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

Video effects used to improve the Trumpbot at Disney World's Hall of Presidents

The election of authoritarian racist garbage person Donald Trump to the presidency was attended by many controversies, but none so salient as his inclusion in Walt Disney World's Hall of Presidents, wherein each newly elected president is represented as an animatronic figure whose dialog that president gets to record, using their own human voices. Read the rest

Grifty conservative PACs raised millions pushing racist Obama conspiracies to elderly, low-income supporters, then kept almost all of it

Propublica and Politico have teamed up for a long, beautifully reported expose on the Conservative Majority Fund and other PACs that senior Republican operators founded to solicit millions from donors (many of them elderly and on low, fixed incomes), allegedly to combat racist, far-fetched Obama plans they claimed were in the offing, but almost all of the money ended up in their own pockets. Read the rest

Trade war: Hasbro is shifting manufacturing to Vietnam and India, drawing down production in China

Thanks to Trump's tariffs and saber-rattling, Hasbro is investing in factories in Vietnam and India, de-emphasizing its China operations: the world's biggest toymaker insists that the initiative -- which will cut China's share of its manufacturing from two-thirds to one-half -- is about "spreading our footprint and adding new geographies for production." Read the rest

#Rickyrenuncia: Bowing to popular pressure, Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Rossello has resigned

After weeks of mass demonstrations touched off by the publication of a trove of leaked chats and evidence of mass corruption by Puerto Rico's Center for Investigative Journalism, Ricardo Rossello has done what he swore he would not: resigned. Read the rest

Appeals court orders unsealing of the Jeffrey Epstein files

More than a decade ago, a federal prosecutor named Alexander Acosta set up a secret sweetheart deal for Jeffrey Epstein, a wealthy, Trump-connected admitted multiple rapist of underaged teen girls who was thought to be running a trafficking ring for wealthy, well-connected sexual predators, that saw Epstein serving only 13 months in a minimum security facility, on a work-release program that let him spend most of that time out of a cell. Read the rest

Photos of dangerous overcrowding at US border patrol detention centers

On Tuesday the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General released a report on overcrowding at US detention centers. Buzzfeed ran photos from the report.

Inspectors detailed how, when they visited several the facilities earlier this month, they found adults and minors with no access to showers. Many adults were only fed bologna sandwiches, and detainees were seen banging on cell windows — pressing notes to the windows that detailed their time in custody.

Inspectors described the conditions as "dangerous" and "prolonged." Some adults were held in standing-room-only conditions for a week. There was little access to hot showers or hot food for families and children in some facilities.

The inspectors said the overcrowding and prolonged detention for the single adults represented a security risk for detainees, agents, and officers. Adults purposely clogged toilets with Mylar blankets and socks in order to be released from their cells, while some refused to return to cells after they had been cleaned. Others tried to escape.

Read the rest

Trump defeated: 2020 Census will not contain citizenship question

Following the Supreme Court's determination that there was no good reason to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, the Trump administration has abandoned its pursuit of the project. Read the rest

Billionaire newspaper monopolist family cancels editorial cartoonist after anti-Trump drawing

Canada's Irving family is one of the richest in the world, owning more land than anyone except the British royals and the Catholic church; they also own virtually all the media in New Brunswick, as well as the industries that those newspapers cover, and they augment their media control over the public discourse with a ruthless approach to their critics. Read the rest

Richard Kadrey discusses his new dieselpunk noir novel "The Grand Dark"

Earlier this month, I reviewed Richard Kadrey's new novel "The Grand Dark" for the LA Times; as I wrote, "His latest is “The Grand Dark,” a noir, diesel punk book set in a Weimar world of war trauma, debauchery, cabaret and looming disaster — and it's superb." Read the rest

Howto: stay civil while discussing the children in America's concentration camps

As our political betters are always there to remind us, civility is important, the key to getting things done -- that's why Gerning Joe was so pallsy wallsy with segregationists -- you wouldn't want to offend the eugenics movement, because there's good people on both sides. Read the rest

America can only go to war against Iran if it reinstates the draft

Gil Barndollar -- a Marine veteran who served in Afghanistan, the Republic of Georgia, Guantanamo Bay and Bahrain, who also holds a PhD in History from Cambridge -- writes in USA Today about what a US regime change effort in Iran would mean, logistically speaking. Read the rest

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