Who Says The New York Times Is Biased?

by TODD GITLIN – Public editor Liz Spayd’s inaugural column misses the mark by not explaining how the media really works — and offers little proof that the paper’s critics can support their perceptions with evidence Liz Spayd’s launch column as The New York Times’ newest public editor is depressingly muddled. Her going-in premise is that the Times is alienating conservative “and even many moderate” readers, and her second is that this alienation is bad news for the Times as a business. Unfortunately, Spayd “set aside for now the core of their criticism” — namely, “that the coverage is in fact biased.” If the perception of liberal bias were wildly wrong, it would seem necessary to establish it first. But Spayd promises to look into the question later, as “I settle in the job. My focus here is only on the perceptions.” Except that, later on, she goes on to...

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Trump Responds to Khizr Khan With Insults. Republican Party, This is Your Last Jumping-off Point

by Hunter – Donald Trump weighs in on the powerful testimony of Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose son was killed by a car bomb while serving in Iraq. It was, as has become normal for the Republican candidate, repulsive. “If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.” And has Trump sacrificed, as the Kahn family has? “I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.” He is, of course, completely unfit for the presidency. More than that, he is a monster. A sociopath. A man who is so consumed with his needs and with the political convenience of denying the very humanity of the other, in...

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Six More Charged in Flint Water Crisis, but Still no Accountability for Snyder

by Deirdre Fulton – ‘Most of the questions involving the Flint water crisis and Gov. Snyder are still unanswered,’ says Common Cause Six additional state employees now face criminal charges for hiding unsafe lead levels leading up to the Flint water crisis—but Gov. Rick Snyder and his top officials continue to evade accountability. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the charges in a press conference on Friday, in which he vowed that “the families of Flint will not be forgotten; we will provide the justice they deserve.” Of those charged, Schuette said: “Their offenses vary but there is an overall theme and repeated pattern. Each of these individuals attempted to bury, or cover up, to downplay or hide information that contradicted their own narrative, their story. Their story was there was nothing wrong with Flint water and it was perfectly safe to use.” “These individuals concealed the truth,” he said. “They...

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Texas Cop Says He Was Threatened For Trying To Tell The Truth About Sandra Bland

by ALAN PYKE – Over a year after Sandra Bland died in police custody, an officer involved in the case is giving the world a glimpse into how the “blue wall of silence” works inside the law enforcement industry. Prairie View, TX, police officer Michael Kelley says that a local prosecutor and police officials suppressed facts about Bland’s initial arrest while investigating Brian Encinia, the man who actually cuffed and booked Bland. Encinia was eventually charged, but only with perjury — a decision that sparked further outrage. Kelley got to the scene too late to see exactly what happened between Encinia and Bland during the key moments off a dash-cam video where the two are out of frame and Bland says he’s knocked her head against the pavement. But Encinia said he didn’t know what he was arresting Bland for but would come up with something, Kelley says. “She had...

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Possible War Crime: Syrian Maternity Hospital Bombed

by Andrea Germanos – All such attacks must be investigated and those responsible for serious violations of the laws of war must be brought to justice’ A maternity hospital in Syria’s northwestern, rebel-held province of Idlib was bombed on Friday, the U.K.-based charity Save the Children said. The number of casualties is unclear at this point. According to human rights organization Amnesty International, it “appears to be part of a despicable pattern of unlawful attacks deliberately targeting medical facilities.” Save the Children posted the news of the strike on the hospital, which it supports, on Twitter, and included video footage of the aftermath: According to reporting by Reuters, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the hit on the medical facility, as well as “a civil defense building.” “The bomb hit the entrance of the hospital, which sees 1,300 women monthly and carries out over 300 deliveries a month,” Save...

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On This Day, July 31, 1941 – Goering Orders ‘Final Solution’ for the Jews

1941 – Herman Goering, writing under instructions from Hitler, ordered Reinhard Heydrich, SS general and Heinrich Himmler’s number-two man, “to submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question.” Goering recounted briefly the outline for that “final solution” that had been drawn up on January 24, 1939: “emigration and evacuation in the best possible way.” This program of what would become mass, systematic extermination was to encompass “all the territories of Europe under German occupation.” Heydrich already had some experience with organizing such a plan, having reintroduced the cruel medieval concept of the ghetto in Warsaw after the German occupation of Poland. Jews were crammed into cramped walled areas of major cities and held as prisoners, as their property was confiscated and given to either local Germans or non-Jewish...

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Dan Rather – “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

by smaylone – Khizr Khan speech at the Democratic Convention last night has resonated throughout our country.  There are few times we are privileged enough to hear such poignant words spoken by an ordinary person sharing an extraordinary message.  One of the best recaps I’ve read about Mr. Khans speech was written today by journalist, Dan Rather.  It’s well worth the read. Dan Rather Journalist “For all the artifice surrounding politics, for all the self-conscious messaging from politicians, it’s sometimes too easy to forget that this is the manner in which we as a people govern ourselves. But every so often all of this stagecraft falls away and we are left with a pure and singular American moment. The speech last night by Khizr Khan, a Muslim-American whose son – Army Capt Humayun Khan – died serving in Iraq, was perhaps the most chilling of the Convention. More immediately, this elegant act...

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Donald Trump, Who Promised Repeatedly to Release His Tax Returns, Definitely Won’t Release His Tax Returns

by Peter Suderman – Even Nixon released his taxes while under audit More than a year ago, in February of 2015, Donald Trump—who was not yet running for president—said he would “certainly” release his personal tax returns. “I would release tax returns,” he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, reiterating later in the interview that, “I have no objection to certainly showing tax returns.” In January of this year, as Trump was leading in the GOP primary polls, he again said that the returns were forthcoming. “We’re working on that now. I have big returns, as you know, and I have everything all approved and very beautiful and we’ll be working that over in the next period of time,” he said on MSNBC. In May, after he had effectively locked up the nomination, he said once again that he planned to release them—though perhaps not until after the election. “So, the answer is,...

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Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down The Worst Voter Suppression Law In The Nation

by IAN MILLHISER – Let’s summarize a federal appeals court’s decision striking down much of North Carolina’s omnibus voter suppression law in a single gif: The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s opinion in North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP v. McCrory is nothing short of a beat down. The court does not simply tear apart major provisions of the law, it catches state lawmakers at the center of a conspiracy to disenfranchise black voters, and it calls them out onto the carpet for it. By the time the court is done scraping the bloody mass of what was once North Carolina’s attempts to justify this law off the floor, the state’s leadership has been thoroughly shamed. The court’s opinion — primarily written by Judge Diana Gribbon Motz, a Clinton appointee — is rooted in an important understanding of how race and partisanship interact in states like...

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On This Day, July 30, 1965 – Lyndon Johnson Signs Medicare into Law

1965 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare, a health insurance program for elderly Americans, into law. At the bill-signing ceremony, which took place at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, former President Harry S. Truman was enrolled as Medicare’s first beneficiary and received the first Medicare card. Johnson wanted to recognize Truman, who, in 1945, had become the first president to propose national health insurance, an initiative that was opposed at the time by Congress. The Medicare program, providing hospital and medical insurance for Americans age 65 or older, was signed into law as an amendment to the Social Security Act of 1935. Some 19 million people enrolled in Medicare when it went into effect in 1966. In 1972, eligibility for the program was extended to Americans under 65 with certain disabilities and people of all ages with permanent kidney disease requiring dialysis or transplant. In December 2003, President...

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Convention Indicates Democrats Appear Ready to Step up Push for Gun-law Reform

by Meteor Blades – For three decades the extremist leaders of the modern National Rifle Association have focused on making it tough for politicians, almost all of them Democrats, who dare to argue in favor of perfectly reasonable gun-law reforms. They have demonized state legislators, governors, congresspersons, senators, and presidents, which has in turn intimidated other such leaders into silence and policy paralysis—or, worse, spurred them into loosening gun-related restrictions on carrying firearms openly or concealed just about anywhere the carriers wish. They have attacked Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as “gun-grabbers,” and incited racist and sexist rhetoric from some gun-owners about those two and other reform politicians. For the first two days of the Democratic National Convention, not much was said about gun-related violence. But on Wednesday, you could see from the line-up of speakers that the leadership of the Democratic Party has had its fill of this lethal and lucrative nonsense from the gun lobby. One of the speakers, Erica Smegielski, said she wished she could be with her mother this...

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MUST SEE: The Most Terrifying Trump Video Yet

by Louise – If this is an indication of the attacks on Trump that we are going to see tonight, viewers are going to be quaking in their boots. Not as many feel-good vibes tonight. Kudos to the production team behind this — you nailed it. Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

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On This Day, July 29, 1588 – England Defeats the Spanish Armada

1588 – Off the coast of Gravelines, France, Spain’s so-called “Invincible Armada” is defeated by an English naval force under the command of Lord Charles Howard and Sir Francis Drake. After eight hours of furious fighting, a change in wind direction prompted the Spanish to break off from the battle and retreat toward the North Sea. Its hopes of invasion crushed, the remnants of the Spanish Armada began a long and difficult journey back to Spain. In the late 1580s, English raids against Spanish commerce and Queen Elizabeth I’s support of the Dutch rebels in the Spanish Netherlands led King Philip II of Spain to plan the conquest of England. Pope Sixtus V gave his blessing to what was called “The Enterprise of England,” which he hoped would bring the Protestant isle back into the fold of Rome. A giant Spanish invasion fleet was completed by 1587, but Sir...

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Obama Explains Why A Changing America Terrifies Donald Trump (Full DNC Speech)

by AVIVA SHEN – President Barack Obama closed out Wednesday night of the Democratic National Convention with a rousing speech that hearkened back to his breakout moment at the 2004 convention. Obama detailed a very different vision of a changing America than the xenophobia that characterizes Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign. Obama noted that Trump and other Republicans have argued the U.S. has lost a vital quality, which they suggest has been stolen by Mexican “criminal” immigrants, liberal elitists, and Muslim terrorists. “They tell voters there’s a real America out there that must be restored,” he said. “This isn’t an idea that started with Donald Trump. It’s been peddled by politicians for a long time – probably from the start of our Republic.” The first black president rejected that idea, instead painting a picture of a tolerant nation that recognizes it’s richer for its growing diversity. He illustrated...

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Does Hillary Get It?

by Robert Reich – If Clinton and the Democratic Party don’t recognize the nation’s political realignment, they’re in for a rude shock Does Hillary Clinton understand that the biggest divide in American politics is no longer between the right and the left, but between the anti-establishment and the establishment? I worry she doesn’t – at least not yet. A Democratic operative I’ve known since the Bill Clinton administration told me “now that she’s won the nomination, Hillary is moving to the middle. She’s going after moderate swing voters.” Presumably that’s why she tapped Tim Kaine to be her vice president. Kaine is as vanilla middle as you can get. In fairness, Hillary is only doing what she knows best. Moving to the putative center is what Bill Clinton did after the Democrats lost the House and Senate in 1994 – signing legislation on welfare reform, crime, trade, and financial deregulation that...

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How The Bernie Protesters Are Undermining Their Own Movement

by IAN MILLHISER – Much of the Democratic Party nearly had a heart attack Monday afternoon, when they discovered that a small but very vocal group of angry Bernie Sanders holdouts were among the credentialed delegates at the Democratic National Convention. The holdouts loudly booed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during the convention’s opening prayer. For a while, the jeering continued every single time Clinton’s name was mentioned. By the evening, possibly because Sanders himself emphatically urged this group of delegates to knock it the hell off, the booing largely subsided, but a handful of loud voices still remained: Christopher Hayes ✔@chrislhayes There are basically like 30 Bernie supporters in the CA delegation who are the only one’s doing any booing at this point but they’re loud! 9:33 PM – 25 Jul 2016 Despite the hecklers’ small numbers, one outlet that ignored this observation by MSNBC host Chris Hayes —...

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Cecile Richards to Trump: ‘Women are going to be the reason you’re not elected president’ (VIDEO)

by Leslie Salzillo – The much-respected and admired president of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards gave her endorsement to the Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton last spring. It was one of the first major endorsements for Hillary and a very important one, given most of this country, men and women, support Planned Parenthood and a women’s right reproductive choice. Like Hillary Clinton, Richards is no stranger to harsh criticism and attacks from the religious right and Republican extremists. She’s no stranger to sexism and misogyny and has withstood hearings in front of Congress meant to discredit her and defund Planned Parenthood. And she also knows what it’s like to triumph from such vicious attacks after they find nothing to substantiate false claims. On Tuesday, Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention, Cecile Richards once again offers her support to Hillary Rodham Clinton to become the next president of the United States. Here is her speech followed...

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Blasting “McCarthy-Like Overreach,” State AGs, Climate Groups Won’t Comply With GOP Subpoenas

by Andrea Germanos – ‘During the hottest year on record, Congress should be going after the polluters, not the people’ The House Science Committee’s effort to obtain documents and information related to the ExxonKnew investigations was met with a brick wall on Wednesday after state attorneys general and nonprofit organizations refused to comply with the subpoenas, calling them an “intimidation tactic” with “McCarthy-like overreach” that violates the First Amendment. The “requests to attorneys general and non-profit organizations are as meritless as his position on climate change,” said Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace USA—one of the groups targeted by the committee—of chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas). “The American people know this Congressional subpoena is Rep. Smith’s signature move to turn attention away from the real issue at stake, which is the investigations into Exxon’s climate denial,” she said. As Common Dreams reported, when Smith’s committee two weeks ago issued the subpoenas—with a deadline...

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All Remaining Charges Dropped in ‘Infuriating’ Freddie Gray Case

by Nadia Prupis – Baltimore prosecutors have dropped all remaining charges against the police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, bringing an end to the case that has spurred mass protests throughout the country for seven months. The sudden decision on Wednesday means there is unlikely to be any accountability in Gray’s death, as it follows several acquittals for three other officers charged in the case. Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Wednesday that the decision to drop the charges against Officer Garrett Miller—who physically arrested Gray—Officer William Porter, and Sgt. Alicia White was “agonizing,” but that there was a “dismal likelihood” of securing a conviction. “After much thought and prayer it has become clear that without being able to work with an independent investigatory agency from the very start, without having a say in the election of whether cases proceed in front of a judge or jury, without...

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On This Day, July 28, 1869 – 14th Amendment Gives Rights to Former Slaves

1868 – Following its ratification by the necessary three-quarters of U.S. states, the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing to African Americans citizenship and all its privileges, is officially adopted into the U.S. Constitution. Two years after the Civil War, the Reconstruction Acts of 1867 divided the South into five military districts, where new state governments, based on universal manhood suffrage, were to be established. Thus began the period known as Radical Reconstruction, which saw the 14th Amendment, which had been passed by Congress in 1866, ratified in July 1868. The amendment resolved pre-Civil War questions of African American citizenship by stating that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States…are citizens of the United States and of the state in which they reside.” The amendment then reaffirmed the privileges and rights of all citizens, and granted all these citizens the “equal protection of the laws.” In the decades after its...

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