An anonymous C-SPAN caller made a stunning admission on a cable television program and asked its black guest a straightforward question: "I'm a white male and I am prejudiced ... what can I do to change, you know, to be a better American?" Heather McGhee, president of a think tank called Demos, was on the C-SPAN program "Washington Journal" Sunday discussing racial tensions. "Thank you for being honest and for opening up this conversation because it is simply one of the most important ones we have to have in this country," she began.
In the first quarter of this year, Uber lost about $520 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to people familiar with the matter. In the second quarter the losses significantly exceeded $750 million, including a roughly $100 million shortfall in the U.S., those people said. That means Uber's losses in the first half of 2016 totaled at least $1.27 billion. "You won't find too many technology companies that could lose this much money, this quickly," said Aswath Damodaran, a business professor at New York University who has written skeptically of Uber's astronomical valuation on his blog. "For a private business to raise as much capital as Uber has been able to is unprecedented." read more
"Why aren't we talking about Huma [Abedin] and her ties to the Muslim Brotherhood? Why aren't we talking about the fact that she was an editor for a Sharia newspaper?" -- Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), interview on CNN, Aug. 23, 2016. Duffy asked why the alleged Muslim Brotherhood connections to Huma Abedin are not being talked about. Perhaps it's because they are bogus. Abedin has lived in the United States for nearly a quarter century, working in the White House, the Senate and the State Department. Vague suggestions of suspicious-sounding connections to her parents don't pass the laugh test, even at the flimsiest standard of guilt by association. The journal edited by her mother, meanwhile, is not "sharia newspaper" but a sober academic journal with a range of viewpoints on Muslim life around the world. -- Glenn Kessler, Washington Post Fact Checker read more
The white mayor of Midland City, Alabama posted a racist comment on Facebook after losing her job to a black candidate in this week's election. "I lost. The n----- won," wrote Republican Mayor Patsy Capshaw Skipper when someone asked her how the election turned out. Skipper was defeated by Jo Ann Bennett Grimsley, former assistant city clerk and an employee of the Dale County government for 27 years. She has previously served as the city's water clerk and county court clerk. Skipper was named interim mayor last February when her husband retired for health reasons.
Donald Trump has so far paid $7.7 million in campaign contributions to his own companies and children, according to a filing with the Federal Elections Commission, and as the campaign transitions to the general election those payments are increasing. In May, they totaled at least $1.1 million -- nearly 20 percent of all campaign spending that month -- and in July, another $800,000 came into the Trump brood. In July alone, Trump's campaign paid $169,758.33 in rent to Trump Tower Corporation LLC, $48,239.77 for rent and catering at Trump National Golf Club in Weschester, $1,000 to Trump Restaurants LLC, and $428.53 worth of Trump's bottled water Trump Ice. In May, Trump's campaign spent $3,938.58 at the vineyard run by his son Eric. Campaign dollars are also funneled to allies of Trump's children. read more
I don't think anybody now can be the nominee of the Democratic or Republican Party if they can't raise like a quarter of a billion dollars. This massive infusion of money polarizes our country. When hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent tearing down the reputation of an opponent in order to get elected, animosity and negativism carries on into Washington. There was harmony among congressmen when I was there, and I got just as much support from Republicans as I did from Democrats. -- President Jimmy Carter read more
A 25-year-old man recovering from a coma has made remarkable progress following a treatment at UCLA to jump-start his brain using ultrasound. The technique uses sonic stimulation to excite the neurons in the thalamus, an egg-shaped structure that serves as the brain's central hub for processing information. "It's almost as if we were jump-starting the neurons back into function," said Martin Monti, the study's lead author and a UCLA associate professor of psychology and neurosurgery. "Until now, the only way to achieve this was a risky surgical procedure known as deep brain stimulation, in which electrodes are implanted directly inside the thalamus," he said. "Our approach directly targets the thalamus but is noninvasive." read more
Donald Trump does not appear on the presidential ballot in Minnesota because the GOP hasn't met the state's criteria for having a candidate on the ballot. Under state law a party must by Aug. 29 certify a list of electors and alternate electors who were elected at a state convention. No alternate electors were chosen. The state GOP has tried to choose them without a convention before the deadline, but that's not permitted. A RedState writer jokes, "It might be sure incompetence or it might be a clever ploy by Trump to avoid a Mondale-esque 50 state blow-out by deliberately not appearing on the ballot in at least one state so he can say he didn't lose there."
Donald Trump gave more than $100,000 to the the Clinton Foundation, the organization the Republican nominee now calls "the most corrupt enterprise in political history." And while he said donors gave to get unfair access to the former Secretary of State, his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway denies that that was what Trump was seeking. "Was your candidate donating that money so that he could have access to Hillary Clinton whenever he wanted," CNN's Anderson Cooper asked Tuesday. "No, it seems like he had access to her anytime he wanted. She went to his wedding," she said, adding, "No, he was not paying to play." read more
Donald Trump labeled Hillary Clinton a "bigot" Wednesday night as he sought to draw African-American voters to his campaign. "Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future," Trump said at a campaign rally, speaking to an overwhelmingly white audience of supporters in deep-red Mississippi. "She doesn't care what her policies have done to your communities. She has no remorse. She's going to do nothing for Hispanics and African-Americans." Clinton, speaking to CNN's Anderson Cooper soon after Trump made the remark Wednesday night, said her Republican rival "has shown us who he is and we ought to believe him." She added, "Someone who's questioned the citizenship of the first African-American president ... is someone who is very much peddling bigotry and prejudice and paranoia." read more
More than 100 protesters have gathered in Washington D.C. to express their fears about a huge oil pipeline which will cross four states in the western US. The $3.7 billion Dakota Access pipeline has prompted huge protests, notably in North Dakota where Native Americans have halted its construction. It will run 1,168 miles through Iowa, Illinois, and North and South Dakotas. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said on Wednesday he will make a decision on the issue by September 9. read more
Ben Leubsdorf, Wall Street Journal: A majority of business economists in a new survey said Hillary Clinton is the best choice to oversee the U.S. economy as president. Donald Trump didn't even come in second. The National Association for Business Economics surveyed its members ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election. Roughly 55% said Clinton would do the best job of managing the economy. About 14% picked Trump -- slightly less than the 15% who selected Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson and the 15% who said they didn't know or had no opinion.
Former IRS Commissioner Fred Goldberg: "As a former IRS commissioner and practicing tax lawyer, I understand it may be inconvenient for Trump to release his tax returns but we all know -- and the IRS has confirmed -- that nothing prevents any of us from releasing our tax returns any time we want. And by the way, for those who listen carefully, Trump's promise means he will never release his tax returns. Trump's advisors also have substantial control over when his current examination will conclude. As a citizen and voter, I want to take a look because I will learn something important about this man who would be president. Inevitably, his refusal to release his returns raises a question: What is Trump hiding?" read more
Robert Reich: The problem isn't Obamacare per se. It lies in the structure of private markets for health insurance -- which creates powerful incentives to avoid sick people and attract healthy ones. Obamacare is just making this structural problem more obvious. In a nutshell, the more sick people and the fewer healthy people a private for-profit insurer attracts, the less competitive that insurer becomes relative to other insurers that don't attract as high a percentage of the sick but a higher percentage of the healthy. Eventually, insurers that take in too many sick and too few healthy people are driven out of business. read more