Justice For All

James Jackson Charged with Murdering Timothy Caughman (VIDEO)

Baltimore resident with ‘intent to kill as many black men as he could’ plunged sword into 66-year-old Timothy Caughman. A white supremacist who stabbed a 66-year-old black man to death with a sword in New York has been charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime. James Harris Jackson, who killed Timothy Caughman on Monday, was charged on Thursday after he told police that he had hated black men for at least 10 years. “His intent was to kill as many black men here in New York as he could,” prosecutor Joan Illuzzi said as the 28-year-old was arraigned. “The defendant was motivated purely by hatred.” Caughman was bent over a rubbish bin around the corner from his home, gathering bottles, when Jackson plunged a two-foot sword into his chest and back and walked off, prosecutors said. A bleeding Caughman staggered into a police station and later died at a hospital....

Read More...


Leading Opponent of LGBT Civil Rights to Lead Civil Rights Office

by Ian Millhiser – Earlier this week, according to a statement by several progressive groups*, President Donald Trump appointed Roger Severino, a leading anti-LGBT activist, to lead the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights. In doing so, Trump potentially gives Severino an opportunity to dismantle civil rights protections he criticized as a staffer at the conservative Heritage Foundation. Although Severino apparently was appointed without a formal announcement, his bio page at Heritage now states that he “is no longer a staff member at The Heritage Foundation.” In 2016, for example, Severino co-authored a Heritage report criticizing proposed Obama administration rules preventing discrimination against transgender patients within the health care system. Protecting trans people against such discrimination, Severino warned, would “penalize medical professionals and health care organizations that, as a matter of faith, moral conviction, or professional medical judgment, believe that maleness and femaleness are biological realities to...

Read More...


US Ditches Human Rights Hearing in ‘Unprecedented Show of Disrespect’

by Nadia Prupis – ACLU had planned to drill officials on immigration, DAPL, and Muslim ban, but representatives from various departments never showed. The U.S. failed to show up to a human rights hearing in an “unprecedented show of disrespect to the international community,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Tuesday. In a surprise move, the government ditched a hearing with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an arm of the Organization of American States, where the ACLU had planned to drill officials on the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration; its ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries; and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), among other issues. The civil rights group had filed an emergency request for the meeting in February, after President Donald Trump signed an executive order that banned travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries. That order, as well as its follow-up mandate, issued last month, have since...

Read More...


Climate Kids Demand Feds Turn Over ‘Wayne Tracker’ (aka Rex Tillerson) Emails

by Andrea Germanos – “When looking for evidence of a cover-up, emails from Rex Tillerson’s pseudonym about climate change are just the kind of evidence the court needs to see.” Lawyers representing youth in a landmark climate lawsuit are demanding to see the emails Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent using the alias “Wayne Tracker” while serving as CEO of ExxonMobil. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office made the claim of the email alias last week in a court filing as part of its investigation into the oil giant’s climate cover-up. The filing said Tillerson used the “Tracker” account to discuss climate change and other matters from at least 2008-2015. In the youths’ case, as Common Dreams wrote, the 21 “co-plaintiffs argue that by failing to act on climate change, the U.S. government has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights and their rights to vital public trust resources.” Their legal...

Read More...


An Orgy of Unnecessary Cruelty

by Robert Reich – The theme that unites all of Trump’s initiatives so far is their unnecessary cruelty. 1. His new budget comes down especially hard on the poor – imposing unprecedented cuts in low-income housing, job training, food assistance, legal services, help to distressed rural communities, nutrition for new mothers and their infants, funds to keep poor families warm, even “meals on wheels.” These cuts come at a time when more American families are in poverty than ever before, including 1 in 5 children. Why is Trump doing this? To pay for the biggest hike in military spending since the 1980s. Yet the U.S. already spends more on its military than the next 7 biggest military budgets put together. 2. His plan to repeal and “replace” the Affordable Care Act will cause 14 million Americans to lose their health insurance next year, and 24 million by 2026. Why is Trump doing...

Read More...


New York Attorney General Hires Attorney to go After Trump Full Time

by Mark Sumner – While Donald Trump is busy live-tweeting fresh outbreaks of paranoia to the intelligence committee hearing, he might want to check out the other news. New York state’s attorney general, to date one of the most vocal antagonists of President Donald Trump, is preparing to escalate his office’s litigation against the president’s administration. New York AG Eric Schneiderman isn’t just a ‘vocal antagonist’ of Trump, he’s the guy who brought Trump to heel over Trump University. The guy who caught multiple violations at the Trump Foundation. The guy kos declared one of the most important resistance leaders over the next four years. Schneiderman joined in the case against Trump’s Muslim ban, and it’s not all he has in mind. In addition to challenging White House policies in court, Mr. Schneiderman’s office is expected to explore whether it has any standing to pursue cases that hinge on the Constitution’s emoluments clause, according to people familiar...

Read More...


No Charges for Florida Prison Guards who Allegedly Locked Mentally Ill Black Man in Scalding Shower

by Natasha Geiling – Darren Rainey, a schizophrenic man serving time for cocaine possession, died in 2012. In June of 2012, 50-year old Darren Rainey, a schizophrenic man serving time for cocaine possession, died in the Dade Correctional Institution. According to prison witnesses and civil rights groups, Rainey died after guards locked him in a shower for two hours with water at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Nurses who examined Rainey said that he had burns over 90 percent of his body — and that his skin fell off at the touch. According to an autopsy report released in January by the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner, Rainey died from “complications of schizophrenia, heart disease and ‘confinement’ in the shower.” On Friday, more than four years after Rainey’s death, the office of Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle stated that they would not be seeking charges against the four correctional officers allegedly involved in Rainey’s death. “The shower...

Read More...


Department of Justice to Appeal Maryland Ruling Against Muslim Ban 2.0

by Nadia Prupis – ‘We look forward to defending this careful and well-reasoned decision in the appeals court,’ said ACLU’s Omar Jadwat. The Trump administration on Friday filed papers to appeal a ruling that blocked the president’s revised travel ban, setting up a new legal showdown over the executive order that opponents have called “Muslim ban 2.0.” Attorneys for the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed federal papers in Maryland, one of the two states that issued rulings against President Donald Trump’s executive order this week. Judges in that state and Hawaii both found that the memo, which blocks entry to the U.S. for travelers from six majority-Muslim countries, was unconstitutional and violated the religious freedom clause of the First Amendment. The DOJ only appealed Maryland’s decision. Had the department challenged the ruling in Hawaii, the appeal would have gone to the same San Francisco court that rejected the original version of...

Read More...


Trump, Ryan Budgets will Kill More Americans Per Year than all Muslim Extremist Attacks Combined

by Hunter – Meals on Wheels. How far do you have to get down the scale of ideological depravity before your pen lands on Meals on Wheels as the thing you need to get rid of to buy those last two more Tomahawk cruise missiles that will finally make America a super-duper-dominant world power again. That’s only one part of the Trump budget that directly targets the poorest Americans, of course. It also cuts home heating assistance, so those same seniors will have a chance to freeze to death before starving. It takes an axe to EPA efforts to clean up pollution, which will have a disproportionate effect on the air and water of those neighborhoods surrounding those worst polluters. While that will likely result in an uptick in everything from childhood asthma to cancer, the Trump budget also slashes medical research funding in an apparent effort to ensure nobody does...

Read More...


Public Support for Modern-Day Jails is Remarkably Low

by Carimah Townes – Very few people believe jail should be punitive. Approximately 12 million people are held in jail each year in the United States. The majority of them are nonviolent offenders and people detained for their inability to pay bail. But as the country braces for President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ crackdown on crime, few Americans agree with how jails are being used. According to a new poll conducted by Zogby and released by the MacArthur Foundation on Thursday, the public widely favors alternatives to jail. Out of 3,007 people surveyed across the country, 62 percent of respondents support rehabilitation for nonviolent offenders instead of locking them up to prevent future crimes or using jail as a form of punishment. About 75 percent preferred rehabilitation for nonviolent offenders with mental illness. The poll also found that few Americans support pretrial detention for people who can’t afford bail....

Read More...


The Unfixable Problem with Trump’s Muslim Ban

by Ian Millhiser – If you’re going to flout the Constitution, don’t brag about it. Wednesday evening, a federal judge in Hawaii temporarily halted President Trump’s latest attempt to keep many foreign nationals from six predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States. Judge Derrick Watson’s temporary restraining order is the first chapter in a long saga of litigation that is likely to end at the Supreme Court. Should Judge Watson’s reasoning be embraced by higher courts, however, it is far from clear that Trump can fix the fundamental error Watson identifies with Trump’s efforts to keep many Muslims out of the United States. If you plan to unconstitutionally target a group of people because of their faith, it’s a good idea not to run around the country announcing this fact. Trump lawyer’s, as Watson notes, relied heavily on the fact that Trump’s executive order restricting travel from six Muslim nations is...

Read More...


UN Report: Israel has Established an ‘Apartheid Regime’

by Ben White – Report breaks new ground on the UN’s examination of the situation in occupied Palestine by using the word ‘apartheid’. A new United Nations report accuses Israel of having established “an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole”. The publication comes amid renewed debate about whether, through its settlement policy and rejection of Palestinian self-determination, the Israeli government is creating – or even has already created – a de facto “one-state”, which critics warn would constitute a form of apartheid. It urged governments to “support boycott, divestment and sanctions activities and respond positively to calls for such initiatives”. The report – Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid – was commissioned and published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and launched in Beirut. John Reynolds, a lecturer in law at the National University of Ireland,...

Read More...


Judge Temporarily Halts Trump’s Revised Muslim Ban Hours Before it Goes into Effect

by Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani – “Nothing of substance has changed.” A Hawaii judge ordered a temporary restraining order on President Donald Trump’s revised Muslim ban on Wednesday, just hours before it was set to go into effect. The ban, which is a revised version of a similar executive order Trump signed just one week into office, suspends all refugee resettlement for 120 days and blocks the entry of nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for at least 90 days. It also limits the number of refugees the United States will accept in 2017 to 50,000–60,000 less than originally planned under Obama. The ban was set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson heard Hawaii’s case, which the state filed by itself. The state argued that the ban violates the First Amendment’s establishment, as it is essentially a Muslim ban, and it also hurts...

Read More...


IOM: 525 Refugees Die at Sea in First Few Weeks of 2017

by Anealla Safdar – Number of drowned in Mediterranean from January to early March higher than last year, raising alarm among rights groups. More refugees have died in the Mediterranean over the first nine weeks of this year compared with the same period in 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). From January 1 to March 9, at least 521 people drowned while attempting to cross the treacherous sea compared with 471 in the same period a year ago. At least another four refugees died on Friday, bringing the 2017 death toll to 525 people, according to IOM. The figures raised alarm on Tuesday among human rights organisations, which have repeatedly called for safer passages. The rising deaths came as the number of people making the dangerous crossing from Libya more than doubled, with 13,439 arriving in Italy compared with 5,273 a year earlier. IOM spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo...

Read More...


What do States Owe People Who are Wrongfully Convicted?

by Scott Rodd – In April 2000, 23-year-old Floyd Bledsoe sat in an Oskaloosa, Kansas, courtroom awaiting the verdict in his first-degree murder trial in the death of his 14-year-old sister-in-law, Zetta “Camille” Arfmann. Throughout the trial, he maintained his innocence. But the jury entered the courtroom and declared him guilty. Bledsoe was sentenced to life in prison plus 16 years, but doubts about his involvement in the murder lingered. The crime scene yielded little physical evidence, and Bledsoe’s brother, Tom, 25, had originally confessed to the murder before recanting and pinning the crime on Floyd. After years of fruitless court challenges, Bledsoe was vindicated in a gut-wrenching twist: In 2015, Tom Bledsoe confessed to the murder in a suicide note before asphyxiating himself. Within a month, a judge vacated Bledsoe’s conviction and he was released from prison. The day of his release, Bledsoe recalls, was a mixture of...

Read More...


Tortured and Wrongly Held at Guantánamo for 14 Years, Abdul Zahir Now Has Freedom, but No Justice

by Adam Hudson, Truthout | Report – Before Barack Obama left office, he released 10 detainees from Guantánamo to Oman. Among them was Abdul Zahir, a 45-year-old man from Afghanistan. Zahir was detained at Guantánamo for 14 years, even though the US government later admitted that he was wrongfully held. He was mistaken for another man who shared his nickname, Abdul Bari. Zahir’s story exemplifies the cruelty of Guantánamo and the policies of indefinite detention and torture, which will, in all likelihood, continue with Trump as president. “I want to leave behind the bad things that happened to me while I have been imprisoned. I want to focus on the positive things ahead of me, seeing my family again, studying at university and perhaps being able to help others,” Zahir said, according a press release provided by his lawyers before he left Guantánamo. Zahir has three sons and speaks Arabic, Pashto and some Urdu,...

Read More...


The Tell-Tale Tweet

by Propane Jane – On March 12, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his first fireside chat to the American public. He was sworn in only eight days prior, but the scope of the crisis that greeted him necessitated a swift yet steady display of leadership to calm the anxieties of a nation in turmoil and despair. His first week in office had been besieged by a rash of bank withdrawals and closings, followed by a four day bank shutdown, then hasty passage of the Emergency Banking Act to restore confidence to an economic system in free fall. The stated purpose of Roosevelt’s unprecedented radio address was to explicitly inform the public “what has been done in the last few days, why it was done, and what the next steps are going to be,” and to practically beg panicked Americans to stop withdrawing their money from the gravely anemic banks. Miraculously, the public...

Read More...


CBO: Trumpcare Would Wipe Out Coverage for 24 Million People

by Nadia Prupis – Highly-anticipated report on GOP’s Obamacare replacement plan finds 14 million people would lose coverage in the first two years alone. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Monday released its score of the GOP’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, projecting that 14 million people would lose coverage by 2018 if the Republican bill is implemented. That number would rise to 24 million by 2026. Additionally, the plan would lead to higher deductibles and other cost-sharing payments. In short, as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote on Twitter, “The Republican healthcare plan: less healthcare for you, bigger salaries for healthcare CEOs. Republican priorities!” Bernie Sanders  ✔@SenSanders The Republican health care plan: less health care for you, bigger salaries for health care CEOs. Republican priorities! 4:01 PM – 13 Mar 2017 Opponents of the Republican plan, known as the American Healthcare Act (AHCA), were eagerly awaiting...

Read More...


The “Freedom Cities” Campaign: Resistance Through Progress at the Local Level

by Ronald Newman – On Saturday night, people at more than 2,200 events around the nation tuned in for the inaugural event of People Power, a new platform harnessing nationwide grassroots resistance to the Trump administration’s assault on our Constitution and our values. At the event, we announced “Freedom Cities,” a campaign that provides a concrete plan for the People Power team to play offense in cities and towns across the country. WATCH THE RECORDING Even before “Freedom Cities,” our grassroots activism has borne fruit, as evidenced by the incredible protests around the country that brought defeat to President Trump’s first attempt to ban Muslims and refugees. We will resist with equal strength Muslim Ban 2.0, along with any other unconstitutional and un-American policies that flow from the White House. While we resist, however, we must also play offense, and work to paint a picture of the type of country we...

Read More...


US Attorney in New York Fired After Refusing Trump’s Abrupt Request to Resign

by Deirdre Fulton – The Trump administration demanded the resignation of 46 U.S. attorneys on Friday afternoon, with little warning. Manhattan federal prosecutor Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, was fired Saturday after refusing to comply with the Trump administration’s request to resign, according to the New York Times. Bharara’s firing adds another layer of controversy to the episode, which was already raising eyebrows—and in some cases, ire. Preet Bharara  ✔@PreetBharara I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life. 2:29 PM – 11 Mar 2017 Embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked for the resignations of 46 U.S. attorneys on Friday, “igniting anger from officials who say they were given no warning about their dismissals,” as CNN reported. “It is common for administrations to ask holdovers to step down, but what is less common...

Read More...


Unfairness in Class Action: A New Attack on Civil Rights

by Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza – President Donald Trump’s budget proposal may eliminate the single greatest funder of civil legal aid in the United States, the Legal Services Corporation—a long-standing goal of Vice President Mike Pence. At the same time, Congress is working to block Americans from seeking justice on their own with the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017. This bill was drafted to address an imaginary problem; if it passes, it will have very real, devastating consequences. For those who face systemic corporate abuses and failures of government, class action lawsuits are a critical tool for seeking justice. Through a class action, a few people or organizations can represent a larger group that has been harmed in a lawsuit against the perpetrator to seek a remedy, whether a change in practices or monetary damages. Actions that aim to force actors to change their behavior—for example, to follow the law...

Read More...


Muhammad Ali’s Family Takes to Capitol Hill to Oppose Trump’s ‘Insulting’ Muslim Ban

by Lindsay Gibbs – “Someone needs to turn the humanity switch on.” Last month, Muhammad Ali Jr. and Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the son and ex-wife of the late Muhammad Ali, were detained by immigration officers for several hours at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on their way back from Jamaica and questioned explicitly about their religion. On Thursday afternoon, the devout Muslims — both of whom are U.S. citizens and had all the proper documentation with them while traveling — spoke about this experience at a House of Representatives forum on Capitol Hill. “I was so violated,” Camacho-Ali, the second wife of the boxing legend and mother of four of his children, said. “This is not acceptable. I’ve never felt this uncomfortable being in this country.” The mother and son had no qualms tying their experience directly to President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, the executive order — now in its second iteration — banning nationals from several majority-Muslim countries and preventing all...

Read More...


Decades of Exoneration Stats Show Blacks More Likely to Be Wrongfully Convicted

by Scott Shackford – Everything from official misconduct to bad eyewitness identifications to false confessions played roles. National Registry of Exonerations America saw another record year for the number of prisoners being exonerated, according to the National Registry of Exonerations, a project of University of California Irvine Newkirk Center for Science & Society, University of Michigan Law School, and Michigan State University College of Law. For 2016, 166 people were exonerated of crimes and released from prison, 52 of them for murder. Of all the exonerations, 70 cases involved official misconduct of some sort, and in 74 of the cases, convictions came from guilty pleas. And in 94 cases (also a record) it turned out that no actual crime occurred at all. These were mostly drug cases but also some child sex abuse cases. Most famously, the San Antonio Four, four women convicted in 1998 in a fabricated satanic child sex abuse...

Read More...


More States Sue to Block “Muslim Ban By Another Name”

by Nadia Prupis – “It’s my expectation that we will continue to prevail, and certainly my expectation that the president will continue to respect the decision of the court.” At least three more states are suing President Donald Trump over his new travel ban, as Washington state—whose legal action suspended the original executive order—said Thursday that it would renew its request to block the revised one. Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson said both Oregon and New York are joining his state’s legal challenge to the new order, which blocks travelers from six majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days, and blocks refugees for 120. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman also said that Minnesota would be taking part in the lawsuit. Ferguson said the court will decide whether the new ban, which affects travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, exempting current visa holders, is similar enough...

Read More...


LGBT Community Centers See Wave of Vandalism Across the Country

by Zack Ford – It’s part of the broader wave of hate that has spread across the country since the election. Over the past two months, various LGBT centers have been targeted with vandalism. Fortunately, the attacks on these important resource spaces and gathering places have not resulted in anyone being hurt, but the damage is real. The latest pair of incidents took place this week in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center. Shortly after midnight Monday morning, a white four-door truck drove past the center and fired multiple shots across the front door and windows of the center. Tulsa police recovered 13 pellets, but fortunately they did not penetrate the reinforced glass. It was the first time in the center’s 12-year history that it was targeted for a serious act of vandalism. Monday afternoon, a man then entered the Equality Center and began yelling at the staff,...

Read More...


When the Supreme Court Stopped a Government-Led Attack on Freedom of the Press

by Damon Root – Revisiting a landmark First Amendment case.   In 1934 the Louisiana legislature passed a law requiring all newspapers, magazines, and periodicals with a circulation of 20,000 or more to pay an annual licensing tax of 2 percent on all gross receipts “for the privilege of engaging in such business in this State.” Ostensibly justified as just another run-of-the-mill tax, the measure’s true purpose was plain for all to see. The governor at that time was the notorious populist demagogue Huey P. Long, also known as the “Kingfish.” The Long administration was famously rife with corruption and criminality and the state’s biggest newspapers just happened to be some of the governor’s most outspoken critics. So the Kingfish told his allies in the legislature to use the state’s vast taxing powers to harass and punish his enemies in the press. The American Press Company, along with eight other newspaper...

Read More...


Rejecting GOP Ploy, Planned Parenthood Says Women’s Right to Choose is “Non-Negotiable”

by Lauren McCauley – House GOP’s plan cuts off federal funding for abortion providers, effectively destroying access to affordable women’s healthcare services. Women’s healthcare providers are readying for a fight. Refusing to back down from its commitment to women’s choice, Planned Parenthood is now at risk of losing nearly 40 percent of its funding—and is calling for a massive mobilization to resist the attack on women’s health. Ahead of the official release of House Republicans’ the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on Monday evening—which guts funding for any healthcare organization that “provides for abortions”—Planned Parenthood reportedly rejected an offer from the White House to stop terminating pregnancies in exchange for the group to continue receiving federal funds for other essential services. “Offering money to Planned Parenthood to abandon our patients and our values is not a deal that we will ever accept,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned...

Read More...


We’ll See You in Court, 2.0: Once a Muslim Ban, Still a Muslim Ban

by David Cole – If a Muslim Ban is cleaned up to exclude Iraq, exempt lawful permanent residents and other current visa holders, is it still a Muslim ban? That’s the question presented by President Donald Trump’s decision to replace his original executive order, enjoined by the courts, with a new one. The administration’s decision to abandon the old order is wise — every judge but one who had reviewed it found it raised grave constitutional concerns. The new order will be less catastrophic in its roll-out than the first, both because it exempts those who already have visas and because it will not go into effect until March 16. But it’s still religious discrimination in the pretextual guise of national security. And it’s still unconstitutional. As I’ve written before, Donald Trump has repeatedly made crystal clear his intent to ban Muslims from entering the United States. As a candidate, he repeatedly stated...

Read More...


A 16-Year-Old Canadian Girl is Behind Professional Bigot Milo Yiannopoulos’ Downfall

by wagatwe – Remember how Milo Yiannopoulos’ career seemingly exploded into flames in the span of a week? It felt like a long time ago, but the last straw — his resignation from Breitbart as their senior editor — was only 10 days ago. Bananas, right? Well, the story gets even better when you find out how this call came about. Turns out there’s a 16-year-old Canadian high school student who was the brains behind the extremely efficient operation. Vox caught up with this girl, whom they refer to as Julia, to learn why and how she did it. The teen describes herself as “very socially liberal” yet more conservative on economic and foreign policy issues. So why did she target Milo? Well, this is what she told Vox: “I see Milo as this embodiment of the awfulness you see over the past few years with the general tilt of millennial conservatism. It’s diverged from this traditional...

Read More...


Trump Signs Muslim Ban 2.0

by Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani – Here’s all you need to know. On Monday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning nationals from six Muslim-majority countries and halting all refugee resettlement. The order comes a little over a month after Trump first signed a similar ban, which has since faced multiple legal challenges. Under the new order, nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen will not be able to obtain visas to the United States for 90 days. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will determine whether the governments of the targeted countries are providing enough information about their nationals who wish to enter the United States, and reassess whether they should stay banned after the first 90 days. The order also suspends all refugee resettlement for 120 days, while the DHS reviews “screening procedures to ensure refugees admitted in the future do not pose a security risk to...

Read More...


Large Majorities See Checks and Balances, Right to Protest as Essential for Democracy

77% say it would be ‘too risky’ to give presidents more power Large majorities of the public, Republicans and Democrats alike, say open and fair elections and a system of governmental checks and balances are essential to maintaining a strong democracy in the United States. However, there is less consensus about the importance of other aspects of a strong democracy – notably, the freedom of news organizations to criticize political leaders. The survey by Pew Research Center, conducted Feb. 7-12 among 1,503 adults, finds that 89% say fair and open national elections are very important to maintaining a strong democracy, while 83% say the same about a system of checks and balances dividing power between the president, Congress and the courts. As in past surveys, most also view the right to nonviolent protest (79%) and protecting the rights of those with unpopular views (74%) as very important components of...

Read More...


Building “Feminism for the 99 Percent,” Women’s Strike Will Take Many Forms

by Deirdre Fulton – ‘March 8th will be the beginning of a new international feminist movement.’ Whether by walking off the job or boycotting “unseen” labor, women and allies around the world next week will stand up and speak out to say: Women’s rights are human rights. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, the March 8 day of action is being promoted in solidarity by those who organized January’s Women’s March as well as a grassroots movement known as the International Women’s Strike (IWS). While both groups acknowledge that the election of President Donald Trump makes their call more urgent, their overlapping visions look beyond one administration—and reach further back into the past. “March 8th will be the beginning of a new international feminist movement that organizes resistance not just against Trump and his misogynist policies, but also against the conditions that produced Trump, namely the decades long economic inequality, racial, and...

Read More...


Trump Regime Literally Phones it in on Human Rights Report

by Mark Sumner – The release of the annual report on human rights by the US State Department is an event watched around the world. The report, which represents information on human rights collected by US embassies and consulates, is closely studied by governments, non-profits, and businesses. It is presented each year by the Secretary of State. Or, when an emergency keeps the secretary away, by a senior State Department official. Except this year. This year, not only did Rex Tillerson blow off the report, here’s the level of treatment the report on human rights was given under Trump. Nor did any senior State Department official make on-camera comments that are typically watched around the world, including by officials in authoritarian countries where abuses are singled out in the report. Instead, a senior administration official talked to reporters by phone and only on the condition of anonymity. “The report speaks for...

Read More...


Leaked Doc Puts “Stake in the Heart” of Trump’s Travel Ban Rationale (VIDEO)

by Lauren McCauley – MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow revealed a telling internal document which proves that extreme vetting is ‘bull-pucky’. In a major scoop said to put a “stake in the heart of the Muslim ban,” MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow reported Thursday evening on a new leaked Department of Homeland Security (DHS) analysis which essentially shreds the Trump administration’s rationale for banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations. The document, prepared by DHS’ internal intelligence agency, the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, concludes that the majority of foreign-born, U.S.-based violent extremists were radicalized several years after their entry into the U.S.. Following the “unbelievably chaotic rollout,” as Maddow put it, of President Donald Trump’s travel ban—which was subsequently and roundly rejected by the U.S. court system—the White House has repeatedly sworn that a replacement plan was in the works, with an eventual release planned for Wednesday. “Well now, it’s Thursday,” Maddow quipped. “Where’s the...

Read More...


Women Who Rely on Planned Parenthood are Fighting Back

by Kira Lerner – A leaked GOP bill would strip its clinics of Medicaid funding. From a distance, the bright pink signs and smiling young women enjoying the early signs of spring outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning might have seemed like a celebration. But the occasion was far from it. With Congress ready to introduce legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act — potentially defunding Planned Parenthood and blocking tax credits for abortion providers along with it — the largest women’s health organization is in full fight mode. After hitting Republican lawmakers in their home districts during last week’s recess, the battle now moves to the U.S. Capitol. On Friday, a draft of the GOP’s proposed Obamacare replacement leaked to reporters. In addition to repealing Obama’s signature health care legislation, the bill would strip Planned Parenthood of hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid reimbursements and eliminate tax credits from insurance providers who cover...

Read More...


Recusal is not Enough for Jeff Sessions

by Ian Millhiser – Justice demands a special prosecutor. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Thursday afternoon that he would recuse himself from further investigations into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia. This announcement follows revelations that he met twice with Russia’s ambassador while he was a Trump campaign surrogate, and then falsely testified that he “did not have communications with the Russians.” Recusal is step towards ensuring a fair and open investigation into Trump and his closest advisers’ Russian ties, but it is not itself sufficient to eliminate the conflicts of interest that anyone involved with this investigation will necessarily face. Sessions is no longer just an ally and a subordinate to Donald Trump, he is now a likely target of the investigation. He potentially faces criminal charges. Every single employee of the Justice Department, moreover, is subordinate to Sessions. Even if Sessions is technically recused from the Russia investigation,...

Read More...


Indivisible? Meet the Activists Doing the Job the Democratic Party Has Failed to Do

by John Knefel, Truthout | Report – The United States has now entered month two of Donald Trump’s presidency, and the opposition to his administration is strong and growing. The past week has produced too many town hall protests to catalog, many of which have resulted in blistering criticisms of Republican elected officials, as well as of some Democrats. For now, the common enemy of Trump has served as a rallying cry and unifying force for a popular front, but the divisions in the big-tent, left-of-center coalition highlighted by the Democratic primary still exist and are in fact deepening, as the race for the head of the Democratic National Committee showed. At the center of many of these town hall protests, often incorrectly dubbed a progressive answer to the Tea Party, is a group called Indivisible. It is less an organization than a network of local organizations, many of...

Read More...


Trump Administration Confirms Plans to Drop Key Claim Against Texas Voter ID

by JIM MALEWITZ – The U.S. Department of Justice confirmed Monday it plans to ditch its longstanding position that Texas lawmakers purposefully discriminated against minority voters by passing the nation’s strictest voter identification law in 2011. The U.S. Department of Justice confirmed Monday it plans to ditch its longstanding position that Texas lawmakers purposefully discriminated against minority voters by passing the nation’s strictest voter identification law in 2011. The move comes one day before a federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments on that high-stakes voting rights question, and it highlights yet another instance in which President Donald Trump has dramatically departed from the path of his predecessor. Former President Obama’s Justice Department originally teamed up with civil rights groups against Texas throughout the long-winding legal battle over the ID law, known as Senate Bill 14. But on Monday, lawyers for U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told parties that they were...

Read More...


The ACLU’s Next Endeavor: Organizing the People’s Power to Resist

by Faiz Shakir – In the weeks following President Donald Trump’s inauguration, we have seen the harms that his policies cause people around the world and the danger his actions represent for our civil liberties. Trump’s use of executive power has prompted the protest and defiance of millions, echoing the voices of many who know that our basic American values are being tested by our president. The ACLU will continue to defend our basic freedoms and hold this administration accountable for every unlawful or unconstitutional measure they propose. We will use the courts as one avenue to aggressively advance our agenda, but we cannot do it alone. That is why the ACLU is launching a major new grassroots mobilization platform, PeoplePower.org, in response to the growing number of people who believe that Trump’s actions cannot go unchallenged. We’ve hired a group of digital organizers who have worked with activist groups, the White House,...

Read More...


Where We are Now: George W. Bush’s Defends the Constitution to Rebuke Trump (VIDEO)

by Esther Yu Hsi Lee – During an interview on Today, former President George W. Bush responded to President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban and recent criticisms of the media by speaking in support of religious freedom and the free press. “I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy,” Bush told host Matt Lauer, weighing in on a question about whether the media should be considered “enemies of America,” as Trump said during his speech at CPAC last Friday. “We need an independent media to hold people like me into account,” Bush said. “Power can be addictive and it can be corrosive. It’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere.” Bush explained that he spent “a lot of time” trying to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin “to accept the notion of an independent press. And, it’s kind of hard...

Read More...


Philadelphia Muslims and Jews ‘Unite Against Hatred’ After Cemetery Attack

by Nadia Prupis – Muslim activists rally to donate funds, assist in cleanup after Jewish grave site in Pennsylvania desecrated. Muslim activists rallied again to help repair another Jewish cemetery vandalized over the weekend, this time in Pennsylvania, where at least 100 gravestones were toppled. The president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA visited the Mount Carmel Cemetery in the northeast part of the city on Sunday and expressed solidarity and condolences to local Jewish leaders. “We are deeply troubled by these rising and ongoing attacks on our Jewish sisters and brothers, and members from our Philadelphia chapter are in route to assist in clean up,” said Dr. Nasim Rehmatullah, the group’s national vice president. “We call upon all Americans to stand united against this hatred and extremism.” The incident was reported on Sunday after a man visiting the cemetery found that three of his relatives’ headstones...

Read More...


Egyptian-Born, French Holocaust Scholar Detained and Threatened with Deportation

by Carimah Townes – He was “mistakenly detained” for 10 hours. An Egyptian-born French historian was scheduled to speak at a Texas A&M symposium last week, but he nearly missed the event because customs agents “mistakenly detained” him for 10 hours at a Houston airport — and threatened to deport him immediately. Henry Rousso, a World War II scholar and member of the National Center for Scientific Research was grabbed and detained at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Wednesday, following a long flight from Paris. He was reportedly brought to an interrogation room for a “random check” after he was pulled aside by immigration officials without an explanation. According to his own account of what happened, Rousso was questioned about his travel documents and accused of flying to the United States to work on an illegal visa, before he was interrogated about his family, subjected to a body search, and forced to take...

Read More...


Indiana is Going Hard Against Abortion This Week

by Maureen Shaw – These measures are extreme, even for Indiana. Indiana is gunning for abortion rights this week. Within a span of two days, Indiana’s House revived its “abortion reversal” bill, and a Senate panel advanced a restrictive bill aimed at curbing minors’ access to abortion care. Even for Indiana, which has a draconian anti-choice record, these measures are extreme in their disregard for women’s health and privacy. On Tuesday, the House Public Policy Committee approved H.B. 1128, which requires, among other things, that “a pregnant woman be informed orally and in writing before an abortion obtained through an abortion inducing drug that the abortion may be possibly reversed.” Last week, the committee approved a similar bill, but was met with resistance by some House Republicans, who cited concerns about a provision requiring abortion providers to perform an ultrasound to determine a fetus’ gestational age. This provision was struck from Tuesday’s...

Read More...


Top Obama Lawyers Join To Dig Into Trump’s Abuse of Power

by CathyM – I really, really think we need to tell folks about this group! I haven’t seen them mentioned before. Obama lawyers form ‘worst-case scenario’ group to tackle Trump Fearful the new administration will abuse its power, the former president’s lawyers are uniting to fight back. Top lawyers who helped the Obama White House craft and hold to rules of conduct believe President Donald Trump and his staff will break ethics norms meant to guard against politicization of the government — and they’ve formed a new group to prepare, and fight. United to Protect Democracy, which draws its name from a line in President Barack Obama’s farewell address that urged his supporters to pick up where he was leaving off, has already raised a $1.5 million operating budget, hired five staffers and has plans to double that in the coming months. They’ve incorporated as both a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4), allowing...

Read More...


New Deportation Rules Could Cost the Economy Trillions

by Bryce Covert – Deporting all undocumented immigrants would have extreme effects on the economy. President Trump pushed forward on his campaign promise to deport all undocumented immigrants on Tuesday by releasing new guidelines to expand and speed up deportations. The memos from the Department of Homeland Security target all undocumented immigrants for deportation, even those who haven’t committed serious crimes, while necessitating the hiring of thousands of new agents and building new detention facilities. These policies are going to wreak havoc on the lives, families, and communities of those who end up deported. And they will also come with a steep cost for everyone in this country. It’s still not clear whether the administration will actually have the resources and ability to deport every undocumented immigrant. But even if it were able to deport just the 7 million undocumented workers in this country, out of the estimated 12 million total, it...

Read More...


Fed Up with ‘Dysfunction and Deadlock,’ Former FEC Chair Will Resign

by Deirdre Fulton – ‘What we are left with is an agency mandated to ensure transparency and disclosure that is actually working to keep the public in the dark,’ writes Ann M. Ravel. The primary responsibilities of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) are to ensure full disclosure of campaign money and fair enforcement of election law, former chair Ann M. Ravel said Monday, before declaring: “Citizens deserve to know it does neither.” In an op-ed published at the New York Times, Ravel blamed the dysfunction on “a controlling bloc of three Republican commissioners who are ideologically opposed to the FEC’s purpose regularly ignores violations or drastically reduces penalties.” “The resulting paralysis,” she wrote, “has allowed over $800 million in ‘dark money’ to infect our elections since Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that allowed corporations and unions to spend unlimited sums to elect or defeat candidates.” She continued: Last...

Read More...


The ‘So-Called’ Trump Presidency is Crumbling Under Pressure From Protests

by News Corpse – Since the day that Donald Trump was inaugurated, the American people have flooded the streets and town halls to express their opposition to his agenda. Unprecedented numbers of citizens turned out for the nationwide Women’s March on January 21. A week later, more protesters showed up spontaneously at airports to oppose Trump’s Muslim ban. Now town halls are being inundated by angry voters who won’t stand for Trump’s efforts to gut ObamaCare. These protests are having a profound effect on the Republican Party. Nervous GOP representatives in Washington, and across the nation, are running scared – literally. Many are avoiding their own constituents meetings for fear of encountering their wrath. And the ones that are going are being greeted by passionate advocates for progressive policies and values. For those who are skeptical that these tactics are effective, set aside your worries. There is abundant evidence that they...

Read More...


Do These 10 Things, And Trump Will Be Toast

by Michael Moore – An easy-to-follow action plan than anyone and can do… and every one must do. Friends, I welcome you to “The Michael Moore Easy-to-Follow 10-Point Plan to Stop Trump.” First, let’s acknowledge what we all know to be true: Trump is in deep, deep trouble — in the pocket of Russians, surrounded by alt.right idiots, alone in his bathrobe in a mostly-empty White House — and caught inside a disgusting “shit-sandwich”, so said his supporter who turned down the NSA job. Only one month into his So-Called Presidency — and yet there is good news, as this is what the American landscape looks like: • Tens of thousands of citizens across the country have stormed Congressional district offices and town hall meetings to express their rage at the Trump agenda (a dejected Republican congressman, after a 3-hour verbal assault from his angry constituents, said on TV last night,...

Read More...


Muslims Raise $55,000 to Fix Vandalized Jewish Cemetery

Muslim activists launch crowdfunding bid to repair Missouri’s Chesed Shel Emeth graves after anti-Semitic desecration. A crowdfunding project launched by Muslim activists has raised more than $55,000 in one day to repair a vandalised Jewish cemetery in St Louis. On Tuesday, Linda Sarsour of the grassroots civil rights MPower Change group and Tarek El-Messidi of the non-profit CelebrateMercy organisation called on people to donate after more than 100 headstones at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in the St Louis suburb of University City were toppled. By early Wednesday, at the time of  publishing, $55,341 had been raised. According to reports, police said they did not yet know who was responsible for the vandalism. “Muslim Americans stand in solidarity with the Jewish American community to condemn this horrific act of desecration,” the activists said. They launched the campaign with a goal to raise $20,000, a target that was hit in three...

Read More...


Iowa Bill Would Force Universities to Hire Right-Wing Professors

by Nika Knight – The proposed law ‘could bring about a Soviet-style purge of liberal-leaning college staff in Iowa’. As Republican-dominated state governments push frightening right-wing legislation nationwide, a GOP senator in Iowa joined the fray on Monday with a bill that would force universities to exclusively hire Republican professors and temporarily bar Democrats until “partisan balanced” is reached. The bill, Senate File 288, “could bring about a Soviet-style purge of liberal-leaning college staff in Iowa,” warned Pat Rynard in the local politics blog Iowa Starting Line.  “The obvious impact and purpose of this bill would be to ban Democrats from getting hired anymore at Iowa colleges,” Rynard continued. “If you took a survey right now, it’s highly likely that Iowa professors are registered as Democrats at a much higher rate than Republican. So any new hires would be strictly limited to Republican or o arty voters.” Iowa state senator Mark Chelgren, who...

Read More...


New Study Confirms Just How Racially Discriminatory Voter ID Laws Truly Are

by Stephen Wolf – We’ve always suspected it, but now new academic research confirms it: Strict voter ID laws do indeed disproportionately lower turnout among Latino, black, and Asian voters compared to whites, which of course benefits conservatives and the Republican Party. The authors of this new study found that strict ID laws—where registered voters must show a photo ID to have their vote count, and no exceptions are permitted—depressed Latino turnout rates the most, followed by black and Asian-American turnout, yet white turnout was largely unaffected.  Those findings held true even when researchers accounted for a variety of other factors, and they were even more acute in primaries. That latter point is critical because many states and cities hold elections for important races such as city council seats, judgeships, and even state constitutional amendments at times other than November general elections. It also means voter ID can make even Democratic...

Read More...


Norway Pledges Millions to Growing Anti-Trump Global Abortion Fund

by Nadia Prupis – “At a time when has come under pressure, a joint effort is particularly important” Norway has joined a growing international initiative to counter President Donald Trump’s global anti-abortion measure, signed in January. Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced over the weekend that the country would pledge an additional $10 million to support U.S.-backed charities overseas that provide information on abortion—which are now cut off from financial support from the U.S. under Trump’s “global gag rule,” also known as the Mexico City Policy. Trump instituted the funding ban as one of his first moves in office. The Netherlands launched the international fund in response, warning that the ban would cause a shortfall of $600 million over the next four years and put women’s lives at risk around the world. “Norway plays a leading role in the work to promote global health, and is one of the...

Read More...


Keystone XL Developer Files Pipeline Application in Nebraska

by Samantha Page – TransCanada is expected to try to use eminent domain for parts of the route. TransCanada just took another step toward getting its beleaguered Keystone XL pipeline back on track: the oil company filed an application Thursday with a Nebraska agency for route approval. The move is the first state-level application for the company since President Donald Trump signed an executive memorandum in January directing the State Department to review the pipeline’s federal application within 60 days. TransCanada submitted its new application to the State Department on January 26. “This application has been shaped by direct, on-the-ground input from Nebraskans,” Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “The thousands of Nebraskans we have met over the last eight years understand the value of this project and what it means to the state. As we have said consistently, safety and a respect for the environment remain our...

Read More...


Hispanic Dems Blast ‘Dictatorial Shenanigans’ at Meeting With ICE (VIDEO)

by Deirdre Fulton – “After attending the ICE meeting it’s hard not to conclude that President Trump has started his mass deportation plan,” says Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas. Two members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Reps. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) and Norma Torres (D-Calif.), said they were asked to leave a meeting Thursday between lawmakers and the top U.S. immigration official, while others said they were barred entry in the first place. Gutiérrez and Torres both expressed incredulity after being kicked out of the meeting between lawmakers and acting Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) director Thomas Homan—one of them by an aide to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the other by a GOP lawmaker himself. The meeting, requested by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss the recent uptick in immigration raids and detentions, was originally scheduled for Tuesday—but ICE canceled at the last minute, saying too many people had expressed interest...

Read More...


Undeterred by Lawmakers in Hiding, the Resistance Prepares for Recess (VIDEO)

by Lauren McCauley – New video and guide from the Indivisible Movement gives practical advice for February town halls. Since the GOP-led Congress took power last month, leaders that have supported President Donald Trump’s controversial cabinet choices or have worked to eliminate affordable healthcare have had to face crowds of angry voters. Now, with February’s congressional recess on the horizon, the resistance is gearing up to confront lawmakers on their home turf to let them know how the American public views Trump’s agenda. While many elected officials are planning to hold town halls next week, reportedly more than 200 Republican legislators are skipping out. According to data compiled by Legistorm and reported by Vice News on Thursday, “or the first two months of the new Congress, the 292 Republicans have scheduled just 88 in-person town hall events—and 35 of those sessions are for Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin.” In comparison, during...

Read More...


Trump Preparing to Open New Front in His Dangerous, Misguided War on Immigrants

by Silva Mathema, Rachel West, and Shawn Fremstad – President Donald Trump is actively considering opening a new front in his war on immigrants through another hastily drafted and vaguely worded executive order. Drafts of this new order have been leaked to various press outlets and offer a worrying look into the administration’s complete disregard for commonsense immigration policy. If issued, the order would expand the focus of the administration’s anti-immigrant campaign beyond unauthorized immigrants, refugees, and Muslims—groups that Trump’s campaign and administration have already targeted extensively—to include green card holders—also known as lawful permanent residents, or LPRs—living in the United States. It would also affect potential immigrants seeking visas to lawfully enter the United States to reunite with family members. Under the draft order, individuals who are otherwise eligible for green cards could be denied admission to the United States if they could conceivably become eligible for any kind of...

Read More...


Immigrant Communities Battle New Anti-Sanctuary-City Bills in Red States

by Candice Bernd, Truthout | Report – Emboldened by President Trump’s executive order withholding federal funds from “sanctuary” jurisdictions, Republican-dominated state legislatures are seeking to deny their own state funds to counties or cities refusing to comply with federal immigration authorities. Several states, including Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Idaho and Pennsylvania have introduced measures that would require police agencies to hold anyone in custody until US Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) can determine if they should be deported, or potentially lose state funding. Some states are going even farther than that. In Ohio, state lawmakers introduced a bill that would hold local officials accountable for crimes committed by undocumented immigrants in the officials’ sanctuary jurisdictions. Legislators in Colorado have introduced legislation that would let victims of particular crimes committed by undocumented immigrants sue the politicians who supported a sanctuary designation. Alaska and Maine are now reportedly considering similar...

Read More...


#FreeDaniel: Community United in Outrage After ICE Detains ‘Dreamer’ With No Criminal Record

by Nika Knight – ‘Seattle stands with Daniel and we will not back down until he is free.’ U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested and detained a ‘Dreamer,’ or an undocumented immigrant brought to the U.S. as a young child and given permission to live and work legally in the country, stunning civil rights defenders nationwide and provoking fierce local opposition. While President Donald Trump has issued a draconian anti-immigrant executive order that appears to have set in motion a sharp increase in ICE raids nationwide, the arrest of Daniel Ramirez Medina in Seattle last week marks the first detention of an immigrant allowed to live and work legally in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program since Trump took office. “Arresting a young DACA recipient with deep roots in our country is not only cruel and outrageous but an affront to our core principles...

Read More...


This Virginia County Denied a Permit to Build a Mosque: It Doesn’t Pass the Smell Test

by Rebecca Guterman – In Culpeper County, Virginia, some parcels of land have soil that make installing a septic system untenable. Unfortunately for the Islamic Center of Culpeper, they bought just such a parcel of land to build their mosque on. The solution, however, was straightforward. All they had to do was request a routine “pump and haul” permit from the county to remove sewage from the site. In April 2016, the county denied the Islamic Center’s permit request, and that denial doesn’t pass the smell test. Since 1992, Culpeper County has received 26 commercial or religious use applications for this permit, including nine from churches. It has approved all but one — that’s right, a request from the Islamic Center of Culpeper. The county’s denial of the routine permit request came after local residents inundated officials with opposition calls and emails that disparaged Muslims and made references to terrorism...

Read More...


We Must Know the Truth

by BILL MOYERS AND MICHAEL WINSHIP – This is the worst scandal involving the White House and a foreign power since Iran-Contra. Demand the facts. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: there MUST be an investigation by an independent, bipartisan commission of Russia’s ties to Donald Trump and his associates and that nation’s interference in our elections. Emphasize independent and bipartisan. That commission must have full subpoena power to call witnesses and make them testify under oath or risk prosecution. Hearings must be held out in the open, and televised live for the nation and the world to see. That’s what a democracy is all about. The resignation of national security advisor Michael Flynn makes such an inquiry even more imperative. On Friday, winging his way to Mar-a-Lago on Air Force One, Trump told the press he knew nothing about the previous night’s Washington Post report that Flynn had...

Read More...


North Dakota Bills Could Strip Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters of Their Rights

by Carimah Townes – Standing Rock protesters face five new threats. Over the weekend, veterans flocked to Standing Rock to shield Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protesters from law enforcement — the second time they’ve done so in recent months. But North Dakota lawmakers are now planning to radically constrict the right of DAPL opponents, including veterans, to demonstrate against the project. There are currently four bills in the state’s House and Senate that create new criminal penalties for acts of protest or heighten existing penalties. And there is a fifth bill that could put demonstrators in physical danger. HB 1193 turns a misdemeanor offense into a felony if the offense is “done intentionally to cause direct or indirect economic harm in excess of one thousand dollars to the government or to a person.” HB 1203 states that drivers who “negligently” injure or kill people obstructing traffic will not be responsible for the damage caused....

Read More...


Protesters Block Betsy DeVos From First Visit to Public School (VIDEO)

by Nadia Prupis – She eventually managed to get inside Jefferson Academy, as teachers, parents, and other activists gathered to protest her confirmation. “Stand up, fight back!” the crowd answered.Protesters briefly blocked Betsy DeVos from entering a Washington, D.C. school Friday morning in her first visit as Education Secretary, one woman shouting, “She does not represent anything that stand for!” The crowd followed DeVos as she turned to leave, with another man saying she had bought her way into the position. (Indeed, DeVos made campaign contributions to every senator that voted in her favor.) “You should be so proud of yourself,” he said, before shouting, “Shame! Shame!” as DeVos got into a car. ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos She eventually managed to get inside Jefferson Academy, amid a vigil organized by the Washington Teachers Union which saw teachers, parents, and other activists gathered to protest her confirmation—though...

Read More...


The Unique Legal Problem Presented by a Know-Nothing President

by Ian Millhiser – The law is not built for Donald Trump. Eight of the most powerful words in American national security law are “the President of the United States has determined.” The Trump administration’s motion to a federal appeals court asking to restore Trump’s Muslim ban starts with these eight words. In that case, Washington v. Trump, the President of the United States has determined that “deteriorating conditions” in seven majority-Muslim nations “increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States.” And so the administration asked the court to defer to that presidential determination. For now, Trump has not fared well in Washington. On Thursday evening, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit announced that it would leave a temporary order suspending Trump’s travel ban in place. Their opinion, however, still leaves many open questions. And the legality of Trump’s travel ban...

Read More...


Snowden: ‘Finally: Irrefutable Evidence That I Never Cooperated with Russian Intel’

by Common Dreams staff – “I think Snowden is a terrible threat, I think he’s a terrible traitor and you know what we used to do in the good old days when we were a strong country, you know what we used to do to traitors right?” Trump has said. Whistle-blower Edward Snowden has spoken on a report suggesting Vladimir Putin is considering sending him back to the US as a “gift” to President Donald Trump, claiming the story proves he is not a spy. “Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel,” Snowden said. “No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they’re next.” Edward Snowden ✔@Snowden Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel. No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they’re next. https://twitter.com/CNBCnow/status/830190986697523203 … 6:43 PM – 10 Feb 2017 Late Friday NBC News reported: U.S. intelligence has collected information...

Read More...


Americans Like the Resistance a Lot More Than They Like Trump

by Richard Eskow – For Donald Trump, this has got to hurt: Less than two weeks after his inauguration, the people who took to the streets to protest his policies have outstripped him in popularity. And, given his rich history of “locker room banter” and other sexist comments, it must be especially humiliating for Trump to know that the biggest mobilizations of protesters who bested him were led by women. A Popular Front The numbers are irrefutable. Trump’s approval rating has sunk to a historically low 42 percent, according to Gallup, yet 60 percent of the public approved of the women’s marches, a Washington Post poll found. Only 29 percent of those polled disapproved of the anti-Trump marchers yet 54 percent disapproved of Trump’s performance as president. In an even more startling finding, Public Policy Polling found in late January that 40 percent of voters thought Trump ought to be impeached. They don’t like...

Read More...


When the Government Really Did Fear a Bowling Green Massacre — From a White Supremacist

by A.C. Thompson – Assault rifles, body armor, a possible kill list, but not much attention when feds arrested a white man they said was bent on “race war.” The year was 2012. The place was Bowling Green, Ohio. A federal raid had uncovered what the authorities feared were the makings of a massacre. There were 18 firearms, among them two AR–15 assault rifles, an AR–10 assault rifle and a Remington Model 700 sniper rifle. There was body armor, too, and the authorities counted some 40,000 rounds of ammunition. An extremist had been arrested, and prosecutors suspected that he had been aiming to carry out a wide assortment of killings. “This defendant, quite simply, was a well-funded, well-armed and focused one-man army of racial and religious hate,” prosecutors said in a court filing. The man arrested and charged was Richard Schmidt, a middle-aged owner of a sports-memorabilia business at a mall...

Read More...


Trump: “SEE YOU IN COURT” Us: “That Was Court, You Doofus.” Trump’s Choices in a Nutshell

by Frank DiPrima – In the wake of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, leaving in place the temporary restraining order staying his Muslim travel ban, Mr. Trump has three main procedural choices.  First, he can go to the United States Supreme Court and seek to have the stay lifted there.  Second, he can skip the SCOTUS appeal from the stay and simply instruct the Department of Justice to prepare and seek to expedite the underlying action on the merits in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.  Third, he can moot both proceedings by issuing an executive order revoking the first executive order and announcing that is will be rewritten. There is opportunity and danger for Mr. Trump in the SCOTUS appeal of the stay.  If he goes through with that, there are three possible outcomes, but only two are in the realm of likelihood.  First, he...

Read More...


Judge Orders NYPD to Disclose Surveillance Records of Black Lives Matters Activists

by Lauren C. Williams – A New York judge has ordered the New York Police Department to disclose records pertaining to the undercover surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists during protests following the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Protester James Logue filed a public records request for video and audio footage taken by uniformed and plain-clothed NYPD officers of the crowds during two Grand Central Terminal protests in 2014 and 2015. The NYPD refused to comply with the request, arguing that disclosing any records would obstruct its ability to do police work. Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Manuel Mendez ruled Wednesday that NYPD assistant intelligence chief John Donahue’s claims that releasing the data would expose details of ongoing terrorism investigations. “His speculative and conclusive claims of potential related ongoing investigations of incidents against police officers, both in New York and outside of the state and generalized references to use...

Read More...


Totally Detached from Reality, White House Spokesman says Protesters are ‘Paid Professionals’

by Jen Hayden – In an all-out rejection of Donald Trump and the Republican agenda of xenophobia, racism, misogyny and generally screwing over the with financial and environmental regulatory rollbacks, millions of people nationwide are protesting. Organic protests are erupting daily at the offices of our elected representatives, airports, anywhere and everywhere. Senator Cory Gardner (CO-R) casually mentioned he believed the people turning up at his office and Colorado-area protests were “paid protesters.” So did a Tennessee state senator who provided evidence that was easily debunked and became an internet joke. Now the White House itself is latching on to the laughable and insulting notion that these massive protests are the result of “professional paid protesters.” This must be the largest top secret jobs program in the history of the world. Watch Sean Spicer effortlessly spew this lie: Bradd Jaffy ✔@BraddJaffy Spicer says nationwide protests of Trump are not like Tea Party was: This is...

Read More...


As Resistance Turns Attention to Congress, Republicans Now Feeling the Heat

by Lauren McCauley – Surge of activism following election of Donald Trump has put lawmakers on their heels. One of those efforts, #ResistTrumpTuesdays, a joint project of The Working Families Party, MoveOn, and People’s Action, held another round of weekly actions on Tuesday. Thee fierce, coast-to-coast movement to resist U.S. President Donald Trump borne out in the Women’s March and widespread, impromptu airport protests has in recent days turned its attention to Congressional Republicans—and they are feeling the heat. With some demonstrations voicing discontent over GOP efforts to roll back regulations and dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and others aimed at swaying votes against the president’s controversial cabinet picks, protesters overwhelmed lawmakers back in their home districts over the weekend. And with #ResistTrumpTuesdays actions now targeting lawmakers as well, the resistance continues this week. Recapping some of the recent events, The Hill reported on Tuesday: Hundreds of protesters lined the streets of...

Read More...


Coretta Scott King’s Daughter Speaks Up and Against Republicans, and it’s Brilliantly Brutal

by Sarah – When it comes to strategizing an offense against Donald Trump and the Republicans, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King’s daughter Bernice King might just be on to something. While the words and actions of Trump are horrific all by themselves, it’s important to remember that he is not working alone. He has the support of those working closely around him and the support of the Republican party. So far, they’ve been backing his ideas and confirming all his nominations for his Cabinet. Here’s what King has to say about all of this: Some Wise Advice Circulating: 1. Use name sparingly so as not to detract from the issues. I believe that everyone, regardless of their beliefs, deserves the dignity of being called by their name. However, this is a strategic tactic. While we are so focused on him we are prone to neglect the...

Read More...


Senator Warren Persists, We Persist (VIDEO)

by Dave Johnson – Sen. Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted. – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Raw Power Republicans — President Donald Trump along with lawmakers in the Senate and the House — have discarded any pretense they might have had of civility and upholding norms, standards and even the rule of law. For them it’s all about gaining raw power and using power to benefit “their side” and to shut down their “enemies.” These enemies include the free press, the judicial branch, an entire religion, war refugees, an entire political party, the seasoned “establishment” of their own political party and anyone who might get in the way of their use and abuse of power. We are tumbling down the slippery slope to autocracy. What can we do? We can emulate Sen....

Read More...


US Court Grills Trump Lawyer Over ‘Terror’ Threats (VIDEOS)

Ruling on US administration’s travel ban expected soon after judges demand ‘terrorism’ evidence linked to seven nations. A US federal appeals court has questioned whether a travel ban ordered by President Donald Trump unfairly targeted people from seven Muslim-majority countries. During an oral argument lasting more than an hour, a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals pressed a government lawyer on Tuesday over whether the Trump administration’s national security argument was backed by evidence that people from the seven nations posed a danger. The San Francisco-based 9th Circuit said at the end of the session it would issue a ruling as soon as possible, thought to be this week. The matter is ultimately likely to go to the US Supreme Court. “I actually can’t believe that we’re having to fight to protect the security, in a court system, to protect the security of our nation,”...

Read More...


Syria Hanged 13,000 in Saydnaya Prison: Amnesty

Syrian government executed thousands of prisoners in mass hangings at Saydnaya prison, says rights watchdog. As many as 13,000 people were hanged in five years at a notorious Syrian prison near Damascus, Amnesty International has said, accusing the government of a “policy of extermination”. Titled “Human Slaughterhouse: Mass hanging and extermination at Saydnaya prison,” Amnesty’s damning report, released on Tuesday, is based on interviews with 84 witnesses, including guards, detainees, and judges. It found that at least once a week between 2011 and 2015, groups of up to 50 people were taken out of their prison cells for arbitrary trials, beaten, then hanged “in the middle of the night and in total secrecy.” Thousands of photos ‘prove crimes against humanity’ in Syria The report said: “Throughout this process, they remain blindfolded. They do not know when or how they will die until the noose was placed around their necks.”...

Read More...


Our Resistance Must Not Descend into Chaos: Practical Suggestions for a Growing Movement

by Dustin Axe – As we come to grips with what is happening, we must not descend into mass hysteria. Operating on a reactionary basis will not lead to constructive dialog, and it certainly will not lead to positive change. “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” –Fredrick Douglas “By the way, I think anger is a good thing. This country is in a crisis. And if you’re fighting to save this country, if you’re fighting to take this country back, it’s not going to be sunshine and patriots.” –Steve Bannon The United States of America is in political crisis, and the whole world is watching. The horrifying decline of the American empire is unfolding before our eyes. We are witnessing the final stages of a wholesale corporate takeover of our government and the deterioration of our political system. It is happening in plain sight....

Read More...