64-layer 3D NAND has arrived with Intel as the first to market. The new Intel SSD 545s is a mainstream consumer SATA SSD that greatly improves on last year's disappointing Intel SSD 540s. Intel hasn't quite beaten Samsung's entrenched 850 EVO, but the SSD market is definitely getting more competitive with this new generation of 3D NAND flash memory.
Heather Timmons is White House correspondent for Quartz, where she writes—The word “women” literally never appears in the US Senate’s 142-page health-care bill:
Women have babies. If they didn’t, first the economy would collapse, and then the species would die out.
But because they do, from their late teens to their early forties, women have higher health-care costs than men of the same age. Carrying and birthing a child is a sometimes difficult, dangerous, complicated business, and one that, in America, can be incredibly expensive.
Despite the incontrovertible fact that men are biologically just as responsible as women for a pregnancy happening, before the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, women in the US paid more for health care and insurance because they are the ones who can get pregnant. Specifically, American women of child-bearing age paid somewhere between 52% and 69% more in out-of-pocket healthcare costs then men.
The Trump administration’s health-care reform bill now in the Senate, and the version that passed the House this May, will force some women to pay more again. Specifically, it strips out hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid, the insurance for the poor, which now covers over 50% of all births in many US states, and allows states to opt out of covering “essential” healthcare that includes maternity and newborn care.
The Senate bill was crafted behind closed doors, by 13 men and no women. A search of the language used in the 142-page draft document (pdf) shows that womanhood and motherhood are, quite literally, also omitted from most of the bill itself. [...]
“A billion people depend on fish for their main source for animal protein. At the rate at which we are losing fish, it is a human problem of enormous dimensions, a health problem of a kind we haven’t seen before.”
~Pavan Sukhdev, 2011
At on this date in 2008—SCOTUS Overturns Millionaire’s Amendment:
Remember the Millionaire's Amendment? Basically, it says that if a candidate self-funds his House or Senate campaign beyond a certain level (and the math is complicated) and makes the race less competitive, the challenger can start raising funds at twice or even three times ($6900/election) the contribution limits otherwise applicable, and the self-funder becomes subject to various mandatory disclosure requirements regarding his use of his own funds.
Well, based on today's 5-4 Supreme Court decision authored by Justice Alito, it's just a memory now. Since I can't imagine Congress acting anytime soon, in the 2008 cycle millionaire self-funding candidates can spend to their heart's content without there being any recourse for their opponents.
Essentially, what killed this law was that the raised contribution limits applied were only available to the challenger, and the Court found this to be unduly discriminatory
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: This week, Rs attempt to repeal Medicaid. Greg Dworkin notes the lies they’re using and the damage they’re doing. Rosalyn MacGregor previews the MI-GOV GOP field. Trump’s Miami money laundering is back in the news. It can’t happen here? It already did.
Is Trump a pathological liar? Probably? It’s hard to say since everything about him is a lie, a manufactured untruth. His prowess as a businessman is a lie, he inherited his wealth from his father. His friends are bullshit. His face and hair are their own misadventure in truth telling. The Toronto Star has been keeping a tally of the falsehoods being told by our current president. With Trump’s return to the “campaign/not campaign trail” last week in Iowa—his bullshit game is back into fifth gear.
We are keeping track. Below is a list of every false claim Trump has made since his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017.
Trump is averaging 2.1 false claims per day.
They have the list which can also be sorted by topic. Some of the choicest from the list:
"Former Homeland Security Advisor Jeh Johnson is the latest top intelligence official to state there was no grand scheme between Trump & Russia."
In fact: Johnson was Secretary of Homeland Security, not “Advisor,” and Trump’s claim is inaccurate even leaving that aside. Testifying before a House committee, Johnson was not nearly so definitive; asked if he had any evidence of Trump collusion with Russia, he said: “Not beyond what has been out there, open-source, and not beyond anything that I'm sure this committee has already seen and heard before directly from the intelligence community.” He then added that he hadn’t had access to intelligence “over the last five months,” as the investigation has continued.
The future of CastAR, an ambitious augmented reality system that began life in Valve's hardware labs five years ago, is now in serious doubt. A bleak Monday Tweet from a former CastAR staffer was followed by Polygon's Brian Crecente reporting a full company shutdown.
Citing unnamed "former employees," Polygon reported that the hardware maker's primary finance group pulled all funding last week. This was allegedly followed by a full staff layoff and an announcement that the company's remaining assets would be liquidated.
As of press time, neither CastAR nor its affiliated developer, Eat Sleep Play, have posted any confirmation of shut downs or liquidation. Ars Technica has reached out to CastAR co-founders Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson. We will update this report with any response.
O'HARE — Mayor Rahm Emanuel's long-gestating plan for a high-speed rail line between Downtown and O'Hare Airport got a jolt of electricity Monday with the news that Tesla founder Elon Musk may be interested in the project that the mayor has called "essential for the city's future."
Tickets on an express train — which would zoom from O'Hare to Downtown in 20 or 25 minutes — could cost between $25-$40, according to estimates, while a one-way fare on the Blue Line from O'Hare now costs $5.
Like mass transit, but only for rich people.
Senate Democrats have held the floor for the last several hours, and promise to go into the night to talk about the danger Trumpcare poses to the American people. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer provided gallery passes from his office for advocates to watch the Senate proceedings.
Several Senators—Cory Booker (NJ), Jeff Merkley (OR), Chris Murphy (CT), Bob Casey (PA) and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) are holding a sit-in on the Capitol steps, with Booker writing this on his Facebook page.
Health care is a human right.
So this week we face a defining moment: we are perhaps days away from a vote on a devastating health repeal bill in the United States Senate that threatens the health and financial security of millions of Americans.
We must fight harder for the American people who will suffer, who will get sicker, who will lose loved ones if the Senate Republican plan goes through. Because right now, the fate of millions of Americans and future generations are at stake in this fight – a fight Americans cannot afford to lose.
Congressman John Lewis said it well: “Affordable health care is the birthright of every American. At stake are not just the details of policy but the character of our country.”
So John Lewis and I are going to sit down on the Capitol steps for a while to protest Senate Republican’s efforts to repeal health care and give voice to millions of Americans who believe that affordable health care is a human right.
Watch, share & join us.
You can watch live on Facebook.
Make your Republican Senator feel the heat. Call their office EVERY DAY at (202) 224-3121 to demand that they say NO to ripping health care away from millions of Americans. No on Trumpcare. Then, tell us how it went.
Schumer has joined his colleagues on the Capitol steps, while Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) is giving rousing floor statement against this bill.
Meanwhile, and this is weird, there are now four Republicans who say they will vote against the motion to proceed to this bill—GOP Sens. Dean Heller (NV), Susan Collins (ME), Rand Paul (KY), and Ron Johson (WI) (this is like his fourth position on the bill in the last two weeks). If they hold, if a few more join them, this is done. Call your Republican senators.
Grover Norquist is "the" Republican anti-tax guru. That is all he does; that is all he is known for. His organization, Americans for Tax Reform, exists for the purpose of grousing that all taxes are too high and all government is too big. So he probably imagined he was making a terribly clever point when he took to Twitter to share an anecdote on his parenting skills.
It did not go well, which on Twitter can be a truly glorious thing. Shall we bask in just a few of the many, many replies?
Ivanka Trump is notable for her omnipresence in Trump meetings with foreign and business leaders. She has an office in the White House. She has an official title. She has a staff. She is widely held up as the moderating force that will any day now convince her father that climate change is real, or that defunding women's health programs is bad, or that maybe we should feed American children even if they aren't able to score good-paying jobs in America's remaining coal mines. She has been successful at none of this, as far as we know.
Ivanka Trump has thoughts.
"I try to stay out of politics. [...]
We probably should just stop there, with that hanging over our heads like the butter knife of Damocles. But we are gluttons for punishment so we will lie here patiently while she explains the awesomeness that is her narcissistic, dementia-addled father.
[...] His political instincts are phenomenal. He did something that no one could have imagined he’d be able to accomplish,” the first daughter told Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” in response to a question about her father’s oft-controversial Twitter habit. “I feel blessed just being part of the ride from day one and before. But he did something pretty remarkable. But I don’t profess to be a political savant."
Scheduling an interview with Fox & Friends to explain how un-political you are is not Peak Trump Family, not by a long shot, but it is a good effort for a Monday. It also is good cover for protecting your own brand name even as daddy dearest continues to savage the nation's laws, reputation, and common sense. Anything father does that could be painted as good is due in part to your guiding input; anything father does that is humiliating and terrible and wrong is just "politics," which we will put in a neat little pile over there for the help to deal with.
The criminal trial for Joe Arpaio begins today, with the birther and disgraced former Maricopa County sheriff facing a charge of federal criminal contempt of court for defying a judge’s order to stop targeting Latino and immigrant drivers. If convicted, the “bad hombre” faces up to six months in the slammer. No word if he’d still make it in time to sit in pink underwear in the notorious “Tent City” that his successor is shutting down by the end of this year:
The eight-day trial that begins Monday in federal court in Phoenix will determine whether the 85-year-old retired lawman is guilty of misdemeanor contempt of court for disobeying a judge’s order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. The judge later found his officers racially profiling Latinos.
The former six-term sheriff of metro Phoenix has acknowledged defying the judge’s 2011 order in a racial profiling lawsuit by prolonging the patrols for months. But he insists it was not intentional. To win a conviction, prosecutors must prove he violated the order on purpose.
For the advocates on the ground who spent years fighting back against Arpaio’s anti-immigrant nativism and helped hand him a long-awaited defeat last November, there’s no doubt in their minds about his intent. "His legend will be that he destroyed our community and he got busted for it,” said Lydia Guzman, a plaintiff in the lawsuit against Arpaio.
According to USA Today, more than 700 undocumented immigrant workers in Maricopa County were swept up in immigration raids and turned over to federal immigration agents during Arpaio’s reign of terror. One of the immigrants arrested during one of Arpaio’s first raids also became one of the first immigrants to be deported following Donald Trump’s inauguration, leaving behind two U.S. citizen children.
Confusingly, Zillow does not even own the images in question. Instead, Zillow licenses them from the rights holders. As such, it remains unclear why the company would have standing to bring a lawsuit against Wagner.
Microsoft recently patched a critical vulnerability in its ubiquitous built-in antivirus engine. The vulnerability could have allowed attackers to execute malicious code by luring users to a booby-trapped website or attaching a booby-trapped file to an e-mail or instant message.
A targeted user who had real-time protection turned on wasn't required to click on the booby-trapped file or take any other action other than visit the malicious website or receive the malicious e-mail or instant message. Even when real-time protection was off, malicious files would be executed shortly after a scheduled scan started. The ease was the result of the vulnerable x86 emulator not being protected by a security sandbox and being remotely accessible to attackers by design. That's according to Tavis Ormandy, the Google Project Zero researcher who discovered the vulnerability and explained it in a report published Friday.
Ormandy said he identified the flaw almost immediately after developing a fuzzer for the Windows Defender component. Fuzzing is a software testing technique that locates bugs by subjecting application code to corrupted data and other types of malformed or otherwise unexpected input.
Voting rights advocate Rev. William Barber was in Washington Friday marching with other activists to raise awareness about voter suppression on the fourth anniversary of the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
In Barber's home state of North Carolina, activists have notched two recent victories in the courts that have struck down a discriminatory law targeting voters of color and found lawmakers relied too heavily on a race to draw the state's congressional districts. Nonetheless, the 2013 Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act suggested Congress could derive a new standard for discerning which states require extra scrutiny. That still hasn’t happened.
Additionally, Barber told a group of reporters that Attorney General Jeff Sessions can't be relied upon to challenge any new voter suppression laws coming from GOP-controlled legislatures, and he's worried that roadblocks for voters of color could be overshadowed by all the attention being paid to cyberattacks on our elections. Vanessa Williams reports:
“The truth is homegrown voter suppression poses a greater threat to U.S. democracy than Russian election tampering,” Barber said. [...]
“For nearly four years, the leadership of the Senate and the House have not brought for one bill to fully restore the Voting Rights Act,” said Barber said. “This is the real hacking of our democracy; the real hacking of our election system.”
According to the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, as of May, at least 99 bills to restrict registration and voting have been introduced in 31 states, and more than a third of those bills have seen some type of legislative action. The center notes that although bills introduced to expand voting access outnumber those that would restrict access, “more legislation to limit participation is advancing toward passage.”
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine sent three tweets Monday evening that made Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s path to 51 votes a lot tougher.
“I will vote no on mtp,” Collins wrote of the GOP health care repeal bill, using the acronym for Motion to Proceed. Collins added she wanted to work with Democrats and Republicans to “fix” the Affordable Care Act but noted that the Republican bill wouldn’t do that. She followed with these tweets:
There’s no wiggle room there for changing her mind. That puts her in step with another relative GOP moderate, Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, who last week said he couldn’t vote for a bill that “takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans.”
Four conservative Republicans have also signaled misgivings about the bill, but the statements from Collins and Heller are much more convincing. If McConnell also loses Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski, that could be a wrap since he can’t afford to lose more than two GOP votes.
UDPATE: “Stalled” is probably a good estimation of the state of play on the GOP bill, since Rand Paul is the most likely GOP conservative to actually vote “no.” His “no” vote, plus Collins and Heller spell trouble...
Whoever thought that filling an administration with a bunch of CEOs who haven’t had to answer to anyone for decades was a great idea—was almost certainly a CEO who hasn’t had to answer to anyone for decades. So what happens when an oligarch hires an oligarch? Nothing. Literally nothing.
Three foreign ambassadors — one from Asia and two from Europe — said they had taken to contacting the National Security Council because the State Department does not return their calls or does not offer substantive answers when it does.
Tillerson has two problems. One is Donald Trump. It’s hard to pretend to do policy for someone who doesn’t have any policy. When Tillerson offered to act as a mediator between the Saudis and Qatar, Trump blew up his efforts.
President Trump openly sided with the Saudis, first on Twitter, then again at a news conference. Mr. Trump called Qatar a “funder of terrorism at a very high level” just as the State Department was questioning whether the Saudis were using the terrorism charge to cover for “long-simmering grievances” between the Arab nations.
Tillerson’s other problem is Rex Tillerson. His unwillingness to trust people he didn’t bring in the door himself matches Trump’s own paranoia, but Tillerson adds a micromanagement style that has the State Department bogged in an ill-timed, uncoordinated “reorganization.”
“It’s not that he’s a weak secretary of state or a strong one — he’s in a different category,” said Robert Kagan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who is writing the second volume of his history of American foreign policy. “I have a hard time thinking of one who has come in with little foreign policy experience and has less interest in surrounding himself with the people who know something about the regions and issues that he has to deal with.”
As part of its Orders List today, the Supreme Court announced that it would not review a Ninth Circuit decision which held that there is no Second Amendment right for members of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public. The case had been brought by residents of San Diego and Yolo Counties who had sought to carry concealed firearms in public for self-defense, but alleged they were denied licenses to do so because they did not satisfy the “good cause” requirements in their counties. Two Justices dissented from this denial of review—Justices Thomas and Gorusch—and, hoo boy, they’re upset.
Some background first: Yolo County defined “good cause” as including “ a set of circumstances that distinguish the applicant from the mainstream and causes him or her to be placed in harm’s way. Simply fearing for one’s personal safety alone is not considered good cause. This criterion can be applied to situations related to personal protection as well as those related to individual businesses or occupations.” So under this policy, “Victims of violent crime and/or documented threats of violence” or “Business owners who carry large sums of cash or valuable items” had good cause; “Self protection and protection of family (without credible threats of violence)” or “Employment in the security field” by itself did not.
And Justices Thomas and Gorsuch wanted this case to be heard. And reversed:
Neither party disputes that the issue is one of national importance or that the courts of appeals have already weighed in extensively. … As we explained in Heller, to “bear arms” means to “‘wear, bear, or carry upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’” The most natural reading of this definition encompasses public carry. I find it extremely improbable that the Framers understood the Second Amendment to protect little more than carrying a gun from the bedroom to the kitchen.
… [T]he Second Amendment’s core purpose further supports the conclusion that the right to bear arms extends to public carry. The Court in Heller emphasized that “self-defense” is “the central component of the [Second Amendment] right itself.” This purpose is not limited only to the home, even though the need for self-defense may be “most acute” there. “Self defense has to take place wherever the person happens to be,” and in some circumstances a person may be more vulnerable in a public place than in his own house.
Sean Spicer laid out one of his biggest whoppers yet Monday when he peddled the idea that Donald Trump never really intended for Russia to hack Hillary's emails and, say, release them drip by drip to the public—even though he urged Russia to do exactly that during a press conference last summer.
"He was joking at the time. We all know that," Spicer said.
Okay, just picking my jaw up on the floor over here, because that July 27, 2016, press conference—coincidentally Trump’s last of the year—is Exhibit A in a Trump-Russia collusion case. Here's what we all remember, Spicey:
"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing."
As NBC reporter Katy Tur noted today, at the time she pressed Trump on whether calling on Russia to hack Hillary gave him "pause," to which he responded:
"No, it gives me no pause—if they have 'em, they have 'em."
Does that sound like a man who was in a joking mood? It wasn’t exactly, "C'mon guys, quit taking me so seriously. Of course, I don't want a foreign power interfering with our election."
Anyway, you be the judge. Check out the clip below and let us know what you think: Trump the jokester or Trump the colluder?
The AP has found that authorities repeatedly tried to derail a proper investigation of anti-gay abuse in a North Carolina church where members were repeatedly assaulted by congregants in a horrific effort to expel “homosexual demons.” Former congregant Matthew Fenner “not only told law enforcement agencies about what happened to him,” noted the AP investigation, “but also warned of ongoing abuse in the church.” Inside the church, leaders pressured congregants to lie to authorities about the beatings in order to protect the influential church. It would be years before charges were finally filed against the abusive congregants:
In February, the AP detailed how many Word of Faith Fellowship congregants were regularly attacked both physically and verbally in an attempt to “purify” sinners by beating out devils.
The church has come under scrutiny by law enforcement and social services authorities on numerous occasions with little effect, mostly because followers refused to cooperate. But Fenner’s relentless pursuit eventually led to the indictment of five congregants, who were charged with kidnapping and assault.
“The whole investigation should have taken a month,” said Michael Davis, who spent 15 years as a Rutherford County sheriff’s investigator before retiring last year, and was not involved in Fenner’s case. “They should have interviewed witnesses. They should have gone to the church. They should have written up a report and sent it over to the sheriff, then to the DA. But that didn’t happen. None of that happened.”
According to testimony from the trial of the church’s minister, “church leaders including two state prosecutors at the time met with the roughly 30 people present when Matthew Fenner was beaten in January 2013. She says then-assistant district attorneys Frank Webster and Chris Back told them to tell authorities that nothing happened.” But it was Fenner’s “relentless pursuit” for justice that “eventually led to the indictment of five congregants, who were charged with kidnapping and assault,” notes the AP.
Martin Shkreli appeared in a New York federal court Monday for the start of his securities fraud trial—and was quickly declared guilty of price gouging by potential jurors.
Shkreli is facing eight counts of securities and wire fraud in connection to an alleged Ponzi-like scheme involving one of his old pharmaceutical companies, Retrophin. But the ex-CEO is infamous for something completely different: raising the price of a life-saving medication given to infants and people with HIV/AIDS by more than 5,000 percent overnight as CEO and founder of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Outrage over that unrelated move spilled into the courtroom today and stands to slow progress of the fraud trial.
In interviews with Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, potential jurors called Shkreli “evil” and “the face of corporate greed in America,” CNBC reports. One potential juror said, “He’s a snake.” Another admitted, “I have total disdain for the man." One potential juror blamed Shkreli for the skyrocketing price of EpiPens, which are made by Mylan, a pharmaceutical company that has no connection with Shkreli.
We've learned something from the investigation into whether Russia meddled in the US election that has nothing to do with politics. Humans are more vulnerable than ever to propaganda, and we have no clue what to do about it.
Social media as weapon
A new report in The Washington Post reveals that the Obama administration and intelligence community knew about Russian attempts to disrupt the 2016 election months in advance. But they did virtually nothing, mostly because they didn't anticipate attacks from weaponized memes and propaganda bots.
Former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told the Post that the members of the intelligence community focused on more traditional digital threats like network penetration. They wanted to prevent e-mail leaks, and they also worried about Russian operatives messing with voting machines. "In many ways... we dealt with this as a cyberthreat and focused on protecting our infrastructure," he said. "Meanwhile, the Russians were playing this much bigger game, which included elements like released hacked materials, political propaganda, and propagating fake news, which they'd pursued in other countries."