How AT&T helped build far-right One America News

A Reuters review of court records shows the role AT&T played in creating and funding OAN, a network that continues to spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic.

OAN founder and chief executive Robert Herring Sr has testified that the inspiration to launch OAN in 2013 came from AT&T executives.

“They told us they wanted a conservative network,” Herring said during a 2019 deposition seen by Reuters. “They only had one, which was Fox News, and they had seven others on the other [leftwing] side. When they said that, I jumped to it and built one.”

Reuters

Republicans Creating Inflation Fear: Fuhgeddaboudit

Slight increases in the rate of inflation in the United States and Europe have triggered financial-market anxieties. Has US President Joe Biden’s administration risked overheating the economy with its $1.9 trillion rescue package and plans for additional spending to invest in infrastructure, job creation, and bolstering American families?

Such concerns are premature, considering the deep uncertainty we still face. We have never before experienced a pandemic-induced downturn featuring a disproportionately steep service-sector recession, unprecedented increases in inequality, and soaring savings rates.

Joseph Stiglitz

Libertarians: How a New Hampshire libertarian utopia was foiled by bears

[Grafton, New Hampshire] The experiment was called the “Free Town Project” (it later became the “Free State Project”), and the goal was simple: take over Grafton’s local government and turn it into a libertarian utopia. The movement was cooked up by a small group of ragtag libertarian activists who saw in Grafton a unique opportunity to realize their dreams of a perfectly logical and perfectly market-based community. Needless to say, utopia never arrived, but the bears did!

Vox

Inside the Fall of the CDC

How the world’s greatest public health organization was brought to its knees by a virus, the president and the capitulation of its own leaders, causing damage that could last much longer than the coronavirus.

When the next history of the CDC is written, 2020 will emerge as perhaps the darkest chapter in its 74 years, rivaled only by its involvement in the infamous Tuskegee experiment, in which federal doctors withheld medicine from poor Black men with syphilis, then tracked their descent into blindness, insanity and death.

ProPublica

Trump Secretly Mocks His Christian Supporters

Former aides say that in private, the president has spoken with cynicism and contempt about believers.

One day in 2015, Donald Trump beckoned Michael Cohen, his longtime confidant and personal attorney, into his office. Trump was brandishing a printout of an article about an Atlanta-based megachurch pastor trying to raise $60 million from his flock to buy a private jet. Trump knew the preacher personally—Creflo Dollar had been among a group of evangelical figures who visited him in 2011 while he was first exploring a presidential bid. During the meeting, Trump had reverently bowed his head in prayer while the pastors laid hands on him. Now he was gleefully reciting the impious details of Dollar’s quest for a Gulfstream G650.

Trump seemed delighted by the “scam,” Cohen recalled to me, and eager to highlight that the pastor was “full of shit.”

“They’re all hustlers,” Trump said.

The Atlantic

They wanted disruption in 2016. Now they’re Trump defectors

The more Jensen learned about Trump, the less she liked. For the first time in her life, she was uncomfortable with a Republican.

Over the course of Trump’s first term, as Jensen grew more alarmed by the president’s actions, her stance on many issues started to shift. She began to read different news sources, scour new types of books. She watched MSNBC along with Fox News, and read about media bias and immigration.

Everything she thought she believed was in question. She’d loved George W. Bush and was a strong critic of Barack Obama. Now? She found herself warming to U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive Democrat from the Bronx, which was about as far away from suburban Texas as you could get.

AP

What McConnell, others said about Merrick Garland in 2016 vs. after Ginsburg’s death

When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, Senate Republicans came out of the gate insisting that his seat not be filled due to the presidential election about nine months away. The Democrats vehemently disagreed. But ultimately, President Barack Obama’s last Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland — a judge who mainly agreed with now Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative, when they served together on the appeals court — never received a hearing.

USA Today

Here’s what Mitch McConnell said about not filing a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year