Democratic debate

The debate between Sanders and Biden starts in a half hour (8 pm eastern time). From what I can tell, it is broadcast only by CNN, and can be accessed in various formats from this page. top of page, there is a short leader featuring Johnny Carson

There will be no audience, and the podiums will be 6 feet apart.  Do I sense a little dig at Trump here?

Well, my streaming isn’t all that fast so I didn’t hear much but shouting whenever the internet would kick in.

Looks like Uncle Joe has this out already.

AOC fact-checks Zuckerberg

This was all over Twitter last night: Rep. Alexandria Ocasia Cortez questioning Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier yesterday in the House Financial Services Committee.

The hearing was meant to be about Libra, Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, but the questioning turned to Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal.



AOC: “You don’t know. This was the largest data scandal with respect to your company that had catastrophic impacts on the 2016 election. You don’t know?”


AOC: “Can you explain why you’ve named the Daily Caller, a publication  with well documented ties to white supremacists, as an official fact-checker for Facebook?”

Zuckerberg: “Congresswoman, sure.  We actually don’t appoint the independent fact-checkers, they go through an independent organization called the ‘independent fact-checking network’ as a rigorous standard for who they allow to serve as a fact-checker.”

AOC: “So you would say that white-supremacist-tied publications meet a rigorous standard for fact-checking?”

Zuckerberg: [Stares. Blinks. Turns head. Gulps.]

Wikipedia has an article for Libra (cryptocurrency) but not for the “independent fact-checking network”.

Why this matters.

White supremacist organizations like the KKK and Proud Boys are being kicked off of fundraising platforms like PayPal, also off of crowdfunding groups like Patreon, Stripe, and MakerSupport.

Increasingly, hate groups and the criminal underground are turning to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Monero to hide their cash flows.  It’s a huge thing.

Also, there is both a gender angle and a Russia angle. You may remember Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer who targeted blogger Kathy Sierra, and drove her off the internet, just because she was a woman, writing happy things on the internet about enjoying software. Weev is out of jail now, and said to be in the Ukraine providing tech support for the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer. He still has a few disturbing ideas about women, as those people do.  He is also said to be a cryptocurrency millionaire.

More comment from the Twitter thread:

Note the follow-up: when did board member Peter Thiel know? I have another one. When did board member Marc Andreessen know? …Why did he sell 73% of his Facebook shares in month before story broke?

And a huge amount of money has changed hands between Facebook and Russia.

According to the New York Times, Zuckerberg met with Medvedev in 2012 in Russia, to discuss the U.S. election.

…two of Facebook’s largest investors are Russian….Alisher Usmanov, a steel tycoon, and Yuri Milner, an expert on monetizing social network traffic in emerging markets. The two partly cashed out in the initial public offering of Facebook stock earlier this year but still own billions of dollars’ worth of shares….

Earlier this month, in another step deeper into the Russian market, Facebook made a deal with one of Russia’s mobile phone operators, Beeline, to provide a free application to subscribers.

In 2015/2016, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica shared an office, financed by Bannon, Mercer to analyze and manipulate FB users.

The Trump campaign spent $85 million on Facebook.


Mueller time again

Everyone in the U.S. was glued to their laptops yesterday as 13 million viewers watched the Mueller hearing. Actually that was 13 million viewers on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, as opposed to like 20 million for the Kavanaugh hearing.  I tried to watch on NPR, which was crap because they only showed Mueller and not the person questioning him, so I had to go in search of a live stream with a split screen that would identify the questioners.

The hearing was a disappointment to some who were perhaps hoping for something along the lines of Perry Mason, but Mueller, who was under oath, refused to be stampeded into walking into any perjury trap.

So as it turns out, “no collusion”, a term frequently tweeted by the White House,  is not a term the Mueller team would use, and the Democratic questioner thoughtfully supplied the term “conspiracy” which Mueller readily agreed with.

And millions of Fox viewers heard Mueller say the only reason Trump was not charged with obstruction of justice is because a sitting president cannot be charged. (Only the House can do this, amirite?) Also that he could be charged after he leaves office.  Also that the Statute of Limitations is 4 years, so if Trump is reelected, he will be past the statute of limitations and again cannot be charged. But again, Mueller refused to walk into that one, and would not comment.

More stuff I didn’t know: Mueller tried to get Trump to testify, and finally after a year of negotiations with his lawyers, decided against subpoena, as the endless court delays would not be worth it, and would only have prevented publishing the report.

Also, the best stuff is in Appendix C which is a statement provided by Trump, under oath, yes indeedy they did clarify that during the hearing.

A lot of Fox viewers apparently think the Mueller report exonerated Trump, which it did not.

In fact the whole thing is a spotlight on the Russian interference in the American elections, which Mueller says they expect to do again, and are doing right now, even as we sit here..  Other countries too, not just Russia.

So back to this Appendix C.

Where can I read it?

It’s a government document right? So it’s in the public domain, right?  So this document is on Wikipedia somewhere right?

LOL wikisource.

Looks like they got bogged down in the usual WikiDrama over copyright and never finished it.

And then the DPLA beat them to it. But this is not a text version of the PDF after all, it is an “eBook” with an “.epub” extension. So what is that about?

This is supposed to be the TLDR.

I got as far as the first 6 minutes, and Russia stealing the passwords for the Hillary campaign.

Whoever is looking at Wikipedia password security in Kazakhstan might want to think about that.  last post

AOC and “I’m 10-15”

This one will go far. People are already saying she’s very quick on her feet, listen to her, and not Pelosi.

“Did you see the images of officers circulating photoshopped images of my violent rape?” Ocasio-Cortez asked.

AOC does *not* look happy.

He [Kevin McAleenan, head of Homeland Security] said he had.

But she pressed: Considering these agents are responsible for the safety of migrant women and children, she wanted to know if the ones who circulated the violent images are still on the job today. McAleenan couldn’t say exactly.

The acting head of DHS is testifying to Congress and DOES NOT HAVE AN ANSWER TO THAT????

“I’m 10-15” (red link) is a secret Facebook group for Border Patrol agents to make crude remarks about women and joke about deaths of migrants.  It has 9,500 members. “10-15” refers to the code for “aliens in custody”.

For an encore, Louisiana police officer Charlie Rispoli re-posted a fake article about her and said she “needs a round, and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve.” I understand the ammunition type of “round”, but what kind of round gets “served”?


What time is it, kids?

Rumors are flying….

Sure enough. Live coverage on CNN

Funny thing, when you want to bury something in the news you release it on a Friday. This was rumored to be released to Attorney General Barr at Dept of Justice on Friday before 5 pm. Wapo went to press with it 10 minutes after, and NBC about the same time, NYT about 10 minutes after that.




What’s going down?

The rapid-response demonstration network has been activated. Demonstrations are scheduled for 5 pm local time around the country. This was put in place long ago in case Mueller got fired.

This is being supported by a number of public advocacy groups like, Public Citizen, Greenpeace, etc and is being retweeted by alt federal agency rogue accounts like Alternative HHS@AltHHS (the people who helped hide our climate change data in Canada), .

There is a list of events here on the protest website, you can also do a search by zip code.

The precipitating events of the last 24 hours:

  • The Tuesday election left Democrats in a majority in the House, but not the Senate.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been fired by Trump. Sessions is no choir boy — google his record on voting rights and the 1986 letter from Coretta Scott King that Elizabeth Warren tried to introduce at his Senate confirmation hearing.  But he earned Trump’s undying wrath when he recused himself from the Russia investigation.
  • Rod Rosenstein has been removed as acting attorney general for the purposes of the Russia investigation. Rosenstein has canceled a speech scheduled for Thursday in San Francisco at the Aspen Institute cybersecurity summit. Twitter remembers that Comey was fired while giving a speech in LA and was stuck without a return trip ticket, the prediction is that Rosenstein is to be fired.
  • Matthew G. Whitaker has been installed as acting Attorney General.

Connecting a few more dots…
About the Democratic majority in the House:

  • the House impeaches but the Senate removes from office, this is why Bill Clinton was impeached (the charge was lying under oath) but not removed from office….obvious implications for Kavanaugh, as Bernie Sanders and others say he lied under oath
  • appropriations bills are controlled by the House….
  • if something happens to both the President and Vice President, the next in the line of succession is the Speaker of the House, which come January will be a Democrat, probably Nancy Pelosi, as she is lobbying hard for it.

These are not just the usual throwaway partisan talking points, this is history in the making.  Google the Saturday Night Massacre, from the Nixon Watergate scandal.

Forget the Acosta drama at the White House presser, does anyone really think they could not have just turned off his microphone?  Does anyone not believe the Trump will continue to call the MSM “the enemy” and the CNN will continue to get death threats? Let CNN handle it. This is the “chaos as usual” that is the backdrop to our current political landscape. The only thing we can do at this point is take it to the streets.

Oh and the House can subpoena witnesses.
UPDATE: hashtag #SaveMueller trending Wikipedia: Nobody Is Above the Law

Kavanaugh hearing live stream

The Kavanaugh hearing is the most momentous thing for women since Democrats threw Anita Hill under the bus and voted for Clarence Thomas.

Live stream here:

The Twitter hashtag is #WhyIDidntReport

It goes without saying there are people do not want women, and anyone sympathetic in women’s issues to have a seat at the Wikipedia table.  It goes without saying there are some subtle and some not so subtle ways to exclude classes of people from professional and social circles.

To the Wikimedia Foundation, who scheduled the Wikimedia Monthly Activities meeting opposite the hearings, and to Pine, who issued an invitation to a Wikimedia Café meetup for earlier the same day:

Fuck you.