You should read at least something about Bill Browder’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee

The video is here.

A few choice quotes:

“What you need to understand about the Russians is there is no ideology at all. Vladimir Putin is in the business of trying to create chaos everywhere.”

“First, since 2012 it’s emerged that Vladimir Putin was a beneficiary of the stolen $230 million that Sergei Magnitsky exposed. Recent revelations from the Panama Papers have shown that Putin’s closest childhood friend, Sergei Roldugin, a famous cellist, received $2 billion of funds from Russian oligarchs and the Russian state. It’s commonly understood that Mr. Roldugin received this money as an agent of Vladimir Putin.”

“There are approximately ten thousand officials in Russia working for Putin who are given instructions to kill, torture, kidnap, extort money from people, and seize their property. Before the Magnitsky Act, Putin could guarantee them impunity and this system of illegal wealth accumulation worked smoothly. However, after the passage of the Magnitsky Act, Putin’s guarantee disappeared. The Magnitsky Act created real consequences outside of Russia and this created a real problem for Putin and his system of kleptocracy.”

all from 07/2017

A written version, from the Atlantic:

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 11.01.23.png

NPR’s coverage:

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 10.59.25

The light Huff Po version, in part focusing on the administration’s probable attempts to distract the public from the testimony:

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 10.49.15

The similar Metro version:

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 10.54.11

 

Myths about people who use SNAP and food stamps

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-14-14-15

“There seems to be this idea that just because you’re receiving food assistance benefits, you stop having cravings,” says Marissa Evans, who covers health and human services policy for the Texas Tribune…

…If you’re going to make judgments about what SNAP beneficiaries are eating, be prepared to make the same judgments about everyone else. For example, if you think the government should be acting to limit what people who receive SNAP can eat, consider whether you’d be in favor of similar government intervention for other households—like, for example, a junk food tax. These aren’t necessarily bad ideas, but class prejudices may influence how we think about them.

pub. 02/2017

We’re on our way!

screen-shot-2017-02-06-at-11-01-51

Trump will try hard during his presidency to create an atmosphere of personal munificence, in which graft does not matter, because rules and institutions do not matter. He will want to associate economic benefit with personal favor. He will create personal constituencies, and implicate other people in his corruption. That, over time, is what truly subverts the institutions of democracy and the rule of law. If the public cannot be induced to care, the power of the investigators serving at Trump’s pleasure will be diminished all the more.

pub. 03/2017

A fine overview of the transgender + bathroom issue from the famously milquetoast USA Today

screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-11-57-57

“The anxiety isn’t men in women’s bathrooms, it’s about masculinity in the wrong place,” said Katherine Franke, director of Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law. “It’s portrayed as a threat to women, but on a much deeper level, it’s about what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman.”

pub. 04/2016

The right is going to keep pushing anti-trans bills now as a culture-war distraction from the fact that they’re trying to bring down our democracy, so it might be handy to have an overview of the issue to come back to. Here it is.

The executive branch is counting on pushback and still getting what it wants

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-09-50-14

When the dust settles, we have 100% of the Executive Order we originally wanted, we’ve tested the loyalty of a department we’ll need later on, we’ve proven we can ignore an entire branch of government, and we’ve slipped in some subtle moves that will make the next test even easier.

We’ve just tested the country’s willingness to capitulate to a fascist regime.

pub. 01/2017