33 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-22-18

  1. Proposed Constitutional Amendment:

    “No legislation may be over ten pages long, *8×10 paper,, front and back, medium font size, ”

    Supporting documents, not exceeding 100 pages may accompany the legislation but will not be part of the law.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for the discussion yesterday, rickyw, but

    However, the data shows that the same demographic characteristics that make a person more likely to be an opioid abuser also make that person more likely to be a Trumper.

    is just not how it works; not remotely.

    But still, thanks for the discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Douthat is whining about the wrong people, but right on cue for the next manufactured outrage. All the Trump campaign/Analytica did was fine tune what Facebook was already allowing Democrats/Obama and it’s advertisers to do.

    If it wasn’t a big deal then, why is it now?

    Oh that’s right…. Trump triggered TDS.


    “Every few weeks, it seems, Carole Cadwalladr drops a long piece for the Guardian or the Observer about how the Trump and Brexit campaigns mind-hacked democracy. On both sides of the Atlantic, people who don’t like Trump or Brexit share these pieces and shriek.

    The latest article, which lit up the political internet at the weekend, has the added spice of a whistleblower – a pink-haired ‘data science nerd’ straight out of science-nerd central casting. He’s called Christopher Wylie and Cadwalladr reveals that he has been the source for her much-vaunted scoops on Cambridge Analytica, the data firm who worked with the Trump and Brexit campaigns. Now he’s ready to go on the record about his work at Cambridge Analytica – or how, as he puts it, he became “Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare mind@#$% tool”

    It’s sexy stuff; the characters feel like a movie. You have bad guys – Trump, Bannon, the sinister billionaire IT-man Robert Mercer. The trouble is, the plot is already all too familiar. Anybody who has been paying attention knows that political campaigns have used people’s private data, harvested from Facebook, for a long time now. As businesses do to consumers, campaigns employ sophisticated ‘psychological profiling’ techniques to sway gullible parts of the electorate.

    The more interesting – though less Hollywood – accusation about Cambridge Analytica is that, far from being masters of the new data universe, they are British ‘snake oil salesman’ who essentially repackaged and flogged well-established techniques to a desperate Trump campaign, as Paul Wood reported so brilliantly for The Spectator here.

    The chief reveal in the Observer’s latest is confirmation of what’s been known for almost two years, which is that Cambridge Analytica may have breached the terms of Facebook’s agreement. They may have used Facebook’s data under false pretences. They may also have claimed to have deleted Facebook data when they didn’t, as the whistleblower alleges. Cambridge Analytica dispute this.

    The true horror, of course, is not that sinister right-wing forces can use information people share on social media to, as Wiley puts it, ‘mind@#$%’ electorates. It’s that Facebook has all this powerful information in the first place. And what’s odd is that people don’t seem to mind data being plundered if the beneficiaries are the perceived good guys.

    Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, for instance, used one of Facebook’s APIs (application programming interfaces) and data to target voters. It’s clever and complicated, but what it boils down to is that Obama’s data scientists were able to persuade about a million Facebook users to connect their profile to the Obama campaign website. They were then able to access the profiles of these people, which also showed who their friends were. From this they were able to construct real life social networks, which enabled them to target many, many more potential Obama voters. “If you log in with Facebook, now the campaign has connected you to all your relationships,’ boasted a digital campaign organiser.

    Facebook shut down that particular API function in 2014, apparently for privacy reasons – although sceptics point out that they realised outside companies could use Facebook’s API to replicate the ‘social graph’ that Facebook makes all its advertising money from.

    What Cambridge Analytica did, in essence, was the same as the Obama campaign in 2012 – though they had a smaller sample group of 250,000 to model from.”


  4. My liberal friends are really angry with Facebook and are talking about a boycott because of the data release. As I told them, it is still the best place to pull pranks on siblings and former classmates.


  5. The prison to school pipeline.

    Another disaster to thank Obama and his failed policies for.


    “At the same time the Broward County school system was dismantling the “school-to-prison pipeline” under policies that failed to stop accused shooter Nikolas Cruz, it was building another pipeline, funneling back into regular classrooms thousands of other potentially dangerous students released from local jails, county and school district records reveal.

    Through a little-known “re-engagement” program for serious juvenile offenders, the Florida district has “transitioned” back to school almost 2,000 incarcerated students, a number comparable to student bodies at many high schools, according to district data obtained by RealClearInvestigations. Local probation officers warn that these offenders have a high risk of reoffending.

    Another initiative, the Behavior Intervention Program, attempts to mainstream a smaller number of “students who exhibit severe, unmanageable behavior,” according to a 2017-2018 program handbook, including those who are “convicted of a serious crime such as rape, murder, attempted murder, sexual battery or firearm related [offense].”

    The number of returning felons and other serious offenders has climbed each year since Broward Schools Supt. Robert Runcie, a close ally of President Obama, started the program in 2013 as part of his crusade to “end the school-to-prison pipeline,” which he says has disproportionately harmed young African-American men.

    The next year, district officials worked with county prosecutors, probation officers and judges to release and return 325 incarcerated students to area schools. The number grew to 570 in the 2015 school year, before rising to 967 in 2016, the latest available figure provided to RCI by the district.

    A Broward County schools spokeswoman declined to provide specific examples of crimes that had been committed by the returning offenders. But county juvenile court statistics show that Broward students between the ages of 10 and 17 arrested from 2014-2016 were charged with a range of serious crimes, including: murder, manslaughter, armed robbery, car theft, aggravated assault, battery, sex offenses, weapons violations, vandalism, drug charges and other felonies related to gang activity.

    With the encouragement of the Obama Education Department, Broward County schools in 2013 signed a pioneering agreement with law enforcement that made the police and schools partners in a social experiment of relaxed juvenile-crime enforcement to reduce racial disparities in arrests and incarceration. The agreement called, in many circumstances, for the police to speak with school officials before deciding whether to arrest any student, white or minority, for misdemeanor crimes that had previously warranted arrest. In thousands of cases, the offenders were not sent to court but to counseling, which included participation in “healing circles,” obstacle courses and other “self-esteem building” exercises.

    Cruz, who now faces the death penalty for allegedly murdering 17 people last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, benefited from this policy. He was never booked for a series of arrestable offenses, which is one reason he could pass a background check and purchase the weapon he used in the mass shooting.

    But Broward County took its approach even further with lesser-known efforts. It actively re-enrolled in mainstream schools the students who couldn’t avoid arrest even under the lenient new approach, because their offenses – including violent misdemeanors and felonies – were so serious.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mark it down. AJ and I agree on something.

    1. In 2008 and 2012 Obama ran a campaign that was much more modern and tech savvy than his opponents.

    2. In 2016 Trump did the same thing, and on a very lean budget.

    Douthat does explain how Trump played the TV networks beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This guy’s our president, baby! Just try to come at us, all you wimpy jerks, whoever you are!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. So how do you get a 60 Minutes interview for a hit piece story nobody (other than Dems and Ricky) cares about from 12 years ago?

    By using David Rhodes, the brother of Obama lackey Ben Rhodes, who runs CBS, as your propaganda minister. Easy peasey.

    The Media is The Resistance.


    “We’re not ready to show Stormy Daniels’ 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper says CBS – but we’ve no idea how Trump’s lawyers could stop it

    Porn star whose lawyers say she had sex with the president in 2006 sat down with Anderson Cooper for 60 Minutes interview

    CBS News president David Rhodes confirmed ‘encounter’ but said there was still work to be done before it aired

    He dismissed threats to stop it being aired amid claims Trump’s lawyers will try to get injunction because Daniels was party to non-disclosure agreement “


  9. Now Solar, don’t be a Ricky.

    You left out who and what started it all.


    “Former Vice President Joe Biden ​didn’t pull any punches when he told an anti-sexual assault rally that he would have “beat the hell out” of Donald Trump for the way he disrespects women, according to a report.

    “A guy who ended up becoming our national leader said, ‘I can grab a woman anywhere and she likes it,’” Biden told students at the University of Miami on Tuesday, ABC News reported. “They asked me if I’d like to debate this gentleman, and I said ‘no.’ I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.’”

    “I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms my whole life,” Biden continued. “I’m a pretty damn good athlete. Any guy that talked that way was usually the fattest, ugliest S.O.B. in the room.”

    So yeah, a response should have been expected.


    ““He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!” the combative president added.”


  10. Ricky is correct about the media and Trump/
    They hate Trump but gave him all the air time.
    Like Rush and Apple
    Rush hates Apple’s political philosophy but gives them millions of dollars worth of free advertising time.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Make no mistake, they both need their heads smacked together. But his statement didn’t occur in a vacuum, it was a reaction to the former veep’s prodding.

    Don’t start nothin’, won’t be nothin’.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Cambridge Analytica is not the problem, but we all know who is, Facebook and Google…..


    “A whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, who left Cambridge Analytica that same year, is now spilling his guts about the role he played in the data transfer. As a result, Facebook’s stock has shed nearly $50 billion in value, Facebook investors are suing the company, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has opened an investigation.

    Should we care about any of this? Not really.

    I conduct scientific research on online manipulation, and, at this point, I probably know more about it than anyone else in the world. Online manipulation of our thinking, opinions, purchases and votes is real, powerful and scary; the numbers are mindboggling, in fact. But Cambridge Analytica is not the problem, mainly because the methods it uses to manipulate are not very powerful. Compared with the real threats out there, they are, in fact, trivial.

    Cambridge Analytica’s main method of influence was to send people targeted ads on Facebook, just as thousands of other companies do every day. A targeted ad is one designed to capture the attention and clicks of particular people. The more you know about the your audience, the more successful you will be in designing an ad that will draw their clicks, and those clicks in turn will drive people to web pages that contain persuasive content.

    Cambridge Analytica claims to have purchased 5,000 “data points” — that is, digital facts — about every voter in America before the 2016 election, as well as to have employed new psychometric techniques to figure out how best to influence those voters. Using Facebook’s Ads Manager – as thousands of companies do each day to match up their products with potential buyers — Cambridge Analytica’s data and methodology allowed them to display their ads to hand-picked Facebook users, and that, in turn, should have increased what marketers call the “clickthrough rate” (CTR) — the proportion of people who click on their ads.

    Why is this no big deal? Because everybody does it – not just vendors trying to sell us their wares, but all of the political campaigns. Facebook even brags to its potential political advertisers about its power to “drive a successful campaign” and target “constituents and supporters.””

    Liked by 1 person

  13. And that’s a wrap.

    Shut her down! Last one out, hit the lights.


    “The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence voted along party lines on Thursday to formally end the panel’s Russia investigation and to release a report about the probe to the rest of Congress.

    The 150-page report will now undergo a classification review by the intelligence community to determine what information must be redacted in the document. After it goes to Congress, the report will be made public. That is expected to happen within the next several weeks.”

    Now unto Mueller’s next.


  14. Facebook is censoring your news feed. They will decide what’s news for you simpletons.


    “Facebook Suppresses Certain Media Outlets In Your Newsfeed. It Won’t Tell You Which Ones

    Facebook made two key algorithm changes that benefitted specific media outlets and harmed their competitors

    Conservative publishers have been hit the hardest by the algorithm changes

    Facebook told TheDCNF it won’t identify which outlets it’s boosting and which ones it’s suppressing
    Within the span of eight days in January, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced two different key changes to Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm that together have boosted a “trusted” minority of news outlets while suppressing their competitors.

    First, Facebook would slash news articles’ share of the newsfeed from five percent to four percent in the coming months, Zuckerberg said. Second, Facebook would boost certain “trusted” news outlets and suppress other, ostensibly less trustworthy sources.

    The algorithm changes have disproportionately harmed conservative publishers, tech website The Outline concluded in a lengthy report earlier in March. Conservative and right-wing publishers “were hit the hardest” by the algorithm change, the report found, “while the engagement numbers of most predominantly liberal publishers remained unaffected.”

    Conservative website Western Journalism reached the same conclusion in a similar data report last week. Conservative websites saw a significant drop in traffic from Facebook following the algorithm change, while comparable liberal sources saw a slight increase, that report found.

    Facebook has no plans to identify which media outlets it’s boosting and which ones it’s suppressing, a company spokesperson told The Daily Caller News Foundation on the phone, arguing that releasing the data would provide an incomplete picture of Facebook’s newsfeed makeup.”


  15. Racist?
    Meh, maybe….

    A resounding yes.

    And in this case, the stupid is so bad….. it hurts…. 😦


    “Australian nurses and midwives are being forced to announce their ‘white privilege’ before treating Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander patients – a move which has been slammed as ‘racist to its core’.

    The term ‘white privilege’ defines the unearned social and cultural advantages awarded to people with white skin which are not enjoyed by people of colour or non-white backgrounds.

    The Nursing and Midwifery Board believes the cultural safety of Indigenous or Torres Strait Islander patients is just as important as their clinical safety.

    But Graeme Haycroft, spokesperson for the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland, (NPAQ) told Sky News the addition to the code of conduct could have serious consequences for nurses and is simply ‘racist’.

    The Board describes the move as ‘a decolonising model of ­practice based on dialogue, communication, power sharing and negotiation, and the acknowledgment of white privilege’.”


  16. I know we are never ever supposed to make Hitler analogies. However, this reminds me of the point when the Fuhrer started firing his generals and appointing himself first to command the entire army, then individual armies, then much smaller units. That sure worked out well. Trump seems to want to be his own lawyer, economic adviser and fight promoter. What could go wrong?


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