By Lisa Sorg for The Progressive Pulse – Just 15 minutes after the doors opened last night, the auditorium at Forest Hills Middle School — a public school — in Wilson was beginning to fill with people. But the “public” listening session about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline wasn’t really public. And only select people could listen. Hosted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the four-hour listening session was intended to take public comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement regarding the pipeline. But FERC officials prohibited the media (there were just two outlets –NCPW and the Wilson Times) from interviewing citizens, recording comments or taking photographs inside the auditorium — even with permission from the citizens themselves. Reporters were allowed to do their jobs outside of the auditorium but could not be present for the listening sessions themselves.
By Marguerite Reardon for CNET. Pai often goes out of his way to be nice. He’s the kind of person who remembers co-workers’ birthdays or your kids’ first names. It doesn’t matter if you’re a congressman from California or the parking attendant at the lot near the FCC’s headquarters, Pai offers a folksy and sincere greeting to all. He always has a kind word for colleagues, even when they stand on the opposite side of the aisles. “He made the chairman’s life miserable,” said Gigi Sohn, a former adviser to the previous head, Tom Wheeler, in reference to their constant ideological clashes. “But I like him. Everyone likes him.” This nice guy is no pushover, though. The 44-year-old chairman has already introduced a number of programs and steered the FCC in a different direction from his predecessor. And he’s still gearing up for his biggest move: the takedown of many of the regulations that protect net neutrality, the concept that all internet traffic must be treated as equal.
By Ryan Holiday for Observer – In 2009, I helped sketch out a marketing campaign for an internet personality and blogger named Tucker Max. With a very limited advertising budget available for the independent movie he had written and produced, we had few options for getting the word out. Maybe it was crazy but my thinking was that one of the best ways to get young men to go see a movie was to tell them they should not be allowed to see it. What ensued was several months of chaos and controversy that ultimately drove Tucker’s book to No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, sold out a multi-college bus tour and ultimately sold millions of dollars worth of tickets, dvds and books.
By Mitchel Cohen. CJ Hopkins has penned, below, a very perceptive, snide (and funny) analysis of what we’re facing. Might as well call it “Manufacturing Dissent.” I pretty much agree with it, except that as a participant in many radical movements I’ve noted that things happen in the course of movements that the puppet-masters can’t control, although they try. So the neoliberal Dems’ bolstering of the anti-Trump movement is a gambit that they’re willing to risk, just as they’ve done many times in the past. Usually they’ve emerged victorious, but with unanticipated side effects. Our job is to make those “side effects” come back to haunt them. Remember when the robber-baron Jay Gould in the 1880′s bragged that he could hire half the working class to kill the other half? His observation was correct — and so workers organized into the Knights of Labor, Western Federation of Miners, the Wobblies, and other militant working class organizations whose goals included unifying sectors of the working class around defending workers through direct action.
By Steve Cunningham for Black Agenda Report. If it wasn’t for Wikileaks, we would think Hillary Clinton’s public position were here private position; that the DNC was perfectly neutral and that Hillary Clinton won her nomination fair and square; and that the sole purpose of the Clinton Foundation was AIDS research. If anything, Wikileaks saved the election from the lies and deception of the Clinton campaign. So what if a foreign entity intervened? There is a stark difference between foreign propaganda, and foreign intervention that leads to more truth being exposed. The difference is that the first one is founded on a lie, and the second one is founded on the truth. There can never be enough truth in a democracy, unless getting to that truth involves the violation of rights. Yet acts of civil disobedience in terms of hacking are necessary at times when so much truth has become obfuscated. We cannot say how much hacking is too much hacking, only when the rights of individuals have become so impugned that it outweighs the value of the hacking. Yet in this instance, so much truth was revealed, so as to outweigh the rights to privacy and other rights of the DNC members.
By Abby Martin for Media Roots. Desperate to push this US intelligence narrative, The New York Times called the report “damning and surprisingly detailed,” while adding that it includes no actual evidence. The very next day, on Jan. 7, the Times published another piece titled “Russia’s RT, The Network Implicated in U.S. Election Meddling.” In the article, NYT journalist Russell Goldman used two blatantly false statements about my work at RT to support the argument that the network is simply a Putin-dictated propaganda outlet. First, he stated “…two anchors who quit during live broadcasts say the network is a propaganda outlet.” I did not quit during a live broadcast, nor did I say that the network is a propaganda outlet.
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. When we discussed these specific arrests with Chris Hedges over email his view was “This is just the start.” On our radio show, Hedges described how cowering the media is a key part of silencing dissent. If the media is not there to cover the mistreatment of protesters, then law enforcement will become even more abusive. Reporters Without Borders described the media as “Public Enemy Number One for the Trump administration,” writing it is “alarmed by the new administration’s repeated attacks on the media and blatant disregard for facts in the first three days of Donald Trump’s presidency. . . In the first 72 hours since the 45th President of the United States took his oath of office, his administration has executed a coordinated attack on the media and demonstrated a clear disregard for facts.” Margaux Ewen, Advocacy and Communications Director for RSF North America, said: It is clear that Trump views the media as his number one enemy and is taking every single opportunity to try to weaken their credibility.
By Staff of RSF – Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by the new administration’s repeated attacks on the media and blatant disregard for facts in the first three days of Donald Trump’s presidency. RSF calls on Trump and his team to stop undermining the First Amendment and start defending it. In the first 72 hours since the 45th President of the United States took his oath of office, his administration has executed a coordinated attack on the media and demonstrated a clear disregard for facts. “It is clear that Trump views the media as his number one enemy and is taking every single opportunity to try to weaken their credibility, says Margaux Ewen, Advocacy and Communications Director for RSF North America.
By Tyler Durden for Zero Hedge – Yesterday we noted Part I of a new Project Veritas undercover series that exposed the efforts of several protest groups to disrupt the Trump inauguration by deploying butyric acid (aka “stink bombs”) at the National Press Club during the Deploraball event scheduled for January 19th. Part II of that series was just released and exposes further plotting by a group know as “DisruptJ20″ to completely paralyze various modes of transportation on inauguration day. Among other things, the protesters in the video plot to shut down surface traffic with “checkpoint blockades” and “a series of clusterfuck blockades” intended to shut down “all the major ingress points in the city.”
By Eleanor Goldfield for Act Out! Conveniently signed into law on December 23rd, the benignly named Cultural Engagement Center just seeks to “recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.” Or as journalist Rick Sterling put it, it sets aside “160 million dollars to combat any “propaganda” that challenges Official Washington’s version of reality.” And, yes, bees are dying. And for those of us who enjoy eating food, that’s bad news. Enter the solitary bee. This means local bees pollinating local plants and crops, promoting the overall ecological health of the entire area they populate. Charlie Mohr of Crown Bees explains more about how we can save the bees, our food and our land with solitary bees.
By The Intercept. IF YOU’RE A public servant in Washington, you may be worried about what your job will look like after January 20 — who you’ll be working for, what you’ll be asked to do. You might be concerned that the programs you’ve developed will be killed or misused. Or that you’ll be ordered to do things that are illegal or immoral. You may be thinking you have no choice — or that your only alternative is to quit. But there is another option. If you become aware of behavior that you believe is unethical, illegal, or damaging to the public interest, consider sharing your information securely with us. History shows the enormous value of government workers who discover abuses of power collaborating with journalists to expose them.
By Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept – IN JANUARY, 1961, Dwight Eisenhower delivered his farewell address after serving two terms as U.S. president; the five-star general chose to warn Americans of this specific threat to democracy: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” That warning was issued prior to the decadelong escalation of the Vietnam War, three more decades of Cold War mania, and the post-9/11 era, all of which radically expanded that unelected faction’s power even further.
By Adam Johnson for FAIR – The much-anticipated Office of the Director of Intelligence (DNI) Report—the combined assessment of the CIA, FBI, DHS and others—on alleged attempts by Russia to influence the 2016 election was released on Friday to a combination of uncritical boosting and underwhelmed perplexity. To many, it was further proof of Russia’s involvement in the DNC and Podesta hacks; to others–even to typically bullish Daily Beast–it was remarkably thin on details and evidence. As the New York Times (1/6/16) noted in paragraph five of their report on the release, “The declassified report contained no information about how the agencies had collected their data or had come to their conclusions.”
By David Swanson for Let’s Try Democracy. The U.S. government has now generated numerous news stories and released multiple “reports” aimed at persuading us that Vladimir Putin is to blame for Donald Trump becoming president. U.S. media has dutifully informed us that the case has been made. What has been made is the case for writing your own news coverage. The “reports” from the “intelligence community” are no lengthier than the New York Times and Washington Post articles about them. Why not just read the reports and cut out the middle-person? The New York Times calls the latest report “damning and surprisingly detailed” before later admitting in the same “news” article that the report “contained no information about how the agencies had collected their data or had come to their conclusions.”
By Moon of Alabama. Last week the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, the NSA and the FBI released a report about alleged Russian hacking of the Democratic National Council and on Russian influence operation on the U.S. presidential election. The report failed to convince anyone. It is indeed a public relation disaster for the Intelligence Community. John Harwood covers “the economy and national politics for CNBC and the New York Times.” More then 100,000 people follow him on Twitter. He is known as Hillary Clinton supporter and chummy with John Podesta who ran Clinton’s election campaign. Harwood set up a simple poll. It is not statistically representative but gives a picture of a general sentiment: 83% believed Wikileaks, 17% believed US intelligence officials.