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    What Happened to WikiLeaks? 
    Julian Assange

    WikiLeaks has hit rock bottom. Once dedicated to careful vetting and redaction—sometimes too much redaction—the “whistleblower site” is now gleefully basking in its dump of thousands of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee—most of which are full of personal, non-newsworthy information—published with the express intent of harming Hillary Clinton’s political campaign. In this latest release, there is no brave whistleblower in sight, just an anonymous hacker believed by the FBI and U.S. intelligence community to be a front for Russian intelligence services. The WikiLeaks project has fallen far from the lofty heights of its founding a decade ago, when Julian Assange promised to “facilitate safety in the ethical leaking movement.”

    Let’s get a couple of things out of the way: It’s a good thing that, thanks to the leak, the public now knows the extent to which the DNC tilted the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary. It’s also a good thing that former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to step down as a result of these revelations. The DNC had an obligation to stay neutral during the nominating process, and these emails show that the organization failed at that. Much of what has been reported on out of the hack was newsworthy.

    What isn’t good is that the documents released last week (19,252 emails and 8,034 attachments) were dumped in an extremely calculated manner by an organization that holds clear and obvious political motives. It’s also not good that these emails most likely came from hackers working with the Russian government in an attempt to influence the U.S. election. On top of that, WikiLeaks’ careless failure to vet the contents of what they were unleashing on the internet led to the dumping of credit card and social security numbers of individuals who had committed the crime of donating to the Democratic Party.

    It hasn’t always been this way. In 2010, when Wikileaks published 15,000 classified field reports from the U.S. war in Afghanistan, it delayed the release until it could properly redact and vet the documents. In the case of the DNC emails, it appears that WikiLeaks was more interested in timing the release for maximum political damage than in combing through the trove to ensure that what it was releasing met its own goal of publishing “materials involving war, spying and corruption.”

    The value in publishing the field reports, as well as the trove of State Department cables that WikiLeaks also obtained from Chelsea Manning, was in part the sheer volume of information: There were specific stories and details that were newsworthy, to be sure, but the bold act of tearing the cover of secrecy wholesale off of hundreds of thousands of official documents that were generated by a purportedly democratic government was breathtaking. They permitted global analysis of both our conduct of foreign policy and a largely undercovered war, and gave citizens a rare look inside the behaviors and thinking of officials who were acting in their name. At the time of those leaks, Assange described his vision as “scientific journalism”:

    I want to set up a new standard: ‘scientific journalism.’ If you publish a paper on DNA, you are required, by all the good biological journals, to submit the data that has informed your research—the idea being that people will replicate it, check it, verify it. So this is something that needs to be done for journalism as well. There is an immediate power imbalance, in that readers are unable to verify what they are being told, and that leads to abuse.

    But this DNC dump is a different animal, reeking of the sort of “information vandalism” that anti-secrecy activist Steven Aftergood has accused Assange of perpetrating. These emails were not official documents, they were not created by government employees. The logic of wholesale non-consensual transparency does not apply as cleanly to the email inboxes of political workers who do not act in the name of the citizenry. Yes, the DNC is a powerful institution, and yes, its internal machinations are newsworthy. But innocuous exchanges between DNC employees and their spouses or partners do not become evidence of corruption simply by virtue of their adjacency in a database to more substantive conversations about kneecapping Bernie Sanders. Nor do the Social Security numbers of Democratic donors—even the rich ones!—whose donations are already public in Federal Election Commission databases.

    It’s hard to explain this disregard. It could be some sort of ideological aversion to redacting even the most personal or pointless information. Or it could be a lack of manpower and time: Assange has never shied away from expressing his disdain for Hillary Clinton, and he certainly appears to have deliberately timed the release to maximally disrupt the proceedings of the DNC. It’s unclear how long he has had access to the data, but it could be that time ran out and he decided to publish and be damned. In any case, his failure to apply even his own “war, spying and corruption” to the release makes the whole thing look more like a personal vendetta than journalism, scientific or otherwise.

    When contacted for comment, a spokesperson for Julian Assange, the publisher and creator of WikiLeaks, referred Gizmodo to the WikiLeaks Twitter page and his interview with DemocracyNow.

    “Often it’s the case that we have to do a lot of exploration and marketing of the material we publish ourself to get a big political impact for it,” Assange told DemocracyNow. “But in this case we knew because of the impending DNC and the degree of interest in the U.S. election we didn’t need to establish partnerships with the New York Times or the Washington Post.”

    According to Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on Edward Snowden’s NSA documents, it is now harder than ever to defend WikiLeaks.

    “I used to defend WikiLeaks all the time on the grounds that they were not indiscriminate dumpers of information,” Greenwald told Slate. “They were carefully protecting people’s reputations. And they have changed their view on that—and no longer believe, as Julian says, in redacting any information of any kind for any reason—and I definitely do not agree with that approach and think that they can be harmful to innocent people or other individuals in ways that I don’t think is acceptable.”

    WikiLeaks was once a grand idea—a way to protect vulnerable sources while helping important information find its way to the public. Its successes changed the history of journalism. But the dream of scientific journalism has devolved into an egomaniacal campaign of attention-seeking, and a political war waged with documents Assange almost certainly received from Russian-backed hackers looking to influence the U.S. election.

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  • 07/29/16--12:18: Maybe This Is Bad?
  • Maybe This Is Bad?
    The DNC crowd: Getty

    During the final few nights of the Democratic National Convention, the politically-minded users of Twitter dot com noticed a phenomenon: Republican commentators openly lamenting that their party’s convention had been surpassed in the category of “patriotic fuckfest” by the Democratic party they had at one point successfully branded as only for anti-war pants-pissers.

    Vox explainered the shift after Barack Obama’s speech, and Talking Points Memo has a good round up from last night. The sentiment was expressed by people such as...

    The editor of the conservative National Review:

    Dick Cheney’s ex-press secretary:

    Ted Cruz’s ex-spokesperson:

    The Washington Post’s insane conservative woman:

    Et cetera.

    Democrats don’t seem too troubled by having this mantle fall in their laps. The convention crowd inside the arena last night seemed plenty riled up, drowning out the dying anti-war gasps of Bernie delegates with thunderous chants of “U-S-A,” as directed by the Clinton campaign itself.

    But perhaps it is bad when your convention doubles as Viagra for old Bush administration fanatics/employees. This is not the type of company the Democratic party has tended or wanted to keep, nor should it. The Bush administration is recognized by the broad left as a purely shameful period in this country’s history. That those who worked inside it, or celebrated said work from the outside, have even positive twinges of feeling about the direction of Democratic party should be openly alarming.

    Being gifted the opportunity to dress the party up in Bush era rhetoric may win Clinton some votes. But it’s pretty easy to see why “welcoming” dissatisfied faux-discerning conservatives into the party on the basis of “loving America” could push the Clinton administration—and by extension, the Democratic party—down a path it does not need to go, namely one in which full-throated patriotism is used as justification for the sort of needless war that costs the country billions of dollars. One such war—the one in Iraq—cost Clinton the Democratic nomination the first time around, and was used as a cudgel by Donald Trump in cleaning out the Republican party.

    On the other hand, I guess shit like this is pretty funny?

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    Jill Stein Thinks There Are 'Real Questions' About Vaccine Safety, in Case You Were Voting Green
    Image via AP.

    Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential candidate and also an actual medical doctor, doesn’t appear to be anti-vaccination. But she’s sort of anti-vaxxer adjacent, giving a series of mealy statements to the Washington Post and in a Reddit AMA about whether vaccines are safe. Jill: you don’t have to do this!

    It’s popular among a certain segment of establishment-wary liberals to say that it’s not that vaccines are unsafe, necessarily, but that the Food and Drug Administration oversees them. The FDA and other federal regulatory agencies can’t be fully trusted, that argument goes, and so vaccine safety is called into question.

    That’s where Stein— who is, again, a physician— appears to land. In a Reddit AMA two months ago, she objected to the concept of “mandatory” vaccines and talked about public distrust when asked about vaccination:

    According to the most recent review of vaccination policies across the globe, mandatory vaccination that doesn’t allow for medical exemptions is practically unheard of. In most countries, people trust their regulatory agencies and have very high rates of vaccination through voluntary programs. In the US, however, regulatory agencies are routinely packed with corporate lobbyists and CEOs. So the foxes are guarding the chicken coop as usual in the US. So who wouldn’t be skeptical? I think dropping vaccinations rates that can and must be fixed in order to get at the vaccination issue: the widespread distrust of the medical-indsutrial [sic] complex.

    But Stein did add, thank God, that vaccines “in general have made a huge contribution to public health:”

    Reducing or eliminating devastating diseases like small pox and polio. In Canada, where I happen to have some numbers, hundreds of annual death from measles and whooping cough were eliminated after vaccines were introduced. Still, vaccines should be treated like any medical procedure—each one needs to be tested and regulated by parties that do not have a financial interest in them. In an age when industry lobbyists and CEOs are routinely appointed to key regulatory positions through the notorious revolving door, its no wonder many Americans don’t trust the FDA to be an unbiased source of sound advice. A Monsanto lobbyists and CEO like Michael Taylor, former high-ranking DEA official, should not decide what food is safe for you to eat. Same goes for vaccines and pharmaceuticals. We need to take the corporate influence out of government so people will trust our health authorities, and the rest of the government for that matter. End the revolving door. Appoint qualified professionals without a financial interest in the product being regulated. Create public funding of elections to stop the buying of elections by corporations and the super-rich.

    For homeopathy, just because something is untested doesn’t mean it’s safe. By the same token, being “tested” and “reviewed” by agencies tied to big pharma and the chemical industry is also problematic. There’s a lot of snake-oil in this system. We need research and licensing boards that are protected from conflicts of interest. They should not be limited by arbitrary definitions of what is “natural” or not.

    The problem here is that vaccines have been routinely, repeatedly and rigorously tested by scientists who don’t have ties to big pharma or the “medical-industrial complex.” And public distrust about vaccines here is laced with factually wrong beliefs, like the one about vaccines causing autism. Also, the idea that there are no medical exemptions in the U.S. for vaccines is patently wrong; what states like California have had to get rid of are “personal belief” exemptions that were keeping people from inoculating their kids for no conceivable medical reason.

    In a conversation with the Washington Post, Stein took a similar line:

    “I think there’s no question that vaccines have been absolutely critical in ridding us of the scourge of many diseases — smallpox, polio, etc. So vaccines are an invaluable medication,” Stein said. “Like any medication, they also should be — what shall we say? — approved by a regulatory board that people can trust. And I think right now, that is the problem. That people do not trust a Food and Drug Administration, or even the CDC for that matter, where corporate influence and the pharmaceutical industry has a lot of influence.”

    The paper notes that actually, most people who sit on the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee aren’t from drug companies, but academics and scientists and public health experts. Here’s a list of them.

    She added, too, that she sees unresolved, unnamed issues about vaccines:

    “As a medical doctor, there was a time where I looked very closely at those issues, and not all those issues were completely resolved,” Stein said. “There were concerns among physicians about what the vaccination schedule meant, the toxic substances like mercury which used to be rampant in vaccines. There were real questions that needed to be addressed. I think some of them at least have been addressed. I don’t know if all of them have been addressed.”

    Again not to nitpick here, but some vaccines used to contain Thimerosal, a drug derived from ethylmercury and used as a preservative. Ethylmercury clears the body quickly and isn’t toxic to humans, unlike methylmercury, a neurotoxin which isn’t used in vaccines. Thimerosal isn’t widely used anymore either, not because it was unsafe, but because people were scared of it, before the study linking vaccines and autism was debunked.

    With one hand, then, Stein tell the Post and the public that there’s a “real, compelling need” for vaccines, and with the other implies that there’s maybe something unsafe or sketchy about them. Very cool. Very responsible. A fun addition to an already deeply depressing election season. Thanks, Dr. Stein.

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    A new online report ranks Tribeca as NYC’s best neighborhood to live in, if you like Eurotrash millionaires and freezing wind.

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    Russia Deploys Biological Weapons In the War on Christmas
    Photo: AP

    A heatwave sweeping across western Russia’s Yamal tundra, above the Arctic circle, has triggered an outbreak of anthrax. The hardy bacteria, thought to have made its home in the frozen flesh of a reindeer carcass, lay dormant in the permafrost—until now.

    According to the Siberian Times, 40 Yamal nomads have been hospitalized in the outbreak—half of them children—although there have not yet been any confirmed cases. Dozens of the indigenous Nenet community have been relocated, and some 1,200 reindeer have died since Sunday.

    The outbreak has occurred in a heavily-trafficked area for reindeer herders. “The location is an important pass way for many reindeer nomads, used in all seasons. The nomads with the furthest longest migration routes use it in early May, just before calving time, moving up North in spring towards their summer pastures,” Professor Florian Stammler, of the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland, told the Times. “The second ‘wave’ of herders use this location as a summer site, where they group with several households uniting many small herds into a big one for withstanding mosquito harassment.”

    “Due to the high mobility of herders using this site, utmost care has to be taken for preventing of anthrax being spread all over the Yamal Peninsula,” Stammler added.

    It has been 75 years since anthrax—which, depending on a strain, has a mortality rate of 25 to 80 percent—struck western Siberia. Yamal officials stopped vaccinating reindeer against anthrax a decade ago, Vladimir Bogdanov, a biology professor with the Russian Academy of Sciences, told the RBC. Anthrax can kill deer within three days of infection. The Washington Post reports:

    If the link between an old deer corpse and a new outbreak is confirmed, it will solidify concerns about anthrax some scientists have harbored for years. In 2011, two researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences writing in the journal Global Health Action assessed the conditions required for anthrax to appear in Yakutia, a region to the east of Yamal that contains 200 burial grounds of cattle that died from the disease.

    Citing earlier work from 2007, they estimated anthrax spores remain viable in the permafrost for 105 years. Buried deeper, the bacteria may be able to hibernate for even longer. At the same time, where meteorological data were available they indicate temperatures in Yakutia are increasing.

    “As a consequence of permafrost melting, the vectors of deadly infections of the 18th and 19th centuries may come back,” the scientists warned, “especially near the cemeteries where the victims of these infections were buried.” Cattle grave sites should be monitored, they concluded, and “public health authorities should maintain permanent alertness.”

    “This case won’t affect exports or the quality of meat,” a spokesman for the governor told the Times. “This case is local, it is about one one centre - Yaro To lake in Yamalsky district. No other centres (of anthrax infection) have been discovered.”

    Most of Yamal’s reindeer meat exports go to Germany, Sweden, Finland, and the United Kingdom. “Control and safety measures have been restricted across the whole region,” the spokesman said. “There is no single chance that infected venison will make it to slaughter complex.”

    An outbreak of Bubonic plague was reported in southern Siberia’s Altai mountains earlier this month.

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    It’s the 20th Anniversary of the Macarena-Themed DNC, and These Videos Have Broken Me

    These videos are better than winning $1 million.

    At the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where the party nominated President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore for their second term, there was a theme song. That theme song was the Macarena, which had come out almost exactly a year before. Everyone did it as best they could, and we are so, so lucky.

    The delegates mac’d the Mac:

    Your new Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton mac’d (or didn’t):

    Even serious, handsome Al Gore mac’d:

    The Clinton campaign has not yet responded to a request for comment regarding whether or not Clinton still knows the Macarena, or enjoys the song.

    So... Do U Mac the Mac?

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  • 07/29/16--14:39: Donald Trump Is a Republican
  • Donald Trump Is a Republican
    Image: Jim Cooke, Photo: Getty

    One of the major themes of the just-concluded Democratic National Convention, and especially of the reaction to the convention, was that the party was, as the New York Times put it, “Eager to Woo Republicans.” It was the fullest expression of the Democrats’ effort to assemble a unified front against Donald Trump. Two nights after the populist and socialist Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, so did the plutocrat and sometime Republican Michael Bloomberg.

    The same night Bloomberg spoke, President Barack Obama gave an address about national unity and harmony, crafted as a response to Trump’s message of rage and fear from the Republican convention.

    “[W]hat we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican,” Obama said. The same claim could be found from Obama’s committed opponents, in the #NeverTrump realm of Republican Twitter, after he spoke:

    It is strange to hear that the speech given by the presidential candidate of the Republican Party, delivered at the Republican National Convention, was not Republican. Donald Trump was onstage in Cleveland because 14 million Republican voters had put him there. Presented with a broad field of other possible nominees—senators, governors, a business executive, two medical doctors—the Republican Party overwhelmingly chose Trump. What does that make him if not Republican?

    But the charge that Trump is not Republican isn’t meant to be factual. It’s aspirational. The Republicans are one of the two major parties between which government in this country is divided. It is alarming to see one of those parties, half of our political system, being led by a loudmouthed buffoon, a fraud and liar, running openly on a platform of cruelty, fear, self-aggrandizement, xenophobia, and white nationalism.

    It is, however, entirely consistent with the party that nominated him. Donald Trump is the product of half a century of Republican strategy and ideology. Republican voters nominated him because he’s what generations of Republicans have been guided by and encouraged to vote for.

    Nothing about Trump is outside Republican mainstream precedent. It’s just that it’s never all been assembled so blatantly in one package before. One complaint about him, from the right, is that he’s not a sincere conservative at all, but a morally lax East Coast elitist who only started opposing things like abortion and gun control so he could pander to right-wing voters in flyover country. That’s probably true! It’s also true of the Bush family.

    And as with the Bushes, once he put the mask on, it fit. Trump’s apocalyptic law-and-order speech in Cleveland may not have been what Erick Erickson’s anonymous House Republican wanted to hear, but it was hardly unfamiliar. It was a direct update of Richard Nixon invoking “cities enveloped in smoke and flame” and “sirens in the night” at the 1968 convention, with some 1996 Patrick Buchanan thrown in.

    His performance in the role of the indispensable Great Man, the television-personality cult that led to him bellowing “I alone can fix it” and “I am your voice,” is essentially a self-started version of the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project and the accompanying party mythology. His confusion about basic facts and his accompanying reliance on untrue parables—lying so brazenly that it’s not clear whether his grip on reality is slipping—likewise mark him as a definitively Reaganesque figure.

    But Reagan, the story goes, was sunny and positive. That depended on who you were. But if Trump’s specific combination of belligerence and laziness doesn’t quite match Reagan’s style, it closely echoes the outlook that got George W. Bush elected, running against the Clinton-Gore nerds and their endless hard work for big government.

    Does Trump go out of his way to take contemptuous potshots at his enemies? So did Antonin Scalia, from the Supreme Court bench. Is Trump dredging up the most toxic racist elements in American thought, in the name of opposing political correctness? So did would-be apostate pundit Andrew Sullivan, now interrupting his warnings about Trump’s danger to call Black Lives Matter a fraud. Is Trump playing dangerous games by lifting coded messages from anti-Semites? Listen to the nasal, mocking “liberal voice” right-wing radio has deployed for decades.

    Americans have been warned that if we tolerate Trump’s crude and dangerous whites-only campaigning now, it could come back later, with a more smooth and polite candidate speaking to his base. This gets the history backward. We already saw the mannerly version of the Trump campaign in 2012, with Mitt Romney complaining about the parasitic “47 percent” demanding government handouts. Eighty-eight percent of Mitt Romney’s voters were white.

    Trump is just targeting that demographic even harder. That effort is aided by his party’s long-term effort—running from state and local Republican officials up through the Republican-appointed arm of the Supreme Court—to suppress black voter turnout.

    Mitt Romney doesn’t want to admit that. Many other respectable Republicans likewise are disavowing Trump. And the Democrats decided to humor them in it.

    The result was a peculiar lapse in the logic of the convention’s message. The Democrats reminded voters of how much the public admires Barack Obama and appreciates his presidency. The Democrats also let viewers know that the party sympathizes with the public’s anger at the government’s failure to give people the help they need.

    But the argument connecting those premises—that the Republican majority in Congress has blocked the president you love from helping you as much as you deserve to be helped—went mostly unexpressed. Instead, Hillary Clinton declared that she “will be a president for Democrats, Republicans, and independents...for those who vote for me and those who don’t.”

    It was a fine sentiment. It was the same sentiment people liked hearing from Barack Obama, before the Republicans took to heckling him when he addressed Congress, shutting down the government to try to defund his legislation, and eventually denying him the power even to have his appointments considered. After eight years in which Republicans’ admitted policy goal was to spite and thwart the president, in the hopes of defeating him, it seemed a little misplaced.

    Whether or not the Democrats denounce the Republican majority, though, it still exists. And Donald Trump—angry Donald Trump, anti-immigrant Donald Trump, curdled with his hatred of Obama—is ready and eager to lead it.

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    Report: Roger Ailes’ Behavior Went Far Beyond Sexual Harassment at Fox News
    Roger Ailes outside of Fox News’ headquarters in Manhattan. Photo: Getty Images

    Roger Ailes and Fox News formally parted ways just weeks after former Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment against the CEO. Now, according to a report by Gabriel Sherman of New York magazine, at least one former Fox News employee, a booker named Laurie Luhn, experienced not just years of unwanted sexual advances, but apparent psychological manipulation by Ailes, for which he was allegedly given cover by other high-ranking Fox News executives, including Fox’s legal counsel, Dianne Brandi; the channel’s former Washington bureau chief, Kim Hume; and Ailes’ former deputy, Bill Shine. We encourage you to read about Luhn’s harrowing tale in full, but among the details that stand out are:

    • Ailes allegedly coerced Luhn into dancing in his hotel room wearing lingerie, then blackmailed her with video footage of her doing so;
    • He allegedly convinced Luhn to “recruit” other female subordinates, which meant placing them in situations, such as an after-work meeting in his private office, where they would be vulnerable to his sexual entreaties;
    • He allegedly demanded that Luhn “engage in sadomasochistic sex with another woman while he watched” on three different occasions;
    • And that most of the above, save perhaps the explicit details of Ailes’ sexual demands on Luhn, were an open secret within Fox News.

    There is much, much more to Sherman’s report, which you can read here.…

    0 0

    Screaming Infant Holds Babies
    Gif: @SopanDeb

    At a rally in Colorado Springs earlier today, Donald Trump finally got a chance to spend some quality time with his emotional peers.

    And if for some reason you’ve missed Trump’s most recent tweets, just watch the child on the right. You’ll be caught up in no time.

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    Clinton Campaign Apparently Also Hacked by Russians
    Photo: AP

    In an attack that apparently came from a Russian intelligence agency—and that may or may not be related to similar recent cyber attacks on other Democratic party organizations—computer systems tied to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign have been hacked, New York Times and Reuters reported on Friday.

    “An analytics data program maintained by the DNC, and used by our campaign and a number of other entities, was accessed as part of the DNC hack. Our campaign computer system has been under review by outside security experts,” Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said in a statement. “To date, they have found no evidence that our internal systems have been compromised.”

    The Department of Justice’s national security division is investigating whether this hack—as well as attacks on servers belonging to the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee—threatened the United States’ security, Reuters reports. Apparently, this indicates that the Obama administration believes the cyber attacks are state sponsored.…

    In a statement, the FBI said that it “is aware of media reporting on cyberintrusions involving multiple political entities, and is working to determine the accuracy, nature and scope of these matters.”

    “The cyberthreat environment continues to evolve as cyberactors target all sectors and their data,” the statement continued. “The F.B.I. takes seriously any allegations of intrusions, and we will continue to hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace.”

    An earlier version of the Times’ story specified that “email accounts connected to the campaign of Hillary Clinton...were hacked.” All mention of email has been removed from the Times’ report.

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    Father Of Fallen Soldier Khizr Khan Calls On Mitch McConnell And Paul Ryan To Repudiate Trump

    Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim U.S. Army captain killed fighting in Iraq and unexpected star of the Democratic National Convention, appeared on MSNBC’s The Last Word with a plea for Republican leaders to reject Donald Trump.

    Calling Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and House speaker Paul Ryan “patriots” and “decent human beings,” Khan reached out to the GOP leaders in an effort to prevent the party from sinking what he called a “patriotic ship”:

    Khan’s breathtaking oratorical skills—ones he exhibited extemporaneously at the DNC, according to Politico—once again took over as he spoke with Lawrence O’Donnell:

    My conscience compels me under these very difficult circumstances—very raw emotions—I am a very composed person. I don’t become that emotional in public discourse. But there is so much at stake. And I appeal to both of these leaders: This is the time. There comes a time in the history of a nation where an ethical, a moral stand has to be taken regardless of the political cost. The only reason they’re not repudiating his behavior, his threat to our democracy, our decency, our foundation, is just because of political consequences.

    The full interview is below.

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    Saturday's Best Deals: Biscuits, DJI Phantom Bundle, Charging Cables, Knives

    A fantastic DJI Phantom bundle, cooking gloves, and a drop biscuit pan lead off Saturday’s best deals.

    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 to learn more.

    Saturday's Best Deals: Biscuits, DJI Phantom Bundle, Charging Cables, Knives
    Cut Resistant Gloves, $10 | Heat Resistant Gloves, $6 with code WOOZEYUM

    Cooking is a perilous activity for your hands, but we’ve found deals on two pairs of gloves that will keep them safe from sharp knives and hot pans.……

    Saturday's Best Deals: Biscuits, DJI Phantom Bundle, Charging Cables, Knives
    Pocket and Camping Knife Gold Box

    Speaking of knives, Amazon’s running a one-day Gold Box sale on a bunch of pocket and camping knives, with prices starting under $20.

    Saturday's Best Deals: Biscuits, DJI Phantom Bundle, Charging Cables, Knives
    ION House Party Bluetooth Speaker, $55

    We see deals on Bluetooth speakers every day, but this is one of the few that can cover your ceiling and walls with a light show. And yes, you can turn the light off when you just want to listen to NPR without hosting a flash rave.…

    Saturday's Best Deals: Biscuits, DJI Phantom Bundle, Charging Cables, Knives
    6-Pack Anker PowerLine MicroUSB Cables, $13

    Anker’s kevlar-wrapped PowerLine cables have been an immediate hit with our readers, and you can upgrade your entire microUSB cable collection today with this $13 6-pack. That’s a match for the lowest price ever on this pack, which includes two 1' cables, three 3', and one 6'.……

    iPhone owners can also grab a 9' (non-PowerLine) Anker Lightning cable for $10, or a Seedforce 3' model for just $3.……

    Saturday's Best Deals: Biscuits, DJI Phantom Bundle, Charging Cables, Knives
    DJI Phantom 3 Professional + Extra Battery + Carrying Case + 2TB Hard Drive, $899

    The new DJI Phantom 4 sure looks impressive, but for $500 less, you can pick up the still-completely-amazing Phantom 3 Professional today, plus a spare battery, a carrying case, and even a 2TB external hard drive. To put it simply, that’s one of the best drone deals we’ve ever seen.…

    You’ll lose out on features like the (finnicky) accident avoidance, but the camera is still 4K, and it’ll last over 20 minutes on a single charge. This deal was available briefly last weekend, but it was sold out by lunchtime.

    Saturday's Best Deals: Biscuits, DJI Phantom Bundle, Charging Cables, Knives
    Canon imageCLASS LBP6230w, $75

    Canon’s imageCLASS laser printers aren’t as ubiquitous as Brother’s, but they’re still way better than most Inkjet alternatives, even if they can’t print in color.…

    Today, Amazon’s offering up the imageCLASS LBP6230w plus a full-sized toner cartridge for $75. And while that’s not an all-time low, it’s not uncommon to see this model selling for $90-$110.…

    Saturday's Best Deals: Biscuits, DJI Phantom Bundle, Charging Cables, Knives
    Lodge Drop Biscuit Pan, $20

    On the one hand, a cast iron drop biscuit pan is a bit of a unitasker. On the other, it’s $20, and biscuits are delicious. I’ll let you make the call.……

    Saturday's Best Deals: Biscuits, DJI Phantom Bundle, Charging Cables, Knives
    ChefLand 13-Piece Bar Set, $16

    Here’s everything you need to make fancy-ass drinks at home for just $16. Except, you know, the booze.…

    Saturday's Best Deals: Biscuits, DJI Phantom Bundle, Charging Cables, Knives
    Seneo 250ml Dehumidifier, $30 | Seneo 500ml Dehumidifier, $54

    If you have any small rooms or closets with a moisture problem and insufficient ventilation, these compact dehumidifiers can suck up 250 or 500ml of water per day. That’s not a ton of water, but every little bit can help, especially in the summer.……

    Saturday's Best Deals: Biscuits, DJI Phantom Bundle, Charging Cables, Knives
    Lodge Double Dutch Oven, $31

    You love Lodge’s cast iron skillets, but have you tried their dutch oven? It’s only $31 on Amazon today, one of the lowest prices they’ve ever listed. The best part though? The lid doubles as a skillet, meaning you’re getting two great pieces of cookware for the price of one.…

    Saturday's Best Deals: Biscuits, DJI Phantom Bundle, Charging Cables, Knives
    Anker PowerPort 2, $8 with code bigdeal5

    It’s no secret that Anker makes your favorite charging gear, and their popular and compact PowerPort 2 is on sale for just $8 right now with promo code bigdeal5. Note: Only available on the white model.…

    While it doesn’t have Quick Charge built in, its two ports can pump out 2.4A of power simultaneously, which is enough to charge two iPads at full speed, and since it can accept 100-240V, it’s perfect for international travel. I’ve owned one of these for awhile, and it’s been great.…

    Saturday's Best Deals: Biscuits, DJI Phantom Bundle, Charging Cables, Knives
    NFL Sunday Ticket TVU, $100

    If you’re a student, or know one that will lend you their identity, you can stream every out of market NFL game, plus Red Zone channel and DirecTV Fantasy Zone for just $100 for the full season.

    I had this last year, and it made it incredibly easy to watch my Atlanta Falcons piss away a promising start to the season. You can stream on just about any laptop, tablet, smartphone, or game console. When you sign up though, you’ll need to supply a valid school, student name, and birthdate, though oddly enough, not a .edu email address.

    Just note that you’ll only be able to stream out of market games, so you’ll need an antenna to watch anything on your local Fox or CBS affiliate, and it won’t get you access to nationally televised games on NBC or ESPN.

    Saturday's Best Deals: Biscuits, DJI Phantom Bundle, Charging Cables, Knives
    Two Bosch Insight Wiper Blades, $22. Add two to cart (must be shipped by Amazon) to see the discount.

    Summer isn’t kind to your wiper blades, so if you’ve been struggling to see the road through streaks on your windshield, Amazon’s offering up a pair of Bosch Insight Blades for just $22 right now. Just pick the two you need, add them to your cart, and the discount should appear automatically. The deal even allows you to mix and match sizes, so you can almost certainly find a combination that will work for your car.

    Note: The discount will only work on blades shipped and sold by Amazon directly. No third party sellers.

    Saturday's Best Deals: Biscuits, DJI Phantom Bundle, Charging Cables, Knives
    Black & Decker 20V Lithium Drill/Driver Kit, $39

    There are surely more powerful drill/drivers out there, but this 20V model from Black & Decker includes a ton of accessories, and will only set you back $39. That’s the lowest price Amazon’s ever listed.…

    Saturday's Best Deals: Biscuits, DJI Phantom Bundle, Charging Cables, Knives
    Philips Pasta Maker, $216

    You could live your whole life cooking boxed Barilla pasta, and never once realize how fun and rewarding it can be to make your own. This Philips pasta maker isn’t cheap, but it lets you create your own noodles with multiple shapes in just 15 minutes. $216 is the second lowest price Amazon’s ever listed, and $84 less than usual.……

    You’ll probably want a drying rack to go with it.…






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    The DNC Flag Burner Is an American Hero and a Member of a Maoist Personality Cult 
    Joey Johnson lifts the flag into the air. Photo: Andy Cush

    PHILADELPHIA—On Thursday evening, surrounded by a throng of reporters with cameras and soggy from the light rain, Joey Johnson performed the same trick he’s been performing for three decades. From a few rows back, it was briefly possible to see the flame that was licking the American flag he held in his hand, but the fire went out after just a moment or two.

    A man next to Johnson at the center of the scrum shouted slogans that would be familiar to anyone who has attended a left-leaning protest in America. The flag stands for “the slavery put down on African people,” he said. “It stands for the massive deportation that has ripped apart families and disappeared people; it stands for the genocide of the native inhabitants, the wars for empire, the drone missile strikes.” Then, he said something else: “We support an actual revolution, a revolution that overthrows this system, and we in the Revolutionary Communist Party are organizing for that actual revolution at the soonest possible moment. People need to get with that revolution. They need to check out the leader of that revolution, Bob Avakian.”

    Johnson, the plaintiff in the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court case Texas v. Johnson, is the man Americans have to thank for the Constitutional right to set fire to their own country’s flag. After he was arrested for flag-burning outside the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, he pleaded his case up to the nation’s highest court over a period of five years and won. For that, journalists and anyone else interested in the sanctity of free speech in America owe him enormous gratitude. Along with Carl Dix, the man who shouted with him outside the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday, Johnson is also a longtime member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, a Maoist organization whose aims include both the overthrow of the U.S. government and the promotion of the name and image of their leader, a mysterious figure frequently compared to L. Ron Hubbard.

    Bob Avakian, known to his followers as Chairman Bob, founded the Revolutionary Communist Party in the Bay Area in 1975. Four years later, he was arrested for assaulting a police officer. He fled the country to France and spent the next three decades underground, in self-imposed exile, despite the charges against him having been dropped in 1982. Though party outsiders would likely not so much as recognize his name, Chairman Bob is something like a revolutionary deity to his followers, a status solidified during his long absence from the scene. Party literature distributed online, at demonstrations, and at a chain of leftist bookstores operated by the RCP presents communist revolution as the only true method for bettering the station of working people the world over, and Avakian as the only man capable of bringing this revolution about.

    The DNC Flag Burner Is an American Hero and a Member of a Maoist Personality Cult 
    Bob Avakian overlooks the proceedings. Photo: Gawker

    One RCP publication, penned by Avakian himself, advocates for the building of “a culture of appreciation, promotion, and popularization around the leadership, the body of work and the method and approach of Bob Avakian” as a key facet of the party’s platform. “The possibility for revolution, right here, and for the advance of the revolution everywhere, is greatly heightened because of Bob Avakian and the leadership he is providing,” reads another page devoted to Avakian on the RCP website. “And it is up to us to get with this leadership…to find out more about Bob Avakian and the Party he heads…to learn from his scientific method and approach to changing the world…to build this revolutionary movement with our Party at the core…to defend this leadership as the precious thing it is…”

    I approached Johnson after the flag-burning with mixed feelings, wanting to learn about both his story as a historic free speech defender and his apparent devotion to Avakian’s cult of personality. He spoke in vague terms when I asked him about the significance of Texas v. Johnson, but was warm and animated when talking about communism and the aims of the RCP.

    “We believe in the emancipation of humanity,” he said. “We believe in getting humanity beyond class distinctions, beyond a few rich countries in the world dominating and exploiting the planet, whole continents. We believe in getting humanity beyond patriarchy, male supremacy. We believe in getting humanity beyond the division in the world between people working with their minds and people who only slave with their hands their whole lives.

    “It’s essentially what Karl Marx was talking about in the Communist Manifesto, but like any real science, it develops, and that’s the project that Bob Avakian has been working on. It’s a radical project, man.”

    If Avakian and his followers want a revolution, they’ll probably need a few more people than those who showed up to the Democratic National Convention this week. Johnson and Dix were joined by about a dozen other RCP members on Thursday, all of them wearing black t-shirts bearing Avakian’s initials and some carrying images of his bearded visage, looking suspiciously like Alberto Koda’s iconic portrait of Che Guevara. Many attendees were clearly lifelong activists like Dix and Johnson, deep into middle age. They marched back and forth across a corner of Philly’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park before the flag-burning began, and were met with mixed support and skepticism from a crowd of Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein supporters that was also assembled there.

    Early on, a young, black Donald Trump supporter named Lawrence Petyon accosted the marchers. “How many people died under Mao Zedong, in just one communist regime?” he shouted. Later, he adopted the voice of an RCP member: “We about Mao! We about Joseph Stalin!”

    Peyton later told that me he’d traveled from his home in New Jersey specifically to demonstrate against the RCP and Black Lives Matter protesters, and that he’d recently done the same at an RCP demonstration in New York. He also told me that he believed the RCP was funded by a network of liberal actors like the Democratic Party, the Clinton campaign, and the financier George Soros, in hopes of fomenting political discontent in America. These contentions are as outlandish as the RCP’s devotion to Avakian; on the other hand, he’s on solid ground invoking the millions of famine deaths under Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the forced labor and executions in Stalin’s gulags. As Mark Oppenheimer noted in a Boston Globe editorial about the RCP in 2008, Avakian has written that China under Mao was “wondrous,” and that Stalin had an “overall positive historical role.”…

    Peyton and a few other anti-communist demonstrators added some drama to the evening, but overall, it was less chaotic than the RCP’s showing at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last week, when a phalanx of police officers stormed into an intersection where Johnson and others were lighting a flag, arresting them and clearing the assembled crowd before the demonstration ever got off the ground. In Philly, a few dozen cops were assembled at the scene, but none intervened in the spectacle. I asked an officer who was taking drags from a thick cigar as he watched what he thought of it all. “It’s not bad. It’s peaceful,” he said. “Everything’s been peaceful so far.” Another officer admonished me to pick up the poncho I’d accidentally dropped on the ground, and nearby, a man in a green hat stood dreamily next to an alpaca he’d evidently brought along to witness the demonstration. A Green Party member, wearing a toga, led a few others in a chant of “Jill Not Hill!”

    After a week of crashing the Democratic Party establishment’s big party, Bernie Sanders supporters suddenly looked like the straight crowd. On Thursday, a small group of them seemed more interested in disrupting the flag-burning than the cops were. One woman, standing a few yards away from Johnson and the thicket of media members, started to shout: “We are a socialist party! We are not a communist party! We want nothing to do with this totalitarian bullshit!” Her t-shirt made an even more explicit Guevara allusion than the RCP’s signs, superimposing her Vermont revolutionary hero’s face directly onto the Cuban’s.

    I met a woman named Penny, a Bernie supporter who emigrated from Scotland to the U.S. in the mid-1980s, right around the same time that Johnson was taking his flag-burning case through the courts. “Listen, I’m a bleeding heart, and even for me, watching the flag burning is painful,” she said. “But ultimately, it’s just a flag. It’s a piece of fluff.” I agreed, I said. One of the great things the American flag stands for is our freedom of speech as Americans, but it is only a symbol, and the right to exercise that speech is more important than the sanctity of the flag itself.

    Penny told me about a group of demonstrators who’d showed up to the park the night before, wearing all black and aggressively storming police barriers. “To me, that’s dodgy, like they just want us to go crazy,” she said. For a group like the RCP, whose aim is revolution in the streets, that probably is a part of what they want, I replied.

    “I think that’s my aim, too,” she said. “The American dream used to be that even if you had to work two jobs, you could buy a house and get by. Now you have to have three jobs. People don’t even know what the American dream is anymore. I used to work three jobs in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but that was mostly to support all the alcohol and cocaine,” she added with a laugh.

    “I want to blow up the whole system, too,” she said. “I’m just less militant about it.”

    It’s obvious that the members of the RCP, like Penny, feel passionately about their cause; in the cases of Johnson and Dix, they have gone to jail for and devoted their entire lives to it. But their singular fixation on Avakian, a man clearly as intent on furthering his own fame as he is on social uplift, is difficult to square with their collectivist ideals.

    Avakian, now in his 70s, briefly came out of hiding in 2014, when he participated in a public talk on the topic of “religion and revolution” with the black scholar Cornel West. Since then, he’s slipped almost entirely out of the public eye once again, and his evasiveness and mystery seem designed to maintain what small bit of notoriety he has.

    I asked a bearded RCP member in Philly where Chairman Bob was, and he continued staring past me silently, as if I hadn’t addressed him at all. I asked another, and he said, “That’s not the kind of question we’re going to answer.” I managed to get it out of Dix that Avakian was not in Philly for the convention, but Dix would not say where his leader actually was. Had he gone back underground?

    “He’s leading the party. It’s not a question of exile. It’s not a question of underground. He’s leading the party, and because of the importance of his leadership, we got people like me and others, who are out here on the streets,” Dix answered.

    Later, as the scattered party members got into formation to begin a second round of marching, I asked Johnson to describe Avakian as a man. Most people who know Chairman Bob at all only know him as a face on a handbill or a byline on a manifesto, but Johnson knew him personally. What was he actually like? Instead of talking about Avakian’s infectious laugh, or his strong character, Johnson zeroed in on what he saw as the chairman’s historical significance. “There’s no one else like him on the planet. He’s on the level of a Lenin or a Mao. He’s a revolutionary leader of that caliber,” he said.

    As we parted ways, Johnson shook my hand, met my eyes, and urged me to do my own digging into Avakian and the RCP. I had a lot of work to do, he said, but if I kept my mind open and avoided thinking in stereotypes I might come around to his way of thinking.

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    Pence Says Roe v. Wade Will Be Overturned If Trump Is Elected President
    Photo: AP

    It’s not an outside chance that two old white men will ensure women’s right to abortion access is invalidated.

    One of these men, GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, tried to pass a bill as Governor of Indiana, in March, which would have required that aborted fetuses receive funerals. The other, Donald Trump (I believe you’ve met), has changed his public stance on abortion eight times, according to the Washington Post, and has in general taken a slightly more liberal stance on the issue than the Republican Party line, saying in April that he is in favor of an abortion ban that permits exceptions for rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. Trump did not mention abortion during his hour-and-15-minute-long speech at the Republican National Convention.

    At a town hall meeting on Thursday, Pence said, “We’ll see Roe v. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

    “I’m pro-life,” Pence asserted, “and I don’t apologize of it.”…

    The remark was made during a disquisition on the importance of electing Trump for the purposes of stacking the Supreme Court in favor of Republican policies.

    While we’re choosing a president for the next four years, this next president will make decisions that will impact our Supreme Court for the next 40,” Pence said. “Go tell your neighbors and your friends, for the sake of the rule of law, for the sake of sanctity of life, for the sake of our 2nd Amendment, for the sake of all our other God-given liberties, we must ensure the next president appointing justices to the Supreme Court is Donald Trump.”

    Trump has previously promised to exclusively appoint anti-abortion justices to the Supreme Court should he become Supreme Ruler, I mean “president.”

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    Hot Air Balloon Carrying 16 People Crashes in Texas, No Apparent Survivors  
    Photo: AP

    Authorities said that a hot air balloon carrying 16 people crashed in Central Texas early Saturday morning, according to the Associated Press. The crash was apparently caused by a fire on board, and authorities say it’s likely there are no survivors.

    Local media reported multiple fatalities, according to the New York Times.

    Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Lynn Lunsford said in a statement that the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are headed to the scene in the incident to investigate.

    This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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    Donald Trump Already Scrambling for Excuses to Bail on Hillary Debates

    Last season on “Donald Trump Is Terrified of Being Humiliated by People Who Actually Know What They’re Talking About,” Trump set a precedent of laying groundwork for his debate ditching long before the actual debate could take place. And now, season two Trump is gearing up to be just as craven.

    Late last night, Donald Trump tweeted this:

    It’s worth noting that, in the fall, football games take place on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays. CNN also notes that “Fridays and Saturdays are effectively ruled out because TV viewing is lower on weekend evenings.”

    That means that the only viable, Trump-approved days would be Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Just not Tuesday, October 11 or Wednesday, October 12, of course. Those are the days of Yom Kippur.

    Back in Primary season, after Megyn Kelly forced Trump to reckon with his own, verbatim quotes, Donald Trump tweeted this:

    Several days later, Donald Trump backed out of the long-scheduled Fox News debate entirely.

    Then again, in March, Trump skipped another Fox News debate, which prompted it to be canceled entirely when Kasich followed suit.

    The Donald Trump/Hillary Clinton debates would be incredible to behold, which is exactly why Trump will cancel as many of them as humanly possible. But thankfully for the viewers at home, that’s a big ask—even for Donald Trump.

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    Trump to Father of Slain Muslim Soldier: 'I've Created Thousands of Jobs'
    Photo: AP

    Today, Donald Trump managed to signal disdain for Muslims, women, military families and probably everyone else, in a single interview.

    Khizr Khan, the bereaved father of a Muslim American soldier who died in service in Iraq, made headlines for his speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday in which he confronted Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States. “You have sacrificed nothing and no one,” Khan said, addressing Trump.…

    Trump responded to Khan’s speech in an interview on Saturday with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, saying:

    “I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.”

    “Who wrote that [speech]?” Trump asked, confused. “Did Hillary’s script writers write it?”

    Trump also implied that Khan’s wife, Ghazala, who stood beside him as he delivered his speech, wasn’t allowed to speak because she’s a Muslim. “If you look at his wife,” Trump said, “she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.”

    The neoconservative commentator Bill Kristol, who tried pushing a third-party candidate in May to defeat Trump, weighed in on Twitter, demanding Trump remove his patriotism jewelry:

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    NFL Says Donald Trump Is Full Of Shit; League Never Sent Him Letter About Debate Schedule
    Photo credit: Marty Lederhandler/Associated Press

    Donald Trump’s efforts to weasel out of debating Hillary Clinton have hit a peak, as the GOP presidential nominee has repeatedly blamed his opponent for the scheduled debates that were approved by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates nearly a year ago. That lie apparently not being bold enough, Trump has now claimed the NFL wrote him a letter complaining that two of the debates are scheduled against pro football games:

    CNN’s Brian Stelter followed up with the NFL, and asked the league if it really did send a letter. The NFL told him that Trump is full of shit:

    Presidential debates also went head-to-head with the NFL in 2012.


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    Poll: Five Percent of Americans Would Vote Harambe the Dead Ape for President
    Image: Cincinnati Zoo/EPA

    A new national survey from Public Policy Polling has revealed some startling truths about the American public. Specifically, the fact that 5 percent of voters believe that Harambe, the dead ape widely understood to be in Ape Hell, is the best possible candidate for President of the United States.

    For those who might have forgotten, Harambe was assassinated by the Cincinnati Zoo back in May after dragging around a four-year-old who had fallen into his enclosure. And now, a not-insignificant number of voters want to hand over the nuclear codes to Harambe (who is in Hell where he belongs).

    Poll: Five Percent of Americans Would Vote Harambe the Dead Ape for President

    Interestingly enough, when Harambe isn’t on the ticket, there’s a higher percentage of undecided voters than when he is.

    Poll: Five Percent of Americans Would Vote Harambe the Dead Ape for President

    While things are looking up for Harambe, the poll doesn’t have lot of good news for Putin pal Donald Trump. Potential voters, by a margin of nearly 50 percent, said that they’re less likely to vote for a candidate if they believe Russia wants them to win.

    Trump’s got problems at home, too. Sixty-two percent of voters think that Trump “should release his tax returns.” (Good luck with that.) And a whopping 51 percent do not believe that Donald Trump can be trusted with any sort of classified information on national security.

    Of course, Hillary’s got her own problems to deal with.

    Poll: Five Percent of Americans Would Vote Harambe the Dead Ape for President

    While 18 percent of voters that think Hillary Clinton definitely has ties to Lucifer, 36 percent of total voters and 74 percent of Trump voters believe that she should be put in prison. Still, and for reasons I can’t entirely articulate, none of that is quite as troubling as the 21 percent of voters who are still unsure whether or not Hillary is directly connected to Satan, Prince of Darkness.

    You can see PPP’s poll in full below. And to Harambe—best of luck this November. Otherwise, we’ll see you in hell.

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    Khizr Khan Suggests Donald Trump Has No Soul 
    Photo: AP

    Khizr Khan, whose speech at the DNC was a runaway success and has revived America’s long stagnant pocket-Constitution market, continued his media tour today with harsh words against GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

    On Saturday, Trump made a series of hateful remarks agains the Khans—a military family who lost their soldier son to the war in Iraq—that are utterly consistent with his character. In an interview with George Stephanopoulos Trump countered Khan’s claim made in his DNC speech that Trump has “sacrificed nothing,” by pointing out that actually he has created jobs for people who made him a ton of money. “I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard,” Trump said.…

    Trump also implied that Khan’s wife, Ghazala, who stood next to him during the DNC speech didn’t speak because she’s a Muslim woman.

    Khizr Khan responded to Trump’s remarks late Saturday night, telling the Washington Post, “That proves that this person is void of empathy.” He means Trump.

    Khan evaluated Trump’s comments about his wife as, “typical of a person without a soul.”

    Ghazala had explained why she chose not to speak at the DNC, prior to Trump’s remarks, in an interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell on Friday, saying that she feared losing her composure:

    “First of all, I thank all America who listened from their heart to my husband’s and my heart, and I’m so grateful for that. And it was very nervous because I cannot see my son’s picture, and I cannot even come in the room where his pictures are. And that’s why when, I saw the picture at my back [on the video screen], I couldn’t take it. I controlled myself at that time. So it was, it is, very hard.”

    Khizr Khan also told CNN’s Jim Acosta on Sunday that Trump has a “black soul,” by which he appears to have meant Trump lacks empathy.

    “He talks about excluding people, disrespecting judges, the entire judicial system, immigrants, Muslim immigrants,” Khan said. “These are divisive rhetoric that are totally against the basic constitutional principles.”

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