What We're Reading

Daily Reads: Trump’s Started New Businesses Since Taking Office; Russia Used FB to Organize US Anti-Immigrant Protests

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

Russia Used FB to Organize US Anti-Immigrant Protests

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Campaign promises –> “A major construction company owned by the Chinese government was hired to work on the latest Trump golf club development in Dubai despite a pledge from Donald Trump that his family business would not engage in any transactions with foreign government entities while he serves as president,” reports Anita Kumar for McClatchy.

And at Salon, Michael Tanglis writes that “Trump has formed at least 49 business entities since he announced his bid for the presidency. He continued to form businesses not only after winning in November, but also after assuming the presidency in January.” What’s more, he has done “virtually nothing to separate himself from his businesses.”

Police state –> Hannah Dreier reports for ProPublica that in a new approach, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is charging people who help out undocumented immigrant family members with serious felonies. According to Dreier, “some of those affected admit that they paid ‘coyotes’ to reunite them with their young children,” but most “just happened to be in the house when ICE showed up, or [are] relatives who agreed to take in teens after they traveled to the US on their own.”

Active measures –> “Russian operatives hiding behind false identities used Facebook’s event management tool to remotely organize and promote political protests in the US, including an August 2016 anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rally in Idaho,” according to The Daily Beast’s Ben Collins, Kevin Poulsen and Spencer Ackerman. (As we’ve noted, Russian bots reportedly continue to promote white nationalist causes on social media.)

During an appearance on a Sunday talk-show, Vyacheslav Nikonov, a member of the Russian parliament, said US “intelligence missed it when Russian intelligence stole the president of the United States.” According to Joe Uchill at The Hill, an American Russia expert later said that Nikonov’s point “as that if the US can’t protect the integrity of its own electoral system, then how powerful can it really be?”

And in June, before the infamous meeting between top campaign officials and several Russians with ties to the Kremlin became public, some of Trump’s outside lawyers argued that Jared Kushner should resign to take heat off of the White House, and even drafted a statement announcing his departure. Carol Leonnig has that story for The Washington Post.

Democracy is fragile –> Kris Kobach’s Election Integrity Commission will hear a proposal today by John Lott that would require voters to undergo the same kind of background check needed to buy a firearm before casting their ballots. Bryan Lowry has the details at The Kansas City Star, but he doesn’t mention that Lott’s a controversial pro-gun “academic” whose work has been dogged for years by charges of shoddy research and dubious ethics.

Speaking of shoddy research, at ThinkProgress, Kira Lerner previews all of the “questionable data and debunked studies” the commissioners will hear today “in order to argue that voter fraud is pervasive and warrants more restrictive voting measures.”

What could go wrong? –> White supremacists and their antifa nemesis “are increasingly exploiting loose gun control laws to show up at emotionally charged rallies with assault rifles and other high-powered weapons, increasing the likelihood of an explosive clash in an American city,” according to Politico’s Josh Meyer.

Murder? –> According to the AP, Brazilian authorities are investigating the possible murders of members of “uncontacted” tribes in the Amazon by gold miners and prospectors.

$290 billion –> That’s what AccuWeather estimates to be the economic damage caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Naomi Klein writes at The Intercept that no matter how intense these events become, it won’t change the minds of those who deny the science of human-caused climate change because “their whole ideology is on the line.”

The Nation’s John Nichols points out that Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are US territory that was devastated by the storms, but aren’t getting the same attention — or aid — as affected communities on the Gulf Coast and in the Southeast have received.

And after Mexico was hit with both a deadly earthquake and hurricane without a word or tweet of condolence from the president of the US, it rescinded its offer to send aid to Hurricane Harvey victims. Kate Linthicum reports for the Los Angeles Times.

M4A –> Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said in an interview on Monday that he would co-sponsor Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All bill, joining other potential 2020 presidential nominees like Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris. Sanders is expected to release the bill tomorrow.

A real Xena, basically –> “For more than a century,” writes Louise Nordström for The Local in Sweden, “archaeologists and historians have assumed that the remains of a person found buried along with arms and horses in one of the most spectacular graves discovered in the Viking Age town of Birka… belonged to a man.” But new DNA tests reveal that he was in fact she, and she was “most likely a powerful military leader” who was buried with “a sword, an axe, a spear, armour-piercing arrows, a battle knife, shields, and two horses.”

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



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