PUPPET ON THE LINE. Trump congratulates Putin following rigged reelection: “Leading Putin opposition figure Alexei Navalny was banned from running due to a criminal conviction that critics said was politically motivated. There were multiple reports of vote tampering, and some election observers were reportedly barred from doing their jobs.”
APPRENTICE AFFAIR. Donald Trump Jr. was boning Apprentice contestant Aubrey O’Day for months.
CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA. Why it matters that whistleblower Christopher Wylie is gay: “What Bannon loved was using anyone, including LGBTQ people, to gain power and overthrow the American political system. What he saw in some young gay people on the right ― like Yiannopoulos, who is part of the loose network of white supremacists and anti-Semites known as the alt-right ― was a hipness that could help bring in young people to his movement. And he saw talent, like Wylie’s, which was enormously useful even if it meant Wylie would sickeningly undermine his own kind.”
$345,000. Paid to Cambridge Analytica by North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and the state’s Republican Party: “Two years earlier, the data company helped Tillis, a Republican, defeat Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan by 1.7 points. It was at the time the most expensive U.S. Senate race in history with total spending of more than $121 million.”
FACEBOOK GROUPS. How they’re being exploited to spread misinformation, plan harassment, and radicalize people. “Facebook recently announced that group content will receive more prominent placement in the News Feed and that groups overall will be a core product focus to help reverse an unprecedented decline in active users in the US and Canada. The unintended consequence is that the more than a billion users active in groups are being placed on a collision course with the hackers, trolls, and other bad actors who will follow Facebook’s lead and make groups even more of a focus for their activities.”
NATE BERKUS AND JEREMIAH BRENT. Couple honored by Family Equality Council. “It is not lost on us. It is not lost on us how lucky we are to be a gay family at this moment at this time…. We know that we now have a responsibility to love visibly.”
REP. TED LIEU. There will be widespread civil unrest if Trump fires Mueller.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) March 20, 2018
BUG NEWS OF THE DAY. Why cockroaches will outlive us all: “Writing in the journal Nature Communications, Zhan describes how the cockroach has an expanded set of genes that helps it sense the smells that waft off food, in particular the fermented foods it favours most. Another group of genes comprise the insect’s internal detoxification system, which protects the cockroach should it eat anything toxic. Yet another batch of genes beef up the insect’s immune system, to combat infections from all the germs it encounters. Together they make the cockroaches more resilient in the face of the filth they live in.”
TRAILER OF THE DAY. Won’t You Be My Neighbor.
TOO HOT FOR TUESDAY. Jose Valdes.