Chaos Seekers

a segment of the American electorate that was once peripheral is drawn to “chaos incitement” and that this segment has gained decisive influence through the rise of social media.

The circulation of this type of information (which the authors label “hostile political rumors”) has been “linked to large-scale political outcomes within recent years such as the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

NY Times

Trump Wants to Cut Survival Lifelines. The White House’s New Budget Exposes Donald Trump’s Lies About Protecting Medicare and Medicaid

So how does the “Budget for a Better America” treat Medicare and the other programs that Trump vowed to safeguard at all costs? By calling for even larger cuts to them than the White House proposed this time last year, when it formally abandoned Trump’s campaign pledges. The budget for the 2019 fiscal year called for five hundred and fifty billion dollars in cuts to Medicare over ten years. With the budget deficit skyrocketing as a consequence of the Trump-G.O.P. tax bill, the 2020 budget would reduce spending on Medicare by eight hundred and forty-five billion dollars over the next decade. Even in Washington, that’s a lot of money.

But he wants $6.8 billion for his wall.

The New Yorker

Catholic Priests & Bishops Having Sex With Nuns. Nuns Having Abortions.

Pope Francis said on Tuesday that the Roman Catholic Church had faced a persistent problem of sexual abuse of nuns by priests and even bishops, the first time he has publicly acknowledged the issue.

Catholic nuns have accused clerics of sexual abuse in recent years in India, Africa, Latin America and in Italy, and a Vatican magazine last week mentioned nuns having abortions or giving birth to the children of priests.

N.Y. Times

Older, right-leaning Twitter users spread the most fake news in 2016

In a new study published Thursday in the journal Science, political scientists surveyed the inhabitants of this Internet pocket around the time of the last presidential election, from Aug. 1 to Dec. 6, 2016. They found that people who shared fake news were more likely to be older and more conservative. “Super-sharers” were responsible for the bulk of fake news, soaking their Twitter feeds in falsehoods with the gusto of kids with water pistols. They were enthusiastic communicators, tweeting an average of 70 times a day, and had a very limited reach.

Washington Post