Sat, Apr

CA's Out-of-Date Jails Face Inmate Deaths and Construction Delays


INTEL REPORT--Last June, Fabian Cardoza headed to the shower in the dilapidated Merced County Main Jail. The 20-year-old had spent a month there awaiting trial on a robbery charge. Two cellmates boxed him in. One pinned Cardoza to the floor. The other slipped a braided bedsheet around his neck and tightened it.

It was just past noon, but no correctional officers took notice. No one was monitoring the video camera that watched the area and, because the facility was so outdated, officers would have had to stand directly in front of the cell to see anything inside.

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The Power to Do Anything, Because in Patriarchy No One Can Hear You Scream

INTEL REPORT--At a bail hearing on Monday, lawyers for rich white guy and accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein will have the chutzpah to ask their client be released to await trial in his $77 million, prosthetic-breast-and-child-porn-filled Upper East Side mansion, one of two homes (out of his total of six) where he allegedly “sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls." 

Their request, sent initially in a letter to District Court Judge Richard Berman, comes after the sudden resignation of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta for his earlier “sweetheart deal” for Epstein and Acosta's creepy press conference to make himself look good - Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown: "In reality, there is nothing here that makes him look good." 

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Mural Resistance: Judge Rules If Trump Can Spout Obscenities, So Can Artists

INTEL REPORT--Marking the unholy first time "an American president's public pronouncements have been deemed too scabrous for repetition," a federal judge ruled this week that New Orleans officials violated an artist's freedom of speech when they tried to censor a mural quoting Trump's infamous "Access Hollywood" pussy profanities. 

The mural was created in November 2017 after warehouse owner and real estate developer Neal Morris gave permission to street artist Cashy D to paint it on a Morris property on South Liberty Street. 

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Crowd Chants ‘Fuck Trump’! President No Longer in an Inviting Mood

INTEL REPORT--Donald Trump might be weaseling out of his promise of a White House invitation after the U.S. won the Women’s World Cup, after Fox News broadcast people celebrating the victory by chanting “Fuck Trump!”

Days ago, captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team Megan Rapinoe got into a war of words with Trump. She said in an interview that, if she’s invited to the White House, she definitely wouldn’t go.

“I’m not going to the f–king White House,” she responded.

“We’re not gonna be invited. I doubt it,” she added, explaining that Trump doesn’t usually invite teams if he doesn’t think they’ll come, and several of her teammates had backed her up.

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Los Angeles: When Google Buys Your Hometown Mall


INTEL REPORT--I’m at a party in Silverlake when I meet her. She’s a model-turned-filmmaker from a place where the way people greet each other isn’t “Hello” or “How are you,” but “Do you have a cigarette?” She lives in the Hollywood Hills. I am told her friends make up most of the CW casting pool.

We are congregated around the firepit outside. It is a sea of raw denim, leather jackets, beanies, and beards: a Netflix-perfect amalgamation of LA style, whatever that might be.

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Fund Head Start, Not Internment Camps

INTEL REPORT--I came to this country from Mexico as a small child because my mother was escaping poverty and wanted to give my sisters and me a better life. She worked hard to make sure we had food on our table and a roof over our heads, often doing two and three jobs at a time. 

Because of poverty and systemic racism, undocumented families like mine must work multiple jobs and get paid under the table, and that often comes with mistreatment and discrimination on the job. To get by, people in our community have to develop our own survival methods, such as getting together with neighbors to share meals or take care of each other’s kids.

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Sunday Morning Talk Shows Largely Ignore Trump Rape Allegation


INTEL REPORT (MEDIA)-Acclaimed author E. Jean Carroll publicly alleged for the first time Friday that President Donald Trump raped her in a dressing room in the mid-1990s.

Two days later, the hosts of the most popular Sunday morning talk shows in the U.S. had the opportunity to ask their guests ― often a mix of high-profile Republicans and Democrats ― about Carroll’s horrifying claim and whether to hold the president accountable.

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Shocker! Supreme’s Thomas Wants to Overturn Gay Marriage Rights

INTEL REPORT--The Supreme Court decided to punt on the case of a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. That only delays the inevitable day of judgment.

But perhaps the biggest impact on marriage equality came in an entirely different case and Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in it.

The case in question was about legal double jeopardy, in which you can’t be tried twice for the same crime. An Alabama man who had faced both federal and state gun charges stemming from the same traffic stop claimed that he was unfairly being charged twice. By a 7-2 vote, the Court upheld the current interpretation of the law, which allows the the federal government and state governments to pursue the same charges.

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The Coming Show Trial of Julian Assange

INTEL REPORT --On Friday morning I was in a small courtroom at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London. Julian Assange, held in Belmarsh Prison and dressed in a pale-blue prison shirt, appeared on a video screen directly in front of me. Assange, his gray hair and beard neatly trimmed, slipped on heavy, dark-frame glasses at the start of the proceedings. He listened intently as Ben Brandon, the prosecutor, seated at a narrow wooden table, listed the crimes he allegedly had committed and called for his extradition to the United States to face charges that could result in a sentence of 175 years. The charges include the release of unredacted classified material that posed a “grave” threat to “human intelligence sources” and “the largest compromises of confidential information in the history of the United States.” After the prosecutor’s presentation, Assange’s attorney, Mark Summers, seated at the same table, called the charges “an outrageous and full-frontal assault on journalistic rights.”

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Christians Apologize at Pride Festival


INTEL REPORT--Christians showed up at a Pride festival with signs that apologized for past injustices. 

Jamilah Salvador, 19, posted pictures to Twitter of the signs that she saw at Pride in Marikina City, Philippines.

“I literally cried when I saw this [a little while ago],” she wrote. “Imagine living in a society with nothing but love and respect for each other.” 

Twitter Ads info and privacy

The biggest banner, held by two people, said “I’m sorry” in giant letters.

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Drag Goes Mainstream


INTEL REPORT--While RuPaul’s Drag Race just crowned its season 11 winner as America’s Next Drag Superstar, one of the show’s most accomplished queens, Shangela, recently popped up in a funny commercial for McDonald’s breakfast items. It’s the latest example of how drag has turned from a queer fringe art form to an increasingly mainstream form of entertainment.

Shangela — who has competed in four installments of RuPaul’s Drag Race but just narrowly missed the crown — walks into the commercial clad in a bright red and yellow dress, contrasting with subdued colors of settings where sleepy-eyed people unhappily slurp cereal, cover themselves in crumbs and fight with a vending machine just to eat breakfast.

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A Father’s Day Gift for Myself: Activism

INTEL REPORT--News about climate change has been so spooky for so long that it can feel like background noise. We find a way to carry on like normal, even when the news is disquieting.

Well, let me tell you I’m having a moment when it’s hard to do that.

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With Dems Clamoring for Impeachment, Pelosi's Mueller Response Denounced as 'Embarrassingly Weak'

INTEL REPORT--House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol April 4, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday made public remarks that numerous Democratic members of Congress interpreted as a clear "impeachment referral," but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sparked anger from progressives by responding with a statement that did not even hint at impeachment.

"Nancy Pelosi and House leadership are out of touch with their own party."
—Zach Carter, HuffPost

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Thousands of McDonald’s Workers Protest Rampant Sexual Harassment

INTEL REPORT--This week, thousands of McDonald's workers went on strike in 13 U.S. cities to demand higher wages, a union, and an end to rampant sexual harassment and other forms of violence in the workplace. The cities included Durham, North Carolina, and Florida's Miami, Orlando, and Tampa.

The mass protests were held just days after the Fight For $15, American Civil Liberties Union, and Time's Up Legal Defense Fund announced they were bringing more than two dozen sexual harassment charges and lawsuits against the company on behalf of workers nationwide who claim that McDonald's failed to protect them from sexual harassment and violence in the workplace.

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Let’s Rethink the POW/MIA Flag

MEMORIAL DAY INTEL REPORT--You’ve probably seen that black and white POW/MIA flag flying somewhere nearby. The stark banner, dedicated to American prisoners of war and those missing in action, is especially ubiquitous around Memorial Day.

If a new bipartisan bill passes, you may see it more often, year-round.

The bill — backed by Democratic senators Elizabeth Warren and Kyrsten Sinema and Republicans John Thune and Tom Cotton — would require prominent federal properties to fly that flag all year, as opposed to on specific holidays. With its stark image of a war prisoner and the words “you are not forgotten,” it would become the only permanent fixture alongside Old Glory.

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Chelsea Manning Warns: Trump 'Clearly Wants to Go After Journalists'

INTEL REPORT--Facing the possibility of being imprisoned yet again in the coming days for refusing to testify before a secretive grand jury, U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning on Sunday warned of the grave threat the Trump administration poses to press freedoms.

"I think that ultimately what they really want is, they want to go after journalists," Manning said during an interview on CNN when asked whether the Trump administration's effort to extradite WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange to the U.S. is a danger to the free press.

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Dozens of Countries Just Banned America’s ‘Kill the Gays” Hate Preacher


INTEL REPORT--American Christian extremist Steven Anderson (photo above), best known for his hateful diatribes and calls for violence against LGBTQ people, has been denied entry into 26 European countries this week. The Arizona pastor has already been banned from Jamaica, South Africa, the UK, and Canada; he was arrested and deported while in Botswana in 2016. 

Anderson planned a trip to the Netherlands to do some “soul winning” according to the Netherlands Times. After activists pointed out Anderson’s history, State Secretary Mark Harbers of Justice and Security responded by not only banning Anderson from entering Dutch boundaries, he made sure that Anderson wasn’t allowed entry into the entire Schengen Area.

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First It was the Word ‘Gay”

Photo: Shutterstock

INTEL REPORT--First it was the word “gay.” For decades, conservatives objected to people using the word to describe homosexuality on the grounds that it corrupted a perfectly good word and prevented it from being used to mean cheerful. No less an institution than The New York Times refused to use the word until well after its meaning was widely accepted. 

Now the right has conceded that battle, even using “LGBT” to show that it’s entered the 21st century. But what the right isn’t about to do is abandon its desperate battle to de-gay the rainbow.

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One Big Problem with the GOP’s Campaign against ‘Socialism’

INTEL REPORT--“Socialism,” snarled Donald Trump at a recent pep rally of far-right Republicans. The obedient crowd of Trumpistas snarled back in unison: So-sh’ll-izz-ummm! 

There you have the entire intellectual content of the GOP’s 2020 re-election strategy under Generalissimo Trump: Slap Democrats with a scurrilous campaign branding them as Lenin-Trotsky-Stalin re-incarnate. 

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