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General News You Want to Talk About

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41default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:18 am


Advanced II
Advanced II
I don't know if this thread is made for this kind of "news" but, this morning, I woke up discovering there was snow all over the garden. 


As it doesn't often snow where I live, it made my day :amused

42default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:50 am


We might need a thread for random chit chat?

There was some snow here almost two months ago, but right now it's just some pretty frost.

General News You Want to Talk About - Page 3 PxGAOXz

43default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Sun Jan 01, 2017 1:05 am


Nice video, Jeremy.   What a gorgeous winter wonderland.   I can see why it would make your day; what a beautiful surprise to wake up to a snow-covered landscape!   Your garden looks lovely.  :happy face 

Good idea, Lin!  I opened up a new thread for random chit-chat.    You can go here:  What's on your mind? Let's chat.

That pic is also lovely, Lin.

44default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:17 pm


Yesterday was an emotional day.   President Obama's Farewell Address was last night.   I cried.  I am going to miss President Obama and his family. 

My husband teased me that I must be a sucker for pain, because yesterday, i watched C-SPAN's coverage of the confirmation hearing for Sessions (for Attorney General) for a little while.   I was surprised to see how soft were the questions posed to Sessions by some of the Democrats (Senator Al Franken being the exception).   I guess being in the Senate together (and working out in the gym together, which hilariously has been reported by the news outlets) has led to this.   However, Senator Cory Booker testified against Sessions today. 

Today, I watched some of the confirmation hearing of Tillerson for Secretary of State.   It was hilarious to see Marco Rubio go after Tillerson regarding Russia.  I was surprised to see a Republican Senator so aggressive regarding Trump's nominee, but I know there is no love lost between Rubio and Trump.  Here's a video of Rubio's tough line of questioning directed at Tillerson:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/01/11/marco-rubio-is-not-playing-nice-with-donald-trumps-secretary-of-state-pick/?utm_term=.66eeeb3c4389

General News You Want to Talk About - Page 3 Footer_img
Photo Credit: narmdaddy

45default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:58 pm


San Francisco Chronicle wrote:
US judge bars deportations under Trump travel ban

A federal judge issued an emergency order Saturday night temporarily barring the U.S. from deporting people from nations subject to President Donald Trump's travel ban.

U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly in New York issued the emergency order after lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union filed a court petition on behalf of people from seven predominantly Muslim nations who were detained at airports across the country as the ban took effect.

[. . . ]

The order barred U.S. border agents from removing anyone who arrived in the U.S. with a valid visa from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. It also covered anyone with an approved refugee application.

It was unclear how quickly the order might affect people in detention.

Under Trump's order, it had appeared that an untold number of foreign-born U.S. residents now traveling outside the U.S. could be stuck overseas for at least 90 days even though they held permanent residency "green cards" or other visas. However, an official with the Department of Homeland Security said Saturday night that no green-card holders from the seven countries cited in Trump's order had been prevented from entering the U.S.

Some foreign nationals who were allowed to board flights before the order was signed Friday had been detained at U.S. airports, told they were no longer welcome. The DHS official who briefed reporters by phone said 109 people who were in transit on airplanes had been denied entry and 173 had not been allowed to get on their planes overseas.

[. . . ]

The order sparked protests at several of the nation's international airports, including New York's Kennedy and Chicago's O'Hare and facilities in Minneapolis and Dallas-Forth Worth. In San Francisco, hundreds blocked the street outside the arrival area of the international terminal. Several dozen demonstrated at the airport in Portland, Oregon, briefly disrupting light rail service while hoisting signs that read "Portland Coffee Is From Yemen" and chanting anti-Trump slogans. Among the dozens showing support for refugees at Denver's airport were those who sang "refugees are welcome here."

U.S. lawmakers and officials around the globe also criticized the move. Sen. Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said while Trump is right to focus on border security, the order is "too broad."

"If we send a signal to the Middle East that the U.S. sees all Muslims as jihadis, the terrorist recruiters win by telling kids that America is banning Muslims and that this is America versus one religion," Sasse said. "Our generational fight against jihadism requires wisdom."

[. . . ]

No refugees were in the air when the travel ban was signed Friday, but about 350 people were in transit in Nairobi, Kenya, and were now stuck there, said Melanie Nezer, vice president of policy and advocacy for HIAS, a refugee resettlement aid agency. She said several hundred more people who were booked on U.S.-bound flights in the next week were now stranded around the globe.

"This in effect could be a permanent ban," she said. "Many of these people may never be able to come."

46default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:06 am


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Advanced II
Speaking of Trump, I have some comic relief for you. It's a Dutch video but it's mostly in English. It's a (fake) message from the Dutch government to Trump. I hope it will make you smile.

47default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:45 pm


Thanks so much Jeremy.   I really needed a laugh.

Last edited by Poppy on Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:29 am; edited 1 time in total

48default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:59 pm


Darren Criss Army/The Criss Project is stepping up to the plate.  They added ACLU as an organization that you can donate to on behalf of their charitable fundraising drive in honor of Darren's 30th birthday.

I had donated to ACLU today, before I saw that the Criss Project added the ACLU, but I urge you if you can afford, please give to the ACLU.  As you can see in the San Francisco Chronicle article that I post above, the ACLU was instrumental in obtaining the temporary stay issued by Federal District Court Judge Ann M. Donnelly, preventing refugees and immigrants from being deported.  This is just the beginning of a expensive legal process. 

Previously, I also had donated to The Trevor Project as well.  I am fortunate to be able to afford to do so.  Even if it's just a few dollars, please help if you can. 

General News You Want to Talk About - Page 3 Tumblr_okkanoRz081ubd9qxo1_1280
NEW exclusive design for our final week! Proceeds from this design benefit ACLU.

Help The Criss Project celebrate Darren’s 30th birthday by raising $3000 for charity! Donate directly to Trevor (bit.ly/tcp-30) or ACLU (bit.ly/tcp30aclu), or purchase a shirt to benefit either charity!

One week to go!
via gottalivealoha (thank you Lilikoiluv!)

Direct link to donate to ACLU:  https://www.crowdrise.com/tcp30-aclu-fundraiser

Direct link to donate to The Trevor Project:  https://give.thetrevorproject.org/fundraise?fcid=856153

Last edited by Poppy on Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:31 am; edited 1 time in total

49default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:32 am


Feeling frustrated, angry, helpless, and sad, I googled "liberal organizations opposing Trump's policies," and I stumbled upon several articles talking about "Indivisible."

Links to "Indivisible":  https://www.indivisibleguide.com/about-us/

Indivisible:  A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda:  https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resources/

This is what I have been looking for: Concrete guidance as to how to gather others who oppose Trump's policies.  Please look up the articles that I am linking to read more about this organization. 

"Indivisible" was put together by some former congressional staffers who are familiar with issues of how members of Congress respond to their local constituents.    These staffers knew what successfully got the attention of their bosses/members of Congress.  Thus, they put together a guide book of strategies and organizational tips for people who want to do something to oppose Trump's policies, but are not sure how they can help. 

These former congressional staffers were well-acquainted with the effectiveness of small groups of Tea Party organizers who organized on a local grassroots level, to oppose President Obama.  Despite their small numbers, the Tea Party organizers were very effective in their opposition.  The founders of "Indivisible" do not agree with the political views of the Tea Party organizers (or their more offensive techniques), yet they recognized the effectiveness of many of the advocacy strategies and techniques used by the Tea Party groups.

The news media has covered "Indivisible."  Rachel Maddow interviewed one of the founders of "Indivisible."  George Takei has tried to spread the word about Indivisible.

Indivisible have over 3,000 groups that have formed in the U.S. to organize on the grassroots local level, to put pressure on their representatives in the House and in the Senate.  On one of the pages on their website, you can search by zip code or city, to see if an Indivisible group already has been formed near you.  I was lucky and found there was one group already formed not too far from where I live.  There is also guidance offered on formation and advocacy techniques, if there is no local Indivisible group already formed, where you may form your own group of people who are itching to help in some way.

Here are a few articles covered by the media about "Indivisible":

The New Yorker (link to article, "The Crowdsourced Guide to Fighting Trump's Agenda, December 16, 2016):  http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-crowd-sourced-guide-to-fighting-trumps-agenda

The New Yorker wrote:On Wednesday, around 7 P.M., a Google document entitled “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda” began making the rounds online. Its origin was the Twitter account of Ezra Levin, a thirty-one-year-old associate director at a national anti-poverty nonprofit . . .

[. . . ]

As former congressional staffers—until 2011, Levin was the deputy policy director for Congressman Lloyd Doggett, who represents a district in central Texas—he and his friends could “demystify” congressional influence.

"It's not rocket science," Levin said.  “There are specific steps you can take to make change happen.” . . .  Experience and research had revealed to Levin and the other authors that, “despite the despair that many progressives may be feeling right now, there really actually is a model for success.” Unfortunately, it belonged to the Tea Party.

The document analyzes the strategic wisdom of the Tea Party, focussing on its local activism and emphasis on defense rather than offense. “We tried to be really clear in the document that, like it or not, the Tea Party really did have significant accomplishments—facing more difficult odds than we face today—and that it’s worth thinking about what parts of their strategy and tactics really enabled that,” Levin said. “We aimed to balance that acknowledgment by being very clear that we’re not endorsing the Tea Party’s horrible and petty scare tactics.”

[. . . ]

“Indivisible” has, in the two days since its release, gone viral. It has been shared by the former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, the author and filmmaker Miranda July, and, as Levin said yesterday, . . . George Takei, the helmsman of the Enterprise on the TV show and a liberal activist in real life. Takei tweeted to his two million followers, “Welcome to the resistance. Required reading against the darkening tide.” Another “Star Trek” alum, Wil Wheaton, shared it, too.

Slate (link to article, "The Most Useful Guide to Resisting Donald Trump" (December 19, 2016):  http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/12/the_tea_party_taught_us_how_to_resist_donald_trump.html

Slate wrote:

“Indivisible” was a hit from the moment it dropped online Wednesday night, earning raves from journalists, artists, former government officials, a candidate for the Democratic National Committee chairmanship, and George Takei.

[. . . ]

The response the authors are most satisfied with, though, has been from “people on the ground, all across the country, saying, ‘Oh my gosh, this is what I’ve been looking for, and this is what we need to do. Is there anybody else in name-the-local-town who wants to put this to use?’ ” 

[. . . ]

The guide first offers lessons about how the Tea Party was able to get Republicans to resist Obama. They acted locally, organizing in small, dogged groups to get in members’ faces. Critically, they were also purely defensive. They didn’t feel obligated to present alternatives to what was happening in Washington; they just said no. “While the Tea Party activists were united by a core set of shared beliefs, they actively avoided developing their own policy agenda,” the guide says. “Instead, they had an extraordinary clarity of purpose, united in opposition to President Obama.  

[. . . ]

The most effective ways for people to resist aren’t through indignant tweets. It’s by taking on their own members of Congress, on their turf. One of the guide’s more useful charts shows what members of Congress care about versus what they don’t . . . They don’t care about “form letters, a Tweet, or Facebook comment.” But they care if you and a group of like-minded individuals show up to their town hall or ribbon-cutting, ask difficult questions or register dissent, and turn their hoped-for sunny 15-second spot on the local news into a longer story about the anger they faced from constituents.

These and other protest actions in the guide are designed to achieve three goals the authors lay forth: stalling the Trump agenda, because members are too busy dealing with their own constituent unrest; “sapping Representatives’ will to support or drive reactionary change”; and reaffirming “the illegitimacy of the Trump agenda.” On the last goal, the authors admit that Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will have the votes to push through what they want to put through. Activists’ goal, even if they can’t prevent something from going into action, is to make their members [their Congressional representatives] own the consequences and lay the groundwork for their repeal. This playbook might sound familiar.

[ . . . ]   

“Indivisible” is a more useful document for progressives than all of the online hand-wringing since election night combined.  

Bustle (link to article,"The "Indivisible" Leaders Share Why They've Still Got Hope in Donald Trump's America" (January 6, 2017):  https://www.bustle.com/p/the-indivisible-leaders-share-why-theyve-still-got-hope-in-donald-trumps-america-28320

Bustle wrote:

In early December, a few dozen friends who had been involved in progressive causes — former Congressional staffers, nonprofit employees, union advocates — got together drafted a document they referred to as the Indivisible Guide. It's a set of guidelines for how activists can most effectively push their members of Congress to support causes they care about and to oppose Trump. They published it as a Google Doc on Dec. 14 . . .

By the following morning, so many people had read it that Google Docs was unable to handle the traffic and crashed the document. By the next week, the document's writers launched a website, a Twitter account, and a Facebook page. Just a few weeks later,  Dohl said that the Indivisible Guide has more than 275,000 downloads and their website has more than 1.2 million views. Around the country, activists are starting local Indivisible groups and putting into effect the tactics detailed in the guide.

. . . "So, we wanted to show that there is a model for success, that this type of directed local organizing can have a huge impact on national outcomes, and that there are concrete steps people can take to get there."

"We’re getting overwhelmingly positive responses," said Levin. He appeared Wednesday night on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, providing the most high-profile coverage that the nascent movement has gotten so far.

Indivisible is not alone. It's one of many groups that have begun sprouting up in the wake of Trump's victory. Instead of relying on top-down support from the Democratic National Committee, these organizations are turning to grassroots activism in the face of a political agenda they see as unacceptable. Groups like Daily Grab Back, which gives activists a concrete piece of action every day to fight back against Trump, Wall-Of-Us, which suggests four actions weekly, and Flippable, which aims at focusing on vulnerable races Democrats could win, have all seen similar explosions of interest beyond what their founders dreamed.

[. . . ]

. . . the real difference will come in actions that may be less flashy — the group also took some credit for helping the call-in campaign that scuttled Republican efforts to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics. . . "When people are actually making the phone calls like we're asking them to, it is making a huge difference, and they need to know that it's making a difference when they do that," Lyman said.

The City Lab (link to article, "The Local Resistance to President Trump Begins" (January 20, 2017):  http://www.citylab.com/politics/2017/01/the-local-resistance-to-president-trump-begins/513191/

The City Lab wrote:
The former congressional staffers who prepared the Indivisible Guide saw how effective the Tea Party movement was on local and national politics. Its persistent members got lawmakers to hold back legislation . . .

“It wasn't hundreds or thousands of people, it was 5, or 10, or 15 people in the living room. [They were] going to their local events, to their member of Congress's town hall, showing that member of Congress that they're there and they're listening,” says Ezra Levin, one of the guide’s creators. “The Tea Party's laser-like focus on local action, and very, very defensive action—recognizing that they couldn't set the agenda, but they could respond to it—that was what we saw as being crucial to their success.”

So Levin and his colleagues tried to reverse-engineer the Tea Party playbook, to resist the agendas of Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress. When it was complete in mid-December, Levin put it out in the Twitter-sphere; the Indivisible website went live a few days later. Messages from local groups organizing under the Indivisible umbrella started pouring in. As of inauguration week, over 3,450 local groups have registered in blue and red, big and small areas. The document, which is now available in Spanish, has been downloaded around 600,000 times.

[. . . ]

As the Obama era dimmed, progressive grassroots organizations like the Working Families Party, MoveOn.org, and People's Action began to assemble the framework for this Tea-Party-esque countermovement in communities nationwide, organizing small bands of people to attend or host emergency meetings. Together, they registered over 500 such meetings on last count in 40-plus states—from Bellingham, Washington, to St. Petersburg, Florida. The size of these gatherings might range from 10 people huddled together in a living room to 1,000 in an auditorium.

Citizens aren’t just organizing in liberal urban hubs. Smaller towns and rural areas are also playing host. . . All these women have all either hosted or attended events for the first time, resolving to carve out time for activism.

[. . . ]

The changes to policy, many warn, will come fast in the Trump era. On one hand, a barrage of new policies and legislation has the potential to keep the outrage flowing, pushing citizens to the doors of their local legislators. But it can also become overwhelming and demoralizing. “You feel like you're facing the Death Star,” Fuentes says.

But, she adds, it’s helpful to remember that there’s space for different kinds of activism. Not everyone needs to protest on the street or proselytize someone from the opposing side. Less dramatic actions—like making a phone call or sending a letter—matter. Incremental progress, especially towards a greater goal of a more political engaged society, has critical value.

So anyone who reads this who wants to help combat Trump's destructive policies, please spread the word on your blog.  Get the word out.   We need to organize!

50default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:43 pm


Lilikoiluv alerted me to the fact that on Tuesday (last week), January 24, 2017, our House of Representatives passed the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act" bill, also known as "H.R. 7," which codifies the Hyde Amendment into permanent law. 

The bill will now go to the Senate, so PEOPLE SHOULD CALL THEIR SENATORS NOW TO VOTE "NO" ON H.R. 7, "the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act" bill, (a form of THE HYDE AMENDMENT)!

Previously, both houses of Congress had to vote on the Hyde Amendment every year, in order to try to renew it.  They have failed thus far.

However, H.R. 7 would make the ban of the use of federal funds for abortion services PERMANENT federal law (unless the law was changed)!!

These are the awful things that this PERMANENT version of the Hyde Amendment would do:

--Permanently prevent low-income women whose health care is through Medicaid from obtaining coverage for an abortion,

--Permanently prevent women whose health care is through the U.S. military and the Peace Corps from obtaining coverage for an abortion,

--Permanently prevent women whose health care is through the Indian Health Service from obtaining coverage for an abortion,

--Permanently prevent women who are federal employees from obtaining coverage for an abortion

--The only exceptions under the Hyde Amendment and under H.R. 7 are for:  Threat of the life of the pregnant women, rape, and incest.

IN ADDITION, H.R. 7 affects private insurance:

--H. R. 7 would prohibit abortion coverage from being offered in multi-state health plans created under  the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges.  (Millions of women may lose insurance coverage for abortion!)

--Women who obtain insurance that covers abortion care would be:   Denied subsidies under the the Affordable Care Act (such subsidies being available for households making under 400 percent of the federal poverty line) for health plans that provide abortion coverage.

Thus, as this writer for Slate noted:

Slate wrote:
This would encourage insurers to drop abortion coverage from their policies, because there’s no incentive to offer a plan that so many people could not or would not buy.


--H.R. 7 also would take away the small business tax credit (through the ACA) from employers for health plans that offer coverage for abortion (again, this gives employers a motive to choose health plans that remove abortion coverage).  -http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2017/01/25/house_republicans_permanent_ban_on_federal_abortion_funding_would_affect.html

If anyone is from Texas, Illinois, or Minnesota, it should be noted that 3 Democratic House members voted in favor of H.R. 7 on January 24, 2017:  Daniel Lipinski of Illinois, Henry Cuellar of Texas, and Collin Peterson of Minnesota.   All Republicans voted in favor of the bill.

Again, The bill will now go to the Senate, so PEOPLE SHOULD CALL THEIR SENATORS NOW TO VOTE NO ON H.R. 7, "the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act" bill, (a form of THE HYDE AMENDMENT)!

According to Destiny Lopez,the co-director of All Above All (an opposition group to the Hyde Amendment):

Lopez wrote:
“With Trump in the White House and anti-woman majorities in the House and Senate, there’s a chance this bill could become law,” she said. “That’s why we’re mobilizing activists—many of whom are fresh off the weekend’s Women’s Marches—to take the next step and contact their Senators.” It would take only a handful of Republican senators rejecting the bill, or a contingent of Democrats willing to filibuster it, to derail Republicans’ plan to permanently restrict abortion access.

According to Mother Jones:  " If the bill were to make it to the Senate, it would require 60 votes to pass; there are 52 Republican senators."   http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/01/house-representatives-trump-hyde-amendment

It is critical that you call your Senator ASAP!  Please help! Please spread the word as well. 

It is interesting to note that even though I have been reading some major news websites, I did not see coverage on this issue on those sites. All the focus was on Trump's cabinet nominations, executive orders and, presidential memorandums.  This most likely is not an accident.   It's hard to focus on what the Republicans are doing in the House and Senate, when we are being distracted by Trump's actions. 

If one does not know one's Senators, you may go here:    https://www.senate.gov/index.htm

51default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:19 am


I really feel for American women. That a first world country can be so backwards and deny its female population such important stuff is staggering. Can you imaging the result this will have on the future social structure of the country? People won't stop having sex so the result would be lots of unwanted kids, social services at breaking point, women being denied an education because they have to stay at home taking care of a kid instead, poverty etc etc. Baffling really.   confused

52default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:19 am


It's really unbelievable, isn't it.   It's deeply frightening what is happening in my country, for so many reasons.  It's so critical that we organize others, and keep resisting.   Damage control is the goal, until the mid-term elections.

Deep respect for Sally Yates, the Attorney General who was ethical and brave enough to stand her ground.  Her job was to defend the U.S. Constitution and the laws of our country; she did not owe Trump blind obedience. 

The video below was during her 2015 confirmation hearing to be the Attorney General.  Look at how hypocritical is this questioning by none other than Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump's current nominee for the next Attorney General.   As if he would have the ethics to do the same as Sally Yates.  She stayed true to her word, and for that, she was punished through being fired.

The New York Post wrote:

January 31, 2017

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who was fired on Monday for refusing to defend President Trump’s immigration ban, was questioned by Sen. Jeff Sessions in what now appears to be a remarkable moment during her 2015 confirmation hearing.

Sessions, Trump’s current nominee for attorney general, had warned Yates during his grilling that she might face a crucial decision when confronting the president.

“Do you think the attorney general has the responsibility to say ‘no’ to the president if he asks for something that’s improper?” Sessions asked Yates in the hearing.

“If the views that the president wants to execute are unlawful, should the attorney general or deputy attorney general say ‘no’?”

Yates replied that she was bound by the Constitution to do what is best for the country.

“I believe that the attorney general or deputy attorney general has an obligation to follow the law and the Constitution and give their independent legal advice to the president,” Yates replied.

Yates was faced with that very decision on Monday.

She was tasked to mount a legal defense for Trump’s executive order which bars immigrants from seven Muslim-dominated countries. She refused.

In a statement, Yates said she did not believe the order was lawful, setting off a firestorm of accusations of political bias.

Trump quickly fired Yates . . .


53default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:46 am


A few more things to call about:

--Call Senate Homeland Security Committee (202-224-4751):
lettersfromtitan wrote:
Make calls to stop Steve Bannon


(Originally posted 1/31/2017)

For those that don’t know, Steve Bannon is the former editor of Breitbart, a white supremacist, and an anti-Semite who is also a close adviser to Trump. He is also likely the architect of the Muslim ban EO and one of the people responsible for saying it applied to green card holders and should not be run through typical legal channels EOs are run through. In the midst of this weekend’s chaos Trump appointed him to the National Security Council, which is just terrifying.

There is, however, some sliver of good news. Despite everyone acting like this isn’t the case, he actually requires a confirmation hearing for this to be allowed. But we have to (as a first step) make this hearing happen.


1. Call Senate Homeland Security Committee to protest Bannon’s installation on the NSC. 202-224-4751.

2. When someone answers, say your version of “I’m a U.S. citizen and President Trump should not be allowed to install Stephen Bannon on National Security Council without Senate approval.  We are a nation of laws. Anyone not at cabinet level must be Senate approved under US Code under Section 3021(a)(6). I  hope that the senate committee on homeland security will exert their role as elected representatives and uphold that rule of law.” (script taken from https://twitter.com/TPol2017/).

3. Your call will be acknowledged or you may be asked you zip code or something similar for tracking of the broadness of opposition, states in play, etc. But basically you’re done. Yay!
via gleekto

--I received an email from the ACLU to contact your Senators:

There is a link to a send a message by email.  I think I will call my Senators by phone.

Here is what the ACLU's email said:

ACLU wrote:
President Trump’s executive order suspending resettlement of refugees and banning the entry of nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries is a Muslim ban wrapped in paper-thin national security rationale.

Many senators have said so – but many others have stayed silent. We need every voice on the record now – demand that your senators publicly oppose Trump’s Muslim ban.

On Saturday night a federal judge granted the ACLU’s request for an order blocking the deportation of people stranded in U.S. airports under President Trump’s new executive order. We worked with our partners – including International Refugee Assistance Project, National Immigration Law Center, and Yale Worker and Immigrants’ Rights Advocacy Clinic – to protect hundreds of refugees and immigrants from being deported.

But there’s more to be done. The order is temporary, and we need to keep fighting to ensure the courts decisively strike down the Muslim ban. Thousands headed to airports across the country to protest the ban this weekend. Now we need our senators to take the protest to Congress – and immediately denounce, oppose, and fight the discrimination and harm of this Muslim ban.

Trump’s executive order banning all refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries is not only bigoted and xenophobic – it is unconstitutional and illegal. Our elected representatives must say so, in no uncertain terms and on the record.

We the people will not stand for prejudice by executive order.

Tell your senators to stand on the right side of history and stand against a Muslim ban.

Thanks for raising your voice,
Anthony for the ACLU Action team

Direct Link to the ACLU page to send an email to your Senator to urge they stand against the Muslim ban:


The ACLU website also has listed other issues that you  may want to engage in.  Here is the link to their  "Action" page:  https://www.aclu.org/action

54default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:44 pm


It is important for people to work at not getting overwhelmed, which unfortunately is easy to do.  Please remember this is a marathon, not a sprint.   I found this post to be very helpful. 

elumish wrote:

Things are awful.

Things are awful and you feel like you’re going to drown.

Take a breath.

Take another breath.

Drink some water. Take your medicine, if you need to. Eat, if you need to. 

Take another breath.

Figure out what you can do to help. Not what someone else thinks you should do. What you can do. Do what you can. Donate money, if you have it. Donate time, if you have it. Donate energy, if you have it. Donate support if you have nothing else. Donate a kind word, a message of support. A smile. Tell people that they are worthy, that they are important, that they are loved. You are not bad for not having time or money or energy.

Then take a breath. 

Hold on to as much anger as gives you purpose, but not so much that you will burn from it. Do not drown yourself in your hatred. It will help nobody.

Take a breath.

And start again.
via slaydiest

This is no surprise to me.  The majority of Americans disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president.
Fortune wrote:
President Trump's Disapproval Rating Has Shot Up in the Past 4 Days

January 29, 2017

More Americans than ever disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing as president, a recent Gallup poll shows.

Trump's disapproval rating has increased 6 points in the last 4 days, according to the poll. As of Jan. 28, about 51% of Americans polled disapproved of Trump, up from 45% on Jan. 22 — six days prior to the most recent results. By contrast, about 42% approve of the job he's doing, a more moderate change compared to the 45% who approved of him on Jan. 22.

[ . . . ]

Trump's ratings are well below those of his two most recent predecessors, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. According to a previous Gallup poll, at the beginning of February of 2001, 57% of people polled approved of Bush, and 25% disapproved. In the first few days of his presidency in Jan. 2009, Obama had a 68% approval rating, and a modest 12% disapproval rating.

The most recent results come after Trump set the record for receiving the lowest initial job approval rating and the highest disapproval rating just days after his inauguration—making him the first U.S. president to begin with a rating below 50% in the history of Gallup surveys. At the time, about 90% of Republicans surveyed approved of Trump, while 81% of Democrats disapproved, according to previous report.

55default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:19 am


The world's going mad. Have you guys seen what's happening in Romania? The mind boggles.

At least in the UK the MP's voted in favour to go ahead with Brexit. Would have been a hard blow for democracy if they hadn't. I mean what's the point in voting if the will of the people (well the majority)won't be respected anyway? Rolls eyes.

56default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:41 am


dusty wrote:The world's going mad. Have you guys seen what's happening in Romania? The mind boggles.

I agree, it's a very strange, stressful, scary time right now.  And that stuff done by the Romanian government is reprehensible.

There was some great news today in the U.S.:

KTLA wrote:
Justice Department to Challenge Washignton Judge's Temporary Halt of President Trump's Travel Ban, White House Says

February 3, 2017

The White House is preparing to fight for President Donald Trump's immigration order after a federal judge on Friday halted it nationwide.

[. . . ]

Federal Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee who presides in Washington state, temporarily stopped the order. U.S. Customs and Border Protection [CBP] then alerted airlines the U.S. government would quickly begin reinstating visas that were previously canceled, and CBP advised airlines that refugees that are in possession of U.S. visas will be admitted as well, an airline executive said.

But the White House quickly countered, first calling the order "outrageous" and then dropping that word minutes later in a second statement.

[. . . ]

The ruling may have stung even more for the Trump administration because it came on the heels of its first legal victory over the travel ban. Hours earlier, a federal judge in Boston issued a more limited ruling that declined to renew a temporary restraining order in Massachusetts, which would have prohibited the detention or removal of foreign travelers legally authorized to come to the Boston area.

But it was the sweeping Seattle ruling that had the federal government scrambling.

Trump's executive order that he signed last week suspended immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, the U.S. refugee program for 120 days and indefinitely halted Syrian refugees from entering the U.S.

"This is exactly what we were looking for," Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson told CNN's Anderson Cooper shortly after Robart's order, adding that "we have a bucket of Constitutional claims."

"It's Keystone Cops, the way that thing (the order) was put together," added Ferguson, who said he was prepared to take his case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

This suit was brought by the states of Washington and Minnesota against the travel ban enacted by Trump's executive order. A federal official told CNN DOJ lawyers were not expected to file an appeal Friday night.

A Customs and Border Protection [CBP] spokesman told CNN the agency will review the order and comply with all court orders. The State Department is working with the Department of Homeland Security to determine the effect of the stay, a State Department official said.

[. . . ]

CBP told major U.S. airlines Friday night that the government is reinstating visas and is "back to business as usual" prior to the situation that was in place before last week's executive order, the airline executive told CNN.

57default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:05 pm


This is chilling free speech.  Just awful. 

Senator Elizabeth Warren was prohibited from reading a letter by Coretta Scott King, on the objection by Mitch McConnell that reading that letter constitutes improper criticism of Jeff Sessions, who is Trump's nominee for U.S. Attorney General.  See "Elizabeth Warren silenced over US Senate criticism of Sessions."  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38903338

The letter was written by Coretta Scott King 30 years ago.  In that letter, Coretta Scott King urged the Senate to reject Jeff Sessions for a federal judgeship, due to her allegation that Jeff Sessions targeted African-American voter rights activists in order to "suppress black votes when he was attorney in Alabama."  
See "The Voter Fraud Case Jeff Sessions Lost and Can't Escape" (January 9, 2017).  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/09/magazine/the-voter-fraud-case-jeff-sessions-lost-and-cant-escape.html?_r=0

(Note:  In that case, Jeff Sessions as the U.S. attorney for West Alabama, led the investigation and prosecution of 3 African-American civil rights activists, charging them with voter fraud because the activists assisted elderly African-American voters in filling out ballots for local elections.  The circumstances surrounding Jeff Sessions's investigation and prosecution of the civil rights activists were suspicious.  The judge in the case threw out many of the counts against the 3 civil rights activists, and the jury acquitted them of the remaining charges.) 

February 7, 2017

(Note:  This is Rule 19 (2):  "No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator."  Source:  http://www.rules.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=RuleXIX )

Well, what if the words expressed by Elizabeth Warren, as she read Coretta Scott King's letter, was about deeply concerning conduct of Jeff Sessions when he targeted African-American civil rights activists, and intimidated and discouraged elderly African-Americans from voting?  Should that not be pointed out during Senate discussion of Jeff Sessions's fitness to be the next Attorney General?!

And is Rule 19 enforced in a fair and unbiased manner, so used against Republican Senators as well?  According to the media, Senators who have been in the Senate since the late 1970s cannot remember when this rule was last used.

So Senators are forbidden from expressing their opinions about the qualifications of Sessions to be the highest law enforcement officer in the U.S., merely because an opinion may be negative?   Only positive opinions of Senators are allowed about the fitness of Jeff Sessions as the U.S. Attorney General, all because he is a fellow Senator?  What kind of stupid rule is this?

Here is the text of the letter from Coretta Scott King, dated 1986:

Dear Senator Thurmond:

I write to express my sincere opposition to the confirmation of Jefferson B. Sessions as a federal district court judge for the Southern District of Alabama. My professional and personal roots in Alabama are deep and lasting. Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts. Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters. For this reprehensible conduct, he should not be rewarded with a federal judgeship.

I regret that a long-standing commitment prevents me from appearing in person to testify against this nominee. However, I have attached a copy of my statement opposing Mr. Sessions’ confirmation and I request that my statement as well as this be made a part of the hearing record.

I do sincerely urge you to oppose the confirmation of Mr. Sessions.

To see the actual letter, go to this Washington Post article:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/10/read-the-letter-coretta-scott-king-wrote-opposing-sessionss-1986-federal-nomination/?utm_term=.cd2a691cb054

If you have twitter, hashtag:  "#Sessions hearing. #LetCorettaSpeak #LetLizSpeak

Telephone your Senators and urge them to oppose Jeff Sessions's confirmation as Attorney General.  The vote will be TOMORROW (Wednesday)!!!

This is especially important if you have Republican Senators.

If you are not sure how to contact your Senators, or do not know who are your Senators, go here (in the top right corner, select your state):   https://www.senate.gov/index.htm 


58default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:43 pm


Oh wow!  The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Trump's travel ban against those from the seven countries will remain blocked!

President wrote:
9th Circuit rules against reinstating travel ban

February 9, 2017

Donald Trump's travel ban will remain blocked, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

The unanimous ruling from a three-judge panel means that citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries will continue to be able to travel to the US, despite Trump's executive order last month.

"On the one hand, the public has a powerful interest in national security and in the ability of an elected president to enact policies," the judges wrote. "And on the other, the public also has an interest in free flow of travel, in avoiding separation of families, and in freedom from discrimination. We need not characterize the public interest more definitely than this... The emergency motion for a stay pending appeal is denied."

It is a significant political setback to Trump's new administration and raises questions about how the courts will view his apparent vision for an expansive use of executive power from the Oval Office on which he is anchoring the early weeks of his presidency.

[. . . ]

"Bottom line, this is a complete victory for the state of Washington," said state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. "The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a unanimous decision effectively granted everything we sought."

[. . .]

The legal drama over the immigration executive order was the first episode in what could be a series of legal challenges to Trump's governing style and agenda and represents the first confrontation between his White House and the checks and balances of the American political system.

The judges rejected the Trump administration's sweeping claims of executive power, saying, "There is no precedent to support this claim of unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy."

"Although our jurisprudence has long counseled deference to the political branches on matters of immigration and national security, neither the Supreme Court nor our court has ever held that courts lack the authority to review executive action in those arenas for compliance with the Constitution," the judges wrote.


BBC wrote:
Court refuses to reinstate Trump travel ban

February 9, 2017

A US appeals court has rejected President Donald Trump's attempt to reinstate his ban on visitors from seven mainly Muslim countries.

[. . . ]

But the unanimous 3-0 ruling said the government had not proved the terror threat justified the ban.

"The government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the Order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States," the ruling said.

It also rejected the argument that the president had sole discretion to set immigration policy.

"Rather than present evidence to explain the need for the executive order, the government has taken the position that we must not review its decision at all," said the ruling. "We disagree, as explained above.''

[. . . ]

Rather than explaining why the temporary travel ban was needed, the administration argued that the president's authority on immigration was so sweeping that they didn't have to explain why the order was necessary.


To read the actual decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, go here:  http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/09/politics/travel-ban-9th-circuit-ruling-full-text/

And for all those people complaining about the 9th Circuit being liberal, one member (Judge Richard R. Clifton) of the 3-person 9th Circuit panel was appointed by George W. Bush.  It was an unanimous decision.  In fact, Judge Clifton was one of the most verbal judges questioning attorneys from both sides of the case.

59default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:00 am


I was watching CNN news last night and I was pleased to see they did a story about citizens organizing to voice their displeasure through the Indivisible groups.

I can't post the CNN video, but I encourage you to watch the CNN video at the link.  It's really eye-opening and impressive to see the crowds of people demanding that their voices as constituents be heard.  There was a group of 1,000 people who crowded into a town hall meeting of Representative Jason Chaffetz (there were more people outside the building who were not allowed in because the auditorium could not hold all of them).   As background information, Representative Jason Cheffetz is the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, which passionately investigated Hillary Clinton's use of her private email server.  However, he has made no effort to investigate potential conflicts of interest of Trump, due to Trump's many business interests.  Thus, you hear the crowd chant, "Do your job!"

Here is the link to the CNN article and video of groups of people making themselves heard through Indivisible:  http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/11/politics/indivisible-profile-trnd/

ABC also covered a similar story of involved protestors at town hall meetings of Republican Congress members(although Indivisible was not mentioned):  http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/gop-reps-face-town-hall-protests-obamacare-repeal/story?id=45429879

60default Re: General News You Want to Talk About Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:18 am


The Indivisible groups have been getting a great deal of news coverage on TV news.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the number of Indivisible groups spread all over the country has risen to 7,000 (the last I checked, the number was over 3,000, so yea!  More than doubled!). 

The White House and the Republicans are claiming the people crowding into town hall meetings are paid organizers.  haha!   Yes, because it's too scary for them to believe that these are their own angry local constituents.  

Also, this is really a helpful resource for everyone.  Micheal Moore now has a very useful website.  You can enter your location (city, state) in the search box, and up will pop relevant events and issues.  Here is the link.

The Resistance Calendar:  https://www.resistancecalendar.org/

You can also select the option, "monthly" to get an idea of what issues and events will be occurring that month.

So how are people in the U.S. feeling about Trump?
People wrote:
Americans Are Split on Whether They Want Trump Impeached--And More Revealing Polls


Trump’s overall approval rating varies by the source of the poll. A new national poll from Quinnipiac University has his approval rating at 38 percent, down from 42 percent just after his inauguration.

His post-inauguration approval rating is a record low compared to his recent predecessors: After his inauguration, Barack Obama’s approval rating was at 76 percent, and George W. Bush’s was 57 percent, according to CNN. Ronald Reagan was the closest to Trump, at 51 percent.

The lowest current numbers have Trump at 35 approval (Monmouth) and the highest at 52 percent (Rasmussen Reports).

[. . . ]

Another McClatchy-Marist poll says that 58 percent of Americans are embarrassed by the Trump administration, while 33 percent say his activity in office makes them proud.

[. . .]

As for Trump’s more controversial actions as president, 6 in 10 oppose the building of Trump’s much-talked about wall along the Mexican border, with 37 percent in support, according to a Quinnipiac poll.

. . . The same poll reports: 54 percent oppose repealing Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, and 43 support its repeal.

[. . .]

In nearly every poll, a majority of respondents say the country is not heading in the right direction. In a Monmouth poll, just 27 percent of people support the way the country is headed — and 67 percent don’t approve of the direction the country is heading. Rasmussen Reports, a conservative-leaning poll group, according to Time, currently has 46 percent approval and 48 percent disapproval.

[. . . ]

On Trump’s controversial travel ban, which has since been blocked by a federal judge and later, an appellate court, 48 percent do consider it to be a “Muslim ban,” and 65 percent of people oppose it.

45 percent of respondents support Trump’s executive orders on immigration. However, among that 45 percent, 51 percent of them think the fictional Bowling Green Massacre is evidence for a need in Trump’s new immigration policy.

72 percent of people do not approve of Trump’s favorable comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Note:  Nate Silver (the respected statistician) has a website (Five ThirtyEight) and it has rated the various polls, according to historical accuracy and methodology, also taking into account statistical bias.   Link to "Five ThirtyEight's Pollster Rating":  https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/pollster-ratings/

So for the various polls that I quoted above, this is how they are rated by FiveThirtyEight:

Quinnipiac University:  A-
CNN:  A-
Monmouth University:  A+
Rassmusen Reports:  C+
Marist College:  A
Public Policy Polling:  B+

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