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Tyler McHenry
1,250 followers -
Professional Nerd
Professional Nerd

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This is at most one third of the people who turned out to a town hall of a Democratic congressman in a Democratic district on a Wednesday night. This is the overflow room, which itself overflowed, and was later culled after being declared a fire hazard.

These people weren't there to be angry and protest and complain -- they were merely there to speak with their representative and to remind him that his constituents are paying attention. If Trump's election has done one good thing, it is to ignite an unprecedented level of civic engagement.
Ro Khanna town hall in Fremont. Over a thousand people attended, but the room booked for the event was vastly inadequate for the size of the crowd. A second room was filled wall to wall, and we listened to the district director talk for a bit before law enforcement chased us out along with all standing occupants without a chair.

I would've liked to solicit Ro's opinion on the recent ICE raids and ask if he plans to oppose funding the plans detailed in the new DHS memos. (Ro is on the house budget committee.) Regardless of the poor end to the evening, it was still quite heartening to see the enthusiasm of the attendees. 
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1. Flynn lied to the FBI. Prosecution uncertain.

2. Deutsche bank (responsible for $10bn in Russian money laundering) seems to have forgotten about the money Trump owes them. And oh yeah, they "examined" his account for ties to Russia and said, "nope, nothing here." Remember Deutsche has been fined five times since 2015 for doing shit they shouldn't be doing.

3. Trump spends the day gaslighting so headlines about "corrupt media" appear right next to headlines about the administration's ties to Russia. His old pal Carter Page, a man with deep ties to the Kremlin, sends a bizarre letter fanning the partisan flames. Undoubtedly the right (and possibly left) conspiracy theorists will take it as gospel.

4. Trump says he plans on releasing a new immigration ban next week. Maybe he'll continue to release a new EO every time the old one doesn't work. Or he'll just consult people like John Yoo or Bob Leob, but first he'll have to find someone willing to work for him. Yoo and Bob are probably out of the running. Yoo wrote an OpEd for the NYTimes titled "Executive Power Run Amok" and even Leob twitter-cringed at the whole don't-question-the-President argument.

5. Meanwhile, in Europe:

The Dutch referendum, held last April, became a battering ram aimed at the European Union. With turnout low, Dutch voters rejected the trade agreement between the European Union and Ukraine, delighting Moscow, emboldening pro-Russia populists around Europe and leaving political elites aghast.

It is unclear whether the Ukrainian team was directed by Russia or if it was acting out of shared sympathies, and Mr. Van Bommel said he never checked their identities. But Europe’s political establishment, already rattled by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and the election of President Trump in the United States, is worried that the Netherlands referendum could foreshadow what is to come.

With elections slated for France, Germany and possibly Italy this year, officials across Europe are warning that the Russians are actively interfering, echoing the Central Intelligence Agency’s assertions that Moscow meddled in the United States presidential election.

Norway announced this month that Russia-linked hackers had attacked government ministries and a political party. Britain’s defense minister has accused Moscow of “weaponizing disinformation.” German, French and Italian officials have also accused Russia-linked partisans of meddling.

The Netherlands is holding its own national elections on March 15, and domestic intelligence officials say that foreign countries, notably Russia, have tried hundreds of times in recent months to penetrate the computers of government agencies and businesses. Volkskrant, a Dutch newspaper, reported last week that the same two Russian hacking groups that pilfered emails from the Democratic National Committee were among those targeting the Netherlands.

The Dutch interior minister announced that all vote tallies in the March election would be done by hand so as to remove computers from the electoral process and calm fears of hacking by unidentified “state actors.”

“Those in power are very worried — there is more than ample reason for alarm over interference in elections,” said Sijbren de Jong of the Hague Center for Strategic Studies, a research group in The Hague, the seat of the Dutch government. “But the real risk are populists who run, knowingly or unwittingly, with Russia’s agenda because they know it is damaging to the status quo in Europe that they want to destroy. All Russia really needs to do is sit back and let populists do their bidding.”

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/16/world/europe/russia-ukraine-fake-news-dutch-vote.html



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Look at all these people, including myself, who right now could be contributing productively to the US economy and making the future better for everyone -- who are instead spending their time and their emotional and mental energy trying to prevent their own country from ejecting and excluding them, or their friends, or their family, or their co-workers -- who are trying to keep their own spirits up, or to let those affected directly know that they do not stand alone.

There's four more years of this left. It is madness to run the country into the ground in this way. A prosperous country is an inclusive country, not only because of the contribution of immigrants themselves, but because of the contributions of everyone who cares about their fellow human beings.

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Googlers filling Charlie's plaza to show solidarity with immigrant co-workers and opposition to racist policies. #GooglersUnite #NoBanNoWall
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At #sfo demanding that CBP respect the law and release all detainees.
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1/29/17
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Women's rights matter, rain or shine.

#WomensMarch #WomensMarchSF
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1/21/17
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Thirteen innings of beautiful rollercoaster postseason baseball! #EYBS

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Debate notes.

Well, here we are. This is really happening: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton. The two least popular presidential candidates we’ve ever had are both running against the only person in the country they could beat.

In case you were wondering whether Lyin’ Donald would temper his behavior for this phase of the campaign, you should know that he invited Gennifer Flowers to attend tonight’s debate. He also preëmptively scolded the moderator not to dare fact-check him, which of course is what everyone else expects the moderator, NBC’s Lester Holt, to do.

They’re saying we could have a hundred million people watching this thing. Welcome, I guess, to the greatest show on Earth—not what a presidential debate is supposed to be.

Hillary Clinton has done this before—a lot. She is an accomplished debater, beyond Bill Clinton, beyond Barack Obama, beyond maybe anyone at this level. She may not be a “natural politician” like both of those men, but she is a natural at this. Her command of policy, her ability to calmly field a question while getting in her talking points, are without parallel. She’s set a high bar for herself, and you can be sure everyone will hold her to it.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, will exceed expectations if he remembers to avoid calling Lester Holt the ‘n-word’. He hasn’t a single clue about policy, and he fields questions by assembling word salad and flat-out lying about basically everything. The media is going to grade him on a curve, which is exactly what the media should not be doing in an interview for the most powerful job on the planet.

Do you doubt it? Do you need some evidence that the two will be judged on different metrics? Well, consider that in all the dozens of presidential-level debates Mrs. Clinton has participated, for all the skill and intelligence she has demonstrated, with all the times she has shown herself to be absolutely great at this, with all the hours of debate footage to choose from, there are two “moments” you’ve seen played over and over, two times the media thinks were great debate moments for Mrs. Clinton that you should (and do) remember:

The first was Rick Lazio weirdly leaving his podium and getting into Mrs. Clinton’s personal space, berating her to take a dumb campaign pledge. The second was Barack Obama telling her, “you’re likable enough, Hillary.”

That’s right: according to the media, Mrs. Clinton’s two great debate moments were having her male opponent do something inappropriate. Not anything she did or said. Not anything literally the best debater you’ve ever seen actually did, but mistakes by the men on stage with her.

That’s what she’s up against. Naturally, everyone is waiting with bated breath to see whether Mr. Trump messes up in the same way. Not whether Mrs. Clinton makes him look like an unprepared fourth-grader, but whether he’ll let her win the debate by his own mistake.

We’ll see. Maybe the media will surprise us by concentrating on what’s important! Right. I guess it could happen.

§

This debate was a disaster for Donald Trump—his worst debate performance thus far. But Mr. Trump has had other disastrous nights before, and they didn’t stop us getting where we are.

Mr. Trump actually started out strong. He had a good hit on Hillary Clinton over trade deals like NAFTA and TPP. Mrs. Clinton has come out against TPP, but Mr. Trump was right that she spoke in favor of it many times before she changed her mind.

He talked about tax differences creating trade imbalance, in ways that would make sense to his constituency. He talked about keeping manufacturing jobs in the country.

Mrs. Clinton baited him at every opportunity, starting early with a mention of Mr. Trump starting out his career with fourteen million dollars from his father. When Mr. Trump is hit in his ego, he can’t help but take the bait—and Mrs. Clinton took full advantage.

Was that why, about halfway through the debate, Mr. Trump ran out of gas? Was he expending all of his energy defending himself? Maybe, maybe not, but whatever it was, he lost control.

He interrupted Mrs. Clinton dozens of times, which didn’t look good. He couldn’t stop fidgeting, as though he’d forgotten to use the bathroom before they started. And his answers began devolving into incoherent word salad.

Oh, yeah—and he was sniffling the entire night. Sniff, sniff, sniff. I’m sure he wasn’t doing lines in the green room, so maybe he was sick? What’s he hiding about his health? Maybe he was on medication? For someone who has spent months planting seeds about Mrs. Clinton’s health, he reversed that narrative tonight.

Mrs. Clinton, for her part, was expecting the interruptions. She ignored him every time he did it. He came off as rude and petulant and she didn’t take his bait by responding in kind.

When the matter of his tax returns came up, Mr. Trump said he would release them as soon as Mrs. Clinton releases the emails she deleted. Ooh, the emails! Go for the jugular! Mrs. Clinton responded by suggesting that perhaps he didn’t want to release this tax returns because he’s not as wealthy as he claims to be. Ooh, snap! Or maybe he doesn’t want us to know he doesn’t pay any income taxes at all? He couldn’t help but interrupt: “That makes me smart.” Perhaps it does, but no one is suggesting that he’s breaking the law by not paying any taxes; it’s just a matter of how it would look. And a lot of people noticed him almost confirming that he pays no taxes.

By this time, Mr. Trump was making faces, sighing, and fidgeting while Mrs. Clinton was talking.

The moderator, Lester Holt, brought up racial tensions and police shootings, and Mr. Trump went into his law-and-order thing. He tried to paint a picture of an America that has descended into a Mad Max hellscape of chaos and violence. “Is this a war-torn country?” “You walk down the street, you get shot.” Unfortunately for him, while violent crime did tick up a little last year, crime overall didn’t, and violent crime is down drastically over the long term. He reiterated his call for stop-and-frisk to be reinstated, though he is wrong that murders went back up after the policy was stopped. It was a good shot at his base, but he was already losing control.

The turning point for Mr. Trump came soon after. He was asked about his pushing of the “birther” theory that President Obama wasn’t born in the USA. He didn’t handle it well. His defense was that he was proud that he got Mr. Obama to produce his birth certificate, but he basically fell apart here trying to defend his fragile ego.

Mrs. Clinton, asked about cyber-security, suggested that Russia may have been responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee, and this got pretty bizarre. Donald Trump spent something like two full minutes defending Russia against this accusation, suggesting that the hack could have been carried out by a 400-pound guy sitting in his bed, but no, not Russia, not them. Given Mr. Trump’s bizarre man-crush on Vladimir Putin, this was quite telling.

How, moderator Lester Holt asked, would you prevent home-grown terrorist attacks inspired by ISIS? Mr. Trump launched into an attack, accusing Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton of essentially creating ISIS by pulling out of Iraq. If only some troops had been left behind, he insisted, ISIS wouldn’t have existed in the first place.

But the withdrawal from Iraq was set by George W. Bush. The only way President Obama could have left any American troops behind was with agreement from the government of Iraq, and no such invitation was forthcoming. Mr. Trump is flat-out lying that the Obama administration was responsible for the way the US military left Iraq. His pursuit of this line of attack seemed overly enthusiastic and not entirely coherent—he said Mrs. Clinton has been fighting ISIS for her “entire adult life”. What?

Accused of having supported the invasion of Iraq, he descended into chaos. Call Sean Hannity! he kept insisting. I did too oppose it! He spent a lot of time ranting about this, with varying levels of coherence.

His self-control was almost entirely absent by this point. The entire debate was shown in split-screen: both candidates were on-screen all the time, when talking and when not talking. There was no opportunity for a television director to skew appearances with selective editing and camera angles, and Donald Trump did not handle this well. His facial expressions, his fidgeting, his sighing, his unsteadiness, his exhaustion—it was, I can’t emphasize this enough, a total disaster.

His answer about cutting taxes on the rich made no damn sense. You can read the whole thing in the transcript, and find three paragraphs of gibberish that doesn’t address the actual question, and doesn’t make any sense at all even on the topic he seemed to be talking about, which is corporate taxes. He looked both ignorant and incoherent, simultaneously.

If one doesn’t like raising the question of “looks” in what’s supposed to be a substantive debate, consider the candidate’s resumé: he is a television personality, with years of experience looking good on television, and he completely blew it tonight in his own area of expertise.

He has spent months planting seeds about Hillary Clinton’s health. He says she lacks the “stamina” to be president, and he said that on stage tonight—even as he looked like the one lacking in stamina. Between the sniffles and the appearance of total exhaustion after only forty-five minutes, he was the one who looked like health problems might be looming. Meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton handled it like a champ.

But on the topic of national security, of preventing home-grown terrorist attacks, the area he’s been pounding away at, putting himself forth as the only candidate prepared to handle this—he sounded like he didn’t know what the hell he was talking about. His sentences ended on different thoughts than they began with. He gave a bizarre, incomprehensible answer about nuclear weapons and NATO. He would not, he said, “do first strike” with nuclear weapons, but at the same time, he doesn’t want to take anything off the table. He’s all for NATO, but maybe not so much, and maybe we’re not keeping up with other countries.

Then he took the stamina issue out of subtext into the foreground. Despite his own exhaustion and sniffling, he came right out and said that Hillary Clinton lacks the stamina to be president. But wait—the first quote was that “she doesn’t have the look.” The look!

Mrs. Clinton retorted that perhaps he could talk about “stamina” when he travels to 112 countries doing negotiations. Or, for that matter, testifying for eleven hours in front of a Congressional committee.

Then she hit him over his statements about women. “He tried to switch from looks to stamina, but this is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs.” Mr. Trump’s response? Sure, he’s said that kind of thing, but only about Rosie O’Donnell. And, “I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her.”

Excuse me?

Lester Holt’s closing question was whether both candidates would respect the outcome of the election. This, I’m sure, was in response to Mr. Trump’s suggestions that if he loses the election, it will be because it was rigged.

Mr. Trump’s answer was just bizarre. It was as if he didn’t listen to the question, or didn’t hear it, and launched into a prepared closing statement—and then messed up delivering that statement.

Yes, Mr. Trump called his opponent “Secretary Clinton,” and not “Crooked Hillary.” Yes, he refrained from bringing up Gennifer Flowers or any of her husband’s other irrelevant indiscretions. He interrupted a lot, but he didn’t completely fly off the handle. So, he didn’t lose total control of his faculties. But it didn’t look good for him.

The audience noticed: at one point, Mr. Trump insisted that he has a better temperament than Mrs. Clinton, and the audience laughed out loud.

If it’s true that we had a hundred million viewers, then a whole lot of people got their first full-length impression of Donald Trump tonight, and what they saw was not at all good. You can think of the first general election debate in 2012, when Barack Obama crashed and burned and went on to win the election, and conclude that this wasn’t the end of Mr. Trump’s chances—and it certainly was not the end of his chances. He’s still got a shot at this thing, and tonight isn’t going to change the minds of any die-hard Trump supporters, but Hillary Clinton crushed him tonight and it wasn’t even close.
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Krebs is back thanks to Project Shield. His previous anti-DDOS product from Akamai had predicted that it would end up costing millions of dollars to keep defending him, and weren't willing to do that for free.

Project Shield was created specifically to help protect journalists from being easily censored by coordinated DDOS campaigns.

Oh, and a big shout out to the always horrible Internet of Shit Things for making this particular attack easy.
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