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Documentaries

Oil companies are profiting from illegal spills -- and California is letting them

In May 2019, workers in California’s Central Valley struggled to seal a broken oil well. It was one of thousands of aging wells that crowd the dusty foothills three hours from the coast, where Chevron and other companies inject steam at high pressure to loosen up heavy crude. Suddenly, oil shot out of the bare ground nearby.

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'I’m ready to help': George Takei throws support to Lincoln Project's new get out the vote Facebook 'army'

Progressive activist and actor George Takei on Thursday informally offered his support for a new organization being started by The Lincoln Project, the growing group of never-Trump Republicans who have unleashed devastating ads attacking President Donald Trump. The group is unveiling a "grassroots Facebook Army" called The Lincoln Project Digital Coalition.

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Before Kamala Harris, there was Charlotta Bass: Remembering the first black woman to run for VP in 1952

Senator Kamala Harris is the first Indian American and first Black woman to be nominated for vice president on a major party ticket, but, as many historians have noted, Harris is not the first Black woman to run for vice president. That distinction belongs to the journalist and political activist Charlotta Bass, who was the editor of The California Eagle for nearly 30 years, one of the country’s oldest Black newspapers, which covered women’s suffrage, police brutality, the Klu Klux Klan, and discriminatory hiring and housing practices. Bass joined the Progressive Party ticket in 1952 on an antiracist platform that called for fair housing and equal access to healthcare. Bass’s exclusion from the public narrative signals a tendency to “sideline Black radical politics,” says author and historian Keisha Blain.

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Trump would be losing this race in a big way even if there were no pandemic

If you're hoping that a decisive win against Donald Trump and GOP candidates down the ballot would force a reckoning for the Republican Party, you'd likely be disappointed if that outcome comes to pass in November. His base, conspiratorial crackpots and white nationalists, would tell themselves that he was done in by the Deep State and a flood of illegal votes by undocumented immigrants. But more mainstream Republicans would also blame a big loss on factors other than Trump's corruption, bigotry and narcissism. The conventional wisdom would likely coalesce around the idea that the Covid-19 pandemic, and its ensuing economic meltdown, doomed Trump's otherwise strong chances of re-election.

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As Biden mulls VP pick, pundits vie for most substance-free forecast

As presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s search for a running mate drags on, press coverage hasn’t failed to disappoint.

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Historian outlines a terrifying scenario that could happen if Trump loses

It looks like Biden will beat Trump badly and the Republicans will suffer disastrous losses across the country in November. Although the polls have just been inching toward the Democrats, suddenly articles about what Trump might do if he loses are multiplying, herehere, and here.

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Conservatives fear Lindsey Graham's plan to help Trump's re-election will blow up in his face

According to a report at the Daily Beast, some Republicans, as well as advisors to Donald Trump, are questioning Sen. Lindsey Graham's decision to relitigate the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into the Trump administration's connections to Russia so close to the election saying it could come back to haunt both the president and Graham himself.

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'Roy Cohn' filmmaker on her new HBO doc about Trump's mentor -- and the man who killed her grandparents Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

Filmmaker Ivy Meeropol has already made a documentary about her family connection to history. As anyone acquainted with 20th-century radical history will already recognize, she is the granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the supposed "atom spies" executed by the federal government in 1953. Meeropol's 2004 HBO film "Heir to an Execution" provides a moving, intimate study of that event and its personal and political legacy — although it does not and could not settle the question of the Rosenbergs' guilt or the fairness of their sentence, which remains contested to this day.

(Full disclosure, although I don't think it's relevant to this story: Both my mother and stepfather were American Communists, and my stepfather, Mel Fiske, knew Abel and Anne Meeropol, who adopted the Rosenbergs' children, including Ivy Meeropol's father, after their parents were electrocuted. So, yeah, if you want an entirely neutral account of these events, go elsewhere.)

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Can Lindsey Graham win reelection as a Trump enabler?

The most significant long-term story in American politics these days is the realignment that is occurring in a few traditionally red states in the South like Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and possibly even Texas. One state at the heart of the Confederacy that isn’t feeling that transition is South Carolina. No one doubts that Donald Trump will win there in 2020, even if his margin is lower than his 14 point win against Clinton in 2016.

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How the religious right's war against abortion is built on lies, grifting and bullying

On Tuesday, both the pro- and anti-choice world were rocked by a revelation that undermines literal decades of religious right nonsense. Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" of the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973, claimed before her 2017 death that her famous "conversion" to anti-abortion activism was a con job.

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Stealing America’s democracy -- one vote at a time

In two previous posts, Bill Moyers, journalist David Daley, and others featured in the new documentary, Slay the Dragon, explained how gerrymandering has traditionally worked and what changed in 2010. Republican legislators used redistricting to essentially guarantee victory in both the state house and the US House of Representatives in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Michigan.

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