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Today's Trumpery

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[Welcome to the monkey house. A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]



Trump Signed Tax Returns with False Information Under Penalty of Perjury at Least 4 Times, AlterNet

Trump flips on North Korea, declaring country still an 'extraordinary threat', The Guardian [Likewise: No sign of North Korea dismantling nuclear weapons programme, Mattis admits - And no one knows when meeting about it will be held either, contrary to Trump’s promise after Singapore summit]

Who is Profiting from Incarcerating Immigrant Families? Little Sis [The indefinite detention money trail]

Court Case Alleges Children in US Custody Were Drugged Without Consent, Human Rights Watch

US farmers, desperate for help, increasingly turn to Mexico, Christian Science Monitor

UN condemns Trump administration for exacerbating US poverty levels, The Guardian


Cleanin' Out My Closet

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In Major Privacy Win, Supreme Court Rules Police Need Warrant To Track Your Cellphone

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[Once in a while you score a random win for the public interest! *RON*]

Nina Totenberg, National Public Radio, 22 June 2018


In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday that police must obtain a search warrant to access an individual's cellphone location information. The 5-4 decision imposes new limits on law enforcement's ability to get at the increasing amount of data that private companies amass in the modern technological age.

Cellphone providers routinely keep location information for customers to help improve service. And until now, the prevailing legal theory was that if an individual voluntarily shares his information with a third party — for instance, by signing up for cellphone service — police can get that information without a search warrant.

A near-perfect tool

On Friday, the Supreme Court blew a hole in that theory. Writing for the court majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said that cellphone location information…

Oil Companies and Lobbyists Say They’re Ready To Solve Climate Change? Check The Fine Print

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[The routine deceitfulness of the Trojan Horse policy proposals of oil and gas companies. *RON*]

David Halperin, Republic Report / DeSmog Blog, 22 June 2018



On Wednesday, former senators Trent Lott (R-MS) and John Breaux (D-LA) announced, with a big public relations blitz, a new campaign, Americans for Carbon Dividends, to address the threat of climate change. The effort is being heralded as a breakthrough by some because it is endorsed by big oil and gas companies Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, and Total, and it calls for a $40-a-ton carbon tax, incurred at the source of emissions, with revenues to be returned to citizens as dividends, perhaps $2000 a year for each American family of four.

A Lott-Breaux op-ed in the New York Times presents the deal as a compelling bipartisan solution and touts the support not only of oil companies but also the non-profit Nature Conservancy. The campaign website lists a bunch of newspaper and environmental gro…

Forced displacement at record 68.5 million

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[UNHCR’s annual Global Trends report shows an average of one person was displaced every two seconds in 2017, with developing countries most affected. *RON*]

Adrian Edwards, UN High Commission on Refugees, 19 June 2018

Wars, violence and persecution uprooted record numbers of men, women and children worldwide last year, making a new global deal on refugees more critical than ever, according to a UNHCR report published today.

The UN Refugee Agency’s annual Global Trends study found 68.5 million people had been driven from their homes across the world at the end of 2017, more people than the population of Thailand.

Refugees who have fled their countries to escape conflict and persecution accounted for 25.4 million. This is 2.9 million more than in 2016, also the biggest increase UNHCR has ever seen in a single year.

New displacement is also growing, with 16.2 million people displaced during 2017 itself, either for the first time or repeatedly. That is …

The American March to Inequality: Why the U.N. Alston Report Alarms the Trump Plutocrats

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[A dig into the truth, indeed, from Truthdig. This is the news that Trump cannot afford to have the American public reading. *RON*]

Juan Cole, Truthdig, 24 June 2018


It is no surprise that flacks for the plutocrats in charge of the US like Nikki Haley are squawking about the report on American poverty just issued by UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston. It throws loads of light on how unequal a society America is, how it is marching rapidly toward even greater, Third World levels of inequality, and how peculiar the US is, as a land of rapacious robber barons and 40 million completely marginalized poor.

The hardest thing for journalism to get right is big structural changes. I was a working journalist in my youth, and when I was blogging events like the Iraq War and the Arab Spring, I was often using journalistic techniques. Your time scale is the past few hours, your focus on the big political players. Personality matters. Details matter. You are ze…