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Journal Archives

FBI Agent Who Testified for Republicans Suspended After Leaking Sensitive Information

Garret O’Boyle, along with two other self-proclaimed whistleblowers from the agency, testified last month before the Weaponization subcommittee


WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 18: Suspended FBI special agent Garret O’Boyle (L) and former FBI agent Steve Friend (R) wait for the beginning of a hearing before the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government of the House Judiciary Committee at Rayburn House Office Building on May 18, 2023 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government held a hearing on "Weaponization of the Federal Government." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

An FBI agent who was presented by House Republicans as a whistleblower was suspended by the federal agency for leaking sensitive investigative information to the right-wing group Project Veritas, according to information provided by an agency official to a House Judiciary subcommittee. House Democrats are accusing Garret O’Boyle of lying to the committee and now are referring the matter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, according to a letter obtained by NBC News.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Del. Stacey Plaskett, D-Virgin Islands, detail in the letter several cases of O’Boyle denying he had leaked sensitive information from the agency to the media. O’Boyle, alongside two other self-labeled whistleblowers from the agency, testified last month before the House Weaponization subcommittee at a hearing on alleged anti-conservative bias in the agency.

He was suspended from the federal agency last Sep. 23 and the interview in question, which cites an anonymous subject labeled as an "FBI whistleblower," was posted by Project Veritas last May 12. The previously unreported reason for O’Boyle’s suspension was revealed to lawmakers in testimony from Jennifer Moore, executive assistant director of the FBI for human resources, given to the House subcommittee.

He testified he alerted the chair of the committee, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, of his suspension and gave him a letter informing him of the agency’s decision. Boyle described the charge as an allegation, claiming he never leaked sensitive information before the suspension. A spokesperson for O’Boyle told NBC News he denies lying about his suspension to the committee or that he leaked sensitive information to any outlet.


Deep warming: Even if we 'solve' global warming, we face an older, slower problem. Waste heat could

radically alter Earth’s future


The world will be transformed. By 2050, we will be driving electric cars and flying in aircraft running on synthetic fuels produced through solar and wind energy. New energy-efficient technologies, most likely harnessing artificial intelligence, will dominate nearly all human activities from farming to heavy industry. The fossil fuel industry will be in the final stages of a terminal decline. Nuclear fusion and other new energy sources may have become widespread. Perhaps our planet will even be orbited by massive solar arrays capturing cosmic energy from sunlight and generating seemingly endless energy for all our needs.

That is one possible future for humanity. It’s an optimistic view of how radical changes to energy production might help us slow or avoid the worst outcomes of global warming. In a report from 1965, scientists from the US government warned that our ongoing use of fossil fuels would cause global warming with potentially disastrous consequences for Earth’s climate. The report, one of the first government-produced documents to predict a major crisis caused by humanity’s large-scale activities, noted that the likely consequences would include higher global temperatures, the melting of the ice caps and rising sea levels. ‘Through his worldwide industrial civilisation,’ the report concluded, ‘Man is unwittingly conducting a vast geophysical experiment’ – an experiment with a highly uncertain outcome, but clear and important risks for life on Earth.

Since then, we’ve dithered and doubted and argued about what to do, but still have not managed to take serious action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which continue to rise. Governments around the planet have promised to phase out emissions in the coming decades and transition to ‘green energy’. But global temperatures may be rising faster than we expected: some climate scientists worry that rapid rises could create new problems and positive feedback loops that may accelerate climate destabilisation and make parts of the world uninhabitable long before a hoped-for transition is possible.

Despite this bleak vision of the future, there are reasons for optimists to hope due to progress on cleaner sources of renewable energy, especially solar power. Around 2010, solar energy generation accounted for less than 1 per cent of the electricity generated by humanity. But experts believe that, by 2027, due to falling costs, better technology and exponential growth in new installations, solar power will become the largest global energy source for producing electricity. If progress on renewables continues, we might find a way to resolve the warming problem linked to greenhouse gas emissions. By 2050, large-scale societal and ecological changes might have helped us avoid the worst consequences of our extensive use of fossil fuels. It’s a momentous challenge. And it won’t be easy. But this story of transformation only hints at the true depth of the future problems humanity will confront in managing our energy use and its influence over our climate.


Lesbian Bars Are Popping Up and Popping Off in NYC and LA

These new bars provide hope that more are on the way.


In 1980, there were 206 lesbian bars across the country. In 2021, that number dropped to just 15. At bewildering rates, dedicated nightlife spaces for queer womxn and lesbians have closed their doors over the past few decades. Exacerbated by the pandemic, this shift can be attributed to a multitude of factors: from the gentrification of gayborhoods (leading to an inability to pay rent) and pay inequality to more nuanced realities within the LGBTQ+ community for gay and queer womxn such as imposed gender constructs and lack of societal acceptance. But not all is lost. In a year when the LGBTQ+ community is battling anti-drag and anti-trans laws across the country, beacons of hope have appeared in the shape of new lesbian bars. Half-way through 2023, 28 lesbian bars are now in operation across the US.

If you’re still a bit muddled on what qualifies as a lesbian bar, the beauty of the answer lies in its fluidity. In the words of The Lesbian Bar Project, a fundraising organization/documentary series with a mission to uplift and empower the remaining lesbian bars in the United States, “the label lesbian belongs to all people who feel that it empowers them.” Lesbian bars create an inclusive space for “people of marginalized genders including women (regardless if they are cis or trans), non-binary folks, and trans men.” In New York and LA, a crew of new lesbian bars have popped up that embody this mission statement while honoring the long, storied, and turbulent history of lesbian bars in these cities.

The Bush, NYC

For friends, co-owners, and long-time New Yorkers Nikke Alleyne and Justine LaViolette, The Bush, now open in the Brooklyn neighborhood Bushwick, is a passion project seven years in the making. As a young girl in Jersey City, Alleyne often found herself hanging around the West Village lesbian bar Cubbyhole. “But I can’t pinpoint a favorite [lesbian bar],” says Alleyne. “They all made me feel so safe, so seen, and so happy to be a dyke.” In 2016, it became apparent to Alleyne and LaViolette that the city heavily lacked nightlife options that catered to their community. “We spent a lot of time going to parties at gay bars or straight bars that were hosting a lesbian or queer-centered night, where we were the guests,” says LaViolette. “We wanted to create a space of our own where it’s basically a bar for the queer community that doesn’t center around gay men.”

Enter The Bush. Opened in April 2023, the new watering hole differentiates itself from other lesbian bars through its selection of bespoke cocktails, which are organized by flavor profile. For example, a smoky and sour craving will lead you to the Guest Star (mezcal, passion fruit, aperol, lemon, Tajín), while a hankering for something floral and boozy sends you in the direction of the Venus Fly Trap (gin, lychee liqueur, dry vermouth, Cocchi Americano). “We loved the existing bars [in NYC], but we wanted a place where we could go and have a cocktail,” says LaViolette. “At the time, none of the [NYC] spaces had cocktail offerings. We want and deserve more options.” When asked about what the duo hopes to see in the future for the lesbian bar community, they answered, “We dream of a world where we can do a dyke bar crawl in North Brooklyn alone.”

The Ruby Fruit, LA................


Wall Street ticks up as unemployment data points to cooling economy

Tech stocks again prove the most attractive for investors



Wall Street stocks and US Treasuries rose on Thursday, as fresh unemployment data pointed to a cooling economy, putting pressure on the Federal Reserve to end its tightening campaign sooner. The benchmark S&P 500 rose 0.4 per cent, recouping its losses from the previous session, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.8 per cent.

The moves come after the US Department of Labor reported that new applications for unemployment aid, a proxy for job cuts, climbed more than expected last week, hitting their highest level since October 2021. Initial state unemployment claims totalled 261,000 in the week ending June 3, up 28,000 from the previous week’s revised level, signalling that high interest rates were beginning to take a toll on the country’s businesses.

“Higher claims [ . . . ] are consistent with the ongoing deterioration in credit availability and the lagged effect of the Fed’s tightening”, said Kieran Clancy, senior US economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. The Fed is due to hold its policy meeting next week, with markets pricing in a 75 per cent chance that policymakers will resist raising interest rates this month.

The yield on the two-year Treasury note, which tends to track short-term rate expectations, fell 0.04 percentage points to 4.51 per cent. The yield on the 10-year note was down 0.04 percentage points at 3.74 per cent. Bond yields fall as prices rise. The dollar, previously bolstered by expectations of further tightening, lost 0.7 per cent against a basket of six peer currencies, hitting its lowest point in two weeks.


Andrew Bellucci, Pizza Visionary With a Troubled Past, Dies at 59

His obsession with recreating the original New York pizza helped revive a classic and inspire a generation of chefs. But his ambitions led to conflicts and, once, prison.



Andrew Bellucci, who in the 1990s became one of the first chefs in New York City to achieve fame for pizza, then lost his job and reputation when an old crime caught up with him, only to return more than two decades later to a city full of pizzaioli inspired by his artisanal, traditionalist approach, died on Wednesday in Queens. He was 59. He collapsed from heart failure while working at his restaurant, Andrew Bellucci’s Pizzeria, in Astoria, said Matthew Katakis, his business partner. He was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.

Mr. Bellucci’s pizzas first won attention when he worked at Lombardi’s, a revival of a venerable coal-fired pizzeria on Spring Street in Little Italy. Nancy Silverton, Todd English and other chefs came to to taste his pizza, which was a far cry from the foldable, gold-and-orange and mostly interchangeable slices sold across the city. Ms. Silverton was especially impressed by a pie topped with fresh clams, garlic, oregano and olive oil.

“The glory is the crust: light, thin, crisp yet elastic, blackened and blistered and full of the smoky flavor that comes from the coal oven,” Eric Asimov wrote in a review in The New York Times in 1995. New York pizza had long been celebrated, but its origins were obscure, its techniques little understood and its makers unknown to all but a few regulars. Mr. Bellucci saw things differently.

He had learned the craft of pizza in the East Village, baking pies at Two Boots and then Three of Cups, now closed. But he learned the lore of pizza at the public library, where he spent his off hours poring over old phone books, newspapers and advertisements. Mr. Bellucci’s reading convinced him that the first pizza in the United States had been baked in a coal-fired oven on Spring Street by Gennaro Lombardi, an immigrant from Naples. Transfixed, he began nosing around Little Italy until, on Spring Street, he located a vacant bakery with a coal-burning oven. He kept searching until he found Mr. Lombardi’s grandson, also named Gennaro, and persuaded him to put the family name on a pizzeria with the oven he had found. Mr. Bellucci would make the pies.



A Life-Changing Clam Pizza


Nearly 750,000 older adults could lose federal food assistance in new debt ceiling deal


The latest legislation expands work requirements for childless older adults ages 50 to 54 receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps, provide low-income individuals and families with monthly funds for food purchases. But research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ (CBPP) shows that the “existing, failed SNAP work-reporting requirement” would do more harm than good. The think tank found that SNAP’s current work-reporting requirement does not increase employment chances or earnings. “Older adults are more likely to face age-related discrimination in the labor market, to no longer be able to perform the types of jobs they did when they were younger,” the report said.

Under current law, adults aged 18-49 with no dependents are eligible to receive SNAP benefits if they can prove existing employment or participation in a job training program for 20 hours per week. Some individuals are exempt from SNAP’s work-reporting requirement if they have a work-limiting disability like a pregnancy or a physical disability that prevents them from working. Otherwise, they would only qualify for three months’ worth of benefits over a span of three years. Additional research backs up CBPP’s findings. The American Economic Association Journal found the current work-reporting requirement cut SNAP participation by more than 50 percent among those who need it the most; individuals who “often have very low incomes, and the loss of SNAP benefits significantly harms their ability to meet their basic needs.”

Critics find the expansion of this work-requirement to childless older adults “upsetting.” “You’re not going to balance the budget, much less pay down the debt, through these kinds of changes,” said Ed Bolen, CBPP’s director of SNAP state strategies, to CNBC. “On the other hand, you’re going to affect up to 750,000 low-income older Americans who need food assistance.” SNAP’s expansion will be implemented 90 days following the enactment of the law, which was signed over the weekend. Fifty-year-olds will be the first subjected to the work-reporting requirement. On October 1, it will expand to include 51 and 52-year-olds. And beginning October 1, 2024, individuals aged 53 to 54 will also be subject to this requirement. The work-reporting requirement will remain effective until October 1, 2030.

Ellen Vollinger, the SNAP director for the Food Research and Action Center, thinks this will lead to further food hardship. “It doesn’t do anything to improve people’s employability,” Vollinger said to NPR. “It’s just going to take food away from people that are unable to meet the documented requirements.” These findings have precedent, too. Several investigations, assessments, and research in the past decade have shown many people whose SNAP benefits are taken away under existing food assistance policy, should have been exempt but were not properly screened for work-limiting health conditions or other exemptions.


The Plugz - Electrify Me (1979) Los Angeles Latino punk band

The Plugz - Electrify Me (FULL ALBUM) 1979

Label: Plug Recordz – none
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Black Labels
Country: US
Released: 1979
Genre: Rock
Style: Rock & Roll, Power Pop, Punk

The Sisters of Mercy - Temple of Love (1992 Version w/ Ofra Haza) RUIN video

Label: EastWest – 9031-77383-0, Merciful Release – MR53T
Format: Vinyl, 12", 45 RPM, Single
Country: Europe
Released: 1992
Genre: Rock
Style: Goth

The Cramps - Tear It Up (Live - Urgh! A Music War) 1980

Recorded live at The Santa Monica Civic, Santa Monica, CA August 15 1980

Label: A&M Records – AMLX 64692
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Album, Compilation
Country: UK
Released: 1981
Genre: Electronic, Rock, Reggae, Stage & Screen
Style: Reggae, Punk, Soundtrack, New Wave, Psychobilly, Synth-pop

Motorhead - Iron Horse / Born to Lose (1976-recorded version from 'On Parole', released 1979)

On Parole is a studio recording released by British rock band Motörhead. It was intended as their first album and left unreleased at the time of its completion in 1976, and it was not released until over three years later, on 8 December 1979, after the commercial success of Overkill and Bomber that same year.

Label: United Artists Records – LBR 1004
Series: The Rock File
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo
Country: UK
Released: Dec 1979
Genre: Rock
Style: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Rock & Roll

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