By Mike Whitney for CounterPunch. The Flynn fiasco is not about national security advisor Michael Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador. It’s much deeper than that. It’s about Russia. It’s about Putin. It’s about the explosive rise of China and the world’s biggest free trade zone that will eventually stretch from Lisbon to Vladivostok. It’s about the one country in the world that is obstructing Washington’s plan for global domination. (Russia) And, it’s about the future; which country will be the key player in the world’s most prosperous and populous region, Asia. That’s what’s at stake, and that’s what the Flynn controversy is really all about. Many readers are familiar with the expression “pivot to Asia”, but do they know what it means?
By Alex Christoforou for The Duran. The Obama Administration, with the help of the CIA and main stream media, cleverly diluted the fact they they violently overthrew the democratically elected government in Ukraine, and encouraged the illegal, putsch government to attack its own citizens in the east of the country. Oliver Stone was never fooled by Obama’s Ukraine game, which resulted in the former POTUS getting outplayed in Crimea by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Oliver Stone is now urging US President Donald Trump to make public any secret documents he has in his possession on the origins of Obama’s conflict in Ukraine.
By Mark Hand for DC Media Group. Hundreds of people showed up at the White House on Feb. 11 to denounce the Trump administration’s series of raids in recent days that targeted undocumented immigrants across the country, including in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Among the hundreds of people arrested in the raids were many with no criminal records. As part of President Donald Trump’s shock-and-awe policy strategy during his first three weeks in office, the raids by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are creating uncertainty and fear in immigrant communities. Through traffic checkpoints and raids on people’s homes and workplaces, ICE agents, in collaboration with local police forces in some cases, have detained hundreds of people, including 200 immigrants in Georgia, 160 in Los Angeles and 44 in Austin, Texas.
By Mark Hand for DC Media Group. Tens of thousands of protesters converged on the White House on Jan. 29 to denounce President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting residents from seven Muslim-dominant countries from entering the U.S. Thousands marched from the White House to the Capitol to protest Trump’s order restricting entry from Muslim-majority countries./Photo by Ted Majdosz Thousands marched from the White House to the Capitol to protest Trump’s order restricting entry from Muslim-majority countries./Photo by Ted Majdosz The huge rally occurred one day after spontaneous rallies broke out at U.S. airports as U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents began enforcing Trump’s directive. Protests at U.S. airports carried over to Sunday, including rallies at Dulles and Baltimore-Washington International Airports. Trump’s order bars admission of Syrian refugees and suspends travel to the United States by nationals from Iraq, Iran, Sudan and four other countries, even if the residents hold valid visas or permanent residence permits. People subject to the ban include dual nationals born in one of the seven countries who also hold passports from countries not on the list.
By Peter Cole for In These Times. On the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, many Americans wrung their hands. Some took to social media to express their discontent while others protested. But, perhaps, the most dramatic and important action was taken by dockworkers in Oakland, California: They stopped working. Their strike demonstrated the potential power ordinary people have on the job, when organized. Longshore workers, who load and unload cargo ships, chose not to report to their hiring hall. As a result, “Oakland International Container Terminal, the largest container facility at the Northern California port, was shut down Friday,” according to the Journal of Commerce. It also reported that all other Oakland container terminals were essentially shut down, too.
By Margaret Flowers for Health Over Profit. Few people outside of single payer activist circles are aware that Senator Sanders introduced an amendment on the Senate floor in December 2009 that would have replaced the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a single payer health system. It was the first time in the history of the United States that single payer legislation was brought to the floor for a vote. Sadly, it was a Republican doctor who killed the amendment. This happened during the height of the health reform process in the Senate; the House had already passed its version of the legislation. It was the result of a year of pressure to include a single payer health system, National Improved Medicare for All (NIMA), in the health reform debate, grassroots pressure that included nonviolent direct action.
By Popular Resistance. On January 23, 2017, President Trump kept his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This action was taken because of the work of activists across the U. S. who care about a variety of issues that would be impacted by the TPP. It was the people working together in broad coalitions that made the TPP so politically toxic that politicians ran away from it. People have the power to bring transformational change. It is time to end the failed model of trade and demand a new era of globalization that strengthens protections of workers, families, communities and the planet rather than protecting corporate profits.
By Sally Adee for New Scientist. WELCOME to the new normal. Even before Donald Trump was elected, the US was already in a “golden age of surveillance“. As Edward Snowden revealed in 2013, the US government’s surveillance powers had expanded dramatically under the Obama administration. Trump has repeatedly signalled that he intends to make much greater use of these capabilities – perhaps inspired by British legislation that has given the UK government unprecedented power to snoop on its citizens. In both cases, such powers were ostensibly introduced to combat terrorism. But there’s very little evidence that greater spying powers actually catch terrorists, many of whom already know how to evade spooks. On the other hand, there is mounting concern among privacy advocates and human rights campaigners that such powers will stifle domestic dissent and enable political witch-hunts.
By Reuters. WASHINGTON DC: The new US administration of President Donald Trump said on Friday (Jan 20) its trade strategy to protect American jobs would start with withdrawal from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact. A White House statement issued soon after Trump’s inauguration said the United States would also “crack down on those nations that violate trade agreements and harm American workers in the process.” The statement said Trump was committed to renegotiating another trade deal, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was signed in 1994 by the United States, Canada and Mexico. “For too long, Americans have been forced to accept trade deals that put the interests of insiders and the Washington elite over the hard-working men and women of this country,” it said.
By Bruce Dixon for Black Agenda Report. If we aim to build a movement that cannot be co-opted by Democrats again and again, our hashtags, memes and messages have to educate our people, not just eviscerate Trump. Sure denouncing and hitting the streets to make fun of Big Cheeto is just that. It’s fun, and maybe theraputic too. But as good as they make us feel, storms of ridicule failed to drive Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush from office, and our scorn of Reagan didn’t prevent two presidents Bush or Clinton either. Our mocking of “W” didn’t hold Obama accountable either. Big protests, especially the permitted kind that take place on weekends, marching through canyons of empty office buildings, sometime with hilarious puppets, some of us being chased by police are routine, almost traditional pageantry by now. Mass protests don’t have magical powers.
By John Stauber for CounterPunch. The massive, continuing protests against President Trump, #NotMyPresident, are not a movement and will only benefit Trump. They are an emotional tactic devoid of strategy, and one that has made Trump stronger and stronger since it was first unleashed during the Republican primaries at the beginning of 2016. ‘Trump is a racist narcissist pig, unfit to exist, much less govern,’ or so the meme goes. But despite losing the popular vote he mat slammed Hillary and the Democrat Party. The GOP scaredy cats who were fleeing him en masse he actually rescued and rose them to control both houses of Congress. As of this writing the Trump protests have not abated, and now this smells of serious failure, the type of total and complete butt kicking that Republicans gave to the so-called Wisconsin Uprising.
By Bruce Gagnon for the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. I watched Donald Trump’s inaugural speech yesterday with three other housemates and none of us were impressed. He’s living in another age – I see Trump trying to hang on to the long passed time of American military supremacy and economic domination. One last gasp before the US empire crashes under the weight of its own hypocrisy and contradictions. He said a few things that were decent but one must question them as pure political rhetoric as just a quick review of his cabinet appointments (full of corporate operatives) strongly undercuts his claims that he will return the power to the people that the ‘elites in Washington’ have unfairly taken from them. Trump blames other nations (especially China) for ‘stealing our jobs’ but we all know that it was the absolute greed of the corporations that drove them to close production plants across America and move jobs to places overseas where labor was cheaper and environmental regulations were virtually non-existent.
By Bill Hughes for the Baltimore Post Examiner. WASHINGTON, DC – I knew that President-elect Donald Trump was going to have his smiley face on at his inauguration as soon as I stepped into Baltimore’s Penn’s Station early on Friday morning, January 20, 2017. It was packed with Trump true believers carrying all kinds of signs and wearing red baseball caps that barked: “Make American Great Again.” There were only a few anti-Trump activists in sight. Trump supporters at Penn Station Trump supporters at Penn Station Well, the 8:30 am MARC train out of Penn Station had eight cars. I asked the conductor how many empty seats he had. He said it was only filled to “about one-third of its capacity.”Washington D.C. and federal officials were expecting close to 1,000,000 visitors for the weekend. I don’t think they even came close to making that number. The MARC line prepared for a huge turnout for the event, too, the 45th in our country’s history. It had ordered out more trains than usual for the occasion.
By Matt Maiorana for Disrupt J20. WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, a group of over 400 climate justice activists physically blocked a security checkpoint entrance to the Presidential Inauguration for four hours as part of the distributed #DisruptJ20 protests happening in D.C. and around the country. The climate demonstrators peacefully spread out and linked arms across the security checkpoint at 3rd and D streets NW, and refused to move, physically blocking the entrance and denying access to the inauguration grounds. The protest caused a massive disruption of the checkpoint, making the line extend for a half-mile. Once Donald Trump was inaugurated, protesters chose to peacefully disperse, having accomplished their goals. The protesters held signs and large banners reading “Resist Trump: Climate Justice Now” and “Deny Trump, Not Climate.”