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Rollo

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Member since: Sun Dec 25, 2016, 04:42 AM
Number of posts: 2,469

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'Resist': Activists Unfurl Massive Banner On Crane Behind White House

Source: NPR

On Wednesday morning, activists from Greenpeace unfurled a massive yellow and orange banner with the word "Resist" on a tall crane behind the White House.

"We climbed up the crane this morning, and occupied it and locked and chained ourselves in," the environmental group's board chairman Karen Topakian, 62, told The Two-Way.

We reached her as she was chained and locked high up on the construction crane with six other activists.

"I have a long, long history of fear of heights," she said. "As much as I have a fear of heights, I decided that I would do this because the risks are so great and so tremendous at this point with this administration."

Read more: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/25/511620048/resist-activists-unfurl-massive-banner-on-crane-behind-white-house?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=news



Trump Didnt Just Reinstate the Global Gag Rule. He Massively Expanded It.

Trump Didn’t Just Reinstate the Global Gag Rule. He Massively Expanded It.


On Monday morning, Donald Trump, surrounded by a group of smiling white men, signed an executive order banning foreign nongovernmental organizations that receive certain kinds of American aid from counseling health clients about abortion or advocating for abortion law liberalization. Supporters of international reproductive rights were disappointed but not surprised. Ronald Reagan first issued the so-called Mexico City policy in 1984, stripping U.S. family planning funds from groups involved with abortion, and ever since, every Republican president has reinstated it. By Monday’s end, however, people who work on global reproductive health and rights were reeling. Trump, it eventually emerged, hadn’t simply revived the so-called global gag rule. Quietly, with so little publicity that activists weren’t aware until someone saw the new language in a tweeted image, Trump had massively expanded the rule. Suzanne Ehlers, president and CEO of the global reproductive health organization PAI, says it’s the global gag rule “on steroids.”

In the past, the global gag rule meant that foreign NGOs must disavow any involvement with abortion in order to receive U.S. family planning funding. Trump’s version of the global gag rule expands the policy to all global health funding. According to Ehlers, the new rule means that rather than impacting $600 million in U.S. foreign aid, the global gag rule will affect $9.5 billion. Organizations working on AIDS, malaria, or maternal and child health will have to make sure that none of their programs involves so much as an abortion referral. Geeta Rao Gupta, a senior fellow at the United Nations Foundation who previously served as deputy executive director of UNICEF, gives the example of HIV/AIDS clinics that get U.S. funding to provide antiretrovirals: “If they’re giving advice to women on what to do if they’re pregnant and HIV positive, giving them all the options that exist, they cannot now receive money from the U.S.”

George W. Bush specifically exempted the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, from the global gag rule because it was widely understood that the program couldn’t meet its prevention and treatment targets otherwise. Scott Evertz, who served as director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy under George W. Bush, tells me, “It would have been impossible to treat HIV/AIDS in the developing world as the emergency that PEPFAR said it was if the global gag rule were to be applied to the thousands of organizations with which those of us involved in PEPFAR would be working.” Evertz offers the example of a standalone health clinic in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Would the U.S. have to certify that it never referred any of its patients to an abortion provider before enlisting it in the fight against AIDS? “The notion of applying the global gag rule to them would have made it impossible to implement the program,” he says.

Ann Starrs, president of the Guttmacher Institute, says her staff feared social conservatives on the Trump team might push to broaden the global gag rule. Others, however, are stunned at the move. “It wasn’t unexpected that they would reinstate the global gag rule, but the dramatic expansion of the scope of it is truly shocking,” says Gupta. Some in international reproductive and sexual health circles are speculating that the new policy is Trump’s way of lashing out at the millions of women who marched against him on Saturday. “I would not necessarily be surprised if it were a reaction to the women’s marches,” Evertz says. “Although applying the global gag rule to PEPFAR’s programs ill affects millions of men as well,” since HIV/AIDS programs that treat entire communities could face defunding.


Not to mention the ghastly new gold-finger decor in the Oval Office.




Things Can Only Get Worse

A grim but accurate summation and prediction by Paul Krugman...

Things Can Only Get Worse

If America had a parliamentary system, Donald Trump — who spent his first full day in office having a temper tantrum, railing against accurate reports of small crowds at his inauguration — would already be facing a vote of no confidence. But we don’t; somehow we’re going to have to survive four years of this....

In his lurid, ghastly Inaugural Address, Mr. Trump portrayed a nation in dire straits — “American carnage.” The real America looks nothing like that; it has plenty of problems, but things could be worse. In fact, it’s likely that they will indeed get worse. How will a man who evidently can’t handle even the smallest blow to his ego deal with it?...

So how will Mr. Trump handle the bad news of rising unemployment, plunging health coverage, and little if any crime reduction? That’s obvious: He’ll deny reality, the way he always does when it threatens his narcissism. But will his supporters go along with his fantasy?

They might. After all, they blocked out the good news from the Obama era. Two-thirds of Trump voters believe, falsely, that the unemployment rate rose under Obama. (Three-quarters believe George Soros is paying people to protest Mr. Trump.) Only 17 percent of self-identified Republicans are aware that the number of uninsured is at a historic low. Most people thought crime was rising even when it was falling. So maybe they will block out bad news in the Trump years.

Trump Declares His Inauguration 'National Day of Patriotic Devotion' in Proclamation ...

Forget the labels of Narcissism and Egotism... this is Classic Fascism...

Trump Declares His Inauguration 'National Day of Patriotic Devotion' in Proclamation Littered with Religious Buzzwords

One of Donald Trump’s first acts as president was to personally issue Proclamation 9570, which designates the day of his inauguration, January 20, 2017 as National Day of Patriotic Devotion....

The proclamation begins, “A new national pride stirs the American soul and inspires the American heart. We are one people, united by a common destiny and a shared purpose.”

Trump announced the Day of Patriotic Devotion in order to, as the document says, “strengthen our bonds to each other and to our country.”

The proclamation abounds with religious language, stating that, “we must maintain faith in our sacred values and heritage” and that there can be “no peace where people do not pray for it.” It denotes the date as “the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen.”

Ethics Lawyers to Sue Trump Over Continuing Business Interests

Ethics Lawyers to Sue Trump Over Continuing Business Interests

Heavy-hitting lawyers plan to sue President Donald Trump in federal court Monday over business interests that they say put him in violation of the Constitution by receiving payments from foreign governments.

The nonprofit good-government group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, will file the suit Monday morning in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the organization said

The suit alleges that Trump violated the Constitution the moment he was sworn in as president on Friday because he had not divested his interests in the Trump Organization — among them:

Leases held by foreign-government-owned entities in Trump Tower in New York,
Bookings at Trump International Hotel at the Old Post Office in Washington, D.C.
Payments from foreign-government-owned broadcasters related to "The Apprentice" and other transactions and leases at a broad array of other establishments owned or licensed by Trump. (NBC, which broadcasts "The Apprentice," severed its business ties with Trump in June 2015. Trump is continuing as an executive producer of the show.)

Trump Ramps Up the Narcissism in an Appalling Speech

Trump Ramps Up the Narcissism in an Appalling Speech

If you believe President Donald Trump’s rampant narcissism might have hit its peak, take a look at the speech he gave Saturday afternoon before the memorial wall at CIA headquarters in Virginia. He made the visit to Langley the first nonceremonial event of his presidency, presumably to assure the intelligence community that—despite the insulting tweets he’s hurled their way, most recently likening them to Nazis—he supports the work that they’re doing and will listen to what they have to say.

That’s how the speech began, but before long, he turned to what remain his favorite topics: himself and the “dishonest media.” He complained that while, as far as he could tell, 1 million to 1.5 million people filled the National Mall to watch his inaugural address, the media reported that just 200,000 turned out for the event. The media, of course, was reporting the estimates from the National Park Service, which does this sort of thing professionally. The media also later reported that the NPS was ordered to stop tweeting after it retweeted comments about the size of the inaugural crowd. It’s not hard to wonder what CIA analysts in the audience made of this rant—and whether they feared that their own disagreeable estimates might meet the same censure.

Trump then rambled—as if this were a campaign rally instead of a morale-boosting speech in front of the agency’s most sacred spot—about how smart he is (citing as proof the fact that a brilliant uncle taught at MIT) and about how he’s been on the cover of Time magazine more often than anybody. (In fact, the title is held by Richard Nixon, which says something about what gets a president on a lot Time magazine covers.)

He also said things that must have baffled many of the 300 CIA employees who gathered for the visit, came in on a day off to see their new boss. He repeated the line, which he’d uttered many times during the campaign, that we should have “taken the oil” in Iraq (a notion that is politically daft, economically unnecessary, and militarily all-but-impossible) and that maybe we’ll have the opportunity to do so now. He also said that he suspected most of the people in the room voted for him in the election—a comment that, whether true or not, is appallingly inappropriate to make to intelligence analysts, who pride themselves on their independence and fear political encroachment above all else.


Trump's 5 Most Anti-Science Moves

Trump's 5 Most “Anti-Science” Moves

The president-elect has taken what is widely seen as a hostile stance toward the scientific community. Here’s why

Scientists are hoarding data on global temperatures, in case President-elect Donald Trump tries to wipe it off government Web sites or block public access to it. Ahead of Trump’s inauguration the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) has released stricter guidelines to protect scientists from government interference, and for many it feels like that safety net could not have come soon enough.

Welcome to what many call Trump’s post-fact presidency. Studies and evidence do not seem to sway him, but climate change remains a stubborn thorn in his side. Apparently determined to portray scientific conclusions as liberal bias, even declaring climate change a Chinese conspiracy, he has tapped climate science deniers for roles intended to protect the environment. He has consulted with an anti-vaccine activist on the safety of vaccinations, and he has alarmed the scientific community by attempting to single out individual climate change experts. Here are five of the major moves many see as hostile toward science—and as sobering indicators of the world the scientific community could be facing after January 20:

Trump’s pick for head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has actively battled its mission...
He chose former Texas Gov. Rick Perry for Energy Secretary...
He chose an energy company executive for secretary of State...
He met with a vaccine critic while planning a commission on autism...
His transition team sought information about Energy Department staff associated with climate change...

The secret to surviving the Trump years with one's sanity intact...

Keep your friends close.

Keep the mute button closer...


New Poll: Trump's Approval is Deep Under Water

New Poll: Trump's Approval is Deep Under Water

A new Monmouth University poll, conducted Jan. 12-15 and released yesterday, puts Donald Trump's approval rating at 34%, with 46% disapproving of him, similar to what it was before the election. In contrast, Barack Obama's rating is 56% approve and 38% disapprove. One of the questions Monmouth asked was about whom Trump will help. On the question of his helping the middle class, 26% said he would help it a lot, 40% said he will help a little, and 29% said he won't help at all. In contrast, 55% said Trump will help the wealthy a lot and 54% said he will help Wall Street bankers a lot. However, not all the bad news is directed at Trump. Only 23% approve of how Congress is doing its job.

Other recent polls are only slightly more positive about Trump. A CNN/ORC poll put his approval rating at 40%. If we average the Monmouth and CNN polls, we come to 37%, the lowest of any incoming president since pollsters began asking about approval ratings. Also noteworthy about the CNN poll is that 53% of the respondents said that Trump's statements and actions since the election make them less confident of his ability to handle the job. On the other hand, 48% say he will be a good president and 48% say he will be a bad president, almost mirroring the election results. (V)

Obama's parting words: 'We're going to be OK'

Obama's parting words: 'We're going to be OK'

Well, as much as I respect Obama, I don't think we'll be OK. I think we'll be fucked.
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