When corporate crime is rife in the US and Australia so why is the Australian PM focusing on the Unions? (ODT)
To avoid another crash, the Massachusetts senator says the U.S. must “force law-breaking bankers to trade in their pinstripe suits for orange jumpsuits.”
Where did America disappear to overnight the nation we once knew has vanished (ODT)
The United States will threaten to punish individuals who cooperate with the International Criminal Court in a potential investigation of US wartime actions in Afghanistan, according to people familiar with the decision.
Democrats in 2018 feel more positive toward socialism than capitalism, according to a Gallup Poll released Monday.
Fifty-seven percent of respondents indicated they had a positive view of socialism, a percentage that has not changed drastically since 2010. “The major change,” Gallup reports, “has been a less upbeat attitude toward capitalism, dropping to 47% positive this year—lower than in any of the three previous measures.”
As the United States continues to fuel Yemen’s worsening humanitarian crisis, and boast that it’s targeting al Qaeda in the impoverished nation (AQAP) with airstrikes, new reporting reveals that the U.S.- and U.K-backed Saudi coalition waging a bombing campaign there is recruiting al Qaeda fighters to join its ranks, and paying off the extremists to leave areas.
The militants were guaranteed a safe route out and allowed to keep weapons and cash looted from the city—up to $100 million by some estimates—according to five sources, including military, security, and government officials. […]
Coalition-backed forces moved in two days later, announcing that hundreds of militants were killed and hailing the capture as “part of joint international efforts to defeat the terrorist organizations in Yemen.”
“When it comes to large corporations, the supposedly ‘tough-on-crime’ Trump administration is undertaking an epic retreat from law enforcement—slashing fines, declining to bring cases against corporate wrongdoers, and cutting enforcement programs,” Public Citizen president Robert Weissman said in a statement on Wednesday.
At the time of this conversation, early February 2014, their enemy Viktor Yanukovych was still president. The leaked recording proved that the US and its Kiev embassy were actively involved in a regime change operation. The composition of the post-Maidan government corresponded exactly with US plans.
What few people knew at the time was that such levels of control over the composition of foreign governments had become standard practice for US embassies all over the world. As I could see on my very numerous travels around the Balkans in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the US ambassador was treated by the political class and the media in those countries not as the officially accredited representative of a foreign government but instead as an imperial governor whose pronunciamentos were more important than those of the national government.
It’s all well and good saying things like ‘let Nicaraguans decide their future for themselves without foreign interference’, but criticism of Nicaragua’s young activists, based purely on the grounds of their acceptance of foreign backing, misses the point. Doing so ignores the historic fact that the Sandinistas also received extensive foreign support from the Cuban intelligence service (DGI) during the revolution. The difference between the two, however, are the stringent financial and economic conditions that go hand-in-hand with US support. When it comes to Washington backing your fight, there’s no such thing as a free ride.
US President Donald Trump has claimed, without evidence, that newly released documents relating to the wiretapping of his onetime campaign adviser Carter Page show that intelligence agencies misled the courts that approved the warrant.
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.
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.
Economic errorism by the the worlds largest Industrial Military Complex. Ready to alter the biology of mankind (ODT)
Then the US delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations.
American officials sought to water down the resolution by removing language that called on governments to “protect, promote and support breastfeeding” and another passage that called on policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that many experts say can have deleterious effects on young children.
When that failed, they turned to threats, according to diplomats and government officials who took part in the discussions. Ecuador, which had planned to introduce the measure, was the first to find itself in the cross hairs.
The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.
The US has long sought to deny its hegemonic character while emphasizing its democratic character. It now seems all such pretence has been abandoned.
Now, with the US Department of Defense amending the mission statement of the US military from a ‘deter war’ stance to a ‘sustain American influence abroad’ stance all pretense, as mentioned, is over, allowing the country’s political and military elite to bask in the warm glow of hegemony unmasked.
I’m of a generation where the idea of the UN Security Council meeting without the US is hard to imagine. The conference is eloquent about how isolated and increasingly irrelevant Trump has made America. The rest of the world now sees Washington as an annoying problem to get around.
Moreover, think of it. This meeting involves three of America’s closest military and economic allies–Britain, France and Germany– having been pushed by Trump into the same corner with Russia and China in seeking to have better relations with Iran. I guess Trump has taught *them* a lesson.
Trump is ordering the US Department of the Treasury to slap third party sanctions on non-US firms who do business with Iran. Companies like Total, S.A., the French oil giant, who do business with the US, cannot afford to buck the Treasury Department and so are pulling out of planned Iran investments.
Warmongers walk away with the purse leaving the rest to pay and Australia is a victim as well. (ODT)
Even if Washington stopped spending on its wars tomorrow, it will still, thanks to those conflicts, owe more than $8 trillion in interest alone by the 2050s.
Never before has this country relied so heavily on deficit spending to pay for its conflicts. The consequences are expected to be ruinous for the long-term fiscal health of the U.S., but they go far beyond the economic. Massive levels of war-related debt will have lasting repercussions of all sorts. One potentially devastating effect, a new study finds, will be more societal inequality.
American poverty just issued by UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston. It throws loads of light on how unequal a society America is, how it is marching rapidly toward even greater, Third World levels of inequality, and how peculiar the US is, as a land of rapacious robber barons and 40 million completely marginalized poor.
From Oct. 15 to present, 2017-2018, only 15,383 refugees were legally admitted to the US. By the way, in previous years up to 40% of those given asylum were Muslims, but almost none of those recently admitted are. Refugee rights organizations reckon that the US will accept only 25,000 refugees this year, down from 110,000 in Obama’s last year. Trump had reduced the ceiling for refugees to 50,000, but has put in place obstacles to the process that result in only half that number coming in. These measures are being taken at a time when the world refugee crisis is more acute, with 68 million displaced, than at any time since World War II.
Mr. Fish / Truthdig
NEW YORK—Seventeen years of war in the Middle East and what do we have to show for it? Iraq after our 2003 invasion and occupation is no longer a unified country. Its once modern infrastructure is largely destroyed, and the nation has fractured into warring enclaves. We have lost the war in Afghanistan. The Taliban is resurgent and has a presence in over 70 percent of the country. Libya is a failed state. Yemen after three years of relentless airstrikes and a blockade is enduring one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters. The 500 “moderate” rebels we funded and armed in Syria at a cost of $500 million are in retreat after instigating a lawless reign of terror. The military adventurism has cost a staggering $5.6 trillion as our infrastructure crumbles, austerity guts basic services and half the population of the United States lives at or near poverty levels. The endless wars in the Middle East are the biggest strategic blunder in American history and herald the death of the empire.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a speech delivered on April 13 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, insisted that disclosures about what the CIA and intelligence community are doing is a threat to the safety of Americans. He then went on to address WikiLeaks stating “We can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us.” What exactly was Pompeo referring to when he said”against us”.
North Korean Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol met with President Donald Trump at the White House this week. As part of its efforts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, the Trump administration is conducting negotiations with one of the world’s most brutal regimes. Human Rights Watch has described North Korea’s political prison camps as “the modern day equivalent of the Russian Gulag where prisoners are starved, beaten, tortured and worked to death.” North Korean guards club starving children to death for stealing rice, a UN report explained. Mothers have reportedly been required to observe the infanticide of their newborn babies as a form of punishment.
Despite these ongoing, egregious human rights violations, the White House is pursuing talks with Pyongyang to further U.S. interests. Washington’s engagement with Kim Jong Un makes its policy of refusing to speak with the Palestinian leadership in Gaza even more confounding. While Hamas has carried out horrific attacks, it would be hard to argue that the Islamist group’s actions, especially those in the past year, are more abhorrent than those of North Korea. If advancing U.S. interests is enough of a reason to negotiate with North Korea despite the government’s egregious human rights record, then the same logic must be considered with Hamas.
They are like the camel’s nose, lifting a corner of the tent. Don’t be fooled, though. It won’t take long until the whole animal is sitting inside, sipping your tea and eating your sweets. In countries around the world — in the Middle East, Asia Minor, Central Asia, Africa, even the Philippines — the appearance of U.S. drones in the sky (and on the ground) is often Washington’s equivalent of the camel’s nose entering a new theater of operations in this country’s forever war against “terror.” Sometimes, however, the drones are more like the camel’s tail, arriving after less visible U.S. military forces have been in an area for a while.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
More special forces than diplomats
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.
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
“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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is Trump doing a Dutton or is Dutton doing a Trump. Both are being assisted by Murdoch Media.
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.
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 …”
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.
“How many September 11ths has the United States caused in other nations since WWII?” The answer is: possibly 10,000.
The Nobel Prize winner argues that an economy dominated by large corporations has failed the many and enriched the few.
A Vice News film crew embedded with a far-right speaker in Charlottesville last weekend seeks to highlight the motivations of white supremacists
“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.”
President Donald Trump declined to directly denounce white nationalists who sparked violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va., Friday night and Saturday.
“The question mark here is the behavior of the US leadership.”
Donald Trump is on a mission to “make America great again”. But when exactly was America great?
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.