Episode 151: Scott Adams Doesn’t Know Why Putin Would Meddle in our Election

Topics: 

  • President Trump removed Putin’s reasons for messing with us in the future
  • Michael Cohen taped conversation with Trump
  • CNN discussing Putin’s offer to interview our former diplomat
  • Harnessing flying unicorn energy

 

I fund my Periscopes and podcasts via audience micro-donations on Patreon. I prefer this method over accepting advertisements or working for a “boss” somewhere because it keeps my voice independent. No one owns me, and that is rare. I’m trying in my own way to make the world a better place, and your contributions help me stay inspired to do that.

See all of my Periscope videos here.

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The post Episode 151: Scott Adams Doesn’t Know Why Putin Would Meddle in our Election appeared first on Dilbert Blog.


Dilbert Blog

Michael Moore’s documentary about Trump’s election gets September release date

Michael Moore’s forthcoming documentary about President Donald Trump will be released in September.


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Cornel West and Susan Neiman: Race and Religion in the Presidential Election – Cornel West

Cornel West - Cornel West and Susan Neiman: Race and Religion in the Presidential Election  artwork

Cornel West and Susan Neiman: Race and Religion in the Presidential Election

Cornel West

Genre: Arts & Entertainment

Price: $ 1.95

Publish Date: March 3, 2009

© ℗ © 2009 92nd Street Y

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Episode 56: New CNN Midterm Election Poll

  • Generic Republican vs Democrat candidate poll results
  • Dale’s salty tears, midterms election eve

I fund my Periscopes and podcasts via audience micro-donations on Patreon. I prefer this method over accepting advertisements or working for a “boss” somewhere because it keeps my voice independent. No one owns me, and that is rare. I’m trying in my own way to make the world a better place, and your contributions help me stay inspired to do that.

See all of my Periscope videos here.

For persuasion-related content in book form, see my bestselling book, Win Bigly.

 

The post Episode 56: New CNN Midterm Election Poll appeared first on Dilbert Blog.


Dilbert Blog

Secretary of State John Kerry Knows What A Messy Election Feels Like

When WIRED sat down with the United States Secretary of State John Kerry right after the second Presidential debate, he shared a few thoughts on what it’s like to run for President.
WIRED Videos

Episode 103: Budget deficits, The Wall funding, and midterm election prediction

How big can the national debt get before it matters? Does anyone know?

Why would anyone fund the entire $ 25 billion wall when it makes more sense to do a $ 1 billion segment and judge its effectiveness and cost before making a decision on the rest?

I update my midterm election prediction.

The post Episode 103: Budget deficits, The Wall funding, and midterm election prediction appeared first on Dilbert Blog.


Dilbert Blog

Election Update; iPhone 7; Dana Priest – Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, John Heilemann, Henry Blodget, Steven Levy, Nicholas Thompson, Geoffrey Fowler & Dana Priest

Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, John Heilemann, Henry Blodget, Steven Levy, Nicholas Thompson, Geoffrey Fowler & Dana Priest - Election Update; iPhone 7; Dana Priest  artwork

Election Update; iPhone 7; Dana Priest

Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, John Heilemann, Henry Blodget, Steven Levy, Nicholas Thompson, Geoffrey Fowler & Dana Priest

Genre: Arts & Entertainment

Price: $ 4.95

Publish Date: September 7, 2016

© ℗ © 2016 The Charlie Rose Show

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Julie Mehretu Started Her Majestic New Paintings Right After The Election

Julie Mehretu layers Western landscapes with images of riots, shootings, and mass protests with a new commission for San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
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The Purge: Election Year – James DeMonaco

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The Purge: Election Year

James DeMonaco

Genre: Horror

Price: $ 4.99

Release Date: July 1, 2016


It has been two years since Leo Barnes (FRANK GRILLO) stopped himself from a regrettable act of revenge on Purge Night — the 12 hours of lawlessness. This year, the annual ritual comes at the eve of a heated presidential election with the nation deeply divided between those who are pro— and anti—Purge. As head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (ELIZABETH MITCHELL), Leo's mission is to protect her during her controversial and contested run for president. But when a betrayal forces them onto the streets of Washington, D.C. on the one night when no help is available, they must stay alive or both be sacrificed for their sins against the state.

© © 2016 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

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How “Confident” are Intelligence Agencies that Russia Interfered with the Election?

Remember when all seventeen intelligence agencies agreed that Russia interfered with our elections?

Turns out it was only four.

Do you know how you get four agencies to agree on something of this nature? It’s easy. One publishes an opinion and the other three loyal agencies assume it is credible, so they support it. Do they all do independent investigations?

I kinda doubt it.

Based on my experience on this planet, probably one intelligence agency out of seventeen investigated and told the others they did a great job of it. Still, you can’t ignore even one intelligence agency that did an investigation and is totally positive Russian interfered with the election. That’s still credible information.

Wait, did I say “totally positive”? Here’s a quote from CIA Director Mike Pompeo from this past week: "I am confident that the Russians meddled in this election, as is the entire intelligence community.“ 

Is confident the same as totally positive? And are “the Russians” the same as Putin?

Personally, I use the word “confident” when I’m not 100% sure, when I think the evidence all points one way. Coincidentally, that is exactly what confirmation bias looks like too – all the signs point in the same direction. They just happen to be false signs. And it seems to me that a good non-Russian hacker could make a hack look like it came from anywhere.

A related thought is that real Russian government hackers wouldn’t have gotten caught. But that might underestimate our capacity to track this sort of thing.

But wait, if we can track this sort of thing and know who did it, using our secret methods, doesn’t that mean we are 100% positive? That’s different than being confident.

A few months ago, seventeen intelligence agencies knew for sure that the Russian government interfered in the election. Today, I’m guessing just one of them looked at the information in any detail. And we don’t know how well they can identify this sort of thing. They won’t tell us. For good reasons.

The intel agencies (or agency) didn’t convince the President of the United States that Russia interfered with the election, and the president would have access to all of the secret spy methods to convince himself they really know what they know. 

It is entirely possible that our intelligence agencies know Russia interfered with our elections. But they packaged it exactly like a bunch of lying weasels who are simply hoping they are right. I hope that’s just bad brand management and nothing worse.

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Scott Adams’ Blog

Russia Hacked our Election! (So what?)

I see a consensus forming that Russia attempted to influence our election with fake news and other social media shenanigans. 

But why?

If you start with the assumption that Russia is an enemy of the United States, you probably assume they do bad things to us simply to weaken our power and effectiveness. For example, this article hypothesizes that Russia’s intention was to breed distrust between whoever became president and our intelligence services. I guess that hypothesis sort-of-almost makes sense. But I wouldn’t say it passes my personal sniff test.

Then there’s the more popular theory that the Russians were colluding with the Trump campaign because Putin thought he could somehow control President Trump via blackmail, or business ties, or something else we’re imagining. I guess that could be true. Sort of. But that doesn’t pass my sniff test either.

Then there’s the hypothesis that Russia was messing with our democratic system to weaken the country by sowing distrust about the election process, or possibly by electing a president they believed would be less effective. But I have a hard time believing the Russians thought Trump would be ineffective. Maybe they just thought he would be divisive, and perhaps they thought that’s good for Russia in some way.

I suppose any one of the versions of reality I described could be true. But my brain has to work hard to make sense of any of those explanations. The pieces fit, but only when I hammer them. That raises a red flag for confirmation bias. 

Just for fun, let’s compare the standard explanations for Russia’s alleged influence on the election with two other hypotheses.

Hackers and Misdirection

As Putin accurately pointed out in a recent interview, hackers can make their attacks seem to come from other sources, including Russia. I assume there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Trump-supporting Americans with the skills to hack poorly-secured servers. Even if you assume Putin wanted to hack American servers, he would have needed to get in line to do it. Given all the American hackers who opposed Hillary Clinton, there is perhaps a one-in-a-hundred chance Putin’s hackers (if they exist) got to the DNC and Clinton’s servers before the hordes of non-Russian hackers did it. So even if Putin tried, the odds are low that his team got to the good stuff first. 

But that’s just the hacking allegation. The “influence” goes further than that, including fake news and other social media shenanigans.

Fake News and Social Media Shenanigans

Let’s say Russia did attempt to influence American voters to support Trump. The first question I have to ask is this: Aren’t all the big countries trying to influence elections in all the other countries, all the time? If Russia did try to influence an American election, wouldn’t that be business as usual? Do we imagine the United States is NOT trying to influence foreign elections through our own fake news and social media manipulations? I always assumed we do that sort of thing. I base that assumption on the following observation about human beings:

If the payoff for bad behavior is high, and the odds of getting caught and punished are low, bad behavior happens every time.

That describes the situation with influencing foreign elections. The payoff is high (potentially) and one assumes the major intelligence agencies know how to avoid getting fingered. Whenever you have this sort of situation, you always have mischief. 

But let’s get back to Russia’s presumed payoff for somehow destabilizing the United States. I think we need to check that assumption because Putin seems like a smart guy. It’s hard for me to believe he thinks he would come out ahead by destabilizing the world’s most important military and economic power. And that is doubly true when you are teaming with that country to fight ISIS, put a cap on North Korea, and keep the economy chugging along. It’s hard for me to imagine a scenario in 2017 in which Russia gains by poking America with a sharp stick. The probable outcome seems more bad than good. Who wants a pissed-off nuclear superpower looking in your direction? It doesn’t pass the sniff test. If Putin were an idiot, I could see him wanting to cause this sort of trouble just because he was dumb.

Putin isn’t dumb.

Global Democracy Hypothesis

I’d like to introduce a new hypothesis to explain why Russia might have wanted to influence American elections: They believed a Hillary Clinton presidency would be a disaster to the world, including Russia.

We’ve been brainwashed by the media and our own government to believe Russia always acts against our interests. I think it would be more accurate to assume Russia always acts in its own best interest, and that can sometimes be in conflict with our interests.

But not always. 

There is no rule that says Russia’s best interests have to diverge from America’s. For example, both countries want to defeat ISIS. Both countries prefer a non-nuclear North Korea. Both countries prefer robust trade. And so on.

As a thought experiment, imagine the United States watching some other country’s election process while believing one of the main candidates would be a disaster for the world, including the United States. Would our intelligence services try to influence that election, even if it was a NATO country?

Of course they would. At least I hope so. 

But something much larger than government-on-government influence is happening, and I’d like to call that out in this post. We keep talking about physical border security, but what about influence security? Any country with widespread Internet access is susceptible to the same kind of fake news and other social media influence that we suspect Russia of doing. And every citizen can play this game. For example, if I were highly motivated to influence an election in Great Britain, I’m sure I could move a few thousand votes in any direction I chose. Could it be said in that case that America is trying to manipulate a foreign election? Yes, unambiguously so. And I believe it is totally legal, even if I use fake news as my persuasion.

From 2017 onward, the democratic process in any country is open to “voting” by the entire world. The foreign “votes” will come in the form of social media influence on the local voters. There is no practical way to stop any of that from happening. And that means political power will migrate from the traditional triumvirate of politicians, rich people, and the media, to individual persuaders who are good at it. In 2017 and beyond, the best persuaders in the world will be influencing democratic elections in every country. And those persuaders will be from anywhere on the globe. Borders can’t stop persuasion.

While you were watching the news coverage about physical borders between countries, and physical immigration, the democratic process in each country became global. We can (and do) influence politics across borders now, bigly. And fake news is part of the soup, unfortunately.

Did Putin or other Russian nationals try to influence American elections? I assume so. I also assume America has done the same – in terms of influence on their local politics – to Russia, and to every one of our allies. 

And if we aren’t doing that sort of thing, why the hell not? Voting is open across borders now. We would be wise to vote in those other countries. That’s what Russia did. Allegedly.

You might enjoy reading my book because Russia. (See video review here)

I’m also on…

Twitter (includes Periscope): @scottadamssays​

YouTube: At this link.

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Scott Adams’ Blog

Bill Cosby — D.A. Election Makes Prosecution More Likely

Voters in a Philadelphia suburb have spoken and made Bill Cosby a bigger target for prosecution. Kevin Steele was just elected District Attorney of Montgomery County, where an investigation has been reopened in connection with claims made by Andrea…

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TMZ Celebrity News for Stars In Heat


Thirteen Months Out from The Election, The Sexism Card Is Already Being Played

Twice in the past week, charges of sexism have been fired at the Bernie Sanders campaign—are we at that stage of the race already? First there was Hillary Clinton jumping on Bernie Sanders' debate remark…


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How Donald Trump Wins the Election (No Joke)

Don’t laugh. It’s not only possible, it’s probable. First of all, let us qualify our opening statement by noting that Trump doesn’t actually win the election for himself. Please, that’s not going to happen. Granted, we might have been gullible enough to include Sarah Palin as the vice-presidential candidate on the McCain ticket, but we ain’t stupid enough to elect a glorified frat boy as president.

But what Trump does do is win the damn election for one of his fellow Republicans — a Republican who, had Trump not been in the field, would have stood no chance against Hillary Clinton — and that little stunt is going to spell doom for us lifelong Democrats.

How it happens can be explained in two words: “Trump fatigue.”

Consider: The very things that have propelled Trump to the top of the polls (i.e., his refreshing candor, his no-nonsense approach to politics, his constant reminder that he’s too wealthy to be bought, and his tough talk about being a preternaturally accomplished “deal maker,” which is how he became so rich) will be the things that sink him.

Why? Simple: We will eventually tire of him. We will tire of Trump the same way a person tires of being served only dessert for dinner. The same way we tire of repetitious TV commercials. Because the man has no understanding of the basic policies and issues facing him — much less the remotest idea of how to address them — all he can do is spout generalities and provocative slogans.

And as this shortcoming becomes increasingly apparent, it will eventually lead to the Republicans reaching out for some “adult supervision,” and that “adult” will be Marco Rubio. He’s vaguely Kennedyesque; he’s got the hair, he’s got the ethnicity; he’s got Florida’s electoral votes, and he’s got the self-discipline not to shoot himself in the foot — which is why the “adult” won’t be the hapless Jeb Bush.

The beauty of Trump handing over the reins to Rubio lies in the public’s short attention span and its overwhelming willingness to switch to a fresh horse. By the time Rubio dashes to the front of the pack, Hillary will be seen to suffer from an affliction similar to Trump’s: “Hillary Fatigue.” Although it’s no fault of her own, she’s been in the spotlight too long.

Alas, it’s all in the timing and the presentation. Just as we finally choke (and eventually puke) on the narcissistic absurdity of Trump’s traveling carnival act, we’re going to be cloyed by seeing Hillary everywhere. Again, while it’s not her fault, being constantly presented as the Democrat’s presumptive nominee is not only going to work to her detriment, it’s going to open the door to a later arrival, some fresh face who hasn’t already worn out their welcome.

Rubio is biding his time. He will make his move when the timing is right, after the new year, after Trump has become yesterday’s news, and after we’ve all gotten used to Hillary’s line of rhetoric. Trump get Rubio elected. Get ready for the pain.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Recap: The Second Republican Debate of The 2016 Presidential Election

Things are a little different the second time around. Carly Fiorina is up on the main stage. The backdrop is Ronald Reagan's retired Air Force One. (Yes, the actual plane.) Trump is no longer hoarding…


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Hillary Clinton Wins the Fashion Vote, and More Election 2016 Scoop

Each week, as a part of Glamour’s The 51 Million coverage, we'll be bringing you a roundup of the most thoughtful and influential 2016 election stories from our fellow female journalists. From excellent interviews to…


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Carly Fiorina Takes On Donald Trump, And More Must-Read Election News

Each week, as a part of Glamour’s The 51 Million coverage, we'll be bringing you a roundup of the most thoughtful and influential 2016 election stories from our fellow female journalists. From excellent interviews to…


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“Netflix Tax” Becomes Hot Button Issue in Canadian Election


Prime minister Stephen Harper used Twitter to allege opposition parties were eyeing a digital download levy, a charge quickly denied.

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International

Recap: The First Republican Debate of Election 2016

Tonight at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, 10 Republicans who've declared their candidacy for the office of president gathered for the first primary debate of the 2016 election season. Here's who took to…


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Silly Musings on an Even Sillier Presidential Election Spectacle

As we enter the 2016 presidential election silly season, what was once the GOP presidential candidates “Clown Car” has now grown into an oversized, overladen, over ripe “Clown Bus” packed with characters trying to attract the voters’ attention by competing to see who can offend the most people the most with their dog whistles and red meat “rallying cries.”

This writer has decided to join the silly season with a silly piece on these silly people’s silly slogans.

Readers beware. Should you decide to get off the clown bus, this may be your last chance.

Here we go:

When former Florida governor Jeb Bush announced his GOP candidacy for president, much of the attention was on the name/logo he chose to run under.

Rather than to run as Jeb Bush, he chose to run simply as Jeb!

The scuttlebutt is that Jeb Bush wants voters to forget and forgive that he is the brother of that other Bush and part of a passé dynasty.

Thus, GOP presidential candidate John Ellis “Jeb” Bush chose Jeb! from among a dozen possible name permutations.

Adding that exclamation point was brilliant. So emphatic! So definitive! Nothing more to follow — ergo nothing more to be embarrassed about!

But Jeb is not the only presidential candidate trying to put some distance between himself and his or her family legacy.

Two other dynasty candidates have omitted their last names from their campaign logos: Hillary and Rand.

It appears to this writer with a lot of time on his hands and with a lot chimeras in his head that it would be neat to figure out — if they had to pick a one-word logo — what names the candidates would pick to run under, or run from.

We have already discussed Jeb!

Let us look at Christopher James “Chris” Christie.

He has a problem.

Christie! would remind too many of New Jersey Governor Christie’s role in the “Bridgegate” scandal.

Christopher and Chris sound too much like Christie. So that leaves only James or, better, Jim!, short, slim and anonymous.

How about Michael Dale “Mike” Huckabee?

Huckabee! sounds too much like Wannabe!, so that is out.

Michael or Mike sound a little bit blah.

Dale does not go with the prestige and divinity of an ordained Southern Baptist minister.

That leaves only Huck! Strong and macho sounding — should certainly attract those women who “cannot control their libido.”

What does one do with Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz?

Born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban-born father who was later naturalized, he certainly doesn’t want a logo that would rekindle the “birther” specter that was so abundantly evoked with Barack Obama.

The Latino vote could be a problem for him. However, Cruz could solve it in the same way he handles campaign ads directed at Spanish-speaking votersen español, claro! — do not have a single word about immigration, rather about “fe, libertad, y oportunidad.”

The ads beamed at “real Americans” Americans excoriate President Obama’s executive action on immigration.

Following this “business model,” the Hispanic logo could be “Eduardo Rafael Cruz” and the logo for real Americans “Edward Ted Cruz,” or simply, Eduardo! and Ted!, respectively.

On second thought, since Cruz “salutes” the prejudiced ground Trump walks on, how about a CruzTrump! ticket.

Talking about Donald John Trump, Sr., he faces similar challenges courting the “some” Mexican-Americans who he assumes “are good people.”

Trump! sounds too much like himself and like chump, frump, rump, grump, or the dumps he is receiving from NBC, Univision, Macy’s, Serta, NASCAR, etc.

Donald! might fittingly remind voters of a sideshow comic book character.

Regrettably, Trump doesn’t have the initial “C” in his name, as Coiffe! would have been perfect.

But wait, proud Hispanics have already suggested a logo for Trump: ¡Pendejo! although the leading “upside-down” exclamation mark could pose a problem for Trump’s Anglo-Saxon keyboards.

Then there is Piyush “Bobby” Jindal.

Piyush! Nah! Pronunciations will be hard to predict and could “spell” trouble.

Jindal! Too close to jingle, jingo…Jindal.

Bobby! would needlessly risk comparisons with that great (Democratic) Bobby.

#AskBobby? Nah, that was a miserable failure.

Ditching the one-word logo rule, “Les Bon Temps Bobby” would be just fine.

Now we come to Lindsey Olin Graham.

Lindsey sounds too feminine and, when combined with Olin, well, you get linseed oil. So, I guess Graham! it is, but without the crackers.

What does one do with James Richard “Rick” Perry?

James! or Jim! are already taken. Rick! Is reserved for Rick Santorum, below.

Ooops! might be great for brand recognition but for nothing else.

Cheating a little bit and running his three names together, we get JamesRichardPerry!

With such a three-word slogan, the former presidential candidate will hopefully remember at least two of the three slogan parts.

Dr. Randal Howard “Rand” Paul has a double-edged problem.

He has to be careful to both separate himself from his father’s (Ron Paul) legacy and not to be confused with Paul Ryan.

Howard! Is a possibility, but that could remind many of “the scream.”

That leaves Rand! Which, as St. Ridley Santos at the Powder Room writes, would “trade off the cultural cache of another Rand – Ayn Rand.”

Cara Carleton “Carly” Fiorina is the only female Republican presidential candidate thus far. If successful in the primaries she may have to run against Hillary!

Fiorina! sounds flowery and feminine enough to capture some of that female vote she’ll need, chauvinistic as it all may sound and be.

Marco Antonio Rubio

Marco! would readily remind voters of the game “Marco Polo” traditionally played in a swimming pool, which is filled with water, which would bring back painful, thirst-filled memories of Rubio’s “water bottle-gate” moment.

Rubio!? Marco is not blond.

That leaves Antonio! Latinos would love the link to Marco Antonio Solis’ beautiful songs and music.

No, not Tony!

Richard John “Rick” Santorum

After last election’s embarrassing controversy with “Santorum,” Richard! John! Rick! — anything but Santorum!

Finally, we come to a group of candidates without much name recognition:

Benjamin Solomon “Ben” Carson, Sr.

George Elmer Pataki

John Richard Kasich

Scott Kevin Walker

Solomon! Elmer! Dick! And Kevin! are out.

So, let’s see how Ben! Pataki! Kasich! and Walker! play out this silly season.

That’s all folks. Now back to the real world of even sillier silliness.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Comedy – The Huffington Post
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BagSnob Tina Craig Weighs In on the Importance of the It Bag of 2015 Election

it-bags

If there is one person whom you can liken to a Birkin-size encyclopedia, it is Tina Craig. Her Instagram @BagSnob, has more than 140,000 followers who revel in her enormous collection of luxury totes, carryalls, and top-handled ladylike carriers (think Hermès, Céline, and Nina Ricci) daily. As for her site, snobessentials.com, it’s another multicolored python, smooth nappa leather, and quilted mecca for all things purse, wallet, and clutch. Who better, then, to weigh in on the It Bag of 2015 elections and the importance of the It bag, than the ultimate BagSnob herself? Here, take a look at the crocodile-embossed words of Craig below.

 

 

The return of the It bag is thanks, in large part, to street style and social media. Whereas it used to take months, even years for one to catch on and gain It status—or to air on Sex and the City—it can now take mere days (power to the streets!). Even still, we don’t all always have a say in which style makes it to the top of the charts, which is why it’s so exciting that Vogue is giving everyone the chance to make their favorite known! After all, a fabulous bag is the great fashion equalizer, something that can be had no matter your size, ethnicity—or even gender for that matter.

You heard her: Get out there and vote. There are only a few hours left to change history!

Vote here.

Still figuring out which bag to vote for? Kevin Tadge’s video for the Fendi Micro Peekaboo bag may help you decide:

The post BagSnob Tina Craig Weighs In on the Importance of the It Bag of 2015 Election appeared first on Vogue.

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What Bollywood Stars Are Saying About The Indian Election

NEW DELHI — When the hashtag #BollywoodSplit started trending recently on Twitter, people might have assumed it referred to the romantic woes of India’s glamorous movie stars.

But it was a split of a different kind that had electrified the Hindi movie industry — one involving politics.
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