2018/11/27: we know Mueller has the goods on whatever Manafort lied about -- and whoever Manafort felt a need to protect -- because he told the judge that he "will file a detailed sentencing submission to the Probation Department and the Court in advance of sentencing that sets forth the nature of the defendant's crimes and lies, including those after signing the plea agreement." Translation: Manafort lied, I know it, and I'll prove it at his sentencing if necessary. That should cause serious concern to whoever Manafort sought to protect by lying to federal prosecutors during his proffers.
So, why then would Manafort endanger himself by lying to Mueller? I see two possible explanations. One, perhaps Manafort is simply an arrogant, congenital liar. The trial evidence proved that Manafort believed he could spin a web of lies and get away with them. He got caught lying to banks and the IRS, and now, unsurprisingly, he has been caught by Mueller. Some cooperators understand that they are best served by telling the truth, for better or worse; others play games with prosecutors and end up getting burned.
Two, Manafort may be playing for a longshot pardon or commutation from Trump. It already has been reported, before Manafort's trial conviction and cooperation plea, that Trump at least discussed the possibility of pardoning Manafort.
2018/11/17: The American investigations into foreign interference in Trump’s election, and British probes into Brexit, have increasingly become interwoven.
The possibility that both Brexit and the Trump campaign simultaneously relied upon the same social-media company and its transgressive tactics, as well as some of the same advisers, to further far-right nationalist campaigns, set off alarm bells on both sides of the Atlantic.
Damian Collins, a member of Parliament, and chair of its Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which held an inquiry into fake news, told the Observer, which has broken much of the news about Cambridge Analytica in the U.K., that the new e-mails “suggest that the role of Bannon and Mercer is far deeper and more complex than we realised.
There’s a big question about whether Mercer’s money was used in the Brexit campaign and it absolutely underscores why Britain needs a proper Mueller-style investigation. There are direct links between the political movements behind Brexit and Trump. We’ve got to recognise the bigger picture here. This is being coordinated across national borders by very wealthy people in a way we haven’t seen before."
2018/09/16: Trump and his cronies do so many despicable things that it can be hard to keep track. I think that may be the point—to confound us, so it’s harder to keep our eye on the ball. The ball, of course, is protecting American democracy. As citizens, that’s our most important charge. And right now, our democracy is in crisis.
I don’t use the word crisis lightly. There are no tanks in the streets. The administration’s malevolence may be constrained on some fronts—for now—by its incompetence. But our democratic institutions and traditions are under siege. We need to do everything we can to fight back. There’s not a moment to lose.
As I see it, there are five main fronts of this assault on our democracy.
2016/02/10: Those young feminists who support Sanders are not naive or disloyal. They are building a new world, and they are demanding a new politics that invites everyone to play. They are, in fact, doing exactly what we feminists of a certain age once wished for our daughters: thinking for themselves, unburdened by gender.
2016/12/16: Democrats who are having trouble getting out of the first stage of grief - denial - aren't being helped by the fact that, now that all the votes are counted, Hillary Clinton's lead in the popular vote has topped 2.8 million, giving her a 48% share of the vote compared with Trumps 46%.
To those unschooled in how the United States selects presidents, this seems totally unfair. But look more closely at the numbers and you see that Clinton's advantage all but disappears.
As we noted in this space earlier, while Clinton's overall margin looks large and impressive, it is due to Clinton's huge margin of victory in one state - California - where she got a whopping 4.3 million more votes than Trump.
California is the only state, in fact, where Clinton's margin of victory was bigger than President Obama's in 2012 — 61.5% vs. Obama's 60%.
But California is the exception that proves the true genius of the Electoral College - which was designed to prevent regional candidates from dominating national elections.
2016/11/20: In a capitalist democracy, the party of the left has one essential reason for existing: to speak for the working class. This delicate balance ended in the 1990s. Many blame Reagan and Thatcher for destroying unions and unfettering corporations. I don’t. In the 1990s, a New Left arose in the English-speaking world: Bill Clinton’s New Democrats and Tony Blair’s New Labour. Instead of a balancing act, Clinton and Blair presided over an equally aggressive “new centrist” dismantling of the laws that protected workers and the poor.
Enough examples should by now be common knowledge. Bill Clinton signed the final death warrant of the Glass-Steagall Act (itself originally signed into law by FDR), removing the final blocks preventing the banking industry from gambling away our prosperity (leading to the 2008 recession). Bill Clinton also sold us on the promise of free trade.
it is crucial that our cultural elite, most of it aligned with the New Democrats, not be allowed to shirk their responsibility for Trump’s success.
it was less about actually electing Trump. It was pretty clear the GRU's goal was to weaken a future Hillary presidency. Putin has like a personal antipathy towards her and believes that she was behind the protests against him in the 2012 Russian election, and so, the GRU activity was specifically focused on weakening her.
Throwing an election one way or another is going to be very difficult for a foreign adversary but throwing any election into chaos is totally doable right now.
Faith leaders whose politics fall to the left of center are getting more involved in politics to fight against President Trump's policies.
For those of us who believe in science,you simply cannot ignore what the scientific community is saying almost unanimously."
A shadowy operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign heavily influenced the result of the EU referendum. Is our electoral process still fit for purpose?
We crunched the data on where journalists work and how fast it's changing. The results should worry you.
Dopo il caso Cambridge Analytica, il punto di vista di uno scienziato di computational social science. E' davvero possibile manipolare il comportamento elettorale attraverso una strategia basata su dati e veicolata tramite piattaforme social? E' perché sarebbero monipolabili soprattutto i populisti? Prime parziali risposte
The Justice Department recently indicted 13 Russians and three companies in connection with efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. The indicted are accused of orchestrating an online propaganda effort to undermine the U.S. election system. The indictment claims the Russians spread negative information online about Hillary Clinton and supportive information about Donald Trump, as well as Bernie Sanders-but some are warning against overstating what Russia accomplished. For more, we speak with award-winning Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen, a longtime critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Her recent piece for The New Yorker is titled "The Fundamental Uncertainty of Mueller's Russia Indictments."
Over the last two years, the capacity to manage mood has been monetised through the sharing of fake news and political feeds atuned to reader preference: you can also make people happy by confirming their biases.
Michael Flynn's downfall Friday exacerbated grave legal and political risks that represent the most serious threat to any administration for at least 40 years, and could eventually imperil the Trump presidency itself.
When I was asked to run the Democratic Party after the Russians hacked our emails, I stumbled onto a shocking truth about the Clinton campaign.
If everyone is upset with you, as the platform's chief says, are you really doing something right?
2017/09/06: it casts a new light on Facebook’s “fake news” problem, which looks more sinister if some of the misinformation spread on the platform in the runup to the U.S. election was fueled by Russian-funded ad dollars or troll networks.
Fourth, it suggests that Facebook may have a more widespread oversight problem in its ad sales. As the Post’s story notes, it’s illegal for foreign nationals or governments to buy ads or spend money aimed at influencing a U.S. election. It now seems clear they’ve been using Facebook to do just that.
Finally, while $100,000 amounts to a minuscule fraction of U.S. election spending, it could go a long way in amplifying posts among a targeted audience. Facebook said only about 25 percent of the ads were geographically targeted. But it’s worth remembering that the company has a history of not being forthcoming when it comes to the scale and mechanisms of misinformation on its platform. It’s possible that the activities the company has uncovered and disclosed so far represent only a small part of a larger problem.