Category Archives: Election

Fake News

A joint investigation by BuzzFeed News and partners has uncovered new information that rewrites the story of the fake news boom in the Macedonian town of Veles.

A week before Election Day in 2016, BuzzFeed News revealed that young men and teens in Veles were running over a hundred websites that pumped out often false viral stories that supported Donald Trump.

Media outlets from around the world descended upon Veles to tell the story of how the so-called fake news teens — many of whom had a shaky understanding of English — made large sums of money from digital ads shown next to their misleading stories about US politics.

But after reviewing social media posts, government records, domain registry information, and archived versions of fake news sites, as well as interviewing key players, BuzzFeed News, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, and the Investigative Reporting Lab Macedonia can now reveal that Veles’ political news industry was not started spontaneously by apolitical teens.

Rather, it was launched by a well-known Macedonian media attorney, Trajche Arsov — who worked closely with two high-profile American partners for at least six months during a period that overlapped with Election Day.

One of those Americans, Paris Wade, is now running for office in Nevada. Arsov also employed other American and British writers, including at least one who currently works for US right-wing conspiracy site the Gateway Pundit.

сговор

Nobody will be shocked to learn that…

Documents filed by special counsel prosecutors reveal that former Trump deputy campaign chairman Richard Gates was knowingly working with an individual with ties to Russian intelligence during the campaign, CBS News Paula Reid reports. In a late Tuesday court filing late, the special counsel alleged that this unnamed person worked for one of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s companies and was in touch with Gates in September and October 2016. This individual is also described as being “pertinent to the investigation.”

Countdown to “Lying Paul Manafort was a total loser and only worked on my campaign briefly and I never met Gates. There was NO COLLUSION!” starts now.

10…9…

Shilling for the fellow who brings the sheep in

Shilling for the fellow who bilks the herd:

An investigation by Channel 4 News has revealed how Cambridge Analytica claims it ran ‘all’ of President Trump’s digital campaign – and may have broken election law. As the report went on air, the firm announced it has suspended chief executive Alexander Nix, pending a full investigation.

An undercover investigation by Channel 4 News has revealed how Cambridge Analytica claims it ran key parts of the presidential campaign for Donald Trump.

The British data company was secretly filmed discussing coordination between Trump’s campaign and outside groups – an activity which is potentially illegal.

Executives claimed they “ran all the digital campaign, the television campaign and our data informed all the strategy” for President Trump.

In the third part of a Channel 4 News investigation into Cambridge Analytica, bosses also talked about:

  • The full scale of their pivotal work in Trump’s election win
  • How they avoid Congressional investigations into their foreign clients
  • Setting up proxy organisations to feed untraceable messages onto social media
  • Using a secret email system where messages self-destruct and leave no trace
  • Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in the “Defeat Crooked Hilary” brand of attack ads

pSong

Facecrook

Yes, fuck Cambridge Analytica, and fuck the Mercers. But what happened was not a hack or a breach or theft. What happened was someone shared data they legally got from Facebook with someone who wasn’t entitled (according to Facebook’s Terms Of Service or whatever) to have it.

That’s it. It was a breach of contract.

Does that seems insufficiently dramatic to account for the fact that CA got detailed personal information about 50,000,000 people without their consent and then used it to target them for political messaging? Yes!

But the problem is that Facebook has that data and sells that data. Of course people are going to use the data. It’s useful, and valuable. That’s why people pay for it. That’s why FB gathers it in the first place! And it happens all the time.

Maybe people should quit FB? Seems unlikely. Maybe they should stop taking “What Kind Of Dog Are You?” quizzes? Tighten their security settings?

And, if you think FB’s data collection is terrible, you should take a look at what the people who connect you to Facebook do with your info.

Porous

President Trump has fired his White House personal assistant John McEntee, who had been with the president since early in his campaign, an administration official confirmed Tuesday. The president’s campaign then announced McEntee will rejoin the campaign as a senior adviser of operations.

McEntee is the latest in a series of departures by West Wing officials, including communications director Hope Hicks and staff secretary Rob Porter. It was not clear why McEntee was let go. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the firing, citing an unspecified security issue.

Lemme guess: McEntee was working on the campaign as part of his WH duties and someone just discovered that doing so was breaking a law that we’re all going to learn about in the next week or so.

First Time

For the first time ever, all 170 races for the North Carolina General Assembly will have candidates from both major parties.

A flurry of candidate filings took place before the noon deadline on Wednesday. The increase of candidates is noteworthy as just two years ago, 15 of the 50 Senate races and 58 of the 120 House districts lacked a Democrat or a Republican in the General Election.

Ethics?

Two Republican members of the Federal Communications Commission face accusations that they violated government ethics rules during appearances at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was given the National Rifle Association’s Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award at CPAC Friday. Accepting the award is almost certainly a violation of government ethics rules, according to Walter Shaub, who was director of the US Office of Government Ethics from 2013 to 2017. Pai has not publicly responded to the accusation.

Also on Friday, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly called for the re-election of President Donald Trump during his appearance at CPAC. Advocacy group American Oversight called for an investigation of O’Rielly, saying that he violated a rule against “engaging in partisan political activity while on duty.”

I’m sure they will be reprimanded, severely.

Dear Local Dems

No, text spamming my phone is not going to get me to come out and help you do any kind of organizing or fund raising or any fucking thing whatsoever.

Just FYI

The 49 Democrats in the Senate represent 56.4% of Americans.

Sum [ for each state: (state population / 2) * # of Dem Senators ] / total population = 56.4%

The math works out the same without that ” / 2″, but the bottom line values make more sense with it.