Even if John Stewart is Gone, We all Need to Keep taking on FOX and all the Media


I am going to put a lot of John Stewart videos in the comment section, like this one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YO_om3iK9kE

You probably heard the great news – after a few years of progressive activism, FOX finally cancelled Glenn Beck’s show–but the Boycott Must Go On!!

Ten years ago, Media Matters launched with a revolutionary mission: to systematically monitor the U.S. media for conservative misinformation every day, in real time. We’ve been calling out right-wing lies for a decade — and we’re not done yet. Will you contribute now to help us raise $10,000 for our 10th anniversary?

Media Matters Timeline

For ten years, we’ve successfully fought back against the bad actors that poison our media with right-wing lies and smears. It’s been an amazing beginning, and we couldn’t have done it without your support.

We’re in this for the long haul. Make an anniversary gift today to kickstart the next ten years of media accountability.

Dear Kevin,
You probably heard the great news – after two years of progressive activism, FOX finally cancelled Glenn Beck’s show.
Beck was targeted after he slandered President Obama by saying, “This president has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture, I don’t know what it is… This guy, I believe, is a racist.”
Activists at ColorOfChange, Media Matters, StopBeck, FoxNewsBoycott, and of course Democrats.com responded with a boycott of advertisers on Glenn Beck’s show. Ultimately over 300 advertisers pulled their ads from Beck, costing FOX over $40 million.
Advertiser boycotts work! And it’s time to boycott all FOX News advertisers:
http://www.democrats.com/boycott-proactiv
We’re starting our boycott of all FOX News with Proactiv, which sells acne medicine to teenagers and young adults. Why?
First, there are lots of other acne treatments. Second, young adults above all are hurt by FOX News, which promotes right-wing policies on race, education, healthcare, the environment, and war. Let’s get our future leaders to lead the fight against FOX News!
Sign the petition to Proactiv and enter the email address of every young adult over 18 you know:
http://www.democrats.com/boycott-proactiv
Beyond President Obama, FOX regularly slanders nearly everyone: Democrats, unionized workers, the unemployed (including veterans and 99ers), environmentalists, feminists, blacks, Hiics, Jews, Muslims, progressives, scientists, and any other group it disagrees with.
FOX News broadcasts rightwing extremist slander, incitement to violence, political propaganda, and outright lies to promote its rightwing political agenda. This is not “news,” but rather a never-ending “war on news” – and it’s all documented in our petition.
Why would any decent company want to fund it? Tell Proactiv to stop advertising on FOX News:
http://www.democrats.com/boycott-proactiv
Thanks for all you do!
Bob Fertik

GLEN BECK ADMITTED in 2007, “I Am RACIST and Barack Obama is very White” THIS MAKES Boycotting FOX NEWS needed NOW

By Kevin Stoda

Dear, American supporters of the Fascist Oddball Xenophobic (FOX) news networks.

AMERICANS are getting less tolerant of your racism and stronghold on our major media.

For example, we have noted that in his 2007 TV program from FOX (See on You-Tube), Glen Beck admitted he himself was racist. Further, Beck then, in contrast to 2009, called Barrack Obama much more white than black. (Apparently, Beck now he has other nonsense to mush men’s minds.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0tgvWxC_6A

Using a major news platform to promote racism and to tell people to disrespect a whole presidential administration through mixed truths, outright lies, and xenophobia, is not to be tolerated any more.

On Democracy Now today, Amy Goodman asked Benjamin Jealous of the NAACP what he thought of Wal-Mart’s pull-out from advertising on the Glen Beck program on FOX.

NOTE: Goodman had simply asked , “The whole attack by Glenn Beck that drove this (resignation)? In your response from the NAACP to Van Jones, it says, ´The only thing more outrageous than Mr. Beck’s attack on Van Jones is the fact that there are sponsors that continue to pay him to provide this type of offensive commentary.` Do you support the continued boycott of companies like Wal-Mart of Beck’s show on Fox?”

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/8/white_house_environmental_adviser_van_jones

This is a particularly important point because Glen Beck´s HATE CAMPAIGN ON THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION led recently to a great American policy maker, Van Jones, quitting the government this week.

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/09/06/van-jones-resigns/

Mr. Jealous said, “We certainly support them (Walmart) choosing with their dollars who they’re going to support. I mean, it’s—Glenn Beck is somebody who’s told a seven-year-old girl, a seven-year-old black girl, that he would buy her a ticket back to Africa, that she needed to go back to Africa. And then he comes out, and he says that healthcare is the beginning of reparations. I mean, this guy plays the race card on a weekly basis. He does it very aggressive—you know, in a very hateful way.”

Recall, first, that Van Jones is one of the most important and thoughtful men in America—however, the FOX (Fascist Oddball Xenophobic) news network chose to support a man, like Glen Beck, rather than seeing that tens of millions of Americans need to get health care from promoters like Jones and that our America economy needs to move starting today to the kind of economy that its competitors worldwide are already doing.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/95963/what_will_the_green_economy_look_like/

Let’s quote the wisdom and influential words of Van Jones on the absolute necessity to green the American economy NOW!

“I think it’s really important to point out that we’re sort of at the end of an era of American capitalism, where we thought we could run the economy based on consumption rather than production, credit rather than creativity, borrowing rather than building, and also, most importantly, environmental destruction rather than environmental restoration.”

Jones continued, “We’re trying to make the case in this book that that era is over. We now have to move in a very different direction. And key to that will be basing the US economy not on credit cards, but based on clean energy and the clean energy revolution that would put literally millions of people to work, putting up solar panels all across the United States, weatherizing buildings so they don’t leak so much energy and put up so much carbon, building wind farms and wave farms, manufacturing wind turbines. We argue you could put Detroit back to work not making SUVs to destroy the world, but making wind turbines, 8,000 finely machine parts in each one, twenty tons of steel in each wind tower, making wind turbines to help save the world.”

Finally, Van Jones wisely noted, “So we think that you can fight pollution and poverty at the same time. We think that you can actually power our way through this recession by putting people to work, but we’re going to have to start building things here and re-powering, retrofitting, retooling America, and that that’s the way forward both for the economy, for the earth and for everyday people.”

Note: These statements came from a program on DN from October of last year:

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/10/28/van_jones_on_the_green_collar

Van Beck has written a book of the same title, The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems.

http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780061650758/The_Green_Collar_Economy/index.aspx

America needs such voices as Van Jones in government leadership in America—not Fascist Oddball Xenophobic (FOX) types.

Clean up the American airwaves of all its fascism and racism, today.

http://www.pittsburghurbanmedia.com/a-petition-against-fox-conservative-host-glenn-beck.aspx

NOTE: One way to change the noise of Fascist Oddball Xenophobic (FOX) media moguls is to support alternative media organizations

http://aan.org/alternative/Aan/index

and alternative monitoring websites.

http://americas.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/64380

Another way, is to demand that local radio and TV channels put better programming on, such as Democracy Now or news sources promoted by serious progressive journalists:

http://www.tacomapjh.org/progressive_news.htm

Posted in Uncategorized | 55 Comments

Made in America Week as Ivanka Promotes Foreign Made Apparel Stateside and Divides Working Families Abroad


As Trump Touts “Made in America” Week, Indonesian Workers Toil Away Making Ivanka Trump Apparel

STORYJULY 21, 2017

 TOPICS

While President Trump is promoting “Made in America” week, we turn now to look at a recent investigation by The Guardian that revealed workplace abuse, grueling production targets and deplorably low pay at an Indonesian factory that makes clothing for Ivanka Trump’s label. Many of the female workers at the factory in West Java say the pay is so low that they live in constant debt and can’t afford to live with their own children. We speak to journalist Krithika Varagur in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s “Made in America” week, according to the White House. This is President Trump speaking earlier this week.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We’re here today to celebrate American manufacturing and to showcase the amazing products from all 50 states made in the U.S.A. Remember in the old days you used to have “made in the U.S.A.,” “made in America”? But made in the U.S.A., we’re going to start doing that again. We’re going to put that brand on our product, because it means it’s the best. … We want to build, create and grow more products in our country, using American labor, American goods and American grit. When we purchase products made in the U.S.A., the profits stay here, the revenue stays here, and the jobs, maybe most importantly of all, they stay right here in the U.S.A.

AMY GOODMAN: While President Trump is promoting “Made in America” week, we turn now to look at a recent investigation by The Guardian that revealed workplace abuse, grueling production targets and deplorably low pay at an Indonesian factory that makes clothing for the Ivanka Trump brand label. Many of the female workers at the factory in West Java say the pay is so low, they live in constant debt and can’t afford to live with their own children. This comes as three Chinese activists with the group China Labor Watch were imprisoned, though now released, after they were arrested while investigating labor conditions at a factory manufacturing Ivanka Trump brand shoes in China.

Well, last month, we spoke to the journalist who broke the story, Krithika Varagur, in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital. She talked about what she discovered in her investigation.

KRITHIKA VARAGUR: I went to the factory in West Java, about three hours from Jakarta, that makes clothes for G-III Apparel Group, which is this global conglomerate that makes clothes for a bunch of high-profile brands, including Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld and Ivanka Trump. What I found there was fairly typical of other Indonesian garment factories, which is to say there were quite a few labor violations, according to the workers that I spoke with, including consistent unpaid overtime or poorly compensated overtime, an extremely low minimum wage—still legal, I want to emphasize that, but quite low for Indonesia and quite low for Asia—and reports of verbal abuse from company management.

AMY GOODMAN: And talk about the people you met there, particularly the young women, and what they had to say about their work conditions.

KRITHIKA VARAGUR: Yeah. So this is a pretty large factory, almost 3,000 people, and the vast majority of people who work there are women. And often they are the breadwinners for their whole family. The fact about this minimum wage and the reason this town has become quite attractive to garment factories is that this minimum wage is incredibly low even for Indonesia. It’s about $173 a month. And this means that if you’re from out of town, which is to say, if your parents don’t have a house here that you can stay in, you can’t afford—you basically can’t afford to have your children live with you. According to many labor activists, this is not a living wage. One prominent activist that I quoted called it a “poverty wage.” And the working moms that I met, including the one that was prominently featured in my piece, simply can’t afford to have their kids live with them. They live in a different town with their grandparents and see their parents about once a month.

AMY GOODMAN: You talk about this area being—where this factory is, being particularly low wages even for Indonesia. What? Like you said, $160 a month, which would be what? Forty dollars a week, which would be well under a dollar an hour, because also you describe people saying they’re forced to work overtime and not be compensated.

KRITHIKA VARAGUR: Right. This wage is quite low for Indonesia. In a neighboring town, for example, Purwakarta in West Java, the minimum wage is over 3 million rupiah, whereas here it’s only 2.3. When I spoke to the manpower ministry of this district, they were quite insistent that this wage was important to keep them competitive in the global garment market. But, of course, when you look at it from the global perspective, this wage is about 40 percent lower than what the equivalent factory workers are making in China. And it was reported earlier this month in The New York Times that the G-III Apparel Group was looking to move to cheaper labor, even cheaper than China, and had been closing down some of its factories. So you see this downstream movement, chasing lower and lower wages, which I think this is a part of.

AMY GOODMAN: And that issue of China is particularly relevant when it comes to Ivanka brand—Ivanka Trump brand clothes. We just reported on the three investigators for China Labor Watch who went to a factory in China, which actually pays more than the factory you visited in Indonesia. They were investigating the conditions there, and they’ve all been arrested, which is unusual even for China right now.

KRITHIKA VARAGUR: Yeah, it’s certainly concerning. And I believe that the Ivanka Trump brand has distanced itself from that particular factory, because they don’t currently produce things there anymore. I would say it’s a disturbing development.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk to us about Alia, the young woman you met in the West Java factory.

KRITHIKA VARAGUR: Yeah. Without giving too much away, she’s been working all her life. She’s a mother to two children. And what I would emphasize is that she is not unique within the factory. She said there’s dozens of moms just like her whose main interactions with their kids are in photos on their phone that they store up when they visit them once a month.

And, you know, they’re doing honest work. They’re getting a legal wage. And this factory is not beyond the pale. It’s a very, you know, ordinary Indonesian factory. But the fact is, even working day after day, the money they make is simply not enough. And there’s just a great, great distance from the lives these women live, these working moms live, and the professional rhetoric of Ivanka Trump, who wrote a book on women in the workplace.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, you actually share the sort of gist of the book, Ivanka Trump’s book, Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success, with this young woman, this factory worker at the West Java factory. What did she say about what Ivanka recommends when it comes to “rewriting the rules for success”?

KRITHIKA VARAGUR: I mean, she thought it was funny. She just started laughing. This work-life balance rhetoric is totally alien to women of her class and in their position. And they don’t balance their work and lives because they want to, but because they have to. And yeah, I mean, there’s just a huge gap between their lived experience and the rhetoric that’s being pushed in Ivanka Trump’s book. So, they thought it was pretty funny. She and many of them did know who she was, but they weren’t familiar with the intricacies of her brand and so forth.

AMY GOODMAN: So she can’t see her children but once a month, when she travels—makes enough money for the gasoline to go hours away to her family, who—where her children are being raised by their grandparents.

KRITHIKA VARAGUR: That’s correct.

AMY GOODMAN: You also talk about President Trump calling out Indonesia last March for having an unfavorable trade balance with the United States, saying that Indonesia was treating foreign—was cheating foreign importers. Can you explain how that fits into this picture?

KRITHIKA VARAGUR: Sure. Indonesia is one of the countries that Donald Trump singled out for having what he called an unfair trade balance with the United States. I believe as of last year it was a $13 billion surplus. And he promised to correct that, as it were, and return jobs and the import-export balance in America’s favor. So it’s ironic in that context, that having singled out Indonesia as one of these countries, his daughter’s clothing brand uses Indonesian labor.

AMY GOODMAN: And Donald Trump keeps on saying he will penalize companies that go to other countries, talking about bringing jobs back to America. Now, this company, Ivanka Trump’s brand, you don’t always know that it is the Ivanka Trump brand, is that right? The name is different, and they’ve even changed the Ivanka Trump brand name in some cases.

KRITHIKA VARAGUR: That’s correct. It’s been sort of plummeting in popularity in various metro areas in recent months, to the point where G-III, which is the apparel group that owns Ivanka Trump, has been discreetly relabeling her merchandise to a brand called Adrienne Vitadini, apparently without informing Ivanka Trump’s brand, in hopes of moving it off the shelves. I’m not sure what the effects of that have been, but I think it points to the fact that her merchandise is kind of getting tougher to move off the shelves.

AMY GOODMAN: Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world. Did you talk to the workers at this factory? Were they aware of all the controversy around the Muslim ban one and two of the current president, President Trump, the father of Ivanka Trump, whose clothes are named after her, though she’s distanced herself while she is an adviser to her father in the White House?

KRITHIKA VARAGUR: Yeah, certainly some of them were aware of Donald Trump, and for obvious reasons. Since almost every worker in this factory is a Muslim, they were not fans of him. But this factory town, like many other factory towns in Indonesia, is a one-horse town. You either keep this job, or you work on the farm. So like one of the people quoted in my article said, they are not in a position to make employment decisions based on their principles. So, as much as they have personal problems with working—with indirectly supporting a family that has announced a Muslim ban, they can’t do much about it right now.

AMY GOODMAN: Have you gotten a response from the Ivanka Trump brand? The publisher of Ivanka Trump’s book, Adrian Zackheim, told ABC News in a statement, “The book highlights the author’s continuing commitment to inspire and empower women to define success on their own terms and to create the lives they want to live.” Have they responded directly to your piece and exposé about the conditions in this one plant in Indonesia that makes Ivanka Trump brand clothes?

KRITHIKA VARAGUR: No, not yet.

AMY GOODMAN: Is there anything else you’d like to add about what you found and how people in the plant feel? This is a nonunion plant?

KRITHIKA VARAGUR: There are two small unions represented, but they are quite a small fraction of the total factory population. So they’re less than 10 percent of the factory.

AMY GOODMAN: And are many of the factories in Indonesia—are there a number that are going to this Subang district of Indonesia, where the minimum wage, which, to say the least, is extremely minimal, is even lower than other parts of Indonesia?

KRITHIKA VARAGUR: Yeah, there are quite a few Korean apparel groups in this region, and there are, I think, over 300 companies in Subang as of this year. It’s become quite—it’s becoming a semi-prominent industrial zone within the last two decades, after spending a long time as an agrarian community.

And in terms of the factory as a whole, I would just say it is a very run-of-the-mill Indonesian garment factory. But, of course, the reason that it bears a second look is because of the connection to a very specific brand that is built on women in the workplace. So, I think it’s important to look at the supply chain of a brand that positions itself in that way.

AMY GOODMAN: [Krithika Varagur, speaking to us from Jakarta], Indonesia, about her Guardian investigation, “Revealed: reality of life working in an Ivanka Trump clothing factory.” We’ll link to that at democracynow.org. All Ivanka Trump brand apparel are made abroad. President Trump declared this week “Made in America” week.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Ivanka Trump under the radar during ‘Made in America Week …

2 days ago – Ivanka Trump under the radar during ‘Made in America Week‘ … Font family … Trump brand of apparel and accessories are made exclusively overseas in …. Last week, as the President traveled to Paris for his third foreign trip, Trump … his daughter remained in Washington working at the White House, but …

Ivanka Trump products are not made in America | PBS NewsHour

4 days ago – It’s “Made in America” week at the White House, but President Trump’s effort to … has sparked questions about where Trump family products are produced. … or sold through Ivanka Trump’s fashion line is all made overseas. … trained workers that work in the apparel industry here anymore, and, in many …

‘Made in America’ Week Renews Focus on Trump Goods … – NBC News

4 days ago – President Donald Trump celebrated “Made in America” week on Monday, bringing renewed attention to his family’s production and sale of goods made overseas. … is working to bring more manufacturing back to the United States. … last week that Ivanka Trump relies “exclusively on foreignfactories” to …

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Still Benefiting … – USA News Today

http://www.usanews-today.com › Headline News

Apr 2, 2017 – America’s housing market is heating up again, fortifying the finances of current …. theories, and promotes willful delusion over engagement with reality,” the … Despite the apparent breadth of thisweek’s letter, many economists are … especially when it is being made more customer-friendly and where use of …

‘Very major border tax’ is big migraine for tech – USA Today

Jan 26, 2017 – Font Family … Opening his first official week in office, President Donald Trump warned … with a “very major border tax” on goods made outside the U.S. … “The USA needs to create new industries and prepare employees to work in them.” …. Some large companies with overseasmanufacturing operations …

Tax Tuesday – Prime Policy

prime-policy.com/tax-hub/tax-tuesday/

Mnuchin still expects middle-class tax cuts in 2017- USA Today (July 9) … tax avoidance schemes that take advantage of low tax rates in foreign countries. … Secretary Mnuchin this week again asked Congress to consider legislation … Marco Rubio and Ivanka Trump Team Up on Tax Reform- National Review (June 13)

Donald Trump Archives – Page 8 of 272 – Florida Politics

floridapolitics.com/archives/tag/donald-trump/page/8

Despite Trump’s assertion that the nation needs to wean itself of foreign oil, U.S. oil … He says he works seven days a week to try to provide for his family, but is …. That is what made America what it is — strong and different from any other …. the vote saying he hopes Acosta’s focus will be “promoting labor policies that are …

Küsida võib kõike! — Foorum – Esileht

erootikaliin.ee/f/foorum.php?ID=X1090263961

I was made redundant two months ago [a href=” …… placed on strengthening the UK’s foreign trade links during his visit to China this week. …… European interest in American craft beers begins tomirror the mania for them stateside, the …… uses[/a] Several families were abroad on holiday when the announcement was made …

Citizens America Party

Do the work of promoting the general Welfare that will secure the Blessings of ….. But my study dividesthe world into two classes of people: Jews and the Goys who …. (A comment made by Zionist Jew Netanyahu to Jonathan Pollard (convicted ….. Constitution of the United States against all enemies,foreign and domestic; …

News- Breaking News, Headlines, Photos and Video | The Citizen

Jul 9, 2017 – Trump continued: “What we want to see in the United States is honest, …. At his last G-20 summit, Obama made a case for the U.S. bank bailouts, …… told that the president embarked on his second medical trip abroad this year. …… An activist investigating working conditions at a supplier forIvanka Trump’s …

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My Evidence that there is Too Much Bureaucracy and Hurts its Students and Former Students Consistently– Do you know that DEPARTMENTS ARE NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO FORWARD EMAILS FROM HELP DESK TO APPROPRIATE PERSONS? Such is the No-Shame on TAMU tradition (Make the University more transparent and better–forward this)


Dear TAMU Buddies,

Howdy!!!!

For nearly 15 years, I have been trying to obtain a transcript from Texas A&M in College Station, Texas.

Below is an example of the byzantine and inhumane treatment one receives wehn tryinng to obtain a transcript through College Station.  Millions of Aggies and their families are affected by such poor service. (Many victims serve in government and in the armed services, by the way.)

Pass this on to others and share your victimhood until A&M is reformed.

Yours,

 

Kevin A. Stoda

HERE ARE EXAMPLES OF RECENT CORESPONDENCES (Since May 2017)

 

 

 

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Demand that NYC Justice System Act Now and Save this Young Man from Suicide and other Horrors


Another Kalief Browder? Bronx Teen Seeking Trial Languishes at Rikers

JUL 21, 2017

Pedrohernandez

Meanwhile, in New York City, civil rights activists are demanding justice for a Bronx teenager who’s been held at the notorious Rikers Island jail while awaiting trial for a 2015 crime he says he did not commit. Prosecutors say 18-year-old Pedro Hernandez fired a shot that struck another teen in the leg, even though the victim and eight other teens who witnessed the shooting say Hernandez is innocent. Hernandez has turned down a plea deal that would see him released on five years’ probation. He’s insisting on a trial by jury, but scheduling conflicts have pushed a trial date past Labor Day. Hernandez has been in jail since July of 2016. Hernandez hopes to be released by September 1 in order to accept a full college scholarship. His family has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the $250,000 needed to bail him out. Hernandez’s plight has drawn comparisons to the case of Kalief Browder, another Bronx teen, who committed suicide in 2015 at the age of 22 after being held at Rikers for nearly three years without trial for a crime he did not commit.

TOPICS:
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Too many states and cities imprison peoples for profit; we must end this


Senate Bill Would Reform Money Bail System

JUL 21, 2017

Prison bail

On Capitol Hill, a pair of senators introduced a bill Thursday seeking to reform states’ money bail systems, which leave nearly a half-million Americans in jail each day simply because they are unable to pay their way out. The legislation by Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky and Democrat Kamala Harris of California would prod states to move away from the current money bail system and toward a system that allows lower-income people to go free as they await trial.

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Contact all governments to demand that Civil Asset Forfeitures be Employed agains all of Trump’s Property!!!!


Justice Department to Revive Civil Asset Forfeitures by Police

JUL 21, 2017

Police

The Justice Department said this week it will allow state and local police departments to seize cash and property from people suspected of crimes—even if they haven’t been convicted. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the policy, called “civil asset forfeiture,” is an important tool for fighting crime. The practice was largely ended by the Obama administration after investigations showed local police routinely stopped drivers for minor traffic infractions and seized billions of dollars’ worth of property. In some cases, departments used the assets to pay for luxury cars and high-powered weapons. The ACLU has called civil asset forfeiture a violation of due process that disproportionately targets communities of color.

TOPICS:
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Did the new FBI Chief Sign Off on Torture orders???


Senate Committee Advances Nomination of Christopher Wray as FBI Chief

JUL 21, 2017

C wray

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 20-0 Thursday to recommend President Trump’s nominee replace James Comey as head of the FBI, clearing the way for Christopher Wray to be approved by the full Senate. Wray served as assistant attorney general under George W. Bush from 2003 to 2005, at a time when the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel signed off on the torture of prisoners in CIA and military custody.

TOPICS:
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Shouldn’t all real Americans oppose congress and these bills to criminalize right-thinking and right-doing?


Civil Liberties Groups Decry Bills to Criminalize Boycotting Israel

JUL 21, 2017

Bds sign

Back in the U.S., civil rights groups are warning a pair of bipartisan bills would criminalize free speech and peaceful protests. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act would make it a felony for U.S. citizens to support boycotts of Israel and Israeli settlements—punishable by at least a quarter-million-dollar fine, with a maximum penalty of two decades in prison and a fine of $1 million. So far, 43 senators and 234 representatives across both sides of the aisle support the legislation. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, reportedly helped craft the bill and has made its passage one of the group’s top lobbying priorities for the year. In a letter on Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union wrote, “We take no position for or against the effort to boycott Israel or any foreign country, for that matter. However, we do assert that the government cannot, consistent with the First Amendment, punish U.S. persons based solely on their expressed political beliefs.” The attempt to criminalize the BDS movement comes amid a deepening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, where the United Nations said this month conditions have become “unlivable.”

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Has your meida source noted the following? : ” Over 40,000 Civilians Died in Battle for Mosul, Iraq”


The Independent: Over 40,000 Civilians Died in Battle for Mosul, Iraq

JUL 21, 2017

Mosul

In Iraq, newly revealed intelligence reports claim more than 40,000 civilians died in the U.S.-led battle to retake Mosul from ISIS—a total far higher than previously reported. Writing for The Independent, Patrick Cockburn cited intelligence reports seen by a top Kurdish official, who said previous estimates of the deaths were low because thousands of bodies remain buried under the rubble. The battle, which wrapped up earlier this month, began last October and lasted months longer than the siege of Stalingrad during World War II.

TOPICS:
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Will Trump fire the Special Prosecutor as he has threatened?


Bloomberg: Special Counsel Investigating Trump-Russia Business Ties

JUL 21, 2017

Trump putin

The special counsel tasked with investigating ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia’s government during last year’s election is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses, as well as those of his associates. That’s according to Bloomberg News, which reported Thursday former FBI chief Robert Mueller’s probe will examine a series of real estate deals with Russian investors, as well as the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. The probe has also reportedly absorbed a money laundering investigation into Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort. News of the special counsel’s wider investigation came after President Trump left open the possibility that he could order the Justice Department to fire Robert Mueller. Trump told The New York Times Mueller would be crossing a “red line” if he investigates Trump family finances. The Times reports Trump’s lawyers and aides are working to dig up dirt on Mueller and his team in an effort to discredit the investigation. Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports Trump was especially upset after learning Mueller would have access to years’ worth of Trump’s tax returns, which the president has refused to make public. The Post says Trump is also considering future pardons for his aides and family—and possibly even himself. This all comes amid a shakeup of the legal team representing President Trump. Marc Kasowitz will no longer serve as Trump’s lead personal attorney. The move follows an expletive-laden series of threats Kasowitz sent by email to a stranger who said he should resign.

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What happens to America when the GOP allows the President’s Son-in-Law to Conduct foreign policy and run his businesses at the same time? War on Qatar? How about that?


Has Jared Kushner’s Failed Deal with Qatar Fueled Trump’s Stance on Gulf Diplomatic Crisis?

STORYJULY 21, 2017

 

Special counsel Robert Mueller is expanding his probe to include President Donald Trump’s business activities, as well as those of his associates, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner. We examine how Kushner tried but failed to get a half-billion-dollar bailout from Qatar. Is that failed deal influencing Trump’s handling of the Gulf diplomatic crisis? We speak with Ryan Grim of The Intercept. His piece is titled “Jared Kushner Tried and Failed to Get a Half-Billion-Dollar Bailout from Qatar.”

AMY GOODMAN: Bloomberg is reporting special counsel Robert Mueller has expanded his probe of President Trump beyond possible collusion with Russia. Mueller is reportedly looking at Trump’s business activities, as well as those of his associates, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner. According to Bloomberg, investigators are interested in Kushner’s attempts to secure financing for some of his family’s real estate properties.

Our guest, Ryan Grim of The Intercept, recently co-wrote a piece there headlined “Jared Kushner Tried and Failed to Get a Half-Billion-Dollar Bailout from Qatar.” The article reveals Kushner and his father, Charles, negotiated directly with billionaire and former Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani to refinance their property at 666 Fifth Avenue here in New York. Throughout 2015 and 2016, Kushner sought a half-billion-dollar loan from the Qatari investor to save the property. After promising talks, the deal fell through. The story was published as Qatar remains embroiled in a major diplomatic dispute with its Gulf neighbors, including Saudi Arabia. President Trump sided with Saudi Arabia. According to The Intercept, Kushner played a key behind-the-scenes role in hardening the U.S. posture toward Qatar.

Ryan Grim, you have written extensively about this. Talk about what you uncovered.

RYAN GRIM: Right. So, a little background. You know, President Trump went to Saudi Arabia this spring. Shortly after that, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and some other Gulf countries blockaded and isolated Qatar. And immediately, Donald Trump took credit for that. He said, you know, “I pushed them. You know, I suggested that they take a hard line against the country.” He hasn’t been totally consistent about where he stands on that, but that was his—that was his initial play. Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, was trying to broker an end to this blockade, and Jared Kushner, Tillerson believes, played a back-channel role to go directly to President Trump to say, “No, we need to take a hard line against the country.”

So, what we uncovered is that, you know, he may have reasons for having some animosity there. You know, for the last year, as you said, he was trying to secure a half-billion-dollar investment into this property on Fifth Avenue that is deeply underwater. The Kushner Companies—it was a kind of a high-flying investment. It made a huge splash when they jumped into it in 2007. Couldn’t have been timed worse. They dramatically overpaid. The Kushner Companies’ investment of $500 million seems to be entirely wiped out, according to a New York Times kind of look at the value, the current value, of the property. So the Qataris said, “OK, we’ll give you a half-billion dollars, if you can find the rest of the financing elsewhere.” He went to China. That blew up when it became public. And around that time, the Qataris said, “Well, it doesn’t look like you’re going to get the rest of the investment, so, you know, we’re not able to go forward at this time.” And then, just weeks later, you have this blockade.

And so, you have to ask the uncomfortable question of: Well, what if they had made the investment? You know, would the Trump administration still be taking such a hard line against Qatar? Or is it—or will other investors see it as retaliation for not coming forward with what otherwise would have been what most people in the industry see as a really bad investment?

AMY GOODMAN: So, of course, this meeting in Saudi Arabia led to a number of different developments—one of the largest weapons deals in the history of the United States with Saudi Arabia. Jared Kushner was there, also apparently close to the son of the king, who ultimately is in charge of the absolutely devastating war—

RYAN GRIM: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: —that Saudi Arabia is waging, with U.S. support, in Yemen—all of this coming together as President Trump and Jared Kushner and others, Rex Tillerson, as well, went to Saudi Arabia. And when they came out, President Trump himself claiming credit for the isolating of Qatar by the Gulf countries, seemingly going against his own secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who was bringing together the forces, he said, went back to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, supposedly to bring these countries together.

RYAN GRIM: Right. And the go-between for all of this is the UAE ambassador to the United States, who is very close to Kushner. His name’s Yousef al-Otaiba. This is—you know, this is somebody who has been pushing a very hard line against Qatar in Washington, D.C., for years now. What the U.S. intelligence community has since leaked to The Washington Post is that the thing that the Gulf countries used to launch this blockade, which were some comments posted online and attributed to the emir of Qatar, were in fact put there by a UAE hacking operation. You know, immediately after these comments from the emir appeared, where he was kind of praising Iran and being a little bit rough with the United States, the Qatari news service said, “We were hacked. These are not real comments. You know, we withdraw them. We don’t know what happened. We’re investigating how this happened. You know, the emir never said these words.” Now, according to U.S. intelligence sources, it was actually the UAE that organized the hack of Qatar to post these inflammatory comments, which the UAE and Saudi Arabia then took umbrage at, launching this blockade, that was supported by President Trump. And like I said, Otaiba and Kushner are well known to be close allies. And Tillerson believes that Otaiba actually wrote the statement that Trump read, delivered it to Kushner, and Kushner delivered it to Donald Trump.

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