2019-05-16: News Headlines

Mashal Hashem, James Allen (2019-05-16). How to Lobby Washington to Death. commondreams.org For Donald Trump and many congressional Republicans, the well-being of the Saudi royals and of defense contractors matters more than a bus carrying school children destroyed by a laser-guided MK-82 bomb made by Lockheed Martin. (Photo: CNN/Screengrab) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

Robert Reich (2019-05-16). Robert Reich: Democrats Have a Duty to Impeach Trump. truthdig.com Donald Trump is causing a constitutional crisis with his blanket refusal to respond to any subpoenas. | So what happens now? An impeachment inquiry in the House won't send him packing before election day 2020 because Senate Republicans won't convict him of impeachment. | So the practical political question is whether a House impeachment inquiry helps send him packing after election day. That seems unlikely. | Probably no more than a relative handful of Americans are still unsure of how they'll vote on Nov. 3, 2020. An impeachment is unlikely to reveal so many more revolting details about Trump that these swing vo…

Robert Reich (2019-05-16). Robert Reich: The House now has a Constitutional duty to impeach Trump. nationofchange.org Donald Trump is causing a constitutional crisis with his blanket refusal to respond to any subpoenas. | So | what happens now? An impeachment inquiry in the House won't send him | packing before election day 2020 because Senate Republicans won't | convict him of impeachment. | So the practical political question is | whether a House impeachment inquiry helps send him packing after | election day. That seems unlikely. | Probably no more than a | relative handful of Americans are still unsure of how they'll vote on | Nov. 3, 2020. An impeachment is unlikely to reveal so many more | revolting details about Trump…

Consortiumnews (2019-05-16). Palestinian Authority No Longer Crying Wolf. consortiumnews.com Jonathan Cook reports on the bind that Netanyahu has created by withholding tax transfers as a reelection tactic. By JonathanCook Jonathan-Cook.net We have been here many times before. However, on this occasion even the principal actors understand that the… Read more →

Staff (2019-05-16). Facebook Bans Israeli Company Over Election-Disruption Campaigns. truthdig.com JERUSALEM—Facebook said Thursday it banned an Israeli company that ran an influence campaign aimed at disrupting elections in various countries and has canceled dozens of accounts engaged in spreading disinformation. | Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, told reporters that the tech giant had purged 65 Israeli accounts, 161 pages, dozens of groups and four Instagram accounts. | Although Facebook said the individuals behind the network attempted to conceal their identities, it discovered that many were linked to the Archimedes Group, a Tel Aviv-based political consulting and lobbying…

Start Making Sense, Jon Wiener (2019-05-16). What Joe Biden Has in Common With Donald Trump. thenation.com What Joe Biden Has in Common With Donald Trump…

pip.hinman (2019-05-16). Major parties have no mandate for climate inaction. greenleft.org.au Whichever major party claims government on May 18, neither can legitimately claim to have a mandate for its dangerously inadequate carbon emission reduction policies. | Prime Minister Scott Morrison has claimed throughout the election campaign that the Liberal-National Coalition "is taking real action on climate change", telling the ABC's Hack on May 13 that, if his government is returned, Australia will meet "our Kyoto 2020 targets". | Kyoto Protocol: | It's odd he referred to Kyoto and not Paris, but…

pip.hinman (2019-05-16). Protesters say 'Dutton out, refugees in'. greenleft.org.au Refugee rights activists rallied outside home affairs minister Peter Dutton's electorate office in Queensland on May 11. They are hoping Dutton will lose his seat at the federal election on May 18. | Regardless of who wins the election, the Refugee Action Coalition is organising another protest on July 19 — six years after the Rudd Labor government announced that, from that point on, all refugees who arrived by boat would be sent to offshore detention. | Mark Gillespie, spokesperson for RAC, said that the movement needs to continue to press its demands for refugee rights no matter which party forms governme…

WSWS (2019-05-16). Indian elections: Congress combines populist rhetoric with jingoism and communalism. wsws.org The Indian bourgeoisie's traditional party of government, the Congress, like the BJP, is committed to pro-investor "reform" and an anti-China partnership with US imperialism.

Staff (2019-05-16). What Have Top Trump Donors Been Up to Since 2016? truthout.org With the 2020 election revving up, contributions have already begun pouring in for President Donald Trump's reelection bid, including coveted cash from a loyal network of Trump megadonors. During the first quarter this year, Trump reported raising $30.3 million with a mix of large and small dollar contributions. | Trump secured a record $107 million for his inauguration after bringing in $333 million to h…

WSWS (2019-05-16). Australia's housing crisis to worsen whichever party wins election. wsws.org A new housing loan scheme announced by Liberal leader Morrison and endorsed by the Labor Party will do nothing to resolve the acute housing problems facing millions of workers.

commondreams (2019-05-16). Green Party of the United States Statement—Venezuelan Embassy. commondreams.org ______________________________…

Fight Back (2019-05-16). Meeting with Venezuela's President Maduro. fightbacknews.org Fight Back! interviews noted anti-war activist Sarah Martin, of the Minnesota-based Women Against Military Madness. Martin traveled to Venezuela on a solidarity delegation organized by the U.S. Peace Council, March 11-18. | Fight Back!: The corporate media says Venezuela's government, headed by President Maduro and the national democratic Bolivarian Revolution, has little popular support. What were your impressions? | Sarah Martin: This is one of the many lies told by the media, who once again are spewing the U.S. administration's propaganda for a U.S.-orchestrated coup. Maduro is a democratically elected preside…

Staff (2019-05-16). Watch Elizabeth Warren Grill Trump's Top Bank Regulator. truthdig.com Sen. Elizabeth Warren made clear Wednesday that she has no sympathy for one of the Trump administration's top bank regulators after he called a tough line of questioning on Wells Fargo "insulting." | "Good," responded Warren, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, after Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) chief Joseph Otting objected to the Massachusetts senator's criticism of the Trump administration's bank-friendly regulatory practices and lack of transparency. | The Massachusetts senator pushed Otting on his plan to keep secret the Trump administration's assessment of the successor to former Wel…

RT (2019-05-16). Trump must avoid 'very stupid and costly war' with Iran — Tulsi Gabbard. rt.com Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard came out swinging against a possible conflict with Iran, slamming President Donald Trump for allowing war hawks to run his administration.

United Nations (2019-05-16). Thursday's Daily Brief: Ebola in DR Congo, malnutrition in Laos, baby health, support for Sahel force, #ClimateAction. un.org On Thursday, we cover: more support needed for Sahel force, fears in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as Ebola response funding dwindles; food and nutrition concerns in Laos; an update on low birthweight babies across the world; and the UN chief's trip for climate action in the Pacific continues.

Staff (2019-05-16). New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Enters Race for 2020 Democratic Nomination. truthout.org New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has thrown his hat into the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primaries. | "There's plenty of money in this world. There's plenty of money in this country. It's just in the wrong hands," de Blasio says at the beginning of a campaign announcement video he posted Thursday to YouTube. The spot proceeds to list his progressive accomplishments as New York City mayor, including raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour; passing a bill ensuring that workers would receive paid sick leave; guaranteeing health care, including mental health; and providing free pre-K for all New York…

Maj. Danny Sjursen (2019-05-16). Where Is the Democratic Alternative to Forever War? truthdig.com There sure are lots to choose from. By now, more than 20 candidates have announced a run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. And with national security adviser John "Regime Change" Bolton, along with the others in the four Bs cabal—Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates—seem poised to pull President Trump into war with Iran, now would seem the time for D…

Eoin Higgins, staff writer (2019-05-16). Amid GOP Assault on Abortion Rights, DCCC-Backed Fundraiser for Anti-Choice Democrat Blasted as 'Demeaning to Women'. commondreams.org "At a time when we need every pro-choice voice we can get, this is reprehensible for a leader in the Democratic Party." | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

RT (2019-05-16). 'JOKE, NYC HATES HIM': Trump mocks 'beauty' de Blasio's presidential bid. rt.com Bill de Blasio is the latest Democratic candidate in the 2020 presidential campaign to be mercilessly mocked by the Republican frontrunner, President Donald Trump. He said the newcomer was the worst mayor New York ever had.

Eliza Egret (2019-05-16). People in Wales show Nigel Farage what his beloved 'democracy' actually looks like. thecanary.co Once again, Nigel Farage has targeted another working-class area to try and win popularity and votes. Farage's Brexit Party held an election rally in Merthyr Tydfil on 15 May. | But anti-fascist protesters were there to greet him. They made it clear that Farage wasn't welcome in their town. Lois Jones was at the demonstration. She told The Canary: Merthyr Tydfil is an area that is impoverished and deprived thank…

Charles P. Pierce (2019-05-16). I No Longer Believe House Democrats Will Uphold Their Constitutional Duty. commondreams.org Will the Democrats ever learn a) how to message and b) that the press, no matter what conservatives say, is not their friend? (Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

Staff (2019-05-15). Social Justice Activist Named Winner in Contentious Union Election. therealnews.com This story has been updated. | In a stunning victory, teacher and longtime social justice activist Diamonté Brown defeated incumbent Baltimore Teachers Union President Marietta English by a vote of 901-839, according to preliminary election results. "I thank everyone that voted for me and I promise to work every day to engage more members and take action based on members' concerns and needs," Brown said. | The election is the latest chapter in a wave of grassroots-powered challengers overcoming veteran officeholders, such as New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's defeat of 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley…

Yves Engler (2019-05-15). Canadian Green Leader Supports Same Old Pro-Imperialist Foreign Policies. dissidentvoice.org Does Elizabeth May hate Palestinians? Does the Green Party leader want the Trump administration to attack Iran? Does she support efforts to overthrow Venezuela's government? I've been asking myself these questions since reading a Canadian Jewish News story about Paul Manly's recent victory in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith bi-election. In a story titled "Concerns raised over new …

Fight Back (2019-05-15). On Duterte's success in rigging the elections. fightbacknews.org Fight Back News Service is circulating the following May 14 statement by Jose Maria Sison, National Democratic Front of the Philippines Chief Political Consultant. | As I have predicted, Duterte is successful in rigging the May 13 elections to deliver to his candidates a false victory in the crucial senatorial race. As I have pointed out, he has to rig the elections because he has the power and the criminal personality and motivation to do so because clean and honest elections would have allowed the opposition senatorial candidates to win and frustrate his greed for power and plunder. | The rigging included the d…

WSWS (2019-05-15). Duterte consolidates hold on Philippine politics in midterm election. wsws.org The ruling class opponents to Duterte have suffered a historic defeat, securing not a single seat in the Senate.

Democracy Now! (2019-05-15). Headlines for May 15, 2019. democracynow.org Alabama Legislature Passes Near-Complete Abortion Ban, U.S. Evacuates Non-Emergency State Dept. Personnel from Iraq, Houthis Launch Drone Attack on Saudi Oil Facilities, Pompeo Meets With Lavrov & Putin Over Iran, Venezuela, 2020 Elections, CNN: Migrant Children Sleeping Outside on the Ground at Texas Border Patrol, Pennsylvania Sues Purdue Pharma Over Oxycontin, Reports: Donald Trump Jr. Agrees to Conditional Senate Hearing, San Francisco Bans Facial Recognition Technology, Pilots' Union Confronted Boeing Over Faulty 737 Max Jets After First Fatal Crash, NYC Activists Stage Hunger Strike To Call for Halt to Will…

kathy_f (2019-05-14). Is three weeks of early voting a bad thing? greenleft.org.au With Election Day in sight, there was a palpable sense of relief at an inner west Sydney early voting booth where I had volunteered over the past few weeks. It feels like a long campaign. | The impact of the first ever three-week pre-poll has been a regularly occurring conversation. One view is that it is bad for "democracy", and having the national population vote on the same day brings with it an equalising effect. Another view is that early voters may not take into account the latest policy announcement or budget statement — or even candidate disendorsement, of which there have been quite a few. | It is…

Rachel M. Cohen (2019-05-14). Sunrise Movement Calls for Mass Climate Demonstration Outside Democratic Debate in Detroit. theintercept.com On Monday night, at the final stop on the Sunrise Movement's " Road to a Green New Deal" tour across the United States, the group called for a mass, youth-led mobilization to pressure Democratic candidates to make the 2020 election a referendum on climate change. On July 30, the scheduled date for the second Democratic presidential debate, Sunrise hopes to bring tens of thousands of young people to Detroit to present all the Democratic contenders with three demands: | Sign the no fossil fuel money pledge. | Commit to makin…

Ruth Conniff (2019-05-14). The Progressive Roots of Trump's Trade War Politics. progressive.org The President's get-tough stance on China resonates with working people's frustrations about trade "deals" that leave ordinary Americans scrambling. Democrats ignore that at their peril.

Staff (2019-05-14). AOC & Bernie Join Sunrise Movement in DC Town Hall. therealnews.com At the town hall, the Sunrise Movement launched the next phase of their Green New Deal campaign: making three demands of Democratic presidential contenders…

RT (2019-05-14). Tulsi Gabbard would drop charges against Assange & Snowden. rt.com Democrat presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) said she would drop all charges against Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, as their prosecution would have a "chilling effect" on free press and whistleblowers.

Democracy Now! (2019-05-13). Arundhati Roy on the Indian Election and Narendra Modi's "Far-Right, Hindu Nationalist" Agenda. democracynow.org In India, the sixth phase of voting has concluded in a highly anticipated parliamentary election that is widely seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is seeking a second term in office. India is the world's largest democracy with 900 million eligible voters. The final phase of voting will take place on May 19 and vote counting will begin on May 23. Modi's Hindu nationalist BJP won a landslide victory in 2014. His government has been criticized for a crackdown on civil society, targeting political opponents, journalists, human rights activists, lawyers and writers. Human rights groups have also…

Akela Lacy (2019-05-13). Liberian Refugee Wilmot Collins, Mayor of Helena, Launches Bid for Montana Senate Seat. theintercept.com Wilmot Collins is running for Senate against incumbent Republican Steve Daines, he will announce Monday. | The entry of Collins into the race gives Democrats a mold-breaking candidate who is unlike the type that would be recruited by operatives in Washington. Collins is Montana's first and only black mayor — a veteran, a father, and a refugee from Liberia. | Democrats have hoped that Governor Steve Bullock would launch a Senate campaign against the milquetoast Daines, but he has instead been flirting with joining the presidential field, which he apparently believes might benefit from at least one more obscu…

unitedEditor (2019-05-13). South African Elections, US-China trade war, Istanbul and Iran. uwidata.com Elections in South Africa The ruling African National Congress Party (ANC) won the parliamentary elections in South Africa with 57.51% of the vote, the election commission reported. General elections, during which the country's parliament and national government headed by the president are elected, were held in South Africa on Wednesday. According to the data of …

Staff (2019-05-12). Florida Activists Fight Against Bill Preventing Former Felons from Voting. therealnews.com Last year Florida voters approved a ballot measure called Amendment 4 which restored voting rights of an estimated 1.5 million former felons. To counteract this amendment 4, Republicans proposed a bill that would require former felons to pay court costs and fines before they are able to vote — what activists are calling a poll…

Binoy Kampmark (2019-05-12). A Great Flushing Out: Social Media Footprints and Electioneering in Australia. dissidentvoice.org It has been an uninspiring election, punctuated by occasional moments of madness on the part of various candidates. Their sin was to be incautious in their previous use of social media, a form of communication that reveals everything and nothing about a person. In a political sense, the erring tweet and the injudicious remark on …

pip.hinman (2019-05-10). Anti-CSG activists say Santos must be stopped. greenleft.org.au About 60 anti-coal seam gas campaigners gathered outside NSW parliament on May 7 to greet newly-elected MPs with a clear message: stop Santos' Narrabri Gas Project in the state's north west. | The action was organised by Stop CSG Sydney and the Knitting Nannas and Friends. | Protesters received a positive response from some MPs, including the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (SFF), the NSW Greens and an independent. | SFF's Roy Butler recommitted his party to opposing CSG developments. He also said his party supported a moratorium on CSG until all of the Chief Scientist's recommendations are implemented. | But…

pip.hinman (2019-05-10). Greens candidate: 'The system is stacked to work for the two major parties'. greenleft.org.au Former NSW Fire Brigades Employees Union (FBEU) state secretary Jim Casey is standing as the Greens candidate for the seat of Grayndler in inner west Sydney. He spoke to Green Left Weekly's Rachel Evans about his campaign. | You are involved in the Stop Adani campaign. How do you see the movement stopping this catastrophic project? | The first step is to get rid of [Prime Minister] Scott Morrison. The second step is to build a movement, which requires thousands of people having thousands of conversations in the suburbs, in the cities, in the country. | Adani is the coalface of the broader struggle of stopping cl…

pip.hinman (2019-05-10). Greens, preferences and radical social change. greenleft.org.au This federal election is taking place at a time when the need for radical social and economic change is palpable: the escalating climate crisis and rampant and growing inequality are two major symptoms of the bankruptcy of capitalism. | The school climate strike movement is one manifestation of the desire for meaningful change. And there are many others too. | But while radical change is needed, those who campaign for it are still too often derided as extremist or idealist (with the exception of the students who the powers-that-be hope will "grow up" and embrace pragmatism). | There is a strong desire to get rid…

susan_p (2019-05-10). Venezuela: How one local council is working to overcome the crisis through people's power. greenleft.org.au In the midst of Venezuela's prolonged economic crisis, in which state budgets and support for the governing socialists steadily contract, at least one municipal council is bucking the trend. The key, according to the local mayor, has been focusing on people's power and self-management. | Paéz is a rural municipality located in Apure state, along the tense border with Colombia. Opposition-controlled Tachira state lies to its west. | Despite this conflictive surrounding, José María "Chema" Romero managed to increase the United Socialist Party of Venezuela's (PSUV) vote in the 2017 mayoral elections by 70% from its…

Gregory Shupak (2019-05-10). Distorting 'Democracy' in Venezuela Coverage. fair.org Writing of the failed US-sponsored coup attempt in Venezuela on April 30, Uri Friedman of The Atlantic ( 5/1/19) referred to the Venezuelan branch of the coup as Juan "Guaidó's pro-democracy movement." The logical contradiction could scarcely be more pronounced: A wave of Friedman's wand transforms a political force seeking the military overthrow of Venezuela's elected government into a "pro-democracy movement." | The Venezuelan government's current mandate comes from winning an election on May 20, 20…

pip.hinman (2019-05-10). Wayne Wharton: 'All power to the workers, Treaty now!'. greenleft.org.au Prominent Aboriginal elder Wayne Wharton is making a tilt for the senate in Queensland this election, campaigning on issues such as justice for Aboriginal people, justice reinvestment and an improved aged care system. | Wharton told Green Left Weekly: "The systems that we've had for the last 230 years is broken, they're useless." | These include the legal system which, he says, is based on a "feudal system of punishment" instead of rehabilitation, and the two-party system, in which the big parties have become dominated by "top-end-of-town corruption". | Wharton believes the government should reflect the diversity…

ACLU (2019-05-10). House Funding Bill Shows How Far We've Come in the Fight for Reproductive Freedom—And How Far We Have to Go. aclu.org A key bill makes important strides for reproductive health, and shows why we need presidential candidates to show leadership on abortion coverage. | This week the House Appropriations Committee advanced the Labor, Health, and Human Services appropriations bill, the annual bill that funds federal health and education programs. It makes important strides forward on reproductive health and rights–and it also shines a light on the need for presidential leadership on abortion coverage…

Ruth Conniff (2019-05-09). Trump's Contempt for Democracy is Pushing Congress Toward Impeachment. progressive.org Politically, it might make more sense to focus on the next election, but Constitutionally, Democrats in Congress have no choice but to go after Trump now.

unitedEditor (2019-05-09). Turkish electoral commission calls for recount in Istanbul. uwidata.com Yesterday, the Turkish Central election commission made a final decision in regard to the contested election results for mayor of Istanbul, which took place on March 31. After the candidate from the opposition Republican People's Party (NPP), Ekrem ƒ∞mamoƒülu, declared victory with a margin of only 13,729 votes, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) …

pip.hinman (2019-05-09). Rivers in crisis demand real water solutions now. greenleft.org.au A key federal election issue, which the carefully stage-managed leaders' debates are ignoring, is one on which all our lives depend: access to clean drinking water. | Our rivers are dying and our artesian basins are being poisoned because river water is being sold off at bargain basement rates to the major parties' corporate donors. | Corruption and water theft is just a part of how business is done in large parts of the Murray-Darling Basin. | Water security is vital for rural communities because water sourced from artesian bores and rivers is crucial for farming, especially as prolonged drought bites hard all t…

Fight Back (2019-05-09). Jacksonville celebrates May Day. fightbacknews.org Jacksonville, FL — About 35 people gathered on May 1 to celebrate International Workers' Day in Jacksonville. The rally was held in front of the Duval County Courthouse. Members of several local trade unions were present, including Letter Carriers, Teamsters, SEIU, Teachers, and IATSE. Other local activist groups included the Community Action Committee, Students for a Democratic Society, Progressive Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Network, the Northside Coalition, and the local Democratic Black Caucus. | The rally was united under the theme of building alliances between different groups and organizations. A…

unitedEditor (2019-05-07). Elections in South Africa: what problems will the country's future president inherent? uwidata.com Parliamentary elections in South Africa will be held on May 8, 2019, for the sixth time since the end of apartheid in 1994. Africans will also vote for candidates in the provincial legislative assemblies. In addition, a new president will be elected. The current atmosphere The atmosphere in South Africa in recent months is one …

Paul Buhle (2019-05-04). Tom Hayden, Giant of the New Left Remembered. progressive.org A new biography of Tom Hayden tracks his political life, as a radical activist and later as a prominent California Democrat.