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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 170,345

Journal Archives

National Monuments Case Moves Forward as Court Rules Against Trump

National Monuments Case Moves Forward as Court Rules Against Trump
Conservationists’ lawsuit defending Bears Ears and Grand Staircase clears hurdle as judge rejects motion to dismiss; case against the president will move forward

We’re pleased the court denied the Trump’s Administration’s motion to dismiss and look forward to the next step: showing that President Trump violated the law when he dismantled Bears Ears and Grand Staircase.
Heidi McIntosh
Managing Attorney, Rocky Mountains Office, Earthjustice

October 1, 2019
Washington, D.C. —

Yesterday evening, the coalition fighting to protect Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments cleared a milestone in the legal battle for the future of these public lands when the court denied the Trump administration’s motion to dismiss the case. While the legal fight has played out, the Trump administration has rushed through new management plans for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase to open up hundreds of thousands of acres to mining, obliterating forests by dragging anchor chains through them, and new fossil fuel development.

The following statement is from Heidi McIntosh, managing attorney of Earthjustice’s Rocky Mountains Office:

“We’re pleased the court denied the Trump administration’s motion to dismiss and look forward to the next step: showing that President Trump violated the law when he dismantled Bears Ears and Grand Staircase. When Trump went after our national monuments, he thought he could ride roughshod over this country’s cultural and natural heritage, and auction off iconic public lands that belong to all of us. But this remains a country of laws. We will work relentlessly until we ensure that Bears Ears and Grand Staircase are protected forever as they were meant to be.”

In late 2017, Trump slashed Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, stripping nearly 2 million acres of public lands of Antiquities Act protections in the largest rollback of federal public land protection in history. He was greeted by protests in Salt Lake City — and lawsuits in Washington, D.C., as Native American Tribes, conservation, outdoor recreation, and paleontology groups filed lawsuits to defend these monuments within hours of Trump’s unlawful actions.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Oct 1, 2019, 03:01 PM (1 replies)

GEO Group Runs Out of Banks as 100% of Banking Partners Say 'No' to the Private Prison Sector

Sep 30, 2019, 07:33pm
GEO Group Runs Out of Banks as 100% of Banking Partners Say ‘No’ to the Private Prison Sector
Morgan Simon
This shift represents an estimated shortfall of 87.4% of all future funding to the private prison ...

All of the existing banking partners to private prison leader GEO Group have now officially committed to ending ties with the private prison and immigrant detention industry. These banks are JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, SunTrust, BNP Paribas, Fifth Third Bancorp, Barclays, and PNC.

This exodus comes in the wake of demands by grassroots activists — many under the banner of the #FamiliesBelongTogether coalition — shareholders, policymakers, and investors. Major banks supporting the private prisons behind mass incarceration and immigrant detention have now committed to not renew $2.4B in credit lines and term loans to industry giants GEO Group and CoreCivic.

This shift represents an estimated shortfall of 87.4% of all future funding to the industry, which depends on these bank credit lines and loans to finance their day to day operations. Together, these banks commitments — alongside a federal judge’s block on the Trump administration's plans to expand family detention this weekend, new policy initiatives such as California ending all contracts with private prisons, and Democratic primary candidates publicly raising the idea of a federal ban on for-profit incarceration — lead many to speculate a threat to the survival of the private prison industry all together.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Oct 1, 2019, 02:28 PM (3 replies)

Republicans Turned on Nixon. Here's Why They Won't Turn on Trump.

Republicans Turned on Nixon. Here’s Why They Won’t Turn on Trump.
As was not the case in 1974, Republicans now have counterfactual media that allows or compels them to ignore blatant lawbreaking.
by Harold Meyerson
October 1, 2019


So why the difference between 2019 and 1974? Why no Republican demands to investigate Trump? What changed the Republican Party over those 45 years? Nixon, after all, relied on tribal enmity no less than Trump. Nixon’s campaigns railed against Democrats, whom it mushed together with radicals, crazy kids, militant blacks, and hippies. His 1972 campaign turned George McGovern, his Democratic opponent, into the candidate of acid, amnesty, and abortion. His history of red-baiting went all the way back to his initial 1946 run for Congress, when he linked the liberal Democratic incumbent he unseated, Jerry Voorhis, to the Communist Party, which Voorhis opposed. And as president, Nixon and his vice president Spiro Agnew went after the “liberal media”—specifically, the Times, the Post, and CBS—claiming they distorted the news and secretly sought to bring America down. Nixon was a vastly more intelligent pol (and man) than Trump, but he built his career on the fear and loathing he stoked within his base for his political adversaries.

Nonetheless, Nixon’s tribe bowed to the evidence and deserted him at the end—all of the Republican electeds, and probably most of the rank and file.

So why the difference now? What enables Republicans to deny, ignore, or not care about the evidence—not just in the Ukrainian affair but the little kids in cages and the thousand other shocks to which Trump has subjected the nation? That denial, ignorance, and indifference extends well beyond the case of Donald Trump, to such other notable realities as planet-threatening climate change. How did the “ism” that Republicans scorn the most become empiricism?

There are a host of explanations for why and how Republicans have cocooned themselves from reality, not least the realignment of Southern whites into the GOP, which pushed the party to embrace a much more hard-right politics that drove many moderates into the Democrats’ ranks. But the rise of right-wing mass media may well be the most important factor differentiating ’19 from ’74. In 1974, right-wing media remained on the fringe, save in portions of the white South. Most Americans came to understand Watergate from the newscasts of the three national television networks, and from the hearings those networks aired. There was no counterfactual counternarrative coming from Fox News, as there was no Fox News. There were right-wing radio commentators, but few if any were national: Father Coughlin was gone and Rush Limbaugh had yet to arrive. Rupert Murdoch had only recently relocated to Britain from Australia (to which, if we had an immigration policy that penalized the truly evil, he would be instantly deported). If Trump is polling at twice Nixon’s final-days level, and if congressional Republicans still sing Trump’s praises for fear of estranging their counterfactually oriented base, Fox and its ilk are substantially to blame.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Oct 1, 2019, 01:06 PM (18 replies)

The Mad King


The Mad King
by Robert Kuttner
September 30, 2019

At some point, Republicans are going to have to admit that the king is mad. Trump’s latest gambit, his contention that House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff should be arrested for treason—for accurately summarizing the whistleblower complaint—shows just how unhinged Trump has become.

Many commentators had argued that a formal impeachment investigation would be risky. Their argument was that impeachment would divert attention from pocketbook issues, the Democrats’ strong suit, on whose basis Democrats made big gains in the 2018 midterms; that impeachment on balance would help Republicans politically; and that Democrats would be going against public opinion.

These contentions were wrong. A majority of Americans now favor a full impeachment investigation. Given the new allegations, defending Trump will damage Republican senators, especially in swing states where 11 incumbent Republican senators will be vulnerable in 2020.

Win or lose, impeachment will be over by next spring or even earlier, and Democrats and Republicans can go back to debating issues that play to Democratic strengths, and with a seriously wounded incumbent president.

The risk of impeachment was never political. But it was a risk nonetheless, because impeachment is clearly making a crazy man even crazier. Lord only knows what Trump will do next—or what it will take for more than a handful of Republican legislators to conclude that he has to go.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Oct 1, 2019, 12:57 PM (0 replies)

Voter registration surges in Georgia ahead of 2020 elections

Voter registration surges in Georgia ahead of 2020 elections
By Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

New voters have registered in droves in Georgia since last year’s midterms, expanding the electorate ahead of the 2020 presidential election year when the state is expected to be a key political battleground.

More than 352,000 people signed up to vote in the past 11 months,
the vast majority of them automatically registering when they obtain a driver’s license, according to data from the secretary of state’s office. The influx has boosted Georgia’s voter rolls to a record high of nearly 7.4 million.

Many of the new voters are racial minorities or under age 30, both groups that are more likely to support Democrats than Republicans, according to a Pew Research Center poll.

About 47% of the new voters who identified their race are minorities and 45% are age 30 or younger, according to an analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of a list of voters registered from Nov. 6 to Aug. 12. By comparison, 40% of all Georgia voters are minorities and 14% are age 30 or younger. The voter list was obtained from the secretary of state’s office and provided to the AJC by Fair Fight PAC, a political action committee that supports Democratic parties nationwide.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Oct 1, 2019, 12:08 PM (1 replies)

Amash pledges to join Democrats to impeach Trump

Amash pledges to join Democrats to impeach Trump
By Scott Wong - 10/01/19 11:11 AM EDT

Rep. Justin Amash, the Michigan Republican-turned-independent lawmaker who’s flirting with a presidential bid, has pledged to join House Democrats if they vote to impeach President Trump.

“Yes. Assuming the articles are drafted properly, yeah, I think there's impeachable conduct that could be included in articles that I would support,” Amash said in a recent interview with The Hill.

The 39-year-old libertarian-leaning congressman said earlier in the year that Robert Mueller's report on 2016 election interference had provided enough evidence that Trump had committed impeachable offenses, including abuse of power and obstruction of justice.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Oct 1, 2019, 11:31 AM (0 replies)

David Remnick: The Floodgates Open on Trump


The Floodgates Open on Trump
By David Remnick
September 30, 2019
In the wake of the whistle-blower complaint, the President’s disregard of democratic norms has reached a point of crisis. Will more people come forward with damning information?


Among the most pressing questions being discussed now in Washington is how long Republican members of Congress and former White House officials will continue to show fealty to Trump. “I am still stunned that Republicans are circling the wagons in the way that they are,” Murphy said. “They may just decide to ride this out. It may be that they are so entwined around the President, they are so stuck to him with Super Glue, that they can never come unbound.”

The testimony of the whistle-blower could be a dramatic chapter in this unfolding drama. But who else might come forward to testify? One might be Yovanovitch, who has so far steered clear of speaking publicly about her dismal, and deeply unjust, fate at the hands of the Administration. Others might include Kurt Volker, who just resigned his post as special representative for Ukraine; lawyers in the White House counsel’s office; and other high-ranking officials—including former cabinet secretaries, national-security advisers, and chiefs of staff—who may finally see no point in reserving their soured descriptions of Trump for deep-background sessions with reporters and authors. They may soon decide it is time to speak in their own names, for the sake of history, decency, and their reputations. And finally: What level of perfidy in the White House, what permutation of public opinion, will it take before Mitch McConnell decides he can no longer continue his cynical marriage to Trump?

It can be assumed that the President will go on using the weapons he learned at the feet of Roy Cohn: constant attack, ruthless threats, the shameless propagation of conspiracy theories. John Dean, whose testimony helped to tip the scales against Richard Nixon in the Watergate affair, told me that the character of Donald Trump insures that this story could get far uglier than it already is.

“Even Nixon would be offended by this effort to use foreign assistance for a very personal, political reason, which is a very corrupting undertaking,” Dean said. “I don’t think Trump has any morals or shame. He will do anything to get reëlected. . . . It’s just the way Trump thinks. He doesn’t care. He will destroy anybody. I find him a deeply troubling character. When he first went in, I worried that his ignorance would get us in trouble. Now it’s his disposition that I find most troubling of all.”
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Oct 1, 2019, 09:55 AM (2 replies)

Help Wanted: Republicans Willing To Defend Our Country

Help Wanted: Republicans Willing To Defend Our Country
Froma Harrop September 29, 2019


The issue is now national security. And to understand its seriousness, note that the Republican-led Senate unanimously consented to release the whistleblower’s complaint to the intel committees.

Until now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was putting all 10 fingers in the dam to hold off demands from the Democratic base to start the disrupting process to remove Trump. Now Pelosi has gone ahead with an impeachment inquiry. This followed moves by moderate Democrats to drop their reluctance to go after Trump this way.

That should be a signal to all Republicans, not just swing-state ones. The dam is breaking.

We understand that an impeachment inquiry precedes making formal allegations. It is a collection of information that could eventually lead to a vote by the House to impeach the president.

And, of course, a decision to impeach does not remove the president from office. He first would have to be tried and convicted in the Senate. It still remains highly unlikely that enough Republican votes could be found there to end the presidency — even though so many Republican members of Congress secretly loathe the man.

What we need is more brave Republican men and women to stand up for their country. We’re not talking about Republicans who have decided not to run for reelection but those who are. These would be patriots willing to displease the Trump base for the public good.

This really shouldn’t be such a hard ask. Our soldiers put their lives on the line to defend this country. It would seem far less a sacrifice to risk reelection for the same cause.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Oct 1, 2019, 09:10 AM (1 replies)

The Rude Pundit: Impeachment Is a Chance for Democrats to Take Back Patriotism


The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
Impeachment Is a Chance for Democrats to Take Back Patriotism


The country is primed to wrench its primary identity away from Republicans. Nancy Pelosi couched the impeachment inquiry announcement in very specific terms to appeal to patriotism, with its hearkening to our founders and the Constitution. Adam Schiff did the same in his opening remarks at the House Intelligence Committee hearing last Thursday.

Essentially, they are saying, "You want to be a real patriots? Then fuck these traitors up." That's a powerful message. It's one that a majority of Americans are responding to, with a clear majority supporting the inquiry and a 10% jump in support for the removal of Trump from office. Democrats are the ones upholding the laws and traditions of the nation. Republicans are merely aiding and abetting a criminal, if they're not doing crimes themselves. That's as crystal-fuckin'-clear as it gets.

For the first time in I can't remember how long (maybe since the Affordable Care Act), Democrats are leading the charge on something, and they're telling Republicans to get the fuck on board this train or fuck off and get run over.

And maybe the happy-clappy end result of this is that we take back the American story and try to make the country great. Not again. But for once.

(Note: Whatever optimism I have here is not that Trump will be removed. It's that Democrats will successfully set the terms for 2020 and that Trump will keep punching himself in the face along the way.)
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Oct 1, 2019, 08:51 AM (2 replies)

GOP Defenses for Trump Collapse Under Scrutiny


GOP Defenses for Trump Collapse Under Scrutiny
October 1, 2019 at 7:25 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

John Harwood: “The Republican defenses for President Trump’s conduct on Ukraine simply don’t hold up.”

“At first glance, that can be hard to discern. Trump, his aides and select allies in Congress have feverishly sought to redirect a whistleblower’s complaints toward Democratic adversaries.”

“Yet even cursory scrutiny of evidence that has emerged so far knocks down assorted GOP arguments like shanties in a hurricane.”

The Week: Late night hosts are comically underwhelmed with the GOP’s weak Trump-Ukraine defenses.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Oct 1, 2019, 07:54 AM (0 replies)
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