Justice For All

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...


March to the Palace Gates: Thousands March Against Trump Outside Mar-A-Lago

by Jon Queally – It might be ‘Trump Country,’ but plenty of people in South Florida proved more than willing to join the resistance Under the watchful eye of what was reported as a “heavy police presence”—and in an area one bystander described as “Trump Country”— an estimated 3,000  people marched on President Donald Trump’s beachfront estate in Florida on Saturday night, many of them holding signs calling for his ouster just two weeks into his term in office. As the Miami Herald reports: Protesters held colorful signs and chanted messages like “We want a leader, not a creepy tweeter” and “Hey hey, ho ho. Donald Trump has got to go.” Many said they were standing in support of Muslims, minorities and people they felt were at risk because of Trump’s recent executive order temporarily banning travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Late Saturday, that order was tied up in the...

Read More...


The Trump Resistance Plan: Step 3

by STEVEN HARPER – It’s time for the real American majority to demonstrate its unity and mobilize. Time makes more converts than reason — THOMAS PAINE, COMMON SENSE (1776) Stay on message. The Trump Resistance Plan focuses on two messages that are central to our democracy: “Russia interfered” and “Presidential corruption matters.” This installment covers the first one: “Russia interfered.” In a joint interview with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Jan. 7, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) described the stakes: “What Putin did poses a threat to the very fundamentals of our democracy…” Sen. Graham emphasized that this is not a partisan issue: “We should get to the bottom of all things Russia when it came to the 2016 election, period. Wherever it leads in whatever form…” Trump and Russia Putin engaged successfully in a sophisticated cyberattack on a cherished American right — voting. Among other methods, Russia used WikiLeaks to distribute emails that it...

Read More...


Here’s What a Defunded EPA Means for America

by JOHN LIGHT – The agency Trump plans to eviscerate does much more than fight climate change. We’re two weeks into the Trump administration and already it’s clear that on the campaign trail our new president was not overstating his antipathy for efforts to combat global warming. In fact, if anything, he understated his desire to demolish the Environmental Protection Agency, the federal agency through which President Obama tried to reduce climate change-causing pollution. While the long-term effects of President Trump’s plans for the EPA are worrying — the director of the EU’s Environmental Agency says there’s “not a snowball’s chance in hell” of containing global warming without US cooperation — his proposed cuts in the budget and staff at the agency will also have dramatic short-term effects. Here’s just some of what’s in store: Trump’s team has more than $800 million in budget cuts planned for the agency. To head...

Read More...


Thousands Demand Charities Call Off Galas at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Estate

by Nadia Prupis – “The Red Cross is dedicated to alleviating​ human suffering…Let’s get a HUGE turnout and show them we will not accept suffering at their host’s hands” Thousands of people are protesting two major medical fundraisers scheduled to be held at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, this month. The first, on Saturday, February 4, is the International Red Cross 2017 Ball, a gala that is poised to be met with more than a thousand protesters who say the charity’s humanitarian mission conflicts with Trump’s authoritarian first week in office. Another five thousand have also registered their interest in the march, which will go from Trump Plaza to Bingham Island to greet the gala’s fireworks display. “The Red Cross is dedicated to alleviating​ human suffering,” the organizers write on Facebook. “If Obamacare is repealed, it will be a disaster; 30 million Americans will be left suffering...

Read More...


In Show of Internal Dissent, Federal Workers Rising Up Against Trump

by Deirdre Fulton – Nearly 200 federal employees are reportedly set to attend an upcoming workshop on workers’ rights and civil disobedience. From the 1,000 State Department officials rushing to sign an official dissent cable, to the 180 federal workers signing up for a workshop on civil disobedience, to the dozens of “rogue” agency Twitter accounts that have sprouted up in the last week, internal resistance to the right-wing Trump agenda is rivaling the power of people on the streets—perhaps not in numbers, but in energy and creativity. In fact, according to the Washington Post, which reported on various strains of internal opposition on Tuesday, this “resistance from within” may be “potentially more troublesome to the administration” than airport protests or call-in campaigns. “The resistance is so early, so widespread, and so deeply felt that it has officials worrying about paralysis and overt refusals by workers to do their jobs,” wrote...

Read More...


Trump Blasts Ruling of “So-Called Judge” as DHS Forced to Halt Muslim Ban

by Jon Queally – President Trump “is learning about separation of powers”—but the most frightening aspect for many is how much disdain he is showing for the concept.   Even as President Donald Trump lashed out at a federal court ruling issued Friday by labeling the federal judge who ordered it a “so-called judge,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Saturday morning said it was suspending all enforcement of the controversial executive order on immigration that sparked outrage nationwide. Late Friday, U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, Washington issued a nationwide restraining order against further enforcement of Trump’s immigration order which legal analysts and immigration experts say specifically targeted Muslims from the seven specific nations named in the directive. Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, called the ruling “another stinging rejection of President Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban.” But in his response to the ruling, Trump took...

Read More...


Trump’s Muslim Ban Underscores the Need for National Resistance

by Sam Fulwood III – It’s hard to imagine a worse unfurling of bad federal policy than President Donald Trump’s executive order preventing nationals of select Muslim nations from entering the United States. The order curtailed all refugee resettlement for 120 days, suspended Syrian refugee resettlement indefinitely, and barred nationals from seven countries—Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Libya, and Yemen—from entering the United States for 90 days. White House officials claimed the order is a strategy of “extreme vetting” to screen out terrorists. Of course, the policy shouldn’t come as a surprise. Trump said repeatedly during last year’s presidential campaign that he would, as president, bring about a “total and complete shutdown of the entry of Muslims to the United States.” What is sadly surprising about Trump’s making good on a signature campaign pledge is the severe ineptitude of its execution. The executive order was drafted and discharged in such a...

Read More...


More Than 100,000 Visas Revoked in Wake of Trump Travel Ban

by Deirdre Fulton – “The number 100,000 sucked the air out of my lungs,” says lawyer working on lawsuit challenging executive order. Belying the government’s claim that only 109 legal immigrants were “inconvenienced” by President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, news outlets reported Friday that more than 100,000 visas have been revoked in the wake of the recent travel ban. According to the Washington Post, which reported the figure citing a government attorney at a federal court hearing in Virginia: The number came out during a hearing in a lawsuit filed by attorneys for two Yemeni brothers who arrived at Dulles International Airport last Saturday. They were coerced into giving up their legal resident visas, they argue, and quickly put on a return flight to Ethiopia. “The number 100,000 sucked the air out of my lungs,” said Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg of the Legal Aid Justice Center, who represents the brothers.  ...

Read More...


Class Action Suit Filed for Tens of Thousands of Legal Immigrants Affected by Ban

by Deirdre Fulton – ‘The halt to the processing of applications has caused fear and anxiety to thousands of non-citizens who legally are entitled to benefits.’ The ACLU and other civil and immigrant rights groups have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of tens of thousands of immigrants who are currently residing legally in the United States but have been impacted by President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending the U.S. refugee program and temporarily barring entry for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. The order has wreaked havoc across the country; indeed, the class action suit was filed one day before 50 ACLU affiliates filed 18 coordinated Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with local U.S. Customs and Border Protection offices seeking clarity on how Trump administration officials are interpreting and executing the president’s order at over 55 international airports across the country—and whether they are acting in violation of federal...

Read More...


Jews Give Local Muslims Keys to their Synagogue After Town Mosque Burns Down

by wagatwe – This is what solidarity looks like. While some Texans are going out of their way to target and scare Muslims, there are others who serve as a reminder that, yes, there are people in America who do have a soul. Over the weekend, the only mosque in Victoria, Texas burned down. The cause of the fire is unknown but until the new place of worship is built, the Muslims of Victoria had no physical home base. Fortunately the local Jewish community swiftly stepped in and made an incredible gesture: they gave the Muslim leadership keys to the synagogue. Thanks to this offer, their Muslim neighbors will have space nearby to congregate while their mosque is reconstructed. For the Jewish leadership the decision was a no-brainer. The president of the synagogue Robert Loeb explained: “Everyone knows everybody, I know several members of the mosque, and we felt for them. This is sad for everyone in the community and as Jews we...

Read More...


Protesters Flood Texas Capitol as Committee Debates Sanctuary Cities Bill

by JULIÁN AGUILAR for The Texas Tribune – Hundreds of opponents of a controversial immigration proposal descended on the state Capitol Thursday as senators began the process of getting the bill to the governor’s desk.  Even as groups shouted down at them from the state Capitol’s Senate gallery, Republican lawmakers on Thursday held steady in their attempt to move a controversial immigration law past its first procedural hurdle. Senate Bill 4, by state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, seeks to outlaw sanctuary cities, the common term for local governments that don’t enforce immigration laws. It is being heard in a Senate committee Thursday and if voted out, will make its way to the full Senate for a vote. The proposal would allow local police to enforce immigration laws if the officer is working with a federal immigration officer or under an agreement between the local and federal agency. It would also punish local governments...

Read More...


As Administration Pushes Dakota Access Pipeline Forward, Tribes ‘Stand Ready to Fight’

by Natasha Geiling – The Army Corps of Engineers has been instructed to grant the final easement for the pipeline. The controversial Dakota Access Pipeline just got one step closer to completion: according to statements released on Tuesday night by two North Dakota lawmakers, the acting secretary of the Army has instructed the Army Corps of Engineers to grant the final permit needed to finish the pipeline. The easement has not officially been granted — contrary to Rep. Kevin Cramer’s (R-ND) statement — and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has pledged to vigorously pursue legal action to ensure that the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), ordered in December by President Obama, is completed. But the statements raise questions about how the Army Corps intends to proceed now that President Trump, a staunch supporter of the pipeline, is in office. Trump — who campaigned on a platform of increased fossil fuel extraction, and repeatedly praised both the Dakota Access...

Read More...


LA Converts Abandoned Motels into Apartments for Homeless Veterans

by Brianna Acuesta – This creative solution is helping hundreds of homeless veterans find housing. Cities around the world have implemented countless programs and methods to combat homelessness on their streets, especially when many of those homeless people at one point fought in their country’s military. Though many programs fail to meet the needs of homeless people, some are successful in permanently housing these people and even addressing the problems that caused them to turn to the streets in the first place. One such program is an idea adopted by the city of Los Angeles and the organizations working inside the huge city to end homelessness. When the infrastructure of the city began to change, motels that were once constantly busy turned into financial black holes that were no longer viable. As a result, many of these broken down motels were closed and abandoned, becoming useless until Step Up, a group...

Read More...


Beyond Romanticization: Reflections on Obama in the Age of Trump

by Olivia Blocker, Truthout | Op-Ed – On January 10, when Barack Obama returned to Chicago to give his last speech as president of the United States, I could feel the city hold its breath and hold back tears. I live in Hyde Park — Obama’s old neighborhood. Here one can feel the pride Chicagoans have for Obama more than in most other parts of the city. A plaque where he and Michelle had their first date sits at the corner of 53rd and Dorchester. In the Cove Lounge on 55th St., a six-foot mural of his grinning face looms opposite the bar, and on January 10, hours before his speech, he dined at Valois in the heart of the neighborhood, while people eagerly waited in the Chicago chill hoping for a glance of our soon-to-be-former president. I cannot feel that pride in Obama’s legacy. In February of last...

Read More...


Number of Americans Killed by Terrorists Who’ve Entered U.S. as Refugees? ZERO.

by Nick Gillespie – When it comes to Donald Trump’s immigration- and refugee-related executive orders (EOs), some of his harshest critics are fellow Republicans. That’s a good sign, as it suggests that the Grand Old Party, which in the not-so-distant past was the pro-immigration party (even illegal immigration!), isn’t simply rolling over for the new president. Consider, for instance, Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent, who represents the area around Allentown and a large Syrian ex-pat community. The Trump EO banning all visitors, including those holding green cards, from Syria and six other majority-Muslim countries, was put into effect at midnight on Saturday without any warning. “This is ridiculous,” Dent told The Washington Post, “the order appears to have been rushed through without full consideration. You know, there are many, many nuances of immigration policy that can be life or death for many innocent, vulnerable people around the world.” Sens. John McCain (Ariz.)...

Read More...


Republicans Push Anti-Protest Laws

by Kira Lerner – Bills targeting nonviolent protests are multiplying across the country. As people critical of President Trump’s Muslim ban flocked to airports this weekend to show their support for immigrants and refugees, one major airport decided to crack down on protesters. Denver International Airport (DIA) began enforcing a rule on Sunday that requires anyone interested in demonstrating to submit an application seven days in advance. The regulation was challenged by protesters, including one who recorded a video criticizing Denver Police Commander Tony Lopez for violating his First Amendment rights. “Put all the signs away that have anything to do with first amendment expression, political message,” Lopez told demonstrators. “Based on legal advice we are getting at this time from the city attorney, what’s being displayed is a violation of airport rules and regulations.” “I cannot carry the Constitution without a permit?” a protester asks. “Correct, according to airport rules and...

Read More...


Over 1,700,000 Sign UK Petition Against Trump—then House of Commons Jumps in and Pummels Him

by Leslie Salzillo – The massive protest against Donald Trump’s Muslim and Syrian refugee ban, that exploded across the country Friday night, has made its way across the pond to thousands in the UK who also took to the streets. The predominant protest is against Trump’s Muslim ban itself, but there are also protests against Prime Minister Theresa May and how she handled her visit with Trump last week, some suspecting she was aware of the upcoming ban as she held his tiny hands. And there are protests against Trump’s upcoming trip to the UK for an official state visit. Masses of people simply want no part of him, and especially do not want him to be received by the Queen or the Prince of Wales. Here is a short 2 ½-minute video of some of the UK street protests against Trump: Nicola Slawson with The Guardian reports an online petition calling for Donald Trump to be...

Read More...


Monday Night Massacre as Trump Fires Acting AG and Replaces ICE Director

by Jon Queally – Calling refusal to enforce Muslim ban a “betrayal,” Republican president fires Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and also replaces Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. And Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) tweeted: Democratic lawmakers were among those quick to condemn President Trump. With a reference to the Saturday Night Massacre that took place during the Watergate scandal under President Richard Nixon, the hashtag #MondayNightMassacre came alive on Monday night after President Donald Trump fired acting Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and accused her of “betrayal” for refusing to enforce a controversial immigration order targeting Muslims and refugees. At the same time, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) John Kelly, announced in a statement that Daniel Ragsdale, the acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), was being replaced  by Thomas D. Homan. Less than an hour after the ACLU congratulated Yates on Monday...

Read More...


Keystone XL Opponents Promise Trump a Mass Mobilization ‘On a Scale Never Seen’

by Deirdre Fulton – Trump “declared war on indigenous nations”—and now they’re ready to fight back. With his order to revive the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline, President Donald Trump “has declared war on Indigenous nations across the country,” one Cheyenne River Sioux organizer said Monday. But he’ll be met by a fierce native resistance movement that “will not back down,” said the organizer, Joye Braun, on a press call organized by the Indigenous Environmental Movement (IEN). Trump signed executive orders last week advancing the controversial KXL and Dakota Access (DAPL) pipelines, prompting widespread outrage and vows of bold resistance from the Indigenous activists, climate campaigners, and countless others who have fought against both projects. What that opposition will look like came into sharper focus on Monday. “Make no mistake: resistance to the toxic Keystone XL pipeline will only grow stronger,” declared Dallas Goldtooth, IEN’s Keep it in the Ground organizer. “We...

Read More...


Trump Creates ‘Constitutional Crisis’ as Travel Ban Enforced in Defiance of Court Orders

by Nika Knight – ‘We have a constitutional crisis today’ Chaos reigns in the wake of President Donald Trump’s sweeping executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees from around the world. No fewer than five courts have issued emergency stays limiting the order’s power since Saturday. The most far-reaching court decision, issued Sunday morning by Judge Allison Burroughs and Magistrate Judge Judith Dein in Massachusetts, goes so far as to call for a total halt to detentions of anyone targeted by the travel ban. Yet agents with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) on Sunday defied the judiciary and continued to enforce Trump’s travel ban, despite immigration lawyers and even members of Congress pleading with them to enforce the federal courts’ decision. “Rogue Customs and Border Patrol agents continue to try to get people on to planes,” International Refugee Assistance Project director...

Read More...


A Radical Expansion of Sanctuary: Steps in Defiance of Trump’s Executive Order

by Marisa Franco, Truthout | Op-Ed – A moment of stinging clarity is now upon us. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to set in motion the process of building a wall along the US-Mexico border, stripping federal funding from sanctuary cities, increasing the size of US Border Patrol forces and increasing deportations. In response, we must plunge even more urgently into the hard local work of building sanctuary. A year ago, my team at #Not1More Deportation and I drafted this reflection on the nature of sanctuary: We are from a lineage of our community who made a way when there was no way, who provided political and spiritual cover so the rest of us could come ahead …. When we seek to enter movement, and we converge, these spaces, they are sacred, because they are a form of sanctuary. Sanctuary is a spiritual stance. Sanctuary says: oppression is trying...

Read More...


Former Secretary Of Labor Debunks Popular Myth About Illegal Immigrants

by Brianna Acuesta – Robert Reich sets the record straight when it comes to immigrants, jobs, and taxes. There are a number of ‘facts’ spread about illegal immigrants and how they affect the United States, especially in recent years as the border and how to handle undocumented workers has moved into the spotlight. With President Donald Trump’s campaign, building a wall to keep such immigrants out has been a major talking point in major news outlets and in his own speeches. One of these such ‘facts’ that has been spread throughout the nation, as it is one of the main issues opponents of immigration point to, is that illegal immigrants often take the jobs of Americans and live in the U.S. without paying taxes. As Robert Reich, the Secretary of Labor during Bill Clinton’s Administration, clarified, “The labor markets that are taken by low-skilled immigrants have almost no native-born Americans in...

Read More...


Dan Rather Launches Gutsy Newsgroup to Counter Fake News & Alternative Facts

by Leslie Salzillo – American journalist and esteemed news anchor Dan Rather announced a new social media page in the midst of January’s flying fake news and alternative facts — which seem to be saturating the nation’s headlines and conversations. The Facebook news page is called  “News and Guts” and if it’s anything like Rather’s posts, it’s going to be hammering down on the new administration. In a recent post, Rather states: Journalism, real journalism, deep-digging reporting without fear or favor, is as important now, if not more so, than any time I can remember.  Over the past year, Dan Rather has built a Facebook following of over a million. It’s a place where he shares his political commentary along with spotlighting news stories from various sources. He says during weeks like in early January when confirmation hearings were coming in fast and furious, there is only so much that he can do on one page and there are far more articles that deserve attention and great reporters he’d like to spotlight. I got into...

Read More...


‘Fueled by Hate’: Trump Signs Order on Border Wall, Sanctuary Cities

by Nadia Prupis – President hits ground running with xenophobic national security measures; also reviewing keeping Guantánamo Bay open, reinstating CIA ‘black sites’ Update: President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order that directs federal agencies to start building a U.S.-Mexico border wall and institute a crackdown on immigration, in the first of a series of measures expected this week. Trump signed the actions during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security, where he said, “A nation without borders is not a nation. Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders.” The order for the wall instructs agencies to erect “a large physical barrier on the southern border.” Others seek to slash immigration and stiffen penalties for undocumented people. The Hill reports: The other order deals with immigration enforcement and ends the “catch and release” policy that quickly returned border crossers back to Mexico...

Read More...


War on Facts Sparks Momentum for Scientists’ March on Washington

by Deirdre Fulton – ‘An American government that ignores science to pursue ideological agendas endangers the world’ The Trump-Pence administration’s war on facts may have galvanized the next major demonstration in the nation’s capital—the Scientists’ March on Washington, which is as yet unscheduled but is garnering significant enthusiasm online. Spurred by the new administration’s stance on climate change, muzzling of scientists, and slashing of environmental regulations, the idea grew out of a Reddit thread started in the wake of Saturday’s inspirational Women’s March on Washington and global solidarity events. As the Washington Post reports: omeone wrote, “There needs to be a Scientists’ March on Washington.” “100%,” someone replied. Dozens of others agreed. One participant in the exchange, University of Texas Health Science Center postdoctoral fellow Jonathan Berman, took the conversation to heart. In short order, the march had a Facebook page (whose membership swelled from 200 people on Tuesday night to more than...

Read More...


The Trump Resistance Plan: Step 2

by STEVEN HARPER – It’s time for the real American majority to demonstrate its unity and mobilize. It is not in numbers, but in unity, that our great strength lies… — THOMAS PAINE, COMMON SENSE (1776) Americans acting in good faith are destined to disagree on many issues of public concern. Colonists fighting the Revolutionary War couldn’t agree on much either, but they fought side by side for independence from foreign governments and the rejection of official corruption. Those two founding principles formed central pillars of American democracy. They still do. Facts Are Stubborn Things The truth is that on a critical issue, we are more united today than most people may realize, but not in a way Donald Trump likes. His approval ratings have plummeted to dramatic and historic pre-Inauguration lows: ABC News/Washington Post: 40 percent – Compare that to the three most recent presidents-elect immediately prior to their inaugurations: Obama...

Read More...


UN Condemns Huge Israeli Settlement Plan (VIDEO)

UN joins EU in denouncing Israeli move, as Palestinians call on more support against illegal settlement activity. The United Nations has denounced recent Israeli initiatives to accelerate settlement construction in occupied Palestinian territory, stressing that “unilateral actions” are an obstacle to peace based on a two-state solution. “For the secretary-general there is no plan B for the two-states solution,” UN chief Antonio Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday. “In this respect any unilateral decision that can be an obstacle to the two-state goal is of grave concern for the secretary-general.” Israel approved a plan to build 2,500 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, two days after it accepted building permits for more than 500 settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem. The biggest settlement plan announced since 2013, it comes close after the election of US President Donald Trump, who has not been critical of...

Read More...


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...

Read More...


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...

Read More...


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...

Read More...


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...

Read More...


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

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

Read More...


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

Read More...


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...

Read More...


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:...

Read More...


‘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...

Read More...


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...

Read More...


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...

Read More...


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...

Read More...


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...

Read More...


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...

Read More...


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...

Read More...