The Breakfast Club (Flowers)

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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Breakfast Tune: Pete Seeger – Where have all the flowers gone?

Today in History

Highlights: Philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli born; The U.S. Supreme Court rules racial covenants in real estate are unenforceable; Joe DiMaggio makes his baseball debut; Singers Pete Seeger and James Brown born. (May 3)

Breakfast News & Blogs Below

Bernie Sanders raises $1.5m and gains 100,000 supporters in a day

Associated Press

One day after raising $1.5m in donations, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders was out to convince supporters in the early voting state of New Hampshire on Saturday he could raise the $40m to $50m needed to run a competitive presidential primary campaign against the Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton.

“The question to me is not whether we can raise as much money as our opponents – we can – the question is whether we can raise enough money to run a strong, credible and winning campaign,” Sanders said. “And based on this first day I believe that we can.”

Sanders, an independent, announced on Thursday that he will run in the Democratic presidential primary, making him Clinton’s first official primary opponent. A self-described “democratic socialist”, Sanders plans to focus his message heavily on income inequality, climate change and reforming the campaign finance system. …

Police accountability? There’s an app for that

Gregg Levine, The Scrutineer

… As police become more aware of the handheld panopticon that potentially observes their actions, there are also positives and negatives. The presence of citizen video can make law enforcement think twice before acting in ways unbecoming or illegal, but the negative publicity police have received after a spate of troubling and revealing recordings have come to light has made some officers openly hostile to the presence of camera phones.

In fact, there is cellphone video from earlier this year showing a woman in a Los Angeles suburb taping law enforcement as they detained people in her neighborhood. Suddenly, a deputy U.S. marshal rushed the woman, taking her phone and smashing it on the ground.

To guard against that sort of destruction of potential evidence and to facilitate more technology-aided accountability, The American Civil Liberties Union of California unveiled a smartphone app earlier this week explicitly intended for use in such situations. …

The GOP’s destructive Vietnam mythology: How the right’s self-glorifying delusions led to decades of avoidable war

Peter Birkenhead, Salon

It only took about five years from the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, for the American right to succeed in burying the moment under mounds of revisionist horse shit. Ronald Reagan, speaking at a campaign appearance in the summer of 1980, said,

   “It is time that we recognized that [the American War in Vietnam] was, in truth, a noble cause… We dishonor the memory of 50 thousand young Americans who died in that cause when we give way to feelings of guilt as if we were doing something shameful.”

Reagan’s letting-down-the-troops angle was a brilliant rhetorical tactic. According to the story he and his fellow conservatives told, the only problem with the Vietnam War was that we hadn’t “let the soldiers win it.” By the time he took office, Reagan’s conscience-free take on the war had gained traction among a public eager for easy absolution and a restoration of America’s “standing in the world.” It would go on to serve as convenient justification for other, similarly doomed wars of adventure in the years to come.

The story of the fall of Saigon as the right tells it is not one of American hubris getting its comeuppance via popular revolution or withdrawal of broad support at home, but one of sinister betrayal by spineless bureaucrats, cowed by selfish, pampered, troop-hating radicals. America’s failure was not one of dubious moral judgement on the part of its ruling class, but rather moral turpitude on the part of its young people. Wall Street Journal editorialist Dorothy Rabinowitz saw the era as one of “wild excess…self-glorification and narcissism…” by “an incredibly spoiled, self-indulgent generation….who were taught to think everything they say is right,” a perfect articulation of the self-justifying canard at the heart of what has become our popular understanding of the war, and of the similarly upside-down, false histories now being spun about Iraq and Afghanistan.

Throughout the Reagan/Bush years, right-wing fabulists worked tirelessly to convince the public that the peace marches and race riots of the ’60s had done more damage to this country than the war and racism that sparked them. That idealistic, pot-smoking, occasionally idiotic and arrogant teenagers, along with a small number of genuine radicals on the left, were more harmful than the paranoid, war-mongering, racist, sexist, corrupt, Constitution-subverting presidents, politicians, generals and police who spied on, tear-gassed, beat, slandered, suppressed and murdered countless numbers of their fellow citizens, not to mention 3.4 million people in Indochina, and the 58,000 American soldiers sent to kill them and die for no reason. …

US-led strike reportedly kills 52 civilians in Syria

Wire services

The death toll from an airstrike by U.S.-led forces on the northern Syrian province of Aleppo has risen to 52 including seven children, a group monitoring the conflict said Saturday.

Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the death toll from Friday’s strike was the highest civilian loss in a single attack by U.S. and Arab forces since they started air raids against hardline armed groups in Syria such as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

U.S.-led forces are also targeting the group in Iraq. The Observatory said the raid had mistakenly struck civilians in a village on the eastern banks of the Euphrates River in Aleppo province, killing members of at least six families. …

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac:

Taxpayers to Foot Bill For Drug Raid Where Police Grenade Blew Up Baby’s Face

Cassandra Fairbanks / The Free Thought Project

Habersham County, GA-  In May of last year, Bounkham “Baby Bou Bou” Phonesavanh, 19-months-old, was asleep in his crib. At 3:00 am, militarized police barged into his family’s home because an informant had purchased $50 worth of meth from someone who once lived there. During the raid, a flash-bang grenade was thrown into the sleeping baby’s crib, exploding in his face.

Beyond the disfiguring wounds on the toddler’s face, the grenade also left a gash in his chest. As a result, Bou lost the ability to breathe on his own and was left in a medically induced coma for days after the incident.  Bou was not able to go home from the hospital until July.

No officers were charged for their near-deadly negligence, and the department claimed that they did not know that there were children in the home. They defended their reckless actions by saying that they couldn’t have done a thorough investigation prior to the raid because it “would have risked revealing that the officers were watching the house.” …

Breakfast Quote:

I’m not going to be joining ZZ Top. You know they can’t play my stuff. It’s too complicated.

James Brown

1 comment

    • BobbyK on May 3, 2015 at 8:54 am

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