Justice For All

State-Sanctioned Torture in the Age of Trump

by Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis – During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump declared he would “immediately” resume waterboarding and would “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding” because the United States is facing a “barbaric” enemy. He labeled waterboarding a “minor form” of interrogation. Waterboarding, which involves pouring water into the nose and mouth to make victims feel like they’re drowning, has long been considered torture, which is a war crime under US and international law. Indeed, the United States hung Japanese military leaders for waterboarding as a war crime after World War II. In late November 2016, Vice President Mike Pence refused to rule out torture in the Trump administration. Torture Is Always Illegal What does torture have in common with genocide, slavery and wars of aggression? They are all “jus cogens.” That’s Latin for “higher law” or “compelling law.” This means that...

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Here Is the ACLU’s 7-Point Plan of Action to Take on the Trump Administration

by Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director – After it became clear that Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee for president, the ACLU got to work digging into his policy statements. In July, we released “The Trump Memos,” which was the first comprehensive constitutional analysis of his public statements and policy proposals regarding immigration enforcement, Muslim rights, torture, and freedom of the press. Our conclusions were alarming. According to our analysis, then-candidate Trump articulated policies that would flagrantly violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. That man is now on the verge of swearing a solemn oath  to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” While it’s true that all presidents swear this oath and inevitably go on to abuse their powers, we believe the Trump administration poses the single greatest threat to civil liberties, civil rights, and the...

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Trump Uses Executive Order to Revive Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines

by Samantha Page – The biggest victories of the environmental movement under Obama are now in jeopardy. President Donald Trump signed executive orders Tuesday allowing two controversial oil pipelines — Keystone XL and Dakota Access — to move forward. Delaying and stopping the development of those pipelines were among the environmental movement’s biggest victories over the past few years. Both projects attracted years of protest and civil disobedience, and Tuesday’s move is expected to be seen as a slap in the face to the broad coalition of Americans who oppose increased fossil fuel infrastructure. “More people sent comments against Dakota Access and Keystone XL to the government than any project in history,” 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben said in a statement. “The world’s climate scientists and its Nobel laureates explained over and over why it was unwise and immoral. In one of his first actions as president, Donald Trump ignores all that in his eagerness to...

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Sustaining the Momentum of the Women’s March: Where We Go From Here

by Andrea Cristina Mercado, Truthout | Op-Ed – This weekend I marched in Washington, DC, with my younger sister, in a contingent with hundreds of immigrant women, women of color, domestic workers, Native American women, and grassroots environmental activists. Like so many who attended the Women’s March, I was awestruck to see the sheer size of the march, the number of women who mobilized — many of whom had never before attended a march — to proclaim their commitment to fight back against attacks on our bodies, our families, our communities and the planet. It was an outpouring of bold opposition. I witnessed a powerful appetite for action: the desire to not just talk about it, but to put ourselves — our bodies — on the front lines of opposition. More than 700 women gathered immediately after the march for a Women’s Town Hall. Exhausted from hours of walking...

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

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

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What We Saw at Women’s March on Washington (VIDEO)

by Todd Krainin & Joshua Swain – 500,000 people turned out because they see Donald Trump as a threat to social progress. On January 21, an estimated 500,000 people attended the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. as a protest against incoming President Donald Trump. Reason TV spoke with protesters to find out what they fear the most about a Trump presidency and what they hope their rally will accomplish. We also talked with members of the Ladies of Liberty Alliance (LOLA), a feminist group that approaches gender issues from a libertarian perspective. Produced by Todd Krainin and Joshua Swain. Camera by Mark McDaniel, Swain, and Krainin, who also edited.   Reprinted with permission from Reason.com

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Israel Approves Permits for 566 Settler Homes

Building plan in East Jerusalem approved by local council after being held up until Donald Trump took office in the US. Israeli authorities have approved building permits for 566 settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem, according to local officials, a move that has drawn condemnation from Palestinian leaders. The approval of the building plan on Sunday came two days after the inauguration of Donald Trump in the United States, with Israeli official saying the permits had been held up until the end of Barack Obama’s administration, which had been critical of Israeli settlement activity. “The rules of the game have changed with Donald Trump’s arrival as president,” Meir Turgeman, Jerusalem’s deputy mayor, told AFP news agency. “We no longer have our hands tied as in the time of Barack Obama. Now we can finally build.” Turgeman said that city officials approved the plans that had been previously postponed at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s...

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Lest We Forget (VIDEO)

by Bill Moyers – Historians on the Big Lie Behind the Rise of Trump. In this web exclusive, Bill Moyers and four historians dissect the big lie Trump rode to power: the Birther lie. Nell Painter, historian and Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, at Princeton University; Khalil Gibran Muhammad, professor of history, race and public policy at Harvard Kennedy School; Christopher Lebron, assistant professor of African-American studies and philosophy at Yale University; and Philip Klinkner, James S. Sherman Professor of Government, Hamilton College discuss the fertile ground on which the birther lie was sown: our nation’s history of white supremacy. Credits: Gail Ablow, Producer; Sikay Tang, Editor  TRANSCRIPT BILL MOYERS: I’m Bill Moyers. The most important thing to remember about Donald Trump is that he was the same man at 12:01 p.m. Friday after he took the oath of office as he was at 11:59 a.m. before his swearing in. His character:...

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‘Dark Day’: President Donald Trump Delivers Grim Speech as Protests Swell

by Nadia Prupis – Pledge to end ‘American carnage’ stirs fears among opponents who recall campaign built on xenophobia, racism, Islamophobia. President Donald J. Trump has taken the oath of office, delivering a blunt speech rife with his signature autocratic declarations, promising to “make America great again” as tense protests swelled around Capitol Hill. “Today’s inauguration is an incredibly dark day for our country,” Charles Chamberlain, executive director of the progressive PAC Democracy for America, said in response to Trump’s speech Friday. “The only thing more empty than the National Mall today during his poorly attended inaugural address were the platitudes Donald Trump made about bringing the country together.” “In fact, after putting forward a cabinet filled to the brim with self-dealing billionaires, bigots, and bullies, it’s clear that Donald Trump is establishing the most corrupt, corporate, and bigoted administration in generations,” Chamberlain said. Protests were well underway by the time...

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The Trump Resistance Plan: Step One

by STEVEN HARPER – The first step to resisting President-elect Trump is understanding how he and Kellyanne Conway deploy their “Three Ds” strategy: deflect, divert and distract. The king and his worthless adherents are got at their old game of dividing the continent, and there are not wanting among us, printers, who will be busy in spreading specious falsehoods…  THOMAS PAINE, COMMON SENSE (1776) When the victors write history, the resulting narrative often focuses on why things happened. Far more important to the contemporaneous participants is the question of how. Mounting an effective resistance requires understanding an adversary’s strategies. Donald Trump’s most effective delivery system is a duet: himself and Kellyanne Conway. Tracking a single example reveals their techniques. Strategy #1: Lie In the tradition of notorious “strongmen,” Trump promulgates Big Lies. These outrageous fictions are easier to sell because listeners can’t imagine the speaker would make them up. Since the election, one...

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Congressional Budget Office says Obamacare Repeal Would be a Catastrophe

by Ian Millhiser – On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its estimate of how many people will become uninsured if Republicans move forward with their likely plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and the numbers are brutal. Thirty-two million people would lose their health insurance by 2026, and premiums would double in the same time frame. Americans would also see a sharp and immediate drop in insurance rates. According to the CBO, “the number of people who are uninsured would increase by 18 million in the first new plan year following enactment of the bill.” The CBO examined a bill pushed by Republicans in the previous Congress, the “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015,” which would phase out provisions of the Affordable Care Act that help make health insurance affordable — including subsidies for plans purchased on Obamacare exchanges and the law’s Medicaid expansion. It would also immediately...

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Obama Sends $500 Million to Green Climate Fund, Signaling End to Era

by Nadia Prupis – The contribution is one of President Barack Obama’s final moves before climate denial cabinet takes over. The Obama administration on Tuesday sent another $500 million to the Green Climate Fund, which was established as part of the Paris climate agreement to collect aid from wealthy countries to help frontline nations adapt to the impacts of global warming. The contribution marks one of President Barack Obama’s last moves before leaving office and handing the presidency to an administration staffed largely by climate deniers. It’s the second $500 million check the U.S. State Department gave to the fund, culled from the fiscal year 2016 Economic Support Fund appropriation. The fund aims to attain $100 billion by 2020, with the U.S. pledging $3 billion alone. Green groups had long pressured Obama to contribute the remainder of the U.S. pledge before Trump takes office. The landmark Paris treaty is one of...

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Updated: More than 40 Congressional Democrats are Boycotting Trump’s Inauguration

by Esther Yu Hsi Lee – Trump picked a fight with the wrong Democrat. As of Monday evening, 38 House Democrats have announced they intend to boycott President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, following his public rant against civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). Five other Democrats said they were not attending for unspecified reasons, according to Fusion reporter Wilfred Chan. “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected, and they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” Lewis said in a NBC interview on Friday, explaining why he would not attend Trump’s inauguration. After Trump criticized Lewis as “all talk, no action” on Saturday, a handful of congressional members rushed to defend the congressman. Lewis, the remaining survivor of the Big Six leaders of the civil rights movement, helped to organize the March on Washington in 1963. He was later beaten by the police during the civil rights...

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Former Mayor of ”Nazi City USA” Pushes Legislation to Defund Sanctuary Cities

by Shane Ralston, Truthout | News Analysis – Donald Trump offered Congressman Lou Barletta the post of secretary of labor in his new administration. Surprisingly, Barletta declined. The reason is now clear: Barletta will champion the cause of slashing funding to sanctuary cities in his next term, a cause that is near and dear to Trump’s heart. From 2000 to 2011, Barletta was the divisive mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, who championed the “Illegal Immigration Relief Act” (IIRA), an ordinance that would have penalized landlords and business owners for transacting with undocumented immigrants, if it had not been struck down by federal courts as unconstitutional. Barletta rose to national prominence as a hardline “law-and-order” mayor, a so-called “small town defender,” Tea Party Republican and virulent critic of the Obama administration’s immigration policy. After two failed attempts at securing a congressional seat, he finally achieved success during his third campaign in...

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Bracing for Trump, Protests Commence in Nation’s Capital and Beyond

by Deirdre Fulton – Saturday saw a national day of action for immigrant rights, as well as a civil rights march and rally in Washington, D.C. With less than a week until President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, the resistance has officially begun. People around the country rallied on Saturday to tell the nation: Even in the face of the threats posed by the incoming Trump administration, immigrants and their families are here to stay. “The Trump team has already announced that some of their first acts of brutality will be to lash out against immigrants and Muslims,” organizers wrote in a call to action. “Their aim is to deport millions of immigrants, rip millions of families apart, and drive tens of millions of immigrants, refugees, and their families and friends into silence out of fear.” “We are committed to standing up for an America which values all people,” they continued. “Just one...

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Republicans Praise Dr. King While Plotting to Dismantle his Legacy

by Ian Millhiser – Dr. King was a crusader for racial justice and an economic radical. Even the Devil can quote scripture for his own purpose. It is a tradition every year in mid-January that officials, determined to tear down the edifices Dr. King built in life, try to claim his mantle on Martin Luther King Day. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) praised King for reaching “out to people of different backgrounds, races, and creeds” and imploring “them to find the basic aspects of humanity that unite us all.” President-elect Donald Trump got an early start on King-appropriation last August, when he celebrated the 53rd anniversary of the March on Washington by calling upon “today’s leaders” to “work to ensure that all of our people can live in safety, prosperity, equality and peace.” But these men have not honored King’s life work. They threaten the voting rights King marched to secure, as...

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

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

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Inauguration Boycott Grows Along With Women’s March Momentum

by Deirdre Fulton – A growing number of Democratic lawmakers say they won’t attend President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday.   More than 20 U.S. lawmakers have now said they will not attend Friday’s inauguration ceremony, while Saturday’s Women’s March continues to gain steam. Fusion is keeping a list of representatives who are skipping President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration—a list that grew overnight after Trump lashed out at Rep. John Lewis in a series of tweets. “While I do not dispute that Trump won the Electoral College, I cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said in a statement on Saturday. “For me, the personal decision not to attend Inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis.” In a statement posted online Sunday morning, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) declared: I was...

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

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

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Thousands of Women will go on Strike to Protest Trump’s Inauguration

by Bryce Covert – “Women have the power to disrupt systems, outside the home and inside the home.” The election made Ann want to do something big and bold. As a working mother who is also a first-generation Muslim immigrant — and who declined to give her full name for fear of President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to create a Muslim registry — she has much to be concerned about. “The recent election and just all the negative commentary and hateful remarks around immigration, immigrants, and Muslims and people of color really has impacted me,” she said. “All the rhetoric around taking away women’s reproductive freedoms, even such basic freedoms as access to contraception, the thought of not having that is frightening.” “Even the thought of the Muslim registry…the thought of registering my child, it gives me goosebumps even just saying it,” she added. So on January 20 and 21, inauguration weekend, she will not just be...

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Chelsea Manning on Obama’s “Short List” for Commutation, DOJ Source Says

by Nika Knight – ‘President Obama has nine days to do the right thing and commute her sentence.’ Whistleblower Chelsea Manning is on President Barack Obama’s “short list” for a potential commutation, a Department of Justice source told NBC News, which adds that the president’s decision could be announced as early as Wednesday. Manning, who is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking evidence of military crimes, has faced solitary confinement for attempting twice to take her own life in the past year. Human rights and LGBTQ advocates have harshly condemned the U.S. military for denying Manning, who is transgender, appropriate healthcare. And the whistleblower, whose leaks exposed evidence of war crimes, has already served more time in prison than any other whistleblower in U.S. history. Moreover, despite many letters and hundreds of thousands of signatures on multiple petitions asking Obama to pardon Manning before president-elect Donald Trump begins his right-wing administration...

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

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

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Black Lives Matter Is Not Responsible for Four Black People Abusing a White Man in Chicago

by Robby Soave – The #BLMKidnapping is another frustrating example of assigning moral culpability to an entire group. To state more strongly what I wrote earlier, Black Lives Matter—the social change movement focused on racial equality and criminal justice reform—has nothing to do with the attack on a mentally disabled white teenager in Chicago. The incident, which was streamed on Facebook Live, is horrific in its own right, regardless of the motive. The four perpetrators, who are black, made comments like “fuck Donald Trump, fuck white people,” as they terrorized a defenseless white victim, who was tied up with tape over his mouth. They cut his hair until his scalp bled, and even threatened to kill him, apparently amused by his confusion and pain. The attack has provoked all sorts of over-the-top analysis, given that it confounds the usual media narrative: racist white people harassing black people. “If this had been...

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Congressional Black Caucus Formulates Battle Plan For Trump Resistance

by April Hamlin – Despite claims to the contrary, Donald Trump has made it crystal clear that he is no friend to minorities. But members of the Congressional Black Caucus intend to fight him tooth and nail to protect people of color. As such, they have formulated a battle plan to resist policies that may be harmful to these communities. “The stakes are incredibly high and our community is counting on us as the last line of defense between Donald Trump and the worst of what America could offer,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said. Throughout his campaign, Trump proposed policies targeting specific minority groups, such as banning all Muslims from entering the U.S. and building a wall to keep out all the rapey Mexicans. He was also the champion of the “birther” movement, which was nothing more than a racially motivated attack on the country’s first African-American president. “The campaign that...

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Trump Transition Seeks Info About Undocumented Immigrants

by Esther Yu Hsi Lee – The nightmare is coming true. President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team asked the Department of Homeland Security for documents relating to the biographic information of some undocumented immigrants, Reuters reported Tuesday. The publication’s report found that Trump’s team requested copies of every executive order and directive relating to immigration in December, a request that would likely include a 2012 executive action known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative which granted temporary deportation protection and work authorization. According to Reuters, the transition team “asked whether federal workers have altered biographic information kept by the department about immigrants out of concern for their civil liberties,” which DHS officials took to mean that Trump’s team wanted to make sure that they didn’t tamper with DACA records. The transition team also asked the agency for information relating to immigration detention and an aerial surveillance program, named Operation Phalanx,...

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Democrats Aim to Slam Brakes on Key Members of Trump’s “Rigged Cabinet”

by Deirdre Fulton – Tillerson, Sessions, DeVos, and Mnuchin among those set for messy confirmation process. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been warned that Senate Democrats are planning to “aggressively target” eight of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees, aiming to delay as long as possible the confirmation hearings slated to start next week. “President-elect Trump is attempting to fill his rigged cabinet with nominees that would break key campaign promises and have made billions off the industries they’d be tasked with regulating,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement Sunday reported by the Washington Post. “Any attempt by Republicans to have a series of rushed, truncated hearings before Inauguration Day and before the Congress and public have adequate information on all of them is something Democrats will vehemently resist,” Schumer said. “If Republicans think they can quickly jam through a whole slate of nominees without a...

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As Resistance Grows, Trump’s Deportation Plans Unravel

by Lauren McCauley – Cost, impossible logistics, political opposition, and community resistance could spell the end of the president-elect’s anti-immigrant scheme. President-elect Donald Trump built his campaign on a pledge to build a wall and deport two to three million undocumented immigrants, but the likelihood that his promises will be kept are looking increasingly slim, as reality takes hold and lawmakers and community leaders begin to build their resistance. The failure to execute Trump’s oft-repeated deportation plans could “be one of the first reality checks on his administration,” Politico reported Friday. Speaking with experts and former immigration officials, reporter Ted Hesson outlined what it would take to implement the plan: Trump would need tens of billions of dollars in new spending approved by Congress. He’d also need years to hire and train new legions of enforcement agents, and to deploy hundreds of judges to relieve the nation’s severely backlogged immigration courts....

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New York Governor Celebrates New Year’s by Denying Effective Counsel to the State’s Poor

by Kira Lerner – Advocates called it “the most important criminal justice reform legislation in memory.” Hours before the start of the new year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) vetoed legislation that would have required the state to provide legal assistance to poor defendants in all New York counties. The legislation, supported by both Democrats and Republicans, would have given the state seven years to take over indigent defense from local jurisdictions, including many that have been accused of violating the Constitution by failing to provide effective counsel. But Cuomo’s office said in a statement late Saturday that the governor would not be enacting the bill, citing the high cost to taxpayers and the failure of last-minute attempts at a compromise with the legislature. “Unfortunately, an agreement was unable to be reached and the legislature was committed to a flawed bill that placed an $800 million burden on taxpayers — $600 million of...

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Justice Protectors, Let’s Take Action Inauguration Day

by Ted Glick – I’m not sure how many Inauguration Day protests in DC I’ve been to over the years. The one I distinctly remember is January 20th, 2001, George W. Bush’s first inauguration. There was a similar political dynamic then as the upcoming Trump one. A reactionary Republican was taking office, and progressives were very concerned about what it would mean across a broad range of issues. Of course, Bush had not campaigned the way Trump did. He hadn’t been publicly accused by a dozen women of sexual attacks. He hadn’t called Mexicans rapists or for a ban on all Muslim emigration into the USA. He wasn’t a full-on, narcissistic, pathological liar. He hadn’t aligned himself so overtly with white supremacists. He hadn’t nominated the head of Exxon Mobil to be Secretary of State. But there were justifiable fears, and they proved to be well-founded after the 9-11-01 terrorist attacks....

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Rights Icons Join Women’s March as Organizers Aim to Build “Movement for Dignity”

by Nadia Prupis – “Together we are bridging the historical struggles for women’s rights and civil rights to the current intersectional movement for dignity and human rights.” The Women’s March on Washington, a mass mobilization to champion women’s rights, is growing as President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration approaches. Organizers announced on Tuesday that several high-profile supporters, including Gloria Steinem and Harry Belafonte, will be joining the January 21 march as honorary co-chairs. Planned Parenthood has also signed on as a partner. “This is a historic moment to come together to protect the progress we’ve made,” Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said in a statement. “We will send a strong message to the incoming administration that millions of people across this country are prepared to fight attacks on reproductive health care, abortion services, and access to Planned Parenthood, as they intersect with the rights of young people, people of color, immigrants, and people...

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Police Union Objects to ‘Black Lives Matter’ Shirts Being Sold on Amazon

by Ed Krayewski – FOP president calls the products “offensive,” wants them removed. The president of the Fraternal Order of Police urged Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to remove shirts and sweatshirts with the slogans “Black Lives Matter,” “Bulletproof,” and the “urban myth of ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot'” from its website, saying in a letter the products were “offensive to the public” and “may damage your company’s good name amongst FOP members and other active and retired law enforcement officers.” “I am saddened to learn that these third party sellers are making money by exploiting the racial divisions in our country—divisions that the FOP is working hard to heal at the local, State and national level,” Fraternal Order of Police National President Chuck Canterbury wrote. “Commercializing our differences and perpetuating the myths which harm the relationships between the protectors and their communities is wrong at any time of year, but it is...

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Israel ‘Reducing Ties’ With Nations Over Settlements

Foreign ministry advises officials to limit visits to countries that voted against settlement expansion. Israel’s foreign ministry has said the country is “reducing” ties with nations that voted for last week’s UN Security Council resolution demanding a halt to settlement building in Palestinian territory. Foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said in a message to journalists that Israel was “temporarily reducing” visits and work with embassies, without providing further details. eputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said on Tuesday she was concerned that Israel would miss opportunities to explain its position by cancelling visits, but that she supported making clear “you can’t take Israel for granted”. Israel has been on the defensive since the vote, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as foreign minister, denouncing the resolution as “shameful”. Planned visits by foreign dignitaries were cancelled in the wake of the decision, and ambassadors of countries that voted for...

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UN Votes to Demand End to Israeli Settlements

by Deirdre Fulton – Historic US abstention allows resolution to pass. Despite unusual diplomatic maneuvering involving President-elect Donald Trump, Israel, and Egypt on Thursday, the United Nations Security Council passed a historic resolution on Friday demanding an end to Israeli settlements. The United States abstained, effectively allowing the measure to be approved. Egypt withdrew the original resolution on Thursday afternoon, reportedly “under pressure” from Trump—who tweeted on the matter Thursday morning—and Israel. Had this move worked, it could have punted the measure to the incoming Trump administration, which is seen as more friendly to Israel than that of President Barack Obama—especially after Trump’s nomination last week of conservative hardliner David Friedman to serve as U.S. ambassador to Israel. But Reuters reported Friday that Security Council members New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela, and Senegal stepped in and the vote took place after all on Friday afternoon. Mohammad Alsaafin @malsaafin UN resolution that’s become such a controversial issue the last...

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

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

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NAACP Pushes for National Economic Boycott of North Carolina

by Alice Miranda Ollstein – Civil rights activists are also preparing lawsuits and mass protests to pressure the state’s Republican majority. Late Wednesday night, North Carolina Republicans reneged on their promise to repeal HB2, known colloquially as the “bathroom bill.” The legislation contained a number of controversial provisions, but chiefly banned transgender people from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identify and barred cities from passing laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination. The law has already cost the state hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars. On Thursday, the North Carolina NAACP announced it will turn up the heat on the state. The group plans to file lawsuits against the state, organize mass protests, and call for an economic boycott to pressure lawmakers to repeal HB2 and other legislation they say infringes on civil rights. “Enough is enough,” said Reverend Dr. William Barber, the president of the...

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This Is Real, This Is Happening

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

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Democratic Party’s Last Chance: Fight Trump or Die

by Ted Rall – Democrats need to stop grasping at straws. Shocked by Trump’s win and dismayed at his half billionaire, half military junta cabinet, liberals are thrashing about in the stinking waters of dying American democracy, hoping against hope for something — anything — to stop Trump from becoming president on January 20th. That, or to send him packing as soon as possible afterward. Some Dems point to the CIA allegation that the president-elect received an assist, via WikiLeaks, from Russian government hackers. If this could proved, they ask, especially if Trump knowingly colluded with Vladimir Putin’s tech-savvy underlings to deny Hillary Clinton her God-intended victory, wouldn’t that force him to step aside? Sorry, my liberal friends: that deus won’t ex machina. First, the intelligence community hasn’t presented a shred of evidence, much less proof, that the Russians hacked the DNC or John Podesta’s emails. (Even Americans know that “overwhelming...

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Dare for Democracy: Three Essential Steps

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

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Making Justice Equal

by Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza – Access to justice is now more critical than ever. In the United States, Americans need a lawyer’s help for everything from avoiding an unjust eviction to preventing a wrongful conviction. Yet, effective legal assistance remains out of reach for the majority of Americans. The gap between legal needs and the services available exacerbates systemic inequities and disadvantages that will only grow over the next four years. This series examines the state of access to justice in the United States and how public and private actors can join forces to make justice equal for all Americans. For two years, Mary Hicks paid $975 per month for a run-down Washington, D.C., apartment. When she contacted the landlord about mold and mildew in the bathroom and holes in the walls, he did nothing. After Mary began to withhold rent, her landlord sued her. Mary sought help from a law clinic....

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An ‘Undeniable Success’: Divestment From Fossil Fuels Passes $5 Trillion

by Andrea Germanos – The value of funds making the commitment has doubled in size since September 2015 Marking the divestment movement’s “undeniable success,” a new report shows the value of funds controlled by individuals and institutions who have vowed to dump their fossil fuels assets now surpasses $5 trillion. 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben said the “news is mammoth.” The report (pdf) by Arabella Advisors for the Divest-Invest Network shows that the value of global funds making the commitment—now at about $5.2 trillion—has doubled in size since September 2015, and comes from 688 institutions and over 58,000 individuals spanning 76 countries. It comes exactly one year after the adoption of the landmark Paris climate accord, and that agreement, the report says, “bolstered the economic arguments underpinning divestment, validating it as a key tool for achieving the agreements goals.” Pointing to the election of climate science-denier Donald Trump, the report adds: “Any...

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

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

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

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

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Far-Right MP Geert Wilders Found Guilty of Hate Speech (VIDEOS)

Dutch court convicts anti-Islam PVV party leader Geert Wilders of discrimination for leading a chant against Moroccans. A court in the Netherlands has found Geert Wilders, an anti-Islam politician, guilty of discrimination for leading a chant against Moroccans at a 2014 campaign rally. Wilders was convicted of discrimination but sentenced to no punishment on Friday for comments he made at a March 2014 local government election rally in The Hague. The Listening Post : Rise of the right – ‘Anarchist’ media in the Netherlands (9:53) When he asked supporters whether they wanted “fewer or more Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands”, the crowd shouted back “Fewer! Fewer!” and a smiling Wilders answered: “We’re going to organise that.” Wilders said his conviction was “insanity”, adding the three judges who handed down the ruling were “haters” of his far-right Freedom Party (PVV). “Three PVV-hating judges declare Moroccans a race and convict me and half...

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And so it Begins… No Demonstrations Allowed in Washington, D.C. From Now ’til March 1 (and Later?)

by TrueBlueMajority – Apparently the incoming Administration is a tad concerned that there may be one or two people who wish to express a negative opinion about the way they are conducting themselves. The National Park Service has filed an “omnibus blocking permit” on behalf of the Presidential Inaugural Committee in order to protect delicate Republicon fee fees on this point. As a result, no protests will be allowed anywhere on the National Mall, Pennsylvania Avenue, the Washington Monument, or the Lincoln Memorial several weeks before and after the January 20 inauguration. This is clearly aimed at squashing the Million Women March/Women’s March on Washington planned for January 21, as well as a counter-inaugural planned on January 20 itself, and any other nascent protest plans by folks who might want to point out that the would-be emperor has no clothes. The National Park Service is claiming in Orwellian fashion that all...

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The GOP’s Unconstitutional Plan to Conscript Local Police into Trump’s Deportation Squads

by Ian Millhiser – Turns out no one actually cares about states’ rights. Remember the Tenth Amendment? The Constitution’s vague nod to states’ rights was a staple of Republican rhetoric for much of the Obama presidency, with many Republicans claiming that pretty much anything Obama supported violated this amendment. At its peak, “tentherism” seeped so deeply into the GOP’s bones that the party’s House leadership embraced a radical reading of the Constitution that individual GOP candidates used to argue Social Security or Medicare is unconstitutional (although, in fairness, it is far from clear that they understood the implications of their words at the time). But all of that deep concern for the constitutional balance between federal and state power has fallen by the wayside, now that Republicans are set to control all three branches of the federal government. In a speech on the Senate floor last week, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) urged...

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The War on the Poor Is Already Underway

by BOB HERBERT – Donald Trump and congressional Republicans will roll back many of the policies that gave poor people some relief during the Great Recession. It was just a little over two months ago that the Census Bureau reported the very good news that real median household incomes had increased by 5.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, and that the poverty rate had fallen by 1.3 percentage points. The bureau also told us that the percentage of people without health insurance coverage had continued to decline substantially. That upbeat report is likely to be the last burst of good news that the poor will see for quite some time. Donald Trump, Paul Ryan and the bellicose tribunes of the hard right are in complete charge of the federal government. Their hostility to such crucial anti-poverty efforts as the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, food stamps and substantial increases in the minimum wage is...

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

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

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Keith Ellison’s Radical Plan to Save the Democratic Party

by Alice Miranda Ollstein – Ellison rejects the choice between supporting the working class and supporting religious and ethnic minorities. With the country still reeling from the outcome of the presidential election, another high-stakes election approaches. The Democratic National Committee — having lost control of the White House, the House of Representatives, the Senate, most state legislatures and governorships, and soon, the Supreme Court — is preparing to elect its new leader. As the left argues over what went wrong over the past few years and how to recover, many are calling for fresh blood in the top ranks of a party that has long been controlled by older, white officials from coastal states. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) — the first Muslim ever elected to Congress as well as the first black congressman from Minnesota — is gunning for the job. A leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, one of the few members of Congress to back Bernie Sanders...

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Leading Rights Groups Launch ‘Wave of Litigation’ to Protect Abortion Access

by Nadia Prupis – ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Center for Reproductive Rights say ‘these laws are dangerous, unjust, and unconstitutional—and they will come down’. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Planned Parenthood, and the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) on Wednesday filed lawsuits to challenge abortion restrictions in three states—the first of a promised “wave of litigation” aiming to protect women’s access to healthcare around the country. Wednesday’s lawsuits target abortion legislation in Alaska, Missouri, and North Carolina that the groups say are medically unnecessary and are reminiscent of other abortion restrictions already ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. “Today’s filing is a major step in the fight to ensure all women can get safe and legal abortions in their own communities, when they need them,” said CRR president and CEO Nancy Northup. “We are a nation of laws, and the center is prepared to use the full force of...

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Water Protectors Sue Over ‘Deliberate and Punitive’ Police Brutality

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

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Trump Proposes Stripping Citizenship from Political Protesters

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

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

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

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UN Human Rights Office Gearing Up to Take On Trump’s America

by Nadia Prupis – Human rights officials reportedly strategizing to resist Trump’s xenophobia, Islamophobia, and racism. The United Nations commission for human rights said Tuesday that the agency is ready to take on President-elect Donald Trump over his “ghastly” campaign promises. “We are going to speak up,” one U.N. official told Foreign Policy. “It’ll be rough, but if puts any of those ghastly campaign pledges into action we will condemn.” U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein reportedly told his staff that they will serve as the “front line” in a global campaign to prevent the Trump administration from violating or rescinding human rights principles. Agency officials are coming up with strategies to deal with the man who was elected on a mandate of racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia, vowing to implement a “Muslim registry,” reinstate torture, and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Foreign Policy writes: A chief...

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NYC Mayor Teaches Democrats How To Fight Trump (A MUST WATCH VIDEO)

by SemDem – I think we found our 2020 candidate. Just watch this: I hope this speech inspired you. It did me. This is what it means to be progressive. It takes A LOT strength to stand up for others.  Cowards are those who give into fear and paranoia—the very definition of the rightwing Trump supporter. Right now, it’s the thousands of liberals in this country who are standing up against bigotry and hatred: in our schools, on the streets, and against our own government at Standing Rock.  It’s the millions of liberals who will be expected to protect our country from the coming onslaught against our freedoms and values from the Trump administration. If there is any perception that liberalism=weakness, (aka “bleeding heart”), that has nothing to do with our values:  you can thank the many weak-kneed Democrats who supposedly represent us.  It’s those Democrats who refuse to fight.  Those who go along to get-along. It’s those Democrats who...

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Veterans Plan “Deployment” to Join Water Protectors’ Battle Against DAPL

by Nika Knight – “Let’s stop this savage injustice being committed right here at home. If not us, who? If not now, when?” Over 1,000 U.S. military veterans are planning to “deploy” to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and peacefully support the water protectors’ fight against the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. “If we’re going to be heroes, if we’re really going to be those veterans that this country praises, well, then we need to do the things that we actually said we’re going to do when we took the oath to defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic.” —Michael Wood Jr., Veterans Stand for Standing Rock“We are calling for our fellow veterans to assemble as a peaceful, unarmed militia at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation on Dec 4-7 and defend the water protectors from assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police...

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The First 100 Day Resistance Agenda

by Robert Reich – Trump’s First 100 Day agenda includes repealing environmental regulations, Obamacare, and the Dodd-Frank Act, giving the rich a huge tax cut, and much worse. Here’s the First 100 Day resistance agenda : 1.  Get Democrats in the Congress and across the country to pledge to oppose Trump’s agenda. Prolong the process of approving choices, draw out hearings, stand up as sanctuary cities and states. Take a stand. Call your senator and your representative (phone calls are always better than writing). Your senator’s number here. Your representative’s number here. 2.   March and demonstrate—in a coordinated, well-managed way. The “1 Million Women March” is already scheduled for the Inauguration —and will be executed with real skill. See here. There will be “sister” marches around the country—in LA and elsewhere. They need to be coordinated and orchestrated. And then? 1 Million Muslims? 1 Million Latinos? What would...

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

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

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Planned Parenthood Gets More Than 50,000 Donations in Mike Pence’s Name

by Nadia Prupis – VP-elect has called for health organization to be de-funded and for Roe v. Wade to be overturned and ‘consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs’ More than 50,000 donations have been made to Planned Parenthood in anti-choice Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s name, in another show of creative resistance and organizing against the incoming Republican administration. “We’ve seen an unprecedented outpouring of support, with more than 200,000 people donating in the week following the election—a quarter of whom pledged to be monthly supporters, recognizing the long-term work that is needed,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said Tuesday in a statement to the New York Daily News. “Tens of thousands more are pledging to make sure access to healthcare is protected.” Before joining President-elect Donald Trump‘s ticket, Pence served as governor of Indiana, where he approved some of the country’s strictest anti-choice laws, including one...

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

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

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Low-Wage Workers are Planning Their Biggest Day of Action Yet

by Bryce Covert – The Fight for 15 movement is promising its largest and “most disruptive” day of action yet. The Fight for 15 campaign, which has orchestrated an escalating series of strikes and protests among low-wage workers demanding higher pay and the right to unionize, announced on Monday that it will stage its biggest day of action yet on November 29. Organizers from the campaign are promising the “largest, most disruptive protest” in the movement’s four-year history. The day will include strikes by thousands of fast food workers in more than 340 cities across the country, a strike by hundreds of workers at Chicago O’Hare airport, and civil disobedience at McDonald’s and 20 of the nation’s largest airports. Those risking arrest will include fast food employees, airport workers, childcare and home care providers, and university graduate students. Olivia Pac, who works as a wheelchair attendant and guard on jet bridges at...

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In the Dumps? Ten Ways to Fight Trump

by Christopher D. Cook – If you care about everything from civil and human rights to economic justice and climate survival, Trump’s impending presidency is terrifying—but the amount of wreckage he can cause depends in part on how people respond. Already, a Dump Trump rebellion is rising up in the streets and online; it’s also worth remembering Trump lost the popular vote, the Senate is close to tied and not filibuster-proof, and things have a way of see-sawing in American politics. What evolves may not be one grand strategy or unified movement, but millions of people joining multiple movements opposing Trump’s destructive agenda and promoting a vision for an egalitarian, sustainable America. In the spirit of the need for multiple approaches combined with broad unity, here are ten ways to fight the Trump nightmare that is just beginning to take hideous shape. Mutual support and solidarity: This will be a time...

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

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

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Trump Isn’t Hitler. But We Should Act Like He Is

by Peter Dreier – Trumpism is a new phenomenon in our country’s history—our stance must be one of resistance and opposition   Donald Trump isn’t Hitler. The United States is not Weimar Germany. Our economic problems are nowhere as bad as those in Depression-era Germany. Nobody in the Trump administration (not even Steven Bannon) is calling for genocide (although saber-rattling with nuclear weapons could lead to global war if we’re not careful). That said, it is useful for liberals, progressives and radicals to think and strategize as though we face that kind of situation. None of us in our lifetimes have confronted an American government led by someone like Trump in terms of his sociopathic, demagogic, impulsive, thin-skinned and vindictive personality (not even Nixon came close), his right-wing inner circle, his reactionary and dangerous policy agenda on foreign policy; the economy; the environment; health care; immigration; civil liberties; and poverty; his...

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Progressives, Take Hold of American History

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

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Bernie Sanders’ Progressive Ideals Must Be Embraced

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

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

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

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Resist! Reorganize! Revitalize!

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

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‘Don’t Waste Time Mourning. Organize!’

by BERNARD WEISBERGER – We don’t know at the moment exactly what Trump will do. He probably doesn’t know himself. But we need to prepare ourselves. If I were asked to say what I’m feeling right now, I’d start by saying that I opened my eyes yesterday morning and lay in bed for a good while, hoping I had simply experienced a nightmare, and that I was unwilling to get up, collect The New York Times from the door and learn it was true. Donald Trump — a man without the slightest evidence of any talent or even interest in governing a democratic nation, had been elected president of the United States. The America that friends of liberty and justice had known was on the skids to some kind of authoritarian regime at the hands of a hate-mongering, lying bully. I didn’t want to live to see that horror. But weeping...

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For the Trump Era: Fight Not Flight

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

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

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

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Patagonia Closes its Doors for Election Day

by Natasha Geiling – As part of its political push, Patagonia is encouraging employees and customers to get out and vote. As you might have heard, there’s a pretty big election today— and Patagonia is making sure its employees, and customers, have all the time they need to get out and vote. The store will close all of its 29 retail locations, as well as its headquarters in Ventura, California, and its distribution and customer service center in Reno, Nevada, in an effort to encourage employees and customers to vote. The Election Day closures — a first for the company —are part of Patagonia’s “Vote Our Planet” campaign, which seeks to mobilize voters to vote for candidates up and down the ballot who prioritize the environment. “During a time of catastrophic environmental crisis, when America needs strong leadership to confront the fundamental threat of climate change, voter turnout threatens to reach historic lows as...

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GOP Judges Lift Court Order Prohibiting Trump Campaign from Intimidating Voters

by Ian Millhiser – Making America great again, one court decision at a time. On Friday, a federal judge in Ohio handed down an order prohibiting the Trump campaign and two of its allies “from conspiring to intimidate, threaten, harass, or coerce voters on Election Day.” That order was effectively blocked on Sunday by a decision handed down by an especially conservative panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The Friday order listed several activities the Trump campaign could not engage in on election day, including “hindering or delaying a voter or prospective voter from reaching or leaving the polling place fixed for casting the voter’s ballot” and “interrogating, admonishing, interfering with, or verbally harassing voters or prospective voters inside polling places.” The case is Ohio Democratic Party v. Donald J. Trump For President. Judge James S. Gwin, the Clinton appointee who handed down that order, cited...

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The Future of Civil Rights is Up To the Supreme Court

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

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DOJ Agrees: North Carolina Counties Are Suppressing Black Voters

by Nadia Prupis – Statement of interest filed in response to emergency lawsuit finds that GOP-led roll purging violates National Voter Registration Act. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) this week issued a statement of interest agreeing with civil rights advocates in North Carolina that the massive Republican-led purging of voter rolls in the state counts as a violation of federal law. The statement, issued late Monday in response to the North Carolina NAACP’s emergency lawsuit filed earlier that day, agreed with the plaintiffs that thousands of registrations had been wrongfully challenged in violation of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which states that voters may not be removed from the rolls unless they have been absent for two or more cycles or given written confirmation that they have moved. A Winston-Salem court is hearing the NAACP’s case Wednesday. In issuing the statement, the DOJ could help provide the court with...

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Malala Announced That She Plans To Become Prime Minister Of Pakistan

by Brianna Acuesta – Malala Yousufzai is a remarkable young woman who has made headlines and is known globally for the brave work she does in Pakistan, her home country. Her fight for the right for everyone to have a proper education, especially women, has put her life at risk many times and she even survived an assassination attempt where she was shot in the head. When she was just 17, she won the Nobel Peace Prize and her book, I Am Malala, is a national bestseller. Now, at the age of 19, she is still working harder than ever to improve education in both Pakistan and other countries worldwide. One of her most recent moves was opening a school for refugee girls aged 14-18 in Lebanon, on the border of Syria. At a conference this month in the United Arab Emirates, Malala announced that she intends to one day be the prime...

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