Breaking news: Suspect in Austin Bombings Is Dead
- The suspect is a 24-year-old white male. It's unclear whether he acted alone.
- He is responsible for all the events that occurred in Austin, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said.
Back to the round-up:
Cambridge Analytica execs boast of role in getting Trump elected
Execs from firm at heart of Facebook data breach say they used ‘unattributable and untrackable’ ads, according to undercover expose
The Latest: Cambridge Analytica suspends CEO pending probe
The board of Cambridge Analytica says it has suspended CEO Alexander Nix pending a full independent investigation of his actions.
The board cited comments Nix made to an undercover reporter for Britain’s Channel 4 News and other allegations of wrongdoing for its action Tuesday.
It said his comments “do not represent the values or operations of the firm and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view the violation.”
The board said in an announcement posted on the data mining company’s website that the suspension was effective immediately.
For news about the IL primaries, go here.
A new undercover video raises significant questions about Cambridge Analytica’s elections work
It is entirely circumstantial, but we have to note the following coincidence. On the tape, Turnbull celebrates Cambridge’s “Defeat Crooked Hillary” ads, produced on behalf of Make America Number 1. The o’s in “crooked” were transformed into handcuffs — imagery that mirrored Russian interference efforts. Among the more complicated schemes the Russians deployed, according to Mueller’s indictment, was hiring an American to dress as Clinton in prison garb and stand on display at a campaign event in a makeshift cage. The Russians, it seems, picked up the criminal-Clinton idea from the bloodstream.
Any question of Cambridge advocating improper communication between campaign efforts was reinforced by Nix’s description of using an email system that deleted messages after a short period — eliminating a paper trail. It was one reason that he appeared to be unconcerned about federal investigators unwinding the firm’s campaign work.
How Facebook Made Its Cambridge Analytica Data Crisis Even Worse
The company knew ahead of time that on Saturday, the New York Times and The Guardian’s Observer would issue bombshell reports that the data firm that helped Donald Trump win the presidency had accessed and retained information on 50 million Facebook users without their permission.
Facebook did two things to protect itself: it sent letters to the media firms laying out its legal case for why this data leak didn’t constitute a "breach." And then it scooped the reports using their information, with a Friday blog post on why it was suspending the ad firm, Cambridge Analytica, from its site.
Both moves backfired.
Zaynep Tufecki/NY Times:
Facebook’s Surveillance Machine
Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that you had explicitly consented to turn over your Facebook data to another company. Do you keep up with the latest academic research on computational inference? Did you know that algorithms now do a pretty good job of inferring a person’s personality traits, sexual orientation, political views, mental health status, substance abuse history and more just from his or her Facebook “likes” — and that there are new applications of this data being discovered every day?
Given this confusing and rapidly changing state of affairs about what the data may reveal and how it may be used, consent to ongoing and extensive data collection can be neither fully informed nor truly consensual — especially since it is practically irrevocable.
This is a terrific tweet thread covering the Kris Kobach vs ACLU trial by Jessica Huseman. Give it a read.
David Lauter/LA Times:
Democratic, Republican voter bases are more different than ever
Now, a new, large-scale study has documented how much the mix of voters who support each of the two parties has changed. The conclusion: The two party coalitions are now more different than at any point in the past generation.
The Democrats have changed the most, as the mix of voters who support them has grown less white, less religious, more college-educated, younger and more liberal over the past decade, according to the study by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.
Tip the doorman, dude.
One Morning in Baghdad
Fifteen years after the U.S. invasion, there’s no satisfying answer to the question: What were we doing in Iraq anyway?
The evening following the attack on the al-Rashid Hotel, a senior U.S. military officer came to visit my Rangers in our humble house in the Green Zone. He asked me how things were going.
“Not too bad, sir. The boys are fine. Good spirits. We got a little shaken up this morning by the rocket attack on that hotel. You know, sir, the hotel Paul Wolfowitz was staying at.”
The senior officer stared at me. “Good,” he finally said. “That guy needs to experience getting shot at for once in his life.”
We were right about Vietnam. We were right about Iraq. And we are right about Trump.
Democrats' 2018 midterm hopes strengthened by decline of liberal 'purity tests'
Why liberals' newfound love of pragmatism over purity is bad news for Trump and the GOP.
Flash forward to March 2018, and I’m now hearing some of those very same Bernie purists say that if the candidate has a “D” in front of their name, they will vote for them. Even more interesting: They seem to be sincere about this new strategy, not resentful.
Here is a parable for elections:
Republicans are in denial about a blue wave
In GOP-held districts, the GOP preference of 14 points in January dropped to zero. “Given that so much of the 2018 House battleground is in red/purple areas, the GOP being in single digits — or even — in Republican-held districts is a problem.” That would be an understatement.
Moreover, Democrats hold huge leads among millennials (59 to 29 percent), women (57 to 34 percent), whites with a college degree (55 to 42 percent), independents (48 to 36 percent) and older voters (52 to 41 percent) The older voter numbers are especially problematic because older voters turn out in higher numbers in midterms than other groups and because this was previously a base of President Trump’s support (Trump won over-65 voters by a margin of 52 to 47 percent on Election Day while Republican House candidates won this group by a 53 to 45 percent margin.)
Good for them. And good for this conservative, Col. Ralph Peters:
In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration. When prime-time hosts--who have never served our country in any capacity--dismiss facts and empirical reality to launch profoundly dishonest assaults on the FBI, the Justice Department, the courts, the intelligence community (in which I served) and, not least, a model public servant and genuine war hero such as Robert Mueller--all the while scaremongering with lurid warnings of "deep-state" machinations-- I cannot be part of the same organization, even at a remove.
In fact, more from Ralph Peters, from February:
I’m a military man and I think we should ban assault weapons
There is hope for some.
Meanwhile, we in New England are waiting for the first nor’easter of spring.
Notes, emails reveal Trump appointees' war to end HHS teen pregnancy program
Political appointees ended the HHS program over objections of career experts
The trove shows three appointees with strict pro-abstinence beliefs — including Valerie Huber, the then-chief of staff for the department's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health — guided the process to end a program many medical professionals credit with helping to bring the nation’s teen pregnancy rate to an all-time low.
Prior to serving at HHS, Huber was the president of Ascend, an association that promotes abstinence until marriage as the best way to prevent teen pregnancy.