Another Trump family story that shouldn’t surprise you in the least

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What Golden found, essentially, was that Jared’s father handed Harvard (a school he did not attend) a big pile of money just as Jared was starting to apply to colleges. Around the same time, Jared’s dad got his US senator to contact another US senator to arrange a chat with Harvard’s dean of admissions.

Happily for the Kushner family, Jared was then admitted. But several officials at Jared’s high school outright told Golden that they found the choice puzzling, since his grades and academic record really didn’t seem to merit it[.]

pub. 08/2017

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Good guys with guns don’t decrease violent crime rates, but stricter gun control sure seems to

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In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, when NRA leader Wayne LaPierre made his infamous assertion that the “only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he was tapping into the already well-seeded notion that hidden guns at arm’s reach of their private owners increase public safety.

It’s a powerful, seductive idea, particularly to Americans who favor personal liberty over communitarian ideals. It’s also completely wrong, according to a new analysis of nearly 40 years’ worth of crime data.

pub. 07/2017

 

House Republicans are trying to prevent investigations into violations of church-state separation

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“Section 116 would make it very difficult for the IRS to investigate claims that churches have violated the law by requiring consent from the IRS Commissioner for each investigation and notification to two committees in Congress before such investigations commence. The first requirement would slow down, if not functionally halt, the pursuit of 501(c)(3) violations, while the second would only further politicize these investigations.”

(Quote is from a letter linked in the article.)

pub. 06/2017

As of the end of June, who can enter the US and who can’t

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Portions of President Trump’s travel ban go into effect on Thursday, three days after the Supreme Court temporarily lifted legal blocks on the ban and agreed to review the case this fall.

The court granted an exception for people with “bona fide relationships” in the United States, and advocates and experts expressed uncertainty about how the Trump administration would implement the decision.

pub. 06/2017

That’s almost 70 9/11s.

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For every 830 individuals insured, the authors found, one life was saved. In medical terms, 830 in this context is the “number needed to treat.” To put this into perspective, the colonoscopy number needed to treat is 1250; you need to conduct 1250 colonoscopy screenings to prevent one colorectal cancer death.

pub. 06/2017

How Republicans created a kind-of-legit oversight program to suppress Democratic-leaning voters

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When Crosscheck was kicked off in 2005 by then Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach—an anti-immigration lawyer with an itch for white nationalist sympathies—it was a regional, four-state consortium of some of the demographically whitest and Republican states in the American heartland looking for a way to clamp down on any hint of people-of-color voting power. But by 2012 it bloomed to include 15 states (pdf); in 2013 it was 22. And by 2014 it was 29….

…Kobach now enjoys national acclaim as co-chair of the Trump administration’s nefarious new voter-fraud commission.

pub. 05/2017