Trump's signature tax break for poor people went to subsidize a superyacht marina in Florida

Trump's 2017 #taxscam transferred more than a trillion dollars to the richest people in America, but when Trump talks about it, he likes to tout the bill's "opportunity zone" provisions that provided massive tax breaks to investors who put money into places that would supposedly create jobs and housing for poor Americans. Read the rest

Before you ask your Chinese factory for a discount, make sure you won't be kidnapped and/or have your product cloned

A post called "The Right Way to Reduce Your China Product Costs" on China Law Blog (previously) sounds like pretty anodyne stuff, but it turns out to be a catalog of several technothrillers' worth of ultra-weird, real-world skullduggery and chicanery from the world of late-stage capitalism and trade war. Read the rest

​Twitter is awash in disinformation bots tweeting lies about the Kentucky gubernatorial election results

It's a preview of just how badly things could go in 2020: the Kentucky gubernatorial race was narrowly decided for the Democratic candidate Andy Beshear, but the monumentally unpopular Trumpist incumbent Matt Bevin will not concede, and instead, he is repeating the Trumpist lie that "voter fraud" caused him to lose his office. Read the rest

Taxpayers spent $10b for Trump's wall (so far); smugglers are cutting it with $100 saws and $10 blades

Cutting through the vertical bollards in Trump's "virtually impenetrable" wall takes mere minutes, using a $100 reciprocating saw and "extreme metal cutting" blades that sell for $10-15; once cut, the length of the bollards provides leverage to wall-cutters so they can be easily bent to allow a person to pass through them, and afterwards, the bollards can be replaced and cemented with easy-to-cut putty that border patrol officers often mistake for official repair welds (these welds are only slightly harder to cut through than the putty). Read the rest

Despite denials, it's clear that Google's new top national security hire was instrumental to Trump's #KidsInCages policy

After news broke last week that Google's latest head of national security policy engagement was Miles Taylor, former chief of staff to DHS undersecretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Google tried to calm its outraged staff by insisting that Taylor had nothing to do with Trump's Kids in Cages policy that shattered families forever and murdered innocent children, nor with Trump's racist ethnic cleansing Muslim Ban. Read the rest

Teen Vogue exec editor Samhita Mukhopadhyay: "proud to be 'the most insidious form of teen communist propaganda'"

Teen Vogue has emerged as one of the most progressive mass-media forums in an age of Trumpism and its official misogyny and racism -- it's a Conde Naste magazine aimed at teen girls with a labor reporter who regularly dissects capitalism's failings and writes explainers on the need for a general strike. Read the rest

1 in 14 Trump appointees is a former lobbyist, four times the rate under Obama

Trump Town is a Propublica/Columbia Journalism Investigations interactive database of everyone working in the Trump administration; the latest revision reveals that Trump has hired 281 former lobbyists to regulate the industries that used to sign their paychecks. Read the rest

What it would cost to build Trump's snake-and-alligator border moat

Earlier this month, we learned that one of the most enduring frustrations of Trump's presidency is that no one will take his suggestion of building a moat filled with man-eating alligators and poisonous snakes along the US border (something he's been talking up for at least 35 years!). Read the rest

CBP officer refuses to allow American journalist into the country until he admits he writes "propaganda"

Ben Watson is a reporter for Defenseone, a news site that covers "US defense and National Security" who formerly served in the US Army as a public affairs officer; last week, Watson returned to the USA after an assignment in Denmark, entering the country at Dulles Airport. Read the rest

Whistleblowers out Falwell's Liberty University as a grifty, multibillion-dollar personality cult

Jerry Falwell, Sr founded the Moral Majority, brought evangelicals into the voting booth, elected Ronald Reagan, and changed the face of American politics forever; his son, Jerry Jr now commands the Falwell empire, including Liberty University, which now has $3b in assets. Read the rest

Survey: Self-identified "pro lifers" are generally contemptuous of women

Supermajority's Gender Equality, the Status of Women and the 2020 Elections surveys likely 2020 voters (N=1912), finds a strong correlation between opposition and broad misogynistic beliefs, such as opposition to the idea that women and men should hold an equal number of positions of power; opposition to the #MeToo movement; a disbelief in the idea that access to birth control affects women's power in society (likewise, skepticism that the lack of woman role models in powerful positions is significant). Read the rest

The only path to victory in the Middle Earth election is to appeal to the moderate orc voter

David Howard, McSweeney's: "Let me tell you, it’s hard out here for an orc. We experience tremendous insecurity, not knowing whether we’ll have a job, or be able to raid peaceful villages, or if our friends will eat us. Sauron appeals to us economically challenged goblins because he offers us the chance of a decent wage, respect for our values, and renewed pride in being the corrupted spawn of Morgoth." (Image: Guise, CC BY-SA, modified; Chicago Costume Company) (via Bruce Sterling) Read the rest

Wisconsin commissioned an independent report on how to fix the Foxconn deal. Result: it can't be done.

In 2017, Trump and then-Wisconsin Governor (and Koch darling) Scott Walker announced that they would give Chinese manufacturing giant $3B in taxpayer subsidies to open the only flat panel display factory in the western hemisphere (the figure quickly grew to $4.1B), despite the company's long, documented history of lying to governments, sucking up subsidies, and never delivering the promised facilities or jobs. Read the rest

Fixing Equinox's "Commit to Something" in light of owner's plans to host a Trump fundraiser

Anthony Clune writes, "I fixed Equinox’s ‘Commit To Something‘ advertising campaign after Stephen Ross, chairman of parent company The Related Cos. announced he’s hosting a Trump fundraiser. Feel free to share!" Read the rest

Grifty "Students For Trump" founder pleads guilty to wire fraud for pretending to be a lawyer

John Lambert is a 23-year-old from Tennessee who has done a lot in his short years on this earth: in addition to co-founding "Students for Trump," he also co-founded a fake law firm called Pope & Dunn, where he pretended to be a lawyer called Eric Pope (law degree: NYU; finance degree: U Penn; years of legal experience: 15), and defrauded clients of $46,000. Read the rest

State department official alleged be behind white nationalist terror-supporter pseudonym: "[Whites] need a country of our own with nukes"

The Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch makes a compelling case linking US Bureau of Energy Resources foreign affairs officer Matthew Q. Gebert with a series of violent white nationalist identities that have advocated acts of terror within in the USA and have been involved with recruiting for and promoting white nationalist terror organizations. Read the rest

Leaks reveal that disgraced, hacked surveillance company wrote Republican Congressman's border security talking-points

Remember Perceptics, the Border Patrol contractor whose facial recognition database was hacked, along with hundreds of gigs' worth of internal files? Read the rest

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