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26 Oct 16:57

Trump Biographer: 'Rigged Election' Is Cover For Humiliation Trump's 'Losing To A Woman'

by John Amato

Michael D'Antonio, a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and Trump biographer told CNN that Donald pitched the "rigged election" narrative because, "The idea of being defeated by a woman is almost unimaginable for him."

D'Antonio joined CNN's At This Hour to discuss the NY Times article that covers five hours of taped interviews in 2014 between D'Antonio and Trump.

The recordings reveal a man who is fixated on his own celebrity, anxious about losing his status and contemptuous of those who fall from grace. They capture the visceral pleasure he derives from fighting, his willful lack of interest in history, his reluctance to reflect on his life and his belief that most people do not deserve his respect.

In the interviews, Mr. Trump makes clear just how difficult it is for him to imagine — let alone accept — defeat.

Co-host John Berman asked, "Do you think knowing him like you do, that he's entertaining the possibility that he may not win this election?"

D'Antonio replied, "What he does is he sets a new goal if he sees defeat on the horizon he will say I'm not really headed in that direction anymore so in this case, he is positioning himself for a post-defeat reality which will be his TV network."

read more

25 Oct 16:36

This One Statistic Shows Why the Feds Should Block the AT&T-Time Warner Merger - Fortune


This One Statistic Shows Why the Feds Should Block the AT&T-Time Warner Merger
divestitures and conduct remedies don't work. It is often said that timing is everything. And if that's the case, than AT&T T -0.35% CEO Randall L. Stephenson may just end up with nothing in his $85.4 billion attempt to takeover the cable-content giant ...
AT&T CEO Says Time Warner Deal Not About Raising PricesWall Street Journal
Will the AT&T Merger Hurt Consumers?New York Times
What the AT&T-Time Warner merger means for HBOQuartz
Business Insider -Variety -TechCrunch -Forbes
all 142 news articles »
25 Oct 08:43

Donald Trump's super PAC promised a Chinese millionaire access, influence in exchange for a secret $2 million donation

by Cory Doctorow


Reporters posing as representatives of a Chinese tycoon approached Trump and Clinton PACs and offered them $2 million; only the Giuliani and Trump, Junior-backed Great America PAC agreed, and moreover, assured the fake Chinese benefactor that the origin of the contribution would be covered up and that he would have influence with Trump after the election. (more…)

21 Oct 17:00

Monkey tries to teach human how to open a nut

by Mark Frauenfelder


Dangit human. put some muscle in it

This little monkey is trying her hardest to train a limp-limbed human how to crack open a nut with a rock. When she realizes the human isn't making much of an effort, she looks up with an expression that says, "Wtf‽ Help me out here, hairless ape covered in fibers!"

Similarly: Monkey teaches human how to crush leaves

20 Oct 09:47

ACLU asks court to reveal 23 secret surveillance laws

by Cory Doctorow


The ACLU and the Yale Law School Media Freedom Clinic have filed a motion demanding the release of 23 judgments from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a secret, closed courtroom that evaluates surveillance requests from America's spy agencies. (more…)

19 Oct 00:46

This Video of a Black Man Arrested After Walking in the Street Is Going Viral

by Brandon Ellington Patterson

This is fucked up. You can walk down the street just fine, as long as you are white.

On October 12, a police officer was observed handcuffing a man who had been walking in the street in Edina, Minnesota. A video of the incident, captured by an observer and posted to YouTube, is now going viral online.

The video had more than 500,000 views by Tuesday morning and had spurred a response from the state chapter of the NAACP, the mayor of Edina, and the Edina Police Department. The bystander who filmed it was identified as Janet Rowles in a statement posted on Facebook by the Minnesota NAACP.

According to Rowles' summary of the incident, a man—identified as Larnie Thomas in the same NAACP statement—was walking along a white line that marked the shoulder of the road because the sidewalk on that side of the street was blocked off due to construction work. An unmarked police vehicle pulled in front of him, according to Janet's summary, blocking his path forward. The video begins after an officer in plain clothes has already detained Thomas, who is black, and is leading him by the coat jacket to his SUV. The officer was identified later as Tim Olson.

"Dude, damn!" Thomas exclaims, clearly frustrated over the encounter.

"Come over here," the officer responds.

"For what?" Thomas asks.

"You're walking down the middle of the street."

"I'm on the damn white line!"

Thomas, who is clearly agitated at this point, repeatedly tells the officer to take his hands off him, insisting that he didn't do anything wrong.

The two arrive at the officer's SUV and a female voice off-screen—presumably Rowles'—suggests to the officer that he could have just told the man where to walk. Thomas, having tried repeatedly to pull away from the officer, concurs, to which the officer responds, "We've gone beyond that just a little bit."

Minutes later, a second police car arrives and an officer gets out to handcuff and arrest Thomas. Thomas complies, at this point having already removed his jacket and shirt in effort to break free of Olson's grip. "You could have just shown him where to walk really kindly," the woman observing the incident calls out to the first officer. "You are the one who incited this." Then, a third officer approaches her to take her information.

Thomas was never taken to jail, but instead was released at a shopping mall upon his request, the mayor of Edina said in a statement. The citation against Thomas will be dropped, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Monday.

On Friday, the Edina Police Department posted a statement on Facebook saying that Olson had flashed his lights at Thomas after observing him walking "in the southbound lane of traffic"; that Thomas ignored the police vehicle and walked around it; and that Thomas was "defiant" when Olson began to follow him down the street on foot. At that point, Olson smelled alcohol on Thomas' breath, according to the statement; a breathalyzer test confirmed that Thomas had consumed alcohol. Thomas's presence in the street was a threat to his and drivers' safety, police said.

But the NAACP and Rowles have wondered whether Thomas's stop was racially motivated. Edina—a town about 30 miles southwest of Minneapolis—is nearly 90 percent white. The Minnesota NAACP made a number of demands in response to the incident, including that the Edina Police Department re-train officers on implicit and explicit bias and begin to collect better demographic data on traffic stops. In a response, the police department said that a division of the Minnesota state police had launched an independent investigation into the incident, but that Olson and all other officers involved had followed "established procedures." It did, however, invite the NAACP to work with the department on developing reforms.

18 Oct 21:47

Michael Moore quietly made a Donald Trump movie. "TrumpLand" opens this week.

by Xeni Jardin


Filmmaker Michael Moore has an “October surprise” for America: A stealthily and quickly made movie about the presidential campaign of GOP nominee and accused serial sexual predator Donald Trump.


18 Oct 14:00

Coincidence? NC Democrats' Office Vandalized On Sunday, Too

by Karoli Kuns
Coincidence? NC Democrats' Office Vandalized On Sunday, Too

Yesterday, the North Carolina Republican Party office in Orange County was firebombed with a menacing message left on the side of the building.

Shortly after the news broke, Democrats in North Carolina began to raise money to help Republicans get their office reopened and running again. Their GoFundMe goal was $10,000, but they exceeded that and raised about $13,000 in just a few hours.

That's called going high, even while they go low. But there's more to the story, as Raw Story reports.

But Orange County Democratic Party Chair Matt Hughes told Raw Story on Monday that vandals had also targeted his offices in Carrboro. Both attacks were said to have occurred early Sunday morning.

According to Hughes, staffers found the words “Death to Capitalism” scrawled on the OCDP headquarters when they came into work.

read more

17 Oct 14:19

“Family Guy’s” Peter Griffin weighs in on the Trump-Bush video

by John Aravosis

What would happen if Family Guy’s Peter Griffin was on the bus with Donald Trump and Billy Bush?

Now we know.

Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane reimagines the now-infamous Trump-on-a-bus video with Peter Griffin present on the bus.

I have to share two of the clips:


Watch the video, it’s great:

red-donatePlease support our independent journalism with a generous donation. Help us defeat Donald Trump in November.

Follow me on Twitter & Facebook:

Follow @aravosis

14 Oct 10:00

Elizabeth Warren Asks Obama to Remove His Top Financial Regulator

by Patrick Caldwell

Sen. Elizabeth Warren demanded Friday that President Barack Obama demote his top financial regulator, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White, who's held the position since 2013. The Massachusetts Democrat raised numerous objections in a letter to White's tenure atop the SEC, narrowing in on White's resistance to writing regulations that would compel corporations to reveal their political spending habits. By refusing to rein in how corporations can spend money, Warren argued, White has allowed dark money to explode under her watch.

"I do not make this request lightly," Warren's letter concluded. "I have tried both publicly and privately to persuade Chair White to direct the agency's resources toward pressing matters of compelling interest to investors and the public, and toward completing those rules that Congress has required it to implement. But after years of fruitless efforts, it is clear that Chair White is set on her course. The only way to return the SEC to its intended purpose is to change its leadership."

Obama cannot fire White outright from the SEC. But the president does have the authority to replace her as chair with one of the agency's other commissioners. White would still be a commissioner and be able to vote on final rulemakings, but she wouldn't have the same authority to direct the SEC's spending priorities in deciding which rules to formulate.

Warren recognizes that it would be "an uncommon act" for Obama to remove White as chair, but she thinks it is imperative that Obama act, given "White's extraordinary, ongoing efforts to undermine the agency's central mission."

White was confirmed as head of the SEC in 2013 by unanimous consent, but the liberal wing of the Democratic Party has never been enamored with her. A former US attorney, White had worked as a defense attorney representing financial institutions prior to joining the government. When her nomination came before the Senate, she reassured Democrats that her stint defending banks wouldn't influence her work as a regulator. But since taking the reins at the SEC, White has refused to have the agency work on a rule that progressives have pined for since the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision made it possible for corporations to spend unfettered sums on politics.

Before Mary Schapiro, White's predecessor, left office, she said the agency would soon be proposing a disclosure rule that would force public companies to reveal all the money they devote to political activities. But as soon as White took control of the SEC, that effort to shine light on dark money came to a halt. White removed disclosure from the list of rules on the agency's agenda, and it hasn't come back since.

"For years, the Chair of the SEC, Mary Jo White, has refused to develop a political spending disclosure rule despite her clear authority to do so, and despite unprecedented and overwhelming investor and public support for such a rule," Warren wrote in her letter to Obama. "This brazen conduct is merely the most recent and prominent example of Chair White undermining your Administration's priorities and ignoring the SEC's core mission of investor protection." Instead of furthering disclosure of corporate activities, White has actively worked under the "curious presumption that public companies currently disclose too much information," Warren said.

In addition to her objections over the dark money disclosure rule, Warren singled out the SEC's failure to put into effect rules required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law intended to clean up Wall Street following the recession. The SEC has yet to finalize 19 mandatory rules from the law. White "appears to view these congressional mandates as mere suggestions that the agency is free to ignore," Warren says. "And she has gone further—publicly denigrating some of these requirements as superfluous and misguided."

Warren has long objected to White's administration of the SEC. She's penned numerous letters requesting action from White, and at a June congressional hearing, she told White, "A year ago I called your leadership at the SEC extremely disappointing. Today I am more disappointed than ever." Apparently the sentiment was shared; White replied, "I'm disappointed in your disappointment."

Warren opened her letter by noting that the recent government funding bill passed by Congress included a Republican-backed measure restricting the SEC from putting out a final disclosure rule and warned that, with White's disinterest in the rule, the same measure is likely to be there when Congress must next pass a spending bill in December. Beyond that, there isn't much to explain the timing of the letter. Maybe it was part of an effort to signal to the next administration that Warren won't sit back on presidential nominees that she finds troublesome. As recent emails from WikiLeaks indicated, when Warren's staff first met with Hillary Clinton's staff last year, the main concern from the Warren wing was whom Clinton might appoint as financial regulators.

This article has been revised.

13 Oct 18:04

New York Times to Trump: Bring It On

by Patrick Caldwell

The New York Times isn't backing away from its reporting on Donald Trump's history of sexual assault, despite a legal threat from the GOP nominee. On Wednesday night, the Times published a bombshell story detailing several allegations against Trump, and within hours Trump's lawyers demanded a retraction of the story and threatened a libel lawsuit.

The Times was not moved by that threat. "It would be a disservice not just to our readers but to democracy itself to silence their voices," the paper replied. And in a mic-drop closer, it challenged him to take the lawsuit forward: "We welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight."

12 Oct 17:11

Police arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined

by Mark Frauenfelder

Image: Narco Polo

Forty five years after Richard Nixon launched the war on drugs as a way to persecute black people, little has changed, according to a new ACLU/Human Rights Watch report.

The ACLU/Human Rights Watch report shows that arrests for drug possession continue to make up a significant chunk of modern-day police work.

"Around the country, police make more arrests for drug possession than for any other crime," the report finds, citing FBI data. "More than one of every nine arrests by state law enforcement is for drug possession, amounting to more than 1.25 million arrests each year."

In fact, police make more arrests for marijuana possession alone than for all violent crimes combined.

The report finds that the laws are enforced unequally, too. Over their lifetimes, black and white Americans use illicit drugs at similar rates, according to federal data. But black adults were more than two-and-a-half times as likely to be arrested for drug possession.

11 Oct 23:26

Wells Fargo whistleblower: once I complained, they started denying me bathroom breaks

by Cory Doctorow


Yesterday, I predicted that a lot of Wells Fargo whistleblowers were going to come forward, given how terribly treated its employees. (more…)

11 Oct 16:14

US people pay more for health care, die sooner than people in other developed countries

by Mark Frauenfelder


From Our World in Data: "The US stands out as an outlier: the US spends far more on health than any other country, yet the life expectancy of the American population is not longer but actually shorter than in other countries that spend far less."


"[A]dministrative costs in the health sector are higher in the US than in other countries"

"[L]arge inequality in health spending.... The top 5% of spenders accounts for almost half of all health care spending in the US."

10 Oct 12:50

Alt Right trolls argue for hours with Twitter bot

by Rob Beschizza


The internet's army of enraged anime avatars has a new enemy beyond their comprehension: a Twitter bot created by writer and activist Sarah Nyberg to make fools of them. Some lose themselves to hours of interaction, unaware they are ranting at a computer program.
She told The Verge via Twitter DM that the bot uses a combination of generative and static statements sourced from the Javascript library Tracery. But the bot doesn’t even need to be that smart. As Nyberg pointed out, "So many arguments, especially on a place like Twitter, are almost content-neutral. You can swap one argument out for another and the context is almost irrelevant." That’s why @arguetron’s conversations look so much like arguments a real person might have with a persistent troll.

Nyberg also cited blogger Nora Reed as the project’s inspiration. Reed is best known for their Twitter projects, including a think piece headline generator and a bot that pitches terrible consumer products for women. Nyberg notes that she took a page out of Reed’s book by following only the accounts of real-life fish bait shops from the @arguetron account.

Engadget's Richard Lawler writes that it "feeds the emptiness of alt-right trolls" who are looking for fights.

Arguetron is by design not abusive or malicious in its tweets, and does not actively seek out adversaries. That's in contrast to some bots, like Nigel Leck's 2010 project @AI_AGW, which hunted down global warming deniers to provide automated fact-based responses explaining the science.

Nyberg reports that the record holder is an "infowars egg" snared by the bot for 10 hours.

Sadly, the bot appears to have been shadowbanned--or at least muted from search results and user notifications--on Twitter. No word yet on what the company intends to do about the users calling it a kike.

09 Oct 19:16

Though crime happens everywhere, predictive policing tools send cops to poor/black neighborhoods

by Cory Doctorow


Researchers from the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (previously) obtained a copy of the Predpol predictive policing system that police departments around America have spent a fortune on in order to find out where to set their patrols, and fed it Oakland's 2010 arrest data, then asked it to predict where the crime would be in 2011. (more…)

09 Oct 13:00

"If you care about your future, vote for it." by @BloggersRUs

by (Undercover Blue)

"If you care about your future, vote for it."

by Tom Sullivan

This short Twitter video by Robert De Niro brought home just how low this country has sunk.

SkyNews reports:

The clip of De Niro was originally produced as part of a series of 100 video statements recorded by celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio and Julia Roberts as part of the #VoteYourFuture campaign encouraging Americans to vote.

It is thought De Niro's rant was an outtake not intended to form part of his published message.
In campaignland less than two weeks before early voting starts, the day is gone before there is enough free time to catch up on news. But watching the De Niro clip last night after reading through a string of tweets about the Republican candidate for president was especially depressing. How have we come to this, where one of the two major political parties has nominated a bigoted degenerate to lead the United States of America?

With hours to go before tonight's "town hall" presidential debate, the Washington Post reports:
The Republican Party plunged into an epic and historic political crisis Saturday with just a month to go until Election Day as a growing wave of GOP lawmakers called on defiant presidential nominee Donald Trump to drop out of the race in the wake of a video showing him make crude sexual remarks.


By midafternoon Saturday, more than two dozen Republican lawmakers had called on Trump to leave the race, often touting vice presidential candidate Mike Pence as an alternative. Others including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the 2008 GOP nominee, said they could no longer vote for Trump but stopped short of calling on him to drop out. Still, the Republican Party’s top leadership — including House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and party chairman Reince Priebus — continued to support Trump even as they denounced his comments.
Days ago, dozens of evangelical leaders acknowledged the integrity of their faith hangs in the balance in this election. Yet others, like Republican leaders, steadfastly stood by their man-child. Gary Bauer, Ralph Reed, Robert Jeffress. Even while finding Trump's taped comments indefensible, Franklin Graham (who has not endorsed a candidate) pivoted to finding the "godless progressive agenda of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton" (equally?) indefensible. Where are their proclamations of God's judgment now? Perhaps they should review the prophets again, reading not through the eyes of the prophets, but putting themselves in place of the prophets' targets.

Reap what you've sown.

The Sunday bobblehead shows this morning promise to be epic. Then comes tonight.

08 Oct 13:43

Wells Fargo whistleblower describes bank's culture of blackballing threats and coerced corruption

by Cory Doctorow


On the latest Planet Money podcast (MP3), a former San Francisco Wells Fargo banker describes the bullying and coercion she faced from senior management while working at the bank's head office, and how the bank forced her out when she blew the whistle on fraud and then blacklisted her with other banks, forcing her out of the sector altogether. (more…)

03 Oct 19:12

Arkansas Cops Arrest 79-Year Old Legislator who Championed Right to Record Police for Recording Police

by Ben Keller

It was an apparent case of retaliation, but you’d have to see the video to believe it.

“Give us a call; we’ll be there when you need our help,” joked Little Rock Arkansas cops Jason Roberts and Thomas Thompson.

The two Arkansas cops who were so offended by a 79-year old legislator named John Walker who championed people’s Constitutional right to record police that they arrested him for recording a traffic stop.

Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner immediaetly dropped the charges against Walker and wrote an apology for the arrest, which was caught on dash cam.

The shocking dashcam footage released last week shows dialogue between the two cops and Walker getting heated as they accuse him of being a “race baiter” for simply standing along the of the street recording them during a routine traffic stop of a black male.

As the dialogue ensues, Roberts and Thomas aggressively approach Walker.

“Mr. Walker, what is your concern today?”

“I’m here just to observe.”

“I’ve observed policemen at times, when they was involved in a case when they were arresting some black boys about ten years ago” said the legislator and civil rights lawyer. “They arrested me for watching.”

“Officer Roberts began lecturing Walker about how the driver had expired tags, and that he was training another officer and treated the guy he pulled over with respect, even though he arrested him for a traffic warrant,” he tried to calmly explain.

“And that’s why he’s in that car,” officer Roberts explained as if he didn’t have the discretion to let the man go without arresting him.

The conversation soon devolves in to Roberts screaming out at Walker.

“You’re a race baiter is what you are, OK?”

“I’m just telling you how it is, Mr. Walker.”

“What did I do?” asked Walker.

” You’re sitting there filming,” replied R0berts.

“This aint the first time you’ve done this, neither. You’ve been doing this since 1994, since I’ve been here” said Roberts, who in 2009, was one of two cops who shot and killed a black mentally ill man after his family called them for help.

Police then ask him if he would have stopped to record if it were a white person.

As officer Roberts walked back to his patrol car, apparently to mull over possibly arresting Walker he joked and sarcastically told, “give us a call. We’ll be there if you need our help.”

Which is the thin blue lines way of saying they wouldn’t help him because he chose to exercise his right to record police in public.

Police then ask him if he would have stopped to record if it were a white person.

Officer Roberts then walks back to the patrol car, apparently to mull over possibly arresting Walker and tells him, “give us a call. We’ll be there if you need our help.”

“By all means, call us,” said Thomas.

They then begin giving him directions, telling him where to stand when it was they who approached him.

Little Rock police then came back and arrested Walker, charging him with obstructing government duty.

Although he was released shortly after posting a $1,000 bond.

One of the officers can be heard saying the 79-year-old civil rights lawyer had been a “thorn in the side of police,” which means he has spent decades observing and recording them conducting traffic stops on black people.

In 2015, the democrat co-sponsored a right to record bill with a republican legislator, according to the Arkansas Times.

The bill explicitly prohibits law enforcement from: 1) trying to stop citizens from photographing or making recordings; 2) deleting electronic data or other information the citizen recorded unless it’s considered contraband; 3) seizing or confiscating a recording device unless it’s being used for the commission of a crime or for some other legitimate law enforcement purpose.

And it has teeth: the state would waive sovereign immunity if the law was violated (punitive damages are not provided by the bill).

The bill covers various reasonable exceptions: the right to record would not extend to violations of privacy; the bill would not apply to medical facilities or publicly funded schools; private property owners could still restrict or prohibit recording on their property. Plus other exemptions relating to ensuring that the bill does not extend the right to record to people committing a crime, violating copyright law, creating a risk to physical safety, circumventing established procedures that require permission or payment to record, etc.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Richard Womack, was pushed by an unusual pair: Dan Greenberg, the conservative former state legislator and president of the right-wing Advance Arkansas Institute, and civil rights attorney and Democratic state representative John Walker.

The issue is personal for Walker, who co-sponsored the bill. In 1998, Walker was driving with his daughter and two grandchildren and stopped to observe a traffic stop of young black men by white Pine Bluff police officers. Walker parked and walked across the street to observe the encounter. An officer walked over and asked him what he was doing and Walker stated that he was watching “Pine Bluff’s finest in action.” Walker was arrested for “obstructing governmental operations” and then, according to Walker’s testimony, the officer “drove Walker at varying speeds over dark wooded roads to the police station.” Walker was never charged and successfully sued the city of Pine Bluff.

Since his latest arrest, Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner issued a letter of apology, dropping the charges and cutting him a check for the money spent on bail.

But Walker said he doesn’t accept the apology for his arrest, and expects to file a lawsuit.

Chief Buckner’s written apology letter, as well as House Rep Walker’s written refusal to accept his apology, is included below.


Chief Kenton Buckner's apology to Arkansas State Legislator 79-Year-Old John Walker.

Chief Kenton Buckner’s apology to Arkansas State Legislator 79-Year-Old John Walker.

Apology to Arkansas State Legislator 79-Year-Old John Walker.

Apology to Arkansas State Legislator 79-Year-Old John Walker.

The post Arkansas Cops Arrest 79-Year Old Legislator who Championed Right to Record Police for Recording Police appeared first on PINAC News.

04 Oct 16:09

The Wells Fargo fraud came to light because of union organizers

by Cory Doctorow


Though Wells Fargo had been pressuring its employees to commit fraud since 1998, firing those who couldn't make quota, as well as the whistleblowers who came forward to report the fraud, it wasn't until the Committee for Better Banks launched a unionization drive to organize retail banking workers against punitive sales quotas that the crimes came to light. (more…)

05 Oct 11:02

Study: with body-worn cameras, complaints against police "virtually vanish"

by Andrea James

Complaints against police dropped by 93% when they were wearing body cameras, according to a University of Cambridge study that examined 2,000 officers in the US and UK. (more…)

07 Oct 13:03

Exploring the connection between Voter ID laws and structural racism

by Caroline Siede

Once again, MTV Decoded’s Franchesca Ramsey makes a complicated issue easy to understand. It turns out voter impersonation is rarer than getting struck by lightning.

05 Oct 00:30

Stop Calling Mike Pence Boring. Here's His Track Record on Gays, Women, Immigrants, and the Planet.

by Hannah Levintova

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will square off against Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) tonight in the campaign's only vice presidential debate. The showdown could prove pretty interesting, even if it cannot approach the pyrotechnics of last week's Trump-Clinton matchup. Pence and Kaine may seem "boring" compared with their running mates, but, Trump aside, Pence is anything but. Over nearly two decades in political life, first as a congressman and later as Indiana's governor, Pence has been one of the leaders in efforts to push extreme conservative ideas—from limiting abortion access to questioning climate change—into public policy.

We've covered plenty of these before, but here's a refresher:

05 Oct 03:25

Tim Kaine Won The Debate With This One Answer

by Karoli Kuns

Forget the spin, forget the pundits. Let's just talk about the winning moment of the debate, shall we?

It was right at the end, when the moderator (finally!!!) got around to domestic issues which are of far greater concern with Vice Presidential candidates than foreign policy.

The moderator asked them to discuss their religious views, which left the door wide open for Mike Pence to go on and on about his forced-birth views.

Then Tim Kaine stepped up. "The very last thing goverment that government should do is have laws that would punish women who make reproductive choices," Kaine began. "And that is the fundamental difference between a Clinton-Kaine ticket and a Trump-Pence ticket."

"Why can't you trust women to make their own decisions," he asked.

That right there is the winning message, especially with women who don't appreciate Big Government being in their business.

Pence also had the nerve to say he and Trump would never, ever punish women for having an abortion. Of course, Trump has said exactly that, and Indiana has prosecuted a woman in Indiana for having an abortion on Mike Pence's watch.

Kaine nailed the entire debate with that one answer. Never mind that Pence lied about everything, couldn't defend his running-mate, and spent the entire debate serving himself instead of his ticket.

read more

03 Oct 22:19

Watch This 10-Minute Film to Understand the Attack on Voting Rights

by AJ Vicens

Election history will be made in less than five weeks, and not just because voters may choose the nation's first female president. This will be the first presidential election in 50 years where citizens will cast their ballots without the protections of key portions of the Voting Rights Act. Signed into law in August 1965, the law was designed to help racial minorities overcome decades of racism and discrimination in registering to vote and casting ballots.

The law sought to do a whole host of things to expand and protect voting rights, and chief among them was a provision that blocked jurisdictions with a history of discrimination from enacting new voting procedures or laws without the review of the US Department of Justice or a federal judge. Section 5 put the onus on states and jurisdictions to prove new voting procedures and laws weren't discriminatory before they were enacted, rather than forcing people who suffered discrimination to prove a change was discriminatory after it went into effect, which was only possible after at least one election had already been held.

But in 2013 the US Supreme Court, in Shelby County v. Holder, gutted Section 5, ruling that the formula used to determine which states and jurisdictions needed to get laws precleared was unconstitutional. In the wake of that decision, Republican legislatures in several states quickly moved to implement more strict voting laws that likely wouldn't have passed a Department of Justice review. For example, Alabama and Mississippi made it harder for those in rural small towns to get proper IDs. Filmmakers Kelly Duane de la Vega and Jessica Anthony explored the scope of this problem in Supreme Court v. the American Voter, a short documentary published last week by the New York Times. The film looks at the controversial 2013 Supreme Court decision that gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and its potential impact on voters of color in the upcoming presidential election.

They show the immediate effects of the 2013 Supreme Court decision: Texas moved to enact a strict voter ID law and North Carolina implemented a sweeping set of restrictions that added stringent new ID laws, removed same-day registration, killed early voting, and added other changes that "target [African Americans] with almost surgical precision," according to a recent 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that blocked some of the provisions in the law.

And while several federal courts have issued rulings peeling back some of the rulings post-Shelby, voters in 16 states will have navigated new laws related to voter registration and the act of voting for the 2016 election.

"Every time you attack and suppress the vote, that's violence," the Reverend William Barber, head of the North Carolina NAACP and a leader of the Moral Mondays movement for voter outreach, says in the film. "That's social violence. That's psychological violence. That's political violence. And it's time to stop the violence."

03 Oct 14:27

The evolution of the "baseball game equality" meme

by Rob Beschizza


Craig Froehle tracks the odd convolutions of his famous illustration of how conservatives and liberals view the notion of equality. It's been simplified, expanded, twisted, tucked in and turned inside-out—and even redrawn by professional artists.

Are the worst versions the ones that bury the simple point in condescending explanation?


Or the ones that seek to subvert it entirely, in as much as stamping "THIS IS FUCKING STUPID" over it counts as subversion?


The cannier mutations contextualize it for local audiences:


I am giddy that my little graphic has helped so many people think about the issue of equity and has spawned so many conversations in just the past few years. I’m not upset by the many way it’s been reimagined. In fact, I’m delighted, because the modifications just make it that much more useful to people.

04 Oct 12:30

A skating video with a huge plot twist

by Caroline Siede

Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

03 Oct 20:02

Bombshell Report Reveals Trump Did Business With Iranian Bank Linked To Terrorism

by Karoli Kuns
Bombshell Report Reveals Trump Did Business With Iranian Bank Linked To Terrorism

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists just dropped a bomb into the middle of the Trump campaign.

They report that Trump did business with the Iranian bank Bank Melli, an entity which was linked to terrorist activities, during an official United States embargo barring Americans and American businesses from doing business with Iran.

A court document obtained by ICIJ indicates that Bank Melli’s rent on more than 8,000 square feet on the GM Building’s 44th floor may have topped half a million dollars a year.

The legal ramifications of the Trump Organization taking rent payments from Bank Melli are unclear.

At the time, the U.S. had a sweeping embargo in place which prohibited Americans from doing business with Iran, including receiving rent payments. However, some Iranian organizations were granted licenses exempting specific transactions from sanctions. If the payments were licensed, it may have been legally difficult for the Trump Organization to evict the bank.

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03 Oct 17:45

BREAKING: New York Attorney General Shuts Down Trump Foundation

by LeftOfCenter
BREAKING: New York Attorney General Shuts Down Trump Foundation

The Trump Foundation has been under investigation by the NY Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman since information surfaced in early September about his foundation's improprieties. Schneiderman said at the time that

'We have been looking into the Trump Foundation to make sure it’s complying with the laws governing charities in New York.'

Well, it looks like the Trump Foundation was not following the law, so much so that the NY AG's Office issued an order for the foundation to stop fundraising.

02 Oct 16:33

Petition: make the FBI explain why they didn't bring criminal charges against bank execs

by Cory Doctorow


Last month, Senator Elizabeth Warren published an open letter to FBI director James Comey observing that, in revealing details of its investigation into the Clinton email scandal, the Bureau had seemingly abandoned its longstanding policy of not sharing its deliberations, meaning that there was no longer any reason to keep secret its reasoning for not bringing criminal charges against the bankers who did trillions of dollars' worth of damage to the world economy, sparking wars, starvation, and personal ruin for millions of people. (more…)