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Full Version: USA under presidency of a know-nothing, neo-fascist, racist, sexist, mobbed-up narcissist!!
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To understand Trump's emerging foreign policy, one has to read Kissinger - as far as it is made public anyway.

Iran is one of Kissinger's targets. He regards it as being "a bigger problem" than ISIS, because it has a "greater 'footing' in the middle east it has a greater opportunity to create an empire".

The translation is obvious. The middle east remains American and they don't want the natives there interfering with America's oil & gas.

Think Standing Rock with turbans.

Over 100,000 visas have been revoked as a result of President Trump's ban on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries, an attorney for the government revealed in Alexandria federal court Friday.
The number came out during a hearing in a lawsuit filed by attorneys for two Yemeni brothers who arrived at Dulles International Airport last Saturday. They were coerced into giving up their legal resident visas, they argue, and quickly put on a return flight to Ethiopia.
"The number 100,000 sucked the air out of my lungs," said Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg of the Legal Aid Justice Center, who represents the brothers.
The government attorney, Erez Reuveni from the Justice Department's Office of Immigration Litigation, could not say how many people with visas were sent back to their home countries from Dulles in response to the travel ban. However, he did say that all people with green cards who came through the airport have been let into the United States.
For people like the brothers, Tareq and Ammar Aqel Mohammed Aziz, who tried to enter the country over the weekend with valid visas and were sent back, the government appears to be attempting a case-by-case reprieve. They and other plaintiffs in lawsuits around the country are being offered new visas and the opportunity to come to the U.S. in exchange for dropping their suits.
All I can think is 'what Wall Street Regulations'....they've all been removed! Trump is going to destroy the average person [no surprise there!] - but he may have started his own downfall - as he is invested heavily in Wall Street - and the emoluments clause forbids him to engage in political actions that benefit himself - IMPEACHMENT is just around the corner. He'll go down in the Guinness Book of Records for least time in office before Impeachment.

Quote:Trump to sign executive order calling for rollback of Wall Street regulations

By Renae Merle February 3 at 12:20 PM
'We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank,' Trump promises

President Trump plans to sign an executive order on Friday to ease regulations put in place after the 2008 financial crisis to rein in Wall Street, according to a White House spokeswoman.
The move would address another one of Trump's campaign promises: dismantling 2010's financial overhaul legislation, known as Dodd-Frank. The legislation forced banks to take various steps to prevent another financial crisis, including holding more capital and taking yearly "stress tests" to prove they could withstand economic turbulence. The financial industry, particularly its small community banks, complained the rules went too far.
"We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank," Trump said during a meeting with business leaders Friday morning. "Because frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine, that had nice businesses, they just can't borrow money … because the banks just won't let them borrow because of the rules and regulations in Dodd-Frank."
Trump also intends to sign a separate presidential memorandum to roll back the Labor Department's rules that would require financial professionals to put their clients' interests ahead of their own. The "fiduciary rule," scheduled to go into effect in April, has long been a target of Republicans, including close Trump Wall Street ally Anthony Scaramucci, who call it burdensome and costly.
The Labor Department should rescind the rule and consider whether it could harm investors or disrupt the retirement services industry, Trump's memorandum will say, according to a White House spokesman. The order comes as the fate of the rule is also being weighed in the courts. A decision on a lawsuit from major business groups challenging the rule, including the Chamber of Commerce, could come any day now.

These efforts are sure to anger Democrats in Congress and progressive groups who argue Wall Street needs more oversight not less. It will also bolster critics who say Trump, despite promising during the campaign to "drain the swamp," has become cozy with Wall Street since the election. Trump has tapped several Goldman Sachs alumni for key positions in his administration, and his strategic and policy panel is led by Stephen A. Schwarzman, founder of Blackstone, a massive investment firm.
During his morning meeting with several high-profile CEOs, Trump noted that there were several bankers in the room, including Larry Fink, chief executive of the massive investment firm Blackrock. "Larry's got a lot of my money and I have to tell you, he got me great returns," Trump said to laughs in the room. Later he noted that Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, one of the largest banks in the world, was also there. "There is nobody better to tell me about Dodd Frank than Jamie," Trump said motioning to Dimon across the table.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a member of the Banking Committee, quickly pounced on Trump's effort to roll back the fiduciary rule. "President Trump's action will make it harder for American savers to keep more of what they earn," Brown said in a statement.
We turn now to Yemen and growing questions about the first covert counterterrorism operation approved by President Donald Trump. The Pentagon now acknowledges civilians were killed Sunday when members of the Navy's SEAL Team 6 joined with commandos from the United Arab Emirates to raid a Yemeni village where members of al-Qaeda were said to live. Initially, the Pentagon said there were no civilian casualties, but according to the British human rights group Reprieve, up to 24 civilians died.
The dead included a newborn baby and an American 8-year-old girl, Nawar al-Awlaki, the daughter of the U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in Yemen by a U.S. drone strike in 2011. She's the second child of Anwar al-Awlaki to be killed by the United States in Yemen, after her brother, 16-year-old American citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011. The U.S. suffered one fatality: William "Ryan" Owens, a veteran member of SEAL Team 6. Several other Navy SEALs were injured in a fierce firefight. Over a dozen members of al-Qaeda reportedly died, as well. And the U.S. lost a $75 million MV-22 Osprey aircraft, which crashed during landing.
Plans for the raid began months ago under President Obama. Reuters reports some U.S. military officials say Trump approved the mission without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations. Another official told The New York Times, quote, "Almost everything went wrong." But as recently as Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed the raid a success.
PRESS SECRETARY SEAN SPICER: This was a very, very well-thought-out and executed effort.
REPORTER: Where was the president the night of the raid? How did he learn about Chief Owens's death? And do you still stand by your characterization that it was successful?
PRESS SECRETARY SEAN SPICER: The president was here in the residence. He was kept in touch with his national security staff. Secretary Mattis and others had kept him updated on both the raid and the death of Chief Owens, as well as the four other individuals that were injured. So, he was kept apprised of the situation throughout the evening. And again, I thinkI would go back to what I said yesterday. It's hard to ever call something a complete success when you have the loss of life or people injured. But I think when you look at the totality of what was gained to prevent the future loss of life here in America and against our people and our institutions, and probably throughout the world, in terms of what some of these individuals could have done, I think it isit isit is a successful operation byby all standards.
AMY GOODMAN: All this comes as thousands of Yemeni Americans and their supporters rallied Thursday in Brooklyn to protest Trump's executive order banning entry to travelers from Yemen and six other Muslim-majority nations.
For more, we're joined by three guests. In London, Baraa Shiban is Yemen project coordinator for Reprieve. He has spoken with residents of the village of Yakla that was raided. Here in New York, Pardiss Kebriaei, senior staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, represents current and former Guantánamo prisoners. And joining us via Democracy Now! video stream, Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept, host of the new weekly podcast, Intercepted. He's the author of The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government's Secret Drone Warfare Program. His most recent article, "Former Senior FBI Counterterrorism Agent Slams Trump on Torture and Muslim Ban."
We welcome you all to Democracy Now! Jeremy, let us start with you. You've been to Yemen several times. You know the Awlaki family. Can you talk about what you understand took place?
JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, first of all, let's begin with what we understand about how Trump signed off on this covert mission. We understand that in addition to some of hissome military officials, and of course conferring with General James Mattis, that Trump made the decision to greenlight this Navy SEAL raid over dinner with people like Steve Bannon, his white supremacist top adviser, and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, who has absolutely no experience with these kinds of activities.
And what's interesting, before we get to the details of the raid, is that Sean Spicer and the Trump administration tried to imply that the Obama administration and that President Obama himself had greenlit this operation before leaving office and that they were just waiting for a moonless night so that they could have the cover of darkness to go in. But a former senior official in the Obama administration, Colin Kahl, is saying that that's false and that the presidentthe former president, Obama, had not actually signed off on this specific raid, but that they had signed off on some of the parameters that the Department of Defense was going to operate under if this raid went ahead, and that the Obama administration viewed this potential raid as an escalation of the U.S. war in Yemen, and that they wanted to defer to the incoming administration, the Trump administration.
Now, let's take that with a grain of salt. The Obama administration mercilessly pounded Yemen with bombs since December of 2009, when they launched a cluster bomb attack that killed three dozen women and children in the village of al-Majalah, then repeatedly drone struck Yemen, and then, more recently, provided the Saudis with cluster bombs and other munitions, aircraft, to engage in their total destruction, scorched-earth campaign inside of Yemen, and also refueling the planes that the Saudis have been using to pummel Yemen. While Samantha Power, Obama's ambassador to the United Nations, was condemning the excesses of the Saudis in Yemen, the United States was, of course, continuing to support the Saudi campaign there.
Now, as it relates to this specific raid, we understand that the official story is that the Navy SEALs were being sent in to target senior al-Qaeda people, that they were going to snatch phones and computers and access this valuable intel. And, in fact, we have to remember that, almost always, the initial official responsesand it can go on for days and weeks or monthsis either full of half-truths or outright lies. The initial statement on this was that it was this epically successful raid, that no civilians were killed. Yes, a Navy SEAL was killed in a gun battle, but it was worth it to protect the United States and our security, because they obtained all this valuable intel.
Now, in answering that question, we're also going to address how it was that this 8-year-old girl, Nawar al-Awlaki, was in this compound at the same time. Who was Nawar al-Awlaki? Well, she was the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki from his third wife, so she was the half-brother [sic] of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the 16-year-old American citizen
AMY GOODMAN: Half-sister.
JEREMY SCAHILL: who wassorry, the half-sister of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the 16-year-old American citizen who was killed in a drone strike as he had dinner with his teenage cousin and others in October of 2011. Awlaki had four wives, and this was his third wife. That marriage was a tribally arranged marriage between Anwar al-Awlaki and an influential tribal family, the Dhahab family.
Why do I bring up this minutiae that seems like it would be irrelevant? Well, among the people that were killed in this Navy SEAL raid were two brothers, and they were Anwar al-Awlaki's brother-in-laws, who had helped Anwar al-Awlaki escape the first known attempted assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki back in 2011. And they did so by creating a dust circle in the desert with a number of vehicles and then spread out in different directions while Awlaki was in one of the vehicles, and Awlaki escaped. But so, you know, these guys had been on the U.S. radar for some time, but the idea that they were senior figures within al-Qaeda is just a joke, and a sick one at that, to anyone who actually knows about the inner workings and the structure of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. And so, this wasI understand, from my sources on the ground in Yemen, who know the tribal structure well, is that these were low-level foot soldiers, basically, for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. And let's remember that AQAP has long since been incapable of organizing any kind of a threat to the United States or U.S. interests, and their primary war right now, ironically, is against the same forces that the Trump administration claims are Iranian proxiesthe al-Houthi militias and leaders inside of Yemen. That's thethose are people that al-Qaeda is fighting against, while the U.S. supports the Saudis to bomb them, al-Qaeda also fighting against the southern forces in Yemen. And so, you know, their primary goal right now is not global jihad; it's against the Houthis, against the southern forces in Yemen.
Finally, Amy, you know, the U.S. claimsand there was an NBC report that came out last nightthat someone had tipped off al-Qaeda people to the fact that this U.S. raid was imminent. Now, I find that a little bit hard to believe that someone is leaking U.S. intelligence to al-Qaeda, although, under this Trump administration, there seems to be a lot of leaks happening. But what they ended up doing was, basically, just destroying the structures where these people were housed. And so, Nawar al-Awlaki, this 8-year-old girl, was there because her mother had returned to her village and to her family after Anwar al-Awlaki was killed. They had been living in Sana'a. So they were there living in their local village. And my understanding from the al-Awlaki family is that Nawar al-Awlaki wasthe 8-year-old girl was shot in the neck, but that she could have been potentially saved and that she was left to bleed out.
And, you know, Trump did say, and General Michael Flynn, his national security adviser, they both said, in kind of a despicably celebratory way, that the families of terrorists are fair game and can be killed. And it's not that Obama's administration didn't kill children and women. It's that they wouldthey would sort of say, "Oops, we didn't mean to kill civilians." They didn't really explain why they killed Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, but atthe Obama administration gave the veneer of some remorse about this. Trump's people say that, by all standards, this is a success. It's never a success when you have 8-year-old kids and infants being killed, or when you have, you know, Navy SEALs being sent on missions that are not really about the defense of the United States.
AMY GOODMAN: Jeremy, it's been widely reported that Nawar was an American citizen. Was she?
JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, I don't think that anyone ever took her to a consulate to get a passport. And the law on this, you know, I would defer to Pardiss Kebriaei on this. She was born to an American citizen father. Her mother was not an American citizen, as far as I know. I'm almost 100 percent certain that's true. She had one parent who was an American citizen. I don't think Anwar al-Awlaki would have been able to walk into a consulate to get his daughter American citizenship. But, you know, I think that's a question for the lawyer. She definitely had at least one parent who was an American citizen.
AMY GOODMAN: And Ryan Owens, the Navy SEAL who was killedyou have a lot of context within Navy SEAL Team 6the significance of this?
JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, you know, these are considered to be the highest-end soldiers, the guys who are sent in to do theyou know, go take down high-value targets. They led the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad. But, you know, the SEALs are definitely in Camp Trump. You know, there are these pictures that have emerged lately of U.S. military vehicles down near Louisville withcurrent U.S. military vehicles driving around with Trump signs, Trump flags from the back of the vehicles. And, you know, Trump often would tout the Navy SEALs on the campaign trail more than other military units within the U.S. military. And part of that has to do with the kind of Christian crusader, religious supremacist mentality that permeates that community.
For people who really want to understand the dark side of this, you know, revered force, I recommend reading my colleague Matthew Cole's excellent series at And, of course, he's been on this show, as well. But these are the most expensive soldiers in the U.S. arsenal. And it appears that Trump used them for a mission or authorized them for a mission against some very low-level al-Qaeda people whose primary goal right now is fighting against the same people the U.S. claims to be bombing in Yemen. It's really sick.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to bring Baraa Shiban into this, of Reprieve. Baraa, you've been speaking with residents of the village of Yakla that was raided. Tell us what you've learned.
BARAA SHIBAN: Thank you very much. What we know happened is inalmost midnight, the Navy SEAL Team 6 landed in a nearby location. And I'm not sure when they said it was a compound. There was nothing such thing. I know the place myself. I've been there myself. When a former drone strike happened in 2013, with a group ofI went with a group of reporters and other human rights workers to investigate that drone strike. It's a smallit's a small village. You cannot even claim that it's ait's al-Qaeda headquarter or al-Qaeda base. It's a small village with very limited services. And the people back then were normal villagers. They were just farmers who were working during the day in their farms. So, what we know happened is they landed, and then they didn't just raid the house of Abdul Raouf al-Dhahab, as the Trump administration seems to claim. Actually, they raided the whole village. And if you're in the middle of the night and you raid a village, obviously, there are going to be some gunsome gunfire.
And now, I think Jeremy explained the link with Nawar al-Awlaki, but Nawar was not the only child who was killed in this raid. There are 10 children who were killed, six women and eight other villagers. And then we can claim that maybe Abdul Raouf al-Dhahab and his brother were militants or, we could say, combatants. If we exclude them, we are left with two dozen civilians who were killed in this raid. I'm not sure what was the aim of this, of an operation at this scale, especially that Abdul Raouf al-Dhahab is not a senior member of al-Qaeda. His main link towards al-Qaeda was through his elder brothers, Nabil and Tariq al-Dhabab. And I wouldn't imagine that al-Qaeda would trust Abdul Raouf with such valuable information as the Trump administration or like Sean Spicer seems to be suggesting in his press release.
AMY GOODMAN: And what is it that was expressed most by the people you spoke to in this village, Baraa?
BARAA SHIBAN: At the first time whenand let me go back a little bit. Like in December 2013, people were outraged at the moment and very upset. But, actually, back then, the Yemeni government apologized to those villagers and gave them compensation and promised them that's not going to happenthat's not going to happen again. Today, when I spoke to the people, people feel that they have beenthey are actually targeted. It's not a mistake, as the Obama administration claimed, notor what the Yemeni government has been saying. They feel they have been targeted. This village was hit twiceonce, a drone strike on a wedding party, and this time it's a raid. And no one understands what was the aim of the raid, especially when they see their women and children were being killed.
The one person I spoke to, he said, "We were very terrified." He had to close his door and told everyone in his family not to leave the house until they realized what's happening out there. He said, two hours laterand can you imagine, in a small village, really, two hours of constant shooting? He said, "We went out," and then hethe literal words he used: "bodies everywherewomen, children, everything." Now, interestingly enough, also, the groom who survived the drone strike on his wedding in December 2013 was killed, along with his son and daughter, in this raid. I'm not sure how can they explainhow can they explain this? I know the area myself. The house that they claim was al-Qaeda base, that's a two-room story house, very small. There is nothing I would say is much big of a value. If I would claim that Abdul Raouf was the target of the raidmaybe they were trying to get him, to arrest him and get him alivehow can you explain the death of two dozen civilians just to get one person?
AMY GOODMAN: Pardiss Kebriaei, you're a senior staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. Yemen's foreign minister, Abdulmalik al-Mekhlafi, condemned the raid in a Twitter post as "extrajudicial killings." What's your understanding about the legality of what just happened? And your thoughts on how soon into Trump's presidency this happened?
PARDISS KEBRIAEI: I think the strike or the raid was of questionable legality. There are clearly questions about the legality, about the intelligence, about the process, about the impact, that need to be asked and answered. There have been calls for a briefing on the Hill by members of Congress. There have been calls by other human rights groups for an investigation. There must be an investigation and an explanation of what happened on legal, political and human and security levels. So it's hard right now to, you know, sort of come to a conclusion about exactly what happened, because the government needs to say more, the administration needs to say more. There needs to be accountability now, given that this was the first raid in Yemen by the Trump administration and given that there are clear signs that this is an administration that wants to escalate the use of raids, the use of drones, the use of war making in Yemen and elsewhere. So there needs to be accountability and a check right now, before we go further.
I would also say, as Jeremy pointed out, there needed to be accountability before. This isthese are authorities that were claimed by the Obama administration, that were continued from the Bush administration and claimed by the Obama administration, a program of killing through drones, through raids, that has been going on for years. And accountability is important not just when you have a constitutionalnot just when you have a president like Trump, but, you know, when you have a constitutional law professor like President Obama, as well. And accountability did not really happen, did not happen meaningfully under the former administration, you know, politically, publicly or through the courts. I mean, we're seeing now, for example, throughwith the Muslim ban, how essential the role of the courts is in checking sweeping, ostensibly unlawful, executive power. There were attempts at judicial accountability in the past under the Obama administration with the drone program, and the courts failed to exercise judicial scrutiny at that point. So, it's critical.
AMY GOODMAN: I'm curious, Baraa Shiban, are you affected by the Muslim ban? You, we are speaking to right now, in London.
BARAA SHIBAN: I think that's a really good question. Me, myself, right now, I can't go to visit my Reprieve colleagues in the U.S. That's effectively what the Muslim ban has done. Not only that, actually, but we in Reprieve have invited before relatives of drone strike victims to the United States, and we have arranged for the meetings to meet and talk to congressmen and senators inside the U.S., so they can talk to each other, basically. We brought Faisal bin Ali Jaber, who is a relative of a drone victim, who was able to sit and meet with congressmen. And, effectively, what we were trying to do in Reprieve is just encourage that dialogue to happen. People need to talk to each other. They need to hear those voices. And, effectively, what the Trump administration has done with this ban is shut down that door of dialogue, to say, "We don't want to talk to anyone. We're going to deal with everyone outside the U.S. as aliens, and that's it." I'm not sure how this is going to help the security of the United States, when you're willing not to talk to people anymore. But basicallybasically, this is what it's been doing. And it's not just me, but actually the thousands of Yemeni people who have their relatives maybe outside at the moment of the ban, now they can't go back into the country.
AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Jeremy Scahill, Stephen Bannon was with President Trump when he okayed the raid, apparently. Can you talk about the significance of this?
JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, Stephen Bannon and Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and first ladyas she appears to be nowIvanka Trump's husband. Look, the fact is that Steve Bannon is a dangerous, extreme right-wing ideologue. Yes, he is ayou know, a former member of the United States Navy, but his life's work is promoting fearmongering against immigrants and promoting what I think can rightly be called a white supremacist agenda. And let's be clear here: Donald Trump's administration will lie about aerial photos from his inauguration and what they show. You think they're going to tell the truth about the details of a covert raid in Yemen that killed women and children and got a U.S. Navy SEAL killed? Let's look at their actual response in the bigger picture.
We learned yesterday that Gina Haspel is going to be the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. She was one of the people that ran a CIA black site where prisoners were mercilessly tortured, waterboarded, etc. And she, we understand, was the agent who led the destruction of the CIA torture tapes at the direction of the main torture ringleader, Jose Rodriguez, at the Central Intelligence Agency. That is the person who now is going to be the number two at Donald Trump's CIA. And Susan Rice, Obama's ambassador to the U.N., and all these other Democrats are up in arms because a Republican was bragging about her being, you know, the first woman to be named to such a high position, and that, in fact, Obama had also named a woman to a high position in the CIA. The objection is not the black site, not the torture, not the destruction of tapes, but that there was gender equality somehow under Obama, and now Trump has picked this woman. I mean, that's the state where we're at now in our discussion about these policies. The fact is that Trump's administration: Islamophobes, billionaires, bigots and torture lovers.
By Dan Levine and Scott Malone | SEATTLE/BOSTON
A Seattle federal judge on Friday put a nationwide block on U.S. President Donald Trump's week-old executive order that had temporarily barred refugees and nationals from seven countries from entering the United States.
The judge's temporary restraining order represents a major setback for Trump's action, though the White House said late Friday that it believed the ban to be "lawful and appropriate" and that the U.S. Department of Justice would file an emergency appeal.
Still, just hours after the ruling, U.S. Customs and Border Protection told airlines they could board travelers who had been affected by the ban.
Trump's Jan. 27 order caused chaos at airports across the United States last week as some citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen were denied entry. Virtually all refugees were also barred, upending the lives of thousands of people who had spent years seeking asylum in the U.S.
The State Department said Friday that almost 60,000 visas were suspended in the wake of Trump's order; it was not clear Friday night whether that suspension was automatically revoked or what travelers with such visas might confront at U.S. airports.
While a number of lawsuits have been filed over Trump's action, the Washington state lawsuit was the first to test the broad constitutionality of the executive order. Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, explicitly made his ruling apply across the country, while other judges facing similar cases have so far issued orders concerning only specific individuals.
The challenge in Seattle was brought by the state of Washington and later joined by the state of Minnesota. The judge ruled that the states have legal standing to sue, which could help Democratic attorneys general take on Trump in court on issues beyond immigration.
Washington's case was based on claims that the state had suffered harm from the travel ban, for example students and faculty at state-funded universities being stranded overseas. and Expedia, both based in Washington state, had supported the lawsuit, asserting that the travel restrictions harmed their businesses.
Tech companies, which rely on talent from around the world, have been increasingly outspoken in their opposition to the Trump administration's anti-immigrant policies.
Judge Robart probed a Justice Department lawyer on what he called the "litany of harms" suffered by Washington state's universities, and also questioned the administration's use of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States as a justification for the ban.
Robart said no attacks had been carried out on U.S. soil by individuals from the seven countries affected by the travel ban since that assault. For Trump's order to be constitutional, Robart said, it had to be "based in fact, as opposed to fiction."

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The White House said it would file an appeal as soon as possible.
"At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this outrageous order and defend the executive order of the president, which we believe is lawful and appropriate," the White House said in a statement.
"The president's order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people."
Washington Governor Jay Inslee celebrated the decision as a victory for the state, adding: "No person - not even the president - is above the law."
The judge's decision was welcomed by groups protesting the ban.
"This order demonstrates that federal judges throughout the country are seeing the serious constitutional problems with this order," said Nicholas Espiritu, a staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center.
Eric Ferrero, Amnesty International USA spokesman, lauded the short-term relief provided by the order but added: "Congress must step in and block this unlawful ban for good."
But the fluid legal situation was illustrated by the fact that Robart's ruling came just hours after a federal judge in Boston declined to extend a temporary restraining order allowing some immigrants into the United States from countries affected by Trump's three-month ban.
A Reuters poll earlier this week indicated that the immigration ban has popular support, with 49 percent of Americans agreeing with the order and 41 percent disagreeing. Some 53 percent of Democrats said they "strongly disagree" with Trump's action while 51 percent of Republicans said they "strongly agree."

At least one company, the ride-hailing giant Uber, was moving quickly Friday night to take advantage of the ruling.
CEO Travis Kalanick, who quit Trump's business advisory council this week in the face of a fierce backlash from Uber customers and the company's many immigrant drivers, said on Twitter: "We have a team of in-house attorneys who've been working night & day to get U.S. resident drivers & stranded families back into country.
"I just chatted with our head of litigation Angela, who's buying a whole bunch of airline tickets ASAP!! #homecoming #fingerscrossed"
The decision in Washington state came at the end of a day of furious legal activity around the country over the immigration ban. The Trump administration has justified its actions on national security grounds, but opponents have labeled it an unconstitutional order targeting people based on religious beliefs.
In Boston, U.S. District Judge Nathan Gorton expressed skepticism during oral arguments about a civil rights group's claim that Trump's order represented religious discrimination, before declining to extend the restraining order.
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, Virginia, ordered the federal government to give the state a list by Thursday of "all persons who have been denied entry to or removed from the United States."
The state of Hawaii on Friday also filed a lawsuit alleging that the order is unconstitutional and asking the court to block the order across the country.

Spectacular Betrayal' as Trump Rolls Back Wall Street Regulations

Posted on Feb 3, 2017
By Deirdre Fulton / Common Dreams
[Image: TrumpDoddFrankWallSt_590.jpg]
New York's Wall Street. (Dave Center / CC 2.0)

President Donald Trump is set to hand the U.S. economy "back over to Wall Street" on Friday, with a regulatory rollback that critics say could put consumers and the financial system at risk.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump plans to sign executive orders Friday "establish[ing] a framework for scaling back the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law" and rolling back an Obama-era regulation requiring advisers on retirement accountsto work in the best interests of their clients. That rule was set to go into effect in April.
Trump plans to sign the orders surrounded by bank CEOs.
"The Wall Street bankers against whom Trump ran are making policy now," said Robert Weissman, president of watchdog group Public Citizen.
"The worst job-destroying economic crisis since the Great Depression was directly caused by deregulation and regulatory failure," he said. "Now the president who ran on a jobs-creation platform announces that he aims to slash the modest measures put in place to prevent a recurrence of the crisis. If Trump succeeds in rolling back Dodd-Frank rules he will rush the country straightforward into another job-killing financial crisis. This may be the most spectacular betrayal yet by the president of his voters, as he shunts aside their concerns and pushes forward the agenda of his cronies and the well-connected."
Furthermore, White House National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, who formerly served as president of Goldman Sachs, told the Journal that Friday's memoranda were merely "a table setter for a bunch of stuff that is coming."
Also in the administration's crosshairs are the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC)which has the ability to designate and rein in giant financial institutions that are "systemically important" to the global economyand the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), which has cracked down on predatory payday lenders; set new standards for the mortgage market; andrecovered and sent back billions of dollars for consumers harmed by illegal practices of credit card companies, banks, and debt collectors. Both entities were established by Dodd-Frank.
Bloomberg described the orders as "the most aggressive steps yet by Trump to loosen regulations in the financial services industry and come after he has sought to stock his administration with veterans of the industry in key positions."
In addition to Cohn, Trump's cabinet includes Goldman alumsSteven Mnuchin, the nominee for treasury secretary, and chief strategist Steve Bannon, who worked at the institution in the 1980s. Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton, Trump's pick to run the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), also has ties to Goldman Sachs.
Former Wall Street worker Alexis Goldstein laid out the implications of Trump's orders in a series of tweets on Friday:
Meanwhile, in an op-ed Friday, Lisa Donner of Americans for Financial Reform and Ed Mierzwinski of U.S. PIRG focus specifically on the CFPB, saying any attempt to "defang" the agency "will be seen for what it is: a cave-in to the power of Wall Street and the financial lobby. Hollowing out the CFPB would be terrible for American consumers and families, hugely increasing the ability of banks and financial companies to write their own rules and control their own regulators."

The Great Wall of Mr. T

So much cheaper. So much easier. So much more humane. So much more popular. … Just stop overthrowing or destabilizing governments south of the border.
And the United States certainly has a moral obligation to do this. So many of the immigrants are escaping a situation in their homeland made hopeless by American intervention and policy. The particularly severe increase in Honduran migration to the US in recent years is a direct result of the June 28, 2009 military coup that overthrew the democratically-elected president, Manuel Zelaya, after he did things like raising the minimum wage, giving subsidies to small farmers, and instituting free education. The coup like so many others in Latin America was led by a graduate of Washington's infamous School of the Americas.
As per the standard Western Hemisphere script, the Honduran coup was followed by the abusive policies of the new regime, loyally supported by the United States. The State Department was virtually alone in the Western Hemisphere in not unequivocally condemning the Honduran coup. Indeed, the Obama administration refused to even call it a coup, which, under American law, would tie Washington's hands as to the amount of support it could give the coup government. This denial of reality continued to exist even though a US embassy cable released by Wikileaks in 2010 declared: "There is no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 [2009] in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch". Washington's support of the far-right Honduran government has continued ever since.
In addition to Honduras, Washington overthrew progressive governments which were sincerely committed to fighting poverty in Guatemala and Nicaragua; while in El Salvador the US played a major role in suppressing a movement striving to install such a government. And in Mexico, over the years the US has been providing training, arms, and surveillance technology to Mexico's police and armed forces to better their ability to suppress their own people's aspirations, as in Chiapas in 1994, and this has added to the influx of the oppressed to the United States, irony notwithstanding.
Moreover, Washington's North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), has brought a flood of cheap, subsidized US agricultural products into Mexico, ravaging campesino communities and driving many Mexican farmers off the land when they couldn't compete with the giant from the north. The subsequent Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) brought the same joys to the people of that area.
These "free trade" agreements as they do all over the world also resulted in government enterprises being privatized, the regulation of corporations being reduced, and cuts to the social budget. Add to this the displacement of communities by foreign mining projects and the drastic US-led militarization of the War on Drugs with accompanying violence and you have the perfect storm of suffering followed by the attempt to escape from suffering.
It's not that all these people prefer to live in the United States. They'd much rather remain with their families and friends, be able to speak their native language at all times, and avoid the hardships imposed on them by American police and other right-wingers.
Mr. T., if one can read him correctly not always an easy task insists that he's opposed to the hallmark of American foreign policy: regime change. If he would keep his Yankee hands off political and social change in Mexico and Central America and donate as compensation a good part of the billions to be spent on his Great Wall to those societies, there could be a remarkable reduction in the never-ending line of desperate people clawing their way northward.
Senator Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump's pick for Attorney General, declared two years ago: "Ultimately, freedom of speech is about ascertaining the truth. And if you don't believe there's a truth, you don't believe in truth, if you're an utter secularist, then how do we operate this government? How can we form a democracy of the kind I think you and I believe in … I do believe that we are a nation that, without God, there is no truth, and it's all about power, ideology, advancement, agenda, not doing the public service."
So … if one is an atheist or agnostic one is not inclined toward public service. This of course is easily disproved by all the atheists and agnostics who work for different levels of government and numerous non-profit organizations involved in all manner of social, poverty, peace and environmental projects.
Who is the more virtuous the believer who goes to church and does good deeds because he hopes to be rewarded by God or at least not be punished by God, or the non-believer who lives a very moral life because it disturbs him to act cruelly and it is in keeping with the kind of world he wants to help create and live in? Remember, the God-awful (no pun intended) war in Iraq was started by a man who goes through all the motions of a very religious person.
Christopher Hitchens, in 2007, in response to conservative columnist Michael Gerson's article, "What Atheists Can't Answer", wrote: "How insulting is the latent suggestion of his position: the appalling insinuation that I would not know right from wrong if I was not supernaturally guided by a celestial dictatorship … simply assumes, whether or not religion is metaphysically true', that at least it stands for morality. … Here is my challenge. Let Gerson name one ethical statement made or one ethical action performed by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a nonbeliever."
Gerson, it should be noted, was the chief speechwriter for the aforementioned very religious person, George W. Bush, for five years, including when Bush invaded Iraq.
I'd missed this before, but it seems likely that Seth Rich was who leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks - and was murdered for it!

Quote:Seth Rich, the 27-year-old Democratic National Committee staffer who was shot dead on a Washington, DC street last July.
On August 9, in an interview on the Dutch television program Nieuwsuur, Julian Assange seemed to suggest rather clearly that Seth Rich was the source for the Wikileaks-exposed DNC emails and was murdered for it.
Julian Assange: "Our whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often face very significant risks. A 27-year-old that works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons, as he was walking down the street in Washington, D.C."
Reporter: "That was just a robbery, I believe. Wasn't it?"
Julian Assange: "No. There's no finding. So … I'm suggesting that our sources take risks." (See also Washington Post, January 19, 2017)