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Washington Post: Post Reports Podcast for 29 July 2019 – Trump upends U.S. intel agencies with spy-chief pick + a few observations


In this edition of Post Reports

Shane Harris unpacks the state of the intelligence community amid the departure of spy chief Daniel Coats. Plus, Shibani Mahtani visits a Philippine troll farm that’s transforming discourse online, and Rick Maese on how rising temperatures affect athletes

But before we get to the podcast an opinion on Ratcliffe’s potential appointment from Senator Ron Wyden (D -Ore) who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee

I wrote a rather lengthy post yesterday highlighting my concerns, but I will quote part of it here

Any concerned American citizen whether Democrat, Independent or Republican, Left, Centre or Right who believes in your Constitution, the American Dream and the Rule of Law and adherence to their oaths of office should be very concerned for the future of America, it’s people and it’s role in the world.

As an overseas observer who has spent much time in the USA I despair at what is happening.

It looks like Ratcliffe will be another brick in the wall

Mike Luckovich -Atlanta Journal Courier – 15052019 -captured this perfectly


Now for the podcast

In this episode

Why Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was a ‘dead man walking’
Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Tex.), a third-term congressman, has been tapped by the president to replace Daniel Coats as director of national intelligence next month. 
Coats’s resignation comes after several public disagreements with the president on his meetings with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and other national security threats. Meanwhile, his would-be successor has made a name in Congress as one of the Republican Party’s most dogged critics of perceived anti-Trump bias at the FBI and in the special counsel’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s Russia ties. 
“Any intelligence chief has to be able to look the president in the eyes and say, ‘This is what’s happening when it comes to threat X, Y, and Z,’ ” intelligence reporter Shane Harris says. His willingness to do that will be of interest to senators at his confirmation hearing.
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The surge of troll farms in the Philippines
Across the Philippines, there’s a virtual free-for-all in the use of Internet trolls to spread divisive messages – about companies, celebrities and politicians on both sides. 
Newly harnessed by established PR firms, these trolls have become a powerful force in altering the political landscape of the Philippines, shielded by politicians who refuse to legislate against them because of their influence over corporate and political campaigns worldwide.
“It’s become so widespread that politicians on all sides of the aisle, even liberal politicians who have themselves been victims of these practices, are turning to these services simply to get elected,” says reporter Shibani Mahtani.
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Game changer: ‘Running with the Devil’
A desert race in the Mojave serves as a preview of what precautions athletes and organizers may need to take to deal with Earth’s rising temperatures. Climatologists predict increasingly oppressive conditions, says sports reporter Rick Maese
He’s been reporting on how the changing climate is transforming the world of sports and its extreme athletes and says, “The sports world needs to start readying itself.” 
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