Amnesty International warns that Trump's hatemongering sets "a dangerous precedent for other governments to follow."

If you've had the sneaking suspicion over the past year that the world is going to hell, you're not alone. Amnesty International's 2017-2018 State of the World's Human Rights Annual Report says that in many countries, the politics of hate and fear are quickly becoming the norm.

The report, which covers the activities of 159 countries paints a troubling picture of the conditions that many people are forced to endure on an alarmingly more regular basis. For those who keep track of human rights issues, this is old hat--the world can be a shitty place, full of shitty people doing shitty things to folks that don't deserve it. What's new this year, although it's likely news to no one, is that America is one of a small group of countries at the forefront of Amnesty International's concerns. In a press release for the report, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, states:

"The specters of hatred and fear now loom large in world affairs, and we have few governments standing up for human rights in these disturbing times. Instead, leaders such as al-Sisi, Duterte, Maduro, Putin, Trump and Xi are callously undermining the rights of millions."

The report goes on call out the Trump administration's attempted rollback of women's rights and to block the entry of visitors and immigrants from Muslim countries, as particularly troubling and that Trump's "...backward steps on human rights are setting a dangerous precedent for other governments to follow."

The whole text of the annual report is available for download, here. Read the rest

Trump and the weird attention economy of Facebook

When you try to buy online ads from Facebook's self-serve ad-auctioning platform, merely being the highest bidder isn't enough to guarantee that your ads will get through: Facebook multiplies your bid by a software-generated prediction about how responsive the audience will be to it, so the clickbaitier your ad is, the less it costs to place it. Read the rest

Trump's tiny sausage fingers too small to mask his "how to human" crib-sheet for mass shooting presser

On Wednesday, President Trump met with mass-shooting survivors to dismiss their pleas for basic gun safety laws that might negatively impact gun manufacturers' profits by instead proposing stupid shit like filling schools with armed veterans and giving guns to teachers. Read the rest

John Oliver is here to remind you that things, as always, are not OK

Depending on your political leanings, the latest episode of Last Week Tonight, available on YouTube for the world to enjoy/loathe, will provide you with some catharsis or fill you with loathing. Read the rest

This book explains how to tell when your country's going to hell and how to stop it

You may have noticed of late that things in America are becoming less, well, American.

A cruel misogynist with dangerously racist beliefs is running the show. Nazis and bigots of all stripes no long fear giving voice to their hatred in public. The nation's journalists and the free flow of information are under attack. The government is working hard to defund the healthcare apparatus designed to protect the country's most vulnerable citizens. Piece by piece, the country's institutions, its heart and soul are being torn asunder, paving the way for something new. After reading Timothy Snyder's most recent book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, I gotta tell you, if you're scared of the outcome of all of this, chances are you're likely not scared enough.

Snyder is a scholar who specializes in the history of the the 20th century and, more pointedly, the holocaust. His knowledge of how a country's slow slide into fascism at the whim of a tyrant can occur is beyond reproach, given his academic street cred: he's the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale, a Committee on Conscience member at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. What I'm getting at is that he knows from bad shit, how it starts and historically, how it's gone down. With the current political and popular climate in a number of nations around the world, he's concerned that the ugliest parts of humanity are ready to rear their heads once again.

On Tyranny's only 126 pages long. Read the rest

Second WH official resigns over domestic abuse, David Sorensen's ex-wife tells of violence

News of Trump White House speech writer David Sorensen's resignation hit late Friday as the WaPo prepared a story on his ex-wife's allegations of violent domestic abuse. The White House said they learned of the accusations from her on Thursday.

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Trump will not declassify Democratic memo for release

The memo wars continue. This Friday night news dump brought to you by President Trump.

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Dozens of White House officials & Trump appointees never got security clearance — like Jared Kushner, Rob Porter

Some 30 to 40 White House officials and Trump administration political appointees are operating more than a year into the Trump regime without full security clearances. One of them is Jared Kushner. Until recently, another was noted wife-basher Rob Porter.

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Report claims CHP colluded with Nazis who organized bloody rally of racists in Sacramento

Good news! At least one law enforcement agency is working with members of the community they're sworn to protect. Just one problem. The local folks these police worked with were Nazis. Read the rest

32 Democratic senators demand to know if Trump's consumer finance boss has let Equifax off the hook

Following reports this week that Mick Mulvaney, Trump's new chief of the Consumer Finance Protection Board had stopped all activity related to probing the Equifax breach in which the sensitive financial data of virtually every adult American was stolen, 32 Democratic senators have written to Mulvaney demanding that he account for himself. Read the rest

A pair of leaked powerpoints reveal the earliest-known evidence of the Republican gerrymandering plan that gave us Trump

David Daley's hugely important 2016 book Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy uses original documents to trace the Republican master gerrymandering plan -- which gave them disproportionate control in several states, allowing them to redraw federal districts to repeat the feat at the national level -- to meetings in 2009; but a pair of leaked Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) powerpoints show that GOP strategists were scheming and fundraising to ensure that their candidates would wield power regardless of popular support at least a year and a half earlier. Read the rest

Morgellons Tesseract atop Trump's head peels off in high winds

CORDELL! CORDELL! WHERE'S MY RUBBER CEMENT?

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Dirty #NunesMemo trick worked: 3 out of 4 Trump voters now believe FBI biased against Trump

Huffington Post and YouGov did a survey around the so-called 'Nunes memo' political stunt from last week, and found some that some 75% of Americans who voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections now believe the FBI is biased against him.

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Trump's own White House official called him 'deplorable,' private messages show

White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah referred to President Donald Trump as “a deplorable” and described the release of the Access Hollywood tape as “some justice,” NY Mag reports, based on private messages independently obtained and verified by the publication.

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Trump's lawyers want him not to do interview with Mueller in Russia inquiry: NYT

President Donald Trump's lawyers want him to refuse to be interviewed by Robert Mueller in the ongoing investigation involving Russia and other possible areas of criminal activity. He may refuse, but the investigation isn't going away.

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Trump calls Americans who don't clap for him 'treasonous,' 'Un-American' while stock market drops

'President' Donald Trump used the word 'treason' when commenting today on the behavior of Democratic lawmakers people at his shitty State of the Union address last week. They failed to clap, smile, or praise him.

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Watch the first episode of 'Our Cartoon President' for free

Our Cartoon President takes jabs at Trump and his rag-tag band of misfits. Showtime released the premiere episode for free:

State of the Union. The President tries to revive his low approval ratings by delivering the greatest State of the Union speech in history and to strengthen his relationship with First Lady Melania by naming her the national bird.

Our Cartoon President | Series Premiere (YouTube / Showtime) Read the rest

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