Trump is the likable buffoon that GW Bush prepared us for

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Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone cover-story on Trump was astounding, and the hits keep on coming. Read the rest

KKK vs D&D: the surprising, high fantasy vocabulary of racism

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As John Holbo notes, the Ku Klux Klan's extensive, bizarre, fanciful "titles and vocabulary," set out in a 1916 volume called the "Kloran," has enough weirdness to match the Monster Manual for its "hydras, furies, nighthawks, giants, goblins, ghouls, titans, magi, monks, grand turks, dragons, wizards, cyclops." Read the rest

Short Fingered Vulgarian: the shoops that reveal Drumpf's inner baby-carrot-fingers

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Among the many revelations in John Oliver's definitive takedown of Donald Drumpf was the fact that the thin-skinned billionaire had been so wounded by being called a "short-fingered vulgarian" by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter that he's spent a quarter-century sending Carter letters decorated with tracings of his hand-geometry to prove the length of his fingers. Read the rest

500,000 to 1M unemployed Americans will lose food aid next month

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On April 1, 22 states will roll back their food stamps rules to pre-crisis levels, so adults without dependents or disabilities will only be entitled to "three months of food stamps in any three-year period—unless they work at least 80 hours a month, or meet education and training or volunteer benchmarks." Read the rest

The biggest abortion lie of all: "They do it for the money"

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The anti-choice movement likes to claim that abortion is a big business, that the doctors who risk their lives to help women are in it for the money. Read the rest

Think you're entitled to compensation after being wrongfully imprisoned in California? Nope.

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People who spent years, even decades, behind bars in California's prisons before being exonerated are not entitled to any services or compensation, not even the normal reintegration counselling, funding and services made available to parolees and criminals who've served their time. Read the rest

The best piece about Donald Trump published this election cycle

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Matt Taibbi is one of our decade's best observers of corruption and abuses of power, combining careful research with flamboyant, HS Thompson-esque verbal pyrotechnics, an absolute gift for coinages (Goldman Sachs will never fully shed his description of the firm as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money"), matched by real insight into the American political psyche. Read the rest

After appointed city manager illegally jacked up prices, Flint paid the highest water rates in America

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The tainted water that poisoned an entire generation of children in Flint, MI, was the most expensive water in America. Read the rest

John Oliver on American states' absurd, punitive abortion laws

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Ever since the Supreme Court ruled that states could restrict access to abortion provided the restrictions weren't "unduly burdensome," Republican thinktanks have been spreading "TRAP" ("Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers") rules that have a veneer of reasonableness but have the effect of making abortions impossible to procure for the majority of women in those states. Read the rest

19th century spam came by post, prefigured modern spam in so many ways

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In the 19th century, the nascent advertising industry took notice of the fact that postmasters could send each other letters for free, and bribed them to forward packets of mail to one another to pass on to townspeople ("To Superintendent Sunday School OR ANY ONE INTERESTED IN MUSIC"). Read the rest

Tipping screws poor people, women, brown people, restaurateurs, local economies and...you

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The evidence against tipping is voluminous and damning: it plunges workers into sub-subsistence wages, subjects woman servers to sexual harassment, encourages servers to deliver poor service to people of color (and old, young, and foreign people), incentivizes workers to take actions that harm the business (free drinks for big tippers!), and covers up a system of widespread criminal wage-fraud that lands disproportionately on the backs of workers who are already poor and marginalized. Read the rest

"Citizens" who speak at town meetings are hired, scripted actors

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Last December, the town council in Camarillo, a small town in southern California, a man called Prince Jordan Tyson stood up and delivered a three minute speech as a "concerned citizen" about a planned construction project before the council. Read the rest

Stop paying your student loans and debt collectors can send US Marshals to arrest you

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Student debt is a life-destroying trap, engineered by Wall Street and backed by the US government. Read the rest

John Oliver on states' voter ID laws

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John Oliver hosts his first show of the new season -- and his first-ever election-season episode -- and as you might expect, it's amazing. Read the rest

NYPD wants to make "resisting arrest" into a felony

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It's no secret that "resisting arrest" is the go-to excuse for violence committed against suspects by corrupt cops -- it's practically a running gag. Read the rest

Watch: tone-deaf manager announces layoffs to 1400 Carrier Air Conditioner workers whose jobs are moving to Mexico

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In this video, employees at the Carrier Air Conditioner factory in Indianapolis are gathered together by a manager who explains that the company's profit-margins dictate that all 1400 of them will lose their jobs as their factory is moved to Mexico. Read the rest

Austerity Robin Hood: a billionaire who takes from "scroungers" and gives to "hardworking people"

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A beautiful essay in the London Review of Books traces the twists and turns of the Robin Hood story over time, to the era of austerity, where "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor" takes on a completely different complexion. Read the rest

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