Matt Taibbi on Chris Christie's "agonizing" memoir: "an epic literary self-own"

Chris Christie's got a new memoir, "Let Me Finish," and Matt Taibbi (previously), Rolling Stone's most incandescent and relentless writer, has done us all the mercy of reading Christie so we don't have to. Read the rest

Trump's properties routinely employed (and abused) undocumented Latinx workers, including dozens from a single Costa Rican town

The Washington Post tracked down workers from Santa Teresa de Cajon in Costa Rica, who say that they and their neighbors were part of a "pipeline" from Central America to Trump properties in New Jersey and elsewhere, where they worked doing construction, groundskeeping, and cleaning, with the full knowledge of their supervisors and Trump Organization managers (a claim verified by a police report detailing a warning from local officials to Trump Organization bosses about the number of undocumented workers on Trump's property). Read the rest

Kleptocracy in America: Russian-style corruption, driven by global oligarchs, enabled by US elites

As Naomi Klein documents in her classic and seminal book The Shock Doctrine, disasters and upheavals are the bread-and-butter of global looters, who use the collapse of civil society or the default of debtor states to privatize state assets at pennies on the dollar, then milk them into further crises, which create more chances for looting -- but the collapse of the USSR was different, because the spies and strongmen who rode out that collapse ensured that public assets were only given to domestic looters, not off-shore oligarchs. Read the rest

Appeals court to Donald Trump's FCC: "Drop dead."

The federal appeals court in the DC circuit has overturned the FCC's decision to make it effectively impossible for people on tribal lands to make use of the federal "Lifeline} program that provides cheap broadband access to poor communities. Read the rest

Delayed, not saved: Foxconn's Wisconsin "factory" announcement is a bid to help Trump save face

After announcing that, inevitably, it wasn't going to build an LCD factory in Wisconsin, and would instead use its $4.1 billion subsidy to build a modest R&D facility employing out-of-state skilled workers; Foxconn reversed itself and promised that the factory was back on. Read the rest

Charter slashes network spending by $2B, but makes up for it by charging its customers more

When Trump FCC Chairman (and former telcoms executive) Ajit Pai murdered Net Neutrality, he told us the slaughter was necessary, otherwise the ISPs wouldn't invest in their networks. Read the rest

Predatory lender found to have swindled veterans' pensions for eight years, so Trump's CFPB fined him $1

Mark Corbett has settled with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- founded by Elizabeth Warren and then gutted by Trump appointee and awful person Mick Mulvaney, now the White House Chief of Staff -- over the complaints that he ran an illegal loan-sharking operation that swindled veterans out of their pensions for a decade.

He has been fined $1. Read the rest

Secret Service challenge coin commemorates unpaid labor during the shutdown

The latest Secret Service challenge coin (previously) commemorates Trump's shutdown (which has nearly 1,000,000 people going without pay, and has undermined everything from air travel to the ability of poor people to eat and pay rent), bearing the legends "Essential Personnel" and "Don't Worry, You'll Get Backpay." Perhaps SS agents can pay their rent by flogging the coins on Ebay, where the rarest of SS challenge coins fetch up to $500. 6,000 Secret Service employees are working without pay around the world and another 1,222 have been furloughed. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Republican Arizona lawmaker revives doomed "porn tax" to fund Trump's doomed border-wall

Anti-porn troll Chris Sevier (previously) has built his career by convincing grandstanding Republican state lawmakers to introduce doomed, unconstitutional porn-tax laws that would require in-state ISPs to implement default-on censorship of "adult sites" (or, more specifically, "sites appearing an an arbitrary, unaccountable secret blacklist of allegedly adult material") and then charge $20/subscriber to turn off the filters. Read the rest

Trump's FCC chairman won't do anything about your cellular company selling your location to bountyhunters because shutdown

Motherboard's blockbuster story about mobile carriers selling your realtime location data into a marketplace where bounty hunters and other villains can buy it for just a few dollars has triggered an urgent, national conversation about the fact that, in the year since the first stories about this emerged, the carriers have not only failed to live up to their promises to put a stop to it, but seem to have made it even worse. Read the rest

Shutdowns don’t get bad linearly; they get bad exponentially

Federal employees missed their first paycheck last week; from here on in, every milestone dramatically exacerbates the pain of the shutdown: a halt to aviation as TSA screeners quit en masse, civil cases stall in federal courts, 38 million hungry Americans denied food stamps and 10% of food sales in the US vanishing; deals expiring with the landlords of 40,000 low income households; then 2.2 million more households are imperiled; landlords renting to federal agencies will go without rent but won't be able to evict federal tenants, triggering mortgage and debt defaults; prison guards go from today's skeleton crew to near-total absenteeism; city buses stop running as Federal Transport Agency payments dry up; drugs fall out of the FDA pipeline, denying medication to ill and dying people; and of course, every IPO is stalled (and maybe DOA) for so long as the shutdown continues. Read the rest

In DHS tests, prototypes of Trump's chosen barrier posts were easily defeated by hacksaws

Trump isn't America's most anti-immigrant president; that honor goes to Obama, the great deporter, who also extensively tested border wall technologies while deporting 2MM undocumented people. Read the rest

Children in Virginia's Trump supporting counties became more abusive

Kids are bigger bullies in counties that voted for the incoherent mobster.

NPR reports:

After the 2016 presidential election, teachers across the country reported they were seeing increased name-calling and bullying in their classrooms. Now, research shows that those stories — at least in one state — are confirmed by student surveys.

Francis Huang of the University of Missouri and Dewey Cornell of the University of Virginia used data from a school climate survey taken by over 150,000 students across Virginia. They looked at student responses to questions about bullying and teasing from 2015 and 2017. Their findings were published Wednesday in Educational Researcher, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.

What Kids Think About Bullying And Kindness In The Trump Era In the 2017 responses, Huang and Cornell found higher rates of bullying and certain types of teasing in areas where voters favored Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Seventh- and eighth-graders in areas that favored Trump reported bullying rates in spring 2017 that were 18 percent higher than students living in areas that went for Clinton. They were also 9 percent more likely to report that kids at their schools were teased because of their race or ethnicity.

In the 2015 data, there were "no meaningful differences" in those findings across communities, the researchers wrote.

Read the rest

Trump gave AT&T a $20B tax break and killed Net Neutrality, now they're prepping mass layoffs

The same year that Trump's FCC Chairman Ajit Pai killed broadband privacy and cheated Network Neutrality to death, the Trump tax plan delivered a $20B windfall to AT&T -- both Trump and Pai claimed that the measures would stimulate the economy and trickle down to the rest of us. Read the rest

San Diego is America's safest city, but Republicans keep claiming that the US-Mexican border is responsible for "gangs, drugs, human trafficking and massive crime"

San Diego and Tijuana are practically a single city, separated by a border, which Donald Trump wants to close, claiming that "The most important way to stop gangs, drugs, human trafficking and massive crime is at our Southern Border." Read the rest

Air Force veteran Reality Winner is serving 5 years for blowing the whistle on Russian election interference, while Trump's Russia-dealing cronies are going free

In 2017, Reality Winner, a 25-year-old Air Force veteran and intelligence contractor was arrested for leaking confirmation of 2016 Russian election meddling to The Intercept; Winner seems to have been motivated by the same outrage that had animated Ed Snowden four years earlier: watching her bosses lie about matters of national interest. Read the rest

Molly Crabapple's illustrated report from the immigration detention Gulags of Texas

The intrepid and brilliant artist and journalist Molly Crabapple (previously) traveled to the immigration detention centers of the Rio Grande and interviewed and sketched the people she met there. Read the rest

More posts