Easy Way To Cloak Affiliate Links on Facebook and Other

With link redirect/cloaking would I be able to post affiliate links on Facebook? And Facebook ads?

submitted by The-One-N-Only to Affiliatemarketing [link] [comments]

Facebook Ad Account disabled? my story about official and and hidden rules.

Was Facebook recent crackdown on ad accounts and their lawsuit against link cloaker related?

Obviously, I am not talking about the advertisers that got caught using the link cloaker itself, but those marketers that woke up one day and got a notification that their business and / or ad account got disabled for violating the facebook ad policies.
For those who missed the news, facebook has decided to sue a famous link cloaker provider (and potentially their clients) for helping advertisers circumvent the automated ad review process.
(official announcement on twitter) https://twitter.com/robleathern/status/1248320403887423488
Here is what happened: a few weeks before the the lawsuit was announced, more and mor marketers got their ad accounts disabled. In most cases, they did not know why nor could they point to anything they did that could have been seen as against the ad policy.
The point is, if think you're not doing anything wrong, that you're compliant with the fb policies, can it be that there are some hidden rules that are totally out of your control?
I wrote a long post about it, but I'll spare you the read.


My take is the following:
My theory, is that once they investigated the link cloaker company, they mapped the technology stacks of the marketers using the the cloaking services. Domains, hosting, link structures, redirects and probably more.
You can use services like VirusTotal to reveal linked domains, subdomains, IP's and servers that are tied to cyber threats like phishing, trojan horses, adware distribution and co. Not only in realtime, but also get the historical data.
Bottom line, once, FB was done with their investigation, they back-tested millions of accounts against their findings and applied retroactively the new rules on accounts that were supposed to be clean of any wrong-doing.


This has been an ongoing issue in the industry. Lots of people working by the book got penalized for the sins of others, and unless marketers don't start considering their facebook business account like a real business asset, they will keep getting crushed by the FB robots.
I am sure others have had other experiences, and can add to the recommendations made here.
ps: The original post can be found on my blog, but unless you like spy novels, what i posted here covers pretty much everything.
submitted by trackingdesk to Affiliatemarketing [link] [comments]

CASE STUDY - Growing a Purchased Affiliate Site - Month 2

Here goes Month 2. Everything is growing on this purchase affiliate website.
Here are the past case studies:

Highlights of Month 2

Revenue Breakdown for June 2019

June 2019 ($) Notes
Private Program #1 - Main Page 1,260 Main private program where I negotiated a higher payout
Private Program #1 - Search Box 60 New revenue mechanism (explained below)
Private Network #1 134.97 New network. Joined in June 20th. This should work out to much more in July 2019
Commission Junction 282.27 Optimized close to mid of June. This should work out to much more in July as well
Peerfly 1.75
Clickbooth 15.00
Guest Posting 95.30 Will strategically enhance guest posting on the site for big brands only
Total Costs $1,845.29

Costs in June 2019

June 2019 ($) Notes
Content 1,302.36 Around 52 articles
Hosting/Domain 14.88 Namecheap Email service
Plugins 0
Social Media 320 Hired a Pinterest specialist. First month cost with a 20% discount. Can expect $400/mo ongoing. Still testing this. No traffic so far.
Tools 8.96 SerpBook subscription
Virtual Assistant 101.31 Content formatting, etc.
Total Costs $1,747.51

Summary for June 2019

June 2019 Google Core Update

When the internet was going crazy about the June 2019 Core Update that was launching, I was also a bit worried. However, it all turned out great. My traffic has increased day-by-day since the core update on June 4th.
This gives me confidence that the site will keep doing well through all Google updates as long as I ensure the policies set forth by Google are met.

Enhanced About Us, Contact Us to conform to Google E-A-T

Google E-A-T (expertise, authority, trustworthiness) policy scares me to death. It's one of those policies where it's hard to measure if you are doing things right, but it can kill your site if done wrong.
This site has strong backlinks, strong content, etc. However, what was missing were strong About Us, Contact Us pages.
I revamped the About Us page to include a story, list of individuals involved in the site (make up the bios), and a Feature On graphic that shows each major site that has linked back to this site.
Furthermore, on the footer of the website, I added the Featured On image, and team member images to further showcase E-A-T principles.
At a glance, the site now looks even more legit.

Search Box Revenue

I was analyzing my traffic in Google Analytics to see what people were searching for in the search box of my site.
Turns out, people were searching things that would lead to sales but since I did not have content they could find, the page showed "No Search Results Found"
This is what I did to fix that immediately:
Now, whenever people search for highly specific things they get a landing page. I got 1 extra sale from this at $60. I implemented this in Jun 20th or so. I am hoping for a couple extra sales from this in July 2019.
Takeaway: if you have a high-traffic site, look through your search box traffic. You can do this by going into Google Analytics -> Behavior -> All Pages. In the GA search box, type in "?". This will show you everything people search for. If you are showing people a no results page, you need to optimize that no results page in some manner.

Facebook Pixel Retargeting Brands $

This is not an idea that I came up with. I friend of mine pointed it out.
Facebook Pixel is a piece of code you install on your website. Facebook then tracks each user, which page they visit, etc. This allows you to "retarget" these visitors via Facebook Ads. The cost of retargeting is much less than traditional Google Adwords or Facebook ads.
The idea with this is as follows:
The goal is to reach out to large brands (my affiliate relationship, or new brands) who want "warm" leads. Since my visitors have already visited my site, that shows interest in the topic, and therefore the brand can target that customer to try and get them to sign up. The outreach costs here are much lower for the brand.
I've reached out to a few brands in my niche. One of them has said no so I reached out to their competitors. The idea is that I can add multiple FB pixels and collect a new revenue stream.
It will take effort to find the right brands because not everyone does Facebook Ads.
Will keep you all posted how this goes, and numbers if I can close a deal.

ClickMagick - Affiliate Link Tracking

ClickMagick is an amazing tool. In short, I can create limitless affiliate links to integrate into the site. The features I use are:
There are many many more features of ClickMagick that I have not used. I hope to over the course of this project. This YouTube channel has taught me a lot about the features of this service.

Display Ads for Non-US Traffic

About 40% of my traffic is Non-US based. Most affiliate offers are U.S. based only unfortunately. Therefore, I am not monetizing any of my international traffic. The goal is to show display-based advertisements for these visitors.
The idea is to use the WP plugin Ad Inserter Pro's geo feature to show display ads to non-U.S. traffic
Before I do that though, I need to find an ad network that will accept non-U.S. traffic. This is what I have done:
This would add a significant revenue stream and diversify my income.
Does anyone know of any other ad networks I can try?

July 2019 Plans

Here is what I plan to do in July 2019:

Questions for Everyone

  1. Does anyone know of any other ad networks I can try?
  2. Does anyone know of any free/paid heatmap service?
  3. Anyone with Pinterest experience, is there a set of rule of thumbs I should be aware of to know when I can expect traffic? The VA is doing well and creating quality pins but I need a way to gage if it's working or not.
Thanks for reading!
submitted by msar123 to juststart [link] [comments]

[For Sale] Cyber Security Website + Fb page with 8.2k + Over 200 partnerships

Cost break down and other details can be found in the link at the bottom:
Reason for selling:
We concentrate more Social Media strategies see Https://funneladvertising.co

Some Features/ Technologies of site on sale:
  1. SEO Ranking on google first page for our own name, and ranking also on Google Dorks juicy files keywords.
  2. IPN Paypal API integration for payment processing plus receiving confirmation from paypal once payment completed.
  3. Some Sales funnel for collecting Leads and sending registration emails.
  4. Maxminds DB integration to convert visitor's IP's to addresses (Country / State / city).
  5. Integration with Abuse IP & Project Honeypot to retrieve IP spam score (It is a Free Tool)
  6. URL Cloaking to track traffic sources performance / hide real site/affiliate links from Facebook ex.

submitted by kemo77 to DomainsForSale [link] [comments]

[For Sale] Cyber Security Website + Fb page with 8.2k + Over 200 partnerships

Cost break down and other details can be found in the link at the bottom:
Reason for selling:
We concentrate more Social Media strategies see Https://funneladvertising.co

Some Features/ Technologies of site on sale:
  1. SEO Ranking on google first page for our own name, and ranking also on Google Dorks juicy files keywords.
  2. IPN Paypal API integration for payment processing plus receiving confirmation from paypal once payment completed.
  3. Some Sales funnel for collecting Leads and sending registration emails.
  4. Maxminds DB integration to convert visitor's IP's to addresses (Country / State / city).
  5. Integration with Abuse IP & Project Honeypot to retrieve IP spam score (It is a Free Tool)
  6. URL Cloaking to track traffic sources performance / hide real site/affiliate links from Facebook ex.

submitted by kemo77 to buyselldomain [link] [comments]

[For Sale] Cyber Security Website + Fb page with 8.2k + Over 200 partnerships

Cost break down and other details can be found in the link at the bottom:
Reason for selling:
We concentrate more Social Media strategies see Https://funneladvertising.co

Some Features/ Technologies of site on sale:
  1. SEO Ranking on google first page for our own name, and ranking also on Google Dorks juicy files keywords.
  2. IPN Paypal API integration for payment processing plus receiving confirmation from paypal once payment completed.
  3. Some Sales funnel for collecting Leads and sending registration emails.
  4. Maxminds DB integration to convert visitor's IP's to addresses (Country / State / city).
  5. Integration with Abuse IP & Project Honeypot to retrieve IP spam score (It is a Free Tool)
  6. URL Cloaking to track traffic sources performance / hide real site/affiliate links from Facebook ex.

submitted by kemo77 to buysellwebsites [link] [comments]

Why did Appness change their business model?

At first, in mid-2016, this is how Appness described their business:
APPNESS have agreed on new conditions with App Owners. App Owners pay separately for in-app actions: retention, game progress and purchase. Perhaps even revshare in future. APPNESS have developed tools to track installs driven by Facebook Mobile App Ads and to track media buyers' total earnings. APPNESS gives media buyers access to these tools. Media buyers run their campaigns through Mobile App Ads without violating any policy. That means no more tracking links, shaving or cloaking and, best of all, optimization based on installs instead of clicks or other transitional metrics. Together these tools can make the media buyers' conversion rate 3-4 times higher. Media buyers monitor in-app performance of their ads with ad set breakdowns, enabling them to optimize and provide the App Owner with high quality traffic. The App Owner is happy and asks the media buyer to increase the volume. The media buyer does so again, and again, and again. As volume goes up, so does the media buyer's profit.
Facebook hates affiliates, it's true. However, APPNESS have found a way to make money without violating any rules or policies. Imagine how much more you could earn if you didn’t need to create new accounts every few weeks! At least 33% of clicks are lost because of tracking links: they’re blocked by Facebook, shaved by networks or re-directed incorrectly. Optimization based on intermediate metrics also reduces your Conversion Rate. APPNESS lets you optimize your ads effectively, based on installs data. This increases your conversion rate by 2-3 times, which has a knock-on effect on ROI. We have data about app events, so we can provide you with real-time info about your in-app performance and total earnings. We break down data at the ad set level, so you can monitor performance and optimize without time lags.
Basically, a sort of policy-friendly affiliation scheme over Facebook.
They offered app owners (or advertisers) access to regional experts in a very scalable way with full transparency and control.
Media buyers were offered big campaigns, "less work and more money" and access to a credit line.
All in all, sounds quite nice.
Very recently, however, they have changed their business model. Now they have become a marketplace that lets designers create creatives for ads, that are used and optimized automatically for various apps. Good creatives gets a designer a bigger payment. Basically, they have become a smart agency that uses crowdsourcing, and in a way that is similar to what Trada were for AdWords/Bing/Yahoo.
Why did they change their business model? Was the affiliate model problematic? Did Facebook catch up? Was it simply not profitable enough? Was the differentiation between media buyers not big enough? Did they have issues with brand control, ad quality etc?
Is the most important distinguishing feature as far as an App Install Campaign goes - the creative, suited for each geography/demographic?
submitted by confusedCoFounderTA to PPC [link] [comments]

Russia Indictment Play by Play, Part 1, a tale of two servers.

Russia Indictment Play by Play, Part 1, a tale of two servers.
So let's go over the allegations in the indictment.
Paragraph 1 and 2 are jsut identifying the defendents and stating that they engaged in cyber operations. Pretty straight forward. Let's skip down to the meat of the document.
Paragraph 3: Starting in at least March 2016, the Conspirators used a variety of means to hack the email accounts of volunteers and employees of the U.S. presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton (the “Clinton Campaign”), including the email account of the Clinton Campaign’s chairman.
Used various means. I hope they get into details later about these "Various Means". The means are important. That's like saying "Bob murdered Mary through Various Means". What does that even mean? What IS interesting is the last part. "including the email account of the Clinton Campaign’s chairman." HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED! The account referenced here is that of John Podesta, which was a GMail account. Not one time does Podesta's name appear in the indictment. You would think that would be important. Let's move on and see what else we have.
Paragraph 4: By in or around April 2016, the Conspirators also hacked into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (“DCCC”) and the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”). The Conspirators covertly monitored the computers of dozens of DCCC and DNC employees, implanted hundreds of files containing malicious computer code (“malware”), and stole emails and other documents from the DCCC and DNC.
So here's the part I really wanted to get to. After the hack, the DNC refused to allow the FBI to seize the server. They immediately claimed that the russians were the ones who hacked them. Obviously, if foreign governments are hacking the servers of political organizations, this is an act of cyber warfare. Why then did the DNC refuse to allow the proper government body to investigate it? Not only did they not give access to the server to the FBI (source: CNN https://archive.fo/58HLF) but they continued operating said server, further contaminating any evidence. No data from these servers should be allowed to be submitted in court. Proper forensic procedures were not followed and all evidence is now contaminated. Further, CrowdStrike, the company who originally made the claim that Russia hacked the server, still will not allow the Muller team access to the server. IF THE MUELLER TEAM HAS NOT BEEN GIVEN ACCESS TO THE SERVER, HOW THEN CAN THEY ATTRIBUTE THIS HACK TO THE RUSSIANS? (Source: Washington Times https://archive.fo/Bb8MZ)
Paragraph 5: By in or around April 2016, the Conspirators began to plan the release of materials stolen from the Clinton Campaign, DCCC, and DNC.
Yeah, whoever released the data, in june, from the server they hacked in april was probably planning the release in april. I wonder how many tax dollars went into that.
Paragraph 6: Beginning in or around June 2016, the Conspirators staged and released tens of thousands of the stolen emails and documents. They did so using fictitious online personas, including “DCLeaks” and “Guccifer 2.0.”
Yeah, see, you messed up here. We already know that the entity Guccifer 2.0 took specific measures to ensure that his data looked russian.
  • He CHOSE to name his computer account after the founder of the Soviet Secret Police.
  • He CHOSE to create/open and then save documents so the Russian name was written to metadata.
  • He CHOSE to use a Russian VPN service to cloak his IP address.
  • He CHOSE to use public web-based email services that would forward his cloaked IP.
  • He CHOSE to use the above to contact various media outlets on the same day.
Thanks to a 3rd party's further investigation, it now appears he may have used a single document as a Russian template (with Russian stylesheet data in), saved it as a set of blank 'pre-tainted' files and then opened them later under a different username - copying/pasting in content from original documents into each blank 'pre-tainted' document before saving again - as the specific process for creating documents (Stylesheet change RSIDs correlating across files certainly suggest it and the metadata fully corroborates it too). (Source: Forensicator https://archive.fo/7if3l)
Guccifer2.0 covered himself and the files in the digital equivalent of "Made In Russia" labels. The fact that Mueller has even included this entity in the indictment completely soils the whole document. But there's another side to this which you will not hear mentioned in the news. This has CIA written all over it. Right down to the letter. I present the marble framework: https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/cms/page_14588467.html
This piece of software released in the Vault 7 leak outlines how the CIA obfuscates their malware to appear as though it was created by a foreign entity:
Description: The Marble Framework is designed to allow for flexible and easy-to-use obfuscation when developing tools. When signaturing tools, string obfuscation algorithms (especially those that are unique) are often used to link malware to a specific developer or development shop. This framework is intended to help us (AED) to improve upon our current process for string/data obfuscation in our tools. The framework utilizes pre and post-build execution steps to apply obfuscation to the tool. If the tool breaks the build, the post build will always be able to repair it. The pre-build execuion step will store clean copies of the code before making modifications. The post build execution step restores the files to a clean-copy state. The framework allows for obfuscation to be chosen randomly from a pool of techniques. These techniques can be filtered based upon the project needs. If desired, a user may also, select a specific technique to use for obfuscation. A receipt file is generated on run (and replaces any previous receipts). The receipt file identifes the algorithm used as well as all of the strings/data that was obfuscated. The post-build step will also double check to make sure none of the obfuscated data appears in the binary.
In plain english, this software takes an executable file, analyses it for metadata locations which it can modify without affecting how the software operates, and plants foreign language text to make it appear to forensic analysts that the malware was created by a foreign entity. One of the examples included is Russian. This software was created prior to the 2016 election.
Paragraph 7: The Conspirators also used the Guccifer 2.0 persona to release additional stolen documents through a website maintained by an organization (“Organization 1”), that had previously posted documents stolen from U.S. persons, entities, and the U.S. government. The Conspirators continued their U.S. election-interference operations through in or around November 2016.
Obviously, this paragraph is referencing wikileaks. Organization 1 is intended to be in contrast to Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks, which were referenced earlier. To date, there is still no evidence that Russia was the source of the Podesta leak, the DNC email archive nor the 2017 Hillary email archive. Most of these allegations rely on testimony from James Clapper and John Brennan, both of whom had already lied to congress under oath in 2014 about whether the NSA was collecting data on US Citizens against their 4th amendment rights. Their testimony cannot be taken at face value.
Paragraph 8: To hide their connections to Russia and the Russian government, the Conspirators used false identities and made false statements about their identities. To further avoid detection, the Conspirators used a network of computers located across the world, including in the United States, and paid for this infrastructure using cryptocurrency.
This is a tall order. How does the investigative team intend to link the defendents to these identities? Considering they used a distributed network of computers, and paid for this network through cryptocurrencies whose sole purpose is to protect the identity of the individuals using them, how EXACTLY did they make this attribution. Knowing what I know about anonymity, privacy, and network security, there are currently no legal methods for bypassing this available to law enforcement outside of a direct wiretap. And since they specifically stated that parts of the network were in the United States, I am quite certain they had a warrant for the wiretap of those computers.
Paragraphs 9-19: Basically just listing the individuals in the indictment. No actual evidence or details about sources or methods or evidence.
Paragraph 20: The object of the conspiracy was to hack into the computers of U.S. persons and entities involved in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, steal documents from those computers, and stage releases of the stolen documents to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
This was never in question. Obviously the DNC, Podesta, and Hillary leaks were for political purposes and had political repercussions. What we're interested in is attribution.
Paragraph 21: ANTONOV, BADIN, YERMAKOV, LUKASHEV, and their co-conspirators targeted victims using a technique known as spearphishing to steal victims’ passwords or otherwise gain access to their computers. Beginning by at least March 2016, the Conspirators targeted over 300 individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign, DCCC, and DNC.
Aha. Spear fishing. I'm familiar with this technique. This isn't hacking. It's social engineering. One can spearfish via Phone, US Post, In person, By email or any other means of communication. We have some examples.
P 21.a: For example, on or about March 19, 2016, LUKASHEV and his co-conspirators created and sent a spearphishing email to the chairman of the Clinton Campaign. LUKASHEV used the account “john356gh” at an online service that abbreviated lengthy website addresses (referred to as a “URL-shortening service”). LUKASHEV used the account to mask a link contained in the spearphishing email, which directed the recipient to a GRU-created website. LUKASHEV altered the appearance of the sender email address in order to make it look like the email was a security notification from Google (a technique known as “spoofing”), instructing the user to change his password by clicking the embedded link. Those instructions were followed. On or about March 21, 2016, LUKASHEV, YERMAKOV, and their co-conspirators stole the contents of the chairman’s email account, which consisted of over 50,000 emails
So, we have an "account" on an unnamed URL-Shortening Service. We can't verify, of course, that the account actually exists because we don't know which service that is. Any google search for the provided user name just returns results for the indictment. However, a quick search on www.namechk.com shows that there are multiple accounts with that user name. Reddit, twitch, deviant art, and various other sites. This was just as likely an active account which belonged to someone else which was compromised. Thus, even if the account was used in the attack, the account itself can't be used to validate the accused. Just because Bob is the registered owner of the car which hit Mary, it doesn't mean Bob was the driver at the time. You have to place Bob in the car.
So the shortened link which was placed in the email directed the individual to a "GRU-created website". Where was it hosted? How was it registered? When did it go down? They don't provide any details about this most important piece of information. This website was the weapon which was used to allegedly compromise the "Chairman of the Clinton Campaign". He who must not be named. John Podesta. What they're saying here is "Bob hit Mary with a Car. You don't know anything about the car. Where it is, who it was registered to, how old it was, make model color. We might know, we're just not going to tell you."
P 21.b: Starting on or about March 19, 2016, LUKASHEV and his co-conspirators sent spearphishing emails to the personal accounts of other individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign, including its campaign manager and a senior foreign policy advisor. On or about March 25, 2016, LUKASHEV used the same john356gh account to mask additional links included in spearphishing emails sent to numerous individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign, including Victims 1 and 2. LUKASHEV sent these emails from the Russia-based email account [email protected] that he spoofed to appear to be from Google.
So, now we have an email address from which emails were allegedly spoofed to appear to be from google. Here's the thing, we have had protocols in place for years to block spoofing. Back in the 90's, you could spoof by hand. You just TELNET to port 25, say HELO and send your message. I've personally sent emails to friends from [email protected] telling them to stop touching themselves as a joke. We solved that problem decades ago. Now, google checks SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to insure the identity of the sender before providing it to the end user. Podesta, I'm sorry, He who must not be named, aka the Campaign Manager, used Gmail servers for his email. How do you trick the largest tech giant in the world that a person sending email from a Russian Server to a User on the largest public email server in the world that you are sending email from the selfsame server? I do hope they explain that, as well as provide the raw data from these alleged fishing emails, complete with DKIM checksums so that we can validate these claims.
P 21.c: On or about March 28, 2016, YERMAKOV researched the names of Victims 1 and 2 and their association with Clinton on various social media sites. Through their spearphishing operations, LUKASHEV, YERMAKOV, and their co-conspirators successfully stole email credentials and thousands of emails from numerous individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign. Many of these stolen emails, including those from Victims 1 and 2, were later released by the Conspirators through DCLeaks.
So let's be clear here. Many DNC and Clinton employees did have information leaked on DCLeaks. What's at question here is the method of attribution used to identify the accused as being those actors. This statement is being presented as fact and is thus an accusation. We've heard this same blowhard bullshit about Russia for years. To date, not one piece of verifiable proof has been released which would allow these individuals be attributed to these actions.
P 21.d: On or about April 6, 2016, the Conspirators created an email account in the name (with a one-letter deviation from the actual spelling) of a known member of the Clinton Campaign. The Conspirators then used that account to send spearphishing emails to the work accounts of more than thirty different Clinton Campaign employees. In the spearphishing emails, LUKASHEV and his co-conspirators embedded a link purporting to direct the recipient to a document titled “hillary-clinton-favorable-rating.xlsx.” In fact, this link directed the recipients’ computers to a GRU-created website.
Again, another reference to the website without any details about the site itself. They've conveniently provided the title of the fake, non-existent document to which the attacker linked in an attempt to lure the individual into the trap. Convenient because there is no way to examine a file which does not exist.
Paragraph 22: The Conspirators spearphished individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign throughout the summer of 2016. For example, on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office. At or around the same time, they also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton Campaign.
More hyperbole and conjecture. Not in so much as the actions taken, as spearfishing occurs constantly on the internet, and is an easily automated process. I have no doubts that these accounts were attacked. How were these attacks attributed to the russian agents. Unfortunately, this concludes the indictments section on spearfishing. On now to the hacking of the DCCC network.
Paragraph 23: Beginning in or around March 2016, the Conspirators, in addition to their spearphishing efforts, researched the DCCC and DNC computer networks to identify technical specifications and vulnerabilities.
What they're talking about here is the Discovery and Enumeration phase of a penetration test. Let's see what they have to say about this:
P 23.a: For example, beginning on or about March 15, 2016, YERMAKOV ran a technical query for the DNC’s internet protocol configurations to identify connected devices.
This is a port scan. Pretty standard stuff. Websites get portscanned daily. https://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/05/whos-scanning-your-network-a-everyone/ Not usually the first thing an attacker does unless they're a noob or don't care if they get caught. Let's assume that Russian Military Cyberintelligence Officers are not inept noobs who do in fact care about getting caught. I'd be thoroughly interested in how they determined that this specific individual was responsible for a specific portscan on a specific site. Further, port scanning isn't illegal. The article refrenced interviews just one of many public portscanning projects whose goal is to port scan every computer on the internet. What purpose would the russian government, if they were trying to cover their tracks, which they were… what purpose would they have to do this themselves from their own servers rather than leveraging already available public data, unless they were trying to get caught?
P 23.b: On or about the same day, YERMAKOV searched for open-source information about the DNC network, the Democratic Party, and Hillary Clinton.
Again, what method was used to link this specific individual to a search for open-source information? Is searching for open source information, which is totally legal and anyone is allowed to do, even relevant?
P 23.c: On or about April 7, 2016, YERMAKOV ran a technical query for the DCCC’s internet protocol configurations to identify connected devices.
Again, another port scan, this time on the DCCC's network. The connotations of this statement are the exact same as P 23.a.
Paragraph 24: By in or around April 2016, within days of YERMAKOV’s searches regarding the DCCC, the Conspirators hacked into the DCCC computer network. Once they gained access, they installed and managed different types of malware to explore the DCCC network and steal data.
Ah, here's the fun part. This is the Exploitation phase of network penetration testing, and is also where most mistakes are made. Let's see if they actually disclose any of the methods of the attack.
P 24.a: On or about April 12, 2016, the Conspirators used the stolen credentials of a DCCC Employee (“DCCC Employee 1”) to access the DCCC network. DCCC Employee 1 had received a spearphishing email from the Conspirators on or about April 6, 2016, and entered her password after clicking on the link.
So, after a successful spearfishing campaign, the point of ingress was via the user account of "DCCC Employee 1." They obviously know this because they seized the affected computer via legal methods and inspected them in a manner within the framework of accepted digital forensic standards. Wait, no they didn't. Remember that article from CNN and the follow up article from WaPo stating that Mueller and the FBI have not had access to the servers that were hacked by alleged russian hackers? Well, apparently nobody else does. These standards are implemented for a reason. All data from these servers is inadmissible because there is no chain of custody.
P 24.b: Between in or around April 2016 and June 2016, the Conspirators installed multiple versions of their X-Agent malware on at least ten DCCC computers, which allowed them to monitor individual employees’ computer activity, steal passwords, and maintain access to the DCCC network.
Again, chain of custody is a major concern, but to avoid sounding like a broken record, let's talk about this X-Agent malware. From the wikipedia article: X-Agent or XAgent is a malware program designed to collect and transmit hacked files from iPhones to servers operated by hackers. https://archive.fo/wMjUd So the DCCC servers are …. Run on IPHONES?! I can't even. Let's move on.
P 24.c: X-Agent malware implanted on the DCCC network transmitted information from the victims’ computers to a GRU-leased server located in Arizona. The Conspirators referred to this server as their “AMS” panel. KOZACHEK, MALYSHEV, and their co-conspirators logged into the AMS panel to use X-Agent’s keylog and screenshot functions in the course of monitoring and surveilling activity on the DCCC computers. The keylog function allowed the Conspirators to capture keystrokes entered by DCCC employees. The screenshot function allowed the Conspirators to take pictures of the DCCC employees’ computer screens.
Oh, here's some new information. The C&C for their malware, which is apparently an Iphone bot that's been altered to run on desktop computers apparently, is hosted in Arizona. They're gathering data by keylogging and screenshotting. That means that somewhere, there are screenshots of these computers and text files containing their keystrokes which are not stored on DCCC or DNC computers. Surely these machines were legally seized and all data stored in a manner acceptable within the standards of computer forensics, and the chain of custody has been thoroughly documented. Because without these rigorous and necessary steps, this evidence is again inadmissible. Of course, we don't know anything about this server, because they haven't published it. And rightly so. Last time any information about the Russian hacks was published, it was thoroughly debunked by multiple credentialed security auditors. This fact has been conveniently ignored by the major news outlets.
P 24.d: For example, on or about April 14, 2016, the Conspirators repeatedly activated X-Agent’s keylog and screenshot functions to surveil DCCC Employee 1’s computer activity over the course of eight hours. During that time, the Conspirators captured DCCC Employee 1’s communications with co-workers and the passwords she entered while working on fundraising and voter outreach projects. Similarly, on or about April 22, 2016, the Conspirators activated X-Agent’s keylog and screenshot functions to capture the discussions of another DCCC Employee (“DCCC Employee 2”) about the DCCC’s finances, as well as her individual banking information and other personal topics.
Basically, all they are saying here is that the "Conspirators" were able to capture some passwords, and the individuals bank data. We also have a second unique victim mentioned in the indictment. Both of these are specifically on the DCCC network, which is not to be confused with the DNC network, whose analysis begins on paragraph 26.
Paragraph 25: On or about April 19, 2016, KOZACHEK, YERSHOV, and their co-conspirators remotely configured an overseas computer to relay communications between X-Agent malware and the AMS panel and then tested X-Agent’s ability to connect to this computer. The Conspirators referred to this computer as a “middle server.” The middle server acted as a proxy to obscure the connection between malware at the DCCC and the Conspirators’ AMS panel. On or about April 20, 2016, the Conspirators directed X-Agent malware on the DCCC computers to connect to this middle server and receive directions from the Conspirators.
Not much to see here, really. Internet Relays are intrinsic to the foundation of the internet. Your wireless card is a relay. The inclusion in this indictment of this fact is worthy of scrutiny, as it adds little to the case presented and is just another avenue for evidence exclusion.
Paragraph 26: On or about April 18, 2016, the Conspirators hacked into the DNC’s computers through their access to the DCCC network. The Conspirators then installed and managed different types of malware (as they did in the DCCC network) to explore the DNC network and steal documents.
Yeah, this is basically what CrowdStrike said from the beginning. Nothing new here. Maybe they'll elaborate.
P 26.a: On or about April 18, 2016, the Conspirators activated X-Agent’s keylog and screenshot functions to steal credentials of a DCCC employee who was authorized to access the DNC network. The Conspirators hacked into the DNC network from the DCCC network using stolen credentials. By in or around June 2016, they gained access to approximately thirty-three DNC computers.
So what they are saying here is that the passwords which were acquired from P 24.d were used to access the DNC network. There's a very important contradiction of terms that I must point out, because it shows a level of ignorance about computer security expressed by the writer of the indictment. You see, here they say that the stolen credentials were used to "hack" the DNC network. If you give me your facebook log in, and I go home and log into your facebook, I didn't hack facebook. I didn't hack you. I didn't hack your computer. Yes, the access may have been unauthorized, but I haven't circumvented any security measures or exploited any vulnerabilities. I just logged in. This indictment was not written by a security expert. Of course, the actual claim that the "Conspirators" used "DCCC Employee 2's" credentials to access the DNC network is unverifiable, because there is no chain of custody on the logs from the DNC servers, as we've already established.
P 26.b: In or around April 2016, the Conspirators installed X-Agent malware on the DNC network, including the same versions installed on the DCCC network. MALYSHEV and his co-conspirators monitored the X-Agent malware from the AMS panel and captured data from the victim computers. The AMS panel collected thousands of keylog and screenshot results from the DCCC and DNC computers, such as a screenshot and keystroke capture of DCCC Employee 2 viewing the DCCC’s online banking information.
It's very likely that this X-Agent malware is the exact same version of X-Agent Malware allegedly used on the DCCC's network. What's missing here again is the methodology of attribution of this malware to the accused conspirators. Assumedly, the "AMS" server, which was allegedly acquired by the investigation team is the source of this allegation, and certainly having the data from both the DNC and the DCCC on the same server is an easy way to relate the attacks of both to the same entity. Unfortunately, there has yet to be a statement indicating that this is true. And that's the end of the DNC section of this document. Really, disappointing.
Paragraph 27: The Conspirators searched for and identified computers within the DCCC and DNC networks that stored information related to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. For example, on or about April 15, 2016, the Conspirators searched one hacked DCCC computer for terms that included “hillary,” “cruz,” and “trump.” The Conspirators also copied select DCCC folders, including “Benghazi Investigations.” The Conspirators targeted computers containing information such as opposition research and field operation plans for the 2016 elections.
Sure. If I had access to the servers, I'd do the same thing. Unfortunately, logs from the servers aren't admissible or are easily thrown out without chain of custody.
Paragraph 28: To enable them to steal a large number of documents at once without detection, the Conspirators used a publicly available tool to gather and compress multiple documents on the DCCC and DNC networks. The Conspirators then used other GRU malware, known as “X-Tunnel,” to move the stolen documents outside the DCCC and DNC networks through encrypted channels.
Ah, X-tunnel, known among actual legitimate security experts as Xtunnel, as analized by CrowdStrike and purportedly custom built specifically for the DNC Server. Looks an awful lot like this little open source gem: https://github.com/quhw/xtunnel I'd be interested to see how it sizes up, but of course we tax paying civilians won't actually get a chance to analyze the binary. Better to leave that to credentialed security experts like the indictment's author. Of course, the legitimacy of CrowdStrike in a cybersecurity analysis capacity is still in question.
P 28.a: For example, on or about April 22, 2016, the Conspirators compressed gigabytes of data from DNC computers, including opposition research. The Conspirators later moved the compressed DNC data using X-Tunnel to a GRU-leased computer located in Illinois.
Of note here is the specific step of "Compression", indicating that this statement is based off of logs from the systems in question. The authenticity of the data servers is null, but an interesting data point from a devil's advocate perspective. They also mention a new computer. This one located in Illinois. Why, that's just down the road from the CIA's National Clandestine Service Division. What a coincidence. Surely the russian masterminds never thought to check if maybe there were government agencies nearby which could seize their servers if their operation was discovered.P 28.b: On or about April 28, 2016, the Conspirators connected to and tested the same computer located in Illinois. Later that day, the Conspirators used X-Tunnel to connect to that computer to steal additional documents from the DCCC network.
Not much new here. I'm sure this statement was originally intended to establish timeline. They're basically just saying that the attackers used the server set up to transfer the documents as a server to transfer the documents.
Paragraph 29: Between on or about May 25, 2016 and June 1, 2016, the Conspirators hacked the DNC Microsoft Exchange Server and stole thousands of emails from the work accounts of DNC employees. During that time, YERMAKOV researched PowerShell commands related to accessing and managing the Microsoft Exchange Server.
Interesting. I research powershell commands relating to all sorts of things all the time. Microsoft Exchange is one of the most ubiquitous email servers around. I wonder, though, how Mueller knew this specific individual was researching powershell commands. Surely that detail will come out at some point before we declare all out war with russia.
Paragraph 30: On or about May 30, 2016, MALYSHEV accessed the AMS panel in order to upgrade custom AMS software on the server. That day, the AMS panel received updates from approximately thirteen different X-Agent malware implants on DCCC and DNC computers.
New software version. Neat. Wait… Let's look at the date again. May 30th. Why, that’s more than 5 weeks AFTER the DNC filed a civil lawsuit in federal court in New York, accusing the russian government, the trump campaign, wikileaks, and others of conspiracy to alter the course of the 2016 presidential election and asking for monetary damages and a declaration admitting guilt. So, knowing that they had been hacked, they left the compromised servers up and operating. This is intentional negligence.
Paragraph 31: During the hacking of the DCCC and DNC networks, the Conspirators covered their tracks by intentionally deleting logs and computer files. For example, on or about May 13, 2016, the Conspirators cleared the event logs from a DNC computer. On or about June 20, 2016, the Conspirators deleted logs from the AMS panel that documented their activities on the panel, including the login history.
They deleted the logs. Including login history. So…. That's kind of like saying "Here's a picture of a video tape of bob murdering mary. We don't have the actual video tape, because it was set on fire after we took this picture. But rest assured, it's a video tape of bob murdering mary." I can't even. I have to take a break. This has got my bloodpressure up.
So I'll come back maybe tomorrow or something and finish up.
submitted by DataPhreak to conspiracy [link] [comments]

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submitted by TheNerdyOwl11 to digital_marketing [link] [comments]

ShutUpandTakeMyMoney does $30K/mo in Amazon affiliate revenue. How do they get away with sharing affiliate links on Facebook?

Check out this post as one example:
It looks to me like SUATMM is sharing a cloaked affiliate link on each post, plus a link to their affiliate site.
Any idea how they're getting away with this? It's my understanding that it's against Facebook's TOS to share affiliate links on Facebook.
submitted by zprgrove to Affiliatemarketing [link] [comments]

December 21st, 2013 - /r/fantasy: Grab a sword and enjoy the journey


46,022 worldbuilders for 5 years!
“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!” ― J.R.R. Tolkien
So it was that John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, son of Arthur Reuel Tolkien, son of John Benjamin Tolkien along with his fellow escape artists began leading minds everywhere out of the everyday and on into newly built worlds. Worlds where practically anything is possible. Places where one can find wondrous magic, mythical creatures and enough cloaks to completely cover King's Landing. These trips into the fantastic can serve to entertain, act as distractions, and they can even provide some insight into the boring average world.
/fantasy is reddit's own personal gateway into all of these other worlds that have been put to paper by talented writers, many of whom have contributed to the sub's extensive amount of AMAs. Some writers even decide to stick around and become regulars of the sub. It is a subreddit that regularly allows for content makers to interact with the fans. The team of mods act as the gatekeepers to this portal as well as making sure that the sub is one of the best locations on the web for fans of the genre to gather. Here is the interview I got to have with the team:

1.Tell us about yourselves

kjhatch: I'm a freelance graphic designer and web application developer. I'm an older guy with a growing family and always too much to do :)
nitesmoke: Single dad, 34. I live in rural U.S. I've been reading fantasy books since around 1985 or so, and still do to this day.
stridera: New moderator still trying to learn the ropes. I'm a single 34 year old software engineer and writer. I hope to be an AMA author before long.
elquesogrande: Yet another family guy who is older than the average redditor. I have a business background and, in a former life, evaluated reddit as an acquisition candidate before it was sold to Condé Nast. I love the speculative fiction genre and what the Fantasy has done over the years.

2. You were featured two years ago, can you give an idea of what has changed since then?

kjhatch: From my perspective the sub's grown a lot, but all in a good way, with a strong focus on community activity.
nitesmoke: The amount of author AMAs is insane. We've had some of the biggest names in fantasy literature stop by and interact with the community. I got to have a personal conversation with Terry Goodkind!
stridera: /fantasy was one of the first subreddits I frequented. Since then, I've been happy to see more AMA's and a larger user base. Many authors and publishers see reddit as a serious avenue to reaching fans, and /fantasy has helped shape that growth.
elquesogrande: We are now one of the largest fantasy and speculative fiction communities on the web. The industry recognizes Fantasy as a great resource for fans, potential fans, authors and artists to interact. Great growth and, at the same time, the community feel is still there. Fantasy is now a daily stop for many authors and industry people.
In September, Fantasy hosted a table at WorldCon in San Antonio. This ended up being a focal point for many authors during the long weekend – where we hosted live AMAs and interaction. We also helped to put on a 200+ attendee Drinks With Authors event as a way for fans and authors to interact less formally. We gave away hundreds of new and author-signed books throughout the evening.
Fantasy will continue with these types of activities in 2014.

3. Why do you think so many big names of the genre stick around and become regular contributors in the sub?

kjhatch: Of all the social networking sites, Reddit's got a more low-impact, casual participation curve. It's just easy for people to get on, participate when they want to, and stop when they don't have the time. Facebook's either too personal or non-personal with no grey area, and Twitter generally requires a more sustained participation to work well. That makes Reddit, and /Fantasy specifically, a better forum for genre community discussion.
nitesmoke: The way so many authors stick around and become part of the community. It's not uncommon to see Brandon Sanderson leave a comment now and again. It's the only subreddit where the fanbase has so much variety of access to the creators of their media.
stridera: Reddit's voting system allows users to ask questions with real communal interest. This means authors can answer questions that actually mean something real to their fans. Also, the passion of most of community is amazing and I think the authors really pick up on that.
elquesogrande: Fantasy is about connecting authors and artists with fans and potential fans. AMAs are the gateway for many big names – it’s the great interaction with Fantasy redditors who keep them coming back. This is a relatively respectful, honest and appropriately snarky bunch.
Fantasy is also one of the largest speculative fiction communities on the web. The moderators not have a profit motive and we are not affiliated with a single publishing house, which makes us a uniquely fan-driven community.
A lot of earlycredit goes to authors Brandon Sanderson (mistborn) for starting us down the AMA path and Robin Hobb (RobinHobb) for helping us to refine the process for future authors. Both continue to support the community and, like many other writers, recommend Fantasy when they can.

4. What is your favorite part of the community?

kjhatch: I like all of it, but I think the AMAs are what set /Fantasy apart from even other similar areas of Reddit.
nitesmoke: For the sub, I see the success of other AMAs to lead to more. Hopefully we can branch out eventually to include more fantasy creators of other types, for example the person who creates music for a fantasy MMO, or the Director or an actor from fantasy film or television.
stridera: The people for sure. The fans and authors of the subreddit keep the topics interesting and the advice honest.
elquesogrande: How the community reacts to opportunities and to adversity.
For example, Fantasy has supported Patrick Rothfuss’ Worldbuilders charity for three years running. The community has embraced the effort – contributing time, money and donation items. This year’s donation started with a steel great helm that WorldCon authors signed. It went for $2,025.
Fantasy has hosted authors with controversial works and opinions for AMAs. I have been amazed at how well the community has treated these writers during AMAs and afterwards. The Fantasy community can disagree and even dislike positions in a respectful manner.

5. Where do you see the sub/genre heading as fantasy becomes popular with a larger audience through things like television and movie adaptations?

kjhatch: The focus is mostly books now, but there's already some movement toward getting artists more highlighted. I'd like to think the sub will continue to encompass all forms of Fantasy media, where eventually we'll see participation from actors, musicians, special effects artists, and other professionals from related fields with a genre-connection.
nitesmoke: For the sub, I see the success of other AMAs to lead to more. Hopefully we can branch out eventually to include more fantasy creators of other types, for example the person who creates music for a fantasy MMO, or the Director or an actor from fantasy film or television.
stridera: The subreddit will continue to grow, but I don't see the community going away. Hopefully the growing interest will continue to reach out and bring more sought out authors to enrich the content.
elquesogrande: Fantasy is a place for the broader fantasy genre and any medium – books, music, art, TV, games and more. That said, the book industry that has embraced Fantasy more than any other. We expect to see this branch out into other areas in 2014.

6. Anything else to add?

kjhatch: I like dogs. There ought to be more Fantasy books written with dogs in them.
nitesmoke: Happy Holidays!
stridera: I'm honored to be given the chance to assist the community and hope I can help the subreddit grow.
elquesogrande: Many thanks to reddit.com leadership, authors, artists, industry people and Fantasy members for what you do for this community.
Hello, I am SAC and I am one of the new interns. I know it has been a long post, but bear with me. How about bullet points to make it easy? Here is the nutshell I'm in:
Nice to meet you. I hope everyone enjoys the features to come.
submitted by SEXUAL_ACT_IN_CAPS to subredditoftheday [link] [comments]

Sphere of Influence: How American Libertarians Are Remaking Latin American Politics

Sphere of Influence: How American Libertarians Are Remaking Latin American Politics
by Lee Fang via The Intercept
URL: http://ift.tt/2vlJv6E
For Alejandro Chafuen, the gathering this spring at the Brick Hotel in Buenos Aires was as much a homecoming as it was a victory lap. Chafuen, a lanky Argentine-American, had spent his adult life working to undermine leftwing social movements and governments in South and Central America, and boost a business-friendly version of libertarianism instead.
It was a lonely battle for decades, but not lately. Chafuen was among friends at the 2017 Latin America Liberty Forum. The international meeting of libertarian activists was sponsored by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, a leadership-training nonprofit now known simply as the Atlas Network, which Chafuen has led since 1991. At the Brick Hotel, Chafuen was reveling in recent victories; his years of work were starting to pay off, thanks to political and economic circumstances — but also because of the network of activists Chafuen has been working for so long to cultivate.
Over the past 10 years, leftist governments have used “money to buy votes, to redistribute,” said Chafuen, seated comfortably in the lobby. But the recent drop in commodity prices, coupled with corruption scandals, has given an opportunity for Atlas Network groups to spring into action. “When there is an opening, you have a crisis, and there is some demand for change, you have people who are trained to push for certain policies,” Chafuen noted, paraphrasing the late Milton Friedman. “And in our case, we tend to favor to private solutions to public problems.”
Chafuen pointed to numerous Atlas-affiliated leaders now in the spotlight: ministers in the new conservative government in Argentina, senators in Bolivia, and the leaders of the Free Brazil Movement that took down Dilma Rousseff’s presidency, where Chafuen’s network sprang to life before his very eyes.
“In Brazil, I have been in the street demonstrations, and I’m like, ‘Hey, this guy I met when he was 17, 18 — he is up there on the bus leading this. This is crazy!’” Chafuen said, excitedly. Those in Atlas’s orbit were no less excited to run into Chafuen in Buenos Aires. Activists from various countries stopped Chafuen intermittently to sing his praises as he walked through the hotel. For many, Chafuen, from his perch at Atlas, has served as a mentor, fiscal sponsor, and guiding beacon for a new political paradigm in their country.
Ousted Honduras’ President Manuel Zelaya, left, looks down inside a car on his way to the airport where he will board a flight to Nicaragua on the outskirts of San Jose, Sunday, June 28, 2009.
Photo: Kent Gilbert/AP
A rightward shift is afoot in Latin American politics. Triumphant socialist governments had once swept the region for much of the 21st century – from Argentina’s Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to land reform populist Manuel Zelaya in Honduras – championing new programs for the poor, nationalizing businesses, and challenging U.S. dominance in hemispheric affairs.
In recent years, however, leftist leaders have fallen one after another, sometimes in spectacular fashion. Zelaya was led from the presidential palace in his pajamas in a military coup; in Argentina, a real-estate baron swept to the presidency and Kirchner was indicted for corruption; and in Brazil, the ruling Workers’ Party, facing a growing corruption scandal and a mass protest movement, was swept out of office via impeachment over charges of budget chicanery.
This shift might appear as part of a larger regional rebalancing, merely economic circumstances taking hold. And yet the Atlas Network seems ever-present, a common thread nudging political developments along.
The story of the Atlas Network and its profound impact on ideology and political power has never been fully told. But business filings and records from three continents, along with interviews with libertarian leaders across the hemisphere, reveal the scope of its influential history. The libertarian network, which has reshaped political power in country after country, has also operated as a quiet extension of U.S. foreign policy, with Atlas-associated think tanks receiving quiet funding from the State Department and the National Endowment for Democracy, a critical arm of American soft power.
Though recent investigations have shed light on the role of powerful conservative billionaires, such as the Koch brothers, in developing a business-friendly version of libertarian thought, the Atlas Network, which receives funding from Koch foundations, has recreated methods honed in the Western world for developing countries.
The network is expansive, currently boasting loose partnerships with 450 think tanks around the world. Atlas says it dispensed over $5 million to its partners in 2016 alone.\
Over the years, Atlas and its affiliated charitable foundations have provided hundreds of grants to conservative and free-market think tanks in Latin America, including the libertarian network that supported the Free Brazil Movement and organizations behind a libertarian push in Argentina, including Fundación Pensar, the Atlas think tank that merged with the political party formed by Mauricio Macri, businessman who now leads the country. The leaders of the Free Brazil Movement and the founder of Fundación Eléutera in Honduras, an influential post-coup neoliberal think tank, have received financial support from Atlas, and are among the next generation of political operatives that have went through Atlas’s training seminars.
The Atlas Network spans dozens of other think tanks across the region, including prominent groups supporting rightwing forces behind the unfolding anti-government movement in Venezuela and the campaign of Sebastián Piñera, the right-of-center candidate leading the polls for this year’s presidential election in Chile.
People demonstrate against the government as they take part in protest in favor of impeaching Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, in front of the National Congress, in Brasilia, Brazil in Dec. 2, 2015.
Photo: Eraldo Peres/AP
Nowhere has the Atlas method been better encapsulated than in a newly formed network of Brazilian free-market think tanks. Recently formed institutes worked together to foment anger at socialist policies, with some cultivating academic centers, while others work to train activists and maintain a constant war in the Brazilian media against leftist ideas.
The effort to focus anger solely at the left paid dividends last year for the Brazilian right. The millennial activists of the Free Brazil Movement, many of them trained in political organizing in the U.S., led a mass movement to channel public anger over a vast corruption scandal against Dilma, the left-of-center president popularly known by her first name. The scandal, nicknamed Operação Lava Jato, or Operation Car Wash, is a still-unfolding tale of bribery involving leading politicians from all of Brazil’s major political parties, including the rightwing and center-right parties. But the social media-savvy Free Brazil Movement, known by its Portuguese initials, MBL, managed to direct the bulk of outrage squarely at Dilma, demanding her ousting and an end to the welfare-centric policies of her Workers’ Party.
The uprising, which has drawn comparisons to the tea party movement, especially considering the quiet support from local industrial conglomerates and a new conspiracy-minded network of far-right media voices, ended 13 years of rule by the Workers’ Party by removing Dilma from office through impeachment in 2016.
The landscape that MBL sprang from is a new development in Brazil. There were perhaps three active libertarian think tanks 10 years ago, said Helio Beltrão, a former hedge fund executive who now leads Instituto Mises, a nonprofit named after the libertarian philosopher, Ludwig von Mises. Now, he said, with the support of Atlas, there are close to 30 such institutes active in Brazil, all working collaboratively, along with groups, such as Students for Liberty and MBL.
“It’s like a soccer team. Defense is the academia. The forward guys are the politicians. We’ve scored a few goals,” he said, referring to Dilma’s impeachment. The midfield, he said, are the “cultural guys” that shape public opinion.
Beltrão explained that the think tank network is hoping to privatize the national post office in Brazil, calling it “low-hanging fruit” that could lead to a larger wave of free-market reforms. Many of the conservative parties in Brazil embraced libertarian campaigners when they showed they could mobilize hundreds of thousands of people to protest against Dilma, but haven’t yet adopted the fundamentals of supply-side theory.
Fernando Schüler, an academic and columnist associated with Instituto Millenium, another Atlas think tank in Brazil, made the case another way.
“Brazil has 17,000 unions paid by public money, one day of salary per year goes to unions, completely controlled by the left,” said Schüler. The only way to reverse the socialist trend has been to out-maneuver them. “With technology, people could by themselves participate, organize at low cost — WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, using networks, a kind of public manifestation,” he continued, explaining the way libertarian organizers mobilized a protest movement against left-leaning politicians.
Organizers against Dilma had created a daily barrage of YouTube videos mocking the Worker’s Party government, along with an interactive scoreboard to encourage citizens to lobby their legislators to support impeachment.
Schüler noted that the Free Brazil Movement and his own think tank receive financial support from local industrial trade groups, but the movement had succeeded in part because it is not identified with the incumbent political parties, most of which the general public views with suspicion. He argued that the only way to radically reshape society and reverse popular sentiment in support of the welfare state was to wage a permanent cultural war to confront left intellectuals and the media.
Fernando Schüler.
Photo: Screenshot from Youtube
One of the founders of Schüler’s Instituto Millenium think tank, Brazilian blogger Rodrigo Constantino, has polarized Brazilian politics with hyperpartisan rhetoric. Constantino, who has been called the “Breitbart of Brazil” for his conspiratorial views and acidic rightwing commentary, chairs yet another Atlas think tank, Instituto Liberal. He sees the Brazilian left’s every move as a veiled attempt at subverting democracy, from the use of the color red in the country’s World Cup logo to the Bolsa Família cash assistance program to poor families.
Constantino is credited with popularizing a narrative that Worker’s Party supporters are limousine liberals, wealthy hypocrites that flock to socialism to claim the moral high ground while snubbing the working classes they claim to represent.
The Breitbartization of public discourse is but one of the many ways the Atlas network has subtly influenced political debate.
“It’s a very paternalistic state. It’s crazy. It’s a lot of state control, and that’s the long-term challenge,” said Schüler, adding that despite recent victories, libertarians had a long way to go in Brazil. He hoped to copy the model of Margaret Thatcher, who relied on a network of libertarian think tanks to push unpopular reforms. “This pension system is absurd. I would privatize all education,” Schüler, rattling off a litany of changes he would make to society, from defunding labor unions to repealing the law that makes voting compulsory.
Yet the only way to make all that possible, he added, would be to build a network of politically active nonprofits all waging separate battles to push the same libertarian goals. The existing model — the constellation of rightwing think tanks in Washington, D.C., supported by powerful endowments — is the only path forward for Brazil, Schüler said.
Atlas, for its part, is busy doing just that. It gives grants for new think tanks, provides courses on political management and public relations, sponsors networking events around the world, and, in recent years, has devoted special resources to prodding libertarians to influence public opinion through social media and online videos.
An annual competition encourages Atlas’s network to produce viral YouTube videos promoting laissez-faire ideas and ridiculing proponents of the welfare state. James O’Keefe, the provocateur famous for needling Democrats with his undercover videos, has appeared before Atlas to explain his methods. Producers from a Wisconsin group that worked create online videos to discredit teacher protests against Gov. Scott Walker’s law busting public sector unions have also provided instructions for Atlas’s training sessions.
Crowd burning puppet of President Hugo Chavez at Plaza Altamira in protest against government.
Photo: Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images
Among its other exploits of late, Atlas has played a role in a Latin American nation roiled by the region’s most acute political and humanitarian crisis: Venezuela. Records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by activists sympathetic to the Venezuelan government, as well as State Department cables disclosed by whistleblower Chelsea Manning, reveal U.S. policymakers’ sophisticated effort to use Atlas think tanks in a long-running campaign to destabilize the reign of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez.
As early as 1998, Cedice Libertad, Atlas’s flagship think tank in Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, received regular financial support from the Center for International Private Enterprise. In one grant letter, NED funds marked for Cedice are listed to help advocate “a change in government.” The director of Cedice was among the signatories of the controversy “Carmona Decree” supporting the short-lived military coup against Chávez in 2002.
A 2006 cable laid out a strategy from U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield for funding politically active nonprofits in Venezuela: “1) Strengthening democratic institutions, 2) penetrating Chávez’s political base, 3) dividing Chavismo, 4) protecting vital U.S. business, and 5) isolating Chávez internationally.”
In Venezula’s current crisis, Cedice has promoted the recent spate of protests against President Nicholas Maduro, Chávez’s embattled successor. Cedice is closely affiliated with opposition figure María Corina Machado, one of the leaders of the massive anti-government street demonstrations in recent months. Machado has publicly recognized Atlas for its work. In a videotape message delivered to the group in 2014, she said, “Thank you to the Atlas Network, to all freedom fighters.”
Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado has recognized Atlas for its work: “Thank you to the Atlas Network, to all freedom fighters,” she said in 2014.At the Atlas Network’s Latin American Liberty Forum in Buenos Aires, young leaders buzzed back and forth, sharing ideas on how to defeat socialism at every level, from pitched battles on college campuses to mobilizing an entire country to embrace impeachment.
Think tank “entrepreneurs” from Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Honduras competed in a format along the lines of “Shark Tank,” an America reality show where start-up businesses pitch to a panel of wealthy, ruthless investors. Instead of seeking investments from a panel of venture capitalists, however, the think tank leaders pitched policy marketing ideas for a contest that awarded $5,000. In another session, strategies were debated for attracting industry support to back economic reforms. In another room, political operatives debated arguments “lovers of liberty” can use to respond to the global rise of populism to “redirect the sense of injustice many feel” toward free-market goals.
One young leader from CADAL, a think tank in Buenos Aires, presented on an idea to rank each Argentine province using what he called an “economic liberty index,” which would use the level of taxation and regulation as the main criteria to generate buzz for free-market reforms. The idea is consciously modeled on similar strategies from the U.S., including the Heritage Foundation’s “Index of Economic Freedom,” which measures countries based on criteria that includes tax policies and regulatory barriers to business formation.
Think tanks are traditionally associated with independent institutes formed to develop unconventional solutions. But the Atlas model focuses less on developing genuinely new policy proposals, and more on establishing political organizations that carry the credibility of academic institutions, making them an effective organ for winning hearts and minds.
Free-market ideas — such as slashing taxes on the wealthy; whittling down the public sector and placing it under the control of private operators; and liberalized trade rules and restrictions on labor unions — have always struggled with a perception problem. Proponents of this vision have found that voters tend to view such ideas as a vehicle for serving society’s upper crust. Rebranding economic libertarianism as a public interest ideology has required elaborate strategies for mass persuasion.
But the Atlas model now spreading rapidly through Latin America is based on a method perfected by decades of struggle in the U.S. and the U.K., as libertarians worked to stem the tide of the surging post-war welfare state.
Map of Atlas group locations in South America.
Map: The Intercept
Antony Fisher, a British entrepreneur and the founder of the Atlas Network, pioneered the sale of libertarian economics to the broader public. The tack was simple: Fisher made it his mission to, in the words of an associate, “litter the world with free-market think tanks.”
The basis for Fisher’s ideals came from Friedrich Hayek, a forbearer of modern thought on limited government. In 1946, after reading the Reader’s Digest version of Hayek’s seminal book, “The Road to Serfdom,” Fisher sought a meeting with the Austrian economist in London. As recounted by his close colleague John Blundell, Fisher suggested Hayek enter politics. But Hayek demurred, replying that a bottom-up focus on shifting the public discourse could better shape society.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., another free-market ideologue, Leonard Read, was entertaining similar notions after leading the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Los Angeles branch into bruising battles with organized labor. To counter the growth of the welfare state, a more elaborate response would be necessary to share popular debates around the direction of society, without the visible link to corporate interests.
Fisher was propelled forward by a fateful visit to Read’s newly formed nonprofit, the Foundation for Economic Education, in New York, which was founded to help sponsor and promote the ideas of free-market intellectuals. There, libertarian economist F.A. Harper, at the time working at FEE, advised Fisher on methods for creating his own nonprofit in the U.K.
During the trip, Fisher also traveled with Harper to Cornell University to observe the latest animal industry breakthrough of battery cages, marveling at the sight of 15,000 chickens housed in a single building. Fisher was inspired to bring the innovation home with him. His factory, Buxted Chickens, grew rapidly and made Fisher a substantial fortune in the process. Some of those profits went into other goal fostered during his New York trip: In 1955, Fisher founded the Institute of Economic Affairs.
IEA helped popularize the once-obscure set of economists loosely affiliated with Hayek’s ideas. The institute was a place to showcase opposition to British society’s growing welfare state, connecting journalists to free-market academics and disseminating critiques on a regular basis through opinion columns, radio interviews, and conferences.
Businesses provided the bulk of funding to IEA, as leading British industrial and banking giants — from Barclays to BP — pitched in with annual contributions. According to “Making Thatcher’s Britain,” by historians Ben Jackson and Robert Saunders, one shipping magnate remarked that, since universities were providing ammunition for the unions, the IEA was an important source of bullets for business.
As the economic slowdown and rising inflation of the 1970s shook the foundations of British society, Tory politicians gravitated more and more to the IEA to provide an alternative vision — and IEA obliged with accessible issue briefs and talking points politicians could use to bring free-market concepts to the public. The Atlas Network proudly proclaims that the IEA “laid the intellectual groundwork for what later became the Thatcher Revolution of the 1980s.” IEA staff provided speechwriting for Margaret Thatcher; supplemented her campaign with policy papers on topics as varied as labor unions and price controls; and provided a response to her critics in the mass media. In a letter to Fisher after her 1979 victory, Thatcher wrote that the IEA created “the climate of opinion which made our victory possible.”
“There’s no doubt there’s been enormous progress in Britain, the Institute of Economic Affairs, which Antony Fisher set up, made an enormous difference,” Milton Friedman once said. “It made possible Margaret Thatcher. It made possible not her election as prime minister but the policies that she was able to follow. And the same thing in this country, the developing thought along these lines made possible Ronald Reagan and the policies he was able to follow.”
IEA had come full circle. Hayek set up an invitation-only group of free-market economists called the Mont Pelerin Society. One of its members, Ed Feulner, helped found of the conservative Washington think tank the Heritage Foundation, drawing on IEA’s work for inspiration. Another Mont Pelerin member, Ed Crane, founded the Cato Institute, the most prominent libertarian think tank in the U.S.
Austrian-British economist and political philosopher Friedrich Hayek with a class of students at the London School of Economics, 1948.
Photo: Paul PoppePopperfoto/Getty Images
In 1981, Fisher, who had settled in San Francisco, set out to develop the Atlas Economic Research Foundation at the urging of Hayek. Fisher had used his success with IEA to court corporate donors to help establish a string of smaller, sometimes regional think tanks in New York, Canada, California, and Texas, among other places. With Atlas, though, the scale for Fisher’s free-market think tank project would now be global: a nonprofit dedicated to continuing his work of establishing libertarian beachheads in every country of the world. “The more institutes established throughout the world,” Fisher declared, “the more opportunity to tackle diverse problems begging for resolution.”
Fisher began to fundraise, pitching corporate donors with the help of letters from Hayek, Thatcher, and Friedman, including an urgent call for donors to help reproduce the success of IEA through Atlas. Hayek wrote that the IEA model “ought to be used to create similar institutes all over the world.” He added, “It would be money well spent if large sums could be made available for such a concerted effort.”
The proposal was sent to a list of high-level executives and soon, money began pouring in from corporate coffers and Republican mega-donors, including Richard Mellon Scaife. Companies, such as Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, and Shell, all gave to Atlas. But their influence would need to remain cloaked for the project to work, Fisher contended. “To influence public opinion, it is necessary to avoid any suggestion of vested interest or intent to indoctrinate,” Fisher noted in a proposal outlining the purpose of Atlas. Fisher added that IEA’s success hinged on the perception that it was academic and impartial.
Atlas grew rapidly. By 1985, the network featured 27 institutions in 17 countries, including nonprofits in Italy, Mexico, Australia, and Peru.
And the timing could not have been better: Atlas’s international expansion came just as the Reagan administration was doubling down on an aggressive foreign policy, hoping to beat back leftist governments abroad.
While in public, Atlas declared that it received no government funding (Fisher belittled foreign aid as just another “bribe” used to distort market forces), records show the network quietly worked to channel government money to its growing list of international partners.
In one 1982 letter from the International Communication Agency, a small federal agency devoted to promote U.S. interests overseas, a bureaucrat at the Office of Private Sector Programs wrote to Fisher, in response to an inquiry about acquiring federal grants. The bureaucrat said he was barred from giving “directly to foreign organizations,” but could cosponsor “conferences or exchanges with organizations” hosted by groups like Atlas. He encouraged Fisher to send over a proposal. The letter, sent one year after Atlas’s founding, was the first indication that the network would become a covert partner to U.S. foreign policy interests.
Memos and other records from Fisher show that, by 1986, Atlas had helped schedule meetings with business executives to direct U.S. funds to its network of think tanks. In one instance, an official from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the principal foreign aid arm of the federal government, recommended that the head of Coca-Cola’s subsidiary in Panama work with Atlas to set up an IEA-style affiliate think tank there. Atlas also drew funding from the coffers of the National Endowment for Democracy, a government-charted nonprofit, founded in 1983, that is funded largely by the State Department and USAID to build U.S.-friendly political institutions in the developing world.
Alejandro Chafuen, of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, back right, shakes hands with Rafael Alonzo, of Venezuela’s Freedom Center for Economic Studies, CEDICE, left, as Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa applauds during the opening of the “Freedom and Democracy” international forum in Caracas, Thursday, May 28, 2009.
Photo: Ariana Cubillos/AP
With corporate and U.S. government funding pouring in, Atlas took another fortuitous turn in 1985 with the arrival of Alejandro Chafuen. Linda Whetstone, Fisher’s daughter, remembered in a tribute that, in 1985, a young Chafuen, then living in Oakland, showed up to Atlas’s San Francisco office “and was willing to work for nothing.”
The Buenos Aires-born Chafuen hailed from what he described as “an anti-Peronist family.” They were wealthy and, though raised in an era of incredible turmoil in Argentina, Chafuen lived a life of relative privilege. He spent his teenage years playing tennis, dreaming of becoming a professional athlete.
Chafuen credits his youthful ideological path to his appetite for devouring libertarian texts, from Ayn Rand to booklets published by FEE, the Leonard Read group that had originally inspired Fisher. After studying at Grove City College, a deeply conservative Christian liberal arts school in Pennsylvania, where he served as the president of the student libertarian club, Chafuen returned to his home country. The military had stepped in, claiming a threat from communist revolutionaries. Thousands of students and activists would be tortured and killed in the crackdown on leftwing dissent following the coup d’etat.
Chafuen remembers the time in a mostly positive light, later writing that the military had acted out of necessity to prevent a communist “takeover of the country.” While pursuing a teaching career, Chafuen encountered “totalitarians of every style” within academic life. After the military coup, he wrote that he noticed that his professors became “gentler,” despite their differences with him.
In other Latin American countries, too, libertarianism was finding a receptive audience among military governments. In Chile, after the military swept out the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende. Mont Pelerin Society economists quickly flocked to the country, setting the stage for widespread libertarian reforms, including the privatization of industry and the country’s pension system. Throughout the region, under the watch of rightwing military leaders that had seized power, libertarian economic policies began to take root.
For his part, Chafuen’s ideological zeal was on display as early as 1979, when he published an essay for FEE titled “War Without End.” He described the horrors of leftist terror, “like the Charles Manson family, or in regimental strength, like the guerilla troops in the Middle East, Africa, and South America.” There was a need, he wrote, for the “forces of individual freedom and private property” to fight back.
His enthusiasm garnered attention. In 1980, at age 26, Chafuen was invited to become the youngest member of the Mont Pelerin Society. He traveled to Stanford, an opportunity that put him in direct contact with Read, Hayek, and other leading libertarians. Within five years, Chafuen had married an American and was living in Oakland. He began reaching out to Mont Pelerin members in the Bay Area, including Fisher.
Throughout the region, under the watch of rightwing military leaders that had seized power, libertarian economic policies began to take root.According to Atlas’s board meeting notes, Fisher told his colleagues he had made a $500 ex gratia Christmas payment that year to Chafuen, and hoped to hire the young economist full-time to develop Atlas think tanks in Latin America. The following year, Chafuen organized the first Atlas summit of Latin American think tanks in Jamaica.
Chafuen understood the Atlas model well and worked diligently to expand the network, helping to launch think tanks in Africa and Europe, though focusing his efforts in Latin America. Describing how to attract donors, Chafuen once noted in a lecture that donors cannot appear to pay for public surveys because the polls would lose credibility. “Pfizer Inc. would not sponsor surveys on health issues nor would Exxon pay for surveys on environmental issues,” Chafuen noted. Libertarian think tanks, such as the ones in Atlas’s network, however, could not only present the same survey with more credibility, but do so in a way that garnered coverage in the local media.
“Journalists are very much attracted by whatever is new and easy to report,” Chafuen said. The press is less interested in quoting libertarian philosophers, he contended, but when a think tank produced a survey people would listen. “And donors also see this,” he added.
In 1991, three years after Fisher died, Chafuen took helm of Atlas and would have the opportunity to speak to donors with authority about Atlas’s work. He quickly began to rack up corporate sponsors to push company-specific goals through the network. Philip Morris contributed regular grants to Atlas, including a $50,000 contribution to the group in 1994, which was disclosed years later through litigation. Records show that the tobacco giant viewed Atlas as an ally for working on international litigation issues.
Journalists in Chile, however, found out that Atlas-backed think tanks had worked to quietly lobby against smoking regulations without disclosing their funding from tobacco companies, a strategy similar think tanks repeated across the globe.
Corporate giants, such as ExxonMobil and MasterCard, were among Atlas’ donors. But the group also attracted leading figures in libertarianism, such as the foundations associated with investor John Templeton and the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, which lavished Atlas and its affiliates with regular contributions.
Chafuen’s fundraising prowess extended to the growing number of wealthy conservative foundations that were beginning to flourish. He was a founding member of Donors Trust, a secretive donor-advised fund that has doled out over $400 million to libertarian nonprofits, including members of the Atlas Network. He also serves as a trustee to the Chase Foundation of Virginia, which was founded by a Mont Pelerin Society member and similarly sends cash to Atlas think tanks.
Another wellspring of money came from the American government. Initially, the National Endowment for Democracy encountered difficulty setting up U.S.-friendly political nonprofits. Gerardo Bongiovanni, the president of Fundación Libertad, an Atlas think tank in Rosario, Argentina, noted during a lecture with Chafuen that the early seed money from NED’s grant partner, the Center for International Private Enterprise, totaled $1 million between 1985 and 1987. The think tanks that received those initial grants quickly folded, Bongiovanni said, citing lack of management training.
Atlas, however, managed to turn U.S. taxpayer money coming through the NED and Center for International Private Enterprise into an important source of funding for its growing network. The funding vehicles provided money to help boost Atlas think tanks in eastern Europe, following the fall of the Soviet Union, and, later, to promote U.S. interests in the Middle East. Among the recipients of the Center for International Private Enterprise’s cash is Cedice Libertad, the group thanked by Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado.
White House Deputy Assistant To The President Sebastian Gorka participates in a television interview outside the White House West Wing June 9, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
At the Brick Hotel in Buenos Aires, Chafuen reflected on the last three decades. Fisher “would be overall pleased, and he would not believe how much our network grew,” Chafuen said, noting that perhaps the Atlas founder would not have expected the level of direct political engagement the group is involved in.
Chafuen lit up when U.S. President Donald Trump came up, offering praise for the president’s appointees. And why not? The Trump administration is littered with alumni of Atlas-related groups and friends of the network. Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s Islamophobic counterterrorism adviser, once led an Atlas-backed think tank in Hungary. Vice President Mike Pence has attended an Atlas event and spoken highly of the group. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Chafuen were close through their leadership roles at the Acton Institute, a Michigan think tank that develops religious arguments in favor of libertarian policies — which now maintains an affiliate in Brazil, the Centro Interdisciplinar de Ética e Economia Personalista.
Perhaps Chafuen’s most prized figure in the administration, however, is Judy Shelton, an economist and senior fellow at the Atlas Network. After Trump’s victory, Shelton was made the chairman of the NED. She previously served as an adviser to the Trump campaign and transition effort. Chafuen beamed when he talked about it. “There you have the Atlas people being the chair of the National Endowment for Democracy,” he said.
Before ending the interview, Chafuen intimated that there was more to come: more think tanks, more efforts to overturn leftist governments, and more Atlas devotees and alumni elevated to the highest levels of government the world over. “The work is ongoing,” he said.
Later, Chafuen appeared at the gala for the Latin America Liberty Forum. Along with a panel of Atlas experts, he discussed the need to ramp up libertarian opposition movements in Ecuador and Venezuela.
Danielle Mackey contributed research to this story.
The post Sphere of Influence: How American Libertarians Are Remaking Latin American Politics appeared first on The Intercept.
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10 methods to significantly increase web traffic

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LATEST on Steve Scalise – TRUMP visits hospital -- Shock on the Hill -- Dems hold off on gun debate -- WAPO: Special counsel investigating obstruction – FOX NEWS drops ‘fair and balanced’ slogan -- B’DAY: Alyssa Farah

LATEST on Steve Scalise – TRUMP visits hospital -- Shock on the Hill -- Dems hold off on gun debate -- WAPO: Special counsel investigating obstruction – FOX NEWS drops ‘fair and balanced’ slogan -- B’DAY: Alyssa Farah
by [email protected] (Daniel Lippman) via POLITICO - TOP Stories
URL: http://ift.tt/2rz62cP
Listen to the Playbook Audio Briefinghttp://bit.ly/2svw2dO ... Subscribe on iTuneshttp://apple.co/2eX6Eay ... Visit the online home of Playbookhttp://politi.co/2f51Jnf
Good Thursday morning. THE LATEST ON STEVE SCALISE -- “Scalise remains in critical condition after mass shooting,” by Louis Nelson, John Bresnahan, and Jake Sherman: “House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is in critical condition in a Washington hospital, and will require additional surgeries after a bullet pierced his hip, injured organs and caused ‘severe bleeding,’ according to a statement Wednesday night. Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, is in MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Northwest D.C., where he has had at least two procedures, and ‘multiple units of blood transfusion,’ the hospital said Wednesday night. Scalise was brought to the hospital in ‘shock,’ the statement said. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited the hospital Wednesday night, and brought the Scalise family flowers.” http://politi.co/2ru9BWi
-- @realDonaldTrump at 9:41 p.m.: “Just left hospital. Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape - but he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve!”
STATEMENT FROM MATT MIKA’S FAMILY: “Matt suffered multiple gunshot wounds. He recently came out of surgery but remains in the ICU in critical condition and we expect him to stay there for at least several days. Our family is now here with him and we continue to ask for privacy and understanding while we focus on Matt and his recovery.
“Many have asked about Matt and what we can share about him. While the attack today was a terrible surprise, Matt’s presence on the ball field, helping longtime colleagues and friends was not. He is a very thoughtful, fun-loving person who is competitive and loyal; all things which contributed to his continued commitment to the Congressional Baseball Game.”
-- “Who were the people injured at Wednesday’s baseball practice shooting?,” by Rachael Bade, Theo Meyer, John Lauinger, and Kyle Cheney: http://politi.co/2tppcmG
**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook:http://politi.co/2lQswbh
THE VENEER, SHATTERED. Members of Congress have long thought of Washington as a safe space, of sorts. Sure, they engage in heated rhetoric in the Capitol, waging partisan war from early in the morning until late at night. But their life in Washington is quite sheltered: they exercise in a members-only gym. Many of them sleep in their offices in the Capitol complex. They eat and drink together at partisan social clubs. But we’re hearing a refrain we first heard in 2011, when Gabby Giffords was shot: we’re sitting ducks.
-- FROM USA TODAY’S HEIDI PRZYBYLA: “[L]awmakers including Cedric Richmond, D-La., had expressed fears last week about member safety. Richmond, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, raised his concerns directly to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.” https://usat.ly/2rjOi5ERichmond is a good friend of Scalise’s, as well.
THE SENSE OF SHOCK in the Capitol -- especially the House -- is extraordinarily palpable. The mood was tense all day, and remained uncertain at night. Several House Republicans were texting us throughout the evening, wondering about the severity of Scalise’s injuries. Lawmakers are extraordinarily shaken. Forget party affiliation: Congress -- and Washington -- is a big saga with a set of predictable characters: lawmakers, aides, lobbyists, reporters. And when one gets hurt, sick, injured -- many realize it could easily be them. And a shooting like this is causing lawmakers and staff to take stock of their own safety. Countless lawmakers we spoke to throughout the day yesterday were rethinking their out-in-front, prominent roles in today’s political scene.
CAPITOL HILL REPORTERS were shaken up, as well. First of all, dozens of reporters work in the Capitol every day. And unlike the White House -- which regularly dumps all over reporters and decries their work product as phony -- lawmakers on the Hill are generally cordial with journalists in the Capitol and respect the job we do. We spend years covering lawmakers up close and oftentimes develop an easy rapport with people like Scalise -- savvy pols who successfully make their way up the leadership ladder. Scalise shows up at off-the-record happy hours for reporters at the annual Republican retreat. His office, like others, throws cocktail receptions to get to become better acquainted with Capitol Hill reporters. That doesn’t mean the relationship isn’t adversarial at times -- it most definitely is. It means building a personal relationship -- getting to know each other as human beings -- is important to both sides. We know Scalise, Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer as politicians, but most of us have had many occasions to talk to them on a personal level, as well.
--“Photos: Following the aftermath of the congressional shooting” -- 43 pixhttp://politi.co/2sdsCd0
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP is getting bipartisan plaudits so far for his strong speech Wednesday, and his visit to Scalise family in the hospital Wednesday night.
HAPPENING TODAY -- Trump is giving a speech and signing an executive order on apprenticeships. Vice President Mike Pence will be in Miami to give the keynote address at the Conference on Prosperity and Security, a gathering focused on Central American political and security issues.
THE HOUSE is out of session after 4 p.m. today. The Congressional Baseball Game is on. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. at Nationals Park. More info and tickets herehttp://atmlb.com/2sCV4aM
--“The Congressional Baseball Game: A History in Pictures: How the most bipartisan event in Washington has changed over time” -- 10 pixhttp://politi.co/2rucdng
THE POLITICS -- “Democrats wary of reviving gun debate too soon,” by Seung Min Kim, Burgess Everett and Heather Caygle: “One year ago, Sen. Chris Murphy sprang into action almost immediately after a gun massacre at an Orlando nightclub - accusing Congress of an ‘unconscionable deafening silence’ and launching a 15-hour filibuster on the Senate floor. But the gun-control advocate who once argued that lawmakers should put forward ‘legislative action within an hour of a shooting’ was more circumspect on Wednesday after a shooting at a congressional baseball practice in the suburbs of Washington. One tragic incident, he acknowledged, won’t move the needle - even one that affected one of their own, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). …
“[T]he tone among even the most ardent proponents of stricter gun laws was dramatically different. In multiple interviews, several Democratic lawmakers urged that no, today was not the day to revive the dormant gun control debate. It was too soon, it hit too close to home - and lawmakers simply didn’t want to stand accused of politicizing a shooting that injured a colleague and friend.” http://politi.co/2t50qZx
-- JONATHAN MARTIN on A18 of the NYT: “Their Own Targeted, G.O.P. Lawmakers Want Looser Gun Laws, Not Stricter Ones.”http://nyti.ms/2s3RtBh
ON THE HOUSE FLOOR TODAY --HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY will “offer a resolution to commend the heroic actions of Capitol Police and other first responders, and recognize everyone affected by this tragic incident."
BEHIND THE SCENES -- FROM KYLE CHENEY, our incredibly versatile House reporter who spent the day in Alexandria reporting on the shooting: “In the course of reporting from Alexandria, I had two eye-opening encounters with witnesses that really gnawed at me during such a harrowing moment. I arrived at the ballpark less than an hour after the shooting and overheard one witness – a man possibly in his mid-20s -- excitedly describing the incident in vivid detail over the phone. It was still a murky situation at that point, so as soon as he hung up, I asked him if he could repeat to me what he had seen.
“The man immediately tensed up and told me that there was no way he’d talk to the media because he can’t stand the press and he thinks we’re all complicit in leaking (of what, I’m not sure). I told him I personally hadn’t ‘leaked’ anything but in fact knew and reported on some of the people on the field that morning – and that his information might help provide some clarity at a critical moment. He still refused. A short while later, while holed up in a coffee shop across from the field, I chatted with a young woman who also witnessed the aftermath. She said she took comfort when she found out the assailant had targeted members of Congress – not because she wished them any harm but because it would’ve been more unnerving, she said, had the violence been random. Both conversations were revealing about some of the sad realities we now live with.
“It’s only fair if I also mention that these encounters were exceptions on a day of many kindnesses. Most witnesses were forthcoming with as much detail as they could muster, and I watched as random passersby delivered Gatorade, iced tea and even a bag full of Chick-fil-A to police on the scene. And the police then shared the spoils with journalists, pedestrians and others baking in the Alexandria sun.”
WAPO SCOOP -- “Special counsel is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, officials say,” by Devlin Barrett, Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Sari Horowitz: “The move by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump’s conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, officials said. …
“Five people briefed on the interview requests, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said that Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and Rogers’s recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett, agreed to be interviewed by Mueller’s investigators as early as this week. The investigation has been cloaked in secrecy, and it is unclear how many others have been questioned by the FBI. …
“The White House now refers all questions about the Russia investigation to Trump’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz. ‘The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal,’ said Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Kasowitz.” http://wapo.st/2rjkqqo
-- WSJ’s Del Quentin Wilber, Shane Harris and Paul Sonne: “The special counsel also plans to interview Rick Ledgett, who recently retired as the deputy director of the NSA … While Mr. Ledgett was still in office, he wrote a memo documenting a phone call that Mr. Rogers had with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the matter. During the call, the president questioned the veracity of the intelligence community’s judgment that Russia had interfered with the election and tried to persuade Mr. Rogers to say there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russian officials.” http://on.wsj.com/2sD4vXP
CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP -- “Manafort still doing international work,” by Ken Vogel: “Paul Manafort is at the center of an FBI investigation into ties between President Donald Trump’s team and the Russians, but that hasn’t stopped him from doing business with international figures and companies, partly by claiming continued access to Trump, according to people familiar with his dealings.
“Manafort in recent weeks has either consulted or worked with a Chinese construction billionaire looking to expand his business overseas and a telecommunications firm interested in regulatory approval from governments in Asia and the Middle East, as well as an investment fund claiming links to the Chinese government, according to documents and interviews.
“Manafort quietly consulted on a proposal under which the Chinese fund — the China Development Fund — would invest $30 billion or more in the Puerto Rican government's bond debt and possibly the island's critical infrastructure, according to documents and interviews with four people familiar with the negotiations, including a Manafort business partner.
“One of the people, a lawyer involved in the discussions, said Manafort indicated that he could convince the Trump administration to support any resulting deal, because he’s remained in contact with Trump’s team, and that he played a role in helping to soften Trump's tough campaign rhetoric on China. ‘He’s going around telling people that he’s still talking to the president and -- even more than that -- that he is helping to shape Trump’s foreign policy,’ said the lawyer involved in the discussions.” http://politi.co/2rjtsDO
TARA PALMERI AND KEN VOGEL: “Trump huddled with donors on day of Comey testimony”: “On the same day last week that fired FBI Director James Comey delivered his damaging Senate testimony, President Donald Trump’s team summoned about a dozen top donors to the White House to rally support for Trump’s agenda. The donors -- including Ken Griffin, Doug DeVos, Tom Hicks, Jr., Bekah Mercer, Todd Ricketts, Tom Saunders, Paul Singer and Dick Uihlein -- gathered in the Roosevelt Room on June 8 for a briefing from Trump’s legislative director Marc Short, according to a senior administration official and other people familiar with the event.
“These people said that Trump himself stopped by the briefing to greet the donors, while Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway also spent time at the event. … A White House spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on the donor briefing. But a senior administration official said that topics covered during the briefing included healthcare, tax reform, the confirmation of Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch, pending judicial nominations, the Paris accord and the Saudi arms sale. ‘[It was a] 'here's what we see as the legislative calendar and how you can be helpful' type of meeting,’ the official said.” http://politi.co/2rtB8HL
COMING ATTRACTIONS -- “Jeh Johnson to testify publicly in House Russia probe,” by Austin Wright: “Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is set to testify publicly next Wednesday before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russia’s election meddling, according to a congressional source. Johnson appeared earlier this week before the Senate Intelligence Committee, but the session was closed.” http://politi.co/2sCSeCE
IMPORTANT READ -- MEGYN KELLY SPEAKS -- NYT'S JIM RUTENBERG: "Megyn Kelly, Alex Jones and a Fine Line Between News and Promotion": "Where’s the line between covering a scoundrel as a news figure and giving him a promotional platform? The question has consumed Megyn Kelly this week, after she showed a trailer Sunday night of her coming feature on NBC about Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist who has questioned whether the Sandy Hook school massacre truly happened and asserted that Sept. 11 was an inside job....
"'What we do as journalists is we shine a light on those with power, those with influence, those who have become culturally relevant,' she said. 'Of course, it’s upsetting to know that doing that causes any upset to the Newtown families, many of whom I know well. But I have to do my job.'... 'As journalists, we don’t get to interview only the good guys — that’s not journalism,' ... 'It’s going to be very difficult for us to keep an eye on the more controversial figures of our time if we never talk to them.'" https://nyti.ms/2tmhgmj
-- HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. PRESIDENT: Trump celebrated his 71st birthday with dinner at the White House before going to visit Scalise in the hospital, per a pool report. Eric, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Jared Kushner, their kids and Tiffany were all there.
-- ISAAC DOVERE is reporting that Lambda Legal is opening up a D.C. office and plans to raise an additional $25 million over the next for years in an effort to ratchet up the fight against the Trump administration. Sharon McGowan, who was until January a top attorney in the Justice Department’s civil rights division under President Barack Obama, is running the office. http://politi.co/2sdDcRd
-- SPOTTED: Chris Ruddy, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) having an animated conversation in the lobby of Trump Hotel on Tuesday night.
-- SENATE LEADERSHIP FUND reported dropping $443,104 to boost Sen. Luther Strange’s (R-Ala.) candidacy. … The CHAMBER OF COMMERCE reported $153,491 in spending on behalf of Karen Handel in Georgia.
THE ALLEGED SHOOTER -- “James Hodgkinson’s long descent into rage: ‘Nobody really knew anything about him,’” by Lorraine Woellert, Josh Meyer and Alan Greenblatt: “James T. Hodgkinson lived a seemingly comfortable existence back home. He had a wife, friends and a pool where he hosted parties. How and why his life ended on a blood-soaked field halfway across the nation remains largely a mystery to investigators trying to piece together his life. Anger, plain and simple, seemed to be one driver. A man prone to aggressive outbursts, Hodgkinson had grown increasingly angry at the political order in recent years, lashing out online against President Donald Trump and other Republicans. ...
“Hodgkinson was no stranger to law enforcement. He had a lengthy arrest record and seemed prone to violent fits. Most recently, he had been warned about shooting a high-powered gun in the vicinity of his neighbors’ houses. ... In April 2006, he was arrested on firearms and battery charges after he allegedly punched his girlfriend in the face and pulled a 12-gauge shotgun on a witness, Joel Fernandez, who had attempted to intervene.” http://politi.co/2s4g6Ot
THE BIG PICTURE -- “How an Annual Ballgame Has Kept Congress Civil,” by Ben Strauss for Politico Magazine: “What might seem like just a bunch of middle-aged men reliving their high school glory, has become in recent years a meaningful tribute to the painfully nostalgic notion of old-fashioned bipartisanship in an increasingly divided nation. And so while one baseball team -- this one made up of Republican Congressmen and Senators -- cowered behind fences and trees to save their lives, their ostensible opponents -- a group of Democratic lawmakers -- gathered in a dugout 10 miles away in Northeast Washington. They stood arm in arm, and prayed for their colleagues.” http://politi.co/2sviQpp
-- “Obama reaches out to Sen. Flake after shooting,” by Elana Schor: “Former President Barack Obama reached out to Sen. Jeff Flake Wednesday morning in the wake of the shooting at the GOP’s congressional baseball game practice to extend his ‘best wishes and prayers’ for the victims, the Arizona Republican said.” http://politi.co/2t4QeQM
GARRETT GRAFF in POLITICO Magazine, “How Congress Failed to Plan for Doomsday: What would happen if some crazed gunman or terrorist massacred Congress? We don’t really know—and that’s bad news for our democracy”: “One idea floated was that each member of Congress should designate his or her own list of successors in case of incapacitation—with those successors serving until either the next regular election or the member regained the ability to hold office. Several states, including Delaware and Texas, had passed similar bills during the 1950s and 1960s at the height of the Cold War to reconstitute their state legislatures following a nuclear attack. Two former House speakers, Thomas Foley and Newt Gingrich, endorsed that ‘expeditious path’ to solving the congressional continuity issue and preserving the House’s directly elected ‘legitimacy.’” http://politi.co/2rjrgfy
FOR YOUR RADAR -- “Turkish Guards Will Be Charged in Embassy Protest, Officials Say,” by NYT’s Nick Fandos: “Law enforcement officials plan to announce charges Thursday against a dozen members of the Turkish president’s security detail for their involvement in a brutal attack on protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence here last month, two American officials said on Wednesday. ... The police planned to announce the charges at a news conference on Thursday morning.” http://nyti.ms/2s3N6GE
NOT THE ONION -- “Rodman gives Kim the gift of Trump: ‘The Art of the Deal,’” by AP’s Eric Talmadge in Pyongyang: “Dennis Rodman has delivered a message from President Donald Trump to North Korea -- sort of. On Thursday, the former NBA player gave the country’s sports minister a copy of Trump’s book ‘The Art of the Deal,’ a present intended for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. It wasn’t signed by Trump, who was Rodman’s boss for two seasons of the ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ reality TV show. Rodman has said his visit has nothing to do with the White House.” http://apne.ws/2rz07EJ
MEDIAWATCH -- GABE SHERMAN in NYMag, “Fox News Is Dropping Its ‘Fair & Balanced’ Slogan”: “As Fox News moves further into the post–Roger Ailes era, the network is shedding one of its most iconic elements. According to network executives, Fox News has abandoned the marketing slogan ‘Fair & Balanced.’ ... [One] executive explained that the tagline was ‘too closely associated with Roger.’ Fox executives have been instructed by management to market the network by its other tagline: ‘Most Watched. Most Trusted.’ It is hard to overstate the significance of what shedding ‘Fair & Balanced’ means for Fox News. (It would be like the New York Times giving up ‘All the News That’s Fit to Print.’) Ailes invented the slogan when he launched the network in 1996, and over the years it became a quasi-religious doctrine among Fox’s anchors and viewers. ... In the annals of modern advertising, ‘Fair & Balanced’ will be considered a classic.” http://nym.ag/2sdxEWZ
SPOTTED last night at the Third Annual Sandy Hook Promise Gala at the Mellon Auditorium: The three co-chairs: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.). Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who were honored for the Toomey-Manchin bill and No Fly No Buy, respectively. Emcees were Sandy Hook parents Mark Barden and Nicole Hockley, who replaced Megyn Kelly after she interviewed Alex Jones, the media figure who alleges the massacre is a hoax. ALSO SPOTTED: Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Rachel Kelly, Joe Dunn, David Bonine, Cynthia Pullom, Ian Rayder, Lou Constantino, Francis Creighton, Cindy Brown, Bruce Heiman, Liz Allen and Nasim Fussell.
OUT AND ABOUT -- On the near 45th anniversary of the Watergate break-in (June 17, 1972), Steve Clemons held a discussion last night at the Watergate Hotel titled “Watergate Then and Now,” where Steve interviewed Scott Stossel, Jennifer Rubin, McKay Coppins and Thomas Mallon. SPOTTED: Rakel and Jacques Cohen, Jeff David, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Kevin Baron, Sally Quinn, Quinn Bradlee, Harris Wofford, Matthew Charlton, Yael Luttwak, James Barbour, Kathy Gilsinan, Will Hiley, Robb Harleston, Ron Christie, Neil Munro, Jed Shein, Annie Groer, David and Danielle Frum, Tomicah Tillemann, Indira Lakshmanan, Allen Abel, Kevin Chaffee, Grover Norquist, Michael Mael, Gary Silversmith, U.K. Ambassador Kim Darroch, Armanda Downes, Max Neuberger.
OUT AND ABOUT IN NYC -- The Hudson Institute Wednesday night hosted its spring reception in New York at the home of Joe and Marlene Ricketts. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley sat down with Hudson CEO Ken Weinstein for an off-the-record chat about her role as U.S. Ambassador to the UN. Haley said she told Trump “I’m not going to be a talking head or a wallflower” when he offered her the job. On Jim Mattis, she said “I think he’s the coolest guy I’ve ever met ... other than (her husband) Michael.” SPOTTED: Joe and Marlene Ricketts, Todd Ricketts, Silvie Legere, Paul Singer, BofA’s Jeffrey Peek, Annie Dickerson, Angela Meyers, Ed Cox, Deputy UN Ambassador Jon Lerner, Hudsonians Ken Weinstein, John Walters, Scooter Libby, Walter Russell Mead, Chris DeMuth
SPOTTED at a Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner party last night for new COO Lindsey Reynolds (longtime COO of the DNC) and new partners Elizabeth Sena and Kristi Lowe: Anna Greenberg, John Hagner, Al Quinlan, Lauren Dillon, Jeremy Rosner, Dan Sena, Earl Fowlkes, Jeremy Baker, and Maureen Garde.
SPOTTED Tuesday night aboard the super yacht of philanthropists John Evans and Steve Wozencraft for New America’s Bretton Woods II at Sea event where attendees discussed how to address global risks though strategic investments in social impact and development: Canada’s UN Ambassador and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s confidant Marc-Andre Blanchard, top World Bank official Aly Rahim, Bretton Woods II director Tomicah Tillemann, Facebook’s Craig Mullaney, Sovereign Investor Institute chairman Scott Kalb, Edelman’s Peter Segall, Georgetown Dean Joel Hellman, and representatives from the White House, State Department and USAID.
TRANSITIONS -- LIZ JOHNSON has joined U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as director of its office of public affairs, where she will direct the agency’s global communications efforts. She was previously the communications director for former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and most recently served as spokeswoman for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch during the Senate confirmation process. ... Jessica Jennings, formerly with the Dem Convention and HFA, is the new director of communications at the University of Maryland. She’s been working with Indivisible since their launch post-election and was previously press secretary at the British Embassy in Washington.
... Briannon Gillis has recently joined Emergent BioSolutions as PAC manager on the government affairs team. Previously she was a PAC fundraiser for Sens. Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, and Mark Udall, Reps. Paul Tonko, Matt Cartwright, Bonnie Watson-Coleman, Tom Suozzi, and Louise Slaughter, as well as finance director for Kathleen Matthews. ... Henry Darwin has been hired to serve as chief of operations for the EPA. He previously was COO for the Doug Ducey administration since August 2015. ... Julie Kearney, VP of regulatory affairs for the Consumer Technology Association, was picked yesterday as the new president of the Federal Communications Bar Association.
--“Emily’s List taps a Washington outsider as executive director,” by WaPo’s Philip Rucker: “Emily Cain, who helped lead fellow Democrats to the majority in the Maine House of Representatives in 2012, has been tapped to try to do the same for Democrats nationally at the helm of Emily’s List, which works to elect pro-choice Democratic women to offices ranging from city councils to the presidency.” http://wapo.st/2t4xW2b
WELCOME TO THE WORLD -- Becca Ginsberg Rutkoff, head of D.C. and regional communications for Google (and a birthday girl today), and Robby Rutkoff, VP for corporate social responsibility at Guggenheim Partners, welcomed their first child, Henry Langer Rutkoff late Monday night. Henry, Mom and Dad are home from the hospital and eating like champs. Picshttp://bit.ly/2sCOiSl ... http://bit.ly/2ryHOPX
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Dana Bash, CNN’s chief political correspondent. How she’s celebrating: “My birthday falls on my son’s last day of kindergarten this year. It’s a half day, which means I get to spend most of it with him. What could be better?” Read her Playbook Plus Q&A:http://politi.co/2s4msxq
BIRTHDAYS: Adam Jentleson, former deputy chief of staff for Harry Reid now senior strategic advisor at CAP Action ... Dan Schwerin (hat tip: brother Josh) ... Sarah Hurwitz (h/t Michael Kikukawa) ... Becca Ginsberg Rutkoff, Google comms. maven ... Ryan Chittum, reporter for International Consortium of Investigative Journalists ... Fox News star Marie Harf, the pride of Granville, Ohio and former senior advisor for strategic comms. to Secretary Kerry (h/t Steve Clemons) ... Alyssa Farah, comms director and senior adviser for the House Freedom Caucus, is 28 (but actually ageless) ... AP’s Evan Vucci ... Johnny Hallyday ... former House Majority Whip Tony Coelho, now an advocate for the disabled, is 75 ... ABC News digital journalist Ali Rogin is 3-0 ... Politico’s Brian Faler ... Reps. Adam Smith and Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) are both 52 ... Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) is 42 ... NYT’s Clifford Levy is 5-0 ...
... MSNBC producer William Rabbe ... Joseph Brazauskas, staff director for the subcommittee on environment for the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, is 35, celebrating by playing the Pizza Party game and Mall Madness over happy hour on Friday night with friends (h/t Kristina Baum) ... former Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kans.) is 66 ... former Rep. Tony Coelho (D-Calif.) is 75 … Jamie Greenheck, global managing director of food, beverage and ag at FleishmanHillard ... Susan Toffler, a CNN alum ... former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is 63 … Tim Wilson is 36 ... Sara Libby … Abigail Wuest ... Jana Plat ... David Dreyer … Deborah Lukovich … Sue Grady (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... former Va. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is 6-0 ... Morgan Feist ... Steven Stafford ... Karen Townsend ... Nick Luna ... Scott Monaghan is 6-0 ... Jim Belushi is 62 ... actress Helen Hunt is 54 ... Courteney Cox is 53 ... Ice Cube is 48 ... Neil Patrick Harris is 44 (h/ts AP)
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Cloaking affiliate links, the how-to. The basic process of cloaking affiliate links is simple: Create a folder from where you’ll serve your redirects. At Yoast, we use /out/. Block the /out/ folder in your robots.txt file by adding: Disallow: /out/ Use a script in your redirect folder to redirect to your affiliate URLs. Using .htaccess or the Yoast method for manually cloaking affiliate links means that you lose out on the additional features a link cloaking plugin can provide. There are several affiliate link cloaking plugins on the market, but I use the Pretty Link Pro WordPress plugin to cloak my affiliate links. Cloaking is an effective element in affiliate marketing and marketers utilize it for the following reasons: • To hide their affiliate ID and mask the long affiliate code into short and well-organized links. • Affiliate marketers have an opportunity to partner with networks which keep their interests protected. I will show you how to go around a Facebook policy by cloaking your links and how to use a marketing software that lets you place links anywhere you like. Cloak Your Links With ClickMagic First, if you ever put a regular affiliate link you know that nowadays it is automatically band. Affiliate Cloaking is a very popular term for WordPress blogging platform. It is most common practice for blogger to have affiliate links on their blog. On Crunchify we have made some changes recently on affiliate links and would like to share all steps which we performed to have nice Cloaking URL for affiliate links.

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