Jan 18

‘Power to the Polls’ — Women’s March anniversary event kicks off in Las Vegas

It’s been a year since millions of women gathered in the streets of Washington, D.C. in solidarity in the largest single-day protest in American History. To celebrate the anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March, the event returns to Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday where women will rally together once again.

“The whole point of the women’s march is for women to take agency over their own lives,” Bob Bland, co-founder of the Women’s March said in a statement to HuffPost. “We are the leaders we’ve been waiting for. Now’s the time to step up.”

The 2018 Women’s March main event, “Power to the Polls,” aims to “motivate citizens into political action,” according to HuffPost. The goal this weekend is to reinvigorate resistance against Trump’s political agenda and encourage people to vote through voter registration.

The Women’s March, which takes place at 10 a.m. at the Sam Boyd Stadium, chose Nevada as the host state because it’s a battleground state for the 2018 mid-term elections and it was also the place where the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history took place.

Around the country, there are more than 250 marches and rallies planned for Saturday.

After Sunday’s event, the Women’s March plans to keep the momentum going with a national tour across 10 swing states. State coordinators and local groups from the Women’s March will host town halls, give candidate trainings, schedule rallies and provide voter registration.

“This year we rallied, we’ve marched, we’ve held town halls, we’ve huddled, we’ve written postcards, and we’ve run for office in bigger numbers that before,” Bland said in a statement to HuffPost. “All of it was culminating in the moment, which is the anniversary of the Women’s March, where we convert our collective power that we all felt last year on January 21st into a groundswell of political power.”

For a searchable directory of this weekend’s events, click here.

The post ‘Power to the Polls’ — Women’s March anniversary event kicks off in Las Vegas appeared first on NationofChange.


Jan 18

Who should play Trump team in Fire and Fury TV show? We asked Google’s arts app

With Michael Wolff’s explosive book potentially headed for the small screen, the Arts & Culture app offers some casting suggestions

Michael Wolff’s bestselling book on the Trump White House, Fire and Fury, may now be turned into a TV series, according to reports on Wednesday.

But who should play the key figures? We decided to ask the app of the moment, Google Arts & Culture, which matches people’s faces to artworks hanging in 17 major museums. Because why not.

Continue reading…
US politics | The Guardian

Jan 18

Basically Everyone in California Wants to Keep Coal Out of Oakland—But That Might Not Be Enough

For the past three years, developers have been pushing to make Oakland the home of the largest coal-export facility on the West Coast, looking to move millions of tons of coal through its port every year. There’s one big problem: Just about no one in Oakland actually wants that.

It already has one of the largest ports in the country, handling about 2.5 million shipping containers per year, sending goods like clothes, electronics, dried food, wine, and paper overseas. Back in 2012, Oakland-based developer Phil Tagami won a contract to expand the port’s operations by turning a portion of the former Oakland Army Base into a multi-commodity shipping facility, Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal LCC (OBOT).

At the time, Tagami assured the city he had no interest in handling coal, but in 2015, he changed course; his company sought a $ 53 million deal with coal-mining counties in Utah that would bring coal from the state through Oakland and off to willing buyers in Asia. The deal would raise US coal exports by an estimated 19 percent, according to the Sierra Club.

The plan, though, is still stuck in limbo. A wave of anti-coal protests followed OBOT’s deal, and the next year the city passed an ordinance banning the storage and handling of coal, citing “substantially dangerous” health conditions caused by coal dust. City neighborhoods, including West Oakland, already “bear the brunt of health-related impacts” caused by industry, the ordinance says, and see disproportionately higher rates of asthma, premature births, and cardiovascular disease.

The battle for the future of the city—and the health of a chunk of its some 420,000 residents—is now on the precipice of its breaking point, as a federal judge starts to hear testimony from the project’s managers, environmental experts, and government officials this week. But the fate of Oakland isn’t the only thing on the line. As a state recognized for its environmental consciousness and leadership, introducing an immense coal-export facility in Oakland, government officials argue, would be a step backward for both California and the country.

“On the local level, what’s at stake here is the health and safety of Oakland’s already most vulnerable residents,” the city’s mayor, Libby Schaaf, who supports the city’s coal transport ban, tells Mother Jones in an email. “On a broader level, it’s the health and safety for all of us and the hope that success here can be a success for environmental justice throughout the country.”

Inside the courtroom on Tuesday morning, just as the trial was kicking off, the scene was low-key despite about dozen protesters wearing bright red “NO COAL IN OAKLAND” shirts in attendance.

The lawsuit was filed back in December 2016 by Tagami—a friend and former fundraiser of Governor Jerry Brown—claiming the city’s coal ban constituted a breach of contract and and violated federal trade and commerce laws. The city, though, argues the ban is a legitimate measure necessary to protect the health of its citizens, and many top state officials agree. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a 2017 press release that Oakland’s ban on coal handling within city limits was a “legal right” and the California Department of Justice offers their “full-fledged support.” “Breathing clean air should not be a privilege for the few, but a right for all,” he said in a statement.

A 2016 report commissioned by Oakland’s City Council found that coal trains would “exacerbate already poor air quality” in Oakland, and that two schools, a child care center, and a park within 1,000 feet of the port rail yard would be “directly affected.” On top of that, West Oakland residents already face seven times the risk of cancer due to particulate matter emissions from port operations alone, compared to the rest of the region, according to an amicus brief submitted by Becerra on behalf of the city.

“Oaklanders understand that a coal export terminal will have horrific impacts on the health and safety, indeed the very lives, of West Oakland residents, particularly children, who are disproportionately African American and other people of color,” Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker tells Mother Jones in an email. “We are continuing to vigorously defend the city’s lawful policy banning storage and handling of coal.”

On the other side, a 2015 report prepared for the developer’s firm found that the amount coal dust in this case would be “negligible,” since they claim the rail cars would be covered. It concludes, “public health and the environment will not be harmed by the limited emissions” of coal transport and handling. Tagami also testified Tuesday that if the project were to exceed environmental air quality standards, he would be required to stop operations immediately. The real issue, Tagami argues, is a contractual one.

“We’re committed to meet all the terms of our agreement, and follow them,” Tagami said from the witness stand. “We would like to bring this project to conclusion. It’s been a lot of hard work and there’s still more work to do, so we’d like to get back to it.” (Tagami’s lawyer declined to be interviewed for this story.)

The final day of trial is scheduled for Tuesday, January 23—a day that probably can’t come soon enough for the city. The legal battle has already cost Oakland $ 1.4 million in attorney’s fees, according to recent analysis by the San Francisco Chronicle.

“When we are up against high-priced law firms spending on the other side, we can’t just use second-tier lawyers for our side,” Councilman Dan Kalb told the Chronicle. “Not that we are using the most expensive we can get, but they are very good lawyers and not necessarily cheap.”

The verdict in the case, of course, won’t only impact the health of Oakland residents. As an area particularly vulnerable to sea level rise, Oakland and many of the protesters argue that exporting coal would indirectly harm their coastal city—not to mention a slew of other vulnerable coastal areas across the globe. If power plants burned all the coal OBOT wants to export, it would produce 13.8 to 15.65 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, city-commissioned analysis claims.

“We do feel a responsibility to the people of the world,” Ted Franklin, a coordinator for the No Coal in Oakland environmental group which is leading a large contingent of protests against OBOT, tells Mother Jones. “Coal is the most toxic and polluting fossil fuel. We’re very concerned about burning it and contributing to global warming.”

Mother Jones

Jan 18


When I turned 80 three years ago, I retired my weekly PBS series and have since focused on the web with a small, dedicated team as the avenue for our journalism. Now it’s time for another farewell. Continue reading

The post Farewell appeared first on BillMoyers.com.


Jan 18

Midday open thread: 2017 2nd hottest year ever recorded; not worth it say recent law school grads

Today’s comic by Ruben Bolling is Donald Trump sweeps the Fake News Awards nominations:

2017 second hottest year ever recorded:

It’s official: 2017 was one of the hottest years ever recorded on Earth. On Thursday, NASA reported that only 2016 was warmer.  

Every year, NASA collects data on the planet’s temperature record and releases a report that explains climate trends. On average, the planet’s surface temperature has risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit during the last 100 years, a change that can be blamed on the increasing amount of human-made emissions, such as carbon dioxide. “[T]emperatures over the planet as a whole continue the rapid warming trend we’ve seen over the last 40 years,” Gavin Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies that conducted the study said in a press release. 

Poll: World’s confidence in U.S. leadership hits record low:

Global confidence in US leadership has fallen to a new low, and the country now ranks below China in worldwide approval ratings, according to a new Gallup poll.

The survey of opinion in 134 countries showed a record collapse in approval for the US role in the world, from 48% under Obama to 30% after one year of Donald Trump – the lowest level Gallup has recorded since beginning its global leadership poll over a decade ago. […]

In just under half of the world’s countries—65 out of 134—US standing collapsed, by 10 percentage points or more. Some of the biggest losses were among Washington’s closest allies in western Europe, Australia and Latin America.

Rover Pipeline spills another 150,000 gallons of drilling fluid into Ohio wetlands:

Energy Transfer Partners‘ troubled $ 4.2 billion Rover pipeline has spilled nearly 150,000 gallons of drilling fluid into wetlands near the Tuscarawas River in Stark County, Ohio—the same site where it released 2 million gallons in April.

The 713-mile pipeline, which will carry fracked gas across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Michigan and Canada, is currently under construction by the same Dallas-based company that built the controversial Dakota Access pipeline.



Put aside the fact that this is unethical. Put aside the fact that it is dangerous. This is an abhorrent betrayal of American values — we don’t withhold health care from someone based on how they identify or who they love. https://t.co/J4IrHUtbYF

— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) January 18, 2018

Republican activist from Northern Virginia quits party:

Kyle McDaniel, 28, served on the party’s State Central Committee for two years and has worked as a top aide for Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield), who said he had hoped McDaniel would eventually run for public office.

But McDaniel said he harbored increasing reservations over where the party has been heading. On Tuesday, he sent a letter of resignation to State Party Chairman John Whitbeck that described events he “could no longer stomach,” including Trump’s reported reference last week to Haiti as a “shithole” country and the defense by some party leaders of this summer’s rally by neo-Nazis in Charlottesville that led to the death of a 32-year-old woman.

After 13 years, HuffPost ends unpaid contributions:

[T]he site’s days of encouraging everyday citizens to report on the news are over. On Thursday, it said it was immediately dissolving its self-publishing contributors platform — which has mushroomed to include 100,000 writers — in what is perhaps the most significant break from the past under its editor in chief, Lydia Polgreen, who joined the news site, which is now called HuffPost, a year ago.

The decision was rooted as much in a move to declutter the site as in Ms. Polgreen’s desire to focus on quality reporting and minimize unvetted stories at a time when there is so much misinformation online.

Most recent law school graduates say it wasn’t worth it:

A majority of graduates who got their law degrees during or after the Great Recession say their degrees were not worth the cost, according to a new study.

The study released Tuesday by AccessLex and Gallup showed high student loan debt and increasing uncertainty about the legal profession have led more grads to say their law degree was not worth the cost.

Only 48 percent of all law school graduates interviewed for the report said they “strongly agree” that their degree was worth the cost.

William Rivers Pitt’s love/hate relationship with “Fire and Fury”:

I hated reading it because it not only encapsulates the reality TV show our government has become, it expands upon it and in many ways, feeds it. Although there is merit to the book’s publication, we should remember while reading it that there is no President Trump without the corporate news media’s lavish assistance throughout the 2016 campaign. Candidate Trump was great TV; President Trump is even better. Throw a juicy scandal book onto the pyre and the ratings pop like a knot in the bark. […]

I don’t like Donald Trump. The Wolff book doesn’t like Donald Trump. I was predisposed to enjoy it, and I did, because it is a peek at a wreck, and if some of the facts have a case of the wobbles, it’s still difficult to look away.

Let’s remember, though, that it is also a confection for the media, grist for the mill, cash money. Mainstream media outlets, clearly, are not at all tired of all this winning. We’re trapped in a bad plot we didn’t write, binge-watching history as the ratings soar

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Rare Greg Dworkin/Armando agreement episode! It’s hard not to agree the Gop owns the looming shutdown & Trump co-signed the loan. Dotard J. Trump isn’t just his fan club’s president. He’s also a client! Trump-RUS-NRA love triangle is news. Again!

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Daily Kos

Jan 18

The Democrats Would Be Insane Not to Let the Government Shut Down Without a Dream Act

The party's entire base is behind it.

After what seems like three million news cycles and hot takes on “sh*thole countries,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of legal protections, commonly known as DACA, for nearly 800,000 Americans who came to the United States as children. Many of these people, known as the Dreamers, have gone to college, bought homes and worked in the U.S. for decades, but do not have American citizenship. They are at risk of deportation as early as March 5, if Congress allows their immigration protections to expire.

On January 19, Democrats in Congress have a rare opportunity to do more than trot out DACA recipients at press conferences by showing their commitment to these Americans by voting against a continuing resolution, and yes, shutting down the government, if it does not include a clean Dream Act.

They've already missed two opportunities.

First, in September, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) met with Donald Trump to hammer out a deal that included protection from deportation for young immigrants in exchange for enhanced border security. In a joint statement in September, Schumer and Pelosi said, “We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.”

The next day, Schumer was caught on a hot mic, saying of a dinner meeting with President Trump, “He likes me.” Trump even chimed in saying that, “More and more we’re trying to work things out together,” the Associated Press reported. 

Shockingly for Schumer and Pelosi, though perhaps not for legions of stiffed construction workers and contractors, or anyone who's followed Trump's career for the last 40 years, he reneged on the deal. Immigration activists, with allies from across the spectrum of the anti-Trump left, began pressuring the Democrats to vote against the next continuing resolution in December if it too did not include a Dream Act.

A coalition of groups including Indivisible, United We Dream and the National Immigration Law Center said in a joint statement, “At a time of great urgency, the message Schumer and Pelosi sent to immigrant youth was, ‘wait.’ Yet every day that teenagers are not able to apply for DACA is a day that they fall into a deadly gap where they live at risk of deportation.”

Pelosi consoled the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are at risk of losing their DACA protections by telling them, “We will not leave here without a DACA fix.” Yet they did. Activists were once again livid. “We are ready to label them as what they are: enablers of the deportation campaign that the White House wants to drive,” Adrian Reyna, director of membership and technology for advocacy group United We Dream told the Huffington Post. “We’re ready to label them as the deportation caucus.” 

With Congress back in session after the new year, Angel Padilla, policy director of Indivisible, told AlterNet, “For us, it's simple….when there are 800,000 DACA recipients who are at risk, you cannot as a U.S. senator vote for a spending bill that funds deportation activities if it does not do something for Dreamers, because then what you're doing is you're essentially voting to deport Dreamers.”

“All these things have a huge impact on our country, on our communities, on our economy,” Bruna Bouhid, a spokeswoman for United We Dream, told AlterNet. “We're more powerful when we all stand together, and I think that's what you'll see from United We Dream, from other organizations, and from the progressive movement, who has stood by us through very challenging times.”

It's a message that a wide range of unlikely allies can get behind. During the first attempt to rescind DACA, CEOs of 400 companies, including Facebook, Google, Best Buy, and Wells Fargo, wrote a letter to Trump urging him to protect the Dreamers.

Wells Fargo, which funds private immigration prisons, apparently has more respect for some immigrants than Republican members of Congress do. A broad spectrum of the anti-Trump left, from the former Bernie Sanders staffers at Our Revolution to Indivisible to the center-left Center for American Progress, supports a shutdown if the Dream Act doesn't pass.

The Dream Act also has broad support in swing states. A new poll from MoveOn.org Civic Action, Center for American Progress Action Fund, and SEIU shows support among voters in 12 battleground states (Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin). Among the findings:

“81% of battleground voters say a budget agreement should prevent the deportation of Dreamers by granting them legal status to remain in the country. … Support for protections is nearly as strong in red states, which voted for both Romney and Trump (79%), as in purple states that went for Obama and Trump (82%).”

Plus, the poll shows, by an 11 percent margin, “If there is a government shutdown because of an impasse over the government funding bill, most voters’ instincts will be to blame President Trump and the Republican majority in Congress.”

“It’s rare that the politically smart thing and the right thing align so perfectly; they need to seize this opportunity,” said Shannon Stagman, of Empire State Indivisible.

They should do so despite GOP attempts to hold other programs hostage. In a last-ditch attempt to force yes votes from Democrats, Republicans are including a six-year reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health insurance coverage for nine million poor kids, and ran out of funding in September. It's critical that the program be reauthorized, and there's no reason a continuing resolution can't include funding for both CHIP and a Dream Act.

As Paul McLeod writes in Buzzfeed, “Democrats will have to choose between sticking to their guns and potentially forcing a government shutdown over DACA, or taking the CHIP funding for now and hoping for an immigration bill to pass before the March deadline.”

So far, Schumer appears to be holding firmer than in December. “The revulsion toward that bill was broad and strong,” he told reporters after a meeting with his caucus, reported HuffPost.  

“The overwhelming number in our caucus have said they don’t like this deal and they believe if we kick the can down the road this time we’ll be back where we started from next time,” Schumer continued. “There’s very, very strong support not to go along with their deal.”

To encourage Democrats to stick to their guns and encourage activists to pressure them to do so, the former Obama staffers at Crooked Media created a site to track which Democrats are willing to fight—a chart labels them “fight club”—and which Democrats aren't (labeled “waffle house”). There's an updated whip count, call scripts with phone numbers and background information on how to lobby members of Congress. 

They have less than two days. 800,000 Americans depend on it. 


Related Stories

AlterNet.org Main RSS Feed

Jan 18

The Rover Pipeline spills again, in the same spot where it spilled 2 million gallons last year

The Rover pipeline, owned and operated by Energy Transfer Partners, has spilled 150,000 gallons of drilling fluid into wetlands near the Tuscarawas River in Stark County, Ohio. Last April, the pipeline spilled 2 million gallons in the same area.

The pipeline, which cost $ 4.2 billion and cover 713 miles, has been dubbed a “climate disaster.” An analysis by Oil Change international last summer round that is the pipeline was built it would cause as much greenhouse gas pollution as 42 coal-fired power plants.

A partial stop to drilling activities was called for after the pipeline spilled 2 million gallons into fragile wetlands. Ohio regulators have fined the company for violations multiple times. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has had to investigate the presente of toxic diesel fuel in spilled water, and more than 100 organization have called for the FERC to reevaluate the pipeline’s permit, but nothing has been done.

Drilling activities resumed in December, and only a month later the pipeline has spilled again.

The Rover pipeline alone has more “noncompliance incidents” than any other interstate gas pipeline. It has set the record for more native inspection reports that any other major interstate natural gas pipeline. The pipeline has accrued 104 violations since construction started last March. This is more negative reports than the next four pipeline projects combined.

The Ohio Environmental Protection agency inspected the newest spill on January 10 and reported 146,000 gallons of drilling fluids had been leaked down the pilot hole installation under the Tuscarawas River. Three attempts to seal the hole have failed.

Ohio EPA says it it “intends to closely monitor this situation if loss of returns continues.”

Energy Transfer Partners is the same company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline and has a reported 69 accidents that have polluted rivers in the last two years. 

Last September the company was fined $ 2.3 million for several water and air pollution violations in Ohio alone.

The post The Rover Pipeline spills again, in the same spot where it spilled 2 million gallons last year appeared first on NationofChange.


Jan 18

Government shutdown: Congress struggles to find solution as deadline nears

  • US lawmakers racing towards deadline to pass spending bill
  • Donald Trump points finger at Democrats over Daca stance

Budget negotiations in Congress remained stalled on Thursday as Donald Trump, preparing to mark his first anniversary in office, faced the prospect of the first government shutdown in four years.

US lawmakers are racing toward a deadline to pass a spending bill or trigger the shutdown – which would freeze most government services and leave federal workers going unpaid.

Continue reading…
US politics | The Guardian

Jan 18

2017 Set an Astonishing New Temperature Record

The 2017 temps are in, and NASA reports that 2017 was the second-hottest year on record. On a global basis, 2017 was 0.9ºC hotter than the 20th century average. More importantly, it was the hottest by far outside of El Niño years. 2017 was an astonishing 0.26°C hotter than the previous hottest non-El Niño year.

Just for a change of pace, though, let’s take a look at temperatures in the northern hemisphere, since that’s where most of us live. For the last couple of decades, the northern hemisphere has been heating up considerably more than the planet as a whole: in 2017, the northern hemisphere was a full 1.11ºC hotter than the 20th century average. Here’s the 50-year temperature record for the northern hemisphere:

And here are northern hemisphere temps solely for years without an El Niño event. 2017 was 0.28°C hotter than the previous record holder:

Just more fake news, I suppose.

Mother Jones

Jan 18

Additions to Our Trump-Russia Timelines

Keep up with the latest entries on our timelines tracking Trump and his inner circle’s involvement with Russia. Continue reading

The post Additions to Our Trump-Russia Timelines appeared first on BillMoyers.com.