Texas Will Now Force Hospitals and Women to Bury or Cremate Fetuses from Abortions

by Walter Einenkel – \What do you get when you add Texas and a Republican and Governor Greg Abbott? One of the worst laws surrounding women’s right to choose, or in some cases not be able to choose, what they do with their bodies. The rules, which go into effect on Dec. 19, mandate that aborted fetal tissue must be buried regardless of how long it has been gestating. The rules state it can either be buried directly after an abortion has been performed or it can be buried or scattered after it has been incinerated. Fetal remains can also be steam disinfected before burial, according to the guideline. This is step one in Gov. Abbott’s war on women. Step two will be his cutting of funding to Planned Parenthood—for which his grandstanding has made him beaucoup dollars. Abbott has said that fetal remains should not be treated like “medical waste,” and...

Read More...


Who is the Real Tony Blair?

by Alasdair Soussi – His government presided over economic growth, health and education reforms, but also faced controversy over Iraq war. He arrived like a political hurricane, but in the end, left a legacy of controversy that, in the eyes of many in his native Britain, has today reduced him to the status of pariah. Tony Blair’s landslide victory as UK Labour leader in the 1997 general election saw the Scots-born Oxford graduate become, at just 43, the youngest person to secure the British premiership since Lord Liverpool in 1812. It would lead to 10 years at the helm of the UK government as Blair’s rebranded New Labour party enjoyed three consecutive general election victories. WATCH:  The Iraq war: Did Tony Blair deceive us? ( 2:51) But when Sir John Chilcot, author of the long-awaited and explosive report into Britain’s role in the Iraq war, told the House of Commons liaison...

Read More...


Anger Gone Viral

by PADRAIG REIDY – How Trumpism is running rampant across the West. British Labour MP Jo Cox was a committed advocate of the European Union, and a believer in Britain’s ability to do good in the world. She campaigned for the rights of Syrians — both those in her country and those still trying to find a refuge. She believed peaceful, wealthy, democratic countries had a duty to help those suffering from war, poverty and tyranny. On June 16, days before the UK’s referendum on “Brexit,” Nazi extremist Thomas Mair killed her, shooting and stabbing the mother of two multiple times outside the office where she met with her constituents. Cox was one of an increasingly rare breed in politics: an internationalist, capable of joining the dots between global phenomena and interested in analyzing action and consequence. Across the once-liberal democracies of the industrialized West, her politics are in retreat, unable to...

Read More...


Trump’s Pick for UN Ambassador Has Zero Foreign Policy Experience (VIDEO)

by PHYLLIS BENNIS – If the Senate took the United Nations seriously, they would insist on a serious diplomat, Bennis told the Real News Network. Trump’s pick for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley “Has absolutely zero foreign policy experience,” Phyllis Bennis told Real News Network. “No diplomatic experience that we know of.” This makes it very hard to know exactly how she would play out in this role  Bennis said. Haley does have a history of opposing LGBTQ rights and cutting funding for HIV prevention. Given her domestic policy track record, “regarding issues of health, children and all the various human rights work of the United Nations, it’s very unlikely that is something she is either familiar with or finds important.” In recent years, Bennis said, the role of the ambassador has shifted to focus on building UN support for U.S. wars, and Haley has nearly...

Read More...


Bernie: “The Republican Anti-Democratic Vision is not a Future We Will Allow to Happen.”

by TomP – Bernie Sanders called Trump’s voter fraud claims “disgraceful and unfounded nonsense” and warned about Republican attempts to disenfranchise people of color and others today: “When Trump talks his disgraceful and unfounded nonsense about millions of people voting illegally, he is sending a very clear signal that the Republicans will move to make it harder for people of color, the elderly, immigrants, young people and poor people to participate in elections,” Sanders said. Politico Bernie’s Full Statement focuses on the threat to American democracy under Republican control and pledges to fight to prevent it: BURLINGTON, Vt., Nov. 28 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement Monday after Donald Trump claimed “millions of people…voted illegally” and made unfounded allegations of “serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California”: “The threat to American democracy under Republican control is two-fold. First, they will likely move to go beyond the disastrous Citizens...

Read More...


Trump’s Plan to no Longer Participate in his Company’s ‘Business Operations’ is a Sham

by Ian Millhiser – It’s not enough if he still knows where the money is coming from. President-elect Donald Trump, who’s been widely criticized by constitutional experts and former White House ethics attorneys for the conflicts of interests presented by his business, attempted to defuse these concerns Wednesday morning with a series of four tweets. Trump now says that he will be removed from the operations of the business that bears his name. Donald J. Trump  ✔@realDonaldTrump Hence, legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations. The Presidency is a far more important task! 6:59 AM – 30 Nov 2016 Trump’s full tweetstorm proclaims that he will hold a press conference with his children in December to announce that his is leaving his business. He also claims, falsely, that he is “not mandated” to do so, but that it is “visually important, as President, to in no...

Read More...


Water Protectors Sue Over ‘Deliberate and Punitive’ Police Brutality

by Nadia Prupis – “The Morton County Sheriff’s Department’s illegal use of force against the water protectors has been escalating. It is only a matter of luck that no one has been killed. This must stop.” Water protectors in North Dakota on Monday filed a class-action lawsuit against Morton County, Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, and other law enforcement agencies for using excessive force the night of November 20, when peaceful demonstrators were trapped on a bridge and assaulted with impact munitions. The lawsuit seeks to block the Morton County Sheriff’s Department and other police agencies from using such weapons—including rubber bullets, water cannons, teargas grenades, and other weapons—against the protectors. The suit, brought by the Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC), a project of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), was filed on behalf of people injured on November 20 and the early morning of November 21 as police descended on the Dakota Access...

Read More...


Trump Called to Forcefully Denounce Post-Election ‘Outbreak of Hate’

by Lauren McCauley – Southern Poverty Law Center documents over 860 incidents of hate in ten days following presidential election. In what is being described as a “national outbreak of hate,” the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said Tuesday that in the 10 days following the election of Donald Trump, there were 867 documented hate incidents, such as graffiti, verbal harassment, and in some cases physical violence. The SPLC and a number of national rights groups that spoke to reporters Tuesday attribute the uptick in discriminatory harassment to the divisive rhetoric of the Trump campaign and a failure on the part of the president-elect to strongly condemn such actions. “Mr. Trump claims he’s surprised his election has unleashed a barrage of hate across the country,” said SPLC president Richard Cohen. “But he shouldn’t be. It’s the predictable result of the campaign he waged. Rather than feign surprise, Mr. Trump should take...

Read More...


Security Experts Back Up Jill Stein’s Demand for Manual Recount

by Nadia Prupis – ‘To determine whether the reported winner actually won requires verifying the results as accurately as possible, which in turn requires manually examining the underlying paper records.’ Security experts on Monday testified in support of Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, who is spearheading a by-hand election recount initiative in Wisconsin. Unless a judge rules in her favor, the state will likely allow its 72 counties to decide whether they want to conduct the process manually or by machine. On Monday, a group of academics and other specialists agreed with Stein’s argument that an automated recount would risk an incorrect tally. President-elect Donald Trump won Wisconsin 47.9 percent to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s 46.9 percent—a margin of just over 22,000 votes. A manual count would be the only way to ensure that there had been no foreign interference, the experts said. “It is not possible to determine with...

Read More...


On This Day, Nov 30, 1989 – America’s First Female Serial Killer Strikes

Richard Mallory, a store owner in Palm Harbor, Florida, is last seen taking a ride with Aileen Wuornos. The following day, his car—containing his wallet, some condoms, and an empty vodka bottle—was found abandoned in a remote area of Ormond Beach. Nearly two weeks later, his body turned up in a Daytona Beach junkyard with three bullets in his chest. Mallory’s murder was the first of seven committed by Aileen Wuornos over the next year. Perhaps because she was one of the few women killers to gain widespread fame and notoriety, she was inaccurately dubbed “America’s first female serial killer.” Her case was heavily publicized through television talk show appearances and a documentary, The Selling of a Serial Killer. Wuornos had been the victim of abuse and neglect herself. Her parents split before she was born and her father, who had been arrested for child molesting, killed himself while...

Read More...


Trump Proposes Stripping Citizenship from Political Protesters

by Ian Millhiser – This is how autocracy happens. In a scene that is likely to prove quite familiar during a Trump presidency, Americans woke up Tuesday to discover that the incoming president took to Twitter to expose his ignorance of or disregard for the Constitution. Donald J. Trump  ✔@realDonaldTrump Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail! 6:55 AM – 29 Nov 2016 Criminalizing flag burning is unconstitutional, at least when the flag is burned as a political statement. As the Supreme Court explained in Texas v. Johnson, “if there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.” Moreover, there is no indication “either in the text of the...

Read More...


Twelve Ideas Post-Election from Front Line Organizers

by Bill Quigley – When you find yourself in a suddenly darkened room, what do you do?   Some rush blindly to where they think the door might be.  Others stand still, let their eyes get adjusted to the different environment, re-orient themselves, then cautiously and sensitively, move forward.  Some search out people who might be able to show the way.  Post-election, a lot of people are re-assessing and searching for the best way forward.  Here are some ideas on where we should be going and what we should be doing from experienced, thoughtful people who are organizing on the front lines. One.  You Were Born for This Time. My friend, Cherri Foytlin, a mother who lives in rural Louisiana in a deeply Republican area, gives her life organizing to protect our earth, water and the rights of indigenous people.  For that she has been arrested and is subject to death threats. ...

Read More...


The United Kingdom Authorizes Broad Mass Surveillance on Its Citizens

by Scott Shackford – A level of snooping every autocrat in the world will admire. The United Kingdom’s Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority is not part of an agency tasked with fighting terrorism. They are a licensing body monitoring labor rules in the U.K.’s agriculture industries. Nevertheless, under a new mass surveillance law, high-ranking officials of this agency will have as much access to the private Internet information of British citizens as agencies that actually are tasked with fighting terrorism. This will be the outcome of the passage of the Investigatory Powers Act, also known as the Snooper’s Charter. It has passed both houses of the British Parliament and will become law in 2017 if approved by the queen. The Investigatory Powers Act makes the surveillance authorized by America’s PATRIOT Act look remarkably tame in comparison. The law requires Internet Service Providers to keep all metadata and web browsing history of users...

Read More...


Trump’s NYT Transcript: Read it, and Weep for our Country

by gloriasb – I urge everyone to take the time to read the entire transcript of Donald Trump’s on-the-record interview with the New York Times. It will make you cringe, grimace and maybe even cry. Some of it has already been quoted many times: We’ve seen excerpts about his not wanting to “hurt” the Clintons, about not seeing The Wall as a top priority, and especially that cringe-inducing, Nixonian assertion that “the law is on my side, the President cannot have a conflict of interest.” Understandably, the mainstream media have focused on statements pertaining to policy . But there is a lot more in the transcript that is not getting the attention it deserves. It’s not as quote-worthy—because it’s not succinct or pithy, or headline-ready. But it’s important to read it, because the parts of the interview that are not being highlighted...

Read More...


Pay More and Get Less: The Ryan Plan to Privatize Medicare

by David Akadjian – One of the fights likely to come up early during the next administration is privatizing Medicare. Tom Price, chairman of the House Budget Committee, has indicated Republicans will try to privatize Medicare in a budget reconciliation bill (a sneaky filibuster proof attack). You’re going to hear a lot about “choice” and “efficiency” and the amazingness of markets, but Ryan’s plan basically comes down to two things: 1) you will pay more, and 2) you will get less. Ryan’s proposal is for what he calls “premium support” programs. Think premium like an insurance premium, not like a Cadillac. The latter usage of the word is not a mistake though. The intent is to make it sound desirable. The big change is that Medicare would no longer provide coverage for medical care but would be a subsidy towards the purchase of a privatized insurance plan. No surprise. Ryan wants to...

Read More...


Businesses Take Fight Over Credit Card Fees to Supreme Court

by Rebecca Beitsch – The stylists at Expressions Hair Design, a salon in upstate New York, used to display a sign near the register telling customers who wished to pay with a credit card that they would be charged an additional fee to cover the cost. Then a client told them they ought to take it down. “That’s illegal,” the client, who was also a lawyer, told salon co-owner Linda Fiacco. And in New York, it is. The state is one of 10 that allow businesses to charge more for credit card purchases only if they describe the difference as a cash discount and not a credit card surcharge. The owners of Expressions Hair Design in Vestal, along with other New York businesses that have sued the state over the law, say their freedom of speech is being impinged on because they can’t explain to customers how credit card fees affect...

Read More...


Steve Bannon’s Disturbing Views on ‘Genetic Superiority’ are Shared by Trump (VIDEO)

by Laurel Raymond – They also validate a core belief of white nationalists. Former Breitbart head Steve Bannon has been a national lightning rod ever since he was appointed CEO of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. At-issue: Bannon’s deep ties to the growing white nationalist movement, which provided some of Trump’s earliest and most fervent supporters. On Sunday the New York Times published a profile on Bannon, casting him as a “combative populist.” Buried deep within the profile is an account of Bannon talking about his belief in the “genetic superiority” of certain people and his support for restricting voting rights to only property owners. A former colleague of Bannon’s, Julia Jones, recounted her interactions with Bannon to reporter Scott Shane: Ms. Jones, the film colleague, said that in their years working together, Mr. Bannon occasionally talked about the genetic superiority of some people and once mused about the desirability of limiting...

Read More...


Journalists Denounce WaPo Fake News Blacklist as Red Scare Redux

by Lauren McCauley – “Basically, everyone who isn’t comfortably within the centrist Hillary Clinton/Jeb Bush spectrum is guilty.” The Washington Post‘s promotion of a new, “McCarthyistic” so-called black list has journalists aghast over what appears to be a red scare redux, as independent news outlets critical of U.S. foreign policy are being smeared as “Russian propaganda.” “Now that we have entered a New Cold War, I suppose it makes sense that we should expect a New McCarthyism,” writes Robert Parry, investigative journalist and editor of Consortium News, which was one of the websites flagged by the anonymous organization PropOrNot as a “Russian propaganda outlet.” Last week, the Washington Post published a feature story citing PropOrNot and other supposed “experts” who allege that “Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery” was behind the rise of “fake news,” which they say spread false information about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, fueling the rise of Donald Trump....

Read More...


We Must Prevent Trump’s “Muslim Registry” Before It Starts

by Tanzila Ahmed, Truthout | Op-Ed – Maybe I shouldn’t have been so glib about talking about internment camps when I gave my speech. Well, at the time it had felt a little glib — but in hindsight, it feels prescient. I was at an award ceremony for a local Asian American organization where my co-podcaster and I were accepting a Rising Star Award for our #GoodMuslimBadMuslim podcast. It was two weeks before Election Day, and as I accepted the award, I ended my speech with, “Finally, when you vote on November 8, please think of faces like ours — when you vote, you aren’t just voting for yourselves — you’re doing it to not send us to an internment camp.” We both gave campy sad faces. People in the crowd laughed uncomfortably. The internment of Japanese Americans is no joke. But given the absurdity of the world, I thought...

Read More...


House Democrats: New Leadership, New Energy

by Robert Borosage – House Democrats will caucus this week to decide who will lead them in the coming term as they gird for the assault coming from Trump and the Republican congressional majorities. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, head of the caucus since 2003, is widely considered a shoo-in for re-election as leader, despite a challenge by Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio. But Democrats have been in the minority since the disastrous 2010 bi-elections. In the House where the majority rules, that is the closest thing to six, going on eight years, of house arrest. A squad of spry septuagenarians leads Democrats: Pelosi is 76; Steny Hoyer, the Whip, is 77; Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn is 76. Pelosi and Hoyer have been in place since 2003.   In contrast, Republican leader, Speaker Paul Ryan, turns 47 in January. It is hard to argue that Democrats represent the future when their...

Read More...