Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover
we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.
AP’s Today in History for October 29th
‘Black Tuesday’ on Wall St. as the Great Depression begins; Osama bin Laden admits ordering the Sept. 11th attacks; Suez crisis heats up Mideast; McKinley assassin executed; John Glenn returns to space.
Breakfast Tune Charlie Parr – “Badger” (Violitionist Session)
Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below
Extreme Isolation for U.S. Prisoners Shields “Torture” From Public View and Accountability
Aviva Stahl, The Intercept
A PRISONER PROHIBITED from speaking to his family for four months after uttering the words “As-Salaam-Alaikum.” Books that have to be destroyed after one prisoner reads them, lest he somehow use the pages to pass along secret notes. Letters to family members that have to be copied and analyzed by intelligence officers before they are sent out, meaning they may take months and months to arrive.
These are the types of restrictions faced by a small number of prisoners locked up in the United States, including some people who have never been convicted of a crime The rules, called Special Administrative Measures, or SAMs, are the subject of a recently released report by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Yale Law School’s Allard K. Lowenstein’s International Human Rights Clinic. The study, an unusual undertaking, makes the case that SAMs violate both U.S. and international law, threaten basic constitutional protections, and may even constitute torture.
Just about 50 prisoners nationwide were subject to SAMs as of June this year, most of them Muslim. Prisoners who have previously been subject to this sort of detention describe the experience as like being in a world unto itself, in which they have no human contact with anyone other than their lawyers and very occasional, highly restricted communication with immediate family members. Many of those on SAMs have developed mental health issues as a result of the isolation, which may prevent them from contributing to their own defense. Moreover, people under SAMs are prohibited from contacting the media, and their attorneys and family members could be prosecuted for revealing anything the prisoner has said — meaning the highly restrictive world of SAMs is highly secretive, too. …
Newly Obtained Pentagon Docs Raise Fresh Concerns About Warrantless Domestic Spying
Julia Conley, Common Dreams
Human Rights Watch is calling for a congressional inquiry into an executive order aimed at the warrantless monitoring of U.S. citizens and permanent residents after obtaining new documents that raise serious and troubling concerns about the extent of such surveillance.
The human rights group used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain training materials used by the Defense Department to implement Executive Order 12333’s guidance, in which agencies are directed to monitor potential “homegrown violent extremists.”
A Defense Department spokesperson told HRW that such extremists “may be self-radicalized via the internet, social media, etc., and then plan or execute terrorist acts in furtherance of the ideology or goals of a foreign terrorist group,” but offered no further information about criteria government agencies would use to determine potential dangerous individuals. …
Fake News Alert: Media Conglomerates Convince FCC That Facebook Can Replace Local News Stations
Lee Fang, The Intercept
IN A RULING seen as a major win for the largest media conglomerates in the country, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the Main Studio Rule, a 77-year-old regulation that required local television and radio broadcasters to maintain physical studios in the communities they serve.
The Tuesday vote, along party lines, with Republican commissioners supporting repeal, clears the way for major media companies to continue buying up local stations and eliminating positions for journalists, while centralizing programming decisions.
One of the primary arguments made by media companies petitioning the FCC for the repeal was that social media renders local stations an anachronistic requirement of the past. …
TRUMP’S IRS CHIEF SNUCK THROUGH WITH A UNANIMOUS VOTE IN A PRIVATE ROOM JUST OFF THE SENATE FLOOR
Lee Fang, Ryan Grim, The Intercept
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP on Thursday named former Ernst & Young LLP executive David Kautter to serve as the interim head of the Internal Revenue Service after the current chief, John Koskinen, finishes his term on November 12.
During his three decades of work at Ernst & Young, Kautter served as the director of national tax practices at a time when his firm was engaged in a massive effort to assist wealthy clients with tax avoidance schemes.
Kautter’s position meant that he managed the “strategic direction, day-to-day operations, and quality of technical advice” for E&Y’s firmwide tax practices. …
- Defining Neoliberalism
Something to think about over coffee prozac
If there was any actual badgering going on, it was likely from the cat.
A bold badger briefly replaced a family’s pet cat after the wild animal reportedly snuck into a home through a cat door last week, ate the feline’s food and took a nap in the cat bed.
An animal rescue officer with the Scottish SPCA was called to the Linlithgow home on Wednesday after the homeowner discovered the wild animal nestled up in the plush bed, the animal welfare group reported on its website.
SPCA Officer Connie O’Neil, who came face-to-face with the cozy creature, said getting the animal to leave took some effort.
“He had gotten in through the cat flap and had eaten all the cat food before going for a sleep on the cat bed,” she recalled in a post on the SSPCA’s website. “He didn’t seem too happy when I tried to move him but I was able to slide the cat bed round and it was then that the badger noticed the back door was open so [he] made a run for it!”
Though the badger may have played the cat’s role to a T, the SPCA advised people to proceed with caution if they spot such animals.
“Like all wild animals badgers can be aggressive when injured or cornered so we would advise not to go near or touch them without giving us a call first,” said Scottish SPCA chief superintendent, Mike Flynn.
Fortunately, he said badgers breaking into homes is “highly unusual.”