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:
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:
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:
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.)


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?”


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.


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.


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:


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


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.


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


and alternative monitoring websites.


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:


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Focusing More on Teachers Comments from the SCT and DU Meet last Week in Salalah

By Kevin Stoda, Faculty SCT and Coordinator of the Campus’ English Language Forum

Last week, I published a story on the first intercampus event or contests between Dhofar University (DU) and Salalah College of Technology (SCT) held at the end of November on the DU campus.   That article was entitled: Fun Contests and Events at Dhofar University along with SCT Students among Contests Yesterday .

I completed that article by focusing on what one of our SCT instructors had to say on the event and the days activities at DU. Irina Kazumyan, who assisted with some of the events at DU, stated concerning what she had observed: “Well-organized with various activities. The jeopardy was especially good. A really motivating event not only for students, but for teachers as well.  Proves that teaching and learning can be fun. Probably for the future, more students should be there [at such a competition] not only for participation, but for support of their team. Also could be motivating.


Since that time, I have received a variety of  comments by other SCT and DU staff on how the evaluated the event and what they thought about having more activities in the future.  For example, my English Club counterpart, Sucharita Gopalan at DU stated, “It was very heartening to see the students  show their skills in the English language. The event was designed to give the participants an opportunity to use the language outside the classroom setting. And more importantly,  it was meant to be enjoyable, not competitive. We look forward to an improvised event in the future.

I agree.  The main goals of the events on the 29th of November at DU included having fun and discovering how college campuses in Dhofar might work together more in the future.   Another DU Foundations Program organizer of the days events was Nathaniel Lotze, who commented, “It was a lot of fun. It was encouraging to see students who were willing to put themselves out there and use their English in a public setting. I thought it was really brave of them. And the point really was to just have fun, and I think that’s what was had. We’re looking forward to an even bigger and better competition next time.”

Sharooq Bait Reehan, an volunteer assistant judge from SCT at the Competitions, noted of the friendly competition between SCT and DU students:  “It was a great opportunity for the students to challenge each other. The  competition inspired them to do their best. This kind of competitions help them to learn to work with others and to develop the performance under pressure. ”

Faical Ben Khalifa (HoD of foundations at Dhofar University) also noted in his closing speech to the awards ceremony  that day that he hoped that the very next time our foundation programs meet that we would like to include the math departments and math clubs in the next intercampus event.  Moreover, he stated, both SCT and DU Foundations Programs would also like to have the Salalah College of Applied Sciences join us in similar competitions or multi-campus events in 2017 and 2018.

Finally, I have  special congratulations for all of  the Foundations students at SCT and DU: “You all did a great job in the Jeopardy competition, the writing competitions and the speaking competitions.”

” I was especially proud of one SCT student’s attitude and efforts. Talal Al-Yafai of Level 1 competed in four events at the competitions–often competing against mostly Level 2 and Level 3 students.  Whenever there was a lapse in activities, Talal always gave his utmost and encouraged fun and involvement of all. He set a great example with his  wonderful attitude.   Talal really exemplified the spirit of fun and competitive spirit, which DU and SCT would like to encourage in all students at future events like this. Talal may not have gotten first place in any of the competitions but his enthusiastic effort was admirable and something we’d all like to see replicated by other students of ours.” 

Read more about last week’s events hereFun Contests and Events at Dhofar University along with SCT Students among Contests Yesterday


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The Most Corrupt Administration in History is Preparing to Take Office Now (See the story below and tell your Electors to change the vote to represent your state by popular vote–not winner-take-all)

Experts across the USA state that Trump Must Sell Off ALL his Businesses.  Divestment is the Only Option. –kas

Expert on Trump Business Conflicts: “There are Hard Ethical Questions in Life. This Not One of Them”

Ethics experts say President-elect Donald Trump must divest from his businesses to avoid conflicts of interest. “There are hard ethical questions in life, and this is not one of them,” says Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, who has written that “Trump’s Conflicts of Interest are Unprecedented in American History.” Also with us in San Francisco is Aaron Glantz, senior reporter at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, where his latest investigation is headlined “Trump’s Indonesia hotel deals hint at his form of foreign relations.”

AMY GOODMAN: Ethics experts say Donald Trump must divest from his business interests to avoid conflicts of interest. Well, for more, we’re joined by two guests. In Washington, D.C., Robert Weissman is staying with us, president of Public Citizen, his recent piece, “Trump’s Conflicts of Interest are Unprecedented in American History.” And joining us from San Francisco, Aaron Glantz, senior reporter at Revealfrom The Center for Investigative Reporting, where his latest investigation is headlined “Trump’s Indonesia hotel deals hint at his form of foreign relations.”

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Robert Weissman, lay out your concerns.

ROBERT WEISSMAN: [inaudible] that is unprecedented in American history. And it’s plain enough that the president-elect doesn’t really care about it. He has a global business empire, a lot of properties and businesses in the United States, as we know from the campaign, involving everything from hotels to resorts to golf courses to shirts, ties, steaks and fake universities. But he’s also got properties either directly or licensed in about two dozen countries around the world. And he doesn’t show any sign of really separating himself from the business or his children from the business, notwithstanding the tweets that he put out a couple days ago.

So we’re looking at a president who’s going to have business interests in all kinds of policy decisions that he is going to face, involving everything from consumer protection to worker safety, workers’ rights to organize, terms for Wall Street reform, bankruptcy rules, tax law, and then especially the conduct of foreign policy, where the decisions he makes will have impact on the properties that he owns or is associated with around the world. We’re looking at entanglements that are just absolutely unprecedented and no sign of him trying to remove himself from being enmeshed in this disaster. It is part of the reason we say that we are now looking at what’s going to be the most corrupt administration in the history of the United States.

AMY GOODMAN: Members of Donald Trump’s incoming administration have had to defend the president-elect against criticism of the conflicts his business interests present. This is Fox News Sunday’s Mike Wallace questioning Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

MIKE WALLACE: If I may just ask a question, sir, briefly: If his kids are running the business, and if we’re talking about buildings here, if he doesn’t divest himself of the business—a lot of people are saying turn it into cash—he’s going to know who—what the—who the kids are doing business with. In fact, there was just a meeting in the last few days with some of his business partners from India. Doesn’t that create a tremendous danger of a conflict of interest?

VICE PRESIDENTELECT MIKE PENCE: Well, I can tell you, in a recent interview after the election, the president-elect summed up his view of his interest in his business life with two words. He said, “Who cares?”

AMY GOODMAN: “Who cares?” [Vice] President-elect Pence says. Well, we turn now to look at the president-elect’s potential conflicts of interest. Talk more about the significance of Pence saying, Robert Weismann, “Who cares?”

ROBERT WEISSMAN: Yeah, by the way, they’re not potential conflicts of interest, they’re not possible conflicts of interest, they’re not future conflicts of interest, it’s not the appearance of conflict of interest—they are conflicts of interest. And it will bedevil almost everything that he does as president. He has a hotel in Las Vegas, for example. There’s an ongoing labor dispute. The National Labor Relations Board says he ought to let his workers unionize, and he’s trying to fight it. OK, now he’s going to be boss of the NLRB, and he’s going to have a profound role in making decisions about labor law. He’s got a self-interest in the issue. He just was involved—obviously, settled recently the lawsuit involving his fake Trump University. Well, the reason that people who were victimized by Trump University were able to sue him is that there are consumer protections in this country, and they had a right to band together in a class action to sue the perpetrator of wrong against them. Well, now as president, he’s going to have a key role in deciding whether or not people have a right to join together in class actions and what the standards are of consumer protection. His biggest—his biggest lender is Deutsche Bank. Well, Deutsche Bank is involved in negotiations with the Justice Department now for the wrongs it did leading up to the financial crash. The Justice Department wants about $14 billion from Deutsche Bank, and the bank and the German government are fighting hard against that. Is that not going to be influenced by President Donald Trump? Well, the markets think it will be influenced, because Deutsche Bank’s stock went up 20 percent as soon as he was elected.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to Aaron Glantz, who looked deeply into one story for Reveal, The Center for Investigative Reporting. Aaron, lay out what you found.

AARON GLANTZ: Well, the important thing for me, Amy, was that not only does Donald Trump have these vast business interests all over the world, but he was expanding them even as he was running for president. So, we looked at his business interests in Indonesia, because he signed deals for two different resort complexes in Indonesia, one in West Java and another in Bali, while he was running for president in August and September of 2015. And we looked especially at his business partner, who goes by Hary Tanoe in Indonesia, who’s a very controversial oligarch and media mogul, much like Donald Trump, a politically motivated person who ran for vice president of Indonesia on a ticket with General Wiranto, who is a—indicted for war crimes by a U.N. tribunal. He has a wife who owns a beauty pageant. He owns many media properties and is a purveyor of reality television. This is the person that Donald Trump went into business with for two resorts, after he had already declared that he was running for president of the United States.

AMY GOODMAN: Very interesting, because he was also very much a supporter of Prabowo, who ran for president in 2014, responsible for mass killings, who said he thought about becoming a fascist dictator, but ultimately was defeated. He was supported by Donald Trump’s Indonesian business partner.

AARON GLANTZ: Well, these are his friends. Right? That’s how I look at it. I mean, people like Robert Weissman are going to be asking what are the conflicts of interest that he faced, and noting the conflicts, like unionization of his hotels. In the foreign policy arena, I ask: Who are his friends? If there’s a crisis in Southeast Asia, who does Donald Trump know? Who is he going to pick up the phone and call? And the people all around the world that Donald Trump knows, that he would call in the event of a crisis, are the people who build his resorts, his hotels. And he was actively expanding these businesses, making these contacts both during the campaign and in the years leading up to the campaign. And so, examining who those people are tells us a lot about the kind of decisions he might make in a moment of international crisis.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about Hary Tanoe? Well, he quickly tweeted his congratulations to his business partner, Donald Trump, November 9th. And also, he, too, a real admirer of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Why does this matter?

AARON GLANTZ: I think it matters because it gives us a sense—for people who are concerned about social justice, economic rights, war and peace, when you know that there’s somebody on the other end of the phone—you know, we know our president-elect is an admirer of Vladimir Putin, who is no friend of human rights, when we know that his business partners around the world share the same views, when we know that his business partners around the world are, you know, facilitating perhaps corruption. I mean, one other thing that we reported in our story was this very bizarre moment on the campaign trail at Trump Tower in September 2015 when Donald Trump walks off the stage of the podium and goes and grabs the speaker of the Indonesian Parliament, Setya Novanto, and declares that he’s a great man who’s going to do great things for America. And then, shortly after that, the speaker, Mr. Setya, is involved in a massive corruption scandal involving a mining company, where he was caught on tape demanding a 20 percent stake in the company—basically, a $4 billion kickback—and then resigned in disgrace, and, actually, recently is now back as the speaker of the Indonesian Parliament. To have a president who either is not aware of these massive corruption scandals overseas or simply doesn’t care, because it aligns well with his business interest, is something that Americans should be concerned about.


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Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump: The Most Corrupt President Ever?


Nov 7, 2016 – Will Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump Be the Most Corrupt President Ever? … the mantle of “most corrupt president ever,” take a look at presidential history. … The Reagan Administrationwas a source of dozens of scandals, and …

President Trump and the Trump Organization are the biggest conflict …


Nov 14, 2016 – Trump is mixing business and government in a way that will allow for massive corruption. … Trump Organization are the biggest conflict of interest in US history … Donald Trumpran for president promising to “drain the swamp” of corruption … What’s more, Trump’s past behavior gives us a clue as to how he …

The Most Corrupt Candidate Ever Is Donald Trump


Jul 5, 2016 – The Most Corrupt Candidate Ever Is Donald Trump … The case against Hillary Clinton is that her administration might be … Kellyanne Conway Scolded a High-School Student for Asking Her About Donald Trump’s History of …

Most Corrupt Presidents in American History – Attn


Sep 30, 2016 – Trump or Clinton: The Winner of the Election Won’t Be as Corrupt as These … Who were the most corrupt administrations in American history?

Trump’s history of corruption is mind-boggling. So why is Clinton …


Sep 5, 2016 – Trump’s history of corruption is mind-boggling. So why is Clinton …. [Read more: Yes, the presidential race is tightening. But it’s too early for …

Will Republicans rein in a corrupt Trump presidency? Don’t bet on it …

Nov 21, 2016 – Here are some things they could do to force Trump to be moreTrump’s administration could look a lot like the ‘swamp’ he vowed to drain.

Today in OpenGov: How to avoid becoming the most corrupt …


Nov 18, 2016 – … How to avoid becoming the most corrupt administration in history … by Public Citizen in a letter calling on President-Elect Donald Trump to …

Krugman: Trump will be unprecedentedly corrupt – Business Insider


Nov 21, 2016 – KRUGMAN: Trump is going to bring about ‘an era of corrupt governance … to express his discontent with the future Donald Trump administration. … an era of corrupt governance unprecedented in US history,” Krugman … What matters much more is the distortion of policy in directions that can be monetized.

Obama: The Most Corrupt and America-Hating President in US History


Jul 10, 2016 – Obama also has a history of corruption, has never been charged with a … became the most secretive and blatantly corrupt administration in history. …. do I want four more years with Hillary or try Trump for three and fire him if …

Hillary ‘most corrupt person ever’ to run for president: Trump – The Hindu


Nov 5, 2016 – Hillary ‘most corrupt person ever’ to run for presidency: TrumpTrump has said the time has come “to close the history books on the Clintons, … A Trump administration will immediately fix the “terrible trade deals” and stop …

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Thousands of workers for the Carrier company in Indiana and Other States will reportedly still lose their jobs: Carrier employees at the plant in nearby Huntington, Indiana, were handed letters of dismissal


Robert Weissman

president of Public Citizen.

President-elect Donald Trump kicked off his victory tour Thursday by touting his involvement in Carrier’s decision to keep some jobs in the U.S. instead of moving them all to Mexico. Carrier is a multibillion-dollar company, and the Pentagon is the largest customer of its parent company, United Technologies. Trump said the deal for Carrier to keep the jobs in state reportedly includes a $7 million incentive package with tax breaks and reduced regulations. Meanwhile, about 1,000 workers for the company in Indiana will reportedly still lose their jobs. We speak with Public Citizen’s president, Robert Weissman.

AMY GOODMAN: President-elect Donald Trump kicked off his victory tour Thursday at a rally in Indiana, where he celebrated his involvement in Carrier’s decision to keep some jobs in the U.S. instead of moving them all to Mexico.

PRESIDENTELECT DONALD TRUMP: So many jobs are leaving and going to other countries, not just Mexico, many, many countries. And China is making so much of our product that we’re closing up a lot of plants. And, I mean, I wrote down some numbers that are incredible, but the numbers of manufacturing jobs that are lost, especially in the Rust Belt—and the Rust Belt is so incredible, but we’re losing companies—it’s—it’s unbelievable, one after another. United Technologies and Carrier stepped it up, and now they’re keeping—actually, the number is over 1,100 people, which is so great, which is so great.

AMY GOODMAN: Carrier is a multibillion-dollar company that makes air conditioners. The single largest customer of its parent company, United Technologies, is the Pentagon. Trump said the deal for Carrier to keep the jobs in state reportedly includes a $7 million incentive package with tax breaks and reduced regulations.

PRESIDENTELECT DONALD TRUMP: One of the things we’re doing to keep them is we’re going to be lowering our business tax from 35 percent hopefully down to 15 percent, which would take us from the highest taxed nation virtually in the world—this is terrible for business—to one of the lower taxed, not the lowest yet, but one of the lower taxed. The other thing we’re doing is regulations. … About six years ago, 260 new federal regulations have passed, 53 of which affect this plant—53 new regulations, massively expensive, and probably none of them amount to anything in terms of safety or the things that you’d have regulations for.

AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, it’s believed more than a thousand workers for the company in Indiana will reportedly still lose their jobs. Carrier employees at the plant in nearby Huntington, Indiana, were handed letters under the header, “Company Update on Indianapolis Operations.” The announcement read, quote, “While this announcement is good news for many, we recognize it is not good news for everyone. We are moving forward with previously announced plans to relocate the fan coil manufacturing lines, with the expected completion by the end of 2017.” They’re closing the Huntington plant.

This comes as Donald Trump announced plans to leave his businesses. In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, he tweeted, “I will be holding a major news conference in New York City with my children on December 15 to discuss the fact that I will be leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! While I am not mandated to do this under the law, I feel it is visually important, as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my [various] businesses. Hence, legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations. The Presidency is a far more important task!” he wrote.

After Trump’s Twitter announcement, the Office of Government Ethics responded with a tweet storm of its own, writing, quote, “@realDonaldTrump Bravo! Only way to resolve these conflicts of interest is to divest. Good call!” and “@realDonaldTrump this divestiture does what handing over control could never have done,” unquote. Ethics experts say Trump must divest from his business interests to avoid conflicts of interest.

Well, for more, we’re joined by two guests. We’re starting with Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, who’s been following what he calls “Trump’s corporate takeover of federal agencies” and has written that “Trump’s conflicts of interest are unprecedented in American history.”

But I want to start, Rob Weissman, by talking about Carrier and what exactly is understood at this point. Now, it sounds like about 800 jobs are going to be saved, while about 1,100 jobs will be lost with the closing of one of the Carrier plants. But this is all as a result of a $7 million tax break, is that right, for Carrier?

ROBERT WEISSMAN: Yeah, that seems to be right. You know, Trump, yesterday in his speech, said companies that leave the United States to take jobs out will be punished, one way or another. But, in fact, what this deal is about is paying a bribe to Carrier to stay—and, you know, as you were saying in the lead up, not really stay. Some jobs stay, not the number he said, on terms that are unknown, for a time that’s unknown. We do know that in the past these kinds of deals to pay subsidies to retain jobs or to get new jobs typically don’t work and that the jobs that are promised don’t materialize, or the jobs that are supposed to stay don’t stay very long.

You know, it’s also interesting that he said, in the clip you played, part of the way he allegedly convinced Carrier to keep these hundreds of jobs in Indiana is through his promise of tax cuts and wiping away regulation. Well, those tax cuts, if they’re able to be delivered on, which we surely hope we can block, actually would have nothing to do with where Carrier locates itself. It’s going to have the same tax rate whether or not it does production in Mexico or does it in Indiana. And on the regulations he talks about, you know, he has an aggregate number, but he doesn’t name a single regulation that he thinks is unfair to Carrier or that does the wrong thing for the American people. So those kinds of regulations he’s talking about wiping away include things like establishing that people who work long hours will be paid proper overtime compensation—

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I wanted to—

ROBERT WEISSMAN: —or reductions in climate emissions.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to turn to Donald Trump speaking last March.

DONALD TRUMP: I will call the head of Carrier, and I will say, “I hope you enjoy your new building. I hope you enjoy your stay in Mexico. Here’s the story, folks: Every single air-conditioning unit that you build and send across our border, you’re going to pay a 35 percent tax on that unit.”

AMY GOODMAN: In fact, in that same speech, he decried giving tax breaks and said, “We will just tax every air conditioner that you send up from Mexico”—exactly the opposite of what is happening now, Robert.

ROBERT WEISSMAN: Right. And, you know, there are a lot of things that could be done, in this particular case, without paying bribes. As you point out, the parent company basically feeds from the Defense Department, so this is a government-dependent company. It’s one of the ones over which the U.S. government has the most leverage, without paying bribes, if it chooses to exert it. And Trump didn’t do that.

AMY GOODMAN: And then the issue of what exactly are all the promises that were made to these companies—again, promises that Donald Trump himself has decried over and over again, saying companies should be punished, not be rewarded by tax breaks, when they leave the country. But, of course, Carrier, owned by one of the most powerful weapons manufacturers in the United States, United Technologies, if there were any promises of military contracts to come, how will we find these things out, Rob Weissman?

ROBERT WEISSMAN: Well, we’re going to investigate. We will, and reporters are going to dig in. We don’t know if we’ll ever really know. You know, it’s not plausible that the CEO of the company said—made an investment decision to move production and was talked out of it by the president. It’s just not how things work. So, either there’s some deal on the side, which we’re going to try really hard to ferret out, or it’s an illusory promise. You have a big press conference, you wait a few months or a year, and you do what you were going to do anyway. But you don’t make investment decisions based on being whispered to by the president.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to break, and when we come back, we’re going to talk about—well, you blogged about this, Robert, saying that the president-elect has the most serious conflicts of interest in U.S. history. We’re going to talk about, one by one, what are those conflicts and what you feel needs to be done. We’re talking to Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. His recent piece for The Huffington Post_, “Trump’s Corporate Takeover of Federal Agencies.” His recent piece13125228.html, “Trump’s Conflicts of Interest are Unprecedented in American History.” Stay with us.


AMY GOODMAN: “And That’s When Fidel Arrived” by Carlos Puebla. Fidel Castro died on November 25th at the age of 90. His ashes will be buried in a funeral ceremony on Sunday morning next to José Martí. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

During his visit to Carrier Thursday, Donald Trump spoke about seeing a supporter on the news who believed Trump’s campaign promise to keep the plant in Indiana.

PRESIDENTELECT DONALD TRUMP: He said something to the effect, “No, we’re not leaving, because Donald Trump promised us that we’re not leaving.” And I never thought I made that promise, not with Carrier. I made it for everybody else. I didn’t make it really for Carrier. And I said, “What’s he saying?” And he was such a believer. He was such a great guy. He said, “I’ve been with Donald Trump from the beginning.” And he made the statement that Carrier is not going anywhere, they’re not leaving. And I’m saying to myself, “Man.” And then they played my statement. And I said, “Carrier will never leave.” But that was a euphemism. I was talking about Carrier like all other companies from here on in, because they made the decision a year and a half ago. But he believed that that was—and I could understand it. I actually said I didn’t make it. When they played it, I said I did make it, but I didn’t mean it quite that way.

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Annual Survey on Social Security and Medicare

Dear Kevin,

Several weeks ago, we asked our supporters for feedback on our Annual Survey on Social Security and Medicare, and the reaction has been nothing less than unprecedented. We received more than 5,600 responses, and as an important supporter of our work, I want to share some of the key findings with you right away:

bulleted_list The top two important issues for respondents were Protecting my earned Social Security benefits and Protecting my earned Medicare benefits.
bulleted_list 97% of respondents characterized the Social Security COLA as inadequate.
bulleted_list The top legislative priority for respondents is Passing legislation that would lower drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies.
bulleted_list 72% believe Congress is most responsible for protecting earned benefits.
bulleted_list 89% believe the National Committee should put pressure on Congressto protect Social Security and Medicare.
bulleted_list 73% tell us that advocacy opportunities, such as petitions and letters to Congress, are the most valued content the National Committee provides.
This thoughtful feedback will help us move resolutely forward into 2017 with a clear and accurate picture of our supporters’ values and struggles. To help us put immediate pressure on newly-elected and re-elected lawmakers, and President-elect Donald Trump, to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, please make one urgent donation today of $10 or $5.

Thank you again for your loyal partnership,
Dan Adcock Signature

Dan Adcock
Director of Government Relations & Policy

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Immigrants & Refugees






















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Many Reasons to Celebrate in 2016

Featured Content
New Shark Sanctuary Is (Almost) the Biggest
The Pacific island nation of Kiribati announced the creation of the world’s second largest shark sanctuary. It’s just the latest in a wave of recent protective actions that have helped make 2016, in many ways, a very good year for the ocean’s top predators.

Reasons to celebrate »

U.S. Hits Pause on Arctic Ocean Leasing
Two key areas of the U.S. Arctic Ocean will now be safeguarded from offshore oil and gas leasing for the near future. After years of public review, the Obama administration has announced that consideration of new leasing in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea planning areas will be paused until 2022.

A win for whales »

Featured Map
Critical Beluga Habitat Protected by Canada
Canada took a big step for conservation last month by establishing an Arctic marine protected area in the Beaufort Sea. The new sanctuary will safeguard 926 square miles (2,400 square kilometers) and provide critical habitat for marine mammals and fish—including the summer range of 28 percent of the world’s beluga whales.

Full story »

More From Pew
Clean Energy R&D Could Raise GDP by $8.6 Billion This Fiscal Year
Off U.S. West Coast, Seeping Methane Plays Critical Role in Ocean Health
Little Fish, Big Celebration: Concern and Hope on the Pacific Coast
In the News
My Month-Long Voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula
New Marine Protected Area Established in Beaufort Sea’s Darnley Bay
Western Australian Indigenous Ranger Program Proposed for 5M Hectares
The Guardian
We Don’t Know How Much We Spend on Disasters, and That Needs to Change
The Hill
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U.S. wilderness conservation »

Sustainable fishing news: Southeastern U.S. »

Best of Pew: environment and government performance »

Sustainable fishing news: Western U.S. »

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More details emerge on lawsuit filed against Donald Trump to force Florida recount meanwhile Counting Irregularities found all over Wisconsin


On Thursday we reported that a nonprofit group was attempting to file a lawsuit in the state of Florida to force a hand recount of the ballots in the 2016 presidential election. On Friday we subsequently reported that the attorney for the case had confirmed that he had indeed filed the suit. And now the details of the lawsuit have become publicly available.

In a thirteen page PDF copy of the official court filing, which the nonprofit group in question has publicly posted to its website, numerous details stand out. The suit from the law offices of Clint Curtis has named dozens of defendants. Chief among them: Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Florida Governor Rick Scott, and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Individuals appointed to the Electoral College by the state of Florida are also listed as defendants, as they’re the ones who would be changing their votes if a Florida recount determines that Hillary Clinton actually won the state.

The stated legal grounds for the lawsuit: “Receipt of a number of illegal votes or rejection of a number of legal votes sufficient to change or place in doubt the results of the election” and references what it calls “pervasive malfunctioning of electronic voting machine” along with more than twenty-five thousand mail-in ballots that were requested in Democratic-leaning Broward County but were never received.

City of Brookfield Ballot Bags Found Wide Open in Waukesha County WisconsinBags of ballots from the City of Brookfield in Waukesha County were discovered to have been open during the state Supreme Court election “recount” on Thursday.  (Photos: Mary Magnuson)

Five out of six bags of ballots from first batch to be counted out of the City of Brookfield in Waukesha County, Wisconsin today were discovered “almost wide open” during Day 9 of the statewide Supreme Court election “recount.” The bags were open and unsealed, according to both photographic evidence and an eye-witnesses account from the counting room.

“When the ballot bags were taken out and placed upon the counting table, we were literally stunned,” one of the citizen observers, Mary Magnuson, a Kloppenburg volunteer, told The BRAD BLOG this morning. “5 out of the 6 ballot bags were almost literally wide open, and ballots could be clearly seen.”

The ballots in those bags were among the 14,000 said to have been cast in the April 5th election, but left off of Waukesha County’s tally as reported to the media on Election Night.

Earlier this week we offered a detailed report on the status of the statewide “recount,” highlighting a host of disturbing and outright violations of the chain of custody of ballots, including unnumbered and renumbered ballots bags (many of them from Waukesha County); ballots discovered unsecured and/or left out of the original count all together; and exceedingly sloppy record-keeping and reporting of “recount” results by the state’s chief election agency, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB). In sum, we described the state of the “recount” of the contested election between Republican incumbent Justice David Prosser and his independent challenger Asst. AG JoAnne Kloppenburg, as “a mess.”

Today, after the newest revelations from the Waukesha County counting room, it got a lot messier.

“We are finding significant anomalies, including chain of custody and missing ballots, that we need to shine light on,” Kloppenburg campaign manager Melissa Mulliken told The BRAD BLOG earlier this week, while we were working on our previous story. The anomalies she was referring to, given where today’s unsecured ballots are said to come from, have gotten much more “significant” in the past few hours…

‘Widest gap seen so far’

Magnuson quoted retired Circuit Court Judge Robert Mawdsley — appointed by the GAB to oversee Waukesha’s count in place of controversial County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, who recused herself in light of several ongoing investigations into her handling of election results — as saying that the opening in one of the ballot bags from the City of Brookfield was “the widest gap we have seen in any of the bags so far.”

Moreover, in addition to the open ballots bags, one of them had its serial number crossed out and then replaced by another number to match the one seen on the plastic zip-cord “seal” still attached to the bag — another chain of custody violation. Also, yesterday, ballot bags with six-inch openings in the top, large enough to pull ballots in and out of, were also discovered from Waukesha’s Village of Elm Grove.

The new anomalies come on top of similarly disturbing chain of custody violations previously discovered in at least eight other “counting units,” mostly in Waukesha, but elsewhere in the state as well.

According to the eye-witness Magnuson today, when the unsecured Brookfield ballots were discovered, legal counsel for Kloppenburg “objected to the ballots even being counted and/or included, due to the extremely evident lack of security insofar as the ballots were concerned.” Nonetheless the Kloppenburg volunteer observer told The BRAD BLOG, “Prosser’s counsel argued in favor of counting the ballots and Judge Mawdsley ruled in favor of counting them.”

Kloppenburg excercised her right to this “recount” after the unverified results of the post-election canvass by all 72 counties in the Badger State found her to be just 7,316 votes shy of Prosser out of some 1.5 million ballots cast in the hotly-contested April 5th election. The 0.488% unofficial margin entitled her to a state-sponsored count, which she requested after learning that some 14,000 votes from the City of Brookfield were allegedly left out of Waukesha County’s originally reported Election Night tally.

It is those votes which were scheduled to be “recounted” today in Waukesha and discovered to have been left wide open in unsecured bags, as documented in photographs taken by Magnuson, who has been observing the count for several days over the past week since counting began last Wednesday.

The ‘Recount’: Verifying questionable results for the first time

The majority of votes cast in Wisconsin are on hand-marked paper ballots, but are then scanned by oft-failed and easily-manipulated electronic tabulating optical-scan computers made by companies like Diebold, ES&S, and Sequoia without being checked for accuracy by human beings. Thus, our use of quotes around the word “recount,”
since almost all of the ballots cast in the crucial statewide election have never, until now, been examined for accuracy by any human being.

The stunning announcement of those 14,000 votes from the City of Brookfield, two days after the April 5th election, reversed what had originally been reported as an exceedingly slim (and unverified) “win” for Kloppenburg on Election Night. The Supreme Court race had become a referendum on Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial move to strip rights from citizens to collectively bargain with the state. Supporters of both candidates spent millions on outside advertising in the closing days of the contest.

Brookfield’s game-changing votes were revealed to have been missed during a remarkable press conference on the night of April 7th, held by Prosser’s former colleague and long-time GOP activist, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus. She is now under investigation for past election irregularities as well, including the recent discovery of some 20,000 more votes reported than the number said to have been cast in the county’s 2006 general election.

Nickolaus waited nearly two days before notifying state officials or her own Board of Canvassers to her discovery of what she described as “human error” in failing to report the Brookfield totals on Election Night. The Kloppenburg campaign has asked for a special independent investigation into the matter.

The unsecured ballots from the City of Brookfield

Below are a number of photographs taken this afternoon in the Waukesha County, Wisconsin, counting room, of ballot bags from Wards 1, 2, and 3 in the City of Brookfield.

The plastic orange zip-cord tie attached to each bag is supposed to be a tamper-evident “seal.” Each one has a serial number that is also supposed to match the one written on the bag’s label, which is signed by two witnesses. The numbers are also supposed to match the one on the “Inspector’s Report” filed on Election Night. (In our report earlier this week we detailed bags from the Town of Delafield, also in Waukesha County, which were missing serial numbers altogether or had their serial numbers scratched out and replaced by others.)

As Magnuson explained via email today…

“This morning, at the Waukesha County recount, things began, as usual. We were waiting to count the City of Brookfield, Wards 1, 2 and 3, when a representative from the County Clerk’s office wheeled in the bin of information which included the inventory sheet, various envelopes, and, of course, the ballot bags.

“When the ballot bags were taken out and placed upon the counting table, we were literally stunned. 5 out of the 6 ballot bags were almost literally wide open, and ballots could be clearly seen. This, despite the fact that seals were around the top; still, the sides remained very clearly open with three different colors of ballots within”…

“Also made on the record was that the identifying number (or serial number) on bag 4, had been crossed out and replaced with another (serial, or identifying) number on the bag itself.

“Counsel for JoAnne Kloppenburg made that a part of the record, as well”…

[Update: “Giles Goat Boy” at Daily Kos has a link to the video and a partial transcript of the snap “hearing” that went on in the counting room to determine why the Brookfield ballot bags were open, and what explanation was offered by Brookfield’s City Clerk Kristine Schmidt.]

Late this evening, Magnuson told us, “In the afternoon, six other ballot bags were pulled out when we opened the second bin for City of Brookfield, Wards 4, 5 & 6. Four of those bags had numbers scratched off of little white labels affixed to the bag.”

“When the Kloppenburg representative asked the Brookfield City Clerk Kristine Schmidt for an explanation,” of those labels and scratch-outs, says Magnuson, “she said, ‘I don’t know.'”

Here’s one of those bags…

Elm Grove ballot bags: ‘You could have stuck your entire hand in the damned things, your arm, maybe’…

Three bags from the Village of Elm Grove in Waukesha County, counted yesterday, were also discovered to have been unsecured. Each had “a 6 inch opening on each side” of the impenetrable plastic zip-line “seal” at the top-center of each bag.

Magnuson described those ballot bags to us yesterday as follows…

“This morning, Wednesday, May 4, at the Waukesha County recount, we began, as usual, with the introduction of a bin containing records, ballots, etc; today’s count came from the Village of Elm Grove. The particular ward(s) included in the first count, were wards 5, 6, 7 and 8.

“Kelly, from the County Clerk’s office brought the bin into the room and began to remove the various records, envelopes and ballot bags from the bin for identification purposes.

“At the time the ballot bags were removed from the bin and placed upon the tabulators’ table, it was immediately noted by Judge Mawdsley that each of the three ballot bags, (bag 1 of 3, bag 2 of 3 and bag 3 of 3) were all sealed improperly. Specifically, despite the fact that an official seal had been placed on each bag, the tops of the ballot bags had not been properly folded over and/or tucked in, leaving an approximate six (6) inch gap on each side of the official red seal. Counsel for JoAnne Kloppenburg immediately requested that the condition of the bags be made part of the record; that request was accommodated.

“At one point, Judge Mawdsley referred to the condition of the tops of the bags as ‘wing-like’. Another observer mentioned that she believed someone would have been able to ‘fit their whole arm in there’. Regardless, after these observations, the bags were opened – each at the bottom, with a scissors – and the recount commenced in the normal fashion”…

When we asked the Kloppenburg campaign for comment on the Elm Grove bags last night, campaign manger Mulliken said she did not yet have them on her list of reported incidents.

Earlier in the week, when we’d asked her about the several incidents of broken chain of custody discovered in ballots bags in other Waukesha municipalities discovered previously in the count, Mulliken expressed frustration with what was being found, but confidence in her “team of folks on the ground”:

“In Waukesha,” she told us, “the recount is moving slowly, partly because there have been questions and issues about almost every bag of ballots they’ve opened to recount. We have a great team of folks on the ground and have had an attorney there every day raising objections and making sure the record reflects what is happening and our objections.”

When we queried the GAB about incidents of ballot bags with missing or scratched out numbers from Waukesha’s Town of Delafield, in violation of chain of custody procedures, a spokesperson told The BRAD BLOG they would not be offering a response on such issues until after the “recount” was completed in the county.

“I haven’t been briefed on that situation and so I can’t comment on it at this point,” the GAB’s Reid Magney told us on Tuesday.

“Generally we don’t have information about these things until we get minutes from the county. We don’t get the minutes until the entire county has completed their count,” he explained

A few other late ‘recount’ related items…

Machine counting in Waukesha?

Yesterday, while we were watching the live webstream of the counting room in Waukesha, we noticed ballots being tallied by machine, rather than by hand. Wisconsin “recount” procedures [PDF] specify that paper ballots are to be “recounted” by the same machines which tabulated them in the first place on Election Night, unless a court order is obtained to count them by hand.

Before the counting began, we reported that the Kloppenburg and Prosser campaigns had agreed to count paper ballots by hand in parts of some 31 of the state’s 72 counties, after it had been learned that memory cartridges from theOptech Eagle optical-scan systems (sold by both ES&S and Sequoia), as used for the April 5th election in those counties, would have to be erased to accommodate the “recount.” The memory cartridges, as the GAB’s legal filings revealed, are no longer manufactured and are in short supply. We reported at the time that while ballots in parts of those 31 counties would therefore be counted by hand, “all” of Waukesha’s ballots would be manually counted by agreement of the two campaigns.

So we were curious when we saw the machine counting going on. We queried the Kloppenburg campaign for an explanation last night, and Mulliken told us that the agreement was to count by hand only where the Optech Eagle system was used, and not in the entirety of Waukesha County as we had previously understood. In fact, there are a couple of municipalities in Waukesha which use the Sequoia-based op-scan system and others which use the ES&S op-scan system, but all of those op-scan systems are Optech Eagle according to VerifiedVoting.org’s database, as updated on 1/13/08.

We will, of course, report any additional details on this as we are able to learn them.

[Update/Correction: We originally reported that two municipalities in Waukesha did not use the Optech Eagle. In fact, VerifiedVoting.org’s database says they all use the Optech Eagle, at least as of 2008, though in some municipalities they use the ones put out by ES&S and, in others, the ones put out by Sequoia, since both companies used to sell those systems. We’ve corrected the above to reflect that additional information, but remain confused as to why the county seemed to be counting some ballots by machine on Wednesday. We’re still seeking further information and will try to report back if we are able to get any.]

Prosser campaign ‘lies’ about ‘targeting the nuns’

A story fed to the media by Prosser’s camp yesterday, and published uncritically by Charlie Sykes of Milwaukee’s am620 WTMJ under the headline “Targeting the Nuns,” charged that a number of absentee ballots from cloistered nuns in Sauk County were missing their witness signatures and were tossed after “the Kloppenburg team argued that the ballots should be thrown out.”

“The canvas board, after a long and somewhat contentious conversation voted to reject the ballots — at the insistence of the Kloppenburg attorney,” according to the published email “from the Prosser folks.” (Sykes failed to identify the name of the “Prosser folk” it came from when he ran it in full on the WTMJ website.)

“This is why Kloppenburg’s goons justify a million dollar (plus) recount…to make sure the votes of nuns are [sic] counted,” the email concludes.

We asked Mulliken about the incident and she was uncharacteristically blunt in quickly describing the Prosser story as “a lie.”

“We did not object, that is a lie,” she said. “It is just untrue. It is inaccurate. It is misinformation. We did not object.”

Mulliken went on to explain that the canvass board and other officials in Sauk County decided not to count them because “that’s the law.”

“Ballots with missing witness signatures have been discovered in the normal course around the state,” Mulliken continued, “and that makes them deficient. That’s the law and that’s the rule and that’s what happened here. Everyone’s vote is equal, whatever your occupation is. If your absentee ballot isn’t witnessed properly it doesn’t count.”

In a statement sent to media in response to the charges yesterday, the campaign said:

The Prosser campaign has the facts wrong. To spread misinformation in order to disparage the recount process, disrespects Wisconsin voters who are entitled to have confidence that elections are fair. Justice Prosser should know that every vote is equal and every vote should be treated in accordance with the law.

A more responsible version of the nun story was published last night by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, explaining…

Because canvassers were unable to match the actual ballots to the voter, they took all 24 absentee ballots from the Town of Sumpter and randomly drew 18, which were then set aside and not counted. Of those ballots, Prosser had 14 while Kloppenburg had four. 

The Prosser campaign made two appeals to have the ballots counted, including early Wednesday, but they were turned down by the board of canvassers, [counsel for Sauk County Alene] Bolin, said.

$25,000 reward posted for evidence of fraud in WI’s Supreme Court Election

Finally (or almost), election integrity and government watchdog organization VelvetRevolution.us’ Protect Our Elections campaign posted a $25,000 reward notice, for “information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons for election tampering, resulting in reversal of the current outcome of the April 5, 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court election.”

[FULL DISCLOSURE: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us]

A printable version of the reward notice is posted here [PDF].

Dems charge GOP ‘fraud’ in state Senate recall petition drive…

One more…As we reported earlier today, state Democrats are alleging that Republicans have fraudulently submitted thousands of signatures on petitions for recalls of Democratic state Senators. Currently, signed petitions have been filed with the GAB for recall elections of 6 Republicans and 3 Democratic Senators in the wake of the passage of Walker’s union-stripping legislation. See our earlier report for more details…


Brad Friedman is an investigative blogger, journalist and broadcaster. Frequent contributor to Salon, Truthout and many other sites, publisher and creator of The BRAD BLOG (BradBlog.com) and the host of KPFK/Pacifica Radio’s The BradCast. Follow him on Twitter @TheBradBlog.


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“This is [in Trump’s America] what you call spiritual blackout. There is a level of callousness. There’s a level of indifference toward poor and working people. Preoccupation with greed and most importantly, lack of accountability.”

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More Global Warming Refugees!

Bolivia: Thousands Protest Water Shortages as Some Flee to Peru in Search of Water


H15 bolivia drought

In Bolivia, thousands of people poured into the streets to protest water shortages, amid Bolivia’s worst drought in more than a quarter century. The protesters said the water shortages, fueled by climate change, are being worsened by government mismanagement and industrial mining projects. Protesters are demanding the resignation of the Minister of Environment and Water. Scientists say the drought is fueled by the retreat of Bolivian glaciers as a result of global warming. Some Bolivians have already fled the country in search of water.

Lisbeth Vogensen: “I didn’t want to leave La Paz. I lived there for the last four years. My family and I were very happy there, but leaving was a decision we had to make for the well-being and health of our family. It was against our will, but we were lucky to come to Peru where there is still water.”

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On the Way to Picking the 100 Billion Dollar Cabinet–add the Koch Brothers and even double that number! (Oh, they already run Kansas, Wisconsin and 28 other states?)

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