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Showing posts from July, 2018

Ron Dellums, Radical Antiwar Activist, Unlikely House Armed Services Chairman, Dead at 82

Former Rep. Ronald V. Dellums, a Marine-turned-antiwar activist who represented Oakland in the House and went on to chair the Armed Services Committee, died of cancer early Monday in Washington. He was 82.

Dellums was elected to thirteen terms as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives and was the first African American elected to Congress from Northern California.  Read more.

Israel-Palestine’s Toughest Questions Have Simple Answers

A professional hacker explains how Russia used disinformation and cyber warfare to disrupt the 2016 election

The Soviet Union and now Russia under Vladimir Putin have waged a political power struggle against the West for nearly a century. Spreading false and distorted information – called “dezinformatsiya” after the Russian word for “disinformation” – is an age-old strategy for coordinated and sustained influence campaigns that have interrupted the possibility of level-headed political discourse. Emerging reports that Russian hackers targeted a Democratic senator’s 2018 reelection campaign suggest that what happened in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election may be set to recur.  Read more.

Tronc to Daily News: Drop Dead

It’s not as if newspaper closures and layoffs are anything new. What is it about the layoffs at the New York Daily News that have aroused more talk of the death of print or an end of an era than other media bloodlettings?

The recent news wasn’t a total surprise; staff had been bracing for layoffs since...read more.

Mike Pence, Holy Terror

There are problems with impeaching Donald Trump. A big one is the holy terror waiting in the wings.
That would be Mike Pence, who mirrors the boss more than you realize. He’s also self-infatuated. Also a bigot. Also a liar. Also cruel.  Read more.

White co-owner of Portland chicken stand accused of chasing away black customer and threatening to ‘snap’ his dog’s neck

he co-owner of a chicken cart in Portland, Oregon, is being accused of hassling a black customer and calling the police on him, PDX Eater reports.

The story erupted on social media Wednesday after a passerby posted a picture of co-owner Dustin Knox, allegedly while he called the police to report Kevin Raysor—a black man—for loitering. The post went viral and multiple people replied with outraged comments.  Read more.

Imran Khan Breaks the Party Duopoly in Pakistan but Will he Differ in his Leadership?

A World Designed by Playground Bullies

As the week’s news slaps against my consciousness like road slush, some fragments sting more than others. For instance:
“According to the DOJ’s court filing, parents who are not currently in the U.S. may not be eligible for reunification with their children.”
I can’t quite move on with my life after...read more.

Africa is a Creditor to the World

Why Stacey Abrams Is the Future for Democrats

When you are black and fortunate enough to exist in an environment where your intelligence is valued and nurtured, you will inevitably be the First and Only. It could happen in a boardroom or a college seminar or a tournament – there are too many American venues where your blackness, treated like its own achievement, is used as a cloak for the past sins of others. Being the First and Only is rarely something to celebrate, and it can be a lonely way to make history.  Read more.

YouTube removes videos from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones: Infowars website

YouTube has removed four videos by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, his website Infowars said on Wednesday, after the radio host used his YouTube channel to denounce Muslim immigrants to Europe and the creators of a transgender cartoon.

“YouTube has removed four Infowars videos that were critical of liberalism,” Jones said in a statement on social media, in which he also urged people to look at the videos on his website and decide for themselves.  Read more.

Van Jones gets bitch slap treatment by The View for his "kumbaya"

an Jones went on ABC’s “The View” on Thursday to preach his message of tolerance and engagement with Trump voters — but many of the show’s co-hosts were highly skeptical.
While talking with Jones about his outreach to voters in red states, co-host Joy Behar chided him for being “all about the kumbayah” with conservative voters who helped elect President Donald Trump.  Read more.

Saudis Buy Fmr UK Prime Minister Blair for $12 Million

Fierce Critic of Trump and US-Led Wars, Declares Victory in Pakistani Elections

After running on vows to address Pakistan's widespread poverty, confront rampant corruption, and pursue a more "balanced" foreign policy with the nation's neighbors and the United States, the famous cricket-star-turned politician Imran Khan declared victory on Thursday as his Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party won a projected 120 of the 270 open seats in Pakistan's parliamentary elections.  Read more.

The Making and Unmaking of a Right Winger

Flint Water Crisis May Have Killed 119—Nearly 10 Times Official Death Toll

Less than a week after a federal watchdog blasted all levels of government for their failures to prevent and quickly respond to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, an ongoing investigation by PBS's "FRONTLINE" found that the death toll may be much higher than the official number reported by the state.  Read more.

Warren and Sanders Introduce Bill to Cancel Puerto Rico's Debt

As advocacy groups urgently warn that Wall Street firms are moving to capitalize on Puerto Rico's plight in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria by extracting debt payments and pushing for the privatization of public services, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joined Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and several other Democratic senators on Wednesday to introduce a bill that would "provide an avenue to comprehensive debt relief" for the island.  Read more.

Nigeria: Grazing conflict deadlier than Boko Haram

Fighting between farmers and herdsmen in Nigeria has killed more people this year than attacks by the Boko Haram, a new report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) said.

At least 1,500 people have been killed in clashes between nomadic herders and sedentary farmers in central states since September last year, the group said.  Read more.

House Progressives Introduce "People's Budget"

Offering an ambitious alternative to the House GOP’s “morally bankrupt” 2019 budget proposal—which demands over $5 trillion in cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, and other life-saving programs—the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) on Tuesday unveiled a budget that calls for massive investments in infrastructure, healthcare, and education while proposing significant cuts to the completely “out-of-control” Pentagon budget.  Read more.

The Resurgence of Political Authoritarianism: An Interview With Noam Chomsky

Following the end of World War II, liberal democracy began to flourish in most countries in the Western world, and its institutions and values were aspired to by movements and individuals under authoritarian and oppressive regimes. However, with the rise of neoliberalism, both the institutions and the values of modern democracy came rapidly and continuously under attack in an effort to extend the profit-maximizing logic and practices of capitalism throughout all aspects of economic and social life.  Read more.

Who Represents Us When Our Political Parties Represent Only Corporations?

We the people of the United States find ourselves in a political crisis and resurgent tribalism that pits left against right, hard-left against moderate-left, and extreme-right against everyone else. The result is a political impasse that leaves us unable to address our own needs domestically and has stripped us of credibility globally.  Read more.

Why Israel Was Never a Democracy

The head of the Arab Joint List Alliance at the Israeli Knesset (Parliament), Aymen Odeh, described the passing of the racist Jewish Nation-state Law as "the death of our democracy."
Did Odeh truly believe that, prior to this law, he had lived in a true democracy? 70 years of Israeli Jewish supremacy, genocide, ethnic cleansing, wars, sieges, mass incarceration, numerous discriminatory laws, all aimed at the very destruction of the Palestinian people should have given enough clues that Israel was never a democracy, to begin with.  Read more.

Further Evidence Trump Committed 'Felony Campaign Finance Violation' as Cohen Releases Hush Money Tape

Bolstering allegations that Donald Trump violated campaign finance laws by paying hush money to Karen McDougal—a former Playboy model who alleges she had an affair with Trump—the president's longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen released a recording of a conversation between himself and then-candidate Trump discussing payments aimed at keeping McDougal from going public before the 2016 election.  Read more.

Christian school beat children so badly that entire building could hear their screams

North Carolina Christian school teacher’s arrest on 13 charge of molesting children has opened the floodgates on stories of abuse from inside the church, WRAL reports.
Jonathan Young, 34, of Benson, N.C. was a Sunday school tecacher at Firstborn Baptist Church in Benson. N.C. He was charged with rape of a child and other crimes. In the wake of that investigation, former church members are stepping forward with harrowing stories about Firstborn Baptist, which they describe as a cult.  Read more.

Palestinians Will Not Be Free Until They Can Return To Their Homeland

Massachusetts Repeals 173-Year-Old Abortion Ban

Massachusetts lawmakers on Monday passed legislation repealing an unenforced 173-year-old abortion ban—which Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said he will sign—highlighting concerns among reproductive rights advocates about the record of President Donald Trump's latest nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, and what his confirmation could mean for women's rights.  Read more.
Mesut Ozil's decision to immediately retire from the German national team has caused shockwaves online after the Arsenal star accused the German Football Association (DFB) of racism and treating him as "a German when we win, and an immigrant when we lose".

Ozil, who is considered one of the greatest midfielders of his generation...read more.

Single-Payer Advocates in Congress Double Down With Medicare for All Caucus

When Medicare was created 53 years ago this month, it was over the objections of Ronald Reagan. On behalf of the American Medical Association, Reagan warned that should Medicare become law, it would lead to “a mechanism for national health insurance capable of indefinite expansion in every direction until it includes the entire population.”  Read more.

White man killed for defending his Black friend from racist rant

An angry racist this weekend fatally shot a white man who stood up for his friend, a black man who had been getting harassed while sitting at the Red Rose restaurant in York County, Pennsylvania.

The York Daily Record reports that 25-year-old Chad Merrill had been sitting at the Red Rose bar with his friend, Jerrell Douglas, when they were accosted by a ... read more.

Joy Behar scalds Trump’s evangelical backers over Playmate payout: ‘They don’t care — they have the Supreme Court’

The View” co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Joy Behar nailed the hypocrisy of President Donald Trump’s evangelical supporters.

The co-hosts discussed recorded conversations between Trump and attorney Michael Cohen about a payout to a Playboy model, which may have violated campaign finance laws...read more.

Crown Prince of UAE has an Army of Private Military Contractors

Robert Reich says We're Living a Constitutional Crisis

I keep hearing that if Trump fires Mueller, we’ll face a “constitutional crisis.” Or if Mueller subpoenas Trump to testify and Trump defies the subpoena, it’s a “constitutional crisis”. Or if Mueller delivers substantial evidence that Trump is guilty of colluding with Russia or of obstructing justice, and the House does nothing to impeach him, we have a “constitutional crisis.”

Well, I have news for you. We’re already in a “constitutional crisis.”  Read more.

Maryland Governor’s Race Brings up Future of Transportation

Harvard religious scholar says Bible rewritten to condemn gay sex

No text has had a greater influence on attitudes toward gay people than the biblical book of Leviticus, which prohibits sex between men. Before Leviticus was composed, outright prohibitions against homosexual sex — whether between men or women — were practically unheard-of in the ancient world.

Chapter 18 of Leviticus contains a list of forbidden incestuous acts, followed by prohibitions against sex with a menstruating woman, bestiality and various other sexual acts.  Read more.

Geithner's Grift, Paydays, and Democratic Drift

What does it mean when Timothy Geithner, Barack Obama’s bro-ish and apparently self-satisfied former Secretary of the Treasury, becomes president of a company that hoodwinks the victims of the financial system he helped rescue?

If you care about economic justice, or if you want the Democratic Party to win more elections, the answer is: more than you might think.  Read more.

Justice Department Releases FISA Applications That Accused Trump Adviser Carter Page of 'Conspiring With the Russian Government'

In an unprecedented and unusually timed document dump Saturday night, the Justice Department released a 412-page, partially redacted version of the FBI's 2016 FISA application requesting authorization to wiretap former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

"The FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government," reads the FBI's application, which was ultimately approved by a federal court. The application goes on to accuse Page of "collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government."  Read more.

Trudeau’s Youth Council Outraged by Kinder-Morgan Bailout

European Union Fines Google $5.1 Billion, While Trump ‘Protects Monopolists’

All Charges Dropped Against J20 Defendants, But Many Still Struggle To Heal

In the courtyard off of Independence Avenue outside of the D.C. Superior Court, a small crowd gathered around Michael Basillas, a 32-year-old trans woman of color and an activist—one of more than 200 people arrested and charged under the D.C. Riot Act on Inauguration Day in 2017.

“The system is not broken. The system is working perfectly for what it was built for,” said Basillas. In the distance, several suit-clad professionals looked up from their lunches.  Read more.

Neighbor calls police on black businessman opening new spot in San Francisco

A black businessman in San Francisco explained the hardships of trying to open a business in gentrified neighborhood during a new AJ Plus interview.

Vicktor Stevenson is the proprietor of Gourmonade, a permanent lemonade stand that recently opened on Valencia St. in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Stevenson said that even before opening, people had spray-painted racist graffiti on his storefront, tagging his business as “monkey juice.”  Read more.

Baltimore Lawsuit Aims to Hold 26 Fossil Fuel Companies Accountable

Baltimore, Maryland on Friday became the latest city to file suit against major oil and gas companies, aiming to hold them accountable for the "potentially catastrophic" damage that the global climate crisis—which is largely the result of burning fossil fuels—is increasingly inflicting on coastal communities the world over.  Read more.

Israel Begins Massive Bombing of Gaza

Just hours after Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned that Israel is gearing up to launch a "large and painful military operation" in Gaza that would rival Operation Protective Edge—a 2014 assault that killed more than 2,000 Palestinians—the Israeli military carried out "wide-scale" airstrikes across Gaza on Friday following weekly anti-occupation protests along the border fence.  Read more.

Youth Demand that Adults Stop Destroying the Planet

Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?

On June 14, 2016, the Washington Post reported that Russian hackers had broken into the Democratic National Committee’s files and gained access to its research on Donald Trump. A political world already numbed by Trump’s astonishing rise barely took notice. News reports quoted experts who suggested the Russians merely wanted more information about Trump to inform their foreign-policy dealings. By that point, Russia was already broadcasting its strong preference for...read more.

Sweden: Wildfires, heatwave and drought

Weeks of high temperatures and virtually no rain have left much of Scandinavia dangerously dry.

Wildfires are raging and Sweden has called on other European countries to help fight them. Italy, France and Norway have sent aircraft to supplement Sweden's helicopters in fighting the flames.  Read more.

Our Missing $10 Trillion

A trillion dollars, a figure with twelve zeros after a one, is by any measure a ton of money. It’s near impossible to comprehend how much a trillion is.
So, it’s admittedly hard to comprehend a new report that tallies the combined tax cuts of the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations from the year 2000 to the time they’re fully implemented in 2025 at over $10 trillion. Of that $10 trillion, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found, a whopping $2 trillion will have gone exclusively to the top 1 percent.  Read more.

The Capitalism/Racism Partnership

In the wake of W.E.B. DuBois ’s 150th birthday, his works offer a lens through which to assess US capitalism’s relationship to racism today. He famously wrote: “Capitalism cannot reform itself; it is doomed to self-destruction,” while adding that in the US, race would be a key issue in that process. Thus he would have had much to say when, around last Memorial Day, Trump suggested that NFL players peacefully protesting police killings of black people did not...read more.

Kavanaugh Is No Kennedy, and Kennedy Was No Centrist

There is a growing consensus among legal commentators that D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh will move the Supreme Court sharply to the right should the Senate confirm his nomination. Kavanaugh is a loyal Republican operative who has championed conservative causes at every step of his professional career.

Ideologically, Kavanaugh is a product of the right-wing judicial counterrevolution that dates back to a 6,400-word confidential memorandum written in 1971 for the...read more.

Whoopi Goldberg scorches Trump for blaming ‘fake news’ for Helsinki: ‘You gave the middle finger to America’

President Donald Trump blamed the universally negative coverage of his Helsinki summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin on “fake news” — and “The View” host Whoopi Goldberg called him out.
The president sided with Putin over U.S. intelligence services and...read more.

Calls for Trump Impeachment Grow as 'Bizarre' Helsinki Performance Draws Epic Backlash

Lots of people—across the political spectrum—are seriously upset with President Donald Trump for the "embarrassing spectacle" and his "bizarre" performance in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, but will anything actually come of the president's latest display of buffoonery and his inexplicable deference to the Russian leader?  Read more.

Billionaires seek privatization of public education via charter schools

Dollar for dollar, the beleaguered movement to bring charter schools to Washington state has had no bigger champion than billionaire Bill Gates.

The Microsoft co-founder gave millions of dollars to see a charter school law approved despite multiple failed ballot referendums. And his private foundation not only helped create the...read more.

60 Human Rights Groups Demand UN to Take Responsibility for its Haiti's Cholera Crisis in Haiti

Sixty human rights organizations from Haiti and around the world sent a letter Monday to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, imploring the U.N. to fufill its responsibilities to the hundreds of thousands of victims affected by the catastrophic 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti it caused.  Read more.

Former CIA director calls for Trump impeachment after Putin meeting

The former director of the Central Intelligence Agency demanded that Republican “patriots” impeach President Donald Trump for his performance at the Helsinki summit with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.

John Brennan, who directed the National Counterterrorism Center and served as CIA director, cited the basis for...read more.

Paul Jay on Trump-Putin and the Real Threats to Democracy

Europe Cringes Before Emperor Trump

President Donald Trump says most summit meetings are a waste of time.  He’s so right.  Most meetings of every kind are a waste of time and energy.

The president was certainly right about last week’s NATO summit in Brussels.  At least, he livened it up by openly blasting his NATO allies once again for not spending enough on their military forces.  But Trump’s real purpose was to show the world that he was boss of all he surveyed.   Read more.

In Rebuke to Feinstein, Kevin de León Receives Landslide Endorsement from California Democrats

In the latest sign that many in the party are ready for new blood and a bolder, more progressive vision, the Democratic Party in California offered a stunning rebuke to the state's senior U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein by endorsing her primary challenger Kevin de León, the former State Senate leader from Los Angeles.  Read more.

Tab Hunter handled his Hollywood journey with grace, modesty and humor

In the 1950s, an America not reeling from world war or economic depression for the first time in decades reveled in its prosperity. There was time for leisure, and even new leisure markets, such as the hitherto little-noted category of “teenagers.” The latter suddenly merited their own music and movies, featuring custom-tailored pop stars and movie stars — often young male dreamboats with invented, pet-like names such as...read more.

Nancy Barbato Sinatra, 101, an Idol’s First Wife and Lasting Confidante, Dies

The church in Jersey City where they married held a portent in its very name: Our Lady of the Sorrows.
It was the thick of the Depression — 1939 — and they were poor, so poor that just two days after the wedding they returned to their jobs, she as a secretary in a printing plant, he as a singing waiter.  Read more.

“Under Trump, the government is worse than it has been before,” Jimmy Carter says

When speaking with Salon about his famous "Crisis of Confidence" speech, former President Jimmy Carter had this observation about America's current commander-in-chief, Donald Trump.
"I think that under Trump the government is worse than it has been before," Carter explained by email. "This is the first time I remember when the truth is ignored, allies are deliberately aggravated, China, Europe, Mexico and Canada are hurt economically and have to hurt us in response, Americans see the future worse than the present, and immigrants are treated cruelly."  Read more.

Trump declares ‘the European Union is a foe’ in latest assault on US allies

President Donald Trump is continuing his assault on America’s strongest allies, declaring the European Union a “foe” to the United States. His stunning comments come barely days after strongly insisting that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia are neither “friend nor foe” but a “competitor.”

CBS News reports “when asked to identify his ‘biggest foe globally right now,” Trump told the...read more.

Pennsylvania man bulldozed to death for growing 10 marijuana plants

Getting caught growing a few pot plants in Pennsylvania could lead to a criminal charge and a likely sentence of probation, but for a Lehigh Valley man, it was a death sentence. This past Monday, 51-year-old Gregory A. Longenecker was found dead under a bulldozer operated by a state Game Commission worker and carrying a state trooper hunting for two men spotted near a freshly-discovered marijuana grow.  Read more.