2019-02-15: News Headlines

Eric Draitser (2019-02-15). Impacts of Exploding US Oil Production on Climate and Foreign Policy. counterpunch.org It's easy for small news items to get lost amid the noise of the news cycle. Two stories I recently came across that piqued my interest have gotten almost no major media attention save for one or two easily missed articles. The first is an analysis by Robert Rapier, a chemical engineer and executive in More

Robert Scheer (2019-02-15). Jesus Christ's Lesson for the 21st Century. truthdig.com Tom Catena, who risked his life daily to proffer medical care in an African war zone, examines what it means to be a good Samaritan.

Stephen Lendman (2019-02-15). Politically Charged Show Trial of Catalan Independence Supporters. globalresearch.ca What's billed as Spain's "trial of the century" began in Madrid before the nation's Supreme Court on Tuesday. | On trial are 12 activist Catalan politicians — falsely charged with rebellion, misuse of public funds, and civil disobedience. | They justifiably support …

Democracy Now! (2019-02-15). Immigrant Activists: Democrats Are Capitulating to Trump by Approving Border, DHS Funding. democracynow.org President Trump is expected to declare a national emergency today to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border despite opposition from Congress, after he signs the latest spending bill, which includes nearly $1.4 billion to build 55 miles of new border barriers out of steel, far less than the $5.7 billion he requested. Congressmembers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib issued a statement that they voted against the bill because it gives more funding to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "That is the right thing to do. We've been pushing for Democrats to do the right thing, t…

teleSUR (2019-02-15). Lopez Rivera, Puerto Ricans Reject US Plan to Invade Venezuela. telesurenglish.net Puerto Ricans, joined by formerly incarcerated revolutionary activist Oscar Lopez Rivera, demonstrated Thursday in front of the Federal Court, in Old San Juan, to voice opposition to a U.S. military intervention in Venezuela, EFE said. | RELATED: | Colombian Social Leaders Express Solidarity with Venezuela | The vice president of the Puerto Rican Independ…

Dana E. Abizaid (2019-02-15). On Candace Owens's Praise of Hitler. counterpunch.org Any public figure should understand that making a positive reference to Hitler is political suicide. This fact was lost on the young Republican political activist Candace Owens, who recently said, "If Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, Ok, fine." The statement was as insulting as it was horrible. Though Owens More

teleSUR (2019-02-15). Google, Apple Under Fire to Block Saudi 'Woman Tracker' App. telesurenglish.net Apple and Google are facing major backlash, from human rights activists and lawmakers, after being accused of supporting patriarchy with a Saudi Arabian "woman tracker app" which is used to monitor and manage the whereabouts of women in the Arab nation. | RELATED: | Another MBS PR Stunt? Saudi Arabia To 'Review' Male Guardianship System | "I haven't heard about it," Apple CEO Tim Cook told NPR, adding that he would investigate the situation. "But obviously we'll take a lo…

Greenpeace (2019-02-15). U.S. Federal Court Dismisses $900 Million Pipeline Company Lawsuit Against Greenpeace. globalresearch.ca Today, the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota issued a landmark dismissal [1] of all claims against all defendants in the USD$900 million case against Greenpeace and others brought by Energy Transfer [2]. | The decision to …

Bill Van Auken (2019-02-15). War Summit in Warsaw. globalresearch.ca The conference jointly hosted by the US and Polish governments in Warsaw this week under the phony banner of working to "Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East" has laid bare the immense and imminent threat …

Kathy Kelly (2019-02-15). What it Really Takes to Secure Peace in Afghanistan. counterpunch.org Constant military surveillance of Afghans yields almost no real intelligence about the problems they face each day. An unusual group of volunteers uses a far different approach. Hossein, a member of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, (APV), which hosted my recent visit to Afghanistan, rolled up his sleeve to show me a still-healing three-inch wound. Thieves More

The Straits Times (2019-02-15). China Cancels Trade Talks with UK in Protest over Defence Secretary Williamson's Speech. globalresearch.ca Chinese Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua has cancelled trade talks with Britain's Finance Minister, Mr Philip Hammond, after Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson threatened to deploy an aircraft carrier in Beijing's backyard, The Sun newspaper reported on Thursday (Feb 14). | Mr Hu …

Daniel Costa (2019-02-15). Trump's national emergency declaration not justified by the facts. peoplesworld.org Where, exactly, is the national emergency? Both houses of Congress have now passed appropriations legislation to fund the government for the fiscal year, and it's become clear they will not provide President Donald Trump with the full $5.7 billion he requested to fund construction of a wall on the southern border. Trump has been so …

Democracy Now! (2019-02-15). Headlines for February 15, 2019. democracynow.org Trump to Use National Emergency Declaration to Build Border Wall, "It's Incredible": Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on Amazon Scrapping NYC Project After Grassroots Protests, Report: Amazon to Pay No Federal Taxes Despite Making $11 Billion in Reported Profits, Denver Teachers Declare Victory After 3-Day Strike, More U.S. Workers Went on Strike in 2018 Than in Any Year in Three Decades, Parkland Shooting Survivor Emma González: "We Fight Our Trauma by Fighting Against Gun Violence", William Barr Sworn In as Attorney General After Senate Confirmation, Former Deputy FBI Director Speaks Out on Launching Counterintelligence Prob…

Greg Palast (2019-02-15). In Venezuela, white supremacy is a key driver of the Coup. mronline.org The coup is, at it heart, a furious backlash of whiter and wealthier Venezuelans against the mixed race and Black majority. | Source

David Swanson (2019-02-15). Will the U.S. Senate Let the People of Yemen Live? counterpunch.org In 1973 the War Powers Resolution weakened the U.S. Constitution's placement of the power to start and end wars with the first branch of the U.S. government, the Congress. The new law carved out exceptions to allow presidents to start wars. However, it also created procedures by which a single member or group of members More

CounterSpin (2019-02-15). Phyllis Bennis on Afghanistan Armistice? fair.org Media…

Jeffrey St. Clair (2019-02-15). Roaming Charges: Third Rail-Roaded. counterpunch.org + The Third Rail of American politics used to be social security. If you even suggested cutting it, your career was fried. But Clinton & Obama legitimized such talk. Now the Third Rail is Israel, where even mentioning its power over the Hill gets you the political death penalty. + What horrible thing is it More

Roberto Lovato (2019-02-15). Abrams Bringing Violence of 1980s Latin America Policy to Venezuela. zcomm.org Interview on the violent history of Elliott Abrams and the U.S.-backed opposition in Venezuela…

unitedEditor (2019-02-15). Can Turkey change its status of non-nuclear weapons status? uwidata.com On the background of the US and Russia's withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), one can hear increasingly often that Turkey might change its status in the emerging new international layout and change its status of a non-nuclear weapons state. Herein we'll consider the possibility of a step of this kind. It is […]

Cameron Orr (2019-02-15). Militarization and interference in affairs of others impedes Green New Deal. peoplesworld.org Fighting for a Green New Deal in the United States will require uniting all popular forces against the main barriers to social and ecological progress. The Sunrise Movement, which has brought the Green New Deal to the forefront of conversations about the environment, has identified fossil fuel interests as a main barrier to a green …

Associated Press (2019-02-15). Olympic volunteers: One-time chance, or exploitation? peoplesworld.org TOKYO (AP) — Unpaid Olympic volunteers do almost everything: guide athletes around, greet dignitaries and translate for lost fans. IOC officials acknowledge the games couldn't be held without them; invariably smiling, helpful and praised by presidents, prime ministers, and monarchs. The billion-dollar Olympics are awash with cash. But volunteers work for free. That's the case …

Democracy Now! (2019-02-15). Public Citizen: Trump's National Emergency Declaration Paves Way for Sweeping Authoritarianism. democracynow.org With one day left to pass a government spending bill before today's midnight deadline to avert another government shutdown, both the House and Senate passed the measure Thursday that came out of the bipartisan conference committee earlier this week. The bill includes nearly $1.4 billion to build 55 miles of new border barriers out of steel, far less than the $5.7 billion requested by President Trump. Democrats quickly condemned the news, and consumer rights nonprofit Public Citizen vowed legal action against him. We speak with Public Citizen President Robert Weissman.

Mark Gruenberg, John Wojcik (2019-02-15). Opponents move to stop Trump's "national emergency" power grab. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON—Donald Trump wants to use the pretext of a "national emergency" to grab billions of federal dollars to build his Mexican Wall. Xavier Becerra, California's attorney general, and Sens. Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders were among those who immediately came out to say they will try to stop him. Even two Republican senators, Sens. Rand …

Jim Kavanagh (2019-02-15). The Siege of Venezuela and the Travails of Empire. counterpunch.org Here's the bullet-point version: + It's imperialism. + It's American imperialism, a bipartisan national project. + American imperialism is the global management of capitalist class power. + It's a binary situation in which one side or the other will win via the use and threat of armed force. + It's trouble for Venezuela and for imperialism. More

Nicolás Maduro Moros (2019-02-15). An open letter to the people of the United States. mronline.org Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro calls on U.S. society to denounce its government ¥s threats of war. | Source

Shared by Hezvo Mpunga (2019-02-15). Venezuela's Foreign Minister: "The US is in Front of the Coup Attempt, not Behind it" therealnews.com Interview — in Spanish with English subtitles — with Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, who speaks about the likelihood of war with the US, the impact of the sanctions, and the way out of the conflict between Venezuela and the US and its allies in the opposition and in the region

Shared by Hezvo Mpunga (2019-02-15). How Haiti's Spontaneous Uprising is Connected to Venezuelan Solidarity (1/2). therealnews.com Kim Ives of Haiti Liberté unravels how the new Haitian revolt entangles Duvalier style corruption of money stolen from Venezuela's PetroCaribe program and subtle US intervention

Ron Jacobs (2019-02-15). Maduro, Guaidó and American Exceptionalism. counterpunch.org In the weeks since Jose Guaidó declared to a crowd of supporters in Venezuela that he was the new president of Venezuela a lot has happened and very little has happened. Washington, Brazil and Colombia—three of the most right-wing governments in the Americas—unsurprisingly declared their support of Guaidó. Others followed. Indeed, it is more than More

Eds. (2019-02-15). Rep. Ilhan Omar grills Elliott Abrams over his shady past. mronline.org Rep. Ilhan Omar spoke truth to power on Wednesday when she grilled Elliott Abrams over his support for violent regime change policies and history of lying to Congress. | Source

Shared by Hezvo Mpunga (2019-02-15). Canciller de Venezuela: "Los EEUU está adelante del intento golpista, no detrás" therealnews.com Entrevista — en español con subtítulos en inglés — con canciller venezolano Jorge Arreaza, quien habla de las posibilidades de guerra con los EEUU, los impactos de los sanciones, y la salida al conflicto entre los EEUU y sus aliados en la oposición y en la región

Shared by Hezvo Mpunga (2019-02-15). How Haiti's Spontaneous Uprising is Connected to Venezuelan Solidarity (2/2). therealnews.com Kim Ives of Haiti Liberté unravels how the new Haitian revolt entangles Duvalier style corruption of money stolen from Venezuela's PetroCaribe program and subtle US intervention

Chris Floyd (2019-02-15). Pence and the Benjamins: An Eternity of Anti-Semitism. counterpunch.org There has been much throwing about of brains on the subject of anti-Semitism lately. But in the ceaseless and almost entirely cynical media-political imbroglio that has followed the "Benjamins" tweet of Rep. Ilhan Omar, I've seen nothing said about perhaps the most intense and thoroughgoing form of anti-Semitism in America today: an anti-Semitism that is not only prevalent but dominant in the halls of power at the moment. More

Rob Urie (2019-02-15). The Green New Deal, Capitalism and the State. counterpunch.org The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created by Richard Nixon in 1970 as the official response to the nascent environmental movement. As laid out in the recently released Poison Papers, it was structured to be dependent on research from private firms that were paid by the chemical producers it regulates. Given the limited market for this research, these firms either produced research conducive to the interests of their customers or they went out of business. More

CP Editor (2019-02-15). Frank Lloyd Wright on Arrogance. counterpunch.org

Paul Street (2019-02-15). Someone Needs to Teach These As$#oles a Lesson. counterpunch.org "Someone," my Finnish-American socialist great-aunt Mary used to say in the late 1960s, "ought to teach these assholes a lesson." By "these assholes," she meant the people who own and run the United States. Mary died many years ago. I thought about her the other night while watching Donald Trump lie about crime and border walls More

Democracy Now! (2019-02-15). Ibram X. Kendi on Surviving Cancer & His Anti-Racist Reading List for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. democracynow.org As we celebrate the remarkable life and legacy of Frederick Douglass on his 201st birthday, we are joined by Ibram X. Kendi, a professor of history and international relations and founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. Kendi spoke Thursday night at the Library of Congress at an event honoring Frederick Douglass. He is the National Book Award-winning author of "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America" and a contributing editor at The Atlantic.

Dave Lindorff (2019-02-15). Using Students, Teachers, Journalists and other Professionals as Spies Puts Everyone in Jeopardy. counterpunch.org The US is accusing China of using college students studying in the US to spy for China, but that, even if true (there hasn't been a trial yet), would be only half the story. The US, at great risk to those of us who work and travel abroad, also tries to enlist seemingly innocent Americans More

Ramzy Baroud (2019-02-15). Enough Western Meddling and Interventions: Let the Venezuelan People Decide. counterpunch.org American politicians from the two main parties have finally found something to agree upon: more intervention in Venezuela. "Now, despite (President Nicolas) Maduro, there is hope (in Venezuela)", wrote Democratic Senator, Dick Durbin, in USA Today. "These events (meaning the current political instability in the country) are a welcome development of Latin American nations defending More

John Laforge (2019-02-15). Nuclear Power Can't Survive, Much Less Slow Climate Disruption. counterpunch.org Donald Trump: "America will never be a socialist country." Too late. We already have socialism for the rich, with the nuclear power industry as a prime example. On a level playing field, nuclear power would go bust. Those owners get financial supports or subsidies that safe renewables like solar power, geothermal, and wind power don't More

Brian Cloughley (2019-02-15). In Libya, "We Came, We Saw, He Died." Now, Maduro? counterpunch.org "Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you're in league with Maduro and his mayhem." — US Secretary of State Pompeo addresses the UN Security Council on January 26, 2019. Libya is in a state of anarchic More

Tony Cartalucci (2019-02-15). Yemen: US "Accidentally" Arming Al Qaeda (Again). globalresearch.ca US weapons are once again falling into the hands of militants fighting in one of Washington's many proxy wars — this time in Yemen — the militants being fighters of local Al Qaeda affiliates. | CNN in its article, " Sold

Nauman Sadiq (2019-02-15). Pakistan: Is Imran Khan's 'Movement for Justice' a Liberal Political Party? globalresearch.ca Although people often conflate democracy and liberalism, there is a fine distinction between politics and culture. A democratic system of governance falls in the category of politics, whereas liberalism as a value system falls under the rubric of culture. | When …

Take Back Your Power (2019-02-15). Video: Wireless Industry Confesses: "No Studies Show 5G Is Safe" globalresearch.ca During today's Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on the future of 5G wireless technology and their impact on the American people and economy, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) raised concerns with the lack of any scientific research and …

Andrew Korybko (2019-02-15). Jammu and Kashmir: The Political Consequences of the Pulwama Attack. globalresearch.ca A native Kashmiri carried out the deadliest fedayeen attack against Indian occupation forces in history after he drove his explosive-laden vehicle into a 78-bus convoy and killed over 42 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) paramilitary troops, instantly drawing global attention …

Claire Edwards (2019-02-15). Video: 5G Is War on Humanity. Towards An Unspoken Global Health Catastrophe? Claire Edwards. globalresearch.ca Disclosure about 5G — and its considerable risk for humanity — is occurring within the United Nations. This is thanks to longtime UN staff member and whistle-blower Claire Edwards, who recently contacted me with this powerful story which touches …

Nauman Sadiq (2019-02-15). How Islamism Was Conceived as Antidote to Communism? globalresearch.ca First of all, we need to understand that how the neoliberal mindset is constructed. As we know that mass education programs and mass media engender mass ideologies. We like to believe that we are free to think, but as …

Press TV (2019-02-15). ICJ Rules Iran's Legal Bid to Recover $2bn Frozen in US Can Proceed. globalresearch.ca The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that Iran can proceed with a legal action to recover billions of dollars in frozen assets that the United States says must be paid to purported American survivors and relatives of victims …

South Front (2019-02-15). Video: US Sets Up New Base on Iraqi Border, ISIS Threat Grows in Desert. globalresearch.ca On February 13, the Syrian Air Force conducted a series of airstrikes on ISIS hideouts in the area of Kiribat al-Hosn in the Damascus desert. The airstrikes reportedly came in response to a recent increase in the activity of ISIS …

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts (2019-02-15). Who Does Government Serve? globalresearch.ca The US health system is the most high cost and dysfunctional health care system in the world. The reason is that it is privatized. In the rest of Western civilization the system is socialized. | The reason health care is socialized …

Dr. Jack Rasmus (2019-02-15). Trump's Wall & National Emergency Declaration Coming. globalresearch.ca Just leaked today that Senator McConnell, Trump's echo, has indicated that Trump will declare a national emergency today, even as he signs a compromise bill with Pelosi and the Dems to fully fund his Wall. Mainstream media thinks this is …

Zero Hedge (2019-02-15). BBC Producer's Syria Bombshell: Douma "Gas Attack" Footage "Was Staged" globalresearch.ca Now approaching nearly a year after the April 7, 2018 alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria — which the White House used as a pretext to bomb Syrian government facilities and bases throughout Damascus — a BBC reporter who investigated …

Greg Guma (2019-02-15). Unhealed Wounds: Freedom and Fear after America's Civil War. globalresearch.ca In 2003 I was asked by Kentucky State Senator Georgia Davis Powersto help research and write a book about her great aunt Celia Mudd, who was born into slavery but ultimately inherited the Lancaster property in Bardstown and became a …

Granma (2019-02-15). U.S. Military Adventure Against Venezuela Must be Stopped. globalresearch.ca Cuba condemns the U.S. government's escalating preparations for a military adventure in Venezuela and calls on the international community to mobilize to prevent its consummation | *** | The Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Cuba condemns the escalation of pressures and …

Patrick Martin (2019-02-15). As Congress Enacts Huge "Border Security" Bill, Trump to Declare National Emergency to Build Wall. globalresearch.ca As Congress voted Thursday to approve spending $1.375 billion for border fencing, wall repairs and other barriers on the US-Mexico border, as part of a much larger bill funding one quarter of the federal government through September 30, the White …

Richard Gale (2019-02-15). The US' Healthcare System Is a Predatory Catastrophe: It's Time for Universal Medical Coverage. globalresearch.ca For a nation that prides itself on being the world's wealthiest, most innovative, and most technologically advanced, the US' healthcare system is nothing less than a disaster and disgrace. Not only are Americans the least healthy among the most developed …

STAFF (2019-02-15). Congress OKs Border Deal; Trump Will Sign but Declare Emergency. truthdig.com WASHINGTON—Congress lopsidedly approved a border security compromise Thursday that would avert a second painful government shutdown, but a new confrontation was ignited—this time over President Donald Trump's plan to bypass lawmakers and declare a national emergency to siphon billions from other federal coffers for his wall on the Mexican boundary. | Money in the bill for border barriers, about $1.4 billion, is far below the $5.7 billion Trump insisted he needed and would finance just a quarter of the 200-plus miles he wanted. The White House said he'd sign the legislation but act unilaterally to get…

Shared by Cherise (2019-02-15). Democrats Are Capitulating to Trump by Approving Border, DHS Funding. truthout.org President Trump declared a national emergency today to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border despite opposition from Congress, after signing the latest spending bill, which includes nearly $1.4 billion to build 55 miles of new border barriers out of steel, far less than the $5.7 billion he requested. Congressmembers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib issued a statement that they voted against the bill because it gives more funding to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "That is the right thing to do. We've been pushing for Democrats to do the right thing, to stop playi…

STAFF (2019-02-15). Trump Declares National Emergency to Build Border Wall. truthdig.com WASHINGTON — Battling with one branch of government and opening a new confrontation with another, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday to fulfill his pledge to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. | Bypassing Congress, which approved far less money for his proposed wall than he had sought, Trump said he will use executive action to siphon billions of dollars from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts for the wall, aides said. The move drew immediate bipartisan criticism on Capitol Hill and is expected to face rounds of legal challenges. | Trump made the annou…

Joyce Nelson (2019-02-15). Venezuela & The Mighty Wurlitzer. counterpunch.org On February 11, Bloomberg News published an astonishing piece about the unfolding Venezuelan turmoil. It was apparently the result of a major investigative effort involving three reporters and five others providing "assistance". You'll notice I haven't called it a piece of news (although that's what it looks like), but I'm not sure what to call More

Justin Podur (2019-02-15). Inside the neoliberal laboratory preparing for the theft of Venezuela's economy. peoplesdispatch.org Among the academics pushing hard for regime change in Venezuela is Ricardo Hausmann, now an adviser to Juan Guaido, who has "already drafted a plan to rebuild the nation, from economy to energy."

STAFF (2019-02-15). Maduro Reveals Aide's Secret Meetings With U.S. Envoy Abrams. truthdig.com CARACAS, Venezuela—President Nicolas Maduro has invited a U.S. special envoy to Venezuela after revealing in an AP interview that his foreign minister recently held secret meetings with the U.S. official in New York. | A senior Venezuelan official said the second of two meetings took place Feb. 11 — four days after the envoy, Elliott Abrams, said the "time for dialogue with Maduro had long passed," and as the Trump administration publicly backed an effort to unseat the embattled Venezuelan president. | Even while harshly criticizing Donald Trump's confrontational stance toward his socialist government…

teleSUR (2019-02-15). Maduro Confirms Venezuela's Arreaza Met with Elliott Abrams. telesurenglish.net Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro revealed Thursday that his Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza met with the U.S. special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams, whom the president invited to visit the South American nation. | RELATED: | US Congress Rejects Trump's Warmongering, Won't Support Military Intervention in Venezuela | During an interview with The Associated Press (AP) aired Thursday, President Maduro criticized the belligerent position of his U.S.

Adam Johnson (2019-02-15). MSNBC's 'Resistance' to Trump's Venezuela Coup. zcomm.org From Silence to Support…

teleSUR (2019-02-15). India Vows to Keep Buying Venezuelan Oil Despite US Bullying. telesurenglish.net India's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Raveesh Kumar, said Thursday that the country will keep on doing business with Venezuela on the basis of purely economic considerations, a statement which does not submit to the United States strategy to isolate the Bolivarian country. | RELATED: | Venezuela Seeks to Double Oil Exports to India | "Venezuela is the chair of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and GECF (Gas Exporting Countries Forum). We don't have any barter sy…

Raouf Halaby (2019-02-15). 'Tiz Kosher for Elected Jewish U.S. Officials to Malign. counterpunch.org When it comes to Muslim, Arab, or Palestinian elected officials, 'tiz Kosher for elected Jewish U.S. officials (and others) to criticize, malign, denigrate, and conjure every stereotype and racist label in the by-now accepted lexicon of hateful rhetoric spewed by the Zeldins, Taubs, Gellers, Spencers, Pipes, Kings, Gaffneys, Trumps, and others. Yet, for stating the More

Rev. William Alberts (2019-02-15). Trump's Deceitful God-Talk at the Annual National Prayer Breakfast. counterpunch.org He avoided the Vietnam War with five deferments, said that his " 'personal Vietnam' " was "the danger he faced from getting sexually transmitted diseases," and that he was " 'lucky' " not "to have contracted diseases when he was sleeping around . . . with multiple women." He added, " 'It's a dangerous world More

Gary Leupp (2019-02-15). "It's All About the Benjamins, Baby" counterpunch.org Wait. Let me get this straight. First GOP leader Kevin McCarthy threatened two recently elected Muslim women members of Congress with punishment for holding views critical of Israel. On Feb. 11 he stated: "If they [the Democrats] do not take action I think you'll see action from myself. This [criticism of Israel] cannot sustain itself. More

Jon Rynn (2019-02-15). What a Green New Deal Should Look Like: Filling in the Details. counterpunch.org Now that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Senator Markey have introduced their nonbinding Green New Deal resolution, the right-wing snowflakes are melting down while respectable centrists are calling the idea "crazy". On one side, global political and economic elites are doing almost nothing to stop climate change from running out of control, and on the other More

Robert Fantina (2019-02-15). Congress, Israel and the Politics of "Righteous Indignation" counterpunch.org It is a rare day that some member of Congress doesn't expose him or herself as a hypocrite of the first order. This week, we have seen this done in spades. On February 10, Representative Ilhan Omar (D- MN) said that U.S. Congressional support for Israel is "…all about the Benjamins…", a reference to the More

Jonathan Cook (2019-02-15). In Hebron, Israel Removes the Last Restraint on Its Settlers' Reign of Terror. counterpunch.org Nazareth. You might imagine that a report by a multinational observer force documenting a 20-year reign of terror by Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers against Palestinians, in a city under occupation, would provoke condemnation from European and US politicians. But you would be wrong. The leaking in December of the report on conditions in the More

STAFF (2019-02-15). The FBI Is Dismantling Its War Crimes Unit. truthdig.com The FBI is dismantling a special unit that investigates international war crimes and hunts down war criminals — including suspected torturers and perpetrators of genocide, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting has learned. | The unit, which was created a decade ago and has its roots in federal efforts to hunt Nazis living in the United States after World War II, has had a hand in many high-profile prosecutions. | Most recently, its investigators helped take down the Liberian warlord Thomas Woewiju, whom a…

Jon Schwarz (2019-02-15). Rep. Omar Went After Elliott Abrams for Lying to Congress. zcomm.org Then He Did It Again…

Shared by Anton Woronczuk (2019-02-15). Is Trump's National Emergency a Step Toward Fascism? truthout.org President Trump has now declared a national emergency to fund his long-sought border wall. It is no surprise that when a fascistic president like Trump starts throwing around the idea of a national emergency, media outlets like Esquire start asking whether " it might be time to start fireproofing the Reichstag," a clear allusion to Hitler's ascent to power in 1933. But is the comparison justified? Is Trump's declaration of a national emergency a threat to American democra…

Clara Romeo (2019-02-15). Could This Be the Humane Housing Policy We've Been Waiting For? truthdig.com For decades, U.S. housing policy has neglected homeless people with substance abuse disorders by relying on a treatment-first "linear model" barring them from subsidized or government-supported housing. But a new plan is showing promising results in servicing this overlooked community, and it already has the backing of both Democrats and Republicans. | The Housing First model is radically straightforward: provide homes to the homeless. Unlike other approaches to ending homelessness, the model neithe…

teleSUR (2019-02-15). Israel Detained 500 Palestinians, Including 89 Children in 2019. telesurenglish.net This January alone, Israel detained 509 Palestinians, including 89 children and eight women, from occupied Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian prisoners rights groups. | RELATED: | Palestinian Photojournalists Win Prestigious Photo Awards | Israeli authorities detained 102 Palestinians from East Jerusalem, 88 from Ramallah, 80 from Hebron, 55 from Jenin, 62 from Bethlehem, 30 from Nablus, 30 from Tulkarm, 25 from Qalqilya, 8 from Toubas, 6 from Salf…

STAFF (2019-02-15). Former Trump Officials Are Openly Flouting Rules Against Lobbying. truthdig.com Washington influence peddlers continue to move into and out of jobs in the federal government. | In his first 10 days in office, Trump signed an executive order that required all his political hires to sign a pledge. On its face, it's straightforward and ironclad: When Trump officials leave government employment, they agree not to lobby the agencies they worked in for five years. They also can't lobby anyone in the White House or political appointees across federal agencies for the duration of the Trump administration. And they can't perform " lobbying activit…

Shared by Cherise (2019-02-15). The Lobbying Swamp Is Flourishing in Trump's Washington. truthout.org It's been more than two years since President Donald Trump, who rallied campaign supporters with calls to "drain the swamp" of lobbyists and their ilk, took office. But despite that campaign promise, Washington influence peddlers continue to move into and out of jobs in the federal government. | In his first 10 days in office, Trump signed an executive order that required all his political hires to sign a pledge. On its face, it's straightforward and ironclad: When Trump officials leave government employment, they agree not to…

STAFF (2019-02-15). Trump's Latest Power Grab Triggers Calls for Impeachment. truthdig.com While Democrats are preparing to propose a joint resolution challenging President Donald Trump's expected national emergency declaration in order to obtain funding for a border wall, one legal scholar is among those arguing the time has come to pursue a far more direct and effective method of combating the president's lawlessness: impeachment. | With Trump's national emergency declaration expected Fri…

Trita Parsi (2019-02-15). Warsaw Summit Was a Failure for Trump—But a Win for Netanyahu. commondreams.org Israel's Prime minister of Benjamin Netanyahu (L) shakes hands with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on 14 February, 2019 (Photo: AFP) | www.commondreams.org/sites/defau…

teleSUR (2019-02-15). Brazil: 420 Violent Deaths Against LGBTQ in 2018. telesurenglish.net At least 420 people of LGBT community in Brazil died by homicide or suicide in 2018, fueled by homophobia and hate crimes, the Gay Group of Bahia (GGB) said in a report released Friday. | RELATED: | Bolsonaro To Erase Paulo Freire And Feminism From Textbooks | GGB, one of the oldest functioning associations defending human rights and the right to free sexual orientation and gender identity in the country, released the report "Violent deaths of the LGBT population in Brazil," which…

Consortiumnews (2019-02-15). The End of the Observer Mission in Hebron. consortiumnews.com It acted as a restraint on the settlers' worst excesses, writes Jonathan Cook. By Jonathan Cook Jonathan-Cook.net You might imagine that a report by a multinational observer force documenting a 20-year reign of terror by Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers… Read more →

stuart_m (2019-02-15). LGBTI groups call for Eurovision boycott. greenleft.org.au Campaigners for gay, lesbian and transgender rights have urged a boycott of this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv in May. | More than 60 LGBTI groups from around the world have joined a new call to demonstrate solidarity with Palestinians. In a statement, the groups accuse Israel of "shamelessly using the Eurovision competition" to distract from war crimes. | The organisation a…

Bilal Sarwary (2019-02-15). After 18 Years of War, the Taliban Has the Upper Hand in Afghanistan Peace Talks. theintercept.com For many observers, the negotiations register as a defeat — recognition that the Taliban has not only survived, but will be central to Afghanistan's future.

Tyler Durden (2019-02-15). Trump Declares National Emergency to Fund Border Wall. theantimedia.com (ZH) — Now that President Trump has officially declared his plans to declare a national emergency to authorize an additional $7 billion for his promised border wall, political observers will be waiting to see what Democrats and Republicans in Congress do next to try and block the funding. Democrats in both the House and the Senate unanimously oppose the …

stuart_m (2019-02-15). Sudan uprising: 'This is a people's revolution'. greenleft.org.au In Sudan, a multifaceted civil opposition is posing a serious threat to the continued existence of Bashir's dictatorial regime after weeks of protests, writes Mohammed Elnaiem. | If a hospital is not a sanctuary for an injured person, what is? And what level of hatred, what kind of viciousness can be satisfied by the attempt to ensure that a protester die twice? On January 9, riot police, plain-clothed Bashir loyalists, and security forces fired tear gas and live bullets into the Omdurman Teaching Hospital in Sudan after wounded protesters were taken there during the biggest protest to date demanding the downfall…

Jessica Corbett, staff writer (2019-02-15). Blow to 'Powerful Corporate Interests' as Federal Court Throws Out Pipeline Company Lawsuit Against DAPL Water Protectors. commondreams.org In a "landmark" ruling on Thursday, a federal court in North Dakota tossed out a "baseless" case against Greenpeace and other environmental and Indigenous activists who organized protests against the deeply controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which drew thousands of people to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. | www.commondreams.org/sites/defau…

RT (2019-02-15). Trump declares national emergency over border crisis. rt.com President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency, allowing him to build his long-promised border wall without congressional approval. Trump also signed a bill granting limited funding towards the wall.

Olga Fajardo (2019-02-15). The fight that leads to the worst solution, War. indybay.org Nothing, in this planet justifies a war as a solution.

WSWS (2019-02-15). War summit in Warsaw. wsws.org While Netanyahu's statement that this week's conference in Warsaw was called to discuss "war with Iran" was treated by the media as a gaffe, it was nothing of the kind.

RT (2019-02-15). Tulsi Gabbard presents bill to stop Trump from pulling out of INF treaty. rt.com Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has introduced a bill to Congress which would prevent President Donald Trump from withdrawing the US from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

susan_p (2019-02-15). Venezuela: Regime change is 'made in the USA'. greenleft.org.au Since its outset, the Donald Trump administration has ratcheted up pressure on Venezuela and radicalised its positions, writes Steve Ellner. | In the process, the Venezuelan opposition has become more associated with — and dependent on — Washington and its allies. An example is the opposition protests on February 4. The actions were timed to coincide with the European Union's " ultimatum" stating that they would recognise the shadow government of…

stuart_m (2019-02-15). Memories of warmth and exploitation in Roma. greenleft.org.au Roma
| Written & directed by Alfonso Cuaron
| Starring Yalitza Aparicio & Marina de Tavira
| In cinemas now | Roma is the latest film by Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, who came to international prominence with his 2001 film Y Tu Mama Tambien. | This allowed him to break into the world of bigger budget, English-language films, directing Children of Men (2006) and Gravity (2013) which won seven Academy Awards including best director. | He was also involved in the production of the documentary short The Shock Doctrine (2007), based on Naomi Klein's book and directed by his son Jonas Cuaron. | With Roma…

Zachary RunningWolf (2019-02-15). Stop Driving 4-Day Boycott (!Global Warming!). indybay.org Everywhere…

WSWS (2019-02-15). GM and union use shutdown threat to slash wages of Brazilian autoworkers. wsws.org The betrayal of GM workers came as Brazil's largest union federation, the CUT, sought an accommodation with the fascistic President Jair Bolsonaro's government.

WSWS (2019-02-15). Munich Security Conference overshadowed by rising great power conflicts. wsws.org The conference will be dominated by the preparations of the US and its allies for war against Russia and China, and the deepening conflicts between the Western allies.

Vijay Prashad, Common Dreams (2019-02-14). Why Does the United States Want to Overthrow the Government of Venezuela? venezuelanalysis.com A look at what drives the US to persist in its interventions—diplomatic, economic and military—against the Venezuelan government…

Vijay Prashad (2019-02-14). Why does the United States of America want to overthrow the government of Venezuela? peoplesdispatch.org Since 1998, the United States of America has tried to overthrow the government of Venezuela. What threatened the government of the United States since then was the Bolivarian dynamic set in motion by the election of Hugo Chávez as president of Venezuela that year. Chávez won the elections with a mandate from Venezuela's workers and poor to overhaul the country to tend to their long-neglected needs. | Venezuela, with the world's largest proven oil reserves, had enriched the U.S.-based oil companies and its own oligarchy. Venezuela's key oil minister in the early 1960s (and architect of OPEC—the Organizati…

Democracy Now! (2019-02-14). Headlines for February 14, 2019. democracynow.org Congress to Vote on Spending Bill with $1.4 Billion for Border Wall, Mexico: Migrant Asylum Seekers Imprisoned in Abandoned Factory, House Votes to End U.S. Support for Saudi-Led War in Yemen, EU Adds Saudi Arabia, U.S. Territories to "Dirty Money" Blacklist, Afghan Taliban to Meet U.S. Envoys in Pakistan for Peace Talks, U.S. Bombings in Afghanistan Approached Record Levels in 2018, Iran: Suicide Bomber Kills 27 Revolutionary Guard Members, Trump Administration Convenes Anti-Iran Summit in Warsaw, Giuliani Calls for Regime Change in Iran at Rally Hosted by Terrorist-Linked Group, NYT: Trump Admin Expanded Progra…

Democracy Now! (2019-02-14). Roberto Lovato: Elliott Abrams Is Bringing Violence of 1980s U.S. Latin America Policy to Venezuela. democracynow.org President Trump met with Colombian President Iván Duque at the White House Wednesday to discuss ongoing efforts to topple the Venezuelan government, the same day that U.S. special envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams faced questioning from Congress about his role in atrocities carried out in Latin America in the 1980s. This includes defending Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt's campaign of mass murder and torture of indigenous people. We speak with Roberto Lovato, independent journalist working out of the San Francisco Writers' Grotto, about the violent history of Elliott Abrams and the U.S.-backed oppos…

Democracy Now! (2019-02-14). Ilhan Omar Grills Trump's Venezuela Envoy Elliott Abrams on His Role in US-Backed Genocide in 1980s. democracynow.org The new U.S. special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, testified on Capitol Hill Wednesday on U.S. efforts to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Abrams spoke three weeks after the U.S. recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's new president. Since then, the U.S. has placed sweeping sanctions on Venezuela's state-run oil company and rejected calls for an international dialogue to resolve the crisis. Elliott Abrams is a right-wing hawk who was convicted in 1991 for lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal, but he was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. Abrams defended Guatem…