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

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