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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
May 31, 2017

Nearly Half Of Donald Trump's Twitter Followers Are Fake Accounts And Bots

Anyone can amass an exorbitant number of Twitter followers. You don't even have to be famous. All you have to do is pay for them. The comedian Joe Mande currently has a healthy 1.01 million followers, but his bio contains a caveat: "twitter is trash, facebook's the devil, i bought a million followers for like $400 none of this shit matters antarctica is melting."

Mande even explained the stunt last November in The New Yorker. "The simplest way to tell who’s winning the Twitter game is by counting followers," he wrote. "The biggest celebrity accounts—Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga—seem to have millions of followers. But in 2012 I learned that only a portion of those are real humans; some are 'bots,' artificially created to boost an account’s popularity. Immediately, I knew that I had found my calling."

Because Donald Trump is the president of the United States and the most famous person on the planet, one wouldn't think he would need to employ a bot to boost his Twitter following. It appears, however, he might have done just that. As screenwriter John Niven pointed out Tuesday morning, Trump's Twitter account saw an unusal spike in followers over the weekend, many of which appear to have been created artificially.

Trump currently has 31 million followers and, sure enough, if you browse through them you will find an unusal number of tweet-less, picture-less accounts that joined the service in May 2017. If you're still curious, you can enter Trump's handle, @realDonaldTrump, into Twitter Audit, a service that assesses the authenticity of one's followers, and find that only 51 percent of Trump's are real.


May 30, 2017

Shots fired at Kentucky newspaper.

The Lexington Herald-Leader is staying “vigilant” after several of its windows were shattered Sunday morning, Editor Peter Baniak said Monday.

Police believe the damage is consistent with small-caliber bullet fire. No one was hurt in the incident, and authorities are investigating it as criminal mischief, the Herald-Leader reported.

“We need to keep doing what we do because it’s that important,” Baniak told HuffPost, adding that the paper’s staff “can’t be deterred from doing the work that we do because of an act of vandalism.”

The motive of the perpetrator, or perpetrators, is still unknown. But Sunday’s crime occurred amid increasing anti-press rhetoric and even some violence against members of the media.

Montana Republican Greg Gianforte attacked journalist Ben Jacobs Wednesday before going on to win a Congressional election Thursday. Jacobs was the fourth reporter to either be manhandled or arrested in May for questioning candidates and public officials.


May 30, 2017

Donald Trumps Base Is Shrinking

A widely held tenet of the current conventional wisdom is that while President Trump might not be popular overall, he has a high floor on his support. Trump’s sizable and enthusiastic base — perhaps 35 to 40 percent of the country — won’t abandon him any time soon, the theory goes, and they don’t necessarily care about some of the controversies that the “mainstream media” treats as game-changing developments.

It’s an entirely reasonable theory. We live in a highly partisan epoch, and voters are usually loyal to politicians from their party. Trump endured a lot of turbulence in the general election but stuck it out to win the Electoral College. The media doesn’t always guess right about which stories will resonate with voters.

But the theory isn’t supported by the evidence. To the contrary, Trump’s base seems to be eroding. There’s been a considerable decline in the number of Americans who strongly approve of Trump, from a peak of around 30 percent in February to just 21 or 22 percent of the electorate now. (The decline in Trump’s strong approval ratings is larger than the overall decline in his approval ratings, in fact.) Far from having unconditional love from his base, Trump has already lost almost a third of his strong support. And voters who strongly disapprove of Trump outnumber those who strongly approve of him by about a 2-to-1 ratio, which could presage an “enthusiasm gap” that works against Trump at the midterms. The data suggests, in particular, that the GOP’s initial attempt (and failure) in March to pass its unpopular health care bill may have cost Trump with his core supporters.

These estimates come from the collection of polls we use for FiveThirtyEight’s approval ratings tracker. Many approval-rating polls give respondents four options: strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove and strongly disapprove. Ordinarily, we only estimate Trump’s overall approval and disapproval. But we went back and collected this more detailed data for all polls for which it was available, and then we reran our approval ratings program to output numbers for all four approval categories instead of the usual two.1 Here are Trump’s strongly approve and somewhat approve ratings from shortly after the start of his term2 through this Tuesday.


May 30, 2017

Wonder Woman Review: The Superheroine Movie Fans Deserve

Directed by Monster's Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman is (simply put) the game-changing turnaround that Warner Bros. and DC Films have been hoping for. It's gorgeously shot, well plotted, with performances and a rousing score that actually capture the heroism of its DC Comics superheroine. Best of all, Wonder Woman manages to walk the line between being a universal story of heroism, and a distinctly (and blessedly) feminine one.

On the directorial front, Jenkins manages to rise to the hard task of finding a tone and visual pallete that makes the colorful comic book world of Amazons, Greek gods, and superheroes, all feel right at home in the drab world of WWI Europe, and the gritty industrialism that goes along with it. At times, Wonder Woman is a powerful and moving war film; at other moments, it's light and fun comic book fantasy; and in some of the film's most impressive action sequenes, it becomes the best of both worlds (see: that "No Man's Land" scene). Jenkins manages to perfectly capture the iconorgraphy of the character's DC Comics legacy, while still creating her own unique and soon-to-be iconic visuals onscreen. Wonder Woman offers a version of the character that is both timeless and refreshingly novel, and for finding that correct balance on all fronts, Jenkins has elevated herself to a new level of professional accomplishment, on a blockbuster stage. If there is one major criticism of the film, it is that the third act battle with big, bad, Ares goes a bit too overboard with all the CGI sequencing and green screen backdrop. However, that flaw is by now par for the course for the entire superhero genre, and Jenkins does a solid job at keeping the bombastic third act visuals actually weighted in real, well-earned drama that helps keep viewers invested in the fight.

There's a similar takeaway from the story by comic book writer Allan Heinberg, Pan writer Jason Fuchs, and Zack Snyder. The script is filled with some of the flimsy tropes of your average superhero origin story, but there's also real substantive insight and understanding of the characters and their comic book roots; smart use of the historical setting and events; and some powerful thematic ideas (about war, duty, brutality, compassion), which are, unfortunately, ultimately superseded by the comic book movie tropes that must take precedence.

What truly bolsters the film, however, is the esteemed quality of its cast. Gal Gadot owned the Wonder Woman role for her short time in Batman v Superman, but stepping into her own solo film she proves all the haters wrong, playing a complex and nuanced version of Diana, while still looking convincingly powerful and badass in the action scenes. Chris Pine plays perfectly off of Gadot’s wide-eyed idealism, as the cynical but compassionate allied spy, Steve Trevor. It's Pine who must ground a lot of the silly comic book melodrama with timing and wit, while still boosting his co-star to the heroic heights she needs to reach. In doing both so effectively, Pine arguably gives his best blockbuster movie performance yet (sorry Star Trek). Other talented actors like Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Danny Houston, Lucy Davis and David Thewlis, help bring both the comic book fantasy and historical drama of the story together into one cohesive world, creating some of the best and most memorable characters in this cinematic universe (some of them, hopefully to return in future projects).


May 29, 2017

China gave Ivanka 3 trademarks the same day she dined with Xi

China approved three trademarks for Ivanka Trump’s jewelry and spa brand the same day she and her husband, White House adviser Jared Kushner, sat down for dinner with the Asian country’s president, it was reported Tuesday.

The first daughter attended the state dinner for President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, on April 6 at her father’s exclusive Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, the Associated Press reported.

That day the Chinese government gave a provisional OK to three trademarks that provide her company with monopoly rights to sell jewelry, bags and spa services in the world’s second-largest economy, the report said.

Ivanka Trump took a leave of absence from the company last month to take an unpaid White House position as adviser to President Trump, but her company continues to expand and has applied for new trademarks in the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Canada since the election, the report said.


May 29, 2017

101-year-old Alabama veteran receives his high school diploma

MONTGOMERY, AL (WCMH) — For 101-year-old John Motes, graduating high school was 84 years in the making.

In 1933 Motes, joined the Air Force as an engineer, which kept him from receiving his high school diploma.

Goshen High School administrators told WSFA, that when Motes’ family approached them about awarding the 101-year-old his diploma, it was a no brainer.

“We asked the seniors if they’d be willing to do it, and they were just beside themselves happy to do it. It was something that got sprung on us we’re happy to do it,” said Goshen High School Assistant Principal Anthony May.

Motes didn’t want any special treatment during the ceremony, just to receive his diploma 84 years later.


May 29, 2017

Fox News Exposed By Former Contributor As A Scripted And Rigged Scam

ormer Fox News contributor Tobin Smith is exposing Fox News as a scam that is designed to manipulate and fool viewers through panel discussions that are rigged and scripted so that conservatives always win.

Smith wrote in a post on Medium:

The outcomes for Fox’s “panel debates” have ALWAYS been carefully fixed by the producers so that the home team (i.e, the conservative panelists like me) ALWAYS won.MORE simply: The staged gladiatorial-like rhetorical fight to the death the Fox viewer loves to watch are ALWAYS fixed by the show producers for the conservative actor to win…always.

Just like pro-wrestling, the panel opinion programs are carefully staged and choreographed by Fox producers so the viewers home team (in WWE language the “Baby Face”) always wins over the “Heel” aka the poor pathetic “libtard.”

The Fox News opinion panel scam works like this. More often than not, in my panel segments I was the protagonist or “designated hit man” aka the one called on by the host (as instructed by the producers in my ear or the ear of the host) to “kill ‘em.” You’d know I was the designated hit man when the panel show hosts tossed the final death blow 15–20 seconds to me when they say “Toby you have the final word.”

But before I delivered the final rhetorical death blow …the producer of the segment had given me my script 24 hours BEFORE the show started. I knew 24–48 hours in ADVANCE of how the designated liberal was going to argue his/her point…and more important how I was going to win.


May 29, 2017

Texas state rep calls ICE on 'sanctuary city' protesters

A large protest against Texas' new sanctuary city law on Monday disrupted the last day of the state Legislature's regular session.

exas state Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) and several Democrats reportedly exchanged angry words on the state House floor, according the the Texas Tribune.

Several members said that Rinaldi told a group of Hispanic lawmakers that he had Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials on the protesters.

"He came up to us and said, 'I'm glad I just called ICE to have all these people deported,'" state Rep. Cesar Blanco (D-El Paso) told the Texas Tribune.

Rinaldi said he called ICE because he didn't know how to handle the large protest.

"A lot of people had signs that said, 'We are illegal and here to stay,'" he told the paper. "And we called law enforcement trying to incentivize them to leave the House. They were disrupting. They were breaking the law."

He said he was "pushed, jostled and someone threatened to kill me. It was basically just bullying."


May 29, 2017

Denver Post Writer Terry Frei Fired After Racist Tweet

The sportswriter who came under fire over the weekend for tweeting a racist comment about the Indianapolis 500 has been let go. “Terry Frei is no longer an employee of The Denver Post,” said a statement from the newspaper. “We apologize for the disrespectful and unacceptable tweet that was sent by one of our reporters.” Frei had tweeted that he was “very uncomfortable” with a Japanese driver, Takuma Sato, winning the Indianapolis 500 over Memorial Day weekend. Afterward, he issued an apology, writing: “I am sorry, I made a mistake, and I understand.”


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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 58,776

About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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