Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,

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good morning, it's 16 march 2017

As always, lead on the neofascist horseshit. "The culture war over religious morality has faded; in its place is something much worse" describes how the fade of the fundamentalist right didn't lead to less rightist extremism, but more. "The GOP Is America’s Party of White Nationalism" is pretty much just pointing out the obvious, but the obvious is real bad and a lot of people still don't want to face it - and as example, Rep. King is not getting GOP pushback on his move to overt white supremacist politics. "Trump to release 'hard power budget' with cuts to State Dept, EPA" points to a big upward ratcheting in militarism and an express preference for the use of military force over any other method of solving... anything, really. And closer to home, we have "Video: Nazis Thrown Out Of Portland's Lucky Lab Beer Hall" in Portland. Well done, Lucky Lab.

We've got a link for the "Text of court order against Trump's second Muslim-targeting travel ban," of course. Also commentary involving Trump's reaction at his rally; "Obama ethics lawyer: Trump 'digging grave' for future travel ban court cases." Of particular note is that Trump says the second is just a watered-down version of the first, which certainly means it has all the same legal failures.

And of course, add in "Trump stands by unverified wiretap claim" even as congressional GOP is going, '...we don't believe it.' Who are you going to believe, Leader Trump or your lying eyes?

In crackdown news, we have Texas leading the pack yesterday, with "Texas Senate Passes Anti-Trans Bathroom Bill, Now Closer to Becoming Law No One Asked For." Locally, we have Crosscut asking, "Washington’s legal pot experiment: Can it survive Trump?"

Finally, a few last stories: "Trump fuel economy rollback will kill jobs and cost each car buyer $1,650" is about helping the fossil fuel industry, which backs the GOP more completely than any other group. "Congress sends Trump drug test measure for unemployed" arguably belongs under fascism - it's about humiliating the unemployed, pure and simple. And finally, the NYT has a story on Trump's 2005 tax returns: "Trump Wrote Off $100 Million in Losses in 2005, Leaked Forms Show."

----- 1 -----
Trump fuel economy rollback will kill jobs and cost each car buyer $1,650
It would also boost U.S. oil use 1.2 billion barrels while reducing the car industry’s global competitiveness.
Joe Romm | Think Progress
15 March 2017

[This is mostly because it's the first article I've seen talking about this rollback]

President Donald Trump is reopening the Obama administration’s federal carbon pollution standards for new cars.

Trump is traveling to Detroit on Wednesday to announce an executive order with the ultimate goal of rolling back the tough standards that apply to model years 2022–2025. This won’t be a quick process: A year-long review of the standards would be followed by a new rule-making — and then lengthy legal challenges.

Trump’s misguided move to appease the ever-myopic U.S. auto industry would undo efficiency gains that will provide consumers $98 billion in total net benefits, primarily from reduced fuel use. Individual car buyers would lose “a net savings of $1,650” (even after accounting for the higher vehicle cost) as the EPA concluded in its final January “Determination on the Appropriateness” of the standards.

----- 2 -----
Congress sends Trump drug test measure for unemployed
The Associated Press | Tuesday, March 14, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Tuesday sent President Donald Trump a measure to expand the number of applicants for jobless benefits who can be drug-tested.

The White House has said Trump will sign the measure into law as a cancellation of "unnecessary regulations."

Lawmakers in the GOP-controlled Congress have complained that under President Barack Obama, the government placed too many limits on states for deciding which unemployment applicants can be drug-tested. The Labor Department's regulation meant that states could only test applicants for unemployment benefits who do jobs that require drug testing. The resolution passed by the House and approved by the Senate 51-48 on Tuesday would cancel those limits.

----- 3 -----
Breaking Faith
The culture war over religious morality has faded; in its place is something much worse.
Peter Beinart | The Atlantic | April 2017 Issue

Over the past decade, pollsters charted something remarkable: Americans—long known for their piety—were fleeing organized religion in increasing numbers. The vast majority still believed in God. But the share that rejected any religious affiliation was growing fast, rising from 6 percent in 1992 to 22 percent in 2014. Among Millennials, the figure was 35 percent.

Some observers predicted that this new secularism would ease cultural conflict, as the country settled into a near-consensus on issues such as gay marriage. After Barack Obama took office, a Center for American Progress report declared that “demographic change,” led by secular, tolerant young people, was “undermining the culture wars.” In 2015, the conservative writer David Brooks, noting Americans’ growing detachment from religious institutions, urged social conservatives to “put aside a culture war that has alienated large parts of three generations.”

That was naive. Secularism is indeed correlated with greater tolerance of gay marriage and pot legalization. But it’s also making America’s partisan clashes more brutal. And it has contributed to the rise of both Donald Trump and the so-called alt-right movement, whose members see themselves as proponents of white nationalism. As Americans have left organized religion, they haven’t stopped viewing politics as a struggle between “us” and “them.” Many have come to define us and them in even more primal and irreconcilable ways.

----- 4 -----
Trump Wrote Off $100 Million in Losses in 2005, Leaked Forms Show
MARCH 14, 2017

WASHINGTON — President Trump wrote off more than $100 million in business losses to reduce his federal taxes in 2005, according to forms made public on Tuesday night: a rare glimpse at documents that he had refused to disclose since becoming a candidate for the nation’s highest office.

Mr. Trump paid $38 million in federal income taxes on reported income of $150 million, an effective tax rate of 25 percent, according to forms disclosed on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show. By claiming losses, Mr. Trump apparently saved millions of dollars in taxes that he would otherwise have owed.

The White House responded without even waiting for the show to air, issuing a statement that seemed to confirm the authenticity of the forms even as it defended Mr. Trump and assailed MSNBC for publicizing them. “Before being elected president, Mr. Trump was one of the most successful businessmen in the world, with a responsibility to his company, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required,” the statement said.

The White House described the business losses as a “large-scale depreciation for construction,” but did not elaborate. In addition to the federal income taxes in 2005, the statement said, he paid “tens of millions of dollars in other taxes, such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes, and this illegally published return proves just that.”

----- 5 -----
Texas Senate Passes Anti-Trans Bathroom Bill, Now Closer to Becoming Law No One Asked For
Posted by Yvonne on March 15, 2017 | Autostraddle

Yesterday, the Texas Senate approved SB6, which would require transgender people to use public restrooms in government buildings, public schools and public universities that matches their “biological sex.” The bill would also block local anti-discrimination bills, like those found in Austin and Dallas, that protect trans people and their right to use the public bathroom that matches their gender. The bill would not apply to private businesses or public buildings leased by private businesses. The vote 21-10 was mostly down partisan lines with one Democrat, state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. from Brownsville voting in favor of the bill. The bill moves on to the upper chamber for final Senate approval, which could happen as early as today, before it moves on to the House.


Before voting on the bill, Senators considered 22 amendments, with the majority of them coming from Democrats trying their best to curb the bill’s limitations and blatant discrimination towards trans people. Sen. Rodriguez even tried to add amendments to the bill that would exempt trans people from SB6 and protect existing local LGBT anti-discrimination laws. All amendments were rejected by Kolkhorst, the bill’s author, except for three which make minor adjustments to the legislation but doesn’t dramatically alter the bill.

----- 6 -----
Washington’s legal pot experiment: Can it survive Trump?
Under Obama, the federal government left states alone. The current White House has made no such promises.
by Tobias Coughlin-Bogue | Crosscut
15 March 2017

In July of 2010, John Novak was weeding a flower bed in front of his house when everything went to pot. A joint task force consisting of, he says, police officers from two cities, the U.S. Border Patrol, county sherriffs, Drug Enforcement Agency personnel, and the National Guard rolled up with guns drawn and put him in cuffs.

Novak, a big, scruffy teddy bear of a man, is a medical marijuana patient who suffers from seizures. He’d been operating a collective garden in an outbuilding, but feds thought he was a garden variety dealer. The raid came courtesy of a tip from disgruntled former friend, accusing Novak of selling drugs, exposing his minor child to drugs and, just for good measure, polluting a stream.

After getting Novak to sign an arrest warrant, the authorities sat him down on his couch, put his wife in a chair next to him, and rousted his 12-year-old son out of bed at gunpoint. Having neutralized the sleeping preteen, they proceeded to search the house and interrogate Novak.

“They realized within about 45 minutes that they’d been had,” Novak says.

Novak was lucky, he says. All his medical marijuana paperwork was in order, so things worked out OK, relatively speaking.

----- 7 -----
Trump stands by unverified wiretap claim
BBC News
15 March 2017

US President Donald Trump has stood by his unsubstantiated claim that Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower last year.

He told Fox News a "wiretap covers a lot of different things" and hinted more could emerge in the coming weeks.

Mr Obama has denied the charge and former spy chiefs and several lawmakers have said they have seen no evidence.

The latest senior figure to cast doubt on the allegation was the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee.

Devin Nunes said on Wednesday he doesn't believe "there was an actual tap of Trump Tower".

----- 8 -----
The GOP Is America’s Party of White Nationalism
The Republican party's racists were once pushed to the fringes. In the Trump era, they're in charge.
By Max Boot | Foreign Policy | March 14, 2017

In 1990, former President Ronald Reagan gave a moving speech to mark the end of the Cold War. “I received a letter just before I left office from a man. I don’t know why he chose to write it, but I’m glad he did,” Reagan said. “He wrote that you can go to live in France, but you can’t become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Italy, but you can’t become a German, an Italian. He went through Turkey, Greece, Japan, and other countries. But he said anyone, from any corner of the world, can come to live in the United States and become an American.”

Reagan endorsed that view and went on to point out: “If we take this crowd and if we could go through and ask the heritage, the background of every family represented here, we would probably come up with the names of every country on Earth, every corner of the world, and every race. Here is the one spot on Earth where we have the brotherhood of man. And maybe as we continue with this proudly, this brotherhood of man made up from people representative of every corner of the Earth, maybe one day boundaries all over the Earth will disappear as people cross boundaries and find out that, yes, there is a brotherhood of man in every corner.”

So much for the “brotherhood of man.” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has a very different vision. On March 12, he posted a tweet praising the Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders, who wants to close mosques, ban the Quran, and end Muslim immigration. “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny,” King wrote. “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” The next morning he was given a chance on CNN to back off this revolting statement, which has been praised by David Duke and which led the neo-Nazi newspaper the Daily Stormer to exult: “Steve King is basically an open white nationalist at this point. … He is our guy.” King didn’t flinch, saying, “Well, I meant exactly what I said.”

----- 9 -----
Obama ethics lawyer: Trump 'digging grave' for future travel ban court cases
By Brooke Seipel - The Hill - 03/15/17

Norm Eisen, former White House ethics lawyer to President Obama, knocked President Trump on Wednesday for his reaction to a federal judge's ruling immediately halting his second travel ban, saying that Trump's remarks could hurt him if he challenges the ruling.

"Legal disaster--he is digging grave for the second [executive order] and maybe the 3rd one," Eisen said in a tweet.

The tweet appeared to be referring to Trump's statements during a rally in Nashville that his new travel ban was "a watered down version of the first one."

----- 10 -----
Text of court order against Trump's second Muslim-targeting travel ban
15 March 2017

DONALD J. TRUMP, et al.,

CV. NO. 17-00050 DKW-KSC

On January 27, 2017, the President of the United States issued Executive Order No. 13,769 entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” See 82 Fed. Reg. 8977 (Jan. 27, 2017). On March 6, 2017, the President issued another Executive Order, No. 13,780, identically entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” (the “Executive Order”).See 82 Fed. Reg. 13209 (Mar. 6, 2017). The Executive Order revokes Executive Order No. 13,769 upon taking effect. Exec. Order §§ 13, 14. Like its predecessor, the Executive Order restricts the entry of foreign nationals from specified countries and suspends entrants from the United States refugee program for specified periods of time.

Plaintiffs State of Hawai‘i (“State”) and Ismail Elshikh, Ph.D. seek a nationwide temporary restraining order that would prohibit the Federal Defendants2 from “enforcing or implementing Sections 2 and 6 of the Executive Order” before it takes effect. Pls.’ Mot. for TRO 4, Mar. 8, 2017, ECF No. 65.3 Upon evaluation of the parties’ submissions, and following a hearing on March 15, 2017, the Court concludes that, on the record before it, Plaintiffs have met their burden of establishing a strong likelihood of success on the merits of their Establishment Clause claim, that irreparable injury is likely if the requested relief is not issued, and that the balance of the equities and public interest counsel in favor of granting the requested relief. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ Motion for TRO (ECF. No. 65) is granted for the reasons detailed below.

----- 11 -----
Video: Nazis Thrown Out Of Portland's Lucky Lab Beer Hall
Police arrived soon afterward but did not file a report.
By Corey Pein | March 15 at 11:19 AM | Willamette Week

WW has obtained footage of a tense standoff between a group of self-professed Nazis and the outnumbered Sunday-night shift at a neighborhood bar, the Lucky Lab Beer Hall in Northwest Portland.

On March 12, the Lucky Lab staff eighty-sixed a group calling themselves "national socialists"—that is, Nazis—who had been recruiting at the bar. The group refused to leave and peppered staff with anti-gay slurs until police were called.

The print issue of WW that hit the streets this morning tells the staff's story as part of a report on the increase of white supremacist activity in the Portland area, including racist vandalism, anti-Semitic threats and the arrival of an alleged Ku Klux Klan leader across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Wash.

Since at least March 5, someone had been leaving cards at the Lucky Lab location on Northwest Quimby Street. The cards read, "White?" and listed web links for hate site the Daily Stormer, a new group called PDX Stormers, the website 4chan, and the Trump campaign.


"We encourage over-reporting," Horsley says. "We don't want someone making those judgment calls themselves" about whether an incident rises to the level of a hate crime.

Another interaction not captured in the video clips is the exchange in which members of the group told bar staff they were a "black power" group and not fascists but "socialists—national socialists," and admitted to leaving the white supremacist recruitment material in the bar.

Those materials promoted the fascist "/pol/" message board on the website 4chan, the pro-Nazi blog Daily Stormer, the Canadian YouTube huckster and self-professed "philosopher" Stefan Molyneux, and the campaign website for President Donald Trump.

----- 12 -----
Trump to release 'hard power budget' with cuts to State Dept, EPA
By Dan Merica, CNN
Updated 2:15 AM ET, Thu March 16, 2017

(CNN)The Trump administration will add detail to its plan to slash the federal budget Thursday morning, releasing its "America First" budget outline.

The blueprint will feature the broad strokes of President Donald Trump's plan to dramatically remake the federal government, according to previews provided by administration officials. It includes plans to slash spending at everything from the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, while boosting spending at the Pentagon.

Mick Mulvaney, Trump's director of the Office of Management and Budget, described the budget as a "hard power budget" during with a Wednesday briefing with reporters, meaning the Trump administration will prioritize defense spending over diplomacy and foreign aid.

In that vein, the administration will recommend a 28% cut to the State Department, Mulvaney said, including a 38% reduction in foreign aid spending.

A US official told CNN earlier this month that cuts would come from the State Department's Bureau of International Organization Affairs and projects the fund programs at United Nations.

----- 13 -----
Trump budget proposes entirely eliminating National Endowment for the Arts
By Brooke Seipel - 03/15/17 09:57 PM EDT
The Hill

President Trump's proposed budget would cut entirely the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities (NEA), according to a new report by The New York Times.

Federal officials told The Times that the chairwoman of the arts endowment told her staff the news Wednesday. It was reportedly met with a mix of sadness and surprise.

Chairwoman Jane Chu reportedly told staff that the arts endowment would continue business as usual as the budget process moves forward and said she called the meeting because she didn't want staff hearing from the media.

Trump's plans to eliminate the NEA were first reported in January, shortly before his inauguration.

His administration considered privatizing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CBP) and eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

Tags: fascism watch, political
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