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We now know more about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s finances than we do Trump’s

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Democratic Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has garnered a shocking amount of media attention about her finances since winning the election for New York’s 14th congressional district earlier this month, as pundits and journalists repeatedly remark on the soon-to-be youngest ever congresswoman’s savings, attire, and inability to afford an apartment in Washington, D.C. until she begins earning her congressional salary in January.

The latest commotion started last week, when Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign responded to a Fox News story that insinuated that she was lying about the fact that she couldn’t afford a D.C. apartment, citing a financial disclosure statement from April, in which Ocasio-Cortez reported to have at least $15,000 in savings.

Following the story’s publication, Corbin Trent, Ocasio-Cortez’s director of communications, told CNBC that, in fact, the Rep.-elect has had to “dip into her savings since [the April financial disclosure form] was filed. She’s down to well below $7,000 now.”

In other words, Ocasio-Cortez is no different, if not doing better, than most millennials, who have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts (a fact many conservative pundits can’t seem to grasp).

But news coverage of Ocasio-Cortez’s finances is troubling for reasons other than exposing the reality that millennials are the poorest generation or revealing the conservative media’s apparent elitist bias toward wealthier candidates. The obsession with the finances of a young woman of color also stands in disturbingly stark contrast to the minimal coverage of President Donald Trump’s finances, who has yet to release his tax returns despite a campaign promise to do so.

Although the New York Times recently published a bombshell investigative report on Trump’s history of dodging taxes, revealing “instances of outright fraud,” the news barely made a blip on conservative media. In fact, Fox News rushed to the president’s defense, with anchor Neil Cavuto calling Trump’s alleged tax fraud “creative accounting,” adding that “I don’t know if there’s a there there outside of the fact that the president benefited from having a rich father and a good marketing skill.”

The focus on Ocasio-Cortez in recent weeks reveals a racial and gendered double standard in which the Rep.-elect’s perfectly normal actions and rhetoric are overanalyzed, while Trump repeatedly seems to get away with alleged illegal conduct and lies.

It’s been nearly three years since Trump promised to release his tax returns. With Democrats now in control of the House of Representatives, they may force him to do so when the new session gavels in come January.




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angelchrys
21 hours ago
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Overland Park, KS
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Man shoots and kills ex-fiancee, police officer, and pharmacy technician at hospital

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A man went on a shooting rampage at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center in Chicago on Monday afternoon — killing his ex-fiancee, as well as a police officer and a nearby pharmacy technician.

The gunman, Juan Lopez, and a woman who recently broke off an engagement with him, Dr. Tamara O’Neal, an emergency room doctor, argued in the parking lot, according to authorities. After a friend tried to intervene, Lopez “lifted up his shirt and displayed a handgun,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. The friend ran back into the hospital to get help, and the gunfire began shortly thereafter.

O’Neal was the first person he shot before he opened fire on a pharmacy technician, Dayna Less, and a police officer, Samuel Jimenez, who showed up on the scene even though the hospital was outside of his district. The gunman is also dead, but Chicago police did not immediately know how he died, according to Cox Media Group.

O’Neal ended her engagement with the suspect in September, Chicago police said.

Her colleague, Dr. John Purakal, tweeted, “I knew her, trained with her, saved lives with her and tonight, tried to save her life. Tonight, I broke down in front of my coworkers when we lost her, and tonight I held hands with her mother in prayer. Tonight, we lost a beautiful, resilient, passionate doc. Keep singing, TO.”

Another colleague, LaToya Woods-Coleman, told Tia Ewing, reporter at Fox32 News, “She was personable and was always willing to go that ‘extra’ mile for our patients.”

O’Neal was also an after school tutor and mentor to students in sixth through 12th grade.

A sizable share of mass shootings stem from some kind of intimate partner violence. A majority of mass shootings as defined by Everytown for Gun Safety — which is an incident where four or more people, not including the shooter, are killed with a gun — target the shooter’s current or former partner or a family member. When looking at incidents involving only four victims, the overwhelming majority are incidents with evidence of domestic violence. Most of these mass shootings happen in the home, but they also happen at work of school.

Research has shown that victims of intimate partner violence are five times more likely to be killed if their partner has access to a gun.

A 2012 paper on workplace homicides found that between 2003 and 2008, 648 women were killed on the job and that 33 percent of these murders were committed by someone of a personal relation, the majority of those relations being intimate partners. Over half of the workplace homicides committed by intimate partners happened in parking lots and public buildings. Although workplace injury fatalities and homicides in particular have fallen since the 1990s, workplace homicides among women were up 13 percent in 2010. Researchers called intimate partner violence “an important public health issue with serious consequences for the workplace.”

The death of O’Neal, a Black woman, is also part of a disturbing prevalence of intimate partner violence against Black women in the United States. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, more than four in ten Black women have suffered physical violence from an intimate partner, with lower rates for white women, Latinx women, and Asian/Pacific Islander women. Black women also have higher rates of experiencing psychological abuse, such as coercive control, and a particularly high risk of being killed by a man. Nine in 10 Black female murder victims knew the person who killed them.

Violence against and hatred of women is a common connection among mass shooters, even those who did not know their victims. Over and over again, reports on the identities and histories of mass shooters show that many of them have committed domestic violence, emotional abuse, and sexual harassment and violence, and have a hatred of women.




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angelchrys
21 hours ago
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You’re Morally Obligated to Call Out Your Racist Relatives at Thanksgiving

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The Thanksgiving table has long served as a rhetorical battleground for American families. Whether it’s hot gossip about the cousin who’s headed for his fourth divorce or equally fiery political takes, moral and social wars have always been waged at the dinner table. But in this extremely tumultuous time, as children remain incarcerated on the Texas border and mass shootings dominate the news, moderates everywhere still insist that being nice to your racist, Trump-supporting relatives at the Thanksgiving table is somehow going to be the balm that prevents us from ending up in Margaret Atwood’s Gilead.

Writing for the Denver Post, attorney/columnist Doug Friednash warns against “tribal discord” as the country becomes increasingly polarized, and argues that a little dose of politeness is all that’s needed to heal the wounds that divide our country. “Thanksgiving dinner chatter can become risky business,” Friednash writes. “But it doesn’t need to be. We need to listen harder to what people are saying. People that disagree with how we see the world may be our opponents, but they need not be our enemies. They can be our frenemies.”

That assessment is, frankly, a steaming pile of bullshit. And so are the countless other missives on the place of civility in our current political climate, largely written by white men who will never risk the revocation of their citizenship or bodily autonomy. Even though Democrats made strides in the 2018 midterm elections, many among us are still terrified of the impact that this overtly nationalist, deeply dysfunctional administration will have on people in this country and beyond. There is no amount of civility that can balance the harm of xenophobic nationalism, and no amount of sitting silently while listening to someone spew racial epithets that will repair what Trump and his ilk have broken. Being progressive doesn’t just mean clicking “like” on left-leaning Facebook statuses. It requires a commitment to pursuing justice, even when it’s your weird uncle, even when it’s uncomfortable, and especially when there are other people in the room who you care about.

If you can safely do so (read: You do not fear physical or economic reprisal — ie, getting kicked out of your house — for speaking up against bigotry), you have an obligation to push back against harmful rhetoric simply because others do not. It is statistically very likely that a survivor of abuse or person who could face anti-LGBT abuse from your family will be sitting at your Thanksgiving table, and they may not feel safe enough to speak against the use of violent language and homophobic slurs, even if they’re hurled by well-meaning family members. Which means that if the only thing you’ve got to fear is an awkward silence as Grandma cuts the turkey, you’ve got an obligation to let your relatives know that words and actions that demean the humanity of others are not acceptable in your presence. It’s highly unlikely that anything said across the dinner table is going to cause some kind of epiphany in the average bigoted person’s mind, but that’s not the ultimate goal of speaking out.

There’s a real bystander effect that comes into play when someone at the Thanksgiving table begins ranting. At first, maybe you think the presence of a large group of people will prevent racial slurs from falling out of someone’s mouth, and then they do. Then you think that maybe someone else, someone older or more vocal, is going to jump in and tell her to knock it off. The bystander effect already makes it less likely that an individual will intervene if more people are present — it’s the result of a perceived diffusion of responsibility — and that becomes even more complex when family dynamics come into play. Most of us are raised to unfailingly respect our elders, which creates a hierarchy of who is even allowed to “talk back” to our grandparents and aunts in general, much less at a table full of people.

Overcoming what you’ve been trained to do since birth takes a little bit of courage and a lot of hard work, bizarre family dynamics notwithstanding. (As a Southern progressive, I’ve learned that “no politics at the dinner table” really just means “keep your mouth shut and don’t upset your grandmama.”) But if you’re so disgusted by what you see in the news, you can’t just sit there and pretend that the people in your family didn’t play some role in getting to where we are today: If your family has a particularly conservative political bent, it’s unlikely that they’ll feel uncomfortable talking about the hypothetical harms of the caravan of migrants currently making their way across Mexico, or shy away from agreeing with Trump that certain people of color, like LeBron James and Maxine Waters, are “dumb.” For that temporary peace during dinner, you trade an opportunity to make a space you occupy safer for everyone. What’s actually happening here is that you’re being asked to overlook bigotry in favor of politeness, which is a classic modeling of the way that calls for civility are used to excuse this behavior and suppress pushback against it.

For those of us who view Trump’s policies from a comfortable distance, it’s essential to remember that his administration is profoundly hurting people — deporting many to countries where they face certain death, dismantling policies that provide essential protections against discrimination for millions, and emboldening a terrorist to send pipe bombs to journalists and left-leaning politicians. It’s also important to note that Trump’s administration will eventually come for all of us, whether it’s the regressive economic policy bound to plunge the economy into a recession, a plan to roll back birthright citizenship, or pulling out of a decades-old nuclear peacekeeping treaty. Not to mention the ongoing potential for Trump to roll out a new, entirely deranged proposal on Twitter at 4 a.m. on any given morning.

As author and professor Tayari Jones writes at Time, Americans have to use this moment to fundamentally re-evaluate the way our national moral compass is pointed. “We have to decide what is central to our identity: Is the importance of our performance of national unity more significant than our core values,” Jones writes. “Is it more meaningful that we understand why some of us support the separation of children from their parents, or is it more crucial that we support the reunification of these families? Is it more essential that we comprehend the motives of white nationalists, or is it more urgent that we prevent them from terrorizing communities of color and those who oppose racism?”

It’s entirely possible to politely let Aunt Karen know that her racism isn’t acceptable in your presence, and employing the tactics taught in bystander intervention training is actually a pretty solid strategy. You can be direct with her and say that you’re not going to continue to be in her presence if she continues to discuss that topic, or ask someone like-minded at the table to back you up. At the very least, consider changing the subject — an act of deflection — with a snarky remark to prevent that line of conversation from going any further.

Communication experts generally agree with that approach, and say that shying away from difficult topics like politics isn’t actually good for close, familial relationships. “If you stay on the surface with your relationships to keep the peace and choose not to have these tough conversations with people, what are you losing out on in the long run?” psychologist and researcher Vaile Wright told Vox in 2017. “You probably aren’t having a fully meaningful relationship with that person because neither of you are taking the time or initiative to understand each other’s point of view. You are also continuing to reinforce this idea that we can’t talk about this idea, and by doing that, you are perpetuating a system that continues to oppress certain groups.”

Studies show that family has a remarkable influence on how a person’s politics are formed, and that suggests that these types of uncomfortable conversations are arguably the most powerful tool we have against increasingly polarized political rhetoric. Your grandfather may be able to believe that faceless, anonymous progressives are coming for his gun rights, but he might be a little more skeptical that the grandson he taught to shoot a rifle would hold such an authoritarian position. It’s one thing for your relatives to hear it from a slick politician like Beto O’Rourke or Barack Obama; it’s quite the other to see pleas from their grandchildren who may be profoundly, negatively impacted by policies and politicians that they support.

If you’ve got a truly virulent bigot awaiting at Thanksgiving, it’s important to remember that this person is bitter and afraid of having the privilege that comes with being rich or white or male (or all three) stripped away from them as marginalized groups fight for liberation. If they don’t see anything wrong with using homophobic language or screaming about the Second Amendment while everyone’s trying to enjoy their turkey and mashed potatoes, then you probably shouldn’t feel awkward about letting a few curse words fly in pursuit of telling them to shut the hell up.

In Hallmark movies, Thanksgiving is all about bringing families together to share in an expression of gratitude, but let’s not deny that these gatherings are more complex than that. The personal has always been political, and what happens in our homes has actual impact on the world outside them. Is there a better opportunity than this moment, when everyone is sharing a meal, to bring people together in a way that actually, honestly invites everyone to the table? If we are truly committed to justice for all, we have to create just spaces wherever we are. Our failure to translate private disapproval of bigotry into public protest, even at the dinner table, is an endorsement of immeasurable cruelty.

Amy McCarthy is editor of Eater Dallas and Eater Houston.
Editor: Erin DeJesus

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angelchrys
22 hours ago
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John Kander & Lin-Manuel Miranda Collaborate on Latest #Hamildrop 'Cheering for Me Now'

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For Lin-Manuel Miranda's second-to-last #Hamildrop, the Hamilton mastermind has teamed up with a legend of the American musical theater: John Kander, iconic composer of Chicago and Cabaret. The original #Hamildrop song, titled "Cheering for Me Now," with music by Kander and lyrics by Miranda, is about New York's ratification of the constitution and features Miranda as Alexander Hamilton for the first time since July of 2016. As previously announced, Miranda will return to the musical's title role for the Puerto Rico engagement of its upcoming third national tour. Watch below and make plans soon to experience Hamilton for yourself.

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angelchrys
22 hours ago
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Salvation Army warns staff against public homophobia

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It comes ahead of the Christmas season, when donations are at an all-time high.

The post Salvation Army warns staff against public homophobia appeared first on PinkNews.

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angelchrys
22 hours ago
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Tumblr was removed from Apple’s App Store over child pornography issues

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Tumblr says that child pornography was the reason for its app’s sudden disappearance from the iOS App Store. The app has been missing from the store since November 16th, but until now the reason for its absence was unclear — initially Tumblr simply said it was “working to resolve the issue with the iOS app.” However, after Download.com approached Tumblr with sources claiming that the reason was related to the discovery of child pornography on the service, the Yahoo-owned social media network issued a new statement confirming the matter.

In its updated statement, Tumblr said that while every image uploaded to the platform is “scanned against an industry database of child sexual abuse material” to filter out explicit images, a “routine audit” discovered content that was absent from the database, allowing it to slip through the filter. Although Tumblr says the content was immediately removed, its app continues to be unavailable on the App Store. It’s still available in the Google Play store for Android users, however.

Tumblr has been noted for having a permissive attitude towards NSFW and adult-orientated content on its service, which has previously caused it to be briefly banned in Indonesia. However, child pornography is a completely different matter. Apple’s iOS guidelines clearly state that all apps must have a content filter to screen out such material, and it seems Tumblr’s existing system wasn’t up to this standard. Although the company has said getting its app reinstated is its “top priority,” it was unable to give any clear timeframe for its return.

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angelchrys
22 hours ago
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