Month: March 2018

Smells Like School Spirit

It is that time of year again – March Madness, the NCAA Basketball Tournament, where your brackets will be busted by the end of the weekend and the chances that you will win the office pool will go down in flames.  But don’t let that prevent you from showing some school spirit on your computer or mobile device. 

Head on over to my NCAA desktop backgrounds page for backgrounds of all 68 teams in this year’s field!

With some schools, there are other ‘designs’ within the other tabs on the page so hunt away if the ones in the “NCAA Tournament” tab don’t float your boat.

As a Syracuse fan for the majority of my life, I have to admit that I was extremely surprised that they made it – by the skin of their teeth –  into the Field of 68 .  So Let’s Go Orange! Let’s make some noise in this year’s tournament like we did in 2016!!

Fake News

The fine folks from Science News have done an extensive study of how fake news vs. real news is shared and accelerated across the internet:

An analysis of more than 4.5 million tweets and retweets posted from 2006 to 2017 indicates that inaccurate news stories spread faster and further on the social media platform than true stories. The research also suggests that people play a bigger role in sharing falsehoods than bots.

Martha Temming, Science News

The fundamental dynamics of this result is not terribly surprising.  It is human nature to react with surprise to ‘far fetched’ stories.  However, in today’s modern world and with social media being the vehicle that people use to share and distribute information, it would appear that a typical social user’s reaction of ‘surprise’ is manifested through a Twitter Re-Tweet or a Facebook Share.

Header image source: FactCheck

Like A Poker Player Drawing to an Inside Straight

From Vanity Fair’s Scott Turow

Robert Mueller, presumably, still doesn’t know what a truthful Manafort would have to say, but Trump does. If Manafort is, in fact, playing for a pardon, a route that even disgraced former N.S.A. chief Michael Flynn, whom Trump steadily defended, didn’t take it would speak volumes about how damaging Manafort’s testimony could be to Trump or to those close to him, such as his son, Donald Trump Jr., and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. If Manafort’s truthful testimony was simply going to absolve all of them of conspiring with the Russians, he could have made a deal long ago. Such testimony would have been as likely to earn an eventual pardon, once the smoke cleared. Manafort’s problem, then, seems to be that Mueller may already have evidence of collusion that threatens to endanger him, his former colleagues on the campaign, and possibly Trump himself.

Turow’s article does an amazing job of laying out how deftly “Bobby Three Sticks” is playing this and how Manfort’s already limited options are rapidly dwindling to nothing.  Even if Manfort holds out in the hopes of getting a pardon from 45, Mueller can still bring him in front of a grand jury because in that scenario, Manafort would have to talk as he would lose his Fifth Amendment right to silence since he has no risk of prosecution based on his testimony.  But if he lies in that scenario, he could still face the music.  If 45 fired Mueller, Washington would explode, not to mention the electorate, and impeachment hearings would start faster than you could say “kompromat”.