Big Telco wants more federal money to offer slower rural broadband

Comments filed with the FCC by AT&T, Frontier, Windstream and Ustelcom (an industry group representing telcoms companies) have asked the FCC to change the rules for its next, $20.4 billion/10 year rural broadband subsidy fund to allow them to offer slower service than the (already low) speeds the FCC has proposed. Read the rest

Pranksters produce enlistment ads featuring Trump Jr: "I'm not enlisting but YOU should"

The Good Liars -- the comedy duo of Davram Stiefler and Jason Selvig -- redecorated a Brooklyn armed forces recruiting center with posters featuring Donald Trump Jr and the slogan, "I'm not enlisting but you should" with the strapline, "There's weak, and then there's Trump weak." Read the rest

Betsy DeVos quietly spends millions to promote the unpopular policies she hopes to enact as a federal official

Betsy DeVos is the religious fanatic whose access to two unearned fortunes -- one from the Amway Ponzi scheme, founded by her husband's father; the other from her own father's machining business -- has allowed her to project her ideas about eliminating secular public education in favor of Christian indoctrination schools over millions of peoples' lives, especially the lives of poor people. Read the rest

Foxconn wants Wisconsin to keep paying it billions, but it won't disclose what kind of factory it will build

When Donald Trump and then-Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced a plan to give billions of dollars to the notorious Taiwanese sweatshop operator Foxconn to build a super-factory in Wisconsin, knowledgeable people were alarmed. Read the rest

Three women independently accuse Gordon Sondland of repeated acts of highly similar sexual misconduct

Three separate, named women have independently accused Trump's EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland of repeated acts of sexual misconduct while he was in a position of physical, financial and professional power over them. Sondland denies the accusations. Read the rest

Podcast: The Engagement-Maximization Presidency

In my latest podcast (MP3), I read my May, 2018 Locus column, "The Engagement-Maximization Presidency," where I propose a theory to explain the political phenomenon of Donald Trump: we live in a world in which communications platforms amplify anything that gets “engagement” and provides feedback on just how much your message has been amplified so you can tune and re-tune for maximum amplification. Read the rest

Trump pledged that Amazon would be forced to pay its taxes; thanks to his #taxscam, their profits went up and their taxes stayed $0.00

Amazon's tax bill in 2017 was $0. Trump was very vocal in his disgust at this situation and pledged he would make them pay their fair share. It's been a year, and Amazon's profits are way up ($11.2 billion!) but their tax bill remains precisely $0.00. Thank the #taxscam. Read the rest

Elizabeth Warren calls Zuck and Thiel's secret Trump White House dinner "corrupt"

After news broke that Peter Thiel and Mark Zuckerberg had consumed a secret White House dinner with Donald Trump, Elizabeth Warren characterised it as part of Facebook's "charm offensive with Republican lawmakers" in response to her call to use antitrust law to break up Facebook, calling the move "corruption, plain and simple...how the government keeps working for giant corporations and the wealthy and well-connected." Read the rest

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

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