The Republicans’ Real Fake Scandal – Outing Devin Nunes – The New York Times

“In nearly every crime-caper movie there’s a shifty guy on the street corner who, seeing the cops in hot pursuit, flips over a fruit cart to slow them down and give the culprits a chance to get away.In Trump-era Washington, that role is being played with impressive conviction by Devin Nunes, the eight-term Republican representative from California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Mr. Nunes, supported by a rotating coterie of conspiracists in Congress and the usual suspects on right-wing cable news, has labored to divert attention from the expanding Russia investigation by tossing out sinister-sounding allegations of wrongdoing by federal law enforcement officials.

Mr. Nunes’s act has kept alive the prospect of impeding or ending the investigation even as President Trump has backed off his efforts to fire the man in charge, the special counsel, Robert Mueller.Last year he accused top Obama administration officials of improperly “unmasking” Trump associates in intelligence reports — a charge that turned out to be baseless. No matter: The whole point of this game is to make the job of the actual investigators harder while confusing the public about where the true scandal lies.”

DL; Is this the end of democracy as we know it, or the beginning of another renaissanace?


Everyone in Trumpworld Knows He’s an Idiot – by Michelle Goldberg – NYT

DL: Michelle Goldberg is the newest young voice to join the NYT op-ed page as a regular. What a well written piece. I couldn’t recommend any of the top comments to this essay, since they refused to even acknowledge the gifted writer which provided the platform for their add ons, mostly a pile on.

I finally got to reading my new subscription to the Wall Street Journal the other day, and was disappointed at how hateful, scornful and arrogant the lead editorial was against the Democrats, using fake news to attack the Trump administration. The polarization between the parties is the worst I’ve seen in my lifetime, and over the Vietnam war, it was ferocious.

“Trumpworld” might be misleading. It refers to his White house senior staff, cabinet and senior advisors.

“One of the more alarming anecdotes in “Fire and Fury,” Michael Wolff’s incendiary new book about Donald Trump’s White House, involves the firing of James Comey, former director of the F.B.I. It’s not Trump’s motives that are scary; Wolff reports that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were “increasingly panicked” and “frenzied” about what Comey would find if he looked into the family finances, which is incriminating but unsurprising. The terrifying part is how, in Wolff’s telling, Trump sneaked around his aides, some of whom thought they’d contained him.

“For most of the day, almost no one would know that he had decided to take matters into his own hands,” Wolff writes. “In presidential annals, the firing of F.B.I. director James Comey may be the most consequential move ever made by a modern president acting entirely on his own.” Now imagine Trump taking the same approach toward ordering the bombing of North Korea.

Wolff’s scabrous book comes out on Friday — the publication date was moved up amid a media furor — but I was able to get an advance copy. It’s already a consequential work, having precipitated a furious rift between the president and his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who told Wolff that the meeting Donald Trump Jr. brokered with Russians in the hope of getting dirt on Hillary Clinton was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” On Thursday the president’s lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to Wolff’s publisher, Henry Holt, demanding that it stop publication, claiming, among other things, defamation and invasion of privacy. This move would be fascistic if it weren’t so farcical. (While some have raised questions about Wolff’s methods, Axios reports that he has many hours of interviews recorded.)”

Trump’s Attention Economy – by Charles Blow – NYT

“On Tuesday, Donald Trump unleashed yet another tweet storm from within his unceasing drought of competence.

In a series of 16 tweets, Trump lied, boasted, lashed out, bemoaned, provoked, belittled and prodded.In other words, Trump began this year the way he ended the last one: eroding and reducing the office of the presidency on a daily basis.His most consequential tweet was a boast about destructive power:“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

Sir, this is not a missile-measuring contest. No one wants to think about the size of your button. You seem to think that the effects of a nuclear strike would be the verification of your virility rather than the loss of innumerable lives.”

Good column and comments. Here is my favorite comment, of the 10 or 15 I read.

Cathy Hopewell junction ny 6 hours ago
We are watching Trump jettison the people who coached him into power, and to try to contain an investigation into the lives of the people he has not yet fired. He exposed his family to harm, by giving them roles they don’t understand in a game they don’t know how to play. And it looks like the Russians, who do know how to play the game, are winning.

And the rest of us suffer. I now understand how it feels to be the hero in a Greek tragedy, who suffers at the hands of capricious gods, for no real reason at all, except that they felt the hero got too uppity. Government is something inflicted upon us, and we can take the consequences, or turn ourselves into laurel trees.

And it is important to understand, if Greek tragedy is our model, not to depend on Mueller to be our Deus Ex Machina, Gods never descend to save the day until it is too late.

217 Recommended

How the Republicans Broke Congress – by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein – NYT

“In the past three days, Republican leaders in the Senate scrambled to corral votes for a tax bill that the Joint Committee on Taxation said would add $1 trillion to the deficit — without holding any meaningful committee hearings. Worse, Republican leaders have been blunt about their motivation: to deliver on their promises to wealthy donors, and down the road, to use the leverage of huge deficits to cut and privatize Medicare and Social Security.

Congress no longer works the way it’s supposed to. But we’ve said that before.Eleven years ago, we published a book called “The Broken Branch,” which we subtitled “How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track.” Embedded in that subtitle were two assumptions: first, that Congress as an institution — which is to say, both parties, equally — is at fault; and second, that the solution is readily at hand. In 2017, the Republicans’ scandalous tax bill is only the latest proof that both assumptions are wrong.”

This is too acurate and articulate to be boring, but it is a painful review.

Here is are some popular comments that I endorse:

 is a trusted commenter Massachusetts 1 day ago

“If in 2006 one could cast aspersions on both parties, over the past decade it has become clear that it is the Republican Party — as an institution, as a movement, as a collection of politicians — that has done unique, extensive and possibly irreparable damage to the American political system.”

This is a fine historical retrospective. I spent a good part of my life in NJ as a moderate William Safire Republican.
After moving to Massachusetts in ’06, I gradually liberalized my views; the coup de grace was the GOP’s intense rude and racially motivated obstruction of President Barack Obama.

In 2011, a year after Citizens United, the Tea Party, and the the shut-down wars of Ted Cruz I registered as a Democrat, vowing never again vote Republican.

I agree with the authors that since 2012, Mitch McConnell has presided over a series of breathtaking moves, from holding a Supreme Court appointment hostage for over 9 months, restricting voter rights, and enabling the corrupt, autocratic behavior of Donald Trump.

Citizens United began the wreckage of America and today’s GOP is a cynical, calculating, and intensely greedy bunch. Every day another pillar of democracy falls, the latest being a race to pass a unilateral tax bill that rewards donors, creates permanent oligarchy, and destroys retirement programs middle class voters have paid in their working years.

The GOP seeks permanent power and is doing everything they can, including packing the courts, to make it happen.


Seattle 1 day ago

An eloquent and forceful expression that probably captures the clear majority of Americans’ dismay and outrage. I wish I could feel that Republicans would read it, reflect on what it says about their behavior, and act to reclaim at least some of their shattered moral and ethical standing. But I hold out no hope at all for that to happen–and that speaks to the correctness of this piece, and to the dreadful (and I think permanent) harm they have done. The Republicans have essentially said to America what the Athenians said to the citizens of Melos, before slaughtering the males: “The strong do what they will; the weak suffer what they must.” In Thucydides’ account, this was certainly a profound fall from grace for a city-state that laid claim to ethical and reasonable standing among the Greeks–and the Republican party essentially stands with bloody swords over the helpless American body politic today. I for one will never forget, and never forgive, this despicable murder of our expectations of decency and fairness.


David Lindsay:  I am a big fan of Chritine McMorrow, and often repost her comments, rather than struggling with my own. Her comment that she was a William Safire Reublican made we look up William Safire. There is a very professional article about him in Wikipedia. Here is a large part of that article:

Early life[edit]

Safire was born William Lewis Safir in New York City, New York, the son of Ida (née Panish) and Oliver Craus Safir.[3][4] His family was Jewish, and originated in Romania on his father’s side.[5] Safire later added the “e” to his surname for pronunciation reasons, though some of his relatives continue to use the original spelling.

Safire graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, a specialized public high school in New York City. He attended Syracuse University but dropped out after two years. He delivered the commencement address at Syracuse in 1978 and 1990, and became a trustee of the university.


William Safire memo to H. R. Haldeman to be used in the event that Apollo 11 ended in disaster.

He was a public relations executive from 1955 to 1960. Previously, he had been a radio and television producer and an Armycorrespondent. He worked as a publicist for a homebuilder who exhibited a model home at an American trade fair at Sokolniki Park in Moscow in 1959—the one in which Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev had their famous Kitchen Debate. A widely circulated black-and-white photograph of the event was taken by Safire.[6] Safire joined Nixon’s campaign for the 1960 Presidential race, and again in 1968. After Nixon’s 1968 victory, Safire served as a speechwriter for him and for Spiro Agnew; he is well known for having created Agnew’s famous term, “nattering nabobs of negativism.”

Safire prepared a speech called In Event of Moon Disaster for President Nixon to read on television if the Apollo 11 astronauts were stranded on the Moon.[7] According to the plans, Mission Control would “close down communications” with the LEM and a clergyman would have commended their souls to “the deepest of the deep” in a public ritual likened to burial at sea. Presidential telephone calls to the astronauts’ wives were also planned. The speech originated in a memo from Safire to Nixon’s chief of staff H. R. Haldeman in which Safire suggested a protocol the administration might follow in reaction to such a disaster.[8][9] The last line of the prepared text contained an allusion to Rupert Brooke‘s First World War poem “The Soldier“.[9] In a 2013 piece for Foreign Policy magazine, Joshua Keating included the speech as one of six entries in a list of “The Greatest Doomsday Speeches Never Made.”[10]

He joined The New York Times as a political columnist in 1973. Soon after joining the Times, Safire learned that he had been the target of “national security” wiretaps authorized by Nixon, and, after noting that he had worked only on domestic matters, wrote with what he characterized as “restrained fury” that he had not worked for Nixon through a difficult decade “to have him—or some lizard-lidded paranoid acting without his approval—eavesdropping on my conversations.”[11]

In 1978, Safire won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary on Bert Lance‘s alleged budgetary irregularities; in 1981, Lance was acquitted by a jury on all nine charges. Safire’s column on October 27, 1980, entitled “The Ayatollah Votes”, was quoted in a campaign ad for Ronald Reagan in that year’s presidential election.[12]

Safire also frequently appeared on the NBC‘s Meet the Press.

Upon announcing the retirement of Safire’s political column in 2005, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of The New York Times, said:

The New York Times without Bill Safire is all but unimaginable, Bill’s provocative and insightful commentary has held our readers captive since he first graced our Op-Ed Page in 1973. Reaching for his column became a critical and enjoyable part of the day for our readers across the country and around the world. Whether you agreed with him or not was never the point, his writing is delightful, informed and engaging.

Safire served as a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board from 1995 to 2004. After ending his op-ed column, he became the full-time chief executive of the Dana Foundation, where he was chairman from 2000. In 2006, Safire was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.

Portions of Safire’s FBI file were released in 2010. The documents “detail wiretapping ordered by the Nixon administration, including the tapping of Safire’s phone.”[13]

Writing on English[edit]

In addition to his political columns, Safire wrote a column, “On Language“, in the weekly The New York Times Magazine from 1979 until the month of his death. Many of the columns were collected in books.[2] According to the linguist Geoffrey Pullum, over the years he became less of a “grammar-nitpicker,” and Benjamin Zimmer cited his willingness to learn from descriptive linguists.[14] Another book on language was The New Language of Politics (1968),[2] which developed into what Zimmer called Safire’s “magnum opus,” Safire’s Political Dictionary.[15]

Political views[edit]

Safire described himself as a “libertarian conservative.” A Washington Post story on the ending of his op-ed column quotes him on the subject:

I’m willing to zap conservatives when they do things that are not libertarian. [After the 9/11 attacks,] I was the first to really go after George W. on his treatment of prisoners.

After voting for Bill Clinton in 1992, Safire became one of the leading critics of Clinton’s administration. Hillary Clinton in particular was often the target of his ire. He caused controversy in a January 8, 1996, essay when, after reviewing her record, he concluded she was a “congenital liar”. She did not respond to the specific instances cited, but said that she didn’t feel offended for herself, but for her mother’s sake. According to the president’s press secretary at the time, Mike McCurry, “the President, if he were not the President, would have delivered a more forceful response to that on the bridge of Mr. Safire’s nose”.[16]

Safire was one of several voices who called for war with Iraq, and predicted a “quick war” and wrote: “Iraqis, cheering their liberators, will lead the Arab world toward democracy.”[17] He consistently brought up the point in his Times columns that an Iraqi intelligence agent met with Mohamed Atta, one of the 9/11 attackers, in Prague,[18]which he called an “undisputed fact”, a theory which was disputed by the CIA and other intelligence agencies.[19] Safire insisted that the theory was true and used it to make a case for war against Iraq. He also incorrectly predicted that “freed scientists” would lead coalition forces to “caches [of weapons of mass destruction] no inspectors could find”.[20]

Safire was staunchly pro-Israel. He received the Guardian of Zion Award of Bar-Ilan University in 2005. President George W. Bush appointed him to serve on the Honorary Delegation to accompany him to Jerusalem for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel in May 2008.[21]

We’re All Part of Trump’s Show – by Brett Stephens – NYT

“If you want to understand the ways in which Donald Trump’s presidency is systematically corrupting the American mind, I have a book recommendation for you. It’s about Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

The book is Peter Pomerantsev’s “Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible.” It was published in 2014, and it brilliantly tells the story of the (Soviet-born) British author’s sojourn as a producer for Russian TV. As the title suggests, at its heart it’s the tale of the substitution of reality with “reality,” of factual truth with interpretive possibility.

That’s also the central task of Donald Trump’s presidency.”

“This is why there’s a Colosseum in Rome, and why public spectacle, theater, cinema, TV and now the internet have always been handmaids of dictators. In Russia, it’s all about casting the president as a bare-chested action hero, pumping out anti-Western conspiracy theories and serving up remakes of Western sitcoms and reality shows.

“The new Kremlin,” Pomerantsev notes, “won’t make the same mistake the old Soviet Union did: It will never let TV become dull.” Authoritarian dominion requires effective methods of mass distraction.

Trump isn’t a dictator, and his influence over media that isn’t Fox or Breitbart is negligible. But Trump does control his Twitter feed, with its 43.6 million followers. And he exerts a deeper level of control simply through his ability to bait hostile media at will with his every seemingly nutty utterance.The benefits, for Trump, are threefold: a political opposition that is exhausting itself — and much of the public — with its perpetual state of moral apoplexy; a political base that thrills to his readiness to scandalize the bien pensant; and an effective means of distraction from his electoral, legislative and foreign policy failures.

In other words, the president is conducting a kind of meta-politics, the purpose of which is to erase ordinary standards of political judgment. The question is not “How am I doin’?” as the late New York City mayor Ed Koch used to ask. It is, gladiator-like, “Are you not entertained?” Even those of us most aghast at this administration must confess we are.”

es. I just wrote this morning, that Trump is diverting attention from his tax cut bait and switch, moving wealth from the middle class to the to 5%, with his ludicrous tweets and untruths.

Here is another comment in that vain.


Bainbridge Island 8 hours ago

Indeed. And this week, while we are being kept thoroughly diverted and amused by the clown show that is all things Trump, the Roy Moore horror show and other cheap entertainment, the GOP will pull off a magic trick: stealing about $1.5 trillion in federal tax revenues and handing them over to the nation’s wealthiest individuals and entities – courtesy of the sick, the elderly, students and others who will be bled and have nothing to say in the matter.

Oh, by the way, does anyone remember that $1.5 trillion federal infrastructure restoration and improvement program touted by both parties during the 2016 campaigns? Shucks, I guess we can no longer afford that, either. Unless your name is Ponzi, you can’t spend the same $1.5 trillion twice.

Robert Mercer- Bannon Patron- Is Leaving Helm of $50 Billion Hedge Fund – The New York Times

“Robert Mercer, a billionaire investor and top financial backer of conservative causes, is stepping down as co-chief executive of Renaissance Technologies, as the giant hedge fund faces a backlash from some clients who resent Mr. Mercer’s embrace of polarizing political figures.

Discomfort with Mr. Mercer’s political activism — including protests aimed at university endowments, foundations and pension funds with money invested in Renaissance — has showed signs of taking a small but growing toll. The retirement fund for Baltimore’s police and firefighters, for example, last week asked that all of the $33 million it had invested in Renaissance be refunded, said David A. Randall, the retirement fund’s deputy executive director.

The Baltimore fund had been contacted by a local reporter about whether the pension was bothered by Mr. Mercer’s political activities. Seeking to avoid bad publicity, the pension’s directors convened an emergency conference call and decided to pull their money.”

David Lindsay:
It is not a complete coincidence that we learn today that the new Republican tax plan fails to raise the tax rate on hedge fund billionaires from the 20% capital gains rate to the 39.6% rate that is supposed to be for our richest citizens.

The comments at are enlightening, such as:


Florida 20 hours ago

Some believe, including HRC, that the Mercers were instrumental in providing sophisticated social research that identified hot button issues of controversy among select voters in key electoral districts. This “research” focused on wedges in the community: immigration, policing, racial divides, etc. Some also believe that this social trending may have “fallen” into the hands of Russian hackers and misinformation specialists. The connection is Mueller’s to make, but could be part of Mr. Mercer’s resignations.

Russia-Financed Ad Linked Clinton and Satan – The New York Times

“The hearings exposed a growing rift between Silicon Valley and Washington, where sentiment toward big tech companies has drastically shifted.

While the lawyers showed humility and promised to beef up security and improve technology to prevent foreign interference in elections, they admitted they could not guarantee they would prevent future intrusions. Google’s general counsel, Kent Walker, said the company would work on creating new technologies to detect foreign actors and misinformation on its site. All three said they would build artificial intelligence tools to combat fake and problematic content.

(VideoHow Russian Bots and Trolls Invade Our Lives — and ElectionsHow do bots and trolls work to infiltrate social media platforms and influence U.S. elections? We take a closer look at these insidious online pests to explain how they work. By NATALIA V. OSIPOVA and AARON BYRD on Publish Date October 31, 2017. Photo by Aaron Byrd/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video » embed Share Tweet)

Some lawmakers used the hearings to stake a position on the influence of the Kremlin’s social media use in the election. The conclusions, particularly among senators, split along political lines. Republicans offered an implicit defense of the legitimacy of President Trump’s victory and dismissed the effect of Russian meddling.”

David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval

Great work and writing and video by By CECILIA KANG, NICHOLAS FANDOS and MIKE ISAAC.

I posted the video and report to my Facebook account, and wrote: This is important. I finally understand how the Russians used Trolls and Bots, and what these terms actually mean.
Now I will post all to my blog,
I’m not sure how to fight these Russian and other trolls amplified by bots, but I would start by making all social media companies liable for financial damages for their interference in our politics or economy. That is what they called in business school, lining up incentives with desired outcomes.
Also, severe government regulations to protect our democracy are probably in order, if we can figure out how to do it.

Russia Inquiry Fails to Unite a Nation – by Jim Rutenberg – NYT

” . . .The opacity of the tech companies was matched by the efforts of some conservative media outlets to confuse and distract.

In the days leading up to the indictment of Mr. Manafort and his lobbying partner Rick Gates, they saw fit to question Mr. Mueller’s legitimacy. They did so while arguing that the real focus should be on Mrs. Clinton, the Democrats and a political research firm that commissioned the gathering of information on Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia, Fusion GPS.The counternarrative was particularly pronounced in the outlets controlled by Mr. Murdoch — who has close ties to the president’s family — and his news and entertainment companies, 21st Century Fox and News Corp.

On Saturday, the Fox News host Jeanine Pirro called for the jailing of Mrs. Clinton, saying, “It’s time to shut it down, turn the tables and lock her up.”She alleged that “the Obamas and the Clintons” had “built the Trump-Russia connection,” pointing to a report in The Washington Post that the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee had helped finance research by Fusion GPS, which produced a dossier describing ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. She did not mention a report in The New York Times that a conservative media organization, The Free Beacon, hired Fusion GPS to research Mr. Trump and other Republicans.”

Important reporting, followed by good comments:


r 4 hours ago

It’s no accident that the two countries that have voted radically “right” recently – the USA and England (with Brexit) – are the two with active Murdoch properties.

Compare that with how the vote in France went down: even after it was known that there were attempts to compromise the election, there was no rush to confuse the electorate because there was no organization that could profit (greatly) from mistrust.


meridale 4 hours ago

Rupert Murdoch is responsible for more misinformation, lies and political spin and malfeasance in USA than any other individual. He ushered in an age of extreme partisanship and political dysfunction. He is a traitor of the very worst kind.


NYC 4 hours ago

News Corp, parent company of Fox Noise continues to be a national security threat. Murdoch has managed to mess with multiple countries and should have his US passport stripped and deported. It is nothing more than propaganda and an extension of the RNC state media.

There’s a reason they are not allowed to broadcast in Canada. We should follow their lead.


nyc 4 hours ago

Bill Maher said it best. Fox News is “state news.”


SoCal 4 hours ago

The Fox network is unconcerned with operating in the public interest. On the contrary, it is interested in operating to benefit the Republican party and, most specifically, the Republican party’s donors – the Mercers, et al. To this end, it has ensured that a significant proportion of the U.S. population is not just uninformed, but actively disinformed – ignorant and stewing in a caldron of lies and hatred directed at liberals, minorities and those “elites” (i.e., educated people).


NYC 4 hours ago

One elderly foreigner creates too much chaos in this country.

Let’s ban him.

NYT Pick


USA 3 hours ago

Murdoch has no shame. The truth has no meaning in his world. One would hope that as people age they would begin to care about their legacy and making the world a better place for their children and grandchildren. Apparently, that thinking does not apply to Murdoch who must rejoice in turmoil, lies and chaos.

Matthew Carnicelli

is a trusted commenter Brooklyn, New York 3 hours ago

Rupert Murdoch should never have been allowed to become an American citizen.

That he was given a fast-track to citizenship by Newt Gingrich, despite a long history of pimping smut and fake news in the British and Aussie tabloids, only illustrates how utterly degenerate the 1990s Republican establishment was; and it is the political pornography enabled by this degenerate establishment that gave birth to Trump.

Seriously, there are forms of hard-core sexual pornography that have more redeeming human value than the political pornography of Fox – for these forms of sexual pornography let everyone know up front that the scenarios are completely made up, and offered for the purposes of entertaining sexual fantasy.

In contrast, the audiences of Fox and contemporary conservative media are often completely unaware that what they’re being fed is political fantasy presented in a deliberate effort to distort their perceptions of reality.

Senators Demand Online Ad Disclosures as Tech Lobby Mobilizes – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — Senator John McCain and two Democratic senators will move on Thursday to force Facebook, Google and other internet companies to disclose who is purchasing online political advertising, after revelations that Russian-linked operatives bought deceptive ads in the run-up to the 2016 election with no disclosure required.

But the tech industry, which has worked to thwart previous efforts to mandate such disclosure, is mobilizing an army of lobbyists and lawyers — including a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton’s campaign — to help shape proposed regulations. Long before the 2016 election, the adviser, Marc E. Elias, helped Facebook and Google request exemptions from the Federal Election Commission to existing disclosure rules, arguing that ads on the respective platforms were too small to fit disclaimers listing their sponsors.”

They bring tears to my eyes. Here are some critical comments I support.

ChristineMcM is a trusted commenter Massachusetts 2 hours ago

“And, in the weeks leading up to the introduction of the Klobuchar-Warner-McCain bill, Facebook told congressional aides that it is too difficult to figure out if an ad is political or commercial because candidates are often changing messages and topics. The company added that with the sheer number of ads on the site, the engineering involved in identifying political ads would be extremely challenging.”

Sure. Very challenging to their bottom line. I think social media companies should be subject to the same disclosure rules as TV ads, revealing the source behind the ad if not the funding (we can thank Citizens United for that one).

I listened to Cheryl Sandberg responding to critiques at a forum about online truth in advertising, and found her to be both patronizing and insincere–all that talk about “transparency” from the most nontransparent company around.

Bottom line is Facebook, Google and lesser companies won’t change their wild west communication culture unless forced–and they know what following strict FEC laws will cost them, an amount they’re simply not willing to pay.

Their excuse such disclaimers would “stand in the way of innovation” makes me gag–why don’t they just come out and say it, “stand in the way of profits”?

They also know that forcing transparency as the senators propose is probably the last thing this administration–which prospers by falsehood–is interested in.


Erik New York 2 hours ago

Time for these companies to own up to the fact, that they are, at least in part, responsible for the whole Trump presidency debacle. We need to know how it happened so we can take steps to make sure nothing like this happens again. We are all paying for their lack of diligence and greed.


JDH NY 2 hours ago

The WWW is no longer the Wild Wild West. FB and the other carriers of information to the general public have willingly become the modern Trojan Horse. The refusal to see the merits of regulation, including disclaimer rules, as a means to protect the public from propagandist use of the platform, is based on one thing and one thing alone. Greed. The argument that regulation would “stand in the way of innovation” has no merit. Until these companies take their responsibility to the public seriously, we will be vulnerable to a large percentage of that public making choices based on information presented to manipulate. The reasons for political advertising regulation have been well thought out and to say that the internet’s presentation of that advertising is any different is disingenuous at best.