Congress OKs Record Military Funds in $1.3T Spending Bill (Remember the warnings of Eisenhower, right?)

download (6)

Congress approved a $1.3 trillion spending bill early this morning—averting what would have been the third government shutdown of the year, less than a day before it was set to take effect. The bill won bipartisan support in both houses, clearing the Senate on a 65-32 vote just after 1 a.m., after more than two-thirds of House lawmakers approved it earlier in the day. President Trump has signaled he will sign the bill, which will boost spending on weapons and war to an all-time high, while increasing funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. It does not address the plight of immigrants brought to the U.S. as children—so called DREAMers—a key demand of immigrant rights groups and some Democrats. The bill also contains modest gun control measures, including tightening a background check measure known as “NICS”—but does not provide for universal background checks for prospective gun buyers.

Advertisements

Trump’s New CIA Nominee, “Bloody” Gina Haspel, Faces Possible Arrest Warrant in Germany over Torture!

On Tuesday morning, President Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson via Twitter. In the same tweet, the president announced CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who is a close ally of the Koch brothers, would be nominated to become the new secretary of state. Trump also tapped CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel to head the CIA. Haspel was directly involved in the CIA’s torture program under George W. Bush. She was responsible for running a secret CIA black site in Thailand in 2002 where one prisoner was waterboarded 83 times and tortured in other ways. Both Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel must now face Senate confirmations, but barring any Republican defections, both can be confirmed without any Democratic support. Last year, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights asked German prosecutors to issue an arrest warrant for Haspel for her role in the torture program. For more, we speak with Wolfgang Kaleck, founder and general secretary of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.

Fox News Analyst Quits, Calls Network a Propaganda Machine for Trump

H10 fox host resigns

A veteran Fox News analyst has quit the cable news network, saying he can no longer work for the channel “in good conscience.” In an open letter released Tuesday, retired U.S. Army Colonel Ralph Peters writes that Fox News hosts routinely “dismiss facts and empirical reality.” Peters also blasted the network over its unwavering support for President Trump, writing, “In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.”

Quebec passes controversial face veil ban

Quebec's face veil ban is the fist of its kind in North America [File: Shakil Adil/AP Photo]

Montreal, Canada – Quebec has passed a contentious law that would make it illegal for Muslim women, and other individuals, who cover their faces to receive public services, including riding public buses.

Members of the provincial legislature voted 65-51 in favour of the legislation on religious neutrality, known as Bill 62, on Wednesday morning.

The law forces citizens to uncover their faces in order to receive or give public services in the French-speaking province.

It applies to provincial and municipal employees – including doctors, nurses, teachers and daycare workers – and public transit workers.

Israelis shut down Palestinian TV stations, then build another Jewish-only complex on their land. Badness.

Israel’s army raided TV channels and media outlets across the occupied West Bank overnight Tuesday, confiscating equipment, forcing broadcasters off the air and arresting two Palestinians. In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces accused the media outlets of inciting terrorism. The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate condemned the crackdown and promised to rally media workers outside U.N. offices in Ramallah.

The raids came as Israel approved plans to build 31 new housing units in a settlement in the Palestinian city of Hebron. It’s the latest move by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to defy international law by expanding Jewish-only settlements. This is Hagit Ofran of the Israeli group Peace Now.

Hagit Ofran: “This plan is going to be in the heart of the Palestinian city of Hebron. It’s going to increase the number of settlers by 20 percent. This is a bad decision that Israel is now allowing to expand the settlement, which represents the most ugly face of Israel’s occupation.”

th

Trump to Widow of Soldier Killed in Niger: “He Knew What He Signed Up For”

 h03 us soldiers niger2

In Florida, the widow of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson, Myeshia Johnson, wept over the casket of her husband as his body arrived at Miami International Airport Tuesday ahead of a funeral planned for the weekend. Sgt. Johnson was one of four U.S. soldiers killed in an ambush during a patrol in Niger on October 4—a raid that President Trump did not publicly acknowledge until a reporter confronted him about it this week. On Tuesday, Florida Congressmember Frederica Wilson said Trump called Myeshia Johnson as she was accompanying her family to the airport in a car. The congressmember said she heard Trump say over a speakerphone, “He knew what he signed up for … but when it happens, it hurts anyway.”

Trump: VP Pence “Wants to Hang” All Gays!

 h17 pence2

Back in the United States, the White House is denying an explosive article published in The New Yorker that reports President Trump joked that Vice President Mike Pence “wants to hang” gay people. According to reporter Jane Mayer, Trump made the comments in a private meeting with a legal scholar, saying of the vice president’s views on LGBT rights, “Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!” Trump also reportedly mocked Pence over his religious views and his anti-abortion activism. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters the remarks never happened, but The New Yorker stands by its reporting, saying the report was meticulously researched and based on interviews with over 60 officials.