Articles about the Trump presidency. Click the title to read the full article.
What does a Trump presidency mean? Racism. Fascism. Totalitarianism. Women’s Rights. Health. Environment. Climate Change. War with Russia, China, North Korea. Nuclear War. Escalated killer drone strikes. Financial gain for billionaires. War against the poor. As the Trump presidency unfolds, articles and analysis about America under a Trump regime.
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Once democratic institutions are hollowed out, a process begun before the election of Trump, despotism is inevitable. The press is shackled. Corruption and theft take place on a massive scale. The rights and needs of citizens are irrelevant. Dissent is criminalized. Militarized police monitor, seize and detain Americans without probable cause. The rituals of democracy become farce. This is the road we are traveling. It is a road that leads to internal collapse and tyranny, and we are very far down it.
Mr. Fish / Truthdig
By Chris Hedges Truthdig January 28, 2018
Israel is facing a possible International Criminal Court war crimes probe over its 2014 assault on Gaza and the ongoing expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank. Despite the threat, the Israeli defense minister announced on Tuesday Israel would approve the construction of hundreds of new settlement homes in the West Bank. This comes as Sweden criticized the Trump administration for threatening to cut off hundreds of millions of dollars of annual aid to the U.N.’s relief agency for Palestinian refugees. Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi compared President Trump’s threat to cut off aid money to blackmail. For more, we speak with author and scholar Norman Finkelstein. His new book is titled “Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom.” Norman Finkelstein is the son of Holocaust survivors. He is the author of many other books, including “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Human Suffering” and “Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance with Israel Is Coming to an End.”
Norman Finkelstein author and scholar. His new book, titled Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom, has just been published.
Democracy Now! Norman Finkelstein interview January 10, 2018
Donald Trump inherited the framework allowing US aircraft to hit “suspected terrorists” outside of declared battlefields from his predecessor, but operations increased in 2017.
Truthout January 2, 2017
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION has either failed to complete or is keeping from the public more than half of the reports that President Donald Trump assigned to the administration through his early and prolific use of the executive order. Of the reports it did complete, many were turned in well past the assigned due date and only “complete” in the sense that they consist of words on paper.
In his first year in office, Trump ordered 95 separate reports, performance reviews, instructions, or other activities to be carried out by executive branch agencies. The Intercept has been reviewing these orders for the last year. We found that 48 of the 95 actions were completed, in many cases after the due date stipulated in the order. Federal agencies have yet to complete another 20. In 27 cases, the agency was unresponsive to our requests for information.
The executive orders were intended to form the building blocks of Trump’s governing strategy. They covered everything from defeating the Islamic State, to instituting signature policies on immigration and cybersecurity, to fashioning the administration’s position on regulatory reform and energy independence. That the executive branch has completed just half of the tasks the president had ordered suggests that the administration isn’t running like the “fine-tuned machine” Trump has boasted about. If federal agencies cannot do the basic block-and-tackling work of writing a progress report, their ability to operate in a crisis is highly questionable.
The administration’s track record also reinforces the incredible secrecy within the Trump government. Only 19 of the 48 completed reports were publicly released. The Intercept attempted to obtain the still-private reports under the Freedom of Information Act and ran into continuous brick walls. Either the administration chose not to commit its plans to written documents so that those looking for information would have nothing to discover, or it deliberately hid them from the public. Cabinet heads have made it difficult for people to obtain their public schedules, let alone the reports they write to the president laying out their agenda.
David Dayen The Intercept
Trump’s latest :
Republicans have introduced at least 63 separate pieces of legislation attacking protections for endangered species http://bit.ly/2DwiaBz Truthout on Twitter December 29, 2017
Trump Administration Rolls Back Regulations for Nursing Homes December 28, 2017
Trump Falsely Claims He Broke Previous Legislative Records Democracy Now! December 28, 2017
Trump Admin Slated to Roll Back Offshore Oil Drilling Safety Regulations Democracy Now! 12/29/17
Trump Uses Winter Weather to Try to Cast Doubt Upon Global Warming Science Democracy Now! 12/29/17
Former Federal Judge: Trump Is Packing the Courts with Unqualified Conservative Extremists Democracy Now! 12/27/17
As Trump Attacks Media with “Fake News” Claims, a Record 262 Reporters Are Jailed, 46 Killed in 2017 Democracy Now! 12/29/17
‘This Man Is a Monster’: Trump Under Fire for Dismissing Entire HIV/AIDS Council by FedEx Letter Common Dreams 12/29/17
We were very afraid as January 20, 2017, approached but as Eugene Robinson writes in The Washington Post, “Many of us began 2017 with the consoling thought that the Donald Trump presidency couldn’t possibly be as bad as we feared. It turned out to be worse.”
This list could be much, much longer, but here are 10 of the worst things that Trump has done this year.
1. PROMOTED BIGOTRY AND RACISM
This is the very worst: Trump’s bigoted and racist views have encouraged other like-minded people to emerge and be proud of their hateful attitudes. Consider his response to the participants in the August Charlottesville protest, organized by white supremacists and neo-Nazis carrying Confederate and Nazi flags: Trump called them “very fine people.”
2. DESTROYED THE ENVIRONMENT
It’s hard to know where to start with this one, since Trump has made it a priority to get rid of every regulation President Obama put in place to protect the environment. One of Trump’s first actions was to announce the repeal of the Clean Power Plan, one of the toughest actions against global warming ever put in place by the U.S. It’s never taken effect and hasn’t been repealed yet, but that hasn’t stopped the Trump administration from reducing regulations around vehicle emissions, toxic waste, methane leaks and the pollution of drinking water. And let’s not forget the denial of climate change and the withdrawal from the Paris Peace Accords.
3. ENCOURAGED POLICE BRUTALITY
Yes, really. Trump received applause when he addressed a group of police officers on Long Island in July and instructed them to “Please don’t be too nice” when throwing suspects into the back of a police car. He went on, “Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over, like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody, don’t hit their head, I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?’”
4. ABANDONED PUERTO RICO
Last October, when Trump visited Puerto Rico after the island’s devastation by Hurricane Maria he tossed rolls of paper towels at its residents and promised his administration would provide all kinds of aid and would write off Puerto Rico’s $72 billion debt. He also sought to downplay the severity of the destruction in the island, compared to that wrought by Hurricane Katrina. But the debt has not been written off, around 1,065 people died on the island in September and October, on par with the Katrina deaths and now,three months after the storm, thousands of these American citizens still have no power, no homes and no access to potable water.
5. PUSHED “FAKE NEWS”
Trump, along with the flunkies like Mike Pence who attempt to outdo each other in obsequious praise of their master, is waging a war on the truth with his constant declarations of “Fake News” whenever a critical voice is raised against him. Trump cannot stand to be criticized, even when the truth is obvious, as in the size of his inauguration audience. While Trump decries the truth as fake news, Kellyanne Conway came up with “Alternative facts.” This authoritarian approach to any events that don’t match Trump’s prescribed opinions and policies is extremely dangerous.
6. AUTHORIZED MORE ARRESTS BY ICE
It started early on: In the first weeks of Trump’s presidency, immigration arrests went up 32.6 percent; Trump had pledged that he was only going after the criminals but in fact ICE arrests of non-criminals doubled. As if that weren’t horrendous enough, the Department of Homeland Security has come up with a plan to separate families: When officials detain undocumented immigrants near the border with Mexico, the children will be handed over to Child Protective Services while their parents will be sent to detention centers.
7. LINED HIS OWN POCKETS
Trump has used the presidency to enrich himself from day one, whether it’s Trump hotels welcoming foreign dignitaries or the $91,655,424 that American taxpayers have spent on his golf trips. And now Trump will likely be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the tax bill that he signed into law last week. No wonder he wanted to celebrate. Since he hasn’t released his tax returns, it’s impossible to say how much he will gain, but it will undoubtedly be in the millions. Oh and other members of his already-wealthy family like his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner also stand to save millions.
8. MADE AMERICA LESS GREAT
In a survey conducted annually by the Nation Brands Index, the U.S. has lost its top place ranking as the country with the best international image. The top spot is now held by Germany while the U.S. has dropped to sixth place. The poll questioned public opinion on 50 countries, asking questions about governance, culture, heritage, exports, tourism, investment and immigration. Countries ahead of the U.S. were France, the U.K., Canada and Japan. Those were the overall rankings, but in the area of governance, the U.S. has dropped from 19 to 23 under Trump.
9. STIRRED UP VIOLENCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Earlier this month, Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, a move which provoked immediate protests and violence in the region and brought condemnation from around the world. (Not to mention, why does a U.S. president have the right to name the capital of another country?) Incredibly, Trump called his announcement and the decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “a step to advance the peace process” between Israel and Palestine. To no one’s surprise, Israel’s Netanyahu called this a “historic landmark” while Palestinian President Abbas said the U.S. was making a “declaration of withdrawal” from peace process negotiations.
10. LIED HUNDREDS OF TIMES
As a teacher who tries to hold students responsible for telling the truth, this is especially galling to me. It’s hard to insist on truth and integrity when our president will say anything as long as it makes him look good. The Washington Post has been keeping track of Trump’s lies: By the middle of November, after 298 days in office, Trump had made 1,628 false or misleading claims. That’s about six a day, but that’s only what the Post’s reporters have access to, so the number is probably much higher.
All of this means that we must keep resisting as we head into 2018 and fight for changes in the November 2018 elections so that we can begin to take pride in the U.S. again.
By: Judy M. Care2.com December 28, 2017
Corporations Hoard Their Trump Tax Windfall
(Video and Transcript)
After President Trump signed the GOP tax plan into law, some of the bill’s corporate beneficiaries have offered workers minor bonuses. But economist Bill Black says they’re keeping most of the money for themselves — and starting a new global race to the bottom for corporate taxes.
Excerpt from transcript: BILL BLACK: Well, it’s excellent politics, and really terrible reasoning. To give you some idea of the scale of things, Bloomberg just came out with a column just as we’re taping this that says that the wealthiest 500 people in the world had their wealth increased by one trillion dollars last year, four times the rate of 2016. That gives you some idea of the scale of these things. This is a trillion-plus that is going to go overwhelmingly to the wealthy.
William K. Black interviewed by Aaron Maté The Real News Network
December 27, 2017
MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
SUBJECT: Is Iran the “World’s Leading Sponsor of Terrorism?”
We are concerned by recent strident and stark public statements from key members of your Administration that paint Iran in very alarmist terms. The average American, without the benefit of history, could easily be persuaded that Iran poses an imminent threat and that there is no alternative for us but military conflict.
We find this uncomfortably familiar territory. Ten years ago former President George W. Bush was contemplating a war with Iran when, in November of 2007, intelligence analysts issued a formal National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) debunking the prevailing conventional wisdom; namely, that Iran was on the verge of getting a nuclear weapon. The NIE concluded that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon in 2003.
Recalling this moment in his memoir, Decision Points, President Bush noted that the NIE’s “eye-popping” intelligence findings stayed his hand. He added this rhetorical question: “How could I possibly explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active nuclear weapons program?”
We believe that you are facing a similar situation today. But instead of an inaccurate claim that Iran has nuclear weapons, the new canard to justify war with Iran is the claim that Iran remains the “world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.” This is incorrect, as we explain below.
Written by Anti-Media News Desk December 23, 2017
Donald Trump is waging a global war on truth. He is the anti-truth president. From Trump steaks to his “university” to his support of the “birther” movement against Barack Obama, he’s perpetually selling lies. Now he’s selling lies on a global stage. By making everything potentially a lie, e.g. climate change as a “Chinese hoax,” Trump is doing his best to demolish facts, paving the way to do whatever he pleases.
“Even as this report sounds the alarm, Trump’s team of climate deniers are twisting themselves into pretzels to justify blocking national and international climate action.”
By Jon Queally Mint Press News November 4, 2017
Major report by government agencies goes against senior members of Trump administration and finds evidence of global warming stronger than ever
The Guardian November 3, 2017
Trump touched down in Hawaii on his way to Asia. He was met with protests there and huge marches are happening across South Korea in anticipation of his meeting with the newly elected President Moon in Seoul.
Trump’s primary job is to hold the line as anti-American fervor sweeps the Asia-Pacific.
By Bruce Gagnon Space for Peace November 5, 2017
An emoluments case playing out in New York brings the president’s conflict-of-interest nightmare to the forefront.
Lost in the cacophony of events that could potentially put an end to Donald Trump’s presidency, the possibility that he may have violated the Emoluments Clause—the constitutional clause that prevents presidents from accepting gifts from foreign governments—seems downright quaint. But a lawsuit filed by an ethics watchdog group, which the Trump administration has said it will attempt to dismiss, seems determined to push an Emoluments Clause case as far as it can go.
BY TINA NGUYEN Vanity Fair
A new analysis by Steve Rosenthal of the Tax Policy Center finds that tax cuts benefitting foreigners who own stock in US companies will total about $70 billion a year. In contrast, middle-income households in the US will only see $23 billion in savings, according to his organization’s preliminary estimates.
Donald Trump clearly woke up on Thursday morning on the wrong side of the bed because he immediately, first thing this morning started tweeting out about the alleged fake news media. In fact, he went as far as to say that the Senate Intelligence Committee needs to be investigating the fake news networks here in the United States. He said “Why isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the fake news networks in our country, OUR was in all caps to see why so much of our news is just made up. Fake.” Trump tweeted.
By Farron Cousins Ring of Fire
But it’s not a frog; it’s the possibility of truth even entering our political discourse and determining the fate of our democracy that’s dying a slow death.
Is anybody paying attention?
BY ERIC ALTERMAN | Moyers & Company July 20, 2017
July 25, 2017 · by
President Trump entered office pledging to cut red tape, and within weeks, he ordered his administration to assemble teams to aggressively scale back government regulations.
But the effort — a signature theme in Trump’s populist campaign for the White House — is being conducted in large part out of public view and often by political appointees with deep industry ties and potential conflicts.
Most government agencies have declined to disclose information about their deregulation teams. But ProPublica and The New York Times identified 71 appointees, including 28 with potential conflicts, through interviews, public records and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
Some appointees are reviewing rules their previous employers sought to weaken or kill, and at least two may be positioned to profit if certain regulations are undone.
The appointees include lawyers who have represented businesses in cases against government regulators, staff members of political dark money groups, employees of industry-funded organizations opposed to environmental rules and at least three people who were registered to lobby the agencies they now work for.
PRO PUBLICA Raw Story July 11, 2017
The Trump administration is wasting no time in reducing the enforcement of civil rights laws. According to a June 15 article in ProPublica,
For decades, the Department of Justice has used court-enforced agreements to protect civil rights, successfully desegregating school systems, reforming police departments, ensuring access for the disabled and defending the religious.
Now, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the DOJ appears to be turning away from this storied tool, called consent decrees. Top officials in the DOJ civil rights division have issued verbal instructions through the ranks to seek settlements without consent decrees — which would result in no continuing court oversight.
The move is just one part of a move by the Trump administration to limit federal civil rights enforcement. Other departments have scaled back the power of their internal divisions that monitor such abuses.
Critics of the new Department of Justice policy say it will have serious implications, according to the ProPublica piece:
Without consent decrees, many localities or government departments would simply never make such comprehensive changes, said William Yeomans, who spent 26 years at the DOJ, mostly in the civil rights division.
“They are key to civil rights enforcement,” he said. “That’s why Sessions and his ilk don’t like them.”
Mark Karlin Truthout June 20, 2017
CNN’s Jim Acosta says Trump administration’s suppression of press access “doesn’t make any sense” and should not be tolerated
Journalist Jim Acosta, the senior White House correspondent for CNN, was among those expressing alarm and frustration on Monday after the White House held a press briefing that barred the use of both audio and video recordings.
“I don’t know why everybody is going along with this,” Acosta said on air after the closed briefing with Sean Spicer, with Trump’s press secretary. “It just doesn’t make any sense to me. It just feels like we’re sort of slowly but surely being dragged into a new normal in this country where the president of the United States is allowed to insulate himself from answering hard questions.”
“I don’t know what world we’re living in right now” he added.
Trump has previously threatened to stop holding press briefings entirely and the White House communications team have previously held audio-only gaggles. Monday, however, was the first briefing in which reporters were forbidden from airing even audio recordings of what was said.
Such rules, complained Acosta, make the questions and answer sessions “basically pointless at this point.”
Later, Acosta’s colleague at CNN, Brian Stelter, said that criticism of the White House has grown as access has been steadily rolled back. “Inch by inch by inch,” he said, “the Trump administration is rolling back press access.”
Common Dreams June 19, 2017
Trump Had Previously Complained of Abuse of FISA Powers
During the waning days of the 2016 campaign, President Trump loudly complained about the government’s abuse of surveillance powers, including FISA’s Section 702, which had been used to snoop on his campaign aides’ conversations with Russian officials. Now that he’s elected, that’s all changed.
It’s not an uncommon story, but the powers Trump was so concerned were being abused before he took office are now his, and he’s demanding that they be made permanent, with members of his administration downplaying the risk of abuse, and insisting that they’d saved “hundreds of lives” through wholesale surveillance.
The talking points in favor of the extension of the section are indeed indistinguishable from those made by President Obama back when he was in power, and comes with the same cynical assurances and unsubstantiated claims of great successes resulting from the surveillance state.
This routine sort of flip-flop on an issue may be particularly conspicuous and embarrassing for the Trump Administration, however, as the reality of Section 702 being used to surveil his campaign is likely to continue to be publicized in the course of the Mueller investigation into his campaign’s alleged ties with Russia.
Antiwar.com June 8, 2017
Here we go: In the investigation between potential collusion between Russian hacking efforts and members of the Donald Trump campaign, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has just announced the appointment of a special prosecutor.
“In my capacity as acting attorney general I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter,” Rosenstein said in a statement. “My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”
Rosenstein has appointed ex-FBI Director Robert Mueller, who served in the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, to the role.
Daily Kos May 17, 2017
Our failure to defend those who are demonized and persecuted leaves us all demonized and persecuted. Our failure to demand justice for everyone leaves us all without justice. Our failure to halt the crushing of popular movements that stand unequivocally with the oppressed leaves us all oppressed. Our failure to protect our democracy leaves us without a democracy. (Includes interview with Mumia Abu-Jamal.)
May 17, 2017 · Posted by
“You just can’t make this stuff up, and if you did, people would say you’re full of it. Yes, on the day after firing FBI Director James Comey, President Trump met with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Henry Kissinger. Everything’s fine. There’s no constitutional crisis, just ask Sergey Lavrov!”
May 17, 2017 ·Posted by
The sooner Donald Trump is removed from the White House, the better. But we need a radical reorganizing of our national institutions.
May 17, 2017 · Posted by
“Our simplistic historic understanding of fascism needs to be challenged,” warns McAliskey, “fascism is not German, it’s not the Nazism of the Second World War … it starts in the heads of individuals with the idea that what keeps you disadvantaged is that some lesser breed has taken what belongs to you.”
May 16, 2017 · Posted by
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper defended former FBI Director James Comey and accused President Donald Trump of undermining the U.S. government’s system of checks and balances.
Speaking with host Jake Tapper, Clapper stated that the U.S. is currently under assault from “external and internal forces” — admitting that he was referring to the president when he spoke of internal threats.
By TOM BOGGIONI The Raw Story May 14, 2017
New York Times White House reporter Peter Baker (4/29/16) appears to have set out in earnest to write a “balanced” review of Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. In doing so, he exposed the futility of such an exercise.
Baker spins some of Trump’s worst and most dangerous traits as positives, downplays his constant threats and impulsivity and tortures the English language to find praise where none ought to exist. First the latter: Baker attempts to find symmetry in Trump’s approach to “transparency,” by conflating actual governmental openness with an obsessive desire to talk at the media:
He has been both more and less transparent than other presidents, shielding his tax returns and White House visitor logs from public scrutiny while appearing to leave few thoughts unexpressed, no matter how incendiary or inaccurate.
By Adam Johnson FAIR May 2, 2017
President Trump, his children and their spouses, aren’t just using the Oval Office to augment their political legacy or secure future riches. Okay, they certainly are doing that, but that’s not the most useful way to think about what’s happening at the moment. Everything will make more sense if you reimagine the White House as simply the newest branch of the Trump family business empire, its latest outpost.
It turns out that the voters who cast their ballots for Donald Trump, the patriarch, got a package deal for his whole clan. That would include, of course, first daughter Ivanka who, along with her husband, Jared Kushner, is now a key political adviser to the president of the United States. Both now have offices in the White House close to him. They have multiple security clearances, access to high-level leaders whenever they visit the Oval Office or Mar-a-Lago, and the perfect formula for the sort of brand-enhancement that now seems to come with such eminence. President Trump may have an exceedingly “flexible” attitude toward policymaking generally, but in one area count on him to be stalwart and immobile: his urge to run the White House like a business, a family business.
By Nomi Prins Tom Dispatch May 2, 2017
These days, from Syria to Afghanistan, the Koreas to Somalia, Yemen to Iraq, it’s easy enough to see Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump as something new under the sun. (It has a different ring to it when the commander in chief says, “You’re fired!”) That missile strike in Syria was a first (Obama didn’t dare); the MOAB in Afghanistan was a breakthrough; the drone strikes in Yemen soon after he took office were an absolute record! As for those regular Army troops heading for Somalia, that hasn’t happened in 24 years! Civilian casualties in the region: rising impressively!
Call it mission creep on steroids. At the very least, it seems like evidence that the man who, as a presidential candidate, swore he’d “bomb the shit” out of ISIS and let the U.S. military win again is doing just that. (As he also said on the campaign trail with appropriately placed air punches, “You gotta knock the hell out of them! Boom! Boom! Boom!”)
By Tom Engelhardt Tom Dispatch April 23, 2017
Making Sense of the Deportation Debate: How Bill Clinton and Barack Obama Laid the Groundwork for Trump’s Immigration Policies
Ever since he rode a Trump Tower escalator into the presidential race in June 2015 and swore to build his “great wall” and stop Mexican “rapists” from entering the country, undocumented immigrants have been the focus of Donald Trump’s ire. Now that he’s in the Oval Office, the news has been grim. A drumbeat of frightening headlines and panicked social media posts have highlighted his incendiary language, his plans and executive orders when it comes to immigrants, and the early acts of the Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents when it comes to round-ups and deportations. The temperature has soared on the deportation debate, so if you think we’re in a completely unprecedented moment when it comes to immigration and immigrants, you’re in good company.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that immigrants, especially undocumented ones, are flooding the United States, causing crime waves, and depleting social service budgets. Never mind that the number of such immigrants has been in steady decline since 2008, that immigrant crime rates are lower than citizen crime rates, that the undocumented have no access to most social welfare programs, and that crime figures, too, have generally been on the decline in recent years.
By Aviva Chomsky Tom Dispatch April 25, 2017
President Trump, his children and their spouses, aren’t just using the Oval Office to augment their political legacy or secure future riches. Okay, they certainly are doing that, but that’s not the most useful way to think about what’s happening at the moment. Everything will make more sense if you re-imagine the White House as simply the newest branch of the Trump family business empire, its latest outpost.
By Nomi Prins Tom Dispatch May 2, 2017
Trump’s First 100 Days
Despite himself, Donald Trump has accomplished something beautiful — he’s awakened American democracy and reminded us that it’s “We the People” who truly govern.
By Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director April 28, 2017
By Nadia Prupis, staff writer Common Dreams April 28, 2017
The Women’s March in Washington on 21 January was part of what has been called the single largest day of protest in US political history. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
Saturday is President Trump’s 100th day in office. Adam, the Guardian’s lead reporter on the Resistance Movement, has just published a timeline of activism efforts over this same period, from the airport protests against the proposed travel ban to challenging elected officials at town halls.The Guardian April 24, 2017
Human Rights Campaign: Thank you for resisting during the first 100 days of the Trump presidency
As a way to thank you and pay homage to the difference you are making as an HRC Partner, we’ve created a short video that shows your support in action over the last 100 days. Take a minute to watch it.
Human Rights Campaign April 28, 2017
The first hundred days of a new presidency are widely acknowledged to be the most productive of an administration due to the honeymoon period a new president enjoys. Pres. Trump has squandered his first months in office and has little to show for them. Many of his high-profile campaign promises (immigration ban, ACA repeal and a tax reform bill) have been stopped by the courts, fallen apart in the public eye or failed to even be introduced as legislation. In particular, the health care bill’s defeat must be credited to you. The grassroots resistance Donald Trump faces is like no other I have ever seen, keep it up.
Obama v. Trump, the first 100 days:Click here to read article.
100 Acts of Pro-Choice Resistance:Click here to read article.
Planned Parenthood’s Take on Trump:Click here to read article.
Trump’s First 100 Days and Promises:Click here to read article.
Senator Jeffrey Hayden Minnesota State Legislature (MN62)
Pundits have begun considering Trump as mostly a problem of manners and refinement to solve. The press helpfully reimagines Trump as he might be, rather than analyzing him for what he really is (and always will be).
BY REED RICHARDSON FAIR April 28, 2017
Groups plan to challenge order in court.
April 27, 2017 Earth Justice
BY JOHN BOWDEN The Hill April 28, 2017
Early Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order he says instructs federal agencies to “aggressively promote and use American-made goods.” The order also directs those agencies to begin reviewing the much maligned H1-B visa program that allows U.S. companies to hire highly skilled foreign workers.
CNN’s Jack Tapper opened Tuesday’s episode of his show The Lead with a scathing rebuttal of the order, asking his audience, “So wait, does that mean he wants me to stop buying Trump products?”
From currency manipulation to NATO to Syria, Trump is flexible.
President Donald Trump has reversed himself on at least six major issues this week, pulling back on long-held promises supported by his base.
Four of these reversals alone came in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Wednesday:
Trump said the Chinese are “not currency manipulators.” Just last week, he said they were “world champions” of currency manipulation, and he pledged throughout his campaign to label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office. He tweeted in 2012 that President Barack Obama’s failure to call China a currency manipulator “helped China steal even more jobs and money from us.”
Trump said, “I do like a low interest-rate policy.” During his campaign, he excoriated the Federal Reserve for keeping rates low, and said in 2011 that the policy would lead to hyperinflation.
Trump said he was open to the idea of reappointing Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve. On the campaign trail, he said he would “most likely” replace her. “I like her, I respect her,” Trump told the Journal at the time.
Trump said he supported the Export-Import Bank, noting that small companies are “really helped” by the institution. During the campaign, he said the bank was unnecessary.
What does the culture of cruelty look like under a neo-fascist regime?
First, language is emptied of any sense of ethics and compassion.
Second, a survival of the fittest discourse provides a breeding ground for racial and social sorting.
Third, references to justice are viewed as treasonous or, as at the present moment, labelled dismissively as “fake news.”
Fourth, the discourse of disposability extends to an increasing number of groups.
Fifth, ignorance becomes militarized, enforced not through an appeal to reason but through the use of the language of humiliation and eventually through the machinery of force.
Sixth, any form of dependency is viewed as a form of weakness, and becomes a referent and eventually a basis for social cleansing. That is, any form of solidarity not based on market-driven values is subject to derision and potential punishment.
Seventh, the language of borders and walls replaces the discourse of bridges and compassion.
Eighth, violence becomes the most important method for addressing social problems and mediating all relationships, hence, the increasing criminalization of a wide range of behaviours in the United States.
Ninth, the word democracy disappears from officially mandated state language.
Tenth, the critical media is gradually defamed and eventually outlawed.
Eleventh, all forms of critical education present in theory, method, and institutionally are destroyed.
Twelfth, shared fears replace shared responsibilities and everyone is reduced to the status of a potential terrorist, watched constantly and humiliated through body searches at border crossings.
Thirteenth, all vestiges of the welfare state disappear and millions are subject to fending for themselves.
Fourteenth, massive inequalities in power, wealth, and income will generate a host of Reality TV shows celebrating the financial elite.
Underlying this project is one of the most powerfully oppressive ideologies of neoliberal neo-fascism. That is, the only unit of agency and analysis that matters is the isolated individual. Shared trust and visions of economic equality and political justice give way to individual terrors and self-blame reinforced by the neoliberal notion that people are solely responsible for their political, economic, and social misfortunes. Consequently, a hardening of the culture is buttressed by the force of state sanctioned cultural apparatuses that enshrine privatization in the discourse of self-reliance, unchecked self-interest, untrammeled individualism, and deep distrust of anything remotely called the common good. Freedom of choice becomes code for defining responsibility solely as an individual task, reinforced by a shameful appeal to character.
Liberal critics argue that choice absent the notion of constraints feeds Ayn Rand’s culture of rabid individualism and unchecked greed. What they miss in this neo-fascist moment is that the systemic evil, cruelty, and moral irresponsibility at the heart of neoliberalism makes Ayn Rand’s lunacy look tame. Rand’s world has been surpassed by a ruling class of financial elites that embody not the old style greed of Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street, but the psychopathic personality of Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.
The notion that saving money by reducing the taxes of the rich justifies eliminating health care for 24 million people is just one example of how this culture of cruelty and hardening of the culture will play out.
Dark Times are truly upon us. There will be an acceleration of acts of violence under the Trump administration and the conditions for eliminating this new stage of state violence will mean not only understanding the roots of neo-fascism in the United States, but also eliminating the economic, political, and cultural forces that produced it.
There is more at work here than getting rid of Trump, there is a need to eliminate a system in which democracy is equated with capitalism, a system driven almost exclusively by financial interests, and beholden to two political parties that are hard wired into neoliberal savagery.
Henry A. Giroux currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Ryerson University. His most recent books are America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth (Monthly Review Press, 2013) and Neoliberalism’s War on Higher Education (Haymarket Press, 2014). His web site is www.henryagiroux.com.
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Counterpunch March 17, 2017
President Trump on Tuesday took the most significant step yet in obliterating his predecessor’s environmental record, instructing federal regulators to rewrite key rules curbing U.S. carbon emissions.
The sweeping executive order — which the president signed with great fanfare in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Map Room — also seeks to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing and remove the requirement that federal officials consider the impact of climate change when making decisions.
The Washington Post
Trump is embarking on an orgy of cruelty for absolutely no reason. This is morally repugnant.
RobertReich.org Truthdig March 19, 2017 Rise Up Times March 23, 2017
Trump’s own defense secretary has warned that this blind defense of Israel harms U.S. security.
Glenn Greenwald The Intercept March 18, 2017
Revesz writes: “Noam Chomsky has warned the Donald Trump-fuelled rally in capital markets is coming to a close and another financial crash is on the horizon.”
Rachael Revesz The Independent Reader Supported News March 15, 2017
“I think that the Christian right is a far more dangerous movement than the alt-right,” says Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges.
The Empire Files February 28, 2017
The U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Ariz. (Flickr / CC 2.0)
As the Trump administration continues its mass deportations apace, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is considering ramping up anti-immigration policies even further with a new rule that would separate mothers from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump’s Proposed Increase in U.S. Defense Spending Would Be 80 Percent of Russia’s Entire Military Budget
The proposed $54 billion increase is roughly the size of the entire annual military budget of the United Kingdom, the fifth-largest spending country.
Alex Emmons The Intercept February 27, 2017
By Ali Abunimah for Electronic Antifada – US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a joint press conference at the White House on Wednesday morning, before going into their much-anticipated bilateral meeting. Asked about whether the US was still wedded to a two-state solution, Trump broke with longstanding orthodoxy. “I am looking at two states or one state, and I like the one that both parties like,” the president said. On settlements, Trump reaffirmed to Netanyahu, “I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit.” Advocates of a two-state solution, including the previous US administration and European governments, see it as the only way to rescue Israel as a racist state that ensures its Jewish demographic majority through a battery of racist laws – a situation they refer to as “peace.” -more-
Popular Resistance February 22, 2017
Never popular in the first place, domestic counterextremism programs are now likely to become much more aggressive and bellicose.
Noam Chomsky on President Donald Trump
Published on Jan 26, 2017
Professor Noam Chomsky gave UNU-GCM’s 2016 Annual Guest Lecture on Saturday, November 5th in Barcelona. He delivered the following lecture entitled “Crises of Immigration”.
Pope Francis captured the essence of the “immigration crisis” in simple words: “Migrants are not a danger — they are in danger.” Sometimes, however, such crises are objectively real: in Lebanon, for example, where some 40% of the population are refugees. There have also been immigration crises of extreme objective severity: notoriously, for the native populations in settler-colonial societies. Sometimes immigration crises are culturally and morally real: in the rich and powerful countries, where the shocking reaction to refugees is a profound moral crisis, a political crisis as well, particularly in those countries with a large share of responsibility for creating the refugee crisis – and who have been creating a crisis that will soon be of colossal proportions unless they take drastic actions to curb the destruction of an environment that can sustain organized human life.
You can download text version of lecture here – https://i.unu.edu/media/gcm.unu.edu/p…
Up Front January 26, 2017
Noam Chomsky – How to Deal with the Trump Presidency
Democracy Now! January 16, 2017
After Donald Trump campaigned for the presidency on the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare with “something terrific,” his administration has just released a set of tweaks to the health care law—and those tweaks all favor the insurance industry over ordinary Americans.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which the GOP gleefully dubbed Obamacare, is clearly not good enough to serve all Americans well. But it is such a major improvement over the industry-dominated status quo of eight years ago that, as Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times succinctly wrote, “It is both unpopular and saves lives.”
Having perhaps realized that many of his own supporters rely heavily on the ACA, Trump has postponed repealing it and instead has made changes that “insurers have long pushed for,” according to The Hill. These include cutting the enrollment period in half in order to “cut down on sick people gaming the system,” whatever that means.
By Sonali Kolhatkar Truthout February 16, 2017
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.”
By Lee Fang The Intercept February 8, 2017
President Donald Trump claims to be focused on providing “jobs for all Americans,” but — in another example of his reliance on “alternative facts” — he has emphasized the fossil-fuel sector as the likeliest site to create those jobs. He is clearly not paying attention to the recently released figures from the US Department of Energy that show soaring jobs growth in the US renewable energy sector. Read more…
By Linda Pentz Gunter, Truthout | Op-Ed February 5, 2017
For two months now, Donald Trump has appeared unable to accept the verdict of November’s election: that he is more popular than many of us wanted to believe, but less popular than Hillary Clinton.
As a result of this fixation, he is now promising “a major investigation” into the election that made him president, putting the full weight of the federal government behind his quest to prove that at least three million ballots were cast against him by “those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and even, those registered to vote who are dead.”
In an interview with David Muir of ABC News broadcast on Wednesday night, Trump tried to suggest that a 2012 Pew study on problems with people being registered in two states, or the voter rolls not being updated as soon as people die, was proof that illegal voting was taking place.
By Robert Mackey The Intercept January 25, 2017
Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images
The draft text of the order was leaked to the Huffington Post and Los Angeles Times. Titled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals,” it would suspend the issuance of visas for at least 30 days to most people in the seven countries while the administration revamps its vetting procedures. Most citizens of foreign countries must first obtain a visa before being allowed to enter the United States.
“In order to protect Americans, we must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward our country and its founding principles,” the draft reads, justifying this blanket prohibition.
The draft relies on Division O, Title II, Section 203 of the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which lays out security-related exemptions to the visa waiver program, to derive that list of seven countries. In the 2016 law, Iraq and Syria are explicitly listed, Iran and Sudan are included as state sponsors of terrorism, and Libya, Somalia, and Yemen are in the “area of concern” as designated by the Department of Homeland Security.
What all seven countries also have in common is that the United States government has violently intervened in them. The U.S. is currently bombing — or has bombed in the recent past — six of them. The U.S. has not bombed Iran, but has a long history of intervention including a recent cyberattack.
It’s like a twisted version of the you-break-it-you-buy-it Pottery Barn rule: If we bomb a country or help destabilize its society, we will then ban its citizens from being able to seek refuge in the United States.
Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy explained this irony in a tweet Wednesday morning:
No biggie, the New York Times assures us.
Donald Trump’s orders to “revive” the Keystone and Dakota Access pipeline projects, whose progress had been slowed by the Obama administration, are much ado about nothing, the New York Times (1/24/17) reported: “The pipelines were more about symbol than substance but generated enormous passion on both sides of the debate,” wrote the Times‘ Peter Baker and Coral Davenport.
Please write to the New York Times and ask them to stop using oil industry consultants as experts on whether Donald Trump’s pro-oil industry moves will be bad for the environment.
Fair January 25, 2017
Josh Dawsey, Politico
Dawsey writes: “The White House is installing senior aides atop major federal agencies to shadow the administration’s Cabinet secretaries, creating a direct line with loyalists who can monitor and shape White House goals across the federal bureaucracy.”
Reader Supported News January 25, 2017
Andrew Restuccia, Alex Guillén and Nancy Cook, Politico
Excerpt: “Federal agencies are clamping down on public information and social media in the early days of Donald Trump’s presidency, limiting employees’ ability to issue news releases, tweet, make policy pronouncements or otherwise communicate with the outside world, according to memos and sources from multiple agencies.”
Reader Supported News January 25, 2017
Through a statement, the US government released some of the measures that President Donald Trump will implement in immigration matters, such as the deportation of migrants who arrive in the United States illegally and have a legal Violent crimes. The document also reiterates the plan to build a wall along the border with Mexico to stop irregular migration, as well as violence and drug trafficking.
NOTE: The video accompanying this report is in Spanish. Available at the link.
TeleSUR January 21, 2017
Within hours of Donald Trump being inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States, the LGBT section of the White House’s website, and any references to climate change, were promptly removed.
Telesur January 22, 2017
We are now on the brink of a new form of government, undreamed of by Aristotle, who spoke of monarchy, aristocracy and democracy. We are headed to a psychopathocracy, which has something in common with the degraded form of classical regime types that Aristotle warned against (he thought monarchy can deteriorate into despotism, aristocracy into oligarchy, and democracy into demagoguery). Psychopathocracy is the rule of persons who lack a basic ability to empathize with others, to feel their pain or to feel guilty about harming them.
By Juan Cole / Informed Comment Truthdig January 11, 2017
Our hope and change candidate fell short time and time again. Obama cheerleaders who refused to make him accountable bear some responsibility
Eight years ago the world was on the brink of a grand celebration: the inauguration of a brilliant and charismatic black president of the United States of America. Today we are on the edge of an abyss: the installation of a mendacious and cathartic white president who will replace him.
By Cornel West The Guardian Popular Resistance January 10, 2017