After Warning of ‘Large and Painful Military Operation,’ Israel Begins Massive Bombing of Gaza

“Israeli snipers shoot and kill scores of unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, including kids, then calls it self-defense. When a Palestinian sniper fires at one Israeli soldier, Israel bombs Gaza with F-16s and preps for all out war.”

via After Warning of ‘Large and Painful Military Operation,’ Israel Begins Massive Bombing of Gaza

On how Muhammad never preached “Jihad”

Muslims are fighting each other for the same reasons Christians are fighting each other, Politics and Power (ODT)

The word “jihad” has become pervasive in English. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coates yesterday spoke of “jihadis.” The Western Right wing is trying to use the term to replace the Communist Manifesto as the ultimate in the threatening Other. It figures prominently in FBI charges against militants. It is often glossed as “holy war.” People, especially those who dislike Islam, think that it means aggression and that the conception is intrinsic to the religion of Islam.

In fact, the Prophet Muhammad never preached “jihad” in this sense of “holy war,” as I argue in my new book:

via On how Muhammad never preached “Jihad”

Let’s put the hype aside, jobs growth shifts from extraordinary to ordinary

But while we’re deflating the government’s triumphalism, its critics also need taking down a peg. They like to remind us that the official unemployment rate understates the true extent of worklessness. Specifically, it fails to take account of under-employment – people with part-time jobs who’d like to work more hours.

All that’s true. But when you correct the unemployment rate (for May) of 5.4 per cent by adding the underemployment rate of 8.5 per cent to give a broader measure of labour “underutilisation” of 13.9 per cent (as, admittedly, the bureau encourages you to do), you’ve gone from understating the problem to overstating it.

via Let’s put the hype aside, jobs growth shifts from extraordinary to ordinary

‘Trump is not our president, literally’: Are we too obsessed with the Anglosphere? – RN – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The biggest media baron in this world and who runs a PR firm rather than a news organization is Rupert Murdoch.( ODT)

“If you look at the way news is covered in Australia, sometimes you actually have to remind yourself we’re not in the US; Trump is not our president, literally.

“There is a sense in which we have become lazy and we have become too obsessed with what is happening in those two centres of the Anglosphere — namely New York and London.”

via ‘Trump is not our president, literally’: Are we too obsessed with the Anglosphere? – RN – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The Lord of the Lies: Donald Trump’s uncivil war

Anti-politics is most evident in his emphasis on deregulation. The deregulatory clock defines the Trump presidency. With other presidencies, legislation matters. With Trump, the repeal of legislation matters. It is not just the repeal of Obamacare. It is the repeal of many constraints on economic and social behaviour. The deregulation model is simple: not to make regulations more efficient, just take a sledgehammer to them.

Three revocations are illustrative. The repeal of a requirement for oil and gas companies to report methane emissions; the repeal of an executive order protecting ocean, coastal and Great Lakes waters; and the revocation of flood standards for infrastructure projects. There have been more than seventy major environmental regulation rollbacks, and there will be more. It is the same for financial deregulation. The rollbacks of the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Acts are proceeding. Future risks are priced to zero; the lessons from previous crises forgotten. It is deregulation without foresight.

The irony of the Trump presidency is that he is pushing us towards self-regulation when he has never regulated himself. He has failed to honour commitments to employees, to contractors, to students, to tenants, to other taxpayers and to the truth. He has failed to regulate himself. It is failure against which we should regulate.

 

via The Lord of the Lies: Donald Trump’s uncivil war

Trump says Cohen taping him ‘totally unheard of and perhaps illegal’

 

She sold her story for $150,000 in August 2016 but it was never published by the National Enquirer, a practice known as “catch and kill” to prevent a potentially damaging story from becoming public. David Pecker, the chairman of parent company American Media Inc (AMI), is Trump’s friend.

Giuliani said the discussion of payment did not mean McDougal’s claim of an affair was true and characterised it as an attempt to resolve false allegations that were “personally damaging” to Trump.

via Trump says Cohen taping him ‘totally unheard of and perhaps illegal’

Industry super funds are thrashing those run by banks – and business is crying foul | Greg Jericho | Business | The Guardian

Australian notes and coins

There is little that annoys the Australian business community, its media spruikers and the Liberal party more than being shown how badly they perform. The best example of this is the superannuation industry where once again it has been revealed that industry funds have comprehensively outperformed those run by banks. Little wonder then that instead of attempting to improve, the business community is instead crying foul and trying to destroy the entire system.

This week, superannuation research house Chant West released the results of fund performances over the 2017-18 financial year. And yet again the news was not good for bank-run retail funds.
Why is the super system broken? – Australian politics live

Not one of them made the top 10, and industry funds once again dominated. The best performing fund was Hostplus, which is mainly for employees in hospitality and tourism.

via Industry super funds are thrashing those run by banks – and business is crying foul | Greg Jericho | Business | The Guardian

With Nationality Law, Israel openly Declares Apartheid and Racial Supremacy

The implications are enormous. Some critics of the crushing of the Palestinians had made a distinction between boycotting the squatter enterprises on the West Bank and boycotting Israel itself. There simply is now no longer a difference. The law will certainly invigorate the movement to Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Israel.

Apartheid is defined in the 2002 Statute of Rome as a war crime, and Israeli politicians could be indicted on these grounds.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has taken Israel in the direction of illiberal ‘democracy,’ attacking the freedom of the press, the judiciary, and Non-governmental Organizations.

via With Nationality Law, Israel openly Declares Apartheid and Racial Supremacy

Proving Kansas Is Hungry for Democratic Socialism, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez Sold-Out Rally Moved to Much Larger Venue

Democratic socialists Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are on a mission to debunk doubters and conclusively show that a bold progressive agenda can spark enthusiasm and win elections in the Midwest.

Helping to prove their case, organizers were forced to relocate one of the pair’s joint rallies in Kansas on Friday afternoon after ticket sign-ups—as often happened during Sanders’ 2016 presidential run—rapidly exceeded venue capacity.

via Proving Kansas Is Hungry for Democratic Socialism, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez Sold-Out Rally Moved to Much Larger Venue

Sky’s the limit when it comes to rocketing audience numbers | The Weekly Beast | Media | The Guardian

Andrew Bolt, presenter of The Bolt Report, on Sky News in Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s gloss in fact turns out to be 1.65% national rating on any single night over 6 states. But lets face it that’s O.13% of the whole population of 24,000,000. That’s rocketing isn’t it. Waleed Aly has an audience x 25 times larger and the ABC nearly X 19. Now this is a Bolt record but it’s not Aly’s or the ABC’s. The production costs of The Bolt Report are so high he can’t make a profit,something Bolt doesn’t tell you. That as a loss we actually subidize the twat. ( ODT)

Broadcaster puts the gloss on Andrew Bolt’s audience. Plus, Media Watch has fun with the gossip mags

via Sky’s the limit when it comes to rocketing audience numbers | The Weekly Beast | Media | The Guardian

It’s the Australian values test for immigrants. Get it right or get in the van! | First Dog on the Moon | Opinion | The Guardian

Senator Ian the Climate Denialist Potato is overseeing the implementation of the Australian Values Immigration Test

via It’s the Australian values test for immigrants. Get it right or get in the van! | First Dog on the Moon | Opinion | The Guardian

What is terrorism? The controversial label that is used and abused around the world – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Australia and it’s allies US and Israel support Al-Qaeda affiliates such as Al Nusra Front in Syria. We declare them terrorists any Australian caught sending them money will be jailed. So why does our government support terrorist groups while jailing Australians? (ODT)

“Until we start to broaden our understanding of what these movements are, we are going to continue to play whack-a-mole, which is what we have been doing for years.”

 

Significant terror attacks on Australian soil:

  • September 1972 — Croatian separatists were believed responsible for bombing a Yugoslav agency in Sydney’s Haymarket injuring 16
  • February 1978 — A bomb targeting a government meeting at the Sydney Hilton Hotel left three dead and 11 injured
  • December 1980 — An attack claimed by the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide took the lives of the Turkish Consul General and his secretary, while a bomb targeting the Melbourne Turkish Consulate in 1986 killed only the bomber
  • 1980-1985 — A series of attacks on officials associated with the Family Court of Australia left four dead
  • 1980’s — Targeted bombings and attacks on the Asian population of WA were carried out for more than a decade by neo-Nazi group The Australian National Movement
  • July 2001 — An anti-abortion attack on a clinic in Melbourne left one man dead
  • December 2014 — The Lindt Cafe siege left three dead, including the perpetrator, and four injured
  • 2014-2018 — A series of Islamic motivated shootings and stabbings have claimed three innocent lives and injured 10
  • In the GTI’s ranking of countries most impacted by terrorism, the US came in at number 32 and Australia 65.
  • “Defining a group as a terrorist organisation is an intrinsically political act,” said Charles Lister, the Middle East Institute’s director of extremism and counterterrorism, told the ABC.

via What is terrorism? The controversial label that is used and abused around the world – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Australian governments concede Great Barrier Reef headed for ‘collapse’

 

“Respected coral scientists have documented in peer-reviewed journals that most of the world’s coral reefs will not survive unless the global temperature increase is limited to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels,” it said.

However WWF-Australia head of oceans Richard Leck said Australia’s emissions reduction efforts were not even in line with limiting warming to 2°.

He cited a 2017 report by the United Nations environment program that found Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions were set to far exceed its pledge under the Paris accord. This agreement aims to limit global temperature rises this century to well below 2° and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°.

via Australian governments concede Great Barrier Reef headed for ‘collapse’

Michael Cohen recorded Trump discussing payments to Playboy model

Federal investigators have an audio recording in which then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and his personal attorney Michael Cohen discussed in late 2016 making payments for the story of Playboy centrefold Karen McDougal, who allegedly had an extramarital affair with Trump, according to two people familiar with the tape.

via Michael Cohen recorded Trump discussing payments to Playboy model

Overstretch? US Special Ops Military deployed to 144 Countries Last Year:

Donald Trump wants recognition as a PEACEMAKER otherwise known as a GUN (ODT)

Unless they end in disaster, most missions remain in the shadows, unknown to all but a few Americans. And yet last year alone, U.S. commandos deployed to 149 countries — about 75% of the nations on the planet. At the halfway mark of this year, according to figures provided to TomDispatch by U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM or SOCOM), America’s most elite troops have already carried out missions in 133 countries. That’s nearly as many deployments as occurred during the last year of the Obama administration and more than double those of the final days of George W. Bush’s White House.

via Overstretch? US Special Ops Military deployed to 144 Countries Last Year

Benedict Trump

What if Adolf Hitler had come to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934 with a request for security personnel of the Geheime Staatspolizei sent over to the DC Germany embassy to interrogate Edgar Mowrer, the Chicago Daily News reporter who was kicked out of Germany in 1933 for reporting critically on the National Socialists. Would FDR have lifted his cigarette holder high and taken a slow toke, and said, “Let me think about it, Wolfie”? I am not saying Putin is Hitler, but remember in 1934 the US and Germany were not at war and he was just another European leader who had not yet committed his major monstrosities.

The bizarre episode is causing outrage in Washington, D.C., where there are a lot of officials who have served overseas and who would be in trouble if their enemies over there felt as though the White House no longer had their back. Clearly, simply making the request and publicizing it is Putin’s way of pressuring his critics in the US, like Mike McFaul and Bill Browder. It is like when goons from organized crime visit you and leave behind a bullet on your coffee table.

The episode is also to my knowledge unprecedented. I tried to think of historical analogies.

via Benedict Trump

Donald Trump invites Vladimir Putin to Washington, White House says – Donald Trump’s America – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Key moments from when Trump met Putin

Nobody knows what happened in Helsinki but Andrew Bolt knows and said so in his editorial referring to the important and specific conversations that occurred (ODT)

The top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said Mr Trump should not meet privately with Mr Putin until Americans learn what happened at their first summit in Helsinki earlier this week.

“Until we know what happened at that two-hour meeting in Helsinki, the President should have no more one-on-one interactions with Putin. In the United States, in Russia, or anywhere else,” Senator Schumer said in a statement.

Even Mr Coats said he did not know what had happened in Helsinki.

via Donald Trump invites Vladimir Putin to Washington, White House says – Donald Trump’s America – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Russia threatens Australia over false AFP investigation into Russia Today

Moscow has launched an extraordinary threat to target Australian journalists based on its false belief the Australian Federal Police are investigating the Kremlin-backed news outfit Russia Today.In a statement issued on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow “reserves the right to take retaliatory measures whenever the rights of Russian journalists are being infringed upon” and threatened “tit-for-tat” measures.
What it actually seems like is a cover up, a smokescreen to promote Murdoch Media. The major supporter of guess who? Yes, Trump but that’s too simple.Trump is in business a multiple failure near bankruptcy, yet making $$$  from Russian investors who have been his bankers and saviors and it’s time to pay up and drop the sanctions. Putin and the FSB are pulling the strings. The rest of the Corporate world will adjust however ordinary people will pay with $$$ & cents they can illaford to lose. (ODT)

 

via Russia threatens Australia over false AFP investigation into Russia Today

Arabic was an official language in Israel for 70 years, 2 months, and 5 days | +972 Magazine

Israeli Border Police officers guard the entrance to Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, September 21, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

This is not an acceptance of reality it’s the official denial of Democracy, the Constitutional recognition and Institutionalization of a Theocracy.(ODT)

The other message, the inverse, meant for Palestinians, is: this is not your land; this country does not belong to you, irrespective of whether you are an Israeli citizen living in the home of your great-grandparents or a refugee yearning to return to the land of your grandparents; your culture, language, and history are at best tolerated — this is not their home, this is not your homeland.

The Jewish Nation-State Law states, implicitly and explicitly, that Israel belongs not to all of its citizens, over 20 percent of whom are not Jewish. Instead, it declares that Israel belongs to the Jewish people, some half of whom are not Israeli citizens.

For all of those reasons nobody should be able to feign surprise at the Jewish Nation-State law. The principles it elevates to constitutional status have been around as long as the country it defines. That it sits squarely on a predictable trajectory, however, does not minimize its danger.

via Arabic was an official language in Israel for 70 years, 2 months, and 5 days | +972 Magazine

Israel’s Nation-State Law: ‘Apartheid is a process’ | +972 Magazine

Israeli soldiers watch Palestinian women walk towards Qalandiya checkpoint, West Bank, August 20, 2010. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Separation of Power the esscence of Democracy has officially been wiped from Israel’s Constitution. Every Institution every law will be viewed oficially through the prism of Jewishness. So your a Christian you can’t live here, work here, marry her or do medicine if we choose not to let you. Your officially a Goy not a Gentile! Your Coloured your mother was a Shiksa. 20% of Israeli’s have been officially downgraded  (ODT)

“I think we are seeing an escalation that did not begin with the new Basic Law, but rather is a result of the contradiction between the fundamental identities of the state as Jewish and democratic. What we are seeing now is Jewish identity encroaching more and more on the social and political life of Israel’s citizens, while the ‘democratic’ identity of the state is experiencing a regression.”

via Israel’s Nation-State Law: ‘Apartheid is a process’ | +972 Magazine

EU leads criticism after Israel passes Jewish ‘nation state’ law | World news | The Guardian

Israelis hold placards in protest against the legislation

The Netanyahu and the State of Israel Shame the Jewish People Creating an Apartheid State. My Mother is on the Wall of the Righteous and today would be a Second Class Citizen in Israel

Legislation stipulates only Jews have right of self-determination in the country

In a moment of ironic timing, the legislation was passed just hours before Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, welcomed a visit by Hungary’s far-right leader, Viktor Orbán, who Israeli critics have accused of praising Nazi-era antisemitic collaborators.

via EU leads criticism after Israel passes Jewish ‘nation state’ law | World news | The Guardian

Waleed Aly obliterates Malcolm Turnbull in report on so-called African gangs

Malcolm Turnbull Has Turned : Racist In Desparation for a Vote (ODT)

The Project‘s Waleed Aly has launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, writing off his recent comments about Sudanese gangs as a last-ditch votes grab before Super Saturday byelections next weekend.

Adding that while the Sudanese community is clearly over-represented in the crime stats, Aly said that what’s more interesting is that “Australian-born Victorians were responsible for 71.7 per cent of the crime committed last year”.

“According to Victoria’s Crime Statistics Agency, crime has actually dropped 9 per cent in the last year in Victoria,” he said. “Sudanese Victorians make up 0.1 per cent of the population and account for just 1 per cent of all crimes committed last year.”

“This week the Prime Minister said something interesting,” Aly started, cutting to a video of Turnbull in a 3AW interview earlier this week.

“There is real concern about Sudanese gangs,” Turnbull says in the video. “You have to be walking around with your hands over your ears in Melbourne not to hear it.”

via Waleed Aly obliterates Malcolm Turnbull in report on so-called African gangs

The small chorus of pro-Trump figures defending his disastrous presser with Putin

Nonetheless, a group of Trump’s most ardent supporters in the media rejected the overwhelming consensus and defended the president:

Fox’s Jeanine Pirro: “What was [Trump] supposed to do, take a gun out and shoot Putin?”
Fox host Sean Hannity praised Trump for being “very strong at the end of the press conference.”
Infowars host Owen Shroyer on the press conference: “It just kept getting better in time.”
Conservative radio host Mark Simone: “The whole idea of a summit is to make peace. That’s what he was doing there.”
Fox host Laura Ingraham admonished “mass hysteria” in reaction to the press conference and downplayed Trump’s performance as involving an “unfortunate word choice.”
Fox’s Tucker Carlson attacked media for their reactions to the press conference and said it seems like politicians critical of Trump’s actions toward Putin and Russia “seek increased conflict with Russia.”
Breitbart’s Joel Pollak: “A day after the media/Democrats/NeverTrump meltdown over Trump-Putin summit, they’re still wrong, the world’s still here, and the future is bright.”
Breitbart’s Charlie Spiering: “Remind me, did Obama forcefully confront Putin for” the 2014 attack on a Malaysian Airlines passenger flight over Ukraine?
The Washington Times boosted comments from former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), current host of the web show Liberty Report, who categorized Trump’s meeting with Putin as “significant diplomacy.”

via The small chorus of pro-Trump figures defending his disastrous presser with Putin

Trump TV? Russians Broadcast That Fox News Is ‘Run By’ Trump | Crooks and Liars

It’s reasonable given Fox was the only media chosen to travel with Trump

This was a shocking revelation by Russian State media:

Stephanie Ruhle pointed out this morning that the Kremlin translation of Putin called Fox News “the network run by the president.”

This in addition to former Fox exec Bill Shine working for the White House and current Fox host Sean Hannity working for Trump.

It’s an utterly incestuous relationship.

via Trump TV? Russians Broadcast That Fox News Is ‘Run By’ Trump | Crooks and Liars

Nigel Farage spread ‘fake news’. I know, because I took the real picture | Lasia Kretzel | Opinion | The Guardian

Nigel FarageLasia Kretzel’s original picture of a demonstrator at a pro-refugee rally, alongside the doctored image that Nigel Farage shared.

Andrew Bolt Sky News, Fox News all  open theirs for Nigel (ODT)

In the digital media age, declaring fake news has become the equivalent of crying wolf. Frequently, it is a slur hurled at journalists by those who do not like a story. Sometimes it is a real threat to informed discourse. It is disturbingly easy to propagate, and wields insidious power. This week, I learned just how damaging it can be.

I had just returned from an afternoon at the beach when a tweet with my name in it caught my eye. I recognised the image. It was one I had taken nearly three years ago at a pro-Syrian refugee rally while working as a reporter in Saskatchewan, Canada. In the original image, a woman wore an Amnesty International sign around her neck reading “My door is open for refugees”. But that’s not what this image said. The words had been edited to read “My legs are open for refugees”, in what looked like a Microsoft Paint chop-shop job by a 12-year-old, and it had been shared by none other than Nigel Farage. “What an insult to the victims of sexual abuse in Cologne and rape in Malmo. These people are sick,” he tweeted.

via Nigel Farage spread ‘fake news’. I know, because I took the real picture | Lasia Kretzel | Opinion | The Guardian

Energy policy failure behind 10-year story of spiralling electricity bills – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Network costs form the biggest part of your electricity bill. Australia is a big country, and moving electricity around it is expensive. As the graph above shows, network costs have contributed 40 per cent of the total price increase over the past decade.

The reason we now pay so much for the network is simply that we have built an awful lot more stuff over the past decade. It’s also because it was agreed — through the industry regulator — that network businesses could build more network infrastructure and that we all have to pay for it, regardless of whether it is really needed.
Much of the debate about our future power generation has become mired in political point scoring and simplistic arguments designed to inflame and outrage, writes Ian Verrender.

Network businesses are heavily regulated. Their costs, charges and profits all have to be ticked off. This is supposed to keep costs down and prevent consumers being charged too much.

That’s the theory. But the fact is costs have spiralled. Between 2005 and 2016 the total value of the National Electricity Market (NEM) distribution network increased from $42 billion to $72 billion — a whopping 70 per cent. During that time there has been little change in the number of customers using the network or the amount of electricity they used. The result: every unit of electricity we consume costs much more than it used to.

via Energy policy failure behind 10-year story of spiralling electricity bills – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

News Corp Australia’s promotion of Lauren Southern is disturbing | Jason Wilson | Australia news | The Guardian

Canadian far-right political activist Lauren Southern at the Courier-Mail office in Brisbane on 13 July.

Southern’s far-right associations, her promotion of the key ideas of white ethnonationalism, and her willingness to become directly involved in racial provocation should give us pause.

So, too, should the willingness of News Corporation’s daily newspapers to promote her.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Andrew Bolt railed about her visa problems. Nor that Miranda Devine had Southern on her podcast to talk about how antifa and Muslims cause her immigration woes.

But earlier puff pieces about her visit, and op-eds defending her in regional newspapers, suggest that News has a disturbing inability to distinguish between ordinary, conservative provocateurs, and those adjacent to white nationalist or fascist movements.

This fits with a pattern on the Australian right. Nevertheless, should News later condemn those who protest against Southern’s appearances, we should remember their role in defending Southern, and advertising her shows.

via News Corp Australia’s promotion of Lauren Southern is disturbing | Jason Wilson | Australia news | The Guardian

Forget Minimum Wage, What About A Maximum Wage? | ten daily

No automatic alt text available.

The CEO of Dominoes Pizza gets over $38million a year (ODT)

So far the penalty rate cuts have failed to create the promised jobs boom in retail and hospitality. Apparently we need even deeper cuts before these jobs materialise. So let’s apply the same logic to the big end of town and set a CEO pay cap. If it doesn’t work, we’ll know we need even deeper cuts to CEO pay before we see really see results.

Seems only fair.

via Forget Minimum Wage, What About A Maximum Wage? | ten daily

ACCC power pricing report: COALition’s excuse for more coal

It did not take long, following last week’s release of the ACCC report on power prices, for some pro-coal members in the Coalition to come out arguing that the report is justification for new coal-fired power stations.

The report, in fact, barely mentions coal-fired power but rather, power available when it is needed. The CSIRO, AEMO and others have said that dispatchable power can come from renewable energy with storage, in the form of batteries or pumped hydro, gas peaking plants when demand is high or addressed with demand management.

via ACCC power pricing report: COALition’s excuse for more coal

How common is corporate crime? Too common

Exceptions or the systemic nature of Corporate Crime. They claim it the legitimate pursuit of profit and Capitalism agrees by simply fining those responsible.(ODT)

In their amoral, dollar-obsessed way, economists assess the attractions of law breaking by weighing the benefit to be gained against the cost of being caught multiplied by the probability of being caught.

via How common is corporate crime? Too common

Watch Live: Sanders Hosts “CEOs vs. Workers” Town Hall to Take on “Extravagant” Executive Pay and Poverty Wages

“How does it happen that there are major corporations in America where CEOs receive extravagant compensation packages, who pay their workers wages so low that many of them are forced to rely on food stamps, Medicaid, and public housing—subsidized by taxpayers—to survive?”

via Watch Live: Sanders Hosts “CEOs vs. Workers” Town Hall to Take on “Extravagant” Executive Pay and Poverty Wages

Gaza: Israel Unleashes Heaviest Airstrikes Since 2014 Assault

 

Caracas (TeleSur) – Israeli occupation forces struck 40 targets in the besieged Gaza Strip Saturday, in the most extensive Israeli military assault since the 2014 “Operation Protective Edge” in which over 1,400 Palestinians were killed.

Tensions in Gaza have been on the rise since Israeli forces have killed over 130 people participating in the Great March of Return and wounded thousands. On Friday, after an Israeli soldier was mildly wounded by a Palestinian protester who threw a hand-grenade Israel retaliated by striking “Hamas targets”.

Since then Gaza militants launched around 60 rockets and mortars into Israel, causing minor damage to a synagogue and reportedly wounding two Israelis who are not in a critical state.

According to the Israeli army “The focus of the attack is a wide-scale strike of the Hamas Battalion HQ in Beit Lahia, which includes urban warfare training facilities, weapon storage warehouse, training compounds, command centers, offices and more.”

Gaza: Israel Unleashes Heaviest Airstrikes Since 2014 Assault

Birthright walk-offs get a taste of settler violence in Hebron | +972 Magazine

If the paint thrower were a Palestinian kid he’d have been shot, jailed or severely beaten but he wasn’t and the soldiers did NOTHING (ODT)

Halfway through a tour of occupied Hebron that the eight Birthright participants were taking with Israeli anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence on Monday, a settler child, who appeared to be between eight and 10 years old, threw yellow paint onto the head of tour leader Frima “Merphie” Bubis.

The incident followed at least half an hour of harassment by adult settlers, accompanied by children, as part of their routine attempts to disrupt and drown out Breaking the Silence tours in the city.

Bubis was shaken but required no medical attention. Eight Israeli soldiers who were present did nothing to stop or apprehend the child

via Birthright walk-offs get a taste of settler violence in Hebron | +972 Magazine

Trump outdoes Orwell in role as Moscow’s Agent Orange | Richard Wolffe | Opinion | The Guardian

His master’s voice? Donald Trump listens to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

Listening to Trump’s responses about Russian acts of aggression, it was hard to know who was playing the role of the American president. His performance was so nakedly, brazenly pro-Russian, you had to wonder what ranks higher on the Trumpian scale of stupidity: the president’s own intellect or his dim view of ours.

George Orwell conjured up a totalitarian regime where Ignorance Is Strength, but he surely never conceived of this. How can we know that two and two make four, or that the DNC isn’t responsible for its own hacking, or that Vladimir Putin isn’t a bigger American friend than the entire European Union and Nato alliance?

via Trump outdoes Orwell in role as Moscow’s Agent Orange | Richard Wolffe | Opinion | The Guardian

Trump calls EU “Foe,” on Eve of Putin Summit, on basis of his Zero-Sum Mercantalism

He thinks the world economy is a zero sum game. That is a game in which the size of the pie is fixed and if someone gets more of the pie, someone else gets less. That is what he thinks Europe has done to the US, has eaten some of the pie that should rightfully have been ours.

In fact, the pie can grow, and even economic rivals can cooperate to helpt the total pie grow so that both are better off. The US-EU economic relationship has on the whole been this sort of success story.

Trump also thinks that there are a limited number of possible jobs, and that if some people fill those jobs, they are taking them away from others. But the labor market is also not a zero sum game, an idea called the “lump of labor” fallacy. That is why he resents immigrants, who he alleges are taking jobs. In fact, the number of jobs can grow. And the evidence is precisely that immigration causes economic expansion and an increase in the number of jobs. Small businesses expand when there is more labor available, which benefits everyone.

Zero sum game ways of thinking are extremely dangerous. They are first of all simply incorrect. Second, they promote conflict, because instead of realizing that everyone can win, they emphasize inflexible competition (in Trump’s case, on racial bases, feeding his fascism).

via Trump calls EU “Foe,” on Eve of Putin Summit, on basis of his Zero-Sum Mercantalism

As White House Declares Summit a Success, Sanders Rips Trump-Putin Presser as ‘Embarrassing Spectacle’

“Today is a good day for Putin and the oligarchs in Russia. It is a bad day for people in the United States and all over the world who believe in democracy and who are trying to understand what world our idiot president lives in.”

via As White House Declares Summit a Success, Sanders Rips Trump-Putin Presser as ‘Embarrassing Spectacle’

Trump Official Lobbies for British Ultranationalist at Breitbart’s Request

Last month, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell made headlines when he suggested he aimed to empower the far right across Europe, drawing the ire of critics at home and abroad. Yet a new Reuters report reveals he’s hardly an outlier within the Trump administration.

According to the international news agency, Sam Brownback, a former Kansas senator and governor, who currently serves as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, lobbied Britain’s envoy to the U.S. to release infamous ultranationalist Tommy Robinson following his 13-month conviction for contempt of court. What’s more, Brownback appears to have acted at the behest of Breitbart, the far-right news site whose former chairman, Steve Bannon, previously served as Trump’s senior White House adviser.

via Trump Official Lobbies for British Ultranationalist at Breitbart’s Request

The War on Assange Is a War on Press Freedom

There are growing signs that the Ecuadorean government of Lenín Moreno is preparing to evict Assange and turn him over to British police. Moreno and his foreign minister, José Valencia, have confirmed they are in negotiations with the British government to “resolve” the fate of Assange. Moreno, who will visit Britain in a few weeks, calls Assange an “inherited problem” and “a stone in the shoe” and has referred to him as a “hacker.” It appears that under a Moreno government Assange is no longer welcome in Ecuador. His only hope now is safe passage to his native Australia or another country willing to give him asylum.

via The War on Assange Is a War on Press Freedom

Lush Cosmetics admits to underpaying thousands of staff

 

Conservatives and the likes of the IPA claim these are exceptional infractions and far from systemic. However when the system is shaken there’s an overabundant number good corporate people found to be screwing thousands of better Australian workers for an improved bottom line, their shareholders and their own personal pockets. Dominos Pizza sees a gap 400 times larger than the average wage and it’s franchisees are struggling to make that average wage. That’s not just a widening gap that’s an abyss as well paid for by franchisees conned into the idea they are business owners and not just workers. (ODT)

Cosmetics giant Lush has underpaid more than 5000 retail and manufacturing workers across Australia, internal investigations have found, prompting the company to launch a national back-pay scheme valued at $2 million.

The large-scale underpayments, publicly revealed on Tuesday, was due to “serious payroll system errors” stretching back eight years, Lush Australia director Peta Granger said.

via Lush Cosmetics admits to underpaying thousands of staff

In Helsinki, Trump Shows He Is Indeed Guilty of Collusion – Mother Jones

Since being elected president, Donald Trump has vociferously claimed he engaged in “no collusion” with Vladimir Putin’s attack on the 2016 US election and that the investigation of any interactions between him and his associates and Russians was a “witch hunt” or a “rigged witch hunt.” Yet his historic Helsinki summit with Putin—and particularly the unsettling joint press conference they held—provided a clear indication that Trump is indeed guilty of one form of collusion: colluding with Putin to cover up Moscow’s criminal assault on American democracy

 In Helsinki, Trump Shows He Is Indeed Guilty of Collusion – Mother Jones

Plus

Sean O’Grady Trump is so easily manipulated he has virtually become Russia’s agent

 

 

 

‘I don’t see any reason why’ Russia would meddle, Trump says after Putin meeting

 

US President Donald Trump has publicly dismissed his own intelligence reports on Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, saying he preferred to believe Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “extremely strong and powerful” denial.

In a surprise twist to the pair’s much-anticipated meeting in Helsinki, the US President said, after hearing Putin’s side of the story, that he didn’t see any reason to believe Russia had interfered – despite his own spy chief, director of national intelligence Dan Coats, telling him the opposite

via ‘I don’t see any reason why’ Russia would meddle, Trump says after Putin meeting

Finnish Newspaper Greets Trump and Putin With Billboards Defending ‘Free Press’

Both leaders were also greeted with a large billboard advertisement purchased by Helsingin Sanomat, the nation’s largest newspaper, which bashed the Trump and Putin as being enemies of journalism and a free press.

Finnish Newspaper Greets Trump and Putin With Billboards Defending ‘Free Press’

Nearly two-thirds of Germans say Trump is more dangerous than Putin – poll — RT World News

Nearly two-thirds of Germans say Trump is more dangerous than Putin – poll

64 percent of YouGov respondents believe Trump’s politics pose a greater risk to world peace than those of the Russian leader. Only 16 percent said that Putin’s actions were dangerous.

Meanwhile, at least 36 percent agree with the policies of the Russian leader, while only six percent sided with Trump. Putin is also viewed as more powerful than his American counterpart (43 percent against 25 percent).

The opinions of respondents seem to run counter to the attitude of a number of German politicians in relation to the Putin-Trump meeting, which has been a hot topic of discussion in the media. The country’s lawmakers have long feared that Trump could take actions that are not in line with NATO.

Nearly two-thirds of Germans say Trump is more dangerous than Putin – poll — RT World News