Daniella Zalcman / Flickr Donald Trump...
Daniella Zalcman / Flickr

Elizabeth Saunders/WaPo:

1. Hawkish advisers can play a large role in foreign policy decision-making.

One basic question is: How much do foreign policy advisers matter? In my own research, I have found that they do, particularly when the president is inexperienced. George W. Bush’s inexperience effectively delegated enormous power to his foreign policy advisers, with little presidential monitoring or oversight, contributing to the planning failures in the Iraq War.

But research also suggests that hawks play a particularly large role. One reason comes from psychology. As the economist Daniel Kahneman and the political scientist Jonathan Renshon have written, “a bias in favor of hawkish beliefs and preferences is built into the fabric of the human mind.” The arguments of hawkish advisers often play into policymakers’ psychological biases and shortcuts — such as over-optimism about potential conflicts, or the aversion to cutting losses. As a result, in debates about war, decision-makers are more likely to listen to hawks than doves.

2. But hawks may be less helpful for selling a new war.

Ever have one of these moments? Click link to see.

Check out this twitter thread on gun violence research and the omnibus.


Even by the standards of Trump, it was a turbulent day that left staff frustrated and demoralized. Earlier, the president rattled markets by imposing tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports, saw one of his top lawyers in the Russia probe quit in frustration and watched Congress struggle to try to avoid a government shutdown.

This is from the Cambridge Dictionary:

neocon definition
Choose your definition. Make your case.


Why this is a Facebook scandal more than a Cambridge Analytica one

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a response to this scandal, “I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.”

But former Facebook employees have said that there’s a tension between the security team and the legal/policy team in terms of how they prioritize user protection in their decision-making.

“The people whose job is to protect the user always are fighting an uphill battle against the people whose job is to make money for the company,” Sandy Parakilas, who worked on the privacy side at Facebook, told the New York Times.

Greg Sargent/WaPo:

Trump’s new female accusers may put him in greater danger

On Thursday night, CNN [did] air an interview with Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who claims she had a 10-month affair with Donald Trump. This Sunday, CBS will televise another interview, this one with former porn star Stormy Daniels, who also says she had an affair with Trump.

Which raises two key points about our politics right now: First, is it possible that the deep alienation from President Trump that has set in among female voters could continue to get even worse — particularly among the suburban and college-educated white women who are driving the Democratic resurgence. Second, that dynamic could matter in this fall’s elections — potentially increasing Democratic chances of taking back the House, which would effectively check Trump’s agenda and bring real accountability that is now basically nonexistent.

Will Bunch/Philly.com:

‘Race Realism’: How Steve Bannon, Cambridge Analytica modernized white supremacy to elect Trump

At its blackened heart, it turns out, are the two ugliest words to emerge in U.S. politics in the 21st century: “Race realism.”

There’s nothing real, or factual, about “race realism.” To the contrary, it’s the rank, old-school racial stereotypes about black- and brown-skinned people that once animated slaveholders, the KKK or the White Citizens Councils of yesterday, dressed up in Adidas sneakers and a hip-hop T-shirt instead of a white robe. What we’ve learned these past few days is a kind of a dystopian nightmare: That Team Trump, led by its multimillion-dollar data gurus Cambridge Analytica (CA) and the president’s former propaganda minister, Steve Bannon (with a still mysterious assist from Russian trolls), used the modern techniques of information warfare — and hijacked data from Facebook — to inject a virulent strain of thinly disguised white supremacy to elect an American president.

“The term GZero world refers to an emerging vacuum of power in international politics created by a decline of Western influence and the domestic focus of the governments of developing states.” Wikipedia.

NY Times editorial:

Yes, John Bolton Really Is That Dangerous

The good thing about John Bolton, President Trump’s new national security adviser, is that he says what he thinks.

The bad thing is what he thinks.

There are few people more likely than Mr. Bolton is to lead the country into war. His selection is a decision that is as alarming as any Mr. Trump has made so far.

Tom Nichols/WaPo:

John Bolton is dangerous. But Trump’s inept White House might restrain him.

There are other reasons the new national security adviser will be in for a rough ride, aside from the extreme positions he advocates. Bolton represents yet another betrayal of the Trump base, as some of the most hard-line conservatives are already screaming. (That reaction is one small consolation in all of this for the Never Trump Republicans, of whom I am one.) Yes, there are still many Trump supporters who don’t know much and care even less about foreign policy. But that could change: Trump promised his voters that he was the alternative to a cabal of warmongers nesting in Washington’s darkest branches, and he cannot now deliver on that promise by hiring the most aggressive hawk in the tree.

Vineeta Vijayaraghavan/USA Today:

Guns killed three of my Harvard classmates. Privilege doesn’t keep you safe.

My Harvard classmates were shot in the head in separate incidents in three states. Their elite educations did not protect them from gun violence.

These three disparate deaths haunt me because gun policy could have prevented them. Other than my parents, no other relatives of mine immigrated to the USA. They live in the United Kingdom and Europe, India, Malaysia, China, Australia. Not one of them knows anyone who has ever been killed in a gun shooting. They worry about my family living here, in a country that The Washington Post said now has more guns than people.

Students who died in the shooting in Parkland, Fla., will also be remembered with scholarships in their name and foundations started with money from mourners. Let’s not stop to sit on benches at our alma maters with names of our dead classmates. Let’s work after all these marches to take away the guns that took our classmates from us.


Leaked: Cambridge Analytica’s blueprint for Trump victory

Exclusive: Former employee explains how presentation showed techniques used to target voters

One of the most effective ads, according to Kaiser, was a piece of native advertising on the political news website Politico, which was also profiled in the presentation. The interactive graphic, which looked like a piece of journalism and purported to list “10 inconvenient truths about the Clinton Foundation”, appeared for several weeks to people from a list of key swing states when they visited the site. It was produced by the in-house Politico team that creates sponsored content.

The Cambridge Analytica presentation dedicates an entire slide to the ad, which is described as having achieved “an average engagement time of four minutes”. Kaiser described the ad as “the most successful thing we pushed out”.

Politico said editorial journalists were not involved in the campaign, and similar ads were purchased by the Bernie Sanders and Clinton campaigns.

Advertisements on Facebook, Twitter, Google and the music-sharing app Pandora were used to help convince 35,000 supporters to install an app used by the most active supporters.

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  1. D for DUMB trump might restrain John Bolton. Somebody should instead restrain CRAZY DONALD in the nearest Maxim Secure Mental Hospital Padded Cell wearing the latest fashion in Straight Jackets for All Lunatics & Insane Idiots.


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