How the Huffington Post is changing Trump coverage; crowdsourcing anti-corruption in Nepal; and more.

  • Trump watch: Donald Trump’s call to stop allowing Muslims from entering the United States was denounced by most of the Republican field along with the chairmen of the Republican state parties in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, Yahoo Politics Jon Ward reports.
  • The one major Republican presidential candidate who has so far refused to denounce Trump’s proposal is Texas Senator Ted Cruz, whose rise in the polls in Iowa may have triggered Trump’s latest blast, as Margaret Hartmann reports for New York magazine.
  • Speaking in South Carolina, Cruz only said this about Trump’s call: “That is not my policy. I’ve introduced legislation in the Senate that would put in place a three-year moratorium on refugees coming from countries where ISIS or al Qaeda can control a substantial amount of territory.” How reasonable.
  • It is also worth noting that until Cruz’s remarks on Saturday, promising to “carpet-bomb” ISIS into “oblivion” and asserting that “I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out,” the last major American presidential candidate to suggest using nuclear weapons on one of our adversaries was Barry Goldwater, who ran in 1964. The Republican Senator from Arizona suggested using low-yield A-bombs in North Vietnam, to defoliate forests and destroy infrastructure.
  • In the wake of Trump’s latest shart on the political process, the Huffington Post’s proprietor Arianna Huffington writes that the news site will stop treating him as an “entertainment” topic (if you recall, the site’s editors had made a big deal back in July of putting coverage of his campaign in their entertainment section). Huffington didn’t mince words:

    Now that Trump, aided by the media, has doubled down on the cruelty and know-nothingness that defined his campaign’s early days, the ‘can you believe he said that?’ novelty has curdled and congealed into something repellent and threatening — laying bare a disturbing aspect of American politics. We believe that the way we cover the campaign should reflect this shift. And part of that involves never failing to remind our audience who Trump is and what his campaign really represents.

  • Our borderless world: Speaking at a private fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, former President Bill Clinton made a smart point about Trump’s desire to insulate America from the outside world by building walls and banning immigrants: “Even if Donald Trump builds his wall at the Rio Grande, the Internet will pierce it,” he said, as Gabriel Debenedetti reports for Politico.
  • Related: Could tech companies like Facebook and Twitter do more to counter how ISIS and its supporters use social media? That’s the question at the heart of Nicole Perlroth and Mike Isaac’s excellent front-page story in today’s New York Times.
  • Opining in the New York Times online, Google’s Eric Schmidt offers some interesting ideas for how to insure that the global Internet remains a force for open society: “We should make it ever easier to see the news from another country’s point of view, and understand the global consciousness free from filter or bias. We should build tools to help de-escalate tensions on social media — sort of like spell-checkers, but for hate and harassment. We should target social accounts for terrorist groups like the Islamic State, and remove videos before they spread, or help those countering terrorist messages to find their voice. Without this type of leadership from government, from citizens, from tech companies, the Internet could become a vehicle for further disaggregation of poorly built societies, and the empowerment of the wrong people, and the wrong voices.” Not clear from his oped is who “we” are and how “we” decide who “the wrong people” are.
  • Brendan Sasso reports for National Journal that the way Washington may (temporarily) quell the hot debate over encryption and national security is by creating a commission to study the problem.
  • Megan Stiles of the Campaign for Liberty warns that surveillance hawks on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in Congress are trying to push the worst provisions of both their CISA bills to President Obama’s desk before the end of the year.
  • Back to the Internet election: Ever since an obscure Southern governor named Jimmy Carter surged to national attention by winning the Iowa caucuses in 1976, the political class has treated the state as an outsized kingmaker in our crazy-long presidential selection process. But as Emma Roller writes in a smart oped for today’s New York Times, with the campaigns spending little of their money (just 3%) in Iowa, and candidates like Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum dropping out or teetering at the edge despite making strong pushes in Iowa, it now appears “voters are more likely to engage with a candidate on Facebook or Twitter than on a rope line.” This, she says, feeds a campaign process that rewards “going viral” and winning the “media primary” by being as outrageous as possible.
  • Following an online poll of its members, along with the votes of its nine state affiliates and four national organizational partners, the Working Families Party has endorsed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for president. The membership vote was 87.4% for Sanders, 11.5% for Clinton and 1.1% for Martin O’Malley. The party has not released a tally of how many people voted.
  • Democracy for America, the million-member organization that is the follow-on to Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign, has announced an online survey of its members on who it should endorse in the Democratic presidential primary.
  • Here’s Twitter’s list of the top ten political tweets (for America) of 2015.
  • Getting under Uber’s hood: Longtime labor reporter Steven Greenhouse’s in-depth feature for The American Prospect on the efforts of Uber drivers to improve their income and working conditions is a must-read. His key point: Uber has relentlessly been squeezing its drivers’ income while continuing to deny that they are employees. (Also, remember when the “gig economy” and where the presidential candidates stood on Uber seemed like a hot issue? Ah, good times.)
  • This is civic tech:Tom Steinberg’s offers a list of future digital institutions that he predicts may eventually get built by governments, building on his earlier post listing the ones that exist today.
  • Writing for Civicist, Eilis O’Neill reports on “What anti-corruption work looks like in rural Nepal.”
  • Congrats to Baratunde Thurston, Civic Hall member and longtime friend of Personal Democracy Media, who is going to be honored at SXSW Interactive 2016 by being inducted into its Hall of Fame.
  • Your moment of zen: If you need some mental floss to clear your head from is beginning to feel like Donald Trump’s daily version of 1984’s Two Minutes Hate, watch “Call to Earth: A Message from the World’s Astronauts to COP21.