By Staff of The Real News Network – Because there are only about 5,000 federal immigration officers nationwide, authorities rely heavily on local authorities to help with deportations. Some of the strongest sanctuary policies exist in cities like Chicago, and the encompassing Cook County, which prevents local authorities from asking for immigration status. Prevents the sharing of immigration status with federal authorities, and refuses to hold immigrants without a warrant. Courts have ruled these policies, known as ICE Detainers, are unconstitutional and violate the 4th Amendment.
By Sarah Lazare for AlterNet – More than 200 people who were mass-arrested at the Washington, D.C. protests against the inauguration of Donald Trump have been hit with felony riot charges that are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Those picked up in the sweep—including legal observers and journalists—had their phones, cameras and other personal belongings confiscated as evidence, a lawyer confirmed to AlterNet. Demonstrators warn that the crackdown signals a new wave of repression against the protesters, whose mass mobilization was met with riot police violence, National Guard and Department of Homeland Security deployments, heavy surveillance and law enforcement snipers positioned on rooftops.
By Sarah Cronin for Activist Post – Indiana passed a bill on Wednesday that authorizes police officers to shut down highway protesting “by any means necessary.” S.B. 285, as it is known, obliges a public official to dispatch all available officers within 15 minutes of discovering any assembly of 10 or more people who are obstructing vehicle traffic. The bill then authorizes the responding officers to clear roads “by any means necessary.” Critics are calling it the “Block Traffic and You Die” bill, an apt name for a bill that has co-opted the phrase “any means necessary,” used famously in speech delivered by Malcolm X during the Civil Rights movement, turning it into a threat against government dissent (with no apparent awareness of the irony).
By Jonathan Freedland for The Guardian – For it was Groucho Marx’s character – impersonated for that scene by brother Chico – who asked, in the 1933 classic Duck Soup, “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?” In his first appearance at the podium as White House press secretary on Saturday, Sean Spicer adhered to that same Marxist doctrine by demanding that the media ignore the clear evidence of their own eyes, as well as photographs and video footage, and instead believe Trump’s claim that he had drawn record-breaking crowds to his inauguration ceremony the previous day. Or to be precise, “the largest audience to ever witness the inauguration – period. Both in person and around the globe.”
By Alex Byers and Tony Romm for Politico – President Donald Trump will tap Ajit Pai as his pick to lead the FCC in the new administration, elevating the sitting GOP commissioner to the top spot overseeing the nation’s communications industry, according to four industry sources familiar with the decision. The announcement could come as soon as this afternoon, the sources said. Pai, a Barack Obama nominee who has served as the senior FCC Republican for more than three years, could take the new role immediately and wouldn’t require approval by the Senate because he was already confirmed to serve at the agency. A spokesman for Pai declined to comment and the Trump transition team did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
By Pepe Escobar for Information Clearing House – January 20, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – “Sputnik”- The Trump era starts now – with geopolitics and geoeconomics set for a series of imminent, unpredictable cliffhangers. I have argued that Trump’s foreign policy guru Henry Kissinger’s strategy to deal with the formidable Eurasia integration trio – Russia, China and Iran — is a remixed Divide and Rule; seduce Russia away from its strategic partnership with China, while keep harassing the weakest link, Iran. In fact that’s how it’s already playing out – as in the outbursts of selected members of Trump’s cabinet during their US Senate hearings.
By Staff of Common Dreams – Follow live coverage of official events—as well as protest and dissent—as Inauguration Day unfolds. Amid growing protests and vows of resistance to his right-wing agenda and regressive vitriol, Donald J. Trump was sworn into office on Friday as the 45th President of the United States. In anticipation of a day that will likely embody the #NotNormal nature of his campaign and transition period, Commons Dreams will be providing live coverage of events in Washington, D.C. as well as updates and reactions from around the nation and the world as Trump’s inauguration unfolds. Check back for updates.
By Vijay Prashad for AlterNet – Gunfire broke out in Tehran, Iran’s capital, on Monday. A drone flew over the city and provoked anti-aircraft fire. Deputy of Air Defense Alireza Elhami said that the drone left the restricted area after the firing. It is likely that this episode is harmless. But nothing can be taken lightly just days before the inauguration of Donald Trump as the next US president. Trump has assembled a team that is obsessed with Iran. His Secretary of Defense James Mattis and his National Security Adviser Mike Flynn take their fulminations into bizarre territory. Last April, Mattis said that ISIS is ‘nothing more than an excuse for Iran to continue its mischief.
By AK Thompson for ROAR Magazine – As we prepare for Trump’s inauguration on Friday and make plans for the four long years of fighting that will follow, it’s useful to recall the fights that have recently erupted around loaded concepts like “love,” “hate,” “hope” and “despair.” When properly understood, these skirmishes help to bring the tensions that shape our reality more clearly into view. For this reason, they are indispensable guides as we struggle to analyze our situation and determine the course of action we shall follow. For Raymond Williams, words become “brittle” in “periods of change,” when the taken-for-granted associations between concepts and things begin to break down.
By Staff of Waging Nonviolence – Donald Trump didn’t so much win the election as Hillary Clinton lost it. Clinton’s failure to turn out the Democrats’ traditional base on election day should be understood as a catastrophic failure of the Democratic Party establishment to fire up their base by responding to the growing public opposition to neoliberalism. This, in effect, was the key difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries: Sanders named the enemy — increasing concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few under deregulated capitalism — and vowed to confront that power. Hillary Clinton preached a “realism” that simply accepted the ground rules of neoliberalism unchallenged. Compared to Trump’s repeated focus on how the country’s leaders had failed the working class
By Greg Hadley for McClatchy DC – As protesters and organizers gear up for what is likely to be a busy weekend for the presidential inauguration in Washington D.C., one man has already started his crusade against President-elect Donald Trump, and it nearly cost him his life. An unidentified man tried to set himself on fire outside of Trump International Hotel in Washington on Tuesday night. He succeeded in setting his clothes ablaze, but the Washington D.C. fire department was able to intervene and save his life, according to local media reports. “I was trying to light myself on fire as an act of protest,” the man told NBC 4. “Protesting the fact that we’ve elected someone who is completely incapable of respecting the Constitution of the United States.”
By Beverly Bell for Truth Out – In the toxic political environment of the US, love is an act of protest. At least, that is what Dr. Martin Luther King, whose 88th birthday we celebrate Monday, said in many ways. As just one example, he wrote in his book Strength to Love, “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” But today, with such dangerous and violent power at play, is love a priority? Should it, or even can it be a fundament of our organizing and mobilization, especially amongst the sectors suffering the rampant attacks and threats?
By Annie Machon for Consortium News – The clash between plutocratic President-elect Trump and the CIA is shaping up to be the heavyweight prize fight of the century, and Trump at least is approaching it with all the entertaining bombast of Mohammed Ali at the top of his game. Rather than following the tradition of doing dirty political deals in dark corners, more commonly known as fixing the match, Trump has come out swinging in the full glare of the media. In that corner, we have a deal-making, billionaire “man of the people” who, to European sensibilities at least, reputedly espouses some of the madder domestic obsessions and yet has seemed to offer hope to many aggrieved Americans.
By Charles Pierson for Counter Punch – As you read this, ISIS drones are dropping bombs on the Iraqi city of Mosul. ISIS has had surveillance drones at least since 2014. On August 23, 2014, a video was posted to YouTube which showed aerial footage of a Syrian army base. An on screen caption proclaimed “From the drone of the army of the Islamic State.” Now ISIS has armed drones. The New York Times reported that in October 2016 Kurdish forces in Iraq shot down an ISIS drone “the size of a model airplane.” The drone exploded on examination, killing two Kurdish troops. The Times said this was “believed to be one of the first times the Islamic State has successfully used a drone with explosives to kill troops on the battlefield.”