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Can the press avoid another campaign train wreck in 2020?

Donald Trump is retweeting doctored “news” videos of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Republicans refuse to take any legislative action to protect the integrity of elections against outside interference, and the Department of Justice is now functionin
Daily Kos

Can the press avoid another campaign train wreck in 2020?

Donald Trump is retweeting doctored “news” videos of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Republicans refuse to take any legislative action to protect the integrity of elections against outside interference, and the Department of Justice is now functioning as a partisan wing of Trump's re-election campaign. Let's face it: The ugly and corrupt 2020 electoral season is going to be unlike anything we've seen in American history. Yet there's no indication that the Beltway press has a plan for how to deal with the pending onslaught of lies and dishonest Republican attacks. Coming off monumental journalism failures in 2016, the press seems poised to stumble through another campaign fiasco, and possibly help Trump get reelected in the process. Following the 2016 media debacle, most in the press refused to concede mistakes had been made, let alone offer up much serious self-reflection. That's dangerous because it's simply not possible for news outlets to mess up as badly as they did in 2016, not deal with those public failures, and then expect journalism during the next Trump campaign to improve. What went wrong last time around? They treated Trump like a celebrity and let him essentially get away with running a substance-free campaign, while every Hillary Clinton utterance was dissected in an obsessive search for hypocrisy and bad faith. Conveniently for the Republican candidate, the press essentially eliminated policy coverage in 2016, in part because reporters were so busy obsessing over Clinton's email. One study found that “In just six days, The New York Times ran as many cover stories about Hillary Clinton’s emails as they did about all policy issues combined in the 69 days leading up to the election.” (The Clinton coverage throughout the campaign was also flat-out sexist, while the press also promoted anti-Clinton Russian hackers.) Meanwhile, the lessons that editors claim to have learned from 2016 are the wrong ones. Julie Pace, the Associated Press's D.C. bureau chief recently insisted, «One of the lessons from 2016 is that news organizations didn’t pay enough attention to what voters outside of the coasts are saying.” In other words, the press has to play even closer attention to white voters in red states? Even more disturbingly, we keep seeing campaign coverage that picks up right where the 2016 mistakes left off. Last week, the Washington Post published a strange news article that suggested there was something odd about the fact that candidate Elizabeth Warren had done outside legal work while serving as faculty member at Harvard Law School. Under the accusatory headline, »While teaching, Elizabeth Warren worked on more than 50 legal matters, charging as much as $675 an hour« (the headline was later changed), the Post stressed that »Warren worked on more than 50 legal matters during her career as a professor at Ivy League law schools, charging as much as $675 an hour to advise a variety of clients, from people with asbestos disease to a corporation facing possible liability over ruptured breast implants."

Hurricane season starts June 1. U.S. mainland media continues to fail Puerto Rico

Over 30,000 houses and apartments in Puerto Rico still have blue tarps instead of roofs. Tarps that leak. Tarps that are frayed. Coverings that do little or nothing to protect the residents from bad weather, and that any strong gust of wind will blow away. W
Daily Kos

Hurricane season starts June 1. U.S. mainland media continues to fail Puerto Rico

Over 30,000 houses and apartments in Puerto Rico still have blue tarps instead of roofs. Tarps that leak. Tarps that are frayed. Coverings that do little or nothing to protect the residents from bad weather, and that any strong gust of wind will blow away. With an estimated average household size of three, that means we are talking about approximately 90,000 people—U.S. citizens—who have been living in execrable conditions since September of 2017. xThe story of those who still live under FEMA tarps https://t.co/M0Ms0SjjiU pic.twitter.com/pperJFCzyM— El Nuevo Día (@ElNuevoDia) May 19, 2019 Leysa Caro González wrote this story for El Nuevo Día, and it was circulated in the English-language edition. It got all of six favorites on Twitter. The story of those who still live under FEMA tarps

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Impeachment now.

I’m going to start the morning with a few words about the staggering implications of this interview with Corey Lewandowski. xTrump Advisor Lewandowski: Biden behind Steele Dossier; Comey, McCabe, Strzok and Page will all be on trial «March or Apri
Daily Kos

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Impeachment now.

I’m going to start the morning with a few words about the staggering implications of this interview with Corey Lewandowski. xTrump Advisor Lewandowski: Biden behind Steele Dossier; Comey, McCabe, Strzok and Page will all be on trial «March or April of the next year.» pic.twitter.com/cDVU3rnYXd— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 24, 2019 Lewandowski was far from the most ravening of Trump’s campaign staff or post-election surrogates, but here he is offering a kind of unified theory of treason, in which every Democratic politician and every member of the Justice Department and FBI — including Republican-appointed officials who sat there through decades of administrations on the left and right — were all joined in treason. Which is the new word for witchcraft. And the terrifying thing is … this is not ridiculous. Oh, the accusations are ludicrous, but the idea that the months leading up to the 2020 election will not consist of a Trump-sponsored production of The Crucible, held weekly with a revolving cast and a pre-lit bonfire is nowhere near as silly as it should be. How hard is to imagine Hillary Clinton being led down Pennsylvania Avenue in chains while MAGA-hat wearing mobs hurl invective and rotten front from the wings? On what charges? Who knows? Who cares? Charges. They don’t need no stinkin’ charges. The thesaurus may say that ludicrous and laughable are synonyms. But something can be both preposterous, and ghastly. Just watch that clip if you don’t believe them. Then come on in, We have pundits to read.

Saturday night owls open thread: Robert Mueller should very much want to testify in public

Cody Fenwick at Alternet writes—Robert Mueller is acting like a precious flower. It’s a huge mistake: Democrats in Congress are eager to have Special Counsel Robert Mueller testify publicly. But Mueller is dragging his feet — and making a big mistake.
Daily Kos

Saturday night owls open thread: Robert Mueller should very much want to testify in public

Cody Fenwick at Alternet writes—Robert Mueller is acting like a precious flower. It’s a huge mistake: Democrats in Congress are eager to have Special Counsel Robert Mueller testify publicly. But Mueller is dragging his feet — and making a big mistake. New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, the Democratic chair of the House Judiciary Committee, gave his most extensive comments on the negotiations around Mueller’s pending testimony thus far Thursday night on Rachel Maddow’s show. He said the Mueller is reluctant to testify in public because he “doesn’t want to participate in anything that he might regard as a political spectacle.” Instead, Mueller would like to testify to the committee privately. “He envisions himself, correctly, as a man of great rectitude and apolitical,” Nadler said. My first reaction to this was simple: Tough. When Mueller was running the investigation, it was up to him to decide how public he wanted to be. Now that it’s over, if Democrats in Congress want to call him for a hearing that they use to further political talking points, that’s their choice. Mueller doesn’t get to be the ultimate arbiter of what is and isn’t political. And he’s not a flower that will wilt with too much exposure. But there’s also a more reasoned, thoughtful argument that I think could persuade Mueller to testify publicly, even despite his hesitations. He had the discretion and wisdom to keep his head down and remain silent during the Russia investigation, a decision that gave him both a mystique and an above-it-all respectability while the president was attacking him that surely worked to his benefit. This was a smart, prudent move that served to preserve his credibility. That credibility, however, only matters if people have the chance to hear and believe what he has to say. Almost no one in the country who doesn’t write about or do politics for a living is going to read a 400-page report. Few would read the transcript of a closed-door hearing. But if Mueller actually gets the chance to describe his work, defend it from combative Republicans, explicate its most important parts when pressed by Democrats, and explain exactly why he made the choices he did, people will listen. It will be a spectacle. But he will largely be in control, and he can stick to the facts he wants to stick to. [...] TOP COMMENTS • HIGH IMPACT STORIES TWEET OF THE DAY xRep. Jackie Speier: «I have felt for some time that the mental stability of the President of the United States is in question. And I suggested invoking the 25th Amendment way back when he was ... trying to gin up a war with North Korea.»https://t.co/71iJVbLaVv— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 25, 2019 [Full Disclosure: That’s ^^^ my Congresswoman.] BLAST FROM THE PAST On this date at Daily Kos in 2005—FBI: Newsweek was right: Turns out Newsweek was wrong about its source, right about the story. The American Civil Liberties Union released the memo and a series of other FBI documents it obtained from the government under court order through the Freedom of Information Act. «Personally, he has nothing against the United States. The guards in the detention facility do not treat him well. Their behavior is bad. About five months ago, the guards beat the detainees. They flushed a Koran in the toilet,» the FBI agent wrote. «The guards dance around when the detainees are trying to pray. The guards still do these things,» the FBI agent wrote. Darn it. Now who can the wingers blame for setbacks in Afghanistan and Iraq? Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.” LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE

What is the worst car you've ever had to endure?

There are estimated to be more than 43 million Americans going to or from some destination this Memorial Day weekend, hopefully enjoying their vacation, many of them driving along the approximate 4 million miles of U.S. highways. In a week where the toddl
Daily Kos

What is the worst car you've ever had to endure?

There are estimated to be more than 43 million Americans going to or from some destination this Memorial Day weekend, hopefully enjoying their vacation, many of them driving along the approximate 4 million miles of U.S. highways. In a week where the toddler-in-chief had a temper tantrum when he was supposed to be discussing infrastructure and was found to be attempting to send taxpayer-funded patronage to Republican donors, the quality of the roads you’re driving on this weekend may be dependent on a connected, dipshit brother-in-law.  Holiday vacations and family trips have probably changed considerably since I was a kid. Today, smartphones and tablets keep people entertained, instead of trying to find some fun in looking at license plates and traffic signs. But moreover, I find it interesting how this kind of experience both informs and reflects American attitudes about the automobile being a symbol of personal freedom, and the idea roads and interstates are a gateway to adventure. So this Memorial Day I thought it might be interesting to revisit bad cars, horrible drivers, and some of the bumpy roads many families have endured. The goal of a motorized conveyance is to reliably get you from Point A to Point B, and anywhere in-between, and then return you safely back to the point of origin. However, not all vehicles are made the same, and every now and again there are lemons. It can either be because of horrible build quality, glaring design flaws, or the wonderment of how groups of supposedly smart people spent time and resources developing such hideous, aesthetically challenged products. It's sometimes fun to walk back down memory lane and remember that rust-colored piece of shit that you spent thousands of your hard-earned dollars on. And if there was more than one, which was that particularly shitty one? Like music, television, film, and almost everything else that's based on a subjective opinion, someone's worst can be someone else's favorite. However, there are some cars that have caused most people to come to a consensus as to its greatness, or whether it was dog shit.

Nuts & Bolts: Inside a Democratic campaign—Introducing ...

It’s another Saturday, so for those who tune in, welcome to a diary discussing the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic Campaign. If you’ve missed out, you can catch up anytime: Just visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide. Every week I try to tac
Daily Kos

Nuts & Bolts: Inside a Democratic campaign—Introducing ...

It’s another Saturday, so for those who tune in, welcome to a diary discussing the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic Campaign. If you’ve missed out, you can catch up anytime: Just visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide. Every week I try to tackle issues I’ve been asked about, and with the help of other campaign workers and notes, we tackle subjects that people who want to assist a campaign want to know. One of the joys of running this series has been continuing conversations with candidates, their campaign teams, and political consultants regarding what has worked for them in campaigns. Based on these meetings, I continue to look for ways to refine and grow this series. Over the years, we’ve discussed what makes a campaign work and the inner workings of the Democratic Party. In January this year, a newly elected official sent me email, and this statement stood out: “I had so much help during the campaign. Now that I’m elected, it seems all those resources just went away.” Republican advocacy groups and conservative PACs run retreats and camps for those elected to everything from the school board to the state house. For offices lower down on the ballot, however, Democratic officials have organizations such as Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO), but newly elected Democratic officials don’t have remotely the same level of resources to help them actually govern.  How can we all work to fix this?

Photographer captures images of Trump's handwritten notes, shows he cannot spell basic words

On Thursday, white supremacist in chief Donald Trump went to the White House Rose Garden and gave what can best be called an unhinged outburst of frustration at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The press was invited to this free-form idiotic event. A selection o
Daily Kos

Photographer captures images of Trump's handwritten notes, shows he cannot spell basic words

On Thursday, white supremacist in chief Donald Trump went to the White House Rose Garden and gave what can best be called an unhinged outburst of frustration at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The press was invited to this free-form idiotic event. A selection of photos captured by press photographers showed a couple of folded pages in Trump’s hand—a single page of typed speech, with Trump’s ALL_CAPS handwritten notes marked underneath. Trump wrote: Whatever, WORDS! Nancy Pelosi just stated «We believe that the president of the U.S. is engaged in a coverup.» MOST TRANSPARENT. They want to impeach over acts that they did. Dems have no achomlishments. I'm going to keep working for the American people. Intentially had a meeting before Listen, not being a great speller isn’t grounds for impeachment.* But it’s ironic and something more sublime than hypocritical that just a few hours later Trump would tweet out a doctored video attacking Speaker Pelosi for “slurred speech,” when the only “slurred” anything seems to be Trump’s own grasp of spelling. *Please don’t impeach me!

Thoughts and prayers: NRA’s internal civil war getting hotter with new lawsuits and accusations

If you have not heard already, the National Rifle Association is having a big civil war. No, not that racist civil war they’ve been trying to foment with the majority of America, a civil war between the non-profit NRA and the marketing company that pays mos
Daily Kos

Thoughts and prayers: NRA’s internal civil war getting hotter with new lawsuits and accusations

If you have not heard already, the National Rifle Association is having a big civil war. No, not that racist civil war they’ve been trying to foment with the majority of America, a civil war between the non-profit NRA and the marketing company that pays most of its bills, Ackerman McQueen. Ackerman is the PR outfit that actually pays the big money contracts to many of the faces Americans have become familiar with—Oliver North and Dana Loesch. A few weeks ago, NRA crypt keeper Wayne LaPierre dropped a leak saying that a power play was afoot and Oliver North and Ackerman McQueen were “extorting” LaPierre with promises of their own embarrassing leaks of NRA mismanagement and excess. LaPierre’s preemptive move, while successful in keeping him in power at the NRA, has not immunized him from those embarrassing leaks. Since then reports have leaked out listing myriad excesses and mismanagement, dubious money deals, and big time financial deficits by the Second Amendment lobbyist non profit group. This includes everything from claims that the NRA has been running $40 million in the red, while LaPierre himself has spent $450,000 on travel and nice clothes. The accounting going on between the NRA and Ackerman has led to calls for more serious investigations of the non profit tax exempt status of the organization, and the legality of some of their “charitable” work in relation to their political work. Now, The Trace reports that the two companies are trading some more legal lawsuit filings. The NRA’s filing on Wednesday charged that Ackerman McQueen has been creating “targeted leaks,” of this bad PR in the hopes of overthrowing the current NRA leadership. It accuses Oliver North and the McQueen team of bad faith and demands $40 million in compensation. Ackerman McQueen turned right around and filed a suit—less than 24 hours after the NRA’s filing—demanding the NRA pay Ackerman $50 million in damages, saying “the NRA’s allegations are bogus, and an effort to hide its own internal strife.” This all follows NRA’s move last month to file a suit against Ackerman saying that they had not been allowed to see transparent records of how the company was handling its billing, while Ackerman countersued saying that the NRA had been given more than a week with the billing records. In both cases, Ackerman argues that the NRA is trying to push the spotlight away from its own internal shit show. A couple of years ago the NRA was living high on the hog, spending untold millions on lobbying and right wing gun-loving candidates. But those corrupt salad days may very well be coming to an end. They’ve lost elections and had their super-dubious (and possibly treasonous) foreign money connections exposed. Reports have come out over the past couple of years pointing to serious revenue concerns inside of the organization, prompting more and more speculation as to how the NRA gets money and what they are willing to do in order to get that money.  Thoughts and prayers.

Majority of Michigan House co-sponsors bipartisan financial disclosure legislation

Eager to do something about the state’s F grade for integrity, on Tuesday a group of more than 60 of the state House’s 110 members introduced bills requiring Michigan’s elected officials to publicly disclose their finances. The eight-bill package woul
Daily Kos

Majority of Michigan House co-sponsors bipartisan financial disclosure legislation

Eager to do something about the state’s F grade for integrity, on Tuesday a group of more than 60 of the state House’s 110 members introduced bills requiring Michigan’s elected officials to publicly disclose their finances. The eight-bill package would require financial disclosures from state representatives and senators; candidates for the state House and Senate; candidates for the state’s executive offices; candidates for judicial offices; individuals serving on and candidates for governing boards; and individuals on and candidates for the state board of education. Michigan is currently one of only two states in the country that don’t require elected officials to make such disclosures. This is a particular problem in the Great Lakes State because shorter term limits there mean that elected representatives, particularly in the state Legislature, frequently maintain their private business interests during their public service. Democratic state Rep. David LaGrand told Daily Kos that last year the same package of bills “sort of died without a trace.” According to a 2018 report by the Center for Public Integrity, it hasn’t been unusual for the state’s legislators to vote on bills that might affect their own or a family member’s bottom line, even in the rare cases where they disclosed a potential conflict. A 2018 bill that would have made it a felony for representatives to vote on bills that could affect their finances also died in committee. Given the uphill climb the bills seemed to face, what changed to allow the package to make such a splash this year? Republican state Rep. Mark Huizenga, another of the package’s co-authors, chalked the progress up to “a different environment, in the sense that we've got a lot of new freshmen involved.” One out of five state House incumbents was term-limited out in 2018. According to LaGrand, this year’s success is “more a matter of the idea having been discussed and in Lansing for some time.” LaGrand added that he started talking about disclosure with freshman House colleagues “before they got elected, so they came into the Legislature already partway into the conversation.” Legislators have also been practicing. In 2017, 15 legislators, including LaGrand, filed voluntary disclosures with the Center for Public Integrity. Michigan’s newly elected executive branch has also been taking the lead.

Report catalogues soaring incidents of trespassing, disruption, and intimidation at abortion clinics

A new report from the National Abortion Federation shows a steep rise in various incidents at U.S. abortion clinics. In 2018, trespassing had risen to its highest annual level since the federation started gathering information on these incidents in 1999.
Daily Kos

Report catalogues soaring incidents of trespassing, disruption, and intimidation at abortion clinics

A new report from the National Abortion Federation shows a steep rise in various incidents at U.S. abortion clinics. In 2018, trespassing had risen to its highest annual level since the federation started gathering information on these incidents in 1999. NAF has been keeping track of incidents of violence and disruption against abortion providers for more than four decades. Since 1977, by its count, there have been 11 murders, 26 attempted murders, 42 bombings, 188 arsons, and thousands of incidents of criminal activities directed at abortion providers. In its latest annual tally released this week, instances of trespassing at clinics hit 1,135, a 78% rise from 2017 to 2018. There were 125 vandalism incidents, the highest number since 1990. In 2017, there were 1,704 instances of obstruction of a clinic; in 2018, NAF recorded 3,038 incidents. There were also 57 threats of death or harm at clinics last year, including one in which a forced-birther with a bullhorn yelled to staff entering a clinic, “I have a bullet with your name on it.” That may only be bullyboy tactics, but it and others like it cannot be taken as idle threats. Next Friday, May 31, marks the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. George Tiller. He was the medical director of Women's Health Care Services in Wichita, Kansas, one of only three clinics across the nation at the time that provided late-term abortions. The assassin shot him in the head during a church service. It wasn’t the first time somebody had tried to murder him. In 1993, he had been shot in both arms. In 1986, his clinic was firebombed. Violence has been a part of the forced-birther movement from early on.

Spotlight on green news & views: 600th edition

That headline isn’t an exaggeration. This is the 600th edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue and the Eco-Diary Rescue). That amounts to about 40,000 highlighted environmental diaries here at Dail
Daily Kos

Spotlight on green news & views: 600th edition

That headline isn’t an exaggeration. This is the 600th edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue and the Eco-Diary Rescue). That amounts to about 40,000 highlighted environmental diaries here at Daily Kos over the past 12 years. Here is the first one in December 2006. Here is the May 18, 2019, edition. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it. OUTSTANDING GREEN STORIES The coiled neck foreshadows a strike.  6412093 writes—The Daily Bucket--The Belly Flopping Heron: “For over a decade, Great Blue Herons have visited my backyard ponds in NW Oregon. They’ve eaten some of my goldfish, driven away all of the hated bullfrogs, and provided many viewing hours of their heart pounding beauty as they strut between the grapes and lavender. My house is in the middle of densely treed suburbs so the Heron must wend its way to my three backyard ponds. It’s tried different aerial routes, following dead end streets and dodging between 60 foot tall firs and redwoods. I’ve also seen it at a nearby lake, a half mile away. It often landed on my roof or my neighbor’s roof. The Heron would almost always approach the yard from this roof to the east. It would usually land, walk to the larger pond and stab a fish or several. In theory, this could still be the same Great Blue Heron that first visited 14 years ago. Their average lifespan is 15 years. But their markings are so uniform you cannot tell one from another. If four different Herons visited in one day, or 10 in the last 15 years, I could not tell the difference. The females are smaller but I’ve never seen two together to compare.” libsanity writes—Climate moderation as an end goal is climate denial and rejection of science. We need strong action: “Climate moderation is climate denial, and we should demand strong climate policy as something crucial, not something we can compromise on. If you believe the projections of scientists as they warn us about the perils of different courses of action, half-measures on climate is a choice to let tens of millions of people die or be displaced. Scientists tell us what the effects of different courses of action would be: the results of inaction, of mild action, of moderate action, of comprehensive overwhelming action like a Green New Deal. The only way to believe that moderate action will not kill millions and displace hundreds of millions is to reject the science. Remember, Democratic proposals on climate change are ones that assume the ideal case, with Democratic executive power and the ability to pass legislation. There is no a middle ground that will somehow win bipartisan support and pass while a more ambitious proposal wouldn't— if Republicans do have some legislative power, they will not compromise on anything. We know this. We've seen this. A Republican compromise on climate would be doing nothing and only building ten more coal plants instead of twenty.”

Former DNI James Clapper makes it clear that Trump would not have won without Russia's help

When Donald Trump produced the first list of names for his death list this week, he didn’t include that of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. But Clapper appears to be out to remedy this oversight by pointing out the fact that the Trum
Daily Kos

Former DNI James Clapper makes it clear that Trump would not have won without Russia's help

When Donald Trump produced the first list of names for his death list this week, he didn’t include that of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. But Clapper appears to be out to remedy this oversight by pointing out the fact that the Trump campaign didn’t just cooperate with Russia—it’s extremely unlikely Trump would have been elected without Russian support. As Newsweek reports, Clapper’s just-released memoirs don’t shy away from drawing the obvious conclusion about the impact of the Russian interference and the benefits to Trump. As Clapper writes, «Surprising even themselves, [Russia] swung the election to a Trump win. To conclude otherwise stretches logic, common sense and credulity to the breaking point. Less than eighty thousand votes in three key states swung the election. I have no doubt that more votes than that were influenced by this massive effort by the Russians.” Not only did the intelligence community have the information they needed to see that Russian interference was more than sufficient to cover Trump’s narrow margin of electoral victory—Trump knows it. Because the information Clapper is referencing was included in the first presentation that the intelligence community gave to Trump in January 2017. Clapper is also clear in exactly why there wasn’t a larger effort in 2016 to fight back against Russia launching a military operation to interfere in a U.S. election.»House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said they would not support a bipartisan statement that might hurt their nominee for president,« wrote Clapper. »It seemed they had decided by then that they didn't care who their nominee was, how he got elected or what effects having a foreign power influence our election would have on the nation, as long as they won." Trump has referenced Clapper dozens of times in Twitter and in his rally speeches. At first he claimed that the DNI had absolved Trump of any collaboration with Russia, though that wasn’t what Clapper said. Then that Clapper had written a “beautiful letter” praising Trump. But by the time that the Mueller investigation began, Trump listed Clapper among the “liars” who were conspiring against him, including FBI Director James Comey and CIA Director John Brennan. The former DNI also became a frequent target of attacks on Fox News, including by Trump favorites Hannity and Fox and Friends.

FBI warns that it's seeing an upsurge in white supremacist domestic terrorism

The warning signs have been building like dark storm clouds for a while now, and it appears that storm—a real one, comprised of a wave of domestic terrorism—may be about to break: According to CNN’s Evan Perez, the FBI has seen “a significant rise in
Daily Kos

FBI warns that it's seeing an upsurge in white supremacist domestic terrorism

The warning signs have been building like dark storm clouds for a while now, and it appears that storm—a real one, comprised of a wave of domestic terrorism—may be about to break: According to CNN’s Evan Perez, the FBI has seen “a significant rise in the number of white supremacist domestic terrorism cases in recent months,” citing a “senior counterterrorism official.” Yes, regardless what Tucker Carlson or Candace Owens or Michael Tracey might tell you, the threat of white-nationalist terrorism is neither “nonexistent” nor a figment of the liberal imagination: As people ranging from Poway to Christchurch to Pittsburgh can tell you, the terrorism is real, as are its victims—which includes not just the immediate victims, but the communities these acts are intended to target. Talk to Jewish and Muslim communities to ask if they think terrorism is just a problem in their minds. We’ve been describing these warning signs the past several months—the rash of inchoate violence from angry, “red-pilled” young white men; the compounding cases of domestic terrorism piling up on our doorsteps; the surging tide of white-supremacist propaganda as well as organizing; and the signs that monitoring this tide is not a priority for the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security. As we recently explained, one of the problems is that domestic terrorism by homegrown white men is not a federal crime—it’s actually a hole of sorts in the law books. CNN’s report explains how this has affected the FBI’s ability to pursue these cases: The domestic terror cases generally include suspects involved in violence related to anti-government views, racial or religious bias, environmental extremism and abortion-related views. The FBI wouldn't provide specific numbers to quantify the increase of the number of white supremacist domestic terrorism cases. Unlike international terrorism investigations, domestic terrorism cases pose thornier issues for the FBI because of First Amendment protections. The US doesn't have a domestic terrorism law and no government agency designates domestic groups as being terrorist organizations. That means many cases the FBI calls domestic terror-related end up with a variety of charges for violations of laws related to guns or even other state charges.

After passing a prison reform bill, Mississippi stole the money for new tax cuts—now the bill's due

In boosting the White House's own attempts at criminal justice reform, Donald Trump has used Mississippi's prison reforms as an example of how such reforms ought to work. He probably shouldn't have. A ProPublica and Mississippi Center for Investigative Report
Daily Kos

After passing a prison reform bill, Mississippi stole the money for new tax cuts—now the bill's due

In boosting the White House's own attempts at criminal justice reform, Donald Trump has used Mississippi's prison reforms as an example of how such reforms ought to work. He probably shouldn't have. A ProPublica and Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting analysis points to deep, deep problems with Mississippi's 2014 efforts—all of it, apparently, self inflicted. House Bill 585 was designed to reduce the prison population by rerouting offenders to better, more effective treatment and rehabilitation efforts. The millions saved by imprisoning fewer people would pay for those reforms and still save the state money; it was lauded as a bipartisan win. That was the design. In practice, the state made the cuts and simply kept the money. Mother Jones: Hal Kittrell, of Columbia, who chaired the task force and is a past president of the Mississippi Prosecutors Association, said House Bill 585 “was designed to have a savings in cost, but it also anticipated reinvestment back into the program.” [...] Five years after Mississippi passed House Bill 585, “we’ve not spent one dime more on reentry, drug treatment and mental health counseling,” Kittrell said. “Where did the money go?” The answer: Republican-pushed corporate tax cuts. And while the state was eager to pocket the savings from reduced corrections department staffing, the lack of reinvestment means the prison population is again growing, and will soon top what it was before the law was enacted. That means a staff of roughly half the old number of corrections officers, instructors, and counselors are now serving a prison population nearly as large as before. Efforts to implement a great deal of the law, in fact, now seem to have been insincere: House Bill 585 requires Mississippi’s Corrections Department to ensure each of the more than 8,000 offenders leaving prison annually has a driver’s license or state ID card, but lawmakers provided no extra funding for these cards. Fewer than 100 offenders are receiving them a month, according to the department.

Trump, ever shameless, is selling discounted LGBTQ Pride shirts on his website

Corporations cashing in on Pride month—a time to celebrate and center the LGBTQ community—is nothing new. You’re likely to see big name companies printing rainbows and broad statements of support (“love is love,” “equality,” and the like) on eve
Daily Kos

Trump, ever shameless, is selling discounted LGBTQ Pride shirts on his website

Corporations cashing in on Pride month—a time to celebrate and center the LGBTQ community—is nothing new. You’re likely to see big name companies printing rainbows and broad statements of support (“love is love,” “equality,” and the like) on every other T-shirt and tank top. For sure, that’s great in terms of visibility. It can be particularly important for young people to have exposure to LGBTQ messaging that’s actually positive. On the flip side, corporations aren’t always donating these proceeds to help the community it’s making money off of. But I digress. The latest person to cash in on Pride month? Apparently, Donald Trump. The shirt in question, available at Donald J Trump dot com (not linked out), is now discounted to $24 (plus shipping) and comes in sizes from S to 3XL. It’s also hypocritical and tasteless.  While Trump gave some vague nods to LGBTQ equality during his campaign, his administration has been a danger to the queer community. Some highlights? Most famously, the Trump administration issued a ban against transgender people serving in the military. Early in his time in office, his administration discretely removed information about LGBTQ rights from the official White House website. Just a few days ago, a proposal from his administration came to light that seeks to allow federally-funded homeless shelters the right to deny transgender people.  Remember when his administration wanted to define sex on a “biological” level? This gets a lot of science fundamentally wrong in the first place but is inherently transphobic regardless. 

Politico piles on the anti-Semitic attacks to go after Bernie Sanders as 'rich, but cheap'

There are articles that inadvertently slip in an anti-Semitic trope or racial statement. Then there are stories that heap on the verbal and visual cues so thick that it’s hard to believe the attack was anything less than fully intentional. The story Politic
Daily Kos

Politico piles on the anti-Semitic attacks to go after Bernie Sanders as 'rich, but cheap'

There are articles that inadvertently slip in an anti-Semitic trope or racial statement. Then there are stories that heap on the verbal and visual cues so thick that it’s hard to believe the attack was anything less than fully intentional. The story Politico Magazine ran on Friday is definitely one of the later. This story wasn’t authored by some guest writer, but by senior staff writer Michael Kruse. Not only does the opening image picture Bernie Sanders against a money tree, the theme of the entire article is that Sanders is “cheap, but he’s sure not poor.” On other words: Bernie Sanders is a rich but stingy Jew. That theme is carried through the entire article, which sneers again and again at the idea that “The champion of the underclass and castigator of ‘the 1 percent’ has found himself in the socioeconomic penthouse of his rhetorical boogeymen.”  Kruse dismisses the fact that Sanders’ net worth is only visible because the candidate  has released 10 years of tax returns. And when Sanders points out that his wealth only increased over the last two years because he wrote a best-selling book, Kruse puts that down as a “churlish” response. He’s equally quick to spurn the fact that Sanders has continued to call for higher taxes on the wealthy even if those taxes would affect his own bottom line. The blatant nature of the Politico attack piece drew the attention of Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Can ⁦@politico⁩ explain to us how photoshopping money trees next to the only Jewish candidate for president and talking about how “cheap” and rich he is *isn’t* antisemitic? That’s a damn good question.

Saturday midday open thread: U.S. cities hurt by NSA cyberweapon; Snapchat workers spied on users

What’s coming on Sunday Kos: Remember when Obama refused to work with GOP during Benghazi, Fast & Furious probes? Me neither, by Ian Reifowitz Can the press avoid another campaign train wreck in 2020, by Eric Boehlert House Democrats' 2018 victor
Daily Kos

Saturday midday open thread: U.S. cities hurt by NSA cyberweapon; Snapchat workers spied on users

What’s coming on Sunday Kos: Remember when Obama refused to work with GOP during Benghazi, Fast & Furious probes? Me neither, by Ian Reifowitz Can the press avoid another campaign train wreck in 2020, by Eric Boehlert House Democrats' 2018 victories came about in some ways that might surprise you, by David Jarman The American Frog is just about fully cooked, almost, by Frank Vyan Walton Democratic leadership needs to learn how to grandstand in the Trump era, by Egberto Willies Remember when Obama refused to work with GOP during Benghazi, Fast & Furious probes? Me neither, by Ian Reifowitz Abortion bans are only the latest offensive in long-running GOP war on women, by Sher Watts Spooner Hurricane season starts June 1. U.S. mainland media continues to fail Puerto Rico, by Denise Oliver Velez • Stolen NSA tool EternalBlue wreaking havoc in Baltimore and elsewhere:  For nearly three weeks, Baltimore has struggled with a cyberattack by digital extortionists that has frozen thousands of computers, shut down email and disrupted real estate sales, water bills, health alerts and many other services. But here is what frustrated city employees and residents do not know: A key component of the malware that cybercriminals used in the attack was developed at taxpayer expense a short drive down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at the National Security Agency, according to security experts briefed on the case. It’s been known since 2017 that NSA developed the tool that has been used by hackers around the world. But until now the fact that this cyberweapon has been used in attacks on U.S. cities was unknown because NSA has been unwilling to even admit that it had developed the malware tool or comment in any way about it. That’s still the case. • EPA experts objected to Scott Pruitt’s exemption of most of southeastern Wisconsin from federal limits on smog: The decision was made just as Wisconsin’s then-Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, was trying to bring a Foxconn factory with what the company claimed would be thousands of new manufacturing jobs to a part of the state where pollution levels already surpassed federal limits.  MIDDAY TWEET xReminder: an abortion ban with an exception for rape or incest is neither acceptable, nor is it a «middle-of-the-road» compromise. It is an immoral and radically far-right violation of basic human and constitutional rights, one that nearly 3/4 of Americans do not support.— Lauren Rankin (@laurenarankin) May 24, 2019 • Snapchat employees abused data to spy on users: Several departments inside social media giant Snap have dedicated tools for accessing user data, and multiple employees have abused their privileged access to spy on Snapchat users, Motherboard has learned. Two former employees said multiple Snap employees abused their access to Snapchat user data several years ago. Those sources, as well as an additional two former employees, a current employee, and a cache of internal company emails obtained by Motherboard, described internal tools that allowed Snap employees at the time to access user data, including in some cases location information, their own saved Snaps and personal information such as phone numbers and email addresses. Snaps are photos or videos that, if not saved, typically disappear after being received (or after 24 hours if posted to a user's Story). • Last two women imprisoned for Philadelphia police siege have been released after 40 years. • One of the last original Navajo code talkers, NM state Sen. John Pinto, dead at 94: He was one of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers serving in World War II.  Three of the nine survivor code Talkers have died this year. Members of nine tribes were code talkers in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. But only the Navajo actually invented an actual (and invincible) code. The other just used their Native language to make it difficult for Axis translators to know what they were saying. The Japanese captured one Navajo soldier and tried to get him to translate coded messages. But he only understood the Navajo words and not the terms or letters of the alphabet in English that those words represented. So he couldn't help his captors even if he had wanted to. Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.” LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE

Trump administration considers allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ parents

Friday morning, the Trump administration finalized its rollback of civil rights healthcare protections for transgender Americans and women. These protections were expanded by the Obama administration, by not allowing the faux bigoted “religious exemption
Daily Kos

Trump administration considers allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ parents

Friday morning, the Trump administration finalized its rollback of civil rights healthcare protections for transgender Americans and women. These protections were expanded by the Obama administration, by not allowing the faux bigoted “religious exemption” rules to apply to health care. While not surprising, it’s depressing for millions of people across the country that this kind of anti-public health policy will affect them. But the Trump administration is not done. A senior administration official reportedly told Axios that Trump will also rollback protections for same-sex couples seeking adoption from (frequently) Christian and Catholic-based agencies. These are agencies that receive federal funding and protections, who want to argue that their religion would make it impossible for them NOT to discriminate against same sex couples trying to adopt. According to Axios, this is going to happen but the Trump administration is mulling over what the best way will be to screw over LGBTQ prospective parents. Administration officials said the White House is weighing two options: either rescinding those rules altogether, or adding an explicit exemption for religious organizations. The debate is mainly about which approach would hold up better in court, the officials said. A religious exemption seems to have the upper hand for now, but that could change. This is all a part of a larger movement by conservative forces to allow for lawful discrimination of non-Christians, or more specifically, a brand of “Christianity,” that believes in wholesale denouncement of the LGBTQ communities, as well as women’s reproductive rights. The Trump administration also plans to apply this “religious exemption,” hooey to similar Obama-era protections for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It’s all “love thy neighbor,” and “life is sacred,” until that neighbor or that life doesn’t follow the strict social etiquettes you follow, and then … all that “love” and “sacred” talk goes out the window. You know what kids want out of their parents? Love. They need food and shelter, but mostly they need and want love.

An asteroid big enough to have its own moon will pass Earth on Saturday night

Don’t get out your nuclear missiles. All dinosaurs are safe this time, as the closest approach of asteroid 1999 KW4 will be about 3 million miles—about 12 times the distance from Earth to Moon. So on the list of scary encounters, this is low on the “bu
Daily Kos

An asteroid big enough to have its own moon will pass Earth on Saturday night

Don’t get out your nuclear missiles. All dinosaurs are safe this time, as the closest approach of asteroid 1999 KW4 will be about 3 million miles—about 12 times the distance from Earth to Moon. So on the list of scary encounters, this is low on the “buy canned food” scale. In fact, this same asteroid has swung past four times before since its discovery, and on one of those occasions it came closer still. However, it’s big on the interesting scale, because the asteroid sweeping by on Saturday isn’t one body, it’s two. The space rock first found by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) collaboration between NASA, the Air Force, and MIT back in 1994, was determined by JPL researchers in 2001 to actually be a “binary pair” where one asteroid acts as the moon of the other.  1999 KW4 Image from team led by Dr. Steven Ostro at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Radar imaging during previous close approaches has made the nature of the system and the shape of the two big stones much more apparent. The larger of the pair is just under 0.8 miles wide, making it about 1/100th the mass of the asteroid or comet that carved out the Chicxulub crater and made Tyrannosaurs a non-factor in your daily commute. However, it’s still large enough that if it were to impact, it could be a civilization-ending event. Thankfully neither the big asteroid, or its 0.3 mile moonlet is going to to get all that near on Saturday night. However, they will be back in 2036 for an approach that’s more than twice as close. Even then, they’re not any kind of threat; unlike the kilometer-wide asteroid 99942 Apophis which is set to pass closer to the Earth than many satellites in 2029. On that one, people will definitely be double-checking their math, and maybe hoping that the planned Asteroid Redirect Mission produces good results. Apophis was named for the “uncreator” who was an enemy of Ra in Egyptian myths so someone seems to have been a little pessimistic when working out those orbital results.  The 1999 KW4 pair will not be visible to the naked eye, but telescope operators may spot it in the night sky over the next few days near the constellation Hydra.

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