After Six-Week Strike, Verizon Workers Claim Major Victory as Deal Reached

by Nadia Prupis – “This proves that when we stand together we can raise up working families, improve our communities and protect the American middle class.” After a nearly six-week strike, Verizon workers are celebrating a huge victory on Friday after a deal was reached in principle with the telecom giant that will bring gains for union members and end one of the nation’s largest work stoppages in recent history. The deal, announced Friday afternoon by U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, reportedly includes a four-year contract between Verizon and its two biggest unions, CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Between the two labor groups, nearly 40,000 workers have been on strike since mid-April over charges that Verizon was refusing to grant basic protections such as fair contracts, stopping pension cuts, and preventing the offshoring of jobs. CWA president Chris Shelton said Friday that the “addition of new, middle-class...

Read More...


Trump Attacks Judge Overseeing The Case Against His Fake University: ‘He’s A Hater’

by TARA CULP-RESSLER – During a campaign stop in San Diego on Friday, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump devoted a significant amount of time to attacking the federal judge overseeing the ongoing case against Trump University, suggesting the judge is a “hater” who is biased against him. The case against the real estate mogul’s now-defunct company, which has been accused of scamming students who were misled into paying money for insight from business experts they thought were hand-picked by Trump, is scheduled to go to trial in San Diego federal court shortly after the presidential election. According to his lawyer, Trump is planning on testifying. In what the Wall Street Journal characterized as an “extended tirade,” Trump spent 12 minutes of his 58-minute speech focused on the case and the California judge who will hear it. “I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s...

Read More...


The War on Black Lives Matter Escalates to Accusations of Aiding and Abetting Murder

by Frank Vyan Walton – This week Bill O’Reilly has decided to escalate his war on the Black Lives Matter movement by essentially arguing that the group is the source of a rise in the rate of black people being murdered across the U.S. believes there is clearly a “violent subculture in the African-American community” but he thinks that the #BlackLivesMatter movement is forcing a “false narrative” about black people being shot on the public. “Thousands more Americans are being murdered,” he said, “because police are being more passive since the Ferguson situation and the #BlackLivesMatter protests.” “There is a violent sub-culture in the African-American community that should be exposed and confronted,” he continued. “Enter the Black Lives Matter crew which roams around the country promoting a false narrative that police officers are actively hunting down and killing blacks.” And the interesting thing about this is that in order to justify...

Read More...


The Grand Inquisitor for Bill Clinton’s Sinning is Mired in a Sexual Abuse Scandal

by Libby Shaw – I am writing this blog post because the host of NPR’s  Texas Standard is curious as to why the reprehensible scandal at Baylor University is slipping from the news cycle. Why?  The host of Texas Standard believes it is because Baylor wins.  When I first moved to Texas, years ago, a friend told me to be prepared. For churches and football loom Texas oversized large here.  If this is so, and it is, in certain parts of the state, I guess when there is a monumental disgrace that involves a religious institution and football  but also includes, God forbid, criminal acts such as rape, sexual assault, along with a hot dash of denial to boot, everyone wants the infamy to go away as quickly as possible.  No! It can’t be!  Not here!  We are a Christian school! We have an honor code!  Students don’t drink and they certainly do not have sex. Those sinful acts take place everywhere else but here. Not so....

Read More...


New York City Homeless Take Action Against Police Efforts To Break Up Their Communities

by BRYCE COVERT – Last summer, the New York Police Department (NYPD) began a concerted effort to target a growing community of homeless people living on the streets of East Harlem, issuing “move along” orders and threatening arrest, tickets, or the destruction of their property if they didn’t comply. Now the homeless and advocates are fighting back against the practice. On Thursday, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) filed a complaint on behalf of Picture the Homeless, an organization that represents many of those targeted in Harlem, calling on the city’s Commission on Human Rights to investigate the NYPD. It alleges that the enforcement efforts against the homeless, even if they haven’t broken any laws, violates the Community Safe Act, which prohibits “bias-based profiling,” because the police are targeting people based on their housing status. The group claims the complaint is the first major action brought under the act....

Read More...


At Least One Republican Is Taking A Stand Against Donald Trump

by AARON RUPAR – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are among the prominent establishment Republicans who not so long ago publicly expressed concern about Donald Trump’s character, but have recently indicated they’re setting those aside in hopes of installing a Republican — any Republican — in the White House. The party elite may be primarily interested in winning an election, but at least one Republican remains committed to the “Never Trump” cause. Her name is Katrina Elaine Jorgensen, and on Monday she announced she’s resigning from her position as Communications Chair with the Young Republicans National Federation, a national organization that works with registered Republicans between the ages of 18 and 40 and provides grassroots support for GOP candidates and conservative causes. “With the practically fulfilled nomination of Donald Trump as our presidential candidate, I can no longer continue...

Read More...


All the Presumptive Nominee’s Men

by MICHAEL WINSHIP – For a guy who yells about Washington and Wall Street money in politics, Donald Trump sure has a lot on insiders on his team Right after Barack Obama’s election in 2008, I flew off to Australia and New Zealand to attend a conference and take some vacation time. At the end of the long flight, when I got to Sydney, I picked up one of the local newspapers and read that the president-elect had chosen Rahm Emanuel, poster boy for corporate Democrats and the status quo, to be his chief of staff. Uh-oh, I thought. If Obama was choosing him to guide his administration, we probably could say goodbye to any dreams of a New Deal-style, aggressive agenda to cure the ills of our country. Emanuel was less the type to Keep Hope Alive and more the guy who holds Hope at arm’s length with a blackjack...

Read More...


The 4 Most Damning Revelations In Wisconsin’s Voter ID Trial

by ALICE OLLSTEIN – A federal court is currently weighing a case that could impact the right to vote for thousands of people in a crucial swing state in this November’s presidential election. A two-week trial examining the constitutionality of Wisconsin’s strict voter ID law wrapped up this week, and a federal judge will issue a ruling by the end of July. The plaintiffs, a group of voters who have been personally impacted and the advocacy groups One Wisconsin Now and Citizen Action, are also challenging restrictions on early voting and the elimination of straight-ticket voting that Wisconsin Republicans have implemented over the past few years. Throughout the trial, former and current state officials, election law experts and individual voters offered damning testimony about both the purpose and impact of the laws, which they argue suppress the votes of people of color, students, the elderly, and the poor. Here are...

Read More...


On This Day, May 28, 1998 – Comic Phil Hartman Killed by Wife

On this day in 1998, the comedian and actor Phil Hartman, famous for his work on Saturday Night Live and NewsRadio, is shot to death by his troubled wife, Brynn, in a murder-suicide. He was 49. Born on September 24, 1948, in Ontario, Canada, Hartman was raised in Connecticut and Southern California, and later became an American citizen. Early on, he found work designing record album covers (he created the official logo for the rock band Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) but made the leap to acting in 1975 when he joined the L.A. improvisational acting group, the Groundlings. With his fellow Groundlings alum, Paul Reubens, Hartman wrote the screenplay for the successful comedy Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985). Along with Reubens, Hartman had helped create the zany man-child character of Pee Wee Herman, though Reubens received most of the credit. From 1986 to 1990, Hartman portrayed Kap’n Karl on...

Read More...


The Myth Of Donald Trump’s ‘Straight Talk’

by JUDD LEGUM – Donald Trump has, purportedly, captured the Republican nomination on the strength of his “straight talk” and his willingness to “give voice to people’s frustrations.” Under the Trump mythology, which he has studiously constructed through endless appearances on shows like Hannity and Morning Joe, he is a candidate who is never afraid to speak his mind. While other politicians obfuscate, Trump tells it like it is. The myth of Trump, however, does not survive a cursory examination of his stated positions. Confronted with a controversial topic, Trump frequently positions himself on both sides of the debate. The result may be an incoherent mess. But the strategy is easy to understand. On several issues, Trump would prefer to have it both ways. 1. Transgender bathroom use The use of bathrooms by trans people has become the latest front in the culture war. Some states, like North Carolina, have...

Read More...


When a Killer Cop Retires: The Resignation of Dante Servin

by Martinez Sutton, Aislinn Pulley and Kelly Hayes, Truthout | Op-Ed – On May 19, organizers and community members around the United States engaged in #SayHerName actions in support of women and femmes who have been harmed by state violence. This national day of action should have coincided with the start of the termination proceedings for Dante Servin, the Chicago police officer who murdered 22-year-old Rekia Boyd on March 22, 2012. Instead, Servin resigned on May 17, two days before an evidentiary hearing was scheduled to begin: as the last stage in his firing process. Dante Servin has literally gotten away with murder. For four years, Chicago activists and community members, led by Rekia’s family, have marched, protested, held teach-ins and attended Chicago Police Board meetings demanding that Servin be held accountable for taking Rekia’s young life. Every step of the way, Rekia’s family and supporters have been met with...

Read More...


600+ Writers Sign #NeverTrump Letter Because Dictatorship

The problem is that the letter goes too far. It’s that it doesn’t go far enough Over at Literary Hub, “an organizing principle in the service of literary culture,” about 600 writers ranging from Stephen King to Jane Smiley to Dave Eggers to Rita Dove have signed an open letter denouncing Donald Trump. The presumptive Republican nominee, the signatories argue, “deliberately appeals to the basest and most violent elements in society, who encourages aggression among his followers, shouts down opponents, intimidates dissenters, and denigrates women and minorities.” And there’s this: as writers, we are particularly aware of the many ways that language can be abused in the name of power;… we believe that any democracy worthy of the name rests on pluralism, welcomes principled disagreement, and achieves consensus through reasoned debate;… the history of dictatorship is the history of manipulation and division, demagoguery and lies;  It goes...

Read More...


Vince Foster’s Sister Is FURIOUS With Donald Trump

by Wendy Gittleson – Donald Trump has a strategy to defeat Hillary Clinton, and that’s to re-litigate decades of anti-Clinton conspiracy theories – theories that should have been put to bed years and years ago. The ugliest of those theories is that Hillary Clinton had her friend Vince Foster murdered – this despite the fact that numerous investigators, including Clinton attack dog Kenneth Starr, have said that Foster’s death was suicide and now his sister is speaking out. Here’s more on Trump’s accusation:  In an Op-Ed in the Washington Post, Sheila Foster Anthony, sister of Vince Foster, said this to Trump: It is beyond contempt that a politician would use a family tragedy to further his candidacy, but such is the character of Donald Trump displayed in his recent comments to The Washington Post. In this interview, Trump cynically, crassly and recklessly insinuated that my brother, Vincent W. Foster Jr., may...

Read More...


The Awesomely Affluent are Cheating Average Americans of More Than $400 Billion a Year in Federal Taxes

by SAM PIZZIGATI – Congress needs to subject the super rich to the same reporting and withholding standards as the rest of us The folks working for the federal government can do some incredible things. Over at NASA, for instance, they’re now putting the finishing touches on the new James Webb Space Telescope — an instrument The Washington Post says will be powerful enough “to capture the heat signature of a bumblebee on the moon.” Amazing. We can now spot a bug in space. So why can’t we spot people who cheat on their taxes right here in the US of A? A great many people, the IRS says in a new report, are stiffing Uncle Sam. Our federal “tax gap” — the disconnect between what taxpayers owe and what they eventually pay — is now averaging $406 billion a year. That eye-opening figure comes from the 17 percent of taxpayers who...

Read More...


New Mexico Officials Accused Of Forging Applications To Deny Poor People Emergency Food Stamps

by BRYCE COVERT – Kimberly Jones knows just how hard it is to wait for emergency food stamps to come through. New Mexico is supposed to grant people in dire financial situations expedited benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) within seven days, rather than the 30 it takes to process regular applications. But it often doesn’t work out that way. At the end of last year, Jones, who was living in a hotel room because she couldn’t afford an apartment, applied for emergency benefits. But months passed without any word from the state’s Human Services Department (HSD), which oversees SNAP. Forced to decide between spending her meager income from her part-time job caring for a home-bound patient on either food or the hotel room, she spent it on the room, knowing that she needed somewhere to keep her belongings. So while she waited for help buying food, she...

Read More...


On This Day, May 27, 1940 – British Evacuation of Dunkirk Turns Savage

On this day in 1940, units from Germany’s SS Death’s Head division battle British troops just 50 miles from the port at Dunkirk, in northern France, as Britain’s Expeditionary Force continues to fight to evacuate France. After holding off an SS company until their ammo was spent, 99 Royal Norfolk Regiment soldiers retreated to a farmhouse in the village of Paradis, just 50 miles from the Dunkirk port. Ships waited there to carry home the British Expeditionary Force, which had been fighting alongside the French in its defensive war against the German invaders. Agreeing to surrender, the trapped regiment started to file out of the farmhouse, waving a white flag tied to a bayonet. They were met by German machine-gun fire. They tried again and the British regiment was ordered by an English-speaking German officer to an open field where they were searched and divested of everything from gas...

Read More...


GMOs Are Complicated, And Our Food System Is Not Designed To Handle Complicated. That’s A Problem

by NATASHA GEILING – This month, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) — an independent group created by Congress — released what is, to date, one of the most extensive reviews of genetically modified crops. The nearly 400-page report looks at everything from genetically modified crops’ potential impact on human health to their impact on the environment. It’s a massive, hulking piece of scientific literature — the panel spent two years pouring over more than 1,000 existing studies on genetically modified crops, interviewing 80 witnesses, and analyzing more than 700 comments submitted by the public. The report comes at an important time in the overall debate about GMOs and their place in the American food system. In a country almost constantly polarized, an overwhelming majority of Americans think that GMOs should be labeled. According to a Pew poll, more than half of Americans believe that GMOs are unsafe. At the same time,...

Read More...


David Cay Johnston on Trump and his Ties to the Mob

by teacherken – in a piece in Politico dated May 22, with the title Just What Were Donald  Trump’s Ties to the Mob? with a subtitle that reads I’ve spent years investigating, and here’s what’s known. Before getting into what Johnson offers, which I strongly urge people to read, bookmark and pass on to any reachable Trump supporters (I know some are not), anyone paying attention in New York City when Trump was getting started, and really starting to build a fortune, knew that building in New York City meant dealing with the mob, particularly if you were building with concrete, as Trump did. Johnson  starts with Trump’s boast that when he got his license for Atlantic City gambling, he had been investigated and found “clean as a whistle” except he was only investigated for 6 months instead of the usual one year. The very next paragraph really sets the stage: But Trump was not clean...

Read More...


11 Reasons Why Bernie Sanders Lost this Thing Fair and Square

by kos – Bernie Sanders exceeded all primary season expectations and was en route to building something of a real movement. But rather than locking in those gains and settling in for a long-haul effort, he’s opted for a legacy-busting temper tantrum instead, heading out the (primary) door in a cloud of whining, conspiracy mongering, and blame casting. It’s a bizarre finale to what was undoubtedly an incredible run. So here are some observations, not because it matters—he’s lost—but because his claims of victimhood are absolute bullshit and need to be corrected. 1. If you plan for a coup, you’ve already lost Let’s just take a moment to appreciate what Sanders is trying to accomplish here—he knows he’s lost the election. He’s all but acknowledged it. Which is why he’s now focused so heavily on getting the establishment superdelegates to overturn the election in his favor. Like a despotic dictator, he is so...

Read More...


Conflicting Claims Cloud EgyptAir Crash Cause

Official’s claim of small size of body parts suggesting explosion on board Flight 804 is denied by head of forensics Egypt’s head of forensics has denied reports of a possible explosion on board the EgyptAir plane that crashed in the Mediterranean, killing all 66 people on board. The Associated Press news agency had reported earlier on Tuesday, quoting an unnamed Egyptian forensics official, that human remains retrieved from the plane’s wreckage pointed to an explosion on board, even though no traces of explosives had been detected. The official based his assessment on the small size of body parts so far recovered from the area where flight 804 crashed on Thursday while en route from Paris to Cairo. “The size of the remains points towards an explosion, the biggest part was the size of a palm,” the forensics official said. EgyptAir Flight 804: Sisi says ‘all scenarios possible’ The official...

Read More...