Lessons from the DNC: Ronald Reagan, the Southern Strategy, and "abnormal politics"

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John Scalzi makes a very good case that the DNC's major message is that "this year is not about Democrat versus Republican, or conservative versus liberal, it’s about normal versus highly fucking abnormal" -- but Corey Robin persuasively argues that abnormality has been normal for a long time in the GOP: "the rational, prudential conservatives [Democrats] think they know [in the GOP] are in fact ultra-revanchist songstresses of domination and violence." Read the rest

North Carolina's voter suppression law struck down as "racist"

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The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has invalidated parts of North Carolina's voter suppression laws, ruling that the requirement to show photo ID was enacted "with racially discriminatory intent." Read the rest

Laurie Penny at the DNC: "Dissent will not be tolerated. Protest will not be permitted."

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After penning the best article on the RNC, Laurie Penny has taken her Red Pen of Justice to the DNC, where she reports on the state of American progressivism in the balance, where the best we can hope for is "a future slightly less terrifying than Trump nation." Read the rest

Russia and other states could hack the US election by attacking voting machines

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It's been more than 16 years since faulty voting machine technology called into question a US presidential election, and in the ensuing 1.6 decades, the voting machine industry has used bafflegab, intimidation and salesmanship to continue selling faulty goods, whose flaws surface with despressing regularity. Read the rest

Jon Stewart and Colbert team up for one more Daily Show special on the RNC

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I don't think Stewart's ever been in finer form, and his "I've been living in a cave"/Transmet schtick plays well with Colbert's own persona. Read the rest

SURVEY: Your views on US Customs' plan to search your social media at the border

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Deji from Access Now writes, "You remember that spooky story about the U.S. screening everyone’s social media 'presence' at the border? Well, now there’s a way to tell the government exactly what you think about it." Read the rest

Laurie Penny on hanging out with Milo Yiannopoulos and the gay trolls of the RNC

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Laurie Penny, "a radical queer feminist leftist writer burdened with actual principles," has a weird frenemy relationship with trolling, racist, alt-right opportunist Milo Yiannopoulos, who was just permanently banned from Twitter for orchestrating a racist harassment campaign against Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones. Read the rest

Someone built a wall around Donald Trump's Walk of Fame Star

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RidleyScotch/Reddit (via Mitch Wagner) Read the rest

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

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

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

Pokemon player (seemingly) shot at while hunting virtual animals

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Lanceypooh, a maker of Youtube videos, was out hunting for Pokemon, playing the tulip-fever-sensation game Pokemon Go, when he seems to have trespassed on a stranger's land, drawing gunfire from the irate landholder. Read the rest

Wordy, incendiary Trump tees

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Stallion Mancakes is kickstarting these wordy Donald Trump tees, reading, "I VOTED FOR DONALD TRUMP AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS STUPID RACIST SEXIST FRAUDULENT OPPORTUNISTIC DIMWITTED EAR-GRATING EGOTISTICAL SOLIPSISTIC PANDERING SHYSTERING CHEAP-O MONEY-GRUBBING SCAPEGOATING HATEMONGERING ISOLATIONIST FASCIST POW-BASHING DRAFT-DODGING UNHINGED VACUOUS BILIOUS HYPERBOLIC DELUSIONAL MANIPULATIVE UNDIGNIFIED MERITLESS HOT-TEMPERED DANGEROUS SLEAZY SLIPPERY SILVER-TONGUED SILVER-SPOONED INSECURE VAMPING THUMB-SUCKING BODY-SHAMING SMALL-MINDED SHORT-FINGERED SHORT-SIGHTED UNDERBAKED OVERHYPED ARTLESS SHALLOW HOLLOW CRASS UNJUST TWO-FACED IRRESPONSIBLE UNETHICAL MANIACAL HYPOCRITICAL CERTIFIABLE LOUSY...T-SHIRT." Read the rest

Frederick Douglass' "The Meaning of July the Fourth for the Negro," read by James Earl Jones

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One of Frederick Douglass's most famous speeches was his 1852 "The Meaning of July 4th for the Negro." Read the rest

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