by A. Richard Miller
Begun September 29, 2008; last updated October 21, 2018.

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We also link to some Black Humor (with Cartoons).

On the eve of USA's November 2008 national election, an urgent proposal for an unsecured $700-Billion, maybe $800-Billion loan to mismanaged banks and stockbrokers was generating understandable controversy. In its initial form the Bush Buddies Bailout was one more Weapon of Mass Deception, a (later, a two-step) public welfare program for wealthy people who game the system. But the problem remains.

What, exactly, went - and continues to go - wrong? What ARE reasonable goals, what are NOT, and how might a more populist government reach good ones?

Jill and I searched, asked friends, and found part of the discussion in the mainline U.S. Press. It is dominated by large corporations, and is quickly becoming a large corporation that reports with bias and too-often avoids reporting. We find the parts they don't want us to find - overseas, in The New York Times and The Washington Post, and in the Alternative Press. Some favorites are: Alternet, Campaign for America's Future, Common Dreams, Daily KOS, Demand Progress, Democracy Now, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Mother Jones, The Nation, Nation of Change, Dan Rather's News&Guts, Politico, The Raw Story, TruthOut, and Russ Baker's But we keep a sense of perspective; know which news is biased, and how.

The more we read, the more we realize that - as much as we want our money back - that is only one of many ways our country is becoming impoverished. Often by corporations, which most definitely are NOT people! (For one thing, these rapacious corporations have no shame.)

You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. What I mean by that, is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.

- Rahm Emanuel (Wall Street Journal Weekend Interview, Nov. 7, 2008)

Never waste the opportunities offered by a good crisis.
- Niccolo Machiavelli (Fifteenth Cent. 
Florentine writer and statesman)

Yes, as through this world I've wandered,
  I've seen lots of funny men;
Some will rob you with a six-gun,
  And some with a fountain pen.

And as through your life you travel,
  Yes, as through your life you roam,
You won't never see an outlaw
  Drive a family from their home.

- Woody Guthrie, Dust Bowl Ballads

What is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?
- Bertolt Brecht

Yes, We're Corrupt.
A List of Politicians Admitting That Money Controls Politics

Too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning.
- Jimmy Carter (1979, as U.S. President)

It is not particularly easy for one to climb up out of the working-class - especially if he is handicapped by the possession of ideals and illusions.
- What Life Means to Me, by Jack London (1905)

... peace was not in the interest of a stable society, that even if lasting peace "could be achieved, it would almost certainly not be in the best interests of society to achieve it." War was a part of the economy. Therefore, it was necessary to conceive a state of war for a stable economy. The government, the group theorized, would not exist without war, and nation states existed in order to wage war. War served the vital function of diverting collective aggression. They recommended "credible substitutes" and paying a "blood price" to emulate the economic functions of war. Prospective government-devised alternatives to war included reports of alien life-forms, the reintroduction of a "euphemized form" of slavery "consistent with modern technology and political processes", and - one deemed particularly promising in gaining the attention of the malleable masses - the threat of "gross pollution of the environment".
- Wikipedia's summary of The Report From Iron Mountain (1967)

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
- U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower (April 16, 1953)

There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.
- John Adams, letter to Jonathan Jackson (2 October 1780), The Works of John Adams, vol 9, p.511.

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.
-- President Abraham Lincoln (1864 letter to William Fletcher Elkin), or faked in
Caldwell Remedy Company pamphlet (May 10, 1888), or...
         <> (pp. 4-6)

What is this you call property? It cannot be the earth. For the land is our mother, nourishing all her children, beasts, birds, fish, and all men. The woods, the streams, everything on it belongs to everybody and is for the use of all. How can one man say it belongs to him only?
- Massasoit

Only when the last tree has been cut down, only when the last river has been poisoned, only when the last fish has been caught, only then will you realize your money cannot be eaten.
- an old Cree saying? Maybe not; but good.

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism.
- U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1938

Train communities through all their grades, beginning with individuals and ending there again, to rule themselves.
Walt Whitman

This planet has -- or rather had -- a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.
- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (1979)

The Fragile States Index (Fund For Peace)

US National Debt Clock, by Ed Hall

The Freecycle Network (Good. A
grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and neighborhoods. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.)

Time Trade Circle (Good. Time Banking in eastern Massachusetts.)

Buy Nothing Project (Bad?)
(See its Person-to-Person section - on Facebook - and then see
Corporate Surveillance in Everyday Life , below).

Calculated Risk (blog)

The Conscience of a Liberal (NY Times blog by Paul Krugman)

To Build A Better Ballot; an interactive guide to alternative voting systems, by Nicky Case, 2016) (Campaign for America's Future)

The Strange Disappearance of Cooperation in America, by Peter Turchin (Cliodynamica, 2013)

NEW: Corporate Surveillance in Everyday Life (Institute for Critical Digital Culture, 2018)
"Every click on a website and every swipe on a smartphone may trigger a wide variety of hidden  
data sharing mechanisms distributed across several companies and, as a result, directly affect a  
person’s available choices. Digital tracking and profiling, in combination with personalization,  
are not only used to monitor, but also to influence peoples’ behavior. ...
"Facebook uses at least 52,000 personal attributes to sort and categorize its 1.9 billion users by,  
for example, their political views, ethnicity, and income. In order to do so, the platform  
analyzes their posts, likes, shares, friends, photos, movements, and many other kinds of behaviors.
"In addition, Facebook acquires data on its users from other companies. In 2013, the platform  
began its partnership with the four data brokers Acxiom, Epsilon, Datalogix and BlueKai, the latter  
two of which were subsequently acquired by the IT giant Oracle. These companies help Facebook track  
and profile its users even better than it already does by providing it with data collected from  
beyond its platform."

NEW: Help Us Cure Online Publishing of Its Addiction to Personal Data, by Doc Searls (Linux Journal, March 14, 2018)
(and The Big Datastillery that targets YOU) 

NEW: It's Official: Watching Fox Makes You Stupider (The Nation, 2012)

NEW: Ten True Facts Guaranteed to Short-Circuit Republican Brains (Daily KOS, 2012)

NEW: His Grief, and Ours: Paul Ryan's nasty ideal of self-reliance (New Republic, 2012)

NEW: We All Built This Great Nation Together: Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, and the Myth of Radical Individualism (Nick Gier)

NEW: The Foul Reigh Of Emerson's "Self-Reliance" (New York Times, 2011)

NEW: Losing my religion for equality (Jimmy Carter, 2009)
"The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God."

RELIGION: What It Was For; What Went Wrong; How To Fix It, by Benjamin Becula

The New Populism (Campaign for America's Future, 2014)

Freethinkers and Libertarianism, by David Niose

NEW: Yale Climate Opinion Maps, U.S. 2016

NEW: Scientists Are Pro-Testing (Science, 2017)

NEW: Is the World Ready for a Guaranteed Basic Income? (Freakonomics,2016)

NEW:  The Gerasimov Doctrine (Politico, 2017)
"It’s Russia’s new chaos theory of political warfare. And it’s probably being used on you."

NEW: We All Want Healthcare To Cost Much Less  -  But We Are Asking The Wrong Question, by Joe Flowers (Medium, 2017)
"Imagine this: Healthcare  -  the whole system  -  for half as much. Better, more effective. No rationing. Everybody in."

NEW: What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest An Answer. (New York Times, November 7, 2017)

Our Revolution

Angry White House Staffer

GOP Rape Advisory Chart

The Loneliness of Donald Trump; On the Corrosive Privilege of the Most Mocked Man in the World, by Rebecca Solnit

Vote Sleuth: Investigating Democracyngeles Times, 2017)

NEW: The way Donald Trump is handling his job as president (Gallup Poll Daily Data)

NEW: "Who am I? Why am I here?" (#25thAmendmentNow)
A running thread of Trump not knowing where he is, how he got there, or the appropriate response to give in the moment."

Donald Trump (Vice)

Obamacare 101: Here's what you need to know (Los Angeles Times, 2017)

NEW: The way Donald Trump is handling his job as president (Gallup Poll Daily Data)

NEW: "Who am I? Why am I here?" (#25thAmendmentNow)
A running thread of Trump not knowing where he is, how he got there, or the appropriate response to give in the moment. Some mental health professionals are concerned that he may be exhibiting signs of Alzheimer's, but he might just be an idiot."

The Hamilton 68 Dashboard tracks Russian influence operations on Twitter. (Hosted by the Alliance for Securing Democracy.)

NEW: How Facebook’s destructive ethos imperils democracy (The Guardian, March 17, 2018)

NEW: Atlas Of Utopias (Transformative Cities, 2018)

NEW: CONGRESSIONAL SCORECARD; Congressional Civil Liberties Record in the Trump Era ACLU, 2018)

NEW: Chart: The percentage of women and men in each profession (Boston Globe)

NEW: Smoking bans in private vehicles (Wikipedia)

NEW:  Light Cycles, by Quinn Norton

NEW: "The Suffocation of Democracy", by Christopher R. Browning (New York Review Of Books, October 13, 2018)
"If the US has someone whom historians will look back on as the gravedigger of American democracy, it is Mitch McConnell. He stoked the hyperpolarization of American politics to make the Obama presidency as dysfunctional and paralyzed as he possibly could. As with parliamentary gridlock in Weimar, congressional gridlock in the US has diminished respect for democratic norms, allowing McConnell to trample them even more. Nowhere is this vicious circle clearer than in the obliteration of traditional precedents concerning judicial appointments.
Trump’s personal flaws and his tactic of appealing to a narrow base while energizing Democrats and alienating independents may lead to precisely that rare wave election needed to provide a congressional check on the administration as well as the capture of enough state governorships and legislatures to begin reversing current trends in gerrymandering and voter suppression. The elections of 2018 and 2020 will be vital in testing how far the electoral system has deteriorated.
Alongside the erosion of an independent judiciary as a check on executive power, other hallmarks of illiberal democracy are the neutralization of a free press and the steady diminution of basic human rights. On these issues, often described as the guardrails of democracy against authoritarian encroachment, the Trump administration either has won or seems poised to win significant gains for illiberalism. Upon his appointment as chancellor, Hitler immediately created a new Ministry of People’s Enlightenment and Propaganda under Joseph Goebbels, who remained one of his closest political advisers. In Trump’s presidency, those functions have effectively been privatized in the form of Fox News and Sean Hannity. The highly critical free media not only provide no effective check on Trump’s ability to be a serial liar without political penalty; on the contrary, they provide yet another enemy around which to mobilize the grievances and resentments of his base. A free press does not have to be repressed when it can be rendered irrelevant and even exploited for political gain.

NEW: She Votes (NPR's special SERIES on women and the vote, October 20, 2018)

Pertinent Posts

Something is desperately wrong when America is accused of covering up the killing of a dissident (Los Angeles Times, October 20, 2018)
Saudis’ Image Makers: A Troll Army and a Twitter Insider (New York Times, October 20, 2018)
‘The Saudis still aren’t coming clean’: Doubt expressed on explanation of Khashoggi’s death (Washington Post, October 20, 2018)
A Slow Trip To A Hot Planet: Spacecraft Launches For Mission To Mercury (NPR, October 19, 2018)
Police chief on viral obituary: Vermont addict's death 'was nothing special at all' (
Daily KOS, October 19, 2018)
Majority Latino city in Kansas just moved its one, yes one, polling place outside the city limits (
Daily KOS, October 19, 2018)
Conservatives just got caught running a program to get federal clerks to influence their judges (
Daily KOS, October 19, 2018)
Kavanaugh's dragging the Supreme Court down and taking the GOP with him (Daily KOS, October 19, 2018)
Trump says he has no regrets about praising congressman for assaulting reporter (CNN, October 19, 2018)
"Guardian US editor John Mulholland condemned Trump's joke in a statement. 'The President of the United States tonight applauded the assault on an American journalist who works for the Guardian. To celebrate an attack on a journalist who was simply doing his job is an attack on the First Amendment by someone who has taken an oath to defend it. In the aftermath of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, it runs the risk of inviting other assaults on journalists both here and across the world where they often face far greater threats. We hope decent people will denounce these comments and that the President will see fit to apologize for them.'
The joke about Gianforte assaulting Jacobs came just after Trump framed the 2018 midterms elections as a choice between Republican 'law and order' and Democratic 'mobs'."
A President Who Believes He Is Entitled to His Own Facts (New York Times, October 18, 2018)
"Over the course of 21 months, President Trump has loudly and repeatedly refused to accept a number of seemingly agreed-upon facts, while insisting on the veracity of a variety of demonstrably false claims that happen to suit his political needs. In the process, he has untethered the White House from the burden of objective proof, creating a rich trove for professional fact-checkers, and raising questions about the basis for many of his decisions."
Lying Like There Is No Tomorrow: It's Trump's Strategy (WGBH News, October 18, 2018)
"Journalists want to do more than reach an audience. They want to have impact. They want to see concrete evidence that great reporting has an effect. That doesn’t mean journalists — good ones, anyway — want to change the outcome of elections or substitute their own judgment for that of the public. But it does mean that when they do important work, they want it to resonate beyond those already inclined to believe them without having it immediately dismissed as #fakenews by those on the other side of the social and cultural divide. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens in our current hyperpolarized environment.
Jay Rosen, one of our most perceptive media observers, thinks he knows what’s behind much of it: a deliberate blizzard of lying by our president aimed at burying stories beneath an avalanche of falsehoods; a right-wing populist movement in the United States and Europe that dismisses anything coming out of the mainstream press as corrupt and elitist; and the decline of trust in the media, accompanied and exacerbated by the ongoing deterioration of journalism’s business model."
Trump Organization files $90,000 lawsuit against estate of man killed in Trump Tower apartment fire (
Daily KOS, October 18, 2018)_
Minnesota Republican AG candidate Doug Wardlow believes in secret, second US Constitution (
Daily KOS, October 18, 2018)
Surprise! ‘Black’ super PAC behind racist radio ad in Arkansas is funded by white people (Daily KOS, October 18, 2018)
Equifax engineer who designed breach portal gets 8 months of house arrest for insider trading (ZDNet, October 17, 2018)
Remembering When Sears, Roebuck Sold Cars (Car Talk, October 17, 2018)
Chinese city of Chengdu plans to launch artificial moon to replace streetlights (The Guardian/People's Daily, October 17, 2018)
"Dusk-like glow’ of proposed satellite could light an area with a diameter of 10-80km."
Republicans 2018 campaign strategy isn't voter turnout—it's actually massive voter suppression (Daily KOS, October 17, 2018)
Pump and Trump
(Pro Pubica, October 17, 2018)
"Donald Trump claims he only licensed his name for real estate projects developed by others. But an investigation of a dozen Trump deals shows deep family involvement in projects that often involved deceptive practices."
Trump blames wildfires on California forest policy and threatens to withhold funds from state (Los Angeles Times, October 17, 2018)
AP FACT CHECK: Trump distorts migrant policy, Russia probe (
Associated Press, October 17, 2018)
AP FACT CHECK: Trump misses on storms, science, clean air (Associated Press, October 17, 2018)
Trump says he has 'natural instinct for science' when it comes to climate change (Politico, October 17, 2018)
To Avoid Conflicts, Rick Scott Created a Trust Blind in Name Only (New York Time, October 17, 2018)
Hurricane aftermath threatens to unleash Florida election chaos
(Politico, October 17, 2018)
"One option for Gov. Rick Scott: Use his emergency power to delay state elections."
Tornadoes are spinning up farther east in US, study finds (Associated Press, October 17, 2018)
‘Horseface’: Does it matter that Trump ridicules women? (
Associated Press, October 17, 2018)
Trump calls Stormy Daniels 'Horseface,' the latest insult from a man known for demeaning women (Los Angeles Times, October 16, 2018)
hy Republicans Are Suppressing Black Votes (Rolling Stone, October 16, 2018)
"An aging, white Republican Party reliant upon unvarnished racism cannot survive without choosing its electorate."
Zombie storm Leslie(/Michael) slammed Portugal, France and Spain with unusual strength (Washington Post, October 16, 2018)
Mysterious paralyzing illness found among kids in 22 states (Associated Press, October 16, 2018)
Rolls-Royce Wants to Fill the Seas With Self-Sailing Ships (Wired, October 15, 2018)
MIT reshapes itself to shape the future (MIT News, October 15, 2018)
Tens of Millions of U.S. Voter Records for Sale (Bleeping Computer, October 15, 2018)
Trump suggests 'rogue killers' could be to blame in journalist's disappearance (
The Week, October 15, 2018)
Trump and the end of American ideals (The Week, October 15, 2018)
Elizabeth Warren calls Trump's $1 million bluff, releases DNA test showing Native American ancestry (
Daily KOS, October 15, 2018)
Democrats didn't leak Dr. Ford's letter—it was most likely the White House (Daily KOS, October 14, 2018)
‘Davos in the Desert,’ a Saudi Prince’s Glittering Showcase, Is Stained by a Grisly Accusation (New York Times, October 13, 2018)
"Last week, that vision collided with the brutal realities of the Middle East — a swirl of allegations that Crown Prince Mohammed’s family ordered the murder of a Saudi journalist in Turkey. The ensuing furor has tarnished the future king’s reputation and left his conference in tatters, as foreign investors confront the dark side of his Arabian dreams."
"The Suffocation of Democracy", by Christopher R. Browning (New York Review Of Books, October 13, 2018)
"If the US has someone whom historians will look back on as the gravedigger of American democracy, it is Mitch McConnell. He stoked the hyperpolarization of American politics to make the Obama presidency as dysfunctional and paralyzed as he possibly could. As with parliamentary gridlock in Weimar, congressional gridlock in the US has diminished respect for democratic norms, allowing McConnell to trample them even more. Nowhere is this vicious circle clearer than in the obliteration of traditional precedents concerning judicial appointments.
Trump’s personal flaws and his tactic of appealing to a narrow base while energizing Democrats and alienating independents may lead to precisely that rare wave election needed to provide a congressional check on the administration as well as the capture of enough state governorships and legislatures to begin reversing current trends in gerrymandering and voter suppression. The elections of 2018 and 2020 will be vital in testing how far the electoral system has deteriorated.
Alongside the erosion of an independent judiciary as a check on executive power, other hallmarks of illiberal democracy are the neutralization of a free press and the steady diminution of basic human rights. On these issues, often described as the guardrails of democracy against authoritarian encroachment, the Trump administration either has won or seems poised to win significant gains for illiberalism. Upon his appointment as chancellor, Hitler immediately created a new Ministry of People’s Enlightenment and Propaganda under Joseph Goebbels, who remained one of his closest political advisers. In Trump’s presidency, those functions have effectively been privatized in the form of Fox News and Sean Hannity. The highly critical free media not only provide no effective check on Trump’s ability to be a serial liar without political penalty; on the contrary, they provide yet another enemy around which to mobilize the grievances and resentments of his base. A free press does not have to be repressed when it can be rendered irrelevant and even exploited for political gain."
Connecticut Republican pulls out of election after being condemned for Facebook posts
(Daily KOS, October 12, 2018)
Republican ‘civility’ in action: ‘I’m going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes’ (Daily KOS, October 12, 2018)
The Case of Jane Doe Ponytail (New York Times, October 12, 2018)
"An epic tragedy on a small block in Queens."
The Trumps should stop talking nonsense about sexual assault and listen to women who know about it (Los Angeles Times, October 12, 2018)
"We’ve got a president who boasts about assaulting women, a first lady who hasn’t got a clue about sexual assault and a Senate that just put a man credibly accused of sexual assault on the Supreme Court. The work is far from done."
Abbreviated pundit roundup: Trump's disgraceful response to Hurricane Michael and its aftermath (Daily KOS, October 12, 2018)
"Donald Trump defended his choice to go to a campaign rally while Americans sheltered and tried to survive the hurricane: He said only the 'natural haters' criticized him for stumping for GOP candidates — and his own 2020 re-election — as Americans were in Michael’s path.
Yet in 2012, Trump tweeted, days AFTER a hurricane, "Yesterday Obama campaigned with JayZ & Springsteen while Hurricane Sandy victims across NY & NJ are still decimated by Sandy. Wrong!'
Someone comments: 'Trump Criticizes Trump: A Portrait of Presidential Hupocrisy. For every Trump action there is a Trump tweet criticizing that action.'"
Jim Crow 2.0: Republicans Have a Secret Weapon in the Midterms: Voter Suppression (Daily Beast, October 12, 2018)
"Five voter-suppression practices are in active use today. All are led by Republicans, all have disproportionate effects on non-white populations, and all are rationalized by bogus claims of voter fraud. They include:
- Closing polling places in communities of color.
- Purging eligible voters from the rolls without their knowledge.
- Barring felons from voting.
- Voter ID laws.
- Eliminating early voting."
Democracy in Danger in Georgia (New York Times, October 12, 2018)
"The right is using voter suppression to rig the governor’s race."
Republicans are distracting you (The Week, October 12, 2018)
"With rare (and generally grossly incompetent) exceptions, the laws you get when you vote Republican are deregulation of industry (especially finance and bad polluters), and massive tax cuts for the rich paid for by gouging huge chunks out of social insurance. Then, to disguise this incredibly unpopular set of policy priorities, Republican politicians serve up heaping portions of culture war red meat.
Now, this tactic should not be underestimated. For instance, in terms of uniting the Republican base, the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has proved successful precisely because of his multiple sexual assault allegations and his snarling partisan testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Infuriating liberals by nominating a beer-swilling Republican hack operative and accused sexual predator allows conservatives to experience their very favorite thing: marinating in victimhood."
To Deter Foreign Hackers, Some States May Also Be Deterring Voters (National Public Radio, October 12, 2018)
It's totally ridiculous. Any concerted attacker would use a VPN (virtual private network), they're really cheap. If anything, this is just marketing."
How to tell for sure if you’re a victim of Facebook’s huge data breach (MIT Technology Review, October 12, 2018)
"Facebook said in a blog post that it now thinks some 30 million users, rather than 50 million, were affected by a recent breach that allowed hackers to steal personal data. However, 14 million of them had details such as their religion, birthplace, and place of work exposed. The remaining 16 million either suffered no data loss or had only their e-mail and/or other contact details stolen.
Check Facebook's help center to see if your data was leaked. The company also plans to contact anyone who may have lost data, offering advice on dealing with things like suspicious e-mails. That’s laudable, but it’s a shame Facebook’s own security wasn’t tight enough in the first place to stop hackers from compromising the digital keys that let users stay connected to it without having to log in on each visit.
Whodunnit? The social network says the FBI has asked it not to comment on who may have been responsible for the attack while the Feds investigate."
The Solar Rights Alliance Connects Solar Owners In Support Of Solar Rights (Clean Technica, October 11, 2018)
"The Solar Bill of Rights would guarantee:
- our right to make solar energy without the utility in the way.
- our right to connect solar to the grid quickly and cheaply.
- our right to get a fair credit for the extra energy we give back to the grid."
Microsoft's patent move: Giant leap forward or business as usual? (ZDNet, October 11, 2018)
"Some see this as a giant leap forward for Microsoft and open source. A few, however, see Microsoft's open-source patent move as just more of the same old, same old."
Andy Updegrove: Microsoft and OIN: Legal Commitments vs. the Power of the Taboo (Consortium Group, October 11, 2018)
By officially joining the Open Invention Network club, Microsoft gains a stronger right to claim the broader protection of the taboo that covers all open source software, whether or not it utilizes the Linux kernel. Perhaps the greatest significance of Microsoft's OIN announcement is therefore that it realized that under today's marketplace realities, it was already bound by the same terms, and more."
Microsoft Pledges to Protect Linux and Open Source With Its Patents (eWeek, Octoer 11, 2018)
"A decade after claiming that Linux and open-source software infringes on more than 200 of its patents, Microsoft is now pledging its patents to the Open Invention Network in support of Linux."
Turks tell U.S. officials they have audio and video recordings that support conclusion Khashoggi was killed in Saudi embassy (Washington Post, October 11, 2018)
Chief Justice Roberts Requests Tenth Circuit To Investigate Kavanaugh Ethics (Forbes, October 11, 2018)
Tyndall Air Force Base a ‘Complete Loss’ Amid Questions About Stealth Fighters (New York Times, October 11, 2018)
"22 of the $339M aircraft not accounted for."
NEW: Crown prince sought to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and detain him, U.S. intercepts show (Washington Post, October 10, 2018)
NEW: Will Kavanaugh Fever Kill the Blue Wave? (Vanity Fair, October 10, 2018)
In the wake of Kavanaugh’s fearsome confirmation battle, there are signs Republican voters are beginning to stir. “Private polling shows the enthusiasm shift is . . . unmistakable,” said one G.O.P. operative.
Poll finds partisan divide in concerns for election security (Associated Press, October 10, 2018)
"A strong majority of Americans are concerned the nation’s voting systems might be vulnerable to hackers. That is roughly unchanged from concerns about election security held by Americans just before the 2016 presidential election, but with a twist. Two years ago, it was Republicans who were more concerned about the integrity of the election. This year, it’s Democrats."
Fact-checking President Trump’s USA Today op-ed on ‘Medicare-for-All’ (Washington Post, October 10, 2018)
Almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood."
Trump files op-ed bashing Democrats on Medicare for all (CNN, October 10, 2018)
Trump accuses Hillary of Russian conspiracy, but it's her response that goes viral (Daily KOS, Octtober 10, 2018)
"Hillary Clinton's response: Seriously, you asked Russia to hack me on national television."
Trump accuses Hillary Clinton of colluding with Russia as crowd chants 'lock her up' (NBC News, October 10, 2018)
"Trump's evidence-free allegation at a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, was an unusually direct claim against his 2016 rival. "
Anatomy of a Trump rally: The hero (that's him), a jester (also him), villains, damsels, dystopia and lots of grievances (Los Angeles Times, October 10, 2018)
The ‘Greatest Hoax’ Strikes Florida (New York Times, October 10, 2018)
"Denying climate change doesn’t stop its devastating effects."
Weapon Systems Cybersecurity: DOD Just Beginning to Grapple with Scale of Vulnerabilities (U.S. Government Accountability Office, October 9, 2018)
Windows 10 Version 1809 Deleted Your Files? Here’s Microsoft’s Magic Fix (Softpedia News, October 9, 2018)
"User claims Redmond turns to System Restore for the task."
Microsoft yanks the document-destroying Windows 10 October 2018 Update (The Register, October 8, 2018)
"Day four exceeds all expectations as Microsoft steps back from brink. Microsoft's advice to those who have downloaded the build is: don't install the thing. However, if you have gone ahead and allowed the update to do its stuff and been hit by the missing files issue, leave your PC alone and give Microsoft a telephone call for help. Presumably either a file recovery application or a handy install of Linux."
Circular economy: Magnets from old hard drives could wind up in EV motors (Green Car Reports, October 8, 2018)
It's Indigenous Peoples Day. Do you know whose stolen land you're on? (Daily KOS, October 8, 2018)
NEW: One of the Most Important Agencies You’ve Never Heard of Is Being Taken Over by Trump
(Earth Justice, October 8, 2018)
"Fossil fuel advocate Bernard McNamee is the Trump administration's pick to fill a critical seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission."
Trump: Kavanaugh Was Caught Up in a Democratic ‘Hoax’ (Daily Beast, October 8, 2018)
Facebook exec throws party for Kavanaugh confirmation. (Daily KOS, October 7, 2018)
The greatest of Trump's delusions: that he'll win the black vote by bribing them with jobs (Daily KOS, October 7, 2018)
Banksy pranks auction by shredding million-dollar painting. Now it may be worth even more. (Los Angeles Times, October 6, 2018)
Undercover cops break Facebook rules to track protesters, ensnare criminals (NBC News, October 5, 2018)
"Facebook is teeming with fake accounts created by undercover law enforcement officers. They're against the rules — but cops keep making them anyway.
Monitoring social media posts s a necessary and common technique in law enforcement; in fact it is viewed as best practice."
If Kavanaugh is confirmed, impeachment could follow. Here’s how. (
Washington Post, October 5, 2018)
"It’s as likely as the Democrats winning the House. If they take back the House, I would be surprised if they don’t put forth impeachment proceedings in the next Congress. At the moment, Democrats are substantial favorites for House control,"
Collins and Manchin Will Vote for Kavanaugh, Ensuring His Confirmation (New York Times, October 5, 2018)
We were Brett Kavanaugh’s drinking buddies. We don’t think he should be confirmed. (Washington Post, October 5, 2018)
California beaches are supposed to be public. So why is the Hollister Ranch coast an exception? (Los Angeles Times, October 5, 2018)
The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies (Bloomberg, October 4,
"The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain."
A Former Obama Operative Built a New Anti-Republican Attack Machine (
Bloomberg, October 4, 2018)
"John Burton hopes an army of dirt diggers can deliver an October surprise for Democrats."
Federal judge, citing Trump racial bias, says administration can’t strip legal status from 300,000 Haitians, Salvadorans and others — for now (Washington Post, October 4, 2018)
"'The plaintiffs have raised serious questions whether the action taken by Department of Homeland Security officials was influenced by the White House and based on animus against nonwhite, non-European immigrants in violation of Equal Protection guaranteed by the Constitution. The issues are at least serious enough to preserve the status quo.'
It is one of numerous cases in which such racial or ethnic comments or tweets by the president have been cited by judges to block administration policies, including on immigration and transgender people serving in the military."
Republican senator lectures women on how not to feel about his support for Kavanaugh (Daily KOS, October 4, 2018)
Brett Kavanaugh and the Information Terrorists Trying to Reshape America (Wired, October 3, 2018)
Stuff you should watch because the Trump empire might unwind (Daily KOS, October 3, 2018)
NEW: Inspectors report nooses in cells, medical neglect in surprise visit to private immigration prison (Daily KOS, October 3,2018)
U.S. crude oil shipments to China 'totally stopped' amid trade war (Reuters, October 3, 2018)
Kansas Republican who claimed Everest heroics exposed as fabricator (
Daily KOS, October 3, 2018)
That time Donald Trump falsely accused 5 boys of rape and ruined their lives. (Daily KOS, October 3, 2018)
FBI has not contacted dozens of potential sources in Kavanaugh investigation (
NBC News, October 3, 2018)
"With the investigation winding down, more than 40 individuals who have tried to contact the bureau have not heard back."
The Senate Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh Signed, 2,400+ Law Professors (New York Times, October 3, 2018)
Brett Kavanaugh’s lies are part of the Republican ecosystem (Washington Post, October 2, 2018)
"Kavanaugh may believe that the allegations of sexual misbehavior as well as other misconduct now leveled against him are a vendetta created by Democrats. But it is Republicans who have created an echo chamber for falsehood for political gain and who have been routinely doing so for almost 40 years. It was Ronald Reagan who once claimed trees cause more pollution than cars, as a way of playing down the environmental damage caused by the latter. It was also claimed that tax cuts in the early 1980s would pay for themselves. Instead, the deficit soared. (Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made a similar claim last year about President Trump’s tax cuts. It was equally inaccurate.)"
In Destroying Social Security, GOP Has No Plans for Elderly Americans (TruthOut, October 2, 2018)
Trumps could face legal liability for newly exposed schemes (MSNBC News, October 2, 2018)
"Susanne Craig, investigative reporter for the New York Times, talks with Rachel Maddow about how the Trump family's use of sketchy tax schemes and 'padded receipts' in growing and transferring their father's fortune could still carry some legal jeopardy."
Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father (New York Times, October 2, 2018)
"The president has long sold himself as a self-made billionaire, but a Times investigation found that he received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s."
The QWERTY Days Are Almost Over (Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2018)
"The next era of tech won’t work with a physical keyboard—you’ll interact with it the same way you do with other people."
Trump Administration Prepares a Major Weakening of Mercury Emissions Rules (New York Times, September 30, 2018)
Migrant Children Moved Under Cover of Darkness to a Texas Tent City (New York Times, September 30, 2018)
"In shelters from Kansas to New York, hundreds of migrant children have been roused in the middle of the night in recent weeks and loaded onto buses with backpacks and snacks for a cross-country journey to their new home: a barren tent city on a sprawling patch of desert in West Texas."
Limits to FBI's Kavanaugh investigation have not changed, despite Trump's comments (NBC News, September 30, 2018)
"Trump’s Saturday night tweet has not changed the limits imposed by the White House counsel’s office on the FBI's Kavanaugh investigation, sources say."
Kellyanne Conway: 'I'm a victim of sexual assault' (
NBC News, September 30, 2018)
"Conway made the admission during an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on 'State of the Union.'"
And another Republican smear-campaign bites the dust (
Daily KOS, September 29, 2018)
NEW: Rob Goldstone on Trump: 'I think he likes Russia because Russia liked him' (The Guardian, September 29, 2018)
"Donald Trump would drive over you to get to his gold toilet. He probably didn’t watch sex workers urinate in a Moscow hotel. His relationship with Russia is a 'love fest' and it’s not out of the question that he colluded to win the 2016 election. His son was certainly willing to try."
Kavanaugh's confirmation will permanently destroy the legitimacy of the U.S. Supreme Court. (
Daily KOS, September 29, 2018)
BUSTED: Brett Kavanaugh lied about ‘busting tail’ to get into Yale with ‘no connections’ — he was a legacy (Raw Story, September 29, 2018)
(Below, also see the newly-posted Sept. 7 article by David Brock.)
Fact check shows that Kavanaugh is a skilled liar ... but still a liar (Daily KOS, September 29, 2018)
The Obviousness of Brett Kavanaugh (
Daily KOS, September 29, 2018)
In Rare Move, ACLU to Oppose Kavanaugh for Supreme Court (American Civil Liberties Union, September 29, 2018)
Kavanaugh: The woman behind that 'elevator pitch' to Jeff Flake (BBC News, September 29, 2018)

How Jeff Flake fumbled his way into pulling off the most bizarre trick play in Senate history (Palmer Report, September 28, 2018)
If you’re looking for the heroes of the day, we’d suggest starting with the two women in the elevator."
A Tumultuous 24 Hours: How Jeff Flake Delayed a Vote on Kavanaugh (New York Times, September 28, 2018)
Behind the scenes of Jeff Flake's decision to call for an FBI probe into Kavanaugh allegations (CBS News, September 28, 2018)

Stephen Colbert on Brett Kavanaugh Testimony: ‘Please Save Your Indignation’ (Rolling Stone, September 28, 2018)
"'The most divisive day in America since Laurel and Yanny,' says Colbert."
(Considering the recurring typo in "sow", I'm glad
Rolling Stone spelled "reap" correctly.)
ABA, Yale Law School dean call for FBI probe into Kavanaugh allegations, delay in confirmation (Washington Post, September 28, 2018)
"The basic principles that underscore the Senate’s constitutional duty of advice and consent on federal judicial nominees require nothing less than a careful examination of the accusations and facts by the FBI."
Linus Torvalds answers 5 questions in BBC letter (ZDNet, September 28, 2018)
"In an e-mail to the BBC, Torvalds comes over as a voice of reason in the heated Linux Code of Conduct fights."
Tech Fix: Facebook Was Hacked. Here Are 3 Things You Should Do. (The Man Post, September 28, 2018)
Facebook Hacked, 50 Million Users Affected (Motherboard, September 28, 2018)
"Facebook 'discovered a security issue' that the company said allowed attackers to 'take over people's accounts.'"
The Editors: It is time for the Kavanaugh nomination to be withdrawn (America, a Jesuit magazine, September 27, 2018)
Dr. Blasey's accusations have neither been fully investigated nor been proven to a legal standard, but neither have they been conclusively disproved or shown to be less than credible. Judge Kavanaugh continues to enjoy a legal presumption of innocence, but the standard for a nominee to the Supreme Court is far higher; there is no presumption of confirmability. The best of the bad resolutions available in this dilemma is for Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to be withdrawn."
Kavanaugh's opening remarks are a master class in a common sexual abuser defense tactic (Daily KOS, September 27, 2018)
'Panic is setting in' at the White House following Dr. Ford's testimony (Daily KOS, September 27, 2018)
“I Was Ashamed”: After Ford’s Kavanaugh Accusation, Holton-Arms Alumnae Wrestle with Their Own Truths - Together (Vanity Fair, September 26, 2018)
Feinstein: Kavanaugh misled about grand jury secrecy in Vince Foster probe (Politico, September 26, 2018)
"The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee is accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of misleading the Senate about his handling of grand jury secrets while working for Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr two decades ago."
The man who beat Monsanto: 'They have to pay for not being honest' (The Guardian, September 26, 2018)
"A jury ruled the agrochemical company caused Dewayne Johnson’s cancer. He tells the Guardian he wants to use the victory to make a difference while he still can."
Will Amazon Control Your Microwave and Your Car? (Ask Bob Rankin, September 25, 2018)
Britons Pay Hundreds for H.I.V. Drugs. Why Do Americans Pay Thousands? (New York Times, September 25, 2018)
"Britain’s National Health Service far outperforms America’s health care system — for far less money — at keeping H.I.V. patients healthy."
NEW: The Long Decline of DKE, Brett Kavanaugh’s Fraternity at Yale (New Yorker, September 25, 2018)
Kavanaugh's freshman roommate drops a bomb: 'Debbie has a right to be heard and I believe her' (
Daily KOS, September 25, 2018)
Could the growing Kavanaugh catastrophe possibly take down the entire GOP? (Daily KOS,
September 24, 2018)
"Strategists in both parties say Trump’s agenda and style — and the fact that the GOP leadership stands mostly in lockstep with him — are undoing years of often painstaking work by party leaders to court more female and minority voters."
The 6 senior GOP Senate Judiciary members who voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) (
Daily KOS, September 24, 2018)
“The Strategy Was to Try and Do Something Really Big”: Trump Wanted to Nuke Rosenstein to Save Kavanaugh’s Bacon (Vanity Fair, September 24, 2018)
"But Trump allies are privately imploring him to cut Kavanaugh loose to save Republicans’ electoral chances in the midterms.
Trump has wanted to fire Rosenstein from the moment he read the New York Times article that reported Rosenstein had discussed secretly tape-recording Trump and rallying Cabinet secretaries to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. (Rosenstein has denied the account.) Some outside advisers, including Sean Hannity, have cautioned that the Times story was a trap to get Trump to fire Rosenstein and trigger a Saturday Night Massacre-like crisis that, however temporarily successful, would leave Democrats holding almost all the cards."
Lawrence Martin-Bittman, Propagandist Spy (This Is True, September 23, 2018)
Lawrence Martin-Bittman was an intelligence officer in the Czechoslovak Intelligence Service. His specialty: disinformation, in large part helping the Soviet Union’s cold war fight against the United States."
(Until he defected to the USA, and taught, at Boston University and elsewhere, how to defend against those tactics.)
"He died September 18, 2018 at his home in Rockport, Mass., at 87."
Senate Democrats Investigate a New Allegation of Sexual Misconduct, from Brett Kavanaugh’s College Years (New Yorker, September 23, 2018)
Beto O'Rourke blasts Ted Cruz: 'Tell me, who can miss half the days at work and be rehired?' (Daily KOS, September 22, 2018)
Trump tells the inspector general to release documents over warnings from agencies and allies (
Daily KOS, September 21, 2018)
Republicans may finally have to face the truth of their deceit and rotten political corruption (Raw Story, September 21, 2018)
"He’s Committed to Working with Mueller on Everything": Michael Cohen Is Ready to Divulge "His Deep Concerns About Trump's Suitability as President" (Vanity Fair, September 21, 2018)
"Cohen, as people close to him have told me, knows he is going to prison, and has been taking necessary steps to prepare for that eventuality. But in the meantime, he’s coming clean."
"It's Back": Underwater yet again, the Carolinas face a new reality (
New York Times, September 19, 2018)
Lagoons of Pig Waste Are Overflowing After Florence. Yes, That’s as Nasty as It Sounds. (New York Times, September 19, 2018)
'Red Tide Rick' Scott being booed out of a Gulf Coast restaurant may be the best thing you see today (Daily KOS, September 18, 2018)
NEW: The allegations against Brett Kavanaugh are not simply a 'he said, she said' situation (NBC News, September 18, 2018)
"Prosecutors look for corroborating evidence — and there are strong indications already that Christine Blasey Ford is telling the truth about her attack."
As the Kavanaugh Nightmare Escalates, Trump Is Gripped with Uncertainty as Ivanka Suggests Cutting the Judge Loose (Vanity Fair, September 18, 2018)
"The threat of losing the House and Senate has stopped Trump from going scorched-earth on Christine Blasey Ford. If Trump antagonizes women voters, it could increase the odds Republicans would lose both houses in Congress."
Why do we expect rapists to tell the truth?
(Daily KOS, September 18, 2018)
"One Sexual Predator on the SCOTUS is Enough" Sign on LA Freeway (
Daily KOS, September 18, 2018)
Medicare for All Is 'Not Just Pie in the Sky': Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Common Cause, September 17, 2018)
"'Medicare for all would save the American people a very large amount of money,' New York congressional candidate tells CNN."
Internet Howls After Learning Trump Will Soon Be Able to Send Text Alerts to Every Single US Resident (
Common Cause, September 17, 2018)
"2:18PM Eastern Time on Oct. 3rd. Sorry. No opting out."
Trump administration to slash refugee cap (Politico, September 17, 2018)
"The Trump administration will admit no more than 30,000 refugees to the U.S. in the coming year. When Trump took office, the refugee cap stood at 110,000. He lowered that to 50,000 shortly after he took office, and subsequently to 45,000 this fiscal year."
Ajit Pai calls California’s net neutrality rules "illegal" (Ars Technica, September 17, 2018)_
"CA enforcing neutrality because 'Pai abdicated his responsibility,' senator says."
Patent Trolls Are Still Active and Microsoft is Closely Connected to Many of Them (Tech Rights, September 16, 2018)
"The software patents granted by the USPTO often travel or find their way into the hands of trolls such as Intellectual Ventures (IV) with its notorious proxies like 'offspring' trolls (for 'enforcemen'; i.e. lawsuits and shakedown). IV isn’t just Microsoft-funded; it’s also funded by Bill Gates, headed by his close friend, and led by former Microsoft executives. It’s everything one needs to know about the 'new' Microsoft."
Flake opposes quick vote on Kavanaugh, putting confirmation in doubt (Politico, September 16, 2018)
"And Bob Corker urges the vote on the Supreme Court nominee to be postponed."
California professor Christine Blasey Ford, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about sexual assault allegation (The Washington Post, September 16, 2018)
Hillary Rodham Clinton: American Democracy Is in Crisis (The Atlantic, September 16, 2018)
"Trump and his cronies do so many despicable things that it can be hard to keep track. I think that may be the point—to confound us, so it’s harder to keep our eye on the ball. The ball, of course, is protecting American democracy. Our democratic institutions and traditions are under siege. We need to do everything we can to fight back.
A leader who refuses to be subject to the law or who politicizes or obstructs its enforcement is a tyrant, plain and simple. "
Les Wexner, Ohio's wealthiest Republican donor,  renounces Republican Party affiliation (Columbus Dispatch, September 15, 2018)
"'I just decided I’m no longer a Republican,' said L Brands CEO Leslie H. Wexner. 'I’m an independent. I won’t support this nonsense in the Republican Party.'"
Bay Area transit system approves new surveillance-oversight policy (Ars Technica, September 15, 2018)
"Move comes amid revelations that BART shared LPR data with federal authorities."
Why Hurricane Florence Could Become a Public Health Crisis (Earth Justice, September 14, 2018)
"In the path of the storm are giant pits filled with coal ash, lagoons swirling with hog manure, Superfund sites and industrial facilities stocked with toxic chemicals."
Cybersecurity Is Only One Part of Election Security (Dark Reading, Septembeer 14, 2018)
"Protecting the 2018 election cycle means fixing the information infrastructure."
NEW: On 10th Anniversary of Wall Street Crash, Warren Says: Break Up the Banks and Jail the Bankers
(Common Dreams, September 14, 2018)
"To avoid another crash, the Massachusetts senator says the U.S. must 'force law-breaking bankers to trade in their pinstripe suits for orange jumpsuits.'"
Her congressman, Mike Bishop, cackled as he voted for ACA repeal. Now, former CIA analyst Elissa Slotkin might get the last laugh. (
Daily KOS, September 14, 2018)
"Elissa Slotkin served in three tours in Iraq and is running in the suburbs of Detroit. She served under both former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. She is so well-regarded by politicians from both parties that this Democrat has earned public endorsements from several high-ranking national security experts, including high-profile Republicans."
Tucker Carlson Gets Creamed By Stormy Daniels' Lawyer, Michael Avenatti in Wild FOX News Throwdown (
Daily KOS, September 14, 2018)
Suspicions Confirmed, Woodward on Trump (
Daily KOS, September 14, 2018)
Paul Manafort to plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and witness tampering (
Daily KOS, September 14, 2018)
After Explosions In Merrimack Valley, National Grid Says 'No Threat' To Its Gas Pipelines (Bostonomix, September 14, 2018)

Politicians, residents frustrated over gas company’s public response (Boston Globe, September 14,  2018)
Congress's top Nazi, Rep. Steve King, retweets Nazis — then gets called out HARD by Dem challenger JD Scholten (Daily KOS, September 13, 2018)
Russian man pleads guilty, admits he ran notorious Kelihos botnet (Ars Technica, September 13, 2018)
"Peter Yuryevich Levashov was first indicted relating to the Storm botnet back in 2009."
Teen killed as gas explosions, fires rock Merrimack Valley (
Boston Herald, September 13, 2018)
"A series of about 70 explosions and fires in the city and in nearby Andover and North Andover this afternoon ... has kept emergency crews working late into the night."
Massachusetts AG Healey seeks probe of National Grid lockout of gas workers (Boston Herald, September 12, 2018)
"Regulators should put the Company on notice that shareholders, not ratepayers, will pay any incremental costs of the lockout."
N Carolina hog farmers spray feces around black communities, and Florence will spread it everywhere (
Daily KOS, September 12, 2018)
Senator shows proof the Trump admin took hurricane recovery funds to pay for ICE detentions (Daily KOS, September 12, 2018)
AI may detect depression just from your voice (Axios, September 12, 2018)
"Given a 3D eye scan, AI can diagnose dozens of diseases as accurately as a human expert. From images of tissue samples, AI can detect breast cancer as well as or better than human pathologists. And it can find signs of disorders like schizophrenia, PTSD and Alzheimer's in speech patterns. Now Tuka Alhanai, a Ph.D. candidate at MIT focused on language understanding, has trained an AI system using 142 recorded conversations to assess whether a person is depressed and, if so, how severely. The determinations are based on audio recordings and written transcripts of the person speaking."

What’s in the sweeping copyright bill just passed by the European Parliament (Ars Technica, September 12, 2018)
"Legislation now goes to a three-way negotiation within the EU."
By reaffirming the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Massachusetts Supreme Court recognizes the importance of taking action against climate change. (Conservation Law Foundation, September 11, 2018)
Pharma CEO jacks drug price 400%, citing “moral requirement to make money” (Ars Technica, September 11, 2018)
"Nirmal Mulye, CEO of the small Missouri-based drug company Nostrum Laboratories, raised the price of a bottle of nitrofurantoin from $474.75 to $2,392 last month. The drug is a decades-old antibiotic used to treat urinary-tract infections caused by Escherichia coli and certain other Gram-negative bacteria. The World Health Organization lists nitrofurantoin as an essential medicine."
4 Practical Measures to Improve Election Security Now (Dark Reading, September 11, 2018)
"It's more critical than ever for states to protect our democratic system and voting infrastructure from foreign cyber espionage."
Apple takes down Trend Micro Mac apps that collected, stored user data (Ars Technica, September 11 2018)
"24 hours of users' browsing data was unknowingly sent to Trend Micro's servers."
An EU copyright bill could force YouTube-style filtering across the Web (Ars Technica, September 11, 2018)
"Wednesday's vote by the EU parliament has big stakes for the Internet's future.
The first reform, known as Article 11, aims to give news publishers a stronger hand in negotiations with Internet platforms like Google and Facebook. Supporters of this change argue that big technology companies have undermined the economic model of traditional news publishers, and so they want to force online platforms to pay licensing fees to news publishers when they aggregate their content.
The second controversial reform, known as Article 13, aims to address a longstanding grievance of big content companies: that the current "notice and takedown" regime for copyright enforcement makes it too difficult for copyright holders to police online piracy. Advocates want to shift liability rules to force technology companies to take a more active role in policing their content—a shift that could force more online providers to adopt filtering systems like YouTube's Content ID.
Critics see both of these changes as attacks on fundamental principles that make the Internet work."
The EU's Disastrous Copyright Bill Is Back to Break the Internet (Gizmodo, September 10, 2018)
"This is the EU believing that some sort of magical technology exists that no one has invented yet. YouTube’s content ID system sucks. It regularly misidentifies work as being the property of music labels or succumbs to copyright trolls claiming ownership of everything from educational videos to white noise to birds chirping.
This whole proposal has wide implications for virtually everything on the internet. If you make a funny video at the club, that music in the background is a copyright violation. Repurpose an image for a meme and suddenly you’re violating copyright. Take a selfie while wearing a Metallica shirt and you could see it vanish before it hits Instagram. Say goodbye to mashups, remixes, and fan fiction because fair use would be a thing of the past.
On Wednesday, members of parliament will gather for the first reading of the proposal for the full chamber. That doesn’t mean that Wednesday will bring a final decision; debates will begin, and further parliamentary procedures will be in order."
Hurricane Florence is heading toward the East Coast and here's why you need to prepare—NOW (
Daily KOS, September 10, 2018)
Scary signs for Republicans (Axios, September 10, 2018)
"It's rare to see so much evidence of a trend accumulate so many months out, only for all the signals to be proven wrong."
Alleged Russian agent Maria Butina was paid to pursue access to Vladimir Putin for NRA-backed TV show (ABC News, September 10, 2018)
Omarosa says she regrets being a 'co-conspirator' in robbing Hillary Clinton of 2016 election win (
Daily KOS, September 10, 2018)
Bombs Away: Trump Has the I.Q. of an Inbred Tanning Bed, Says a Liberated Gary Cohn (Vanity Fair, September 10, 2018)
"The former White House adviser was 'astounded' by the depths of the president’s stupidity, according to Bob Woodward’s new book."
NEW: Traitor Trump can't trust anyone as the world crumbles around him (
Daily KOS, September 10, 2018)
Miss West Virginia trashes Trump on stage during pageant interview (Daily KOS, September 9, 2018)
"Donald Trump is the biggest issue facing our country today. Unfortunately, he has caused a lot of divide in our country, and until we can trust in him and the choices that he makes for our country, we cannot become united."
The behavior of zealous partisans after disconfirmation (
Daily KOS, September 9, 2018)
New York Times runs an "Op-ed" far more important than anything "Anonymous" could ever tell us. (
Daily KOS, September 9, 2018)
“Get a warrant”—Florida appeals court admonishes cops in two murder cases (Ars Technica, September 8, 2018)
"Fourth District appeals court rules unanimously in suspects' favor."
Despite 'Painful' Spectre Response, Linus Torvalds Says He Still Loves Speculative Execution (Slashdot, September 8, 2018)
"The really good news is that the bugs have become clearly more and more esoteric. So it impacts fewer and fewer cases, and clearly hardware people at Intel and other places are now so aware of it that I'm hoping we're really getting to the dregs of the hardware security bugs, and going forward we'll have much fewer of them."
After police unions threaten Nike with boycotts, black officers insist they stand with Kaepernick (
Daily KOS, September 7, 2018)
"It is with great dismay that we were made aware of a letter that you received from the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) regarding your use of Colin Kaepernick in your new 'Just Do It' advertising campaign. The National Black Police Association (NBPA) is not in agreement with NAPO on this matter, and we strongly condemn their call for police officers and their families to boycott Nike and its products.
Your inclusion of Mr. Kaepernick in your ads seems appropriate to us. We live in a country where the 1st Amendment is a right of the people. Mr. Kaepernick chose to exercise his right where his passion was—on the football field. NAPO believes that Mr. Kaepernick’s choice to openly protest issues surrounding police brutality, racism, and social injustices in this country makes him anti-police. On the contrary, the NBPA believes that Mr. Kaepernick’s stance is in direct alignment with what law enforcement stands for—the protection of a people, their human rights, their dignity, their safety, and their rights as American citizens. NAPO has shown an adeptness at maintaining the police status quo and the tone in their letter further validates Mr. Kaepernick’s concerns, as it undermines the trust that is needed by law enforcement in order for the profession to maintain its legitimacy. That NAPO has chosen this matter to take a stance only perpetuates the narrative that police are racist, with no regard, acknowledgment, respect, or understanding of the issues and concerns of the African-American community."
Atlanta mayor signs order ending relationship with ICE: 'We will no longer be complicit' (
Daily KOS, September 7, 2018)
NEW: David Brock: Kavanaugh during his years as a Republican operative. Don't let him sit on the Supreme Court. (NBC News, September 7, 2018)
"We were part of a close circle of cynical hard-right operatives being groomed for much bigger things."
Call for Kavanaugh impeachment comes from writer of stolen memos (Daily KOS, September 7, 2018)

Watch Kamala Harris question Kavanaugh on the Mueller probe (BoingBonig, September 6, 2018)
(How Kavanaough double-talked, plus a simple analysis using cookies. :-)
Trump admin seeking to eviscerate standards protecting migrant kids under U.S. custody (
Daily KOS, September 6, 2018)
Two open source alternatives to Flash Player (Open Software, September 6, 2018)
"Adobe will end support for Flash Media Player in 2020, but there are still a lot of Flash videos out there that need to be watched. Here are two open source alternatives that are trying to help."

Impostor Syndrome leaves most tech workers feeling like a fake (CNet, September 6, 2018)
"A new informal study shows that 58 percent of tech employees from companies like Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft feel like frauds."

Booker releases 'committee confidential' Kavanaugh email at risk of suspension from the Senate (
Daily KOS, September 6, 2018)
Five Times Brett Kavanaugh Appears to Have Lied to Congress While Under Oath (Mother Jones, September 6, 2018)
"Pesky documents keep surfacing to contradict the nominee’s claims about his past."
Trump op-ed in New York Times passes the key tests (BBC News, September 6, 2018)
"The questions for the New York Times are: has this taken the story on, aided our understanding of the Trump administration, and given readers useful information? Yes, yes, and yes. Has it undermined reporters? Is it a mere PR stunt? And is it boring? No, no, and no."
The Hunting of Anonymous: fear and distrust overtakes a hive of scum and villainy (Daily KOS, September 6, 2018)
"In the current furor, Sarah Sanders appears to be acting as the chief inquisitor. In a statement, she called out the author of the op-ed saying 'He is not putting country first, but putting himself and his ego ahead of the will of the American people. This coward should do the right thing and resign.' Which, not so oddly enough, is exactly what the author of the op-ed had to say about Trump. Which might make Sanders a … suspect. Hmm."
60 GOP House seats in danger. The Senate is a tightrope walk for Democrats. (Politico, September 5, 2018)
White House Searches for Anonymous Inside Critic (Wall Street Journal, September 5, 2018)
"Aides chase rumors of who could have written opinion piece on alleged effort within administration to thwart Trump’s impulses."

I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration (New York Times, September 5, 2018)
"I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations."

Amazon achieved a market value of $1,000,000,000,000
(Ars Technic
a, September 5, 2018)
Another tech giant, Apple, was the first to reach the milestone just weeks ago.
Unpatched routers being used to build vast proxy army, spy on networks (Ars Technica, September 5, 2018)
"Multiple malware campaigns are spreading hacks of MikroTik gear, including failed Monero miners."
Humans can perform ghost imaging, no computer required
(Ars Technica, September 5, 2018)
"Researchers show that the eye combines images like a slow-exposure camera."
NEW: Supervisors vote to refuse Operation Stonegarden border funds (Tucson [AZ] Sentimel, September 4, 2018)
"While Stonegarden [shared Border-Patrol] funds have been accepted by the county over the last 12 years, the Trump administration's policies had 'come to bear,' Valadez said, citing the Trump administration's policies of family separation, pursuit of asylum seekers, and an 'unrelenting and misplaced faith in the border wall.'"
NEW: Florida man shot at woman's home after she wrote bad restaurant review, police say (Fox News, September 4, 2018)
NEW: Kavanaugh Guided by Industry, Not Rule of Law (Earth Justice, September 4, 2018)
"Of the 26 cases involving the EPA where Judge Kavanaugh drafted either the opinion, a concurrence, or a dissent, in almost every case he landed on the side of less environmental and public health protection. Of the 18 of these cases that reached the substance of underlying clean air or clean water law (rather than purely procedural matters), the environment was 2–16."
Why did Jon Kyl, John McCain's replacement, say he might quit as soon as January? Here's a theory. (Daily KOS, September 4, 2018)
A Confused Donald Trump Posts Witch Hunt Tweet that Actually Debunks His Witch Hunt Claim (Daily KOS, September 3, 2018)
NEW: ‘Five Eyes’ governments call on tech giants to build encryption backdoors — or else (Tech Crunch, Aeptember 3, 2018)
Mystery of the cargo ships that sink when their cargo suddenly liquefies (Ars Technica, September 2, 2018)
"A lot is known about the physics of the liquefaction, yet it's still sinking ten ships per year."
NEW: Voting Rights Roundup: Michigan college students sue over GOP's thinly veiled voter suppression law (
Daily KOS, September 1, 2018)
Ethnicity not a factor in Elizabeth Warren’s rise in law (Boston Globe, September 1, 2018)
"'It had nothing to do with our consideration and deliberation,' said Charles Fried, the former solicitor general to president Ronald Reagan and a member of the Harvard Law School appointments committee at the time. 'How many times do you have to have the same thing explained to you?'"
Torvalds Says Open Source Is the Way to Combat Software Complexity (eWeek, August 31, 2018)
Calif. Senate approves net neutrality rules, sends bill to governor (Ars Technica, August 31, 2018)
"The California Senate today voted to approve the toughest state-level net neutrality bill in the US, one day after the California Assembly took the same action. With both legislative houses having approved the bill, California Governor Jerry Brown has until September 30 to sign it into law."
Evangelical extremist fires employee for not attending bible study classes (Daily KOS, August 31, 2018)
Justice Department lawyer says he was told Russia had ‘Trump over a barrel’ (Boston Globe, August 31, 2018)
"The lawyer, Bruce Ohr, also says he learned that a Trump campaign aide had met with higher-level Russian officials than the aide had acknowledged, the people said. The previously unreported details of the July 30, 2016, breakfast with Christopher Steele, which Ohr described to lawmakers this week in a private interview, reveal an exchange of potentially explosive information about Trump between two men the president has relentlessly sought to discredit."
Trump's pay freeze for federal workers may be his most cynical and self-destructive stunt yet
(Los Angeles Times, August 31, 2018)
The economy may be booming, but nearly half of Americans can't make ends meet (Los Angeles Times, August 31, 2018)
Caught in a political echo chamber? Listening to the opposition can make partisanship even worse
(Los Angeles Times, August 31, 2018)
Poll: 60 percent disapprove of Trump, while clear majorities back Mueller and Sessions (Washington Post, August 31, 2018)
"Nearly half of Americans, 49 percent, say Congress should begin impeachment proceedings that could lead to Trump being removed from office, while 46 percent say Congress should not. And a narrow majority — 53 percent — say they think Trump has tried to interfere with Mueller’s investigation in a way that amounts to obstruction of justice; 35 percent say they do not think the president has tried to interfere."
CNN Slaps Back At Trump. (Daily KOS, August 30, 2018)
"Make no mistake, Mr. President, CNN does not lie. We report the news. And we report when people in power tell lies. CNN stands by our reporting and our reporters. There may be many fools in this story but @carlbernstein is not one of them."
Raging toward the end of his tenure, Maine Gov. LePage conjures up the ghost of Frank Rizzo (Portland Maine Press-Herald, August 30, 2018)
"They share the anger, the scowl, the tight body language, the schoolyard insults. ... In short, fellow Mainers, the Big Guy is coming unglued. And the closer he gets to giving up his bully pulpit, the more likely he is to lash out – a full-blown narcissist raging at his ever-dimming spotlight."
(Not unlike some others, as well.)
Linux Kernel Developer Criticizes Intel for Meltdown, Spectre Response (eWeek, August 30, 2018)
"An interesting side effect of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities is that Linux and Windows developers are now working together, since both operating systems face similar risks from the CPU vulnerabilities."
Orleans official issues warning on sharks: 'It is time for beachgoers to change their behavior' (Boston Globe, August 30, 2018)
"The inshore waters off of Cape Cod are truly a wild place and people should practice extreme caution while visiting,' Sears said in his letter, which was posted ahead of the busy Labor Day weekend. 'White sharks have bitten people along this coastline. Fortunately, no one has died yet. However, it can only be expected that more incidents will occur if people continue to take unnecessary risks.'
Sears said it has been a challenge for officials to 'convey the gravity' of the shark situation this summer, as more and more great whites feed in shallow waters where people swim."
Josh Zakim's progressive mind fails to think ahead on his voting record (Lowell Sun, August 29, 2018)
Zakim, 34, is the Boston City Councilor, endorsed by the Democrat Party convention, who is running against veteran Massahusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin. Galvin, 67, has held the office for 24 years, first elected when Zakim was 10 years old. If there is a chink in Josh Zakim's political armor, it is his voting record, or lack thereof. The man just has not bothered to vote very often. But he has criticized his opponent for not doing enough as secretary of state and keeper of elections to get more people to vote. Odd."
Boston breaks temperature record
(Boston Globe, August 29, 2018)
Boston Heat Wave Official, Several Temperature Records Within Reach (CBS News, August 29, 2018)
FBI pushes back on unfounded Trump claim that China hacked Hillary Clinton’s email (Washington Post, August 29, 2018)
FBI refutes Trump claim that Clinton’s private email server was hacked by China (Ars Technica, August 29, 2018)
"The official statement, issued by an FBI spokesperson in response to an inquiry by NBC News, simply read, 'The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised'—referring to the three email servers used by Clinton during and after her tenure at the State Department."
White House Counsel Donald McGahn will leave in the fall, Trump announces on Twitter (Los Angeles Times, August 29, 2018)
A heroic ex-priest immortalized in 'Spotlight' uncovered years of Catholic abuse and cover-ups. In death, he has been vindicated
(Los Angeles Times, August 29, 2018)
"Even when scandals were splashed onto the pages of newspapers in Los Angeles, Boston and elsewhere — and church leaders were shamed into adopting reforms on the reporting of suspected abusers — Sipe did not rest. He warned that the sins of the church were deeply ingrained, and that the culture of corruption had not changed. 'Bishops are not accountable,' he said in 2008. 'They can — and do — what they want.'"
I finally pinpointed what it is exactly that I resent the most about Trump voters (Daily KOS, August 28, 2018)
"Their willingness to jeopardize everything in exchange for settling a score of some perceived injustice against them. (because everything is about them)."
Endorsement: Secretary of State Bill Galvin deserves Democratic nomination over Josh Zakim (Boston Globe, Auust 27, 2018)
California pledged to protect net neutrality — the showdown is here (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2018)
"The ambitious proposals would establish the strongest net neutrality rules in the nation, safeguards that advocates say would be stronger than those rejected by the White House. One would prevent internet service providers from blocking or slowing down websites and video streams, or charging websites fees for faster speeds. The other would deny public contracts to companies that fail to follow the new state regulations."
Two funerals and a wedding: The shunning of Donald Trump
(Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2018)
With McCain's passing, powerful Senate committee loses an influential check on Trump
(Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2018)
"Several other Republican critics of the president, including Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, are retiring from the Senate.
McCain was chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Corker heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Assuming Republicans hold the Senate in the November elections, McCain’s gavel will go to Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, while Sen. James E. Risch of Idaho most probably will chair Foreign Relations. Both are avid Trump supporters and seem far less likely to push back at the White House as McCain and Corker did. They are expected to be more compliant with the White House on Russia, North Korea and other issues."
AP FACT CHECK: Trump's bent reality: Cohen, clean air, taxes (Associated Press, August 26, 2018)
"The statements came in a week of distorted truth in which Trump also complained about a politician plagiarizing his slogan despite his history of doing the same, wrongly claimed his tax cuts are the biggest ever and defied data in declaring the U.S. is No. 1 in environmental quality."
Critical Path (Stonekettle Station, August 25, 2018)
"Information warfare is infinitely scalable, it can target a single individual, or the entire global population, it can target a single decision-maker, a government, a population, or alter the course of history.
For example: The president of this country watches a certain news/talk/infotainment show. Every day. Without fail. And that show, the information presented there, directly shapes how he sees the world. You can watch this happen daily in real-time. Those who control that show, have direct and immediate influence on the president, and thus on the country, and thus on a global scale. It is an astounding national security vulnerability. One our enemies are well, well aware of and a vulnerability that our own counter-intelligence people cannot plug due to the very nature of their own Commander-in-Chief.
This is unprecedented in our history."
Why Mike Pence is such a sycophant (Los Angeles Times, August 24, 2018)
"Pence believes that God has a plan for him, and if that plan requires him to temporarily abandon his principles as well as his dignity, so be it."
Mike Pence has a new problem (Palmer Report, August 24, 2018)
"Pence now seems content to sit back and allow Trump to be finished off by plea deal after conviction after immunity deal, under the presumption that he’ll get to inherit the presidency once Trump is ousted.
When Paul Manafort was running the Trump campaign, he went to extreme measures to manipulate Donald Trump into picking Mike Pence as his running mate, as opposed to Trump’s first choice of Chris Christie. Pence always seemed like a nonsensical choice. His approval rating as Governor was in the gutter. There are plenty of other evangelist extremist freaks in GOP politics who could have gotten Trump more extremist votes.
Why would the Kremlin have wanted Mike Pence in place as “Plan B” in case Trump imploded after the election? We don’t know. But Manafort does, and he’s about to go on (second) trial for related reasons."
Business Came to a "Slamming Stop" (Daily KOS, August 24, 2018)
"Red tide and toxic algae continue to pummel the west coast of Florida. In addition to the loss of sea life, the damage to the marine environment, the health effects to asthma sufferers, the health effects not reported or tracked (discussed later in this diary), we have the economic cost."
Weaponized Health Communication: Twitter Bots and Russian Trolls Amplify the Vaccine Debate (NBC News, August 23, 2018)
"Health-related misconceptions, misinformation, and disinformation spread over social media, posing a threat to public health. Despite significant potential to enable dissemination of factual information, social media are frequently abused to spread harmful health content, including unverified and erroneous information about vaccines. This potentially reduces vaccine uptake rates and increases the risks of global pandemics, especially among the most vulnerable. Some of this information is motivated: skeptics use online platforms to advocate vaccine refusal. Antivaccine advocates have a significant presence in social media, with as many as 50% of tweets about vaccination containing antivaccine beliefs."
Scott Walker hammered in brutal ad by former employee, then hit with multiple investigations (Daily KOS, August 23, 2018)
The Trump Organization's finances are coming under the microscope by federal prosecutors
(Los Angeles Times, August 23, 2018)
"Always run more like a family business than a blue-chip corporate empire, the private Trump Organization has operated free from the oversight of independent board members or pesky shareholders. But now that secrecy has cracked. The plea agreement in federal court this week by Michael Cohen, who spent 10 years as executive vice president and special counsel at the Trump Organization and later served as Trump’s personal attorney, showed that federal prosecutors had excavated invoices, receipts, tax records, emails and other internal documents from Trump’s business."
This Conspiracy Theory Should Worry Trump (New York Times, August 23, 2018)
"When two or more people join together to break the law, as Michael Cohen says he and the president did, the penalties can be harsh."
Kavanaugh argued the president can be impeached for lies, cover-ups and refusing to testify (Los Angeles Times, August 23, 2018)
"The young attorney decided the president deserved to be forced from office for 'his pattern of revolting behavior' and the 'sheer number of his wrongful acts. The president has disgraced his office.… He has lied to his aides. He has lied to the American people,' Brett Kavanaugh wrote in a 1998 memo to his colleagues. 'I’m strongly opposed to giving [Bill Clinton] any break … unless he either resigns or … issues a public apology.'"
In ‘Small Fry,’ Steve Jobs Comes Across as a Jerk. His Daughter Forgives Him. Should We? (New York Times, August 23, 2018)
"Lisa Brennan-Jobs has written a memoir about her famous father. The details are damning, but she doesn’t want them to be."
Bull Market Hits a Milestone: 3,453 Days. Most Americans Aren’t at the Party. (New York Times, August 22, 2018)
"It ranks among the great booms in American market history. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index has soared more than 320 percent since emerging from the rubble of the financial crisis in March 2009, creating more than $18 trillion in wealth.
'This is the decade in which wealth inequality has increased the most in U.S. history,' said Moritz Schularick, a professor of economics at the Bonn Graduate School of Economics in Germany who has written about the distribution of wealth in the United States. 'The driver has been the very unequal gains in the very sharp performance of the stock market relative to the sharp drop of the housing market.'"
Things changed for Trump this week. Do Republicans have the spine to do something about it? (Los Angeles Times, August 22, 2018)
"So far, Republican officeholders have condoned Trump’s excesses and outrages so as not to alienate their Trump-supporting constituents, and their reaction to this week’s events has been characteristically evasive. But the verdict and guilty plea in northern Virginia and Manhattan are categorically different from the Trump controversies and conflagrations that have come before. If this week’s events don’t stiffen their spines, voters should deprive them of their majority."
“The Worst Hour of His Entire Life”: Cohen, Manafort, and the Twin Courtroom Dramas That Changed Trump’s Presidency (New Yorker, August 22, 2018)
"The walls are closing in on Donald Trump. Many of those he picked to lead both his Presidential campaign and his White House face legal jeopardy from Mueller’s investigation and may start to turn on him, following the path of Cohen, who once bragged of his willingness to 'take a bullet' for Trump. Unless he flips or is pardoned, Manafort may spend the rest of his life in prison, after Tuesday’s conviction. He is the first head of a Presidential campaign since Nixon’s to be convicted of a crime. Trump’s former national-security adviser has pleaded guilty to a charge brought by Mueller. So has the longtime Manafort protégé tapped by Trump to organize his Presidential Inauguration. Even Trump’s current White House counsel has apparently been coöperating with the special counsel for months, and the rest of the White House isn’t fully aware of what he has been saying. There is a crisis engulfing Trump’s Presidency, and it is a real one."
Trump Became President by Criminal Conspiracy. Let that sink in. (Daily KOS, August 21, 2018)
"Today we crossed the high Crimes and Misdemeanors threshold.  While the news focuses on Manafort and Cohen, Trump is now clearly a target of justice.  Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to paying hush money at Trump’s direction, who repaid him, thereby directly implicating Trump in a criminal conspiracy intended to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
This is a day in history to remember and a turning point in American politics with immense implications going forward.  Trump should resign immediately, but don’t hold your breath.
Manafort was convicted today and Cohen pleaded guilty during the same hour.  Trump’s former personal lawyer, his former campaign chair, and his former NSA and campaign advisor Flynn have all been convicted or pleaded guilty to federal crimes.  The 'lock her up' committee is getting locked up!
And Michael Cohen says he violated campaign finance laws more than once for the purpose of influencing the election 'in coordination with and at the direction of the candidate,' that he acted 'at the request of the candidate.'
Trump’s administration has been a conspiracy of deception since the election."
Elizabeth Warren introduces sweeping ethics bill that faces tough odds on Capitol Hill (CBS, August 21, 2018)
"Warren's Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act — unlikely to receive the approval of Republicans in Congress — aims to nix the influence of big money in politics by, among other things, reforming the so-called 'revolving door' between politics and the private sector and limiting lobbying. Specifically, the legislation would 'padlock' the revolving door in Washington by placing a lifetime ban on lobbying by former members of Congress, presidents and agency heads. The legislation would also expand the definition of who is a lobbyist to anyone who spends any time attempting to influence government."
Democratic Leaders Respond to Guilty Verdicts and Pleas (Daily KOS, August 21, 2018)
A terrible day for Trump could foretell more bad days to come
(Washington Post, August 22, 2018)
6 Takeaways From Michael Cohen’s Guilty Plea (New YorkTimes, August21, 2018)
"You could easily be confused by the sheer number and variety of the criminal charges that Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s onetime fixer and personal lawyer, pleaded guilty to on Tuesday in Federal District Court in Manhattan. After all, the combative Mr. Cohen, a former vice president at the Trump Organization, was accused of violating laws that involved his taxi business, his financial dealings with at least three banks and — it was the headline allegation — his secretive efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. He admitted joining forces with the nation’s best-known supermarket tabloid to buy the silence of at least two women who claimed they had affairs with Mr. Trump."
Michael Cohen says he worked to silence two women ‘in coordination’ with Trump to influence 2016 election (Washington Post, August 21, 2018)
Melania Trump Could Be Our Greatest First Lady (New York Times, August 21, 2018)
"Other first ladies beautified highways, promoted reading, planted squash. This one could abbreviate a nightmare. She’s in a situation that her predecessors weren’t, on the arm of an overlord who needs undermining, and it’s her invitation to greatness, or at least her prompt for an itinerary tailored to taunt."
I Just Hacked a State Election. I’m 17. And I’m Not Even a Very Good Hacker. (Politico, August 21, 2018)
"It took a lot less than you'd think for myself and my fellow teens to steal the midterms."

Dark Tequila: Since 2013, A Distilled Threat for Mexican Targets (Threat Post, August 21,2018)
"Dark Tequila spreads using two known infection vectors: spear-phishing and infection by USB device (via one of the malware’s modules). After the victim systems are infected, different modules decrypt and activate when instructed to do so by the command server.
The malware features six modules, including a service watchdog module responsible for making sure it’s running properly; an information-stealer that steals saved passwords from browsers, as well as email and FTP clients; and a keylogger and Windows Monitor module, which steals credentials from online banking sites, online flight reservation systems, Microsoft Office365, Amazon and GoDaddy, among others.
The malware also interestingly scoops login credentials from websites ranging from code-versioning repositories to public file storage accounts and domain registrars. All stolen data is uploaded to the server in encrypted form.
Another module is responsible for communicating with the command-and-control server, and verifying a man-in-the-middle (MiTM) network check is being performed (it does so by validating the certificates with a few very popular websites).
Dark Tequila also sniffs out “suspicious” activity around the system – such as whether it’s running on a virtual machine or if debugging tools are running in the background – and then executes a module to perform a full cleanup of the system and remove any persistence service.
The final module is a USB infector that copies an executable file to a removable drive to run automatically – enabling the malware to move offline through the victim’s network, even when only one machine was initially compromised via spear-phishing. So, when another USB is connected to the infected computer, it automatically becomes infected, and ready to spread the malware to another target.
This technique is especially useful for the threat actor when the targeted network is not connected to the rest of the world via internet or even email."
Mozilla files arguments against the FCC – latest step in fight to save net neutrality (Mozilla Foundation, August 20, 2018)
"For the first time in the history of the public internet, the FCC has disavowed interest and authority to protect users from ISPs, who have both the incentives and means to interfere with how we access online content. This case is about your rights to access content and services online without your ISP blocking, throttling, or discriminating against your favorite services. Unfortunately, the FCC made this a political issue and followed party-lines rather than protecting your right to an open internet in the US."
Your Lying Mind: The Cognitive Biases Tricking Your Brain (The Atlantic, September 2018 issue)
"Science suggests we’re hardwired to delude ourselves. Can we do anything about it?"
"The Restless Wave": Parting words from John McCain (CBS, August 20, 2018)
"To fear the world we have organized and led for three quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership, and our duty to remain the last, best hope of Earth, for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems, is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history." --John McCain
John Brennan Again Charges Trump With Treason on "Meet The Press" (Daily KOS, August 19, 2018)
(The full text is on-line here.)
David Stockman: ‘Unhinged White House’ to cause stock market crash (CNBC, August 19, 2018)
"Stockman, who served as the Office of Management and Budget director in the Reagan administration, puts a large part of the blame on Washington's decision to place tariffs on China and the ballooning budget deficit. 'This economy isn't strong, and it can't take the punishment that's coming out of an unhinged White House and a Washington policy environment where they all have their heads in the sand.' According to Stockman, the China trade war is the primary catalyst that could finally pushes stocks over the edge."
Trump backed 'space force' after months of lobbying by officials with ties to aerospace industry (Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2018)
"'I was not really serious. And then I said what a great idea — maybe we'll have to do that.'
The origin of the space force wasn’t that simple.
The story of how that happened is a window into the chaotic way Trump sometimes makes key decisions, often by bypassing traditional bureaucracy to tout ideas that work well as applause lines but aren’t fully thought out.
he concept had been pushed unsuccessfully since 2016 by a small group of current and former government officials, some with deep financial ties to the aerospace industry, who see creation of the sixth military service as a surefire way to hike Pentagon spending on satellite and other space systems.
But Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), one of the early supporters of a separate service, complained that Trump’s impromptu endorsement had 'hijacked' the issue and could vastly inflate the budget process. 'There are many vendors of all types who are excited at the prospect of an explosion of new spending, which was not our goal.'"
(Just HIS corporate sponsors, you say?)
Paul Hansmeier finally cops to being a porn troll, after a years-long saga (Ars Technica, August 18, 2018)
"Basically, the group orchestrated their own pornographic film, seeded it on BitTorrent websites, and then targeted users who downloaded it—threatening them with lawsuits if they didn’t pay $3,000 to avoid embarrassment in court. It was a lucrative business: the trio made over $3 million, according to the plea deal."
My stepdaughter spoke out against faith-based 'sex ed.' Her district just ensured it won't return.
(Daily KOS, August 17, 2018)
"A local faith-based crisis pregnancy center, Amnion Pregnancy Center, had been invited into tenth grade classes repeatedly to teach a sex ed segment. The presentation was filled with pseudo-science and lies"
Mormons say Utah marijuana ballot initiative violates their religious freedom - file 2nd lawsuit
(Daily KOS, August 17, 2018)
"A group of Utah Mormons is attempting to exercise what they perceive is their religious freedom to silence the voice of voters and control the democratic process. They are crusading to force removal of a Utah ballot measure legalizing medical marijuana to prevent voters from exercising their right to vote; because Mormons apparently don’t like weed for wellness.
The Mormon attorney leading and financing the religious crusade, Walter Plumb III, is the owner of a pharmaceutical company peddling 'nutritional supplements and products.' Thus Plumb is attempting to block any possible competition from cannabis. Unlike many supplements, cannabis is a well-documented treatment option for a variety of conditions."
George Will: Another epic economic collapse is coming (Washington Post, August 17, 2018)
"A recent International Monetary Fund analysis noted that among advanced economies, only the United States expects an increase in the debt-to-GDP ratio over the next five years. America’s complacency caucus will respond: But among those economies, ours is performing especially well. What, however, if this is significantly an effect of exploding debt? Publicly held U.S. government debt has tripled in a decade.
Despite today’s shrill discord between the parties, the political class is more united by class interest than it is divided by ideology. From left to right, this class has a permanent incentive to run enormous deficits — to charge, through taxation, current voters significantly less than the cost of the government goods and services they consume, and saddle future voters with the cost of servicing the resulting debt after the current crop of politicians has left the scene."
After employee revolt, Google says it is “not close” to launching search in China (Ars Technica, August 17, 2018)
"Fourteen hundred employees signed a letter demanding more transparency from Google's leadership on ethical issues, saying, "Google employees need to know what we’re building.""
Kobach’s Kansas Victory Tainted by…Kobach’s Election System (The Young Turks, August 17, 2018)
"ES&S, which accounts for about 44 percent of U.S. election equipment, is no stranger to controversy. The company (previously called American Information Systems) first raised eyebrows in 1996, when its chairman, Chuck Hagel, resigned a few weeks before announcing his intent to run for the U.S. Senate and then 'surprised national pundits and defied early polls' to win the race by 15 points, even though pre-election polls had called the race a dead heat. In doing so, Hagel became Nebraska’s first Republican U.S. senator since 1972. Nebraska election officials reported that ES&S machines had counted about 85 percent of the votes in the race."
(There's a long Comments thread re this, here. Also see Jennifer Cohn's May 13th article, here.)
A national military parade was a bad idea, which is probably why President Trump liked it
(Los Angeles Times, August 17, 2018)
"Such a parade would amount to little more than an expensive (more on that in a minute) visual prop for our nationalistic commander in chief, and would be the kind of display the Soviet Union and China turned into a cliché of authoritarianism. Which is why the president wants one."
John Dean to White House staffers: 'Get out!' (Daily KOS, August 17, 2018)
"It doesn’t do much for a career to be on the wrong side of history, nor to have worked for the worst president in American history."
Federal Prosecutor says revoking the security clearances of witnesses could be a Federal Crime (Daily KOS, August 17, 2018)
"The revocation of Brennan’s security clearance is a new angle here, and I think the president is getting into even more dangerous ground. I think we’re all familiar with the concept of obstruction of justice. But what I don’t know that everybody understands is that it’s also a crime to retaliate against someone who is a witness."
Trump Is Not a King (New York Times, August 17, 2018)
"A group of top former intelligence and military leaders are sending a message to the nation’s troops and spies: think twice before following the president’s orders in a crisis."
Trump escalates feud with U.S. spy chiefs after Brennan flap, hinting he'll strip more security clearances (Los Angeles Times, August 17, 2018)
"Trump spoke after 13 former top intelligence officials issued a harsh rebuke of his decision to strip the security clearance from John Brennan, a former CIA director who has become one of Trump’s most sulfurous critics. The bipartisan group condemned what they called the president’s 'ill-considered and unprecedented remarks and actions.' Signing the letter was a virtual who’s who of American spy chiefs dating back to the late 1980s — a striking show of solidarity from the top ranks of the national security establishment."
William H. McRaven, retired Navy admiral: "Revoke my security clearance, too, Mr. President" (Washington Post, August 16, 2018)
"Former CIA director John Brennan, whose security clearance you revoked on Wednesday, is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.
Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency."
Trump just took us another step closer to the abyss
(Washington Post, August 16, 2018)
"What Donald Trump did Wednesday isn’t supposed to happen in a democracy. A president who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution just carried out a personal political vendetta against a career intelligence officer. In revoking the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, Trump took another step toward the abyss. He cited the 'risk posed by [Brennan’s] erratic conduct and behavior,' a ludicrous charge coming from our unguided missile of a chief executive.
The Brennan episode is just one more warning of what may be ahead. Trump appears ready to take our country over the waterfall to save himself. Before it’s too late, Trump should realize: Even in his rage, he can’t fire everybody."
John Brennan: President Trump’s Claims of No Collusion Are Hogwash (New York Times, August 16, 2018)
"That’s why the president revoked my security clearance: to try to silence anyone who would dare challenge him."
“Death Spiral”: Why Omarosa Totally Triggered Trump (Vanity Fair, August 16, 2018)
"The perceived betrayal of a longtime female ally, and her perfectly executed Trumpian tactics, made the feud too personal to ignore."
Judge: Trump's release of dossier memos opens door to disclosures from FBI (Politico, August 16, 2018)
"President Donald Trump’s decision to declassify competing congressional memos about the validity of the so-called Steele dossier means the FBI has lost its authority to rebuff Freedom of Information Act requests about the bureau’s efforts to verify the report’s intelligence linking Trump to Russia during the 2016 campaign."
Debian GNU/Linux project to mark 25th birthday TODAY (IT Wire, August 16, 2018)
"Maintaining a Debian system was made simple after some developers created a package management system known as apt. Apt — and its derivatives like aptitude and synaptic — have served to make the task of updating a Debian system simple."
Ubuntu, the most popular Linux, is based on Debian.)
NEW: Bill Galvin and Josh Zakim’s first major debate in Massachusetts secretary of state race turned ugly — quickly (Boston Globe, August 15, 2018)
Jack Dorsey says he’s rethinking the core of how Twitter works (Washington Post, August 15, 2018)
"Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey said he is rethinking core parts of the social media platform so it doesn’t enable the spread of hate speech, harassment and false news, including conspiracy theories shared by prominent users like Alex Jones and Infowars. 'The most important thing that we can do is we look at the incentives that we’re building into our product. Because they do express a point of view of what we want people to do — and I don't think they are correct anymore.'"
NEW: Roundup for Breakfast? Weed Killer in Landmark Cancer Verdict Found in Kids’ Cereals, Other Oat-Based Foods (Environmental Working Group, August 15, 2018)
"Popular oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars come with a hefty dose of the weed-killing poison in Monsanto’s Roundup, according to independent laboratory tests commissioned by EWG. These new findings come days after a California jury awarded $289 million to a school groundskeeper who claimed Roundup gave him lymphoma.
EWG’s tests found glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, in all but two of 45 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats. More than two thirds of the samples had glyphosate levels above what EWG scientists consider protective of children’s health with an adequate margin of safety."
“Natural” birth-control app dogged by unwanted pregnancies gets FDA approval
(Ars Technica, August 15, 2018)
"Body temp is unreliable for birth control, but FDA approval clears way for similar apps."
ACLU: Federal agencies setting ‘trap’ to deport immigrants (Associated Press, August 15, 2018)
"Federal immigration agencies have launched a coordinated campaign to arrest and deport immigrants seeking to become legal U.S. residents through marriage, according to documents released this week in a class-action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union."
Hackers have already weighed in help 'Putin's favorite Congressman' Dana Rohrabacher (Daily KOS, August 15, 2018)
"A Democratic challenger to Dana Rohrabacher, the Republican congressman so obviously in the pocket of Vladimir Putin that other Republican congressmen joke about how he’s in the pocket of Vladimir Putin, is going public over hacking attempts that plagued his campaign before the recent primary. Stem-cell scientist Dr. Hans Keirstead lost the June 5 primary in California Congressional District 48 by a razor-thin 125 votes, finishing behind Rohrabacher and real estate investor Harley Rouda in California’s top-two primary system."
Twitter suspends Alex Jones for urging people to keep “battle rifles” ready (Ars Technica, August 15, 2018)
"After holding out for a few weeks, Twitter joined the chorus of social media and tech giants that have punished conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for questionable content. But the catch is that Jones' ban will last just seven days."
Gunrunning USA (Tom Dispatch, August 14, 2018)
"Every year an average of 17,102 children and teens and 116,255 Americans overall are shot in 'murders, assaults, suicides, and suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, or by police intervention.' And this doesn’t happen for no reason. Consider these recent estimates from the Small Arms Survey, a gun research group: 'There were approximately 857 million civilian-held firearms in the world at the end of 2017... National ownership rates vary from about 120.5 firearms for every 100 residents in the United States to less than 1 firearm for every 100 residents in countries like Indonesia, Japan, Malawi, and several Pacific island states.' In fact, the U.S. leads the rest of the world by a long shot in gun ownership, with 45% of those 857 million weapons (you do the math) right here in this country. War-torn Yemen comes in a distant second."
Three More Intel Chip Exploits Surface ITPro Today, August 14, 2018)
"There's more evidence today that Intel has been playing fast and loose with security in order to stay ahead of the fast-chip competition. Today it was announced that there are three more Meltdown/Spectre-type Intel chip exploits. The vulnerability affects Intel's desktop, workstation, and server CPUs."
(And voting-machine reliability.)
Election Websites, Back-End Systems Most at Risk of Cyberattack in Midterms (Dark Reading, August 14, 2018)
"Both adult and kid hackers demonstrated at DEF CON how the hackable voting machine may be the least of our worries in the 2018 elections."
Using common social media tactics to subvert US elections
(Associated Press, August 14, 2018)
"The aim of these possibly Russia-linked perpetrators appears to be to draw in as many people as possible with emotional appeals and then spur them to action. In this case, though, the action is public protest rather than affinity marketing, and the goal is to sow dissension rather than to build brand awareness."
Trump warns Cuomo: Anybody who runs against me ‘suffers’
(Associated Press, August 14, 2018)
"Trump said that Cuomo ... called him and told him, 'I’ll never run for president against you.'
'But maybe he wants to,' Trump went on, adding: 'Oh, please do it. Please. Please. He did say that. Maybe he meant it. The one thing we know — and they do say — anybody that runs against Trump suffers. That’s the way it should be.'"
(mr. president, that's NOT what Teddy Roosevelt meant by a "Bully Pulpit".)
Select Former Trump Aides Receive Monthly Salaries of $15,000, Reports Say (Fortune, August 14, 2018)
"The money comes from either the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee, or the America First PAC, but it’s not clear if the payments are in exchange for the former aides’ silence. Those receiving payments—either directly or through firms they manage—include former director of Oval Office operations Keith Schiller, former personal assistant to the president John McEntee, former digital media director of the Trump campaign Brad Parscale, and former director of advertising for the Trump campaign Gary Coby, ABC reports. The salaries are listed for 'security services,' 'payroll,' 'digital consulting [and] management consulting,' and 'media services [and] consulting,' respectively."
Trump lashes out at Omarosa, calls her ‘that dog’ (Associated Press, August 14, 2018)
"While Trump trades in insults on a near daily basis, deeming Manigault Newman a 'dog' was a stunning move in a row that touched on several sensitive issues in Trump’s White House, including a lack of racial diversity among senior officials, security concerns — Manigault Newman taped her firing in the White House Situation Room — and extraordinary measures such as non-disclosure agreements to keep ex-employees quiet."
Gates testimony dredges up Trump inaugural spending mystery
(Associated Press, August 14, 2018)
"Donald Trump’s inaugural committee pushed back hard last summer on questions about whether the unprecedented $107 million budget for the event was fraught with cost overruns and misspending. A top inauguration official assured The Associated Press that spending had been restrained and monitored.
In court last week, that same official — Rick Gates — acknowledged that he personally may have pocketed some of the inaugural committee’s money. Though only a footnote to Gates’ disclosure of tax fraud, extramarital affairs and embezzlement from Manafort, the admission raised new questions about how well the inaugural committee tracked its own spending and why Gates was chosen for a top inauguration job in the first place."
Trump’s diplomatic learning curve: Time zones, ‘Nambia’ and ‘Nipple’ (Politico, August 13, 2018)
"The president has often perplexed foreign officials and his own aides as he learns how to deal with the world beyond America's borders."
‘Hitler Was Right’ Republican Wins Missouri Primary (Daily KOS, August 13, 2018)
"Steve West, who promotes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on a radio show he hosts, defeated three other candidates Tuesday in the bid for a seat representing Clay County. He won with 49.5 percent of the vote."
After a Democratic sweep, prominent Trump-loving US Senate candidate suddenly changes her tune (Daily KOS, August 13, 2018)
"Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Marsha Blackburn felt the sting of a massive county Democratic sweep in Tennessee, as well as watching the landslide loss of Diane Black who was running for Tennessee governor. Learning from her peer’s mistakes, Blackburn put out a new ad very unlike her previous. She mentions nothing about her her love for guns, Trump, the Wall, immigrant ban, war against Planned Parenthood, war against equal pay for women...nothing at all about those issues."
A shorter story than it should be (Daily KOS, August 13, 2018)
"A survey of data published by an international team of 16 scientists ... suggests that climate change isn’t going to stop with 'just' flooding cities around the globe, and bringing droughts and floods and generating a billion refugees. It says we are currently on track to a planet too warm to support our civilization, and quite possibly our species."
Google Tracks You Even If Location History's Off. Here's How to Stop It (Wired, August 13, 2018)
"If, like most people, you thought Google stopped tracking your location once you turned off Location History in your account settings, you were wrong. According to an AP investigation published Monday, even if you disable Location History, the search giant still tracks you every time you open Google Maps, get certain automatic weather updates, or search for things in your browser.
The problem affects anyone with an Android phone and iPhone users running Google Maps on their devices. There's a way to stop it—but it takes some digging."
NEW: An 11-year-old changed election results on a replica Florida state website in under 10 minutes (PBS, August 12, 2018)
"An 11-year-old boy on Friday was able to hack into a replica of the Florida state election website and change voting results found there in under 10 minutes during the world’s largest yearly hacking convention, DEFCON 26, He was one of about 50 children between the ages of 8 and 16 who were taking part in the so-called “DEFCON Voting Machine Hacking Village,” a portion of which allowed kids the chance to manipulate party names, candidate names and vote count totals. An 11-year-old girl also managed to make changes to the same Florida replica website in about 15 minutes, tripling the number of votes found there. Sell said more than 30 children hacked a variety of other similar state replica websites in under a half hour. 'These are very accurate replicas of all of the sites. These things should not be easy enough for an 8-year-old kid to hack within 30 minutes. It’s negligent for us as a society.'"
It's easy to physically gain admin access on a voting machine that is used in 18 states. (Twitter, August 11, 2018)
"Requires no tools and takes under 2 minutes."
Republican Gov. Baker Signs Automatic Voter Registration Bill Into Law In Massachusetts (Huffington Post, August 10, 2018)
"This is a victory for voters, and for a healthy and vibrant democracy."
Challenging the Electoral College’s winner take all system in Massachusetts (Boston Globe, August 10, 2018)
"A Harvard Law professor, former governor William F. Weld, and Al Gore’s onetime attorney are making a long-shot bid to change the Electoral College system, arguing that it encourages presidential candidates to devote all their time to a handful of swing states and ignore the vast majority of the country. The high-powered group is suing two blue states, Massachusetts and California, and two red states, Texas and South Carolina, arguing that the winner-take-all system that they and 44 other states use to allocate electors to the Electoral College effectively disenfranchises millions of voters who back the losing candidates."
NEW: The rotten core of the US economy (Daily KOS, August 10, 2018)
"The American stock market has been shrinking. The article observes that in the mid-1990's there were more than 8,000 publicly traded American companies. By 2016, there were only 3,627. That was surprising. But what was disturbing was that, of the 3,627, only 200 were profitable. The remaining 3,281 lost money."
Hack causes pacemakers to deliver life-threatening shocks (Ars Technica, August 9, 2018)
"Researchers criticize device maker Medtronic for slow response."
Over 20 Flaws in Most Popular Healthcare Software
Put 120 Million Patients At Risk (Infosecurity Group, August 9, 2018)
"OpenEMR develops open source electronic health record (EHR) and practice management tools, which are used to serve an estimated 30 million patients in the US and over three-times that number globally."
Puerto Rican officials confirm Hurricane Maria death toll exceeds 1,400 (The Weather Channel, August 9, 2018)
"The staggering figure is more than 20 times the official death toll, which stands at 64, according to National Public Radio (NPR)."
US scientist who edited human embryos with CRISPR responds to critics (MIT Technology Review, August 8, 2018)
"Can we safely fix the DNA of human embryos in a lab dish?"
Omarosa Secretly Recorded Trump and Played the Audio to Others, Sources Say (Daily Beast, August 8, 2018)
"The reality-TV star-turned White House official-turned reality-TV star again promises her new book, UNHINGED, will provide a candid and revealing look at her time inside the Trump administration. Part of the book documents what she describes as Trump’s 'mental decline.' The president, she claims, 'rambled. He spoke gibberish. He contradicted himself from one sentence to the next.'"
What You Found In 3 Million Russian Troll Tweets (FiveThirtyEight, August 8, 2018)
"Last week, FiveThirtyEight published nearly 3 million tweets sent by handles affiliated with the Internet Research Agency, a Russian 'troll factory.' That group was a defendant in one of special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments, which accused the IRA of interfering with American electoral and political processes."
The Chinese threat that an aircraft carrier can’t stop (Washington Post, August 7, 2018)
"This year’s focus was on 'Maintaining America’s Edge' in the dawning era of high-tech combat, and the big takeaway was this: The future of warfare is now, and China is poised to dominate it.
Speakers at the conference described a new generation of combat systems, powered by artificial intelligence, cyberweapons and robots that can operate on land, sea and air. But America is still largely wedded to legacy weapons of the past — superbly engineered (but super-expensive) aircraft carriers, bombers, fighter jets and submarines."
Even If Emission Reduction Targets Are Met, Earth Still Heading Towards ‘Hothouse’ State (Huffington Post, August 7, 2018)
“It may be very difficult or impossible to stop the whole row of dominoes from tumbling over. Places on Earth will become uninhabitable if ‘Hothouse Earth’ becomes the reality.”
Study: Earth risks tipping into 'Hothouse State' (, August 6, 2018)
"The planet urgently needs to transition to a green economy because fossil fuel pollution risks pushing the Earth into a lasting and dangerous 'hothouse state', researchers warned on Monday. If polar ice continues to melt, forests are slashed and greenhouse gases rise to new highs—as they currently do each year—the Earth will pass a tipping point. Crossing that threshold 'guarantees a climate 4-5 Celsius (7-9 Fahrenheit) higher than pre-industrial times, and sea levels that are 10 to 60 meters (30-200 feet) higher than today,' cautioned scientists in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."
NEW: An Army of Deer Ticks Carrying Lyme Disease Is Advancing and Here’s Why It Will Only Get Worse
(Mother Jones, August 6, 2018)
'We haven’t been able to find any clean ticks. They’re ALL infected.' Yet in Maine, Gov. Paul LePage—a conservative Republican who has questioned global-warming science—won’t acknowledge the phenomenon. His administration has suppressed state plans and vetoed legislation aimed at limiting the damage, former government officials say. They say state employees, including at the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, have been told not to discuss climate change. It appears the problem has been swept under the rug."
Trump's Self Sabotage Is Epic, Meeting With Mueller Could Be His Waterloo (Daily KOS, August 6, 2018)
"Donald Trump has lived his life in a binary choice world. As biographer Tony Schwartz puts it, 'You either dominated or you submitted. You either created and exploited fear, or you succumbed to it.' This narrow, defensive outlook took hold at a very early age, and it never evolved. ‘When I look at myself in the first grade and I look at myself now,’ Trump told a recent biographer, ‘I’m basically the same.”’
Now the first grader wants to take on the prosecutor’s prosecutor, Robert Mueller. His lawyer Jay Sekulow said Sunday, 'The President has been clear that he wants to interview. I will tell you his legal team is concerned.' Concerned? They’re wearing Depends!"
Rick Wilson: Trump’s Tweets May Actually Be His Undoing (Rolling Stone, August 6, 2018)
"President Trump’s manic Twitter dysentery over the weekend contained more than a few nuggets that would have shamed, embarrassed or mortified normal presidents in a normal era. The impulsive president has backed himself into a corner, and Robert Mueller knows it."
New Pew study hints at 2018 Democratic rout (Daily KOS, August 6, 2018)
"The Pew Research Center recently released a study comparing Democratic and Republican primary turnout this year with that of 2014, when Republicans eye-gouged Democrats all night long on Election Day. Democratic turnout is way up compared to 2014, and is also outpacing GOP turnout by leaps and bounds."
Fox News Correspondent Conor Powell Resigns: ‘Lots of Reporters Are Very Unhappy’ (The Wrap, August 6, 2018)
"Conor Powell was 'uncomfortable with the direction of the news organization in recent months,'”
US EPA is now allowing asbestos back into manufacturing (The Architects Newspaper, August 6, 2018)
"The report states that the agency will no longer consider the effect or presence of substances in the air, ground, or water in its risk assessments."
Wells Fargo blames 'computer glitch' for hundreds of customers' lost homes (Daily KOS, August 6, 2018)
"About 625 customers were incorrectly denied a loan modification or were not offered one even though they were qualified, according to the filing. In about 400 cases, the customers were ultimately foreclosed upon."
David Hogg and Twitter troll the NRA’s financial woes—some offer NRA ‘thoughts and prayers’ (Daily KOS, August 5, 2018)
"The NRA admitted in a recent court filing that it’s hurting financially thanks to activism by the teenage survivors of the Parkland school massacre. Clearly the young people are winning. '4,000,000 17-year-olds turn 18 before the November election.'"
3D-printed (and CNC-milled) guns: Nine questions you were too afraid to ask
(Ars Technica, August 5, 2018)
"Numerous states want Cody Wilson's gun files to not be posted online—they're too late."
NEW: Yuval Noah Harari extract: ‘Humans are a post-truth species’ (The Guardian, August 5, 2018)
"In his new book, '21 Lessons for the 21st Century', the bestselling author turns his attention to the problems we face today. Here, he argues that 'fake news' is much older than Facebook."
Trump's Supreme Court nominee argued presidents should be shielded from all criminal probes — even questioning
(Los Angeles Times, August 5, 2018)
"Since t'he Watergate era of the 1970s, four presidents — Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and now Donald Trump — have faced criminal investigations into their actions led by special prosecutors. For Nixon and Clinton, those probes led to impeachment charges in Congress.
But Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, has argued these special investigations are a mistake and may well be unconstitutional. Though he was a key player in the investigation of Clinton, Kavanaugh has since concluded that a sitting president should be accorded temporary immunity from any criminal probe while in office."
Trump denies his son is at legal risk, yet concedes the 2016 meeting with Russians was to get dirt on Clinton (Los Angeles Times, August 5, 2018)
"Trump again referred to the probe’s purpose as a 'hoax,' a characterization he has often made publicly despite U.S. intelligence agencies’ certitude of Russia’s election interference. Trump has previously said he was unaware of the meeting beforehand, though his former lawyer is reportedly prepared to say otherwise. The president repeated his assertion in a series of Sunday morning tweets."
The Age That Women Have Babies: How a Gap Divides America (New York Times, August 4, 2018)
"A new analysis of four decades of births shows that the age that women become mothers varies significantly by geography and education. The result is that children are born into very different family lives, heading for diverging economic futures."
NEW: The Stock Market Is Shrinking. That’s a Problem for Everyone. (New York Times, August 4, 2018)
"In theory, as a shareholder, you are entitled to a piece of a company’s future earnings. That’s one of the main arguments for buying stock in the first place. But the reality is that you often are buying a piece of a money-losing proposition. Aside from the top 200 companies, the rest of the market, as a whole, is burning, not earning, money."
Captive Audience: How Companies Make Millions Charging Prisoners to Send An Email (Wired, August 3, 2018)
"For companies like JPay, the business model is simple: Whatever it costs to send a message, prisoners and their families will find a way to pay it."
How History Classes Helped Create a 'Post-Truth' America (The Atlantic, August 2nd, 2018)
"The author of Lies My Teacher Told Me discusses how schools’ flawed approach to teaching the country’s past affects its civic health."
Will Lockheed Martin Change The World With Its New Fusion Reactor? (Forbes, August 1, 2018)
"The lack of greenhouse gas emissions, nuclear waste, or safety hazards means that widespread adoption of the technology could halt climate change in its tracks. More than that, it might end global energy scarcity altogether. We are talking about an energy revolution of epic proportions – if we can just get it to work."
NEW: Exodus: The Climate Migration Crisis (The Weather Channel, with 7-min. video, August 1, 2018)
"Waves crest up to 27 feet, landing so hard they launch over three-story houses. Winds gust to over 80 mph, sending trees to the ground and knocking out power to 92 percent of the city. Entire beaches push inland, piling several feet of rock and sand onto roads and covering street signs, porches and mailboxes. Houses shake, sloshing water in toilet bowls. Slabs of concrete from sidewalks and neighborhood sheds float down the street as white-capped waves form on the streets."
(Scituate, Massachusetts, this past March. For us, this was very close to home!)
Here's How America Uses Its Land (Bloomberg, July 31, 2018)

20 terrifying uses of artificial intelligence (Tech Republic, July 31, 2018)
"Many advances in artificial intelligence are innovative and extraordinary, but some are downright creepy. Here are 20 of the eeriest ways people are using, or could use, AI."
NEW: North China Plain threatened by deadly heatwaves due to climate change and irrigation (Nature, July 31, 2018)

How Record Heat Wreaked Havoc on Four Continents (New York Times, July 30, 2018)
"Expect more. That’s the verdict of climate scientists to the record-high temperatures this spring and summer in vastly different climate zones."

Tesla Launches A $1,500 Surfboard, Sells out Almost Immediately. (Futurism, July 30, 2018)

Stunning Editorial From the New Yorker (Daily KOS, July 29, 2018)
"The only resolution the President has left to us, unless he resigns, is for Congress to begin consideration of impeachment proceedings. The country surveys a scene of devastation. The wreckage of American institutions lies all around us. Any future under the present leadership is unthinkable. The point of no return has been passed, and the country has no choice but to take the first, dread steps toward putting its house in order."
(The good news is that it was about President Nixon in 1973. The bad news is the good fit for now.)
Trump Breaches 'Off-the-Record' Promise to the New York Times with Utterly Unhinged Rage-Tweets
(Daily KOS, July 29, 2018)
"For someone who relentlessly bashes the media for its honesty and ethics, Donald Trump seems to have little concern for either, particularly with regard to the media. And this goes much farther than his reckless attacks that media experts have warned are likely to result in violence against journalists who are just trying to do their job."
California's Fires Are Creating Volcanic Clouds (Outside, July 28, 2018)
"All three of the state's major blazes are making rare pyrocumulus clouds right now."

Actually, Republicans Do Believe in Climate Change (New York Times, July 28, 2018)
"Republican opposition to climate policy has occurred, in part, because climate policy has been a Democratic issue. As part of our research, we interviewed several retired members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, who stressed this point. Bob Inglis, a former Republican congressman from South Carolina, spoke of his opposition in his first several years in Congress: 'All I knew was that Al Gore was for it, and therefore I was against it.'"
NEW: Mike Pence, Holy Terror. Are you sure you want to get rid of Donald Trump? (New York Times, July 28, 2018)
"There are problems with impeaching Donald Trump. A big one is the holy terror waiting in the wings.
That would be Mike Pence, who mirrors the boss more than you realize. He’s also self-infatuated. Also a bigot. Also a liar. Also cruel.
To that brimming potpourri he adds two ingredients that Trump doesn’t genuinely possess: the conviction that he’s on a mission from God and a determination to mold the entire nation in the shape of his own faith, a regressive, repressive version of Christianity. Trade Trump for Pence and you go from kleptocracy to theocracy."
Precinct Data Shows Rich, White Neighborhoods Flipping Democratic in 2016. Will It Last? (New York Times, July 27, 2018)
"Republicans have been the party of the rich and Democrats the party of the poor for about as long as political scientists have collected data on American elections. That might not be quite so true anymore, at least among white voters."
NEW: Cohen claims Trump knew in advance of 2016 Trump Tower meeting (CNN News, July 27,2018)
"Cohen alleges that he was present, along with several others, when Trump was informed of the Russians' offer by Trump Jr. By Cohen's account, Trump approved going ahead with the meeting with the Russians, according to sources."
Trump touts economic growth, but it hasn't lifted his support - or his party's election prospects (Los Angeles Times, July 27, 2018)
Amazon’s Rekognition messes up, matches 28 lawmakers to mugshots (Ars Technica, July 26, 2018)
"Facial recognition historically has resulted in more false positives for African-Americans. The ACLU is concerned that over-reliance on faulty facial recognition scans, particularly against citizens of color, would result in a possible fatal interaction with law enforcement. Amazon's Rekognition has already been used by a handful of law enforcement agencies nationwide. Because of these substantive errors, the ACLU is again calling on Congress to enact a moratorium on law enforcement’s use of facial recognition."
IBM Watson Reportedly Recommended Cancer Treatments That Were 'Unsafe and Incorrect' (Gizmodo, July 25, 2018)
"Stat reviewed documents that were included in two presentations given in June and July 2017 by IBM Watson’s former deputy health chief Andrew Norden. The documents were reportedly shared with IBM Watson Health management.
According to Stat, those documents provided strong criticism of the Watson for Oncology system, and stated that the 'often inaccurate' suggestions made by the product bring up 'serious questions about the process for building content and the underlying technology.'"
Judge blocks Iowa voter ID law (Cedar Rapids Gazette, July 25, 2018)
"Ruling restores absentee voting period, bars ID requirements."
Ten Reasons The Cohen Tape Is Worse Than Anyone Realizes and There Are More To Come (Daily KOS, July 25, 2018)
"George Will is playing a senior leadership role in this effort by creating political distance between the Party and Trump. He understands that nothing bad he says about Trump the man will sway the base. Instead his true goal here is to short circuit any threat to the viability of the work of the Trump administration. We see the exact same response from Ryan and McConnell, pretend to be dismayed by individual statements or actions but do nothing to stop the wrecking ball from doing its work."
In his own words: Trump on Russian interference and Vladimir Putin (Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2018)
"In a recent seven-day stretch, Trump suggested that Russia didn’t meddle, then sided with the intelligence community, at least in part, then appeared to reverse himself again when he tweeted that 'it is all a big hoax.'"
How Much Money Are The Trumps Making Off Of The White House?  (Politicus USA, July 24, 2018)
"If Democrats take back all or part of Congress, they have already signaled that they will be coming after Trump’s profiteering off of the presidency. There is already legislation written that would forbid the government from spending a dime at Trump properties. When Trump used monetization as an excuse to take away security clearances, he opened a can of worms, and if he pushes it, he is definitely not going to like the results."
Reality Winner warned America that Russia hacked our voting rolls. Why is she in jail? (Philadelphia Inquirer, July 24, 2018)
"Last week’s news that special counsel Robert Mueller had the goods on 12 high-level Russian spies whose job was to hack computers and muck up America’s 2016 presidential election was a political bombshell - but also a resounding vindication for a 26-year-old Georgia woman with the wonderfully poetic name of Reality Winner."
NEW: The Politics Of Friendship (Forbes, July 23, 2018)
"A polarized populace unable to reach across the aisle or even across the fence is not the America that we have been raised to believe in, or what I believe any of us really want."
Perovskite Challenges Silicon’s Dominance in Solar Power (Daily Beast, July 23, 2018)
"Hardly a week goes by without reports of a perovskite (pronounced p’raf-skite) solar cell approach toppling another efficiency record. In the past month or so records have been set with a tandem cell, 7-cell mini module, inverted cell and the largest, most efficient flexible film-type cell. No solar technology has ever advanced this quickly."
5 Reasons You Should Switch From Windows To Linux Right Now (Forbes, July 23, 2018)
"A ton of people are interested -- are at least actively curious -- about ditching Windows and making the jump to Linux. With that in mind, I wanted to present five reasons that may lead you to consider switching. Know that these are subjective, and they're targeted at the average Windows user and not folks who rely on Windows-exclusive applications for a paycheck.
One thing to know right up front: the modern Linux desktop OS is no longer the obtuse, bewildering and command line driven thing it used to be. Not remotely."
The US is richer because of Europe—no matter what Trump says
(Quartz, July 23, 2018)
"Trump’s trade war with Europe and his hostility toward broader Western alliances such as NATO portend a future of diminished standards of living—as a direct result of less trade—and greater global conflict—indirectly due to reduced economic integration.
By calling Europe a 'foe,' Trump makes clear that he simply doesn’t understand why rich countries trade with one another, which, to be fair, is something that also puzzled economists for many years."
The mystery of Russia’s missing wealth shows how Putin retains his power (Quartz, July 22, 2018)
"Russia is a nuclear power. But an economic power it is not. Last year, the country’s GDP totaled around $1.6 trillion, less than that of the state of Texas. Nor is its wealth growing: Russia’s GDP in 2017 was smaller than it was in 2013, adjusting for price changes.
And yet there’s no question of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s international influence. Witness his ability to hack bigger, richer countries’ democratic elections, or, as this week’s Helsinki summit highlighted, to cow Donald Trump. The Kremlin’s knack for punching above its weight when it comes to geopolitics is a reminder that wealth sometimes matter less than what you do with it.
Or, more precisely, to whom you give it. Oligarchs are an essential part of Putin’s power apparatus. And as a recent working paper (pdf) by economists Thomas Piketty, Gabriel Zucman, and Filip Novokmet reveals, the wealth that won their fealty came directly from the country’s reserves—and, indeed, from the pockets of the Russian people.
World War III started during the 2016 elections—and the United States lost the first battle (Daily KOS, July 22, 2018)
"The battle raged on during the 2016 elections, and most of America had no idea it even happened. Russia was so skillful in opening up this war that there are wide swaths of Americans who either do not believe the attacks happened, or are siding with the Russians.
The attack on our presidential elections will have far greater implications than the attack on Pearl Harbor, and will end up being far worse than 9/11. It is an attack not on our naval fleet, not on our Army, and not on our financial centers. Instead, it was a strike right at the core of our democracy—the very fabric of our nation."
Why Google won't break a sweat about EU ruling (The Register, July 20, 2018)
"If you're expecting Tizens, Fires or alt-droids to flower, don't hold your breath."
This blistering resignation letter from White House adviser Elizabeth Holtzman is a must-read. (Upworthy, July 20, 2018)
"The woman who helped write the Refugee Act is resigning in disgust over Trump's immigration policies."
Novichok poisoning: Russian suspects in Skripal attack sent coded message saying 'The package has been delivered' (The Telegraph, July 20, 2018)
"The coded dispatch helped cement suspicions that it was the Russian state behind the attempted assassination, before counter terror police using facial recognition technology and CCTV images were able to identify those responsible."
NEW: Purges: A Growing Threat to the Right to Vote (Brennan Center for Justice, July 20, 2018)
"Nine states with a history of racial discrimination are more aggressively removing registered voters from their rolls than other states.
Voter purges are an often-flawed process of cleaning up voter rolls by deleting names from registration lists. Done badly, they can prevent eligible people from casting a ballot that counts. This report examines the growing threat, and outlines steps every state can take to protect voters in November and beyond."
Four reasons we’ve reached a tipping point on Trump, by Jennifer Rubin (Washington Post, July 20, 2018)
"Rather than anger or anti-Americanism, the pervasive sentiment among our closest allies is one of sympathy for plight, anxiety and sadness. In Western Europe, Trump is regarded as a figure the allies must jointly weather and manage.
The issue is no longer 'merely' whether Trump colluded with the Russians and committed obstruction of justice, but whether he is a clear-and-present danger to the United States. The conclusion should be obvious: Giving aid and comfort to our biggest geopolitical foe and engaging in private sessions that may compromise American interests even further are together now our greatest security threat. Impeachment is a political question with grave implications for our political system. But when the president’s conduct poses a threat to the nation, removal of the president who poses the threat may be essential.
It is not an exaggeration to say a party that continues support for Trump is anti-American."
(Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Washington Post, offering reported opinion from a center-right perspective.)
NEW: Trump Is Being Manipulated by Putin. What Should We Do?,by Will Hurd (New York Times, July 19, 2018)
"Over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the C.I.A., I saw Russian intelligence manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them.
The president’s failure to defend the United States intelligence community’s unanimous conclusions of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and condemn Russian covert counterinfluence campaigns and his standing idle on the world stage while a Russian dictator spouted lies confused many but should concern all Americans."
("Lawmakers must keep the American people informed of the current danger", writes a Republican congressman from Texas.)
NEW: 34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America (Big Think, July  18, 2018)
"In 1984, Bezmenov gave an interview to G. Edward Griffin from which much can be learned today. His most chilling point was that there’s a long-term plan put in play by Russia to defeat America through psychological warfare and 'demoralization'. It’s a long game that takes decades to achieve but it may already be bearing fruit.
Bezmenov made the point that the work of the KGB mainly does not involve espionage, despite what our popular culture may tell us. Most of the work, 85% of it, was 'a slow process which we call either ideological subversion, active measures, or psychological warfare.'"
NEW: Kushner sidesteps Democratic National Committee lawyers (Politico, July 18, 2018)
"The complaint is the latest development in the DNC’s lawsuit claiming Trump’s presidential campaign conspired with Russia in 2016 at the expense of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Kushner is a defendant in the case, along with a long list of others in Trump’s inner circle, including campaign manager Paul Manafort, adviser Roger Stone and Russia itself.
In a court filing Tuesday, DNC lawyers said Kushner, a defendant in the case, has avoided service at least six times since June, when they tried and failed three times to deliver court documents to someone at Kushner’s Manhattan apartment who refused to accept them.
They went scouting for Kushner at his Washington home in Kalorama, where they were rebuffed by Secret Service agents, who told the process server to “figure out another way.”
Two days later, on June 28, lawyers for the DNC tried sending Kushner the documents by certified mail, which requires a signature. The U.S. Postal Service couldn’t deliver. Returned to sender.
Back in Manhattan, Democrats made a final attempt on July 16, when a process server tried to drop the summons in the mailroom or paste it to Kushner’s door. The building’s staff refused to cooperate, saying the first son-in-law no longer lived in the building."
Ms. Sanders, have you no decency? (Daily KOS, July 18, 2018)
"Something has changed in the press room. Normally, when soulless Sarah gets tired of her back and forth with a particular reporter, she says 'I'm going to move on now' to the reporter and calls on another reporter. Clearly the press corps is fed up with that cop out.
Today, time after time, the original reporter just kept repeating the same question over and over again, louder each time, until Slanders was finally forced to respond. Even worse for Slanders, the reporters are starting to coordinate. Sanders got tired of Hallie Jackson from MSNBC hammering her on Trump's perceived lack of credibility with the American people, so she ignored her and called on someone else. The new reporter said 'Thank you Sarah. I'll cede my time back to Hallie so she can get her question answered.' Slavish Sarah had no choice but to go back to Hallie Jackson."
NEW: I Was a White House Stenographer. Trump Wasn’t a Fan. (New York Times, July 17, 2018)
Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States (Vice, July 17, 2018)
"Remote-access software and modems on election equipment 'is the worst decision for security short of leaving ballot boxes on a Moscow street corner.'
Election Systems and Software acknowledged that it had 'provided pcAnywhere remote connection software … to a small number of US customers between 2000 and 2006,' which was installed on the election-management system ES&S sold them.
Got that? Done between 2000 and 2006, not divulged until April 2018, and not made public until now."
Senator suggests U.S. translator in Putin-Trump meeting should immediately testify to Congress (Daily KOS, July 17, 2018)
"Despite vehement objection from diplomatic efforts and even his own staff, Donald Trump insisted on meeting one-on-one with Vladmir Putin, the former KGB spy chief who they knew would run circles around a narcissistic and incompetent Trump. And that he did, making it clear that Donald Trump is not only incompetent, but under Putin’s thumb. Trump reportedly didn’t even want notes to be taken during the meeting and attended with only one other person: a U.S. translator.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has now suggested the translator meet with Congress to report directly to them about what was said in this private meeting between Trump and Putin. After all, the security and interests of the United States and our western allies are at risk."
NEW: New York Daily News front cover blasts Trump as "Putin's poodle" (Daily News, July 17, 2018)
NEW: Growing body of evidence suggests 'worst-case scenario'—Trump has been a Russian asset for years (Daily KOS, July17, 2018)
"As Rachel Maddow noted on Monday night’s must-watch show, we now must face the reality that a Russian asset may have ascended all the way to the White House. It’s horrifying and uncomfortable and we must now confront this reality."
In India, Summer Heat Could Soon Be Unbearable. Literally. (New York Times, July 17, 2018)
"Extreme heat can kill, as it did by the dozens in Pakistan in May. But as many of South Asia’s already-scorching cities get even hotter, scientists and economists are warning of a quieter, more far-reaching danger: Extreme heat is devastating the health and livelihoods of tens of millions more. If global greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current pace, they say, heat and humidity levels could become unbearable, especially for the poor. It is already making them poorer and sicker.
A recent analysis of climate trends in several of South Asia’s biggest cities found that if current warming trends continued, by the end of the century, wet bulb temperatures — a measure of heat and humidity that can indicate the point when the body can no longer cool itself — would be so high that people directly exposed for six hours or more would not survive."
'Each day is more painful than the last': Parents separated from kids beg US public for help (CNN, July 16, 2018)
"The children cry, they don't recognize our voices and they feel abandoned and unloved."
NEW: Hillary Clinton's response to Trump's shameful press conference just might break Twitter
(Daily KOS,  July 16, 2018)
NEW:  Putin’s Attack on the U.S. Is Our Pearl Harbor, by U.S. Lt. Gen. (ret.) Mark Hertling  (Politico, July 16, 2018)
"Make no mistake: Hacking the 2016 election was an act of war. It’s time we responded accordingly."
(Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling (ret.) is the former commanding general of U.S. Army Europe and the Seventh Army.)
NEW: Update: Trump's Most Fervent Supporter Cancels TV Appearance, Refusing to Defend #TreasonSummit (Daily KOS,  July 16, 2018)
Sifting through the wreckage of Trump’s Europe tour for signs of a foreign policy (Los Angeles Times, July 16, 2018)
"Critics already are calling it the 'blame America first' tour. That was perhaps inevitable after President Trump blamed American 'foolishness and stupidity' on Monday for the nosedive in U.S. relations with Moscow, not Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, Syria and in the 2016 presidential election.
Later, after an unprecedented two-hour private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump said he didn’t see'any reason why' Russia would meddle in America’s electoral politics, citing Putin’s 'strong and powerful' denials, a stunning rebuke to U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
That followed six days of jaw-dropping presidential taunts aimed at international institutions and alliances that have formed the backbone of U.S. foreign policy and national security for decades, unnerving traditional partners in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union and allied capitals around the globe."
Trump Shows the World He's Putin's Lackey (New York Times, July 16, 2018)
No matter how low your expectations for the summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin on Monday, it was hard not to be staggered by the American president’s slavish and toadying performance. Maybe the president is exactly as compromised as he looks."
A Russian newspaper editor explains how Putin made Trump his puppet (Vox, July 16, 2018)
“They consider him a stupid, unstrategic politician.”
White House: Trump Isn’t a Traitor, Just a Cognitively Impaired Egotist (New York Magazine, July 16, 2018)
"Ostensibly, the president is saying here that he does believe the FBI’s conclusions about Russian interference — but was simply unwilling to stand up for American law enforcement in Putin’s presence. It is hard to see how such behavior does not qualify as the height of diplomatic cowardice, under the American right’s own definition of that term.
Meanwhile, anonymous administration officials offered an even more damaging 'defense.'"
Trump’s Own Team: He ‘Looked Incredibly Weak’ Next to Putin (Daily Beast, July 16, 2018)
"On a global stage, Trump didn’t just cower; he actively cemented an image of submissiveness to his Russian counterpart. 'I honestly had little to no good expectations for this,' said a senior Trump political appointee who works on issues surrounding Russian disinformation efforts, adding that the event 'went about as well as I expected. Trump looked incredibly weak up there. Putin looks like a champion,' the official continued. 'I’d like to say I’m shocked, but this is the world in which we live now.'
Those who have worked for the president say they have come to expect these types of moments—in large part because they are rooted in two of Trump’s most prominent characteristics: insecurity and stubbornness."
In Helsinki, Trump violated his oath of office (New York Times, July 16, 2018)
"It was as if President Franklin Roosevelt had said after Pearl Harbor: 'Hey, both sides are to blame.'
In the past few years what has Putin done to deserve an American president sucking up to him for an “extraordinary” relationship? Putin has seized Crimea, covertly invaded Ukraine, provided the missiles that shot down a civilian Malaysian airliner over Ukraine, bombed tens of thousands of refugees out of Syria into Europe, destabilizing Europe, been involved in the death of a British woman who accidentally handled a Russian nerve agent deployed to kill ex-Russian agents in England and deployed misinformation to help tip the vote in Britain toward exiting and fracturing the European Union.
Most of all, Putin unleashed a cyberattack on America’s electoral process, aimed at both electing Trump — with or without Trump’s collusion — and sowing division among American citizens. Our intelligence agencies have no doubt about this."
Trump Gives Putin a Win in Finland, Kindling New Outrage at Home (Bloomberg, July 16, 2018)
"In Washington, lawmakers from both sides of the aisles were aghast. Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, said Trump turned in 'one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate.' McCain added that the summit was 'a tragic mistake.'
House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, said there was no question Russia interfered in the election. 'The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally,' Ryan said. 'There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals.'
'This was the day an American president stood on foreign soil next to a murderous lying thug and refused to back his own country,' former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired, said in a tweet. 'Patriots need to stand up and reject the behavior of this president.'"
Trump’s defense of Putin finds few supporters in Congress (Washington Post, July 16, 2018)
"Within hours of the event’s conclusion, Republicans had joined Democrats in criticizing the president’s comments. Many more in the president’s party reasserted the findings of Russian culpability, distancing themselves from their leader.
'The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally,' said House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.). 'The United States must be focused on holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy.'"
Former CIA Director calls Trump's comments at Putin press conference 'nothing short of treasonous' (Daily KOS, July 16, 2018)
"Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you??? --John O. Brennan"
Affidavit: 'key' Republican 'leaders' had secure back channel to the Kremlin in October 2016 (Daily KOS, July 16, 2018)
"According to this affidavit, an unknown number of those leaders had a secure line of communications to the Kremlin in October of 2016, immediately before the elections. For what possible purpose? Are we going to find out who? And do government investigators already know?"
Step aboard a 13,000-ton icebreaker navigating the Northwest Passage (Associated Press, July 15, 2018)
Sailing through the Arctic Circle’s fabled Northwest Passage on an icebreaker to document the changes global warming has wrought in one of the world’s most fragile environments."
Climate change is contributing to the migration of Central American refugees (Public Radio International, July 15, 2018)
"Author and journalist Todd Miller, who has written a new book called, 'Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security,' says climate change is a key factor forcing families to flee from Central America and Mexico — and deadly droughts, hurricanes, floods and mudslides are projected to intensify further in the region as global warming increases, which will hit small farmers especially hard.
Miller says statistical data already document the devastating effects of NAFTA and CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement) on small farmers who were suddenly put into direct competition with highly subsidized US agribusinesses and grain movers. Around 2 million small farmers, particularly in southern Mexico, were displaced or could no longer make ends meet, Miller says."
To Combat Gentrification, One City Is Changing How Homes Are Bought and Sold (Truthout, July 15, 2018)
"In 2017, the neighbors established the city’s first community land trust, a nonprofit designed to give residents control over the land within the neighborhood boundaries and keep housing there affordable."
How Israel, in Dark of Night, Torched Its Way to Iran’s Nuclear Secrets (New York Times, July 15, 2018)
Warren Is Preparing for 2020. So Are Biden, Booker, Harris and Sanders.
(New York Times, July 15, 2018)
‘We’re picking up the pace’ on election security following indictment of Russian agents, Galvin says (Boston Globe, July 15, 2018)
"The indictments 'proved what we already knew,' Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said. 'We’re all concerned, of course, but we feel we’re in a better position than most. We only use paper ballots, and our system is not on the internet.'"
On Eve of Talks, Trump Congratulates Putin and Calls E.U. a Trade ‘Foe’ (New York Times, July 15, 2018)
"Of the hacking itself, Mr. Trump said: 'Certainly, I’ll be asking about it, but again, this was during the Obama administration.'
Asked whether Mr. Trump considered Putin a ruthless dictator
, Mr. Trump replied, 'I assume he probably is. I think we could probably get along very well.'"
Trump, Having a Bawl in Europe
(New York Times, July 15, 2018)
"Rather than accept the reality, laid out in detail by his own Justice Department, that we are in a dangerous cyberwar with Russia, the president did what he does best. The 'Apricot Toddler,' as he was dubbed in Britain, pounds the high chair, makes messes, pushes buttons, stage-manages cliffhangers and filigrees his labyrinth of lies."
NEW: Ex-Watergate Prosecutor Drops Bomb: Mueller Prepping Indictments For Trump Campaign Officials (Politicus USA, July 14, 2018)
"There is no way, no how that the Russians would have enough political sense and have enough feel for what the game on the ground is without having spotters and people in the Trump campaign directing this. And if you look at this indictment, it is filled with incredible details about the Russians. I mean, this is not gathered just based on forensic evidence. And they know. They know who the Americans are. They know who is going to be indicted. And they’re in the process now of putting that evidence together so they can convict these people beyond a reasonable doubt."
NEW: Even Russia Is Done With Trump: Majority Calls U.S. POTUS ‘Dangerous’ And ‘Self-Centered’ (Politicus USA, July 14, 2018)
"The poll’s findings show a pretty stunning turnaround in Russian support for Trump. Before the election, in fact, all of the G20 countries wanted Hillary Clinton to win – except for Russia.
Now, they seem to recognize what the rest of the world has known all along: Trump is a dangerous narcissist."
The death of truth: how we gave up on facts and ended up with Trump (The Guardian, July 14, 2018)
"From post-modernism to filter bubbles, ‘truth decay’ has been spreading for decades. How can we stop alternative facts from bringing down democracy?"
Cleanup of Pence family gas stations cost Indiana more than $20 million (Associated Press, July 14, 2018)
'We don't know how it worked': the inside story of the Thai cave rescue
(The Guardian, July 14, 2018)
"Briefings by Thai officials and interviews with six Australian, American, Chinese and Thai divers involved in the operation have revealed extensive details of a plan some were unsure could work, even after it started."

‘Time is running out’: Inside the treacherous rescue of boys trapped in a Thai cave (Washington Post, July 13, 2018)
"The unprecedented rescue operation that gripped the world and overwhelmed this mountainous outpost in northern Thailand for three weeks - recounted here based on interviews with more than 30 participants - began June 23 with a flurry of texts messages: A lot of sons were late for dinner. "
Maryland voter registration system runs on software owned by Russian-financed firm (WBAL TV, July 13, 2018)
"Nobody knew the background of this company, nobody knew that it was a Russian, nobody knew that the person had changed their name until yesterday."
'Trump Baby' blimp has taken flight and scared Trump away from London, where he feels 'unwelcome' (w/3-hour video of London parade; Daily KOS, July 13, 2018)
'Can we fly it over DC?'
'Had we only known that his ego was so fragile that we just have to fly a few blimps in strategic places and like garlic to a vampire, we could force him back into the pits of hell from whence he came!'
'Let’s get these made as mylar party balloons so everyone can be protected. It’s better than garlic!'"
Trump's oily and obnoxious personality sorely tests British diplomacy (The Guardian, July 13, 2018)
"The contradictory US president’s inclination is to side with those who want to break up the EU."
Trump takes war on 'fake news' to UK – and tells towering, easily debunked lies (The Guardian, July 13, 2018)
"The US president’s attacks on CNN and the Sun were dismal, but they stayed true to his well-honed communications strategy."
U.S. intel chief warns of devastating cyber threat to U.S. infrastructure (Reuters, July 13, 2018)
"Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are launching daily cyber strikes on the computer networks of federal, state and local government agencies, U.S. corporations, and academic institutions, said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. Of the four, 'Russia has been the most aggressive foreign actor, no question.'"
NEW: Mueller’s New Indictment Points to Collusion With Russia (New York Magazine, July 13, 2018)
New indictments show Russian hacking effort was large, intense, sustained—and GOP supported (Daily KOS, July 13, 2018)
"The new indictments filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Friday may seem disappointing in that they don’t directly change any member of the Donald Trump campaign. However, these charges don’t exonerate Trump, his staffers, or any other American from participation in a conspiracy with the Russian government. In fact, they lay the groundwork to make exactly those charges."
Russians tried to hack Clinton server on day Trump urged email search
(The Guardian, July 13, 2018)
"An indictment filed by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, said Russian hackers attempted 'for the first time' to break into email accounts used by Clinton’s personal office 'after hours' on 27 July 2016. That day, at an event in Florida, Trump invited the Russian state to search for the approximately 30,000 emails that Clinton was found to have deleted from her private server on the grounds that they were not related to government work. 'Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,' Trump said. 'I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.' "
Revealing Kangson, North Korea's First Covert Uranium Enrichment Site (The iplomat, July 13, 2018)
"For more than a decade, North Korea has operated a uranium enrichment site just outside Pyongyang."
Guy Gets Tossed In Jail For Contempt Charges Because Cops Say They Need To Unlock His Phones To Get Evidence Of Drug Possession (Techdirt, July 13, 2018)
"There's a Fifth Amendment case developing in Tampa, Florida revolving around cellphones, passcodes, and contempt charges."
NEW: Susan Collins abandons all pretense of carefully considering her Supreme Court vote (Daily KOS, July 12, 2018)
(Ignore Susan Collins, because she's a lost cause. But read the good Comments thread about changing Conservatism, etc.)
NEW: 'Politicians Shouldn't Pick Their Voters.' Obama Appears in Anti-Gerrymandering Video (Fortune, July 11, 2018))
NEW: Dem redistricting group picks targets, unleashes Obama (Politico, July 11, 2018)
"The NDRC has zeroed in on a list of state legislature races for November, identifying specific targets in each priority state for the first stage of its attempted gerrymandering revolution ahead of the 2020 census. The goal, aides to the group are telling prospective donors, is to put as many as 29 House seats in 12 states within reach for Democrats."
Lawsuits alleging weed killer Roundup caused cancer given green light by San Francisco judge (USA Today July 11, 2018)
Scientists may have solved a huge riddle in Earth’s climate past. It doesn’t bode well for the future. (Washington Post, July 11, 2018)
"An ancient flood seems to have stalled the circulation of the oceans, plunging the Northern Hemisphere into a millennium of near-glacial conditions."
Exposed: secret corrupt retirement deal between Anthony Kennedy and Donald Trump (Palmer Report, July 10, 2018)
"Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was secretly negotiating with Donald Trump about his replacement, even as he was casting major pro-Trump votes that were out of character with his own judicial record. This comes on top of earlier revelations that Kennedy’s son played a key role at Trump’s favorite Russian money-laundering bank. We’re now looking at a full blown scandal that’s getting uglier by the hour."
Trump pardons Oregon ranchers whose arson case sparked Bundy takeover of refuge (The Oregonian, July 10, 2018)
"Today is a win for justice and an acknowledgement of our unique way of life in the high desert, rural West,'"
(Setting forest fires in National Parks? Unique, indeed.)_
Watch 10 billion tons of Greenland ice fall into the ocean in a half-hour (Washington Post, July 9, 2018)
(Also see, "Antarctic ice loss has tripled in a decade. If that continues, we are in serious trouble.")
"The researchers are collecting field data on these kinds of events to try to draw conclusions that will be applicable to the much larger, and harder to study, Antarctic. In the Antarctic, ice loss has the potential to be far worse. Imagine a similar break across the front of the 75-mile-wide Thwaites Glacier, as opposed to the 4.5-mile-wide Helheim. It will be driven by similar dynamics."
For Trump, Kavanaugh Is Midterm Bait
(New York Times, July 10, 2018)
"By nominating Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the president gives his crowd what they want."
There’s So Much You Don’t Know About Brett Kavanaugh, by t
he Editorial Board (New York Times, July 9, 2018)
"And you probably won’t until it’s too late."
Trump was like a "predator" toward teens at parties in ’80s and ’90s, says BBC report (Vice, July 9, 2018)
Trump thought the NK statement was a denuclearization agreement
(Daily KOS, July 9, 2018)
"All this time, Trump thought (and apparently still thinks) that the Singapore joint statement was a 'contract,' one in which NK agreed to denuclearize. Of course, it was not.  No such language exists in the statement,  no such 'contract' exists, and there was never any agreement to denuclearize."
Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart - Or His Handler?, by
Jonathan Chait (New York Magazine, July 8, 2018)
"A plausible theory of mind-boggling collusion."
(Also, note the handy chart of guilty faces.)
Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution by U.S. Stuns World Health Officials (New York Times, July 8, 2018)
"Based on decades of research, the resolution says that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes. Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations.
Ecuador, which had planned to introduce the measure, was the first to find itself in the cross hairs. The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced. What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the U.S. holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on the best way to protect infant and young child health.
In the end, the Americans’ efforts were mostly unsuccessful. It was the Russians who ultimately stepped in to introduce the measure - and the Americans did not threaten them."
North Korea Calls U.S. Diplomatic Posture 'Regrettable' (New York Magazine, July 7, 2018)
"As the afterglow of the Trump-Kim tete-a-tete wears off, the prospect of any kind of easy North Korean solution is looking - unsurprisingly - like a mirage. On Saturday, in the aftermath of a visit to Pyongyang by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a statement issued by North Korea’s Foreign Ministry called the U.S. stance on negotiations 'regrettable.' 'What the U.S. is requesting is the cancerous demands from previous administrations that blocked all dialogue processes,' the statement read, in the kind of overheated rhetoric that the Kim regime and Trump administration share a fondness for. It also referred to a 'dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm.'"

Ten days after homophobic sign draws protests, small-town Indiana church vanishes (Daily KOS, July 7, 2018)
On Saturday, an elder confirmed that Remnant Fellowship Church has left the building; the elder claims the church was evicted. No plans for relocation were mentioned."
NEW: The sweltering soccer field ICE moved the official wouldn't hear their screams (Daily KOS, July 6, 2018)
"It’s important to make a note here for those who who still try to justify this practice because the mothers committed a 'crime':  this is a misdemeanor offense!  There are greater penalties for more serious crimes of shooting off illegal fireworks, mailing dentures, and the unauthorized use of the 4-H emblem. None of those carry the penalty of losing your children.
The DHS Secretary was going to make two 'secret' visits to ICE detention facilities. The ICE officers DID NOT want the parents to talk to Kirstjen. Reporters were also banned from speaking with her. ICE forcibly rounded up the mothers and moved them to a distant soccer field. Temperatures were in the high 90s on June 29 in Los Fresnos when this occurred. The parents screamed for help when the DHS Secretary arrived."
On The Seven Republican Senators Who Just Betrayed Us In Moscow
(Daily KOS, July 5, 2018)
"Trump and the GOP want to hold onto their control of the U.S. Senate more than anything in the world. They want it so bad they were willing to go to Moscow and telegraph their new quarterback, Vladimir Putin, to run the same play he ran in 2016, the one where Russian Internet trolls carpet-bombed Facebook and Twitter, spreading nasty smears about Hillary Clinton and thereby allowing Donald Trump to slither into office."
Robert Mueller is running out of prosecutors, and time, faster than he's running out of crimes (Daily KOS, July 5, 2018)
"It doesn’t appear that the special counsel is spending too much on too little. Instead, he’s having a hard time stretching his budget to cover all the crimes the investigation is turning up. With 20 indictments and 5 plea deals down, Mueller isn’t close to being finished with all the aspects of this investigation. And with Paul Manafort heading to trial before the end of July, members of Mueller’s team will soon after to spend some of their time in courtrooms. Analysts describe the Manafort case as an 'all hands on deck' situation. Not only does it represent the core of several issues going forward - from contact with Russian operatives during the campaign, to money-laundering that happened before the campaign - the case can also be expected to deal with both the legality and scope of the special counsel investigation. Winning the Manafort case might not guarantee that Mueller is going to win ‘em all … but losing it means, more or less, going home."
We’ll All Be Paying for Scott Pruitt for Ages, b
y The Editorial Board (New York Times, July 5, 2018)
"Just when America had all but given up hope, Scott Pruitt’s appalling reign as Environmental Protection Agency administrator is finally over. . . . And so Mr. Pruitt heads for the door, leaving behind a dark, oily stain on the office that he has spent the past year and a half vigorously defiling."
The Moist Mystery of Scott Pruitt’s Resignation (New York Times, July 5, 2018)
"Pruitt served an important function in this White House. I do hope that we gave him proper credit for that. It fell to him to embody the entire Trump ethos - grab what you can, exploit your insider status, lift nepotism to an art form and never fly coach - in one high-ranking official. And he took this on with an unblushing readiness that, viewed from a certain angle, was impressive in the extreme. A lesser grifter wouldn’t have floated the idea of a $100,000-a-month charter aircraft membership so that he could use private jets for government business. Pruitt did. A lesser grifter wouldn’t have spent $1,560 of the taxpayers’ money on a dozen pens from a fancy Washington jewelry store. Pruitt did.
His naughtiness spanned several countries and continents. It was global. There was the lavish trip to Morocco, a country with dubious relevance to the E.P.A., that a lobbyist helped arrange. There was travel to Italy at a cost of at least $120,000. It’s not clear how much work he got done, but his tours of the Vatican were multiple and splendid.
Scott Pruitt’s agenda of self-aggrandizement was so ambitious that I really did wonder if he was inoculated from punishment, just as he was immune from shame. I was wrong. It turns out that while the Trump administration has interred many cherished principles and traditions that we thought were keepers, karma isn’t among them. Perhaps someday soon it will come for the president as well."
Trump tweet: EPA head Scott Pruitt is resigning (Ars Technica, July 5, 2018)
"Meanwhile, draft emissions rule will sidestep relitigation of endangerment finding.
The former Oklahoma Attorney General made headlines over the past several months with repeated scandals over extravagant spending. Pruitt reportedly used agency funds to buy hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of tactical pants and other security-related items. He also used agency resources to help his wife find a job and even to help him purchase a used Trump hotel mattress. Questions about who Pruitt promoted and how raises were doled out also caused significant damage to Pruitt's public image. Thirteen different federal investigations had been opened up into the administrator's conduct."
E.P.A. Drafts Rule on Coal Plants to Replace Clean Power Plan (New York Times, July 5, 2018)
"Ex-coal plant lobbyist to head White House effort."
Net neutrality makes comeback in California; lawmakers agree to strict rules (Ars Technica, July 5, 2018)
"After compromise, nation's toughest net neutrality bill back on track."
NEW: This Is How North Korea Will Develop A Hydrogen Bomb (Forbes, July 5, 2018)
"Although North Korea no longer has their longstanding nuclear test site available to them, they have all the ingredients and infrastructure to create a very powerful fission bomb, and have demonstrably done so in recent years. They are just one ingredient — an artificial and unstable isotope of hydrogen — away from having everything necessary for a hydrogen bomb: the most powerful destructive force ever unleashed by humanity. If we do nothing, that final ingredient will be in their hands within 18 months."
Trump’s summit with Kim could foretell catastrophe with Putin, by George F. Will (Washington Post, July 4, 2018)
"There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. --President Trump, June 13
 North Korea is upgrading its nuclear research center at a rapid pace, new satellite imagery analysis suggests. --The Wall Street Journal, June 27"
Is it great to be a worker in the U.S.? Not compared with the rest of the developed world.
(Washington Post, July 4, 2018)
"The United States's unemployed and at-risk workers are getting very little support from the government, and their employed peers are set back by a particularly weak collective-bargaining system. Those factors have contributed to the United States having a higher level of income inequality and a larger share of low-income residents than almost any other advanced nation. Only Spain and Greece, whose economies have been ravaged by the euro-zone crisis, have more households earning less than half the nation's median income - an indicator that unusually large numbers of people either are poor or close to being poor."
Trump repeatedly suggested invading Venezuela, stunning top aides – report (Guardian, July 4, 2018)
"The administration officials are said to have taken turns in trying to talk the president out of the idea in August of last year."
One-third of the world’s population lives in a declining democracy. That includes the United States.
(Washington Post, July 4, 2018)
"At the end of 2017, most people in the world lived in democracies. But since then, one-third of the world's population - or 2.5 billion people - have lived through 'autocratization,' in which a leader or group of leaders began to limit those democratic attributes and to rule more unilaterally. The current autocratization trend is visible across the world - and affects Europe and the whole American continent. Only sub-Saharan Africa shows some democratic improvements on average.
And for the first time since 1979, the same number of countries (24 in total) are backsliding on democracy as are advancing. In the United States, weakening constraints on the executive branch have resulted in a significant decline of liberal democracy.
What's more, only 15 percent of the world's population lives in countries where everyone, regardless of gender or socioeconomic status, has roughly equal access to political power."
It’s Independence Day, but Americans aren’t feeling so proud (Washington Post, July 4, 2018)
"Pew Research Center found in December 2017 that 18 percent of Americans say they trust the government in Washington 'always' or 'most of the time.' That compares with 73 percent who said the same of the government when the National Election Study began tracking the question in 1958. Trust began to erode in the ’60s and ’70s and reached a 30-year high soon after the 9/11 attacks, but it fell to just over 20 percent in the early Obama administration and has barely budged since."
America Started Over Once. Can We Do It Again?, by the Editorial Board (New York Times, July 3, 2018)
"The 14th Amendment, in particular, hit the reset button on American democracy. It extended the protections in the Bill of Rights, which applied only against the federal government, to cover people in their dealings with the states. Its best known and most litigated provision, Section 1, went even further, guaranteeing for the first time the basic equality of all people, no matter their skin color, station in life or citizenship."
NEW: Could driverless cars cause more congestion in urban cores? (Washington Post, July 3, 2018)
"A new Boston-based study suggests the vehicles may increase traffic congestion in cities’ downtown areas as more people embrace ride-hailing services and abandon transit. The same study also found, however, that driverless vehicles could dramatically improve traffic conditions in the suburbs."
Forget The Parades. Protest This Fourth of July. (New York Times, July 3, 2018)
"July 4 commemorates a protest so incendiary that its participants, the signers of the Declaration of Independence, risked execution as traitors to the crown. These dissidents came together to affirm their commitment to a political community based on equality, at least in theory. For a century and a half, social-justice activists honored this history by continuing it, trying to hold the nation to its own standards on the anniversary of the day they were declared."
Red-hot planet: All-time heat records have been set around the world during the past week (Washington Post, July 3, 2018)
"No single record, in isolation, can be attributed to global warming. But collectively, these heat records are consistent with the kind of extremes we expect to see increase in a warming world."
Trump Meets With Four Potential Supreme Court Nominees (Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2018)
"The pace of the interviews underscores the urgency in filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. The opening gives Mr. Trump his second nomination to the high court and the chance to replace a swing vote with a reliably conservative judicial voice, one who could set a new direction for the court on abortion rights, gay rights and other issues that have divided the country."
A declaration of independence from Donald Trump
(Daily KOS, July 1, 2018)
"When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, which was signed on July 4, 1776, by the nation’s founders in Philadelphia, he included a list of 27 grievances against the British King George III. Who knew that 242 years later, the U.S. would be facing another despotic ruler? The parallels between the actions of George III and Trump are uncanny. The cover of Time magazine with Trump looking into a reflection of himself wearing a crown wasn’t far off."
López Obrador, an Atypical Leftist, Wins Mexico Presidency in Landslide (New York Times, July 1, 2018)
Canada pushes back, slaps tariffs on U.S. goods from ketchup to pizza (Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2018)
New Authoritarian GOP Removed "Democracy" from Textbooks As Too "Partisan"
(Daily KOS, July 1, 2018)
(Also see David Frum's The Republican Party has a platform that can't prevail in democratic competition (Vox, January 18, 2018)
Trump Threatens Americans Who Disagree with Him in Slobbering FOX News Interview
(Daily KOS, July 1, 2018)
Did Anthony Kennedy Resign from the Supreme Court to Protect His Son? (Snopes, July 1, 2018)
"The 81-year-old justice's resignation announcement triggered a spate of conspiracy posts focused on his son's connections to Donald Trump and Deutsche Bank."
Constitutional Professor Laurence Tribe About Trump Picking His Own Jurist
(Daily KOS, June 30, 2018)
"Among the first cases the Court agreed to hear the day after Kennedy announced his retirement will decide whether a Trump pardon from federal prosecution will shield someone from state prosecution even if that state retains its dual sovereignty loophole.
If SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade in 2019 or 2020, I’d predict a massive backlash: Dems would win the presidency and both the House and Senate in Nov 2020, and Congress would enact a law adding 2 seats to SCOTUS in 2021 or 2022. Remember there’s no constitutional magic in nine.
A president under active criminal investigation of whether he won legitimately and whether he has obstructed that very investigation should not be permitted by a mere Senate majority to designate the justice whose votes could prove pivotal to the fate of his presidency."
NEW: The Other Russia Collusion Scandal Is Breaking Wide Open, by Jonathan Chait (New York Magazine, June 30, 2018)
"In 2016, Vladimir Putin reaped two of his greatest foreign policy triumphs in quick succession. The United Kingdom voted narrowly to exit the European Union, advancing a longstanding Russian goal of splitting Western allies that have long been united against it. Later that year, the United States voted even more narrowly to elect Donald Trump president."
Hundreds of thousands attend Families Belong Together rallies around the world (
Daily KOS, June 30, 2018)
Churches are fuming over being taxed by Republicans and Trump
(Daily KOS, June 29, 2018)
"The gist of the 'hidden tax atrocity' simply requires churches, hospitals, and other historically tax-exempt organizations to begin paying a 21 percent tax on some types of fringe benefits they provide their employees. As a seasonal tax professional and former minister, this author is well-acquainted with the ridiculous number of tax-free benefits church employees, especially members of the clergy, receive because they are 'blessed' to live in a country that gives churches tens of billions annually as 'theocratic welfare.'  The new tax will seem like more 'secular persecution' to churches and their employees who are accustomed to special treatment due to their 'deeply held faith.' Expecting them to pay taxes like their bible commands is an abomination, and is perceived as the secular government punishing them."
Jon Stewart calls out Trump for his "gleeful cruelty"
(Daily KOS, June 29, 2018)
"If there’s one hallmark to your presidency that I think we're finding the most difficult is that no matter what you do it always comes with an extra layer of gleeful cruelty and dickishness.
It's not just that you don't want people taking a knee. It's that they're 'sons of bitches' if they do.
It's not just denying women who accuse you of sexual assault. It's saying, 'They're too ugly anyway.'
You can't just be against the media. They're 'enemies of the people.'
It's not even partisan. Anyone in the Republican Party dare speak against you, they also must be humiliated, even if they have a terminal disease.
What Donald Trump wants is for us to stop calling his cruelty and fear and divisiveness wrong, [and] to join him in calling it right. And this we cannot do. And I say, by not yielding, we will prevail!"
T-Mobile CEO Tells Congress That Reducing Competition Will Increase Competition (Motherboard, June 29, 2018)
"T-Mobile and Sprint are trying to merge, which would make three major cell phone providers instead of four."
New map reveals massive number of offshore oil wells in California waters
(Daily KOS, June 29, 2018)
"On January 4, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown joined Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee in condemning President Donald Trump's plan to expand oil and gas drilling in federal waters as 'reckless' and 'short-sighted.'
Ironically, as the three Governors condemned Trump’s offshore drilling proposal it turns out time that California regulators under Jerry Brown have overseen a massive expansion of new offshore drilling in state waters in recent years - while a new map website,, reveals that Governor Jerry Brown controls four times as many offshore wells in state waters than Trump controls in federal waters."
Loans of over $1 Billion to Trump by SCOTUS justice Kennedy's son, but nothing to see here... (Daily KOS, June 29, 2018)
"Last month, Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, went on Hugh Hewitt's radio program to issue an urgent plea. 'My message to any one of the nine Supreme Court justices,' he said, was, 'If you're thinking about quitting this year, do it yesterday.' Mr. Grassley said speed was of the essence in light of the midterm elections in November. ]If we have a Democrat Senate,' he said, 'you’re never going to get the kind of people that are strict constructionists.'
Intermediaries pressed the point with Justice Kennedy privately, telling him that Donald F. McGahn II, Mr. Trump's White House counsel, would in all probability leave after the midterms. Mr. McGahn has been a key architect of Mr. Trump's successful efforts to appoint wave after wave of conservative judges, they said, and his absence would complicate a Supreme Court confirmation."
NEW: Global Warming in South Asia: 800 Million at Risk (New York Times, June 28, 2018)
"The analyses reveal that hot spots tend to be more disadvantaged districts, even before the effects of changes in average weather are felt. Hot spots are characterized by low household consumption, poor road connectivity, limited access to markets, and other development challenges. Unchecked climate change, in other words, would amplify the hardships of poverty. Cities like Karachi, Pakistan, emerge as hot spots because higher temperatures are forecast to lower labor productivity and worsen public health."
NEW: How Rosenstein’s and Wray’s testimony undermined GOP efforts to undermine the Russia investigation (Washington Pot, June 28, 2018)
"On Thursday, the various arguments Trump and his Republican allies have leaned on to suggest or outright claim FBI bias against the president got knocked down, one by one, by the top of the bureau's chain of command. What's more, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray categorically denied these characterizations of the FBI's work while under oath. Wray and Rosenstein, who appointed special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, testified Thursday for hours to the House's Judiciary Committee."
House Republicans shout down Rosenstein in tense hearing (Reuters, June 28, 2018)
"The tense congressional hearing came as Republicans brought to the House floor a non-binding resolution that scolded the Justice Department for not turning over more records, a move that is widely seen as a possible precursor to holding Rosenstein in contempt of Congress. The resolution passed along party lines, 226-183."
Arnold Schwarzenegger has a new blunt message for Donald Trump (3-min. YouTube video, June 28, 2018)
"Why the hell are you going through all this effort to rescue coal?"
The Discovery of Complex Organic Molecules on Saturn's Moon Enceladus Is a Huge Deal (Gizmodo, June 27, 2018)
"This isn'’t proof that life exists on this icy moon, but it does show that Enceladus' warm, soupy ocean is capable of producing complex and dynamic molecules, and the kinds of chemical reactions required to produce and sustain microbial life.
This is the first-ever detection of such large and complex organic molecules on an extraterrestrial water world."
Why Are So Many Political Parties Blowing Up? (Part 1), by Thomas L. Friedman (New York Times, June 26, 2018)
"The U.S. Republican Party has blown up in all but name, going overnight from an internationalist, free-trade, deficit-hawk party to a protectionist, anti-immigrant, deficit-dove party — all to accommodate the instincts of Donald Trump and his base.
Italy's last election ended with its mainstream center-left getting crushed, bringing to power instead a coalition of far-left, far-right populists, whose focus ranges from guaranteeing minimum income for Italy's 11 percent unemployed to rebuffing immigrants and the European Union.
Britain's Labour Party has gone from center-left to quasi-Marxist. And the Brexit-loving Tories, having pushed Britain to exit the E.U. without any plan, are now divided and paralyzed over how to implement the economic suicide they've promised voters.
The U.S. Democrats are fractured between a Bernie Sanders quasi-socialist wing and a center-left wing, but are glued together for now - thank goodness - by the overriding need to defeat Trump. German Chancellor Angela Merkel took four months to form a barely coherent governing coalition, after her ruling party got hammered in the last election - and that fragile coalition may soon implode over immigration tensions. And French President Emmanuel Macron leads a centrist party that did not exist three years ago."
(There's much more.)
The numbers prove our government has been taken over by a tyrannical minority - but there is hope
(Daily KOS, June 26, 2018)
"On the heels of some controversial or downright terrible decisions from the majority conservative court, courtesy of a stolen Supreme Court seat in 2016, it is now crystal clear that every branch of our government is being run by the minority. While progressive ideas remain wildly popular, conservatives have pulled off a complete coup, overrunning the majority of voters. This conservative agenda, this conservative court, are NOT what the American people voted for - and here are the numbers to prove it."
Historian Pulls Up 1934 NYTimes Story Urging Jews Be Civil Towards Nazis. (Daily KOS, June 26, 2018)
"CUNY professor and historian Angus Johnston pulled up some 1934 NYTimes stories wherein a Quaker calls for Jews to be civil to Hitler and Nazis. Johnston then includes responses from individual Rabbis and Rabbinical society."
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old socialist, topples powerful incumbent Joe Crowley (Think Progress, June 26, 2018)
"She is the first challenger to beat a Democratic incumbent this year. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) became the first Democratic incumbent to lose his primary election Tuesday. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old socialist, ran an insurgent campaign focused on Medicare for all, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and tuition-free higher education. "What the Bronx and Queens needs is Medicare for all, tuition-free public college, a federal jobs guarantee, and criminal justice reform. We can do it now. We beat a machine with a movement.' She has now taken down a man widely considered a candidate for the next Speaker should Democrats retake the House."
At the U.S.-Mexico border, immigrant mothers seeking asylum prepare for whatever may come (Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2018)
"For many, the terrors back in their homelands - in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador - supersede the tribulations especially engineered for them by the U.S. government. Most believe this is their last chance as the Trump administration methodically rolls back nearly every avenue of immigration relief. 'If we return, I'll be killed for sure.'"
Trump makes not-so-thinly veiled threat to Democratic congresswoman (Daily KOS, June 25, 2018)
"US Congresswoman Maxine Waters has been declared an enemy of the State.
When a head of state, armed with secret police power vested in ICE/DHS, which unlawfully terrorizes children, pronounces against a restaurant owner or Congress member; then that utterance becomes an official act of the state, not of an ordinary citizen.
DjT is not above the Law, but he is not an ordinary citizen either. He acts like a tyrant, however, lawlessly.
The asymmetry of power is so great that DjT’s performative act equates with an Iranian cleric issuing a fatwa on writer Salman Rushdie. 
Moreover, DjT announces via Twitter to the fanatics of his totalitarian movement that Congresswoman Waters is an enemy of the State."
GOP goes full fascist but the media stays on the baby jail story (Daily KOS, June 25, 2018)
"Ordinarily, the idea that people were continuing to rail against a problem because it had not been solved would be disappointing. But it's not. It's amazing. Seeing that it is possible to return to the same story day after day, even when Trump is running his distract-o-matic at maximum, is not just the first step toward real change, but definitely something that should be celebrated - right after we celebrate the end of Trump's disastrous zero tolerance policy."
Michael Avenatti Accesses Child Immigrant Facility in Harlem, New York – Posts This Heartbreaking Image (Hill Reporter, June 25, 2018)
GOP Holocaust analogists furious over Nazi border policy comparisons (Daily KOS, June 24, 2018)
"According to the GOP, Obamacare, abortion, gun control, national debt, the IRS - but not separating undocumented families - are the same as the Holocaust."
Can Alice/35 U.S.C. § 101 Stop Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls in the US? (Techrights, June 24, 2018)
"Microsoft still attacks GNU/Linux using software patents and as mentioned here before (earlier this month), Microsoft entryism or hijack of Yahoo turned Yahoo patents into the same thing it turned Nokia's patent portfolio into. These patents are now being passed to trolls, according to RPX and recent docket filings.
A notorious patent troll, Uniloc, has just been squashed owing to Alice/35 U.S.C. § 101. The Uniloc-Microsoft history is well documented because it went on for many years.
The Microsoft-connected patent troll Acacia has also just been defeated (in PTAB), as recently as 6 days ago."
Boeing's robot submarine is back roaming off the California coast (Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2018)
The 51-foot-long, yellow and grey autonomous undersea vehicle is being designed to glide just beneath the waves or along the ocean floor for months at a time with little to no contact with human operators. Its missions could include surveillance that would be either too mundane or dangerous for human submarine crews to tackle and reconnaissance."
Hawaii’s quest for a new type of independence (Boston Globe, June 23, 2018)
"Hawaii is the only American state that was once a kingdom. The royal family was overthrown in 1893 with decisive help from President Benjamin Harrison and US Marines. Soon afterward a new president, Grover Cleveland, condemned the overthrow as 'an act of war' and asked Congress to return the royal family to power. Congress refused. Instead, in 1898, it voted to annex Hawaii. In 1959 Hawaii was admitted to the Union as our 50th state."
(See, The Basis for the Restoration of the Hawaiian Kingdom, A Report from the Hawaiian Islands by Leon Siu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ke Aupuni O Hawaii.)
NEW: Britain Has a Russia Collusion Scandal Now. It Looks Exactly Like Trump’s, by Jonathan Chait (New York Magazine, June 22, 2018)
"The most important thing to understand about the Russia scandal is that it perfectly fits a clear pattern of behavior. What Vladimir Putin is accused of doing to help Donald Trump win the presidency is essentially identical to what he is either accused of or proven to have done to help many other right-wing candidates in many other countries. As the plot in the United States is slowly exposed, a remarkably similar one in the United Kingdom is quickly surfacing.
Months before the United States narrowly elected Trump, the United Kingdom narrowly elected to withdraw from the European Union. Both votes advanced Russian foreign policy goals - in the latter case, by splitting up the Western alliance. (Trump has energetically pursued this strategy, too.) Russia employed many of the same tools to influence both elections. It deployed social-media bots and trolls to spread its message. It recruited friendly candidates who gave voice to previously marginal Russophile positions. And, as the newly surfaced evidence suggests, it indirectly financed the campaign."
The Genesis of Trump's Family-Separation Policy, by Jonathan Chait (New York Magazine, June 22, 2018)
"When Donald Trump first proposed to ban all Muslim immigrants from the United States two and a half years ... ago, the Republican front-runner was asked if he would have supported the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. [He expressed] his general sympathy for the concept. 'It's a tough thing. It’s tough,' he said. 'But you know, war is tough. And winning is tough. We don't win anymore. We don't win wars anymore. We don't win wars anymore. We're not a strong country anymore.'
One of the things this comment revealed was Trump's odd belief that the internment of loyal Japanese-Americans had somehow helped win the war, rather than divert human and material resources from the war effort in service to a cruel, racialized panic, as historians generally believe. ... It displayed one of Trump's foundational values: his contempt for human and legal rights, especially those of racial minorities, and his atavistic fixation with toughness as both the source of the country's (imagined) historical decline and the key to its restoration.
The brutal vision of the American state Trump has been painting for three years has finally materialized before our eyes."
Meet the favorite philosophers of young white supremacists (Think Progress, June 22, 2018)
"A new book explores how philosophers like Nietzsche and Heidegger have inspired a new generation of fascists."
Rejecting Presidential Self-Pardons (Associated Press, June 22, 2018)
"Even in an era of deep political division, Democrats and Republicans agree presidents should not pardon themselves. And if the nation's chief executive ever does so, majorities of Americans in both parties believe Congress should impeach that president."
USA's 1967 Protocol, Articles 1-34: The Immigration Law No One Is Talking About (Daily
KOS, June 21, 2018)
"For 50 years, the Protocol has governed the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers by every President until Donald Trump."
NEW: Return of the Blood Libel, by Paul Krugman (New York Times, June 21, 2018)
"The speed of America’s moral descent under Donald Trump is breathtaking. In a matter of months we've gone from a nation that stood for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to a nation that tears children from their parents and puts them in cages. What's almost equally remarkable about this plunge into barbarism is that it's not a response to any actual problem. The mass influx of murderers and rapists that Trump talks about, the wave of crime committed by immigrants here (and, in his mind, refugees in Germany), are things that simply aren't happening. They're just sick fantasies being used to justify real atrocities.
And you know what this reminds me of? The history of anti-Semitism, a tale of prejudice fueled by myths and hoaxes that ended in genocide."
Zara, Brand That Made Melania Trump's 'Don't Care' Jacket, Used To Design Holocaust Shirt, Swastika Bag (Daily KOS, June 21, 2018)
"It's not that Trump and his family don't understand the downside of imposing even the smallest amount of stress on children. It's just that they value different children in differing degrees. Melania Trump clearly thought that it was too traumatic to move the couple's young son to Washington during the school year, so she stayed with him in New York, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars for security.
California net neutrality bill gutted as lawmakers cave to AT&T lobbyists (Ars Tecnica, June 21, 2018)
"Bans on paid data cap exemptions and access payments removed by committee."
German intelligence sees Russia behind hack of energy firms: media report (Reuters, June 20, 2018)
"Russia was probably behind a widespread cyber attack on German energy providers disclosed last week."
[Also see last year's, Germany fears Russia stole information to disrupt election (Politico, June 20, 2018)
"Fears of hacking has German lawmakers worried ahead of September’s ballot."]
NEW: ‘At Least During the Internment …’ Are Words I Thought I’d Never Utter
, by George Takei (Foreign Policy, June 19, 2018)
"I was sent to a camp at just 5 years old — but even then, they didn't separate children from families."
Observations from Nuremberg (Daily KOS, June 19, 2018)
"As I moved from room to room, I was struck by the similarity of Hitler's tactics to those Trump has been using. I'm not saying that Trump is another Hitler, but he is certainly using some of his techniques, among which are big lies and propaganda repeated over and over until people believe it, a gradual process of dehumanizing the 'undesirables' (equivalent to migrants/illegal immigrants in the U.S.), false claims that Jews were taking good Germans' jobs (as with Trump's false claims about Mexicans and immigrants), and conditioning Germans over a period of time, again through state propaganda, to accept his false claims and his portrayal of himself as Germany's savior. Trump uses Fox News in the same way to convince his followers that immigrants are not only illegal but also animals and indecent people who deserve anything done to them."
Trump's Policies 'Come from the Darkness,' Says US Senator Gillibrand (Politico, June 19,2018)
"It's not specifically about the president. It's about ideas that are evil. It's about darkness, which is rooted in hate. A lot of ideas right now that are in this county are dark ideas: building walls, dividing this country, marginalizing trans members who are troops, marginalizing kids who are transgender, not supporting DACA kids, literally polluting our air and our water.
In the civilian world, you would just say those are horrible, outrageous things that we should fight against because they’re harmful and they hurt people. And so we don't really talk about good and evil in our day jobs, but we certainly talk about policies that harm people and are hurtful and are cruel, and a lot of the policies that this president has put forward are harmful and cruel. And if you want to call it evil,you can."
Living with a supremacist, in a supremacist place: I'll tell you where Trumpism ends (Daily KOS, June 19, 2018)
"Supremacy isn't limited to believing that other people are inferior because of something genetic. Supremacy is believing that others should be placed in an inferior position simply because you feel that you should be dominant over them. It is a desire for superiority, and it isn't dependent on any qualities of either the supremacist or those they desire to have supremacy over. They will use any means possible to attempt to justify a society in which they are treated as superior; in which they are dominant. They align with other people based on how much those other people being dominant will increase the individual's dominance."
The GOP's Problems Are Bigger Than Trump (The Atlantic, June 19, 2018)
"President Trump’s hold on the Republican Party is overstated. But that doesn't mean that his downfall would resolve its challenges.
Dumping Trump won'’t actually get rid of the pathologies that made his rise to president possible. Republicans will remain vulnerable to takeover by charismatic hucksters without a substantively constructive policy agenda, an ability to successfully govern, or a vision for a coalition that transcends ressentiment. And the populist entertainers will keep getting filthy rich in the process. It is they who've come closer to taking over the GOP."
How the Koch Brothers Are Killing Public Transit Projects Around the Country (New York Times, June 19, 2018)
"In cities and counties across the country - including Little Rock, Ark.; Phoenix, Ariz.; southeast Michigan; central Utah; and here in Tennessee - the Koch brothers are fueling a fight against public transit, an offshoot of their longstanding national crusade for lower taxes and smaller government. At the heart of their effort is a network of activists who use a sophisticated data service built by the Kochs, called i360, that helps them identify and rally voters who are inclined to their worldview. It is a particularly powerful version of the technologies used by major political parties."
In an exasperating abdication of responsibility, the Supreme Court says 'never mind' on gerrymandering (Los Angeles Times, June 19, 2018)
"It is a cynical and undemocratic - but not yet illegal - process that is engaged in by both parties and which is only likely to be solved by the courts. Sadly, instead of taking the issues on squarely, the court disposed of two cases - one from Wisconsin and one from Maryland - on narrow procedural grounds."
ZTE crashes after Senate passes a Trump deal killing bill (Daily KOS, June 19, 2018)
"The US Senate passed a defense authorization bill to the tune of 707 billion dollars. Some senators were successful in attaching an amendment which will reimpose the White House’s original ban on ZTE buying components from US firms. This will cause a standoff with the Trump administration, which wanted to 'fix' the problem in trade negotiations with China."
"I hope the Chinese govt pulls the half billion bribe away from the failing Trump resort. Our foreign policy should not be run by Trump's business problems. He ought not to be engaged in business while pretending to be president."
Senate Rebukes Trump With Vote to Reinstate ZTE Sales Ban (Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2018)
"The measure was wrapped in a larger, must-pass defense bill, which will need to be reconciled with House version."
In a world of digital nomads, we will all be made homeless, by John Harris (The Guardian, June 18, 2018)
"Whose utopia is this, when people have to sever emotional links and leave where they grew up to find dependable work?"
What happened last time it was as warm as it's going to get later this century? (Ars Technica, June 18, 2018)
"The climate won't stop changing in 2100. Even if we succeed in limiting warming this century to 2ºC, we'll have CO2 at around 500 parts per million. That's a level not seen on this planet since the Middle Miocene, 16 million years ago, when our ancestors were apes. Temperatures then were about 5 to 8ºC warmer, not 2º, and sea levels were some 40 meters (130 feet) or more higher, not the 1.5 feet (half a meter) anticipated at the end of this century by the 2013 IPCC report."
The inside story of how AI got good enough to dominate Silicon Valley (Quartz, June 18,2018)
"Artificial intelligence is sort of the end goal of computer science. Computer science is about automating stuff, and artificial intelligence is about automating everything."
(Uh, everyBODY.)
Trump makes space exploration racist and fascist with announcement of 6th branch of armed forces (Daily KOS, June 18, 2018)
"Trump: My administration is reclaiming America’s heritage as the world's greatest space-faring nation. It is not enough to have an American presence in space; we must have an American dominance in space."
(The US is signatory to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (prohibiting militarization of space) that no nation has violated, not even during the worst of the Cold War.)
"Christian" TV Host Leigh Valentine: Those Crossing The Southern Border Illegally Are Treacherous Murderous God-Haters (Right Wing Watch, June 18, 2018)
'Rape after rape after rape,' Valentine said. 'Children below 10 years old engaging in sexual activity. All kinds of sin and disgrace and darkness; the pit of the pits. So we're not getting the top-of-the-line echelon people coming over this border, we're getting criminals. I mean, total criminals that are so debased and their minds are just gone. They're unclean, they're murderers, they're treacherous, they're God-haters."
NEW: The person who knows and understands Trump the best isn’t a psychologist
(Daily KOS, June 16, 2018)
"Tweets from Tony Schwartz:
1) I believe the media needs to give up the pretense of treating Trump's behavior as something to analyze on any rational grounds. This is entirely a story about a man acting out a severe personality disorder. Reporters don't know how to handle that, so they avoid it.
2) This presidency is now all about mental illness. Trump's dangerous & pathological narcissism is getting progressively worse. His reality testing about summit with Kim Jung Un is very low. We are at a rapidly escalating risk as Trump's grandiosity & paranoia rise inexorably.
3) Imagine that Trump was a Democrat. He would have long since been impeached or forced to resign - by Democrats. The Republican Party long ago sold its soul."
NEW: Mark Sanford Explains Why Republicans Will Do Nothing As The Republic Is Destroyed (Daily KOS, June 16, 2018)
"Sanford, a frequent critic of Trump who lost his primary this week to pro-Trump challenger Katie Arrington, suggested there's a simple, unspoken principle in
Congress that enables his party's hands-off approach toward Trump: 'What you do as an elected official is ... an old-time senator told me years ago, the name of the game is staying in the game.'"
Republicans scramble to understand if Trump just sunk their immigration effort
(CNN News, June 16, 2018)
"House Republicans were in full-on damage control Friday morning as they sought to downplay President Donald Trump's comments that he wouldn't support the GOP compromise bill. After a day of confusion that threatened the future of the legislation, the White House issued a statement on the record that Trump supported the bill along with a more conservative piece of legislation."
Trump suggests separation of families at border is a negotiating tool
(CNN News, June 16, 2018)
"Trump again falsely blamed Democrats for his administration's actions, and said they could put a stop to the family separations by working with Republicans in Congress. Nearly 2,000 immigrant children were separated from parents over a period of about six weeks in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security. 'I hate the children being taken away,' Trump said Friday morning. But Trump suggested Friday in an interview on Fox News' 'Fox and Friends' that he would not reverse his administration's policy unless Democrats agreed to his longstanding immigration priorities."
The best description I've heard for the Trump Presidency (Daily KOS, June 15, 2018)
"'The Trump Presidency is a bust out joint.' In Chicago, a bust out joint is a legitimate business. One way or another, usually through either extortion, or unpaid loan shark money, the mob moves in and takes over operation of the business. Let's just say it's a bar. They go on a spending spree, using the bar's lines of credit. They buy booze, glasses, new cash registers, bar stools, anything they can buy on credit, until the place is maxed out. And when the bills come due, they empty the register, back up a truck, load everything into it and disappear. They sell everything as pure profit, and the bar goes belly up."
Russian state TV: 'Crimea is ours; Trump is ours' (Daily KOS, June 15, 2018)
Trump confounds allies, facts with stance on Russia (Associated Press, June 15, 2018)
"President Donald Trump's belief that Russia should be immediately reinstated into the club of the world's major industrial democracies has confounded U.S. allies. And, his repeated blaming of his predecessor for Russia's annexation of Crimea and its support for separatists in Ukraine is at odds with the facts."
Cohen signals openness to cooperating with federal investigators (CNN News, June 15, 2018)
"President Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen has indicated to family and friends he is willing to cooperate with federal investigators to alleviate the pressure on himself and his family, according to a source familiar with the matter."
Word of the Day: Neopatrimonialism
(Daily KOS, June 14, 2018)
"Neopatrimonialism is a stepping away from democratic rule toward authoritarian rule. The introduction of neopatrimonialism happens when an elected leader, their family, and their loyal supporters take broad control of an otherwise modern government through destabilization."
Branding the New Flavor of American Fascism (Daily KOS, June 14, 2018)
"Trump and the 21st century Republican Party are fascists. Those who point to 20th century Germany and Italy and say we're not them, well, of course not; they were unique in their development and thus so are we. Still, the truth of where we are and what we have become irrevocably slams modern America into a classification of fascism; there is no escape.
The truth and the first amendment mean nothing to Trump and the Republicans. They embrace propaganda as fervently as any German fascist, just look at that amazing brain sludge they produced for the Koreans. Constant, exhausting gas-lighting and fantasy render any possible vehicle for the truth crippled. Trump constantly, specifically attacks individual outlets, Goebbels nods in hell at all of this.
They’re insatiable, disgusting grifters, Trump flagrantly stomps on the Constitution enriching himself with golf while Ivanka and Jared raked in an incredible $82 million dollars last year. $82 million! Are you kidding me? Public service is a laughable fantasy with these fascists, money, racism and lying are their gods.
The rule of law, oh well, slap another critical political principle into the new flavor of American fascism. It means nothing to Trump and the Republicans. Steal a Supreme Court seat to further suppress votes, and an appalling pardon pattern specifically designed to circumvent law itself, not just a crime. Watch another horrified American resign in the Department of Justice as Trump attacks healthcare, American fascism loathes its founding constitution."
The Trump/Kim summit was a sign of the collapse of U.S. influence (Daily KOS, June 14, 2018)
"Trump has been embarrassingly eager to accept the fig leaf that Kim has extended to him - the opportunity to put on a dumb show of a summit in order to ratify a new deal for North Korea brokered by Russia and China. The truly sad thing is that the U.S. is clearly a junior partner in our corrupt new world order - less than a junior partner, really, more like a flunky."
Trump calls Kim a 'tough guy' when asked about North Korean dictator's human rights abuses (ABC News, June 14, 2018)
"When Baier noted that Kim is 'a killer, he's clearly executing people,' Trump responded by calling Kim 'a tough guy.'
This is far from the first time that Trump has shared positive views of strongmen and dictatorial rulers: he gave Syria's Bashar al-Assad 'an A' in terms of leadership in 2015; said the U.S. would be 'so much better off' if Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi was still in charge in 2016; and last year, he defended Russian President Vladimir Putin by saying 'there are a lot of killers' in the world, adding, 'You think our country's so innocent?'"
Trump faces backlash after North Korea summit
(ABC News, June 14 2018)
President Trump is facing backlash for his defense of Kim Jong Un's history of human rights abuses as more questions arise about the document they signed."
NEW: The mysterious reason behind the recent bitcoin sell-off may have just been uncovered (CNBC, June 14, 2018)
"The cryptocurrency has plunged nearly 30 percent in the last month, and more than 50 percent this year. 'Bitcoin sees dramatic price changes around CBOE futures expirations. This was something flagged by Justin Saslaw at Raptor Group. We compiled some of the data and this indeed seems to be true. Overall, bitcoin has fallen 18 percent in the 10 days prior to CBOE contract expiration.'"
Antarctic ice loss has tripled in a decade. If that continues, we are in serious trouble. (Washington Post, June 13, 2018)
A.I. Can Track Humans Through Walls With Just a Wifi Signal (Inverse, June 13, 2018)
"A new piece of software has been trained to use wifi signals - which pass through walls, but bounce off living tissue - to monitor the movements, breathing, and heartbeats of humans on the other side of those walls.