My name is Russ Baker. For more than two decades I have been an investigative journalist, doing what I believed journalists were supposed to do—seek the truth and publish nothing less. Over the years, however, I have learned how the media gatekeepers, both “mainstream” and “alternative,” will not allow the biggest, most disturbing revelations to see the light of day.
Who What Why ?
Éléments du fil RSS
The Aid Groups Who Want No Part of Aiding Venezuela (Dan)
Why Misinformation Is About Who You Trust, Not What You Think (Tom)
The number of candidates vying for the Democratic nomination next year could smash all records. But such a large field also means that most voters will likely end up disappointed because their preferred candidate is eliminated. Is an election where most people’s preferred candidate loses a good thing? Ranked choice voting (RCV) could help fix that problem.
Being afraid of huge numbers of noncitizens voting in US elections is a bit like worrying about a zombie invasion. It sounds like a major problem in theory but it’s not something to be overly concerned about in real life.
Practice makes perfect, and the smartest among us would agree that no one should ever stop learning. Doctors lead from the front in this regard — constantly ensuring they are up to date with advances in technology and medicine. Now they are taking this to another level.
Amazon Will Pay a Whopping $0 in Federal Taxes on $11.2 Billion Profits (Reader Steve)
The recent charges of “anti-Semitism” leveled against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) have reignited the debate about the power and influence of AIPAC and the Israel lobby.
The World Is Getting Greener (Rebecca)
Saturday was a turning point in American history. For perhaps the first time ever, one of the biggest legacy news organizations published a fair, fact-based article about a political assassination without dismissing, out of hand, any evidence of conspiracy.
The Real ‘Land of Unrealities’ (Russ)From Truthdig: “[Such CIA] covert actions as the 1953 coup, the 1954 coup, the Bay of Pigs, the Indonesian coups, the Vietnam War and countless others tended to start and close with propaganda that was effectively fake news.”
How Hackers and Scammers Break Into iCloud-Locked iPhones (Russ)
By scouring the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report and some declassified CIA documents, retired Psychologist Dr. Jeff Kaye has confirmed that there were two separate rendition, detention, and interrogation programs run by separate branches of the agency’s Counterterrorism Center.The first, which we refer to as “Program A” in this podcast, is already known.
Nazis Separated Me From My Parents As a Child. The Trauma Lasts a Lifetime. (Russ)The author writes, “I know from experience that the Trump-sanctioned brutality at the US border with Mexico will scar its child victims for life.”
New Trump Probe Looks a Lot Like a RICO Investigation (Chris)
Philadelphia is about to replace its aging voting equipment. This would be good news, except that the city’s election commission has omitted cybersecurity and disability access as relevant considerations in its Request for Proposals (RFP) to prospective vendors.
The nation is now agog over a sex and blackmail scandal that involves two of the more famous publishers in the world — Jeffrey Bezos, owner of Amazon and the Washington Post, and David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer. By now you know the bare — and I do mean bare — outlines of the scandal.
Investors Waking Up to Fracking Realities? (Jeff C.)
In yet another example illustrating the waste of taxpayer funds in Afghanistan, the US plans to go ahead with the delivery of 159 expensive Black Hawk helicopters — even though there may not be enough pilots to fly them or ground crews to maintain them.
When Donald Trump promised that he would only hire the “best people,” maybe he should have been pressed on what, exactly, they would be good at. Because it’s clearly not running the US government. Over the past two years, it has become clear that liars, grifters, conmen, opportunists, and crooks seem to be drawn to the president like flies to … well, you know. Now, however, a situation is arising for which one of Trump’s “best people” seems ideally suited for forcing regime change somewhere in the Americas.
In a bold move, the young plaintiffs trying to force the US government to take action on climate change are petitioning the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to halt the development of new sources of fossil fuels. As they wait for a court date, they charge, climate change continues to jeopardize the planet. The 21 plaintiffs, ranging in age from 11 to 22, in Juliana v.
The need for clean drinking water is one of the most pressing concerns facing a large percentage of the world’s population.
‘A Substantial Ripple Effect’ (Russ)
This week, the House Judiciary Committee held its first hearing in over eight years on any kind of gun legislation. In that intervening period, names like Newtown, San Bernardino, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Parkland have been seared into our collective consciousness.
How Will Oil Age Fall Apart? Look to Venezuela (Jeff C.)
As the nation braces for another shutdown standoff on Friday, workers and consumers are still suffering in unexpected ways from the 35-day partial government closure that ended last month.
There is a very real possibility that Virginia’s top three officials — all of them Democrats — could be forced to resign over various scandals. That would leave the state’s House Speaker Kirk Cox, a Republican, in charge. In itself, that would be interesting but not remarkable. What is remarkable is how Cox got elected: Because the race in Virginia’s 94th district ended up tied, the GOP candidate won by drawing lots.
‘Green New Deal’ Would Reshape Economy Within 10 Years (Jeff C.)Is generating 100 percent of the nation’s electric power from renewables even possible? US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seems to think so.
2018 Was One of the Hottest Years on Record — and This Year Could Be Even Hotter (Chris)
Ensuring that all Americans have access to healthcare will be one of the most important issues in the Democratic presidential primary and the 2020 election. It is unlikely that a Democrat without a viable plan can win the nomination. While some candidates are looking toward European countries for inspiration, an answer to the uninsured crisis may be found much closer to home.
US-India Relations Strained After Indian Students Detained in ICE Sting (Dan)In an effort to “expose immigration fraud,” the Department of Homeland Security created a fake university to lure international students to apply. India’s foreign ministry said “several students” have been detained. DHS has yet to release their nationalities.
More than 50 years after President John F. Kennedy’s death, details relating to his assassination have accumulated like snowflakes in a blizzard. Hundreds of names, thousands of alleged facts, millions upon millions of words competing for our attention and requiring our judgment: Is this important? Is this true? Who would know?John M. Newman, PhD is unique in what he knows.
‘This Is Not the Time for Dialogue,’ Says Venezuela’s Juan Gaudio (Dan)Venezuela’s self-declared president, Juan Gaudio, has warned his international backers against any negotiated settlements with the country’s current president, Nicolas Maduro.
Is the Mainstream Press After Tulsi Gabbard? (Dan)
The United States is more corrupt than it used to be. The country has sunk to No. 22 on the list of least corrupt countries in a global study that looks at the health of democratic institutions. The US now ranks below Estonia, Ireland, Japan, and France — and just above the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Barbados, and Bhutan. The United States joined the Czech Republic and Brazil as “countries to watch.”The US fell from No.
We all know what to expect when President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday night: It will be an hour of patting himself on the back, braggadocious bravado, making up threats and, of course, a lot of falsehoods and outright lies. Regardless, we hope that every American tunes in because we want as many people as possible to hear from Stacey Abrams, who will give the Democratic response.
Texas officials caused quite a splash this week when they suggested that tens of thousands of noncitizens may have voted illegally since 1996. But it quickly became apparent that not all was what these officials made it seem to be — and now they find themselves on the receiving end of a class action lawsuit.
Why do babies fall asleep when they’re rocked? All parents know it works, and have their own special way of moving with an irritable sleepy baby — in a sling, out of a sling, up and down, side to side, in the car. Recent research on rocking doesn’t answer the baby question, but shines a light on the salutary effect it can have on grown-ups. Anyone who’s experienced sleeping on a boat will wax lyrical about it — the special soothing sensation of being rocked to sleep by gently lapping water.
‘I Was a Pretty Good Spy’ (Russ)
No matter how unseasonably cold or hot it gets or how powerful the storms are, there will be those who still don’t accept the urgency of climate change.
Howard Schultz Is Above the Political Fray — So High Above He Often Doesn’t Vote (Reader Steve)From the Seattle Times: “Like a lot of outsider business execs who want to come in and fix politics, Howard Schultz has kept some distance from the mess of democracy in the past. By not voting.”
Incendiary claims by the Texas secretary of state that 95,000 non-citizens are registered to vote in Texas are already being quietly walked back by Texas state officials, who made headlines with what appear to be poorly documented charges.
‘5,000 Troops to Colombia’, John Bolton’s Notepad Raises Eyebrows in Venezuela (Dan)
As Central American asylum seekers wait for their cases to be decided — a process that can take years — the United States is returning them to Mexico, adding yet more hardship to their plight.
Inside the Pentagon’s Race Against Deepfake Videos (Russ)From CNN: “Advances in artificial intelligence could soon make creating convincing fake audio and video — known as ‘deepfakes’ — relatively easy. Making a person appear to say or do something they did not has the potential to take the war of disinformation to a whole new level.”
In the final week of 2018, Michael Bloomberg — the former mayor of New York, a Republican turned Democrat, and a possible future presidential candidate — went on television to issue a remarkable challenge to fellow politicians: He would insist that every candidate in 2020 lay out a comprehensive plan to combat climate change.
Are Colorado teenagers, who are suing the government to take action on climate change, being denied justice by the words of a racist judge?
Fight for Europe — or the Wreckers Will Destroy It (Russ)From the Guardian: “The continent faces its biggest challenge since the 1930s. We urge European patriots to resist the nationalist onslaught.”
Will Robots Take Your Job? Quarter of US Workers at Risk (Reader Steve)
Climate change is so impossibly, depressingly big, so out of control, that most of us feel powerless to do anything about it. Thus we turn away and do nothing. That’s human nature. Fortunately, there are people who are willing to step up and speak out for the tough choices that must be made…now.
It is truly ironic that the world’s “elite” who gathered in Davos this week claim to be puzzled that people across the globe — frustrated by stagnating standards of living — are falling prey to nationalists and populists.
This week’s video is a perfect storm of weird and wonderful, all squashed into a very matter-of-fact science explainer. There’s a dose of odd science in the form of an almost mythical-sounding procedure. It has helped researchers identify a previously unknown structure of the human body, just when we thought we knew everything there was to know.This discovery, in turn, holds hope for the improved treatment of a widespread disease and an often fatal medical event.
Kennedy, King, Malcolm X Relatives and Scholars Seek New Assassination Probes (Russ)From the Washington Post: “Their letter calls for a Truth and Reconciliation Committee on the JFK, RFK, MLK and Malcolm X slayings.”
Iranian TV Anchor Says US Jailed Her as Warning (Reader Steve)
This week, a black woman became a credible candidate for President of the United States. Regardless of what you might think of the politics of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), her candidacy is historic. When Shirley Chisholm became the first such black woman, no one took that campaign seriously.Today, in an era of Black Lives Matter, African American feminists have helped define both our cultural politics and Democratic party politics.