February 28, 2017

Trump proposes budget that shifts additional $54 billion to military spending. “This budget will be a public safety and national security budget.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/27/politics/trump-budget-proposal/   U.S. already spends more on its military than the next 7 biggest spenders COMBINED.   http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/jan/13/barack-obama/obama-us-spends-more-military-next-8-nations-combi/   And is not currently fighting a declared war anywhere in the world. “Such a military spending hike would be unusual given that the United States is not engaged in a major war, although its special forces and Air Force are active against Isis in Iraq and Syria.”   http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-us-military-budget-historic-increase-a7602241.html   So what is this huge increase all about? Is Trump breaking his campaign promise to “put America first” and is planning instead to maintain the position of the U.S. as “the world’s policeman”? Or is he just funneling more public tax dollars to the military-industrial complex in order to please the Washington “swamp dwellers”?

No intelligence bonanza from Yemen raid say senior officials. “Last month’s deadly commando raid in Yemen, which cost the lives of a U.S. Navy SEAL and a number of children, has so far yielded no significant intelligence, U.S. officials told NBC News…. at least 25 civilians were killed, including nine children under the age of 13…”   http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/yemen-seal-raid-yielded-no-significant-intelligence-say-officials-n726451

Drone strike in Syria reportedly kills al-Qaeda leader. “Abu al-Khayr al-Masri – who has been part of the global jihadi organisation for three decades and was a son-in-law of its founder, Osama bin Laden – was killed on Sunday when a missile fired from a drone hit the small car in which he was travelling.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/27/us-drone-strike-in-syria-kills-top-al-qaida-leader-jihadis-say

New bomb threats at Jewish community centers in 11 states. “It’s the fifth wave of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers and Jewish institutions since January.”   http://www.wgal.com/article/jewish-centers-schools-across-11-states-receive-bomb-threats/8986511

Sean Spicer reportedly set up conference call to discredit reports of links between Trump campaign and Russia. “Mr Spicer connected journalists from the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Senate Select Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr, Axios reported.”   http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-russia-sean-spicer-cia-boss-enlisted-to-dismiss-a7602661.html

Olympic gymnastics legend Olga Korbut reportedly sells her medals from her retirement in Arizona. “This is Olympic history, and I would like to share with the whole world.”   http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm

Son of Nazi governor returns looted art to Poland. “In difficult times there have always been leaders who convince their followers that the others – all those different from them in culture, language or faith – were responsible for their troubles and that their community has to get rid of them.”   https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/feb/26/nazi-art-stolen-poland-returned-horst-waechter

Fox News reports that pipeline protesters “abandoned poor, defenseless puppies” and “frost-bitten dogs” at their campsite, does not mention mass arrests.   http://nation.foxnews.com/2017/02/27/dakota-access-protesters-leave-abandoned-frost-bitten-dogs   “Authorities on Thursday cleared a protest camp where opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline had gathered for the better part of a year, searching tents and  huts and arresting dozens of holdouts who had defied a government order to leave.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/police-begin-arresting-remaining-protesters-at-dakota-access-pipeline-site/

Airbag company pleads guilty to concealing dangerous defect, agrees to pay $1 billion fine. “Takata admitted hiding evidence that its air bag inflaters can explode with too much force, hurling shrapnel into drivers and passengers.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/takata-pleads-guilty-to-fraud-will-pay-1-billion-over-dangerous-air-bag-flaw/2017/02/27/f4085950-fd23-11e6-8f41-ea6ed597e4ca_story.html   16 reported deaths, 180 injuries, and yet no one is apparently going to jail.

Trump tells “Fox & Friends” he thinks former president Obama is orchestrating anti-Trump protests. “…I think that President Obama’s behind it because his people are certainly behind it.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-obama-protests-2017-2

Veteran posts pictures of patients suffering during long waits at VA hospital. “McMenamin and his wife, Hanna, said the photos show two veterans struggling in their own pain for at least three hours while waiting to be seen by a doctor.”   http://www.wral.com/-absolutely-horrible-photos-show-veterans-left-to-wait-in-pain-at-durham-va-hospital/16555985/

Trump’s secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross was reportedly part owner of Bank of Cyprus, which “caters to wealthy Russians”. “(Oligarch Dmitry) Ryvoloviev (another BoC investor) purchased Donald Trump’s Palm Beach mansion for $95 million….  about $60 million more than Trump had paid for the Florida property four years earlier.”   http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article135001434.html

ICE reportedly refusing to identify Latino men arrested after leaving hypothermia shelter. “Marritz, Kincannon, and other United Methodist Church leaders walked into ICE’s regional office in Fairfax on February 17 and demanded the names and whereabouts of the people arrested…. “Not only would they not meet with us, they wouldn’t tell us the names of anybody.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/02/27/after-ice-stakes-out-a-church-homeless-shelter-charities-worry-immigrants-will-fear-getting-help/

Few reportedly turning out for pro-Trump rallies. “…photos from around the country show sparsely attended events that at most show a couple hundred people in a given location.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/monday-pro-trump-rallies-a-massive-flop-as-event-photos-show-tiny-crowds/   Or in some places, maybe about a dozen…

Small town loses popular owner of local Mexican restaurant in ICE raid. “While residents in the town said that they were still supportive of the president’s moves to deport undocumented immigrants, they told the Times that the president should make more exceptions for people like Pacheco, who have not only been exemplary local businessmen, but also pillars of the community who take part in local charity events.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/trump-backing-town-angry-after-ice-detains-beloved-local-mexican-restaurant-owner/

Israeli man reportedly sentenced to 11 years for knife attack on another Jewish man who he mistook for an Arab. “After observing Uri Rizken, a worker at the supermarket, Pinto concluded he was Arab and stabbed him several times in the back and waist before chasing him through the store and seriously wounding him.”   http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4928156,00.html

Croatian fascist group reportedly displays U.S. flag during protest march. “The protesters, dressed in black and chanting slogans used by Croatia’s pro-Nazi World War II Ustasha regime, are members of the small, far-right A-HSP party which is not represented in the Croatian parliament.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-embassy-condemns-far-march-croatia-us-flag-125824399.html   The new symbol of hate?

Committee to Protect Journalists official concerned by Trump’s anti-press rhetoric. “…what we have here is a situation where not only is this bad for the U.S. press, it’s bad for the press generally around the world, because we look to the United States to act as a champion of press freedom and to stand up for journalists when they get in trouble.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/2/27/committee_to_protect_journalists_trump_s   Except when they are quashing stories they don’t like. It’s been almost two years now since I filed a FOIA request for details on the arrest of an unnamed American English teacher who went into a coma and died after being arrested by a group of Japanese police officers in Tokyo, a story which no one in the English language press was willing to cover except for two local tabloids and yours truly.   https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=258382287774894&story_fbid=274103492869440


February 28, 2017

February 27, 2017

French holocaust scholar detained for 10 hours at Houston airport. “Rousso’s scholarship focuses on the memory of the Vichy regime, the darkest chapter in modern French history, when the government of (occupied) France collaborated with Nazi Germany in World War II.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/02/26/u-s-detains-and-nearly-deports-french-jewish-historian/

Second Jewish cemetery vandalized, “hundreds” of headstones damaged. “The incident at the Mt. Carmel Cemetery in the Wissinoming neighborhood is being classified as institutional vandalism, but investigators have not established a motive, said Detective Jim McReynolds of the police department’s Northeast Detectives Division.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/26/us/jewish-cemetery-vandalism-philadelphia/   UPDATE: Rabbi says he counted 460 damaged headstones.   http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Jewish-Headstones-Cemetery-Vandalism-Wissinoming–414818793.html

Birth of the “Black Lives Matter” movement – the shooting of Trayvon Martin five years ago is remembered. “After (George) Zimmerman was acquitted, three activists — Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors — created the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter in protest.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/26/us/trayvon-martin-death-anniversary/

Trump staffers claim FBI called Russia influence allegations “BS”. “The labelling of the story as “BS” has been attributed to the FBI’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, by anonymous administration officials.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/26/white-house-scrambles-to-damp-down-scandal-over-fbi-inquiry-into-russia-ties   However, according to Trump, anonymous sources = fake news.

Trump reportedly upset he is not getting credit for $12 billion dip in national debt since he took office a month ago. Obviously, “…the federal government is still operating under the budget passed before Trump came into office, so even if the overall debt decreased, his administration had little to do with it.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-tweet-on-national-debt-in-first-month-under-obama-stock-market-2017-2

Man who was allegedly shooting at Florida natural gas pipeline killed by police after chase. “When the suspect got out of his truck, he had the rifle in hand, Gaskins said. That’s when deputies and a trooper opened fire, killing him.”   http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-shooting-suspect-killed-after-firing-at-fhp-trooper-and-deputies-20170226-story.html

Pruitt emails show links to fossil fuel companies. “One of the major themes that emerged from the emails is that Pruitt’s staffers and top deputies often went to great lengths to assist fossil fuel, utility and conservative interests and often used talking points and analysis from them.”   http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/321093-five-takeaways-from-the-scott-pruitt-emails

Musk says Tesla worker’s complaints are fake news. “The Tesla CEO stated that these allegations were a ploy by the UAW, in tandem with bigger automobile companies, to derail Tesla’s success and growth.”   http://www.techtimes.com/articles/199219/20170225/elon-musk-completes-investigation-of-poor-factory-condition-claims-heres-what-he-says-about-these-allegations.htm

Thousands march on anniversary of assassination of Russian opposition leader. “We gathered here to demand the bringing of Boris Nemtsov’s killers to justice, not only its performers but also its organisers and those who ordered it.”   http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/325418/thousands-remember-slain-russian-politician

Trump policies panned at Oscars. “…after Mahershala Ali won the first major acting award of the night, best supporting actor for Moonlight, thus becoming the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar, there was a surge of tweets directed at Trump and his efforts to ban refugees and immigrants from Muslim-dominated countries.”   http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2017/02/26/oscars-2017-political-snark-starting-early/98310532/

California state senator introduces single-payer health insurance bill. “In a single-payer system, residents would pay into a state agency that essentially functions as an insurance company. The agency would pay doctors and hospitals when people sought treatment.”   http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-ln-california-plan-20170219-story.html

Republican lawmakers in no hurry to investigate Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians. “There’s no allegations of any crime occurring.”   http://europe.newsweek.com/gop-resists-calls-independent-russia-trump-probe-561058?rm=eu

Before the EPA, many parts of the U.S. looked like China and India. “The Cuyahoga River actually caught fire many times—including once in 1952, and quite spectacularly in 1958.”   http://www.popsci.com/getting-rid-of-the-environmental-protection-agency


February 27, 2017

February 26, 2017

New DNC chair admits Democratic Party primaries were rigged. “We heard loudly and clearly yesterday from Bernie supporters that the process was rigged, and it was. And you’ve got to be honest about it.”   http://observer.com/2017/02/dnc-chair-candidate-tom-perez-admits-democratic-primaries-rigged/   UPDATE: Progressives say party missed another chance for change. “Democratic leaders were at a crossroads and today they chose to continue the failed Clinton strategy of prioritizing wealthy donors over the activist base.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/02/25/incredibly-disappointing-democrats-choose-tom-perez-head-party

Son of Muhammad Ali reportedly detained for two hours by CBP agents. “This is a U.S. citizen, born in Philadelphia. They have no right to inquire into his religion. This is outrageous; what’s going on in this country?”   http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/muhammad-ali-jr-detained-airport-asked-about-being-muslim-lawyer-n725571

Sanders accuses Trump of deceiving the public. “Instead of draining the swamp, he has brought the entire swamp into his administration.”   http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article135050379.html

Foreign students say they have cancelled plans to study in the U.S. after immigrant shootings in Kansas. “I would be scared to study in the U.S.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/everyones-nervous-some-students-in-india-rethink-us-study-plans-after-kansas-shooting/2017/02/25/767041f4-c584-4c45-8913-838c7d6d7166_story.html

Kansas gunman reportedly asked victims if they were in the U.S. legally.  “A man injured in a fatal shooting in suburban Kansas City that witnesses say was racially motivated has said the alleged gunman asked two of the victims about their visa status before returning and opening fire, killing one and wounding another.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/25/kansas-shooting-injured-man-suspect-visas

Trump accuses press of “making up” information when they use sources who don’t wish to be named. “They are the enemy of the people, because they have no sources. They just make them up when there are none.”    https://origin-nyi.thehill.com/homenews/campaign/321127-five-takeaways-from-cpac

Anderson Cooper calls out Trump on use of unnamed sources. “We’ve discovered at least five occasions, mainly questioning President Obama’s citizenship, when then-citizen Trump cited either “an extremely credible source” or “a confidential source” without naming him or her.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/anderson-cooper-calls-out-donald-trump-for-citing-anonymous-sources-before-railing-against-them/

The Deep State goes much deeper than national security bureaucrats, says journalist. “It isn’t just entrenched mid-level bureaucrats, soldiers and spies who make up the Deep State — it is also the extremely wealthy who ultimately manipulate and influence these pawns on the board of power.”   http://whowhatwhy.org/2017/02/22/russ-baker-medias-deep-state-conversion-moment/

Why Obama’s nuclear disarmament plan never saw the light of day. “Bechtel and the (Los Alamos (LANS) and Livermore (LLNS) weapons) labs had billions to lose if Obama’s arms control initiatives curbed their long-term multibillion-dollar financial commitments from the DOE.”   http://whowhatwhy.org/2017/02/23/classic-plan-nuclear-free-world-sabotaged/

Sanders skewers Trump tweet. Trump: “Maybe the millions of people who voted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN should have their own rally. It would be the biggest of them all!” Sanders: “They did. It wasn’t.” (with link to a photo of Trump’s inauguration crowd)   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/bernie-sanders-brilliantly-trolls-trump-on-twitter-after-president-claims-biggest-of-them-all-rally/

Government of Kuwait will be holding it’s National Day bash at the Trump International Hotel this year, at an estimated cost of $40,000 to $60,000. “The ethics experts say Trump is still technically a recipient of payments to his hotels because he still has an ownership interest in them.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/kuwait-could-pay-up-to-60000-for-party-at-trump-hotel-in-washington/

Breitbart owners unmasked in process of obtaining Capitol Hill press credentials. “According to BuzzFeed’s Steve Perlberg, who live-tweeted the meeting, (Breitbart CEO Larry) Solov revealed that the owners are himself, founder Andrew Breitbart’s widow, Susie Breitbart, and the Republican megadonor family the Mercers.”   http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2017/02/breitbart-reveals-owners-ceo-larry-solov-mercer-family-and-susie-breitrbart-235358

The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre goes berserk at conservative gathering. With Obama gone and no longer able to seize our guns, America now has new enemies. According to the Washington Post, these are “a nebulous and vastly overstated violent left, working in partnership with the “left-wing media” and a judiciary that does “violence to the Constitution’s separation of powers” by opposing President Trump’s executive orders.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/02/24/the-head-of-nra-defines-his-new-enemies-the-violent-left-and-judges-who-do-violence-to-the-constitution/   And these paid, “violent” and “Marxist” protesters are supposedly funded by “billions” – from a wealthy, Jewish investor!


February 26, 2017

February 25, 2017

Number of those arrested in Standing Rock raid rises to 46. “The protest site had developed into a make-do city, with semi-permanent buildings, medical tents and abandoned cars. If that washed into the Missouri River, the authorities said, the results could be damaging to the environment.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/us/standing-rock-protest-dakota-access-pipeline.html?_r=0

Some media organizations reportedly blocked from attending White House press briefing. “White House press secretary Sean Spicer banned reporters from CNN, the New York Times, Politico, the Los Angeles Times and BuzzFeed from attending a “gaggle,” a non-televised briefing, but gave access to a number of other reporters, including those representing conservative outlets.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/cnn-new-york-times-other-media-barred-from-white-house-briefing/2017/02/24/4c22f542-fad5-11e6-be05-1a3817ac21a5_story.html

Russian officials reportedly confirmed high-level contacts with Trump campaign staff. “Two days after Mr Trump’s election victory, the Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said his government had been in touch with Mr Trump’s advisers during the campaign…. Then, earlier this month, the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, said he had been in frequent contact during the election campaign with Michael Flynn, a senior adviser to Mr Trump who was appointed as the President’s national security adviser before being forced to resign last week over his links to Russia.”   http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-russia-michael-flynn-2016-election-campaign-us-security-services-a7592526.html

Trump executive order instructs government agencies to identify “costly and unnecessary” regulations. “…we don’t need 75 percent of the repetitive, horrible regulations that hurt companies, hurt jobs, make us noncompetitive overseas with other companies from other countries.”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/donald-trump-federal-agencies-regulatory-reform-task-force-235353

D.C. mayor will decide whether or not to release police body cam videos of police shooting. “Williams’ gun was recovered at the scene, and police said they believe it had been fired. Both officers turned on their body-worn cameras prior, and Mayor Muriel Bowser is currently consulting with the U.S. Attorney’s Office about when it will appropriate to release the footage.”   http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/23/two-dc-police-officers-were-shot-trinidad-neighbor/   The suspect’s weapon “had been fired” earlier that evening or “was fired at police officers”?

Homeland Security draft report says lack of evidence showing citizens of travel ban countries pose a special threat. “A draft document obtained by The Associated Press concludes that citizenship is an “unlikely indicator” of terrorism threats to the United States and that few people from the countries Trump listed in his travel ban have carried out attacks or been involved in terrorism-related activities in the U.S. since Syria’s civil war started in 2011.”   http://bigstory.ap.org/article/39f1f8e4ceed4a30a4570f693291c866/dhs-intel-report-disputes-threat-posed-travel-ban-nations

J.C. Penney planning to close more than 130 department stores and 2 distribution centers. “The company said that it would also initiate a voluntary early retirement program for about 6,000 eligible employees.”   http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/02/24/j-c-penney-to-shut-130-plus-stores-offer-early-retirements/

Lobbyists plotting how to influence Trump tax reform. “By definition, tax overhaul creates winners and losers on tax day, and with billions of dollars at stake, the prospect of revamping the system has already created fierce infighting among Republicans and a massing of lobbyist forces underwritten by a divided but well-heeled business community.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/24/us/politics/tax-code-congress.html   Any bets on how this turns out? Lower taxes for the wealthy and businesses, higher taxes for the working and middle classes?

Internet security company accidentally leaks people’s private data all over the internet. “In plain English, Cloudflare’s software tried to save user data in the right place. That place got full. So Cloudflare’s software ended up storing that data elsewhere, like on a completely different website.”   https://gizmodo.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloudbleed-the-lates-1792710616

New FCC chairman wants to repeal strict rules for internet service providers. “The rules approved by the FCC in October in a 3-2 vote were aimed at protecting sensitive personal consumer data.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fcc-broadband-idUSKBN163222

Trump reportedly interviewing physicist who thinks global warming may be beneficial for science advisor post. “I see the CO2 as good, you know. Let me be clear. I don’t think it’s a problem at all, I think it’s a good thing.”   https://www.propublica.org/article/a-physicist-and-possible-adviser-to-trump-describes-his-love-of-science-co2

High sugar diet may be a factor in Alzheimer’s disease. “A new study has established a “tipping point” link between the blood sugar glucose and the disease, meaning people with high sugar diets could be at a greater risk of developing the degenerative neurological condition.”   http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/02/24/excess-sugar-linked-to-alzheimers-study-finds-tipping-point.html

No retrial for police officers who shot homeless man near Albuquerque. “(James) Boyd’s death and the subsequent mistrial announcement sparked protests in the metro.”   http://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/da-to-announce-decision-in-sandy-perez-cases-/4409295/

Trump attacks journalists for using unnamed sources after White House officials ask not to be named by the press. “The president’s demand for reporters to name sources came just hours after White House officials held a briefing with reporters to discuss Chief of Staff Reince Preibus’ conversations with FBI officials regarding a New York Times story about Trump campaign communications with Russia. Administration officials in that briefing agreed to only be quoted on background, not identified by name.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-launches-attack-unnamed-press-sources-n725226

Liberal activists duped CPAC attendees into waving Russian flags that said TRUMP. “Clayton and Charters said the prank went better than expected because most of the wavers did not recognize the flag’s country of origin, forcing CPAC staffers to confiscate the free “souvenirs”.”    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/liberal-activists-prank-had-some-cpac-waving-russian-trump-flags-n725496

Japanese prime minister and his wife embroiled in nationalist school scandal. “Moritomo’s curriculum is designed to instill patriotism in its pupils, who are required to bow before portraits of members of the imperial family and go on field trips to military bases.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/24/shinzo-abe-wife-akie-under-pressure-ties-ultra-nationalist-school-japan

White athlete sentenced to community service after sodomizing black teammate with coat hanger. “The case has prompted comparisons with the notorious Brock Turner case, in which the 20-year-old Stanford swimmer was convicted of multiple felonies for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman… and served only three (months in prison)…”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/24/idaho-football-player-rape-case-coat-hanger-light-sentence

70 year-old Australian author claims she was mistreated by CPB officers during two hours of questioning. “I have never in my life been spoken to with such insolence, treated with such disdain, with so many insults and with so much gratuitous impoliteness.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/25/australian-childrens-author-mem-fox-detained-by-us-border-control-i-sobbed-like-a-baby

No time for constituents, but plenty of time for fundraising. “The Intercept and the Center for Media and Democracy have obtained fundraiser invitations for a number of GOP lawmakers who rejected calls to meet with constituents.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/02/24/town-hall-meeting/

NRA CEO says leftists “literally hate everything America stands for – democracy, free market capitalism, representative government, individual freedom…. And they’ve got money – billions… They’re angry, they’re militant, and they’re willing to engage in criminal violence to get what they want.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/the-nras-chief-just-unleashed-a-frightfully-bonkers-cpac-speech-heres-three-of-the-craziest-clips/   Pretty slick how he slid that “free market capitalism” in there, as if it were in the Constitution or something. And with all the recent mass shootings of minorities and immigrants (sometimes in churches,mosques, synagogues and temples), the gunning down of a protester outside a Milo event, and the foiling of a massacre of Somali refugees in Kansas, I don’t know if playing the “criminal violence” card is gonna work for you here Wayne. And I’m really peeved to learn that the left is loaded and I’m not getting paid for this.

Trump caught lying, again. “President Donald Trump complained the media would not report that crowds lined up for six blocks to hear him speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference — and he’s right. There were no lines outside the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center, where the annual CPAC gathering is hosted, because the event is private…”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/photos-easily-disprove-trump-boast-about-six-block-crowd-waiting-to-hear-him-speak-at-cpac/

It could cost the government $500 billion to deport illegal aliens. “If the U.S. would seek to remove the entire population of the estimated 11 million undocumented workers now in the U.S., it would cost upwards of half trillion dollars, according to one estimate.”   http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/24/trumps-deportation-plan-could-cost-half-a-trillion-dollars.html

Number one threat for the Air Force – no budget allocation, says chief of staff. “There is no enemy on the planet that can do more damage to the United States Air Force than us not getting a budget.”   https://www.dodbuzz.com/2017/02/24/air-force-chief-lack-defense-budget-dangerous-enemy/

Turkish diplomats and soldiers sought asylum in Germany. “More than 130 Turkish diplomats, soldiers and their family members have sought refuge in Germany since last July’s failed coup, according to German government data in documents seen by AFP on Friday.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/136-turks-diplomatic-status-sought-asylum-germany-ministry-094606112.html

CIA operative jailed over abduction of Egyptian cleric. “Former undercover CIA officer Sabrina De Sousa was one of 26 Americans convicted in absentia by an Italian court in 2007. They were charged with illegally seizing the cleric, Abu Omar, from the streets of Milan in 2003 and sending him to Egypt, where he was tortured during a four-year imprisonment.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/2/24/headlines/former_cia_officer_arrested_in_portugal_for_kidnapping_cleric


February 25, 2017

February 24, 2017

33 Water Protectors reportedly arrested at Standing Rock camp as police clear the site. “Dozens of national guard and law enforcement officers marched into the Dakota Access pipeline protest encampment on Thursday in a military-style takeover, one day after a deadline for the camp’s eviction.”  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/23/dakota-access-pipeline-camp-cleared-standing-rock   Some were reportedly arrested at gunpoint.   https://twitter.com/MsKellyMHayes/status/834834102763266050/photo/1   and   https://twitter.com/JordanChariton/status/834836577402642432/photo/1

Customs and Border Patrol officers demanded ID from domestic flight passengers during search for illegal alien. “According to the agency, two CBP agents asked passengers who had been on Delta Flight 1583 from San Francisco to show their identification while deplaning after landing at John F. Kennedy Airport at about 8 p.m. Wednesday… but the person they were seeking was not on the flight.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/02/23/federal-agents-ask-domestic-flight-passengers-to-show-ids-in-search-for-undocumented-immigrant/   Your papers, please!

Woman with brain tumor reportedly removed from hospital and taken to ICE detention center. “Doctors at the hospital diagnosed Sara with a tumor and told the Daily Beast they would soon perform surgery.”   http://thehill.com/latino/ice-immigration-detainee-brain-tumor-taken-from-hospital

Steve Bannon says one of the pillars of the Trump administration is “deconstruction of the administrative state”. “If you look at these cabinet nominees, they were selected for a reason, and that is deconstruction.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/02/23/bannon-heralds-deconstruction-administrative-state-and-trumps-new-political-order

Kansas man allegedly shoots two Garmin Aviation Systems employees from India and a bystander who tried to intervene, one dies. “At least one witness reportedly heard the man yell “get out of my country” shortly before shooting Kuchibhotla and Madasani.”  http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article134459444.html

Trump reportedly calls deportation push “a military operation”. “We’re getting really bad dudes out of this country, and at a rate that nobody’s ever seen before. And they’re the bad ones. And it’s a military operation.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/23/politics/donald-trump-deportation-military/

VX nerve agent used to kill Kim Jong-nam say Malaysian police. “Police in Malaysia say the half brother of North Korea’s leader, who was killed in a Kuala Lumpur airport more than a week ago, had a nerve agent on his eye and his face.”   http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2017/02/23/malaysian-police-say-kim-jong-nam-killed-by-chemical-weapon/

Japan launches campaign to cut working hours, Deutsche Bank says its a bad idea. “In October, the government released its first study on karoshi (death from overwork), finding that workers at 12 percent of companies work more than 100 hours of overtime monthly and 23 percent of companies have workers putting in more than 80 hours of overtime monthly.”   http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/19/japans-move-to-end-death-by-overwork-will-drag-economic-growth-deutsche-bank.html   As the article points out, that is just reported overtime. Many workers do not report overtime work to avoid the disapproval of their bosses.

Anaheim police reportedly arrest two boys, 13 and 15 years-old, in yard-crossing dispute, but not the off-duty officer who opened fire during the confrontation. “…footage of the encounter stirred uproar across the country, prompting criticism of the off-duty cop’s actions and questions over why investigators arrested two teenagers — but not the officer — at the scene.”   http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-anaheim-video-20170223-story.html

Senator critical of Philippine president Duterte arrested. “In mid-August, (Duterte) publicly declared that during her tenure as Secretary of Justice, de Lima had permitted the sale and use of drugs to flourish at New Bilibid Prison in metropolitan Manila in exchange for monetary kickbacks, which she used to fund her senatorial campaign.”   http://time.com/4681484/leila-de-lima-arrested-rodrigo-duterte-philippines/

Pope Francis says it’s better to be an atheist than a hypocritical Christian. “There are those who say, ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to mass, I belong to this and that association, but my life is not Christian. I don’t pay my workers a just wage, I exploit people, I am dirty in my business, I launder money. This is a double life and so many Christians are like this, and they cause scandal.”   http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/pope-francis-it-better-be-atheist-bad-catholic-1608296

Six White House staffers reportedly dismissed after failing to clear background checks. “The SF86 security questionnaire is required for White House staffers in national security positions “to determine whether you are reliable, trustworthy, of good character, and loyal to the U.S.””   http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/white-house-staffers-dismissed-failed-background-checks-n724896

Trump administration stands up for states’ rights on transgendered students, but not for state referendums on recreational marijuana. “I think that when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country the last thing that we should doing is encouraging people, there’s still a federal law that we need to abide by in terms of … when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/02/23/white-house-defers-to-states-rights-on-transgender-protections-but-not-on-legalizing-marijuana/

Tennessee member of Congress claims 2/3 of people at her town hall event were not from her district, but journalists dispute this. “Everyone was required to show ID before entering to prove they lived in the district.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/marsha-blackburn-claims-out-of-state-people-infiltrated-her-town-hall-records-seem-to-show-shes-lying/

Trump called out for “too busy to play golf” hypocrisy. “Trump has visited his two golf courses near his Mar-a-Lago estate — Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach and Trump National Golf Course in Jupiter — six times in his first month in office…. By comparison, Obama played his first round of golf as President on April 26, 2009, at Andrews Air Force Base.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/20/politics/donald-trump-golfing-presidency/

Pence: “America’s Obamacare nightmare is about to end.” However, “He did not provide any specifics on what the replacement plan would entail.”   http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/02/24/pence-obamacare-nightmare-almost-over.html

U.S. troops likely to remain in Iraq. “The US military is contemplating a long-term presence in Iraq to stabilize the country after the anticipated defeat ISIS, America’s top military officer said Thursday.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/23/politics/dunford-us-iraq-commitment/

Israel bans Human Rights Watch. “This organization has put itself at the disposal of Palestinian propaganda [and] is acting clearly and unequivocally against the State of Israel, in a totally biased manner.”   http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page//.premium-1.773567

Arms control groups say Trump is misleading the public. “Every world leader on Earth except for President Trump knows that the United States already has the ‘top of the pack’ nuclear arsenal. No U.S. military leader would trade our nuclear weapons for the Russian stockpile, let alone any other nuclear power’s arsenal.”   http://thehill.com/policy/defense/320927-arms-control-groups-slam-trumps-alternative-facts-on-nukes


February 24, 2017

February 23, 2017

Some inauguration protesters claim the government is after their social media info. “Law enforcement is compelling Apple and Facebook to hand over the personal information of users who were mass arrested at protests against the inauguration of Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., AlterNet has confirmed.”   http://www.alternet.org/activism/law-enforcement-using-facebook-and-apple-data-mine-accounts-trump-protest-arrestees-0

Protest camp burns, most leave, but some Standing Rock protesters remain. “Months after a protest of the Dakota Access oil pipeline swelled into a movement that drew thousands of people and national attention, most of the remaining demonstrators left the protest camp ahead of deadline Wednesday, leaving a few dozen to face possible arrest.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/02/22/this-hasnt-been-all-for-nothing-dakota-pipeline-protesters-face-deadline-to-evacuate-camp/

Foreign minister of Mexico expresses disapproval of Trump deportations, including deportation of non-Mexicans to Mexico. “…the Mexican government and the people of Mexico do not have to accept measures unilaterally imposed on a government by another government.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/22/politics/tillerson-kelly-trip-to-mexico/

Trump administration reverses Obama guidelines on transgendered students. “This President, who previously promised to maintain LGBT nondiscrimination protections, has turned his back on the transgender community and shown a willful disregard for the safety of transgender students everywhere.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/white-house-reverses-obama-era-transgender-bathroom-protections-n724426

Off-duty LAPD officer reportedly fires gun during tussle with teenagers. “Tuesday’s confrontation began over what Anaheim police described as “ongoing issues” with the juveniles walking across the officer’s property.”   http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lapd-anaheim-20170221-story.html

Muslim group reportedly raises $100,000 for repairs to vandalized Jewish cemetery. “People are putting their politics aside and working to fight bigotry together.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/muslim-fundraiser-repair-jewish-cemetery-raises-100k-n724221

Amnesty International expresses concern about recent political trend. “Whether it is Trump, Orban, Erdoğan or Duterte, more and more politicians calling themselves anti-establishment are wielding a toxic agenda that hounds, scapegoats and dehumanizes entire groups of people.”   https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2017-02-22/amnesty-international-political-climate-hinders-global-rights

ACLU files lawsuit against Milwaukee police over mass questioning of citizens. “The ACLU said Milwaukee police stopped tens of thousands of people between 2007 and 2015 without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. The lawsuit also claims African-Americans and Latinos have been disproportionately pulled over.”   http://www.wpr.org/aclu-sues-milwaukee-police-over-stop-and-frisk-program

Constituents reportedly putting pictures of “missing” representatives on milk cartons. “His repeated failure to schedule a town hall points to one, unavoidable conclusion: Congressman Paul Cook is missing. Help us find him.”   http://www.mediaite.com/online/missing-stickers-placed-on-milk-cartons-after-lawmaker-dodges-town-halls/   Congressman calls constituents at “Coffee with the Congressman” event “an angry mob”. “It became somewhat one-sided, not necessarily a lynch mob, but at least an angry mob that was not going to be happy with anything I said.”   http://fusion.net/story/388146/steve-womack-arkansas-lynch-mob/   House Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly among those missing. http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/02/22/ryan-dodges-constituents-horseback-voters-demand-be-heard

Trump approval rating down to 38% according to poll. “Thirty-eight percent of American voters said they trust Trump to do the right thing “almost all of the time” or “most of the time…”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/22/politics/donald-trump-approval-rating-quinnipiac-poll/

Half of internet traffic now encrypted thanks to increased use of https. “For the first time ever, one half of all internet traffic is now encrypted according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.”   http://www.techspot.com/news/68268-eff-half-all-web-traffic-now-encrypted.html

Released records reportedly show close ties between EPA director Pruitt and fossil fuel industry. “The close relationship between Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and fossil fuel interests including the billionaire Koch brothers has been highlighted in more than 7,500 emails and other records released by the Oklahoma attorney general’s office on Wednesday.”   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/22/scott-pruitt-emails-oklahoma-fossil-fuels-koch-brothers

Federal judge says Texas cannot block Medicaid patients from Planned Parenthood clinics. “Such action would deprive Medicaid patients of their statutory right to obtain healthcare from their chosen qualified provider.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/02/22/judge-stops-texas-cutting-medicaid-funds-planned-parenthood

Protesters hang “Refugees Welcome” sign from Statue of Liberty. “…turning away refugees, like we did to Anne Frank, does not make us great.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/02/22/reclaiming-statue-libertys-message-activists-drop-refugees-welcome-banner

Department of Justice says it will likely block testimony by CIA deputy director at trial of psychologists. “Mitchell and Jessen designed for the CIA the so-called “enhanced interrogation” program that three of the (plaintiffs) endured and which killed one of them.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/22/cia-torture-gina-haspel-court-deposition-trump

Not on Trump’s list of under-reported terrorist incidents. “When a plot by a pro-white militia to bomb a Somali mosque in Kansas was foiled by the FBI last October, the aborted conspiracy received little national coverage.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2017/feb/22/kansas-mosque-bomb-plot-video

Private prison companies about to reap the benefits of their political donations. “Geo Group was one of the first large publicly-traded firms to make significant campaign contributions to the Trump election effort last year. The firm gave $50,000 to a pro-Trump Super PAC and $45,000 to the Trump campaign via its joint fundraising committee with the Republican National Committee. CoreCivic also donated $250,000 to Trump’s inauguration, recent filings show.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/02/22/geo-group-trump/

FBI agent allegedly threatened terror sting suspect with a knife, told him he knew where he and his family lived. “The agent cautioned Hester that once he decided to proceed there was “no turning back”.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/02/22/trumps-first-terror-arrest-a-broke-stoner-the-fbi-threatened-at-knifepoint/

Kansans decide not to drink any more of the supply-side Kool-Aid. “Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback suffered a major defeat on Wednesday after the Kansas House of Representatives voted to override his veto of the legislature’s tax hikes aimed at filling massive gaps in the state budget.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/tea-party-gov-brownback-suffers-humiliating-tax-defeat-at-hands-of-kansas-house/

Mexican man jumps off bridge after deportation, dies in hospital. “Witnesses said Mr Olivas was shouting that he did not want to return to Mexico and seemed to be in severe distress.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-39049670

Trump supporters smack down Pope Francis over immigration. “So, it is ok for heaven to have a gate, but not the US? Why don’t you take down your wall and security at the Vatican?”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/you-distort-the-lords-words-furious-christians-lecture-pope-francis-over-pro-immigrant-tweet/

Red-baiting Democratic Party supporters now targeting Jill Stein. “Putin has cultivated dupes, fellow travelers, and purblind fools among plenty of American progressives who, whether by accident or design, have facilitated the rise of the most extremist and reactionary president this country has ever elected.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/rachel-maddow-why-hasnt-jill-stein-said-anything-about-the-trump-russia-scandal/   [Sarcasm alert!] That’s right, it’s all Jill Stein’s fault. She advised Hillary not to pick Bernie Sanders as her running mate, told her it was ok to accept six figure Wall Street speaking engagements, and said she should use a private email server instead of her State Department email account. Stein even wrote Clinton’s speeches: “Despite what you hear, we don’t need to make America great again. America has never stopped being great.”   http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-dem-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/02/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-slogan-219908

Two U.S. Senators say deputy CIA director is “unsuitable for the position”. “The choice of Gina Haspel for the second-highest position in the agency has been praised by colleagues but sharply criticized by two senators who have seen the still-classified records of her time in Thailand.”   https://www.propublica.org/article/cia-cables-detail-its-new-deputy-directors-role-in-torture

Federal judge orders Trump administration to provide list of travel ban detainees. “The order includes travelers who arrived with refugee applications, valid visa holders and people from the seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — who were legally authorized to enter the U.S.”   http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-admin-ordered-produce-list-travelers-detained-ban/story?id=45646957

Canada gives U.S. CBP agents authority to strip search people in Canada who decide not to enter the U.S. “Travelers who change their minds and decide not to enter the United States are currently allowed to leave. The new law permits U.S. agents to question and if need be strip search people (deciding) not to enter the United States.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-canada-border-idUSKBN1612UK


February 23, 2017

February 22, 2017

Vandals desecrate Jewish cemetery near St. Louis. “…local police confirmed about 100 headstones had been toppled at Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery in University City, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.”   https://mic.com/articles/169083/jewish-cemetery-in-st-louis-vandalized-amid-new-wave-of-bomb-threats-against-jccs  UPDATE: Number of damage headstones increased to about 180.   http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/180-headstones-damaged-at-jewish-cemetery-in-university-city/410194492

Memphis police reportedly have Black Lives Matter activists under surveillance. “Sometimes they sit outside our offices, sometimes they sit outside our house.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/spying-black-lives-matter-memphis-police-department-tracking-social-justice-activists-2495421

Trump guidelines will reportedly greatly expand the number of illegal immigrants targeted for deportation. “Undocumented immigrants arrested for traffic violations or shop-lifting will be targeted along with those convicted of more serious crimes.”   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39042712

North Korean embassy official a suspect in Kim Jong Nam assassination say Malaysian police, women allegedly knew the substance they wiped on his face was toxic. “…the two female suspects knew that the substance they had (was) toxic.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-malaysia-kim-idUSKBN1610AM

74 dead migrants wash up on Libyan shoreline, death toll could reach 150. “74 have been collected and the rest are expected to wash ashore too.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/21/africa/libya-migrant-deaths/

Trump reportedly raised more money from small donors than Bernie Sanders (44%), Barack Obama (28%) or Hillary Clinton (22%). “Trump and the joint fundraising committee he established with the Republican National Committee (RNC) collected 69% of its individual donations from people who gave $200 or less, according to the analysis by the non-partisan Campaign Finance Institute.”    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/02/21/president-trump-shattered-small-donor-records/98208462/

Scientists rally to “Make America Smart Again”. “Hundreds of scientists and their supporters rallied in (Boston’s) historic Copley Square on Sunday, demanding that the Trump administration accept empirical reality on issues such as climate change and highlighting the centrality of objective information to making policy.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/02/19/we-did-not-start-this-fight-as-trump-era-dawns-scientists-rally-in-boston/

Some Homeland Security employees reportedly unable to log in after “domain controller credentials” expire. “We are working to track all device certificate issuance and expirations to ensure future lapses of service do not occur.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-dhs-idUSKBN160240

U.S. projected to have lowest life expectancy of any high-income country, possibly due to lack of access to health care. “Among predictions for high-income countries, the lowest life expectancy at birth is likely to be in the US, with an average of 83.3 years for women and 79.5 years for men — similar to Mexico and Croatia.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/21/health/life-expectancy-increase-globally-by-2030/

Single-payer health plan would save billions say medical researchers. “The authors estimate that a streamlined, publicly financed single-payer program would save $504 billion annually on health care paperwork and profits, including $220 billion on insurance overhead, $150 billion in hospital billing and administration and $75 billion doctors’ billing and paperwork.”   http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2017/02/21/single-payer-reform-only-way-fulfill-presidents-pledge-health-care-annals

Lawmakers demand declaration of war on Islamic State. “For over 15 years, Congress has been missing in action and derelict in our duty to provide congressional oversight over military action. The Constitution is clear: The American people deserve a voice on matters of war and peace.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/02/21/lawmakers-call-trump-end-blank-check-war

Constituents holding town hall meetings, whether or not their representatives show up. “We have a cardboard cutout of Marsha… so they’ll be directing their questions to that picture.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/02/21/voters-shame-cowardly-reps-town-halls-hosted-cardboard-cut-outs

Connecticut couple fined by city of Stamford for not removing racist graffiti from their garage door. “…the couple decided to leave it up until police found the person who painted it as a reminder to their community that one of their neighbors had been targeted by a racially motivated hate crime.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/couple-fined-100-for-refusing-to-remove-racist-graffiti-on-their-home-until-cops-catch-culprit/

New York City medical examiner’s office says Russian ambassador’s death needs further investigation. “Churkin’s case was referred to the medical examiner’s office by the hospital.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/colleagues-mourn-sudden-death-russian-051527347.html

Mass funerals held for Haitians who die in prison awaiting trial, 42 have reportedly died so far this year. “Recurrent shortages of food and medicine as well as infectious diseases that flourish in packed Haitian prisons and jails have led to an upsurge in malnutrition-related illnesses and other preventable diseases.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/mass-funeral-held-20-haitians-died-dismal-prison-171114172.html

Rumor has it that Kim Jong Nam was killed over money. “After (Jang Song-thaek) was purged in December 2013, his secret overseas fortune was handed over to Kim Jong-nam. The source also said the oldest son of the late leader had also inherited “no small sum of money” (from his father)…”   http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2017/02/103_224085.html


February 22, 2017