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Intelligence Community Concerned Official In Charge Of Election Security May Be Ousted Next

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 10:33

The purge of those who are not Trump loyalists in the intelligence community continues. CNN is reporting that there are more departures expected, and that Shelby Pierson, the person in charge of evaluating intelligence regarding election security with the ODNI, may be the next to go now that Trump has his flunky, Richard Grennell as temporary Director of National Intelligence:

Some top intelligence officials are looking to leave following the recent upheaval at the office that oversees the 17 intelligence agencies of the US government, including the controversial appointment of Richard Grenell as the nation's top intelligence official, a US official told CNN.

Grenell has said he is only temporarily filling the position of acting director of American spy agencies, but he is already making his mark. Grenell, a President Donald Trump loyalist, is also still serving as the US ambassador to Germany. After his appointment to the intelligence post this week, officials at the office of the director of national intelligence (ODNI) made calls to US diplomats in Germany inquiring about Grenell's leadership style, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

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Categories: Politics

Climate change is stirring up young voters

Daily Kos - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 10:30

By Judith Lewis Mernit 

For Elsa Mengistu, it all began with guns. The 18-year-old North Carolina native first found her way into organizing for a cause through the Winston-Salem chapter of March for Our Lives, the youth activist movement formed after the 2018 shooting that killed 17 people at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. But in coming to understand the factors that cause guns to proliferate in American society, Mengistu, who is black, started to see racism and poverty and gun violence as all part of the same problematic system that puts corporate profits over people’s well-being—how lower-income people live in more polluted communities, for example.

 “That kind of got the gears turning,” says Mengistu, who at the time was in 11th grade in High Point, North Carolina. “I just started seeing how everything—literally everything on this Earth is interconnected.” One day she was scrolling through social media when she came across a post about the youth-led Global Climate Strike. “I just felt like they were building a new future,” she says. “And I ended up joining them in Washington, D.C., organizing for this giant march.”

Categories: Politics

Chris Wallace Busts Marc Short On Russian Attacks: ‘You Can’t Say It Didn’t Happen And Then Say They Leaked It’

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 10:18

Fox News host Chris Wallace called out Marc Short, an aide to Mike Pence, after he insisted that there is no intelligence that shows Russia has a preference for Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

"There's not intelligence that said the Russians are trying to help Donald Trump win elections," Short said during an interview on Fox News Sunday.

"I know that's the White House argument," Wallace acknowledged. "There is a consistent story that came out this week and we've heard it from members of the committee, from members of the intelligence community, we've heard it from people in your own White House."

"And that is that Shelby Pierson, who is the intelligence community's election security czar, told Congress that the Russians are trying to help Donald Trump," he added. "The president's reaction was to call in her boss -- acting DNI chief Joe Maguire -- to fire him and to replace him with Ambassador Richard Grenell. a Trump partisan who has almost no intelligence experience."

"You say none of this happened?" Wallace asked Short.

The White House aided, however, pivoted to complain that information about Pierson has been leaked from the House Intelligence Committee.

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Categories: Politics

Defeat Trump, Or We'll Never See Yovanovitch's Book, Much Less Bolton's

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 10:00

Every news story about the vetting process for John Bolton's book implies that the vetting is being done by career professionals according to long-established standards. I don't believe it. I believe the career pros may be trying to uphold standards -- but is it even possible that they're not feeling intimidated? Is it conceivable that this president will allow them to exercise independent judgment, even if they conclude that the book is publishable before November?

President Trump has directly weighed in on the White House review of a forthcoming book by his former national security adviser, telling his staff that he views John Bolton as “a traitor,” that everything he uttered to the departed aide about national security is classified and that he will seek to block the book’s publication, according to two people familiar with the conversations.

The president’s private arguments stand in contrast to the point-by-point process used to classify and protect sensitive secrets and appears to differ from the White House’s public posture toward Bolton’s much-anticipated memoir. The National Security Council warned Bolton last month that his draft “appears to contain significant amounts of classified information,” some of it top secret, but pledged to help him revise the manuscript and “move forward as expeditiously as possible.”

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Categories: Politics

How Peloton Bricked the Screens On Flywheel's Stationary Bikes

Slashdot - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 09:34
DevNull127 writes: Let me get this straight. Peloton's main product is a stationary bicycle costing over $2,000 with a built-in touchscreen for streaming exercise classes. ("A front facing camera and microphone mean you can interact with friends and encourage one another while you ride," explained the Kickstarter campaign which helped launch the company in 2013, with 297 backers pledging $307,332.) Soon after they went public last summer, Bloomberg began calling them "the unprofitable fitness company whose stock has been skidding," adding "The company is working on a new treadmill that will cost less than the current $4,000 model, as well as a rowing machine." Last March they were also sued for $150 million for using music in workout videos without proper licensing, according to the Verge — which notes that the company was then valued at $4 billion. And then this week Vice reported on what happened to one of their competitors. "Flywheel offered both in-studio and in-home stationary bike classes similar to Peloton. Peloton sued Flywheel for technology theft, claiming Flywheel's in-home bikes were too similar to Peloton's. Flywheel settled out of court and, as part of that settlement, it's pointing people to Peloton who is promising to replace the $2,000 Flywheel bikes with refurbished Pelotons... When Peloton delivers these replacement bikes, it'll also haul away the old Flywheels." The Verge reports that one Flywheel customer who'd been enjoying her bike since 2017 "received an email from Peloton, not Flywheel, informing her that her $1,999 bike would no longer function by the end of next month." "It wasn't like Flywheel gave us any option if you decide not to take the Peloton," she says. "Basically it was like: take it or lose your money. They didn't even attempt to fix it with their loyal riders. It felt like a sting."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Jailbreak tweaks of the week: Dots 2, Gravitation, Springtomize 5, and more…

iDownloadBlog - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 09:30

Looking for some new jailbreak tweaks for your pwned iPhone or iPad? If so, then you've come to the right place.
Categories: Geek

Mike's Blog Round Up

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 09:01

Blue Mass Group: Democratic House primaries in March pit some progressive women against some conservative men.

The Rectification of Names: For the Trump national security team, printouts of tweets have replaced Powerpoint presentations.

Off the Charts: What gig workers need to know for tax season.

Just Above Sunset: The truth? Trump can’t handle the truth.

Speaking of which, your quote of the day:
"One thing I can promise you is this: I will always tell you the truth." (Donald Trump, August 18, 2016.)

Guest blogging Mike's Blog Round Up for the last time this week is Jon Perr from Perrspectives. Send your tips, recommendations, comments and angst to mbru AT crooksandliars DOT com.

Categories: Politics

Comment: My essential Mac apps for 2020 include Fantastical, AirBuddy, and more

9to5Mac - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 09:00

2020 is the tenth anniversary of the iPad, so there has been a lot of discussion around the best app along with ways to get the most out of the platform and be more productive. However, the Mac is still a great place to work, play, and learn. If you are picking up your first Mac, upgrading from an old one, or just looking to become more efficient, I want to run through some of my essential Mac apps that I am using this year.


The post Comment: My essential Mac apps for 2020 include Fantastical, AirBuddy, and more appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

P Is For Propaganda (‘Oops’ Said Faceberg, Part Infinity)

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 09:00

The WaPo tells us that Facebook decided to not take down disinformation after the 2016 election for fear of alienating conservatives:

“This is what they know about Republicans: Tell them ‘yes’ or they will hurt us.”

Facebook created “Project P” (P for propaganda) —after the 2016 Goat Rodeo— to identify pages that had spread fake news reports during the 2016 election that helped the Russian Usurper’s improbably win. They found dozens of pages, mostly coming from overseas and all coming from the hard-right.

Joel Kaplan (VP of global public policy) argued that the pages shouldn’t be deleted:

“We can’t remove all of it because it will disproportionately affect conservatives.”

You don’t say?

Kaplan said that conservatives didn’t regard fake news as fake news, and there would be a backlash if they removed those pages. Because when it is fake in conservatives’ favor it is good news, I guess?

So you can see how this could snowball. To keep the peace with Possum Hollar and allow the lies to remain (and reproduce like bunnies in clover) brought us to where we are today: Facebook is the platform preferred by our Rage Uncles where they can promote their favorite conspiracy theories and where politicians pay Faceberg a lot of Ameros to lie to Possum Hollar.

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Categories: Politics

Black History Month: Celebrating 'Iko Iko,' Mardi Gras Indians, and the second line

Daily Kos - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 08:59

There are times when black folks need joy. No matter the pain, the suffering, the obstacles, the discrimination, the disillusionment we face—we must make music, we must dance, we must celebrate our color, our ancestors, and a way of life. The black citizens of New Orleans, Louisiana, (NOLA) have faced many travails in their history as part of this nation, and before that, as colonial subjects of Spain and France. Yet, despite it all—enslavement, Jim Crow, repression, climate change, disasters like Hurricane Katrina, and gentrification—the spirit of the people lives on.

Known as the birthplace of jazz, the American home of vodou and hoodoo, and the largest U.S. celebration of Carnival culminating with Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), New Orleans wears many faces. To most outsiders, it is simply an exciting destination, where tourists can drink in the streets. To those who still manage to call it home, there are deep roots dating back to the original Indigenous inhabitants, Spanish and French colonial ownership, and a three-tiered racial hierarchy that developed due to a large population of free people of color (gens de couleur libres) living alongside the enslaved. The acquisition of New Orleans by Americans in 1803 heralded drastic changes, and harsh attempts to suppress and abolish many of the African-Caribbean traditions in the city. Ultimately, those traditions survived.   

Categories: Politics

Sunday Morning Bobblehead Thread

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 08:00

In case you missed it this week, we have an entry for our rare Score One For The Good Guys Chronicles.

Michael Fesser, a Black man in Portland, Oregon, father of 8, won his lawsuit against his former boss AND the West Linn Police Department for a total of $1.15 million. Fesser was the victim of racism and harassment at his job, and when he reported it to his boss, Eric Benson, Benson decided to call in his buddy — Chief of Police at the West Linn PD at the time — to try to build a false case against Fesser that he was stealing from the company. Police Chief Terry Timeus was totally down with that idea, and had no trouble finding help with his racist cop crew to fake up a case and even try to get Fesser arrested in Clackamas County, to "make sure he was with some real racist boys." That police chief retired in 2017 amid allegations of drunk driving.

Read all the details here, including the mayor's long apology. You can also see a video of Mr. Fesser discussing why he felt he needed to go through with this lawsuit, and how he had the strength after what he'd been through. It's quite a story.

Here are your Sunday morning talk show guests and panelists, via Politico:

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Categories: Politics

Signing Up With Amazon, Wal-Mart, Or Uber Forfeits Your Right To Sue Them

Slashdot - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 07:34
Long-time Slashdot reader DogDude shared this article from CNN: Tucked into the sign-up process for many popular e-commerce sites and apps are dense terms-of-service agreements that legal experts say are changing the nature of consumer transactions, creating a veil of secrecy around how these companies function. The small print in these documents requires all signatories to agree to binding arbitration and to clauses that ban class actions. Just by signing up for these services, consumers give up their rights to sue companies like Amazon, Uber and Walmart before a jury of their peers, agreeing instead to undertake a private process overseen by a paid arbitrator... The proliferation of apps and e-commerce means that such clauses now cover millions of everyday commercial transactions, from buying groceries to getting to the airport... Consumers are "losing access to the courthouse," said Imre Szalai, a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Give Control Center a rounder aesthetic with RoundedCC

iDownloadBlog - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 07:30

RoundedCC transforms your jailbroken handset's Control Center interface by giving it a much rounder aesthetic.
Categories: Geek

Editor’s Desk: iOS 13.4 goodies, the next Apple TV, coronavirus and Apple product delays, more

iDownloadBlog - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 07:12

Welcome to a new installment of our Editor's Desk weekly column in which we round up content that was published on the site from February 17 through February 23, 2020.
Categories: Geek

Runaway displays your current internet speed in the Status Bar

iDownloadBlog - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 07:00

Runaway is a new jailbreak tweak that displays your current data bandwidth usage in the Status Bar, just beneath the time.
Categories: Geek

Will Low-Code and No-Code Platforms Revolutionize Programming?

Slashdot - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 03:34
In a new article in Forbes, a Business Technology professor at the Villanova School of Business argues that the way we build software applications is changing: If you're living in the 21st century you turn to your cloud provider for help where many of the most powerful technologies are now offered as-a-service. When your requirements cannot be completely fulfilled from cloud offerings, you build something. But what does "building" mean? What does "programming" mean...? You can program from scratch. You can go to Github (where you can find code of all flavors). Or you can — if you're a little lazier — turn to low-code or no-code programming platforms to develop your applications. All of this falls under the umbrella of what, the Gartner Group defines as the "democratization of expertise": "Democratization is focused on providing people with access to technical expertise (for example, ML, application development) or business domain expertise (for example, sales process, economic analysis) via a radically simplified experience and without requiring extensive and costly training...." [T]he new repositories, platforms and tools are enabling a whole new set of what we used to call "programming." As Satya Nadella said, "Every business will become a software business, build applications, use advanced analytics and provide SAAS services," and as Sajjad Daya says so well in Hackernoon, "Coding takes too long for it to be both profitable and competitively priced. That's not the case with no-code platforms, though. The platforms do the complicated programming automatically, slashing development time..." The technology democracy has forever changed corporate strategy. And what does this mean? It means that the technical team scales on cue. But "technical" means competencies around Github, low-code/no-code platforms and especially business domains... [A]ll of this levels the technology playing field among companies — so long as they understand the skills and competencies they need.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Chris Matthews Likens Sanders' Nevada Win To Nazi Germany

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 03:06

For the life of me, I don't understand the value Chris Matthews brings to MSNBC.

His "politics for the sake of politics" is not only dumb and shallow, but it's actively destructive to journalism and democracy. His lack of filter means he can't shut up and not interrupt guests. He's often sexist and misogynistic towards female politicians and panelists. On more than a few occasions, other MSNBC hosts have had to step up and save him from himself.

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Categories: Politics

Nonprofit Argues Germany Can't Ratify the 'Unitary Patent' Because of Brexit

Slashdot - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 00:34
Long-time Slashdot reader zoobab shares this update from the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure, a Munich-based non-profit opposing ratification of a "Unified Patent Court" by Germany. They argue such a court will "validate and expand software patents in Europe," and they've come up with a novel argument to stop it. "Germany cannot ratify the current Unitary Patent due to Brexit..." The U.K. is now a "third state" within the meaning of AETR case-law, [which] makes clear that: "Each time the Community, with a view to implementing a common policy envisaged by the Treaty, adopts provisions laying down common rules, whatever form they may take, the Member States no longer have the right, acting individually or even collectively, to undertake obligations with third countries which affect those rules or alter their scope..." This practically means that the ratification procedure for the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court must now come to an end, as that Agreement no longer applies due to the current significant changes (i.e. Brexit) in the membership requirements of its own ratification rules. The nonprofit also argues that the Unitary Patent "is a highly controversial and extreme issue, as it allows new international patent courts to have the last word on the development and application of patent law and industrial property monopolies including, more seriously, the validation and expansion of software patents, that is the key sector on which whole industries and markets depend."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

The Daily Show Correspondents’ 92nd Street Y Panel

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 23:00

From February 16. Open thread below...

Categories: Politics

Saturday night owls: Bernie's strength with Latino voters shouldn't have surprised anyone

Daily Kos - Sat, 02/22/2020 - 22:24

Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week

Harold Meyerson at The American Prospect writes—Bernie Blowout Highlights Latino LiberalismHis performance among Hispanics shouldn’t have been a surprise:

[...] The Sanders sweep was as qualitative as it was quantitative—that is, he did better in a range of constituencies where he hadn’t done that well before. Chief among those was Nevada’s Latino voters, who made up a fifth of caucus participants, and who according to the exit poll gave Sanders 53 percent of their votes.

As usual, some of my fellow pundits are expressing surprise at Sanders’s performance among Latinos. They shouldn’t be.

First, as in all communities throughout American history with a disproportionate share of immigrants, it’s the young—most born and schooled here, often more fluent in English than their elders—who not only are the most active politically but who also guide their elders through the labyrinth of American politics. As Bernie and Bernie’s policies speak more compellingly to the young than do any of his rivals and their policies, it’s no surprise that Latinos have tilted so sharply Berniewards in these caucuses.

Second, and even more fundamentally, the level of backing among Latinos for governmental support for economic equity and advancement has long exceeded that of any other demographic group in the electorate. One look at the exit polls on California ballot measures over the past quarter-century shows that, when voters have been asked to approve funds for schools or parks, and to decide on minimum-wage levels and the rights of unions, Latinos have been the most liberal voting bloc there is—more so, even, than African Americans. On one 1998 California ballot measure that would have greatly curtailed unions’ ability to involve themselves in elections (fortunately, it lost big), Latinos voted no at a higher rate than union members.

There’s an old conventional wisdom that says that because Latinos are supposedly more conservative on issues like choice or preserving the traditional family, they’re not all that liberal. It’s wrong. First, younger Latino voters aren’t conservative on those issues. Second, and more important, election after election has shown that when it comes to their choice of candidates, Latinos consider the candidate’s position on economic questions to be far more decisive than that on any cultural issue [...]



“No Statue of Liberty ever greeted our arrival in this country...we did not, in fact, come to the United States at all. The United States came to us.”
                 ~~Luis Valdez




At Daily Kos on this date in 2012—Super PACs got 25% of their cash from just five donors:

In the immortal words of California's Jesse "Big Daddy" Unruh, "Money is the mother's milk of politics." This year, billionaire donors have turned it into cream. Just five of the ultra-wealthy have contributed a fourth of all the money received by Super PACs that are having a powerful impact on the elections.

Individuals are limited to $2500 direct contributions to a candidate's campaign. But there is no limit on contributions to Super PACS. These aren't supposed to coordinate with the campaigns, but that is a joke.

Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.”


Categories: Politics