A controversial hire by the Sanders campaign

Since December, David Sirota has, on Twitter, on his own website, and in columns in The Guardian, been trashing most of Sanders’s Democratic opponents—all without disclosing his work with Sanders—and has been pushing back on critics by saying that he was criticizing the other Democrats as a journalist. He centered many of his attacks on Beto O’Rourke, but he also bashed Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Joe Biden, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, John Hickenlooper, Mike Bloomberg, and even Andrew Cuomo.

Sirota’s hiring as a senior adviser and speechwriter was announced by the Sanders campaign on Tuesday morning after The Atlantic contacted the campaign and inquired about the undisclosed role Sirota held while attacking other Democrats.

Faiz Shakir, Sanders’s campaign manager, confirmed in an interview on Tuesday afternoon that Sirota had been in an advisory role prior to his hiring on March 11. “He was advising beforehand,” Shakir said, explaining that Sirota’s informal work for Sanders goes back months, and was meant to be a trial period to see how the senator, who famously likes to write every word that he says himself, would work with a speechwriter.

Carbon emissions are literally off the charts made by scientists in the mid 1980s

Photo: Brad Johnson

Personal genomics companies have accidentally created a state DNA database

Imagine … that the federal government established a database for which people could volunteer genetic profiles—but that the decision about whether to volunteer your DNA belonged not to you, but to your third cousin. Would you be OK with that?

Whether you like it or not, the United States has effectively already adopted this [system]. Since April 2018, law enforcement investigations stemming from DNA searches in consumer genetics databases have led to nearly three dozen arrests. In every case, those ultimately arrested did not actually upload their own genetic profiles to any database. Rather, they were identified through partial matches between crime scene DNA samples and the genetic profiles of often-distant relatives shared on consumer platforms like GEDmatch or FamilyTreeDNA. By one estimate, more than 60 percent of Americans of European descent are already identifiable through the DNA of a third cousin or closer on one of these platforms, and nearly all such Americans may be findable soon. Meanwhile, Parabon Nanolabs, the leading private company selling genetic genealogy services to law enforcement, claims that it can identify criminal suspects out to ninth-degree relatives (e.g., fourth cousins)—widening the genetic web of indirect database inclusion still further.

Florida Will Drop Solicitation Charges Against Robert Kraft if He Admits Guilt
Offering to drop charges if Kraft admits he would have been found guilty has a tone of shaming, but could be the cause of a dubious use of warrants.
video games
video games
The Best Thing About Google’s New Gaming Platform Is Also the Worst
Google’s game-streaming platform’s close ties to YouTube could create a feedback loop that bodes ill for game developers and fans.

A major museum in London doesn’t want to be associated with OxyContin money

London’s National Portrait Gallery (NPG) has decided against accepting a £1m grant from the Sackler Trust, following growing controversy over the damaging medical impact of OxyContin, a drug produced by the family’s pharmaceutical company.

The Art Newspaper can report that this morning the gallery is announcing that “the Sackler Trust and the National Portrait Gallery have jointly agreed not to proceed at this time with a £1m gift from the Sackler Trust to support the gallery’s Inspiring People project”.

vision 2020
vision 2020
Intelligencer Chat: Does Beto’s Policy Vision Matter?
Some Democratic candidates are ultraspecific about what they’d do in office; others are mostly vague. How much do voters care either way?

Marco Rubio moves to end the court-packing debate on the left

We must prevent further destabilization of essential institutions.

Court packing is quickly becoming a litmus test for 2020 Democratic candidates.

Therefore I will be introducing a constitutional amendment to keep the number of seats on #SCOTUS at 9.

Surprise! CEOs are overwhelmingly Republican

A team of researchers working with the Harvard Law School program on corporate governance set out to find the political inclinations of top executives — not just the 200 who make up the Business Roundtable, but all the executives of the S&P 1500, a stock index that covers 90 percent of the United States’ market capitalization.

For the study, to be released Tuesday, they tracked personal political contributions for more than 3,500 chief executives that occupied the corner office anytime from 2000 to 2017.

Just 18.4 percent of the executives studied were designated as Democrats. The clear majority — 57.7 percent — demonstrated their affiliation through donations to the Republican Party. Indeed, 75 percent of donations from the median chief executive were directed to Republicans.

foreign interests
foreign interests
U.K.’s Brexit Meltdown Morphs Into a ‘Major Constitutional Crisis’
Theresa May’s position went from bad to worse — again — when the Commons speaker blocked further votes on her Brexit deal in a surprise ruling.
Hardly Anyone Knows Mike Trout, the Greatest Baseball Player of All Time
Our generation’s Mickey Mantle is going to play his whole career in total obscurity.

A weird shaming exercise going on in Flordia

Florida prosecutors have offered to drop charges against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and a number of other men charged with soliciting prostitution, according to a person familiar with the matter, but there is a catch. The proposed agreement calls for the men to admit they would have been proven guilty at trial.

In an unusual provision, the agreement also calls for the defendants to review the evidence in the case and agree that, if it were to go to trial, the state would be able to prove their guilt, this person said. It isn’t clear whether Mr. Kraft and others would accept such a condition. When the charges were announced, a spokesman for Mr. Kraft denied he engaged in illegal activity.

Though it’s not as flashy as the admissions scandal, this trend will be more damaging to the American university system

US experienced a 6.6% decrease in new intl student enrollment in this year, doubling the previous years decrease whereas Canada experienced a 20% increase in the same time frame. We need to be welcoming international students to succeed in the US. #WelcomeToSucceed #nafsaAD
Flight Attendants Are Ready to Protest Over Frontier’s Low Pay
After fighting to end the shutdown, flight attendants are taking on another kind of wage insecurity, which they say makes a vital job more difficult.
SCOTUS Eases Rules for Deporting Ex-Con Immigrants
It’s another ruling that makes it easier for the Trump administration to strike fear in the hearts of those it calls “criminal aliens.”

George Conway tells his side

A total loser!” Trump wrote in the tweet targeting Conway’s husband, a prominent conservative attorney. The president’s tweet also included a dubious assertion from Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, that the president “doesn’t even know” his senior adviser’s husband.

But George Conway said in an interview Tuesday that he has had a number of notable interactions with Trump over the past decade, including legal representation and sensitive legal matters since Trump became president. He described the president as “mendacious” and “incompetent” and predicted he would not win reelection.

Conway also suggested his own tweets questioning the president’s mental health were aimed in part at avoiding conflicts with his wife.

“It’s so maddening to watch,” said Conway, a longtime Washington attorney who is well-known in conservative circles. “The mendacity, the incompetence, it’s just maddening to watch. The tweeting is just the way to get it out of the way, so I can get it off my chest and move on with my life that day. That’s basically it. Frankly, it’s so I don’t end up screaming at her about

An awful trend continues

A 40-year-old Mexican immigrant died in US custody on Monday — the fourth person to die after being apprehended by border authorities in recent months.

The man, who has not been identified, died at Las Palmas Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, after being diagnosed with flu-like symptoms, liver failure, and renal failure, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a statement.

Andrew Meehan, assistant commissioner for public affairs at CBP, said their thoughts and prayers went out to the man’s family and his loved ones.

“CBP remains committed to ensuring the safe, humane, and dignified treatment of those within the care of our custody,” Meehan said in a statement. “CBP will release more details as available and appropriate, and will ensure an independent and thorough review of the circumstances.”

Trump: “There Is Collusion”

Trump: “I have many many millions of followers on @Twitter, and it’s different than it used to be. Things are happening. Names are being taken off. If they’re conservative or Republicans, it’s big big discrimination.

“There is collusion. Because something has to be going on.”

Yes, this sounds like a real scourge for New York

.@NYPDTransit chief says at budget hearing that out of 572 people apprehended for turnstile jumping over the course of several recent operations in problematic stations, 421 got warnings: 309 of them were students and 112 were elderly
the national interest
the national interest
Trump Promised 3 Percent Growth. His Economists Quietly Admit It Won’t Happen.
Page 527 of the new Economic Report of the President contains a pretty big concession.

A cow loose on the Major Deegan Expressway has been corralled by officers

Photo: NBC New York
college admissions scandal
college admissions scandal
What Every Kid in the College Admissions Scandal Knew About the Scam
While it appears some teens participated, many were kept in the dark — though doctored photos and tests proctored by mom should have tipped them off.

What else are you going to talk about when the Brazilian president’s in town than how terrible John McCain was?

Trump, sitting next to the Brazilian president at the White House, attacks McCain again, says he’s “very unhappy” with the late senator and calls his vote against a narrow health care repeal “disgraceful.” And he adds: “I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be.”

A monumental tragedy is unfolding in Mozambique

More than 1,000 people were feared dead in Mozambique four days after a cyclone slammed into the country, submerging entire villages and leaving bodies floating in the floodwaters, the nation’s president said.

“It is a real disaster of great proportions,” President Filipe Nyusi said.

Cyclone Idai could prove to be the deadliest storm in generations to hit the impoverished southeast African country of 30 million people.

It struck Beira, an Indian Ocean port city of a half-million people, late Thursday and then moved inland to Zimbabwe and Malawi with strong winds and heavy rain. But it took days for the scope of the disaster to come into focus in Mozambique, which has a poor communication and transportation network and a corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy.

Everyone’s talkin’ about getting rid of the electoral college

The popular vote accurately reflects the will of the voters. The Electoral College does not. That’s why I’m advocating to get rid of the Electoral College. The popular vote will ensure that every vote carries the same weight, no matter what state you live in.

Rod Rosenstein isn’t going anywhere … yet

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has reached an agreement with Attorney General William Barr to stay on at the Justice Department “a little while longer,” a source familiar with their conversation told Fox News – despite initial plans to step down by now.

Fox News and other outlets previously reported that Rosenstein had planned to step down in mid-March. However, sources close to the deputy attorney general say Rosenstein has not yet given his two weeks notice. He remains at the DOJ as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe enters what is widely believed to be its final phases. There has been much speculation that Rosenstein would like to stay in his post until the investigation concludes.

Seems like a natural next step for a Trump enabler

Rupert Murdoch adds another big league political figure to his stable: ex Speaker Paul Ryan becomes new Fox Corp director. Past include Trump Transportation Secy Elaine Chao (Mitch Mcconnell’s wife); Ex PM Spain; ex Sen Ayotte; Ex Asst AG Viet Dinh etc etc

The Trump administration really likes this guy, naturally

Brazilian President @jairbolsonaro to @ShannonBream: “The [vast?] majority of potential immigrants do not have good intentions or do not intend to do the best or do good to the U.S. people.”

Michael Cohen was an investigation target early on in the Mueller probe

Federal authorities began investigating the email accounts of Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, as early as July 2017, only months after Mr. Trump took office, according to documents unsealed on Tuesday.

The emails, dating back to January 2016, were sought by the office of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel conducting the Russia investigation, the documents show.

Hundreds of pages of documents about the inquiry into Mr. Cohen were released in response to a request by The New York Times and other media organizations.

select all
select all
Bitcoin Tie Guy Is Breakout Star of the Elizabeth Holmes Documentary
Venture capitalist Tim Draper chose to make a, uh, fashion statement in the HBO documentary about failed blood-testing start-up Theranos.

More details on tech companies’ Sisyphean efforts to keep the New Zealand shooting video off their sites

YouTube and Facebook have defended themselves against accusations that they failed to act quickly enough in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack, arguing that their moderation is as good as possible given the number of videos uploaded.

Facebook said on Tuesday that the original stream of the attack was viewed live fewer than 200 times and non-live by 4,000 people before it was removed from the site.

Copies of it spread rapidly and by Saturday evening the company had removed 1.5m uploads. By Tuesday morning more than 800 distinct edits of the footage had been posted to the site.

health care
health care
Beto and Bernie Offer Competing Plans to Fix Health Care
Medicare for All is still the dominant Democratic health-care idea for 2020, but the less ambitious plan backed by O’Rourke could be a competitor.
vision 2020
vision 2020
Democrats Don’t Want to ‘Pack the Supreme Court’ — They Want to Reform It
Democrats are open to reforms that would prevent partisan majorities from dictating policy to a divided nation by fiat. That’s not “court packing.”

USC says it’s reviewing the status of the kids in the college admissions scandal and they may be expelled

Updated information on the College Admissions Issue:

• USC has placed holds on the accounts of students who may be associated with the alleged admissions scheme; this prevents the students from registering for classes or acquiring transcripts while their cases are under review

In the Trump administration, this counts as high praise

[Mick Mulvaney] has stayed out of a lot of people’s way … No one is saying he is killing it but staying out of people’s way has helped.

A senior Trump administration official
on why Mulvaney may soon become permanent, not acting, White House chief of staff

New Zealand’s prime minister has vowed never to say the Christchurch shooter’s name

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — The man accused of carrying out the attack that killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, is expected to represent himself in court, but the country’s prime minister said on Tuesday that she wants to do everything possible to deny him the attention he craves.

“He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in an address to Parliament. “But he will, when I speak, be nameless.”

“And to others, I implore you,” she added, “speak the names of those who were lost, rather than name of the man who took them. He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing. Not even his name.”

100-Person Poll: How Will the Trump Presidency End?
We asked 100 New Yorkers (plus 14 pundits, journalists, academics, and activists) how they see the Trump administration ending.
donald trump
donald trump
Report: Trump Repeatedly Inflated His Net Worth in Deals With Deutsche Bank
Over two decades, the bank reportedly lent Trump $2 billion. In response, Trump inflated his assets on three occasions and defaulted on major loans.
Man Suspected of Killing Gambino Mob Boss Drew QAnon Symbols on Hands in Court
Criminal conspiracy and far-right conspiracy theories overlap at the extradition hearing of a Staten Island man who allegedly killed a mobster.

Another sign of the Mueller investigation’s (somewhat) impending wrap-up

A top Robert Mueller prosecutor who handled Michael Flynn’s guilty plea has left the special counsel’s office amid growing signs that the Russia investigation is nearing its end.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zainab Ahmad “has concluded her detail” under Mueller “but will continue to represent the office on specific pending matters that were assigned to her during her detail,” said Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel.

Ahmad, an expert in international criminal and terrorism cases, is the third senior member of Mueller’s team whose plans have been confirmed in recent weeks to leave the team investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

the national interest
the national interest
Devin Nunes Files Bonkers $250 Million Lawsuit Over Mean Tweets
Nunes claims that tweets from accounts like “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow” run “contrary to every tenet of American Democracy.”

The surprisingly simple story of how the National Enquirer received Jeff Bezos’s texts Inc. founder Jeff Bezos and his allies have publicly speculated about how the National Enquirer acquired racy texts he sent his girlfriend, including at one point hinting Saudi Arabia or the White House may have been involved.

The reality is simpler: Michael Sanchez, the brother of Mr. Bezos’ lover, sold the billionaire’s secrets for $200,000 to the Enquirer’s publisher, said people familiar with the matter.

In most cases, the company’s source agreements require it to pay for information upon publication; if a story is never published, American Media doesn’t have to pay. By contrast, the contract with Mr. Sanchez stipulated he was to paid upfront, regardless of whether any story was published, the people familiar with the contract said.

Prepare for a legal battle over who gets to see the Mueller report, and in what order

White House lawyers expect to have an opportunity to review whatever version of Robert Mueller’s report Attorney General Bill Barr submits to Congress before it reaches lawmakers and the public, multiple sources familiar with the matter said, setting up a potential political battle over the hotly anticipated document.

The attorneys want the White House to have an opportunity to claim executive privilege over information drawn from documents and interviews with White House officials, the sources said.

While Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani suggested privilege could be used to keep parts of the report from public view, the issue is up to the White House, not the President’s personal attorneys.

In a Twitter thread, writer Anna Fitzpatrick shows that Cory Booker tweeted a version of this nauseating joke a dozen times between 2009 and 2017

Sleep & I have irreconcilable differences. We separated. I’m dating my tall, hot, sweet nu friend coffee MT @ellesep I feel like u nvr sleep

Startling numbers in a city that is around 25 percent black

At Stuyvesant High School, out of 895 slots in the freshman class, only seven were offered to black students. And the number of black students is shrinking: There were 10 black students admitted into Stuyvesant last year, and 13 the year before.

Jumaane Williams, the city’s newly elected public advocate and a graduate of Brooklyn Tech, said his opposition to completely scrapping the test remains unchanged. “The numbers are abysmal, we knew that,” said Mr. Williams, who is black. “The question is what do we do about it, how do we do it without needlessly pitting communities against each other?”

Though black and Hispanic students make up nearly 70 percent of New York City’s public school system as a whole, just over 10 percent of students admitted into the city’s eight specialized high schools were black or Hispanic, according to statistics released Monday by the city. That percentage is flat compared to last year.

Why Is Jordan Peterson Selling Lobster Merch?
The move comes months after the YouTube philosopher left a $66,000 monthly income on Patreon, after it banned an anti-feminist for saying the N-word.
just asking questions
just asking questions
A Sociology Professor on the Long History of Elites Gaming College Admissions
Joseph Soares says that standardized tests were never really about meritocracy.

The suspect who killed a Gambino mob boss in Staten Island last week drew QAnon symbols on his hand for his extradition hearing

Photo: AP

At least they’re keeping it light on the continent

France’s EU minister names her cat ‘Brexit’ because ‘he meows loudly to be let out but just stands there when I open the door’
vision 2020
vision 2020
White Evangelicals Are Still the Heart of Trump’s Base
Yes, white Evangelical support varies modestly along with Trump’s overall standing, but it’s still his best demographic.
Why the Terrible Myspace Data Loss Has a Silver Lining
Losing enormous amounts of user data is an unmitigated screw-up, even on a modern internet that craves ephemerality.

For sale: local journalism, never written

Facebook’s local news aggregator feature has a problem: it can’t find enough local news.
How Much Does ‘Racial Ideology’ Matter If Racism Itself Persists?
A New York Times op-ed argues that Americans are divided less by their “race” than by what they believe about race and racism. Does it even matter?

Meet Medicare for America, the healthcare solution Beto O’Rourke will campaign on

In brief, here’s what the bill authored by [Rep. Rosa] DeLauro and [Rep. Jan] Schakowsky and now embraced by O’Rourke would do:

The uninsured, people currently purchasing insurance in the Obamacare marketplaces, Medicaid beneficiaries, and newborns would automatically be enrolled into an improved Medicare program, which would continue to cover seniors as well.

Employers could continue to offer private insurance, so long as it meets certain federal standards. Companies could also elect to send their workers to the public program and pay a contribution toward their employees’ costs. Likewise, workers could voluntarily leave their job’s insurance for the new public plan.

Participants would be required to pay premiums, on a sliding scale based on their income; people with lower incomes would pay no premium at all. Out-of-pocket costs would also be based on income and capped at $3,500 for an individual or $5,000 for a family.

Doctors would be paid Medicare rates, with an additional increase provided for primary care doctors and mental health services.

A pioneering economist died unexpectedly

Princeton University economist Alan Krueger, who served as chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and was one of the profession’s top experts on the labor market, has died at the age of 58.

The New Jersey school announced his death in a statement on its website Monday, without giving a cause. Sergeant Fred Williams, a spokesman for the Princeton Police Department, separately said that police found Krueger inside his home on Saturday morning and he was later pronounced dead. An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause, and the police do not suspect foul play, Williams said.

Krueger, who had been a professor at Princeton since 1987, served in Obama’s White House from 2011 to 2013 after a stint as the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for economic policy. In addition, he served as chief economist at the Labor Department for a year during President Bill Clinton’s administration.

Everyone is an underdog

BERNIE emails list just now >>

“this morning, Beto O’Rourke announced that he raised more money than us on the first day of his presidential campaign.
The good news is, we more than likely had a lot more individual donations than he did.

“But what that means is if we are…

TFW Trump is president

The State Dept is holding a special informational call today. But the State Dept press corps wasn’t invited. Being told it’s for “faith-based media only”…

Yet another in a long line of parliamentary defeats for Theresa May

The House of Commons Speaker has thwarted any attempt by Theresa May to bring a third meaningful vote to parliament, unless there has been substantial change to the Brexit deal.

With Theresa May’s plans thrown into chaos by the move, one of her chief law officers warned the government could be forced to cut short the parliamentary session and restart in order to bring back the Brexit deal.

John Bercow’s shock move, which drew immediate criticism from May’s allies, suggested he believed such a fundamental change would involve a renegotiation at EU level rather than clarification of the legal advice written by the attorney general, something that had been suggested this week.

The solicitor general, Robert Buckland, said the decision was a “constitutional crisis” and that the government might have to consider the drastic step of ending the parliamentary session early and restarting a new session.

foreign policy
foreign policy
No, the Left Should Not ‘Learn to Love’ the Military-Industrial Complex
Giant Pentagon budgets do provide a couple million Americans with jobs and health care. But the goal is to deliver those goods to all Americans.

The House plans to probe the rise of white nationalism

The House Judiciary Committee is planning on hosting a hearing in the coming weeks addressing the rise of white nationalism in the U.S. and the hate crime and hate speech surrounding the movement, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the committee’s schedule.

The hearing comes on the heels of two mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that killed 50 people. According to local law enforcement, the man charged with those attacks wrote a manifesto outlining his white nationalistic ideology as well as his anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim views. …

Though plans are still being finalized, the committee expects to bring in officials from within the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI for questioning on the rise of white nationalism in the U.S and the efforts the agencies are currently adopting to combat it. One lawmaker said the goal is to “have a hearing in early April.”

From DNC to FNC

Fox News has hired former DNC chair Donna Brazile as a contributor.

In a statement, she says, “I know I’m going to get criticized from my friends in the progressive movement for being on FOX News. My response is that, if we’ve learned anything from the 2016 election…”
If You Posted Music on Myspace Between 2003 and 2015, It’s Probably Gone
Over 50 million songs have reportedly been deleted.
vision 2020
vision 2020
What Beto Backlash? Fundraising Haul Undercuts Reports of a Disastrous Launch
Despite negative reactions among journalists and on Twitter, his campaign raised $6.1 million in the first 24 hours, beating Bernie Sanders’s record.
Corey Johnson’s Simple But Innovative Plan to Fix New York’s Transit System
The city council speaker has an ambitious strategy for overhauling how New Yorkers get around — no advanced tech or billion-dollar deal required.