Obscure phone-tracking corporation proved its mettle in the burgeoning field of surveillance by spying on NSA and CIA cellphones. When you read, hopefully not for the first time, that "(c)ountless common smartphone apps are constantly harvesting your location and relaying it to advertisers, typically without your knowledge or informed consent," I hope you remember that our FCC enacted some pretty good privacy-protection rules in 2016, only to have 2017's Republican Congress repeal them through the notorious "Resolution of Disapproval" process. I hope you remember that when Republicans pretend to "fight big tech," too. (And buying data may be easier than getting a warrant, but they're using our money to do it, which means we ought to get more say over the whole process.)
Stop me if you've heard this one before: our government hardly knows where all that military aid to Ukraine is really going, raising the possibility that it could "wind up in the hands of other militaries and militias that the US did not intend to arm." If you're thinking this is exclusively a feature of a Biden Administration, I've got three words for you: Osama bin Laden. In Ukraine specifically, this could mean white supremacist jerks who fight alongside good Ukrainians against the Russians now but just wait until after this is all over. The specter of a far right-wing governing coalition across Europe ain't as far off as we'd like, and you can't count on the likes of Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron to stand against it.
When I hear that our Justice Department says conditions at the Parchman state prison in Mississippi violate our Constitution, I shudder to think what those conditions might be -- and what conditions our DOJ has said nothing about! "Mississippi violated the rights of persons incarcerated at Parchman by failing to keep them safe from physical violence and for failing to provide constitutionally adequate mental health care," our DOJ says, but I wish that sounded substantially different from other prisons! Even worse: Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves can do no better in response than to say they've reduced the population at Parchman and they're working toward getting more officers!
So Texas Gov. Greg Abbott spent $4.2 billion in taxpayer money for, ah, "enhanced" truck inspections earlier this month, and guess how many immigrants they caught or drug seizures they made? Zero and zero, respectively. That's per Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who was trying to put lipstick on this pig by saying Mr. Abbott "successfully persuaded Mexico states (sic) to enhance security on their side of the border." I'm sure that's not why he did it, though. He did it because it created drama. That's the only reason right-wing politicians do anything anymore.
In a related note, I hear that a Republican memo purports to be a "Road Map for Attacking Democrats on Immigration." They say Democrats shouldn't attack Republicans if they want to win the midterms, but why doesn't anyone issue similar warnings to Republicans? I've only been asking this question for at least a decade now. And I've got another question: why would voters who saw through the nakedly racist opportunism of the "caravans" in 2018 fail to see through Republican opportunism about the same thing in 2022? I sincerely hope that after the second week of November we can all say that was a rhetorical question.
Finally, I understand that Barack Obama told Stanford University that he didn't fully realize "how susceptible we had become to lies and conspiracy theories, despite having spent years being a target of disinformation myself." Alternate headline: "Obama Regrets Not Fighting Hard Enough for Civilization."