Thursday, September 21, 2017

Your Russia update

1. Paul Manafort is in deep дерьмо (derrmo).

In the middle of Donald Trump's presidential run, then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort said he was willing to provide "private briefings" about the campaign to a Russian billionaire the U.S. government considers close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Manafort's offer was memorialized in an email exchange with a former employee of his political consulting firm in July 2016. It was first reported by The Washington Post, which said portions of Manafort's emails were read to reporters.

Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni confirmed to The Associated Press that the email exchanges were legitimate but said no briefings ever occurred. The email involved an offer for Oleg Deripaska, a wealthy Russian who made his money in the aluminum business.

I would say that with an indictment pending, his troubles are just beginning.  Let's hope this goes all the way to Trump himself, in a thread Bob Mueller is gradually and painstakingly unraveling ...

2.  ... because Facebook ads bought by the Russians don't count as collusion, and don't count as 'hacking the election', either.

Just days after last year’s election, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told an audience that the suggestion that misinformation on his social network had any substantial effect on the outcome was “pretty crazy.” Now, imagine a disembodied Ron Howard narrator voice saying, “It wasn’t.” And then smash cut to … September 2017: Facebook is turning over evidence to federal investigators that Russian government–linked agencies bought Facebook advertisements with the intent of influencing the election. Today, it gets even weirder: The Daily Beast reports that a Russian-created, Trump-supporting Facebook group actually threw well-attended pro-Trump rallies in Florida.

As stories of Facebook being used by Russian agencies and trolls to influence the election trickle out, the general narrative — certainly Facebook’s narrative — has been that this is a misuse of Facebook, an abuse of its platform. In April, the company called the strategies used in last year’s election “insidious forms of misuse, including attempts to manipulate civic discourse and deceive people.”

Certainly, we can agree that it’s bad that hostile foreign powers are able to easily and cheaply sow discord and division among American voters. But it’s not at all clear to me that what Russia is doing is a “misuse” of Facebook. Isn’t this the company that explicitly markets its ability to influence and swing voters? Isn’t this the company whose decade-long mission has been to allow people on one side of the globe to communicate and influence people on the other side?

Didn’t Zuckerberg say last year, “We stand for connecting every person. For a global community. For bringing people together. For giving all people a voice. For free flow of ideas and culture across nations”? You don’t have to be particularly cynical to see how Russians sharing Trump memes falls under the “free flow of ideas across nations.” As Zuck put it: “We’ve gone from a world of isolated communities to one global community, and we are all better off for it.” Well, maybe we wouldn’t go that far.

The point is this: Facebook has always wanted, from a business and ideological perspective, to be a tool with which people can reach across the ocean and exert influence on one another. The problem is that 2016 is a case study in why mere connection is not enough to make something good. Cynically motivated Russian actors used Facebook to pose as grassroots Americans, and did so in support of an authoritarian reality-television star.

There are a lot of fresh questions raised here, particularly in that Daily Beast piece.  Before we can move on to them, we have to agree on something: if Americans were big enough fools to have their votes swayed -- or even have their existing biases confirmed -- by Facebook ads, then the blame for Hillary (now Rodham again) Clinton losing does not lie in any of the various places she has strewn it in her recent book.  It lies with the ignorance of the general electorate.

Not sure what Democrats can do to overcome that in 2018 and 2020, but I doubt that fighting the 2016 primary all over again is the answer.

3.  There are some lingering questions about Russia's actual influence on the election, and they may still be waiting to be unearthed.  Josh Marshall:

Over recent weeks we’ve learned much more about how Russian operatives used Facebook to support Donald Trump, attack Hillary Clinton and spread conspiracy theories pumped up the heat of the 2016 campaign. One big question has been: how effectively did they target those messages, given Facebook’s vast ability to target messages? And if they did target their messages to areas of particular Democratic weakness in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, how were they able to do that? Where did they get the data to drive the effort?

One possibility is obvious: Maybe the Trump campaign gave the Russians access to their data and voter files. To date, there’s at least no public evidence that this happened.

But maybe it didn’t have to.

Marshall refers back to this story of his, which I blogged about on June 2nd, and linked to him and the original in the WSJ (scroll down to "May 25").  You should finish reading Marshall's premise there; it's plausible and even ominous ... as long as you believe that the Russians hacked the DNC.

As mentioned here back in December, both Julian Assange and retired NSA and CIA analysts (not exactly the best of buddies, mind you) assert that the Clinton and DNC emails were leaked, not hacked.  The latter two, William Binney and Ray McGovern, show their computer forensics analysis work to prove it.  It's technical, but anyone with an understanding about computer data files and the speed with which they can be transferred will get it.  On that basis, the DNC, etc. had -- perhaps still has, but go on by yourself and follow the Seth Rich or Imran Awan conspiracy theories -- an IT security breach of epic proportions.

Manafort should be on his way to prison, Facebook should be severely penalized, financially and in perhaps other ways (and you might consider deactivating your account to make 'em pay yourself, especially if you spend time there arguing over politics) and Democrats need to find the ball and then keep their eye on it.  Trump's tax returns, collusion, emoluments, the 25th Amendment, some combo thereof ought to get it done.

All else is white noise.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance encourages continued support for Harvey (and Irma) relief efforts as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff reminds us that we have elections this November and they still need our attention.

As part of job hunting, Socratic Gadfly pays careful attention to some of the fluffery and hyperbolic language in employment ads and job descriptions and translates some for you, likely as part of an ongoing series.

The question "what happened" was not answered by PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, but rephrased as: 'WTF are Democrats going to do going forward?' (Hopefully not more infighting.)  He also had a good word to say about Houston mayor Sylvester Turner's efforts in managing the city's responses to Hurricane Harvey.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders: what's worse?  Denying food stamps to Harvey victims or refusing to register students to vote?

Turning 50 this week, Neil at All People Have Value offered a list of his favorite politicians in life.  It is not a long list.  APHV is part of

jobsanger serves some pie charts that reveal the US still has way too many racists.

Grits for Breakfast helps Just Liberty kick off their podcast, 'Reliably Suspicious', with a launch party in Austin on Wednesday.  Details are here.

Doyin Oyeniyi at Texas Monthly's Energy Department followed up on the largest Harvey-related oil spill, which occurred in Galena Park and went undiscovered for a couple of weeks.

Leah Binkovitz at Rice University's Urban Edge blog sees a nascent transformative moment for Houston's auto/carbon-centric culture: bicycles can  keep the Bayou City rolling.

Houston Justice is shockedIsayshocked to find gambling in this casino racism in the so-called progressive movement.

DBC Green Blog posts about Medicare For All, the enthusiasm it's generating among progressives irrespective of party affiliation ... and one careful warning.

And Dos Centavos wonders if Trump's deal on DACA with Democratic Party leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi is just another tease.  (If it is, Trump's base has swallowed the bait.)


More lefty blog posts and news from across our beloved Deep-In-The-Hearta!

CPPP's Better Texas blog breaks down some of the US Census's latest poverty and income numbers relevant to the Lone Star State.

NBA and Spurs star Tim Duncan is in his native US Virgin Islands assisting with Hurricane Irma relief, reports the San Antonio Current.

Daniel Williams at Equality Texas highlights the continued need for local non-discrimination ordinances in Texas.

Melissa Law at Houstonia denounces the idea that Harvey was anything but a catastrophe that is still ongoing.

It's Not Hou It's Me shares her mucking experience.

Juanita Jean rounds up some of the lesser 9/11 memorials.

Therese Odell at Foolish Watcher has a few of the late-night reactions to the Ted Cruz Twitter porn-liking saga.

Michael Li explains what happens next in the redistricting case.

Mean Green Cougar Red examines Harvey-related survivor's guilt.

Dan Wallach at Freedom to Tinker goes into detail about the security properties that a voting system needs to have.

Space City Weather looks back at all of the Harvey-spawned tornadoes.

And Harry Hamid shares some forbidden text.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

WTF Happened and more scattershots

As previously referenced, this was Jiffy Pop chuckle-worthy last week.  This week it isn't.

Now that the SCOTUS has reinstated both Texas' voter ID laws and its gerrymandered Congressional and statehouse districts, prospects are bleaker for Democrats here than a flamingo in the Florida Keys.   And while the bandwagon for Bernie Sanders' Medicare For All is finally starting to fill up, there are way too many Donkeys that still aren't getting on board.  *That list needs updating; Tammy Baldwin and Al Franken and perhaps one or two more have lined up behind Bernie.

In contrast to the toon above, smart Dems are heading for the exits away from Her Book Tour, but I see too many standing in line to buy it, quoting passages from it, and otherwise driving the wedge in their party deeper.  This is such a fool's errand at this point that there's almost no use in continuing to point it out.  Jackasses are gonna bray, after all.

I red-lined many years ago on Hillary Clinton and her privileged, entitled bullshit.  The most unwoke person in the entire US of A.  If you must read a book about the 2016 election, start and stop with "Shattered", okay?  That tells the story that Democrats need to take heed of.  Or you can just read Matt Taibbi's take on it, which served my purpose.

This week's scapegoat is the press, and yes, there is plenty of evidence that the liberal media -- like Joe and Mika Scarborough, for one example -- was deep in the tank for Trump from the jump.  I can buy that premise because I watched it happen, just like you: CNN cut to every single campaign event of his every single day from January to November.  And his Tweets; Dear Jeebus.  No other candidate, Republican or Democrat, got nearly as much free media.

But blaming teevee coverage for her defeat is akin to criticizing the refs for a bad call when your team loses.  Your team is not supposed to make the game close enough to be decided by an official's error, and there are no replay challenges.  We also should be well past the point of believing that our corporate media is either unbiased or interested in anything except ratings and clicks.  The press is many years and mergers away from being an honest umpire; they're not calling balls and strikes any more than John Roberts is.  Les Moonves reminded us in February of 2016, you know.

"It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS," Moonves said at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco, according to The Hollywood Reporter — perfectly distilling what media critics have long suspected was motivating the round-the-clock coverage of Trump's presidential bid.

"Most of the ads are not about issues. They're sort of like the debates," Moonves said, noting, "[t]here's a lot of money in the marketplace."

The 2016 campaign is a "circus," he remarked, but "Donald's place in this election is a good thing."
"Man, who would have expected the ride we're all having right now? ... The money's rolling in and this is fun," Moonves went on. "I've never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It's a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.”

So, as with the rest of the misplaced excuses for Her losing an election she should have won ... what can Democrats, Democratic candidates in 2018, and -- most importantly for some, people who get paid to consult and advise them -- actually do about it if in fact the media is stacked against them?

That is not a rhetorical question, by the way.  If you think the media got Trump elected, more so than Clinton's unforced errors, or James Comey's ill-timed decisions and announcements, or the Russians, or Bernie Sanders, or even FFS Jill Stein and the Green Party ... what precisely is within the Donkeys' power to fix that in 2018 and 2020?

I'll wait for your answer in the comments.

-- Sylvester Turner's past few weeks have enabled him a star turn; despite some ridiculous national second-guessing, his and Judge Emmett's decision to buck Governor "Houston Should Evacuate" was quickly and strongly defended by everybody local.  (We know better after Rita than to put six million people all at once on the freeways out of town.)  The mayor managed the crises wrought by Harvey quite well, to my eye; yes, there will be some lawsuits and lots of angry homeowners over aggravated flooding when water went over -- and was let through -- the seventy-year-old Addicks and Barker dams west of town, and the Red Cross bungled some shelter logistics and caught shit for it, including a red-faced rant from conservo-freak CM Dave Martin.

But a lot of these reactions are a bit theatrical (sorry, Alley) and the fault lies not (sorry, Mr. Shakespeare) with Mayor Turner exclusively; the county, the respective county agencies, etc., own it, though he'll catch a bit of heat from some uncareful thinkers and overly emotional victims.  Turner is feeling so strong of late that he is going to ask property owners to help pay for recovery, to the tune of an 8.9% tax hike for a year.  While I doubt he would make such a move if he were standing for re-election in two months, and it may still get turned down by the DINOs on city council joining Martin and the rest of the GOP, a tax increase is very much the right (and the left) thing to do.

So hats off to Sylvester Turner for showing up since Harvey came to town.  Keep it going forward, Mr. Mayor, and spare the wrath for the homeless and the first responders.  You'll need some extra to browbeat these conservatives into raising and spending money to rebuild this city.  Remind them that we can't just depend on the generosity of Les Alexander and JJ Watt and Kieu Hoang; the other Houston billionaires and multi-millionaires need to cough up some coin as well, along with all of the rest of us.  Not the evacuees at Joel Osteen's church, though.  Talk about clueless.

-- Ted Cruz likes voyeur porn, which makes complete sense in the context of having his lawyers argue ten years ago that Americans have no constitutional right to pleasure themselves.  The irony is as thick as a brick, but the hypocrisy is off the chain.

That's about all I have time to hit this morning.  More Russian crap is on the way (Facebook, I'm looking at YOU).

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance-- those members situated along the Gulf coast, at least -- really feel the pain Floridians are experiencing this morning from Irma.

SocraticGadfly offers up a trio of Harvey-related thoughts related to possible future "big ones." Would an Ike Dike be a massive military-industrial complex boondoggle? Can Houston and Harris County do anything different on evacuation ideas? And does greater Houston, like some other disaster-prone areas, simply have too many people living there?

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is angry with the previous head of Houston flood control and the current pollution helpers.

Dos Centavos wants us to think about undocumented immigrants as something other than cheap labor for rebuilding after disasters.

jobsanger profiles the four Texas Republican Congressmen who voted against federal assistance for Harvey victims.

Texas Vox, the blog for Public Citizen, kicked off its Texas Climate Change Tour in Austin.

Family feuds are the most fun to watch, especially when you're not in the family, laughed PDiddie at Brains and Eggs as he popped more corn.

Neil at All People Have Value said Democrats really need to move on from the Sanders/Clinton primary fight. APHV is part of

The Lewisville Texan Journal reports that the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission is suing Denton County over allegation of gender pay discrimination.

Off the Kuff looked at the hopefully temporary reinstatement of the voter ID law as it goes through the appeals process.

And Nick Anderson, previously the Houston Chronicle political artist and now drawing for Texas Monthly, sums up what merits a special session for Greg Abbott and what does not.


Today is also the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks, and we solemnly pause and remember the lives of the victims lost on that day sixteen years ago.

In other disaster-related news, Houston Matters reports that aftershocks from the 8.1 magnitude earthquake that leveled the Mexican city of Juchitan continue to hamper relief efforts there.

An Associated Press account reveals that more than two dozen storage tanks holding crude oil, gasoline, and other contaminants ruptured or otherwise failed when Harvey slammed into the Texas coast, spilling at least 145,000 gallons of fuel and spewing toxic pollutants into the air.  The environmental calamity left behind by Harvey will be the most difficult cleanup of all (where it manages to occur, that is).

Texas Standard asks: will those displaced by Hurricane Harvey return to the Texas Gulf Coast?

Better Texas Blog talks fighting hunger after Harvey.

The Texas Living Waters Project will work to find innovative flooding solutions for the next hurricane.

The TSTA Blog cheers the selection of John Sharp as statewide rebuilding (post-Harvey) czar.

Offcite curates a few hurricane think pieces, including a NYT op-ed which uses a phrase familiar to Jill Stein supporters as the premise for rebuilding the nation's coastal regions.  An excerpt:

Environmentalists and scholars have sometimes called this a “green New Deal” or “environmental Keynesianism.” We should invest in science and public education to train the next generation of engineers who will build safer homes and infrastructure. (President Trump promised us infrastructure but, just weeks before this storm, rescinded an Obama-era regulation that required structures built with federal money to take sea-level rise into account.) We should expand and enhance programs that make adaptation to climate change possible for ordinary Americans, helping them to retrofit their homes or relocate to safer ground.

We should plan recovery and rebuilding projects that address local poverty and exclusion, rather than line the pockets of developers. We should commit expenditures to the kinds of projects that mitigate climate change, like clean energy and public transportation. And we should strengthen our safety nets so that when the next storm’s victims are picking up the pieces, they are not also worried about job insecurity, rising health care costs and precarious retirements.

Space City Weather points out that Houston is already pretty dried out, and going to get drier.

Michael Li shows the proposed remedial Congressional maps.

Grits for Breakfast sees a rare moment for bail reform.

Michael Barajas at the Texas Observer took note of Trump’s nomination of two lawyers, Jeff Mateer and Matthew Kacsmaryk, from the First Liberty Institute -- a far right Christian advocacy organization -- to vacant federal judge seats in Texas.  The reaction from LGBTQ groups and civil rights activists was swift.

“First Liberty Institute has used anti-LGBTQ policies to blatantly vilify our families and neighbors for two decades,” Equality Texas said in a Friday statement. “By nominating associates of this hate group, the president is using his office in an attempt to ensure policies will be created and spearheaded to advance anti-LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing and places of business all under the guise of protecting religious liberties.”

Kathy Miller of Texas Freedom Network, which advocates for church-state separation, called the nominations “a clear signal that President Trump intends to make our federal courts the place where civil rights go to die.”

Their nominations must still be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Last, Texas Moratorium Network announces that the 18th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty is scheduled for October 28 at the Capitol in Austin.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Family fights are the best fights

Although it looks to me like only one side is doing the fighting.

Prominent Democrats are increasingly riled by attacks from Bernie Sanders' supporters, whose demands for ideological purity are hurting the party ahead of the 2018 midterms and 2020 presidential election, they say.

But it’s not just the outside agitators that Democratic lawmakers, operatives, and activists are annoyed with: They’re tired of what they see as the senator’s hesitance to confront his own backers, either in public or through back channels.

Tensions boiled over recently when a handful of Sanders loyalists bashed freshman Sen. Kamala Harris — a rising star in the party and potential 2020 hopeful — as an establishment tool. Democrats were also rankled that other prominent Sanders allies said support for single-payer health care should be a litmus test for candidates.

In response, Democratic senators and outside groups have begun telling Sanders and friendly intermediaries that if he wants to be a leading figure for Democrats ahead of 2020’s presidential election, he needs to get his supporters in line — or at least publicly disavow their more incendiary statements.

A lot more at the link.  I keep hoping Bernie will decide he'd rather be a leader in some party to the left of the Democrats.  This vitriol follows closely on the heels of Hillary Clinton's latest book, which tears all the scabs off the wounds (which really had not scabbed over all that much).

The late night guys have, as usual, diagnosed the Democrats' problem.

Late-night host Seth Meyers has a message for former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton: Don't blame Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for your loss.

"Hillary Clinton, don't blame Bernie because Donald Trump called you names," Meyers said on Wednesday. "I promise you, he was going to do that anyway."

His comments come after Clinton in her new book blamed Sanders for doing "lasting damage" to her campaign and "paving the way" for President Trump's attacks against her as "Crooked Hillary."

Meyers also questioned why Clinton was "wasting pages" in her book on Sanders. The Vermont senator is "not a fan," he added, before joking Sanders wouldn't pay $17.99 for a book.

"Bernie is not the reason you lost," Meyers continued.

"You know how I know that? You beat Trump by 3 million votes. If you want to blame something ancient, blame the Electoral College."

Meyers also went after Clinton for saying Sanders's ideas were nothing more than pipe dreams.

"I'm not sure if you've been paying attention, but pipe dreams paid off great in 2016," he said.

"Trump won by saying he was going to build a wall. You should have said you were going to build a stairway to heaven or an escalator to Mars that you were going to make the Martians pay for."

There is now an unprecedented opportunity to pull together Democrats and liberals, Meyers said.

"The best way to do this is to get the people who voted for you and the people who voted for Bernie on the same page," Meyers said, adding that Sanders helped make Clinton a better candidate.

"You know, the candidate who beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes," he added.

This was the night after Jimmy Kimmel was a bit less direct and little more wry.

“I was just thinking to myself this morning, ‘I would love to relive that magical election of 2016,'” he began. “It’s like reading a book about why the Titanic sank while you’re sitting at the bottom of the ocean.”

Kimmel pointed to an excerpt of the book where Clinton referred to James Comey as a “rash FBI Director.”

“Although in fairness to Comey, he only got that rash after being forced to shake hands with her husband,” he quipped.

He then brought up Clinton’s attacks on her primary rival Bernie Sanders and wondered why a non-Democrat like him would run for the Democratic nomination.

“It’s a very good question… that should have been asked two years ago,” Kimmel said. “I guess it didn’t come up til now.”

Kimmel then showed a ‘trailer’ for her book “It’s That F**ker Bernie’s Fault,” which promotes the retelling of her “astonishing defeat” and why “despite overwhelming odds, everything collapsed.”

“At least she’s taking responsibility,” Kimmel added.

Folks, you know I gave up on this Democratic Party a long time ago.  It seems obvious to me that they won't be winning anything in a midterm election cycle, which would probably be the case even without the joy of all this division (certainly in Texas).  I'll just ask what few friends I still have that voted for Hillary, think the Russians stole the election, believe Bernie is the reason for all this infighting, etc. a couple of questions.

What do you think a US Senate with a filibuster-proof majority in 2018 is going to do with Trump's agenda?  What do you believe a Texas Legislature is capable of if Joe Straus is not Speaker of the Texas House?

The answer in both cases is: worse than you can ever imagine.

I am of the opinion that 2018 is already lost.  And 2020 is very probably the last chance Democrats will have to get their shit together.  Somebody is going to have to swallow their pride and stand down, though, and I don't expect it to be the Sandernistas.  Good luck and all that to everybody involved.  I'll be surprised if we don't see the blame game played out for several more years.

Monday, September 04, 2017

The Labor Day Wrangle

Many Texans aren't taking today off from hard work, as they have homes to muck and gut and lives to rebuild.  The Texas Progressive Alliance has a soft spot in its heart for everyone up and down the coast who can't afford to sleep late this morning, enjoy a barbecue this afternoon, and certainly won't have time to relax at the beach this Labor Day.

Here's the lefty blog post and news roundup.

As Trump prepares to end DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act), Dos Centavos believes that DREAM (the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act) will continue to be a political football in the 2018 -- and possibly 2020 -- elections.

As reported in the Houston Chronicle, 31-year-old DACA recipient Alonso Guillen of Lufkin drowned while rescuing others in Cypress Creek near Spring, Texas.  Guillen's death brings the toll from Harvey to nearly 60.

The Space City's homeless population just shrugged off Harvey, noted Houston Matters.

After getting his 91-year-old mother out of the calamity that Harvey left behind in Beaumont, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs collected some observations about the looming environmental catastrophes threatening the Texas Gulf coast.

SocraticGadfly, from up in North Texas, offers his take on both the politics behind Harvey and pseudoskeptics, including an alleged actual skeptic in Houston, and everything else behind the Arkema chemical plant explosions.

Southeast Texas soil, air, and water are awash in toxic chemicals thanks to deregulation by Trump and Abbott.  Trump's gutting of the EPA ensures that the destruction and suffering will have the maximum effect. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wishes each of them could experience all of the suffering they are causing themselves.

'Harvey' translates easily in any language -- Farsi, Arabic, Vietnamese.  The Houston Press heard translators who arrived at Houston shelters to help the city's diverse population of evacuees cope with the flood.

The Lewisville Texan Journal saw the gas panic that hit the DFW area, and the Texas Standard observed that the rush to the pumps only exacerbated fuel shortages.

DBC Green Blog enjoyed clear skies at the end of last week, as well as the veritable deluge of Harvey think pieces.

Neil at All People Have Value said you don't have to be "Houston Strong" regarding Hurricane Harvey if you don't want to be.  Do what you need to do to move forward.  APHV is part of

Be it climate change or nuclear annihilation or a rogue asteroid, Steve Rossignol at The Rag Blog would really like to know how close we are to doomsday.

Harry Hamid posted a (grateful for having been uneventful) Hurricane Harvey story.

Off the Kuff celebrated the federal court ruling that halted enforcement of the "sanctuary cities" ban before it went into effect.

Millard Fillmore's Bathtub reminds us to fly the US flag today to honor those who lost their lives so that we could enjoy Labor Day.

Small U.S. flag flies at the grave of John Morris, the first worker killed in the battle 
outside of the Homestead Works Steel Mill in 1892. Photo by Alex Popichak / 90.5 WESA

And jobsanger says that all workers should be thankful for the contributions of labor unions.