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Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:20 AM
Number of posts: 8,897

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The Irish potato famine was caused by wealthy landlords who prized profit over people

and thousands starved.


As many don green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the truth about Irish-Americans has been lost to history books beyond the U.S. shores. Occasionally, a mention of the Potato Famine will surface, but high school textbooks neglect the heartbreaking pain and misery, not to mention deaths, of millions of Irish people that prompted them to migrate to American shores.

Former social studies teacher Bill Bigelow pointed out in Common Dreams that there’s no shortage of information and even study guides to teach students, yet the harrowing tales still remain untold. Bigelow cites flat mentions of the “horrible disaster” the famine caused, saying that they’re describing it as an earthquake or another natural disaster. Somehow it was nothing more than a blight.

Instead, textbooks are filled with only small slices of knowledge that are packed full of boredom, leaving any young person uninterested in searching for more information.

Bigelow suggests Thomas Gallagher’s Paddy’s Lament, which describes the first winter of the famine in which 400,000 Irish peasants starved while wealthy landlords scored millions from exporting food that could have saved them. There was an unbelievable amount of food produced in Ireland, Gallagher explained. Yet, it was all exported abroad.

The Potato Famine only happened to potatoes, prompting Bigelow to ask “why did people starve?” He urges teachers to ask students difficult questions about starvation amid surplus. Doing so can help youth to learn patterns in policy and about consequences of those actions that cut assistance to the poor, like President Donald Trump’s cuts to Meals on Wheels.

(end snip)

Those who ignore the past...

As Bernie says, we are the richest nation on earth. But 49 million Americans struggle to put food on the table.


A Big Shoe Just Dropped


I don't know how much attention it's received. But the appearance of the name of Felix Sater in this new article in the Times is one of the biggest shoes I've seen drop on the Trump story in some time.

The new story explains that a group of Trump operatives, including top lawyer Michael Cohen and fired former campaign manager Paul Manafort, along with a pro-Putin Ukrainian parliamentarian named Andrii V. Artemenko and Mr. Sater are pushing President Trump on a 'peace plan' for Russia and Ukraine.

Cohen recently met with Sater and Artemenko; and Cohen agreed to personally deliver the peace plan (actually a sealed envelope with documents detailing it) to the President when he met with him at the White House. Cohen says he left it with General Flynn days before Flynn was forced to resign


Having spent some time studying the matter, the biggest red flags about Donald Trump's ties to Russia and businessmen around Vladimir Putin have always been tied to the Trump SoHo building project in Lower Manhattan, from the first decade of this century. I base my knowledge of this on this rather cursory but still quite good April 2016 article from the Times and my own limited snooping around the Outer Boroughs Russian and Ukrainian emigre press. (I summarized the most salient details of the earlier Times article in Item #3 of this post.) This was a key project, perhaps the key project in the post-bankruptcy era in which Trump appeared heavily reliant on Russian funds to finance his projects. Sater was at the center of that project. The details only came to light after the project got bogged down in a complicated series of lawsuits.

After the lawyers got involved, Trump said he barely knew who Sater was. But there is voluminous evidence that Sater, a Russian emigrant, was key to channeling Russian capital to Trump for years. Sater is also a multiple felon and at least a one-time FBI informant. Bayrock Capital, where he worked was located in Trump Tower and he himself worked as a special advisor to Trump. Again, read the Times article to get a flavor of his ties to Trump, the Trump SoHo project and Russia. For my money there's no better place to start to understand the Trump/Russia issue. (end snip)

(end snip)

So, Miller has announced the coup, and Dicktater Trump tweeted his support.

Miller sayuz that the powers of the Preznit will be vast, and will not be questioned. Twitler tweets that he is proud how Miller represented him.

Whoever stands with this, stands for the coup.


WH Sr. Policy Adviser Stephen Miller: "The powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned"


Congratulations Stephen Miller- on representing me this morning on the various Sunday morning shows. Great job!

Let the impeachment engines begin.

Kansas election officials threw out thousands of ballots


WICHITA — Kansas election officials threw out thousands of uncounted provisional ballots cast in November, mostly because the state had no record that those residents were registered voters.

Some local election officials are now voicing concerns about instances of lost registrations from people who filled out applications on Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s online site and at motor vehicle offices, but whose names never showed up on poll books, voter rolls or even a list of people whose applications weren’t complete. Some voters had date-stamped, computer screenshots showing they successfully completed their voter registration.


What troubles local election officials is an increasing number of people in the last two election cycles who say their voter registration applications were completed online or at driver’s license offices, but whose names never made it to county election offices to be added to local voter rolls. The extent of that problem is unknown. Douglas County was the only county AP found that specifically tracked provisional ballots cast by people in November who claimed their registrations were lost.

Kobach’s office has not yet compiled a statewide count of how many provisional ballots were discarded. Numbers that The Associated Press obtained from county election offices and the League of Women Voters for the state’s 11 largest counties show that 8,864 ballots cast were not counted, slightly more than 1 percent of votes cast in those counties. The reasons include lack of proper identification at polls, not providing proof of citizenship at registration, and not signing or filling out the advance ballot envelope correctly. More than half of ballots were tossed out because there was no record the person was a registered voter.

(end snip)

Under political pressure, Kuwait cancels major event at Four Seasons, switches to Trumps D.C. hotel


The Embassy of Kuwait allegedly cancelled a contract with a Washington, D.C. hotel days after the presidential election, citing political pressure to hold its National Day celebration at the Trump International Hotel instead.

A source tells ThinkProgress that the Kuwaiti embassy, which has regularly held the event at the Four Seasons in Georgetown, abruptly canceled its reservation after members of the Trump Organization pressured the ambassador to hold the event at the hotel owned by the president-elect. The source, who has direct knowledge of the arrangements between the hotels and the embassy, spoke to ThinkProgress on the condition of anonymity because the individual was not authorized to speak publicly. ThinkProgress was also able to review documentary evidence confirming the source’s account.

In the early fall, the Kuwaiti Embassy signed a contract with the Four Seasons. But after the election, members of the Trump Organization contacted the Ambassador of Kuwait, Salem Al-Sabah, and encouraged him to move his event to Trump’s D.C. hotel, the source said.


One looms large over the apparent hotel deal with the Kuwaitis: The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits the president from receiving money from a foreign government or head of state.

According to Democratic and Republican legal experts, such a payment is not only unconstitutional, it’s an impeachable offense.

(end snip)

Judge orders unsealing of Clinton email probe search warrant

Source: Reuters

A U.S. judge on Monday ordered the unsealing of the application used to obtain a search warrant that allowed the FBI to gain access to emails related to Democratic nominee Hillary Clintons private server shortly before the Nov. 8 presidential election.

U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan directed the release by Tuesday of redacted materials used to obtain a search warrant after Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey informed Congress of newly discovered emails on Oct. 28.

end snip

edited to add Reuters link


Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/2016/12/judge-orders-unsealing-of-clinton-email-probe-search-warrant/

City Official Apologizes After Tree Is Cut Down To Be Used For Trump Rally


MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — The mayor's chief of staff in Mobile, Alabama, is apologizing for his role in having a large tree cut down at a city park so it could be used as a prop during President-elect Donald Trump's recent "thank you" rally.

Colby Cooper said he became "overzealous" while trying to ensure that expectations of Trump's advance team were met.

Al.com reports (http://bit.ly/2hAuyZB ) that Mobile residents raised questions almost immediately after the cedar tree at Public Safety Memorial Park was felled Friday. It was taken to Ladd-Peebles Stadium, placed in front of the scoreboard and decorated with Christmas ornaments to serve as a backdrop while Trump spoke at Saturday's rally.

(end snip)


Kushner: We struck deal with Sinclair for straighter coverage


Donald Trump's campaign struck a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group during the campaign to try and secure better media coverage, his son-in-law Jared Kushner told business executives Friday in Manhattan.

Kushner said the agreement with Sinclair, which owns television stations across the country in many swing states and often packages news for their affiliates to run, gave them more access to Trump and the campaign, according to six people who heard his remarks.

In exchange, Sinclair would broadcast their Trump interviews across the country without commentary, Kushner said. Kushner highlighted that Sinclair, in states like Ohio, reaches a much wider audience — around 250,000 listeners — than networks like CNN, which reach somewhere around 30,000.


Sinclair, a Maryland-based company, has been labeled in some reports as a conservative-leaning local news network. Local stations in the past have been directed to air “must run” stories produced by Sinclair’s Washington bureau that were generally critical of Obama administration and offered perspectives primarily from conservative think tanks, The Washington Post reported in 2014.

A Kushner spokeswoman declined to comment on his remarks, made at an off-the-record meeting in the Morgan Stanley Cafeteria for the Partnership for New York City, a business group, and referred questions to the campaign.

(end snip)

Even your local news isn't your local news.

‘Stop excusing him’: Elijah Cummings derails CNN interview for ‘ridiculous’ Trump double standard



CNN’s Cuomo countered that Democrats were “bashing” Trump instead of promoting Clinton’s policies.

“Especially when it comes to this latest wrinkle, this gift that you guys say he gave you about asking Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails to release them,” the CNN host charged. “You guys are calling it treason. He went on TV this morning and said, ‘I was being sarcastic. This is the Democrats trying to frame me as a bad guy.'”

“We have to stop excusing him when he says these nasty things,” Cummings interrupted. “We really do. Because words do matter.”

“But is it treason?” Cuomo pressed.

“I’ll let the FBI and others decide that,” the Maryland Democrat remarked. “My point is — and by the way, no matter what it is, it should not have been said. If I did that, I’d be out of office or in jail.”

(end snip)

Two men conducted a 9/11/01 'dry run' in 1999 with tickets from Saudi government


After being kept out of the public eye for 13 years, Congress on Friday declassified 28 pages of a controversial report outlining a series of potential connections between the terrorist hijackers who attacked the United States on 9/11 and the government of Saudi Arabia. The document details a number of alleged instances wherein individuals linked to the Al Saud family may have assisted or provided financial support to the al Qaeda operatives who committed the terrorist attacks.


Two men conducted a “dry run” on a flight to D.C., with tickets paid for by the Saudi government

In 1999, Mohammed al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalawi reportedly asked flight attendants a handful of suspicious questions and tried to enter the cockpit of the airplane twice. Al-Qudhaeein and al-Shalawi were flying to Washington, D.C., where they planned to attend a party at the Saudi Embassy. The two claimed the embassy also paid for their tickets aboard the flight.

(end snip)



And in one instance that appeared notable in retrospect, two men flying on tickets paid for by the Saudi embassy in 1999 acted suspicious during the flight and twice tried to enter the cockpit. Charges were not filed in that instance even though the plane was forced to make an emergency landing, but the FBI’s field office in Phoenix believed the incident may have been a “dry run” to test airline security.

(end snip)


Another frightening passage described what seemed to be a dry run or information-gathering mission for the eventual hijackings. 1999, Saudi citizens Mohammed al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalawi flew from Phoenix to Washington, DC to attend a party at the Saudi embassy. After the plane departed, they asked flight attendants suspicious technical questions about the flight. Qudhaeein twice attempted to enter the cockpit, and the plane made an emergency landing. The two men claimed the flight was paid for by the Saudi Embassy. The FBI investigated the incident and ultimately decided not to pursue a prosecution, but did uncover that both men had "connections to terrorism."

(end snip)

Who could have imagined?
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