June 2017 Archives

Bad Idea #6,488

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If any of these asshats gets shot by neighborhood denizens, a stand your ground claim of "i feared for my life" excuse would be perfectly rational.


White Gun Nuts Plan To March Through Black Neighborhood Carrying Assault Rifles

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The Houston chapter of Open Carry Texas, a gun rights advocacy group, postponed an event that was scheduled for this past Sunday where their members were going to walk through the streets of the Fifth Ward in Houston openly carrying assault rifles. The event, which has not been canceled but merely moved to another date, was ostensibly also going to be a canned food drive organized with a local church. The Fifth Ward is a predominantly black neighborhood and the event was originally scheduled to take place shortly after the celebration of Juneteenth.

Per event organizers, the march has been moved to another date because one of the main organizers, C.J. Grisham, was unable to attend this past Sunday, as he was scheduled to appear somewhere else where open carry enthusiasts were appearing in public with guns. Per Grisham, the neighborhood march is meant to be a community outreach attempt by Open Carry as well as a charitable affair. If you are to ask the group, Open Carry's purpose in doing this isn't to antagonize and intimidate, but merely to 'educate' others and let them know that they all have the right to carry around scary-looking assault weapons everywhere they go. Texas' laws now make it perfectly legal to openly carry long assault rifles, such as an AR-15.

Joe Deshotel at Burnt Orange Report, upon learning of the original event, checked with the local church that the event's organizers stated they had coordinated with to do the canned food drive portion of the march. As one would suspect, the church had no idea what was going on and confirmed that they had not discussed any such drive with Open Carry Texas. It appears that the group was caught in a lie, as they were merely trying to create the illusion that this event was something more than just a bunch of nut jobs marching through a neighborhood carrying guns.

Deshotel also highlighted past incidents from some of the group's members. He provided pictures and Facebook posts from some of the members showing quasi-racist behavior. One member took a picture of himself outside the office of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), who represents the ward, eating a piece of fried chicken. The Congresswoman is African American. Another person was shown holding a sign that stated that the Congresswoman supported slavery because she's for gun control. One Open Carry member posted to Facebook that most blacks are thugs and that going to prison is no different than living at home and leeching off of the government, only the address has changed.

Mr Fish @TED

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Public support for 'single payer' health coverage grows

By Jocelyn Kiley

A majority of Americans say it is the federal government's responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage. And a growing share now supports a "single payer" approach to health insurance, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center.

Currently, 60% say the federal government is responsible for ensuring health care coverage for all Americans, while 39% say this is not the government's responsibility. These views are unchanged from January, but the share saying health coverage is a government responsibility remains at its highest level in nearly a decade.

Among those who see a government responsibility to provide health coverage for all, more now say it should be provided through a single health insurance system run by the government, rather than through a mix of private companies and government programs. Overall, 33% of the public now favors such a "single payer" approach to health insurance, up 5 percentage points since January and 12 points since 2014. Democrats - especially liberal Democrats - are much more supportive of this approach than they were even at the start of this year.

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Even among those who say the federal government is not responsible for ensuring Americans have health care coverage, there is little public appetite for government withdrawing entirely from involvement in health care coverage. Among the public, 33% say that health care coverage is not the government's responsibility, but that programs like Medicare and Medicaid should be continued; just 5% of Americans say the government should not be involved at all in providing health insurance.

The issue of the government's responsibility in ensuring health coverage remains deeply divisive politically, according to the new survey, conducted June 8-18 among 2,504 adults. More than eight-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (85%) say that this responsibility falls to the federal government, while about two-thirds of Republicans and Republican leaners (68%) say it does not.

Still, most Republicans (57%) say the government "should continue programs like Medicare and Medicaid for seniors and the very poor." Just 9% of Republicans say the government should not be involved in providing health insurance at all.

Trumps' Lies

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trumplies.jpgMany Americans have become accustomed to President Trump's lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office.

By DAVID LEONHARDT and STUART A.
THOMPSON

JUMP TO STORY

JAN. 21 "I wasn't a fan of Iraq. I didn't want to go into Iraq." (He was for an invasion before he was against it.)
JAN. 21 "A reporter for Time magazine -- and I have been on their cover 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time magazine." (Trump was on the cover 11 times and Nixon appeared 55 times.)
JAN. 23 "Between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused me to lose the popular vote." (There's no evidence of illegal voting.)
JAN. 25 "Now, the audience was the biggest ever. But this crowd was massive. Look how far back it goes. This crowd was massive." (Official aerial photos show Obama's 2009 inauguration was much more heavily attended.)
JAN. 25 "Take a look at the Pew reports (which show voter fraud.)" (The report never mentioned voter fraud.)
JAN. 25 "You had millions of people that now aren't insured anymore." (The real number is less than 1 million, according to the Urban Institute.)
JAN. 25 "So, look, when President Obama was there two weeks ago making a speech, very nice speech. Two people were shot and killed during his speech. You can't have that." (There were no gun homicide victims in Chicago that day.)
JAN. 26 "We've taken in tens of thousands of people. We know nothing about them. They can say they vet them. They didn't vet them. They have no papers. How can you vet somebody when you don't know anything about them and you have no papers? How do you vet them? You can't." (Vetting lasts up to two years.)
JAN. 26 "I cut off hundreds of millions of dollars off one particular plane, hundreds of millions of dollars in a short period of time. It wasn't like I spent, like, weeks, hours, less than hours, and many, many hundreds of millions of dollars. And the plane's going to be better." (Most of the cuts were already planned.)
JAN. 28 "The coverage about me in the @nytimes and the @washingtonpost has been so false and angry that the Times actually apologized to its dwindling subscribers and readers." (It never apologized.)
JAN. 29 "The Cuban-Americans, I got 84 percent of that vote." (There is no support for this.)
JAN. 30 "Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage." (At least 746 people were detained and processed, and the Delta outage happened two days later.)
FEB. 3 "Professional anarchists, thugs and paid protesters are proving the point of the millions of people who voted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!" (There is no evidence of paid protesters.)
FEB. 4 "After being forced to apologize for its bad and inaccurate coverage of me after winning the election, the FAKE NEWS @nytimes is still lost!" (It never apologized.)
FEB. 5 "We had 109 people out of hundreds of thousands of travelers and all we did was vet those people very, very carefully." (About 60,000 people were affected.)
FEB. 6 "I have already saved more than $700 million when I got involved in the negotiation on the F-35." (Much of the price drop was projected before Trump took office.)
FEB. 6 "It's gotten to a point where it is not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it." (Terrorism has been reported on, often in detail.)
FEB. 6 "The failing @nytimes was forced to apologize to its subscribers for the poor reporting it did on my election win. Now they are worse!" (It didn't apologize.)
FEB. 6 "And the previous administration allowed it to happen because we shouldn't have been in Iraq, but we shouldn't have gotten out the way we got out. It created a vacuum, ISIS was formed." (The group's origins date to 2004.)
FEB. 7 "And yet the murder rate in our country is the highest it's been in 47 years, right? Did you know that? Forty-seven years." (It was higher in the 1980s and '90s.)
FEB. 7 "I saved more than $600 million. I got involved in negotiation on a fighter jet, the F-35." (The Defense Department projected this price drop before Trump took office.)
FEB. 9 "Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave 'service' in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!" (It was part of Cuomo's first question.)
FEB. 9 Sen. Richard Blumenthal "now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?" (The Gorsuch comments were later corroborated.)
FEB. 10 "I don't know about it. I haven't seen it. What report is that?" (Trump knew about Flynn's actions for weeks.)
FEB. 12 "Just leaving Florida. Big crowds of enthusiastic supporters lining the road that the FAKE NEWS media refuses to mention. Very dishonest!" (The media did cover it.)
FEB. 16 "We got 306 because people came out and voted like they've never seen before so that's the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan." (George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all won bigger margins in the Electoral College.)
FEB. 16 "That's the other thing that was wrong with the travel ban. You had Delta with a massive problem with their computer system at the airports." (Delta's problems happened two days later.)
FEB. 16 "Walmart announced it will create 10,000 jobs in the United States just this year because of our various plans and initiatives." (The jobs are a result of its investment plans announced in October 2016.)
FEB. 16 "When WikiLeaks, which I had nothing to do with, comes out and happens to give, they're not giving classified information." (Not always. They have released classified information in the past.)
FEB. 16 "We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban. But we had a bad court. Got a bad decision." (The rollout was chaotic.)
FEB. 16 "They're giving stuff -- what was said at an office about Hillary cheating on the debates. Which, by the way, nobody mentions. Nobody mentions that Hillary received the questions to the debates." (It was widely covered.)
FEB. 18 "And there was no way to vet those people. There was no documentation. There was no nothing." (Refugees receive multiple background checks, taking up to two years.)
FEB. 18 "You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?" (Trump implied there was a terror attack in Sweden, but there was no such attack.)
FEB. 24 "By the way, you folks are in here -- this place is packed, there are lines that go back six blocks." (There was no evidence of long lines.)
FEB. 24 "ICE came and endorsed me." (Only its union did.)
FEB. 24 "Obamacare covers very few people -- and remember, deduct from the number all of the people that had great health care that they loved that was taken away from them -- it was taken away from them." (Obamacare increased coverage by a net of about 20 million.)
FEB. 27 "Since Obamacare went into effect, nearly half of the insurers are stopped and have stopped from participating in the Obamacare exchanges." (Many fewer pulled out.)
FEB. 27 "On one plane, on a small order of one plane, I saved $725 million. And I would say I devoted about, if I added it up, all those calls, probably about an hour. So I think that might be my highest and best use." (Much of the price cut was already projected.)
FEB. 28 "And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that." (NATO countries agreed to meet defense spending requirements in 2014.)
FEB. 28 "The E.P.A.'s regulators were putting people out of jobs by the hundreds of thousands." (There's no evidence that the Waters of the United States rule caused severe job losses.)
FEB. 28 "We have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption by imposing a five-year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials." (They can't lobby their former agency but can still become lobbyists.)
MARCH 3 "It is so pathetic that the Dems have still not approved my full Cabinet." (Paperwork for the last two candidates was still not submitted to the Senate.)
MARCH 4 "Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!" (There's no evidence of a wiretap.)
MARCH 4 "How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!" (There's no evidence of a wiretap.)
MARCH 7 "122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!" (113 of them were released by President George W. Bush.)
MARCH 13 "I saved a lot of money on those jets, didn't I? Did I do a good job? More than $725 million on them." (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)
MARCH 13 "First of all, it covers very few people." (About 20 million people gained insurance under Obamacare.)
MARCH 15 "On the airplanes, I saved $725 million. Probably took me a half an hour if you added up all of the times." (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)
MARCH 17 "I was in Tennessee -- I was just telling the folks -- and half of the state has no insurance company, and the other half is going to lose the insurance company." (There's at least one insurer in every Tennessee county.)
MARCH 20 "With just one negotiation on one set of airplanes, I saved the taxpayers of our country over $700 million." (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)
MARCH 21 "To save taxpayer dollars, I've already begun negotiating better contracts for the federal government -- saving over $700 million on just one set of airplanes of which there are many sets." (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)
MARCH 22 "I make the statement, everyone goes crazy. The next day they have a massive riot, and death, and problems." (Riots in Sweden broke out two days later and there were no deaths.)
MARCH 22 "NATO, obsolete, because it doesn't cover terrorism. They fixed that." (It has fought terrorism since the 1980s.)
MARCH 22 "Well, now, if you take a look at the votes, when I say that, I mean mostly they register wrong -- in other words, for the votes, they register incorrectly and/or illegally. And they then vote. You have tremendous numbers of people." (There's no evidence of widespread voter fraud.)
MARCH 29 "Remember when the failing @nytimes apologized to its subscribers, right after the election, because their coverage was so wrong. Now worse!" (It didn't apologize.)
MARCH 31 "We have a lot of plants going up now in Michigan that were never going to be there if I -- if I didn't win this election, those plants would never even think about going back. They were gone." (These investments were already planned.)
APRIL 2 "And I was totally opposed to the war in the Middle East which I think finally has been proven, people tried very hard to say I wasn't but you've seen that it is now improving." (He was for an invasion before he was against it.)
APRIL 2 "Now, my last tweet -- you know, the one that you are talking about, perhaps -- was the one about being, in quotes, wiretapped, meaning surveilled. Guess what, it is turning out to be true." (There is still no evidence.)
APRIL 5 "You have many states coming up where they're going to have no insurance company. O.K.? It's already happened in Tennessee. It's happening in Kentucky. Tennessee only has half coverage. Half the state is gone. They left." (Every marketplace region in Tennessee had at least one insurer.)
APRIL 6 "If you look at the kind of cost-cutting we've been able to achieve with the military and at the same time ordering vast amounts of equipment -- saved hundreds of millions of dollars on airplanes, and really billions, because if you take that out over a period of years it's many billions of dollars -- I think we've had a tremendous success." (Much of the price cuts were already projected.)
APRIL 11 "I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late. I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn't know Steve." (He knew Steve Bannon since 2011.)
APRIL 12 "You can't do it faster, because they're obstructing. They're obstructionists. So I have people -- hundreds of people that we're trying to get through. I mean you have -- you see the backlog. We can't get them through." (At this point, he had not nominated anyone for hundreds of positions.)
APRIL 12 "The New York Times said the word wiretapped in the headline of the first edition. Then they took it out of there fast when they realized." (There were separate headlines for print and web, but neither were altered.)
APRIL 12 "The secretary general and I had a productive discussion about what more NATO can do in the fight against terrorism. I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change, and now they do fight terrorism." (NATO has been engaged in counterterrorism efforts since the 1980s.)
APRIL 12 "Mosul was supposed to last for a week and now they've been fighting it for many months and so many more people died." (The campaign was expected to take months.)
APRIL 16 "Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!" (There's no evidence of paid protesters.)APRIL 18 "The fake media goes, 'Donald Trump changed his stance on China.' I haven't changed my stance." (He did.)
APRIL 21 "On 90 planes I saved $725 million. It's actually a little bit more than that, but it's $725 million." (Much of the price cuts were already projected.)
APRIL 21 "When WikiLeaks came out ... never heard of WikiLeaks, never heard of it." (He criticized it as early as 2010.)
APRIL 27 "I want to help our miners while the Democrats are blocking their healthcare." (The bill to extend health benefits for certain coal miners was introduced by a Democrat and was co-sponsored by mostly Democrats.)
APRIL 28 "The trade deficit with Mexico is close to $70 billion, even with Canada it's $17 billion trade deficit with Canada." (The U.S. had an $8.1 billion trade surplus, not deficit, with Canada in 2016.)
APRIL 28 "She's running against someone who's going to raise your taxes to the sky, destroy your health care, and he's for open borders -- lots of crime." (Those are not Jon Ossoff's positions.)
APRIL 28 "The F-35 fighter jet program -- it was way over budget. I've saved $725 million plus, just by getting involved in the negotiation." (Much of the price cuts were planned before Trump.)
APRIL 29 "They're incompetent, dishonest people who after an election had to apologize because they covered it, us, me, but all of us, they covered it so badly that they felt they were forced to apologize because their predictions were so bad." (The Times did not apologize.)
APRIL 29 "As you know, I've been a big critic of China, and I've been talking about currency manipulation for a long time. But I have to tell you that during the election, number one, they stopped." (China stopped years ago.)
APRIL 29 "I've already saved more than $725 million on a simple order of F-35 planes. I got involved in the negotiation." (Much of the price cuts were planned before Trump.)
APRIL 29 "We're also getting NATO countries to finally step up and contribute their fair share. They've begun to increase their contributions by billions of dollars, but we are not going to be satisfied until everyone pays what they owe." (The deal was struck in 2014.)
APRIL 29 "When they talk about currency manipulation, and I did say I would call China, if they were, a currency manipulator, early in my tenure. And then I get there. Number one, they -- as soon as I got elected, they stopped." (China stopped in 2014.)
APRIL 29 "I was negotiating to reduce the price of the big fighter jet contract, the F-35, which was totally out of control. I will save billions and billions and billions of dollars." (Most of the cuts were planned before Trump.)
APRIL 29 "I think our side's been proven very strongly. And everybody's talking about it." (There's still no evidence Trump's phones were tapped.)
MAY 1 "Well, we are protecting pre-existing conditions. And it'll be every good -- bit as good on pre-existing conditions as Obamacare." (The bill weakens protections for people with pre-existing conditions.)
MAY 1 "The F-35 fighter jet -- I saved -- I got involved in the negotiation. It's 2,500 jets. I negotiated for 90 planes, lot 10. I got $725 million off the price." (Much of the price cuts were planned before Trump.)
MAY 1 "First of all, since I started running, they haven't increased their -- you know, they have not manipulated their currency. I think that was out of respect to me and the campaign." (China stopped years ago.)
MAY 2 "I love buying those planes at a reduced price. I have been really -- I have cut billions -- I have to tell you this, and they can check, right, Martha? I have cut billions and billions of dollars off plane contracts sitting here." (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)
MAY 4 "Number two, they're actually not a currency [manipulator]. You know, since I've been talking about currency manipulation with respect to them and other countries, they stopped." (China stopped years ago.)
MAY 4 "We're the highest-taxed nation in the world." (We're not.)
MAY 4 "Nobody cares about my tax return except for the reporters." (Polls show most Americans do care.)
MAY 8 "You know we've gotten billions of dollars more in NATO than we're getting. All because of me." (The deal was struck in 2014.)
MAY 8 "But when I did his show, which by the way was very highly rated. It was high -- highest rating. The highest rating he's ever had." (Colbert's "Late Show" debut had nearly two million more viewers.)
MAY 8 "Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows -- there is 'no evidence' of collusion w/ Russia and Trump." (Clapper only said he wasn't aware of an investigation.)
MAY 12 "Again, the story that there was collusion between the Russians & Trump campaign was fabricated by Dems as an excuse for losing the election." (The F.B.I. was investigating before the election.)
MAY 12 "When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?" (Clapper said he wouldn't have been told of an investigation into collusion.)
MAY 13 "I'm cutting the price of airplanes with Lockheed." (The cost cuts were planned before he became president.)
MAY 26 "Just arrived in Italy for the G7. Trip has been very successful. We made and saved the USA many billions of dollars and millions of jobs." (He's referencing an arms deal that's not enacted and other apparent deals that weren't announced on the trip.)
JUNE 1 "China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So, we can't build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement. India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020." (The agreement doesn't allow or disallow building coal plants.)
JUNE 1 "I've just returned from a trip overseas where we concluded nearly $350 billion of military and economic development for the United States, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs." (Trump's figures are inflated and premature.)
JUNE 4 "At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is 'no reason to be alarmed!'" (The mayor was specifically talking about the enlarged police presence on the streets.)
JUNE 5 "The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C." (Trump signed this version of the travel ban, not the Justice Department.)
JUNE 21 "They all say it's 'nonbinding.' Like hell it's nonbinding." (The Paris climate agreement is nonbinding -- and Trump said so in his speech announcing the withdrawal.)
JUNE 21 "Right now, we are one of the highest-taxed nations in the world." (We're not.)


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Ten Companies Own All the Junk Food

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Just when you think there's no end to the diversity of junk food lining supermarket aisles, an insanely detailed infographic comes along to set us all straight. Out of the hundreds of products at our disposal, only ten major corporations manufacture the bulk of what we toss in our shopping carts.

So whether you're looking to stock up on anything from orange soda to latte-flavored potato chips, Mondelez, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo, P&G, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, Danone, General Mills, Unilever own just about everything you could hope to buy. It seems that six degrees of separation theory has been proven after all, if only because we all drink Diet Coke every now and then.

In order to visually elucidate that point, Oxfam International created a comprehensive infographic that reveals the extensive reach of the "Big 10" food and beverage companies. Unlikely ties between brands we largely don't associate with one another show how easy it is to be misinformed about the American food system. For example, PepsiCo produces Quaker granola bars, and Nestlé makes Kit Kat bars but also frozen California Pizza Kitchen pies. To the surprise of many, Pineapple Fanta isn't sourced straight from the mythical Fanta Islands, but canned right alongside Barq's root beer at the Coca-Cola factory.

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Go Figure

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What I Miss Most

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Time to Take the Garbage Out

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Down down down the dark ladder...


Missouri Advances Bill Allowing Employers to Fire Women for Using Birth Control

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On Tuesday, the Missouri House of Representatives voted in favor of Senate Bill 5, which would modify statewide provisions relating to abortion. Changes would affect local abortion policies, tissue reports, employee disclosure policies and abortion facility inspections.

Pitched as an expansion of religious freedom for employers and landlords, the bill would overturn a St. Louis city ordinance that prevented discrimination against women who have had abortions. The new law would allow employers to fire women employees for having had abortions or using birth control. It would extend the privilege of discrimination to landlords, who could evict women for getting an abortion, getting pregnant out of wedlock or using birth control.

Newsweek's Mirren Gidda elaborates:


"Given the Senate's vote on June 14, it it seen as likely to approve the updated version of SB 5. This would mean that landlords could refuse to offer housing to women based on their reproductive health choices, while employers could fire female staff members who were using birth control, or refuse to hire them. And while of course this isn't information most landlords or employers have access to, under SB 5 they could ask women what forms of reproductive health care they are using."





Ritual and Political Rape

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'Handmaids' at Statehouses

Mary Emily O'Hara

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They've appeared in Texas, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee, California, and New York; cloaked in stark red robes and white bonnets, the women sit in silence with their faces turned down, subdued and still yet quietly creepy.

While a new television show has brought Margaret Atwood's dystopian sci-fi book "The Handmaid's Tale" newfound popularity, women around the country are bringing handmaids to life -- and to their state capital buildings -- for reasons that have more to do with science than fiction.

At the New York state legislature in Albany on Wednesday, handmaids appeared for the third day in a row to silently urge lawmakers to bring a floor vote on two reproductive health bills they say would protect women against potential federal restrictions many fear the Trump administration could bring.

They've appeared in Texas, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee, California, and New York; cloaked in stark red robes and white bonnets, the women sit in silence with their faces turned down, subdued and still yet quietly creepy.

While a new television show has brought Margaret Atwood's dystopian sci-fi book "The Handmaid's Tale" newfound popularity, women around the country are bringing handmaids to life -- and to their state capital buildings -- for reasons that have more to do with science than fiction.

At the New York state legislature in Albany on Wednesday, handmaids appeared for the third day in a row to silently urge lawmakers to bring a floor vote on two reproductive health bills they say would protect women against potential federal restrictions many fear the Trump administration could bring.

Vanessa Giraldo, a Brooklyn resident who works with special-needs children, took two days off work to take part in the demonstration Monday and Tuesday.

"We're trying to pass the Reproductive Health Act in order to at least protect New Yorkers because the federal landscape is very hostile to women's reproductive rights," said Giraldo.

Giraldo said that standing before her state's leaders stock-still in the restrictive garb was "terrifying" but powerful: "It felt like, this could very well be our future. And it's definitely our past."

In Atwood's dystopian novel -- and the Hulu show based on the book -- handmaids are slave women forced to serve as reproductive vessels for powerful but infertile elites. Ritually raped and made to become pregnant over and over, the handmaids are little more than walking wombs with no say over their own lives.


Rest of Article

Gov't admits lying about drugs

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New Docuseries Aims to Factcheck 'America's War on Drugs'

by Marissa Evans

When Gary Webb's investigative series, "Dark Alliance," came out in the San Jose Mercury-News in 1996 alleging the Central Intelligence Agency was involved in the importation of cocaine into South Central Los Angeles, many people in the Black community claimed the articles proved the CIA deliberately was out to destroy Black people, and a long-standing urban conspiracy theory was born.

Webb's story has since been removed from the Mercury News website, and resulted in a two-part CIA report released in 1998 on cocaine and the agency's involvement in drug trafficking investigations, it fueled deep distrust among the Black community that is still present today.

Anthony Lappé, an executive producer behind the History Channel's new documentary series "America's War on Drugs," says that although these theories around federal agencies injecting drugs into the Black community have swirled for years, this new docu-series will reveal that they're just not true.

But the documentary also makes the case that Blacks were victims caught in the melee of CIA operations and President Richard Nixon's desire to have a "law and order" administration in the 1970s through the war on drugs.

Christian Parenti, a New York University professor interviewed in the documentary, said the trick with the war on drugs was to deal with a variety of things outside of the government's control.

"The war on drugs brought together the peace movement, the hippies, the counterculture, African Americans, all of this stuff can be captured and addressed by force with law enforcement under the rubric of the war on drugs," Parenti said.


When Gary Webb's investigative series, "Dark Alliance," came out in the San Jose Mercury-News in 1996 alleging the Central Intelligence Agency was involved in the importation of cocaine into South Central Los Angeles, many people in the Black community claimed the articles proved the CIA deliberately was out to destroy Black people, and a long-standing urban conspiracy theory was born.

Webb's story has since been removed from the Mercury News website, and resulted in a two-part CIA report released in 1998 on cocaine and the agency's involvement in drug trafficking investigations, it fueled deep distrust among the Black community that is still present today.

Anthony Lappé, an executive producer behind the History Channel's new documentary series "America's War on Drugs," says that although these theories around federal agencies injecting drugs into the Black community have swirled for years, this new docu-series will reveal that they're just not true.

"Of course it wasn't any kind of genocidal experiment or anything like that, what it was is the CIA basically being the CIA," Lappé said. "They're completely amoral and they don't really look at the long term blowback effects of their operations."

"America's War on Drugs" four-part series beginning Sunday night comes as the U.S. fights a raging prescription opioid addiction crisis and increase in heroin use. The series also comes just a month after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he will instruct federal prosecutors to enforce so-called mandatory minimum sentences on gun and drug offenses. While Sessions says this is meant to help get criminals off of the streets, opponents say it will mean going back to the days of harsh sentencing that will likely have profound effects on people of color.

Related: Black Lives Matter Chicago Sues City, Seeks Court Oversight of Police Reform

Lappé, alongside Julian P. Hobbs, Elli Hakami, spent a year conducting dozens and dozens of interviews with former CIA officers, Drug Enforcement Agency officers, historians and more. The crew takes viewers through an eight hour journey crisscrossing the world and deconstructing how the U.S. "war on drugs" truly began through interviews, old footage, and reenactments.

What they uncover is that America's history with drugs is intertwined with fears of communism, rogue drug mobsters and warlords, the failed takedown of Fidel Castro in 1961, the Vietnam War, infighting between the DEA and CIA, and drugs -- including LSD, heroin and cocaine -- slowly making waves in communities.
"America's War on Drugs"
Amado celebrates his rise to power at home. "America's War on Drugs" premieres Sunday, June 18 at 9PM ET/PT. Talos Films/HISTORY

But the documentary also makes the case that Blacks were victims caught in the melee of CIA operations and President Richard Nixon's desire to have a "law and order" administration in the 1970s through the war on drugs.

Christian Parenti, a New York University professor interviewed in the documentary, said the trick with the war on drugs was to deal with a variety of things outside of the government's control.

"The war on drugs brought together the peace movement, the hippies, the counterculture, African Americans, all of this stuff can be captured and addressed by force with law enforcement under the rubric of the war on drugs," Parenti said.

Toward the end of the first episode, the creators of the series include a taped conversation between John Ehrlichman, counsel and chief domestic advisor under President Richard Nixon and a Harper's Magazine journalist decades after the "war on drugs" is declared. It's there that Ehrlichman makes a chilling admission.

"The Nixon campaign had two enemies, the antiwar left and Black people," Ehrlichman said. "We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or Black but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and the blacks with heroin and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."

Chris Hedges on Resisting Trump

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Truthdig columnist & Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges speaks at the Aladdin Theater for KBOO Community Radio on May 26th, 2017. Hedges takes a provocative look at the current state of revolt in the United States and recounts the US's continuing history of domestic terrorism while outlining ways for communities to resist before it's too late.

Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, a longtime teacher in prisons, is working with 28 of his students to stage a play the incarcerated men collectively created. "CAGED" was born in a New Jersey prison during a course taught by Hedges and was the subject of a 2013 column he wrote for Truthdig.

The play centers on the horrors of mass incarceration and how the prisoners' lives in impoverished urban communities put them on paths that ended in the grim cells of the United States' prison-industrial complex.

Now the Pulitzer-winning journalist and the students are engaged in a special project to stage the play for the first time and to produce a book about the endeavor. (One of the 28 is now a free man and a key force in the effort.)

The project--co-sponsored by Truthdig and Passage Theatre, the Trenton, N.J., site of the proposed premiere--is funded primarily by a Kickstarter campaign that runs through the end of June. Your support is essential. Go to Kickstarter now to help put this extraordinary stage work before the American public. "CAGED" should be let out of prison.

Parfait

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Macron Invites Americans to Move to France to Research Climate Change

by Daniel Arkin

prez.macrons.jpg

French President Emmanuel Macron is hitting back at President Donald Trump over the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change accord with a new website that encourages scientists and researchers to move to France.

The website, Make Our Planet Great Again, parodies Trump's campaign slogan and calls on "all responsible citizens" to take their fight against climate change to France.

"The planet needs your innovative skills," Macron says in an introduction to the site, echoing appeals he has made in other recent remarks. "So, are you IN to change (literally!) our daily lives and make our planet great again?"

They Shoot Horses Don't They

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Making Ignorance Great Again

P. Krugman

Donald Trump just took us out of the Paris climate accord for no good reason.

I don't mean that his decision was wrong. I mean, literally, that he didn't offer any substantive justification for that decision. Oh, he threw around a few numbers about supposed job losses, but nobody believes that he knows or cares where those numbers came from. It was just what he felt like doing.

And here's the thing: What just happened on climate isn't an unusual case -- and Trump isn't especially unusual for a modern Republican. For today's G.O.P. doesn't do substance; it doesn't assemble evidence, or do analysis to formulate or even to justify its policy positions. Facts and hard thinking aren't wanted, and anyone who tries to bring such things into the discussion is the enemy.

Consider another huge policy area, health care. How was Trumpcare put together? Did the administration and its allies consult with experts, study previous experience with health reform, and try to devise a plan that made sense? Of course not. In fact, House leaders made a point of ramming a bill through before the Congressional Budget Office, or for that matter anyone else, could assess its likely impact.

When the budget office did weigh in, its conclusions were what you might expect: If you make huge cuts in Medicaid and reduce subsidies for private insurance -- all so you can cut taxes on the wealthy -- a lot of people are going to lose coverage. Is 23 million a good estimate of those losses? Yes -- it might be 18 million, or it might be 28 million, but surely it would be in that range.

So how did the administration respond? By trying to shoot the messenger. Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, attacked the C.B.O., declaring that it did a "miserable" job of forecasting the effects of Obamacare. (It got some things wrong, but overall did pretty well.) He also accused the office -- headed by a former Bush administration economist chosen by Republicans -- of political bias, and smeared its top health expert in particular.

So, Mr. Mulvaney, where's your assessment of Trumpcare? You had plenty of resources to do your own study before trying to pass a bill. What did you find? (Actually, the White House did do an internal analysis of an earlier version of Trumpcare, which was leaked to Politico. Its predictions were even more dire than those from the C.B.O.)

But Mulvaney and his party don't study issues, they just decide, and attack the motives of anyone who questions their decisions.

Which brings us back to climate policy.

On climate change, influential conservatives have for years clung to what is basically a crazy conspiracy theory -- that the overwhelming scientific consensus that the earth is warming due to greenhouse-gas emissions is a hoax, somehow coordinated by thousands of researchers around the world. And at this point this is effectively the mainstream Republican position.

Do G.O.P. leaders really think this conspiracy theory is true? The answer, surely, is that they don't care. Truth, as something that exists apart from and in possible opposition to political convenience, is no longer part of their philosophical universe.

The same goes for claims that trying to rein in emissions will do terrible economic damage and destroy millions of jobs. Such claims are, if you think about it, completely inconsistent with everything Republicans supposedly believe about economics.

After all, they insist that the private sector is infinitely flexible and innovative; the magic of the marketplace can solve all problems. But then they claim that these magical markets would roll over and die if we put a modest price on carbon emissions, which is basically what climate policy would do. This doesn't make any sense -- but it's not supposed to. Republicans want to keep burning coal, and they'll say whatever helps produce that outcome.

And as health care and climate go, so goes everything else. Can you think of any major policy area where the G.O.P. hasn't gone post-truth? Take budgeting, where leaders like Paul Ryan have always justified tax cuts for the rich by claiming the ability to conjure up trillions in extra revenue and savings in some unspecified way. The Trump-Mulvaney budget, which not only pulls $2 trillion out of thin air but counts it twice, takes the game to a new level, but it's not that much of a departure.

But does any of it matter? The president, backed by his party, is talking nonsense, destroying American credibility day by day. But hey, stocks are up, so what's the problem?

Well, bear in mind that so far Trump hasn't faced a single crisis not of his own making. As George Orwell noted many years ago in his essay "In Front of Your Nose," people can indeed talk nonsense for a very long time, without paying an obvious price. But "sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield." Now there's a happy thought.

Mow-nado?

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tornado-mowing.jpg

In this Friday, June 2, 2017, photo provided by Cecilia Wessels via The Canadian Press, Theunis Wessels mows his lawn at his home in Three Hills, Alberta, as a tornado swirls in the background. Cecilia Wessels, who took the image of her husband to show the tornado to her parents in South Africa, said that the twister wasn't as close it appears. (Cecilia Wessels/The Canadian Press via AP)

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