Wednesday! [DOT 20/7/22]

Happy Wednesday gang; I hope everyone is having a great week so far.

[internal screaming intensifies]

Secret Service cannot recover texts; no new details for Jan. 6 committee

So help me god I will leave the state

Trump-backed Cox projected to win Maryland’s GOP gubernatorial primary

Votey McVoteFace

Check on your British friends they weren’t made for this

Keep cool and carry on? Britons struggle through hottest day on record.

Ah yes nothing to see here

Biden under pressure to declare climate emergency after Manchin torpedoes bill


Stock futures rise following Dow rally, better-than-expected Netflix earnings


Have a great day!



    • …enjoy…don’t know where you land on the pack-light vs. creature-comforts scale but I hope you have everything you need & don’t need anything you don’t have once you get there?

    • …possibly a dumb question…but how is it the secret service aren’t so over-vetted that even facebook & google are jealous of how much data someone has about them…quis custodiet & all that sort of thing?

      • It’s honestly hard to tell much about how the presidential detail is chosen. For obvious reasons, I assume. But the president apparently has latitude to pick the people he wants from the Secret Service. I assume, since Trump had four years to assemble a squad of bootlickers, that the ones on duty on Jan. 6 were thoroughly compromised.

        Twenty percent of the Secret Service is ex-military, and military extremism is well-documented. I don’t image Trump had to try too hard to assemble a detail that supports his ideology. They’re supposed to be apolitical, but that’s doubtful at best.

        So yeah, they’re thoroughly vetted, I think (remember Trump had a penchant for issuing top-secret clearance to the order-taker at the McDonalds drive-through). But once they’re in, there isn’t anything stopping them from taking sides.

      • This interview with Carol Leonnig is excellent.

        Basically huge mission creep combined with limited funding and bad management, but it’s worth going past the surface explanation for more details.

        The meta issue that I find troubling is Leonnig is a Washington Post reporter and she has gifted the paper with a pressing issue for an old-school newspaper campaign. Newspapers used to openly use their platforms to push for changes on certain issues. They still do it a bit more covertly, too — the NY Times PC moral panic is a prime example.

        But largely they leave these things to Fox News. And even though it would be potentially catastrophic to see something like a repeat of the two Kennedys and George Wallace, or the nearly successful attacks on Truman, Ford and Reagan, the Post doesn’t see a value in it.

        It would be one thing if press outlets were prioritizing other campaigns. But not even climate stirs mainstream media execs to exert the kind of focus that Fox News puts into the “war on Xmas.”

        This passivity, of course, is one of the ways Murdochs drive so much of the agenda.

    • This is a very interesting Twitter thread about corruption within the Secret Service. As far as I know, this is the first time anyone has pointed out that Pence seemed afraid to get into the VP limo. Afraid of what? Maybe Trump’s hand-picked security detail?

      • …in all honesty quite where in the deluge of Jan 6th related stuff I forget where exactly I came across that but it’d definitely been brought up before the hearings started in so far as at some point it became clear that pence was informed they were preparing to evacuate him & over-rode that in order to remain at the capitol

        …quite when it shaded across from being vice-president-symbolically-refuses-to-cede-the-capitol to mike-legitimately-thought-being-evacuated-by-the-secret-service-might-be-the-bigger-risk, I couldn’t say…but there was a whiff of it even on the day, iirc?

        …it was obvious just watching the news coverage that the majority of the idiots on parade were being treated like camouflage by a minority who had made some plans & tried to come prepared to work in concert…& he had to feel some kind of way to know the shit-talking his boss has been doing had people chanting about hanging him…& it must have been hard to miss the pervasive crazy the whole maga cabal had been steeping themselves in…even if he were only concerned that once off the premises they might aim to force his hand into supporting their batshit attempt to substitute illegitimate electors I don’t think there’s any question that he saw getting into that car as giving the whole insurrection thing a shot it didn’t have if he stayed in the building

        • Yeah at the time it felt like “oh okay good at least someone in the executive branch wants to lead today” and “he’s worried he’s gonna fucking get killed by that MAGA mob if he leaves.”

          Not “oh fuck the Secret Service is gonna be taking pictures of his corpse with those cell phones.”

  1. So many questions about this Amazon suit against Facebook group organizers:

    This article just quotes an Amazon press release and then barely anything more. Great journalism!

    First, why did so many of these groups exist? Digging deeper, it seems many avoided detection by mixing around a few letters in their names. Amazon and Facebook are supposedly masters of big data and AI, but they get fooled on a massive scale by someone running an “Ellectronics Rev1ew” group?

    Amazon claims they have 12,000 employees on the case, and has identified 10,000 Facebook groups over several years. So they’re finding less than one group per employee per year? On top of their supposed tech power?

    Why does nobody in these articles ever question the focus on groups instead of individuals? Do reporters not understand that unless Facebook and Amazon crack down on people — cancel accounts of bad actors — this is building sandcastles on the beach?

    What is so obviously happening is Amazon and Facebook are putting together a cover story to deal with the regulatory action briefly mentioned. Plenty of past reports have dug up isolated elements around fake reviews in the past. Why not just write articles that treat this as a real issue instead of defaulting to PR campaign coverage?

    So many questions.

    • Fake reviews extend well beyond Amazon and Facebook. Glassdoor, for example, has a serious fake review problem. My former company balances every negative review with an obviously (at least to those of us who worked there) 5-star review every time one is published. The PR department is in charge of this — I don’t know if they coerce existing employees or if they create burner accounts, but I do know they do it.

      The same is true for Yelp and other sites. Both positive and negative reviews are faked, to the point where they’re almost meaningless.

      I really hadn’t paid much attention until I noticed what was happening on my old company’s Glassdoor site. We former employees get together for drinks and read the reviews — if you do it in sequence it’s painfully obvious that a glowing review follows every negative, and they’re using the jargon spouted by the new management team. After that I started digging and found out that most of this shit is gamed.

      • The thing that drives me crazy about tech reporting is how they endlessly fluff tech companies for their ability to manage data, but then effortlessly flip to saying they’re helpless to control bots.

        It can’t be both things!

        Also, they gullibly quote the PR departments of Facebook, Yelp or Glassdoor about their Dr. Evil style numbers (700 TRILLION USERS!) but don’t spend the 15 minutes it would take to look at the sites to see how much junk is there.

        There are so many glaring problems with the PR that could be punctured so easily and create vastly more engaging stories. But reporting to a large extent isn’t about creating stories audiences want. It’s about servicing PR flacks. Yet CNN puzzles why their ratings stink.

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