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Thursday, September 21, 2017
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Syria

Trump’s Maniacal U.N. Address Has Set America On A Course With Cataclysm

For a red-state campaign rally, President Trump’s speech to the United Nations was a stirring package of moralistic rhetoric, nationalistic posturing and self-righteous rage. For a meeting of international leaders, the president’s address was a garbage can of ideological arrogance, cultural contempt and political shortsightedness.

September 21, 2017
trump g7 summit

Trump Could Confuse Our Way Back Into Climate Deal

The past few days have produced clashing reports that he may or may not come around. Confusion is how Trump gets turnarounds past the base. What happened right after he spoke of helping the “dreamers,” immigrants brought to this country illegally as children? He defended his earlier controversial remarks equating the Charlottesville racists to the protesters. And he retweeted anti-Muslim sentiments.

September 21, 2017
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Populist Victories Won In This Conservative Colorado Town

Since the 1990s, Colorado Springs has been shaped by an inordinate number of right-wing institutions. Yet, the Springs also is home to a hardy band of progressives, including environmentalists, unionists, women’s champions, scrappy entrepreneurs, LGBTQ activists, students and teachers, a sizeable immigrant population, social justice church groups and some sensible libertarians.

September 21, 2017
drudge-russia-fedora

How Matt Drudge Became The Pipeline For Russian Propaganda

On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 passengers and crew. The next day, President Barack Obama alleged that the responsible parties were Russian-backed separatists seizing territory in the region following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Obama’s statement came amid a furious effort by Russian propaganda outlets to foster confusion about the act. In their telling, the tragedy had actually been a failed attempt by Ukrainians to shoot down President Vladimir Putin’s plane.

September 21, 2017
stephen miller

Xenophobic Trump Aide Kills Report On Budget Benefits From Refugees

The Trump administration is suppressing an internal executive branch report that found refugees admitted into the U.S. add billions to federal revenues, a conclusion that runs counter to White House chief policy adviser Stephen Miller’s anti-refugee narrative.

September 20, 2017

Republican Govs Create Fake News Site Disguised As Legitimate Outlet

Never underestimate Republicans’ willingness to pull out a shovel when it seems they’ve hit rock bottom. For proof one need look no further than the Free Telegraph, a website purposely constructed to look like a news publication that’s actually a hyperpartisan bit of propaganda launched by the Republican Governors Association.

September 20, 2017

Why Is This Man Trump’s Favorite Foreign Leader?

Irma, Houston, Russiagate, tax reform, and don’t forget North Korea. Big stories consuming our media landscape in a country both enthnocentric and myopic, even on the sleepiest news day. So I will keep this brief. In 2014, after he and Najib Razak played a round of golf, Donald J. Trump gave a photo of himself to the Malaysian leader, inscribed, “To my favorite prime minister.” This is according to reporting by Mark Landler, in a New York Times article, “Trump Welcomes Najib Razak, the Malaysian Leader, as President, and owner of a Fine Hotel.”

September 20, 2017
Robert_Mueller,_2012

Mueller Seen To Be Probing Trump Like A Mob Boss

Speaking of Manafort, his reported experiences with Mueller’s team stand as a prominent example of the investigation’s scope and tactics. When Manafort’s house was raided in July in a search for documents and information on his computer, prosecutors said they intended to indict him, the Times reported, citing two people close to the investigation.

September 20, 2017

Colleges Come To Their Senses The Hard Way

Harvard University came under justified attack when it named Chelsea Manning a visiting fellow. Critics asked how Harvard could honor a former U.S. Army officer convicted of leaking 750,000 classified or sensitive documents. The university rescinded the invitation, and Manning hit back, tweeting, “Honored to be 1st disinvited trans woman visiting Harvard fellow.” That went far in answering the “how could Harvard” question.

September 19, 2017
Painkillers

Attorneys General In 37 States Urge Insurance Industry To Do More To Curb Opioid Epidemic

Attorneys general for 37 states sent a letter Monday to the health insurance industry’s main trade group, urging its members to reconsider coverage policies that may be fueling the opioid crisis. The letter is part of an ongoing investigation by the state officials into the causes of the opioid epidemic and the parties that are most responsible. The group is also focusing on the marketing and sales practices of drug makers and the role of drug distributors.

September 19, 2017
Trump, Democracy

The Trumps Say They’re Opening Hotels In Dallas, Nashville And Elsewhere. We Couldn’t Find Evidence Of Them.

Earlier this summer, the Trump Organization announced big plans to open a line of hotels across the country. The new brand, American IDEA, would be modestly priced and patriotically themed. “The product is very hometown and fits in every hometown in the United States,” Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger said during a presentation at Trump Tower in Manhattan, the same place where Donald Trump had announced his presidential campaign two years earlier.

September 19, 2017
Robert Mueller

The Mueller Probe Reportedly Has White House Staffers Freaked

In private, White House officials have said they are afraid their co-workers may be secretly recording their conversations to pass along to Mueller, the investigation’s special counsel, according to a report in The New York Times Sunday. Mueller has hired 17 prosecutors for his investigation looking at whether Trump’s campaign helped Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 election. Among these lawyers are experts in transnational crime and money laundering.

September 19, 2017

8 Of The GOP’s Favorite Scapegoats That Get Trotted Out When Things Don’t Go Their Way

Republicans have a way of relying on scapegoats when their plans don’t work out as expected. There are so many go-to GOP scapegoats, it would be impossible to name them all here. I’m sure many of you have your favorites: Black Lives Matter, the EPA, feminists, climatologists, Islam, income taxes, Michael Moore, Hillary Clinton, and anybody who ever says the words “gun control.” If you can name it, they can blame it.

September 19, 2017
opioids

Amid Opioid Crisis, Insurers Restrict Pricey, Less Addictive Painkillers

At a time when the United States is in the grip of an opioid epidemic, many insurers are limiting access to pain medications that carry a lower risk of addiction or dependence, even as they provide comparatively easy access to generic opioid medications.

September 18, 2017
local shop

7 Good Things That Happen Every Time You Decide To Buy Local

In times like these (Donald Trump, the climate crisis, environmental degradation, police brutality, etc.), it’s natural to feel a need to do something. But what? It’s easy to donate online to any one of hundreds of organizations. Heck, even making an Amazon purchase online or an in-store Whole Foods purchase is accompanied by an opportunity to donate to an organization that needs your spare change. But where does that money go? And really, do you know what effect it is having?

September 18, 2017
patriotic

Where Are The Monuments To Real American Heroes?

In May, the New Orleans City Council declared monuments of Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate Gen. PGT Beauregard public nuisances and had them removed. In August, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh ordered Confederate monuments removed from the city’s public spaces.

September 18, 2017
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign event at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Hillary Making Medea Rounds

But this is a different version of Herself — ahem! — herself. Ironically, this is the winning version, much more true and real. It’s a shame she didn’t show up at the carnival — ahem! — the campaign. She’s here to tell us “What Happened,” the title of her new tome. It may make you weep, but a good cry never hurt anybody.

September 17, 2017
Kris Kobach, Muslim Ban, Terrorism

Experts Say The Use Of Private Email By Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission Isn’t Legal

President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission came under fire earlier this month when a lawsuit and media reports revealed that the commissioners were using private emails to conduct public business. Commission co-chair Kris Kobach confirmed this week that most of them continue to do so.

September 17, 2017

How JPMorgan Chase Is Cashing In On Private Prisons

JPMorgan Chase, like so many corporations, is trying to have its cake and eat it under the Trump administration. In the last few weeks, it has invested time, public relations’ efforts and money in presenting itself as a defender of human rights. But the $2 million Chase pledged to fight racism is a drop in the ocean compared to the potential yield from its massive investment in the private prison system: one of the starkest manifestations of racial injustice in the U.S. today, profiting primarily from the detention of immigrants seeking a new life in the U.S.

September 17, 2017

New Hampshire Just Decriminalized Marijuana Possession

As of noon Saturday, the possession of small amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized in New Hampshire. Now, people in New England who are caught with a joint or two will not be subject to arrest. Two New England states—Maine and Massachusetts—have legalized marijuana, and all the others have now decriminalized it. Decriminalization came when, after years of effort, the legislature passed House Bill 640 in June, and Republican Gov. John Sununu signed it into law the following month.

September 17, 2017
Immigration, Terrorism

GOP’s Audacious Scheme To Hijack Voting And Rig Elections Moving Forward

First came Kris Kobach’s willfully incorrect—but headline-grabbing—accusation on Breitbart.com that more than 5,000 people illegally voted last fall in New Hampshire, delivering an Electoral College majority to Hillary Clinton and a U.S. senate seat to a Democrat. Kobach, an attorney whose anti-immigrant activism launched his career, is the Kansas secretary of state, a current gubernatorial candidate, and co-chair of President Trump’s Orwellian-titled “election integrity” commission.

September 17, 2017
Andrew Hawkins of the Cleveland Browns makes a catch on November 30, 2014 in Orchard Park, New York

All Rise, Or Not, For The United States Of Football

This column isn’t about baseball. It’s about Cleveland Browns football players, the national anthem and a police union president who has a habit of making us sound like a town of time travelers who just arrived with a thud from somewhere in the 1950s.

September 16, 2017
Senate

How To Get A Health Care System For People, Not Just For Corporate Profit

Sanders’ proposal (like Rep. John Conyers’ bill in the U.S. House) will cut the health care costs paid by typical working families from some $6,200 a year to $466. It’ll also cut out the complexity and stress of getting the care you need — just go to any private doctor you choose, show your public insurance card and — Bingo — you’re in! No more co-pays, deductibles or fighting with corporate insurance bureaucrats trying to keep you out.

September 16, 2017
alt-right-memes-8

White Nationalists’ Favorite Reddit Cesspool

The internet has given us many things, some of them wonderful and some of them awful. The so-called alt-right—the racist, misogynist collective of angry white men—deserves a place in the digital garbage pile, alongside cyberbullying, revenge porn and “2 Girls 1 Cup.” (And to a far, far lesser degree, choreographed wedding dance videos.)

September 16, 2017
Donald_Trump_closeup

GOP Strategist Delivers Savage Tweetstorm Against Trump Supporters

Republican strategist Rick Wilson is among President Trump’s most intense critics. As right-wingers melted down over Trump’s decision to work with Democrats to save DACA recipients from deportation, Wilson was thoroughly enjoying himself.

September 16, 2017