Trump won’t block Comey’s testimony in Congress on Thursday

The White House says President Donald Trump won't invoke executive privilege to block former FBI director James Comey, whom Trump fired, from testifying to Congress this week. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, and it's a very big deal.

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France trolls Trump on decision to withdraw from Paris Accord

The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs tweeted a 🔥 video today on Trump's Paris Accord decision.

After president Emmanuel Macron's epic tweet yesterday, this is something else.

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Here's what Congressional Republicans have to gain and lose by impeaching Trump

It's within the realm of possibility that Trump will be impeached in the coming months. The Republicans in Congress have the power to do it. Lee Drutman of Vox presents the pros and cons for impeaching Trump that Congressional republicans are weighing.

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Senators Leahy, Franken asked Comey to investigate AG Jeff Sessions for possible perjury

CNN reports today that Patrick Leahy and Al Franken, two democratic senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked former FBI Director James Comey to investigate Attorney General Jeff Sessions over concerns Sessions may have had an undisclosed private meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

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Putin: Russian state didn't hack U.S. elections, but “patriotically minded” private Russian hackers maybe did

Vladimir Putin just changed his tune. The Russian president has previously denied having anything to do with hacking America's 2016 elections, but today says perhaps “patriotically minded” private Russian hackers were involved in cyberattacks last year that swung the presidential race for Donald J. Trump.

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House Intel panel to subpoena former WH aide Michael Flynn, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, and others

The House Intelligence Committee issued seven subpoenas today, as separate House and Senate investigations involving the 2016 U.S. presidential election accelerate and expand in scope. Four of the House subpoenas reported today are related to the Russia investigation, and three focus on the so-called ‘unmasking’ controversy, say unnamed sources cited in stories out today by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters, among other news organizations.

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ACT NOW! In 9 days, the European Parliament could pass a truly terrible copyright expansion

When MEP Julia Reda conducted a wide-ranging and open consultation on updating EU copyright, she came up with some great, sensible reforms: making it legal to take pictures of buildings, making it legal to link to newspapers, creating a Europe-wide set of fair dealing exceptions to copyright, capping copyright terms at life-plus-50 years, and making sure that the rights you get to analog media (like the right to give your books and music to your kids when you die) carries over to digital media. Read the rest

No matter what Trump does, his base quickly forgives him

After video of Trump admitting to a string of sexual assaults appeared last October, his approval rating bottomed out; a month later, it had recovered -- and he was the President. Read the rest

Traditional capitalism needs "extra" people, but managerial capitalism has no use for them

The Nation's outstanding roundtable  What Will Kill Neoliberalism? has many admirable interventions (including a notable one from Paul "Postcapitalism" Mason), but the one that got me right between the eyes was William Darity, Jr's "A Revolution of Managers." Read the rest

The electable Mr Corbyn

UK Theresa May called snap UK elections (after promising not to) in order to consolidate power in her own party, shutting up the MPs who didn't fall into line with her policies -- this was the same logic behind her predecessor David Cameron's decision to call a referendum on Brexit, and both banked on the idea that the UK electorate wasn't willing to vote for an "unthinkable" alternative in order to tell the establishment to go fuck itself. Read the rest

Ben Carson thinks poverty is a state of mind

Ladies and gentlemen, the US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development says you're poor largely because you have the wrong mindset.

The retired neurosurgeon oversees a department that manages housing for the country's low-income population.

His comments quickly drew sharp criticism on social media.

"I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind," he said in an interview that aired on Wednesday.

"You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they'll be right back up there.

"And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world, they'll work their way right back down to the bottom."

Never attribute to malice or stupidity that which is explained by both.

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Republican candidate Greg Gianforte attacks reporter during interview (Updated: he's been charged with assault)

Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate in Montana's congressional election, attacked a reporter from UK newspaper The Guardian, body-slamming him and breaking his glasses.

In audio recorded by Ben Jacobs, who covers the U.S. political beat, you can hear Gianforte getting shirty, then, when pressed, the muffled sounds of what Jacobs said was "the strangest thing that has ever happened to him in politics."

“I’m sick and tired of you guys,” Gianforte said. “The last guy who came here did the same thing. Get the hell out of here. Get the hell out of here. The last guy did the same thing. Are you with the Guardian?”

“Yes! You just broke my glasses,” Jacobs replied.

“The last guy did the same damn thing,” Gianforte said.

“You just body slammed me and broke my glasses,” Jacob said.

“Get the hell out of here,” Gianforte yelled.

Jacobs was taken to hospital but is fine—except for his specs. A TV crew and a Buzzfeed reporter were nearby at the time, each apparently getting a partial look at the altercation. The Gallatin County sheriff, Brian Gootkin, says he's investigating.

One interesting aspect to Gianforte: he's a tech entrepreneur, which would account both for his emotional inability to cope with conflict and his evidently slobbish and untutored combat technique.

UPDATE: Gianforte's campaign released a statement suggesting that Jacobs got physical, not Gianforte. I'm not sure if it was released before or after The Guardian published its audio of the incident, but one doubts they were aware of it. Read the rest

By sabotaging the 2020 census, Republicans make it harder to fight gerrymandering

The best way to fight gerrymandering is to prove to courts that electoral districts have been unfairly formed, a tactic that's been used successfully in places like North Carolina; but for this to work, you need good demographic data to show that the district is unfair, and for that, you need an accurate census. Read the rest

Comey was so creeped out by Trump, he tried to hide in curtains to avoid Donald's weird hug

James B. Comey may once have tried to hide behind curtains to avoid Donald J. Trump, but the former FBI director's investigation could mean curtains for the Trump presidency.

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Put on Your Corbyn Face: a game you win by displaying empathy

Games for the Many sends us Put on Your Corbyn Face, "A web game where you are challenged to match the emotions of a photo Jeremy Corbyn. Possibly the first web game you play with empathy and emotion." Read the rest

Wrapping up the Crooked Timber seminar on Walkaway: Coase's Spectre

Two weeks ago, the excellent Crooked Timbre groupblog kicked off a symposium on my novel Walkaway, inviting ten scholars, practitioners, activists and thinkers to weigh in on the novel with thoughtful, sometimes sharply critical essays. Read the rest

Report: Trump fired Comey because he would not publicly clear Trump of Russia ties

Trump fired FBI Director James Comey because he "would not publicly state that there were no links between Trump and Russians," reports MSN, citing a paywalled article at The Wall Street Journal. He also hated Comey's relentless attention-seeking from the media, which offered Trump a staggeringly narcissistic excuse to fire him: inappropriate treatment of Hillary's emails.

...there was growing frustration among President Donald Trump’s associates that the former FBI director would not tamp down questions about the president’s alleged connection to Russia. He refused to “say those three little words: ‘There’s no ties,'” the source told WSJ about Trump’s decision to fire Comey without any forewarning. Comey was appointed in 2013 and had not yet served 6 years of what should have been a 10-year term. ... A White House source also said Trump was upset about what he viewed as the former director’s willingness to jump in front of cameras and questioned whether Comey could be independent while keeping such a high media profile. Another White House aide described the former FBI director as a show horse.

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