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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Eddie Izzard on running 27 marathons and coming out as transgender

I find Eddie Izzard to be always worth watching, whether he is doing a stand up act or not. He set himself a goal of running 27 marathons in 27 days, a total of 707 miles in all, to raise money for charity and completed in March of 2016. The target number was set to commemorate the 27 years Nelson Mandela spent in prison and he ran in South Africa. Because he could not run on one of the days, the 54-year old Izzard had to run two marathons on the last day to meet his goal
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The Mercer family takeover of the Republican party

We have recently seen three Republican senators (Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, and John McCain) voice harsh criticisms of Donald Trump. But each of them have almost unfailingly voted in favor of issues that Trump supports, such as voting to advance the Republican budget and in yesterday’s vote to reduce consumer protections against fraud by the banks that issue credit cards. This is not surprising. These senators are all solid conservatives and supporters of the oligarchy. What is surprising is that they are being lauded as heroic truth-tellers when they are not. All three are not running for re-election, the first two choosing to withdraw and the third due to ill-health. So only those people not interested in re-election feel free to say what they feel about Trump. That is not heroism, just face-saving.
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Hugging as a protest tactic

As confrontations between neo-Nazi and white supremacists continue at various locations around the country, there was an interesting moment at the most recent one at the University of Florida where counter-protestors vastly outnumbered the neo-Nazis. For some reason, a white skinhead walked right into a crowd of counter-protestors and initially there was a fight where he was punched. But then this burly black guy enveloped the skinhead in a bear hug, holding him tightly and repeatedly saying “Give me a hug!”
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It’s all a game for these people

This Saturday Night Live clip about Anderson Cooper and Kelly Anne Conway show how these talk show are just ritualized show busness, like professional wrestling, where each player knows what role they are to play. Conway knows that she has to say wild and crazy things in defense of Trump while Cooper’s role is to feed her opportunities to do so. In this way, CNN’s ratings go up and Trump’s fans are pleased.