In a federal bankruptcy court filing on Wednesday, lawyers for venture capitalist Peter Thiel objected to the ongoing sale process of Gawker.com, arguing that the billionaire has been unfairly excluded from bidding for the assets of the defunct news website. The filing, which comes more than a year after the revelation that Thiel helped finance a clandestine legal war to destroy Gawker.com's parent company, Gawker Media, lays the groundwork for the Facebook board member's possible bid for the dormant website. While its sister sites were sold to Univision in August 2016 for $135 million following Gawker Media's bankruptcy, a bankruptcy plan administrator has not been able to find a buyer for Gawker.com. Whoever ends up buying the site will also buy its archives, which are still up, and will have the right to do with them what they want, including delete them.
The Pentagon says it has recovered additional remains of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, who was among four U.S. soldiers killed in the African nation of Niger in October. Bodies of three of the soldiers were found the same day they were ambushed; Johnson's body was found two days later. The Pentagon said Tuesday that a military investigation team found additional remains of Johnson on Nov. 12 at the site where his body had been recovered a month earlier. The Armed Forces Medical Examiner positively identified the additional remains as those of Johnson, and family members were notified. The Pentagon did not provide details about the additional remains or indicate how the discovery might advance the overall investigation, which is expected to be finished in January. In an interview after the incident, Johnson's widow said she had been told little about how her husband was killed and had not been allowed to see his body.
Amanda Marcotte: [I]t's absolutely stunning to realize that the sitting president of the United States, Donald Trump, continues to evade any consequences for the numerous accusations of sexual assault and sexual harassment made against him by women who had nothing to gain by going public. His press secretary continues cheerfully deflecting questions by suggesting that Trump's accusers, all 16 of them, are liars. Trump himself calls the whole thing "fake news," even though there is literally a taped confession where he brags about forcibly kissing and grabbing women, because "when you're a star, they let you do it." "I feel this issue has been 'on hold' all year, but not forgotten," Natasha Stoynoff, who accused Trump of pushing her against a wall and shoving his tongue in her mouth, recently told People. read more
A second federal judge has halted the Trump administration's proposed transgender military ban finding that active-duty service members are "already suffering harmful consequences" because of the president's policy. The ruling Tuesday from U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis in the Maryland case comes just weeks after another judge in Washington blocked the administration's proposal that would have stopped military recruitment of transgender men and women and possibly forced the dismissal of current service members starting in March. The preliminary injunction issued by the judge in Baltimore on Tuesday goes further than the earlier ruling by also preventing the administration from denying funding for sex-reassignment surgeries after the order takes effect.
Adam Serwer, The Atlantic: While the rest of the country gawked at Louisiana and the [David] Duke fiasco, Walker Percy, a Louisiana author, gave a prophetic warning to the New York Times. "Don't make the mistake of thinking David Duke is a unique phenomenon confined to Louisiana rednecks and yahoos. He's not," Percy said. "He's not just appealing to the old Klan constituency, he's appealing to the white middle class. And don't think that he or somebody like him won't appeal to the white middle class of Chicago or Queens." The plain meaning of Trumpism exists in tandem with denials of its implications; supporters and opponents alike understand that the president's policies and rhetoric target religious and ethnic minorities, and behave accordingly. But both supporters and opponents usually stop short of calling these policies racist. read more
A Colorado regulator on Monday fined Uber with a nearly $9 million penalty, after an investigation revealed that 57 people with criminal and motor vehicle offenses were allowed to drive with the ride-hailing company. The commission said it found 57 drivers had issues that should've disqualified them from driving for Uber, including felony convictions for driving under the influence and reckless driving, while others had revoked, suspended or canceled licenses.
Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of pursuing romantic relationships with teenagers while in his 30s, said he first noticed his future wife eight years before he formally met her -- when she would have been as young as 15 years old. Moore was 38 when he married Kayla Kisor, who was 24. ... "When I was deputy district attorney, many years before we got married, I saw her at a dance recital and I was standing, oh, at the back of the auditorium and I saw her up front," he recalled at the time. "I remember her name, it was Kayla Kisor. KK. But I remember that and I didn't meet her there ... it was, oh gosh, eight years later or something, I met her. And when she told me her name, I remembered." read more
Back in the 1960s, the fact that our diets influence the risk of heart disease was still a new idea. And there was a debate about the role of fats and the role of sugar. The sugar industry got involved in efforts to influence this debate. "What the sugar industry successively did," argues Stanton Glantz of the University of California, San Francisco, "is they shifted all of the blame onto fats." The industry's strategies were sophisticated, Glantz says, and are similar to those of the tobacco industry. For instance, in 1965 an industry group, the Sugar Research Foundation, secretly funded a scientific review that downplayed the evidence that linked sugar consumption to blood fat levels. The review was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Now, what's come to light in an investigation published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Biology is that the industry funded its own research project, but never disclosed the findings. read more
Fox News host Neil Cavuto is calling out President Donald Trump over his latest Twitter attacks. Over the weekend, in separate tweets, Trump went after Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and LaVar Ball, the father of one of three UCLA basketball players arrested in China on shoplifting charges. Trump took credit for the players' release, and when Ball refused to thank him, he tweeted that he "should have left them in jail." Cavuto wasn't having it. ... "Last time I checked, you are the president of the United States," he said. "Why don't you act like it?" read more
Robert Reich: Hundreds of thousands of Americans are being denied the right to vote because they are poor. In nine states, Republican legislators have enacted laws that disenfranchise anyone with outstanding legal fees or court fines. For example, in Alabama more than 100,000 people who owe money -- roughly 3 percent of the state's voting-age population -- have been struck from voting rolls. This is unconstitutional. In 1964, the 24th amendment abolished the poll tax, a Jim Crow tactic used to bar poor blacks from voting. These new laws are a modern reincarnation of that unconstitutional system, disproportionately disenfranchising people of color. read more
On Sunday, the Fort Bend, Texas, woman who went from headlines to handcuffs, due to the attention brought about by her "--- Trump" bumper sticker, shared a photo of a new decal she'd placed on her truck that takes aim at her local sheriff. Now to the very right of Karen Fonseca's "--- Trump and --- you for voting for him" sticker on the back window of her husband's white truck is the slightly smaller message, "--- Troy Nehls and --- you for voting for him," KHOU reports.
Criticisms of millennials are notoriously broad in their scope. We have ruined everything, from golf to soap to the diamond industry. We're shitty novelists. We give babies weird names. We don't like boobs enough. We're bad with money and don't use napkins. We've already killed lunch and the Olympics, we're in the process of killing Buffalo Wild Wings, oil production, and beer companies. We have never seen a cow. We love Christmas music. We made sex worse. We got Trump elected. We're lazy, spoiled, tech-addicted. And we're never going to make anything of ourselves until we quit frittering away our savings on sandwiches and avocados and develop a serious work ethic. (I am grateful to Luke Savage for compiling these into a list, albeit only a partial one.) read more
Six months into a special counsel's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, White House aides and others in President Trump's close orbit are increasingly divided in their assessments of the expanding probe and how worried administration officials and campaign aides should be about their potential legal peril, according to numerous people familiar with the debate. Mueller's investigators are also still actively mapping out all the attempts by Russian nationals and people with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin's government to connect with and possibly infiltrate the Trump campaign. So far, at least nine people in Trump's orbit had contact with Russians during the campaign or the transition to the White House, according to Mueller's charging documents and interviews and records obtained by the Washington Post.
David Cassidy, who came to fame as a '70s teen heartthrob and lead singer on The Partridge Family, has died, according to his publicist Jo-Ann Geffen. He was 67. The singer-actor had recently been admitted to the intensive care unit of a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area hospital. Cassidy was in critical condition and suffering from organ failure before his death Tuesday, Geffen said. ... In 1970, Cassidy began playing the role of Keith Partridge on the musical sitcom The Partridge Family. His stepmother, [Shirley] Jones, portrayed his mother, a widow with five children. ... The single "I Think I Love You," featuring Cassidy on lead vocals, hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1970 and sold more than 5 million copies. The songs "Doesn't Somebody Want To Be Wanted" and "I'll Meet You Halfway" also cracked the top 10 the next year. read more
A store in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park sold wine produced by the Trump Winery as recently as September. ... The wine at the Shenandoah store was spotted by Bill Snape, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, a conservation group that has fought President Trump's agenda. He saw bottles of rose wine for sale at one of the stores in the park, which is about a two-hour drive from Washington, D.C. A member of his group had found the wine earlier and sent a photo of it to him, Snape said. "It absolutely raises conflict of interest concerns," Snape said.