Culture

‘Real America’ Helped Make Saturday’s Protests the Biggest in U.S. History

by Adam Peck – Middle America protested Donald Trump’s inauguration just as bigly as coastal elites. A common refrain among Republicans is that the people who live in big coastal cities like New York, Washington D.C., and San Francisco are out of touch with “real Americans.” On Saturday, photos from hundreds of protests and marches across the country in opposition to Donald Trump’s day-old presidency countered that notion. In Washington, D.C., an estimated 500,000 people descended upon the national mall to protest Trump’s presidency, a crowd estimated at three times the size of Trump’s own sparsely attended inauguration the day before. But millions more people also partook in sister marches and rallies across the country — including in the very same “real America” that Republicans claim to represent. Here are a few front pages from such liberal bastions as Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, and Montana: Front pages from newspapers around the country. CREDIT: Newseum A pair...

Read More...


Progressives Are the New Silent Majority

by THEO ANDERSON – Most Americans actually prefer progressive policies — so how did we get here? Something remarkable has happened over the past few years: A new silent majority has emerged, decades after Richard Nixon made that phrase famous. Nixon meant the people whose values were, he said, dominant in American culture, but underrepresented in American politics. Calling them the silent majority was a way of channeling the white backlash against the civil rights movement. The new silent majority is defined by the broad consensus that has emerged in the United States around progressive policies. This consensus isn’t widely reported. In fact, it’s obscured by the oft-repeated idea that the nation is deeply polarized, as if Americans are torn between support for conservative and progressive policies. They aren’t. On the battlefield of ideology, conservatives have been routed. The progressive consensus cuts across economic and social issues and includes even traditional...

Read More...


Oklahoma Considers Extreme Pro-Discrimination ‘Religious Liberty’ Bill

by Zack Ford – The conservative state fell behind on anti-LGBT legislation in 2016 and is trying to catch up. In 2016, Oklahoma set a record for the most anti-LGBT bills introduced in one session, worsting Texas from the year before. Fortunately, legislative deadlines kept them from advancing, but now one lawmaker is back with what appears to be one of the most extreme “religious liberty” proposals any state has considered. Behind the measure is Sen. Joseph Silk (R), who has an extensive record of particularly anti-LGBT legislation and statements. He calls his new bill, SB 197, the “Oklahoma Right of Conscience Act,” but it explicitly enables discrimination against LGBT people — and possibly just about anyone else! SB 197 ensures that no one ever has to provide any services used in or to promote “a marriage ceremony or celebration of a specific lifestyle or behavior.” Additionally, such denials will be immune to any...

Read More...


Why Obama Nostalgia Matters

by NEAL GABLER – President Obama, for all his faults and our disagreements with him, challenged us to rise to our better natures. As Donald Trump’s inauguration approaches, a lot of you may be feeling what I am: premature Obama nostalgia. This isn’t to say we didn’t have disagreements with him — serious ones. After the initial euphoria of having a young, intelligent and black commander-in-chief wore off, I thought of him as a passionless president, too cool for his and our own good. I would have preferred that he be a brawler who not only came out swinging but who also did so bare-knuckled. Instead, Obama sat on the stool and squandered far too much of his presidency trying to make nice with people who were determined to destroy him and the welfare state he should have been protecting. From the outset, he played to history, to the legacy he...

Read More...


Netanyahu’s Media Scandal: Who Bribed Whom? (VIDEOS)

by Jonathan Cook – The smell of scandal has swirled around the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for years. But only now is the smell starting to turn to a stench, say analysts. Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, have long been known for cultivating close relations with Israel’s leading business families. Those ties, many Israelis assumed, explained why the famously parsimonious couple managed to indulge such expensive tastes. Past investigations have looked into first-class transatlantic flights and stays at top hotels, but foundered on a lack of evidence that the Netanyahus had traded the high life for favours. Until recently, most of the Israeli public had been amused, rather than outraged, by stories of astronomical bills at the prime minister’s residence for wine, ice-cream and hairstyling. But the latest revelations have the potential to be far more damaging. This week one Israeli commentator suggested Netanyahu’s conduct risked being compared to the...

Read More...


Ringling Bros. Circus ‘Finally Bows to Public Opinion,’ to End Run in May

by Deirdre Fulton – Announcement seen as ‘a sign that any industry—including farms, labs, and circuses—that commits violence against animals is destined to fail’. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced Saturday night that it would hold its final performance in May, a victory for animal rights activists who have battled the show for decades. A message from Kenneth Feld, president of the Ringling parent company Feld Entertainment, said that “Ringling Bros. ticket sales have been declining, but following the transition of the elephants off the road, we saw an even more dramatic drop. This, coupled with high operating costs, made the circus an unsustainable business for the company.” The company said in March 2015 that it would retire its elephants by 2018. Other performing animals, such as tigers, lions, horses, dogs, and camels, remained in the show. Animal rights groups cheered Saturday’s announcement, attributing it to shifting public opinion after a long...

Read More...


Dissent Is Patriotic. It’s Also a Powerful Antidote to Propaganda

by Bethany Woolman, ACLU of Northern California – “If you’re to be called a communist every time you stand up for basic American rights and freedoms, what’s likely to happen? Will you be silent? And if so, is this what the House Committee on Un-American Activities is really after — a silent, submissive, un-protesting America?” -Ernest Besig, “Operation Correction,” 1961 Fifty-five years ago this January, the ACLU of Northern California was busy filling orders from across the country for copies of its recently produced film, “Operation Correction.” The film was a response to a piece of Red Scare propaganda, “Operation Abolition,” which was produced by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and depicted civil liberties activists in San Francisco as violent “communist agents” bent on destroying the fabric of America. In those days, the federal government was deeply concerned with the political affiliations of ordinary Americans — if those...

Read More...


Maybe This Is How Democracy Ends

by Mike Lofgren – The frightening rise of authoritarian populism in the West is a very real, clear, and present danger. The election of Donald Trump has triggered as much wonderment abroad as it has in the United States. David Runciman, a professor of politics at the University of Cambridge, has written in the London Review of Books a provocative reflection on the nature of democracy in the age of Trump: “Is this how democracy ends?” There is much to praise in his essay, including his heavy qualification that we really don’t know for sure if what we are seeing is the end phase of mature Western democracies since we do not have the appropriate historical precedents to be certain. Runciman is correct; as an admirer of Karl Popper, I believe that there is no such thing as historical determinism, either in the form of the Marxist dialectical process, or in...

Read More...


Chicago Police Regularly Use Excessive Force in Violation of Fourth Amendment, says DOJ Report

by Josie Duffy Rice – The Chicago Police Department regularly violates the Fourth Amendment by using “unnecessary and avoidable” uses of force, an investigation by the Justice Department has found. The Department has released a 161-page report of its investigation and findings. According to the Department: This pattern or practice includes: Shooting at fleeing suspects who presented no immediate threat; Shooting at vehicles without justification; Using less-lethal force, including tasers, against people who pose no threat; Using force to retaliate against and punish individuals; Using excessive force against juveniles; In addition, the following practices contribute to the pattern or practice of excessive force: Failing to effectively de-escalate situations or to use crisis intervention techniques to reduce the need for force Employing tactics that unnecessarily endanger officers and result in avoidable shootings and other uses of force; and Failing to accurately document...

Read More...


Homeland Security Pick, John Kelly, Calls for Border Wall (VIDEO)

The retired marine general says tightening the US border would be his top priority at homeland security secretary. John Kelly, the US President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the department of homeland security, has said tightening the country’s border would be his top priority at his new role. In a questionnaire released on Tuesday ahead of his Senate confirmation hearing, Kelly said achieving that goal starts with “physical obstacles like a border wall and supporting surveillance technologies”. The retired marine general said it also requires constant patrols from federal and local law enforcement. Trump vs America: Presidential conflict of interest? – Counting the Cost Trump has pledged to build a wall on the Mexican border and carry out mass deportations of undocumented immigrants. Deportations reached record levels under President Barack Obama, whose administration deported more than 2.5 million people between 2009 and 2015. A large wall already exists on much of the...

Read More...


Ending DACA Will Cost States Billions of Dollars

by Silva Mathema – Since June 2012, more than 752,000 people who came to the United States as children have benefitted from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. This initiative has provided recipients with a temporary reprieve from deportation and renewable work permits. DACA has lessened the barriers for these recipients to reach their full potential—they have been able to secure good jobs, obtain driver’s licenses, and pursue higher education—so that they might better contribute to their communities. A 2016 survey of DACA recipients shows that they work across many different industries ranging from educational and health services to nonprofits. Along with receiving higher wages, DACA recipients are buying cars, homes, and other goods and services to boost local economies. But this quintessential embodiment of the American dream is under attack. During his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump threatened to end DACA, along with other executive actions. While it remains to...

Read More...


Under Jeff Sessions, Drug Legalization and Sentencing Reforms will go up in Smoke

by Alice Miranda Ollstein – Donald Trump’s nominee for Attorney General is one of Washington’s most anti-marijuana lawmakers. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and hundreds of thousands of people are arrested every year for smoking, growing, or selling the drug. But over the past eight years, President Obama has commuted the sentences of hundreds of nonviolent drug offenders serving decades-long prison terms — signing more commutations than any other president in history. He encouraged a bipartisan effort in Congress to lower harsh mandatory sentences for drug offenders. He expanded the amount of marijuana grown for medical research. His Justice Department opted to leave alone states that decriminalized and legalized marijuana to varying degrees. Under his tenure, eight states and the District of Columbia legalized recreational marijuana, and nearly 30 states now allow its use in some form. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Donald Trump’s nominee to become the nation’s next Attorney General, opposed...

Read More...


New Data Proves How Effective Gun Control Laws Are

by Ryan Denson – The liberal “third-world hell hole” (as Ann Coulter calls it) that is California has some of the strictest gun-control laws in the United States, far surpassing Illinois and New York. Naturally, Republicans will use these facts to somehow smear the liberal state as being one that exhibits the most gun violence around — even though red states produce more gun violence per capita than blue. Surprisingly, what many people may not know — and what they won’t hear on Fox News — is that California has experienced a sharp decline in gun violence over the last 20 years, putting a fatal dent in the right’s scare tactics when it comes to guns and the Second Amendment. Gavin Newsome, California’s current Lieutenant Governor, recently spoke at a press conference regarding Prop 63, which limited magazine sizes, banned the sale of assault weapons, and conducted background checks on...

Read More...


Jewish Centers in at Least Six States all Receive Bomb Threats on the Same Day

by Jack Jenkins – “It seems to be an unfortunate trend.” Jewish centers in at least six states all received bomb threats on Monday, adding to a growing wave of anti-Semitism across the country. As first reported by Haaretz, several Jewish centers were forced to evacuate after anonymous callers phoned in with bomb threats. Although no one was harmed, the threats occurred in New Jersey, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Delaware, Maryland, and possibly others, according to local news sources and ThinkProgress reporting. Paul Goldenberg, who helps coordinates security for the Jewish Community Centers across the country, said a total of 16 centers received threats. “We have a preschool with almost 200 children, and probably another 30 or 40 staff,” Michael Feinstein, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Center in Rockville, Maryland, told ThinkProgress. “Everyone was evacuated calmly and quickly.” Feinstein said the threat was the first the center had ever received,...

Read More...


In 2 Minutes, Cory Booker Shows the GOP What #Resistance Looks Like as he Defends Planned Parenthood

by Leslie Salzillo – In response to the GOP’s plan to defund Planned Parenthood, New Jersey’s Senator Cory Booker knocked it out of the park this week during a press conference. Here is transcript followed by the short and stunning YouTube video of Booker demonstrating and explaining how a real #Resistance can, does, and will work. TRANSCRIPT: Patty Murray: I call again on all members, Republican and Democrat, who stood with this time and time again, for people across the country, men and women who understand the impacts of what this is — to stand up and fight back now before it’s too late. Cory Booker: So, I don’t have a message for fellow Republican elected, because they’re not depending on Planned Parenthood in their neighborhoods. They’re well paid comfortable people. I have a message for every American, Democrat, and Republican who rely on these services or know people that do,...

Read More...


The Dangerous Normalization of Donald Trump

by STEVEN HARPER – There’s a way to keep our short attention spans and Trump’s norm-shattering behavior from damaging the republic: “Expose and Oppose.” Americans are living through the dangerous effort to normalize the abnormal candidate who won the presidency with a record popular vote deficit of nearly 3 million ballots. Donald Trump has about the same popular support as losing candidates Michael Dukakis (1988) and John Kerry (2004). But that won’t slow him down. As with many insecure leaders, he’ll attempt to govern as if he had a mandate for sweeping change. He doesn’t. Any mandate resides with the opposition. The first step in his path toward a destination that only he knows is normalizing him. He’ll succeed and, in the process, subject the republic to incalculable damage only if others let it happen or, even worse, assist him. This column is the first in a series outlining a way to prevent that calamity....

Read More...


The 15 Warnings Signs of Impending Tyranny

by Robert Reich – As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically: 1.  Exaggerate their mandate to govern – claiming, for example, that they won an election by a landslide even after losing the popular vote. 2.  Repeatedly claim massive voter fraud in the absence of any evidence, in order to restrict voting in subsequent elections. 3.  Call anyone who opposes them “enemies.” 4.  Turn the public against journalists or media outlets that criticize them, calling them “deceitful” and “scum.” 5.  Hold few if any press conferences, preferring to communicate with the public directly through mass rallies and unfiltered statements. 6.  Tell the public big lies, causing them to doubt the truth and to believe fictions that support the tyrants’ goals. 7.  Blame economic stresses on immigrants or racial or religious minorities, and foment public bias and even violence against them. 8.  Attribute acts of domestic violence to “enemies within,” and...

Read More...


About Seven in Ten Americans Oppose Overturning Roe v. Wade

by HANNAH FINGERHUT – More than 40 years after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, 69% of Americans say the historic ruling, which established a woman’s constitutional right to abortion in the first three months of pregnancy, should not be completely overturned. Nearly three-in-ten (28%), by contrast, would like to see it overturned. Public opinion about the 1973 case has held relatively steady in recent decades, though the share saying the decision should not be overturned is up slightly from four years ago. In January 2013, 63% said this, which was similar to views measured in surveys conducted over the prior two decades. Democrats have long been more likely than Republicans to say Roe v. Wade should not be overturned, but the partisan gap has grown wider over time.  Today, 84% of Democrats and those who lean Democratic say the Supreme Court should not completely overturn the ruling, up 9 percentage points...

Read More...


Dan Rather Takes on Wall Street Journal Regarding Trump Treatment: ‘A Lie, is a Lie, is a Lie’

by Jen Hayden – Wall Street Journal editor Gerard Baker was a guest on NBC’s Meet the Press over the weekend and during a discussion about how to cover Donald Trump moving forward, the subject of politicians, like Trump, flat-out lying came up and Gerard Baker gave a stunning answer, cautioning against using the word “lie.” Read the remarkable exchange: CHUCK TODD:  The issue of facts. We don’t — people always say, “You’ve got to fact check, you’ve got to fact check.” There isn’t an agreement on what the facts are. And this is yet another challenge for you and everybody here. Do you feel comfortable saying so and so lied? You know, if somebody says just an outright falsehood, do you say the word, “lie”? Is that important to start putting in reporting, or not?  GERARD BAKER:  You know it’s a good — I’d be careful about using the word,...

Read More...


Racist Carl Paladino Gets Booted Off School Board (VIDEO)

by Stephen D Foster Jr – The Buffalo School Board refuses to tolerate racism from one of their own members, and decisively voted to oust a racist Trump supporter from their ranks on Thursday. Earlier this month, Carl Paladino wrote a wish list hoping for President Obama’s death from mad cow disease and called for First Lady Michelle Obama to be sent to live with gorillas in Africa. “I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla,” Paladino wrote. Predictably, national outrage ensued as Paladino’s own son condemned him. “We value and respect our employees, friends, partners and all of our commercial and residential tenancies and we do not condone the statements made about the President of the United States and his wife,” William Paladino wrote. “They were disrespectful and absolutely unnecessary.”...

Read More...


Anti-Semitic Group Plans Armed March in Small Montana Town

by Aaron Rupar – Neo-Nazis escalate their harassment campaign against Jews in the hometown of a white supremacist leader’s mother. The Daily Stormer, a popular American neo-Nazi website, is organizing an armed march in Whitefish, Montana, home of white nationalist leader Richard Spencer’s mother. In a recent blog post that features Hilter’s face as its banner image, Andrew Anglin, publisher of the white supremacist website, announced he’s planning an armed march in the town for the second week of January — days before President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. “Montana has extremely liberal open carry laws, so my lawyer is telling me we can easily march through the center of the town carrying high-powered rifles,” Anglin wrote, adding that he plans to be there personally. “Currently, my guys say we are going to be able to put together about 200 people to participate in the march, which will be against Jews, Jewish businesses and everyone who...

Read More...


Russian Officials Finally Admit Olympic Doping was an ‘Institutional Conspiracy’

by Lindsay Gibbs – They’re not apologizing, though. In the past, Russian officials have vehemently denied allegations of widespread doping, going so far as to call reports “baseless libel.” But now they are changing their tone. “It was an institutional conspiracy,” Anna Antseliovich, the acting director general of Russia’s national anti-doping agency, told the New York Times in a series of interviews conducted in Moscow. This reversal comes just weeks after Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren delivered the second part of his report on Russian doping, part of an independent investigation commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). McLaren found that more than 1,000 Russian athletes in 30 sports were part of the state-sponsored doping program, which dates back to at least 2011. The breadth of the Russian doping scandal is unprecedented. In May, an explosive New York Times interview with Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory, revealed...

Read More...


There were 61 Victims of Gun Violence in Chicago During Christmas Weekend

The number of homicides in the city skyrocketed this year. Gun violence killed 11 Chicago residents and injured 50 more, including two teenage girls, during Christmas weekend. The shootings came just days after a Brennan Center report concluded the homicide rate in the nation’s biggest cities jumped 14 percent in 2016 — due in large part to gun violence spiraling out of control in Chicago. According to the Chicago Tribune, which closely tracks shootings in the city, seven people were killed on Christmas Day. The total number of shootings over the holiday weekend was also significantly higher than on the past two Christmas holidays. There were 29 people gunned down in 2015 and 35 people shot in 2014. Fourteen of them died. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson attributed the recent shootings to gang violence in the “South and West sides of the city.” “These were deliberate and planned shootings by one gang against...

Read More...


Ted Cruz to Introduce Bill Allowing Discrimination Against LGBT Americans Nationwide

by Hunter   – Led by Sen. Ted Cruz, Republicans will be wasting no time in their efforts to roll back civil rights for LGBT Americans. would prohibit the federal government from taking “discriminatory action” against any business or person that discriminates against LGBTQ people. The act distinctly aims to protect the right of all entities to refuse service to LGBTQ people based on two sets of beliefs: “(1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.” The intentionally broadly-written law would, in other words, enshrine the “right” of any private business to deny service to gay Americans outright if they are personally opposed to marriage equality. It would not merely allow businesses to deny their services in same-sex marriage ceremonies themselves: it would allow any business to...

Read More...


Teaching Civics in the Time of Trump

by PANYIN CONDUAH – Many Americans are still going through a whirlwind of emotions as they process November’s election results and the dawning of Donald Trump’s presidency. Although, by the time the official tally is finished, Trump will likely have lost the popular vote by 2 full percentage points, the Electoral College will place him in the Oval Office when a joint session of Congress formally counts the votes in January. Many feel hopeless when it comes to the future of America and criticize the outcome as the result of a broken system. But while Trump may have won the big seat in the Oval Office, officials in other branches of government at the federal, state and local levels have the power to stand up to Trump’s agenda. For American voters to effectively push these levers of power, however, they’re going to have to understand how government works. Studies show that...

Read More...


Taking Weapon Out of Trump’s Arsenal, Obama Finally Kills Bush-Era Muslim Registry

by Jon Queally – ACLU applauds end of “completely failed counter-terrorism tool and massive profiling program that didn’t yield a single terrorism conviction in nearly a decade” With a President Donald Trump on the horizon, civil liberties advocates applauded President Barack Obama on Thursday after his administration announced the end of a federal registration program for Muslim and Arab immigrants. Established by the George W. Bush administration in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) was criticized since its inception as regressive attempt to profile individuals based on their national heritage and religion. Though the provision has been dormant since enforcement of it was blocked in 2011, Thursday’s announcement signals the government’s official cancellation of the policy. According to a statement by the Department of Homeland Security, “the regulatory structure pertaining to NSEERS no longer provides a discernible public benefit as  the program has been...

Read More...


The U.S. Executed Fewer People in 2016 than in any Other Year Since 1991

by Carimah Townes – Support for capital punishment is at its lowest point in decades. Capital punishment in the U.S. is gradually becoming a thing of the past. Twenty death row inmates were executed in 2016 — the lowest number in 25 years, according to a new report from the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), a non-profit organization that collects and analyzes data on capital punishment. The DPIC projects that 30 new death sentences will have been handed down this year, a 37 percent drop from 2015. Public support for executions is also waning among people of all political and social backgrounds. The DPIC’s annual findings, published on Wednesday, included an analysis of death penalty trends since the 1970s, when the U.S. Supreme Court abolished and then reinstated capital punishment. The number of executions skyrocketed in the 1990s and peaked in 1999, when 98 people were put to death; since then, there’s been a...

Read More...


Beach Boys Song Too Sexually Offensive for 2016 College Campus

by Elizabeth Nolan Brown – The Midwest farmer’s daughters are not alright. Before they took a turn toward the psychedelic in the mid-1960s, the Beach Boys were about as uncontroversial as you could get in American pop music. But what was acceptable for teenyboppers in the early ’60s may be too sexually taboo for today’s college campuses. University of Kentucky (UK) journalism professor Buck Ryan claims he was sanctioned for singing the Beach Boys’ 1965 single “California Girls” while in his official capacity as a UK representative. The university’s Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity found Ryan violated federal Title IX guidelines against sex-based discrimination and harassment by using “language of a sexual nature.” “If my case is any indication, then everyone concerned about discrimination and sexual harassment should be alarmed,” wrote Ryan in a letter to the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan also pointed out that he has never, in a...

Read More...


This Is Real, This Is Happening

by William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed – “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” — Henry David Thoreau I baked cookies the other day. Chocolate chip with those little nuts mixed in, the crumbly ones that get everywhere as soon as you crack the bag. I didn’t do the Toll House thing, the easy stuff in a yellow tube you find in the aisle next to the yogurt. No, I went full Nana, hunting every shelf in the market for ingredients like a nearsighted quarterback doing check-downs after a busted play. Brown sugar, chocolate chips, butter, the crumbly nuts … I started to get worried when I found myself squinting at a row of bleach bottles looking for flour. As for the cookies, well … they exist. I sharpened the kitchen knives on the first one out of the oven. Didn’t leave a mark. This...

Read More...


In Historic Decision, Canada Declares Internet Access a Fundamental Right for All

by Lauren McCauley – National telecom agency promises to connect all Canadians, from Quebec to Yukon, to high-speed broadband. In what is being described as a “historic” decision that will have a significant impact, particularly on the lives of those living in rural and First Nations communities, Canada’s telecom agency on Wednesday issued a new rule declaring high-speed internet a basic service “necessary to the quality of life” of all Canadians. “The future of our economy, our prosperity, and our society—indeed, the future of every citizen—requires us to set ambitious goals, and to get on with connecting all Canadians for the 21st century,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, chair of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), at a news conference. “These goals are ambitious. They will not be easy to achieve and they will cost money. But we have no choice.” Under the new broadband strategy, the CRTC aims to provide 100...

Read More...


President Obama on Political Correctness: ‘Don’t Go Around Just Looking for Insults’ (VIDEO)

by Robby Soave – In an NPR interview, the president explained the difference between being polite and being politically correct. During a recent interview with NPR, President Obama was asked if Donald Trump was right: has political correctness gone too far? “This is a tricky issue,” Obama answered. “Because the definition of political correctness is all over the map. I suspect the president-elect’s definition would be different than mine.” The president then offered two definitions of political correctness: the first is simply having good manners. It’s wrong to shout racial epithets at people, or to verbally harass them. Objecting to abusive treatment isn’t an example of political-correctness-run-amok—or if it is, then political correctness is a good thing. Most people probably want to live in a country where people are encouraged not to scream obscenities at each other. The second definition of political correctness, according to Obama, is “hypersensitivity that ends up...

Read More...


Dylann Roof was not ‘Self-Radicalized.’ He was Part of a Racist Community

by Casey Quinlan – The group that radicalized Dylann Roof isn’t that different from the “alt-right.” Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who shot nine African Americans at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston last June, was found guilty of 33 separate federal charges last week. He faces the death penalty. Roof acted alone, but the massacre he committed was not an isolated incident. Other white supremacist shooters from the past five years included Wade Michael Page, who fatally shot six people and wounded four others in a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin in 2012; and Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., who killed three people at a Jewish Community Center in Kansas in 2014. News reports have often described Roof and the perpetrators of similar massacres as “self-radicalized” “lone wolves.” But these attacks don’t emerge out of vacuums. Page got involved in neo-Nazi activities at a U.S. Army base. Miller was the leader of...

Read More...


The Bigotry of Trump’s Cabinet (VIDEO)

by Victoria Fleischer – By “talented,” he means… President-elect Trump ran a campaign insulting Mexicans, spreading fear about Islam, and generally enthralling white supremacists, so it should be no surprise that he’s chosen a cabinet that reflects these views. Trump nominated Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. In 1986, the Senate rejected Sessions’ nomination to become a federal judge due to accusations of racism. How about Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary? His bank is accused of discrimination. According to the complaint, the bank kept branches out of neighborhoods of color and denied mortgages to homebuyers of color. Watch the video to see what some of Trump’s other picks had to say. Transcript: TRUMP: These are really really talented people TEXT: President-elect Trump has started shaping his administration. Here’s what it looks like: Jeff Sessions; Junior Senator, Alabama; Trump’s Attorney General RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: An African-American assistant U.S. attorney in Alabama testified...

Read More...


Dare for Democracy: Three Essential Steps

by FRANCES MOORE LAPPÉ AND ADAM EICHEN – The Small Planet Institute has published an online guide to help people find a way to get involved. Many Americans remain in shock and outrage, unable to grasp how a man who told bald-faced lies, who ridiculed and defamed others, and who boasted of sexual assault could yet ascend to the presidency of the United States. Despair isn’t an option; it’s our greatest enemy. We know we must act more boldly than ever. To save the democracy we thought we had, we must take democracy to where it’s never been. Most of us find our courage through acting with others. So we at the Small Planet Institute are launching a Field Guide to the Democracy Movement. Together we can create a vibrant, bipartisan, multicultural “movement of movements.” This Democracy Movement can mobilize people not just online, but face-to-face, creating personal bonds strong enough to...

Read More...


Talking Back to Hate Speech, Explained

by GAIL ABLOW – The outbreak of racist, sexist and xenophobic harassment across the US is alarming. People have reported almost 900 instances of hate speech since Nov. 8, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Many are on high alert, wondering how they might respond to a hate crime. “I am extremely concerned about all the hate crimes I am reading about. What can I do if I witness a bias attack?” Short answer: We reached out to experts to devise a strategy. Here’s what they recommend: 1) Be a good witness, record and identify the incident. 2) Be prepared to speak out, but don’t escalate the conflict. 3) Be an ally. 4) Find a safe space. 5) Learn more. 1. Be a good witness Report it. “First of all,” said J. Thomas Manger, police chief of Montgomery County, Maryland, “be a good witness. Call 911 so the police can...

Read More...


Purging Career Civil Servants? That’s The Conservative Playbook

by Bill Scher – When the Trump transition asked the Energy Department to name employees that attended climate change conferences, many people — especially Energy Department employees — reacted in horror, concluding that the incoming administration wants to purge career civil servants from the government. As the Washington Post has reported, some Trump advisers are counseling him to weaken civil servant protections and make purging easier: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) urged Trump to take on unions by “getting permission to fire corrupt, incompetent and dishonest workers,” declaring in a New Yorker magazine article, “you have to end the civil-service permanent employment.” Reuters quoted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) saying Trump should seek civil service changes to make it “a lot easier to fire those people.” Of course, the recommendations are publicly couched in terms of improving government effectiveness. But it’s a longstanding chapter in the conservative playbook...

Read More...


Will Police Killings Rise in Trump’s America? (VIDEOS)

by Patrick Strickland – Every Mardi Gras, Sandra Harris would make ham and bell peppers for her 22-year-old son, Eric. “He used to say, ‘Mama, make sure you cook enough … We should have some left over for tomorrow,'” Sandra recalls, a wistful smile settling on her face. The family would host relatives and friends for the annual carnival at their home in Harmony Oaks, a predominantly African-American neighbourhood of New Orleans. But this year, on the night of February 8, the day before Mardi Gras, Sandra started to worry. Eric had gone to the mall to buy clothes for his two-year-old son, Carter, and wasn’t returning her phone calls. “He always answered or called right back,” she says. “I felt something. I just kept making calls. His phone just rung, rung, rung.” She was afraid he’d been arrested. But when she received a frantic phone call from her daughter, what...

Read More...


San Francisco Judges Dismiss 66,000 Arrest Warrants Against The City’s Homeless

by Whitney Webb – San Francisco chief judge John Stewart and his colleagues dismissed thousands of cases against the homeless for “quality-of-life” crimes such as sleeping on sidewalks because it “was the right thing to do.” The United States, despite often advertising itself as the world’s “most developed” nation, has a major problem with homelessness, with approximately 3.5 million currently living with no place to call home. Even though vacant houses outnumber the nation’s homeless by more than five to one, most of them end up sleeping in public places or out in the street. In cities around the country, the homeless are frequently criminalized as are those who offer them food and other forms of human kindness. Despite the widespread maltreatment of the homeless, judges in San Francisco have been dismissing thousands upon thousands of arrest warrants targeting the homeless because “it was the right thing to do.” Many...

Read More...


Oklahoma Republicans Mandate New Anti-Abortion Signage in the State’s Public Restrooms

by Hunter – As part of the Republican Party’s ongoing efforts to turn America into a society based on The Handmaid’s Tale (if it had been written by George Orwell), Oklahoma Republicans have forced through some new, properly theocratic signage. Oklahoma plans to force hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants and public schools to post signs inside public restrooms directing pregnant women where to receive services as part of an effort to reduce abortions in the state. The provision for the signs was tucked into a law that the Legislature passed this year that requires the state to develop informational material “for the purpose of achieving an abortion-free society.” The signs must be posted by January 2018. No money was allocated to the signs, which means nursing homes (sigh) will have to put up the anti-abortion signage on their own dime. And it includes nursing homes because it includes all public bathrooms in the...

Read More...


Sanctuary Cities Vow to Defend ‘Basic Human Decency’ From Trump

by Andrea Germanos – With Donald Trump‘s inauguration just over a month away, it will soon become clear whether he intends on using beginning days in the White House to try to follow through on his promise to end federal funding for sanctuary cities. Scores of such cities, however, are standing resolute, with officials from over three dozen of them publicly reaffirming their commitment to “basic human decency.” Sanctuary cities, sometimes called Fourth Amendment cities, as The Atlantic‘s CityLab has described, offer some protection to undocumented immigrants because they “keep local policing and federal immigration enforcement separate by asking local police to decline ‘detainers’—non-binding requests from ICE asking for extended detention of inmates they suspect are deportable.” In contrast to claims made by proponents of harsh immigrant crackdowns, research has shown that “designating a city as a sanctuary has no statistically significant effect on crime.” In fact, it is harsh immigration...

Read More...


‘Fascist Rhetoric’ Becoming Commonplace in US and Europe: UN

by Nadia Prupis – Human rights chief’s warning comes as far-right Dutch politician favored to become Prime Minister is convicted of inciting discrimination. The “rhetoric of fascism” is on the rise in the U.S. and Europe, a United Nations official warned on Thursday, a disturbing trend that puts “unprecedented pressure” on human rights standards around the world. “Anti-foreigner rhetoric full of unbridled vitriol and hatred is proliferating to a frightening degree, and is increasingly unchallenged,” said Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the U.N. human rights chief. “The rhetoric of fascism is no longer confined to a secret underworld of fascists, meeting in ill-lit clubs or on the ‘Deep Net.’ It is becoming part of normal daily discourse.” Speaking ahead of International Human Rights Day on December 10, Zeid warned that “if the growing erosion of the carefully constructed system of human rights and rule of law continues to gather momentum, ultimately everyone...

Read More...


4 Factors Driving Anti-Establishment Sentiment in Europe

by RICHARD WIKE – The failure of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s constitutional reform referendum has rattled the already shaky nerves of European political elites. On the heels of Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory, the Italian verdict highlights once more the depth of public anger with the political establishment in Western nations. And with elections approaching in the Netherlands, France and Germany, many worry that 2017 could be at least as politically disruptive as 2016 has been. Pew Research Center surveys have highlighted a variety of factors driving the anti-establishment sentiments spreading throughout much of Europe, including economic anxieties, security fears, cultural unease and a lack of confidence in political institutions. 1) Europeans are pessimistic about their long-term economic future. Many are unhappy with the current state of the economy in Europe: In five of the 10 European nations we polled earlier this year, majorities described the economic situation in the country...

Read More...


‘Identity Politics’ Actually Won in North Carolina (VIDEO)

by Zack Ford – Gov. Pat McCrory (R) has finally conceded defeat, and he lost for being anti-LGBT. The gubernatorial race in North Carolina was close, though not quite as close as originally thought. After weeks of challenges, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) conceded Monday, making him the only incumbent governor who was not reelected in 2016. McCrory’s unique loss can only be attributed to his opposition to LGBT equality. He lost to Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) by just over 10,000 votes in a year when North Carolina otherwise voted more heavily Republican. Donald Trump (R), who McCrory openly campaigned with, bested Hillary Clinton (D) by about 173,000 votes. Sen. Richard Burr (R) held his seat with 267,000 more votes than challenger Deborah Ross (D). The major thing that differentiated McCrory from the candidates in these other races is that HB2 defined his campaign. HB2 was the law the North Carolina legislature...

Read More...


Dakota Access Pipeline Permit Denied

by Nika Knight – ‘For the first time in Native American history, they heard our voices.’ In a long-awaited victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has denied a permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline, tribal leadership announced late Sunday. The agency will not allow the pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe, a reservoir near the tribal reservation, without a full environmental impact assessment that examines alternative routes for the pipeline. While acknowledging that it may only end up being a temporary pause in pipeline construction, many see it as an incredible victory for the water protectors, who have faced water cannons, mace, rubber bullets, mass arrests, and more in their months-long struggle to protect their drinking water and treaty land. Other activists expressed suspicion and caution, as the U.S. government has historically betrayed its promises to Native Americans, and warned that the water protectors must remain...

Read More...


The Conservative Group Behind Efforts to Intimidate Professors

by Casey Quinlan – Turning Point USA encourages conservative student activism, but its latest efforts look a lot like harassment. Last week, a conservative group called Turning Point USA published a “Professor Watchlist” that targets academics accused of pushing a “radical agenda.” But the project is part of the group’s much larger effort to organize young conservatives on college campuses. Since its start in 2012, the group has started local chapters at hundreds of universities and high schools across the United States. Founder Charlie Kirk has used the megaphone of social media — he has over 84,000 followers on Twitter — and his regular television appearances as the conservative Millennial to bring attention to his organization and the Professor Watchlist. Although much of the The Turning Point USA website is benign, some of its resources claim affirmative action is unfair and suggest being confrontational with groups seeking safe spaces. The Turning Point USA website provides...

Read More...


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...


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 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...


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...


Prepare Your Daughters to Re-Fight the Battles Their Grandmothers had Won

by Victor Klemperer Respawned – I have been banging this drum for a long time, but the threat of a Trump (or God forbid, a Pence) administration adds new urgency. At the end of the day, the issue comes down to something real simple.  If you read the decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Alito is clear they are not stopping with abortion.   Setting the stage for a repeal of Roe v. Wade isn’t going to satisfy these guys.  They are chomping at the bit to repeal Griswold v. Connecticut.  Griswold is the case that struck down a Connecticut law that had made the use of birth control by married couples illegal. You know who brought the case over 50 years ago that set the stage for access to birth control?  Estelle Griswold, the executive director of Planned Parenthood in Connecticut.  So don’t be fooled by the apparent ahistorical nature of the Republicons.  They know exactly...

Read More...


‘Professor Watchlist’ Launched in the Nick of Time

by Thandisizwe Chimurenga – Just in time for Donald Trump’s America comes the Professor Watchlist, launched this week by Turning Point USA. It’s no secret that some of America’s college professors are totally out of line. Everyday I hear stories about professors who attack and target conservatives, promote liberal propaganda, and use their position of power to advance liberal agendas in their classroom. Turning Point USA is saying enough is enough.  It’s time we expose these professors. Today, Turning Point USA is proud to announce the launch of ProfessorWatchList.org, a website dedicated to documenting and exposing professors who discriminate against conservative students and promote anti-American, left wing propaganda in the classroom. Thus saith Charlie Kirk, founder and executive director of the org, who is all of 21 years old. Kirk is hailed as a wunderkind of the conservative movement who racks up accolades and cash from the movement wherever he goes.  “Standing behind free markets and limited...

Read More...


Anti-Muslim Assaults Reach 9/11-Era Levels, FBI Data Show

by KATAYOUN KISHI – The number of physical assaults against Muslims in the United States reached 9/11-era levels last year, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new hate crimes statistics from the FBI. There were 91 reported aggravated or simple assaults motivated by anti-Muslim bias in 2015, just two shy of the 93 reported in 2001. Separately, the number of anti-Muslim intimidation crimes – defined as threatening bodily harm — also rose in 2015, with 120 reported to the FBI. Again, this was the most anti-Muslim intimidation crimes reported in any year since 2001, when there were 296. Overall, the FBI reported 257 incidents of anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2015, a 67% increase from the previous year. These incidents included 301 individual crimes, 71% of which were crimes against people, as opposed to property. (Incidents can encompass more than one crime.) By contrast, crimes perpetrated against other religious groups more often involved...

Read More...


Disturbing Pattern of Abuse at Six Immigrant Detention Centers in the South, Report Finds

by Esther Yu Hsi Lee – An estimated 45,000 immigrants are currently waiting in detention centers across the United States every night. The number may tick upwards once incoming President-elect Donald Trump takes office if he fulfills his promise to arrest and detain anywhere between two and three million “criminal” immigrants. Yet many immigration detention centers are ill-equipped to safely detain people who — for the most part — have been accused of civil, not criminal, violations. According to a new report by several human rights organizations that reviewed six detention centers in the South, some detention centers failed to provide information for detainees about legal proceedings and their rights. Detainees were found to have received inadequate medical and mental health treatment; they were also reportedly subjected to physical and mental abuse by detention center staff and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. Additionally, the report found that facilities failed to provide clean clothes...

Read More...


NY Governor, Andrew Cuomo, Creates Anti-Hate-Crime Initiative (VIDEO)

Citing an “ugly” and “divisive” presidential election, Andrew Cuomo said the new police unit would protect civil rights. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has launched an initiative to combat hate crimes and protect civil rights, saying the divisive US presidential campaign had prompted a wave of disturbing incidents across the state and the country. In a speech at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City on Sunday, Cuomo said that he would form a hate-crimes unit of the state police, propose legislation increasing protections against discrimination for public school pupils and establish a private-public legal defence fund for impoverished immigrants. “The ugly political discourse of the election did not end on election day,” Cuomo, a Democrat, told the African-American congregation. “In many ways it has gotten worse, into a social crisis that now challenges our identity as a state and as a nation and our people.”  Trump...

Read More...


Anti-Semitism in the White House: Stephen Bannon, Donald Trump and the Alt-Right

by Shane Burley, Truthout | News Analysis –   As Trump has started to assemble his administration, one non-establishment pick has provoked a particular outcry around the country: the choice of Stephen Bannon, the executive behind the far-right Breitbart media outlet, as chief White House strategist and senior counselor. Bannon, who took a hiatus from Breitbart to help run Trump’s presidential bid, has been known for taking the already deep-right Breitbart into the territory of racist antagonisms, making it a prime platform for those going after immigration, Muslims, refugees, feminists and everyone on the alt-right’s long hit list. While Bannon’s racialism has been on display on Breitbart’s front page for some time now, his anti-Semitism has started to bleed through in articles that name “renegade Jews” and rest on anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Bannon’s ex-wife even alleged that Bannon refused to send their child to a school that had Jewish students...

Read More...


Hamilton vs Trump

by César Chelala – “Apologize!” was President elect Donald Trump’s conclusion of two messages he wrote to the cast of Hamilton, one of the most successful Broadway musicals in recent times. He was thus responding to the incident in which actor Brandon Victor Dixon, that played Vice President Aaron Burr, addressed the audience of the show. At the end of last Friday’s performance, noting that Vice President-elect Mike Pence was in the audience, he used the opportunity to thank Mr. Pence for attending the show and told him, “We hope you will hear us out.” And then Dixon added, “We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to...

Read More...


In One Cowardice Move, GOP Congress Just Proved They’re As Racist As Trump

by Wendy Gittleson – In one of his first moves since becoming the President-Elect, Donald Trump has chosen one of the worst human beings in the country as his Chief Strategist. Steve Bannon was the Editor in Chief of Breitbart News, a site that’s popular with white nationalists. Democrats in Congress have penned a letter asking Trump to fire Bannon. Every single Republican sided with the white nationalist. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about today’s Republican party, nothing will. Why do white nationalists flock to Bannon’s former site? Well, for one thing, the site defends white nationalists. If you want to be creeped out, read this. If you aren’t sure what the alt-right is, this article will tell you in chilling detail about the pro-Russian isolationists who believe in studying race differences, with, of course, white Christians coming out on top. Then there are articles blaming...

Read More...


Progressives, Take Hold of American History

by HARVEY J. KAYE – The election results may have been different had Democrats embraced America’s past and its radical imperative of freedom, equality and democracy. Americans were ready to make history anew in 2016 — and in a tragic way we have. We elected to the presidency a man who represents not “the better angels of our nature,” but the worst. If we slept at all election night, we woke up on the morning of Nov. 9 chilled and tearful. But as others have written, now is not the time to retreat in sorrow. We need to take hold of and lay claim to American history. And we need to advance a progressive American historical narrative. Apparently haunted by the worst of our national experience, Democrats, liberals and progressives have for too long simply run from the past. But by doing so we merely compound the tragedies and ironies. We...

Read More...


Cop Who Fatally Shot Philando Castile Hit with Charges

by Aaron Rupar – The charges are the first brought in connection with an officer-involved death in Minnesota this century. St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez has been charged with second-degree manslaughter and intentional discharge of a dangerous weapon for fatally shooting Philando Castile during a July 6 traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. “Based upon our thorough and exhaustive review of the facts, I have come to the conclusion that there simply was no justification for the use of deadly force by Officer Yanez in this case,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a statement released Wednesday. “No reasonable officer who knew, saw, and heard what Officer Yanez did at the time would have used deadly force under these circumstances.” The immediate aftermath of the shooting was steamed live on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, while her 4-year-old daughter sat in the backseat of the vehicle. According to the...

Read More...


Bernie Sanders’ Progressive Ideals Must Be Embraced

by SAMUEL CRUZ – The former Democratic presidential candidate understood the needs of working-class voters and people of color, but he was marginalized by party elites. To be viable, the Democratic Party must change. The shock and collective depression that gripped many after Donald Trump’s victory impacted our communities in different ways. For the Latino community, the political leadership realized immediately that a re-evaluation was necessary to determine how to proceed. For a brief time, Latinos had assumed they would have a modicum of political leverage in a Clinton administration. In fact, Ken Salazar, a Mexican-American who had been secretary of the interior in the Obama administration, had been chosen to chair Clinton’s transition team. The Latino leadership, along with the Democratic National Committee, assumed a progressive coalition would bring the Democrats to victory, with Latinos voting overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton. I gather that we are now not only back to,...

Read More...


Calls to LGBT Suicide Hotlines are Coming in at Five Times the Normal Rate this Week

by Jen Hayden – People across the nation are terrified, but LGBT Americans are truly suffering deep pain, fearful that their livelihood and even their very lives are in danger. From Mother Jones: Two LGBT suicide prevention hotlines told Mother Jones that calls to their services have spiked since Donald Trump was elected president. Trans Hotline, a nonprofit that focuses on suicide prevention for transgender people, has received at least five times the call volume it normally gets. And the Trevor Project, the nation’s only LGBT youth-focused suicide prevention hotline, received more calls, texts, and online chats on Wednesday than it’s gotten on a single day in four years, more than double its normal daily volume. “We started getting increased call volume at about 10 p.m. on election night, and it hasn’t slowed down at all,” said Gretta Martela, director of Trans Hotline, on Thursday afternoon. “In fact, it’s on the rise still.” The hotline...

Read More...


Resist! Reorganize! Revitalize!

by Miles Mogulescu – The peaceful transition of power from one elected president to the next under the rule of law is a sacred hallmark of our Republic. None can deny that Donald Trump is the legally chosen president-elect. But that does not necessarily mean, as some in the media and the establishment Democratic and Republican parties would have it, that we who oppose Trump and most of what he stands for have any duty of loyalty to the man or his policies. Quite the contrary. Those of us who believe in social and racial justice, greater income equality, and the compelling need to combat climate change, among other things, have a duty to use all of the tools of an awakened citizenry to block Trump from taking us backwards and to lay the basis for future progress, including in Congress, the media, the arts, the courts, electoral politics,...

Read More...


Why We Need a New Democratic Party

by ROBERT REICH – The Democratic Party hasn’t lived up to its promises to the working class for years. It’s time to fix this. As a first step, I believe it necessary for the members and leadership of the Democratic National Committee to step down and be replaced by people who are determined to create a party that represents America – including all those who feel powerless and disenfranchised, and who have been left out of our politics and left behind in our economy. The Democratic Party as it is now constituted has become a giant fundraising machine, too often reflecting the goals and values of the moneyed interests. This must change. The election of 2016 has repudiated it. We need a people’s party – a party capable of organizing and mobilizing Americans in opposition to Donald Trump’s Republican party, which is about to take over all three branches of the U.S....

Read More...


For the Trump Era: Fight Not Flight

by Norman Solomon – A lot of U.S citizens are now talking about leaving the country. Canada, Europe and New Zealand are popular scenarios. Moving abroad might be an individual solution. But the social solution is to stay and put up a fight. The most right-wing U.S. government in our lifetimes will soon have its executive and legislative branches under reactionary control, with major ripple effects on the judiciary. All the fixings for a dystopian future will be on the table. In a realistic light, the outlook is awfully grim. No wonder a huge number of people in the United States are struggling with mixtures of grief, anger, frustration, fear. If Donald Trump and major forces backing him get their way, the conditions described by Frederick Douglass—still all too prevalent now—will worsen in the years ahead: “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one...

Read More...


Pot, Death, and Minimum Wage: 6 Things to Pay Attention to This Election (VIDEO)

by Austin Bragg & Nick Gillespie – There’s more to this election than Trump and Clinton. There’s more on the ballot in 2016 than the giant trainwreck on national television. Let’s stop rubbernecking for a minute and take a look at 6 other important things at stake on November 8th. Pot is on the ballot in 9 states, which means some form of legalized marijuana could potentially exist in 29 different states. That could be a tipping point for reform, as public approval for marijuana is at an all time high. Maine is tired of having a governor that more people voted against than for, so they came up with Question 5, which would implement ranked choice voting in the state. It’s a system designed to remove the third party spoiler effect, with voters ranking their candidates and dropping last place finishers until someone has a majority. Minimum wage hikes are...

Read More...


The Future of Civil Rights is Up To the Supreme Court

by Mary Frances Berry – When 95-year-old Rosanell Eaton first registered to vote in the Jim Crow South, she was forced to pass a written literacy test and recite the preamble of the Constitution from memory. Seven decades after becoming one of the first African American voters in her county, Eaton once again found herself facing obstacles undermining her access to the franchise. Because of North Carolina’s harsh new voting restrictions, Eaton had to make 11 trips to various state agencies — traveling a total of over 200 miles — to get the identification she needed to vote. So Eaton challenged the state’s voter ID laws in a case that made its way to the nation’s highest court. After an appeals court struck down the restrictions, the Supreme Court — in a 4-4 tie vote this August — declined for now to reinstate them, pending an eventual appeal. Eaton’s harrowing story...

Read More...


Gun Sales on the Rise in Anticipation of a Clinton Win (VIDEO)

by Jurriaan van Eerten – Gun sellers report increasing sales as voters prepare for possibility of president who backs firearms restrictions. New Orleans, Louisiana – In the run-up to the November 8 elections in the US, Miranda Evans has already noticed an increase in gun sales in her shop in Mississippi. Some customers are worried Hillary Clinton will be the 45th US president. During her campaign, the Democratic candidate has said it is necessary to further regulate gun sales to lower the amount of deaths related to firearms. Her husband, former president Bill Clinton, signed an anti-gun law in 1994, banning assault rifles for a period of 10 years – a ban Hillary Clinton has vowed to reinstate. Evans has seen gun sales growing before. After the Sandy Hook massacre, when a 20-year-old man killed 20 children and six staff members at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, using an AR-15...

Read More...


Melania Trump’s Denunciation of Online Bullying is Absurd — and not Just Because of Her Husband

by Aaron Rupar – She is part of the problem. Prospective First Lady Melania Trump denounced online trolls and cyberbullying during a Thursday campaign appearance, saying that finding “better ways to honor and support the basic goodness of our children, especially in social media” will be “one of the main focuses of my work if I’m privileged enough to become your First Lady.” “Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers,” said Trump. “It is never okay when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked, bullied or attacked. It is terrible when that happens on the playground, and it is absolutely unacceptable when it’s done by someone with no name hiding on the internet.”  Bradd Jaffy ✔@BraddJaffy Melania Trump: “We need to teach our youth…kindness, honesty, respect, compassion, charity, understanding…our culture has gotten too mean” 3:30 PM – 3 Nov 2016 Her speech, which echoed comments...

Read More...


Critics Decry Surveillance of Canadian Journalist as Part of ‘Horrifying’ Culture Shift

by Nadia Prupis – “The new powers that the police have to surveil Canadians are absolutely horrifying, they’re basically limitless, there’s very little oversight.” Canadian free speech advocates slammed recent revelations that Montreal police tracked a journalist’s cell phone calls, text messages, and locations in an attempt to identify one of his sources, who was leaking details of an internal police investigation. La Presse columnist Patrick Lagacé, the target in the case, called the move “indefensible,” stating in an interview on Monday that the approval of a warrant to spy on a journalist was “incredibly aggressive.” “To me, this was a great pretext to try to investigate a reporter who has done numerous stories in the past that have embarrassed the service,” he said. “This is a big thing in a country like Canada. Police were permitted to spy on a journalist under very, very thin motives on a secondary part...

Read More...


WaPo’s Account of Trump’s ‘Charity’ Efforts Reveals Him to be Worse than you Ever Thought

by Hunter – Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold has been researching Donald Trump’s charitable efforts throughout the election season. His comprehensive essay on what those efforts turned up reads like a Dickensian satire. Not only are Trump’s charitable efforts few, far between, and almost exclusively self-serving, his attempts to play the role of a philanthropist without doing the philanthropy part seem like a far more malevolent version of an Andy Kaufman prank. The highlight of the piece, without question, is the story of Donald Trump showing up at a charity event for the Association to Benefit Children, strolling onto the stage, and plopping himself down in the seat reserved for one of the event’s real top donors. Trump was not a major donor. He was not a donor, period. He’d never given a dollar to the nursery or the Association to Benefit Children, according to Gretchen Buchenholz, the charity’s executive director...

Read More...


What’s Behind the Hillary Hatred Syndrome?

by TODD GITLIN – The Democratic contender has been disrespected like no other presidential nominee in history. Is it an accident that the rest of them were male? While making a case that harsh mainstream media have slimed Hillary Clinton and damaged her reputation — a case with which I largely agree — my colleague Neal Gabler attributes to me the belief that “Clinton’s popularity is a casualty of misogyny.” I’m grateful to him for affording me the opportunity to expand upon the kind of misogyny I mean. And I’m grateful to FBI director James Comey and several Republican members of Congress for bolstering my case with several pointed illustrations of that misogyny. In the piece I wrote on this subject three weeks ago, I did argue that misogyny “has to be a big hunk” of the explanation for the venomous hatred directed at her — the “Hang the Bitch” mentality. It...

Read More...


Trump is the Nation’s Abuser-in-Chief

by Jill Richardson – As an emotional abuse survivor, I get an eerie feeling watching Donald Trump. In fact, a checklist of 30 tactics used by an emotionally abusive partner, published by the blog Live Bold and Bloom, reads like Donald Trump’s debate prep to-do list. One of the telltale signs of such abuse, for example, is rooted in humiliation: “They humiliate you, put you down, or make fun of you in front of other people.” This seems to be a cornerstone of Trump’s political speech — like making fun of a disabled reporter, or placing the women who accuse Hillary Clinton’s husband of sexual misconduct in the audience at the last debate. (I wonder if Trump has ever heard that expression about glass houses and throwing stones.) “They accuse you or blame you for things you know aren’t true.” For example, accusing Hillary of laughing at a rape victim, which...

Read More...


NYPD Union Leader Calls New Commissioner ‘Neutered’ for Criticizing the Shooting of Deborah Danner

by Carimah Townes – The new commissioner already has his work cut out for him. Soon after New York Police Department (NYPD) Sgt. Hugh Barry fatally shot Deborah Danner in the torso on Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and newly sworn-in police commissioner James O’Neill did something out of the ordinary. Less than 24 hours after the 66-year-old Black woman, who suffered from schizophrenia, was killed in her Bronx apartment, both figures apologized for the shooting and admitted that the system failed her. Ever since, the head of the sergeants union has slammed both officials for speaking up. On Saturday, he accused the city leaders of being politically motivated, at the expense of law enforcement. “Once again the men and women of the NYPD are being used as political pawns by anointed ‘leaders’ who care only about themselves and their careers,” Ed Mullins of the Sergeants Benevolent Association said in a statement. “Sgt....

Read More...


What We Don’t Learn About the Black Panther Party—But Should

by Adam Sanchez, Jesse Hagopian – Fifty years ago this month, the Black Panther Party was born. Its history holds vital lessons for today’s movement to confront racism and police violence, yet textbooks either misrepresent or minimize the significance of the Black Panthers. The first issue of the Black Panther newspaper, which at its height had a weekly circulation of 140,000 copies, asked, “WHY WAS DENZIL DOWELL KILLED?” Helping Dowell’s family demand justice in Richmond, California, was one of the first major organizing campaigns of the Black Panther Party. Anyone reading the story of Denzil Dowell today can’t help but draw parallels to the unarmed Black men and women regularly murdered by the police. The disparity between the police’s story and the victim’s family’s, the police harassment Dowell endured before his murder, the jury letting off Dowell’s killer, even the reports that Dowell had his hands raised while he was gunned...

Read More...


Tom Hayden, ‘One of the Great 20th Century Activist Leaders,’ Dies at 76

by Lauren McCauley – A nation mourns a figure, described by many as ‘a leading advocate for a more just and equal society.’ Progressive icon and anti-war activist turned California lawmaker Tom Hayden passed on Sunday at the age of 76. Hayden dedicated his life to peace, social justice, and activism: from the 1960s, when he helped found the New Left and worked to organize black southern sharecroppers, to building—alongside his former wife, actress Jane Fonda—a California political machine that for decades advanced progressive candidates and measures. “If we appear to seek the unattainable, as it has been said, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable,” reads the conclusion of the Port Huron manifesto, which Hayden drafted in 1962 for the leftist organization Students for a Democratic Society. In 1982, Hayden was elected to the California Assembly, beginning nearly two decades of service in the...

Read More...