Category: USA

America’s ‘War on Terror’ Has Cost Taxpayers $5.6 Trillion | The Nation

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War on Terror from September 12, 2001, through fiscal year 2018. That figure: a cool $5.6 trillion (including the future costs of caring for our war vets). On average, that’s at least $23,386 per taxpayer.

Keep in mind that such figures, however eye-popping, are only the dollar costs of our wars. They don’t, for instance, include the psychic costs to the Americans mangled in one way or another in those never-ending conflicts. They don’t include the costs to this country’s infrastructure, which has been crumbling while taxpayer dollars flow copiously and in a remarkably—in these years, almost uniquely—bipartisan fashion into what’s still laughably called “national security.”

via America’s ‘War on Terror’ Has Cost Taxpayers $5.6 Trillion | The Nation

US threatens European companies with sanctions after Iran deal pullout | World news | The Guardian

John Bolton listens as Donald Trump conducts a cabinet meeting at the White House.

Donald Trump is prepared to impose sanctions on European companies that do business in Iran following his withdrawal of the US from the international nuclear deal, his administration reiterated on Sunday.

via US threatens European companies with sanctions after Iran deal pullout | World news | The Guardian

The Koch Brothers’ secret Coup on behalf of the Billionaire Class

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They believe that their great wealth entitles them to rule over the many. For decades, they’ve been running a surreptitious assault on the rules that protect the majority of us from their abuse. From whacking our voting rights to busting unions, their intent is nothing less than to pull a coup on democracy, installing a government of, by, and for the superrich.

via The Koch Brothers’ secret Coup on behalf of the Billionaire Class

Sinclair and the midterms: New York edition

 

If you live in a midsize city or battleground state, you are now more likely than ever to see pro-Trump propaganda and conservative spin on your local news — just in time for the 2018 election season — thanks to conservative media giant Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Media Matters has identified communities that will see competitive congressional midterm races and that have Sinclair-owned or -operated news stations. Many Sinclair stations are already airing national news programming with a conservative slant, and they will be ramping up coverage of their local races.

We’ve already tackled Nevada and Tennessee. Now, we’re taking a look at New York.

via Sinclair and the midterms: New York edition

No End in Sight for US-Backed Yemen War as Airstrike Kills At Least 20, Including Bride, at Wedding | Democracy Now!

At least 20 people died Sunday when a Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit a wedding party in northern Yemen. Most of the dead were reportedly women and children who were gathered in one of the wedding party tents. The bride was among the dead. Medics and residents said more than 46 others—including 30 children—were also injured. The attack on the Yemeni wedding party was one of at least three airstrikes over the weekend that killed Yemeni civilians. A family of five died in an airstrike in the province of Hajjah. And 20 civilians died on Saturday when fighter jets bombed a bus near the city of Taiz. Earlier this month, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said Yemen had become the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. We speak to Shireen Al-Adeimi, a Yemeni doctoral candidate at Harvard University.

Source: No End in Sight for US-Backed Yemen War as Airstrike Kills At Least 20, Including Bride, at Wedding | Democracy Now!

Nearly 4 People Are Evicted Every Minute: New Project Tracks U.S. Eviction Epidemic; Effects | Democracy Now!

A new project called the Eviction Lab examined more than 80 million eviction records going back to 2000 and found that in 2016 alone there were nearly four evictions filed every minute. More than 6,300 Americans are evicted every day. Studies show that eviction can lead to a host of other problems, including poor health, depression, job loss and shattered childhoods. Having an eviction on one’s record also makes it far more difficult to find decent housing in the future. Now the Eviction Lab’s database is being shared with the public in an interactive website that allows people to better track and understand evictions in their own communities. We speak with Matthew Desmond, who runs the project at Princeton University, where he is a professor of sociology. It grew out of his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.”

via Nearly 4 People Are Evicted Every Minute: New Project Tracks U.S. Eviction Epidemic & Effects | Democracy Now!

Trumpism: Why having US Ambassadors in 1/3 of Countries & Spec Ops in 3/4s is Bad

As of March 2018, the Trump administration has appointed only 70 of 188 U.S. ambassadors. At the same time, it has increased the deployment of special operations forces to 149 countries – up from 138 during the Obama administration in 2016. So while U.S. ambassadors are operating in one-third of the world’s capitals, special operations forces are active in three-fourths.

 

via Trumpism: Why having US Ambassadors in 1/3 of Countries & Spec Ops in 3/4s is Bad

Muslims are seen as a threat in the US – but the Florida shooter wasn’t. Why? | Trita Parsi | Opinion | The Guardian

Students protested against gun violence on Wednesday on Capitol Hill, one week after 17 were killed in the latest mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida.

Trump has shifted our focus towards immigrants and Muslims as threats, while willfully neglecting the threat posed by racists and rightwing extremists

How will gun control be discussed at a conference of conservatives this week? Follow developments in an experimental format for mobile

via Muslims are seen as a threat in the US – but the Florida shooter wasn’t. Why? | Trita Parsi | Opinion | The Guardian

Trump’s 0 Bn. Bag of Goodies for the Military-Industrial Complex

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“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed… This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

Those words still seem salient today. As Americans experience acute income inequality, the rising cost of a college education, and ongoing deindustrialization in the heartland, the country’s runaway spending continues to rise precipitously. The planned 2019 Pentagon budget is now expected to hit a staggering $716 billion — more than much of the rest of the world’s defense spending combined

via Trump’s 0 Bn. Bag of Goodies for the Military-Industrial Complex

MSNBC Breaks Down Significance Of Russian Indictments | Crooks and Liars

So there was, in this case, unwitting help from Americans and the question that Robert Mueller is investigating is whether there was any witting help to this from members of the trump campaign.

via MSNBC Breaks Down Significance Of Russian Indictments | Crooks and Liars

A Crisis of Democracy: Trump’s block of Dem Response to Nunes

 

A Crisis of Democracy: Trump’s block of Dem Response to Nunes

Trump’s refusal to release the response of the Democratic minority on the House Intelligence Committee to the declassified Nunes memo cherry-picking intelligence reports has been decried as a politicization of intelligence. It has been pointed out by legal scholar Laurence Tribe that Congress could in any case override Trump and declassify the Democratic response itself, if the GOP representatives wanted to. So this controversy isn’t about Trump or Nunes. It is about a Republican Party determined not to play fair.

While these analyses is certainly correct, they miss a crucial problem with our declining democracy in the United States: classified documents are inherently undemocratic and should be rare.

via A Crisis of Democracy: Trump’s block of Dem Response to Nunes

Republicans Run **Actual Nazi** In IL-03 | Crooks and Liars

Republicans Run **Actual Nazi** In IL-03

Arthur Jones is a former leader of the American Nazi Party and now heads a group called the America First Committee, which I’m sure that it’s only a coincidence bears the same name as the group fronted by Charles Lindbergh in the 1930s and 40s that tried to keep the United States out of World War II. And of course, there’s no relationship to the current Nazis occupying the White House.

via Republicans Run **Actual Nazi** In IL-03 | Crooks and Liars

Can American Democracy survive six Standing Wars? | Informed Comment

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Whether the rationale is the need to wage a war on terror involving 76 countries or renewed preparations for a struggle against peer competitors Russia and China (as Defense Secretary James Mattis suggested recently while introducing America’s new National Defense Strategy), the U.S. military is engaged globally. A network of 800 military bases spread across 172 countries helps enable its wars and interventions. By the count of the Pentagon, at the end of the last fiscal year about 291,000 personnel (including reserves and Department of Defense civilians) were deployed in 183 countries worldwide, which is the functional definition of a military uncontained. Lady Liberty may temporarily close when the U.S. government grinds to a halt, but the country’s foreign military commitments, especially its wars, just keep humming along.

via Can American Democracy survive six Standing Wars? | Informed Comment

Rising risk of conflict in northern Syria between US and Turkey

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signs a drone at a military airbase in Batman, Turkey, on Saturday.

When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched an offensive there last month against US-backed Kurdish fighters, he started in an area where American troops aren’t embedded with their allies.

But he said the operation will soon extend further east, to the town of Manbij, where they are. “We’ll press against terrorists without taking into consideration who’s next to them,” Erdogan said on January 30. Several ministers have made the same point.

via Rising risk of conflict in northern Syria between US and Turkey

Jailed Russian says he can prove hack of DNC on Kremlin’s orders

Washington: A jailed Russian who says he hacked into the Democratic National Committee computers on the Kremlin’s orders to steal emails released during the 2016 US presidential election campaign now claims he left behind a data signature to prove his assertion.

Jailed Russian says he can prove hack of DNC on Kremlin’s orders

Sanders attacks tax plan as Trump celebrates with friends: ‘You all just got a lot richer’ | US news | The Guardian

Bernie Sanders on the day of the Senate vote on the tax reform bill, 20 December 2017 in Washington DC.

Sanders’ criticism came as a report claimed Trump had said to wealthy guests at a dinner at Mar-a-Lago on Friday evening, “You all just got a lot richer”.

The senator, speaking to CNN’s State of the Union, said: “At the end of 10 years, 83% of the the benefits go to the top 1%, 60% of the benefits go to the top one-tenth of 1%, meanwhile well over 80 million Americans will be paying more in taxes, 13 million will lose their healthcare and we will have an additional $1.4tn deficit …”

via Sanders attacks tax plan as Trump celebrates with friends: ‘You all just got a lot richer’ | US news | The Guardian

USA Today calls Trump unfit to clean Obama’s toilets in scathing editorial

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Will Trump’s lows ever hit rock bottom?

With his latest tweet, clearly implying that a United States senator would trade sexual favours for campaign cash, President Trump has shown he is not fit for office. Rock bottom is no impediment for a president who can always find room for a new low.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday dismissed the president’s smear as a misunderstanding because he used similar language about men. Of course, words used about men and women are different. When candidate Trump said a journalist was bleeding from her “wherever,” he didn’t mean her nose.

via USA Today calls Trump unfit to clean Obama’s toilets in scathing editorial

‘Jews will not replace us’: Vice film lays bare horror of neo-Nazis in America | US news | The Guardian

A Vice News film crew embedded with a far-right speaker in Charlottesville last weekend seeks to highlight the motivations of white supremacists

Source: ‘Jews will not replace us’: Vice film lays bare horror of neo-Nazis in America | US news | The Guardian

Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer ‘was standing up for what was right’

“It was obvious that he had this fascination with Nazism and a big idolatry of Adolf Hitler,” Mr Weimer said. “He had white supremacist views. He really believed in that stuff.””When you’re a teacher and you see one of your former students do this, it’s a nightmare scenario.”This was something that was growing in him. I admit I failed. I tried my best. But this is definitely a teachable moment and something we need to be vigilant about because this stuff is tearing up our country.”

Source: Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer ‘was standing up for what was right’

Trump Blames Bigotry “On All Sides” in Charlottesville During Self-Aggrandizing Speech – Mother Jones

President Donald Trump declined to directly denounce white nationalists who sparked violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va., Friday night and Saturday.

Source: Trump Blames Bigotry “On All Sides” in Charlottesville During Self-Aggrandizing Speech – Mother Jones

“Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor”: Trump Admin Attacks Emma Lazarus’s Iconic Poem on Statue of Liberty | Democracy Now!

Opposition is growing to the Trump administration’s new proposal to implement radical changes to U.S. immigration law and slash the number of immigrants allowed into the United States by half. The RAISE Act would create a so-called merit-based immigration system that would favor applicants who speak English, have advanced degrees or can demonstrate job skills. On Wednesday, CNN’s Jim Acosta pressed senior policy adviser Stephen Miller over President Trump’s push to admit only English-speaking immigrants in a back-and-forth that lasted for several minutes. Acosta asked Miller about the iconic poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus that is inscribed at the base of the State of Liberty, which reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” We speak about the woman who wrote those words, Emma Lazarus, with her biographer, Esther Schor, about why Lazarus wrote the poem, how it became one of the most iconic verses about the United States and why she has long been a target of white nationalists.

Source: “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor”: Trump Admin Attacks Emma Lazarus’s Iconic Poem on Statue of Liberty | Democracy Now!

As a general rule: Trump administration adds another military general to civilian leadership — RT America

President Donald Trump’s administration has appointed a slew of former US generals to his cabinet and to lead executive agencies. Now, another military man is being brought on board, this time to direct the federal prison system.

Source: As a general rule: Trump administration adds another military general to civilian leadership — RT America

Trump Administration Is Demoting Scientists In The Hope They’ll Quit, Says Whistleblower | IFLScience

Climate change is a dirty word in the United States federal government. Speaking about it gets you, at best, a “visceral reaction” from Rick Perry, and at

Source: Trump Administration Is Demoting Scientists In The Hope They’ll Quit, Says Whistleblower | IFLScience

North Korean missile launch pits China and Russia against the US – Donald Trump’s America – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

For US President Donald Trump, there are no good options when it comes to dealing with North Korea, writes Ben Knight.

Source: North Korean missile launch pits China and Russia against the US – Donald Trump’s America – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Sy Hersh, Exposer of My Lai and Abu Ghraib, Strikes Again, Exposing US Lies About Alleged Assad Sarin ‘Attack’

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, the journalist who exposed the My Lai massacre of Vietnamese women, children and old people by US troops, the Abu Ghraib prison torture …

Source: Sy Hersh, Exposer of My Lai and Abu Ghraib, Strikes Again, Exposing US Lies About Alleged Assad Sarin ‘Attack’

Neo-Nazi with explosive materials, framed picture of Timothy McVeigh deemed “not a threat” and granted bail – Salon.com

Brandon Russell leads a neo-Nazi group and had bombmaking materials, but a judge granted him the option of bail

Source: Neo-Nazi with explosive materials, framed picture of Timothy McVeigh deemed “not a threat” and granted bail – Salon.com

ISIL Hits Tehran; Trump Blames Victim, Iran Hard-Liners Blame Saudis | The Nation

Washington demonizes Iran as a supporter of terrorist groups because of its backing for Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has primarily functioned as a national liberation movement and more recently has fought Al Qaeda and ISIL (as well as some less radical rebel groups) in Syria. None of the terrorist assaults in the United States or Western Europe in recent years have been linked to Iran. Also on Wednesday, the US Senate voted to place more stringent sanctions on Iran.

 

Source: ISIL Hits Tehran; Trump Blames Victim, Iran Hard-Liners Blame Saudis | The Nation

‘A very big deal’: James Comey testifies Donald Trump sought to change Russia probe

Americans watched agog as sacked FBI director James Comey used his forensic legal skills and flashes of anger to inflict significant damage on Donald Trump.

Source: ‘A very big deal’: James Comey testifies Donald Trump sought to change Russia probe

Australian woman ‘strip-searched and jailed’ in Hawaii after US border checks

A Melbourne woman bound for a holiday in the United States claims she was strip-searched, locked up in a federal prison and sent back to Australia by border officials.

Source: Australian woman ‘strip-searched and jailed’ in Hawaii after US border checks

Right-Wing Media Figures Demanded Clinton Prosecution, Said She “Belongs Behind Bars” After Comey Firing

Right-wing media figures, many of them employed by Fox News, used President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey to call for reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, suggesting that Clinton be prosecuted and that she “belongs behind bars.”

Source: Right-Wing Media Figures Demanded Clinton Prosecution, Said She “Belongs Behind Bars” After Comey Firing

Donald Trump takes huge step toward repealing Obamacare as House passes new healthcare bill | The Independent| Why is this a ‘Victory’ Americans will die!

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Donald Trump is one huge step closer to repealing Obamacare, after the House of Representatives narrowly passed a healthcare bill aimed at undoing one of his predecessor’s biggest accomplishments.

Source: Donald Trump takes huge step toward repealing Obamacare as House passes new healthcare bill | The Independent

Former Koch Agents, Fossil Fuel Industry Hired Guns Now Staffing Trump’s Federal Agencies | Common Dreams

On March 8, ProPublica obtained “beachhead team” rosters with the names of hundreds of temporary staffers the Trump administration has installed in federal agencies, including the Department of Interior (DOI), Department of Energy (

Source: Former Koch Agents, Fossil Fuel Industry Hired Guns Now Staffing Trump’s Federal Agencies | Common Dreams

The Ink On Trump’s New Muslim Ban Is Barely Dry And Another Xenophobic Hate Crime Is Being Investigated

As President Donald Trump releases his new Muslim ban, officials are investigating the shooting of a Sikh man in Washington state as a hate crime. The incident underscores the danger of having a government that legitimizes racial and religious profiling, implicitly validates the hatred of extremist groups, and promotes right-wing media myt

Source: The Ink On Trump’s New Muslim Ban Is Barely Dry And Another Xenophobic Hate Crime Is Being Investigated

Trump on replacing healthcare law that took years to craft: ‘Nobody knew it could be so complicated’ | US news | The Guardian

President reaffirms Republican commitment to repealing Affordable Care Act amid uncertainty over replacement and rising support for ‘Obamacare’

Source: Trump on replacing healthcare law that took years to craft: ‘Nobody knew it could be so complicated’ | US news | The Guardian