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What ails Donald Trump (& the Anglosphere) 18:46 - Aug 12 with 774 viewsShaky

My meeting with Donald Trump: A damaged, pathetic personality — whose obvious impairment has only gotten worse
I didn't get his endorsement when I ran for governor — but the severely troubled man I met has only gotten worse

Salon, Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 12:00 PM +0100
By Bill curry

In 1994, I visited the home of Donald Trump. He was a Democrat then, of sorts, and I was the party’s nominee for governor of Connecticut. He’d taken an interest in our state owing to his keen desire to lodge a casino in Bridgeport, an idea I found economically and morally dubious. I had scant hope of enlisting him, but made the trip anyway, thinking that if I convinced him I might win, he’d be less apt to bankroll my opponent.

I arrived at Trump Tower in early evening, accompanied by my finance chair and an old friend and colleague. Stepping off the elevator into his apartment, we were met by a display of sterile, vulgar ostentation: all gold, silver, brass, marble; nothing soft, welcoming or warm. Trump soon appeared and we began to converse, but not really. In campaigns, we candidates do most of the talking; because we like to, and because people ask us lots of questions. Not this time. Not by a long shot.

Trump talked very rapidly and virtually nonstop for nearly an hour; not of my campaign or even of politics, but only of himself, and almost always in the third person. He’d given himself a nickname: “the Trumpster,” as in “everybody wants to know what the Trumpster’s gonna do,” a claim he made more than once.

He mostly told stories. Some were about his business deals; others about trips he’d taken or things he owned. All were unrelated to the alleged point of our meeting, and to one another. That he seldom even attempted segues made each tale seem more disconnected from reality than the last.

It was funny at first, then pathetic, and finally deeply unsettling.

On the drive home, we all burst out laughing, then grew quiet. What the hell just happened? My first theory, that Trump was high on cocaine, didn’t feel quite right, but he was clearly emotionally impaired: in constant need of approbation; lacking impulse control, self-awareness or awareness of others. We’d heard tales of his monumental vanity, but were still shocked by the sad spectacle of him.

That visit colored all my later impressions of Trump. Over time, his mental health seemed to decline. He threw more and bigger public tantrums; lied more often and less artfully. The media, also in decline and knowing a ratings magnet when it saw one, turned a blind eye. Sensing impunity, Trump revived the racist ‘birther’ lie. In 2011, he told the “Today” show’s Meredith Vieira he had unearthed some dark secrets:

Vieira: You have people now down there searching, I mean in Hawaii?
Trump: Absolutely. And they cannot believe what they’re finding

As Trump recycled old lies, Vieira had a queasy look but no apparent knowledge of the facts. Of course, there weren’t any. Trump had no proof of Obama being born in Kenya. (Since there is none.) It’s highly doubtful he had any researchers in Hawaii. (It was only after Vieira asked him that he claimed he did.) Later, when Trump’s story crumbled, he followed a rule taught by his mentor, Roy Cohn, infamous architect of McCarthyism: Admit nothing. To Trump, a lie is worth a thousand pictures.

By 2016, the private Trump was on permanent public display, raging over mere slights, seeing plots in every ill turn of events and, as always, stunningly self-absorbed. He was called a racist, a sexist and a bully. But his mental health issues were euphemized as problems of “temperament.” He lied ceaselessly, reflexively and clumsily, but his lies were called merely “unproven” or, later, “false.” The New York Times called the birther story a lie only after Trump grudgingly retracted it. Not till he was safe in office claiming that millions of phantom immigrants cast votes for Clinton did the paper of record use the word “lie” in reference to a tale Trump was still telling.

In 2016, the precariousness of Trump’s mental health was clear to all with eyes to see, but like extras in a remake of “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” reporters averted their glances. The day after the election, they were all in a state of shock, like staff at an asylum who woke one morning to find that the patient who thought he was Napoleon had just been named emperor of France. Once he took office, many publications began keeping running tallies of his lies. But all take a more cautious approach to questions of their origins in his deeply troubled psyche. To date, no major network, newspaper or magazine has run an in-depth analysis of Trump’s mental health.

The pathologies of American journalism are by now clichés: aversion to policy analysis; addiction to horse-race politics; smashing of walls that once separated news, opinion and advertising; an ideology that mistakes evenhandedness for objectivity. Yet we hear scant talk of reform. The press excels at public rituals of soul-searching but has little taste for the real thing. That said, its reluctance to discuss mental health reflects its virtues as well as its vices. Of major outlets, Fox News does by far the most psychological profiling. (It turns out all liberals are crazy.)

Like the language of politics, the language of psychology is imprecise; the term “sociopath” is as hard to nail down as “liberal” or “conservative.” What separates a serial liar from a pathological liar? Mere suspicion from paranoia? Righteous anger from uncontrolled rage? How do we ever tell mental illness from ill character? Our view of any antisocial behavior hinges on whether we view it through a moral, legal or therapeutic lens; to take a human life other than in self-defense is insane, and also criminal and, to many, sinful. Do we treat, punish or forgive? It’s so hard to say.

The diagnosis we associate with Trump is “narcissistic personality disorder” (a term that only lately replaced “narcissistic character disorder”). You’ll find it in the Diagnostic Survey Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, fifth edition. Back in February, a principal author of the prior edition, Dr. Allen Frances, wrote a letter to the Times rebuking mental health professionals for “diagnosing public figures from a distance” and “amateur diagnosticians” for “mislabeling” Trump with narcissistic personality disorder. Allen says he wrote the criteria defining the disorder and Trump doesn’t have it. His reasoning: Trump “does not suffer the disorder and impairment required to diagnose mental disorder.”

Frances does what he accuses others of doing. By saying flatly that Trump doesn’t suffer a disorder, he diagnoses a public figure we assume — for multiple reasons — he hasn’t treated. Nor can he or anyone else tell “from a distance” that Trump doesn’t suffer the requisite impairment and disorder. No president ever seemed so impaired or disordered, but we needn’t compare him only to other rotten presidents. Trump is the Chuck Yeager of lying, a shatterer of records thought untouchable. That he is frozen in pathological, crotch-grabbing adolescence is well documented; that his judgment is often deranged by rage is self-evident.

This week the world watched two men of obvious, serious emotional impairment in control of ungodly nuclear weapons trade puerile taunts while threatening to incinerate millions of innocent human beings. Donald Trump, having made war on Mitch McConnell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nordstrom, China, Mexico, Australia and the cast of “Hamilton,” baiting a man who idolizes Dennis Rodman and just murdered his own brother. This is simply unacceptable. We know how Kim Jong-un got his job. It’s time we thought about how Trump got his. One answer is that he got it the way authoritarian leaders do in liberal democracies: by exploiting the weakness and naïve politesse of the old order. To contain him, let alone remove him, we must relearn the rules of debate.

We can start by distinguishing name calling (bad) from merely naming (which is not just good but vital). I too recoil from quack therapists diagnosing strangers on cable TV. But you don’t need to be a botanist to tell a rose from a dandelion. In 2016 Trump compared Ben Carson to a child molester and pronounced him “incurable,” but few raised the far more real question of Trump’s own mental health. Do we dare not state the obvious? You needn’t be an amateur diagnostician to see that Donald Trump is mentally ill.

Trump embodies that old therapists’ saw “perception is projection.” You can use this handy tool to locate the truth, exactly opposite from whatever he just said. He has a weight management problem, so women are “fat pigs.” He can’t stop fibbing, so his primary opponent becomes “Lyin’ Ted Cruz.” His career is rife with fraud so the former secretary of state becomes “Crooked Hillary.” He is terrified of ridicule, so Barack Obama is a “laughingstock.” When he says America’s a wasteland but he’ll make it great again, we know his secret fear.

Late in the presidential campaign Hillary Clinton famously dubbed some large portion of Trump’s base a “basket of deplorables.” A constant theme and core belief of her campaign was that his campaign was fueled by racism and misogyny, evils against which Democrats stand united. The evils are genuine and enduring, but political corruption and the economic inequality it fosters did at least as much and probably more to fuel Trump’s rise.

It’s likely that Trump’s arrested development also got him white working-class votes, among males especially. The infantilization of the American male is a phenomenon we have been slow to recognize. It is a product of fast-narrowing economic horizons fueled by cultural forces; by beer ads and anti-intellectualism, by addiction and violent video games, and now by Trump, on whom Jon Stewart pinned the fitting moniker “man baby.”
Countless surveys say our children are less racist and sexist than our parents. What many may not be is more adult. The issue isn’t the bros in the beer ads; we assume they have jobs. It’s the tinderbox we create by mixing ignorance and inequality with dashed hopes and an overwrought sense of victimization. They say presidents lead us down the paths we’re already on. It’s our job to make sure this one doesn’t.

One thing Trump has taught us is that the drafters of the 25th Amendment weren’t thinking about mental illness. It is unlikely anyone it puts in charge would have the courage to take action. In any case, progressives must put their primary emphasis on crafting a blueprint for political reform and economic justice. While they’re at it they could try making better cases on national security and climate change.

They must take another lesson from Trump: to say out loud things they never said before, not as Trump does, but with honesty, decency, reason and specificity. Trump got to be president in part because there were so many things Democrats and the media didn’t think or couldn’t bring themselves to say. Trump’s whole life is a fraud that Robert Mueller may soon expose as a criminal enterprise. His business career was a disaster till a book someone else wrote and a TV show someone else produced made him a celebrity. He then fell into the only line of work he ever prospered in: licensing that celebrity. He does it pretty well, but Zsa Zsa Gabor did it first and Kim Kardashian did it better and neither of them should be president.

In 2016 Trump’s real vulnerabilities were his mental health and personal finances. We can now add his proto-fascism and his possible or intended treason to the list. Trump was lucky in the draw. His defects were so monumental, so toxic, we had no protocol for talking about them. There are effective and responsible ways to talk about all such things, but first our media and political elites must find the courage to name them. They know as well as you or I who he is.

http://www.salon.com/2017/08/12/my-meeting-with-donald-trump-a-damaged-pathetic-

Misology -- It's a bitch
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What ails Donald Trump (& the Anglosphere) on 18:52 - Aug 12 with 760 viewsexiledclaseboy

If ever the USA needed section four of the 25th Amendment now is the time.

Poll: Who will you vote for on 8 June?

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What ails Donald Trump (& the Anglosphere) on 19:53 - Aug 13 with 666 viewsherefordjack

Man baby. What a brilliantly perceptive description.
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What ails Donald Trump (& the Anglosphere) on 20:20 - Aug 13 with 647 viewsjack2jack

Narcasism!
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What ails Donald Trump (& the Anglosphere) on 20:41 - Aug 13 with 626 viewsBrynCartwright

To be honest I am amazed that we are all still alive after 8 months of this twunt becoming the most powerful man on the planet.
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What ails Donald Trump (& the Anglosphere) on 21:41 - Aug 13 with 590 viewsjack2jack

What ails Donald Trump (& the Anglosphere) on 20:41 - Aug 13 by BrynCartwright

To be honest I am amazed that we are all still alive after 8 months of this twunt becoming the most powerful man on the planet.


Innit, let's hope it's all just c8ck waving,and there are diplomatic moves afoot behind the scenes.At least that's what is being reported.
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(No subject) (n/t) on 10:40 - Aug 14 with 513 viewsHighjack

What ails Donald Trump (& the Anglosphere) on 20:41 - Aug 13 by BrynCartwright

To be honest I am amazed that we are all still alive after 8 months of this twunt becoming the most powerful man on the planet.


He's nowhere near the most powerful man on the planet
[Post edited 14 Aug 10:43]

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(No subject) (n/t) on 11:26 - Aug 14 with 480 viewsLoyal

(No subject) (n/t) on 10:40 - Aug 14 by Highjack

He's nowhere near the most powerful man on the planet
[Post edited 14 Aug 10:43]


Those above all this control the decisions, we are watching puppets, the real control is unknown.

Nolan sympathiser, clout expert, personal friend of Leigh Dineen, advocate and enforcer of porridge swallows. The official inventor of the tit w@nk.
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(No subject) (n/t) on 12:49 - Aug 14 with 445 viewsShaky

(No subject) (n/t) on 11:26 - Aug 14 by Loyal

Those above all this control the decisions, we are watching puppets, the real control is unknown.


Not entirely true. More remarkably the guy in quesiton is perhaps even more mad than Trump!

From The New Yorker
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency; How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency.

By By Jane Mayer

Last month, when President Donald Trump toured a Boeing aircraft plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, he saw a familiar face in the crowd that greeted him: Patrick Caddell, a former Democratic political operative and pollster who, for forty-five years, has been prodding insurgent Presidential candidates to attack the Washington establishment.

Caddell, who lives in Charleston, is perhaps best known for helping Jimmy Carter win the 1976 Presidential race. He is also remembered for having collaborated with his friend Warren Beatty on the 1998 satire “Bulworth.” In that film, a kamikaze candidate abandons the usual talking points and excoriates both the major political parties and the media; voters love his unconventionality, and he becomes improbably popular. If the plot sounds familiar, there’s a reason: in recent years, Caddell has offered political advice to Trump. He has not worked directly for the President, but at least as far back as 2013 he has been a contractor for one of Trump’s biggest financial backers: Robert Mercer, a reclusive Long Island hedge-fund manager, who has become a major force behind the Trump Presidency.

During the past decade, Mercer, who is seventy, has funded an array of political projects that helped pave the way for Trump’s rise. Among these efforts was public-opinion research, conducted by Caddell, showing that political conditions in America were increasingly ripe for an outsider candidate to take the White House. Caddell told me that Mercer “is a libertarian—he despises the Republican establishment,” and added, “He thinks that the leaders are corrupt crooks, and that they’ve ruined the country.”

Very long story - containing unacceptable language! - continues at: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/the-reclusive-hedge-fund-tycoon-beh
[Post edited 14 Aug 12:50]

Misology -- It's a bitch
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(No subject) (n/t) on 19:12 - Aug 14 with 343 viewsnice_to_michu

(No subject) (n/t) on 10:40 - Aug 14 by Highjack

He's nowhere near the most powerful man on the planet
[Post edited 14 Aug 10:43]


Who is?
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(No subject) (n/t) on 19:19 - Aug 14 with 338 viewsexiledclaseboy

(No subject) (n/t) on 19:12 - Aug 14 by nice_to_michu

Who is?


Illuminati. And the lizard people. And probably the Jews. Maybe the pope.

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(No subject) (n/t) on 21:22 - Aug 14 with 303 viewsHighjack

(No subject) (n/t) on 19:19 - Aug 14 by exiledclaseboy

Illuminati. And the lizard people. And probably the Jews. Maybe the pope.


He's struggling to get anything past congress. He can't even get a wall built. He's not as powerful as other men leading other countries because he's subject to the checks and balances that some other countries don't have.

Which is a good thing is it not?

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(No subject) (n/t) on 21:26 - Aug 14 with 298 viewsexiledclaseboy

(No subject) (n/t) on 21:22 - Aug 14 by Highjack

He's struggling to get anything past congress. He can't even get a wall built. He's not as powerful as other men leading other countries because he's subject to the checks and balances that some other countries don't have.

Which is a good thing is it not?


He's incompetent. He has an ostensibly friendly congress with a Republican majority in both houses. He should be able to do pretty much whatever he wants. The fact that he can't actually get anything done is a further proof, if indeed further proof was needed, of his complete incompetence and unsuitability for the great office he holds.

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(No subject) (n/t) on 21:30 - Aug 14 with 287 viewsHighjack

(No subject) (n/t) on 21:26 - Aug 14 by exiledclaseboy

He's incompetent. He has an ostensibly friendly congress with a Republican majority in both houses. He should be able to do pretty much whatever he wants. The fact that he can't actually get anything done is a further proof, if indeed further proof was needed, of his complete incompetence and unsuitability for the great office he holds.


Indeed, so you agree he's nowhere near the most powerful man in the world?

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(No subject) (n/t) on 21:33 - Aug 14 with 282 viewsexiledclaseboy

(No subject) (n/t) on 21:30 - Aug 14 by Highjack

Indeed, so you agree he's nowhere near the most powerful man in the world?


I didn't disagree. But seeing as you asked I'd suggest that the fact that he has the world's largest nuclear arsenal at his disposal makes him pretty damn powerful in one context at least.

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(No subject) (n/t) on 21:44 - Aug 14 with 268 viewsHumpty

(No subject) (n/t) on 21:26 - Aug 14 by exiledclaseboy

He's incompetent. He has an ostensibly friendly congress with a Republican majority in both houses. He should be able to do pretty much whatever he wants. The fact that he can't actually get anything done is a further proof, if indeed further proof was needed, of his complete incompetence and unsuitability for the great office he holds.


What's amusing is that his supporters before the election were excited that he was a businessman not a politician. He'll shake them up.

Now they're using that fact to excuse his incompetence.

Can't blame him really, he doesn't know how things work in Washington. He's a businessman see, not a politician etc.

Muppets.
[Post edited 14 Aug 21:46]
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(No subject) (n/t) on 21:54 - Aug 14 with 249 viewsLoyal

(No subject) (n/t) on 21:33 - Aug 14 by exiledclaseboy

I didn't disagree. But seeing as you asked I'd suggest that the fact that he has the world's largest nuclear arsenal at his disposal makes him pretty damn powerful in one context at least.


I agree, but he is shit at weightlifting.

Nolan sympathiser, clout expert, personal friend of Leigh Dineen, advocate and enforcer of porridge swallows. The official inventor of the tit w@nk.
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(No subject) (n/t) on 21:55 - Aug 14 with 247 viewsHumpty

(No subject) (n/t) on 21:54 - Aug 14 by Loyal

I agree, but he is shit at weightlifting.


He also couldn't wrestle a bear with his top off like his best mate.
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What ails Donald Trump (& the Anglosphere) on 22:00 - Aug 14 with 237 viewsShaky

. . .And for anybody interested in how the Mercer/Cambridge Analytica angle possibly ties in to the Russians here's a few questions:

++++++++++++++++++++

Connecting the Dots: Political Microtargeting and the Russia Investigation

By Kate Brannen Friday, May 19, 2017 at 1:02 PM

In many respects, we’re all in the dark when it comes to the ongoing Russia investigations. Behind closed doors, what are congressional and FBI investigators learning? What new leads are being chased? Who in Donald Trump’s orbit is under the microscope? If there was “coordination” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, what form did that take?

While so much remains unanswered, the public has received several clues. We know, for example, that President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is being investigated, as is Trump’s former campaign aide and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

This week, new reporting shined a light on one focus of the congressional investigation: determining how the Russians knew which voters to target with their disinformation campaign. A report from TIME’s Massimo Calabresi on Thursday provided new details:

As they dig into the viralizing of such stories, congressional investigations are probing not just Russia’s role but whether Moscow had help from the Trump campaign. Sources familiar with the investigations say they are probing two Trump-linked organizations: Cambridge Analytica … and Breitbart News.

Cambridge Analytica is the data mining firm hired by the Trump campaign to help it collect and use social media information to identify and persuade voters to vote (or not vote), through an activity known as political microtargeting. The company is principally owned by Robert Mercer, a hedge fund billionaire who supported Trump and was a leading investor in Breitbart. Stephen Bannon, Trump’s campaign chairman (after Manafort) and now chief strategist at the White House, was the vice president of Cambridge Analytica’s board as well as the executive chairman of Breitbart before joining Trump’s team in August.

It’s worth remembering that when Comey testified before Congress on March 20, he did not use the word “collusion” to describe what he was investigating. Instead he said the FBI is investigating “whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.” The letter appointing Robert Mueller as special counsel uses the same language. Calabresi’s report, plus other recent clues, start to paint a picture of what the investigators might be looking at in terms of “coordination.” Calabresi writes:

The congressional investigators are looking at ties between those companies and right-wing web personalities based in Eastern Europe who the U.S. believes are Russian fronts, a source familiar with the investigations tells TIME. “Nobody can prove it yet,” the source says.

In the United Kingdom, Cambridge Analytica has been linked to the Leave.EU campaign, although the company denies this. The company is now threatening legal action against the Guardian, which published a series of articles, which investigated the role that may have been played by Mercer and Cambridge Analytica in the campaign to leave the European Union. Meanwhile, the UK information commissioner announced Wednesday it was launching an investigation “into the use of data analytics for political purposes,” the Guardian reports.

Insight into the level of scrutiny the company faces here in the U.S. also came Monday during an interview with Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on the Pod Save America podcast, which is hosted by former Obama administration officials. During the conversation, Tommy Vietor, a former spokesman for the National Security Council, asked Warner this question:

Vietor: One thing I’ve heard about the focus of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the Russian hacking is that the sophistication and the preciseness of the targeting is something that’s being looked at closely. Specifically that Russian bots were targeting Clinton voters at the precinct level to suppress their vote with fake news, and that that level of expertise would require data from a targeting firm, like Cambridge Analytica, for example. Is that true? And can you tell us anything about the nature of these Russian hacks that I’m hearing about?

Warner: When you see some of the explanation and some of the fact that it appears that, for example, women and African Americans were targeted in places like Wisconsin and Michigan, where the Democrats were too brain dead to realize those states were even in play … It was interesting that those states seem to be targeted where the bots — where they could could create a lot of these fake Twitter and Facebook accounts, could in fact overwhelm the targeted search engines that would end up saying on your news feed, you suddenly got stuff that “Hillary Clinton’s sick” or “Hillary Clinton’s stealing money from the State Department.” I get the fact that the Russian intel services could figure out how to manipulate and use the bots. Whether they could know how to target states and levels of voters that the Democrats weren’t even aware really raises some questions. I think that’s a worthwhile area of inquiry. How did they know to go to that level of detail in those kinds of jurisdictions?

Vietor: I wonder if they just asked Jared [Kushner] like Trump does with all of his questions. We’ll find out.

Warner: We’ll find out. More to come on that.

Cambridge Analytica has bragged about the role it played in helping Trump win the election, a boast that some critics say is exaggerated. But Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, explained to Forbes shortly after the election how data mining and microtargeting won the election for Trump. The article states:

“The Trump campaign, meanwhile, delved into message tailoring, sentiment manipulation and machine learning. The traditional campaign is dead, another victim of the unfiltered democracy of the Web–and Kushner, more than anyone not named Donald Trump, killed it.”

The Forbes article also talks about how Cambridge Analytica was brought in to work on these efforts:

This wasn’t a completely raw startup. Kushner’s crew was able to tap into the Republican National Committee’s data machine, and it hired targeting partners like Cambridge Analytica to map voter universes and identify which parts of the Trump platform mattered most: trade, immigration or change. Tools like Deep Root drove the scaled-back TV ad spending by identifying shows popular with specific voter blocks in specific regions–say, NCIS for anti-ObamaCare voters or The Walking Dead for people worried about immigration. Kushner built a custom geo-location tool that plotted the location density of about 20 voter types over a live Google Maps interface.

In addition to the work it was doing for Trump, Cambridge Analytica was also employed by a Republican political action committee to help suppress Democratic votes, according to a recent report in The Guardian.

Cambridge Analytica worked on campaigns in several key states for a Republican political action committee. Its key objective, according to a memo the Observer has seen, was “voter disengagement” and “to persuade Democrat voters to stay at home”: a profoundly disquieting tactic. It has previously been claimed that suppression tactics were used in the campaign, but this document provides the first actual evidence.

These stories make clear that Cambridge Analytica was hired to target voters with messages aimed at heightening their outrage or encouraging their apathy. Interestingly, this is what the Russians were up to as well.
At a March 30 hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Clint Watts, a counterterrorism expert and former FBI special agent, testified that:
If you wanted to run this during Cold War, you would have had to put agents inside the United States. They would have been stalked by counterintelligence professionals. They would have been rundown. You couldn’t have gained an audience on a communist newspaper, for example.

Today, you can create the content, gain the audience, build the bots, pick out the election and even the voters that are valued the most in swing states and actually insert the right content in a deliberate period.
As investigators try to figure out how Russia carried out its election interference, they’re asking how they happened to identify the right voters to bombard with the right messages, and how they got access to that kind of information.

Paul Wood, a reporter at the BBC who’s been ahead of the pack on the Russia-Trump investigation, had some eye-catching information in a story back in March. He wrote:

“This is a three-headed operation,” said one former official, setting out the case, based on the intelligence: Firstly, hackers steal damaging emails from senior Democrats. Secondly, the stories based on this hacked information appear on Twitter and Facebook, posted by thousands of automated “bots”, then on Russia’s English-language outlets, RT and Sputnik, then right-wing US “news” sites such as Infowars and Breitbart, then Fox and the mainstream media. Thirdly, Russia downloads the online voter rolls.

The voter rolls are said to fit into this because of “microtargeting”. Using email, Facebook and Twitter, political advertising can be tailored very precisely: individual messaging for individual voters.

“You are stealing the stuff and pushing it back into the US body politic,” said the former official, “you know where to target that stuff when you’re pushing it back.”

This would take co-operation with the Trump campaign, it is claimed.
After sifting through these stories and publicly available information, here are a few open questions:

1. How sophisticated are Cambridge Analytica’s capabilities? Is the company really revolutionizing electoral politics, manipulating people through their social media data? Or are their services being exaggerated — by the company and by its critics?
2. Was Cambridge Analytica involved in voter disengagement efforts aimed at Democrats in key states? How successful were these efforts?
3. Were the Russians also carrying out voter disengagement efforts aimed at Democrats? Were they targeting the same voters, or same sort of voters, as Cambridge Analytica?
4. How precisely were the Russians able to target American voters? How were they able to identify these individuals? As Warner puts it: “How did they know to go to that level of detail in those kinds of jurisdictions?”
5. What, if any, were Russia’s capability gaps where they may have needed to seek outside help to conduct their disinformation campaign more effectively?
6. Did Russia extract voter rolls from state computer systems? Where exactly?
7. If Russia did have access to voter rolls, how did they use them for microtargeting?
8. If Russia had online voter rolls, what would it need from the Trump campaign or another third party to put these into effect?
9. What role did far right U.S. news organizations play? Did they knowingly take “any actions to assist Russia’s operatives”?

All of this is to say: Watch this space. As Warner predicted, “More to come on that.”

https://www.justsecurity.org/41199/connecting-dots-political-microtargeting-russ

Misology -- It's a bitch
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What ails Donald Trump (& the Anglosphere) on 22:02 - Aug 14 with 236 viewsHumpty

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