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Marriott Workers Confront Shareholders About Workplace Harassment

May 5, 2018 in Blogs

By Nicole Karlis, Salon

On Friday, eight workers attended the shareholders’ meeting to raise concerns about sexual harassment at work


Retaliation is one reason that it is harder for low-wage woman workers to say #MeToo. Many don’t have the luxury, like celebrities in Hollywood, to speak up without the fear of losing their job.

Which is why today might have marked a big step for the #MeToo movement.

On Friday, eight Marriott hotel workers from four different cities flew to the annual Marriott shareholder meeting in Washington, D.C. Their mission? To question top executives on the prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual assault faced by service workers in the hotel industry.     

According to Unite Here! spokesperson Rachel Gumpert, the meeting went well, but it is still unclear as to what actions will be taken to better protect workers.

 

“Overall, the meeting was good. They listened, we met with head of corporate human resources, and we talked to them about the complaints we have in the hotels and he promised he was going to look into it,” Gumpert said. “He said he takes sexual harassment seriously.”

Suzy Elkouarti, who is a cocktail server at a W Hotel in Boston (W Hotels are owned by Marriott International), attended the meeting and said she often feels like she has to choose between her comfort and income at work.

“My experience working in the bar is a mix from mild stuff — men calling me ‘sweetie, sweetheart, babe,’ to men grabbing my arm when taking their order, to guests inviting me back to their rooms,” Elkouarti told Salon.

“Fortunately,” Elkouarti is in a less vulnerable position at the hotel than her coworkers because she is in the “public eye” at the bar, she explained. However, she has not received a formal training—or has been alerted of protocols to follow—if she is sexually harassed or assaulted. She does not feel that there will be any implications for an abuser who is a guest, she explained.

 

Elkouarti said once was asked for physical proof when she was harassed and told her manager about the incident. A guest had written lewd comments on a receipt — and she wondered, “Why do …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Devin Nunes Calls for John Kerry to Be Arrested By the FBI: ‘Send In the G Men’:

May 5, 2018 in Blogs

By Bob Brigham, Raw Story

Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) made his demand to imprison the former Massachusetts Democrat under the Logan Act,


The chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is calling for former Secretary of State John Kerry to be the very first person every arrested under a constitutionally dubious 1799 law.

Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) made his demand to imprison the former Massachusetts Democrat under the Logan Act, which could theoretically result in three year in federal prison.

The allegations followed a new Boston Globe report on former Secretary of State Kerry working to save the Iran nuclear deal.

Annie Linskey ✔@AnnieLinskey  

SCOOP: John Kerry is very, very quietly playing quasi-diplomat, meeting with foreign leaders of France and Iran to save the Iran nuclear deal via @mviser http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2018/05/04/kerry-quietly-seeking-salvage-iran-deal-helped-craft/2fTkGON7xvaNbO0YbHECUL/story.html …

9:53 PM – May 4, 2018Kerry quietly seeking to salvage Iran deal he helped craft – The Boston Globe

The former secretary of state has been on an aggressive yet stealthy mission to try to apply pressure on the Trump administration from the outside.

bostonglobe.com

Twitter Ads info and privacy  

Rep. Nunes retweeted the story, saying it was time to “Send in the G Men.”

“G Men” is short for “government men” and since 1935 has been used exclusively to refer to FBI special agents, the Bureau claims.

Devin Nunes ✔@DevinNunes  

OMG! Logan Act violations!! Send in the G Men… <a target=_blank class="link …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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'You've Hit Rock Bottom When Trump Is Cleaning Up Your Quotes': Bill Maher Mocks 'Senile' Rudy Giuliani

May 5, 2018 in Blogs

By Sarah Burris, Raw Story

“Welcome to this week’s episode of ‘I Don’t Even Know Where to Start'”


Cable news talk shows spent nearly 48 hours watching President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani hang his own client out to dry. It was as if the former New York mayor had several different ways to try and fit his foot in his mouth. It was so absurd that HBO host Bill Maher said it made him wonder if Giuliani was suffering from senility.

“Welcome to this week’s episode of ‘I Don’t Even Know Where to Start,” The “Real Time” host told his Friday audience. Maher noted that it seems Trump has moved from having his lawyer Michael Cohen to hiring Giuliani. “He’s gone from someone carrying a bat to someone who turns into one.”

Cable news talk shows spent nearly 48 hours watching President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani hang his own client out to dry. It was as if the former New York mayor had several different ways to try and fit his foot in his mouth. It was so absurd that HBO host Bill Maher said it made him wonder if Giuliani was suffering from senility.

“Welcome to this week’s episode of ‘I Don’t Even Know Where to Start,'” The “Real Time” host told his Friday audience. Maher noted that it seems Trump has moved from having his lawyer Michael Cohen to hiring Giuliani. “He’s gone from someone carrying a bat to someone who turns into one.”

“You know you’ve hit rock bottom when Trump is cleaning up your quotes,” the host said. “‘Oh that’s not what Rudy meant to say. Here to explain is the monkey from ‘Rampage.'”

He went on to say that the two men don’t even seem to be able to understand who sent who out to what show to talk about what.

“First of all, they’re both senile,” Maher quipped. “They’re both f*ckin senile. Guys! You’ve got to write your lies down!”

Watch the full opener below:

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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How the U.S. Military Played a Role in America's Obesity Crisis

May 5, 2018 in Blogs

By Daniel Ross, Independent Media Institute

Seventy percent of products found in a typical supermarket have origins in the military's food experiments.


There’s no avoiding the debris of modern living on a trip to your local grocery store—rows and rows of foods and products that, if not ready to eat, are designed and packaged to be prepared quickly and to last an age. Makes sense, right? Busy lives require time-saving measures.

But it turns out that a considerable quantity of these items exist as a result of food-preservation experiments first conducted by the military, at the nexus of which is the Natick Soldier Systems Center, the U.S. Army’s food science lab in Massachusetts. What’s more, the military has partnered for decades with private corporations and state universities in order to refine these innovations and to disseminate them as widely into civilian life as possible—a partnership with a federal mandate, it should be noted.

Some experts estimate that as many as 70 percent of products found in a typical supermarket originate with, or are influenced by, these experiments conducted by the military. But as Anastacia Marx de Salcedo, author of the well-received 2015 book Combat-Ready Kitchen: How the U.S. Military Shapes the Way You Eat, points out, the military designed their products to be used in extreme, stressful situations over short periods of time.

“The problem then comes in the technology transfer aspect because the same things are being put in consumer items, albeit somewhat watered down, that are now being eaten day in, day out,” Marx de Salcedo told the Independent Media Institute. “That’s when we have to start to think about the health implications of it.”

Below are eight common supermarket foods or production processes with ties to the military.

1. Sliced bread

Traditionally made bread stales quickly. And so, to help keep it shelf-fresh for as long as possible, researchers at the Quartermaster Food and Container Institute government laboratory and (what is now) Kansas State University discovered that bacterial alpha-amylase retarded the staling of bread, and began to perfect the way it’s used in the bread baking process—processes …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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'Trump Lives in the Eternal Now': Gen. Hayden Explains the Dangers of Trump's Ignorance of History

May 5, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

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Trump's apparent inability to grasp context and history makes managing world affairs extremely risky.


President Donald Trump apparent lack of interest in world affairs and his impulsivity may pose serious risks to American efforts abroad, as Gen. Michael Hayden and HBO host Bill Maher pointed out on “Real Time” Friday night.

Responding to a viewer's question about how U.S. intelligence operations are being protected from a president who reportedly leaked sensitive information to the Russians, Hayden, who has headed up both the NSA and CIA, noted that there's not much of a buffer. Whoever is elected president gets access to the nation's secrets. 

Maher argued that Trump doesn't actually even seem to care about intelligence briefings, focusing instead on “whether Nordstrom is selling Ivanka's shoes.”

“And that's one of the challenges we have,” Hayden said. “Michael Gerson, one of Bush (W.)'s speechwriters, said 'Donald Trump lives in the eternal now.' Little history, no consequence. The whole job of intelligence is context. And we just fly by one another.”

Maher added: “And the long game. That's why we didn't have a hot war, when we had a cold war. Because it was fought by your people [intelligence agencies.] And that's a preferable way to do it.”

Watch the clip below:


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MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Points Out a Key Part of Mueller's Team's Fraught Day in Court that People Missed

May 5, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

Everyone focused on the fact that the judge was critical of the special counsel — few noticed the crucial part of Mueller's team's response.


Special counsel Robert Mueller's team appeared to have a tough day in court on Friday as Judge T.S. Ellis was sharply critical of the prosecutors' grounds to bring their case against Paul Manafort — but perhaps the most important and informative part of the exchange went largely unnoticed.

The judge pushed the prosecutors on why they were bringing the case focusing on bank and tax fraud and against Manafort, President Donald Trump's one-time campaign chair, when it was so far afield of the original mandate that led to the creation of the special counsel.

As MSNBC's Rachel Maddow noted, the judge's question was a good one: “If the Michael Cohen case can just become a local prosecution case in New York, why can't the Paul Manafort case become a local prosecution case in D.C. or indeed Virginia?”

She continued: “So far we've seen nothing in the prosecutors' filings in the Manafort case that shows a connection to Russsian campaign interference in the presidential election. I mean, if the Manafort crimes are a separate, discrete matter, if they're all about his bank and tax fraud charges related to his work in Ukraine years ago, then why wouldn't those also be handed off to separate prosecutors?”

Quoting from the prosecutors' response to these types of questions, Maddow said: “'The special counsel's office takes very seriously the primary mission it was assigned in examining Russian interference in the 2016 election.'” It added that it would refer unrelated criminal activity to an unrelated office.

“Does that mean that these multiple felonies against Paul Manafort … [are] related to Russian interference in the 2016 election?” Maddow asked provocatively.

Watch the clip below:

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Here's Why the New Bombshell About Trump's Attorney's Stockpile of Credit Will Look So Suspicious to Law Enforcement

May 5, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

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“I think they're going to be looking into … bank fraud, about whether Cohen was misstating the reasons he needed [the money].”


Late Friday evening, the Wall Street Journal reported that President Donald Trump's attorney Michael Cohen secured $774,000 worth of cash as the 2016 campaign progressed — funding that is likely tied to the hush money payment made to Stephanie Clifford. Cohen has said he paid Clifford, a porn star better known as Stormy Daniels, $130,000 just days before the election, which some argue raises serious questions about campaign finance laws.

The Journal reports that Cohen obtained this credit “as he sought to fix problems for his boss,” first in December 2015 and then again in February 2016 — a point at which it was becoming clear that Trump was a serious contender for the presidency. If, as seems possible, Cohen planned to use this money to help Trump's electoral chances through payments to people like Clifford, it could potentially be seen as an effort to skirt campaign spending and reporting regulations.

Gloria Borger, a chief political analyst for CNN, explained to Anderson Cooper that what she found most interesting about the reporting is “the money, that Cohen started receiving, was around February 2016… was when his fortunes and his poll numbers started to rise as a presidential candidate. We know that he won the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9, for example. He became, suddenly, a serious candidate out of all these 17 candidates, and nobody was dismissing him anymore.”

She continued: “I think you have to ask the question about why anybody would need access to the cash, and I think they're going to be looking into, according to the Wall Street Journal, you know, bank fraud, about whether Cohen was misstating the reasons he needed …read more

Source: ALTERNET