June 30, 2017

Conservatives cite study showing that people with Medicaid insurance have poorer health care outcomes than people without any insurance, science pushes back. “Medicaid recipients are the poorest, least educated and sickest of all patients. Those patients have the highest incidence of AIDS, depression, liver disease, neurologic disorders, psychoses and metastatic cancer, according to the study.”   http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2017/jun/28/michael-needham/are-medicaid-patients-more-likely-die-uninsured-he/   And, conversely, many Americans who are uninsured are relatively young and/or healthy.

Former government ethics officials says Trump 2020 campaign fundraiser held at Trump International Hotel is a violation of ethics laws. “Norm Eisen, former Obama ethics czar and chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), charged in a series of tweets Wednesday night that the $35,000-per-ticket event—from which the press was barred—violated the domestic emoluments clause, which prohibits the president from receiving any compensation beyond the set yearly salary.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/29/flat-out-corrupt-protests-trump-headlines-trump-fundraiser-trump-hotel

Protesters opposing Trumpcare bill arrested around the country. “Demonstrators, including some with serious illnesses who would lose coverage for their medical care needs should the bill pass, staged sit-ins at the Senate offices of Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Rob Portman of Ohio, Marco Rubio of Florida, and others. Many chanted, “Kill the bill, don’t kill me”.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/28/kill-bill-dont-kill-me-americans-disabilities-lead-fight-against-trumpcare

U.N. human rights officials warns Trump and May against using harsh rhetoric. “Following attacks in Manchester and London, May told reporters, “If human rights laws get in the way of doing these things, we will change those laws to make sure we can do them.” The High Commissioner called May’s remarks “a gift from a major Western leader to every authoritarian figure around the world who shamelessly violates human rights under the pretext of fighting terrorism”.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/28/top-un-human-rights-official-denounces-trumps-pro-torture-rhetoric

Silicon Valley takes action against low-income Californians living in RVs parked on city streets. “Amid complaints from residents, Palo Alto has announced it will enforce a rule that bans vehicles from parking in the same spot for longer than 72 hours.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/29/low-income-workers-rvs-palo-alto-california-homeless

Progressive campaign for a national health insurance plan needs better branding, says writer.  “About half (53%) of Democrats say they have a very positive reaction to ‘Medicare-for-all’ compared with 21 percent who say the same for ‘single payer health insurance system,’” according to the Kaiser poll. But to be clear: “Medicare-for-all” and “single payer” refer to… the same exact thing.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/06/28/memo-to-democrats-you-need-a-clear-message-for-universal-healthcare/

After Supreme Court ruling, modified travel ban goes into effect. “Under the temporary rules, citizens of Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen who already have visas will be allowed into the United States. But people from those countries who want new visas will now have to prove a close family relationship or an existing relationship with an entity like a school or business in the U.S.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/travel-ban-takes-effect-but-less-chaos-expected/2017/06/29/bdd9fd9e-5d2b-11e7-aa69-3964a7d55207_story.html

Republican activist allegedly told Russian hackers to deliver Clinton server emails to Wikileaks. “(Peter) Smith told the (Wall Street Journal) that he was unsure of the authenticity of emails hackers eventually did send to him and he told them to pass them to WikiLeaks.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/report-russian-hackers-spoke-about-clinton-emails-flynn/2017/06/29/042803e2-5d2a-11e7-aa69-3964a7d55207_story.html

White House panel chair Kris Kobach requests voter registration data from all 50 states. “The information requested includes the names, addresses, birth dates, political party (if recorded), last four digits of the voter’s Social Security Number and which elections the voter has participated in since 2006, for every registered voter in the country.”   http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/29/534901343/white-house-panel-asks-states-for-their-voter-rolls

Philadelphia district attorney pleads guilty, allegedly helped businessmen with their cases in return for bribes. “The 50-year-old Williams was accused of illegally accepting gifts from two businessmen in exchange for legal favors.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/seth-williams-philadelphia-da-pleads-guilty-quits-and-is-sent-immediately-to-jail/

House Appropriations Committee passes motion to cancel post-9/11 “War on Terror” military authorizations. “(Barbara) Lee’s amendment would repeal the 2001 authorization within 240 days of the enactment of appropriations for fiscal year 2018 — forcing Congress to take up a new one.”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/29/congress-vote-authorize-war-islamic-state-240095

State of New York oks unregulated ride hailing apps, cab drivers gripped by sense of foreboding. “Independent cab owner Harunur Bhuiyan had been lined up and waiting three hours for fares across the street from the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown on Thursday when he saw a Lyft driver zoom up, pick up a passenger and drive away.”   http://buffalonews.com/2017/06/29/uber/

Study finds that pesticides harm bees. “In particular, (neonicotinoid) pesticides reduce honeybees’ ability to survive their winter hibernation, say researchers.”   https://www.nature.com/news/largest-ever-study-of-controversial-pesticides-finds-harm-to-bees-1.22229

Citizen Review Board votes to reopen Keith Scott shooting investigation. “A review board Tuesday found “substantial evidence of error” in a North Carolina police department’s decision that the fatal shooting of a black man by an officer last year was justified, and scheduled another hearing on the matter in August.”   http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-charlotte-police-shooting-20170627-story.html

Protestors demand third trial for police officer who shot unarmed motorist. “(Tensing) was a University of Cincinnati police officer when he shot DuBose during a 2015 traffic stop.”   http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/protest-planned-demand-3rd-ohio-trial-police-shooting-48328052

No dash or body camera video in shooting death of Washington motorist Giovonn Joseph-McDade who was fleeing from police. “Des Moines police, who are conducting the investigation into the police shooting, say that a Kent officer opened fire after the driver allegedly drove toward the officer as he began to approach the car.”   https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2017/06/29/25258274/there-wont-be-dashcam-footage-to-show-what-happened-between-police-and-giovonn-joseph-mcdade

Indianapolis police shoot unarmed motorist Aaron Bailey after he crashes during pursuit. “They say officers chased the vehicle and, after it crashed into a fence, shot the man.”   http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article158859274.html

Phoenix reportedly pays $1.5 million settlement after police officer shoots man delivering fast food in the back. “(Rumain) Brisbon had “exercised his constitutional right to keep walking without engaging in conversation with defendant Rine,” the lawsuit noted.”   http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/phoenix-approves-15-million-settlement-for-family-of-rumain-brisbon-unarmed-black-man-shot-by-police-9455485

Houston settles lawsuit over shooting of unarmed suspect, reportedly pays only $260,000 to family. “Rosemon shot Releford because, according to the officer, Releford had a hand behind his back and Rosemon feared he had a gun. Rosemon shot him a second time about one minute later, because he saw him try to get up.”   http://www.houstonpress.com/news/city-will-pay-family-260000-after-houston-cop-kills-unarmed-man-9563361

NSA “EternalBlue” cyberweapon reportedly used again in latest ransomware attack. “What makes the rapid escalation of Petya both surprising and alarming is its similarity to the recent worldwide WannaCry ransomware crisis, primarily in its use of NSA exploit EternalBlue to spread through networks.”   https://www.wired.com/story/petya-ransomware-outbreak-eternal-blue/

South Korean government alleged plotted to remove Kim Jong Un from power. “Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported on Monday, citing sources familiar with (Geun-hye) Park’s North Korea policy, that Park had signed off on a plot to remove the North’s leader in 2015 and the plan was orchestrated by the South’s spy agency.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-southkorea-execution-idUSKBN19J1KN

NATO agrees to send more of its troops to Afghanistan. “NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday 15 nations will contribute to the increase, though he did not say how many additional troops NATO members would send.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/6/29/headlines/nato_to_send_more_troops_to_afghanistan   Remind me, which member of NATO is under attack by the Taliban?

Trump nominee to be top lawyer at Dept. of Transportation is same lawyer who drafted legal defense of Bush administration’s detainee abuse policy. “In 2005, Bradbury authored memos justifying the Bush administration’s use of torture in interrogations.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/6/29/headlines/lawyer_who_authored_torture_memos_grilled_at_confirmation_hearing

Historian claims radical right’s endgame is to protect the gains of the very wealthy. “Democracy must be, in effect, shackled, to prevent the majority will from being expressed, because it would take too much from people of great wealth, and that would be a problem for them.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/6/29/republican_push_to_replace_obamacare_reflects

Senior technician at nuclear power plant reportedly falsified safety records. “A senior radiation protection technician at the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant deliberately falsified safety records and failed to check workers for radiation exposure for eight months last year, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”   http://wtop.com/government/2017/06/nuke-commission-safety-records-falsified-at-vermont-yankee/

June 30, 2017

June 29, 2017

Supreme Court sends case involving Border Patrol agent who shot Mexican teenager across the border back to the lower court. “In oral arguments in February, some justices were concerned that making U.S. agents liable for their actions taken in a foreign nation could be extended to, say, a house full of noncombatants killed by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan.”   http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/26/533968647/supreme-court-sends-cross-border-shooting-case-back-to-lower-court   Oh, no! Can’t have that.

Trump accused of posting fake Time magazine cover, featuring him, on the walls of some of his resorts. “At the same (Virginia) club, Trump’s staff put up a historical marker declaring that there had been a Civil War battle on the site — and that the adjacent Potomac River became a “River of Blood.” Historians say this battle never happened.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-time-magazine-with-trump-on-the-cover-hangs-in-his-golf-clubs-its-fake/2017/06/27/0adf96de-5850-11e7-ba90-f5875b7d1876_story.html

Sarah Palin sues NYT over story claiming Palin’s “gun sight” ad targeting Congresswoman Giffords inspired  shooting. “In one section, it read: ‘In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4645470/Sarah-Palin-sues-New-York-Times-defamation.html

Chicago police officers charged for involvement in shooting cover-up. “Detective David March and patrol Officers Thomas Gaffney and Joseph Walsh, who was Van Dyke’s partner on the night of the shooting, were each charged with conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice, according to the 12-page indictment.”   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/laquanmcdonald/ct-laquan-mcdonald-shooting-charges-20170627-story.html

Warren Buffet says the rich are being over-rewarded. “This has been a prosperity that’s been disproportionately rewarding to the people on top.”   http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/27/warren-buffett-says-the-problem-with-the-economy-is-people-like-him.html

Man spends 90 days in jail after Florida cops mistake drywall for cocaine. “An officer found white powder on his seat and floorboard, and when the substance was tested, the results came back positive for cocaine, authorities said.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/man-spent-90-days-jail-drywall-mistaken-cocaine-article-1.3282506

Freedom of Information Act requests being illegally ignored by some government agencies. “FOIA’s intent was that agencies respond fully and promptly to requests for information. But they don’t always do so. It may take persistence — and effective legal help — to break through an agency attempt to stonewall a FOIA request.”   http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-op-foia-trump-20170626-story.html   The Tokyo Embassy and U.S. State Department have been stonewalling me for more than two years.

Senate Trumpcare bill would result in 22 million MORE uninsured Americans. “Starting in 2020, the budget office said, premiums and deductibles would be so onerous that “few low-income people would (be able to) purchase any plan”.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/26/us/politics/senate-health-care-bill-republican.html

Turkish police block Istanbul’s gay pride parade. “Police with riot shields and helmets enforced the ban by sealing off entrances to the main Istiklal Street, forcing activists to gather in various side streets.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/2017-pride-month-istanbul-activists-gather-march-defiance-ban-n776426

Madison County, Mississippi sheriff accused of violating black residents civil rights. “The (ACLU) lawsuit alleges the county has subjected its citizens to more than a decade of brazenly illegal and discriminatory policing—unconstitutional roadblocks that only appear in black neighborhoods, warrantless home invasions, and aggressive “jump out” squads that target young black men doing nothing more than walking down the street.”   https://reason.com/archives/2017/06/23/madison-county-police-roadblocks-aclu

Trump accused of taking war powers stolen from Congress and passing them on to the military. “There is no faster route to destruction of our republic than the path we are currently upon, where unelected Pentagon officials have been ceded a constitutional power reserved for the Congress.”   http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-administration/338684-the-president-has-appropriated-delegated-the-war-making

FBI agent charged in connection with LaVoy Finicum shooting incident. “…a member of the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team was indicted on suspicion of shooting twice at Finicum during the chaotic encounter and then lying about it to state and federal investigators.”   http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-fbi-oregon-shooting-20170628-story.html

No apparent link between illegal immigrants and crime. “The number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. tripled between the 1990s and 2013, while violent crime declined 48% and property crime fell 41% over that period.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/fact-check-no-evidence-undocumented-immigrants-commit-more-crimes-n777856

About 30 pro-democracy protesters arrested in Hong Kong on eve of Xi visit. “Police said the demonstrators, including Wong who helped lead the 2014 Occupy street protests that blocked key streets for 79 days, were arrested for causing a public nuisance.”   http://www.atimes.com/article/hk-protesters-arrested-democracy-rally-ahead-xi-visit/

Canada’s Supreme Court orders Google to censor website from search results world-wide in intellectual property lawsuit. “Other countries may soon follow this example, in ways that more obviously force Google to become the world’s censor.”   https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canadas-top-court-upholds-worldwide-injunction-against-google/article35485762/

Infant hospitalized after becoming “overheated” on delayed United Airlines flight. “France told the Post that she and other passengers begged to return to the gate, but ground and air crews seemed to be debating how to best handle the situation.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/colorado-infant-overheats-aboard-delayed-united-airlines-flight-n777291

Japanese budget airline accused of making disable man crawl up stairs to board plane. “Vanilla Air, a budget airline subsidiary of All Nippon Airways, has apologised for the incident and announced new measures to aid wheelchair users at the airport.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40435031

Utility company pulls the plug on “clean coal” generator after state regulators put limits on costs that can be passed on to customers. “A first-of-its-kind “clean coal” power plant that U.S. utility owner Southern Co. has spent years and billions of dollars building in Mississippi appears to be dead.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-28/southern-stops-work-on-the-coal-part-of-clean-coal-power-plant

California adds glyphosate to list of carcinogens. “Glyphosate is the key ingredient in weed killers such as Roundup.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/28/health/california-glyphosate-cancer-chemical-listing/index.html

Pro-Trump super PACs reportedly running ads against the president’s opponents. “The (Great America Alliance) launched a new ad this week featuring conservative media star Tomi Lahren attacking Robert Mueller, the special counsel now leading the Russia investigation.”    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-super-pacs-idUSKBN19J2GI

Comic book features California secessionist movement. “Militarized police is not dystopian fiction.”   http://www.salon.com/2017/06/28/calexit-comic-book/

Even “safe” levels of air pollution can be dangerous. “A study released Wednesday shows that levels of air pollution considered safe can still shorten lifespans.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/air-pollution-levels-long-term-exposure-risk-premature-death-study/

June 29, 2017

June 26, 2017

Billionaire-funded libertarian group says Senate version of Trumpcare is not conservative enough. “Tim Phillips, who leads Americans For Prosperity, the Koch network’s political arm, called the Senate’s plans for Medicaid “a slight nip and tuck” of President Barack Obama’s health care law, a modest change he described as “immoral”.”   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-koch-senate-health-care-bill-20170624-story.html

Barack Obama calls Trumpcare “massive transfer of wealth” from the poor and middle-class to the wealthy. “He said that if Republicans come up with a plan that is “demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost, I would gladly and publicly support it”.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/barack-obama-trumpcare-healthcare-bill-criticism-attack-transfer-wealth-poor-rich-a7805431.html   Like the single-payer national health insurance proposal that Democrats took off the table?

University of Delaware professor reportedly blacklisted for  commenting on Facebook that Otto Warmbier “acted like a spoiled, naive, arrogant U.S. college student” and “got exactly what he deserved”.   http://udreview.com/anthropology-professor-under-scrutiny-for-saying-otto-warmbier-got-what-he-deserved/   North Korean officials reportedly say their regime is the “biggest victim” of the incident. “The smear campaign against (North Korea) staged in the U.S. compels us to make (the) firm determination that humanitarianism and benevolence for the enemy are taboo and we should further sharpen the blade of law.”   http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/06/25/north-korea-claims-it-is-biggest-victim-in-otto-warmbiers-death-vows-to-get-tough-with-u-s.html    Because putting a “bad hombre” like Warmbier into a coma is clearly not harsh enough.

CNN sends sketch artist to White House “no cameras” new conference. “Spicer and his deputy Sarah Huckabee Sanders have only held four on-camera briefings in June. Most of their Q&A sessions have been held off-camera.”   http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/23/media/white-house-press-briefing-sketch-artist/index.html

College football game between Fresno State and University of Alabama will be played despite California’s travel ban due to “prior contractual obligations” clause. “The California legislation restricts travel to states with laws that authorize or require discrimination based on gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation or same-sex couples.”   http://www.al.com/alabamafootball/index.ssf/2017/06/alabamas_game_against_fresno_s.html

Democratic party official in Nebraska ousted after allegedly expressing support for shooting of Republican congressional leader. “In the recording, Montag used a series of obscenities to describe Scalise and said he hated the congressman whose job was to “convince Republicans to (expletive) kick people off (expletive) health care.”   http://wspa.com/2017/06/25/democratic-official-ousted-after-saying-he-was-glad-scalise-was-shot/

Trump has allegedly spent twice as much on White House decor so far as Obama did during the same period in his administration. “Federal documents show that Trump spent $133,053 on office furnishings during the period, compared to $51,204.25 by Obama.”   https://nypost.com/2017/06/23/trump-has-spent-way-more-on-furniture-than-obama-analysis-shows/   But it’s ok, because Mexico is paying for it….

Suspects wanted for parole violations reportedly kill themselves. “A man and a woman wanted for parole violation barricaded themselves inside a Pennsylvania home after allegedly firing shots at police, and later died in an apparent murder-suicide on Saturday.”   http://www.wbal.com/article/247966/110/police-standoff-in-pennsylvania-ends-in-apparent-murder-suicide   It could happen!

Kellyanne Conway claims Senate Trumpcare bill does not include Medicaid cuts. “The Congressional Budget Office has yet to release its evaluation of the Senate bill, but its analysis of the House version said it would drain more than $800 billion from Medicaid, in addition to the $610 billion reduction ordered by Trump’s federal budget proposal.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/trump-officials-health-bill-won-cut-medicaid-article-1.3276268

Mother posts $231,115 hospital bill for her son’s heart surgery on social media. “A New Jersey mom says she posted her three-year-old son’s heart surgery bill online to show how potential changes in the health care law could drastically increase out-of-pocket costs for those with life-threatening conditions.”    http://www.fox29.com/news/local-news/263723404-story

Trump Russia dossier may have been paid for by Democrats, unidentified Republican investigator alleges. “Steele contracted with Fusion GPS to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia starting in June 2016, whereupon he outlandishly claimed that Hillary campaign hackers were “paid by both Trump’s team and the Kremlin” and that the operation was run out of Putin’s office.”   https://nypost.com/2017/06/24/inside-the-shadowy-intelligence-firm-behind-the-trump-dossier/

Overweight man who booked two seats on Spirit Airlines flight says he was kicked off plane when the airline took away one of his seats. “I had told them that I bought two seats, (they said) we’ll take it up after, talk to them when you get off the plane.”   http://fox17online.com/2017/06/25/colorado-man-says-he-was-kicked-off-flight-for-being-overweight/

New York Times runs a list of all of Donald Trump’s lies, takes up almost entire page. ““Between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused me to lose the popular vote.” (There’s no evidence of illegal voting.)”   https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/23/opinion/trumps-lies.html?_r=0

Court ordered review of Dakota Access pipeline project will examine impact on Standing Rock tribe. “(U.S. District Judge James Boasberg)  said (the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) didn’t adequately consider how an oil spill under the Missouri River might affect the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s fishing and hunting rights, or whether it might disproportionately affect the tribal community…”   http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/06/25/dakota-access-review-to-re-examine-impact-on-tribe.html

Chuck Schumer promises Democratic Party makeover. “I think what the Democrats have got to say is that we will be on the side of the working class of this country.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/25/schumer-agenda-middle-class-democrats-congress-voters   No Chuck, “saying” is not enough. Trying “proving”.

Ralph Nader tells the history of the decline and fall of the Democratic Party. “…in 1979. Tony Coelho, who was a congressman from California… convinced the Democrats that they should bid for corporate money, corporate PACs, that they could raise a lot of money.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/06/25/ralph-nader-the-democrats-are-unable-to-defend-the-u-s-from-the-most-vicious-republican-party-in-history/

Surprising revelations in Oliver Stone’s interviews with Putin. “… right from the beginning there is a tension between Stone, with his often archetypal liberal-left views, and Putin, whose perspective – if it has any American equivalent – might be called paleoconservative.”   http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/06/25/tried-kill-putin-five-times/


June 26, 2017

June 24, 2017

Obama administration hid details of Russian election hacking. “Only in the administration’s final weeks in office did it tell the public, in a declassified report, what officials had learned from Brennan in August — that Putin was working to elect Trump.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/world/national-security/obama-putin-election-hacking/

Venezuelan soldier kills protester with rubber bullet, raising protest death toll to at least 76. “Speaking outside the clinic, opposition lawmaker Jose Manuel Olivares said Vallenilla had been killed by the national guard firing rubber bullets at point blank range and criticized the shooting as repression.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKBN19D2XF?il=0

Turmoil at Berkeley city meeting after elected officials refuse to withdraw city’s officers from Urban Shield police training event. “Some said that Urban Shield requires all training scenarios to have a “nexus to terrorism,” arguing that the focus on terrorism orients police against Muslims and people of color, and provides military-style training that is out of touch with the needs of the community.”   http://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/06/21/outcry-arrests-berkeley-city-council-votes-stick-urban-shield/

Arab monarchies demand that Al Jazeera broadcasting be shut down. “Al Jazeera, one of the Arab world’s most widely watched satellite news channels, denounced the demand for its closing as an attack on journalism.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/23/world/middleeast/qatar-saudi-arabia-al-jazeera.html

Mistrial declared in shooting of unarmed motorist, Samuel Dubose, by University of Cincinnati police officer. “(Officer) Tensing reached into the car with his left arm, yelled “Stop!” twice and with his right hand fired his gun once, into Mr. DuBose’s head.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/23/us/raymond-tensing-samuel-dubose-cincinnati.html

Trump accused of repeatedly spreading “alternative facts” at Iowa political rally. “Trump said he is pushing repeal of the federal estate tax so “farms can be passed on” to farmers’ children and grandchildren. Actually, the tax falls on fewer than one-half of 1% of farm estates.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/06/23/fact-check-trump-makes-misleading-claims-iowa-rally/103131784/

Trumpcare bill bans subsidized insurers from covering abortions while also making maternity coverage optional. “Both the House and Senate bills allow states to waive Obamacare’s requirements that insurers cover items like maternity care, which was frequently left out of private plans before Obamacare went into effect.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/abortion-debate-roils-final-health-care-push-n776141   These guys do realize that women have the vote now, don’t they?

Kansas secretary of state Kobach fined for misrepresenting documents to court. “In a 24-page ruling made public Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge James O’Hara wrote that Kobach did not accurately represent the contents of the documents when he argued against producing them.”   http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-kris-kobach-fined-for-misleading-court-1498264754-htmlstory.html

California legislators won’t have a chance to vote on a single-payer state health insurance scheme any time soon. “(Assembly Speaker Anthony) Rendon announced late Friday afternoon that the bill, Senate Bill 562 by state Sens. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), would not advance to a policy hearing in his house, making it all but certain the measure will not be acted upon this year.”   http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-single-payer-shelved-20170623-story.html

Rainbow Gathering to be held in early July at Malheur National Forest. “The gathering site will be located at the Flagtail Meadow off of Forest Service Road 24 near the towns of John Day and Seneca, Oregon.”   http://www.ktvz.com/news/police-rainbow-family-plans-nearby-national-gathering/543919027   These are primarily hippies, not LGBT folks.

Indiana Carrier plant jobs “saved” by Trump appear to be either going to Mexico or robots. “More than 600 employees at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis are bracing for layoffs beginning next month, despite being told by President Trump that nearly all the jobs at the plant had been saved.”   http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/22/trumps-carrier-jobs-deal-is-just-not-living-up-to-the-hype.html

Google says it will stop scanning the content of your emails. “…instead of scanning a user’s email, the ads will now be targeted with other personal information Google already pulls from sources such as search and YouTube.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-23/google-will-stop-reading-your-emails-for-gmail-ads   And the NSA?

Doctor in Oklahoma charged with second-degree murder after five patients overdose. “A probable cause affidavit alleges that Nichols prescribed more than 1,800 opioid pills to the patients who died, even though they didn’t have a medical need for them.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/oklahoma-doctor-charged-in-opioid-deaths-of-5-patients/2017/06/23/70107456-5841-11e7-840b-512026319da7_story.html

Taliban leader say U.S. occupation is the main obstacle to peace. “The more they insist on maintaining the presence of their forces here or want a surge of their forces, the more regional sensitivity against them will intensify.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/23/us-occupation-afghanistan-main-obstacle-peace-taliban

Transparency groups sue Trump administration over deleted records. “From early on in this Administration, White House staff have used and, on information and belief, continue to use certain email messaging applications that destroy the contents of messages as soon as they are read, without regard to whether the messages are presidential records.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/23/new-lawsuit-accuses-trump-destroying-essential-historical-records

U.S. ranks 17th in promotion of the general welfare of its citizens. “The U.S. was put in the “second tier” of the report’s overall ranking, Green explained to Bloomberg, for its failure “to address basic human needs, equip citizens to improve their quality of life, protect the environment, and provide opportunity for everyone to make personal choices and reach their full potential”.   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/22/welcome-second-tier-us-failing-big-league-social-progress

Video shows Minnesota police officer’s brutal attack on motorist during traffic stop. “A Minnesota arrest in which a driver was dragged from his vehicle and repeatedly punched and kneed by a police officer was a “disturbing and completely unnecessary” example of an excessive use of force, the state ACLU has said.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/23/minnesota-police-brutal-arrest-aclu

Teen fatally shot by L.A. deputies after neighbor complained about loud music. “Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies said they accidentally shot and killed a teenager while firing bullets at a dog during a response to a noise complaint, marking the latest killing by US police to spark national outrage.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/23/armando-garcia-muro-police-shooting-stray-bullet-dog-la

Clinton fundraisers accused of lobbying on behalf of telecoms, private prisons and insurance companies. “Richard Sullivan served as a major fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s campaign last year….  Sullivan is also (a) registered lobbyist for the public relations and lobby firm Capitol Counsel, where he works on behalf of private prison giant Geo Group…”   https://theintercept.com/2017/06/23/democratic-lobbyists-donald-trump-mottur-podesta-comcast-prudential/

Human Rights group claims at least 472 civilians (137 of which were children) have been killed in U.S. strikes in Syria in the last month. “The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Friday the period between May 23 and June 23 saw the highest civilian death toll in coalition raids for a single month since they began on September 23, 2014.”   http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/led-strikes-syria-kill-472-civilians-month-170623191702940.html

CIA fired contractors who hacked vending machines. “Multiple CIA contractors have been sacked after stealing more than $3,000 worth of snacks from vending machines…”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/cia-contractors-fired-stealing-vending-machine-snacks-crisps-chocolate-soda-us-intelligence-a7804276.html   So let me see if I understand how this works. You can torture prisoners (war crime), collect data while torturing prisoners to determine which methods of torture are the most effective (war crime), abduct people from foreign countries (violation of international law), repeatedly attempt to assassinate foreign leaders (major violation of international law), destroy evidence (violation of U.S. law), hack the computers of Senate staffers (violation of U.S. law), tap the phones of leaders of allied governments (not a good way to build relationships)  and overthrow foreign governments (major violation of international law) and you’re ok. But if you steal snacks from the CIA vending machines you get walked out of the building?

Military contractors will help decide how to streamline procurement process. “The presence of employees of military contractors with a significant financial interest in the outcome of defense acquisition policy raises concern that they could shape policy to benefit their employers’ bottom lines.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/major-defense-contractors-panel-will-direct-billion-dollar-defense-decisions

South Carolina Boeing plant laying off workers after Trump visit. “During his visit to the company, Donald Trump said, “We’re here today to celebrate American engineering and American manufacturing. We’re also here today to celebrate jobs. Jobs!”   http://www.ibtimes.com/biggest-layoffs-us-boeing-cuts-jobs-months-after-trump-vowed-more-employment-south-2556521


June 24, 2017

June 22, 2017

IS and U.S./Iraqi forces blame each other for destruction of historic mosque in Mosul. “The minaret that leaned like Italy’s Tower of Pisa stood for more than 840 years.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/iconic-al-nuri-mosque-mosul-destroyed/

Supreme Court Ziglar v. Abbasi decision sharply limits citizens’ ability to sue government for violating their rights. “… a grand total of four justices issued a significant ruling that more or less gutted a person’s ability, citizen or not, to sue federal officials who engage in egregious violations of constitutional rights.”   http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/06/how-the-supreme-court-gutted-a-historic-civil-rights-remedy.html

Bill passed by House would give nuclear power plant operators $16 million in tax breaks. “The bill, bipartisan legislation from Reps. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and others, would increase the number of utilities that can qualify for the tax credit and remove construction deadlines for facilities that use it.”   http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/338653-house-passes-nuclear-energy-tax-bill

Russian election hacking more widespread than initially reported. “Hackers attacked voting systems in 39 states, accessed campaign finance databases in one state and tried to delete or alter voter data in Illinois.”   https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/13/report-russia-hacked-election-systems-in-39-us-states/

Democrat in Georgia race did not live in that election district. “(Ossoff) acknowledged that he and his girlfriend (now fiancee) live near Emory University where she’s in medical school. That’s next door to the 6th District, but not in it.”   http://www.politifact.com/georgia/statements/2017/jun/20/donald-trump/trump-right-ossoff-does-not-live-georgias-6th-cong/

Fired Milwaukee police officer found not guilty  in Sylville Smith shooting. “Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm told jurors Heaggan-Brown didn’t need to use deadly force against Smith, who had thrown away the gun he was carrying.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sylville-smith-case-verdict-dominique-heaggan-brown-not-guilty/

Student yanked from stage during speech criticizing ineffectiveness of student government. “…the title of Class President could more accurately be Class Party Planner, and Student Council’s main obligation is to paint signs every week. Despite some of the outstanding people in this school, a lack of real student government and the authoritative attitude that a few teachers, administrators, and board members have, prevents students from truly developing as leaders.”   http://college.usatoday.com/2017/06/21/read-the-speech-that-got-a-high-school-valedictorian-pulled-from-the-stage/

FBI claims angry Democrat had no apparent political motive in Scalise shooting, likely chose his victims at random, despite photos of baseball diamond where shooting took place. “The FBI does not believe that these photographs represented surveillance of intended targets.”   https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2017/06/21/fbi-says-gunman-who-shot-congressman-had-target-mind/S3Www3HaUB1op9o1gEpBoN/story.html

Wall Street Journal’s chief foreign affairs correspondent fired after hack reveals links to arms dealer with CIA ties. “Two other Denx partners — ex-CIA employees Gary Bernsten and Scott Modell — told the AP that Solomon was involved in discussing proposed deals with Azima at the same time he continued to cultivate the businessman as a source for his stories for the Journal.”   http://www.npr.org/2017/06/21/533881518/wall-street-journal-fires-jay-solomon-over-ethical-lapses

Alt-right gets safe space after article professor shared on social media about shooting of Republicans provokes threats. “Trinity College in Hartford was closed on Wednesday because of threats to campus that appear to have stemmed from an article posted on a professor’s personal social media pages, according to a statement put out by the college.”   http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international/Trinity-College-Closed-Until-Further-Notice-After-Threats-429941143.html

Some Brits compare Conservative response to Grenfell fire with Bush’s hurricane Katrina fail. “The local council made no provisions for many of us. Last night I stayed in a hotel, but I have spent several nights sleeping on grassy areas.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/06/21/why-londons-tower-blaze-britains-hurricane-katrina-moment/103068926/

Four newly appointed French cabinet officials resign in connection with corruption probe. “French President Emmanuel Macron appointed a group of relative unknowns to ministerial roles on Wednesday as part of a Cabinet reshuffle after several ministers resigned for their involvement in alleged misuse of European parliamentary funds.”   http://www.dw.com/en/macron-taps-newcomers-for-cabinet-reshuffle/a-39342162

Writer says F-35 fighter “to big to fail”, “one of the greatest boondoggles in recent military purchasing history”. “Over the decades-long effort to meet a real military need for better aircraft, the F-35 program is the result of the merging or combination of several other separate and diverse projects into a set of requirements for an airplane that is trying to be everything to everybody.”   https://theconversation.com/what-went-wrong-with-the-f-35-lockheed-martins-joint-strike-fighter-60905

U.S. inspector general blames extra $26 million for inappropriate “woodland camouflage” pattern on Afghans, will cost U.S. taxpayers $68 to $72 million over the next 10 years. “The decision to use the non-government-owned forest camouflage pattern came after U.S. officials in 2007 found designs on the internet from a company called HyperStealth and showed them to Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/pentagon-accused-wasting-28m-inappropriate-afghan-soldier-uniforms-n775081   So who were these Bush administration officials? And what was their relationship with HyperStealth?

1975 Watergate memo alleges Nixon aides plotted to use CIA’s Cuban operatives for violent attacks on Vietnam War protesters. “The plan to counter an anti-war protest with violence was part of a wider operation to discredit Ellsberg, the former military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1969.”   https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/watergate-memo-attack-protesters-ellsberg/

Senate Republicans drafting Trumpcare bill “have received approximately double the amount of campaign contributions from the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries” as their colleagues. “According to Maplight, a watchdog that tracks campaign spending, those chosen by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to draft the Senate’s version of Trumpcare legislation have collected, on average, $214,000 from companies that will be directly affected by major changes to the nation’s healthcare system.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/21/industry-was-doubly-generous-these-13-gop-senators-now-drafting-trumpcare

Big banks allegedly heavily invested in “extreme fossil fuels”. “So finds the latest Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card—produced by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Sierra Club, and Oil Change International—which defines the “extreme” sources as tar sands, Arctic oil, ultra-deepwater oil, coal mining, coal power, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/21/biggest-banks-fueling-climate-disaster-billions-poured-extreme-fossil-fuels

ACLU sues D.C. police over abuses at Trump inauguration protests. “The suit claims D.C. police unlawfully arrested peaceful demonstrators and indiscriminately deployed tear gas and flash-bang grenades against journalists, legal observers, and crowds of protesters. …police held detainees for hours without food, water, or access to toilets; handcuffed detainees so tightly as to cause injury or loss of feeling; and subjected some detainees to manual rectal probing.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/21/aclu-sues-dc-police-attempts-chill-dissent-inauguration-day

Trump doesn’t think poor people should be in charge of things. “These are people that are great, brilliant business minds, and that’s what we need, that’s what we have to have so the world doesn’t take advantages of us. …And I love all people, rich or poor, but in those particular positions I just don’t want a poor person.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-says-doesn-apos-t-022120394.html

Indiana’s secretary of state says she learned about hacking of state election systems from media reports. “It is unclear why our intelligence agencies would withhold timely and specific threat information from election officials.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/06/21/connie-lawson-russia-election-hacking-dhs-states/

Democratic Party spent big in Georgia election, lost anyway. “Ossoff explicitly campaigned against single-payer healthcare and tax increases for the rich, and was rewarded by Democratic donors with $24 million in donations and another $8 million in outside spending.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/bernie-sanders-may-have-won-even-though-jon-ossoff-lost-2555176

New details about “harsh interrogation” program emerge during trial. “In his deposition, Dr. Mitchell revealed that he, along with others, urged the C.I.A. to destroy videotapes the agency had made of some interrogations.”   https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/20/us/cia-torture.html


June 22, 2017

June 21, 2017

Police dashcam video of Philando Castile shooting released. “Newly released dashcam footage shows what happened in the moments before Officer Jeronimo Yanez fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop last summer.”   http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/dashcam-footage-shows-philando-castiles-fatal-encounter-police/

Democrats lose fourth special election, this time in Georgia. “We need a genuinely new message, a serious jobs plan that reaches all Americans, and a bigger tent, not (a) smaller one.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/21/politics/democrats-georgia-elections-analysis/index.html

Ford reportedly shifting Focus production from Mexico to… China. “Ford painted the production shift from Mexico to China, slated in mid-2019, as a purely financial move that will save the company $500 million in reduced tooling costs.”   http://www.autoblog.com/2017/06/20/ford-to-export-focus-from-china-to-us-in-2019/

Extent of 2016 election hacking still unclear. “…officials are quick to assure the voting public that their systems are secure, but they lack the resources and technical know-how to defend against cyber intrusions, or even to perform forensic examinations to ensure nothing happened.”   http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article157039299.html

Pleasant Grove, Texas man fatally shot by police officer after he comes to the door holding a pistol. “Investigators say that left the officer no choice but to open fire, striking the 28-year-old white male.”   http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Dallas-Police-Investigating-Officer-Involved-Shooting-429520973.html

Tennis star James Blake reaches settlement with New York City after excessive force used in mistaken identity arrest. “The officers failed to report the mistaken arrest, as they were required to do, raising the possibility that it would never have come to light had Mr. Blake not spoken out.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/nyregion/new-york-city-and-james-blake-settle-excessive-force-lawsuit.html

Rick Perry, Trump’s Secretary of Energy, tells journalist rising CO2 level not primary cause of global warming. “No, most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in.”   http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/19/energy-sec-rick-perry-says-co2-is-not-the-main-driver-of-climate-change.html

Deceptive TV ads used in Georgia election. “Now the unhinged left is endorsing and applauding shooting Republicans… the same unhinged leftists cheering last week’s shooting are all backing Jon Ossoff. And if he wins, they win.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/costly-negative-ads-fuel-georgias-special-election/

100,000 civilians reportedly trapped in Mosul war zone. “In nine months of fighting a total of 850,000 people have fled their homes and thousands of civilians have been killed by US-led coalition bombing, as well as at the hands of ISIS.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/mosul-iraq-isis-final-stages-battle-civilian-casualties-old-city-raqqa-a7797846.html

Little coverage of plight of civilians in Raqqa and Mosul. “Arab lives matter. So why are we not seeing more of the impact of fighting on Raqqa and Mosul?”   https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/colum-kenny-what-s-going-on-in-raqqa-and-mosul-1.3122180

June 21, 2017

June 20, 2017

Mexico allegedly using anti-crime hacking software to monitor political activists. “The targets include lawyers looking into the mass disappearance of 43 students, a highly respected academic who helped write anti-corruption legislation, two of Mexico’s most influential journalists and an American representing victims of sexual abuse by the police.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/world/americas/mexico-spyware-anticrime.html

Obama administration accused of requesting authorization to use Section 702 surveillance to target U.S. citizens. “So in 2010, the government asked to use 702 to spy on Americans, Bates called them on it, and they backed down. Sort of. On May 2, the government confessed for the first time that it had been collecting US person data all along.”   https://www.emptywheel.net/2017/06/19/in-2010-the-government-tried-to-use-section-702-against-us-persons/

Chicago mom spent 14 months in jail because she couldn’t raise bail. “Just a few days of pretrial detention often severely alter people’s lives. These few days can mean the difference between working or being fired, paying rent or being evicted.”   http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/40971-i-spent-14-months-in-jail-because-i-couldn-t-pay-my-way-out

Interview with Unicorn Riot journalist who covered Standing Rock protests. “The local media was just going to the press conferences and listening. And we were just living in the camp and watching what was happening….”   http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19345:Independent-Media-Was-Crucial-for-Calling-Attention-to-Actions-at-Standing-Rock

Fairfax, Virginia police claim man who allegedly attacked group of Muslim teens in traditional attire with his vehicle and baseball bat, killing one, was motivated by road rage, not Islamaphobia. “We are NOT investigating this murder as a hate crime.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cops-road-rage-is-apparent-motive-in-killing-of-teen-leaving-mosque/   That was quick!

Record temperatures hit Arizona. “Phoenix posted a high of 118 degrees on Monday, tying the record for the date set last year.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/the-latest-phoenix-and-tucson-tie-heat-records-for-the-date/2017/06/19/54512ffe-5552-11e7-840b-512026319da7_story.html

Phoenix flights canceled due to extreme heat. “According to a statement from American Airlines, the American Eagle regional flights use the Bombardier CRJ aircraft, which has a maximum operating temperature of 118 degrees. Tuesday’s forecast for Phoenix included a high of 120 degrees…”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/nation-now/2017/06/19/its-so-hot-phoenix-they-cant-fly-planes/410766001/

Former House Oversight Committee chair says Trump administration withholding information from Congress. “The reality is, sadly, I don’t see much difference between the Trump administration and the Obama administration.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/house/338408-chaffetz-trump-administration-almost-worse-than-obamas

Dismissed Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn reportedly represented Israeli spyware company whose products were used for surveillance of political activists. “Hiring Flynn would provide NSO Group with a well-connected figure in Washington, to help get its foot in the door of the notoriously insular world of secret intelligence budgeting.”   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/michael-flynn-nso-group-spyware_us_59468386e4b06bb7d273c398

Lockheed Martin reportedly promises to move F-16 production from Fort Worth to India if it gets government contract. “… Lockheed’s agreement to move F-16 production to India could increase its odds of winning that deal.”   http://www.investors.com/news/lockheed-moves-f-16-production-line-from-texas-to-india/

Number of millionaires in China has reportedly increased 9 fold in ten years. “Chinese with at least 10 million yuan (1.2 million pounds) of investable assets hit 1.6 million in 2016, up from 180,000 in 2006, according to the 2017 China Private Wealth Report by Bain Consulting and China Merchants Bank.”   https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2017/06/19/business/19reuters-china-economy-wealthy.html   The magic of “free trade” agreements with higher wage countries!

White House press secretary holds news conference, allegedly bans video or audio recording. “I don’t know what world we’re living in right now.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/19/i-dont-know-why-everybody-going-along-white-house-stonewalls-press

Supreme Court rules that Bush administration officials cannot be held liable for post 9/11 roundups. “”This decision regrettably provides constitutional immunity for some of the most high-level officials responsible for gross abuses in the aftermath of September 11,” stated Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/19/supreme-court-delivers-dangerous-message-immunity-former-bush-officials-over-911

Senate’s Trumpcare proposal asks for even deeper cuts to Medicaid program. “…Senate Republicans are reportedly considering even deeper cuts to Medicaid than those proposed by the House version of Trumpcare, which amounted to around $800 billion over ten years.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/19/report-gop-senate-plan-would-gouge-poor-people-even-deeper-medicaid-cuts

Miami police ticket Uber driver for not speaking English. “The English fluency fine was issued as part of a May 2016 Miami-Dade County memorandum rule that requires transportation network drivers be “able to communicate in the English language”.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/miami-police-give-uber-driver-250-ticket-not-speaking-proper-english-2554474

Voter data left unprotected on cloud with internet link by Republican consulting firms. “…unsecured databases containing the sensitive personal details of over 198 million American voters (were) left exposed…”   https://theintercept.com/2017/06/19/republican-data-mining-firm-exposed-personal-information-for-virtually-every-american-voter/

Nuclear weapons protesters arrested at U.N. “More than a dozen activists were arrested for disorderly conduct after they blocked the entrances to the United States mission to the United Nations on Monday to protest Washington’s decision to boycott negotiations on a nuclear weapons ban treaty.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-nuclear-un-usa-idUSKBN19A2KB


June 20, 2017

June 19, 2017

Syrian military aircraft shot down by U.S. jet over Syria. “The Pentagon said the U.S.-led coalition took the unprecedented move after a Syrian Su-22 attack aircraft bombed its allies who were fighting Islamic State militants south of the city of Tabqah, roughly 25 miles west of Raqqah.”   http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-syria-us-jet-20170619-story.html

David Clarke withdraws from Homeland Security assistant secretary appointment process. “Sheriff Clarke, who once claimed that the Islamic State and Black Lives Matter activists were forming an alliance to destroy America, notified John F. Kelly, the homeland security secretary, of his decision on Friday, according to an adviser.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/18/us/politics/david-clarke-sheriff-homeland-security-job.html

People working full time at minimum wage can’t afford to rent a two bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States. “In states such as Alaska, Washington, Colorado, Florida, Virginia, Illinois and most of the Northeast, workers would have to make over $20 an hour.”   http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/12/nobody-making-federal-minimum-wage-can-afford-a-two-bedroom-apartment.html

NRA reportedly silent after not guilty verdict in Philando Castile shooting. “Police recordings and court records confirmed initial reports that Castile had tried to defuse the situation, assuring the officer that he wasn’t reaching for his weapon.”   http://www.twincities.com/2017/06/18/while-some-gun-owners-decry-the-philando-castile-verdict-the-nra-is-silent/

Department of Justice officials reportedly instructed employees to avoid seeking consent decrees in civil rights cases. “…attorneys should default to using settlements without court oversight unless there is an unavoidable reason for a consent decree.”   http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/06/trump-administration-quietly-rolls-back-civil-rights-efforts-across-federal-government/

North Korea claims items were taken from its diplomats at JFK airport by Homeland Security officers. “U.S. Department of Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan said Sunday its officers did seize multiple media items and packages from three North Koreans who, according to the U.S. State Department, were not accredited members of North Korea’s Mission to the U.N. and had no diplomatic immunity.”   http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/north-korea-us-officials-seized-diplomatic-package-jfk-48121566

17 year-old, Washington, D.C. area Muslim girl reportedly beaten to death by motorist. “The girl’s mother said detectives told her that Nabra was struck with a metal bat.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/fairfax-loudoun-police-searching-for-missing-17-year-old-reported-to-have-been-assaulted/2017/06/18/02e379ac-5466-11e7-a204-ad706461fa4f_story.html

Department of Energy report to argue that renewable energy is putting power consumers at risk. “The study appears intended to blame wind and solar power for the financial difficulties facing coal and nuclear generators and suggest that renewable energy resources threaten the reliability of the grid…”   https://thinkprogress.org/senators-attack-doe-grid-study-6d09434fa84a

1/3 of president’s HIV/AIDS advisory council resign in protest. “We have dedicated our lives to combating this disease and no longer feel we can do so effectively within the confines of an advisory body to a president who simply does not care.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/members-trump-hiv-aids-council-quit-article-1.3256636

L.A. police cadets allegedly stole two patrol cars, evaded officers and crashed. “Beck said the cadets may have been impersonating officers while driving the stolen cruisers, and he asked anyone living in Central and South Los Angeles or Inglewood who might have information to contact police.”   http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lapd-cadets-stolen-cruisers-20170616-story.html

Governor Brian Sandoval vetoes Nevada “Medicaid for All” single-payer health plan. “There were worries among providers… about the Nevada Care Plan reimbursing them at lower rates than the private insurance plans pay. There were also concerns — also mentioned by the governor — of the plan disrupting the current marketplace..”   http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-nevada-medicaid-2017-story.html

Sanders says GOP health insurance plan will throw “23 million people off of health insurance”. “Sanders called the current bill the “worst piece of legislation” against working class people that he can remember in his political life in the Congress, and that the reason Republicans don’t want to bring debate out into the public is because it was a “disastrous bill”.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bernie-sanders-sounds-alarm-on-gop-health-care-bill/

Even when the game is rigged, sometimes the underdog wins. “A Spanish bullfighter died after he tripped in the ring and was gored by the bull in south-western France, according to media reports.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/17/spanish-matador-dies-after-being-gored-during-bullfight

History Channel documentary “America’s War on Drugs” exposes government cooperation with drug cartels. “It’s like Donald Trump declaring a War on Real Estate Developers that fills prisons with people who occasionally rent out their spare bedroom on AirBnb.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/06/18/the-history-channel-is-finally-telling-the-stunning-secret-story-of-the-war-on-drugs/

Egyptian death row prisoners say they were beaten and tortured into making confessions. “…the men say they were beaten, shocked with electricity and hung in painful positions and then provided with written testimonies they were forced to read.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/6/16/headlines/egypt_6_men_sentenced_to_death_based_on_testimonies_extracted_under_torture

Trump’s Cuba policy not as radical as he suggested. “… Americans will be unable to spend money in state-run hotels or restaurants tied to the military….Unlike under Obama, individuals will no longer be able to travel under the “people-to-people” category.”   http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article156337129.html


June 19, 2017

June 17, 2017

Grenfell Tower fire victims storm city offices, rumors circulate of death toll cover-up. “The latest official figures confirmed that at least 30 people have died in the fire at the west London tower block… However rumours have been circulating that the official death toll is much higher amid accusations of a cover-up by the authorities.”   https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/angry-protests-demand-justice-corbyn-says-grenfell-survivors-should-be-housed-empty-luxury

Trump administration approves huge arms sales to country accused of funding terrorism. “While President Trump berates Qatar for sponsoring terrorism at the highest levels, he is simultaneously authorizing the country to purchase over $21 billion of U.S. weapons.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-sells-qatar-12-billion-arms-days-after-accusing-it-of-funding-terrorism/

State Department releases more records on U.S. sponsored 1953 coup against the democratically elected government of Iran. “This volume includes National Security Council and Presidential materials that document the U.S. decision to proceed with the operation against (Prime Minister) Mosadeq, and the operational files within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that document the implementation of the operation, code named TPAJAX.”   https://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2017/06/iran-frus-release/

Supreme Court dodged decision on use of deadly force by police. “Police officers should not be allowed to create dangerous situations that leave them with no choice but to use deadly force.”   https://www.themarshallproject.org/2017/06/15/after-creating-danger-can-cops-use-force-with-impunity

Federal Bureau of Prisons accused of using “communications management units” to silence critics. ““They’re really there as a punishment to keep (prisoners) quiet and that’s extremely concerning,” says Amy Fettig, deputy director of the ACLU’s National Prison Project.”   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-the-bop-uses-cmus-to-silence-prison-writers_us_593ffd33e4b0b65670e56e0a

Officer in Philando Castile motorist shooting cleared of all charges. “Outside court, Valerie Castile said she was disappointed in the state of Minnesota, “Because nowhere in the world do you die from being honest and telling the truth.””   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/16/us/philando-castile-trial-verdict/index.html

A tale of two Americans who fell into comas abroad. One has been covered extensively by the mainstream news media recently.  “In a news conference Thursday, doctors called (Otto Warmbier’s) condition “unresponsive wakefulness,” and revealed he had suffered significant brain damage during his imprisonment (in North Korea).”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/16/us/otto-warmbier-profile/index.html   But in February 2015, an American went into a coma after being arrested by six Tokyo police officers and died about a month later in a Tokyo hospital. The story was not even covered by the English language news media, except for one local entertainment tabloid and a few Japan-related websites (and Progressive News Service). The Wall Street Journal ran the story, but only in its Japanese language edition! More than two years later, we still do not know that man’s name, and I am still waiting for a response from the State Department to my April 2015 Freedom of Information Act request for details about the incident.

Trump family event planner reportedly appointed to run regional Housing and Urban Development office. “Patton was appointed Wednesday to head up the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Region II, which includes New York and New Jersey, where she’ll oversee distribution of billions of taxpayer dollars.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/trump-chooses-family-event-planner-run-n-y-housing-programs-article-1.3251314

Border Patrol arrests illegal migrants seeking medical assistance while crossing desert. “Volunteers with the group No More Deaths, which gives water and first-aid care to migrants, said the men were from Mexico and were receiving emergency medical care at the camp…”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/16/us/border-patrol-immigration-no-more-deaths.html?_r=0

Sarah Palin threatens to sue New York Times over story linking her “Democrats in the crosshairs” map to Gabrielle Giffords shooting. “Palin decided to get in on the criticism as well, claiming on Twitter that she was talking with her lawyers about suing the Times.”   http://www.salon.com/2017/06/16/sarah-palin-threatens-to-sue-the-new-york-times-over-retracted-article-linking-her-to-gabby-giffords-shooting/   You be the judge – you can see Palin’s ad here:   “Palin’s Facebook page now carries a map featuring 20 gun sights, one for each of the Democrats targeted this year by her political action committee SarahPAC.”   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/24/sarah-palins-pac-puts-gun_n_511433.html

Oregon adds third, unspecified gender on its driver licenses. “Beginning July 1, Oregonians will be able to choose “X” for sex instead of “F” or “M” on their licenses and identification cards.”   http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/06/oregon_becomes_first_state_to.html

University of Michigan to give full scholarships to admitted in-state students who have a family income of less than $65,000. “About half the families in the state will qualify for this incentive, U-M officials said.”    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/06/15/university-michigan-free-tuition-students/400761001/

Thousands more U.S. troops likely going to Afghanistan. “While the number is currently expected to be between 3,000 and 5,000 troops, the number is still being worked on, reports CBS News’ national security correspondent David Martin.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/pentagon-to-send-nearly-4000-more-u-s-troops-to-afghanistan/

Study finds that 1/3 of American families spend more than 30% of their income on housing, while more than 1/6 spent half of their income, or more, on housing. “Much of the apartment construction in recent years has been made up of luxury developments catering to affluent renters rather than to households of modest means.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/higher-prices-squeezing-both-renters-and-would-be-homeowners/2017/06/16/73fd3a9c-5281-11e7-b74e-0d2785d3083d_story.html

Environmental group say FDA testing found lead in 20% of baby food it sampled and in 68% of grape juice sampled (89% of grape juice for babies!). “EDF analyzed 11 years of data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and found that food, and baby food in particular, is a meaningful – and surprising – source of lead.”   https://www.edf.org/health/lead-food-hidden-health-threat

Trump has $315 million in liabilities according to financial disclosure. “Among those liabilities is $80,000,000 – $175,000,000 in mortgages and loans from Deutsche Bank.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-releases-financial-disclosure/

Pro-Trump protesters attempt to disrupt free speech they don’t like. “Two protesters disrupted the New York City Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar with one being arrested on Friday night, police and the Public Theater said.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/pro-trump-protesters-rush-the-stage-at-nycs-julius-caesar-1-arrested/

Federal judge order Army Corps of Engineers to review Dakota Access pipeline impact. “…U.S. District Judge James Boasberg declared that the Corps “did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the  pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial.””   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/15/significant-win-water-protectors-judge-orders-review-dapl-permits

Tech executive claims Uber official told him in job interview that company was not worried about its poor relationship with its drivers because, “we’re just going to replace them all with robots”.   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/17/uber-drivers-homeless-assault-travis-kalanick

Several of the bureaucrats in charge of Trumpcare transition allegedly lobbied for insurance companies. “Several senior Health and Human Services Administration appointees previously worked for insurers seeking to influence the consumer regulations mandated by the ACA, according to new political appointee financial disclosures obtained by The Intercept.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/06/15/hhs-trump-health-care-insurance-lobbyists-aca-repeal/

25 year old British hacker stole Department of Defense data. “Caffery made off with the usernames, ranks, phone number and email addresses of more than 800 DOD employees… (and) data related to more than 30,000 satellite phones.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/department-defense-hacked-british-hacker-admits-stealing-data-us-military-2553230

CIA has been hacking wireless networks “for years” according to Wikileaks documents. “The trove of documents released by the anti-(secrecy organization) on Thursday details the CIA’s CherryBlossom project, in which the intelligence agency has compromised Wi-Fi routers in private homes, public spaces, businesses and enterprise environments in order to gather information about specific targets.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/government-spying-wikileaks-cherry-blossom-documents-reveal-cia-hacks-wi-fi-routers-2552853

Air Force creates senior position to oversee space warfare. “We must organize and train forces to be able to prevail in any future conflict which could extend into space.”   https://www.dodbuzz.com/2017/06/16/preparing-for-war-in-space-air-force-reshuffles-leadership-team/


June 17, 2017

June 15, 2017

Man who shot ultra-conservative legislator was Bernie Sanders volunteer, Sanders says violence is un-American. “Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/14/house-majority-whip-scalise-wounded-in-northern-virginia-shooting-reports-of-multiple-shots-fired-239539

Top U.N. human rights official denounces “staggering loss of civilian life” during U.S. coalition attack on Raqqa. “…the imperative to fight terrorism must not… be undertaken at the expense of civilians who unwillingly find themselves living in areas where ISIL (ISIS) is present.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-airstrikes-raqqa-staggering-loss-of-civilian-life-un-paulo-pinherio/

States like Kansas refusing to release police body camera video to the public. “North Carolina, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Kansas, among others, have now instituted counter-transparency body camera laws.”   https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/12/15768920/police-body-camera-state-secret

President Trump is reportedly under investigation by Russia probe Special Counsel for obstruction of justice. “The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/special-counsel-is-investigating-trump-for-possible-obstruction-of-justice/2017/06/14/9ce02506-5131-11e7-b064-828ba60fbb98_story.html

London Grenfell Tower resident association says they have complained for years about fire hazards. “Regular readers of this blog will know that we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower… ALL OUR WARNINGS FELL ON DEAF EARS and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/grenfell-tower-fire-kensington-london-residents-kctmo-council-contract-ignored-poor-a7789276.html

DC police seeking dozens of Turkish security agents and Erdogan supporters over attack on protesters. “The U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak publicly to the matter and demanded anonymity, said DC police had identified 34 of 42 people who were involved in the fight, and are seeking their arrests.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/dc-police-say-2-arrests-made-in-turkish-embassy-melee-case/2017/06/14/aad23a24-5135-11e7-b74e-0d2785d3083d_story.html

Video shows Sylville Smith had thrown away his gun before officer fired fatal shot. “A black man killed by Milwaukee police after fleeing a traffic stop was unarmed and defenseless when an officer shot him “point blank,” a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday, while defense attorneys said the officer believed the man still had a gun.”   http://www.bdtonline.com/news/milwaukee-prosecutor-ex–officer-shot-man-point-blank/article_b4f4360b-f0ee-564b-85c7-df860f8bdd23.html

New Hampshire car theft suspect fatally shot after chase by state troopers, but police not releasing details of “encounter”. “Portsmouth police officials would not comment Wednesday about their previous interactions with Jones, or the incident which led to his death…”   http://www.unionleader.com/crime/man-killed-by-police-at-liquor-store-known-for-petty-crimes-20170614

Georgia man who went into 12 day coma after being tackled by police officer files excessive force lawsuit. “He put his hands in the air, but McClure tackled him to the road.”   http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2017/jun/15/ellijay-police-officer-sued-excessive-force-c/433396/

Jail video, taser log reportedly missing in West Virginia excessive force incident. “Clarksburg Police Taser logs showed no firing of a stun gun, but forensics evidence — marking on the side of the woman’s torso that a retired state trooper from Pennsylvania said was consistent with a stun gun — was cited by Gentilozzi as key in getting the excessive-force verdict.”   https://www.theet.com/news/free/attorney-will-ask-troopers-for-probe-after-jury-finds-excessive/article_cd959a5b-1882-5622-89b9-f310c449f9bd.html

Pennsylvania man settles police beating lawsuit for $25,000. “O’Neill cleared one officer of wrongdoing but ruled that a jury had to decide what roles the seven remaining officers had in Torres’ arrest, whether four of them used excessive force and whether any is to blame for failing to intervene to stop the alleged assault.”   http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-police-excessive-force-settlement-20170613-story.html

Video reportedly surfaces of United ticket agent knocking 71 year-old man to the ground. “The encounter began when Tigner received a boarding pass that was illegible.”     http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-united-airlines-passenger-incident-20170614-story.html

Pro-business groups reportedly pushing for Constitutional convention. “ALEC has drafted model Article V legislation… (calling) for a convention to “impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/koch-brothers-want-new-constitution-theyre-closer-you-think-2552039

U.S. citizen from Salt Lake City reportedly denied entry back into U.S. after visit to Kenya. “Abdi was barred from boarding a flight from Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where he was returning to the United States with his wife and five children.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/06/utah-muslim-leader-barred-from-entering-the-us-after-trip-to-kenya-despite-being-an-american-citizen/

Egypt reportedly blocking internet news sites. “In Egypt, the government has blocked access to at least 48 news sites amid an increasing crackdown against journalists and human rights activists.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/6/14/headlines/egypt_blocks_access_to_48_news_sites_including_al_jazeera_huffington_post

June 15, 2017