Does Trump have a chance to be a two-term president? Bigly. – Baltimore Sun, and other shared stories

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Does Trump have a chance to be a two-term president? Bigly. – Baltimore Sun

It’s not hard to imagine how Donald Trump could win a second term. Sorry, liberals.

Source: Does Trump have a chance to be a two-term president? Bigly. – Baltimore Sun

Does Trump have a chance to be a two-term president? Bigly.

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Donald Trump could become a two-term president. His path to re-election is not very hard to see.

Start with the fact that political math is not especially complex. In all but the most unusual presidential elections, there is little doubt about how 80 percent of the electorate will vote. Around 40 percent will vote for the Democrat, no matter whom he or she may be, and about 40 percent is sure to vote Republican. The more wobbly 20 percent is less predictable, although, in recent elections, most of those voters also ended up splitting fairly evenly between the parties. The tiny percentage of true swing voters in key states is the cohort that makes the decisive choice for one candidate or the other.

Right now, President Trump is more unpopular than any president at this point in a first term has been. Nevertheless, about 30 percent of voters appear unshakable in their loyalty to him. Mr. Trump has a rock-solid base. And, as bad as things have gone for him, thus far, there are hints that better days could be ahead.

For President Trump, the hurricanes have been good news. Reports from the watery disasters in Texas and Florida indicate that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has done a very good job coordinating relief efforts. FEMA’s inept performance during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 seriously undercut the political standing of President George W. Bush. FEMA’s expert work this time is reflecting well on Mr. Trump. There is no logic to this, of course. The substantial organizational improvements made in the agency mostly took place during President Barack Obama’s two terms. But the hurricanes roared in on President Trump’s watch, and he is receiving the political benefit.

After months of floundering and failure in the Republican-controlled Congress, Mr. Trump has turned to the Democrats to get some deals done. He quickly agreed to a short-term Democratic plan for a debt ceiling hike to prevent a government shutdown and he appears to have also come to a general agreement about how to reconstitute the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that will codify a permanent legal status for 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

This collusion with Democrats has inflamed the political world. GOP congressional leaders feel rebuffed by their own president. Anti-immigrant agitators and right wing pundits who saw Mr. Trump as their champion are now screaming about betrayal. But average voters probably see it very differently. Most people like the idea of the parties working together to get things done. Most people did not want the DACA beneficiaries — the young “Dreamers” — to be sent to Mexico or whatever country they were born in. And most voters do not care about the prerogatives of Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

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President Trump is said to be giddy about the positive response he has received in the mainstream media for cutting deals with Democrats. Mr. Trump likes praise, and he likes to notch up wins. It is possible he will continue to look for deals with Democratic leaders, even on health care where Republicans have utterly failed to deliver. Right now, a bipartisan plan to retool Obamacare is being hammered out in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. If committee members can come up with something — and if the latest attempt to repeal Obamacare fizzles like all past attempts — it would be very opportune for Mr. Trump to lay claim to the bipartisan scheme and boast of another job well done.

Mr. Trump will never stop his embarrassing, childish and sometimes self-defeating tweets. But those bursts of nonsense are starting to feel like background noise that we are learning to live with. Yes, Mr. Trump’s tweets continue to grab headlines, but the real changes being wrought by the Trump administration get less notice. Cabinet members, such as Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, are busy dismantling the federal bureaucracy and catering to the wishes of big corporations and polluting industries. That is shocking stuff, but the average American does not pay close attention to any of it. The negative effects that will come with the elimination of regulations and safeguards to the environment and the financial industry will probably not affect the calculations of swing voters in 2020.

When that election year rolls around, President Trump’s bombastic, divisive style may have become normalized and less worrying to many people, especially if he can claim a handful of significant bipartisan achievements. His popularity might have inched up by then. A challenge in the Republican primaries from someone like Ohio Gov. John Kasich may have fizzled out because the dysfunctional GOP has concluded Mr. Trump is their best bet to hold on to power.

And, after a series of hotly contested Democratic primaries with a gaggle of candidates and no clear frontrunner, the Democrats could end up with a presidential nominee whose pandering to the progressive base of the party is not so attractive to the broader electorate — or at least to that crucial segment of white working class voters in key states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio who tipped the Electoral College to President Trump in 2016.

So, Mr. Trump could win again. All he has to do is seem a little less crazy, make a few popular deals that lend him the aura of effectiveness and get lucky in who his opponent will be. None of that is impossible to imagine.

Of course, one person could upset this bright scenario. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into collusion with Russia could produce solid, indisputable proof that Mr. Trump committed an impeachable offense. That is not hard to imagine, either.

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Trumpism Is Becoming a Monster Beyond Trump’s Control

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Though a former judge, Moore is more of an outsider. Like Trump, he has shown utter contempt for the rule of law. Moore was notoriously removed from his post as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2003 after he refused a federal judge’s order to take down a monument of the Ten Commandments that he had installed in the court. He was reinstated to the bench 10 years later, but left when he was suspended without pay for rejecting the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage; his position was that humans were not “at liberty to redefine reality.” He has calledIslam a “false religion,” claimed that there is “no such thing as evolution,” and suggested that the September 11 attacks were God’s punishment for America’s sins.

Moore’s main line of attack at the Thursday debate was to connect Strange to the loathed Washington establishment. “Will an elitist Washington establishment with unlimited millions of dollars … in special money be able to control the people of Alabama?” he asked. “I think not.” But Moore didn’t restrict himself to jabbing Strange, stating that Trump has been “redirected” by Washington insiders like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from working to fulfill his campaign promises. “President Trump had it right when he ran, he said he was going to get rid of lobbyists,” Moore said. “You don’t get rid of lobbyists in the swamp by sending one to the United States Senate.”

Moore was right in one sense: Trump endorsed Strange under pressure from one of McConnell’s associates, among others. According to The Washington Post, the White House was divided on whether to support Strange, since his loss would put Trump in an embarrassing position. But a series of Republican officials, including Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, convinced him to go to bat for the man known as “Big Luther,” arguing that if Strange didn’t win it could prompt a wave of retirements by incumbents wary of inciting the wrath of the base.

In a reflection of the GOP’s biggest fears, Sarah Palin and former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka held a rally for Moore the same night as the debate in Montgomery, enthusiastically hailing him as the candidate that would drain the swamp. “Getting the job of the temporary Senate seat, being handed the job by the politician who’s now gone because corruption, whatever,” Palin said, referring to Bentley’s appointment of Strange. “I don’t know what you guys call it, but up in Alaska we call it quid pro quo, which I think is an old Eskimo term for that which fertilizes the swamp.”

She went on to call Strange “Mitch McConnell’s guy,” stressing that it was Moore who was better aligned with Trump’s agenda, including banning transgender individuals from the military and building the wall on the Mexican border. “[Moore] was deplorable before being deplorable was cool,” she said. Gorka said, “Tuesday is November 8 all over again: The voters can choose corruption or choose America.”

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What We Know—and Don’t Know—About Facebook, Trump, and Russia

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Facebook is now enmeshed in several investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Last week, the company agreed to give Congress 3,000 political ads linked to Russian actors that it sold and ran during the 2016 election cycle; it previously had handed that information to special investigator Robert Mueller. But the details of how the social-networking giant found itself at the center of all of this, and, crucially, what that could mean for President Trump, can easily get lost amid competing headlines around healthcare, hurricanes, and a steadily escalating nuclear standoff with North Korea.

To help, we’re here to walk you through everything we know—and don’t know—about Facebook’s role in the 2016 election, and the subsequent investigations. We’ll update this list of questions and answers as we learn more.

What did Facebook give Mueller?

In early September, Facebook said it had identified $150,000 of political ads purchased by fake accounts linked to Russia. It attributed about $100,000 of the total, or 3,000 ads, to 470 accounts related to a Russian propaganda group called Internet Research Agency. It found another 2,000 ads worth $50,000 by searching for ads purchased through US internet addresses whose accounts were set to the Russian language. The ads touched on hot-button social issues such as immigration and LGBT rights and, according to a report from The Washington Post, included content aimed at stoking racial resentment against blacks and Muslims. About 25 percent of the ads geographically targeted certain regions of the United States. The majority of these ads ran in 2015.

After suspending the accounts and writing a vague blog post on the subject, Facebook remained largely silent about what the ads contained, who they reached, or how they were discovered. But on Sept. 21, Facebook confirmed it had shared the the ads with Mueller’s team and would do the same with Congressional investigators. Facebook has not yet agreed to meet with Congress for further questioning.

How did Facebook find these ads?

The only detail Facebook has shared publicly is that it looked for American IP addresses set to the Russian language, then “fanned out,” from there, as the Facebook spokesperson put it. That makes it impossible to know whether Facebook has identified all suspect ads, or just those the Russians were laziest about hiding. The Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on whether Mueller’s team has access to the company’s investigative process.

It’s likely, however, that Facebook’s search has not covered everything. On Sept. 21, during a Facebook Live address, CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted as much, saying, “We may find more, and if we do, we will continue to work with the government.” We know, for instance, that Internet Research Agency, the propaganda group, has officially shut down. But similar firms, including one called Glavset, operate with the same people at the same addresses. The Facebook spokesperson would not discuss whether its investigation would have caught these other shell companies.

What changes did Zuckerberg announce, and will they make a difference?

During his Facebook Live, Zuckerberg outlined how the company plans to overhaul its election-integrity processes. For starters, it will require political advertisers to disclose–on the ads—who paid for the ad. It will also require political advertisers to publicly catalog all of the variations of ads that they target to different Facebook audiences. The goal here is to make it easier for the public to see when politicians send different messages to different groups of people. President Trump has been criticized for using so-called “dark posts” to send messages about the border wall to core supporters that conflict with his more public statements. That kind of targeted advertising is par for the course in the internet age, but now, Facebook says it will ensure that when it’s used in politics, the public has more visibility into those messages. Facebook also said it would add 250 people to its election-integrity team to more thoroughly vet who’s buying political ads.

And yet, the question remains: What constitutes a political ad? Are campaigns and Super PACs the only ones subject to this disclosure on Facebook? Or will anyone who wants to advertise about a political issue be subject to the same scrutiny? And what about fake news publishers that pay to boost their own articles? Facebook isn’t providing much detail about how it will implement its plan, but answers to those questions are critical to understanding how effective this self-regulation will be.

Could Russians have placed other ads that Facebook hasn’t yet identified?

Absolutely. In the case of the $150,000 in ads, one digital breadcrumb led to the next, until Facebook uncovered a cohesive effort by the Internet Research Agency to spread misleading information to American voters. It’s easier to spot such a coordinated campaign than it is to find every ally of Vladimir Putin who might have spent a few thousand dollars to give a fake news story some extra exposure. Facebook sold $27 billion in ads in 2016. Combing through that pile of cash for signs of Russian dirty work is a tremendously complex, if not impossible, task.

Is there anything the government can do about this?

Facebook has never been particularly welcoming of government intervention. In 2011, it asked the Federal Election Commission to exempt it from rules requiring political advertisers to disclose in an ad who paid for that ad. Facebook argued its ads should be regulated as “small items,” like campaign buttons. The FEC failed to reach a decision on the issue, so Facebook and other platforms have been allowed to host political ads with no disclosures.

Now, some members of Congress are looking to change that. Democratic Senators Mark Warner and Amy Klobuchar are working on a bill that would require those disclosures and also require tech platforms with more than 1 million users to publicly track all “electioneering communication” purchased by anyone spending at least $10,000 on the platform. The FEC defines electioneering communication as ads “that refer to a federal candidate, are targeted to voters and appear within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election.” For now, the term applies only to broadcast ads.

The FEC is also re-opening comments on rules related to online political ads—the same rules the FEC failed to clarify back in 2011. Last week, 20 members of Congress sent a letter to the FEC urging the agency to develop guidelines for platforms like Facebook.

Were these Facebook ads the only way that foreigners tried to influence the 2016 election??

Hardly. Earlier this year, WIRED investigated a wave of fake news sites that emerged in Macedonia last year. The fake news creators wrote phony blogs about Hillary Clinton’s health or the Pope endorsing Trump, and then posted them in key Facebook groups to attract attention. Once the posts drew sufficient traffic, their creators placed Google Ads on their sites to make some extra money. These mostly teenage hoaxsters never needed to touch Facebook’s advertising tools.

Did the Russians use other platforms as well?

Yes. The group Securing Democracy tracks 600 Russia-linked Twitter accounts and analyzes the role they play in promoting certain hashtags. When Twitter meets with Congressional investigators , the use of bots by foreign agents will be central to the conversation. Google, meanwhile, has said it found no evidence of Russians buying ads. But Facebook told WIRED the same thing earlier this summer, before its recent disclosure.

How did the Russians decide which Americans to target with the Facebook ads?

The short answer is we don’t know. There are suspicions that the Russians might have had help from the Trump campaign or its allies. But the Russians may not have needed more than the targeting tools Facebook offers to every advertiser.

Facebook allows any advertiser to upload lists of names or email addresses that it would like to target. In most states, voter files are publicly available for free or for purchase. Advertisers can then design so-called lookalike audiences that have lots in common with the original list. They can target ads based on geography, profession, and interest. Facebook knows the news you read, the posts you like, and what you shop for, along with a million other things about you. The company stitches this information together to make educated guesses about what kind of person you are.

Armed with so much data, a Russian operative would hardly need to call in help. That doesn’t mean they didn’t. It just means we have no evidence so far that they did.

What kind of evidence would there be?

One way to find out if the Trump campaign helped Internet Research Agency would be to compare the targeting criteria the campaign used on Facebook to the targeting criteria the Russian propagandists used. If both groups targeted the same audience, that’s worth looking into. Investigators could do the same with any further suspicious accounts Facebook unearths.

What about Cambridge Analytica? Could it have been involved?

Cambridge Analytica was President Trump’s data-mining firm during the 2016 election. The Trump team, led by digital director Brad Parscale, worked with Cambridge, as well as the Republican National Committee, to analyze data about the American electorate to guide decisions about where and how to advertise on television and online. That’s not unusual. Hillary Clinton’s campaign tapped similar analyses from a data-analytics firm called BlueLabs, as well as the Democratic National Committee.

What is unusual about Cambridge Analytica is its backstory. The company, which is an American spinoff of the UK-based firm SCL Elections, is financially backed by billionaire financier Robert Mercer, who spends liberally to advance his fiercely conservative views.

Cambridge has also been accused of amassing data from Facebook users—such as what they like on the site and who their friends are—via silly personality quizzes. (Facebook has since closed this privacy gap.) Cambridge combined those results with data from elsewhere to sort people into categories based on their personality types, so advertisers could send them specially tailored messages. Cambridge calls this approach psychographic targeting, as opposed to demographic targeting.

During the election cycle, some Republican operatives outside the Trump campaign accused the company of overselling its technical wizardry. Now, Cambridge’s approach is viewed by some, including Hillary Clinton, as a form of ugly psychological warfare that was unleashed on the American electorate.

Its parent company, SCL, has been known to use questionable methods in other countries’ elections. In Trinidad, it reportedly staged graffiti to give voters the impression that SCL’s client had the support of Trinidadian youth. And Cambridge is currently being investigated in the UK for the role it may have played in swaying voters to support Brexit. It’s worth noting, though, that the UK has stricter laws around how citizens’ data can be used near elections. The US does not have the same protections.

Is Cambridge involved with these Russian ads on Facebook?

Not as far as we know. While Cambridge helped the Trump campaign target its own advertisements, there’s no evidence so far that Cambridge did the same for any Russians. Whether any connection exists, of course, is a key question both Mueller’s team and Congress will continue to investigate.

In a recent BBC interview, Theresa Hong, the former digital content director for the Trump campaign, said Facebook, Google, and Twitter had offices inside the Trump campaign headquarters during the campaign. Is that normal?

Tech companies regularly assign dedicated staffers to political campaigns that advertise on their platforms. Clinton’s campaign also worked closely with Facebook and other tech companies, if not physically side-by-side.

Still, perhaps the least secretive part of the whole affair is the outsized role digital advertising played in the Trump campaign’s strategy. Shortly after the election, Parscale told WIRED, “Facebook and Twitter were the reason we won this thing. Twitter for Mr. Trump. And Facebook for fundraising.” The Trump campaign ran as many as 50,000 variants of its ads each day on Facebook, tweaking the look and messaging to see which got the most traction. Days after the election, Andrew Bleeker, who ran digital advertising for the Clinton campaign, acknowledged that the Trump team used digital platforms “extremely well.” He said the Trump campaign “spent a higher percentage of their spending on digital than we did.”

Could Facebook have prevented this?

That’s complicated. Obviously, Facebook was bluffing when it told the FEC in 2011 that disclosing who paid for campaign ads right on the ad would be impractical. That’s what Zuckerberg recently announced.

Still, it’s unclear if those steps would have prevented Russia from spreading misinformation on Facebook. For starters, while the ads Internet Research Agency purchased were about election issues, they weren’t explicitly about the 2016 election. It’s not clear those would have been considered election ads under FEC guidelines. And even if they were, the Supreme Court has given nonprofit groups wide latitude to raise money to influence elections both online and offline without revealing their donors. That’s why it’s called dark money.

Senator Warner recently said, “[Facebook] took down 50,000 accounts in France. I find it hard to believe they’ve only been able to identify 470 accounts in America.” What did he mean, and does he have a point?

Yes and no. In April, Facebook disclosed that it suspended 30,000 accounts, not 50,000, that were spreading fake news in France ahead of elections there. It did not explicitly tie those accounts to Russian actors. Instead, it identified those accounts after updating its tools for identifying fake accounts, adding flags on accounts that, for instance, repeatedly post the same content or suddenly produce a spike in activity.

That means the French example is not directly comparable to the election ads purchased by accounts that Facebook connected to Russia. Facebook is not asserting that those 470 accounts represent the totality of fake accounts on the platform. They’re merely the accounts Facebook has so far linked to Russia. That said, Warner’s point is well taken: without more information on how Facebook found those accounts, it’s impossible to know what the company may have missed.

ProPublica recently found that it’s possible to target ads on Facebook to categories of people who identify as “Jew haters” and other anti-Semitic terms. How does that relate to this?

These are distinct issues, but there is some overlap. ProPublica recently reported that it had purchased $30 of ads, targeted at users Facebook thought might be interested in terms like “Jew hater,” “how to burn Jews,” and “why Jews ruin the world.” Facebook’s advertising tool had scraped these terms from users’ profiles and turned them into categories advertisers could target. Those categories comprised a tiny subset of the 2 billion Facebook users, but ProPublica showed that it could assemble such a cohort and send its members targeted ads in 15 minutes. Facebook temporarily changed its ad tool to prevent these user-generated terms from being turned into advertising categories.

The company views this as a separate issue from Russian ads. And yet, both incidents point to a lack of oversight of Facebook’s advertising platform. The reason Russians could easily buy political ads to sway American voters is the same reason anyone can target ads to neo-Nazis: Facebook’s advertising systems are largely automated, and anyone can set up an ad campaign with little human oversight from Facebook.

Last week, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg issued a statement saying Facebook had restored the ability of advertisers to target user-generated terms, but had taken measures to weed out the bad ones. It’s also adding additional human oversight to the process of selling ads, and is setting up a system through which anyone can report abuses of the ad tool. Something tells us they’re in for an onslaught.

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What’s Next for the Bundestag, Merkel and Germany’s Security Policies? 

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The results of the German federal election this weekend were at once unsurprising and worrisome.

 

They were unsurprising because, as predicted, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel–along with its affiliated party, the Christian Social Union (CSU)–won 32.9 percent of the votes cast. This makes the combination of the two, known as the Christian Democrats, the largest party in the largest ever Bundestag (the new parliament will have 709 seats). The party actually lost seats both proportionally and numerically, and is, in any event, not large enough to take control of the government without forming a coalition. The Social Democrats (SPD) scored their worst numbers in a German general election since 1949, netting only 20.5 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), a populist right-wing party founded in 2013, garnered 12.6 percent of the vote, making it the third-largest party in the Bundestag and the first extreme right-wing party to have seats in the Bundestag since the Deutsche Partei’s exit in the 1960s. These numbers are surprisingly close to those predicted, but the introduction of the AfD into the Bundestag and the decline of CDU/CSU and SPD popularity signals the increasing strength of an anti-immigrant, nationalist sentiments in Germany.

 

The composition of the coalition will determine the magnitude and nature of the compromises the Christian Democrats will have to make over the next four years. The CDU/CSU has vowed to exclude both the AfD and the extreme left-wing Die Linke from any government it forms, so sudden right- or left-wing radicalization is unlikely. But throwing a post-election curve ball, the center-left SPD has announced that it will not join a coalition with the CDU/CSU. Assuming this holds, it would make the SPD the official opposition party, edging out the AfD in that role. With the SPD in the opposition, the only coalition option that would earn the CDU/CSU and its allied parties more than 50 percent of the Bundestag is known as the “Jamaica” coalition: the CDU/CSU (the black party), the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party (FDP, also known as  the yellow party).

 

Just because the math works doesn’t mean the coalition will. Merkel will spend the next few weeksnegotiating a governing coalition, and the FDP and the Green Party are not obviously ready or willing allies—the three parties having very different assumptions about all sorts of things. Moreover, some politicians from both the FDP and the Green Party have publicly rejected the “Jamaica” option. Despite these hurdles, an alliance isn’t impossible; the CDU, FDP and the Green Party have formed a coalition that currently governs the state of Schleswig-Holstein. At least one publication has predicted that these negotiations could last through Christmas. If Merkel and her potential allies don’t reach an agreement, Merkel may have to settle for a minority government.

 

So what does all this mean for German policy toward Russia, its approach to EU defense and its  relationship with America? As I explained in my previous post, the CDU/CSU may have to compromise in some policy stances in order to cobble together a governing coalition.

The CDU/CSU and the Green Party agree that sanctions against Russia should be maintained until Russia complies with the terms of the Minsk Protocol. The FDP, however, has been more accepting of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Although unlikely, the CDU/CSU may face some pressure to soften its approach toward Russian sanctions if it wants FDP cooperation. The Green Party, however, is by no means aligned with the CDU/CSU on every issue. The FDP agrees with the CDU/CSU on both military spending and NATO support. The Green Party, by contrast, is against a military buildup. Those concerned about Germany’s alignment with Russia should pay close attention to the push-and-pull of negotiations over the coming weeks.

Insofar as Germany’s relationship with the United States is concerned, it is likely that a coalition of the CDU/CSU, FDP and Green Party would be much friendlier to American interests than a government more influenced by the nationalist AfD or Die Linke. (The latter advocates a deeper relationship with Russia instead of the U.S. and is opposed to U.S. military intervention around the world.) While generally in favor of a closer relationship with the United States, the Green Party recently criticized the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. The Green Party also disagrees with some U.S. policy stances on human rights and trade. For its part, the FDP favors an expanded trade relationship with the United States. Tensions have escalated between Merkel and the Trump administration in recent months, as evidenced by some of her statements, so a coalition with the FDP and the Green Party may reinforce the new status quo of German-American relations.

 

The significant policy differences between the parties in the potential “Jamaica” coalition is cause for some concern. At the end of the negotiations, whatever government emerges will be hard-won. All the while, the specter of the far-right AfD entering the Bundestag will weigh on those elements of government that oppose extreme nationalism and that seek to preserve stability in Europe.

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Donald Trump Finally Tweets About Puerto Rico: “Broken Infrastructure, Massive Debt” – Deadline

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Deadline
Donald Trump Finally Tweets About Puerto Rico: “Broken Infrastructure, Massive Debt”
Deadline
President Donald Trump took some heat on cable news today for tweeting about the NFL, NBA and “#FakeNews” CNN — but he got even more guff for not tweeting about the terrible situation in Puerto Rico. The U.S. territory was shredded by Hurricane Maria, …
Carmelo Anthony: Donald Trump doesn’t understand why minorities are scaredUSA TODAY
Marc Anthony Tells Donald Trump to ‘Shut the F–k Up’ About the NFL and Help Puerto RicoUs Weekly

all 51 news articles »

Trump Hits Puerto Rico For ‘Broken Infrastructure & Massive Debt’

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President claims the island is “doing well” with food, water and medical needs.

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Trump pins blame on McCain as latest GOP health-care bill sinks – Washington Post

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Washington Post
Trump pins blame on McCain as latest GOP health-care bill sinks
Washington Post
With the latest Republican plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act collapsing, President Trumpfocused his ire Monday night on Sen. John McCain, distributing a video that showed the ArizonaRepublican on board with the mission in the past. “A few of 
Health Bill Appears Dead as Pivotal GOP Senator Declares OppositionNew York Times
The Latest: Graham defends McCain vote against health billABC News
GOP Senators Oppose Graham-Cassidy, Effectively Blocking Health Care BillNPR
Los Angeles Times –Fortune –Long Beach Press Telegram
all 1,439 news articles »

Hillary Clinton: I’m Not Sure Trump Knows Puerto Ricans Are Americans

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“He doesn’t think that has any political relevance and it’s certainly not personally important,” she added.

What’s True, False And In-Between In The Trump Dossier? – The Daily Caller

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What’s True, False And In-Between In The Trump Dossier?
The Daily Caller
The infamous Trump dossier: Democrats say key parts of it have been proved accurate and Republicans claim it has been debunked. But the truth about the salacious document, written last year by former British spy Christopher Steele, lies somewhere in 

US Envoy: Russia’s Proposal to Send Peacekeepers to Ukraine Shows Desire to Negotiate – Voice of America

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Voice of America
US Envoy: Russia’s Proposal to Send Peacekeepers to Ukraine Shows Desire to Negotiate
Voice of America
Russia’s proposal for United Nations peacekeepers to be sent to Ukraine shows that the Kremlin is interested in negotiating a resolution to the three-year-old conflict, said the United States special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker. “I take the point of and more »

Seth Meyers Lays It Out: ‘Our President Is An A**hole’

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The late-night host responds to Trump’s “unhinged” NFL rant.

In the heat of the political battle, objective reality is having a tough run | Peter Lewis 

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When politics is built on shifting factual sands, it’s difficult to erect anything of substance. There’s no easy way to reverse the rise of post-truth in Australia

What passes as political debate in Australia right now feels like it is careering out of control, a mutinous vessel no longer anchored to facts, context or reality.

Politicians argue about the need to burn coal to allow our privatised electricity network to deal with summer heatwaves, ignoring that increased capacity is caused by a climate change they vehemently deny.

Related: Marriage equality support rebounds and yes side leads in voting – Guardian Essential poll

Related: Get out of my echo chamber. It’s cosy in here

Continue reading…

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Top Trump confidant: Manafort confirmed that Mueller’s team plans to indict him – Business Insider

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Business Insider
Top Trump confidant: Manafort confirmed that Mueller’s team plans to indict him
Business Insider
“The notion that [prosecutors] could go to Manafort, for example, and say ‘All right, Manafort, we’ve got you on money laundering, tax evasion, whatever. But if you’ll just tell us that you were colluding with the Russians, and Trump knew everything and more »

Donald Trump’s private words leak out, revealing he’s panicking about his Russia scandal 

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Donald Trump is growing more worried about his Russia scandal by the day. You don’t need to take his public word for it, even though his increasing desperation to create a racial scandal over the past days has given away just how much he wants to generate a distraction from what he knows is coming. That’s nothing compared to what he’s saying about the Russia scandal in private conversations.

On Monday night, Trump had dinner with conservative groups. He “yet again went off on Sessions for recusing himself from Russia probe, per source in the room,” according to Wall Street Journal reporter Rebecca Ballhaus (link). Maybe he realized that his remarks would inevitably leak to the media and maybe he didn’t, but either way, it’s clear what’s dominating his thoughts these days when he’s not in the public eye. It’s also notable that he chose Monday of all days to reveal how concerned he is about the progress of the Russia investigation.

Monday was the day of the vote for the Kurdistan independence referendum in Iraq. This is notable because Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort took a paid gig to try to help the referendum pass, even though the United States is officially against it. There has been scattered reporting that Manafort was considering traveling to Iraq for the vote, which has led to widespread speculation as to whether he took the job as an excuse to flee the country before Special Counsel Robert Mueller can indict and arrest him.

As of late Monday night, no one among the public or the media was certain about whether or not Manafort had indeed tried to leave the country. There’s a good chance Trump knows the answer. He also knows that Mueller may imminently move in on Manafort as a result of his apparent desire to leave the country. No wonder Trump spent Monday night whining privately to his allies about how much Jeff Sessions screwed him by allowing the Special Counsel thing to happen.

The post Donald Trump’s private words leak out, revealing he’s panicking about his Russia scandalappeared first on Palmer Report.

Trump finally responds to Puerto Rico crisis, saying island has ‘massive debt’ 

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President’s belated response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria in US territory seems to blame islanders for their own misfortune

It took Donald Trump five full days to respond to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria on the lives of 3.5 million Americans in Puerto Rico, and when he finally did so his comments on Twitter were so devoid of empathy it threatened to spark a new controversy.

Related: Many Puerto Ricans desperate to return home to island reeling from disaster

Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble..

…It’s old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars….

…owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water and medical are top priorities – and doing well. #FEMA

Related: Puerto Rico battered by Hurricane Maria: ‘Devastation – it’s everywhere’

Continue reading…

How Russia’s Election Meddling Became Facebook’s Problem – Bloomberg

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Bloomberg
How Russia’s Election Meddling Became Facebook’s Problem
Bloomberg
Facebook Inc. finds itself at the red-hot center of the investigation into Russia’s clandestine involvement in the 2016 U.S. election. The social-media giant said it has so far found $100,000 in advertising spending linked to the Internet Research 
Obama tried to give Zuckerberg a wake-up call over fake news on FacebookWashington Post
The Next Big Focus In The Russia Investigations: Social MediaKQEDall 269 news articles »

Michigan Student Kneeling For Over 17 Hours To Protest Racial Injustice

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“We don’t need to depend on our celebrities and athletes to do it. We can do it ourselves.”

Twitter Says It Won’t Suspend Trump Over Threatening Tweet Because It’s ‘Newsworthy’

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Netizens weren’t too pleased with the company’s explanation.

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Why Twitter won’t take down Donald Trump’s tweet which North Korea called a ‘declaration of war’ – CNBC

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CNBC
Why Twitter won’t take down Donald Trump’s tweet which North Korea called a ‘declaration of war’
CNBC
Twitter clarified on Monday why it did not take down a tweet by President Donald Trump which threatened North Korea, saying that it was newsworthy. Over the weekend, Trump tweeted that North Korea “won’t be around much longer.” It appeared to amount …
Twitter Explains Why Donald Trump’s Threatening Tweets Don’t Break Its RulesFortune
Twitter says Donald Trump’s tweets are newsworthy, which might explain why he hasn’t been suspendedRecode
Twitter says Trump’s threat to North Korea was ‘newsworthy’ and will not be taken downThe Guardianall 53 news articles »

Estranged husband of Huma Abedin gets 21 months for sexting teen – The News International

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Premium Times
Estranged husband of Huma Abedin gets 21 months for sexting teen
The News International
Weiner, whose wife Huma Abedin is divorcing him, found himself in the eye of a major political storm last October when then FBI director James Comey effectively reopened an investigationinto Clinton´s email scandal just days before the presidential 
Clinton email scandal figure gets 21 months in jail for sexting teenPremium Times
Ex-US congressman Weiner sentenced to prison for ‘sexting’ minorIndependent Online
Judge calls disgraced Anthony Weiner a ‘sick man’Hong Kong Standard (press release)all 24 news articles »

Twitter says Trump’s threat to North Korea was ‘newsworthy’ and will not be taken down 

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Company rejects complaints that US president’s tweet was in violation of its terms of service

Twitter has refused to take down a tweet by Donald Trump threatening North Korea, arguing that the statement by the US president was “newsworthy” and in the public interest.

Trump posted a tweet in response to a speech by North Korea’s Ri Yong-ho at the United Nations on Sunday, indicating that if the foreign minister “echoed” the thoughts of Kim Jong-un, the two men “won’t be around for much longer”. It is the latest in a series of hostile statements between the two countries.

Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!

We hold all accounts to the same Rules, and consider a number of factors when assessing whether Tweets violate our Rules 2/6

Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel.They are also working with North Korea.Not much of an agreement we have!

Continue reading…

Tweeters Tear Into Donald Trump For ‘Blaming’ Puerto Rico Over Maria Devastation

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“THE F*****G GALL.”

Donald Trump – Google News: The Abbie Hoffman of the Right: Donald Trump – New York Times

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New York Times
The Abbie Hoffman of the Right: Donald Trump
New York Times
It has to be admitted that Donald Trump is doing exactly what he was elected to do. He was not elected to be a legislative president. He never showed any real interest in policy during the campaign. He was elected to be a cultural president. He was 

 Donald Trump – Google News

The Abbie Hoffman of the Right: Donald Trump – New York Times

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New York Times
The Abbie Hoffman of the Right: Donald Trump
New York Times
It has to be admitted that Donald Trump is doing exactly what he was elected to do. He was not elected to be a legislative president. He never showed any real interest in policy during the campaign. He was elected to be a cultural president. He was 
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No joke: When Donald Trump hurls insults, North Korea thinks about war – USA TODAY

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USA TODAY
No joke: When Donald Trump hurls insults, North Korea thinks about war
USA TODAY
America’s top priority must be to avoid a second Korean war. Yet such a war is closer than ever and appears almost inevitable unless America changes the approach President Trump has been using since he took office. The greatest risk of war with North …
North Korea Says Trump’s Latest Threat Is a ‘Declaration of War’TIME
North Korea says Donald Trump has declared warSalon
White House Rejects N. Korean Claim That Trump ‘Declared War’NBCNews.com
KTRK-TV –Telegraph.co.uk
all 3,400 news articles »

In ‘One Nation After Trump,’ a Study of the Trends Behind His Rise – New York Times

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New York Times
In ‘One Nation After Trump,’ a Study of the Trends Behind His Rise
New York Times
“One Nation After Trump” devotes considerable space to tackling the unprecedented nature ofTrump’s election and presidency — his vulgarity, racism, authoritarianism, cronyism and reverence for America’s longtime enemies. But the book is particularly …

Trump Ally Stone Denies Russia Collusion – Voice of America

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Voice of America
Trump Ally Stone Denies Russia Collusion
Voice of America
Political consultant Roger Stone, a longtime associate of U.S. President Donald Trump, said he has “no involvement” in alleged collusion with Russia linked to last year’s presidential election, ahead of his House intelligence committee for testimony and more »

The Latest On Mueller’s Russia Investigation – WVIK

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WVIK
The Latest On Mueller’s Russia Investigation
WVIK
Special counsel Bob Mueller bears down on Paul Manafort, as the Trump-Russia investigationescalates. We’re on it. From the NFL to North Korea to the UN to … in the NFL. —Tom Ashbrook. Guests. Carol Leonnig, reporter at the Washington Post covering and more »

Clinton email scandal figure gets 21 months in jail for texting teen – SundiataPost (press release) (blog)

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SundiataPost (press release) (blog)
Clinton email scandal figure gets 21 months in jail for texting teen
SundiataPost (press release) (blog)
The discovery of the emails led to the then-FBI chief James Comey, reopening the investigationinto Clinton’s emails days before Americans went to the polls to vote. Weiner, a former congressman from New York City, has found himself repeatedly in hot 
Estranged husband of Huma Abedin gets 21 months for sexting teenThe News International
Ex-US congressman Weiner sentenced to prison for ‘sexting’ minorIndependent Onlineall 26 news articles »

Trump officials sent to Puerto Rico – The Hill

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CBC.ca
Trump officials sent to Puerto Rico
The Hill
The Trump administration sent two top officials to Puerto Rico on Monday to assess the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Maria, the White House said. Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long and Homeland Security Adviser …
Puerto Rico evacuates area near crumbling dam, asks for aidReutersall 1,202 news articles »
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What, Exactly, Were Russians Trying to Do With Those Facebook Ads? – The Atlantic

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The Atlantic
What, Exactly, Were Russians Trying to Do With Those Facebook Ads?
The Atlantic
The Trump campaign paid Facebook $261,685 directly for ads. But those numbers are only lower bounds for the amount of money spent on Facebook because many campaigns pay consultants, who then purchase ads on their behalf. (For example …
The Russia Investigation: What’s NewThe Moscow Times
Facebook Was Built for ThisSlate Magazineall 219 news articles »

Germany’s tilt to the far-right is about more than the AfD – Southern Poverty Law Center

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Southern Poverty Law Center
Germany’s tilt to the far-right is about more than the AfD
Southern Poverty Law Center
The AfD, first created in late 2012, has been on the rise since its inception, with a presence in 13 of the 16 state parliaments as of May 2017. In the parliamentary elections in the eastern states of Mecklenburg-West and Saxony-Anhalt, the AfD and more »

Trump’s NFL Attacks Appear To Fuel Huge Facebook Gains For Breitbart And Fox

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Breitbart had the top Facebook post of any major U.S. publisher this weekend.

Mueller isn’t all powerful — We need an election interference commission – The Hill

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The Hill
Mueller isn’t all powerful — We need an election interference commission
The Hill
It seems like every day there is a new disclosure about Russia’s interference in the presidential election (Friday it was the news that 21 States’ voting machines may have been breached). And every day, Americans place their faith in one man: Robert and more »

Masculinity Done Well and Poorly – The Atlantic

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The Atlantic
Masculinity Done Well and Poorly
The Atlantic
In a shirtless locker-room interview yesterday, Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas was asked about Trump’s “son-of-a-bitch” condemnation of players protesting state violence. Thomas first shot back a smile as if trying to brush it off. Addressing and more »

Donald Trump’s Message To NFL Players: Shut Up And Play

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Remember what the Dixie Chicks went through during the Bush administration?

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North Korea: Trump comments amount to declaration of war – Financial Times – Monday September 25th, 2017 at 4:59 PM

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What You Need To Know About Trump’s New Travel Ban Monday September 25th, 2017 at 4:59 PM Donald Trump 1 Share The new countries it includes are just a way to cover up the fact that the ban still primarily targets Muslims, experts said. North Korea: Trump comments amount to declaration of war – Financial Times Monday … Continue reading “North Korea: Trump comments amount to declaration of war – Financial Times – Monday September 25th, 2017 at 4:59 PM”

Download audio: https://www.fbi.gov/audio-repository/ftw-podcast-2016-cius-092517.mp3/@@download/file/ftw-podcast-2016-cius-092517.mp3

Russian operatives used Facebook ads to exploit divisions over Black Lives Matter and Muslims – Washington Post

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Washington Post
Russian operatives used Facebook ads to exploit divisions over Black Lives Matter and Muslims
Washington Post
The House and Senate Intelligence committees plan to begin reviewing the Facebook ads in coming weeks as they attempt to untangle the operation and other matters related to Russia’s bid to help elect Trump in 2016. “Their aim was to sow chaos,” said 
Report: Russian Facebook ads sought to stress racial divisionsThe Hillall 8 news articles »

» What You Need To Know About Trump’s New Travel Ban 25/09/17 16:59 from Saved Stories – None The new countries it includes are just a way to cover up the fact that the ban still primarily targets Muslims, experts said. 

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» What You Need To Know About Trump’s New Travel Ban 25/09/17 16:59 from Saved Stories – None The new countries it includes are just a way to cover up the fact that the ban still primarily targets Muslims, experts said. » North Korea: Trump comments amount to declaration of war – Financial Times 25/09/17 16:59 from Saved Stories … Continue reading “» What You Need To Know About Trump’s New Travel Ban 25/09/17 16:59 from Saved Stories – None The new countries it includes are just a way to cover up the fact that the ban still primarily targets Muslims, experts said.”

Golden Goliath: Mugabe, Kim, and Other World Leaders as Psychiatrists for Donald Trump – Black Star News

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Golden Goliath: Mugabe, Kim, and Other World Leaders as Psychiatrists for Donald Trump
Black Star News
Trump the Diplomat: President Trump tried to say something nice to Black people last week. At a luncheon of African leaders, Trump said that the healthcare system of “Nambia” was “Increasingly self-sufficient.” The bad news is that there is no country and more »

Psychologically profiling North Korea’s Kim Jong Un – Stuff.co.nz

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Stuff.co.nz
Psychologically profiling North Korea’s Kim Jong Un
Stuff.co.nz
psychological profile of Un, conducted by the United States Central Intelligence Agency, makes the dictator sound like an unpredictable teenager. … The descriptors used for Un seem just as suitable for describing the US President, Donald Trump.and more »

The Latest Wave Of NFL Protests Is Likely To Be Unpopular. That Shouldn’t Be A Surprise.

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But, as polls show, opinions are more complicated than they might seem at first glance.

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Donald Trump craps himself over controversial story about John Kelly, but stays silent about Puerto Rico crisis

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Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States, is drowning in the aftermath of a major hurricane. The Puerto Rican people, who are U.S. citizens, are in desperate need of help from their president. So what is Donald Trump doing about it? He’s urgently speaking up about a matter that is more important to him: a controversial CNN story about his Chief of Staff, John Kelly.

After CNN reported that Kelly had opposed Donald Trump’s decision to attack black NFL football players over their protests, Trump promptly melted down. He tweeted “CNN is #FakeNews. Just reported COS (John Kelly) was opposed to my stance on NFL players disrespecting FLAG, ANTHEM, COUNTRY. Total lie!” But wasn’t enough, so he kept going: “General John Kelly totally agrees w/ my stance on NFL players and the fact that they should not be disrespecting our FLAG or GREAT COUNTRY!” Then he started flat out lying.

Even though NFL television ratings were up this weekend, Trump tweeted that there was “Tremendous backlash against the NFL and its players for disrespect of our Country.” He failed to prove any evidence of this supposed tremendous backlash. Even Trump’s closest allies in the NFL, New England Patriots team owner Robert Kraft, quarterback Tom Brady, and former head coach Rex Ryan, all publicly criticized him for having attacked black football players.

Meanwhile, the situation in Puerto Rico continues to grow worse. Every single person on the island is without electricity. There’s a dam that’s in the process of breaking, worsening the flooding. The people there are begging for federal help, and many Americans in the mainland United States are demanding that help be sent. Hillary Clinton has called for the U.S. Navy to be dispatched to help in Puerto Rico. Mitt Romney has called for additional help. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is tweeting toxic garbage.

The post Donald Trump craps himself over controversial story about John Kelly, but stays silent about Puerto Rico crisis appeared first on Palmer Report.

facebook – Google Search

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Story image for facebook from Washington Post

Russian operatives used Facebook ads to exploit divisions over …

Washington Post45 minutes ago
The batch of more than 3,000 Russian-bought ads that Facebook is preparing to turn over to Congress shows a deep understanding of social …

Story image for facebook from Bloomberg

Welcome to Corporate Adulthood, Facebook. It’s Awful.

Bloomberg3 hours ago
Facebook could also rightfully claim it had its worst week ever (so far). It was dealing with the ramifications of Russian propagandists using …
Facebook’s Response Isn’t Enough
OpinionU.S. News & World Report6 hours ago
Obama tried to give Zuckerberg a wake-up call over fake news on …
Highly CitedWashington Post22 hours ago
Facebook Was Built for This
In-DepthSlate Magazine5 hours ago
Will Mark Zuckerberg ‘Like’ This Column?
OpinionNew York TimesSep 23, 2017

Media image for facebook from The Verge

The Verge

Media image for facebook from Slate Magazine

Slate Magazine

Media image for facebook from CNBC

CNBC

Media image for facebook from Engadget

Engadget

Media image for facebook from Seeking Alpha

Seeking Alpha

Media image for facebook from Markets Insider

Markets Insider

Story image for facebook from Fortune

How to Regulate Facebook Like a Broadcaster

Fortune5 hours ago
Russian agents paid to promote thousands of Facebook accounts in a bid to poison the U.S. political system with propaganda and fake news.

Story image for facebook from The Independent

Facebook to monitor everywhere users have been for highly …

The Independent11 hours ago
Advertisers can now target Facebook users based on where they’ve been in the real world. The social network is allowing thousands of …
Read the whole story
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Russian operatives used Facebook ads to exploit divisions over black political activism and Muslims – The Washington Post

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Why Puerto Rico could be a Trump blind spot – Washington Post

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Washington Post
Why Puerto Rico could be a Trump blind spot
Washington Post
As Hurricane Maria destroyed much of Puerto Rico last week, The Washington Post-ABC News poll was in the field. The poll asked people what they thought of President Trump’s responses to two other hurricanes, and Trump got strong marks: By a 2-to-1 …
Donald Trump criticised for silence over Puerto Rico disasterThe Independentall 1,083 news articles »

roger stone – Google News: Roger Stone Threatens Lawmakers Ahead of House Testimony: I’ll Shove Their Words “Down Their Throats” – Newsweek

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Newsweek
Roger Stone Threatens Lawmakers Ahead of House Testimony: I’ll Shove Their Words “Down Their Throats”
Newsweek
Roger Stone has his plan—and his outfit—all laid out for when he appears before congressional lawmakers on Tuesday. As to his clothing: “Blue will be the theme of the day, because it connotes authority,” the political operative, dandy and Donald 
Former Trump adviser Roger Stone set to testify Tuesday at House Intelligence CommitteeWashington Examiner
Trump associates to talk to House panel in Russia probeSan Francisco Chronicleall 6 news articles »

 roger stone – Google News

What You Need To Know About Trump’s New Travel Ban

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The new countries it includes are just a way to cover up the fact that the ban still primarily targets Muslims, experts said.

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North Korea: Trump comments amount to declaration of war – Financial Times

1 Share

Fortune
North Korea: Trump comments amount to declaration of war
Financial Times
North Korea’s foreign minister said on Monday that Donald Trump’s comments over the weekend amounted to a declaration of war, according to media reports, marking the latest escalation in rhetoric between the two countries. Speaking in New York, Ri Yong …
Dangerous delusionBreakingviewsall 3,665 news articles »

MSNBC Leaves Out Tennessee Shooter’s Nationality – The Daily Caller

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MSNBC Leaves Out Tennessee Shooter’s Nationality
The Daily Caller
25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson is originally from Khartoum, Sudan and legally immigrated to the United States in the 1990s. Samson … Interestingly, the newest iteration of President Donald Trump’s travel ban eases travel restrictions on Sudan.and more »

North Korea Escalates Rhetoric Against Trump

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“The whole world should clearly remember it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country,” the country’s foreign minister said.

Trump and Trumpcare drag down the GOP – Washington Post

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Washington Post
Trump and Trumpcare drag down the GOP
Washington Post
President Trump’s full impact on the fortunes of the Republican Party will get tested in the GOPmidterms in 2018. Judging by his impact so far, however, he has been the Democrats’ best ally, and not simply because he made deals with House Minority 
CNN Poll: Opinion of the Republican Party falls to all-time lowCNN
Dems’ approval is as bad as Trump’s; Congressional GOP’s even worse (POLL)ABC News
Will Trump-the-Conservative Overpower Trump-the-Republican?American Thinker
Press TV –Firstpost
all 20 news articles »

News Roundup for September 25, 2017

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Let’s start the week of with a heavy dose of reality. 1. Jared Kushner has been using a private email account to conduct

US violent crime jumps by most in 25 years

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The US violent crime rate jumped last year by the largest amount in a quarter of a century, lending support to warnings by President Donald Trump and attorney-general Jeff Sessions of an epidemic of lawlessness. The annual increase was the second in a row.

The murder rate rose nearly 8 per cent last year and is 20 per cent higher than in 2014, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which on Monday released its annual compilation of national crime statistics.

“The worrying violent crime increase that began in 2015 after many years of decline was not an isolated incident,” the bureau said.

The FBI also adjusted upward its 2015 data, saying that the violent crime rate that year had increased by 3.3 per cent rather than the originally reported 3.1 per cent.

“For the sake of all Americans, we must confront and turn back the rising tide of violent crime . . . and send a strong message to criminals that we will not surrender our communities to lawlessness and violence,” Mr Sessions said.

A crackdown on violent crime has been a centrepiece of Mr Sessions’ rocky tenure as attorney-general. He has rewritten guidance for federal prosecutors, requiring them to charge suspects with the most serious offences and thus secure longer prison terms. He also has backed urban police departments that he says have been “unfairly maligned” for heavy-handed and racially discriminatory policing.

Despite the recent increase, the national rate of violent crime remains near a generational low and is roughly one-half of 1991’s modern peak. Last year, there were 386.3 crimes such as murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault per every 100,000 Americans, up from 373.7 in 2015, but far below the 758.1 rate reported in 1991.

The national murder rate of 5.2 per 100,000 people also is roughly equal to where it stood in 2008. “We’re still nowhere near what these rates were in the 1990s,” said Ames Grawert, a former prosecutor now with the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.

The rate of property crimes such as burglary, car theft and arson also fell in 2016 for the 15th consecutive year, a fact that the FBI did not highlight. The reason for the continuing decline is not clear, but modern policing tactics, video surveillance and security systems may be combining for better property crime prevention, Mr Grawert suggested.

Two cities — Chicago and Baltimore — accounted for 15 per cent of the two-year murder increase from 2014 to 2016, Jeff Asher, a crime data analyst in New Orleans, said on Twitter. But of the cities that reported 20 or more murders in 2014, 70 per cent saw an increase over the two years, he said.

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What It Really Means When Black People Who Protest Are Called ‘Ungrateful’

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To be black and to be conscious and to have a voice flies in the face of white supremacy.

What’s really driving Trump in his NFL feud? – BBC News

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BBC News
What’s really driving Trump in his NFL feud?
BBC News
President Donald Trump’s swipes at the National Football League players’ protests were nestled in the middle of a nearly hour-and-half-long speech at a rally in Alabama. The crowd cheered enthusiastically – as they did for his taunts directed at 
Trump’s culture wars take over American sportsCNN International
Keeping up national anthem controversy, Trump touts NASCAR’s patriotismCNN
Trump praises fans who booed NFL players taking a kneeWashington Post
Politico –NBCNews.com –Chicago Tribune
all 3,314 news articles »

North Korea accuses Trump of making declaration of war

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Foreign minister warns Pyongyang has right to shoot down US bombers

The Russia Investigation: What’s New – The Moscow Times

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The Moscow Times
The Russia Investigation: What’s New
The Moscow Times
A U.S. Congressional investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential electionmay go beyond Facebook, a member of the committee and the top Democrat leading theinvestigation told technology news site Recode Sept. 20. “Just as the case …
Obama warned Zuckerberg on fake newsMashable
Obama tried to give Zuckerberg a wake-up call over fake news on FacebookWashington Postall 187 news articles »

North Korea accuses US of declaring war – video

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Foreign minister Ri Yong-ho says the world should remember that the US ‘first declared war on our country’ as Pyongyang declares that all options are on the table in response. Ri referred specifically to a tweet from Donald Trump saying the North Korean leadership ‘won’t be around much longer’

Continue reading…

Today’s Headlines and Commentary 

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North Korea’s foreign minister said that the U.S. had declared war after U.S. warplanes flew along the east coast of North Korea on Saturday in a show of force, the Wall Street Journal reported. Eight U.S. aircraft remained in international airspace as they flew north of the demilitarized zone close to the North Korean shoreline. Speaking at the U.N., Foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said Pyongyang has the right to take countermeasures, “including the right to shoot down U.S. strategic bombers, even if they are not yet inside the air-space border of our country.” President Trump said on Saturday that North Korea’s leaders “would not be around much longer” if they took any action against U.S. forces.

The Trump administration issued new travel restrictions that indefinitely ban most citizens of seven countries from visiting the United States, the Washington Post reported. The order includes nearly all the countries covered by the original travel ban and adds North Korea, Chad, and Venezuela to the list of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. Sudan, which was among the countries affected by Executive Order 13780, was not included in the proclamation. The new order restricts travel by country, based on compliance with Department of Homeland Security standards. Its travel sanctions range widely: The order only imposes narrow restrictions on government officials in Venezuela, while banning nearly all travel from Syria and North Korea, according to the New York Times. While the original travel ban, which was a temporary measure, expired on Sunday, the new measure has no end date. It will take effect on October 18.

President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner used a private email account for White House business on numerous occasions, Politico reported. Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump set up a private email server before starting work at the White House in January. He used the account for convenience — often while traveling. Kushner’s lawyer acknowledged the emails in a statement on Sunday, saying Kushner had sent or received fewer than 100 work-related emails using the account.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel won a fourth term in parliamentary elections on Sunday, the Times reported. Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats took a plurality of votes as the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party came in third place. AfD nearly tripled its vote total from the previous election and will be the first far-right party to enter the Bundestag since 1961. Merkel will have to form a new coalition with smaller parties because her previous coalition partner, the Social Democrats, announced they would join the opposition.

Iraqi Kurdistan votes today in an independence referendum that regional powers strongly oppose, the BBC reported. Voters are expected to choose independence, despite declarations from Iraq’s government that the referendum is unconstitutional and illegitimate. While the  plebiscite is non-binding, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which administers the semi-autonomous region, intends to use it as leverage in negotiations with Baghdad. On Saturday, Iran blocked flights to Iraqi Kurdistan as it conducted military exercises on the border, the Post reported. On Sunday, Iraq’s prime minister issued an order in advance of the vote saying that the KRG should transfer control of all airports and border crossings to Baghdad and transfer responsibility for all financial transactions, including oil sales, to the central government. The KRG did not respond to the order.

U.S.-backed forces in eastern Syria captured a strategically-located gas plant from the Islamic State,the Journal reported. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) seized the Conoco gas plant, which was a major source of revenue for the Islamic State and is now a source of funding for the various rebel groups and militias fighting in Deir al-Zour province. The SDF said that Russian warplanes struck their positions near the gas plant last week, days after a Russian strike hit SDF lines near the city of Deir al-Zour, according to Reuters. In northwestern Syria, Russia and the Syrian regime escalated their strikes on rebel positions in Idlib and Hama provinces in response to a jihadist offensive, Reuters also reported. The bombing campaigns disrupted the tentative ceasefire that had brought a measure of peace to heavily-populated civilian areas in the area.

The U.S. military said it carried out airstrikes against an Islamic State training camp in Libya that killed 17 fighters, the Times reported. The six strikes against a training camp south of the city of Sirte were the first American bombings in Libya since January. Last year, an extensive U.S. air campaign helped drive the Islamic State out of Sirte. Currently, the Pentagon estimates that a few hundred fighters remain in Libya’s deserts, where they take advantage of the political chaos in Tripoli to smuggle weapons and personnel in and out of the country. On Wednesday, the U.N. envoy to Libya said he would attempt to renegotiate a power sharing accord between the government and the armed factions that control large swaths of the country.

A roadside bomb killed three U.N. peacekeepers in northern Mali, the Times reported. The peacekeeping mission has suffered high casualties since its establishment in 2013. It is tasked with securing northern Mali after an armed rebellion by local ethnic Tuareg militias and Islamist groups took control of that region in 2012. The U.N. has 12,000 uniformed personnel in Mali and has suffered 133 casualties since 2013. At the U.N., Mali’s president highlighted a new counterterrorism force for region; it will be composed of troops from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali Mauritania, and Niger.

Iran tested an intermediate range ballistic missile on Saturday after unveiling it in defiance of U.S. condemnation, the Journal reported. Iranian media said the Khoramshahr missile is capable of traveling more than 2,000 kilometers. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Friday that he would not “ask anybody’s permission” to defend his country after President Trump criticized Iran’s missile program and the Iran nuclear deal.

 

ICYMI: This weekend, on Lawfare

Vanessa Sauter posted the Lawfare Podcast, featuring audio from a lecture by Stephan Haggard on the North Korean nuclear and missile programs.

Shannon Togawa Mercer previewed the result of the German election and its implications for transatlantic relations.

Colin Clarke argued that one of the best ways to identify and disrupt returning foreign fighters from the Islamic State is focusing on their criminal activities and networks.

Matthew Kahn posted the White House’s new immigration proclamation and associated documents.

 

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