The Roundup for May 21st, 2015

We make our next stop to Senegal. All done with finals. Now I can fully focus on the site while tying up some loose ends. The bourgeoisie lost. Their finals didn’t stop me.

International Politics


Part three of three with scholar Norman Finkelstein who explains, despite a falling out between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, why the U.S. is committed to defending Israel

– Attorney Michael Ratner joins The Real News to provide updates with Julian Assange’s case

– Ali Abunimah: “France launches new UN effort to undermine Palestinian rights

– President Obama: We are not losing the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq; Also, Obama said he is personally invested in a deal with Iran

– In addition, Obama said Tunisia was a non-NATO ally of the U.S. and, as a result, will receive $500 million loan

– Glenn Greenwald: “In the Same Week, the U.S. and U.K. Hide Their War Crimes by Invoking ‘National Security‘”

Middle East

– For folks living in Baghdad, even a walk down the street can mean life or death

– In Israel, authorities locked a community behind a steel gate because they live in the West Bank

– United Nations officials warn at least one-third of 200,000 people fled from Palmyra, recent captured by ISIS in Syria

– Meanwhile, at least 17 people were killed in the city by ISIL militants

– The U.N. said it received claims the Syrian army trapped civilians from escaping Palmyra

– American officials admit there was an air strike fired in Syria that led to the deaths of civilians

Asia and Oceania

– Medea Benjamin: “Add Korea to the Axis of Diplomacy

– China requested a U.S. surveillance craft leave the vicinity of the South China Sea


– French President Francois Hollande: We must respond to the capture of Palmyra

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– In light of the corruption scandals affecting the Guatemalan government, President Otto Perez announced secretaries in government would be stepping down

Surveillance Planet

– Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) filibustered for 10 and a half hours yesterday over the Senate’s bill on NSA surveillance

– NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden praised Paul’s decision to filibuster

– A pundit on Fox News, tied to NSA contractors, criticized Paul’s filibuster and believed the NSA should be trusted

– The NSA planned to hijack the Google and Samsung app store to spy on smartphone users

– Also, the NSA once planned to put tracking devices on medical devices to find Osama bin Laden; I swear Wily E. Coyote must be a part of the NSA

Financial Matters

– Gallup: Americans are spending more this year than last year, mostly for groceries though

– In light of the recent $5.9 billion fine against major banks for rigging exchange rates, we need to understand something outrageous. No one is going to jail

– The Trans-Pacific Partnership might as well be considered an act of war from the elites and the people will not sit idly by and accept it

– Marco Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, said growth was too low for all European countries despite a recovery

– Russia warned Google, Twitter and Facebook they will be blocked if they do not follow internet laws

– Not only is Iraq suffering from a smaller budget to manage the country, but some of the money cannot be found; By some, I mean millions of dollars

– Lee Fang: “Chinese Law Firm to Merge With American Firms, Employ Howard Dean, Newt Gingrich

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Agencies in New York City are sharing flyers with folks to make them aware of rights for nail salon workers

– Actually, the new CEO of McDonald’s believes wages given to workers are already good enough. The workers outside where he said it, however, don’t agree

Politics US

Washington USA

In a vote of 62-38, the Senate passed a bill effectively giving the White House fast-track on trade deals

– Gallup: Fifty-three percent of Americans favor President Obama

– The Justice Department, essentially, can’t solve police brutality across the U.S. That’s left to police departments to solve

– Marcy Wheeler: “The Bin Laden outrage nobody is talking about: What the government’s Osama Bin Laden ‘treasure trove’ really reveals

– Pew: Just 23 percent of Americans say lawmakers Congress are upholding their campaign promises

– The State Department promises to release Hillary Clinton’s emails “very, very soon”

Anytown USA

– Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the state will now mostly follow federal anti-prison laws

We Don’t Need No Education

– A new report found families saved enough money to send one child to college for half a year

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– The second-largest jail in the U.S. will be managed by a psychologist, which is certainly good news

– We have an unexpected ally to fight against superbugs: Viruses

The Second Sex

– Jessica Valenti: “Sexual assault is an epidemic. Only the most committed apologist can deny it

No domestic violence charges will be brought up against NFL player Ray Rice

Planet Earth

– May 2014 to April 2015 was one of the hottest years on record thanks to global warming

– Dahr Jamail: “Destroying What Remains: How the US Navy Plans to War Game the Arctic

– Federal regulators are investigating the southern half route of Keystone XL, possibly for President Obama’s final decision on the pipeline

– Pakistan opened up a large area of solar panels in a desert where such power will be used to stop power outages

– Steve Horn: “California State of Emergency: Up To 105,000 Gallons of Oil Spill in Santa Barbara from Plains All American Pipeline

– Jeb Bush does not really believe humans are causing global warming

Mixed Bag

– Pew: America will see a larger share of the population being those over the age of 65

– Turns out folks, mostly women over 40, can be scammed online through dating sites

– Robert Gates, president of the Boy Scouts of America, said it is time for the scouts to accept gay adults

Break Time

International [Baaba Maal]

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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.


  1. bsbafflesbrains
    May 22, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Great round up…again. Thanks from the people who dumped the MSM especially 🙂

  2. ThingsComeUndone
    May 22, 2015 at 11:59 am

    “– Jeb Bush does not really believe humans are causing global warming” I could try and list all of Jeb’s recent mistakes to make my point but that would be a post by itself. Instead I’ll just say if Jeb was anyone else but a Bush he would no longer be in the top ten of GOP Presidential Contenders.

  3. bsbafflesbrains
    May 22, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Disagree in that the lower you go on the decent person list the more likely you are to be in the top ten GOP Presidential contenders list. Dan Quayle made GHWB seem smart and Jeb will make Sarah Palin seem….nah!

  4. ThingsComeUndone
    May 22, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    We have given Pakistan billions and they gave Ossama a home. China however has given a $131 million 300 MW solar plant to Pakistan and plans to give $30 billion in the coming years “At present, more than 60% of Pakistan’s power is generated from oil and gas, and about 30% from hydro power.”

    The less oil Pakistan everyone uses for power the cheaper oil gets for China. Plus China makes friends with the average Pakistani who wants 24/7 power. Our aid to Pakistan seems to have gone into Pakistani General’s bank accounts Taliban is still using Pakistan as a safe haven even after 10 + years and X billions of dollars ( the CIA budget is a black budget no telling how much they spent on Pakistan). Anyway effective spending means YOU GET SOMETHING OF GREATER VALUE BACK IN RETURN!

  5. ThingsComeUndone
    May 22, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    “– Federal regulators are investigating the southern half route of Keystone XL, possibly for President Obama’s final decision on the pipeline”

    “The biggest non-Canadian lease holder in the northern Alberta oil sands is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, the privately-owned cornerstone of the fortune of conservative Koch brothers Charles and David.”

    Given the price of oil is below the break even point for Fracking to break even the hope is that Keystone will reduce the cost of transporting the oil ( exploding oil trains are costly) but even that can’t save Canada’s tar sands oil.

  6. Brandon Jordan
    May 22, 2015 at 5:01 pm


  7. Brandon Jordan
    May 22, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    I don’t know. I mean it’s a pretty bad top 10 to begin with.

  8. dubinsky
    May 22, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Attorney Michael Ratner joins The Real News to provide updates with Julian Assange’s case


    Assange is of course in hiding and his exile is self-imposed as he refuses to submit to process of law as Assange believes that he is above the law.

  9. Hugh
    May 22, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    dubinsky, you could say much the same about Edward Snowden: ” Snowden is of course in hiding and his exile is self-imposed as he refuses to submit to process of law as Snowden believes that he is above the law.” And you would be equally wrong. What the Assange affair has illustrated is just how much a joke the British and Swedish justice systems are, how easily they are manipulated by people with political agendas. Process of law in such cases is a travesty. It doesn’t exist. The affair also shows what lengths Sweden, the UK, and the US were willing to go to shut wikileaks down and send a message to any future Assanges of what they might expect. It is the same message sent by the prosecutions of Chelsea Manning and Kiriakou. I can’t help but think it is, along with personal profit, the reason that Greenwald and Poitras continue to keep from the public the vast majority of the Snowden materials.
    Last week or the week before, Senators refused to invoke cloture and bring fast track to a final vote. I said at the time that this was cosmetics, a chance to look like they were on our side before selling us out. Like Rand Paul, they could have conducted a filibuster, but that would have meant actually believing in something and fighting for it. It would have meant standing up for us instead of their class interests, and that was never going to happen. The TPP should be a huge political scandal. You can really smell which way the wind is blowing by the lackluster media coverage of it.

    My standard reply to the likes of the MacDonald’s CEO is that I wish they could be forced to live on the current minimum wage for 5 years. It would turn them into the biggest Trotskyites on the planet.

  10. dubinsky
    May 22, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    Snowden didn’t go to court and spend gobs of his supporters’ cash and THEN run away and conduct a public relations campaign trying to explain why he shouldn’t have to go to Sweden to answer charges about sexual misconduct…….

    …… at the same time that he demands transparency for everyone other than Assange.

    Snowden broke the law and never denied that he did,,,,,,,

    ,,,,,,, these things distinguish one from the other.