Joe Biden hasn’t even announced if he will run for the 2020 Democratic nomination but that hasn’t stopped Iowans from putting him at the top of their list in a new poll.
A survey conducted by CNN, the Des moines Register and Mediacom Iowa found that 27 percent of likely Iowan Democratic caucus participants polled, put the former vice president as their first choice, giving him the highest net favorability among possible contenders, with 81 percent. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders came in second with 25 percent of those polled saying they would vote for him as their first choice.
In a distant third: uncertainty. A tenth of voters said they weren’t sure who their first choice was 20 months out from the 2020 presidential election — a higher share than those who supported another well-known senator. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren trailed in fourth with 9 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers saying she was their choice for nominee.
A comparison to the December 2018 poll from the trio shows the gap constricting between President Barack Obama’s vice president and the 77-year-old senator. Then, Biden claimed 32 percent and Sanders 19 percent of first-choice votes only three months earlier when neither — along with most other potential candidates — had declared their candidacy.
Democrats, especially moderates — in Iowa and elsewhere — are grappling with how progressive they want their 2020 candidate to be
Though Sanders gained the support of a quarter of the likely Democratic caucus-goers who responded, nearly double that many thought Sanders was too liberal — even as many of the participants in the poll supported progressive issues like Medicare-for-all, a $15 minimum wage, and tuition-free college.
That epitomizes what Sam Rosenfeld described for Vox as the growing rift in the Democratic Party. The party is moving left (in keeping with its long tradition of internal left-liberal activism), while progressive lawmakers reject the idea that they’ve been molded from the traditional Democratic liberalism:
“We have seen insurgent victories in primaries by progressives and also successful campaigns by establishment-backed moderates. All the while, the substance of the party’s agenda continues to move leftward, with both left and centrist candidates standing behind Medicare-for-all, a $15 minimum wage, and tuition-free college.”
…This is good news for the left, and history helps account for what we’re seeing. Sanders supporters and other like-minded progressives, many of them comfortable with the language of socialism and a hard-edged critique of American liberalism, typically portray themselves as a both a new and fundamentally external force in Democratic politics.
And Biden, for all his early popularity, could pose some of the same concerns for the party as Hillary Clinton did in 2016, as Vox’s Matthew Yglesias noted. The 77-year-old is a mainstream Democrat, just “like other mainstream Democrats. But what it means to be a mainstream Democrat has changed significantly since Biden entered the Senate 46 years ago.”
More importantly, Yglesias added, that decades-long political career could open Biden up to attacks from the right as well, just as Clinton’s years in the public eye gave her then-opponent Trump a treasure trove of fodder.
What brought Clinton down was public exposure not to her personality — which was sparkling enough to make her the most admired woman in America for 17 years straight before losing the claim to Michelle Obama in 2018 — but extended public scrutiny of every detail of a decades-long career in public life. This, in turn, is the exact same problem Biden will inevitably face as a presidential candidate. Americans like outsiders and fresh faces, not veteran insiders who bear the scars of every political controversy of the past two generations.
Whether the (hugely important) voters in Iowa and those around the country want a veteran lawmaker, self-identifying progressive, or new face, they will have plenty of options. As more and more Democrats enter the race, another recent poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal showed even though President Donald Trump has strong party loyalty, 48 percent of those polled said they would vote for a Democrat, compared to 41 percent who said they would vote for Trump. It’s going to be a long, uphill battle on both sides of the aisle towards November 2020.
Look at How Much “Game of Thrones” Characters Have Changed Over 8 Seasons
During the summer of 2019, the final season of Game of Thrones aired. The show had gone on for almost 10 years which is a long time not only for the characters but also for the actors who portrayed them.
Bright Side is remembering what characters looked like in the very first episodes of the groundbreaking series and is comparing them to what they look like in the final season of the show.
1. Cersei Lannister
2. Jon Snow
3. Tyrion Lannister
4. Daenerys Targaryen
5. Sansa Stark
6. Arya Stark
7. Jorah Mormont
9. Jaime Lannister
10. Sandor Clegane
11. Brienne of Tarth
12. Samwell Tarly
13. Davos Seaworth
14. Theon Greyjoy
15. Brandon Stark
Did you watch Game of Thrones? Did you enjoy season 8? Tell us in the comment section below.
Baltimore’s ransomware attack, explained – Vox
Thirteen bitcoins are standing between the city of Baltimore and many of the services and processes its citizens rely on after hackers seized thousands of government computers at the start of the month. The ordeal has been going on for two weeks, and there’s no clear end in sight.
Here’s what’s happening: On May 7, hackers digitally seized about 10,000 Baltimore government computers and demanded around $100,000 worth in bitcoins to free them back up. It’s a so-called “ransomware” attack, where hackers deploy malicious software to block access to or take over a computer system until the owner of that system pays a ransom.
Baltimore, like several other cities that have been hit by such attacks over the past two years, is refusing to pay up. As a result, for two weeks, city employees have been locked out of their email accounts and citizens have been unable to access essential services, including websites where they pay their water bills, property taxes, and parking tickets. This is Baltimore’s second ransomware attack in about 15 months: Last year, a separate attack shut down the city’s 911 system for about a day. Baltimore has come under scrutiny for its handling of both attacks.
The ransomware attacks in Baltimore and other local governments across the US demonstrate that as ransomware attacks spread, and as common targets such as hospitals and schools beef up their online systems’ security, there are still plenty targets vulnerable to this kind of hack. It also exemplifies the conundrum that ransomware victims face: pay up and get your access back, or refuse — potentially costing much more in the long run.
What’s going on in Baltimore, briefly explained
Hackers targeted the city of Baltimore on May 7 using a ransomware called RobbinHood, which, as NPR explains, makes it impossible to access a server without a digital key that only the hackers have.
The Baltimore hackers’ ransom note, obtained by the Baltimore Sun, demanded payment of three bitcoins per system to be unlocked, which amounts to 13 bitcoins to unlock all the seized systems. The note threatened to increase the ransom if it wasn’t paid in four days, and said the information would be lost forever if it wasn’t paid in 10 days. Both deadlines have now passed.
“We won’t talk more, all we know is MONEY! Hurry up! Tik Tak, Tik Tak, Tik Tak!” the note said.
The city government is refusing to pay, meaning that the government email systems and payment platforms the attack took down remain offline. The attack has also harmed Baltimore’s property market, because officials weren’t able to access systems needed to complete real estate sales. (The city said transactions resumed on Monday.)
Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, who’s officially been in his office less than a month, said in a statement on Friday that city officials are “well into the restorative process” and have “engaged leading industry cybersecurity experts who are on-site 24-7 working with us.” The FBI is also involved in the investigation.
“Some of the restoration efforts also require that we rebuild certain systems to make sure that when we restore business functions, we are doing so in a secure manner,” Young said. He did not offer a timeline for when all systems will come back online.
The Baltimore City Council president also plans to form a special committee to investigate this latest attack and try to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
A similar attack using RobbinHood hit government computers in Greenville, North Carolina, in April. A spokesperson for Greenville told the Wall Street Journal that the city never wound up paying, and that while its systems aren’t entirely restored, “all of our major technology needs are now being met.”
More than 20 municipalities in the US have been hit by cyberattacks this year alone. And such attacks can be expensive, perhaps especially if targets say they won’t pay. In 2018, hackers demanded that Atlanta pay about $50,000 in bitcoins as part of a ransomware attack. The city refused, and according to a report obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News, the attack wound up costing the city $17 million to fix.
Ransomware attacks aren’t new — but we’re still figuring out how to deal with them
In 2017, a ransomware called WannaCry targeted tens of thousands of computers using Microsoft Windows operating systems in more than 100 countries. Officials in the US and the United Kingdom eventually blamed North Korea for the attack. Also in 2017, corporations in the UK, France, Russia, Israel, and Ukraine experienced ransomware attacks. US hospitals were also targeted.
Here’s how Timothy Lee explained for Vox what was going on and how ransomware had become more prolific:
The basic idea behind ransomware is simple: A criminal hacks into your computer, scrambles your files with unbreakable encryption, and then demands that you pay for the encryption key needed to unscramble the files. If you have important files on your computer, you might be willing to pay a lot to avoid losing them.
Ransomware schemes have become a lot more effective since the invention of Bitcoin in 2009. Conventional payment networks like Visa and Mastercard make it difficult to accept payments without revealing your identity. Bitcoin makes that a lot easier. So the past four years have seen a surge in ransomware schemes striking unsuspecting PC users.
Some ransomware schemes are so sophisticated that they even invest in customer service, helping victims who want to pay their ransoms navigate the complexities of obtaining bitcoins and making bitcoin payments.
Since then, a number of sectors and organizations have made improvements to their security practices to protect against ransomware. But the latest Baltimore attack exemplifies what a whack-a-mole game this is: One area improves its practices and hackers just go looking for another.
Recode and Vox have joined forces to uncover and explain how our digital world is changing — and changing us. Subscribe to Recode podcasts to hear Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka lead the tough conversations the technology industry needs today.
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