Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Trump once revealed his income tax returns. They showed he didn’t pay a cent.

The last time information from Donald Trump’s income-tax returns was made public, the bottom line was striking: He had paid the federal government $0 in income taxes.

The disclosure, in a 1981 report by New Jersey gambling regulators, revealed that the wealthy Manhattan investor had for at least two years in the late 1970s taken advantage of a tax-code provision popular with developers that allowed him to report negative income.

The Dangerous Acceptance of Donald Trump

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, / As, to be hated, needs but to be seen,” the poet Alexander Pope wrote, in lines that were once, as they said back in the day, imprinted on the mind of every schoolboy. Pope continued, “Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, / we first endure, then pity, then embrace.” The three-part process by which the gross becomes the taken for granted has been on matchlessly grim view this past week in the ascent of Donald Trump. First merely endured by those in the Republican Party, with pained grimaces and faint bleats of reluctance, bare toleration passed quickly over into blind, partisan allegiance—he’s going to be the nominee, after all, and so is our boy. Then a weird kind of pity arose, directed not so much at him (he supplies his own self-pity) as at his supporters, on the premise that their existence somehow makes him a champion for the dispossessed, although the evidence indicates that his followers are mostly stirred by familiar racial and cultural resentments, of which Trump has been a single-minded spokesperson.

How Donald Trump Gained Power Over Senate Republicans With His Supreme Court List

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s decision to unveil a list of 11 potential Supreme Court nominees that he would choose from as president has been viewed as a peace offering to conservatives. They don’t trust his ideological bearings. So he just gave them tangible evidence — in the form of names — that he shares their judicial philosophy.

The Stupidest Thing GOP Leaders Have Done Lately? Threaten to Take Away Middle Class Overtime Pay

Talk about a political tin ear! Wednesday, House Republican Leader Paul Ryan and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell threatened to take away middle class overtime pay.

Speaking as a Progressive Democrat my response is simple: go ahead — make our day. Talk about bad politics.

New York Attorney General To House Republicans: Are You Kidding?

Not content to let the House Committee on Space, Science, and Technology’s reputation for hating science rest for even a moment, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) has now subpoenaed the New York attorney general over his investigation into Exxon’s role in sowing climate denial.

Calling the investigation a “coordinated attempt to deprive companies, nonprofit organizations, and scientists of their First Amendment rights and ability to fund and conduct scientific research free from intimidation and the threat of prosecution,” Smith’s letter calls for documents and communication between the attorney general’s office and environmental groups, the EPA, and the Justice Department, and internally, regarding any climate change investigations. Smith sent similar letters to 16 other attorneys general and eight non-profit groups.

Tom Cotton Thinks America Isn’t Locking Enough People Up

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is criticizing efforts to reform America’s criminal justice system, arguing on Thursday that the country actually has an “under-incarceration problem” — even though the U.S. has the world’s largest prison population.

Cotton gave a speech on criminal justice Thursday at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. During his remarks, he argued that policy goals like reducing mandatory minimum sentences, restoring voting rights for felons and reducing barriers to employment for ex-offenders are misguided and “dangerous.”

Congress Is Using Zika To Weaken Truck Safety

WASHINGTON — Truck driver Dana Logan tried on Wednesday to recount a crash that decapitated two fathers and two children, hoping to convince Congress to stop weakening rules that require truckers to get rest.

She couldn’t do it. A dozen years after the fatigued driver of another truck fell asleep and drove into an SUV stuck in traffic behind her rig on a Texas highway, Logan was still too devastated to finish talking about it.

She drives trucks with her husband, Tim, as a team. That June day in 2004 near Sulphur Springs, the other driver fell asleep and rammed the SUV, pushing it under the carriage of Logan’s trailer, shearing off the top half of the vehicle with its four helpless passengers inside.

This Is the New Era of Monopoly

For 200 years, there have been two schools of thought about what determines the distribution of income — and how the economy functions. One, emanating from Adam Smith and nineteenth-century liberal economists, focuses on competitive markets. The other, cognizant of how Smith’s brand of liberalism leads to rapid concentration of wealth and income, takes as its starting point unfettered markets’ tendency toward monopoly. It is important to understand both, because our views about government policies and existing inequalities are shaped by which of the two schools of thought one believes provides a better description of reality.

The master huckster has already won: Donald Trump is cashing in on his presidential bid (like so many Republicans before him)

One of the many lamentable consequences of Trump’s campaign is the precedent it sets. A reality TV star with no discernible political experience has overwhelmed the process, and he did it without a platform or a meaningful policy proposal. By leveraging his celebrity and using the spectacle-obsessed media to his advantage, Trump has shown how decadent our system has become.

Celebrity Republican candidates aren’t new. Fox News and the conservative media-industrial complex have propped up unserious candidates before. There was Sarah Palin, the illiterate governor who captured the imagination of right-wing media and nearly became Vice President. After losing, she promptly abandoned her office for a lucrative reality TV career of her own. Then there were people like Herman Cain and Ben Carson, policy lightweights who made no real effort to understand the world they wanted to lead but cruised to the top of the polls on the backs of ratings-chasing pundits. Both, moreover, have used their political celebrity to sell books and profit on the conservative lecture circuit.

I watched Hillary Clinton’s forces swipe Nevada: This is what the media’s not telling you

It probably wasn’t the best time for me to go to Vegas. My beloved father had just died the week before, and I was feeling hazy and vulnerable, prone to weeping at the slightest provocation. Grief made me feel like I had no skin and no brain; grief had turned me into a cloud, and I was in that floaty state when I got on the plane with my husband—a state delegate headed to the Nevada Democratic Convention—and our six-year-old son. I wasn’t sure what would happen once we got to Vegas, whether all the lights and bells would hammer me back into my body, or whether I would drift even further away from myself, hover like the cigarette smoke over the casino floor.

Introducing Glencore, rapacious global lord: A David vs. Goliath battle is brewing in Texas

Giant corporate entities have become so far-flung and impersonal that “human relations” departments have been created within the soulless structures to cloak the fact that there’s really nothing human about them. HR is mostly known for sending the corporate rank and file peppy motivational memos that boil down to: “The beatings will continue until morale improves.”

The beatings of American workers (wage slashing, axed benefits, union busting, mass firings, offshored factories, and brutish abuse of worker rights) have been increasing in frequency, intensity, and scope — mostly ordered by CEOs in the posh, faraway headquarters of multi-tentacled global empires. These detached autocrats are wrecking the lives of hardworking people for no reasons but institutional greed, calculated self-interest … and because our corporate-coddling government lets them get away with it. Let’s meet one of the most powerful of these lords of rapacious global capitalism — Glencore.

"Postracial" Is Racist: The Politics of Erasing Race From the Conversation

"It's not fair for you to bring up race!"

"How do you know race was a factor?"

"What makes you think they weren't just mean people?"

We heard all of these dismissive comments after sharing our experience of racial discrimination at a Fresno dive bar called the Brig. Instead of sympathizing with our experience, people assumed that the mistreatment wasn't race related because there were no overt signs of racism, such as racial slurs.

Gimme shelter: How to pop the housing bubbles … before it’s too late

Housing is more than a necessity of life; it’s both the greatest single contributor to our wellbeing and our single largest living expense. But when housing prices spike far above healthy ratios with local incomes and long term prices — as is the case in the Lower Mainland of B.C. and, increasingly, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) — governments have to step in to protect people.

The extraordinarily high cost of housing in Vancouver and the GTA, including new rentals, is inflicting real hardship on all but the wealthiest local buyers. This is having serious long-term effects on businesses’ ability to attract and retain talent. Failure to reduce housing prices will lead inevitably to a dramatic market crash — and severe economic pain.

Please Advise! Will Scandals Sink Christy Clark?

Dear Dr. Steve,

On Tuesday, former B.C. government communications director Brian Bonney was charged with breach of trust. The charge followed an RCMP investigation into the 2011 ''Quick Wins'' plan designed to coax votes from B.C.'s multicultural communities. Bonney, who stepped down in March, is the fourth BC Liberal to resign over the affair. The same day, his company Mainland Communications pleaded guilty to making an unreported political contribution while Election Act charges against Bonney and former Liberal party field director Mark Robertson were dropped.

‘I’m tired’: Michael Sona on robocalls, his suicide attempt — and the road back

It seemed like a good day to die.

It was the spring of 2012, and Michael Sona could see no other way out. Alone in his Ottawa apartment, he loaded up the magazine of his .45 calibre pistol with ten rounds — noting to himself the absurdity of the act.

“I just needed one. But you do weird stuff almost reflexively when you’re in that state of mind.”

“It is happening again”: David Dayen on the epidemic of mortgage fraud and the rigged economy that sets it in motion

Earlier this week the New York Times featured a depressing story about homeless people living in the foreclosed and abandoned houses that still dot the landscape in Nevada, reminding everyone of that awful time just a few years ago when families all over the country lost their homes in what has become euphemistically known as “the housing crisis.” It was actually much more specific than that, it was an epidemic of criminal mortgage fraud and it devastated millions of people, many of whom have still not recovered.

Israel’s Netanyahu Cements Right Wing Coalition And Crushes Opposition In Surprise Deal

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - “He’s a magician, he’s a magician,” the partisan crowd chanted as a beaming Benjamin Netanyahu strode into his party headquarters a little over a year ago to declare a come-from-behind victory in Israel’s election.

Now, with the expected entry into his right-wing government of ultranationalist Avigdor Lieberman as defense minister, it looks like Netanyahu, in his fourth term as premier, has pulled off another piece of political sleight of hand worthy of a “House of Cards” script.

Who the Super Delegates Are and Why They Will Not Switch to Sanders

Math. Path. Wrath. This has been the process through which Bernie Sanders’ supporters travel. They don’t get the math, so they continue to see his path, and if you disagree and speak to the realities of the campaign, you’ll reap their wrath. And what’s their main fuel? The super delegates. Hillary Clinton has about 500 more of them than Sanders. But according to Sanders’ ferociously loyal legion of millennials, Bernie can still win the nomination because the super delegates could dump Hillary for him at the convention. And herein lies the massive delusion.

Trump-Advising General Defends Muslim Ban

Former Defense Intelligence Agency director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn expressed his support for Donald Trump’s extreme national security positions in an interview released Thursday — including a ban on Muslim entry.

But the informal advisor to Trump’s campaign, who headed the Pentagon intelligence agency under the Obama administration until 2014, strained to define those proposals more liberally than the presumptive GOP presidential candidate ever has.

We’re Starting To Get A Bad Feeling About Brazil’s New Interim President

After just one week in office, Brazil’s unelected, interim President Michel Temer has begun hacking away at three decades of social progress, fielding a leadership team composed entirely of 21 white men — including a congressman under investigation for attempted homicide — to take the reins of a government bogged down by a far-reaching corruption scandal.

Temer’s apparent disregard for diversity contrasts sharply with a regional trend that has seen women, indigenous people and Afro-descended people rise to increasingly high elected offices in Latin America in recent years.

Elizabeth Warren Takes On Uber, Lyft And The ‘Gig Economy’

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) on Wednesday cautioned against giving businesses like Lyft and Uber a free ride.

In a speech at an annual conference for the New America Foundation in Washington, Warren acknowledged these so-called “gig economy” jobs — powered by independent contractors who set their own hours — appeal to workers’ sense of self-determination. But she warned that freedom currently comes at the expense of many other fundamental rights and protections.

Oklahoma’s Legislature Passed A Bill Making It A Felony To Perform An Abortion

Oklahoma’s legislature passed a first-in-the-nation law Thursday that would make it a felony for abortion providers to perform or induce the procedure.

Senate Bill 1552 now heads to the desk of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R). It contains no exceptions for cases of rape and incest or to protect the health of a pregnant person. (Abortions necessary to save the mother’s life are acceptable under the law.) Doctors would be barred from obtaining a license to practice medicine in the state if they violated the law, which refers to performing an abortion as “unprofessional conduct.” The minimum punishment for the law would be one year in jail.

General Advising Donald Trump Says Killing Terrorists’ Families Might Be OK

A top military adviser to Donald Trump expressed qualified support for Trump’s proposal to kill terrorists’ families on Thursday, telling Al Jazeera that it would depend on the “circumstances of the situation.”

The statement from Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012 to 2014, reignited a debate about whether the military in a Trump presidency could be counted on to refuse blatantly illegal orders.

Trump Delegate Indicted on Federal Weapons and Child Porn Charges

A Maryland delegate selected by Donald Trump's presidential campaign for the Republican National Convention was indicted on Wednesday on federal weapons and child pornography charges.

The federal indictment alleges that Caleb Andrew Bailey, 30, of Waldorf, Maryland, illegally mailed a cache of ammunition and explosives through the US Postal Service and illegally possessed a machine gun and child pornography. The indictment also further alleges that Bailey "attempted to use and did use a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct to produce child pornography."

Donald Trump Says ‘I Don’t Settle,’ But We Found 13 Times He Did.

Itzel Hudek already had a history of asthma, migraines, and cardiovascular disease when she became pregnant while working for the Trump National Doral Miami hotel. So she quickly told her supervisor that while she’d still be able to keep doing her job, she’d need to take time off every so often for doctor’s appointments and testing. She had paid time off saved up, and said that if she went over, she planned to come to work earlier or stay later to make up the difference.

Empire of Lies: How the US Continues to Deceive the World About Puerto Rico

"There are three kinds of lies," said Mark Twain. "Lies, damned lies, and statistics." Unfortunately for Puerto Rico, this is not an aphorism; it is an operating principle.

Separated by an ocean and a language from the mainland, Puerto Ricans have watched the US government lie brazenly and repeatedly -- to the American people and the world at large -- about its actions and interests in the Caribbean.

Malcolm X Predicted the Progression of Racism in the United States

In celebration of Malcolm X's birthday, we present this exclusive excerpt from Ibram X. Kendi's new book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. As racism endures, this excerpt revisits the landmark law that was supposed to end racism and the outspoken activist who predicted it would not. Malcolm X is closely bonded in history with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Historians have rightfully hailed the myriad of ways in which this law brought on racial progress. But this excerpt reveals the reasons why this law did not stop (or even affected) the progression of racism -- a progression that Black Lives Matter activists are currently fighting. No wonder Black Lives Matter activists look to Malcolm X for inspiration as much as any leader in US history. No wonder his speeches and insights remain relevant to progressives today on his birthday.

Investor Protection Is The Most Insidious Part Of The TPP

Much has been written about the immediate negative impact the Trans-Pacific Partnership will have on some of our key economic sectors.

There is no shortage of examples.

Deep and fast cuts to vehicle tariffs and changes to North American content rules would encourage auto companies to move more jobs off-shore to low-wage jurisdictions, costing thousands of jobs.

Uber's Self-Driving Car Hits The Streets In Pittsburgh

DETROIT — Uber is testing a self-driving car on public streets in Pittsburgh.

Uber says it has outfitted a Ford Fusion hybrid with radars, laser scanners and high-resolution cameras. It's using the car to test self-driving capability and collect mapping data.

“We must counter Israel’s McCarthyism”: Meet the Palestinian intellectual Israel fears most

The time has long passed when one could dismiss the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement–calling for Palestinian rights as enshrined in international law and human rights discourse—as something “merely symbolic.”   The attacks on BDS evidenced in legislation pending in several states in America, in the criminalization of BDS in Canada and France and other countries, and Israel’s promotion of “civil targeted eliminations” of dissidents and human rights workers, only show how much fear the claim for Palestinian rights has struck amongst those who wish to deny those claims.

SNC-Lavalin Named In Panama Papers

Canadian construction and engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, already embroiled in corruption scandals in numerous countries around the world, can add one more black mark to its reputation: It has been named in the Panama Papers leak of offshore accounts, according to news reports.

Among the 11.5 million files in the Panama Papers were documents showing SNC-Lavalin paid a company in the Caribbean nearly $22 million to help secure contracts in Algeria, according to an investigation by the CBC and The Toronto Star.

Refugees Turning To Food Banks Is 'Cultural': McCallum

OTTAWA — The fact some newly arrived Syrian refugees are turning to food banks to supplement their own pantries can be partially explained by a "cultural element," the immigration minister said Wednesday.

Food banks from Halifax to B.C. have reported serving hundreds of Syrians who have come to Canada since November, the month the Liberal government launched a major resettlement program to bring 25,000 people by the end of February.

Revenue agency routinely failed to meet Access to Information deadlines on KPMG

The Canada Revenue Agency routinely failed to meet deadlines under the Access to Information Act after receiving requests for documents about the KPMG offshore tax scandal and private lobbying meetings with the accounting industry, according to a summary provided by the agency itself.

CBC News began making requests to the federal agency more than a year ago for information about compliance officials and their meetings with KPMG executives, Department of Justice officials, and industry lobbyists — yet deadlines to produce those records have repeatedly not been met.

The shame of our disposable workers

When Sheldon McKenzie suffered an ultimately fatal head injury on an Ontario farm in January 2015, his recovery should have been the main concern.

Instead, a liaison officer with the Jamaican consulate reportedly made great efforts to have McKenzie sent back to his native Jamaica as soon as possible. McKenzie was a migrant worker from Jamaica, one of thousands who come to Canada every year under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP).

Injured workers are bad for business and their experiences threaten the program’s reputation in the Caribbean and Latin America countries where workers are recruited. Evidence suggests many workers who are hurt or become ill while in Canada are simply sent back home.

No left turn for London's new mayor

Everyone on the left is bound to welcome Sadiq Khan's clear victory over Tory Zac Goldsmith to become London's new mayor in succession to Boris Johnson. Khan took 44 per cent of the vote to Goldsmith's 35 per cent, ending eight years of Tory rule at city hall.

The population of London is one of the most ethnically diverse in the world, with 44 per cent of the city's 8.6 million people from minority backgrounds. The election of a Muslim bus-driver's son who grew up on a council estate as mayor is fitting testimony to that, and also a welcome riposte to the racist campaign waged by the Tories.

This is how fascism comes to America

Robert Kagan is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a contributing columnist for The Post.

The Republican Party’s attempt to treat Donald Trump as a normal political candidate would be laughable were it not so perilous to the republic. If only he would mouth the party’s “conservative” principles, all would be well.

But of course the entire Trump phenomenon has nothing to do with policy or ideology. It has nothing to do with the Republican Party, either, except in its historic role as incubator of this singular threat to our democracy. Trump has transcended the party that produced him. His growing army of supporters no longer cares about the party. Because it did not immediately and fully embrace Trump, because a dwindling number of its political and intellectual leaders still resist him, the party is regarded with suspicion and even hostility by his followers. Their allegiance is to him and him alone.

GOP Senator Tries To Take Zika Money Hostage Over Obamacare Cuts

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats tried and failed Wednesday to expedite emergency funds to combat the Zika virus, stymied by Republicans who objected and tried to extract cuts to Obamacare as a condition for their agreement.

Using procedural tactics, Democrats tried to force two votes by unanimous consent: one to approve the $1.9 billion sought by the Obama administration, and another requesting to speed up passage of a $1.1 billion measure that senators backed Tuesday.

712 Democratic Officials Will Decide Whether Clinton or Sanders Wins the Nomination. Newly published documents show that's what the party planned all along.

Since its launch, a specter has haunted Bernie Sanders’ run for the Democratic nomination. It’s not his age, though at 74 he would be the oldest president in American history. And it’s not that he’s an avowed socialist, the label that a mere eight years ago was used to smear Barack Obama as a sinister, alien threat to the American way of life. Rather, it has been the so-called superdelegates—the 712 Democratic Party insiders who are free to vote at the nominating convention for the candidate of their choosing.

Trump’s Bizarre Climate Beliefs Would Jeopardize Meaningful Global Climate Action

Donald Trump’s climate science denial and dubious deal-making skills just raised the stakes of this election to “existential.”

As Reuters reported Tuesday, the presumptive GOP nominee said he would seek to renegotiate the Paris Climate Agreement, “spelling potential doom for an agreement many view as a last chance to turn the tide on global warming.”

House GOP Refuses To Budge On Anti-LGBT Amendment In Defense Budget Bill

Republican leaders in Congress have quashed a bipartisan attempt to remove the so-called Russell Amendment — a sweeping “religious liberty” provision that would allow federal contractors to discriminate against LGBT employees — from this year’s National Defense Authorization Act.

The defense budget bill now heads to the floor of the House with the anti-LGBT language attached, prompting furious backlash from lawmakers, civil rights groups, and the Obama Administration.

Your Ultimate Guide To The 11 White People Donald Trump Will Consider For The Supreme Court

Earlier this year, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pledged to release a list of potential Supreme Court nominees — all of whom he said would be very conservative — in order to allay fears that he may name someone to the Supreme Court who is insufficiently sympathetic to the GOP’s position on legal interpretation. On Wednesday, Trump released his list, and the list will not disappoint even the more hard-line conservatives.

Executives Running Collapsing Coal Companies Award Themselves Millions While Laying Off Workers

Executives of the top coal-producing companies in the country got compensation increases while their companies spiraled into bankruptcy, laid off workers, or tried to slash employee benefits, a new report finds.

Most top executives for Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and Alpha Natural Resources got compensation increases worth in total millions of dollars as the companies went into massive debt often due to fruitless expansions, the report released Tuesday by Public Citizen, an advocacy organization, found. In conjunction with the report, Public Citizen also sent letters to Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and Alpha Natural Resources chief executive officers urging them to invest their multi-million dollar bonuses in a trust fund for laid off workers.

Storing The Sun’s Energy Just Got A Whole Lot Cheaper

With prices dropping rapidly for both renewables and battery storage, the economics of decarbonizing the grid are changing faster than most policymakers, journalists, and others realize. So, as part of my ongoing series, “Almost Everything You Know About Climate Change Solutions Is Outdated,” I will highlight individual case studies of this real-time revolution.

My Monday post discussed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) report that in the first quarter, the U.S. grid added 18 megawatts of new natural gas generating capacity, but 1,291 MW of new renewables. But one of FERC’s “Electric Generation Highlights” for March deserves special attention as a leading indicator of the revolutionary new economics of solar plus storage:

    Half Moon Ventures LLC’s 4.2 MW Minster Solar Project in Auglaise County, OH is online. This project includes an energy storage capacity.

Privatizing America’s Public Land

It goes without saying that in a democracy everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions. The trouble starts when people think they are also entitled to their own facts.

Away out West, on the hundreds of millions of acres of public lands that most Americans take for granted (if they are aware of them at all), the trouble is deep, widespread, and won’t soon go away. Last winter’s armed take-over and 41-day occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon is a case in point. It was carried out by people who, if they hadn’t been white and dressed as cowboys, might have been called “terrorists” and treated as such. Their interpretation of the history of western lands and of the judicial basis for federal land ownership—or at least that of their leaders, since they weren’t exactly a band of intellectuals—was only loosely linked to reality.

The Republicans want to be conned: Paul Ryan and the GOP are letting themselves be duped by Trump

Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan had a nice little meeting last week in Washington, DC, and afterwards they issued a joint statement declaring how perfectly pleasant it was. “This was our first meeting,” their statement read, “but it was a very positive step toward unification.” Following their little get together, Ryan held a press conference and was sanguine about his budding relationship with Trump, though he remained guarded. “I was very encouraged with this meeting, but this is a process,” Ryan explained. “It takes a little time.” He referred to the unification “process” eight times in the course of his remarks, making clear that while he may be inclined to formally endorse his own party’s presumptive presidential nominee, he couldn’t do it just yet. The “process,” after all, has to be observed.

Trump’s bigoted base: Keeping minorities down is the No. 1 issue for the billionaire’s backers — it’s not a theory, it’s a fact

The unexpected successes of the two political outsiders, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, in this presidential primary season has everyone grasping for some kind of explanation that would easily explain it. The most commonly held assumption is that people are angry and cynical about the two political parties which is undoubtedly correct.  If the two campaigns share any characteristics, it’s that they absolutely loathe the political establishments of the party to which their preferred candidates have attached themselves, however tenuously. This should not come as a huge surprise to anyone since the gridlock and torpor that has characterized our national politics for the past several years is not exactly inspiring.

The Free Market Is Incompatible With Public Education

The initial spark for this piece was going to be this story out of Philly, where parents are shocked, upset and frustrated to learn that the charter their children are attending is bailing on them at the end of this year.

But at this stage of the game “Charter Closes Doors and Abandons Students” is completely unremarkable, like breathless coverage of the sun rising in the East. The Center for Media and Democracy has done huge work on this, producing a map of the 2,500 (that’s two thousand, five hundred!) charter schools that closed by 2013. CMD has also ramped up pressure on the US Department of Education, which loves charters, pushes charters, throws money at charters — but in its “transparent” reporting claims to have no idea how many charters have actually closed. (Meanwhile, CMD continues to dig out the truth about charter scamming like this amazing report about KIPP. Do you contribute to the CMD? Because you really ought to.)

Oxfam: Poultry Industry Routinely Denies Workers Bathroom Breaks

The United States isn't exactly a hotbed of trade unionism and worker power. But presumably, most people can take for granted access to the bathroom while on the job. Not so for people who staff the nation's chicken slaughterhouses, according to a scathing new report from Oxfam America.

Boris Johnson Lacks The Judgement To Be Prime Minister, Says Lord Heseltine

Boris Johnson’s “disturbing” decision to use Hitler as part of his argument in favour of Brexit has shown he lacks the “judgement” to lead the Conservative Party, former Tory deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine has said.

In a strong attack on the former London mayor, Lord Heseltine said the “strain of the campaign” was beginning to show in Boris’ statements - including a “complete fabrication“ about bananas.

“I find it deeply distressing. I don’t really understand what Boris is up to frankly,” he told the BBC.