ACLU Sues Trump Administration for Files on Botched SEAL Raid in Yemen

by Alex Emmons, from the Intercept

Donald Trump’s administration is trying to close the book on its first major military operation – a botched Navy SEAL raid in Yemen that turned into a village-wide massacre, killing as many as 25 people, including 10 children. But the ACLU, which made a Freedom of Information Act request in March, has just filed a lawsuit to force the government to open its files.

When the residents of al Ghayil village in central Yemen heard gunfire the night of January 29th, they returned fire, thinking that they were under attack by a local party in Yemen’s civil war. U.S. forces then strafed the village with helicopter gunfire, killing villagers, damaging a dozen buildings, and wiping out the village’s livestock.

The raid, which Trump reportedly authorized over dinner, also resulted in the death of a Navy Seal, William “Ryan” Owens, and the destruction of a $70 million Osprey helicopter. The raid did not kill its intended target — a senior al Qaeda leader — and villagers denied that Al Qaeda had a presence in the village.

President Trump has insisted the raid was “highly successful,”…

The White House took it a step further and tried to shame the raid’s critics into silence. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that “anyone who undermines the success of that raid owes an apology and [does] a disservice to the life of Chief Owens.” The next day, Trump tweeted that criticism from Sen. John McCain, R.-Ariz., “emboldens the enemy.”…

[read more here]

Watch a Fake Progressive Use Republican Talking Point to Dismiss Calls for Universal Healthcare

by Scott Creighton

Diane Feinstein. She recently admitted there is no evidence of Russia colluding with anyone from the Trump campaign regarding their supposed “hack” of our election… which never happened by the way. Do you now how they tried to “influence” our election? By reporting on facts that were leaked from someone in the DNC and by others that were hacked from John Podesta and Hillary’s server by others. That’s how. They simply told the truth about Hillary Clinton’s corruption… and that is what is called “interfering” in our democratic process these days.

Anyway, here’s Sen. Feinstein talking to her constituents about single payer, universal healthcare. She says “if it means a total takeover of healthcare by the government, I’m against it”

That’s a republican, Heritage Foundation, libertarian, neoliberal talking point by the way. And there it is coming out of the mouth of a “progressive” Democrat. One that us real lefties are supposed to unite behind.

We had a chance to get universal healthcare back when the country wanted “CHANGE” and voted for it in 2008. What we got instead was a fascist mandated plan, conceived by Mitt Romney and insurance industry insiders and ultimately labeled “ObamaCare” because his name had yet to be tainted with the truth of what that corporatist fraud of a unDem he really was.

Today we seem poised for a similar opportunity but it appears the leadership from the Left House is parroting talking points from the far right. And what else would you expect from the One Party system we have?

Pres. Trump Gets Something Right: Australia Does Have a Better Healthcare System Than We Have… it’s called Medicare For All

by Scott Creighton

Those of you who haven’t (yet?) decided to go live under a rock someplace (and I certainly can’t blame those who have) already know President Trump made his first little baby-step yesterday toward a legislative victory, a HUGE one.

The House republicans voted for the “repeal and replace” bill yesterday and it passed by a total of 5 votes.

It’s not what anyone would call a compelling mandate that’s for sure… but it passed the House and now is set to go before the Senate where it will be hacked to pieces and then sent to a joint committee so it can be passed through reconciliation with a straight majority vote.

Let’s put this out there right now. The TrumpCare plan is horrible. It targets the elderly, the disabled and the poor while giving HUGE tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.

I say that as a LONG TIME opponent of ObamaCare. I opposed it when they were crafting it and I have opposed it ever since. It is a brutal, republican-based, lobbyist-written, unconstitutionally-mandated payoff for Big Insurance and I have called it was it was, what it still is, from day one: fascism.

But as bad as ObamaCare was (is) TrumpCare is even worse and still, I do not defend one by condemning the other.

In my perfect world, TrumpCare will be defeated as ObamaCare is overturned in favor of a true universal healthcare system such as Medicare For All. I back that because healthcare is a right which we all share or should share, were we to demand it… and because the system itself is far better across every single measuring stick that exists. It provides better care for everyone, keeps people from going bankrupt due to medical costs, saves billions of dollars per year and, perhaps most importantly, denies Big Insurance all the profits they use to further enslave our congress critters.

And I am not alone in that opinion. There are many, many different healthcare unions and associations who agree with me on that one including the AMA and the nurses’ union and all sorts of other medical professionals groups who say the same thing.

You know who else says the same thing? President Donald Trump, father of the reactionary TrumpCare legislation which will only profit the wealthy and Big Insurance.

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Not “Ridiculous Nonsense” Anymore: Yes, British Intelligence and Others Did Spy on Trump Campaign Using the 14 Eyes Program

by Scott Creighton

After listening to a month’s worth of the complicit media yelling their outrage at Sean Spicer, Devin Nunes, Judge Napolitano, Donald Trump and all the other “conspiracy theorists” (myself included) who dared suggest it was even slightly possible that British intelligence agencies used the 5 Eyes program to spy on the Trump campaign staff in the lead-up to the election and then share that information with the Obama administration (who at the time was working as a surrogate for the Hillary team) today we have confirmation that, yes, GCHQ and other British intel services did in fact spy on team Trump and share the information they collected with Obama. And it predates the “Russian hacking” bull crap.

The narrative being sculpted is that the Brits were simply assisting in the ongoing investigation into the “Russian hacking” story but the truth is, their intel dates back to late 2015… long before the “Russian hacking” narrative.

The Guardian, who broke this story, say “It is understood that GCHQ was at no point carrying out a targeted operation against Trump or his team or proactively seeking information..” and that is it in terms of providing any substantial evidence at all that they weren’t deliberately targeting the Trump campaign staff during the election process looking for juicy info they could feed Obama and American intelligence services to use against him in the election.

Turns out, a number of foreign agencies had their hands in the effort to thwart the Trump candidacy and Russia wasn’t one of them.

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Congress Votes to Free Up Big Business To Spy on You and Sell Your Most Private Data To Anyone Without Your Consent

by Scott Creighton

The “internet of everything” is big business. It’s big business, big opportunity and big control. It’s Big Brother. Today’s news exposes something awful. Not only are our congress-critters allowing for Big Business to turn everything you consider private into a commodity, but the fact is… THEY ALREADY DO IT.

Organizations like EFF are busy sending out mailers asking for donations so they can fight “the dismantling of broadband privacy” rules created back during the last moments of the Obama administration. Seems like a noble fight, doesn’t it? Accept, you never had those protections in the first place. Not during the Obama administration anyway.

The FCC’s rule titled “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunication Services,” 81 Fed. Reg. 87274 (PDF), was put in place after a long fight on Dec. 2nd, 2016. It was set to go into effect on Dec. 4, 2017… long after the Trumpster was elected and his corrupt gaggle of neoliberal destroyers he calls his “administration” had plenty of time to undo the rule. A year in fact.

“The FCC rules were put in place in 2016 to prevent consumers’ private and sensitive information automatically getting into the hands of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon…. That rule is scheduled to go into effect on December 4, 2017.” RT

That RT evaluation of the rule is a bit misleading. It prevented these companies from monitizing your very personal information, not from collecting it. And it only prevented them from selling your most personal information IF YOU TOLD THEM THEY COULDN’T.

They have been collecting it since the USA Freedom Act and CISA went into effect. This rule was ONLY set to make sure customers had a choice to opt-out of the monitization part, essentially keeping Big Telecom from turning more of a profit on the data (more meaning, they are already paid by the government to collect and store said information for the purposes of “national security”)

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The Feuding Kleptocrats

by Chris Hedges from Common Dreams

The Trump kleptocrats are political arsonists. They are carting cans of gasoline into government agencies and Congress to burn down any structure or program that promotes the common good and impedes corporate profit.

They ineptly have set themselves on fire over Obamacare, but this misstep will do little to halt the drive to, as Stephen Bannon promises, carry out the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Donald Trump’s appointees are busy diminishing or dismantling the agencies they were named to lead and the programs they are supposed to administer. That is why they were selected. Rex Tillerson at the State Department, Steven Mnuchin at the Treasury Department, Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency, Rick Perry at the Department of Energy, Tom Price at Health and Human Services, Ben Carson at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Betsy DeVos at the Department of Education are eating away the foundations of democratic institutions like gigantic termites. And there is no force inside government that can stop them…

The kleptocrats, whatever their differences, are united by one overriding fear. They fear large numbers of people will become wise to their kleptocracy and revolt. They fear the mob. They fear revolution, the only mechanism left that can rid us of these parasites…

[read more here]

 

Nepotist Trump Picks Jared Kushner to Head Fascist New Office of American Innovation (to Carry on the Dream of Bill Clinton)

by Scott Creighton

UPDATE: Trump’s New Plan: Govt as Company, Citizens as Customers, Kushner as CEO

Image result for fascism

In the wake of the “failure” of the “repeal and replace” pledge, the president has announced he has picked his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to head up a brand new government office in D.C. called the Office of American Innovation. According to the Washington Post it’s a new office “with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises — such as reforming care for veterans (privatizing) and fighting opioid addiction — by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions.

Kushner has been charged with meeting various heads of Big Business to get their ideas on what parts of Big Gubmint they want to bust off a piece of for themselves. It’s all about that old propaganda line “make government run like a business” which translates to “dismantle government on behalf of Big Business”

We all know The Donald wants to deregulate everything he can on behalf of Wall Street and Big Business. We all know he will eventually set in motion the end-game of the New Deal haters: the privatization of Social Security and the rest of the “entitlement” safety net. We all know his effort to “repeal and replace” was a dog and pony show they only dedicated 17 legislative days to before they threw up their hands and gave up, which ONLY serves the interests of Big Insurance. And since Big Insurance finances the reelection slush funds of BOTH Dems and Rethugs, it should be pretty obvious why they never even put it up for a vote in the House (can’t have Dem on record voting against Big Insurance, now can we?)

Deregulation, decreasing the tax burden on Big Business, imposing crippling austerity on the economy, massive reductions on government spending (except where the interests of Big Business are concerned) and the wholesale privatization of everything profitable in government. That’s Donald Trump’s agenda and we all know what that is called in the real world. Some idiots call this “liberty” but educated folks simply call it neoliberalism.

“extensive economic liberalization policies such as privatization, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9] These market-based ideas and the policies they inspired constitute a paradigm shift away from the post-war Keynesian consensus which lasted from 1945 to 1980.[10][11]  ” neoliberalism by definition

Neoliberalism is the economic ideology of Reagan and Thatcher as we all know but is also at the core of the policies of these folks as well:

“Since the presidency of Bill Clinton, Democrats have become increasingly anti-ideological (in word), opting instead for an approach cloaked in the garb of objectivity and pragmatism: No longer, for instance, would liberals favor, in principle, labor over business.

Simultaneously, however, despite liberals’ professed disdain for political doctrines, a new ideology arose in the place of the New Deal tradition, an ideology that would ultimately come to infect both of America’s major political parties: Neoliberalism

Bill Clinton, the embodiment of neoliberalism’s rise to prominence, insisted that it was necessary to end “the era of big government Common Dreams, Liberal Elites Hate the Left

Doing away with “big government” was the dream of Bill Clinton. A dream he worked hard at. Welfare Reform Act of 1996, NAFTA, repeal of Glass-Steagall, the Commodities Futures Modification Act of 2000 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996… and a host of other, lesser known neoliberal agenda items put forward by the fake progressive known as Bill Clinton.

In his State of the Union address in 1996, Bill Clinton (friend of Donald Trump) said “We have worked to give the American people a smaller, less bureaucratic government in Washington. And we have to give the American people one that lives within its means. The era of big government is over.”

It is not by coincidence that the Clinton’s inner party of neoliberal fake Dems back then, the Democratic Leadership Council, was partly funded by the Koch Brothers one of whom stuck with The Donald throughout his campaign.

Ironically, the presstitutes helping promote this fascist new office Trump has handed over to his son-in-law are reporting on it as some kind of “new idea” about how government should be run and they’re breathlessly praising the notion that some technocrats will be reshaping the government like some kind of heroic SWAT team or something. A SWAT team, I believe, is actually a good analogy. They’ll kick in the doors and plunder the household searching for what they consider to be violators.

“Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants (technocrats), the office will be staffed by former business executives and is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington…” Washington Post

Fresh thinking. That’s funny. We first imposed neoliberal economic ideology on country in ’73 after we ran a coup in Chile to get rid of a left-leaning elected official. That economic plan was referred to as “the brick” and the resulting Miracle of Chile was a nightmare for the people of the country… that’s why the CIA chose a dictator to oversea their project. A man by the name of Augusto Pinochet.

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