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    Donald Trump Trashed Paul Ryan's Trade Deal in Front of a Wall of Garbage
    Video still: YouTube/Right Side Broadcasting

    On Tuesday, Donald Trump delivered a policy speech on trade during a campaign stop at Alumisource, a metal processing facility in Monessen, Pennsylvania.

    Throughout the speech, Trump slammed the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “I am going to withdraw the United Straights from the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” he declared. He emphasized that the agreement unfairly benefits China, which is an odd claim to make, given that China is not actually part of the TPP.

    More important than Trump’s incoherent policy positions is the backdrop in front of which the presumptive nominee delivered his speech. Take a look:

    Donald Trump Trashed Paul Ryan's Trade Deal in Front of a Wall of Garbage
    Donald Trump Trashed Paul Ryan's Trade Deal in Front of a Wall of Garbage
    Donald Trump Trashed Paul Ryan's Trade Deal in Front of a Wall of Garbage
    Donald Trump Trashed Paul Ryan's Trade Deal in Front of a Wall of Garbage

    Pretty cool! “We provide raw material inputs to the aluminum industry in the form of custom shredded and blended aluminum scrap,” Alumisource’s website reads. “Through careful sourcing, inspection and processing, we are able to provide a unique aluminum scrap alternative that can be used as feedstock in either reverb or rotary furnaces.”

    Just goes to show that America doesn’t need the TPP to provide a unique aluminum scrap alternative that can be used as feedstock in either reverb or rotary furnaces.

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    All the Greedy Young Abigail Fishers and Me 

    Years ago, I helped Abigail Fishers get into college in Texas. That was my job: I “tutored” entitled teenagers through the application process. Specifically, and ominously for my later life, I taught them to write a convincing personal essay—a task that generally requires identifying some insight, usually gained over some period of growth. And growth often depends on hardship, a thing that none of these 18-year-olds had experienced in a structural sense over the course of their white young lives. Because of the significant disconnect involved in this premise, I always ended up rewriting their essays in the end.

    My students were white, and without exception. Their parents were paying me $450 per session, and this was Houston; of course they were white. The means were the essays, and the end was the assurance that the benefits of whiteness would continue to vest themselves even as Texas demographics and UT admissions practices began to put their lovely families in a bind.

    Texas parents—as ability permits, and like parents throughout the country—pay good money to live in good school zones. These schools are “good” in a double and mutually reinforcing sense: they are academically vibrant, supportive, and competitive; they also draw from a wealthy population, which means most of the students are white. As Abigail Fisher’s case, a.k.a. Becky With the Bad Grades v. UT Austin, reminded us: the top 7 percent (formerly 10 percent) at all Texas high schools get admitted to UT’s flagship campus automatically. This means that a second-rate student at a first-rate school, a.k.a. an Abigail Fisher, does not automatically get in. This means that a portion of white kids don’t get the educational success those property taxes were supposed to pay for. The 10 percent policy is implicit discrimination against “good schools,” the party line goes.

    Most of the UT student body gets in through the Top 10 rule. The rest—approximately 8 percent, the year Fisher applied—are admitted through a holistic evaluation process, which takes into account things like extracurriculars, leadership, personal essays (thus the $450), and race. This is the part of UT admissions policy that Fisher’s case was challenging. Note that it was easier for her (or the anti-affirmative-action zealot who bankrolled her) to take a margin of UT admissions to the Supreme Court than to envision a version of justice in which she had, along with 92 percent of admitted students, straight-up earned her way in.

    Because UT Austin is a terrific place—the rare kind of school that radiates both capaciousness and prestige—it is the top choice for many Texas high school students, and its unique admissions policy carries a lot of weight. It is discussed ad nauseam during application season; however, the reasoning behind this policy—behind the 10 percent rule, behind affirmative action—is not. I figured that part out only after I left the state and saw how much about my previous surroundings had been determined by the fact that rich white people can still game the system simply by living—that they are still reaping the benefits of centuries of preferential access to everything that sets a person up for success.

    Today, certain measures have been enacted to level the playing field. But, as the Abigails among us can’t seem to admit, the mere existence of these measures does not mean that the need for them has expired. White people remain uniquely able, in a monetary sense, to game the system. For a summer, at $150 an hour, I was paid to help.

    And I did. The kids were sweet, and I knew how to elicit and identify whatever topic would make their voice speed up when they talked about it. We wrote about canoes capsizing at summer camp, about football injuries, about girlfriends freezing us out at youth group. For the most part, they got in where they wanted, and I worked a leisurely three hours a day, helping them cheat.

    I’ve had a lot of relatively demeaning jobs in my life. I never thought I deserved better than any of them—first because I didn’t, and second, because a sense of entitlement means nothing without capital to back it up. I’ve waitressed in short shorts and cowboy boots. I’ve street-canvassed for recycling. When I was 16, I was paid minimum wage to participate in a reality TV show in Puerto Rico that included challenges like eating mayonnaise on camera with my hands tied behind my back.

    This job—writing college essays for Abigail Fishers—was the only job I have ever been truly ashamed of, and I am so ashamed of it now that it hurts. I did it, too, for a particularly embarrassing reason: because it paid so well that I could keep my earning hours to a minimum, and for four months spend most of my time writing fiction so I could get into an MFA program. Once I did get in, my boyfriend started looking at me reproachfully when he came home from work and saw me sending invoices. “Stop doing this,” he said flatly, in the late afternoon one day.

    The first time Abigail Fisher filed a Supreme Court case because she didn’t get into college, she was 18 and reaching. She had a 3.59 GPA, an 1180 SAT score. She had not cracked her high school’s top 10 percent, and so, by the book, she did not qualify for guaranteed admission to UT. But she deserved admission nonetheless, she believed, and primarily—it appears—because she wanted it. She had “dreamt of going to UT ever since the second grade,” she said, in a 2012 video. Her dad had gone there, and so had her sister, and so had “tons” of friends and family. “It was a tradition I wanted to continue,” she said. For Fisher, basic competence and a powerful sense of unexamined entitlement was admissions criteria enough.

    Fisher’s temperament—this exact sort of greedy placidity—made her an ideal figurehead for Edward Blum, the University of Texas graduate (’73, hook ’em!) who is bankrolling her case. Blum, who is white, runs an organization called the Project on Fair Representation, which takes on the noble work of arranging legal representation to fight race-based policies aimed at combating inequity. Blum took the underlying, incorrect instinct that is latent in people like Fisher and turned it into the basis of a court case: Fisher went from a tautological belief (“I deserve to be admitted because I deserve to be admitted”) to a frankly insane one—that she deserved admission because she’d been discriminated against, and specifically, discriminated against for being white.

    From the above YouTube video:

    There were people in my class with lower grades who weren’t in all the activities I was in, who were being accepted into UT, and the only other difference between us was the color of our skin. [...] I was taught from the time I was a little girl that any kind of discrimination was wrong. For an institution of higher learning to act this way makes no sense to me. What kind of example does it set for others? [...] A good start to stopping discrimination would be getting rid of the boxes on applications—male, female, race, whatever.

    This is that familiar type of “I don’t care whether you’re black, white, blue or spotted” language that’s generally associated with the type of person who has only ever thought of race as something (1) bad that (2) belongs to other people, and has just now realized that her own race can be named. It is also, essentially, what Justice Roberts wrote in 2007, in his claim that the days of race being constitutionally relevant are behind us: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

    But, while Fisher’s Supreme Court case was about race, her actual admissions case was barely. The fact of the matter was that she simply did not have the grades. Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote in ProPublica in 2013: “University officials claim in court filings that even if Fisher received points for her race and every other personal achievement factor, the letter she received in the mail still would have said no.”

    It’s true that the university, for whatever reason, offered provisional admission to some students with lower test scores and grades than Fisher. Five of those students were black or Latino. Forty-two were white.

    Neither Fisher nor Blum mentioned those 42 applicants in interviews. Nor did they acknowledge the 168 black and Latino students with grades as good as or better than Fisher’s who were also denied entry into the university that year. Also left unsaid is the fact that Fisher turned down a standard UT offer under which she could have gone to the university her sophomore year if she earned a 3.2 GPA at another Texas university school in her freshman year.

    That last detail, to me—like all of this—feels damning and familiar. Again: Fisher could have gone to UT Austin if she’d just waited out a year at another UT campus. But to a certain type of person in Texas, this is a possibility as shameful as rehab. It’s for people who have not maintained the advantage that was given them, or for people who never had that advantage in the first place. Trashy people, lots of non-whites. There’s no Greek scene to speak of at UT Permian Basin or what have you, anyway.

    UT Permian Basin, by the way, is 43 percent Hispanic, where UT Austin is 22 percent Hispanic; UT Dallas is 24 percent international, where UT Austin is 5 percent international; UT Arlington is 15 percent black, where UT Austin is 5 percent black. There is a reason that Fisher didn’t want to go elsewhere and transfer back in. Texas is segregated; its schools are segregated; this segregation extends to the UT system. Those other schools are worse, academically, than Austin, and they are way less full of white people, and those two facts are one and the same.

    And so the UT Austin admissions policy is essential. It’s not perfect—the 10 percent rule is unduly tough on kids in small-town public schools who graduate in a class of 20, for example—but it nonetheless does a good job of adding some structural decency to a public educational system that functions quite well for wealthy white people and much worse for everyone else. The school knows from recent experience that, if you remove the ability to correct for and consider structural inequality, you will immediately increase it: in 1996, the ability to take race into account in Texas state school admissions was removed by Hopwood v. Texas, and black admissions to UT Austin fell by 40 percent. (Hopwood was effectively overturned by the Supreme Court’s Michigan decision in 2003.)

    The 10 percent rule was created as a correction after Hopwood, and it worked, but only to a point. Minority admissions increased, and then they stopped increasing. The 10 percent rule, remember, is “race-neutral.” As a diversity practice, it is necessarily incomplete. In a Supreme Court ruling on UC Davis in 1971, Justice Blackmun wrote:

    I suspect that it would be impossible to arrange an affirmative action program in a racially neutral way and have it successful. To ask that this be so is to demand the impossible. In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently. We cannot—we dare not—let the Equal Protection Clause perpetuate racial supremacy.

    This is why, after the 2003 Supreme Court ruling, UT started considering race for the students admitted outside the top 10 percent. And, because so many of the automatically admitted students go elsewhere, this policy affects more of the matriculating population than it does the population the school admits. NPR wrote: “In 2008 when Fisher applied, 20 percent of the incoming class was admitted under the ‘holistic’ admission plan that could consider race. According to the university, that 20 percent is essential to the student body as a whole.”

    How can Abigail Fisher and her dream school hold such diametrically opposed opinions? The difference comes down to a very old question about whether a person is obligated to do anything to right an injustice that they did not personally commit. I would argue, as you might expect, that we are obligated to do so. Nikole Hannah-Jones put it elegantly for the New York Times Magazine: “True integration, true equality, requires a surrendering of advantage,” she wrote.

    The trouble is that it is often up to white people to demonstrate this, because they have so much more advantage to surrender; the further trouble is that there are so many Abigail Fishers out there, who not only refuse to surrender advantage but refuse to understand that they have it in the first place, who often then—magnificently—go so far as to say they are being disadvantaged whenever their race is accounted for and named.

    I always forget, too, that there’s a line of argument, as referenced by Alito in Becky v. UT Austin, contending that race-based admissions policies hurt Asian students. I was aware of this idea in high school, even as people around me told me (not that I asked) that affirmative action would get me in everywhere I applied. And I didn’t get in everywhere; I got rejected by Harvard, for example—a school that has recently been sued by Asian-American students for “illegally” capping Asian-American admissions. That lawsuit was funded by none other than Edward Blum, and tellingly, it was disowned by many Asian students on campus. Maybe they didn’t want to be associated with insecure white racists. Maybe they, like me, were fine with the hypothetical idea of losing out due to a quota that was never about them. And there, dear Abby, is the real way non-whiteness gives you the advantage: you gain the moral clarity that comes from having less to lose.

    To be against affirmative action, you have to be some combination of dumb, selfish, or deeply indoctrinated. (A personal favorite of mine is the “I don’t want black students hearing [exclusively from people like me] that they only got in because of affirmative action” argument.) What Abigail Fisher was fighting against is the idea that a public college might want to note that a student is black or Hispanic in Texas, a state where the governor was actively opposed to desegregation during the civil rights movement, where the structure of financing public school systems was ruled racially discriminatory by a State Supreme Court decision as late as 1989. She was fighting against the idea that a college might then extrapolate the logical conclusion that, perhaps, that black or Hispanic kid, almost surely coming from a worse school district than the white person whose application showed the same academic statistics, might have possibly had to work a little bit harder than her equivalent Abigail Fisher.

    That, to Abigail Fisher—because she worked hard and is a nice white person whose parents have always had burnt-orange Longhorn pot holders hanging on the grill in their nice neighborhood with nice schools made possible by nice FHA policies that made possible a life in 2016 in which “diversity” could seem like a value that would hurt white people rather than assuage whatever it is in their soul that makes them this way—is wrong. Some proof that American discrimination is still quite high-functioning is available in the fact that Abigail Fisher went to the Supreme Court with an idea of the concept that centrally applied to her.

    I have heard so many Abigails tell me that UT’s policy is reverse racism. I sat across from white girls in oversized T-shirts, white boys in basketball shorts, sweet kids with good hearts and sleep still in their eyes, who told me—either very nicely or very snidely, never anything in between—that it was harder for white people to get into college now than anyone else, because of affirmative action. They said this as their parents wrote me $450 checks to “edit” their essays. They said this to me, the living proof that there is still so much to be compensated for—the minority literally paid to help get them into school.

    That 1989 Texas State Supreme Court decision, Edgewood v. Kirby, gave rise to legislation that was informally called the Robin Hood plan, in which some property tax revenue from wealthy, white school districts would be redistributed to poorer, non-white school districts. (That plan was revised in 2005, to our detriment.) And at the time I was writing essays for Abigail Fishers, this scheme—a Robin Hood scenario—is sometimes how I thought about what I was doing. I was fleecing the rich, and giving to the poor, by which I meant myself, fresh out of Peace Corps with an empty bank account. I had tried to do good and had lost my understanding of what good was; I deserved to get away with something, I think I had come to believe.

    It took me until some time later to realize what is so obvious to me now, why my boyfriend hated my job so much, which was that I was the one letting the Abigails get away with everything. That I was feeding and affirming and making possible the entitlement of mediocre white high schoolers, many of whom believed themselves to be facing structural discrimination, and needed to hire a ghostwriter to stay on top. Luckily, they could afford to. Luckily, I liked them when they weren’t talking about affirmative action. Luckily, we all made out just fine in the end.

    We were all lucky, weren’t we? In 2005, I applied to college—not in the Philippines or Canada, where my parents had gone, but in America. I was salutatorian at my high school; I had perfect SATs. I was a cheerleader, the editor of our yearbook, cast in every musical, an officer in every club. And still, when I got into colleges, I felt lucky. I never felt like I’d simply gotten what I deserved.

    In fact I still don’t know what it would be like to feel automatically deserving of something, to have enough of a claim on advantage to give a fuck about giving it up. I have never had a case for any sort of admission, not even when I was a selfish high schooler, not even when it came to the 10 percent rule, because even when I opened my Texas acceptance letter I knew some Abigail Fisher would think that if anyone was coasting on race here, it was me. How the legacy of inequity took hold of me internally even as I clawed through it with a sunny disposition was not obvious to me then, or in college, or after I graduated, on a hot summer where I needed money and I couldn’t ask my parents and I felt lucky—lucky—to be helping Abigail Fishers cheat.

    Illustration by Jim Cooke

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    Barack--Don't Be So Boring!!!
    Photo: Getty

    This month’s Businessweek interview with Barack Obama had a lot of insight into the president’s thinking. Not all of it was encouraging.

    BW: What industries would you think about going into?

    [Obama]: Well, you know, it’s hard to say. But what I will say is that—just to bring things full circle about innovation—the conversations I have with Silicon Valley and with venture capital pull together my interests in science and organization in a way I find really satisfying. You know, you think about something like precision medicine: the work we’ve done to try to build off of breakthroughs in the human genome; the fact that now you can have your personal genome mapped for a thousand bucks instead of $100,000; and the potential for us to identify what your tendencies are, and to sculpt medicines that are uniquely effective for you. That’s just an example of something I can sit and listen and talk to folks for hours about.

    Barack you could own a basketball team WHILE being on the Supreme Court. What the hell is wrong with you man.

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    Update: 41 Dead, 239 Wounded After Suicide Bombers Detonate Explosives At Istanbul Airport
    Image: AP

    41 people are dead and another 239 were injured after two explosions hit Ataturk airport in Istanbul on Tuesday night, according to the city’s governor Vasip Şahin.

    Reports in the initial wake of the bombings stated that the airport was hit by two attackers, but that number was updated to three as the investigation continued through the night. According to the New York Times, the incident began just before 10 p.m. when two attackers opened fire at a security checkpoint at the entrance of the airport. Per BuzzFeed, the two engaged in a firefight with security officers as they entered the airport terminal before detonating their explosives. Meanwhile, another attacker set of his bomb in an airport parking lot.

    Security camera footage from inside the Ataturk airport captured the two explosions inside the terminal. The first shows one of the attackers in a firefight with police and then detonating his explosives; the second shows a large fireball erupting in a crowded terminal. Warning: both are very graphic and show people dying:

    Though no terror group has yet to claim responsibility for the attack, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told press that the bombings were carried out by ISIS.

    On Monday, the U.S. State Department updated its travel warning regarding Turkey, stating in part that “the U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey and to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey.”

    Images from the scene show extensive damage both inside and outside the airport:

    Update: 41 Dead, 239 Wounded After Suicide Bombers Detonate Explosives At Istanbul Airport
    Update: 41 Dead, 239 Wounded After Suicide Bombers Detonate Explosives At Istanbul Airport
    Update: 41 Dead, 239 Wounded After Suicide Bombers Detonate Explosives At Istanbul Airport

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    Some smart people have figured out a novel way to steal data from computers that have never been connected to the internet, by manipulating the speed of their cooling fans to emit a kind of morse code. It requires that both your laptop and phone be preloaded with malware in order to work, but still. Nothing is safe.

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    Where Are They Hiding Donald Trump's Phone?

    Earlier today, we noticed that Donald Trump had gone uncharacteristically silent on Twitter, a phenomenon that just so happened to coincide with the hiring of his new communications adviser. Now, though, Donald Trump’s Twitter account is back and tweeting up a storm. No one tell Donald Trump.

    Judging by the four original tweets that have appeared since Trump went dark, someone from his new team has grabbed hold of the reins. Because not only were they sent from a browser (Trump’s prior tweets have almost all been sent from mobile devices), but they’re just a little too coherent to be pure, unadulterated Trump.

    Imagine Donald Trump saying the words “she is ill-fit with bad judgement.” You can’t. This is our brave new world of generic, off-brand Trump Twitter.

    Here, the tweet is far too emotionally manipulative and complex to have come from Trump’s own furious baby fingers. Saying that it “never seems to work the way it’s supposed to” is a performance of sadness. The Trump we know instead just tells you: “Sad!”

    In the tweet above, Trump speaks of “terrorism” in the abstract, which obscures who he’s actually talking about.

    And last but perhaps most damning of all:

    So sad.

    Buddy. Our furious, red-faced presumptive Republican nominee is not “so sad.” Donald Trump is “sad!” Or “very sad!” Or in the most dire of circumstances, “SAD!” So while @RealDonaldTrump may be back, the real Donald Trump is more likely in a room somewhere, tearing up golden couch cushions and screaming at aides to help him find his phone.

    Meanwhile, his new communications adviser Jason Miller whistles casually in the corner. “You try calling it yet, Donald? Maybe you should try calling it.”

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    Trump Fundraising Email Asks Voters to "Indict" Clinton (Give Him Money)

    On Tuesday, the Trump campaign fired off an email with the provocative subject line “Have you heard about the Hillary indictment?” asking potential donors to help (figuratively) “indict Clinton” and “find her guilty of all charges” (i.e. not elect her president).

    With a series of buttons soliciting donations “to indict,” one might mistakenly assume that Trump was promising to somehow charge his opponent with a crime. The fine print, however, makes it clear that the email is talking about a symbolic conviction in the greatest court of all: The hearts and minds of the American people.

    From Conservative Patriot:

    Every Election Day, politicians stand trial before the people.

    The voters are the jury. Their ballots are the verdict.

    And, on November 8th, the American people will finally have the chance to do what the authorities have been too afraid to do over these last 2 decades: INDICT HILLARY CLINTON AND FIND HER GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES.

    But why stop there? As long as Clinton’s upcoming trial is strictly metaphorical, Trump might as well ask conservatives to help banish his rival to the Phantom Zone.

    Trump Fundraising Email Asks Voters to "Indict" Clinton (Give Him Money)

    [h/t Zeke Miller/Tim Dickinson]

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    Brexit Ousts Donald Trump As The Most Deadly Disease In Plague Inc
    Image source.

    The people have spoken. According to players of global extinction disease game Plague Inc, Brexit is now deadlier than Donald Trump and his distant third place rival, Death.

    In Plague Inc, you name a disease and then spread it across the planet. You win when nobody’s left standing. It’s pretty grim, but you can do things like name your disease “farts,” “memes,” or “George R.R. Martin” to lighten the mood.

    Or you can stare into the hollow eye sockets of oblivion and laugh spasmodically until your neighbors have you committed. Case in point:

    Brexit, for the uninitiated, is the latest glob of unfathomable garbage to latch onto renowned runaway trashball year 2016. Britain recently voted to exit the European Union, causing everything from widespread financial fallout, to chaos and uncertainty in the European Union, to renewed racism across Britain and abroad as a result of the Leave campaign’s ugly anti-immigration sentiment. It’s also forced an unprecedented number of people to look at the dead-eyed amalgam of a deflated volleyball and a wig made of bird nests (and held together by bird shit) otherwise known as Boris Johnson’s face.

    Unsurprisingly, former most popular Plague Inc disease Donald Trump is a big fan of Brexit.

    Perhaps, though, all hope is not lost:

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    Report: Trump Camp Invites Convicted Rapist Mike Tyson to GOP Convention
    Photo: AP

    According to Bloomberg, Donald Trump’s advisors are currently working to get former heavyweight champion and current registered sex offender Mike Tyson to appear at next month’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

    Citing unnamed sources familiar with the plan, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that the Trump campaign is lining up a veritable who’s who of unhinged sports icons to attend the event, including Bobby Knight, Mike Ditka and Tyson, who was convicting of raping 18-year-old Miss Black Rhode Island Desiree Washington in 1992:

    The sports stars’ specific roles at the convention have not yet been finalized, and it is unclear whether they will speak on stage to delegates and television cameras. Representatives of those lined up to appear did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Trump has said on the campaign trail that he wants the event to be a gathering of “winners”—and not politicians, like at past conventions. “We’re going to do it a little different, if that’s OK,” he said in Virginia earlier this month. “I’m thinking about getting some of the great sports people who like me a lot.”

    Since the early ‘90s, Trump has repeatedly questioned Tyson’s guilt, once telling New York magazine the boxer claimed Washington “wanted it real bad.” In April, Trump celebrated Tyson’s endorsement, saying, “I love it. He sent out a tweet. Mike. Iron Mike.”

    “You know, all the tough guys endorse me,” Trump told a crowd in Indianapolis, the city where Tyson committed the rape. “I like that, OK?”

    UPDATE 11:15 P.M.: Tuesday night, Donald Trump denied that Tyson was “asked to speak” at the convention, but said he was “sure he would do a good job if he was.” Notably, this does not directly refute the original Bloomberg report, which stated that Trump aides were “lining up” Tyson to “appear” at the convention.

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    Turkish Prime Minister Says Early Signs "Point to ISIS" in Istanbul Airport Attack
    Photo: AP

    Speaking to reporters at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, the site of a series of deadly explosions Tuesday night, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that initial findings suggest ISIS was behind the attack.So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the bombings, CNN reports.

    “According to analyses by our security forces, first indications point at Daesh as perpetrators,” said Yildirim, using another name for ISIS, according to Bloomberg. “What is noteworthy is that this attack came at a time when our country is putting up a merciless fight against separatist terrorism and recording significant success.”

    Additionally, Yildirim updated the current death toll to 36 and said that three suicide bombers were involved in the terror attack witnesses described as a chaotic, bloody scene. From Al Jazeera:

    The attackers opened fire at airport guards at the terminal entrance, and a shootout erupted before they blew themselves up one by one at around 10pm, authorities said.

    Security camera footage circulated on social media appeared to capture two of the blasts. In one clip a huge ball of flame erupts at an entrance to the terminal building, scattering terrified passengers.

    Another video shows a black-clad attacker running inside the building before collapsing to the ground - apparently felled by a police bullet - and blowing himself up.

    “We came right to international departures and saw the man randomly shooting,” eyewitness Paul Roos told Reuters. “He was just firing at anyone coming in front of him. He was wearing all black. His face was not masked. I was 50 meters away from him.”

    “He turned around and started coming toward us. He was holding his gun inside his jacket. He looked around anxiously to see if anyone was going to stop him and then went down the escalator ... We heard some more gunfire and then another explosion, and then it was over.”

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    During an otherwise routine critique of Donald Trump’s growing ties with establishment Republicans, libertarian radio host Alex Jones took a moment on Tuesday to read a passage from his darkest Lord of the Rings slash fic, voicing concerns about his new BFF “kissing goblins.”

    “I never expected Trump charging into a goblin’s nest to not get some goblin vomit and schlop and blood on him,” said Jones. “I just don’t want to catch him in bed with a goblin. But if he’s in there rolling around hacking ‘em up and he’s got a goblin guide, y’know, taking him into the cave, I’m not expecting him to not get dirty, especially up to his ankles.”

    “I don’t wanna see him kissing goblins, having political succubus with goblins,” Jones added.

    Fair enough!

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  • 06/29/16--04:30: 131 Days and a Wake Up
  • 131 Days and a Wake Up
    Donald Trump supporters gather at Ohio University Eastern Campus ahead of a rally on Tuesday. Photo: AP

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    Hillary Clinton Meets With the Influencers Who Will Deliver Her the Youth Vote
    Photo: AP

    On Tuesday, Variety reports, Hillary Clinton attended a town hall event in Hollywood with a group of digital content creators, influencers, and YouTube personalities as part of her effort to charm younger voters, many of whom voted for her rival Bernie Sanders in the primary.

    Clinton’s schedule Tuesday also included a fundraiser at Sean Parker’s house and a $33,400 per couple dinner benefiting the Hillary Victory Fund.

    According to People, the town hall discussion, which was curated by BeautyCon, included YouTubers like Jordyn Woods, Whitney White, and someone called Swoozie. White, a YouTuber, asked Clinton how she intends to earn back the trust of African-American voters leery of her early ‘90s “superpredator” comments and her advocacy for the proliferation of the modern carceral state.

    “What are your concrete plans to win back the trust of Black America?” White asked, as quoted by People. “As you know, and respectfully, have been involved in systematically racism is a real problem.”

    “I certainly understand and even agree with what you said about the perpetuation of systemic racism,” Clinton said. “I have spoken out about that. I have addressed it. I also was very honored to receive a huge percentage of the vote of the African-Americans in the primary and I am grateful for that because so many people know of my history. I don’t always talk about it, so I’m not surprised that younger people don’t.” She added: “I am more than open to an receptive to dealing with the systemic problems that are in root of injustice, disunity, and inequality in our country.”

    Later, everyone took a selfie.

    “This could be better than the Oscars,” Clinton said, hiply. “We have to send it to Ellen and tell her what we’ve done here!”

    The CEO of BeautyCon, Moj Mahdara, told Variety that the issues influencers care about are probably different than those other voting blocks are concerned with.

    “The way those issues are experienced are just changed now,” she said. “For us it is so visceral. You see it on Instagram and social media….This is an audience that understands their life to be an ‘on-demand’ experience, so I think politics has not necessarily caught up to this generation in the sense that politics is not ‘on demand.’ You see it takes many many years to pass laws in the legislature, but this audience is just coming to terms with what our government looks and feels like.”

    She thought that Clinton did well in addressing some of the issues. “I think they were learning from her, but I think she was also learning from them.”

    One can only hope.

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    Poll: Everybody's Racist but Donald Trump Supporters Are Especially Racist
    Photo: AP

    A new poll, conducted between March and June by Reuters/Ipsos, lends further credence to the idea that white Republicans are completely delusional about race—that is to say, racist.

    The survey posed 21 questions on attitudes towards race to 16,000 Americans, including supporters of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. Ted Cruz and John Kasich supporters were also surveyed, before their candidates dropped out of the presidential race.

    Poll: Everybody's Racist but Donald Trump Supporters Are Especially Racist

    According to Reuters, nearly half of Trump’s supporters described African Americans as more “violent” and more “criminal” than whites, while 40 percent described them as being more “lazy.”

    Only 36 percent of Trump supporters agreed with the statement, “I prefer to live in a community with people who come from diverse cultures,” compared to 46 percent of Cruz supporters, 55 percent of Kasich supporters and 70 percent of Clinton supporters.

    About 31 percent of Trump supporters said they “strongly agree” that “social policies, such as affirmative action, discriminate unfairly against white people,” compared with 16 percent of Clinton supporters.

    That’s still an uncomfortably high proportion, though! As is the one-third of Clinton supporters who described black Americans as more “violent” and “criminal” than whites, and the one-quarter who described them as more “lazy.”

    Meanwhile, 22 percent of Clinton supporters (nearly a quarter) thought white Americans were more intelligent than black Americans and 30 percent thought whites have better manners than blacks—compared to 32 percent and 42 percent of Trump supporters, respectively.

    So. It could be worse.

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    Can Acronyms Save Masculinity? 
    Photo: Flickr

    “Men,” the less popular version of women, have shorter life spans, more violent tendencies, and less academic success. Are acronyms the solution to our national masculinity crisis?

    Inside Higher Ed reports on the efforts of various colleges and universities to create programs that have goals such as helping men discover what “authentic masculinity” is, which is a very “colleges and universities” sort of undertaking, if you know what I mean. Nowhere is embracing this cause with more fervor than the University of Redlands, where the “Men’s Retention Committee” is hard at work:

    Using the budget usually reserved for the committee, they created a program called Dudes Understanding Diversity and Ending Stereotypes, or DUDES.

    But will one acronym be enough?

    DUDES also operates a leadership institute called Men Achieving Leadership Excellence and Success, or MALES.

    The leadership institute’s subcommittee, Brothers Allied to Learn Life Successfully, recommends creating a specialized program, Progressive Excellence Needs Institutional Support. That will in turn produce a platform for change, Diversity Is Coherent Knowledge Helping Every Action Demand Solutions.

    Together we will get this problem licked.

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    Nick Pinto at the Village Voice takes a look at the history of broken windows policing in NYC, and the implications of a report that called the efficacy of the NYPD’s governing philosophy into serious question. The question, he writes, “is whether the mayor and City Council are prepared to rise to the occasion.”

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    Florida Man Sues Apple for $10 Billion, Says He Invented the iPhone in 1992

    Florida man Thomas Ross believes that he divined the future of human communication 15 years before Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. Ross scribbled together a patent application for a device back in 1992 and now claims that Apple stole his design. Now, the Florida man is suing Apple for over $10 billion.

    Florida Man Sues Apple for $10 Billion, Says He Invented the iPhone in 1992

    Okay so this thing doesn’t even look like an iPhone besides the fact that it’s rectangular and has a screen. The Frankenstein of a device is also just a kitchen sink of every possible thing you could think to put in a handheld gadget in 1992, like a cell antenna, MS-DOS, solar cells (!), and a 3.5-inch diskette drive (!!!). It even has a physical keyboard. One of the iPhone’s biggest innovations, mind you, is the fact that it doesn’t have a keyboard. Ross didn’t even bother to use a straight edge when drawing his design, so it’s a complete mess of tech that no one in their right mind would build in 1992 or ever.

    A proto-Kindle? Maybe. The Apple Newton? You’re getting warmer. But not an iPhone. Not even close.

    There’s the tiny problem of these patents not actually being patents anymore, since the plaintiff failed pay the appropriate registration fees. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office declared the application “abandoned” in 1995. Regardless, Ross is asking for $10 BILLION in damages plus 1.5 percent royalty on Apple’s sales, which comes out to about $3 or $4 billion a year.

    Good luck with that, Florida man.

    [MacRumors via The Telegraph]

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    Only Thing Keeping Ben Carson's Mom From Shooting You Is Her Alzheimer's
    Photo: AP

    Medically-trained sloth Ben Carson, who declared his support for Donald Trump because there was no one else to support, is back in the news with a tasteful little joke about his mother’s Alzheimer’s disease.

    Carson was a guest on the Brown and Scoop podcast when he volunteered that his mom would have probably shot a journalist or two, had she not been suffering from a devastating and irreversible disease. Via the Daily Beast:

    “My mother is still alive by the way,” Carson told the hosts, who’d asked about her in the past tense. “She has Alzheimer’s. She’s not really cognizant of that, which is a good thing because my mother is really a fighter. She probably would have taken a gun and gone out and shot some of the dishonest reporters.”

    We also heard from him last week, when a reporter asked Carson to complete the lyric-cum-meme, “If Young Metro don’t trust you.” The correct answer, as his mother no doubt knows, is “I’m gon’ shoot you.” Here’s what Ben Carson said: “Then you probably need to either become honest or be able to explain the reason for their doubts.”

    Glad he’s back.

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