Daily Archives: 2018-05-16

2018-05-16: News Headlines

Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet (2018-05-16). Mueller Subpoenas Social Media Expert Who Worked With Longtime Trump Adviser Roger Stone During The Campaign. alternet.org The move suggests the special counsel is honing in on Stone's link to WikiLeaks. | Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed a social media expertwho advised Roger Stone during the 2016 presidential campaign, Reuters reports. Jason Sullivan, who worked for Stone's pro-Trump political action committee, received the subpoenas last week, and provide insight into Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. As Reuters notes, Mueller is likely probing how much Stone knew about a hack orchestrated by the Russian government and disseminated via WikiLeaks. Stone has denied any wrongdoing. As Reuters reports, "Mueller also has been probing whether anyone associated with the Trump campaign may have helped Assange or the Russians time or target the release of hacked emails and other social media promoting Trump or critical of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. " | p. p1 {margin: 0. 0px 0. 0px 0. 0px 0. 0px; font: 11. 0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} | p. p2 {margin: 0. 0px 0. 0px 0. 0px 0. 0px; font: 11. 0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 13. 0px} | span. s1 {font-kerning: none}. . .

Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet (2018-05-16). Senate Intel Committee Splits from Nunes-Led House Panel — Agrees Putin Interfered in 2016 to Help Trump. alternet.org "There is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with out 2016 elections. " | The Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday split from their colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee, agreeing with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help then-candidate Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. The announcement of the completed review of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on Russian activities in the 2016 U. S. elections was announced in a press release from committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) on Wednesday. "We so no reason to dispute the [IC] conclusions," Burr said. "There is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with out 2016 elections. Committee vice chairman Mark Warner (D-CA) agreed the ICA conclusions "were accurate and on point," adding Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the interference. . .

truth-out.org (2018-05-16). Will Democrats Be Able to Preserve Net Neutrality After All? truth-out.org Your support is crucial to keeping ethical journalism alive! Donate now to keep our writers on the streets, covering the most important issues and beats. | The impending death of net neutrality looked pretty much set in stone, but congressional Democrats are giving it another shot to live on. On Wednesday, the US Senate will hold a vote to reverse the FEC's previous decision. Can net neutrality be spared after all? | I don't want to get anyone's hopes up — the answer to that question is "probably not." Although the initiative is likely to succeed in the Senate where it has the support of every Democrat as well as Republican Senator Susan Collins (making it a 50-49 vote with John McCain absent,) it will have a much bigger hurdle to clear in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Media Matters Staff, Media Matters (2018-05-16). Fox News Guest Seriously Says Three-Fifths Compromise Gave 'Humanhood to Black People&#039. alternet.org This came after he told another panelist to "just shut up. " | From the May 15 edition of Fox News' The Ingraham Angle: LEO TERRELL: Let me just simply say this, Laura, since I love history and government. When this constitution was created, me, because I was black, I was considered three-fifths of a human being. KEVIN JACKSON: That's just nonsense. TERRELL: He's absolutely right about the historical shame of blacks being considered property when this country was created. [. . . ]JACKSON: First of all the Three-Fifths Compromise was essentially what this particular gentleman doesn't understand was it was to give humanhood to black people. Spike Lee learned that and it was an embarrassment to him. So all this nonsense about America, look, where do you want to live? Related Stories: Here's Why Demands to 'Respect' Trump Voters Are a Trap — And How Democrats Can Win AnywaySpike Lee Goes Off on 'Motherf*****' Trump at Cannes for Failure to Denounce Hate GroupsMedia Outlets Are Having Trouble Keeping Up with Hate Crime Reports in Trump Era

Staff (2018-05-16). Senate Panel Backs Gina Haspel for CIA Chief. truthdig.com Winning support from eight Republicans and two Democrats on the Intelligence Committee, her confirmation vote by the full Senate could take place before the end of the week.

Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet (2018-05-16). Here Are the 5 Biggest Bombshells from Senate Transcripts on the Trump Tower Meeting. alternet.org The massive document dump creates more questions than it answers. | The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday released transcripts and hundreds of pages of related materials from interviews with Donald Trump Jr. and other key players in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Here are the 5 biggest bombshells from that release. 1. A Mysterious Blocked CallerAfter speaking with Emin Agalarov, who set up the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, Donald Trump Jr. made an 11-minute phone call to a blocked number—and told the Senate Judiciary Committee he can't remember who he spoke with. As CNN's Jim Sciutto highlights, Democrats have noted that former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski testified that then-candidate Donald Trump's "primary residence has a blocked number. "2. 'Admitting' CollusionAfter news of the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower meeting became public, participant "Ike" Kaveladze received an email from an "unknown. . .

John Wojcik (2018-05-16). Trump and his GOP Congress: Complicit in crimes against democracy. peoplesworld.org Rudy Giuliani, the newest addition to President Trump's legal defense team, has added his voice to the list of Republicans demanding that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrap up his investigations of the president and those around him, claiming, as did Vice President Pence last week, that there has been no finding of proof of "collusion" […]…

Daniel Warner (2018-05-16). Of Babies, Marriages and Illiberal Democracies. counterpunch.org Newspaper front pages are showing pictures of a British royal baby and preparation for a royal wedding in one of the world's oldest democracies while in Poland, Hungary, Austria and other countries serious questions are being raised about the decline of democracy. Why are people so fascinated by the birth of Prince Louis Arthur and More

Alan MacLeod (2018-05-16). Writing Off Democracy in Venezuela, US Press and Politicians Dream of a Coup. fair.org When are elections free and fair, according to corporate media? When the US government says they are. | The May 20 Venezuelan presidential elections pit Hugo Chavez's successor, President Nicolas Maduro, against opposition challenger Henri Falcon. Maduro has called for the United Nations to observe and oversee the contest. Despite calling for elections throughout 2017, many local opposition groups, together with the US government, have demanded no observers should come, arguing that it would "validate" the elections, and have preemptively decided they will not recognize the victor. Miami Herald ( 5/2/18) | The US State Department ( 2/8/18) has cast doubt on the validity of the elections, claiming they represent a "dismantling" of Venezuela's democracy, as "they do not have the agreement of all political parties." That the country is ruled by a dictator presiding over fake elections is taken as…

teleSUR (2018-05-16). What the United States Could Learn from Venezuelan Democracy. mintpressnews.com Vice President Mike Pence called on Venezuela to suspend its upcoming elections, only months after having clamored for them to be held. But is the United States really the model democracy it claims to be?

truth-out.org (2018-05-16). Big Primary Wins for Socialists and Progressives Who Ran on Popular Demands. truth-out.org Clouds form a backdrop for a sign outside a polling station as a storm system moves in over Northwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 15, 2018. Voters showed out in spite of the looming rain to grant wins to progressive candidates. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers / NurPhoto via Getty Images) | Did you know? Truthout is a nonprofit publication and the vast majority of our budget comes from reader donations. It's easy to support our work — click here to get started. | " This is what happens when you run grassroots campaigns." | " We're just getting started." | " Welcome to the political revolution." | Defying national and state-level Democratic establishment forces that have worked to crowd out left-wing candidates and demonstrating that there is a deep hunger among the American electorate for…

Vijay Prashad, Independent Media Institute (2018-05-16). America Recedes from Dominance in Afghanistan and Iraq. alternet.org A women's rights advocate and the journalist who threw his shoe at George W. Bush are among the leaders defining Iraq's political future. | It's worthwhile to note that in both Afghanistan and Iraq, where the United States launched wars in 2001 and 2003, the United States is on the back foot. In one, Afghanistan, the Taliban has made significant gains in the western part of the country. It continues to bedevil the government in Kabul as well as the U. S. forces in the country. Parliamentary elections have not been held for three years. They have been set for October of this year, but will likely be postponed once more. No elections can be reasonably held in this climate. In the other, Iraq, the parliamentary elections of May 12 appear to be won by the Sairoon (On the Move) list, which is headed by. . .

Laura Clawson, Daily Kos (2018-05-16). The White House Just Completely Eliminated Its Top Cybersecurity Job. alternet.org The new national security adviser said the role isn't necessary anymore. | Less than two years after Russia penetrated state election systems, the White House has eliminated the cybersecurity coordinator position on the National Security Council. A memorandum circulated by an aide to the new national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the post was no longer considered necessary because lower-level officials had already made cybersecurity issues a "core function" of the president's national security team. Can someone please ask John Bolton if he's eliminating all the other top-level jobs overseeing things that are also done by lower-level officials? Including the things he thinks are important, like, uh, bombing countries? I didn't think so. Bolton appears to think he's still living in the George W. Bush years, the last time he was in government: Mr. Bolton has virtually no cyber-related experience.

Gabe Ortiz, Daily Kos (2018-05-16). Paul Ryan Is Lying to the Public About His Real Position on DREAMers—He's Actually Trying to Deport Them. alternet.org The outgoing majority leader's actions clearly demonstrate that he wants them gone. | In January 2017, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan assured a frightened Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient and her young daughter that they had nothing to worry about: "I want you to know that DACA has helped me. Do you think that I should be deported? " the woman asked, standing alongside her daughter. "No," Ryan replied. "First of all, I can see that you love your daughter and you are a nice person who has a great future ahead of you, and I hope your future is here. The young mom does indeed deserve the chance to have a great future, and that future should be here in the only country she's ever known as home. Ryan, on the other hand, was full of shit: Ryan in a closed-door meeting. . .

Mark Gruenberg (2018-05-16). Lawsuit: Trump Using New Citizenship Question on Census to Raise Campaign Cash. mintpressnews.com Republican President Donald Trump — days before his Commerce Department announced the Census Bureau's citizenship questions — used his approval of the query as a tactic to raise campaign cash.

Democracy Now! (2018-05-16). Headlines for May 16, 2018. democracynow.org U.S. Refuses to Criticize Israel's Massacre of 60+ Palestinians During Nonviolent Protest, Key Democrats Back CIA Director Nominee Gina Haspel, North Korea Cancels Talks with South Korea over Joint U.S.-SK Military Drills, Trump Admin Exploring Holding Immigrant Children on Military Bases, Amnesty: Pakistani Human Rights Activists Targeted for Digital Attacks, Mexico: Radio Journalist Juan Carlos Huerta Killed in Tabasco, Fox Settles Racial and Gender Discrimination Lawsuits for $10 Million, Uber & Lyft Will Stop Forced Arbitration for Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Blake Farenthold Won't Repay $84,000 Taxpayer Money Used in Sexual Harassment Settlement, North Carolina Teachers Walk Out of Class, Shuttering Hundreds of Schools, Planned Parenthood and ACLU Sue to Block Iowa's Harsh Anti-Abortion Bill…

Democracy Now! (2018-05-16). Norman Finkelstein: Outrage over Israeli Massacre Shows Power of Nonviolent Palestinian Resistance. democracynow.org The United States is refusing to criticize Israel after Israeli forces shot dead at least 61 unarmed Palestinian protesters taking part in the Great March of Return in Gaza Monday. More than 2,700 Palestinians were injured. At the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has blocked a call for an international investigation into Israel's actions. On Tuesday, she repeatedly blamed the violence on Hamas while praising Israel for showing restraint. During her remarks, Nikki Haley refused to place any blame on Israel. She later walked out of the Security Council chamber when the Palestinian ambassador to the U.N., Riyad Mansour, addressed the council. Since Palestinian protests began on March 30, Israel forces have killed at least 112 Palestinians and injured more than 12,000. On Tuesday, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said she was closely following the situation in Gaza and would "take any action warranted" to prosecute crimes. Meanwhile, the United Nations human rights office has condemned the "appalling deadly violence" by Israeli security forces in Gaza. For more, we speak with Norman Finkelstein, author and scholar whose most recent book is titled "Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom."

David Dayen (2018-05-16). Bill Aimed at Saving Community Banks Is Already Killing Them. theintercept.com After initial reluctance, House Republicans have finally reached an agreement to move forward on a bipartisan bank deregulation bill that the Senate passed in March. Its stated aim — to help rural community banks thrive against growing Wall Street power — appears to have been enough to power it across the finish line. | But banking industry analysts say the bill is already having the opposite effect, and its loosening of regulations on medium-sized banks is encouraging a rush of consolidation — all of which ends with an increasing number of community banks being swallowed up and closed down. | "We absolutely expect bank consolidation to accelerate," Wells Fargo's Mike Mayo told CNBC the day after the Senate passed the deregulation bill in March. The reason? Banks no longer face the prospect of stricter and more costly regulatory scrutiny as they…

Democracy Now! (2018-05-16). A Wake-Up Call for Dems? 4 Women With Socialist Platforms Win PA Primary to Replace Male Incumbents. democracynow.org Four Pennsylvania state House candidates backed by the Democratic Socialists of America won their Democratic primaries Tuesday: Summer Lee, a lawyer and labor organizer; Elizabeth Fiedler, a former public radio reporter; Sara Innamorato, the founder of a women's advocacy group; and Kristin Seale, who works at an energy conservation nonprofit. Two of the women unseated male incumbent state representatives in Tuesday's primaries. For more, we speak with Ryan Grim, D.C. bureau chief for The Intercept.

RT (2018-05-16). The art of disaster: 5 times Trump kept election promises, but probably shouldn't have (VIDEO). rt.com Donald Trump has been hailed as a leader who keeps his promises. But the horrific violence and diplomatic rows in the wake of the US embassy's move to Jerusalem illustrate how not all campaign pledges are created equal.
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Democracy Now! (2018-05-16). Koch Brothers-Backed Effort to Sabotage Unions Uses Secret "Tool Kit" to Encourage Members to Quit. democracynow.org Internal documents obtained by The Guardian show how a network of right-wing think tanks have launched a nationwide effort to convince members of public sector unions to stop paying dues. The effort is backed by $80 million in funding from billionaires like the Koch brothers, who expect a favorable decision from the Supreme Court this month in a case that could let workers who benefit from union-negotiated contracts avoid paying union dues if they opt not to join the union. The campaign comes as North Carolina teachers staged a massive walkout today, shuttering hundreds of schools, on the heels of major strikes by teacher unions in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arizona. For more, we speak with Ed Pilkington, chief reporter for The Guardian in the U.S. His new report is an exclusive look at "How rightwing groups wield secret 'toolkit' to plot against US unions."

Democracy Now! (2018-05-16). Norman Finkelstein: Palestinians Have the Right to Break Free of the "Unlivable" Cage That Is Gaza. democracynow.org This spring's mass nonviolent protests in Gaza come as the human rights conditions in the "open-air prison" have even further deteriorated. Last year, the United Nations issued a report warning Gaza is already "unlivable." The majority of its water is contaminated, and electricity is limited to only a few hours a day. About half the population is children. Almost all are refugees who are prevented from ever leaving the tiny Gaza Strip, one of the most densely populated places on Earth. For more, we speak with Norman Finkelstein, author and scholar whose most recent book is titled "Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom."

RT (2018-05-16). 'No focus on Russian activities' – Donald Jr. on Trump Tower meeting in interview transcripts. rt.com The 2016 Trump Tower meeting set up to reveal dirt on Hillary Clinton "infuriated" Jared Kushner, was a "waste of time" and had nothing to do with Clinton, according to transcripts of interviews with the meeting's participants.
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Mehdi Hasan (2018-05-16). Anti-Islam Movement Has New Rallying Cry — Let's Delete Verses of the Quran. theintercept.com You think life is bad for Muslims in Trump's America? Spare a thought for the Muslims of France. | Over the past few years, they have been collectively blamed, and punished, for a series of horrific terror attacks carried out in France by so-called jihadists. The latest, a knife attack in Paris by a man shouting "Allahu akbar," killed one person and injured four others last weekend. | While anti-Muslim bigotry has become a hallmark of the Republican right in America, in France it is a truly bipartisan affair. Islamophobia is peddled by the left and right alike, with both socialists and conservatives falling over one another to defend French secularism, or laàØcité, by demonizing French Muslims. | Consider: Successive French governments have criminalized the face veil and banned the headscarf in schools. French mayors have targeted…

amnesty.org (2018-05-16). Malaysia: Release of prisoner of conscience Anwar Ibrahim a momentous day for human rights. amnesty.org The release of long-time Malaysian opposition leader and Amnesty International prisoner of conscience Anwar Ibrahim is a landmark moment for human rights in the country, the organization said today. | Anwar, who has twice been imprisoned on politically motivated "sodomy" and corruption charges, received a royal pardon following last week's election win for the Pakatan Harapan coalition led by Mahathir Mohamad. Amnesty International has campaigned on Anwar's case for 20 years. | "Anwar should never have been jailed in the first place, and his long overdue release is an important step towards the restoration of justice and human rights in Malaysia after so many years of political persecution by previous governments," said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's Secretary General. | "This day should go down as a landmark moment for human rights in the country, but the new government must not stop here.

Democracy Now! (2018-05-16). Key Democrats Back Gina Haspel's Confirmation as CIA Director, Despite Her Record on Torture. democracynow.org The Senate Intelligence Committee approved President Trump's nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel, sending her confirmation to the full Senate floor. Haspel is a 33-year CIA veteran who was responsible for running a secret CIA black site in Thailand in 2002 where at least one prisoner was waterboarded and tortured in other ways during her tenure. She also oversaw the destruction of videotapes showing torture at the black site. A number of key Democrats have come out backing Haspel, after she said the CIA torture program should never have existed, even though she repeatedly refused to call the CIA's post-9/11 treatment of prisoners "torture," and declined to state whether she believes torture is immoral, during her confirmation hearing last week. For more, we speak with Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief for The Intercept. His latest story is headlined "Ahead of Vote on Gina Haspel, Senate Pulls Access to Damning Classified Memo."

wsws.org (2018-05-16). Germany's Left Party demands independent German-European imperialist policy. wsws.org Like the Greens 20 years ago, the Left Party now stands ready to paint the return of German imperialism to the world stage "in the brightest possible colours."

Tana Ganeva, Raw Story (2018-05-15). Fox's Tucker Carlson Abruptly Ends Contentious Interview After Dem Calls Him Out for Being More Bothered by Cursing Than Kids Being Shot. alternet.org In a new campaign ad, New Mexico Democratic congressional candidate Pat Davis—a former cop—bluntly declared "F*ck the NRA. " | On Tuesday, the parents of two teen girls killed in the school shooting in Parkland announced that they're running for Broward County's school board. Their foray into politics marks the latest instance of grieving family members and survivors of gun violence contesting the National Rife Association's out-sized influence on the US political system. As many activists have pointed out, the gun lobby's power has cowed America's elected officials into merely offering "thoughts and prayers" after every massacre. Activists are sick of it and so are some Democrats running for office. In a new campaign ad, New Mexico Democratic congressional candidate Pat Davis—a former cop—bluntly declares "Fuck the NRA. Fuck the NRA. Fuck the NRA. "On Tuesday night, he appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight. "So that's. . .

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-15). Here's Why Demands to 'Respect' Trump Voters Are a Trap — And How Democrats Can Win Anyway. alternet.org Columnist Paul Waldman argued in the Washington Post that demanding Democrats respect Trump voters misses the point. | Since the 2016 presidential election — and even before that — commentators across the ideological spectrum have insisted that a key problem in American politics is a lack of respect. Democrats, these writers argue, show blatant disrespect for Republican voters, and particularly for President Donald Trump's voters, and they won't be able to reverse their electoral fortunes until they fix this fact. But as Paul Waldman explained in a Washington Post op-ed on Tuesday, this view misses the point. It's true that many Republican voters feel completely disrespected by Democrats. But that's not because of what Democrats do — it's because of conservative media. He explains: The right has a gigantic media apparatus that is devoted to convincing people that liberals disrespect them, plus a. . .

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now (2018-05-15). While US Refuses to Blame Israel, International Court Could Launch War Crimes Probe Into Gaza Killings. alternet.org Democracy Now's Amy Goodman and Juan González speak with Tareq Baconi, author of the book "Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistance. " | The Israeli military's massacre of Palestinians Monday has sparked widespread international condemnation. South Africa has recalled its ambassador to Israel. Turkey has recalled both its ambassadors to Israel and the United States and has declared three days of mourning starting on Friday. Palestinian leaders have accused the Israeli military of committing war crimes, but the United States has blocked a UN Security Council statement calling for an independent investigation into the killings. Meanwhile, Israeli officials have tried to claim Hamas is behind the protests in efforts to justify the killings. For more, we speak with Tareq Baconi, author of the book Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistance. He is a policy member at Al-Shabaka:. . .

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-15). 'Like A Teenager Learning to Drive': CNN Panel Explains Why Trump's Erratic Foreign Policy Is So Risky. alternet.org "We went from 'fire and fury' to 'open and honorable. '" | Diplomacy between the United States and North Korea is beginning to hit some speed bumps as the planned summit in Singapore approaches, exemplifying the problems inherent in President Donald Trump's haphazard and inconsistent approach to foreign policy. "The president is like a teenager learning to drive," said Democratic strategist Paul Begala Tuesday night on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360. " "Flooring the gas, and then slamming the break. We went from 'fire and fury' to 'open and honorable. '"The North Korean regime announced earlier in the day that current military exercises planned between the United States and South Korea are a provocation. It canceled talks with South Korea and threatened it could do the same for the upcoming meeting with Trump. "What this shows is how unprepared the United States is," said Karine Jean-Pierre, a spokeswoman. . .

Richard Falk (2018-05-15). UN Sponsored Report on Israel's Responsibility for Apartheid in Relation to the Palestinian People. globalresearch.ca The report concludes that Israel is guilty of the continuing crime of apartheid as it is defined in the 1973 Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.

Dr. Chandra Muzaffar (2018-05-15). Malaysia's Elections: The Trust Deficit, the 1MDB-Najib Money-Laundering Scandal and the BN Defeat. globalresearch.ca The significance of the fourteenth General Election goes beyond Malaysian shores. 9th May will be remembered as the day when the multi-ethnic population of a country ousted the world's longest ruling coalition through the ballot-box in a peaceful atmosphere …

Conn Hallinan (2018-05-15). Turkey's president: Short term victory, long term trouble. peoplesworld.org When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a presidential and parliamentary election June 24—jumping the gun by more than a year—the outcome seemed foreordained: the country is under a state of emergency, Erdogan has imprisoned more than 50,000 of his opponents, dismissed 140,000 from their jobs, jailed a presidential candidate, and launched an attack […]…

John Steppling (2018-05-15). The Anti-Imperialism of Fools. counterpunch.org "God never spoke to an Arab." — Benjamin Disraeli, 1847 "Remembrance is, so to speak, interwoven with forgetfulness. That is why the Jewish historian Yosef Yerushalmi has pointed out that the opposite of "forgetfulness" is not really "remembrance" but "justice". — Carlo Ginzburg "We don't care who will win the election, Palestinian or Israeli. We More

Kavaljit Singh (2018-05-15). Argentina's Peso Crisis, Capital Flows and Financial Fragility in Emerging Markets. counterpunch.org On May 4, the Banco Central de la Republica Argentina, the country's central bank, raised policy interest rates to a whopping 40 percent to stem the rapid depreciation of the national currency, the peso. The surprise rate increase was the third in a week after the central bank failed to halt the decline in the More

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-15). Oklahoma GOP Candidate Denies Advocating Euthanasia for Poor and Disabled People. alternet.org Christopher Barnett claims his Facebook account was hacked and that offensive posts were added by someone else. | Oklahoma Republican gubernatorial candidate Christopher Barnett apparently made repugnant comments over the weekend advocating euthanasia for poor and disabled people who are unable to support themselves — but he now argues that the remarks were fraudulently made in his name. The issue first erupted when a series of posts and comments raised the disturbing ideas on Barnett's campaign Facebook page. The remarks have since been removed, but several outlets and others documented them before they were taken down. The comments came in reply to an initial poll posted on the page asking: "Should a person be required to apply for 2 jobs a week if receiving Food stamps and take any job offered to them to gain employment and if they refuse, they lose their. . .

Kerry Eleveld, Daily Kos (2018-05-15). Trump Seriously Follows Pence Around Just to Make Sure VP Doesn't Get More Media Attention. alternet.org The president's schedule is primarily about adulation. | If anyone ever harbored the notion that Donald Trump's travel schedule had anything to do with international diplomacy or even helping the Republican party through the midterms, forget about it. The chief motivation behind public appearances of the pettiest and most pitiful of all presidents primarily revolves around making sure he upstages his vice president, Mike Pence. When Pence was slated to keynote the National Rifle Association convention that Trump never even planned on attending, for instance, Trump suddenly wanted in, writes Politico. That led to a change of plans in the West Wing, according to two people familiar with the arrangement, and nearly a week after the NRA announced Pence would speak, the president was added to the schedule to speak moments after Pence. It wasn't the first time Trump has changed his. . .

Zaid Jilani (2018-05-15). No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer Defends Israeli Military Actions in Gaza. theintercept.com Amid a growing chorus of condemnation of Israeli violence by American lawmakers this week, the House's second-highest ranking Democratic, Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, defended Israel's violence against Palestinian protesters and stood by the Trump administration's controversial decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. | "Israel's in a tough situation. It's trying to defend its borders," Hoyer said in response to a question from The Intercept at a pen-and-pad session on Tuesday with reporters on Capitol Hill. "All the world would hope that it would be done so in a peaceful manner, but when you have a terrorist organization in front of you, that is historically and continuing to use violence, that makes it very tough." | Hoyer, the minority whip, was referring to a threat he claimed Israel faces from Hamas. But it was unarmed civilian protesters, not militants,…

Democracy Now! (2018-05-15). Gazan Writer: Protesters Are Seeking Freedom from World's Largest Concentration Camp. democracynow.org Funerals are being held across Gaza today for the 61 Palestinians killed by the Israeli military, which opened fire into crowds of unarmed demonstrators protesting the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the ongoing Israeli occupation. Among the victims shot dead by an Israeli sniper was 30-year-old Fadi Abu Salmi, who used a wheelchair and had both his legs amputated. Another victim was 8-month-old Laila al-Ghandour, who died early this morning after inhaling tear gas fired by the Israeli military, including tear gas dropped by Israeli drones. For more, we speak with Muhammad Shehada, writer and activist from Gaza and a student of development studies at Lund University, Sweden. He writes for Haaretz, The Forward and other publications. His latest article for The Forward is titled "All We in Gaza Want Is That Israel Recognize Our Humanity."

Democracy Now! (2018-05-15). Headlines for May 15, 2018. democracynow.org Death Toll in Gaza Rises to 61, After Israeli Military Massacres Protesters, South Africa & Turkey Recall Ambassadors to Israel over Murder of Palestinians, Jewish Activists March in D.C. to Protest Opening of U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, Hundreds Arrested in Nationwide Day of Action for New Poor People's Campaign, NYT: DeVos's Education Dept. Stalls Probes into For-Profit Schools, Catalan Parliament Elects Pro-Independence Candidate as President, Report: Colombian Army Executed Up to 10,000 Civilians, Claiming They Were Rebels, NYT: Two Dozen People Killed by Carbon Monoxide After Leaving on Keyless Cars, Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Death Row Prisoner Robert McCoy…

Democracy Now! (2018-05-15). For Palestinians, New U.S. Embassy Is a Symbol for Gaza Protests—But Mass Oppression Is Root Cause. democracynow.org While the Israeli military was carrying out a massacre against Palestinian protesters in Gaza, senior members of the Trump administration gathered in Jerusalem for the opening of the U.S. Embassy. Among those who attended were President Trump's daughter, White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump; her husband, senior adviser Jared Kushner; and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. The Trump administration's decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem has sparked widespread condemnation, including in the city of Jerusalem itself, where demonstrators gathered Monday to protest the ceremony. For more, we speak with Budour Hassan, a Palestinian writer and project coordinator for the Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights.

RT (2018-05-15). 'Ultimately done damage': Haspel condemns CIA torture in attempt to win over Democrats. rt.com Gina Haspel, US President Donald Trump's nominee to be the next CIA director, has penned a letter admitting that the spy agency should not have carried out the post-9/11 torture and detention program. |
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Democracy Now! (2018-05-15). Palestinians Mark 70th Anniversary of Nakba After Israel Kills 61 & Wounds 2,700 Protesters in Gaza. democracynow.org The Israeli military killed at least 61 Palestinians in Gaza and wounded 2,700 more for protesting Monday's opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the Israeli occupation. It was the deadliest day for Palestinian protesters since they launched the nonviolent Great March of Return on March 30. Palestinian leaders are accusing the Israeli military of carrying out war crimes during Monday's crackdown. More protests and a general strike across the Palestinian territories are planned for today. We get an update from Gaza with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous.

Democracy Now! (2018-05-15). "The Disaster of My Life": Nakba Survivor on the Day Israelis Bombed & Invaded His Village in 1948. democracynow.org Palestinians are staging a new round of protests in Gaza today to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or the Day of Catastrophe, when more than 700,000 Palestinians were forced to flee or were expelled from their homes. Today's protests come after the Israeli military killed 61 unarmed Palestinian protesters on Monday. In total, since the Palestinians launched the Great March of Return protests on March 30, the Israeli military has killed at least 109 Palestinians and wounded 12,000 people. For more, we speak with a Nakba survivor: 86-year-old Mahmoud Salah, who was born in a village just outside of Jerusalem that was bombed and invaded when he was a teenager in 1948.

Cora Currier (2018-05-15). Gina Haspel and the Fiction of a Feminist CIA. theintercept.com Since the announcement of Gina Haspel as the Trump administration's nominee to lead the CIA, the White House, the agency, and its defenders have leaned heavily on the fact of Haspel's gender, singling out its historic significance, and suggesting that she ought to be supported because of it. They use it to undermine critics who believe that the most salient thing to consider about Haspel is her role overseeing a CIA black site prison in Thailand, where people were tortured, and her role in the destruction of videotapes of interrogation sessions. | White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted last weekend that "any Democrat who claims to support women's empowerment and our national security but opposes her nomination is a total hypocrite," while Trump's tweets often mention she's "a woman." | There's obvious hypocrisy in the Trump administration claiming to support…

wsws.org (2018-05-15). Election result in Iraq portends further political and social conflict. wsws.org No grouping of parties has won anywhere near the support needed to form a government.

RT (2018-05-15). Dark transparency: How accountability tool turned into instrument of corruption. rt.com Transparency in politics is usually seen as a crucial element to a functioning democracy, but the flip side to that openness and accountability is the corruption that it inadvertently enables. |
RT.com

RT (2018-05-15). All aboard the deportation bus! Georgia governor candidate launches campaign tour. rt.com A Republican candidate in Georgia unveiled his "Deportation Bus Tour," a campaign gimmick that will see him tour the US state's sanctuary cities drumming up support for his tough immigration policies. |
RT.com

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-15). Kidnappings, Killings in DR Congo's Virunga National Park. hrw.org Virunga Park Ranger Rachel Masika Baraka pictured in an undated photo. | © Virunga Park | Unidentified assailants killed 25-year-old park ranger Rachel Masika Baraka and kidnapped two British tourists and their Congolese driver in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo's Virunga National Park on Friday. | They were part of an organized tourist trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to stunning volcanos and incredible biodiversity, including the critically endangered mountain gorillas. The three were released on Sunday. No information was made public on whether ransoms were paid. | The incident highlights the increasing dangers in Virunga and the surrounding areas. Undated handout photo issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of Bethan Davies and Robert Jesty, the two Britons who were kidnapped…

Last Process: 50 Citations 2018-05-16 20:52:14 GMT (14:54 MDT)

2018-05-16: Social Media Postees

Please be social by posting these 'POSTEES' on social media!

Senate Intel Committee Splits from Nunes-Led House Panel — Agrees Putin Interfered in 2016 to Help Trump
Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet | alternet.org | 2018-05-16
"There is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with out 2016 elections. " | The Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday split from their colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee, agreeing with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help then-candidate Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. The announcement of the completed review of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on Russian activities in the 2016 U. S. elections was announced in a press release from committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) on Wednesday. "We so no reason to dispute the [IC] conclusions," Burr said. "There is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with out 2016 elections. Committee vice chairman Mark Warner (D-CA) agreed the ICA conclusions "were accurate and on point," adding Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the interference. . .
www.alternet.org/senate-intel-committee-splits-nunes-led-house-panel-agrees-putin-interfered-2016-help-trump

Mueller Subpoenas Social Media Expert Who Worked With Longtime Trump Adviser Roger Stone During The Campaign
Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet | alternet.org | 2018-05-16
The move suggests the special counsel is honing in on Stone's link to WikiLeaks. | Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed a social media expertwho advised Roger Stone during the 2016 presidential campaign, Reuters reports. Jason Sullivan, who worked for Stone's pro-Trump political action committee, received the subpoenas last week, and provide insight into Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. As Reuters notes, Mueller is likely probing how much Stone knew about a hack orchestrated by the Russian government and disseminated via WikiLeaks. Stone has denied any wrongdoing. As Reuters reports, "Mueller also has been probing whether anyone associated with the Trump campaign may have helped Assange or the Russians time or target the release of hacked emails and other social media promoting Trump or critical of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. " | p. p1 {margin: 0. 0px 0. 0px 0. 0px 0. 0px; font: 11. 0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} | p. p2 {margin: 0. 0px 0. 0px 0. 0px 0. 0px; font: 11. 0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 13. 0px} | span. s1 {font-kerning: none}. . .
www.alternet.org/mueller-subpoenas-social-media-expert-who-worked-longtime-trump-adviser-roger-stone-during-campaign

Here Are the 5 Biggest Bombshells from Senate Transcripts on the Trump Tower Meeting
Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet | alternet.org | 2018-05-16
The massive document dump creates more questions than it answers. | The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday released transcripts and hundreds of pages of related materials from interviews with Donald Trump Jr. and other key players in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Here are the 5 biggest bombshells from that release. 1. A Mysterious Blocked CallerAfter speaking with Emin Agalarov, who set up the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, Donald Trump Jr. made an 11-minute phone call to a blocked number–and told the Senate Judiciary Committee he can't remember who he spoke with. As CNN's Jim Sciutto highlights, Democrats have noted that former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski testified that then-candidate Donald Trump's "primary residence has a blocked number. "2. 'Admitting' CollusionAfter news of the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower meeting became public, participant "Ike" Kaveladze received an email from an "unknown. . .
www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/here-are-5-biggest-bombshells-senate-transcripts-trump-tower-meeting

Fox News Guest Seriously Says Three-Fifths Compromise Gave 'Humanhood to Black People&#039
Media Matters Staff, Media Matters | alternet.org | 2018-05-16
This came after he told another panelist to "just shut up. " | From the May 15 edition of Fox News' The Ingraham Angle: LEO TERRELL: Let me just simply say this, Laura, since I love history and government. When this constitution was created, me, because I was black, I was considered three-fifths of a human being. KEVIN JACKSON: That's just nonsense. TERRELL: He's absolutely right about the historical shame of blacks being considered property when this country was created. [. . . ]JACKSON: First of all the Three-Fifths Compromise was essentially what this particular gentleman doesn't understand was it was to give humanhood to black people. Spike Lee learned that and it was an embarrassment to him. So all this nonsense about America, look, where do you want to live? Related Stories: Here's Why Demands to 'Respect' Trump Voters Are a Trap — And How Democrats Can Win AnywaySpike Lee Goes Off on 'Motherf*****' Trump at Cannes for Failure to Denounce Hate GroupsMedia Outlets Are Having Trouble Keeping Up with Hate Crime Reports in Trump Era…
www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/fox-news-guest-seriously-says-three-fifths-compromise-gave-humanhood-black-people

Will Democrats Be Able to Preserve Net Neutrality After All?
truth-out.org | truth-out.org | 2018-05-16
Your support is crucial to keeping ethical journalism alive! Donate now to keep our writers on the streets, covering the most important issues and beats. | The impending death of net neutrality looked pretty much set in stone, but congressional Democrats are giving it another shot to live on. On Wednesday, the US Senate will hold a vote to reverse the FEC's previous decision. Can net neutrality be spared after all? | I don't want to get anyone's hopes up — the answer to that question is "probably not." Although the initiative is likely to succeed in the Senate where it has the support of every Democrat as well as Republican Senator Susan Collins (making it a 50-49 vote with John McCain absent,) it will have a much bigger hurdle to clear in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
www.truth-out.org/news/item/44496-will-democrats-be-able-to-preserve-net-neutrality-after-all

Senate Panel Backs Gina Haspel for CIA Chief
Staff | truthdig.com | 2018-05-16
Winning support from eight Republicans and two Democrats on the Intelligence Committee, her confirmation vote by the full Senate could take place before the end of the week. | The post Senate Panel Backs Gina Haspel for CIA Chief appeared first on Truthdig: Expert Reporting, Current News, Provocative Columnists.
truthdig.com/articles/senate-panel-backs-gina-haspel-for-cia-chief/

Trump and his GOP Congress: Complicit in crimes against democracy
John Wojcik | peoplesworld.org | 2018-05-16
Rudy Giuliani, the newest addition to President Trump's legal defense team, has added his voice to the list of Republicans demanding that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrap up his investigations of the president and those around him, claiming, as did Vice President Pence last week, that there has been no finding of proof of "collusion" …

Trump and his GOP Congress: Complicit in crimes against democracy

Writing Off Democracy in Venezuela, US Press and Politicians Dream of a Coup
Alan MacLeod | fair.org | 2018-05-16
When are elections free and fair, according to corporate media? When the US government says they are. | The May 20 Venezuelan presidential elections pit Hugo Chavez's successor, President Nicolas Maduro, against opposition challenger Henri Falcon. Maduro has called for the United Nations to observe and oversee the contest. Despite calling for elections throughout 2017, many local opposition groups, together with the US government, have demanded no observers should come, arguing that it would "validate" the elections, and have preemptively decided they will not recognize the victor. Miami Herald ( 5/2/18) | The US State Department ( 2/8/18) has cast doubt on the validity of the elections, claiming they represent a "dismantling" of Venezuela's democracy, as "they do not have the agreement of all political parties." That the country is ruled by a dictator presiding over fake elections is taken as…
fair.org/home/writing-off-democracy-in-venezuela-us-press-and-politicians-dream-of-a-coup/

What the United States Could Learn from Venezuelan Democracy
teleSUR | mintpressnews.com | 2018-05-16
Vice President Mike Pence called on Venezuela to suspend its upcoming elections, only months after having clamored for them to be held. But is the United States really the model democracy it claims to be? | The post What the United States Could Learn from Venezuelan Democracy appeared first on MintPress News.

What the United States Could Learn from Venezuelan Democracy

Of Babies, Marriages and Illiberal Democracies
Daniel Warner | counterpunch.org | 2018-05-16
Newspaper front pages are showing pictures of a British royal baby and preparation for a royal wedding in one of the world's oldest democracies while in Poland, Hungary, Austria and other countries serious questions are being raised about the decline of democracy. Why are people so fascinated by the birth of Prince Louis Arthur and…
counterpunch.org/2018/05/16/of-babies-marriages-and-illiberal-democracies/

Big Primary Wins for Socialists and Progressives Who Ran on Popular Demands
truth-out.org | truth-out.org | 2018-05-16
Clouds form a backdrop for a sign outside a polling station as a storm system moves in over Northwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 15, 2018. Voters showed out in spite of the looming rain to grant wins to progressive candidates. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers / NurPhoto via Getty Images) | Did you know? Truthout is a nonprofit publication and the vast majority of our budget comes from reader donations. It's easy to support our work — click here to get started. | " This is what happens when you run grassroots campaigns." | " We're just getting started." | " Welcome to the political revolution." | Defying national and state-level Democratic establishment forces that have worked to crowd out left-wing candidates and demonstrating that there is a deep hunger among the American electorate for…
www.truth-out.org/news/item/44494-big-primary-wins-for-socialists-and-progressives-who-ran-on-popular-demands-that-were-deemed-impossible

America Recedes from Dominance in Afghanistan and Iraq
Vijay Prashad, Independent Media Institute | alternet.org | 2018-05-16
A women's rights advocate and the journalist who threw his shoe at George W. Bush are among the leaders defining Iraq's political future. | It's worthwhile to note that in both Afghanistan and Iraq, where the United States launched wars in 2001 and 2003, the United States is on the back foot. In one, Afghanistan, the Taliban has made significant gains in the western part of the country. It continues to bedevil the government in Kabul as well as the U. S. forces in the country. Parliamentary elections have not been held for three years. They have been set for October of this year, but will likely be postponed once more. No elections can be reasonably held in this climate. In the other, Iraq, the parliamentary elections of May 12 appear to be won by the Sairoon (On the Move) list, which is headed by. . .
www.alternet.org/world/afghanistan-and-iraq-america-recedes-dominance

The White House Just Completely Eliminated Its Top Cybersecurity Job
Laura Clawson, Daily Kos | alternet.org | 2018-05-16
The new national security adviser said the role isn't necessary anymore. | Less than two years after Russia penetrated state election systems, the White House has eliminated the cybersecurity coordinator position on the National Security Council. A memorandum circulated by an aide to the new national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the post was no longer considered necessary because lower-level officials had already made cybersecurity issues a "core function" of the president's national security team. Can someone please ask John Bolton if he's eliminating all the other top-level jobs overseeing things that are also done by lower-level officials? Including the things he thinks are important, like, uh, bombing countries? I didn't think so. Bolton appears to think he's still living in the George W. Bush years, the last time he was in government: Mr. Bolton has virtually no cyber-related experience.
www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/white-house-just-completely-eliminated-its-top-cybersecurity-job

Paul Ryan Is Lying to the Public About His Real Position on DREAMers–He's Actually Trying to Deport Them
Gabe Ortiz, Daily Kos | alternet.org | 2018-05-16
The outgoing majority leader's actions clearly demonstrate that he wants them gone. | In January 2017, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan assured a frightened Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient and her young daughter that they had nothing to worry about: "I want you to know that DACA has helped me. Do you think that I should be deported? " the woman asked, standing alongside her daughter. "No," Ryan replied. "First of all, I can see that you love your daughter and you are a nice person who has a great future ahead of you, and I hope your future is here. The young mom does indeed deserve the chance to have a great future, and that future should be here in the only country she's ever known as home. Ryan, on the other hand, was full of shit: Ryan in a closed-door meeting. . .
www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/paul-ryan-lying-public-about-his-real-position-dreamers-hes-actually-trying-deport

Lawsuit: Trump Using New Citizenship Question on Census to Raise Campaign Cash
Mark Gruenberg | mintpressnews.com | 2018-05-16
Republican President Donald Trump — days before his Commerce Department announced the Census Bureau's citizenship questions — used his approval of the query as a tactic to raise campaign cash. | The post Lawsuit: Trump Using New Citizenship Question on Census to Raise Campaign Cash appeared first on MintPress News.

Lawsuit: Trump Using New Citizenship Question on Census to Raise Campaign Cash

Anti-Islam Movement Has New Rallying Cry — Let's Delete Verses of the Quran
Mehdi Hasan | theintercept.com | 2018-05-16
You think life is bad for Muslims in Trump's America? Spare a thought for the Muslims of France. | Over the past few years, they have been collectively blamed, and punished, for a series of horrific terror attacks carried out in France by so-called jihadists. The latest, a knife attack in Paris by a man shouting "Allahu akbar," killed one person and injured four others last weekend. | While anti-Muslim bigotry has become a hallmark of the Republican right in America, in France it is a truly bipartisan affair. Islamophobia is peddled by the left and right alike, with both socialists and conservatives falling over one another to defend French secularism, or laàØcité, by demonizing French Muslims. | Consider: Successive French governments have criminalized the face veil and banned the headscarf in schools. French mayors have targeted…
theintercept.com/2018/05/16/anti-muslim-movement-has-new-rallying-cry-lets-delete-verses-of-the-quran/

'No focus on Russian activities' – Donald Jr. on Trump Tower meeting in interview transcripts
RT | rt.com | 2018-05-16
The 2016 Trump Tower meeting set up to reveal dirt on Hillary Clinton "infuriated" Jared Kushner, was a "waste of time" and had nothing to do with Clinton, according to transcripts of interviews with the meeting's participants. …
www.rt.com/usa/426907-trump-tower-meeting-transcripts/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Norman Finkelstein: Palestinians Have the Right to Break Free of the "Unlivable" Cage That Is Gaza
Democracy Now! | democracynow.org | 2018-05-16
This spring's mass nonviolent protests in Gaza come as the human rights conditions in the "open-air prison" have even further deteriorated. Last year, the United Nations issued a report warning Gaza is already "unlivable." The majority of its water is contaminated, and electricity is limited to only a few hours a day. About half the population is children. Almost all are refugees who are prevented from ever leaving the tiny Gaza Strip, one of the most densely populated places on Earth. For more, we speak with Norman Finkelstein, author and scholar whose most recent book is titled "Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom."
www.democracynow.org/2018/5/16/norman_finkelstein_palestinians_have_the_right

A Wake-Up Call for Dems? 4 Women With Socialist Platforms Win PA Primary to Replace Male Incumbents
Democracy Now! | democracynow.org | 2018-05-16
Four Pennsylvania state House candidates backed by the Democratic Socialists of America won their Democratic primaries Tuesday: Summer Lee, a lawyer and labor organizer; Elizabeth Fiedler, a former public radio reporter; Sara Innamorato, the founder of a women's advocacy group; and Kristin Seale, who works at an energy conservation nonprofit. Two of the women unseated male incumbent state representatives in Tuesday's primaries. For more, we speak with Ryan Grim, D.C. bureau chief for The Intercept.
www.democracynow.org/2018/5/16/a_wake_up_call_for_dems

Malaysia: Release of prisoner of conscience Anwar Ibrahim a momentous day for human rights
amnesty.org | amnesty.org | 2018-05-16
The release of long-time Malaysian opposition leader and Amnesty International prisoner of conscience Anwar Ibrahim is a landmark moment for human rights in the country, the organization said today. | Anwar, who has twice been imprisoned on politically motivated "sodomy" and corruption charges, received a royal pardon following last week's election win for the Pakatan Harapan coalition led by Mahathir Mohamad. Amnesty International has campaigned on Anwar's case for 20 years. | "Anwar should never have been jailed in the first place, and his long overdue release is an important step towards the restoration of justice and human rights in Malaysia after so many years of political persecution by previous governments," said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's Secretary General. | "This day should go down as a landmark moment for human rights in the country, but the new government must not stop here.
www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/05/malaysia-release-of-prisoner-of-conscience-anwar-ibrahim-a-momentous-day-for-human-rights/

Key Democrats Back Gina Haspel's Confirmation as CIA Director, Despite Her Record on Torture
Democracy Now! | democracynow.org | 2018-05-16
The Senate Intelligence Committee approved President Trump's nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel, sending her confirmation to the full Senate floor. Haspel is a 33-year CIA veteran who was responsible for running a secret CIA black site in Thailand in 2002 where at least one prisoner was waterboarded and tortured in other ways during her tenure. She also oversaw the destruction of videotapes showing torture at the black site. A number of key Democrats have come out backing Haspel, after she said the CIA torture program should never have existed, even though she repeatedly refused to call the CIA's post-9/11 treatment of prisoners "torture," and declined to state whether she believes torture is immoral, during her confirmation hearing last week. For more, we speak with Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief for The Intercept. His latest story is headlined "Ahead of Vote on Gina Haspel, Senate Pulls Access to Damning Classified Memo."
www.democracynow.org/2018/5/16/key_democrats_back_gina_haspels_confirmation

Norman Finkelstein: Outrage over Israeli Massacre Shows Power of Nonviolent Palestinian Resistance
Democracy Now! | democracynow.org | 2018-05-16
The United States is refusing to criticize Israel after Israeli forces shot dead at least 61 unarmed Palestinian protesters taking part in the Great March of Return in Gaza Monday. More than 2,700 Palestinians were injured. At the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has blocked a call for an international investigation into Israel's actions. On Tuesday, she repeatedly blamed the violence on Hamas while praising Israel for showing restraint. During her remarks, Nikki Haley refused to place any blame on Israel. She later walked out of the Security Council chamber when the Palestinian ambassador to the U.N., Riyad Mansour, addressed the council. Since Palestinian protests began on March 30, Israel forces have killed at least 112 Palestinians and injured more than 12,000. On Tuesday, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said she was closely following the situation in Gaza and would "take any action warranted" to prosecute crimes. Meanwhile, the United Nations human rights office has condemned the "appalling deadly violence" by Israeli security forces in Gaza. For more, we speak with Norman Finkelstein, author and scholar whose most recent book is titled "Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom."
www.democracynow.org/2018/5/16/norman_finkelstein_outrage_over_israeli_massacre

Koch Brothers-Backed Effort to Sabotage Unions Uses Secret "Tool Kit" to Encourage Members to Quit
Democracy Now! | democracynow.org | 2018-05-16
Internal documents obtained by The Guardian show how a network of right-wing think tanks have launched a nationwide effort to convince members of public sector unions to stop paying dues. The effort is backed by $80 million in funding from billionaires like the Koch brothers, who expect a favorable decision from the Supreme Court this month in a case that could let workers who benefit from union-negotiated contracts avoid paying union dues if they opt not to join the union. The campaign comes as North Carolina teachers staged a massive walkout today, shuttering hundreds of schools, on the heels of major strikes by teacher unions in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arizona. For more, we speak with Ed Pilkington, chief reporter for The Guardian in the U.S. His new report is an exclusive look at "How rightwing groups wield secret 'toolkit' to plot against US unions."
www.democracynow.org/2018/5/16/koch_brothers_backed_effort_to_sabotage

Bill Aimed at Saving Community Banks Is Already Killing Them
David Dayen | theintercept.com | 2018-05-16
After initial reluctance, House Republicans have finally reached an agreement to move forward on a bipartisan bank deregulation bill that the Senate passed in March. Its stated aim — to help rural community banks thrive against growing Wall Street power — appears to have been enough to power it across the finish line. | But banking industry analysts say the bill is already having the opposite effect, and its loosening of regulations on medium-sized banks is encouraging a rush of consolidation — all of which ends with an increasing number of community banks being swallowed up and closed down. | "We absolutely expect bank consolidation to accelerate," Wells Fargo's Mike Mayo told CNBC the day after the Senate passed the deregulation bill in March. The reason? Banks no longer face the prospect of stricter and more costly regulatory scrutiny as they…
theintercept.com/2018/05/16/wall-street-bank-regulation-bill/

The art of disaster: 5 times Trump kept election promises, but probably shouldn't have (VIDEO)
RT | rt.com | 2018-05-16
Donald Trump has been hailed as a leader who keeps his promises. But the horrific violence and diplomatic rows in the wake of the US embassy's move to Jerusalem illustrate how not all campaign pledges are created equal. …
www.rt.com/usa/426881-trump-keeps-promises-results/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Germany's Left Party demands independent German-European imperialist policy
wsws.org | wsws.org | 2018-05-16
Like the Greens 20 years ago, the Left Party now stands ready to paint the return of German imperialism to the world stage "in the brightest possible colours."
www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/16/link-m16.html

Here's Why Demands to 'Respect' Trump Voters Are a Trap — And How Democrats Can Win Anyway
Cody Fenwick, AlterNet | alternet.org | 2018-05-15
Columnist Paul Waldman argued in the Washington Post that demanding Democrats respect Trump voters misses the point. | Since the 2016 presidential election — and even before that — commentators across the ideological spectrum have insisted that a key problem in American politics is a lack of respect. Democrats, these writers argue, show blatant disrespect for Republican voters, and particularly for President Donald Trump's voters, and they won't be able to reverse their electoral fortunes until they fix this fact. But as Paul Waldman explained in a Washington Post op-ed on Tuesday, this view misses the point. It's true that many Republican voters feel completely disrespected by Democrats. But that's not because of what Democrats do — it's because of conservative media. He explains: The right has a gigantic media apparatus that is devoted to convincing people that liberals disrespect them, plus a. . .
www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/heres-why-demands-respect-trump-voters-are-trap-and-how-democrats-can-win-anyway

Fox's Tucker Carlson Abruptly Ends Contentious Interview After Dem Calls Him Out for Being More Bothered by Cursing Than Kids Being Shot
Tana Ganeva, Raw Story | alternet.org | 2018-05-15
In a new campaign ad, New Mexico Democratic congressional candidate Pat Davis–a former cop–bluntly declared "F*ck the NRA. " | On Tuesday, the parents of two teen girls killed in the school shooting in Parkland announced that they're running for Broward County's school board. Their foray into politics marks the latest instance of grieving family members and survivors of gun violence contesting the National Rife Association's out-sized influence on the US political system. As many activists have pointed out, the gun lobby's power has cowed America's elected officials into merely offering "thoughts and prayers" after every massacre. Activists are sick of it and so are some Democrats running for office. In a new campaign ad, New Mexico Democratic congressional candidate Pat Davis–a former cop–bluntly declares "Fuck the NRA. Fuck the NRA. Fuck the NRA. "On Tuesday night, he appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight. "So that's. . .
www.alternet.org/foxs-tucker-carlson-abruptly-ends-contentious-interview-after-dem-calls-him-out-being-more-bothered

'Like A Teenager Learning to Drive': CNN Panel Explains Why Trump's Erratic Foreign Policy Is So Risky
Cody Fenwick, AlterNet | alternet.org | 2018-05-15
"We went from 'fire and fury' to 'open and honorable. '" | Diplomacy between the United States and North Korea is beginning to hit some speed bumps as the planned summit in Singapore approaches, exemplifying the problems inherent in President Donald Trump's haphazard and inconsistent approach to foreign policy. "The president is like a teenager learning to drive," said Democratic strategist Paul Begala Tuesday night on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360. " "Flooring the gas, and then slamming the break. We went from 'fire and fury' to 'open and honorable. '"The North Korean regime announced earlier in the day that current military exercises planned between the United States and South Korea are a provocation. It canceled talks with South Korea and threatened it could do the same for the upcoming meeting with Trump. "What this shows is how unprepared the United States is," said Karine Jean-Pierre, a spokeswoman. . .
www.alternet.org/teenager-learning-drive-cnn-panel-explains-why-trumps-erratic-foreign-policy-so-risky

While US Refuses to Blame Israel, International Court Could Launch War Crimes Probe Into Gaza Killings
Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now | alternet.org | 2018-05-15
Democracy Now's Amy Goodman and Juan González speak with Tareq Baconi, author of the book "Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistance. " | The Israeli military's massacre of Palestinians Monday has sparked widespread international condemnation. South Africa has recalled its ambassador to Israel. Turkey has recalled both its ambassadors to Israel and the United States and has declared three days of mourning starting on Friday. Palestinian leaders have accused the Israeli military of committing war crimes, but the United States has blocked a UN Security Council statement calling for an independent investigation into the killings. Meanwhile, Israeli officials have tried to claim Hamas is behind the protests in efforts to justify the killings. For more, we speak with Tareq Baconi, author of the book Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistance. He is a policy member at Al-Shabaka:. . .
www.alternet.org/while-us-refuses-blame-israel-international-court-could-launch-war-crimes-probe-gaza-killings

UN Sponsored Report on Israel's Responsibility for Apartheid in Relation to the Palestinian People
Richard Falk | globalresearch.ca | 2018-05-15
The report concludes that Israel is guilty of the continuing crime of apartheid as it is defined in the 1973 Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.
globalresearch.ca/un-sponsored-report-on-israels-responsibility-for-apartheid-in-relation-to-the-palestinian-people/5580825

Turkey's president: Short term victory, long term trouble
Conn Hallinan | peoplesworld.org | 2018-05-15
When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a presidential and parliamentary election June 24–jumping the gun by more than a year–the outcome seemed foreordained: the country is under a state of emergency, Erdogan has imprisoned more than 50,000 of his opponents, dismissed 140,000 from their jobs, jailed a presidential candidate, and launched an attack …

Turkey’s president: Short term victory, long term trouble

Malaysia's Elections: The Trust Deficit, the 1MDB-Najib Money-Laundering Scandal and the BN Defeat
Dr. Chandra Muzaffar | globalresearch.ca | 2018-05-15
The significance of the fourteenth General Election goes beyond Malaysian shores. 9th May will be remembered as the day when the multi-ethnic population of a country ousted the world's longest ruling coalition through the ballot-box in a peaceful atmosphere …
globalresearch.ca/a-historical-perspective-on-malaysias-elections-the-trust-deficit-and-the-bn-defeat/5640502

Trump Seriously Follows Pence Around Just to Make Sure VP Doesn't Get More Media Attention
Kerry Eleveld, Daily Kos | alternet.org | 2018-05-15
The president's schedule is primarily about adulation. | If anyone ever harbored the notion that Donald Trump's travel schedule had anything to do with international diplomacy or even helping the Republican party through the midterms, forget about it. The chief motivation behind public appearances of the pettiest and most pitiful of all presidents primarily revolves around making sure he upstages his vice president, Mike Pence. When Pence was slated to keynote the National Rifle Association convention that Trump never even planned on attending, for instance, Trump suddenly wanted in, writes Politico. That led to a change of plans in the West Wing, according to two people familiar with the arrangement, and nearly a week after the NRA announced Pence would speak, the president was added to the schedule to speak moments after Pence. It wasn't the first time Trump has changed his. . .
www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/trump-seriously-follows-pence-around-just-make-sure-vp-doesnt-get-more-media

Argentina's Peso Crisis, Capital Flows and Financial Fragility in Emerging Markets
Kavaljit Singh | counterpunch.org | 2018-05-15
On May 4, the Banco Central de la Republica Argentina, the country's central bank, raised policy interest rates to a whopping 40 percent to stem the rapid depreciation of the national currency, the peso. The surprise rate increase was the third in a week after the central bank failed to halt the decline in the…
counterpunch.org/2018/05/15/argentinas-peso-crisis-capital-flows-and-financial-fragility-in-emerging-markets/

Oklahoma GOP Candidate Denies Advocating Euthanasia for Poor and Disabled People
Cody Fenwick, AlterNet | alternet.org | 2018-05-15
Christopher Barnett claims his Facebook account was hacked and that offensive posts were added by someone else. | Oklahoma Republican gubernatorial candidate Christopher Barnett apparently made repugnant comments over the weekend advocating euthanasia for poor and disabled people who are unable to support themselves — but he now argues that the remarks were fraudulently made in his name. The issue first erupted when a series of posts and comments raised the disturbing ideas on Barnett's campaign Facebook page. The remarks have since been removed, but several outlets and others documented them before they were taken down. The comments came in reply to an initial poll posted on the page asking: "Should a person be required to apply for 2 jobs a week if receiving Food stamps and take any job offered to them to gain employment and if they refuse, they lose their. . .
www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/oklahoma-gop-candidate-denies-advocating-euthanasia-poor-and-disabled-people

Two Senate Democrats assure Haspel's confirmation as CIA director
wsws.org | wsws.org | 2018-05-15
Joe Donnelly of Indiana joined Joe Manchin of West Virginia to give the former torture supervisor a seemingly unassailable margin in the Senate.
www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/15/hasp-m15.html

For Palestinians, New U.S. Embassy Is a Symbol for Gaza Protests–But Mass Oppression Is Root Cause
Democracy Now! | democracynow.org | 2018-05-15
While the Israeli military was carrying out a massacre against Palestinian protesters in Gaza, senior members of the Trump administration gathered in Jerusalem for the opening of the U.S. Embassy. Among those who attended were President Trump's daughter, White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump; her husband, senior adviser Jared Kushner; and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. The Trump administration's decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem has sparked widespread condemnation, including in the city of Jerusalem itself, where demonstrators gathered Monday to protest the ceremony. For more, we speak with Budour Hassan, a Palestinian writer and project coordinator for the Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights.
www.democracynow.org/2018/5/15/for_palestinians_new_us_embassy_is

Kidnappings, Killings in DR Congo's Virunga National Park
Human Rights Watch | hrw.org | 2018-05-15
Virunga Park Ranger Rachel Masika Baraka pictured in an undated photo. | © Virunga Park | Unidentified assailants killed 25-year-old park ranger Rachel Masika Baraka and kidnapped two British tourists and their Congolese driver in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo's Virunga National Park on Friday. | They were part of an organized tourist trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to stunning volcanos and incredible biodiversity, including the critically endangered mountain gorillas. The three were released on Sunday. No information was made public on whether ransoms were paid. | The incident highlights the increasing dangers in Virunga and the surrounding areas. | Undated handout photo issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of Bethan Davies and Robert Jesty, the two Britons who were kidnapped…
www.hrw.org/news/2018/05/15/kidnappings-killings-dr-congos-virunga-national-park

'Ultimately done damage': Haspel condemns CIA torture in attempt to win over Democrats
RT | rt.com | 2018-05-15
Gina Haspel, US President Donald Trump's nominee to be the next CIA director, has penned a letter admitting that the spy agency should not have carried out the post-9/11 torture and detention program. …
www.rt.com/usa/426833-haspel-letter-democrats-nomination/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

"The Disaster of My Life": Nakba Survivor on the Day Israelis Bombed & Invaded His Village in 1948
Democracy Now! | democracynow.org | 2018-05-15
Palestinians are staging a new round of protests in Gaza today to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or the Day of Catastrophe, when more than 700,000 Palestinians were forced to flee or were expelled from their homes. Today's protests come after the Israeli military killed 61 unarmed Palestinian protesters on Monday. In total, since the Palestinians launched the Great March of Return protests on March 30, the Israeli military has killed at least 109 Palestinians and wounded 12,000 people. For more, we speak with a Nakba survivor: 86-year-old Mahmoud Salah, who was born in a village just outside of Jerusalem that was bombed and invaded when he was a teenager in 1948.
www.democracynow.org/2018/5/15/the_disaster_of_my_life_nakba

Palestinians Mark 70th Anniversary of Nakba After Israel Kills 61 & Wounds 2,700 Protesters in Gaza
Democracy Now! | democracynow.org | 2018-05-15
The Israeli military killed at least 61 Palestinians in Gaza and wounded 2,700 more for protesting Monday's opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the Israeli occupation. It was the deadliest day for Palestinian protesters since they launched the nonviolent Great March of Return on March 30. Palestinian leaders are accusing the Israeli military of carrying out war crimes during Monday's crackdown. More protests and a general strike across the Palestinian territories are planned for today. We get an update from Gaza with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous.
www.democracynow.org/2018/5/15/palestinians_mark_70th_anniversary_of_nakba

While U.S. Refuses to Blame Israel, Int'l Court Could Launch War Crimes Probe into Gaza Killings
Democracy Now! | democracynow.org | 2018-05-15
The Israeli military's massacre of Palestinians Monday has sparked widespread international condemnation. South Africa has recalled its ambassador to Israel. Turkey has recalled both its ambassadors to Israel and the United States and has declared three days of mourning starting on Friday. Palestinian leaders have accused the Israeli military of committing war crimes, but the United States has blocked a U.N. Security Council statement calling for an independent investigation into the killings. Meanwhile, Israeli officials have tried to claim Hamas is behind the protests in efforts to justify the killings. For more, we speak with Tareq Baconi, author of the book "Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistance." He is a policy member at Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network and a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
www.democracynow.org/2018/5/15/while_us_refuses_to_blame_israel

No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer Defends Israeli Military Actions in Gaza
Zaid Jilani | theintercept.com | 2018-05-15
Amid a growing chorus of condemnation of Israeli violence by American lawmakers this week, the House's second-highest ranking Democratic, Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, defended Israel's violence against Palestinian protesters and stood by the Trump administration's controversial decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. | "Israel's in a tough situation. It's trying to defend its borders," Hoyer said in response to a question from The Intercept at a pen-and-pad session on Tuesday with reporters on Capitol Hill. "All the world would hope that it would be done so in a peaceful manner, but when you have a terrorist organization in front of you, that is historically and continuing to use violence, that makes it very tough." | Hoyer, the minority whip, was referring to a threat he claimed Israel faces from Hamas. But it was unarmed civilian protesters, not militants,…
theintercept.com/2018/05/15/gaza-protests-israel-palestine-conflict-steny-hoyer/

Gazan Writer: Protesters Are Seeking Freedom from World's Largest Concentration Camp
Democracy Now! | democracynow.org | 2018-05-15
Funerals are being held across Gaza today for the 61 Palestinians killed by the Israeli military, which opened fire into crowds of unarmed demonstrators protesting the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the ongoing Israeli occupation. Among the victims shot dead by an Israeli sniper was 30-year-old Fadi Abu Salmi, who used a wheelchair and had both his legs amputated. Another victim was 8-month-old Laila al-Ghandour, who died early this morning after inhaling tear gas fired by the Israeli military, including tear gas dropped by Israeli drones. For more, we speak with Muhammad Shehada, writer and activist from Gaza and a student of development studies at Lund University, Sweden. He writes for Haaretz, The Forward and other publications. His latest article for The Forward is titled "All We in Gaza Want Is That Israel Recognize Our Humanity."
www.democracynow.org/2018/5/15/gazan_writer_protesters_are_seeking_freedom

Dark transparency: How accountability tool turned into instrument of corruption
RT | rt.com | 2018-05-15
Transparency in politics is usually seen as a crucial element to a functioning democracy, but the flip side to that openness and accountability is the corruption that it inadvertently enables. …
www.rt.com/usa/426804-how-transparency-hurts-democracy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

All aboard the deportation bus! Georgia governor candidate launches campaign tour
RT | rt.com | 2018-05-15
A Republican candidate in Georgia unveiled his "Deportation Bus Tour," a campaign gimmick that will see him tour the US state's sanctuary cities drumming up support for his tough immigration policies. …
www.rt.com/usa/426825-georgia-governor-deportation-bus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Gina Haspel and the Fiction of a Feminist CIA
Cora Currier | theintercept.com | 2018-05-15
Since the announcement of Gina Haspel as the Trump administration's nominee to lead the CIA, the White House, the agency, and its defenders have leaned heavily on the fact of Haspel's gender, singling out its historic significance, and suggesting that she ought to be supported because of it. They use it to undermine critics who believe that the most salient thing to consider about Haspel is her role overseeing a CIA black site prison in Thailand, where people were tortured, and her role in the destruction of videotapes of interrogation sessions. | White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted last weekend that "any Democrat who claims to support women's empowerment and our national security but opposes her nomination is a total hypocrite," while Trump's tweets often mention she's "a woman." | There's obvious hypocrisy in the Trump administration claiming to support…
theintercept.com/2018/05/15/gina-haspel-and-the-fiction-of-a-feminist-cia/

Election result in Iraq portends further political and social conflict
wsws.org | wsws.org | 2018-05-15
No grouping of parties has won anywhere near the support needed to form a government.
www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/15/iraq-m15.html

Venezuelans Value Peace and Democracy
Frederico Fuentes | counterpunch.org | 2018-05-14
'Venezuelans have time and again shown the world how much they value democracy and free elections', said Venezuelan activist Eulalia Reyes de Whitney. Campaigning is well underway for Venezuela's May 20 national vote to elect the nation's president and representatives to municipal councils and state legislatures. The elections are being held in the context of…
counterpunch.org/2018/05/14/venezuelans-value-peace-and-democracy/

Last Process: 50 Posttees 2018-05-16 20:52:14 GMT (14:49 MDT)