Tag Archives: washington

Meet the Latest Trump Aide Who’s Even Worse Than All the Other Trump Aides

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

The White House is like a rotten onion these days: every time we peel back a layer, it smells worse and worse. First we all heard about Steve Bannon, the Breitbart News CEO who plays the Rasputin role in the West Wing, whispering in Donald Trump’s ear about Muslim terrorists and Mexican rapists. Then we all learned about Stephen Miller, the 31-year-old wunderkind who is, if anything, even more glib and hardcore than Bannon. Now we’re all learning about Sebastian Gorka:

For years, Gorka had labored on the fringes of Washington and the far edge of acceptable debate as defined by the city’s Republican and Democratic foreign policy elite. Today, the former national security editor for the conservative Breitbart News outlet occupies a senior job in the White House and his controversial ideas — especially about Islam — drive Trump’s populist approach to counterterrorism and national security.

….For him, the terrorism problem has nothing to do with repression, alienation, torture, tribalism, poverty, or America’s foreign policy blunders and a messy and complex Middle East. “This is the famous approach that says it is all so nuanced and complicated,” Gorka said in an interview. “This is what I completely jettison.”

For him, the terror threat is rooted in Islam and “martial” parts of the Koran that he says predispose some Muslims to acts of terror. “Anybody who downplays the role of religious ideology . . . they are deleting reality to fit their own world,” he said.

Last month, as he celebrated at the inaugural ball…Gorka said he had one last message for America’s troops — “the guys inside the machine” — and its enemies. He turned toward the host, his medal glinting in the TV lights. “The alpha males are back,” he said.

It’s a sewer in there. But here’s the funny thing: Gorka might well be right but for entirely the wrong reasons. Young men who live in a wide swath of the world stretching from North Africa to Central Asia probably are more prone to violence than they are in the developed North. But it has nothing to do with Islam. That’s just the handiest thing to latch onto. It’s all about lead:

The Trumpies got struck down for temporarily banning immigration from a set of seven seemingly arbitrary countries, so instead they should create a rule that temporarily bans immigration from any country that phased out leaded gasoline later than, say, 2001. They might have to fiddle a bit with the numbers, which they have plenty of experience doing, and maybe add some weird second condition in order to get only the countries they want, but with a little creativity they could make it work. And it’s not based on ethnicity, religion, or even nationality. You’re welcome!

Credit: 

Meet the Latest Trump Aide Who’s Even Worse Than All the Other Trump Aides

Posted in ALPHA, FF, GE, LG, ONA, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quote of the Day: Donald Trump Saves the Coal Mines

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

Via the Washington Post:

“If he hadn’t gotten into office, 70,000 miners would have been put out of work,” Patricia Nana, a 42-year-old naturalized citizen from Cameroon. “I saw the ceremony where he signed that bill, giving them their jobs back, and he had miners with their hard hats and everything — you could see how happy they were.”

And those immigration raids last weeks ended up deporting 1.3 million undocumented workers. And Intel’s new factory will give good, high-paying jobs to 250,000 hardworking Americans. And Trump’s Muslim ban prevented 400 acts of terror on American soil.

Sigh. Among his supporters, Trump’s style of governance by TV spectacle is working out well.

Link:  

Quote of the Day: Donald Trump Saves the Coal Mines

Posted in Citizen, FF, GE, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Jane Roe” Has Died. Abortion Rights Might Not Be Far Behind.

Mother Jones

Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” plaintiff in the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States, died Saturday at at an assisted-living facility in Katy, Texas. She was 69.

McCorvey was a complicated symbol for the political fight over abortion rights. Following the high court’s 1973 decision, she became the face of the pro-choice movement. At the time, she represented the struggles faced by ordinary women confronted with unwanted pregnancies. Abortion was illegal in Texas in almost all cases when she learned she was pregnant in 1969. Poor and with a ninth grade education, she didn’t have the means to seek abortion across state lines. The legal battle dragged on for three years; by the time she won, she had long since carried the pregnancy to term. She gave the baby up for adoption.

But in 1995, McCorvey reversed her stance on abortion after discussing the Bible with Pastor Flip Benham, the director of Operation Rescue, an aggressive pro-life group that had moved in next door to the women’s health clinic where McCorvey worked. She soon quit her job at the clinic and was baptized by Benham. She became a spokeswoman for the anti-abortion movement, penning a book about her ideological transformation and traveling the country giving speeches to religious groups.

Like McCorvey’s own views on abortion, popular opinion about a woman’s right to choose has been the subject of much conflict and debate since the landmark 1973 case. And while a strong majority of Americans still agrees with the Roe decision, dismantling the right to an abortion is now an explicit objective for both the new administration and the Republican-led congress.

In the month since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, GOP lawmakers have put forward measures aimed at pulling federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood and repealing the Affordable Care Act, including its requirement that insurance plans cover contraceptives. They have also introduced bills that would make abortion illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy and would ban the standard abortion method used by doctors in the second trimester.

A Supreme Court majority that would be open to overturning Roe is becoming increasingly likely, as well. This is something Trump promised repeatedly during the campaign as part of his largely successful effort to win over skeptical evangelical voters. As a candidate, he made four promises to the anti-abortion community: He pledged to nominate anti-abortion justices; defund Planned Parenthood; sign the 20-week abortion ban; and permanently enshrine into law the Hyde Amendment—a 40-year old budget rider that Congress has repeatedly used to bar federal tax dollars from funding most abortions. Assuming that Judge Neil Gorsuch is confirmed this spring, it may only take the departure of one pro-abortion-rights justice to tip the balance on the court against Roe.

During the campaign, the formerly pro-choice Trump brought on Mike Pence to shore up his anti-abortion bonafides. As governor of Indiana, Pence signed some of the country’s strictest abortion restrictions into law, including a measure requiring burial or cremation of aborted fetus remains and a ban on abortions due to fetal anomaly. In a September 2016 speech, Pence told an evangelical conference in Washington, DC, “I want to live to see the day that we put the sanctity of life back at the center of American law, and we send Roe v. Wade to the ash heap of history, where it belongs.”

Last month, Pence became the highest-ranking government official to ever address the annual March for Life in person. “Life is winning again in America,” Pence said at the anti-abortion gathering, pointing to the “historic election of a president who stands for a stronger America, a more prosperous America, and a president who, I proudly say, stands for the right to life.”

Roe has been seen by many as an imperfect decision. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the foremost legal warriors for gender equality, has criticized the decision for changing too much, too quickly. After founding the ACLU’s women’s rights project in the 1970s, Ginsburg focused on fighting sex discrimination with an incremental strategy. She brought several cases to the Supreme Court, building up a body of court victories that together established a sweeping legal and moral understanding of sex discrimination as something that is both illegal and wrong. Roe, she said at a conference in 2014, “established a target” for abortion opponents because it ditched this incremental approach, instead imposing a drastic change on states across the country. She suggested that if the high court had moved a little more slowly, today the idea of reproductive choice wouldn’t be so controversial. “A movement against access to abortion for women grew up, flourished, around a single target,” Ginsburg said.

After her victory as Roe’s main plaintiff, McCorvey joined the movement that sprung up to oppose Roe. Her death comes at a time when that movement, with help from the Trump White House, could achieve many of its long-held goals.

View article – 

“Jane Roe” Has Died. Abortion Rights Might Not Be Far Behind.

Posted in alo, FF, GE, LAI, Landmark, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jam the courts, blow the whistles, shut down the kitchen: Here are The Resistance’s latest strategies

In the aftermath of America’s Most Baffling Press Conference, let’s cut to the chase: People are calling out Trump and his administration in meaningful, productive ways all across the land. Here’s what went down:

Despite unprecedented calls from EPA employees for senators to block his confirmation and a judge’s order to release years of emails with fossil fuel industry figures, Scott Pruitt is now EPA administrator. Are you enraged? Will you be in Boston this weekend? That’s something else to be upset about, but bear with us: Thousands of scientists are in town for the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference. On Feb. 19, scientists and their allies will hold a rally in Copley Square to protest the Trump administration’s anti-science rhetoric and policies.

If you’re trying to reach anyone in the Department of Energy, you might have a tough time of it, because their phone directory was taken offline on Thursday morning. Cool! Anyway, California Rep. Ted Lieu and Virginia Rep. Don Beyer have published a guide for whistleblowers as a show of strength against the Trump administration’s “strapp[ing] a muzzle on federal agencies.” The Union of Concerned Scientists also released a guide to help scientists bring important information to the public discreetly and securely. Environmental science and public health shouldn’t be political, and these guides are a means to protect them.

Earthjustice filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Standing Rock Sioux in a new attempt to block construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is already underway. A bit of good news for the anti-pipeline movement: The hearing may be expedited.

On Feb. 16, the American food industry may have looked a little … thin. That’s because immigrants across the United States took the day off to show what an America that operates on deportations and immigration bans would look like. (Spoiler: It doesn’t have a lot of food.) In case you were wondering if Washington would notice (via The New York Times): “The Pentagon warned its employees that a number of its food concessions, including Sbarro’s [sic], Starbucks, and Taco Bell, were closed because immigrant employees had stayed home and that they could expect longer lines at restaurants that were open.”

And in response to an ongoing rash of deportations, a coalition of Mexican lawmakers under the name Monarca is aiming to protect Mexican immigrants by exploiting the U.S. legal system’s greatest weakness: It’s a bureaucratic nightmare that’s already heavily backlogged!

And, ICYMI on Grist:

The movement to divest from Dakota Access is growing fast.
Big name Republicans are taking a carbon tax plan to the White House.

Link – 

Jam the courts, blow the whistles, shut down the kitchen: Here are The Resistance’s latest strategies

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, ONA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Democrats to White House: What Did Trump Know, and When Did He Know It?

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

Michael Flynn may have lost his job as national security adviser, but congressional Democrats have made clear that they aren’t going to let the Trump administration sweep the scandal under the rug. The ranking Democrats from six separate House committees sent a detailed letter to the White House’s top lawyer Wednesday afternoon demanding answers regarding what administration officials knew about Flynn’s communications last year with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, when they knew it, and what they did in response.

The letter is directed at Donald McGahn, the White House counsel. As The Washington Post reported on Monday, McGahn was personally informed last month by then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates that Flynn may have lied to members of the Trump administration, including Vice President Mike Pence, about the nature of his conversations with Kislyak—and that Flynn could even be vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow. The Democrats’ letter points out that despite that warning, White House officials continued to claim for weeks that Flynn did not discuss US sanctions during his talks with Russia’s ambassador.

“These reports raise grave concerns about the honesty and integrity of White House officials with the public,” the letter says. “The National Security Advisor provided false information to the public, which was then repeated by several senior White House officials. Even after learning that this information was inaccurate, no White House officials corrected those falsehoods.”

The letter presses McGahn for a clear timeline of events. It asks whether Trump himself or other members of his team were aware of Flynn’s discussion of sanctions with Kislyak prior to McGahn’s January 26 meeting with the Department of Justice, and whether anyone ordered Flynn to engage in those discussions. The letter points to a tweet from Trump on December 30, 2016—just a day after Flynn talked with the Russian ambassador—in which Trump lavished praise on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision not to retaliate against US sanctions. “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!” Trump wrote.

The Democrats also asked McGahn to explain why Flynn was allowed to receive classified briefings after the administration learned of his apparent deception. Referencing White House statements that Flynn had lost Trump’s trust, the letter states that “these reports raise more than ‘trust’ issues—they also raise significant national security concerns.”

The letter was sent by top Democrats on six committees: Elijah Cummings(Oversight and Government Reform), John Conyers (Judiciary), Adam Smith (Armed Forces), Bennie Thompson (Homeland Security), Adam Schiff (Intelligence), and Eliot Engel (Foreign Affairs).

Read the letter below:

DV.load(“https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3462159-2017-02-15-Ranking-Members-to-WH-Counsel-McGahn.js”,
width: 630,
height: 500,
sidebar: false,
text: false,
container: “#DV-viewer-3462159-2017-02-15-Ranking-Members-to-WH-Counsel-McGahn”
);

Democrats Letter to White Counsel Donald McGahn (PDF)

Democrats Letter to White Counsel Donald McGahn (Text)

Link: 

Democrats to White House: What Did Trump Know, and When Did He Know It?

Posted in alo, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment