Cory Booker just bravely risked his job to expose an ugly truth about racial profiling the Senate wanted to hide.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Senate Republicans were trying to hide emails from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh discussing racial profiling.

Kavanaugh was offering counsel to the Bush White House on what he called “racial profiling,” in a question over whether certain businesses were being favored by their ethnic makeup.

Thanks to Cory Booker, you can now read all those emails here.


Knowing the emails would be controversial, Senate Republicans marked them as “confidential” even though they did not contain sensitive information about national security.

The emails were not classified, meaning they had already been cleared for public consumption.

However, the Senate marking them as “confidential” meant that it was suddenly against the rules to publish them or even discuss them in the context of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing.

“I’m going to release the email about racial profiling. I understand the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate,” Booker said in a dramatic moment Thursday moment.

True to his word, Booker then posted the emails to his Twitter account:

Booker’s move could bring some much needed transparency to the process.

Booker made it clear he wasn’t trying to hurt Kavanaugh’s nomination by releasing the emails. Instead, he’s pushing against an obvious attempt to shut down debate or even informed discussion, during the hearing.

“We’re rushing through this before me and my colleagues and can even read and digest the information,” Booker said.

Ironically, the Senate’s refusal to publish the information in a timely manner has now likely brought more negative attention to Kavanaugh’s nomination than if they had been published well in advance of the hearings.

Booker’s colleagues rushed to his defense, pointing out how unusual it is for the Senate to bury important documents before the Supreme Court nomination hearing.

After all, barring any huge controversies, it’s unlikely Democrats can do anything to stop Kavanaugh’s nomination.

And if it can’t be stopped, the public should at least have the right to truly know who President Trump has nominated for a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court - whether they agree with that nomination or not.

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When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

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Lauren-Ashley Howard/Twitter, Wikimedia Commons

The lengths people will go to discredit a political figure—especially a Black female politician—is pretty astounding. Since Kamala Harris was announced as Joe Biden's running mate, we've seen "birther" claims that she wasn't really born in the U.S. (she was), alternating claims that she's too moderate or too radical (which can't both be true), and a claim apparently designed to be a "gotcha"—that her ancestor in Jamaica was a slave owner.

According to Politifact, the claim that Harris descends from a slave owners is likely true. In their rather lengthy fact check on her lineage, which has not revealed any definitive answers, they conclude, "It seems possible that Kamala Harris is as likely a descendant of a slave-owner as she is an enslaved person." But that doesn't mean what the folks who are using that potential descencency as a weapon seem to think it means.

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Mozilla
True
Firefox

When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

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I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Sometimes a boycott succeeds when it fails.

Although the general aim of a boycott is to hurt profits, there are times when the symbolism of a boycott gives birth to a constant, overt and irreversible new optic for a company to nurse.

When the boycott of Facebook began in June and reached its peak in July, it gathered thousands of brands who vocalized their dissatisfaction with the platform.

The boycott, under the hashtag #StopHateForProfit, was launched by civil rights groups. By July brands were fully behind removing their ad spending - resulting in a small financial dent for the social media juggernaut, but a forceful bludgeoning in the press.


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