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MAY  2017  POLITICAL  ARTICLES

MAY 1 THROUGH 10
May 10, 2017

Pro-Trump Sinclair Network Set to Become Nation's Biggest Broadcaster as FCC Weakens Ownership Rules. ... Ajit Pai, Donald Trump’s pick to head the agency, has been dismantling all kinds of consumer protections and regulations, certainly net neutrality, which many of us consider the First Amendment of the internet, what protects your ability to go online, do whatever you want, go wherever you want and download whatever you want. Democracy Now

Journalists as State Functionaries. ... The media know perfectly well that the reason May needs protection from difficult questions – and even advance notice of soft ones – is that she is hopeless. Her refusal to debate Corbyn and her car crash interview with Marr illustrate that. But our servile media cover up for her by colluding in entirely fake events. Craig Murray  

Trump Uses Power of FCC to Pay Back Friends at Sinclair Broadcasting, Truth Out

US Hegemony on Korean Peninsula Challenged. Counter Punch  

Washington’s Blind Ambition: the Monster in the Mirror. ... Today, U.S. foreign policy is the Ogre, a narcissistic psychopath for whom the mainstream media (MSM) is the mirror it glances in every morning to confirm its noble visage.
Counter Punch

Document Trove Details Bradley Foundation's Efforts to Build Right-Wing "Infrastructure" Nationwide. ... Documents examined by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) expose a national effort funded by the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation to assess and expand right-wing "infrastructure" to influence policies and politicians in statehouses nationwide.
TruthOut  

May 9, 2017

Anti-protest bills would 'attack right to speak out' under Donald Trump. ... The ACLU says more than 30 bills have been introduced amid a huge swell of activism, prompting UN intervention over criminalization of peaceful protest. Guardian 

The US Never Stopped Training and Arming Brutal Latin American Regimes. ... On the night of December 2, 1980, four women from the United States, including three nuns, were murdered in El Salvador. One of them is the subject of your book, Sister Maura Clarke. What happened that evening?
Truth Out

This is the catastrophe the world has been ignoring
Venezuela is in a crisis. Think Progress

Washington’s Blind Ambition: the Monster in the Mirror. ... Today, U.S. foreign policy is the Ogre, a narcissistic psychopath for whom the mainstream media (MSM) is the mirror it glances in every morning to confirm its noble visage.
Counter Punch

Under Trumpcare, Millions Will Lose Coverage, Many Will Die—and the GOP Will Try to Blame It on Liberals. AlterNet

‘Yates just handed Ted Cruz his ass on a platter’: Internet celebrates Sally Yate’s brutal shutdown of GOP senator.  Raw Story

The Deep State. ... When a head of state who behaves impulsively, and shows little interest in filling in the gaps in his knowledge, becomes commander in chief of the world’s most powerful army, there need to be plenty of safeguards.. Counter Punch

May 8,2017

Israel’s New Cultural War of Aggression.
Counter Punch

Kalaratri Appears: Indigenous Women Take-Up Arms in India. ... Uncharacteristically, the Canadian Press omitted to report the 50 hour abduction last month of a cyclist from Ottawa by Maoist forces in the jungles of central India. The story was reported with great alarm, however, in all the major Indian papers. Counter Punch

There’s Nothing Apple’s CEO Cares About More Than Not Paying Taxes. Intercept  

Coca-Cola Israel Donated to Left-bashing Group Im Tirtzu .. which led campaigns against marking the Nakba and accused human-rights activists of being 'moles,' wanted to cover up the $14,000 donation.
Haaretz

Our Constitution Vs. the Deep State Run by Intelligence Agencies and the Pentagon—Only One Will Survive Western civilization itself is under attack. AlterNet

The Great Division: the Return of Nationalism. ... suddenly the world is full of leaders from Theresa May to President Erdogan of Turkey claiming to unite their countries while visibly deepening their divisions. Denunciations of supposed threats at home and abroad are a common feature of this new political style, whether they are tweeted from the White House or spoken at the podium outside 10 Downing Street. Counter Punch  

The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked. ... A shadowy global operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign influenced the result of the EU referendum. As Britain heads to the polls again, is our electoral process still fit for purpose?
The Guardian

May 7, 2017

Trumpcare Is a Transfer From the Sick and Poor to the Rich and Healthy. Shame on every one of the 217 Republicans who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, and substitute basically nothing. ... Trumpcare isn’t a replacement of the Affordable Care Act. It’s a transfer from the sick and poor to the rich and healthy. Truth Dig

There’s Nothing Apple’s CEO Cares About More Than Not Paying Taxes. Intercept  

World leaders from May to Trump to Erdogan are all promising to unite their countries while doing the exact opposite. ... Encouraging a sense of nationalism in countries with an imperial past is not just offensive but also counter-productive.
Independent

Unsurprisingly, Networks Refuse To Air Donald Trump’s ‘Fake News’ Ad Against Them Turns out inaccurately calling mainstream media “fake” is against advertising guidelines. Huffington

‘This is not the story we want’: Reporters chased out of meeting with Kushner family pitching Chinese investors. ... Reporters attempting to cover a pitch to wealthy Chinese investors at a seminar on visas from members of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s family were abruptly ejected from the event..
Raw Story

May 6, 2017

WEEKEND READ:  Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World by Tom Engelhardt. ... In 1964, a book entitled The Invisible Government shocked Americans with its revelations of a growing world of intelligence agencies playing fast and loose around the planet, a secret government lodged inside the one they knew that even the president didn't fully control. Almost half a century later, everything about that "invisible government" has grown vastly larger, more disturbing, and far more visible. In his new book. Amazon

Trump administration desperate to hide new CIA appointee’s history with ‘black site’ prisons and torture, Raw Story  

The Forgotten History of Cinco de Mayo: It’s Not About Beer, It’s About Rich Countries Strangling Poor Ones. ... But the forgotten history behind Cinco de Mayo is fascinating and remains extremely relevant today. In fact, it’s so relevant for small countries around the world that it’s hard not to believe that’s exactly why it’s been forgotten.
Intercept

Federal employees are being forced to watch Fox News, according to leaked email
It cites “current administration administrative officials” as the reason for the switch from CNN to Trump’s favorite channel. Think Progress

World leaders from May to Trump to Erdogan are all promising to unite their countries while doing the exact opposite. ... Encouraging a sense of nationalism in countries with an imperial past is not just offensive but also counter-productive.
Independent

May 5, 2017

Priebus Says Trump Considering Constitutional Amendment to Restrict Press Freedoms. ... According to Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff, the White House has “looked at” using a constitutional amendment to try and restrict the freedom of the press in his continued attack on “fake news,” and the media. Ring of Fire


Alt-Right Hopes to Organize Street-Fighting Goon Squad: Is It More Than Macho Posturing? ... Far-right fanboys are trying to organize street gangs—and the most effective way to fight back may be mockery. AlterNet

House GOP Just Voted to Slash Medicaid - Which Pays for 60 Percent of People in Nursing Homes.
Intercept  

Jeff Sessions' Department of Injustice. ... Motivated by his deep-seated biases and those of President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is pursuing a draconian agenda on voting rights, immigration, crime, policing, the drug war, federal sentencing and the privatization of prisons.
Truth Out

Killer Cop Conviction Is an Exception: Don’t Expect Justice From the Sessions DOJ. Intercept

Hillary Clinton Does Not Belong in the Anti-Trump Resistance. Truth Dig

13 Questions That Expose Charter School Falsehoods. Naked Capitalism

May 4, 2017

Why Do North Koreans Hate Us? One Reason — They Remember the Korean War. Intercept  

Why Obama’s Big Cash-In Matters ... I called him out as a corporate, neoliberal imperialist and a de facto white supremacist (as ironic as that might sound given his technical blackness) from the beginning of the nationwide “Obamas” phenomenon in the summer of 2004. Truth Dig  

According to a new report by the International Business Times, it isn’t as expensive as you’d think to buy the loyalty of a member of Congress. In some cases, donations of just $1,000 were enough to change the outcome of a vote.
The Ring of Fire
 

Oil, gas and coal interests filling Donald Trump’s ‘swamp’ with cash. ... Fossil fuel giants spent millions on lobbying, inauguration during early 2017.
Center for Public Integrity  

Former Trump campaign manager now lobbies for Russian-backed oil company Citgo. Raw Story

Globalism, Neoliberalism and the Big Questions of Our Time. ... France is a standing affront to neo-liberals. Despite a failure to bow down to deregulation, despite extensive worker protections, despite complex health and safety, environmental and building regulations, despite strong and legally entrenched trade unions, France persists year in year out having productivity levels 20% higher than those achieved by unprotected, deregulated Britons. Despite the fact French workers put in 15% less hours per week, and refuse to be less Gallic.
Craig Murray  

May 3, 2017

Is North Korea a diversion for a US-Jordan invasion of Syria? ... . The saber-rattling is just an attempt to divert attention from the Syria-Jordan border where the US and Jordan are massing troops and equipment for an invasion of Syria. That’s what’s really going on. The Korean fiasco is a smokescreen. Counter Punch

Why Do North Koreans Hate Us? One Reason — They Remember the Korean War. :Intercept  

Trump’s Support and Praise of Despots Is Central to the US Tradition, Not a Deviation From It. ... Since at least the end of World War II, supporting the world’s worst despots has been a central plank of U.S. foreign policy, arguably its defining attribute.
Intercept

Apartheid in the Shadows: the USA, IBM and South Africa’s Digital Police State. ... Parkhurst (neighborhood) plans to install infrared and heat-source cameras to track body movements. Labuschagne says they will use “GPS technology and so on to map where incidents occur” and determine “what movement is considered abnormal rather than typical movements in a neighborhood of people walking their dogs and so on.”
Counter Punch
 

Study: Livestock Grazing on Public Lands Cost Taxpayers $1 Billion Over Past Decade. Center for Biological Diversity Report    
and BLM and USFS livestock grazing stats  

5 Times Charter School Founders Used Shady Real Estate Deals to Shamelessly Enrich Themselves. ... A trio of academics compare the tactics to Wall Street's raiders. AlterNet

A Woman Is On Trial For Laughing During A Congressional Hearing. ... Activist was arrested by a rookie cop after laughing at a claim that Jeff Sessions treated “all Americans equally.”
Huffington  

May 2, 2017

Academic Bullying the Vacuum of Moral Leadership in the Academy. ... The failure of administrators to curb academic bullying and other forms of profession misconduct on the part of faculty is the reason academic departments become dysfunctiona Counter Punch

Cybersecurity for the People: How to Keep Your Chats Truly Private With Signal. Intercept  

Berta Cáceres' Sister Speaks Out About the Ongoing Assassinations of Land Defenders in Honduras. ... The People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C., also called attention to the perilous climate for environmental justice activists worldwide, where an increasing number of land and water defenders are being murdered for their organizing efforts. Democracy Now

The NRA and Trump are teaming up to go after the media. ... The first amendment took a back seat to the second at the gun lobby’s annual meeting. Think Progress

Jeremy Corbyn is Britain’s Best Hope.
Counter Punch
 

Busted in Barcelona: Meet Russiagates John Dean. Russian Peter Levashov would have fared better if his wife was a gangster’s moll, who knew when to keep her mouth shut. Mad Cow Productions

5 Times Charter School Founders Used Shady Real Estate Deals to Shamelessly Enrich Themselves
A trio of academics compare the tactics to Wall Street's raiders. AlterNet

May 1, 2017

Reign of Idiots ... The idiots know only one word—“more.” They are unencumbered by common sense. They hoard wealth and resources until workers cannot make a living and the infrastructure collapses. ... This moment in history marks the end of a long, sad tale of greed and murder by the white races. It is inevitable that for the final show we vomited a grotesque figure like Trump. Europeans and Americans have spent five centuries conquering, plundering, exploiting and polluting the earth in the name of human progress.
Counter Punch/Hedges  

100 Days of Trump: Why We Should Fear Him More Than Ever. ... politicians and establishment media have greeted what they see as President Trump’s return to the norms of American foreign policy. They welcome the actual or threatened use of military force in Syria, Afghanistan and North Korea, and praise his appointment of a bevy of generals to senior security posts. Counter Punch/Patrick .Cockburn

The Cost of Barack Obama’s Speech NY Times

The Election was Stolen – Here’s How…Starting in 2013 – just as the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act – a coterie of Trump operatives, under the direction of Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, created a system to purge 1.1 million Americans of color from the voter rolls of GOP–controlled states. Greg Palast  Also: The GOP’s secret scheme begins purge of a million minority voters from voter rolls. Rolling Stone

EPA Purges Pages That Highlight Climate Change From Its Website. ... The agency says it’s making the changes to reflect the new leadership.
Huffington

Between Orwell and Huxley in the Age of New Authoritarianism (Video interview) TruthOut

Who Is Publishing NSA and CIA Secrets, and Why? ... here's something going on inside the intelligence communities in at least two countries, and we have no idea what it is. Law Fare  

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MAY 11 THROUGH 21
May 19-21, 2017

Weekend read:
Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World by Tom Engelhardt. - In 1964, a book entitled The Invisible Government shocked Americans with its revelations of a growing world of intelligence agencies playing fast and loose around the planet, a secret government lodged inside the one they knew that even the president didn't fully control. Almost half a century later, everything about that "invisible government" has grown vastly larger, more disturbing, and far more visible. In his new book. Amazon

Trump, Wall Street and the ‘banking caucus’ ready to rip apart Dodd-Frank ... President Trump said he will 'do a big number' on the 2010 financial regulation law. Center for Public Integrity  

What know-it-alls don’t know, or the illusion of competence. Aeon

Dancing With the Devil: Trump’s Politics of Fascist Collaboration. Truth Out/Giroux

ACLU Reveals Bills in 20 States Aiming to Criminalize Peaceful Protest -- Is Your State on the List? Truth Out   (AZ and CO listed)

“Misunderstanding Terrorism”: How the Us vs. Them Mentality Will Never Stop Attacks . Intercept

Watchdogs Warn New Bill Would Axe Corporate Liability at Public's Expense. ... Regulatory Accountability Act 'provides corporate interests with unprecedented power to interfere with and delay the regulatory process'  Common Dreams

Chomsky: The Economic Facts of American Life in the 21st Century. ... Chomsky looks at the 10 principles of concentration and power at work in America today. AlterNet  

May 18, 2017

Interesting: Joe Lieberman on new FBI director short list is a counsel for Trump interests

Media to Trump: Don’t Cozy Up to Dictators–Unless They’re the Right Dictators. ... After a series of friendly gestures by President Donald Trump toward Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi over the past few months, US media have recoiled with disgust at the open embrace of governments that ostensibly had heretofore been beyond the pale.. Fair

Trump, Wall Street and the ‘banking caucus’ ready to rip apart Dodd-Frank. ... President Trump said he will 'do a big number' on the 2010 financial regulation law
Center for Public Integrity  

Watchdogs Warn New Bill Would Axe Corporate Liability at Public's Expense. ... Regulatory Accountability Act 'provides corporate interests with unprecedented power to interfere with and delay the regulatory process'  Common Dreams

Chomsky: The Economic Facts of American Life in the 21st Century. ... Chomsky looks at the 10 principles of concentration and power at work in America today. AlterNet  

America Reloaded. ... The Bizarre Story Behind the FBI’s Fake Documentary About the Bundy Family. Intercept

Trump is dangerously incompetent.. It has long been clear that Donald Trump would be an incompetent president. But over the past week he has proven himself to be a dangerously incompetent president.. Washington Post

May 17, 2017

The Two Most Dangerous Men in the World: Trump and Crown Prince Salman.
Counter Punch/Cockburn

Donald Trump Is Attempting a Coup -- We Must Have a Special Prosecutor. Truth Out/Moyers

Chelsea Manning released from military prison. ...Chelsea Manning, the U.S. soldier who was deemed a traitor by prosecutors after sending hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, has been freed after spending seven years in prison. Huffington and Guardian

Columbia Neuroscientist Receives Death Threats for Speaking Out Against Deadly Philippines Drug War. Democracy Now

Neuroscientist Carl Hart: We Need to Stop Jeff Sessions from Escalating the Racist War on Drugs. Democracy Now

Seth Rich, the DNC, and WikiLeaks: The Plot Thickens. According to the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department, the nation’s capital reported 135 homicides last year. One of those homicides, the killing of DNC staffer Seth Rich on July 10, 2016, continues to make news ten months later....Who killed Seth Rich, and why? We may never know for sure. On the other hand, a significant piece of the puzzle may have just fallen into place.
Counter Punch

May 16, 2017

Columbia Neuroscientist Receives Death Threats for Speaking Out Against Deadly Philippines Drug War. Democracy Now

Trump expected to name climate-denying conservative talk show host as head USDA scientist. ... Sam Clovis has no background in food or agriculture, and is not a scientist.
Think Progress 

Obama’s Deportation Policy Was Even Worse Than We Thought. The Intercept

House Republican writes letter to constituent's employer complaining about her progressive activism. ... Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s note culminated in a woman resigning from her job.
Think Progress

J. Edgar Hoover: the Man Who Never Dies. ... “Just the minute the FBI begins making recommendations on what should be done with its information, it becomes a Gestapo.” ... – – J. Edgar Hoover, FBI chief, who constantly fed confidential files to his political friends. Counter Punch  

Neuroscientist Carl Hart: We Need to Stop Jeff Sessions from Escalating the Racist War on Drugs. Democracy Now

The Hazards of Military Worship Truth Dig

Statist Attacks on Academic Freedom Are a Symptom of Neoliberalism. Truth Out

Yemen war: Emergency in Sanaa as cholera kills scores. BBC News (Note: not one word in this article about the war being conducted by Saudi Arabia with US money and arms and direct action by US Forces)

Has America No Sense of Decency? (No really)
Truth Dig

May 15, 2017

They hate the US government, and they're multiplying: the terrifying rise of 'sovereign citizens' ... While US counter-terrorism efforts remain locked on Islamist extremism, the growing threat from homegrown, rightwing extremists is even more pressing. Guardian

As Trump Cozies Up to Saudi Arabia, War With Iran Becomes More Likely.
Counter Punch/Cockburn

This is what emboldened white supremacists look like ... With Donald Trump and his America First rhetoric, these groups are seeing a dramatic upsurge. It’s up to us to stop them. Guardian

Trump Is the Symptom, Not the Disease. ... The crisis we face is not embodied in the public images of the politicians that run our dysfunctional government. The crisis we face is the result of a four-decade-long, slow-motion corporate coup that has rendered the citizen impotent, left us without any authentic democratic institutions and allowed corporate and military power to become omnipotent. Counter Punch/Hedges

Waging War Against a Mythical Crime Wave, Sessions Ramps Up War on Drugs, ,,, . Sessions seeks to expand the failed "War on Drugs" by once again aggressively sentencing low-level drug offenses with mandatory minimum sentences,
Truth Out

Donald Trump's Financial Ties to Russian Oligarchs and Mobsters Detailed In Explosive New Documentary from the Netherlands. ... Dutch TV did what no American TV network dares, suggesting Trump's past includes illegal racketeering.
AlterNet    Original Youtube video

That NHS Ransomware Attack ... This is US government security service technology, developed by the NSA. Edward Snowden has confirmed this and nobody is denying it. You might think that would be a prominent part of the story, but strangely it isn’t. Craig Murray

May 13-14, 2017

WEEKEND READ
The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. ... Described by Noam Chomsky as 'a very important book', Guy Standing's The Precariat has achieved cult status as the first account of this emerging class of people, facing lives of insecurity, moving in and out of jobs that give little meaning to their lives. Amazon

Papantonio: Deregulation Transformed The Airline Industry Into Gangsters – America’s Lawyer.
The Ring of Fire
 

The Audacity of Sleaze: Profiles in Corruption. ... It actually doesn’t take a lot of courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential. ... Barack Obama, Acceptance Speech for the Kennedy Library Foundation’s “Profiles in Courage” Award, May 7, 2017. ... What could be more absurd than Drone War King Barack Obama getting an award for courage? ... The speech that Obama gave after getting the 2017 “Profiles in Courage” prize from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation last Sunday – that’s what. Counter Punch 

Paul Krugman: The Republican Party Is Just as Treasonous as Trump. ... The New York Times columnist says it's time we acknowledge the GOP has no interest in democracy. AlterNet

Noam Chomsky: How the Corporate Media Is Undermining One of the World's Key Left-Wing Leaders ... The US radical thinker blames the media for Jeremy Corbyn’s unpopularity and says he would vote for him. AlterNet

Jailed Reporter Barrett Brown on Press Freedom, FBI Crimes & Why He Wouldn't Do Anything Differently. Democracy Now

Donald Trump Orders "Election Integrity" Commission Headed by Architects of Voter Suppression. Democracy Now

Glenn Greenwald on Barrett Brown, Press Freedom & the Failings of the Corporate Media.
Democracy Now

From October 2016: Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell. Counter Punch.

Study finds link between brain damage and religious fundamentalism. Raw Story

May 12, 2017

Journalist Arrested For ‘Yelling Questions’ At HHS Secretary Tom Price, Kellyanne Conway. ... Dan Heyman wanted to know if domestic violence was a preexisting condition under the new health care bill. Huffington  

Arming the Kurds: Trump’s Syrian Gambit. ... Trump’s decision to provide weapons to the Syrian Kurds, who are fighting Isis, potentially marks a crucial change in the political geography of the Middle East. In effect, the US is choosing to support its Kurdish ally in Syria, in defiance of Turkey, whose aim is to prevent the establishment of a quasi-independent Kurdish state there.
Counter Punch/Cockburn  

Mitch McConnell is doing incalculable damage to our democracy. ... Nothing to see here, folks.
Think Progress

The Media and Netanyahul ... Netanyahu’s relation with, control of and attitude to the media is a central component of his career and ongoing success. Through his years as a furniture salesman, ambassador to the UN and prime minister, Netanyahu has mastered the art of public relations. To stay in power, he has realised that he needs, on the one hand, to have as much control as possible over the media, over what they cover and what they don’t cover; while on the other hand, he needs Israelis to believe that the media are biased against him. Counter Punch

Donald Trump Is Attempting a Coup -- We Must Have a Special Prosecutor. Truth Out/Moyers

Bob Dole, Trump campaign aide to lobby for Congolese government. ... Troubled Democratic Republic of Congo launching influence blitz in Washington. Public Intergrity

Most Americans don’t like Trump. .. Trump will most likely be reelected in 2020. ... How can both of these statements be true? Here’s how: ... Trump Will Likely Win Re-election In 2020. ... Even when people are unhappy with a state of affairs, they are usually disinclined to change it. In my area of research, the cognitive and behavioral sciences, this is known as the “default effect.”. Huffington 

Human Rights Lawyers Are Fighting a Justice Department Order to Stop Legal Aid for Immigrants. Democracy Now

May 11, 2017

Jimmy Carter and Bernie Sanders Explain How Inequality Breeds Authoritarianism Intercept  

Let's Bring Some Despots and War Criminals To the White House To Calm Everyone Down. ... Facing a massive Comey backlash, the Trump circus got their best optics consultants in and decided the most cunning way to say "Not Like Nixon" and "Not About Russia" was to meet with ancient war criminal Henry Kissinger and two top Russian officials, while only allowing in Russian press to report it.
Common Dreams

The Media and Netanyahu, ,,, Netanyahu’s relation with, control of and attitude to the media is a central component of his career and ongoing success. Counter Punch

The City and the War Machine: Crosshairs on People and Public Lands. ... In the 1990s, a battle raged over military use of the Owyhee Canyonlands of Idaho, Oregon and Nevada. The aggressor was the state of Idaho under Gov. Cecil Andrus, fronting for the Air Force. Cece, who had been Interior Secretary under Jimmy Carter, was hell bent on a new Bombing Range amid some of the most remote country in the lower 48 states. Counter Punch

Glenn Greenwald on Trump's "Shocking" Firing of FBI Chief James Comey Amid Russian Probe. Democracy Now

Crown Prosecution Service Colludes in Tory Election Fraud. ... In a ludicrous statement, the Crown Prosecution Service argues that Conservative Party agents and candidates did not dishonestly submit false returns – because the Conservative Party told them it was legal. Craig Murray

Greenwald: Hillary is to Blame for Losing 2016 Election, Not James Comey. Democracy Now


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MAY 22 THROUGH 31
May 31, 2017

On Tyranny: Yale Historian Timothy Snyder on How the U.S. Can Avoid Sliding into Authoritarianism. ... I think our mistake at present is to imagine that the institutions will automatically continue to protect us. My sense is that we’ve seen institutions like our own fail. ... Democracy Now

Portland Republican says party should use militia groups after racial attack. ... County GOP chair James Buchal says security forces may be appropriate as tensions rise after two people died in a racial attack on public transport. Guardian

Leaks and Militarized Policing: The NoDAPL Water Protectors Keep Getting Proven Right.
Counter Punch

Military Spending is the Biggest Scam in American Politics. Counter Punch

Buying a Slave -- the Hidden World of US-Philippines Trafficking.   Truth Out

No Laughing Matter: The Manchester Bomber is the Spawn of Hillary and Barack’s Excellent Libyan Adventure. Counter Punch

Life’s Economy is Primarily Based on Collaborative rather than Competitive Advantage. (Video)
Resilience

May 30, 2017

The Artist as Prophet. ... The deep malaise, rage and feelings of betrayal that have enveloped American society are rarely captured and almost never are explained coherently by the press. To grasp the savage economic and emotional cost of deindustrialization, the destruction of our democratic institutions, the dark undercurrent of nihilistic violence that sees us beset with mass shootings, the attraction of opioids, the rise of the militarized state and the concentration of national wealth in a tiny cabal of corrupt bankers and corporations, it is necessary to turn to a handful of poets, writers and other artists. These artists, who often exist on the margins of mass culture, are our unheeded prophets.
Truth Dig/Hedges

The Silent Apartheid: Militarizing Architecture and Infrastructure. Counter Punch

The Washington Post’s Renewed Attack on Whistlblowers. Counter Punch

Trump's ''Victims of Immigration Crime'' Hotline Is as American as It Gets Truth Out

What Betsy DeVos Calls Education Transformation Is Actually Public Theft. ... Betsy DeVos wants to give your tax dollars to private schools and businesses and tell you it's an education "transformation."
Truth Out

Drug warrior Jeff Sessions lets a megabank skate on laundering money into Mexico ... Jeff Sessions goes soft on Wall Street and tough on minor drug offenses.
Think Progress

Unending Grief: Murder of Dontre Hamilton by Police Continues to Haunt Family. Truth Out

The Democrats Need a New Message ... After another demoralizing loss to a monstrous candidate, Democrats need a reboot. Rolling Stone

May 29, 2017

Extensive Economist YouGov Poll
Results taken May 20-23, 2017
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It’s Not Gonna Be Okay: the Nauseating Nothingness of Neoliberal Capitalist and Professional Class Politics. Counter Punch

Are Credit Rating Agencies America’s Secret Fifth Column? Even a full-blown war with North Korea or Russia could not inflict the damage done to this Country by Moody’s, Fitch and S&P. The rating agencies have declared war on the United States and the damage they are inflicting will eventually destroy this Country from within. . Counter Punch  

Trump Would Sell Off America's Energy Resources for a Pittance, Like Russia Did to Create Its Oligarchs. ... For sale: oil reserves, mineral rights and power lines.
AlterNet   

Trump's Embrace of Duterte's Deadly War on Drugs in the Philippines.... In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has suggested he might impose martial law across the country, after declaring it this week in his native island of Mindanao. This comes as a transcript of the call of Trump praising Duterte for his controversial drug war was leaked and published by The Intercept. According to the leaked transcript, Trump said, "I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem. Democracy Now/Scahill

Secret court rebukes NSA for 5-year illegal surveillance of U.S. citizens. ... US intelligence agencies conducted illegal surveillance on American citizens over a five-year period, a practice that earned them a sharp rebuke from a secret court that called the matter a “very serious” constitutional issue.
McClatchy

Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies”. ... (a) security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures, collaborating closely with police in at least five states, according to internal documents obtained by The Intercept. The documents provide the first detailed picture of how TigerSwan, which originated as a U.S. military and State Department contractor helping to execute the global war on terror, worked at the behest of its client Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, to respond to the indigenous-led movement that sought to stop the project. Intercept

 
May 26-28, 2017

WEEKEND READ:
Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World
by Tom Engelhardt. - In 1964, a book entitled The Invisible Government shocked Americans with its revelations of a growing world of intelligence agencies playing fast and loose around the planet, a secret government lodged inside the one they knew that even the president didn't fully control. Almost half a century later, everything about that "invisible government" has grown vastly larger, more disturbing, and far more visible. In his new book. Amazon

The Most Dangerous Spy You’ve Never Heard Of: Ana Belén Montes. Ana Belén Montes gave classified information to Cuba for 17 years before her arrest in 2001 for espionage. Pleading guilty, she avoided conviction for treason, which carries the death sentence. She is called “the most dangerous spy you’ve never heard of.”[i] She deserves to be known now. Counter Punch

US air strike in Mosul killed at least 105 civilians, Pentagon confirms. ... The strike is one of the largest incidents of civilian deaths since the US air campaign against Isis began in 2014.  Independent  

What If All Victims of War Received the Media Attention of Manchester Victims? Scahill/Greenwald Democracy Now

Is Charter School Fraud the Next Enron? As a scholar who studies the legal and policy issues pertaining to school choice, I've observed that the same type of fraud that occurred at Enron has been cropping up in the charter school sector. A handful of school officials have been caught using the Enron playbook to divert funding slated for these schools into their own pockets. Truth Out

Swamp Politics, Trump Style: “Russiagate” Diverts From the Real White House Scandals.
Counter Punch  

Evidence of the Core Allegations Is Lacking in ‘Russiagate’ ... Between Russia-gate and President Trump’s potential impeachment, Washington is blending the thrill of McCarthyism and the excitement of Watergate, as ex-U.S. intelligence officials Ray McGovern and William Binney explain..
Counter Punch

May 25, 2017

Economist Joseph Stiglitz: Trump's Budget Takes a Sledgehammer to What Remains of the American Dream. ... The Trump administration unveiled its $4.1 trillion budget Tuesday. The plan includes massive cuts to social programs, while calling for historic increases in military spending. Democracy Now

Reactions to Manchester Bombing Show How Anti-Muslim Bigots Are “Useful Idiots” for ISIS.
Intercept

War in Afghanistan Is Killing Children in Record Numbers in 2017.  Truth Out

Civilians Killed by US Largely Ignored as Endless Global War Continues. Borderless 'War on Terror'—now operated by President Donald Trump—continues to claim innocent lives around the world... but pattern holds that not all victims receive equal attention. Common Dreams

Democrats Ask Deutsche Bank to Produce Documents on Trump Family Loans. ... Democratic lawmakers asked Deutsche Bank AG to hand over its findings on two politically charged matters -- its banking on behalf of now-President Donald Trump and trades from the bank’s Moscow operation that helped move some $10 billion out of Russia. Bloomberg

Deutsche Bank in Bind Over How to Modify $300 Million Trump Debt. ... A small detail in Deutsche Bank AG’s loans to Donald Trump’s real-estate business has turned into a headache at the bank, as its effort has stalled to restructure part of the $300 million or so in debt. Bloomberg


Now the Full Story of the Persecution of Julian Assange Can Be Told. ... Washington’s bid to get Assange is “unprecedented in scale and nature."
AlterNet

The Disappearing Data Project
The Trump administration has taken thousands of government records offline since taking office. We’re getting them back. Think Progress

May 24, 2017

Quote of the day:
Never have so many smart people work so hard to extract meaning from a self-contradicting rumbling of a single idiot. #Trump. (Noam Sheizaf).

(Originally printed 2011) All the WikiLeaks Fit to Print. ... There is a craven disconnect between the eagerness of leading editors to exploit the important news revealed by WikiLeaks and their efforts to distance themselves from both the courageous website and Bradley Manning, the alleged source of documents posted there. Alleged is required when referring to the Army private so as not to repeat the egregious error of a constitutional-law-professor-turned-president who has already presumed Manning guilty of crimes for which he is not even formally charged. Truth Dig

'Can't Make This Up': Comcast Makes Legal Threat Against Net Neutrality Defenders. ... If FCC chairman Ajit Pai's plan "is enacted, there would be nothing preventing Comcast from simply blocking sites like Comcastroturf.com that are critical of their corporate policies" Common Dreams

Trump Praised Philippines President Duterte For Drug War That Has Killed 9,000 People
Trump told Duterte he was doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem,” according to a transcript. Human rights groups disagree. Huffington

Hiding in plain sight: how the 'alt-right' is weaponizing irony to spread fascism. ... Experts say the ‘alt-right’ have stormed mainstream consciousness by using ‘humor’ and ambiguity as tactics to wrong-foot their opponents. Guardian

Climate change is shrinking the West’s water supply. ... Three new studies show dry times ahead.
High Country News

The Normalizing of Authoritarianism in America. Counter Punch

Devos Takes Out Her Hatchet. ... Last week, Devos announced $10.6 billion in cuts to educational programs all over the country. The Washington Post reported the victims of these drastic cuts include taking $12 million in funding away from the special olympics, $65 million from two programs that benefit natives in Hawaii and Alaska, and cuts $15 million from a program that provides low-income parents attending college care for their children. The budget proposes eliminating all funding for a fund created by congress to help schools pay for student support services, like mental health, and academic support. Counter Punch

May 23, 2017

Global Study Shows Americans Dying from Preventable Causes at Shocking Rates. ... 'Having a strong economy does not guarantee good healthcare' Common Dreams

Noam Chomsky: America Poses a Unique Threat to World Safety. ... Trump's brinkmanship is nothing new. Time and again, the U.S. has abandoned diplomacy for violence. AlterNet  

'Trump has declared war': journalists denounce any attack on press freedom. ... President’s apparent suggestion that the FBI should ‘consider putting reporters in prison’ prompts call to action from journalists increasingly under attack. Guardian  

Billionaire Betsy DeVos wants to scrap student debt forgiveness. Surprised? ... The plan by the secretary of education represents the Trump administration’s multi-part assault on public education and the non-rich. Guardian

While You Weren’t Looking, Trump Basically Killed Dodd-Frank. ... It was fun while it lasted.
Huffington

Boeing, Blackstone Announce Multibillion-Dollar Deals in Saudi Arabia During Trump Visit. ... President Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia has heralded billions of dollars of deal announcements.
Independent

Trump Admin. Now Deploying Controversial Surveillance Tool in Immigration Crackdown. ... Detroit News reports on "troubling" use of Stingrays in hunt for undocumented immigrant. Common Dreams  

May 22, 2017

The Death of the Republic. ... The deep state’s decision in ancient Rome - dominated by a bloated military and a corrupt oligarchy, much like the United States of 2017 - to strangle the vain and idiotic Emperor Commodus in his bath in the year 192 did not halt the growing chaos and precipitous decline of the Roman Empire. Truth Dig

Saudi Arabia, UAE pledge $100 million to ethically questionable fund proposed by Ivanka Trump
Donald Trump criticized similar donations to the Clinton Foundation when he was a candidate.
Think Progress
and AlterNet

50 Terrible Ideas That Could Become Law If Trump Is Impeached and Pence Becomes President
The Republican Party platform lays out an agenda that could sail through Congress. AlterNet

Scientists feared federal data might disappear under Trump. They were right. ... It’s a good thing all those scientists scrambled to preserve publicly funded data before Trump took office in January.
New Republic

Sweden Withdraws Arrest Warrant for Julian Assange, but he Still Faces Serious Legal Jeopardy. ... Ecuador’s rationale for granting asylum to Assange has often been overlooked. Ecuadorian officials, along with Assange’s supporters, have always insisted that they wanted the investigation in Sweden to proceed, and vowed that Assange would board the next plane to Stockholm if Sweden gave assurances that it would not extradite him to the U.S. to face charges relating to WikiLeaks’ publication of documents. It was Sweden’s refusal to issue such guarantees – and Ecuador’s fears that Assange would end up being persecuted by the U.S. – that has been the basis for its asylum protections. Intercept

Seth Rich, Craig Murray and the Sinister Stewards of the National Security State. ... Why is it a “conspiracy theory” to think that a disgruntled Democratic National Committee staffer gave WikiLeaks the DNC emails, but not a conspiracy theory to think the emails were provided by Russia?
Counter Punch

How U.S. Military Bases Back Dictators and Military Regimes. Truth Dig

 
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