The weird grift of "sovereign citizens": where UFOlogy meets antisemitism by way of Cliven Bundy and cat-breeding

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the "sovereign citizen" movement/conspiracy theory (previously) has grown by leaps and bounds, thanks to a combination of the rise of antisemitism (long a dogwhistle in the movement, now out in the open), an increase in financial desperation and a sense of betrayal, and the movement's ability to realize real cash for its members, who have systematically defrauded the underfunded and resource-strapped IRS of move than $1B. Read the rest

Owner of civil war reenactment business sues school district that canceled field trips after his far-right social media came to light

Riley's Farm is a staple of Los Angeles overnight school trips (my daughter visited last year with her elementary school); it's an apple farm with a pick-your-own apples sideline that branched out into civil war re-enactments, with some students staying overnight in tents. Read the rest

After $4.1 billion subsidy, Foxconn cancels plan to build Wisconsin "factory," now proposing a small R&D facility

When GOP darling Scott Walker offered to hand billions in subsidies to Chinese manufacturing giant Foxconn, he was warned: the Foxconn MO is to suck up billions in public money for ambitious megafactories, then scale them back into small, largely irrelevant facilities (or cancel them altogether). Read the rest

Yellow Vests stand for and against many contradictory things, but are united in opposition to oligarchy

From a distance, it's hard to understand the nuance of the mass "gilets jaunes" protests that rocked France; with one in five French people identifying as a yellow vest and more vests marching in Basra, Baghdad and Alberta (and with Egypt's autocrats pre-emptive cracking down on the sale of yellow vests ahead of elections), it's clearly a complicated and fast-spreading phenomenon. Read the rest

Reminder: ousted California Republican Dana Rohrabacher is a filthy tenant from hell

Dana Rohrabacher was an oddity: a Republican lawmaker sent from Democratic stronghold to the California legislature he's now out of a job). Read the rest

Injured combat veteran runs against Texas tea party congressman who wouldn't meet with her

MJ Hegar is an Air Force veteran whose helicopter was shot down in combat. In this video, she talks about how she fought and won against Pentagon efforts to keep her and other women from ground combat positions in the military. Now she's running as a Democrat against the tea party Republican Congressman who refused to meet with her about her fight because she wasn't a campaign donor. Read the rest

We won't have Paul Ryan to kick around anymore

House Speaker Paul Ryan, an asshole, is quitting his job. Read the rest

Oklahoma Republicans are tearing themselves apart as they confront the economic wreckage of their policies

Oklahoma spent eight years under full GOP rule, with Republicans controlling the governorship and the legislature, passing a fully ALEC-compliant slate of laws that benefited the wealthy at the expense of the poor; the result has been a catastrophe for the party's fortunes in Oklahoma, to say nothing of a catastrophe for Oklahomans, whose schools are running four day weeks so teachers can made ends meet by getting a day's work at Walmart (no wonder they're on the verge of striking); while Republican lawmakers have run amok, introducing bills demanding that creationism be taught in schools; or that protesters be bankrupted for peaceful assembly; and making the state a haven for forced-labor camps masquerading as drug rehab centers. Read the rest

GOP candidate Rick Saccone hates government waste, bills the taxpayer like crazy on his own personal expenses, which totalled $435,172

Rick Saccone (@Saccone4PA18) is the Republican challenger for the seat vacated by Tim Murphy, the Pennsylvania anti-abortion Congressman who resigned after being outed for pressuring his pregnant mistress to get an abortion. Read the rest

The Tea Party's baseless claims of IRS discrimination left the agency on life-support, unable to police dark money gushing through "charities"

In 2013, Tea Party activists claimed that they'd been singled out by the IRS for political reasons, and that's why their associated nonprofits were not being approved by the tax agency. In reality, a longrunning investigation found that the IRS was merely incompetent and understaffed, but the Tea Party's tactic of going after the referee rather than the system worked for them: the result was an IRS that has had its resources cut even further, leaving it less -- nor more -- able to evaluate charitable organizations that apply for tax-exempt status. Read the rest

Missouri legislator responds to abortion controversy by slaughtering chicken. 'God gave man dominion over animals.'

Benjamin writes, "Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has called for a special session to basically make Saint Louis less of a 'sanctuary city' for those seeking abortion. This special session will lead to some pretty hefty taxpayer expense, of course, and has faced some opposition. In an inexplicable turn of events, this has lead to state Representative Mike Moon [R-Ash Grove] [@realmikemoon, +1 573-751-4077, Mike.Moon@house.mo.gov] a member of the Tea Party, to literally slaughter/Indiana Jones de-heart a live chicken, on video. Because, abortion." Read the rest

House Republicans just voted to defund the agency that fights election hacking

All of the GOP's bluster about election fraud couldn't save the budget for the Election Administration Commission, the federal agency that deals with software security risks in America's creating, Windows-2000-based voting machines. Read the rest

For 13 years, Texas has been secretly, illegally denying kids special education

In 2004, under then-governor Rick Perry, the Texas Education Agency secretly instituted a plan to cap the number of students receiving special education support at 8.5% -- far less than the national average. Read the rest

Court rules that FCC can't force states to repeal laws banning municipal ISPs

Tea Party-dominated states across America passed laws banning cities from providing high-speed internet access to their residents, even in places where the cable/telco duopoly had decided not to sell broadband; last year, the FCC issued an order stating that these laws were null and void. Read the rest

After repeated budget cuts, Missouri's underfunded Public Defender drafts the Governor to work for him

Brother Phil writes, "The Public Defender's Office in Missouri is chronically underfunded by a governor who can always find money for his pet projects. However, they do have the power to draft any lawyer to serve as the defense in a case if they don't have one spare.Guess who just happens to be a lawyer..." 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

DoJ: Supreme Court ruling means only 5 states will have federal election observers this November

When the Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Act in 2015, we learned that the 2016 election would be the first in two generations without the basic protections for equal voting rights for all people. Read the rest

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