News deserts, explained | Vox


No one has been sure how to puncture that conservative media bubble, to combat the narratives that lots of rural white voters have come to believe are true. It’s impossible to contradict fake news with “real news” when the sources offering that real news aren’t trusted.

But local media outlets, which used to carry that sort of clout within their communities, are being economically strangled by an environment that increasingly requires turning to nationally syndicated programs and stories, rather than the sort of local focus that used to mark these outlets.

So if the solution to these problems probably involves more robust local media — and specifically more robust local media online — well, good luck figuring out how to pay for that.

Source: News deserts, explained – Vox

An Israeli View on Trump’s JCPOA Withdrawal: “Hope Is Not a Strategy”

The hope in Washington today is that the renewal of sanctions will deliver a kick to the Iranian economy when it is down, and that could force the regime to return to the table to discuss parameters of a new agreement including the issues that the previous agreement neglected. And there are even some in Washington who are hopeful (perhaps beyond what evidence would support) that increasing economic pressure on the regime will destabilize it.

But hope is not a strategy.

Source: An Israeli View on Trump’s JCPOA Withdrawal: “Hope Is Not a Strategy”

For US, JCPOA is DOA. What Now?


Their cyber capabilities are not only impressive but they’ve tended to deploy them as an asymmetric, unconventional tool in response to sanctions pressures.

You sanction my country, I attack your banks with cyber tools. You make deals with foreigners – this is an example of their attack against the Saudi foreign ministry – I will expose all of your traffic, your documentation on the web.

You curtail my oil industry, we will attack Aramco in return.

It’s entirely reasonable to expect that and I believe if there is an action that should be taken in the near term in addition to looking carefully at any terrorist elements that might be associated with the Iranian government, it is to significantly focus on ways to improve the defense integrity of cyber infrastructure in the region.

Source: For US, JCPOA is DOA. What Now?

Inside Haspel’s Hearing Room

If you watched the questioning of the President’s nominee for Director of Central Intelligence on C-SPAN, you probably missed the significant display of U.S. Intelligence heavyweights sitting behind her in the hearing room.

They included rank and file former Officers who have worked with Gina Haspel over the years, as well as special guests she thanked by name to include the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Susan M. Gordon, former U.S. Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Collection Mary Margaret Graham and longtime Intelligence favorite Charlie Allen, who served as the former Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security and is himself, a 40-year CIA veteran.

Also: see a letter from 72 former CIA officers who support Gina Haspel.

Source: Inside Haspel’s Hearing Room

Michael Cohen pitched himself as a fixer to Novartis and got $1.2 million


The curious relationship between one of the world’s biggest drug makers and President Trump’s personal lawyer began early last year when Michael Cohen, a longtime fixer for the president, reached out to Novartis’s then-chief executive officer Joe Jimenez, promising help gaining access to Trump and influential officials in the new administration, according to an employee inside Novartis familiar with the matter.

Source: Michael Cohen pitched himself as a fixer to Novartis and got $1.2 million

Senate Dems move to force net neutrality vote | TheHill


“I believe that today kicks off the most important day for the internet that the Senate has ever seen,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who is spearheading the net neutrality push in the Senate.

Markey and other Democrats portrayed the issue as one of fairness, arguing that Republican Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to scrap net neutrality would hurt consumers while protecting large corporations.

“Our Republican friends say ‘let the free market prevail,’ ” said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) “We don’t do that for highways.”

Source: Senate Dems move to force net neutrality vote | TheHill

GOP leaders seek to stamp out Republican revolt on immigration | TheHill


House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) pushed back on the effort Wednesday after the discharge petition quickly gained the support of 15 Republicans.

If every Democrat backs the petition to force votes on a series of immigration measures — including one that would protect “Dreamers,” immigrants brought to the United States as illegally children — only 25 Republicans would be needed as signatories to force a vote.

McCarthy argued the move gives the minority too much power by effectively allowing a majority of Democrats to determine what gets to the floor by working with a select number of Republicans.

Source: GOP leaders seek to stamp out Republican revolt on immigration | TheHill

McCain urges Senate to reject Haspel’s nomination | TheHill


In a break with President Trump, McCain urged his Senate colleagues to vote against Haspel, charging that “her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.”

McCain said Haspel in speaking to the Senate Intelligence Committee failed to address his concerns about her role in an enhanced interrogation program during the George W. Bush administration. The methods used in that program are now widely regarded as torture.

Source: McCain urges Senate to reject Haspel’s nomination | TheHill

Haspel dodges on whether harsh interrogation was ‘immoral’ | TheHill


Pressed repeatedly by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) to provide a “yes or no answer,” current acting CIA Director Gina Haspel said she supports the “higher moral standards” that the U.S. has embraced since renouncing the use of the techniques.

“I believe CIA did extraordinary work to prevent another attack with the legal tools we were provided,” she added, however.In a testy exchange, Harris accused Haspel of not answering her question.”Senator, I think I’ve answered the question,” Haspel said.

“No, you’ve not,” Harris said.

Source: Haspel dodges on whether harsh interrogation was ‘immoral’ | TheHill

To succeed, older industrial cities must overcome their stark color lines


The research finds that even among children who grow up next to each other, with parents who earn similar incomes, black boys fare much worse than white boys as adults. Controlling for differences among individuals and households cannot explain away these significant racial disparities.

Perhaps nowhere is the persistence of those disparities as evident as in America’s older industrial communities (OICs), many of which have begun to stabilize and grow again. Absent concerted efforts to close those disparities, their precarious renewal may be short-lived.

Source: To succeed, older industrial cities must overcome their stark color lines