Jul 3, 2018

Axios AM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good Tuesday morning — and happy Fourth of July eve.

1 big thing: Women organizers drive pop-up border protests

Clockwise from upper left: Amy Schumer at Saturday's New York rally (Roy Rochlin/Getty) ... Padma Lakshmi in New York (Roy Rochlin/Getty) ... Chrissy Teigen holds her baby in L.A. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty) ... Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the sunglasses of Arian Rustemi at Boston rally (Winslow Townson/AP)

Social media, online fundraising platforms and email groups have helped connect like-minded women — many of them mothers — in efforts to reunite immigrant children separated at the border, Axios' Marisa Fernandez and Kim Hart write:

  • Women are taking their children to demonstrations outside Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices, and scheduling “playdate protests" and "nurse-ins,” per Yahoo.
  • Three women from Delaware who'd never led a protest before each decided to create and organize three events to oppose the separation policy, the Wilmington News Journal reports.
  • Women from diverse backgrounds — from religious leaders to chefs — have amplified the opposition to the Trump administration's border policies.
  • They've used Facebook groups, GoFundMe campaigns and coalition websites to organize on-the-ground volunteer work, rallies and other activism.

Why it matters: The activation of these women has helped drive the speed and ferocity of the pop-up protests that have become a global phenomenon in the Trump era — starting with massive women's marches the day after the inauguration, and repeated a year later.

  • On just a few days' notice, this weekend's child separation protests drew hundreds of thousands of protesters to more than 700 marches.
  • Women voters already turn out at higher rates than men. If even more women become voters, that could easily swing elections.

The border fracas has struck a nerve with women voters:

  • In a late June Rasmussen Reports survey, women — along with voters under 40 and black voters — were the most likely to think the Trump administration is too aggressive when it comes to stopping illegal immigrants.
  • Men were more likely to blame the parents when families are separated after attempting to enter the U.S. illegally.
  • In Texas, 64% of women voters and 50% of men voters opposed the separation practice in a June University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll.
  • Among Texas Republican women voters, 42% opposed the practice and 37% supported it in the UT/Tribune poll. Among Texas Republican men voters, 30% opposed it and 56% supported it.

Meet the organizers:

  • Sarah Feinberg, 40 — a consultant, mother and former Obama official — found herself consumed by the news coming from the border and started an email thread with a few friends. Within days, the list grew to include other women who work in tech, politics, and communications. “In particular, I think women and mothers are really struggling with this,” she said.
  • Brooke Oberwetter, 39, mother of three and a public policy manager at Facebook, flew from D.C. to McAllen, Texas, in late June to volunteer at the Humanitarian Respite Center, part of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. She also created a Facebook group to match donated funds to cover costs with those volunteering and buying supplies at the border.
  • Rebecca Bell Wilson, 43, a mother of three and a management consultant in Dallas, started a GoFundMe campaign that raised $5,000 in a few days to help people at the border. She and two other Dallas moms drove nine hours to McAllen to help families just released from detention centers to shower, eat and rest before being bused elsewhere. She plans to return in a few weeks.

P.S. Lead of WashPost Style section, "Summer of our discontent ... ‘This is not a normal time’: A mad hot summer in the capital of the resistance ... As the mercury and the humidity have risen, so too have the actions of activists who are pushing back against the Trump administration," by Dan Zak.

2. All the ways to hack an election

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Americans vote in 50 different state-run elections — all vulnerable to hacking. Axios' Shannon Vavra counts the potential points of failure:

  • Registration interfaces: When people enter their voter registration information online, any vulnerability on users' devices could expose the information they enter to bad actors.
  • Voter registration databases: No firewall is foolproof.
  • Electronic poll books: E-poll books are the electronic version of the books of voter records that poll workers refer to on Election Day at voting locations. In some instances, e-poll books can send live updates back to the county or state offices using active network connections. If the security on those networks fails, the information could be exposed.
  • Printed poll books: Third-party printers can have bad security protocols.
  • Voting machines: Hackers have demonstrated that any voting machine with wireless connectivity or a USB port can be accessed in about 90 minutes.
  • Electronic vote tabulation: Flash drives, email and internet transfer can all expose data to tampering.
  • Optical scan vote tabulation: Scanners often tabulate paper records of votes, like a standardized test. The scanners may be rented from third-party vendors, exposing them to tampering.
  • Absence of paper trails: In five states there is no paper records of votes, and in nine others the paper record is spotty.

And don't forget: human error, confusion, and doubt.

3. Boys could be in Thailand cave for months
Thai Navy Seal via AP

"Twelve boys and their [soccer] coach trapped in a Thai cave are alive, but will need to learn to dive or wait months for flooding to recede before they can get out, the army says," per BBC:

  • "The group had been missing for nine days before they were found by divers late on Monday on a small dry ledge."
  • "Rescuers are now battling rising water to bring more supplies to the group."
  • "They may need to have food sent in for at least the next four months, according to the military."
  • "Attempts were being made to install power and telephone lines inside the cave to let the boys speak with their parents."

The predicament, from AP: "More monsoon rains are on the way. ... Such storms could raise water levels in the cave again and complicate the supply missions or any potential extrication."

  • "Diving would be the fastest, but arguably most dangerous, extraction method. ... Experts in caving and diving needed days to reach the boys. Getting the boys out could go faster due to the installation of dive lines, extra oxygen tanks left along the way and glow sticks lighting the path."
4. Feds v. Facebook

"A federal investigation into Facebook’s sharing of data with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica has broadened to focus on the actions and statements of the tech giant and now involves multiple agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission," the WashPost reports.

  • "The questioning from federal investigators centers on what Facebook knew three years ago and why the company didn’t reveal it at the time to its users or investors, as well as any discrepancies in more recent accounts."
  • "The Capitol Hill testimony of Facebook officials, including Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, also is being scrutinized."

Facebook confirms to me that four agencies (FBI, DOJ, SEC, FTC) have asked questions, and the company is providing responses.

  • A Facebook spokesman: “We are cooperating with officials in the U.S., U.K. and beyond. We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged to continue our assistance as their work continues.”
5. Tech’s "dirty secret"

"The App Developers Sifting Through Your Gmail … Software developers scan hundreds of millions of emails of users who sign up for email-based services," The Wall Street Journal's Douglas MacMillan reports (subscription):

  • "[Google] continues to let hundreds of outside software developers scan the inboxes of millions of Gmail users who signed up for email-based services offering shopping price comparisons, automated travel-itinerary planners or other tools."
  • "Google does little to police those developers, who train their computers — and, in some cases, employees — to read their users’ emails."
  • "Google doesn’t disclose how many apps have access to Gmail. … Almost anyone can build an app that connects to Gmail accounts using Google’s software called an application programming interface, or API."
  • "With Gmail, the developers who get this access range from one-person startups to large corporations, and their processes for protecting data privacy vary."
6. Tweets du jour

The official White House account yesterday attacked two women senators who may run against President Trump in 2020:

7. Out of the shredder
Courtesy BuzzFeed

"[T]he Department of Justice announced this month that investigators had pieced together records found in a shredder belonging to the president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen," BuzzFeed's Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier write:

  • "Now, BuzzFeed News has obtained documents reconstructed by the FBI."
  • "Rebuilt from thin strips of paper, the shredded records are sometimes difficult to comprehend. One page doesn’t include full words and is a jumble of numbers, letters, and bar codes. One document appears to be part of an envelope. There are fragments of handwritten notes. There is an invitation to a reception in Miami to meet with business representatives from Qatar."

See the reconstructed documents.

Courtesy BuzzFeed
8. Bite of the day

Vindicating the market-rattling reporting of Jonathan Swan, President Trump yesterday warned the World Trade Organization that "we’ll be doing something" if the U.S. isn't treated properly.

  • Reuters: "Trump, speaking to reporters during a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the White House, said, 'The WTO has treated the United States very, very badly and I hope they change their ways.'"

Another stunner in Trump's war on allies:

  • "President Trump has written sharply worded letters to the leaders of several NATO allies — including Germany, Belgium, Norway and Canada — taking them to task for spending too little on their own defense and warning that the United States is losing patience," the N.Y. Times' Julie Davis reports.
  • "The letters, sent in June, are the latest sign of acrimony between Mr. Trump and American allies as he heads to a NATO summit meeting next week in Brussels."
9. Stat du jour

"The Trump administration is making inroads into ... reducing legal immigration," the WashPost reports:

  • "The number of people receiving visas to move permanently to the United States is on pace to drop 12 percent in President Trump’s first two years in office, according to a Washington Post analysis of State Department data."
  • "Among the most affected are the Muslim-majority countries on the president’s travel ban list — Yemen, Syria, Iran, Libya and Somalia — where the number of new arrivals to the United States is heading toward an 81 percent drop by Sept. 30, the end of the second fiscal year under Trump."
10. 1 doc thing
 Fotos International/Getty Images

"Breakout Docs: How Mister Rogers, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Identical Triplets Became Box Office Stars," by Variety's Rebecca Rubin:

  • "This summer has been especially rewarding for documentaries. 'Three Identical Strangers' comes on the heels of a pair of sleeper hits, 'RBG' and 'Won’t You Be My Neighbor.'"
  • "It’s a rare summer where one documentary has already crossed the $10 million mark and a second non-fiction film is close behind. It’s even possible 'Three Identical Strangers' could complete the trifecta."
  • Why it matters: "In a news cycle that seems to be perpetually depressing, all signs point to escapism in explaining the box office surge. These films focus on a different kind of counterprogramming, one where hope, sincerity, and reassurance are at the forefront."
Mike Allen

Thanks for reading. We'll have updates throughout the holiday on Axios.com.