News

To Save Their Party, Republicans Must Sacrifice the Trump Presidency

by Ian Reifowitz – The Republican Party is Dr. Frankenstein, and Donald Trump is its monster. Yes, there were some exceptions, but the fact remains that—in particular by opposing in a knee-jerk fashion everything Barack Obama proposed and by nurturing white grievance and white identity politics—the GOP created Trump, they chose him as their nominee, they rallied around him, and they made him their champion. Frankenstein’s monster, however, could only terrorize one village at a time. Trumpenstein threatens us all. They know what they’ve done. Bob Corker made that perfectly clear. I’ve been following politics for a long time, and I’ve never seen any national political figure talkopenly and publicly about a president the way Corker did, let alone someone from the president’s own party. I know that we’ve all gotten sort of used to people talking about Trump this way, but it is, truly, unprecedented. It’s the equivalent of calling 911 for our...

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Trump’s Speech Against Iran Deal a National Disgrace

by Trita Parsi – The most insulting of Trump’s lies was when he sought to pass himself off as a champion of the Iranian people. Trump’s speech today was a national disgrace. This isn’t an effort to stiff a contractor over a real estate project, it’s a matter of war and peace. Donald Trump is in way over his head.   Contrary to the reporting, Donald Trump is killing the deal – not in one move, but in several moves. First, Congress will attempt to kill it through deal-killing legislation from Sen. Tom Cotton. If that is blocked, Trump has vowed to kill it himself. Either way, the deal will get killed by this process triggered by Trump. Cotton’s legislation would seek to unilaterally rewrite the nuclear deal, an unequivocal violation of the agreement. A vote for that bill would be as significant as a vote for the 2002 war with...

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Fox News Commentator says Weinstein Allegations Should Close the Company. What About Ailes?

by Emily Q. Hazzard – This is a risky idea for Fox News to explore: they’re under federal investigation for a related reason. Gregg Jarrett, Fox News anchor and commentator, wrote in a Friday column for the site that the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein and the steps the company took to settle with his accusers should result in the company closing. Gregg Jarrett  ✔@GreggJarrett My new column on Weinstein. Time to close the doors on the company! –Gregghttp://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/10/13/gregg-jarrett-weinsteins-illegal-contract-should-force-his-company-to-close.html … 4:37 PM – Oct 13, 2017 Gregg Jarrett: Weinstein’s illegal contract should force his company to close The Weinstein Company should immediately shut-down its operations and permanently close its doors. foxnews.com  “The Weinstein Company should immediately shut-down its operations and permanently close its doors,” he wrote. Jarrett’s claim hinges on Weinstein’s contract with The Weinstein Company, and what other employees at Weinstein’s company knew about the alleged abuse and whether management practice...

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Small Donations to Trump Campaign Pay for Trump Jr.’s Massive Legal Bills

by Judd Legum – Paying legal bills for billionaires, ten bucks at a time. The Trump campaign spent $267,924 on lawyers for Donald Trump Jr. from July to September, according to disclosures made to the Federal Election Commission on Sunday. The figure includes $237,924 for Trump Jr.’s personal attorney, Alan Futerfas. Another $30,000 went to Williams and Jensen, which helped Trump Jr. prepare for Congressional testimony. In the previous quarter, the Trump campaign spent $50,000 on Trump Jr.’s legal bills. The Republican National Committee has also spent over $200,000 on lawyers representing Trump Jr., with most of that amount going to Futerfas. In total, donors to the Trump campaign and the Republican party have spent over half a million dollars on Trump Jr.’s legal representation. Trump Jr. has been under intense legal scrutiny since it was revealed that he set up a meeting between top Trump campaign officials and Russians who claimed to have damaging information about...

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Trump’s Bullying Backfires – NFL To Take Up Protester’s Cause

by Rmuse – Donald Trump epitomizes incompetence that he attempts to conceal with his big mouth as if bloviating nonstop lies and absurdities will convince Americans he is anything other than a monumental douchebag. When the Oval Office oaf took up the cause of defining patriotism as denying other Americans their Constitutionally guaranteed rights, not only did he reveal his fascist tendencies, he pushed an American institution to declare that they would not join his tyranny against mostly African-American athletes. The fascist Trump was certain he could “force” the NFL to restrict its players’ constitutional rights by running his mouth and calling socially conscious players “sons-of-bitches” and demand they be “thrown off the field.” There were even rumors that next week the NFL was convening a meeting with owners to do as Trump ordered and punish mostly African-American players who are unwilling to forfeit their constitutional rights. However, the only thing Trump running...

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How the 25th Amendment Became America’s Secret Hope

by Mark Sumner – The amendments at the end of the list rarely get much attention — though your local bar may have an ode to the 21st and the story of how a college sophomore revived and helped pass the 27th amendment in 1992 after it had lain fallow since 1789 is a good one. The amendment is completely worthless, but the trivia is fantastic. However, in the last few days, very high levels of attention have been focused on an Amendment that comes in the middle of those two. At first it sounded like hyperbole, the escalation of a Twitter war. But now it’s clear that Bob Corker’s remarkable New York Times interview—in which the Republican senator described the White House as “adult day care” and warned Trump could start World War III—was an inflection point in the Trump presidency. It brought into the open what several people close to the president have...

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Several States Vow to Sue Trump Administration Over Obamacare Sabotage

by Rebekah Entralgo – Attorneys general from across the country say they will take legal action. The Trump administration’s recent decision to abruptly end a provision of the Affordable Care Act that helps insurers lower out-of-pocket medical fees for millions of Americans has spurred some states to consider taking legal action. Attorneys general from across the country have said they plan to sue the Trump administration in order to keep money flowing to their states. “Hundreds of thousands of New York families rely on the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies for their health care — and again and again, President Trump has threatened to cut off these subsidies to undermine our healthcare system and force Congress to the negotiating table. That’s unacceptable,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) in a press release late Thursday night, following the administration’s decision to cut off cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers selling Obamacare coverage. “I will not allow...

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To Great Applause, Paris Announces Combustion Engine Ban by 2030

by Julia Conley – New goal would accelerate existing plan to do away with gas-powered cars and trucks. Receiving great applause from climate advocates, Paris officials announced a new goal on Thursday to ban gas-powered cars from its streets by 2030. Greenpeace USA  ✔@greenpeaceusa Paris plans to banish all but electric cars by 2030 Paris authorities plan to banish all petrol- and diesel-fueled cars from the world’s most visited city by 2030, Paris City Hall said on Thursday. A BIG step! — Paris is planning to ban all but electric cars by 2030. http://reut.rs/2i5cjxQ  1:00 PM – Oct 12, 2017 The proposal would accelerate existing efforts to reduce air pollution in the city after French President Emmanuel Macron promised to ban the sale of vehicles with combustion engines by 2040. Under the rule, only electric cars would be allowed in the city. Paris is already home to an electric car-sharing service, Autolib, which...

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Donald Trump: The Entertainer

by Neal Gabler – The media continue to view Trump through a political lens when an entertainment lens would be more appropriate. It is becoming increasingly clear that to speak of a “Trump presidency” is a misnomer. There is no presidency, at least not by traditional standards. There is a “Trump show,” and that makes all the difference in the world. I and many others have written about how heavily our president borrows from entertainment: the cooked-up suspense (this week’s “calm before the storm” remark), the high concepts he keeps purveying (“Build a wall!”), the strong-man movie persona attached to the common man appeal, and the psychological underpinnings that tap American’s contrarian anti-elitism, which is a staple of our popular culture. By means of all these things and others, Trump has not only turned the presidency into a B-movie, which would be a remarkable feat unto itself; he has turned it...

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EPA’s 4-Year Strategic Plan Doesn’t Mention ‘Climate.’ Not Once

by Jake Johnson – “This wasn’t an oversight, this is a deliberate strategy by this administration.” If President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hadn’t already made it abundantly clear that addressing climate change is near the very bottom of its list of priorities, the agency’s newly unveiled four-year “strategic plan” should remove all doubt, as it does not contain a single mention of “climate change”—or even just “climate.” The 38-page draft, quietly made available for public comment last week, also neglects to mention “carbon dioxide,” “greenhouse gases,” or “renewable energy.” By contrast, former President Barack Obama’s EPA made addressing climate change the first of the agency’s five stated goals in its 2014 strategic plan—which used the phrase “climate change” more than 40 times. Dr. Rachel Cleetus, climate policy manager with the Union of Concerned Scientists, calledthe EPA’s scrubbing of climate change from its report “stunning,” and argued that it was no accident. “Climate...

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Why the Republican Tax Plan is More Failed Trickle-down Economics (VIDEO)

by Robert Reich – Trump and conservatives in Congress are planning a big tax cut for millionaires and billionaires. To justify it they’re using the oldest song in their playbook, claiming tax cuts on the rich will trickle down to working families in the form of stronger economic growth. Baloney. Trickle-down economics is a cruel joke. Just look at the evidence: 1. Clinton’s tax increase on the rich hardly stalled the economy. In 1993, Bill Clinton raised taxes on top earners from 31 percent to 39.6 percent. Conservatives predicted economic disaster. Instead, the economy created 23 million jobs and the economy grew for 8 straight years in what was then the longest expansion in history. The federal budget went into surplus. 2. George W. Bush’s big tax cuts for the rich didn’t grow the economy. In 2001and 2003, George W. Bush lowered the top tax rate to 35 percent while also cutting top rates...

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Promoting Renewable Future, Solar Companies and Nonprofits Rush to Puerto Rico

by Jessica Corbett – Promoting Renewable Future, Solar Companies and Nonprofits Rush to Puerto Rico As Congress on Thursday approved a $5 billion loan that will further burden the already bankrupt U.S. territory, various solar companies and nonprofits continued working together to offer aid to the storm-ravaged island while also promoting a more sustainable future and resilient energy system. On Thursday, the nonprofit Empowered By Light and Sunrun—the nation’s largest residential solar company—partnered with local leaders to install a 4kW solar array with battery storage at the Barrio Obrero fire station in San Juan. A second system will be installed at another fire station on Friday. More than 90 percent of the island’s power grid has not been restored since Hurricane Maria struck last month. The commonwealth’s power system was already hobbled by financial difficulties long before the hurricane devastated the island, and the federal government has been widely condemned for its slow and inadequatedisaster relief efforts. “It appears the federal emergency response is focused on diesel to...

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Taxpayers are Picking up the Tab for White Nationalists’ ‘free speech’ Rallies

by Luke Barnes – Security for Richard Spencer’s latest speech will cost half-a-million dollars. Campus officials at the University of Florida are preparing for white nationalist Richard Spencer to visit their campus next month — and are being forced to spend upwards of $500,000 to provide him with security. It’s the latest in a series of right-wing rallies which taxpayers and beleaguered universities are picking up the bill for. Spencer, fresh off leading another torch rally at Charlottesville, will travel to Gainesville, Florida on October 19th, despite the University not inviting him or wanting him to host his event there. “People are concerned for their well-being and safety,” senior Dwayne Fletcher told the Washington Post. “Gainesville will definitely have a different atmosphere in the days to come, and afterward, because of his presence.” According to the Washington Post, the university is also being forced to close several key medical centers, including surgery centers and...

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The Fury of Donald Trump: A Tragedy in Every Act

by Mark Sumner – Donald Trump’s personality consists of one part perceiving every question, disagreement, or joke as a deadly insult that must be avenged. At all costs. Especially cost to others. And one part … no, wait. There’s just one part. In a matter of days, Trump has torched bridges all around him, nearly imploded an informal deal with Democrats to protect young undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, and plunged himself into the culture wars on issues ranging from birth control to the national anthem. Once upon a time, there was a perception that John Kelly was stepping in to take control of the Trump White House and make the ship run smoothly. But the departures of Sean Spicer, Steve Bannon, Anthony Scaramucci, Sebastian Gorka, and Reince Priebus haven’t made things run any smoother. All they’ve done is made it crystal clear that the problem with the Trump...

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Citing Dictatorial Tendencies, Critics Slam Trump for ‘Madcap Threat’ Aimed at NBC

by Julia Conley – While the president can’t take away the network’s ability to operate, former FCC commissioner calls ongoing attempts to intimidate journalists “chilling”. Free speech advocates and journalists spoke out against President Donald Trump’s latest attack on the news media on Wednesday after he suggested a “challenge” of NBC’s license. Michael Copps, the former FCC commissioner who now serves as special advisor to the grassroots organization Common Cause, noted that while Trump isn’t legally able to carry out his threats, his attempts to intimidate the press are deeply disconcerting: This madcap threat, if pursued, would be blatant and unacceptable intervention in the decisions of an independent agency. The law does not countenance such interference. President Trump might be happier as emperor, but I think the American people would strip him of his clothes on this issue. Additionally, it’s not just NBC stations that will find this threat chilling, but also smaller...

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‘Great News for the Climate’ as Banking Giant Ditches Tar Sands, Arctic Drilling

by Andrea Germanos – Climate campaigners praise move by BNP Paribas, call on other banks to follow suit. In a move being hailed as a win for the climate, banking giant BNP Paribas announced Wednesday that it is severing ties with companies whose main business is connected to shale and/or oil from tar sands, will stop financing transportation projects for such fuels, and will not finance any oil or gas projects in the Arctic region. “In concrete terms,” writes Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, director and CEO of BNP Paribas, “these decisions mean that we will cease providing finance to a number of companies and organizations that are not making an effort to be part of the transition to a less greenhouse gas-emitting economy.” According to Lucie Pinson, Friends of the Earth France’s private finance campaigner, it’s “great news for the climate and a huge victory for the groups who have been mobilizing in support of Indigenous peoples...

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ACLU Sues Kansas Over ‘Unconstitutional’ Law Barring Boycott of Israel

by Jessica Corbett – The law, part of a wider pattern of targeting the non-violent BDS movement, decried as “attempt by the government to silence one side of a public debate”. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Wednesday filed a lawsuit to challenge a Kansas law that requires any company or individual who contracts with the state to sign a statement certifying that they are not actively engaged in boycotting Israel. “This law is an unconstitutional attempt by the government to silence one side of a public debate by coercing people not to express their beliefs, including through participation in a political boycott,” said ACLU attorney Brian Hauss. The law took effect July 1, 2017. The lawsuit could have sweeping consequences nationally. Kansas’ law is similar not only to laws adopted by other states but also to the Israel Anti-Boycott Act that has been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate. In July, the ACLU sent...

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What is Left of ISIL in Iraq? (VIDEO)

by John Beck – Far from the force that swept across Iraq in mid-2014 and seized control of nearly a third of the country, ISIL today has been weakened significantly, relegated to just a few dozen square kilometres of ground, with manpower in the low thousands. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group was removed last week from yet another stretch of the country, the latest in a series of blows to the once-powerful armed group. The town of Hawija, which ISIL had held since 2014, lies around 240km north of Baghdad and was its last urban stronghold in Iraq. The offensive began on September 21 and was expected to be tough going. Within just two weeks, jubilant Iraqi forces and members of the country’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) had hoisted their flags in squares and roundabouts. ISIL crumbled rapidly, with hundreds of fighters fleeing north towards...

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In Iran and North Korea, Trump Is Playing With Nuclear Fire

by Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis – The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which spearheaded a landmark nuclear disarmament treaty, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The significance of this award cannot be underestimated. Donald Trump’s bombastic and frightening threats against North Korea and Iran may portend a catastrophic attack that could impact the entire world. The US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing 210,000 people. During the week following the bombings, thousands of survivors experienced a unique combination of symptoms, Susan Southard wrote in the Los Angeles Times: Their hair fell out in large clumps, their wounds secreted extreme amounts of pus, and their gums swelled and bled. Purple spots appeared on their bodies, signs of hemorrhaging beneath the skin. Infections ravaged their internal organs. Within a few days of the onset of symptoms, many people lost consciousness, mumbled deliriously and died in extreme pain; others...

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How Chicago Gets its Guns (VIDEO)

by Mick Dumke – John Thomas set up the deal the way he had arranged nearly two dozen others. A friend said he wanted to buy as many guns as he could, so Thomas got in touch with someone he knew who had guns to sell. The three of them met in the parking lot of an LA Fitness in south suburban Lansing at noon on Aug. 6, 2014. Larry McIntosh, whom Thomas had met in his South Shore neighborhood, took two semi-automatic rifles and a shotgun from his car and put them in the buyer’s car. He handed over a plastic shopping bag with four handguns. None of the weapons had been acquired legally — two, in fact, had been reported stolen — and none of the men was a licensed firearms dealer. Thomas’ friend, Yousef, paid McIntosh $7,200 for the seven guns. He always paid well. Thomas did little...

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