Thank God They Left Google+ Alone

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The 2020 Election is coming up, and a new Senate report says that virtually every social media platform has been infiltrated with Russian accounts designed to attack our democracy:

The Senate Intelligence Committee has been advised that social media companies might have provided the "bare minimum" amount of data to aid the panel's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to a person familiar with a report commissioned by the committee.

The committee hired an online intelligence firm to review data on Russian social media accounts that posed as American accounts. The data, much of which has not yet been made public, was provided to lawmakers by Facebook, Twitter and Google, which owns YouTube. 

New Knowledge, the firm hired by the committee, tracks online disinformation. In its report to lawmakers, the firm said that the social media companies could have provided more valuable data to the committee and also could have presented it in a more accessible format. 

The firm advised lawmakers that there are likely more Russian accounts that the social media companies failed to identify, according to person familiar with the report.

Oh, there are tons of them on all of the social media platforms, except Google+, of course, which technically shouldn’t even exist anymore. There are Russians acting up on Facebook and Twitter as we speak because the people who track the bots that spread pro-Trump bullshit never sleep.

The first thing we do is, we regulate the living hell out of these platforms. We have to protect our way of life and we have to put the screws to every single Russian troll. They are manipulating our elections and they are spreading disinformation everywhere.

Oh, except on Google+, of course. Nobody bothers with that anymore.

Elizabeth Warren is Too Female to be President

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When the media says that Senator Elizabeth Warren is being “divisive,” what they really mean is that she’s too female:

What's the biggest beef against Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is considering a run for president against Donald Trump?

It's that she's "too divisive," an argument put forward by her hometown newspaper, the Boston Globe, in a widely discussed editorial last week urging her not to run for president. It sparked both public rebukes of the paper and some private nods of agreement from Democrats as they begin to consider in earnest what kind of person their party should put up against Trump in 2020:

A fighter, a friendly face or some combination of both?

"Democrats will be looking for someone who can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee," said Matt Sinovic, the executive director of Progress Iowa. "The nominee will have to point out Trump's many (many) failures and lies in a compelling way, fire up the base — all while reaching persuadable voters as well."

Warren is probably overqualified to be president, so let’s clear that up right now. She understands the law, she knows economics and she knows how Washington D.C. works. She is miles ahead of any Republican anywhere in terms of being able to lead this country effectively. But, what’s happening here is tragic. She is being discounted because she’s a woman. And, let’s be clear that, in no uncertain terms, there is a wide swath of people who won’t accept anyone but Bernie Sanders and they’re ready to burn everything to the ground if he doesn’t get the nomination.

In the era of Trump, how in the hell could anyone be more “divisive?” I don’t understand that at all.

Karen McDougal Has Been Telling the Truth All Along

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I’ve always thought that this was a rather stunning picture—it’s Trump with his third wife, his daughter, and his mistress, and three other women. Karen McDougal is on the far right of this image and, for some reason, we’re not really talking about how she has been telling the truth all along.

Back in March, and I know that seems like a lifetime ago, she revealed details of her relationship with Trump that should have sent shockwaves through the country. Instead, it was just another news item that went past us in a flash and was gone:

Karen McDougal confirmed to CNN in an interview on Thursday that she had a 10-month sexual relationship with Donald Trump before he was President, saying they were together "many dozens of times." 

"I can tell you we saw each other a minimum five times a month, up to bigger numbers per month," the former Playboy model told CNN's Anderson Cooper.

She said they were together "many dozens of times," and when asked by Cooper if they were intimate, she responded in the affirmative.

McDougal's comments came just days after she filed a lawsuit against American Media Inc., the publisher of The National Enquirer, to seek an end to a contract with the company that she said had sold away her rights to tell her story under false circumstances.

The agreement signed in 2016 and the alleged affair more than a decade prior came to light in a Wall Street Journal report shortly before the election. Representatives for Trump have denied an affair occurred.

Today we learned that AMI did indeed “catch and kill” McDougal’s story. Unlike the whole situation with Stormy Daniels, which was transactional and brief, Trump’s relationship with McDougal was more substantive, as evidenced above.

I still can’t figure this out, though. How can the evangelical right reconcile what is now settled fact, proven in a court of law, backed up with affidavits and testimony, and still think of Trump as a holy or righteous man? The hypocrisy is staggering. In the America that I grew up in, this is not how a Godly man is supposed to act in public. Someone somewhere has done lost their mind.

In 2016, I highly doubt whether the revelation from Daniels would have made a difference in the outcome of the election, which was already being thrown by the involvement of Russia’s efforts to use sophisticated analytics to target American citizens and bombard them with anti-Hillary Clinton propaganda via Facebook that they then believed to be truthful. I think that if McDougal had come forward, she would have had far more credibility given the fact that there is likely more evidence of an affair between the two of them. Somewhere, there are likely documents that prove she was with Trump “many dozens of times.”

Anyone who attacked McDougal’s credibility should apologize, of course. She seems to have been the only person on Earth who wanted to have sex with Trump without demanding money first. Does she need help? Is there anyone who can explain that without being grossed out?

The whole thing still baffles me.