CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for November 6th, 2013

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Hello all, hope you are well this day.

Election Hangover

– Democrats win in Virginia through Terry McAuffie, Republicans win in New Jersey through Chris Christie and more here

Bill de Blasio wins in New York

– “A powerful conservative group’s efforts to sway a normally sleepy city election in Iowa may have backfired, with the mayor-elect on Wednesday calling the election results a victory for locals over outside interests.

– “President Barack Obama has called Republican Gov. Chris Christie to congratulate him on his re-election in New Jersey.” Bipartisanship everyone! You know! Austerity, suppression of rights and upholding the capitalist system!

– “Detroit’s mayor-elect [Mike Duggan] said Wednesday that far too much had been made of his skin color during a historic write-in campaign and general election victory that will make him the predominantly black city’s first white mayor in four decades.”

Roundup of all referendums across the United States

– Recreational pot use legalized in Portland, Maine and in three Michigan cities

Western voters say no to both fracking and coal

– “Big food crushes consumer rights in Washington

– GOP establishment gain victory in Alabama race

– “A day after recording a historic landslide victory, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio sat down with the man he is replacing, Michael Bloomberg, and began planning for the transition to a liberal agenda of what he calls economic inclusiveness after more than two decades of more conservative leadership.”

– “For deeply divided Republicans, Tuesday’s elections in New Jersey and Virginia did little to resolve the feud between hardline conservatives and establishment pragmatists who worry the party is drifting too far to the right to win statewide and national elections.

International Developments


– The US border patrol keep using deadly force against rock throwers

– Medea Benjamin: Drone strike victims are coming out of the shadows

– Noam Chomsky: Why the rest of the world no longer wants to be like the U.S.

– “Malala and Nabila: Worlds apart

– “World powers will seek to hammer out a breakthrough deal with Iran to start resolving a decade-old dispute over its nuclear program in two-day talks that begin on Thursday, though both sides say an agreement is far from certain.

– “ One of the biggest challenges in this week’s talks on Iran’s nuclear program will be winning over two tough audiences that won’t be at the table: hard-liners in Tehran and Washington.”

Middle East

– “Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi strongly criticized the human rights record of President Hassan Rouhani, citing a dramatic increase in executions since he took office this year and accusing the government of lying about the release of political prisoners.”

– Gallup: A majority of Iranians feel sanctions have negatively affected their livelihood

– Witnesses have seen U.S. Special Forces commit war crimes in Afghanistan

– “The withdrawing U.S. military is destroying most of the equipment it is leaving behind in Afghanistan after 13 years of war, selling the scrap for millions of dollars to those willing to buy it.

– “A suicide bomber tried to ram an explosives-laden truck into a police headquarters outside Baghdad Wednesday morning, killing at least seven policemen and wounding 14, officials said.”

– The U.S. gives $75 million more in aid to Palestinians

– “Israeli PM accuses Palestinians of creating artificial crises, as US secretary of state John Kerry shuttles between two sides

Eight killed in bomb blast in Syrian capital

Yassar Arafat may have been poised tests show

Asia & Oceania

– “Chinese President Xi Jinping has been blocked in efforts to dismantle the country’s labor camp system in a clear sign that he has yet to cement his grip on the ruling Communist Party a year after gaining power, leadership sources said.”

One killed, eight injured in northern China explosions

– “After two failed attempts, the Maldives likely will hold its presidential election Saturday as the three candidates have agreed on a voters’ register, the president said Wednesday.


– “Libya’s government on Wednesday warned oil companies not to buy from export terminals seized by militias in the east of the country.” Isn’t this our fault and should have hearings? Where’s the responsibility for the disarray in Libya?


– Situation getting worse in Greece as citizens can be banned for burning wood to stay warm

– “A human rights group says that, despite some recent changes, domestic violence victims are still at risk in Hungary because of legal loopholes, ineffective police responses and cultural stereotypes.

Strikes in Greece shut services down

Latin America & Canada

– “The decision by the high court in the Dominican Republic to declare Dominicans who may have Haitian ancestry “not citizens” with a start date of birth of 1929 is simply appalling.

– CEPR paper: After coup, Honduras lost all economic and social gains

– “Jamaica’s press association on Wednesday applauded an overhaul of the Caribbean country’s libel and slander law, which had been based on a 17th century law from Britain.”

– “Doctors say Venezuela’s health care in collapse

– Henriques Capriles “who narrowly lost his country’s presidential election earlier this year has met with Pope Francis.” He’s another capitalist, so don’t mind him.

– “Colombia’s government and Marxist FARC rebels reached a “fundamental agreement” on the guerrillas’ future in politics, one of the thorniest issues addressed in peace talks in Cuba, according to a joint statement on Wednesday.”

Financial Matters

– Gallup: “Government workers at all levels report less hiring in October than in September

– Thom Hartmann: “There once was a time when the super-rich needed a middle class to be successful — not anymore

Inside the mind of the one percent

– “Remember mortgage-backed securities and the financial crisis [Wall Street] caused? This latest gambit will put you in shock

– David Miranda’s lawyers take airport detention in the U.K. to the high court

Blockbuster officially closing its doors for good

– “How user burnout could threaten Twitter’s prosperity

Volvo soon to return the U.S. market

– Critics have blasted Google’s antitrust offer

– “Wells Fargo will pay $335 million to resolve claims that it misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about risky mortgage securities that it sold them prior to the housing collapse.”

– Are you sure? “When Twitter goes public on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, it will trade under the supervision of Barclays Capital.”

– “A number of finance firms, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Rabobank face billions of euros in fines next month from European Union regulators for colluding on global benchmark interest rates, reinforcing Brussels’ hard line on the sector after the financial crisis.

Surveillance Planet

FBI monitored “by error” for six years. How do you do that for six years?

– “A British engineer who works on anti-hacking systems at Google has furiously accused the UK and US spying agencies of “industrial scale subversion of the judicial process” by tapping the company’s internal networks.

– “An alliance of privacy advocates, lawyers and journalists is taking the Dutch government to court over its links to overseas intelligence agencies.

– Ray McGovern Part 2 interview on how hegemony requires a domestic security state

– The inventor of Web now is slamming NSA

Silk Road rises…kinda

– Mozilla Firefox losing its credibility on privacy

– Al Gore: Snowden exposed crimes against the Constitution

– “WikiLeaks staffer Sarah Harrison, a key ally of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, has left Russia for Germany, saying her lawyers had advised her against travel to Britain over fears she could be prosecuted if she returns to her native country.

Labor’s a-Brewing

– “Fewer than half of scheduled trains have run in Portugal during the morning rush-hour as rail workers staged their latest protest against cuts to their pay and entitlements.”

Anti-foreclosure activists put BlackRock in a hard place

Workers talk about their bosses from hell

– After victory in Florida, California Wal-Mart workers take to the streets for change.

– “The Obama administration appears ready to give some labor unions a break from costly fees under the new health care law, a move that drew criticism from Republicans who say it unfairly favors a key White House ally.

Politics USA

Washington USA

– “President Barack Obama met Wednesday with Senate Democrats facing re-election next year to discuss the problem-plagued health care rollout that could affect their races.”

– “Republicans blistered Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday over the nation’s controversial health care law, bluntly challenging her honesty, pushing for her resignation and demanding unsuccessfully she concede that President Barack Obama deliberately misled the public about his signature domestic program.”

Five facts about the public prayer case in the Supreme Court

“With federal and state online health care marketplaces experiencing glitches a month into implementation, concern is mounting for a vulnerable group of people who were supposed to be among the health law’s earliest beneficiaries.

– Virginia is a big deal

– “The Senate adopted stronger protections for religious institutions in a historic gay rights bill that secured the conditional support of a key Republican who was the party’s presidential nominee in 2008.

– Chomsky: America is a rogue one party state

– Republican Pete Sessions reveals that the GOP is not interested in governing

– “A U.S. military judge on Wednesday ordered the U.S. government to turn over confidential reports on conditions at Guantanamo Bay prison, a disclosure that the International Committee of the Red Cross had argued could compromise its global mission.”

– “A top U.S. health insurer gave the first detailed view of how the problem-plagued rollout of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law is affecting the industry, saying on Wednesday it had cut its enrollment forecasts by at least a half and expected the government to delay the sign-up deadline.

Everything Else USA 

– Pew: Chris Christie captured half the Latino vote and more

22 states and D.C. already ban workplace discrimination against gays

– Gallup: In the U.S., voter registration lags with Hispanics and Asians

– In Louisiana, non-violent offenders fill prisons

– “Bold stances on inequality and overzealous policing propelled a progressive victory. If he holds true, can De Blasio shift the national debate?

– In Detroit, a black woman was shot to death after seeking help in a white neighborhood after a car crash

– ” Mentally ill inmates in New York City’s most notorious jail are too often placed in solitary confinement — in some cases for thousands of days at a time — a practice that coincides with an increased rate of violence inside the jail, an independent review of mental health standards at Rikers Island found.”

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– “Why you should make friends with bacteria, especially in your food

Bombing Food Stamps, Feeding Bombs

– Study: Anti-biotic resistant E.Coli most common in kosher chicken

– “The number of poor people in America is 3 million higher than the official count, encompassing 1 in 6 residents due to out-of-pocket medical costs and work-related expenses, according to a revised census measure released Wednesday.

The War on Women

– Koch brothers secretly funding anti-choice movement

– MPAA is okay with sexism, but not with sex

New Zealand police told gang rape victim she asked for it

Planet Earth

– “Appalachia Coal Miners Face Industry’s Efforts to Defeat Benefits Claims” More information can be found here

Bill McKibben gets an environmental award

The view from China in smog

– Meanwhile, they will crackdown on emissions to combat smog

The US will destroy its six ton pile of elephant ivory

– Greenhouse gas levels break another record

Mixed Bag

– Gallup: 65 percent of those aged 65+ and older are using the internet more than those in 2002

– Colbert on “accidental” gay insect sex

– “Better Call Saul” might not be a prequel to “Breaking Bad”

– So hilarious to read. I’m gonna give this to anyone interested in being my friend. “How to be okay with a having a communist friend

Break Time

Aces High

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Brandon Jordan

Brandon Jordan

Brandon Jordan is a freelance journalist in Queens, NY and written for publications such as The Nation, In These Times, Truthout and more.