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    Former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld has confirmed he is standing by recent comments made earlier this week in which he compared probable Cheeto Donald Trump’s plan to deport undocumented immigrants from the U.S. to Kristallnacht, a historically significant event which took place during the Holocaust.

    Weld, who is currently making a bid to be the Libertarian party’s vice-presidential nominee for the 2016 election, told The New York Times in an interview published on Thursday that Trump’s intention to remove an estimated 11 million undocumented people currently living in the U.S. if he is elected is comparable to Kristallnacht, known in English as “The Night of Broken Glass.”

    “I can hear the glass crunching on Kristallnacht in the ghettos of Warsaw and Vienna when I hear (Trump’s plan), honest,” Weld said to NYT.

    Kristallnacht, which lasted from November 9 in November 10 in 1938, is regarded as one of the first major events of the Holocaust. During the incident, SA paramilitary forces and civilians carried out a massive pogrom against Jewish citizens in both Austria and Germany, which included the widespread pillaging, vandalizing, and/or destruction of Jewish businesses, homes, and synagogues. (Weld later corrected his initial statement to NYT, noting that while Kristallnacht took place in Vienna, it did not occur in Warsaw.)

    An approximated 91 people died during the incident.

    Days after Weld’s comparison became public, the former governor appeared on a segment of CNN’s State of the Union with anchor Jake Tapper, where he affirmed his conviction behind his prior commentary.

    “Is that a little strong, you think, to talk about the Holocaust?” Tapper asked Weld.

    “No, I don’t think so. I served five years on the U.S. Holocaust Commission by appointment of President George W. Bush,” Weld replied. “I’m absolutely certain that, as we said in those years, if we don’t remember, we absolutely will forget.”

    “And you got to forget a lot of things to think it’s a good idea to round up and deport 11 million people living peaceably, most of them working in America, in the middle of the night,” he continued. “No, not the United States. China, maybe. Not the United States.”

    Gary Johnson, who is vying to be the Libertarian party’s presidential nominee on a ticket with Weld, was also asked by journalists about his VP’s controversial comparison. While Johnson told Victor Blackwell during an interview on CNN Newsroom that he would not have made the same kind of remarks as Weld, he referred to Trump’s proposal as “crazy.”

    “What are we going to do? Are we going to go in these homes and take these people out of their homes? Come on. He made that reference. I don’t make that reference, but it’s crazy. It’s off the charts,” Johnson said.

    Contact the author at

    Image via YouTube.

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    Iraq Begins Major Assault on ISIS-Held City of Fallujah

    Early Monday morning, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi went on live TV to announce the launch of a military campaign to retake the city of Fallujah, which has been controlled by ISIS since early 2014.

    “Today, we will tear down the black flags of these despicable strangers who abducted this dear city,” said al-Abadi. “The time has come to liberate Fallujah and the victory will be ours.”

    Citing an unnamed security official, NBC News reports 20,000 federal troops have now been sent to the key ISIS stronghold with 15,000 more on their way. From The Washington Post:

    Few expect an easy fight. Islamic State militants have dug in and built defenses in the city since capturing it more than two years ago, the first in the country to fall to the extremist group. Fallujah has long been considered a hotbed of rebellion and extremism, with even the heavy-handed Saddam Hussein struggling to control its tribes. U.S. Marines fought Sunni insurgents during two battles for the city in 2004, the second of which marked the heaviest urban combat for U.S. troops since the Vietnam War, killing nearly 100 service members.

    It’s not an order of battle that correlates to U.S. military policy, which had focused on an offensive targeting Mosul, the Islamic State-held city farther north. President Obama has said he expects the recapture of Mosul to be close to complete by the end of the year. But a drawn-out battle for Fallujah could delay the already sputtering buildup to that offensive.

    On Sunday, Iraqi security forces urged civilians to flee the city once home to 300,000, but residents say that extremist-controlled checkpoints have made escape impossible for most, the Associated Press reports.

    According to CNN, thousands of leaflets promising safe passage for civilians have been dropped on the city by Iraqi planes. Those who cannot leave were asked to fly white flags over their homes.

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    Rogue Party Balloons Trigger White House Lockdown
    Photo: Getty

    On Sunday, the White House was briefly placed under unofficial lockdown after two stray, possibly radicalized “party balloons” landed on the North Lawn, NBC News reports.

    According to The Washington Post, Secret Service officials say “some party balloons floated over the executive complex, and a couple of the balloons landed on the property.” By 1:30 p.m., agents successfully cleared the scene.

    In April, the Secret Service unveiled a plan to raise the White House fence by five feet following years of high-profile security scares. Most recently, agents shot an armed man at a White House guard booth after he refused to drop his weapon.

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    Former Breitbart Reporter Michelle Fields Joins The Huffington Post

    Michelle Fields, the reporter who left Breitbart after her colleagues openly attacked her account of being manhandled by Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, has been hired by The Huffington Post, The Hill reports.

    “After the tumultuous events of the last few months, I am ready to get back to writing and reporting on what is without question the most bizarrely fascinating presidential race of my lifetime (and, perhaps, any lifetime),” said Fields in a statement to CNN.

    Starting Monday, Fields will once again cover this year’s election, with a special emphasis on Donald Trump and the GOP. Now, however, she’ll be doing it for the famously liberal website after years spent working for conservative outlets like Breitbart and The Daily Caller.

    In April, Fields left Breitbart after the site advanced various alternate explanations of the Lewandowski incident over those given by their own reporter in a criminal complaint. “I can’t stand with an organization that won’t stand by me,” wrote Fields on Twitter at the time.

    Ultimately, authorities declined to prosecute Lewandowski, but he too may soon be looking for new job. See if Hillary is hiring, maybe?

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    Supreme Court Throws Out Death Sentence for Black Man Convicted by All-White Jury
    Image: AP

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning to overturn the death sentence of Timothy Tyrone Foster, a black man who was convicted of murdering a white woman in Georgia in 1987. Prosecutors struck all four black prospective jurors during selection for Foster’s case, leaving him with an entirely white jury deciding his fate.

    The court ruled 7-1 in Foster’s favor. Writing the court’s majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts argues that the prosecutors’ motion to strike the black jurors was “motivated in substantial part by discriminatory intent,” in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

    Through a Georgia Open Records Act request, Foster and his legal team compiled a compelling body of evidence that the jury selection in his case was in fact racially motivated. On a list of potential jurors, prosecutors had highlighted the black candidates’ names in green, with a legend showing that the highlight “represents black.” An affidavit Foster obtained showed an investigator writing about one potential juror, “If it comes down to having to pick one of the black jurors, [this one] might be okay.” A document about the church one prospective juror attended contained a note reading “NO. No Black Church.”

    The court’s decision will likely grant Foster a new trial, the Associated Press reports, but it will not affect prosecutors’ ability to use personal discretion when selecting jurors. In 1986, one year before Foster’s conviction and sentencing, Thurgood Marshall warned that such discretion could and would lead to discrimination. “The decision today will not end the racial discrimination that peremptories inject into the jury-selection process,” Marshall wrote regarding Batson v. Kentucky, SCOTUS decision banning racial discrimination in jury selection. “That goal can be accomplished only by eliminating peremptory challenges entirely.”

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    The Era of Bank Branches on Every Corner Is Ending
    Photo: Xu Kin/ Flickr

    Right now, 94% of U.S. commercial districts are composed of bank branches. (The other 6% are takeout salad lunch places.) The good news is that we may have already witnessed the peak of the “bazillions of banks, everywhere you look” era.

    The FT reports that, because the internet was invented and also mobile phone apps that allow you to do most things without ever going into a bank branch (hello!!!), the number of bank branches is on the decline. But not as much as you might expect:

    The number of branches across the country has dropped by about 4,000 over the past six years, reducing the total to its lowest since 2006.

    The decline, however, is equivalent to little more than 3 per cent. By last year there were still 112,000 branches, according to the Bancography data. That equates to roughly one branch for every 1,100 households.

    One 2013 estimate said that Manhattan, which looks like it was carpet bombed with Chase branches, has only one bank branch for every 2,315 people, meaning the rest of America is even worse. Even now, countless Americans are likely trapped under bank branches that rained from the sky onto their hapless communities. The move of banking transactions online is sure to increase, and the number of bank branches infesting our cities and rural burgs is bound to decrease, and we may all thank the good lord for that.

    The black lining of this silver cloud: this is representative of another trend that is sure to increase—jobs being wiped out by automation. Once all the bank branches get closed down, we can put something more useful in their place, like unemployment centers.

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    The Great Fortune of Capturing Anthony Weiner's Misfortune: Weiner
    Photo: AP

    An extraordinary thing fell into the laps of filmmakers Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg as they documented Anthony Weiner’s 2013 bid for New York City mayor: Weiner’s dick. For about six weeks, Kriegman and Steinberg filmed Weiner’s promising attempt at public redemption after his 2011 sexting scandal caused him to resign from Congress—and then a second wave of sexting allegations emerged.

    “In the first six weeks when things were going well, we thought we had a pretty extraordinary comeback story on our hands,” Kriegman told me and a crowd earlier this month at a screening of his and Steinberg’s movie, simply titled Weiner, that Gawker hosted. “When things took a turn and the story changed, our intention to tell a human story beyond the headlines that stayed the same.”

    The comeback story would have perhaps made a pretty extraordinary film; Weiner is beyond extraordinary. Kriegman and Steinberg’s documentary is a breathlessly paced, riveting look at a politician in the throes of crisis. In short, they had the great fortune of capturing Weiner’s self-inflicted misfortune. At Gawker HQ, Kriegman shared an anecdote about Weiner remarking, shortly after the second wave of his scandal broke, something along the lines of, “Now you have a movie.”

    A portrait of a man attempting to claw himself out of the hole he dug for himself, Weiner fits nicely into the disaster culture we’re familiar with by way of reality TV and contemporary politics. In fact, this documentary is in some ways the epitome of this kind of entertainment—it’s as though Weiner feels that through sheer force of will and deft steering, he can convince you that his trainwreck is in fact a still-functioning locomotive.

    You may find his efforts pathetic, but they’re nonetheless understandable coming from someone whose livelihood depends on public approval. By exchanging explicit pictures and dirty talk with strangers by text and phone, Weiner engaged in activity that millions of people do on a daily basis. His major public disservice here was not exploring his sexuality or failing at monogamy, as is the case for most people who attempt it—his major disservice was then lying about it when confronted on CNN, before he eventually resigned from Congress.

    And yet, Weiner’s sexual behavior is treated as aberrant by people throughout the movie—we see Donald Trump referring to him as a “pervert,” a random guy in a deli calling him “deviant,” Lawrence O’Donnell asking, “What is wrong with you?” The reaction is, by Weiner’s account, overstated—in the documentary, he talks about there being a phoniness to the outrage. He has a point. For many people now, there is a liminal space between reality and fantasy where our online lives reside, where the boundaries of acceptable behavior and cheating become fuzzy. This space is under-examined, the implications too new to be fully grasped. That, combined with the usual American hypocrisy regarding sex, made Weiner a perfect target for public ridicule.

    He did himself no favors, though. Perhaps if he hadn’t lied so much, it would be much easier to untangle the public’s misdeeds from his own. It’s at best a draw, and my ultimate interpretation hovers around an understanding that Anthony Weiner is the kind of public servant that our culture deserves.

    Less immediately clear is how much his wife, Huma Abedin, deserves. She stood by him through the first sexting scandal, and we see her do it all over again a second time in Weiner, after using her own connections and clout to help Weiner raise funds and launch his mayoral bid. By his account, he fooled his wife once, so shame on him. As for the second time, regardless of whatever shame Abedin felt standing by her man during his second texting scandal, what emerges quietly while watching Weiner is that we are privy to an incredibly complicated agreement between two married people that verges far enough away from a traditional, heteronormative operation so as to appear specific to them and their priorities (which include living the sort of public life that being professional politicians requires) and ultimately kind of…well, queer. Abedin remains an aide to Hillary Clinton and she remains married to Weiner to this day.

    The intricacies of Abedin’s arrangement with her husband are as palpable and unexplained in Weiner as the sadness in her eyes. It’s all subtext as Weiner hops from parade to parade, waving whatever flag he can get his hands on in the faces of potential voters, and from press conference to press conference, futilely attempting to discuss “real” issues with reporters who only want to talk about his sext life. The presence of Sydney Leathers, one of Weiner’s sext partners (and, according to her, a phone-sex partner as well), threatens to complicate matters, though the way she is portrayed in Weiner is as a one-dimensional, opportunistic bimbo who’d say anything in the pursuit of fame.

    Weiner and Leathers have at least that much in common. We see footage of Weiner clearly lying on Election Day about Abedin’s whereabouts, long after his wife has ceased publicly supporting her husband, for the sake of her own political advancement (or so it’s pretty strongly implied).

    Weiner is such a good reality show that it’s practically unbelievable. At the very least, it astounds with its very existence. In its final moments, Kriegman asks the inevitable question on the mind of many of its viewers: “Why have you let me film this?” Weiner shrugs in response. Then, in sit-down footage, he explains that he participated in the documentary for the sake of showing him as a “full person,” an actual human as opposed to a punch line, a politician capable of change beyond making headlines. We leave Weiner with the sense that the self-regard required to attempt to get away with sexting strangers after already getting caught doing so is the same self-regard that would drive someone to run for public office is the same self-regard that would have a man in crisis allow cameras to capture it. The bigger the picture gets, the less flattering it is, the more fascinating it is to look at.

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  • 05/23/16--09:30: Cop Has Problem
  • Cop Has Problem
    Still: Surveillance video

    A decorated NYPD officer, who beat up a woman in 2014 while “sleepwalking” in his underwear, was charged with a DWI after the vehicle he was driving crashed into three parked cars and rolled over early Sunday morning. The officer suffered minor injuries and was arraigned last night and released on his own recognizance.

    Eugene Donnelly, 29, has been on modified duty since the June 2014 attack when he allegedly broke into a stranger’s home and punched her in the face repeatedly. Gothamist:

    Donnelly had apparently been staying at a friend’s apartment, but couldn’t find his way back and instead broke down the door to the victim’s apartment and hit her over 20 times before drinking her milk.

    While prosecutors have accused Donnelly of having an “alcoholic blackout,” Donnelly’s defense has been that he has PTSD and was sleepwalking (video shows him running around the apartment complex in his underwear, buzzing on the door to get back in) at the time.

    Earlier that day, Donnelly was reportedly celebrating. He was just awarded the Combat Cross by Mayor de Blasio for his arrest of an armed nineteen-year-old in the Bronx, while off-duty in 2012. (The teenager fired a shot at the officer’s car and Donnelly returned fire, hitting the suspect four times, then arresting him.)

    For his 2014 attack, Donnelly was charged with misdemeanor assault and burglary. His attorney said the officer suffered from PTSD and sleeping disorders since the 2012 shooting. Though Donnelly told the prosecutors about his history of alcoholism, and an alleged relapse after the shooting, his attorney insisted he wasn’t blacked-out drunk but sleepwalking.

    His victim said that the nearly-naked intruder jumped on her in bed, beat her and stopped by the fridge to guzzle down some milk before leaving. “Shhh, it’s OK. Just put a shirt on,” he told her. “Sometimes I’m a good guy, but sometimes I’m a bad guy.”

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    Mayor de Blasio Couldn't Get Horse-Drawn Carriages Banned From Central Park and Now They're Getting a Raise
    Photo: AP

    Bill de Blasio’s attempts to deliver on his promise to ban Central Park’s horse and carriage industry on “day one” of his mayoralty have produced little more than a federal investigation into the animal-rights interest group backing his candidacy. Now, the mayor is obligated to give those very same drivers raises.

    As it turns out, the price of taking a carriage ride is set by the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs. Last week, the department raised the price as part of a deal made during Michael Bloomberg’s administration that had been put on hold. The New York Daily News reports:

    Drivers can now charge $54.08 for the first 20 minutes of a ride, and $21.63 for every 10 minutes after. Before the rate hike, the drivers were allowed to charge $50 for the first 20 minutes, and $20 for every 10 minutes after.

    Drivers who are medallion owners currently get to keep the whole fare, and those who lease keep about $20. Their new amount has yet to be worked out.


    The boost amounts to an 8% hike, and came about because of a City Council bill six years ago that guaranteed drivers cost-of-living increases.

    The fare hike was a “byproduct of a City Council bill that passed several years ago,” City Hall spokesman Austin Finan told the Daily News. “No mayor has done more to protect horses, and this rate increase does not stand in the way of the mayor’s steadfast commitment to removing carriages from city streets.”

    After overwhelmingly voting down the mayor’s proposed ban in February, City Hall renewed the drivers’ licenses in March, allowing them to operate for at least the next two years. Meanwhile, the animal-rights group NYCLASS, whose founders backed de Blasio during the 2013 mayoral election and which spent nearly a quarter-million dollars against former Speaker Christine Quinn (Mayor Bloomberg’s anointed heir), has been subpoenaed by the FBI.

    All of that being the case, it’s not clear how the mayor plans to deliver on his “steadfast commitment” to the horse and carriage ban. City Hall did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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    Global Warming Exists Only On a Small Slice of Beachfront Property in Ireland Owned By Donald Trump
    Photo: AP

    For all the ways in which Donald Trump supposedly represents the destruction of the Republican party, the presumptive presidential nominee has toed the line on global warming, deeming himself a nonbeliever even as he’s drifted away from the most hardcore anti-climate change rhetoric. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that all changes when the future of one of his businesses is at stake.

    As The Politico reports, the Trump International Hotel & Golf Links in Doonbeg, Ireland recently filed a permit application to build a sea wall along the beach of its golf course to protect it from erosion and rising sea levels as caused by global warming:

    The statement acknowledges one Irish government study that assumes a steady rate of erosion through 2050, but argues that the study fails to account for the effects of climate change: “If the predictions of an increase in sea level rise as a result of global warming prove correct, however, it is likely that there will be a corresponding increase in coastal erosion rates not just in Doughmore Bay but around much of the coastline of Ireland. In our view, it could reasonably be expected that the rate of sea level rise might become twice of that presently occurring. … As a result, we would expect the rate of dune recession to increase.”

    The bigger problem, though, according to the impact statement, will be the erosion caused by larger, more frequent storms. “As with other predictions of global warming and its effects, there is no universal consensus regarding changes in these events,” it states. “Our advice is to assume that the recent average rate of dune recession will not alter greatly in the next few decades, perhaps as far into the future as 2050 as assumed in the [government study] but that subsequently an increase in this rate is more likely than not.”

    This is the second time the Trump complex in Doonbeg has petitioned for special permission to erect a sea wall along its property. One such appeal was already denied by the national government, which has forced the hotel to turn to the local government in Clare County to approve its request to pile 200,000 tons of rock along the property’s two mile-long beach.

    Though Trump has previously boasted about his involvement with his Irish resort, its unclear to what extent he was involved with the petition that is happy to feed into global warming panic. The report, which the resort commissioned, was prepared by an Irish environmental consultancy group named TIGL Ireland Enterprises. The Daily Caller spinned the story thusly, arguing that “in reality, this only shows Trump uses global warming alarmism to benefit his business,” though it’s hard to see how “Donald Trump is just pretending” presents him in a more positive light.

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    Apple Says Game About Palestine/Israel Conflict Isn't A Game, Then Backtracks

    Apple has a strained history with video games, as the company regulates what is and isn’t a “game.” It’s why Apple initially rejected Liyla And The Shadows of War, about a young Palestinian girl in Gaza, and said it “was not appropriate for the games category.” Apple has now reversed that decision.

    Despite the incredible popularity of video games on Apple’s various devices, the company’s own policies limit the ambitions of developers. Here’s the key line from Apple’s public guidelines for the App Store:

    We view Apps different than books or songs, which we do not curate. If you want to criticize a religion, write a book. If you want to describe sex, write a book or a song, or create a medical App. It can get complicated, but we have decided to not allow certain kinds of content in the App Store.

    The designer behind Liyla And The Shadows of War, Rasheed Abueideh, went public about the situation a few days back:

    The game had already been approved for release on the Google Play store.

    This is where the story usually ends, with a developer realizing Apple’s walled garden is not for them. It’s why The Binding of Isaac still isn’t on iOS; the game was blocked for “content or features that depict violence towards, or abuse of, children, which is not allowed on the App Store.”

    Apple has not yet responded to my request for comment.

    What’s particularly strange about Apple pushing back on Liyla And The Shadows of War is how they’ve allowed similar games onto the App Store, like This War of Mine. Apple liked This War of Mine so much that it became one of their coveted “Editors’ Choice” games promoted on the store!

    The public backlash to the game was swift, but Apple’s stood firm in the past, so there was little reason to think this time would be any different.

    And yet, Apple told the developer it would “reconsider its decision” yesterday, which resulted in Abueideh being able to publish it as a game.

    “Thanks to all of you,” he wrote on Twitter.

    The game is now live on the App Store, and it’s free to download.

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    "Don't Stay in School, Kids" 
    Illustration by Jim Cooke

    American universities spend half a trillion dollars a year. Very little of that money goes to the people who do a huge part of the teaching: the adjunct professors, academia’s hidden underclass. They are telling us their stories. They’re not pretty.

    I am a ghost

    I am an adjunct professor at a mid-sized liberal arts college in the southeast. The title the university gave me is part-time instructor, (despite the fact that I hold a terminal degree and have been a working professional in my field for more then 10 years). They call us that so they can diminish our worth and pay us abysmal wages. I have been living this hell since I graduated four years ago. When I first started I was promised that they would hire me full-time, if only it was possible within the complicated and tight budget. I realize this was never their intention. There will never be any extra money in the department’s budget for adjunct faculty.

    When I first started my pay was $1800 (now a whopping $2100 - still below the national average) per 3 hour credit course. I have yet to make $10k in a single year. I teach for a 16 week semester, and get paid for 3 hours a week for one class. The catch is that the classroom hours for my courses add up to six hours each because I teach art studio classes. There is certainly no extra compensation for hours spent grading, planning, meeting with students, completing university paperwork, or answering emails - which add up to at least another 3 hours each week. On average I teach two or three classes per semester.

    I do not have an office. I have to use my personal laptop to perform any necessary computer tasks. I do not see my contract until the semester has already begun, usually about a month into classes. I do not see my first pay check until six weeks in. My contract states that it can be cancelled for any reason the university sees fit. I am not given a faculty parking decal and have been issued parking tickets from the university on two occasions that required me to file appeals or pay $40 tickets.

    When I was pregnant with my first child I asked for a filing cabinet to store my heavy books, supplies, bags. I was told I could be reimbursed if I purchased one myself. Since my pay was so minimal, I opted to keep carrying the bags everyday. I was not offered any classes to teach the semester that my child was born, despite my willingness to keep working. When I returned and needed to use my breast pump in between my classes, my boss told me I could use the ladies room. Thankfully one of the full-time faculty offered me access to her office.

    I have no say in any department decisions. I am not invited to faculty meetings. I am a ghost with a generic plastic post box in the department’s main office. The full-time faculty express how they wish they could help my situation. It’s all empty. No one in higher Ed ever wants to rock the boat.

    The truth is that I have watched the university flood millions into new facilities. There is no shortage of funds. There is only an administration intent on perpetuating the surge of dollars that lines their own wallets and increases the sparkle of their legacy. They don’t see adjuncts as people. We are a second-class answer to a budget problem and receive no accolades, no benefits, no professional titles, no grant money, no sabbaticals, and no other perks afforded to the full-time faculty who perform the exact same job.

    Adjuncts are the new normal and no one even bothers to learn our names, since most don’t stay for very long. It doesn’t help that tenured faculty in their 70s and 80s are deciding not to retire. They draw huge salaries and benefits, while they teach fewer classes than their non-tenured counterparts.

    When I first started teaching at the university, I was excited. I used to love my job. Now just feel exploited. I used to believe that my adjunct position was temporary. I was foolish to believe that. Universities have no intention of changing course. They will just keep pretending that adjuncts are not real people who deserve a living wage.

    I am really not sure why I am still doing it at this point. Every dollar I make from teaching goes to paying my student loan. It is a ridiculous cycle. If I didn’t have a secondary income I would qualify for government assistance. I know plenty of adjuncts who get by on food stamps and live in questionable neighborhoods. That is the kind of image that most people assume is pretty far from the ivory tower. But it is the new reality.

    The hiring process

    I’m not sure if you’re aware of the hiring process in academia, but it basically goes like this:

    -Send out a 70+ page packet including cover letter, cv, syllabi, writing sample, letters of rec, syllabi, student evaluations, statements on research and teaching, etc etc. You’ll probably never hear back from them.
    -If you’re lucky, you get an email for a phone/Skype interview. You’ll have a 20 minute conversation, and you’ll probably never hear back from them.
    -If you’re lucky, you get an email for a “flyout” interview. You pay out of pocket (you’ll get reimbursed a month and a half later) to fly to College Town, USA. You’ll spend ~12 hours interviewing every goddamned person at the university (who all ask the same questions) and fly home. You’ll hear back from them, but not for another month or two. If you’ve gotten the job, celebrate! But keep it short since now you’re on the tenure clock.

    I came to academia out of working in DC for a financial services lobbying firm (long story). I was offered a pretty well-paying promotion that would likely lead to a long career of making oodles of money by enabling banks and insurance companies to do the same. I turned it down and went to academia largely because it was hard to sleep at night: If I worked hard and did a good job, it meant that overdraft fees still existed. In a sense, I was helping to solidify a system that caused immeasurable harm to poor people. I couldn’t do it anymore...

    My love for the work is really what makes my current situation more depressing. I gave up a lucrative and prestigious career in lobbying in order to chase something that, while certainly less financially rewarding, was nonetheless stable and provided some sort of psychological reward. After two years on the job market chasing tenure-track jobs as well as visiting positions, post-docs, etc etc, it seems that I’ll have none of the above. I refuse to work as an adjunct, simply because I don’t want to further legitimize the practice. I truly love what I do, but I simply can’t find stable employment doing it (to be fair, I’m waiting to hear back from a flyout but it’s been long enough that I assume the worst. This will have been my 12th interview/flyout without a job offer). So I’ll likely end up falling into something I could’ve done 6 years ago, just further behind and way too overqualified. But at least people will have to call me Dr., so that’s a win I guess.

    It’s no Quiznos

    I‘m currently an adjunct at [a UC school]. I teach a Public Speaking lecture class of 150 students. I make 15k.

    In theory the work is “part time” however none of that accounts for the prep, the administrative logistics, dealing non-stop with individual students’ drama, being asked to write letters of rec for roughly 10 students per quarter, being asked to attend or present at faculty workshops or guest present in a faculty member’s class, writing letters of rec for TAs every time they apply for something, and doing all of the general labor involved in being an ideal colleague in order to maybe-possibly eke out a better deal. I easily work 35 hours per week.

    To scrape together a living I work a bunch of other part-time jobs in which the work ebbs/flows inconsistently. I freelance for a screenwriter for 20/hour, I test surveys for a friend’s computer company, I read scripts for Sundance... but all of this work is inconsistent and none of this work provides healthcare.

    Hands down, the biggest NIGHTMARE of this whole situation (aside from the obvious indignity and abysmal pay) is the lack of healthcare. Because I make such little money at the university I qualify for Medicare. However, because my income keeps oscillating due to the part-time work I pick up I have to report income change every month. This means I oscillate on and off Medicare and Covered California and have to deal with the circle-jerk paperwork of healthcare on an almost monthly basis. You can imagine what a sh*t show this is. At this point I just don’t EVER go to the doctor and I’ve gone off birth control because I have to meet with a doctor every time I change health care providers and my prescription won’t be honored every time I change insurance status. Thus, it’s just easier to say F*ck it...

    I made better money when I was 14 and worked at Quiznos. I made significantly better money when I was 21 and drove a beer cart on a golf course. It boggles my mind that being a college adjunct pays less than fast-food service. The way we treat adjuncts is down right criminal and the discrepancy between what we make and what regents and coaches and faculty make is also alarming.

    From an adjunct teaching in California and Texas

    What is your quality of life?
    Like a squirrel: always in fear of what might happen, squirreling away what little money I can when I can because I know there will be long periods of un/underemployment, and vulnerable to even the smallest of disasters that can befall a person. I recently had to pay almost $3000 (all my savings) for dental work, which could probably have been prevented if I had been able to see a dentist in the years before. I frequently live at home between jobs, and that is incredibly disheartening and depressing (my family is very supportive, though). My boyfriend recently had to move out of his house, and he’s now living at my own parents’ house while I work in multiple states. That’s a level of humility I’ve never achieved before. $1500, or maybe even $1000, more a month, and I’d be able to support my bf and I living in our own place. To be frank with you, I am frequently suicidal, and I’d probably be more stable, but my health insurance (when I have it), doesn’t pay for therapy.

    What needs to be done?
    More tenure positions need to be opened up. My home university actually needs another tenure-track faculty member in our program; if one opened up, I’d likely get it, and I’d be doing much better. When tenure can’t be offered, faculty need to be guaranteed a salary for more than year. And if the university can’t come up with the classes? TOO FUCKING BAD. A person who works as a secretary gets paid even when there’s no one in the office, flight attendants get paid even when they’re not on a plane serving customers … most of the jobs in this nation guarantee a salary even if the employee isn’t always engaged in work. Faculty need the same.

    You’ll be safe in your nonexistent office

    It’s the most isolating thing in the world. I’m damn lucky at [a large Texas University] now, because I’m teaching some with the Women’s Studies department, and they go out of their way to make sure all the adjuncts know one another, get together, and share information. I’ve never felt like part of a department before. I’ve taught places where I literally never met anyone else in my department, and barely anyone else in the whole school, save my students. The WGSS department is making a concerted effort to work against that kind of isolation, and I really do appreciate that.

    I’m left out of “faculty” decisions and information. Here’s a big one: There’s been a lot of to-do lately about Campus Carry. I wasn’t invited to the faculty information session. No one has reached out to me about the new rules. There are important things about it I need to know - like, uh, I make the University legally liable if I ask if someone is carrying a weapon??? - that no one has told me. I went to a big public forum and begged the panel to please, whatever they decide, tell the adjuncts. No one has told us.

    I’m also not invited to the faculty/staff Christmas party, the back-to-school reception, or a lot of the cool campus goings-on... Only rarely do I have anything approaching an office, which means I have to meet with students either in public spaces or in whatever lounge my department is willing to give me (which I get kicked out of the second someone else needs it). Speaking of Campus Carry, they’ve made a big deal about banning guns in faculty offices. Guess who doesn’t have an office.

    Don’t stay in school

    I applied to 50+ jobs this year and got one interview. ONE. Friends in the industry say it will take more than 2 years of being done with the PhD to get a job and if I want to do this I’ll have to live in a financial minefield for that time. It takes most people 4-5 years right now because schools aren’t opening new jobs. This is hitting when I am 32 years old, right when otherwise I would have been saving to buy a house or start a family. I have no job security and very few prospects in spite of earning the top degree from one of the best universities in the world. I have gone on one vacation in the last six years, and it was a couple hundred miles away to Vermont for a 2 day weekend trip. Everyone I know is going through this. A friend who finished his 2 PhD years ago has over 100 files in his cover letter folder on his desktop. Someone else told me that no one at Harvard in their field got interviews this year. Universities stopped producing jobs long ago but they continue to produce PhDs...


    Thanks to all of the adjunct professors who wrote in. Even if we don’t run your story, please know that we are impressed with your writing ability.

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    Obama Has Handle on Work-Life Balance 
    Photo: White House/Instagram

    Today the White House posted on Instagram a photo of President Obama and Anthony Bourdain having a very chill time in the “steamy capital” of Vietnam, where Obama is publicly courting a low-key alliance with the country right in China’s face and a low-key friendship with Bourdain right in mine.

    The president reportedly landed in Hanoi ahead of schedule Sunday night to have an on-camera dinner with Bourdain, which is set to air on his CNN show, Parts Unknown.

    After beers unknown, Obama met today with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, where he announced the U.S. will lift a long-standing ban on the sale of military equipment. In exchange for the lovely gift, the U.S. hopes Vietnam will express its gratitude by allowing U.S. warships to access its ports, giving it a tactical advantage over China, which has not been amenable to an American presence near its waters.

    Turns out you can have it all.

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  • 05/23/16--12:00: Remember This Stuff? 
  • Remember This Stuff? 
    Photo: AP

    Remember French blue shirts?

    Remember filmstrips?

    Remember Christmas?

    Remember Breaking Bad?

    Remember the Audi TT?

    Remember Puff Daddy?

    Remember the 2004-2008 Detroit Pistons?

    Remember Meg Ryan?

    Remember Portland, Oregon?

    Remember Earth Day?

    Remember gypsy moth caterpillars?

    Remember Netscape?

    Remember Skylab?

    Remember the Stone Roses?

    Remember hood ornaments?

    Remember sriracha?

    Remember Princess Diana?

    Remember Thought Catalog?

    Remember pectoral implants?

    Remember Shakespeare in Love?

    Remember Arsenio?

    Remember East Germany?

    Remember exposed brick?

    Remember brushed nickel?

    Remember the Bicentennial?

    Remember slideshows?

    Remember CB radio?

    Remember Christopher Hitchens?

    Remember Lucky magazine?

    What do you remember?

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    Bill O’Reilly Plans to Sue Ex-Wife for $10 Million, Accuses Her of Cheating
    Photo: Getty Images

    Bill O’Reilly’s legal battle against his ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy appeared to be over earlier this year when a panel of three appellate justices unanimously granted McPhilmy residential custody of the ex-couple’s two children. According to court documents filed late last month, however, O’Reilly intends to sue McPhilmy for $10 million on charges of misleading him about the terms of their separation agreement. In the same papers, the Fox News host accuses McPhilmy of using the proceeds of their separation to underwrite an affair with another man. And he wants the entire lawsuit to proceed in secret.

    O’Reilly has built a formidable media empire around his unique brand of moral authoritarianism, with which he has indulged his audience’s obsession with the moral failings of black families. When it comes to the perceived sins of his own family, O’Reilly is only slightly more circumspect. The Fox host’s lawyers have filed a series of documents alleging that McPhilmy “knowingly made false misrepresentations and material omissions of existing fact to [O’Reilly] ... for the sole purpose of inducing [him] to agree to a consensual divorce and to obtain money and real property to finance an existing extra-marital relationship.”

    Bill O’Reilly Plans to Sue Ex-Wife for $10 Million, Accuses Her of Cheating
    April 26 notice to Maureen McPhilmy. Full document can be viewed here.

    O’Reilly has not yet served McPhilmy, or provided the Nassau County justice assigned to his lawsuit, with an actual complaint detailing his case against his former spouse. But the “extra-marital relationship” to which O’Reilly refers in the above “notice” is almost certainly the one between McPhilmy and Jeffrey Gross, a detective in the Nassau County Police Department. They began dating after McPhilmy and O’Reilly separated in 2010, but before the couple formally divorced the next year. As Gawker reported in 2011, O’Reilly retaliated by leveraging his connections within Long Island’s law enforcement community to launch a nuisance internal affairs investigation against Gross—not for any actual misconduct related to his duties as a detective, but for the act of dating O’Reilly’s wife.

    O’Reilly continued to meddle with McPhilmy and her new family as their divorce made its way through the court system. A court-appointed therapist testified last year that, when O’Reilly was alone with his and McPhilmy’s teenage daughter, O’Reilly would call his ex-wife an “adulterer,” said his daughter’s step-father was “not a good person,” and claimed that spending any time with McPhilmy and her new husband would “ruin her life.” The same therapist told the justice overseeing the ex-couple’s custody battle that O’Reilly and McPhilmy’s daughter witnessed her father drag her mother down a staircase by the neck.

    Though the documents filed thus far are open to the public, O’Reilly is apparently hoping to convince the court to seal the remainder of his case against McPhilmy. In early April, O’Reilly applied for an “anonymous caption order and sealing of file,” but was denied on the same day. O’Reilly later submitted a copy of his and McPhilmy’s separation agreement, dated November 2009, in which both parties agreed to conduct future legal disputes anonymously. In a separate filing, his lawyers argued that he and McPhilmy “are contractually obligated not to disclose information related to this dispute as they agreed it is in the best interests of their children, which overcomes the right of public access to records.”

    O’Reilly also invoked his status as a television celebrity to justify sealing his lawsuit against McPhilmy: “Plaintiff is a public figure and matters concerning his personaI life, marriage, and children, attract media attention, which, upon information and belief, caused the minor children extreme emotional distress.”

    It’s unclear what exactly O’Reilly means by “matters concerning his personal life,” but it certainly brings to mind the Fox host’s infamous behavior toward a subordinate twelve years ago. In 2004, O’Reilly settled with a former producer named Andrea Mackris who accused him of sexual harassing her—in one instance, by promising to stimulate her “with the falafel [sic] thing”—while she worked on his Fox News show.

    According to the court docket, McPhilmy’s attorney, Casey Greenfield, requested a copy of the formal complaint on May 16. It’s unclear whether or not O’Reilly’s attorneys have produced it.

    Neither O’Reilly nor McPhilmy responded to requests for comment.

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    God Damnit, Someone Is Making a Keurig Machine for Weed
    Image: Getty

    Alongside the pleasantly mellow way we’re feeling about the spread of legalized pot, there is a dark undercurrent of paranoia. When getting high is no longer a crime, will it stop being so much fun? Will bald guys in khakis start loudly discussing their favorite sativa blends while in line at the supermarket? Will smarmy weed VCs and entrepreneurs try to “disrupt” the market of novelty bongs and cigarette-shaped one-hitters with some technology nobody asked for? Will someone invent a goddamned Keurig machine for smoking pot?

    Enter CannaKorp, via the Boston Globe:

    The CannaKorp vaporizer is expected to debut early next year, just a few months after Massachusetts voters decide whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use.


    The company’s sleek, white-plastic vaporizer heats marijuana just enough to release the active compounds while stopping short of actually burning the plant. Users breathe in the vapors released through a canister, and the marijuana comes in small, single-use “pods” that are independently filled by legally authorized growers.

    If that sounds a lot like the Keurig instant coffee machine, it’s no mistake. CannaKorp chairman Dave Manly was a longtime vice president at Keurig Green Mountain Inc. before retiring in 2014 and linking up with Bourque.

    Besides sounding like a pretty boring way to get stoned, a pod-based delivery system for weed would seem to carry all the same problems as a pod-based delivery system for coffee: overpriced product, non-biodegradable materials, tons and tons of extra waste. If the similarities between CannaKorp and Keurig are really all they’re cracked up to be, there will also be the problem of pot that tastes like microwaved cardboard.

    Stoners’ distrust of corporate powers and embrace of the environment is only matched by our love of convenience. We can only hope the tree-hugger side wins out in the end.

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    Sadly, Bubba Is an Addict Who Cannot Be Trusted
    Photo via Tustin PD

    Do not give any money to Bubba.

    Do not mistake the haunted look in Bubba’s eyes for something cuddly or sympathetic. The fact is that Bubba is an addict. Lies are the air that he breathes.

    Bubba will do anything for a fix.

    Earlier this month, he was picked up in a raid by the Tustin, California Police Department. He had heroin, meth, and nicotine in his system at the time of his arrest. The official line is that “Bubba has been treated for his drug addiction and is doing excellent.”

    That is exactly what Bubba would like you to believe.

    “Do you have an extra pat on the head? A rub on the tummy? How about one little dog treat? Please? Just one—I promise I’ll pay you back tomorrow.” Sound familiar? These are the sort of entreaties you are likely to hear if you encounter Bubba on the streets today. They are nothing new. Sadly, Bubba is still exhibiting classic addict behavior.

    It is tempting to buy into the story that Bubba is a “victim” of owners who fed him illegal drugs. We would all love to believe that Bubba is a good boy. But his needy eyes tell a different story. You may get a pat on the head one day, Bubba. But not yet. Not until you have proved that you have overcome your demons once and for all. I will not have my trust taken advantage of again.

    I will not have my Snausages stolen.

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    Obama Is Set to Release Two Dozen More Prisoners From Guantanamo Bay
    Image: Getty

    President Obama has about eight months left to close down Guantanamo Bay, fulfilling a pledge he made to Americans at the beginning of his presidency. According to a report in the Guardian, his latest step toward that goal is the transfer of 22 or 23 detainees out of the prison sometime before the end of July.

    Citing unnamed government officials, the Guardian reports that the detainees will be sent to “about half a dozen countries,” none of which are named in the piece. The transferred detainees will follow the nine men who were transferred to Saudi Arabia in April and others who were transferred to Oman earlier in the year.

    In February, Obama announced a plan to close the prison for good, which called for transfers such as these of detainees to foreign countries, as well as U.S. military trials for those who were not transferred. Crucially, the plan also made room for an “irreducible minimum” of detainees—those whom the government has deemed “too dangerous to transfer but not feasible for prosecution.” Gitmo may close, but its legacy will likely live on: Those detainees will be transferred to another facility inside the U.S., where they will be held indefinitely without being charged, just like they are at Gitmo.

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    FBI Now Investigating Virginia Governor Who Replaced the Virginia Governor Convicted of Corruption
    Photo: AP

    According to CNN, Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe is “the subject of an ongoing investigation,” conducted by the FBI and the Justice Department’s public integrity unit.

    McAuliffe took office in 2014, the same year former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen were convicted on corruption charges.

    CNN reports the joint investigation has been going on since last year and that McAuliffe had not been notified he was the subject. They did not report which crimes McAuliffe—a notoriously aggressive fundraiser—has been accused of, but officials anonymously tell CNN it concerns “whether donations to his gubernatorial campaign violated the law.” CNN identifies one $120,000 donation from Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang as drawing scrutiny, though it’s unclear why. Which is all to say, McAuliffe won’t be getting that VP nod any time soon, despite his years as a Clinton Global Initiative board member.

    Still, whatever happens, he should be fine—just last month he restored voting rights to all felons in the state.

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