"Ag-gag" laws -- which ban the collection of evidence of wrongdoing on farms, from animal cruelty to food-safety violations -- are a sterling example of how monopolism perpetuates itself by taking over the political process.
Read the rest “Court strikes down Iowa's unconstitutional ag-gag law”
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 “Molly Crabapple's illustrated report from the immigration detention Gulags of Texas”
When Bryant Durrell was in college, he played D&D with an amazing Dungeon Master, Eric, who was obsessed with the moral dimension of the game, constructing thoughtful, elaborate campaigns to get the players to reflect on the nature of good and evil -- the players jokingly called the setting Eric created "Catholic World."
Read the rest “The secret RPG history of an enabler of America's border child kidnapping policy”
"Well, we have an orchestra here. What’s missing is a conductor." That's the voice of a Border Patrol official, mocking a sobbing group of 10 terrified Central American children who've been separated from their parents at a US border-crossing.
Read the rest “Secret recording of weeping children begging for their parents while a Border Patrol official mocks them”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions -- who identifies himself as a Christian -- addressed an Arizona law enforcement conference about an imaginary "massive influx of illegal aliens across our Southwest Border" (something that not even Trump believes in), and told border guards that they should disincentivize such crossings by separating undocumented children from their parents in border detention.
Read the rest “Jeff Sessions tells border guards to separate children from their parents”
If Trump gets his way, your elderly relatives will be evicted from nursing homes after their Alzheimer's care eats up their lifetime Medicaid benefits; as Yves Smith writes, "are family members supposed to let them wander out into traffic and have nature take its course?"
Read the rest “Trump wants to cap lifetime Medicaid benefits, even for disabled people, the chronically ill, and people with Alzheimer's”
The project of making planes secure from terrorist attacks is an inescapable nonsense: nonsense because there's no way to screen millions of people to prevent a few dedicated ones from bringing down a plane (no, really); inescapable because no lawmaker or policymaker will ever have the courage to remove a measure that has previously been described as "essential for fighting terrorism" even if it was only ever security theater intended to assuage low-information voters.
Read the rest “Behold! The astonishing mental gymnastics of TSA apologists explaining why rich people don't need to be screened”
Tenants in Colony Park in West Palm Beach, Florida have been warned by their property management company Services Taylor Made ((407) 732-6850) that they are prohibited from putting shutters on their windows as a safety measure against the approaching Hurricane Irma. Read the rest “Florida management company bans tenants from using storm shutters as Hurricane Irma approaches”
Grady Judd (@PolkCoSheriff, 1-800-226-0344) is the Sheriff of Polk County, FL, in the path of Hurricane Irma; his emergency communications have included repeated warnings to Floridians with outstanding warrants that they will not be welcomed at the state's shelters, and can expect to have their warrant status checked before admission to a shelter, and to be taken to jail if they have warrants outstanding. Read the rest “Florida Sheriff warns storm victims to expect warrant checks at hurricane shelters”
Donald Trump's racist, perjuring Attorney General, former senator Jefferson Sessions, was signaled that he will reverse Obama-era AG Eric Holder's memo that told federal prosecutors not to bring charges against petty drug offenders, because these crime carry absurd minimum sentences that resulted in America imprisoning a greater proportion of its population than any country in the history of the world, including the USSR and Apartheid-era South Africa. Read the rest “Jeff Sessions wants to bring back long mandatory prison sentences for minor drug offenses”
Rep. Raul Labrador [R-Westeros] (Twitter: @Raul_Labrador, DC: (202) 225-6611; Meridien: (208) 888-3188; Lewiston (208) 743-1388; Coeur d'Alene (208) 667-0127), to a constituent who was angry he'd voted to take away healthcare from 22,000,000 Americans, dooming some to premature deaths: "That line is so indefensible. Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care." Read the rest “Idaho GOP Congressjerk: "Nobody dies because they don't have access to health care"”
Under The American Health Care Act -- presently the subject of a full-court press by House Republicans -- insurance companies will be allowed to discriminate against customers who have "pre-existing conditions," refusing to pay for problems stemming from them. Read the rest “The new Republican health care bill classes rape, PTSD, and domestic abuse as excludable pre-existing conditions”
Rep Mo Brooks [R-Alabama] (DC: (202) 225-4801; Decatur: (256) 355-9400; Huntsville: (256) 551-0190; Shoals: (256) 718-5155; Twitter: @repmobrooks) gave a refreshingly candid interview to CNN this week in which he opined that sick people have themselves to blame for their illness, and shouldn't expect insurance pools paid into by people who've "done the things to keep their bodies healthy" to cover their care. Read the rest “Alabama Rep Mo Brooks [R] says sick people don't deserve health care”
With Obama's federal government reducing the role of private prisons in the incarceration of Americans, companies like Corrections Corporation of America (now known as Corecivic) and GAO aggressively moved into providing detention facilities for people awaiting deportation, like the 2,000,000+ people deported under the Obama administrations. Read the rest “Privately run immigration detention is so violent that prisoners beg to be kept in solitary”
The UK Supreme Court recently ruled in MM v SSHD, finding that the UK government could legitimately deny entry to a British citizen's spouse if the citizen didn't have enough money to support them. This same policy is the reason that parents of 15,000 British children are not allowed to live in the UK with their kids. Read the rest “Who is immigration policy for: "taxpayers," "ordinary people" or all citizens?”
A leaked Trump administration briefing described by Reuters reveals a plan to separate children, including very young children, from their mothers for immigration detention purposes, seemingly as a deterrent to parents who attempt to cross the US border without authorization. Read the rest “Trump wants to separate small children from their mothers in immigration detention”