Quote of the Day postsWednesday March 21, 2018
“I led Facebook's efforts to fix privacy problems on its developer platform in advance of its 2012 initial public offering. What I saw from the inside was a company that prioritized data collection from its users over protecting them from abuse. As the world contemplates what to do about Facebook in the wake of its role in Russia's election meddling, it must consider this history. Lawmakers shouldn't allow Facebook to regulate itself. Because it won‘t.”
Sandy Parakilas, operations manager at Facebook in 2011-12, in a New York Times Op-Ed, “We Can’t Trust Facebook to Regulate Itself,” from last November. Since then, the Cambridge Analytica story has broken. Almost as big a story has been Facebook's non-response. Mark Zuckerberg is supposed to “break silence” on the controversy today, but it already feels too late.
It's Not the Tweets
“The largest faction of the [Republican] party has taken the position that Donald Trump is a fantastically successful president whose main error is undisciplined tweeting. What is most notable about this approach is what it omits: the idea that Trump possesses authoritarian instincts or might be deeply implicated in the Russia scandal. It focuses entirely on the most superficial critique of his job performance and ignores evidence of his fundamental unfitness for office.”
Jonathan Chait, “Republicans Can't Understand Why Trump Is Acting Guilty,” New York Magazine
In Case You Were Sleeping Well
“The [Trump] administration also took the unusual step of citing the Russian government for a previously unconfirmed series of intrusions into American power plants and the computer networks that control power grids that occurred about the time of the election. Those attacks suggest Russian state-sponsored hackers have been actively mapping out Western industrial, power and nuclear facilities for eventual sabotage, experts say.”
“Finally, Trump Has Something Bad to Say About Russia,” New York Times Editorial Board, which adds this about the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration after the 2016 Election. “Mr. Trump, for reasons that have never been made completely clear, has until now resisted a congressional mandate that he expand the penalties.”
“The Administration's penchant for deception is injurious in many ways, not least because it devalues truth as a value in public discourse. Like Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, [Hope] Hicks, even in her camera- and microphone-shy way, spent years being loyal to Trump and his mendacities. She was always prepared to do his bidding, including when there was an ugliness to the bidding: She pushed back hard against the Pope when he dared to criticize the President's hopes to wall off Mexico. She cast her lot with him and stayed with him as the injuries he inflicted multiplied...
”Perhaps we will hear from Hope Hicks in a more unguarded way in the future. The pattern has been that, once these aides lose their White House passes and get some distance from the tumult of Pennsylvania Avenue, they begin to reveal their sense of despair about the place, if not their shame.“
“Drudge and Hannity are, for me, the best indicators of when Trump is in trouble. The more they bury news, the more important and dangerous it is for the Trump agenda. And there's a lot to bury right now: metastasizing scandal, an administration at war with itself, a chief of staff looking wobbly, egregious corruption, and open rhetorical betrayal of the base. It's not that we haven't seen all of this before — but it's the combination of all these in a sudden and accumulating pile that seems more ominous than usual.”
Andrew Sullivan, “Is This the Beginning of Trump's End?” on the New York magazine site.
Not sure why Sully uses “ominous” here; I'm giddy. OK, cautiously giddy. OK, cautious and giddy and sad that it's come to this. That it's this bad and so many Americans are sticking to their guns. Literally but mostly figuratively.