Wiretap: Immigration, Trump-style; election hacking; White Lives Matter

Shifty business

In advance of Donald Trump’s visit to Mexico and his immigration speech later today, The Guardian puts months of immigration politics in context. Politifact chronicles Trump’s shifting immigration rhetoric.

Election hacking scare

Earlier this month, the FBI’s Cyber Division warned election officials nationwide to increase security on their voting systems. On Monday, Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff broke the news that foreign hackers penetrated election systems in Arizona and Illinois. This, of course, raises concerns that Russians, if they hacked the Democratic National Committee as officials believe, could throw an already mind-bending election cycle into chaos. Of particular concern are Pennsylvania and Virginia, both swing states with voting systems sans paper backups. Also of concern, even if systems aren’t hacked, is that voters will sit out the election for fear that the system is “rigged” — as Trump often charges. See Isikoff’s DemocracyNow! interview and The Atlantic’s coverage of the hacking scare.

What’s the matter?

White Lives Matter has been listed as a hate group by watchdogs at The Southern Poverty Law Center. The label hardly comes as a shock. See White Lives Matter’s website for, among other hateful warm-fuzzies, a video about the super-fabulousness of Adolf Hitler entitled “The Greatest Story Never Told.” The SPLC reports there are 892 active hate groups in the U.S. – a number that has “grown in the past year and attributed…to the racially charged rhetoric of the presidential campaign.” Via The New York Times.


Remember when Facebook made headlines for its team of “trending curators” who were skewing and suppressing news? Well, this week, it’s making headlines not only for firing those curators, but also for using its automated news system to trend faux news stories including one that falsely claimed Fox News fired Megyn Kelly for supporting Hillary Clinton. “What had been a messy human-led process would now become an algorithm-guided one,” The Atlantic writes.

Total recall

Brock Turner, the rapacious Stanford swimmer, is scheduled to be released from jail Friday after serving only half of his six-month sentence. In the meantime, the judge who has faced a recall for handing down that sentence (which was lighter than the two-year minimum prescribed by law) has a campaign website lauding his “judicial independence.” Judge Aaron Persky reportedly has raised $3,600 for his campaign to be retained while the effort to oust him from office has raised $250,000. Via The Guardian.

Flickr photo courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society

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