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Dozens of Silicon Valley women come forward to detail ‘pervasive and ingrained’ sexual harassment

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A new report from the New York Times details the experiences of more than two dozen women who have been sexually harassed while seeking venture capital investment for their tech startups in California’s Silicon Valley — and the report reveals a “pervasive and ingrained” culture of misogyny.

Of the women that spoke to the Times about their harassers, ten named them — and the list includes Chris Sacca of Lowercase Capital and Dave McClure of 500 Startups who the report concedes “did not dispute the accounts.”

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From the former Uber engineer who exposed a startling pattern of sexual harassment during her year-long tenure that led to their CEO’s resignation to the late June outing of venture capitalist Justin Caldbeck as a predator, the oftentimes extreme harassment women receive in the startup world has made headlines in 2017.

Sarah Kunst, a 31-year-old entrepreneur who told the Times about harassment from 500 Startups’ Dave McClure, detailed one of the more common patterns in the report — the investors will often make unwanted or inappropriate advances, and when they are spurned, will then retract their funding offers, leaving any avenues of accountability closed because the women are neither employees nor the recipients of investments.

Others, like interviewee Wendy Meyer, described worse scenarios. Meyer, who is Asian-American, was “kissed and groped” by Caldbeck after he put up funds for her fitness startup. Meyer said she felt like she “had to put up with it” because of her race and gender. After reaching out to her mentor who then alerted one of the firms run by Caldbeck, “little” about the situation changed.

Silicon Valley’s gender gap has long been acknowledged even by tech megagiants like Google and Facebook — but the reasons for the disparities taking place in the San Francisco Bay appear to extend far beyond simple discrimination.

According to data firm PitchBook, that disparity can be seen in the funds female entrepreneurs received from VC firms ($1.5 billion) versus their male counterparts ($58.2 billion). The experiences of the women who came forward in the Times report may”help explain why the venture capital and start-up ecosystem — which underpins the tech industry and has spawned companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon — has been so lopsided in terms of gender.”

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America could be on the verge of a huge shift to the left — here’s what you can expect

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A new socialist movement is cohering in the US, thanks in large part to the popular class politics of Bernie Sanders. But as that movement grows and progresses, it is bound to run into dangerous obstacles and thorny contradictions. The new US socialist movement is without a single "line" or monolithic political position. That's a strength of the movement, since none of us has all the answers. Still, many people in the movement, ourselves included, feel strongly about certain approaches to strategy. One approach we feel strongly about is what we call "the democratic road to socialism," or the idea that we need to make good use of the democratic structures and processes available to us (and to improve and expand them) in order to advance our cause.A country like the United States has both a well-developed capitalist state, beholden to the capitalist class and armed to the teeth, and mechanisms for democratic participation in that state that allow people to exercise some measure of control over their representatives. Even though their choices are limited, their representatives are bought off by the rich, and the capitalist class holds the entire system hostage with the threat of devastating economic retaliation if things don't go their way, the system does have some basic democratic elements that its citizens largely affirm and occasionally participate in.This is a tricky situation to navigate. If the democratic capitalist state were less developed, it might be possible to convince people to simply storm the gates, tear up the old rules, and start fresh in a socialist society. This is what socialists tried to do in Russia in 1917: the state was weak and after centuries of autocratic rule it didn't have much legitimacy in the eyes of most Russians, so revolutionaries could get popular support for scrapping it and starting over.
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White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney caught on tape saying US is ‘desperate’

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White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was caught on tape admitting that, despite President Donald Trump's policy preferences, the United States is "desperate" for more immigrants, according to a recording obtained by the Washington Post.

He further undermined the administration's claims of its economic prowess, admitting that immigration is necessary for sustained economic growth.

"We are desperate — desperate — for more people," Mulvaney said, according to the post, stressing that it should be legal. "We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we've had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants."

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Intelligence failure: Donald Trump’s personal politics comes second to national security

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Joe Maguire, a Manhattan College alum whose life and career we admire, is out as President Trump’s acting director of national intelligence for committing an unpardonable sin. He told the unvarnished truth.A president needs confidence in his appointees. Trump apparently has more trust in Maguire’s replacement, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell, despite the fact that he lacks a background in intelligence.But watch that trust evaporate if and when Grenell dares deliver facts the president really doesn’t want to hear.A week ago, a Maguire aide briefed the House Intelligence Committee on a bi... (more…)

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