Liberal News

  • Reporters Should Stop Helping Donald Trump Spread Lies About Joe Biden and Ukraine
    by Robert Mackey on September 23, 2019 at 01:23

    By reporting on a conspiracy theory promoted by the president as a political story, with two sides, journalists are helping to weaponize disinformation. The post Reporters Should Stop Helping Donald Trump Spread Lies About Joe Biden and Ukraine appeared first on The Intercept.

  • Jake Tapper Shows Why Trump’s Ukraine Attack On Biden Will Backfire
    by Jason Easley on September 22, 2019 at 23:39

    Steve Mnuchin tried to defend Trump Ukraine attack on Biden only to have CNN’s Jake Tapper blows holes in Trump plan by pointing out that Trump and his kids do the same thing.

  • GOP Lawmakers Are Retiring in Droves. Trump Is Partly to Blame.
    by Edwin Rios on September 22, 2019 at 23:10

    Since Donald Trump took office in January 2017, Republican lawmakers have left the House of Representatives in droves. A Washington Post analysis found that 40 percent of the 241 Republicans who have been in office since January 2017 have departed or retired. Forty-one have announced they wouldn’t seek reelection or left national politics altogether since

  • Joy Reid Destroys NYT Over Reprising 2016 ‘Both Sides’ BS With Biden And Ukraine
    by Aliza Worthington on September 22, 2019 at 23:07

    Gee, it’s almost like The New York Times hasn’t learned the lessons of 2016, or maybe it doesn’t care to. One of their top reporters, Ken Vogel, is on the airwaves trying his hardest to revive his story about Joe Biden’s son Hunter doing something improper or corrupt by way of business dealings in Ukraine, and turn that into something that can be used against not-the-same-person-as-Hunter-Biden, Democratic candidate for president, Joe Biden. Myriad problems surround this, not the least of which is the level of importance they afford it in their coverage, but also the fact that the story has been investigated and debunked. Joy Reid and Eric Boehlert had a brilliant segment on AM Joy this morning taking apart the methods and madness of the media’s pathological impulse to scratch the “Both Sides” itch, at the expense of the gaping wounds it creates in our mor

  • Ukrainian Journalist Calls Rudy Giuliani’s Bluff After Smear: ‘I Express My Readiness To Testify’
    by David on September 22, 2019 at 22:33

    A Ukrainian journalist said on Sunday that he would be willing to testify to Congress against President Donald Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani. After Giuliani unleashed a bizarre rant on CNN accusing Democrats of trying to get help from Ukraine in the 2016 election, Ukrainian journalist Serhiy Leshchenko wrote an op-ed exposing the accusation as a lie. In his op-ed, Leshchenko explains: Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the Manafort revelations would become fodder for the U.S. elections in 2020. President Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, the mouthpiece of this campaign, is not only attempting to rehabilitate Manafort but is also working to undermine U.S. relations with Ukraine, which has been confronting Russian aggression on its own for more than five years. Giuliani and his associates are trying to drag our newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, into a conflict between two foreign political parties, drastically limiting Ukraine’s room for maneuver in respect to the United States, perhaps its most important international partner. […]read mor

  • Trump: Sure, I Did It. So What?
    by Kevin Drum on September 22, 2019 at 21:57

    We are entering the inevitable end stage of Ukrainegate: President Trump acknowledged on Sunday that he discussed former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. with Ukraine’s president….While Mr. Trump defended his July phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine as perfectly appropriate, he confirmed that Mr. Biden came up during the discussion. I had

  • Democrats To Pursue Law Change So Trump Can Be Indicted In Office
    by Jason Easley on September 22, 2019 at 21:50

    Rep. Kathrine Clark (D-MA) said that House Democrats are going to pursue changing the law so that a sitting president can be indicted while in office.

  • DeVos Threatens to Cut Funding for Middle Eastern Studies Programs for ‘Portraying Islam Too Positively’
    on September 22, 2019 at 21:15

    Julia Conley, staff writerSunday marked a deadline for the University of North Carolina and Duke University to submit information to the Trump administration about the two schools’ Consortium for Middle East Studies, after the Department of Education accused the joint program of biases against Christianity and Judaism.

  • Trump Admits Ukraine Whistleblower Complaint Is True, But Top Senate Republican Refuses To Believe It
    by Jason Easley on September 22, 2019 at 21:00

    The number two Republican in the Senate, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) refused to believe the whistleblower complaint, even after Trump admitted that he talked to Ukraine about Biden.

  • Pence Took Motorcade to Island Where Cars Are Banned
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 20:49

    Vice President Mike Pence arrived at Mackinac Island in Michigan in an eight-vehicle motorcade, prompting cries of “sacrilege” on social media, the Detroit Free Press reports. Cars are generally banned on the island, and that century-old ban is integral to its charm. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) on Twitter: “Disgusting. I am in such disbelief that this

  • Bonus Quote of the Day
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 20:11

    “If the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme. Critical for the facts to come out.” — Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), on Twitter.

  • Pelosi Warns of ‘New Stage’ of Inquiry
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 20:09

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi “called on the Trump administration to promptly turn over a secret whistleblower complaint said to relate to President Trump’s attempts to press Ukraine to investigate his leading Democratic presidential rival, warning that a refusal to do so could force the House to open a new phase in its investigation of him,” the

  • Trump Says He Might Release Transcript of Call
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 20:05

    “President Trump told reporters on Sunday that he would consider releasing a transcript of his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which is said to be the subject of an intelligence community whistleblower complaint,” The Hill reports. Said Trump: “We’ll make a determination about how to release it, releasing it, saying what we said.” He

  • Past the Tipping Point on Impeachment
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 20:01

    Jennifer Rubin: “Trump doesn’t seem to dispute the facts. Rather, he is trying to prevent concrete, glaring evidence from emerging. He apparently thinks it’s perfectly fine to lean on a foreign power to help him win an election.” “Given all that, impeachment may look very different. A single article of impeachment based on an incontrovertible

  • Trump Forcing Many House Republicans to Exits
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 19:53

    A Washington Post analysis shows that “nearly 40 percent of the 241 Republicans who were in office in January 2017 are gone or leaving because of election losses, retirements including former House speaker Paul Ryan, and some who are simply quitting in disgust.” “The vast turnover is a reminder of just how much Trump has

  • India Prime Minister Gets Bigger Applause Than Trump At Texas Rally
    by Jason Easley on September 22, 2019 at 19:32

    At the “Howdy Modi” rally in Houston, Prime Minister Modi of India got bigger applause than Donald Trump from a Republican crowd in Texas.

  • Nancy Pelosi Just Sent a Dire Warning About the Whistleblower Complaint to Trump
    by Edwin Rios on September 22, 2019 at 19:31

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday issued a warning to Republicans: If the Trump administration blocks the disclosure of a whistleblower complaint involving the president’s interactions with his counterpart in Ukraine, then “they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness.”  The letter comes four days before Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire is set to testify before the

  • Thank you, “The Sims,” for saving me from “Friends”
    on September 22, 2019 at 19:30

    For my sub-generation of millennials, toxic ideas about sex were taught by “Friends” — and undone by “The Sims”

  • Emmy Awards 2019 Open Thread
    by Aliza Worthington on September 22, 2019 at 19:22

    Tonight will see the 2019 Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, sans host, but with lots of presenters — some of whom have hosted before. Will anyone miss the show having a host? Maybe when Neil Patrick Harris was at the helm, but like the Oscars, I’m not sure anyone will really notice or care. It’s my personal hope that the Netflix mini-series, “When They See Us,” takes home every single award for which it’s nominated. The docudrama about the five young Black teenagers, falsely charged with raping the Central Park Jogger, created and directed with artistic, searing beauty by Ava DuVernay is mandatory viewing for white people. Mandatory for sure, but don’t binge it. Absorb each episode as fully as you can before moving onto the next. It’s not easy viewing. But view it and recognize that this is how the system is designed, and it has to change. As for comedy, I’m torn between Barry, Fleabag, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel…and as always — the best comedy has some amazing dramatic acting thrown in, too. Such is the case with these series, and the Worthington household absolutely tore through each these shows. Here’s a list of the nominees in each category: OUTSTANDING DRAMA Better Call Saul Bodyguard Game of Thrones Killing Eve Ozark Pose Succession This Is Usread mor

  • Arab Lawmakers in Israel Endorse Gantz for Prime Minister
    by ARON HELLER / The Associated Press on September 22, 2019 at 18:49

    Its historic move gives the Blue and White Party chairman the edge over Netanyahu; maverick Lieberman is still the key power broker.

  • Adam Schiff Drops A Bomb On Trump: There Is No Privilege That Covers Corruption
    by Jason Easley on September 22, 2019 at 18:24

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) blew up Trump claims that his phone call with Ukraine’s president is privileged and can’t be released.”

  • Beto O’Rourke Makes It Clear In A Passionate Speech: He Not Scared Of Angry Gun Owners
    by Red Painter on September 22, 2019 at 18:12

    Here is a clip of a speech given by Beto O’Rourke on Saturday in Des Moines and one thing is clear: His positions on gun control are serious and sincere and he is not backing down. Here is some of what he said: “One of the things I’ve learned over the course of this campaign all across Iowa and all across the United States of America is we are all in this together. We are all connected for better and for worse. In El Paso, Texas, on August 3, we are one of the safest cities in the United States of America, not despite the fact that we are a city of immigrants at asylum-seekers and refugees but because we are a city of immigrants and asylum-seekers and refugees. [cheers and applause] There was nothing so safe, so special about us that could disconnect us from a country that is violent and founded in a racism that is still with us today in 2019, a violence and a racism welcomed out into the open by President Trump and directed by our community. 22 killed in a Walmart on the Saturday before school started by a gentleman who had an AK-47, a weapon designed for war to kill people as effectively, as efficiently, in as great a number as possible. That is exactly what he did, fueled by that hatred and that racism directed by this President. read mor

  • Steve Mnuchin Turns Himself Into A Pretzel Around Biden And Ukraine
    by John Amato on September 22, 2019 at 18:03

    Steve Mnuchin looked like a fool on CNN’s State of The Union today trying to defend Trump’s illegal abuse of power in asking Ukraine to investigate Biden. Just like Giuliani before him, Mnuchin said one thing and then contradicted it immediately after. Trump’s Treasury Secretary lied and gaslighted throughout his interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, when talking about Trump berating Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden. Instead he only wanted to talk about the situation with Iran. When host Jake Tapper began to discuss this new blockbuster story, Mnuchin downplayed it as pure speculation even after it has been confirmed by the New York Times, The Washington Post and most notably the Wall Street Journal. “I think you’re speculating on what the president said,” he said. Then he called into question Biden’s son. “So I really think the — the real issue is not what the president said, but what, indeed, did Biden’s son do?” The only reason this is important is that it can have an impact on the 2020 election if Biden is the nominee, and Mnuchin knows this. When confronted again by Tapper about Trump’s attempts to coerce the Ukrainian president to do his bidding, he asked if Trump set his own and very dangerous and illegal precedent. “Is it the position of the administration that it is acceptable for politicians to pressure foreign leaders to look into and investigate their political rivals?” Tapper asked. Mnuchin clammed up and said, “As I said, I wasn’t on the call.”read mor

  • Your entire family will love Jake Smollett’s chicken taco lasagna: “It goes a long way”
    on September 22, 2019 at 18:00

    “Chicken taco lasagna falls somewhere between a juicy burrito and an enchilada, but it’s layered lasagna-style&rdquo

  • The Trump Administration Is Throwing Yet Another Agency Into Chaos
    by Mike Spies and J. David McSwane / <a href="">ProPublica</a> on September 22, 2019 at 17:56

    Inside the plan to weaken the agency, which stands between federal lands and oil, gas and mineral companies.

  • Rep. Adam Schiff: We “May Have Crossed the Rubicon” on Impeachment
    by Edwin Rios on September 22, 2019 at 17:34

    Rep. Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, warned on Sunday that President Donald Trump is “pushing us down this road” toward impeachment amid allegations that the president pressed Ukraine’s president to investigate former vice president Joe Biden’s son. The calls for impeachment have grown louder after reports earlier this week that an intelligence

  • ‘That’s Not True’: Entire CNN Panel Unleashes On Rick Santorum Over Lies About Ukraine
    by David on September 22, 2019 at 17:15

    Conservative CNN contributor Rick Santorum was called out on Sunday after he seemed to be uneducated about President Donald Trump’s attempt to have Ukraine investigate Joe Biden and his son. During a panel discussion on CNN, Republican contributor Mia Love said that Trump’s communication with Ukraine was not “appropriate” if he was looking for campaign help. “There is no equivalence between Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and what this president has allegedly done,” Democratic consultant Karen Finney noted. “The things that were investigated against the Bidens [were] shelved, totally debunked.” “We know that the president of the United States of America got on the phone and asked a foreign leader to investigate a private American citizen for his own political gain,” Finney added. “I’m going to take issue with what Karen said,” Santorum replied. “The president, if he said those things, is not asking them to investigate Joe Biden, they’re asking to investigate Hunter Biden’s role.” “A private citizen,” Finney interrupted. “Who is doing business in Ukraine!” Santorum exclaimed. “And they investigated and they found nothing,” Finney pointed out. “They investigated and that investigation was cut off,” Santorum opined. “That’s not true,” Finney said. “It had been shelved before that happened.” “The investigation didn’t stop when the prosecutor was removed,” CNN host Jake Tapper explained. “You don’t get to decide what the facts are,” Finney mor

  • Graham Throws Trump Kids Under The Bus To Biden Smear: ‘You Can’t Investigate One Family And Not The Other’
    by David on September 22, 2019 at 17:09

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested on Sunday that the children of both President Donald Trump and Joe Biden should be investigated. While speaking to Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, Graham was asked if he is calling for an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son over dealings in the Ukraine. President Donald Trump allegedly also asked Ukraine’s president for help with the Bidens. “Yeah, I want the Department of Justice to appoint somebody to look at the role the Ukraine played if any in the 2016 elections,” Graham told Bartiromo. “There are a lot of allegations out there how Ukraine fed information maybe to the Democrats.” “You can’t have it one way, you can’t look at one family and not the other,” he added, referring to Trump’s children. “I don’t trust the media to do this, I’m hoping somebody in the Department of Justice will appoint an investigator to look at all things Ukraine like we looked at all things Russia.” Graham did not say which investigations into Trump’s children he supports. Following Graham’s appearance on Fox News, the president tweeted a quote from the interview, but he ignored the reference to his children. “They are trying to destroy and influence Justice Kavanaugh, a very good man.” @LindseyGrahamSC 100% correct, and they should be fully exposed for what they are!read mor

  • Trump Admits He Spoke to Ukraine About Biden
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 16:53

    President Trump appeared to acknowledge that he had discussed former Vice President Joe Biden in a July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president that is the subject of a congressional investigation, Bloomberg reports. Said Trump: “The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, was largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place. It was largely the

  • Biden Loses His Lead for The First Time in 2020 Primary
    by Julia Conley / <a href="">Common Dreams</a> on September 22, 2019 at 16:44

    The Des Moines Register/CNN poll represents the first time Biden has been pushed out of the lead in a major Iowa survey.

  • Serve this white chicken chili with chopped cilantro
    on September 22, 2019 at 16:31

    Meal planning can be tough when you or someone in your family has diabetes, so look to “Fix-It and Forget-It&rdquo

  • Disheveled And Manic Trump Admits He Tried To Get Ukraine To “Investigate” Biden
    by Jason Easley on September 22, 2019 at 16:12

    A disheveled looking and manic sounding Trump admitted that he tried to get Ukraine to “investigate” former vice president Joe Biden.

  • ‘An Obligation to Make Radical Change’: At Youth Climate Summit, Young Leaders Say Merely Listening to Science Is Not Enough
    on September 22, 2019 at 16:11

    Julia Conley, staff writerAt the first-ever Youth Climate Action Summit at the U.N. headquarters in New York on Saturday, climate leader Greta Thunberg was joined by more than 600 young activists who were able to appeal directly to the U.N. secretary-general a day after helping to galvanize an estimated total of four million people at the Global Climate Strike—and the campaigners in attendance did not mince words.

  • Quote of the Day
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 15:51

    “We cannot afford to play rope-a-dope in the court for weeks or months on end. We need an answer. If there’s a fire burning, it needs to be put out. And that’s why we’re going to have to look at every remedy.” — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D- CA), quoted by Politico, on

  • House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff says impeachment may be “remedy” to Trump-Ukraine scandal
    on September 22, 2019 at 15:45

    The House Intelligence Committee chairman spoke with CNN about reports of Trump trying to collude with Ukrain

  • Rand Paul Moves to Thwart Cheney Senate Bid
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 15:42

    Politico: “Rand Paul began his offensive against Liz Cheney as soon as a Senate seat opened up in May, reigniting a years-long feud between their families and warring wings of the Republican Party. The Kentucky GOP senator quickly made contact with Cynthia Lummis, a former conservative House member, to encourage her to run for the

  • Trump’s Aborted Attack on Iran Stunned Aides
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 15:37

    “By the time President Trump met with congressional leaders on the afternoon of June 20, he had already decided to retaliate against Iran for shooting down an American surveillance drone,” the New York Times reports. “But barely three hours later, Mr. Trump had changed his mind. Without consulting his vice president, secretary of state or

  • Giuliani Says ‘This Town’ Protects Joe Biden
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 15:33

    Rudy Giuliani charged that “this town protects Joe Biden,” Politico reports. Said Giuliani: “His family has been taking money from his public office for years. Ladies and gentlemen, go look at what the press has been covering up.” He added: “I went there to get dirt on Joe Biden. I got a nice straight case

  • Adam Schiff Makes It Clear: ‘There Is No Privilege That Covers Corruption’
    by Red Painter on September 22, 2019 at 15:31

    Rep. Adam Schiff joined Jake Tapper on Sunday’s State of the Union to discuss all things Trump. Of course, the topic went right to the totally fishy call with Ukraine during which he allegedly asked the newly elected leader to investigate Joe Biden’s son a shocking EIGHT times. William A. Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution told the Washington Post, “We haven’t seen anything like this in my lifetime. He appears to be daring the rest of the political system to stop him — and if it doesn’t, he’ll go further.” Adam Schiff sent a not so subtle reminder to Donald Trump — since he is denying that he did anything wrong (he has said this for days now,) Schiff responded:read mor

  • 2019 Emmys: One last great battle for “Game of Thrones”
    on September 22, 2019 at 15:30

    HBO’s epic is poised to break several awards records. Will dragonfire and blood win out?

  • Trump Loses It When Reporter Asks Why He Was Talking About Biden on Ukraine Call
    by Jason Easley on September 22, 2019 at 15:29

    During a Sunday morning gaggle with reporters, Donald Trump lost it when he was asked why he was talking about Biden in a call with Ukraine’s president.

  • Bill Maher: If ‘Trump Never Makes You Insane, You Are Insane!’
    by Heather on September 22, 2019 at 15:23

    Real Time host Bill Maher offered up a new definition for ‘Trump derangement syndrome” this Friday to counter the liars on Fox who constantly attack the left for supposedly suffering from some irrational hatred of Dear Leader: The Fox News personalities regularly bring up “Trump Derangement Syndrome” in their shows to argue that Trump critics are so maddened by their hatred for the president that they can’t think rationally. But Maher said it’s the people that defend Trump — not the people who criticize him — who are suffering from the syndrome. “Republicans love to throw out the term to deflect any criticism from their Dear Leader,” Maher explained. “And by that, they mean that liberals are a bunch of sore losers who just can’t accept the results of an election and they go mental at every little thing Trump does.” After admitting “there’s a bit of that on the left,” Maher asked, “have you watched this man over the last four years?” A montage followed, of Trump making nonsensical statements and expressions. “And you came to the conclusion that’s how a president behaves?” Maher asked rhetorically. “And I’m the one who’s deranged?” “When Republicans say Democrats never got over Trump’s behavior, you’re right! We haven’t gotten over it because no one should,” he added. read mor

  • Trump: I Would Have ‘No Problem’ With Rudy Giuliani Testifying To Congress
    by David on September 22, 2019 at 14:54

    President Donald Trump insisted on Sunday that he would have “no problem” with his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, testifying before Congress. The president made the remarks while speaking to reporters outside the White House. Trump was asked if he would have “any problem” with Giuliani testifying about talks with Ukraine’s president about investigating Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. “I would have no problem with Rudy is a very straight shooter and Rudy wants to see the same thing as a lot of other people with respect to Ukraine,” Trump said. “Ukraine has had a tremendous corruption problem. Somehow they were involved in a lot of different things that look place in our country, and hopefully, it could be straightened out.” The White House has been notorious for using executive privilege claims to prevent people close to the president from answer Congress’ questions. Trump also commented on the possibility that he had been “spied on” during a conversation with Ukraine’s president. “Well, whoever it was or the whistleblower because it sounds like it’s not a whistleblower you can’t have that happen to a president of the United States,” he said.

  • Joe Biden urges investigation into Trump Ukraine call
    by Reuters on September 22, 2019 at 14:44

    Joe Biden, a frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, called for an investigation into reports that President Donald Trump pressed his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Biden and his son.

  • Essas são Agatha e as oito crianças vítimas da política de terror de Wilson Witzel no Rio de Janeiro
    by Cecília Olliveira on September 22, 2019 at 14:37

    O problema da PM não é ter dado errado. É ter dado certo demais. The post Essas são Agatha e as oito crianças vítimas da política de terror de Wilson Witzel no Rio de Janeiro appeared first on The Intercept.

  • Pompeo Says Releasing Transcript Not Appropriate
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 14:37

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told ABC News that “it wouldn’t be appropriate” to release a transcript of President Trump’s call with his Ukrainian counterpart that is reportedly at the center of a whistleblower’s complaint. Said Pompeo: “Those are private conversations between world leaders and it wouldn’t be appropriate to do so except in the most extreme

  • Schiff Says Impeachment May Be Only Remedy
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 14:34

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) told CNN that impeachment “could be the only remedy” if President Trump asked the leader of Ukraine to find dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic White House hopeful.&nbs

  • Record Share of Voters Dislike Trump Personally
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 14:32

    A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds President Trump “is more personally disliked than any of his recent predecessors, and half of voters say they’re very uncomfortable with the idea of his re-election.” “But the electorate at large also expresses doubts about some of the progressive policies being backed by candidates like Bernie Sanders

  • Iowa Survey Shows Warren Leading Biden for First Time in Democratic Primary
    on September 22, 2019 at 14:10

    Julia Conley, staff writerThe Des Moines Register/CNN poll represents the first time Biden has been pushed out of the lead in a major Iowa survey

  • If Terry Gilliam and Franz Kafka teamed up on a video game, this would be it
    on September 22, 2019 at 14:00

    Is “Control,” the new game from Remedy Studios, a satirical jab at the gaming industry itself?

  • Mike Pompeo: Biden should be investigated if he thwarted Ukraine probe of his son
    on September 22, 2019 at 14:00

    Trump’s secretary of state also discussed the ongoing tensions between the United States and Iran

  • For a Puerto Rican Community in a FEMA Flood Zone, Disaster Funds Promise Little Relief
    by Alleen Brown on September 22, 2019 at 14:00

    Two years after Hurricane Maria, residents of San Isidro are still struggling to rebuild. Now, their only option for relief may be to relocate. The post For a Puerto Rican Community in a FEMA Flood Zone, Disaster Funds Promise Little Relief appeared first on The Intercept.

  • Bring your brilliant software idea to life with this course
    on September 22, 2019 at 13:01

    Build your own SaaS business from the ground up.

  • In defense of napping: New study says snoozing, heart health are linked
    on September 22, 2019 at 13:00

    Those who napped once or twice a week were 48 percent less likely to have a heart attack, a new study finds

  • O partido Novo que nasceu velho é tão extremista como Bolsonaro
    by João Filho on September 22, 2019 at 12:49

    O Novo não é alinhado ao governo apenas nas pautas econômicas. O partido compactua com o lado mais obscuro da extrema direita que lidera o país. The post O partido Novo que nasceu velho é tão extremista como Bolsonaro appeared first on The Intercept.

  • Doomed, delusional, divided and corrupt: How the Democratic Party became a haunted house
    on September 22, 2019 at 12:22

    Conflicted about ideology and identity and deeply compromised by history, the Democratic Party is built to los

  • AOC: Democratic refusal to impeach Trump is a “bigger national scandal” than Trump’s lawbreaking
    on September 22, 2019 at 12:00

    Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Saturday that “the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach” Trump is a “national scandal”

  • Why Is Bill De Blasio Trying to Kill Me? New York’s Mayor Claims to Be Progressive but Favors Drivers Over Bicyclists.
    by Peter Maass on September 22, 2019 at 12:00

    I never expected that my skills as a war reporter would be relevant to my life as a dad in a Brooklyn, but that was before I started biking to work. The post Why Is Bill De Blasio Trying to Kill Me? New York’s Mayor Claims to Be Progressive but Favors Drivers Over Bicyclists. appeared first on The Intercept.

  • Trump Convinced of His Own Invincibility
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 11:58

    Washington Post: “The push by Trump and his personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to influence the newly elected Ukrainian leader reveals a president convinced of his own invincibility — apparently willing and even eager to wield the vast powers of the United States to taint a political foe and confident that no one could hold

  • Immigrant sex workers in “the middle of nowhere,” Germany: “They are like ghosts”
    on September 22, 2019 at 11:00

    Salon talks to the maker of a new doc “Lovemobil” that portrays sex workers in Germany with dignity and power

  • Trump tried to persuade Ukraine to smear Biden; now denounces media’s “Ukraine Witch Hunt”
    on September 22, 2019 at 10:00

    Trump suggests Biden pressured Ukraine to drop an investigation into his son, but that claim has been debunked

  • What Do Evangelical Christians Really Think About Climate Change?
    by Nicole Javorsky on September 22, 2019 at 10:00

    This story was originally published by Newsweek and appears here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. The vast majority of scientists agree climate change is an existing, growing, and man-made threat to our planet. And yet the topic is a divisive issue in the US—not least among people of faith. White evangelical Christians in particular are, on

  • “#MeToo was our rehearsal space”: An interview with Shelly Oria
    on September 22, 2019 at 10:00

    Salon chats with Oria about her new anthology that tells the #MeToo story across literary genres

  • GOP Leadership Huddles With Fossil Fuel Industry During Climate Week
    by Lee Fang on September 22, 2019 at 10:00

    “Please join us for a Gas and Oil Industry Dinner with Republican Whip Steve Scalise,” read one invitation. The post GOP Leadership Huddles With Fossil Fuel Industry During Climate Week appeared first on The Intercept.

  • Collagen in your coffee? A scientist says forget it
    on September 22, 2019 at 09:29

    Collagen has gained popularity for restoring aging skin, though the science is iffy

  • These wireless earbuds gives you listening freedom for less
    on September 22, 2019 at 09:00

    Enjoy crisp, wire-free audio without breaking the bank.

  • Chronically underpaid EMTs are being assaulted at record rates
    on September 22, 2019 at 08:00

    All the money goes to the top, as front-line emergency medical workers stress over the basics

  • According to media, Russia has “oligarchs,” but America only has “businessmen”
    on September 22, 2019 at 06:00

    In mainstream media, the only “oligarchs” are in the former Soviet Union. The ultra-rich here are — what, exactly?

  • Dan Balz Gets Shrill — But Still Misses the Point
    by Kevin Drum on September 22, 2019 at 04:34

    The normally calm Dan Balz is becoming shrill: America’s democratic system, the world’s oldest, is said to be resilient, with institutions strong enough to defend against runaway actors and with checks and balances designed to prevent too much power from building up in any one place or with any one person. Earlier in Trump’s presidency,

  • Alaska GOP Cancels Presidential Primary
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 03:17

    The Alaska Republican Party has canceled holding a presidential primary in 2020, the AP reports. The party’s State Central Committee passed a rule saying a primary “would serve no useful purpose” because Republican Donald Trump is president.

  • Bonus Quote of the Day
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 03:00

    “If you’re going to be Andrew Jackson, there will be consequences, but he will be called ‘the great disrupter.’ He gets up every morning and thinks, ‘What can I disrupt?’ He’s not going to back off.” — Newt Gingrich, quoted by the Washington Post, on President Trump.

  • Trump Lashes Out At News Media for ‘Phony Stories’
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 02:38

    President Trump lashed out at the media for publishing “numerous phony stories.” Tweeted Trump: “The LameStream Media had a very bad week. They pushed numerous phony stories and got caught, especially The Failing New York Times, which has lost more money over the last 10 years than any paper in history, and The Amazon Washington

  • Quote of the Day
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 02:33

    “So many people seem to think that judges are just like politicians with robes. Rubbish.” — Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, quoted by the Salt Lake Tribune.

  • Trump and the Warping of Democratic Governance
    by Taegan Goddard on September 22, 2019 at 02:29

    Dan Balz: “America’s democratic system, the world’s oldest, is said to be resilient, with institutions strong enough to defend against runaway actors and with checks and balances designed to prevent too much power from building up in any one place or with any one person. Earlier in Trump’s presidency, that appeared to be the case.

  • How a People-Centered Economic Policy Can Prevent the Next Recession
    by Tim Libretti on September 22, 2019 at 01:31

    As talk of a looming recession increases in volume, looking back to the Great Recession in 2008 to assess the effectiveness of how we as a nation responded to it seems like a good idea. It’s always healthy to learn from one’s mistakes and process the past, right? And there were mistakes. The government approved … Continue reading “How a People-Centered Economic Policy Can Prevent the Next Recession”

  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein Warns Trump That Things Are About To Get Worse For Him
    by Jason Easley on September 21, 2019 at 22:59

    The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), is warning Trump that things will only get worse if he continues his whistleblower cover-up.

  • Impeachment and Nancy Pelosi
    by Kevin Drum on September 21, 2019 at 22:11

    Nancy Pelosi is getting a lot of grief over this: is whistleblower/Ukraine situation changing Pelosi’s view on potential Trump impeachment? adviser tells me: “no. see any GOP votes for it?” — John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) September 21, 2019 Obviously this is just the latest episode in the longrunning “Why won’t Nancy Pelosi impeach Trump?” melodrama currently

  • Trump Is Compromised And Is Now Owned By The President Of Ukraine
    by Jason Easley on September 21, 2019 at 21:22

    Frank Figliuzzi said on MSNBC that Trump is now owned by the president of Ukraine who can reveal at any time what laws Trump broke.

  • Sanders Unveils Plan to Wipe Out All Medical Debt in US, Declaring, ‘The Very Concept Should Not Exist’
    on September 21, 2019 at 20:50

    Julia Conley, staff writerPledging to end the “immoral and unconscionable” practice of collecting debt from families simply because of an illness or hospital stay, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Saturday unveiled his plan to wipe out all medical debt in the United States.

  • Opinion: For Trump, States’ Rights are OK for Racism and Sexism, but not Saving the Planet
    by Tim Libretti on September 21, 2019 at 19:58

    Last Thursday the Trump administration announced its intention to revoke California’s right to set its own auto emissions standards. The state’s special authority to set its own standards, stricter than federal regulations, dates back to the 1960s when California was battling particularly severe air pollution. Since then, however, California has been influential in encouraging other … Continue reading “Opinion: For Trump, States’ Rights are OK for Racism and Sexism, but not Saving the Planet”

  • Trump Says He Had ‘Perfectly Fine’ Call With Ukraine Leader
    by JONATHAN LEMIRE, MICHAEL BALSAMO and LISA MASCARO / The Associated Press on September 21, 2019 at 19:43

    The president reportedly urged the new leader to investigate the son of top Democratic contender Joe Biden in deepening whistleblower case.

  • Back to school, with a baby: What living in a Harvard dorm taught me about being a mother
    on September 21, 2019 at 19:30

    From a distance, if you squinted, maybe I — now 36 — was even a student, with all of that discovery ahead of m

  • Biden Scolds Fox News Reporter: “Ask the Right Question”
    by Pema Levy on September 21, 2019 at 18:48

    Joe Biden scolded the media on Saturday for focusing on President Donald Trump’s unfounded allegations about connections to his son’s work in Ukraine rather than the major scandal of the day: that Trump appears to have abused his powers in order to coerce a foreign government to dig up dirt on his political opponent. “You

  • Bernie Sanders Introduces Plan to Cancel $81 Billion in Medical Debt
    by Pema Levy on September 21, 2019 at 18:32

    Bernie Sanders not only wants to eliminate future medical debt with his plan for Medicare-for-All, he also wants to wipe the slate clean for Americans who already have debt from unpaid medical bills. On Saturday, the Democratic candidate announced an ambitious plan to eliminate $81 billion medical debt for Americans, reform bankruptcy laws, and even

  • Youth Leaders at U.N. Demand Radical Action on Climate Change
    by SETH BORENSTEIN / The Associated Press on September 21, 2019 at 18:09

    A day after a global strike that drew hundreds of thousands, activist Greta Thunberg and others seek funding and accountability.

  • Trump Shows His Guilt In Saturday “Ukraine Witchhunt” Meltdown
    by Jason Easley on September 21, 2019 at 18:07

    Trump took to Twitter to have himself a Saturday morning meltdown by accusing the media of engaging in a “Ukraine witchhunt” against him/

  • Gentrification Is a Hard Problem
    by Kevin Drum on September 21, 2019 at 18:05

    Gentrification has been a flash point in race relations for some time now. In Los Angeles it’s an endless battle, with activists fighting to keep everything from skid row to historically black neighborhoods out of the hands of the rich. One councilmember not only wants to reject a housing proposal proposed for an empty lot

  • U.S. to Send Troops to Saudi Arabia, Hold Off on Striking Iran
    by LOLITA C. BALDOR and ROBERT BURNS / The Associated Press on September 21, 2019 at 17:38

    The move is a show of restraint after talk of all-out war amid major tensions over drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

  • How the ‘redistricting’ of the James Beard Awards points to America’s changing food landscape
    on September 21, 2019 at 17:30

    The “Oscars of food” will now recognize California, Texas and New York as independent categories

  • Joe Biden Goes Off: Trump Is Extorting Ukraine ‘Because He Knows I’ll Beat Him Like A Drum’
    by Sean Colarossi on September 21, 2019 at 17:00

    Biden also told the media to keep its eye on the ball and not get sucked into Trump’s conspiracy theories, which have already been debunked.

  • Reiterating Call for Impeachment, Warren Accuses Congress of Complicity in Trump’s Continued Abuses
    on September 21, 2019 at 16:35

    Julia Conley, staff writerSen. Elizabeth Warren accused the U.S. Congress of complicity in President Donald Trump’s continued abuse of power late Friday, after reports surfaced of his alleged attempts to solicit foreign meddling in the 2020 presidential election, and reiterated her demand that Democrats use their majority in the House to pursue impeachment.

  • You won’t believe this creamy spinach dip has less than 300 calories
    on September 21, 2019 at 16:30

    Meal planning can be tough when you or someone in your family has diabetes. “Fix-It and Forget-it” has the answers

  • Joy Reid To Dems: If Trump Bribing Foreign Countries For 2020 Dirt Isn’t Impeachable, What Is?
    by Sean Colarossi on September 21, 2019 at 16:26

    Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats who have been reluctant to go there with impeachment will have to think long and hard about what steps to take next.

  • Joe Biden’s racism brought to the fore!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 21, 2019 at 16:23

    SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2019There’s no cure for stupid and righteous: This past Monday morning, the New York Times’ perpetually-furious Charles M. Blow wrote a column about Candidate Biden.For ourselves, we regard Biden as a terrible candidate in a field of terrible candidates. In our view, the field is so bad that they’ve begun to suggest a startling possibility—the possibility that Donald J. Trump could actually win again.We think Biden’s a terrible candidate—but is he guilty of racism? That’s what one Trump-enabler took away from the latest expression of Blow’s perpetual fury. Yesterday morning, her letter appeared in the Times. Charles M. Blow had helped the writer crystallize these thoughts:To the Editor:Charles M. Blow’s incisive critique of Joe Biden helped me to crystallize what exactly bothers me so much about Mr. Biden. His racism and hypocrisy, and his unwillingness to learn, listen or grow, are unnervingly disturbing to me, since he is the current front-runner.I hope that Mr. Blow’s critique will illuminate these issues for both black and white voters. C’mon, Dems! We have so many other truly exciting and qualified candidates. Warren, Bernie, Booker, Harris. Even Beto and Castro. We decide, as voters, who is not only electable but also right for the job!P— A—Santa Cruz, Calif.Expressing her gratitude to Blow, the writer urged black and white Democrats to reject Biden’s racism. Other Democratic voters? They were left on their own!All kinds of people are found within our sprawling U.S. electorate. Based on a simple Google search, this letter writer has been a clinical social worker since 1990. During the bulk of that time, she has also been the owner of a concern which sells fine clothing and jewelry. For twenty-four of those years, she was director of an eponymous consulting firm which continues to promote itself in the kind of consultant language which no normal human being could paraphrase, react to or fathom.Whatever! The writer has spotted Biden’s racism, the one sin our tribe knows. She hopes others will see his racism too, perhaps including Hispanics. To his credit, the perpetually furious Blow didn’t accuse Biden of racism—or at least, not in so many words. He did say that Biden had given “racial offense” in at least two different ways in the course of a rambling, discursive answer to a rambling, discursive question from ABC’s highly presentable Linsey Davis at last Thursday night’s debate.As we noted yesterday, Blow didn’t seem to know what Biden was talking about in his rambling answer. For that reason, he declared that Biden’s racially offensive answer had also been “nonsensical,” which it pretty much wasn’t.Blow did know enough to complain about the fact that Biden referred to a “record player” in the course of his rambling statement. Within our pitiful upper-end press corps, everyone has agreed to offer that jibe, just as everyone once spent years making “invented the Internet” jokes at Candidate Gore’s expense.In that way, this guild of fools sent us into Iraq. What are they trying for now?All scribes have seemed to know that they should mention that record player! That includes the hapless Roger Cohen, fulminating and showboating in this morning’s Times:COHEN (9/21/19): His reference to a “record player” in the last Democratic debate in the context of a question about reparations for slavery tied Biden to a bygone era, but that was far from the worst of it. Talking about black families—that is what the question was about—he actually said: “We bring social workers into homes and parents to help them deal with how to raise their children. It’s not that they don’t want to help. They don’t, they don’t know quite what to do. Play the radio, make sure the television—excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the, the — — make sure the kids hear words.”They don’t know what to do! Make sure the kids hear words! This is insulting toward African-Americans…”Make sure the kids hear words!” We’ll guess that Cohen has never heard of the co-called “30 Million Word Gap.” For that reason, we’ll guess he didn’t recognize Biden’s reference or understand his (jumbled) point. As a member of the world’s dumbest guild, Cohen did know that he should play the “record player” card. Also, that he should fulminate in a way designed to showcase his own racial greatness. This will always be part of the deal, wherever this hapless band roves.Must we move on to Astead Herndon’s news report in this morning’s Times? The youngster is four years out of college (Marquette, class of 2015). In our view, his work just “goes from to worse.” Here’s the way he started today:HERNDON (9/21/19): A groan erupted at a debate watch party at Texas Southern University last week as former vice president Joseph R. Biden Jr. got a question about slavery and racism and gave an answer about Venezuela and record players.For the record, Biden was asked about “education and race” (among several other things) in the course of Davis’ rambling question. In the main, that’s what his rambling question addressed. But whatever! Like the rest of this hapless guild, Herndon knew he should start things off with that “record player!” As anthropologists continually tell us, these peculiar life-forms are only happy When They All Get to Say The Same Things, but especially When They All Get to Make The Same Pointless Jesting Remarks.Once, they clowned about the Net; today it’s that record player. None of them is discussing the factors which may hold black kids back in school, and none of them ever will. Instead, they thrash about, seeking ways to announce the latest “racial offense.”Joe Biden is a terrible candidate; the others are terrible too. With respect to the liberal/progressive world as a whole, you just can’t be this dumb and uncaring for this long without re-electing a Trump—or so experts say.Top anthropologists keep telling us that there’s no cure for any of this given our species’ wiring. “Given modern social arrangements, this is simply the best this species can do,” they despondently tell us, though only late at night. There is no cure for this, they say. We’re beginning to think they’re right.

  • Trump’s Ukraine Extortion Scheme Could Bring Down Mike Pence
    by Sean Colarossi on September 21, 2019 at 16:00

    The repercussions of this scheme could be much worse not only because it involves something Trump in office, but because it could implicate the VP, too.

  • Law, be a lady: “Stumptown” leads the new squad of TV women fighting for justice
    on September 21, 2019 at 15:30

    “All Rise,” “Emergence,” “Bluff City Law” and “Stumptown” show sisters doing justice for themselves — and us

  • Trump Calls It ‘Perfectly Fine’ To Extort A Foreign Country Into Investigating Joe Biden
    by Sean Colarossi on September 21, 2019 at 14:59

    Emboldened by congressional inaction and fearful of Joe Biden’s candidacy, Donald Trump is committing more crimes to win another presidential election.

  • ‘We’re Not Through’: After Biggest Climate Protest in History Draws 4 Million Worldwide, Campaigners Prepare for Week of Action
    on September 21, 2019 at 14:01

    Julia Conley, staff writerAs organizers behind Friday’s Global Climate Strike reported that four million children and adults attended marches and rallies all over the world—making it the biggest climate protest ever—they assured leaders who have been reticent to take bold climate action that the campaigners’ work is far from over.

  • Assista Greta Thunberg contra o colapso climático: ‘se podemos salvar os bancos, podemos salvar o mundo’
    by Naomi Klein on September 21, 2019 at 14:01

    Em entrevista, ativista diz aos ricos: ‘Não quero sua esperança. … Eu quero que você entre em pânico’. Seu alerta deflagrou a #GreveGlobalPeloClima. The post Assista Greta Thunberg contra o colapso climático: ‘se podemos salvar os bancos, podemos salvar o mundo’ appeared first on The Intercept.

  • Scientists get closer to a cure for the common cold
    on September 21, 2019 at 14:00

    By disabling a single host protein, scientists were astonished to find mice were made immune to the common cold

  • Corporate Media Edit Trump To Make Him Sound Less Stupid
    by Jason Easley on September 21, 2019 at 13:46

    There is a great enabling happening in the United States, and it has been going on for years. Many of the nation’s largest media outlets are cleaning up Trump’s words to make him sound less incoherent and stupid.

  • Cory Booker May Drop Out Of Presidential Race If He Doesn’t Raise $1.7 Million In 10 Days
    by Jason Easley on September 21, 2019 at 13:11

    The presidential campaign of Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) says that without a major cash infusion before the end of the month, they don’t have a viable path forward in the Democratic primary.

  • Let us praise Claire, the true hero of “Fleabag”
    on September 21, 2019 at 13:00

    An Emmy would almost be an insufficient recognition of the character and Sian Clifford, the woman who played her

  • A New Generation of Activists Put Their Bodies on the Line to Defend California’s Forests
    by Leighton Akio Woodhouse on September 21, 2019 at 12:25

    In Humboldt County, California, activists prevent logging companies from felling trees by using their own bodies as blockades. The post A New Generation of Activists Put Their Bodies on the Line to Defend California’s Forests appeared first on The Intercept.

  • “Resistance” liberals love the FBI and CIA. History says they don’t love you back
    on September 21, 2019 at 12:00

    After all we know about domestic spying and overseas coups, suddenly liberals are into the national-security stat

  • How the White Nationalists Who Love Trump Found Inspiration in the Group That Gave Us Narendra Modi
    by Mehdi Hasan on September 21, 2019 at 10:00

    The anti-Muslim mass murderer Anders Breivik found inspiration in the Hindu nationalist group where Narendra Modi got his start as a far-right activist. The post How the White Nationalists Who Love Trump Found Inspiration in the Group That Gave Us Narendra Modi appeared first on The Intercept.

  • Why I Decided Not To Delete My Old Internet Posts
    by Edward Snowden on September 21, 2019 at 09:00

    In this excerpt from his memoir, the NSA whistleblower describes his realization that no one should have to “pretend to be perfect.” The post Why I Decided Not To Delete My Old Internet Posts appeared first on The Intercept.

  • Trump’s new argument: He’s immune from all criminal investigation in new tax return lawsuit
    on September 21, 2019 at 07:00

    OK, so the president can’t be indicted. But Trump’s lawyers are now arguing he can’t even be investigated

  • Hope, history and common ground: The story of two Yale buildings — and America
    on September 21, 2019 at 06:00

    Yale renamed a college to escape the ghost of slavery — but also renamed its dining Commons for a billionair

  • Country, Smoothed Over
    by Tim Riley on September 21, 2019 at 00:23

    Ken Burns’ documentary “Country Music” and its book tie-in present country music with a naive affection that misses key American tensions.

  • Here Are The 3 Crimes Trump Committed In His Phone Call With Ukraine
    by Jason Easley on September 20, 2019 at 23:52

    Former CIA and DOD Chief Of Staff Jeremy Bash outlined three felony crimes that Trump committed when he tried to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden.

  • Joe Biden Hammers Trump And Demands The Release Of Ukraine Call Transcript
    by Jason Easley on September 20, 2019 at 23:23

    Former Vice President Joe Biden slammed Trump for abuse of power and demanded that the transcript of the Ukraine call that inspired the whistleblower complaint be released.

  • Trump Urged Ukraine to Investigate Biden’s Son
    by JONATHAN LEMIRE, MICHAEL BALSAMO and LISA MASCARO / The Associated Press on September 20, 2019 at 23:20

    The president’s phone call to Ukraine’s new leader over the summer is at the heart of an explosive whistleblower complaint against Trump.

  • Congressman Lays It Out: Trump Can No Longer Be President
    by Jason Easley on September 20, 2019 at 22:58

    Rep. Gregory Meeks warned Republicans that Donald Trump can no longer be the President Of The United States.

  • Trump Will Snub the Climate Summit for a Religious Freedom Meeting at the UN
    by Oliver Milman on September 20, 2019 at 22:45

    Oliver Milman Senior UN official confirms White House booked a room so Trump can attend a gathering in the same building as the summit. The post Trump Will Snub the Climate Summit for a Religious Freedom Meeting at the UN appeared first on The Nation.

  • Apenas um New Deal Verde pode conter o eco-fascismo
    by Naomi Klein on September 20, 2019 at 22:35

    Precisamos encarar as maneiras como os incêndios do colapso climático já se cruzam com a supremacia branca e a crescente xenofobia. The post Apenas um New Deal Verde pode conter o eco-fascismo appeared first on The Intercept.

  • William Barr Has Long Tried to Limit What a President Must Share With Congress. The Whistleblower Complaint is No Exception.
    by Alex Emmons on September 20, 2019 at 22:32

    Barr has been a strong proponent of the “unitary executive,” a legal theory that states the president has near absolute authority over the executive branch. The post William Barr Has Long Tried to Limit What a President Must Share With Congress. The Whistleblower Complaint is No Exception. appeared first on The Intercept.

  • ‘I’m Only 6 Years Old. I Don’t Want the World To End Yet.’
    by Alice Markham-Cantor on September 20, 2019 at 21:38

    Alice Markham-Cantor Strikers took to the streets around the world today to demand climate action now. The post ‘I’m Only 6 Years Old. I Don’t Want the World To End Yet.’ appeared first on The Nation.

  • Right Wing Round-Up: Pressuring Ukraine
    by Kyle Mantyla on September 20, 2019 at 21:32

    David Badash @ The New Civil Rights Movement: Trump Urged Ukraine President ‘About Eight Times’ to Work With Giuliani to Get Dirt on Biden’s Son: WSJ. Reed Richardson @ Mediaite: Giuliani Says He Asked Ukraine to Probe Biden Seconds After Denying it in Trainwreck CNN Interview. Aaron Rupar @ Vox: Trump responds to Ukraine whistleblower

  • Right Wing Bonus Tracks: The Donald Trump of Maryland
    by Kyle Mantyla on September 20, 2019 at 21:30

    Neo-Nazi Patrick Little is making another run for office, this time in Idaho. Rick Wiles suspects that Sheldon and Miriam Adelson and Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu “were probably drinking blood” when they got together for dinner. Chris McDonald dedicated another episode of his program to alleging that Tom Hanks is a pedophile. Republican congressional hopeful

  • Corporate America’s Latest Bill of Goods
    by Conor Lynch on September 20, 2019 at 20:39

    To win favor with distrustful millennials, America’s CEOs are pushing the idea that they care about more than profits. Don’t believe it.

  • As Global Youth Demand Climate Action, Trump Heaps Praise on Coal-Obsessed Aussie Leader
    on September 20, 2019 at 20:27

    Andrea Germanos, staff writerThe president gushed over Australia’s continued extraction of the fossil fuel.

  • ‘Save our planet!’: Young activists lead global protests over climate change
    by Reuters on September 20, 2019 at 19:42

    ‘Save our planet!’: Young activists lead global protests over climate change By Gabriella Borter, Fabrizio Bensch and Patpicha Tanakasempipat (Reuters) – From the Solomon Islands to New York’s Wall Street, millions of students and workers abandoned schools and offices on Friday to demand urgent action to stop global warming, joining a worldwide strike inspired by … Continue reading “‘Save our planet!’: Young activists lead global protests over climate change”

  • ‘No Soft Landing’: Former DHS Head Kirstjen Nielsen Leaves Atlantic Ideas Festival Stage After Outrage From Grassroots Movement
    on September 20, 2019 at 19:36

    Eoin Higgins, staff writer”She never should have been invited in the first place.”

  • ‘No Wealth on a Dead Planet’: The Most Memorable Signs From the Global Climate Strike
    on September 20, 2019 at 19:20

    Julia Conley, staff writerWith millions marching to demand bold climate action in more than 150 countries around the world on Friday, a number of sentiments expressed on homemade signs and through other demonstrations captured the world’s attention.

  • Backed by Over Two Dozen Cities and States, California Sues Trump Admin for Revoking Authority to Adopt Strict Emissions Standards
    on September 20, 2019 at 19:06

    Jessica Corbett, staff writerCalifornia Attorney General Xavier Becerra, backed by top legal officials representing more than two dozen cities and states, sued the Trump administration Friday for revoking the Golden State’s authority to set its own greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks.

  • The GOP Has a Secret Plan to Preserve Its Grip on Power
    by Robert Reich on September 20, 2019 at 19:03

    As America grows progressively more liberal and diverse, Republicans have concluded they can only govern by way of minority rule.

  • Jodi Kantor on bringing down Harvey Weinstein and helping start the #MeToo fire
    on September 20, 2019 at 19:00

    Jodi Kantor speaks about her and Megan Twohey’s new book “She Said,” about the toppling of Harvey Weinstein

  • Why millennials and Gen Z love “Friends”
    on September 20, 2019 at 18:59

    This Gen X sitcom endures because it sells younger fans on the appeal of working through life in second gear

  • Inside the Trump Administration’s Chaotic Dismantling of the Federal Land Agency
    by by Mike Spies and J. David McSwane on September 20, 2019 at 18:30

    by Mike Spies and J. David McSwane Early this month, workers at the Washington headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management gathered to discuss a Trump administration plan that would force some 200 people to uproot their lives or find other jobs. With a vague plan that keeps changing as officials describe it — and no guarantees that Congress would fully fund their relocations — the employees were being detailed to distant locations in the West like Grand Junction, Colorado, and Reno, Nevada. Many career staff saw the move as part of a wider Trump administration effort to drive federal employees out of their jobs. Acting White House chief of staff Mike Mulvaney has described that approach as a “wonderful way to streamline government.” The hemorrhaging has already begun. After an hour of exasperated questions from employees, Steve Tryon, a deputy assistant director, told the room he had taken an assignment elsewhere in the Interior Department, the BLM’s parent agency. The post, he explained, had a chance of leading to a permanent placement in Washington. Get Our Top Investigations Subscribe to the Big Story newsletter. Don’t miss out on ProPublica’s next investigation. Sign up and get the Big Story email whenever we break news. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. “I hope you can forgive me,” he said to the crowd. “I have two kids in high school. One’s a senior and one’s a sophomore. If I don’t get another job, I’m moving to Grand Junction or Denver without them. And that’s that. That’s my Plan B. Move to Denver without my family.” “It’s not fun to be without your family,” a colleague replied. It was just one painful choice of many that will be made in coming months, as anticipated departures hollow out the agency that protects nearly 250 million acres of public lands and stands between oil and gas companies and the natural resources that can enrich them. The top BLM official, acting director William Perry Pendley, has offered contradictory accounts of who will be forced to move and how these changes will affect the agency’s accountability to Congress and the public. ProPublica reviewed internal memos and an accounting of which Washington jobs are being transferred to existing BLM offices in places like Reno, Salt Lake City, Utah, and the proposed new headquarters in Grand Junction. Employees, who formally learned of the plan two months ago, received assignment letters this week, detailing specific locations in the West, where most BLM properties are located.. Internal documents and recordings of staff meetings obtained by ProPublica, as well as interviews with 10 current BLM employees, show top officials expect the mandatory reassignments to lead to an exodus similar to one at the Department of Agriculture during the summer, when a forced relocation prompted more than 250 researchers in Washington to quit. It was the USDA move that prompted Mulvaney’s comment on streamlining. “Chaos is probably an understatement,” said Elena Daly, a former assistant director at the bureau, who told ProPublica the BLM shakeup is “absolutely” designed to hobble an important federal function. “If you’re going to be relocated in Reno and part or all of your job is coordinating with Congress, how do you do that?,” said Daly, who worked at the agency 25 years. Pendley and other supporters of the relocation effort, including Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, say it’s needed because staffers in Washington aren’t connected to the far-flung lands they oversee. In response to a series of detailed questions, BLM referred ProPublica to Pendley’s testimony, which states that the agency “will ensure that every affected employee receives necessary information before being required to make any decision.” It went on to say that “nearly every western state will realize significant benefits from this reorganization.” Pendley told a congressional committee last week that key positions, including those providing information to Congress and the public, would remain in Washington. But according to internal records, many of the transplanted positions play important roles in assisting with congressional oversight, civil rights issues and assessing potential environmental impacts when the BLM leases federal land to private businesses. Between mid-July, when staff received their first briefing about the move after two years of rumors, and September, before anyone received relocation assignments, 11 employees quit their jobs. A document circulated this week among top BLM officials said, “We anticipate additional employees will depart.” In private, senior officials have said that the so-called “realignment” is charging forward even though a Republican-controlled Congress only approved enough money to cover the initial stage of the move — less than $6 million. The total amount needed to make the transition remains uncertain. Still, in meetings and written communications, leaders have told staff that future funding is all but guaranteed, pressuring employees to swiftly make major life decisions, such as selling homes or uprooting families. In a list of answers compiled in mid-July to address “likely employee questions,” it says, “We anticipate the Congress will provide the FY 2020 funds for us to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the BLM through this relocation.” Recordings suggest that, should lawmakers oppose additional funding toward the realignment in 2020, there is no backup plan. Still, about 60 of the bureau’s top officials expect to move into Interior’s building, vacating the BLM’s Washington headquarters in late 2020. The few details being shared with staff or congressional committees are often contradictory, incomplete or unsupported, fueling skepticism from career staff and members of Congress. “We’re going to be fragmented in different states,” said Michael Byrd, a middle-level contract manager who’s worked at the BLM for nine years. “This whole plan is designed for us to be a failure.” The Book Cliffs, on federally managed land outside of Grand Junction, Colorado, where BLM staff could be relocated. (Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images) Byrd, 56, told ProPublica he has no intention of moving to Colorado, where he was told his position is being moved. He’s going to find another job. Critics of the plan, including 30 former senior BLM staffers who signed a Sept. 5 letter to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt opposing the move, point out that 97 percent of the bureau’s 10,000 employees are already dispersed throughout the West. The remaining 3 percent, they say, need to be near Congress and other federal branches they work closely with, such as the National Park and Fish and Wildlife services. BLM employees have been repeatedly told the realignment will save money, but it is unclear how. An internal staff website that provides information about the move at one point asserted “the Department” has conducted a cost-benefit analysis “using the generally accepted form of financial analysis.” It concludes, “The analysis demonstrates the benefits of moving the BLM West exceed the cost.” But elsewhere on the same page, the website says, “The total cost of the move is unknown at this time.” Department officials have not made the analysis public, despite staff entreaties, recordings show. ProPublica requested the analysis through the Freedom of Information Act in early September, but the bureau indicated it could take months to release it. A lack of transparency and contradictory statements about the relocations have generated widespread distrust among BLM staff. Several times, exasperated employees grasped for answers that sympathetic career supervisors could not answer, according to recordings reviewed by ProPublica. “People may be leaving their jobs, moving to places they don’t want to go, selling their homes for things that might not ultimately result,” said a female employee, who anonymously raised her voice at a recent meeting of 100 people. “And it leaves the agency and us in a really precarious spot, and so I want to know what authority does the department have to put their employees on the spot to make life choices right now when we see on the news that they haven’t gotten clear discreet non-negotiable authorization to move forward?” Leah Baker, the acting assistant director of resources and planning, struggled to respond. “I share that concern,” she said. “I feel it personally. I think everybody in the room feels it personally.” She added, “It’s also been phrased as what about plan B? What happens if we get blocked somehow? What’s our contingency for that? People are aware of that concern, but I don’t know that there is a plan B.” While employees sought answers, Pendley privately acknowledged in a Sept. 9 letter to Bernhardt that many staffers will get pay cuts, based on a lower cost of living, and the BLM will “likely have difficulty hiring a similar group of experienced individuals” if employees quit. In the same letter, Pendley recommended employees be offered a relocation incentive that could cost more than $4 million— lump-sum payments in exchange for a two-year commitment to stay in their jobs. Pendley provided a list of reasons for Bernhardt to approve the request, such as, “Maintains consistent messaging that the Department of the Interior wants to work with employees.” The request was approved three days later, emails show. Pendley, a lawyer, became acting head of the BLM in late July. Before that, he spent much of his career arguing against the concept of public land. In a 2016 National Review article, he wrote that the “Founding Fathers intended all lands owned by the federal government to be sold.” Before a House committee last week, Pendley testified that BLM staff who work with Congress and process Freedom of Information Act requests – two critical windows into the bureau’s work – would remain in Washington. “I want to assure Congress that we will continue to do our core headquarters’ functions, and by that I mean our Congressional affairs, our regulatory affairs, our public affairs, our budget function and our Freedom of Information Act requests,” Pendley said. “They’re going to be in main Interior,” he said, “a hallway away from the secretary of the Interior, the department secretary and other decision makers, and they’ll be able to be responsive to the requests of Congress.” But records show that since at least July, the plan has called for scattering many of those positions across three time zones, thousands of miles from Washington. ProPublica reviewed hundreds of job descriptions included in a roster of which positions will stay and which will go. About seven spots in the bureau’s equal employment opportunity division will be moved to offices in Phoenix, Denver, or Grand Junction, records show. Four legislative affairs specialists are being asked to move to Reno. Five people who process FOIA requests, and another who processes external data requests, are slated to be moved to various western cities. At least seven senior positions whose descriptions include “interfaces significantly with Capitol Hill” are being moved to four western locales, records show. The employee angst has spilled over into meetings, social media posts and email threads. Last week, dozens of employees met with organizers of a federal employee union to discuss fighting back against management. Several staffers told ProPublica they could not move west because they have children in high schools, own their homes or are caring for ailing relatives. In a mid-July meeting, one staffer, who did not identify herself, said, “A lot of us have two-family incomes. You’re talking about the cost of living is less out West, but what about a job for your spouse or significant other? Are there jobs available for them as well?” A senior official responded, “That’s a consideration we’ll have to make through the process.” Welcome to the New “Trump, Inc.” This week, our podcast with WNYC looks at how Trump has taken his way of doing business to the government. We’ll be here every two weeks. No other federal agencies are based in Grand Junction, a town of about 65,00 people more than 250 miles from Denver and Salt Lake City. Grand Junction is surrounded by federal land, but critics say while it’s technically closer to BLM offices, it will be harder, not easier, to coordinate. For instance, there are currently no direct flights to other BLM offices in California, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon and Montana. Employees have until July 1, 2020, to accept, according to a recent implementation plan shared with BLM leadership. Anyone who does not comply by that date, or receive approval to delay relocating for personal reasons, “may be removed from Federal service for failing to accept a directed reassignment.” Do you have access to information about turmoil at the Bureau of Land Management or the Dept. of the Interior that should be public? Email and Here’s how to send tips and documents to ProPublica securely.

  • Edward Snowden Is a 2020 Election Issue
    by John Nichols on September 20, 2019 at 18:08

    John Nichols The Trump administration is suing the whistle-blower over his new book. But what would a Democratic president do? That’s a good debate question. The post Edward Snowden Is a 2020 Election Issue appeared first on The Nation.

  • Pelosi Says Trump Has Stepped Into A Dangerous Minefield With Whistleblower Complaint
    by Jason Easley on September 20, 2019 at 18:04

    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi warned Trump that he has stepped into a dangerous minefield by keeping the whistleblower complaint from Congress.

  • Dave Daubenmire: The Devil Is Using Billie Eilish to Steal Our Children
    by Kyle Mantyla on September 20, 2019 at 18:01

    Religious right activist Dave Daubenmire closed out his “Pass The Salt Live” webcast this morning by freaking out over the popularity of singer Billie Eilish and declaring that she is being used by the devil to steal America’s children. Daubenmire was flabbergasted that Eilish’s videos—especially “When The Party’s Over” and “All The Good Girls Go

  • Georgia Supreme Court Urges State to Stop Stonewalling In Devonia Inman Case: “Let Justice Be Done”
    by Liliana Segura on September 20, 2019 at 17:56

    Justice David Nahmias lamented the court’s previous refusal to review Devonia Inman’s case and expressed grave doubts about Inman’s underlying guilt. The post Georgia Supreme Court Urges State to Stop Stonewalling In Devonia Inman Case: “Let Justice Be Done” appeared first on The Intercept.

  • Top House GOPer’s Attack On Whistleblower Backfires Into Trump Criticism
    by Jason Easley on September 20, 2019 at 17:39

    Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the top Republican in the House was trying to attack the whistleblower that has come forward but ended up criticizing Trump.

  • The MAGA fever dream of “Rambo: Last Blood”
    on September 20, 2019 at 17:00

    Right wing “Rambo” propaganda is alive and well in “Last Blood”

  • ‘How Could They Do This to Us?’ Ask Afghan Farmers After Reporting Reveals Officials Knew Civilians Were in Area of Lethal US Drone Strike
    on September 20, 2019 at 16:13

    Eoin Higgins, staff writer”This is just one of the horrors of endless war.”

  • Documents Shed New Light on Critical Moment in Pete Buttigieg’s South Bend Political Career
    by Ryan Grim on September 20, 2019 at 16:11

    An investigation by the Young Turks sheds new light on a moment Buttigieg has highlighted as defining his relationship with South Bend’s black community. The post Documents Shed New Light on Critical Moment in Pete Buttigieg’s South Bend Political Career appeared first on The Intercept.

  • Trump to Be Presented With Options to Attack Iran: Reports
    on September 20, 2019 at 16:06

    Andrea Germanos, staff writerThe range of options the Pentagon will present the president with include military actions as well as political and economic moves.

  • Donald Trump Is Holding a Rally With… Narendra Modi?
    by Jeet Heer on September 20, 2019 at 16:02

    Jeet Heer With this weekend’s stadium event in Houston, America First will meet India First. The post Donald Trump Is Holding a Rally With… Narendra Modi? appeared first on The Nation.

  • Hit by Historic Flooding From Imelda, Houston Offers Stark Reminder of Why Millions Are Joining Climate Strike
    on September 20, 2019 at 15:56

    Julia Conley, staff writerClimate strike leaders on Friday called on participants to keep Houston, Texas and the surrounding area in mind on Friday after severe flooding brought on by Hurricane Imelda left at least two people dead and required authorities to rescue at least 1,000 residents.

  • Two Years After the Hurricane, Puerto Rico’s “Generation Maria” Leads a Climate Strike
    by Alleen Brown on September 20, 2019 at 15:49

    The most powerful youth-led climate strike movement of the moment may actually be in Puerto Rico. The post Two Years After the Hurricane, Puerto Rico’s “Generation Maria” Leads a Climate Strike appeared first on The Intercept.

  • Why VSCO Girls are Going on Strike for the Climate
    by Kate Aronoff on September 20, 2019 at 15:49

    It’s not as if all VSCO Girls are sleeper climate champions. But as climate organizing has come to involve more people, it sucks the trends of the day up. The post Why VSCO Girls are Going on Strike for the Climate appeared first on The Intercept.

  • With Trump, We’re in the Realm of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
    by Sasha Abramsky on September 20, 2019 at 15:39

    Sasha Abramsky Roundups of the homeless, destruction of environmental and housing safeguards, collusion with foreign despots to savage reproductive rights—the president is an outlaw. The post With Trump, We’re in the Realm of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ appeared first on The Nation.

  • Trying to Find the Tea Party at its 10th Anniversary Rally
    by Jared Holt on September 20, 2019 at 15:37

    Fewer than 200 Tea Party activists gathered on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building on Thursday for a rally declaring socialism its top enemy. Yesterday’s event was meant to celebrate the Tea Party movement’s 10-year anniversary. In September 2009, tens of thousands of protesters marched under the Tea Party banner in Washington, reported Fox News at the time; the

  • James Robison: Evangelical Leaders Advising Trump Is An Answer ‘to the Prayers of Jesus’
    by Kyle Mantyla on September 20, 2019 at 15:17

    Right-wing pastor James Robison posted another video yesterday defending the unquestioning support that evangelical leaders have given to President Trump and declaring that their doing so is an answer to “the prayers of Jesus.” “Only God can save this country,” Robison said, “and our current leader has asked for prayer. He has made it very

  • ‘Because Business as Usual Is a Death Sentence’: Youth Climate Strikers in Their Own Words
    on September 20, 2019 at 15:08

    Jessica Corbett, staff writerAs millions of people of all ages joined the first-ever global #ClimateStrike on Friday—answering a call from students of the school strike for climate movement—youth activists from around the world shared why they are compelled to take to the streets to demand more ambitions efforts to tackle the planetary crisis.

  • Sanders Hits Back at Rich Biden Donor: ‘The Democratic Party I Represent Is the Party of the Working Class, Not Billionaires’
    on September 20, 2019 at 14:52

    Jake Johnson, staff writer”We are going to make the changes that we need in this country when the working people of America stand up to the corporate elite, not take their money.”

  • THE UPPER-CLASS COGNITION FILES: A tale of two faltering states of cognition!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 20, 2019 at 14:51

    FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2019Joe Biden meets 1619: What was Joe Biden talking about when he gave that rambling, discursive answer?You may know the answer we mean. We refer to the answer he gave, last Thursday night, to a rambling, discursive question from ABC’s Linsey Davis.The candidate’s rambling answer has raised questions about the state of his cognition—questions we regard as fair. The journalist’s rambling question has occasioned no such concerns.Inside the press corps, that’s the way the score has been kept for decades. At any rate, we reprint Biden’s answer below, as we did in Monday’s report.What the heck was Biden talking about? Few members of our elite pundit class have seemed to know or to care:BIDEN (9/12/19): Look, there’s institutional segregation in this country. And from the time I got involved, I started dealing with that. Red-lining, banks, making sure that we are in a position where—Look, you talk about education. I propose that what we take is those very poor schools, the Title I schools. Triple the amount of money we spend, from 15 to 45 billion a year. Give every single teacher a raise, the equal raise to getting out—the $60,000 level.Number two, make sure that we bring in to help the teachers deal with the problems that come from home. The problems that come from home, we need—we have one school psychologist for every 1500 kids in America today. It’s crazy.The teachers are—I’m married to a teacher. My deceased wife is a teacher. They have every problem coming to them. We have—make sure that every single child does, in fact, have 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds go to school. School! Not daycare. School. We bring social workers in to homes and parents to help them deal with how to raise their children.It’s not that they don’t want to help. They don’t—they don’t know quite what to do. Play the radio, make sure the television—excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the, the— Make sure that kids hear words. A kid coming from a very poor school—a very poor background will hear four million words fewer spoken by the time they get there. There’s so much we—DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.BIDEN: No, I’m going to go like the rest of them do, twice over, OK? Because here’s the deal. The deal is that we’ve got this a little backwards… As some of our college graduates noticed, Biden’s sentences didn’t parse especially well. But what the heck was the candidate even talking about?A few suggestions were clear. He wants to spend more money in low-income schools, possibly increasing the number of school psychologists. He wants to have all 3-year-old children attending actual schools.It’s at this point that the problems began for the elite press corps class: Biden said something about making sure that parents have the record player on at night so children, apparently low-income children, will be able to hear more words. Even worse, he said that we should “bring social workers in to homes” to “help [parents, apparently low-income parents] deal with how to raise their children.”As we noted at the start of the week, these hard-to-parse statements did make an obvious type of sense.Plainly, Biden’s reference to the words low-income children don’t hear was a reference to the so-called “30 Million Word Gap.” The number of words involved in this alleged gap has moved about over the years, possibly down to just four million, as Biden clearly knew. But you can see the general topic discussed at Education Next in this essay from this past June.Biden’s reference to those social workers was also easy to place. He was referring to programs like the Baby Steps program founded by the Washington Post’s William Raspberry in 2003, two years before his retirement and nine years before his death.The program was based in Okolona, Mississippi, Raspberry’s home town. Years later, the Post’s Courtland Milloy wrote that the program “teaches mostly low-income parents of preschoolers how to prepare their children for success in school—and life.” For the record, our society identifies Milloy as black. Upon Raspberry’s death in 2012, the DeSoto (Mississippi) Times-Tribune described the Baby Steps concept thusly:SALTER (7/18/12): In 2005, after learning of the early childhood education/intervention effort he was personally funding in Okolona, I asked him to meet me there and to tell me about his vision for changing the game for disadvantaged children in a town with a poor track record in public education.[…]Raspberry’s solution was the program he funded and founded called Baby Steps in Okolona. The Baby Steps Program has been a partnership between columnist William Raspberry, the Okolona Area Chamber of Commerce, the University of Mississippi and the Barksdale Reading Institute. Other key community partners include a number of Okolona and Tupelo churches and local volunteers.“The (Baby Steps’) basic idea is that all parents, no matter how unsuccessful they might have been in school, want their children to succeed academically—even if many of them don’t know how to make that happen,” Raspberry wrote in his nationally syndicated Nov. 17, 2003, column in The Washington Post.“We propose to teach them. The text for the effort is Dorothy Rich’s “MegaSkills”—a set of 11 attitudes and competencies that she believes lead to success in school and in life . . . the idea is to train the parents themselves, as they children’s most effective teachers, to pass these MegaSkills along to their children.”What was Raspberry talking about? To cite one example, many parents from low-literacy backgrounds may not realize the advantages a child can receive from being read to—even from being spoken to!—on a daily basis. Middle-class kids get the advantage of being read to from their earliest years. Lower-income kids often don’t get that advantage. Programs like Baby Steps try to help low-income parents develop the understandings which may help their kids succeed in school. That’s what Biden was talking about when he spoke about social workers helping parents—even when he spoke about the (unheard) millions of words.Biden’s sentences didn’t parse well. Beyond that, he seemed to fumble the basic idea behind the “30 Million Word Gap,” which generally refers to words which are spoken between a parent or caregiver and a child, not to words emerging from a TV set.That said, it was obvious what Biden was talking about in his jumbled answer. Unless you work for the New York Times, where the constantly angry Charles M. Blow angrily offered this:BLOW (9/16/19): [H]e gave a rambling, nonsensical answer that included a reference to a record player. But, the response ended in yet another racial offense in which he seemed to suggest that black people lack the natural capacity to be good parents:We bring social workers into homes and parents to help them deal with how to raise their children. It’s not that they don’t want to help. They don’t—they don’t know quite what to do. Play the radio, make sure the television—excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the—the—make sure that kids hear words. A kid coming from a very poor school—a very poor background will hear four million words fewer spoken by the time they get there.His language reveals a particular mind-set, one of a liberal of a particular vintage. On the issue of race, it is paternalistic and it pities, it sees deficiency in much the same way that the conservative does, but it responds as savior rather than with savagery. Better the former than the latter, surely, but the sensibility underlying the two positions is shockingly similar. It underscores that liberalism does not perfectly align with racial egalitarianism, regardless of rhetoric to the contrary.It’s hard to get dumber than that. At the Times, though, such maximal dumbness is largely de rigeur, as the French would have it.Listening to Biden that night, we heard an obvious reference to the 30 Million Word Gap and to such programs as Baby Steps. Apparently, the perpetually furious Blow didn’t know what Biden was talking about, although he certainly should have.Presumably due to his ignorance, Blow thought he’d heard something “nonsensical.” Just Like Everyone Else in The Guild, he tossed off a scripted jibe about Biden’s use of the term “record player.” Then he got very/real mad.Inevitably, the perpetually furious Timesman thought he’d heard a racial offense. In that pitiful passage by the perpetually furious Timesman, a candidate who may be displaying some cognitive lapses ran head-first into what we might call “1619 Cognition.”Blow, who is perpetually furious, didn’t seem to know what Biden was talking about. There should be no giant surprise in that—the New York Times is at its dumbest in the manifest indifference it displays towards the interests and needs of low-income kids, like the children Raspberry tried to serve in founding Baby Steps.Okolona’s public schools are almost totally black. Raspberry, a native son, was trying to help his hometown’s young black parents learn how to help their kids attain academic success.That’s what Biden was talking about when he spoke about social workers. But as if by rule of law, the perpetually furious New York Times columnist decided to take racial offense.(Just for the record, Blow’s son went to Yale.)In this minuet, your see the problem which lurks within The 1619 Project, the self-ballyhooed major undertaking which was announced last month by our dumbest, most upper-class newspaper. One week ago, Andrew Sullivan announced his reservations about the project, which he regards as a form of journalistic “activism.” (He also offered words of praise for some of its early work.)We think Sullivan’s analysis is well worth considering. We’d planned to offer our own thoughts about the structure of the project, and about one aspect of its inaugural essay.Instead, let’s leave things here, with this tale of two faltering states of cognition. Biden stumbled and fumbled about, in ways we regard as a point of concern. With his brilliantly one-track mind, Blow took racial offense.This afternoon, we’ll show you a letter in today’s Times in which a highly suggestible Santa Cruz reader thanks Blow for helping her spot Biden’s troubling “racism.” Anthropologists came to us with a troubling message:You simply can’t be this dumb and this scripted without ending up with a Trump! Such reactions are “cognitively suspect,” these top major experts said.

  • Plastic Straw Man
    by Jen Sorensen on September 20, 2019 at 12:00

    Jen Sorensen Or, how the right turns reason into treason. The post Plastic Straw Man appeared first on The Nation.

  • The Environmental Left Is Softening on Carbon-Capture Technology. Maybe That’s OK.
    by Rachel M. Cohen on September 20, 2019 at 11:53

    There is evidence that some groups on the left are willing to moderate their maximalist opposition to investing in carbon-capture technology. The post The Environmental Left Is Softening on Carbon-Capture Technology. Maybe That’s OK. appeared first on The Intercept.

  • ‘The Future of Earth Is at Risk’: New Drone Footage of Deforestation in Amazon Shows Cost of Meat Industry
    on September 20, 2019 at 11:51

    Eoin Higgins, staff writer”Global demand for meat is destroying the Amazon rainforest.”

  • The Student Debt Problem Is a Family Crisis
    by Mike Konczal on September 20, 2019 at 11:30

    Mike Konczal More and more parents are ending up trapped between what they feel is a moral obligation toward higher education and their financial reality. The post The Student Debt Problem Is a Family Crisis appeared first on The Nation.

  • Dreamers’ Fates Are Still Uncertain, Their Contributions Are Not
    by Blake Stewart on September 20, 2019 at 11:04

    Despite ongoing political turmoil, new data shows how Dreamers’ continue to help build the nation.

  • How To Get The U.S. To Care About The War In Yemen
    by Mark Fiore on September 20, 2019 at 10:00

    “Over 85,000 children dead from war and starvation in Yemen. And now you may pay more at the pump!&rdquo

  • In Pictures and Video: What ‘Biggest Day of Climate Action in Planetary History’ Looks Like as Over 4 Million Strike Worldwide
    on September 20, 2019 at 09:58

    Jake Johnson, staff writer”We’re here to reclaim our right to live, our right to breathe, our right to exist.”

  • Sanders Vows, If Elected, to Pursue Criminal Charges Against Fossil Fuel CEOs for Knowingly ‘Destroying the Planet’
    on September 20, 2019 at 09:21

    Jake Johnson, staff writer”They knew that it was real. Their own scientists told them that it was real. What do you do to people who lied in a very bold-faced way, lied to the American people, lied to the media?”

  • MIT Media Lab Kept Regulators in the Dark, Dumped Chemicals in Excess of Legal Limit
    by by Lisa Song, ProPublica, and Max Larkin, WBUR-FM on September 20, 2019 at 09:00

    by Lisa Song, ProPublica, and Max Larkin, WBUR-FM CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab have dumped wastewater underground in apparent violation of a state environmental regulation, according to documents and interviews, potentially endangering local waterways in and near the town of Middleton. Nitrogen levels from the lab’s wastewater registered more than 20 times above the legal limit, according to documents provided by a former Media Lab employee. When water contains large amounts of nitrogen, it can kill fish and deprive infants of oxygen. Nine months ago, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection began asking questions, but MIT’s health and safety office failed to provide the required water quality reports, according to documents obtained by ProPublica and WBUR. This triggered an ongoing state investigation. After ProPublica and WBUR contacted MIT for comment, an institute official said the lab in question was pausing its operations while the university and regulators worked on a solution. Tony Sharon, an MIT deputy vice president who oversees the health and safety office, didn’t comment on the specific events described in the documents. The state’s investigation adds to recent scrutiny of the Media Lab for accepting donations from Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender who was charged with trafficking minors before he died in jail last month. Joichi Ito, the director of the Media Lab, has resigned, and students have called for the resignation of MIT President L. Rafael Reif, who signed off on at least one of Epstein’s gifts. Get Our Top Investigations Subscribe to the Big Story newsletter. Don’t miss out on ProPublica’s next investigation. Sign up and get the Big Story email whenever we break news. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. The lab responsible for the dumping is the Open Agriculture Initiative, one of many research projects at the Media Lab. Led by principal research scientist Caleb Harper, who was trained as an architect, the initiative has been under fire for overhyping its “food computers”: boxes that could supposedly be programmed to grow crops, but allegedly didn’t work as promised. Throughout early 2018, the lab’s research site in Middleton, about 20 miles north of the main MIT campus in Cambridge, routinely drained hundreds of gallons of water with nitrogen into an underground disposal well, at concentrations much higher than the lab’s permit allowed, according to documents and interviews. The nitrogen came from a fertilizer mix used to grow plants hydroponically. The information comes from dozens of emails and lab results shared by Babak Babakinejad, a former researcher in Harper’s lab. Babakinejad said he decided to speak out because he’s worried about the health and environmental impacts of the dumping. Babakinejad’s account of the lab’s actions was confirmed by two other sources with knowledge of the experiments, who asked for anonymity. Babakinejad told ProPublica and WBUR that he warned Harper and MIT’s Environment, Health and Safety Office (EHS) about the situation after he realized their hydroponic solution exceeded their environmental permit, which limited the wastewater to concentrations of 10 parts per million (ppm) for nitrogen. EHS is responsible for health and safety throughout the institute, from environmental sustainability to the proper handling of toxic chemicals in research labs. “Our base fertilizer regiment is at 150 ppm Nitrogen… way above the required limit,” Babakinejad wrote in an April 2018 email to Harper, other Media Lab employees and senior staffers at EHS. “I am looking forward to discuss available options such as diluting our waste water… or apply for an appropriate license.” Harper responded to Babakinejad within the hour, scolding him for emailing health and safety officials: “Writing emails directly to Senior EHS / Facilities teams at MIT, especially those that effect [sic] our groups ability to do research, without asking [the project’s assistant director] or I to review, comment and approve is inappropriate… If emails are directed to you regarding our teams [sic] EHS responsibilities please redirect them to me until further notice.” This followed prior emails when Babakinejad had questioned Harper about whether the lab’s food computers could really do what Harper claimed. In news reports about this question, Harper did not address allegations about the project’s shortcomings. Babakinejad said he later spoke to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) in the fall of 2018, prompting the agency to take a closer look at the lab’s wastewater disposal permit. For more than five months, a MassDEP scientist tried to get basic information from MIT’s EHS office about how the lab disposed of its wastewater. This June, the scientist expressed frustration in an email to a senior EHS official: “MassDEP is concerned about the time that it is taking to provide what should be easy to obtain information regarding the (disposal well) discharges and other on-site discharges,” he wrote. “MassDEP is concerned that MIT still hasn’t indicated to MassDEP its long term solution to the management of spent growing solution wastewater containing unacceptably high concentrations of total nitrogen.” In a statement, MassDEP spokesman Edmund Coletta stated the agency was “concerned about the wastewater discharge issue connected to the Open Agriculture Initiative’s facility in Middleton (MA) and we are investigating the issue further. However, as this is a potential enforcement matter, I cannot offer any other comments.” Harper provided a statement through his lawyer, David Siegal: “Mr. Harper and his lab are, and have always been, deeply committed to protecting the environment. He has been and will continue to be fully cooperative with and responsive to MIT’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in their efforts to make sure the lab conforms to all environmental laws and regulations,” Siegal said. At this point there is no evidence that the discharge from Harper’s lab has reached local drinking water or the nearby Ipswich River. Excess nitrogen, when ingested by infants under four months old, can prevent blood from carrying oxygen, which can be fatal if left untreated. Municipal water systems routinely check for contaminants, but homes and businesses that use private drinking water wells are responsible for monitoring their own water. ProPublica and WBUR did not obtain any of those testing results. Pamela Templer, a Boston University professor who studies biogeochemistry, said nitrogen is an essential component of all living things. “But at high concentrations, it can become what we consider too much of a good thing,” she said. “In waterways, it can lead to phenomena like harmful algal blooms, which can be toxic to people and pets.” The type of disposal well used by MIT is part of an Environmental Protection Agency program that handles industrial and municipal waste, said Carl Reeverts, former deputy director of the EPA’s Drinking Water Protection Division. There are more than 650,000 of these “Class V” wells across the country. They are designed to protect underground sources of drinking water, but only if the well is properly built, maintained and regularly inspected. The wells are considered a lower priority for enforcement than others that store hazardous waste from mining, oil and gas, Reeverts said. In general, Class V wells are “most likely to be mismanaged… It’s the one that may be monitored least of all.” Wastewater was less of a concern when the initiative was launched in 2015 on MIT’s Cambridge campus, which is connected to a municipal sewer system with a wastewater treatment plant that could handle some nitrogen. But with plans to expand to the school’s more rural Middleton facility, which lacks a public sewer system, questions arose about how to dispose of the water. In August 2016, a consultant emailed the Media Lab’s director of facilities to explain that the best option was a disposal well if the nitrogen in the lab’s hydroponic water stayed below 10 ppm. The setup would be easy, requiring just a one-time registration to install it with the EPA’s Underground Injection Control (UIC) program, he wrote. But if the water showed higher nitrogen concentrations, regulations would be more stringent. “The water will need to be treated as sanitary waste (piped to municipal sewer, a septic system/field, or use a holding tank for monthly pickup by a waste management company),” the consultant wrote. Samples from the months before and after that email showed a huge range of concentrations, as high as 276 ppm, according to documents provided, indicating that some staff knew they could exceed the nitrogen limits if they built a well. The lab had a well installed, and in December 2017, Massachusetts regulators granted a permit with restrictions. The permit lists Harper as the well operator and the head of MIT’s EHS Office as the well owner. As part of the permit, MIT can only accept about 1,300 gallons of water per month, and must notify regulators within 10 days if it exceeded the 10 ppm nitrogen limit. Finally, the lab was required to provide monthly reports throughout 2018 showing the nitrogen content of the water discharged into the well. Babakinejad said he joined Harper’s lab about half a year before it got the permit. He had a PhD in neuroscience and nanotechnology from London’s Imperial College, and saw the Open Agriculture Initiative as a chance to work on food science projects that could improve health care. Babak Babakinejad said he warned Harper and MIT that the concentration of nitrogen in the lab’s hydroponic solution exceeded the environmental permit. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR) He began spending time at the Middleton site, called Bates, in October 2017, overseeing research on cotton and basil. The plants were set up in two shipping containers, each filled with 10 to 12 racks of plants floating in pools of water enriched with fertilizer. All together, the experiments could hold more than 500 gallons of the nitrogen-water mix at a time. The water had to be changed regularly, both to run new experiments and to prevent the tanks from filling with algae, Babakinejad said. A valve on the bottom of each tank allowed scientists to drain the solution into the well, before replacing it with a new fertilizer mix. Lab workers took regular water samples to track the experiments’ progress. The samples were sent to an outside lab, which analyzed the water for nitrogen and other compounds. Emails and lab notes from early 2018 show the experiments were in full swing. They were changing the water every two weeks, including on March 23, draining it to “flush” the crops. Documents show samples taken that day had nitrogen levels reaching 222 ppm, which is 22 times the allowable concentration. Babakinejad said the water, once drained, had to go into the well, because there was no other approved disposal method and nowhere to store hundreds of gallons of wastewater. He first emailed Harper about his environmental concerns in April 2018: “Our license only allows for 10 ppm [of nitrogen] to be discharged as waste however the nitrogen concentration in fertilisers and sanitation materials is significantly higher than what our registration notice allows.” Babakinejad repeated the warning in an April 16 email to Harper and EHS officials, prompting Harper’s reply that any emails to EHS should go through him first. The next day, Phyllis Carter, senior program manager at the EHS office, emailed Harper, Babakinejad and other lab employees, explaining that a sample from the previous week had registered 140 ppm nitrogen. “You are correct in that discharge at these levels is not allowed,” she wrote. Babakinejad said lab officials met to discuss the problem, but never resolved it. He left in mid-2018, disillusioned both by the nitrogen pollution and concerns that Harper had oversold the lab’s capabilities to funders, when it was struggling with a basic ability to grow plants. He said he felt pushed out, and that Harper retaliated against him for expressing concerns by giving him a work improvement plan that required him to document, in 30-minute increments, how he was using his time. Harper did not comment on the allegations of retaliation or circumstances of Babakinejad’s departure. Babakinejad said he was particularly disappointed by what he saw as the health and safety department’s failure to enforce the permit. “This is not about Open Agriculture, per se, or Caleb Harper,” he said. “This is a bigger issue… I took every action I could, to go through the right channels to address it. I came to a point that I realized that the institution, apparently, has made a decision not to address this.” Basil plants grow in one of the lab’s facilities in February 2019. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR) In January 2019, Joseph Cerutti, a DEP employee who handles its disposal well program, emailed Carter, the EHS officer, asking for the monthly reports her office was required to send to his agency the previous year. Carter had told him the lab hadn’t discharged anything into the well from April through June of 2018, but there were still nine months of missing reports. After a month without a response, Cerutti wrote back with a terse reminder, adding Harper to the email. If Cerutti didn’t get answers within the next two weeks, he would issue a notice of noncompliance, followed by possible fines and revocation of the permit. Harper responded quickly, writing, “We have been following the protocol agreed with EHS which was for any agricultural effluent was to be spread in the open field and NOT put into the UIC system.” Cerutti seemed unaware of this. The lab’s permit only allowed MIT researchers to use the well. “When was the protocol to exclusively discharge the hydroponic growing solution to the open field rather than to the UIC well implemented?” he wrote back. After a phone call with Carter in April, Cerutti was still left with basic questions. In June, he asked for copies of all nitrogen water sample results since January 2018. Carter responded in early July, attaching results since July 2018, but not the samples from March that frequently showed concentrations more than 10 times the limit. State regulators did an on-site inspection of the facility in July. The investigation is ongoing. Sharon, the MIT deputy vice president, issued a statement, saying EHS is “committed to working constructively with MassDEP to find a solution that enables OpenAg’s research at Bates to continue and meets their requirements.&rdquo

  • Here’s What to Expect From Chicago City Council’s Ticket Reform
    by by Melissa Sanchez on September 20, 2019 at 08:59

    by Melissa Sanchez I’m happy to report this week that the Chicago City Council overwhelmingly approved a pretty major set of reforms to the city’s system of ticketing and debt collection. You may know that I have been, em, a little obsessed with said system for almost two years, when I first joined the ProPublica Illinois team and began reporting on why so many people were filing for bankruptcy over ticket debt. On Wednesday, my pal Elliott Ramos from WBEZ Chicago — with whom I’ve worked on these stories since last summer — and I watched as aldermen voted 49-1 in favor of the reforms. It was a good morning. Here’s what aldermen approved: Putting an end to a decades-old practice of suspending driver’s licenses over unpaid parking and vehicle compliance tickets. I’ve written about how this practice disproportionately hurts low-income and black drivers. Reforming onerous payment plans. Previously, drivers with substantial ticket debt had to make down payments of up to $1,000 to qualify for a plan. For years, drivers have turned to bankruptcy instead, as it’s more affordable; many firms will file Chapter 13 bankruptcies for no money down. Now, down payment amounts for the city’s payment plans will range from $35 to $100. Reducing late penalties for city sticker tickets. Now, instead of doubling from $200 to $400, they will rise by $50. Motorists, however, still face a 22% fee if the debt is sent to collections. But the city will reinstate a 15-day grace period after the expiration of vehicle city stickers, so drivers have more time to come into compliance. End same-day or consecutive-day ticketing for compliance violations, including citations for failing to purchase a city sticker or updated license plate registration. Last summer, Elliott and I reported on the city’s dubious practice of issuing multiple $200 city sticker tickets to the same vehicle on the same day on thousands of occasions. An amnesty program for city sticker ticket debt, the largest source of outstanding ticket debt in the city. Details on this program have not yet been finalized. There are other many other changes, outlined here. Here’s what some people are saying: “We are working hard to make sure that we relieve that burden and give people their cars back and give them an opportunity to participate in the economy.” — Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Dive Deeper Into Our Reporting Our newsletter is written by a ProPublica Illinois reporter every week Discover what makes Illinois tick from our team of investigative journalists covering the state. Delivered every Friday. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. “I understand there is a hardship with some folks in paying for it, but my residents in my community have a hardship with paying an increase [in] property tax, an increase [in] fees and fines, and they obey the law and they abide by the law and they pay their debts.” — 11th Ward Ald. Patrick Thompson, the only dissenting vote. “I hate when people are talking about the scofflaws, scofflaws. This is about people who walk into our office with $500 to get on a payment plan and are turned away.” — City Clerk Anna Valencia. What happens next: The city will immediately stop seeking driver’s license suspensions over unpaid parking tickets, Finance Department officials said. The other reforms will take effect between now and Nov. 15. Meanwhile, state lawmakers are expected to take up a bill to end license suspensions over parking ticket debt across Illinois during the veto session later this fall. If that becomes law, the state would lift some 55,000 suspensions. As for me, I’m trying to savor this moment. It’s been so rewarding to help bring a problem to light, change the public narrative around “scofflaws” and help make people’s lives better. Elliott and I plan to keep an eye on the reforms. Please feel free to reach out if you have any tips or questions. And thank you for reading.

  • Brazil’s Army Wanted to “Occupy” the Amazon Before. Leaked Audio Reveals Their Plan to Try Again.
    by Tatiana Dias on September 20, 2019 at 04:01

    Jair Bolsonaro and Brazil’s army are reviving an old dream of the dictatorship to bring industry, mining, and settlers to the Amazon. The post Brazil’s Army Wanted to “Occupy” the Amazon Before. Leaked Audio Reveals Their Plan to Try Again. appeared first on The Intercept.

  • Documentos e áudios inéditos mostram plano de Bolsonaro para povoar Amazônia contra chineses, ONGs e Igreja Católica
    by Tatiana Dias on September 20, 2019 at 03:03

    Paranoia com invasões, indígenas, quilombolas e ambientalistas alimenta proposta para ocupar uma das partes mais preservadas da Amazônia no Pará. The post Documentos e áudios inéditos mostram plano de Bolsonaro para povoar Amazônia contra chineses, ONGs e Igreja Católica appeared first on The Intercept.

  • The ‘Jacobin’ Outrage About the Working Family Party’s Elizabeth Warren Endorsement Is Foolish and Unjustified
    by Jeffrey C. Isaac on September 19, 2019 at 22:28

    Jeffrey C. Isaac Nobody owns the working class—or the warrant of “History.” The post The ‘Jacobin’ Outrage About the Working Family Party’s Elizabeth Warren Endorsement Is Foolish and Unjustified appeared first on The Nation.

  • Right Wing Round-Up: Mike Pompeo’s Good Advice
    by Kyle Mantyla on September 19, 2019 at 21:37

    Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Trump reportedly implicated in intel whistleblower scandal. Nicole Lafond @ Talking Points Memo: Trump Denies He’s At Center Of DNI Whistleblower Complaint. Tommy Christopher @ Mediaite: Border Wall Chief Engineer Tells Trump to Stop Blabbing About Secret Surveillance Tech. Eric Maulbetsch @ The Colorado Times Recorder: Congressman Ken Buck:

  • Right Wing Bonus Tracks: Liberals Are Terrorists
    by Kyle Mantyla on September 19, 2019 at 21:35

    Ann Vandersteel is outraged about the new “Back to School” PSA from anti-gun violence organization, Sandy Hook Promise: “Liberals are TERRORISTS with propaganda like this.” Jim Bakker has asserted yet again that the silver solution he hawks on his television program “kills every venereal disease that there is.” Josh Bernstein absurdly argues that the Green

  • ‘Huge Win’ But ‘Not Enough’: Amazon Workers Claim Credit for Pushing Bezos on Climate, Vow to Intensify Campaign
    on September 19, 2019 at 21:26

    Julia Conley, staff writerAmazon workers who plan to walk off the job Friday in support of the Global Strike celebrated the power of employee pressure on Thursday as CEO Jeff Bezos released a plan to combat the climate crisis—but said Amazon must do more to prove it is committed to taking concrete action.

  • ‘Bird Emergency’ as Study Shows North American Bird Population Has Fallen by Nearly One-Third in Less Than 50 Years
    on September 19, 2019 at 20:54

    Eoin Higgins, staff writer”We have to act now to protect the places we know birds rely on.”

  • Teachers and Walmart Workers Top List as Sanders Campaign Hits 1 Million Individual Donors
    on September 19, 2019 at 20:40

    Jon Queally, staff writerWith 99.95 percent of those who gave still able to do so again, 2020 candidate says record milestone—reached faster than any other campaign in history—”is astonishing.”

  • CFM põe The Handmaid’s Tale em prática ao determinar que um feto está acima de uma mulher
    by Bruna de Lara on September 19, 2019 at 20:37

    Grávidas não podem mais negar procedimentos indesejados em seus corpos se médicos julgarem que recusa não é o melhor para o feto. The post CFM põe The Handmaid’s Tale em prática ao determinar que um feto está acima de uma mulher appeared first on The Intercept.

  • ‘Secretary of Corporate Interests’ More Like It, Say Critics of Trump’s Anti-Worker Labor Nominee
    on September 19, 2019 at 20:02

    Jessica Corbett, staff writerProgressive groups and Democratic lawmakers expressed serious concerns Thursday about corporate attorney Eugene Scalia—President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Labor Department—as the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee met to consider his nomination.

  • Could Candidate Warren beat Donald J. Trump?
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 19, 2019 at 19:55

    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019Kilgore, Chait puzzle it out: Could Elizabeth Warren beat Donald J. Trump next November?Sadly, we have no idea. But in this post for New York magazine, Ed Kilgore makes an excellent, semi-ironic point as he tries to puzzle it out.Given the fact that Warren such a thoroughly regular everyday person from Oklahoma, she should be able to show voters that she understands their fear of a major change in the American health care system. Or so Kilgore says:”A populist like her should show some empathy for those who fear big government and politicians as much as they fear insurance and drug companies.”We think Kilgore makes an excellent point, even if it sounds semi-ironic, though possibly only to us. We had a somewhat different reaction to a somewhat similar rumination by Jonathan Chait. Chait does a good job discussing possible vulnerabilities in Warren’s issue palette. But we think he misfires, instructively so, concerning the elephant in the room—the presumably inevitable return of Trump’s “Pocahontas” jibes.If Warren is the nominee, will Trump return to Pocahontas? If he does, will the approach take a toll?We have no way of knowing. That said, we think Chait misconstrues the situation in two ways which have become standard within our liberal tribe. Here are the relevant passages:CHAIT (9/18/19): Despite an exhaustive Boston Globe report that her self-identification as Native American had never benefited her career, early media coverage fixated on the issue, and she drew scorn from left and right alike. To Democratic voters, she looked like another victim of Donald Trump’s bullying.[…]Trump has also stopped, for the moment, injecting his “Pocahontas” slur into the political news cycle, but that will return if she clinches the nomination. Would Warren be hurt next year if Trump starts it up again? We don’t know, but we think we do know these things:No benefit to her career: Did Warren ever gain career advantage from her self-identification as Native American? We have no idea, and the Boston Globe’s assessment, right or wrong, completely misses the point. They key point is this—it’s very hard to avoid the impression that Warren was seeking career advantage by making this very strange claim. It’s the alleged motive that’s central here, not the question of an actual benefit.With our characteristic cluelessness, we liberals have been hiding behind that Globe assessment for a long time. It totally misses the point. All the president’s slurs: Question—when did the term “Pocahontas” become a racial “slur?” We liberals keep dismissing Trump’s taunt as “racist,” as a “slur.” But what makes “Pocahontas” a “slur?” What makes the mocking term “racist?” Clearly, Trump’s nickname is a term or derision in this context—but the derision is aimed at Warren for allegedly making a fraudulent claim.She isn’t being insulted or ridiculed for actually being Native American. She’s being ridiculed for allegedly making a (decades-long) false claim to that effect.News flash: If Trump returns to that attack, it won’t sound like a “racist” “slur” to all kinds of in-between voters. They’ll understand what’s being alleged. Our complaint will sound like what it is—a dodge, which misses the point.Why did Warren make that weirdly implausible claim for all those years? We have no way of knowing, but on its face, it’s hard to imagine how she ever thought that she was actually AMERICAN INDIAN, as she once listed herself on an official form.Whatever the truth may be, the impression that she was seeking advantage is very hard to avoid. Question:Do we liberals plan to win next year, or do we just mainly enjoy calling Trump a racist? If we actually hope to win, we ought to consider the way this derisive attack might actually come across out there in the real world. We have no idea if this type of attack would be successful next year. We do know how we liberals sound to many unaligned voters:It sounds like all our sentences have a noun and a verb and a word ending in “—ism.” It’s the way we currently like to play. We’ll guess that this approach could be a loser in this odd circumstance.A final point: Liberals should start to plan for this attack today. Just consider the history.Back in Campaign 1988, the Willie Horton attack was always going to come. When it came, we were caught by surprise. So too, amazingly enough, with Candidate Kerry and the Swift boat attacks in Campaign 2004. The attack was always going to come. When it came, it did great damage.Pocahontas will likely be back. Are we going to plan ahead, in realistic ways, or will we just gambol and play?

  • ‘Students Have Led and We Must Follow’: Thousands of Scientists From 40 Nations Join Global Climate Strike
    on September 19, 2019 at 19:42

    Julia Conley, staff writerJoining the labor movement, Amazon workers, and teachers in refusing to allow children to carry the burden of securing the planet’s future by demanding climate action, more than 2,000 scientists on Thursday pledged to take part in the Global Climate Strike and week of action beginning Friday.

  • After Mayor of Small Village Bans Glyphosate, Dozens of Others Join Rebellion Against French Law
    on September 19, 2019 at 19:26

    Eoin Higgins, staff writerTests on the people of Langouët showed levels of glyphosate—one of the most widely used herbicides and the active ingredient in RoundUp—in their urine up to 30 times the recommended limit. It was especially high in children.

  • To Avoid Repeat of 2016 Disenfranchisement, Sanders Urges Gov. Cuomo to Sign Bill That Would Extend NY Voter Registration Deadline
    on September 19, 2019 at 17:42

    Jake Johnson, staff writer”In 2016, countless voters across the state of New York were disenfranchised by the state’s arcane and inexcusable early party affiliation deadline,” said Faiz Shakir, campaign manager for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

  • Video Featuring Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot Details Magical Solution to Climate Crisis: Nature
    on September 19, 2019 at 16:30

    Jessica Corbett, staff writerYouth climate leader Greta Thunberg and writer and environmentalist George Monbiot explain in a short video published Thursday by The Guardian how the world can tackle the human-caused climate crisis by harnessing nature’s restorative powers.

  • ‘Total Massacre’ as U.S. Drone Strike Kills 30 Farmers in Afghanistan
    on September 19, 2019 at 16:12

    Eoin Higgins, staff writerAmnesty International said the bombing “suggests a shocking disregard for civilian life.”

  • THE LIMITED COGNITION FILES: Dating despair at the Sunday Review!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 19, 2019 at 16:03

    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019The New York Times’ sexual politics: It’s the rare morning when we don’t do it—when we don’t wonder about the degree of cognition put on display within the upper-end press corps.We had several such moments this morning, just scanning the New York Times Some questions:Should “E for Effort” in a banner headline really be taken as a compliment? Should 40 percent of a population be described as “most?” In fairness, the Times does tell us today that Donald J. Trump’s Scottish resort is 25 miles away from that much-maligned Scottish airport. On September 6, Rachel and Brian each rattled off a different figure—they each said the distance was 50 miles, a figure they took, live and direct, from a report which Politico had apparently bungled.This morning, we checked the 2018 study from which an opinion column in today’s Times had taken that figure of 40 percent. Alas!That study came from NPR and Harvard, but the cogitations within that study were enough to break human hearts. We’ll cite just one example:HARVARD/NPR (October 2018): Most rural Americans say that minority groups do not face discrimination in their local community, with the exception of three key groups: gays and lesbians, transgender people, and recent immigrants to the United States. Three in ten rural adults (30%) say that generally speaking, they think transgender people are discriminated against in their local community, while 29% of rural adults say they generally think recent immigrants to the U.S. are discriminated against. More than one-quarter (27%) of rural adults say that generally speaking, they think gays and lesbians are discriminated against in their local community. In that passage, journalistic and academic elites say that 27% is “most!” At such moments, we tend to think of Kevin Drum’s reporting about the massive exposure to lead which was almost universal during the years when most current elites were children.On line, that op-ed column in today’s Times makes much more sense than it did in our print edition, where it seems to have suffered from ham-handed, slapdash editing. That said, hapless editing is standard at the Times, as we all learned this weekend in the case of the grotesquely bungled editing of the new Kavanaugh semi-accusation, in which an important disclaimer was removed during the editing process.Make no mistake! We live in a world where 25 miles is actually 50 and 30% is most! We live in a world where some editor at the Times doesn’t understand that “E for Effort” will sound like an insult to many people, not like an accolade. More specifically, we enter that world when we peruse the puzzling work product of many people within our mainstream press. Our first such journey this morning occurred as we scanned the new contents at Slate. This entry appeared on that list:CHRISTINA CAUTERUCCI / SEPT 18, 2019 / 8:18 PM”Go Home and Just Rest and Do Something Else”: Senior Citizens on Biden’s Age Skillfully, we clicked. The report to which we were transported was headlined exactly like this:POLITICS“It’s Time for the Baby Boomers to Get Off the Stage”People over 60 respond to concerns about Joe Biden’s age.By CHRISTINA CAUTERUCCIWe were surprised to see that older voters were telling Biden to quit. As everyone knows, older voters have been Biden’s strongest age cohort in primary polling to date. Personally, we think Biden is a terrible candidate within a field of terrible candidates. But if it’s terrible you want, terrible is routinely present in the cogitations of those in our upper-end press.In this case, the Slate report was a virtual parody of anything resembling serious journalistic practice. The analysts screamed and tore at their hair when they encountered this discourse on method:CAUTERUCCI (9/18/19): With Biden, Trump, and Bernie Sanders all pushing back the outer limits of candidate age, and Elizabeth Warren not far behind them, I set out to ask people who have personally experienced the aging process what they thought about Biden, aging, and the presidency. I found some through Twitter and some hanging around tourist hotspots in D.C. All in all, I talked to more than a dozen Americans over 60, some of whom preferred to omit their last names while speaking frankly about politics.We didn’t make that up! Indefatigably, Slate’s scribe had spoken to more than a dozen people as she tried to learn what older people think about Biden’s acuity. That struck us as a rather small (and rather imprecise) N.Cauterucci had spoken to a comically small number of people. Some were concerned about Biden’s age, others were not—but so what? Some editor selected the most negative quotes and placed them in Slate’s two headlines. No one cared about the sheer absurdity of Cauterucci’s basic method, a method we’ve persistently found in the New York Times during past elections. So it goes when our journalistic elites attempt to create information.Within this puzzling cognitive realm, an important new project has been announced. We refer to The 1619 Project, in which the same newspaper which massively bungled last Sunday’s Kavanaugh report is going to reinvent the whole of American history.We’ll discuss the advisability of that undertaking tomorrow. For today, we’ll only say this:People who think that 40 percent is most; people who are inclined to tweet that “having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun;” People who let their best-known columnist write about Obambi’s finicky eating habits all through Campaign 2008; people who go out and hire the fatuous Wall Street Journal writer who wrote an endless analysis piece questioning whether Candidate Obama was too skinny to be president:People whose rather shaky cognition tends to lead them in such directions should perhaps be less self-assured as they undertake to intervene in so sweeping a way concerning so crucial a topic. On balance, the Times is not an impressive group. People who think Maureen Dowd is a genius might even do the world the favor of leaving such projects alone.We’ll assess that history project tomorrow. For today, we only want to call your attention to another mission on which this very strange upper-class newspaper seems to have embarked. To us, this other project seems to be present each Sunday morning now. We find it in the Sunday Review, generally with a pair of essays which open like this trio of essays, all of which appeared on Sunday July 21:The Ridiculous Fantasy of a ‘No Drama’ RelationshipOnline, that’s what men say they want from women. Do they know nothing about life?By Laura HilgersMs. Hilgers writes about addiction, love and other topics.I was recently on the dating app Bumble when I came across the profile of an attractive middle-aged man, a few years younger than I am. He was born on the East Coast and had a big dog, which I liked. But then I read that he was “100 percent drama-free” and demanded that any dates be the same way. I thought, “Here’s somebody who probably won’t listen if I’m having a bad day” and swiped left to indicate my lack of interest…FaceApp and the Savage Shock of AgingIn the mirror is someone we never thought we’d become.By Nicci GerrardMs. Gerrard is the author of the forthcoming book “The Last Ocean: A Journey Through Memory and Forgetting.”Several years ago I was in a department store, frazzled and running late, looking for things I couldn’t find. As I was hastening along an aisle, a woman came toward me. She was quite a bit older than I was, and in a state of substantial disarray. As I drew closer I saw her shirt was wrongly buttoned. I put up a hand to prevent her bumping into me, and she put up a hand as well. I stopped. She stopped. We stared at each other with a kind of pity. And with a sudden rush of mortification, I understood that I was looking at myself in a mirror. Was I that tired and shambolic? Was I that old?…”Opinion columns” of this type have become a staple at the Sunday Review. With apologies, they make us think of the throwback sexual politics the New York Times has persistently put on display during the era of Dowd.Is there anything “wrong” with first-person, “human interest” submissions of this type, submissions which, in the Sunday Review, exclusively come from women? We’ll agree that there’s nothing evil about such submissions, but as American society slides toward the sea, we can’t help wondering about a guild which continues with musings like this in its highest profile weekly ideas and analysis section:In Praise of Online DatingYes, it can be demoralizing. It can also enlarge your world.By Katharine SmythMs. Smyth is a writer.When I was in my early 30s, my husband of four years, partner of nine, left abruptly in the middle of the night. In the surreal weeks and months that followed, I grew increasingly apprehensive about the idea of online dating. I hadn’t been single in nearly a decade; I didn’t even have Facebook, let alone a stockpile of profile pictures or an irrepressible texting game…That return to the problems of online dating appeared on August 11. One Sunday later, on August 18, these ruminations appeared:Finding Myself in My Mother’s CalendarsWe tend to think they are about keeping track of time. They are about much more.By Carol J. AdamsMs. Adams is an activist and author.Among my mother’s legacies are four decades of yearly calendars. At the beginning of this year—a decade after her death—I resolved to read all 40. Could these appointment calendars, which she kept from 1965 through 2003, offer a window through which to glimpse my mother in the midst of living her life? Curious, I hoped that something as ordinary as her datebook might surprise me…I’m 57. Am I Grown Up?I’m childless, still trekking the path to self-realization, and always the first one on the dance floor.By Erin Aubry KaplanContributing Opinion WriterAm I grown up? I have been asking myself this question for 40 years, since I was 17. At that very young age the question was mostly rhetorical—of course I was grown up: I had graduated from high school and was headed to a big university; I had a driver’s license and could navigate Los Angeles freeways; I wore makeup and high heels with regularity and reasonable sophistication; I had finally ditched the wash-and-set hairstyle preferred by my mother and let my hair curl at will. I was doing me by degrees, and every degree was thrilling, all I imagined grown up would be…”I’m 57. Am I Grown Up?” Again and again, then again and again, this is the way this throwback newspaper has pictured the capability and agency of the people they think of as women.To us, these musings seem to come straight from the old “women’s pages” of newspapers from the past mid-century, or perhaps from the pages of the Redbook of some era. There’s nothing “evil” about these musings, but no similar musings are published by men, and the musings seem to create a somewhat peculiar picture of the capabilities of women.By August 25, we’d actually proceeded to “Dating While Dying/I found myself terminally ill and unexpectedly single at 40.” Last Sunday, we were asked to muse about this:How My Boyfriend Made Me Fall in Love With GamingIt became a form of bonding for us, not a source of strain.By Eve PeyserMs. Peyser writes about culture and politics.When my boyfriend moved into my shoe-box one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, he brought along three uninvited friends: his Xbox 360, his PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Wii. Within a week, he insisted on buying a second television in order to game at his leisure, and avoid badgering from me. In fairness, I was the stereotypical video game-phobic girlfriend.Growing up in an all-female household, I never owned a gaming console and never yearned for one. Whenever I did play a console game, always at the house of a male friend, I would quickly grow frustrated because I didn’t know how to use the controller…Is the modern subscriber permitted to ask if these regular Sunday submissions might not constitute a new form of Standardized New York Times All-Around Dumbness? Just so you’ll know, the Times appended this pathetic “human interest” request to the end of last Sunday’s column:Did a loved one help you appreciate video games? Do you think being a gamer is worthwhile or problematic? Let us know in the comments.How far is it from that silly request to yesterday’s “Here to Help” feature, in which a very young woman told us that, in recent months, she has queued up a routine with a few simple, inexpensive ways to nurture herself in as little as 15 minutes a day, so that she can feel steady even during life’s droughts and downpours? Alas! Among the ways this young woman said she now nurtures herself, she didn’t fail to list this:Effortless toothbrushingI sometimes yearn to skip this step in my nightly routine so I can just get to bed already. Since getting an electric toothbrush, though, I’ve found that persuading myself to brush is easier. She has also started going to therapy, because although she finds these self-nurturing tools helpful, they can’t replace professional medical help.Needless to say, that young woman deserves all the help she can get; we’d suggest a one-way ticket away from the Times. That said, who will save us from the throwback culture so persistent at that peculiar newspaper?Dating from the ascension of Dowd and the full-blown investment in “Creeping Dowdism,” the Times has persistently projected a very strange picture of the capabilities of women. Without attempting to denigrate the young women who wrote it, yesterday’s Here to Help feature—and those now routine, two-per-week Sunday “human interest” submissions—seem to have taken us back to the time when people socially defined as women need the constant assistance of stronger people just to get through the day, then to jump into bed at night with teeth successfully brushed.Can this still be the way anyone pictures the world of women? Apparently, yes it can, at the persistently fatuous Times.Like other upper-class institutions, the New York Times is almost impossibly daft on a regular basis. It’s stunning to think that a flyweight gang like this has decided that they should be the ones who “finally” craft The One Absolute Truth about American history.WE’ll start tomorrow with Biden’s cognition, move on to that of the Times. But we often think of Kevin Drum when we peruse the upper-end press, and major expert anthropologists just won’t stop telling us this:You simply can’t be this stupid this long without ending up with a Trump.Tomorrow: What was Biden talking about? The Times meets American history

  • ‘Perfectly Legal’ Levels of Contaminants in US Tap Water Could Result in 100,000 Cancer Cases: New Study
    on September 19, 2019 at 15:46

    Julia Conley, staff writerExamining drinking water contaminants using a more complex method than the U.S. government uses to assess risks, scientists revealed Thursday that carcinogenic elements and chemicals in water causes 100,000 cancer cases over a lifetime.

  • The Deadly Debris the US Is Leaving Behind in Afghanistan
    by Stephanie Savell on September 19, 2019 at 15:44

    Stephanie Savell Landmines have killed at least 5,000 people, many of them children, during the war in Afghanistan. They’ll be there long after we leave. The post The Deadly Debris the US Is Leaving Behind in Afghanistan appeared first on The Nation.

  • Be Prepared: Find the ER You Want to Go to Before an Emergency Happens
    by by Lena V. Groeger on September 19, 2019 at 15:30

    by Lena V. Groeger To be prepared in the event of an emergency, you can use our newly updated ER Inspector (formerly called ER Wait Watcher) to help you evaluate the emergency rooms near you. Using data from the federal government, our interactive database lets you compare ERs on both efficiency measures, including how long patients typically spend in the ER before being sent home, and quality measures, such as how many violations related to ER care a hospital has had. Note: If you think you are having a heart attack, stroke or other life-threatening emergency, do not use ER Inspector. Call 911 and seek care immediately. We’ve made a few substantial changes and upgrades to ER Inspector since it first came out in 2013. Notably, we’ve added hospital violations related to emergency room care since 2015. We’ve also removed two measures that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) no longer releases. New: ER Violations Data Hospitals in the U.S. that participate in Medicare are subject to health and safety regulations. They are inspected regularly every few years and also in response to complaints. CMS only publicly releases violations found during the investigation of a complaint — you can now see all of those emergency room violations since January 2015 in ER Inspector. How to Prepare for an Emergency Don’t wait until an emergency happens before you do your research. Use ER Inspector to find the right emergency room near you. We’ve also put together a helpful planning toolkit so that you can have this important information close at hand when you really need it. While CMS releases data on all types of hospital violations, or “deficiencies,” we pulled out the ones related to ER care. These include violations relating to not properly assessing and treating patients, inadequate medical and nursing staff and not following ER policies and procedures. It also includes violations of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), which requires ERs to provide a medical screening examination and provide treatment to stabilize anyone who comes to the emergency department, regardless of their ability to pay. ER Inspector now displays the percentage of hospitals in each state with at least one violation since January 2015, as well as a full explanation of each violation on each hospital page. Still Here: What it Means to Have “Timely and Effective Care” To demonstrate how well their emergency rooms provide “timely and effective care,” hospitals report a few key measures on a quarterly basis, all of which you can see in our database: Time Until Sent Home: The average time patients spent in the emergency room before being sent home if they weren’t admitted. Left Without Being Seen: The percentage of patients who left the emergency room without being seen by a doctor. Time Before Admission: The average time patients spent in the emergency room before being admitted to the hospital. Transfer Time: Among patients who were admitted, the additional time they spent waiting before being taken to their room. CT Scan: Percentage of patients who arrived with stroke symptoms and received brain scan results within 45 minutes. In ER Inspector we reverse this measure and display the percentage that did not receive a brain scan within 45 minutes. While timing can vary depending on why someone came to the ER (a sprained ankle may take less time to treat than unexplained chest pain), long wait times are often signals of overcrowding or staff shortages. Removed: Wait Time Before Seeing a Doctor CMS removed two ER quality measures in April 2019. The first was a measure of the average time patients spent in the ER before being seen by a doctor. In a 2018 rule, CMS outlined several concerns with the measure, including that it was not linked to improved patient outcomes, and that the wait times and reported time stamps were not always valid or accurate. Ashish K. Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, agrees that the measure was not always accurate. According to Jha, hospitals sometimes indicate that they have seen a patient when in fact they haven’t actually examined them yet, in order to artificially shorten their reported wait times. “In concept it’s a good measure,” Jha said, “but much of the variation in wait time is due to gaming the measure.” CMS also removed another measure on the average time patients with broken bones had to wait before receiving pain meds. In the same 2018 rule, CMS outlined concerns that the measure “may create undue pressure for hospital staff to prescribe more opioids.&rdquo

  • ER Inspector: Find and Evaluate Every Emergency Room Near You
    by by Lena V. Groeger on September 19, 2019 at 15:30

    by Lena V. Groeger To get the best care possible, your choice of emergency room matters. Look up hospitals ahead of time so you can evaluate where to go in an emergency. Get data on hospital quality measures, such as wait times, patient ratings and citations for emergency room violations. Use our tool.

  • Riling the Right-Wing Base For Fun and Profit
    by Peter Montgomery on September 19, 2019 at 15:19

    “Racist Democrats want to whip this rising GOP superstar into silence” was the attention-getting subject line on an email sent to right-wing activists on Wednesday. “Capt. Wesley Hunt is ready to kick some Democrat you-know-what, and take names, but he needs your support,” said the email. “Will you join me in endorsing this rising superstar today?” Hunt is

  • Hands Off Exarcheia: Athens’s Anarchist Community Fights Back
    by Ella Fassler on September 19, 2019 at 15:03

    Ella Fassler The police and Airbnb threaten to transform Athens’s radical enclave into a “tourist-friendly caricature.” The post Hands Off Exarcheia: Athens’s Anarchist Community Fights Back appeared first on The Nation.

  • The US Navy Has a Water Problem
    by Dave Lindorff on September 19, 2019 at 14:45

    Dave Lindorff The Second Fleet was reactivated to patrol the Arctic. Only problem is, the fleet’s home is on the front lines of sea-level rise: Naval Station Norfolk. The post The US Navy Has a Water Problem appeared first on The Nation.

  • ‘What Corporate Impunity Looks Like’: Court Acquits Tepco Executives for Role in Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
    on September 19, 2019 at 14:29

    Jake Johnson, staff writer”I had braced myself that we might not get a clean victory, but this is too awful.”

  • On Climate Strike Eve, 450+ Activists and Groups Urge United Nations to Back Global Fracking Ban
    on September 19, 2019 at 14:29

    Jessica Corbett, staff writerOn the eve of a global climate strike and just days before a major United Nations climate summit, more than 450 environmental activists and organizations sent an open letter Thursday to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres urging him to support a global ban on fracking for fossil fuels, highlighting growing concerns about public health and the climate emergency.

  • E.W. Jackson: Deport Every Undocumented Immigrant Because Hispanics Are ‘Having Lots of Children’ and Will ‘Overwhelm the Culture’
    by Kyle Mantyla on September 19, 2019 at 14:29

    On his radio program yesterday, right-wing pastor E.W. Jackson called for rounding up and deporting every undocumented immigrant in America because Hispanics are “having lots of children” and will soon “overwhelm the culture.” “I’ve had it with this stuff,” said Jackson, who was the Republican Party nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia in 2013 and

  • It’s Time to Shed Light on Our Elite Institutions’ Dirty Money
    by Ilana Cohen on September 19, 2019 at 13:27

    Ilana Cohen Currently, 99 percent of Harvard’s endowment remains hidden from the public. The post It’s Time to Shed Light on Our Elite Institutions’ Dirty Money appeared first on The Nation.

  • Puzzle No. 3510
    by Joshua Kosman and Henri Picciotto on September 19, 2019 at 13:00

    Joshua Kosman and Henri Picciotto The post Puzzle No. 3510 appeared first on The Nation.

  • Iran Doesn’t Want Conflict, Says Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, But Any US-Saudi Attack Would Spark ‘All-Out War’
    on September 19, 2019 at 12:52

    Jake Johnson, staff writer”We don’t want war. We don’t want to engage in a military confrontation. But we won’t blink to defend our territory.”

  • Fueling Extinction
    by Sue Coe on September 19, 2019 at 12:00

    Sue Coe The EPA removes methane regulations. The post Fueling Extinction appeared first on The Nation.

  • Condemning Pompeo Warmongering, Sanders Says ‘Attack on Saudi Oil Is Not an Attack on America’
    on September 19, 2019 at 11:59

    Jake Johnson, staff writer”We will not let you drag the American people into another catastrophe in the Middle East.”

  • Margaret Atwood Shouldn’t Exonerate Aunt Lydia
    by Katha Pollitt on September 19, 2019 at 11:30

    Katha Pollitt The Testaments, Atwood’s sequel to Handmaid’s Tale, gives undue credit to Gilead’s misogynistic female enabler. The post Margaret Atwood Shouldn’t Exonerate Aunt Lydia appeared first on The Nation.

  • How Should We Remember the Art of Emil Nolde?
    by Barry Schwabsky on September 19, 2019 at 11:30

    Barry Schwabsky A recent show in Berlin grapples with the legacy of a prominent German modernist who was a supporter of Nazism but whose art was derided by Nazis. The post How Should We Remember the Art of Emil Nolde? appeared first on The Nation.

  • Applause as Federal Court Blocks ‘Unconstitutional’ South Dakota Law That Would Hit Pipeline Protesters With Up to 25 Years in Prison
    on September 19, 2019 at 11:10

    Jake Johnson, staff writer”The so-called ‘Riot Boosting’ Act was clearly intended to suppress constitutionally-protected, peaceful protests of the Keystone XL pipeline.”

  • What Would Real Commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement Look Like?
    by Zoë Carpenter on September 19, 2019 at 11:00

    Zoë Carpenter The United States will be a nonentity at this fall’s UN climate summit. But the 2020 election is a chance to change the game. The post What Would Real Commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement Look Like? appeared first on The Nation.

  • Does This Nearly 1,000-Page-Long Sentence Encapsulate the Anxiety of American Life?
    by Dustin Illingworth on September 19, 2019 at 11:00

    Dustin Illingworth Lucy Ellmann’s novel Ducks, Newburyport provides a comprehensive diagnosis of one citizen’s very modern alienation. The post Does This Nearly 1,000-Page-Long Sentence Encapsulate the Anxiety of American Life? appeared first on The Nation.

  • 23 Reasons to Climate Strike Today
    by Bill McKibben on September 19, 2019 at 10:00

    Bill McKibben Take to the streets. The post 23 Reasons to Climate Strike Today appeared first on The Nation.

  • Edward Snowden Speaks
    by D.D. Guttenplan on September 19, 2019 at 10:00

    D.D. Guttenplan The NSA whistleblower’s new memoir is essential reading. The post Edward Snowden Speaks appeared first on The Nation.

  • Alarming Trump ‘Promise’ to Foreign Leader Reportedly Sparked Whistleblower Complaint Intel Chief Is Hiding From Congress
    on September 19, 2019 at 09:03

    Jake Johnson, staff writer”This may take impeachment in a totally new direction,” said John Dean, who served as White House counsel to President Richard Nixon

  • Meet Donald Trump’s Campaign Manager
    by by Andrea Bernstein, WNYC on September 19, 2019 at 08:00

    by Andrea Bernstein, WNYC In August, at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, a tall man with a Viking beard and an elegant gray suit walked out on a stage, carrying a stack of red Make America Great Again hats, tossing them to an adoring crowd, shouting “Four more years!” Listen to the Episode The man is Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, who vaulted from a mid-level web designer to digital strategist for the 2016 Trump campaign and now manages the 2020 incarnation, Donald J. Trump for President Inc., which he claims will be America’s first billion-dollar campaign. And as he’s been doing this, Parscale has figured out ways to enrich himself and his firms, at various times collecting a salary from the Trump campaign, payments from the Republican National Committee and money from a super PAC, America First Action. Like Trump, Parscale is a man who’s reinvented himself, from working for a family company that declared bankruptcy to being a middling businessman, to becoming a high-profile avatar for Donald Trump. Get More Trump, Inc. Stay up to date with email updates from WNYC and ProPublica about their ongoing investigations. ProPublica’s Peter Elkind joined “Trump, Inc.” to talk about his in-depth profile of Parscale in ProPublica and the political juggernaut Parscale is assembling to re-elect the President. Here’s what Elkind says about Parscale and the stories he tells about himself: “He changes dates. He rearranges facts. He omits conspicuous events. He basically rewrites his own life story to become a more romantic tale, to fit into the image that he’s trying to convey. He is a promoter, he’s a hustler, he’s a marketer.” In short, Brad Parscale is a lot like his boss. To find out more, listen to the episode. You can contact us via Signal, WhatsApp or voicemail at 347-244-2134. Here’s more about how you can contact us securely. You can always email us at And finally, you can use the postal service: Trump Inc at ProPublica 155 Ave of the Americas, 13th Floor New York, NY 10013

  • Roy Cohn and the Art of Mean
    by Ed Rampell on September 19, 2019 at 07:00

    New documentary takes stock of Trump’s Svengali.

  • Right Wing Round-Up: No Obligation to Be Honest
    by Kyle Mantyla on September 18, 2019 at 21:33

    Media Matters: Alex Jones says Beto O’Rourke will end up dead if a mandatory assault weapon buyback happens. Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Trump finally explains his interest in addressing homelessness. Reed Richardson @ Mediaite: Corey Lewandowski, Called Out for Lying on MSNBC, Testifies He Has ‘No Obligation to Be Honest With the Media.’

  • ‘Look a Dying Man in the Eyes’: Activist Ady Barkan Wants Joe Biden to Sit Down and Talk About Medicare for All
    on September 18, 2019 at 20:52

    Eoin Higgins, staff writer”Look a dying man in the eyes and tell me how we fix this country.”

  • ‘What the Hell Is Going On Here’?: Alarm Raised as Trump’s Intelligence Director Refuses to Give Whistleblower Complaint to Congress
    on September 18, 2019 at 20:45

    Julia Conley, staff writerProtocols put in place to protect government whistleblowers were in jeopardy Wednesday—potentially at the direction of President Donald Trump, according to a top Democrat—as the acting Director of National Intelligence refused to share a whistleblower’s complaint with Congress, as required by law.

  • Political Fundraiser Pleads Guilty To Fraud
    by by Maggie Severns, Politico, and Derek Willis, ProPublica on September 18, 2019 at 20:45

    by Maggie Severns, Politico, and Derek Willis, ProPublica In one of the first Justice Department cases of its kind, Maryland political consultant Kelley Rogers pleaded guilty to wire fraud on Tuesday for operating multiple fraudulent political action committees that raised money from donors for conservative causes but kept much of the funds for Rogers and his associates. Rogers’ arrest and indictment took place shortly after Politico and ProPublica investigated one of Rogers’ PACs, Conservative Majority Fund, which since 2012 has raised close to $10 million — mostly from small-dollar donors, many of them elderly — while giving out just $48,400 to politicians. Read More How Fundraisers Convinced Conservatives to Donate $10 Million — Then Kept Almost All of It. Beginning in 2012, operatives used a federal PAC to target small-dollar donors, claiming they’d use the money to oppose Barack Obama. But that’s not what happened. Court documents state Rogers raised millions of dollars using “materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises” in his solicitations to donors, made up fake bills for the PACs, including Conservative Majority Fund, and made false disclosures about them to the Federal Election Commission. “Rogers swindled millions of dollars from individuals attempting to participate in our democratic process,” said Timothy R. Slater, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which was involved in the investigation into Rogers. “Instead of using donations to provide assistance and support to military veterans, as he advertised, Rogers used the money to benefit himself and his associates.” An attorney for Rogers did not respond to a request for comment. No one else has been charged. Our story detailed how Conservative Majority Fund took information it had collected about donors for the American Conservative Union, the famed operators of the annual CPAC conference, and used that information to build a PAC that preyed on those donors fears. While promising to fight Barack Obama and illegal immigration, internal emails and documents showed that Rogers and his associates instead funneled the money back to themselves. Until recently, PACs such as those operated by Rogers operated with little oversight from the federal government. But the Department of Justice began to take steps to crack down earlier this year. It sentenced another man, William Tierney, to two years in prison for operating multiple PACs that solicited money for charitable-sounding causes, such as fighting cancer, but did not use the money raised for those purposes. Rogers’ guilty plea represents a step forward for enforcement, said Larry Noble, former general counsel at the Federal Election Commission. “One fraud case doesn’t make a change of policy, but hopefully this is just the beginning,” Noble said. The DOJ’s ability to charge PAC operators with fraud or tax evasion is one of the federal government’s only avenues for cracking down on so-called scam PACs, he said, “so it is significant if the Department of Justice is going to start going after these people.” Get Our Top Investigations Subscribe to the Big Story newsletter. Don’t miss out on ProPublica’s next investigation. Sign up and get the Big Story email whenever we break news. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Rogers, his consulting firm and a PAC he operated called the Conservative StrikeForce were sued in 2014 by Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican candidate for governor in Virginia who now serves as acting director of citizenship and immigration services in the Trump administration. Cuccinelli’s suit alleged that Rogers raised more than $2 million by claiming he was assisting the Republican’s campaign but spent almost nothing to support it. In 2017, the FBI raided Rogers’ Annapolis office. The criminal charges against Rogers stemmed from his involvement in the 2013 Virginia elections. In addition to misleading donors, Rogers also created fake invoices for at least four PACs that he controlled, including Conservative Majority Fund, court documents show. Rogers worked “with others in his inner circle, particularly telemarketing, email and direct mail vendors, to cause the creation of fake invoices.” Rogers would pay the invoices to firms under his control or controlled by associates who would “kick money back” to him, according to the court documents. Court filings also show that Rogers used two of the PACs he controlled, Conservative Majority Fund and Tea Party Majority, to pay debts the Conservative StrikeForce incurred as a result of Cuccinelli’s lawsuit. The two committees paid about $249,000 to Conservative StrikeForce, violating federal campaign contribution limits. In addition, Rogers filed FEC reports “in order to conceal from donors and the federal government the true nature of those payments,” according to court documents. Rogers agreed to pay $491,299 in restitution to victims of the fraud scheme, as well as a forfeiture judgment of $208,954 as part of his plea agreement. He is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

  • Blasey Ford’s high school friend take a hike!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 18, 2019 at 20:40

    WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2019The things we liberals aren’t told: Yesterday, Kevin Drum wrote about the widely-discussed new book about Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford. His post appeared beneath this headline:New Kavanaugh Book Is a Gift for Conservatives Unfortunately, that headline may well be right. We say that because the book includes new information—new information which we liberals pretty much aren’t being told.Conservatives are being given the new information, on Fox and at conservative sites. But we aren’t being told Over Here, and we haven’t been told to date by the New York Times. In short, we’re being propagandized. Here’s the part of Drum’s post which we principally have in mind:DRUM (9/17/19): Back during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, Chistine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of pinning her on a bed and covering her mouth—before eventually letting her go—at a small house party when he was 17. In the book, we learn that Leland Keyser, a friend of Ford’s who was at the party, now says that she doesn’t remember the event and that “it just didn’t make sense.” And: “It would be impossible for me to be the only girl at a get-together with three guys, have her leave, and then not figure out how she’s getting home. I just really didn’t have confidence in the story.” Keyser says that her original equivocal testimony had been delivered under duress. That’s right! According to Blasey Ford, Leland Keyser, a high school friend, was the only other girl at the gathering where the alleged attack occurred. But here’s what Keyser told the two Times reporters concerning Blasey Ford’s account:“I don’t have any confidence in the story.” (We’re taking our quote from the work of the Times reporters in this Atlantic essay.) There’s an uglier part of what Keyser told the Times reporters. As Drum notes, she told them that she was pressured by supporters of Blasey Ford to get in line with Blasey Ford’s story. More accurately, Keyser seems to have said that she was threatened by Blasey Ford’s supporters. “I was told behind the scenes that certain things could be spread about me if I didn’t comply,” she told the Times reporters.The fact that Keyser has said these things doesn’t mean that they’re true. The fact that liberals haven’t been told these things is part of the way our liberal orgs subject us to propaganda—keep us barefoot and clueless.The fact that Keyser has said these things doesn’t mean that Blasey Ford’s account is false. The fact that you haven’t heard these things means that you’re being played. Propaganda isn’t just for The Others any more!The New York Times didn’t include this information in the multiply-bungled excerpt of the new book which it published on Sunday. It did feature a grossly misleading account of another claimed assault, but only after editors removed the part of the piece which explained that the woman who was allegedly mistreated has refused to make any such claim and has apparently told friends that she recalls no such incident.(Long after Sunday’s report was published, the Times reinserted that basic information in its published account.)If you were watching Fox last night, you were told about these facts and about these major journalistic bungles. You were told, not unreasonably, that this information helps you see how fake the New York Times is.If you get your news from liberal sources, you probably haven’t heard these things. If you want to read a bit more, we’ll link you to two sources:At this link, you’ll see a report about these matters by the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake. The report appeared on-line at 9:30 yesterday morning. It didn’t appear in today’s hard-copy Post.At this second link, you’ll find a report by Mollie Hemingway, who published a book in July about these same events. Hemingway apparently reports the same things in her book, but she seems to say that Keyser spoke with her off the record. She’s quite sardonic in her appraisal of the Times reporters, possibly with reason.Did Kavanaugh assault Blasey Ford? We have no way of knowing.Is information being kept from us liberals? Dearest darlings, use your heads! Did you have to ask?

  • Lack of Transparency Surrounding Working Families Party’s Warren Endorsement Raises Concerns
    on September 18, 2019 at 20:02

    Eoin Higgins, staff writer”Last I checked, transparency isn’t a radical idea.”

  • Outrage as Tennessee Moves Forward With Trump-Favored Proposal to Slash Medicaid
    on September 18, 2019 at 19:30

    Andrea Germanos, staff writerThe plan, if enacted, threatens to unleash a “radical change to the medical safety net for the nation’s poorest citizens.”

  • TV Weathercasters Who Are Shifting Public Opinion on the Climate Crisis
    by Pam Radtke Russell on September 18, 2019 at 18:35

    Pam Radtke Russell Meteorologists’ reports help viewers understand what is happening and why it’s important—and they’re having an impact. The post TV Weathercasters Who Are Shifting Public Opinion on the Climate Crisis appeared first on The Nation.

  • NFL Teams Are Desperate for Quarterbacks—but Colin Kaepernick Remains Unsigned
    by Dave Zirin on September 18, 2019 at 18:34

    Dave Zirin As injuries mount, Kaepernick’s political exile becomes more conspicuous. The post NFL Teams Are Desperate for Quarterbacks—but Colin Kaepernick Remains Unsigned appeared first on The Nation.

  • Will Russia Be Driven From the West?
    by Stephen F. Cohen on September 18, 2019 at 18:32

    Stephen F. Cohen American opponents of readmitting Moscow to the former G8 fail to understand the consequences. The post Will Russia Be Driven From the West? appeared first on The Nation.

  • Chicago City Council Approves Ticket and Debt Collection Reforms to Help Low-Income and Minority Motorists
    by by Melissa Sanchez, ProPublica Illinois, and Elliott Ramos, WBEZ Chicago on September 18, 2019 at 18:20

    by Melissa Sanchez, ProPublica Illinois, and Elliott Ramos, WBEZ Chicago The Chicago City Council on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved an overhaul of its punitive ticketing and debt collection system, including an end to the suspension of driver’s licenses over unpaid parking tickets. The reforms begin to deliver on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s campaign promise to stop balancing the budget on the backs of the poor with aggressive fines and fees, an issue that gained attention last year as a result of investigations by ProPublica Illinois in collaboration with WBEZ Chicago. The investigations, which showed how unpaid tickets have sent tens of thousands of black and low-income motorists into bankruptcy, were amplified by advocates and community groups that mobilized to persuade city and state legislators to address the effects that ticketing has on low-income and minority communities. With Wednesday’s 49-1 vote, Chicago becomes the largest U.S. city to enact major reforms to its system of parking fines and fees. City officials, who have estimated the cost at $15 million in lost revenues next year, say more changes are coming. Dive Deeper Into Our Reporting Our newsletter is written by a ProPublica Illinois reporter every week Discover what makes Illinois tick from our team of investigative journalists covering the state. Delivered every Friday. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Lightfoot said the reforms, which are scheduled to take effect by Nov. 15, touch “thousands of Chicago families, moving us away from funding our city through an old regressive system.” “Cook County has the highest [number of] Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings in the country and a huge percentage of those filings relate to debt people owe to the city of Chicago,” she said after the vote. “So we are working hard to make sure that we relieve that burden and give people their cars back and give them an opportunity to participate in the economy.” In addition to immediately ending its decades-old practice of seeking license suspensions over unpaid parking tickets — something state lawmakers are also expected to vote on later this fall — the city is restructuring its ticket payment plan structure and reducing down payment requirements. Until now, drivers with significant ticket debt faced down payments of $1,000 and often turned to bankruptcy instead. The city will also stop doubling fines for one of its costliest citations: the $200 ticket for drivers who fail to buy a required annual vehicle sticker. Under the new legislation, the late penalty will fall to $50, though motorists can still accrue a 22% collections fee. Vehicle sticker tickets account for the largest amount of outstanding parking ticket debt, ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ have found. In addition, the city will reinstate a 15-day grace period after stickers expire to give motorists more time to come into compliance before facing tickets and offer an amnesty period later this year that would wipe out old sticker ticket debt if motorists come into compliance. Details on the amnesty program have not been finalized. Finally, the city will also allow motorists whose vehicles have been immobilized by the so-called Denver boot an additional 24 hours to pay their ticket debt or get on a payment plan before the cars are impounded. The legislation borrows from recommendations of a ticketing task force that had been launched in December by City Clerk Anna Valencia, whose office has also legislated its own modest reforms around city sticker tickets. City officials said that though they project a $15 million revenue loss in 2020, they expect the reforms to become revenue neutral or even lead to an increase in revenue, as people who could not afford city payment plans come online and pay their debts. Still, a handful of aldermen complained about the prospect of losing revenue in a time of financial hardship for the city, and insisted that so-called ticket “scofflaws” deserve to have their driving privileges taken away. In 2018, revenue from parking and automated camera tickets generated some $272 million for the city, or about 7% of its $3.8 billion operating budget, Finance Department officials said. This year, the city faces an $838 million budget deficit. During a Finance Committee hearing on Monday, Ald. Patrick Thompson said the reforms unfairly benefit motorists who repeatedly rack up tickets for parking in handicap zones at the expense of law-abiding citizens from neighborhoods like his. Thompson, a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, represents the city’s 11th Ward, which is centered in the family’s Bridgeport neighborhood on the South Side. “I understand there is a hardship with some folks in paying for it, but my residents in my community have a hardship with paying an increase [in] property tax, an increase [in] fees and fines, and they obey the law and they abide by the law and they pay their debts,” said Thompson, the only dissenting vote Wednesday. Ald. Brendan Reilly of the downtown 42nd Ward, demanded to know how city officials had derived the projection that the reforms would cost $15 million in lost revenue. Eight years ago, aldermen did not question a claim by city officials that raising the cost of city sticker violations from $120 to $200 would generate some $16 million in new revenue. ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ have reported how the decision to raise the cost of sticker tickets produced only modest revenue increases but led to hundreds of millions of dollars in debt for residents. Lightfoot’s reforms don’t address the city’s impound program, which funnels tens of thousands of cars to a private contractor, some for as little as $200 each, WBEZ has reported. Administration officials say they are working to retool the program. The city was sued earlier this year over claims that some of the city’s crime-related impoundments are unconstitutional. Ald. Raymond Lopez of the 15th Ward on the city’s Southwest side posed another possible reform: wiping out all ticket debt. “Are you open to actually having a true amnesty and a zeroing event where we can actually just start fresh without having to carry all of this negative balances over and over again instead of giving us this false sense that we have some sort of collectible option available?” he asked. Finance Department officials said they were open to discussing options.

  • Trump’s Plan to Solve Homelessness Is Horrifying
    by Jake Bittle on September 18, 2019 at 18:00

    Jake Bittle Democrats are right to be outraged—but their ideas aren’t much better. The post Trump’s Plan to Solve Homelessness Is Horrifying appeared first on The Nation.

  • Day After Trump Denigrates Homeless, Sanders Unveils $2.5 Trillion #HousingForAll Plan to Address Crisis
    on September 18, 2019 at 17:44

    Jessica Corbett, staff writerIn the wake of “abhorrent” comments made by President Donald Trump about homeless people, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday unveiled his $2.5 trillion “Housing for All” plan, which calls for building millions of affordable housing units and providing billions of dollars in rental assistance over a decade.

  • ‘This Really Is Something’: UN Chief Praised for Move to Block Coal-Backing Nations From Speaking at Climate Summit
    on September 18, 2019 at 16:41

    Andrea Germanos, staff writerThe U.N. had already announced that only leaders with a clear climate action plan would be allowed to speak, and it appears the secretary-general is following through on that directive.

  • In Repairing Its Image, the DCCC Has Only Scratched the Surface
    by Steve Phillips on September 18, 2019 at 16:32

    Steve Phillips If the committee truly wants to diversify and strengthen the Democratic caucus, it should put its money where its mouth is. The post In Repairing Its Image, the DCCC Has Only Scratched the Surface appeared first on The Nation.

  • Swiss Voters to Decide on Whether to Allow Factory Farming to Continue in ‘Milestone’ Moment
    on September 18, 2019 at 16:17

    Eoin Higgins, staff writerOn September 16, the campaign submitted more than enough signatures for the measure to appear on the upcoming ballot.

  • Progressives Say GM’s Decision to Cut Off Employee Health Insurance ‘Yet Another Reason Why We Need Medicare for All’
    on September 18, 2019 at 16:14

    Jake Johnson, staff writerUnder a single-payer system, said one Medicare for All advocate, employers would no longer have “tons of leverage because workers are desperate to keep their benefit.”

  • WATCH: With Gun Control Measures Held Up In Congress, ‘Gut Punch’ PSA Shows Children Trying to Survive School Shooting
    on September 18, 2019 at 16:04

    Julia Conley, staff writerA new PSA released Wednesday by the non-profit group Sandy Hook Promise showed the reality children face as they head back to school—one marked not only by back-to-school shopping but by active shooter drills and fears that their school could be the next target of a mass shooting.

  • Greta Thunberg Just Delivered Her Testimony to US Lawmakers: It Was a Landmark UN Climate Report
    on September 18, 2019 at 15:15

    Jessica Corbett, staff writerRather than delivering prepared remarks, 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg submitted a landmark United Nations report on global warming as testimony at a U.S. House hearing Wednesday and urged federal lawmakers to heed experts’ warnings about the necessity of ambitious, urgent efforts to address the planetary emergency.

  • Disputing Trump Claims, Japan Says No Evidence Iran Was Behind Saudi Attack
    on September 18, 2019 at 15:00

    Jake Johnson, staff writer”We are not aware of any information that points to Iran,” said Japanese defense minister Taro Kono.

  • Trump Is Treating Foreign Policy Like a Mafia Protection Racket
    by Jeet Heer on September 18, 2019 at 14:37

    Jeet Heer Congress needs to investigate the connection between Trump’s belligerence and the Arab monarchy’s wealth. The post Trump Is Treating Foreign Policy Like a Mafia Protection Racket appeared first on The Nation.

  • THE FALTERING COGNITION FILES: Could this be part of Redbook Redux?
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 18, 2019 at 14:07

    WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2019The New York Times’ second mission: Over at Mother Jones, Sarah Jones has tweeted that she was “truly mystified by how badly the NYT botched this book excerpt.”She refers to the the way, or perhaps to the several ways, the New York Times has bungled its roll-out of the new book about the Kavanaugh hearings. For ourselves, we haven’t yet had the heart to tell you how many ways the Times has managed to bungle that roll-out. More on that later today, with a link to Drum.For now, we’ll only say that we’re surprised to see that Jones is surprised by what has occurred. Of all people, we would have hoped that this youngish scribe would have been more savvy.Jones is a youngish, progressive writer with working-class roots in southwest Virginia coal country. By way of contrast, the Times is a largely vacuous upper-class news org whose cultural roots grow out of the manicured soil in the better parts of the Hamptons.The Times has been a cancer on American journalism at least since the time, in 1992, when Katherine Boo tried to warn the world about the phenomenon she memorably called “Creeping Dowdism.” The fact that Jones is mystified by the Times’ latest bungles—well, it just shows us how powerful the newspaper’s branding has been.How fatuous is the inner guild at the New York Times? So fatuous that the paper has decided to reinvent the whole of American history through its self-ballyhooed 1619 Project, a project Andrew Sullivan discussed last Friday in this widely-read essay.Sullivan praised some of the early work from the project, but warned against the Times’ decision to move from “[journalistic] liberalism to [journalistic] activism.” For ourselves, we’re inclined to think that the paper is indulging itself in massive hubris concerning a deeply important part of American as it launches itself on the mission it announced last month.The 1619 Project involves a type of journalistic “activism” concerning our nation’s brutal racial history. We’ll discuss Sullivan’s essay on Friday.Today, let’s start to discuss the second major “activist” mission this newspaper seems to be fashioning. We’re inclined, perhaps unfairly, to call it Redbook Redux.How dumb is the essentially upper-class culture inside the New York Times? Let’s start today with the “Here to Help” feature found on today’s page A3.As with all upper-class cultures, the upper-class culture of the Times is deep into self-involvement. How else to explain the fatuous nature of a feature which starts off as shown below?No, we aren’t making this up. On today’s A3, we found this:Here to Help5 (CHEAPISH) THINGS FOR SELF-CARE IN 15 MINUTES A DAYIn recent months, I’ve queued up a routine with a few simple, inexpensive ways to nurture myself in as little as 15 minutes a day, so that I can feel steady even during life’s droughts and downpours. (I also started going to therapy, because although I find these tools helpful, they can’t replace professional medical help.) In collaboration with picks from Wirecutter, a New York Times company that reviews and recommends products, here are five cheap(ish) things I use to take care of myself in 15 minutes or less.As the wider American project continues to slide toward the sea, this is the sort of journalism which seems to make sense at the Times.The writer here is looking for ways to nurture herself on a daily basis, thereby letting herself feel steady even during life’s droughts and downpours. As almost anyone would, we wondered how old a person would have to be to have mastered so complete a regime of self-involvement.We’ll admit that we were surprised to see that the writer is only five years out of college (Reed, class of 2014). Even at that tender age, she’s devoted to nurturing herself while keeping her therapy on the side. Why knows? Perhaps it’s the very craziness of the world the New York Times has helped create which explains this type of anxious self-involvement at such an early age.We’re sure that the writer of this piece is a good, decent person; we’re disappointed that she’d get involved with a fatuous outfit like the Times. At any rate, she describes her role at the paper like this:I’m a New York based writer who knows that good writing takes more than carefully chosen words. Currently, I work at Wirecutter, the product review site owned by the New York Times, with a focus on kitchen gear and apparel. This involves exhaustive research and testing, and a fine eye for details. In my day to day, I research, report, edit, and fact-check pieces; work with editors and stakeholders to align our goals; communicate with web and photo teams to realize the big picture; and use data and analytics to reach the right audience. Beyond crafting narratives, I make sure every project reaches its full potential. Did you know that, as our society slides toward the sea, the New York Times owns a “product review site”—a site which maintains “a focus on kitchen gear and apparel?”We’ll admit that we didn’t know that! That said, we’re struck by the “exhaustive research” and endless journalistic care which seems to go into the work of the site, especially in contrast to the kinds of disaster which routinely occur when the Times attempts to discuss matters like allegations of sexual assault within the highest realms of national politics.The self-involvement on display in this morning’s piece comes to us from the wheelhouse of the modern Times. As the paper’s young writer continues, she lists and describes five different ways she nurtures herself each day, even as her society and the global structure are melting down around her.At the modern-day New York Times, these priorities seem to make sense. Below, you see one of the ways the Wirecutter says we might self-nurture.No, we haven’t made this up. This appears on page A3 of today’s hard-copy Times:Effortless toothbrushingI sometimes yearn to skip this step in my nightly routine so I can just get to bed already. Since getting an electric toothbrush, though, I’ve found that persuading myself to brush is easier. Wirecutter’s pick, the Oral-B Pro 1000, does most of the work for me. The Oral-B is a cinch to use, and it makes my teeth feel scrubbed clean (I just turn it on and attempt to follow the American Dental Association’s guidelines for two solid minutes). Every time I go to Costco, I treat myself to replacement heads alongside a giant bag of snap pea crisps. Balance!Effortless toothbrushing! And no, we haven’t made that up. That copy appears on page A3 of today’s New York Times. (To peruse the full on-line essay from which the print feature is derived, you can just click here. Don’t miss the “bright water bottle you won’t be able to ignore” or the “soothing meditation app.” They’re all part of The Hamptons Experience!)Truly, this fatuous upper-class newspaper leaves no stone unturned! Even as it assigns itself the task of creating The One True Version of American History, it’s happy to advertise the type of self-nurturing which can result from effortless nightly toothbrushing.Let’s offer a bit of background:The Times “reimagined” its page A3 a few years ago. Like many others, we were surprised by the slogan the paper announced for its new, helpful page:You are the dumbest people on earth.We at the Times want to serve you.That was admirably frank! But doggone it: Even in the face of that messaging; even in the face of the newspaper’s relentless classic bungles, stretching from the invention of the Whitewater pseudo-scandal on through the destruction Candidate Gore on through the relentless deconstruction of the diffident debutante Obambi on through a tweet which has now announced this:“Having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun.”Even after decades of similar conduct, a journalistic hope for the future is mystified by the Times’ latest series of pitiful Trump-aiding bungles.At this routinely silly, upper-class newspaper, having a penis thrust in your face may seem like harmless fun! On the other hand, effortless toothbrushing can help a subscriber “just get to bed already” on a nightly basis.On Friday, we plan to discuss The 1619 Project, a sweeping attempt to reinvent the journalistic treatment of our nation’s brutal racial history. We plan to discuss Sullivan’s view of the project while tossing in our own.What, though, is the second “mission” on which the Times seems to be launching itself? It seems to us that today’s “Here to Help” may help point us in that direction.We’ll describe that second mission tomorrow. We’ve been thinking of it as Redbook Redux, though that may be unfair.Tomorrow: A throwback gender world

  • We’re Fueling the Next Global Extinction
    by Tom Engelhardt on September 18, 2019 at 14:00

    Tom Engelhardt And it will wipe us out, too. The post We’re Fueling the Next Global Extinction appeared first on The Nation.

  • What LGBTQ People Want
    by Kiki Monifa on September 18, 2019 at 13:56

    Like all LGBTQ people, I am layered. I cannot be viewed as just black or queer or a mother. Politicians and policy makers must understand all of these complexities.

  • WATCH: Coalition of 10,000 Farmers and Ranchers Call On Congress to Pass Green New Deal
    on September 18, 2019 at 13:49

    Julia Conley, staff writerChallenging the narrative that the agricultural industry opposes bold action to combat the climate crisis, a coalition of nearly 10,000 farmers and ranchers on Wednesday demanded that Congress support the Green New Deal.

  • Ahead of Climate Strike, Greta Thunberg Tells US Lawmakers to Their Faces: Sorry, You’re Not Trying ‘Hard Enough’
    on September 18, 2019 at 12:03

    Jake Johnson, staff writer”Don’t invite us here to just tell us how inspiring we are without actually doing anything about it because it doesn’t lead to anything.”

  • Whether Report
    by Randall Enos on September 18, 2019 at 12:00

    Randall Enos Whether we will drown in plastic? The post Whether Report appeared first on The Nation.

  • ‘I Used to Wonder What My Karma Was That I Had to End Up in a Place Like This’
    by John Washington on September 18, 2019 at 12:00

    John Washington A Nepali TPS holder and domestic worker describes what it’s like to live in the US without papers and to fight for workers’ rights. The post ‘I Used to Wonder What My Karma Was That I Had to End Up in a Place Like This’ appeared first on The Nation.

  • A Haitian Music Oral History That Bends Space and Time
    by David Hajdu on September 18, 2019 at 11:30

    David Hajdu Nathalie Joachim’s debut album, Fanm d’Ayiti, bridges vast expanses, bringing together the sounds of Haitian folk music, Western classical music, electronic, and hints of pop. The post A Haitian Music Oral History That Bends Space and Time appeared first on The Nation.

  • The Business of Being Taylor Swift
    by Olivia Horn on September 18, 2019 at 11:00

    Olivia Horn Her latest album, Lover, has been heralded as a return to form. It also presents an opportunity to understand the pop star’s many contradictions.  The post The Business of Being Taylor Swift appeared first on The Nation.

  • ‘Abhorrent’: Trump Condemned After Showing More Concern for Real Estate Than Human Beings in Remarks on Homelessness
    on September 18, 2019 at 10:14

    Jake Johnson, staff writer”He’s apparently more concerned with the doorways and streets than with the people who are homeless and sleeping on them.”

  • The UN Secretary General Urges Public Pressure to Address the Climate ‘Emergency’
    by Mark Hertsgaard on September 18, 2019 at 10:00

    Mark Hertsgaard “Nature is angry,” but a Green New Deal can help, says Secretary General António Guterres. The post The UN Secretary General Urges Public Pressure to Address the Climate ‘Emergency’ appeared first on The Nation.

  • Exclusive: Edward Snowden’s First Adventures in Cyberspace
    by Edward Snowden on September 18, 2019 at 08:45

    Edward Snowden An excerpt from the whistleblower’s new memoir. The post Exclusive: Edward Snowden’s First Adventures in Cyberspace appeared first on The Nation.

  • ‘Heartless and Unconscionable’: Outrage as General Motors Cuts Off Healthcare for 50,000 Striking Workers
    on September 18, 2019 at 08:40

    Jake Johnson, staff writer”It is cruel and outrageous that GM has cut off the healthcare benefits from their employees in a blatant attempt to force the union into submission,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders.

  • 2020: Democratic Establishment vs. Democratic Socialists
    by Michael Sainato on September 18, 2019 at 08:00

    Meet three new challengers to the entrenched old guard.

  • Welcome to the New “Trump, Inc.”
    by by Eric Umansky on September 18, 2019 at 08:00

    by Eric Umansky The “Trump, Inc.” podcast by ProPublica and WNYC is back. And we’ll be bringing you new episodes every two weeks. When we started all the way back in early 2018, we laid out how we’d be digging into the mysteries around President Donald Trump’s business. After all, by keeping ownership of that business, Trump has had dueling interests: the country and his pocketbook. Hear more on “Trump, Inc.” We’ve done dozens of episodes over the past 18 months, detailing how predatory lenders are paying the president, how Trump has profited from his own inauguration and how Trump’s friends have sought to use their access in pursuit of profit. We’ve noticed something along the way. It’s not just that the president has mixed his business and governing. It’s that the way Trump does business is spreading across the government. Trump’s company isn’t like most big businesses. It is accountable to only one man, it has broken the rules, and those promoting it have long engaged in what Trump has dubbed, ahem, “truthful hyperbole.” Those traits are now popping up in the government. It may seem like the news from Washington is a cacophony of scandals. But they fit clear patterns — patterns that Trump has brought with him from his business. Listen to the episode. Get More Trump, Inc. Stay up to date with email updates from WNYC and ProPublica about their ongoing investigations. You can contact us via Signal, WhatsApp or voicemail at 347-244-2134. Here’s more about how you can contact us securely. You can always email us at And finally, you can use the postal service: Trump Inc at ProPublica 155 Ave of the Americas, 13th Floor New York, NY 10013

  • So-Called “Limited” Nuclear War Would Actually Be Very Bad and Kill Tens of Millions, Warns New Report
    on September 17, 2019 at 20:30

    Eoin Higgins, staff writer”We urgently need sensible action to reduce and eliminate nuclear risk.”

  • How to Send a Message of Solidarity to People in Migrant Detention
    by Tina Vasquez on September 17, 2019 at 19:47

    Tina Vasquez A new project called Flowers on the Inside allows people to send postcards featuring art from undocumented immigrants to detained migrants. The post How to Send a Message of Solidarity to People in Migrant Detention appeared first on The Nation.

  • Sometimes you just have to throw up your hands!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 17, 2019 at 19:37

    TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2019For entertainment purposes only: In this morning’s print editions, the New York Times, our brainiest newspaper, offers the correction shown below.No, we aren’t making this up. Exactly as reproduced, the correction appears on page A27 of this morning’s Washington Edition:CORRECTIONSAn Op-Ed article on Saturday about performance-enhancing drugs and technology referred incorrectly to the classification of ostriches. They are birds, not mammals. Sometimes you just have to throw up your hands! The second of today’s two op-ed corrections is almost as entertaining.To read the column referred to above, you can just click here. A version of the correction appears at the end of the column.An ostrich is a bird, not a mammal! Insert joke about “heads in the sand” concerning the work of this very strange newspaper over the past thirty years.Obambi was much like Scarlett O’Hara! Please send them a Pulitzer prize!Pending full recovery, possibly coming tomorrow: Only in the New York Times:How My Boyfriend Made Me Fall in Love With GamingIt became a form of bonding for us, not a source of strain.As if you couldn’t have guessed, it came from the Sunday Review.

  • Elizabeth Warren’s Rally Drew More Than 20,000
    by Spencer Green on September 17, 2019 at 16:24

    Spencer Green Elizabeth Warren drew her largest crowd yet and centered her rally on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and Frances Perkins, a woman who persisted. The post Elizabeth Warren’s Rally Drew More Than 20,000 appeared first on The Nation.

  • The Environment Is in Trump’s Crosshairs. We Need to Fight Back.
    by Sasha Abramsky on September 17, 2019 at 15:57

    Sasha Abramsky This isn’t scattershot; it is a well-planned effort to destroy environmental regulations and investments built up over decades. The post The Environment Is in Trump’s Crosshairs. We Need to Fight Back. appeared first on The Nation.

  • THE QUESTIONABLE COGNITION FILES: The New York Times does it again!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 17, 2019 at 15:39

    TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2019And again and again and again: “Having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun.”As you may know, we’re quoting from the New York Times—from an official Opinion section tweet, a tweet which sought to direct attention to the newspaper’s latest large bungle.As things turned out, the ham-handed tweet replaced that high-profile Sunday report as the newspaper’s latest large bungle. It also recalled the peculiar, throwback “sexual politics” the famous newspaper has often put on peculiar display over the past many years.The facts behind these successive large bungles have been widely discussed in the past two days. As far as we know, the author of that ham-handed tweet remains unnamed, and we hope it remains that way.The tweet was directing attention to the featured essay in last weekend’s Sunday Review. For the background on that bungled essay, we’ll direct you to Margaret Sullivan, wringing her hands and tearing her hair in today’s Washington Post.We’d only wonder why Sullivan still seems surprised by nonsense like this at the famous Times.Over the weekend, the bungles were flying thick and fast from the New York Times. At the start of the weekend, Andrew Sullivan had suggested that it might not be the greatest idea for this pathetically flawed, high-profile org to assign itself the task of rewriting the whole of American history, the latest major “journalistic” project the Times has undertaken.Sullivan’s essay was widely read and was, in our view, quite worthwhile. We’ll discuss its assessments, and add to its claims, by the end of the week.For today, we thought it might be best to turn to The Questionable Cognition Files—to review the problematic cognitive state which is frequently on display at the New York Times.Is the state of Candidate Biden’s cognition a reasonable topic at this time? In our view, yes, it is—and we don’t regard that as “ageism,” the pitiful moniker dumped on this question just yesterday by former senator Boxer.Boxer was working within the cognitive bubble favored by our floundering tribe, in which every sentence has a noun and a verb and a word ending with “—ism.” In fact, as we all know, many people do experience cognitive decline as they reach a certain age. Given the office Biden seeks, it would be strange to ignore this well-known fact, especially in the face of the candidate’s various stumbles.In our view, the state of Candidate Biden’s cognition should be up for review. But how about the cognitive state of the glorious Times? In our view, the general state of its staff’s cognition should be questioned too.Basic background: there has been little question, in recent decades, about the cognitive state of the Democratic Party’s presidential nominees.In 1992, Candidate Clinton was a former Rhodes scholar. No one questioned how such a thing come have come to pass.In 2008, Candidate Obama was a former editor of the Harvard Law Review. He was also the author of a 1995 memoir which was quite favorably reviewed in real time, before he became a public figure.In Campaign 2000, the party’s nominee had been Vice President Gore. In 1992, he’d written a major book about climate change—a book which was very favorably reviewed in real time, by both the Washington Post and the New York Times. For excerpts from those real-time reviews, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 2/23/07. In 2007, Gore was awarded a Nobel prize for his long-time work in this area.The cognitive traits of these nominees seemed beyond reproach. That brings us to the peculiar cognitive traits of an amazing number of major players at the New York Times.As a quick starter, consider Gore’s widely-praised 1992 book. By the end of 1999, Candidate Gore was under attack all over the mainstream press, and certainly so at the New York Times.The paper specialized in inventing weird “quotations” by Gore and, of course, in questioning his masculinity. For these reasons, his widely-praised book was reviewed again, along with books by the other major candidates. On the paper’s front page, the paper’s long-standing book reviewer now offered this:KAKUTANI (11/22/99): Vice President Al Gore emerges from ”Earth in the Balance” (Plume), his 1992 book about the environment, as the quintessential A-student who has belatedly discovered New Age psychobabble. Like his speeches, his book veers between detailed policy assessments (predictably illustrated with lots of charts and graphs) and high-decibel outbursts of passion, between energetically researched historical disquisitions and loony asides about ”inner ecology” and ”spiritual triangulation”—asides that may help explain his curious affinity with his feminist consultant, Naomi Wolf. Gore’s book was now psychobabble and loony asides, with repeated citations of Naomi Wolf, who had played exactly zero role in its composition. Kakutani devoted 800 words to Gore’s book. She kept suggesting that Gore was some species of “loony,” and she weirdly mentioned Wolf three separate times.Kakutani’s front-page review stands as one of the strangest pieces of journalism of the modern era. For a detailed review of its manifest weirdness, see that same DAILY HOWLER, 2/23/07, with links to a four-part report in real time.Kakutani’s bizarre review came to the public live and direct from The Puzzling Cognition Files. For another sample from those files, consider a column which appeared in this weekend’s Sunday Review. And yes, we refer to the same high-profile section which was fronted, this past weekend, by the Times’ latest large bungle!With apologies, the column in question was written by Maureen Dowd. No one has done more to define the strangeness of New York Times journalism and cognitive states over the past thirty years.As a general matter, we’d say that Dowd’s column this Sunday actually made good sense. She warned that the current crop of Democratic candidates are actually making it possible to imagine Donald J. Trump’s re-election.That said, the pundit offered the manifest nonsense shown below at one point. We’d have to say that this astonishing passage qualifies as vintage “crackpot Times,” live and direct from The Damaged Cognition Files: DOWD (9/15/19): Tactics [at the Democratic debate] superseded passion and vision. Everyone seemed one tick off. Unlike with Barack Obama in 2008, none made you feel like you wanted to pump your fist in the air and march into the future behind them.“Being a good politician doesn’t matter anymore,” lamented one freaked-out congressional Democrat afterward. “It’s like being a great used car salesman. We need a Holden Caulfield to call out all the phonies.”Say what? Editors were letting Dowd pretend that, back in 2008, Candidate Obama had made her feel “like [she] wanted to pump [her] fist in the air and march into the future behind [him].” For those who retain some modest degree of normal cognition, this characterization will perhaps seem insulting and daft.How did Dowd portray Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008? We’ve often recalled the insulting, gender-crazy way she wrote about the “diffident debutante.” To avoid quoting ourselves, we’ll quote Zachary Roth, in real time, at the Columbia Journalism Review.”Another day, another shockingly dumb column by Maureen Dowd,” Roth wrote in July 2008. Here’s a taste of the way Obama was being portrayed by the Times’ highest-profile columnist back then, in real time:ROTH (7/16/08): …Dowd has another concern about Obama. He’s “in danger of seeming too prissy about food.”In reality, it would be more accurate to say that he already seems this way—to Maureen Dowd. During the primaries, Dowd began to sense that Obama might not be a big fan of junk food. Since then, she has elevated this observation to the status of a brilliant character-revealing aperçu. She has mined every available piece of evidence in a dogged campaign to turn Obama’s eating habits into a proxy for his alleged inability to relate to those white working-class Americans for whom, from her Georgetown townhouse, she claims to speak.In last week’s column, titled “No Ice Cream, Senator?”, she criticized his “finicky, abstemious tastes,” and highlighted the fact that his daughter had revealed he doesn’t like sweets or ice cream.In April, she noted that, after Obama “force-fed” himself waffles, pancakes, sausage, and a Philly cheese steak, he was “clearly a man who can’t wait to get back to his organic scrambled egg whites.”The previous week, she had described him as “resisting as the natives tried to fatten him up like a foie-gras goose.”And two weeks before that, she had revealed to readers that, at a Pennsylvania chocolate shop, Obama “spent most of his time skittering away from chocolate goodies, as though he were a starlet obsessing on a svelte waistline,” and that he declined a chocolate cake with frosting, saying “that’s too decadent for me.”Is it just me, or is there something a bit sad about using your New York Times column to pay this level of attention to a candidate’s eating habits?The sheer inanity of Dowd’s work was on display all through that campaign. There was no sign that the candidate in question made her feel like she wanted to pump her fist in the air and march into the future behind him.Nor was Roth the only person who managed to notice the relentless stupidity with which Dowd kept attacking Obama, as with others before him. At this link from the press criticism site FAIR, you’ll find a compilation of complaints about Dowd’s endlessly ridiculous work. We’ll post a few examples:In her January 18 New York Times column, Maureen Dowd decided that the best way to criticize the Democratic Party was to feminize it. Calling Al Gore and John Kerry “girlie men” and equating the Democrats with “Desperate Housewives,” she argued that the Democrats do not have enough fight in them and their attacks will never yield success “as long as they’re perceived as the party in skirts.”—Lauren Pruneski, Campus Progress (1/24/06)If the point of the stories about Edwards’ wealth is to delegitimize his arguments on behalf of the poor, the haircut obsession is designed to feminize the candidate and thereby undermine his credentials as macho-man for president—which are, by the way, those deemed to be the most important by the media. . . . Maureen Dowd use[s] the term “Breck Girl.” . . . Dowd also accuses Obama of preening like a “46-year-old virgin,” demonstrating “loose” body language and being “hung up on being seen as thoughtful,” while secretly fearing “being seen as ‘a dumb blond.’” Still, it’s a kind of progress over her Gore coverage.—Eric Alterman, the Nation (9/13/07)In March 2004, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd highlighted the “Breck Girl” label as an example of the “nasty Republican habit of portraying opponents as less than fully masculine.” Still, it’s a habit she can’t kick: She has used the phrase “Breck Girl” four times in three columns since then—not to mention countless other occasions when she has compared Barack Obama to Scarlett O’Hara or called him “Obambi” or otherwise indulged her own “nasty habit.”—Media Matters (3/9/07)Back in March, Dowd’s Obama was “effete.” Today, she goes for something more vivid, likening him to a “diffident debutante.”Not yet up to Al Gore is “practically lactating” snuff. But give her time.—Liz Cox Barrett, Columbia Journalism Review (5/14/08)Candidate Gore had been “practically lactating,” and Candidate Edwards was the Breck Girl. Candidate Obama was “effete,” “the diffident debutante,” one who secretly feared “being seen as a dumb blond.” Not to mention the food!On Sunday, the New York Times let this perpetual crackpot pretend that she had swooned over Obama. As we wonder about the state of Candidate Biden’s cognition, what would keep us from asking similar questions about the deeply peculiar, Hamptons-based gang inside the New York Times?”Having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun!” So someone within this crackpot fraternal/sororal order officially tweeted this weekend.We don’t want to know who it was! But that tweet was offered to promote the featured piece in the Sunday Review—a featured piece which turned out to contain the newspaper’s latest large bungle. This pitiful bullshit never stops at this deeply ridiculous newspaper, a paper which has long branded itself as brightest in all the land.In that same Sunday Review, Dowd was pretending that she swooned for Candidate “Obambi” in 2008. Surely, Dowd’s editors knew how bogus that passage was—but the Times has long run on such fuel, and nothing is likely to change.The New York Times has seemed to be impaired for decades now. The paper routinely displays the broken soul, and the limited intellect, of a fatuous upper-class Antoinette-styled elite.Now, the flyweights inside this Animal House have assigned themselves the task of rewriting the whole of American history in The One True Accurate Manner. Sullivan thinks that’s a lousy idea. We may think it’s even dumber than that.We’ll discuss those points by the end of the week. Tomorrow, though, we’ll move on to another mission the Times seems to be on—and the Times is a very dumb newspaper.Is Biden’s cognition open to question? In our view, yes, it is—but what about that of the Times? Tomorrow: The newspaper’s second mission

  • Take Action Now: Help Migrants Seeking Asylum
    by NationAction on September 17, 2019 at 15:21

    NationAction Defend the right to asylum and get involved with local groups, plus help stop Trump’s phony war in Iran. The post Take Action Now: Help Migrants Seeking Asylum appeared first on The Nation.

  • Trump’s Lies Are Getting Even Worse
    by Tom Tomorrow on September 17, 2019 at 15:18

    Tom Tomorrow We can barely remember what last week’s scandal was, and that’s a real problem. The post Trump’s Lies Are Getting Even Worse appeared first on The Nation.

  • WFP’s Nod to Warren Reminds Progressives of the Inevitable Need to Choose
    by John Nichols on September 17, 2019 at 15:05

    John Nichols A lot of progressive groups (and voters) have held off on making the Sanders-vs.-Warren choice. But they’ll face more and more pressure to decide how best to block Biden. The post WFP’s Nod to Warren Reminds Progressives of the Inevitable Need to Choose appeared first on The Nation.

  • Democrats, Don’t Be Afraid to Go Big in 2020
    by Katrina vanden Heuvel on September 17, 2019 at 14:58

    Katrina vanden Heuvel To win in the long run, the party must compete everywhere. The post Democrats, Don’t Be Afraid to Go Big in 2020 appeared first on The Nation.

  • The Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society Starts Its Third Annual Petition Drive for the Abolition of the Interstate Slave Trade and Slavery in Washington, DC, and the Territories (1836)
    by Melissa Range on September 17, 2019 at 13:35

    Melissa Range The post The Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society Starts Its Third Annual Petition Drive for the Abolition of the Interstate Slave Trade and Slavery in Washington, DC, and the Territories (1836) appeared first on The Nation.

  • The Grimké Sisters at Work on Theodore Dwight Weld’s ‘American Slavery as It Is’ (1838)
    by Melissa Range on September 17, 2019 at 13:33

    Melissa Range The post The Grimké Sisters at Work on Theodore Dwight Weld’s ‘American Slavery as It Is’ (1838) appeared first on The Nation.

  • Comix Nation
    by Peter Kuper on September 17, 2019 at 13:24

    Peter Kuper The post Comix Nation appeared first on The Nation.

  • His Trusty Sharpie Pen
    by Calvin Trillin on September 17, 2019 at 13:14

    Calvin Trillin The post His Trusty Sharpie Pen appeared first on The Nation.

  • Sally Rooney and the Millennial Novel of Manners
    by Hannah Gold on September 17, 2019 at 13:00

    Hannah Gold Her second book, Normal People, mines the travails of Irish youth to tell a decidedly contemporary love story.  The post Sally Rooney and the Millennial Novel of Manners appeared first on The Nation.

  • ‘The Silenced’: Meet the Climate Whistle-Blowers Muzzled by Trump
    by Oliver Milman on September 17, 2019 at 12:30

    Oliver Milman Six former government scientists describe how the Trump administration made them bury the truth about climate change—and why they won’t stay quiet. The post ‘The Silenced’: Meet the Climate Whistle-Blowers Muzzled by Trump appeared first on The Nation.

  • Tennessee Republicans in Fisticuffs Over School Vouchers
    by Andy Spears on September 17, 2019 at 12:04

    Hot chicken, sex, and cocaine are part of the story of how Tennessee became the latest state to succumb to the Betsy DeVos-backed voucher craze. The result could determine how the GOP addresses the issue across the country.

  • The Making of Moroccan Funk
    by Marcus J. Moore on September 17, 2019 at 12:00

    Marcus J. Moore Led by the Casablanca polymath Abdelakabir Faradjallah, the band Attarazat Addahabia defined the sound of the city. The post The Making of Moroccan Funk appeared first on The Nation.

  • Greta Thunberg Wall Mural
    by Jody Thomas on September 17, 2019 at 12:00

    Jody Thomas The portrait on a wall in Bristol, England, of 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who created awareness among her peers by launching a school boycott movement to draw attention to the climate crisis and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The post Greta Thunberg Wall Mural appeared first on The Nation.

  • Only a Global Green New Deal Can Save the Planet
    by Tom Athanasiou on September 17, 2019 at 11:30

    Tom Athanasiou And Bernie Sanders has a plan for that. The post Only a Global Green New Deal Can Save the Planet appeared first on The Nation.

  • When Abortion After Rape Is Legal—but Nearly Impossible to Obtain
    by Amy Littlefield, Laura Gottesdiener on September 17, 2019 at 11:00

    Amy Littlefield, Laura Gottesdiener In Mexico, doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, and public officials are all trying to prevent rape survivors from accessing legal abortion. The post When Abortion After Rape Is Legal—but Nearly Impossible to Obtain appeared first on The Nation.

  • Millions of Americans’ Medical Images and Data Are Available on the Internet. Anyone Can Take a Peek.
    by by Jack Gillum, Jeff Kao and Jeff Larson on September 17, 2019 at 04:00

    by Jack Gillum, Jeff Kao and Jeff Larson Medical images and health data belonging to millions of Americans, including X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, are sitting unprotected on the internet and available to anyone with basic computer expertise. The records cover more than 5 million patients in the U.S. and millions more around the world. In some cases, a snoop could use free software programs — or just a typical web browser — to view the images and private data, an investigation by ProPublica and the German broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk found. Get Our Top Investigations Subscribe to the Big Story newsletter. Don’t miss out on ProPublica’s next investigation. Sign up and get the Big Story email whenever we break news. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. We identified 187 servers — computers that are used to store and retrieve medical data — in the U.S. that were unprotected by passwords or basic security precautions. The computer systems, from Florida to California, are used in doctors’ offices, medical-imaging centers and mobile X-ray services. The insecure servers we uncovered add to a growing list of medical records systems that have been compromised in recent years. Unlike some of the more infamous recent security breaches, in which hackers circumvented a company’s cyber defenses, these records were often stored on servers that lacked the security precautions that long ago became standard for businesses and government agencies. “It’s not even hacking. It’s walking into an open door,” said Jackie Singh, a cybersecurity researcher and chief executive of the consulting firm Spyglass Security. Some medical providers started locking down their systems after we told them of what we had found. Our review found that the extent of the exposure varies, depending on the health provider and what software they use. For instance, the server of U.S. company MobilexUSA displayed the names of more than a million patients — all by typing in a simple data query. Their dates of birth, doctors and procedures were also included. Alerted by ProPublica, MobilexUSA tightened its security last week. The company takes mobile X-rays and provides imaging services to nursing homes, rehabilitation hospitals, hospice agencies and prisons. “We promptly mitigated the potential vulnerabilities identified by ProPublica and immediately began an ongoing, thorough investigation,” MobilexUSA’s parent company said in a statement. [How do I know if my medical imaging data is secure? Read more.] Another imaging system, tied to a physician in Los Angeles, allowed anyone on the internet to see his patients’ echocardiograms. (The doctor did not respond to inquiries from ProPublica.) All told, medical data from more than 16 million scans worldwide was available online, including names, birthdates and, in some cases, Social Security numbers. Experts say it’s hard to pinpoint who’s to blame for the failure to protect the privacy of medical images. Under U.S. law, health care providers and their business associates are legally accountable for securing the privacy of patient data. Several experts said such exposure of patient data could violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, the 1996 law that requires health care providers to keep Americans’ health data confidential and secure. A scan obtained by ProPublica that was accessed by a security researcher from a U.S. server with no password security. ProPublica removed private patient information from it before publication. Although ProPublica found no evidence that patient data was copied from these systems and published elsewhere, the consequences of unauthorized access to such information could be devastating. “Medical records are one of the most important areas for privacy because they’re so sensitive. Medical knowledge can be used against you in malicious ways: to shame people, to blackmail people,” said Cooper Quintin, a security researcher and senior staff technologist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-rights group. “This is so utterly irresponsible,” he said. The issue should not be a surprise to medical providers. For years, one expert has tried to warn about the casual handling of personal health data. Oleg Pianykh, the director of medical analytics at Massachusetts General Hospital’s radiology department, said medical imaging software has traditionally been written with the assumption that patients’ data would be secured by the customer’s computer security systems. But as those networks at hospitals and medical centers became more complex and connected to the internet, the responsibility for security shifted to network administrators who assumed safeguards were in place. “Suddenly, medical security has become a do-it-yourself project,” Pianykh wrote in a 2016 research paper he published in a medical journal. ProPublica’s investigation built upon findings from Greenbone Networks, a security firm based in Germany that identified problems in at least 52 countries on every inhabited continent. Greenbone’s Dirk Schrader first shared his research with Bayerischer Rundfunk after discovering some patients’ health records were at risk. The German journalists then approached ProPublica to explore the extent of the exposure in the U.S. Schrader found five servers in Germany and 187 in the U.S. that made patients’ records available without a password. ProPublica and Bayerischer Rundfunk also scanned Internet Protocol addresses and identified, when possible, which medical provider they belonged to. ProPublica independently determined how many patients could be affected in America, and found some servers ran outdated operating systems with known security vulnerabilities. Schrader said that data from more than 13.7 million medical tests in the U.S. were available online, including more than 400,000 in which X-rays and other images could be downloaded. The privacy problem traces back to the medical profession’s shift from analog to digital technology. Long gone are the days when film X-rays were displayed on fluorescent light boards. Today, imaging studies can be instantly uploaded to servers and viewed over the internet by doctors in their offices. In the early days of this technology, as with much of the internet, little thought was given to security. The passage of HIPAA required patient information to be protected from unauthorized access. Three years later, the medical imaging industry published its first security standards. Our reporting indicated that large hospital chains and academic medical centers did put security protections in place. Most of the cases of unprotected data we found involved independent radiologists, medical imaging centers or archiving services. One German patient, Katharina Gaspari, got an MRI three years ago and said she normally trusts her doctors. But after Bayerischer Rundfunk showed Gaspari her images available online, she said: “Now, I am not sure if I still can.” The German system that stored her records was locked down last week. We found that some systems used to archive medical images also lacked security precautions. Denver-based Offsite Image left open the names and other details of more than 340,000 human and veterinary records, including those of a large cat named “Marshmellow,” ProPublica found. An Offsite Image executive told ProPublica the company charges clients $50 for access to the site and then $1 per study. “Your data is safe and secure with us,” Offsite Image’s website says. The company referred ProPublica to its tech consultant, who at first defended Offsite Image’s security practices and insisted that a password was needed to access patient records. The consultant, Matthew Nelms, then called a ProPublica reporter a day later and acknowledged Offsite Image’s servers had been accessible but were now fixed. “We were just never even aware that there was a possibility that could even happen,” Nelms said. In 1985, an industry group that included radiologists and makers of imaging equipment created a standard for medical imaging software. The standard, which is now called DICOM, spelled out how medical imaging devices talk to each other and share information. We shared our findings with officials from the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance, the group that oversees the standard. They acknowledged that there were hundreds of servers with an open connection on the internet, but suggested the blame lay with the people who were running them. “Even though it is a comparatively small number,” the organization said in a statement, “it may be possible that some of those systems may contain patient records. Those likely represent bad configuration choices on the part of those operating those systems.” Meeting minutes from 2017 show that a working group on security learned of Pianykh’s findings and suggested meeting with him to discuss them further. That “action item” was listed for several months, but Pianykh said he never was contacted. The medical imaging alliance told ProPublica last week that the group did not meet with Pianykh because the concerns that they had were sufficiently addressed in his article. They said the committee concluded its security standards were not flawed. Pianykh said that misses the point. It’s not a lack of standards; it’s that medical device makers don’t follow them. “Medical-data security has never been soundly built into the clinical data or devices, and is still largely theoretical and does not exist in practice,” Pianykh wrote in 2016. ProPublica’s latest findings follow several other major breaches. In 2015, U.S. health insurer Anthem Inc. revealed that private data belonging to more than 78 million people was exposed in a hack. In the last two years, U.S. officials have reported that more than 40 million people have had their medical data compromised, according to an analysis of records from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Joy Pritts, a former HHS privacy official, said the government isn’t tough enough in policing patient privacy breaches. She cited an April announcement from HHS that lowered the maximum annual fine, from $1.5 million to $250,000, for what’s known as “corrected willful neglect” — the result of conscious failures or reckless indifference that a company tries to fix. She said that large firms would not only consider those fines as just the cost of doing business, but that they could also negotiate with the government to get them reduced. A ProPublica examination in 2015 found few consequences for repeat HIPAA offenders. A spokeswoman for HHS’ Office for Civil Rights, which enforces HIPAA violations, said it wouldn’t comment on open or potential investigations. “What we typically see in the health care industry is that there is Band-Aid upon Band-Aid applied” to legacy computer systems, said Singh, the cybersecurity expert. She said it’s a “shared responsibility” among manufacturers, standards makers and hospitals to ensure computer servers are secured. “It’s 2019,” she said. “There’s no reason for this.” How Do I Know if My Medical Imaging Data is Secure? If you are a patient: If you have had a medical imaging scan (e.g., X-ray, CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, etc.) ask the health care provider that did the scan — or your doctor — if access to your images requires a login and password. Ask your doctor if their office or the medical imaging provider to which they refer patients conducts a regular security assessment as required by HIPAA. If you are a medical imaging provider or doctor’s office: Researchers have found that picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) servers implementing the DICOM standard may be at risk if they are connected directly to the internet without a VPN or firewall, or if access to them does not require a secure password. You or your IT staff should make sure that your PACS server cannot be accessed via the internet without a VPN connection and password. If you know the IP address of your PACS server but are not sure whether it is (or has been) accessible via the internet, please reach out to us at

  • Foreign Correspondent: What Trump’s Missteps on Iran Have Wrought
    by Reese Erlich on September 17, 2019 at 00:00

    The United States has become a high-tech Bluebeard.

  • ProPublica Wins Four Online Journalism Awards
    by by ProPublica on September 16, 2019 at 23:05

    by ProPublica ProPublica was honored with four Online Journalism Awards, the most of any news organization, at the Online News Association Conference on Saturday. ProPublica won its fifth Online Journalism Award for General Excellence, which honors a digitally focused news organization that successfully fulfills its editorial mission, effectively serves its audience, maximizes the use of digital tools and platforms and represents the highest journalistic standards. ProPublica previously won this award in 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2018. “Powerless,” a Local Reporting Network project with the Charleston Gazette-Mail, won for explanatory reporting. The multimedia package by Ken Ward Jr. and Kate Mishkin of the Gazette-Mail, and ProPublica’s Al Shaw and Mayeta Clark, used a variety of innovative tools, including drone footage and time-lapse videos, to allow readers to experience how it looks and sounds when natural gas companies take over local land. Electionland won in the category of excellence in collaboration and partnerships. The project brought together more than 120 local and national newsrooms across the country to cover voting the 2018 midterm elections. The prize went to ProPublica and Electionland Coalition, which is made up of newsrooms, journalists, students, researchers, educators and technologists. Electionland previously won an Online Journalism Award in the “planned news” category in 2016. “Case Cleared: How Rape Goes Unpunished in America” won an Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award. The series, in partnership with Newsy and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, uncovered how police agencies use a designation called “exceptional clearance” to make it seem as though they’ve solved a significant number of rape cases when they’ve simply closed them without making an arrest. ProPublica reporter Bernice Yeung, Reveal’s Emily Harris, and Newsy’s Mark Greenblatt and Mark Fahey contributed to the project. Additionally, ProPublica assistant managing editor Sisi Wei was among those recognized with the ONA Community Award for work as Journalists of Color Slack administrators. As volunteers, this group has helped to create a community that puts journalists of color in the same “room,” allowing them to engage in a support network that travels with them throughout their careers. See a list of all the Online Journalism Award winners here.

  • MoveOn Criticizes Sen. Coons’ Reckless Comments on Iran
    by Brian Stewart on September 16, 2019 at 20:57

    After Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) appeared on Fox and Friends this morning and said military action may be called for against Iran, MoveOn had the following statement. Statement of MoveOn campaigns director Justin Krebs: “Senator Coons going on Fox and giving ammunition to Trump administration war hawks who are trying to push the U.S. into […] The post MoveOn Criticizes Sen. Coons’ Reckless Comments on Iran appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • Fahrenthold plays Hardball concerning Scotland!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 16, 2019 at 18:23

    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2019Refuses to dumb liberals down: During Campaign 2016, the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold broke every rule in the book.He spent his time developing actual information about Candidate Donald J. Trump. More specifically, he developed detailed information about Trump’s charitable giving—or rather, about his lack of same. Modern press culture more typically involves a flight from detailed information. In April 2017, the Pulitzer committee described Fahrenthold’s conduct as they awarded the scribe their National Reporting prize:The 2017 Pulitzer Prize Winner in National ReportingDavid A. Fahrenthold of The Washington PostFor persistent reporting that created a model for transparent journalism in political campaign coverage while casting doubt on Donald Trump’s assertions of generosity toward charities.Truth to tell, few voters seemed to care about the voluminous information Fahrenthold developed. Still, it was quite a throwback to see an upper-end reporter developing detailed information at all.Fahrenthold has developed a reputation for dealing in information and facts. That helps explain the awkwardness which seemed to prevail when he played some Hardball last Friday evening.We wanted to show you what he told Chris Matthews about those Air Force stopovers in Scotland. But MSNBC being what it is, the channel hasn’t managed to transcribe last Friday’s program yet.None of this matters all that such, except as a cautionary tale. On September 6, then again on September 9, MSNBC’s viewers were handed a tremendous amount of bull about this matter, principally on the programs hosted by Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow.For our previous report, click here. By last Friday, it was clear that Brian and Rachel had transmitted major volumes of bull about that pitiful little airport and about th stop-overs there. You’d almost think that Brian and Rachel would have wanted to correct the record.Who’s being naive now, Kay? Homey doesn’t play it that way, not even on “liberal” cable!On the brighter side, those wildly misleading/erroneous reports constitute a good object lesson for liberals. Until you’ve managed to check them yourself, you really can’t believe the things you hear on The One True Channel. It’s a corporate “cable news” channel, one which is devoted to entertainment, tribal excess and good solid prime-time fun.At any rate, why have Air Force crews been stopping over at the rinky little pathetic airport Rachel kept misdescribing? In last Friday’s Washington Post, Fahrenthold joined Colby Itkowitz in filing a new report. Why were Air Force crews stopping at the Scottish airport? And why had some of those crews stayed overnight at Trump’s Scottish resort? As recounted in our previous post, the Times presented a fuller report. The Times was almost funny, so thoroughly did it contradict the various things Brian and Rachel had said.The Times report went all the way back to stopovers by Elvis and Ike at that supposedly rinky little unauthorized Scottish airport, the one with the extra-long runway. But here’s part of what the Post reporters wrote:ITKOWITZ AND FAHRENTHOLD (9/13/19): The stays result from two separate agreements that both predate Trump’s presidency. Before Trump ran for president, the airport agreed to send visiting crews to Trump’s course. And while President Barack Obama was still in office, the Air Force agreed to send refueling aircraft to the airport.Now that Trump is president, those two arrangements mean that the Air Force has paid the commander in chief to rent rooms. The Oversight Committee is investigating, but so far no evidence has emerged showing that Trump has done anything to alter the existing arrangements.As Fahrenthold demonstrated in 2016, Donald J. Trump is an inveterate grifter. That said, Rachel and Brian have been known to con the public too.We wanted to show you how Fahrenthold explained those awkward facts about the Scottish stop-overs to Matthews. As you can see, the facts seem to be nothing like the manifest bullshit Brian and Rachel had so pleasingly served.At some point, last Friday’s Hardball transcript will likely be posted here. If you’re interested, you can look to see what Matthews was told.To our eye and ear, Fahrenthold may have felt a tiny bit sheepish as he explained the facts to Chris. Our reading?He knew what his cable host wanted to hear. He wasn’t willing to say it.

  • Greta Goes to Washington
    by Rick Reinhard on September 16, 2019 at 16:08

    Hundreds of young people and their supporters rallied near the White House in a Friday Student Climate Strike protest. What has been a small weekly gathering grew exponentially in size last week as Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg joined them.

  • Midwest Dispatch: United Auto Workers Strike Against General Motors
    by Sarah Lahm on September 16, 2019 at 15:30

    It could be tough on those who have walked off the job and away from a regular paycheck. But it could be great for the country.

  • Immigration Is a Climate Issue
    by Josue De Luna Navarro on September 16, 2019 at 14:44

    The United States, the top historic contributor to carbon emissions, has been treating climate refugees from its own pollution as threats. We can do better.

  • THE PROBLEMATIC COGNITION FILES: Candidate Biden on a roll!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 16, 2019 at 14:01

    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2019The New York Times on a mission: In our view, Candidate Castro’s surprising mean streak has been one of the stories of the Democratic debates.He did it again at last Thursday’s debate. Surprisingly, Castro seems to have revealed a side of himself which is unattractive.Castro’s behavior was widely discussed after last Thursday’s debate. But the largest takeaway from the debate involves that monologue by Candidate Biden.We’ll start with the multi-part question posed to Biden. That question was nothing to boast about, but as he responded, the current Democratic front-runner went on a meandering roll:DAVIS (9/12/19): Mr. Vice President, I want to come to you and talk to you about inequality in schools and race.In a conversation about how to deal with segregation in schools back in 1975, you told a reporter, “I don’t feel responsible for the sins of my father and grandfather. I feel responsible for what the situation is today, for the sins of my own generation, and I’ll be damned if I feel responsible to pay for what happened 300 years ago.”You said that some forty years ago. But as you stand here tonight, what responsibility do you think that Americans need to take to repair the legacy of slavery in our country?BIDEN: Well, they have to deal with the— Look, there’s institutional segregation in this country. And from the time I got involved, I started dealing with that. Red-lining, banks, making sure that we are in a position where—Look, you talk about education. I propose that what we take is those very poor schools, the Title I schools. Triple the amount of money we spend, from 15 to 45 billion a year. Give every single teacher a raise, the equal raise to getting out—the $60,000 level.Number two, make sure that we bring in to help the teachers deal with the problems that come from home. The problems that come from home, we need—we have one school psychologist for every 1500 kids in America today. It’s crazy.The teachers are—I’m married to a teacher. My deceased wife is a teacher. They have every problem coming to them. We have—make sure that every single child does, in fact, have 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds go to school. School! Not daycare. School. We bring social workers in to homes and parents to help them deal with how to raise their children.It’s not that they don’t want to help. They don’t—they don’t know quite what to do. Play the radio, make sure the television—excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the, the— Make sure that kids hear words. A kid coming from a very poor school—a very poor background will hear four million words fewer spoken by the time they get there. There’s so much we—DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.BIDEN: No, I’m going to go like the rest of them do, twice over, OK? Because here’s the deal. The deal is that we’ve got this a little backwards… At that point, Biden began discussing Venezuela. But it seems to us that the exchange presented above raises a very basic question—a question which comes from our culture’s problematic Elite Cognition Files.Bowing to the rules of her guild, ABC’s Linsey Davis started by quoting something Biden said forty-four years ago, in 1975. (To watch this exchange, click here, move ahead to 2:06.)Alas! A type of selective “gotcha journalism” has been a plague on the system for decades, sometimes with the candidates’ troubling “quotations” dreamed up—indeed, invented—by the press corps itself.In the last two presidential cycles, the selectivity has taken on a dismaying chronological dimension. In 2016, pundits journeyed back twenty years in time to attack Candidate Clinton for a term she’d used on one occasion in 1996.Last Thursday, Davis reached all the way back to a time before she herself had been born!Davis’ vaguely-formed question was built around an extremely old bit of gotcha. But in his answer, Biden wandered the countryside, once again raising questions about the possibly declining state of his cognition.His sentences didn’t seem to parse. He jumped from one topic to another, scattershot fashion.As Biden’s comments meandered, he did, in fact, make a series of glancing references to a range of rarely-discussed educational topics—to the levels of funding for low-income schools; to the so-called “20 million word gap” (or 30 million, or four million); to the role of parents in the education of kids who come from low-literacy backgrounds.But Biden took this journey in a semi-coherent way—and inevitably, the cognitively-challenged upper-end press corps ended up clucking about his use of the term “record player.”(Charles Blow, in this morning’s Times: “[H]e gave a rambling, nonsensical answer that included a reference to a record player.” However rambling it may have been, the answer wasn’t nonsensical—unless you’re ignorant of the issues to which the answer referred.)As a group, upper-end pundits chuckled in unison about Biden’s meandering answer. In their latest standard repeatable group assessment, they announced that the “record player” reference was funny, a source of amusement. They love it when they all get to say the same things and tell the same wonderful jokes. They’ve been this way for decades now. For such reasons, we’ve questioned the state of their cognition since 1998.At any rate, that was a stumbling, disjointed statement from the Democratic front-runner—from the oldest major party front-runner in the history of American politics.Biden’s statement reinforced questions which have been coming, not without reason, from The Elite Cognition Files. But so did the typically silly way the upper-end “press corps” reacted.Our question is this:Can a major modern nation survive when its upper-end elites are functioning on such low cognitive levels? As we raise this obvious question, we note an important change in the weather at the New York Times, a newspaper branded as the liberal world’s brightest and smartest and best.On Sunday, August 18, the New York Times announced a major new approach to journalism, The 1619 Project. Last Friday, in this widely-read essay, Andrew Sullivan praised the quality of much of the project’s initial work, but he also said that this new approach is “as much activism as journalism.””The New York Times Has Abandoned Liberalism for Activism.” So reads the headline which sits atop Sullivan’s widely-read, worthwhile piece.It seems to us that the New York Times has chosen to pursue several types of “activism” in the past year or so. Here’s a question we’ll ponder this week, even as we analyze Biden’s meandering answer and the way the mainstream pundit corps responded to it:Our question comes live and direct from The Upper-End Cognition Files. Do you feel that the Times is smart enough to undertake missions like these?Tomorrow: Problematic cognition levels at the New York Times

  • Trump’s NLRB, Trying to Cut Protections for Millions of Temps and Fast-Food Workers, Trips Up Again
    by by Ian MacDougall on September 16, 2019 at 09:00

    by Ian MacDougall Under the Trump administration, the National Labor Relations Board has been trying to roll back an Obama-era decision that made companies more responsible for temporary staffers, fast-food-franchise workers and others who work for them indirectly. The first attempt was foiled in early 2018 when a Trump appointee to the board was found to have a conflict of interest. Now, as the NLRB tries to undo the rule for a second time, it’s facing questions from two Democratic representatives about another potential conflict of interest — and this one involves the NLRB’s own use of temporary staffers. In May, the labor board engaged a company called Ardelle Associates to supply lawyers and paralegals to help review public comments on the proposed overhaul of the provision in question, which is known as the “joint-employer rule.” Get Our Top Investigations Subscribe to the Big Story newsletter. Don’t miss out on ProPublica’s next investigation. Sign up and get the Big Story email whenever we break news. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Among those who submitted comments advocating a reversal of the Obama-era rule are two trade associations that Ardelle belongs to and uses to recruit temps, according to contracting records. In their comments to the NLRB supporting the rule change, the trade associations asserted that companies have grown more reluctant to hire temporary employees because the rule has left them uncertain of their labor law obligations. In essence, the NLRB hired temps whose bosses have a stake in the outcome to review and potentially summarize the public comments. And that, two top Democrats on the House Committee on Education and Labor say, poses a conflict of interest under federal contracting rules. In a letter the committee’s chair, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., and the chair of its labor subcommittee, Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., sent last week to the labor board’s chairman, John Ring, they accuse the board of violating those rules when it selected Ardelle. Democratic committee aides provided a copy of the letter to ProPublica. The NLRB’s repeated attempts to overhaul the joint-employer rule are one front in a broader national struggle over the rights of the growing proportion of the workforce — about one-third of U.S. workers, according to a Gallup poll last year — that large corporations engage through intermediaries. Other battle lines include the rules governing when a company can classify workers as independent contractors, who are not protected by key federal labor laws. Last week, California entered the fray, enacting a law that will make it harder for companies like Uber to deny their drivers employee status. The stakes are significant, as a recent ProPublica investigation into Amazon’s reliance on contractor-supplied delivery drivers shows. During the Obama years, the NLRB expanded protections for workers employed by third parties, like temp agencies or franchise holders, by broadening the circumstances under which a company could be held responsible for labor abuses against those workers. The Trump administration views that as handcuffing companies. That position is supported by many major corporations, like McDonald’s, a target of Obama-era enforcement of the joint-employer rule. In a comment to the NLRB’s current effort to loosen that rule, the International Franchise Association, of which McDonald’s is a member, argued that the present joint-employer rule “has cost the franchising sector as much as $33.3 billion annually and has resulted in as many as 376,000 lost job opportunities.” Congressional Democrats generally support the current incarnation of the joint-employer rule, making them particularly attentive to how the Trump administration goes about attempting to change it. The letter from the two Democratic representatives raises questions about the accuracy of statements the NLRB’s Ring has made to Congress. Ring assured Scott and Wilson, in a March 22 letter, that the contractor (Ardelle hadn’t yet been selected) would not be involved in “any substantive, deliberative review of the comments but will be limited to sorting comments into categories in preparation for their substantive review.” Yet contracting records indicate that officials had a more substantive role in mind for the Ardelle temps: they might be asked to summarize comments. That provision was drafted more than a month before Ring sent his letter, internal NLRB emails obtained by ProPublica show, and the provision remained in the final contract. Board members will rely on those summaries as they consider whether to move forward with the proposed rule change, according to a copy of Ring’s notes from a Feb. 13 talk he gave to board staff. An NLRB spokesperson declined to comment on the issues raised by Scott and Wilson’s letter beyond saying that the NLRB is in the process of preparing a response. Ardelle did not respond to a request for comment. The decision to contract out part of the comment review process raised concerns inside the NLRB. “I am a little worried moving forward with so much opposition” to engaging a contractor, a board contracting officer wrote on April 1, just after learning Ardelle had been selected. The contracting officer asked a supervisor whether to hold off on the contract “until you all meet with Congressional and Public Affairs?” (Scott and Wilson had already sent a letter to Ring raising initial concerns about plans to contract out review of the comments.) “We can still move forward” and bring on a temp firm, the supervisor responded a few minutes later. “Congress may decide it’s fine or months from now come back and say it’s not fine terminate the contract.” It is not unusual for federal agencies to outsource review of comments when proposed rules generate a large volume of them. The joint-employer rulemaking generated 29,000 comments, according to Ring’s notes from his Feb. 13 talk, of which 500 to 2,000 were substantive and nonduplicative. The present rulemaking process is the board’s second attempt to replace the joint-employer rule announced in an Obama-era case titled Browning-Ferris. In December 2017, the board’s new conservative majority voted to rescind Browning-Ferris’s revision of the rule. But it later vacated that decision, after the board’s inspector general and an ethics official determined that one of the members, William Emanuel, should have recused himself. Emanuel’s former law firm represented a party in Browning-Ferris, which at the time was still on appeal before a federal court in Washington. ProPublica reported on the inspector general’s investigation and Emanuel’s potential conflicts last year. The NLRB then decided to take a different route to unwind Browning-Ferris. The board generally makes rules by hearing cases and issuing decisions, much like a court. But it can also issue regulations through a public rulemaking process. Last September, the board, having failed to overrule Browning-Ferris by adjudication, decided to try again through rulemaking. Emanuel, the board member found to have a conflict in the earlier vote, is participating in the process. (He did not respond to a request for comment.) A less stringent conflict-of-interest standard applies to rulemaking, and critics say the NLRB’s resort to that process amounts to an end run around federal recusal rules. “By pursuing rulemaking rather than adjudication,” current board member Lauren McFerran, an Obama appointee, wrote in a dissent from the proposed rule, “the Board is perhaps able to avoid what might otherwise be difficult ethical issues.” Ring has insisted that the board’s use of rulemaking “will never be for the purpose of evading ethical restrictions,” as he wrote in a letter last year to three Democratic senators who had expressed concerns about the NLRB using the process to overturn Browning-Ferris. Edwin Egee, a spokesman for the NLRB, noted that the board is presently undertaking several rulemakings, not just the joint-employer rulemaking. “Rulemaking provides the Board the opportunity to consider input from all individuals interested in a particular issue, not only those who are party to a pending case,” Egee said in a statement. Read More NLRB Member Is Under Investigation for a Conflict of Interest William Emanuel, already criticized for allegedly favoring clients of the corporate law firm he used to work for, now faces a probe by the agency’s inspector general. Federal contracting rules stipulate that government contracts “require the highest degree of public trust and an impeccable standard of conduct. The general rule is to avoid strictly any conflict of interest or even the appearance of a conflict of interest in Government-contractor relationships.” In their letter last week, Scott and Wilson say hiring Ardelle “runs afoul” of this requirement, given its membership in trade associations that have commented on the proposed rule its temps are reviewing. They note, too, that the board did not ask its ethics officials to review the decision to contract with Ardelle and criticize the NLRB for “refusing to produce” information the representatives previously requested. Their letter raises additional concerns. Federal rules forbid contracting out “inherently governmental functions” and require that agency heads or their designees make “a written determination that none of the functions to be performed are inherently governmental.” The labor board appears not to have made that determination. It repeatedly told committee staff that it did not have any such document, Scott and Wilson say in their letter. “The NLRB’s failure to analyze” the question, the letter states, “raises a question as to the role of the summaries the contractor will draft in the rulemaking process. The integrity of the regulatory process is vital to ensure that public comments are fully considered before the agency issues its final rule.&rdquo

  • We thought the Times was bad at this!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 14, 2019 at 17:30

    SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2019Today, the Post gives it a try: We’ve seen the analysts cry before. We’ve never seen them crying this hard.This morning, as the weekend honor guard broke us our regular Saturday breakfast—two frozen waffles, a bit under-toasted—tears were streaming down their cheeks.”We’ve never seen a conceptual muddle this vast,” one of them glumly exclaimed.They referred to this morning’s front-page report in the Washington Post, an endless attempt to analyze something resembling “public school integration.” And dear God, how right those analysts were:We thought the Times was bad with this topic. Today, the Post gives it a try.Warning! So far, we’ve only been able to fight our way through the first 33 paragraphs of the endless 99-paragraph hard-copy report. (Yesterday afternoon, we tried to read it on-line, but we quickly decided to stop, putting our sanity first.)This morning, we gave it a try in a coffee shop, struggling for the better part of an hour. We came away with a major anthropological finding:We humans aren’t built for conceptual work. It just isn’t the way we were made.Quickly, a word of warning. On balance, the Post seems to be saying that “public school integration” (or something like it) has been advancing since 1995, a finding which flies in the face of Preferred Current Tribal Woke Content.Within our increasingly woke liberal tribe, everyone knows what we’re supposed to say. We’re supposed to say that public school “segregation” has never been as bad as it is today!The Post report seems to challenge that view, though the report is such a conceptual muddle that, at least at this point, we’re not entirely sure what the Post mainly claims.The Post report follows Joe Biden’s occasionally coherent attempt to explain what we should do “about inequality in schools and race.” (We’re quoting from the semi-coherent question posed to Biden during Thursday night’s “debate.”)Also in this morning’s Post, Margaret Sullivan offers a barely coherent critique of Biden’s occasionally coherent remarks, including a few quotations from woke but seemingly underschooled tribal members on twitter.Moral posturing to the side, our tribe has never shown much interest in the lives of kids in low-income schools. For example, you won’t see any such topic discussed on MSNBC, and we do mean not ever.The lives and interests of low-income “minority” kids are neither entertaining nor fun. Presumably for these reasons, Rachel never discusses any such topic, and neither does anyone else.This morning, though, in its featured front-page report, the Washington Post discusses public school “segregation,” or something very much like it. As noted above, the Post’s front-page report is extremely long—99 paragraphs in all. In print editions, the lengthy report consumes a large chunk of the Post’s front page, then consumes the entirety of pages A12 and A13 inside the paper.As we read the print report, we were struck almost instantly by the conceptual confusion. The writers talk about “deeply segregated school districts” and “highly integrated public schools,” along with “schools that were not integrated in 2017,” without making any early attempt to define these terms. On line, the problem deepens. On line, the full-length report from the print edition includes a link to a second lengthy report, one which contains a whole new set of somewhat puzzling terms. Also, beware of puzzling interactive graphics! At any rate, we’re told in this second report that the nation’s public school districts come in three flavors. They are defined as follows:Types of public school districts:Diverse: No one race constitutes more than 75 percent of the district’s student enrollment.Undiverse: Some race constitutes 75-90% of the district’s student enrollment.Extremely undiverse: Some race constitutes more than 90% of the district’s student enrollment. Warning! Under this conceptual framework, a “diverse school district” can also be “deeply segregated.” With a little cogitation, that fact isn’t hard to grasp. But this would apparently be a diverse school district under this conceptual scheme:Student enrollment, School District ABlack kids: 50 percentHispanic kids: 50 percentUnder the Post’s conceptual framework, that school district would be categorized as “diverse.” Meanwhile, if that district’s black and Hispanic kids are evenly distributed in its various schools, those schools would presumably be assessed as “integrated,” according to another part of the Post’s conceptual scheme. No “segregation” to look at!But uh-oh! According to the UCLA framework which controls modern woke liberal thought, every school in that district would be “segregated.” Indeed, they’d all be “apartheid schools.” There would be no white kids in those schools at all.We may discuss this absurdly lengthy report next week. Then again, we may give up in despair. (We have no idea why a newspaper would present so much material, on such an important topic, all in one big dose.)We may give up in despair! Today, though, we have two takeaways. Our first such thought is this:If we insist on using the term “segregation,” questions of diversity and racial isolation in public schools are quite hard to discuss. That would be our first takeaway—if we want a clear discussion, we should stop insisting on the use of fraught historical terms which no longer have clear meaning. Our second takeaway fills us with gloom, but it comes to us from top anthropologists:We humans aren’t built for conceptual work. It just isn’t the way we were made!

  • Justice Department Will Fund More Prosecutors, Jails and Cops in Rural Alaska
    by by Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News on September 13, 2019 at 21:50

    by Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News The U.S. Department of Justice is adding federal prosecutors to pursue cases in remote Alaska towns and villages where U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr recently declared a public safety emergency. After visiting Alaska and meeting with Alaska Native leaders, Barr declared the problem to be a national emergency, promising $10.5 million in immediate relief. On Thursday, U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder in Anchorage announced new details on how the money will be spent, as well as related efforts by federal agencies and the state of Alaska. Among the projects: Funding three new federal prosecutors who will focus on rural Alaska criminal cases. Upgrading public safety infrastructure, such as holding cells, for Alaska villages and tribes. Developing “medium and long-term planning to address violent crime issues in rural Alaska” in tandem with Alaska Native leaders. A monthslong investigation by the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica found that one in three Alaska communities has no local law enforcement. Violent crime survivors must sometimes wait hours or days for authorities to arrive. Some villages lack jail cells or safe houses. It is not yet clear how the federal money might address Alaska’s law enforcement crisis. Police in the state are hired by local communities, the state or the tribes. Some of the federal money is expected to be used for that purpose, particularly on tribal lands, which already get some dollars from the federal government to support an independent law enforcement system and courts. Get Our Top Investigations Subscribe to the Big Story newsletter. Don’t miss out on ProPublica’s next investigation. Sign up and get the Big Story email whenever we break news. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Dozens of village and tribal leaders told the Daily News and ProPublica that they want certified law enforcement in their communities, while University of Alaska Anchorage researchers found that sex crimes are more likely to be prosecuted when a village police officer aids in the investigation. Advocates for Alaska Native rights and tribal sovereignty say any long-term reforms must include an expanded role for tribal courts and government-to-government partnerships between the U.S. and tribes. Research suggests that the presence of traditional elders and employment opportunities, rather than more cops and prosecutors alone, would reduce suicide, alcohol abuse and other problems that have troubled Alaska communities. Members of Alaska’s congressional delegation also said they are pursuing solutions. Speaking to the Daily News this month, Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan said he is working with Tara Sweeney, assistant secretary for Indian affairs and a longtime Alaska Native leader, on a simple goal: “Every community that wants law enforcement should get it,” Sullivan said. “The key issue, where the feds can really help, is on the training side,” he said. “That is one of the big areas where we are completely lacking.” The training would be provided to village public safety officers, or VPSOs, and village police officers, or VPOs. VPSOs are funded by the state of Alaska and overseen by regional nonprofits. Their number is at or near an all-time low. VPOs are usually hired by villages with fewer than 1,000 people. They make low wages, are sometimes untrained and generally have no benefits or retirement. Federally recognized tribes often hire tribal police officers, or TPOs, who perform similar duties. Barr’s emergency declaration included $5 million to pay for law enforcement equipment and fund the hiring of 20 officers by tribes and regional nonprofits. Read More The Village Where Every Cop Has Been Convicted of Domestic Violence Dozens of convicted criminals have been hired as cops in Alaska communities. Often, they are the only applicants. In Stebbins, every cop has a criminal record, including the chief. Alaska’s sexual assault rate is nearly three times the national average and climbing. The Daily News and ProPublica are investigating the lack of public safety as part of an ongoing look at sexual abuse and a two-tiered justice system that leaves some rural Alaskans lacking basic protections. “Among domestic violence victims in Alaska, Native women are over-represented by 250%. Yet, one in three communities in Alaska has no local law enforcement,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, tweeted Tuesday. Most of the more than 70 communities with no police are primarily Alaska Native. “When bad things happen and there’s no law enforcement, bad things will continue to happen,” Murkowski said, speaking to tribal leaders at a National Congress of American Indians event in Washington, D.C. ProPublica and the Anchorage Daily News are spending the year investigating sexual violence in urban and rural Alaska. Here’s how you can stay in touch with us: Get email updates. Share your story in our questionnaire. Reach out to the reporting team anytime: Kyle Hopkins is an investigative reporter at the Anchorage Daily News. Email him at and follow him on Twitter at @kylehopkinsAK.

  • To what extent are we able to function?
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 13, 2019 at 19:10

    FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2019Bernie and Joe, plus Drum: This is a terrible field.By any traditional standard, two of the top five candidates are way too old for the job. Another member of the top five is way too young.Of the remaining two top contenders, one spent several decades saying on official forms that she was an AMERICAN INDIAN. It’s hard to believe that she ever could have believed that. It’s impossible to avoid the possibility that she did this in hopes of career gain. We’ll all be hearing more about this if she’s the nominee.That leaves Candidate Harris. We’re somewhat surprised that she hasn’t caught on, though she strikes us as tilting toward faux and mirage.This terrible field is confronting the madness of the ongoing Trump era. The era calls for abnormal insight from national leaders, a bit like that required from Lincoln (see below). We don’t see that level of insight anywhere in this field.How poorly do we function as a people at this point in time? On the most simplistic level, consider this early exchange last night between two of the top three contenders:STEPHANOPOULOS (9/12/19): Senator Sanders.SANDERS: Let us be clear, Joe, in the United States of America, we are spending twice as much per capita on health care as the Canadians or any other major country on earth.BIDEN: This is America.SANDERS: Yes, but Americans don’t want to pay twice as much as other countries, and they guarantee health care to all people. Under my Medicare-for-all proposal, when you don’t pay out-of-pocket and you don’t pay premiums, maybe you’ve run into people who love their premiums. I haven’t.Sad. We say that for several reasons.First, Sanders never remembers to say that we spend two to three times as much per person as compared to other countries whose health care outcomes are as good or better than ours.He did remember to say that these other countries provide universal coverage. But he never says that those countries’ outcomes are at least as good as ours.This omission probably helps explain Biden’s peculiar response. “This is America,” the Democratic front-runner said, apparently suggesting that we’re spending more because we do it bigger and better than anyone else in the world.That’s an amazingly clueless (apparent) response from the party’s front-runner. But this peculiar response is made possible because Sanders always fails to say that other countries get outcomes as good as ours.Does any of this actually matter? Almost certainly, no. That’s because you can’t leave a discussion this big to the vagaries of a ten-person “debate” during a White House campaign. The nation’s political, academic and journalistic “elites” have spent decades failing to discuss the remarkable fact which Sanders partially stated. Why do we spend so much per person as compared to everyone else? Where does all that extra money go? Are we all, red and blue together, being systematically looted in the general area of health care? Very few people have ever heard a discussion of any such questions. Most people have no idea that we’re all being systematically looted in the provision of health care—and you can’t expect people to clamor for change on the basis of a few shards of alleged information tossed out in the midst of a ten-person “debate” marked by a thousand-dollar cash give-away plan and a comically awful attack upon Biden’s alleged failure of memory.That exchange between Sanders and Biden ought to be a national embarrassment, but no one is going to view it as such. Reason:We just aren’t especially sharp—and we aren’t sharp enough to notice!Drum is right and wrong: We recommend Kevin Drum’s post, “Things Are Pretty Good in America These Days.” We recommend the post because Drum is very right, but also because he’s remarkably wrong.Drum goes through a list of indicators which suggest that American life has been getting much better. “Just about every social indicator you can think of has been moving in a good direction for the past couple of decades,” he says.Drum does note a few exceptions. Along the way, he also explains why we the people tend to think things are getting worse when they’re actually getting better.So far, so basically good. But then we get to the very large problem with the post. This is the way he ends:DRUM (9/12/19): Nickel summary: Things are generally pretty good in America! Not everything, but most things. We sure don’t act like it, though.Am I missing anything important here?Is he missing something important? In our view, yes, he is.Donald J. Trump is in the White House! This is the leading indicator of a terrible, ongoing dislocation which, absent some type of leadership, won’t be going away.As he departed Springfield, President-elect Lincoln said this:”I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington.”Mind-boggling death and destruction followed, a fact which Lincoln assessed in the deepest possible way in his Second Inaugural Address.Our current situation won’t likely be going away, and our human skills are extremely limited. This strikes us as a terrible problem, and it may not be going away.

  • FATUOUS, INFANTILE, FAUX: Eisenhower stopped in Scotland!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 13, 2019 at 14:43

    FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2019Elvis stopped there too: How dumb is our nation’s public discourse? How phony, how fake are its sachems?How pitiful are the Fauntleroys who hand us our novelized news? Once again, let’s recall what we rubes were told by Brian last Friday night.Brian’s guest was Rick Wilson, a somewhat smutty, sometimes misogynist Republican strategist.During this age of Trump, our liberal tribe is so desperate for reassurance that we’re even willing to be handed our facts by him! Last Friday night, he joined Brian in telling us how crazy it is to think that the U.S. military would be using that airport in Scotland as an overnight stop-over site.The little lords went on and on about the obvious corruption involved in those crazy stop-overs at the Glasgow Prestwick Airport, and also in those overnight stays at Commander Trump’s Scottish resort.The sunshine patriotism was blinding. In fairness, Brian’s hair was perfect:WILSON (9/6/19): Look, it’s been a minute since I was in the DOD, but I can tell you, it’s part of regulations in the DOD that air crews are not to stay overnight at civilian facilities unless it is mission-essential. They’re supposed to go from military to military facilities, and I’m pretty much sure that staying at a Trump golf resort is never mission-essential for a U.S. Air Force or Navy crew heading over to the Middle East to the active theater of combat in the Middle East.This is some other element of the Trump grift. It is some element of the Trump scam. These are people who have obviously managed to corrupt folks down the chain and sent the signal that at the minimum to send a signal, that if you stay at Trump resorts maybe he’ll like you more. And I think it’s an extraordinary moment where, you know, we’re seeing it in real time, that they’re forcing these airmen to land their C-17s off military airfields somewhere close to a Trump resort in order to stay there. It is an unbelievable level of corruption.WILLIAMS: And Rick, you do remind me, we have a network of air bases with names like Aviano—WILSON: We do indeed.WILLIAMS: —the air bases we have maintained, along with the Brits, and the French, and the Germans, for exactly this type of thing.WILSON: Indeed. And I think—I don’t know the exact number right now. I think it’s five in Britain that would handle the C-17 right off the top of my head. So somehow I’m thinking that landing at a Trump golf resort is not like landing at Hertfordshire, for instance, or Bentwaters, or wherever we got still bases operating in the U.K. It’s very much a symbol of a corrupt and corrupting administration.WILLIAMS: I’ll see your hurt for (INAUDIBLE) and raise you in Mildenhall, which I think is still up and running.WILSON: You will indeed.The boys were upset, even hurt. It was crazy to think that airmen were being forced to land at that Scottish airfield just so they could stay overnight at the Trump resort. Airmen were supposed to land at U.S. bases—”the air bases we have maintained for exactly this type of thing!” And not only that:”It’s part of regulations in the DOD that air crews are not to stay overnight at civilian facilities unless it is mission-essential!”The Fauntleroys went on and on, reciting the latest novel. Two hours earlier, Rachel had devoted a large amount of Friday night’s show to this same new tale. Rachel continued reciting this tale on her Monday night program although, it must be said, she seemed to make a major effort to keep her statements “technically accurate” this night. Two hours later, Brian almost started to back away from the various misstatements he’d made, though he apparently chose to play it dumb, as we noted in this award-winning post the next day.At any rate, Rachel and Brian had let us know that U.S. airmen are supposed to stop for refueling at “the air bases we have maintained for exactly this type of thing!” They had also let us know how crazy it is that airmen would be lodged overnight in a private hotel, not on a U.S. base. Rachel kept using the word “now,” letting us know that the Scottish stopovers were very new, part of the latest Trump scam. Unfortunately, a front-page report in today’s New York Times says these assertions were faux.How faux was the story the children were telling? Go ahead—you’re allowed to laugh, though only in mordant fashion:KIRKPATRICK AND LIPTON (9/13/19): Mr. Trump’s defenders note that American military jets have been stopping in the region since long before Mr. Trump’s election. A decision by the Pentagon to have its flights stop more frequently at the local airport was made under the Obama administration.[…]The United States military has been using Prestwick as a stopover since at least World War II, in part because of the extremely long runway the airport offers, and its reputation for being largely free of fog.Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower sometimes landed there, and after the war Scotland gave him permanent use of an apartment in a medieval castle not far from Turnberry that he frequently visited. In March 1960, Elvis Presley, then wrapping up his military service, stopped at the airport for a few hours and was mobbed by his fans. Are the stop-overs at that silly airport a new arrangement designed to funnel money to Commander Trump? It seems that they are not!According to today’s report, even Elvis stopped there once—before he’d married Priscilla! Eisenhower sometimes landed there too, and that was before he was president!We invite you to search for any sign that Brian and his smutty guest had even the slightest idea what they were talking about on last Friday’s program. As for Rachel’s two nights of narrative enhancement, surely no one expects better from her at this point.None of this means that Commander Trump isn’t a consummate con man. It simply means that Brian’s a con man too. He has been for a good long time, going back to the days when he comically swooned over Candidate Bush while trashing Candidate Gore’s three-button suits which, he weirdly kept insisting, the hopeful was wearing in a slick attempt to attract female voters.Brian has been semi-goofy for a good long while. That said, his hair back then was even more perfect and, a bit like Private Presley, he seems to know how to follow orders.A great deal of history moves through this morning’s report. The lead reporter, David Kirkpatrick, is the fellow who explained what actually happened at Benghazi in this lengthy, widely-ignored New York Times report. By that time, Rachel had spent the entire fall of 2012 refusing to defend Susan Rice and letting the Benghazi narratives grow.Four years later, she took a dive on Comey too. That November, the Benghazi and Comey narratives helped put Trump where he is.A lot of silly excitement was peddled last Friday night. In the case of Our Own Rhodes Scholar, she continued to peddle the silly excitement on her show Monday night.On Tuesday morning, a front-page report in the New York Times seemed to say that Friday night’s claims had been faux. Neither Brian nor Rachel has told you that, nor will they do so tonight.How infantile, how fake and faux is our national discourse? This episode is so comically faux that it could even provide a “teachable moment.”No such thing will occur, of course. Top anthropologists sadly report that our species ain’t wired for that.Last night’s debate was another example of how broken our discourse is. It provided another example of how over-matched Democratic sachems are by the madness of the Trump era.Future anthropologists, huddled in caves, despondently claim that there’s no way out of this mess. That said, this latest example is just so comical that yes, you’re permitted to laugh.A bit more apparent information: Last Sunday, the New York Times published a column by “a philosopher.” Next week, we’ll fold that depressing episode into a week of reports.For today, a bit more apparent information about last Friday’s faux news:KIRKPATRICK AND LIPTON: The military says the vast majority of American military personnel who have passed through since 2016 have stayed at other area hotels, not Mr. Trump’s. On Thursday, the Air Force said in a statement that it had found 659 instances when its flight crews stayed overnight in the area in the past four years. Of those stays, the Air Force estimated that 6 percent, or about 40—far more than had previously been identified publicly—went to Mr. Trump’s property. Trump Turnberry was closed for renovations from 2015 until mid-2016.Those who did stay there paid a discounted rate of as little as $130 a night, compared to a typical price of about $380 a night.[…]Michael Matheson, the Scottish transport minister, told the Scottish Parliament this week that the Turnberry is one of 13 hotels the airport uses and that “Turnberry is generally booked only if other hotels are unavailable or if customers specifically request it.”We can’t tell you how many of those claims are accurate. That said, the reference to “the past four years” underscores the fact that these stop-overs at the Scottish airport don’t seem to be new. General Eisenhower sometimes stopped there; Elvis stopped there too. Compare those apparent facts to the smutty guest’s tale! And yes, you’re permitted to laugh!On Friday and Monday, we rubes were handed a pleasing new story. The idea that these Scottish stop-overs are a new, outrageous scam is already a basic part of cable news tribal lore. Our tribe was flown to Bogusville on some of our favorite programs. Of one thing you can feel certain:Brian and Rachel won’t go on the air to help us get clear on our facts.

  • Democratic Debate #3: Mr. Rogers, Re-runs, and Real Talk
    by Jud Lounsbury on September 13, 2019 at 14:11

    A side-stepped apology from Biden, two gimmick-meisters, and seven remaining candidates who gave solid performances.

  • As Students From China Flock to University of Illinois, Lawsuit Alleges Ex-Professor Targeted Female Chinese Students
    by by Jodi S. Cohen on September 13, 2019 at 10:00

    by Jodi S. Cohen This week, my NPR Illinois and ProPublica colleagues reported on a lawsuit filed by two former University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students and a professor at another college against former Illinois professor Gary Gang Xu, alleging he assaulted, bullied and raped multiple students — and specifically targeted female Chinese students. During the past decade, the flagship campus at Urbana-Champaign has become a destination for students from China and has enrolled more Chinese undergraduates during some years than any university in the U.S. There are 569 freshmen from China this year, about 7.4% of the class, according to university data released this week. Overall, there are 5,825 U. of I. students from China, including more than 3,000 undergraduates. In 2006, fewer than 20 freshmen came from China. Dive Deeper Into Our Reporting Our newsletter is written by a ProPublica Illinois reporter every week Discover what makes Illinois tick from our team of investigative journalists covering the state. Delivered every Friday. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Five years ago, while a reporter at the Chicago Tribune, I traveled to China to write about this phenomenon. It was the first year that admissions officials held freshman orientation sessions in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, a reflection of the growing student population and the need to help them prepare for college life in the U.S. I spoke with Xu while reporting that series. He was a university expert on the subject. A native of Nanjing, China, he started teaching at the university in the early 2000s. He explained that the connection between the university and China dates to the early 1900s, when then-university President Edmund James encouraged Chinese students to study there. James wrote in a journal article that educating Chinese students would benefit the U.S. and help secure relations between the two countries. James also persuaded President Theodore Roosevelt to create a scholarship program, with money China paid to the U.S. at the end of the Boxer Rebellion in 1901, to support Chinese students’ studies here. So when Chinese students began studying abroad in the 1980s, many picked Illinois. “Chinese college students heard these stories, and those historical roots opened the door at the right time for us. When the floodgate was lifted, students were thinking of U. of I. as a nice destination because of all of these stories,” Xu told me in 2014. Read More Assaults, Bullying, Rape: A Lawsuit Against One Professor Claims a University Didn’t Stop Him Former University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor Gary Gang Xu assaulted and threatened students while university officials downplayed complaints, a lawsuit says. He ultimately resigned, taking $10,000 as part of his separation agreement. At the time, he was a tenured professor and the head of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. The lawsuit alleges that, at the same time, Xu was in an abusive relationship with an undergraduate student from China, one of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs. She was 19 and he was 45 when they met, according to the lawsuit, and he allegedly sexually assaulted her and coerced her to have an abortion. He allegedly threatened to send her back to China if she did not drop reports she made to the university about his conduct. (I knew nothing about these claims when I spoke with Xu). In March 2018, Xu denied sexual assault claims, as reported in the student newspaper. He resigned from the university last year, two years after a university investigation found he committed misconduct. He was on paid leave for more than two years — from Jan. 1, 2016, to Aug. 15, 2018 — and received $10,000 as part of his resignation agreement. His salary had been $85,446. The agreement also contained a confidentiality clause that said Xu “shall not disclose the existence or terms” of the agreement to “anyone else” including “members of the mass media.” The university told NPR Illinois and ProPublica reporters in a statement: “We are aware of the filing and are reviewing it. We cannot comment on any of its contents at this time.” Xu had a lot to say when I spoke with him five years ago about how the influx of Chinese students has changed the campus, the communities of Urbana and Champaign, and the students. So far, he has not commented about the allegations in the lawsuit, which got a lot of media attention this week. He did not return my calls or emails seeking comment.

  • Thousands of Poor Patients Face Lawsuits From Nonprofit Hospitals That Trap Them in Debt
    by by Maya Miller and Beena Raghavendran on September 13, 2019 at 09:00

    by Maya Miller and Beena Raghavendran Over the past few months, several hospitals have announced major changes to their financial assistance policies, including curtailing the number of lawsuits they file against low-income patients unable to pay their medical bills. Investigative reports have spurred the moves, and they prompted criticism from a top federal official. “We are learning the lengths to which certain not-for-profit hospitals go to collect the full list price from uninsured patients,” Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told board members of the American Hospital Association on Tuesday, according to published remarks. “This is unacceptable. Hospitals must be paid for their work, but it’s actions like these that have led to calls for a complete Washington takeover of the entire health care system.” Get Our Top Investigations Subscribe to the Big Story newsletter. Don’t miss out on ProPublica’s next investigation. Sign up and get the Big Story email whenever we break news. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. In June, ProPublica published a story with MLK50 on the Memphis, Tennessee-based nonprofit hospital system Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. It brought more than 8,300 lawsuits against patients, including dozens against its own employees, for unpaid medical bills over five years. In thousands of cases, the hospital attempted to garnish defendants’ paychecks to collect the debt. After our investigation, the hospital temporarily suspended its legal actions and announced a review. That resulted in the hospital raising its workers’ wages, expanding its financial assistance policy and announcing that it would not sue its lowest-income patients. “We were humbled,” the hospital’s CEO, Michael Ugwueke, told reporters. The same month, NPR reported that Virginia’s nonprofit Mary Washington Hospital was suing more patients for unpaid medical bills than any hospital in the state. Dr. Marty Makary, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins University, and fellow researchers had documented 20,000 lawsuits filed by Virginia hospitals in 2017 alone. The research team found that nonprofit hospitals more frequently garnished wages than their public and for-profit peers. In mid-August, The Oklahoman reported that dozens of hospitals across the state had filed more than 22,250 suits against former patients since 2016. Saint Francis Health System, a nonprofit that includes eight hospitals, filed the most lawsuits in the three-year span. In the first week of September, The New York Times reported that Carlsbad Medical Center in New Mexico had sued 3,000 of its patients since 2015. That report was also based on findings from Makary, who just published the book “The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care — and How to Fix It.” And this week, Kaiser Health News and The Washington Post chronicled how Virginia’s state-run University of Virginia Health System sued patients more than 36,000 times over a six-year span. There is no federal law mandating that nonprofit hospitals provide a specific amount of charity care, nor is there readily accessible data measuring how aggressively each hospital pursues patients for unpaid bills. But consumer advocates say the revelations in recent coverage on hospitals’ litigation practices are troubling. “It’s dismaying to see how common it is,” said Jenifer Bosco, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center who helped craft a Model Medical Debt Protection Act. Nearly half of the nation’s 6,200 hospitals are nonprofits, meaning they are exempt from paying most local, state and federal taxes in return for providing community benefits. But the issue of nonprofit hospitals engaging in aggressive debt collection practices that push the very communities they are designed to assist into poverty isn’t new. In 2014, ProPublica reported on a small Missouri hospital that filed 11,000 lawsuits over a five-year span. In response, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, opened an investigation, and the hospital forgave the debts owed by thousands of former patients. In 2003, The Wall Street Journal detailed how Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut had pursued a patient’s widow to pay off his late wife’s 20-year-old medical bills. The hospital canceled the debt following the article. “Some of these things are really outrageous,” said Jessica Curtis, a policy expert with Community Catalyst who helped draft billing protections for patients in the Affordable Care Act. “There are really aggressive tactics being used and little consideration or understanding for how those tactics actually impact people.” Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, sent a letter to the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service in February to renew his inquiries into whether nonprofit hospitals provide sufficient community benefits to qualify for tax breaks. Since publishing our story on Methodist hospital in Memphis, we’ve continued to work with communities in the city to better understand the toll these lawsuits are taking. We’ve learned from our reporting that, because of the stigma around owing money, people who’ve been sued sometimes don’t want to discuss it with a reporter. So we’ve tried to reach people in several ways, including letters sent in the mail, flyers posted in spots they might frequent and graphics we’re sharing on Facebook. We’re learning a bit more every day about what resonates with the community, and we hope to report back on that soon. In the meantime — and we tell this to every person we can — these stories are stronger and more accurate when people who’ve been sued share their experiences with us. Hearing from more people who have been sued can help us hold more institutions accountable. If you’ve been sued by a nonprofit hospital or physician group, we want to hear from you. If you work or have worked for an organization that takes unusually aggressive legal action against people unable to pay, we’d also like to hear from you. Fill out our questionnaire.

  • Report on Election Security Gains Attention, and a Sharp Rebuke
    by by Jessica Huseman on September 13, 2019 at 09:00

    by Jessica Huseman In July, election officials across the country received a mass email from NormShield, a Virginia-based cybersecurity company few had heard of. The company informed the officials it was about to publicly release the results of a “risk scorecard” it had generated assessing vulnerabilities in their internet-facing election systems. States could request their scorecards in advance, the company said, and join what it termed “a joint marketing and public service project.” “NormShield is the only provider that assesses and prioritizes the risk of any organization within 60 seconds,” Chief Security Officer Bob Maley wrote. Its work would provide each state with an overview of its failures in 10 categories, all given an easy-to-understand letter grade “that can be instantly used to evaluate cyber defenses.” Initially, most states ignored the email. Some told ProPublica they thought it was spam. Others dismissed it as a heavy-handed marketing ploy — one of dozens of such approaches states receive monthly from cybersecurity companies hoping to win government contracts. But some states asked for reports on their systems. Considerable upset followed. Get Our Top Investigations Subscribe to the Big Story newsletter. Don’t miss out on ProPublica’s next investigation. Sign up and get the Big Story email whenever we break news. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. States that received the reports found them riddled with errors and unhelpful for assessing actual election security. The work done by NormShield — called “Rapid Cyber Risk Scorecards” — had tested online government material not associated with elections. In Idaho, for example, the company examined the security of the Department of Environmental Quality, but not the state’s online voter registration system. In Oklahoma, of 200 IP addresses scanned, none were related to elections. In Vermont, the scan had been performed on a defunct domain. “You would think a firm that claims expertise in cybersecurity could do a simple Google search to find the correct address of a state website,” Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said in a statement. Multiple states confronted NormShield about the reports. Federal government agencies privately called it irresponsible, and nonprofit groups panned NormShield’s failure to appropriately notify the states of vulnerabilities before threatening to report them publicly. It might all have faded away as an unremarkable, if annoying episode had it not been for the fact that NormShield on Tuesday published its work. While the published report did not name any specific states, it said that more than half of the 50 states whose systems it examined had received “a grade C or below.” The report garnered considerable attention, written up by The Washington Post, Politico and Axios. In interviews with ProPublica, election officials and experts in election security said NormShield’s behavior amounted to another kind of election security threat: companies looking to profit from a country on edge about the integrity of its national and local elections. “There is a lot of work to do to better secure election technology, and states are looking for help,” said David Becker, the executive director of the Center for Election Innovation & Research. “But profiteering only serves to further diminish voter confidence, which is exactly what our adversaries want.” In an interview, Maley, the NormShield official, defended the company’s work and its dealings with the states. He said that the security tests it ran were legitimate, and that the company had been aboveboard with election officials about that work and what NormShield intended to do with it. States, he said, had ample opportunity to both contest its findings or fix the identified vulnerabilities. Election officials and experts contacted by ProPublica rejected the company’s assertions and criticized virtually every aspect of NormShield’s work on election systems. The technology it employed was limited, they said, and the company also had failed to honor industry best practices by not adequately alerting the states to its findings before making them public. Election officials in Oklahoma, for instance, said the company had a “gross misunderstanding” of the state’s systems and rejected its findings. Iowa officials called the report “error ridden.” In an interview, Idaho’s Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck said the scorecard was “so worthless that I didn’t print it out.” While the scan did detect real problems — some states, for example, are not using standard protections to prevent email spoofing and others are using outdated operating systems — none of these problems are particularly revelatory, experts said. The Department of Homeland Security runs regular scans on election systems that detect identical problems, and many states said they already had long-term fixes in the works. Jim Condos, the Vermont secretary of state, said that Vermont has hired multiple cybersecurity consultants recently to perform tests on its systems and none had made the conclusions reached by NormShield’s test, which relied exclusively on publicly available information and did not consult the states to ask specific questions about their security. Scans of other state agencies’ cyberhygiene were not, he said, a reflection of his office. Maley laughed at the concerns in an interview. He said vulnerabilities in state sites unrelated to elections nonetheless posed risks. “Everything [election offices use] is connected to the state,” he said, calling it “disingenuous” for state officials to suggest otherwise. “Their mail servers, their DNS servers, their server farms — they are connected to the same networks.” But J. Alex Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan who studies election systems, said potential interconnectivity to other state agencies is not enough to assert the level of danger NormShield has reported. While many states may depend on the infrastructure Maley references, not all do. Halderman said the tests were “a crude way” of assessing election security. Dan Wallach, a computer scientist at Rice University, said that without asking specific questions about each state’s security protocols, a scan of the type that NormShield ran would only offer clues as to vulnerabilities but would not itself confirm they were present. “I’m going to label them as a company desperately trying to get attention for themselves,” he said. “This is clearly just a marketing attempt.” In interviews over many months, election officials across the country have admitted that vulnerabilities exist, and that Americans are right to be worried. Those officials have been frustrated by both state and federal government failures to commit funding to helping protect elections. Congress has failed to pass several bills related to election security, most recently a $600 million funding infusion that would have come with a slew of cybersecurity requirements. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader, blocked their consideration. He says that the country has done enough to prevent Russian interference, and that federal security requirements attached to funding would threaten the states’ ability to conduct their elections as they see fit. The same officials and a number of independent experts have also cautioned that a mix of legitimate worry and political frenzy has created an environment that companies can exploit. “It appears to me to be an attempt to create hysteria in the public to sell their product,” Condos said. Candan Bolukbas, NormShield’s chief technology officer, said that the company had “no marketing mindset,” but that any election security work “automatically becomes a marketing item” because it is such a hot topic. He said the company had no intention of selling its product to states and would be offering the scans and assistance to them for free. Their target market is instead private companies, who may see the report and learn of NormShield’s offerings. “Of course we want to sell our product,” a company spokesperson, Josh Zecher, said. NormShield is a new company that performs what are called “nonintrusive” tests of websites used by government or private companies. Anyone can request a scan on NormShield’s website for free, and they can then pay NormShield to help mitigate any problems discovered. The company has recently received $3.5 million in seed money from investors. Cybersecurity companies that perform vulnerability testing generally follow a very specific procedure for notification that includes individually reaching out to subjects and constructively helping them fix problems before publicizing them. NormShield does not appear to have followed this process. “It’s not a good practice to release scary information based on insufficiently vetted, automatically generated threats. Election officials now need to spend time they don’t have responding to these poorly vetted claims,” said Ben Adida, the CEO of VotingWorks, a nonprofit building secure and affordable voting machines. “I’m sure NormShield meant well, but it seems to me they caused net harm.” While states were offered an advance copy of their July scorecards, they were unaware that the company had done a second set of tests in August until the public report was released this week. Maley said the report included updated information for the states who demanded NormShield redo the reports using the correct addresses. If a state ignored the report and did not alert NormShield to flaws, the company assumed there were no objections. Maley said that if NormShield tested incorrect websites, the fault was with the National Association of State Election Directors, which was where the company found the list of websites. NASED, a nonprofit run by a single person, was not contacted ahead of the list being used. The company appears to have made no independent effort to verify it tested the correct sites. In an interview, when asked what efforts had been made to fact-check the scores, both Maley and Bolukbas said such efforts were unnecessary and not part of their offering to states. “Our proactive part is done when we generate the report,” said Bolukbas, who said mistakes were “inevitable” in any cybersecurity product. Maley said that states were given “every opportunity” to ask for corrections, and that he regretted if states felt that NormShield’s communication was ineffective or a marketing ploy. When pressed on what opportunities were given to the states, Maley and Bolukbas ended the interview. In its report, NormShield appears to claim extensive success pointing out vulnerabilities to states. “After the July assessment, NormShield privately provided its findings to the Secretaries of State (SOS) and election commissions in July in order to empower them with the information needed to remediate vulnerabilities. NormShield ran a second scan in August and found significant improvement in the security posture of several election commissions,” it wrote. Media coverage in the Post, Politico and Axios likewise mentions the improvements, correlating them with NormShield’s scans. But ProPublica was unable to find a state that had made any changes after receiving the report. And in a phone call, Maley downplayed the company’s responsibility for the improvement, saying he was “not willing” to make the correlation between the disclosure and the improvement. “I don’t know,” he said. He declined to specify which states’ grades had improved, and experts say that states may have made a number of changes unrelated to the scans that would have affected their scores. The Post wrote that NormShield “plans to publish another report next month in which it will actually name which states have low grades” — a move Wallach said would be irresponsible. Maley denied having said this, only saying that it was a “potential option” if states didn’t improve, and that the company would have “internal discussions” about next steps after the data was analyzed.

  • In the Pacific Islands, the Trump Administration Sees Empire, Ignores Climate Change
    by Edward Hunt on September 13, 2019 at 08:23

    The U.S. government views the islands as keys to controlling the Pacific and constraining the rise of China.

  • Twohey and Kantor on Allred and Bloom!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 12, 2019 at 19:28

    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2019Supporting role, David Boies: When the MeToo revelations started to break, we were amazed by the conduct of people like Weinstein and Lauer and Rose.We were also amazed by the number of highly-placed people who seem to have let such conduct proceed. Everyone knew, but no one had heard! That seemed to be the party line as colleagues of various miscreants swore that they’d had no idea.Based upon current reporting, Meghan Twohey and Jodi Kantor discuss another category of enabler in their new book, She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement.There are only two members of this particular group. The facts about their conduct aren’t entirely new.That said, their apparent conduct is especially striking because of their status as well-known alleged feminist warriors. In Tuesday’s New York Times, Alexandra Alter delivers the mail about this part of the forthcoming book:ALTER (9/10/19): “She Said” shows how some figures who have presented themselves as allies of victims have profited from financial settlements that silence them.The attorney Gloria Allred is one of the most vocal crusaders against sexual harassment and assault. Privately, her firm helped negotiate a settlement that muffled one of Mr. Weinstein’s victims in 2004, taking a 40 percent cut. (The firm has also worked on settlements that silenced victims of Larry Nassar and Bill O’Reilly.) In an interview for “She Said,” Allred defends her use of confidential settlements, arguing that clients are not forced to sign them and often prefer them for reasons of privacy.Allred’s daughter, the lawyer Lisa Bloom, a prominent victims’ rights attorney, was working behind the scenes with Mr. Weinstein—at a rate of $895 an hour—to quash the journalists’ investigation and thwart his accusers. In a confidential memo to Mr. Weinstein that Ms. Bloom wrote in December 2016, which is reproduced in “She Said,” she offered to help him damage the reputation of one of his accusers, Rose McGowan, and portrayed her background as a victims’s rights advocate as an asset.“I feel equipped to help you against the Roses of the world, because I have represented so many of them,” Ms. Bloom wrote, before laying out a multistep playbook for how to intimidate accusers or paint them as liars. One of Ms. Bloom’s suggested tactics for undermining Ms. McGowan: “We can place an article re her becoming increasingly unglued, so that when someone Googles her this is what pops up and she’s discredited.”Ms. Bloom accompanied Mr. Weinstein on a surprise visit to the Times the day before the initial article was published, to present the journalists with information intended to portray several accusers—including Ashley Judd, the first actress to go on the record—as unreliable and mentally unstable.Ms. Bloom has said she was crossing sides to work for Weinstein to encourage him to apologize for his behavior. She later told the reporters that she “deeply regretted” representing him, which she said was a “colossal mistake.” We can’t evaluate Allred’s behavior. Bloom’s sounds especially grimy. That said, Alter omits one part of Bloom’s reported connection to Weinstein. Consider what Alter says, as she continues, concerning David Boies:ALTER (continuing directly): Another member of Mr. Weinstein’s legal team, the attorney David Boies, helped Mr. Weinstein evade scrutiny for his treatment of women over 15 years, working to halt reporting on the producer by news outlets, blocking the board of Mr. Weinstein’s company from reviewing his personnel file, and helping Mr. Weinstein execute a contract with Black Cube, an Israeli private investigations firm, that was promised a $300,000 bonus if it stopped the Times investigation. (Ronan Farrow, who published a separate Weinstein exposé in The New Yorker in October 2017, later broke the news of Black Cube’s work for Weinstein.) “She Said” reveals emails showing that during the time that Mr. Boies represented Mr. Weinstein, the two men discussed potential film roles for Mr. Boies’s daughter, an aspiring actress.As Boies was helping Weinstein, he was seeking film roles for his daughter. In her formal review of Twohey and Kantor’s book, Susan Faludi describes a somewhat similar connection between Weinstein and Bloom:FALUDI (9/8/19): Maybe the most appalling figure in this constellation of collaborators and enablers is Lisa Bloom, Allred’s daughter. A lawyer likewise known for winning sexual-harassment settlements with nondisclosure agreements, Bloom was retained by Weinstein (who had also bought the movie rights to her book). In a jaw-dropping memo to Weinstein, Bloom itemized her game plan: Initiate “counterops online campaigns,” place articles in the press painting one of his accusers as a “pathological liar,” start a Weinstein Foundation “on gender equality” and hire a “reputation management company” to suppress negative articles on Google. Oh, and this gem: “You and I come out publicly in a pre-emptive interview where you talk about evolving on women’s issues, prompted by death of your mother, Trump pussy grab tape and, maybe, nasty unfounded hurtful rumors about you. … You should be the hero of the story, not the villain. This is very doable.”In the midst of all that apparent grime, Weinstein apparently favored Bloom by purchasing movie rights to a book she had written. Boies wanted a movie part for his daughter. According to earlier reporting, Bloom wanted her book to become an actual film. (This claim about Bloom’s book first surfaced some time ago. If the claim is discussed in the new book, we don’t know why Alter omitted it.)”Put not your trust in princes,” someone is said to have said long ago. This episode teaches a similar lesson about high-profile partisan stars or ideological players.No one postures more convincingly than Allred and Bloom do. That said, the rewards out there are too damn high; it’s been that way for a very long time. Many people will do many things to get their $895 per hour, or to see their book on the silver screen.Many people will do many things to attain such large rewards. They may betray their apparent values. They may embellish facts on TV shows in order to please the tribe. On occasion, they may even say things which are untrue. They may forget to correct themselves when it turns out that they’ve misled you in some way.Trust but verify, someone once said. We’d be inclined to stress the second part of that formula. Good jobs at extremely good pay may undermine good journalism. We’ll guess that it happens somewhere on cable every day of the week!By the way, how much are leading cable stars paid? Given the fact that we all love transparency, why don’t they want you to know?

  • THE FATUOUS, INFANTILE AND FAUX: "Pete Buttigieg’s Mixtape Suuuuuuucks!"
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 12, 2019 at 16:28

    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2019As seen in today’s New York Times: Friend, have you been looking for someone to help you set a marathon time goal?If so, your search is over! On page A3 of today’s New York Times, the silly daily “Here to Help” feature starts off exactly like this:Here to HelpHOW TO SET A MARATHON TIME GOALAccording to Running USA, the median marathon finishing times in the United States are 4:20 for men and 4:45 for women, and many aim for a sub-four or sub-five hour marathon. Once you pick the time you want to beat, you’ll need to map out a plan to get there. JEN A. MILLER As the feature continues, Miller pens a five-part discussion about the best ways to set such a goal. Amazingly, the feature ends with a promise of more:For more marathon tips, look for the How to Run a Faster Marathon guide at what? Is it possible that the New York Times really provides such a guide? Is it really possible that the modern New York Times actually offers a stand-alone guide about how to run faster marathons?In fact, the answer is yes! We googled and ended up at this site, where Miller’s original, full-length report appears, supplemented by “illustrations by Chi Birmingham,” with “additional photography by J. Adam Huggins, Jim Wilson and Aaron Lee Fineman.”The site spills over with other reports about how to run and prepare for a marathon. Meanwhile, Get More Running Tips From Well! Under that heading, you can register to receive weekly emails “to help you on your running journey.”In truth, there’s little the modern Times won’t do to help the reader on his or her journey. Nor will the paper fail to give us our regular dosage of fiddle-de-dee about Friends.Last Sunday, the Arts & Leisure section groaned beneath the weight of thoughtful reports concerning the sitcom’s twenty-fifth birthday. On this morning’s page A3, the daily “Conversation” feature offers more of the same:The ConversationSIX OF THE MOST READ, SHARED AND DISCUSSED POSTS FROM ACROSS NYTIMES.COM[…]4. It’s a new morning for Jennifer AnistonFifteen years after “Friends,” the actress Jennifer Aniston is returning to the small screen in Apple’s “The Morning Show,” a television show about a news anchor dealing with ageism, sexism and her co-host’s misconduct. “It may also be her best chance to finally get the world to see her as an actor, not just a star,” Jessica Bennett, gender editor of the Times, writes. As far as we know, Jennifer Aniston has never been anything but a good, decent person and citizen. We have no idea how her forthcoming show will turn out.The show may turn out to be good! But when we googled up the profile of Aniston—yesterday, it was one of the most read, shared and discussed posts from across the entirety of!—we found the Times’ gender editor starting off like this:BENNETT (9/10/19): Jennifer Aniston was trying to have a quiet weekend away.It was just after her 50th birthday, and she’d boarded a plane for Mexico with six of her best girlfriends—most of whom have known her since her early days in Los Angeles, before Brad, before Justin, before “Friends” and before the tabloids, when they lived as neighbors on the same street in Laurel Canyon. (“We called ourselves the Hill People,” she said.) But a few minutes in, the pilot asked to speak with her. They had a tire missing, and they would have to return to Los Angeles.As the pilot burned off fuel, Aniston spent the next four hours cracking jokes and trying to remain calm (she is terrified of flying), while fielding text messages from friends who’d read about the “emergency landing”—which hadn’t actually happened yet.The women landed safely, switched planes and, the next night, gathered for a ritual they’ve been doing for three decades: a goddess circle. Seated on cushions, cross-legged on the living room floor, they passed around a beechwood talking stick decorated with feathers and charms, much as they had done for every major event of their lives. They had circled before Aniston’s weddings to Brad Pitt and Justin Theroux. They circled when babies were born, and when Aniston and Theroux had to put down their dog, Dolly. This time they set the circle’s intention: to celebrate how far they’ve come—and to toast Aniston’s next chapter. There’s nothing “wrong” with any of that—and we mean what follows as a comment about the Times, not about Aniston. But it’s almost like the dumbest old movie mags from the 1950s were being composed by gender editors all along!Can we talk? There’s very little this paper won’t do in the general areas of personal life-style and dumbness. Apparently, though, they know their subscribers! This profile of Aniston was one of the newspaper’s most read, shared and discussed reports!There’s very little this paper won’t do in the general area of dumbness. This morning, as the paper pretends to be covering politics, we get handed a debate preview column in which Gail Collins says that she’ll “be watching to see if Biden bloops or Beto bleeps,” even as she warns us to “avoid the drinking games.”Over the past thirty years, the spectacular dumbness of our political journalism has largely emerged from the Times. That’s why it’s intriguing to see the eight-page “special section” which fell out of this morning’s editions.The entire special section was written by Amanda Hess. Her high-fallutin’, academicky writing may make it hard to tell, but she’s mainly discussing the spectacular dumbness which has descended upon our political discourse now that social media has given us rubes the chance to think and speak for ourselves.Hess discusses the world-class dumbness coming from us the people as we build realms of super-fandom around our favorite candidates. Much as gender editors may still do when discussing movie stars.Employing way too many big words, Hess describes the political foolishness found all over social media. “Citizens may be the ones creating material about the candidates,” she writes in the first of her two long essays, “but they are also helping to build cults of personality around politicians” as they behave like the silliest fans.(For the second long essay, click here. For the “Case Studies,” see link below.)Hess forgets to say that it has long been the role of the mainstream press to behave in such dimwitted ways. It has been the stars of the mainstream press who behaved like pitiful fanboys around favored pols, while simultaneously creating dark assaults on those who were disfavored. In 1999 and 2000, it was mainstream journalists who clamored for seats aboard Saint John McCain’s “Straight Talk Express,” behaving in such ridiculous ways that some journos actually wrote about their colleagues’ embarrassing conduct. (We think especially of the late Lars-Erik Nelson.) It was mainstream journalist who hid in the bushes, long ago, to knock Candidate Hart from the race (they were afraid that he might have a girl friend). It was a New York Times reporter who helped invent the non-quote quotes which let Candidate Bush scrape past Candidate Gore, then take us into Iraq.Hess describes a spectacular dumbness which isn’t especially new. Meanwhile, her special section is littered with “case studies” such as the ones which appear beneath these headlines in today’s print editions:PETE BUTTIGIEG’S MIXTAPE SUUUUUUUCKSA Twitter exchange about the singer Everlast reveals how pop-culture aesthetics carry real values.BERNIE SANDERS LISTENS TO CARDI BWhat if his pop culture illiteracy is the secret to his pop culture success?As a species, we’re simply too dumb to be playing this game—but also, of course, too pretentious.The Times has always been the best place to see the dumbness of modern journalistic culture. That said, the newspaper’s branding may keep us people from seeing it as it is.We still haven’t discussed the column from last weekend’s Sunday Review. We refer to the embarrassing column in which the Times announced that it was publishing a column by “a philosopher.”We’ll get to that column tomorrow. But our public discourse has been drowning in dumbness for decades. And make no mistake:A people can’t agree to be this dumb for this long without ending up with a Trump.Tomorrow: Presumably on its way to the Hamptons, the New York Times hears a hoo

  • The Sharpie Presidency
    by Mark Fiore on September 12, 2019 at 12:00

    Sharpiegate exemplifies the Trump formula: Lie. Get caught. Then lie bigger.

  • Senator Demands Answers From Amazon on Delivery Crashes and Contract Drivers
    by by Patricia Callahan and James Bandler on September 12, 2019 at 11:00

    by Patricia Callahan and James Bandler Amazon is facing questions from Capitol Hill over the safety of its vast delivery network and how the e-commerce giant has evaded responsibility for its role in deaths and serious injuries in crashes involving contractors delivering Amazon packages. In a letter sent on Thursday to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Sen. Richard Blumenthal decried the company’s “evasive practices and moves to cut regulatory corners,” citing recent investigations by ProPublica and BuzzFeed. Amazon’s promise of rapid delivery has come with a steep human toll. The ProPublica investigation, which was co-published last week with The New York Times, identified more than 60 crashes since June 2015 involving Amazon delivery contractors that resulted in serious injuries, including 10 deaths. Get Our Top Investigations Subscribe to the Big Story newsletter. Don’t miss out on ProPublica’s next investigation. Sign up and get the Big Story email whenever we break news. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Amazon has repeatedly said in court that it is not responsible for the actions of its contractors, citing agreements that require them, as one of the documents puts it, to “defend, indemnify and hold harmless Amazon.” In recent years, Amazon has built a huge logistics operation to get more goods to customers’ homes in less time. To reduce its reliance on legacy carriers like United Parcel Service, the retailer has created a network of contractors across the country that allows the company to expand and shrink the delivery force as needed, while avoiding the costs of taking on permanent employees. In his letter to Bezos, Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, demanded information about the contracts Amazon has with third-party delivery companies. Describing an “aggressive managerial style” that Amazon forces on its delivery companies that has led to a “chain of worker abuse,” Blumenthal called on the Seattle-based retail giant to “immediately cease” business with contractors that violate labor laws. “It is simply unacceptable for Amazon to turn the other way as drivers are forced into potentially unsafe vehicles and given dangerous workloads,” Blumenthal said in the letter, which was also signed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. “The relentless pressure created by Amazon’s delivery policies raises serious concerns about the working conditions its independent contractors and drivers face — creating a system of worker exploitation and abuses.” An Amazon spokeswoman did not return calls for comment or respond to emails. In an earlier statement to ProPublica and BuzzFeed, Amazon said, “The assertions do not provide an accurate representation of Amazon’s commitment to safety and all the measures we take to ensure millions of packages are delivered to customers without incident.&rdquo

  • Molly Ivins: The Movie
    by Jim Hightower on September 12, 2019 at 10:00

    This short rollicking documentary about the firebrand journalist from the Lone Star State is more instructive than a semester full of college classes, and it’ll inspire you as it edifies—plus you get popcorn.

  • The New Target That Enables Ransomware Hackers to Paralyze Dozens of Towns and Businesses at Once
    by by Renee Dudley on September 12, 2019 at 09:00

    by Renee Dudley On July 3, employees at Arbor Dental in Longview, Washington, noticed glitches in their computers and couldn’t view X-rays. Arbor was one of dozens of dental clinics in Oregon and Washington stymied by a ransomware attack that disrupted their business and blocked access to patients’ records. But the hackers didn’t target the clinics directly. Instead, they infiltrated them by exploiting vulnerable cybersecurity at Portland-based PM Consultants Inc., which handled the dentists’ software updates, firewalls and data backups. Arbor’s frantic calls to PM went to voicemail, said Whitney Joy, the clinic’s office coordinator. “The second it happened, they ghosted everybody,” she said. “They didn’t give us a heads up.” A week later, PM sent an email to clients. “Due to the size and scale of the attack, we are not optimistic about the chances for a full or timely recovery,” it wrote. “At this time we must recommend you seek outside technical assistance with the recovery of your data.” On July 22, PM notified clients in an email that it was shutting down, “in part due to this devastating event.” The contact phone number listed on PM’s website is disconnected, and the couple that managed the firm did not respond to messages left on their cellphones. The attack on the dental clinics illustrates a new and worrisome frontier in ransomware — the targeting of managed service providers, or MSPs, to which local governments, medical clinics, and other small- and medium-sized businesses outsource their IT needs. While many MSPs offer reliable support and data storage, others have proven inexperienced or understaffed, unable to defend their own computer systems or help clients salvage files. As a result, cybercriminals profit by infiltrating dozens of businesses or public agencies with a single attack, while the beleaguered MSPs and their incapacitated clients squabble over who should pay the ransom or recovery costs. Cost savings are the chief appeal of MSPs. It’s often cheaper and more convenient for towns and small businesses with limited technical needs to rely on an MSP rather than hire full-time IT employees. But those benefits are sometimes illusory. This year, attacks on MSPs have paralyzed thousands of small businesses and public agencies. Huntress Labs, a Maryland-based cybersecurity and software firm, has worked with about three dozen MSPs struck by ransomware this year, its executives said. In one incident, 4,200 computers were infected by ransomware through a single MSP. Last month, hackers infiltrated MSPs in Texas and Wisconsin. An attack on TSM Consulting Services Inc. of Rockwall, Texas, crippled 22 cities and towns, while one on PerCSoft of West Allis, Wisconsin, deprived 400 dental practices around the country of access to electronic files, the Wisconsin Dental Association said in a letter to members. PerCSoft, which hackers penetrated through its cloud remote management software, said in a letter to victims that it had obtained a key to decrypt the ransomware, indicating that it likely paid a ransom. PerCSoft did not return a message seeking comment. Get Our Top Investigations Subscribe to the Big Story newsletter. Don’t miss out on ProPublica’s next investigation. Sign up and get the Big Story email whenever we break news. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. TSM referred questions about the Texas attack to the state’s Department of Information Resources, which referred questions to the FBI, which confirmed that the ransomware struck the towns through TSM. One of the 22 Texas municipalities has been hit by ransomware twice in the past year while using TSM’s services. FBI spokeswoman Melinda Urbina acknowledged that MSPs are profitable targets for hackers. “Those are the targets they’re going after because they know that those individuals would be more apt to pay because they want to get those services back online for the public,” she said. Beyond the individual victims, the MSPs’ shortcomings have a larger consequence. They foster the spread of ransomware, one of the world’s most common cybercrimes. By failing to provide clients with reliable backups or to maintain their own cybersecurity, and in some cases paying ransoms when alternatives are available, they may in effect reward criminals and give them an incentive to strike again. This year, ProPublica has reported on other industries in the ransomware economy, such as data recovery and insurance, which also have enriched ransomware hackers. To get inside MSPs, attackers have capitalized on security lapses such as weak passwords and failure to use two-factor authentication. In Wisconsin and elsewhere, they also have exploited vulnerabilities in “remote monitoring and management” software that the firms use to install computer updates and handle clients’ other IT needs. Even when patches for such vulnerabilities are available, MSPs sometimes haven’t installed them. The remote management tools are like “golden keys to immediately distribute ransomware,” said Huntress CEO Kyle Hanslovan. “Just like how you’d want to push a patch at lightning speed, it turns out you can push out ransomware at lightning speed as well.” Otherwise, the hacker may spread the ransomware manually, infecting computers one at a time using software that normally allows MSP technicians to remotely view and click around on a client’s screen to resolve an IT problem, Hanslovan said. One Huntress client had the “record session” feature of this software automatically enabled. By watching those recordings following the attack, Huntress was able to view exactly how the hacker installed and tracked ransomware on the machines. Watch a Hacker Install Ransomware A recording shows a hacker disabling a victim’s virus protection and checking to make sure the ransomware is encrypting the computer’s files. Source: Huntress Labs; Credit: Lucas Waldron In some cases, Hanslovan said, MSPs have failed to save and store backup files properly for clients who paid specifically for that service so that systems would be restored in the event of an attack. Instead, the MSPs may have relied on low-cost and insufficient backup solutions, he said. Last month, he said, Huntress worked with an MSP whose clients’ computers and backup files were encrypted in a ransomware attack. The only way to restore the files was to pay the ransom, Hanslovan said. Even when backups are available, MSPs sometimes prefer to pay the ransom. Hackers have leverage in negotiations because the MSP — usually a small business itself — can’t handle the volume of work for dozens of affected clients who simultaneously demand attention, said Chris Bisnett, chief architect at Huntress. “It increases the likelihood that someone will pay rather than just try to fix it themselves,” Bisnett said. “It’s one thing if I have 50 computers that are ransomed and encrypted and I can fix them. There’s no way I have time to go and do thousands of computers all at the same time when I’ve got all these customers calling and saying: ‘Hey, we can’t do any business, we’re losing money. We need to be back right now.’ So the likelihood of the MSP just saying, ‘Oh I can’t deal with this, let me just pay,’ goes up.” Because there are so many victims, the hacker can make a larger ransom demand with greater confidence that it will be paid, Hanslovan said. Attacking the MSP “gives you hundreds or even thousands more computers for the same cost of infection,” he said. The “support cost of negotiating the ransom is low” since the attacker typically corresponds with the MSP rather than its individual clients. Before this year’s ransomware spree, MSPs were susceptible to other kinds of cybercrime. Last October, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned in an alert about attacks on MSPs for “purposes of cyber espionage and intellectual property theft.” It added that “MSPs generally have direct and unfettered access to their customers’ networks,” and that “a compromise in one part of an MSP’s network can spread globally, affecting other customers and introducing risk.” The first spate of ransomware attacks on MSPs, early this year, deployed what is called the GandCrab strain. Then, in an online hacking forum, the hackers behind GandCrab announced their retirement in May. After that, another strain of ransomware known as Sodinokibi ransomware sprung up and began targeting MSPs. Send Us Tips We’re Reporting on Ransomware. Do You Know Something About an Attack? Has your organization been hit by ransomware? Did you hire a data recovery firm? Do you know how an attack works from the inside? We’d like to hear from you. Sodinokibi ransom amounts are “scaled to the size of the organization and the perceived capacity to pay,” according to Connecticut-based Coveware, which negotiates ransoms for clients hit by ransomware. Sodinokibi will not run on systems that use languages including Russian, Romanian and Ukrainian, according to security firm Cylance, possibly because those are native languages for hackers who don’t want to draw the attention of local law enforcement. Sodinokibi was the strain used in the attack on TSM Consulting Services that encrypted the computers of 22 Texas municipalities, leaving them unable to fulfill tasks such as accepting online payments for water bills, providing copies of birth and death certificates and responding to emails. Most of the towns have not been publicly identified. More than half have returned to normal operations, the Texas Information Resources Department said in an update posted on its website. The hackers sought millions of dollars. The department is “unaware of any ransom being paid in this event,” according to the update. TSM began operations in 1997, and it provides equipment and support to more than 300 law enforcement agencies in Texas, according to its website. It is unclear why the 22 municipalities, and not TSM’s other clients, were affected by the August attack. One of the 22 Texas municipalities hit last month was Kaufman, a city about 30 miles southeast of Dallas. An attack last November on Kaufman, which forced its police department to cease normal operations, was mentioned in a ProPublica article about two data recovery firms that purported to use proprietary technology to disable ransomware but in reality often just paid the attackers. TSM had enlisted one of the firms, Florida-based MonsterCloud, to help Kaufman recover from the November intrusion. MonsterCloud waived its fee in exchange for a video testimonial featuring the Kaufman police chief, the president of TSM and the TSM technician who worked with Kaufman. In the testimonial, TSM technician Robby Pleasant said that the attackers had “reset everyone’s password, including the administrator,” and that the data “was locked up and not functioning.” Pleasant said in the video that MonsterCloud was able to “recover all the data” and “saved the day.” “They can come in and recover even if someone does find a hole in our armor,” Pleasant said in the video. Last month, attackers again found a hole in TSM’s armor. Using a third-party software vendor, rather than TSM, Kaufman had strengthened its backup system since the first attack, so it was able to restore much of the lost data, City Manager Michael Slye said. Kaufman’s computer systems were down for 24 hours, and the city handled municipal business such as writing tickets and taking payments on paper during that time, Slye said. But backup safeguards were less effective for Kaufman’s police department, which uses a different type of software than other city offices, Slye said. The department’s dashcam video storage lost months of footage, and it still isn’t working, he said. “It was not a fun experience to get this twice,” he said. A TSM employee who declined to be named said the November attack may have been caused by “someone clicking on a bad email. We don’t have definitive information on that. We went into recovery mode immediately.” PM Consultants, the Oregon provider of IT services to dental clinics, was run by a husband and wife, Charles Gosta Miller and Ava Piekarski, out of their home, according to state records. The firm didn’t employ enough technicians, said Cameron Willis, general manager of Dentech LLC in Eugene, Oregon, which took on many of PM’s former clients. Some former PM clients have complained to Willis that it was unresponsive to their requests for help, he said. “A lot of dental office facilities don’t want to spend the money on IT infrastructure the way they should,” and they lack the technical know-how to vet providers, Willis said. They “don’t know any better. They don’t have the time to research. If you have someone who does provide some service, it’s very, very easy to see how some of the fly-by-nights would attract such a large clientele. … When one office finds something that works, they scream it to the hills.” In the July 22 email announcing its closure, PM said it had been “inundated with calls” on the morning of the ransomware attack, “and we immediately started investigating and trying to restore data. Throughout the next several days and into the weekend, we worked around the clock on recovery efforts. … However, it was soon apparent the number of PC’s that needed restoration was too large for our small team to complete in any reasonable time frame.” The company was also “receiving hundreds of calls, emails and texts to which we were unable to respond.” PM said that it had retained counsel to “assist with recovery of any available insurance, payment and billing proceeds,” and that it would be “sending out final invoices in the next two weeks.” Its formal dissolution, it continued, “will include an option to submit a claim” against the company. Austin Covington, director of Lower Columbia Oral Health, a Longview, Washington, clinic affected by the attack, said it plans to take legal action against PM and declined to comment further. Other victims have not been publicly identified. Read More The Extortion Economy: How Insurance Companies Are Fueling a Rise in Ransomware Attacks Even when public agencies and companies hit by ransomware could recover their files on their own, insurers prefer to pay the ransom. Why? The attacks are good for business. Some dentists “did not lose any data” because they had good backup files, Willis said. “Some clients lost some. Some lost a lot.” He doesn’t know whether clients paid ransoms, he said. Dentech takes a different approach than PM did, Willis said. To prevent ransomware and other breaches, even its own staff has limited access to the remote management software favored by hackers, he said. It has 14 technicians, who often handle services such as software updates in person, he said. Dentech requires clients to use best practices, Willis said. If they decline, the firm requires them to sign a waiver releasing Dentech of liability in case of ransomware or other data loss. Without such explicit terms, it’s often unclear whether the MSP or its clients are responsible for paying ransoms or recovery costs associated with an attack. Chris Loehr, executive vice president of Texas-based Solis Security, which helps victims negotiate ransom payments, was called in when GandCrab ransomware struck an MSP and encrypted some of its clients’ backup files several months ago. The MSP paid the ransom only for those that used its data backup service, which had failed, Loehr said. Clients who did not buy the backup service had to decide themselves whether to pay the ransom. This summer, in a separate incident, Loehr negotiated with hackers on behalf of a New York-based MSP that was hit by Sodinokibi ransomware. The MSP didn’t want to pay the total ransom of about $2 million in bitcoin to unlock the files of all its clients, who were primarily architectural and engineering firms. Instead, each of the 200 affected clients was left to decide whether to pay about $10,000 in bitcoin. The MSP’s owner refused for legal reasons; he was worried that, if he was sued over the attack, a payment might be construed as an admission of fault, Loehr said. The preponderance of low-quality MSPs has fostered the current ransomware onslaught, Loehr said. He noted that little experience or funding is needed to open an MSP; the barriers to entry are few. “The startup costs are low,” Loehr said. “It doesn’t take much. The way the MSP world works, it’s not like you have to go out and buy $1 million of software. You can operate out of your house. These guys charge their clients up front. There is little cash flow to get this stuff off the ground.” “Every IT guy thinks he can do this,” Loehr said. “‘Hey, I’m a technology guy.’ “No.&rdquo

  • The Insurance Industry’s War of Words Against Medicare-for-All
    by Roger Bybee on September 12, 2019 at 05:00

    Why are we seeing all the hand-wringing about “losing” private insurance when so many people’s experiences with it are so negative?

  • Brian Williams and the water of Newark!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 11, 2019 at 19:17

    WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2019Rachel disappears: For unknown reasons, Brian Williams always refers to Newark the way he did on his cable news program this Monday.As he introduced Newark’s mayor, Williams described the city’s ongoing water problem. Along the way, he repeated his standard, somewhat peculiar description of Newark: WILLIAMS (9/9/19): As we’ve been covering for weeks here, thousands of people in Newark, New Jersey, remain without safe drinking water, as workers scramble to replace lead service lines. More on those in just a moment. The city, along with Essex County, announced a $120 million bond that is expected to greatly speed up this process.The estimates are that it will take two or three years to replace the 18,000 service lines. That means the pipes from the street into your house. In the meantime, many thousands of people still left to depend on bottled water.We are so happy to have with us tonight the two-term mayor of the largest city and the most densely populated state in our union, Ras Baraka. Mr. Mayor, thank you very much for coming in. As Williams noted, he’s been “covering” the water problem in Newark since the middle of August. In our view, his performance has been strange. Let’s start with something which may seem trivial—the way he persistently describes the city in question.The first part of his description is true! Newark is indeed “the largest city” in New Jersey!On the other hand, the fact that New Jersey is “the most densely populated state in our union” has absolutely nothing to do with the matter at hand.It’s a completely irrelevant fact! But Williams always refers to Newark that way, for reasons which go unexplained.The irrelevant reference may tend to heighten a viewer’s sense of the size of the problem in Newark. At any rate, Williams’ overall coverage of this matter has often seemed strangely political. It reminds us of the frequently clownish way Williams pimped GOP interests back in 1999 and 2000, during the Bush-Gore campaign, when he kept attacking one candidate’s wardrobe and psychiatric state while swooning for Candidate Bush.Back in mid-August, Williams staged a series of virtual heart attacks about this problem in Newark. As he did, he seemed to advance a fair amount of misinformation—a problem which continued on Monday night as he spoke with Mayor Baraka.His August 22 interview with Democratic governor Phil Murphy struck us as remarkably hostile and partisan. We were impressed by Murphy’s ability to keep from responding in kind.On Monday night, Williams was much calmer, and much more civil, with Mayor Baraka. That said, we were struck by these remarks as Williams compared the coverage of Newark to the earlier coverage of water problems in Flint, Michigan:WILLIAMS: A big difference with Flint, and I’ll be candid, is, if you look at the landscape, Flint gave the left a big Republican target.BARAKA: Sure.WILLIAMS: In Newark, it’s a field of blue. All you can see is blue, from the mayor to the governor to Senator Menendez. Oh, look, we got a U.S. senator who lives in Newark, who’s a former mayor of Newark!BARAKA: Right.WILLIAMS: So a lot of folks wonder if this isn’t a greater crisis than the incumbent Democrats are making it out to be. That’s what a lot of folks are wondering, Williams thoughtfully said. Williams seems to be one of those people. Let’s get clear on his meaning:Governor Murphy is a Democrat. Mayor Baraka is a Democrat. So are both New Jersey senators—and one of those senators, Senator Booker, is a former Newark mayor who’s currently running for president!For those reasons, Williams wondered if Democrats might be sweeping this problem under the rug. Democrats went after Republican governor Rick Snyder hard when the problem was in Flint. Are Democrats taking a softer approach now that the focus is Newark?It’s a perfectly reasonable question, though Williams raised it rather quickly. The answer might even be yes!That said, we were especially struck by what Williams said because of Rachel’s performance.Rachel Maddow went after Governor Snyder, and perhaps a Pulitzer prize, when the water problem was in Flint. She tried and tried, and tried and tried, to get the Republican governor thrown into jail. Her coverage went on and on and on, often with thumbs on various scales.Now the problem is in Newark, and Rachel hasn’t said the first freaking word about it. And yes, as best we can tell, we mean that statement literally:We’ve gone through all the Maddow transcripts since August 1, and we can’t find a single reference to Newark’s water problem. If you watch only the Maddow Show, this problem doesn’t exist. She screamed and yelled about the water in Flint. Regarding the water in Newark, a partisan might be inclined to say that she has taken a dive.Williams’ coverage of Newark has been over the top and frequently incompetent. He has rarely seemed to be fully prepared, unless you mean fully prepared to rant, declaim and posture.Maddow’s pattern has been different. Did Brian have his colleague in mind when he made Monday’s remarks?We’ll try to return to this topic some day to focus on Brian’s factual bungles. He was especially foolish Monday night on the question of whether it’s safe to bathe in Newark’s water.(Citing the EPA’s official reports, Baraka said yes, it is. It just isn’t safe to drink it, he said, noting that his pregnant wife and his mother and quite a few other relatives are dealing with this ongoing problem just like everyone else.)That said, Williams has seemed remarkably partisan in his coverage of Newark. He’s the opposite of his once impassioned colleague, whose fondness for telling children that they’ve been “poisoned” seems to have disappeared.Brian and Rachel are two of our liberal tribe’s current corporate sachems. Brian’s coverage of Newark has struck us as overtly partisan. Rachel’s silence has struck us as somewhat odd.Corporate owners select these tribal stars for us. Being human, we liberals are strongly inclined to believe every word they tell us. This is an anthropological problem, according to the top future experts from whom we now take our cues.And now, for a look at the record: It isn’t hard to describe Newark’s size. Its population stands at 282,000, but the water problem only affects part of the city. Baraka seemed to say that 14,000 homes are involved in this ongoing problem. That seems to comport with earlier reporting in the New York Times.

  • ProPublica Launches “Collaborate” Tool to Help Newsrooms Tackle Large Data Projects Together
    by by ProPublica on September 11, 2019 at 15:11

    by ProPublica ProPublica is announcing the beta launch of Collaborate, an open-source tool that helps reporters and newsrooms work together on data journalism projects. The tool will debut this week at the Online News Association conference in New Orleans. As large datasets become more available, they can be difficult for newsrooms to mine efficiently. From troves of data from the federal government to crowdsourced information regularly fielded by social media teams, massive datasets often contain more story leads than one reporter can meaningfully pursue. ProPublica’s Collaborate allows multiple reporters — from one or many newsrooms — to work together. An open-source software project, Collaborate lets journalists work together to review, verify and report on data that they have collected by uploading spreadsheets or linking to Google Sheets, Google Forms or Screendoor. Once data is added to Collaborate, users can assign data points to individuals or newsrooms; track progress and keep notes around each data point; sort, filter and export the data; and automatically redact sensitive information. Funded by a Google News Initiative grant, the software is designed to be used by newsrooms of any size, even if they have limited technological resources. Collaborate can be launched and customized without the help of a developer; or users can find the code on Github and tailor it to their needs. “At ProPublica, we understand that in working with other newsrooms, we can do more powerful journalism, reach wider audiences and have more impact,” said Rachel Glickhouse, partner manager for ProPublica’s Documenting Hate project. “Collaborate makes it easier for more reporters to do collaborative data journalism, whether it involves hundreds of partners or just one or two.” ProPublica will be providing live demonstrations of the software at the Online News Association conference on Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the fifth floor of the Sheraton New Orleans. This fall, ProPublica will provide virtual trainings on how to use Collaborate and launch crowd-powered projects around shared datasets. The tool is the latest effort this year to help more newsrooms work together; in August, ProPublica published a guide to data collaborations, which shares best practices learned through working in this arena. Collaborate is an expansion of software built by ProPublica to power two large-scale data collaborations that the nonprofit newsroom has led in recent years. Electionland, a project that monitored voting problems in real time during the 2016 presidential and 2018 midterm elections, brought together more than 1,000 journalists and students across the country. The initiative has been recognized with an Online Journalism Award and a Data Journalism Award for News Data App of the Year, among other honors. Documenting Hate, launched in 2017 after a surge in reported hate incidents along with inadequate data collection on hate crimes, has collected more than 5,000 reports in a database used by more than 170 newsrooms. The project was a finalist for a National Magazine Award and a Scripps Howard Award. Learn more about Collaborate at ProPublica’s Nerd Blog.

  • Making Collaborative Data Projects Easier: Our New Tool, Collaborate, Is Here
    by by Rachel Glickhouse on September 11, 2019 at 15:10

    by Rachel Glickhouse On Wednesday, we’re launching a beta test of a new software tool. It’s called Collaborate, and it makes it possible for multiple newsrooms to work together on data projects. Collaborations are a major part of ProPublica’s approach to journalism, and in the past few years we’ve run several large-scale collaborative projects, including Electionland and Documenting Hate. Along the way, we’ve created software to manage and share the large pools of data used by our hundreds of newsrooms partners. As part of a Google News Initiative grant this year, we’ve beefed up that software and made it open source so that anybody can use it. Collaborate allows newsrooms to work together around any large shared dataset, especially crowdsourced data. In addition to CSV files and spreadsheets, Collaborate supports live connections to Google Sheets and Forms as well as Screendoor, meaning that updates made to your project in those external data sources will be reflected in Collaborate, too. For example, if you’re collecting tips through Google Forms, any new incoming tips will appear in Collaborate as they come in through your form. Once you’ve added the data to Collaborate, users can: Create users and restrict access to specific projects; Assign “leads” to other reporters or newsrooms; Track progress and keep notes on each data point; Create a contact log with tipsters; Assign labels to individual data points; Redact names; Sort, filter and export the data. Collaborate is free and open source. We’ve designed it to be easy to set up for most people, even those without a tech background. That said, the project is in beta, and we’re continuing to resolve bugs. If you are tech savvy, you can find the code for Collaborate on Github, and you’re welcome to fork the code to make your own changes. (We also invite users to submit bugs on Github.) This new software is part of our efforts to make it easier for newsrooms to work together; last month, we published a guide to data collaborations, which shares our experiences and best practices we’ve learned through working on some of the largest collaborations in news. Starting this month, we’ll provide virtual trainings about how to use Collaborate and how to plan and launch crowd-powered projects around shared datasets. We hope newsrooms will find the tool useful, and we welcome your feedback. Get started here. Set up Collaborate. Read tips on running a collaborative data project. Get the code for Collaborate. File a problem or bug on Github. Want to schedule a training for your newsroom or give feedback on the tool? Email

  • THE FATUOUS, INFANTILE AND FAUX: Malcolm Gladwell gets the facts!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 11, 2019 at 14:47

    WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2019Long decades of fraudulent folly: In the modern press environment, it seems to be amazingly hard to get us rubes, out here in Reader Land, to provide life-sustaining clicks.At Slate, they’ve struggled to serve. They’ve let us know what products we should buy to look like classics professors. Through their sex-advice columns, they’ve let us know what to do if we “don’t trust humanity enough to have sex with it,” or if our “boyfriend sounds like injured wildlife during sex.”Though their pet-advice columns, readers are told what they should do if their “hump-happy chihuahua embarrasses [them],” or if “[their] cat’s autoeroticism is making [them] uncomfortable.”Those were important moments. But we shouldn’t ignore the service Slate provides through its re-engineered Dear Prudence advice column. Rather plainly, the original Dear Prudence column wasn’t dumb or kitschy enough. Slate made a change in the dumbness department, and the column now answers to alleged questions like these:Help! My Husband Is Making His Prison Sentence Very Inconvenient for Me.Read what Prudie had to say in Part 1 of this week’s live chat.By DANIEL MALLORY ORTBERG SEPT 10, 2019 / 3:20 PMHelp! My Friend Faked Her Own Death—Again.Read what Prudie had to say in Part 2 of this week’s live chat.By DANIEL MALLORY ORTBERG SEPT 04, 2019 / 6:00 AMHelp! I Found Nudes on My Husband’s Computer. He Says He’s Using Them as Art.Read what Prudie had to say in Part 1 of this week’s live chat.By DANIEL MALLORY ORTBERG SEPT 03, 2019 / 3:55 PMHelp! My Sweet Aunt Wrote a Play in Which I Am Killed by a Poisoned Dildo.Read what Prudie had to say in Part 2 of this week’s live chat.By DANIEL MALLORY ORTBERG AUG 27, 2019 / 6:00 AM Finally, the column was dealing with life as it’s actually lived by Slate readers! Slate is no longer in denial concerning poisoned-dildo attacks!The column’s kitsch level was ramped way up. Headline included, “Prudie’s column for Aug. 1” started off like this:DEAR PRUDENCE (8/1/19): My Family Keeps Bringing Up My Wedding Nip SlipWhen my now-wife and I got engaged, the mother of a longtime friend enthusiastically offered to make my wedding outfit. She took my measurements a year out, I offered to pay several times, and I said thank you at every opportunity. She shipped the outfit the day before the wedding, so I never had a chance to try it on in advance. I put it on the day of my wedding and in the rush didn’t realize that it did not fit until after the ceremony. I had a very loose, deep neckline, and my nipples kept falling out. The seam at the seat also busted. My wife had to physically hold the outfit together for me during our first dance.The outfit-maker attended the wedding and saw everything (along with my whole family)…Brighter readers get to wonder whether “busted” was meant as clever word-play in this real-life communication from an actual reader. Meanwhile, are you trying to decide “How Do I Tell My Boyfriend’s Parents I Can’t Stay at Their Dirty, Urine-Soaked House?” For advice on that familiar problem, we’ll suggest that you consult “Prudie’s column for June 29.”Slate got its start, at the dawn of the web, as an intelligent, left of center, mainstream information and opinion site. Like many other sites on the web, it has been steadily driving itself toward Mister Springer’s Neighborhood over the past several years.This is apparently what it take to get us self-impressed liberal geniuses to rouse ourselves from our stupefaction long enough to supply the occasional click. Meanwhile, at the Sunday New York Times, we get drowned in a five-pack of ruminations about the enduring magic of Friends.Message: The spectacular dumbness of upper-end culture is hard to overstate. We hate to be the kill-joy here, but you can’t wallow for decades in dumbness this vast without looking up, one fine stupid day, and seeing a Trump in the White House.We say that because the culture’s dumbness isn’t restricted to inane advice columns or to brawling syndicated shows. The spectacular dumbness of our political culture has saddled us, down through the years, with such unchallenged inanities as these:Some of the things we’ve been told to believe:If we lower the tax rate, we increase federal revenues!Please support my flat tax plan, which isn’t actually flat.The Social Security trust fund is just a pile of worthless IOUs. (It’s more likely I’ll see a UFO than receive a Social Security payment.)Women are paid 80 cents on the dollar for doing the exact same work as men.Al Gore said he invented the Internet—but we now know that Gennifer Flowers was telling the truth all along!Those groaners go back a very long time; our political culture has been deeply invested in dumbness. And as voters were told, again and again, that these statements were true, our upper-end professors and journalists happily, mindlessly slept. It’s very hard for people to see how dumb our political culture is. In large part, that’s because the dumbness keeps being generated by our highest-ranking academics and journalists—and even by our cable news stars, the kind who buy their first TV sets by mistake because they get drunk with Susan!There’s very little we won’t believe from these authority figures. Consider Malcolm Gladwell’s latest attempt to nail down the basic facts.Gladwell has long been a major star of publishing and TED talks. In his review of Gladwell’s latest new book, the Atlantic’s Andrew Ferguson offers a jaundiced appraisal of the way Gladwell’s endless best-sellers have actually worked. Eventually, Ferguson offers a major keeper. He describes the way this publishing star goes about nailing down facts.How does Gladwell establish a fact? The same way America’s press corps does! He basically dreams facts up, in the way Ferguson outlines.As we’ve been telling you for decades, our press corps deals in “novelized news.” It’s all about maintaining a pre-existing, preferred story line. Facts are invented in service to the novel. Consider the way the genius Gladwell established one recent new fact:FERGUSON (9/10/19): At times [Gladwell] approaches self-parody. Just follow the footnotes.“Poets die young,” he writes, in a section on Sylvia Plath. “And of every occupational category, [poets] have far and away the highest suicide rates—as much as five times higher than the general population.”Interesting, sort of, if true! But how would such a calculation be made? Poet is a strange “occupational category.” Hardly anybody makes a living as a professional poet. Within our modern discourse, it’s very rare to encounter an approach such as this, in which a writer encounters a claim in a sanctioned book and wonders if it could really be true.Dearest darlings, it just isn’t done! Within our modern political discourse, adherence to story is all. In this instance, Ferguson goes on to note that few statistics exist concerning the occupation of “poet.” So where the heck did Gladwell get his latest fact? Amazingly, Ferguson actually “followed the footnotes” and found out! In what follows, Ferguson sketches the regular shape of our fake, faux, infantile journalistic culture:FERGUSON: Gladwell’s footnote shows he has drawn this curious statistic from a paper titled “Suicide and Creativity,” by a college professor named Mark Runco, published in 1998 in the journal Death Studies. Runco in turn cites a book, Touched With Fire, by Kay Redfield Jamison, a clinical psychologist.To get her “five times” figure, Jamison explains in her book, she studied the lives of “all major British and Irish poets born between 1705 and 1805.” She determined their “major” status by consulting old poetry anthologies. She decided there were 36—not 35, not 37, but 36—major poets, ranging from the well-known and era-defining (William Wordsworth) to the obscure and improbably named (John Bampfylde). Of the 36 poets, two committed suicide. (It’s not clear that these two can even be classified as poets, however: One was a physician by trade, and the other died at 17, probably too young to qualify for an occupational category.) Jamison reckoned that two out of 36, proportionally, is five times the suicide rate for the general population.Voilà! A statistic is born.In such ridiculous ways, many statistics are born! For decades, the basic “facts” of our failing discourse have been hatched in just such ways. That includes the bogus statistics our own liberal tribe loves.We’re sorry to tell you, but no. A society can’t proceed for decades in such ways without ending up with a Trump.Donald J. Trump says crazy things, but Chris Matthews beat him to it. So did a large array of media stars, not excluding those who hand us crazy stories about the purchase of first TV sets.We the people are clicking at Slate while people like Gladwell are dreaming up facts. At the Mew York Times, a Pulitzer winner still wonders about his (six) imaginary friends—and some editor seems to think that they’ve stumbled upon “a philosopher.”Our upper-end discourse is very dumb. The Times is the best place to see this.Tomorrow: This isn’t Taylor Swift’s fault

  • A Morning in Afghanistan
    by Kathy Kelly on September 11, 2019 at 10:54

    Amidst political posturing, aerial terrorism, and street bombings, Afghan citizens pursue their daily work toward peace.

  • Chicago’s Impending Teacher Strike is Ten Years in the Making
    by Sarah Lahm on September 11, 2019 at 08:00

    The union is still fighting to restore the damage caused by a decade of austerity measures, layoffs, and budget cuts.

  • Why has the Air Force been stopping in Scotland?
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 10, 2019 at 18:18

    TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2019Times report kills all the fun: What happens to information flow during tribalized, partisan times such as these?What happens even Over Here, within our own flawless tribe?For an answer to your question, consider the first two paragraphs of a front-page report in today’s New York Times. The reports deals with Donald Trump’s golf course in Scotland—and it seems to contradict some earlier reporting, which created tons of excitement but seems to have maybe been bungled.The report appears on today’s front page. Slightly slippery headline included, Eric Lipton’s report starts like this:LIPTON (9/10/19): Trump Had Deal With Scotland Airport That Sent Flight Crews to His ResortBack in 2014, soon after acquiring a golf resort in Scotland, Donald J. Trump entered a partnership with a struggling local airport there to increase air traffic and boost tourism in the region.The next year, as Mr. Trump began running for president, the Pentagon decided to ramp up its use of that same airport to refuel Air Force flights, and gave the local airport authority the job of helping to find accommodations for flight crews who had to remain overnight.Those two separate arrangements have now intersected in ways that provide the latest evidence of how Mr. Trump’s continued ownership of his business produces regular ethical questions. Say what? According to the last highlighted passage, the Pentagon was using Glasgow Prestwick Airport for stop-overs and refueling at least by the year 2015!Indeed, the Times report says that the Pentagon “ramped up” its use of that airport that year. That suggests that the Pentagon may have been using the airport for stop-overs before the year 2015.Just for the record, Barack Obama was still president in the year 2015. Presumably, Donald J. Trump didn’t order the Pentagon to use that airport for stop-overs and refueling.If accurate, this report seems quite surprising. We say that because, starting last Friday, every hack and a few hangers-on were telling a thrillingly different story, based on a brand-new Politico news report.The Politico report sent a lot of of joy through Mudville last Friday night. For one example, here’s what Rachel Maddow said as she went on and on, then on and on, working from a brand-new report she hadn’t checked or confirmed:MADDOW (9/6/19): This story just came out within the last hour. If you have not seen it yet, you are going to want to sit down. You are going to want to spend a little bit of time with this. This is the headline from Politico tonight. “Air Force crew made an odd stop on a routine trip, Trump’s Scottish resort.” Quote: In early spring of this year, an Air National guard crew made a routine trip from the U.S. to Kuwait to deliver supplies. What wasn’t routine was where the crew stopped along the way. They stopped at President Trump’s Turnberry resort, about 50 miles outside Glasgow, Scotland. Since April, the House Oversight Committee has been investigating why the crew on this C17 military transport plane made the unusual stay, both on route to the Middle East and on the way back, at the president’s Scottish resort. They stopped at Turnberry both ways! This congressional committee is investigating this. This is previously unreported news, something being looked into by Congress, since they have been looking into it since April, they have yet to receive any answers from the Pentagon. Quote: On previous trips to the Middle East, the C17 had landed at U.S. air bases such as Ramstein Air Base in Germany or the naval air station called Rota in Spain to refuel. Occasionally, the same C17 would also stop at military bases in the Azores, or in Italy. But stopping in Scotland? A senior Air Force official said choosing to refuel at the airport nearest to the president’s Scotland resort and choosing for the airmen to stay at the president’s Scotland resort, a half an hour away from that airport, that would be unusual for such a mission. Again, their mission is flying supplies to and from Kuwait. Quote: Typically, the official said, air crews stay on a military base while in transit or at nearby lodgings. The congressional inquiry is part of a broader previously unreported probe into U.S. military expenditures at or around the Trump property in Scotland. Chuckling and shouting and living it up, Maddow went on and on, and on and on quite a bit more, quoting a new report from Politico—a report which seems to have been contradicted, in major ways, by today’s front-page report.Shouting and chuckling and living quite large, Maddow explained how strange it is to think that an Air Force crew would stop to refuel anywhere but at a military base. She told us how much money was being wasted this way, especially on the price of fuel. She assured us that it would be strange for pilots to spend an overnight at a place like Trump’s Scottish resort. Maddow continued excitedly pushing these theories on last evening’s program, stressing the “millions and millions of dollars” which were being thrown away.She assured us that this was the latest case of Donald J. Trump rigging the game. But according to this morning’s Times, these recent Air Force stop-overs in Scotland weren’t unusual at all, and the decision to conduct such stop-overs was in place by at least 2015.By the way, it isn’t just the fact that the Pentagon had made the decision to use Glasgow Prestwick Airport for stop-overs and refueling at least by 2015. If the Times’ front-page report is accurate, it also doesn’t seem surprising that crews stayed at Trump’s resort:LIPTON: Both the Defense Department and executives at the airport confirmed on Monday that the airport also has a separate arrangement with the United States Air Force. Under that arrangement, the Scottish airport not only refuels American military planes but also helps arrange hotel accommodations for arriving crews, as it does for some civilian and commercial aircraft.“We provide a full handling service for customers and routinely arrange overnight accommodation for visiting aircrew when requested,” the Prestwick airport said in a statement on Monday. “We use over a dozen local hotels, including Trump Turnberry, which accounts for a small percentage of the total hotel bookings we make.”It was through the arrangement with the Pentagon that a seven-person United States Air Force crew ended up staying at the Trump Turnberry in March. An Air Force C-17 military transport plane was on its way from Alaska to Kuwait when it stopped at Prestwick overnight to refuel and give the crew a break.The crew, which consisted of active duty and national guard members from Alaska, was charged $136 per room, which was less expensive than a Marriott property’s rate of $161. And both were under the per diem rate of $166.If the Times report is accurate, the airport has been arranging hotel accommodations for Air Force crews at least since 2015. The Trump facility was on the list of hotels even at that time. If today’s report is accurate, it sounds like the Trump property has been under-pricing competitors. It sounds like it has long been routine to stay overnight at hotels, rather than on military bases.This all flies in the face of excited commentary which was based on the earlier Politico report. On one hour’s notice, Maddow went on the air last Friday night to tell us, at substantial length, how corrupt the whole thing was and, needless to say, how it could lead to impeachment. That brings us up to the peculiar events of last night.Start with the Times itself. Several parts of the Times report seem to contradict ongoing discussion about this particular matter. That includes the first two paragraphs of the Times report.That said, the Times’ Eric Lipton seemed completely unaware of the fact that his report was contradicting recent conventional wisdom. He didn’t exactly “bury” his lede—it’s more like he chose to ignore it.That brings us to Brian Williams. Early in last evening’s show, he quoted Lipton’s first two paragraphs, but he managed to blow right past what those paragraphs said.He blew right past the basic fact that the current arrangements were apparently put in place by the Pentagon at least as early as 2015. To all appearances, Brian was pretending he hadn’t understood the material he had just read.Williams had also huffed and puffed and blown the house down concerning this matter last Friday night. This was part of the tribal excitement as he spoke with the always-restrained Rick Wilson:WILSON (9/6/19): Look, it’s been a minute since I was in the DOD, but I can tell you, it’s part of regulations in the DOD that air crews are not to stay overnight at civilian facilities unless it is mission-essential. They’re supposed to go from military to military facilities, and I’m pretty much sure that staying at a Trump golf resort is never mission-essential for a U.S. Air Force or Navy crew heading over to the Middle East to the active theater of combat in the Middle East.This is some other element of the Trump grift. It is some element of the Trump scam. These are people who have obviously managed to corrupt folks down the chain and sent the signal that at the minimum to send a signal, that if you stay at Trump resorts maybe he’ll like you more. And I think it’s an extraordinary moment where, you know, we’re seeing it in real time, that they’re forcing these airmen to land their C-17s off military airfields somewhere close to a Trump resort in order to stay there. It is an unbelievable level of corruption.WILLIAMS: And Rick, you do remind me, we have a network of air bases with names like Aviano—WILSON: We do indeed—WILLIAMS: —the air bases we have maintained, along with the Brits, and the French, and the Germans, for exactly this type of thingWILSON: Indeed. And I think—I don’t know the exact number right now. I think it’s five in Britain that would handle the C-17 right off the top of my head. So somehow I’m thinking that landing at a Trump golf resort is not like landing at Hertfordshire for instance, or Bentwaters, or wherever we got still bases operating in the U.K. It’s very much a symbol of a corrupt and corrupting administration.WILLIAMS: I’ll see your hurt for (INAUDIBLE) and raise you in Mildenhall, which I think is still up and running.WILSON: You will indeed.These sunshine patriots mournfully rattled the names of various air bases. But if the Times report today is correct, everything these jerk-offs were saying seems to have been basically wrong.Maddow and Williams gamboled and played with this topic last Friday night. If the Times report is correct, it seems that their presentations were basically wrong.Williams skillfully faked it last night as he read from Lipton’s report. We’re looking forward to seeing what these corporate multimillionaires tell us about this tonight as we try to get more clear about the facts of the case.For the record, we regard Trump as disordered and dangerous. For the most part, we regard Williams and Maddow as corporate circus clowns. Williams was especially strange about Newark (again) last night.What are the actual facts of the current matter? At deeply tribalized times like these, it will routinely be hard to find out.Still coming, likely tomorrow: Brian on Newark (again)

  • THE FATUOUS, INFANTILE AND FAUX: Sounds like injured wildlife—during sex!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 10, 2019 at 14:11

    TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2019The dumbnification of Slate: It’s amazing to see the things our news orgs are willing do to capture eyeballs and generate clicks in this wild west journalistic environment.In yesterday’s report, we marveled at Slate’s devotion to the sheer inanity of New York magazine’s embarrassing STRATEGIST site. At the home site, the inanity has reached the point where New York magazine, in conjunction with Brown University, has published this report, which doesn’t seem to be a parody:INSIDER GOODS / SEPT. 6, 2019What to Buy to Look Like: A Classics ProfessorBy Johanna Hanink as told to Karen Iorio Adelson[…]Today, we hear from Johanna Hanink—an associate professor of classics at Brown University and the author of How to Think About War: An Ancient Guide to Foreign Policy—on the sun hats, tote bags, and posters that are popular among classics professors. “Status can be a funny thing,” Adelson writes at the start of her piece—and who knows? It could be that Professor Hanink was misled in some way about the reason for this interview interviewed about sun hats, tote bags and the like. But given the drift of our dumbnified culture, it’s entirely possible that the professor thought Adelson’s focus made good sound perfect sense.What followed was an essay so addled that it perfectly captures our current predicament, in which the academy has decamped for a bubble which lies beyond the ivory tower, while journalists bathe us in the fatuous, the infantile and the faux.For what it’s worth, the professor in question is 37; her doctorate comes from Queens College, Cambridge. Adelson graduated from Dartmouth in 2010, and is now a “senior writer” at New York in charge of tote bags and sun hats.To Slate’s apparent credit, it hasn’t yet published this particular STRATEGIST feature. That said, the once-bright site seems willing to publish just about everything else. On this very morning, the now-vacuous site has sought clicks publishing this:PICKSThis Japanese Body-Scrub Towel Makes Showering So Much More PleasantThe cotton-polyester blend is the perfect fabric for creating a not-too-bubbly lather.By STRATEGIST EDITORS / SEPT 10, 2019 6:30 AMSo far, Slate has skipped the STRATEGIST report about How To Look Like a Classics Professor—but it seems to skip little else. In fairness, we might mention one possible reason for all these reprints. That possible explanation, appended to all these reprints, goes exactly like this:SLATE DISCLAIMER: This article is published through a partnership with New York Media’s Strategist. The partnership is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change. Every editorial product is independently selected by New York Media. If you buy something through our links, Slate and New York Media may earn an affiliate commission.In this age of platform proliferation, news orgs may be willing to stoop in such ways in service to their bottom lines.In the process, the dumbnification of the culture continues. Here’s what we’ll be suggesting this week:You can’t dumb a culture down in such ways without ending up with Donald J. Trump in the White House.When did our culture get so dumb that it made this era possible? Was it when Diane Sawyer, an upper-end press corps god, asked Marla Maples if sex with The Donald was the best sex she’d ever had?Had our culture gotten that dumb by the time, in the late 1990s, when a survey reportedly showed that young people were more likely to believe in UFOs than in the likelihood that Social Security would still exist by the time they stood to collect? Was our fate already determined? Had the nation’s economics professors slumbered and slept for so long at that point that the dumbness insured us a Trump?We can’t answer your questions, though we’ll continue to puzzle them out in the next week or three. For today, we’ll only note how much Slate is willing to publish to draw our eyeballs to the prize, because the inanity of those STRATEGIST pieces is just one part of the syndrome.Given our culture’s fatuous values, what isn’t Slate prepared to publish to draw our eyes to the prize? For today, consider the advice columns which now litter the news org’s landscape. We’ll start with Slate’s sex advice columns. Those columns let us exercise our critical faculties as we ask the obvious question:Does anyone believe that the alleged letters which describe alleged problems of alleged Slate readers are meant to be taken as real?Slate seems willing to do what it takes to draw us lunkheads in. With that in mind, how are we supposed to assess offerings like these from Slate’s “How To Do It” sex advice column:How Do I Talk to My 12-Year-Old About His, Er, Very Specific Fetish?It started with a Lara Flynn Boyle movie.By RICH JUZWIAK / SEPT 09, 2019 6:00 AMMy Casual Sex Partner Technically Violated My Consent, but I Loved ItShould I return the favor?By STOYA / SEPT 10, 2019 5:59 AMMy Girlfriend Tells Me Every Single Detail About Her Past LoversWhile we’re having sex.By STOYA / AUG 28, 2019 5:55 AMMy Girlfriend Stopped Shaving Her ArmpitsNow she’s mad that I’ve … retaliated.By STOYA and RICH JUZWIAK / AUG 15, 2019 6:30 AM By some sort of cosmic coincidence. Stoya and Juzwiak seem to do their best posting at the early morning hour when Trump does his craziest tweeting. That said, are Slate readers supposed to believe that somebody’s girlfriend stopped shaving her armpits and is now angry about her partner’s retaliation? Are we supposed to believe that some 12-year-old’s alleged sexual fetish was caused by Lara Flynn Boyle?Are we supposed to believe that this bullshit’s for real? How about these earlier columns, exactly as thumbnailed by Slate:I Don’t Trust Humanity Enough to Have Sex With ItMy Boyfriend Sounds Like Injured Wildlife During SexMy Husband Says I’m “Withholding Sex.” He Hasn’t Bathed in Two Weeks.Were Slate readers supposed to believe that those alleged letters were real? Or are we supposed to know that we should take those letters “seriously but not literally,” as The Others do with Trump?Slate’s sex advice columns test the credulity—and the inanity—of the site’s sought-after readers. That said, the site has also broken new ground through the efforts of Nick Greene’s frequently implausible “pet advice” columns.We’ll be honest! Until last weekend, we thought Greene was just a guy who was very unlucky with pets. We’d never clicked forward to one of his posts. For that reason, we didn’t know that he was writing a column, “Beast Mode,” which is devoted to solving pet problems of others.Perhaps a bit pitifully, that’s what he’s actually or allegedly doing. And maybe this is what Slate has to do to get us to chip in with clicks:How Should I Tell People a Shameful Secret About My Dog?My Hump-Happy Chihuahua Embarrasses MeHow on Earth Can I Potty-Train My Deaf Dog?My Cat’s Autoeroticism Is Making Me UncomfortableBetween all the humping, pooping and self-pleasuring, Greene’s life had long struck us as a version of hell on earth. But as it turns out, he’s just giving advice! This seems to be what Slate has to do to get us droogs to donate our clicks, thereby letting advertisers know that we’re dumb and we’re there.Slate started its life as a fully intelligent, conventional news-and-analysis site. Based on appearances, the dumbnification of our culture, and of our tastes, has forced its editors to offer us an endless array of silly, faux and infantile foolishness, designed to meet us where we live.In our view, the dumbnification of our culture inevitably led us to President Trump—though within our own tribe, we know this is wrong. It was really The Others’ racism!That said, is the culture’s spectacular dumbnification really the fault of silly-bill “tramps like us?” Or could it be that the classics professors, and perhaps the economics professors and the logicians, have, through their refusal to serve, led us to this resting place?Tomorrow: The New York Times spots a “philosopher!”

  • How Did Boris Go so Wrong?
    by Sarah Jaffe on September 10, 2019 at 13:28

    The newest Conservative Prime Minister of Britain wanted, like his buddy Donald Trump, to ride a populist wave to victory; instead he’s struggling to keep his nose above water. How did he misread the tea leaves?

  • Planned Parenthood Has an App for That
    by Alice Pettway on September 10, 2019 at 12:14

    Health provider counters funding setbacks by expanding access to new technologies.

  • Getting Rid of ‘Gifted’
    by Michelle Chen on September 10, 2019 at 09:46

    New York City set out to reform a system of academic hierarchy viewed as reproducing entrenched privilege. But, in that town as elsewhere, any move to disrupt the vaunted gifted and talented programs will run into resistance.

  • Should black citizens receive "special favors?"
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 9, 2019 at 18:34

    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2019At the Post, youth being served: Yesterday, the Washington Post published a rather tangy analysis piece in its Outlook section.The essay was written by Alexander Agadjanian. He was identified as a “research associate” in the “MIT Election Lab.”What made the essay so tangy? According to Agadjanian, Candidate Biden scores well among Democratic primary voters who exhibit sexism and racism. That’s a rather unflattering claim to make about Candidate Biden, and about the Democratic electorate.As noted, Agadjanian was identified as a research associate at the MIT Election Lab. As we suspected from reading his article, he’s also a very young person. He graduated from college in June of last year (Dartmouth, class of 2018).We’ve often noted the remarkable youth of many contemporary journalists. We’ll guess that most Post readers wouldn’t suspect that they’re getting such tendentious analyses from people so young and so inexperienced when they thumb through the high-profile Outlook section.As upper-end journalists go, Agadjanian is very young. Of course, that doesn’t mean that anything he wrote in his piece was misleading or wrong.That said, what made us suspect that he was quite young, even before we googled him up? It was his tendency toward true belief and shaky analysis in the regions of race and gender.What did Agadjanian actually say about Candidate Biden and his supporters? Below, you see two passages which give the gist of his claims:AGADJANIAN (9/8/19): Democratic voters who score high on a scale that measures sexism…gravitate toward Biden and Sanders and away from Warren and Harris—which is not shocking. But another Biden metric is more surprising and even paradoxical: He attracts the largest proportion of voters who score high on a scale that measures anti-black prejudice, while also garnering the most support, by far, among black voters.[…]Anti-black racial resentment also dictates, in different ways, preferences for Biden, Warren and Harris. All else being equal, Biden’s vote share increases by 27 points going from the least to the most racially resentful primary voter. Meanwhile, more racially progressive Democrats—especially racially progressive whites—side heavily with Warren, which makes sense, given her messages on the campaign trail, such as explicitly calling the U.S. criminal justice system racist. Anti-black prejudice, not surprisingly, dampens support for the leading black candidate, Harris. It appears not to affect backing for Sanders.How strange! Agadjanian notes that Biden currently “garner[s] the most support, by far, among black voters” in Democratic primary polling. But in a highly unflattering appraisal, he also notes that Biden benefits greatly from “anti-black prejudice” on the part of primary voters. The youngster treats this as a paradox. He never describes the extent to which the “anti-black prejudice” he alleges may be coming from Biden’s black supporters themselves, although we’ll guess that a substantial chunk of it could be.The problem lies in the way this very young person determines “anti-black prejudice” on the part of Democratic voters. He describes his remarkably shaky method in this rather sad, rather youthful passage:AGADJANIAN: To gauge anti-black sentiment, I made use of two questions designed to establish levels of racial resentment—questions that approach the issue of racism indirectly, in an attempt to prevent people from defaulting to answers that they know are socially preferred. One question probed whether the survey taker agreed that slavery and discrimination have made progress difficult for black Americans; the other asked whether blacks should learn to work and live without “special favors.” About 20 percent of likely Democratic primary voters scored on the higher end of these prejudice measures (that is, above the neutral point on the scales), but responses on the high and low ends still substantially predicted candidate choices.Using pre-existing survey data, the youngster looked at voters’ responses to two (2) questions. On the basis of voters’ responses to those two questions, and on the basis of nothing else, this very young fellow began tossing claims of “racism,” “prejudice” and “anti-black sentiment” around.The youngster looked at answers to exactly two (2) questions! Sadly, one of the questions said this:The question asked “whether blacks should learn to work and live without ‘special favors.’ ” According to this very young person, voters’ answers to that question helped us see if they’re racist, or if they hold anti-black prejudice. Judgment was rendered on the basis of only two questions in all!It’s amazing to think that the Washington Post would publish such childish (if familiar) work. We say that for the following reason:We don’t know what the non-racist answer to that question is supposed to be!Are liberals really supposed to say that blacks should be given “special favors?” We’ll guarantee you that many black respondents answered that question in the “anti-black prejudice” way!Are blacks supposed to be granted “special favors?” Is that really the current liberal/progressive/Democratic Party position?Is that the way “affirmative action” is now supposed to be understood? Because that very much isn’t the way progressive thinking has framed such matters in the past.The use of this loaded question goes back decades in “social science” research. Perhaps the question was sensible, and was devised in perfect good faith, when it first appeared.By now, the question functions as a trap, except among our truest believers. Just what is the progressive position supposed to be?Are liberals and progressive really supposed to say that blacks should receive “special favors?” If so, please don’t tell Donald J. Trump, because he could have a field day with such affirmations in the coming year.Agadjanian’s essay struck us as childish and silly. It also struck us, again and again, as the work of youthful true belief—of someone who hasn’t yet broken free from the bubble-wrapped conceptual field invented by our assistant, associate and adjunct professors over the past many years, years which finally ended with Donald J. Trump in power.(In our usual insightful manner, we began to “resist” the next day.).Should black citizens receive special favors? Many black voters will quickly say no. Just a guess: that helps explain why you rarely see responses to such questions disaggregated by race.MIT’s youngster will register those black voters as part of Biden’s anti-black support. At the same time, he’ll express his puzzlement over the way Biden is supported by black voters and by anti-black voters at the same time.We don’t think much of either question Agadjanian used in this, the latest hunt to let us tribal true believers see Where The Racists Are. But that second question has been a stinker for decades. Our academics tend to be too bubble-wrapped to understand this point. We’ll offer one more opinion:When newspapers like the Washington Post publish the work of very young people, they should consider saying so in their identity lines.

  • Segregation Is Worse in Charter Schools: a Q&A with Julian Vasquez-Heilig
    by Rann Miller on September 9, 2019 at 15:01

    “If the charter schools don’t want to be diverse, they don’t have to be.&rdquo

  • THE FATUOUS, INFANTILE AND FAUX: Replacing your pillows, still doting on Friends!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 9, 2019 at 14:22

    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2019Why Donald J. Trump is our president: Saturday morning, there it was, as fresh and as cool as the proverbial “other side of the pillow!”The report had been published online at 6:30 AM. This is the way the report was described in MOST RECENT/VIEW ALL, Slate’s main list of its featured contents:STRATEGIST EDITORS / SEPT 7, 2019 / 6:30 AMWhen Should You Replace Your Pillows?Finally, but also at last! Finally, we were going to get some straight talk concerning some news a person could actually use! Hungrily, we clicked Slate’s link. Main headline included, the report to which we were taken started as shown below:STRATEGIST EDITORS (9/7/19): When Should You Replace Your Pillows?For something you use every night, pillows are surprisingly easy to forget to refresh. If it feels a little lumpy at bedtime, by morning you’re probably more focused on your coffee than last night’s sleep. But when exactly should you replace your pillows? The sleep specialists we reached out to had varied opinions.By now, we were truly curious—and perhaps a bit ashamed. We’ll admit that we’ve never given much thought to the question of pillow replacement and when it should take place. We make the analysts sleep on their arms, or perhaps on their shoes, in their spartan sleeping quarters. And when it comes to our own pillow replacement needs, we’ve never achieved an appropriate focus. We’ve never much wondered or cared!Now, though, the unnamed “Strategist Editors” had reached out to several sleep specialists—and it sounded like the specialists held competing views! When do you need to replace your pillow? The unnamed editors’ unhinged report continued exactly like this:STRATEGIST EDITORS (continuing directly): Dr. Joshua Tal, a psychologist who specializes in sleep disorders, told us he has heard that anywhere between two and seven years is a good time frame for pillow life expectancy. Dr. Janet Kennedy, a clinical psychologist and founder of NYC Sleep Doctor, said you can expect a basic poly or down-alternative pillow (also known as fiber pillows) to last only six months to a year. And Dr. Michael Gelb, a TMJ and sleep specialist, told us fiber pillows usually last one to two years. All agreed that down pillows last a bit longer—“three or more” years, says Gelb—but can be difficult to clean, which can, according to Kennedy, lead to “allergies, congestion, and even snoring.”If the varied time frames are a bit confusing, you can always try what Tal calls the “shoe test,” coined by sleep specialist Michael Breus. “What you do is you fold your pillow in half, put a shoe on the back side of the pillow, and then let go of the pillow,” says Tal. “If the pillow folds back into shape and flings the shoe off of it, you’re good. If it doesn’t, it’s kind of lost its ability to hold your head up properly.” (Just be sure to use a substantial shoe and not, say, a flip-flop.)… The editors had spoken to two psychologists and to a TMJ specialist, whatever the heck that is. But their views on how long a pillow might last were all over the place.In fairness, Dr. Tal only shared what he has heard about the subject at hand. He then suggested the old “shoe test”—and do not use a flip-flop if you adopt this approach!We encountered this piece on Saturday morning, soon after it was posted. The inanity continued from the place where we’ve left off—and yes, this utterly silly report was included by Slate in its list of the day’s most important reports.For the record, the Strategist Editors eventually recommended a list of ten pillows. The list included the Wamsutta Extra-Firm Side-Sleeper Pillow and the Xtreme Comforts Slim Hypoallergenic Shredded-Memory-Foam Standard Bamboo Pillow With Cove [sic].The Bluewave Bedding Ultra-Slim Gel-Infused Memory-Foam Pillow also made the list.As it turns out, Slate partners with New York magazine to bring us this recurrent feature from the STRATEGIST EDITORS. These are four of the editors’ most recent reports at their home STRATEGIST site:What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Scalp Brushes and Pimple PatchesBy The EditorsWhat to Buy to Look Like: A Classics ProfessorBy Johanna Hanink as told to Karen Iorio AdelsonThe Best Shoe Racks and Organizers, According to Professional OrganizersBy Lauren RoNovelist Helen Phillips on the Only Item of Clothing She Wore on Her Book TourBy Helen Phillips Two obvious questions: Who the golden age of Pericles is Johanna Hanink? Also, why was her peculiar-sounding report just “told to Karen Iorio Adelson?” Incredibly, Hanink is reported to be “an associate professor of classics at Brown University.” According to the editors, she’s the author of How to Think About War: An Ancient Guide to Foreign Policy. According to Adelson’s report, we were “hear[ing] from” Professor Hanink “on the sun hats, tote bags, and posters that are popular among classics professors.” As a result, readers would know what to buy to look like a classics professor!Two key points:As best we can tell, this wasn’t a joke—and we’ve made none of this up. Having said that, we’ll also say this—on Sunday morning, at 6:30 AM, Slate also posted this report, listing it in its main table of contents:I Shave Off My Calluses With This Funny ToolYes, Baby Foot is a much-cherished tool, but sometimes a peel just won’t cut it.By STRATEGIST EDITORS How badly do the people at Slate want to bring us this type of reporting? This what-to-buy callus-shaving report originally appeared at New York magazine on May 11, 2017! Slate had journeyed back two years in time to bring us this top information.The sheer stupidity of this material helps us understand why a person like Donald J. Trump is now the American president. But before we start to deproblematize so weighty a matter, let’s discuss a feature we encountered early Sunday morning, in that day’s New York Times.In this particular cultural meltdown, the main report was written by Wesley Morris, critic-at-large for the famous newspaper.Needless to say, Morris graduated from Yale (class of 1997). In 2012, he won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism for his work at the Boston Globe. Did we mention the fact that Morris graduated from Yale? That he did so more than twenty years back? In Sunday’s morning’s New York Times, his lengthy report carried this online description:‘Friends’ Is Turning 25. Here’s Why We Can’t Stop Watching it.Again, we felt embarrassed. We had no idea that the NBC sitcom Friends debuted in the fall of 1994, twenty-five years ago. We didn’t know that the endlessly rebroadcast show was observing its 25th birthday!Morris has been paying attention! As he began to muse about Friends, he was soon saying this:MORRIS (9/8/19): “Friends” was easy TV at an elite level. So many jokes, so much body comedy, so many surprises and awwws, and squeals of live-studio audience excitement. Hairdressers were doing—and not infrequently botching—the Rachel. Coffee shops became people’s second homes. Tens of millions of Americans watched all of that writing and directing and acting, all of that seemingly effortless effort, for all 10 of its years. That work and a country’s devotion to it feels like proof of a golden age of something. Did we mention the fact that Morris graduated from Yale; that he writes for the New York Times; and that the upper-end journalistic guild once awarded him its highest prize?We repeat those facts for a reason. As he continued, Morris seemed to say that he can’t stop watching Friends even in these latter days:MORRIS: [T]he many nights I’ve spent recumbent on my sofa laughing at, say, Ross and Phoebe debating evolution, or Phoebe, Joey and Ross impersonating Chandler, or Chandler blanching at Monica’s desperate new cornrows or Rachel taking forever to tell somebody who the father of her baby is—those nights have never really been about the situation comedy of “Friends.” They’ve only ever been about us—me and these six people—and my apparently enduring need to know what they’re up to and how they are, even though I’ve known for 25 years. Morris offered this cry for help in yesterday’s New York Times!Readers, don’t misunderstand! A ridiculous newspaper like the Times would never let such an august occasion pass with just one lengthy tribute from one of its prize-winning critics. We’ve often described the New York Times as our nation’s dumbest newspaper. Yesterday, the entire front page of its Arts & Leisure section was consumed by a heartbreaking photo of the abandoned Friends set. Inside the section, the paper’s high-profile Sunday edition featured these essays, along with the effort by Morris:’Friends’ Is Older Than Some of Its Biggest FansBy Nancy Coleman25 Years Later, It Turns Out Phoebe Was the Best FriendBy Sloane CrosleyWhy ‘Friends’ Won’t Get RebootedBy Saul AusterlitzGrieving About Canceled Shows? Get Over ItBy Margaret Lyons Again, you think we’re making this up. Go ahead! Click our links, or take a look at yesterday’s Today’s Paper listings. And by the way:Coleman, Crosley, Austerlitz and Lyons all seem to be actual people. Coleman graduated from college in June and is now a New York Times “culture reporter.” But the other three, joining Morris, can’t be excused by their youth.So far, we’ve mentioned a classics professor from Brown and an award-winning, aging Yale grad who seems to think he’s actually friends with six fictional people who went off the air way back when. We’ll return to the peculiar behavior of our professors and journalists as the week proceeds.So far, we haven’t mentioned the most embarrassing thing we saw in yesterday’s New York Times. But these first observations do start to explain the deeply dangerous state we’re all in, a matter we’ll be “interrogating” all through the course of the week.Tomorrow: At the Times, Scott Hershkovitz “is a philosopher”—and so is [NAME WITHHELD]!

  • The Ongoing Tragedy of 9/11
    by Bridget Rooney on September 9, 2019 at 13:27

    Eighteen years later, the death toll is still climbing.

  • The Other Americans: Colombia’s Fragile Peace in Splinters
    by Jeff Abbott on September 8, 2019 at 00:00

    The renewal of armed struggle follows neglect of the peace process from the far right. “[President] Duque is taking advantage of the discourse of Donald Trump to put back in place repressive politics,” a human rights defender says.

  • One of the basic ways we got here!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 7, 2019 at 15:30

    SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2019Tribal dysfunction described: We’re spending the weekend thinking about the various forms of muddle which occur in, even dominate, our alleged national discourse.We’re thinking about Richard Panek’s essay on gravity in the Washington Post Outlook section. We’re thinking about Lauren Michele Jackson’s recent lengthy essay in Slate, although we’ll admit we can’t quite define what Jackson was talking about.We’re thinking about the way Eric Levitz pictures the size of the achievement gaps in New York City’s public schools. Also, of the way his picture follows the picture painted by Dana Goldstein quite a while ago.We’re thinking about the latest word from inside a bubble at Salem State. We’re thinking about the way Eve Fairbanks hears the voice of John Wilkes Booth when she reads Nicholas Kristof—and we’re thinking about the editor who would put such dreck into print.Needless to say, this would all be comical, if not for the astonishing place to which our penchant for muddle has brought us. With respect to that point, we’ll restrict ourselves to quoting one passage from Michelle Goldberg’s latest column.In her column, Goldberg ponders the possibility that the GOP is about to wither away, an event which always seem to be right around the corner. She quotes Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg describing one part of the public’s reaction to the election of Trump:GOLDBERG (9/6/19): In his polling and focus groups, [Greenberg is] seeing that the reaction to Trump is changing people. “The Trump presidency so invaded the public’s consciousness that it was hard to talk to previously disengaged and unregistered unmarried women, people of color and millennials without them going right to Trump,” he writes. A few months after the election, he realized he could no longer put Clinton and Trump voters in focus groups together because indignant Clinton voters, particularly women, so dominated the conversations. “This turned out to be an unintended test of the strength of their views and resolve to resist,” he wrote.If we might borrow from the Beatles: All the previously disengaged people, where did they all come from? At any rate, once their sleepwalking gave us Trump, they became indignant, irate. When Greenberg tried to stage focus groups, they talked over everyone else!So it went within the tents of our admittedly brilliant tribe, whose members sleepwalked through decades of the muddle-rich public nonsense which eventually gave us Trump. For the record, Goldberg had played a part of that sleepwalking. On the bright side, it may have helped her land her job at the Times. But our tribe is deeply inept in various leadership sectors, and has been for many years.Is it possible that the sleepwalking continues? In Goldberg’s column, we get to dream about the inevitable defeat of Donald J. Trump, and perhaps of all the people who sound like John Wilkes Booth. But what might such a disordered person do in the face of onrushing defeat?What might Donald Trump do next year? All over cable, as cable stars cluck, that question is being ignored.

  • Smart Ass Cripple: The First Amendment Barn
    by Mike Ervin on September 7, 2019 at 10:00

    Perhaps an old, abandoned barn designated as an official protest zone will be our lawmakers’ perfect solution to keeping the economy safe from those pesky protests.

  • PERCEIVED RATIONALITY’S END: Eve Fairbanks says she’s been hearing things!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 6, 2019 at 16:02

    FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 20191619 Gone Wild: At times of stress, top experts tell us, our war-inclined species’ tribal instincts will often, in fact, go wild.”It’s just the way our species was wired,” these future anthropologists despondently say, speaking in the past tense. Tribal narratives will be imposed on any and all situations, they’ve glumly told us. Last Sunday morning, we thought of what these scholars have said as we read the Washington Post.In fairness, the famous paper’s Outlook section is strongly inclined to publish a wide array of wonderfully ill-reasoned work. Next week, we plan to get back to the wonderfully ill-reasoned recent essay by “science journalist Richard Panek.” The essay appeared on Sunday, August 5. It was published beneath a wonderfully eye-catching headline: “Everything you thought you knew about gravity is wrong.”That particular Outlook essay had nothing to do with politics. It had nothing to do with “race.” It had nothing to do with tribal dogma, or with ongoing cultural stress. It was just good old-fashioned balderdash, of the type Outlook seems to love.If it makes no earthly sense, Outlook is likely to run it! All by itself, this practice on the part of this upper-end platform gives the lie to that ancient claim, at least as conventionally understood: “Man [sic] is the rational animal.”We’re sorry, but that claim never was accurate, or so our top experts have said.On Sunday mornings at the Washington Post, man [sic] is far from the rational animal! And so it was that last Sunday’s Outlook section was fronted by a 3000-word piece by the exiled Eve Fairbanks.Needless to say, Fairbanks graduated from Yale (class of 2005). Including photographs and artwork, her essay consumed 80% of Outlook’s front page, plus roughly half of a two-page spread inside the high-profile section.Fairbanks’ essay is a masterwork of irrational conduct—and, according to major experts, an example of the way our species tends to behave at times of cultural dislocation amid great tribal stress. Eve Fairbanks has been hearing things—and she hasn’t been hearing America singing. Beneath a powerful pair of headlines, her essay starts like this:FAIRBANKS (9/1/19): The ‘reasonable’ rebelsConservatives say we’ve abandoned reason and civility, writes journalist Eve Fairbanks. The Old South used the same language to defend slavery.After the El Paso shooting, Ben Shapiro, a popular conservative podcaster, asked Americans to draw a line between the few conservatives who are white supremacists and those who, like him, aren’t. Almost all Americans are “on the same side,” he said, and “we should be mourning together.” In his telling, we aren’t, for “one simple reason: Too many on the political left [are] castigating the character of those who disagree,” lumping conservatives and political nonconformists together with racists and xenophobes. For what it’s worth, we don’t think we’ve ever read anything by Shapiro all the way through.Fairly or otherwise, we’re inclined to think of him as a pseudo-conservative rabble-rouser. Nor does Fairbanks try to describe what the gentleman actually wrote in the piece from which her brief shards of quotation emerge.That said, Fairbanks describes Shapiro lodging a complaint. He complains that some on the left—”too many,” he says—have been lumping conservatives together with racists and xenophobes, apparently in a promiscuous manner. This alleged lumping has Shapiro annoyed. It’s the basis of his complaint.We have no idea what Shapiro went on to say, or how well he supported his claim, not does Fairbanks attempt to tell us. That said, can anyone doubt that some on the left have tended to engage in the type of conduct Shapiro seems to describe?Shapiro seems to have said that this occurred in the wake of the El Paso shootings. But having said that, good grief! As our nation’s deep tribalization has spread, this general type of conduct has been rather widespread. During Campaign 2016, Candidate Clinton distinguished herself by her generosity—by giving half of Trump’s supporters a pass:CLINTON (9/9/16): You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it.And unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people—now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks—they are irredeemable, but thankfully, they are not America. “You name it,” the candidate said, even as she quite memorably did!In fairness, every candidate makes a dumb and/or unfortunate comment at some point in a campaign. Clinton went on to say that half of Trump’s supporters actually weren’t racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamophobic, and therefore weren’t deplorable and irredeemable, the way the others all were.That said, her famous statement was quite sweeping. More generally, this type of “lumping” is done within our tribe pretty much all the time, often with no escape hatch of redeemability for anyone found Over There.Fairbanks could have crafted an interesting study of Shapiro’s remark. Is it true that a gang of liberals responded to El Paso by lumping conservatives in with white supremacists in a promiscuous way?In theory, that could have been interesting. Instead, Fairbanks quickly veered off course, describing “a very specific deja vu” she once fought to identify:FAIRBANKS (continuing directly): I grew up in a conservative family. The people I talk to most frequently, the people I call when I need help, are conservative. I’m not inclined to paint conservatives as thoughtless bigots. But a few years ago, listening to the voices and arguments of commentators like Shapiro, I began to feel a very specific deja vu I couldn’t initially identify. It felt as if the arguments I was reading were eerily familiar. I found myself Googling lines from articles, especially when I read the rhetoric of a group of people we could call the “reasonable right.”Fairbanks had been hearing something she couldn’t identify. She heard it when she read the rhetoric of “the reasonable right.”Soon, she says, she found herself Googling, possibly in her sleep. As it turns out, a lot of people belong to the group Fairbanks now dubbed, perhaps a bit mockingly, as “the reasonable right.” In our view, some of the people she went on to name are pretty much obvious jerks. On the other hand, some of them plainly aren’t. In her initial listing, Fairbanks even included Jonathan Haidt as part of the reasonable right. Meanwhile, is Sam Harris part of the right at all, reasonable or otherwise? Frankly, we aren’t sure. At any rate, Fairbanks soon provided her reason for lumping these people together. “They typically dislike President Trump,” she wrote, “but say they’re being pushed rightward—or driven to defend the rights of conservatives—by intolerance and extremism on the left.”Candidate Clinton had assailed a wide swath of people who supported Candidate Trump. Fairbanks now moved on to a group of people who don’t support President Trump—but even that couldn’t save this new group of miscreants from the lumping to follow.As we all know, when cultural revolution starts, absolutely no one is safe! In this instance, the sins of which Fairbanks complained included the sin of being “driven to defend the rights of conservatives”—an incorrectness which, it would seem, is no longer allowed!Already, Fairbanks has moved us into a very strange realm, except during cultural breakdown. But she took the last path around the bend when she described the “deja vu” which had once been lodged in her head.What did Fairbanks think she heard when she heard people like Haidt “defending the rights of conservatives?” At long last, she finally got it! This is what she’d heard:FAIRBANKS: …I finally figured it out. The reasonable right’s rhetoric is exactly the same as the antebellum rhetoric I’d read so much of. The same exact words. The same exact arguments. Rhetoric, to be precise, in support of the slave-owning South.Lumping is rarely so bald.Finally, Fairbanks had it! When Haidt defended the rights of conservatives, his rhetoric was “exactly the same” as that which had been employed, long ago, “in support of the slave-owning South!” All those people who don’t support Trump evoke that era for Fairbanks!By now, Fairbanks had matched Shapiro’s charge of “lumping” and moved on to the next level. Had conservatives been lumped with supremacists in the wake of El Paso? We don’t know, but she was now lumping people who don’t even support Trump with people who once had argued hard in support of the slave-owning South!Jonathan Haidt and Christine Hoff Sommers were lumped in with this band. In particular, who did their voices remind Fairbanks of? It even came to this!FAIRBANKS: It might sound strange that America’s proslavery faction styled itself the guardian of freedom and minority rights. And yet it did…They stressed the importance of logic, “facts,” “truth,” “science” and “nature” much more than Northern rhetoricians did. They chided their adversaries for being romantic idealists, ignoring the “experience of centuries.” Josiah Nott, a surgeon who laid out the purported science behind black inferiority, held that questions like slavery “should be left open to fair and honest investigation, and made to stand or fall according to the facts.” They claimed that they were the ones who truly had black people’s best interests at heart, thanks to their more realistic understanding of human biology. “No one would be willing to do more for the Negro race than I,” John Wilkes Booth wrote shortly before he assassinated Lincoln. He alleged that any pragmatist could see that freeing black people into a cold, cruel world would actually cause their “annihilation.” John Wilkes Booth had stressed the importance of logic, facts and truth. And now, members of the reasonable right were stressing the exact same things!Or something; we invite you to spend some time trying to figure it out. But before she was done, Fairbanks would cite Booth again and his “antebellum reasoning.” She was now lumping the most famous villain and crackpot in American history with a wide range of modern writers, connecting them to this assassin in the most far-fetched, distended ways.For the record, Fairbanks returned to Shapiro before she was done. When she read his recent complaint, this is what she heard, at least inside her head:FAIRBANKS: In Ben Shapiro—who ascribes right-wing anger to unwise left-wing provocation (“How do you think people are going to react?”)—I hear a letter printed in the Charleston Mercury, which warned that “if the mad career of the hot headed abolitionists should lead to acts of violence on the part of those whom they so vindictively assail, who shall be accountable? Not the South.”Instead of examining the validity of Shapiro’s claims about modern-day provocation, Fairbanks explained what she heard. She actually heard a letter in the Charleston Mercury. When Shapiro made a claim about present-day conduct, that’s what our soothsayer “heard.”Fairbanks’ endless essay is one of the most unhinged acts of “lumping” ever put into print. But as with Panek, so too here—precisely because the reasoning is so poor, Outlook rushed to print it.Before she was done, Fairbanks had even fingered the highly suspect Nicholas Kristof. She almost seemed to borrow her format from Brother Foxworthy’s famous “You might be a redneck if…:”FAIRBANKS: If you hear somebody lament, as Bret Stephens does, that political “opinions that were considered reasonable and normal” not too long ago now must be “delivered in whispers,” it might be antebellum reasoning. If somebody says—as Harris has—that our politics are at risk of ignoring common sense, logic or the realities of human biology, it might be antebellum reasoning. If somebody such as Nicholas Kristof says they don’t like noxious thinkers but urges us to give them platforms for the sake of “protecting dissonant and unwelcome voices,” it might be antebellum reasoning. Kristof might be a redneck too! Everything “might be antebellum reasoning” when tribals like Fairbanks unwind.This is one of the dumbest, most promiscuous acts of “lumping” we’ve ever seen in print. Major top anthropologists have come to us with several thoughts:On the one hand, they’ve sadly said that our species was always hard-wired for this type of tribal display. “At times of tribal stress and cultural breakdown, this sort of thing always occurred,” they have despondently said.Beyond that, they shocked us with a brilliant insight. “This is The 1619 Project gone wild,” they told us late one night, stressing the point that much of that project’s work may be insightful and valid.The identity of our present-day pseudo-liberal tribe is built around race and gender, these top experts explained. Given current levels of tribal stress and cultural dislocation, the tribe is now devoted to discussing our nation’s brutal racial history, full and complete total stop. In such ways, our shaken tribals convince themselves of their ultimate moral grandeur, and of our own as a tribe. At times of stress and dislocation, this is how human tribes act.When we encourage this kind of behavior, this is how humans will act. Given current stresses, the simplest possible claim or complaint will make many liberals believe that they’ve heard the voice of John Wilkes Booth! They’ll offer such dreams to the Washington Post, and the Post will put them in print.Reading Kristof, a certain Yale grad thought that she heard John Wilkes Booth! “We’ve got your ‘rational animal’ right there,” one disconsolate glum scholar said, despondently breaking our hearts.

  • Foreign Correspondent: Can Trump Bring Peace to Afghanistan?
    by Reese Erlich on September 6, 2019 at 09:30

    Don’t hold your breath.

  • Immigrant Song: ‘I’m Leaving Now’
    by Michael Atkinson on September 6, 2019 at 07:00

    A new documentary trains our focus on an underexposed slice of the immigration dynamic: the urge to return home.

  • Trump facing jail for fake weather report!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 5, 2019 at 19:16

    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2019We’re all Donald Trump now: Just to offer a bit of perspective, the topic appears in today’s New York Times at the bottom of page A16, the fifth page of the National section.(Headline: “Trump Insists He Was Right About Hurricane Dorian Heading for Alabama.”)In the Washington Post, the topic appears at the bottom on page A10, consuming perhaps one-fifth of the page. (Headline: “Trump displays what appears to be an altered map showing risk to Alabama.”)That’s the weight these papers consigned to Donald J. Trump’s weird remarks, with an apparently doctored map, about the path projected for Hurricane Dorian as of last Sunday morning.We’ll grant you that Trump’s behavior yesterday did in fact seem to be weird. He seemed to be offering cover for an erroneous statement he made last Sunday about the projected path of the storm. More specifically, he seemed to be using a doctored map to convey the (false) impression that he had been right all along. By normal standards, that would be extremely weird conduct, though it isn’t that weird for Trump.Flashback! All the way back in March 2016, Trump did something somewhat similar, when he was still a candidate. We’re referring to his crackpot display of the Trump Steaks which actually weren’t Trump Steaks.Uh-oh! Trump Steaks had ceased to exist nine years before. Here’s a bit of the background:On March 3 of that year, Mitt Romney gave a speech in which he ridiculed Trump’s acumen as a businessman. Along the way, Romney mentioned the fact that the specialty steaks had quickly rolled over and died.As Tim Carman reported in the Washington Post, Romney “belittled the billionaire’s vaunted business acumen, specifically mentioning the failure of the prime Certified Angus Beef steaks that Trump had hawked for a New York minute in 2007 via QVC and the Sharper Image.”This performance by Romney seemed to wound the candidate’s pride. In fact, Trump Steaks had ceased to exist in 2007, but the apparently crazy candidate behaved in the following manner:CARMAN (3/23/16): Long thought to be extinct, like dinosaurs or the passenger pigeon, Trump Steaks are alive and well at some of the real estate mogul’s properties. So indicated the GOP front-runner at a news conference March 8, when Donald Trump pointed a finger at a gorgeous pile of vacuum-sealed meats and declared them “Trump Steaks.”Journalists quickly discovered that those particular Trump Steaks were impostors. The beautifully marbled cuts actually had been bought from a reputable south Florida meat company for the members-only restaurant at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., where the news conference was held. Reporters could plainly see the Bush Brothers Provisions Co. logo printed on the packages. The news conference was actually part of a victory party on the night of some primary wins. In an event that looked even weirder than it sounds, Trump delivered lengthy remarks as he stood beside a table piled high with slabs of juicy raw steak.Adding to the lunacy was the fact that the slabs of steak weren’t “Trump Steaks” at all. As Carman noted, each plastic-bagged steak bore the name and logo of a local butcher shop. Ironically, the butcher shop where the steaks had been purchased bore the named “Bush Brothers.”The event was, and very much looked, stone-cold, bat-shit crazy. Trump’s weird performance with the raw steaks constituted the first time we found ourselves wondering if he might be some version of “mentally ill.” We raised the question for the first time at that point.Back then, his vanity stung, the candidate posed with big piles of steaks which weren’t Trump Steaks as a away to pretend that Trump Steaks still existed. Yesterday, his vanity stung, the commander in chief posed with a doctored map, apparently as a way to pretend that he hadn’t made an erroneous statement on Sunday. It was very weird behavior—but this man has been behaving in very strange ways for a very long time.This morning, the episode was covered by the Post and the Times, but it was treated as a fairly run-of-the-mill event. Compare that to what happened last evening on cable.On the Rachel Maddow Show, Maddow devoted the first 24 minutes of her program to the doctored map event, which has come to be known as Sharpiegate. She went on and on, then on and on, even suggesting that Trump could go to jail for what he had done.”Per U.S. Code 2074,” she informed us, saving us the trouble of having to look it up for ourselves.Maddow also said that Trump could possibly go to jail for allegedly having lied about those two encouraging phone calls from China he said he received last week. As we’ve long noted, Maddow simply loves the thought of Others going to jail.The Post and the Times gave Sharpiegate relatively minor play. Maddow devoted well over half her on-air minutes to it. As always, she thrilled us with the idea that Those We Hate May End Up In Prison. At one point, about 12 minutes in, she helplessly told us this:MADDOW (9/4/19): I mean, it’s insane, but we don’t have any way to make sense of this. Nothing like this has ever happened before. Needless to say, Maddow very much does have a way to attempt “to make sense of this.” (And things like this have happened before.) Should could do what journalists do when they try to make sense of things. She could interview competent specialists concerning the possible state of Trump’s mental health and/or his cognitive capacity.Presumably, Maddow hasn’t done that because her owners have told her not to. She’s paid millions of dollars to do what she’d told by her corporate superiors. We rubes aren’t allowed to know how many millions she’s paid..The doctored map ruled large swaths of cable last night. The Post and the Times took a far more measured approach. All in all, that represents part of the difference between two different realms—”cable” and “news.”One last point:The New York Times didn’t waste its readers’ time claiming that Trump’s doctored map could constitute a crime. At the Post, Cappucci and Freedman did venture down this road.”Who is Matthew Cappucci?” we barked at the analysts. Skillfully, they googled him up. His official Post bio, which is quite long, starts out exactly like this:Matthew CappucciMatthew Cappucci is a meteorologist for Capital Weather Gang. He earned a B.A. in atmospheric sciences from Harvard University in 2019, and has contributed to The Washington Post since he was 18.The guy is two months out of college, but he’s been helping the Post for years! Like Maddow, he thought you should know that using a doctored weather map just might be a crime.Basically, we’re all Trump now! The difference is, Trump’s the guy who crashes around with all the nuclear codes.Is something “wrong” with Donald J. Trump? There’s no way for Maddow to say!

  • PERCEIVED RATIONALITY’S END: Insistence on the preferred tribal frame!
    by <b>bob somerby</b> on September 5, 2019 at 15:27

    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2019The 1619 Downside: This past Sunday morning, a news report in the New York Times came with a bit of a bonus.We refer to the featured news report in the newspaper’s National section. In print editions, the report appeared beneath a banner headline. The layout looked like this:NATIONALReviving Faded Memories of the Violent ‘Red Summer’ of 1919By John Eligon and Audra D. S. BurchMILLEN, Ga.—Around the bend of a rural road in Eastern Georgia, towering pines give way to a gnatty glade dotted with aging tombstones and floral bouquets. Secluded and serene, it was the site of a horrific racial trauma.A century ago, a white lynch mob set fire to an African-American church on this land just north of Millen, Ga., sending hundreds of black parents and their children scrambling out of windows in a frantic effort to escape. The mob, which was out to avenge the killing of two white law enforcement officers, would lynch at least three black males, including a 13-year-old, and leave the Carswell Grove Baptist Church in an ashy heap. It is a little-known piece of history in a community where Southern politeness can mask racial strife. But on the centennial anniversary of the attack in 1919, efforts to acknowledge what happened have created unlikely allies.In its essence, last Sunday’s featured news report wasn’t exactly “news.” In the main, it was an account of a brutal event from American history, loosely tied to a current dispute in a very small rural community.Don’t get us wrong! The report was interesting and well written. We’d be inclined to describe it as highly worthwhile history, especially when understood as such. That said, the report is connected to a phenomenon we’d call “the 1619 downside.” This starts with that small tiny “bit of a bonus” to which we alluded above.That bonus appeared at the very start of Sunday’s news report. Before you could read the news report itself, the bonus told you this:[Race affects our lives in countless ways. To read more provocative stories on race from The Times, sign up for our Race/Related newsletter here.] In short, before you could read the news report, you were given a little lecture, helping you build an appropriate frame around what you would be reading.Without any question, so-called race does affect our contemporary lives in countless ways. For starters, our culture tells us, in endless ways, that we all belong to a “race”—not that we’ll all be treated that way, but that we actually do have a race, just as a matter of fact.Leftish culture is now especially devoted to the idea that everybody has a race, and that a person’s race defines that person’s “identity.” Also, that we are the ones who can tell that person what his “identity” is. Needless to say, this concept of race has lay at the heart of American history. Sunday’s featured news report discussed one gruesome example, an example from one hundred years ago.The “news report” was well written. It discusses a brutal event. But even before you could read the report, you had to consume that little lecture, in which a bunch of unimpressive, Hamptons-based droogs instructed you in the way they now believe you should understand the world.That little lecture comes to us from the world of The 1619 Project, an enterprise the Times’ unimpressive editors have decided to center their efforts around. They unveiled their undertaking on Sunday, August 18, telling us that “it is finally time to tell our [nation’s] story truthfully.” According to the unnamed editors, they were the ones who would finally accomplish that task, live and direct from the Hamptons. Finally! Finally, a group of patriots was stepping forward, willing to tell us the truth! They defined their new project as follows:The 1619 ProjectThe 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are. By the editors’ own admission, this was a major initiative. We the people would finally be allowed to know when our true founding occurred.Finally! A remarkably spunky band was going to reconstruct the story we tell ourselves about “who we are.” These unnamed patriots seemed to have committed their lives, their fortunes and their get-away second homes to this important task.That said, the sheer pomposity of these people is matched by their simple-minded devotion to, and conception of, their task. Almost surely, this project will produce some excellent, worthwhile work. Sunday’s featured “news report” can be seen as one such offering.That said, when bantamweights like those who predominate at the Times engage in cultural revolution, subscribers should go on alert. When cultural revolution breaks out, so does the propagandizing. After that comes the finger-pointing and the blaming. Names start getting called, perhaps in a promiscuous manner.We get handed our little lectures, after which we’re allowed to read about an ugly episode from our nation’s brutal racial history. In the process, though, the bantamweights excite the flyweights, and we’re soon reading headlines like these:A Suburb Believed in Liberal Ideals. Then Came a New Busing Plan.A school district confronts its segregated school system.This is how dumb the flyweights can get at times of revolutionary zeal! We’d be inclined to call this sort of thing “the 1619 downside.”What was claimed by the person who composed those stirring headlines? According to that unnamed person, the liberal-leaning town of Maplewood, New Jersey is running a “segregated school system” even now, in 2019!How do we know that Maplewood is running a “segregated school system?” As it turns out, we know that because one of its six elementary schools is majority black, while the other five elementary schools are majority white. This spear was chucked by the Hamptons-based newspaper whose remarkably righteous editorial board lists two African-Americans, and no Hispanics, among its fifteen members. Go ahead—enjoy a laugh! These are the enrollment figures which prevail within two great Gotham realms:Enrollment figures, black and HispanicNew York City specialized high schools: 10.5% black and HispanicNew York Times editorial board: 13.3% black and HispanicYou can easily see the source of the moral authority! That said, the newspaper’s current coverage of public schools strikes us as an example of “the 1619 downside.” We say that for this reason:The New York Times is now approaching public schools from the framework of “segregation,” a deeply fraught part of American public school history.Nothing else seems to matter. Nothing else seems to count. The flyweights see public school “segregation” under every bed. Nothing else seems to matter. In particular, the lives and the interests of black and Hispanic kids don’t much seem to count.By tribal agreement, achievement gaps are disappeared. This lets our fervor about “segregation” be all. Because the very large achievement gaps have been disappeared, no attempt is made to ask how they might be addressed. This is fortunate, of course, because that discussion would be both hard and boring.When a foreign-born reporter is innocent enough to report the gaps in Maplewood as if they really exist, their relevance is completely ignored. Only “segregation” matters, and the Times finds it everywhere. As we noted yesterday, the work doesn’t have to make sense.Full disclosure:Top anthropologists have been explaining the Times’ behavior to us. They explain the matter in terms of the basic wiring of our deeply flawed but also self-impressed species.According to these top future experts, we humans were never “the rational animal” at all! Instead, or so these experts say, we humans are essentially tribal. It’s simply the way we’re built.At times of tribal division and cultural stress, our tribal lines will harden dramatically. According to international experts, this hard-wired process explains the bulk of the nonsense which is now emerging, with great regularity, from our frequently fatuous tribe.Within our own liberal/progressive tribe, we’re now defining tribal purity in terms involving race and gender. Our moral greatness and our tribal identity are being defined in terms of such issues, full stop.This isn’t a rational process, or at least so we’ve been told. It’s a process of stress-induced tribal bonding, and it won’t likely make sense. Anthropologists tell us that widespread dumbness will almost always emerge at times of tribal stress. At times of stress, all stories will be bent to fit the preferred tribal framework. News events will be a hundred years old, and you’ll be handed a little lecture before you can read about them.It’s maddening to read the way the Times treats the interests of low-income kids. That said:”The people in question just aren’t very sharp,” these top major experts have said.Tomorrow: The spirit of 1619 spreads to the Washington Post

  • The Platitude Primer
    by Mark Fiore on September 5, 2019 at 10:30

    When tragedy strikes you need earnest, heartfelt sentiments that won’t compromise your rights to bear anything, anywhere!

  • Why Are the Feds Blocking Marijuana Reform when Research Shows Cannabis Saves Lives?
    by Gladys Weinberg on September 4, 2019 at 13:55

    For many people, marijuana offers a viable alternative to opioid use.

  • Don’t Be Distracted by that Burning Pile of Soybeans
    by Sarah Lloyd on September 4, 2019 at 13:45

    The impact of disrupted trade markets is definitely negative. But focusing too closely on the trade war distracts from the real underlying problem.

  • Midwest Dispatch: The Drivers on the Bus Go . . . Where?
    by Sarah Lahm on September 4, 2019 at 09:00

    Around the country, schools desperate to free up funds are outsourcing their bussing services—and dealing a blow to students and workers alike.

  • Going Native: The Scent of Racism
    by Mark Anthony Rolo on September 3, 2019 at 16:00

    Christian Dior’s latest ad campaign for its fragrance “Sauvage,” featured an American Indian dancing in full regalia in the desert. But that’s not what people should be mad about.

  • A Labor Day Q&A with Mercedes Martinez
    by Jesse Hagopian on September 1, 2019 at 10:21

    A conversation with the union and movement leader on toppling the governor and “proving the impossible” in Puerto Rico.

  • PharmaGon: Your Antidote to Profit-Based Killing
    by Mark Fiore on August 30, 2019 at 11:00

    “Ask your lawyer or state attorney general about Pharmagon today!&rdquo

  • A New Film Blows the Whistle on War
    by Ed Rampell on August 30, 2019 at 10:00

    If the press is the “fourth estate,” the cinema is arguably the fifth. “Official Secrets” indicts Blair, Bush, and other mass murderers in the court of public opinion—at a theater near you.

  • What Do Black Voters Want?
    by Kiki Monifa on August 29, 2019 at 14:08

    A new census of black America shows that despite a high level of political engagement, more than half of respondents think that politicians do not care about black people.

  • The Growing Push for Politicians to #VisitAPrison
    by Stephanie Wykstra on August 29, 2019 at 08:00

    “It’s our job. We represent them too. So whether or not they’re enfranchised or disenfranchised, we are still their representative.&rdquo

  • What 1619 Means to Me
    by Kevin Powell on August 28, 2019 at 12:00

    What we need in America is a steady gaze in the mirror, accepting that any talk about our history is the story of people brought here as slaves.

  • As the World Burns
    by Sarah Jaffe on August 28, 2019 at 08:00

    Catastrophes in the Amazon and elsewhere are flash points for the larger, ongoing crisis that claims lives in less spectacular fashion—one that sees life itself as expendable.

  • Wisconsin is Needlessly Policing Free Speech
    by Bill Lueders on August 27, 2019 at 14:36

    The state legislature and University of Wisconsin Board of Regents are seeking to punish campus free speech disruptions that are not occurring.

  • India’s Kashmir Gambit Fulfills the Hindu Nationalist Agenda
    by Amitabh Pal on August 27, 2019 at 08:00

    “Now Modi is the leader of a billion people who stand solidly with him.&rdquo

  • Foreign Correspondent: What is the U.S. Role in the Hong Kong Protests?
    by Reese Erlich on August 26, 2019 at 16:00

    Despite legitimate concern over economic inequality there, the movement has pro-Western elements and has been encouraged by Washington in familiar, odious ways.

  • Smart Ass Cripple: Disability and the Myth of the ‘Public Charge’
    by Mike Ervin on August 26, 2019 at 11:48

    What are bootstraps to someone who literally cannot stand on their own two feet?

  • St. Paul Teachers Union Picks the Health Care Battle
    by Sarah Lahm on August 26, 2019 at 08:00

    Skyrocketing insurance costs generated a national wave of teacher strikes last year. Now, Minnesota educators head into a new school year ready to fight for affordable health care.

  • Brazil Isn’t the Only Far-Right Government Destroying the Planet
    by Basav Sen on August 24, 2019 at 06:00

    As the Amazon burns, the terrifying parallels between the U.S. and Brazilian governments highlight the damage authoritarian leaders are doing.

  • The Chosen One’s Economy
    by Mark Fiore on August 23, 2019 at 10:00

    “Elitist numbers. Fake news. Upside-down arrows. Don‘t believe the signs of weakness!&rdquo

  • Israel’s Online Occupation of Palestine
    by Miriam Deprez on August 23, 2019 at 08:00

    How a Facebook post can land you in prison.

  • ‘Anti-alien Hysteria:’ Journalist Elizabeth Glendower Evans and the Trial of Sacco and Vanzetti
    by Norman Stockwell on August 22, 2019 at 07:00

    In a case perhaps more relevant now than ever, the trial of the two immigrants became a rallying point for 1920s progressives, labor activists, and human rights advocates around the globe.

  • Steve King: Confederate Soldiers Died ‘Putting an End to’ Slavery
    by Jud Lounsbury on August 22, 2019 at 00:00

    Thankfully, this Iowan Congressman isn’t into creative anachronism.

  • Trump’s Labor Pick Kept Workers in Pain
    by Michael Felsen on August 21, 2019 at 13:42

    The President has had poor luck with labor secretaries, and now he is poised to nominate Eugene Scalia, whose anti-regulatory advocacy two decades ago helped fuel today’s opioid epidemic. That’s not the best credential for a future labor secretary.

  • Workplace Raids Are Not the Answer
    by Angela Stuesse on August 20, 2019 at 06:00

    Criminalizing undocumented workers will not stop people from hiring them. It only makes them more exploitable.

  • Fox guest on possible troop withdrawal from Afghanistan: “The solution is more blood, sweat, and tears” 
    by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 16:02

    JOHN HANNAH (FORMER VP CHENEY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER): The president, you know, is signaling that he wants done with this. There may be some kind of remnant of counter-terror mission here, but I think the danger is that once we withdraw our support for the Afghan government on the basis of a very phony promise from the Taliban that they are not going to try and reestablish their jihadist tyranny — and in very much in cooperation still with Al Qaeda, that once that Afghan government is brought down, Taliban, Al Qaeda come back. It’s going to be infinitely hard for the United States to conduct an effective counter-terrorism mission without an Afghan government there.  BILL HEMMER (CO-ANCHOR): I apologize for the interruption there. Do you have a better solution then, John?  HANNAH: No, I mean, listen, the solution is more blood, sweat, and tears. I think the mission in Afghanistan, as frustrating and as long as it’s been, Bill, with those several thousand troops there supporting an Afghan government — we’re not in the front lines doing the fighting — I still think it’s a sustainable mission if you believe that things can actually get much, much worse. But it needs a president who actually believes that avoiding a Taliban/Al Qaeda resurgence in the place that spawned 9/11 is important enough to continue this kind of sacrifice. Previously: Fox & Friends guest says a war against Iran would be “pretty quick and easy” The Trump-Fox feedback loop could cause a war with Iran Tomi Lahren: “If the plan were to send a huge surge of land and war power to wipe out Iran and turn it into glass … that might actually solve the problem.”

  • Fox host defends Trump: “Just because you use harsh language doesn’t mean your intent is to denigrate another race”
    by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 15:48

    STUART VARNEY (HOST): Are you a racist if you criticize an African-American politician? The left says, oh, yes you are. The charge, Trump is a racist, is now an established theme in the Democrats’ 2020 campaign. I object. Just because you use harsh language doesn’t mean your intent is to denigrate another race. Throwing that word around, racist, shuts down the debate. You can’t solve problems if you can’t speak freely. The word racist is applied to just about anybody. It no longer has bite. Baltimore has brought the racist charge to a boil. In a series of tweets, the president has criticized Congressman Elijah Cummings. He is a Democrat who has represent a major — majority Black district for over 20 years. The president described Cummings’ district as quote, “A disgusting rat and rodent-infested mess where no human being would want to live.” Oh, that caused outrage. The media jumped on it, and from there on out, branded the president a racist and a bigot. Again, I object. The president was describing reality. Bernie Sanders has said exactly the same thing, but he wasn’t called a racist. Oh, no, he’s a socialist. Now we find that Congressman Cummings himself had used similar language. He said Baltimore was quote, “drug-infested, and the residents walked around like zombies.” He was saying same thing as the president. Nobody criticized him for telling it the way it is, but Trump is a racist. This smearing, this name calling is a deliberate political tactic, and I think it’s going to fail. The weak performance of Democrats running big cities can no longer be covered up. This president, unlike any other president, is prepared to call it how he sees it, and damn the consequences. The president wants the votes of African-Americans. He’s courting them. Instead of pandering with offers of money, he is asking what happened to the billions already spent? Baltimore got 1.8 billion just from the stimulus package. What happened to it? Where did the money go? The Democrats have opened Pandora’s Box without realizing it. They thought that calling him a racist would silence him. Wrong. They’ve given him a campaign theme. And that theme is, the Democrats failing their own supporters. Previously: Fox host defends Trump’s racist tweets: He was just saying Democrats and liberal policies have destroyed Baltimore  Fox’s Brian Kilmeade on Baltimore: “I don’t think anyone passed statewide tests in some of these inner-city schools” Fox host makes bizarre defense of Trump’s racism: Trump “probably never watched The Wire &rdquo

  • Fox News is talking more about abortion than the Democratic debates did
    by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 15:21

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters During the four nights of the two Democratic presidential primary debates in June and July, Fox News outpaced CNN and MSNBC in the amount of time it gave to abortion coverage even though the network didn’t host either debate. CNN moderators failed to ask a single question about abortion during the second primary debate this week. And even though MSNBC moderators asked the candidates questions about the topic during the network’s debate in June, Fox News spent more time discussing the issue than CNN, MSNBC, or the candidates themselves did. Right-wing media have been regularly dominating the conversation about abortion ahead of the 2020 elections, filling a void of abortion-related coverage by spreading misinformation and stigma about it. Fox News has been a frequent promoter of anti-abortion misinformation — including the allegation that Democratic support for abortion access is “extreme.” Given this emphasis, as well as the decreasing accessibility of abortion care across the United States, it is essential that moderators ask candidates specific and nuanced questions about abortion during the debates. This trend of right-wing media dominating abortion coverage continued during three of the four nights of the Democratic debates. Media Matters monitored both debates and live pre-debate and post-debate coverage on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News and found that Fox News discussed the topic for almost 26 minutes total. In comparison, the topic was discussed on MSNBC for 11 and a half minutes and on CNN for about six minutes; this count includes the time when abortion was discussed on the debate stage as well as during pre-debate and post-debate coverage. CNN’s moderators failed to ask the candidates any questions about abortion during the network’s two nights of debates. The only time abortion was discussed during CNN’s July 31 debate night was when Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) asked former Vice President Joe Biden about his different positions on the Hyde Amendment. Notably, even when discussing the Hyde Amendment (which prohibits federal funds from supporting abortion care except in cases of rape or incest), neither Harris nor Biden used the word “abortion.” The topic was also essentially absent from the July 30 debate. Even though abortion was discussed during both nights of the MSNBC debate in June as moderators questioned candidates about it, Fox News still discussed the topic more each night than the debate participants and commentators on MSNBC or CNN did. During the first night of the June debate, Fox News discussed abortion for about nine minutes and 19 seconds between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. In contrast, debate participants and commentators on MSNBC discussed the topic for only about four minutes and 15 seconds, and CNN commentators discussed abortion for only two minutes. This disparity was even greater during the second night of the MSNBC debate. During the same time period of 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., Fox discussed abortion for 15 minutes and 48 seconds, while debate participants and MSNBC commentators discussed the topic for four minutes and 44 seconds. Commentators on CNN discussed abortion for less than two minutes. Though there are many important topics that moderators should be raising during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary debates, Democratic voters are clear that they want to hear candidates discuss abortion. If moderators continue to prioritize optics, vacuous political theater, and right-wing talking points over substantive questions, right-wing media will continue dominating the discussion and will keep spreading anti-choice misinformation unabated on their own platforms. Methodology Media Matters searched the SnapStream video database for mentions of the following keywords: “abortion,” “Roe,” “reproductive rights,” “right to choose,” “pro-life,” “pro-choice,” “anti-choice,” “pro-abortion,” “decisions about her body,” “infanticide,” or “Hyde.” We searched on Fox News Channel, CNN, and MSNBC between 8 p.m and 1 a.m. for the June debates and between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. for the July debates due to the earlier start time. We timed segments, which we defined as instances in which a speaker in the debate or on a network discussed abortion or a related topic. Segments included host monologues, news reports or packages, interviews, and guest panels. We did not include teasers for upcoming segments or rebroadcasts.

  • <em>Fox & Friends</em> touts Trump’s “connections to Ohio” without noting they involve housing discrimination
    by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 15:21

    STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): The president of the United States was in Cincinnati last night. You saw the rally right here on Fox News Channel. There were 17,500 people there at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. The president has connections to Ohio, he’s talked about it in the past. Fifty years ago his father actually owned the Swifton Village housing complex in the Bond Hill area. So he’s got a connection, not only through his family, but also, he won Ohio last time. He needs to win Ohio again this time.   … AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): He’s familiar with Skyline Chili and Graeter’s ice cream because he said to that entire audience, he said, “I worked for my dad in the Swifton Village.” He said, “Does anyone know where the Swifton Village is?” And some people, you know, clapped and got excited about it. It’s always nice when someone famous comes into your town and they can relate to the people, and that’s what he does there.&nbs

  • The only Black Republican in the House announced he will not seek reelection. Fox News covered it for 20 seconds.
    by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 14:32

    Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) announced on August 1 that he is not seeking reelection in 2020. I have made the decision to not seek reelection for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas in order to pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security. — Rep. Will Hurd (@HurdOnTheHill) August 2, 2019 Politico described the importance of Hurd’s retirement: If you are a House Republican, this has been an absolutely gutting few weeks. And, truly, if someone is trying to spin you on how the political picture is not that bad for the House GOP right now — at this moment — you ought to discount them as a political professional or analyst. Because it’s really, really bad, deflating and discouraging. On Thursday night, Texas Rep. Will Hurd — the only black Republican in the House — announced he would not run for reelection. He beat Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones by fewer than 1,000 votes in 2018 in a large district that runs the stretch of the Texas-Mexico border — and she is running again. Republicans like to say this is an R+1 — fine, perhaps — but it’s an R+1 that Hillary Clinton won by 3 points, so it’s not much of an R+1. Others agreed. But while much of the political world is talking about the retirement announcement, Fox News is not as interested. Hurd was not mentioning at all during Thursday’s evening programming or Fox & Friends on Friday, and he has received only 20 seconds of coverage so far during Friday’s America’s Newsroom: Both CNN and MSNBC covered Hurd’s announcement on Thursday and Friday. Fox News has spent plenty of time touting President Donald Trump’s alleged support in the Black community despite polls showing widespread disapproval of the president. Hurd spoke about his decision not to run again with The Washington Post, calling out Trump’s racism: In an interview Thursday with The Post, Hurd criticized Trump’s racist tweets last month in which the president said four Democratic minority congresswomen should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Three of the women are from the United States; a fourth, Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), is a Somali refu­gee who became a U.S. citizen as a teenager. “When you imply that because someone doesn’t look like you, in telling them to go back to Africa or wherever, you’re implying that they’re not an American and you’re implying that they have less worth than you,” Hurd said. Hurd recently told Meet The Press, “I shouldn’t be the only African-American Republican in the House of Representatives.”

  • Fox’s Newt Gingrich complains about Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren: “I don’t remember us electing an angry president literally in my lifetime”
    by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 14:31

    BILL HEMMER (CO-ANCHOR): Go ahead and frame the argument that the president is making there from last night, sir. NEWT GINGRICH (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): Look, I think Kim Strassel did a great job with the column where she said the choice is between the left and the crazy left, and the crazy left is winning. I watched the first night. It was amazing the level of anger that you got out of Bernie Sanders and Senator [Elizabeth] Warren. I mean, these are really angry people, and it was kind of amazing to watch them. It’s the opposite of how people normally win the presidency. You go back and you watch Barack Obama with a big smile. You watch Ronald Reagan with a big smile. I don’t remember us electing an angry president literally in my lifetime. And yet you have these people who were almost in a rage. You also had the fact that they’re all drifting towards cloud cuckoo land. I mean, when you have a number of moderate Democrats on the stage — and they’ll all be gone soon because they’re not getting enough support to survive. But they’re on the stage and they’re saying — one of them said if we go down this road of taking away everybody’s health insurance we’ll be lucky to carry two states. Now that was a Democrat in the debate warning his follow Democrats that they could be throwing away the presidency. And I think we have to take that seriously. And of course, the president is watching all this and he’s exactly right, and he wants to stoke the fire a little bit about Obama. What’s turned out is that President Obama is no longer radical enough for the left wing of the Democratic Party. So you’re going to end up with Biden defending Obama while the rest of the party attacks him. The truth is, on things like deportation, President Obama deported more illegal immigrants than any other president in American history. In terms of the Affordable Care Act, which was not affordable, but it didn’t cover everybody that left-wingers want to cover. And so you can go down a list and you realize there’s a real fault line in the Democratic Party, and we’re watching it play out in these debates.  Previously:  After Democratic debate, Fox’s Newt Gingrich calls Democrats “an anti-American party” Fox’s Jason Chaffetz on Democratic debates: “They were doing everything they could to take away your freedoms” Fox & Friends complains that “the thing that was lacking” in Democratic debates over immigration “was the word illegal”

  • Fox’s Stuart Varney: Electing a Democrat as president will lead to an economic contraction
    by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 12:52

    AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): The president was touting the economy last night. STUART VARNEY (FOX BUSINESS HOST): No wonder the Democrats failed to mention the strong economy in their two debates this week, because they don’t have a growth plan, and obviously, President Trump does. The Democrats seem to me to have a contraction plan. No fossil fuels, no private health insurance. That’s a contraction of the economy, rather than the expansion that President Trump’s got. … EARHARDT: Stuart, you mentioned jobs reports, they’re coming out this morning. What can we expect? VARNEY: I think you’ll see the unemployment rate stay around 3.7%. EARHARDT: It’s amazing. VARNEY: Do you realize how low that is? I mean, I have lived in America for 40 odd years, I haven’t seen 3.7% before. Maybe [3.6%] under Trump, I don’t know, but that’s near historic level. EARHARDT: The president said 7 million Americans are off food stamps. Think about that. That’s wonderful. VARNEY: That’s right. That’s right. That’s right. And what is it, 125,000 extra employed people in the state of Ohio? STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): And the job number today is expected to be about 164,000 new jobs. VARNEY: About that. That’s still pretty strong. It might be stronger than that. But here’s something that was buried by the media. DOOCY: Shocking. VARNEY: Right. In the first two years of the Trump presidency, wages and salaries increased 42% more than in the last two years of the Obama administration. EARHARDT: That’s great. VARNEY: Forty-two percent more. EARHARDT: So people can ask themselves are you better off today? VARNEY: How about that? Yes. EARHARDT: Are you better off today and the answer for most people is yes. VARNEY: Well, it shows you — it’s the Trump presidency which turned the economy around. Don’t give me this, that Obama started the recovery. Well, maybe the recovery started in the Obama years, but the expansion, that started with President Donald J. Trump. Previously: Fox Business host Stuart Varney says repealing Trump’s tax cuts for the rich and corporations “would ruin the economy” After first Democratic debate, Fox’s Stuart Varney lashes out at candidates for promising to tax the wealthy: “They attacked the rich”  Fox Business host blames stock market decline on House Speaker Pelosi’s press conferenc

  • New Bureau of Land Management head complained that federal employees aren’t held “personally responsible for the harm that they do”
    by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 12:43

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters William Perry Pendley, the new head of the Bureau of Land Management, complained in a 2018 interview that employees like the ones he now manages aren’t held “personally liable” or “personally responsible for the harm that they do” regarding federal land management. He also said that one thing that would prevent such problems in the future “is the federal government owning less land.”   President Donald Trump’s administration this week appointed Pendley, a right-wing lawyer and commentator, as the acting head of the Bureau of Land Management after he worked at the agency for just a few weeks. Media Matters documented that he has argued that climate science isn’t real, claimed that environmentalists want to “destroy” civilization, and once asked, “How many have died and how many more will die because of diversity and race-based decision making?” Conservation and environmental groups have heavily criticized Pendley’s hiring. Kayje Booker, the policy and advocacy director at Montana Wilderness Association, said: “It’s hard to imagine anyone in this position more dangerous or more conflicted than William Perry Pendley.”  Members of the Blackfeet Nation have also criticized the appointment. As The Washington Post summarized, Pendley is “still the counsel of record representing an aging businessman, Sidney Longwell and his small company Solenex. Solenex leased 6,247 acres in northwest Montana in 1982 during the Reagan administration for about $1 an acre. Longwell wants permission to build a six-mile service road and bridge over the Two Medicine River on lands considered sacred by the Blackfeet tribe. Interior wants to cancel the lease. He would use the road to bring in drilling rigs and other oil exploration equipment.”  Pendley takes over an agency that’s responsible for managing public lands even though he once wrote a 2016 National Review opinion piece which argued that the federal government should sell its public lands. In response to concerns about Pendley’s views, an Interior Department spokesperson claimed: “This administration has been clear that we are not interested in transferring public lands.”  However, Pendley also said in a previously unreported television interview that one of the ways to solve alleged problems with land management is for the government to own “less land.” He also criticized his future employees, saying they’re not held “personally liable” or “responsible for the harm that they do.”   Pendley appeared on the January 26, 2018, edition of the Colorado-based libertarian show Devil’s Advocate with Jon Caldara and talked about his cases against the federal government and the Bureau of Land Management. During the show, he said that “the federal government is the world’s worst neighbor. It absolutely is the worst neighbor.”    Later during the program, Pendley said that unlike private individuals, the federal government can dodge responsibility for their problems, alleging: “These agencies, these employees, they’re not personally liable, they’re not personally responsible for the harm that they do. They’re going to move down the hall, they’re going to move across the country.”  Pendley was then asked how to prevent such alleged problems with the federal government. He responded: “One of the things that prevents it is the federal government owning less land. We recognize the federal government, the United States government owns a third of the country, including especially here in the West.”&nbs

  • Sean Hannity says one of his main criticisms of Republicans is that they aren’t more like Rush Limbaugh
    by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 02:35

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST):  I actually see similarities between you and Trump. Let me tell you what two of them are. Number one, you’ve got to be able to take a punch. You paved the way for a lot of us that are conservatives in the media. You’ve taken more than your fair share. And then, you’ve got to fight for what you believe.  My biggest criticism of Republicans is they are weak, a lot of them, and timid and afraid to do what you do every day. To do what Trump is doing. You’re right, showing them the way. Just fight for what you say you were going fight for.  … RUSH LIMBAUGH: This fear of the media, this fear of being called a racist, everyone needs to get over that now because all of us are racists. Everybody’s racist, they can’t talk about anybody now without labeling them racist. Previously:  Rush Limbaugh has ramped up his Fox News appearances in 2019 On Fox News, Rush Limbaugh says that “climate change is what allows them to poison the minds of young kids” On Fox, Rush Limbaugh complains about efforts to address the climate crisis: “There is no man-made climate change”

  • On Fox, Rush Limbaugh complains about efforts to address the climate crisis: “There is no man-made climate change”
    by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 02:13

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Three words I want to throw at you — Green New Deal. RUSH LIMBAUGH: Well, it’s — it is a trick, the Green New Deal. Even Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, her chief of staff, sackrat — sakreet — sakrot — whatever, Chakrabarti, admitted that it’s not even about the climate. It’s not even about the weather. It’s an economic plan, and it is. It’s designed to get massive federal power, grow the federal government, under the pretense that average Americans cannot be left to live their lives without ruining things, especially for the Democrat Party. It’s unaffordable, it will never happen, and the premise behind it is bogus. There is no man-made climate change. There is nothing we can do to stop whatever the weather is going to do. We can’t make it warmer, we can’t make it colder. We can’t change hurricanes’ directions, we can’t dissipate them. We can’t create them. And yet, they are campaigning and trying to convince people. I mean, look at millennials. It’s really sad, there’s a lot of young people that really think this planet is not going to be habitable by the time they hit 65. These people are ruining people’s lives, they’re ruining their futures all in the pursuit of power for themselves. It’s disgusting on one level to me, and I think that they need to be called out and I think they need — this stuff needs to be said point blank to them, because the media it is not — the media’s their best buddies, the media is their support group, and so forth. It’s a big battle. I’m just — I’m just optimistic, I’m confident that these people can be beat back. Previously: In Hannity segment attacking Green New Deal, climate denier Joe Bastardi says “people are ungrateful” for fossil fuels Hannity invites climate denier Joe Bastardi on his show to deny link between climate change and extreme weather — again Rush Limbaugh on Hurricane Florence: “The forecast and the destruction potential doom and gloom is all to heighten the belief in climate change”

  • On Fox News, Rush Limbaugh says that “climate change is what allows them to poison the minds of young kids”
    by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 01:51

    RUSH LIMBAUGH: Climate change is what allows them to poison the minds of young kids. To blame people for causing a problem and then offer them redemption, make them feel like they have meaning in their lives by saving the planet. Previously: Rush Limbaugh has dramatically ramped up his Fox News appearances in 2019 Less than 10% of questions were about climate change at CNN’s two-night debate in Detroit Rush Limbaugh shares fake story that sharks are flying around in Hurricane Florenc

  • Lou Dobbs says Donald Trump can’t be racist because Mexico is helping the United States
    by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 01:02

    LOU DOBBS (HOST): This fellow can’t be too much of a quote-unquote “racist,” in point of fact embracing Mexico, its president, its government, because of all of the help they are providing America, acknowledging it, and doing so warmly. Previously: Lou Dobbs laughs at Fox’s effort to restrain anti-Semitism on his show Lou Dobbs guest: “We’ve seen this in Europe, we’re seeing it here, and they are attempting to replace us” Lou Dobbs Says People Should Credit Obama’s Race For His Election Lou Dobbs attacks the media for reporting on DeSantis’ racist comments Lou Dobbs asks if it’s “time for the Trump administration to outright defy the activist” Supreme Court over census ruling

  • Tucker Carlson: Cory Booker was “trying to sound like a Nation of Islam recruiter” 
    by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 00:27

    TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): Cory Booker meanwhile is in the process of transitioning to a brand-new identity, he spent most of the evening trying to sound like a Nation of Islam recruiter rather than the deeply privileged son of two IBM executives which is what he is. Previously:  Tucker Carlson’s descent into white supremacy: A timeline Tucker Carlson touts hardline approach of far-right ethnonationalists to immigration  Tucker Carlson and guest mock the term “person of color,” call it a racist term because “everyone has a color”

  • Amid unprecedented attacks on reproductive rights, CNN debate moderators completely ignore abortion
    by Media Matters for America on August 1, 2019 at 23:28

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters During the July 30 and 31 presidential debates, CNN moderators Jake Tapper, Dana Bash, and Don Lemon failed to ask 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls a single question about abortion. Nationally, as state legislatures continue to push an increasing number of abortion restrictions — and with right-wing media already amplifying anti-abortion misinformation ahead of the 2020 elections — the primary debates are a crucial opportunity for moderators to ask precise, nuanced questions about how presidential candiates would protect abortion access. CNN’s failure to ask about abortion was out of step with what Democratic voters wanted to hear about during the debates and was a missed opportunity to break right-wing media’s dominance of abortion-related conversations on cable news. Abortion rights garnered hardly any recognition from moderators or candidates alike during the July 30 Democratic primary debate. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock briefly referred to himself as “pro-choice” in his opening statement. The only substantive conversation about abortion happened during the July 31 debate. On stage, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) confronted former Vice President Joe Biden over his past support of the Hyde Amendment, a legislative provision that forbids the allocation of federal funds for abortion care except in limited cases. This amendment disproportionately affects people of color and those of lower socioeconomic status who might depend on federal support to access health care. Although this short exchange was the only discussion of abortion during both nights of the CNN moderated debates, neither candidate said the word “abortion.” In fact, five hours of political discourse yielded a mere two minutes of abortion conversation without anyone — the 20 candidates or three moderators — saying the word “abortion.” This is not the first time CNN moderators have excluded discussion of abortion during presidential debates. After a 2016 Democratic primary debate, critics called out the network for not asking any questions about abortion despite coming days after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a case concerning anti-abortion restrictions in Texas. After this week’s debates, abortion rights groups were confounded again by the lack of action Given the already precarious state of abortion access, debate moderators need to ask candidates specific and nuanced questions on abortion — otherwise right-wing media and anti-choice outlets will continue to dominate the conversation with harmful misinformation.

  • Fox hosts shout down colleague Juan Williams when he notes that Trump’s racism is a fact
    by Media Matters for America on August 1, 2019 at 22:20

    JUAN WILLIAMS (CO-HOST): Let me tell you, it’s a fact, it’s a fact, it is a fact. GREG GUTFELD (CO-HOST): No, Juan, it’s an opinion, it’s an opinion. … That’s called an opinion Juan, it’s not a fact. I could keep saying it, he won’t listen. Previously: Fox & Friends guest attacks news outlets noting Trump’s racism: It is “an opinion, not a fact” Tomi Lahren previously pushed the same sexist smear about Kamala Harris on Fox Nation

  • MoveOn members demand Congress Close the Camps
    by Heather Kachel on July 3, 2019 at 18:38

    Every day immigrants are suffering from intentional inhumane conditions created by the Trump administration. News continues to pour out that the Trump administration’s escalation of brutal attacks against immigrants and refugees has reached new, even more horrific lows, with children being held in unspeakable conditions in concentration camps at the border. Just yesterday, more images and stories […] The post MoveOn members demand Congress Close the Camps appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • Seven actions you can take right now to help close immigrant detention centers.
    by Tillie McInnis on June 28, 2019 at 20:37

    In the last eight months, six migrant children are known to have died after being taken into U.S. immigration custody.  This tragic tally includes 16-year-old Carlos Hernandez Vásquez, 2 ½-year-old Wilmer Josué Ramírez Vásquez, 16-year-old Juan de León Gutiérrez, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin, 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo, and 10-year-old Darlyn Cristabel Cordova-Valle. And a 18-month-old […] The post Seven actions you can take right now to help close immigrant detention centers. appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • Elizabeth Warren in First Place, Bernie Sanders In Second In MoveOn’s Latest Member Straw Poll

    by Brian Stewart on June 25, 2019 at 10:00

    Members say they want a candidate who ‘inspires the public with deep progressive values’ and ‘makes the connections between racial, social, and economic injustice.’ WASHINGTON, DC — Sen. Elizabeth Warren leads a new MoveOn straw poll with the support of 38% of members nationwide, followed by Bernie Sanders with 17%. Warren is also in first […] The post Elizabeth Warren in First Place, Bernie Sanders In Second In MoveOn’s Latest Member Straw Poll
 appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll Results, June 2019
    by Brian Stewart on June 25, 2019 at 10:00

    Nationwide First Choice Second Choice Elizabeth Warren 37.8% Bernie Sanders 16.5% Joe Biden 14.9% Pete Buttigieg 11.7% Kamala Harris 6.8% Undecided 2.2% Beto O’Rourke 1.8% Andrew Yang 1.1% Jay Inslee 1.1% Cory Booker 1.0% Amy Klobuchar 1.0% Tulsi Gabbard 0.8% Marianne Williamson 0.8% Someone Else 0.4% Michael Bennett 0.3% Julián Castro 0.3% John Hickenlooper 0.3% […] The post MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll Results, June 2019 appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • Clinton’s Lost Votes
    by Ron Chusid on May 30, 2019 at 17:57

    Establishment Democrats love to blame third party voters for Clinton losing, but The New York Times recently had data… Posted by Ron Chusid on Monday, May 20, 2019 Establishment Democrats love to blame third party voters for Clinton losing, but The New York Times recently had data disputing this. They looked at people who voted for

  • What Mueller Did Not Say Today
    by Ron Chusid on May 29, 2019 at 15:55

    What Mueller did not say today:1) When he said Russia interfered in the election, he left out the important… Posted by Ron Chusid on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 What Mueller did not say today: 1) When he said Russia interfered in the election, he left out the important perspective that interference in foreign elections is common

  • Rahna Epting Will Be MoveOn’s Next Leader
    by Nick Berning on May 29, 2019 at 14:06

    MoveOn announced today that after an intensive multi-month search process, its boards have selected Rahna Epting to serve as the next executive director of MoveOn Political Action and MoveOn Civic Action, beginning this fall. The post Rahna Epting Will Be MoveOn’s Next Leader appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • Castro, Gillibrand, Harris, Sanders, and Warren To Appear On Stage At MoveOn’s “Big Ideas Forum” June 1 In San Francisco
    by Brian Stewart on May 9, 2019 at 17:02

    2020 Democratic presidential candidates Secretary Julián Castro, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Senator Elizabeth Warren will all appear on stage at MoveOn’s “Big Ideas Forum” in San Francisco, California, on June 1. At the event, each candidate will present “One Big Idea” that will change people’s lives for the better. […] The post Castro, Gillibrand, Harris, Sanders, and Warren To Appear On Stage At MoveOn’s “Big Ideas Forum” June 1 In San Francisco appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • MoveOn’s First Endorsement of 2020 Cycle: Ilhan Omar for Congress
    by Iram Ali on April 24, 2019 at 16:16

    The results are in: With 77% of votes cast in favor, MoveOn members in Minnesota’s 5th District have voted overwhelmingly to endorse Ilhan Omar for re-election to Congress! Representative Ilhan Omar’s endorsement for re-election marks MoveOn’s very first endorsement for the 2020 cycle. Rep. Omar is a uniquely powerful, compelling member of Congress. She ran […] The post MoveOn’s First Endorsement of 2020 Cycle: Ilhan Omar for Congress appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • 2020 Candidates Skip AIPAC!
    by Iram Ali on March 22, 2019 at 21:28

    After MoveOn members asked candidates to skip the AIPAC conference, no 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are yet publicly committed to attend the AIPAC conference in DC this weekend! The story comes after a number of leading candidates—Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Mayor Julián Castro, Governor Jay Inlsee, and Mayor […] The post 2020 Candidates Skip AIPAC! appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • MoveOn: 2020 Presidential Candidates Should Not Attend AIPAC Conference
    by Iram Ali on March 20, 2019 at 18:21

    NEW SURVEY: Over 74% of MoveOn Members Believe 2020 Presidential Candidates Should Not Attend AIPAC Conference AIPAC conference to be headlined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Vice President Mike Pence, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Chuck Schumer & Rep. Kevin McCarthy A new survey from MoveOn Political Action asked members if they […] The post MoveOn: 2020 Presidential Candidates Should Not Attend AIPAC Conference appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • My Vote
    by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:55
  • A Good Sign For Bernie
    by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:51
  • Russiagate And Censorship
    by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:47
  • Democrats Can’t Take Progressive Votes For Granted
    by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:45
  • Russiagate Nonsense
    by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:43
  • How To Get Rid Of Donald Trump
    by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:41
  • A Younger, Fresher Progressive Candidate
    by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:39
  • Delegitimatizing Anti-War Candidates
    by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:36
  • Politician For Sale
    by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:34
  • The Damage From Russiagate
    by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:31
  • Partisanship
    by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:29
  • Mueller Wrapping Up Soon
    by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:28

    I will be glad when we stop hearing Russiagate conspiracy theorists say “wait for Mueller to finish.” What will they say if he finishes and still has provided zero evidence to support their claims? Hopefully they will be satisfied with the overwhelming evidence that Trump is a crook, and drop the Russia conspiracy theories about

  • Con Men And Liars Of Hollywood
    by Ron Chusid on February 25, 2019 at 16:59
  • PHOTOS: Amazing Fake Trump Emergency Protests
    by Brian Stewart on February 19, 2019 at 02:58

    277 events. 48 states. At least 50,000 attendees. That’s what power looks like. Donald Trump may control the White House for the moment, but we are not giving up on what this country can be. And on Presidents Day, tens of thousands of MoveOn members and allies hit the streets to build a vision of a country where all people—including those seeking […] The post PHOTOS: Amazing Fake Trump Emergency Protests appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • MoveOn Statement on Deal to End the Government Shutdown with No Wall
    by Brian Stewart on January 25, 2019 at 21:02

    “Congress must not give into Trump’s demand for increased funding for a wall, his deportation machine, or border militarization in the next round of this fight” WASHINGTON, DC — Moments ago, Donald Trump announced a deal with Congress to end the government shutdown and reopen the federal government for three weeks with no funding for […] The post MoveOn Statement on Deal to End the Government Shutdown with No Wall appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • BREAKING: National Day of Action to #ShutDownTheWall, Open Government Announced for Jan. 29
    by Brian Stewart on January 24, 2019 at 01:38

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019 CONTACT: MoveOn, United We Dream, Indivisible, and other groups call for national action on Tuesday, the day Trump intends to deliver a State of the Union address. WASHINGTON — During a television appearance tonight on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes, Rep. Katie Hill (CA-25) announced that Tuesday, January 29 will be […] The post BREAKING: National Day of Action to #ShutDownTheWall, Open Government Announced for Jan. 29 appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • MoveOn’s Executive Directors Announce They Will Depart in 2019 with MoveOn Positioned for Continued Impact
    by Brian Stewart on January 17, 2019 at 17:34

    Under Anna Galland and Ilya Sheyman’s 6 Years of Leadership, People-Powered MoveOn Has Grown Dramatically and Emerged As a Pillar of the Resistance Movement in Landmark Trump-Era Fights Galland and Sheyman Will Continue in Current Roles Until MoveOn’s Boards Conclude Search for New Director and Will then Assist Transition After six years leading MoveOn Civic […] The post MoveOn’s Executive Directors Announce They Will Depart in 2019 with MoveOn Positioned for Continued Impact appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • PPP Poll Shows Trump’s Shutdown Will Hurt Senate GOP in 2020
    by Jayne Fagan on January 10, 2019 at 15:36

    For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 10, 2019 Contact: New Poll: Government Shutdown Hurting Senate Republicans Up for Reelection in 2020 Voters would also oppose President Trump declaring a “National Emergency” to fund wall. Washington, DC – New polling from Public Policy Polling (PPP), commissioned by MoveOn and the Immigration Hub, shows the government shutdown […] The post PPP Poll Shows Trump’s Shutdown Will Hurt Senate GOP in 2020 appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • 2018 MoveOn Year In Review
    by Brian Stewart on December 28, 2018 at 23:44

    In 2018, MoveOn members helped power spectacular victories at the ballot box, fought back against attacks on our democracy, and provided critical aid to those facing humanitarian crises at home and abroad. Millions of MoveOn members were part of a movement that ended Republican control of the House, marched against gun violence, fought brutality at […] The post 2018 MoveOn Year In Review appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • Stop the War, Save the Kids | #YemenCantWait
    by Iram Ali on December 13, 2018 at 20:35

    BREAKING NEWS 56 Senators voted YES on S.J.Res. 54.  On December 13, the Senate chose to move toward ending U.S. complicity in the Saudi-led attacks in Yemen by passing the Yemen War Powers Resolution. In a major move that will hold historical significance in the anti-war and peace movements, a bipartisan group of senators took […] The post Stop the War, Save the Kids | #YemenCantWait appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll: Support Up for Grabs Among Wide, Diverse Field
    by Brian Stewart on December 12, 2018 at 17:38

    The results of MoveOn’s first membership-wide straw poll and survey for the 2020 presidential elections are in: Support from members is up for grabs among a wide and diverse field of potential candidates. What’s not up for grabs is what MoveOn members hope for in the next president: The top factors MoveOn members said they […] The post MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll: Support Up for Grabs Among Wide, Diverse Field appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll: Field Wide Open; Members Want Strong Progressive Voice To Challenge Trump
    by Brian Stewart on December 11, 2018 at 17:13

    Group To Hold Series Of Events In Early 2019 In Early Primary States To Allow Candidates To Present Big Bold Ideas WASHINGTON, DC — The results of MoveOn’s first membership-wide straw poll and survey for the 2020 presidential elections found that support from its membership is up for grabs among a wide and diverse field […] The post MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll: Field Wide Open; Members Want Strong Progressive Voice To Challenge Trump appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

  • MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll Results
    by Brian Stewart on December 11, 2018 at 15:06

    Someone Else / Don’t Know 17.89% Beto O’Rourke 15.60% Joe Biden 14.95% Bernie Sanders 13.15% Kamala Harris 10.02% Elizabeth Warren 6.42% Sherrod Brown 2.92% Amy Klobuchar 2.75% Michael Bloomberg 2.71% Cory Booker 2.63% Joseph Kennedy III 1.90% Stacey Abrams 1.16% Kirsten Gillibrand 1.09% Tulsi Gabbard 0.78% John Hickenlooper 0.71% Eric Holder 0.59% Eric Swalwell 0.54% […] The post MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll Results appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.

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