After spending years as a wartime intelligence agency called the Office of Strategic Services, the agency was solidified as a key player in the federal government’s operations with then-President Harry Truman’s authorization. Continue reading
Watchdog groups promise to keep fighting Trump administration in court after it refuses to release full list of presidential visitors to so-called Winter White House
“See you in court, Mr. President,” a watchdog group warned on Friday, after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), under pressure from a federal lawsuit, released just two pages of Mar-a-Lago visitor records, despite earlier promises to reveal the full list of visitors to President Donald Trump’s so-called Winter White House.
After waiting months for a response to our request for comprehensive visitor logs from the president’s multiple visits to Mar-a-Lago and having the government ask for a last minute extension, today we received 22 names from the Japanese prime minister’s visit to Mar-a-Lago, and nothing else,” said Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Continue reading
Calling out Trump’s racist views, critics stand in solidarity with ESPN anchor
In a display of a solidarity with the black female ESPN sportscaster under attack by the White House for calling out President Donald Trump as a “white supremacist” earlier this week, the hashtag #NaziBucketChallenge was going viral on Friday as people from all walks of life waited to see if they would receive the same kind of harsh treatment for criticizing the president publicly.
I am a 65 year old white lady and I am calling Trump a White Supremacist.
Anyone else? https://t.co/PzUVvyIR9t
— Ruth Ann (@Fairy_Gmother) September 15, 2017
I am white middle aged soccer dad with two jobs and I can without a doubt say that Donald Trump is a white supremacist #NaziBucketChallenge
— PUNCHANAZI (@Brotherdustin) September 15, 2017
I’m a self employed small business owner and I know trump is a white supremacist #NaziBucketChallenge
— Paticake (@paticake35) September 15, 2017
I’m a goat farmer in rural Texas and I am comfortably reiterating that Trump is a white supremacist. #NaziBucketChallenge
— Blue Heron Farm (@BlueHeronFarmTX) September 15, 2017
I’m a grouchy, old, angry, white guy veteran and even I can see that Trump is a goddamn white supremacist a-hole. #NaziBucketChallenge 😡🖕
— chaplinlives (@chaplinlives) September 15, 2017
It all started on Monday, when ESPN anchor Jemele Hill called Trump a white supremacist on her Twitter account.
The controversy intensifed, however, after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders publicly called for Hill’s firing during a White House press briefing on Wednesday.
Her tweet followed, among other examples, the firestorm surrounding Trump’s response to last month’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, in which he failed to denounce the neo-Nazis who organized the gathering and insisted that counter-protesters were equally to blame for the violence that erupted.
The comments also came two weeks after Trump’s pardon of his longtime supporter Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, who detained Latinos with no evidence of any wrongdoing and established a detention center that he compared favorably to a Nazi concentration camp.
The president’s former top strategist, Steve Bannon, also has well-established ties to white supremacists, having served as the executive director of Breitbart News both before and after his work with Trump.
Hill later deleted the tweet and clarified that the views she had expressed were her own and not her employer’s; ESPN said Thursday it had accepted her apology. But that didn’t stop Trump from wading into the controversy and demanding an apology from ESPN in an early-morning missive on Friday.
ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2017
A number of well-known Trump critics spoke out in solidarity with Hill—and challenged the White House to call for their dismissal as well.
I’m in television and I’m also calling President Trump a white supremacist. Anyone else?
— Michael Green (@andmichaelgreen) September 13, 2017
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) September 14, 2017
From his history, performance & statements, Pres. Donald Trump is a white supremacist. Please alert HBO i need to be fired. Also, fuck off.
— David Simon (@AoDespair) September 13, 2017
I’m a mother/wife/other and I am calling Trump a White Supremacist.
Your turn! Ready? Go! https://t.co/ybO387cFsj
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) September 15, 2017
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) September 14, 2017
The campaign picked up speed following Trump’s statement on Thursday in which he repeated his views on the violence in Charlottesville, saying that there were “some pretty bad dudes” among the anti-racism counter-protesters. Everyday Americans began using the #NaziBucketChallenge hashtag, making it clear that Trump’s white supremacist views have been noticed by people of all races, religions, socioeconomic backgrounds, and genders.
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“A bold-faced gift to the coal industry at the expense of the health of families everywhere”
In a move that critics are calling “deeply disturbing,” the Trump administration announced on Wednesday a two-year delay to an Obama-era rule limiting wastewater pollution at coal plants.
In 2015 the Obama administration developed new limits on metals including lead, mercury, and arsenic in coal-fired plants’ wastewater, set to go into effect in 2018. The pollutants in question “can cause severe health problems, including cancer and lowered I.Q. among children, as well as deformities and reproductive harm in fish and wildlife,” according to the Center for Biological Diversity, which fought against the rollback of the limits. Continue reading
The so-called Election Integrity Commission is little more than a “platform for the extremist views of those who support voter suppression,” rights groups say
As President Donald Trump’s so-called Election Integrity Commission is set to meet for the second time on Tuesday in New Hampshire, voting rights groups are slamming the panel as a “stain on democracy” and urging resistance to any attempt by the Trump administration to “restrict access to the ballot under the guise of eliminating voter fraud.”
“Our election process must be secure, fair, and transparent,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, but Trump is using his “sham commission to spread the lie of rampant fraud as a Trojan Horse for voter suppression.” Continue reading
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) calls data breach “Exhibit A for why we must stop GOP from reversing the CFPB’s rule protecting your right to join class actions”
Not only did Equifax suffer a massive data breach that potentially compromised the personal data of up to 143 million in the U.S. and then wait 6 weeks to inform the public—the credit-reporting company is directing those who want to know if they were a victim of the breach to a service that forces them into a “rip-off clause” that makes them give up their right to file or join class-action lawsuit against the company.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday that Venezuela will be looking to “free” itself from the U.S. dollar next week, Reuters reports. According to the outlet, Maduro will look to use the weakest of two official foreign exchange regimes (essentially the way Venezuela will manage its currency in relation to other currencies and the foreign exchange market), along with a basket of currencies.
According to Reuters, Maduro was referring to Venezuela’s current official exchange rate, known as DICOM, in which the dollar can be exchanged for 3,345 bolivars. At the strongest official rate, one dollar buys only 10 bolivars, which may be one of the reasons why Maduro wants to opt for some of the weaker exchange rates. Continue reading
“As Kinder Morgan tries to force through a pipeline without our consent—risking polluting the land and poisoning our rivers—we are rising up to create a resistance rooted in family, community, and hope.”
First Nations and allies in British Columbia, Canada, are protesting an expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline by building 10 tiny houses in its proposed path, which runs through more than 300 miles of Secwepemcul’ecw, unceded tribal territory.
“We, the Secwepemc, have never ceded, surrendered, or given up our sovereign title and rights over the land, waters, and resources within Secwepemcul’ecw,” tribe leaders said in a statement, adding that they “have never provided and will never provide our collective consent to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Project. In fact, we hereby explicitly and irrevocably refuse its passage through our territory.” Continue reading
After meeting with fringe “mens’ rights” group, Education Secretary will re-examine guidance that protects campus assault survivors
Advocates for sexual assault survivors criticized the Trump administration’s announcement on Thursday that it would roll back Obama-era guidance on campus assault.
As dozens of protesters gathered outside to demand continued protections for survivors, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a speech at George Mason University that the administration will begin a public comment period as it restructures its sexual assault policy—but she made clear that she would not uphold the previous administration’s guidance. Continue reading
A week after hiring for-profit college official to oversee fraud unit, Trump’s Education Department terminates relationship with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Calling the move “outrageous and deeply troubling,” consumer advocates and opponents of skyrocketing student debt spoke out Tuesday against the Trump administration’s decision to end the working relationship between the Department of Education and the government watchdog tasked with helping oversee the federal student loan program and protect borrowers.
At the direction of Congress, under the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, the Department of Education has shared information with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) since 2011 in order to provide assistance to borrowers with complaints about Federal student loans. But the Department, now run by Secretary Betsy DeVos, informed the Bureau in a letter last week that it was ending the relationship. Continue reading