The EPA is going to get hammered. Plus lots of other things, but as a reminder, this is not intended to be comprehensive. I'm not listing, say, the gag rule reinstatement, despite its importance, because it's well covered in media as far as I can tell.
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New political militia
"Vanguard of Liberty/Minutemen"
[A new political militia is being formed on 8chan, 4chan, and Reddit, very much using the "America First" nazi-sympathiser slogan and working on trying to get people to stop referring to left protest as "antifa" (anti-fascist) because that's not good messaging. What messaging they're using varies by site - the least rightist is on Reddit, the most is on 4chan and 8chan. Example 8chan message below.]
One of the reasons Trump (to use an example) was so successful was due to his clever branding and slogans.
"Make America Great Again"
"Build the wall"
Shit like this really matters if you're trying to influence how the general populace thinks. If antifa is to be one of our enemies, we need good slogans and good ways to brand them. For starters, We can play with the fact that antifa is a hilariously hypocritical name. "Antifa are closet fascists" for example. We can then brand antifa as 'closet fascists' or just straight up refer to them as 'fascists'. Call them anything but 'antifa' because their name itself makes them look like the good guys. The more shocking, the better. Other names I've heard so far are 'brownshirts' and 'nu-nazis'
I'm just throwing out ideas. Remember that a good brand has to be short and memorable. It doesn't necessarily have to be true as long as it's shocking or demeaning. Calling them "directionless brainwashed bedwetters because that's what they are" is no good because that's too long. Calling them "bolsheviks" is no good because it's close enough to the truth that they will embrace it.
Help brainstorm any slogans or brands to use against antifa here.
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H.R.586 - To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.115th Congress (2017-2018)
Rep. Hice, Jody B. [R-GA] [10th District]
[Generally, these are those insane bills that require legal investigations of miscarriages, with the mail-in-your-pads-and-tampons protests against them.]
[no text yet]
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Hackers downloaded US government climate data and stored it on European servers as Trump was being inaugurated
January 21, 2017
As Donald Trump was sworn into office as the new president of the US on Jan. 20, a group of around 60 programmers and scientists were gathered in the Department of Information Studies building at the University of California-Los Angeles, harvesting government data.
A spreadsheet detailed their targets: Webpages dedicated to the Department of Energy’s solar power initiative, Energy Information Administration data sets that compared fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, and fuel cell research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, to name a few out of hundreds.
Many of the programmers who showed up at UCLA for the event had day jobs as IT consultants or data managers at startups; others were undergrad computer science majors. The scientists in attendance, including ecologists, lab managers, and oceanographers, came from universities all over Southern California. A motley crew of data enthusiasts who assemble for projects like this is becoming something of a trend at universities across the country: Volunteer “data rescue” events in Toronto, Philadelphia, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Michigan over the last few weeks have managed to scrape hundreds of thousands of pages off of EPA.gov, NASA.gov, DOE.gov, and whitehouse.gov, uploading them to the Internet Archive. Another is planned for early February at New York University.
Hackers, librarians, scientists, and archivists had been working around the clock, at these events and in the days between, to download as much federal climate and environment data off government websites as possible before Trump took office. But suddenly, at exactly noon on Friday as Trump was sworn in, and just as the UCLA event kicked off, some of their fears began to come true: The climate change-related pages on whitehouse.gov disappeared. It’s typical of incoming administrations to take down some of their predecessor’s pages, but scrubbing all mentions of climate change is a clear indication of the Trump administration’s position on climate science.
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Sources say Trump's CIA visit made relations with intel community worse
23 January 2017
[This is here due to Mr. Trump packing the room at the CIA - the first three rows of seats in particular - with his personal staff and supporters. They were the ones cheering everything. It's set dressing, and they are being represented as CIA staff when they were not.]
U.S. government sources tell CBS News that there is a sense of unease in the intelligence community after President Trump’s visit to CIA headquarters on Saturday.
An official said the visit “made relations with the intelligence community worse” and described the visit as “uncomfortable.”
Authorities are also pushing back against the perception that the CIA workforce was cheering for the president. They say the first three rows in front of the president were largely made up of supporters of Mr. Trump’s campaign.
An official with knowledge of the make-up of the crowd says that there were about 40 people who’d been invited by the Trump, Mike Pence and Rep. Mike Pompeo teams. The Trump team expected Rep. Pompeo, R-Kansas, to be sworn in during the event as the next CIA director, but the vote to confirm him was delayed on Friday by Senate Democrats. Also sitting in the first several rows in front of the president was the CIA’s senior leadership, which was not cheering the remarks.
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On http://WhiteHouse.gov , Trump claims killings in DC up 50%, but in fact they're down 17%
The Trump Administration is committed to reducing violent crime. In 2015, homicides increased by 17% in America’s fifty largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years. In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. There were thousands of shootings in Chicago last year alone.
2016 Year End Crime Data
Year-end 2016 data accurate as of January 11, 2017.
Homicide 2015: 162 | 2016: 135 | Change -17%
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EPA Freezes Grants, Tells Employees Not To Talk About It, Sources Say
It's unclear whether the freeze is temporary or indefinite.
01/23/2017 08:53 pm ET
Kate Sheppard | The Huffington Post
WASHINGTON ― The Environmental Protection Agency has frozen its grant programs, according to sources there.
EPA staff has been instructed to freeze all its grants ― an extensive program that includes funding for research, redevelopment of former industrial sites, air quality monitoring and education, among other things ― and told not to discuss this order with anyone outside the agency, according to a Hill source with knowledge of the situation.
An EPA staffer provided the information to the congressional office anonymously, fearing retaliation.
It’s unclear whether the freeze is indefinite or temporary as the agency transitions fully to the Trump administration; the Senate has not yet confirmed Trump’s pick for EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt. It’s also not clear the immediate impact the grant freeze would have on programs across the country, since EPA grants are distributed at varying intervals and frequency.
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Trumpworld prepares to hammer the EPA
Jonathan Swan & Mike Allen | Axios
January 23, 2017
We got a sneaky look at the Trump transition team's EPA "agency action" plan. It's the guiding (aspirational) document written by Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
One of the striking aspects of the document was its language about the agency's use of scientific research and economic analysis to justify its actions. A section titled 'Addendum on the problems with EPA science' leads with this paragraph:
EPA does not use science to guide regulatory policy as much as it uses regulatory policy to steer the science. This is an old problem at EPA. In 1992, a blue-ribbon panel of EPA science advisers that [sic] 'science should not be adjusted to fit policy.' But rather than heed this advice, EPA has greatly increased its science manipulation.
The document goes on to recommend what can be done to "improve the use of science by EPA":
• EPA should not be funding scientific research
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White House Spokesman Changes the Story on Flynn’s Calls to Russian Ambassador
By Kate Brannen
Monday, January 23, 2017 at 4:44 PM
[I HAVE NOT COMPLETELY VETTED THIS SOURCE. I've done a preliminary check and so far, so good - but that's all.]
The Trump administration continues to change its story on when and how many times Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser, spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on the phone Dec. 29, the same day the Obama administration announced new sanctions against Russia and kicked out 35 Russian officials in response to Russian hacking. Statements made by White House press secretary Sean Spicer at Monday’s press conference conflict with statements made earlier by the Trump team with regard to Flynn’s phone calls.
The timeline and the explanation for these calls are important because they’re part of a broader, months-long, multi-agency investigation into Russia’s interference in the U.S. election and any possible contacts the Russian government might have had with the Trump campaign. The conflicting stories raise serious questions: Who is telling the truth? And why can’t the Trump administration provide the public a consistent answer on this?
The Washington Post’s David Ignatius reported Jan. 12 that Flynn “phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29.” His source was “a senior U.S. government official.” Reuters then confirmed the Ignatius report, noting that Flynn and Kislyak held five calls that day, according to “three sources familiar with the matter.” The calls took place “between the time the Russian embassy was told about U.S. sanctions and the announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin that he had decided against reprisals,” the report said. The Wall Street Journal also reported “a series of telephone calls Mr. Flynn made to Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., on Dec. 29,” and that officials have “examined earlier conversations between Mr. Flynn and Russian figures.” And on Monday, CNN reported the Dec. 29 calls “were captured by routine US eavesdropping targeting the Russian diplomats.”