Monday, January 23, 2017

'Alternative Facts', The War Against the Media, and the Looming Specter of Neofascism in the Trump administration --and the Emerging Resistance Against It

All,

One can very clearly see, hear, touch, and smell the fundamental SOCIAL PATHOLOGY of this neofascist regime and its absolute determination to invoke, advocate, and defend the horrific bedrock fascist principle of the BIG LIE (see/google: Goebbels, Joseph for further details). And it's only going to get much worse very soon (like tomorrow). We're down the linguistic and amoral rabbithole of Orwellian doublespeak and cheap propaganda antics and tactics here and trust me it's not merely a "random choice" by the billionaire sociopath but a purely calculated STRATEGY pursued, honed, and developed by the head BS-in-Charge and such blatantly insidious and openly hostile media manipulators as his rancid "senior advisors" and "chief strategists" Steve Bannon (see/google: Breitbart News) and the always duplicitous and endlessly condescending Kellyanne CONway. Can you say LUGENPRESSE boys and girls? Because it's assured that the billionaire sociopath and his entire neofascist administration not only can but do every single chance they get, which of course is any time they appear before the media or general public. Stay tuned...

Kofi

January 23, 2017
The New York Times
NYTimes.com »
Breaking News Alert

BREAKING NEWS


Speaking to lawmakers, President Trump again falsely claimed that illegal immigrants had cost him the popular vote

January 23, 2017
9:45 PM EST

President Trump used his first official meeting with congressional leaders on Monday to gripe about his loss of the popular vote, falsely telling the lawmakers that he would have won a majority if millions of illegal immigrants had not voted against him.

The president’s comments about the election results came as he gathered the bipartisan leadership of Congress for a White House reception. He also sought to build support for an ambitious legislative agenda despite days earlier castigating the very institution he needs to approve it.

Read more »

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/23/us/politics/donald-trump-congress-democrats.html?_r=0


Politics

Trump Repeats Lie About Popular Vote in Meeting With Lawmakers

by MICHAEL D. SHEAR and EMMARIE HUETTEMAN
January 23, 2017
New York Times
President Trump met with leaders of Congress from both parties on Monday at the White House. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump used his first official meeting with congressional leaders on Monday to falsely claim that millions of unauthorized immigrants had robbed him of a popular vote majority, a return to his obsession with the election’s results even as he seeks support for his legislative agenda.

The claim, which he has made before on Twitter, has been judged untrue by numerous fact-checkers. The new president’s willingness to bring it up at a White House reception in the State Dining Room is an indication that he continues to dwell on the implications of his popular vote loss even after assuming power.

Mr. Trump appears to remain concerned that the public will view his victory — and his entire presidency — as illegitimate if he does not repeatedly challenge the idea that Americans were deeply divided about sending him to the White House to succeed President Barack Obama.

Mr. Trump received 304 electoral votes to capture the White House, but he fell almost three million votes short of Hillary Clinton in the popular vote. That reality appears to have bothered him since Election Day, prompting him to repeatedly complain that adversaries were trying to undermine him.

Moving into the White House appears not to have tempered that anxiety. Several people familiar with the closed-door meeting Monday night, who asked to remain anonymous in discussing a private conversation, said Mr. Trump used the opportunity to brag about his victory.

As part of that conversation, Mr. Trump asserted that between three million and five million unauthorized immigrants voted for Mrs. Clinton. That is similar to a Twitter message he posted in late November that said he would have won the popular vote “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

Voting officials across the country have said there is virtually no evidence of people voting illegally, and certainly not millions of them. White House officials did not respond to requests for a comment on Mr. Trump’s discussion of the issue.

Representative Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland, who attended the meeting, said that Mr. Trump also talked about the size of the crowd for his Inaugural Address.

“It was a huge crowd, a magnificent crowd. I haven’t seen such a crowd as big as this,” Mr. Hoyer told CNN, quoting Mr. Trump. He added that Mr. Trump did not “spend a lot of time on that, but it was clear that it was still on his mind.”

The president’s comments about the election results and his inauguration came as he gathered the bipartisan leadership of Congress for a White House reception. He also sought to build support for an ambitious legislative agenda, despite days earlier castigating the very institution he needs to approve it.

Mr. Trump has said he intends to press Congress to move quickly to repeal and replace Mr. Obama’s health care law, pass a large investment in the nation’s infrastructure, make changes to the country’s immigration laws and overhaul the tax system.

Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, called the meeting a “good sort of get-to-know-you session” and noted that “relationships count for a lot in this business.”

Mr. Cornyn said he thought such sessions would be more frequent while Mr. Trump is in office than they were during Mr. Obama’s tenure. Mr. Obama famously disliked socializing with members of Congress.

Referring to Democrats, Mr. Cornyn said, “They said they’d never been over to the White House for anything like this before.”

Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, said it was an “interesting” meeting. Along with health care and infrastructure, she said they discussed China and currency manipulation, as well as issues involving intellectual property rights, which she said were a point of agreement.

“We talked about the Affordable Care Act and said what the Affordable Care Act has been successful in doing is improving quality, expanding access and lowering costs,” she told reporters. “And any proposal that they might have that does that, we’d be interested in hearing about.”

Even with Republicans in control of Congress, Mr. Trump will have to build relationships in a city that he spent more time mocking than praising during his campaign.

In his Inaugural Address, the president criticized the political establishment, saying the people assembled behind him — including the leaders he met with on Monday — had “reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.”

White House officials said the meeting was designed to press the lawmakers on the need to move quickly.

The reception included, among others, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, as well as Ms. Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York.

“The American people are frustrated with the lack of progress here in Washington, and the president wants no delay in addressing our most pressing issues,” said Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary. “He’s taking every opportunity to forge strong bonds with congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle.”

As the group sat around a dining room table for photographs, Mr. Trump described his interactions with lawmakers.

A “beautiful, beautiful relationship,” Mr. Trump told reporters.

That has not always been the case. Before Mr. Trump secured the Republican nomination, Mr. Ryan pointedly declined to endorse him. At one point, Mr. Ryan said he was “not ready” to back Mr. Trump after his remarks about women and Hispanics and because of his divergence from Republican orthodoxy.

That relationship slowly improved after Mr. Trump became the party’s nominee and later won the election to become the 45th president. Monday’s reception, officials said, was another step in that process.

Matt Flegenheimer, Thomas Kaplan and Jennifer Steinhauer contributed reporting.

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http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/22/media/alternative-facts-donald-trump/index.html

'Alternative facts:' Why the Trump team is 'planting a flag' in war on media
by Brian Stelter @brianstelter
January 22, 2017
CNN

"Alternative facts" are lies

The alternative to "facts" is "fictions."

But President Trump's special adviser Kellyanne Conway proposed something new on Sunday: "alternative facts."

The strange phrase entered the lexicon when Conway told NBC's Chuck Todd that the numerous misstatements in press secretary Sean Spicer's angry statement to reporters Saturday were actually "alternative facts."

Related: White House press secretary attacks media for accurately reporting inauguration crowds

The phrase called into the question Conway's understanding of the word "facts" and caused widespread mockery on Sunday.

But Conway's remarks were reflective of something real -- a new administration which feels, on day three, that it is already under siege from unfair reporters. Trump himself spoke about his "running war with the media" on Saturday.

Spicer, Conway and other Trump aides are "planting a flag, saying they're not going to tolerate this," a longtime Trump aide told CNN on condition of anonymity.

The aide blasted alleged media "obsessions," using some of the exact same language Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus used on "Fox News Sunday."

"I'm saying there's an obsession by the media to delegitimize this president, and we are not going to sit around and let it happen," Priebus said on Fox. "We are going to fight back tooth and nail every day, and twice on Sunday."

The administration's view, according to the source, is that journalists have seized on Trump's popular vote loss; intelligence community findings regarding Russian interference in the election; and inauguration crowd size counts, all in order to "delegitimize" the new president.

Newsroom leaders strongly reject this suggestion.

"The president may feel he's at war with the media. 'The media' is just honest men and women trying to do their jobs," NPR head of news Michael Oreskes said on CNN's "Reliable Sources."

Spicer said at least five things that are not true during the five minutes that his angry statement lasted on Saturday. His false claim about Trump having the biggest inauguration audience ever, "period," came under severe scrutiny on the Sunday morning news shows and online. Meanwhile, Spicer had no further comment on the controversy.

Todd, the moderator of "Meet the Press," was startled by Conway's "alternative facts" explanation.

"Alternative facts are not facts. They're falsehoods," he said to her.

At one point in the interview, when Todd brought up "falsehoods," Conway said he was being "overly dramatic."

Before their discussion ended, Todd asked Conway if it's "a political tactic to come up with 'alternative facts' and try to set up the press as your enemy."

Conway replied, "no, I didn't say that at all."

But to a lot of journalists, that's exactly what it sounds like.

The presentation of "alternative facts" undermines the media's reporting of reality in a way that decreases public trust in the media -- and in facts.

The administration's tactics in its first days, coupled with Conway's invocation of "alternative facts," has observers worried that one of the ways it will "fight back" is to simply deny that two plus two equals four.

"Alternative facts" is "a George Orwell phrase," Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty said, referring to the science fiction novel "1984."

"This brings us to '1984' doublethink, where war is really peace, where famine is really plenty. That's what's happening here," political historian Allan Lichtman said on CNN Sunday afternoon.

The phrase was a top trending topic on Twitter during the day. Some people made jokes while others took it very seriously.

"'Alternative facts' is a euphemism of propagandists and authoritarians. The new White House administration is full of both. Actual facts," MTV's Jamil Smith tweeted.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary even tweaked Conway by tweeting out the definition of a "fact."

"May I say that we teach no courses in our journalism program about alternative facts," Frank Sesno, the director of the school and media public affairs at the George Washington University, said on CNN's "Reliable Sources."

"We will flunk you if you use alternative facts," he added.

Oreskes said Conway's "alternative facts" comments are symbolic of a larger "struggle going on in the world right now."

"There are people who understand that if you can create a different understanding of reality, you can actually change politics or anything else you want to deal with," he said.

The administration is likely not all that upset with the discussion it's started among the press about the truth and its flaunting of it. The Trump aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, pointed out a fringe benefit of the administration's media complaints: "By going out and doing this, it took images of people protesting off the TV."


http://www.salon.com/2017/01/21/congratulations-america-you-did-it-an-actual-fascist-is-now-your-official-president/

January 21, 2017

Congratulations, America — you did it! An actual fascist is now your official president

Yes, the word fits him, and it really happened. There is still time to fight back and save the best of America


by Chauncey DeVega
SALON




                      PHOTO: (Credit: Getty/Alex Wong)

Congratulations, America — you did it! An actual fascist is now your official president

America’s increasingly abnormal politics have now surrendered to dystopia.

Donald Trump, a serial liar, narcissist, failed businessman, political con artist, adulterer, professed grabber of women’s genitals without their permission, man who does not read, ignoramus, admirer and fan of despots and dictators, encourager of vigilante violence against innocent people, actor in a porn video, person who does not pay his employees, member of the Vladimir Putin fan club, racist landlord, preferred candidate of neo-Nazis and other fringe racists, professional wrestling villain, and candidate who incites violence against his political opponents, is now the 45th president of the United States of America.

Donald Trump is also a fascist authoritarian in the American mold and leader of the world’s most powerful and influential “democracy.”

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, the American news media desperately avoided using such language to describe Donald Trump. They did this because of material self-interest and advertising revenues, as well as an inability to accept how Trump had gamed obsolete journalistic norms of “fairness,” “balance” and “objectivity.”

In doing so, the American news media facilitated Trump’s rise to power. They labeled Trump as a “populist” who was “unconventional.” The American news media kept suggesting that Trump would “pivot” for the general election in order to win more “mainstream” and “centrist” voters. There were some bold voices who said that Trump had “authoritarian tendencies.” But very few commentators had the courage to plainly state that Donald Trump was a fascist — even though the evidence was growing then and is now insurmountable.

Video: Here's How Much Donald Trump's Inner Circle Is Worth

Consider the following:

Donald Trump does not believe in freedom of the press.
Donald Trump threatens his political enemies with violence and/or prison.
Donald Trump uses ethnocentrism, bigotry, nativism and racism to mobilize his voters.
Donald Trump does not believe in standing norms of democratic governance or tradition.
Donald Trump is a misogynist.
Donald Trump is obsessed with “strength” and his own “virility.”
Donald Trump promises “law and order.”
Donald Trump is a militant nationalist.
Donald Trump traffics in conspiracy theories and lies.
Donald Trump admires authoritarians and political strongmen.
 

Donald Trump’s most recent press conference was modeled on the way Vladimir Putin manipulates Russia’s news media.
Donald Trump has surrounded himself with a cabal that consists of family members and self-interested Cabinet appointees, who — like him — stand to enrich themselves through the agencies they are supposed to administer in the public interest.

Ultimately, the American news media were and are like the troglodytes in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” comforted by the dark because their eyes would be hurt by the light of the truth. Or, to borrow from a more contemporary example, the media did not want to face the situation Morpheus explains to Neo in “The Matrix”: “Standing there, facing the pure horrifying precision, I came to realize the obviousness of the truth.”

The anxiety about calling Donald Trump a fascist was also enabled by many liberals and progressives who were desperate to appear fair-minded by being politically generous to their conservative and Republican foes. Such people maintain an erroneous belief that there is some type of continuum or symmetry between today’s Republicans and the policies offered by Democrats.

Because liberals and progressives belong to a centuries-long tradition with origins in the Enlightenment, they are unprepared to deal with the primitive thinking and irrationality that drives Donald Trump’s political movement and contemporary conservatism more generally. In reality, the Republican Party abandoned any semblance of normal politics beginning with their assaults on Bill Clinton in the 1990s. This long decline culminated with the Republican reaction to Barack Obama and now the rise of Trump.

In New York magazine, Jonathan Chait offers a classic example of this dangerous liberal reasoning:

"It is impossible to know what course American democracy will take under Trump’s presidency. The fears of authoritarianism may prove overblown, and Trump may govern like a normal Republican."

This assumes there is something called a “normal Republican,” and that Trump is something else. But Trump won more votes than any Republican presidential candidate in history. Research shows that authoritarian attitudes have increased among the American public over the last 20 years, especially among Republicans. The Republican Party is the country’s largest white identity organization: It mobilizes anti-black and anti-brown animus for political gain. Since at least the 1960s, conservatism and racism have been functionally identical in this country. Trump leveraged those forces to maximum effect in order to defeat Hillary Clinton and win the White House.

In short, Donald Trump is a normal Republican. Pretending otherwise is what led the chattering classes to underestimate Trump’s appeal to the angry, authoritarian-minded white voters who elected him.

Donald Trump is a fascist. It’s not an easy thing to say. Own those words. Acknowledge the truth of the situation that America (and the world) now faces.

What to do now?

Protest marches are great. Now plan for what comes after the cathartic release.

Run for office on the local and state level. Practice political consumerism: Refuse to spend money at stores, banks, and other businesses that work with Trump, his administration or his enterprises. Target Republican officials with phone calls and emails. Let them know that if they support Trump there will be negative consequences at the ballot box.

Borrow from the obstructionist strategy that Republicans used against Barack Obama. Turn the metaphorical map upside down and practice political Aikido.

Learn from those groups and individuals who have been actively fighting fascism. Donald Trump and his movement are not normal. Do not make the mistake of treating them like they are. There is no room for negotiation or compromise.

America is your country. Donald Trump and his supporters represent the tyranny of minority opinion. Consequently, they are the worst example of the will, spirit and character of the American people.

Now is the time to reclaim the United States’ fundamental character before the world, and recapture the most noble sense of American exceptionalism. Shouting “Not in my name!” is a fine beginning, but not an ending. Resistance to Donald Trump and everything he represents must be the new normal. Anything less is not acceptable.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chauncey DeVega is a politics staff writer for Salon. His essays can also be found at Chaunceydevega.com. He also hosts a weekly podcast, The Chauncey DeVega Show. Chauncey can be followed on Twitter and Facebook.






Saturday, January 21, 2017

In Solidarity with the National Women's March


All,

It is always BEAUTIFUL AND INSPIRING to see the great masses of citizens actively fighting back against tyranny and oppression, and on behalf of freedom, justice, equality, and self determination. This massive national demonstration of the collective will of the people to directly and fiercely oppose the rising tide of white supremacy, male supremacy and misogyny, homophobia, as well as global capitalism, militarism, and imperialism not only here in the U.S. but throughout the world is the key to understanding what needs to be done to actually change this society and the general direction of the world.
The sterling and extremely necessary example that millions of women of every nationality as well as religious, secular, and ethnic and sexual identity have set for all the rest of us is a new template and strong foundation for the kind of major national social/political movements and massive networks of organizations, coalitions, and radical agendas that we’re all going to need to consistently contribute to and be an integral part of in this ongoing battle against the ferocious rightwing forces that are currently aligned against democracy and justice in this country.
Remember that the politics of race, class, gender, and sexuality are inextricably connected and mutually dependent on each other and always have been. and always will be. We especially need to make these connections known and an essential part of our political activity in fighting the billionaire sociopath and his neofascist administration’s programs and policies. This will require constant vigilance, discipline, and principled solidarity on our part so that this fundamental message is not forgotten or obscured as we make our demands and desires known.
So I am not merely "encouraged" by what the extraordinary leadership of women in this movement has accomplished in this nation over the past 36 hours. I am ENERGIZED by what is now possible as we proudly face the harrowing future without fear, cynicism, fatalism, or crippling self doubt.
So let's celebrate the fact that THE RESISTANCE has begun and remember always as the late, great Malcolm X often said "they can't stop it because they didn't start it"...

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win...

Kofi

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/21/us/women-march-protest-president-trump.html?_r=0 


Defiant Voices Flood U.S. Cities as Women Rally for Rights



Three Generations of Women, Marching on Washington




For Amber Coleman-Mortley, the Women’s March on Washington was a family affair.
by BRENT McDONALD and BEN C. SOLOMON on Publish Date January 21, 2017. Photo by Ben C. Solomon/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video 

WASHINGTON — The day after what many had assumed would be the inauguration of the first female president, hundreds of thousands of women flooded the streets of Washington, and many more marched in cities across the country, in defiant, jubilant rallies against the man who defeated her.
Protesters jammed the streets near the Capitol for the main demonstration, packed so tightly at times that they could barely move. In Chicago, the size of a rally so quickly outgrew early estimates that the official march that was scheduled to follow was canceled for safety, though many paraded through downtown, anyway.
In Manhattan, Fifth Avenue became a tide of signs and symbolic pink hats, while in downtown Los Angeles, shouts of “love trumps hate” echoed along a one-mile route leading to City Hall, with many demonstrators spilling over into adjacent streets in a huge, festival-like atmosphere.
The marches were the kickoff for what their leaders hope will be a sustained campaign of protest in a polarized nation, riven by an election that raised unsettling questions about American values, out-of-touch elites and barriers to women’s ambitions.

 

Women March Around the U.S.

Hundreds of thousands of women came out to march in Washington, D.C. There were also hundreds of solidarity marches held around the nation and the world.
by NEETI UPADHYE on Publish Date January 21, 2017. Photo by Hilary Swift for The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

On successive days, two parallel and separate Americas were on display in virtually the same location. First there was President Trump’s inauguration, his message of an ailing society he would restore to greatness aimed at the triumphant supporters who thronged Washington on Friday.

Then on Saturday, in what amounted to a counterinauguration, the speakers, performers and marchers proclaimed allegiance to a profoundly different vision of the nation. They voiced determination to protect an array of rights that they believe Mr. Trump threatens, and that they thought only recently were secure.
“Thank you for understanding that sometimes we must put our bodies where our beliefs are,” Gloria Steinem, the feminist icon and an honorary chairwoman of the march, told those gathered in Washington. “Pressing ‘send’ is not enough.”
To mobilize a progressive movement reeling from Hillary Clinton’s defeat, organizers broadened the platform beyond longstanding women’s issues such as abortion, equal pay and sexual assault to include immigrant rights, police brutality, mass incarceration, voter suppression and environmental protections


Protesters at the women’s march in Paris on Saturday. Credit Jacky Naegelen/Reuters

But the march’s origins were in the outrage and despair of many women after an election that placed gender in the spotlight as never before.
Mrs. Clinton assertively claimed the mantle of history, offering herself as the champion of women and families, and calling out her opponent for boasting of forcing himself on women in a recording that prompted a national conversation about sexual assault. In a sly allusion to the crude remarks Mr. Trump made on the tape, many marchers, women and men alike, wore pink “pussy hats” sporting cat ears.
In Washington, demonstrators old and young pushed strollers and hoisted children onto their shoulders or guided elderly parents through the milling crowds. They waved handmade signs: “Hate Does Not Make America Great,” “I Will Not Go Back Quietly to the 1950s” and “I’m 17 — Fear Me!” They chanted, “This is what democracy looks like.’”
Emma Wendt, 13, came with a large group of family members and schoolmates from Kensington, Md., for a simple reason: “being part of history.”

Crowds in hundreds of cities around the world gathered Saturday in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington. 

OPEN Photographs

The marchers were confronting a president who has appointed just a handful of women to his cabinet and inner circle, and who has pledged to nominate a Supreme Court justice who opposes abortion rights and to dismantle a health care act that covers contraception. His appointees have track records of voting to cut funding for anti-domestic violence programs, opposing increases in the minimum wage and restructuring Medicaid — moves that disproportionately affect women and minorities.
Crowd estimates were not available in some locations, but a city official in Washington said that participation there likely surpassed half a million, according to The Associated Press. Added to the more than 400,000 that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said had marched in New York City, hundreds of thousands more in Chicago and Los Angeles, and those who showed up at many other marches nationwide, the total attendance easily surpassed one million in the United States. Marches also took place in a number of cities abroad, including Berlin, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam and Cape Town.
In Boston, where the crowd swelled to 175,000, Senator Elizabeth Warren looked out at the admiring throngs and conjured up the image of Mr. Trump’s being sworn in the day before.
“The sight is now burned into my eyes forever,” Ms. Warren said, adding, “We will use that vision to fight harder.”

Estimates by crowd scientists of attendance at events on Friday and Saturday and how they calculated it. 
OPEN Graphic

Yet women did not protest — or vote — as a bloc. About 53 percent of white women voted for Mr. Trump, according to exit polls, and many said his demeaning comments about women mattered less to them than their belief that he had the independence and business experience to bring about change, restore well-paying jobs and protect America’s borders.
“The women’s march clearly doesn’t represent all women,” Alex Smith, the national chairwoman of the College Republicans, said in an email. She noted the exclusion of anti-abortion women’s groups from the event. “It is precisely this type of dogmatic intransigence that voters rejected.”
The marches came a day after confrontations between anti-Trump protesters and the police led to more than 200 arrests in Washington. But Saturday’s demonstrations were peaceful, and counterprotests were few. In St. Paul, one man was arrested after marchers reported he had “sprayed irritants” into the crowd, the police said.
Though the Washington march ended within sight of the White House, and some demonstrators passed by his recently opened hotel, Mr. Trump did not cross paths with the crowd. But on Sunday morning, Mr. Trump acknowledged the demonstrations on Twitter, questioning whether the protesters had voted.


A little later, Sunday, Mr. Trump added on Twitter that he supported the right of peaceable assembly.


Among those celebrity performers, were some who had appeared at campaign events for Mrs. Clinton, including Madonna, who gave a speech, said toward the end of of the march. “I have thought a lot about blowing up the White House. But I know that this will not change anything,” she said. (The Secret Service declined to comment on the remark, though an investigation seemed unlikely.)

A woman wore a United States flag as a hijab during a protest in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Credit Gregor Fischer/DPA, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

After attending the inauguration on Friday, Mrs. Clinton herself was not seen at the march. She did, however, acknowledge the moment on Twitter.
“Thanks for standing, speaking & marching for our values @womensmarch,” she wrote.


The marches captured the potential and the perils for the progressive movement — whether it can frame its message to appeal to new generations and whether it can translate protests into action locally and nationally.


In a sly allusion to crude remarks made by Mr. Trump about sexual assault, many marchers wore hats sporting cat ears. Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Plans for Saturday’s march in Washington began as Facebook posts just after the election by a retired lawyer in Hawaii and a fashion designer in New York, both of whom are white and had no experience organizing protests. Soon, protests flooded the feeds urging them to diversify. In the end, a triumvirate of African-American, Latina and Muslim women joined the leadership team.
The march’s initial struggles echoed broader debates in the movement about whether the courting of new demographic groups alienated the white working-class voters who had carried Mr. Trump to victory, or whether white women had betrayed gender solidarity by voting for him. Yet on Saturday, these tensions did not deter a multiracial, multigenerational turnout. Mothers marched with daughters and granddaughters; whole families, including husbands and sons, marched arm in arm.
Mikhael Tara Garver, 37, of Brooklyn, who marched with her mother, recalled how her family had reacted after the election: “We were all calling my great-aunts because we all knew how important Hillary was to them and how important surviving to see that moment was for them.”
Another family came from Baltimore. “We have to get away from fear,” said Lureen Grace Wiggins, 49. Her daughter, Eden, 17, was exhilarated by the size of the crowd: “When you’re out here and people see you, they know you care.”
The march was rich in historical allusions — most deliberately, the 1963 march led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But it echoed many other marches, including those in the 1970s that brought hundreds of thousands of women to the streets championing an Equal Rights Amendment that was ultimately defeated, and those from the late 1990s and on for abortion rights, culminating in a 2004 March for Women’s Lives that organizers said drew more than one million to the capital.
Saturday’s march happened to come just six days before quite a different one: the annual March for Life by opponents of abortion.
But perhaps the most apt analogy, said Ellen Fitzpatrick, the author of “The Highest Glass Ceiling,” was to the 1913 suffragists’ march on Washington, timed to coincide with the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson. Led by the renowned suffragist Alice Paul, it featured a lawyer, Inez Milholland, riding a white horse down Pennsylvania Avenue, with 24 floats, nine marching bands and luminaries like Helen Keller. The women were hooted and jeered at and roughed up by the police, prompting congressional hearings and generating public sympathy. They won the vote seven years later.
Faye Wattleton, the former president of Planned Parenthood, said that women have always had to regroup, even after they thought battles were won. “This is not new,” she said. “We have to go back to the battlefield and re-fight the wars against women.”

Correction: January 21, 2017
An earlier version of this article misstated the surname of the author of “The Highest Glass Ceiling.” It is Fitzpatrick, not Fitzgerald.



Friday, January 20, 2017

The Relentless Assault On American Democracy Has Begun: The Billionaire Sociopath Comes to the White House

 All,

JANUARY 20, 2017:  NATIONAL DAY OF RECKONING

Here comes the straight up evil agenda of the incoming neofascist administration led of course by the trolling billionaire sociopath. And if you don't think that this incredibly wealthy, greedy, selfish, bigoted, cruel, dishonest and ignorant gang of mercenary demagogues and pathological liars (for verification do your own research check of exactly who these people are and what they have actually done throughout their careers for the ugly evidence), are not going to relentlessly try to do every single thing that their "Fearless Leader" promised (and more) then you are seriously deluding yourself. The very disturbing truth is that this bunch of swaggering far rightwing bullies are going to be far worse than they are depicted in this article (which is reprehensible enough), and the fallout from the draconian policies they will propose and enact are going to have a devastating impact on not only the millions who voted against this administration and everything it stands for but will also adversely affect many of their resentful and scapegoating supporters as well. If you don't believe me just WATCH AND SEE...Stay tuned because the worse is yet to come...for real...

Kofi


Politics

Trump Nominees Make Clear Plans to Sweep Away Obama Policies

by MICHAEL D. SHEAR
January 19, 2017
New York Times

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump’s cabinet nominees, while moderating some of their stances, have made it clear during two weeks of hearings that they intend to work hard to sweep away President Obama’s domestic policy by embracing a deeply conservative approach to governing.

In dozens of hours of testimony, Mr. Trump’s nominees told senators that they favored less regulation, a smaller federal government, more state control over policy decisions and taxpayer money, and greater personal responsibility by Americans across the country.

The sometimes contentious hearings continued up until the day before the inauguration, as Mr. Trump triumphantly arrived in Washington on Thursday to kick off three highly choreographed days that will usher Republicans back into full political power in Washington for the first time in more than a decade.

After arriving at Joint Base Andrews on a military plane that will become Air Force One the next time he steps onboard, Mr. Trump visited the Trump International Hotel before making an appearance at the Lincoln Memorial, where thousands watched an inaugural concert.

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“All over the world they are talking about it. All over the world,” Mr. Trump told the crowd before a fireworks display over the National Mall. “And I love you folks, and we’re going to work together. And we are going to make America great again.”
That work will be shaped by the new president’s cabinet, which is coming under scrutiny as lawmakers from both parties press the nominees about their fealty to Mr. Trump’s campaign promises and their adherence to their own long records.
Many of the nominees sought to shave the sharp edges off Mr. Trump’s more provocative campaign promises and their own past decisions and statements. Some backed away completely from past assertions, making clean breaks with Mr. Trump on climate change or the need to build a wall at the Mexican border.

Others remained vague about their commitment to the most divisive proposals in their policy areas, leaving a veil of uncertainty over what they would do to lead their departments if confirmed.

Ben Carson, the housing secretary nominee, told lawmakers that “safety net programs are important.” But he did not disown past statements about the failure of government interventions and his belief that poverty was “really more of a choice than anything else.”

PHOTO: Ben Carson during his confirmation hearing to lead the department of housing and urban development last week. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency nominee, told senators that he now believed that “climate change is not a hoax.” But he also forcefully advocated a far smaller and more restrained agency, while criticizing federal rules established by Mr. Obama’s administration to protect air and water and tackle climate change.

Betsy DeVos, a longtime supporter of charter schools, pledged to work for “common ground,” but did not back down on the use of federal money for private and religious schools. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the attorney general nominee, vowed to be “impartial and enforce laws that I didn’t vote for,” while holding firm to a decades-long conservative approach to immigration and civil rights.

Several Democratic lawmakers appeared exasperated as they sought to pin the nominees down on the actions they intended to take in office.

“Will you insist upon that equal accountability in any K-12 school or educational program that receives federal funding whether public, public charter or private?” Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, asked Ms. DeVos.

“I support accountability,” she said, repeating that phrase three times in response to Mr. Kaine’s efforts to extract a more detailed answer.

But there is no doubt that Mr. Trump’s nominees collectively will lead an effort to undermine the legacy of Mr. Obama on the environment, health care, immigration, civil rights and education.

In his remarks to lawmakers, Representative Tom Price of Georgia, the nominee for secretary of health and human services, promised to lead an effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Representative Ryan Zinke of Montana, the nominee to lead the Interior Department, said he supported drilling, mining and logging on federal lands. Mr. Sessions came to the defense of police departments, saying officers had been “unfairly maligned and blamed” for the actions of a few in cases involving the deaths of young black men.“There’s a great deal of reform coming to Washington,” Sean Spicer, the president’s incoming press secretary, said during his first on-camera briefing on Thursday. “These are amazing individuals that have a commitment to enacting an agenda of change.”

Taken together, the congressional testimony reflects a domestic policy agenda that is still evolving. The president-elect recently said he wanted his nominees to “be themselves and express their own thoughts, not mine!” On Friday, he will have an opportunity to sketch out a broad vision during his inaugural address from the steps of the Capitol. 

During his campaign, Mr. Trump was often contradictory in laying out a domestic policy blueprint.

On immigration, he talked about the mass deportation of 11 million undocumented workers, then later said he was focused on getting “bad dudes” out of the country. He also proposed, then backed away from, a total ban on Muslim immigration to the United States.

PHOTO: Betsy DeVos arriving for her confirmation hearing to be secretary of education on Tuesday. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

Mr. Trump at times called for having guns in classrooms, but other times said he opposed that policy. He said he was against a “first-strike” policy on the use of nuclear weapons, but also said he could not “take anything off the table.” He said in one interview that he would criminalize a woman’s decision to have an abortion; in another, he said the opposite.

As his nominees faced lawmakers during the past two weeks, many of them took a similar approach, responding to questions about their records with less hard-edge language even as they declined to accept Democrats’ approaches.

The hearing for Mr. Price was one example. Mr. Price, an orthopedic surgeon from an Atlanta suburb, sought to reassure senators that he and Mr. Trump did not want to let people “fall through the cracks” as they overhauled the nation’s health care system.

“Nobody’s interested in pulling the rug out from under anybody,” Mr. Price said. “We believe that it’s absolutely imperative that individuals that have health coverage be able to keep health coverage and move, hopefully, to greater choices and opportunities.”

But any Democrats who heard those comments as a kind of concession in the fight to unravel Mr. Obama’s health care law are likely to be disappointed.

Mr. Price insisted that “states know best” in caring for Medicaid beneficiaries. He said the government should not dictate care to patients. And he vowed that Mr. Trump and his administration would put in place “a different construct” for providing health care to every American.

Wilbur Ross, the billionaire investor who will serve as commerce secretary if he is confirmed, also tried to reassure senators on issues like trade, even as he echoed some of Mr. Trump’s more incendiary promises of economic warfare with other nations.

Like the president-elect, Mr. Ross lashed out at China, accusing it of being “the most protectionist country of the very large countries — they talk more about free trade than they actually practice.”

But he also declared that he was “not anti-trade” and declared as unworkable Mr. Trump’s proposal of a 35 percent tax on American companies that manufacture goods overseas and try to sell them in the United States.

Shortly after arriving in Washington on Thursday, Mr. Trump toasted his cabinet nominees, telling a luncheon audience at his Pennsylvania Avenue hotel that there had never been better ones.

“We have by far the highest I.Q.,” he said, “of any cabinet ever assembled.”

A version of this article appears in print on January 20, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Trump Arrives, Set to Assume Power. Order Reprints| Today's Paper


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PHOTO: Scott Pruitt arriving for his confirmation hearing to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday. Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

Over two weeks of hearings, Donald J. Trump’s cabinet picks have strongly embraced a deeply conservative approach to governing.  nytimes.com


All,

If you think this speech by the billionaire sociopath and everything it both says and connotes is in any way whatsoever a sane or rational understanding of political, social, and economic reality in either this country or the rest of the world in the 21st century you are as clinically braindead and arrogantly delusional as he is...Look out folks because here comes the catastrophe...

Kofi

Donald Trump full inaugural address as 45th President of United States 

United States President Donald Trump spoke to the nation for the first time as Commander-in-Chief Friday afternoon moments after taking the oath of office to become the 45th President.

 
United States President Donald Trump spoke to the nation for the first time as Commander-in-Chief…

A BLAST FROM THE (VERY RECENT) PAST...
"WHAT'S PAST IS PROLOGUE..."


The Post's View
The clear and present danger of Donald Trump

by Editorial Board
September 30, 2016
The Washington Post

IF YOU know that Donald Trump is ignorant, unprepared and bigoted, but are thinking of voting for him anyway because you doubt he could do much harm — this editorial is for you.

Your support of the Republican presidential nominee may be motivated by dislike of the Democratic alternative, disgust with the Washington establishment or a desire to send a message in favor of change. You may not approve of everything Mr. Trump has had to say about nuclear weapons, torture or mass deportations, but you doubt he could implement anything too radical. Congress, the courts, the Constitution — these would keep Mr. Trump in check, you think.

Well, think again. A President Trump could, unilaterally, change this country to its core. By remaking U.S. relations with other nations, he could fundamentally reshape the world, too.

Of course, in many areas Mr. Trump would not have to act unilaterally. If he won, chances are Republicans would maintain control of Congress. GOP majorities there would be enthusiastic participants in much of what Mr. Trump would like to do: gutting environmental and workplace regulations, slashing taxes so that the debt skyrockets, appointing Supreme Court justices who oppose a woman’s right to have an abortion. In areas where Republican officeholders such as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) imagine themselves acting as a brake on Mr. Trump’s worst instincts, skepticism is in order. If these supposed leaders are too craven to oppose Mr. Trump as a candidate, knowing the danger he presents, why should we expect them to stand up to the bully once he was fully empowered?

But say they did — or imagine, also improbably, that Mr. Trump faced a Democratic Congress. The president would appoint officers — a budget director, an attorney general, a CIA chief — who were disposed to let him have his way. And in the U.S. system, the scope for executive action is, as we will lay out in a series of editorials next week, astonishingly broad. At times we have questioned President Obama’s sweeping use of those powers even when we agreed with his goals, such as his broad grant of amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants. Mr. Trump could push it much further.

The Washington Post explores the origins of Donald Trump's transformation from a businessman to political candidate. (McKenna Ewen, Whitney Shefte, Dalton Bennett/The Washington Post)

Could he tear up long-standing international agreements? Round up and expel millions of longtime U.S. residents? Impose giant tariffs? Waterboard terrorist suspects? Yes, yes, yes and yes — all without so much as an if-you-please to Congress. Could he bar the media from covering him? To a large extent, yes. Could he use the government to help his businesses and, as he has threatened, injure those he perceives as enemies? Yes, he could.

Given Mr. Trump’s ever-evolving positions, and the apparent absence of fundamental beliefs other than in his own brilliance, it would be foolish to make flat predictions of how he would behave. Nor do we underestimate the resilience of the U.S. system or the devotion that U.S. government workers bring to the rule of law.

But it would be reckless not to consider the damage Mr. Trump might wreak. Some of that damage would ensue more from who he is than what he does. His racism and disparagement of women could empower extremists who are now on the margins of American politics, while his lies and conspiracy theories could legitimize discourse that until now has been relegated to the fringe. But his scope for action should not be underestimated, either. In our upcoming editorials, we will examine some arenas where Mr. Trump has been relatively clear about his intentions — and where presidential powers are mighty. We hope you will read them before you vote.

The damage Mr. Trump could do:

A President Trump could deport freely


A President Trump could end the era of American global leadership


A President Trump could wreck progress on global warming


A President Trump could destroy the world economy


How much damage could a President Trump do? We can only begin to imagine.


PHOTO: Donald Trump at a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Wednesday. (John Locher/Associated Press)

The first in a series of editorials on the damage he could wreak unilaterally as president.