Mon. July 16

Top US spy says Trump is full of shit
USA Today
— The role of the Intelligence Community is to provide the best information and fact-based assessments possible for the President and policymakers,” Dan Coats said in a statement. “We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security.”

Lava “bomb” injures 23 aboard Hawaii tour boat

Real estate startup tells 6,000 workers: No meat

Russian arrested, called link between NRA and Kremlin
Raw Story
Maria-Butina.jpg— Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment on Monday against a Russian national who is a key link to the National Rifle Association.
— Mariia Butina, 29, was arrested on Sunday in Washington, DC, but her indictment was sealed, being revealed after President Donald Trump’s Helsinki summit with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.
— The DOJ also seemed to refer to the NRA by noting part of Butina’s role “as an agent of Russia inside the United States” who was “infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation.”

Workers’ wages drops as companies spend on stock buybacks
CBS News
— Worker pay in the second quarter dropped nearly one percent below its first-quarter level, according to the PayScale Index, one measure of worker pay. When accounting for inflation, the drop is even steeper. Year-over-year, rising prices have eaten up still-modest pay gains for many workers, with the result that real wages fell 1.4 percent from the prior year, according to PayScale. The drop was broad, with 80 percent of industries and two-thirds of metro areas affected.

Since 2006, wages have risen 12.9 percent overall in the US. But when you factor in inflation, “real wages” have actually fallen 9.3 percent. In other words, the income for a typical worker today buys them less than it did in 2006.

Good for America, bad for Sinclair as FCC doubts mega-TV deal
√ So, even the corrupt FCC opposes this deal … or is there a deeper game being played here?
— FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced Monday he has “serious concerns” about Sinclair Broadcast Group’s acquisition of Tribune Media, saying he would send the transaction through a lengthy administrative process often viewed as a deal-killer.
— As originally proposed in May 2017, the $3.9 billion deal would see conservative-leaning Sinclair, already the largest U.S. TV station owner, gobble up 42 Tribune stations in key markets like New York and Chicago, adding to its existing footprint of more than 170 stations and giving the company access to nearly three-quarters of U.S. households.

Chicago cops release video of fatal shooting

How “security experts” lost plutonium … it’s been missing a year
San Antonio News Express
— Sent by the Feds to retrieve one of the most dangerous materials on earth, they left it in their rental car while they snoozed at a motel. Hmm.

3 charts show how Russians view the US
The Conversation 
… poll shows a Russian public with rather negative views of the American president and the United States. However, the majority of Russians want ties with the United States to strengthen and a sizable portion are optimistic that U.S.-Russian relations will improve.

Podesta, Dems neglected simple security fix
that might have kept Russkies out in the cold

Alabama sheriff accused of holding “parties” and screwing underage girls
— Police are investigating Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin for allegedly having sex with underage girls during drug-fueled parties he hosted for fellow law enforcement officers and other adult men in the early nineties.
— Entrekin denies it.
— He’s the same guy who’d profited $750,000 by cheaping out on prisoner meals.

Candidate for Georgia governor: It’s who can be the craziest
NY Times
— In a private conversation secretly recorded in May and made public on Monday, Casey Cagle, the Republican lieutenant governor, was captured criticizing the over-the-top tone of his party’s primary. He said that it had become focused on “who had the biggest gun, who had the biggest truck, and who could be the craziest.”

Casey Cagle: Crazy enough for Georgia?

Bolton: Punishment of Syria will continue until morale improves
— Speaking to ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday, US National Security Adviser John Bolton stated that Washington would maintain its military presence in Syria as long as Iran continues to be a threat to the region.

walmart workers§ You know WalMart’s management is dumb, but are they really this dumb? I mean, a court battle with 80,000 cashiers over the right to, uh, sit down while they’re working? My God!
Courthouse News Service

Rand Paul: So what? We all hack each others’ elections
Politicus USA
— The Russians are “not going to admit  it in the same way we’re not going to admit we were involved in the Ukrainian elections or the Russian elections.”
— Sen. Rand Paul


— (Via Reuters) U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he saw no reason to believe Russia had hacked the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help him win, and Vladimir Putin “was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

— (Via Twitter) “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”
— John O. Brennan, former CIA director

Trump, toast of the Kremlin. Or is he simply toast?


NYT HEADLINE: Are you ready to fly without a human pilot?
— Which strongly implies it could happen soon, right?
— Article actually says: “Will it happen in the near future? I don’t think so,” said Michael Wiggins, of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

2 thoughts on “Mon. July 16

  1. “Workers’ wages drops as companies spend on stock buybacks” I suspect none of this was news to the fine folks who passed the tax cut (and no, it wasn’t ‘reform’). Corporations not operating at full capacity weren’t going to plow the tax savings back into bricks and mortar, and any CFO will tell you that the most unproductive line item on the balance sheet is cash. Thus, the buybacks. Could they have raised wages? Yes, if it were really difficult to find employees, but if competitors were not raising wages, it would be hard for a public company to do. The GOP, formerly the party of business interests, should be able to do this simple analysis, so I guess they didn’t give a damn.

    Liked by 1 person

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