Saturday, February 25, 2017

Big Newspapers Are Booming: 'Washington Post' To Add 60 Newsroom Jobs


The Washington Post expects to hire more than 60 journalists in the coming months — a sign of remarkable growth for a newspaper in the digital age. After a year of record traffic and digital advertising revenue, the Post newsroom will grow by more than 8 percent, to more than 750 people. The extent of the newsroom expansion was first reported by Politico. The Post will add a "rapid-response" investigative team, expand its video journalism and breaking news staff, and make additional investments in podcasts and photography. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos bought the Post in October 2013 and reportedly invested $50 million in the company last year. That investment is paying off, according to a memo from publisher Fred Ryan that said the Post is now "a profitable and growing company." ... snip ... Meanwhile, subscriptions at The New York Times have also surged. Times CEO Mark Thompson said on CNBC that the paper added 132,000 new subscribers in the 18 days after the election, a tenfold increase over the same period a year ago. The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal also reported record growth in subscriptions.

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White House Asked FBI To Publicly Refute Reports Trump Associates Had Russia Contacts


The White House is admitting that it discussed with the FBI media reports that Trump campaign officials were in contact with Russian intelligence agents and that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI to publicly knock down the story. FBI Director James Comey refused. The administration is pushing back on a CNN report that White House officials "sought the help." A senior administration official told reporters Friday morning that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe asked to speak to Priebus on Feb. 15 and told him the report in the New York Times about Russia contacts was inaccurate.

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Pro-Trump megadonor is part owner of Breitbart News empire, CEO reveals


Breitbart News Network, the far-right media outlet that heralded President Trump’s rise and was once led by his top White House strategist, is owned in part by a wealthy conservative family that poured millions into propelling Trump into office, the company’s chief executive acknowledged Friday. The site’s financial backing from the Mercers further cements the family’s status as some of the most influential financiers of the Trump era. The news comes as Breitbart has enjoyed a higher profile within the White House press corps.

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Hate Crime Is Feared as 2 Indian Engineers Are Shot in Kansas


OLATHE, Kan. — “The Jameson guys,” as some on the staff at Austins Bar and Grill knew the pair, were on the patio on Wednesday evening. It was hardly unusual: Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, two immigrants from India, often enjoyed an after-work whiskey at the bar they had adopted as a hangout. Adam W. Purinton was also there, tossing ethnic slurs at the two men and suggesting they did not belong in the United States, other customers said. Patrons complained, and Mr. Purinton was thrown out. But a short time later, he came back in a rage and fired on the two men, the authorities said. Mr. Kuchibhotla was killed, and Mr. Madasani was wounded, along with a 24-year-old man who had tried to apprehend the gunman, who fled. Mr. Purinton, 51, was extradited to Kansas from Missouri on Friday, and he is charged with premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder.

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Friday, February 24, 2017


Jake Tapper Shreds 'Petulant' White House Over 'Un-American' Media Ban (VIDEO)

Jake Tapper Shreds 'Petulant' White House Over 'Un-American' Media Ban (VIDEO)

Jake Tapper then focused in on Sean Spicer, and called the White House press secretary out for an awesome amount of hypocrisy. And to do so, he simply had to cite the man himself. Back in December – just a few, short months ago – Sean Spicer said that the White House would never ban the media…because to do so would change a democracy to a dictatorship.

“We have respect for the press when it comes to the government — that it is something you can’t ban an entity from. Conservative, liberal or otherwise. That makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship. I think there is a vastly different model when it comes to government and what should be expected, and that’s on both sides,” Spicer said, a mere two months before banning the media from the White House.Jake Tapper then focused in on Sean Spicer, and called the White House press secretary out for an awesome amount of hypocrisy. And to do so, he simply had to cite the man himself. Back in December – just a few, short months ago – Sean Spicer said that the White House would never ban the media…because to do so would change a democracy to a dictatorship.

“We have respect for the press when it comes to the government — that it is something you can’t ban an entity from. Conservative, liberal or otherwise. That makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship. I think there is a vastly different model when it comes to government and what should be expected, and that’s on both sides,” Spicer said, a mere two months before banning the media from the White House.

In conclusion, Jake Tapper stated this:

“So, don’t misunderstand what’s going on with that rhetoric and with today’s action banning various media outlets including CNN, the New York Times. This White House does not seem to respect the idea of accountability. This White House does not seem to value an independent press. There is a word for that line of thinking — it’s called un-American.”

  

Hey Milo, You Can Shove Your Hollow Apology | The Huffington Post

Hey Milo, You Can Shove Your Hollow Apology | The Huffington Post

So with this, the so called free speech martyr apologized, then complained, making himself the victim of poor editing and free speech suppressors- yeah because Breitbart never edits anything to fuel a false narrative, right? Oh wait, remember the Shirley Sherrod case in 2010, when a falsified Breitbart story cost Sherrod her job at the USDA? But anyway, this 15 minute charade could simply be transcribed as “I am being censored by no one offering me lucrative book and speaking deals, and it needs to stop.”

  

The Domestic Conspiracy That Gave Trump The Election Is In Plain Sight | The Huffington Post

The Domestic Conspiracy That Gave Trump The Election Is In Plain Sight | The Huffington Post

Information presently public and available confirms that Erik Prince, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump conspired to intimidate FBI Director James Comey into interfering in, and thus directly affecting, the 2016 presidential election. This conspiracy was made possible with the assistance of officers in the New York Police Department and agents within the New York field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All of the major actors in the conspiracy have already confessed to its particulars either in word or in deed; moreover, all of the major actors have publicly exhibited consciousness of guilt after the fact. This assessment has already been the subject of articles in news outlets on both sides of the political spectrum, but has not yet received substantial investigation by major media.


Seth Abramson is an assistant professor at University of New Hampshire, a former public defender, and the author of six books, most recently Golden Age (BlazeVOX, 2017).


  

New Bill Criminalizes 1st Amendment Right: State Can Seize Your Property For Peacefully Protesting

New Bill Criminalizes 1st Amendment Right: State Can Seize Your Property For Peacefully Protesting

Hey Arizona, This Is NOT What Democracy Looks Like

The Arizona State Senate passed a bill Wednesday that could redefine an American’s right to peaceably assemble as guaranteed in the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution. SB1142 targets otherwise peaceful demonstrators if they are organized in a protest that turns violent. The simple act of targeting peaceful protesters isn’t even the most threatening act, however. The proposed punishment doesn’t fit the so-called crime. If passed, the bill would allow police to seize the assets of anyone attending a demonstration where violence occurs, whether they partook in violent crimes or not.



The legal method in which the state senate is applying these punishments is equally dubious. The bill would extend measures intended to fight organized crime to fighting public demonstrations. The Arizona Capitol Times reports:

  It's the politics of brutality, objectification, intimidation and power. It's what Republican conservatives call government.

Basketball teams react to segregation comments with solidarity


“We want to beat each other, but we also want to compete against each other,” said Jeremy MacDonald, head coach of the Box Elder boys and the organizer of the ceremony. “We want to bring out the best in each other and use our kids as ambassadors.” Radio host who called for segregated tournaments suspended In a post online by Billings radio personality Paul Mushaben of Cat Country KCTR 102.9, did not provide specifics but described a situation where an “Indian team involved in a tournament left people re-thinking if it’s worth it or not to host a tourney. “The crowd is so unruly and disrespectful of the facility that it may be time for the MHSA to proceed with an all Indian tourney.” The post was deleted late Tuesday after first appearing that morning. Many view it as racist. “It shows resentment and hard feelings from history,” MacDonald said. “Comments like this fan the flames. I think it’s time to move past it. It’s important to understand the history and learn from it, but at some point people need to move on from it and make a better future for these kids and the generations coming after them. We can’t be fighting these same battles and arguing about racism. We’ve got to be able to work together.

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Chapter 1: "Inmates Run This Bitch"


CCA certainly seemed eager to give me a chance to join its team. Within two weeks of filling out its online application, using my real name and personal information, several CCA prisons contacted me, some multiple times. They weren't interested in the details of my résumé. They didn't ask about my job history, my current employment with the Foundation for National Progress, the publisher of Mother Jones, or why someone who writes about criminal justice in California would want to move across the country to work in a prison. They didn't even ask about the time I was arrested for shoplifting when I was 19. When I call Winn Correctional Center in Winnfield, Louisiana, the HR lady who answers is chipper and has a smoky Southern voice. "I should tell you upfront that the job only pays $9 an hour, but the prison is in the middle of a national forest. Do you like to hunt and fish?" "I like fishing." "Well, there is plenty of fishing, and people around here like to hunt squirrels. You ever squirrel hunt?" "No."

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Trump, Priebus, the FBI and Russia: Everything you need to know

Trump, Priebus, the FBI and Russia: Everything you need to know

For all the White House assertions that media reports about contacts between Russia and the president's team are false, Reince Priebus sure is upset these stories keep coming. The president's chief of staff contacted the deputy director of the FBI to request the agency dispute last week's stories that the Trump campaign had contact with Russian officials, according to a Thursday CNN report.
The communication between the FBI and Priebus was highly unusual; the meddling puts the president's chief of staff in the middle of an ongoing investigation that involves his boss. FBI Director James Comey refused Priebus' request because alleged contacts between Trump's campaign and Russia are still under review.

  

Trump's Family Trips Cost Taxpayers Nearly As Much In A Month As Obama's Cost In A Whole Year


Donald Trump's regular jaunts to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida appear to be costing taxpayers a small fortune. The president's three trips have probably cost the federal Treasury about $10 million, the Washington Post estimates, based on an October 2016 Government Accountability Office analysis of White House travel. By comparison, Barack Obama's travel expenses averaged just $12.1 million during each year of his presidency. In total, Obama's eight year travel bill came to $97 million and unbelievably, Donald Trump is on pace to outspend him in less than one year. The Washington Post says "the elaborate lifestyle of America’s first family is straining the Secret Service and security officials, stirring financial and logistical concerns in several local communities, and costing far beyond what has been typical for previous presidents."

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CPAC scrambles to control damage after attendees wave Russian flags during Trump speech

CPAC scrambles to control damage after attendees wave Russian flags during Trump speech

affers at CPAC quickly scrambled to confiscate Russian flags with the word “TRUMP” written on the front that were being waved by attendees during President Donald Trump’s speech on Friday.

The trouble began when some attendees took out pro-Trump flags to wave during the president’s speech that also happened to have the same white-blue-and-red striped pattern as Russia’s official flag.

Reporter Peter Hamby notes that CPAC staffers quickly realized that its attendees were waving Russian flags, and moved to confiscate them.

  

Wonkblog Analysis Trump just said he can’t ‘find a country where we actually do well.’ We just did.


At a meeting Thursday with the country’s top manufacturing executives, President Trump made a puzzling statement about trade. "We don't have any good deals. In fact, I am trying to find a country where we actually have a surplus — surplus of trade. Everything is a deficit," he said. "I actually said to my people: Find a country where we actually do well. So far, we haven't found that country." Data from his own federal agencies tell a much different story. This chart shows the top 15 countries with which we run a trade surplus in goods. At the head of the list are Hong Kong, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, Belgium and Australia.

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Dismal Voucher Results Surprise Researchers as DeVos Era Begins


But even as school choice is poised to go national, a wave of new research has emerged suggesting that private school vouchers may harm students who receive them. The results are startling — the worst in the history of the field, researchers say. While many policy ideas have murky origins, vouchers emerged fully formed from a single, brilliant essay published in 1955 by Milton Friedman, the free-market godfather later to be awarded a Nobel Prize in Economics. Because “a stable and democratic society is impossible without widespread acceptance of some common set of values and without a minimum degree of literacy and knowledge on the part of most citizens,” Mr. Friedman wrote, the government should pay for all children to go to school.

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Death and Tax Cuts - The New York Times

Death and Tax Cuts - The New York Times

Actually, many prominent Republicans haven’t even gotten to the point of trying to respond to criticism; they’re just whining about how mean their constituents are being, and invoking conspiracy theories. Talk about snowflakes who can dish it out but can’t take it!

  

Republicans Think It’s About Time Poor Children Start Paying For Their Own School Meals


NEWS Republicans Think It’s About Time Poor Children Start Paying For Their Own School Meals By Left Liberal Reporter | February 23, 2017 Those damn kids! Always wanting handouts! House republicans think it would be a great idea and a huge savings of taxpayer money to cut back funding used to feed children at school. The legislation hopes to save money by limiting the number of schools allowed to offer free and reduced price meals to their students. An amendment to the bill would allow more flexibility to schools that find the new nutrition standards set in place by Former First Lady, Michelle Obama too rigid. What republicans aren’t thinking about is the sad truth that hunger is a major problem facing U.S. citizens. 1 in 6 Americans face hunger because they are unable to afford sufficient food. 49 million Americans struggle to put enough food on the table. According to Feeding America, the U.S. hunger relief organization, this shortage in nutrition is due to a prevalence of poverty, rather than a lack of food availability. 21.7 million low-income children received free or reduced-price meals daily through the National School Lunch Program during the federal fiscal year in 2014. Republicans said it would better target taxpayer money by scaling back free meals for the some of the students that attend those high-poverty schools, but don’t qualify for free or reduced meals. They noted that the bill also provides an increase in federal reimbursements for school breakfasts. Really republicans? You are cutting the funds for these programs because there may be a small percentage of students who can afford meals at home but are eating at school?? The lack of common sense in this administration is dumbfounding. For many children, a school meal may be the only meal they have that day. Students will not only go hungry. They will also get stuck in the health-hole of poor nutrition, which will result poor concentration in class and may even cause disruptive behavior. Republicans: ‘But we will save so much money.’ Those with education in math and humanity know better. It’s kind of hard to focus on learning when your tummy is growling and empty.

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Bannon Admits Trump's Cabinet Nominees Were Selected To Destroy Their Agencies.


The wholesale elimination of Federal agencies that ensure we receive such things as clean air, clean water, fair labor laws, fair housing standards, anti-discrimination laws, financial regulations, food and drug safety, national education standards and the like, has been a goal of far-right “thinkers" for decades. The rationale, propagated by corporate and industry-funded think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, has always been that that the existence of these “unelected" agencies represents a mortal threat to American “sovereignty and self-government." This is exactly the line Bannon was peddling at CPAC today. It is delusional, right-wing garbage.

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The Supreme Court Just Advanced A Lawsuit To Nullify The 2016 Election


Diane Blumstein, Nancy Goodman, and Donna Soodalter-Toman argue in the case, that Russia cyber invaded America and that our Intelligence Community’s reports in October and January, along with the FBI’s public statements prove that our Executive Branch concluded a foreign invader influenced the 2016 elections. The lower court called the case of Blumstein vs. U.S. a “novel constitutional question,” but said that question of if the United States had suffered a foreign cyber invasion was a question best decided by the “political branches” of government like Congress or the Executive Branch. Since then, the Obama Administration released a lengthy declassified report to the public – on the same day that the lower court issued the opinion – in which seventeen executive branch agencies concluded that Russia used cyber military units from their GRU to invade American cyberspace as part of Putin’s plan to aid Donald Trump and attack Hillary Clinton.

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I Was a Muslim in Trump's White House


In 2011, I was hired, straight out of college, to work at the White House and eventually the National Security Council. My job there was to promote and protect the best of what my country stands for. I am a hijab-wearing Muslim woman––I was the only hijabi in the West Wing––and the Obama administration always made me feel welcome and included. Like most of my fellow American Muslims, I spent much of 2016 watching with consternation as Donald Trump vilified our community. Despite this––or because of it––I thought I should try to stay on the NSC staff during the Trump Administration, in order to give the new president and his aides a more nuanced view of Islam, and of America's Muslim citizens. I lasted eight days. When Trump issued a ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and all Syrian refugees, I knew I could no longer stay and work for an administration that saw me and people like me not as fellow citizens, but as a threat.

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Weakened Democrats Bow to Voters, Opting for Total War on Trump



  Immediately after the November election, Democrats were divided over how to handle Mr. Trump, with one camp favoring all-out confrontation and another backing a seemingly less risky approach of coaxing him to the center with offers of compromise. Now, spurred by explosive protests and a torrent of angry phone calls and emails from constituents — and outraged themselves by Mr. Trump’s swift moves to enact a hard-line agenda — Democrats have all but cast aside any notion of conciliation with the White House. Instead, they are mimicking the Republican approach of the last eight years — the “party of no” — and wagering that brash obstruction will pay similar dividends. Don't facebook?  

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Resistance Against Donald Trump Is Not a New Tea Party | Time.com

Resistance Against Donald Trump Is Not a New Tea Party | Time.com

The zeitgeist is quickly setting in: Republicans right now face a backlash akin to what Democrats faced from the Tea Party in 2009 and 2010. Some have gone so far as to call this resistance the Democratic Tea Party. It’s a convenient comparison: Democrats like it because the Republican Tea Party was successful in 2010, and the media appreciates it as a simple and straightforward story. I've been guilty of leaning on it myself.
But the Democratic resistance and the Tea Party actually differ in a number of important ways, each of which tells a different story about where our country is and where our politics may be headed.
For starters, the Tea Party was forged as an opposition to a societal reality in our country, while today’s resistance is opposed to a political reality. The Tea Party began before the election of President Obama, as a reaction to President Bush and the bank bailouts of 2008. Tea Partiers believed that society and the economy had all left them behind. The movement’s anger was stoked by the realization that the country had changed to the extent that it would elect someone like Barack Obama and support his “liberal” policies like the Economic Recovery Act (the so-called stimulus) and the Affordable Care Act (scornfully dubbed “Obamacare”). These members wanted the entire country to revert to a set of values that more closely resembled what they saw on Leave It to Beaver.

  

Lawyers: ICE detainee with brain tumor removed from hospital


An undocumented immigrant diagnosed with a brain tumor while in Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody was returned to a detention center from a Texas hospital, her lawyers said. The woman, a Salvadoran national identified only as Sara, was released from Huguley Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, and taken to Prairieland Detention Center against her will, according to her lawyers. "She told us they tied her hands and ankles in her condition," Melissa Zuniga, a member of Sara's legal team, told The Hill. "She's complaining of a lot of pain."

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Trump Vowed to Protect the Safety Net. What if His Appointees Disagree?


When President Trump addresses Congress this Tuesday and follows the speech with a budget blueprint for the fiscal year that begins in October, his White House will finally address in concrete numbers one of the central contradictions of his political career: He campaigned as the populist protector of programs for the working class, yet he has pledged to control the budget deficit, cut spending and cut taxes. Moreover, Mr. Trump has surrounded himself with traditional small-government conservatives bent on cutting back or eliminating many of the programs he has championed. Many of his aides and cabinet members have expressed views that are fundamentally opposed to those he campaigned on.

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This Isn’t Just Trump. This Is Who The Republicans Are.


So far President Trump has signed very few bills. One lets coal companies dump waste into streams. The other lets oil companies bribe foreign dictators in secret. And he is moving to block a Labor Department "fiduciary rule" that requires financial advisors to act in the best interests of their clients when advising on retirement accounts. Here's the thing: this isn't just Trump doing this. The Republican House and Senate passed those two bills, and the Republicans have been fighting that fiduciary rule tooth and nail. It's not just Trump, Republicans as a party are using Trump to engage in a general assault on protections from corruption, pollution, corporate fraud and financial scams. This is who they are.

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