Who knew earmarks could arouse such passions?

There is a long and boring profile of former speaker John Boehner that will likely be of interest only to diehard political geeks who are interested in the minutiae of political maneuvering. But there is one interesting nugget about what happened when, as speaker, Boehner promised to get rid of ‘earmarks’, the practice by which money is allocated to fund the pet projects of congresspeople in their districts and are popularly seen as a means of bribing them for their votes and loyalty. This led to something that looks like it would be seen as too extreme even for the series House of Cards.
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What the first indictments in the Mueller investigation reveal

David Dayen explains the complicated money-laundering schemes indulged in by Paul Manafort, former campaign chair for Donald Trump and one of the three people indicted today by special counsel Robert Mueller. What we are going to see in the days to come is increasing attention to the connections between corrupt US politicians, banks and businesspeople, foreign governments, and shady international organized crime figures.
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A gripping and disturbing short documentary

Using archival footage, Marshall Curry has produced a seven-minute documentary A Night at The Garden about a rally that was held in Madison Square Garden on February 20, 1939 that drew 20,000 people. It was a highly disturbing event but even more extraordinary is how it has disappeared from public consciousness. I had never heard of it. It is better to simply watch the documentary and let it sink in than me trying to describe it.

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The utter depravity of the CIA

While much of the attention regarding the documents that have been released about the Kennedy assassination has focused on the issue of whether Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole perpetrator or whether there was a larger conspiracy that was covered up, my attention was drawn to an item that did not get much attention and that was about one of the plans that the CIA developed to undermine Fidel Castro. We already knew that the US, the very country that is now up in arms about the possibility of the Russian government interfering in US elections by doing things such as the dastardly practice of buying ads on Facebook, tried many times to actually murder Castro.
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Review: Broadchurch: Season 3 and the elimination of mystery clichés

I just watched the eight-episode third series of the British detective drama Broadchurch and it is excellent, maintaining and even exceeding the standard set by the first two seasons. The third series takes place three years after the second one and features the return of detectives Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) to investigate a new crime of the rape of a woman after a party, but it also weaves in some storylines and characters from the previous seasons.
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How to fold a fitted sheet

I decided that this blog has been woefully lacking when it comes to providing helpful household hints, so here is something that I found pretty useful.

Fitted sheets are nice in that they stay in place on the bed. But anyone who has tried folding them prior to storage knows that you end up with just a bulky mess that takes up a lot of space in the closet. So I was pleased to come across (via Mark Frauenfelder) these two videos that show how to fold fitted sheets (with and without elastic along the edges) so that they end up flat, something that really appeals to someone like me who likes to keep things neat.
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The sexual harassment problem

Now that the floodgates have opened and many women are coming forth with allegations of sexual harassment by powerful men, the question remains who else will be named. So far, the people involved have been in high-profile industries like films, TV, Silicon Valley, and politics. I have noticed that current members of Congress have not been named and wonder if that is only a matter of time. But the power dynamics that led to such abuse exist in other contexts as well and any business that really values its employees should take a pro-active role in ensuring that such things do not happen.
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