32 Democratic senators demand to know if Trump's consumer finance boss has let Equifax off the hook

Following reports this week that Mick Mulvaney, Trump's new chief of the Consumer Finance Protection Board had stopped all activity related to probing the Equifax breach in which the sensitive financial data of virtually every adult American was stolen, 32 Democratic senators have written to Mulvaney demanding that he account for himself. Read the rest

A pair of leaked powerpoints reveal the earliest-known evidence of the Republican gerrymandering plan that gave us Trump

David Daley's hugely important 2016 book Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy uses original documents to trace the Republican master gerrymandering plan -- which gave them disproportionate control in several states, allowing them to redraw federal districts to repeat the feat at the national level -- to meetings in 2009; but a pair of leaked Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) powerpoints show that GOP strategists were scheming and fundraising to ensure that their candidates would wield power regardless of popular support at least a year and a half earlier. Read the rest

British court rules that the inhumane conditions in American prisons mean UK hacking suspect can't be legally extradited

Lauri Love is a British man on the autism spectrum who also has depression and severe eczema, who was facing extradition to America on charges of hacking US military and private agencies. Read the rest

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase announce new health insurer 'free from profit-making incentives and constraints'

Investor Warren Buffet, world's-richest-guy Jeff Bezos and cartoon villain Jamie Dimon have announced that their firms will collaborate to create an unnamed health insurer that is "free from profit-making incentives and constraints" (though that does not necessarily mean it will be a nonprofit, of course).

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Majority of Democrats now hold favorable views of mass-murdering simpleton George W Bush

Whenever we drive on the Ronald Reagan Expressway, my daughter asks me to remind her what Reagan was famous for, and I have to recount as much as I can recall: brought us to the brink of nuclear extinction, murdered a generation through homophobic indifference to the AIDS crisis, put the War on Drugs on overdrive, funded terrorists throughout Latin America, grew the national debt by trillions, and literally allowed astrology to steer the course of the nation. Read the rest

Short-termism led the Democratic Party to let unions die, and now they've lost their base

For decades, Democrats in power and in opposition have traded away labor laws and rules that protected unions in order to gain short-term advantages in political horse-trades, and now, with union membership down from 26 to 10.7% since the Reagan years, districts that formed Democrats' "blue wall" have been poverty-struck and have flipped for Trump. Read the rest

News report claims Dutch spies hacked Russian cyberwar operation and pwned their CCTVs, then recorded video of Russian government hackers attacking the DNC

Dutch left-leaning daily de Volkskrant has published a remarkable -- but thinly sourced -- report claiming that a Dutch spy agency called the General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands (AIVD) hacked into the network of a notorious Russian spy group called "Cozy Bear" or APT29, thought to be an arm of the Russian spy apparatus, and obtained direct evidence of Russian state involvement in the hacking of the DNC during the 2016 US election campaign. Read the rest

New York joins Montana in Net Neutrality, bans non-Neutral ISPs from supplying government agencies

Days after Montana Democratic Governor Steve Bullock signed an executive order banning ISPs that violate Net Neutrality from supplying state government agencies, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (also a Democrat) has followed suit, with an even stricter executive order. Read the rest

No such thing as Bernie Bros: Bernie's approval rates are women 50%, blacks 70%, latinx 55%; men 46%, whites 43%

A Quinnipiac poll of 1,212 voters taken last week found that Bernie Sanders was far and away the most viable Democratic candidate (76% approval), beating Oprah (69%) and Gillibrand (25%) -- and that moreover, his approval ratings were highest among women and people of color, putting a lie to the stereotype of "Bernie Bros" as young, middle-class white male political radicals who are oblivious to the more moderate preferences of others. Read the rest

The Republican candidate for Pennsylvania's 18th District is a torture advocate who worked at Abu Ghraib

When Rep Tim Murphy resigned in shame after he was outed for pressuring his mistress to get an abortion while serving on the "House Pro-Life Caucus," it triggered a special election in Pennsylvania's 18th, a rustbelt district in the southwest corner of the state, where a strong Democrat candidate named Conor Lamb is polling high against his Republican opponent, torture advocate Rick Saccone, who served as an Army intelligence support consultant at Abu Ghraib prison after its torture scandal. Read the rest

If one only more GOP senator flips, the FCC's Net Neutrality order will be up for grabs

After Trump's FCC Chairman Ajit Pai rammed through an order killing Net Neutrality -- citing easily disproved lies, ignoring millions of public comments -- activists started pinning their hopes on something called the Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress and the Senate the power to overrule the decisions of regulators from the administrative agencies like the FCC. Read the rest

Chelsea Manning is challenging Maryland Democratic Senator Benjamin L Cardin in the 2018 elections

Whistleblower and torture survivor Chelsea Manning has filed papers to challenge Senator Benjamin L Cardin for his seat in the 2018 midterm elections. Read the rest

A bipartisan, GOP-led voting machine security bill that would actually fix vulnerabilities in US elections

The Secure Elections Act is a bipartisan Senate bill with six co-sponsors that reads like a security researcher's wish-list for voting machine reforms. Specifically, it reads like Matt Blaze's wishlist, hewing closely to the excellent recommendations laid out in his testimony to the House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Technology and Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Affairs Hearing on Cybersecurity, recounting his experiences as a security researcher and as the founder of Defcon's Vote Hacking Village. Read the rest

"The efficiency gap": understanding the math behind a crucial Supreme Court gerrymandering case

Last October, the Supreme Court heard argument in Gill v. Whitford, a Wisconsin gerrymandering case that has far-reaching implications for the November midterms in 2018; the court is expected to rule next June. Read the rest

The GOP tax plan will pay millionaires to subsidize failing religious schools

Until the GOP tax plan came along, rich people who donated to religious schools only get partial tax write-offs for their gifts, because the constitutional principle of separation of church and state obliged them to use special scholarship funds that were not under direct state control. Read the rest

Democrats are polling high, progressive candidates are having a great fundraising year, but the DNC is broke

The DNC continues to struggle to raise cash, holding only $6.3M in the bank on Dec 1, compared to the RNC's $40M. But the numbers are deceiving, because 50% of the country want the Democrats to control Congress in 2018 (compared with 39% who want the GOP to retain power) and individual Democrat candidates are having banner years fundraising, especially the progressive, "Sanders Democrats" who break with the party's coziness with the finance industry and big business. Read the rest

Senator Bob Corker owed $120.5M when he was elected; now he's worth $69M

Senator Bob Corker got a rush of progressive love when he dissed Donald Trump in public, then fell from grace when he flipflopped on blocking the tax-bill after his colleagues modified it to personally give him millions -- but that guy was always dirty as hell. Read the rest

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