14% of Americans -- 48 million people -- are "food insecure," and it's about to get much worse

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People are "food insecure" if they lack access to "enough food for an active, healthy life." There are 48 million Americans who live in food insecurity, thanks to a combination of nearly all the economic benefits of the post-2008 recovery going to the wealthy; and the sustained attacks on America's social safety net, led by state-level Tea Party governments. Read the rest

GOP platform: repeal campaign finance laws, allow unlimited dark/offshore money in US politics

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The newly adopted campaign finance reform section of the GOP platform for the 2016 election calls for "raising or repealing contribution limits" for private individuals and demands an end to "requiring private organizations to publicly disclose their donors to the government," which means that the identity of PAC financiers will be completely secret, opening up offshore financing of US political candidates; finally, the platform condemns "forced funding of political candidates," meaning public election financing. Read the rest

Trump Tracts: Subgenius-inflected mini-comics about Trump in the style of Jack Chick tracts

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Ethan Persoff is releasing a new "Trump Tract" every day during the RNC, and he encourages you to print out stacks of them and leave them around Cleveland during the convention, "at a coffee shop, or in the bathroom at a $30,000/plate dinner, or hand-distributing these out in public." Read the rest

Mississippi's prison town are in danger of collapse, thanks to tiny reforms in the War on Drugs

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Towns in Mississippi and other Tea Party-ruled states with large (often private) prison industries are totally reliant on state/fed funding transfers to local prisons for cash and jobs, forced prison labor to provide local services for free, and War on Drugs arrests and minimum sentencing to fill those jails. The first tiny steps toward criminal justice reform have eroded the underpinnings of the whole system, leaving the towns facing collapse. Read the rest

Trump makes it easy to forget what a dumpster fire all the other GOP nomination hopefuls were

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Rick Santorum said pregnancy from rape is a "gift from God" and compared gay relationships to "man-on-dog" sex -- and he signed a pledge saying that African-Americans had it better during slavery. Read the rest

The ACLU has a roadmap for defeating President Donald Trump's signature initiatives

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In The Trump Memos, a new 27-page document published by the American Civil Liberties Union, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization lays out its constitutional analysis of Trump's signature campaign promises, from mass deportations to a religious test for passing America's borders to torture to mass surveillance to abortion to "opening up libel laws." Read the rest

America's infrastructure debt is so bad that towns are unpaving roads they can't afford to fix

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Since the Reagan years, infrastructure spending has been so politically unpopular in America that the nation's roads, ports, power grid and other hallmarks of an advanced society are crumbling, sometimes beyond repair. Read the rest

Remarkably Normal: the true stories of abortion in America

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The 1 in 3 campaign collects the true personal stories of the roughly 30% of American women who've had an abortion; Remarkably Normal, a play whose actors recounts those stories, wrapped up its first national tour in June. Read the rest

America's biggest health crisis? Not gun violence but porn and gays, GOP says

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The Republican party platform is veering to the right as GOP delegates descend on Cleveland to produce the party’s principles document. Several positions about same-sex marriage and scientifically debunked “gay conversion therapy” passed preliminary votes today.

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Donald Trump pitches tantrum at "peace meeting" with GOP senators

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Donald Trump's long-awaited reconciliation meeting with Republican senators went so badly that several attendees anonymously leaked details of Trump's tantrum and namecalling to the New York Times. Read the rest

Mississippi state rep tells distraught mom to buy kid's lifesaving meds 'with money she earns'

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Nicole Nichols' 8-year-old daughter has diabetes; Nichols and her husband have come to rely on Medicaid to help supply life-saving essential medication for their daughter, because their two salaries are insufficient to cover their medical bills, which run in excess of $2000 month in out-of-pocket expenses. Read the rest

2016: the first presidential election in 50 years without Voting Rights Act protections

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Three years ago, the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, a 50-year-old piece of civil rights legislation that ended the Jim Crow practices of poll taxes and other restrictions that disproportionately denied people of color and poor people the right to vote. Read the rest

Donald Trump sources $6M worth of campaign expenditures from companies he and his family own

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When billionaires like Michael Bloomberg and Steve Forbes get into politics, they firewall their own companies off from their campaigns, demonstrating a basic care about the appearance of conflict of interest -- not so Donald Trump, who rents himself office space, sells himself private jet time, and supplies water, booze, and country club ballrooms.

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Samantha Bee puts the NRA before a firing squad

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The NRA -- tone-deaf, intransigent, monied -- are seemingly unstoppable, but if anyone can shoot 'em down, it's Samantha Bee, whose tight, funny, rage-filled 5:30 on America's gun lobby is practically armor-piercing. (via Rolling Stone) Read the rest

Cleveland: "First Amendment zones" will fence protesters far away from RNC

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The city of Cleveland has revealed its crowd control plan for next month's Republican National Convention, a heavily policed, fenced off 3.3 square-mile "event zone" -- the size of Baghdad's Green Zone -- with fenced-off protest areas far from the convention itself. Read the rest

Washington Post calls for "blackout" on Trump coverage, appeals to RNC

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Donald Trump's butt-hurt, thin-skinned response to the Washington Post's basic, journalistic skepticism about his Obama-conspires-with-terrorists was to yank the paper's media credentials, adding them to the growing pool of media that is barred from Trump events, which includes "Politico, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Gawker, Foreign Policy, Fusion, Univision, Mother Jones, the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Des Moines Register and the Daily Beast" -- as well as any previously accredited news outlet that Trump doesn't feel like admitting on any given day. Read the rest

Samantha Bee interviews Frank Schaeffer, who helped create the religious right

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Frank Schaeffer is the son of radical evangelical cleric Francis Schaeffer, who was instrumental in creating the modern anti-abortion movement and forging the alliance between the Republican party and evangelical Christians. Read the rest

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