one of its own marquee name reporters after reports from multiple women detailing a disgusting pattern of serial sexual harassment.

Yes, Maureen, complicit is indeed the word of the year. It takes courage to "bring down our monsters". You make it abundantly clear that not everyone has it.


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