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 ?
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Revealed: The US Military’s 36 Code-Named Operations in Africa (Chris)
The 2016 presidential campaign was historically unprecedented in a number of ways, not the least of which was that the losing candidate got nearly three million more popular votes than the winner. Ever since November 2016, national Democrats have been scrutinizing ways to take full advantage of Hillary Clinton’s popular vote victory and make it work for them in 2020.
DHS Is Refusing to Investigate Hack of Voting Machines (Chris)
Lawmakers in Florida are seeking to strike a balance between protecting the families of the victims of mass shootings and protecting the media’s ability to accurately report on the events.
It is simply impossible to read the Mueller report and not come away with the certainty that this administration is the most (morally) corrupt and dysfunctional in US history, and that it is headed by a president who was only saved from prosecution because the people working for him routinely had the good sense to disregard his orders.
Deep down, many of us have always known that chocolate is the answer to all our problems… a bad hair day, an IRS audit, a broken toe. Some college students, however, are hoping to raise that sentiment to a new level.
It takes many hours to read the Mueller report, but the deeper you dig, the more arresting insights and intriguing plot twists you find.One surprising insight: Many of the players in the Trump campaign appear to be apolitical. They don’t grasp for power; they seek what’s “good for business,” in the words of former campaign chair Paul Manafort.
Case in Point: Carter PageBeginning on page 95, the report recounts the saga of Carter Page, candidate Trump’s foreign policy adviser.
‘Armed Fascist Militia’ Accused by ACLU of Making Illegal Arrests at Border (Chris)
According to Sarah Kendzior, the Mueller Report doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s been happening.In this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, Kendzior, the no-holds-barred commentator, calls special counsel Robert Mueller incompetent.
It is nearly as long and as chock-full of Russian names as any novel by Tolstoy. It is such good reading that it should not be left to the pundits to digest. Dive right in and you’ll almost immediately come up with intriguing tidbits. First, there’s a “caveat emptor” message from the author:
Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Is Trying to Delay Her Trial (Reader Steve)
Every year an estimated 3 million children witness gun violence — and the impacts can last a lifetime. Lizzie Eaton knows this all too well.Eaton is one of the high school students from Parkland, FL, who are fanning out to share with the rest of the country what they’ve learned about gun violence.“There’s no way to prepare for a tragedy like this,” she said.
Climate Change to Blame for Maria’s Extreme Rainfall (Rebecca)
For whistleblowers, it’s the Emmys, the Grammys, and the Oscars rolled into one. The Ridenhour Prizes mark the one time each year that they and their supporters are celebrated for their important and often dangerous work.The ceremony, founded in 2003 and held in Washington at the National Press Club, also honors journalists — but is rarely covered by the media.
Has Trump’s Team Found a Way to Attack Iran? (DonkeyHotey)
Gang violence is one of the main drivers of the exodus from Central America. In response to the exodus, President Donald Trump wants to cut US aid to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras — a move that critics say will only exacerbate the situation. Trump has also talked about using tough police tactics and mass deportation to eliminate the Latin street gang MS-13 — a group that actually originated in Los Angeles.
Washington Passes Bill Requiring Carbon-Free Electricity (Chris)From Courthouse News: “Senate Bill 5116 and the corresponding bill in the House … would require the Pacific Northwestern state to transition to a carbon neutral energy grid by 2030 and entirely carbon free by 2045.”
Why the Highlander Attack Matters (Chris)
With House Democrats making a push to get their hands on Donald Trump’s tax returns, there is an expectation among those wanting to see the president get toppled that these documents might constitute the smoking gun that will bring him down.But instead of a silver bullet, it’s more likely that the tax returns will be a relative dud, and here is why: There is simply no way that they are complete and accurate.As we and others have documented — and anybody with an open mind must surely realize — Trump is a crook and a charlatan.
For One Week, High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines Were Legal in California (Reader Steve)
Journalist Michael Ames joins Jeff Schechtman in this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast to talk about the high-profile military crimes of Bowe Bergdahl — and what they say about both Bergdahl and the failure of US efforts in Afghanistan.Bergdahl, the longest-held American POW since Vietnam, endured five years of hellish conditions.
Media attention has recently focused on a limited number of wealthy parents who schemed and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their kids into elite colleges for which they ordinarily would not qualify. But then there is the reality for everyone else.
How US Recycling Is Changing Now That China Won’t Take It (Chris)
Morale is so low in Afghanistan’s armed forces that its soldiers — once expected to be a bulwark against the Taliban — have been stealing from and brutalizing US-paid local contractors.The total value of property stolen has exceeded $780,000, and contractors have been held at gunpoint, beaten, “locked in containers for extended hours,” and had their heads shaved, accordi
At a time when Americans are grappling with climate change, gun violence, voter suppression, and an immigration crisis, many economists — both conservative and progressive — would like to add to that plate of worries: a looming recession.After all, it’s been a decade since the US economy began to rebound from the severe financial downturn of 2008.
Trump Hotels Exempted From Ban on Foreign Payments Under New Stance (Gerry)
A California settlement could lead to a massive voter roll purge after conservative watchdog groups, news outlets, and right-leaning politicians claim state election officials aren’t doing enough to maintain the state’s voter rolls.Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, sued California in 2017, claiming 11 counties in the state had more registered voters than eligible residents.
The IRS Tried to Take On the Ultrawealthy. It Didn’t Go Well. (Russ)
The Mueller report on the investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election is completed, and while US Attorney General William Barr summarizes that it clears President Donald Trump of collusion, confusion remains around the issue of obstruction of justice. At this stage, I can finally say something I haven’t felt comfortable saying since November 2016: I think we’ve largely been asking the wrong questions.
Scientists are constantly working to solve problems, and by far the worst is one the human race itself has created — climate change due to global warming.
Can’t wait to read the entire Mueller Report? Don’t hold your breath.
More Than 80 Women Sue San Diego Hospital Alleging Secret Camera Recordings (Reader Steve)
Since the 1960s we’ve come to understand that an expanding global population threatens our quality of life — and, potentially, all life itself. Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book, The Population Bomb, set the stage for 50 years of doom-laden assumptions about population growth.
Young leaders took to the Capitol on April 4 to urge Congress to act on climate change. The U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis listened as they made their case that now is the time to take action in curbing the climate crisis. The hearing, titled “Generation Climate: Young Leaders Urge Climate Action Now,” is just one more event in the “Youth v. Government” climate change movement.
Georgia GOPers Call for Journalism ‘Ethics’ Board (Celia)Georgia Republicans, who have excelled at suppressing voters, now want to suppress the media.
ICE Arrests 280 Workers in Largest Workplace Immigration Raid in a Decade (Chris)
I could never understand why anyone would expect President Donald Trump to leave behind evidence of collusion with Russia. After all, Trump eats evidence.Former employee Omarosa Manigault Newman witnessed him indulging in this unusual diet after a meeting with Michael Cohen. In her book, Unhinged: An Insider Account of the Trump White House, she wrote,
YouTube Executives Ignored Warnings, Letting Toxic Videos Run Rampant (Chris)
Canada Is Warming at Twice the Global Rate, Report Says (Mili)
As dozens of cities around the US ban plastic straws and other single-use plastics, one of the greenest states in the country is considering a near total ban statewide on plastic and styrofoam. The Hawaii state legislature has introduced two separate bills that would impact fast-food and full-service restaurants — one dealing with plastic, the other with styrofoam.
Crews Contain Forest Fire That Burned 11,000 Acres in South Jersey Pinelands (Chris)
Good news for reformers trying to take the politics out of drawing legislative boundaries: The two cases of partisan redistricting now before the Supreme Court are so blatant, they almost scream “unconstitutional.”The bad news? Justice Anthony Kennedy — the court’s swing vote who at least seemed open to the notion that the court should regulate the practice — is long gone. His replacement? The very conservative Brett Kavanaugh.What’s at stake is the future of democracy, reform advocates say.
It is likely tons of ink and thousands of hours of airtime have been consumed by members of the media speculating on the contents and the timing of the Mueller report. That report has been submitted.
A diet rich in red meat is bad for the planet, not just an individual’s small colon, as — according to some estimates — livestock production accounts for the same amount of global carbon emissions annually as the transportation industry.