[News] Post a Political News Story

Ongoing discussion of the political news of the day. This thread is for 'smaller' stories that don't call for their own thread. If a story blows up, please start a new thread for it.

Gig Economy Company Launches Uber, But for Evicting People

Or as I like to think of it: Would you like to be a Class Traitor?

During a time of great economic and general hardship, Civvl aims to be, essentially, Uber, but for evicting people. Seizing on a pandemic-driven nosedive in employment and huge uptick in number-of-people-who-can't-pay-their-rent, Civvl aims to make it easy for landlords to hire process servers and eviction agents as gig workers.
The company, at first glance, appears to be some kind of _Nathan For You-_esque prank: siccing precarious gig jobs onto vulnerable people. But Civvl is connected to a larger—and real—gig economy company called OnQall, which describes itself as an app that provides "on-demand task services to non-urban communities beyond main city areas." OnQall is the developer behind other, more believable TaskRabbit-esque apps, like LawnFixr, CleanQwik, and MoveQwik. Given the fact that Civvl is advertising all over the country and that OnQall, though not popular, does exist, it seems as though Civvl actually is an attempt to simplify the process of evicting people who cannot pay their rent during a pandemic.

The thing with the invisible hand is that it can be formed into a fist.

QAnon: This Man Is Likely Q, Or Knows Who Q Is

The latest episode of Reply All podcast does a great job with delivering this story.

While we're at it, it turns out that Streiff, one of the main guys over at Redstate spreading right wing propaganda on COVID, has been an employee of Dr. Fauci at the NIH for years:

Of course.

Tanglebones wrote:

While we're at it, it turns out that Streiff, one of the main guys over at Redstate spreading right wing propaganda on COVID, has been an employee of Dr. Fauci at the NIH for years:

Republicans are right! The deep state is real, but they’re the ones doing it.

JC wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

While we're at it, it turns out that Streiff, one of the main guys over at Redstate spreading right wing propaganda on COVID, has been an employee of Dr. Fauci at the NIH for years:

Republicans are right! The deep state is real, but they’re the ones doing it.

they are, what I like to call, the shallow deep state.

JC wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

While we're at it, it turns out that Streiff, one of the main guys over at Redstate spreading right wing propaganda on COVID, has been an employee of Dr. Fauci at the NIH for years:

Republicans are right! The deep state is real, but they’re the ones doing it.

Honestly should have expected it more. Every accusation is a confession and all that.

Makes me worry about all the claims of antifa setting fires.

My mom was Republican Jim Kolbe's chief of staff during his career as AZ state legislator all the way to US Congress. Today the Arizona Daily Star published an op-ed from Jim Kolbe supporting Joe Biden.

Trump is the opposite of a conservative. He has no respect for American traditions or respect for its institutions. His voters would only be fooling themselves a second time if they imagine he is in this game for anything other than his own interests and ego satisfaction.

Move over Rock the Vote. Now there's Clap the Vote.

A family member posted on Facebook about this

Trump To Sign ‘Born Alive’ Executive Order, Protecting Premature Babies And Abortion Survivors

So 4 years in the presidency but nothing. Then 2 months before a close election an executive order that can be tossed out whenever because it isn't a law.
I know you will vote for him but it is about the most blatant pandering I have seen.
My family member will line up to vote for him because she is a single issue voter but damm they are played for suckers so easily!

All hospitals already have a duty to care for premature babies or those born after an attempted abortion. There is no widespread incidence of premature babies being left to die. It's an executive order that does nothing that's based on a myth.

Not to mention that most states ban abortions weeks before the fetus is viable outside the womb, even with neonatal intensive care.

Speaking of which I'm sure the multi-million dollar cost of neonatal intensive care for all those abortion surviving fetuses will be covered in Trump's tremendous healthcare plan that will replace Obamacare, the latest version of which he was supposed to release in two weeks several months ago.

Nearly every late term (post 22 weeks) induction-type "abortion" is due to fetal congenital defects that severely limit their chance of survival, or severe maternal health problems. The people who should be making those decisions are doctors and parents, not politicians. Just as with the "Born Alive" BS bill from last year, politicians are injecting themselves into one of the hardest situations any parent could possibly endure. Plus it's heartbreaking for doctors, too. They want to save lives, not end them.

According to a CDC report on infant mortality between the years 2004-2014:

During this period there were 315,392 infant deaths and 49,126,572 live births. The purpose of this analysis is to provide some additional information regarding infant deaths with this cause of death code. This category includes both spontaneous terminations of pregnancy and induced terminations of pregnancy. Analysis of the text as reported by the cause-of-death certifier show that of 588 deaths with mention of P96.4, 143 (24.3%) could definitively be classified as involving an induced termination. A list of the terms on which this number is based is shown below. Most of the remaining deaths are clearly spontaneous. However, it is possible that this number (143) underestimates the total number of deaths involving induced termination. In some cases, when a vague term such as “termination of pregnancy” was reported as due to a severe congenital anomaly or maternal complication, it was impossible to determine whether the pregnancy terminated spontaneously as the result of the anomaly or complication, or whether the mother elected to terminate because of the anomaly or complication. Because of the strong association between severe congenital anomalies or maternal complications and premature labor and birth, terminations were assumed to be spontaneous when reported as “due to” or “caused by” an anomaly/complication. However, if the language used was something like “termination of pregnancy for [congenital anomaly/maternal complication]” then the termination was assumed to be induced. In addition, of the 143 deaths involving induced terminations, 97 involved a maternal complication or, one or more congenital anomalies.

Out of over 49 million (FORTY NINE MILLION) births, 143 (0.0003%) were induced terminations, and over two thirds of those were documented as medically necessary.

This whole "live birth" thing is political flag waving, not based in reality, and downright deceptive. But that covers a lot of Republican talking points, doesn't it.

Pro-Trump activists plotted violence ahead of Portland rallies.

Patriots Coalition members suggested political assassinations and said ‘laws will be broken, people will get hurt’, leaked chats show.

“Yes, going after them at night is the solution… Like we do in other states, tactical ambushes at night while backing up the police are key. You get the leaders and the violent ones and the police are happy to shut their mouths and cameras.”
Melchi nevertheless recommends that members disguise themselves to avoid the consequences of homicide.

They’re planning another rally attack this saturday, which is supposed to end with a “night clearing” that is explicitly calling for widespread violence and murder against protestors.

Why aren't those fkrz rotting in jail right now?

Don't answer that.

What is worse than willful ignorance?
Armed, violent, willful ignorance!

Police claim ‘ambushed’ Louisiana officer shot himself, altered facts

KSLA wrote:

The Pineville Police Department says the officer who allegedly was ambushed Sunday night actually shot himself.

PPD says the officer, identified as 25-year-old John Michael Goulart Jr., shot himself, concealed his weapon and altered the facts.

Goulart has been charged with one count each of criminal mischief and malfeasance in office. He was released on his own recognizance after being booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center at 3:48 p.m. Wednesday, booking records show.

The officer also has been placed on administrative leave.

PPD says Goulart originally claimed that he was shot once in the leg and that a second shot hit the rear door of his police unit while he was at a shopping center at the corner of Military Highway and Donahue Ferry Road.

"The officer also has been placed on administrative leave."

How the f*ck isn't that sentence "The officer was immediately fired, charged with illegal use of weapons and filing a false public record, and blackballed at every police department in the nation"?

Well I'm sure every person he came in contact with was treated fairly. They only hire the best of the best.

I had a right sh*tty day, but this made me laugh:

kids dancing on TikTok are not violating the Espionage Act

Judge Rejected Ban On TikTok Because Trump's DOJ Can't Show Any Real National Security Threat

I'm onboard with a ban if they can prove that TikTok is doing nefarious information gathering.

But they didn't even try to determine that. Instead it's just "China Bad."

Hardly surprising from this administration.

The revelation on how much debt he has with China I’m of the assumption this and everything Trump does is to try and leverage loan forgiveness or outright quid pro quo to wipe out debt.

PaladinTom wrote:

I had a right sh*tty day, but this made me laugh:

kids dancing on TikTok are not violating the Espionage Act

Judge Rejected Ban On TikTok Because Trump's DOJ Can't Show Any Real National Security Threat

They can't even pass the fog a mirror test.

Our Tax Code Is Designed To Create Donald Trump

In 2011, The New York Times published what was, at the time, the most shocking expose on tax policy in decades. General Electric, the largest American corporation, had notched a $14.2 billion profit in the previous year ― and paid no federal income tax.

GE had achieved this financial miracle through creative accounting, ferocious lobbying and years of corporate hiring that lured top tax officials away from just about every government agency, office or committee with jurisdiction over the matter.

The GE story touched off a furious debate by the standards of its day. The company’s defenders took to CNBC to insist that under a more flexible definition of tax liability, GE had paid quite a bit. Others insisted the firm was an outlier and that most corporations were paying plenty of taxes, if not too much.

But critics and admirers alike agreed on one thing: GE’s practices were unusually aggressive, but it hadn’t done anything illegal, in part because GE and its lobbying allies had persuaded Congress and regulators to write rules in the company’s favor.

In the nine years since, public opinion on tax policy has been remarkably consistent. Overwhelming majorities of the public, including large swaths of the Republican Party, think that big corporations and the wealthy should be paying more. And yet the opposite has occurred. In 2013, the Obama administration cut a deal with then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to give households making over $250,000 a tax break. And in 2017, President Donald Trump signed into law his signature policy achievement, a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax law that slashed the tax obligations of the rich and large corporations, hacked away at federal revenues and exacerbated economic inequality.
Trump’s tax law has always been deeply unpopular. In March 2019, a survey from the Pew Research Center showed that just 36% of Americans approved of it. A month later, a Monmouth University poll put approval at 34%.

In short, everyone knew the American tax system was a corrupt nightmare before The New York Times released its extraordinary expose on the president’s taxes on Sunday. Its details are breathtaking: Trump didn’t pay taxes at all in 11 of the previous 18 years, paid just $750 a year for the first two years of his presidency, has been living in the shadow of a multimillion-dollar IRS audit for nine years, and appears to be on the verge of financial ruin.
But as stunning as the particulars are, the bigger picture is by now familiar. The Trump family is exactly what the American tax code is designed to create ― an incompetent, intergenerational graft that our government rewards for draining the nation’s resources and destroying social value. Tipping the scales in favor of the rich doesn’t just generate inequality, it creates an inept upper class shielded from the consequences of its errors and granted access to political power.

Trump is not an anomaly. Much of the so-called innovation that drives up corporate share prices amounts to little more than devising ways to stiff workers on their pay, rip off customers, or hide from the tax man. From Uber to offshoring to Wells Fargo’s fake accounts, executives are rewarded for creating inequality.

Even when they get caught actually breaking the law, these oligarchs nevertheless retire on piles of money. Disgraced former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf still owns more than $80 million in company stock after collecting $60 million in salary and bonuses over the course of his career and accruing a $22.7 million pension.

In the days since the Times story dropped, reformers have rightly called to increase the enforcement budget of the IRS to give the agency the resources it needs to take on rich fraudsters. Such a boost would be welcome. But the cancer on our democracy cannot be cured with a few appropriations bills. Many of the tax loopholes Trump has been exploiting were enacted with bipartisan support.

Trump may not be able to get away with it forever. But he got away with it for years, and rode getting away with it to the highest office in the country.
The IRS began auditing Trump in 2011 ― it knew the deal years before Trump began his presidential run. It doesn’t take nine years to figure out if a tax refund is aboveboard. As the Times story makes clear, some of the trouble appears to lie with the bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, which has jurisdiction over multimillion-dollar tax refunds. One of the reasons Trump’s reputation as a businessman survived for so long is because a bipartisan congressional panel couldn’t be bothered to do its job.

One of our two political parties is devoted to celebrating the rich for being rich, while half of the other party wants to do the same. It is a failure of leadership that with a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, the public is learning about Trump’s tax returns from the Times instead of the House Ways and Means Committee. The effort to release those returns has been tied up in court, but only after seemingly endless foot-dragging from Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.), who has prioritized deal-making with the administration over confrontation about corruption.

Trump may not be able to get away with it forever. But he got away with it for years, and rode getting away with it to the highest office in the country, where his political opposition has been reluctant to challenge him on what he has been getting away with.

It’s enough to make you wonder why GE bothers with all the fancy revolving-door accountants. Who, really, would make them pay?

I know that corporations that I've worked for paid no income taxes either and legally they were above reproach. They executives would brag about it during company meetings and presentations.

U.S. economy contracts at 31.4% annualized rate in second quarter

AP wrote:

The U.S. economy suffered its sharpest contraction in at least 73 years in the second quarter because of the disruptions from the coronavirus, the government confirmed on Wednesday.

Gross domestic product plunged at a 31.4% annualized rate last quarter, the deepest drop in output since the government started keeping records in 1947, the Commerce Department said in its third estimate of GDP. Output was previously reported to have contracted at a 31.7% pace in the second quarter.

Can't wait for the NPR Hourly News update where Lakshmi Singh immediately follows that report with "stocks closed up today".

A Far-Right Militant Group Has Recruited Thousands of Police, Soldiers, and Veterans

Stewart Rhodes was living his vision of the future. On television, American cities were burning, while on the internet, rumors warned that antifa bands were coming to terrorize the suburbs. Rhodes was driving around South Texas, getting ready for them. He answered his phone. “Let’s not f*ck around,” he said. “We’ve descended into civil war.”

It was a Friday evening in June. Rhodes, 55, is a stocky man with a gray buzz cut, a wardrobe of tactical-casual attire, and a black eye patch. With him in his pickup were a pistol and a dusty black hat with the gold logo of the Oath Keepers, a militant group that has drawn in thousands of people from the military and law-enforcement communities.

Rhodes had been talking about civil war since he founded the Oath Keepers, in 2009. But now more people were listening. And whereas Rhodes had once cast himself as a revolutionary in waiting, he now saw his role as defending the president. He had put out a call for his followers to protect the country against what he was calling an “insurrection.” The unrest, he told me, was the latest attempt to undermine Donald Trump.

Over the summer, Rhodes’s warnings of conflict only grew louder. In August, when a teenager was charged with shooting and killing two people at protests over police brutality in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Rhodes called him “a Hero, a Patriot” on Twitter. And when a Trump supporter was killed later that week in Portland, Oregon, Rhodes declared that there was no going back. “Civil war is here, right now,” he wrote, before being banned from the platform for inciting violence.

By then, I’d spent months interviewing current and former Oath Keepers, attempting to determine whether they would really take part in violence. Many of their worst fears had been realized in quick succession: government lockdowns, riots, a movement to abolish police, and leftist groups arming themselves and seizing part of a city. They saw all of it as a precursor to the 2020 election.

As Trump spent the year warning about voter fraud, the Oath Keepers were listening. What would happen, I wondered, if Trump lost, said the election had been stolen, and refused to concede? Or the flip side: What if he won and his opponents poured into the streets in protest? The U.S. was already seeing a surge in political violence, and in August the FBI put out a bulletin that warned of a possible escalation heading into the election. How much worse would things get if trained professionals took up arms?

I’d been asking a version of these questions since 2017, when I met a researcher from the Southern Poverty Law Center who told me about Rhodes and the Oath Keepers. She’d received a leaked database with information about the group, and she said it might contain some answers.