US aiding and abetting Saudi war crimes in Yemen

The newly installed crown prince of Saudi Arabia and heir apparent to the throne Mohammed bin Salman (known as MBS) has shown himself to be a shrewd manipulator of American media. He has arrested about 50 people within the ruling class, including some potential rivals, ostensibly for corruption. I have no doubt that there is massive corruption in that country, as there is by the wealthy in most countries. But he likely knows that anti-corruption plays well in western media and could mask what may well be purely a power grab. He also allowed women to drive, a welcome move no doubt, but just a very slight relaxing of the oppressive status of women in that country. But for doing so, he was hailed as some kind of great emancipator in the west.
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Two more women come forward about Roy Moore

[UPDATE: And yet another woman has come forward.

Gene Richardson, 58, alleges Mr Moore called her at her high school to ask her out. She rebuffed his offer, but said she felt pressured to go out with him after he allegedly asked again at the Gadsden Mall, where she worked. She claims the date ended with a “forceful” kiss.

Becky Gray, who was 22 at the time, also worked at the mall and said she complained to her manager about Mr Moore’s behaviour. She alleges the manager told her it was “not the first time he had a complaint about him hanging at the mall”.


As is often the case with sexual abuse, once the floodgates open, more and more people come forward with stories about the perpetrators that they had long suppressed thinking that they were alone or that no one would believe them. That is what is happening with Roy Moore as two more women come forward with stories that Moore is a creepy guy.
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How to prevent gerrymandering when drawing districts

One of the biggest scandals in the US is how districts are drawn to benefit the party in power, to give them legislative representation that is much greater than their share of the vote merits. This is because the party that controls the legislature at the time of the drawing every ten years pretty much gets to draw the lines as it wishes as long as the area is contiguous and contains roughly equal numbers of voters. They thus can draw the most outlandishly shaped districts in order to concentrate most of their opponents’ votes into a few districts. Only the grossest abuses, the ones that use race as the main factor, get rejected by the courts, because race gets the highest standard of scrutiny. But if race is not an obvious factor, you can with impunity shepherd the supporters of the opposing party into a few districts.
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Why are politicians are so cheap to buy?

That politicians can be bought by rich people, businesses, and lobbyists is no secret. What is surprising is how cheap they are. Sometimes it seems like all you need to do is give them a vacation or even just an expensive meal with plenty of alcohol to get them to do your bidding. The latest example of this are the charges brought against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara who seem to be not only cheap to buy but extremely brazen about the fact that they are for sale.
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Edward S. Herman (1925-2017)

He died on November 11, 2017 at the age of 92. He was emeritus professor of finance at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He was the co-author with Noam Chomsky of that excellent book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988) that I think should be essential reading for anyone interested in politics and the media and which I have referred to many times on this blog. His Wikipedia page provides his biography.
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Plutocrat Mother Teresa and more Vatican sex abuse

A new book titled Original Sin by Italian investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi exposes even more corruption in the Catholic Church and is bound to cause a stir. Even though the existence of rampant pedophilia and financial misdoings within the church are by now pretty well known, the new details are still shocking. Barbie Latza Nadeau describes some of the details revealed in the book.
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I am enjoying watching Mitch McConnell squirm

Schadenfreude (taking enjoyment in the troubles of others) is not a quality to be admired but I have to admit that I am thoroughly enjoying the predicament that US Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell finds himself in. He is a truly awful person, a liar and a hypocrite, who would piously invoke the need to cut deficits in order to oppose spending to help poor people or to create jobs when the president was a Democrat, but then abandon that goal as soon as the president was a Republican, when he was willing to spend money like a drunken sailor to give tax cuts for the rich. He viciously opposed expanding health care to middle and lower income groups. And of course, he prevented president Obama from appointing a qualified middle-of-the-road Supreme Court justice in order to put a right-wing extremist on the bench.
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New Moore accuser steps forward

As is often the case, it takes just one person to publicly come forward with their story about being abused by powerful people to open the floodgates because other people, realizing that they are not alone, feel emboldened to tell their own stories. It seems like a day doesn’t pass without someone new coming forward to say that former president George H. W. Bush is a disgusting lecher who groped her. And another woman Beverly Young Nelson has now come forward to accuse Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore of assaulting her, both sexually and otherwise, when she was just 16, after he had offered her a ride home from her job as a waitress.
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