Subscribe: Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Preview: Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines

Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines

Truthdig, a Web magazine that provides expert in-depth coverage of current affairs as well as a variety of thoughtful, provocative content assembled from a progressive point of view. Editor, Robert Scheer. Publisher, Zuade Kaufman.

Published: 2016-10-28T19:05:59+00:00


Millennials ‘Search for Truth’ on Election and Distrust Media, Intelligence Firm Reports


  A crowd of majority young voters gather at a South Bronx rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders in March. ( Michael Vadone / CC 2.0)         Don’t believe the hype about millennial voters. This bloc of the Unites States population, ages 18 to 35 and whose numbers are estimated to be about 69.2 million, may have a reputation for not engaging with the political system—but that is not the case for this election, The Intelligence Group reports, based on a recent study. “Leading up to the presidential election, millennials are taking advantage of their hacking mindset to create their own persuasion journey to get to the truth,” The Intelligence Group, a part of global marketing agency Deep Focus that performs research for corporations and government organizations, states in a report that quotes numerous millennial voters. This subset of the electorate will play an important role at the ballot box, and its members are doing their homework. “The media is a joke,” said Joseph, 31, a moderate in the study. “I research things much more. I Google the topic, and then I sift through a bunch of media spin to try and see if it’s true or not.” The group’s research, conducted through “a blended approach of social listening and qualitative insights generated via real-time social conversations,” found millennials fact-checking the presidential candidates’ assertions and engaging with their peers on social media sites and forums such as Reddit, Twitter and Facebook to “make an informed opinion and hold candidates accountable.” During the first presidential debate, for example, The Intelligence Group reported that Americans posted 138,000 tweets to fact-check the candidates in real time. This eagerness to critically assess the candidates stems from a distrust of both media and the candidates themselves. “I don’t believe there is such a thing as a truly objective source,” said Kelly, 25, a liberal. “It’s up to the individual to factor in the relative objectivity of a source when making their opinion.” The millennial vote is an increasingly significant one. This year, data show that millennials already match the baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) as the largest voting-age group in America, according to the Pew Research Center. Census Bureau data show that roughly 1 in 6 voters in the past two presidential elections were younger than 30. The presidential campaigns have taken note of these numbers, “firing on all cylinders” to target millennials, according to Kristin Lynch, communications coordinator for the Clinton campaign in Denver. Clinton’s team referred to social media and, specifically, Facebook Live, as crucial to reaching young voters. “[Trump] is really facing an uphill battle when people are only hearing what the media is saying,” Rachel Keane, the Trump campaign’s Colorado millennial outreach co-chairwoman, told USA Today. In the 2012 election, President Obama won over millennials by a landslide against rival Mitt Romney, garnering 60 percent of the youth vote. “If millennials vote en masse, they have a chance to determine the election’s outcome,” writes Courtney Crowder of the Des Moines Register. The next big question is whether they will be motivated enough to actually vote.    

The Green Party’s Radical Common Sense


By Scott McLarty Reforms like ranked-choice voting and proportional representation, which gave European countries their multiparty legislatures, are considered radical in the U.S.—even though they give voters greater power and more options.

Tom Hayden: Things Come ‘Round in Mideast


From the archives: The veteran social activist, drawing upon his own rude political awakening to the realities of Israeli and Middle East politics during the 1980s, warns that the Israel lobby in the U.S. aims to roll back the clock and change the map of the region and that its neoconservative supporters will probably try to use the current Middle East crisis to ignite a larger war against Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran.

Inside ‘Bill Clinton Inc.’: Hacked Memo Shows Intersection of Clinton Profits and Charity


A 2011 memo from top Bill Clinton aide Douglas Band, published by WikiLeaks, details “a circle of enrichment in which [Band] raised money for the Clinton Foundation from top-tier corporations such as Dow Chemical and Coca-Cola that were clients of his firm, Teneo, while pressing many of those same donors to provide personal income to the former president,” reports The Washington Post. The Post continues: The system has drawn scrutiny from Republicans [and progressives], who say it allowed corporations and other wealthy supporters to pay for entree to a popular former president and a onetime secretary of state who is now the Democratic presidential nominee. … The memo, made public Wednesday by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, lays out the aggressive strategy behind lining up the consulting contracts and paid speaking engagements for Bill Clinton that added tens of millions of dollars to the family’s fortune, including during the years that Hillary Clinton led the State Department. It describes how Band helped run what he called “Bill Clinton Inc.,” obtaining “in-kind services for the President and his family — for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like.” Band grew close to Clinton during the ’90s as his personal aide in the White House and became “the architect of his post-presidential activities,” the Post reports. In the memo, Band argues that his work and the work of his firm benefited the former president and his family’s foundation: “We have dedicated ourselves to helping the President secure and engage in for-profit activities,” Band wrote. He added that he had “sought to leverage my activities, including my partner role at Teneo, to support and to raise funds for the foundation.” The Post continues: Band’s memo provided data showing how much money each of Teneo’s 20 clients at the time had given to the Clinton Foundation, how much they had paid Bill Clinton and, in some cases, how he or Kelly had personally forged the relationships that resulted in the payments. Band wrote that Teneo partners had raised in excess of $8 million for the foundation and $3 million in paid speaking fees for Bill Clinton. He said he had secured contracts for the former president that would pay out $66 million over the subsequent nine years if the deals remained in place. For instance, Band wrote that Kelly arranged for the former president to meet the chief executive of Coca-Cola in January 2009 at the Clintons’ home in Washington. In all, according to Band’s memo, Coke had contributed $4.33 million to the foundation between 2004 and 2010. … Band also described how Kelly helped expand a fruitful relationship with UBS Global Wealth Management, introducing Bill Clinton to a top executive at a 2009 charity dinner. In the ensuing years, UBS upped its giving to the foundation, signed on as a Teneo client and agreed to pay Bill Clinton for speeches, Band wrote. Records show UBS paid Clinton about $2 million in speaking fees between 2011 and 2015 for a series of appearances, generally alongside former president George W. Bush. The company also paid Hillary Clinton $225,000 for a 2013 speech. … Another achievement cited by Band: Laureate International Universities, a chain of for-profit international colleges, which donated to the foundation and agreed to pay Bill Clinton $3.5 million a year to serve as honorary chancellor. Companies aligned with the Clinton Foundation paid several million dollars to Teneo for consulting services. The Post reports that a spike in payments from Dow “raised red flags for an internal company fraud investigator, who expressed alarm that it may be linked to Bill Clinton’s work with a charity founded by Liveris—a charge the company denied.” The investigator wrote: “It appears Dow is paying Teneo for connections with Clinton.” —Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

In a Rigged System, Hillary Clinton Is Too Big to Indict


The Democratic presidential nominee got a pass this summer on her “extremely careless” handling of classified information while secretary of state. But now the FBI is reopening its investigation.

Starstruck and Party-Fanatic: The Moral Paradox of Trump Support


By Juan Cole / Informed Comment There is a moral deficit in anyone still willing to vote for Donald Trump, despite all the racism, fascism, sexism and sexual predation. If our two-party system and our current modes of communication have led us to this place, it is time to rethink them.

Invisible Nation


Families represent 37 percent of today’s homeless population. Entire families live in the streets, in cars, in temporary shelters, and in single motel rooms. A new book examines family homelessness in five American cities.

Waking Up in Hillary Clinton’s America


By Nomi Prins / TomDispatch When we awaken on November 9th, it will undoubtedly be dawn in Hillary Clinton’s America and that potentially means four years of an economic dystopia that will (as would Donald Trump’s version of the same) leave many Americans rightfully anxious about their economic futures.

Iraq’s Skies Darken as Islamic State Torches Oil


By Kieran Cooke / Climate News Network With many civilians likely to die in the conflict in Iraq and Syria, the fighting also threatens the environment as ISIS torches oil wells.

Filmmaker-Activist Josh Fox on Pipeline Standoff: ‘Where the Fuck Is Hillary Clinton Right Now?’


The director, playwright and climate activist was wondering why the presidential candidate wasn’t anywhere near the contested grounds where the clash over the Dakota Access pipeline appeared to be at a critical point.