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Jun 25 2014

The Breakfast Club: 6-25-2014

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. Everyone’s welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.

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

Breakfast News

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The Deadly Disease in Meat That Health Officials Are Ignoring

When the first U.S. mad cow was found in late 2003, 98 percent of U.S. beef exports evaporated overnight. There was such national revulsion to cow “cannibalism” when described in the late 1990s as the presumed cause of the fatal disease, Oprah Winfrey said she would never eat a hamburger again and was promptly sued by Texas cattle producers. They lost.

But this month a fourth U.S. death from the human version of mad cow, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), in Texas barely made the news. Neither did therecall of 4,000 pounds of “organic” beef possibly contaminated with mad cow (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE) shipped to Whole Foods and two restaurants, in New York and Kansas City, Mo. The restaurant meat was eaten before the recall, speculated one news source.

What has changed? Health officials, overtly protecting the meat industry, have succeeded in spinning the disease so it is now considered something that “just happens” rather than a grave breakdown of our agricultural system.

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A Secret Plan to Shut Down Social Security’s Offices and Outsource Its Work

For months there have been rumors that the Social Security Administration has a “secret plan” to close all of its field offices. Is it true? A little-known report commissioned by the SSA the request of Congress seems to hold the answer. The summary document outlining the plan, which is labeled “for internal use only,” is unavailable from the SSA but can be foundhere.

Does the document, entitled “Long Term Strategic Vision and Vision Elements,” really propose shuttering all field offices? The answer, buried beneath a barrage of obfuscatory consultantese, clearly seems to be “yes.” Worse, the report also suggests that many of the SSA’s critical functions could soon be outsourced to private-sector partners and contractors.

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America’s Dangerous Stumble Back Into Iraq

Imagine the president, speaking on Iraq from the White House Press Briefing Room last Thursday, as the proverbial deer in the headlights — and it’s not difficult to guess just what those headlights were.  Think of them as Benghazi on steroids.  If the killing of an American ambassador, a Foreign Service officer, and two CIA private security contractors could cause almost two years of domestic political uproar, unending Republican criticism, and potential damage to the president’s “legacy,” consider what an Iraq in shambles and a terrorist state stretching across “the Levant” might do.  It’s hardly surprising, then, that a president regularly described as “reluctant” nonetheless stepped before the press corps and began the slow march back into Iraq and toward disaster.

It was a moment of remarkable contradictions.

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Can the President Kill an American Anywhere in the World? Drone Memo Raises Troubling Questions

During a three month span in 2011, U.S. drones killed four American citizens overseas. On September 30, cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan were killed in a drone strike in Yemen. Two weeks later, another U.S. drone killed Anwar’s 16-year-old son, Abdul-rahman, in Yemen. A month later, a U.S. citizen named Jude Kenan Mohammad was killed in Pakistan. For the past two-and-a-half years, the Obama administration has refused to release its legal rationale for killing American citizens overseas. That changed on Monday when a federal court released a heavily redacted 41-page memo. It concludes the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force gave the U.S. government the authority to target Anwar al-Awlaki, who the Obama administration claims had joined al-Qaeda. On Capitol Hill, Sen. Ron Wyden praised the release of the memo but said it raises many questions. Wyden asked, “How much evidence does the president need to determine that a particular American is a legitimate target for military action? Can the president strike an American anywhere in the world?” Questions also remain over when the United States can kill non-U.S. citizens. We speak to Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project.

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Media Hold Silent Protest Over Egypt’s Jailing of Journalists

Hundreds of journalists from the BBC and other news media in the UK and abroad have stood in silence for a one-minute protest exactly 24 hours after three journalists were sentenced in Egypt for charges relating to terrorism.

Australian Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian acting Cairo bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed were on Monday sentenced to at least seven years each in prison on terrorism-related charges stemming from an interview with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

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Must Read Blog Posts

Glenn Greenwald: ‘What I Tell People Who Say They Don’t Care About Their Privacy’

by Alyssa Figueroa

Hellraisers Journal: Despairing Miner Deported From Cripple Creek Home Takes His Own Life

by JayRaye

Gender Prison: The Cult of Transgender

by rserven

Risking Intimacy on the Internet

by write4change

Web of the dead: When Facebook profiles of the deceased outnumber the living

by Sarah Gray

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The Daily Wiki

Cricket

Crickets, family Gryllidae (also known as “true crickets”), are insects somewhat related to grasshoppers, and more closely related to katydids or bush crickets (family Tettigoniidae) and Weta (families Anostostomatidae and Rhaphidophoridae). They have somewhat flattened bodies and long antennae. There are more than 900 species of crickets.[1] They tend to be nocturnal[2] and are often confused with grasshoppers because they have a similar body structure including jumping hind legs. Crickets are not harmful to humans.

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Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. ~Alan Watts

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Breakfast Tunes

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Stupid Shit by LaEscapee

I Had Something to Say

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