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- 06/02/16--04:16: _159 Days and a Wake Up
- 06/02/16--05:00: _Report: At Least 33...
- 06/02/16--08:55: _Veep's Jonah Ryan H...
- 06/02/16--10:28: _Black Lives Matter ...
- 06/02/16--10:45: _Medical Examiner: P...
- 06/02/16--11:14: _Donald Trump Makes ...
- 06/02/16--12:04: _Early in this lovel...
- 06/02/16--12:20: _News Organizations ...
- 06/02/16--12:35: _You'll Never Guess ...
- 06/02/16--12:55: _Trump Delegate: Ame...
- 06/02/16--13:15: _Hillary Clinton's F...
- 06/02/16--13:40: _Here's What Gawker ...
- 06/02/16--14:00: _Les Moonves Is the ...
- 06/02/16--14:15: _A Comprehensive Lis...
- 06/02/16--14:10: _Foxtrot Alpha A U.S.
- 06/02/16--06:49: _Today's Best Deals:...
- 06/02/16--11:29: _A Complete List of ...
- 06/02/16--15:47: _Yep, Everything Che...
- 06/02/16--15:52: _Root For the Warrio...
- 06/02/16--16:30: _3 Soldiers Dead, 6 ...
- 06/02/16--04:16: 159 Days and a Wake Up
- Despite warnings of regulators and experts, water departments in at least 33 cities used testing methods over the past decade that could underestimate lead found in drinking water.
- Officials in two major cities – Philadelphia and Chicago – asked employees to test water safety in their own homes.
- Two states – Michigan and New Hampshire – advised water departments to give themselves extra time to complete tests so that if lead contamination exceeded federal limits, officials could re-sample and remove results with high lead levels.
- Some cities denied knowledge of the locations of lead pipes, failed to sample the required number of homes with lead plumbing or refused to release lead pipe maps, claiming it was a security risk.
- Boston, MA
- Worcester, MA
- Springfield, MA
- Bridgeport, CT
- Portland, ME
- Lewiston, ME
- Bangor, ME
- South Burlington, VT
- Philadelphia, PA
- Buffalo, NY
- Jersey City, NJ
- Albany, NY
- Croton-on-Hudson, NY
- Chicago, IL
- Detroit, MI
- Columbus, OH
- Milwaukee, WI
- Grand Rapids, MI
- Aurora, IL
- Rockford, IL
- Warren, MI
- Galesburg, IL
- Sebring, OH
- Miami, FL
- Tampa, FL
- Greensboro, NC
- St. Petersburg, FL
- Augusta, GA
- Jackson, MS
- Charleston, SC
- Mount Pleasant, SC
- Bowling Green, KY
- Southaven, MS
- 06/02/16--08:55: Veep's Jonah Ryan Has a Real Campaign Website and Now My Vote
- 06/02/16--10:45: Medical Examiner: Prince Overdosed on the Painkiller Fentanyl
- 06/02/16--12:20: News Organizations Can Now Objectively Say Donald Trump Is Lying
- 06/02/16--12:35: You'll Never Guess Who Paul Ryan Is Voting For
- 06/02/16--13:40: Here's What Gawker Media Does
- 06/02/16--14:00: Les Moonves Is the Human Embodiment of Disgustingly Overpaid CEOs
- 06/02/16--14:10: Foxtrot Alpha A U.S.
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- 06/02/16--11:29: A Complete List of Things the FCC Doesn't Want You To See
- Unredacted version of Performance Audit Report of Sorenson Communications. Memo dated 9/27/12.
- The Schematic Diagram, Block Diagram, and Theory of Operation submitted by Microsoft Corp on 8/16/05 pursuant to FCC ID C3K-WKS368, to the FCC in Columbia, MD.
- Schools and libraries funding Year 2014 Program Integrity Assurance FCC Form 471 Review Procedures, dated 12/9/13; modification email from USAC of 2/20/14.
- Reports, correspondence, electronic mail messages, or other documents containing or referencing the results of USAC’s IDVs for all ETCs that submitted FCC Form 497s to USAC during the period of 9/12 to the present.
- Market information on number of subscribers for wireless carriers and TV/Phone/ISP providers by state? I’ve read the competition reports and am looking for access to this type of information.
- Provide all documents indicating the amounts requested and paid to Sorenson Communications for VRS services provided during each of the years 2006-2014.
- All documents indicating Sorenson Communications’ known or estimated costs for providing VRS services during each of the years 2006-2014.
- Actions or reports filed by the Agent on Scene from Atlanta, GA, in concerns re: complaints filed re: radio equipment belonging to FLEC.
- Letters, memos, emails, transcripts related to the FCC complaint filed by Moody Law in 2012 and assigned to 12-C00417609. Produce any referrals to other agencies and their reports
- Copies of the paid peering agreements between Comcast and Netflix and Verizon and Netflix. Also, copies of all other agreements ISP have with other companies that the FCC obtains as part of its inquiry into the interconnection market.
- Documents re: peering agreements between Netflix and any internet service provider, including, nut not limited to, copies of the agreements referred to by the Chairman.
- List of vendors having responded to FCCs RFI (12/17/13, solicitation # FCC2014GLP00002) or subsequent RFP in connection with Neutral Video Communications Service Platform (NCP)
- Any records in the Case. Any paper work filed with the DOJ. Any settlement with the FCC or DOJ. EB-09-LA-0026.
- All of the schematics for the product: iNID i38HG fcc id: PGR2WI38HG
- Copies of past number portability contracts awarded to Neustar Inc. (formerly Lockheed Martin) from the FCC number portability administration.
- Copies of current contract proposals by Neustar Inc and Telcordia for the number portability administration.
- NeuStar April RFP; Telcorida April RFP; NeuStar September RFP; Telcordia September RFP and NeuStar October submission.
- Federal Communication Commission Data Center Incident Response and Disaster Recovery Plan
- EB to make available for inspection and copying that are labeled confidential for 11-71.
- EB to make available for inspection and copying that are labeled confidential for 11-71.
- Slides, memos, e-mails, or training materials issued to employees relating to the operation of electronic devices (computer, tablet, or mobile phone) issued since 2011.
- Report to NANC on LNPA Vendor Selection Recommendation of the Future of the NPAC Subcommittee dated 2/26/14; Report of the North American Portability Management LLC - In Response to the WCB letter dated 2/11/14; LNPA Selection Working Group Selection Process Report
- Internal FCC documents, including working papers, discussion papers, memos, meeting notes, and emails that deal with the topic of “wireless charging at a distance” using radio frequency in the IMS bands.
- Final report showing, FCC agent office, conducted an inspection of radio facility on Thursday, 11/20 and found illegal equipment which was seized and taken away from premises the same night. Case number 13-C0054621-1
- All records on Martime Communications/Land Mobile LLC; Pinnacle Wireless
- Redacted information in the table labeled “AT&T FTTP and FTTN Customer Locations1 by Designated Market Are as of October 2014 from MB 14-10.”
- Email address list, in spreadsheet form, of all people who subscribe to the FCC’s Daily Digest.
- Access to and copies of FCC telephone (call) logs from 1/1/09 to present.
- Documents related to the paid peering agreements between Comcast and Netflix, or the dollar amount of the paid peering between Comcast and Netflix.
- Copy of Task 1 deliverable, aka “Draft Plan” from the OceanEast Field Modernization consultant to the FCC.
- Documents re: to the bidding and evaluation process of the NAPM RFP. The process is being lead by the NANC and the SWG. All NANC and SWG records, report, transcripts, minutes, working papers, drafts studies, agenda, etc.
- Obama and Tom wheelers 332 page bill to regulate the internet.
- I would like to receive all documents that are specifically responsive to the FCC’s Jan. 14, 2015 letter to Dish: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases...
- Requesting the 322 page proposed internet regulations.
- I am requesting a copy of the 332 pages law that pertains to the ongoing Net Neutrality decision that the FCC will be making in 120 days. We the people have not been able to see what it says, and if you are taking this time for public to comment on this, we need to know what it says before we can choose if this is right for our country or not. This is our choice! I didnt elect any of you into your position to make this decision for me! Please email or snailmail me a copy of the 332 pages of obamas plan to micro manage and take over our internet. Thank you.
- Requesting ~300 page document on Net Neutrality that the FCC voted on on 2/26/2015.
- I am requesting a copy of the open internet document that reclassified broadband comunications as a Title II service that was passed on February 26, 2015.
- Hello, I’m concerned about the FCC’s refusal to release their plans for regulation of the internet to the public. I’ve read the 5 page synopsis on FCC.gov, but it would make me much more comfortable knowing that everyone has had the opportunity to view the document in its entirety. The FCC is being very irresponsible by allowing rampant speculation to run amok among an uninformed public, and with the publication of their plans many worries may be laid to rest. Thank you for your time.
- I want the full text of the new 322 pages of internet rules fully disclosed to the public that was passed by a 3-2 vote on Thursday, February 6th, 2015 by the FCC. In an open and transparent government the public should be able to view the full context of laws and rules that affect them. There is absolutely no reason to continue to keep the full context of these 322 pages of new rules secret.
- Requesting full text of the FCC’s Open Internet Order of 2/26/15 The full document was not available for public debate or scrutiny and has not since been released.
- I’m requesting, the Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet, GN Docket No. 14-28, revised 317 pages.
- Document created by the FCC around the recent Net Neutrality ruling? Law? Decision?
- Request is for the reported 300 pages of the new regulation
- I am making a request for the full 328-page Open Internet order voted on and adopted by the Commission on 2/26/2015. These documents should have been made publicly available the day the they were adopted. The document may be email to the above address a PDF format. Thank you!
- Formally filing a FOIA request to obtain a copy of the 300+ page regulation immediately.
- A copy or a link to the 332-page Internet program presented by President Obama
- Request the 300 plus page of the bill that was passed regarding net neutrality
- Requesting copy of internet regulation plan that was voted upon and approved by the FCC on February, 26, 2015.
- All outside studies commissioned by FCC in the past 2 years that deal with FCC’s spectrum enforcement activities and possible changes to them. In particular any study that resulted in the changes discussed in http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-enfor... Any related study by Ocean East Associates
- We seek a copy of the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order as it was on February 26th at the time of the Commission’s open meeting when it voted on and passed the order, 3-2. We would greatly prefer the document to be provided in either .doc or .xml file format, if possible, to allow for easy automated comparison between that version of the order and the final version of the order.
- I would like to obtain a copy of what Neustar’s bid was for the Local Number Portability Administrator contract. It has been made public what Telcordia bid. Therefore, I think it is only fair to know what Neustar bid.
- Complete file on April 8th enforcement action against AT&T. http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases... File No.: EB-TCD-14-00016243
- I request that a copy of documents and/or documents containing the following information be provided to me: —Any and all documents records of the Federal Communication Commission on IMSI catchers, including but not limited to the use by criminal gangs, foreign intelligence agencies, and any cases or complaints relating to spying on American citizens using this technology. I also request any documents that have been gathered by the Cyber Working Group on the possible misuse of tracking technology in the U.S.
- FOIA Request Good afternoon - I am an investigative reporter with the International Business Times. I am writing to obtain “Cost Study Documents” submitted to the FCC on July 17, 2014 by Securus Technologies, a Dallas-based company. The submission was made as part of the FCC’s Mandatory Data Collection program for Inmate Calling Services (ICS). More specifically, the documents were submitted on July 17, 2014 in a letter from Counsel to Securus, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, WC Docket No. 12-375. I am seeking primarily the un-redacted “Cost Study Documents” attached to that letter, but also the content of that correspondence as well. On Oct. 1, 2014, Julie A. Veach, Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau (DA 14-1432) denied Securus’ Objection to Disclosure of Confidential Information (https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/a....Thus, these documents should be available under FOIA. Please contact me with any questions or concerns, or if I can provide any more information that would expedite this process. Thank you very much for your time and assistance.
- All information applicable to the AT&T Telephone outage which occurred on January 13, 2015
- The FCC Office of Inspector General’s report from the investigation, begun on or around June 17, 2009, regarding PrimeX Technology, Inc.
- Any and all records in any way concerning the compensation of payphone owners by Inter-Exchange Carriers.
- 1) Any and all records prepared by the FCC and consultants in preparation for the FCC’s Greenhill I Report (“Report”), released in October 2014, specifically the baseline modeled scenarios portrayed, and any others related to the Report conducted before and after that date analyzing channel clearing for each Designated Market Area (“DMA”) which individually or together cast light on the possible impacts on LPTV clearing and new LPTV assignments. 2) Any and all records and written communications among FCC staff or the FCC’s consultants concerning the impact(s) on channel assignments or stranding of LPTV stations specifically for each DMA represented in the Report. 3) Any and all records relating to the “extensive auction simulations”; referred to in fn. 2 on p. 35 of the Report.
- I request a copy of 2 or 3 Letters of Inquiry issued in the three matters referenced below. I quoted the exact language referencing each Letter of Inquiry (“LOI”) below the table. Democratic Dialing Released March 15, 2013 File No.: EB TCD 12-0004943 DA 13-264; Released March 15, 2013. M.J. Ross Group, Inc., d/b/a PoliticalRobocalls.com File No.: EB-TCD-12-00004353 DA 15-530 Released May 4, 2015; DialAmerica CG Docket No. 02-278 Don’t know if an LOI was issued.
- I am requesting electronic copies of website server logs for fcc.gov and any publicly-accessible subdomains of fcc.gov for the calendar years 2014 and 2015 (the latter through October 31, 2015). These may be known internally as "Apache server logs," and would contain basic, non-identifiable information about website visits. If server logs do not exist for the entire period of time I have requested, I request that I be provided with all log files that do exist for that time period. Please contact me if the fees involved exceed $25, in the instance that a waiver is not granted.
- I request records on the FCC investigation into Hilton Hotels jamming of wifi.
- I am writing to request copies of documents in the possession of the United States Federal Communication Commission (“FCC”) pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 et seq. I am requesting any and all documents related to any determination made by the FCC that the Government‘s procurement of office space for FCC Headquarters pursuant to Request for Lease Proposals (“RLP”) No. 3DC0421 constitutes a critical action. Specifically, I am requesting any and all documents relating in any way to: • The rationale supporting the determination that the Government‘s procurement of office space pursuant to Request for Lease Proposals No. 3DC0421 constitutes a critical action; • The identity of the persons who participated in the critical action determination and the roles these individuals played in making the critical action determination; • Why, when and how this critical action determination was made, including a copy of the determination itself; • Any discussion of, or reference to, the 100 year or 500 year floodplain at or near the current location of the FCC Headquarters - 445 12th Street, SW Washington, DC20554 - including any discussion or mention of, or reference to, whether or not the FCC Headquarters can or should be located in the 100 year or 500 year floodplain; • Any and all bases or rationale supporting the Government’s determination that, pursuant to RLP No. 3DC0421, a lease will not be awarded for any offered Property located within a 500-year floodplain unless the Government has determined that there is no practi [message cut off in the original document supplied to Gizmodo]
- I request all Network Outage Reporting System reports filed on 12-25-15.
- I am requesting all documents filed by in answer to the NALF adopted Dec. 17th, 2015 (NAL 201632960001) in regard to his intentional interference of WARFA net, playing of music recordings etc. I believe these are 31 or 32 pages of response to above referenced NALF that has been filed by, and am I seeking copies of the response thru FOIA.
- This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records: Information technology (IT) department inventory reports for IT equipment detailing computer hardware in possession of your agency, or any similar records. In particular, inventory reports that detail the models and manufacturers of the computer hardware in your agency’s possession currently and historically. The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes. In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CDROM if not. Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.
- I request that a copy of documents containing a list of the licensees that have notified the Commission of their intention to participate in the upcoming reverse auction, including the station mailing address and bandwidth frequency. A previous request for this information was sent via email to and refused on February 1, 2016. cited Section 6403 (a)(3) of the Spectrum Act of 2012, claiming the law forbids the Commission from disclosing information about broadcast stations that participate in the Incentive Auction until after the auction concludes. This refusal conflicts with Section B.6. of an FCC Public Notice issued on October 6, 2015 titled; Guidance Regarding the Prohibition of Certain Communications During the Incentive Auction, Auction 1000; which states that; Communicating directly or indirectly that a licensee has or has not filed an application to participate in the reverse auction does not constitute communication regarding an applicant’s bids or bidding strategies and therefore repeat my request to obtain a list of licensees that have applied for participation in the reverse auction.
- 06/02/16--15:47: Yep, Everything Checks Out
- 06/02/16--15:52: Root For the Warriors, the Lesser of Two Evils
According to the Guardian, at least 33 cities across the eastern United States have used water-testing “cheats” to conceal dangerous levels of lead. Twenty-one cities used the same techniques that resulted in felony charges against three government employees
The crisis in Flint was precipitated by a dubious testing regime, as well as cost-cutting decisions and delays by environmental officials to respond to the toxic water emergency. The Guardian has found that cities including Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Milwaukee enacted similar testing regimes.
Thousands of documents detailing water testing practices over the past decade reveal:
The Guardian requested water-testing documents from 81 of the largest cities east of the Mississippi River; 43 cities responded; 33 had distorted their test results, ignoring EPA guidelines.
The cities that do follow the EPA guidelines are Cincinnati, Ohio; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; and Mobile, Alabama. Others—Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; Buffalo, New York; Boston, Massachusetts; Worcester, Massachusetts; Lewiston, Maine; and the state health departments of Rhode Island and Maine—said they would follow the guidelines when they test next.
Sorted by region the cities the Guardian found that had violated the EPA’s guidelines are:
Read the entire investigation here.
If you’re at the point in the 2016 election cycle where you can no longer stomach the phoniness of Washington politics, then it’s definitely time for you to check out Veep’s Jonah Ryan. This Jolly Green Jizz Face is as real as a fictional character gets and he wants to be YOUR congressman!
If you happen to be caught up on season five of the continuously excellent (despite the exit of showrunner Armando Iannucci) HBO political comedy, you’ll know that Jonah—everyone’s favorite
Jonah’s campaign has hit some unfortunate speed bumps—voters don’t like the way he chops wood and interacts with children. They’re also turned off by his wrong “shape” and how his head is either too small for his body or his body is too small for his head.
Thankfully, this political dark horse has found his footing—even launching a very real campaign website.
The site—which, to be absolutely clear, is for candidate JONAH RYAN, not Jon H. Ryan—is mostly functional and packed full of Easter eggs for Veep fans.
“Jonah ad” sounds an awful lot like Jonad...
You can also use the website to sign up to volunteer, look at photos from Jonah’s youth, and donate to his campaign. (Or at least you can try. The donation page is a little glitchy.) You can even browse through some helpful links to better get you acquainted with the great state of New Hampshire and—whether he approves or not—the music of Tom Petty.
Jonah Ryan is not the hero our congress deserves. He is the hero our congress needs. Hope to see you—and Jonah—at the Maple Sugar Industry Listening Session on December 16!
Images via Veep/HBO.
The leader of a Black Lives Matter chapter in Pasadena, California, was convicted this week on a felony charge that was known as “lynching” until recently, for her alleged role in a confrontation with police last year. Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation changing the law’s name after a different black activist was charged with lynching last year.
Today, California Penal Code § 405a uses the title “Attempting to Unlawfully Remove a Suspect from Police Officers” to describe the crime of “taking by means of a riot of any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer.” The 2015 arrest of Sacramento Black Lives Matter activist Maile Mae Hampton under that charge, which activists saw as an attempt to chill protests against the police, prompted lawmakers to change the name from “lynching,” as the crime had previously been known.
Jasmine Richards was convicted under the newly renamed law on Wednesday, Pasadena Now reports. In August 2015, Richards was among a group of protesters who allegedly interfered with the arrest of a woman who was accused of failing to pay for a meal she ordered at a restaurant.
Bystander video of the arrest, published by Pasadena Now, shows a chaotic scene. Witnesses can be heard shouting at police that they are treating the woman too roughly, and alleging that she had also been roughed up by an employee of the restaurant.
None of the protesters were arrested on the scene. Three days later, police arrested Richards on several charges relating to the incident, all of which were dropped except for the “Attempting to Unlawfully Remove a Suspect from Police Officers” charge.
Civil rights activists have contended that the law—aside from its bizarre former name—is used to punish people for participating in protests that target the police, and Richards’ attorney made a similar contention. “This was a political prosecution, not a criminal prosecution,” attorney Nana Gyamfi told Pasadena Now. “This was a jury that could not tell the difference between a loud Black person and a violent Black person.”
Richards will be sentenced June 7. She faces a maximum term of four years in prison.
The AP is reporting that an anonymous law enforcement source says tests confirm the widely held suspicion that Prince died due to an opioid overdose.
UPDATE (2:45 p.m.) A medical examiner in Minnesota has released the results of Prince’s autopsy, which show that he died from an accidental overdose from the painkiller fentanyl.
A link between Prince and painkillers emerged quickly after his death, with TMZ reporting (and records later confirming) that the singer was administered an opioid-blocking Narcan shot when his plane made an emergency landing in Illinois just days before his passing. It’s been reported that Prince was found with painkillers on his person when his body was discovered in an elevator at his Paisley Park compound, and federal authorities (including the DEA) have reportedly been investigating the doctors and pharmacies that may have been treating him.
He was also allegedly scheduled to see an opioid addiction specialist the day that he died.
Donald Trump, accused of illegally marketing a worthless real estate course to people too desperate or optimistic or uneducated to know better, has promised to do it again in an ominous and not entirely logical message posted on Twitter.
Trump tweeted this afternoon:
Taken as a whole, it’s clear Donald J. Trump is not a well man. But breaking it down, it’s impossible to deny the man makes several cogent points. For example, it’s true: Someone will win the case. The question mark after “Trump U” makes sense, since Trump can’t call it a university anymore after the Department of Education accused him of deliberately misleading students. And technically there is a lot of interest in Trump University—namely from prosecutors.
Will he be pres.? Impossible to say...
Early in this lovely New York Times magazine story about people who live in supertall skyscrapers, a resident of one of the city’s highest dwellings considers an apartment that, in the scheme of things, is only slightly higher than his own. His conclusion: “At a certain point, you’re too high.”
One of the difficulties the mainstream press has faced in covering the Donald Trump campaign is that Trump is a ceaseless and aggressive liar. The traditional etiquette standards known as “objective journalism” discourage media outlets from pointing out that a politician’s message is contrary to known facts—to do so seems like taking sides, or, God forbid, expressing an opinion.
This has left Trump free to say whatever he pleases, regardless of reality, and to say the opposite as soon as it suits him. Mostly the media have then agonized afterwards about how a shameless con artist is bullshitting his way closer and closer to the White House.
Today, things may be changing. People have been getting excited about the CNN chyron above, which offered an instant, basic correction to one of Trump’s attempts to lie about his own positions. But CNN is not alone. In a story about yesterday’s Trump rally in Sacramento, the New York Times did this:
To endear himself to the West Coast voters, Mr. Trump trotted out his usual array of assaults, deriding the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, as a politician with “no natural talent.” He again falsely accused her of wanting to abolish the Second Amendment, and attacked her decision on intervening in Libya. Mr. Trump supported the intervention at the time.
There’s no laundering the fact-checking through an opposing campaign, not even a “critics say” or a “raises questions” to soften it. In the fourth paragraph of a straight campaign-trail report, the Times went ahead and called bullshit, twice. With a hyperlink on the second one, even. Trump’s dishonesty is officially a settled fact.
In a column published in his hometown newspaper, the Gazette, Paul Ryan finally admits what he has known to be true in his heart all along (or at least since last month): He will be voting for Donald Trump in November.
“It’s no secret that he and I have our differences. I won’t pretend otherwise. And when I feel the need to, I’ll continue to speak my mind,” Ryan wrote in the piece. “But the reality is, on the issues that make up our agenda, we have more common ground than disagreement.”
“House Republicans are helping shape that Republican vision by offering a bold policy agenda, by offering a better way ahead. Donald Trump can help us make it a reality.”
In a separate story, the Gazette reports that Ryan’s campaign would not clarify whether this qualified as an actual endorsement. “He said he’ll vote for Trump in the piece,” an aide told the paper. “That speaks for itself, in our view.” Say no more.
Mother Jones has identified several Republican delegates representing Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention in July who have also affiliated themselves with the radical anti-government Patriot movement. One delegate from Tennessee, David Riden, told Mother Jones that members of the current administration may need to be...well: “The polite word is, eliminated. The harsh word is killed.” In 2016, the lunatic fringe moves ever closer to the mainstream.
Trump has actively courted the resurgent Patriot movement since 2011, with his promotion of the Birther conspiracy theory. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, antigovernment groups have increased sixfold since Obama took office. SPLC estimates there are nearly 1,000 such groups in the United States today, including about 276 armed militia groups.
Riden, a retired nuclear engineer, said he is not himself a member of an armed militia group, but has contacts with one in Tennessee:
There’s only one reason why the Founding Fathers put the Second Amendment…If the federal government were to follow the path of all other governments, at some point it will turn to tyranny against the people. And at that point, when it stops to uphold and abide by the Constitution—and we’re talking about the Supreme Court, Congress, and the executive branch, all three are way off away from the Constitution right now—the people have the right to assemble, bear arms, go to Washington, DC, or wherever necessary, and go into military battle against the government and replace those in government with individuals that will uphold the Constitution. The Constitution should remain, but the people that are abusing it should be, the polite word is, eliminated. The harsh word is killed. And they’re killed by American citizens with weapons. And if people have tanks, assault weapons, if they have bombs—they need to have the weaponry necessary to be able to overthrow the federal government.
Two delegates from Maryland, Collins Bailey and his son Caleb Bailey, have ties to the Patriot movement as well. In 1995, Collins wrote for newsletter associated with the United Sovereigns of America, praising the Founding Fathers in one issue for organizing militias against the British Empire during the American Revolution. “These were men of conviction, men who had ‘No King But King Jesus,’” he wrote.
“The Second Amendment does not address duck hunting,” he wrote on his Myspace page in 2008. “Our Founding Fathers…wisely made many provisions to guard against tyranny, including tyranny from our own government.”
Last month, his son Caleb was arrested on explosives and child pornography charges
In a speech that was ostensibly about foreign policy given this afternoon in San Diego, Hillary Clinton’s main point of focus was not on America’s allies and enemies abroad, but her own enemy at home, Donald Trump. “Donald Trump’s ideas aren’t just different, they are dangerously incoherent,” she told the crowd. “They’re not even really ideas—just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies.”
She also said that her opponent is “temperamentally unfit” to be president, and that “doesn’t understand America or the world.”
The speech also touched on Clinton’s own “smart and principled” approach to foreign policy, and her own experience as secretary of state, but her pitch, at its heart, was, “Can you imagine what the other guy might do?”
Voters interested in the specifics of Clinton’s approach to diplomacy and war might look at her own history of hawkishness, and that of her advisors, or look at her plan to defeat ISIS
It was surprising to hear the news last week that right-wing billionaire investor Peter Thiel has been secretly trying to destroy Gawker Media through proxy lawsuits. It was dispiriting, and less surprising, to hear the conversation that followed the revelation. The discussion begins, in most cases, with the premise that Gawker is bad. Even those who are rightly alarmed at Thiel’s unprecedented attack on an institution that he regards as “terrible for the Valley” usually feel the need to preface that conclusion with some form of “I hate to defend Gawker, but...”
It’s an understandable habit. Gawker Media has not put a lot of effort, over the years, into being likable. We have earned a long list of enemies.
But the notion that Gawker Media—the company, encompassing seven web sites, that Thiel is attempting to permanently silence—is best understood as a platform for spewing hatred, or for bullying, is at odds with our own experience. And we can’t help but conclude it is at odds with a lot of other people’s experience. If our lengthy published record of news, essays, investigations, satire, and criticism is “not journalism,” as the refrain goes, then why has so much of it been cited, amplified, and followed by our more respectable establishment peers? If we aim for nothing but cruelty, or nothing but clicks, why have our writers drawn so many of the finest (or most well-remunerated) writers in the rest of the business to engage with our work?
Journalism is as journalism does. Anyone moved to dismiss the million-plus stories that we have published over the years as nothing more than “gutter journalism” ought to account for the by-no-means-comprehensive sampling of posts below, which we have arranged along with examples of the contemporaneous reaction to, praise for, and impact of the work. There are countless other posts that could join them. This is what Peter Thiel is trying to destroy
Five months later...
“In 2013, his fame, long established in Canada, spread to the United States after Gawker, followed closely by the Toronto Star, reported the existence of a video depicting the mayor smoking crack. For six months, Ford denied the allegation, before finally admitting to using the drug “in one of my drunken stupors.”
“We’ve all heard about Billo and Fox Security, but this is ridiculous” — Keith Olbermann, ESPN
“To anyone who hasn’t seen Gawker’s awesome takedown of Bill O’Reilly, here’s Gawker’s awesome takedown of Bill O’Reilly” — Hadley Freeman, The Guardian
“Out of all the enemies Fox News has, you have to wonder if enemy #1 isn’t Media Matters, but Gawker” — Simon Owens, US News & World Report
“Fox News has been attacking Gawker on TV for days. The site believes this just-published Bill O’Reilly story is why.” — Brian Stelter, CNN
“Surprised conservatives still watch Fox News. The non-family values network, run by Ailes, a guy married 3 times.” — Gabriel Sherman, New York Magazine
“O’Reilly denies Gawker reports of abuse from sealed documents. Gawker gets the documents.” — Philip Bump, The Washington Post
“Maybe Bill O’Reilly could learn something from NBA players about parenting. Wonder what thuggish music he listens to?” — David Zirin, The Nation
Hacked Emails Show Hillary Clinton Was Receiving Advice at a Private Email Account From Banned, Obama-Hating Former Staffer
“This is the bigger story, because it demonstrates aforethought and a conscious decision to evade public detection.” — John Podhoretz, Commentary Magazine
“Gawker also FOIAed top Clinton aide Reines’ communications with reporters, only to be told they didn’t exist.” — Byron Tau, The Wall Street Journal
“Here we go. Gawker scoops Huma was using a personal Clintonemail.com account at State.” — Elliot Schwartz, Washington Free Beacon
“Mike Allen scoop is like reporting straight out of the Hunger Games. transactional, fawning over elites” — Tom McKay, Mic News
“This is pretty bad. The interview would be ‘no surprises.’” — Byron York, Washington Examiner
“Mike Allen is just *incredibly* corrupt” — Ryan Cooper, The Week
“This is shocking” — Michael Barbaro, The New York Times
“It’s that old journalism maxim, ‘When in doubt simply allow government officials to author material under your name’” — Michael Tracy, Vice
“Geez. What an embarrassment to the actual journalists who work at Politico.” — Ben Mathis-Lilley, Slate
“Great Gawker scoop: Hillary Clinton’s flak blackmailed (his words!) a reporter into positive spin on HRC speech.” — Emily Flitter, Reuters
“This is a scandal.” — Ali Gharib, The Nation
“Just completely fascinating.” — Alex Kantrowitz, BuzzFeed News
“I am sorry this is gross.” — Adam Goldman, The Washington Post
“Gawker doing good work exposing the seedy reality we call political ‘reporting.’” — Becket Adams, Washington Examiner
“Basically, Hillary Clinton’s PR team said ‘JUMP’ and media said ‘How high?’” — Robby Soave, Reason Magazine
“Daily Beast reporters: If you agree to terms like these, don’t bother coming to work the next day. Or ever.” — Noah Shachtman, The Daily Beast
“The documents are a fascinating look in the construction of image building. Even back then, Ailes had his signature impassioned style, writing that they were responsible for the life or death of America.” — The Washington Post
“Gawker’s John Cook has unearthed a juicy White House memo—‘A Plan for Putting the GOP on TV News’—that shows Roger Ailes and fellow aides to Richard Nixon plotting to disseminate Republican propaganda to local news outlets nationwide.” — Rolling Stone
“Gawker’s John Cook makes the case the Ailes’s ‘fair and balanced’ network comes from the same skeazy political scheming that lead to the Watergate scandal.” — The Atlantic Wire
“Roger Ailes’ ‘fair and balanced’ alternative to what he calls the liberal bias of other news outlets was far from an overnight success. In fact, according to documents obtained by Gawker, his idea for a conservative news source was conceived in 1970, when Ailes worked as a media consultant for then-President Richard Nixon.” — The Week
“This is so bad. If you publish a post, there is NO excuse to pull it. Once it is up, there is no erase button.” — Daniel Roberts, Yahoo! Finance
Two weeks later…
One month later…
Four years later…
The New York Times:
Eight months later….
Deadspin’s decision to publish what were said to be photographs of Brett Favre’s penis has become easy shorthand for reckless and invasive journalism. As Vanity Fair wrote, in a feature on Manti Te’o, “Deadspin itself sometimes seems devoid of any standards of taste or ethics—it has practiced checkbook journalism and has published alleged ‘dong shots’ Brett Favre reportedly texted to a woman.”
That account, though, skips over the fact that the penis photos were sent unsolicited, in an act of alleged workplace harassment of a New York Jets employee, and that the news of Favre’s behavior led other employees to speak up, and eventually file suit, accusing the NFL legend of persistent and aggressive misbehavior.
In the wake of a sex scandal that tarnished Brett Favre’s storied 20-year NFL career and cost him a $50,000 fine, two more women have come forward, filing a sexual harassment suit against the star quarterback.
Christina Scavo and Shannon O’Toole, both former massage therapists for the New York Jets, filed suit against Favre, the New York Jets and Lisa Ripi, a woman who hires massage therapists for the team, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York today.
Eight months later...
Nine months later...
Five months later...
Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax
GQ New Zealand:
How Jason Whitlock Is Poisoning ESPN’s “Black Grantland”
Here Is The Insane Playbook For Jason Whitlock’s “Black Grantland” How ESPN’s Fear Of The Truth Defeated “Black Grantland”
Three months later…
Three years later…
Maureen Dowd, the New York Times:
If you wanted to find one single real-life human who embodies the concept of “Overpaid Zillionaire CEO Rich White Guy Con Artist,” you could do no better than CBS chief Les Moonves. Take a bow, Les, you fuck.
For years now, Les Moonves has been among the highest-paid CEOs in America, even when his company was doing poorly
I, too, am astounded.
Today, the Wall Street Journal released its analysis of CEO pay at America’s largest companies in 2015. The highest-paid CEO of all was Expedia’s Dara Khosrowshahi, who earned a $94.6 million payday on the strength of stock options that will vest over four years. And who was the second highest paid CEO in all the land? Would you like me to tell you? Sure, it was ya boy... Les Moonves!
Les Moonves 2015 compensation: $56.8 million
CBS stock price change in 2015: -13.8%
Average performance of S&P 500 media companies last year: -3.8%
No price is too high to pay this stock photo-looking motherfucker to do an objectively poor job running his bad TV network, again.
We should all disrespect this rich, rich man.
Everyone’s out to get Donald Trump.
From the liberal media to the liberal polls to the liberal IRS, nearly everyone wants to take down Boca Tanning Club success story Donald J. Trump. But Donald Trump doesn’t let the haters and losers
It’s because of all that tweeting and hollering, though, that we know exactly who among us has a sick, personal bias against our future President Trump.
Here are all the people and things that have it in for Donald Trump—sad lightweights, every one.
(Definitely not) Fox News
Editorial board, The (failing) Wall Street Journal’s
Haberman, Maggie, New York Times third rate reporter
Huffington Post, The
Meet the Press on NBC
New York Times, The (failing)
People who work for Donald Trump’s campaign
Raddatz, Martha of ABC News
Wall Street Journal, The (failing)
Foxtrot Alpha A U.S. Navy Blue Angels Fighter Jet Crashed, One Reportedly Dead
Bookmark Kinja Deals and follow us on Twitter to never miss a deal. Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here
The SoundCore Sport features 10 hours of battery life, a built-in microphone for handsfree calls, and impressive IPX7 water resistance. There are plenty of IPX4 or IPX5 speakers out there that can handle a splash, but this thing could fall into your bathtub and come out completely unscathed.
No matter what Sonicare toothbrush you’ve had your eye on, chances are, Amazon has a coupon for it today. Whichever one you pick, it’ll be cheaper than a cavity.
Note that the prices listed on the product page don’t include the coupon; you won’t see your final price until checkout.
Already have a brush, and just need some replacement heads? Those are on sale as well.
Ready to get fit? Today only, Amazon’s offering big savings on a huge array of EAS products as part of a Gold Box deal.
Inside, you’ll find dozens of powders, shakes, bars, and more in a variety of flavors and formulas. Just note that there are three pages of deals—Amazon likes to hide the navigation buttons—and that these prices are only available today, or until sold out.
Travelpro makes your favorite rolling carry-on bags
I own the spinner version of this bag, and absolutely love it. It’s light, sturdy, built with great materials, and includes all of the pockets you need, including a garment section to keep suits and dresses from wrinkling. $120 may seem like a lot to spend on a bag, but if you take good care of it, this should last you for years.
Anker’s new vacuum transforms from handheld to upright, has the impressive runtime you’d expect from the brand that makes your favorite battery packs, a washable HEPA filter, a good warranty, and a $105 price tag that’s within $5 of an all-time low.
If you’re hooked on IZZE
soda sparkling juice, you can save an extra 20% on select 24 packs today, courtesy of Amazon. Just note that the prices shown on the page do not account for the 20% savings; your final discount will be shown at checkout.
They won’t track your steps or make Dick Tracy-style phone calls, but these men’s fashion watches from Akribos look way nicer than any smart wearable, and over 20 of them are available for $40-$65, today only as part of a Gold Box deal.
I’m Commander Shep, and this is my favorite deal on Amazon.
Whether you already have a Quick Charge 3.0-compatible phone, or you just want to be prepared for the future, Aukey’s discounting a pair compatible chargers. And yes, they’re both backwards-compatible with previous versions of Quick Charge as well.
If you still haven’t upgraded to 802.11ac, this highly rated TP-Link Archer C9 router is on sale for $115 at Amazon today. That’s not an all-time low price, but it’s a solid little discount compared to its usual $120-$130.
Here’s one of the first deals we’ve seen on the brand new
If you can’t find the time to get to the gym every day, this under-desk elliptical lets you squeeze in some light exercise while you fill out your TPS reports. This typically sells for $170 or more on Amazon, and today’s $120 deal is one of the best prices we’ve ever seen.
Don’t forget, you’ll need an OTA antenna to go with it.
If your PlayStation Plus subscription or Xbox Live Gold membership is getting close to its expiration date, or (gasp) you just don’t have one at all, you can grab a 12 month membership to either today for $40.
Update: Newegg’s eBay store is selling the Xbox Live Gold membership for the same price, but with a free copy of Pro Evolution Soccer 2015.
Whether you have an old hard drive laying around, or you just want to build your own external SSD
We post a lot of deals on desk lamps with integrated LEDs, but this wooden swing arm alternative has a more classic look, and is a great deal at $21 with GRXHWOGS. Just note that you’ll need to bring your own bulb, like these IKEA LEDs.
This unique measuring cup doubles as a kitchen scale, so you can work seamlessly with both volume and weight-based recipes. My mom had this when I went home for the holidays
Just want a normal scale? Here’s one for $10.
If you can’t start your day without a morning cup of coffee, but you’re still using an electric drip coffee maker, or even (gasp) a Keurig, you might want to try out a flavor-extracting french press. This inexpensive X-Chef model looks nearly identical to the excellent Bodum Chambord, but is significantly cheaper at $13.
If you’re not convinced, know that french press took the #1 spot in Lifehacker’s coffee-making Hive Five, and many coffee aficionados swear by it. And with no disposable filters or pods to buy, this machine could pay for itself over time.
Today’s Amazon deal is a the best price we’ve ever seen this model, but we don’t know how long it will last, so perk up and lock in your order while you can.
Unlike smartphone lens add-ons that require a special case or a specific phone model, Aukey’s 3-in-1 kit uses a clamp to attach to your device, which means it should work with virtually any smartphone. Once that clip’s in place, you get to choose from three different lenses: Fisheye, wide angle, and macro. Several Amazon reviewers have uploaded sample photos and videos, and they look pretty great to my eyes
Mechanics tool sets rarely dip below $.50/tool, so if you don’t already own one, I’d be sure to order this before it sells out.
Today only, Amazon’s running a big sale on Caterpillar work boots as part of a Gold Box deal. Options include everything from low profile work shoes to imposing steel-toed boots, so head over to Amazon and browse the offerings before they’re gone.
If you hurry over to GameStop, you can save $15 on a Steam Controller or Steam Link, representing the first true deals we’ve seen on these products. Plus, use promo code SAVER at checkout for free shipping.
Have any experience with these products? Sound off in the comments!
It’s summer, you’re an adult...why shouldn’t you buy your own snow cone machine? $45 is the lowest price ever on this Hawaiian Shaved Ice starter kit, which includes the ice machine, 25 cups, and three bottles of syrup. Just watch out for brain freeze.
Granted, that’s not an all-time low price (it’s dipped to $98 on a few brief occasions), but you’ll frequently see it for $120 or more, so if you’re in the market, I’d pull the trigger. The BL660 includes an 1100 watt motor, a 72 ounce pitcher, and a pair of single-serve smoothie cups so you don’t have to clean the big pitcher every time you feel like making yourself a smoothie to go.
Amazon’s Prime Pantry program is great for stocking up on household goods and non-perishable foods without actually having to visit a store, but the $5.99 per box shipping charge has always been a drag. This month though, if you buy five select items, you can get that fee waived.
Bonus: If you already have a no-rush free shipping credit in your account, this deal actually appears to stack, netting you an extra $6 discount.
They ran a similar promotion the last few months with different eligible items. Just add five of them to your box (plus anything else that will fit), and use code PANTRYJUN at checkout to get free shipping.
It only has the one port, but still, $5 is one of the best prices we’ve ever seen on a Quick Charge 2.0 wall charger.
Before you head out on your next summer road trip, be sure to pick up this headrest tablet stand for just $17 with code TABLETBK. Just about everyone these days uses tablets to keep their kids (or adult passengers) quiet in the backseat, and this mount should be a dramatic ergonomic improvement.
For a few years now, Antec’s USB-powered HDTV bias light has been one of our most reliably popular deals
Just like the Antec model, these Vansky LED light strips plug directly into your TV’s USB port for power, and sticks to the back of the set via built-in adhesive. Once you turn your TV on, the light strip will cast a soft glow on the wall behind it, which can reduce eyestrain when watching in the dark, and improve your TV’s perceived black levels.
Whenever we post a deal on the Antec light, it sells out within hours. I’m not sure if that’ll be the case today, but I wouldn’t take any chances.
Brother laser printers dominated the voting in our Kinja Co-Op for best printer, and it’s easy to see why: They basically never jam, toner is much cheaper than ink (and it never dries out if you don’t use it), and they print much faster than any other consumer-level printer; on the order of 25-30 pages per minute, even when printing duplex. The glaring trade-off is that they don’t print in color, but it’s easier to live without that than you might think.
The two models on sale today both include all of the advantages seen above, but the $65 HL-2300D is a USB-connected, barebones affair, while the $100 HL-2380DW adds a scanner, a touchscreen, and wireless networking, including AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. Both prices are the best we’ve seen in months, so do yourself a favor and lock in your order before they sell out.
Computers & Accessories
Tools & Auto
Beauty & Grooming
Camping & Outdoors
Movies & TV
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The neat thing about the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is that you can submit FOIA requests for FOIA requests. Why is this useful? It means that you can learn about documents that government agencies don’t want you to see—even if all you learn about them is the name of the document. Stick with me here...
I filed a FOIA request with the Federal Communications Commission for all FOIA requests submitted from January 2014 until the present that were “withheld in full.” Which is to say, all FOIA requests that the FCC determined shouldn’t be released at all, even with redactions.
Granted, many of the requests below don’t mean much to me. I’m certainly not an expert on FCC policy. But the list is pretty interesting, including requests for records on allegations that Hilton Hotels were jamming wifi (which they were), documents on Stingray cellphone spy devices
All of the requests below, submitted by journalists and citizens, were denied in full by the FCC. The reasons for their denial were not provided to Gizmodo. Some denials, like an email address list of everyone who subscribes to the FCC’s Daily Digest seem like an appropriate move to protect the privacy rights of private citizens. Other denials, like an Office of the Inspector General’s report requested by the Center for Investigative Reporting, seem like an unwarranted veil of secrecy around information to which the public should have access.
The complete unedited list is below. Let us know in the comments if you spy anything juicy we should follow up on. When it comes to FOIA requests it’s often just a game of patience, and Gizmodo has all day.
According to these vague, unlabeled charts retweeted by Donald Trump just minutes ago, we are at a record 4.4 in money printing.
I never thought I’d see the day.
The NBA’s defending champion Golden State Warriors survived two opponents this past Monday night. The first was the Oklahoma City Thunder, who nearly dethroned the Warriors before the champs won three straight games to stagger back into the NBA Finals. The second opponent was less formidable but just as obvious: backlash against the team that has been the darlings of basketball for two seasons.
The pseudonymous basketball writer Bethlehem Shoals articulated this feeling by wondering what it was about the relentless and punishing Thunder that all of a sudden made the magical Warriors feel... evil:
With the Warriors set to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the Finals tonight, Shoals elaborated on this thought in a GQ article that wonders how the Cavs’ LeBron James—once seen as sports’ evil incarnate—is likely to win in the court of public opinion even if his team likely loses on the court:
What makes these Finals so potentially riveting is that, for the time being, everything surrounding these two teams feels upside down and backward. Wilt Chamberlain’s “nobody roots for Goliath” should apply to LeBron James more than anyone else in the league, and yet somehow the Warriors have succeeded in making him the accessible one. Somehow the team that made everyone fall in love with basketball all over again has one that many now love to hate or have come to only grudgingly respect. Last year, LeBron earned plaudits even in defeat. This time around, once again—improbably—he could come out looking great even if his Cavs come up short. The Warriors, by contrast, could easily win the championship in such a way that still raises questions about their legitimacy.
Handwringing over the Warriors comes in various forms. Ex-NBA players think that the team’s style of play—which deemphasizes height and strength in favor of shooting skill and choreographed passing—would be easily neutralized if only they could be roughed up. Fans of other teams can point to loudmouth leader Draymond Green’s penchant for flailing his limbs in ways that just so happen to connect with his opponents’ most vulnerable body parts.
But recently neutral observers have tended to zero in on someone who never even puts on a uniform: Team co-owner Joe Lacob. Lacob made his money in venture capital, and he has the attendant grating worldview to prove it. A particular on-the-nose example of his politics is that his dogs, John Galt and Howard Roark, are named after two fictional characters created by Ayn Rand. There is also the nagging issue of a New York Times magazine article on the Warriors, in which Lacob attributed the success of his team not to the revolutionary skill of two-time MVP Steph Curry or the generational synergy he has with his teammates, but to Lacob’s own vision as a steward of the organization. Writes author Bruce Schoenfeld:
When I asked him about the previous night’s game, he could hardly contain himself. He boasted that the Warriors are playing in a far more sophisticated fashion than the rest of the league. “We’ve crushed them on the basketball court, and we’re going to for years because of the way we’ve built this team,” he said. But what really set the franchise apart, he said, was the way it operated as a business. “We’re light-years ahead of probably every other team in structure, in planning, in how we’re going to go about things,” he said. “We’re going to be a handful for the rest of the N.B.A. to deal with for a long time.”
Lacob’s specific brand of exceptionalism made for easy schadenfreude when the Thunder had the Warriors on the rope last week. A common sentiment is captured in this tweet by ESPN’s Dan Le Batard:
As Shoals argues, few tears will be shed if the Warriors—who broke the NBA’s record for most wins in a season—are upset by the Cavs. But if you’re the type of person whose allegiances within sports can be swayed by who ultimately profits off of a team’s success, consider Lacob’s counterpart, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.
Gilbert has gotten rich off of Quicken Loans, one of the largest mortgage lending companies in America. But, as you could imagine, there’s no real ethical way to become a billionaire in the lending market. Last year, Quicken Loans was sued by the Department of Justice for engaging in a systemic scheme to rip off the Federal Housing Administration by pressuring appraisers to inflate the values of homes that were too broken-down to qualify for FHA mortgages. Via the New York Times:
The Justice Department contends that from September 2007 through December 2011, Quicken knowingly submitted claims — or caused the submission of claims — on hundreds of bad loans, and encouraged an underwriting process in which employees disregarded the program rules and falsely certified that loans met the requirements.
The F.H.A. — which allows borrowers to make down payments of as little as 3.5 percent — has already paid millions of dollars in insurance claims on the improperly underwritten loans, according to the complaint; it said many additional loans had become at least 60 days delinquent and could result in further claims.
But Gilbert has not just ripped off the federal government. There are human victims, too. A 2011 story by the Center for Public Integrity focuses on predatory lending practices employed by Quicken Loans:
Lawsuits from borrowers and ex-employees claim Quicken’s day-to-day tactics are at odds with its squeaky clean image. They accuse the company of using high-pressure salesmanship to target elderly and vulnerable homeowners, as well as misleading borrowers about their loans, and falsifying property appraisals and other information to push through bad deals.
Last February, a state court judge in West Virginia found that Detroit-based Quicken had committed fraud against a homeowner by misleading her about the details of her loan, charging excessive fees, and using an appraisal that exaggerated the value of her home by nearly 300 percent. The judge called the lender’s conduct “unconscionable.”
A lawsuit filed in Detroit, where Quicken Loans is based, alleged the following:
A group of ex-employees, meanwhile, have gone to federal court to accuse Quicken of abusing workers and customers alike. In court papers, former salespeople claim Quicken executives managed by bullying and intimidation, pressuring them to falsify borrowers’ incomes on loan applications and to push overpriced deals on desperate or unwary homeowners.
Managers urged salespeople to boost their commissions by “locking the customer into a higher interest rate, even if they qualified for a lower rate, and rolling hidden fees into the loan,” Michael Pikora, a former loan salesman, said in a sworn statement in a lawsuit involving hundreds of ex-employees who contend Quicken forced them to work unpaid overtime.
Naming your dogs after Ayn Rand characters is bad, but it ain’t that bad.
More reasons to root against Dan Gilbert:
A military vehicle in Fort Hood, Texas, overturned at a flooded crossing on Thursday, killing three soldiers and leaving another six missing. Three other soldiers were successfully rescued and are in stable condition, KXAN reports.
Authorities say that military, state and local rescue agencies are currently searching for the soldiers who went missing in the region recently hit by heavy storms. From Weather.com:
A new round of severe thunderstorms drenched southeast Texas that morning, forcing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to declared a state of disaster across 31 counties.
At least two dozen streets were closed, including a stretch of Interstate 35 in San Antonio early Thursday. At least two high water rescues were conducted, one near Lackland Air Force Base, according to the National Weather Service.
Heavy rain was falling at a rate of up to 3 inches per hour, said weather.com meteorologist Jonathan Erdman, leading to more flash flooding.
In addition to the soldiers, at least seven other people have died since flooding began in the Plains states last week.
“It’s pretty serious around here right now,” a Fort Hood spokesperson told Buzzfeed News. “Everybody here is doing the best they can to piece together what happened.”