Make Them Pay

Rcooley123's Blog

The closer we get to election day, the more determined President Trump appears willing to go to new depths of political chicanery to retain the office the powers of which he abuses on a daily basis. The death of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has given him an excuse to politicize in a way to bolster his fading chances of winning the election outright in order to bull his way to a rigged court ordered victory after claiming his loss has come about due to voter fraud on the part of Democrats via a massive surge of voters choosing to cast their ballots via mail.

The hypocrisy of a man casting aspersions on the reasons why people would follow his own loudly proclaimed voting method is right in line with his constantly proclamation that he is above the law of the land and entitled to act as he pleases…

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Trump 2016 campaign ‘targeted 3.5m black Americans to deter them from voting’

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Donald Trump’s 2016 US presidential election campaign has been accused of actively seeking to deter 3.5 million black Americans in battleground states from voting by deliberately targeting them with negative Hillary Clinton ads on Facebook.

The secret effort concentrated on 16 swing states, several narrowly won by Trump after the black Democrat vote collapsed.

The claims have come from an investigation by Channel 4 News, which was leaked a copy of a vast election database it says was used by the Trump campaign in 2016.

Comprising the records of 198 million Americans, and containing details about their domestic and economic status acquired from market research firms, the investigation claimed voters were segmented into eight categories.

One was marked “deterrence”. Those placed in the special category – voters thought likely to vote for Clinton or not at all – were disproportionately black.

According to the investigation, the Trump campaign’s goal was to dissuade them from backing the Democrat entirely by targeting them with “dark adverts” on their Facebook feeds, which heavily attacked Clinton and, in some cases, argued she lacked sympathy with African Americans.

The effort is said to have been devised in part by Cambridge Analytica, the notorious election consultant that ceased trading last year following revelations that it used dirty tricks to help win elections around the world and had gained unauthorised access to tens of millions of Facebook profiles.

In Michigan, a state that Trump won by 10,000 votes, 15% of voters are black. But they represented 33% of the special deterrence category in the secret database, meaning black voters were apparently disproportionately targeted by anti-Clinton ads.

In Wisconsin, where the Republicans won by 30,000, 5.4% of voters are black, but 17% of the deterrence group. According the Channel 4, that amounted to more than a third of black voters in the state overall, all placed in the group to be sent anti-Clinton material on their Facebook feeds.

Attacks ads that were used by Trump’s digital campaign included one known as the “super-predator” commercial, featuring a video clip of controversial remarks made by Clinton in 1996, which the Republicans claimed referred to African Americans.

Arguing that it was necessary “to have an organised effort against gangs”, and their members Clinton said: “They are often the kinds of kids that are called super predators – no conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first, we have to bring them to heel.”

The Democrat apologised for using those words shortly after being confronted by Black Lives Matter activists about them in February 2016, but the language was picked up by Trump during the campaign and heavily recycled online.

Another attack ad reportedly came from a political action committee also run by Cambridge Analytica. It features a young black woman who appears to be a Clinton supporter abandoning her script to say: “I just don’t believe what I’m saying.”

When reminded that she is an actor, she replies that she is “not that good” of an actor

Jamal Watkins, the vice president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), said it was shocking and troubling that there was a covert attempt to suppress the black vote in 2016.

“So, we use data – similar to voter file data – but it’s to motivate, persuade and encourage folks to participate. We don’t use the data to say who can we deter and keep at home. That just seems, fundamentally, it’s a shift from the notion of democracy,” Watkins told Channel 4.

It is estimated that 2 million black voters across the US who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 did not turn out for Hillary Clinton. In Wisconsin, Trump’s vote matched Mitt Romney’s in 2012, but Clinton lost because her vote collapsed. The Democrat polled 230,000 votes fewer than Obama.

Key to the Trump victory was putting off black voters in cities like Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In one city ward, where 80% of its 1,440 voters were black, almost half or 44% of the ward was marked as for deterrence, a total of 636 people, 90% of whom were black.

Many other factors accounted for Clinton’s defeat, including legislation that was accused of suppressing the black vote.

Again, in Wisconsin, the Republican-run state has introduced measures requiring citizens to produce valid voter identification, which it was argued disproportionately affected poor and black voters.

The Trump campaign spent $44m (£34m) on Facebook advertising and generated 6m adverts overall. But the passage of time has meant that only a handful of the attack ads used by the Trump campaign have been recorded, and Facebook will not say how many or which ads were used at the time.

The company said that “since 2016, elections have changed and so has Facebook – what happened with Cambridge Analytica couldn’t happen today”. It added that it now has “rules prohibiting voter suppression” and was “running the largest voter information campaign in American history”.

The Trump campaign, the Republican national committee and the White House all declined to comment.

A senior official in the the Trump campaign has previously denied any targeted campaigns against individual groups.

Iraqi PM rallies allies to stop US closing embassy after Pompeo threats

Total failure by Pompous and crew…

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US warned Mustafa al-Kadhimi it will withdraw diplomats if Baghdad fails to prevent rocket attacks

Iraq’s prime minister has rallied allies to help stop the US from closing its embassy in the country after the Trump administration threatened to withdraw its diplomats if Baghdad fails to stop persistent rocket attacks.

The ultimatum was delivered over the weekend by the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to Mustafa al-Kadhimi, and was followed by a small-scale evacuation from the fortified mission in what officials saw as a statement of intent.

Continue reading…

26 years in, the Violence Against Women Act hangs in limbo – while COVID fuels a domestic violence surge

efforts to reauthorize VAWA, which requires legislative renewal every five years, have stalled since 2019, largely due to disputes over a provision that would prohibit gun purchases by people who have been convicted of domestic violence against a partner they are not married to, and do not live or coparent with. (If an abusive partner has access to guns, that heightens the risk of abuse translating into homicide.) President Donald Trump has not focused on either the legislation or the issue of domestic violence, whether from the White House or the campaign trail.

For now, there is still money backing VAWA’s signature grant programs, which has awarded more than $8 billion since 1995. That includes dedicated funding for resources like rape crisis centers and survivor advocates, as well as discretionary funds that support, for instance, efforts to combat dating violence on college campuses or facilitate outreach to underserved communities. But those resources could dry up if the law isn’t renewed or if money isn’t authorized through some other funding stream. And that’s just as the pandemic is heightening the need.

Note

The landmark legislation expired last year, and hasn’t yet been renewed. That could lead to severe health impacts.

By Shefali LuthraThe 19th

Sep. 16, 2020

Originally Published By The 19th

As COVID-19 appears to be fueling spikes in domestic violence, the Violence Against Women Act — the landmark legislation that enshrined federal protections and support for survivors — has emerged as a focal point of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. But for now, the law remains in a legislative limbo that could have severe health impacts — particularly during the pandemic.

This weekend marked 26 years since the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was signed into law. Biden and his campaign surrogates have touted the law, which Biden sponsored when he was a Delaware senator as a centerpiece of his commitment to women. Between 1994 and 2010, intimate partner violence has dropped by more than 60 percent, according to the Department…

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These Secret Safety Panels Will Pick the COVID Vaccine Winners

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Most Americans have never heard of Dr. Richard Whitley, an expert in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

Yet as the coronavirus pandemic drags on and the public eagerly awaits a vaccine, he may well be among the most powerful people in the country.

Whitley leads a small, secret panel of experts tasked with reviewing crucial data on the safety and effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines that U.S. taxpayers have helped fund, including products from Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and others. The data and safety monitoring board — known as a DSMB — is supposed to make sure the medicine is safe and it works. It has the power to halt a clinical trial or fast-track it.

Shielding the identities of clinicians and statisticians on the board is meant to insulate them from pressure by the…

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Netherlands joins neighbours in tightening coronavirus restrictions amid surge in cases | Euronews

Masks are handed out to the public in Amsterdam The Netherlands has introduced stricter measures to combat rising coronavirus cases, banning spectators at professional sports matches and ordering bars and restaurants to close at 10pm for the next three weeks.

Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said “we’re doing our best, but the virus is doing better”, warning that tougher measures could follow if the numbers don’t stop going up.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte also advised people to wear face masks when shopping in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, the three cities with the highest rates of infections.

He also said people should work from home, no more than three visitors should be allowed in homes, and no more than four people should go out together.

The country’s coronavirus dashboard registered 2,921 new infections in the last 24 hours, down slightly from the 2,996 registered Sunday by the country’s public health institute.

Source: Netherlands joins neighbours in tightening coronavirus restrictions amid surge in cases | Euronews

Mozilla Foundation – Misinfo Monday: Amplifying Crap, Even When Labeled “Crap,” Is Still Harmful

So how do you fight it? With a technique Wineburg calls lateral reading. “The best way to understand a site is to leave it,” says Wineburg. “If you don’t understand what you’re looking at, open a new browser tab and learn what others are saying about the site.” If a site is sharing something you suspect to be false, other sites will likely say so. “Fact checkers know that the web is just that: a web. To understand a single node in the web requires understanding its connection to the other spokes in that web,” says Wineburg. “If I see a piece of news on my Twitter feed, I search and check to see if major news outlets have covered it too. I’ll go to Snopes but also even Google News.” (Audrey from Misinfo Monday here, letting you know you can check this post for some great fact checking sites. Back to Xavier.) Source: Mozilla Foundation – Misinfo Monday: Amplifying Crap, Even When Labeled “Crap,” Is Still Harmful

Mozilla Foundation – Misinfo Monday: When World Leaders Share Misinformation

Some tips from us if you see content from a world leader that you think is false:

  1. Don’t share it! On Twitter, sharing a tweet, even to fact check it, can cause it to “trend,” increasing its reach exponentially. That’s why we’re calling on Twitter to pause its ‘trending topics’ feature in the U.S., at least until election results are certified in January 2021. You can join us, and sign the petition.
  2. Check out the claims they’ve made. Here are some great fact checking resources.
  3. Report it. Most platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, have mechanisms to report misinformation. You can help platforms add warning labels or fact checks more quickly.

Source: Mozilla Foundation – Misinfo Monday: When World Leaders Share Misinformation

Racial Disparities in Incidence and Outcomes Among Patients With COVID-19 | Health Disparities | JAMA Network Open | JAMA Network

Source: Racial Disparities in Incidence and Outcomes Among Patients With COVID-19 | Health Disparities | JAMA Network Open | JAMA Network

Conclusions and Relevance  In this cross-sectional study of adults tested for COVID-19 in a large midwestern academic health system, COVID-19 positivity was associated with Black race. Among patients with COVID-19, both race and poverty were associated with higher risk of hospitalization, but only poverty was associated with higher risk of intensive care unit admission. These findings can be helpful in targeting mitigation strategies for racial disparities in the incidence and outcomes of COVID-19.

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