How to find out what Trump's favorite big data machine knows about you

Cambridge Analytica is a dirty, Dementor-focused big data research outfit that provided the analysis and psych profiles that the Trump campaign used in its electioneering; because its parent company is in the UK, it is required (under EU law) to send you its dossier on you for £10. Read the rest

Almost everything Trump has done since taking office has been a meaningless publicity stunt

Though Steve Miller claims that Trump is "a president who has done more in three weeks than most presidents have done in an entire administration," the reality is that almost everything in his executive orders is either an inflammatory restatement of an existing policy; an unenforceable and meaningless intervention into domains where the administrative branch holds no sway; or (as in the case of the Muslim Ban), is an unconstitutional omnishambles destined to be swiftly undone by the courts. Read the rest

House Republicans just voted to defund the agency that fights election hacking

All of the GOP's bluster about election fraud couldn't save the budget for the Election Administration Commission, the federal agency that deals with software security risks in America's creating, Windows-2000-based voting machines. Read the rest

These are the questions the Dems should ask during Gorsuch's nomination

Gorsuch has written extensively on the role of judges' personal beliefs and the law; and on the politicization of the judicial confirmation process. Specifically, he called out Congress for its maltreatment of Merrick Garland when his federal judgeship was before the Senate. Read the rest

Utah's Jason Chaffetz meets the Resistance: protesters chant "DO YOUR JOB" at his town hall

Jason Chaffetz is a Republican lawmaker who led the Benghazi and Clinton email witch-hunts in his capacity on the Congressional Oversight Committee; when he returned to Utah for a town hall meeting, he was met by thousands of angry constituents who chanted "do your job" and called on him to investigate Trump's many irregularities, from foreign interference with the election results to his refusal to release his tax returns to his many conflicts of interest. Read the rest

Kellyanne Conway's talked about the "Bowling Green massacre" before

Despite Kellyanne Conway's insistence that she meant to say "Bowling Green plot" when she invented an imaginary terrorist massacre perpetrated by Iraqi refugees (she was trying to justify Donald Trump's illegal, racist Muslim Ban), it turns out that she mentioned the "Bowling Green massacre" on tape in an interview with Cosmo last month. Read the rest

How to talk about Trump using trumpspeak (and why you should)

"Impeach the guy. He’s an unstable person. Yemen? Disaster. Everyone knows it’s true. Even he knows it. Awful. Everyone agrees." Read the rest

These four oil-fattened Democratic Senators helped the GOP confirm Exxon's Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State

Former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson will get a $180 million parting gift from his former employers when he takes the Secretary of State job, thanks in part to four Senate Democrats who voted with the GOP to confirm him for the job, despite his extensive ties to regimes hostile to the US. Read the rest

Billionaire charter-school advocate and political donor calls Betsy DeVos "unprepared and unqualified"

Eli Broad is a billionaire who's made major donations to both the GOP and Democrats to push for charter schools, and his Broad Foundation has spent millions lobbying for public funds to go to private schools ("school choice"); but even he thinks that charter school advocate/ponzi scheme billionaire/Christian warrior/plagiarist/sister of war criminal Erik Prince/latter-day Marie Antoinette/convicted election fraudster, Betsy DeVos is unqualified to serve as Secretary of Education, a role that Donald Trump has selected for her. Read the rest

Senate Democrats boycott Trump cabinet confirmation hearings

After a wrangle on tactics that pitted the party establishment -- who feared that filibusters would provoke procedural reforms that allowed for a 51-Senator vote to overrule a filibuster, making future Trump appointments easier -- against party activists who want Senate and Congressional Democrats to stall, refuse and resist trumpism by every means necessary (perhaps banking on early impeachment, before a rule-change could do much damage), the Senate Democratic caucus has announced that it will boycott the confirmation hearings for Tom Price to lead the Department of Health and Human Services and Steve Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary. Read the rest

Lawrence Lessig on how Congress should behave when the president breaks the law

Lessig compares the current constitutional crisis -- a lawless, reckless president; law enforcement officers flouting federal court orders -- with previous crises, such as the impeachment of Nixon, and says the major difference between then and now: then, Congress had a bipartisan consensus that "they were engaged in the most serious job a member of Congress could have — because they knew that in a critical sense, the very stability of the Republic depended on them behaving as adults." Read the rest

Trump appointees are violating the law that prevents them from regulating their former bosses

A 2009 rule created by Obama in his first days in office says that former executives and lobbyists can't be hired to work for the government in a capacity that gives them oversight over their former employers; they must wait for two years after leaving such employment before working in a regulatory capacity that relates to it. Read the rest

For the leader of "The Resistance," Chuck Schumer is awfully cooperative

Chuck Schumer is meant to be the leader of the Democratic resistance in the Senate, but he's inaugurated that role by meekly accepting Trump's nominees for CIA Director (avowed torturer Mike Pompeo); Secretary of Defense (General James Mattis, in an office that is required to be held by a civilian); and Secretary of Homeland Security (General John Kelly, who equates questioning any US war with disparaging the soldiers who serve in it). Read the rest

Scenes from the inauguration of President Zuckerberg

Quartz editor Gideon Lichfield has published a science fictional vignette depicting the final backstage moments before the 2025 inauguration of President Mark Zuckerberg's second term. Read the rest

White House insiders: Trump ordered Sean Spicer to lie about crowd sizes because he was "demoralized"

"Nearly a dozen" White House staffers have told Washington Post reporters that Trump was "demoralized" by press reports that showed a poor turnout for his inauguration and a much larger turnout for the Women's March the next day, and overruled his advisors and aides' advice to let it go -- instead, he ordered press secretary Sean Spicer to tell a series of easily falsifiable lies to the media that misrepresented the turnout for the inauguration. Read the rest

The Women's March and the Judean People's Front: After Occupy, after trumpism, a new networked politics

Doubtless you've laughed at the ideological war between the Judean People's Front and the People's Front of Judea. I laughed along with you: having grown up in politics, I know firsthand about the enmities that fester between groups that should be allies -- groups whose differences can only be parsed after months of study, but who are seemingly more at odds with one another than their obvious political opponents on the "other side" of the debate.

California state employees may no longer use state funds travel to states where LGBTQ discrimination is legal

If you're a California state employee -- including an employee in the UC system -- no longer use California state funds travel to Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina or Tennessee, or any state "that has passed a law that (1) authorizes discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, or (2) voids or repeals existing state or local protections against such discrimination." It's hard to imagine any major academic conferences being held in those states anymore. Read the rest

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