Garbage in/garbage out

May 15, 2017

Ever wonder How Trump gets his fake news? Shane Goldmacher’s explainer in POLITICO gives us the answer, which is, as Dave Fairbank says, “Truly disturbing.” For example, “omfg, a staffer gave @realDonaldTrump a fake story from Chuck Johnson to get him to fire another staffer,” notes Emily Cahn. Tweets Glenn Thrush, “Garbage in/garbage out? Amazing @ShaneGoldmacher anecdote-KT slipped hoax Time story to Trump -- who ate it up.” Read the story to find out why Sasha Issenberg says, “‘Fake but accurate’ is the new ‘alternative facts.’”

Cloak of invisibility

More disturbing news, this time from Juliet Eilperin at the Washington Post. In Under Trump, inconvenient data is being sidelined, Eilperin reveals the extent to which “The Trump administration seems determined to utilize a larger version of Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility to cover the entire administration,” as Norman Eisen, who served as President Barack Obama’s special counsel for ethics and government reform, puts it.

THE question

In an opinion piece for the Washington Post yesterday, Preet Bharara asks, Are there still public servants who will say no to the president? (10,000+ shares) Jennifer Rubin says it’s “<--THE question -- how long do those who know better remain silent?” Of James Comey, Bharara says, “I am proud to know a man who had the courage to say no to a president.”

Maybe more will follow? As Jennifer Steinhauer writes in The New York Times, G.O.P. Senators, Pulling Away From Trump, Have “a Lot Less Fear of Him.” Says Lew Harris, “So the chickens may be ready to come out of the coop? A few more volatile town halls could do it!” Which might come not a moment too soon, considering, as Eli Watkins reports for CNN, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Sunday that he thinks US institutions are “under assault” from President Donald Trump (13,000+ shares).

Midterm danger zone

It's Early, But the GOP is Already in the Midterm Danger Zone, report NBC News’s Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Carrie Dann. Meanwhile, Young Black Democrats, Eager to Lead From the Left, Eye Runs in 2018, writes Alex Burns in The New York Times. Says Matthew Yglesias, “This is a good trend. Democrats need more candidates of color outside the usual majority-minority districts.” Ed O’Keefe calls it a “Great @alexburnsNYT story on how the Democrats' civil war will cut thru Atlanta, Annapolis and Tallahassee.”

Wall of resistance

“Sentencing: the one issue where left and right were coming together for good policy. Until Jeff Sessions,” says Nicholas Thompson, linking to the piece by Carl Hulse in The New York Times, Bipartisan View Was Emerging on Sentencing. Then Came Jeff Sessions (12,000+ shares). Michael Tackett calls it “Jeff Sessions wall of resistance to criminal justice reform,” and Joseph Milord says, “Jeff Sessions policies, as racist as promised.”

Not a good look

Well, maybe that’s not the only area of bipartisan agreement in Washington. “Inside Congress's anything-goes culture around stock trading. Obvious conflicts of interest are routinely ignored,” tweets Sudeep Reddy, linking to the new piece by Maggie Severns in POLITICO, Reckless stock trading leaves Congress rife with conflicts. Mike Zapler calls it a “must-read watchdog from @MaggieSeverns on members of Congress trading stocks in policy areas they're involved in.” Says Peter Schroeder, “This is such an awful look for members in both parties.”

Enraging story

And now, “The painful truth about dental care (or non-care) in the U.S.,” as Jeanine Barone tweets, of the piece by Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan in the Washington Post, Some Americans spend billions to get teeth whiter. Some wait in line to get them pulled (43,000+ shares). Says Stephanie Simon, “They waited 10 hours for a chance to see a dentist with no charge. What a story about the income gap in the US.” Tweets Lydia Polgreen, “Dental care is health care. It’s savage that our health system treats it as optional. Enraging story.” “America, where working ppl can't afford teeth,” says Matthew Rosenberg.

Make America Geographically-literate Again

Michael Roston offers the new slogan in light of reporting by Kevin Quealy in The New York Times that finds If Americans Can Find North Korea on a Map, They’re More Likely to Prefer Diplomacy (13,000+ shares). In other words, “The more geographically clueless you are, the more you apparently favor attacking North Korea,” notes Paul Brandus. Says Tero Kuittinen, “I am intrigued so many Americans think North Korea is in South Korea. It has ‘North’ in its name.”

Uncle Microsoft has had enough

On the Microsoft blog, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer Brad Smith delivers a “A shot across the bow from Microsoft to NSA,” as Dustin Volz puts it, linking to Smith’s statement, The need for urgent collective action to keep people safe online: Lessons from last week’s cyberattack - Microsoft on the Issues. As Evan Hill explains, “After worldwide ransomware attack, Microsoft calls out US & other governments for stockpiling cyberweapons.” Put another way, “Uncle Microsoft is sick of the @NSAGov and @CIA's bullshit,” tweets Brady Dale.

Meanwhile, in the category of “no good deed,” as Jim MacMillan puts it, MalwareTech, the UK-based security researcher who stopped the WannaCry ransomware, was doxxed by the British tabloid press. At The Next Web, Matthew Hughes writes that Doxing the hero who stopped WannaCry was irresponsible and dumb.

Read this and re-read this and re-read this

At Vulture, Lizzy Goodman takes a look at How the Strokes—and the New York Rock Boom—Went Bust in her oral history of The Strokes, “a great teaser for @lizzydgoodman's addictive oral history of New York City rock — ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom,’” as Hugo Lindgren tweets. Notes David Malitz, “Three people here call Julian Casablancas an idiot for not wanting his iconic song in a goddamn beer commercial WTF.” “This oral history of The Strokes is CRAZY. Really great job,” says Rob Slater, and Ilana Kaplan tweets, “this is incredible and i can't wait to read @lizzydgoodman's book.” Says Fernanda Zamudio-Suarez, “Cannot wait to read this and re-read this and re-read this.”

And finally, here’s “One of those stories you immediately want everyone to read after you're like two minutes in. Read @julieebeck today,” tweets Marina Koren, of My Quest to Find All the People Who Share My Name, Julie Beck’s piece in The Atlantic. Tweets Beck, “I talked to 4% of the Julie Becks in the U.S. for this story, which is one of my favorite things I’ve ever written.”

More Monday reads:

About the author

Nashville-based writer, marketing communications consultant, and all-around word nerd. Usually covered in dog and/or cat hair.

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