Robert Moses wove enduring racism into New York's urban fabric

Robert Moses gets remembered as the father of New York's modern urban plan, the "master builder" who led the proliferation of public benefit corporations, gave NYC its UN buildings and World's Fairs, and the New Deal renaissance of the city: he was also an avowed racist who did everything he could to punish and exclude people of color who lived in New York, and the legacy of his architecture-level discrimination lives on in the city today. Read the rest

NRA is spending $3m on pro-Trump ad that says Clinton "will leave you defenseless"

The Citizens United ruling says that organizations like the NRA can spend as much as they want to support political candidates, provided that they don't coordinate with the campaign, which means that it's just a happy coincidence that the day after Donald Trump called on gun enthusiasts to assassinate Hillary Clinton and federal judges, the NRA announced that it would spend $3M on the most-expensive-to-date pro-Trump ad, which would focus on Hillary Clinton's alleged plan to "leave you defenseless" by taking away your guns. Read the rest

Man who shot up "Draw Muhammad" event was urged to "tear up Texas" by undercover FBI agent

Elton Simpson is one of the two men who fired assault rifles at people gathered for a "Draw Muhammad" event in Garland, Texas before being shot to death by an off-duty police officer; in the weeks leading up to the attack, Simpson had corresponded with an undercover FBI agent who urged him to "Tear up Texas." Read the rest

Reminder: the GOP has been attacking veterans and their families for years

After Donald Trump attacked the family of a dead Army captain, fallen in the field, on the ground that they were Muslims, many were shocked at the new low that the Republican presidential candidate had sunk to. Read the rest

Isis joins Donald Trump in denouncing Khizr Khan

Foundational to Trumpism is the idea that Islam and democracy are incompatible, so Muslims can never be true members of western, industrial states -- which is precisely what Isis believes about Muslims. Read the rest

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

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"

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."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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