What We're Reading

Daily Reads: Equifax Honchos Sold Stock Before Revealing Massive Data Breach; Trump Turns to Dems

A roundup of stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Equifax Honchos Sold Stock Before Revealing Data Breach

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The big one –> No storm has ever been recorded, anywhere, with sustained winds over 185 mph for a longer period than Hurricane Irma has had. Grist’s Eric Holthaus explains how Irma “appears to have exceeded the maximum theoretical strength for a hurricane in its environment.”

And if these monster storms didn’t seem quite biblical enough, last night “one of the most powerful earthquakes ever to strike Mexico” left at least 15 people dead, according to the AP’s Christopher Sherman and Eduardo Castillo.

The big one, but for data breaches –> Yesterday afternoon, the credit agency Equifax revealed that the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans may have been exposed to hackers. At the link, New York’s Channel Eleven News offers a tool, posted by Equifax, that you can use to see if you were among them. The company is also offering its credit monitoring service for free for those affected by the breach. (Be warned the online tool seems to be overwhelmed by users.)

And Anders Melin reports for Bloomberg that three Equifax managers sold millions worth of the company’s stock in the weeks between when the breach was first discovered and the company went public with it.

The fake Americans Russia created to influence the election –> The New York Times’ Scott Shane reports on how a “a legion of Russian-controlled impostors whose operations are still being unraveled” influenced the 2016 election. He adds that “understanding the Russian efforts will be crucial in preventing or blunting similar, or more sophisticated, attacks in the 2018.”

Relatedly, Michael Isikoff reports for Yahoo! News that Facebook is refusing to provide congressional investigators with copies of the campaign ads a Russian “bot farm” bought on the social media site last year.

And Oren Dorell reports for USA Today that “Russia has meddled in the affairs of at least 27 European and North American countries since 2004 with interference that ranges from cyberattacks to disinformation campaigns.”

What’s up with Trump? –> Josh Dawsey reports for Politico that even as congressional Republicans and the conservative media continue to fume over the debt limit deal Trump struck with Dems on Wednesday, the president “seemed super upbeat” about the media coverage it got and hinted that he might cross the aisle again in the future.

And yesterday it was reported that at the same meeting he made a handshake agreement with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to do away with debt limit altogether, which New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait thinks would be a very good idea.

Meanwhile, Robert Costa and Ashley Parker report for The Washington Post that “several influential House conservatives are privately plotting ways to use the legislative calendar this fall to push their hard-line agenda — including quiet discussions about possibly mounting a leadership challenge to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan.” Speaker Gingrich? Maybe!

But they still have his back when it counts –> Congressional Democrats tried yet again to force a vote on a measure to compel the release of Trump’s tax returns this week, and yet again it failed on a party-line vote, according to Naomi Jagoda at The Hill.

One more bite at the apple? –> Senate Republicans are trying one last-ditch effort to repeal and replace Obamacare before the end of the month, at which point the legislation would need 60 votes to pass instead of 51. Laura Litvan and Steven Dennis have the details at Bloomberg.

A monolithic national police state –> Simon Lazarus and Tom Jawetz write at The American Prospect about a bill that passed the House with little notice which would “combine Department of Justice (DOJ), DHS, and local law enforcement resources, flouting vital constitutional constraints and court decisions” in a concerted effort to round up undocumented immigrants.

At Mother Jones, Samantha Michaels notes that one in four Dreamers are parents of US citizens — and offers other facts about this group that you may not have known. Well worth a perusal.

And the billionaire Koch brothers are “poised to back a bill protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation,” according to Lachlan Markay at The Daily Beast, who adds that their “backing could provide a crucial boost to efforts to preserve DACA.”

Somewhat related –> Prashant Sinha writes at Slate that the experience of “flying while brown” — and being “randomly” singled out for extra security time after time — “has become even worse during the presidency of Donald Trump.”

A stunning reversal from the previous administration –> Trump’s Department of Justice “filed a brief Thursday night aligning the United States of America with a Colorado baker who refused to serve a same-sex couple,” writes Ian Millhiser at Think Progress. While the brief “aligns Trump politically with anti-LGBTQ groups,” Millhiser notes that “it also makes surprisingly modest arguments.”

Good people on all sides –> “Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that she plans to dramatically retool the Department of Education’s guidelines for investigating and responding to cases of campus sexual assault,” writes Rafi Schwartz at Splinter, “and she emphasized that she thinks the alleged perpetrators of assault have been mistreated as much as their alleged victims.”

Fraudulent commission –> Trump’s “election integrity commission” meets for the second time next Tuesday. The agenda was released yesterday, and Tierney Sneed reports for Talking Points Memo that “the list of witnesses is a hodgepodge of computer scientists and turnout experts… as well as fringe figures known to trumpet overblown fears about voter fraud, including one of the commission’s own members.”

This had to happen –> Someone had to find a long-married elderly couple named Harvey and Irma and ask them about these massive storms, and it looks like Jonah Engel Bromwich drew the short straw at The New York Times.

Daily Reads was compiled by BillMoyers.com staff and edited by Kristin Miller.



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