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Showing posts from February, 2017

Target CEO says retailer making $7 billion investment to 'win share not surrender it'

Target CEO Brian Cornell appears on CNBC after ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on the morning of November 28, 2014 in New York City.Target CEO: We're confident in our new direction  
Target will pour $7 billion in capital into areas including its digital properties, its new and existing store base, and lower prices over the next three years, as it tries to adapt to consumers' changing shopping habits and turn around a sales slump that continued into the fiscal fourth quarter.  Read more.

Beware of Another Reichstag Fire

As various commentators compare President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler, a flurry of responses has claimed that this is an inappropriate comparison because the Nazi regime murdered millions of men, women and children. It is important to remember, however, that when Hitler came to power in 1933, he did not begin with murder. His regime first sought to “encourage emigration” as a means of ridding Germany of the Jews and turned to genocide only when these efforts “failed.” One important motive for studying genocide is to be able to recognize early warning signs so that atrocities might be prevented rather than waiting for them to happen.  Read more.

Berta Cáceres' Murder Linked to U.S.-Trained Soldiers

Leaked court documents obtained by the Guardian and reported on Tuesday appear to corroborate a whistleblower's claim that U.S.-trained special forces within the Honduran military were responsible for the death of prominent Indigenous land defender Berta Cáceres last year.
The whistleblower, a former soldier, alleged that the Honduran army was murdering activists...read more.

Black Workers at Nissan Are Challenging Use of Temporary Labor

Workers who've waged a years-long struggle for a union at the Nissan auto plant in Canton, Mississippi are about to get some star power.
On March 4, Senator Bernie Sanders, NAACP President Cornell William Brooks, actor Danny Glover, and even a professional football player or two are expected to show up in solidarity with the workers.  Read more.

For Every Living-Wage Job, There Are Seven People Looking for Work

Living-wage jobs are scarce in the United States. The People's Action Institute (PAI), a national organization with the goal of achieving economic, racial, gender and climate justice, just released a study that reinforces the profound need for jobs that pay a wage people can live on. A PAI news release states:  Read more.

Racial profiling against Africans ‘endemic’ in Germany – UN experts

People of African descent face racial discrimination, constant racial profiling, and other kinds of intolerance in Germany, a UN working group said in a statement, adding that their struggle remains largely “invisible” to the wider community.
“Although the [German] constitution guarantees equality, bans racial discrimination and enshrines the inviolability of human dignity, these principles are not put into practice,” the statement released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said, following the group’s seven-day visit to Germany.  Read more.

Beloved hippopotamus 'Gustavito' beaten to death at El Salvador zoo

El Salvador’s rampant violence has reached an unsuspected corner with the brutal and fatal beating of the national zoo’s beloved hippopotamus Gustavito.
Even among a population numbed by a staggering human death toll due to gang violence in recent years, the animal’s death late Sunday has stirred outrage.  Read more.

The US Has Always Had Black Inventors -- Even When the Patent System Explicitly Excluded Them

America has long been the land of innovation. More than 13,000 years ago, the Clovis people created what many call the "first American invention" -- a stone tool used primarily to hunt large game. This spirit of American creativity has persisted through the millennia, through the first American patent granted in 1641 and on to today.  Read more.

White House selectively blocks media outlets from briefing with Spicer

The White House on Friday blocked a number of media outlets, including CNN and POLITICO, from an off-camera briefing with press secretary Sean Spicer, while allowing in a select group of journalists that included many conservative outlets.
The White House had earlier planned on having an on-camera gaggle with Spicer in the briefing room, but the administration later in the day changed it to a restricted off-camera gaggle in Spicer’s office.  Read more.

Bill Maher's Shameful On Air Bromance With Despicable Milo Yiannopoulos

It is reprehensible to decide that the alt-right white supremacist provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos is a suitable guest for your program, but Bill Maher went one step ignobly further by bringing him on and then staging a bromance in prime time. Coming on during the post-monologue, pre-panel part of Maher's HBO "Real Time" show, the host treated Yiannopoulos as a fellow martyr to the cause of free speech. Maher's current claim, that Yiannopoulos' appearance on Maher's program hastened his downfall, rings hollow to this longtime viewer. What I took away from Maher's conversation with Yiannopoulos was Maher sympathizing with Yiannopoulos over the rowdy reception he received on the UC Berkeley campus, which caused his appearance to be cancelled.  Read more.

The Grammys Tried to Break Out of Its Conservative Shell, But Remains Behind the Times

The Grammys are an unnervingly conservative program, both politically and in form. No moment from last night's drawn out broadcast captured that conservatism quite like the obligatory mid-show speech from the Grammys' President and CEO Neil Portnow. It seemed at first as though Portnow was laying everything on the line. His trumpet-aided reference to "America the Beautiful" was striking, though in that moment revealing. He parlayed a wishful American anthem—not the national anthem, mind you—into a call to arms, to push the President and Congress to enact legislation to protect music earnings for artists and publishers. Is this the "Resistance" in 2017?  Read more.

Macron Seals Centrist Pact, Boosting French Presidential Campaign

Independent candidate Emmanuel Macron agreed to an alliance with his centrist rival Francois Bayrou, boosting his run for president of France after a difficult week.
Macron told Agence France-Presse that he’s accepted Bayrou’s offer of a deal to avoid splitting the moderate vote in April’s first round ballot.  Read more.

Standing Rock Will Be Raided Today

Last night, law enforcement announced that the checkpoint nearest the Oceti Sakowin camp would become a one-way exit, blockading further support from reaching the camp. Today, a last call to leave the camp, before police advance, will be issued at noon. Those who wish to leave will be shuttled away. Those who wish to stay face arrest at 2pm, when police move in to clear the camps.  Read more.

7 Earth-size worlds found orbiting star; could hold life

For the first time ever, astronomers have discovered seven Earth-size planets orbiting a nearby star — and these new worlds could hold life.
This cluster of planets is less than 40 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, according to NASA and the Belgian-led research team who announced the discovery Wednesday.  Read more.

Missouri community is building 50 tiny homes for homeless veterans

The epidemic of homeless veterans has hit numerous communities across the country, but one Missouri town is about to tackle the large problem with a tiny solution. Working with the non-profit Veterans Community Project (VCP), a Kansas City neighborhood is in the process of creating the Veterans Village, a neighborhood of...read more.

San Jose streets flooded as more heavy rains wallop California

Waist-high waters flooded hundreds of homes in a neighborhood of San Jose on Tuesday after heavy rains drenched the state, causing a creek in the Northern California city to overflow, officials said.
The city of about 1 million people, a hub of Silicon Valley south of San Francisco, declared a local emergency as water...read more.

Bill Maher'sStatements About Islam and Muslims Are Bigoted and Outrageous

Since 9/11, Bill Maher has devoted himself to mainstreaming the toxic narrative of Islamophobia. With a captive audience of millions, the support of a major cable network and a steady stream of celebrity guests, including no shortage of self-styled progressives, Maher has largely succeeded in his goal.  Read more.

John Waters gives hilariously foul-mouthed acceptance speech for the Writers Guild Association

John Waters 'brought down the house' during his hilariously foul-mouthed acceptance speech for the Writers Guild Association's Ian McLellan Hunter Award in Manhattan on Sunday.
The 70-year-old filmmaker - affectionately known as the 'Prince of Puke' - scored two standing ovations while discussing his five-decade body of work onstage the Edison Ballroom.
At one point, the demented director delivered some of the most memorable lines from his cult classics Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Polyester.  Read more.

HOW ALT-RIGHT “FELLOW-TRAVELLER” MILO YIANNOPOULOS CRACKED UP THE RIGHT

On  Monday afternoon, shortly before he learned that he had been disinvited from the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or cpac, that his book deal with Simon & Schuster had been cancelled, and that his fellow-employees at Breitbart News were threatening to quit if he wasn’t fired, Milo Yiannopoulos calmly explained to me that he wasn’t a pedophile or an anti-Semite. Over the weekend, interviews in which he discussed underage sex and Jewish influence on the media and finance had circulated on social media. A group calling itself the Reagan Battalion had scoured the Web and assembled a highlight reel of Yiannopoulos’s most offensive statements, including an endorsement of having sex with thirteen-year-olds.  Read more.

Russia's U.N. envoy Churkin dies suddenly in New York

Russia's combative ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died suddenly in New York on Monday after being taken ill at work, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The ministry gave no details on the circumstances of his death but offered condolences to his relatives and said the diplomat had died one day before his 65th birthday.  Read more.

Morbid Inequality: Now Just SIX Men Have as Much Wealth as Half the World's Population

Yes, inequality is getting worse every year. In early 2016 Oxfam reported that just 62 individuals had the same wealth as the bottom half of humanity. About a year later Oxfam reported that just 8 men had the same wealth as the world's bottom half. Based on the same methodology and data sources used by Oxfam, that number is now down to 6.  Read more.

Don't Be Fooled by the Politics of Smart

Whatever happened to liberals? Sadly, they got smart.
For this insight I’m indebted to U.S. journalist Thomas Frank, whose 2004 book, What’s the Matter with Kansas? explained the success of right-wing populism in the George W. Bush years and whose recent, Listen, Liberal, described the Hillary Clinton debacle in advance. He lectured in Toronto last month. It served as a booster shot.  Read more.

James Baldwin and the Meaning of Whiteness

Raoul Peck’s “I Am Not Your Negro” is one of the finest documentaries I have ever seen—I would have stayed in the theater in New York to see the film again if the next showing had not been sold out. The newly released film powerfully illustrates, through James Baldwin’s prophetic work, that the insanity now gripping the United States is an inevitable consequence of white Americans’ steadfast failure to confront where they came from, who they are and the lies and myths they use to mask past and present crimes. Baldwin’s only equal as a 20th century essayist is George Orwell. If you have not read Baldwin you probably do not fully understand America. Especially now.
History “is not the past,” the film quotes Baldwin as saying. “History is the present. We carry our history with us. To think otherwise is criminal.”  Read more.

John Kasich is a Nitwit

During the Republican primaries last year, many friends of mine considered John Kasich the adult in the GIP field. When I explained his demonstrated hostility to public education, they thought I must be exaggerating.
But now the proof is there for all who are willing to learn about it.
Kasich wants all teachers to spend some time visiting businesses so they know how to prepare their students.  Read more

Public figures call for biggest ever UK protest to oppose Trump visit

Musicians, MPs, activists and comedians have pledged to stage the biggest demonstration in British history in protest against Donald Trump’s visit to the UK.
A letter sent to the Guardian by the newly formed Stop Trump Coalition, and signed by 90 figures from across arts and politics, damningly referred to the US president’s actions as “dangerous and divisive” and said he “directly threatens steps towards tackling climate change, fighting discrimination, inequality, peace and disarmament”.  Read more.

Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, dies at 69

Norma McCorvey, who was 22, unwed, mired in addiction and poverty, and desperate for a way out of an unwanted pregnancy when she became Jane Roe, the pseudonymous plaintiff of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that established a constitutional right to an abortion, died Feb. 18 at an assisted-living facility in Katy, Tex. She was 69.  Read more.

When Women Speak Out for All

As scholars of women’s history, we are aware of times in our past when advocates for women’s rights and advocates for black rights competed against one another. But not this time. We need look no further than Elizabeth Warren’s historic silencing on the floor of the Senate last week. A white woman rose to read the words of Coretta Scott King, words that reminded us of the racist history of the new attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions, who, as US attorney in Alabama, “used the awesome power of his office” according to King, “in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters.”  Read more.

This Isn’t Just Trump. This Is Who the Republicans Are.

So far President Donald Trump has signed very few bills. One lets coal companies dump waste into streams. Another lets oil companies bribe foreign dictators in secret. Now he is moving to block a Labor Department “fiduciary rule” that requires financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients when advising on retirement accounts.  Read more.

Trump’s pick to replace Michael Flynn wants no part of the chaotic Trump White House

According to reports on Thursday evening, retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward turned down an offer from Donald Trump to serve as National Security Adviser, and cited the ongoing chaos in the White House as the reason why.
A friend of Harward’s spoke with CNN and said the decorated military officer referred to the offer as a “shit sandwich.”  Read more.

Hispanic Dems Blast 'Dictatorial Shenanigans' at Meeting With ICE

Two members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Reps. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) and Norma Torres (D-Calif.), said they were asked to leave a meeting Thursday between lawmakers and the top U.S. immigration official, while others said they were barred entry in the first place.
Gutiérrez and Torres both expressed incredulity after being kicked out of the meeting between lawmakers and acting Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) director Thomas Homan—one of them by an aide to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the other by a GOP lawmaker himself.  Read more.

French Presidential Frontrunner Describes Colonization as ‘War Crime’

The shadow of the past is haunting the French presidential elections. Frontrunner Emmanuel Macron who went to Algeria, an indispensable stop in the electoral campaign, made a controversial statement describing his country’s colonization of the North African country as a “crime against humanity.”  Read more.

‘Colonization was a crime against humanity’: French presidential favorite Macron sparks firestorm

Emmanuel Macron, the centrist French politician who is surging in the polls two months ahead of the presidential election, has been forced to defend himself after criticizing his country’s colonial past.
“Colonization is a crime. It’s a crime against humanity. It’s truly barbarous and it’s part of a past that we need to confront by apologizing to those against whom we committed these acts,” Macron said.  Read more.

Businesses Shutter Nationwide for #DayWithoutImmigrants

In response to President Donald Trump's anti-immigrant executive orders and sweeping deportation raids that have led to nearly 700 arrests nationwide, immigrants in cities across the country are walking out of work Thursday for a "Day Without Immigrants" strike, to demonstrate how much the United States depends on immigrants.
Businesses, including restaurants and shops, as well as schools, museums, and even federal government offices are expected to see workers strike and protest.  Read more.

US allies seriously concerned about Trump's ties to Russia have been gathering intelligence data

As part of intelligence operations being conducted against the United States for the last seven months, at least one Western European ally intercepted a series of communications before the inauguration between advisers associated with President Donald Trump and Russian government officials, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.  Read more.

Teachers Say Baltimore Schools Designed to Fail to Speed Privatization

Pope Francis appears to back Native Americans over the Dakota Access Pipeline protest

Pope Francis appeared to back Native Americans seeking to halt part of the Dakota Access Pipeline, saying indigenous cultures have a right to defend “their ancestral relationship to the earth”.
The Argentinian pontiff, who has often strongly defended indigenous rights since his election in 2013, made his comments on protection of native lands to representative of tribes attending the Indigenous Peoples Forum in Rome.  Read more.

Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Adviser

President Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has resigned following revelations he spoke with the Russian ambassador about U.S. sanctions during a late December phone call. Flynn now says he misinformed Vice President Mike Pence and top White House officials about contents of the call. The phone call was on December 29—the same day President Obama imposed sanctions against Russia and expelled diplomats in retaliation for the alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. election.  Read more.

Michael Flynn Out: From Trump's "Full Confidence" to Midnight Resignation

Less than one month into office, President Donald Trump's controversial national security advisor, Michael Flynn, abruptly resigned Monday night following revelations he had discussed sanctions with a high-level Russian official and then misinformed White House staff, including Vice President Mike Pence, about that conversation.  Read more.

In Mexico 20 Anti-Trump Rallies Staged Across Nation

Tens of thousands of Mexicans protested Sunday against US President Donald Trump, hitting back at his anti-Mexican rhetoric and his depictions of them as “rapists” and "criminals" and to demand “the respecting of Mexico.
"Mexico must be respected, Mr Trump," said a giant banner carried by protesters in Mexico City, who waved a sea of red, white and green Mexican flags as they marched down the capital's main avenue.  Read more.

After Cancellation, Sanders Vows to Hold WV Town Hall 'In The Streets'

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he will not be "intimidated" from speaking in West Virginia's McDowell County, "one of the poorest areas in one of our poorest states," after officials pulled the plug on a Monday town hall event.
"If anyone in West Virginia government thinks that I will be intimidated from going to McDowell County, West Virginia, to hold a town meeting, they are dead wrong," declared Sanders in a Facebook post on Sunday after the state's National Guard announced the meeting, which was slated to be aired on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes," would not be able to take place at the Welch National Guard Armory two days before it was scheduled to occur.  Read more.

Germany Picks Anti-Trump President

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the former German foreign minister who was a vocal critic of Donald Trump during the U.S. campaign, was elected as the country’s 12th postwar president.
The Social Democrat, who served two stints as foreign minister under Chancellor Angela Merkel, emerged as her governing coalition’s candidate ... read more.

Yale renames Calhoun College because of historic ties to white supremacy and slavery

Yale University will rename one of its residential colleges, replacing the name of an alumnus remembered as an advocate of slavery with that of an alumna who was a pioneering mathematician and computer scientist who helped transform the way people use technology.
The decision to rename Calhoun College reverses one made last spring, when Yale President Peter Salovey said he did not want to erase history, but confront it and learn from it.  Read more.

The Changing Face of Advertising: What It Might Mean and How It Might Matter

The 24 hours following Super Bowl LI were full of commentary about the political angle of ads aired during the game. The recap: there was the Airbnb pro-diversity ad, the replay of the Coca Cola America the Beautiful ad in nine languages, the Audi women's rights ad, the pro-immigration Anheuser-Busch ad, and the 84 Lumber door-in-the-wall-along-Mexico's-border ad.  Read more.

Greece says bailout deal close, but will not accept 'illogical' demands

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Saturday he believed the country's drawn-out bailout review would be completed positively but repeated that Athens would not accept "illogical" demands by its lenders.
He warned all sides to "be more careful towards a country that has been pillaged and people who have made, and are continuing to make, so many sacrifices in the name of Europe".  Read more.

Without Melania Trump, Japan's First Lady Rolls Solo in Washington

Traditionally, it's the role of the first lady to accompany spouses of visiting foreign leaders around Washington. That often means a good deal of showcasing local museums, schools, monuments and gardens. It's essentially playing tour guide, but it's part of the role of representing the Administration and playing gracious hostess to very VIP out of town guests.
Melania Trump appears to be breaking with this particular tradition.  Read more.

Shia LaBeouf’s Trump Protest Live Stream Has Been Shut Down

Shia LaBeouf’s live stream to protest President Donald Trump’s election, intended to run for four years, has been shut down after three weeks.
The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York, where the installation had been set up, released a statement on Friday that said the project had become “a serious and ongoing public safety hazard.”  Read more.

Billions Divested from Banks Backing Dakota Access Pipeline

Israel Passes Law to Legalize Theft of Private Palestinian Land

Late Monday night, Israel's parliament, the Knesset, approved a bill to retroactively legalize the expropriation by settlers of private Palestinian land that has taken place over the last two decades.
Passed by 60-52, the so-called Regularization Bill will legalize around 4,000 settlement homes in so-called unauthorized outposts and settlements.  Read more.

Warren Silenced: The Patriarchy Strikes Back

There’s nothing the patriarchy hates more than a woman who’s got a point to make, especially a powerful point to make against the man the white patriarchy means to install in the highest law-enforcement office in the land. And the patriarchy really is not down with the fact that the point was originally made by a black woman, one of the most revered civil rights activists in modern history.  Read more.

Trump adviser pitches Ivanka's goods from White House

A top aide to U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday promoted the clothing and jewelry line named after his daughter Ivanka, one day after the president's tweet criticizing a retailer for dropping her product line drew criticism over using public office for personal business gains.

"Go buy Ivanka's stuff," Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway told Fox News in an interview from the White House. "I'm going to go get some myself today."  Read more.

George Lopez Kicks Black Woman Out of Show Who Didn’t Laugh at Anti-Black Joke

George Lopez, a man I usually describe as the Mexican Steve Harvey, went off on a black woman during his Phoenix show Sunday night after she threw up her middle finger when he told a black joke.
“There’s still two rules in the fucking Latino family,” Lopez had said. “Don’t marry somebody black, and don’t park in front of our house.”  Read more.

White Nationalists on Twitter Sure Do Love Jeff Sessions.

By day, Joe Tien is a math professor at Ohio State University, where he studies the spread of infectious diseases. His research maps how a disease like Ebola jumps from village to village and plots the best way to stop its spread. On his own time, Tien has begun putting his skills in network science toward other subjects, including the connection between white nationalists and American politicians.  Read more.

Seattle Just Divested Billions From Wells Fargo Over Dakota Access Pipeline

The movement to stop the controversial Dakota Access pipeline through financial activism took an important step forward today, as the Seattle City Council voted 9-0 to approve a bill that terminates a valuable city contract with Wells Fargo. The bank, one of the largest in the United States, has provided more than $450 million in credit to the companies building the pipeline.  Read more.

Silencing Elizabeth Warren backfires on Senate GOP

The Senate has silenced Elizabeth Warren.
And by doing so, majority Republicans just handed the liberal firebrand a megaphone -- further elevating President Donald Trump's fiercest and most prominent critic in the Senate and turning her into a Democratic hero.
The rebuke of Warren came after the Massachusetts Democrat read a letter written 30 years ago by Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr., opposing the nomination of Jeff Sessions for a federal judgeship.  Read more.

Elizabeth Warren Silenced by Republican Controlled Senate for Quoting Coretta Scott King

Senate Republicans voted Tuesday evening to formally silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), prompting widespread public outcry, for reading a letter by Coretta Scott King from 30 years ago that condemned Sen. Jeff Sessions's (R-Ala.) record on voting and civil rights. In response to the cascade of outrage, Democratic senators on Wednesday began taking to the Senate floor to read the letter that forced Warren from the floor.  Read more.

San Francisco announces free community college for all residents

San Francisco’s mayor announced Monday that the city would make college education free to all of its residents through the City College of San Francisco.
The agreement, made possible through a tax on properties sold for at least $5 million, is expected to begin next fall.
"To California residents who are living in San Francisco, your community college is now free," Mayor Ed Lee said.  Read more.

Melania Trump Sees Presidency as Potential Profit Machine

First Lady Melania Trump on Monday revealed that she had intended to leverage the presidency into a lucrative venture for herself, with plans to establish "multimillion dollar business relationships" during her time as "one of the most photographed women in the world."
An attorney for the first lady filed a lawsuit arguing that Trump had missed out on a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to grab up "licensing, branding, and endorsement" deals because of a Daily Mail article that alleged she had once worked for an escort service.  Read more.

Donald Trump and the Reichstag Syndrome

Donald Trump is sounding very dangerous these days.
He attacks the very legitimacy of the courts, for instance, when he tweets that a "so-called judge" will be responsible if there is a terrorist act during the stay he has imposed on the ban against Muslim entry to the U.S. from seven countries. This is one more example of Trump's demand that his executive commands be obeyed, regardless of other legal and constitutional considerations.  Read more.

How Much Noise Can a Person Survive? Navy Jets Plague the Lives of Washington Residents

Imagine living in a place where the loudest jets ever built regularly flew so close, your entire house vibrated, dishes rattled and fell off shelves, and the noise was so loud you became physically ill.
Your sleep was impacted, you couldn't work, and literally every single aspect of your life was affected negatively.
"The noise has impacted my life in every conceivable way," Cate Andrews told Truthout.  Read more.

Iran’s supreme leader ‘thanks’ Trump for revealing the ‘real face of the United States’

Iran's supreme leader was in a supremely sarcastic mood Tuesday as he gave a speech to a sea of military officials. His target: Trump's first foreign policy moves.
“We actually thank this new president! We thank him, because he made it easier for us to reveal the real face of the United States,” said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to a transcript posted on his official website. “… Now, with everything he is doing — handcuffing a child as young as 5 at an airport — he is showing the reality of American human rights.”  Read more.