Midday open thread: NRA pal Butina helped arm anti-American thugs; GOP attacks Green New Deal
Today’s comic by Ruben Bolling is Super-Fun-Pak Comix, feat. Chaos-Butterfly-Man, and more!
• Trump regime officials say Guantánamo is still an option for ISIS fighters who can’t go home. The U.S. has sought to get countries to take home their nationals who have been fighting for the Islamic State. More than 700 are being held by a U.S.-allied militia in Syria:
The remarks came two weeks after GOP senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas, and Marco Rubio of Florida wrote President Donald Trump that the U.S. allied Syrian Democratic Forces were holding more than 700 “battle-hardened terrorists in northeast Syria.” They urged the president to “consider transferring the worst of these Islamic State fighters to the detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, where they will face justice.”
It is not clear what might constitute “justice” for these fighters. Most of the 40 detainees now held at Guantánamo are essentially forever prisoners of the so-called War on Terror. Just nine have been charged with war crimes and the rest are detained without criminal charge or trial.
Twitter is allowing an altered photo comparing women members of Congress who wore white to the State of the Union to the KKK to continue to circulate on its platform on Wednesday despite its own policy that doesn’t allow “symbols historically associated with hate groups.”
• Study finds that broadband “zero rating” actually costs customers more: Many internet service providers put caps on monthly data use, charging customers extra if they exceed the limit. These serve no purpose other than to suck more money from captive users. “AT&T, for example, now routinely exempts its own streaming content from its usage caps, yet still penalizes users should they use a competitor like Netflix. Comcast engages in the same behavior on its cable broadband network.” ISPs have used “zero rating” to exempt certain content from broadband usage caps and claim that this saves the customer money. But a multi-year study by the non-profit Epicenter.works wireless data prices in 30 European Union nations were significantly more expensive in those countries that allowed zero rating compared with those that don’t allow this practice.
• President of National Congress of American Indians will give annual State of Indian Nations address on Monday, February 11: At 75, the NCAI is the oldest pan-Indian organization in the United States. It has long been criticized by some activist Natives for being too gentle in its efforts to improve the lot of American Indians.
*A politician finally tries to save our environment with bold legislation**Media and establishment immediately mock the Green New Deal*Also media and establishment: Ã¢Â€ÂœWHy aRe AMeRiCAN vOtErs So cYNiCaL?Ã¢Â€Â Ã°ÂŸÂ¤Â¦Ã¢Â€ÂÃ¢Â™Â‚Ã¯Â¸Â
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) February 7, 2019
• Republicans attack Green New Deal at House hearings on the climate crisis Wednesday. While several long-time climate science deniers claimed they aren’t deniers, true to form they took their lead from the latest iteration from the climate deniers’ playbook. In short, they present the view that climate change is happening but that humans aren’t causing it, or if we are, it’s too expensive to do anything about it. At the hearing of the Subcommittee on Environment and Energy hearing chaired by Democratic Rep. Paul Tonko of New York:
[Republican] Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois, Tonko’s predecessor as chairman and now the subcommittee’s ranking Republican, called [the Green New Deal] “radical.” He denounced “top down government requirements to rapidly decarbonize” as little more than “wealth transfer schemes.” Republican Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia called it “delusional.” Rep. Bill Flores of Texas denounced a “chaotic headlong rush into decarbonization.” Rep. Billy Long of Missouri called it “a very worthy goal if it was anywhere near possible in the time they want to do it in.”
Republicans also repeatedly warned against a heavy-handed approach driven by the federal government to reduce emissions.
• Six facts reporters should know if they’re going to write about abortion: 1. Every major medical association here and abroad supports unfettered access to abortion care; 2. The vast majority of abortions in this country take place in the first trimester; 3. Abortions are safe and complications are rare; 4. Limiting access to abortion makes complications more likely and endangers patients; 5. Efforts to ban later abortions are based on outright lies; 6. Later abortions are safe, medically necessary procedures.
• Mother Jones investigators: The NRA Welcomed Maria Butina—Even As She Worked to Arm Anti-American Thugs Abroad:
Mother Jones has uncovered a trail of activity showing that during the same period when top NRA leaders welcomed Butina into the fold—meeting with her extensively in Moscow and the United States—Butina actively supported Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military takeover of Crimea. In the immediate aftermath of the invasion and annexation in March 2014, Butina denounced retaliatory sanctions by the Obama administration and traveled to Crimea to promote the arming of pro-Russian separatists. Her efforts there included pledging support to a leader of a militia group that violently seized a Crimean news outlet it deemed “pro-American” and swiftly repurposed for a Kremlin propaganda operation.
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: House Trump probes begin. 2020 candidates take their knocks. Blackface is terrible & everywhere. No, really. Everywhere. Cindy McCain thinks she spots trafficking. Green New Deal outlines taking shape. A pared-down, simplified Trump-Russia theory.