September 19, 2017

Graham-Cassidy is one of the sickest bills ever

Think Progress - A provision of the new Trumpcare bill gaining steam among Senate Republicans — a bill commonly referred to as “Graham-Cassidy” after its two leading proponents — would allow many insurers to drive up premiums the minute someone gets sick.

This provision allows states to obtain waivers from the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that no one can be charged a higher premium because of a “health status-related factor,” effectively allowing insurers to discriminate against people with pre-existing health conditions.

But that’s not all. Graham-Cassidy also potentially permits insurers to charge higher premiums “as a condition of enrollment or continued enrollment.”

Thus, a person who is already insured could be forced to pay much higher premiums as a condition of their “continued enrollment” in that health plan after they are diagnosed with a new health condition.

A new paper by the Center for American Progress’ Sam Berger and Emily Gee examines just how much insurers are likely to jack up premiums for various conditions. According to Berger and Gee’s analysis, the numbers are grim.

Some examples

One good reason not to pay much attention to Netanyahu

Polls

The Hill - Alabama Democrat Doug Jones is running just a few points behind his potential Republican opponents for a Senate seat in the deep-red state, according to a new poll.
The poll from Emerson College finds former Alabama state Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore leading Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) by a 14-point margin ahead of the GOP's special election primary runoff on Sept. 26. But both Republicans would hold only a slim advantage over Jones, according to the poll — Moore leads Jones by 4 percentage points, while Strange leads him by 3 points.

In Virginia, Democrat Norham is leading Republican Gillespie in the governor's race by 5 points.

Stat of the day

Estimated ratio of U.S. money spent on legal sports gambling to that spent on illegal sports gambling : 1:33

Politicians write lots of books. Here’s how far into them people read.

Nearly a quarter of Americans don't know or don't believe Muslims and aethists have First Amendment rights

Huffington Post - Nearly a quarter of Americans - 22 percent - either don’t know or don’t believe that U.S. Muslims are granted the same constitutional protections as other citizens. Roughly 20 percent don’t know or don’t think that atheists are protected under the First Amendment.

Some awful plans for Silicon Valley

110 organizations call for a diplomatic approach to North Korea

Earth Action - The United States and North Korea should step back from the brink of war in North East Asia, and instead adopt a diplomatic approach to prevent war, according to an appeal sent to these two governments, and to the UN Security Council, by members and affiliates of the Abolition 2000 global network to eliminate nuclear weapons.

110 organizations and over 200 additional civil society representatives from 44 countries endorsed the appeal. It highlights 'the increasing risk of war - and possibly even the use of nuclear weapons by miscalculation, accident, or intent,' calls for 'immediate commencement of negotiations to prevent a military conflict from erupting,' and urges 'the UN Security Council to prioritise a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

"We Shall Overcome" no longer copyrighted

Guardian -The first verse of the civil rights anthem We Shall Overcome is no longer under copyright, a New York federal judge ruled on Friday.

Described as the “most powerful song of the 20th century” by the Library of Congress, the suit against the existing copyright holders was brought last year by the same legal team who had successfully disputed longstanding ownership claims over Happy Birthday to You. 'No Fascist USA!': how hardcore punk fuels the Antifa movement

Lawyers leading the class action against the Richmond Organization and Ludlow Music, claimed We Shall Overcome was an adaptation of an African American spiritual and therefore in the public domain and had only later been adopted by folk singer Pete Seeger, copyrighted, and established as an anthem of the 1940s labor protest movement

Problems with California's legal pot rollout

NY Times - As regulators in California prepare for the start of recreational marijuana sales in January, people in the industry say they are concerned that the rollout may not be as smooth as was promised by the promoters of Prop 64, the ballot measure last November that legalized pot.

In addition to the low numbers of cannabis farmers who are joining the legalized system — only around one-tenth of growers have applied to county authorities for permits — there is the question of price.

Three years ago, when Colorado began its recreational marijuana program, prices at dispensaries there were significantly lower than the black market, providing an incentive for consumers to join the legal system.

The situation is reversed in California. There is so much pot being grown in California that the wholesale price has been falling sharply in recent years and any pot sold on the legal market in January will have the added costs of taxes, fees and mandatory testing for pesticides and other chemicals

Will Paul Manafort flip?

Political Wire

Renato Mariotti: We now know the Mueller probe will likely result in charges. More importantly, the tactic that Mueller is using — telling Manafort that he will be charged — is generally used when prosecutors are trying to get a defendant to ‘flip.’ This strongly suggests what we’ve long expected — that Mueller is trying to ‘flip’ Manafort.

What causes a target to ‘flip’? The #1 factor is assembling sufficient evidence to make it likely that the person will be convicted and serve a prison sentence. Mueller’s team is being as aggressive as possible to indicate to Manafort that he should be concerned about that possibility. Subpoenaing Manafort’s aides and his lawyer… shows his focus on Manafort.

Today's teenagers less likely to fit stereotypes

Washington Post -[A new sdtudy shows] that teenagers are increasingly delaying activities that had long been seen as rites of passage into adulthood. The study, published in the journal Child Development, found that the percentage of adolescents in the U.S. who have a driver’s license, who have tried alcohol, who date, and who work for pay has plummeted since 1976, with the most precipitous decreases in the past decade.

The declines appeared across race, geographic, and socioeconomic lines, and in rural, urban, and suburban areas.

To be sure, more than half of teens still engage in these activities, but the majorities have slimmed considerably. Between 1976 and 1979, 86 percent of high school seniors had gone on a date; between 2010 and 2015 only 63 percent had, the study found. During the same period, the portion who had ever earned money from working plunged from 76 to 55 percent. And the portion who had tried alcohol plummeted from 93 percent between 1976 and 1979 to 67 percent between 2010 and 2016.

Teens have also reported a steady decline in sexual activity in recent decades, as the portion of high school students who have had sex fell from 54 percent in 1991 to 41 percent in 2015, according to Centers for Disease Control statistics.

White college educated far less likely to think poverty is a critical issue

Salon - White college-educated Americans are far less likely to say poverty is a critical issue — only 37 percent, compared to 47 percent of white non-college-educated Americans and a majority of Hispanic and black Americans (at 52 and 69 percent, respectively). According to PRRI, white college-educated Americans are also less likely than non-college whites to say that children living in poverty is a critical issue to them (49 percent compared to 60 percent). Only 36 percent of college-educated whites say lack of well-paying jobs is a major problem facing communities.

Progressives to keep an eye on: Jeff Merkley

Politico- Almost no one knows who he is, but Jeff Merkley thinks there’s a spot for him on the left flank of the 2020 Democratic primary—whether or not Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren run.

He’s already beaten Warren to Iowa, and spent more time in Des Moines this month than Sanders has since last year’s caucuses.

A senator from Oregon for nearly nine years, Merkley is probably best known for being the only colleague of Bernie Sanders to endorse the Vermont senator last year. Most people could walk by him on the street, or even on the Senate subway, and not know who he is—a Politico/Morning Consult poll this week showed that 73 percent of Americans had never heard his name.

He has no campaign staff, and has raised no money. But he’s hoping that the credibility he has with progressive activists and the wild new world of lefty politics will change all that. So he’s starting early, even if the odds don’t look great right now.

Word: Ken Burns' Vietnam

institute for Public Accuracy - Robert Buzzanco is professor of history at the University of Houston. He has written extensively about the Vietnam War, including the books Masters of War: Military Dissent and Politics in the Vietnam Era, and Vietnam and the Transformation of American Life. He also co-edited A Companion to the Vietnam War with Marilyn B. Young.
Robert Buzzanco -Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, America’s best known documentarians, are back with an 18-hour examination of the Vietnam War. Liberals and establishment media are praising it, with George Will calling it a ‘masterpiece’ and corporations like Bank of America as well as the Pentagon are promoting it. Burns and Novick promote an equivalency about Vietnam — both sides wanted war, both sides caused destruction, both sides are to blame.

Vietnam was a war of aggression caused by the United States. It created a ‘country’ below the 17th parallel, sent billions of dollars and weapons and hundreds of thousands of troops there, dropped over 6 million tons of bombs on an area the size of New Mexico, and led to the deaths of 2-3 million Vietnamese. Trying to rehabilitate the war with a false equivalency does a historical disservice and lets the U.S. government off the hook politically for what amounted to a huge war crime. As the U.S. government considers further military involvement in the Middle East and Korea, it is essential to understand the truth behind the war in Vietnam.

September 18, 2017

Kaepernick protests cutting NFL TV viewership

Sporting News - Nearly one-third (32 percent) of adults say they're less likely to watch NFL game telecasts because of the Kaepernick-led player protests against racial injustice, according to Rasmussen's telephone/online survey of 1,000 American adults conducted Oct. 2-3. Only 13 percent said they were more likely to watch an NFL game because of continuing protests by Kaepernick and supporters such as Antonio Cromartie of the Colts (who was cut only two days after raising a fist during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in London on Sunday)."

Another national plug for DC statehood

Forty seven years after this journal (then the DC Gazette) wrote the first article proposing DC statehood, we're glad to report that the national Sierra Cliub has joined statehood backers. Other national support for DC statehood include:

How to avoid deportation: Get a job at a Trump resort

Buzzfeed - The Trump International Beach Resort, in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, has asked the government for permission to hire more temporary foreign workers to labor as housekeepers.

The resort, which is near Miami, licenses President Donald Trump’s name but is owned by the International Resorts Management Group. It asked for permission to bring in 10 housekeepers, claiming no Americans wanted the jobs. The positions pay $10.64 an hour.

Including this latest request, companies owned by Trump or bearing his name have already sought to hire at least 380 foreign guest workers under the federal H-2 visa guest worker programs since June of 2015 when he announced his presidential campaign. Most recently, in July, Mar-A-Lago, the private club that Trump calls his Winter White House, asked for permission to hire 70 foreign workers as cooks, servers and housekeepers, according to Labor Department records.

Rolling Stone up for sale

Guardian - Rolling Stone, the 50-year-old music and counterculture magazine, is putting itself up for sale amid an increasingly uncertain outlook, its founder said.

Jann Wenner – who started Rolling Stone in 1967 as a hippie student in Berkeley, California, and now runs it with his son Gus – told the New York Times the future looked tough for a family-run publisher.

The  magazine’s reputation – and finances – were badly damaged when it retracted a 2014 story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, with a review finding that Rolling Stone did not undertake basic journalistic procedures to verify the facts

Polls

51% of Americans don't trust President Trump to handle the conflict with North Korea, according to a new NPR/Ipsos poll.

A recent poll finds Democrat Tim Murphy ahead of Republican Kim Guadagno in the New Jersey governor's race by 24 points. In 2013, Republican Chri Christie won by 22 points. 

State run single payer crashes in Vermont

Politico - Vermont was supposed to be the beacon for a single-payer health care system in America. But now its plans are in ruins, and its onetime champion Gov. Peter Shumlin may have set back the cause.

Advocates of a “Medicare for all” approach were largely sidelined during the national Obamacare debate. The health law left a private insurance system in place and didn’t even include a weaker “public option” government plan to run alongside more traditional commercial ones.

So single-payer advocates looked instead to make a breakthrough in the states. Bills have been introduced from Hawaii to New York; former Medicare chief Don Berwick made it a key plank of his unsuccessful primary race for Massachusetts governor.

Vermont under Shumlin became the most visible trailblazer. Until Wednesday, when the governor admitted what critics had said all along: He couldn’t pay for it.

MORE

50best selling music artists of all time

Indie bookstores are growing, not dyng

City Lab - Donna Paz Kaufman has grown used to hearing the melodramatic doom and gloom soundtrack around bookstores. “Every decade I’ve been in this business, somebody has said bookstores are going to die, and it was for a whole different reason,” she says. Since 1992, she’s been consulting with and training independent bookstore owners on how to navigate this ever-changing industry.

The threats have been many: CD-ROM, audio books, e-books, big-box bookstores, online book giants. And yet, Kaufman doesn’t worry about the future of books and bookstores. “There’s something to be said for the human aspect of knowing a good book, and not having it relate to any algorithm,” she says.

In fact, bookstores are making a comeback. Just take a look at the membership numbers of American Booksellers Association (ABA), a trade organization that works with independent bookstores: In 2009, ABA membership hit a low, with just 1,651 locations. Like a phoenix, that number has risen for the last seven years, reaching more than 2,320 locations in 2017. Book sales in independent stores are also up. According to the ABA, book sales in U.S. indie shops grew more than 10 percent in 2015 over the previous year, and in 2016 sales at independent bookstore were up nearly 5 percent. “A bookstore is somewhat of a sacred place to people, especially to readers.”

Even Amazon is getting on board with the brick-and-mortar concept. So far, the online giant has opened 11 physical bookstores across the U.S.

What's happening in these bookstores

Black youth five times more likely to be incarcerated

Sentencing Project - Black youth were more than five times as likely to be detained or committed compared to white youth, according to data from the Department of Justice collected in October 2015 and recently released. In 2001, black youth were four times as likely as whites to be incarcerated.

Between 2001 and 2015, overall juvenile placements fell by 54 percent. However, white youth placements have declined faster than black youth placements, resulting in a worsening of already significant racial disparity.

In six states, African American youth are at least 10 times as likely to be held in placement as are white youth: New Jersey, Wisconsin, Montana, Delaware, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Five states saw their racial disparity at least double: Maryland, Montana, Connecticut, Delaware, and Wisconsin. Three states decreased their racial disparity by at least half: Vermont, West Virginia, and New Hampshire.

September 17, 2017

Word: De Gaulle on Vietnam

In view of the Ken Burns series on Vietnam

Progressive Review, 2015 - By 1961, with Kennedy contemplating involvement in Vietnam, General de Gaulle strongly urged him not to get involved in that "rotten country." Said de Gaulle, "I predict to you, that you will, step by step, be sucked into a bottomless military and political quagmire." The French had lost 55,000 troops there, almost as many as the Americans would. This was not the advice of a pacifist or a warrior gone soft, but of a hard-nosed general who understood the importance of reality in military and political strategy. A few years earlier he had become prime minister and begun not only France's extrication from but from its other colonies. In 1958 he had proposed the "peace of the brave" but within one year was supporting full Algerian self-determination. He held to this position despite an attempted coup by members of the Foreign Legion and a secret army organization determined to keep Algeria French

Cost of solar drops 75% in six years

Environmental News Network - The Trump administration has announced that a federal goal to slash the cost of utility-scale solar energy to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour by 2020 has been met early. The goal, set by the Obama administration in 2011 and known as the SunShot Initiative, represents a 75 percent reduction in the cost of U.S. solar in just six years. It makes solar energy-cost competitive with electricity generated by fossil fuels.

Pay TV losing viewers

Variety - American consumers are cancelling traditional pay-TV service at a much faster rate than previously expected, according to research firm eMarketer.

In 2017, a total of 22.2 million U.S. adults will have cut the cord on cable, satellite or telco TV service to date — up 33% from 16.7 million in 2016 — the researcher now predicts. ... Meanwhile, the number of “cord-nevers” (consumers who have never subscribed to pay TV) will rise 5.8% this year, to 34.4 million.

....Said Chris Bendtsen, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer,  “Last year, even the Olympics and [the U.S.] presidential election could not prevent younger audiences from abandoning pay TV.”

Jimmy Carter calls America more like an oligarchy

NY Daiiy News - Former President Jimmy Carter offered a damning indictment of U.S. foreign policy and domestic affairs Tuesday, saying money in politics makes the nation more like an “oligarchy than a democracy”

Merriam Webster - A government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes. 


Trump retweets video of him striking Hillary Clinton with a golf ball

Washington Examiner - President Trump retweeted a video of himself playing golf on Sunday that had been edited to look like he hit his former Democratic presidential opponent Hillary Clinton on the back with the ball.

A thinker's guide to conspiracy theories

From our overstocked archives

Sam Smith, 2006


- A conspiracy does not have to be illegal; it can merely be wrongful or harmful.

- The term 'conspiracy theory' was invented by elite media and politicians to denigrate questions or critical presumptions about events about which important facts remain unrevealed.

- The intelligent response to such events is to remain agnostic, skeptical, and curious. Theories may be suggested - just as they are every day about less complex and more open matters on news broadcasts and op ed pages - but such theories should not stray too far from available evidence. Conversely, as long as serious anomalies remain, dismissing questions and doubts as a "conspiracy theory" is a highly unintelligent response. It is also ironic as those ridiculing the questions and doubts typically consider themselves intellectually superior to the doubters. But they aren't because they stopped thinking the moment someone in power told them a superficially plausible answer. Further, to ridicule those still with doubts about such matters is intellectually dishonest.

- There is the further irony that many who ridicule doubts about the official version of events were typically trained at elite colleges where, in political science and history, theories often take precedent over facts and in which substantive decisions affecting politics and history are presumed to be the work of a small number of wise men (sic). They are trained, in effect, to trust in (1) theories and (2) benign confederacies. Most major media political coverage is based on the great man theory of history. This pattern can be found in everything from Skull & Bones to the Washington Post editorial board to the Council on Foreign Relations. You might even call them conspiracy theorists.

- Other fields - such as social history or anthropology - posit that change for better or evil can come as cultural change or choices and not just as the decisions of "great men." This is why one of the biggest stories in modern American history was never well covered: the declining birth rate. No great men decided it should happen.

- Homicide detectives and investigative reporters, among others, are inductive thinkers who start with evidence rather than with theories and aren't happy when the evidence is weak, conflicting or lacking. They keep working the case until a solid answer appears. This is alien to the well-educated newspaper editor who has been trained to trust official answers and conventional theories.

- The unresolved major event is largely a modern phenomenon that coincides with the collapse of America's constitutional government and the decline of its culture. Beginning with the Kennedy assassination, the number of inadequately explained major events has been mounting steadily and with them a steady decline in the trust between he people and their government. The refusal of American elites to take these doubts seriously has been a major disservice to the republic.

- You don't need a conspiracy to lie, do something illegal or to be stupid.

The hidden disease of the poor

Guardian - Children playing feet away from open pools of raw sewage; drinking water pumped beside cracked pipes of untreated waste; human faeces flushed back into kitchen sinks and bathtubs whenever the rains come; people testing positive for hookworm, an intestinal parasite that thrives on extreme poverty.

... Scientists in Houston, Texas, have lifted the lid on one of America’s darkest and deepest secrets: that hidden beneath fabulous wealth, the US tolerates poverty-related illness at levels comparable to the world’s poorest countries. More than one in three people sampled in a poor area of Alabama tested positive for traces of hookworm, a gastrointestinal parasite that was thought to have been eradicated from the US decades ago.

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September 16, 2017

Word: Single Payer Healthcare

Robert Reich - American spending on healthcare per person is more than twice the average in the world’s 35 advanced economies. Yet Americans are sicker, our lives are shorter, and we have more chronic illnesses than in any other advanced nation.

That’s because medical care is so expensive for the typical American that many put off seeing a doctor until their health has seriously deteriorated.

Why is healthcare so much cheaper in other nations? Partly because their governments negotiate lower rates with health care providers.

In France, the average cost of a magnetic resonance imaging exam is $363. In the United States, it’s $1,121. There, an appendectomy costs $4,463. Here, it’s $13,851.

The French can get lower rates because they cover everyone — which gives them lots of bargaining power.

Other nations also don’t have to pay the costs of private insurers shelling out billions of dollars a year for advertising and marketing — much of it intended to attract healthier and younger people and avoid the sicker and older.

Nor do other nations have to pay boatloads of money to the shareholders and executives of big for-profit insurance companies.

Finally, they don’t have to bear the high administrative costs of private insurers — requiring endless paperwork to keep track of every procedure by every provider.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicare’s administrative costs are about 2 percent of its operating expenses. That’s less than one-sixth the administrative costs of America’s private insurers.

To make matters worse for Americans, the nation’s private health insurers are merging like mad to suck in even more money from consumers and taxpayers by reducing competition.

At the same time, their focus on attracting healthy people and avoiding sick people is creating a vicious circle. Insurers that take in sicker and costlier patients lose money, which forces them to raise premiums, co-payments and deductibles. This, in turn, makes it harder for people most in need of health insurance to afford it.

Medicare for all would avoid all these problems and get lower prices and better care.

Stats of the day

Average number of hours that a driver in Los Angeles spends sitting in traffic each year : 104

Warm weather destroyed 85% of Georgia's peach crop

Five Thirty Eight - 2017 has been a bad year for peaches in the Peach State. Georgia’s disruptively warm winter caused the loss of an estimated 85 percent of the peach crop. “We had fruit here in Georgia from the middle of May to about probably the first week of July, and after that we didn’t have anything else,” said Dario Chavez, an assistant professor in peach research and extension at the University of Georgia.

Polls

58% would back military action against North Korea if peaceful means fail. Support is significantly higher than in prior measure, from 2003. Half still think situation can be resolved with sanctions and diplomacy

Registered voters of color in Virginia say removing Confederate statues and memorials from public spaces is only “somewhat important” compared to other issues. Conversely, those voters ranked access to quality education, safety for people of color, and standing against the rise of white nationalism as matters of “extreme importance.”

California legislators vote to change the character of national presidential primaries

Politico - California lawmakers sent Gov. Jerry Brown a bill early Saturday that would move the state’s 2020 primary election up three months to March, bidding to exert greater influence on the next presidential nominating contest.

If signed into law by Brown, the early primary could dramatically alter the shape of the next presidential race, forcing primary candidates to compete in a state that has long languished as an afterthought in national elections.

California would allocate its delegates just after early nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

FEMA auctioned off more than 100 disaster response trailers two days before Harvey

Portland Press Herald - The federal government auctioned off disaster-response trailers at fire-sale prices even as Harvey devastated southeast Texas, reducing an already diminished supply of mobile homes ahead of what could become the nation’s largest-ever housing mission.

More than 100 2017-model Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers were sold over the two days before the Category 4 hurricane landed in the Gulf Coast, an analysis of government data by The Associated Press found. Harvey already was projected to be a monster storm that would inflict unprecedented damage. The sales continued until Aug. 28, when floodwaters sent thousands of Texans onto rooftops and into shelters. The sale of federal emergency response trailers, like this one deployed in West Virginia in August 2016, hampered efforts to help those displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

The auctions – about 300 since the beginning of the year – have left FEMA with a standing fleet of only 1,700 units. The agency has put out bids for another 4,500, but officials could not say when they would be ready to meet needs arising from Harvey, Irma and potentially future storms.

Harvard prefers torture to whistleblowing

Institute for Policy Studies

Jessely Radack, Director, Whistleblower & Source Protection Program - It is ironic that Michael Morell, a former CIA leader involved in torture and drone killings, had a crisis of ‘conscience’ that prompted Harvard’s Kennedy School to withdraw its invitation to humanitarian Chelsea Manning.

Harvard obviously offered Chelsea Manning a visiting fellowship because of the valuable contribution she could make, and revoked it under pressure from the CIA. So much for academic freedom.

A former CIA analyst, John Kiriakou spent 23 months in prison after helping expose the CIA’s torture program. His most recent book is Doing Time Like A Spy: How the CIA Taught Me to Survive and Thrive in Prison.

John Kiriakou -Chelsea Manning exposed evidence of U.S. war crimes. Mike Morell was an instrumental player in the CIA’s torture, rendition, and secret prison programs. And the university casts its lot with the torturer. CIA officers with crimes against humanity in their pasts know they have a home at Harvard.

Matthew Hoh resigned his position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the escalation of the war there by the Obama administration. He previously had been in Iraq with a State Department team and with the U.S. Marines. He is now a senior fellow with the Center for International Policy.

Matthew Hoh  -The Harvard Kennedy School’s incredibly fast and virulently shameful rescinding of its offer of a visiting fellowship to Chelsea Manning due to the complaints of the CIA director and former deputy director should not be a surprise to anyone who has witnessed the increased impact of federal funding on private universities. In 2014 Harvard received over $600 million in grants and subsidies from the federal government. I am quite certain that funding was on the mind of the Harvard deans as they bowed and scraped to the CIA and did their best to remedy their problem before President Trump had time to tweet any threats.

Understanding Harvard’s desire for federal funding is the simplest way to understand how and why moral and intellectual honesty has been abrogated so willingly and consciously by Harvard. Mike Morell, the former CIA deputy director who resigned his fellowship in protest of Chelsea Manning receiving hers, directed, oversaw and covered-up the torture and murder of prisoners, drone assassinations, mass domestic spying and the spying on and hacking into U.S. Senate computers. Chelsea Manning’s crimes were to let the world know of the U.S. government’s crimes, crimes in violation of U.S. and international law that Morell and the CIA committed. Reviews done by the U.S. Department of Defense attested that Chelsea Manning’s actions resulted in no one being killed and no one being put at risk, what they actually did was to show the world the U.S. and CIA’s war crimes and failings. For causing that embarrassment and exposure, and for letting the world know the truth, the CIA will always hate her.

September 15, 2017

How good a businessman is Trump really?

Trump dump

President Donald Trump's nominee for the number two position at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Daniel Craig, has withdrawn his application after NBC revealed that he had been investigated by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security for violating conflict-of-interest laws when he awarded government contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Meet Equifax's security chief

SLashdot - Susan Mauldin, the person in charge of the Equifax's data security, has a bachelor's degree and a master of fine arts degree in music composition from the University of Georgia, according to her LinkedIn profile. Mauldin's LinkedIn profile lists no education related to technology or security. If that wasn't enough, news outlet MarketWatch reported on Friday that Susan Mauldin's LinkedIn page was made private and her last name was replaced with "M", in a move that appears to keep her education background secret.

Trump regime scales back good practices aid to local police departments

Washington Examiner- The Department of Justice said it was scaling back a program developed under the Obama administration aimed at advising and reforming police units around the country and now will only focus on helping cops fight crimes like gang activities and drug trafficking.

The department created the Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance program in 2011, and the initiative allowed cities and police departments to voluntarily ask federal officials for assistance on any issue, such as use of force policies and police shootings.

The process was a broad, big-picture Justice Department analysis of a police department and its policies and practices, and how they affect the public. The Justice Department also held forums to hear from the public about police practices, and then released a set of recommendations designed to improve the police department after the two-year process.

Following the public release of the recommendations, the Justice Department would spend roughly 18 months helping the police department implement the recommendations, though they were not mandatory and not bound by court orders.

Black families making less than in 2000

Harvard cancels Chelsea Manning's fellowship after CIA complains

Newsweek - Chelsea Manning has condemned Harvard after the university revoked her visiting fellowship following criticism from CIA Director Mike Pompeo and other agency officials.

“This is what a military/police/intel state looks like,” Manning tweeted, adding she thinks the Ivy League University’s reaction is akin to the CIA determining “what is and is not taught at Harvard.”

Harvard’s Kennedy School of Politics announced Wednesday Manning was invited to speak to students for a day as a “visiting fellow.”

Manning was imprisoned in 2010, and in 2013 she was sentenced under the Espionage Act to 35 years in prison for leaking nearly 1 million classified and sensitive diplomatic cables and documents about the Iraq War to the transparency group WikiLeaks. But she was released from a military jail in May after her sentence was commuted by former President Barack Obama.

Millions drinking unsafe water

American police getting military training in Israel

Intercept- It’s not uncommon for residents of America’s most heavily policed neighborhoods to describe their local cops as “an occupying force.” Judging by where many U.S. police forces get their training, the description seems apt.

Thousands of American law enforcement officers frequently travel for training to one of the few countries where policing and militarism are even more deeply intertwined than they are here: Israel.

...Over the past decade and a half, scores of top federal, state, and local police officers from dozens of departments from across the U.S. have gone to Israel to learn about its terrorism-focused policing.

Yet Israel’s policing prowess is marred by its primary purpose: the occupation. Israel has carried out a half-century of military rule in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza, an occupation rife with abuses. The country’s police and security forces also regularly violate the rights of Palestinians and immigrants inside of Israel’s 1967 borders.

,,, This week, a delegation of top American law enforcement officers is in Israel for the ADL’s National Counter-Terrorism Seminar, which includes training on topics such as “leadership in a time of terror” and “balancing the fight against crime and terrorism,” according to literature by the group advertising the trip. More than 200 law enforcement executives from over 100 departments in the U.S. and abroad, immigration enforcement agencies, and even campus police have participated in the ADL program since it launched in 2004.

Among this year’s participants in the seminar is D.C. Metropolitan Police Commander Morgan Kane, whose attendance at the training earned the department a public rebuke from D.C. Council Member David Grosso. “I am concerned that we are not doing enough to prevent the militarization of law enforcement in the District of Columbia,” he wrote in a letter to Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham. “Learning from military advisors is not what local law enforcement needs.”

Jazz break