US

How to Fight White Supremacy: Charlottesville, SPLC Offer Blueprints

by Sher Watts Spooner – The rise of white supremacy in the United States, with Donald Trump as its head cheerleader, has heightened tensions across the country. The “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the killing of Heather Heyer when a neo-Nazi rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, has spurred marches, vigils, and actions nationwide to counter the hate speech of the white supremacist crowd. But many feel lost, wondering about the most effective methods of fighting racial hatred. Racial bias and hatred are nothing new in this country, but since the rise and election of Donald Trump, white supremacist groups have become emboldened to spew their specific brands of hate both online and in person. They are using any excuse to target minorities of any kind. The removal of statues honoring Confederate Civil War leaders is just the latest spark igniting publicity-seeking actions, often by heavily armed participants. What...

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Dick Gregory Took Us All on a Strange and Powerful Trip

by Nick Gillespie – Comedian, civil-rights activist, food guru, and conspiracy theorist made America a better, more-thoughtful place. The comedian and activist Dick Gregory has died at the age of 84. Talk about a career that’s virtually impossible to categorize. From avant-garde joke teller to civil-rights figure to diet guru to conspiracy mongerer, he lived a full life that in many ways mirrors all the twists and turns of American life over the past 50 or 60 years. He was relentlessly pessimistic about the state of the country even as he inspired his audience to work for change. I found him interesting because he was always out there on the horizon, lighting a path—albeit often one not particularly grounded in facts—that many of us would be following down soon after. Born in St. Louis in 1932, Gregory ran track for Southern Illinois University in Carbondale on a scholarship, got drafted, and eventually...

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Trump Disbands U.S. Climate Advisory Panel Providing Critical Data for Coastal Protections

by Dartagnan – On Sunday, Trump abandoned the coastal United States in their efforts to prepare and plan against the effects of climate change, specifically denying them information to assess the impact of sea level rise on new construction and the means to prevent tidal incursion into roadways, businesses, and private homes that make up coastal communities. In yet another move that indicates the White House does not take the threat of climate change seriously, the Trump administration has disbanded a federal advisory panel that worked to translate the government’s climate data into actionable insight for policymakers and the private sector… The Board of the Committee for Sustained Climate Assessment was made up of 15 persons representing private and public corporations, utilities, climate researchers and local public officials. Its purpose was to interpret federal data—the same data relied upon by the Department of Defense in formulating our national security policy—for private and public construction...

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Serious Questions About Trump’s Mental Fitness for Office Grow

by Kerry Eleveld – Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein tweeted last week that “important Republicans” and higher ups in the intelligence and military communities had been “increasingly saying in private that @realDonaldTrump is unfit to be president.” That was on Tuesday. By Thursday, GOP Sen. Bob Corker, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, questioned Donald Trump’s fitness aloud with a quote that ricocheted around Washington at lighting speed. The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence, that he needs to demonstrate in order for him to be successful… By Sunday, CNN’s Brian Stelter devoted an entire segment to mounting questions about Trump’s mental suitability to function as leader of our nation. “Is the president of the United States a racist? Is he suffering from some kind of illness? Is he fit for office? “And if he is unfit, then what?” Stelter asked on the program Reliable Sources. Bernstein appeared on the...

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The Lies on Afghanistan Trump Will Now Tell

by Matthew Hoh – There has never been progress by the U.S. military in Afghanistan, unless you are asking the U.S. military contractors or the Afghan drug barons, of whom an extremely large share are our allies in the Afghan government, militias and security forces, there has only been suffering and destruction. American politicians, pundits and generals will speak about “progress” made by the 70,000 American troops put into Afghanistan by President Obama beginning in 2009, along with an additional 30,000 European troops and 100,000 private contractors, however the hard and awful true reality is that the war in Afghanistan has only escalated since 2009, never stabilizing or deescalating; the Taliban has increased in strength by tens of thousands, despite tens of thousands of casualties and prisoners; and American and Afghan casualties have continued to grow every year of the conflict, with U.S. casualties declining only when U.S. forces began to...

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Axios: “Bannon Backed By Billionaire Prepares To Go To War”

by ursulafaw – Well, that didn’t take long. Bannon was shown the door approximately 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time and Axios has updated their coverage twice since then.Kudos to Johnathan Swan for calling this shot right: Steve Bannon’s next moves will be all about the billionaire Mercer family. I’m told Bannon, who visited New York this week, met with Bob Mercer and together they will be a well-funded force on the outside. Bannon has felt liberated since it became clear he was being pushed out, according to friends. He’s told associates he has a “killing machine” in Breitbart News, and it’s possible he returns to lead their editorial operation. Steve Bannon is in fine fettle as he contemplates a reunion with his killing machine. Swan quotes him as saying that Breitbart is going to “go thermonuclear against the globalists.” That no doubt includes Bannon’s favorite “globalist cuck” Jared Kushner. Now that Bannon’s out of...

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The Remaining Members of the Presidential Arts Commission Resign in Protest

by Jen Hayden – Another embarrassing day for Donald Trump in the White House. The presidential arts commission and humanities is effectively disbanding itself: The remaining members of a presidential arts and humanities panel are resigning on Friday in yet another sign of growing national protest of President Trump’s recent comments on the violence in Charlottesville. Members of the President’s Committee are drawn from Broadway, Hollywood, and the broader arts and entertainment community and plan to release a letter later Friday explaining their decision, according to two people familiar with the decision who asked for anonymity to speak frankly about the plans. More on the history and goals of the commission: Created in 1982 under President Reagan, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) is an advisory committee to the White House on cultural issues. PCAH works directly with the three primary cultural agencies—National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment...

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Barack Obama is the Exact Moral Opposite of Donald Trump

by Ian Reifowitz – Barack Obama and Donald Trump are, in moral terms, the exact opposite of one another. This is exemplified by the way the two men have spoken about race when offering their most personal, heartfelt, and in-depth comments on the matter. For Trump, those comments came this past week in reaction to the events that led to the terrorist murder of anti-fascist activist Heather Heyer in Charlottesville. This isn’t referring to the prepared statement in which he solemnly condemned white supremacists—two days after he decided not to read it and instead equated violent white racists with the heroes who stood up to them. This refers instead to the series of remarks where Trump went off his prepared script and told the American people what he really thinks. In response to those remarks, Andrew Anglin, the editor of the major neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, exulted that Trump “uses our talking points … This man is...

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Efforts to Curb Teen Pregnancy Face Drastic Cuts

by BILLMOYERS.COM STAFF – Trump White House is intent on rolling back teen pregnancy prevention programs nationwide. Teen pregnancy prevention advocates were shocked to find out that crucial programs they support were abruptly terminated and will be defunded next year. The Trump administration is completely defunding the nationwide Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, cutting $213 million in assistance that supports roughly 1.2 million teenagers across the country. Groups that rely of the funding got notice this month that as of June 30, 2018 their funding will be shut off. This means they all lose two years of already-allocated money. The decision is part of the Trump administration’s backlash against Obama-era policies. This time, Donald Trump’s budget cuts are primarily aimed at poor teenagers, an already vulnerable section of the population. These cuts will not only reduce services provided by clinics and prevention programs, but also dramatically affect the research activities of groups dedicated to optimizing...

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After Charlottesville, Mayors Step into Gap Left by Trump

by Joshua Eaton – U.S. Conference of Mayors and Anti-Defamation League announce nationwide plan amid leadership “vacuum” from White House. During a press call on Friday, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Anti-Defamation League announced a ten-point plan to combat hate groups in cities and towns across the country. The move comes after President Donald Trump blamed “many sides,” including what he called the “alt-left,” for a violent white supremacist rally and a car attack on counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, last Saturday that left one dead and dozens more injured. “It absolutely is a clear lack of a moral compass that’s driving this,” Shane Bemis, the Republican mayor of Gresham, Oregon, told reporters Friday. “ has no moral clarity to speak on this issue. Mayors would never do that in their own communities. It absolutely is a lack of moral leadership.” At press time, 240 mayors had signed onto the...

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Oregon Sets Major Precedent. Will No Longer Treat Drug Possession As A Felony

by True Activist – Oregon just passed a law to stop locking up people caught with drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and meth, and the drug warriors are furious. Oregon — A wise person once said that insanity can be defined by doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. If we apply this definition to the war on drugs, then every proponent of it needs to be locked in a psychiatric hospital. Not only has kidnapping and caging people for possessing arbitrary substances not worked — but it’s made it far worse.Using government force, ie the police, to curb addiction has had disastrous results. Not only has the drug war given the United States the world record for the largest prison population but it’s also given rise to one hellish police state. Luckily, however, a very small group of bureaucrats has been able to chip...

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The New York Times Confirms Trump is Not Only a Racist in Public, But ‘in private.’

by Dartagnan – There is still a segment of America out there that believes Trump’s public pronouncements—about African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, Jews, really anyone of different color or faith than himself—are some type of political invention,  an opportunistic, contrived pose to please the base of people who put him into office. No. He’s a real, genuine, dyed-in-the-wool racist. The real deal. Buried in this New York Times piece about how Trump has emboldened the white supremacist movement is an observation about Trump by his aides that explains when Trump is away from the cameras he’s just as much of a racist as he has sounded during this past week: No word in the Trump lexicon is as tread-worn as “unprecedented.” But members of the president’s staff, stunned and disheartened, said they never expected to hear such a voluble articulation of opinions that the president had long expressed in private. In other words, Trump wakes up hating African-Americans, Latinos, Jews...

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Waiting for a Grown-Up in the White House

by Michael Winship – Donald Trump is turning the presidency into a daycare center for his troubled inner child. This presidency is unconstitutional. T had returned, backpedaling, whining, reverting to the moral ambiguity of Saturday and tripling down. On Tuesday, Trump’s evil little twin held a press conference at which he undid whatever good he had accomplished the previous day when under duress he finally, finally came out and said “racism is evil,” and that the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacists were bad, “repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” This had been an attempt to repair damage done by his equivocal and much criticized remarks on Saturday after the tragic events in Charlottesville. On Tuesday, though, Trump’s evil little twin had returned, backpedaling, whining, reverting to the moral ambiguity of Saturday and tripling down. Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman at The New York Times artfully summed it up: President Trump buoyed the...

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Busting Myths About the Confederacy

by Bernie Horn – As white supremacists and neo-Nazis crawl out of the woodwork and try to infest our communities with hate, it is important to contest their revisionist history. Yes, take down the statues that were erected to whitewash the Confederate cause and directly or indirectly support white supremacy. Yes, take down the Confederate battle flags that were placed there for the same reason. Yes, rename schools, roads and parks that honor prominent Confederates. But also, states, cities, counties and school districts should review the untruths currently taught in our schools about the Civil War and its aftermath. Many textbooks still incorporate these politically-motivated lies. White Grievance You’ve probably heard that Trumpism stems from white grievance, a series of lies that make less-educated whites believe they are the victims of discrimination. This story is popular in far-right media, and diverts attention away from the real culprits – the rich and...

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Chris Long Becomes First White NFL Player to Participate in National Anthem Protest

by Aaron Rupar – His gesture comes a day after a black player asked his white peers to get involved. On Thursday, Chris Long became the first white NFL player to get involved in a national anthem protest. Before a preseason game in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Eagles defensive end put his arm around safety Malcolm Jenkins while Jenkins raised his fist. SB Nation   ✔@SBNation Chris Long put his arm around Malcolm Jenkins in support of his national anthem protest. 9:37 PM – Aug 17, 2017 Long’s gesture came a day after Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett urged white athletes to get involved. Bennett, who has been sitting during anthems, said on SportsCenter that “it would take a white player to really get things changed.” “It would change the whole conversation,” he added. “Because when you bring somebody who doesn’t have to be a part of conversation making himself vulnerable in...

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The End of a Political Era: Movement Conservatism Gets Real

by Heather Cox Richardson – The ascendency of Donald Trump empowers movement conservatives to make their rhetoric real, but the reality is that voters don’t want them to. The newly unemployed Reince Priebus recently said on Twitter that the Republican Party is in the best shape it’s been since 1928. And yet, a political circus daily assaults Americans. We have a demonstrably unfit Republican president, a Republican Congress unable to pass the measure on which its members campaigned for eight years, a revolt from military leaders against a presidential policy conveyed by tweet, and now an admission by Republican stalwarts former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake that Republican rhetoric was never more than a means to gain power. These things are not unrelated. We are witnessing the end of a political era, the era in which movement conservatism dominated America. We are seeing the nasty, snarling...

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New York Times: “There is no such thing as the ‘alt-left.'”

by raptavio –  Like to say “Alt-left”? This is you  The New York Times today: Researchers who study extremist groups in the United States say there is no such thing as the “alt-left.” Mark Pitcavage, an analyst at the Anti-Defamation League, said the word had been made up to create a false equivalence between the far right and “anything vaguely left-seeming that they didn’t like.” Some centrist liberals have taken to using this term. “It did not arise organically, and it refers to no actual group or movement or network,” Mr. Pitcavage said in an email. “It’s just a made-up epithet, similar to certain people calling any news they don’t like ‘fake news.’” “Some centrist liberals”, of course, includes our own Markos Moulitsas, a choice which I hope he’s come to regret in the wake of Tangerine Palpatine’s press conference today. When used by centrists and some liberals, of course, this...

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Trump Agrees to Pay Key Obamacare Subsidies, Extending its Lifeline

by Amanda Michelle Gomez – After threatening to stop CSR payments, Trump finally paid insurers… for now.  Everyone and their doctor has asked President Donald Trump to continue funding Obamacare cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments. After flirting with eliminating these payments to insurance companies, he finally agreed to pay them for the month of August. A White House spokesman told multiple news sources on Wednesday that the Trump administration will make the payment. Andrew Desiderio   ✔@desiderioDC CONFIRMED: Trump administration will make the August CSR Obamacare payments, a WH spokesman tells @thedailybeast 3:29 PM – Aug 16, 2017 Under current law, insurance companies need to provide CSR subsidies to enrollees who make between 100 and 250 percent of the poverty line (that’s about $12,060 to $30,150 for an individual).  CSR is one of two types of subsidies offered to low-income people who purchase plans on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges. Unlike premium tax credits that...

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Obama Tweet Makes History

by Rika Christensen – Donald Trump is a bumbling fool. A racist bumbling fool who’s more afraid of alienating his racist base than anything. So when a national tragedy like Charlottesville occurs, his responses are insensitive at best, clumsy beyond belief, un-presidential, and oftentimes, just flat-out disgusting and wrong. When we most need a real president, we don’t have one…at least, not one that sits in the White House right now. But President Obama, despite having served his two terms and now living a civilian life, still manages to have the exact right thing to say. Sure, he no longer gets in front of the cameras and country and says it, but he does say it to his massive social media audiences, and he’s oftentimes more popular than Trump. Like with his response to Charlottesville. Twitter told the BBC that the following tweet, from one President Barack Obama, is now the most liked...

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Fascists Within Trump White House Started Working to Protect White Nationalists Before Taking Office

by Mark Sumner – Radical white supremacists have represented the greatest terrorist threat to America over the last 16 years, during which these extremists have been responsible for 26 attacks across the nation. That’s why the United States had programs in place to counter white nationalism and to deal with Americans radicalized by the violent rhetoric of these groups. Had programs. Because under Donald Trump the program for countering violent extremism has beencut and revamped to exclude white supremacists. That includes completely eliminating funding for the only group dedicated specifically to this threat. Weeks before a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, led to three deaths and 19 injuries, the Trump administration revoked a grant to Life After Hate, a group that works to de-radicalize neo-Nazis. The group had been awarded $400,000, but Trump aides stepped in before the money could actually be delivered. And who acted so quickly to make sure this...

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