Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,

  • Mood:

good morning, it's 23 december 2016

Item 3 is interesting, does anybody know someone in Wisconsin who can make the UW-Milwaukee clusterfuck (items 8, 9) into an action item? Also, McConnell is going to sabotage any investigation into Russian election influence. (See item 10.)

----- 1 -----
Dmitri Alperovitch said that their firm did, in fact, catch 2 groups associated w Russian intelligence agencies in the act
Khary Penebaker - Verified account - ‏@kharyp
Twitter - 7:44 PM - 12 Dec 2016

[Includes embedded CNN video]

----- 2 -----
House GOP Quietly Closes Flint, Mich. Water Investigation
WASHINGTON — Dec 16, 2016, 4:04 PM ET

Congressional Republicans quietly closed a year-long investigation into Flint, Michigan's crisis over lead in its drinking water, faulting both state officials and the Environmental Protection Agency for contamination that has affected nearly 100,000 residents.

In letters to fellow Republicans, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Friday that Michigan and federal officials were slow in detecting high levels of lead in the water and did not act fast enough once the problem was discovered.

The committee findings offer no new information and essentially summarize what emerged during several high-profile hearings earlier this year.

----- 3 -----
The Government Finally Has A Realistic Estimate Of Killings By Police
By Carl Bialik
15 December 2016

About 1,200 people were killed by police officers in the U.S. in the 12 months that ended in May, according to a federal report released Thursday. That number is much larger than government counts of police killings for earlier years — and is much more in line with private estimates.

Criminal justice researchers have long argued that official counts of police killings, which rely on voluntary reports from local police departments, are woefully incomplete. Over the past decade, about half a dozen efforts by activists, volunteers and media organizations have sprung up in response to widespread outrage about high-profile killings by police officers to try to fill the breach using information from media reports and other sources. Their annual death toll estimates since 2013 have generally ranged from 1,100 to 1,400, more than twice as high as the counts from official government sources.

----- 4 -----
White supremacist website calls for action in Montana
KEILA SZPALLER and GWEN FLORIO of the Missoulian
Updated Dec 17, 2016

[It's the Daily Stormer]

A white supremacist website called The Daily Stormer has posted a call to "TAKE ACTION" against Jewish people in Whitefish, providing personal contact information and urging a "troll storm" against them.

The story claims the "vicious, evil race" has harmed the Whitefish business of Richard Spencer's mother. It quotes a story from the British newspaper Daily Mail that said Sherry Spencer "said she is being forced to sell a building she owns in the small town because residents are rebelling against her son."

----- 5 -----
Russian Diplomat: We Had 'Contacts' with Trump Campaign During Election
Russia's deputy foreign minister told state media that officials knew most of Donald Trump's 'entourage.'
Arturo Garcia - Snopes
Nov 10, 2016

Russia's deputy foreign minister told state media that his country's administration had been in contact with Donald Trump during the latter's U.S. presidential campaign, contradicting allegations by the now president-elect.

Sergei Ryabkov's remarks were published by the Interfax state news agency on 10 November 2016 as part of an interview concerning prospects for the relationship between Russia and the U.S.

News reports provided this English-language translation of Ryabkov's remarks related to Trump's campaign:

"There were contacts. We are doing this and have been doing this during the election campaign.

"Obviously, we know most of the people from [Trump's] entourage. Those people have always been in the limelight in the United States and have occupied high-ranking positions. I cannot say that all of them, but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives."

----- 6 -----
Electoral College Makes It Official For Donald Trump, Despite Attempts By 'Faithless Electors'
Despite their votes, Trump will be the biggest popular vote loser in raw numbers ever to reach the White House.
Huffington Post
12/19/2016 01:22 pm ET

WASHINGTON ―The Electoral College formally selected Donald Trump as U.S. president on Monday, even as several electors bucked their states by opting to cast their presidential ballots for someone other than Trump or Hillary Clinton.

Members of the Electoral College met in their respective state Capitols to vote for the presidential and vice presidential candidates for whom they had pledged to vote earlier this year. Many electors, however, are not legally bound to vote for a specified candidate. Some electors ― known as “faithless electors” ― have in the past voted against their political party or abstained from voting altogether.

----- 7 -----
How a Putin Fan Overseas Pushed Pro-Trump Propaganda to Americans
The New York TImes
DEC. 17, 2016

The Patriot News Agency website popped up in July, soon after it became clear that Donald J. Trump would win the Republican presidential nomination, bearing a logo of a red, white and blue eagle and the motto “Built by patriots, for patriots.”

Tucked away on a corner of the site, next to links for Twitter and YouTube, is a link to another social media platform that most Americans have never heard of: VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook. It is a clue that Patriot News, like many sites that appeared out of nowhere and pumped out pro-Trump hoaxes tying his opponent Hillary Clinton to Satanism, pedophilia and other conspiracies, is actually run by foreigners based overseas.

But while most of those others seem be the work of young, apolitical opportunists cashing in on a conservative appetite for viral nonsense, operators of Patriot News had an explicitly partisan motivation: getting Mr. Trump elected.

----- 8 -----
University ignored warnings about far-right speaker, leaving him free to bully trans student on stage
Pink News | Nick Duffy
15th December 2016, 1:53 PM

[cw: severely abusive as all fuck]

A university ignored multiple warnings about a speaker’s extreme views and history of abusive behaviour – leaving him free to single out a trans student and bully them on-stage.

Far-right internet troll Milo Yiannopoulos has seen his media profile rise thanks to attention-grabbing bigoted comments and support of Donald Trump, whom he refers to as ‘daddy’.

Yiannopoulos, who was banned from Twitter earlier this year after allegedly encouraging a wave of racist abuse directed at Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones, is capitalising on his cult-like following with a ‘Dangerous Faggot Tour’ at universities and colleges across the US.

When Yiannopoulos was confirmed to be speaking at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, students attempted to make officials aware of his views and abusive history.

But despite repeated protests, university administrators decided that Yiannopoulos – who says he would ‘cure’ himself of being gay if he could and describes trans people as “mentally ill… gay men dressing up for attention” – should still be allowed to speak at the event on December 14.

----- 9 -----
Hate’s Insidious Face: UW-Milwaukee and the “Alt-Right”
December 14, 2016

[Linked because it contains the abused student's letter to UW-Milwaukee]

Last night, Milo Yiannopoulos’s “Dangerous Faggot Tour” came to UW-Milwaukee, hosted by a student front group, also responsible for the somewhat lame exercise in neo-McCarthyism, the “Professor Watchlist.” For over a month, faculty, staff and students have been expressing concern about the known dynamics of Milo Y, a kind of sly and slick performance of white grievance against political correctness, immigrant and muslim communities, as well as LGBT+ campus presence and politics. The administration, quivering in fear of their rightwing legislative budget lords’ threats of defunding, generally evaded the issue of the impact of hate speech to vulnerable communities, though subsequently released tepid but earnest statements regarding freedom of speech and their inability to control the sponsorship of student groups, with the intent to disassociate the UWM brand with a known hate-monger, white supremacist, such as Mr. Y. Cautious hand-wringing has generally been the operative dynamic at play within the crumbling institution.

----- 10 -----
Mitch McConnell Rejects Growing Calls For Select Panel On Russia Hacks
The majority leader wants to keep the probe limited to Congressional committees, which Democrats say will limit the scope of the investigation.
12/20/2016 09:03 am ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) rejected growing bipartisan pressure to create a select committee to investigate suspected Russian cyberattacks and the role they played in the American election.

“There’s no question that the Russians were messing around in our election,” he told Kentucky Educational Television on Monday night. “It is a matter of genuine concern and it needs to be investigated.”

McConnell added that he believed Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, and Mark Warner (D-Va.), a ranking member of the panel, were “fully capable” of handling the matter.

[Additional quote from DailyKOS: "Harry Reid, as usual, nails this one: 'Having been around here a long time, if you want to slow something down, turn it over to committees. […] What would happen is it would go to Armed Services or Intelligence [committees]. [….] By then, months and months have gone by.'"

Source: ]

----- 11 -----
Trump's anti-education Education Secretary owes millions in election fraud fines
December 19, 2016

[Betsy DeVos is NOT self-described as a neo-Calvinist, or at least, that's not supported by the BoingBoing link; _someone who has worked with her_ says she's influenced _by_ a neo-Calvinist philosopher, which is not the same thing. I'm influenced by Marx and Trotsky but am neither a Marxist nor Trotskyite, for example.

HOWEVER, I am including this _despite that incorrect statement_ because of the fines issue. DO NOT USE THIS TO INDICATE SHE IS A NEO-CALVINIST. She might be one, but it's not supported here.]

Betsy DeVos is the self-described neo-Calvinist and wife of the heir to the Amway fortune who's devoted her life to fighting against public education through a system of vouchers that allow for public funding of religious schools; in accord with the trumpian maxim of "a fox for every henhouse," she has been selected to serve as Trump's Education Secretary.

In 2006, All Children Matter, DeVos's anti-education PAC asked the Ohio Elections Commission whether it could transfer unlimited funds to its Ohio subsidiary, and were firmly told that the most they could transfer was $10,000 -- a ruling DeVos ignored, transfering $870,000 to the Ohio affiliate. This resulted in the bipartisan commission fining DeVos $5.2m, a ruling upheld by an Ohio court.

DeVos ducked out of the fines by shutting down the Ohio subsidiary and claiming that neither she nor her PAC were liable for its debts, including the whopping $5.2M fine.

Now, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) have published an open letter to DeVos, demanding that she settle her fines before taking office.

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

Tags: fascism watch, political
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