- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 11, 2018

MAGA lives on. President Trump has dropped “Make America Great Again” — aka MAGA — as a campaign motto, opting instead for “Keep America Great.” The ever canny president, however, has reinvented “MAGA” with a greater purpose. That would be “MAGA Direct,” another slap at the hostile press from Mr. Trump.

For the first time, the president provided his own live video feed of his campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, streamed across multiple social media channels and websites, bypassing standard broadcast outlets altogether. All future events — and there will be many — will follow the same method.

“This will include crowd shots that the mainstream media have intentionally neglected to show at Trump rallies since they became an important function of the Make America Great Again movement in 2015,” says campaign manager Brad Parscale, who is pleased by the debut of the new outreach.

“Americans were able to experience a Trump rally without the filter of the mainstream media thanks to our MAGA Direct beta live stream that we delivered to our social media channels and websites for the first time,” Mr. Parscale continues. “We will continue to model ourselves after President Trump and explore new ways to leverage social and digital media. Through our live streaming of campaign events, we can connect more directly with Americans who serve as our inspiration.”

The campaign says MAGA Direct will be available on Mr. Trump’s personal Facebook page and Twitter feed, along with the Donald J. Trump YouTube channel; and via DonaldJTrump.com and GOP.com/videos.


President Trump is not the only one to fret about faulty journalism. An academic team has proved that fake news — which masquerades as the real thing through believable presentation and seemingly authentic research — is both pervasive and damaging on a global level.

Citing “worldwide concern over false news,” researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology analyzed 126,000 rumors, stories and reports which circulated on Twitter for over a decade, reaching a stark conclusion.

“Lies spread faster than truth. Falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information, and the effects were more pronounced for false political news than for false news about terrorism, natural disasters, science, urban legends, or financial information,” the researchers wrote in their lengthy analysis.

Fake news also travels up to six times faster than the real thing. It also influences far more people. Accurate stories typically reach about 1,000 readers via social media. Fake news can reach up to 100,000 in the same amount of time. The faux stuff was also 70 percent more likely to be retweeted — and not by online “bots” either. The spread of fake news was selectively done by human users eager to share their often titillating finds.

“We found that false news was more novel than true news, which suggests that people were more likely to share novel information. Whereas false stories inspired fear, disgust, and surprise in replies, true stories inspired anticipation, sadness, joy, and trust,” the researchers said in their analysis, published in Science, an academic journal.


In his most recent update on terrorism, House Homeland Security Committee chairman Michael McCaul reports that there have been 150 “homegrown” jihadi cases in the U.S. in the last five years — which included attack plots, weapons charges and incidents of lying to authority. Mr. McCaul also points to an emerging new trend.

“As ISIS loses its geographic presence, fighters continue to return to their home countries. Russia had the highest number of fighters go to Syria and Iraq with an estimated 3,417 — and 400 have returned. Saudi Arabia was next with roughly 3,244 fighters, of which 760 have returned. Jordan was third with approximately 3,000, of which 250 have returned. Tunisia followed with 2,926, of which 800 have returned. France was fifth with 1,910, of which 271 have returned,” says Mr. McCaul, citing a report form the Soufan Center, a New York City-based nonprofit research group focusing on complex security issues.

The top five European nations with the most foreign fighter returnees are the United Kingdom, with 425 coming home again, followed by Germany (300), France (271), Kosovo (117) and Sweden (108).


A new Rasmussen Reports poll finds that 65 percent of likely U.S. voters favor President Trump’s plan to fix the nation’s ailing infrastructure, to be funded by generating $1.5 trillion through ventures involving the federal government, state government and private industry. Only 17 percent oppose the plan.

Meanwhile, there’s some refreshing commonsense afoot. A fourth of the aforementioned infrastructure funding is designated for projects in rural areas. The White House says that 80 percent of funds will go directly to the governor of each state, with flexibility geared to “the unique needs” of the rural community.

“States will be provided funding without burdensome bureaucratic commands on how they should spend it. The Federal funding provided by the President’s plan will not be awarded in pre-packaged, asset-specific amounts, as is often the case in other federal programs as determined by a formula,” the White House advises.


58 percent of Americans believe that artificial intelligence and new technology will threaten jobs in the U.S. in the next decade; 48 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independents and 67 percent of Democrats agree.

42 percent of Americans overall believe that immigration and offshoring — U.S. jobs and companies moving overseas — will threaten jobs; 52 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents and 33 percent of Democrats agree.

41 percent of blue collar workers and 38 percent of white collar workers also agree.

Source: A Northeastern University/Gallup survey of 3,297 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 15-Oct. 10, 2017 and released Sunday.

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