The Breakfast Club (TGIF)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Eight US servicemen killed in Iran; Easter Rising begins in Ireland; Ottoman empire begins mass deportation of Armenians; Leftist students hold weeklong occupation at Columbia University; Barbara Streisand born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption and carry desolation in their way.

Fisher Ames

Breakfast News

A Drone Program That Has Killed Hundreds Of Civilians Finally Killed Some That The White House Regrets

This morning, the White House disclosed that a January 2015 drone strike, conducted in Pakistan by the CIA with the intention of taking out an al Qaeda compound, resulted in the deaths of two al Qaeda hostages who were not known to have been in the line of fire at the time of the attack. “The killing of American development expert Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto is the first known instance in which the U.S. has accidentally killed a hostage in a drone strike,” Wall Street Journal’s Adam Entous reported Thursday. [..]

Watching the coverage of these tragic deaths, a viewer would be left with the impression of a drone program that has had a stellar record of accuracy up until it unfortunately killed two innocent people. But, in fact, killing innocent people has been a central part of the drone program from the very beginning, and is in many ways an inescapable consequence. It’s not that a perfect program finally slipped up. Rather, a program that has killed somewhere between 400 and 1000 civilians in Pakistan alone finally killed an American civilian, to whom no wrongdoing can be even tangentially attributed.

Comcast Calls Off Time Warner Cable Merger

Comcast has scrapped plans to merge with Time Warner Cable in a $45.2 billion deal that would have combined the country’s two largest cable and broadband providers, according to a Bloomberg report Thursday.

The move comes a day after the Federal Communication Commission said it planned to oppose the deal, joining lawyers from the Justice Department who felt it would not help consumers. The FCC said it would issue a “hearing designation order” that would prolong the deal, making it more difficult and expensive for Comcast.

Comcast spokeswoman Sena Fitzmaurice and Time Warner Cable spokesman Bobby Amirshahi both declined to comment. But Bloomberg reported that a formal announcement of the terminated deal would come by Friday.

Trans-Pacific Partnership: bill on trade deals passes key Congress committee

Legislation to speed trade deals through the US Congress cleared a key committee but low Democratic support signalled a looming battle over a Pacific trade pact central to President Barack Obama’s strategic shift toward Asia.

Democrats and Republicans clashed over proposals to punish countries that manipulate their currencies to gain an export edge and ways to give lawmakers more leverage over trade deals like the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Despite the partisan wrangling, the vote in the House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee on Thursday marked an important step forward for the legislation, which would prohibit Congress from amending trade deals and allow for simple yes-or-no votes.

Deutsche Bank hit by record $2.5bn Libor-rigging fine

Germany’s Deutsche Bank has been fined a record $2.5bn (£1.7bn) for rigging Libor, ordered to fire seven employees and accused of being obstructive towards regulators in their investigations into the global manipulation of the benchmark rate.

The penalties on Germany’s largest bank also involve a guilty plea to the Department of Justice (DoJ) in the US and a deferred prosecution agreement. The regulators released a cache of emails, electronic messages and phone calls showing the attempts to move the rate used to price £3.5tn of financial contracts.

Migrant deaths: EU leaders to triple funding of rescue operations

European leaders have pledged to triple funding of EU maritime operations in the Mediterranean in an attempt to get to grips with the epidemic of migrant drownings at sea, while 15 of 28 EU countries also promised more naval assets for the mission.

At an emergency summit in Brussels staged under intense pressure to respond more humanely to the soaring death toll, Britain was the first to pledge ships and helicopters.

The Royal Navy flagship HMS Bulwark was ordered to Malta to join search-and-rescue operations after the deaths of up to 800 people last weekend in the worst single tragedy in two years in the Mediterranean.

David Petraeus sentenced to probation for sharing classified information

David Petraeus, the retired US army general and former CIA director responsible for the development of the hugely influential “counter-insurgency” strategy used in Iraq and Afghanistan, was sentenced on Thursday to two years’ probation and ordered to pay a fine of $100,000 for sharing highly classified information with his lover and biographer, Paula Broadwell.

The fine was $60,000 more than had been expected under the terms of a plea deal; the two years’ probation was as expected. [..]

Petraeus pleaded guilty in March in a federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina, to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information. Under the terms of his plea deal, he escaped possible jail time and an embarrassing public trial.

Yellowstone national park: scientists discover huge magma chamber

Deep beneath Yellowstone national park, one of the world’s most dynamic volcanic systems, lies an enormous, previously unknown reservoir of hot, partly molten rock big enough to fill up the Grand Canyon 11 times, scientists say.

Researchers on Thursday said they used a technique called seismic tomography to a produce for the first time a complete picture of the volcanic “plumbing system” at Yellowstone, from Earth’s mantle up to the surface.

Yellowstone, which straddles the borders of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, and boasts a remarkable array of geothermal features including geysers, mudpots, steam vents and hot springs, sits atop a super volcano that has had three calamitous eruptions.

Must Read Blog Posts

A Residence With Locking Doors And A Working Toilet Is All That’s Needed To Justify A No-Knock Warrant Tim Cushing, Techdirt

DailyDirt: The Drones Are Coming Michael Ho, Techdirt

Blistering Hubris, Bald-Faced Lies And Atrocious Customer Service Kill Comcast’s Merger Ambitions Dead Karl Bode, Techdirt

Judge Tells FBI To Stop Screwing Around And Search For Documents Requested By Man Seeking To Clear His Name Tim Cushing, Techdirt

Senators Introduce Anti-Aaron’s Law To Increase Jail Terms For ‘Unauthorized Access’ To Computers Mike masnick, Techdirt

More Craven Arguments Used to Sell TPP and Fast Track to Congress, With Mixed Results David Dayen, naked capitalism

U.S. Trade Rep Office Helpfully Explains that Only 28 Trade Unionists Were Murdered in Colombia Last Year David Dayen, naked capitalism

Consent of the Governed: Stop the Emerging TPP Tyranny! letsgetitdone, Corrente

A Litmus Test on Empathy libbyliberal, Corrente

Obama Administration’s Announcement About US Drone Strike Shows It Doesn’t Know Who Drones Are Killing Kevin Gosztola, FDL The Dissenter

This Week In The Laboratories Of Democracy Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Politics

Your Moment of Zen

Volcanic Eruption In Chile Time Lapse 4/23/2015