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Penn Jillette, In Conversation
But if there aren’t meaningful jobs, is there any reason for libertarianism? I have been very seduced lately by the basic universal human income. But would we be able to find work that would fulfill us if we were on a basic universal income? Really, though, my libertarianism has come down to trying to get into the thought process on any question of Is there a way to solve this with more freedom instead of less? Sometimes the answer’s no. But I think libertarianism is a good thing to have in the conversation. If you told me right now that the United States is going to go to a fully libertarian government I think I’d be against it. But do I want that idea to be discussed? Yes.
politics  celebrity  usa  trump-presidency  interview  economy 
5 weeks ago by iamfantastikate
Analysis | Peter Strzok just gave a hard-to-rebut defense of the objectivity of the Russia investigation’s origins
If Peter Strzok wanted to stop Trump, he had the effect opportunity to do so prior to the election, when he had information about the Trump’s campaign’s ties to Russian election interference that he could have released to the public. The fact that he did not implies pretty strongly that he is telling the truth when he states that he kept his personal political viewpoints compartmentalized from doing his job.
peter-strzok  trump-presidency  russia-investigation 
7 weeks ago by irace
Wages aren’t growing when adjusted for inflation, new data finds
According to the Labor Department, median weekly earnings fell 0.6% in inflation-adjusted dollars in the second quarter, compared to the same time period of 2017. That’s now the third straight quarter where inflation has outpaced wage growth...

In the report on median earnings released Tuesday, women were earning 81 cents for every dollar a man made. Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in management, professional, and related occupations had the highest median weekly earnings — $1,463 for men and $1,080 for women. Men and women employed in service jobs earned the least, $615 and $512, respectively.
money  economy  usa  trump-presidency  gender-pay-gap 
9 weeks ago by iamfantastikate
Who’s Really Crossing the U.S. Border, and Why They’re Coming
Back in 2000, Mexican nationals made up 98 percent of the total migrants and Central Americans (referring to Honduran, Guatemalan, and Salvadoran migrants) only one percent. Today, Central Americans make up closer to 50 percent...

For Central American residents, control of these gangs over their neighborhood likely means a weekly or monthly extortion payment simply for the right to operate a business or live in their territory. The price for failing to provide this money is death. All it takes is a neighbor or nearby shopkeeper to be gunned down for failing to pay the adequate fees, and it becomes clear that the only options are pay or flee. Parents may also send their children to the United States or take them north as the gangs try to recruit them into their activities: Boys of eleven years old (or younger) may be recruited as lookouts and teenage girls may be eyed for becoming the members’ “girlfriends.” Older women who date or at one point dated a gang member can become trapped and unable to escape the violence, with partner-violence a driving migratory factor for many women...

A 2017 Doctors Without Borders report noted that 68 percent of the migrants that it provided services to in shelters across Mexico had been the victim of a crime during the journey. Women and children are also at particular risk, with nearly one-third of the women reporting that they were sexually assaulted during their trip through Mexico...

Previously, many migrants would seek to reach the United States by hiking through the desert undetected. But in recent years, families have begun crossing the border and waiting for a Border Patrol agent, or showing up at ports of entry, to ask for asylum. Before the Trump administration’s recent immigration crackdown, these families would be then taken to a family detention center, where they would have to pass a “credible fear” interview to be released—that is, prove that they have a real fear of returning to their home countries. At least 77 percent of the families pass this hurdle and are released with an ankle monitor or after paying a bond. They can then begin their cases in immigration courts.

The Trump administration is looking to shake up this system. Under the current policy and the June 20th executive order, the administration is pushing to detain families together for months, if not years, while their cases are processed. However, this flies in the face of the Flores settlement, a 1997 consent decree that courts have found to require that children not be detained for more than 20 days. The administration is now seeking to modify the settlement, a gambit that seems unlikely to succeed given the deciding judge’s previous rulings on the matter against the Obama administration.
abuse  el-salvador  guatemala  honduras  mexico  immigration  politics  usa  trump-presidency 
12 weeks ago by iamfantastikate
Inside Rex Tillerson’s Ouster
The biggest impact Rex Tillerson’s short tenure as America’s top diplomat had was an overall reduction of our diplomatic capacity, something that will reduce our capabilities for many years to come (even if Trump’s predecessor is more diplomacy-minded).
rex-tillerson  trump-presidency 
june 2018 by irace
Democrats release Facebook ads linked to Russian troll factory
A random walk through some of the 3,000-plus files provided by the committee shows that the vast majority got a tiny, tiny number of “impressions” — which simply means they appeared in someone’s news feed. And most got an equally minuscule number of clicks, and in some cases none at all. Did simply viewing these ads cause anyone to change their mind about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, or about issues like immigration or Black Lives Matter?

Experts in this type of disinformation and propaganda warfare, which has been going on since before the internet and social media were invented, say pushing people in a specific direction often isn’t the point. As Facebook noted in an internal security report released last year, much of the activity involving fake social-media accounts spreading misinformation didn’t seem to have any specific goal, but instead appeared to be designed simply to sow confusion.
democrats  politics  facebook  internet  u.s.-elections  usa  russia  trump-presidency 
may 2018 by iamfantastikate
Out of 26 Major Editorials on Trump’s Syria Strikes, Zero Opposed
None of the top 100 newspapers questioned the US’s legal or moral right to bomb Syria, and all accepted US government claims to be neutral arbiters of “international law.” Many editorials handwrung about a “lack of strategy” or absence of congressional approval, but none so much that they opposed the bombing. Strategy and legal sanction are add-on features—nice but, by all accounts, not essential.

The total lack of editorial board dissent is consistent with major papers’ tradition of uniform acceptance of US military action. The most influential paper in the country, the New York Times, has not opposed a single US war—from the Persian Gulf to Bosnia, to Kosovo to Iraq to Libya to the forever war on ISIS—in the past 30 years.
media  politics  trump-presidency  war 
may 2018 by iamfantastikate
Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency
Everyone who has spent time looking into Trump’s business dealings know that he was an opportunistic schemer, not a business genius, willing to sell his name to lend legitimacy to sketchy projects whenever the opportunity to make a quick buck presented itself. Soon, this will be clear to everyone.
april 2018 by irace
The truth about the Trump economy, explained
The Trump economy is just a continuation of the Obama economy.

- Pace of growth hasn’t really changed
- Pace of unemployment hasn’t really changed
- Stock markets are doing well, but
- They’re doing well globally
- The top 10% of the population reaps 80% of the benefits

That said, it’s easier for a Republican to boast about these gains because their constituents are the primary beneficiaries. It’s harder for Democrats to take a victory lap when their voters care about America’s abysmal record relative to other developed nations when it comes to: health insurance, greenhouse gas emissions, parental leave, etc.
trump-presidency  economics 
february 2018 by irace
First Take: The 'Nunes Memo' Is Even Weaker Than Expected
An analysis of what the Nunes Memo is trying to accomplish, and the various ways at which it needs to deceit in order to even have a *chance* of accomplishing its goal. It fails, however, because:

- It only discusses Page and makes no reference to the rest of the investigation
- It acknowledges that Papadapolous was already being looked at prior to Page
- It gives no indication that the dossier was the only source used to justify the Page warrant (although even if it was, it’s be hard to convincingly argue that it was truly biased)
trump-presidency  russia-investigation  nunes-memo 
february 2018 by irace
5 Points On How The Nunes Memo Is Basically One Big Self-Own – Talking Points Memo
The Nunes Memo is meant to discredit top DOJ and FBI officials, in an attempt to discredit the Mueller investigation, but in fact it points out a number of different ways in which the Russian investigation is even more legitimately than many might have previously realized.
february 2018 by irace
Perspective | Trump’s first year: A damage assessment
Tom Nichols – a conservative – with a crushingly depressing analysis of the lasting damage that Trump is doing, one year in.
february 2018 by irace
Trump’s State of the Union: No solutions for the country’s problems - Vox
Trump didn’t actually lay out any plans for how to fix the issues ailing the U.S. in his state of the union. Instead, he took credit for a good economy that he isn’t really responsible for, and fearmongered over immigration (which leads to hire wages for native-born Americans).
state-of-the-union  trump-presidency 
february 2018 by irace
Donald Trump and the Russian Dog That Didn't Bark | Crooked Media
Let’s not kid ourselves: even though “collusion” can come off as abstract and tricky to define, we have it here.
russia  trump-presidency 
november 2017 by irace
Exclusive: What Trump Really Told Kislyak After Comey Was Canned
Trump blurting covert information to the Russians doesn’t mean he’s necessarily compromised. It could just mean that he’s an idiot. Either way, our intelligence apparatus can’t be as effective without the trust and cooperation of our allies.
november 2017 by irace
Grappling with a Legitimacy Crisis | Crooked Media
It’s hard for American institutions to accept that Trump may not be president if it weren’t for Russian interference, since doing so would acknowledge a susceptibility that would be incredibly uncomfortable to admit. But a failure to do so only leaves us falsely confident and vulnerable to this happening over and over again.
november 2017 by irace
U.S. Image Suffers as Publics Around World Question Trump's Leadership
A sobering breakdown of how much less basically every country in the world thinks of Trump compared to Obama.
november 2017 by irace

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