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FEBRUARY 2017 POLITICAL ARTICLES

FEBRUARY 1 THROUGH 9

February 9, 2017 -
For those paying attention, you would know that the reason for the 9/11 attack ... but in case you didn't, this may explain a bit: Exclusive: Alleged mastermind tells Obama 9/11 was   America’s fault.  Miami Herald   Copy of the letter  

Leaked Trump Presidential Memo Would Free U.S. Companies to Buy Conflict Minerals From Central African Warlords. ... The leaked draft of a presidential memorandum Donald Trump is expected to sign within days suspends a 2010 rule that discouraged American companies from funding conflict and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo through their purchase of “conflict minerals.”  Intercept  

Last stand: 'water protectors' return to Standing Rock as drilling set to begin. ... Tribal leaders may have urged activists to let the fight play out in the courts, but many on the ground are calling for a final push as the pipeline moves ahead
 Guardian  

How Democratic Socialists Are Building on Bernie's Momentum - Membership in the Democratic Socialists of America is way up – now, can the group become a major force against Trump? RollingStone

Surveillance laws should always be written as if the government we most fear is in power. It is one of the most insidious controls authorities can wield and, if unchecked, can corrode democratic institutions and give governments a sinister degree of power over their citizens. Newsweek  

February 8, 2017 -
Here’s The Coretta Scott King Letter Mitch McConnell Suppressed. ... Sen. Elizabeth Warren, blocked from reading the letter aloud in the Senate, instead recited it on Facebook Live. Huffington

House committee votes to eliminate independent election commission. ...As Trump falsely claims widespread voter fraud, Republican-led committee divides along party lines over group meant to help states improve voting systems. Guardian  

Why Trump wants to disempower institutions that protect the truth. ...The US president is attacking the very institutions that are meant to expose lies: universities, the media and the judiciary. Democracy is impossible without them.
Guardian

Go Fund Me page for a true hero, Chelsea Manning, to help her get settled once she's finally released from prison.

What Slobodan Milosevic Taught Me About Donald Trump. ... During his inaugural address, Donald Trump deployed rhetoric that was familiar to anyone who spent time in the Balkans in the 1990s. “You will never be ignored again,” Trump thundered, with Congress as his backdrop. Intercept  

DAPL Opponents Vow 'Fierce Resistance' as Army Corps Grants Last Easement. ... Unless there is an injunction, construction could begin in 24 hours. CommonDreams

Federal Lawmakers Renew Their Cruel and Misguided War on America's Wolves
This isn't sensible, humane or even about conservation. It is an all-out, barbaric assault on the forebears of the domesticated dog. AlterNet  

February 7, 2017 -
These Are the Last Bastions of Resistance to Donald Trump. ... With congressional Republicans in the majority in Congress and unwilling to cross Donald Trump, the job of containing Trump’s incipient tyranny falls to three groups: the nation’s judges, its independent press, and a few state governments. Which is why Trump is escalating attacks on all three. TruthDig/Reich

Trump Reportedly Scraps Anti-LGBT Executive Order, But Vows to Give Churches More Political Power. DemocracyNow  

Trump and Bannon Pursue a Vision of Autocracy ... Is Donald Trump in the process of transforming the United States into an autocracy? His first weeks in office make it look as though that is his aim. The president is hewing closely to the ideas of his chief strategist, making Stephen Bannon the most dangerous man in America. Spiegel  

Honduran Politicians, US Aid Implicated in Killings of Environmentalists - TruthOut  

From 1967: The Legitimacy of Violence as a Political Act? Noam Chomsky debates with Hannah Arendt, Susan Sontag, etc Chomsky

Donald Trump’s Executive Order Will Let Private Equity Funds Drain Your 401(k)  Intercept  

February 6, 2017 -
Make America Ungovernable. ... Donald Trump’s regime is rapidly reconfiguring the United States into an authoritarian state. All forms of dissent will soon be criminalized.. ... “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too,” Bannon told writer Ronald Radosh in 2013. “I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”. TruthDig/Hedges  

Furious Trump says judge who defied him has put US 'in peril'. ... Despite rebukes over criticism of judge, president sends angry tweets about suspension of order on refugees and travel from Muslim-majority countries. Guardian

Trump Lawyers To Court Reviewing Muslim Travel Ban: Stay Out Of It. ... The administration is trying to make the case that judicial review of its executive order imperils national security.
Huffington

Donald Trump 'taking steps to abolish the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)'. ... Myron Ebell, a key presidential aide, said climate education material could be ‘withdrawn’ and review of car fuel efficiency standards could be reopened.
Guardian

Republicans Are Using Big Tobacco’s Secret Science Playbook to Gut Health Rules.
Intercept  

February 6, 2017 -
Make America Ungovernable. ... Donald Trump’s regime is rapidly reconfiguring the United States into an authoritarian state. All forms of dissent will soon be criminalized.. ... “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too,” Bannon told writer Ronald Radosh in 2013. “I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”. TruthDig/Hedges  

Furious Trump says judge who defied him has put US 'in peril'. ... Despite rebukes over criticism of judge, president sends angry tweets about suspension of order on refugees and travel from Muslim-majority countries. Guardian

Trump Lawyers To Court Reviewing Muslim Travel Ban: Stay Out Of It. ... The administration is trying to make the case that judicial review of its executive order imperils national security.
Huffington

Donald Trump 'taking steps to abolish the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)'. ... Myron Ebell, a key presidential aide, said climate education material could be ‘withdrawn’ and review of car fuel efficiency standards could be reopened.
Guardian

Republicans Are Using Big Tobacco’s Secret Science Playbook to Gut Health Rules.
Intercept  

February 5, 2017-
Steve Bannon's obsession with a dark theory of history should be worrisome. Business Insider

Education, Not Income, Predicted Who Would Vote For Trump. FiveThirtyEight

The purging begins: USDA abruptly purges animal welfare information from its website. WaPo  

Distrust in Trump’s White House spurs leaks, confusion. ...‘Trying to nail down who the leakers are is like trying to count the cockroaches under the couch,’ one longtime Trump adviser says.
Politico  

‘I love Trump. He’s doing what he said.’ President’s supporters keep the faith. .. Women’s Marches and widespread criticism of the ‘Muslim ban’ have not dented the loyalty of Trump voters.
Guardian  

First on the White House agenda – the collapse of the global order. Next, war? Guardian  

Britain's verdict on Trump? Improve non-US allies and be prepared. ... The words the UK public most associate with the new US president are ‘dangerous’, ‘unstable’ and ‘bigot’ Guardian  

Trump Inches The U.S. Closer To Constitutional Crisis. ... The president’s smear of a federal judge who temporarily halted the travel ban undermines judicial independence and could encourage defiance. Huffington

“This executive order would appear to require agencies to provide extensive exemptions from a staggering number of federal laws—without regard to whether such laws substantially burden religious exercise,” said Marty Lederman, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and an expert on church-state separation and religious freedom.
The Nation  

February 4, 2017 -
What Happens When All We Have Left Is the Pentagon? Trump's Vision of a Militarized US
TruthOut  

Trump's courtiers bring chaotic and capricious style to White House. ... Two weeks in, the new administration resembles the court of a Renaissance king, with favorites infighting and Steve Bannon a Cardinal Richelieu in cargo pants.
Guardian  

Trump Muslim Ban Executive Order Violated Executive Order About Executive Orders.
Intercept  

Pigs at the Trough: Privatization of the Public Good. ... Donald Trump has assembled a Cabinet distinguished by capitalist oligarchs, hedge-fund scammers and failed military officers. However, these officials – some have yet to receive Senate approval – share a common belief that the federal budget is a bottomless pig’s feeding trough to be plundered for private corporate and, ultimately, management and shareholder personal enrichment.  CounterPunch  

Trump's Proposed Change Would Give Green Light to White Supremacist Violence. TruthOut  

Bowling Green massacre? Kellyanne Conway has taken alt facts up a notch - Trump’s team doesn’t just fictionalise reactions to events – it fabricates the events themselves. While on the real terror attack on Quebec Muslims, there is silence.
Guardian  

U.S. Congress votes for corruption by overturning historic transparency law in gift to big oil. ... Today’s decision by the Republican-led U.S. Senate to overturn a rule designed to stop oil companies striking corrupt deals with foreign governments. Global Witness  

“Major” Obama Administration Rules Potentially Eligible to be Overturned under the Congressional Review Act in the 115th Congress, Download
NB: very difficult to make a complete list as situation changes so fast.

February 3, 2017 -
Gorsuch in His Youth: 'Fascism Forever'
Trump's Supreme Court nominee headed an anti-leftist student group to bait a liberal school administration. AlterNet

Scott Pruitt Advances, But Is Trump Planning to Abolish EPA Entirely? ... "Pruitt's record gives us no reason to believe that he will vigorously hold polluters accountable or enforce the law. Senators need to vote no" CommonDreams  

Vets vow to block Dakota Access Pipeline
Independent  

Pigs at the Trough: Privatization of the Public Good. CounterPunch  

Nazis Once Published List of Jewish Crimes, Trump Now Pushing to Do the Same for Immigrant Crimes  DemocracyNow

Just in Time for Trump, Jury Says Defense of Planet Is No Crime. ... 'With our political leadership failing us, we need more courageous activists like Ken to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and set an example of how normal people can effect change.'   CommonDreams  

February 2, 2017 -
Noam Chomsky - How to Deal with the Trump Presidency.  Youtube Video   and -
Chomsky on President Trump YouTube

Neil Gorsuch, Trump's Supreme Court Pick, Has History of Ruling Against Workers, Women & Regulation    DemoracyNow  

Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination. If signed, the order would create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity. The Nation  

ARTICLES BELOW ARE RELATED TO SELL
OFF OF 3.5M ACRES OF PUBLIC LAND

UPDATE: The articles below are related to a bill before congress, HR 621, by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT) to sell off public lands and shut down the BLM. This morning, (Feb 2nd) the Republican bill to privatize public lands is yanked after outcry in response to Western revolt. ThinkProgress  

Withdraw of HR621 is good, but nothing is said about withdrawing Chaffetz other bill, HR633 - Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act, first introduced last year, removes the law enforcement function from the BLM and Forest Service. Instead, the bill calls for deputizing local law enforcement, combined with block grant funding, to empower existing duly elected law enforcement offices to carry out these responsibilities. The bill, jointly sponsored by Utah's Rep. Mia Love and Rep. Chris Stewart, also establishes a formula to reimburse local law enforcement based on the percentage of public land in each state.

HR622 - Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act - The bill calls for deputizing local law enforcement, combined with block grant funding, to empower existing duly elected law enforcement offices to carry out these responsibilities. Co-Sponsors

HR 621 and 622- Death cuts to or public lands  
Eastmans  

Utah congressman proposes bill that removes law enforcement powers from Forest Service, BLM.
LEO Affairs  

--------Articles before the above update-------

(Federal) House Bill Would Sell 3.3 Million Acres of Federal Public Land. House bill H.R. 621, introduced last week by Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), would direct the Secretary of the Interior to sell off 3.3 million acres of federal land. Outdoor Life  

30% of land in New Mexico is public lands  
Recent poll shows 61% of New Mexicans oppose the sell off while 34% support.

Related:
Pro-sell-off: Congress Is Preparing to Give Away Public Land A huge corporate freebie, just like in Russia.  DC-Report  

Senator Chavez: “It’s time to get rid of the BLM and US Forest Service police. If there is a problem your local sheriff is the first and best line of defense. By restoring local control in law enforcement, we enable federal agencies and county sheriffs to each focus on their respective core missions. ... “The long overdue disposal of excess federal lands will free up resources for the federal government while providing much-needed opportunities for economic development in struggling rural communities.”
Chavez  

Anti-land sale:
Wilderness Society
DailyKos
Observer

Western Voters Just Want The GOP To Leave Their Land Alone, Poll Finds. ... Their representatives in Congress, however, don’t seem to care. Huffington 

February 1, 2017 -
The Immigration Ban is a Headfake, and We’re Falling For It.   Medium  

White Nationalism in the Oval Office and the Suppression of Dissent. ... Under President Trump, Americans are entering a historical conjuncture in which intolerant and racist ideologues are ascending to top White House posts.  Giroux

The frightening common ground between a Trump adviser and white nationalism’s favorite philosopher, ,,, Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, sees Dugin’s ideology as an ally against liberalism.
ThinkProgress  

This Is How Steve Bannon Sees The Entire World

This Is How Steve Bannon Sees The Entire World.
T
he soon-to-be White House chief strategist laid out a global vision in a rare 2014 talk where he said racism in the far right gets “washed out” and called Vladimir Putin a kleptocrat. BuzzFeed News publishes the complete transcript for the first time.
BuzzFeed  

Republicans move to sell off 3.3m acres of national land, sparking rallies. ... Land totaling the size of Connecticut has been targeted in a new bill in the Republican House, uniting hunters and conservationists in opposition.  Huffy  

Was Trump’s Muslim Ban his “Shock Event” Diversion?  CounterPunch  

 

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FEBRUARY 10 THROUGH 20

February 20, 2017 -
Republicans Are Using An Arcane Tool To Handcuff Federal Agencies... And it could have long-term consequences.  Huffington    Related: GOP Wants NASA To Stop Worrying About Earth And Focus On Space ... There are talks of “rebalancing” the agency’s mission as it continues to tweet about climate change.  Huffington  

Death Eaters Not Only Walk Among Us—Now They Occupy the White House... J.K. Rowling called it back during the Republican primary. We should be terrified. AlterNet

Democratic Member to Quit Election Commission, Setting Up Political Fight - Democrat on the Federal Election Commission is quitting her term early because of the gridlock that has gripped the panel, offering President Trump an unexpected chance to shape political spending rules. NYT

A Short History of the Trump Family by
Sidney Blumenthal

Global arms trade reaches highest point since cold war era. ... Middle East almost doubles weapons imports, as US and Europe remain the main suppliers and China joins top-tier exporters.
Guardian

Administration Moves To Block Access To Health Insurance. ... They can’t repeal Obamacare, so the Trump White House wants to make it much harder for you to get insurance with it. DCReport
Related Document: DHHS  45 CFR Parts 147, 155, and 156 CMS-9929-P

February 19, 2017 -
Seeding the Future Against Destructive Neoliberal Capitalism. ... The current oppressive neoliberal economic philosophy and its destructive regime of globalized capital is not inevitable. TruthOut

Head of U.S. Special Ops Says That America's Government Is in 'Unbelievable Turmoil'
Army Gen. Raymond "Tony" Thomas didn't offer specifics but said he wants the government as "stable as possible." AlterNet  

Weaponising the Police -
Trump will use every weapon to stamp out the grassroots resistance. ... Social movements play a critical role in holding his administration to account. But Trump's recent executive orders could endanger their survival. Guardian

Standing Rock: DoJ steps up aggression against those still battling the pipeline. ..Holdouts at the camp see the justice department’s recent round of arrests and warrants as an attempt to kill the movement’s momentum. Guardian

Trump loyalists stand by their man - but the resistance is taking root. ...After the blur of Donald Trump's opening weeks, what impact is he having in a former steel county in Pennsylvania which flipped for him in November? Guardian

Jason Chaffetz said he would investigate Flynn and Russia - but he's investigating media leaks instead. ... The committee chairman who was shouted down at a recent town hall said he was 'taking the lead' on issues surrounding disgraced Michael Flynn - but what is he actually investigating?
Independent

Empowering the "Deep State" to Undermine Trump is Prescription for Destroying Democracy. Democracy Now

Honduras: the deadliest country in the world for environmental activism. ... More than 120 people have been killed in Honduras since 2010 for standing up to companies that grab land and trash the environment   Global Witness

February 18, 2017 -
That news conference wasn't "chaos"
Reddit  

Rogue Elephant Rising: The CIA as Kingslayer. ... with members of the CIA and NSA leaking materials on Michael Flynn’s communications with Russian officials, we are witnessing a slow boiling domestic coup that will transform American governance and the Executive Branch’s relationships with intelligence agencies. CounterPunch  

Does New Labor Secretary Nominee Alex Acosta Have the Perfect Résumé to Sabotage a Federal Agency? Democracy Now  

The Trump Administration Is Giving Cops Unprecedented Power. Forget the white working class; his base is the Fraternal Order of Police.
Alternet

USDA puts blinders on animal abuse: Our view. USA Today  

Democrats Seem to Consider Snowden's & Manning's Leaks Evil & Leaks Under Trump Heroic
 Democracy Now  

This Blog Is Republishing All the Animal Welfare Records the USDA Deleted  MotherBoard.vice

February 17, 2017 -
18 WTF Moments From Trump's Unhinged Press Conference. ...
"Russia is fake news," said the president of the United States, before musing about nuclear holocaust.  Rolling Stone  

Rogue Elephant Rising: The CIA as Kingslayer ... With members of the CIA and NSA leaking materials on Michael Flynn’s communications with Russian officials, we are witnessing a slow boiling domestic coup that will transform American governance and the Executive Branch’s relationships with intelligence agencies. It remains to be seen whether these moves signal broader attacks on the Presidency by agencies long accustomed to taking out administrations threatening the Agency’s perceived interests.
CounterPunch

Donald Trump's Many, Many, Many, Many Ties to Russia. Time (August 2016)  and Donald Trump's Many, Many Business Dealings in 1 Map Time

Democrats Seem to Consider Snowden's & Manning's Leaks Evil & Leaks Under Trump Heroic.  Democracy Now  

Greenwald on Trump-Netanyahu Meeting & How Israel Is Turning into an Apartheid-Like State. Democracy Now  

Empowering the "Deep State" to Undermine Trump is Prescription for Destroying Democracy.
Democracy Now

White House dismisses 6 over failed background checks  Huffington  

February 16, 2017 -
Text Describing Federal Fracking Rule Disappears From Interior Department Website. Intercept  

Website On Disabilities Act That Tripped Up Betsy DeVos Disappears. ... The new education chief sounded unfamiliar with the federal civil rights law during her confirmation hearings. Huffington   and
Daily News  

Every Night There's Going To Be Another Bombshell About The Trump Presidency. Late Wednesday night, the Wall Street Journal published a big story alleging that, according to "current and former [intelligence] officials," US spies have been withholding sensitive intelligence from President Trump. Mother Jones

Mental health professionals warn Trump is incapable of being president . ... 'We fear that too much is at stake to be silent any longer', say psychiatrists. Independent  

The Spy Revolt Against Trump Begins.
Intelligence Community pushes back against a White House it considers leaky, untruthful and penetrated by the Kremlin. Observer  

Flynn spied on illegally? Fisa court oversight: a look inside a secret and empty process. Obama and other NSA defenders insist there are robust limitations on surveillance but the documents show otherwise.   Guardian  (June 2013 article)

‘He will die in jail’: Intelligence community ready to ‘go nuclear’ on Trump, senior source says.
 Raw Story  

An executive order suspending the US conflict minerals law would be a ‘gift to warlords and corrupt businesses’
Global Witness.

Farewell to Doublespeak: Israel’s Terrifying Vision for the Future. ...  Empirical historical evidence combined with little common-sense are enough to tell us the type of future options that Israel has in store for the Palestinian people: perpetual Apartheid or ethnic cleansing, or a mix of both.
CounterPunch  

Question: If there is a 2 state solution, where will Palestine be? Dead Sea?

February 15, 2017 -
Is Donald Trump a traitor? His path to the White House suggests a pattern of profound disloyalty
There's a word for someone who colludes with a foreign power to subvert democracy and overthrow political norms. Salon  

Donald Trump will stick to 'One China' policy after President Xi Jinping phone call. ...The President had drawn criticism for an early diplomatic stumble and implied that he would not necessarily comply with the policy.  Independent

The timeline of Trump's ties with Russia lines up with allegations of conspiracy and misconduct.
Mother Jones  


High Rollers at Mar-a-Lago

Selling Access to the ‘Winter White House’ for $200,000. .. Sensitive national security operations are being conducted in plain view of Mar-a-Lago club members and guests. The Nation  

Robert Reich: The White House Mess Exposes Donald Trump's Long Con. ... Trump is the most inept, disorganized, sloppy, incompetent president in recent memory, whose White House is nearly dysfunctional. AlterNet  

The Leakers Who Exposed Gen. Flynn’s Lie Committed Serious — and Wholly Justified — Felonies. Intercept

Pipeline Partners: Trudeau & Trump Meet as They Push for Keystone XL & Other Big Oil Projects.  Democracy Now

Israeli Gov’t Secretly funding illegal squatter Settlements in Palestine: Haaretz  

February 14, 2017 -
Democracy at the Tipping Point -


Ultimately, indifference is deadly. The apathy. The feeling of impotence. And the idle silence that follows. People, including journalists, start thinking they can't do anything anyway. That proved to be the case in Turkey and Hungary and it has long been the situation in Russia and China as well. Will it also happen in the United States? Spiegel

This Is How the Republican Party Plans to Destroy the Federal Government ... The Overthrow Project existed before Trump, but it may not survive his presidency.  The Nation

Veterans at Standing Rock see police retribution after arrest and charges ... Charges against military veterans on their way to Standing Rock have raised concerns that they’re being targeted for aiding Native American activists. Guardian

The FBI’s Secret Rules. ... Trump has inherited a vast domestic intelligence agency with extraordinary secret powers. A cache of documents offers a rare window into the FBI’s quiet expansion since 9/11. The Intercept

Animal Rights Groups Sue Over Unprecedented USDA Website Blackout. 'The government should not be in the business of hiding animal abusers and lawbreakers from public scrutiny'. Guardian

Solar Created More Jobs in 2016 Than Oil, Gas and Coal Combined. ... the dropping costs of renewable energy could see global demand for oil and coal peak by 2020.   Real News  

February 13, 2017 -
Trump Will Ignite a War With Iran, Which Will be Great News for ISIS. CounterPunch/Cockburn

The Elites Won’t Save Us. ... Labor unions are a spent force. The press is corporatized and distrusted. Universities have been purged of dissidents and independent scholars who criticize neoliberalism and decry the decay of democratic institutions and political parties. Public broadcasting and the arts have been defunded and left on life support. The courts have been
stacked ......  TruthOut/Hedges

Roaming Charges: Big Boss Man ... When Trump speaks these days it’s usually in a strictly controlled environment, before a self-selected (if not always compensated) crowd that bows, laughs and applauds on cue, like the “live studio audience” of a sit-com. CounterPunch

Trump’s chief policy adviser says the president’s power ‘will not be questioned’ by the courts. Hello authoritarianism. Think Progress  

UK Journalists who obtain leaked official material could be sent to prison under new proposals
UK Telegraph  Also on Guardian

Dark Essays By White House Staffer Are the Intellectual Source Code of Trumpism.  
Intercept

February 13, 2017 -
Trump Will Ignite a War With Iran, Which Will be Great News for ISIS. CounterPunch/Cockburn

The Elites Won’t Save Us. ... Labor unions are a spent force. The press is corporatized and distrusted. Universities have been purged of dissidents and independent scholars who criticize neoliberalism and decry the decay of democratic institutions and political parties. Public broadcasting and the arts have been defunded and left on life support. The courts have been
stacked ......  TruthOut/Hedges

Roaming Charges: Big Boss Man ... When Trump speaks these days it’s usually in a strictly controlled environment, before a self-selected (if not always compensated) crowd that bows, laughs and applauds on cue, like the “live studio audience” of a sit-com. CounterPunch

Trump’s chief policy adviser says the president’s power ‘will not be questioned’ by the courts. Hello authoritarianism. Think Progress  

UK Journalists who obtain leaked official material could be sent to prison under new proposals
UK Telegraph  Also on Guardian

Dark Essays By White House Staffer Are the Intellectual Source Code of Trumpism.  
Intercept

February 12, 2017 -
Beloved CIA gives an award to one of the world's most repressive & terrorism-sponsoring regimes ... The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, received a medal on Friday from the CIA for his distinct intelligence-related counter-terrorism work and his contributions to ensure international peace and security. Al Arabya   

As Tensions Rise, Steve Bannon and ISIS Get Closer to Their Common Goal: Civilizational War.
...radical policies and beliefs of this administration could .... easily end up fueling the narratives of extremist groups fighting the United States.
Intercept  

Egged on by Sheriffs, Trump Endorses Police Practice of Taking Property from Innocent People
In 2014, law enforcement officers took more property from Americans—$4.5 billion—than burglars did.  AlterNet  

FBI terrorism taskforce investigating Standing Rock activists. ...FBI representatives have contacted several ‘water protectors’, raising alarm that an indigenous-led movement is being construed as domestic terrorism.
Guardian

Army veterans return to Standing Rock to form a human shield against police. .. A growing group of military veterans are willing to put their bodies between Native American activists and the police trying to remove them. Guardian

New Book Reveals Trump Is Actually Sleazier and Slimier Than We Ever Thought. ... “There is no moral core inside Donald Trump." AlterNet  

Combating Trump's Neo-Fascism and the Ghost of "1984".   "Ignorance is Strength." -- George Orwell
TruthOut/Giroux

The Many Times Donald Trump Has Lied About His Mob Connections
He apparently lied under oath to deny he associated with organized crime figures
Mother Jones  


February 11, 2017 -
TPP is Not Dead: It’s Now Called the Trade In Services Agreement ... The Trade In Services Agreement (TISA), currently being negotiated among 50 countries, if passed would prohibit regulations on the financial industry, eliminate laws to safeguard online or digital privacy, render illegal any “buy local” rules at any level of government, effectively dismantle any public advantages to be derived from state-owned enterprises and eliminate net neutrality. Counter Punch

Revealed: FBI terrorism taskforce investigating Standing Rock activists - FBI representatives have contacted several ‘water protectors’, raising alarm that an indigenous-led movement is being construed as domestic terrorism. Guardian

ICE Raids Speed into Overdrive: Advocates Say Obama's Deportations Reaching "100 MPH" Under Trump. Democracy Now  

The First Amendment May Not Protect Us: Trump's FCC Intensifies Attack on Press. TruthOut  

Noam Chomsky - Democracy Is a Threat to Any Power System - YouTube video  

Noam Chomsky on the new Trump era - UpFront special.  YouTube video

Donald Trump will spark a war with Iran – which is great news for Isis. ... A confrontation will probably come in a year or two, when previous policies conceived under Obama have run their course. Trump may feel that he has to show how much tougher he is than his predecessor.
Independent  

February 10, 2017 -
Read the full text of the court ruling on Trump's travel ban. SFGage  

Trump's Executive Orders on Crime Foment "Dark View of Society". ... "It's about immigration, again," says one commenter of orders signed by President Donald Trump on Thursday. CommonDreams

President Trump casually endorses war crimes during White House meeting with airline execs. ... During a meeting with airline industry leaders at the White House on Thursday, President Trump lamented that the U.S. didn’t commit additional war crimes during the second Iraq War by pillaging the country’s oil.   ThinkProgress  

Judicial and Media Independence After the Next Attack.  ... With his repeated disparagement of the judiciary and unfounded criticism of the news media for under-reporting terrorist attacks, a number of commentators have suggested that Trump is preemptively trying to shift the blame to the courts and the media in the event that an attack occurs.
LawFare  

As Netanyahu and May Chat, a Large Nest of Israeli Spies in London Exposed. ... The Israeli Embassy has seventeen Israeli “technical and administrative staff” granted visas by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The normal number for an Embassy that size would be about two.
 Murray  

'Explaining Hitler' Author Breaks Silence: Trump Uses 'Mein Kampf Playbook' to Normalize Tyranny
 AlterNet  

 

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FEBRUARY 21 THROUGH 28

February 28, 2017 -
Trump’s Use of Navy SEAL’s Wife Highlights All the Key Ingredients of U.S. War Propaganda.
Intercept  

Fearing the Trump Impeachment. ...This past week I heard Dennis Kucinich*, Gareth Porter*, and Glenn Greenwald* all say that what they feared most was a CIA driven campaign to get rid of Trump through impeachment. As much as one may dislike the policies of Trump, they believe he can be restrained legally and constitutionally managed.
CounterPunch

Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
It takes provocation for people to show up for face-to-face confrontations with their Senators or Representatives. CounterPunch/Nader

Trump administration preparing to ignore WTO rulings it doesn’t like. ... Draft document sent to Congress indicates intention to sidestep World Trade Organisation (WTO) any rulings President regards as an affront to US sovereignty. Independent  

“You’re Papers Please:” Are We Being Set Up for a National ID System? ... Whatever dangerous practices you allow the government to carry out now—whether it’s in the name of national security or protecting America’s borders or making America great again—rest assured, these same practices can and will be used against you when the government decides to set its sights on you..CounterPunch

February 27, 2017 -
The Return of American Race Laws
The warm-up act for a full-blown American fascism and orchestrated race war is taking place in immigrant and marginal communities across the United States: Racial profiling. Random police stops. Raids at homes and businesses.
CounterPunch/Hedges

Trump White House scrambles to check scandal over FBI inquiry into Russia ties. ... While the White House has, by its own clumsy admission, been working behind the scenes to try to manage the conduct of Congress and intelligence agencies in the scandal, those efforts have so far backfired.
Guardian  

WH announces $54Billion increase in military spending. Compare to other countries  

Political Castration of State: Militarization of Government. ... Poor Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, presiding over what had until now been the crown jewel of the president’s cabinet, and reduced instead under Trump practically to a footnote on the organization charts. This appears deliberate. CounterPunch  

Steve Bannon Wants To Start World War III
His 2009 film, Generation Zero, shows a hellishly bleak vision of our past, present, and future, driven by a magical belief in historical determinism.
The Nation
Related: Some of the most controversial stories by Bannon  BuzzFeed  

Resume Inflation at the NSC: Lt. General McMaster’s Silver Star Was Essentially Earned for Target Practice. ... Operation Desert Storm by the Pentagon, was really just a massive live-fire exercise for US forces, which suffered only 146 casualties, 35 of them in “friendly-fire” incidents and 111 to enemy fire.   CounterPunch  

"This is a really nauseating account of how excited & happy ICE agents are to be unleashed-& how politicized they are"- Glenn Greenwald -- Immigration Agents Discover New Freedom to Deport Under Trump. NYT

Sean Spicer targets own staff in leak crackdown.
... The push includes random phone checks overseen by White House lawyers. Politico

Steve Bannon Literally Wants To Destroy The US Government!. ... Bannon’s recent comments on the “deconstruction of the administrative state”, in other words, the mechanism that actually make government work. Clean air and water, public schools? Nope. More profits for billionaires? Absolutely. RoFN  

With the US distracted by Trump and the UK by Brexit, they’re about to see a decline in their global power. ... One need only look to Yeltsin’s Russia to see how great powers fall. Both Trump and Yeltsin won power as demagogic anti-establishment leaders who won elections by promising reform. The result in Russia was calamitous national decline and the same thing could now happen in America. Independent/Cockburn  

ICE Reopening Shuttered Private Prisons and Adding Beds at County Jails to Expand Deportation Machinery. ... ICE reopens the private prisons that Obama’s Justice Department ordered closed.
AlterNet  

Protesters Beware: D.C. Mayor Appoints New Police Chief With Long Record of Mass Arrests and Depriving Rights. ... Peter Newsham defends past mass arrests that cost city millions in legal judgments. AlterNet  

February 26, 2017 -
Glen Greenwald: "Billionaire Haim Saban is largest funder of Dems & Clinton. He paid for DNC building. He smeared Ellison as anti-Semite. Read his views"  

Keith Ellison Loses DNC Race After Heated Campaign Targeting Him for His Views on Palestine. ... Keith Ellison lost his bid to become the chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Saturday after a scorched-earth smear campaign targeting his religious faith, his affinity for the Nation of Islam in his youth, and his support for Palestinian rights alongside a secure Israel. Intercept  
Related December 2016 article:
The Smear Campaign Against Keith Ellison Is Repugnant but Reveals Much About Washington. Intercept  

Socialism’s Return: After more than a half-century in the wilderness, the socialist left reemerges in America. ... The left is now primarily on the defensive: Rather than seeking to push the welfare state toward completion, it must defend against its dissolution. The Nation

The rise of right-wing populism in the United States—from the White House to state legislatures—has been met with public resistance on a stunning scale. Millions have taken to the streets, staged direct actions and flooded airports to resist a flurry of presidential decrees targeting undocumented, black, refugee, LGBTQ and poor communities. And long before Trump took the White House, the Black Lives Matter movement and indigenous water protectors at Standing Rock were leading the way with sustained mobilizations in the face of staggering repression. TruthDig

Billionaires and corporations helped fund Donald Trump's transition. ... The nonprofit formed to handle President Donald Trump’s transition raised about $6.5 million in private contributions, fueled in part by corporate interests, billionaires and lobbyists, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of a new federal filing.. CPI

"Show Up for Immigrants With Love": Communities Fight Back Against ICE Raids. TruthOut  

Memo to the NSC: Check Out Some Databases at the State Department before Finalizing that New Executive Order. ... CNN’s report yesterday evening that President Trump has ordered DHS and DOJ to “help build the legal case for its temporary travel ban on individuals from seven countries,” and that some individuals “in the intelligence community disagree with the conclusion and are finding their work disparaged by their own department.”
LawFare

Congress Contemplates Making it Illegal to Protect Consumer Privacy Online. ... Cable and telephone companies are pushing Congress to make it illegal for the federal government to protect online consumer privacy. ... Long ago, Congress made privacy a legal right, so that your telephone company was prohibited from using its position as your communications provider to exploit your personal information.  EFF

Arizona’s Fascist Attempt To Ban Protests. Republicans in Arizona want to use racketeering laws to charge peaceful protesters for violence perpetrated by others. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.
RoF

Donald Trump: The Raw and Naked Face of a System That Showers Speculators with Obscene Riches. ... Paul Jay says the enablers of Trumpism are the leaders of both major parties and the corporate media .. Whether it’s the charming smile of leading Democrats or the religious fervor and patriotic zeal of establishment Republicans, they both ensure super-profits for the super-rich.
RNN

Homeland security intelligence finds little evidence to back Trump travel ban. ... A draft document obtained by the Associated Press concludes that citizenship is an “unlikely indicator” of terrorism threats to the United States and that few people from the seven countries have carried out attacks or been involved in terrorism-related activities in the US since Syria’s civil war started in 2011.
Guardian

February 25, 1027 -
Donald Trump’s Remarks Signal He Could Start a New Nuclear Arms Race. ... Trump’s comments to Reuters essentially invited other nuclear powers to escalate their capabilities, and has the potential to set off a new nuclear arms race. Intercept
And Huffington  

In Final Pitches for Ellison, Progressives Say He's Exactly What Dems Need Now ,,, Democratic National Committee votes Saturday.
CommonDreams  

GOP Looking to Quietly Kill Resolution Demanding Transparency on Trump. (Conflicts of interest and ties to Russia) ... House Republicans planning to send Dem inquiry to GOP-majority committee so they can vote it down before it reaches chamber floor. Common Dreams  

What is Steve Bannon’s ‘economic nationalism’? And should we be scared? ... Mr Bannon says the Trump Presidency will deliver 'an economic nationalist agenda'. But what does this mean? And should the rest of us be alarmed by its implications?  Independent  
Related  Deluded Republicans are accidentally pushing for progressive corporation tax reform. ... The reform being presented by deluded right-wing American politicians as a way of sticking it to cheating foreigners actually represents the world’s best chance for lancing the boil of rampant tax evasion by multinational companies.
Independent

The Trump administration and a Republican-held Congress appear poised to unravel the nation’s bedrock environmental laws and programs, including the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA is one of our most effective environmental laws, proven to be vital to protecting species such as the iconic grizzly bear. CounterPunch  

Trump press ban: Guardian, BBC and CNN denied access to briefing. ... The Guardian, New York Times, CNN and more were barred from ‘gaggle’ hours after Trump once again called much of the media an ‘enemy. Guardian and TruthDig  

Battery Power Gives Boost to Renewables. ... In 2015, investments in oil and gas—fossil fuels that, along with coal, are the main drivers of global warming—declined by 25%, while energy produced from renewables rose by 30%. Renewables are becoming increasingly competitive with fossil fuels in many sectors: according to the IEA, in the five years to the end of 2015 the price of solar energy dropped by 80% and wind power by a third.
TruthDig  

Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who spends his days trying to figure out the future of conflict and has gained wide respect for speaking his mind, told an audience at the University of South Florida on Wednesday that the United States needs to do a better job of learning lessons and adapting because of its “narcissistic approach to war.” ... And, echoing outgoing President Dwight David Eisenhower’s farewell to the nation in 1961, McMaster urged renewed caution about the military-industrial complex and its influence on how America wages war.  TBO

Obama Created Propaganda Ministry; Now Trump Owns Itl  ... Just before the Christmas holiday, former President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act which provides funding for the military. Buried inside the NDAA was another bill that officially establishes an anti-propaganda center in order for the State Department to recognize, understand and expose counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining the United States. They really said that.  RoF  

Steve Bannon outlines his plan to 'deconstruct' Washington CNN

Trump Plans to Bypass the Courts to Deport as Many People as Possible. ... DHS released a pair of memos laying out how the agency intends to implement Trump’s executive orders on domestic immigration enforcement. In addition to calling for a massive increase in the number of immigration agents and the deputizing of local and state law enforcement across the country — described in the documents as a “force multiplier”— the memos dramatically expand the range of people who can be deported without seeing a judge.
Intercept   & Intercept
Related:  The left can't litigate Trump into submission, ,,, The left should rely on its own capacity to mobilize opposition on a principled political basis if it hopes to beat back Trump's assault on Muslims. Socialist Worker

The Trump Administration's Covert Strategy for Ending Refugee Resettlement .. At the end of the executive order is a new mandate to report on the "long-term costs" of the US Refugee Assistance Program (USRAP). The secretary of state is directed to "provide a report on the estimated long-term costs of the USRAP at the Federal, State and local levels" within one year. TruthOut

The husband-and-wife team driving Trump's national security policy. ... Before they became a Trump administration power couple, Sebastian and Katharine Gorka were prolific collaborators on research about the threat of Islamist terrorism.
Politico  

February 24, 2017 -
Trump Slumps As American Voters Disapprove 55% - 38% Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Voters Trust Media, Courts More Than President.
Quinnipiac  
  or download results

We Have to Keep Fighting: Water Protectors Vow Continued Resistance to #DAPL as Main Camp Is Evicted. Democracy Now  

Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent.. HB2477. AZ Capitol Times
HB2477 AZ government
AZ Criminal Justice commission Forfeiture Monies Report.Download  

Google Search for Forfeiture Report
NM Forfeiture law.   ThinkProgress       
ACLU Forfeiture Abuse  
Common Dreams story on AZ law  

Private prison company GEO hires three firms. ... Private prison company GEO Group is on a lobbying binge, hiring three firms this month.
Politico.com Huffington 

Killer, kleptocrat, genius, spy: the many myths of Vladimir Putin. ... Russia’s role in Trump’s election has led to a boom in Putinology. But do all these theories say more about us than Putin?
Guardian  
Related:
The Increasingly Unhinged Russia Rhetoric Comes From a Long-Standing U.S. Playbook. ... Communists are some supernatural breed of men, led by diabolic master minds in that distant Kremlin, engaged in a Satanic conspiracy to take over the world and enslave all mankind — and this is the thesis endlessly propounded by American liberals and conservatives alike...   Intercept  

White House asked FBI to deny reports linking Russia and Trump advisers. ...Chief of staff Reince Priebus accused of violating protocols that protect pending investigations from political interference. Guardian   and Huffington  
Related: Preventing Democrats from holding vote on House floor would effectively kill attempts to look into the President's alleged corruption.
Independent  

Avoiding questions about Trump’s mental health is a betrayal of public trust. ... Just about every week, the media invites a psychiatrist or psychologist to admonish other psychiatrists or psychologists for calling Donald Trump mentally ill. CJR  

Donald Trump: A Pillar of Ignorance and Certitude . ... our 45th president, sold the electorate an America First bill of goods, when what he really had in mind was Me First. “I won,” he gloats, “therefore I can do this! I won, therefore I can do that!”
Vanity Fair  

Islamophobia grows louder in North Carolina: 'Can we not kill them all?' ...The meeting of a far-right group in Kernersville has stirred fears across the state as Muslim leaders call on authorities to take action. Guardian  

February 23, 2017 -
White House Refuses to Condemn Rise of Islamophobia as Radical Right Enters Political Mainstream. ... the number of anti-Muslim groups in the United States tripled last year, from 34 in 2015 to 101 last year. Democracy Now  

In Trumpworld, it’s OK to be ignorant - That divide is not between liberals and conservatives. Rather, it is between the ignorant and the informed, between those who have information and can extrapolate from it and those who do not and cannot. There is an education gap between left and right, and it poses a grave threat to our national future.
McClatchyDC  

Restricting People’s Use of Their Courts
The right to litigate is critical to any democratic society. Imagine living in a country where no one can sue powerful wrongdoers or the government. We have names for countries like that. They’re called dictatorships or tyrannies.
CounterPunch

Trump’s First Terror Arrest: A Broke Stoner the FBI Threatened at Knifepoint. The Department of Justice proudly announced the first FBI terror arrest of the the Trump administration on Tuesday: An elaborate sting operation that snared a 25-year old Missouri man who had no terrorism contacts besides the two undercover FBI agents who paid him to buy hardware supplies they said was for a bomb — and who at one point pulled a knife on him and threatened his family.  Intercept   

Should Bannon Resign? He and Yiannopoulos Falsely Linked Hillary Clinton to Pedophilia. TruthDig

Why Did the US Use Depleted Uranium Weapons in Syria? .. Firstly, why was DU used? Has it been used again? Will it be used again? ... Secondly, and no less important, what will happen next in order to mitigate any health or environmental risks the contaminated sites may pose?
CounterPunch
 

Restricting People’s Use of Their Courts
The right to litigate is critical to any democratic society. Imagine living in a country where no one can sue powerful wrongdoers or the government. We have names for countries like that. They’re called dictatorships or tyrannies.
CounterPunch

New EPA head Scott Pruitt's emails reveal close ties with fossil fuel interests. ... Documents suggest former Oklahoma AG followed lobby group’s guidance on challenging environmental regulations, and put letterhead to oil firm complaints more than once. Guardian

Netanyahu visit: hundreds protest in Sydney over visit by Israeli PM. ... Netanyahu rebuked two former Australian prime ministers, Bob Hawke and Kevin Rudd, over their calls for Australia to recognise a Palestinian state.  Guardian

February 22, 2017 -
Mar-a-Lago, Ideological Refuge: Berchtesgaden, II
...Mar-a-Lago. Trump’s Southern White House, in Palm Beach, is a veritable termitarium (a termites’ nest) of extreme, and heretofore somewhat concealed, wealth that is is now coming out of the woodwork. CounterPunch  

US libraries join struggle to resist the Trump administration. Along with efforts to guide readers to trustworthy information sources, many branches are working to make themselves ‘sanctuary spaces’ for immigrants. Guardian  
Related: Office of Intellectual Freedom

Liberals Beware: Lie Down With Dogs, Get Up With Fleas. ... The reason the Times wants Trump removed is because Trump wants to normalize relations with Russia which threatens to undermine Washington’s effort to project US power deeper into Central Asia.  CounterPunch
Related story:
Neo-McCarthyite furor around Russia is counterproductive.  Washington Post  

Wall Street Demanded the Nuclear Option and the Congress Delivered.  ... Wall Street will do what it pleases and continue to share its wealth with our Politicians and in return our Politicians will make sure the Department of Justice never prosecutes the Wall Street Executives. CounterPunch

Donald Trump and the US media are in a fight to the finish – and they're both guilty of peddling alternative facts. ... Fake news may have helped hand Trump the presidency, but he is now finding it is a double-edged sword. Independent

February 21, 2017 -
What Is the Deep State? ... Even if we assume the concept is valid, surely it’s not useful to think of the competing interests it represents as monolithic. The Nation

From 2014 - The Next Act of the Neocons
Are Neocons Getting Ready to Ally With Hillary Clinton?   NYT  

How to Run a Rogue Government Twitter Account With an Anonymous Email Address and a Burner Phone. ... self-described government workers created a wave of rogue Twitter accounts that share real facts (not to be confused with “alternative facts,” otherwise known as “lies”) about climate change and science. Operational tips on burner phones. Intercept  

Trump v. the Media: a Fight to the Death. ... Self-absorbed and irrational Donald Trump may well be, but on Thursday he held what was probably the most interesting and entertaining White House press conference ever.  
CounterPunch/Cockburn  

Civil Rights Groups, Funded by Telecoms, Back Donald Trump’s Plan to Kill Net Neutrality. ... groups who for many years have been heavily bankrolled by the telecom industry are signaling their support for Donald Trump’s promised rollback of the Obama administration’s net neutrality rules, which prevent internet service providers from prioritizing some content providers over others.  Intercept  

DHS Memos: Speed Up Mass Deportations & Prosecute Parents Who Help Undocumented Children Enter U.S. ... sweeping new guidelines to speed up the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. The memos instruct federal agencies to begin hiring 10,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, as well as 5,000 more Border Patrol agents. Democracy Now


 
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