Trump Nominates New FERC Commissioners

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Washington, DC – The Hill reports that the Trump administration announced on Monday its two Republican nominees, Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson, f0r the vacant seats in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). If confirmed, the FERC would once again have a quorum and would be able to resume rubber stamping its backlog of fossil fuel project permits. A coalition of around 160 local, state, regional and national organizations is calling upon the Senate to reject both nominations announced yesterday by President Donald Trump to be Commissioners of FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “FERC has been abusing communities for decades, abusing their power and authority in ways that undermines the rights of both people and the states. While biased FERC Commissioners with industry ties is nothing new, Donald Trump’s picks, if confirmed by the Senate, would take us to a whole new and dangerous level of conflict and bias.

The Government Smearing Of Israel’s Critics

Members of Congress rush to greet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he leaves the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, after lobbying Congress to kill a peace plan with Iran at all costs. (AP Photo)

By Lawrence Davidson for Mint Press News – “Back in the day,” which in this case was Feb. 8, 2007, the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism adopted a “working definition” of anti-Semitism which included the following point: It is anti-Semitic to “deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination (e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor).” This “working definition” has proved to have staying power. Thus, the U.S. Congress has used the State Department document in devising its Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016, and in December of 2016, the British government adopted an almost identical “working definition,” which listed the same alleged act of denial – the one that links the Jewish people’s “right of self-determination” with the “claim that the existence of Israel is a racist endeavor” as an example of “contemporary anti-Semitism.”The whole definition, including the quoted sentence, was not original with the State Department. It was originally “written collaboratively by a small group of non-governmental organizations” which remained unnamed.

Convicted For Protesting Jeff Sessions Is No Laughing Matter

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By Tighe Barry. In the recent past, frivolous charges like these would have been thrown out of court. But, Trump and his cronies in the Justice Department are going out of their way to crackdown on dissent, especially in the form of nonviolent protest. Republican officials are jumping on Trump’s bigoted bandwagon to restrict liberties at the local, state and national level. We see laws being passed in over a dozen states to make protesting a crime, while at the same time, North Dakota has passed a law where running over a protester is not a crime. We see state laws being passed to criminalize campaigns that support Palestinian rights. We see that over 200 people who protested Trump’s inauguration have been prosecuted and charged with ridiculous offenses, such as felony rioting charges. We should see our Justice Department prosecuting real criminals, like those responsible for war, not convicting people for laughing in Congress. Unless we rise up and demand our first amendment right to dissent, then the joke will be on the American people. And that is no laughing matter.

Trump Declares Today “Loyalty Day” To Remind Americans To Never Question Government

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By Claire Bernish for Activist Post – President Trump has declared today, May 1, Loyalty Day, a day also dedicated to international workers’ rights, in what sounds on first impact to be an Orwellian holiday dedicated to love of one’s country — with all the mandatory overtones one would expect, given the current divisive climate present in the United States. May 1, the president declared, should be a day “for the reaffirmation of loyalty” to the United States; and that fealty to this nation — obedient citizens are encouraged to display the Stars and Stripes — should usurp any recognition in unison with some 80 or so other countries of the struggles faced by workers around the world. For as frighteningly nationalistic as the name implies, Loyalty Day is not Trump’s brainchild. In fact, once Loyalty Day garnered congressional approval in 1958, the oppressively patriotic holiday has been officially proclaimed by every president from Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1959 through Barack Obama — Trump just carried on its pretext “intended to replace” International Workers’ Day.

How The Government Is Turning Emerging Activists Into Felons

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By Natasha Lennard for Esquire – Alsip only knew one other person at the protest march that day. The political science graduate student from the University of Chicago had met her partner in November, when the two had joined the camps at Standing Rock opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. When they heard about calls to protest Donald J. Trump’s inauguration in D.C. on January 20th under the banner “Disrupt J20,” they felt they had to be there. “I identify as an anarchist, and I’ve been an activist for women’s and queer rights since the 8th grade,” Alsip told me over the phone from Chicago. Alsip is among 214 defendants facing felony riot charges, up to a decade in prison and a $25,000 fine for their participation in the anti-capitalist, anti-fascist march, which ended with a mass arrest on the morning of Inauguration Day. As far as the student understands, the evidence against her amounts to little more than proof of her presence at the unruly protest, as indicated by her arrest. Like the vast majority of her co-defendants, Alsip didn’t break or throw anything. Now she lives in shock over the steep price she and her fellow protesters might pay as the new administration and police forces set the tone for how they will deal with the spike in organized dissent.

The Feuding Kleptocrats

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By Chris Hedges for Truth Dig – They ineptly have set themselves on fire over Obamacare, but this misstep will do little to halt the drive to, as Stephen Bannon promises, carry out the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Donald Trump’s appointees are busy diminishing or dismantling the agencies they were named to lead and the programs they are supposed to administer. That is why they were selected. Rex Tillerson at the State Department, Steven Mnuchin at the Treasury Department, Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency, Rick Perry at the Department of Energy, Tom Price at Health and Human Services, Ben Carson at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Betsy DeVos at the Department of Education…

Civil Servants Unofficial Twitter Resistance

This photo shows a Twitter post from the National Park Service's Redwoods National Park account. | AP Photo

By Nancy Scola for Politico – Trump has yet to tweet a response to all the needling. But his team may be realizing months too late that it’s up against a foe it didn’t reckon with. Donald Trump may be a master of combat on Twitter, but he’s suddenly run into a growing digital uprising — anonymous federal workers who are using social media to tweak the president even as his agencies crack down on information-sharing. This Twitter rebellion, apparently centered at the National Park Service, is winning cheers from liberal activists who seize on every 140-character outburst for signs of anti-Trump resistance.

State Denies Lease Needed To Build Big Longview Coal Export Terminal

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By Joel Connelly for Seattle PI – The state of Washington will not allow its aquatic lands along the Columbia River to be used in a major coal export terminal, a decision announced late Tuesday by outgoing State Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark. The decision by Goldmark deals a serious blow to the Millennium Bulk Terminals project, which has already experienced the bankruptcy filing of its parent firm Arch Coal. It is the latest of several blows to the fossil fuel industry in the Northwest. The lands commissioner turned down a request by Northwest Alloys, a subsidiary of Alcoa, to sublease state-owned aquatic lands to Millennium.

To Stop Police Murders, Block Ability Of The State To Govern

itsgoingdown.org

By Staff of It’s Going Down – 1,152. That’s the total amount of people that were killed by American law enforcement in 2016. Every day over the last several years, on average, over 3 people are being killed by the police in this country. Sadly enough, at the time of this writing, a total of 12 people have already been killed by police in 2017, continuing this deadly average. The amount of people actually physically harmed by police, to say nothing of the millions who are left with mental scars, extorted through fines and tickets, killed as bystanders in high speed chases, or who have been sexually assaulted, is of course much higher.

South Korean Lawmakers Vote To Impeach Park Geun-hye

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By Zoom in Korea. Seoul, South Korea – On December 9, lawmakers of the South Korean National Assembly passed a historical motion to impeach the current president Park Geun-hye. 234 out of 300 legislators in the National Assembly voted in favor of the impeachment motion. Now that the National Assembly has passed the motion to impeach Park, it is up to the Constitutional Court to decide whether to make the impeachment final in accordance with the constitution. Park will be suspended for the time being as the Constitutional Court deliberates. During this period, the current Prime Minister, Hwang Kyo-ahn, will serve as the acting president. In order for the impeachment to go officially in effect, six out of the nine judges of the Constitutional Court must agree to rule in favor of the motion within 180 days.

Pirate Party To Form Anti-Establishment Government In Iceland

From publicbankinginstitute.org

By Baxter Dmitry for YourNewsWire.com – Iceland has differed from the rest of Europe and the US by allowing bankers to be prosecuted as criminals. Now it seems the purge of the political class has begun. Iceland’s anti-establishment Pirate Party have been invited to form government and have been handed a mandate to begin instituting some of their progressive policies. Icelandic President Guðni Jóhannesson made the announcement on Friday, over one month after the general election, after meeting with head Pirate Birgitta Jónsdóttir. “I met with the leaders of all parties and asked their opinion on who should lead those talks.

North Dakota Governor Orders Pipeline Protesters Expelled

Women hold a prayer ceremony on Backwater Bridge during a protest against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. November 27, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

By Terray Sylvester for Reuters – North Dakota’s governor ordered the expulsion of thousands of Native American and environmental activists camped on federal property near an oil pipeline project they are trying to halt, citing hazards posed by harsh weather as a blizzard bore down on the area. The “emergency evacuation” order from Governor Jack Dalrymple came days after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the site, set a Dec. 5 deadline for the demonstrators to vacate their encampment, about 45 miles (72 km) south of Bismarck, the state capital.

US Gov Quietly Backing Out Of Its Promise To Phase Out Private Prisons

Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.	(AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

By Hanna Kozlowska for Quartz – Critics have long denounced private prisons in the US as unsafe, inefficient and at times, inhumane. Those critics, who include inmates and activists, seemed to find a powerful ally earlier this year when the Department of Justice announced it would phase out its use of private prisons for federal prisoners. This wouldn’t mean the end of privately-run incarceration facilities (they’re also used by immigration authorities and states), but it was seen as a step forward.

Endorse The People's Agenda

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Right now is the opportune time for people to say no to plutocracy and demand a people’s agenda. The rejection of the Democrats and the unexpected election of Donald Trump have caused confusion among the elites and have opened political space. The people’s defeat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a victory over the power of transnational corporations, confirms that when a movement of movements works together, we win. People across the country are rising up and will continue to do so. This is critical for social transformation. We encourage you to organize in your communities and to take the streets.We must also be clear in our demands. We are offering an outline for a People’s Agenda.

Michigan Fights Order For Increased Water Delivery To Flint

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By Lucy Tiven for ATTN – The order, which was issued last Thursday by U.S. District Judge David Lawson, demanded the state deliver four cases of bottled water per person every week to Flint households that lack functional, properly installed water filters, and it went into effect immediately. Wednesday’s motion seeks a “stay” to prevent the order from going into effect, while attorneys for the state appeal the decision.