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UPDATE: One report by The Verge confirmed that all YouTube's main channel pages were down and not just a select few. The cause is still pending.

Following the viral video footage created by Deadspin about pro-Trump media organization, Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBG) forcing their owned affiliates to read scripted attacks on other news organizations, Deadspin's YouTube channel page was generating a '500 internal server error' page. 

Screenshot 2018-04-02 at 2.52.35 PM

As of this writing, it is unknown whether YouTube was being targeted by hackers. Many who are familiar with media outlets that have reported on pro-Trump or right-wing propaganda, might also have gone to the Liberal Media Matters 4 America YouTube channel, only to encounter the same error. 

The Independent reported on a similar, though unrelated problem back in 2015 saying that the error was not affecting all users. But it's been reported that many users had taken to Twitter to report the problem with other channels as they also did on Monday, accessing other sites that were not seen as politically affiliated or critical of Sinclair's propagandistic endeavors. 

CNN's coverage of the SBG featured Deadspin's viral video which synced up many of the anchors from SBG affiliates who were required to read the pro-Trump network's script. Overall, YouTube confirmed the issue via Twitter:

Politico reported in December of 2016 that Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner had secured a deal with the Sinclair Broadcast Group for more favorable coverage of Trump as a candidate. They reported that Kushner had made the deal during the campaign giving SBG more access to the candidate which he told to business executives on that Friday. According to SBG and other networks, there is nothing nefarious in the deal and pointed out that candidates have approached similar networks for more direct access in the past. 

Fast forward to a Monday morning over a year later, President Trump took to his Twitter account to blast other media outlets for criticizing SBG saying in one of his seven tweets,

"So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased. Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke."

SBG Seizes Control of Biased View Message

In the mentioned Politico piece, the vice president of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, Scott Livingston, said that their commitment to their viewers was to go beyond podium, beyond the rhetoric. He said that they were all about tracking the truth and telling the truth and claimed that was typically missing in most political coverage.

On March of 2017 only a month after Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, Livingston released the following statement to an NBC affiliate owned by the group in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Fast forward to early March of 2018, CNN reported that a local news anchor for an SBG affiliate complained to CNN that the script they were required to read was inappropriate and sounded like pro-Trump propaganda. The anchor told CNN that they all felt uncomfortable reading the script. 

The reasons for why they felt it was pro-Trump is due to the fact that Donald Trump has viciously attacked the press for creating unfavorable coverage of him, being critical of his campaign and his presidency, calling them "fake news." Despite this, Trump has fired cabinet members, national security council officials, White House staff and other government officials for being critical of him and his decisions. Trump is also under investigation by a special prosecutor who has already filed charges against former members of his campaign staff and reportedly, being investigated for colluding with Russian officials during the campaign. 

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported in late March, that the SBG-created promos the local anchors were required to read had finally been broadcast, one of them through Seattle's KOMO-TV show. KOMO-TV was the last locally owned station before Sinclair bought it after the defunct Seattle-based Fisher Communications sold it in April 2013.

The claim that other news networks are fake news continues to propagate through the Trump administration, among conservatives in Congress and Trump supporters in the public, despite the fact that Trump and his own support system have been found to create most of that fiction on their own

Russian Threat Looms Over America

While there is no verification that hacking is in any way associated with the YouTube errors, similar error messages are generally seen by novice internet users as hacking attempts. Especially in light of reports of Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential election and ever since. It was reported during the 2016 election that Kremlin-sanctioned hackers stole thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee in order to leak information about Hillary Clinton during her campaign. 

Since then, more reports show various connections with Trump campaign officials who have engaged with Russian officials during the campaign and into the Trump presidency. The YouTube errors also come in light of the extradition of a Russian hacker to the United States, for the theft of 117 million LinkedIn passwords in 2012. Other reports this year showed that Russian operatives had also used Facebook in order to manipulate public opinion on behalf of the Trump campaign.

While the error generated from YouTube is not even remotely similar to a leak, Denial of Service (or DoS) attacks are common, basic hacking efforts made to disrupt traffic. Government officials have predicted that more hacking attempts will be made to sway political differences.

Survival Journalism has listed Scott Livingston as a traitor and enemy of the people.

Read more…

Near Death on Dallas Transport Platform

Dying man on DART platform

On the Dallas Area Rapid Transit rail line this evening, right next to my window I saw this guy just lying there.

This isn't anything new as there are plenty of times when I've seen people sleeping on the DART rail platforms, even above ground.

But this was clearly different. 

The passengers leaving the train weren't too concerned and as pointed out, there are perfectly good reasons for that. 

But the train operator was concerned and after a bit, got off of the train to try to get a response from the man. 

From where I was sitting, there didn't appear to be any signs of life and the train operator couldn't get the man to response.

DART rail operator contacts officers

The train operator pulled out the left earbud from the man's ear and tried to get him to respond to his voice but there was nothing, not even a flinch. One of the passengers got off of the train and put his hand out before the man's mouth to see if he was breathing.

The operator was on his handheld radio trying to get DART officers until one finally appeared. 

I got off of the train to tell both the operator the officer that he appeared to be alive earlier as his eyes appeared more closed than before. He confirmed that the guy was still breathing.  

After the rail operator felt that everything would be handled, he got back on the train and we left.

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Trump associate, supporter and surrogate, Erik Prince reportedly become associated with the Trump-Russia scandal according to a report by the Washington Post. According to their report published on Wednesday, it was learned that the founder of the controversial Blackwater security company met with a Russian official prior to Donald Trump's inaguration in order to establish a back channel communication with the incoming administration.

The information came from what the report describes as "people familiar with the matter" and "who spoke on condition of anonymity," through the Mueller investigation, sourced from a witness cooperating with the Special Prosecutor.

 As seen in the video provided, the Washington Post reported on the secret meeting back in May of last year. The latest report confirms that the Mueller investigation has gathered evidence that the meeting was intended to establish that back channel. 

In mid-January, George Nader, a business man who was involved with organizing the secret meeting, was stopped at the Dulles airport, served a subpeona and questioned by the FBI. It's been reported that he has been cooperating with the FBI via the Muller investigation over the meeting. 

The report recalls that when Prince was questioned about the meeting in Seychelles by Congress and the press, he said that his meeting with the head of a Russian government-controlled wealth fund, Kirill Dmitriev, was unplanned and and unimportant. 

His denial is similar to the response that former Trump campaign team official, Carter Page, had given when he was asked about meeting with Russian officials, saying that his uninteresting encounter with Sergey Kislyak, the then Russian ambassador to the United States. But when questioned by Congress in November, Page was more forthcoming with the meeting, verifying much of the information in the infamous Steele Dossier.

[Image credit: Washington Post / YouTube]

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Liberal America

Mean Left Hook

INJUSTICE: Cop Shot Down White Teenage Girl Seeking Help In Police Station And Got Away With It

On January 22, 2015, 17-year old Kristiana Coignard walked into the Longview Police Department in Longview Texas and never walked out. Coignard was a troubled teen with a history of mental illness. According to her family, she had bipolar disorder. The tragic last few minutes of Coignard’s life was captured on a camera in the […]

The post INJUSTICE: Cop Shot Down White Teenage Girl Seeking Help In Police Station And Got Away With It appeared first on Mean Left Hook.

21 Unsettling Photos Of Male Sexual Assault Victims Holding Signs Quoting Their Rapists

Before the rise of the #meetoo movement, in 2012, photographer Grace Brown began Project Unbreakable featuring people she personally knew who were sexually assaulted. However, the project quickly became a movement that now includes well over 2000 sexual assault survivors from around the country holding signs inscribed with qoutes from their abusers. Brown describes her […]

The post 21 Unsettling Photos Of Male Sexual Assault Victims Holding Signs Quoting Their Rapists appeared first on Mean Left Hook.

WATCH: MSNBC’s Joy Reid Dumbfounds NRA-Owned FL Lawmaker With Logic During Brutal Interview

MSNBC’s Joy Reid recently had a chaotic discussion about gun control with paid NRA stooge Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), in which the host proceeded to frustrate the lawmaker with a logical question that he could not answer. During the segment, Gaetz pushed adding more “multipliers of force” on school campuses who could engage an active […]

The post WATCH: MSNBC’s Joy Reid Dumbfounds NRA-Owned FL Lawmaker With Logic During Brutal Interview appeared first on Mean Left Hook.

Democracy Now!

Earth Day 2018: Ending Plastic Pollution in the Oceans, Land & Our Bodies

This Sunday more than a billion people will celebrate Earth Day. This year's theme: ending plastic pollution by Earth Day 2020. Of the nearly 300 million tons of plastic sold each year, about 90 percent ends up in landfills, in the oceans—and in our bodies. Part of the focus will be microplastics, those small bits of plastic that are seemingly everywhere. We speak to Marcus Eriksen of the 5 Gyres Institute, who has led 20 expeditions around the world to research plastic marine pollution, and Priscilla Villa of the #BreakFreeFromPlastics movement.

Dilma Rousseff: The Rise of Brazil's Far Right Threatens Democratic Gains Since End of Dictatorship

The imprisonment of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has shaken up this year's presidential election. Lula is the front-runner but will likely be barred from running if he is not released from prison. Polling second is the far-right former military captain Jair Bolsonaro. We speak to former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff about the rise of the far right and the recent assassination of Brazilian human rights activist and Rio City Councilmember Marielle Franco.

Dilma Rousseff: Lula's Imprisonment Is Part of a Coup Corroding Brazil's Democratic Institutions

Protests are continuing in Brazil over the imprisonment of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Two weeks ago, Lula began serving a 12-year prison sentence for a highly controversial corruption conviction. Lula had been the front-runner in this year's presidential election. His supporters say his jailing is a continuation of a coup that began in 2016, when his close ally, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached as president. Both Lula and Rousseff are members of the left-leaning Workers' Party, which has been credited with lifting tens of millions of Brazilians out of poverty since Lula was first elected in 2003. Last month, Lula spoke on Democracy Now! in one of his final TV interviews before being jailed. Earlier this week, Lula was dealt another setback when Brazil's Fourth Federal Regional Court denied Lula's latest appeal. Meanwhile, hundreds of Lula supporters have set up an encampment outside the prison where Lula is being held in the the southern city of Curitiba. We speak to former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Her impeachment in 2016 ended nearly 14 years of rule by the Workers' Party. Rousseff is a former political prisoner who took part in the underground resistance to the U.S.-backed Brazilian dictatorship in the 1960s. She was jailed from 1970 to 1972, during which time she was repeatedly tortured. She was elected president in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.

Headlines for April 20, 2018

Released Comey Memos Show Trump Distracted by Rivalries, Fear, Rudy Giuliani to Join Trump's Legal Team, Nationwide Student Walkout Marks 19th Anniversary of Columbine Massacre, Dick's Sporting Goods to Destroy Assault-Style Rifles It Didn't Sell, Trump Admin Moves to Open Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for Oil Drilling, Trump Admin Aims to Expand Sale of Armed Drones Globally, GOP Voter Suppression Architect Kris Kobach Found in Contempt of Court, Cuba: Outgoing President Raúl Castro Gives Final Speech at National Assembly, Nicaragua: Thousands Protest New Pension Plan, 4 Reported Dead, Chile: Massive Student Mobilization Protests Privatization of Education, Detroit Threatens to Shut Off Water at 17,000 Homes for People $150 Behind on Bills, Wells Fargo to Be Hit with $1 Billion Fine over Financial Crimes, Natalie Portman Refuses to Go to Israel to Accept Award over "Recent Events", Reproductive Justice Activist Alejandra Pablos Freed from ICE Detention

Think Progress

These 2 journalists used comics to highlight immigration journey in Ohio

The conversation over undocumented immigration is often tied to a frightening vision of drug runners with sinewy, cantaloupe-like leg muscles on the southern border. In reality, these people are much less scary and more viscerally tied with the lives of U.S. citizens. Millions of undocumented immigrants have long lived their lives “in the shadows” by doing […]

Leadership gap opens at Alaska agency responsible for climate relocation

After 33 years working in the federal government, Joel Neimeyer handed in his work credentials to the Department of Commerce on Friday afternoon, April 20, in Washington D.C. For eight years, Neimeyer has served as the federal co-chair of Alaska’s Denali Commission, the agency tasked with funding rural infrastructure projects in the state.  But he’s been with […]

Trump lawyer reportedly apologized to Melania Trump for Stormy Daniels payment

Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer and alleged “fixer,” reportedly tried to apologize to Melania Trump “for the pain he said he had caused [the first lady]” with his well-publicized payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, according to a Friday report from The New York Times. Cohen, who is fiercely loyal to the Trump family and […]

A large number of Amazon workers rely on food stamps for assistance

Over the past year, U.S. cities and states have been tripping head-over-heels in an effort to be the host of the next Amazon headquarters. Last year, New Jersey approved an incentive package that would give Amazon tax breaks worth $7 billion if it moved to Newark. Philadelphia has offered $2 billion in tax exemptions over 10 […]

Global Voices Online

Unicorn Riot

It's Going Down

Blasting News

Natalie Portman explains refusal to travel to Israel to collect an award

Natalie Portman publicly said she will not be traveling to Israel to collect her Genesis Prize Foundation award. This caused Miri Regev, Israel’s Culture Minister to denounce the Hollywood actress’ decision to boycott the event. According to Regev, Portman is involved with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.

No trip to Israel for Jerusalem-born Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem but said she would not travel to the awards ceremony due to “recent events” in Israel. Initially, Portman was not specific over the events in question. However, the EU and UN recently demanded investigations into the fact that Israel’s military used live ammunition during Gaza clashes and protests. This has led to dozens being killed and hundreds of Palestinians wounded.

...Read more

PC games that will meet players’ expectations in 2018

The gaming industry was flooded with so many PC games in 2017, and some did very well to hit the target, games like "Super Mario Odyssey" and "Starwars Battlefront 11." Now it is 2018, and it comes with lots of expectations from game players.

The big question is “which PC games or game will most likely meet these expectations?” In an effort to meet players’ expectations, the gaming industry has churned out more captivating games this year, and Gamespot took a look at some of the best for game lovers in 2018.

...Read more

Action hero Superman turns 80 this year

Superman came on the scene 80 years ago and was a totally new concept at a time when stories relating to science fiction were very few. Writers like H. G. Wells dealt with imaginary situations of a war between humans and creatures from another world, but Superman was a breath of fresh air and is popular even today after so many years.

New Zealand Herald reports that the character was created by a couple of high school students. They were Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster and they created Superman out of a desire of every teenage boy. The desire was to possess immense powers in order to undertake apparently impossible tasks and impress the girls. The first appearance of the action hero was on the cover of a June 1938 comic book.

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Cohen's lawyer worried Trump's fixer may be charged by feds

Lately, there has been a basketful of court appearances and lawsuits involving governmental entities, the President, and his friends. Trump’s friend, fixer and personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is under federal criminal investigation for his business dealings. He appeared in a New York federal court Monday afternoon (April 16) to discuss the suppression of his clients' names and evidence seized in an FBI raid on his home and offices earlier this month.

This was also the day the world learned that Cohen had only three clients—the President, a GOP fundraiser, and Sean Hannity of Fox News. After America and the entire media world recovered from the shock and awe, heavy speculation swirled around watercoolers about just what kind of business dealings he had with his three clients, especially the TV news host.

...Read more

DailyKOS

Trump launches rant on Twitter about a 'drunk/drugged up loser' who apparently isn't Donald Trump

The leader of the free world—otherwise known as the Dotard-in-Chief—has had a busy Saturday morning. Before taking off for Day 149 of golfing while president, Donald Trump apparently read Friday’s New York Times and learned that there’s a lot of speculation about his good friend and lawyer Michael Cohen, who once said he’d “take a bullet” for Trump, flipping on him. Naturally, Trump took to Twitter to respond. He begins:

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The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will “flip.” They use....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2018

For those unfamiliar with Maggie Haberman, here’s a recent picture of her:

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"who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with.." pic.twitter.com/972GAcsxYp

— Michael S. Schmidt (@nytmike) April 21, 2018

Moving along …

The National Labor Relations Board is in chaos—and it doesn't look like there's any end in sight

There doesn't seem to be a single federal agency that isn't in chaos, one year and change into the Trump "presidency." It's probably no surprise that the National Labor Relations Board is in the midst of what appears to be an all-out war between its Trumpites and non-Trumpites, but the sheer breadth of the chaos is ... yikes.

At the center of the controversy, which has pitted civil servants against political appointees, conservatives against liberals and, on occasion, conservatives against other conservatives, are Peter Robb, the NLRB’s bare-knuckled general counsel, and board member William Emanuel, a controversial Trump appointee with deep ties to business. [...]

The second and more elaborate NLRB controversy concerns Emanuel's decision not to recuse himself in December from Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, a pro-business ruling in which the NLRB’s inspector general later concluded Emanuel had a conflict of interest. After the inspector general issued his report, the NLRB vacated the ruling. [...]

Meanwhile, the NLRB’s inspector general, David Berry, is investigating a second NLRB member, Mark Pearce, who is one of the board’s two Democrats. [...]

Berry, in turn, stands accused by the National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation, the legal arm of the anti-union National Right To Work Committee, of disclosing confidential board deliberations improperly in his report on Emanuel, and in a follow-up report issued one month later.

Weeeeee. The three separate issues appear to be the predictable administration efforts to weaken the board's ability to protect workers, the Trump admistration's insistence on appointing new members with such deep conflicts that they are expected to have to recuse themselves from much of the board's work, and a deep hate between everybody and everybody. But it's a hell of a read; importantly, it doesn't look like there's any end in sight.

Voting Rights Roundup: New Jersey just passed automatic voter registration. These states could too

Leading Off

New Jersey: On Tuesday, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed automatic voter registration into law, making New Jersey the 11th state (plus the District of Columbia) to approve this reform. Eligible voters who do business with the state Motor Vehicle Commission will be automatically registered, unless they opt out. Consequently, this law could add hundreds of thousands of new voters to the rolls, make voting more accessible, and help keep records more secure and up-to-date.​

Campaign Action

​Importantly, this law also gives the secretary of state the option to expand automatic registration to other state agencies that can verify voter eligibility, although only the Motor Vehicle Commission would be required to implement automatic registration. Expanding the policy to other agencies is key for reaching the sizable minority of eligible voters who don't drive, such as the elderly, disabled, and those who rely on public transportation.

Now that New Jersey has passed automatic registration, roughly one quarter of Americans will live in states that have the policy. But there's still a long way to go to enact automatic registration in the rest of the country, given how Republicans are increasingly opposed to the idea. However, Democrats have the power to pass or expand automatic registration without needing any Republican support four states—Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, and Massachusetts—but only the last of these states is even seriously considering a bill to do so this year.

But there’s a way reformers can push automatic registration even in states where Republicans are recalcitrant. As shown on the map at the top of this post, many states give voting rights advocates a way to circumvent hostile legislators entirely: ballot initiatives. In 2016, Alaska became the first state to approve an initiative on automatic registration, and Nevadans will vote on it this November. Activists are also trying to put a voting rights amendment that includes automatic registration on the ballot in Michigan. Hopefully, more states will pass automatic registration, whether it be via the legislature or ballot measures.

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Chaos in the WH and an overdue focus on Mitch McConnell

Politico:

McConnell aims to reshape courts in case Senate flips

The Kentucky Republican is prioritizing confirmation of conservative judges in what may be his final months as majority leader.

Mitch McConnell is making a last dash to stock the judiciary with conservatives this year as a hedge against the chance that Republicans lose the Senate in November.

The GOP may have only a few more months of unified control of Washington to repeal Obamacare or enact President Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan. But the Senate majority leader is taking a longer view — and confirming as many conservative judges as possible to lifetime appointments.

The move will show conservative voters that the Senate can still get things done even if Republicans lose the House and is part of McConnell’s years-long plan to reshape the courts after the presidency of Barack Obama shifted them to the left

Does Mitch know more than he’s letting on? Oh, and for those of you who don’t vote, this is what happens when you don’t. Don’t make that mistake in November.

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BTW the best thing about the new GOP obsession with the FBI's supposed strong liberal bias is it informs how seriously one should take the GOP obsession with the media's supposed strong liberal bias.

— Jonathan Bernstein (@jbview) April 20, 2018

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