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 Nov. 26th
Breakfast Tune Turkey in the Straw
Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below
With Saudi Blockade Threatening Famine in Yemen, U.S. Points Finger at Iran
Colum Lynch, Dan De Luce, Foreign Policy
The White House is pressing to declassify intelligence allegedly linking Iran to short-range ballistic missile attacks by Yemeni insurgents against Saudi Arabia, part of a public relations blitz aimed at persuading America’s U.N. counterparts that Tehran is helping to fuel the country’s conflict.
The effort to cast blame on Iran comes at a time when the U.S.-backed Saudi military coalition in Yemen is facing mounting international condemnation for enforcing a blockade on vital ports that threatens to plunge the country into a massive famine.
The declassification push is part of a broader U.S. bid to isolate Tehran in the U.N. Security Council, and potentially to provide a justification for enforcing sanctions or imposing new penalties against Tehran. It marks a surprising recognition by President Donald Trump — who dismissed the United Nations as a feckless talk shop during his presidential campaign — that the world body is critical for rallying international support. …
TOP U.S.-BACKED HONDURAN SECURITY MINISTER IS RUNNING DRUGS, ACCORDING TO COURT TESTIMONY
Jake Johnston, The Intercept
THE HONDURAN MINISTER of security, who was intimately involved in solidifying the 2009 coup, is tied up in drug trafficking, according to testimony from a Mexican drug-trafficker-turned-Drug-Enforcement-Agency-informant in U.S. court.
In November 2016, as the world’s attention was fixated on the surprise election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, two nephews of Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro were found guilty on drug trafficking charges. The conviction was another feather in the cap of U.S. prosecutors who have been targeting the Venezuelan government with corruption and drug trafficking investigations.
But in the South Florida courtroom, the testimony of José Santos Peña also implicated Julián Pacheco Tinoco, a former Honduran military official with long ties to the U.S. security apparatus. …
RICHARD CORDRAY SETS UP TITANIC STRUGGLE FOR CONTROL OF THE CONSUMER PROTECTION BUREAU WITH LAST-MINUTE MOVE
David Dayen, The Intercept
SIGNALING AN EPIC fight over control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency on Friday named Leandra English as Deputy Director. English had been serving as Richard Cordray’s chief of staff.
Hours later, Cordray officially resigned. Under the statutory line of succession spelled out in the law that created the agency, the deputy director automatically replaces him, with full powers of the office, until the Senate formally confirms a new director selected by the president.
President Trump had planned to name Mick Mulvaney, current director of the Office of Management and Budget, as interim director, wresting immediate control of CFPB without having to go through Congress. The administration would have relied on the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which allows the president to make appointments to federal agencies in certain cases. But as The Intercept reported earlier this week, there was a hitch in that plan: The temporary pick is not legally Trump’s to make. (See the update below: Trump made the pick regardless late on Friday evening.) …
On November 3, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) informed the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber, ”[T]here is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in connection with the armed conflict in Afghanistan.”
In what Amnesty International’s Solomon Sacco called a “seminal moment for the ICC,” Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the court for authorization to commence an investigation that would focus on US military and CIA leaders, as well as Taliban and Afghan officials.
Bensouda wrote in a November 14, 2016, report that her preliminary examination revealed “a reasonable basis to believe” the “war crimes of torture and ill-treatment” had been committed “by US military forces deployed to Afghanistan and in secret detention facilities operated by the Central Intelligence Agency, principally in the 2003-2004 period, although allegedly continuing in some cases until 2014.”
The chief prosecutor noted the alleged crimes by the CIA and US armed forces “were not the abuses of a few isolated individuals,” but rather were “part of approved interrogation techniques in an attempt to extract ‘actionable intelligence’ from detainees.” She added there was “reason to believe” that crimes were “committed in the furtherance of a policy or policies … which would support US objectives in the conflict of Afghanistan.” …
- How Despair Helped Drive Trump to Victory
Something to think about over coffee prozac
MARTINEZ, Calif. (AP) — Turkeys are traditional for Thanksgiving. But some folks in the San Francisco Bay Area are praying the wild ones will go away.
Introduced into the state for hunting decades ago, wild turkeys are thriving and have invaded urban areas, perhaps seeking food, water and safety from predators over five years of drought.
“The neighborhood embraces them,” Darlene Devon Andrade of Concord shared on the Facebook page of the San Francisco Chronicle. “We are all very careful when driving and let them roam freely in our streets and yards so they can eat and be happy!”
On the other hand, the birds poop everywhere, tear up landscaping, gouge screen doors, knock off roof tiles and can get ornery if they perceive a rival.
“These turkeys weigh like 20 pounds, and they know how to defend themselves,” said Dan Gluesenkamp, executive director of the California Native Plant Society. “There are tons of stories (about) people’s brand new Mercedes getting torn up by 20-pound Toms who are looking at their reflections.”
About 20 of the big birds swing by the home of Anthony and Holly Blackburn daily in the town of Martinez.
“My wife gets irritated because she cleans up after them,” Anthony Blackburn told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I like watching them on the hill across the street, scratching and pecking, and even occasionally napping. The males will occasionally fan their tails to impress the females.”
California doesn’t regularly track the wild turkey population, although a survey made more than a decade ago put the statewide population at about a quarter-million, the Chronicle reported.
Homeowners can try to dissuade the birds form entering their yards with stop-motion sprinklers or loud noises. If that fails, they can get permits to kill nuisance birds.
Contra Costa County issues about 60 permits a year, said Greg Martinelli, a program manager with the Bay-Delta Fish and Wildlife office overseeing an area that extends between Santa Cruz and Sonoma County.
Preservationists worry about the effect of a wild turkey explosion on native plants and animals.
“They move across the landscape, 20 or 30 of them, elbow to elbow, scratching every inch of the land,” Gluesenkamp said. “They eat every creepy crawlie, every salamander, every lizard, every snake, every nut, every acorn, every wild flower seed, every quail egg.”
“Turkeys are really cool,” he said. “They’re incredible birds. And we love seeing turkeys. But there are just too many.”