A Sisyphean Task in Boston, Jeb’s Kickoff & Earth’s Red Alert‏: Feb. 4, 2015


Tsarnaev Defense’s Sisyphean Task: Moving the Marathon Bombing Trial by Lara Turner
Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense is trying to get his death penalty trial moved again. Once again, they’ve asked an appeals court to overrule the presiding judge’s obstinate objections to taking the trial out of Boston.

ICYMI: Murder or Suicide: The Deep Politics of a Death in Argentina by Curt Hopkins
Be it murder or suicide, the suspicious death of the prosecutor investigating Argentina’s deadliest terrorist attack has unearthed a web of deep politics stretching from Buenos Aires to Tehran.


Moussaoui Calls Saudi Princes Patrons of Al Qaeda
Zacarias Moussaoui, the alleged “20th Hijacker” in the 9/11 attack, had some interesting things to say about Saudi Arabia in his testimony for a lawsuit brought by families of 9/11 victims. If it’s “judged credible,” it “provides new details of the extent and nature of that support in the pre-9/11 period.” Moussaoui, one of the few hijackers not of Saudi origin, describes meeting in Saudi Arabia with then-Prince and now-King Salman “and other Saudi royals while delivering them letters from Osama bin Laden.” He also identified “prominent members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family as major donors” to al-Qaeda and claimed to have “discussed a plan to shoot down Air Force One” with staff at the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

Jeb Bush in Detroit: Americans Have Right to Rise Out of Poverty
It’s déjà vu all over again … except this time, it’s the “Smart Bush.” Forget “compassionate” conservativism. Jeb is touting “reform” conservatism as he unofficially kicks off his bid to be the third Bush in less than 30 years to occupy the Oval Office. Bush made his pitch at the Detroit Economic Club—a well-worn launch spot for GOP hopefuls. With income inequality quickly becoming the political meme du jour, Bush said the “American Dream has become a mirage for far too many” and criticized Washington, D.C.—a city where two Bushes have served as president. The speech was titled “The Right To Rise in America,” something the Bush family knows quite a bit about.

Saud Arabia’s Kingdom Holding sells 5.6 percent stake in News Corp 
The Saudis and Fox seem to be simpatico: “Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding, the investment firm owned by billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, sold most of its stake in media giant News Corp,” according to Reuters. The pullout comes on the heels of good news for News Corp, which will face no U.S. charges over its phone hacking scandal. In an e-mailed statement, Prince Alwaleed said: “We remain firm believers in News Corp’s competent management … and are fully supportive of Rupert Murdoch and his family.”


Earth’s Dashboard Is Flashing Red — Do We Care?
National Geographic weighs in on the recent Pew Research Center finding that only half of the public agrees that humankind has caused climate change, versus 87 percent of scientists. The scientific consensus, last year’s record spike in mercury, the rise in severe weather events and relentless glacial melt-offs have done little to change public opinion or appetites. “We are burning record levels of coal, oil, and natural gas to fuel modern society. As a result, we are producing record levels of greenhouse gases that warm the atmosphere, melt the planet’s ice, and cause the oceans to become more acidic,” warns Nat Geo. Additionally, “researchers conclude that as we keep cutting down forests, domesticating wild lands, building more cities, depleting groundwater, polluting the air and water, and harvesting the oceans, we risk destroying the ‘safe space for humanity’ we have enjoyed for more than ten thousand years.”


The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment
Jim Clifton, the chairman and CEO at Gallup, blows open one of the federal government’s most transparent lies—the “official” unemployment rate. While economists often talk about the “real” unemployment rate, the “official” unemployment rate continues to overshadow reality. The key fact, according to Clifton, is that anyone who is unemployed but stops looking for work due to despair or frustration during the monthly reporting period is simply omitted from the Department of Labor’s count. That’s currently about 30 million Americans. And if you work just one hour a week and make $20, you are not officially unemployed. The Labor Department also hides the underemployed—those working part-time jobs, but seeking full-time employment—meaning 30+ hours per week. This all adds up to the official number being one “Big Lie.”

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