Prominent Republican Donor Issues Ultimatum on Assault Weapons:

Prominent Republican Donor Issues Ultimatum on Assault Weapons:

A prominent Republican political donor demanded on Saturday that the party pass legislation to restrict access to guns, and vowed not to contribute to any candidates or electioneering groups that did not support a ban on the sale of military-style firearms to civilians.

Al Hoffman Jr., a Florida-based real estate developer who was a leading fund-raiser for George W. Bush’s campaigns, said he would seek to marshal support among other Republican political donors for a renewed assault weapons ban.

“For how many years now have we been doing this — having these experiences of terrorism, mass killings — and how many years has it been that nothing’s been done?” Mr. Hoffman said in an interview. “It’s the end of the road for me.”

Mr. Hoffman announced his ultimatum in an email to half a dozen Republican leaders, including Jeb Bush and Gov. Rick Scott of Florida. He wrote in the email that he would not give money to Mr. Scott, who is considering a campaign for the Senate in 2018, or other Florida Republicans he has backed in the past, including Representative Brian Mast, if they did not support new gun legislation.

“I will not write another check unless they all support a ban on assault weapons,” he wrote. “Enough is enough!”

Mr. Hoffman, a former ambassador to Portugal, has donated millions to Republican candidates and causes over the years, including more than $1 million to Right to Rise, a “super PAC” that supported Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign in 2016.

A critic of President Trump, Mr. Hoffman has continued to donate heavily to other Republicans.

Alluding to past mass killings, Mr. Hoffman argued in his email that future gun massacres were inevitable without government intervention: “If we go from Orlando to Las Vegas, and now Parkland, you just have to know that there are others around the country just dreaming about staging another mass murder.”

Republican elected officials in Washington and Florida have shown no significant interest in considering new gun restrictions after the Florida school shooting. The party, which has full control of both the state and federal government, has traditionally opposed virtually all new limitations on firearms. Mr. Scott has resisted pressure to back new gun regulations after the killing of 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County on Wednesday, though he said “everything’s on the table”in a television interview.

And Senator Marco Rubio of Florida voiced resistance to discussing gun control in a speech after the massacre, arguing in the Senate that a person determined to carry out an attack would find the weaponry to do it regardless of government regulations. His comments provoked outrage among some students who survived the shooting.

A previous federal assault weapons ban, enacted in 1994 under a Democratic president and Congress, lapsed in 2004 while Republicans had full control of Washington.

Mr. Hoffman acknowledged it was “not likely” that he would succeed in making the party more open to an assault weapons ban, and said Republicans were too beholden to the National Rifle Association. He has urged Republicans in the past to support certain firearms restrictions, without effect, but has not previously issued such a blunt threat.

One of the recipients of Mr. Hoffman’s Saturday message, Mel Sembler, another former ambassador and ally of the Bush family, suggested he did not intend to join the proposed donation boycott. “I don’t plan on getting into this debate,” Mr. Sembler, who also lives in Florida, said in a brief email.

Even on its own, Mr. Hoffman’s money will be missed: He contributed heavily to Republican congressional candidates in 2016 and gave

$25,000 last spring to the Senate Leadership Fund, a group backed by Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, that is focused on defending Republicans’ Senate majority.

He said he would close his checkbook to that group and others like it, and would encourage others to do the same in the absence of action on guns.

“I’m going to email every single donor I know in the Republican Party and try to get them on board,” he said. “We’ve really got to start a little movement here.”

Trump Eagerly Jumps on Facebook Ad VP’s Tweet Downplaying Russian Troll Operation:

Trump Eagerly Jumps on Facebook Ad VP’s Tweet Downplaying Russian Troll Operation:

Facebook and Donald Trump, two large, terrible sons of our broken society that truly deserve each other, slow-motion collided on Saturday when the president decided to lift wholesale a new line of defense over the ongoing Russian election scandal from the social media giant’s vice president of advertising Rob Goldman.

On Friday, the Department of Justice indicted 13 Russian nationals on a number of charges for alleged involvement with an 80-person-plus troll farm called the Internet Research Agency, which tried to flood US social media with disinformation and propaganda in what intelligence officials said looked a lot like an effort to help Trump’s campaign. Trump has been the subject of rampant speculation that he and/or elements of his campaign colluded with said Russians, who primarily ran the propaganda through Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram.

So the president spent much of Saturday quote-tweeting Goldman, an ad executive whose line of defense—that the Russians were more interested in seeding chaos than electing Trump, a statement seemingly designed to minimize Facebook’s responsibility for our current national situation—synergizes nicely with Trump’s now-familiar habit of latching on to anything with the faintest possibility of exonerating him.

Most of the coverage of Russian meddling involves their attempt to effect the outcome of the 2016 US election. I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal.

The majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election. We shared that fact, but very few outlets have covered it because it doesn’t align with the main media narrative of Tump and the election. 

Hard Questions: Russian Ads Delivered to Congress | Facebook Newsroom

What was in the ads you shared with Congress? How many people saw them?

Goldman is also not an expert on Russia or intelligence, the company has long done performative flip-flopping on the Russia issue to avoid legislation that could affect its bottom line, and as media types immediately noted on Twitter, buying Facebook ads is only one of many things the indictment accuses the IRA of doing. He didn’t note the possibility the later ads were intended to seize on the upset created in the wake of the president’s election, or that tricks like fueling both sides of street protests tacitly benefited Trump by turning the dial on our broken democracy meter to 11.

Remember, the ads aren’t the entire issue. IRA-tied trolls posted organic content on FB. They created events. Ad spending is only a small portion of what happened around the 2016 election. 

Your own press release says 44% of the ad impressions were before the election. The fact that they kept going to maximize the impact doesn’t diminish that spend. 

Rob, apart from paid promotion, what can you tell us about the duration and intensity of overall Russian info operations on Fb & and Insta?
Can you bar chart the 126m impressions by month?
Mueller has them message testing starting in 2014. 

Nick – Sincere question – more going on from the Russians than straight as purchases is what you are asking?

Without more information, it is hard to situate the paid advertising campaign — which as we far as we already knew was fairly small — against the broader backdrop, and how important the paid promotion was to the overall effort.

Facebook is trying to show it’s taking the Russia stuff seriously, but calling out reporters for missing the story on the same day your platform was shown to be the Kremlin-linked trolls’ favorite tool is an interesting approach 

Human beings fucking up is part of being human. Overall, a good thing. If you are in near-term damage control mode, less so.

is this a fuckup? their biggest fear is being regulated. the head of the federal government thinks they just did him a favor.

Recode noted:

What went unsaid in [Goldman’s] tweets is that there were thousands of posts shared on Facebook and other social networking sites, like Twitter, that were not ads, but still reached millions of potential voters. Facebook said that ads purchased by Russian sources reached 10 million users, but all posts from Russian accounts—including non-ads that were posted for free—reached as many as 126 million users.

As Goldman later conceded, it is beyond obvious the Russians in question tried to boost Trump:

No look, it wasn’t intended as that. Im just being objective. You made a good point but that doesn’t take away from the core of the argument (which Im not endorsing, not that my endorsements means anything anyway. Just joining the convo since I know more about it than most)

Thanks for the proof read. If only One could edit ones tweet. As to the substance: the Russian campaign was certainly in favor of Trump. The point is that the misinformation campaign is ongoing and must be addressed. Today, we saw Russian pro gun tweets re: Florida shooting.

Now, whether or not the IRA actually had any quantifiable impact on the election—as well as many of the more salacious question surrounding their involvement, like if the pee tape is real—remain other issues that in some cases may never be answered satisfactorily. Yet it’s still weird that the president chose one of those Russians’ alleged marks to defend himself, because people don’t really trust Facebook eitherespecially not when it comes to foreign meddling, and a lot of people are already more than a little suspicious about its how forthright it’s actually being about this whole mess.

BY: Tom McKay



Exploring Emotionally Abusive Relationships:

Exploring Emotionally Abusive Relationships:

Characteristics of an emotionally abusive relationship include:

• Using money as a means of control

• Threatening to walk out or abandon you

• Creating fear through looks, words, threats and actions

• Destroying things (and often things you value) – either in a cold and heatless way, or in an angry outburst or fit of rage

• Using blaming, shaming, minimizing and denial to control you

• Verbally attacking and demeaning you (includes name calling, shouting at you, criticising and putting you down – especially in public)

• Attacking and putting you down in private, and acting loving and charming in public

• Minimising the abuse; acting as if you’re over-reacting and it’s “no big deal”

• Deliberately withholding approval, affirmation, affection and as a means of punishment or control The effects of living with emotional abuse include:

• A fear of being natural and spontaneous

• A loss of enthusiasm or their old joie de vive

• Insecurity related to how they coming across to others

• An inner belief that they are deeply flawed

• A loss of self-confidence and self esteem

• Growing self-doubt (so they’re afraid to make even the smallest decision, or to take on even the simplest of tasks)

• Never trusting their own judgments (as they believe that they misunderstand or misread everything)

• Having a constant critic in their head

• Feeling they should be happier and more upbeat than they are (in order to meet the approval of others)

• Feeling they’re too sensitive, and ought to “toughen up”

• Fearing they’re going crazy, or losing their mind

• A tendency to live in the future (“Everything will be OK when/after ….”)

• A desire to break free, escape or run away

• A distrust and fear of entering into any close relationships again.