In Chicago primaries, a string of defeats for the Democratic establishment at the hands of progressive Democrats

Four Democratic challengers backed by United Working Families (linked with the progressive Working Families Party) have successfully challenged establishment Dems backed by Chicago's legendarily unassailable "Democratic machine," effectively winning their offices at the same time, because the Democrat candidate always gets elected to those offices, thanks to Republicans not bothering to field candidates (leaving a vacuum that is sometimes filled by Holocaust-denying Illinois Nazis). Read the rest

White House Chief of Staff in a rage after leak reveals that Trump congratulated Putin against Cabinet advice

After Vladimir Putin stole another Russian election, Trump placed an official call to the Kremlin; his national security advisors' briefing notes for the call included the all-caps instruction "DO NOT CONGRATULATE" -- naturally, Trump congratulated Putin. Read the rest

Just because Cambridge Analytica tells its customers it can sway elections, it doesn't follow that they're any good at it

Unilever founder John Wanamaker famously said, "I know that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. My only problem is that I don’t know which half." It's an odd testament to the power of advertising, an industry whose executives are incredibly effective at selling their services to other executives, even if they can't prove they're any good at selling their customers' products to the public. Read the rest

Facebook once boasted of its ability to sway elections, now it has buried those pages

Facebook maintains a repository of success stories trumpeting the advertisers who have attained greatness by buying Facebook ads; most of these are businesses, but until recently, Facebook also trumpeted Florida Governor Rick Scott's use of Facebook ads to "boost Hispanic voter turnout in their candidate’s successful bid for a second term, resulting in a 22% increase in Hispanic support and the majority of the Cuban vote." Read the rest

Democrats, citing Hayek, introduce Net Neutrality bill to force lawmakers to take an on-record position prior to the midterms

Calling the FCC's decision to kill Net Neutrality the "road to serfdom" Senator Ron Wyden [D-OR] introduced the legislation he'd co-sponsored with Senator Ed Markey [D-MA] to restore Neutrality. Read the rest

Surveillance-happy authoritarian "Democratic" California senator Dianne Feinstein loses California Democratic Party endorsement

Dianne Feinstein has represented California in the US senate for 28 years, garnering the California Democratic Party endorsement every year despite her far-right positions on mass surveillance, military adventurism, and authoritarian rule (she's trumpeted these policies as evidence of her "independence"). Read the rest

Why the voting age should be lowered to 16

Every American 16-year-old enrolled in high-school has to learn civics, with extensive instruction on the more confusing aspects of the American electoral system, such as the Electoral College; they are also required to study current affairs -- so why not let them vote? Read the rest

Trump and the weird attention economy of Facebook

When you try to buy online ads from Facebook's self-serve ad-auctioning platform, merely being the highest bidder isn't enough to guarantee that your ads will get through: Facebook multiplies your bid by a software-generated prediction about how responsive the audience will be to it, so the clickbaitier your ad is, the less it costs to place it. Read the rest

Before standing for the Democratic nomination in a NY congressional race, Patrick Ryan was in business spying on union organizers and left-wing activists

Patrick Ryan wants to be the Democratic nominee for New York's 19th district in the Hudson Valley, a Republican seat that Dems hope to flip; he's gone on record stating that he can do the job because of his entrepreneurial success -- but he didn't mention that he built his career at Berico Technologies by pitching a product to help businesses spy on union organizers and left-wing activists, a plan that included spying on left-wing Democrats and planting fake documents in order to discredit labor unions. Read the rest

A census of leading Italian politicians' Twitter followings finds a horde of zombies and bots

As Italy heads into a national election in which mass inequality and food poverty have disrupted Italy's always-shaky political equilibrium, La Republica publishes its analysis (Google Translate) of the Twitter followers associated with each of Italy's political superstars and finds some pretty intense inflation in the numbers. Read the rest

The West Virginia Democrat candidate who was dragged away for calling out gas-money-dependent lawmakers has raised record-breaking sums

When Lissa Lucas stood up at a public meeting of the West Virginia legislature and read into the record the gas-industry campaign contributions that lawmakers had received prior to taking a favorable view on allowing gas-drillers to drill in West Virginians' property, she was dragged out of the chamber. Read the rest

A pair of leaked powerpoints reveal the earliest-known evidence of the Republican gerrymandering plan that gave us Trump

David Daley's hugely important 2016 book Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy uses original documents to trace the Republican master gerrymandering plan -- which gave them disproportionate control in several states, allowing them to redraw federal districts to repeat the feat at the national level -- to meetings in 2009; but a pair of leaked Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) powerpoints show that GOP strategists were scheming and fundraising to ensure that their candidates would wield power regardless of popular support at least a year and a half earlier. Read the rest

A progressive Democrat is challenging the racist, authoritarian Steve King for his Iowa Congressional seat

Rep Steve King (R-IA, @SteveKingIA, 202.225.4426) is a notorious Islamaphobe, surveillance advocate, conspiracy theorist, xenophobe, and all-round asshole; he's held his seat since 2003 but now he is being primaried by his own party and challenged by a celebrity ballplayer turned Sanders Democrat, J.D. Scholten -- a native Iowan who decided to move home and run against King during the first Woman's March, in January 2017.

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What youthquake? Jeremy Corbyn's election surge was drawn from all age groups, not a mob of first-time young voters

Jeremy Corbyn's incredible, odds-defying showing in the 2017 UK general election has been attributed to a "youthquake" of first-time young voters who were drawn to the polls by his progressive policies. Read the rest

News report claims Dutch spies hacked Russian cyberwar operation and pwned their CCTVs, then recorded video of Russian government hackers attacking the DNC

Dutch left-leaning daily de Volkskrant has published a remarkable -- but thinly sourced -- report claiming that a Dutch spy agency called the General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands (AIVD) hacked into the network of a notorious Russian spy group called "Cozy Bear" or APT29, thought to be an arm of the Russian spy apparatus, and obtained direct evidence of Russian state involvement in the hacking of the DNC during the 2016 US election campaign. Read the rest

Research report explains how adtech supercharges political deceit, allowing even bumblers to be master propagandists

A new report from the New America Foundation uses the current fear that Russian government elements manipulated the 2016 US election to explore the relationship between advertising technology, surveillance capitalism, and "precision propaganda," showing how the toolsuite developed for the advertising industry is readily repurposable by even modestly competent actors to spread disinformation campaigns. Read the rest

Ontario Conservative leader abruptly resigns after he is accused of sexual assault and misconduct with very young, drunk women

Hours after CTV published the firsthand accounts of two women who say they experienced sexual advances and at least one assault from Ontario Conservative Party leader Patrick Brown, Brown has resigned, leaving the party leaderless shortly before a key election. Read the rest

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