Saturday, January 21, 2017

In Solidarity with the National Women's March


It is always BEAUTIFUL AND INSPIRING to see the great masses of citizens actively fighting back against tyranny and oppression, and on behalf of freedom, justice, equality, and self determination. This massive national demonstration of the collective will of the people to directly and fiercely oppose the rising tide of white supremacy, male supremacy and misogyny, homophobia, as well as global capitalism, militarism, and imperialism not only here in the U.S. but throughout the world is the key to understanding what needs to be done to actually change this society and the general direction of the world.
The sterling and extremely necessary example that millions of women of every nationality as well as religious, secular, and ethnic and sexual identity have set for all the rest of us is a new template and strong foundation for the kind of major national social/political movements and massive networks of organizations, coalitions, and radical agendas that we’re all going to need to consistently contribute to and be an integral part of in this ongoing battle against the ferocious rightwing forces that are currently aligned against democracy and justice in this country.
Remember that the politics of race, class, gender, and sexuality are inextricably connected and mutually dependent on each other and always have been. and always will be. We especially need to make these connections known and an essential part of our political activity in fighting the billionaire sociopath and his neofascist administration’s programs and policies. This will require constant vigilance, discipline, and principled solidarity on our part so that this fundamental message is not forgotten or obscured as we make our demands and desires known.
So I am not merely "encouraged" by what the extraordinary leadership of women in this movement has accomplished in this nation over the past 36 hours. I am ENERGIZED by what is now possible as we proudly face the harrowing future without fear, cynicism, fatalism, or crippling self doubt.
So let's celebrate the fact that THE RESISTANCE has begun and remember always as the late, great Malcolm X often said "they can't stop it because they didn't start it"...

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win...


Defiant Voices Flood U.S. Cities as Women Rally for Rights

Three Generations of Women, Marching on Washington

For Amber Coleman-Mortley, the Women’s March on Washington was a family affair.
by BRENT McDONALD and BEN C. SOLOMON on Publish Date January 21, 2017. Photo by Ben C. Solomon/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video 

WASHINGTON — The day after what many had assumed would be the inauguration of the first female president, hundreds of thousands of women flooded the streets of Washington, and many more marched in cities across the country, in defiant, jubilant rallies against the man who defeated her.
Protesters jammed the streets near the Capitol for the main demonstration, packed so tightly at times that they could barely move. In Chicago, the size of a rally so quickly outgrew early estimates that the official march that was scheduled to follow was canceled for safety, though many paraded through downtown, anyway.
In Manhattan, Fifth Avenue became a tide of signs and symbolic pink hats, while in downtown Los Angeles, shouts of “love trumps hate” echoed along a one-mile route leading to City Hall, with many demonstrators spilling over into adjacent streets in a huge, festival-like atmosphere.
The marches were the kickoff for what their leaders hope will be a sustained campaign of protest in a polarized nation, riven by an election that raised unsettling questions about American values, out-of-touch elites and barriers to women’s ambitions.


Women March Around the U.S.

Hundreds of thousands of women came out to march in Washington, D.C. There were also hundreds of solidarity marches held around the nation and the world.
by NEETI UPADHYE on Publish Date January 21, 2017. Photo by Hilary Swift for The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

On successive days, two parallel and separate Americas were on display in virtually the same location. First there was President Trump’s inauguration, his message of an ailing society he would restore to greatness aimed at the triumphant supporters who thronged Washington on Friday.

Then on Saturday, in what amounted to a counterinauguration, the speakers, performers and marchers proclaimed allegiance to a profoundly different vision of the nation. They voiced determination to protect an array of rights that they believe Mr. Trump threatens, and that they thought only recently were secure.
“Thank you for understanding that sometimes we must put our bodies where our beliefs are,” Gloria Steinem, the feminist icon and an honorary chairwoman of the march, told those gathered in Washington. “Pressing ‘send’ is not enough.”
To mobilize a progressive movement reeling from Hillary Clinton’s defeat, organizers broadened the platform beyond longstanding women’s issues such as abortion, equal pay and sexual assault to include immigrant rights, police brutality, mass incarceration, voter suppression and environmental protections

Protesters at the women’s march in Paris on Saturday. Credit Jacky Naegelen/Reuters

But the march’s origins were in the outrage and despair of many women after an election that placed gender in the spotlight as never before.
Mrs. Clinton assertively claimed the mantle of history, offering herself as the champion of women and families, and calling out her opponent for boasting of forcing himself on women in a recording that prompted a national conversation about sexual assault. In a sly allusion to the crude remarks Mr. Trump made on the tape, many marchers, women and men alike, wore pink “pussy hats” sporting cat ears.
In Washington, demonstrators old and young pushed strollers and hoisted children onto their shoulders or guided elderly parents through the milling crowds. They waved handmade signs: “Hate Does Not Make America Great,” “I Will Not Go Back Quietly to the 1950s” and “I’m 17 — Fear Me!” They chanted, “This is what democracy looks like.’”
Emma Wendt, 13, came with a large group of family members and schoolmates from Kensington, Md., for a simple reason: “being part of history.”

Crowds in hundreds of cities around the world gathered Saturday in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington. 

OPEN Photographs

The marchers were confronting a president who has appointed just a handful of women to his cabinet and inner circle, and who has pledged to nominate a Supreme Court justice who opposes abortion rights and to dismantle a health care act that covers contraception. His appointees have track records of voting to cut funding for anti-domestic violence programs, opposing increases in the minimum wage and restructuring Medicaid — moves that disproportionately affect women and minorities.
Crowd estimates were not available in some locations, but a city official in Washington said that participation there likely surpassed half a million, according to The Associated Press. Added to the more than 400,000 that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said had marched in New York City, hundreds of thousands more in Chicago and Los Angeles, and those who showed up at many other marches nationwide, the total attendance easily surpassed one million in the United States. Marches also took place in a number of cities abroad, including Berlin, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam and Cape Town.
In Boston, where the crowd swelled to 175,000, Senator Elizabeth Warren looked out at the admiring throngs and conjured up the image of Mr. Trump’s being sworn in the day before.
“The sight is now burned into my eyes forever,” Ms. Warren said, adding, “We will use that vision to fight harder.”

Estimates by crowd scientists of attendance at events on Friday and Saturday and how they calculated it. 
OPEN Graphic

Yet women did not protest — or vote — as a bloc. About 53 percent of white women voted for Mr. Trump, according to exit polls, and many said his demeaning comments about women mattered less to them than their belief that he had the independence and business experience to bring about change, restore well-paying jobs and protect America’s borders.
“The women’s march clearly doesn’t represent all women,” Alex Smith, the national chairwoman of the College Republicans, said in an email. She noted the exclusion of anti-abortion women’s groups from the event. “It is precisely this type of dogmatic intransigence that voters rejected.”
The marches came a day after confrontations between anti-Trump protesters and the police led to more than 200 arrests in Washington. But Saturday’s demonstrations were peaceful, and counterprotests were few. In St. Paul, one man was arrested after marchers reported he had “sprayed irritants” into the crowd, the police said.
Though the Washington march ended within sight of the White House, and some demonstrators passed by his recently opened hotel, Mr. Trump did not cross paths with the crowd. But on Sunday morning, Mr. Trump acknowledged the demonstrations on Twitter, questioning whether the protesters had voted.

A little later, Sunday, Mr. Trump added on Twitter that he supported the right of peaceable assembly.

Among those celebrity performers, were some who had appeared at campaign events for Mrs. Clinton, including Madonna, who gave a speech, said toward the end of of the march. “I have thought a lot about blowing up the White House. But I know that this will not change anything,” she said. (The Secret Service declined to comment on the remark, though an investigation seemed unlikely.)

A woman wore a United States flag as a hijab during a protest in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Credit Gregor Fischer/DPA, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

After attending the inauguration on Friday, Mrs. Clinton herself was not seen at the march. She did, however, acknowledge the moment on Twitter.
“Thanks for standing, speaking & marching for our values @womensmarch,” she wrote.

The marches captured the potential and the perils for the progressive movement — whether it can frame its message to appeal to new generations and whether it can translate protests into action locally and nationally.

In a sly allusion to crude remarks made by Mr. Trump about sexual assault, many marchers wore hats sporting cat ears. Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Plans for Saturday’s march in Washington began as Facebook posts just after the election by a retired lawyer in Hawaii and a fashion designer in New York, both of whom are white and had no experience organizing protests. Soon, protests flooded the feeds urging them to diversify. In the end, a triumvirate of African-American, Latina and Muslim women joined the leadership team.
The march’s initial struggles echoed broader debates in the movement about whether the courting of new demographic groups alienated the white working-class voters who had carried Mr. Trump to victory, or whether white women had betrayed gender solidarity by voting for him. Yet on Saturday, these tensions did not deter a multiracial, multigenerational turnout. Mothers marched with daughters and granddaughters; whole families, including husbands and sons, marched arm in arm.
Mikhael Tara Garver, 37, of Brooklyn, who marched with her mother, recalled how her family had reacted after the election: “We were all calling my great-aunts because we all knew how important Hillary was to them and how important surviving to see that moment was for them.”
Another family came from Baltimore. “We have to get away from fear,” said Lureen Grace Wiggins, 49. Her daughter, Eden, 17, was exhilarated by the size of the crowd: “When you’re out here and people see you, they know you care.”
The march was rich in historical allusions — most deliberately, the 1963 march led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But it echoed many other marches, including those in the 1970s that brought hundreds of thousands of women to the streets championing an Equal Rights Amendment that was ultimately defeated, and those from the late 1990s and on for abortion rights, culminating in a 2004 March for Women’s Lives that organizers said drew more than one million to the capital.
Saturday’s march happened to come just six days before quite a different one: the annual March for Life by opponents of abortion.
But perhaps the most apt analogy, said Ellen Fitzpatrick, the author of “The Highest Glass Ceiling,” was to the 1913 suffragists’ march on Washington, timed to coincide with the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson. Led by the renowned suffragist Alice Paul, it featured a lawyer, Inez Milholland, riding a white horse down Pennsylvania Avenue, with 24 floats, nine marching bands and luminaries like Helen Keller. The women were hooted and jeered at and roughed up by the police, prompting congressional hearings and generating public sympathy. They won the vote seven years later.
Faye Wattleton, the former president of Planned Parenthood, said that women have always had to regroup, even after they thought battles were won. “This is not new,” she said. “We have to go back to the battlefield and re-fight the wars against women.”

Correction: January 21, 2017
An earlier version of this article misstated the surname of the author of “The Highest Glass Ceiling.” It is Fitzpatrick, not Fitzgerald.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Relentless Assault On American Democracy Has Begun: The Billionaire Sociopath Comes to the White House



Here comes the straight up evil agenda of the incoming neofascist administration led of course by the trolling billionaire sociopath. And if you don't think that this incredibly wealthy, greedy, selfish, bigoted, cruel, dishonest and ignorant gang of mercenary demagogues and pathological liars (for verification do your own research check of exactly who these people are and what they have actually done throughout their careers for the ugly evidence), are not going to relentlessly try to do every single thing that their "Fearless Leader" promised (and more) then you are seriously deluding yourself. The very disturbing truth is that this bunch of swaggering far rightwing bullies are going to be far worse than they are depicted in this article (which is reprehensible enough), and the fallout from the draconian policies they will propose and enact are going to have a devastating impact on not only the millions who voted against this administration and everything it stands for but will also adversely affect many of their resentful and scapegoating supporters as well. If you don't believe me just WATCH AND SEE...Stay tuned because the worse is yet to come...for real...



Trump Nominees Make Clear Plans to Sweep Away Obama Policies

January 19, 2017
New York Times

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump’s cabinet nominees, while moderating some of their stances, have made it clear during two weeks of hearings that they intend to work hard to sweep away President Obama’s domestic policy by embracing a deeply conservative approach to governing.

In dozens of hours of testimony, Mr. Trump’s nominees told senators that they favored less regulation, a smaller federal government, more state control over policy decisions and taxpayer money, and greater personal responsibility by Americans across the country.

The sometimes contentious hearings continued up until the day before the inauguration, as Mr. Trump triumphantly arrived in Washington on Thursday to kick off three highly choreographed days that will usher Republicans back into full political power in Washington for the first time in more than a decade.

After arriving at Joint Base Andrews on a military plane that will become Air Force One the next time he steps onboard, Mr. Trump visited the Trump International Hotel before making an appearance at the Lincoln Memorial, where thousands watched an inaugural concert.

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“All over the world they are talking about it. All over the world,” Mr. Trump told the crowd before a fireworks display over the National Mall. “And I love you folks, and we’re going to work together. And we are going to make America great again.”
That work will be shaped by the new president’s cabinet, which is coming under scrutiny as lawmakers from both parties press the nominees about their fealty to Mr. Trump’s campaign promises and their adherence to their own long records.
Many of the nominees sought to shave the sharp edges off Mr. Trump’s more provocative campaign promises and their own past decisions and statements. Some backed away completely from past assertions, making clean breaks with Mr. Trump on climate change or the need to build a wall at the Mexican border.

Others remained vague about their commitment to the most divisive proposals in their policy areas, leaving a veil of uncertainty over what they would do to lead their departments if confirmed.

Ben Carson, the housing secretary nominee, told lawmakers that “safety net programs are important.” But he did not disown past statements about the failure of government interventions and his belief that poverty was “really more of a choice than anything else.”

PHOTO: Ben Carson during his confirmation hearing to lead the department of housing and urban development last week. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency nominee, told senators that he now believed that “climate change is not a hoax.” But he also forcefully advocated a far smaller and more restrained agency, while criticizing federal rules established by Mr. Obama’s administration to protect air and water and tackle climate change.

Betsy DeVos, a longtime supporter of charter schools, pledged to work for “common ground,” but did not back down on the use of federal money for private and religious schools. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the attorney general nominee, vowed to be “impartial and enforce laws that I didn’t vote for,” while holding firm to a decades-long conservative approach to immigration and civil rights.

Several Democratic lawmakers appeared exasperated as they sought to pin the nominees down on the actions they intended to take in office.

“Will you insist upon that equal accountability in any K-12 school or educational program that receives federal funding whether public, public charter or private?” Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, asked Ms. DeVos.

“I support accountability,” she said, repeating that phrase three times in response to Mr. Kaine’s efforts to extract a more detailed answer.

But there is no doubt that Mr. Trump’s nominees collectively will lead an effort to undermine the legacy of Mr. Obama on the environment, health care, immigration, civil rights and education.

In his remarks to lawmakers, Representative Tom Price of Georgia, the nominee for secretary of health and human services, promised to lead an effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Representative Ryan Zinke of Montana, the nominee to lead the Interior Department, said he supported drilling, mining and logging on federal lands. Mr. Sessions came to the defense of police departments, saying officers had been “unfairly maligned and blamed” for the actions of a few in cases involving the deaths of young black men.“There’s a great deal of reform coming to Washington,” Sean Spicer, the president’s incoming press secretary, said during his first on-camera briefing on Thursday. “These are amazing individuals that have a commitment to enacting an agenda of change.”

Taken together, the congressional testimony reflects a domestic policy agenda that is still evolving. The president-elect recently said he wanted his nominees to “be themselves and express their own thoughts, not mine!” On Friday, he will have an opportunity to sketch out a broad vision during his inaugural address from the steps of the Capitol. 

During his campaign, Mr. Trump was often contradictory in laying out a domestic policy blueprint.

On immigration, he talked about the mass deportation of 11 million undocumented workers, then later said he was focused on getting “bad dudes” out of the country. He also proposed, then backed away from, a total ban on Muslim immigration to the United States.

PHOTO: Betsy DeVos arriving for her confirmation hearing to be secretary of education on Tuesday. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times

Mr. Trump at times called for having guns in classrooms, but other times said he opposed that policy. He said he was against a “first-strike” policy on the use of nuclear weapons, but also said he could not “take anything off the table.” He said in one interview that he would criminalize a woman’s decision to have an abortion; in another, he said the opposite.

As his nominees faced lawmakers during the past two weeks, many of them took a similar approach, responding to questions about their records with less hard-edge language even as they declined to accept Democrats’ approaches.

The hearing for Mr. Price was one example. Mr. Price, an orthopedic surgeon from an Atlanta suburb, sought to reassure senators that he and Mr. Trump did not want to let people “fall through the cracks” as they overhauled the nation’s health care system.

“Nobody’s interested in pulling the rug out from under anybody,” Mr. Price said. “We believe that it’s absolutely imperative that individuals that have health coverage be able to keep health coverage and move, hopefully, to greater choices and opportunities.”

But any Democrats who heard those comments as a kind of concession in the fight to unravel Mr. Obama’s health care law are likely to be disappointed.

Mr. Price insisted that “states know best” in caring for Medicaid beneficiaries. He said the government should not dictate care to patients. And he vowed that Mr. Trump and his administration would put in place “a different construct” for providing health care to every American.

Wilbur Ross, the billionaire investor who will serve as commerce secretary if he is confirmed, also tried to reassure senators on issues like trade, even as he echoed some of Mr. Trump’s more incendiary promises of economic warfare with other nations.

Like the president-elect, Mr. Ross lashed out at China, accusing it of being “the most protectionist country of the very large countries — they talk more about free trade than they actually practice.”

But he also declared that he was “not anti-trade” and declared as unworkable Mr. Trump’s proposal of a 35 percent tax on American companies that manufacture goods overseas and try to sell them in the United States.

Shortly after arriving in Washington on Thursday, Mr. Trump toasted his cabinet nominees, telling a luncheon audience at his Pennsylvania Avenue hotel that there had never been better ones.

“We have by far the highest I.Q.,” he said, “of any cabinet ever assembled.”

A version of this article appears in print on January 20, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Trump Arrives, Set to Assume Power. Order Reprints| Today's Paper

Related Coverage:

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Nominee Betsy DeVos’s Knowledge of Education Basics Is Open to Criticism

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PHOTO: Scott Pruitt arriving for his confirmation hearing to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday. Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

Over two weeks of hearings, Donald J. Trump’s cabinet picks have strongly embraced a deeply conservative approach to governing.


If you think this speech by the billionaire sociopath and everything it both says and connotes is in any way whatsoever a sane or rational understanding of political, social, and economic reality in either this country or the rest of the world in the 21st century you are as clinically braindead and arrogantly delusional as he is...Look out folks because here comes the catastrophe...


Donald Trump full inaugural address as 45th President of United States 

United States President Donald Trump spoke to the nation for the first time as Commander-in-Chief Friday afternoon moments after taking the oath of office to become the 45th President.

United States President Donald Trump spoke to the nation for the first time as Commander-in-Chief…


The Post's View
The clear and present danger of Donald Trump

by Editorial Board
September 30, 2016
The Washington Post

IF YOU know that Donald Trump is ignorant, unprepared and bigoted, but are thinking of voting for him anyway because you doubt he could do much harm — this editorial is for you.

Your support of the Republican presidential nominee may be motivated by dislike of the Democratic alternative, disgust with the Washington establishment or a desire to send a message in favor of change. You may not approve of everything Mr. Trump has had to say about nuclear weapons, torture or mass deportations, but you doubt he could implement anything too radical. Congress, the courts, the Constitution — these would keep Mr. Trump in check, you think.

Well, think again. A President Trump could, unilaterally, change this country to its core. By remaking U.S. relations with other nations, he could fundamentally reshape the world, too.

Of course, in many areas Mr. Trump would not have to act unilaterally. If he won, chances are Republicans would maintain control of Congress. GOP majorities there would be enthusiastic participants in much of what Mr. Trump would like to do: gutting environmental and workplace regulations, slashing taxes so that the debt skyrockets, appointing Supreme Court justices who oppose a woman’s right to have an abortion. In areas where Republican officeholders such as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) imagine themselves acting as a brake on Mr. Trump’s worst instincts, skepticism is in order. If these supposed leaders are too craven to oppose Mr. Trump as a candidate, knowing the danger he presents, why should we expect them to stand up to the bully once he was fully empowered?

But say they did — or imagine, also improbably, that Mr. Trump faced a Democratic Congress. The president would appoint officers — a budget director, an attorney general, a CIA chief — who were disposed to let him have his way. And in the U.S. system, the scope for executive action is, as we will lay out in a series of editorials next week, astonishingly broad. At times we have questioned President Obama’s sweeping use of those powers even when we agreed with his goals, such as his broad grant of amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants. Mr. Trump could push it much further.

The Washington Post explores the origins of Donald Trump's transformation from a businessman to political candidate. (McKenna Ewen, Whitney Shefte, Dalton Bennett/The Washington Post)

Could he tear up long-standing international agreements? Round up and expel millions of longtime U.S. residents? Impose giant tariffs? Waterboard terrorist suspects? Yes, yes, yes and yes — all without so much as an if-you-please to Congress. Could he bar the media from covering him? To a large extent, yes. Could he use the government to help his businesses and, as he has threatened, injure those he perceives as enemies? Yes, he could.

Given Mr. Trump’s ever-evolving positions, and the apparent absence of fundamental beliefs other than in his own brilliance, it would be foolish to make flat predictions of how he would behave. Nor do we underestimate the resilience of the U.S. system or the devotion that U.S. government workers bring to the rule of law.

But it would be reckless not to consider the damage Mr. Trump might wreak. Some of that damage would ensue more from who he is than what he does. His racism and disparagement of women could empower extremists who are now on the margins of American politics, while his lies and conspiracy theories could legitimize discourse that until now has been relegated to the fringe. But his scope for action should not be underestimated, either. In our upcoming editorials, we will examine some arenas where Mr. Trump has been relatively clear about his intentions — and where presidential powers are mighty. We hope you will read them before you vote.

The damage Mr. Trump could do:

A President Trump could deport freely

A President Trump could end the era of American global leadership

A President Trump could wreck progress on global warming

A President Trump could destroy the world economy

How much damage could a President Trump do? We can only begin to imagine.

PHOTO: Donald Trump at a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Wednesday. (John Locher/Associated Press)

The first in a series of editorials on the damage he could wreak unilaterally as president.