ONTD Political

Fox News founder made this the hate-filled, moronic country it is today...

On the Internet today you will find thousands, perhaps even millions, of people gloating about the death of elephantine Fox News founder Roger Ailes. The happy face emojis are getting a workout on Twitter, which is also bursting with biting one-liners.

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By Matt Taibbi
Trump Treasury backs away from talk of breaking up big banks

The Trump administration on Thursday distanced itself from a populist push to break up the nation's biggest banks after months of publicly flirting with the idea.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin emphatically rejected that move during a Senate hearing in response to a question by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

Warren pressed him on what the administration meant by repeatedly saying it was open to an updated version of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall law, which separated commercial and investment banking.

Mnuchin, a finance industry veteran who's leading the administration's drive to overhaul Wall Street regulations, said splitting up the banks "would be a huge mistake."

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FCC kicks off effort to roll back net neutrality rules

Scandal isn't slowing down one part of the Republican agenda: The Federal Communications Commission took the first formal step toward dismantling Obama-era net neutrality rules Thursday, kicking off what's likely to be a bitter and months-long lobbying battle over the future of internet regulation.

The commission voted along party lines to begin the process of rolling back the rules, which require internet service providers like Verizon and Comcast to treat all web traffic equally. The telecom industry has criticized the rules as burdensome and unnecessary regulations, but supporters among startups and online tech companies say they ensure ISPs don't abuse their position as internet gatekeepers to favor some websites over others. The net neutrality order, passed by the FCC's then-Democratic majority in 2015, represents one of the signature policy achievements of the Obama administration.

Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has sharply criticized the net neutrality rules, and since being appointed chairman by President Donald Trump in January, he's moved quickly to scrap the legal foundation of the order. He argues that the FCC, in applying utility-style regulation to ISPs, was too heavy-handed and threatened the longstanding tradition of government keeping its hands off the internet.

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Ever since Chelsea Manning was revealed as the whistleblower responsible for one of the most important journalistic archives in history, her heroism has been manifest. She was the classic leaker of conscience, someone who went at the age of 20 to fight in the Iraq War believing it was noble, only to discover the dark reality not only of that war but of the U.S. government’s actions in the world generally: war crimes, indiscriminate slaughter, complicity with high-level official corruption, and systematic deceit of the public.

In the face of those discoveries, she knowingly risked her own liberty to disclose documents to the world that would reveal the truth, with no expectation of benefit to herself. As someone who has spent years touting the nobility of her actions, my defenses of her always early on centered on the vital nature of the material she revealed and the right of the public to know about it.

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Meanwhile Capitalism Continues to Screw American Workers, Endanger Our Slaves Cheap Workers Grateful Refugees, And Turning Our Nation into Selfish Cretins.

Labour is right—Karl Marx has a lot to teach today’s politicians
The shadow chancellor's comment provoked scorn. Yet Marx becomes more relevant by the day

AN UNOFFICIAL rule of British elections holds that you don’t mention big thinkers. On May 7th John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, broke this rule by mentioning not just any old big thinker but Karl Marx. “I believe there’s a lot to learn from reading ‘Capital’,” he declared. The next day Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party leader, described Marx as “a great economist”.
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“The Only Good Muslim Is a Dead Muslim”
A meatpacking town in Kansas opened its doors to Somali refugees. Then a group of Trump supporters plotted to kill them after Election Day.

On October 11, 2016, less than a month before Election Day, police in Liberal, Kansas, sat in their cruisers outside G&G Home Center, waiting for Curtis Allen to emerge. The mobile home dealership where Allen worked was nothing more than a prefab trailer hauled onto a patch of scrub grass along a remote stretch of Highway 83 on the outskirts of town. His GMC Yukon was sitting in the parking lot, so the officers felt certain that he was one of two men they could see moving around inside. When the men left in separate vehicles, police believed that Allen was in the Yukon—but it was getting dark and they had to be sure. After the trucks turned onto the highway, the officers signaled for both drivers to pull over.
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At certain times Donald Trump has seemed like a budding authoritarian, a corrupt Nixon, a rabble-rousing populist or a big business corporatist.

But as Trump has settled into his White House role, he has given a series of long interviews, and when you study the transcripts it becomes clear that fundamentally he is none of these things.

At base, Trump is an infantalist. There are three tasks that most mature adults have sort of figured out by the time they hit 25. Trump has mastered none of them. Immaturity is becoming the dominant note of his presidency, lack of self-control his leitmotif.

First, most adults have learned to sit still. But mentally, Trump is still a 7-year-old boy who is bouncing around the classroom. Trump’s answers in these interviews are not very long — 200 words at the high end — but he will typically flit through four or five topics before ending up with how unfair the press is to him.

His inability to focus his attention makes it hard for him to learn and master facts. He is ill informed about his own policies and tramples his own talking points. It makes it hard to control his mouth. On an impulse, he will promise a tax reform when his staff has done little of the actual work.

Second, most people of drinking age have achieved some accurate sense of themselves, some internal criteria to measure their own merits and demerits. But Trump seems to need perpetual outside approval to stabilize his sense of self, so he is perpetually desperate for approval, telling heroic fabulist tales about himself.Collapse )

By David Brooks. May 15, 2017.

For Republicans on Capitol Hill, Donald Trump may finally have gone too far.

Tuesday’s report that Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to end the criminal investigation into ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn was more than just another embarrassing revelation for a president used to a near-daily barrage of scandal and staff intrigue.

Republicans are privately beginning to worry that they may one day have to sit in judgment of Trump, or that more damaging information from Comey could force the president to step down. Within hours of Tuesday's report by The New York Times, there was a distinct shift among congressional Republicans, who until now have mostly resisted criticizing Trump, let alone demanding the president be held to account for all he says or does.Read more...Collapse )


I think the Repugs are finally starting to crack, y'all. I really do. The Comey firing has really gotten their attention, and the realization of how standing by Trump is going to affect their chances for re-election is dawning. I am imagining a snowball that is poised on the top of a hill. Any day now, it's going to get pushed over the edge, and once it starts rolling, there will be no stopping it.

Khalid Kamau, an Atlanta native, is one of a number of activists making the transition from street protest to political office: When he was sworn in as a city council member for the newly incorporated city of South Fulton, a suburban area outside of Atlanta, he wore a Black Lives Matter pin on his lapel and placed his hand on a copy of bell hooks’ Salvation.

A member of the Democratic Socialists of America who campaigned for Bernie Sanders and organized with Atlanta’s BLM chapter, Kamau sees his political career as parallel to those of civil rights-era figures like John Lewis and Andy Young.

“My role is to explain what goes on behind the curtain,” he says, “so that people can make informed decisions about who they want their leaders to be.”
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by Torraine Walker
Dont Worry, I am sure those Tax Cuts for the Rich Will Fix it All...

How Noncompete Clauses Keep Workers Locked In

Restrictions once limited to executives are now spreading across the labor landscape — making it tougher for Americans to get a raise.

Keith Bollinger’s paycheck as a factory manager had shriveled after the 2008 financial crisis, but then he got a chance to pull himself out of recession’s hole. A rival textile company offered him a better job — and a big raise.

When he said yes, it set off a three-year legal battle that concluded this past week but wiped out his savings along the way.
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They hate the US government, and they're multiplying: the terrifying rise of 'sovereign citizens'
While US counter-terrorism efforts remain locked on Islamist extremism, the growing threat from homegrown, rightwing extremists is even more pressing

On 20 May 2010, a police officer pulled over a white Ohio minivan on Interstate 40, near West Memphis, Arkansas. Unbeknown to officer Bill Evans, the occupants of the car, Jerry Kane Jr, and his teenage son, Joseph Kane, were self-described “sovereign citizens”: members of a growing domestic extremist movement whose adherents reject the authority of federal, state and local law.
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In an act of political retribution, a budget amendment passed at 3 a.m. targets spending on education, public works in Democratic districts, leaving Republican districts intact.

In this file photo taken Thursday, June 23, 2016, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, R-Guilford, right, listens during a Senate session at the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C. A North Carolina court temporarily blocked a new state law on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, that stripped the new Democratic governor of some of his powers. House Speaker Tim and Berger said in a joint statement the “judges are not legislators, and if these three men want to make laws, they should hang up their robes and run for a legislative seat.” (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

At 3:07 a.m. on Friday morning, North Carolina Senate GOP leaders rushed through a budget amendment that stripped education funding for teaching assistants and STEM programs in districts led by Democrats, cut funding to provide fresh produce to food deserts, reallocated money that was supposed to go to an arts museum and a downtown revitalization project, and eliminated a position that works to secure federal aid for disaster relief.

It appears the amendment wasn’t passed to achieve specific policy goals though, but rather as an act of political retribution after a prolonged and contentious budget negotiation in the state’s senate.

As Thursday night ticked into Friday morning, the two parties seemed deadlocked — every time Democrats would file an amendment to fund their initiatives, Republicans would reject it, and Democrats would introduce another amendment.

But at 1:00 a.m. on Friday morning, Senate Rules Chairman Bill Rabon called a recess and met with other GOP leaders behind closed doors.
As reported by the News & Observer, Democrats passed the time with an “impromptu dance party” in the hall.

The dancing Democrats didn’t see what was coming next, according to Colin Campbell:

"The session finally resumed around 3 a.m., and Republican Sen. Brent Jackson introduced a new budget amendment that he explained would fund more pilot programs combating the opioid epidemic. He cited “a great deal of discussion” about the need for more opioid treatment funding.

Jackson didn’t mention where the additional $1 million would come from: directly from education programs in Senate Democrats’ districts and other initiatives the minority party sought."

Senators weren’t given adequate time to read through the revised budget — a vote was called within minutes, and thanks the supermajority held by Republicans, it passed. The budget now goes to the House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a supermajority as well.

A rural district in northeastern North Carolina, represented by Sen. Erica Smith-Ingram (D), is impacted the most by this amendment. The budget would strip $316,646 in funding away from two early college high schools in her district, and prohibits state funding for Eastern North Carolina STEM, a summer program for science, math, and technology. The program primarily serves African-American students from low-income families, and Smith-Ingram said that if the amendment is included in the final budget, it will effectively shut down the STEM program.

“I don’t know what motivated the amendment, but it will have a devastating effect on an area that is already suffering,” Smith-Ingram told the News & Record. “The future of children should not be caught up in a political disagreement between members.”

The amendment also reallocates funding for a program that offers stipends to teachers assistants if they are working towards their college degree and teaching licenses. As a result, the program will no longer be available to residents of seven counties represented by Democratic Senators Smith-Ingram and Angela Bryant. Instead, it will only be available to residents in counties represented by Republican senators.

Additionally, the amendment removes $200,000 to bring fresh produce to food deserts, $250,000 for additional staff to accommodate an expansion at the N.C. Museum of Art, and $550,000 for downtown revitalization projects — the only remaining funding for downtown improvement programs is in Robeson County, which, you guessed it, is represented by a Republican in the state senate.

This ugly amendment is just another example of the highly partisan nature of politics in the state legislature.

Smith-Ingram is holding out hope that there can be another vote on the amendment in the senate due to the questionable procedural practices.

“Procedurally, it appears that there is enough in our rules to come back and reconsider that amendment,” Smith-Ingram said. “I’m willing and I’m open to continuing to negotiate with the majority to make sure we right this wrong that occurred.”

By Lindsay Gibbs, May 14th, 2017.

The label is meant as a slur to discredit us. But that won’t change the fact that leftwing populists speak to anti-system anger in a way that others don’t

Could you be a member of a political conspiracy without even knowing it? I’ve found out in recent months that I’m a member of the “alt-left”. Commentators like Vanity Fair’s James Wolcott try to break down the movement’s main currents: a handful of randos on Twitter, Glenn Greenwald, Susan Sarandon, Tulsi Gabbard and Cornel West.

Not bad company, if I do say so myself. For Walcott, what we all share is a soft spot for Russia, a kind of “Trumpian” rhetoric that attacks cultural liberalism and a shocking opposition to the “CIA/FBI/NSA alphabet-soup national-security matrix” he so trusts.

New York Magazine contributors are a bit more coherent in their definition. They point to Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon as “alt-left” standard bearers.

Analytically, the label doesn’t make sense. After all, the United States doesn’t have a labor-based party, much less a socialist one. In its stead, we’ve had the Democratic party, and mainstream Democrats have never had much interest associating themselves with the left.
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by Bhaskar Sunkara
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