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Monday, Aug 29th

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Alex Baer: Scratching While Shooting the Magic 8-Ball

Magid trump eight ballIn pool, having the cue ball leave the table -- jumping a bumper or plunging down a pocket-hole -- is a scratch.  Most people play as if it's not a big deal, that it's just the end of your turn.  You don't get to keep shooting.

However, in most forms of a game of 8-ball, if you scratch while shooting the 8, and pocket that 8-ball -- well, that's an instant loss.  Game over.

And that thought gives me no rest.  White American votes (for the most part) are the cue ball on this green-felt-topped, slate table-top game of politics, and The Trumpster is the 8-ball if ever there was one.

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Thousands of strange blue lakes are appearing in Antarctica, and it’s very bad news

Blue lakes in antarcticaScientists have confirmed that thousands of pristine blue lakes have appeared on the ice sheets of East Antarctica, and it’s got them very worried.

The problem? They’ve seen this kind of thing happen before. Greenland’s ice sheet has been disintegrating rapidly, losing a whopping 1 trillion tonnes of ice between 2011 and 2014, and research suggests it’s because of these lakes.

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Racism and talk of religious war: Trump staff's online posts

Racism and talk of religious war from Trump staffersDonald Trump's paid campaign staffers have declared on their personal social media accounts that Muslims are unfit to be U.S. citizens, ridiculed Mexican accents, called for Secretary of State John Kerry to be hanged and stated their readiness for a possible civil war, according to a review by The Associated Press of their postings.

The AP examined the social media feeds of more than 50 current and former campaign employees who helped propel Trump through the primary elections. The campaign has employed a mix of veteran political operatives and outsiders. Most come across as dedicated, enthusiastic partisans, but at least seven expressed views that were overtly racially charged, supportive of violent actions or broadly hostile to Muslims.

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North Carolina police kill unarmed deaf, mute man using sign language

NC police kill unarmed deaf muteThis is as bad as it gets.

A North Carolina state trooper shot and killed 29-year-old Daniel Harris — who was not only unarmed, but deaf and mute — just feet from his home, over a speeding violation. According to early reports from neighbors who witnessed the shooting this past Thursday night, Harris was shot and killed "almost immediately" after exiting his vehicle.

He appeared to be trying to communicate with the officer via sign language.

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Va. governor Mc Auliffe restores voting rights of 13K felons

Terry McAuliffeVirginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Monday his plan to review each Virginia felon who wishes to have his or her voting rights restored after having served their prison sentence.

"Restoring the rights of Virginians who have served their time and live, work and pay taxes in our communities is one of the pressing civil rights issues of our day,” Governor McAuliffe said at the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial in Richmond. "I have met these men and women and know how sincerely they want to contribute to our society as full citizens again."

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Women's Boat to Gaza Prepares a New Challenge to Israel's Blockade

women's Boaat to GazaWhen two dozen women sail from Barcelona on September 14, mounting the latest international challenge to Israel's naval blockade of the Palestinian Gaza Strip, their boats -- the Amal, or "hope," and Zaytouna, or "olive" -- will confront a seemingly intractable impasse.

"There is no freedom of transport or travel owing to the closure of cross points and borders, which led to the death of a score of patients [from Gaza] who were unable to receive their treatment abroad," Samar Al-Dreamly, media coordinator for Gaza's Women's Affairs Center and editorial secretary of its Al-Ghaidaa magazine, told Truthout.

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Donald Trump Goes Nuts On ‘Morning Joe’ Hosts

Trump goes after Joe ScarboroughDonald Trump lashed out at MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” by calling hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough “clowns” and suggesting that they’re dating.

The feud between Trump and the MSNBC hosts is long running. Brzezinski and Scarborough have repeatedly criticized the Republican nominee over his various controversial comments and policies. Earlier on Monday, the show mocked a speech he made over the weekend as sounding “like he’s had a lot to drink.”

But the show has also taken shots at Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, over the private email server she used while in office, as well as her family foundation’s acceptance of donations from foreign countries with poor human rights records.

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Fracking Update: 3 tremors in 24 hours near Oklahoma shale country

Oklahoma tremorsThree minor seismic events were recorded near the shale reserve areas in Oklahoma in the past 24 hours, data for the U.S. Geological Survey show.

USGS data show the strongest of the three seismic events was a magnitude-2.9 tremor recorded shortly after midnight in southern Kansas, a few miles from the state border with Oklahoma. A magnitude-2.5 event was recorded in Fairview, Okla., early Sunday afternoon.

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Russian use of Iranian airbase to fight Islamic State ends

Russians leave Iran basesThe Russian use of an Iranian airbase to launch airstrikes on targets in Syria has ended, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday.

Use of the airbase near Hamedan, Iran, began a week ago, but the mission is complete, spokesman Bharam Ghasemi noted. He said Russia could seek Iranian consent to use the airbase again, but that no Russian troops were stationed within Iran, except for the airbase.

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