January 31, 2017

Acting U.S. attorney general dismissed after refusing to defend Trump travel ban, says she was unsure “…that the executive order is lawful”.    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/30/acting-ag-sally-yates-wont-defend-trump-immigration-order/97264996/

Local official says death toll in U.S. raid in Yemen was 41 militants and 16 civilians (8 women and 8 children). “Sources in the region said the raid targeted the houses of three tribal chiefs linked to al-Qaeda… But the provincial official said Apache helicopters also struck a school, mosque and a medical facility used by al-Qaeda members.”   http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/41-qaeda-militants-16-civilians-dead-us-raid-yemen-891194626

Three migrants dead, one hospitalized in one week, apparently due to carbon monoxide poisoning while camping in freezing weather. “Migrants at the camps use stoves and heaters to keep warm in the freezing cold, but the devices can produce toxic fumes.”   http://europe.newsweek.com/third-migrant-death-week-greek-island-prompts-concern-550511?rm=eu

Presidential spokesman on travel ban: “Everyone that needed to be part of the process was consulted.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/316817-spicer-what-happened-if-we-didnt-act-and-somebody-was-killed   Spicer: “What we couldn’t do was telegraph our position ahead of time to ensure that people (didn’t flood) in before that happened, before it went into place.” Journalist: “If suspected terrorists were able to “flood” into the country before this order went into place, wouldn’t they have done so already?”   https://www.salon.com/2017/01/30/trumps-national-security-lie-administrations-false-defense-of-its-muslim-ban-sets-a-worrying-precedent/

Trump administration officials defend Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that did not mention Jews. “Either this is an administration that can never admit it’s wrong, which is not a good thing, or there are people in the White House who think the Holocaust should be de-Judaized.”   https://www.salon.com/2017/01/31/donald-trumps-dance-with-the-devil-did-white-house-mean-to-wink-at-holocaust-deniers/   Ironically, the author of this article throws around the phrase “conspiracy theory” as an insult, suggesting that everything that happens in the world must be taken at face value, while she herself is promoting a “conspiracy theory” in her article – that Trump is pandering to white nationalists by not mentioning Jews in his statement!

Acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement also replaced. “…no explanation was given for Daniel Ragsdale’s job being given to Thomas Homan.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-suddenly-replaces-acting-customs-head-daniel-ragsdale-with-thomas-homan/

1.6 million people in the U.K. have reportedly signed a petition opposing Theresa May’s invitation of Donald Trump for a State Visit.   http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/queen-put-very-difficult-position-trump-state-visit-n714571

Trump signs executive order requiring agencies to revoke two regulations for every new regulation they impose. “It’s horrifying that even after the Wall Street crash, the massive BP oil spill, and numerous other public health and safety disasters across the country due to a lack of strong regulations, Americans will once again have to pay the price for the consequences of corporate recklessness, greed, and lawbreaking.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/01/30/dangerous-and-dumb-trump-signs-executive-order-torching-regulations

The Intercept publishes vast collection of apparently leaked FBI documents, including rules for dealing with informants, internet spying guidelines, loopholes in laws restricting FBI activities, how to get journalists’ phone records without a warrant, rules for aerial surveillance of homes, and rules for spying on student groups and professors, among others.   https://theintercept.com/series/the-fbis-secret-rules/

The grandmother of Jared Kushner (Trump’s son-in-law and top aide) shared the details of her desperate experiences as a refugee from Nazi-occupied Poland in an interview now catalogued by the U.S. Holocaust Museum. “There was no place that you could legally go to. It was very hard to get a visa to the United States; it would take years and years…. The doors of the world were closed to us.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/31/jared-kushner-grandmother-refugee-holocaust

Jeff Sessions reportedly grilled Sally Yates during confirmation hearing on whether she would be strong enough to stand up to President Obama. “You have to watch out because people will be asking you to do things and you need to say “no”. You think the Attorney General has the responsibility to say “no” to the President if he asks for something that’s improper?”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/watch-jeff-sessions-grills-sally-yates-on-saying-no-to-the-president-when-she-was-obamas-nominee/

White House spokesman implied 5 year-old detainee could have been a threat when asked by a journalist if it was really necessary to detain him. “… to assume that just because of someone’s age or gender or whatever that they don’t pose a threat would be misguided and wrong.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/sean-spicer-defends-detention-of-5-year-old-its-misguided-to-think-kids-dont-pose-a-threat/

Study finds link between school shootings and economy. “…researchers at Northwestern found two periods of increased gun violence in U.S. schools: 1992 to 1994, and 2007 to 2013. Both periods came when unemployment was rising as the economy faltered.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/us-school-shootings-linked-to-unemployment-university-study/

Man who claimed 3 million voted illegally in 2016 election is reportedly registered to vote in three states.   http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/01/30/ap-voter-fraud-source-triple-registered.html


January 31, 2017

January 30, 2017

Trump tells journalist U.S. discriminated in favor of Muslim refugees. “If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible…”   http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/316586-trump-persecuted-christian-refugees-are-priority

Trump administration reportedly skipped inter-agency review process on travel ban executive order. “The ban is believed to have been drafted by an ideologically-driven group around Donald Trump without consultation with the Justice, State, Defense or Homeland Security departments, which could have weighed on its implications for US foreign relations, as well as the country’s security concerns and legal obligations.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/29/republicans-call-trumps-muslim-ban-a-self-inflicted-wound

Terror attack on Montreal mosque kills 6, wounds 8, 2 suspects in custody.   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-mosque-shooting-quebec-city-20170130-story.html   UPDATE: One of the men initially detained is now considered to be a witness. Local man charged with 6 murders, 19 others wounded, 2 in critical condition.   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38805163

10 women and children reportedly killed in Yemen SEAL raid. https://theintercept.com/2017/01/30/obama-killed-a-16-year-old-american-in-yemen-trump-just-killed-his-8-year-old-sister/

Benoit Hamon wins French Socialist Party nomination. “He called on the Socialist Party, independent left-winger Jean-Luc Melenchon, and a Green candidate to unite…”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38787061

Muslim political leader assassinated at Yangon airport in Myanmar. “That this can happen to people like U Ko Ni means that it can happen to everyone else in the country.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/30/myanmar-of-aung-san-suu-kyi-adviser-raises-fears-of-unrest

Denver police commander tells protesters they cannot exercise their right to free speech without a permit, and that even displaying the Constitution requires a permit.   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/denver-police-to-protesters-stop-doing-anything-that-could-be-construed-as-free-speech/

16 Attorney Generals issue statement opposing immigration ban. “Religious liberty has been, and always will be, a bedrock principle of our country and no president can change that truth.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/attorneys-general-from-15-us-states-dc-denounce-donald-trumps-anti-immigration-order/

Christian refugees from Syria reportedly deported by Customs and Border Protection officials. “…following new rules implemented by Trump’s Friday executive order, the families were placed back on Qatar Airlines and shipped back to Syria where an uncertain fate awaits them.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/a-nightmare-come-true-trumps-refugee-ban-exiles-two-persecuted-christian-families-back-to-syria/

Trump replaces National Security Director and Joint Chiefs of Staff with former Breitbart news editor Steve Bannon on National Security Council.  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38787241   What could go wrong?

Trump senior advisor reportedly wants the 20% of journalists who have lied about Trump fired. “Not one network person has been let go.”   http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/01/30/conway-why-aren-t-reporters-who-talk-smack-about-trump-fired.html

Some travel ban detainees were reportedly handcuffed, bullied into giving up their green cards, and deported to airports in third countries where they are then trapped.   http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/01/court_rulings_couldn_t_protect_everyone_detained_because_of_trump_s_immigration.html

Two British Christians being held for attempting to disarm war planes bound for Saudi Arabia. “Stopping or even delaying Saudi Arabia having more planes with which to bomb Yemen would save innocent lives and prevent war crimes.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lancashire-38787630

Rudy Giuliani reportedly says Trump requested a Muslim ban but asked for a legal way to do it.   http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-muslim-ban-rudy-giuliani-how-legally-create-islam-us-immigration-entry-visa-new-york-a7552751.html

Executive order revokes privacy rights of non-citizens. “Agencies shall, to the extent consistent with applicable law, ensure that their privacy policies exclude persons who are not United States citizens or lawful permanent residents from the protections of the Privacy Act regarding personally identifiable information.”   https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/26/trump-order-strips-privacy-rights-from-non-u-s-citizens-could-nix-eu-us-data-flows/

Judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit against CIA “harsh interrogation” contractors. “Techniques included slamming the three men into walls, stuffing them inside coffin-like boxes, exposing them to extreme temperatures, starving them, inflicting various kinds of water torture, chaining them in stress positions designed for pain and keeping them awake for days, the ACLU said.”   http://www.chron.com/news/us/article/Judge-denies-motion-to-dismiss-lawsuit-on-CIA-10890064.php

Government refusing to pay for medical care for veterans who cleaned up nuclear test waste. “Hundreds say they are now plagued by health problems, including brittle bones, cancer and birth defects in their children. Many are already dead.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/28/us/troops-radioactive-islands-medical-care.html


January 30, 2017

January 29, 2017

Trump reveals his secret plan to defeat Islamic State – asking the Pentagon to come up with a plan to defeat Islamic State.   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-holds-calls-with-putin-leaders-from-europe-and-asia/2017/01/28/42728948-e574-11e6-a547-5fb9411d332c_story.html

Sudden Trump travel ban throws airlines into turmoil, federal judges block deportations of Muslim foreigners arriving with valid visas or green cards. “We’ve gotten reports of people being detained all over the country,” said Becca Heller, the director of the International Refugee Assistance Project. “They’re literally pouring in by the minute.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/28/us/refugees-detained-at-us-airports-prompting-legal-challenges-to-trumps-immigration-order.html?_r=0

Fire destroys Victoria, Texas mosque. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/28/us/fire-destroys-mosque-in-texas-in-early-hours.html

Canadian prime minister says country will continue to accept Muslim refugees, but Canadian airlines reportedly turning away those bound for the U.S.   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-immigration-canada-idUSKBN15C0RI

Israel’s prime minister tweets in support of Trump’s wall, Mexican government not amused. “I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4167808/Benjamin-Netanyahu-SUPPORTS-Trump-s-border-wall-plan.html   Most of Netanyahu’s wall is apparently a fence, however.

Human Rights Watch releases allegations that Kurdish Regional Government is torturing teenage boys suspected of ties to IS.  https://www.salon.com/2017/01/29/report-children-held-by-kurdish-forces-allege-torture/

Trump’s war on the media reportedly expands to include New York Times (“FAKE NEWS!”) and Washington Post (“DISHONEST”).   http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/316655-trump-attacks-ny-times-washington-post-in-tweets

Customs and Border agents reportedly defied court order to allow lawyers access to Muslim airport detainees. “It is unusual for an agency to deny a court order ― a court order clearly stating that these people need to be provided counsel.”   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dulles-airport-feds-violated-court-order_us_588d7274e4b08a14f7e67bcf

Ford CEO reportedly told Trump 1 million U.S. jobs at risk due to the country’s fuel efficiency standards. https://cleantechnica.com/2017/01/29/ford-ceo-mark-fields-told-trump-1-million-us-jobs-stake-fuel-economy-rules/   But since imported cars have to meet the exact same standards…

Protesters turn out at airports around the country calling for lifting of “Muslim ban”, release of detainees.   http://abcnews.go.com/US/trumps-immigration-order-sparks-protests-airports-nationwide/story?id=45119839

Homeland Security and White House officials say travel ban still in effect, despite emergency court rulings. “…the president’s executive order… remains in full, complete and total effect.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-immigration-ban-still-place-despite-court-ruling-says-dhs-n713696

British woman fights employer’s demand that she wear two-to-four inch high heels, discovers British law forbids gender-specific dress codes.   http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/britain-debates-high-heels-can-employers-require-them-n712446   Does this mean ties are optional for men too, or do men have to wear ties because males cannot be victims of oppression?

Governor of Washington calls sudden immigrant ban “a train wreck”. “Gov. Jay Inslee and other elected officials held a news conference at the airport to denounce what they called a poorly coordinated, reckless and un-American policy…”   http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/at-sea-tac-inslee-and-other-officials-denounce-immigrant-ban-train-wreck/

CNN national security analyst says U.S. citizens have 1 in 3.6 million chance of being killed by a Muslim terrorist in the United States. “You’re 3,000 more times likely to be killed by a fellow American (with a) gun than you are by a jihadi terrorist.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/security-analyst-shreds-trumps-fear-mongering-of-immigrants-attacks-in-us-are-overwhelming-by-americans/

Iraqi man who is a Dept. of Defense employee and interpreter for U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division reportedly one of those detained at JFK airport. “Under pressure from the press, several Democratic lawmakers and his attorneys who filed a suit in his name, Darweesh was finally released and stated that he was very thankful for his supporters.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/iraqi-man-held-at-jfk-was-us-military-interpreter-who-was-coming-here-because-son-needs-liver-treatment/


January 29, 2017

January 28, 2017

Pence addresses anti-abortion rally. “We will not rest until we restore a culture of life in America.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/27/us/politics/march-for-life.html?_r=0   Are reducing police shootings, executions and foreign military interventions also on the agenda?

IWW union issues statement on shooting of one of its members at Yiannopoulos protest. “We appear to be in a period when the right wing can murder unarmed protesters and claim self-defense.”   http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/trump-supporter-shot-anti-fascist-journalists-inauguration-protest-prison

Surveillance cameras appear around Seattle, city officials barred by judge from releasing information about them. Councilwoman Sawant: “I think it is totally unacceptable for the city of Seattle to be complicit in federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies surveilling Seattle’s public spaces.”   http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Sawant-aims-to-stop-FBI-s-warrantless-10887334.php

Jewish group say Holocaust Remembrance Day is not the time for refugee ban. “It was during the Holocaust that the world shamefully refused to give asylum to Jews and to others who were being murdered or about to be murdered in Nazi Germany.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/27/politics/trump-refugee-holocaust-remembrance-day/

Russian parliament votes overwhelmingly to decriminalize “minor” and infrequent incidents of domestic violence. “Russia’s parliament voted 380-3 on Friday to decriminalize domestic violence in cases where it does not cause “substantial bodily harm” and does not occur more than once a year.”   http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/27/russian-parliament-decrimiinalizes-domestic-violence/97129912/

Georgia police chief apologizes for mob killing of jailed black suspect in 1940. “The nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative, which announced plans last year to build a memorial to African-American lynching victims in nearby Montgomery, Alabama, said its research shows more than 4,000 blacks were killed by lynching in about a dozen Southern states between 1877 and 1950.”   http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/01/27/georgia-city-police-chief-mayor-apologize-for-1940-lynching.html

More Trump staffers and family members discovered to be registered to vote in more than one place. “(In addition to Jared Kushner and Sean Spicer,) the others are chief White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon; Tiffany Trump, the president’s youngest daughter; and Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin…”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/01/26/it-turns-out-trump-son-in-law-jared-kushner-is-also-registered-to-vote-in-two-states/

Man behind illegal immigrant voting accusations refuses to release his data. “While the kinds of voter rolls that Phillips says he has are public, Becker says there is no way they would be ready as soon as two days after the election, when Phillips originally tweeted his 3m figure.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38774428

California secessionists need signatures of 585,407 voters by July 25th. “If passed by voters, the measure… would remove language from the state constitution describing California as “an inseparable part of the United States of America” and require the governor to request admission for California to the United Nations.”   http://www.npr.org/2017/01/27/512055991/after-trump-inauguration-calexit-ballot-measure-builds-steam

Petition asking Trump to release his tax returns breaks signature record. “A current WhiteHouse.gov petition seeking to have Trump release his tax returns has already garnered more than 385,000 signatures, easily making it the most widely supported initiative to ever appear on the White House website.”   https://www.yahoo.com/tech/petition-donald-trump-release-tax-returns-shatters-white-002240620.html

First lady’s dark facial expressions launch “Free Melania” movement. “A series of upsetting interactions between Donald Trump and his First Lady, caught on video during inauguration festivities, has spawned a wave of speculation about the health of their union, along with the hashtag #FreeMelania.”   http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/01/melania-doesnt-want-your-help.html

Portrait of Andrew Jackson hung in Oval Office. Jackson was “…the only president who drove trains of naked slaves shackled by their necks… (a) frontier soldier whose ethnic cleansing emptied the south of Native Americans and launched the era of plantation slavery.”   http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/andrew-jackson-americas-vile-vindictive-7th-president-seen-trump-and-his-team-their

Twitter acknowledges it received two “national security letters”. “In the newly published NSLs, the FBI asked Twitter to turn over “the name, address, length of service, and electronic communications transactional records” of two users.”   https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/27/twitter-releases-national-security-letters/

Abby Martin accuses New York Times of misrepresenting her departure from RT network. “It appears that the Times is, once again, working to push a false perspective being promoted by US government officials and agencies.”   https://mediaroots.org/abby-martin-responds-to-exploitation-by-ny-times/

Former utility company lobbyist appointed as acting Dept. of Justice prosecutor of environmental crime cases. “…Wood will be overseeing the division that enforces civil and criminal environmental laws to reduce pollutants discharged into the air, water and land, and brings cases to enable the clean-up of contaminated waste sites.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/01/27/coal-doj-trump/

Governor Christie will not face charges in Bridgegate scandal say New Jersey prosecutors. “Two of Christie’s former aides were convicted in federal court in November in the scandal. Christie has denied wrongdoing and was never charged in the case.”   http://abc7ny.com/politics/bergen-county-wont-pursue-charges-against-christie-in-bridgegate-complaint/1724309/


January 28, 2017

January 27, 2017

Trump administration pivots on 20% tax on Mexican imports after it’s pointed out that the tax would just be passed on to U.S. consumers. “Mucho Sad,” one Senator tweeted.   https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2017/01/26/mexico-president-cancels-meeting-with-trump-over-wall/kogoHugXFt8fEfyRF8RG9L/story.html

Massachusetts man charged with assault, hate crime after allegedly kicking Muslim airline employee and telling her, “Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you.”  http://europe.newsweek.com/donald-trump-supporter-charged-hate-crimes-against-muslim-airport-worker-548977?rm=eu

Trump’s chief strategist: “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/26/steve-bannon-media-trump-fox

Holocaust survivor remembers how the genocide started. “The Nazi newspapers showed Jews with big noses either dressed as Russian communists or American capitalists in top hats. Either way you couldn’t win.”   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-38730273

French Socialist candidate Benoît Hamon offers party new ideas. “Hamon says the digital age calls for a new social model in which the resulting shrinking workload is spread out more, people get more leisure time, and companies who use robots to replace employees pay taxes on the wealth they create. And while critics say France’s 35-hour work week is too short, he wants to cut it further.”   http://www.france24.com/en/20170122-france-left-wing-primary-first-round-benoit-hamon-manuel-valls-french-election-policies

Number of people charged with “felony journalism” at inauguration reportedly rises to seven, little mainstream press coverage however. “This is in stark contrast to how the event would be covered if it were to happen overseas. No doubt headlines would scream “Journalists Among Dozens Arrested by Trump Regime” or “Crackdown on Resistance Marchers as Far-Right Government Takes Power.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/mainstream-media-looks-away-as-trump-era-begins-with-arrests-of-journalists/

Trump supporters flip out after journalist tweets Bible verse that condemns lying. “I’m surprised you didn’t burst into flames quoting that, journalist.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/trump-fans-are-furious-after-jake-tapper-posted-a-bible-verse-about-lying-being-a-sin/

9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia (15), United Arab Emirates (2), Egypt (1) and Lebanon (1), but none of those countries are on Trump’s blacklist.   https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-trump-immigration-ban-conflict-of-interest/

British prime minister condemns torture, reminds Trump that most Muslims are not terrorists, and says imperialism is dead. “…the days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are over.”   http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/trump-meeting-test-uk-us-special-relationship-45054987

Canadian military rejects use of torture. “Torture is against the Canadian Armed Forces (code of) conduct. It’s against the Geneva Convention.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/canada-military-raises-torture-objections-204601588.html


January 27, 2017

January 26, 2017

Draft of executive order to examine reopening of secret CIA “black site” prisons apparently leaked to the press. “If Mr. Trump signs the draft order, he would also revoke Mr. Obama’s directive to give the International Committee of the Red Cross access to all detainees in American custody.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/us/politics/cia-detainee-prisons.html?_r=0

Fake government Twitter accounts spring up to defend the environment. “Honestly, if we’re building walls, Florida could really use one around its entire coastline.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/01/25/rogue-pro-science-protest-sites-are-sticking-up-for-federal-research/

Article 4 of the 25th amendment to the Constitution describes how an “unfit” president can be removed from office. “It stipulates how a vice president, together with a majority of the cabinet, can inform Congress that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”.”    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/an-obscure-way-to-oust-an-american-president/

Pentagon tweets have people talking. “From refugee to #Marine. @USMC Cpl Ali J. Mohammed takes the fight to the doorstep of those who cast his family out.” “Social media postings sometimes provide an important window into a person’s #mentalhealth. Know what to look for.”    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/perfect-timing-pentagon-tweet-highlights-marine-who-was-refugee-n712066

Trump reportedly claims intelligence officials told him torture works. “Trump said that he asked top intelligence officials whether waterboarding and other forms of torture work, and “the answer was yes, absolutely”.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/01/25/lying-once-again-trump-declares-torture-absolutely-works

Greenpeace activists hang “RESIST” banner over White House.   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/01/25/call-arms-giant-resist-banner-dropped-above-trumps-white-house

EPA data reportedly to be subjected to “political review” before being released to the public. “The communications director for Donald Trump’s transition team at the EPA, Doug Ericksen, said on Wednesday the review also extends to content on the federal agency’s website, including details of scientific evidence showing that the Earth’s climate is warming and man-made carbon emissions are to blame.”   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/25/donald-trump-epa-gag-order-political-review

Trump’s wall could cost $31 billion, take 40,000 workers five years to build. “Steer said the workforce would probably be drawn mostly from the Mexican side of the border as semi-skilled construction wages are much lower and there are more Mexican settlements close to the border. “There would be a certain irony of getting Mexicans to build it.””   https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/25/donald-trump-border-wall-mexican-construction-firms-workers-biggest-winners   Actually, the cost would very likely exceed $31 billion because the firm doing the estimate is considering the Rio Grande to be a sufficient natural barrier to immigration that a wall would not be needed along it.

Sales of George Orwell’s “1984” reportedly surging after election, but other “dystopias” – the opposites of utopias – may hit closer to Trumpland.   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/26/1984-dystopias-reflect-trumps-us-orwell

Trump advisor Steve Bannon reportedly registered to vote in Florida AND New York. “(Bannon’s pal Andy) Badolato, who was also registered to vote at the home with his adult sons, declined at the time to answer questions on whether Bannon actually lived at the property, which is required under the registration rules of the Florida division of elections.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/25/steve-bannon-voter-registration-trump-election-voter-fraud

Journalist questions Treasury nominee Mnuchin’s claim that his bank did not “robo-sign” foreclosure documents. https://theintercept.com/2017/01/25/mnuchin-lied-about-his-banks-history-of-robo-signing-foreclosure-documents/

Trump allegedly interrupts meetings to take calls from cable TV hosts.   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/trump-regularly-interrupts-high-level-meetings-to-take-phone-calls-from-morning-joe-report/

Senior Trump staffers reportedly using private email accounts. “The rnchq.org email address used by the Bush administration is now hosting active Trump staff email addresses, verifiable through the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.”   http://europe.newsweek.com/trump-emails-rnc-reince-priebus-white-house-server-548191?rm=eu

Iraqi government and U.S. intelligence officials puzzled by Trump’s comments to CIA employees about seizing Iraq’s oil. “…former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Robert Gates told NBC: “I have no clue what he’s talking about.”   http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-threat-seize-iraq-oil-reserves-cia-middle-east-us-president-petroleum-a7545106.html

50,000 gallon oil spill reported in Saskatchewan, indigenous tribal land said to have been contaminated.   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/1/25/headlines/canada_50_000_gallons_of_oil_spill_from_saskatchewan_pipeline


January 26, 2017

January 25, 2017

U.N.: ‘Grave concern’ over Israel’s new West Bank settlement plans.   http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/un-expresses-grave-concern-about-israeli-settlement-action-117012500075_1.html

Trump green lights Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects.   http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/315852-trump-orders-keystone-dakota-access-pipeline-applications-to-move

James Comey will stay on as FBI director under Trump administration. “Many Democrats still blame him for Clinton’s loss, and his decisions to discuss the (Clinton/Weiner email) probe publicly in the final months of the race are being investigated by the Justice Department inspector general.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-director-james-comey-to-say-on-in-trump-administration/2017/01/24/033d3bc8-e246-11e6-a453-19ec4b3d09ba_story.html

Man who fatally shot Arizona trooper’s assailant comes forward. “Police say Pennelas-Escobar had rolled his car on Interstate 10 before he inexplicably attacked (Officer) Andersson, who had stopped to help…. Pennelas-Escobar had no known criminal history.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/thomas-yoxall-citizen-who-killed-man-assaulting-trooper-edward-andersson-i-was-put-there-by-god/

Secret Service agent in trouble after reportedly posting on Facebook that she would rather go to jail than take a bullet for Trump. “She also posted a photo of Princess Leia from Star Wars with the words, “A woman’s place is in the resistance”.”   http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/315887-secret-service-agent-i-wouldnt-take-a-bullet-for-trump

U.S. drops into “flawed democracy” category of international survey. “America’s score fell to 7.98 last year from 8.05 in 2015, below the 8.00 threshold for a full democracy, the EIU announced in a report on Wednesday.”   http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/25/us-is-no-longer-a-full-democracy-eiu-warns.html

Sanders and Senate Democrats float $1 trillion public infrastructure spending plan. “Advisers to Trump have said they would rely on federal tax credits and public-private partnerships rather than federal spending to pay for a new infrastructure program.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/democrats-set-to-unveil-a-trump-style-infrastructure-plan/2017/01/23/332be2dc-e1b3-11e6-a547-5fb9411d332c_story.html   However, many economists think the Trump administration’s for-profit plan is unworkable. “…it will function largely as a giveaway to contractors on projects that would have happened anyway.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/economists-pan-infrastructure-plan-championed-by-trump-nominees/2017/01/17/0ed1ad5e-dc5e-11e6-918c-99ede3c8cafa_story.html

Environmental activists vow to continue their struggle. “These orders (to restart blocked oil pipelines) will only reignite the widespread grassroots opposition to these pipelines and other dirty energy projects. Trump is about to meet the fossil fuel resistance head on.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/01/24/tsunami-outrage-vows-resistance-follow-trumps-pipeline-order

No charges for L.A. police officers involved in fatal Ezell Ford shooting. “The Los Angeles police commission ruled in June 2015 that the officers had no reason to stop and question Ford, and that violation of department policy led to an altercation that ended with Ford’s death.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/24/ezell-ford-police-shooting-no-charges-lapd

Number of journalist charged with felony rioting while covering Trump inauguration protests rises to six. “None of the arrest reports for the six journalists makes any specific allegations about what any of them are supposed to have done wrong.”   https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/jan/24/journalists-charged-felonies-trump-inauguration-unrest

Trump administration restricts agency interactions with news organizations and social media. “The two blackouts reported on Tuesday bring to at least five the number of federal agencies which have been ordered silent by Trump in as many days.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/24/epa-department-agriculture-social-media-gag-order-trump

14 Democrats voted to approve Trump’s nominee for director of the CIA, despite opposition from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.    https://theintercept.com/2017/01/23/14-senate-democrats-fall-in-line-behind-trump-cia-pick-who-left-door-open-to-torture/

Pattern of medical negligence alleged at Texas prison. “Complaints about health care and record-keeping at Clements are not hard to come by, and many of them center on the prison’s alleged refusal to test inmates for tuberculosis.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/01/24/malnourished-prisoners-death-reveals-horrific-conditions-in-a-texas-prison/

Minnesota police officer compares racist text messages he exchanged with his friend, who would later shoot five Black Lives Matter protesters, to “locker room talk”.  http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/minnesota-cop-claims-racists-texts-exchanged-with-black-lives-matter-shooter-just-locker-room-talk/


January 25, 2017

January 24, 2017

Class action lawsuit filed in response to harsh police tactics at D.C. demonstrations. Police allegedly encircled and attacked “not only protesters who had engaged in no criminal conduct, but also members of the media, attorneys, legal observers, and medics … (Officers) proceeded to indiscriminately and repeatedly deploy chemical irritants, attack the individuals with batons, and throw flash-bang grenades…”   http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2017/01/inauguration-protests-police-lawsuit-233942

Trump officially withdraws U.S. from TPP trade deal. http://www.bostonherald.com/business/business_markets/2017/01/donald_trump_wastes_no_time_in_exiting_tpp

Trump signs executive order to defund family planning organizations that discuss abortion when working in developing countries. “The global gag rule, introduced by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 as part of his Mexico City Policy, made discussion of abortion by a group receiving federal support for any purpose illegal.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/23/opinions/global-gag-rule-backlash-garrett/   Critics say an unintended effect of defunding mainstream family planning groups is an increase in abortions.

Trump’s win boosting far right parties in Europe. “We all stand for the same things, and if Trump is the winner, we are also winners.”   http://time.com/4643051/donald-trump-european-union-koblenz/

Deporting “dreamers” not at the top of Trump’s to-do list. He reportedly “quietly backed away from a pledge to end protections for nearly 750,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.”   http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-20170123-story.html

Trump reportedly repeats his claim that he lost the popular vote (by almost 3 million votes) because of massive voter fraud by illegal aliens. “Two sources confirmed to NBC News that Trump spent about the first 10 minutes of his bipartisan meeting with congressional leaders at the White House talking about the campaign and about how 3 million to 5 million “illegals” voted in the election, causing him to lose the popular vote.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-lawmakers-illegals-cost-me-popular-vote-n711136

Federal judge reportedly rules that Aetna’s withdrawal from Obamacare markets was linked to federal action on Humana merger. “During a May 11 deposition of Bertolini, an Aetna lawyer said that if the company “was not ‘happy’ with the results of an upcoming meeting regarding the merger, ‘we’re just going to pull out of all the exchanges.’”   http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-aetna-obamacare-20170123-story.html

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fines CitiMortgage $28.8 million for not helping borrowers avoid foreclosures. “Citi’s subsidiaries gave the runaround to borrowers who were already struggling with their mortgage payments and trying to save their homes.”   http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/23/citi-units-to-pay-288-million-for-giving-us-homeowners-runaround-watchdog.html

Silicon Valley prepping for the apocalypse. “Reid Hoffman, the cofounder of LinkedIn and a notable venture capitalist, told the New Yorker he estimates more than 50% of Silicon Valley billionaires have bought some level of “apocalypse insurance,” like an underground bunker.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/silicon-valley-billionaires-apocalypse-preppers-2017-1

Trump’s plan to increase fossil fuel production only has the support of 27% of the public. “A Pew Research survey published Monday found that 65 percent of Americans “give priority to developing alternative energy sources, compared with 27 percent who would emphasize expanded production of fossil fuel sources.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/01/23/trumps-dirty-climate-plan-out-step-most-americans-want-renewables

British public and members of parliament reportedly not informed of Trident missile test failure.   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/01/23/uk-cover-trident-missile-failure-continues-amid-demands-inquiry

Lawsuit targets Trump’s income from foreign governments. “The complaint zeroes in on Trump Tower leases held by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, a state-run bank, and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, which is part of the government of the United Arab Emirates.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/01/23/president-trump-sued-over-immediate-and-serious-constitutional-violations

Human Rights Watch official says Pompeo not an appropriate choice to run CIA. “Pompeo’s failure to unequivocally disavow torture and mass surveillance, coupled with his record of advocacy for surveillance of Americans and past endorsement of the shuttered CIA torture program, make clear that he should not be running the CIA.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/01/23/cia-pick-mike-pompeo-open-re-authorizing-torture

South Dakota legislators unhappy with anti-corruption voter initiative reportedly plotting “emergency” legislation to make generous gifts from lobbyists legal again. “The South Dakota Government Accountability and Anti-Corruption Act makes it illegal for lawmakers to receive more than a total of $100 annually from lobbyists in the form of “any compensation, reward, employment, gift, honorarium, beverage, meal, food, or other thing of value made or given directly or indirectly”.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/south-dakota-lawmakers-declare-state-of-emergency-to-force-repeal-of-voter-imposed-ethics-law/

Trump establishes new national holiday. “One of Donald Trump’s first acts as president was to personally issue Proclamation 9570, which designates the day of his inauguration, January 20, 2017 as National Day of Patriotic Devotion.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/trump-declares-his-inauguration-national-day-of-patriotic-devotion-in-proclamation-littered-with-religious-buzzwords/

White House staffer says documents proving Trump has transferred ownership of his business empire to his oldest sons “are not public”.   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/sean-spicer-dodges-request-for-proof-trump-resigned-from-his-businesses/


January 24, 2017

January 23, 2017

White House chief of staff: “There’s a conspiracy by the media to delegitimize this president.” Madonna: “The revolution starts here. The fight for the right to be free, to be who we are, to be equal. Let’s march together through this darkness.”   https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-mocks-protests-first-remark-140852195.html

Trump spokesperson says he will not be releasing his tax returns after all. “We litigated this all through the election. People didn’t care.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/donald-trump-will-not-release-tax-returns-white-house-adviser-n710511   UPDATE: White House petition for Trump to release his tax returns exceeds 250,000 signatures.   https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/immediately-release-donald-trumps-full-tax-returns-all-information-needed-verify-emoluments-clause-compliance

Trump has reportedly not submitted the necessary official documents in Florida, Delaware or New York to pass control of his businesses to his sons. “Sheri Dillon, the Trump attorney who presented the plan (last week), said that Trump “has relinquished leadership and management of the Trump Organization.”   https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-promised-to-resign-from-his-companies-but-no-record-hes-done-so

Trump executive order to government agencies requires them to “waive, defer, grant ­exemptions from or delay” any part of the Affordable Care Act that imposes a financial or regulatory burden on anyone. “Robert Laszewski, president of the consulting firm Health Policy and Strategy Associates, called the executive order a “bomb” lobbed into the law’s “already shaky” insurance market.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/with-executive-order-trump-tosses-a-bomb-into-fragile-health-insurance-markets/2017/01/22/1afb3500-e046-11e6-ad42-f3375f271c9c_story.html

Environmental activist walking barefoot across the country to raise awareness of climate change hit and killed by SUV. “Mark Baumer was walking on the shoulder of Highway 90 in Walton County, Fla. when the driver of the SUV veered off the road and hit him, ABC News affiliate WEAR reported on Sunday.”   http://abcnews.go.com/US/environmental-activist-killed-suv-walking-barefoot-us/story?id=44979072

Man shot at Milo Yiannopolous protest at University of Washington was an anti-fascist union activist. “The man suspected of shooting the protester turned himself in on Friday after the shooting. Police released him, however, after the shooter claimed he acted in self defense.”   http://patch.com/washington/seattle/friends-man-shot-yiannopolous-protest-seattle-start-fundraiser

217 D.C. inauguration protesters charged with felony riot, face up to 10 years in prison. “I have been representing protesters for 13 years now, and I have never seen felony rioting charges in Washington, D.C.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/more-than-200-anti-trump-protesters-hit-with-felony-riot-charges-during-inauguration-day-demonstration/

White House website: “The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.” Does this mean we will no longer be allowed to criticize law enforcement officers or hold police departments accountable?   https://www.whitehouse.gov/law-enforcement-community   and   http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/trump-administration-empower-police-forces-170120185034624.html

Left wing extremists blamed for rocket attacks on Turkish ruling party offices and Istanbul police headquarters.   https://www.yahoo.com/news/turkish-police-capture-suspect-istanbul-rocket-attacks-police-110308987.html

Mexican gasoline price-hike protesters seize Otay Mesa border crossing connecting San Diego and Tijuana.   https://www.yahoo.com/news/protesters-control-border-crossing-us-030626474.html


January 23, 2017

January 22, 2017

Trump says he is at war with the media, apparently upset with reports of low turnout for inauguration. “As you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth.”   http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/21/media/donald-trump-war-with-the-media/

Millions of women march around the country. “Hundreds of thousands of women… filled long stretches of downtown Washington around the White House and National Mall. Hundreds of thousands more women thronged New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston to rebuke Trump on his first full day in office.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/challenge-trump-women-protesters-swarm-streets-across-u-002600625.html

More people reportedly showed up for Women’s March than inauguration. “The city’s public transit service, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, recorded about 275,000 trips as of 11 a.m. Saturday, more than the 193,000 it recorded by 11 a.m. Friday ahead of Trump’s inauguration speech and parade.”   http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/01/21/500000-expected-attend-womens-march-washington-metro-crowded/96880138/

Suspects in shooting at anti-Yiannopoulos protest at University of Washington questioned and released by police, still not clear if the victim was a protester.   http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/jan/21/2-in-custody-following-uw-protest-shooting-release/

Still no motive given for shooting of U.S. diplomat by U.S. citizen in Guadalajara, Mexico.   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-violence-diplomat-idUSKBN14U2HU

Trump’s press secretary apparently caught lying at first press conference. “Photographs of the National Mall in Washington DC and public transport figures for the city cast serious doubt on Sean Spicer’s angry insistence that Donald Trump drew “the largest audience ever to witness and inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe”.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/22/trump-inauguration-crowd-sean-spicers-claims-versus-the-evidence

Wealthy Trump supporters reportedly seated on the platform at Trump inauguration. “…Sheldon Adelson (casino owner), Steve Wynn (casino owner), Carl Icahn (billionaire investor), Harold Hamm (oil industry), Lew Eisenberg (private equity fund), Woody Johnson (sports team owner) and Phil Ruffin (casino owner)… Hushang Ansary (oil industry), Roy Bailey (businessman), Brian Ballard (lobbyist), Tom Barrack (investor), Joe Craft (coal), Louis DeJoy (logistics), Robert Grand (law firm), Diane Hendricks (building materials), Peter Kalikow (real estate), Richard Lefrak (real estate), Ed McMullen, Steve Roth (real estate), Anthony Scaramucci (hedge fund), Tommy Hicks (equity fund), Gentry Beach (investor), Ray Washburne (investor), and Ron Weiser (real estate).”   https://theintercept.com/2017/01/21/identify-trump-donors/   and   http://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/politics/news/a8772/steven-mnuchin-trump-transition-fundraiser/   and   https://medium.com/public-citizen/the-people-shaping-trumps-inauguration-b7cc61eff2b0

Death toll in accidental airstrikes on refugee camp in Nigeria could exceed 230.   https://www.yahoo.com/news/nigeria-botched-air-strike-may-killed-236-people-163104709.html

General strike in Israel over demolitions of Bedouin homes.  http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-arabs-on-strike-over-bedouin-home-demolitions/

“Trumpomania” in Russia: “Trump’s election has generated enormous enthusiasm in Russia because his warm words about Russia and Putin have given us hope that the USA and the West will stop their attack on Russia.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-inauguration-russia-idUSKBN1541S6

CIA employees cheer and applaud after Trump tells them the press “are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth.”   https://reason.com/blog/2017/01/21/listen-to-cia-spooks-applaud-trump-for-b



January 22, 2017