qcp found a fascinating 1943 U.S. government produced film. 'Don't Be a Sucker' is made in the typical after-school-special style of the time. As qcp points out: "Still a valid message today and very important in today's toxic political climate." The film tells the tale of how Nazis hood winked German citizens to do their bidding. "They knew they were not strong enough to conquer a unified country so they split Germany into small groups," say the wise old random stranger. "They used prejudice as a practical weapon to cripple the nation." Wise man explains to his fellow American that he came from Germany and watched his fellow countrymen fall for the Nazi hate speech. "When that first minority lost out, they all lost out," the man warns. "Let's forget about we and they and think about us." read more
While appearing Tuesday on Fox News, former senior Democratic National Committee adviser Zac Petkanas shared an anecdote he had read about "a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome" who had been "taken from her mother and put in a cage." "Womp womp," the former Trump campaign manager responded. read more
[Former John McCain's 2008 chief campaign adviser Steve] Schmidt announced Tuesday night that he had formally left the party over Trump's policy of separating families at the U.S. border with Mexico. Speaking to The Daily Beast, he called for his old boss, President Bush, to set aside political convention and come out to publicly challenge Trump's grip on both the country and the Republican Party, which he feels is set to collapse. "This is a metastasis, a cancer, a toxin that has destroyed the Republican Party," he said. He said he fears that "cowards" Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have failed in their constitutional duty to act as counterweights to the Executive Branch, opening up the possibility that an era of liberal American democracy could be coming to an end. read more
President Donald Trump, under growing pressure to act unilaterally to address the immigration crisis, said Wednesday that he would be "signing something" soon that would keep immigrant families together. "I'll be signing something in a little while that's going to do that," Trump told pool reporters regarding the crisis over children being separated from parents who cross illegally into the U.S. He later said he would sign an executive order. On Friday he said, "You can't do it through an executive order." read more
Since the earliest days of the Trump presidency, the administration has been preparing to erect tent cities to house immigrants who had come to the country illegally. The Department of Homeland Security asked Congress for $95 million to erect tent cities in two locations in Texas to "detain all immigration violators," according to a budget document shared with McClatchy and provided to Congress in March 2017. The so-called "soft-sided structure facilities in Tornillo and Donna, Texas" were to house immigrants -- possibly unaccompanied children or families -- after the United States saw a surge in the number of immigrants crossing its southern border during the Obama administration.
Big banks are skirting the rules on the sale of the complex financial instruments that helped bring about the 2008 financial crisis, by exploiting a loophole in federal banking regulations, a new report says. The loophole could leave Wall Street exposed to big losses, potentially requiring taxpayers to once again bail out the biggest banks, warns the report's author, Michael Greenberger, former director of trading and markets at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. "We've seen this movie already," he said at a news conference Tuesday. read more
We saw computers beat humans at chess in 1997, beat humans at Jeopardy in 2011 and vanquish the world's best human players of the ancient game of Go in 2017. On Monday, a computer edged out a victory over people in a far more nuanced competition: debate. IBM created a system called Project Debater that competes in what the company calls computational argumentation -- knowing a subject, presenting a position and defending it against opposition. At a press event, IBM pitted the system against two humans with a track record of winning debates. read more
A Guatemalan asylum-seeker sued the Trump administration on Tuesday for 'forcibly' separating her from her seven-year-old son after they crossed the border in May. Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia was never indicted for illegally entering the country, but officials won't tell her where her son Darwin is, according to her lawsuit filed Tuesday in Federal District Court in Washington, D.C. against 6 federal agencies and 10 senior officials.
The Trump administration on Tuesday issued a finalized rule that will enable millions of Americans to buy skimpy health insurance plans that do not comply with key Obamacare coverage requirements, marking its latest effort to chip away at the healthcare law. The rule, which the U.S. Department of Labor will post Tuesday, allows small businesses and those who are self-employed to band together and buy lower-cost health insurance policies, similar to large employers. read more
Canada has passed a landmark law that legalises the recreational use of marijuana nationwide. The Cannabis Act passed its final hurdle on Tuesday in a 52-29 vote in the Senate. The bill controls and regulates how the drug can be grown, distributed, and sold. Canadians will be able to buy and consume the drug legally as early as this September. The country is the first in the G7 to legalise the drug's recreational use. read more
The U.S. Marine who marched with neo-Nazis in last summer's "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, has been found guilty in a summary court-martial after he reportedly bragged online about participating in the violence that day. Lance Cpl. Vasillios Pistolis was convicted Monday of failing to obey an order or regulation and making a false official statement under Articles 92 and 107 in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, according to the 2nd Marine Logistics Group.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is exploring the possibility of using DNA tests to verify the parentage of illegal alien adults who attempt to cross the southern border with children, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in a statement Tuesday after interviewing Sessions on his radio show Washington Watch. "Sessions is talking to congressional members and is hoping for a legislative fix. The AG wants an immigration policy that is just, fair and enforceable. They talked about making sure that these really are the parents of these kids," Perkins said. He continued, "They are looking at how to use DNA tests in the field to verify they are parents and not traffickers. The reality is if American parents put their kids through what these immigrant parents have done to their kids -- they would be charged with child abuse." read more
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who has become the face of the Trump administration's family separation policy, was heckled while eating at a Mexican restaurant. A video shows Nielsen sitting at a table with a man while being heckled. The protesters repeated yelled chants such as "shame", "abolish ICE" and "end Texas concentration camps". One protester asked Nielsen how she could enjoy a Mexican dinner as she splits up families at the border. During the heckling, Secretary Nielsen mostly was looking down with her face not visible. read more
The United States has quit the United Nations Human Rights Council, the latest U.S. rejection of multilateral engagement after it pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The move comes as the United States faces intense criticism for taking children away from their immigrant parents at the U.S.-Mexico border and keeping them in cages. U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein on Monday called on Washington to halt its "unconscionable" policy. Twelve rights and aid groups, including Human Rights First, Save the Children and CARE, warned that U.S. withdrawal would "make it more difficult to advance human rights priorities and aid victims of abuse around the world."