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adarqui

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Daily Wrap-up
« on: February 02, 2017, 02:51:49 am »
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There's just too much going on.. From now on, i'm going to just do a daily wrap-up of stuff I read.

Anyone feel free to do their own by just dropping a post, whenever they want.



btw. I'm not trying to cover the entire news or anything.. Just random stuff i'm reading and want to keep note of.

adarqui

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Re: Daily Wrap-up
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 04:03:28 am »
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"The Confederacy comprised an orthodox Christian nation, at times intertwining this religious viewpoint with, amongst other things, defences of slavery, denunciations of public education and mass schooling, and proposals to maintain a hierarchical and unequal society."

TLDR: "Ghost Skins"

1. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/02/bad-hombres-reports-claim-trump-threatened-to-send-troops-to-mexico

Quote
Donald Trump spoke of sending troops south of the border to take care of “bad hombres” while on the telephone with his Mexican counterpart, according to a transcript cited by the Associated Press.

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According to reports that were apparently based on a leaked White House document, the US president told Peña Nieto: “You have a bunch of bad hombres down there. You aren’t doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.”

2. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/02/steve-bannon-donald-trump-war-south-china-sea-no-doubt

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“The one thing the Chinese fear more than America … they fear Christianity more than anything,” he said.

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“Some of these situations may get a little unpleasant,” Bannon said in November 2015. “But you know what, we’re in a war. We’re clearly going into, I think, a major shooting war in the Middle East again.”

3. I just forgot that Trump swore on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible to defend the US constitution.

WTF

4. http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-australia-prime-minister-turnbull-phone-call-2017-2

Trump hangs up on Australian PM over refugee deal.

5. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/19/bureau-land-management-federal-lease

Federal lands could go back to the states.

6. Trump flag flying on US military convoy truck



7. Spicer manages to say something beyond stupid



8. https://www.wired.com/2017/02/libratus/?mbid=social_twitter

Liberatus (AI) beats the hell out of some of the best poker players alive at no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em for 20 days straight.

Quote
About halfway through the competition, which ended this week, Kim started to feel like Libratus could see his cards. “I’m not accusing it of cheating,” he said. “It was just that good.” So good, in fact, that it beat Kim and three more of the world’s top human players—a first for artificial intelligence.

Quote
Libratus is indeed a milestone, displaying a breed of AI that could play a role with everything from Wall Street trading to cybersecurity to auctions and political negotiations. “Poker has been one of the hardest games for AI to crack, because you see only partial information about the game state,”

9. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-commando-idUSKBN15G5RX?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=58929ad904d30101a1227e75&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

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U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.

As a result, three officials said, the attacking SEAL team found itself dropping onto a reinforced al Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger than expected contingent of heavily armed Islamist extremists.

Other than all of the innocent civilians/children killed, that could become a major story.. if those reports are accurate & they follow up on it.

10. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-iran-idUSKBN15G5ED

US vs IRAN war on the horizon

Quote
"As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice," he told reporters in his first appearance in the White House press briefing room. -- FLYNN

11. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-ucberkeley-protests-idUSKBN15H08E

protestors go apeshit at UC Berkley to protest Milo yapalopolfuckfaceis. Saw that on live tv, was pretty nutty/intense.

12. https://www.thenation.com/article/leaked-draft-of-trumps-religious-freedom-order-reveals-sweeping-plans-to-legalize-discrimination/

The White Christian Nationalist Agenda is in non-stop execution mode.

Quote
If signed, the order would create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity.

A leaked copy of a draft executive order titled “Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom,” obtained by The Investigative Fund and The Nation, reveals sweeping plans by the Trump administration to legalize discrimination.

The draft order seeks to create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious or moral objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity, and it seeks to curtail women’s access to contraception and abortion through the Affordable Care Act.

The breadth of the draft order, which legal experts described as “sweeping” and “staggering,” may exceed the authority of the executive branch if enacted. It also, by extending some of its protections to one particular set of religious beliefs, would risk violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

13. https://www.thenation.com/article/the-doomsday-clock-is-now-at-two-and-a-half-minutes-to-midnight/

Quote
Last week, the famed Doomsday Clock, created in 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to sound the alarm over the inherently catastrophic nature of nuclear weapons, was set ahead 30 seconds, to two and a half minutes to midnight, the closest it’s been to midnight since 1953.

14. https://calebkruckenberg.com/2017/01/31/trump-exceeds-his-plenary-immigration-authority/

A good writeup on the legality of trump's immigration ban EO.

15. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-extremists-program-exclusiv-idUSKBN15G5VO?feedType=RSS&feedName=newsOne

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The Trump administration wants to revamp and rename a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism, five people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The program, "Countering Violent Extremism," or CVE, would be changed to "Countering Islamic Extremism" or "Countering Radical Islamic Extremism," the sources said, and would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States.

16. https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/big-data-cambridge-analytica-brexit-trump

The same influence-elections-co, Cambridge Analytics, that helped Farage with Brexit, could have helped Trump.

And here comes Bannon again:

Quote
Another big winner is Cambridge Analytica. Its board member Steve Bannon, former executive chair of the right-wing online newspaper Breitbart News

17. http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/03/29/an-establishment-conservatives-guide-to-the-alt-right/

Curious to see how they'd break everything down. TLDR: The racism is just for fun!

18. https://theintercept.com/2017/01/31/the-fbi-has-quietly-investigated-white-supremacist-infiltration-of-law-enforcement/

Quote
WHITE SUPREMACISTS AND other domestic extremists maintain an active presence in U.S. police departments and other law enforcement agencies.

Although these right-wing extremists have posed a growing threat for years, federal investigators have been reluctant to publicly address that threat or to point out the movement’s longstanding strategy of infiltrating the law enforcement community.

The memo also states that law enforcement had recently become aware of the term “ghost skins,” used among white supremacists to describe “those who avoid overt displays of their beliefs to blend into society and covertly advance white supremacist causes.” In at least one case, the FBI learned of a skinhead group encouraging ghost skins to seek employment with law enforcement agencies in order to warn crews of any investigations.

In Chicago, Jon Burge, a police detective and rumored KKK member, was fired, and eventually prosecuted in 2008, over charges relating to the torture of at least 120 black men during his decadeslong career. Burge notoriously referred to an electric shock device he used during interrogations as the “nigger box.”

“Right-wing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African-American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda,” the report noted, singling out “disgruntled military veterans” as likely targets of recruitment. “Right-wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.”

Pete Simi, a sociologist at Chapman University who spent decades studying the proliferation of white supremacists in the U.S. military, agreed. “The report underscores the problem of even discussing this issue. It underscores how difficult this issue is to get any traction on, because a lot of people don’t want to discuss this, let alone actually do something about it.” Simi said that the extremist strategy to infiltrate the military and law enforcement has existed “for decades.” In a study he conducted of individuals indicted for far-right terrorism-related activities, he found that at least 31 percent had military experience.

“If you look at the history of law enforcement in the United States, it is a history of white supremacy, to put it bluntly,” said Simi, citing the origin of U.S. policing in the slave patrols of the 18th and 19th centuries. “More recently, just going back 50 years, law enforcement, particularly in the South, was filled with Klan members.”

Last year, 14 officers in the San Francisco Police Department were caught exchanging racist and homophobic texts that included several references to “white power” and messages such as “all niggers must fucking hang.” Most of those officers remain on the force after an attempt to fire several of them was blocked by a judge, who said the statute of limitation had expired.

A 2014 survey found that sovereign citizen extremists were perceived by law enforcement agencies as a top threat, ahead of foreign-inspired extremists.

“This election, for white supremacists, was a signal that ‘We’re on the right track,’” said Simi. “I have never seen anything like it among white supremacists, where they express this feeling of triumph and jubilee. They are just elated about the idea that they feel like they have somebody in the White House who gets it.”

FUCK.

(ps: this was probably half of the day, plus a few things from the previous few days. As you can tell, white supremacy and Trump piss me off).

adarqui

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Re: Daily Wrap-up
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2017, 04:39:09 am »
0
janky post of stuff I read today.

x. THE FBI IS BUILDING A NATIONAL WATCHLIST THAT GIVES COMPANIES REAL TIME UPDATES ON EMPLOYEES

- https://theintercept.com/2017/02/04/the-fbi-is-building-a-national-watchlist-that-gives-companies-real-time-updates-on-employees/

Quote
THE FBI’S RAP BACK program is quietly transforming the way employers conduct background checks. While routine background checks provide employers with a one-time “snapshot” of their employee’s past criminal history, employers enrolled in federal and state Rap Back programs receive ongoing, real-time notifications and updates about their employees’ run-ins with law enforcement, including arrests at protests and charges that do not end up in convictions. (“Rap” is an acronym for Record of Arrest and Prosecution; ”Back” is short for background).

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A massive trove of digital fingerprints collected by the FBI, he noted, could be used to open up devices like smart phones without the owner’s consent.

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FBI and state databases are not known for their accuracy. As the National Employment Law Project reported in 2013, as many as 50 percent of the FBI’s arrest records fail to include information on the final disposition of a case — that is, whether a person was convicted, acquitted, or if charges against them were dropped.




x. House bill would allow Trump to wage preventive war on Iran
- http://m.digitaljournal.com/news/politics/house-bill-would-allow-trump-to-wage-preventive-war-on-iran/article/484937#.WJJ2D7hTCTw.facebook

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Washington - H.J. Res. 10, the “Authorization of Use of Force Against Iran Resolution," is sponsored by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and permits the president to wage war as he sees fit, with the goal of thwarting Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions.

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"If you have to hit Iran, you don't put boots on the ground," Hunter said in 2013. "You do it with tactical nuclear devices and you set them back a decade or two or three. I think there's a way to do it with a massive aerial bombardment campaign."

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President Dwight D. Eisenhower, faced with calls for a preventive attack on the Soviet Union, scoffed: “All of us have heard this term ‘preventive war’ since the earliest days of Hitler... I don’t believe there is such a thing; and, frankly, I wouldn’t even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing.”





x. What Steve Bannon really wants
- https://qz.com/898134/what-steve-bannon-really-wants/?utm_source=atlfb

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Bannon transcended his working-class Virginia roots with a stint in the Navy and a degree from Harvard Business School, followed by a career as a Goldman Sachs financier. He moved to Los Angeles to invest in media and entertainment for Goldman, before starting his own investment bank specializing in media. Through a combination of luck (a fallen-through deal left him with a stake in a hit show called Seinfeld) and a knack for voicing outrage, Bannon remade himself as a minor luminary within the far edge of right-wing politics, writing and directing a slew of increasingly conservative documentaries.

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Bannon’s political philosophy boils down to three things that a Western country, and America in particular, needs to be successful: Capitalism, nationalism, and “Judeo-Christian values.” These are all deeply related, and essential.

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America, says Bannon, is suffering a “crisis of capitalism.” (He uses the word “crisis” a lot—more on that later.) Capitalism used to be all about moderation, an entrepreneurial American spirit, and respect for one’s fellow Christian man. In fact, in remarks delivered to the Vatican in 2014, Bannon says that this “enlightened capitalism” was the “underlying principle” that allowed the US to escape the “barbarism” of the 20th century.

Quote
Generation Zero, Bannon’s 2010 documentary, has a lot to say about “American values,” and a lot of this matches closely the ideals of the Tea Party. But since 2013 or 2014, Bannon’s casual emphasis on American values has swelled to include a strong religious component. The successful functioning of America—and Western civilization in general—depends on capitalism, and capitalism depends on the presence of “Judeo-Christian values.”





x.Evangelical Jerry Falwell Jr. to head Trump education task force

- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-falwell-idUSKBN15G5F4

Quote
Evangelical Christian leader Jerry Falwell Jr. will head an education reform task force under U.S. President Donald Trump and is keen to cut university regulations, including rules on dealing with campus sexual assault, the school he heads said.

Am I reading the onion?


x. Trump Denounced “Broken System” of Big Money Politics. Neil Gorsuch Could Make It Worse.

- https://theintercept.com/2017/02/02/trump-denounced-broken-system-of-big-money-politics-neil-gorsuch-could-make-it-worse/

Quote
There are not a whole lot of restrictions left on the power of money in politics in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, which struck down any limits on spending by individuals, corporations or unions advocating for a candidate — as long as it’s purportedly “independent” and not directly coordinated with the candidate’s campaign.
But individuals are still barred from giving more than $5,400 directly to any one political campaign, and corporations, unions, and foreign nationals are barred from making any donations at all directly to candidates for federal office.
This Buckley combination of limits on contributions but none on expenditures is why Trump could legally spend as much of his own money during the campaign as he wanted — but individuals could only give him a maximum of $5,400.

Notably, Justice Clarence Thomas voted to strike down the limit and wrote a concurring opinion stating that all contribution limits are unconstitutional. And then-Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus immediately declared that “I don’t think we should have caps at all.” Priebus, now Trump’s chief of staff, presumably cares about nominating judges to the Supreme Court who share this view.

Trump’s voters almost certainly would be unhappy with all of this if they knew about it: A recent poll found that 90 percent of Republicans thought it was important that Trump “nominates a Supreme Court justice who is open to limiting the influence of big money in politics.” But their perspective, as well as the deep hate Americans in general have for the Washington, D.C., swamp, no longer matters. That’s a broken system.



x. After 2 Weeks In Office, Trump Faces More Than 50 Lawsuits
- http://www.npr.org/2017/02/02/513045408/after-2-weeks-in-office-trump-faces-more-than-50-lawsuits?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20170203

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Most of the 50-plus lawsuits filed so far relate to the travel ban on refugees and nationals from seven mostly-Muslim countries

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"When a president releases an executive order, one of the instant responses is to try to tie it up legally," Zelizer says. "Opponents of President Trump are looking to what the Republicans did in the last few years as a road map forward. Conservatives know this can be an incredibly effective tool to stop presidents from doing things that you don't want them to do.”





x. https://theintercept.com/2017/02/02/what-the-russian-technology-sanction-shift-really-means/
- Why the U.S. Lifting a Technology Sanction on Russia Isn’t What It Seems

Quote
When the U.S. Treasury Department announced a change in policy towards U.S. technology sales to Russia, many presumed President Donald Trump was already loosening the reins on the Kremlin.
However, according to policy experts and attorneys with experience in foreign compliance, the change is just a quick fix that allows U.S. technology companies to sell normal, non-sanctioned information technology products to Russia, such as software and some encrypted hardware, like cellphones.
restrictions on more advanced cyber products, like military grade encryption, remain in place under the U.S. version of the Wassenaar Arrangement, which has special export and reporting requirements for certain products.

The administration is trying to send a diplomatic message to clarify that sanctions aren’t meant to be punitive on the average businessman, according to Tam. “The sanction is a result of bad behavior on the part of FSB,” she said, “not a blind retaliatory measure against the whole of the Russian Federation.”




x. Republicans back off bill to sell 3.3m acres of public land after outcry
- https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/02/republican-selling-public-lands-bill-withdraw-jason-chaffetz?CMP=share_btn_tw

Quote
In the small hours of Thursday morning, US congressman Jason Chaffetz announced that he would withdraw a bill he introduced last week that would have ordered the incoming secretary of the interior to immediately sell off 3.3m acres of national land.
Chaffetz, a representative from Utah, wrote on Instagram that he had a change of heart in the face of strong opposition from “groups I support and care about” who, he said, “fear it sends the wrong message”.
“I’d say this fight is far from over. We will not rest until this is taken out of the platform of the Republican party,” Tawney said. “Hunters and sportsmen are on notice, and Republicans should pay attention: we’re going to be there every single step of the way.”




x. About That Intel ‘Treasure Trove’ From Trump’s Yemen Raid…
- https://www.antiwar.com/blog/2017/02/03/about-that-intel-treasure-trove-from-trumps-yemen-raid/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AWCBlog+%28Antiwar.com+Blog%29

Released an old tape, odd.



x. In Response to Steve Bannon Appointment, Bill Aims to Get Politics Out of National Security Council

- https://theintercept.com/2017/02/01/in-response-to-steve-bannons-appointment-bill-aims-to-get-politics-out-of-national-security-council/

Quote
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., announced a bill titled the Strengthening Oversight of National Security Act that would codify the permanent members and structure of the National Security Council, and require a joint congressional resolution to add any member or attendee who has not been confirmed by the Senate — other than a handful of nonpolitical White House staff members.
It would also limit the principals committee to members of the National Security Council. And if someone who is not Senate-confirmed needs to attend for a “one-time decisionmaking action” it would require their name to be shared with Congress within 24 hours.

“The prospect of political agendas and polls shaping situation-room debates on whether to, for example, send U.S. troops into danger, is shocking, and has the real prospect of swaying or stifling arguments that should be driven by American national security interest,” she wrote in an email to The Intercept.

Trump is not the first president to rely heavily on a favored adviser, bypassing the national security institutions. President Richard Nixon walled off practically the entire intelligence community, leaning heavily on national security adviser Henry Kissinger. President George W. Bush put his faith in Vice President Dick Cheney and then-Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld over others, including his national security adviser and secretary of state.

“Every national security decision reached in that room will immediately be subjected to how it can be spun and what’s the political advantage the president can get out of this,” Ted Johnson, the former intelligence community advisor,

Ignoring the intelligence community could come at a high cost, however. “If Trump insists on making decisions without hearing the President’s Daily Brief and otherwise interacting with” the heads of the intelligence community, Johnson said, “he will have the same outcome as if he had decided to cross Fifth Avenue wearing a blindfold.”




x. CHICAGO NEEDS POLICE REFORM, NOT TRUMP’S NATIONAL GUARD — AN INTERVIEW WITH JAMIE KALVEN

- https://theintercept.com/2017/02/02/chicago-needs-police-reform-not-trumps-national-guard-an-interview-with-jamie-kalven/

Quote
tweeted that if the city doesn’t fix its “horrible carnage” he will “send in the Feds!”
The tweet — which was reportedly prompted by a segment of Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News show on crime in the city, as well as the president’s feud with Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel over inauguration day crowd size — confused even the city’s law enforcement leaders. “I have no idea what he’s talking about,” Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.
Trump’s comments about Chicago have been consistent with his promise to swap civil rights enforcement for “law and order.” The dark irony is that residents of the communities Trump describes in such derogatory terms already feel “as if CPD is an occupying force,” as noted in the Department of Justice’s scathing report on the Chicago Police Department,

Chicago’s gun violence is indeed on the rise. Last year, the city hit a bleak two-decade record, with more than 4,300 people shot and 762 killed. So far, that pace has kept up in 2017. But analyzing the complex set of factors that have led to the rise in gun violence can hardly be done in 140 characters

“The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump administration will end it.” I think that the fundamental issue here is that the Trump administration appears to see police accountability measures as an impediment to effective law enforcement rather than a necessary condition for effective law enforcement.



x. A Clarifying Moment in American History
- https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/a-clarifying-moment-in-american-history/514868/

great read.

Quote
In an epic week beginning with a dark and divisive inaugural speech, extraordinary attacks on a free press, a visit to the CIA that dishonored a monument to anonymous heroes who paid the ultimate price, and now an attempt to ban selected groups of Muslims (including interpreters who served with our forces in Iraq and those with green cards, though not those from countries with Trump hotels, or from really indispensable states like Saudi Arabia), he has lived down to expectations.

Quote
Trump’s disregard for either Secretary of Defense Mattis or Secretary-designate Tillerson in his disastrous policy salvos this week, in favor of his White House advisers, tells you all you need to know about who is really in charge. To be associated with these people is going to be, for all but the strongest characters, an exercise in moral self-destruction.

Quote
Trump, in one spectacular week, has already shown himself one of the worst of our presidents, who has no regard for the truth (indeed a contempt for it), whose patriotism is a belligerent nationalism, whose prior public service lay in avoiding both the draft and taxes, who does not know the Constitution, does not read and therefore does not understand our history, and who, at his moment of greatest success, obsesses about approval ratings, how many people listened to him on the Mall, and enemies.

There is nothing great about the America that Trump thinks he is going to make; but in the end, it is the greatness of America that will stop him.




x. Steve Bannon's longtime suspicion of successful immigrants is the key to this weekend's chaos
- http://www.vox.com/2017/1/29/14429984/trump-immigration-order-steve-bannon

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As agencies confirmed Saturday, the ban on entry into the US also applied to existing US lawful permanent residents from those seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. So as many as 500,000 green card holders, many of whom have lived and worked in the US for years, suddenly learned that if they travel outside the country they may not be allowed back in (the White House says they’ll be considered only on a case-by-case basis).

Quote
TRUMP: We have to keep our talented people in this country.
BANNON: Um—
TRUMP: I think you agree with that. Do you agree with that?
BANNON: Well I got a tougher — you know, when two thirds or three quarters of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia, I think — on, my point is, a country’s more like, [inaudible], a country’s more than an economy. We’re a civic society.

Quote
Bannon’s “statistic” that over two-thirds of Silicon Valley CEOs are Asian-born isn’t even close to being true, since only a small minority are. But the bigger takeaway is that Bannon was disturbed enough by this mistaken idea to bring it up. He was evidently trying to choose his words carefully, but he made it crystal clear that he was disturbed by the (fictional) idea of all these Asian-born CEOs running around in America.





x. Trump’s Crony Cabinet May Look Strong, but They Are Scared
- https://www.thenation.com/article/trumps-crony-cabinet-is-full-of-scared-losers/





x. Yes, All This Happened. Trump's First 2 Weeks As President
- http://www.npr.org/2017/02/04/513473827/yes-all-this-happened-trumps-first-2-weeks-as-president?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20170204









x. How to build an Autocracy
- https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/03/how-to-build-an-autocracy/513872/

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Larry Diamond, a sociologist at Stanford, has described the past decade as a period of “democratic recession.” Worldwide, the number of democratic states has diminished. Within many of the remaining democracies, the quality of governance has deteriorated.

Quote
As one shrewd observer told me on a recent visit, “The benefit of controlling a modern state is less the power to persecute the innocent, more the power to protect the guilty.”

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What is spreading today is repressive kleptocracy, led by rulers motivated by greed rather than by the deranged idealism of Hitler or Stalin or Mao. Such rulers rely less on terror and more on rule-twisting, the manipulation of information, and the co-optation of elites.

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Donald Trump, however, represents something much more radical. A president who plausibly owes his office at least in part to a clandestine intervention by a hostile foreign intelligence service? Who uses the bully pulpit to target individual critics? Who creates blind trusts that are not blind, invites his children to commingle private and public business, and somehow gets the unhappy members of his own political party either to endorse his choices or shrug them off? If this were happening in Honduras, we’d know what to call it. It’s happening here instead, and so we are baffled.

Quote
Trump versus Clinton was not 2016’s only contest between an overbearing man and a restrained woman. Just such a contest was waged at Fox, between Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly. In both cases, the early indicators seemed to favor the women. Yet in the end it was the men who won, Hannity even more decisively than Trump. Hannity’s show, which became an unapologetic infomercial for Trump, pulled into first place on the network in mid-October. Kelly’s show tumbled to fifth place, behind even The Five

LMFAO.

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From the point of view of the typical Republican member of Congress, Fox remains all-powerful: the single most important source of visibility and affirmation with the voters whom a Republican politician cares about. In 2009, in the run-up to the Tea Party insurgency, South Carolina’s Bob Inglis crossed Fox, criticizing Glenn Beck and telling people at a town-hall meeting that they should turn his show off. He was drowned out by booing, and the following year, he lost his primary with only 29 percent of the vote, a crushing repudiation for an incumbent untouched by any scandal.

Fox is reinforced by a carrier fleet of supplementary institutions: super pacs, think tanks, and conservative web and social-media presences, which now include such former pariahs as Breitbart and Alex Jones. So long as the carrier fleet coheres—and unless public opinion turns sharply against the president—oversight of Trump by the Republican congressional majority will very likely be cautious, conditional, and limited.

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That statement is true, and it points to a deeper truth: The United States may be a nation of laws, but the proper functioning of the law depends upon the competence and integrity of those charged with executing it. A president determined to thwart the law in order to protect himself and those in his circle has many means to do so.

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Venezuela, a stable democracy from the late 1950s through the 1990s, was corrupted by a politics of personal favoritism, as Hugo Chávez used state resources to bestow gifts on supporters. Venezuelan state TV even aired a regular program to showcase weeping recipients of new houses and free appliances. Americans recently got a preview of their own version of that show as grateful Carrier employees thanked then-President-elect Trump for keeping their jobs in Indiana.

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Seventy-eight percent of Trump voters believed that crime had worsened during the Obama years.

Quote
Civil unrest will not be a problem for the Trump presidency. It will be a resource. Trump will likely want to enflame more of it.

Quote
Calculated outrage is an old political trick, but nobody in the history of American politics has deployed it as aggressively, as repeatedly, or with such success as Donald Trump. If there is harsh law enforcement by the Trump administration, it will benefit the president not to the extent that it quashes unrest, but to the extent that it enflames more of it, ratifying the apocalyptic vision that haunted his speech at the convention.

Quote
In the early days of the Trump transition, Nic Dawes, a journalist who has worked in South Africa, delivered an ominous warning to the American media about what to expect. “Get used to being stigmatized as ‘opposition,’ ” he wrote. “The basic idea is simple: to delegitimize accountability journalism by framing it as partisan.”

Quote
The inculcation of cynicism breaks down the distinction between those forms of media that try their imperfect best to report the truth, and those that purvey falsehoods for reasons of profit or ideology. The New York Times becomes the equivalent of Russia’s RT; The Washington Post of Breitbart; NPR of Infowars.

Quote
A survey by YouGov found that by December 1, 43 percent of Republicans accepted the claim that millions of people had voted illegally in 2016.

Quote
I’ve talked with well-funded Trump supporters who speak of recruiting a troll army explicitly modeled on those used by Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russia’s Putin to take control of the social-media space, intimidating some critics and overwhelming others through a blizzard of doubt-casting and misinformation.

Quote
The oft-debated question “Is Donald Trump a fascist?” is not easy to answer. There are certainly fascistic elements to him: the subdivision of society into categories of friend and foe; the boastful virility and the delight in violence; the vision of life as a struggle for dominance that only some can win, and that others must lose.
Yet there’s also something incongruous and even absurd about applying the sinister label of fascist to Donald Trump. He is so pathetically needy, so shamelessly self-interested, so fitful and distracted. Fascism fetishizes hardihood, sacrifice, and struggle—concepts not often associated with Trump.

adarqui

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Re: Daily Wrap-up
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2017, 05:28:21 am »
0
now that i'm tracking things again: I basically read some things throughout the day.. then I end the night reading more stuff, to get my brain more relaxed (coding amps it up).

02/05/2017

x.BBC journalist questioned by US border agents, devices searched
- https://cpj.org/2017/02/bbc-journalist-questioned-by-us-border-agents-devi.php

On being detained and having everything searched:

Quote
Hamedani said the experience brought back memories of being in Iran. He was arrested there in 2009 because he worked for the BBC, he said. "Last time I was in Iran, I was arrested and the interrogator grabbed my phone and started reading my text messages," he told CPJ. He said has not returned to Iran since.



x.REPUBLICANS ARE USING BIG TOBACCO’S SECRET SCIENCE PLAYBOOK TO GUT HEALTH RULES
- https://theintercept.com/2017/02/05/republicans-want-to-make-the-epa-great-again-by-gutting-health-regulations/

Quote
On Tuesday, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is expected to hold a hearing on a bill to undermine health regulations that is based on a strategy cooked up by tobacco industry strategists more than two decades ago. At what Republicans on the committee have dubbed the “Making EPA Great Again” hearing, lawmakers are likely to discuss “The Secret Science Reform Act,” a bill that would limit the EPA to using only data that can be replicated or made available for
“independent analysis.”

The proposal may sound reasonable enough at first. But because health research often contains confidential personal information that is illegal to share, the bill would prevent the EPA from using many of the best scientific studies. It would also prohibit using studies of one-time events, such as the Gulf oil spill or the effect of a partial ban of chlorpyrifos on children, which fueled the EPA’s decision to eliminate all agricultural uses of the pesticide, because these events — and thus the
studies of them — can’t be repeated.

Quote
This bald industry bid to subvert public health-based regulations that can cut into profit isn’t new. What’s new is that this upside-down environmental attack, in which those who benefit directly from polluting industries are policing the independent scientists who can show the harms of their products, could now succeed.



x. Trump Is Attacking Any Institution That Challenges Him
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/trump-is-attacking-any-institution-that-challenges-him/515727/?utm_source=atltw

Quote
The latest harbinger came Friday evening, when the White House emailed a note to its press corps "for planning purposes only," that issued guidance to "hard pass holders," reporters who are permanently assigned to cover the President. The note alerted press that “All hard hard-pass holders, current and prospective, are currently being reviewed. You will be notified in the coming weeks on the status of your hard pass." Absent further explanation, and in the context of their ongoing
besiegement, reporters were understandably left wondering whether this was a routine administrative step or if the White House intended to chill negative coverage while press credentials are under review.

Quote
In preparing the now infamous immigration executive order, Officials from the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, or from Customs and Border Protection were kept in the dark.

Quote
When more than a thousand State Department civil and foreign service officers signed a cable dissenting from the executive order, through a longstanding, formalized process that is supposed to protect employees against "reprisals," White House press secretary Sean Spicer warned them to "get with the program or leave." By contrast, when Secretary Kerry was presented with a similarly sensitive dissent about the Obama Administration's Syria policy, he met with the organizers to hear them out
and offer his views.

Quote
So far, just about the only prominent American institution that could oppose Trump's agenda, and that he has not attacked, is Congress. That may be because, thus far, the Republican-controlled body has largely deferred and acceded to his demands. The truer test will come if and when, in the context of Trump's record-setting disapproval rating, the Republicans refuse to support unpopular Administration policies, or, as happened under Barack Obama, the opposing party eventually wins control
of one or both houses.



x. How Trump Wants to Make America Exceptional Again
- https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/how-trump-wants-to-make-america-exceptional-again/515406/?utm_source=atltw

Quote
“American exceptionalism” began as a way to explain why working-class Americans found communism less appealing than did their European counterparts. For the American communist leader Jay Lovestone, who coined the phrase, it was an excuse for his frustrating lack of success. For post-war sociologists like Daniel Bell and Seymour Martin Lipset, it was a source of national strength. The American poor didn’t seethe with class resentment and turn to revolutionary ideologies because upward
mobility gave them the chance to rise.
But when the cold war ended, and European communism largely died, not having a strong communist movement no longer made America exceptional. Moreover, in an era of accelerating income equality, American leaders began to acknowledge that when it came to upward mobility, the United States wasn’t actually exceptional at all.

Quote
But while Obama said that what sets America apart is its inclusivity, Trump and his advisors say that what sets America apart is its sovereignty. By embracing the European Union, they argue, Europeans stopped valuing nationhood. And as a result, they admitted Muslims who are threatening the continent from within.

Quote
bama placed the primary blame for Europe’s failure on European governments and host societies. The implication was that Muslims, like any other group of immigrants, can become loyal, productive citizens if shown respect and offered opportunity. All America has to do is be open and tolerant.

Trump and his aides, by contrast, place the primary blame for non-integration on Europe’s Muslim immigrants themselves. And Miller suggests that if current trends continue, American Muslims will prove just as dangerous and unassimilable as their European counterparts.

Quote
The implication is that what will make America exceptional is not its success in integrating Muslims but its success in keeping them out.

Quote
This is what truly differentiates Trump’s exceptionalism story from its predecessors. For Lipset, Bell, Romney, Gingrich, and Obama, what made America exceptional were its people’s habits and ideas. For Trump, what makes America exceptional is the fact that its people are overwhelmingly Jewish and Christian. For Obama, what made America exceptional was its ability to foster a national identity that transcended tribe and sect. And for Trump? Making America exceptional again requires
abandoning that as a dangerous dream.



x. Press Secretary Sean Spicer Falsely Accuses Iran of Attacking U.S. Navy Vessel, an Act of War
- https://theintercept.com/2017/02/02/press-secretary-sean-spicer-falsely-accuses-iran-of-attacking-u-s-navy-vessel-an-act-of-war/

These people get their news.. from fox news. wtf.

Quote
Fox News initially misreported that a U.S. ship was somehow the target — which is perhaps where some of the confusion in the White House originated

Quote
This, of course, is how American wars start. In the infamous 1964 “Gulf of Tonkin incident,” as it is often referred to, the White House and the Pentagon accused North Vietnamese forces of attacking two Navy destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin off Vietnam on August 4. President Lyndon Johnson used the attacks to coax Congress into approving a resolution, known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, that authorized military action in Vietnam. As the New York Times noted a few years ago, the “attack never
happened.”

Quote
And way back in February 1898, a U.S. warship, the Maine, was moored in Havana’s harbor when a huge explosion blew it apart, killing most of its crew. The explosion was blamed on Spain, and led to a rallying cry particularly in U.S. newspapers of “Remember the Maine!” In April of that year, the United States declared war on Spain, even though there was no proof of Spanish responsibility for the explosion, and much reason to doubt it. As the Washington Post reported, an official Navy
inquiry concluded in the 1970s that “a mine or torpedo could not have been responsible for the blast. The likely cause was a coal bunker fire that ignited the ship’s magazine.”


x. The U.S. military's stats on deadly airstrikes are wrong. Thousands have gone unreported
- http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/airstrikes-unreported-syria-iraq-afghanistan-islamic-state-al-qaeda-taliban

Quote
The American military has failed to publicly disclose potentially thousands of lethal airstrikes conducted over several years in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, a Military Times investigation has revealed. The enormous data gap raises serious doubts about transparency in reported progress against the Islamic State, al-Qaida and the Taliban, and calls into question the accuracy of other Defense Department disclosures documenting everything from costs to casualty counts.

In 2016 alone, U.S. combat aircraft conducted at least 456 airstrikes in Afghanistan that were not recorded

Quote
The Air Force's open-source database includes all such missions as part of its airstrike totals. The media and others have depended on these figures for years with the understanding they are a comprehensive rollup of all American and coalition activity. And while the data has been cited in countless reports — from newspaper articles to academic research to analytics provided to lawmakers — no one from the military ever has come forward to clarify that it is wholly incomplete.



x. What America Owes Refugees From the Middle East
- https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/what-america-owes-refugees-from-the-middle-east/514913/?utm_source=atltw

Quote
This is an old story: In American history, frustrating wars and immigration restrictions have often gone hand in hand. Congress largely cut off Eastern and Southern European immigration in 1921, after Woodrow Wilson’s intervention in World War I failed to remake Europe, and disillusioned Americans turned their backs on the continent instead. In 1952, when Americans were weary of war in Korea, Congress passed the McCarran-Walter Act, which allowed the U.S. to bar leftists from entering the
country. If the U.S. couldn’t vanquish communists abroad, it could at least keep them from coming to America’s shores.

Quote
Morally, the flaw lies in the assertion of innocence. Refugees are not fleeing Iraq because the U.S. tried to bring the country democracy and prosperity but its benighted people wouldn’t accept it. Refugees are fleeing Iraq because a decade of U.S. sanctions helped impoverish the Iraqi middle class. Then the U.S. invaded, thus breaking the Iraqi state without having anything to replace it with.

Quote
In less direct ways, the U.S. has contributed to the suffering in some of the other countries whose immigrants Trump has now temporarily banned. America’s war in Libya helped fracture the state there too. The U.S. has armed and advised the Saudi military campaign that has devastated Yemen.  And throughout the 1980s, the U.S. backed Mohammed Siad Barre, the Somali dictator whose brutal repression helped lay the groundwork for the chaos that has followed his rule.

Quote
“Pride and self-righteousness of powerful nations,” Reinhold Niebuhr once wrote, “are a greater hazard to their success than the machinations of their foes.” And it is pride and self-righteousness that link America’s invasion of Iraq 14 years ago to Trump’s decision to ban Iraqis, and others, from entering the United States today.


x. Four Democratic Defectors Join GOP to Confirm Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State
- https://theintercept.com/2017/02/01/four-democratic-defectors-join-gop-to-confirm-exxon-ceo-as-secretary-of-state/



x. Want to understand what Trump and Bannon are up to? Look to the Russian Revolution of 1917
- https://qz.com/898053/want-to-understand-what-trump-and-bannon-are-up-to-look-to-the-russian-revolution-of-1917/

Quote
Does Trump’s victory and his cabinet appointments genuinely amount to a government takeover akin to the one staged by the Bolshevik Party in 1917? If we view Trump’s “movement” as a radical faction within the Republican Party that has swept him to power despite opposition from within the party, the comparison is not as far-fetched as it may seem.

Quote
Now, despite losing the popular vote by nearly three million people, the new US president is forcing a radical agenda upon his country that is contrary to the beliefs of at least half of the 2016 electorate. If his victory is viewed as a kind of government takeover, aided by a hostile foreign power, the shock and unprecedented grief experienced by the 62 million Americans who voted for Clinton is not the loser’s inability to move on, and no “bubble.” It is something akin to what the
Russians experienced 100 years ago when they woke up to the news that the legitimate provisional government had been disbanded by the Bolsheviks, whose stated agenda was the destruction of the Russian state and building a completely different—Soviet—entity in its stead. Indeed, the president’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has himself cited Lenin as an influence. Writer and historian Ronald Radosh wrote in the Daily Beast that Bannon approvingly told him in 2013, “Lenin wanted to destroy the
state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

Quote
The Bolsheviks succeeded by activating fringe groups, including radicalized proletariats and soldiers deserting the war, and by demagoguery summed up in the slogans “Peace to the Peoples,” “Land to the Peasants,” and “All Power to the Soviets.” In the months leading up to the October coup, they spread false rumors about the provisional government colluding with the Germans, the personal life of the government’s leader, Alexander Kerensky, and generally equated the government with “exploiters,”
“war profiteers,” and “traitors to the people.”

Quote
In 2016, Trump’s campaign adopted a similar strategy by mobilizing the economically disadvantaged—as well as racist, nativist, and other right-wing groups—against the so-called “coastal elites.” The difference is that while pre-revolutionary Russia had been truly devastated by World War I, Trump and company perpetuated the myth of American decline in an expanding economy (which also happens to be the largest and one of the richest in the world). This is not to deny the real economic
struggles faced by many Americans—only to note that, in the reality shaped by mainstream and social media, Trump’s virtual “American Carnage” proved as persuasive as a real war.

Quote
Lenin famously maintained that “any cook can run the state.”

Quote
We should remember, however, that revolutions are only able to take hold when the majority remains complacent. Right now, Trump’s voting base is likely maxed out at the roughly 63 million people who voted for him. (Given the intensity of feelings he ignites in both supporters and opponents, let’s assume that most people who wanted to vote for him did so.) Roughly 66 million people voted for Hillary Clinton. And about 42% of eligible voters—that is, an estimated 95 million—stayed home,
choosing to vote for no one at all.


x. Pelosi calls for probe of possible Russian blackmail of Trump
- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/pelosi-trump-russia-234664

Quote
"I want to know what the Russians have on Donald Trump," the California Democrat told Chuck Todd on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I think we have to have an investigation by the FBI into his financial, personal and political connections to Russia, and we want to see his tax returns, so we can have truth in the relationship between Putin, whom he admires, and Donald Trump."


x. Donald Trump might be more popular than you think
- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/donald-trump-popularity-polling-234630

Quote
Traditional phone polls that use live interviewers — including some of the most trusted polls in politics and media — report limited support for Trump and the controversial executive orders he’s signed. But automated phone and Internet-based surveys tell a different story. Once the element of anonymity is added, the president’s approval ratings suddenly look a lot better.

adarqui

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Re: Daily Wrap-up
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2017, 05:28:42 am »
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02/06/2017

x: Donald Trump’s Executive Order Will Let Private Equity Funds Drain Your 401(k)
- https://theintercept.com/2017/02/06/donald-trumps-executive-order-will-let-private-equity-funds-drain-your-401k/

Quote
DONALD TRUMP’S FEBRUARY 3 executive order enabling financial advisers to continue ripping off their clients could prove a lifeline for a surprising beneficiary: the private equity industry.

The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule would have forced investment advisers in workplace retirement plans like 401(k)s to operate in their clients’ best interests, rather than recommending high-cost, high-risk products that offer the advisers kickbacks and perks.

The Obama White House estimated in a 2015 report that conflicts of interest cost retirement savers $17 billion annually, though that figure has been challenged.

The fiduciary rule, finalized last year, was to go into effect in April. But the new order directs the Labor Department to review the rule, which is expected to initiate the process of rescinding it.

Quote
But with pension plans now a rarity compared to defined contributions retirement plans, private equity wants to crack the 401(k) market to unlock trillions of dollars in potential capital. Americans hold $6.8 trillion in individual retirement plans like 401(k)s. The Wall Street Journal describes this as “something of a Holy Grail quest” for the industry.

Quote
But private equity has been accused of deliberately reporting exaggerated returns to harvest fees. And even if the returns were legitimate, this would still throw millions of retirement dollars into an industry that has been sharply criticized for its predatory version of capitalism.

Quote
Private equity firms buy out companies and load them with unsustainable debt, forcing severe cost-cutting to maintain survival. Because private equity serves as manager and investor, they favor short-term gain over a company’s health, whether through using bankruptcy, favorable tax strategies, or monetizing assets. Workers often get left behind, with lower wages, lost jobs, or restructured union contracts.



x. Ex-acting CIA chief suggests Trump has 'some special bond' with Putin
- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-putin-relationship-michael-morell-234684

Quote
Former acting CIA Director Michael Morell said President Donald Trump’s statements on Russia have been “very bizarre” and suggested there is “some special bond” between Trump and Vladimir Putin that is undermining U.S. interests.

“You know, I think he has some special affection for Putin that is the result of something we don't fully understand,” he said. “There is some special bond here that seems to be overriding the facts and the interests of the United States of America.”

x. The Problem With Our Media Is Extreme Commercialism
- https://www.thenation.com/article/the-problem-with-our-media-is-extreme-commercialism/

Quote
we must be clear about the central problem. Much of what ails our media system stems from its extreme commercialism. The always-controversial Trump was irresistible for ratings-driven news outlets, and their endless profit-seeking helped legitimize a dangerous politics. While it’s tempting to blame audiences for lapping this up, this coverage didn’t just reflect popular demand. Media are beholden to their owners and to the advertisers who pay them.

Quote
Promising nonprofit news experiments like ProPublica and The Intercept have emerged in recent years, and last year the owner of Philadelphia’s newspapers transitioned those entities into a “public benefit corporation.” We could incentivize this sector’s growth with tax breaks for struggling newspapers to transition into low- and nonprofit status. Over time, these new institutions, liberated from commercial constraints, may enable the adversarial journalism our democracy desperately
needs, especially during the Trump era.

These modest proposals are not utopian. They are founded on social-democratic models from our own history and from other industrialized nations. Taken together, these reforms may provide seeds for an alternative media system dedicated to democracy instead of profit. Trump’s manipulations of our news media unmasked a virulent commercialism that seeks to merely entertain, not inform. This wasn’t inevitable—a very different media system was, and still is, possible. But we must fight for it


x. An Actual American War Criminal May Become Our Second-Ranking Diploma
- https://www.thenation.com/article/an-actual-american-war-criminal-may-become-our-second-ranking-diplomat/

Quote
Elliott Abrams spent the Reagan years abetting genocide—now, he has been floated as Trump’s deputy secretary of state.

failing upward career :(


x. An insurgent in the White House
- http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21716026-donald-trump-rages-against-world-he-inherited-president-americas-allies-are-worriedand?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/aninsurgentinthewhitehouse

Quote
The Cocktail Party
To understand Mr Trump’s insurgency, start with the uses of outrage. In a divided America, where the other side is not just mistaken but malign, conflict is a political asset. The more Mr Trump used his stump speeches to offend polite opinion, the more his supporters were convinced that he really would evict the treacherous, greedy elite from their Washington salons.



x. The psychology of why 94 deaths from terrorism are scarier than 301,797 deaths from guns
- https://qz.com/898207/the-psychology-of-why-americans-are-more-scared-of-terrorism-than-guns-though-guns-are-3210-times-likelier-to-kill-them/

Quote
According to the New America Foundation, jihadists killed 94 people inside the United States between 2005 and 2015. During that same time period, 301,797 people in the US were shot dead, Politifact reports.

Quote
But Trump is right about at least one thing: Americans are more afraid of terrorism than they are of guns, despite the fact that guns are 3,210 times more likely to kill them.



x. What Defines a Nation's Identity?
- http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/02/daily-chart-0?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/


x. What do Americans Fear?
- https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161012160030.htm

Quote
"We found clear evidence that the United States is a strongly conspiratorial society," said Dr. Bader. "We see a degree of paranoia in the responses. Most indicative is nearly one-third of respondents believed the government is concealing information about 'the North Dakota crash,' a theory we asked about that -- to our knowledge -- we made up," Dr. Bader continued.

According to the demographics gathered in the survey, the most likely person to believe in a conspiracy theory is a Republican who is employed, but has a lower level of income and education. He or she is likely to be Catholic -- or a Christian denomination -- but attend religious services infrequently.


x. Kicking out immigrants doesn’t raise wages
- http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21716055-least-it-didnt-when-america-tried-1960s-kicking-out-immigrants-doesnt-raise?fsrc=scn/tw/te/rfd/pe


x. What might a trade war between America and China look like?
http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2017/02/economist-explains-2?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/


x. In Age of Trump, Scientists Show Signs of a Political Pulse
- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/06/science/donald-trump-scientists-politics.html

Quote
“But if we want to defend the role of science in policy making, scientists need to run for office.”

Quote
An anonymous donor has provided storage on Amazon servers, and the information can be searched from a website at the University of Pennsylvania called Data Refuge. Though the Federal Records Act theoretically protects government data from deletion, scientists who rely on it say would rather be safe than sorry.

Quote
“I’m a great believer in science,” Mr. Ebell said, “but I’m not a great believer in politicized science.”

 @SenatorPHD


 x. 'America First': From Charles Lindbergh To President Trump
 - http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2017/02/06/513240634/america-first-from-charles-lindbergh-to-president-trump?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20170206

Quote
"I have been forced to the conclusion that we cannot win this war for England regardless of how much assistance we send. That is why the America First Committee has been formed," Lindbergh said in 1941, just months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that launched the U.S. into World War II.

A few momentous years later, after the devastation of the war, isolationism was out of fashion. Instead, America became the driving force in establishing a global web that defines the world to this day — NATO, the United Nations, a strong U.S. military presence in Asia, open seas, a host of trade agreements.

Quote
Trump is more commonly described as a unilateralist — someone who thinks the U.S. can be engaged around the world, but on its own terms, unconstrained by alliances or multinational groups like the United Nations

Quote
Petraeus said the U.S. still has the resources to be a superpower, but he worries about "something perhaps even more pernicious — a loss of self-confidence, resolve and strategic clarity on America's part about our vital interest in preserving and protecting the system we sacrificed so much to bring into being."

Quote
Lindbergh changes course

Lindbergh once expressed similar sentiments.

"The doctrine that we must enter the wars of Europe in order to defend America will be fatal to our nation if we follow it," he said in 1941.

But then came Pearl Harbor, and that changed everything. Lindbergh's movement collapsed — and he not only backed the U.S. war effort, he joined it. Although he had civilian, not military status, he still manged to fly more than 50 combat missions in the Pacific.

And after the war was over, he was often back in Europe, supporting the U.S. effort to rebuild the continent.


x. Your Browsing History Alone Can Give Away Your Identity
- https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/02/browsing-history-identity/515763/?utm_source=feed

Quote
Researchers have found a way to connect the dots between people’s private online activity and their Twitter accounts—even for people who have never tweeted.


x. Does Trump Want to Lose the EO Battle in Court? Or is Donald McGahn Simply Ineffectual (or Worse)?
- https://lawfareblog.com/does-trump-want-lose-eo-battle-court-or-donald-mcgahn-simply-ineffectual-or-worse

Quote
I’m starting to believe that either Donald Trump wants courts to strike down the Immigration Executive order, or that his White House Counsel is incompetent or ineffectual.



x. The Senate is Coming Apart
- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/senate-outlook-battles-threats-nuclear-options-234622

Quote
o"It’s not a good time. It’s not a good time," added Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Democrats, many of whom openly loathe Trump and are furious over his refugee crackdown — which Democrats describe as a "Muslim ban" — and other executive actions, have used all the procedural arrows in their quiver to slow down confirmation of Trump's Cabinet nominees. They've boycotted committee meetings, refused to let panels meet in the afternoon, dragged out votes as long as possible, and refused to agree to even normal floor requests. They are voting against Trump's Cabinet picks in
unprecedented numbers, arguing that Trump doesn't deserve even a patina of partisan support.

And their tactics have been partly successful.


Quote
The Senate's confirmation of Trump's Cabinet is the slowest in modern history, spanning back to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan had their whole Cabinets confirmed at this point; Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama were nearly finished; and even George H.W. Bush had nine of his Cabinet secretaries in place despite opposition from a Democratic Senate.

Trump, though, has only four Cabinet secretaries confirmed, although several more — including attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions — are expected to clear this week.



x. What Effective Protest Could Look Like
- https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/how-to-beat-trump/515736/?utm_source=twb



x. President Trump is now speculating that the media is covering up terrorist attacks
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/02/06/president-trump-is-now-speculating-that-the-media-is-covering-up-terrorist-attacks/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.0ebbec2ce359

Quote
“You’ve seen what happened in Paris, and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening,” he said to the assembled military leaders. “It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.”




x. Senate Democrats Can Block Trump’s Supreme Court Pick
- https://www.thenation.com/article/senate-democrats-can-block-trumps-supreme-court-pick/

Quote
If Democrats can hold onto 41 of their 48 votes, they can postpone a final floor vote indefinitely.

Quote
the Court would now have a progressive majority that would protect reproductive rights, the right to vote, labor unions, environmental and consumer regulations, and civil rights. Instead, we face the return of the Scalia Court, at best; a Court that leans hard right to protect employers and undermine labor, weaken the right to vote, block environmental protections, and water down civil-rights protections with an occasional saving intervention from the otherwise conservative Justice
 Kennedy.

Quote



x. DoD to require passwords to be changed every day, use at least 27 different letters
- http://www.duffelblog.com/2017/02/dod-to-require-passwords-using-27-different-letters-minimum/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=DuffelBlog&utm_content=DoD%20to%20require%20passwords%20to%20be%20changed%20every%20day,%20use%20at%20least%2027%20different%20letters

Quote
According to a recent memo, the DoD has made it a top priority to protect members’ Personally Identifiable Information (PII) by using the following requirements:

Passwords must be at least 54 characters but not more than 56 characters long
27 characters must be non-repeating letters
19 characters must be numbers that cannot repeat, be odd, or be even
The time allowed to enter the password is between 3 and 5.7 seconds
The password must be entered at high tide
Users will be required to reset their password after one correct attempt

NSA’s Security, Hacking, and Information Technology (SHIT) division



x. Senate Democrats plan to debate all night in hopes of stopping DeVos
- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/betsy-devos-democrats-confirmation-234691

Quote
Senate Democrats will take to the floor throughout the day and night Monday to voice their opposition to Betsy DeVos for Education secretary — a Hail Mary effort to persuade one more Republican to join them so they can thwart her confirmation.

The 24-hour marathon of speeches is expected to conclude at noon on Tuesday, when the Senate is expected to vote on DeVos' confirmation. That vote is likely to be a 50-50 tie, with Vice President Mike Pence then taking a rare tie-breaker vote to ensure that DeVos is confirmed. If that happens, it would be the first time a vice president has needed to cast the tie-breaking vote for a Cabinet secretary.



x. Donald Trump not welcome at UK parliament, says Speaker
- http://www.politico.eu/article/donald-trump-not-welcome-at-uk-parliament-says-speaker-john-bercow/

Quote
LONDON — Donald Trump should not be allowed to address the U.K. parliament during his state visit later this year, the Speaker of the House of Commons said Monday.

In a rare intervention, John Bercow said MPs’ “opposition to racism and to sexism” and “support for equality and an independent judiciary” were “hugely important considerations.”



x. Mike Pence’s awkward — and telling — response to whether the U.S. is ‘morally superior’ to Russia
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/06/mike-pences-awkward-and-telling-response-to-whether-the-u-s-is-morally-superior-to-russia/?tid=sm_tw_pp&utm_term=.68d408ff6b61&wprss=rss_the-fix



x. WH list of terror attacks misspells San Bernardino
- http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/318197-wh-list-misspells-san-bernardino-terror-attack

insane.

x. Unsolicited Advice for the White House Press Corps
- http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/02/donald-trump-white-house-press-correspondents-214747

x. Strike tests Trump’s appeal to blue-collar workers
- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/donald-trump-union-strike-234709

x. rather
- https://www.facebook.com/theDanRather/posts/10158168092920716

adarqui

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Re: Daily Wrap-up
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2017, 05:45:00 am »
0
bunch of crazyness. lots of good (non-current-politics) articles i want to read but still haven't.

02/07/2017

x. What Steve Bannon Wants You to Read
- http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/02/steve-bannon-books-reading-list-214745

Quote
Bannon, described by one associate as “the most well-read person in Washington,” is known for recommending books to colleagues and friends, according to multiple people who have worked alongside him. He is a voracious reader who devours works of history and political theory “in like an hour,” said a former associate whom Bannon urged to read Sun Tsu’s The Art of War. “He’s like the ‘Rainman’ of nationalism.”

Quote
Bannon’s readings tend to have one thing in common: the view that technocrats have put Western civilization on a downward trajectory, and that only a shock to the system can reverse its decline. And they tend to have a dark, apocalyptic tone

Quote
“The West is in trouble. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that, and Trump’s election was a sign of health,” said a White House aide who was not authorized to speak publicly. “It was a revolt against managerialism, a revolt against expert rule, a revolt against the administrative state. It opens the door to possibilities.”

Quote
Many political onlookers described Trump’s election as a “black swan” event: unexpected but enormously consequential. The term was popularized by Nassim Taleb, the bestselling author whose 2014 book Antifragile—which has been read and circulated by Bannon and his aides—reads like a user’s guide to the Trump insurgency.

Quote
Moldbug, who does not do interviews and could not be reached for this story, has opened up a line to the White House, communicating with Bannon and his aides through an intermediary, according to a source. During the transition, he made clear his deep skepticism that the Russians were behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, the source said – a message that Trump himself reiterated several times

Quote
“2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die,” he writes. “You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.”


x. WHAT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TAUGHT ME ABOUT DONALD TRUMP
- https://theintercept.com/2017/02/07/what-slobodan-milosevic-taught-me-about-donald-trump/

Quote
Milošević was shameless in lying about obvious truths. “We are blamed for a nationalistic policy but I don’t believe that our policy is nationalistic,” he said. “If we don’t have national equality and equality of people, we cannot be, how to say, a civilized and prosperous country in the future.” As we spoke, the military forces he had organized were continuing to lay waste to Bosnia, encircling Sarajevo and other major cities with medieval-style sieges.

Quote
Karadžić’s performance was Trumpian in its audacious make-believe, and it conveyed a lesson that’s useful to us today. Tyrants don’t care if you believe them, they just want you to succumb to doubt. “His ideas were so grotesque,” I later wrote of Karadžić, “his version of reality so twisted, that I was tempted to conclude he was on drugs, or that I was.

Quote
The terrible experience of the Balkans offers a slit of hope, however: Milošević was overthrown. His world of alternative facts led to a disaster that involved Weimar levels of hyperinflation that sapped his regime of popular support. During one of my stays at the Hyatt Hotel in Belgrade, the nightly rate exceeded 4 million dinars, taxes not included. The defining moment of his overthrow occurred when bulldozers from the working-class town of Čačak smashed into Belgrade at the head of a
column of blue-collar workers who realized their hero had conned them.


x. Why Teaching Civics in America's Classrooms Must Be a Trump-Era Priority
- http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/civics-education-trump-bullying

Quote
In a 2015 survey, 1 in 5 Muslim students in California said they experienced discrimination by a school staff member. According to a complaint filed by the American Civil Liberties Union last year, when a Muslim sixth-grader from Somalia raised his hand to answer a question, a teacher at a school in Phoenix snapped, "I can't wait until Trump is elected. He's going to deport all you Muslims…You're going to be the next terrorist, I bet." (The school denies these allegations.)

Quote
In Detroit, for example, a veteran teacher named William Weir has struggled to keep civic education alive amid mandatory tests and funding cuts. Over the last three years, Weir's school has lost its music, arts, and gym classes, as well as its teaching aides. Even though Weir is a social studies teacher, the principal asked him to teach English because it's a tested subject. (The gym teacher became the new social studies teacher.) Meanwhile, Weir's classes grew from 25 students to as many as 36.

Quote
Educator, author, and civil rights activist Jonathan Kozol has spent the past five decades writing about public schools. "Civic education should be empowering young people to ask discerning questions, and to feel that it's okay to challenge the evils and injustices they perceive," he said. But "civic engagement is being beaten out of kids by this tremendous emphasis on authoritarian instruction, and part of it is [the emphasis on] one right answer on the test. We need to empower young
people to understand that the most important questions we face in life have limitless numbers of answers and that some of those answers will be distressing to the status quo."


x. The Politics of Security in Germany
- https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/02/germany-merkel-terrorist-berlin-stasi-security/515778/?utm_source=atltw

Quote
The Stasi earned particular infamy over its nearly four-decade existence for the spying operations it conducted on its own citizens, and how it wielded that intelligence to control people’s lives.

Quote
“Comrades, we have to know everything.”

Quote
Amri did remain on the radar of the German security services; The Wall Street Journal reported that officials had met seven times to discuss his activities. Authorities even rejected his asylum claim in June, but were unable to deport him because he lacked a passport and Tunisia would not confirm his citizenship. (Documents confirming his identity, which would have paved the way for his deportation, did not arrive from the Tunisian government until two days after his strike on the
Christmas market.)

Quote
Even those who are quick to recall the country’s dark history acknowledge that it may no longer retain its emotional purchase. “As a history professor, I’m part of that elite reinforcing that agenda of [having] no national security state,” Dr. Siegfried Weichlein, a professor of German history at the University of Freiburg, told me. “In every family, you’ll find memories of that—of murder, of being jailed for nothing, being thrown out of university for trumped up charges. The education
system reinforces this and rightly so. On the other hand, when I look at my kids, it doesn’t really mean a thing to them.”



x. Unlike Trump, California Pays Its Taxes
- http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/california-federal-taxes-spending-trump

Quote
An accumulation of data from various sources shows that California routinely pays more in federal taxes than it receives in federal spending. A 2015 study by the New York state comptroller found that in 2013 Californians paid $9,086 per capita in federal taxes and received $9,040 per capita in federal spending—or about 99 cents of spending for every tax dollar. (This is an improvement: The Tax Foundation found that California received about 78 cents in spending for every tax dollar in
2005, and Census and IRS data showed the state getting back 87 cents on the dollar in 2010.) In comparison, the average state gets about $1.29 in federal money for every dollar it sends to Washington.

Quote
California pays about 13 percent of all federal taxes and receives about 11 percent of federal expenditures. It's one of 11 states with a deficit between what it pays the feds and what it gets back. New Jersey has the biggest annual gap between spending and taxes, at more than $2,600 per person. New Mexico enjoys the biggest surplus, at more than $7,700 per person.


x. There are three ways to revoke a US president’s executive orders, and they rarely succeed
- https://qz.com/898683/can-an-executive-order-be-revoked/

Quote
Can an executive order be revoked? There are three ways—but none of them commonly occur, at least not while the president who issues the orders is still in office.

1. The president can revoke, modify, or supersede any executive order

2. Congress can revoke, modify, or supersede an executive order if the president was acting under authority granted by Congress

3. Courts can declare an executive order illegal or unconstitutional.


x. Government by White Nationalism Is Upon Us: It’s not just rhetoric anymore. It’s a political program that could set American democracy back 150 years.
- http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2017/02/government_by_white_nationalism_is_upon_us.html

Quote
“Decius”—since revealed as Michael Anton, a former George W. Bush administration speechwriter—now works for President Trump.

Quote
What is that ideology? Most Americans think of “racism” in individualized terms. To call someone a “racist,” then, is to pass judgment on his or her character—a declaration that this person doesn’t belong in polite society. It’s why, when faced with the accusation, Americans often rush to deny any prejudice. I don’t have a racist bone in my body, goes the cliché. But individualized prejudice is just one way to think of racism. There’s also institutional bias or systemic outcomes—the
things that lead critics to deem the criminal justice system as “racist.” And beyond the material, there’s racism as ideology—a structured worldview defined by support for race hierarchy and racial caste


x. Forget what you’ve heard: Turmeric seems to have zero medicinal properties
- https://qz.com/883829/a-large-scientific-review-study-shows-that-curcumin-in-turmeric-has-no-medicinal-properties/

Quote
Inside the body, curcumin breaks down into chemicals which have different properties. Sometimes it is contaminated with other compounds that have their own biological activity, which gets falsely ascribed to curcumin. It even becomes fluorescent when ultraviolet light is shone on it, which fools a common scientific technique used to detect if a chemical is interacting with a specific protein.

x. Which American producers would suffer from ending NAFTA?
- http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/02/daily-chart-2?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/whichamericanproducerswouldsufferfromendingnafta


x. US Navy SEALs conquer fear using four simple steps
- https://qz.com/450517/us-navy-seals-conquer-fear-using-four-simple-steps/

Quote
Back in 1994, Matilda was a 14-year-old girl who wanted to pull a prank on her parents. As Bobby Crabtree and his wife returned home late at night, they thought Matilda was at one of her friends’ houses. However, as they entered home, Bobby heard some noise coming from upstairs. Matilda hid in the closet wanting to scare her parents. Bobby went upstairs, took his gun and went to Matilda’s bedroom. When she jumped out of the closet, Bobby pulled the trigger. Matilda died 12 hours
later.

Quote
There are some fears that are pre-programmed in the human brain. This means that we are born with them. Fear of choking, drowning, heights, and even the fear of public speaking are examples of such.

goal setting:

[qote]SEALs often think about their friends, family, religious beliefs, and other important things from their lives. The key point is to see something positive in the future (in the near future, if possible) that serves as an anchor to your inner balance.[/quote]

mental rehearsal:

Quote
Mental rehearsal is also known as “visualization,” and it refers to continuously running an activity in your mind. When a real situation occurs, you are better prepared to fight it.

self talk:

Quote
These guys say that positive self-talk can override the signals from the amygdala.

arousal control:

Quote
This is more of a physical exercise. It focuses on breathing, and it requires to deliberately breathe slower as it helps counteract some of the effects of panic. Long exhales mimic the process of relaxation within the body. Long inhales provide much more oxygen to the brain which results in better cognition processes.


x. Democrats Are Desperate for Bernie Sanders' Email List: But if they get it, will they know what to do with it?
- http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/01/democrats-desperate-bernie-sanders-email-list

Quote
Sanders, who raised $218 million online from a record 2.8 million donors, rewrote the rules of email fundraising during his campaign by relentlessly courting small-dollar contributors. For many of those donors, Sanders was the first Democratic presidential candidate they had supported—or the first politician they had ever helped.

Quote
Democrats have made no secret they covet Sanders' list, which Sanders controls through his Senate campaign and the political nonprofit he founded, Our Revolution. The decision on what to do with it rests with Sanders. "Our Revolution won't be giving over the list," says the group's president, Jeff Weaver, who was Sanders' presidential campaign manager. Sanders, for his part, has mostly stayed quiet about the future of the list, which one Democratic consultant referred to as his
"precious." He told the Washington Post in January that he would "cross that bridge" when he comes to it.

Quote
President Barack Obama's presidential campaign rented his list to Organizing for Action for $1.2 million in 2015.) But former Sanders staffers and consultants scoff at the demand for the list. The way they see it, clamoring for access misses the point. The list wasn't the campaign's secret weapon; Sanders was.

Quote
"They keep thinking it's the list," says Becky Bond, who as a senior adviser to Sanders helped build the candidate's national organizing operation. "It's so crazy. It's like someone who buys a $12,000 bicycle and thinks they can win the Tour de France."

Quote
Or maybe there's a compromise waiting to be struck. As one former Sanders digital staffer joked in an email, noting that Sanders, via email appeals, had raised more money directly for Democratic candidates than any other politician in 2016, "Maybe the DNC should turn their list over to Bernie?"


x. Why Your Brain May Be Wired To Believe Fake News
- https://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=https://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2017/02/01/why-your-brain-may-be-wired-to-believe-fake-news/&utm_source=TWITTER&utm_medium=social&utm_content=796832048&utm_campaign=sprinklrForbesMainTwitter&refURL=https://t.co/TDwxVEXcB8&referrer=https://t.co/TDwxVEXcB8#2bfa4f051464

Quote
Google and Facebook have taken steps to tackle the issue: Google banished more than 200 sites from its AdSense network that promoted fake stories, and Facebook changed its news feed algorithm to highlight authentic content.

Quote
Viral untruths get even more credibility now with millions of likes and re-tweets. The latest example: Twitter account @RoguePOTUSStaff. It purports to be one or several staff members “inside the White House,” and regularly tweets updates of disarray in President Donald Trump’s core team. The account has more than half a million followers, including many journalists, but has never provided evidence of its true identity. Many are now doubting its authenticity, with some on Twitter
suggesting the feed is in fact, part of a Russian misinformation campaign.

Quote
How can people avoid falling for hoaxes like these online? Levitin says the first step is to get humble. “If you have humility, you’re open to learning,” he says. “If you think you know everything, it’s impossible to learn.


x. Don’t set goals for yourself—instead, create systems that make it easy for you to succeed
- https://qz.com/892247/dont-set-goals-for-yourself-instead-create-systems-that-make-it-easy-for-you-to-succeed/

x. The Last Time the U.S. Invaded Mexico
- http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/02/the-last-time-the-us-invaded-mexico-214738

x. Cotton and Trump plot crackdown on legal immigration
- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/immigration-trump-senate-cotton-234706

Quote
Overlooked in Donald Trump’s campaign crusade against illegal immigration was his vow to crack down on legal immigration, too.

Now, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a reliable Trump ally, is taking steps to execute that part of the president’s immigration vision — and it could provoke a showdown between two competing ends of the GOP: the working-class populists led by Trump and the establishment Chamber of Commerce wing

Quote
Cotton’s legislation, which he will formally propose Tuesday with Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and detailed exclusively with Politico in advance of its release, swings an ax at the nation’s green-card system by eliminating several avenues for U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor family members for green cards.


x. Giuliani Took Money From a Group That Killed Americans. Does Trump Care?
- http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/11/giuliani-mek-terrorist-group-money-bolton-iran-214479

Quote
You can tell a lot about potential Cabinet nominees by the terrorist group they shill for.

Quote
Perhaps the best known MeK votary is none other than former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, reported to be on the shortlists for Trump’s secretary of state and director of national intelligence, whose ties to the group have resurfaced as the press examines the numerous possible conflicts of interest created by his international business activities. The MeK has paid Giuliani handsomely for years—$20,000 or more, and possibly a lot more—for brief appearances before the group and for
lobbying to have it removed from the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO), which occurred in 2012.


x. Obamacare Helped The Homeless, Who Now Worry About Coverage Repeal
- http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/02/07/513255784/obamacare-helped-the-homeless-who-now-worry-about-coverage-repeal?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=politics&utm_medium=social&utm_term=nprnews


x. Donald Trump's Alt-Reality
- https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/donald-trump-lives-in-a-parallel-universe-what-happens-now/515793/?utm_source=atltw


x. The Terror Attacks Trump Won't Talk About
- http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/terror-attacks-trump-wont-talk-about-white-supremacists


x. Before immigration furor, tech giants donated to Trump inauguration
- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/tech-giants-trump-inauguration-234776

x. What's Lily White, Filthy Rich, and Has 14 Penises? Trump's Cabinet picks, by the numbers
- http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/donald-trump-billionaire-cabinet-picks

x. Democrats start a new caucus to reach Trump voters
- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/off-message-democrats-start-a-new-caucus-to-reach-trump-voters-234694

x. Dogged Reporter, Truth-Seeker, Kind of a Jerk
- http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/assessment/2017/02/how_cnn_anchor_jake_tapper_s_performative_neutrality_made_him_the_ideal.html

x. President Trump's Missing Labor Secretary
- https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/president-trumps-missing-labor-secretary/515655/?utm_source=atltw





02/08/2017

x. We Are This Close to a Constitutional Crisis
- http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/constitutional-crisis-trump-muslim-ban-congress-courts

Quote
Congress "is broken. I am not sure if it can be fixed," said Ronald Krotoszynski, a professor and expert on constitutional law at the University of Alabama School of Law. We need Congress to play an active oversight role—a check against abuses of executive authority, he said: "And although the federal courts function very well, they are the weakest branch and simply cannot serve as the only check on lawless executive actions."

Quote
A constitutional crisis occurs when there is a serious danger that the Constitution is about to fail at its central task, which is to keep political disagreements from breaking down into anarchy, violence, or civil war, said Balkin, a Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School.

Krotoszynski, the University of Alabama law professor, gave a broader definition. In a strict sense, he said, it means that we face a situation for which the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, fails to provide a clear answer to a pressing question of governance.

"In a more general sense, however, it means that one branch of government has gone off the rails," he said—that it's acting in ways inconsistent with the text of the Constitution or well-established constitutional conventions.

Quote
Yes, said Krotoszynski, who singled out the executive order telling agencies that they must repeal two regulations for every new one they make as "the most broadly lawless action" the administration has taken so far. "This is insane."

Quote
Krotoszynski said 1781 to 1789 was a particularly dark period. "The Articles of Confederation were a dismal failure and the nation was melting down—economically and politically," Krotoszynski said, referring to the document that was the first Constitution of the United States. The Constitution of 1787 was a "Hail Mary" effort to reboot the government, he said.

"The Constitution broke down at the end of 1860, resulting in the deaths of approximately 2 percent of the population of the country," Balkin said, adding that would be roughly the equivalent of 6 million people today. A few weeks "into the Trump administration, our situation is not close to being as dire as that."


x. A Republican group is framing their proposed carbon tax as “environmental insurance,” not a tax
- https://qz.com/905688/a-republican-group-making-the-case-for-a-carbon-tax-to-donald-trumps-administration-needs-to-just-look-at-what-happened-in-australia/

Quote
Although carbon taxes have existed in many countries going back as far as 1990, Australia’s move attracted a lot of attention because it was one of the most comprehensive executions of the idea yet. The country implemented a tax of AUD$23 (about US$19 in 2012) per ton of carbon emissions on 500 of the country’s biggest emitters.
Soon after the implementation, as the chart above shows, Australia’s emissions fell rapidly. It was the steepest recorded emissions decline in a decade of Australia’s attempts to implement better environmental policies. (The trailing fall and subsequent rise may have been caused by the anticipation of the tax coming into force and then being repealed, respectively.)

x. What was Mitch McConnell thinking?
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/mitch-mcconnell-elizabeth-warren-senate-floor-234795

Quote
But there's no question the confrontation galvanized Warren's army of liberal fans. McConnell's rebuke — “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted” — became an instant meme on the left









02/10/2017:



x. Spreading lies is a classic authoritarian power move. Don’t let Trump get away with it
- https://qz.com/907097/spreading-lies-is-a-classic-authoritarian-power-move-dont-let-trump-get-away-with-it/

Quote
Trump’s “alternative facts,” as Kellyanne Conway memorably offered, are tools that have long been used by authoritarian leaders to solidify power through mythmaking, distract the electorate and media, and even test party loyalty.

Quote
“promoting lying is what economists sometimes call loyalty filters.”

Quote
Bannon, in a widely circulated interview from November, did note that “darkness” can be a good thing. “That’s power,” he said. “It only helps us when they get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”

Quote
Trump’s lies are “alternative facts” in the same way that autocracies in Russia and Egypt and Venezuela are now alternative democracies.

Quote
Perhaps Hannah Arendt, in her discourse on totalitarianism, said it best. With a willing-enough base, an executive “could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical
cleverness.”
For Trump, the lies are part of a bigger picture that’s slowly coming into focus. It’s our job to try and connect the dots before it’s too late.



x. A permanent wound: How the slave tax warped Alabama finances
- http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/politics/southunionstreet/2017/02/05/permanent-wound-how-slave-tax-warped-alabama-finances/97447706/

Quote
As slavery twisted politics and society in Alabama and throughout the South, it also warped the state’s finances. For decades, the slave tax was a major pillar of the state’s tax system. Historians estimate that at least through the mid-1850s, the tax on the wealth created by the men, women, and children suffering exploitation — and often, physical and sexual assaults — was the single biggest revenue source for state government.

Quote
“The slave tax in a weird way was a stabilizer,” said Susan Pace Hamill, a University of Alabama professor and expert on state taxation. “It was a bad stabilizer — the whole system of slavery was a bad stabilizer. A shameful stabilizer.”

Quote
“From colonial times to the Civil War, American governments derived more revenues from slave taxes than any other source,” Outterson wrote.

Quote
Approaches to taxation differed. In Georgia, the tax on a slave was equal to the tax on 100 acres.

Quote
Whatever the rate, a slaveholder's tax bill was tiny compared to the slave's value. In 1860, an Alabama slaveholder would pay no more than $1.10 in taxes (about $30 in 2016 dollars) for a 15- to 30-year field hand. The slaveholder could sell that same person for up to $1,600 (equal to about $43,000 today). The total value of slaves in the South that year, according to "Alabama: The History of a Deep South State," was $2 billion.

Quote
“Alabama was one of the wealthiest states in the United States at the time of the Civil War, and so was Mississippi, in part because they’re only counting white people,” said Alfred Brophy, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Quote
In 1862, amid the Civil War, the Legislature doubled the taxes on slaves, to pay for the war effort.



x. Rule Used to Silence Warren Was Created to Protect Delicate Feelings of Senate’s Foremost Lynching Advocate
- http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/02/08/elizabeth_warren_rule_19_and_white_supremacist_ben_tillman.html

Quote
The rule was created, in other words, to protect senators like Ben Tillman from hearing mean things that would make them so mad they had to punch someone. And Ben Tillman, as it happens, is perhaps the most notorious proponent of racial terrorism in the history of the United States

INSANITY.


x. Conspiracy Theory Theory: Why are so many people convinced that Donald Trump has a master plan?
- http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/02/tracking_the_conspiracy_theories_about_donald_trump_s_first_weeks_in_office.html

Quote
Ben Mathis-Lilley, who tore several holes in these decalescent musings last week, says they “ascribe to 11-dimensional chess that which can be explained by simple incompetence and ideological extremism.




x. The Mysterious Disappearance of the Biggest Scandal in Washington: Whatever happened to the Trump-Russia story?
- http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/russia-trump-putin-scandal-media


x. Bombshell Report Suggests Trump's National Security Adviser Is Dishonest and a Threat to US Policy
- http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/flynn-trump-washington-post-russia


x. National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/national-security-adviser-flynn-discussed-sanctions-with-russian-ambassador-despite-denials-officials-say/2017/02/09/f85b29d6-ee11-11e6-b4ff-ac2cf509efe5_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_usrussia-%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.606620d7a6fd

Quote
National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were interpreted by some senior U.S. officials as an inappropriate and potentially illegal signal to the Kremlin that it could expect a reprieve from sanctions that were being imposed by the Obama administration in late December to punish Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 election.

“Kislyak was left with the impression that the sanctions would be revisited at a later time,” said a former official.



x. Should America want a strong dollar? It’s complicated
- http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2017/02/injured-reserve?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/


x. Is Your Noisy Neighborhood Slowly Killing You?  Inside the science of negative sound effects, and what we can do about them.
- http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/12/city-noise-pollution-health-school-learning

Quote
Scientists define "noise" as unwanted sound, and the level of background din from human activities has been doubling roughly every three decades, beating population growth. Road traffic in the United States has tripled over the last 30 years. By 2032, the number of passenger flights is expected to be nearly double the 2011 figure—at peak hours, planes are even audible overhead 70 percent of the time in the remote backcountry of Yosemite National Park.

Quote
While the results suggested I am neither neurotic nor particularly introverted—both of which can predispose a person to noise annoyance

Quote
Even if you think you're immune to city noise, it may well be affecting your health. The best research on this comes out of Europe. In one study of 4,861 adults, a 10-decibel increase in nighttime noise was linked to a 14 percent rise in a person's likelihood of being diagnosed with hypertension.

Quote
Another study examined how the opening of a new airport in Munich affected nearby children. In the 18 months after flights commenced, the researchers observed soaring levels of stress hormones in their subjects. The children's epinephrine levels rose 49 percent, their norepinephrine more than doubled, and their systolic blood pressure, on average, went up by five points.

Quote
"To date, over 20 studies have shown a negative effect of environmental noise exposure on children's learning outcomes and cognitive performance," notes a 2013 paper in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. "Studies have demonstrated that children with chronic aircraft, road traffic or rail noise exposure at school have poorer reading ability, memory, and academic performance on national standardised tests." There's science behind the saying "You can't hear yourself think."

Quote
noise may well be the most pervasive pollutant in America.

x. Trump Didn't Invent "Make America Great Again": How conservatives hijacked the idea of American exceptionalism.
- http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/12/american-exceptionalism-maga-trump-obama


x. For first time, minority students expected to be majority in U.S. public schools this fall
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2014/08/21/for-first-time-minority-students-expected-to-be-majority-in-u-s-public-schools-this-fall/?utm_term=.0aa835b6bf4d

Quote
For the first time in U.S. history, ethnic and racial minorities are projected to make up the majority of students attending American public schools this fall, ending the white-majority population that has existed from the beginnings of the public education system.

The U.S. Education Department projected that this fall, the percentage of students who are white will drop from 51 percent in 2012 to 49.7. In 1997, white enrollment was 63.4 percent; by 2022, it is projected that minorities will constitute 54.7 percent of the public school student population and whites, 45.3 percent.

Quote
This doesn’t mean that if you walk into a random public school classroom, there will be more minority students than white students because of the way children are segregated in communities and schools. In fact, several studies in recent years have shown such increased levels of segregation in public schools that the authors conclude that the country’s success as a multiracial society is at risk. In 2012, the Civil Rights Project at UCLA released three reports — “E Pluribus . . .
Separation: Deepening Double Segregation for More Students,” plus two regional studies found segregation growing based on both race and poverty,. with 15 percent of black students and 14 percent of Latino students attend “apartheid schools” across the nation in which whites make up zero to 1 percent of the enrollment, the researchers found


x. The War on Science Is a Trap
- http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2017/02/the_war_on_science_is_a_trap.html

Quote
if the Democrats could brand themselves the Party of Science—if they could reframe political disputes as skirmishes between science and faith, or between evidence and belief—then they would have a way to outflank the GOP and capture some of its support.

Quote
The War on Science works for Trump because it’s always had more to do with social class than politics. A glance at data from the National Science Foundation shows how support for science tracks reliably with socioeconomic status. As of 2014, 50 percent of Americans in the highest income quartile and more than 55 percent of those with college degrees reported having great confidence in the nation’s scientific leaders. Among those in the lowest income bracket or with very little education,
that support drops to 33 percent or less. Meanwhile, about five-sixths of rich or college-educated people—compared to less than half of poor people or those who never finished high school—say they believe that the benefits of science outweigh the potential harms. To put this in crude, horse-race terms, the institution of scientific research consistently polls about 30 points higher among the elites than it does among the uneducated working class.

Quote
In a post-election analysis at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver found that Trump held a 31-point advantage in the nation’s least-educated counties, while Clinton held a 26-point advantage in the best-educated ones—and concluded that income explained only part of this effect.

Quote
By confronting it directly, science activists may end up helping to consolidate Trump’s support among his most ardent, science-skeptical constituency. If they’re not careful where and how they step, the science march could turn into an ambush.

x. Fox News Retracts Tweets Implying Quebec City Mass Shooter Was Muslim: But only after Donald Trump Jr. and thousands of others retweeted them.
- http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/fox-news-false-tweets-retraction-quebec-city-mosque-shooter

Quote
A day after Mother Jones first reported on the erroneous Fox News tweets—which collectively were retweeted thousands of times before their removal—the director of communications for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent an email to Fox News calling for a retraction and rebuking the network for allowing "false and misleading language" to continue circulating

x. President Trump has failed to learn a crucial lesson—you don’t cross the US intelligence community
- https://qz.com/902124/two-weeks-in-donald-trump-has-yet-to-learn-that-you-dont-cross-the-us-intelligence-community/

Quote
And nearly all of them will tell you the same thing: no matter how powerful you are politically, you do not mess with the US intelligence community.


x. Your brain is particularly vulnerable to trauma at two distinct ages
- https://qz.com/470751/your-brain-is-particularly-vulnerable-to-trauma-at-two-distinct-ages/

Quote
According to Tara Swart, a neuroscientist and senior lecturer at MIT, your “terrible twos” and those turbulent teen years are when the brain’s wiring is most malleable. As a result, traumatic experiences that occur during these time periods can alter brain activity and ultimately change gene expressions—sometimes for good


x. Here’s a List of 39 White Terrorists for the Smug Congressman Who Challenged CNN to Name More Than Two
- http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/02/07/sean_duffy_asked_for_examples_of_white_extremist_terror_here_you_go_sean.html

x. The Terror Attacks Trump Won't Talk About: Guess what they have in common
- http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/terror-attacks-trump-wont-talk-about-white-supremacists

Quote
Trump has been almost entirely silent about terror plotted and carried out by white supremacists and other far-right extremists.

x. Trump's Advisers Want to Return Humans to the Moon in Three Years: The plan could dramatically shift the mission of the space agency, prioritizing low-Earth orbit activity over distant exploration.
- https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/02/trump-space-policy-takes-shape/516123/

Quote
“NASA’s new strategy will prioritize economic growth and the organic creation of new industries and private sector jobs, over ‘exploration’ and other esoteric activities,” explains a summary of what’s next for NASA in the documents. “Done correctly, this could create a trillion-dollar per year space economy, dominated by America.”

x. McCain rebuffs White House's call for apology over Yemen raid
- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/yemen-raid-success-sean-spicer-234804


x. What a Pro-Trump English Professor Thinks Now
- http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/interrogation/2017/02/what_pro_trump_english_professor_mark_bauerlein_thinks_now_that_his_candidate.html

Quote
Was there some point where I fell asleep and white men were no longer, broadly speaking, running the country?

lmao..


x. Peter's Choice I asked my student why he voted for Trump. The answer was thoughtful, smart, and terrifying.
- http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/01/donald-trump-2016-election-oklahoma-working-class



x. A better salary negotiation starts with a simple question
- https://qz.com/622394/eleven-ways-to-navigate-salary-negotiations/

x. LeBron James Says Trump’s Muslim Ban Is “Not What the United States Is About”
- http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/02/08/lebron_james_says_trump_s_muslim_ban_is_not_what_united_states_is_about.html

Quote
"Diversity is what makes this country so great,” James continued. “We should all continue to speak up and fight for ideas that bring people together regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs or any other differences… It's important that we as athletes continue to use the platform we have to speak up for what we believe in.”

x. In Bacteria, Persistence Leads to Resistance
- https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/02/in-bacteria-persistence-leads-to-resistance/516138/?utm_source=atltw

Quote
The vast majority of antibiotics work by killing bacteria that are actively growing and multiplying. Think of the antibiotics as wrenches thrown into the midst of whirring machines. If the machines are off—their cogs still, their motors silent—the wrenches have no effect. So it is with bacteria. By simply doing nothing, and entering a dormant or extremely slow-growing state, they can survive. They can keep their heads down until the antibiotic has diffused away and the danger has passed.

This strategy is called tolerance, and the cells that practice it are called persisters.

Quote
By tracing the history of these microbes, the team noticed that the resistant strains only ever emerged from tolerant ones. First, the microbes developed mutations that slowed their growth, allowing them to persist through the waves of ampicillin. Only then did they acquire the crucial ampC mutations that they used to defuse the drug itself. “It was very clear,” says Nathalie Balaban, who led the study. “Each time we got resistance, the bacteria had become tolerant before.”

“That’s an unanticipated link,” says Kim Lewis, from Northeastern University. “Many people, including me, have been arguing that tolerance allows the pathogen to survive and live to fight another day. And if you have a surviving population, sooner or later, resistance will develop. But what [Balaban and her team] have shown is that when the resistance mutation occurs in the background of tolerance, the pathogen survives better.


x. Why the White House Keeps Crying “Fake News”: It’s a desperate ploy to distract the media from their real jobs.
- http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2017/02/why_the_white_house_keeps_crying_fake_news.html

Quote
Insults are the last refuge of the rhetorical loser; they’re what’s left when you run out of logic and evidence. And yet they can be highly effective if their target rises to the bait, because they derail the conversation and distract from the topic at hand

Insults are the last refuge of the rhetorical loser; they’re what’s left when you run out of logic and evidence.
-- Will Oremus / Slate

x. Trump brings up vote fraud again, this time in meeting with senators: 'An uncomfortable silence' momentarily overtook the room, said one participant.
- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-voter-fraud-senators-meeting-234909


x. Trump vexed by challenges, scale of government
- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/donald-trump-challenges-governing-presidency-234879

Quote
Trump has privately expressed disbelief over the ability of judges, bureaucrats or lawmakers to delay — or even stop — him from filling positions and implementing policies.

Quote
The interviews paint a picture of a powder-keg of a workplace where job duties are unclear, morale among some is low, factionalism is rampant and exhaustion is running high. Two visitors to the White House last week said they were struck by how tired the staff looks.

x. China upgrades military infrastructure on South China Sea islands, report claims
- http://www.defensenews.com/articles/china-upgrades-military-infrastructure-on-south-china-sea-islands-report-claims?utm_content=buffer2881d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

x. CNN: US Intelligence Has Confirmed Parts of the Trump-Russia Memos
- http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/cnn-us-intelligence-confirms-parts-trump-russia-report

Quote
Some of the individuals involved in the intercepted communications were known to the US intelligence community as "heavily involved" in collecting information damaging to Hillary Clinton and helpful to Donald Trump, two of the officials tell CNN

x. Michael Flynn's Debacle
- https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/michael-flynns-disaster/516285/

Quote
“The National Security Council,” he warned, “is not one executive body. It is a deliberative body.” But the new national security adviser, General Michael Flynn, obviously hungered to carry out policy, not merely preside over policy formation. That way lay the disaster that had befallen Reagan's national security advisers Bud Macfarlane and John Poindexter in the 1980s, who were convicted of lying to Congress about the administration selling arms to Iran to finance anti-communist militants in
Nicaragua.

x. Russia Extends Edward Snowden’s Asylum
- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/world/europe/edward-snowden-asylum-russia.html?_r=0

Quote
“And seriously, the essence of what the C.I.A. agent is suggesting is an ideology of betrayal,” she wrote. “You spoke, Mr. Morrell, and now it’s clear to everybody that in your office, it’s normal to bring gifts in the form of people, and to hand over those who seek defense.”

x. Here's Why Donald Trump Can't Defund "Out-of-Control" California : Or: Why liberals suddenly love the 10th Amendment.
- http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/trump-california-defund-sanctuary-city-tenth-amendment

Quote
The short answer is that Congress, not the White House, has ultimate power over the federal purse. The president's budget requests may direct Congress how to allocate federal spending, but the matter is not entirely in his hands. And he has no authority to withhold or rescind spending that's already been authorized.

Hypothetically, Congress could pass a law or budget bill that puts conditions on the federal funding provided to, say, out-of-control California. But numerous Supreme Court decisions protect state and local governments against this type of vindictive policymaking.

The 10th Amendment of the Constitution says that any power not delegated to the federal government becomes the responsibility of the states. This is the basis of America's federal system, whereby states have the freedom to pass laws that are distinct from those passed by Congress.

The feds depend on state and local officials to enforce their policies. The federal system is set up to encourage cooperation between state and federal officials. If that falls apart, Trump will have difficulty enacting his agenda. As Yale law professor Heather Gerken recently argued on Vox, "Even if President Trump spends enough political capital to win this or that battle against blue cities and states, he cannot win the war. The federal government doesn't have the resources to carry out
Trump's policies."

x. Trump dumped Abrams over his criticisms during the campaign, sources say
- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/elliott-abrams-no-deputy-secretary-of-state-234908

Quote
President Donald Trump intervened at the last moment to deny Rex Tillerson his pick to be deputy secretary of state — former deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams.

The president overruled his secretary of state — following meeting with Tillerson, Abrams and son-in-law Jared Kushner — after reading news reports about their meeting, which included references to Abrams' criticisms of Trump during last year's presidential campaign

x. CIA freezes out top Flynn aide: The agency denied a security clearance for a key aide to the National Security Adviser — ratcheting up tensions between Flynn and the intel community.
- http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/mike-flynn-nsa-aide-trump-234923

Quote
One person close to Trump said that, within the White House, Flynn is regarded by some as waging “a jihad against the intelligence community.” This person said Flynn is blamed by some people around Trump for trying to turn the new president against the intelligence community during the campaign and transition period, when Trump was openly skeptical about U.S. intelligence findings that Russia meddled in the election to try to help his campaign and damage that of his Democratic rival Hillary
Clinton.


x.Why Trump's Staff Is Lying
- https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-01-23/why-trump-s-staff-is-lying

Quote
By requiring subordinates to speak untruths, a leader can undercut their independent standing, including their standing with the public, with the media and with other members of the administration. That makes those individuals grow more dependent on the leader and less likely to mount independent rebellions against the structure of command. Promoting such chains of lies is a classic tactic when a leader distrusts his subordinates and expects to continue to distrust them in the
future.

Quote
Another reason for promoting lying is what economists sometimes call loyalty filters. If you want to ascertain if someone is truly loyal to you, ask them to do something outrageous or stupid. If they balk, then you know right away they aren’t fully with you. That too is a sign of incipient mistrust within the ruling clique, and it is part of the same worldview that leads Trump to rely so heavily on family members.

Quote
These lower-status lies are also a short-run strategy. They represent a belief that a lot can be pushed through fairly quickly, bundled with some obfuscation of the truth, and that long-term credibility does not need to be maintained


x. How Trump's USDA Could Hurt Puppies
- http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/usda-animal-welfare-puppy-mills-trump-humane-society

Quote
It may have just gotten a lot harder to spot puppy abusers: A section of the US Department of Agriculture's website that provided documents detailing animal abuse was taken down last Friday, without warning. For more than 10 years, the government agency posted information on violators of the Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act. Citizens, journalists, and animal advocacy organizations like the Humane Society relied on these reports to identify zoos, animal research labs, horse
breeders, and dog breeders who violated the laws.

The USDA said in a statement last week that it had taken action after conducting a review of the types of information it posts, and stated that it is committed to the "privacy of individuals with whom we come into contact." The agency said people will now have to file Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain the same information, though this process can take many months, if not years.

Quote
Brian Klippenstein, the leader of Trump's USDA transition team, lobbied against Humane Society-backed initiatives in Massachusetts that would curb the use of pig gestation stalls and chicken cages in the state. Before he was appointed to the transition team, Klippenstein was the executive director of Protect the Harvest, a nonprofit that aims to "inform America's consumers, businesses, and decision-makers about the threats posed by animal rights groups and anti-farming extremists."

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Re: Daily Wrap-up
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2017, 04:47:30 am »
0
02/23/2017

still don't have enough time to focus on any BIG articles.. have a few i really want to read. Going to make time this weekend.


X. https://theintercept.com/2017/02/22/how-peter-thiels-palantir-helped-the-nsa-spy-on-the-whole-world/

^^ very good read.

The profit-motive of war, surveillance, prison etc, is something that always pisses me off.

 

X. https://qz.com/917296/what-is-donald-trumps-plan-for-the-us-white-house-no-one-in-washington-knows/

X. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/09/trump-white-house-tries-plug-distressing-number-leaks/

X. https://www.currentaffairs.org/2017/02/forget-swing-voters

X. https://www.wsj.com/articles/top-u-s-officials-get-chilly-reception-in-mexico-1487811060?mod=e2fb

X. http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/02/23/arizona_protest_racketeering_law_passes_state_senate.html

X. https://www.currentaffairs.org/2017/02/what-well-tolerate-and-what-we-wont

X. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/john-boehner-obamacare-republicans-235303

X. https://theintercept.com/2017/02/23/tom-cotton-endorses-myth-protesters-paid-seeming-dismiss/

X. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/paul-manafort-blackmail-russia-trump-235275

X. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/02/rex-tillerson-is-already-underwater-214808

^^ good read.

X. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/02/state-department-civil-servants-trump-tillerson-214817

X. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/richard-spencer-kicked-out-cpac-2017-235311

X. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/jaime-harrison-endorses-tom-perez-235310



X. https://medium.com/waymo/a-note-on-our-lawsuit-against-otto-and-uber-86f4f98902a1#.ngu13aha9

^^ INSANE!!! Uber is in serious trouble, if true.



X. https://bugs.chromium.org/p/project-zero/issues/detail?id=1139

X. http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/23/politics/fbi-refused-white-house-request-to-knock-down-recent-trump-russia-stories/index.html

X. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/does-trump-have-mystery-creditor

X. https://psmag.com/on-the-milo-bus-with-the-lost-boys-of-americas-new-right-629a77e87986#.980tp6ear

X. http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/02/21/trump_steve_bannon_and_pedophilia_defender_milo_yiannopoulous_have_a_history.html


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Re: Daily Wrap-up
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2017, 05:01:46 am »
0
02/24/2017

X. https://theintercept.com/2017/02/24/key-question-about-dnc-race-why-did-white-house-recruit-perez-to-run-against-ellison/

X. https://newrepublic.com/article/140847/case-tom-perez-makes-no-sense

^^ great read.. I really hope Tom Perez doesn't get the job tomorrow.. I mean, really hope. I like the guy, but the DNC needs to let go & listen to Bernie.

X. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-internment-anniversary-20170219-story.html



X. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/02/cpac_invented_an_alternate_history_of_the_alt_right.html

^^ this is actually the craziest thing I read all day..

So as I was reading it, I read this line and was like "ok cool!"

Quote
Shortly after the conference began on Thursday, Dan Schneider, executive director of the American Conservative Union—the group that puts on CPAC—gave a speech denouncing the alt-right

cool right? Then I kept reading:

Quote
Shortly after the conference began on Thursday, Dan Schneider, executive director of the American Conservative Union—the group that puts on CPAC—gave a speech denouncing the alt-right as left-wing infiltrators. “There is a sinister organization that is trying to worm its way into our ranks,” he said, arguing that the term “alt-right” had been “hijacked” by a “hate-filled left-wing fascist group.”

THAT IS FUCKING INSANE.

scary times we are in.



X. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/02/time-tackle-isil-millions-sympathisers-170222043603065.html

^^ mostly common sense, but still interesting.. most interesting thing is about who is actually joining ISIL - not necessarily religious fundamentalists.. poverty itself plays a huge role.

X. https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/02/the-racial-achievement-gap-is-prevalent-even-in-kindergarten/516831/?utm_source=atltw

X. https://qz.com/898746/an-economist-explains-why-you-should-stop-tidying-up-and-embrace-the-mess/

^^ i'm a piler.

X. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=22

X. http://www.salon.com/2007/04/10/media_failure/

^^ old but great piece on journalism/iraq war.

X. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/reporters-blocked-white-house-gaggle-235360

X. http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2017/02/breitbart-reveals-owners-ceo-larry-solov-mercer-family-and-susie-breitrbart-235358

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Re: Daily Wrap-up
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2017, 05:01:56 am »
0
02/26//2017

X. https://theintercept.com/2017/02/26/the-long-history-of-deportation-scare-tactics-at-the-u-s-mexico-border/

X. http://www.salon.com/2017/02/26/america-last-the-case-for-moral-disengagement-from-politics-in-the-age-of-trump/

X. https://www.opensecrets.org/overview/

X. http://www.salon.com/2017/02/26/automated-labor-apocalypse-why-a-french-socialists-case-for-taxing-robots-is-better-than-bill-gates-idea_partner/

Nearly half of jobs in the United States could be eliminated via automation over next two decades

X. http://www.salon.com/2017/02/25/watch-sen-sheldon-whitehouse-on-the-corporate-science-denial-machine-that-has-corrupted-politics/

X. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/02/26/israelis-will-soon-be-mass-producing-ak-47s-for-the-u-s-market.html?via=twitter_page

The lynchpin for any weapons maker is the bottomless U.S. civilian market, which is estimated to hold anywhere from 300 million to 600 million guns and generates approximately $16 billion in yearly revenue. 

Israel’s defense exports stood at $5.7 billion in 2015, accounting for 14 percent of total exports.  For all those Israelis like Oz and his colleagues who retire from mandatory military service with, shall we say, very particular skillsets, it is a major source of employment.  Indeed, according to Defense Ministry figures, nearly 1400 arms dealers are registered in Israel, with 198,000 export permits issued to individuals or companies. 

X. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/02/the-algorithm-is-watching-you/517440/?utm_source=atltw

X. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/25/business/media/tv-viewers-tracking-tools.html

X. http://www.politico.com/states/california/story/2017/02/darrell-issa-trump-oversight-109886

X. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/02/it_s_hard_to_trust_reince_priebus_fbi_claims.html

X. https://qz.com/919250/warren-buffetts-letter-to-berkshire-hathaway-investors-explains-how-to-use-fear-to-your-advantage/


Data:

X. https://www.opensecrets.org/overview/
X. https://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/summ.php?disp=D
X. https://www.opensecrets.org/trump/political-appointees

Tech:

X. https://neo4j.com/developer/graph-database/
X. https://neo4j.com/developer/cypher-query-language/