934: Weaponized Tech

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 11m
June 1st, 2017
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Executive Producers: Sir Patrick of the Pugner Order, Sir Christopher Dolan

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Largeman Baron of Bali & Indonesia

Cover Artist: Melvin Gibstein (Jon Blitt)

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Address Verification System - Wikipedia
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 03:56
The Address Verification System (AVS) is a system used to verify the address of a person claiming to own a credit card.[1] The system will check the billing address of the credit card provided by the user with the address on file at the credit card company. The other security features for the credit card include the CVV2 number.
AVS is used when the merchant verifies credit card data, such as billing address and ZIP code, against the Visa/MasterCard billing information of the cardholder.[1] AVS verifies that the billing address of the credit or debit card matches the address that was given by the customer. Because AVS only verifies the numeric portion of the address, certain anomalies like apartment numbers can cause false declines; however, it is reported to be a rare occurrence.
AVS verifies the numeric portions of a cardholder's billing address. For example, if the address is 101 Main Street, Highland, CA 92346, in the United States, AVS will check 101 and 92346. Cardholders may receive false negatives, or partial declines for AVS from e-commerce verification systems, which may require manual overrides, voice authorization, or reprogramming of the AVS entries by the card issuing bank.
Contents
AVS is a MasterCard service to combat fraudulent activity for non-face-to-face transactions by cross-referencing the cardholder's address information with the card issuer's records.[2] AVS is widely supported by Visa, MasterCard and American Express in the USA, Canada and United Kingdom.
Cardholders with a bank that does not support AVS may receive an error from Internet stores due to the lack of data.
Besides the automated verification, some banks do provide merchants with a manual verification system. Usually this is done for foreign credit card accounts as the AVS only works in the same country. This facility helps the merchants to prevent fraud arising from other countries. The merchant's bank calls the customer banks (or send a fax for banks that request them). Some countries like Denmark however prevent banks from verifying customer data.
Address Verification Service (AVS) codes Edit Type of CodesCodesDescriptionDomestic (U.S.) Visa CodesA, E, N, R, S, U, W, X, Y, ZThe international and domestic alphabetic AVS codes are the Visa standard AVS codes.International Visa CodesA, C, F, G, I, M, PCodes for American Express CardsF, H, J, K, L, O, Q, T, VFor American Express cards only.CodeDescriptionNetworkAStreet address matches, but 5-digit and 9-digit postal code do not match.Standard domesticBStreet address matches, but postal code not verified.Standard internationalCStreet address and postal code do not match.Standard internationalDStreet address and postal code match. Code "M" is equivalent.Standard internationalEAVS data is invalid or AVS is not allowed for this card type.Standard domesticFCard member's name does not match, but billing postal code matches.American Express onlyGNon-U.S. issuing bank does not support AVS.Standard internationalHCard member's name does not match. Street address and postal code match.American Express onlyIAddress not verified.Standard internationalJCard member's name, billing address, and postal code match.American Express onlyKCard member's name matches but billing address and billing postal code do not match.American Express onlyLCard member's name and billing postal code match, but billing address does not match.American Express onlyMStreet address and postal code match. Code "D" is equivalent.Standard internationalNStreet address and postal code do not match.Standard domesticOCard member's name and billing address match, but billing postal code does not match.American Express onlyPPostal code matches, but street address not verified.Standard internationalQCard member's name, billing address, and postal code match.American Express onlyRSystem unavailable.Standard domesticSU.S. Bank does not support AVS.Standard domesticTCard member's name does not match, but street address matches.American Express onlyUAddress information unavailable. Returned if the U.S. bank does not support non-U.S. AVS or if the AVS in a U.S. bank is not functioning properly.Standard domesticVCard member's name, billing address, and billing postal code match.American Express onlyWStreet address does not match, but 9-digit postal code matches.Standard domesticXStreet address and 9-digit postal code match.Standard domesticYStreet address and 5-digit postal code match.Standard domesticZStreet address does not match, but 5-digit postal code matches.Standard domesticDeclines due to Address Verification System Edit "Declined due to AVS mismatch", the authorization code, along with the hold on the authorized funds, will remain on the customer's card until the card issuing bank removes the authorization. As a result, the held funds may be subtracted from the customer's available balance, and an online statement may reflect the authorization request which might be mistaken for an actual charge. Most card issuing banks will remove authorizations within 1''2 days if they are not claimed for settlement.[citation needed ]
New street, not recognized by anyone (phone, install, vent, best) - House -remodeling, decorating, construction, energy use, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, building, rooms - City-Data Forum
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 03:55
10-24-2009, 07:46 PM Location: Keller, TX
4,601 posts, read 3,935,202 timesReputation: 3593
I live on a brand new road. It doesn't show up on Google Maps or GPS. In fact, it doesn't show up in anyone's system. The post office does manage to deliver some mail here, but I have had a lot of trouble. I can't even order a pizza (not only that, I can't even call ahead to order a pizza for carry out unless I give my previous address).I haven't been able to change my address at work, at my bank, at my credit card, at my car insurance company, at a couple of magazine sites, etc. And I've had trouble with every delivery I've tried to get so far. The Best Buy delivery of my fridge was a nightmare!!
The problem is that everyone uses some system that attempts to look up the address you've entered on the site or read to the rep on the phone. If they don't find it, you're done. I haven't come across any vendor or service provider so far that has taken the address as entered. Most don't allow any override or exception. I've had two reps at different companies tell me I can't change my address at this time.
Any experience with new roads and how long it takes for an address to start showing up in vendor systems? Not being on Google Maps or any GPS system is getting old too. Thanks.
10-24-2009, 08:35 PM Location: West Michigan
12,085 posts, read 30,450,801 timesReputation: 16559
Wish I could help you, but had to comment that it is rather funny you are having this problem and your "tag line" is "Part time Ninja" I would think a Ninja would LIKE nobody finding them LOL.
10-24-2009, 09:01 PM 3,539 posts, read 8,964,367 timesReputation: 5662
Same problem here, but to a lesser degree.Moved in 1.5 years ago. Street is 2 years old. Post office took address right away (they already had one other house on the street to deliver to). UPS kept delivering packages (addressed correctly) to my old address. Weird. UPS will look back in your "history" and try to deliver packages to previous address. Very strange. Bank took address right away as did some credit cards. 2 did not. Had to call and talk to customer service. Very annoying. (Make sure you have online access to as much as possible so if you don't get a statement for a month or more you can check out your account online and make sure everything is okay).
Now its been a street for 2 years, and all my personal business is okay (local companies know the neighborhood and can find the street if you tell them the neighborhood) - but anyone from out of town I have to give directions to because the mapping programs haven't updated yet. If you google earth my street you see a horse pasture.
Patience is my only advice. I know its lame, but eventually technology will catch up! Good Luck!!
10-24-2009, 09:04 PM Location: Keller, TX
4,601 posts, read 3,935,202 timesReputation: 3593
Quote:
Originally Posted by BydandWish I could help you, but had to comment that it is rather funny you are having this problem and your "tag line" is "Part time Ninja" I would think a Ninja would LIKE nobody finding them LOL.
True, but it makes it hard to take delivery of new shuriken, poison blowdarts, and lockpicking tools.
10-25-2009, 10:33 AM Location: West Michigan
12,085 posts, read 30,450,801 timesReputation: 16559
Quote:
Originally Posted by NepentheTrue, but it makes it hard to take delivery of new shuriken, poison blowdarts, and lockpicking tools.
Good point! I can see where that could put a crimp in the night-time fun for a Ninja.
10-25-2009, 12:15 PM Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
14,956 posts, read 44,524,743 timesReputation: 21553
Interesting. Ninja issues aside, I would suggest calling the local police and fire departments on the non-emergency numbers and making sure the information has made it to them. In Alabama, street addresses are determined by a 911 locator system, and all data flows from that.If I had a bank that couldn't accept a change, I'd change banks. Same with the insurance company. I can just imagine the conversation - "Yeah, we want to sell you renters insurance, but you'll have to get it on your old place." Idiots.
10-25-2009, 04:02 PM Location: LI/VA/IL
2,480 posts, read 4,168,860 timesReputation: 6637
I have a delivery problem but on a different tangent. I will be here 1 yr end of Dec. My problem if on mapquest,bing etc the name of my my street is spelled wrong. I do get mail,ups,fedex but if I need a service tech or food delivery there are numerous phone calls to locate my house.I did go into a mapping service to correct this but of course it's still being worked on after 6 months.
10-26-2009, 08:14 AM 9,198 posts, read 19,147,113 timesReputation: 8442
I had a similar problem with my last house about 10 year ago - new street, and we were the first house on it. The Post Office did have it set up, but even they couldn't get it right for several weeks after we moved in. It took a while for us to get regular mail delivery. I would say it took a full six months before our street was fully recognized and on on-line maps.Fast forward to the house I bought 3 years ago - again, first house on a new street, and this time in an entirely new development also. Had no problems there. Street seemed to exist on all mapping services from the moment we moved in.
10-26-2009, 08:57 AM 74 posts, read 563,956 timesReputation: 117
We are going through the exact same thing. Very few online address updates work so we have had to call almost everyone. And, like you mention, things like ordering pizza require using the wrong address.Our phone and cable companies would not install any service before we were in the 911 directory and UPS, which has delivered at least a dozen packages, still can't find the street on the first try (our first FedEx package is supposed to arrive tomorrow so that should be interesting).
Using online billing is a really good idea and try to be extra careful the first few months to make sure that you don't miss bills (likely to them never showing up).
Most automated systems get their information from one of two places: the 911 system/post office or from private map companies. Assuming you are in the 911 and post office systems, the other thing to try is to update the map information (although it can take 6-12 months to propogate).
Take a look at the google page (about missing streets)
Fix an error on Google Maps - Maps Help
for an example of two places you can go to enter your information. It may be working looking at other places like mapquest and maps.bing.com to see if they use other companies.
Good luck!
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Products - SmartyStreets
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 03:54
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Ministry of Truthiness
Guardian's Ben Jacobs gets new glasses after assault by Montana congressman | US news | The Guardian
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 15:09
Ben Jacobs with his new glasses. Photograph: Lucia Graves for the Guardian
Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs replaced his glasses on Tuesday, after they were broken when he was assaulted by Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte.
Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault after attacking Jacobs when the reporter asked him a question about healthcare last week. The Republican went on to win the special election in Montana the next day.
Bruising by Jacobs' right eye did not alter the outcome of a normal eye exam performed by ophthalmologist and surgeon Andrew F Kolker.
Jacobs was fitted for a new pair of glasses by optician Russell Byron, settling on a pair of black frames from Banana Republic. The glasses will be ready for pickup next week and the cost will be covered by the Guardian and his company health insurance.
At the request of the Washington DC media museum the Newseum, Jacobs has agreed to donate his broken glasses to the museum for display in their collection.
Ben Jacobs being fitted for new glasses with optician Russell Byron. Photograph: Lucia Graves for the Guardian Ben Jacobs at the optician's. Photograph: Lucia Graves for the Guardian
Hillary HitList
Federal prosecutor Beranton J. Whisenant Jr. found dead on Hollywood, Florida beach - wptv.com
Sat, 27 May 2017 17:34
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) -- The body of a federal prosecutor has been found on a Florida beach with possible head trauma.
Hollywood police spokeswoman Miranda Grossman said Thursday that the body of 37-year-old Beranton J. Whisenant Jr. was found early Wednesday by a passerby on the city's beach. She said detectives are trying to determine if the death was a homicide, suicide or something else.
Whisenant worked for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami in its major crimes unit. He had joined the office in January. Court records show he had been handling several visa and passport fraud cases.
Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg said in a statement that Whisenant was a "great lawyer and wonderful colleague." The office declined to comment on the investigation.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Federal Prosecutor Investigating Fraud Found Dead in Debbie Wasserman Schultz's District
Sat, 27 May 2017 17:34
A federal prosecutor's body was discovered on a Hollywood, Florida beach with potential head trauma.Brandon J. Whisenant, Jr.'s body was found Wednesday by a random individual. The police are attempting to determine if Whisenant's death was a ''homicide, suicide, or something else.''
The AP reports:
Hollywood police spokeswoman Miranda Grossman said Thursday that the body of 37-year-old Beranton J. Whisenant Jr. was found early Wednesday by a passerby on the city's beach. She said detectives are trying to determine if the death was a homicide, suicide or something else.
Whisenant worked for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami in its major crimes unit. He had joined the office in January. Court records show he had been handling several visa and passport fraud cases.
Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg said in a statement that Whisenant was a ''great lawyer and wonderful colleague.'' The office declined to comment on the investigation.
The following is Debbie Wasserman Schultz's district:
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Dems Mum On IT Staffers Under Investigation | The Daily Caller
Sat, 27 May 2017 17:33
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi would not say Thursday why an IT staffer that was banned from the House network still works for a prominent member of her party's caucus.
U.S. Capitol Police and other agencies are probing the cyber activities of three brothers who had jobs as congressional staffers at the office of information technology for lawmakers on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, The Daily Caller News Foundation first reported. Brothers Imran, Abid and Jamal Awan also provided their services for other Democratic members in the lower chamber.
When they came under suspicion by law enforcement for accessing the House network without permission last February, they were all banned from accessing it. While some Democratic lawmakers dismissed Imran from their employ when the story, others, like Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz kept him on.
When asked by The Daily Caller why one of the individuals under investigation still has a role as an adviser to Wasserman Schultz, Pelosi responded:
''Well the people under investigation [include] the Attorney General of the United States. I mean, what are we talking about here?''
She continued, ''You have a very specific charge there. I haven't followed that very closely.''
When TheDC pressed further, she added, ''I'm not sufficiently understanding the situation to make any concern about it, but there are plenty of people who are under in investigation who still have their jobs.''
Other Democrats said they knew little to nothing at all about the investigation of the Awan brothers.
When The Daily Caller mentioned to Indiana Democratic Rep. Andre Carson that his former IT staffer, Imran, received $100,000 from an Iraqi wanted by the U.S., he said he was unaware of that, though he knew of the police investigation of the IT staffers.
''You know as someone who has worked in counterterrorism homeland security '-- Indiana '-- former cop, I'm always concerned about that. And you never know who you're dealing with, whether it's an employee or co-worker until it's revealed,'' Carson told TheDC on Wednesday.
Carson also pointed out that since the data breach, House members are moving more towards corporate vendors to help them secure their online information.
''I think that we need to strengthen our internal controls in terms of how we do vending in the future to make sure these things don't happen again,'' he said.
Carson also responded to Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wassermen Schultz demand that Capitol Hill police should give her the seized laptop Imran used since she is not the one under investigation.
''If it's evidence, I mean, I think we have to follow the proper protocol'...We have to make sure law enforcement has the space to do its job,'' Carson said.
Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, co-chair of the Democratic National Committee, said he did not know anything about the case. He responded, ''I'm at a massive disadvantage because I don't really know the issue at all.''
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Leakers
Dina Powell - Wikipedia
Wed, 31 May 2017 20:13
Early life and education Edit Dina Habib was born in Cairo, Egypt to a middle-class, Coptic Christian family.[7][9] Her father was a captain in the Egyptian Army, and her mother had attended American University in Cairo.[7] As both wanted the best for their daughters,[7][10] Dina Habib at the age of four came to the United States with her parents and her younger sister.[8] Dina knew no English.[7]
The Habib family settled in Dallas, Texas, where they had relatives among the Coptic community there; the parents ran a convenience store.[7] While Dina quickly learned English at school, her family insisted that she be raised with Egyptian culture and language as well.[7][11] As a result, she is fluent in Arabic.[2] Of her parents' actions, she later said, "I so desperately wanted a turkey and cheese sandwich with potato chips, and instead I always got grape leaves and hummus and falafel, not even in a cool brown paper bag. And now, of course, I appreciate so much that I did."[7] Each of the family members became a naturalized citizen of the United States.[8] She attended the prep school for girls Ursuline Academy of Dallas,[9] from which she graduated in 1991.[11]
University of Texas at AustinShe then attended the University of Texas at Austin, more specifically the University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts, where she enrolled in the Liberal Arts Plan I honors program, studying a mixture of humanities, sociology, political science, and criminology.[11] She performed community service both as part of her program and her membership in the Delta Delta Delta sorority.[11]
Dina Habib helped pay for school by working as a legislative assistant for two Republican members of the Texas State Senate: O.H. "Ike" Harris and Jerry E. Patterson.[11] With them, she worked on a number of policy matters, including juvenile justice reform.[11] She had grown up in a family that strongly identified with the Republican Party and that had greatly admired Ronald Reagan.[12] She adopted the same views, later recalling that "... when I started to work with Republicans I realised that I agree with the views of personal empowerment, of less government involvement, of having the ability to talk about things without the government necessarily being involved. And on the economic side I'm definitely a believer that people should spend more of their money and spend it the way they think so and invest it wisely."[12]
For her honors thesis, she wrote about the value of mentoring on juvenile delinquents.[11] She graduated from U. of Texas with honors with a bachelor's degree in Humanities[13] from its College of Liberal Arts in 1995.[14]
Early government and political positions Edit
An internship with the U.S. Senator from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchison, represented a turning point in Dina Habib's life.Habib had applied to, and been accepted by, a law school.[15] However, in part due to her fluency in Arabic, she received an offer of a year-long internship with the U.S. Senator from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchison.[16][15][7] Much to the consternation of her parents, who wanted her to become an engineer, doctor, or lawyer, she deferred the school and accepted the internship,[15] moving to Washington, D.C. in the process.[11] This began a chain of political and governmental positions that would span a decade or more and she never came to the study of law.[10] Hutchison later said of Powell, "She is extraordinary and she has gone so far since that first little internship because she is so graceful."[9]
After the internship concluded, she took a job with Dick Armey, the Republican Majority Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives.[7] There she worked as a member of his leadership staff.[11] Armey later said, "We immediately recognized her brains and her ability, and then her charm, and finally, I think somebody noticed she was gorgeous, too."[7] Armey's was one among a number of remarks that various governmental officials have made regarding not just her professional abilities but also her physical attractiveness.[17]
After that, she took a job with the Republican National Committee where she was Director of Congressional Affairs and helped to find positions for Republicans in lobbying firms.[13][7] As part of this role she became involved in the George W. Bush presidential campaign, 2000.[11]
She married Richard C. Powell on January 10, 1998; a man who works in public relations, who became a managing director of the Washington-based Quinn Gillespie & Associates.[11]
The couple has two daughters born in 2002 and 2006.[3] In 2007 the couple purchased a $3.85 million condominium apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.[18]
White House personnel office Edit
Official White House photo during Bush yearsWhile working at the RNC, Powell was spotted by Clay Johnson III, who would come to be in charge of hiring for the George W. Bush administration.[19] The day after the election Johnson called Powell regarding the presidential transition,[11] even though the result was mired in uncertainty. Once in office, Johnson took her on as a Deputy Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel.[19] During the following year, Powell's parents visited a Marine One landing on the South Lawn of the White House; after Powell had the president introduce himself to them on the rope line, they were overwhelmed with emotion.[11] Powell later said, "It affirmed for them the tough decision to leave everything they knew behind. In what other country could an immigrant family go from risking it all to one day having their daughter work for the president?"[8]
Powell reviewing papers in the Oval Office with Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush, circa January 2005Beginning in January 2003, Johnson moved up and elsewhere in the administration and Powell took on his position, thereby serving as the Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel, a senior staff member at the White House.[7] In this role, she was responsible for assisting the President on the appointments of the cabinet, subcabinet and ambassadorial positions across the U.S. Government.[7] She had a staff of 35 reporting to her and, especially once the second term of the Bush presidency began in January 2005, was part of hiring some 4,000 people.[17][7][8] She participated in some of the recommendations process as well as processing the applications, and was part of the inner circle of knowledge regarding who would be hired along with Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and political mind Karl Rove.[7] At age 29, she was the youngest person ever to hold this position.[17] She praised the family-friendly practices of the Bush White House, as well as support from her husband, for giving her the chance to be a successful working mother.[8]
Powell holding the Bible as John Negroponte is sworn in as Director of National Intelligence in early 2005. Presidential George W. Bush looks on.The experience of her job confirmed her belief that the United States is a meritocracy.[8] Some of the recommendations she made for the U.S. State Department put her in good stead with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.[3] (This led to a series of appointments in which Powell's foreign policy experience would be forged under Secretary Rice,[20][21] as the following paragraphs describe.) U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez, a businessman whom Powell recruited for that Cabinet position, said: "In a nutshell, Dina Powell is probably one of the most talented people I've ever met in my life."[19]
Department of State Edit In March 2005, Powell received a new assignment, which included becoming an ambassador of sorts to the Arabic-speaking world.[19] News of the appointment landed on the front page of Al-Ahram and made her a celebrity in Egypt.[19] This position was that Powell became, and subsequently served as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs from July 11, 2005, through June 6, 2007.[13][22] Powell was also designated by Secretary Rice to the office of Deputy Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. In addition, Powell led the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs,[13] in whose responsibility fell the Fulbright Program and similar foreign endeavors.[19] In her role, Powell traveled worldwide with Secretary Rice, but mostly focused on going to the Middle East.[23]
First Lady Laura Bush talking to Assistant Secretary Powell during the fifth meeting of the U.S. Afghan Women's Council at the State Department, July 2006, in Washington, D.C.During this period, Powell established several public-private partnerships between American corporations and foreign entities, including a U.S.-Lebanon partnership in the wake of the 2006 war there that sought to help rebuild the local economy.[3] These may have been under the aegis of the Middle East Partnership Initiative. In addition she brought into being some cultural exchanges between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran, including Iranian doctors coming west and a U.S. wrestling team going east.[3] She was responsible for bringing in scholars from other nation-states as well.[9] Powell worked to establish the Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women's Mentoring Partnership, which connected up-and-coming female leaders with the community of Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summits.[9] This was a joint venture between the State Department and Fortune magazine that would go on to be honored over the next decade.[24]
In 2007, she left the White House and government service, saying "It's the right time for me and my family."[3] She had been the highest-ranking Arab-American in the Bush administration.[3] Secretary Rice said, "I'm really sorry to lose her. She is fantastic. She had so many ideas. There are people who have ideas but can't execute them. She really executed them."[3] The Washington Post assayed that Dina Habib Powell had "played a critical role in the administration's efforts to bolster public diplomacy in the face of the wave of anti-Americanism that has swept the Arab world since the U.S. invasion of Iraq."[3] Powell would later join the Advisory Council of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.[25]
Powell joined Goldman Sachs in 2007 as a managing director[3] and was named partner in 2010,[5] thus achieving one of the most highly sought-after prizes in American finance.[26] Powell has conceded that she joined Goldman Sachs despite having no background in the subject of finance, but has said that her entire career has been guided by the notion of not planning a lot but rather "just taking that leap of faith."[16]
Powell oversaw the firm's impact investing business and served as the president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation beginning in 2010.[27] This was in addition to her responsibilities as global head of the Office of Corporate Engagement and a member of the Goldman Sachs Partnership Committee.[28]
As leader of Goldman Sachs Impact Investing, Powell was responsible for a business with more than $4 billion in housing and community development investments across the U.S.[29][30]
Gary Cohn, president and COO, Goldman Sachs; James Dimon, chairman, president and CEO, JP Morgan; Mary Callahan Erdoes, CEO, JP Morgan Asset Management; and Dina Habib Powell, in January 2013In her role as president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, Powell led one of the world's largest corporate foundations with over $500 million in assets.[31] Powell helped build and was responsible for all the Foundation's initiatives supporting and developing entrepreneurs around the world, including 10,000 Women and 10,000 Small Businesses.[32] 10,000 Women provides women entrepreneurs in developing countries with business education, access to capital and mentors.[33][34] Under Powell, Goldman Sachs partnered with International Finance Corporation and Overseas Private Investment Corporation to raise 600 million dollars, to provide access to capital for more than 100,000 women worldwide.[35] To realize this project, Powell worked closely with the State Department.[23]
Goldman's 10,000 Small Businesses, which was co-chaired by Lloyd Blankfein, Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg and Michael Porter of Harvard Business School, supports the growth and expansion of small business in the U.S. and UK.[36][37] When asked why he decided to participate, Warren Buffett said. ''In a very, very nice way, [Powell] gets all the rest of us to work quite hard.'' [31] Part of Goldman Sachs' rationale for these two publicized programs was to repair its image following the 2008 global financial crisis.[6]
Earning a salary of $2 million as president of the foundation, Powell engendered some disapproving comments within the firm from those who thought the pay package too large given she was not an earner.[6] However, her compensation was in line with those top people in other high-monied charities.[6]
Powell also led Goldman Sachs Gives, a donor-advised fund through which the firm's current and retired partners can recommend grants in support of communities around the world. Goldman Sachs Gives was established in 2007 and structured as a vehicle to consolidate Goldman Sachs partners' charitable giving.[38]
During her time at Goldman Sachs, Powell joined the boards of directors or trustees of the Harvard Business School's Social Enterprise Initiative,[39] the American University in Cairo,[40] the Center for Global Development,[41]Vital Voices,[42] and the Nightingale-Bamford School.[41] Dina Habib Powell is listed as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations[43] and a member of the Trilateral Commission.[44]
Powell has worked productively with Democrats such as Obama administration advisors Valerie Jarrett and Gene Sperling.[45] A number of other Democrats are on good terms with her as well.[45] Publisher and progressive voice Arianna Huffington has spoken highly of Powell.[46]
Senior advisor Edit Powell had no relationship with the incoming chief executive or his family until after the shocking result of the United States presidential election, 2016.[16] Then, by Powell's account, she got an out-of-nowhere call from Ivanka Trump, who was interested in the metrics by which the success of 10,000 Women had been judged.[24] She thus became involved with the incoming administration's transition period, particularly with regard to the empowerment of women and girls and the potentialities of female entrepreneurship.[9][47] By another accounting, the two may have been connected through hedge fund manager David McCormick.[25] Regardless, she quickly became one of Ivanka's most trusted advisors;[16] the New Tork Times called Powell the first daughter's "all-around guide in the administration."[48]
Powell in May 2017, clapping in celebration at House of Representatives passage of the AHCA with other top administration domestic and political advisors.Starting January 20, 2017, Powell began serving as Senior Advisor to the President for Entrepreneurship, Economic Growth and the Empowerment of Women. In doing so she became one of the few Bush administration officials to join this new administration.[20] Powell relocated from New York City to Washington as part of taking this job.[49] In this role she led a joint American-Canadian program to advance the role of women in business,[23] making reference to what was formally called the United States-Canada Council for the Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders.[47] This efforting involved Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well.[47] Another Powell involvement involved a listening session on the related topics of domestic and international human trafficking.[47]
She was visible outside that scope of her role per se when she was part of a meeting between the chief executive and Saudi defense minister Mohammed bin Salman.[2] She subsequently shared responsibility for overseeing a $200 billion worths amount of U.S.-Saudi deals.[50] She continued to assist Ivanka, in particular in introducing her to the politically connected including some of the just defeated.[49] Powell's network of contacts in the financial, corporate, and governmental worlds proved a valuable asset for the new administration[51] and she assisted in a few of the early hires.[49] Another such hire in late April 2017 was for a chief-of-staff for Ivanka, that being someone Powell knew from 10,000 Women.[52] Powell commented regarding Ivanka's staff, "We're all one team. We all work on these initiatives together."[52]
National Security Council Edit
Powell (at far right) during the April 2017 Syrian missile strike operation[53] Her being the only woman present attracted notice.[20]On March 15, 2017, Powell was named to the post of Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy,[1] all the while retaining her economic position as well.[20] In this new role she was seen as a possible rival to the existing Deputy, former commentator K. T. McFarland.[23] It was expected that her brief would focus on fostering inter-agency cooperation, but how her lack of a national security background, and the fact that her past administration experiences that revolved around the use of soft power would play out in a new administration dedicated to the use of hard power, was unclear.[23]
Within the White House factional battles between the forces of Steve Bannon against those of Jared Kushner, Powell was seen as aligned with the relative moderates, those being Kushner, Ivanka, and fellow Goldman Sachs figure Gary Cohn,[54][55][56] with Cohn as well as Kushner being a faction leader.[57] Bannon has criticized the four as "Democrats" and "globalists", although Powell, at least, has solid bona fides as a Republican and was defended by several Republican senators as a principled conservative.[55] Longtime Republican operative Charlie Black additionally said, ''It's important for people to understand Dina Powell worked for Dick Armey and George W. Bush. She's no liberal.''[56] Powell also has considerably more experience in government than the others in this group of four.[51]
Powell during a May 2017 meeting with Egyptian officials that took place in Saudi ArabiaIn April 2017 the New York Times labeled Powell a "rising star" in the national security establishment,[53] an appellation echoed by Vogue magazine,[47] while the Associated Press wrote that "Dina Powell has quietly established herself as a White House power."[20] Additionally, the Washington Post wrote that "she is one of the most interesting figures in the new administration."[24] In part this level of attention was because in that month, McMaster elevated the Deputy for Strategy position to a higher role within the NSC, meaning that Powell came to attend both the Principals Committee and National Security Council Deputies Committee.[58][20] At the same time McMaster arranged for the imminent departure of McFarland.[58]
Powell was one of the key figures in securing the release of Egyptian aid worker Aya Hijazi.[16] Regarding the May 2017 report of a Donald Trump revelation of classified information to Russia, which she was present in the room during, she stated: "This story is false."[59]
Powell (towards right) with other administration officials among their hosts during visit to Saudi Arabia, May 2017She was among the top officials escorting the chief executive on his first foreign trip, which in May 2017 started with a two-day stay in Saudi Arabia.[60][61] She was involved in several negotiations with Middle Eastern parties, where she was sometimes the only woman at the table.[62] She declined to follow Saudi customs and not only did not cover her hair but wore a dress that revealed her legs as well.[62] She also ensured that one of the headliner speeches made reference to women's rights in Saudi Arabia.[62] In all this, Powell's prior experience in government and her set of contacts in the Arab world played a key role in making the first part of the trip a successful venture, and she had done some of advance work prior to the trip.[62] As one connected former official said, "A normal White House would have a larger cohort of experienced people, so Dina's own experience means she's more valuable '-- and more influential."[62]
Powell being presented with her ''Outstanding American by Choice'' award in 2007.Dina Habib Powell was selected as one of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders.[13]
She received the Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award in 2006.[14]
In 2007, Powell was presented with an American by Choice Award during a special naturalization ceremony performed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; the award recognizes outstanding achievements of naturalized U.S. citizens.[63]
In 2017 she was the honored speaker for a State Department dinner in acknowledgment of the Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women's Mentoring Partnership.[16] At the same time Working Mother named her as one of the 50 Most Powerful Moms of 2017.[64]
^ ab Margaret Brennan and Jacqueline Alemany, "Dina Powell promoted to deputy national security adviser", CBS News, March 15, 2017. ^ abc Gordon, Michael (March 15, 2017). "Dina Powell, Donald Trump Aide, Named to National Security Post". The New York Times. ^ abcdefghijkl Kessler, Glenn (2007-05-02). "Top-Ranking Arab American Is Leaving State for Wall Street". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post Company. Retrieved 2015-09-11 . ^ Campbell, Dakin; et al. "Goldman Sachs's Dina Powell Named as Trump's Economic Assistant". Bloomberg Politics. January 12, 2017 ^ ab Carney, John (2010-11-17). "Partnership Day at Goldman Sachs!". CNBC NET NET. CNBC LLC. Retrieved 2015-09-11 . ^ abcd Susanne Craig, "Goldman Sachs, Buying Redemption", The New York Times, October 26, 2013. ^ abcdefghijklmnop Gerhart, Ann (2005-01-11). "Dina Powell, the West Wing's Hire Power". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post Company. pp. C1. Retrieved 2015-09-11 . ^ abcdefg Johanna Neuman, "From Behind the Scenes She Recruits Bush's Team", Los Angeles Times, January 10, 2005. ^ abcdef Klein, Betsy (January 11, 2017). "Meet Dina Powell, Ivanka Trump's woman in the White House". CNN. Retrieved January 11, 2017 . ^ ab Leive, Cindi (2014-06-11). "Success Secrets From a Wall Street Superstar". Glamour. Conde Nast. Retrieved 2015-09-11 . ^ abcdefghijklm Rae Nadler, "Marketing America: Dina Habib Powell", The Alcade (January/February 2007), pp. 53-55. ^ ab Jasmine El-Rashidi, "Dina Habib Powell: Egyptian in the White House", Al-Ahram Weekly (Cairo), 7''13 October 2004. ^ abcde "Biography Dina Powell". Archive 2001-2009. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2015-09-11 . ^ ab "Longhorns Assume Leadership Roles in Trump Administration", UTNews, University of Texas, February 1, 2017. ^ abc "Q&A with Dina Habib Powell, assistant secretary of state". The Dallas Morning News. April 22, 2007. Archived from the original on October 15, 2008. ^ abcdef "Ivanka Trump: How She Met Goldman Sachs Partner Dina Powell". Fortune.com. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ abc Helin Jung, "5 Things to Know About Dina Powell, Trump's Deputy National Security Adviser", Cosmopolitan, March 16, 2017. ^ Max Abelson (2007-11-13). "Ex-Bush Aide Parlays Administration Pay Into $3.85 M. Condo". Observer. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ abcdef Elisabeth Bumiller, "A Mideast Strategy That Includes a Mideast Card", The New York Times, March 21, 2005. ^ abcdef Catherine Lucey (April 13, 2017). "Who's Dina Powell? A rising Trump national security figure". AP News. Retrieved 2017-04-19 . ^ "Who's Dina Powell? A rising Trump national security figure". Fox News. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ Anderson, Melissa (2012-10-24). "Movers and Shakers: Dina Powell, President, Goldman Sachs Foundation and Global Head of Corporate Engagement, Goldman Sachs". The Glass Hammer. New York: Evolved People Media LLC. Retrieved 2015-09-11 . ^ abcde Merica, Dan (2017-03-17). "Dina Powell moves from working with Ivanka Trump to NSC - CNNPolitics.com". Cnn.com. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ abc Heil, Emily. "When Dina met Ivanka: How a Goldman Sachs exec came to the White House". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ ab Troy, Tevi. "Ivanka Trump turns to Goldman Sachs partner for advice". Politico. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ Julia La Roche, "Meet The Goldman Partner Who Gets Paid $2 Million To Give Away The Bank's Money", Business Insider, October 28, 2013. ^ Jaquetta White, "Goldman Sachs to lend $20 million to N.O. small businesses", The Times-Picayune, November 22, 2010. ^ "Dina Powell". World Bank Blogs. The World Bank. n.d. Retrieved 2015-09-11 . ^ Rose-Smith, Imogen (2015-03-10). "An Urban Revival Grows in Brooklyn". Institutional Investor. Brooklyn, NY: Institutional Investor LLC. pp. 64''70. Retrieved 2015-09-11 . ^ Spielman, Fran (2015-08-28). "10,000 Small Businesses program thriving in Chicago". Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago, Ill.: Sun Times Network. Archived from the original on 2015-09-03. Retrieved 2015-09-11 . ^ ab Kolhatkar, Sheelah (2012-05-24). "Goldman's Jobs Act". Bloomberg Businessweek. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 2015-09-11 . ^ Helfrich, Jesse (2017-03-30). "Meet President Trump's Ms. Fix-It". TheHill. Retrieved 2017-04-19 . ^ White, Ben (2008-03-10). "A helping hand for women". Financial Times. The Financial Times Limited. Retrieved 2015-09-22 . ^ Lawrence, Christopher (2014-08-18). "Dina Habib Powell Wants to Invest In Your Future". Marie Claire. Hearst Communications. Retrieved 2015-09-11 . ^ "OPIC Announces Plans to Join Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women and IFC in the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility, Committing $100 Million to Enable 100,000 Women to Access Capital" (Press release). OPIC. July 27, 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-16 . ^ McGill Murphy, Richard (2011-01-18). "Goldman Sachs's gift to 10,000 small businesses". Fortune.com. Time Inc. Retrieved 2015-09-22 . ^ Walsh, Tom (2014-09-18). "Buffett, Bloomberg, Goldman add star power to graduation". Detroit Free Press. Gannett. Retrieved 2015-09-22 . ^ Banjo, Shelly (Dec 9, 2010). "Goldman to Donate $20 Million to Nonprofits". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Co. Retrieved 2015-09-22 . ^ "Advisory Board - Social Enterprise - Harvard Business School". Hbs.edu. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ "Mohamed ElBaradei, Dina Powell, Mohamed Abughazaleh, Lisa Anderson Named as AUC Trustees". Prnewswire.com. 2007-10-22. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ ab "Dina Powell - Goldman Sachs - Global Head of Corporate Engagement and Head of Urban Investment Group". Csreports.aspeninstitute.org. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/diane-von-furstenberg-among-five-new-directors-of-vital-voices-global-partnership-59871337.html ^ "Membership Roster - Council on Foreign Relations". Cfr.org. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ "THE TRILATERAL COMMISSION"(PDF) . Trilateral.org. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ ab Troy, Tevi. "Goldman Sachs partner to join Trump administration". Politico. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ "Twitter". Mobile.twitter.com. 2017-01-11. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ abcde Patricia Garcia, "Who Is Dina Powell? Ivanka Trump's Right-Hand Woman Is a Rising Star in the White House", Vogue, April 19, 2017. ^ Jodi Kantor; Rachel Abrams; Maggie Haberman. "Ivanka Trump Has the President's Ear. Here's Her Agenda.". Mobile.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ abc Politico article on Dina and Ivanka[dead link ] ^ http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-to-announce-saudi-arms-deal-during-his-first-foreign-trip/ ^ ab Lee, Timothy B. (2017-04-14). "The White House power struggle between Steve Bannon and the "globalists," explained". Vox. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ ab Troy, Tevi. "Ivanka Trump adds a chief of staff". Politico. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ ab David E. Sanger, "Who Was in the Room? These Advisers Joined Trump for the Syria Strike", The New York Times, April 7, 2017. ^ Haberman, Maggie; Peters, Jeremy W.; Baker, Peter. "In Battle for Trump's Heart and Mind, It's Bannon vs. Kushner". The New York Times. ^ ab Rucker, Philip. "Inside Bannon's struggle: From 'shadow president' to Trump's marked man". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ ab "Infighting cools down in Trumpland". TheHill. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ Paletta, Damian. "Within Trump's inner circle, a moderate voice captures the president's ear". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ ab Phillip, Abby. "Deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland to leave National Security Council post". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-05 . ^ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/05/trump-disclosed-secrets-russia-washington-post-170515222926350.html ^ http://nsg-italia.com/2017/05/06/trump-to-embark-on-maiden-visit-to-vatican-israel-saudi.html ^ http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/17/politics/trump-foreign-trip-overshadowed/index.html ^ abcde http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/23/donald-trump-middle-east-visit-238733 ^ "Secretary Rice to Address Special Naturalization Ceremony; Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Dina Habib Powell to Receive American by Choice Award" (Press release). U.S. Department of State. 2007-04-20. Retrieved 2015-09-16 . ^ http://www.redonline.co.uk/red-women/news-in-brief/the-50-most-influential-moms-of-2017
Dem Data Deficit
ActBlue: Summary | OpenSecrets
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 02:39
Launched in 2004, ActBlue bills itself as "the online clearinghouse for Democratic action." As a federally registered political action committee, it serves as a conduit for online contributions to Democratic candidates and committees. That is, ActBlue bundles and transmits earmarked contributions from individuals raised on their website to specific candidates.
Show More Information About ActBlue
The organization assists Democratic candidates and committees of all ideological persuasion, helping moderates and liberals alike. Through mid-2010, it has helped funnel more than $134 million -- and counting -- in contributions. Because much of that money comes in donations below the $200 threshold for itemized disclosure, the total amount given by donors via ActBlue is considerably greater than the totals listed below, which are based on FEC filings of candidates and committees that receive this money. The group also maintains a 527 political organization registered with the Internal Revenue Service for non-federal political activities, and ActBlue has registered as a political committee in more than 20 states for its state-level activities. It does not lobby the federal government.
Profile for 2016 Election CycleView totals for other cycles:
NOTE:Figures on this page include contributions and spending by affiliates of this organization.
CONTRIBUTIONS
$284,207,113 LOBBYING
$0 (2016) $0 (2015)
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Contributions to candidates: $276,797
Contributions to Leadership PACs: $12,700
Contributions to parties: $138,582
Contributions to 527 committees: $990,498
Contributions to outside spending groups: $8,211
Top RecipientsRecipientTotalFrom IndivsFrom Orgs ActBlue Technical Services$990,498$0$990,498 Hall, Isadore$116,231$116,231$0 Pelosi, Nancy$77,543$77,543$0 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Cmte$52,522$2$52,520 Democratic Party Of Orange County$41,774$0$41,774 Pasadena Area United Democratic Headquarters$17,382$0$17,382 Democratic Party of Nebraska$16,950$0$16,950 Walkinshaw, Brady$14,665$14,665$0 Cardenas, Tony$11,304$11,304$0 Brownley, Julia$11,050$11,050$0The total of contributions to candidates from ActBlue individuals is 199 times larger than contributions from PACs
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Contributions from Individuals
$275,416
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Contributions from PACs
$1,381
Find Your RepresentativesCampaign finance totals for the current election cycle were released by the FEC on May 16, 2017 and by the IRS on August 15, 2016, lobbying data was released by the Senate Office of Public Records on January 25, 2017, outside spending data was released by the FEC on May 31, 2017, and PFD data was released by the House, Senate, and US Office of Government Ethics starting in June 2011.
Feel free to distribute or cite this material, but please credit the Center for Responsive Politics. For permission to reprint for commercial uses, such as textbooks, contact the Center
See something wrong or want to suggest an improvement? Contact us.
ActBlue '-- About
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 02:37
Meet ActBlue
Refresh Content
Innovative tools + the power of millionsActBlue is a nonprofit, building fundraising technology for the left. Our mission is to democratize power and help small-dollar donors make their voices heard in a real way.
We develop top-of-the-line fundraising software and offer simple, intuitive tools to help campaigns and organizations connect with new and existing grassroots donors. As a result, nonprofits thrive and Democratic campaigns get more donations through ActBlue than any other platform. Together, we build powerful movements.
How do we make that happen? Well, first we test and retest our contribution forms to maximize conversion rates. We make it as easy as possible to give, no matter where the donor is, or on what device they're using. And we make it free for campaigns and organizations '-- no tricks or add-ons. And with a top-notch tech team, our tools are always dependable, and we're always working to upgrade them.
That's why a majority of Democratic Senate and House campaigns '-- along with the DCCC, DSCC, DGA, over one-third of statewide campaigns, and advocacy organizations around the country '-- have chosen ActBlue.
But we're so much more than a toolset.
Together, we've raised 1,671,594,626 dollars for Democrats and progressive causes in just 12 years. We've built more than just a fundraising platform. We've created the kind of grassroots power that can take on, and beat back, the power of corporate spending and secretive super PACs.
And that's the difference that ActBlue makes to candidates, organizations, and the supporters who champion them.
The fine print we're willing to shout from the rooftops:ActBlue acts as a conduit federally and in most states, which means we provide the infrastructure for campaigns and organizations to fundraise online, but we don't fundraise on behalf of anyone. Unlike groups that spend large sums of cash from undisclosed sources, ActBlue offers grassroots donors a way to give fully disclosed donations to the candidates and causes they choose.
Meet the TeamPolitical nerds, software engineers, writers, lawyers, number crunchers, compliance experts, big thinkers, customer service stars, research whizzes. It takes all types to make ActBlue go.
ActBlue
Rachel Aiello
Political Operations Assistant
Kiersten Arnoni
Deputy Outreach Director
John Baimas
Senior Outreach Associate
Hannah Brown
Director of Marketing
Alexis Chininis
Deputy Outreach Director
Tory Corless
Customer Service Manager
Evan Donahue
Customer Relations Associate
Melissa Flores
Deputy General Counsel
Patrick Frank
Director of Outreach
Debby Gentile
Customer Relations Associate
Steven Gold
General Counsel
Erin Hill
Executive Director
Eric Hoke
Compliance Manager
Rachael Junard
Outreach Associate
Keaton Kirkpatrick
customer relations associate
Rebecca Manger
customer relations associate
Chelsea McDonnell
Senior Digital Content Associate
Heidi Mitchell
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Kristen Morrow
chargeback analyst
Daniele Paulding
chargeback analyst
Nichole Paulding
director of operations
Meagan Petersen
Office & Community Manager
Jeff Ripley
customer relations associate
Adrianna Rosembert
Advocacy Associate
Eric Saindon
Advocacy Associate
Britt Saunders
compliance associate
Lauren Schulman
Donor Relations Associate
Ben Sharton
Political Operations Manager
Michael Silvia
Art Director
Dave Stern
Data Analyst
Alyssa Twomey
Director of Customer Service
ActBlue Technical Services
Chris Adams
Full Stack Dev Sr.
Nawal Ali
Software Engineer
Braulio Carreno
commodore of engineering
Wim den Braven
principled engineer
Decklin Foster
site reliability engineer
Bill Kirtley
Chief Technology Officer
Nick Klick
senior engineer
Ross Martin
Software Engineer
Benji Mauer
Product Designer
Kim Niedermaier
software engineer
Abdul Rahimi
Software Engineer
Nate Thames
Executive Director of ActBlue Technical Services
Mike Toppa
Software Engineer
Interested in joining the team?We're always looking for smart, passionate self-starters
Come work with us!
ActBlue '-- Help out -- chip in today
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 02:35
ActBlue '-- Help out -- chip in todayRun for Something will recruit and support talented, passionate young people who will advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years, with the ultimate goal of building a progressive bench. We'll do whatever it takes to get more under-35 year-olds on the ballot.
Our average donation is just $27 -- chip in whatever you can now!
Contribution RulesThis contribution is made from my own funds, and funds are not being provided to me by another person or entity for the purpose of making this contribution.I am at least eighteen years old.I am a U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident (i.e., green card holder).Paid for by ActBlue (actblue.com) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Contributions or gifts to ActBlue are not deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes.
Results of the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries - Wikipedia
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 02:24
The results of the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries are the detailed outcomes of a series of contests by which members of the United States Democratic Party chose their candidate for the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. The contests are held in each of the fifty U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Democrats Abroad. The outcomes include totals of delegates selected as well as popular votes
In order to secure the nomination at the convention, a candidate must receive at least 2,117 votes from delegates (a simple majority of the 4,233 delegate votes, bearing in mind half-votes from Florida, Michigan, Democrats Abroad and the territories of Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
At the time of Hillary Clinton's suspending her campaign early on June 7, 2008, the superdelegate count was 246½ for her, and 478 for Barack Obama, with 99 still uncommitted[1] of the 823½ total then existing.
The breakdown by position for Clinton: 145 DNC, 52½ Representatives, 14 Senators, 17 add-ons, 10½ Governors, and 7½ DPLs.
The breakdown by position for Obama: 229 DNC, 157 Representatives, 34 Senators, 29 add-ons, 20 Governors, and 9 DPLs.
The breakdown for uncommitted voters was: 39 DNC, 22 Representatives, 1½ Senators, 32½ add-ons, 1 Governor, and 3 DPLs.
Dodd and Byrd are considered Senators, the DNC lists them as DPL. Rendell is a Governor, the DNC lists him as a DPL.[2]
Contents
The following table summarizes the results of the local contests below, thus providing a nationwide overview of the nomination process. The data contained in the row entitled Total bound pledged delegates is a subset of the data in the row entitled Total estimated pledged delegates. The bound delegates row does not include estimated delegates from contests in which the final allocation depends on the outcome of further caucuses or conventions.
CandidatesUncommitted[3]HillaryClinton
BarackObama
JohnEdwards
Grand total estimated delegates(4,134 of 4,233, 98%; 2,117 to win)
991,97346%
2,306½54%
Did Cambridge Analytica influence the Brexit vote and the US election? | Politics | The Guardian
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 02:07
Nigel Oakes, founder of SCL Group, which in turn spawned Cambridge Analytica. Photograph: @nigeloakes
On Saturday 23 June 2012, David Miller received an angry email. Miller, a professor of sociology at Bath University, runs something called the Powerbase website, which records the political and business connections of influential people. The writer of the email, who seemed to be based in Russia, explained that ''all the content'' about Nigel Oakes, a PR fixer and political consultant, published on the website, was ''fake'' and demanded that it be taken down.
Related: Watchdog to launch probe into misuse of data in politics
Miller asked for the inaccuracies to be pointed out so that he could make corrections, only for Oakes himself to make contact, a rare event given that, according to ex-colleagues, the old Etonian likes to cultivate an air of mystery. ''Nice enough, bit machiavellian,'' one said.
An ex-boyfriend of Lady Helen Windsor, Oakes once ran a mobile disco before joining the Tories' favourite advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi.
Powerbase had suggested that Oakes's claim to ''have studied psychology at University College London'', made on one of his firm's websites, was suspect. Miller has a letter from the university saying it has no record of him studying there. But in his email to Miller, Oakes admitted that while everything on Powerbase about him was true, he wanted it made clear that he had established something called the Behavioural Dynamics Working Group.
The group worked with two respected psychology professors, Adrian Furnham and Barrie Gunter, on understanding and potentially changing people's behaviour. And it is the key to understanding how a former DJ ended up launching a network of behavioural-profiling firms whose expertise has been eagerly sought by politicians, defence ministries, Brexit campaigners, and now even the US president.
Oakes told Miller that he had been keen to employ the group's methodology ''and required academics to fill in the scientific blanks to my (largely commercial) knowledge''.
But Furnham and Gunter told the website ItalyEurope24 that they cut their ties with Oakes because he was using them to further his career and making claims that could not be substantiated. A spokesman for Oakes insisted he had always had a good working relationship with both men.
The setback did nothing to diminish Oakes's taste for psychological profiling, and in 1992 he set up a firm that specialised in influencing consumer behaviour through the use of aromas. ''Smells can influence attitudes and therefore behaviour,'' Oakes said when he launched Marketing Aromatics. The company appears to have had limited success but, by the late 1990s, Oakes had become interested in more than selling products: he was selling politicians. He established Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) Group, which in 1999 won a deal to enhance the reputation of Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid.
SCL specialised in influencing behaviour by identifying key audiences and developing strategies to connect with them, and it offered a taste of things to come. Those who visited its Jakarta office told the Independent that it resembled ''a Tom Clancy novel'', a vast room with huge screens and a huge one-way mirror behind which men and women sat glued to the internet.
The Jakarta ops centre appears very similar to one built by a company called Vision 360 for the James Bond film Goldeneye. This may be more than coincidence: Vision 360 built a similar control room for SCL when, in a bid to win military contracts, it began exhibiting at the annual Defence and Security Equipment International show.
According to a press release, SCL's Ops centre ''contained a 12-screen media feed, a 4x3m LED presenter video wall, 62 computer screens, a large 6x4m rear-projected screen, plus an enormous 10x4m operations overview screen.'' It claimed Oakes was delighted with it.
Afterwards, SCL started winning government contracts, including one from the Foreign Office to help counter violent jihadi propaganda in Pakistan.
As more contracts rolled in, SCL attracted funding from powerful investors including Lord Marland, a trade envoy under David Cameron. Oakes's ambition for his company grew. In 2007, SCL paid $20,000 to a Washington lobbying company, Global Policy Partners, to promote it in the US. SCL won contracts with the Pentagon to conduct surveys in Iran and Yemen. ''Psych-ops was big business and people were just chucking money around,'' said one person familiar with the company.
In 2015, it secured a $750,000 contract to help Nato states counter Russian propaganda in eastern Europe.
At the same time it was wooing the military, SCL was using its skills to help win elections. Several Caribbean politicians paid handsomely for its services and its reputation flourished. It spawned another company, Cambridge Analytica, which sought to use ''data modelling and psychographic profiling [classifying people into personality types] to '... connect with people in ways that move them to action''. Cambridge Analytica forged links with the US right, winning contracts with several Republican governors and working for Ted Cruz on his failed campaign to become the Republican presidential candidate.
According to returns filed with the US tax authorities, in 2014 it received more than $1m from America Inc, whose mission is ''to educate Americans about traditional American values''. America Inc's president is L Brent Bozell III, a Tea Party sympathiser who founded something called the Media Research Center ''to neutralise leftwing bias in the news media and popular culture''.
The US billionaire Robert Mercer, a major financial supporter of Donald Trump, has reportedly become a Cambridge Analytica shareholder. Photograph: ddp USA/REX ShutterstockThe US billionaire Robert Mercer '' a major Trump supporter who is close friends with Bozell and the former Ukip leader Nigel Farage '' was so impressed with Cambridge Analytica that he has reportedly become a major shareholder. Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, used to sit on its board. Perhaps inevitably, given these connections, the Trump campaign ended up paying almost £5m to the company to help it target swing voters. Mercer introduced Farage to Cambridge Analytica, according to Andy Wigmore, communications director of Leave.EU, the Brexit campaign championed by Farage.
On its website it boasts: ''We collect up to 5,000 data points on over 220 million Americans, and use more than 100 data variables to model target audience groups and predict the behaviour of like-minded people.'' Its chief executive, Alexander Nix, is an evangelist for the company's ability to reach voters that ordinary companies can't.
In an article for Campaign magazine last February, he described how his company had ''helped supercharge Leave.EU's social media campaign by ensuring the right messages are getting to the right voters online.''
But some are dubious about the behavioural prediction claims. Frederike Kaltheuner of Privacy International, the organisation that campaigns against intrusive surveillance, said that she had tested the technology using her own Facebook data. She said: ''Cambridge Analytica uses data and machine-learning to profile people and predict personalities and attributes. When I did their test I had a 65% probability of being male, and [was] likely [to be] homosexual.''
How this new generation of profiling companies is collecting data is becoming an issue for privacy campaigners and watchdogs. Responding to the disquiet, the Information Commissioner's Office has announced that it is to conduct an analysis of the use of big-data analytics, including for political purposes.
A spokesman for Cambridge Analytica said fears about its use of psychographics were misplaced. ''There's nothing magical or Pied Piper-ish about it. It doesn't give us special powers over people. We're all trying to better use the behavioural sciences to do our work in more effective ways.''
Indeed, Cambridge Analytica is just one of many new companies trying to reach voters in novel ways. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's campaigns employed behavioural profiling companies. The Vote Leave campaign paid £3.5m to a tiny Canadian company called AggregateIQ, which specialises in targeted Facebook advertising and profiling.
Cambridge Analytica's chief executive, Alexander Nix, at the company's office on 5th Avenue in New York. Photograph: The Washington Post/Getty Images''The Vote Leave campaign owes a great deal of its success to the work of AggregateIQ,'' Vote Leave's director Dominic Cummings has said. ''We couldn't have done it without them.''
Puzzlingly, the phone number for AIQ's president, Zack Massingham, is the same as that of SCL Canada, according to a cached version of SCL's website, now taken down. SCL explained that it had partnered with AIQ in the past and that the Canadian firm had once acted as a point of contact. ''It was recently brought to our attention that their contact details were still on the company website, so we updated the page by removing them,'' SCL said.
Massingham, who confirmed SCL's account, told the Observer his company's focus was about engaging with a campaign's supporters and tailoring the message to them. ''It's about communicating with them in a timely and meaningful manner, not giving them too much content, and what you do give them is within the lines of what they want to hear.''
A debate is raging. Can behavioural profiling influence elections or is it a hyped technology, albeit with major consequences for privacy? Either way, the industry has come a long way since the 1980s when it first fascinated Oakes. ''Behavioural modelling involving big-data analytics has arguably passed an inflection point,'' said Dr Simon Moores, an expert on cybersecurity. ''Thanks to the growth of predictive analytics, algorithms and big data-mining businesses you can now look forward to a future that's made up of equal parts Orwell, Kafka, and Huxley.''
Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media | Politics | The Guardian
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 02:06
Robert Mercer in New York in 2014. Photograph: DDP USA/Rex Shutterstock
This article is the subject of a legal complaint on behalf of Cambridge Analytica LLC and SCL Elections Limited.Just over a week ago, Donald Trump gathered members of the world's press before him and told them they were liars. ''The press, honestly, is out of control,'' he said. ''The public doesn't believe you any more.'' CNN was described as ''very fake news'... story after story is bad''. The BBC was ''another beauty''.
That night I did two things. First, I typed ''Trump'' in the search box of Twitter. My feed was reporting that he was crazy, a lunatic, a raving madman. But that wasn't how it was playing out elsewhere. The results produced a stream of ''Go Donald!!!!'', and ''You show 'em!!!'' There were star-spangled banner emojis and thumbs-up emojis and clips of Trump laying into the ''FAKE news MSM liars!''
Trump had spoken, and his audience had heard him. Then I did what I've been doing for two and a half months now. I Googled ''mainstream media is'...'' And there it was. Google's autocomplete suggestions: ''mainstream media is'... dead, dying, fake news, fake, finished''. Is it dead, I wonder? Has FAKE news won? Are we now the FAKE news? Is the mainstream media '' we, us, I '' dying?
I click Google's first suggested link. It leads to a website called CNSnews.com and an article: ''The Mainstream media are dead.'' They're dead, I learn, because they '' we, I '' ''cannot be trusted''. How had it, an obscure site I'd never heard of, dominated Google's search algorithm on the topic? In the ''About us'' tab, I learn CNSnews is owned by the Media Research Center, which a click later I learn is ''America's media watchdog'', an organisation that claims an ''unwavering commitment to neutralising leftwing bias in the news, media and popular culture''.
Another couple of clicks and I discover that it receives a large bulk of its funding '' more than $10m in the past decade '' from a single source, the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer. If you follow US politics you may recognise the name. Robert Mercer is the money behind Donald Trump. But then, I will come to learn, Robert Mercer is the money behind an awful lot of things. He was Trump's single biggest donor. Mercer started backing Ted Cruz, but when he fell out of the presidential race he threw his money '' $13.5m of it '' behind the Trump campaign.
It's money he's made as a result of his career as a brilliant but reclusive computer scientist. He started his career at IBM, where he made what the Association for Computational Linguistics called ''revolutionary'' breakthroughs in language processing '' a science that went on to be key in developing today's AI '' and later became joint CEO of Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund that makes its money by using algorithms to model and trade on the financial markets.
One of its funds, Medallion, which manages only its employees' money, is the most successful in the world '' generating $55bn so far. And since 2010, Mercer has donated $45m to different political campaigns '' all Republican '' and another $50m to non-profits '' all rightwing, ultra-conservative. This is a billionaire who is, as billionaires are wont, trying to reshape the world according to his personal beliefs.
Donald Trump's presidential campaigned received $13.5m from Robert Mercer. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty ImagesRobert Mercer very rarely speaks in public and never to journalists, so to gauge his beliefs you have to look at where he channels his money: a series of yachts, all called Sea Owl; a $2.9m model train set; climate change denial (he funds a climate change denial thinktank, the Heartland Institute); and what is maybe the ultimate rich man's plaything '' the disruption of the mainstream media. In this he is helped by his close associate Steve Bannon, Trump's campaign manager and now chief strategist. The money he gives to the Media Research Center, with its mission of correcting ''liberal bias'' is just one of his media plays. There are other bigger, and even more deliberate strategies, and shining brightly, the star at the centre of the Mercer media galaxy, is Breitbart.
It was $10m of Mercer's money that enabled Bannon to fund Breitbart '' a rightwing news site, set up with the express intention of being a Huffington Post for the right. It has launched the careers of Milo Yiannopoulos and his like, regularly hosts antisemitic and Islamophobic views, and is currently being boycotted by more than 1,000 brands after an activist campaign. It has been phenomenally successful: the 29th most popular site in America with 2bn page views a year. It's bigger than its inspiration, the Huffington Post, bigger, even, than PornHub. It's the biggest political site on Facebook. The biggest on Twitter.
Prominent rightwing journalist Andrew Breitbart, who founded the site but died in 2012, told Bannon that they had ''to take back the culture''. And, arguably, they have, though American culture is only the start of it. In 2014, Bannon launched Breitbart London, telling the New York Times it was specifically timed ahead of the UK's forthcoming election. It was, he said, the latest front ''in our current cultural and political war''. France and Germany are next.
A determined plutocrat and a brilliant media strategist can, and have, found a way to mould journalism to their own ends
But there was another reason why I recognised Robert Mercer's name: because of his connection to Cambridge Analytica, a small data analytics company. He is reported to have a $10m stake in the company, which was spun out of a bigger British company called SCL Group. It specialises in ''election management strategies'' and ''messaging and information operations'', refined over 25 years in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. In military circles this is known as ''psyops'' '' psychological operations. (Mass propaganda that works by acting on people's emotions.)
Cambridge Analytica worked for the Trump campaign and, so I'd read, the Leave campaign. When Mercer supported Cruz, Cambridge Analytica worked with Cruz. When Robert Mercer started supporting Trump, Cambridge Analytica came too. And where Mercer's money is, Steve Bannon is usually close by: it was reported that until recently he had a seat on the board.
Last December, I wrote about Cambridge Analytica in a piece about how Google's search results on certain subjects were being dominated by rightwing and extremist sites. Jonathan Albright, a professor of communications at Elon University, North Carolina, who had mapped the news ecosystem and found millions of links between rightwing sites ''strangling'' the mainstream media, told me that trackers from sites like Breitbart could also be used by companies like Cambridge Analytica to follow people around the web and then, via Facebook, target them with ads.
On its website, Cambridge Analytica makes the astonishing boast that it has psychological profiles based on 5,000 separate pieces of data on 220 million American voters '' its USP is to use this data to understand people's deepest emotions and then target them accordingly. The system, according to Albright, amounted to a ''propaganda machine''.
A few weeks later, the Observer received a letter. Cambridge Analytica was not employed by the Leave campaign, it said. Cambridge Analytica ''is a US company based in the US. It hasn't worked in British politics.''
Which is how, earlier this week, I ended up in a Pret a Manger near Westminster with Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU's affable communications director, looking at snapshots of Donald Trump on his phone. It was Wigmore who orchestrated Nigel Farage's trip to Trump Tower '' the PR coup that saw him become the first foreign politician to meet the president elect.
Wigmore scrolls through the snaps on his phone. ''That's the one I took,'' he says pointing at the now globally famous photo of Farage and Trump in front of his golden elevator door giving the thumbs-up sign. Wigmore was one of the ''bad boys of Brexit'' '' a term coined by Arron Banks, the Bristol-based businessman who was Leave.EU's co-founder.
Cambridge Analytica had worked for them, he said. It had taught them how to build profiles, how to target people and how to scoop up masses of data from people's Facebook profiles. A video on YouTube shows one of Cambridge Analytica's and SCL's employees, Brittany Kaiser, sitting on the panel at Leave.EU's launch event.
Facebook was the key to the entire campaign, Wigmore explained. A Facebook 'like', he said, was their most ''potent weapon''. ''Because using artificial intelligence, as we did, tells you all sorts of things about that individual and how to convince them with what sort of advert. And you knew there would also be other people in their network who liked what they liked, so you could spread. And then you follow them. The computer never stops learning and it never stops monitoring.''
Steve Bannon, Donald Trump's chief strategist, is an associate of Robert Mercer. Photograph: Evan Vucci/APIt sounds creepy, I say.
''It is creepy! It's really creepy! It's why I'm not on Facebook! I tried it on myself to see what information it had on me and I was like, 'Oh my God!' What's scary is that my kids had put things on Instagram and it picked that up. It knew where my kids went to school.''
They hadn't ''employed'' Cambridge Analytica, he said. No money changed hands. ''They were happy to help.''
Why?
''Because Nigel is a good friend of the Mercers. And Robert Mercer introduced them to us. He said, 'Here's this company we think may be useful to you.' What they were trying to do in the US and what we were trying to do had massive parallels. We shared a lot of information. Why wouldn't you?'' Behind Trump's campaign and Cambridge Analytica, he said, were ''the same people. It's the same family.''
There were already a lot of questions swirling around Cambridge Analytica, and Andy Wigmore has opened up a whole lot more. Such as: are you supposed to declare services-in-kind as some sort of donation? The Electoral Commission says yes, if it was more than £7,500. And was it declared? The Electoral Commission says no. Does that mean a foreign billionaire had possibly influenced the referendum without that influence being apparent? It's certainly a question worth asking.
In the last month or so, articles in first the Swiss and the US press have asked exactly what Cambridge Analytica is doing with US voters' data. In a statement to the Observer, the Information Commissioner's Office said: ''Any business collecting and using personal data in the UK must do so fairly and lawfully. We will be contacting Cambridge Analytica and asking questions to find out how the company is operating in the UK and whether the law is being followed.''
Cambridge Analytica said last Friday they are in touch with the ICO and are completely compliant with UK and EU data laws. It did not answer other questions the Observer put to it this week about how it built its psychometric model, which owes its origins to original research carried out by scientists at Cambridge University's Psychometric Centre, research based on a personality quiz on Facebook that went viral. More than 6 million people ended up doing it, producing an astonishing treasure trove of data.
These Facebook profiles '' especially people's ''likes'' '' could be correlated across millions of others to produce uncannily accurate results. Michal Kosinski, the centre's lead scientist, found that with knowledge of 150 likes, their model could predict someone's personality better than their spouse. With 300, it understood you better than yourself. ''Computers see us in a more robust way than we see ourselves,'' says Kosinski.
But there are strict ethical regulations regarding what you can do with this data. Did SCL Group have access to the university's model or data, I ask Professor Jonathan Rust, the centre's director? ''Certainly not from us,'' he says. ''We have very strict rules around this.''
A scientist, Aleksandr Kogan, from the centre was contracted to build a model for SCL, and says he collected his own data. Professor Rust says he doesn't know where Kogan's data came from. ''The evidence was contrary. I reported it.'' An independent adjudicator was appointed by the university. ''But then Kogan said he'd signed a non-disclosure agreement with SCL and he couldn't continue [answering questions].''
Kogan disputes this and says SCL satisfied the university's inquiries. But perhaps more than anyone, Professor Rust understands how the kind of information people freely give up to social media sites could be used.
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage is a friend of the Mercers. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images''The danger of not having regulation around the sort of data you can get from Facebook and elsewhere is clear. With this, a computer can actually do psychology, it can predict and potentially control human behaviour. It's what the scientologists try to do but much more powerful. It's how you brainwash someone. It's incredibly dangerous.
''It's no exaggeration to say that minds can be changed. Behaviour can be predicted and controlled. I find it incredibly scary. I really do. Because nobody has really followed through on the possible consequences of all this. People don't know it's happening to them. Their attitudes are being changed behind their backs.''
Mercer invested in Cambridge Analytica, the Washington Post reported, ''driven in part by an assessment that the right was lacking sophisticated technology capabilities''. But in many ways, it's what Cambridge Analytica's parent company does that raises even more questions.
Emma Briant, a propaganda specialist at the University of Sheffield, wrote about SCL Group in her 2015 book, Propaganda and Counter-Terrorism: Strategies for Global Change. Cambridge Analytica has the technological tools to effect behavioural and psychological change, she said, but it's SCL that strategises it. It has specialised, at the highest level '' for Nato, the MoD, the US state department and others '' in changing the behaviour of large groups. It models mass populations and then it changes their beliefs.
SCL was founded by someone called Nigel Oakes, who worked for Saatchi & Saatchi on Margaret Thatcher's image, says Briant, and the company had been ''making money out of the propaganda side of the war on terrorism over a long period of time. There are different arms of SCL but it's all about reach and the ability to shape the discourse. They are trying to amplify particular political narratives. And they are selective in who they go for: they are not doing this for the left.''
In the course of the US election, Cambridge Analytica amassed a database, as it claims on its website, of almost the entire US voting population '' 220 million people '' and the Washington Post reported last week that SCL was increasing staffing at its Washington office and competing for lucrative new contracts with Trump's administration. ''It seems significant that a company involved in engineering a political outcome profits from what follows. Particularly if it's the manipulation, and then resolution, of fear,'' says Briant.
It's the database, and what may happen to it, that particularly exercises Paul-Olivier Dehaye, a Swiss mathematician and data activist who has been investigating Cambridge Analytica and SCL for more than a year. ''How is it going to be used?'' he says. ''Is it going to be used to try and manipulate people around domestic policies? Or to ferment conflict between different communities? It is potentially very scary. People just don't understand the power of this data and how it can be used against them.''
There are two things, potentially, going on simultaneously: the manipulation of information on a mass level, and the manipulation of information at a very individual level. Both based on the latest understandings in science about how people work, and enabled by technological platforms built to bring us together.
Are we living in a new era of propaganda, I ask Emma Briant? One we can't see, and that is working on us in ways we can't understand? Where we can only react, emotionally, to its messages? ''Definitely. The way that surveillance through technology is so pervasive, the collection and use of our data is so much more sophisticated. It's totally covert. And people don't realise what is going on.''
Public mood and politics goes through cycles. You don't have to subscribe to any conspiracy theory, Briant says, to see that a mass change in public sentiment is happening. Or that some of the tools in action are straight out of the military's or SCL's playbook.
But then there's increasing evidence that our public arenas '' the social media sites where we post our holiday snaps or make comments about the news '' are a new battlefield where international geopolitics is playing out in real time. It's a new age of propaganda. But whose? This week, Russia announced the formation of a new branch of the military: ''information warfare troops''.
Sam Woolley of the Oxford Internet Institute's computational propaganda institute tells me that one third of all traffic on Twitter before the EU referendum was automated ''bots'' '' accounts that are programmed to look like people, to act like people, and to change the conversation, to make topics trend. And they were all for Leave. Before the US election, they were five-to-one in favour of Trump '' many of them Russian. Last week they have been in action in the Stoke byelection '' Russian bots, organised by who? '' attacking Paul Nuttall.
You can take a trending topic, such as fake news, and then weaponise it, turn it against the media that uncovered it
''Politics is war,'' said Steve Bannon last year in the Wall Street Journal. And increasingly this looks to be true.
There's nothing accidental about Trump's behaviour, Andy Wigmore tells me. ''That press conference. It was absolutely brilliant. I could see exactly what he was doing. There's feedback going on constantly. That's what you can do with artificial intelligence. You can measure ever reaction to every word. He has a word room, where you fix key words. We did it. So with immigration, there are actually key words within that subject matter which people are concerned about. So when you are going to make a speech, it's all about how can you use these trending words.''
Wigmore met with Trump's team right at the start of the Leave campaign. ''And they said the holy grail was artificial intelligence.''
Who did?
''Jared Kushner and Jason Miller.''
Later, when Trump picked up Mercer and Cambridge Analytica, the game changed again. ''It's all about the emotions. This is the big difference with what we did. They call it bio-psycho-social profiling. It takes your physical, mental and lifestyle attributes and works out how people work, how they react emotionally.''
Bio-psycho-social profiling, I read later, is one offensive in what is called ''cognitive warfare''. Though there are many others: ''recoding the mass consciousness to turn patriotism into collaborationism,'' explains a Nato briefing document on countering Russian disinformation written by an SCL employee. ''Time-sensitive professional use of media to propagate narratives,'' says one US state department white paper. ''Of particular importance to psyop personnel may be publicly and commercially available data from social media platforms.''
Yet another details the power of a ''cognitive casualty'' '' a ''moral shock'' that ''has a disabling effect on empathy and higher processes such as moral reasoning and critical thinking''. Something like immigration, perhaps. Or ''fake news''. Or as it has now become: ''FAKE news!!!!''
How do you change the way a nation thinks? You could start by creating a mainstream media to replace the existing one with a site such as Breitbart. You could set up other websites that displace mainstream sources of news and information with your own definitions of concepts like ''liberal media bias'', like CNSnews.com. And you could give the rump mainstream media, papers like the ''failing New York Times!'' what it wants: stories. Because the third prong of Mercer and Bannon's media empire is the Government Accountability Institute.
Bannon co-founded it with $2m of Mercer's money. Mercer's daughter, Rebekah, was appointed to the board. Then they invested in expensive, long-term investigative journalism. ''The modern economics of the newsroom don't support big investigative reporting staffs,'' Bannon told Forbes magazine. ''You wouldn't get a Watergate, a Pentagon Papers today, because nobody can afford to let a reporter spend seven months on a story. We can. We're working as a support function.''
Welcome to the future of journalism in the age of platform capitalism. News organisations have to do a better job of creating new financial models. But in the gaps in between, a determined plutocrat and a brilliant media strategist can, and have, found a way to mould journalism to their own ends.
In 2015, Steve Bannon described to Forbes how the GAI operated, employing a data scientist to trawl the dark web (in the article he boasts of having access to $1.3bn worth of supercomputers) to dig up the kind of source material Google can't find. One result has been a New York Times bestseller, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, written by GAI's president, Peter Schweizer and later turned into a film produced by Rebekah Mercer and Steve Bannon.
This, Bannon explained, is how you ''weaponise'' the narrative you want. With hard researched facts. With those, you can launch it straight on to the front page of the New York Times, as the story of Hillary Clinton's cash did. Like Hillary's emails it turned the news agenda, and, most crucially, it diverted the attention of the news cycle. Another classic psyops approach. ''Strategic drowning'' of other messages.
This is a strategic, long-term and really quite brilliant play. In the 1990s, Bannon explained, conservative media couldn't take Bill Clinton down because ''they wound up talking to themselves in an echo chamber''.
As, it turns out, the liberal media is now. We are scattered, separate, squabbling among ourselves and being picked off like targets in a shooting gallery. Increasingly, there's a sense that we are talking to ourselves. And whether it's Mercer's millions or other factors, Jonathan Albright's map of the news and information ecosystem shows how rightwing sites are dominating sites like YouTube and Google, bound tightly together by millions of links.
Is there a central intelligence to that, I ask Albright? ''There has to be. There has to be some type of coordination. You can see from looking at the map, from the architecture of the system, that this is not accidental. It's clearly being led by money and politics.''
There's been a lot of talk in the echo chamber about Bannon in the last few months, but it's Mercer who provided the money to remake parts of the media landscape. And while Bannon understands the media, Mercer understands big data. He understands the structure of the internet. He knows how algorithms work.
Robert Mercer did not respond to a request for comment for this piece. Nick Patterson, a British cryptographer, who worked at Renaissance Technologies in the 80s and is now a computational geneticist at MIT, described to me how he was the one who talent-spotted Mercer. ''There was an elite group working at IBM in the 1980s doing speech research, speech recognition, and when I joined Renaissance I judged that the mathematics we were trying to apply to financial markets were very similar.''
Bannon scorns media in rare public appearance at CPACHe describes Mercer as ''very, very conservative. He truly did not like the Clintons. He thought Bill Clinton was a criminal. And his basic politics, I think, was that he's a rightwing libertarian, he wants the government out of things.''
He suspects that Mercer is bringing the brilliant computational skills he brought to finance to bear on another very different sphere. ''We make mathematical models of the financial markets which are probability models, and from those we try and make predictions. What I suspect Cambridge Analytica do is that they build probability models of how people vote. And then they look at what they can do to influence that.''
Finding the edge is what quants do. They build quantitative models that automate the process of buying and selling shares and then they chase tiny gaps in knowledge to create huge wins. Renaissance Technologies was one of the first hedge funds to invest in AI. But what it does with it, how it's been programmed to do it, is completely unknown. It is, Bloomberg reports, the ''blackest box in finance''.
Johan Bollen, associate professor at Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing, tells me how he discovered one possible edge: he's done research that shows you can predict stock market moves from Twitter. You can measure public sentiment and then model it. ''Society is driven by emotions, which it's always been difficult to measure, collectively. But there are now programmes that can read text and measure it and give us a window into those collective emotions.''
The research caused a huge ripple among two different constituencies. ''We had a lot attention from hedge funds. They are looking for signals everywhere and this is a hugely interesting signal. My impression is hedge funds do have these algorithms that are scanning social feeds. The flash crashes we've had '' sudden huge drops in stock prices '' indicates these algorithms are being used at large scale. And they are engaged in something of an arms race.''
The other people interested in Bollen's work are those who want not only to measure public sentiment, but to change it. Bollen's research shows how it's possible. Could you reverse engineer the national, or even the global, mood? Model it, and then change it?
''It does seem possible. And it does worry me. There are quite a few pieces of research that show if you repeat something often enough, people start involuntarily to believe it. And that could be leveraged, or weaponised for propaganda. We know there are thousands of automated bots out there that are trying to do just that.''
THE war of the bots is one of the wilder and weirder aspects of the elections of 2016. At the Oxford Internet Institute's Unit for Computational Propaganda, its director, Phil Howard, and director of research, Sam Woolley, show me all the ways public opinion can be massaged and manipulated. But is there a smoking gun, I ask them, evidence of who is doing this? ''There's not a smoking gun,'' says Howard. ''There are smoking machine guns. There are multiple pieces of evidence.''
''Look at this,'' he says and shows me how, before the US election, hundreds upon hundreds of websites were set up to blast out just a few links, articles that were all pro-Trump. ''This is being done by people who understand information structure, who are bulk buying domain names and then using automation to blast out a certain message. To make Trump look like he's a consensus.''
And that requires money?
''That requires organisation and money. And if you use enough of them, of bots and people, and cleverly link them together, you are what's legitimate. You are creating truth.''
You can take an existing trending topic, such as fake news, and then weaponise it. You can turn it against the very media that uncovered it. Viewed in a certain light, fake news is a suicide bomb at the heart of our information system. Strapped to the live body of us '' the mainstream media.
One of the things that concerns Howard most is the hundreds of thousands of ''sleeper'' bots they've found. Twitter accounts that have tweeted only once or twice and are now sitting quietly waiting for a trigger: some sort of crisis where they will rise up and come together to drown out all other sources of information.
Like zombies?
''Like zombies.''
Many of the techniques were refined in Russia, he says, and then exported everywhere else. ''You have these incredible propaganda tools developed in an authoritarian regime moving into a free market economy with a complete regulatory vacuum. What you get is a firestorm.''
This is the world we enter every day, on our laptops and our smartphones. It has become a battleground where the ambitions of nation states and ideologues are being fought '' using us. We are the bounty: our social media feeds; our conversations; our hearts and minds. Our votes. Bots influence trending topics and trending topics have a powerful effect on algorithms, Woolley, explains, on Twitter, on Google, on Facebook. Know how to manipulate information structure and you can manipulate reality.
We're not quite in the alternative reality where the actual news has become ''FAKE news!!!'' But we're almost there. Out on Twitter, the new transnational battleground for the future, someone I follow tweets a quote by Marshall McLuhan, the great information theorist of the 60s. ''World War III will be a guerrilla information war,'' it says. ''With no divisions between military and civilian participation.''
By that definition we're already there.
Additional reporting by Paul-Olivier Dehaye
' Carole Cadwalladr will be hosting a discussion on technology's disruption of democracy at thebluedot festival, Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, 7-9 July
ORCA (computer system) - Wikipedia
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 02:06
ORCA was a mobile-optimized web application used as a component of the "get out the vote" (GOTV) efforts for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. It was intended to enable volunteers in polling stations around the country to report which voters had turned out, so that "missing" Republican voters and underperforming precincts could be targeted for last-minute efforts to get voters to the polls. According to Romney himself, it would provide an "unprecedented advantage" to the campaign to "ensure that every last supporter makes it to the polls."
The system had major technical problems during Election Day that prevented many volunteers from using it. It crashed periodically and at one point was intentionally taken down when a surge of traffic from campaign volunteers was misinterpreted as a denial of service attack. Frustrated volunteers reported being unable to access ORCA and criticised a lack of prior briefing, misleading instructions and patchy on-the-day support. A Romney aide commented that "Orca is lying on the beach with a harpoon in it." The system's failings have been attributed by technology writers to a combination of factors including not doing prior quality assurance or beta testing, inadequate documentation and poor design.
The Romney campaign subsequently defended ORCA as a success, though campaign officials admitted that the system "had its challenges". Conservative activists and writers blamed ORCA for depressing Republican turnout on election day. While political scientists have rebutted these claims, suggested that it probably did not have a decisive effect on the outcome, it may have negatively affected turnout figures. ORCA has been compared unfavorably with a "get out the vote" and data effort from President Obama, including Project Narwhal, seen as more robust.
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Mitt Romney on ORCA: "With state-of-the-art technology, and an extremely dedicated group of volunteers, our campaign will have an unprecedented advantage on Election Day."
Annotated illustration of the ORCA web application running on an iPhoneIn the 2008 US presidential election, the Obama campaign utilized a system called Houdini to enable volunteers to report voting data to a national hotline.[1] While this system encountered problems,[2] the 2012 Romney campaign's ORCA system aimed to go further by enabling volunteers to report such data to campaign headquarters in real time via their smartphones. It was intended to be rolled out to around 37,000 volunteers at polling places in swing states.[3]
Gail Gitcho, the Romney campaign's communications director, told PBS on November 5 that with the deployment of ORCA on election day, the campaign would be able to tell who had voted in which precincts.[3] She described the system's key function as not being to predict the outcome, but to identify low turnouts in target precincts so that the campaign could take action by contacting missing voters and urging them to go to the polls. Gitcho commented: "The Obama campaign likes to brag about their ground operation, but it's nothing compared to this."[4] The name ORCA was chosen to reference the Obama GOTV system, called Project Narwhal; in nature, the orca or killer whale is the only known non-human predator of narwhals.[4]
In a training call for Republican volunteers on October 31, they were told: "There's nothing that the Obama data team, there's nothing that the Obama campaign, there's nothing that President Obama himself can do to even come close to what we are putting together here." [1] According to reports, "The governor [Romney] loves seeing data, he loves seeing numbers and he's a very strategic person; he's a very smart man. So he actually loves being inside these war rooms, seeing the data come in and seeing exactly what's going on out there, so we can all put our heads together and say, 'Okay, we need to move resources here. We need to shift resources from here.'" [1] The campaign's spokeswoman Andrea Saul told the Huffington Post that ORCA would provide Romney with "an enormous advantage ... By knowing the current results of a state, we can continue to adjust and micro target our get-out-the-vote efforts to ensure a Romney victory."[1]
According to the campaign, ORCA would identify how between 18 and 23 million people had voted on election day, providing "the most accurate ballot projections ever" and ensuring "hyper-accuracy of our supporter targeting as we work to turn them out to the polls."[5] In a pre-election video, Romney told volunteers: "As part of this task force, you'll be the key link in providing critical, real-time information to me and to the staff so that we can ensure that every last supporter makes it to the polls. With state-of-the-art technology, and an extremely dedicated group of volunteers, our campaign will have an unprecedented advantage on Election Day."[6]
The Obama campaign declined to comment on ORCA but Scott Goodstein, the external online director for the 2008 Obama campaign, questioned whether it would actually make much difference to potential voters who were sitting out the election. He commented, "In a national campaign, what additional things are the headquarters really going to do to move resources? Will an additional auto-call last minute really make a difference in a market like Northeast Ohio, which has been saturated for three months full of auto-calls?"[1] Some pro-Democrat bloggers expressed concerns that the system would facilitate voter suppression but the ORCA training material emphasized that Romney volunteers should under no circumstances talk to or confront voters.[1]
The system was initially reported to have been developed by an application consulting firm and Microsoft,[3] but later reports attributed its development to "an internal 'skunkworks'" comprising "a makeshift team of IT people and volunteers", rather than an outside consultancy, while a number of small consulting companies helped with the implementation of ORCA during election day.[2] According to campaign insiders, it was kept secret among "a close circle in Boston" and state officials were not informed of how it would operate until only a few days before the election.[7] Volunteer users of ORCA in Boston were given no hands-on training until the day of the election itself, when the system was turned on at 6 am.[3]
ORCA was conceived by Rich Beeson, the campaign's political director, and Dan Centinello, Romney's director of voter contact.[3] Centinello served as the political manager of the Orca project.[2]
ORCA spending represented only a small portion of the campaign's overall investment in information technology.[2]
Features and functionality Edit ORCA was designed to work on a variety of devices, including iPhones and iPads, Android phones and tablets and BlackBerry phones.[1]
The system was designed to show the names and addresses of every eligible voter in a particular precinct. When the voter had gone through the polling station, a logged-in volunteer would simply slide a bar on their phone screen to note that fact. If there were any problems in the polling station, such as erroneous voting lists, illegal activities or issues with the voting machines, they could press an on-screen yellow button to send an alert to the campaign's lawyers. A Twitter-style instant messenger system would also enable volunteers and the campaign to share information in real time. Those without smartphones were also catered for; the Romney campaign would provide a list of voters to enable volunteers to check off individual names and phone the information into the campaign's headquarters.[1] The data they gathered would be monitored by 800 volunteers at campaign headquarters on the floor of TD Garden in Boston via a Web-based application; it would be used to coordinate contacts throughout election day to pro-Romney voters who had not shown up at the polls. As a fallback, a voice response system would also be established, to allow mobile phone users to call in information if the online system was not working.[3]
ORCA consisted of 11 back-end database servers and a single web server and application server providing the front end. The servers were said to have all been hosted in Boston.[3]
Throughout election day, volunteers experienced frequent and widespread problems using ORCA,[5] which crashed periodically.[7] As volunteers tried to log in, the surge of traffic caused the system to collapse altogether for about an hour and a half, leading to scenes of panic among Romney staffers at the TD Garden. The Romney campaign's digital director, Zac Moffatt, conceded: "The Garden definitely kind of buckled under the strain. The system wasn't ready for the amount of information incoming."[6] The traffic surge was so great that at one point Comcast, the campaign's Internet Service Provider, shut off its network connection in the belief that it was coming under a denial of service attack.[3] Reporter Erin McPike tweeted that some suspected that the system had been hacked and that Republican sources had confirmed to her that something had gone wrong.[8] One Romney aide commented that "ORCA is lying on the beach with a harpoon in it."[5]
The floor of TD Garden in Boston, where the Romney campaign headquarters volunteers tried to make ORCA work on election dayJohn Ekdahl Jr., a Romney volunteer and web developer in Jacksonville, Florida, wrote a widely discussed account of his experiences with ORCA. The Romney campaign had sent him a 60-page document listing voters and instructions the day before the election, which he struggled to print, but when he reached his local polling station on election day he was told that he needed a certificate to be allowed to work there. The certification was not mentioned in his documentation and his attempts to reach campaign headquarters got nowhere, causing him to give up by 2 pm. Calling ORCA "an unmitigated disaster," Ekdahl said that he was "hearing almost universal condemnation of the thing. It seemed like the basic coordination between ground ops and overall team was lacking."[6] Ekdahl also called the training manuals vague and uninformative; ORCA was regularly described as an "app", leading to volunteers looking unsuccessfully for it on the iOS App Store and Google Play. In fact, it was a web application, a mobile-enabled website that did not require additional software to use.[6][8] The training materials were also riddled with errors such as duplicate checklist items and erroneous responses to frequently asked questions. ORCA exclusively used an HTTP Secure (HTTPS) connection but its designers had apparently forgotten to redirect those attempting to use the equivalent HTTP address to the HTTPS address. Anyone who incorrectly typed in an address beginning with "www" was unable to reach the system, causing many volunteers to assume that it was down.[8]
Other volunteers reported being unable to get through to technical support and found themselves receiving either a busy signal or a "try again later" message. One volunteer wrote on a Romney campaign message board: "I have called the ORCA helpline. It was supposed to be live at 5 a.m. ... still getting a recording. Com [sic] on Boston we can't help Mitt if you won't help us.!!!!!"[6] Many volunteers could not get their security PINs to work. According to a campaign official in Colorado, "we were called by hundreds (or more) volunteers who couldn't use the app or the backup phone system. The usernames and passwords were wrong, but the reset password tool didn't work, and we couldn't change phone PINs. We were told the problems were limited and asked to project confidence, have people use pencil and paper, and try to submit again later. Then at 6 p.m. they admitted they had issued the wrong PINs to every volunteer in Colorado, and reissued new PINS (which also didn't work)."[6] In North Carolina, another campaign official said that "the system went down for a half hour during peak voting, but for hundreds or more, it never worked all day... Many members of our phone bank got up and left."[8] One frustrated volunteer tweeted that it was "a clusterf**k [sic] of biblical proportions."[8]
Impact and post-mortems Edit Ekdahl described the effect of ORCA as being that ''30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help, like driving people to the polls, phone-banking, walking door-to-door, etc."[9] Campaign workers were left "flying blind", as several put it, unable to identify non-voters or precincts which needed a last-minute robocalling campaign to drive up turnout. The targeted information promised by the campaign did not materialize and only the generic raw vote tallies were available in key areas.[7] According to the Washington Examiner, by late afternoon on election day ORCA was still predicting a Romney victory with somewhere between 290''300 electoral college votes '' nearly 100 more than Romney actually received.[5] A Romney campaign official told ABC News, which predicted on the eve of the election that Obama would win by a 50%''47% margin,[10] "Your numbers don't matter to us."[9] Without accurate information from ORCA, Republican officials instead turned to using public news sources or calling counties for information on the outcome of votes in those areas.[7]
Moffatt acknowledged that "without a doubt, ORCA had its challenges"[11] but argued that the system had actually worked, despite the reports of problems: "We don't think Orca's problems had a material impact on the campaign, it was not election determinative. We had 30,000 plus volunteers across the country putting information into the system. We had 91 percent of all counties report into the system, 14.3 million voters were accounted for as having voted, and we received 5,397 reports on voting issues, such as instances where they ran out of ballots. The information came in, so you can't say it didn't work. You run into issues because it's so massive in scale."[5] He noted that the Romney campaign had had only six months to develop its system, whereas Obama had the benefit of six years of preparation.[5] Another Romney aide told National Review's Katrina Trinko that in fact ORCA's problems had "no relation to the outcome. We achieved in a large part what we set out to do in the swing states in terms of our electorate. The reality is the President did what he said he was going to do. The Obama campaign said that they were going to increase turnout from 2008, and they were able to do that. And that had nothing to do with a reporting system on Election Day."[12]
Conservative writer Joel B. Pollak suggested that ORCA had ended up suppressing Romney's own vote by tying up campaign volunteers at a critical time. He noted the narrow margin in the key swing states '' only some 500,000 to 700,000 votes '' and calculated that if each of the 37,000 ORCA volunteers had brought 20 voters to the polls in those states, the gap could have been closed.[13] Ekdahl saw a "bitter irony" in the fact that "a supposedly small government candidate gutted the local structure of GOTV efforts in favor of a centralized, faceless organization in a far off place (in this case, their Boston headquarters)."[13]Erick Erickson of RedState.com compared the system to Shamu, a 1970s SeaWorld orca, "because it bit the leg of the campaign and wouldn't let go." While political scientists doubted that its failure had made much of a difference to the outcome, they suggested that if it had worked properly it could have resulted in a closer election. Lara Brown of Villanova University said that it was likely that ORCA had "had a substantial effect" on the turnout, particularly in rural counties of Ohio where Romney had underperformed.[14]
The ORCA system had not received extensive beta testing before election day, nor did the campaign know how it would interact with the data infrastructure in the TD Garden until the day itself.[9] Ekdahl said that he had raised concerns about the lack of testing beforehand. He had asked whether it had been stress tested, whether redundancy had been put in place and whether steps had been taken to combat an external attack on the system, but "these types of questions were brushed aside (truth be told, they never took one of my questions). They assured us that the system had been relentlessly tested and would be a tremendous success."[11] Moffatt admitted that the system had been "beta-tested in a different environment ... There was so much data coming in '' 1200 records or more per minute '' it shut down the system for a time. Users were frustrated by lag, and some people dropped off and we experienced attrition as a result."[5]
Robert X. Cringely, writing in InfoWorld, concluded that "everything in the Orca rollout went great, except for a failure to do any quality assurance, proof its documentation, or beta test in the seven months from conception to implementation. Whoever was behind Orca apparently also failed to hire a competent Web designer, anticipate server loads, beef up its bandwidth, or notify its ISP to expect a bump in traffic."[15] Sean Gallagher of Ars Technica commented that the key failure was the dependency on automated testing rigs, which "can't show what the system's performance will look like to the end user. And whatever testing environment Romney's campaign team and IT consultants used, it wasn't one that mimicked the conditions of Election Day. As a result, Orca's launch on Election Day was essentially a beta test of the software '' not something most IT organizations would do in such a high-stakes environment."[3]
Slate writer Sasha Issenberg argued that the problems ran far deeper than ORCA's technical failings, as the Romney campaign had been left behind by the cutting edge of data science. He noted that while a system like ORCA could not have changed the demographics, data science did make a great difference to the ability of the two campaigns to target and mobilize their voters. As he put it, "The Democrats have it and the Republicans don't." He suggested that ORCA's ability to affect the outcome had been over-hyped by the Romney campaign, as there was only so much that could be done on election day itself: "On short notice, you can send robocalls, reorder a call list and employ paid phone banks, but you are not radically changing the shape of the electorate. They acted like they had invented the wheel, but really all it would have been was a slightly better tread on the tire."[5]
^ abcdefgh Terkel, Amanda (November 1, 2012). "Project ORCA: Mitt Romney Campaign Plans Massive, State-Of-The-Art Poll Monitoring Effort". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 2, 2012 . ^ abcd Gallagher, Sean (November 15, 2012). "Which consultants built Romney's "Project Orca?" None of them". Retrieved December 2, 2012 . ^ abcdefghi Gallagher, Sean (November 9, 2012). "Inside Team Romney's whale of an IT meltdown". Ars Technica. Retrieved December 2, 2012 . ^ ab Warner, Margaret (November 5, 2012). "Romney Campaign Enlists Help of 'Killer Whale' Project to Get Out the Vote". Retrieved December 2, 2012 . ^ abcdefgh Farber (November 9, 2012). "Why Romney's Orca killer app beached on Election Day". CNET News. Retrieved December 2, 2012 . ^ abcdef Kranish, Michael (November 9, 2012). "ORCA, Mitt Romney's high-tech get-out-the-vote program, crashed on Election Day". Boston Globe. Retrieved December 2, 2012 . ^ abcd Haberman, Maggie; Burns, Alexander (November 8, 2012). "Romney's fail whale: ORCA the vote-tracker left team 'flying blind' ". Politico. Retrieved December 2, 2012 . ^ abcde Robertson, Adi (November 9, 2012). "Killer fail: how Romney's broken Orca app cost him thousands of votes". The Verge. ^ abc Falcone, Michael (November 10, 2012). "Romney Campaign Acknowledges High-Tech Election Day Monitoring System 'Had Its Challenges' ". ABC News. ^ Langer, Gary (November 5, 2012). "A Slim Edge Opens for Obama As the Closest Contest Concludes". ABC News. ^ ab Mullis, Steve (November 10, 2012). "On Election Day, Romney's Killer Whale 'App' Couldn't Stay Afloat". NPR. Retrieved December 2, 2012 . ^ Trinko, Katrina (November 9, 2012). "Romney Camp Pushes Back on Orca Claims". National Review. Retrieved December 2, 2012 . ^ ab Finley, Klint (November 9, 2012). "Fail Whale Leaps From Twitter, Lands on Mitt Romney". Wired. ^ Zremsky, Jerry (November 21, 2012). "WNY native blamed for failed get-out-the-vote app that some tie to Romney's loss". The Buffalo News. Retrieved December 2, 2012 . ^ Cringely, Robert X. (November 9, 2012). "Unleashed! Project Orca, the campaign killer whale". InfoWorld. Retrieved December 2, 2012 .
Cambridge Analytica - Wikipedia
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 01:52
SCL Group calls itself a "global election management agency"[12] known for involvement "in military disinformation campaigns to social media branding and voter targeting".[6] SCL's involvement in the political world has been primarily in the developing world where it has been used by the military and politicians to study and manipulate public opinion and political will. Slate writer Sharon Weinberger compared one of SCL's hypothetical test scenarios to fomenting a coup.[6]
According to the Swiss "Das Magazin" the methods of data analysis of CA are to a large degree based on the academic work of Michal Kosinski. In 2008 Kosinski had joined the Psychometrics Centre of Cambridge University where he then developed with his coworkers a profiling system using general online data, Facebook-likes, and smartphone data.[13] He showed that with a limited number of "likes" people can be analyzed better than friends or relatives can do and that individual psychological targeting is a powerful tool to influence people.[13]
When SCL Elections formed Cambridge Analytica in 2013 it hired researchers from Cambridge University, hence the name.[14] CA collects data on voters using sources such as demographics, consumer behavior, internet activity, and other public and private sources. According to The Guardian, CA is using psychological data derived from millions of Facebook users, largely without users' permission or knowledge.[14] Another source of information is the "Cruz Crew" mobile app that tracks physical movements and contacts and invades personal data more than any other app of presidential candidates.[15]
"Today in the United States we have somewhere close to four or five thousand data points on every individual ... So we model the personality of every adult across the United States, some 230 million people."
'--'‰Alexander Nix (Chief Executive, Cambridge Analytica), October 2016.[1]The company claims to use ''data enhancement and audience segmentation techniques'' providing ''psychographic analysis'' for a ''deeper knowledge of the target audience''. The company uses the OCEAN scale of personality traits.[5][7] Using what it calls "behavioralmicrotargeting" the company indicates that it can predict "needs" of subjects and how these needs may change over time. Services then can be individually targeted for the benefit of its clients from the political arena, governments, and companies providing "a better and more actionable view of their key audiences." According to Sasha Issenberg, CA indicates that it can tell things about an individual he might not even know about himself.[4]
Cambridge Analytica derives much of its personality data on online surveys which it conducts on an ongoing basis. For each political client, the firm narrows voter segments from 32 different personality styles it attributes to every adult in the U.S. The personality data informs the tone of the language used in ad messages or voter contact scripts, while additional data is used to determine voters' stances on particular issues.[16]
The data gets updated with monthly surveys, asking about political preferences and how people get the information they use to make decisions. It also covers consumer topics about different brands and preferred products, building up an image of how someone shops as much as how they vote.[17]
United States of America Edit 2016 presidential election Edit CA's involvement in the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries became known in July 2015.[6] As of December 2015 CA claimed to have collected up to 5,000 data points on over 220 million Americans.[7] At that time Robert Mercer was a major supporter of Ted Cruz.[4][18] The Mercer family funded CA directly and indirectly through several super-PACs as well as through payments via Cruz's campaign.[14]
Ted Cruz became an early major client of CA in the 2016 Presidential Campaign. Just prior to the Iowa caucuses the Cruz campaign had spent $3m for CA's services.[19] with additional money coming from allied Super-PACs.[19] After Cruz's win at the Iowa caucus CA was credited with having been able to identify and motivate potential voters.[20][21] Ultimately the Cruz campaign spent $5.8 million on work by CA.[22]
Ben Carson was a second client of CA; his campaign had paid $220,000 for "data management" and "web service" as reported in October 2015.[5]Marco Rubio's campaign was supported by Optimus Consulting.[23] Meanwhile the third competitor, Governor John Kasich, was supported by rivaling firm Applecart.[24]
After Cruz dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination in May 2016, Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah started to support Trump.[25] In August it became known that CA followed their allegiance and worked for Trump's presidential campaign.[22][25] Trump's campaign also worked with digital firm Giles Parscale.[22] In September, the Trump campaign spent $5 million with CA to target potential voters.[26] Eventually, the Trump campaign spent about $15 million.[13]
In 2016, the company said that it had not used psychographics in the Trump presidential campaign.[27]
2014 midterm elections Edit Cambridge Analytica had entered the U.S. market in 2012[28] (or 2013),[4] and was involved in 44 U.S. congressional, US Senate and state-level elections in the 2014 midterm elections[28]
The company worked with the John Bolton Super PAC on a major digital and TV campaign focused on senate races in Arkansas, North Carolina and New Hampshire, and helped turnout voters for the Republican candidates in those states. Two of the Republican candidates backed by the Bolton SuperPAC, Thom Tillis in North Carolina and Tom Cotton in Arkansas, won their Senate bids, while Scott Brown lost in New Hampshire. The PAC ran 15 different spots each in North Carolina and Arkansas and 17 in New Hampshire'--mostly online with some targeted directly to households using Dish and DirecTV. All were intended to push Mr. Bolton's national security agenda.[29]
Cambridge Analytica also supported Thom Tillis's successful campaign to oust Kay Hagan as the senator for North Carolina. The firm was credited for its role in identifying a sizeable cluster of North Carolinians who prioritized foreign affairs'--which encouraged Tillis to shift the conversation from state-level debates over education policy to charges that incumbent Kay Hagan had failed to take ISIS's rise seriously.[30]
United Kingdom Edit 2016 Brexit referendum Edit CA became involved in the 2016 Brexit referendum supporting "persuadable" voters to vote for leaving the European Union.[9] Articles on The Guardian website published in February and May 2017, explored in detail the influence of Cambridge Analytica both on Brexit and the 2016 US presidential campaign with Robert Mercer's backing of Trump being key. They also discuss the legality concerns of using the social data farmed.[31][32]
Exaggerated and unproven claims Edit In March 2017, the New York Times reported that Cambridge Analytica had exaggerated its capabilities: "Cambridge executives now concede that the company never used psychographics in the Trump campaign. The technology'--prominently featured in the firm's sales materials and in media reports that cast Cambridge as a master of the dark campaign arts'--remains unproved, according to former employees and Republicans familiar with the firm's work."[10] Trump aides have also disputed Cambridge Analytica's role in the campaign, describing it as "modest" and noting that none of the company's efforts involved psychographics.[10]
The New York Times also reported that the Ted Cruz presidential campaign stopped using Cambridge Analytics after its psychographic models had failed to identify likely Cruz supporters.[10]
In December 2016, German newspaper Der Spiegel asserted that, although it is possible that Cambridge Analytica's claims about its influence in the Brexit campaign and Donald Trump presidential campaign are accurate, their accuracy has not been conclusively proven. It notes that the claims were made by the company's managers, who have an interest in presenting the outcome of the ballots as a result of the company's involvement.[11]
Privacy concerns Edit The use of personal data collected without knowledge or permission to establish sophisticated models of user's personalities raises ethical and privacy issues.[14] CA operates out of the United States; its operations would be illegal in Europe with its stricter privacy laws.[15] While Cruz is outspoken about protecting personal information from the government, his data base of CA has been described as "political-voter surveillance".[15]
Regarding CA's use of Facebook users, a speaker for CA indicated that these users gave permission when signing up with the provider, while Facebook declared that "misleading people or misusing information" is in violation of Facebook's policies.[14] In 2015 Facebook indicated that it was investigating the matter.[14]
While Nix suggests that data collection and microtargetting benefits the voters as they receive messages about issues they care about, digital rights protection groups are concerned that private information is collected, stored, and shared while individuals are "left in the dark about (it)" and have no control.[26]
Convincing versus manipulation Edit Concern raised about organizations such as this crossing the line from persuading subjects to adopt ideas by presenting convincing evidence and that of manipulating subjects,[33] was raised by a social scientist who studies organizational behavior, Michal Kosinski, previously a researcher in the psychology department at the University of Cambridge and currently, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at the business school of Stanford, when he stated that, "there's a thin line between convincing people and manipulating them."
^ ab Cheshire, Tom (21 October 2016). "Behind the scenes at Donald Trump's UK digital war room". Sky News. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. ^ Cadwalladr, Carole (2016-12-04). "Google, democracy and the truth about internet search". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-12-12 . ^ Tyler Cherry (March 14, 2017). "Legal Questions Abound For Stephen Bannon's Shady Address Book". Media Matters for America. Retrieved March 20, 2017 . ^ abcde Sasha Issenberg (November 12, 2015). "Cruz-Connected Data Miner Aims to Get Inside U.S. Voters' Heads". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 2, 2016 . ^ abc Frances Stead Sellers (October 19, 2015). "Cruz campaign paid $750,000 to 'psychographic profiling' company". Washington Post. Retrieved February 7, 2016 . ^ abcde Kenneth Vogel (July 7, 2015). "Cruz partners with donor's 'psychographic' firm". Politico. Retrieved December 27, 2015 . ^ abc "About Us". Cambridge Analytica. Retrieved December 27, 2015 . ^ Alex Altman (October 10, 2016). "Silent Partners". Time magazine: 44. ^ ab Rhys Blakely (September 22, 2016). "Data scientists target 20 million new voters for Trump". The Times. Retrieved October 4, 2016 . ^ abcd Confessore, Nicholas; Hakim, Danny (2017-03-06). "Data Firm Says 'Secret Sauce' Aided Trump; Many Scoff". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-07 . ^ ab Reinbold, Fabian; Schnack, Thies (6 December 2016). "Ich ganz allein habe Trump ins Amt gebracht". Spiegel Online. ^ "SCL Group - Home". scl.cc. ^ abc Mikael Krogerus, Hannes Grassegger (December 3, 2016). "Ich habe nur gezeigt, dass es die Bombe gibt" (in German). Das Magazin. Retrieved December 7, 2016 . ^ abcdef Davies, H (December 11, 2015). "Ted Cruz using firm that harvested data on millions of unwitting Facebook users". The Guardian. Retrieved February 7, 2016 . ^ abc Michael Biesecker, Julie Bykowicz (February 11, 2016). "Cruz app data collection helps campaign read minds of voters". Associated Press. Retrieved February 13, 2016 . ^ "Cruz's Data Company Works Into the Night After Big $3 Million Payout". adage.com. Retrieved 2016-02-26 . ^ "Inside the Tech That Puts Political Ads on Your Screen". DC Inno. Retrieved 2016-02-26 . ^ Lichtblau E, Stevenson A (April 10, 2015). "Hedge-Fund Magnate Robert Mercer Emerges as a Generous Backer of Cruz". New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2016 . ^ ab Harry Davies (February 1, 2016). "Ted Cruz erased Trump's Iowa lead by spending millions on voter targeting". The Guardian. Retrieved February 7, 2016 . ^ Sasha Issenberg (February 2, 2016). "How Ted Cruz Engineered His Iowa Triumph". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 8, 2016 . ^ "Cambridge Analytica Congratulates Senator Ted Cruz on Iowa Caucus Win". PR Newswire. February 2, 2016. Retrieved February 8, 2016 . ^ abc Kate Kaye (August 24, 2016). "Trump Spending With Cambridge Analytica Looks Like Peanuts Compared to Cruz". Advertising Age. Retrieved October 4, 2016 . ^ Sean J. Miller (February 2, 2016). "Organization and Analytics Help Take Down Trump in Iowa". Campaigns & elections. Retrieved February 23, 2016 . ^ "Data-Mining Firm Searches for Voters by Combing High School Yearbooks". ^ ab Eliana Johnson (August 5, 2016). "The GOP nominee makes a late attempt at data-driven targeted messaging". National Review. Retrieved October 4, 2016 . ^ ab Kate Brannelly (November 4, 2016). "Trump Campaign Pays Millions to Overseas Big Data Firm". NBC News. Retrieved November 5, 2016 . ^ "Data Firm Says 'Secret Sauce' Aided Trump; Many Scoff". New York Times. March 6, 2017. ^ ab Sellers, Frances Stead (2015-10-19). "Cruz campaign paid $750,000 to 'psychographic profiling' company". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-02-26 . ^ "Much-Hyped Data Firm's Promise Could Be Tested in Iowa". adage.com. Retrieved 2016-02-26 . ^ "Cruz-Connected Data Miner Aims to Get Inside U.S. Voters' Heads". Bloomberg.com/politics. Retrieved 2016-02-26 . ^ Carole Cadwalladr (February 26, 2017). "Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media". The Guardian. Retrieved February 27, 2017 . ^ Carole Cadwalladr (May 7, 2017). "The Great British Brexit robbery how our democracy was hijacked". The Guardian. Retrieved May 7, 2017 . ^ Mayer, Jane, "The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency: How Robert Mercer exploited America's populist insurgency", [1]The New Yorker, Reporter at Large, March 27, 2017
EuroLand
GeenStijl: Eindspel. CDA maakt 'Ja' van het referendum-NEE
Tue, 30 May 2017 17:05
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We weten ook niet hoe het hier terecht is gekomen, vermoedelijk heeft iemand zijn auto­radio­hand­leid­ing hier laten slingeren. Excuses voor het ongemak, maar scroll vooral even door.
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Hieronder staat het, nog even doorscrollen.
Wat doen cookies?Let op dan leggen we het uit. LET OP DAN! Bezoekers van websites krijgen te maken met cookies. Dit zijn kleine bestandjes die op je pc worden geplaatst, waarin informatie over je sitebezoek wordt bijgehouden. Ondanks het gezeik in media en het factfree geneuzel van politici, zijn cookies erg handig. Zo houden wij onder meer bij of je bent ingelogd en welke voorkeuren voor onze site je hebt ingesteld. Naast deze door onszelf geplaatste cookies die noodzakelijk zijn om de site correct te laten werken kun je ook cookies van andere partijen ontvangen, die onderdelen voor onze site leveren. Cookies kunnen bijvoorbeeld gebruikt worden om een bepaalde advertentie maar ƒ(C)ƒ(C)n keer te tonen.
Bij het bezoeken van NewsMedia sites kun je de volgende soorten cookies verwachten:Functionele cookies aka supermegahandige cookiesCookies die noodzakelijk zijn voor het gebruik van GeenStijl, Dumpert, DasKapital, Autobahn, bijvoorbeeld om in te kunnen loggen om een reactie te plaatsen of om sites te beschermen. Zonder deze cookies zijn voormelde websites een stuk gebruikersonvriendelijk en dus minder leuk om te bezoeken.
Zo plaatst het NewsMedia Netwerk cookies (voor de in de vorige paragraaf beschreven doeleinden) met je userid, je sessie, instellingen voor bepaalde trackers en weergaveopties (wil een bezoeker een '‚¬Å'NSFW'‚¬' item zien?), een 'token' die gebruikt wordt om je reaguurdersnaam te onthouden. Tevens een Cloudflare (Content Delivery Netwerk) cookie om webinhoud snel en efficiƒnt af te leveren bij eindgebruikers. Superhandig toch? Dat zeiden we dus al.
Cookies van Advertentiebedrijven aka de schoorsteencookiesAdvertentiebedrijven meten het succes van hun campagnes, de mogelijke interesses van de bezoeker en eventuele voorkeuren (heb je de reclameuiting al eerder gezien of moet hij worden weergegeven etc) door cookies uit te lezen. Heeft een advertentiebedrijf banners op meerdere websites dan kunnen de gegevens van deze websites worden gecombineerd om een beter profiel op te stellen. Zo kunnen adverteerders hun cookies op meerdere sites plaatsen en zo een gedetailleerd beeld krijgen van de interesses van de gebruiker. Hiermee kunnen gerichter en relevantere advertenties worden weergegeven. Zo kun je na het bezoeken van een webwinkel op andere sites banners krijgen met juist de door jezelf bekeken producten of soortgelijke producten. De websitehouder kan die cookies overigens‚ niet‚ inzien.
Op het NewsMedia Netwerk kunnen advertenties met cookies (voor de in de vorige paragraaf beschreven doeleinden) worden geplaatst van onder meer Adfactor, Widespace, Adtech, Schoorsteen, Rubicon, Ligatus, Doubleclick, Appnexus, Yieldr, Bidswitch, Mediamath, TMG, Improve Digital, Turn, Criteo, Adform, Sociomantic, Google, Rocketfuel, Thetradedesk, Adara, Quantcast, Amazon, TubeMogul, Mythings, Groupm server, Openx, Zoom.in, Truste, Bluekai, Adnetik, Valueclick, Emediate, Evidon, Hottraffic, Adnexus, Xaxis.
Je hoeft niet bang te zijn voor deze bedrijven. Ze zijn best lief. Soms.
Cookies voor Website-analyse aka de Kenneth-Perez-cookiesMeten is weten. En leren is leuk. Om onze bezoekersstatistieken bij te houden maken we gebruik van Google Analytics. Dit systeem houdt bij welke pagina's onze bezoekers bekijken, waar zij vandaan komen en op klikken, welke browser en schermresolutie ze gebruiken en nog veel meer. Deze informatie gebruiken we om een beter beeld te krijgen van onze bezoekers en om onze site hierop te optimaliseren. Zo worden onze websites nog veel superduper leuker om aan te klikken dan voorheen. Google, die deze dienst levert, gebruikt de informatie om een relevant, anoniem advertentieprofiel op te bouwen waarmee men gerichter advertenties kan aanbieden.
het NewsMedia Netwerk maakt (voor de in de vorige paragraaf beschreven doeleinden) gebruik van Google Analytics.
Cookies van overige externe partijen aka de restNaast bovenstaande zijn er meer onderdelen die een cookie kunnen opleveren. Veelal worden deze gebruikt door de content-partners om te analyseren op welke sites hun gebruikers actief zijn en hoe hun diensten presteren. Denk hierbij aan filmpjes van bijvoorbeeld YouTube, foto's van diensten als Imgur, Tumblr of picasa, en 'like' knoppen van sociale mediasites als Twitter en Facebook
Op het NewsMedia Netwerk gebruiken we onderdelen (en dus cookies) van onder andere Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Vimeo, Flickr, Tumblr, Imgur etc. Deze websites schijnen best wel een beetje populair te zijn dus we dachten: laten we maar een paar van deze diensten faciliteren. Graag gedaan hoor. Geen dank.
Wil je nou echt nog meer weten? Kijk dan hier.
MIC
Navy Looks to Replenish Tomahawk Stockpile After Syria, Yemen Strikes - Defensetech
Sun, 28 May 2017 15:31
The Navy's request of $8.5 billion to cover overseas contingency operations in fiscal 2018 will include funding for 66 Tactical Tomahawk cruise missiles to replace those launched over the last 12 months in two separate deterrence operations.
The Navy actually is requesting to buy 100 of the $1 million missiles in order to obtain quantity costs savings on the purchase, said Navy Rear Adm. Brian Luther, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for Budget in a briefing at the Pentagon Tuesday.
The fact that a significant portion of the purchase is scheduled to be funded under the service's war funding account is a testament to an unusually kinetic year for the platform.
In October 2016, the guided-missile destroyer Nitze launched five Tomahawks , taking out three radar sites on the coast of Yemen. Those sites had been used a day earlier to fire anti-ship missiles at Navy ships in the region.
And more recently, on April 26, the Navy launched a 59-missile strike from the destroyers Ross and Porter into Shayrat airfield, Syria, destroying 20 aircraft and damaging infrastructure. That strike was a response to reports that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad had targeted people in his own country with chemical weapons, causing the deaths of dozens of civilians, including women and children.
Reportedly, 60 missiles were launched from the two ships, though one landed in the water shortly after launch. Previous to those two strikes, the last time Tomahawk missiles were used was in 2014, in strikes against Islamic State militants.
Tomahawks have not been used to support two different military operations in the space of one year since 1998. That year the U.S. fired 79 of the missiles on al-Qaeda bases in Khost, Afghanistan, and the Khartoum, Sudan in a retaliatory mission known as Operation Infinite Reach. The same year, 325 Tomahawks were expended in support of the Iraq bombing campaign known as Operation Desert Fox.
Despite the recent operations, it's unlikely that the Navy's Tomahawk stores are running low. The service bought 196 of the missiles in Fiscal 2017, and 149 the year before.
A total of $381.6 million, including OCO and base budget funding, will pay for 100 missiles plus the procurement of modernization kits to be installed in Fiscal 2019, when the Navy begins mid-life recertification. The money will also fund the development of a maritime strike Tomahawk variant designed to target surface ships, according to the request.
The Marine Corps ' OCO funding request, which totals about $1.3 billion of the Navy's total $8.5 billion, also includes money to replace weapons expended in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Luther said.
Since the last budget request was released early last year, the Marine Corps has established artillery positions in Iraq and Syria, firing 155mm howitzers in support of urban fights in Mosul and Raqqa. The position in Syria, which has moved at least once since it was established, is still manned by Marines .
Anwar Brothers
Criminal probe on Capitol Hill staffers remains eerie | New York Post
Mon, 29 May 2017 16:35
The criminal probe into a cadre of Capitol Hill techies who worked for dozens of Democratic lawmakers remains shrouded in mystery, months after their access to congressional IT systems was suspended.
It's still not clear whether the investigation by the Capitol Police into the five staffers, who all have links to Pakistan, involves the theft of classified information.
The staffers are accused of stealing equipment and possible breaches of the House IT network, according to Politico, which first reported on the investigation in February.
A spokeswoman for the Capitol Police refused comment last week in what she described as an ongoing investigation.
And now, at least one of the staffers, Hina Alvi, has fled to Pakistan, according to The Daily Caller.
Alvi, 33, who was based in Virginia, worked for Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens) since 2008, making $126,225 last year, according to public records.
Her husband, Imran Awan, 37, also worked for Meeks in the past. In addition to his wife, Awan put forward his brothers Jamal, 23 and Abid, 33, to work in IT operations on Capitol Hill. He also recommended Rao Abbas, 37. The group worked for 25 members of Congress at different times since 2004, public records show.
In the midst of the criminal probe, Imran and Abid Awan are now being accused of more wrongdoing, this time by a member of their own family. Last month, their stepmother accused them of threatening her in order to force her to sign a power of attorney to gain access to assets in Pakistan.
In court papers filed in Fairfax County, Samina Gilani alleges her stepsons of wiretapping her phones, threatening to kidnap family members in Pakistan, and preventing her from seeing her dying husband in a Virginia hospital unless she granted them power of attorney. She also accused them of trying to remove her as the beneficiary of her husband's $50,000 life-insurance policy. Her husband, Mohammad Ashref Shah, died in January, and the insurance payout is being disputed in court.
Brexit
The Brexit referendum question was flawed in its design | British Politics and Policy at LSE
Mon, 29 May 2017 12:53
The Brexit referendum question was flawed in its design by ignoring Kenneth Arrow's impossibility theorem, writes Thomas Colignatus. As he explains, referendums can be considered democratically legitimate only if voters can make an informed decision. And it is questionable whether the UK's referendum on the EU produced a sound choice in the first place.
Theresa May's government, with support from the UK Parliament, has adopted Brexit as its policy aim and has invoked Article 50. Yet, economic theory assumes rational agents, and even governments might be open for rational reconsideration.
The unsatisfactory referendum question
Based upon voting theory, the Brexit referendum question can be rejected as technically unsatisfactory. One could even argue that the UK government should have annulled the outcome based on this basis alone. Even more ambitiously, one might imagine that economists and political scientists across Europe take up this issue and hence provide a basis for the EU Commission to negotiate for a proper referendum question. The big question is why the UK procedures didn't produce a sound referendum choice in the first place.
Renwick et al. (2016) in an opinion in The Telegraph June 14 protested: 'A referendum result is democratically legitimate only if voters can make an informed decision. Yet the level of misinformation in the current campaign is so great that democratic legitimacy is called into question'.
Their letter complains about the quality of information available to voters (an issue about which the RES has raised complaints with the BBC). It doesn't make the point that the UK government, by ignoring voting theory, has posed a very misleading question given the complexity of the issue under decision. Quite unsettling is the Grassegger and Krogerus (2017) report about voter manipulation by Big Data, originally on Brexit and later for the election of Donald Trump. But the key point here concerns the referendum question itself.
Image (Wikipedia): Public Domain.The problem with the question
The question assumes a binary choice '-- Remain or Leave the EU '-- while voting theory warns that allowing only two options can easily be a misleading representation of the real choice. When the true situation is more complex, and especially if it is one that arouses strong passions, then reducing the question to a binary one might suggest a political motivation. As a result of the present process, we actually don't know how people would have voted when they had been offered the true options.
Compare the question: 'Do you still beat your mother ?'
When you are allowed only a Yes or No answer, then you are blocked from answering:
'I will not answer that question because if I say No then it suggests that I agree that I have beaten her in the past.'
In the case of Brexit, the hidden complexity concerned:
'-- Leave, and adopt an EFTA or WTO framework?
'-- Leave, while the UK remains intact or while it splits up?
'-- Remain, in what manner?
Voting theory generally suggests that representative democracy '-- Parliament '-- is better than relying on referendums, since the representatives can bargain about the complex choices involved.
Deadlocks can lurk in hiding
When there are only two options then everyone knows about the possibility of a stalemate. This means a collective indifference. There are various ways to break the deadlock: voting again, the chairperson decides, flip a coin, using the alphabet, and so on. There is a crucial distinction between voting (vote results) and deciding. When there are three options or more there can be a deadlock as well. It is less well-known that there can also be cycles. It is even less recognised that such cycles are actually a disguised form of a deadlock.
Take for example three candidates A, B and C and a particular distribution of preferences. When the vote is between A and B then A wins. We denote this as A > B. When the vote is between B and C then B wins, or B > C. When the vote is between C and A then C wins or C > A. Collectively A > B > C > A. Collectively, there is indifference. It is a key notion in voting theory that there can be distributions of preferences, such that a collective binary choice seems to result into a clear decision, while in reality there is a deadlock in hiding.
Kenneth Arrow who passed away on February 21 used these cycles to create his 1951 'impossibility theorem'. Indeed, if you interpret a cycle as a decision then this causes an inconsistency or an 'impossibility' with respect to the required transitivity of a (collective) preference ordering. However, reality is consistent and people do really make choices collectively, and thus the proper interpretation is an 'indifference' or deadlock. It was and is a major confusion in voting theory that Arrow's mathematics are correct but that his own verbal interpretation was incorrect.
Representative government is better than referendums
Obviously a deadlock must be broken. Again, it may be political motivation that reduces the choice from three options A, B and C to only two. Who selects those two might take the pair that fits his or her interests. A selection in successive rounds as in France at the moment is no solution. There are ample horror scenarios when bad election designs cause minority winners. Decisions are made preferably via discussion in Parliament. Parliamentarian choice of the Prime Minister is better than direct election like for the US President.
Voting theory is not well understood in general. The UK referendum in 2011 on Alternative Vote (AV) presented a design that was far too complex. Best is that Parliament is chosen in proportional manner as in Holland, rather than in districts as in the UK or the USA. It suffices when people can vote for the party of their choice (with the national threshold of a seat), and that the professionals in Parliament use the more complex voting mechanisms (like bargaining or the Borda Fixed Point method). It is also crucial to be aware that the Trias Politica model for democracy fails and that more checks and balances are required, notably with an Economic Supreme Court.
The UK Electoral Commission goofed too
The UK Electoral Commission might be abstractly aware of this issue in voting theory, but they didn't protest, and they only checked that the Brexit referendum question could be 'understood'. The latter is an ambiguous notion. People might 'understand' quite a lot but they might not truly understand the hidden complexity and the pitfalls of voting theory. Even Nobel Prize winner Kenneth Arrow gave a problematic interpretation of his theorem. The Electoral Commission is to be praised for the effort to remove bias, where the chosen words 'Remain' and 'Leave' are neutral, and where both statements were included and not only one. (Some people don't want to say 'No'. Some don't want to say 'Yes'.) Still, the Commission gives an interpretation of the 'intelligibility' of the question that doesn't square with voting theory and that doesn't protect the electorate from a voting disaster.
A test on this issue involves asking yourself: Given the referendum outcome, do you really think that the UK population is clear in its position, whatever the issues of how to leave or the risk of a UK breakup? If you have doubts on the latter, then you agree that something is amiss. The outcome of the referendum really doesn't give us a clue as to what UK voters want. Scotland wants to remain in the EU and then break up? This is okay for the others who want to Leave? (And how?) The issue can be seen as a statistical enquiry into what views people have, and the referendum question is biased and cannot be used for sound conclusions.
In an email to the author in July 2016 a spokesman for the Electoral Commission said its role: ''... is to evaluate the intelligibility of referendum questions in line with the intent of Parliament; it is not to re-evaluate the premise of the question. Other than that, I don't believe there is anything I can usefully add to our previously published statements on this matter.'
Apparently the Commission knows the 'intent of Parliament', while Parliament itself might not do so. Is the Commission only a facilitator of deception, and don't they have a mission to put voters first? At best the Commission holds that Whitehall and Parliament fully understood voting theory and therefore intentionally presented the UK population with a biased choice, so that voters would be compelled to neglect the complexities of leaving or even a break-up of the Union. Obviously the assumption that Whitehall and Parliament fully grasp voting theory is dubious. The better response by the Commission would have been to explain the pitfalls of voting theory and the misleading character of the referendum question, rather than facilitate the voting disaster.
Any recognition that something is (very) wrong here, should also imply the annulment of the Brexit referendum outcome. Subsequently, to protect voters from such manipulation by Whitehall, one may think of a law that gives the Electoral Commission the right to veto a biased Yes / No selection, which veto might be overruled by a 2/3 majority in Parliament. Best is not to have referendums at all, unless you are really sure that a coin can only fall either way, and not land on its side (by a hidden deadlock).
_______
Note: This article first appeared in the Newsletter of the Royal Economic Society / LSE Brexit.
About the author
Thomas Colignatus is an econometrician (Groningen 1982) and teacher of mathematics (Leiden 2008), Scheveningen, Holland.
Maxine
Impeachment in the United States - Wikipedia
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 13:57
Impeachment in the United States is an enumerated power of the legislature that allows formal charges to be brought against a civil officer of government for crimes alleged to have been committed. Most impeachments have concerned alleged crimes committed while in office, though there have been a few cases in which Congress has impeached and convicted officials partly for prior crimes.[1] The actual trial on such charges, and subsequent removal of an official upon conviction, is separate from the act of impeachment itself. Impeachment proceedings have been initiated against several presidents of the United States. Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton are the only two presidents to have been successfully impeached by the House of Representatives, and both were later acquitted by the Senate.[2] The impeachment process against Richard Nixon was technically unsuccessful, as Nixon resigned his office before the vote of the full House for impeachment, but successful in the broader sense of leading to Nixon's departure. To date, no U.S. President has been removed from office by impeachment and conviction.
Impeachment is analogous to indictment in regular court proceedings; trial by the other house is analogous to the trial before judge and jury in regular courts. Typically, the lower house of the legislature impeaches the official and the upper house conducts the trial.
At the federal level, Article II of the United States Constitution states in Section 4 that "The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors." The House of Representatives has the sole power of impeaching, while the United States Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments. The removal of impeached officials is automatic upon conviction in the Senate. In Nixon v. United States (1993), the Supreme Court determined that the federal judiciary cannot review such proceedings.
Impeachment can also occur at the state level: state legislatures can impeach state officials, including governors, in accordance with their respective state constitutions.
At the Philadelphia Convention, Benjamin Franklin noted that, historically, the removal of "obnoxious" chief executives had been accomplished by assassination. Franklin suggested that a proceduralized mechanism for removal'--impeachment'--would be preferable.[3]
Federal impeachment [ edit] House of Representatives [ edit] Impeachment proceedings may be commenced by a member of the House of Representatives on her or his own initiative, either by presenting a list of the charges under oath, or by asking for referral to the appropriate committee. The impeachment process may be initiated by non-members. For example, when the Judicial Conference of the United States suggests a federal judge be impeached, a charge of actions constituting grounds for impeachment may come from a special prosecutor, the President, or state or territorial legislature, grand jury, or by petition.
The type of impeachment resolution determines the committee to which it is referred. A resolution impeaching a particular individual is typically referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. A resolution to authorize an investigation regarding impeachable conduct is referred to the House Committee on Rules, and then to the Judiciary Committee. The House Committee on the Judiciary, by majority vote, will determine whether grounds for impeachment exist. If the Committee finds grounds for impeachment, it will set forth specific allegations of misconduct in one or more articles of impeachment. The Impeachment Resolution, or Article(s) of Impeachment, are then reported to the full House with the committee's recommendations.
The House debates the resolution and may at the conclusion consider the resolution as a whole or vote on each article of impeachment individually. A simple majority of those present and voting is required for each article or the resolution as a whole to pass. If the House votes to impeach, managers (typically referred to as "House managers", with a "lead House manager") are selected to present the case to the Senate. Recently, managers have been selected by resolution, while historically the House would occasionally elect the managers or pass a resolution allowing the appointment of managers at the discretion of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. These managers are roughly the equivalent of the prosecution/district attorney in a standard criminal trial.
Also, the House will adopt a resolution in order to notify the Senate of its action. After receiving the notice, the Senate will adopt an order notifying the House that it is ready to receive the managers. The House managers then appear before the bar of the Senate and exhibit the articles of impeachment. After the reading of the charges, the managers return and make a verbal report to the House.
Senate [ edit] The proceedings unfold in the form of a trial, with each side having the right to call witnesses and perform cross-examinations. The House members, who are given the collective title of managers during the course of the trial, present the prosecution case and the impeached official has the right to mount a defense with his own attorneys as well. Senators must also take an oath or affirmation that they will perform their duties honestly and with due diligence. After hearing the charges, the Senate usually deliberates in private. The U.S. Constitution requires a two-thirds majority for conviction.
The Senate enters judgment on its decision, whether that be to convict or acquit, and a copy of the judgment is filed with the Secretary of State.[4] Upon conviction in the Senate, the official is automatically removed from office and may also be barred from holding future office.[5] The removed official is also liable to criminal prosecution. The President may not grant a pardon in the impeachment case, but may in any resulting criminal case.
Beginning in the 1980s with Harry E. Claiborne, the Senate began using "Impeachment Trial Committees" pursuant to Senate Rule XI.[6] These committees presided over the evidentiary phase of the trials, hearing the evidence and supervising the examination and cross-examination of witnesses. The committees would then compile the evidentiary record and present it to the Senate; all senators would then have the opportunity to review the evidence before the chamber voted to convict or acquit. The purpose of the committees was to streamline impeachment trials, which otherwise would have taken up a great deal of the chamber's time. Defendants challenged the use of these committees, claiming them to be a violation of their fair trial rights as well as the Senate's constitutional mandate, as a body, to have "sole power to try all impeachments." Several impeached judges sought court intervention in their impeachment proceedings on these grounds, but the courts refused to become involved due to the Constitution's granting of impeachment and removal power solely to the legislative branch, making it a political question.
History [ edit] In the United Kingdom, impeachment was a procedure whereby a member of the House of Commons could accuse someone of a crime. If the Commons voted for the impeachment, a trial would then be held in the House of Lords. Unlike a bill of attainder, a law declaring a person guilty of a crime, impeachments did not require royal assent, so they could be used to remove troublesome officers of the Crown even if the monarch was trying to protect them.
The monarch, however, was above the law and could not be impeached, or indeed judged guilty of any crime. When King Charles I was tried before the Rump Parliament of the New Model Army in 1649 he denied that they had any right to legally indict him, their king, whose power was given by God and the laws of the country, saying: "no earthly power can justly call me (who is your King) in question as a delinquent '... no learned lawyer will affirm that an impeachment can lie against the King." While the House of Commons pronounced him guilty and ordered his execution anyway, the jurisdictional issue tainted the proceedings.
With this example in mind, the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention chose to include an impeachment procedure in Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution which could be applied to any government official; they explicitly mentioned the President to ensure there would be no ambiguity. Opinions differed, however, as to the reasons Congress should be able to initiate an impeachment. Initial drafts listed only treason and bribery, but George Mason favored impeachment for "maladministration" (incompetence). James Madison argued that impeachment should only be for criminal behavior, arguing that a maladministration standard would effectively mean that the President would serve at the pleasure of the Senate.[7] Thus the delegates adopted a compromise version allowing impeachment for "treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors."
The precise meaning of the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" is somewhat ambiguous; some scholars, such as Kevin Gutzman, argue that it can encompass even non-criminal abuses of power. Whatever its theoretical scope, however, Congress traditionally regards impeachment as a power to use only in extreme cases. The House of Representatives has actually initiated impeachment proceedings only 62 times since 1789.[citation needed ] Two cases did not come to trial because the individuals had left office.
Actual impeachments of 19 federal officers have taken place. Of these, 15 were federal judges: thirteen district court judges, one court of appeals judge (who also sat on the Commerce Court), and one Supreme CourtAssociate Justice. Of the other four, two were Presidents, one was a Cabinet secretary, and one was a U.S. Senator. Of the 19 impeached officials, eight were convicted. One, former judge Alcee Hastings, was elected as a member of the United States House of Representatives after being removed from office.
The 1797 impeachment of Senator William Blount of Tennessee stalled on the grounds that the Senate lacked jurisdiction over him. No other member of Congress has ever been impeached. The Constitution does give authority to the Senate and House, so that each body may expel its own members. (see List of United States senators expelled or censured and List of United States Representatives expelled, censured, or reprimanded). Expulsion removes the individual from functioning as a representative or senator because of their misbehavior, but unlike impeachment, expulsion cannot result in barring an individual from holding future office.
Impeachment of a U.S. President [ edit] To bring articles of impeachment against a president requires a majority vote in the House of Representatives. When the case is tried by the Senate, a vote of at least 2/3 of those present is required to convict and remove the president from office.[8][9]
The law of presidential powers and duties is ill-defined. Justice Robert H. Jackson wrote in 1952 that there is "a poverty of really useful and unambiguous authority applicable to concrete problems of executive power as they actually present themselves."[10] Two U.S. Presidents have been impeached by the House of Representatives'--Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998'--both later acquitted at trials held by the Senate. While articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon were passed by the House Judiciary Committee in 1974,[11] Nixon resigned the Presidency before the impeachment resolutions could be considered by the full House.[12]
When an impeachment process involves a U.S. President, the Chief Justice of the United States is required to preside during the Senate trial.[9] In all other trials, the Vice President would preside in his capacity as President of the Senate. Although it has been suggested that a literal reading of the Constitution would designate the Vice President to preside over his or her own impeachment trial,[13] the logic of this scenario has been used as an argument against such textualism.[14]
Federal officials impeached [ edit] #Date of ImpeachmentAccusedOfficeAccusation(s)Result[Note 1]References1July 7, 1797United States Senator (Tennessee)Conspiring to assist Britain in capturing Spanish territorySenate refused to accept impeachment of a Senator by the House of Representatives, instead expelling him from the Senate on their own authority[15][Note 2][16]2March 2, 1803Judge (District of New Hampshire)Drunkenness and unlawful rulingsRemoved on March 12, 1804[15][17][16][17]3March 12, 1804Associate Justice (Supreme Court of the United States)Political bias and arbitrary rulings, promoting a partisan political agenda on the bench [18]Acquitted on March 1, 1805[15][17]4April 24, 1830Judge (District of Missouri)Abuse of power[19]Acquitted on January 31, 1831[15][17][16][17]5May 6, 1862Judge (Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Tennessee)Supporting the ConfederacyRemoved and disqualified on June 26, 1862[16][15][17][16][17]6February 24, 1868President of the United StatesViolating the Tenure of Office ActAcquitted on May 26, 1868[15][16]7February 28, 1873Judge (District of Kansas)DrunkennessResigned on December 12, 1873[17][20][17][20]8March 2, 1876United States Secretary of WarGraft/corruptionAcquitted after his resignation on August 1, 1876.[15][16]9December 13, 1904Judge (Northern District of Florida)Failure to live in his district, abuse of power[21]Acquitted on February 27, 1905[15][17][16][17]10July 11, 1912Associate Justice (United States Commerce Court)Judge (Third Circuit Court of Appeals)
Improper acceptance of gifts from litigants and attorneysRemoved and disqualified on January 13, 1913[16][15][17][16][17]11April 1, 1926Judge (Eastern District of Illinois)Abuse of powerResigned on November 4, 1926,[16][15] proceedings dismissed on December 13, 1926[16][17][16][17]12February 24, 1934Judge (Northern District of California)CorruptionAcquitted on May 24, 1934[15][17][16][17]13March 2, 1936Judge (Southern District of Florida)Champerty/corruption, tax evasion, practicing law while a judgeRemoved on April 17, 1936[15][17][16][17]14July 22, 1986Judge (District of Nevada)Tax evasionRemoved on October 9, 1986[15][17][16][17]15August 3, 1988Judge (Southern District of Florida)Accepting a bribe, and committing perjury during the resulting investigationRemoved on October 20, 1989[15][17][16][17]16May 10, 1989Chief Judge (Southern District of Mississippi)PerjuryRemoved on November 3, 1989[15][17][Note 3][16][17]17December 19, 1998President of the United StatesPerjury and obstruction of justiceAcquitted on February 12, 1999[15][16]18June 19, 2009Judge (Southern District of Texas)Sexual assault, and obstruction of justice during the resulting investigationResigned on June 30, 2009,[17][22] proceedings dismissed on July 22, 2009[15][17][23][17][24]19March 11, 2010Judge (Eastern District of Louisiana)Making false financial disclosuresRemoved and disqualified on December 8, 2010[15][17][25][17][26]Demands for impeachment [ edit] While the actual impeachment of a federal public official is a rare event, demands for impeachment, especially of presidents, are common,[27][28] going back to the administration of George Washington in the mid-1790s. In fact, most of the 63 resolutions mentioned above were in response to presidential actions.
While almost all of them were for the most part frivolous and were buried as soon as they were introduced, several did have their intended effect. Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon[29] and Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas both resigned in response to the threat of impeachment hearings, and, most famously, President Richard Nixon resigned from office after the House Judiciary Committee had already reported articles of impeachment to the floor.
Impeachment in the states [ edit] State legislatures can impeach state officials, including governors. The court for the trial of impeachments may differ somewhat from the federal model'--in New York, for instance, the Assembly (lower house) impeaches, and the State Senate tries the case, but the members of the seven-judge New York State Court of Appeals (the state's highest, constitutional court) sit with the senators as jurors as well.[30] Impeachment and removal of governors has happened occasionally throughout the history of the United States, usually for corruption charges. A total of at least eleven U.S. state governors have faced an impeachment trial; a twelfth, GovernorLee Cruce of Oklahoma, escaped impeachment conviction by a single vote in 1912. Several others, most recently Connecticut's John G. Rowland, have resigned rather than face impeachment, when events seemed to make it inevitable.[31] The most recent impeachment of a state governor occurred on January 14, 2009, when the Illinois House of Representatives voted 117-1 to impeach Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges;[32] he was subsequently removed from office and barred from holding future office by the Illinois Senate on January 29. He was the eighth U.S. state governor to be removed from office.
The procedure for impeachment, or removal, of local officials varies widely. For instance, in New York a mayor is removed directly by the governor "upon being heard" on charges'--the law makes no further specification of what charges are necessary or what the governor must find in order to remove a mayor.
State and territorial officials impeached [ edit] DateAccusedOfficeResult1804Associate Judge, Fairfield County, OhioCourt of Common PleasRemoved1832Associate Justice, Illinois Supreme CourtAcquitted[33]February 26, 1862Governor of KansasAcquitted[34]February 26, 1862Secretary of State of KansasRemoved on June 12, 1862[35]February 26, 1862George S. Hillyer
KansasState auditorRemoved on June 16, 1862[35]1871Governor of North CarolinaRemoved1871Governor of NebraskaRemoved[34]February 1872Governor of FloridaAcquitted[36]1872Governor of Louisiana"suspended from office," though trial was not held[37]1876Governor of MississippiResigned[34]1888Kentucky State TreasurerRemovedAugust 13, 1913[38]Governor of New YorkRemoved on October 17, 1913[39]July 1917Governor of TexasRemoved[40]October 23, 1923Governor of OklahomaRemovedJanuary 21, 1929Governor of OklahomaRemovedApril 6, 1929[41]Governor of LouisianaAcquittedMay 1958[42]Judge, Hamilton County, TennesseeCriminal CourtRemoved on July 11, 1958[43]March 14, 1984[44]Nebraska Attorney GeneralAcquitted by the Nebraska Supreme Court on May 4, 1984[45]February 6, 1988[46]Governor of ArizonaRemoved on April 4, 1988[47]March 30, 1989[48]West VirginiaState treasurerResigned on July 9, 1989 before trial started[49]January 25, 1991[50]Kentucky Commissioner of AgricultureResigned on February 6, 1991 before trial started[51]May 24, 1994[52]Associate Justice, Pennsylvania Supreme CourtRemoved on October 4, 1994, and declared ineligible to hold public office in Pennsylvania[53]October 6, 1994[54]Secretary of State of MissouriRemoved by the Missouri Supreme Court on December 12, 1994[55]November 11, 2004[56]Nevada State ControllerCensured on December 4, 2004, not removed from office[57]April 11, 2006[58]Member of the University of NebraskaBoard of RegentsRemoved by the Nebraska Supreme Court on July 7, 2006[59]January 8, 2009 (first vote)[60]Governor of Illinois95th General Assembly endedJanuary 14, 2009 (second vote)[61]Removed on January 29, 2009, and declared ineligible to hold public office in Illinois[62]February 11, 2013[63]Governor of the Northern Mariana IslandsResigned on February 20, 2013See also [ edit] ^ "Removed and disqualified" indicates that following conviction the Senate voted to disqualify the individual from holding further federal office pursuant to Article I, Section 3 of the United States Constitution, which provides, in pertinent part, that "[j]udgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States." ^ During the impeachment trial of Senator Blount, it was argued that the House of Representatives did not have the power to impeach members of either House of Congress; though the Senate never explicitly ruled on this argument, the House has never again impeached a member of Congress. The Constitution allows either House to expel one of its members by a two-thirds vote, which the Senate had done to Blount on the same day the House impeached him (but before the Senate heard the case). ^ Judge Nixon later challenged the validity of his removal from office on procedural grounds; the challenge was ultimately rejected as nonjusticiable by the Supreme Court in Nixon v. United States, 506 U.S. 224 (1993). References [ edit] ^ Cole, J.P.; Garvey, T. (October 29, 2015). "Impeachment and Removal"(PDF) . Federation of American Scientists. Congressional Research Service. pp. 15''16. Retrieved 22 September 2016 . ^ Erskine, Daniel H. (2008). "The Trial of Queen Caroline and the Impeachment of President Clinton: Law As a Weapon for Political Reform". Washington University Global Studies Law Review. 7 (1). ISSN 1546-6981. ^ Josh Chafetz (2010). "Impeachment and Assassination". 95. Minnesota Law Review. SSRN 1568950'¯ ^ "Rules of Procedure and Practice in the Senate When Sitting on Impeachment Trials"(PDF) . law.cornell.edu. ^ The Constitution of the United States, Article 1, Section 3. "Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law." ^ http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/resources/pdf/3_1986SenatesImpeachmentRules.pdf ^ Welcome to The American Presidency ^ "Presidential Impeachment: The Legal Standard and Procedure - FindLaw". Findlaw. Retrieved 2017-02-15 . ^ ab The Constitution of the United States, Article 1, Section 3. "The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present." ^ John R. Labovitz, "Presidential Impeachment", p.132. (New Haven: Yale University Press 1978) ^ Lyons, Richard; Chapman, William (July 28, 1974). "Judiciary Committee Approves Article to Impeach President Nixon, 27 to 11". The Washington Post. ^ Kilpatrick, Carroll (August 9, 1974). "Nixon Resigns". The Washington Post. ^ "Someone Should Have Told Spiro Agnew" by Stokes Paulsen, Michael '' Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 14, Issue 2, Summer 1997 | Questia, Your Online Research Library. Questia.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-12. ^ Articles And Essays: Can The Vice President Preside At His Own Impeachment Trial?: A Critique Of Bare Textualism. Litigation-essentials.lexisnexis.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-12. ^ abcdefghijklmnopqr Staff (n.d.). "Chapter 4: Complete List of Senate Impeachment Trials". United States Senate. Archived from the original on 2010-12-08. Retrieved 2010-12-08 . () ^ abcdefghijklmnopqrs U.S. Joint Committee on Printing (September 2006). "Impeachment Proceedings". Congressional Directory. Retrieved 2009-06-19 . (Archived by WebCite) ^ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzaaabacad staff (n.d.). "Impeachments of Federal Judges". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 2017-05-16 . ^ "1801: Senate Tries Supreme Court Justice". 25 November 2014. ^ PBS NewsHour ^ ab staff (n.d.). "Judges of the United States Courts '' Delahay, Mark W.". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 2009-06-20 . ^ "Hinds' Precedents, Volume 3 - Chapter 78 - The Impeachment and Trial of Charles Swayne". ^ Gamboa, Suzanne (2009-06-30). "White House accepts convicted judge's resignation". AP. Archived from the original on July 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-22 . () ^ Gamboa, Suzanne (2009-07-22). "Congress ends jailed judge's impeachment". AP. Archived from the original on September 27, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-08 . () ^ Powell, Stewart (2009-06-19). "U.S. House impeaches Kent". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on June 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-19 . In action so rare it has been carried out only 14 times since 1803, the House on Friday impeached a federal judge'--imprisoned U.S. District Court Judge Samuel B. Kent... () ^ Alpert, Bruce; Jonathan Tilove (2010-12-08). "Senate votes to remove Judge Thomas Porteous from office". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2010-12-08 . ^ Alpert, Bruce (2010-03-11). "Judge Thomas Porteous impeached by U.S. House of Representatives". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2010-03-11 . ^ Tentative description of a dinner given to promote the impeachment of President Dwight Eisenhower: [poem] by Lawrence Ferlinghetti; City Lights Books: (1958) ^ Clark, Richard C. (2008-07-22). "McFadden's Attempts to Abortababy the Federal Reserve System". Scribd. Retrieved 2009-06-20 . Though a Republican, he moved to impeach President Herbert Hoover in 1932 and introduced a resolution to bring conspiracy charges against the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. ^ "National Affairs: Texan, Texan & Texan". Time. January 25, 1932. Retrieved May 5, 2010 . ^ NYS Constitution, Article VI, § 24 ^ Staff reporter (2004-06-21). "Embattled Conn.governor resigns". AP. Retrieved 2010-12-08 . ^ "House votes to impeach Blagojevich again". Chicago Tribune. 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2009-01-14 . ^ Bateman, Newton; Paul Selby; Frances M. Shonkwiler; Henry L Fowkes (1908). Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois. Chicago, IL: Munsell Publishing Company. p. 489. ^ abc "Impeachment of State Officials". Cga.ct.gov. Retrieved 2008-09-06 . ^ ab Blackmar, Frank (1912). Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History. Standard Publishing Co. p. 598. ^ "Letters Relating to the Efforts to Impeach Governor Harrison Reed During the Reconstruction Era". floridamemory.com. Archived from the original on 2016-05-29. Retrieved 2016-11-04 . ^ "State Governors of Louisiana: Henry Clay Warmoth". Enlou.com. Archived from the original on 2008-04-06. Retrieved 2008-09-06 . ^ "SULZER IMPEACHED BY ASSEMBLY BUT REFUSES TO SURRENDER OFFICE", Syracuse Herald, August 13, 1913, p1 ^ "HIGH COURT REMOVES SULZER FROM OFFICE BY A VOTE OF 43 TO 12", Syracuse Herald, October 17, 1913, p1 ^ Block, Lourenda (2000). "Permanent University Fund: Investing in the Future of Texas". TxTell (University of Texas at Austin). Retrieved 2009-02-14 . ^ Official Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Louisiana, April 6, 1929 pp. 292-94 ^ "Raulston Schoolfield, Impeached Judge, Dies". UPI. October 8, 1982. Retrieved 2016-01-27 . ^ "Impeachment Trial Finds Judge Guilty". AP. July 11, 1958. Retrieved 2016-01-27 . ^ Staff reporter (1984-03-14). "Attorney General is Impeached". AP. Retrieved 2012-10-11 . ^ Staff reporter (1984-05-04). "Nebraskan Found Not Guilty". AP. Retrieved 2012-10-11 . ^ Gruson, Lindsey (1988-02-06). "House Impeaches Arizona Governor". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-02 . ^ Gruson, Lindsey (1988-04-05). "Arizona's Senate Ousts Governor, Voting Him Guilty of Misconduct". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-02 . ^ Staff reporter (1989-03-30). "Impeachment in West Virginia". AP. Retrieved 2009-10-17 . ^ Wallace, Anise C. (1989-07-10). "Treasurer of West Virginia Retires Over Fund's Losses". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-17 . ^ "Kentucky House Votes To Impeach Jailed Official". Orlando Sentinel. 1991-01-26. Retrieved 2015-11-16 . The House voted unanimously Friday to impeach the agriculture commissioner six days after he began serving a one-year sentence for a payroll violation. ^ "Jailed Official Resigns Before Impeachment Trial". Orlando Sentinel. 1991-02-07. Retrieved 2015-11-16 . Kentucky's commissioner of agriculture, serving a one-year jail sentence for felony theft, resigned Wednesday hours before his impeachment trial was scheduled to begin in the state Senate. ^ Hinds, Michael deCourcy (1994-05-25). "Pennsylvania House Votes To Impeach a State Justice". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-24 . A State Supreme Court justice convicted on drug charges was impeached today by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. ^ Moushey, Bill; Tim Reeves (1994-10-05). "Larsen Removed Senate Convicts Judge On 1 Charge". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, PA USA. p. A1. Retrieved 2013-09-14 . Rolf Larsen yesterday became the first justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to be removed from office through impeachment. The state Senate, after six hours of debate, found Larsen guilty of one of seven articles of impeachment at about 8:25 p.m, then unanimously voted to remove him permanently from office and bar him from ever seeking an elected position again. ^ Young, Virginia (1994-10-07). "Moriarty Is Impeached '' Secretary Of State Will Fight Removal". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis, MO USA. p. 1A. Retrieved 2013-09-14 . The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to impeach Secretary of State Judith K. Moriarty for misconduct that "breached the public trust." The move, the first impeachment in Missouri in 26 years, came at 4:25 p.m. in a hushed House chamber. ^ Young, Virginia; Kim Bell (1994-12-13). "High Court Ousts Moriarty". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis, MO. p. 1A. Retrieved 2013-09-14 . In a unanimous opinion Monday, the Missouri Supreme Court convicted Secretary of State Judith K. Moriarty of misconduct and removed her from office. ^ Vogel, Ed (2004-11-12). "Augustine impeached". Review-Journal. Retrieved 2009-07-02 . ^ Whaley, Sean (2004-12-05). "Senate lets controller keep job". Review-Journal. Retrieved 2009-07-02 . ^ Jenkins, Nate (2006-04-11). "Hergert impeached". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved 2012-10-11 . With the last vote and by the slimmest of margins, the Legislature did to University of Nebraska Regent David Hergert Wednesday what it hadn't done in 22 years'--move to unseat an elected official. ^ Staff reporter (2006-08-08). "Hergert Convicted". WOWT-TV. Retrieved 2012-10-11 . University of Nebraska Regent David Hergert was convicted Friday of manipulating campaign-finance laws during his 2004 campaign and then lying to cover it up. The state Supreme Court ruling immediately removed Hergert, 66, from office. ^ Staff reporter (2009-01-09). "Illinois House impeaches Gov. Rod Blagojevich". AP. Retrieved 2009-07-02 . ^ Mckinney, Dave; Jordan Wilson (2009-01-14). "Illinois House impeaches Gov. Rod Blagojevich". Chicago Sun-Times'. Retrieved 2009-07-02 . ^ Long, Ray; Rick Pearson (2009-01-30). "Blagojevich is removed from office". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-06-21 . ^ Haidee V. Eugenio (2009-01-09). "CNMI governor impeached on 13 charges". Saipan Tribune. Retrieved 2013-09-14 . External links [ edit]
Expulsion from the United States Congress - Wikipedia
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 13:56
Expulsion is the most serious form of disciplinary action that can be taken against a Member of Congress. Article I, Section 5 of the United States Constitution provides that "Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member." The processes for expulsion differ somewhat between the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Censure, a less severe form of disciplinary action, is an official sanction of a member that does not remove a member from office.
Process leading to expulsion [ edit] Presently, the disciplinary process begins when a resolution to expel or censure a Member is referred to the appropriate committee. In the House, this is the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (House Ethics Committee); in the Senate, this is the Select Committee on Ethics (Senate Ethics Committee).
The committee may then ask other Representatives or Senators to come forward with complaints about the Member under consideration or may initiate an investigation into the Member's actions. Sometimes Members may refer a resolution calling for an investigation into a particular Member or matter that may lead to the recommendation of expulsion or censure.
Rule XI (Procedures of committees and unfinished business) of the Rules of the House of Representatives state that the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct can investigate allegations that a Member violated "any law, rule, regulation, or other standard of conduct applicable to the conduct of such Member... in the performance of his duties or the discharge of his responsibilities". The Senate Select Committee on Ethics has the same jurisdiction. The committee may then report back to their whole chamber as to its findings and recommendations for further actions.
When an investigation is launched by either committee, an investigatory subcommittee will be formed. Once the investigatory subcommittee has collected evidence, talked to witnesses, and held an adjudicatoryhearing it will vote on whether the Member is found to have committed the specific actions and then will vote on recommendations. If expulsion is the recommendation then the subcommittee's report will be referred to the full House of Representatives or Senate where Members may vote to accept, reject, or alter the report's recommendation. Voting to expel requires the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present and voting.[citation needed ]
History of expulsions from Congress [ edit] In the entire history of the United States Congress, 20 Members have been expelled: 15 from the Senate and five from the House of Representatives (of those, one member's expulsion, William K. Sebastian of Arkansas, was posthumously reversed). Because the bulk of the expulsions were expulsions of Southern sympathizers during the American Civil War, 19 of the 20 expulsions involved a member of the Democratic Party, with the only exception pre-dating the founding of the modern political parties. Censure has been a much more common form of disciplinary action in Congress over the years, as it requires a much lower threshold of votes to impose.
The great majority of those expelled '-- 17 members '-- were removed from office for their support of the Confederacy in the immediate aftermath of secession. In 1861, after the Civil War had broken out, 11 Senators (including former Vice President and Kentucky Senator John C. Breckinridge) and three Representatives were expelled for supporting the Confederacy. In 1862, three more Representatives were expelled for supporting the Confederate States (John Bullock Clark and John William Reid of Missouri as well as Henry Cornelius Burnett of Kentucky).
There have only been three other expulsions. In 1797, Senator William Blount of Tennessee was expelled for treason, with charges centering on a plan to incite the Creek and Cherokee to aid the British in conquering the Spanish territory of West Florida. Blount remains the only Senator to be expelled for a reason other than supporting the Confederacy.
In 1980 Representative Michael Myers of Pennsylvania was expelled for bribes in connection with the Abscam scandal. In 2002, Representative Jim Traficant of Ohio was expelled after he was convicted on numerous counts of bribery, racketeering, and tax evasion.
There have been numerous other attempts at expelling members of Congress. In many of those instances members under serious threat of expulsion resigned, including
1862: Senator James F. Simmons of Rhode Island. On July 14, 1862, the Judiciary Committee reported that the charges of corruption against Simmons were "essentially correct"; The Senate adjourned three days later, and Simmons resigned on August 15 before the Senate could take action.1906: Senator Joseph R. Burton of Kansas. Resigned after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction on charges of receiving compensation for intervening with a federal agency.1922: Senator Truman H. Newberry of Michigan. On March 20, 1920, Newberry was convicted on charges of violating campaign finance laws by spending $3,750 to secure his Senate election. The Supreme Court overturned this decision on May 2, 1921 on the grounds that the Senate exceeded its powers in attempting to regulate primary elections. On January 12, 1922, the Senate voted 46-41 that Newberry was duly elected in 1918. However, after certain members resumed their efforts to unseat him, Newberry resigned on November 18, 1922, two days before the start of the third session of the 67th Congress.1981: Representative Raymond F. Lederer of Pennsylvania was the only member of the ABSCAM scandal to win re-election. However he resigned due to "personal legal problems" a week after the House Ethics Committee recommended his expulsion for accepting a $50,000 bribe.[1]1982: Senator Harrison A. Williams of New Jersey resigned after the Committee on Ethics recommended his expulsion due to his "ethically repugnant" actions in the Abscam scandal.1995: Senator Bob Packwood of Oregon resigned after the Committee of Ethics recommended his expulsion due to his gross sexual misconduct and his attempts to enrich himself through his official position.2006: Representative Bob Ney of Ohio resigned his seat in Congress after being convicted in connection with the Jack Abramoff scandals.There were other instances in which expulsion has been sought, but was rejected, or the member's term expired:
1808: Senator John Smith of Ohio was implicated in the Aaron Burr-led conspiracy to invade Mexico and create a new country in the west. Senator John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts led the attempt to expel Smith from the Senate while Francis Scott Key defended Smith before the Senate. Expulsion failed 19 to 10, less than the two-thirds majority needed. At request of the Ohio Legislature, Smith resigned two weeks after the vote.1856: Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina beat Senator Charles Sumner with a cane. He avoided expulsion but resigned, but was then re-elected by the people of South Carolina, who considered him a hero.1862: The expulsion of Senator Lazarus W. Powell of Kentucky was sought for support for Confederate rebellion. Unlike the three Senators expelled for that reason the same year and the 11 Senators the previous year, Powell was not expelled.1873: Senator James W. Patterson of New Hampshire was accused of corruption, and a Senate select committee recommended expulsion on February 27. On March 1, a Republican caucus decided that there was insufficient time remaining in the session to deliberate the matter. Patterson's term expired March 3, and no further action was taken.1893: Senator William N. Roach of North Dakota was accused of embezzlement that had allegedly occurred 13 years earlier. After extensive deliberation, the Senate took no action, assuming that it lacked jurisdiction over members' behavior before their election to the Senate.1905: Senator John H. Mitchell of Oregon was indicted on corruption charges on January 1, 1905, and was convicted on July 5 of that year, during a Senate recess. He died on December 8, while his case was still on appeal and before the Senate, which had convened on December 4, could take any action against him.1907: Senator Reed Smoot of Utah, a leader in the LDS Church, was the subject of a two-year investigation by the Committee on Privileges and Elections, which found that Smoot was not due his seat in the Senate because he was "a leader in a religion that advocated polygamy and a union of church and state, contrary to the U.S. Constitution."[2] Smoot's expulsion failed by a vote of 27-43 after the Senate decided that he fit the constitutional requirements to be a Senator.1919: Senator Robert M. La Follette, Sr. of Wisconsin was accused of disloyalty after a 1917 speech he gave in opposition to U.S. entry into World War I. The Committee on Privileges and Elections recommended that La Follette not be expelled and the Senate concurred in a 50-21 vote.1924: Senator Burton K. Wheeler of Montana was indicted for conflict of interest, specifically serving while a senator in causes in which the U.S. was a party. A Senate committee, however, found that his dealings related to litigation before state courts and that he received no compensation for any service before federal departments. The Senate exonerated him by a vote of 56-5.1934: The Committee on Privileges and Elections, jointly considering the case of Senators John H. Overton and Huey P. Long of Louisiana, determined that the evidence to support charges of election fraud were insufficient to warrant further consideration.See also [ edit] References [ edit] Maskell, Jack. "Expulsion, Censure, Reprimand, and Fine: Legislative Discipline in the House of Representatives,"Congressional Research Service, April 16, 2002.Maskell, Jack. "Recall of Legislators and the Removal of Members of Congress from Office,"Congressional Research Service, March 20, 2003."Senate History on Expulsion and Censure."Sorokin, Ellen. "In Congress' 213-year history, expulsion 'exceedingly rare',"Washington Times, July 25, 2002.
Shut Up Slave!
Some Social Scientists Are Tired of Asking for Permission - NYTimes.com
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 11:34
If you took Psychology 101 in college, you probably had to enroll in an experiment to fulfill a course requirement or to get extra credit. Students are the usual subjects in social science research '-- made to play games, fill out questionnaires, look at pictures and otherwise provide data points for their professors' investigations into human behavior, cognition and perception.
But who gets to decide whether the experimental protocol '-- what subjects are asked to do and disclose '-- is appropriate and ethical? That question has been roiling the academic community since the Department of Health and Human Services's Office for Human Research Protections revised its rules in January.
The revision exempts from oversight studies involving ''benign behavioral interventions.'' This was welcome news to economists, psychologists and sociologists who have long complained that they need not receive as much scrutiny as, say, a medical researcher.
The change received little notice until a March opinion article in The Chronicle of Higher Education went viral. The authors of the article, a professor of human development and a professor of psychology, interpreted the revision as a license to conduct research without submitting it for approval by an institutional review board.
That is, social science researchers ought to be able to decide on their own whether or not their studies are harmful to human subjects.
The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (known as the Common Rule) was published in 1991 after a long history of exploitation of human subjects in federally funded research '-- notably, the Tuskegee syphilis study and a series of radiation experiments that took place over three decades after World War II.
The remedial policy mandated that all institutions, academic or otherwise, establish a review board to ensure that federally funded researchers conducted ethical studies.
''One of the problems with the regulations is not every case is a difficult case and needs to go to an I.R.B.,'' said Zachary Schrag, professor of history at George Mason University and author of ''Ethical Imperialism,'' about an institutional review board.
''Like behavioral economics experiments '-- you're talking about giving people Hershey's kisses to find out how hard it is for them to give up chocolate or how hard they will work to get the chocolate.''
Among like-minded academics, there was much 140-character fist-pumping on Twitter over the end to what they perceived as review board nit-picking and delays getting studies approved.
The problem is that the Office for Human Research Protections, in its revised rules, did not specify exactly who gets to determine what is and is not a benign behavioral intervention. Although there is a suggestion that someone other than the researcher should make that call, the office does not mandate it.
''Researchers tend to underestimate the risk of activities that they are very comfortable with,'' particularly when conducting experiments and publishing the results is critical to the advancement of their careers, said Tracy Arwood, assistant vice president for research compliance at Clemson University.
A previous version of the revised Common Rule, which prompted more than 2,100 comments, called for a web-based decision tool that researchers could use to determine whether their research was exempt. But such a tool, which many thought left too much to the individual researcher's personal judgment, did not make it into the final rule.
A vocal proponent of diminishing the role of institutional review boards is Richard Nisbett, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan and co-author of the opinion piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Social science researchers are perfectly capable of making their own determinations about the potential harm of their research protocols, he said. A behavioral intervention is benign, he said, if it's the sort of thing that goes on in everyday life.
''I can ask you how much money you make or about your sex life, and you can tell me or not tell me. So, too, can a sociologist or psychologist ask you those questions,'' Dr. Nisbett said.
''There's no such thing as asking a question of a normal human being that should be reviewed by an I.R.B., because someone can just say, 'To heck with you.'''
His own research, he said, involves ''showing people a fish tank and asking them what they saw.'' Hardly the stuff of emotional trauma, he thinks.
But research subjects, many of them students, may not feel like they can just walk away from a teacher's experiment. Recall the Milgram study at Yale, in which visibly distraught subjects obeyed orders to administer what they thought were electric shocks to yelping actors.
A decade later, in the 1970s, there was the Stanford prison experiment, in which arbitrarily labeling student subjects prisoners or guards quickly led to ''Lord of the Flies'' type cruelty.
And then there was the research that involved humiliating and emotionally tormenting 22 undergraduates at Harvard University over three years starting in 1959. (One of those students was a young Ted Kaczynski, who later became the Unabomber.)
Dr. Nisbett countered that those examples were outliers. And in the case of the Milgram study, he said, ''I think it should definitely have been approved even if people would have known that it was going to cause substantial psychic pain to some subjects, because the knowledge gain is precious.''
Administrators of institutional review boards said that it only took one bad study to ruin an institution's reputation, finances and eligibility for government funding.
''There's a lot at stake beyond assessing the potential risk to subjects,'' said Rebecca Armstrong, director of research subject protection at the University of California, Berkeley. ''We try to be as flexible as we can, but institutionally you sort of arrive at what fits into minimal risk and create review processes accordingly.''
Already at many universities, researchers who think their studies pose minimal risk to subjects need only get a signoff from a review board staff member. They do not have to submit their proposals for approval by the full review board '-- usually made up of colleagues, at least one member of the community and sometimes also students.
Ultimately, review board administrators and board members said the revised federal rules were a baseline for oversight, and they must determine what was appropriate for their institutions. But they are feeling increased pressure from resident researchers who, like Dr. Nisbett, think that the revised federal rules now allow self-regulation.
''There seems to be a major paradigm shift going on away from the original goal of the I.R.B. to protect human subjects and toward the convenience of researchers in the name of so-called efficiency,'' said Tom George, a lawyer and bioethicist who serves on the institutional review board at the University of Texas at Austin. ''I find that of deep concern.''
Not all researchers are pushing for diminished review board oversight, however. Many said they appreciated it.
''It is a little more work and some could find it onerous, but I still find it a worthy process because you get questions and suggestions that make you feel more confident that subjects are protected,'' said Nathaniel Herr, an assistant professor of psychology at American University, who also serves on the school's institutional review board.
Besides, he added, ''It just takes one scandal to make people doubt all research and not want to participate, which would harm the whole field.''
Correction: May 22, 2017
An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan in two instances. As the article correctly noted elsewhere, he is Richard Nisbett, not Nesbitt.
Elite$
Press Release | Bilderberg Meetings
Wed, 31 May 2017 15:31
The 65th Bilderberg Meeting to take place from 1 - 4 June 2017 in Chantilly, Virginia, USA.
CHANTILLY, 31 MAY 2017
The 65th Bilderberg Meeting will take place from 1-4 June 2017 in Chantilly, Virginia, USA. As of today, 131 participants from 21 countries have confirmed their attendance. As ever, a diverse group of political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media has been invited. The list of participants is available here.
The key topics for discussion this year include:
The Trump Administration: A progress report Trans-Atlantic relations: options and scenariosThe Trans-Atlantic defence alliance: bullets, bytes and bucksThe direction of the EUCan globalisation be slowed down?Jobs, income and unrealised expectationsThe war on informationWhy is populism growing?Russia in the international orderThe Near EastNuclear proliferationChinaCurrent eventsFounded in 1954, the Bilderberg Meeting is an annual conference designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America. Every year, between 120-140 political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media are invited to take part in the conference. About two thirds of the participants come from Europe and the rest from North America; approximately a quarter from politics and government and the rest from other fields.
The conference is a forum for informal discussions about major issues facing the world. The meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule, which states that participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s) nor any other participant may be revealed.
Thanks to the private nature of the meeting, the participants are not bound by the conventions of their office or by pre-agreed positions. As such, they can take time to listen, reflect and gather insights. There is no desired outcome, no minutes are taken and no report is written. Furthermore, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.
Media Contact: media[@]bilderbergmeetings.org
SJW BLM LGBBTQQIAAP
Millennials increasingly likely to stop shaving their legs and armpits, research shows
Mon, 29 May 2017 19:45
There was also a 5 per cent decline in hair removal product sales between 2015 and 2016
An increasing number of young women are no longer shaving their underarm hair, representing a gradual change against gender-based societal norms.
Market research by Mintel found nearly one in four young women in 2016 have stopped shaving underarm hair, following the likes of Julia Roberts, Miley Cyrus and Madonna.
It found that in 2013, 95 per cent of women aged between 16 and 24 were shaving, but by 2016, that number dropped to 77 per cent.
The same trend was reported with leg shaving. Over the same timeframe, the numbers decreased from 92 per cent to 85 per cent.
There was also a 5 per cent decline in hair removal product sales between 2015 and 2016.
Cross-fertilisation or theft?: Canada's war over ''cultural appropriation'' | The Economist
Mon, 29 May 2017 23:30
ANYONE, anywhere ''should be encouraged to imagine other peoples, other cultures, other identities'', wrote Hal Niedzviecki in the spring issue of Write, an obscure Canadian literary magazine. For that apparently innocuous observation, he lost his job as the publication's editor. Mr Niedzviecki was defending ''cultural appropriation'', the use by artists and writers of motifs and ideas from other cultures. He suggested an ''appropriation prize'' for creators who carry out such cross-cultural raids. In a special issue of the magazine dedicated to indigenous writers, that was offensive, his critics said.
Mr Niedzviecki's supporters were also made to suffer. A journalist at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was demoted after he offered on Twitter to help finance the prize. The editor of Walrus, a better-known magazine, decried ''political correctness, tokenism and hypersensitivity'' in cultural and academic bodies. After a social-media backlash he, too, resigned. In April a gallery shut an exhibit of the work of Amanda PL, a painter inspired by the style of Norval Morriseau, an indigenous artist.
The cheery new leader of Canada's Conservatives
A computer failure at British Airways causes chaos
Realism, Indian cinema's parallel success story
A spat over language erupts at the World Bank
What are ''virtual'' air-traffic control towers?
How to understand Angela Merkel's comments about America and Britain
Mr Niedzviecki has reopened an old debate. Cross-fertilisation is fundamental to the creative process. This article, for example, is written in Roman letters and uses Arabic numerals. However, many indigenous Canadian intellectuals demand extra sensitivity. Some particularly object to white people borrowing (or ''stealing'') elements of their culture.
For some, such borrowing evokes memories of centuries of domination by the British and ''white settlers'', who took the land of indigenous peoples, tried to force them to assimilate through residential schools and excluded them from mainstream cultural life. Members of indigenous ''First Nations'' were not allowed to vote until 1960 unless they renounced their Indian status. Robert Jago, an indigenous writer, says that cultural appropriation leads to ''the hypersexualised view'' of indigenous women, the myth of the drunken Indian and the ''football-mascot-inspired stereotype of the violent warrior''.
The argument is now raging on talk shows, in newspapers and especially on social media. Some think it has been inflamed by Donald Trump, who encourages Americans who object to political correctness to say so. ''This is the first and probably not the last intrusion'' of Trumpian attitudes into Canada's cultural debate, says Conrad Brunk, co-author of a book on cultural appropriation. Canada's indigenous peoples, for their part, have also become more assertive. ''We're in a new paradigm'' because of social media, says Jesse Wente, an Ojibwe from the Serpent River First Nation, borrowing words from Latin, Greek and English. ''We don't have to occupy chairs in mainstream news media to have our voices heard.''
That is welcome, but the silencing of other voices is not. The hounding of journalists from their jobs chills free speech. Politely, Mr Niedzviecki admits that his defence of cultural appropriation was ''a bit tone deaf''. But he should not apologise too much. He provoked a debate on an important and many-sided issue. Canada prides itself on its diversity of peoples. A diversity of ideas matters, too.
This article appeared in the The Americas section of the print edition under the headline "Cross-fertilisation or theft?"
Regina LGBT organization wants patio smoking ban exemption, citing safety
Tue, 30 May 2017 10:07
Saskatchewan
CBC News
May 29, 2017
The GLCR cites the safety and security of the LGBT community within Regina as the main concern and reason for the exemption request. (CBC)The Gay and Lesbian Community of Regina has cited safety for members and the Orlando Pulse shooting in a letter to city council lobbying for an exemption to the proposed patio smoking ban.
In a letter to city council, the group says members of the LGBT community in Regina have "historically faced outright and indirect discrimination in Regina" and it is still a concern in 2017.
The proposed exemption would be for Q Nightclub and Lounge, located on the 2000 block of Broad Street, and any other facility which may be established by the GLCR in the future.
"In the shadow of the recent Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando, FL., the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, we believe that this accommodation is timely, reasonable, and justified," the letter states.
The new bylaw has two exemptions in place for use in traditional Indigenous ceremonies and vaping retail stores.
The letter also notes a smoking exemption in Ontario which applies to the patios of the Royal Canadian Legion and other veteran groups.
The new bylaw, if approved, would go into effect on July 15.
F-Russia
Russia shocks airline industry with maiden flight of new plane
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 15:09
Russia has surprised the airline industry by announcing the successful test flight of a new medium range passenger plane.
Irkut Corporation, itself owned by state controlled United Aircraft Corporation, said its MC-21-300 had successfully flown for 30 minutes at a height of 1000 metres at a speed of 300 kilometers per hour.
"[The] flight mission is accomplished. The flight went in the normal mode. There are no obstacles revealed preventing the tests continuation," the lead test pilot, Oleg Kononenko, is quoted as saying on the Irkut Corp. website, Sunday.
With a capacity between 163 and 211 passengers and a maximum flight range of 6,000 kilometers, the MC-21-300, will attempt to compete with the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.
Irkut said global demand for that area of aviation should translate to about 15,000 new aircraft worldwide across the next 20 years.
Manchester
Exclusive: Manchester suicide bomber used student loan and benefits to fund terror plot
Sun, 28 May 2017 20:38
T he Manchester suicide bomber used taxpayer-funded student loans and benefits to bankroll the terror plot, police believe.
Salman Abedi is understood to have received thousands of pounds in state funding in the run up to Monday's atrocity even while he was overseas receiving bomb-making training.
Police are investigating Abedi's finances, including how he paid for frequent trips to Libya where he is thought to have been taught to make bombs at a jihadist training camp.
It comes as Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer, said detectives had made ''immense progress'' in dismantling Abedi's terror network.
Abedi rented a flat in this apartment block on the eve of the attack I n further developments, a barber shop in Manchester was raided with one theory that Abedi may have obtained hydrogen peroxide - a chemical used in the hairdressing industry but which can also be used to construct bombs - from the salon.
Abedi's finances are a major 'theme' of the police inquiry amid growing alarm over the ease with which jihadists are able to manipulate Britain's welfare and student loans system to secure financing.
One former detective said jihadists were enrolling on university courses to collect the student loans ''often with no intention of turning up''.
Abedi was given at least £7,000 from the taxpayer-funded Student Loans Company after beginning a business administration degree at Salford University in October 2015.
I t is thought he received a further £7,000 in the 2016 academic year even though by then he had already dropped out of the course. Salford University declined to say if it had informed the Student Loans Company that Abedi's funding should have been stopped.
Separately, the Department for Work and Pensions refused to say if Abedi had received any benefits, including housing benefit and income support worth up to £250 a week, during 2015 and 2016. It would only say he was not claiming benefits in the weeks before the attack.
Ramadan Abedi 'sure' his son Salman did not carry out Manchester attack 00:33 A bedi, 22, never held down a job, according to neighbours and friends, but was able to travel regularly between the UK and Libya.
Abedi also had sufficient funds to buy materials for his sophisticated bomb while living in a rented house in south Manchester.
Six weeks before the bombing Abedi rented a second property in a block of flats in Blackley eight miles from his home, paying £700 in cash.
He had enough money to rent a third property in the centre of Manchester from where he set off with a backpack containing the bomb.
Abedi also withdrew £250 in cash three days before the attack and transferred £2,500 to his younger brother Hashim in Libya, who is accused of knowing about the attack in advance.
A Student Loans Company spokesman said: ''It would not be appropriate for the Student Loans Company to respond to media requests for information that may be relevant to the ongoing police investigation.
''It is for universities to inform the Student Loans Company when students withdraw or suspend their studies, at which point funding stops.''
A Salford university spokesman, asked if it had told the SLC Abedi had dropped out, said: ''We cannot comment.''
Police: We are making enormous progress with Manchester terror investigation 01:20 D avid Videcette, a former Metropolitan police detective who worked on the 7/7 London bombing investigation, said of the student loans' system: ''It is an easy way for a terrorist to move forward and finance their activities at the expense of the taxpayer.
''All you have got to do is get yourself into university and then off you go. Often they have go no intention of turning up.''
Professor Anthony Glees, director of Buckingham University's Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies, said: ''The British system makes funds readily available to jihadist students without checks on them. There needs to be an inquiry into this.''
The Government has previously admitted it has no idea how many terrorists could be using taxpayer funded benefits and student loans to finance their activities.
T wo men were convicted at the end of 2016 of channelling thousands of pounds of fraudulent housing benefits to the Islamist fanatics behind the Paris and Brussels terrorist outrages.
Mohamed Abrini, the Brussels terror suspect dubbed the 'Man in the Hat' received £3,000 in fraudulent housing benefit.
In the early hours of Saturday the police made fresh arrests in the Manchester bombing probe after police carried out a controlled explosion during a raid on an address in the Cheetham Hill area of the city.
Two men aged 20 and 22 were held on suspicion of terror offences.
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Agenda 2030
Trump is pulling U.S. out of Paris climate deal - Axios
Wed, 31 May 2017 15:35
Potential benefits: The deal would allow the new company to compete with Verizon and AT&T. "I think the pricing efficiencies that they have seen in the last three or four years, those would probably continue," said Chetan Sharma, a wireless consultant.
Sharma said that he didn't think that the deal with have a major effect on consumers, other than that they "will notice if they have to write a check to a different provider or if all of a sudden a Sprint subscriber is starting to get a T-Mobile bill."
What opponents say: Less competition means higher prices for customers. "Ensuring that competition works to consumers' benefit makes policing mergers among competitors a priority that transcends party and politics," wrote Tom Wheeler and Bill Baer, who as the leaders of the FCC and the Justice Department's Antitrust Division scuttled a previous effort by the number 3 and number 4 national carriers to merge, in a recent op-ed. "Without it, you pay the price."
Opponents of a deal also argue that the stiff competition between four wireless carriers has forced them all to innovate, including re-introducing unlimited plans to keep up with each others' offerings.
The Washington angle: This is a complicated choice for regulators. The horizontal merger of two major wireless carriers that directly compete with each other would draw a ton of public attention (remember how vocal critics were of the failed attempt by AT&T to buy T-Mobile, for example) as it was being vetted by the government. Such a deal, if it comes to pass, would need approval from both the FCC and Justice Department, which are thought to be more open to the merger under the Trump administration. Still, no one is tipping their hand.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said last week: "As I said a couple of weeks ago, I don't see in the abstract any particular number of competitors or marketplace structure that is the sine qua non of a competitive marketplace. I view the facts as they exist, and make the appropriate judgement based on those facts."Makan Delrahim, who President Trump has nominated to be the top antitrust enforcer at Justice: "I have not recently studied the state of competition in the wireless market and therefore do not have any particular impression regarding it's competitiveness at this time. If confirmed and presented the opportunity, I look forward to studying it."The companies' perspective:
T-Mobile didn't respond to a request for comment, but CEO John Legere said on the company's most recent earnings call that he was "interested in looking at some of the possibilities" for mergers. Some have suggested it would make more sense for T-Mobile to pursue a vertical deal with, say, a cable or satellite company.A Sprint spokeswoman declined to comment but pointed Axios to a comment from Masayoshi Son, the chief executive of Sprint parent SoftBank, that exploring a T-Mobile tie-up was a priority for the company. Sprint is also reportedly looking into other options for a potential deal.
GLITCH!
Whistle-blower claims BA travel chaos was down to dodgy computer system - but 'bosses refused to fix it'
Mon, 29 May 2017 21:44
Officials said a power supply system was responsible for the worldwide computers crash
A BA whistle-blower last night said a dodgy computer system was to blame for sparking travel chaos '-- and bosses knew about it but did nothing.
Officials said a power supply system was responsible for the worldwide computers crash.
Reuters
Officials said a power supply system was responsible for the worldwide crashThe meltdown hit check-ins, baggage reclaims, the website and even phone lines. More than 300,000 travellers were left seething after cancellations and delays at Heathrow and Gatwick.
Experts predict BA could face a £300million compensation bill. The whistle-blower insisted the IT could have been avoided.
The source added: ''There was a sense behind the scenes that something big was about to happen.
Getty Images
It hit check-ins, baggage reclaims, the website and even phone lines
News Group Newspapers Ltd
More than 300,000 travellers were left seething after cancellations and delays at Heathrow and GatwickBA passengers stranded at airport after IT systems go down KILLED BY TIGERHorror as female zookeeper killed by tiger in 'freak accident' after beast entered enclosure she was inside - forcing terrified families to flee
DAMAGE LIMITATIONBA boss 'tries to gag staff' over IT meltdown after 'outsoureced Indian workers couldn't launch back-up system'
HAWAII NUKE FEARHawaii plans for Pearl Harbour nuclear strike as Kim Jong-un dons white suit to toast missile launch
GANG RAPE HORRORThree women 'kidnap and rape man, 23, for THREE days' after force-feeding him energy drinks
FRANTIC RESCUE BIDWitness describes how Hamerton Zoo staff desperately tried to distract killer tiger by throwing meat into its pen
CARNAGE ON THE COSTASChilling video shows tourists screaming in terror as Brit driver 'on cocaine' ploughs into pedestrians, injuring baby and seven others after 'fight' outside Marbella's Ocean Club
MINUTES FROM MASS MURDERSuicide bomber Salman Abedi caught on CCTV in lift to Manchester Arena wearing £300 Nike trainers with his hand on trigger of homemade device
party hardRevellers pose for selfies with armed cops as they go on Bank Holiday booze benders in Newcastle amid heightened terror alert
monster mum trialMum accused of killing her three-year-old son and then tossing his body in a river so she could go on holiday
BATTLE FOR NO10Jeremy Corbyn skewered on his IRA links and support for immigration as Theresa May gets heckled by studio audience in bruising TV election debate
HUNT FOR MISSING SUITCASETerror cops searching tip in frantic bid to find Manchester suicide bomber's missing blue suitcase
EXECUTED AT SAINSBURY'SThree-year-old who watched dad Colin Horner, 35, being shot dead in Sainsbury's car park is lucky to be alive and will 'carry memory for the rest of his life'
'she's the FACE OF MANCHESTER'Parents of Manchester bombing victim Olivia Campbell reveal they are getting married in her honour
KILLER'S B&Q BOMBManchester terrorist Salman Abedi's bomb was put together for £66 with items from B&Q and Screwfix
'WE WENT INTO SURVIVAL MODE'Brit holidaymaker pulled her friend to safety as driver 'high on cocaine' ploughed into pedestrians in Marbella
DRINK DRIVING RANGETiger Woods is arrested on suspicion of drink-driving near his home in Florida
GRIM DISCOVERYPolice probe after 'headless' body spotted floating in water in Kent seaside town
torment of video dadHarrowing footage shot by dad searching for daughter in Manchester Arena moments after bomb
TERROR RAIDSManchester bombing cops storm a bus in Rusholme as officers raid nearby house tonight
TERROR HERO IS '23RD VICTIM'Survivor of 7/7 London terror attack found dead hours after Manchester bombing as friends claim 'he didn't want to live in a world where ­attacks continue'
''We started using the new system in October. Training aside, the whole thing has been a disaster.
''It breaks my heart to see this as I love this company but it is really going down the pan.
''It's got so bad that some staff members have written to the transport secretary Chris Grayling. All of our concerns have fallen on deaf ears.
''The Chief Executive Alex Cruz, when he was warned about the system told us that it was the staff's fault not the system.
News Group Newspapers Ltd
However, the whistle-blower insisted the chaos could have been avoided
When warned about the system, Chief Executive Alex Cruz allegedly said 'it was the staff's fault'British Airways CEO Alex Cruz updates customer information following the IT outage yesterday''We are making more money than ever and all this has happened because they are being tight.
Union chiefs also claimed the IT failure could have been avoided. The GMB's Mick Rix said: ''Last year BA made hundreds of IT staff redundant and outsourced the work to India.
''BA have made substantial profits for years and many viewed the move as plain greedy.''
Mr Cruz, who has a background in budget airlines, yesterday took to Twitter in a hi-vis jacket from a BA office to make a public apology.
Mr Cruz yesterday made a public apology from his BA operations office
Getty Images
IT experts said a power supply issue, coupled with a fragile computer system, could have created a 'perfect storm'British Airways computer systems down 'across the entire world' causing queue chaos at UK airportsIT experts said a power supply issue, coupled with a fragile computer system, could have created a ''perfect storm'' but that BA should have had contingencies.
Stranded holidaymakers were forced to spend the night on yoga mats.
Flights grounded on Saturday were resuming but heavy delays are expected for days.
Last night BA was still warning customers to stay away from Heathrow.
British Airways boss 'tries to gag staff' over IT failure which hit 300,000 passengers after 'inexperienced staff outsourced to India didn't know to launch back up system'
Mon, 29 May 2017 21:44
THE British Airways boss is alleged to have tried to ''gag staff'' over the IT meltdown which hit 300,000 passengers '' as inexperienced staff in India didn't know how to launch the back up system, it has been claimed.
The airline's check-in and operational systems crashed on Saturday and saw thousands of people trying to travel on Bank Holiday weekend left stranded.
News Group Newspapers Ltd
Plane passengers lie scattered on the floor at Heathrow Airport as the flight chaos entered its second day
Reuters
A traveller naps while waiting for the backlog of flights to be correctedAnd boss Alex Cruz has been blamed for the disaster, but it is now claimed he tried to stop staff talking about the problems experienced after outsourcing staff to India.
In an email to staff obtained by the Daily Mail, he wrote: ''Guys, either you are part of the team working to fix this or you aren't. We are not in the mode of 'debriefing on what happened' but rather 'let's fix this mode'.''
Adding: ''In the meantime, if you do not want to get involved or cannot get involved, I would kindly ask you to refrain from live commentary, unless it is a message of support to the thousands of colleagues that love BA as much as you do.''
Yesterday passengers were pictured sleeping rough at Heathrow and Gatwick Airports and queuing outside in their thousands '' with the airline's ''inexperienced'' boss now getting the blame.
The chief executive, who founded budget carrier Clickair and ran airline Vueling before moving to work for British Airways in 2016, has been accused of replacing British IT professionals with cheap overseas workers since taking the role.
And GMB union bosses say that this move may have led to this weekend's chaos '' a whistle-blower even claimed bosses knew about the ''dodgy'' systems.
PA:Press Association
British Airways chief executive Alex Cruz has been accused of being inexperienced
Getty Images
Thousands of passengers face a second day of travel disruption after a British Airways IT failure caused the airline to cancel most of its servicesAviation expert Julian Bray told The Daily Mail: ''I would have expected someone with major international airline experience to be put in charge, rather than someone who has been in charge of two smaller airlines, with an indifferent financial record.
''I don't feel he has the depth of knowledge required to inject radical competitive new thinking into the up-market British Airways brand.
''Cruz is known as being an outsourcer and cost-cutter, stripping out frills and cutting head count, and therefore not particularly suited to an upmarket, people-intensive, luxury-price brand.''
Distraught passengers were reportedly told they wouldn't be refunded after the massive IT meltdown.
British Airways CEO Alex Cruz updates customer information following
Reuters
A woman sleeps while sitting on a chair during the chaos
Reuters
This passenger fashioned themselves a makeshift bed and blanket
Reuters
Sleeping bodies lie strewn across the airport lobby
Reuters
Thousands of passengers had flights delayed by the computer outage
Getty Images
A woman sits charging her phone at the busy airport
News Group Newspapers Ltd
The delays and cancellations were caused by IT problems yesterday
News Group Newspapers Ltd
Experts have warned the delays could last for days
Flynet Pictures
Unclaimed luggage at Terminal 5 in Heathrow Airport following the computer crashFlights at Gatwick were expected to be normal throughout the day, with Heathrow suffering from only minor delays.
However experts are warning that travellers are facing a huge "knock-on effect".
Air industry consultant John Strickland said: "Customers and from the airline's point of view - manpower, dealing with the backlog of aircraft out of position, parking spaces for the aircraft - it's a challenge and a choreographic nightmare."
Passengers were met with this error message at self service check-in machines
Twitter/@mrben09
Queues at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5 after BA's computer systems failureDeparture boards this morning showed flights departing from Gatwick early on Sunday, however several flights from Heathrow were cancelled.
A Heathrow spokesman said yesterday "delays and cancellations of British Airways flights are expected today", while the airline said there would be "some knock-on disruption to our schedules on Sunday, as aircraft and crews are out of position around the world".
Musician Charles Trippy, bassist with US rock band We The Kings, complained to BA via Twitter that his instrument was missing.
The band are on the bill at the Slam Dunk Music Festival, which has shows in Leeds on Sunday and Hatfield on Monday.
Trippy tweeted: "Dear @British_Airways please find my bass. It's getting frustrating that you don't know where it is. I kinda need it for work.
"No big deal".
Twitter/@mrben09
British Airways have apologised and said they are continuing to work to fix the problem and the impact it is having
Twitter
Customers reported being unable to use the airline's app and websiteDelays were also reported in the US, Rome, Prague, Milan, Stockholm and Malaga.
The log-jam also hit passengers landing as they had nowhere to disembark.
Amid the "carnage" ground staff resorted to scrawling messages for pilots on pieces of paper.
BA passengers stranded at airport after IT systems go down
Flynet Pictures
A monitor in Heathrow's Terminal 5 shows the scale of the flight delaysA man who was caught up in the delays at Heathrow airport yesterday said the airline had lost his and dozens of other passengers' bags by the time his flight landed.
Terry Page, 28, from London, flew from Terminal 5 to Fort Worth, Texas.
On arrival he and "about 50" others were eventually told that BA did not know where the bags were, and were told they were hoping they would receive them on Monday.
"They said nothing," he claimed. "I saw everyone else filling out forms and I asked what it was about.
"It's affected so many people. Some 80-year-old lady was standing around waiting for announcements, et cetera - and she fell over," he said.
"We helped her up and she said 'I'm just so tired'.
"It's been a terrible, terrible day'" Mr Page added.
"Strangely we were the last flight to leave the airport and there were 15 unclaimed bags lying around," he said.
"There was a lady with her baby stranded, it was awful."
PA:Press Association
British Airways staff had to use white boards to deliver notices to passengers
Flynet Pictures
Passengers have been stranded in countries including France, Italy and PortugalAs a result of the mayhem, queues formed inside and outside airport buildings yesterday, one of the hottest days of the year so far in the UK.
Despite initial reports from passengers that the disruptions had been caused by a cyber attack, BA has said that a "power supply issue" was most likely behind the global IT failure.
Chief executive Alex Cruz said: "We believe the root cause was a power supply issue and we have no evidence of any cyber attack."
In a statement, BA said: "We have experienced a major IT system failure that is causing very severe disruption to our flight operations worldwide.
"The terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick have become extremely congested and we have cancelled all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick before 6pm UK time today, so please do not come to the airports."
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Several customers complained of "disgraceful" customer service from BA staff, who gave out little information while others said the IT outage had caused "carnage" at airports.
As well as Gatwick and Heathrow, BA fliers have found themselves stuck in the USA, France, Northern Ireland, Portgual and Italy.
Staff had 'no idea' how to handle it
STRANDED passengers have claimed British Airways had no idea how to handle the chaos, writes Jacob Dirnhuber.
Gary Smith, 44, from Sidcup, South East London, was due to fly from Heathrow to New York with his kids, eight and 11, and wife Emma for her 40th birthday.
He said: ''The BA staff were hiding, we couldn't get a straight answer out of anyone.
''We learned that our flight was cancelled from Sky News, not the staff. BA haven't dealt with it at all, they've got no clue.
''The communication has been terrible all day.''
Ben Smith, 38, was due to fly from Heathrow to Minorca for a family holiday. He said: ''We spoke to five people and got five separate stories.
''It doesn't seem like the staff know what they're doing. We usually go on cruises. This is why.''
Londoner Terry Page, 28, was due to fly to Texas but was stuck in a queue at Heathrow's Terminal 5 for two hours.
He claimed BA made ''no announcements at all'' and said: ''We had to rely on the whisperings I could overhear from staff.''
Alma Saffari was stuck in Marseilles with her 13-month-old baby trying to return to Heathrow.
She sat on a plane for 90 minutes before the captain said the systems were down, but said she was given a voucher for food and drink.
British Airways Chief Exec says a power supply issue was to blame for delayed flightsTraveller Soundron Vraty told The Sun Online she had travelled from India to London, on her way to start studying in Montreal.
But she was stuck at Heathrow airport, with her connecting flight to Canada cancelled.
She said: "We were told that the flights were cancelled because of a problem with the computers.
"We're trying to find my baggage and then hopefully will find out when the flight will be rescheduled to - we don't know if it will be today or tomorrow."
The young student said her flight had been supposed to take off at 5.30pm, adding: "Everybody is now pushing everybody else and trying to find a solution.
"We haven't been told anything."
Flynet Pictures
Crowds of holiday-makers wait at Heathrow Airport after British Airways flights were cancelled
Flynet Pictures
The airline's computer system crashed on SaturdayHave you been affected by British Airways' computer problems? Contact The Sun Online's news team by emailing tips@the-sun.co.uk or call us on 0207 782 4368
Philip Bloom tweeted: "Stuck on a British Airways plane at Belfast, going nowhere. 'BA computers down worldwide', whatever that means!"
Another customer, Tom Beckett, said he was stuck in Kiev and made jabbed the airline for its recent decision to scrap free food and drink from their flights.
He wrote: "Dear British Airways, perhaps it's time to reinvest all that money you aren't spending on tea and sandwiches on technology."
PA:Press Association
The empty British Airways check-in desk at Gatwick Airport
Alamy
Holiday-makers were told they could not fly, with these travellers pictured at British Airways' Check-in at terminal 4 of Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas airport in MadridThe GMB union said it all could have been avoided if "greedy" bosses hadn't outsourced IT work to India.
The travel chaos only adds to the disruption at Gatwick yesterday which saw families flying off for half-term holidays without their luggage.
The airport's baggage handling system broke down meaning 3,000 bags were not loaded onto the flights they were supposed to be.
The conveyor belt machines stopped working at around 5am and did not start again until 9.15am.
British Airways representative in Italy tells disgruntled passenger she will 'call the police'We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368
Caliphate!
Massive Kabul truck bomb kills 90, wounds hundreds
Wed, 31 May 2017 16:28
At least 90 people were killed and hundreds wounded Wednesday when a massive truck bomb ripped through Kabul's diplomatic quarter, bringing carnage to the streets of the Afghan capital just days into the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
Bloodied corpses littered the scene and a huge cloud of smoke rose from the highly-fortified area which houses foreign embassies, after the rush-hour attack tore a massive crater in the ground and blew out windows several miles away.
No group has so far claimed the powerful blast, which a Western diplomatic source said was caused by 1,500 kilogrammes of explosives hidden inside a water tanker, in what appeared to be a major intelligence failure.
Rescue workers were digging bodies from the rubble hours after the explosion as anguished residents struggled to get through security cordons to search for missing relatives. Dozens of damaged cars choked the roads as wounded survivors and panicked schoolgirls sought safety.
The attack underscores spiralling insecurity in Afghanistan, where the NATO-backed military, beset by soaring casualties and desertions, is struggling to beat back insurgents.
"In this powerful attack 90 people have been killed and 400 wounded, including many women and children," said the government's media centre, with the health ministry warning the toll would continue to climb as more bodies are pulled from the debris.
President Ashraf Ghani slammed the attack as a "war crime".
The Taliban -- currently in the midst of their annual "spring offensive" -- tweeted that they were not involved and "strongly condemn" the blast. The insurgent group rarely claims responsibility for attacks that kill large numbers of civilians.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for several recent bombings in the Afghan capital, including a powerful blast targeting a NATO convoy that killed eight people earlier this month.
The sound of the bomb, which went off near Kabul's busy Zanbaq Square, reverberated across the Afghan capital, with residents comparing it to an earthquake. Most victims appear to be civilians.
"The vigilance and courage of Afghan security forces prevented the VBIED (vehicle-borne improvised explosive device) from gaining entry to the Green Zone, but the explosion caused civilian casualties," NATO said in a statement.
- Embassies damaged -
The BBC said its Afghan driver Mohammed Nazir was killed and four of their journalists wounded. Local TV channel Tolo TV also tweeted that a staff member Aziz Navin was killed.
The explosion damaged several embassies in the area, which houses diplomatic and government buildings and is a maze of concrete blast walls, vehicle barriers and armed security guards.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the "despicable" attack killed an Afghan guard from the German embassy, and added that some employees had been injured, though he did not give further details.
He said the bomb had gone off "in the immediate vicinity" of the German embassy.
France, India, Turkey, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and Bulgaria similarly reported damage to their embassies, including shattered windows, as the blast drew an avalanche of international condemnation.
The White House issued a scathing statement condemning the "atrocious" attack.
"That this attack would occur during the holy month of Ramadan underscores the senseless and barbaric nature of this attack," a White House spokesman said.
Amnesty International said the bombing shows that the conflict in Afghanistan is "dangerously widening in a way that should alarm the international community".
Germany was forced to postpone a scheduled deportation flight of rejected Afghan asylum-seekers in the wake of the attack. The European nation has drawn criticism for sending back Afghans to an increasingly dangerous country.
Wednesday's blast was the latest in a string of attacks in Kabul. The province surrounding the capital had the highest number of casualties in the country in the first three months of 2017 due to multiple attacks in the city, with civilians bearing the brunt of the violence.
Pentagon chief Jim Mattis has warned of "another tough year" for both foreign troops and local forces in Afghanistan.
Afghan troops are backed by US and NATO forces, and the Pentagon has reportedly asked the White House to send thousands more soldiers to break the deadlock in the battle against the Taliban.
US troops in Afghanistan number about 8,400 now, and there are another 5,000 from NATO allies. They mainly serve in an advisory capacity -- a far cry from the US presence of more than 100,000 six years ago.
burs-emh-ac/ds
Real News
Tainted buffet at Jacksonville strip club blamed after severe diarrhea incident on stage
Wed, 31 May 2017 03:57
File Photo. Source: Lisbon GuideA popular strip club in Jacksonville, Florida has been closed until further notice after several dancers contracted diarrhea last Friday night. The cause of the incident, which remains under investigation, has been initially linked to a contaminated buffet at the venue. While the investigation continues, the venue has not been named.
According to reports by local media, the strip club was nearly full on Friday night when the incident occurred, and both staff and customers were reported to have eaten from the free buffet, which included the usual selection of ribs, chicken and deep-fried shrimp.
While the results of the lab analysis are yet to come back, one source familiar with the investigation told reporters that bad shrimp was the most likely cause of the diarrhea. ''Typically shrimp are involved in cases like this, particularly when they are not cleaned thoroughly.''
Patrons at the venue who were sitting near the stage were the most directly affected by the incident, which occurred close to 11pm. According to a witness at the venue, three dancers were performing on separate poles when the first sign of trouble emerged.
''At first I picked up a bad smell; I thought maybe the guy next to me had farted,'' said the witness, who declined to be named. ''However, the smell got worse and I noticed that a lot of other guys were looking around to see what it was.''
It was at this point that the first dancer to suffer from diarrhea was unable to control her bowels any longer, and 'a stream of brown liquid soon gushed over the stage', according to the witness. ''It was absolutely disgusting,'' he told journalists. ''A number of guests immediately puked. I personally ran for the exit, I lost all interest in the show.''
The other dancers on stage also suffered from diarrhea soon after and were forced to abandon their performance. ''They had a hard time getting off the stage,'' said one witness, who stayed to watch the aftermath of the incident. ''High heels and diarrhea really don't mix.''
Some of the guests who had been enjoying the show also contracted diarrhea and there was a rush on the men's room, which unfortunately did not have enough stalls to cope with the sudden influx in demand.
Cleaners who were hired to deal with the mess reportedly were shocked at the condition of the venue. ''Strip clubs are generally dirty places, but this was on a whole new level,'' said one of the cleaning staff. ''In my time, I've seen faeces in a urinal once or twice, but never in the sinks.''
In an effort to compensate customers for the incident, the venue's management took to social media to offer free entry to any guests who had been at the club on Friday night. Management also noted that the free buffet would not be available until further notice.
In news out of Louisiana making headlines, a married man from Baton Rouge who was cheating on his wife has had his affair inadvertently exposed after he became physically stuck 'inside his lover's vagina'.
Ministry of Truthiness
Journalists' brains function at a lower level than average, study says - Business Insider
Sun, 28 May 2017 14:02
Journalists also are apparently good at managing the stresses that come with their jobs. UNClimateChange / Flickr
Journalists' brains show a lower-than-average level of executive functioning, according to a new study, which means they have a below-average ability to regulate their emotions, suppress biases, solve complex problems, switch between tasks, and show creative and flexible thinking.
The study, led by Tara Swart, a neuroscientist and leadership coach, analysed 40 journalists from newspapers, magazines, broadcast, and online platforms over seven months. The participants took part in tests related to their lifestyle, health, and behaviour.
It was launched in association with the London Press Club, and the objective was to determine how journalists can thrive under stress. It is not yet peer reviewed, and the sample size is small, so the results should not be taken necessarily as fact.
Each subject completed a blood test, wore a heart-rate monitor for three days, kept a food and drink diary for a week, and completed a brain profile questionnaire.
The results showed that journalists' brains were operating at a lower level than the average population, particularly because of dehydration and the tendency of journalists to self-medicate with alcohol, caffeine, and high-sugar foods.
Forty-one percent of the subjects said they drank 18 or more units of alcohol a week, which is four units above the recommended weekly allowance. Less than 5% drank the recommended amount of water.
However, in interviews conducted in conjunction with the brain profile results, the participants indicated they felt their jobs had a lot of meaning and purpose, and they showed high mental resilience. Swart suggested this gave them an advantage over people in other professions in dealing with the work pressure of tight deadlines.
Journalists scored pretty high on:
Abstraction, the ability to deal with ideas rather than events. It's related to the part of the brain where the most sophisticated problem-solving takes place. In other words, it highlights the ability to think outside the box and make connections where others might not see them.Value tagging, the ability to assign values to different sensory cues, such as whether something is a priority or has meaning. Scoring highly in this area indicates a good ability to sift through information and pick out what's important.Journalists scored lower on:
Executive function. As well as the traits mentioned above, low scores for executive function also suggest poor sleep, nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness. Many participants reported they had no time for breaks while working.Silencing the mind, which is related to the ability to have thoughts without getting distracted by them, or a powerful ability to focus. Low scores indicate the opposite, suggesting journalists have a hard time preventing themselves from worrying about the future or regretting the past.Compared with bankers, traders, or salespeople, journalists showed that they were more able to cope with pressure. Traits that make journalism a stressful profession are deadlines, accountability to the public, unpredictable and heavy workloads, public scrutiny, repercussions on social media, and lower pay.
The results, however, showed that the journalists were on average no more physically stressed than the average person. The blood tests showed that their levels of cortisol '-- known as the stress hormone '-- were mostly normal.
"The headline conclusion reached is that journalists are undoubtedly subject to a range of pressures at work and home, but the meaning and purpose they attribute to their work contributes to helping them remain mentally resilient despite this," the study says. "Nevertheless, there are areas for improvement, including drinking more water and reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption to increase executive functioning and improve recovery during sleep."
CLIPS AND DOCS
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VIDEO - Students Furious Over Release Of Video Depicting Them Going Berserk At College | The Daily Caller
Wed, 31 May 2017 12:19
Students at Evergreen State College are furious that a video documenting their anarchic behavior has been made public, The College Fix reports.
The footage shows students going berserk, swearing like your mother never heard and screaming about ''racist white teachers,'' ''white-assed administrators,'' and the obligatory ''black power'' slogans during what was supposed to be a ''meeting'' between the malcontent students, college president George Bridges and other college administrators.
WATCH:
Activists are not pleased that the embarrassing video can now be seen by the world on the internet, and they they are demanding that the ''stolen'' document be ''taken down'' by this Friday.
''We demand that the video created for Day of Absence and Day of Presence that was stolen by white supremacists and edited to expose and ridicule the students and staff be taken down by the administration by this Friday.''
The students then outline just how they expect the university to proceed to find the guilty culprits. Claiming to have been in touch with ''the Attorney General's office,'' the students suggest that the university ''commit to launching an extensive forensic investigation'' to discover just who ''stole'' the video, and, if a suspect is found, to ask that criminal charges be brought against the suspect ''in consultation with the Attorney General.''
The video contains many memorable moments of the students' interacting with their school administrators. They shout ''fuck you, and fuck the police'' repeatedly while maintaining that ''whiteness is the most violent fuckin' system to ever breathe!'' Attempting a philosophical bridge, the students say they are ''tired of white people talking about what black and brown people need'' before getting to their real point: ''Fuck you George [Bridges]; we don't wanna listen to a goddamn thing you have to say! No, you shut the fuck up.''
The students then attempt a history lesson of sorts, telling the college officials, ''We built these cities, we had civilization way before you ever had'...coming out of your caves.''
The students even instruct Bridges that he should not attempt to speak with his hands in the air, and one student demonstrates how it's done.
Professor Bret Weinstein, who had already experienced the students' antics in his classroom, recently told Fox News' Tucker Carlson that the latest student uprising was ''far crazier'' than what had come before.
Follow David on Twitter
VIDEO - Howard Schultz says Trump is creating chaos
Wed, 31 May 2017 12:15
Howard Schultz. Tina Fineberg/AP Donald Trump is creating "chaos" that is impacting the American economy, according to Starbucks' longtime CEO and current chairman Howard Schultz.
"The world is screwed up. People are unsettled," Schultz said a meeting with the company's support staff in Seattle in February. "There is a tremendous amount of pressure and anxiety in America."
"We have a president that is creating episodic chaos every single day, and that is no doubt affecting consumer behavior," Schultz said, in a video obtained by Business Insider.
Schultz said he believed Starbucks was perhaps uniquely suited to thrive in this environment.
"We have an antidote ," he said. "We always have. And that's the sense of community, the third place, and the environment that we create around family."
Schultz, who stepped down as Starbucks' CEO in April, has been an outspoken critic of Trump's policies.
In January, Starbucks pledged to hire 10,000 refugees after Trump issued an executive order banning refugees from entering the US. At the time, Schultz penned an open letter that said the American dream had been "called into question." Previously, Schultz had endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for president.
"I think it's obvious that Hillary Clinton needs to be the next president," Schultz said in an interview with CNN's Poppy Harlow in September. "On the other side, we've seen such vitriolic display of bigotry and hate and divisiveness, and that is not the leadership we need for the future of the country."
In December, Schultz said in an interview with CNBC that he did not believe "that Starbucks or the brand is at odds with Trump or his supporters" on any level.
VIDEO - Maxine Waters, May 29, 2017, speaking to voter in her district - YouTube
Wed, 31 May 2017 06:45
VIDEO - Maxine Waters, May 29, 2017, speaking to voter in her district - YouTube
Wed, 31 May 2017 03:51
VIDEO - Campaign started to take down landmark Sam Houston statue in Houston | KXAN.com
Wed, 31 May 2017 03:25
Sam Houston statue (KPRC Photo)HOUSTON (KPRC) '-- The Sam Houston statue has been at Houston's Hermann Park since 1925, but a group that calls itself Texas Antifa has started a campaign to take down this and any other landmark that bears the name Sam Houston.
The statue has been a site to see for nearly a century and for some people, it's a site they want to see for years to come.
On Thursday, the group posted on its Facebook page saying, ''Texans agree the disgusting idols of America's dark days of slavery must be removed to bring internal peace to our country.''
The group also suggested Mayor Sylvester Turner should back the removal of the statue, because of his ethnicity and political affiliation.
When Turner was asked if he should be in favor of the statue's removal, he said the thought hadn't even crossed his mind.
''It's not even on my agenda. I haven't even given it any thought,'' Turner said.
When Sam Houston was a senator in the 1800s, he repeatedly voted against the spread of slavery to new territories of the United States. He was also ousted as governor of Texas for refusing to align himself with the Confederacy.
Read the full story at click2houston.com.
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VIDEO - Why Seth Rich Had to Die '' Girlfriend?, 1652 - YouTube
Tue, 30 May 2017 15:21
VIDEO - Fareed Zakaria: Liberals think they're tolerant, but they're not - CNN.com
Tue, 30 May 2017 03:29
"American universities seem committed to every kind of diversity except intellectual diversity. Conservative voices and views are being silenced entirely," Zakaria said.
The CNN host said he found this attitude strange, especially given that these incidents occurred on college campuses that "promised to give their undergraduates a liberal education."
"The word liberal in this context has nothing to do with today's partisan language, but refers instead to the Latin root, pertaining to liberty. And at the heart of liberty in the Western world has been freedom of speech. From the beginning, people understood that this meant protecting and listening to speech with which you disagreed," Zakaria argued.
That means, he said, not drowning out "the ideas that we find offensive."
In addition, Zakaria noted what he called "an anti-intellectualism" on the left.
"It's an attitude of self-righteousness that says we are so pure, we're so morally superior, we cannot bear to hear an idea with which we disagree," he said.
"Liberals think they are tolerant but often they aren't," he added.
No one, he continued, "has a monopoly on right or virtue."
In fact, it is only by being open to hearing opposing views that people on both sides of the political spectrum can learn something, Zakaria said.
"By talking seriously and respectfully about agreements and disagreements, we can come together in a common conversation," he said.
"Recognizing that while we seem so far apart, we do actually have a common destiny."
VIDEO - Pulsing red lights spotted on second floor of the White House | New York Post
Tue, 30 May 2017 03:26
WASHINGTON '-- Mysterious flashing red lights were spotted from the White House on Sunday night and social media has lit up with plenty of wild explanations.
TV cameras regularly positioned on the White House caught the red strobe lights around 8:30 p.m. Sunday. The pulsing light seemed to be emanating from two windows on the second floor of the residence.
President Trump was home at the White House following his nine-day foreign trip.
Spokespeople for the White House and the US Secret Service have not yet commented on what the red lights were. But social media erupted with plenty of theories, ranging from a disco dance party to a back-channel code to the Russians.
Some Twitter users joked it was a Trump tanning bed on the fritz or the president unwinding with an intense game of Operation.
One practical suggestion was the lights were merely a reflection from an emergency vehicle in the area.
It was Trump's first full day at the White House since his inaugural foreign trip and he was huddling with advisers on the latest developments in the Russia investigation that has now swept up his son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Others mused that Trump brought home the glowing orb from Saudi Arabia.
The red lights lasted for about 20 minutes, according to NBC's ''Today'' show. They haven't been spotted since.
''As of this morning, the red light mystery lives on,'' said NBC's Dylan Dreyer.
VIDEO - Judge Jeanine goes on unhinged rant: I know who the White House leaker is 'but I'm not ready to share'
Mon, 29 May 2017 21:37
Texas Republican posts Facebook threat to shoot Hispanic lawmaker after squabble in legislature
Democrat Cory Booker defends Jared Kushner '-- after receiving loads of campaign cash
MSNBC host stunned when spy catcher insists Jared Kushner is 'absolutely' a Russian agent
'Tiny hand clenched on top': Internet hilariously mocks Trump for plagiarizing his family coat of arms
'There is only one snowflake': Kimmel writer hilariously mocks Trump after he blocked her on Twitter
90 years ago today Donald Trump's father was arrested at a KKK rally
Fight erupts among lawmakers after Texas Republican calls ICE on people protesting immigration bill
Trump raged at Palestinian President Abbas in meeting: 'You tricked me!'
California man screaming racial slurs hospitalizes black man in machete rampage: police
'I don't want to be associated with him': 100 eighth graders refuse to pose with Paul Ryan during DC trip
VIDEO - Body Language: Kellyanne Conway/The View - YouTube
Mon, 29 May 2017 12:48
VIDEO - Hellstorm full movie - YouTube
Mon, 29 May 2017 12:34
VIDEO - Bill Hicks rips Jay Leno - YouTube
Mon, 29 May 2017 12:31
VIDEO - Media Matters on Twitter: ".@GoAngelo: Advertisers are finding out just how volatile Sean Hannity really is https://t.co/C02JW2mBIB"
Sun, 28 May 2017 20:13
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VIDEO - Lost 'Mr. Rogers' Episodes Mysteriously Resurface '-- And Might Be a Message to Trump
Sun, 28 May 2017 19:24
Thirty-four years ago, on five consecutive episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, two feuding sects representing Russia and the United States began stockpiling parts for bombs'--at one point stripping the neighborhood's arts funding to bankroll the build-up.
This might sound like some particularly dark, on-the-nose fan fiction about a Mister Rogers episode written in 2017, but these episodes really did air in November of 1983'--and only then. The episodes were pulled from syndication and future releases. While production stills reappeared over the years, and a poor-quality, five-minute clip wound up on YouTube recently, the individual episodes themselves were never surfaced again.
That was until this week. Two of them were anonymously posted to YouTube on Monday.
Now, the question isn't, ''Where are the tapes?'' The question is, ''Who did this?''
Or maybe more importantly, ''Why now?''
Two weeks ago, Donald Trump released a budget that would entirely eliminate federal funding from public broadcasting. The budget also calls for $54 billion in military spending.
Just four days later, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood's conflict series, lost for 33 years and focused primarily on the dangers of stripping public funding of art and education to stockpile arms, suddenly appeared without notice on Youtube.
Longtime Mister Rogers fans knew of the lost episodes for decades, but modern viewers have likely never heard of them, let alone seen them.
''It's surreal, honestly,'' said Jorge Flores.
Flores runs a YouTube channel called BlameItOnJorge that mostly deals with lost media and conspiracies. He told his followers on Twitter he was working on an update of some of the spookiest lost media that were still unsolved. Then he got a tweet from a fan.
''First two Mr Rogers Conflict parts were found,'' the tweet reads.
Two days prior, an anonymous YouTube user named TROG SLEEP NOW uploaded relatively pristine copies of two of the five episodes in Mister Rogers Talks About Conflict in full. The user hasn't posted anything else. No other videos, no comments, and not even a profile picture.
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Events in American politics make the sudden release of these episodes this week particularly fishy. The series initially aired during the height of the Cold War as a way to better explain the conflict to children than a heavily promoted miniseries on ABC called The Day After, which aired the same week. That miniseries, a gruesome look at the fallout of a potential nuclear war with Russia, was sent to President Ronald Reagan before it aired. He said the film ''left me greatly depressed.''
Rogers' series deals more with the events leading up to a potential war, and how the persistent talk and fear of instant annihilation from the leader of a country can be particularly draining for children.
The premise of the series revolves around the Neighborhood of Make-Believe's King Friday and his lingering worries that the neighboring town might be building a bomb, after he saw a strange package shipped to a local factory owner named Corny. Over time, without any evidence, King Friday becomes increasingly convinced Corny is gearing up for war, and directs all of the residents of the Neighborhood of Make Believe to start creating bomb parts. He wants 1 million bomb parts, and he also encourages his own residents to arm themselves.
Children were forced to put on gas masks and participate in air raid drills. Yes, in an episode of Mister Rogers.
When Handyman Negri goes door to door to deliver the news, the real-life, present-day political significance becomes abundantly clear.
''I'm on the committee to decide what we'll use the king's money for. He wanted to give something to school. I'm all for good music for the children,'' Lady Elaine, a puppet, says to Handyman Negri, who is played by actor Joe Negri.
''Well, so am I, but I'm afraid that there's not gonna be any money for anything like this,'' said Handyman Negri. ''Everything's changed, Lady Elaine. King Friday has just ordered 1 million parts from Corny, and that's going to take all of the country's money.''
Mr. Rogers, outside of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, famously lobbied the U.S. Senate in 1969 to keep funding public broadcasting. His testimony was widely seen to have single-handedly preserved funding for public TV and radio.
At the end, of course, it turns out Corny was ordering parts for a bridge, not a bomb.
Flores isn't sure there's a connection. He says people ''look through cabinets and put [tapes] on YouTube and not know they're this rare all the time.''
''I think that was just happenstance that someone found it and then released it now,'' he said. ''But I think it was a little political at the time, and I think it was certainly taken off the air for political reasons.''
But when told about the timing of Trump's budget, plus Rogers' history of lobbying for the future of public broadcasting, Flores had some second thoughts.
''Woah, I didn't even notice that,'' he said. ''There may be some reference after all.''
The rest of the ending is only known through descriptions of Mister Rogers episodes from superfans, whose transcriptions of the first episodes were miraculously faithful on the first two releases.
No longer living in fear of perpetual war, the Neighborhood of Make-Believe has a Celebration of Peace. A carpenter sings What Do You Do With the Mad That You Feel, the very same poem the real-life Fred Rogers delivered to the Senate in 1969.
Rogers then concludes: ''Rules are very, very important. Not just for games but for all things. Even big things like countries. Countries have to have rules to protect people, too. And someday you'll be helping to make the rules for your country. I trust that you'll make the best kind you know how."
Flores has a quick word for whoever dropped those first two episodes.
''To that guy, thank you for doing it,'' he said. ''And those last three, put 'em up.''
At the very end of the last episode of Mister Rogers' conflict series, King Friday takes all of the bomb parts and turn them into a record player for the school.
The episode then ends with a title card that shows a Bible verse.
''And they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning forks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war any more."
VIDEO - "A Mixture Of Blood And Ice Cream" Baghdad Bombing Targets Popular Ice Cream Shop - YouTube
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 15:38
VIDEO - Pentagon Claims Successful Test Of ICBM Interceptor Missile - YouTube
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 15:33
VIDEO - Chris Cuomo Thinks CNN Needs to Hear From More Anti-Trump Voices | MRCTV
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 15:29
(See corresponding article here) CNN's New Day anchor Chris Cuomo is frustrated that we are not hearing enough from those who oppose Trump. Sad! On Tuesday morning, he grumbled:
CUOMO: He does have a blessing among his base of people really believing the President wants to do the right thing and giving him the benefit of every doubt. Though every time I see one of these panels now, I want you to sit with the people who are not for Trump.
VIDEO - The View Begs Chelsea Clinton to Run for President in 2020 | MRCTV
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 15:20
Read more on NewsBusters here.
Chelsea Clinton is making her rounds in the media this week to promote her new children's feminist book, (that includes a special cameo of her mother!), aptly titled " She Persisted." After one fawning interview on NBC's Today show Tuesday, Clinton was ready for another cushy interview on Wednesday's The View.
VIDEO - UK MI5 intelligence to investigate itself after Manchester attack '' Home Secretary '-- RT UK
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 15:18
Published time: 29 May, 2017 07:39 Edited time: 30 May, 2017 07:31
MI5 has launched a probe into its own failure to flag the threat posed by the Manchester suicide bomber, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said.
In an interview with Sky News, Rudd said the self-probe by the intelligence agency is ''the right first step'' in learning the lessons from last week's concert bombing.
''There is a lot of information coming out at the moment about what happened, how this occurred, what people might or might not have known. And I think it is right that the MI5 takes a look to find out what the facts are,'' she said.
The secretary added that in the future ''we can look if anything else might need to be done'' in terms of investigating the security breach, but stressed that at the moment, the focus should be on wrapping up the operation triggered by the May 22 terrorist attack.
Earlier the BBC reported that the MI5 had been alerted about Salman Abedi's extremist views at least three times before he brought a home-made bomb to the exit of Manchester Arena last week.
It added that a separate report into the overlooked threat would be prepared for ministers and officials overseeing the work of MI5.
READ MORE: Members of Manchester bomber network may still be on the loose '' UK home secretary
Abedi, a British-born man of Libyan descent, was one of 20,000 people identified by the MI5 as a threat, but not one of the 3,000 people who are under active investigation, according to a Reuters source.
On Monday, British police reported arresting the 16th individual suspected of connections with the Manchester bombing. The 23-year-old man was arrested in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, ''on suspicion on offences contrary to the terrorism act,'' Greater Manchester Police tweeted.
Two have been released without charge, while 14 men remain in custody for questioning, the police said.
READ MORE: 'Happy to hysterical in seconds': Witnesses recall Manchester Arena blast
On Sunday, the UK scaled down the terrorist threat in the country from ''critical'' to ''severe.''
The suicide bombing killed 22 people as young as eight and left 59 injured on May 22. The attack, for which Islamic State (IS formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group has taken credit, is the deadliest in the UK since the coordinated bombings in London in 2005.
VIDEO - James Clapper on Trump-Russia Ties: 'My Dashboard Warning Light Was Clearly On' - NBC News
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 15:15
WASHINGTON '-- Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Sunday said that his "dashboard warning light was clearly on" when asked about whether he knew about communications between Russians and White House senior adviser and President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.
"I have to say that, without specifically affirming or confirming these conversations '-- since, even though they're in the public realm, they're still classified '-- just from a theoretical standpoint, I will tell you that my dashboard warning light was clearly on and I think that was the case with all of us in the intelligence community, very concerned about the nature of these approaches to the Russians," Clapper said during an exclusive interview on NBC's "Meet The Press."
"If you put that in context with everything else we knew the Russians were doing to interfere with the election, and just the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned."
He also acknowledged that intelligence like this would have triggered the FBI's extra attention on Kushner. NBC News has reported that Kushner is under FBI scrutiny related to the Russia investigations, but is not a "subject" of them.
"I think so... I have to say, at the time I left, I did not see any smoking gun certitude evidence of collusion. But it certainly was appropriate for '-- given all the signs '-- certainly appropriate for the FBI '-- and necessary for the FBI to investigate," Clapper said.
Clapper served as former President Obama's director of national intelligence for six and a half years, until January 20th of this year, the day President Trump took office, after an extensive career leading U.S. intelligence agencies under presidents of both parties.
On Friday, the Washington Post reported that Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak told Moscow that Kushner met with him in December and attempted to set up "backchannel" communications between the Trump team and the Kremlin before the inauguration.
Though he did not see this as any kind of "smoking gun" toward "collusion," Clapper said that "it certainly arouses your concern about what is going on. Given, Russia, at least for my money, is our primary adversary. They are not our friends. They are in to do us in."
"I have to say as well, Chuck," Clapper added, "we have a time-honored custom that we have one president and one administration at a time. And oncoming administrations don't get a head-start before the end of the current president's incumbency."
He also acknowledged that Kislyak had to be considered as part of the Russian intelligence community.
"Given the fact that he oversees the very aggressive intelligence operation in this country - the Russians have more intelligence operatives than any other nation that is represented in this country, still even after we got rid of 35 of them - and so to suggest that he is somehow separate or oblivious to that is a bit much."
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was cautious to comment on reports concerning Kushner, saying on Sunday's "Meet The Press," "I think Jared has said that he's more than willing to answer any and all questions. They reached out to us yesterday to make sure that we knew that was the case and I'm sure he's willing to do so."
Corker also added that "unless there's some major change in Russia's actions in Syria," they "plan to double down on sanctions with Russia" and will re-visit the issue during the Senate's next work period.
Clapper noted that it's not up to him to decide what kind of action should be taken as a response to Russia's attempts to interfere with the U.S. election, but he said, "certainly sanctions are a compelling, powerful weapon'--Russians don't like them."
"They are only emboldened," Clapper said of Russia. "They are only going to continue to interfere in our political process. To me, that is the big story here and what American people should be concerned about."
VIDEO - MSNBC's Katy Tur Lost Sleep Over Trump's Twitter Typo, Fears it May Start Nuclear War | MRCTV
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 14:58
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
On Wednesday afternoon, MSNBC anchor Katy Tur was freaking out over President Trump's overnight Twitter typo, even to the point of absurdly warning that the commander-in-chief's use of social media could lead to a nuclear war.
Talking to former Clinton campaign staffer Zerlina Maxwell at the end of the 1 p.m. ET hour, Tur claimed that she didn't want to ''pile on'' the coverage of Trump's ''weird tweet,'' but then proceeded to breathlessly ask: ''...what does that say about who controls the information coming out of the White House? And what if somebody hacked into Twitter and posted a message that could have global implications? Saying something like...'I'm going to launch nuclear weapons'?''
VIDEO - Soros urges EU to keep Poland and Hungary in democratic check | Euronews
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 14:45
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VIDEO - Macron minister under investigation for alleged corruption | Euronews
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 14:43
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VIDEO - Concerns over possible US exit from climate deal | Euronews
Thu, 01 Jun 2017 14:40
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Art

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DPRK

Hate Trumps Love

CNN Obsessively Psycho-Analyzes 'Covfefe'.mp3
Howard Schultz says Trump is creating chaos.mp3
MSNBC’s Katy Tur Lost Sleep Over Trump’s Twitter Typo, Fears it May Start Nuclear War.mp3

Hillary's HitList

Hilary+Recode

Hillary+Recode-1-server same as others-not careless.mp3
Hillary+Recode-1a-Comey on CARELESS.mp3
Hillary+Recode-2-Impeachment Gaffee.mp3
Hillary+Recode-3-Weaponizing Tech.mp3
Hillary+Recode-4-what weaponized means.mp3
Hillary+Recode-5-INFORMATION WARS-Cambridge Analytica full explanation.mp3
Hillary+Recode-6-Democrats don't spend the money!-Pitch Kicker.mp3
Hillary+Recode-not a lizard.mp3

JCD Clips

,o, sues facebook and loses.mp3
Afhan rundoen PBS.mp3
baharauin beatings.mp3
bounty hunter showdown.mp3
Cal scandal napolitano.mp3
CBD story.mp3
cell phone number given out by Trump.mp3
comey to talk PBS.mp3
cougar lifestyle.mp3
DEA cock up on RT only.mp3
dingbat supporting cathy griffith.mp3
FISA court rebukes NSA.mp3
gianconti and the journalist.mp3
judy opening president trump typical.mp3
kirpin rips climate change.mp3
lone anti ICBM missile.mp3
medley of cops screaming.mp3
More THAAD in Korea.mp3
orlamndo shooter old stuff re-do CBS.mp3
part of song.mp3
plunge protection.mp3
plunge protection2.mp3
Raddsitze this week ABC Kushner.mp3
sspelling bee girl.mp3
trump climate change rundown cbs.mp3
trump tweet covfefe.mp3
Trumps shoes with judy breathing.mp3
UK attack highly likely election.mp3
woo hoo jope biden.mp3

Leakers

Judge Janeanne knows who the leaker is.mp3
Roger Stone acuses Dina Habib Powell of being the WH leaker.mp3

Manchester

Maxine

Ministry of Truthiness

SJW BLM LGBBTQQIAAP

Campaign started to take down landmark Sam Houston statue in Houston.mp3
Evergreen College Angry Blacks.mp3
Fareed Zakaria-Liberals think they're tolerant, but they're not - CNN.mp3
Kathy Griffin apologizes for beheaded picture.mp3
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