CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for May 13th, 2015

Good day folks!

International Politics


– The Saudi-led coalition accused the Houthi rebels in Yemen of violating the ceasefire

– The Vatican will sign a treaty with the state of Palestine, which is unprecedented

Middle East

Things are so bad in the Gaza Strip that some folks are forced to go to garbage dumps, find leftover food to eat and recyclable goods to sell; For heaven’s sake, it’s an ongoing human rights catastrophic

– Meanwhile, an Israeli official warned there was a high chance of conflict with neighbors like Lebanon

– The Food and Agriculture Organization warned of a “catastrophic” situation in Yemen due to lack of food for everyone

Asia and Oceania

– At a meeting full of diplomats in Afghanistan, gunmen stormed where they met and killed one American. More are presumed to be killed although no word about their deaths

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Puerto Rico announced water rations as a result of lack of sufficient rainfall

– For Mexicans living under the drug war, the authorities are not people to trust when crimes occur

– Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa admitted former President Jose Mujica did not fully know what to do when transferring the six Guantanamo Bay detainees to Uruguay

Surveillance Planet 

– Whoa, the British government will soon make anyone with “extreme” views to check-in with authorities when posting things on social media and even allow the latter to spy even more on folks. Glenn Greenwald writes more here

– Natasha Lennard: “Whatever happens to the Patriot Act, we’ll still be fed to the surveillance beast

Part two of seven with Robert Scheer, editor-in-chief of Truthdig, who explains the origins of modern surveillance tools and when the state decided to use it

– Will the House of Representatives allow any changes to the USA Freedom Act to protect our privacy? Nah

– Trevor Timm: “NSA reform is unavoidable. But it can be undermined if we aren’t careful

– In a vote of 338-88, the House passed the bill after just an hour of debate

Financial Matters

Part four of six with economist Ha-Joon Chang about the different economic schools of thought; Highly recommended for all those interested in economics

– Not all charities can be trusted as a new report finds some organizations lose money in costly fundraisers

– Poor Chicago will suffer the consequences of Illinois’ decision to borrow to fund public pensions just exploded in its face

– Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press, joins The Real News to talk about Verizon’s purchase of AOL and what it means for The Huffington Post as well as focusing on Verizon itself

– Nissan and Toyota both announced at least six million cars would be recalled over faulty airbags

Politics US

Washington USA

– Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): The current movement against Israel’s actions in Palestine is the same type of hate found during Nazi Germany

– Gallup: Nineteen percent of Americans approve of Congress’ job

– David Swanson, friend of FDL and activist, joins The Real News to talk about the role of the CIA involved with the trial of Jeffrey Sterling

– Gallup: Meanwhile, more Americans say they do not favor Hillary Clinton

– An Amtrak train derailed outside of Philadelphia after traveling more than 100 miles per hour, which led to the deaths of a few individuals and hundreds injured

– Such a derailment reinforces how important it is to reinvest in American infrastructure. Although, Congress is debating whether to keep funding Amtrak at all

– Federal judges are not so eager anymore to follow the federal government’s guidelines in sentencing those who “harm” America

– Those affected by former President Bill Clinton’s damaging prison “reform” bill are not paying attention to whatever Hillary is saying, they are still fighting to ensure there is fairness, at least some, in the current system

– Well the Senate will vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership in three separate measures; DAMNIT DAMNIT DAMNIT

– Jeb Bush is running for president…just not officially

Anytown USA

– Turns out the uprising in Baltimore led to $9 million worth of damage; Boo hoo, money is not more than lives

– Radicals should use the Democratic Party in order to run for office; Incredibly dumb

– New York City police officers shot an individual wielding a hammer at people

We Don’t Need No Education

– Of course right-wing college students would cry “reverse racism” over the opinions of one Boston University professor on race

– A judge in California ruled abstinence-only education is not sex education

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Activists in Hawaii are challenging Syngenta, a agrichemical firm involved in GMO production and pesticides

– Ethics? In the American Psychological Association? Ha, that’s a good one

The Second Sex

– Jessica Valenti: “Feminism isn’t a label Republicans can slap on when it’s convenient

– Women are working and earning more today than before, yet there’s still more needed

– Sure Podemos is rising as a force in Spain, but so are feminists

– The Obama administration announced all health care companies must cover birth control

– In a vote of 242-184, the House of Representatives passed a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks; Free-dumb!

Planet Earth

– The American Petroleum Institute praised the Department of Energy’s approval of exporting liquefied natural gas, yet sued the Department of Transportation over rules for trains carrying crude oil

– Allowing fossil fuel companies to drill in the Arctic is incredibly reckless and stupid

– Vancouver, that city up in Canada, is planning to depend solely on alternative energy by 2020

– Beekeepers lost nearly 42 percent of its colonies in one year, alarmingly high

– Looks like drilling will occur in the Gulf of Mexico nearby the Deepwater Horizon disaster

– Duke Energy pledged to provide water bottles to North Carolina residents affected by coal-tainted water well

Mixed Bag

– The Real News provides a nearly hour long video featuring scholar Cornel West on Baltimore, race, class and a whole lot more

A wonderful review of a terrific book detailing gentrification in New York; Definitely something I’ll probably check out

Break Time

Bongo Bong [Manu Chao]

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Senate Democrats Fold, Obama To Get Fast-Track On TPP

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.


  1. NightriderXP1
    May 14, 2015 at 10:01 am

    I hate to keep sounding like a broken record, but the squeaky wheel usually gets the grease. The site layout is broken again this morning when viewed in Opera. I’ve reported this at least 4 times and it appeared to be fixed in the evening and broken again the next morning 4 times now. Hopefully there is someone who can permanently fix this recurring problem…

  2. Chris Maukonen
    May 14, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Not that fond of your posts Brandon. Too many things that really piss me off, not the least of which are the Brits. Fuck them.

  3. ThingsComeUndone
    May 14, 2015 at 10:24 am

    “”Israel heard with disappointment the decision of the Holy See to agree a final formulation of an agreement with the Palestinians including the use of the term ‘Palestinian State’,” an Israeli foreign ministry official said in an unsigned statement.

    “Such a development does not further the peace process and distances the Palestinian leadership from returning to direct bilateral negotiations. Israel will study th e agreement and consider its next step,” the official said.”

    Palestine is controlled by Israel the recent Israeli bombing of Palestine demonstrated that however Israel does not let them vote so Israel is not a democracy. Israel tries to claim Palestine is self governing but objects when Palestine signs a treaty with the Pope. The pretense that Israel is a democracy and that Palestine is independent is fooling nobody, is this pretense part of a planned future defense for Israeli politicians against war crime charges?
    As long as Israel claims its a democracy it gets American cash. As long as Palestine is *cough* independent then the don’t get to vote in Israeli elections. But independent countries can sign treaties with the Pope and as long as those treaties don’t involve military alliances against Israel Israel should not care what Palestine does much less be considering ” a next step”.

  4. ThingsComeUndone
    May 14, 2015 at 10:33 am

    “They would include a ban on broadcasting and a requirement to submit to the police in advance any proposed publication on the web and social media or in print. ”

    So if FDL were in England would we as a politics blog that has disagreed with every government on occasion have to submit both posts and comments to censors? Who would pay for these censors?

  5. Chris Maukonen
    May 14, 2015 at 10:36 am

    I’m using Opera now with no problems on linux.

  6. ThingsComeUndone
    May 14, 2015 at 10:38 am

    “The bill will also contain plans for banning orders for extremist organisations which seek to undermine democracy or use hate speech in public places, but it will fall short of banning on the grounds of provoking hatred.”

    Undermine democracy means we can’t protest the current government without the threat of protest including violent protest then government can do whatever they want despite the voters obvious objections.
    However you can still Provoke Hate in England….so I guess Fox News and English Nazi’s are safe but Muslims and probably Lefties are not?

  7. ThingsComeUndone
    May 14, 2015 at 10:45 am

    “If all that sounds menacing, tyrannical and even fascist to you — and really, how could it not? “extremism disruption orders” — you should really watch this video of Tory Home Secretary Theresa May try to justify the bill in an interview on BBC this morning. When pressed on what “extremism” means – specifically, when something crosses the line from legitimate disagreement into criminal “extremism” – she evades the question completely, instead repeatedly invoking creepy slogans about the need to stop those who seek to “undermine Our British Values””

    How can you obey a law if you can’t define a law do Tacos undermine British Values? ( I have a subversive Garlic, Lime, Hot Pepper salsa that should be banned as a chemical weapon the trick is send the Peppers through a juicer). But seriously I would like an answer from anyone about what this law means how racist are the Tories?

  8. Chris Maukonen
    May 14, 2015 at 10:45 am

    And fuck Harry Reid as well.

  9. Chris Maukonen
    May 14, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Wish I could vote Anarchist in 2016, just to piss everybody off.

  10. Chris Maukonen
    May 14, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Too damn bad WWII is over. I would like to bomb parliament right now.

  11. bsbafflesbrains
    May 14, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Jillstein2016 is pretty close to anarchist. The anarchy will come later when the economy of greed collapses.

  12. ThingsComeUndone
    May 14, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Just vote any third party it does not matter if they lose or if the election is stolen “they ” will know and get scared. Scared people make more mistakes

  13. NightriderXP1
    May 14, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Yep, it looks good again. I guess I’m going to have to start including screenshots of what I’m seeing each morning when I awake to a broken site layout. They appear to fix it pretty quickly each time I’ve reported it. This is a strange recurring problem…

  14. ThingsComeUndone
    May 14, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Any bets after the Presidential Election whoever wins will try and pass a similar law? Any bets that no matter how much Fox News hates Hilary and accuse her of trying to take over America Fox won’t accuse Hillary of trying to pass a similar law in America. Of course the Fake liberal Media will not ask any GOP candidate the same question no matter what anti Muslim crap they say. Hilary is less likely to say anti Muslim crap openly in my opinion.

  15. Brandon Jordan
    May 14, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Yeah, it’s been hard to write the news when most items are just really bad news to share.

  16. Brandon Jordan
    May 14, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Western democracy!

  17. Chris Maukonen
    May 14, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Actually that is not a bad idea.

  18. Chris Maukonen
    May 14, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    But scared children are hard to get along with. 🙂

  19. NightriderXP1
    May 14, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    I’ll do it if there is a next time. Someone seems to keep fixing it though so they do seem to know where the problem lies. The layout looks good right now. Hopefully the fix will stick from here on out…

  20. Chris Maukonen
    May 14, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Something is likely mucking up the style sheet. Used to have that problem occasionally on the old site. Would email Ellie or someone and inform them. Always something in someone’s post.

  21. NightriderXP1
    May 14, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Those were my thoughts as well. Someone seems to know what it is since it appears that they have been fixing it quickly every evening after I report it. I never had trouble with the old code even when many were claiming to have trouble getting access. I figured the ones having trouble were having trouble submitting blog posts, which wouldn’t have affected me. The site is still displaying properly in Opera for me so hopefully it’s good to go from here on out…

    Do you know if Ellie reads from the FDL gmail account???

  22. drmyk
    May 14, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Was that supposed to spell Uruguay?

  23. jane24
    May 14, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    This latest plan to crush dissent in the UK is terrifying! I am originally from that small island and have plans to return in the not-to-distant future. Certainly gives pause for thought…I hope there is viable opposition.

  24. jane24
    May 14, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    If I “up-vote” your comment here, will doing so constitute a “terrorist threat”? (Or is that only on the other side of the Atlantic?)

  25. jane24
    May 14, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Trying not to take that personally…

  26. Brandon Jordan
    May 15, 2015 at 1:37 am

    Thanks for catching it! Yikes, it’s shameful to do that as someone who is partially Uruguayan.

  27. ThingsComeUndone
    May 15, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Your take on British politics why this law is getting passed would be interesting, why do you think Britain passed this law before America did? No offense but America does seem to lead the world in taking away rights because of terror its very curios when someone else beats us to the punch

  28. jane24
    May 16, 2015 at 12:20 am

    Apologies for my delayed respons, TCU. I’d actually put the UK and the US neck and neck as regards subjugation of rights, (with France catching up fast), but as you, I am surprised that the UK got there first with this one.

    Why did they pass this? I have no answer for you other than that the British government, as the USG, is particularly paranoid and both adhere to the same agenda and are run by the same corporations.

    As to why the British people will, seemingly permit this? I can only tell you that the British government, as the USG, propagates the fallacy known as the “War on Terror” to keep the people both scared and compliant. (To the point of willingly surrendering what was once their rights.)

    Also, the British have a tendency towards apathy. Bill Bryson, an American author who spent some time in the UK, stated in one of his books that “the British would have been the ideal people with which to try the Communist experiment.” He then qualified his statement in saying that this was not because the Brits had particularly leftist leanings, but because, when presented with something they find distasteful, rather than protest, Brits will just grumble for a while and then shrug their shoulders and get on with it. I must sadly admit that I have found this to be true to some degree. (Although I do see signs that this may be changing.)