News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
This is an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
After a suspected gunman with anti-Semitic views killed 11 people and wounded six others at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday, two Muslim groups are refusing to let religious hatred win.
Celebrate Mercy and MPower Change have banded together to raise money for their Jewish brothers and sisters at Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Congregation, which was the target of Saturday’s attack. They started a campaign on the Muslim-focused crowdfunding site LaunchGood in the hopes of raising $25,000 for the synagogue victims and their families.
They are now past $50,000.
“We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action,” the groups’ fundraising page said.
Once their goal has been hit, the groups say, the funds will be immediately transferred to the local Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, so they can be disbursed to the families to pay for medical and funeral expenses.
“No amount of money will bring back their loved ones, but we do hope to lessen their burden in some way,” the groups said.Huffington Post
The youngest victim in the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday was 54, according to officials.
The victim, David Rosenthal, was one of 11 killed in the attack.
The eldest victim was Rose Mallinger, who was 97 years old when the shooter killed her.
The other victims, nine of whom were 65 or older, were Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil Rosenthal, Bernice Simon, Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax and Irving Younger.
Two of the victims were brothers, and two were a married couple, according to NPR.The Hill
Donald Trump often claims Facebook and Google are “rigged” to favor the political left. Now he’s building a 2020 campaign infrastructure that can circumvent them.
The emerging tech strategy, according to four officials involved in Trump’s reelection campaign, will reduce its reliance on Big Tech platforms — which were the dominant messaging channels in 2016 — to get the president’s message out. The president’s team instead is planning to go around the platforms as much as possible and reach supporters directly, making use of old-school text messaging.
The direct-to-consumer, mobile-first campaign reflects the feeling among conservatives that Silicon Valley firms are overly sympathetic to Democrats and the fact that some platforms, like Facebook, are stanching the flow of political content.
“In 2016, the campaign didn’t have the bandwidth to scale across many, many channels,” said a person familiar with the reelection campaign, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the team’s approach. “This led to extra focus on Facebook. It worked, but I’d suspect in 2020, the campaign will expand and scale across several unique channels.”Politico
Never has a conference failed more spectacularly than this year’s Future Investment Initiative. The so-called “Davos in the Desert” was meant to position Saudi Arabia as an innovative, dynamic nation with a bright tech-centered future ahead of it.
Instead: No one wanted to speak at the conference, and almost no one wanted to even attend. In the slots reserved for high-profile western CEOs like Jamie Dimon and Dara Khosrowshahi, we saw instead executives mostly from Russia and the kingdom itself.
The conference ended up shining a bright light on Saudi Arabia at exactly the time when the world was most focused on its most homicidal and mendacious tendencies. That then brought Saudi Arabia’s devastating proxy war in Yemen back into the headlines.
The crown prince gave a speech at the conference that was interrupted by abundant obsequious applause, furthering the (true) impression that Saudi Arabia is a long way from any real freedom.
Even the real Davos felt tarnished by association, putting out a press release objecting to the misuse of its brand. (The press release came from the World Economic Forum, not the Swiss ski resort.)Axios
Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” the Oklahoma Republican was asked by anchor John Dickerson whether Trump’s rhetoric met his standard as presidential.
“No, and I’ve said this to the president before,” Lankford told CBS. “I think the president needs to be more clear in his rhetoric, and doesn’t need to be as caustic in his rhetoric.”
“That’s the way he chooses to be able to communicate these things, and I don’t think it’s always helpful in that,” Lankford added.The Hill