January 18, 2017

President Obama commutes Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence. “…Manning has already served more time behind bars than any other whistleblower in U.S. history, and under difficult conditions.”   http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/17/510307055/president-obama-commutes-chelsea-mannings-prison-sentence

Congressional Budget Office estimates 18 million will lose their health insurance if Congress cancels Obamacare, resulting in a total of 44 million without insurance.   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/us/politics/congressional-budget-office-affordable-care-act.html?_r=0

Nigerian air force accidentally bombs refugee camp, killing more than 100 including aid workers.   http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/01/17/nigeria-bombs-refugee-camp/96668002/

“New World Disorder”: U.S. and Russia aligned against E.U.? China the champion of free-market capitalism? Political tension with Canada and Mexico?   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/17/politics/donald-trump-foreign-policy/

Trump’s 40% approval rating lowest for an incoming president in 40 years (apparently when polling on this topic began).  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/poll-trump-draws-low-marks-for-transition-response-to-russian-hacking/2017/01/17/0926302a-dc25-11e6-ad42-f3375f271c9c_story.html  Trump calls these polls “rigged”.   http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/01/17/donald-trump-polls-rigged-approval/96660980/

Ft. Lauderdale shooting suspect originally told investigators he was under government mind control when he plotted the shooting, then reportedly said he was inspired by IS internet propaganda. “The FBI is examining Santiago’s computers and other devices as well as those of family members, but so far agents have not confirmed any terrorism ties.”   http://www.syracuse.com/us-news/index.ssf/2017/01/fort_lauderdale_shooter_mind_control_islamic_state.html

Americans over 60 reportedly owe almost $67 billion in student loan debt, 2/3 of which is for college educations of their underemployed children or grandchildren.   https://qz.com/879914/to-put-their-grandkids-through-college-americans-over-60-now-have-67-billion-in-student-debt/

Government pays $500 million into U.N. climate fund. “That’s on top of another $500 million transferred last March, meaning the United States has now sent $1 billion to the fund, or a third of (President Obama’s) pledge.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/01/17/days-before-trumps-inauguration-state-dept-sends-500-million-to-united-nations-climate-fund/

Abortion rate hits 40-year low thanks to family planning and contraception.   “Abortion is going down, and births aren’t going up.”   http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/17/509734620/u-s-abortion-rate-falls-to-lowest-level-since-roe-v-wade

Garth Brooks reportedly says he was unable to perform at Trump inauguration due to scheduling conflicts. “We can’t thank the Obamas enough for serving this country. And may God hold Trump’s hand in the decisions that he makes in this country’s name as well.”   http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2017/01/17/garth-brooks-finally-explains-why-turned-down-trump-inauguration-gig.html

The Trump voter turned protester. “Under the watchful eyes of roughly a dozen police officers, Robinson, alongside some 50 other protestors holding up signs and wearing green “swamp monster masks,” decried Trump and his multiple cabinet picks who are Goldman Sachs alumni.”   http://fortune.com/2017/01/17/donald-trump-voter-regrets-goldman-sachs/

After Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Interior says there is still “a lot of debate” on whether or not climate change is real, Bernie Sanders pounces. “Actually, there’s not a lot of debate… There is a debate on this committee, but not within the scientific community.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/01/17/actually-there-not-lot-debate-sanders-forced-correct-trump-nominee-climate-science

500+ environmental, civil rights, public health, and pro-democracy organizations issue statement opposing Trump’s pick for EPA chief. “Given Scott Pruitt’s long record of insulating industrial polluters from even the most basic environmental safeguards, anyone that breathes air and drinks water should be aggressively opposed to this man leading the EPA.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/01/17/500-groups-urge-senators-use-all-your-power-block-anti-environment-pruitt

Manning’s Wikileaks documents were a threat because they revealed dirty secrets of U.S. diplomacy. Leaked “national human intelligence collection directive” instructed U.S. “diplomats as well as the intelligence agencies to pick up details such as credit card numbers, email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers and even frequent-flyer account numbers of UN figures as well as “biographic and biometric information on UN security council permanent representatives”.”   https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/jan/17/wikileaks-impact-diplomatic-cables-chelsea-manning

Trump’s Homeland Security nominee allegedly failed to disclose positions with defense contractors and lobbying firm. “General Kelly had no knowledge that he was listed on any of these websites and we are actively looking into the matter with close coordination with the Office of Government Ethics and the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/01/17/homeland-security-pick-gen-john-kelly-fails-to-disclose-ties-to-defense-contractors/

Former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince allegedly advising Trump transition team. “In July, Prince told Trump’s senior advisor… Steve Bannon, at the time head of Breitbart News, that the Trump administration should recreate a version of the Phoenix Program, the CIA assassination ring that operated during the Vietnam War” to target people accused of funding IS.    https://theintercept.com/2017/01/17/notorious-mercenary-erik-prince-is-advising-trump-from-the-shadows/

Former CIA agent calls out Director Brennan for Trump battle. “In my 40 years of following politics, I have never seen a director of CIA attacking a president-elect.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/ex-cia-officer-slams-intel-agencys-outgoing-director-who-fears-kremlin-helped-fund-trump-campaign/

Ticket scalper says he’s unable to make a profit reselling tickets to Trump inauguration. “It looks like I’m stuck with them, I might even have to go.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/nobody-wants-to-buy-them-frustrated-scalpers-losing-big-money-trying-to-sell-inauguration-tickets/

Comedian mocks Trump’s claim that Americans will be “beautifully covered” by health insurance after Obamacare is replaced. “Don’t worry, if you are losing your Obamacare you will be beautifully covered, either by insurance or six feet of dirt.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/stephen-colbert-rips-gop-plan-to-replace-obamacare-youll-be-beautifully-covered-with-6-feet-of-dirt/

Morton County Sheriff’s dept. responds to press inquiry about missile launcher deployed at Standing Rock protest. “The N.D. National Guard does have an Avenger system employed in support of the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest. These systems are used strictly for observation of ungoverned encampments to help protect private property and maintain public safety.” http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/17/national-guard-deploys-missile-launchers-to-dakota-access-pipeline-to-observe-protestors.html

Trump nominee for Secretary of Education says school staff might need to be armed, in case of grizzly bears.   http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/01/17/devos-schools-may-need-guns-for-bears.html

Secret Service settles “glass ceiling” case with more than 100 black agents. “The race bias case centered on black agents who repeatedly bid for promotions from 1995 to 2005 and were turned down in favor of whites.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/secret-service-agrees-to-pay-24-million-to-settle-decades-old-race-bias-case-brought-by-black-agents/2017/01/17/b386006e-dd23-11e6-ad42-f3375f271c9c_story.html

Terror for hire? Turkish police reportedly seized large pile of cash when arresting Istanbul night club suspect. “The cash on hand also did not fit the pattern of ISIS’s previous operations in Turkey, a sum that would appear to be more than needed to escape from Turkey’s biggest city.”   http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/17/was-istanbul-s-terror-attack-state-sponsored.html

Italy sentences 8 in absentia to life in prison for Operation Condor murders. “Operation Condor… was a Cold War era campaign by U.S.-backed right-wing dictatorships in South America that killed scores of left-leaning opponents.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-italy-murder-condor-idUSKBN1512XR

Taibbi on Trump: “He’s… everything that’s excessive and vulgar and disgusting and tasteless and cheap and greedy about American culture.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/1/17/insane_clown_president_matt_taibbi_chronicles

January 18, 2017

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