June 2, 2017

Trump makes U.S. a “climate villain” after announcing plan to withdraw from treaty signed by every country in the world except two (and one of those thought the treaty was not nearly tough enough). “The irony is that in the first few years of the Obama administration, we had to spend a lot of time with the Chinese convincing them our climate change agenda wasn’t a Trojan Horse to limit their economic growth.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/31/politics/paris-us-nicaragua-syria/

British politician Nigel Farage reportedly under investigation in Russiagate probe. “Sources with knowledge of the investigation said the former UKIP leader had raised the interest of FBI investigators because of his relationships with individuals connected to both the Trump campaign and Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder whom Farage visited in March.”   https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/01/nigel-farage-is-person-of-interest-in-fbi-investigation-into-trump-and-russia

Houston school cop who allegedly convinced a 14 year-old junior high school student to give him oral sex is sentenced to probation, will not have to register as sex offender. “Facing a possible punishment of 20 years in prison, he agreed to spend five years on deferred adjudication, a form of probation that means he will not have a conviction on his record if he successfully completes the probation. He also will not have to register as sex offender.”   http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Former-HISD-officer-admits-to-fondling-middle-11170371.php   When I searched for news media stories about this case on Google yesterday, there were none. Now, this one from May 25th suddenly appeared after the story began circulating widely on blogs. This is still not a national news story apparently…

Prior to his being fired, Senators reportedly asked former FBI director Comey to investigate Attorney General Sessions for perjury. “Leahy and Franken both grilled Sessions during his nomination hearing about any contacts he had with Russian officials about the 2016 campaign. At the time, Sessions said he had none.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/01/politics/sessions-russian-ambassador-letter/

Former diplomat claims Trump administration tried to lift Russia sanctions. “(Daniel Fried) said State Department colleagues approached him, “concerned that the Trump administration… was going to unilaterally rescind the sanctions on Russia, which had been placed there because of Russia’s aggression on Ukraine…. (and) that there would be no action required from Russia.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/former-diplomats-trump-team-sought-lift-sanctions-russia-n767406

“Retroactive” ethics waiver likely a violation of ethics rules. “The waiver in question was undated and does not name Bannon specifically, but it would allow him to freely communicate with editors at the (Breitbart News) far-right news outlet, where he was once its executive chair.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/336038-white-house-may-have-broke-ethics-rule-with-retroactive-waiver-report

Russian bank and White House reportedly have different accounts of purpose of Kushner meeting. “The bank maintained this week that the session… was conducted with Kushner in his role as the head of his family’s real estate business. The White House says the meeting was unrelated to business and was one of many diplomatic encounters…”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/explanations-for-kushners-meeting-with-head-of-kremlin-linked-bank-dont-match-up/2017/06/01/dd1bdbb0-460a-11e7-bcde-624ad94170ab_story.html

Walmart announces program to have employees deliver customer orders “on their way home from work” but provides few details. “The practice seems ripe for abuse if the company does not compensate workers for the full cost of their journey, the expenses related to gas, car depreciation, and potential problems like accidents, tickets or parking expenses.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2017/06/01/walmart-is-asking-employees-to-deliver-packages-on-their-way-home-from-work/

Labour Party surges in polls ahead of British election. “Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s prospects are rising ahead of upcoming elections in the United Kingdom, as his insurgent campaign rides a wave of progressive populism similar to the one created by Senator Bernie Sanders in the United States last year.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/01/bold-many-platform-corbyn-rides-sanders-wave-uk

Republican Senators who urged Trump to pull out of Paris climate agreement have received hundreds of thousands in donations from fossil fuel industry. “The big-money supporters got a return on their investment last week, when 22 Republican senators whose campaigns have collected more than $10m in oil, gas and coal money since 2012 sent a letter to the president urging him to withdraw from the Paris deal.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/01/republican-senators-paris-climate-deal-energy-donations

Undercover conservative activists record Democratic Party operative bragging about questionable political tactics. “In the first video, (Scott Foval) boasts of “conflict engagement in the lines of Trump rallies,” takes credit for the violence that canceled a Trump rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago, admits he has paid “mentally ill” people to start trouble and says there’s a “Pony Express” that keeps Democratic operatives in touch, regardless of whether they work for super PACs or the campaigns (, which are) not permitted to coordinate with super PACs.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/10/19/two-democratic-operatives-lose-jobs-after-james-okeefe-sting/

Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Georgia warns customers that it won’t pay for unnecessary emergency room visits. “What Blue Cross is asking patients do is determine without a clinical background whether their certain situation is truly an emergency, which is a lot to ask of a patient when they’re obviously presenting themselves to the emergency room because they do have concerns.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/06/01/blue-cross-blue-shield-wants-people-in-georgia-to-self-diagnose-before-heading-to-the-emergency-room/

Bad corporate debt may trigger the next financial crisis. “…the amount of corporate debt currently that exists in the world right now, of which a lot has gone through in some capacity to U.S. banks with derivatives and lots of bells and whistles attached to them, is greater than the amount of mortgages that were in the system before the crisis, and far greater than the amount of subprime mortgages that were in the system before the crisis, and they’re beginning to default just like subprime loans are beginning to default.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/former-goldman-sachs-exec-who-worked-trump-aide-warns-another-financial-crisis

Huge donations allegedly flowing to California politicians from groups opposed to single-payer health care plan. “During his election campaigns, (Governor Jerry) Brown has received more than a quarter-million dollars from the groups opposing the bill.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/california-health-care-bill-big-corporate-money-opposes-single-payer-proposal

Ethnic cleansing in America: the 1921 Tulsa pogrom. “Incredibly, most Americans have never heard of the shameful events of June 1, 1921, when whites firebombed the neighborhood from the air and an estimated 300 African-Americans were murdered.”   https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/06/01/classic-day-americans-bombed-american-city-air/

90 dead, 400 wounded in Kabul, Afghanistan truck bombing. “The Japanese embassy confirmed two nationals had been wounded, as was one Pakistani embassy employee, and heavy damage was sustained by the nearby British, Turkish and Chinese embassies as well as the AFP news agency’s offices.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/afghanistan-kabul-latest-suspected-suicide-car-bomb-dead-injured-taliban-isis-a7764396.html   The German embassy was also apparently heavily damaged.

China forbids Muslim Uighurs to observe Ramadan. “China has banned civil servants, students and teachers in its mainly Muslim Xinjiang region from fasting during Ramadan and ordered restaurants to stay open.”   http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/06/china-bans-ramadan-fasting-muslim-region-150618070016245.html   To avoid radicalization?


June 2, 2017

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