Daily News Digest June 13, 2016

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Daily News Digest June 13, 2016

Images of the Day:

News Item: After Frustrating Primary, Millions of Ballots in California Remain Uncounted: With votes not be counted, it reminded of this Thomas Nast’s Boss Tweed cartoon: Thomas Nast shows Tweed’s source of power: control of the ballot box. “As long as I count the Votes, what are you going to do about it?” BossTweedTwo Americas — Subsidies for the Poor and Subsidies for the Rich


Quotes of the Day:

No need for a jury? The Stanford Rape Trial Judge, Aaron Persky gave Brock Turner a misdemeanor sentence for a felony crime, overruling the jury, totally and ignoring the fact that Brock Turner was convicted of the felony of sexual assault with a foreign object by the jury. — Roland Sheppard

Democracy Diminished (pdf), released by the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF), looks at disenfranchisement around the country since the Supreme Court effectively blocked Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act—which requires certain jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination against voters to submit proposed voting changes to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) or a federal court in Washington, D.C. for pre-clearance—in its 2013 ruling on Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder. — After SCOTUS Gutted Voting Rights, An Explosion of Democratic Suppression

No one in America should have their property taken from them by law enforcement officials without first being convicted of a crime.  And yet, Tony Jalali stood to lose his entire commercial building in Anaheim, California even though he was never charged with any wrongdoing. . . . Not only is medical marijuana legal in California, but state law prohibits the forfeiture of homes and buildings like Jalali’s unless the property owner is convicted of a felony crime.  In other words, state and local officials could not forfeit Jalali’s building under state law since he was never even accused of a crime.  But the city of Anaheim teamed up with the federal government to do an end-run around California law, allowing the city to benefit from a forfeiture they could not achieve under state law.  Using a federal forfeiture program known as “equitable sharing,” if the federal government was successful in taking the property it could have kept 20% of the proceeds of the building—worth about $1.5 million— while the remainder could have gone to Anaheim law enforcement officials. The equitable sharing program is a powerful incentive used by the federal government to enlist local law enforcement officials to cooperate in federal forfeiture prosecutions. — California Civil Forfeiture

In Bernanke’s book, he concedes that the potential buyers of Lehman had concluded that it was wildly inflating the value of its assets and capital by tens of billions of dollars. That’s why no firm would step up to the plate to buy it. How had the Fed’s own examiners missed this? How could Bernanke have read Parkinson’s email about Lehman’s tri-party borrowing or looked at its derivative obligations and even contemplated that $12 billion in a capital injection was a realistic assessment of what it would take to keep Lehman alive. — A Critical and Ignored 2008 Email by Ben Bernanke on the Lehman Collapse

Videos of the Day:

Robert Scheer and Anthony Davis Discuss Football and Brain Trauma (Podcast)

Economic Update: Local Groups, Social Change: This episode discusses the new book Coming of Age in the Other America, new research revealing the superiority of worker co-ops over capitalist enterprises, the negative results of profit-driven enterprises and “America” replacing Budweiser. We also interview Betsy Avila, a digital organizer working with local groups for social change. (Podcast)


Social Democrtes and Communists ‘Fooled’ Again!:

But where did all of that money go? Most of it went to those duplicitous consultants. Bernie raised money quickly, but his campaign had a high “bern” rate and there’s precious little left to show for squandering all those millions. Imagine the havoc Black Lives Matter could unleash with only half of that warchest. Sanders has built a “yuuge” following. It’s yet to be determined whether these youthful hordes can be mobilized into a real movement. The movement is certainly going nowhere as long as Sanders loyalists remain locked inside the entropic hothouse of the Democratic Party, where their hero has led and left them, awaiting a couple of planks in the platform drafted in disappearing ink. The most energetic political movement in the country right now is the combative Chicano-led masses stalking Trump and his racist retinue from venue-to-venue. If only there existed a similar movement haunting Hillary’s every step. Real political revolutions (as opposed to rhetorical ones) begin after the futility of the ballot box has been proven. Sustainable movements are driven by issues not personalities. And sometimes you have to bust your idols for kindling to get things ignited. — Paul Street

It’s Still the Same Old ‘Lessor Evilers’  Story USImagePied Piper Bernie Sanders Leading the March to Stop Trump and Vote for Evil Hilary! PidedPiper The End of the Bern’s Revolution: Bernie Just Promised Obama To Unite With Hillary To Defeat “Bigot” Trump

Under the Rule Lessor Evil Obama: Deeper and Deeper into War: Obama Authorizes More Military Force in Afghanistan ’15 years later, lives lost, billions spent…’ by Nika Knight, staff writerAfghanistanAfter SCOTUS Gutted Voting Rights, An Explosion of Democratic Suppression: Millions of minority voters remain ‘vulnerable to voter suppression schemes in towns, counties, and states across the country,’ NAACP analysis shows by Nadia Prupis SCOTUSUN Head Admits He Caved to Threats in Removing Saudi Coalition From Blacklist: ‘If the Saudi-led Coalition wants to be removed from the list, it should stop killing and maiming children and bombing schools and hospitals in Yemen—the violations for which it was listed.’ By Andrea GermanosUNHeadA Debasing Spectacle: Behind and Beyond the Latest Quadrennial Carnival by Paul Street

Why the Obama Administration Is Favoring al-Qaeda’s Main Syrian Ally By Gareth PorterAl-QaedaSyriaUSA & “Black Lives Matter”: Feds Join Whitewash of Police Murders By Barry Sheppard

Philadelphia water department faces class action lawsuit over water testing: City is under increasing pressure to change test methods that scientists said may underestimate the amount of lead found in water after a Guardian investigation By Jessica GlenzaPhiladelphia


‘We’ve never seen anything like this’: Arctic sea ice hit a stunning new low in May By Chris MooneySeaIce

Ongoing/Big Energy Disasters!:

Black Liberation/Civil Rights:

The unsung villain in Brock Turner’s lenient sentence — probation officers: The officials strongly influence sentencing decisions, like the one in the Stanford sexual assault case, without accountability to the defendant or the public By Chandra BozelkoStanford


 French Labour Law: Strengths and Weaknesses of the Movement by Jérôme Métellus

. . .This is why positive and offensive demands should be incorporated into the platform of the movement – for example on wages or working time – capable of bringing new layers of workers into action. In this respect, “new rights with a labour code for the 21st century” is a formulation that is far too vague without any real concrete content. This cannot convince anyone to enter the struggle. After years of counter reforms and austerity, employees are willing to fight: this is clearly shown by the current movement. But against opponents as determined as Valls, Hollande and Gattaz, the movement needs a leadership that is determined to fight until the end, with an offensive strategy that corresponds to the real balance of power and the actual dynamic of the struggle. If the leadership is lacking at the top of the trade unions, workers and trade unionists who are active on the ground should take things into their own hands. The general assemblies of the workers must be linked at the local, regional and national levels through elected and recallable delegates in order to give the movement a democratic structure able to fully express the militancy of the workers, develop the movement and go on the offensive. The demonstration of June 14th in Paris could be the opportune moment to organize a meeting of delegates from general assemblies of active areas all over the country. There is no time to lose!



. . . Index of Industrial Production (May 2016). The Federal Reserve Board will release its estimate of Industrial Production activity for May 2016 on Wednesday, June 15th, with coverage in Commentary No. 813 of that date. Headline reporting likely will continue on the downside, both month-to-month and year-to-year, with continuing revisions to the last six months of data. The outlook for second-quarter 2016 likely will turn from the current, bloated, small annualized growth rate, to a solid quarterly contraction, which would be the third-consecutive quarterly decline, the fifth decline in the last six quarters. That would be accompanied by a deepening pattern of year-to-year annual decline by quarter, the third such consecutive circumstance; one that never has been seen outside of a formal recession in the 97-year history of the production series. Wherever consensus indications settle for relative monthly activity in May, expectations have been disappointed fairly consistently on the downside in the last year or so of activity. Accordingly, headline reporting and monthly revisions remain good bets to offer negative surprises versus consensus forecasts. . . .  — John Williams. Shadow Government Satatistics

WallStreetOnParadeA Critical and Ignored 2008 Email by Ben Bernanke on the Lehman Collapse By Pam Martens and Russ Martens Martens

Regulation of Financial Industry is History if Trade In Services Agreement Passes by Pete Dolack RegulationFincial


Apartheid, Human Rights and BDS by Robert Fantina ApartheidUS had extensive contact with Ayatollah Khomeini before Iran revolution: Documents seen by BBC suggest Carter administration paved way for Khomeini to return to Iran by holding the army back from launching a military coup By Saeed Kamali Dehghan and David SmithKhomeini

Health, Education, and Welfare:

How do we separate the truth from the lies when reporting war crimes? Each false atrocity bleeds into the body of evidence of other, real crimes, contaminating the truth for decades to come By Robert Fisk RobertFisk