Media Stenography Turns Beheaded Saudi Protesters Into ‘Terrorism’

by Esha Krishnaswamy 

Time: Saudi Arabia Executes 37 People For Terrorism-Related Crimes

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slams low wages and stressful jobs: 'Working people are set up to fail'

Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat representing New York, is no stranger to politics that hold the wealthy accountable.

ACTION ALERT: WaPo Must Acknowledge CIA Role in Pakistan Polio Crisis

 In commenting on what’s holding back the conquest of polio, the Washington Post (5/10/19) didn’t mention the humans at the CIA.

Trump regime exaggerated Iran threat, and lied about carrier task force's deployment to Persian Gulf

Samuel Johnson said in 1758, “Among the calamities of war may be jointly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages.” Sen. Hiram W. Johnson of California made that point more succinctly in 1916 when he said, "The first casualty when war comes is truth.

The Contented Classes – When Will They Rebel?

For all the rhetoric and all the charities regarding America’s children, the U.S. stands at the very bottom of western nations and some other countries as well, in terms of youth well-being. The U.S.’s exceptionalism is clearest in its cruelty to children. The U.S. has the highest infant mortality rate of comparable OECD countries.

Trump gives oil companies $1.5B gift by removing regulations that protect against oil spills

When the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded in April 2010, it not only immediately killed 11 workers; it also spilled an eventual total of more than three million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. That record spill destroyed the fishing and tourism industry in the area for years, and left an environmental scar that’s still visible. It took more than three months to cap the well and staunch the flow.

Wisconsin dairy farms have been hit hard by Republican governance. Now there's 1,400 fewer of them

The New York Times’ write-up on Wisconsin's struggling dairy farmers reads like a case study in how conservatism works to screw over its own constituents as much as or more than any of the people conservatism promises to screw over.

The Atlantic Illustrates Everything That’s Wrong With Media Coverage of Venezuela Sanctions

“Trump’s Venezuela Policy: Slow Suffocation,” an Atlantic report (4/17/19) by Uri Friedman and Kathy Gilsinan, passed up a rich opportunity to expose the humanitarian pretexts for economic intervention, and instead exhibited the worst tendencies of corporate media coverage of US policy in Latin America.

‘These Sanctions Amount to Collective Punishment Against the Entire Iranian Population’

NYT: U.S. to Clamp Down on Iranian Oil Sales, Risking Rise in Gasoline Prices

From James Comey in NY Times, 5/1/2019

Amoral leaders have a way of revealing the character of those around them. Sometimes what they reveal is inspiring. For example, James Mattis, the former secretary of defense, resigned over principle, a concept so alien to Mr. Trump that it took days for the president to realize what had happened, before he could start lying about the man.

Dramatically Capture the Climate Change Crisis

THE UNINHABITABLE EARTH 
Life After Warming
By David Wallace-Wells

LOSING EARTH 
A Climate History 
By Nathaniel Rich

We Thought It Was Merely a Stone, But It Carried Away Our Wealth: The Eighteenth Newsletter (2019).

In Venezuela, the political leadership of the oligarchy beg for the men in green to set aside the Constitution, as Juan Guiadó and the Venezuelan right-wing opposition attempted a military coup in Venezuela this Tuesday. By nightfall, it was clear that the coup – one of many attempted in Venezuela – had failed. What prevented the coup – despite the difficult conditions inside Venezuelan society – was the mass mobilisation in the streets and people determined to protect the sovereignty of their country, determined to allow the Bolivarian process to stumble along against all odds.

Most Restaurant Workers Don’t Earn Enough to Feed Their Own Families

According to Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a nonprofit organization and worker center that supports and connects restaurant workers throughout the country, more than 13 million U.S. residents, the majority of them women of color, are employed in restaurants. In 18 states, they earn a base pay of $2.13 an hour plus tips, a sub-minimum wage that has been frozen since 1991.

The Last Time There Was This Much CO2, Trees Grew at the South Pole

[...] The signs of our overheated planet abound, and another collection of recent reports and studies shows things are only continuing to accelerate as human-caused climate disruption progresses.

A recently published study showed that Earth’s glaciers are now melting five times more rapidly than they were in the 1960s.

The Number of Giant Companies Paying $0 in Corporate Taxes Doubles

JPMorgan Chase’s attempt at Twitter humor failed Monday morning.

Free Speech For The “Right” Ideas

Michelle Goldberg recently focused her column in the New York Times on yet another inexcusable decision of the Trump Administration. (I know, there are several every day…)

For NYT, Israel Is Always Nearing ‘Apartheid,’ but Never Quite Gets There

Following Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election as Israeli prime minister earlier this month, the New York Times’ editorial board (4/11/19) wrote:

Why Robert Reich sees hope in Trump’s darkness

Some plain facts and hard truths: The top one percent of Americans own 40 percent of the country’s wealth and 90 percent of its income.

Robert Reich: Here’s how Mitch McConnell is killing the Senate

Congress has recessed for two weeks without passing a desperately-needed disaster relief bill. Why not? Because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t want to anger Donald Trump by adding money for Puerto Rico that Democrats have sought but Trump doesn’t want.

America used to have a Senate. But under McConnell, what was once known as the worlds greatest deliberative body has become a partisan lap dog.

Time to Break the Silence on Palestine

On April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his assassination, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stepped up to the lectern at the Riverside Church in Manhattan. The United States had been in active combat in Vietnam for two years and tens of thousands of people had been killed, including some 10,000 American troops. The political establishment — from left to right — backed the war, and more than 400,000 American service members were in Vietnam, their lives on the line. 

Rabbinic Letter in Support of Professor Michelle Alexander

Over 100 rabbis from across the liberal Jewish movements joined together to applaud Professor Michelle Alexander for writing “Time to Break the Silence on Palestine,” which was published in the New York Times on January 20.

FBI Chief Christopher Wray Warns Of ‘Persistent, Pervasive’ White Supremacy Threat

Director Christopher Wray testified before Congress on Thursday that white supremacy is a “persistent, pervasive threat” to U.S. security — despite President Donald Trump’s indications to the contrary.

Israel seizes solar panels donated to Palestinians by Dutch government

The Netherlands has lodged a complaint with the Israeli government after dozens of Dutch solar panels donated to a West Bank village were confiscated by Israeli authorities. 

The hybrid diesel and solar power electricity system was installed last year in remote Jubbet al-Dhib, a village home to 150 people in an area of the West Bank occupied by Israel. 

GOP tactics have led IRS to audit poor, minority counties more often than multi-millionaires

Just in time for tax season is one of the most infuriating stories I’ve seen this year. A rural county in the Mississippi delta which is primarily black is the most heavily audited county in the country. A third of its residents live below the poverty line. The IRS is focusing its scarce audit resources on them rather than the wealthy. No wonder tax cheats like Donald Trump can get away with scams that bilk Tresury out of hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Trump's policies are destroying the American farm 'and no one knows how to stop it'

During the government shutdown at the beginning of the year, major media outlets produced a bumper crop of examples of the trope that always seems to be in season—stories about how Trump voters still support Trump.

Trump to roll back Obama-era lightbulb standards, will pollute more and cost consumers $12 billion

When President Barack Obama took office, he announced that, instead of re-inventing the wheel, he would continue to improve upon the national minimum energy efficiency requirements for lightbulbs developed under President George W. Bush. The plan was to move away from the old technology of incandescent lightbulbs that has been dominant for over 100 years into more energy-efficient, safer, and cheaper technologies available to us now.

This law professor’s proposal to stamp out robocalls is brilliant — here’s why

Americans are being bombarded with robocalls. It’s an epidemic, and it’s getting worse. By a recent estimate, 71 million of these scam calls are being placed per hour, often completely illegally. In fact, I was robocalled while writing this article.

Here’s how charter schools are scamming the US government

A new report issued by the Network for Public Education provides a detailed accounting of how charter schools have scammed the U.S. Department of Education’s Charter Schools Program (CSP) for…

Barr Is a Distraction. We Must Insist on the Moral Indictment of Trump.

Trump’s legacy won’t be defined by the technical legal conclusions of the Mueller report, and certainly not by Barr’s scandalously opaque memo to Congress last weekend. Rather, his legacy will be defined by historians for the moral, cultural and physical violence his presidency has inflicted. He will be remembered for images of toddlers in diapers being paraded, unaccompanied by parents, before immigration judges.

Leading Off

• Florida: After Floridians overwhelmingly voted to approve a 2018 constitutional amendment to 

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