Author Archive

Reboot the world

June 23, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Paul Ford  

"First a refresher: Ashley Madison is a web site that helps you have affairs. You enter your personal information and the site lets you look at other people who have also entered their information. Then you can make arrangements to have sex with these other people. And because it is digital, it felt anonymous, which meant you could structure the social interactions so that no one in your immediate vicinity (spouse, children) would ever know. Ashley Madison is a heavily advertised digital product, and until the leak it was doing pretty well. Roughly 35 million people had signed up, and presumably more than one of them had sexual intercourse without the knowledge of their spouses (by which I mean wives -- the users were overwhelmingly men). Then it all went pear-shaped. One day last summer, an individual or individuals known as 'The Impact Team' determined that all of the information in the Ashley Madison database should be made public." (06/22/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/133889/reboot-world  

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Trump’s vote-winning strategy: Attack Muslims

June 23, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Mohamad Bazzi  

"Donald Trump prides himself on not backing down from any fight or controversial position. Hours after the Orlando nightclub mass shooting on June 12, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee doubled down on his plan to ban Muslim immigrants from entering the United States. He also renewed his call for U.S. law enforcement agencies to use greater racial profiling, especially of Muslim Americans. ... In December, Trump shocked the world when he called for the ban on all Muslim travelers entering the United States -- until American leaders 'can figure out what the hell is going on.' Throughout the campaign, Trump has advocated increased surveillance of Muslim American communities and mosques. He also said he would consider registering Muslim Americans in a database, or requiring Muslims to carry special identification cards." (06/22/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-trump-islam-commentary-idUSKCN0Z82H4  

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Trump, Guns & Lies, Incorporated

June 23, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Adele M Stan  

"In the aftermath of the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, it shouldn't surprise us that Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, responded with a lie. Or two, depending how you measure. After all, Trump’s entire campaign is built on lies, whether about the number of undocumented immigrants (11 million, not 34 million, as Trump claims), his Democratic opponent's position on the Second Amendment or the reaction of Jersey City Muslims to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In fact, it could be said that Trump's 2016 campaign began with his Big Lie in 2011, when he threw in with the birthers who claim, against copious evidence to the contrary, that Barack Obama was not born in the United States." (06/22/16)

http://prospect.org/article/trump-guns-and-lies-incorporated  

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You can’t polish a Trump

June 23, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jeet Heer  

"With his long-touted anti-Clinton speech on Wednesday morning, Donald Trump came closer than ever to becoming the polished and restrained candidate that the Republican elite have been longing for. What the world saw was, if not a new Trump, at least a more restrained Trump, sticking to the prepared remarks with occasional ad-libs (which often amounted to just repeating some key words for emphasis.) Thematically, the script was tight. It hit hard on the argument that Hillary Clinton 'may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency.' The recycled allegations of corruption (Benghazi, email, Chinese money) were deftly linked to a populist nationalist message about how America is being betrayed by the corporate elite through trade deals that hurt workers." (06/22/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/134549/cant-polish-trump  

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The 13 Democrats who just did Wall Street’s dirty work

June 23, 2016
posted by

Richard Eskow Our Future
by Richard Eskow  

"A 'D' beside a politician’s name doesn’t necessarily mean they’re fighting for the public’s interests. In fact, 13 Democratic members of Congress recently joined Republicans in voting to protect private equity and hedge funds. This vote demonstrates the corrupting force of money in politics. If the media were doing a better job, it would be a national scandal. Democrats like these need to be encouraged to find new jobs. But don’t expect the party establishment to do it. In fact, one of these 13 representatives is running in the Florida Senate primary as the Democratic National Committee’s hand-picked candidate. Patrick Murphy, a fiscal conservative and former Republican, has been a favorite of the DNC since he first switched parties to run for Congress. Since then Murphy has voted to establish the committee investigating Benghazi, supported the Keystone XL pipeline, and backed a Republican-sponsored bill to weaken the already-inadequate Affordable Care Act." [editor's note: And at the same time, Dems in the House are sitting in to push thru bills that even the ACLU hates! - SAT] (06/22/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160622/the-13-democrats-who-just-did-wall-streets-dirty-work  

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Clinton IT specialist invokes 5th more than 125 times in deposition

June 23, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Hillary Clinton IT specialist Bryan Pagliano invoked the Fifth more than 125 times during a 90-minute, closed-door deposition Wednesday with the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch, a source with the group told Fox News. The official said Pagliano was working off an index card and read the same crafted statement each time. 'It was a sad day for government transparency,' the Judicial Watch official said, adding they asked all their questions and Pagliano invoked the Fifth Amendment right not to answer them. Pagliano was a central figure in the set-up and management of Clinton’s personal server she used exclusively for government business while secretary of state. The State Department inspector general found Clinton violated government rules with that arrangement." (06/22/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/06/22/clinton-it-specialist-invokes-5th-more-than-125-times-in-deposition.html  

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House Republicans unveil alternative to Obamacare

June 23, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled an alternative plan to overhaul the nation's healthcare system on Wednesday, slamming Obamacare even as they aimed to keep some of its more popular provisions. Their proposal, part of broader effort by House Speaker Paul Ryan to offer a Republican agenda ahead of the Nov. 8 elections, is conservatives' latest bid to 'repeal and replace' the 2010 law. Ryan, the country's highest-ranking elected Republican, is offering the proposal as the party seeks to maintain control of both the House and the Senate and take over the White House. Other proposals cover tax reform, address poverty as well as national security." (06/22/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-healthcare-ryan-idUSKCN0Z80AQ  

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How union contracts shield police departments from DOJ reforms

June 23, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Adeshina Emmanuel  

"Few were surprised on Dec. 7, 2015, when U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced a civil rights investigation of the Chicago Police Department (CPD). The city had recently released a dash cam video of officer Jason Van Dyke killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Graphic footage showed the officer firing a hail of bullets at the black teen as he walked away. Forty-eight hours after Lynch’s announcement, Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President Dean Angelo boarded a plane to Washington, D.C. to meet with the Department of Justice (DOJ). In the wake of McDonald's death, the union has faced growing public scrutiny over its alleged role in shielding his killer." [editor's note: Nice to see a "progressive" site noting how public employee unions can be just as neofeudalist as the crony-corporatist "usual suspects" - SAT] (06/22/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/features/police-killings-union-contracts.html  

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Spain: Interior minister refuses to resign over smear allegations

June 23, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The Spanish Interior Minister, Jorge Fernandez Diaz, has refused to resign after leaked tapes appeared to link him to efforts to smear separatist politicians in Catalonia. The audio appears to feature Mr Diaz and Catalonia's top anti-fraud official discussing ways to discredit pro-independence parties. The recordings were reportedly made two years ago when Catalonia held a referendum on independence from Spain. Spain votes in elections on Sunday. Polls suggest Mr Diaz's conservative Popular Party (PP) is expected to win the biggest share of the vote but not enough to form an overall majority." (06/22/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36602786  

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CA: Pelosi grilled by hoplophobe middle schoolers

June 23, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"With middle school graduation and summer vacation just days away, eighth-graders at San Francisco’s Children’s Day School should have been thinking about swimming pools and sleeping in. Instead, on Tuesday, their minds were on gun control, mental illness and mass incarceration as they grilled one of the most powerful women in American politics about congressional inaction and the future of the country. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, was happy to answer the students’ questions, saying they were 'so deep, so thoughtful, so concerned' that she had to remind herself they are graduating from eighth grade, not high school." (06/22/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/Pelosi-grilled-by-San-Francisco-middle-schoolers-7955282.php  

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The damn-the-torpedos allure of “Brexit”

June 23, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by David A Andelman  

"'Brexit' might well be the end of the world as we know it. That’s certainly the view from this sun-washed Adriatic paradise in the south of Europe and indeed on much of the rest of the continent of the choice facing British voters. On Thursday, they will go to the polls to decide whether to remain in the European Union or exit it, the first binding stay-or-leave vote by a member nation since the creation of a single boundary-free continent more than three decades ago. The debate has taken on existential overtones on this side of the Atlantic, and the powerful emotions it raises could well produce ripples that affect America’s own future in the world. At its heart, Brexit is all about the question of who’s ruling whom." (06/22/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/06/22/brexit-european-union-uk-vote-marchionne-david-andelman/86137958  

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Reintroducing Bobby Kennedy and his legacy

June 23, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Larry Tye  

"In her frantic search for an antidote to Donald Trump’s racial and ethnic demagoguery, Hillary Clinton would do well to look back at Robert F. Kennedy’s spirited bid for the White House half a century ago. That crusade later inspired not just the liberal Barack Obama but the third-wayer Bill Clinton. It reached a crescendo on the night of Bobby’s momentous victory in the California primary, when he seemed on the verge of becoming the tough liberal (or perhaps tender conservative) who could stitch back together a divided land. His murder in June 1968, at the moment of his triumph, symbolized what we had lost and what we still might become." (06/21/16)

http://prospect.org/article/reintroducing-bobby-kennedy-and-his-legacy  

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The TPP “lame duck” push insults democracy

June 23, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"In the United States 'We the People' are supposed to have a say in how we are governed, right? So shouldn’t we have a say in how we are governed? President Obama, Wall Street and the giant, multinational corporations are pushing (and pushing hard) for a vote in Congress in the 'lame duck' congressional session after the election, to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The most recent pitch by Obama was on Monday at a summit of business leaders in Washington, where he said the TPP 'will do even more to lower the cost of exporting, eliminating taxes and custom duties, and raising intellectual property standards that protect data and ideas and jobs.' Here is why the push is on. The so-called 'lame duck' session of Congress is particularly unaccountable." (06/21/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160621/tpp-lame-duck-push-insults-democracy  

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The real reason Congress can’t change gun laws

June 22, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Adam Skaggs  

"On Monday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court signaled again that the Constitution does not stand in the way of addressing gun violence. The court refused to hear a challenge to a Connecticut law that broadly restricts access to the kind of semi-automatic rifles used in the 2014 Sandy Hook shooting and, more recently, in San Bernardino, California, and Orlando, Florida. That lets the law stand. It was the latest confirmation that the Second Amendment does not impede most laws designed to reduce gun violence. The Supreme Court’s landmark Heller decision in 2008 established that a broad range of gun regulations are 'presumptively lawful.' The court has driven this point home repeatedly, leaving in place dozens of lower court decisions upholding a wide range of gun laws. Yet, just hours after the court’s action, the Senate reaffirmed another truth about American democracy: The likelihood of this Congress passing meaningful gun reform is close to zero." [editor's note: Go ahead, find a way to "pass meaningful gun reform" that does not abrogate the right to self-defense, and we're all willing to listen! - SAT] (06/21/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-florida-shooting-guns-senate-commenta-idUSKCN0Z71K6  

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CA: Jury begins deliberations in frivolous Led Zeppelin suit

June 22, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"A key chapter of rock ‘n’ roll history could be rewritten by a jury that began deliberating Wednesday over whether Led Zeppelin ripped off a riff for its epic 'Stairway to Heaven.' A lawyer representing the estate of a deceased songwriter criticized members of Led Zeppelin for 'selective' memories and 'convenient' truths in testifying about the origin of Jimmy Page’s acoustic guitar opening of the 1971 rock anthem. 'He didn’t tell you where he got the idea for the introduction,' attorney Francis Malofiy said in his closing argument in federal court in Los Angeles. 'It was a piece of music lifted from Taurus by Randy California.' The trustee for the estate for Randy Wolfe (who adopted the surname California) is seeking millions of dollars and a third of the songwriting credit for Stairway, which it claims the band took from 'Taurus,' released by Wolfe’s band Spirit in 1968." (06/22/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2016/06/22/jury-begins-deliberations-in-led-zeppelin-stairway-to-heaven-case/86257206  

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Hillary Clinton can pick any Veep she pleases, but …

June 22, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Brian Beutler  

"Elizabeth Warren’s emergence as Hillary Clinton’s most effective surrogate has apparently unnerved Democratic donors on Wall Street, who are threatening to withhold campaign cash if Clinton selects Warren as her running mate. 'If Clinton picked the Massachusetts senator, her whole base on Wall Street would leave her,' one top Democratic donor told Politico. 'They would literally just say, "We have no qualms with you moving left, we understand all the things you’ve had to do because of Bernie Sanders, but if you are going there with Warren, we just can’t trust you, you’ve killed it."' Clinton will either select a Wall Street-friendly running mate or she won’t, but these donors are acting as if she’s running for her old Senate seat from New York rather than the presidency." (06/21/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/134481/hillary-clinton-can-pick-veep-pleases  

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NC: School district embraces transgender rights, McRory not pleased

June 22, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"A school district in North Carolina announced this week that its students can choose which bathroom to use based on their gender identity, and Gov. Pat McCrory is not happy. The Republican governor released a statement Tuesday condemning the decision after the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District revealed its plans to buck the recently passed House Bill 2, a law that in part rolls back protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and forces public school students to use restrooms that correspond to their biological sex, the Huffington Post reported. Starting in the fall, the 146,000 students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg system can base the facilities they use on their identities -- something McCrory does not agree with." (06/22/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/06/north-carolina-school-district-embraces-transgender-rights  

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NYC: Council approves unisex bathroom requirement

June 22, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"The New York City Council on Tuesday approved a law requiring single-stall public bathrooms to be gender neutral in a show of support for transgender people, the bill’s main sponsor said. The council voted 47-2 for the measure, which will take effect Jan. 1. Many New York City restaurants already mark their single-stall bathrooms without gender designations or as apt for both sexes, but the new law is meant to make the practice standard and recognize transgender people, Councilman Daniel Dromm said.'This sends a message that New York City supports the transgender community and understands the issue,' Dromm said. A law passed by North Carolina that requires people to use the public bathroom matching their gender assigned at birth rather than their gender identity triggered wide criticism and led a parade of celebrity performers to boycott the state." (06/21/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/06/new-york-approves-unisex-bathrooms-in-nod-to-transgender-people  

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The ghosts of Fukushima

June 22, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Steve Featherstone  

"Hisao Yanai, a one-armed, chain-smoking, retired yakuza boss, stands alone behind the bar at Ippei, the restaurant he owns in the Japanese town of Naraha. There are no customers today. The streets outside the restaurant are deserted. Five years ago, on March 11, 2011, a powerful earthquake and tsunami triggered a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, located ten miles north of Naraha, forcing the evacuation of roughly 160,000 people. Half of them still cannot go home. Last fall, Naraha became the first town in Fukushima's mandatory evacuation zone to reopen fully, allowing all 7,400 residents to return. Nothing like it had ever been attempted before. Could a town despoiled by radiation be summoned back to life?" (06/20/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/133890/ghosts-fukushima  

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Pounding on this again, begging for infrastructure investment

June 22, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future    

"Our country needs to fix its infrastructure. With every bridge collapse, train derailment and water main breakage, this just becomes more and more obvious. The media exposes reason after reason after reason to do it, on OurFuture.org we write post after post about it, there is poll after poll showing the public begging for it ... and the response is Republican obstruction after Republican obstruction stopping it. Because 'government spending.' Since the Reagan presidency we have been eating our seed corn with cutbacks. We are being penny wise and pound-foolish by not spending on maintenance. Because a stitch in time saves nine. And the collapse of a bridge or road or building or power grid or water main or train roadbed or a dam kills people and economies. Even the Chamber of Commerce, no friend of the United States government or its people, is calling for public investment to fix the infrastructure." (06/21/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160621/pounding-on-this-again-begging-for-infrastructure-repair  

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The Brexit vote and the future of the European Union

June 22, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Jane Miller  

"We’re frighteningly close to June 23 and the referendum to decide whether the UK stays in the European Union or leaves. It’s been a nasty fight, and it’s getting nastier. The result is extremely important for us and for Europe, yet at least a third of the population seems indifferent to the outcome, while the other two-thirds are split along lines of enmity and alliance that make little sense and rely on wild speculation on both sides, straight lies and a shared refusal to discuss what really matters. A visitor from Mars would see it as primarily a struggle within the cabinet. Several of his own ministers want to replace the Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne." (06/21/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19236/european-union-referendum  

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For refugees, awkward truths about US asylum

June 22, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Eric Tang & Raj Patel  

"Today is World Refugee Day, the most contentious one in recent memory. Refugee resettlement once enjoyed bipartisan support in the United States, but in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and Orlando there are few issues more polarizing in this election year. At the center of the storm are Syrian refugees fleeing persecution, many of them making the deadly passage across the Mediterranean. Fear-mongering conservatives demand that all Syrians be kept out of the United States. Liberals call for granting entry to a select few, albeit under strict guidelines. But the debate overlooks an uncomfortable truth. Once they’re admitted to the United States, refugees rarely experience peace and economic stability. To see why, let’s consider the fate of a previous group of boat people: the refugees admitted to the United States after the Vietnam war and Cambodian genocide, most of whom struggled through decades of poverty and social marginalization after being resettled." (06/20/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-refugees-asylum-commentary-idUSKCN0Z6014  

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Tesla offers $2.8 billion for SolarCity

June 22, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Elon Musk on Tuesday sought to build a clean energy powerhouse as his electric car maker, Tesla Motors Inc, made an offer to buy his solar installation firm SolarCity Corp in a stock deal worth as much as $2.8 billion. Tesla shares plunged more than 13 percent to $189.99 in extended trading -- amounting to a loss in value of about $4.3 billion, or more than the value of the offer for the other company. Shares of SolarCity rose about 18 percent to $25.02. Musk, who is the chairman of SolarCity, CEO of Tesla and the largest shareholder of both companies, described the deal as a 'no brainer' in a call with reporters. The company could sell customers an electric car, a home battery and a solar system all at once, he said." (06/21/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-solarcity-m-a-tesla-idUSKCN0Z72WP  

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SEC: Adviser scammed millions from pro athletes

June 21, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Denver Broncos quarterback Mark Sanchez and other professional athletes were scammed out of millions of dollars by an investment adviser who gained their trust by stressing his Christian faith and claiming to be a certified public accountant, a newly unsealed federal lawsuit charges. Sanchez, San Francisco Giants pitcher Jake Peavy and Roy Oswalt, a retired pitcher who starred with the Houston Astros and other teams, were among those defrauded in the alleged scheme, according to the civil lawsuit filed in Texas by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The three were clients of investment adviser Ash Narayan, managing partner of the California office of Texas-based RGT Capital Management." (06/21/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/06/21/sec-adviser-scammed-millions-pro-athletes/86182934  

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Brexit faction hasn’t made its case

June 21, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Thursday's 'Brexit' vote on whether to leave the European Union is perhaps the most fateful decision facing Britain since the country had to shape a new post-war global role for itself in 1945. Yet in a campaign high on hyperbole, the 'leave' leaders have failed (remarkably so) to address the single most important question they need to answer. That is, what is the alternative that they wish for Britain to adopt instead of membership in the EU? The fact that they haven't been able to articulate this with clarity sells the electorate short in such an important moment in the nation’s history." (06/21/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/06/21/brexit-false-hope-united-kingdom-free-trade-access-single-market-economy-column/86142604  

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