Contradicting the indictments, a Facebook executive sounds like a Trump administration spinner. “Comments by Facebook’s head of advertising, Rob Goldman, after the indictment was handed up fueled further criticism. Mr. Goldman, writing on Twitter, said there are ‘easy ways to fight’ the Russian campaign, starting with having a “well educated citizenry.” He also said the Russian’s main goal wasn’t to sway the 2016 election, but more broadly to sow division in the U.S. . . . . Mr. Goldman’s series of eight tweets provoked a backlash, with more than 9,000 responses, many of them angry—an unusual level of engagement for an account with fewer than 10,000 followers.” Facebook officially said it didn’t disagree with the indictments that found Russia set out to help President Trump.
Counteracting the legislative onslaught they are likely to face will be hard. “Facebook and Twitter could develop technology to weed out attempts at political disinformation—tools powered, perhaps, by the very same advanced algorithmic tools that enabled disinformation to spread on their platforms in the first place. But in the longer term, this is a problem of market power. Experts would do well to call for limits on the vast amounts of data available to a digital-advertising industry dominated by social-media and internet-platform companies by enforcing comprehensive privacy reforms. All of this demands a more concerted effort to curb the immense concentration of power enjoyed by the largest internet-platform companies.”
Contrary to his slogan, it’s always Trump First. “Trump Reportedly Fixed the Miss Universe Pageant, Favoring Countries With Whom He Had Business Ties.” Do we think he now puts his own interests last?
Countering those who thought the GOP was going to do something to spare the “dreamers”: “Congress is poised to kick a heated immigration fight into overtime, with no clear path forward. . . . It’s a stark contrast from just a week ago, when senators had hoped to gain momentum coming out of what they anticipated to be a freewheeling floor fight.” This is pathetic.
Conflicting signals: Trump will back gun legislation, but not anything that would ruffle the National Rifle Association’s feathers. “The statement did not address how the president would react to more aggressive gun control measures. The senators’ bill is narrow in focus, reinforcing the requirement that federal agencies report all criminal infractions to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and creating financial incentives for states to do so, as well. . . . The powerful National Rifle Association has not opposed the bill like it has more exhaustive pieces of legislation, such as banning assault rifles or limiting the sale of high-capacity magazines. It’s unclear whether the legislation will go forward. After a mass shooting in Las Vegas last year, officials said they were studying a ban on bump stocks, an attachment that allows a rifle to fire more frequently.”
Contravening democratic norms is what he’s all about. Right-wingers egg him on: “After months of criticizing special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, President Donald Trump’s supporters are issuing increasingly bold calls for presidential pardons to limit the investigation’s impact. . . . Even some conservatives who support pardons in principle are wary of the severe political backlash they are certain to trigger.” Ya think?
Contrasting with the GOP map, the court’s suggested map should create more competitive seats for Democrats. “Pennsylvania’s high court issued a new congressional district map for the state’s 2018 elections on its self-imposed deadline Monday, all but ensuring that Democratic prospects will improve in several seats and that Republican lawmakers challenge it in federal court as they seek to protect their advantage in the U.S. House.”