September 19, 2019

Military has spent $184,000 at President Trump’s Scottish golf resort over two years. “That sum included $124,579 in lodging and $59,730 in unidentified additional expenditures between August 9, 2017 to July 26, 2019.”

Canadian prime minister who once corrected a town hall questioner, asking her to say ‘peoplekind’ instead of ‘mankind’ is embarrassed after ‘brownface’ photo emerges. “(The photo) shows (Justin) Trudeau, then the 29-year-old son of the late former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, wearing a turban and robes with his face, neck and hands completely darkened.”

In hypocritical challenge to states’ rights to make their own laws, Trump administration revokes California’s auto emission and gas mileage standards. “(California) has long pushed automakers to adopt more fuel-efficient passenger vehicles that emit less pollution. A dozen states and the District of Columbia also follow California’s fuel economy standards.”   States have the power to make their own laws, except when those laws are more progressive than federal law!

California’s governor signs employment bill that reclassifies many gig workers as employees. “(Gavin) Newsom had argued that when workers are misclassified as independent contractors rather than as employees, they lose basic benefits such as minimum wage, paid sick days, and health insurance.”

Two men from the Netherlands arrested 3 miles inside Area 51. “(Ties) Granzier informed deputies that he was a YouTuber and they seized a number of cameras, a phone, a laptop, and a drone.”

President Trump makes 27 false claims during 95 minute speech in Rio Rancho, New Mexico (an average of 1 falsehood every 3 1/2 minutes). “Trump said Venezuela was ‘one of the wealthiest countries in the world’ 15 years ago, when it wasn’t. Venezuela was 67th in the world in GDP per capita in 2004.”

Former George W. Bush administration official says Republican Party ‘lost control of the monster they helped create’, urges Latino voters to vote Trump out of office. “Abel Guerra, who served as an associate director of public liaison in the Bush White House, also characterized the GOP as a party that condones racism…”

Bernie Sanders announces national affordable housing plan. “Sanders’s plan seeks to invest $1.48 trillion over 10 years in the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund to build and maintain 7.4 million ‘quality, affordable and accessible housing units’ that he says will eliminate the gap in affordable housing for the lowest-income renters.”

Judge denies bail to unionized aircraft mechanic accused of sabotaging plane’s navigation system, prosecutors claim he may have links to terrorism. “(Abdul-Majeed Alani) said he was upset about an impasse over a union contract and wanted the flight to be delayed or canceled so he could get overtime work.”   If an airline mechanic wanted to bring down a plane, he could bring down a plane. Instead, he wanted the pilot to get an error warning and return to the gate, which is what happened.

Diary of ‘Polish Anne Frank’ published. “The more pages (of Renia’s Diary that) were translated, the more obvious the diary’s literary quality and historical relevance became….”

CBS discovers Americans being held in prison for IS members in Syria. “President Trump has called on European countries to bring home their nationals who joined ISIS in Syria, so it was a surprise for (CBS correspondent Holly) Williams to find prisoners who said they were American.”

Japanese electric company executives found not guilty of failing to take appropriate tsunami precautions at Fukushima nuclear power plant. “In the much-anticipated verdict, a Tokyo court found all three (former TEPCO executives) not guilty of professional negligence resulting in death and injury…. The prosecution argued that as far back as 2002, the bosses had been warned that a large tsunami of more than 15 metres could hit the plant…”

Recurrence of a 1918 ‘Spanish flu’ type epidemic could kill up to 80 million people in our more connected modern world. “The (World Health Organization) report encouraged the creation of systems that would effectively detect and control disease outbreaks, in a proactive move that would create global preparedness.”

Just over 6% of women surveyed say they were coerced to have sex their first time. “Almost half of those women who said intercourse was involuntary said they were held down and slightly more than half of them said they were verbally pressured to have sex against their will.”

Spokesman for Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte says apparent boast about assassination attempt on Mayor Vicente Loot was a translation error. “In a statement Wednesday, spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte meant to say ‘you were ambushed’ (instead of ‘I ambushed you’), attributing his phrasing to the fact that Duterte is a native speaker of the Visayan language of the southern and central Philippines rather than the national Filipino language.”   It could happen!

Many governments using artificial intelligence to track their own citizens, including 51% of ‘advanced democracies’, say researchers. “At least 75 out of 176 countries globally are actively using AI technologies for surveillance purposes, it said, adding the nations use so-called ‘smart city’, facial recognition systems, and smart policing.”

Chicago releases additional video of 2018 police shooting of man stopped on suspicion of carrying a firearm. “On August 30, more than 13 months after the incident and only after we made repeated freedom of information requests, dashcam video footage that shows Officer Dillan Halley in the act of shooting Harith Augustus was released.”   Video can be viewed here:   This does not appear to be the recently released dashcam video however, and I don’t see a link to it in the news story.

U.S. senators heavily invested in the stock market. “An analysis of personal financial disclosure data as of 16 August has found that 51 senators and their spouses have as much as $96 million personally invested in corporate stocks…”

Federal judge blocks South Dakota anti-protest law. “In his ruling on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol wrote: ‘Imagine that if these riot boosting statutes were applied to the protests that took place in Birmingham, Alabama, what might be the result?'”

Memphis police shooting victim Martavious Banks files excessive force lawsuit. “According to the lawsuit, the officers used excessive force when they ‘shot the Plantiff over 20 times causing him to suffer great physical, mental and emotional injuries’. They also ‘took actions to conceal the true nature of events and what occurred by causing the In-Car Camera System and Body Worn Camera to be turned off prior to the shooting and assault’.”


September 19, 2019

September 18, 2019

West Bank Palestinians didn’t get to vote in Israel’s election. “(Barhoum) Saleh is among the 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank who have no voice in choosing Israel’s next government and no control over whether it decides to annex part or all of the occupied territory, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to do.”–israel-elections-powerless-palestinians-20190913-story.html

Justice Department sues for proceeds of Edward Snowden’s memoir. “The lawsuit alleges that Snowden published his book (Permanent Record) without submitting it to the agencies for pre-publication review, in violation of his express obligations under the agreements he signed…. Snowden’s lawyer Ben Wizner, said in a statement Tuesday that the book does not contain any government secrets that have not been published before.”

Writer accuses President Trump of self-interest on issue of homelessness. “The focus of his concern, as presented to reporters on Air Force One, wasn’t Americans or veterans, but foreigners who rent or buy high-end real estate, people who get frustrated at seeing those experiencing homelessness at the entrance to their office buildings.”

Florida woman’s mugshot reveals an apparent beating by deputies after her arrest for riding a bicycle while intoxicated. “(Megan) Mondanaro… allegedly kicked two deputies…”

North Carolina sheriff accused of involvement in plot to murder deputy. “(Brindell) Wilkins instructed an unnamed person to murder the deputy, who was planning to publicly reveal a tape of him using ‘racially offensive language to authorities in Raleigh’ in August 2014, according to a felony indictment unsealed Monday.”

Greta Thunberg tells Senator Ed Markey to cut the crap and get busy on climate change. “Don’t invite us here to just tell us how inspiring we are without actually doing anything about it because it doesn’t lead to anything…. I know you are trying, but just not hard enough. Sorry.”

U.S. abortion rate lowest in 46 years. “The nationwide rate dropped to 13.5 abortions per 1,000 girls and women ages 15 through 44 in 2017…. ‘Fifty-eight percent of the decline in the number of abortions nationwide happened in the 18 states and D.C. that did not enact any new restrictions….'”

U.S. claims attack on Saudi oil refinery was launched from Iran. “Senior US officials told media outlets that the locations were in southern Iran, at the northern end of the (Persian) Gulf.”   So these were stealth drones and missiles that were not picked up on any radar while crossing the Persian Gulf? When the U.S. sells weapons to its clients, is the U.S. responsible for how they are used? If not, then why would Iran be responsible just because the weapons were made in Iran? If you wanted to secretly attack an enemy with missiles or drones, would you launch them from your own country when you could be easily found out by radar or satellites?

Edward Snowden claims all your cell phone data can be secretly obtained by the government. “They can read your e-mail, they can collect every document, they can look at your contact book, they can turn the location services on. They can see anything that is on that phone instantly and send it back home to the mothership.”

Princeton simulation estimates 91 million deaths from a U.S.-Russia nuclear war. “The risk of nuclear war has increased dramatically in the past two years as the United States and Russia have abandoned long-standing nuclear arms control treaties, started to develop new kinds of nuclear weapons and expanded the circumstances in which they might use nuclear weapons.”   Embedded, four-minute video shows each wave of attacks.

Federal Reserve pours $53 billion into short-term funding markets, first intervention since 2008. “Overnight financing is a basic function, but it’s so sensitive that many Wall Street dealers and corporate treasurers decline to talk openly about it.”    “The moves came after the overnight rate on Treasury repurchase agreements, which are short-term loans used by financial institutions like hedge funds and banks, surged at the start of the week amid a shortage of dollars.”

Fort Detrick, Maryland supplied drugs for CIA’s mind control program. “These experiments destroyed many minds and caused an unknown number of deaths.”

Federal appeals court allows lawsuit of man mistaken for illegal immigrant and jailed for four days to go forward. “We reject the notion that the purported similarity between ‘Luis Hernandez’ and ‘Luis Enrique Hernandez‐Martinez’ is enough… to establish probable cause to deprive someone of his freedom.”

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September 18, 2019

September 17, 2019

Working Families Party dumps Bernie Sanders, endorses pro-capitalism candidate Elizabeth Warren. “The vote among ‘tens of thousands’ of party members and national committee leaders resulted in a commanding majority for Ms. Warren, a party spokesman said; she received more than 60 percent of the votes on the first ballot…. Several Sanders supporters called for the Working Families Party to release the full vote totals, which it has declined to do.”

District attorney orders Donald Trump’s accountant to turn over his income tax forms. “Prosecutors are looking into whether the Trump Organization filed any false business records in how it accounted for the reimbursement of the payments to (Michael) Cohen, a source familiar with the matter told CNN last month…”   This should be interesting.

Florida judge upholds secret deal that shielded possible Jeffrey Epstein accomplices. “U.S. District Judge Kenneth Mara also said that Epstein’s victims were not owed any money following the government’s violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.”

OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy. “If all goes as planned, a new company will form and continue selling OxyContin…. The settlement does not involve a statement of wrongdoing.”

450,000 Americans have applied for candidate Andrew Yang’s test of $1,000 monthly universal basic income scheme. “The #FreedomDividend would increase worker bargaining power and make all workers much harder to exploit. It’s easier to push for fair treatment if you don’t have a boot on your throat.”

64% of Americans say climate change is a ‘crisis’ or ‘serious problem’, 56% say it needs to be addressed ‘right now’. “Few Americans — just 1 in 10 — say humans do not contribute at all to climate change.”

Video 9/11 Whistleblowers profiles participants who disagree with the official version of events. “Of all the 9/11 whistleblowers, perhaps the most noteworthy are the 9/11 commissioners themselves…. The remarkable and almost completely unreported fact is that six out of the ten commissioners… have all expressed concern that the commission was misled, stymied, hampered by conflicts of interest and ultimately forced to participate in a politically motivated cover-up.”

Indigenous tribe protests commemoration of Cook’s 1769 arrival in what is now New Zealand. “He didn’t discover anything down here, and we object to (the organizers) using euphemisms like ‘encounters’ and ‘meetings’ to disguise what were actually invasions.”

Greenpeace protesters charged with felonies for ‘impairing critical infrastructure’ during bridge protest. “‘Critical infrastructure’ laws… were created by oil and gas lobbyists and secretive groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council to restrict First Amendment rights and to try to bring to bear extraordinary consequences for legitimate protests.”

GM autoworkers go on strike. “The walkout by upward of 49,000 United Auto Workers members has brought to a standstill more than 50 factories and parts warehouses in the union’s first strike against the No. 1 U.S. automaker in over a decade.”


September 17, 2019

September 16, 2019

Family of motorist hit during Baltimore police barrage aimed at fleeing suspect Tyrone Banks, which apparently included automatic rifle fire, says city is downplaying her injuries. “Fries says doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital say (Ray) Maier suffered two gunshot wounds, one to her right hand and another to her chest as well as a wound to her neck. Fries added her sister went through five hours of surgery…”   This is apparently still being treated as a local news story.

Better quality video of Tyrone Banks police shooting. Police open fire with automatic weapons at about 5:40 in the video:

Black, homeless, Bridgeport, Connecticut woman was sentenced to five years in prison for using a false address to register her child in better school district, while successful, white actress gets 14 days in jail for SAT cheating to help her daughter get into college. “Critics pointed out the stark contrast in the consequences between these two cases, arguing that it exemplified a disparity that continues to put underprivileged communities at a disadvantage.”   That’s putting it mildly. How about: There are actually two criminal justice systems in the U.S. – an extremely humane one for the rich and an extremely harsh one for the poor.

Workers in Bologna, Italy unite to expose ‘crappy bosses’. “The group uses its (protests and) stickers to alert the public that a place is accused of exploiting workers both to discourage customers and because they believe the warning might convince employers to act more fairly in the future.”

U.S. news media regularly call powerful, well-connected, foreign businessmen ‘oligarchs’, but avoided calling David Koch one after his death. “‘Philanthropist’ was the preferred description in the Washington Post (8/23/19) and NBC (8/23/19). CBS News (8/23/19) also described him as such, framing him as an ‘icon’ who ‘committed millions to various hospitals for cancer research’.”

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September 16, 2019

September 15, 2019

Drone attack on Saudi oil facilities reported takes about 50% of the country’s production capacity off-line. “Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Saturday took responsibility for the attacks, saying 10 drones targeted state-owned Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah news agency.”

76 arrested during Manhattan Microsoft protest. “The protest comes amid mounting criticism of companies working with ICE.”

Immigration official Ken Cuccinelli describes huge backlog of asylum cases. “Over half that backlog (of) 335,000 cases is over two years old.”

Trump administration confirms it killed Osama bin Laden’s son. “Earlier this year the US State Department called (Hamza) bin Laden, who was believed to be in his early 30s, an ’emerging’ leader in the terror group, offering a million-dollar reward for information leading to his capture.”

Electronic Frontier Foundation endorsing DNS over HTTPS support by Internet service providers to increase internet browsing privacy. “…DNS, the system that looks up a site’s IP address when you type the site’s name into your browser, remains unprotected by encryption…. This means that certain eavesdroppers can still profile your online activity by making a list of sites you visited, or a list of who visits a particular site.”

Baltimore police officers apparently fired automatic rifles at fleeing suspect in fatal police shooting, bystander hospitalized. “In all, police said they recovered 154 shell casings from the scene, which occurred two days after the suspect, Tyrone Banks, allegedly opened fire on one officer and attempted to run another over with his SUV before leading a police on a high-speed chase through the city….. police still are trying to determine if Banks fired his weapon during the Aug. 28 encounter in which he was killed.”   You can view one of the police body camera videos here:   At the very beginning of the video you can see the puffs of smoke coming out of the officer’s rifle as he apparently opens fire in full auto mode. You can hear what sounds like full auto gunfire off an on during the video, even when the first officer lowers his rifle.

Oklahoma news organization and family’s attorney seek release of video of fatal McAlester police shooting. “Police have said (Mark) Schoggins was shot by officers following a high-speed chase that began when he stole items from a liquor store.”

Video shows Rifle, Colorado police officer shooting fleeing suspect in the back, twice, killing him. “Law enforcement officials said police had an active arrest warrant for (Allan) George for sexual exploitation of a child and pulled him over on Highway 13 over the Colorado River in the early evening hours.”

Bystander shot in the stomach by Milwaukee police officer during chase says he was shackled to a hospital bed for hours. “(Tari) Davis also said his 14-year-old daughter was handcuffed, thrown to the ground and taken into custody for more than seven hours.”   The story doesn’t say how long Mr. Davis was shackled to his bed before being released. The suspect was apparently arrested unharmed. Both the suspect and the bystander were black.

Colorado Springs police release video of fatal shooting of fleeing robbery suspect. “…body-camera footage from the two Colorado Springs Police Department officers who took part in the gun-down shows that Bailey was running away when he was shot, with three bullets burrowing into his back and a fourth piercing his arm from a similar rear angle.”

Lawsuit accuses off-duty Vallejo, California police officer of pointing his gun at man’s head, forcing him to kneel, punching him repeatedly and slamming his head on the pavement. “According to the lawsuit, as the two men passed each other there was ‘a tense exchange’, with (Santiago) Hutchins exercising ‘his rights to free speech’. That’s when (Officer David) McLaughlin then identified himself as a police officer and pointed his weapon at the man.”   Video of the incident can be viewed here:

Paterson, New Jersey police officer charged with stealing cash from motorists and pedestrians, using excessive force. “(Paterson Officer Eudy Ramos) was part of a (plot) from 2016 through April 2018 in which he and two other officers allegedly targeted, stopped and searched vehicles and passengers — as well as people on the street — to illegally seize cash from them, prosecutors said. The officers would then split the cash and file false reports by either omitting or lying about their alleged conduct, according to court documents.”

Greenpeace activists stop oil tankers by suspending themselves from Houston bridge, 15 arrested. “The protesters were calling for presidential candidates to support the Green New Deal and for a just transition away from fossil fuels.”

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September 15, 2019

September 14, 2019

Joe Biden does his Donald Trump impersonation during the third round of Democratic presidential debates. “Look, there’s institutional segregation in this country. And from the time I got involved, I started dealing with that. Redlining, making sure that we are in a position where – look, talk about education. I proposed that what we take is those very poor schools, the Title I schools, triple the amount of money we spend.… We have to make sure that every single child does, in fact, have three, four, and five-year-olds go to school – school, not daycare, school. We bring social workers into homes and parents to help them deal with how to raise their children. It’s not that they don’t want to help. They don’t know quite what to do. Play the radio. Make sure the television – excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night.”

Prosecutors asked for two years of probation for an Ohio teen who ordered a ‘SWATing’ (false emergency report to local police) that resulted in the death of a Wichita, Kansas man. “Prosecutors and defense lawyers in their plea agreement had recommended a sentence of two years of probation, with the added condition that (Casey) Viner be confined for six months to his home unless attending school, work or church…. But U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren said a prison sentence was required to reflect the seriousness of the offense.”   OK, so alarm bells go off when I see this. Two years of probation for a fatal SWATing? Who is this Casey Viner? He’s obviously well connected. “The two men (Viner, who requesting the SWATing, and the gamer he was arguing with, who gave him his previous address and taunted him to try something) will be living with their parents pending trial, and the judge also forbade them from keeping firearms in the household. He made an exception to the gun restriction for Viner’s father, who is a law enforcement officer.”   Mystery solved!

OxyContin millionaires accused of laundering assets overseas. “…these records have allowed the State to identify previously unknown shell companies that one of the Sackler Defendants used to shift Purdue money through accounts around the world and then conceal it in at least two separate multimillion-dollar real estate investments back here in New York, sanitized (until now) of any readily-detectable connections to the Sackler family.”

Beto O’Rourke confirms that his proposed ‘assault weapon’ buyback scheme would be mandatory. “O’Rourke emphasized Friday morning as he made the rounds on cable television shows that his buyback plan would be ‘not voluntary’. ‘It is mandatory,’ he said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. ‘It will be the law. You will be required to comply with the law.'”   “For years, advocates of the right to keep and bear arms have suspected that confiscation was the endgame but have been rebuffed as paranoiacs in the press. Such a rebuffing is no longer possible.”

Trump administration scales back environmental regulation of water sources. “(The Obama administration) extended existing federal authority, which limited pollution in large bodies of water like the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound, to smaller bodies that drain into them, such as tributaries, streams and wetlands. Under (those rules), farmers using land near streams and wetlands were restricted from doing certain kinds of plowing and from planting certain crops, and would have been required to obtain E.P.A. permits in order to use chemical pesticides and fertilizers that could have run off into those bodies of water. Those restrictions will now be lifted.”

Edward Snowden tells his story in his new autobiography ‘Permanent Record’. “I participated in the most significant change in the history of American espionage — the change from the targeted surveillance of individuals to the mass surveillance of entire populations,” Snowden writes of his time at the NSA. “I helped make it technologically feasible for a single government to collect all the world’s digital communications, store them for ages, and search through them at will.”   Snowden surprised to discover that almost everyone in the world visits porn websites. “This was true for virtually everyone of every gender, ethnicity, race and age,” Snowden writes, “from the meanest terrorist to the nicest senior citizen, who might be the meanest terrorist’s grandparent, or parent, or cousin.”

Trump and Bolsonaro administrations agree on plan to develop the Amazon rainforest. “Brazil’s foreign minister said opening the rainforest to economic development was the only way to protect it.”

Google settles French tax dodging allegations. “The settlements comprise a €500 million payment that was ordered today by a French court, as well as €465 million in additional taxes that we had agreed to pay, and that have been substantially reflected in our prior financial results.”

Whole Foods ends health insurance for part-time employees. “The move was roundly criticized online, with commentators pointing out that not only is Amazon one of the most valuable companies in the world, but that Bezos himself is the wealthiest man on Earth.”

UPS agrees to pay $8.4 million to settle allegations of overcharging the government. “This settlement demonstrates that the government will hold accountable contractors that overcharge federal agencies by failing to follow the pricing terms of federal contracts.”

Google agrees not to punish employees for expressing opinions about their workplace. “Under the settlement with the National Labor Relations Board, Google said, the company will post notices to remind employees of their federal rights. That includes the ability to talk to each other about workplace conditions and push for changes such as pay raises and safety improvements.”

ICE calls mock-up of an urban environment for agent training an ‘urban warfare’ facility, which will allow trainees to experience ‘combat conditions’. “The new training facility at Fort Benning would support those teams with training that allows them to ‘experience combat conditions in a training environment that truly reflects real-world conditions…'”

Allegations linking Russian president Vladimir Putin to U.S. election tampering may have been what threatened ‘exfiltrated’ Russian mole. “A more revealing Washington Post piece came in June, 2017. It was called Obama’s Secret Struggle to Punish Russia for Putin’s Election Assault. In that article, we’re told at length about how (former CIA director John) Brennan secured a ‘feat of espionage’, obtaining sourcing ‘deep within the Russian government’ that provided him, Brennan, with insights into Russian’s electoral interference campaign.”

British judge rules that Julian Assange will not be released on September 22nd after serving his bail-jumping sentence. “District judge Vanessa Baraitser on Friday told Assange, who appeared by video-link: ‘You have been produced today because your sentence of imprisonment is about to come to an end. When that happens your remand status changes from a serving prisoner to a person facing extradition.'”

New Jersey mayor claims he was profiled at the airport due to his religion. “Mohamed Khairullah, the longtime mayor of Prospect Park, said he was held for three hours at JFK International Airport last month, questioned about whether he knew any terrorists and forced to hand over his phone.”

Jerusalem police planted rifle in Palestinian man’s home for ‘reality’ cop show. “After the controversy about the planted rifle erupted, the police said the raid had been launched based on intelligence. When no gun was found, a member of the production crew suggested that an officer plant a rifle in the basement of the house, the police said.”

Vigilante groups re-emerging in Mexico to battle drug gangs. “If we turn in our weapons, they will kill us.”

California legislature passes bill to ban private prisons. “The bill’s author, the assemblymember Rob Bonta, originally wrote it only to apply to contracts between the state’s prison authority and private, for-profit prison companies. But in June, Bonta amended the bill to apply to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s four major California detention centers.”

15th week of Hong Kong pro-democracy protests. “Dozens of pro-Beijing protesters waved Chinese flags and chanted ‘support the police’ at a mall in Kowloon Bay on Saturday, as pro-democracy demonstrators gathered, clad in black and wearing masks.”   Hmm, sounds weirdly familiar…

California legislature passes bill that caps interest on loans at 36%. “Currently, loans under $2,500 are capped at 36% interest, but this created a loophole where unscrupulous lenders force borrowers to take out at least $2,500 to qualify for a loan so that exorbitant interest rates can be applied.”

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September 14, 2019

September 13, 2019

2019 budget deficit hits $1 trillion. “As the deficit has grown so has the national debt, which is now at $22.5 trillion, up 13% since Trump took office.”   What’s worse than ‘tax and spend’ Democrats? ‘Tax-cut and spend’ Republicans.

Saudi princess Hassa bint Salman gets 10 month suspended sentence from French court after being found guilty of ordering bodyguard to beat a plumber and hold him captive. “The bodyguard, who was the only (defendant) in the case present in court, was handed an eight-month suspended sentence and a 5,000-euro fine, in line with the recommendations of prosecutors.”   Clearly there is one set of laws for the rich, and another, quite severe, set for the common people.

Justice Department to reveal name of Saudi official who assisted 9/11 hijackers, but only to the attorneys for the victims. “Attorneys for the families have argued that the unnamed individual is likely a more senior Saudi official and point to a portion of the document where the FBI said a person whose name is redacted ‘tasked’ al-Thumairy and al-Bayoumi with ‘assisting the hijackers’.”

Judge denies Guantanamo prisoner a medical evaluation after suicide attempt. “(Sharqawi) Al Hajj has been detained for more than 17 years and, for two years before his arrival at Guantánamo, was tortured in secret CIA detention. When his attorneys initially requested the evaluation and the release of Mr. Al Hajj’s medical records, in 2017, medical experts warned he was ‘on the precipice of total body collapse’.”

Federal Election Commission has gone from dysfunctional to non-functioning. “The FEC is missing three commissioners and is one commissioner short of a quorum.”

More details on the FBI’s investigation into “Looking back, it’s hard to fathom how such tiny (Constitutionally protected) crumbs led the FBI to the conclusion that (Eric) Garris and (Justin) Raimondo, two dedicated activists (Raimondo was also a prolific author) with decades of time in California’s political trenches, might be a “threat to national security,” but there you are.”

Professor of international relations says it’s time to admit that the war in Afghanistan is over. “Trying to turn Afghanistan into a modern, Western-style democracy was an act of extraordinary hubris, and all the more so when U.S. leaders told themselves they could do it quickly…. the ability to blow things up with great precision does not confer a similar capacity to shape political realities on the ground.”

Israeli official calls allegations that one of his country’s intelligence services planted cell tower simulators near the White House ‘anti-Semitic’. “Amos Yadlin, the former head of the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate, reportedly posted on Twitter that the Politico story is ‘fake news spiced with anti-Semitism’ and that for decades, Israel has banned spying on the U.S.”

3,800 people have reportedly been arrested by Indian forces in Kashmir, more than 1,000 still being held. “It was not clear on what basis most of the people were being held but an Indian official said some were held under the Public Safety Act, a law in Jammu and Kashmir state that allows for detention for up to two years without charge.”

Thousands of Sudanese protesters demand justice for slain pro-democracy activists. “The protesters called for the appointment of a new head of the judiciary and a new public prosecutor, steps they hope will lead to the prosecution of security forces blamed for deaths during demonstrations against (former president Omar al-Bashir) and against the military council that initially replaced him.”

International Red Cross says almost 22,000 Nigerians are missing due to Boko Haram insurgency. “Some 60% of the total were minors at the time they went missing, meaning that thousands of parents do not know where their children are and if they are alive or dead, according to the Red Cross.”

Centrist Democrats at debate out of touch claims writer. “Over 2 million Americans are in prison, 30 million don’t have health insurance, 40 million live in poverty, millions more are overworked and one disaster away from total destitution. But you don’t hear that anxiety or that sense of anger from the ‘mainstream’ candidates. What you hear is the sound of people trying hard not to lose.”

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will soon be opened up for oil and gas extraction. “(The Bureau of Land Management) on Thursday issued its final environmental impact statement for the project and said it aims to start granting leases by the end of the year.”

Just one climate change question during three-hour Democratic presidential debate. “Climate change is the greatest existential threat we face as a nation,” said Sunrise’s (Varshini) Prakash. “Yet, even as poll after poll show that it’s a top concern for voters in the 2020 election, tonight’s debate almost entirely ignored it.”

New York City public schools to allow students to participate in Global Climate Strike. “NYC’s announcement also came just a day after Amnesty International secretary general Kumi Naidoo sent a personal plea to more than 30,000 schools worldwide urging administrators to allow students to join the climate strikes on Sept. 20 and 27, which will bookend climate campaigners’ week of action, inspired by youth activists with the Fridays for Future movement.”

Senate confirms President Trump’s 150th lifetime judicial appointment. “Many have disturbing civil rights records,” Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference, said of the judges the Senate has confirmed thus far. “Dozens wouldn’t affirm Brown v. Board (of Education). They’re overwhelmingly white and male. Decades of progress are at stake. We must keep fighting.”

Alameda County inmates say jailers are still depriving them of sleep. ““I am getting more sleep since this court’s order, but the maximum period of nighttime sleep is only six hours and I generally am awakened at least once a night, which is better than the two or three times a night previously.”

Kaiser Permanente workers vote to authorize strike. “If a deal is not reached, 80,000 health care workers in six states could strike as early as October, including ‘doctors and nurses, home care and nursing home workers’, according to the union.”

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September 13, 2019