Justice Department Opens Probe Into Jeffrey Epstein Plea Deal

The Twilight of the Oil Age ; How Fact Checking Can Be Biased ; and More Picks

Alexander Acosta, Jeffrey Epstein
The author writes: "The Department of Justice has opened an investigation into Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta’s role in negotiating a controversial plea deal with a wealthy New York investor accused of molesting more than 100 underage girls in Palm Beach." Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) and Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department / Wikimedia

How Will Oil Age Fall Apart? Look to Venezuela (Jeff C.)

The real driving force behind the collapse of Venezuela, argues Nafeez Ahmed, is not Nicolas Maduro, nor the United States’ decades of admittedly counter-democratic meddling in that country. Instead, it’s the reality that we have moved into the twilight of the Age of Oil.

US To Allow Juan Guaidó to Establish Citgo Board (Dan)

The leadership of Citgo, the US subsidiary of Venezuela state oil company PDVSA, will now be picked by self-declared president of Venezuela Juan Guaidó, per Florida senator Marco Rubio’s request.

‘We Are Already a Pariah’ (Russ)

The author writes, “the Justice Democrats … see [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez as just the opening act in an astonishingly ambitious plan to do nothing less than re-imagine liberal politics in America — and do it by whatever means necessary. If that requires knocking out well-known elected officials and replacing them with more radical newcomers, so be it. And if it ends up ripping apart the Democratic Party in the process — well, that might be the idea.”

How Fact Checking Itself Becomes Biased (Chris)

From Pacific Standard: “Non-partisan, contrary to what some outlets believe, does not mean unbiased. The choice of whose statements and what topics to check, along with variable evidentiary standards depending on the statement under scrutiny, can all introduce bias — and the perception of bias — into an endeavor that’s meant to avoid it.”

Attacking a Pay Wall That Hides Public Court Filings (Rebecca)

The author writes, “The federal judiciary has built an imposing pay wall around its court filings, charging a preposterous 10 cents a page for electronic access to what are meant to be public records. A pending lawsuit could help tear that wall down.”

83,000 Invalid Florida Votes Eclipsed Margin in Governor’s Race (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Whether they meant to or not, more than 83,000 Florida voters didn’t cast a valid vote for governor, according to a new report prepared by state officials.”

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