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Full Version: USA under presidency of a know-nothing, neo-fascist, racist, sexist, mobbed-up narcissist!!
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Cliff Varnell Wrote:It's time for a General Strike!

It is the only really effective tool. The one that makes real change. El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido.
Peter Lemkin Wrote:On the surface, I find this hard to believe and think there might be some hidden subtext we don't know about.
Julian Assange confirms he is willing to travel to US after Manning decision

WikiLeaks founder says Obama's decision to free whistleblower means he could submit to extradition request

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said he stands by his offer to travel to the US following Barack Obama's decision to release whistleblower Chelsea Manning from prison.

Speaking from the Ecuadorian embassy in London during a web broadcast on Thursday, Assange said there were many discussions about his future that could happen before Manning left prison in May, adding: "I have always been willing to go to the United States provided my rights are respected."

Well, he isn't going any where. Manning is not free yet. There may be new charges laid as well even when she is released. Also I think it more a tactic to get the US to show its hand re the extradition order which they say they do not have. Though it seems there is indeed on if the Stratfor emails are to be believed. And there is reason to believe them. Interestingly Barrett Brown is now free. Having served his time. It will only (!) be another few years before all the Swedish statutes of limitation are reached and they will have nothing on him in Sweden.

Peter Lemkin Wrote:Julian Assange gives guarded praise of Trump and blasts Clinton in interview

He didn't really. Just another anti Assange media beat up. Fake news as they say these days. All he said was that 'Trump was some sort of a change'. In a hesitant voice implying he is not sure what sort of change it is. But the anti Assangists will read al sorts of things into that.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: A federal appeals court will hear arguments today on whether to restore President Donald Trump's executive order banning people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from entering the United states. On Monday, more than a hundred companies, including tech giants Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter and Uber, filed documents with the court saying they oppose Trump's Muslim ban. Top former officials, including former Secretaries of State John Kerry and Madeleine Albright, also filed documents saying they oppose the ban.
AMY GOODMAN: Lawyers for the states of Washington and Minnesota filed a brief to the court Monday arguing to reinstate the ban would "unleash chaos again." The ban was temporarily halted Friday when U.S. District Court Judge James Robart in Seattle issued a nationwide temporary restraining order on the ban.
JUDGE JAMES ROBART: The court concludes that the circumstances that brought it here today are such that we must intervene to fulfill the judiciary's constitutional role in our tri-part government. Therefore, the court concludes that entry of the above-described TRO is necessary, and the state's motion is hereby granted.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Judge Robart's ruling sparked multiple outbursts on Twitter by President Trump, who called him a "so-called judge." Robart was appointed by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2004. One of Trump's tweets read, quote, "Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!" unquote. Over the weekend, the Department of Homeland Security began allowing visa holders affected by Trump's order to board U.S.-bound flights.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, for more, we're joined by one of the people who was caught up in Trump's ban, Saira Rafiee. She's a doctoral student enrolled at CUNY Graduate Center through an F1 visa. Rafiee spent winter break visiting her family in her native Iran. She was trying to return to New York to school, when customs officers in Abu Dhabi told her she couldn't go back because of the president's executive order. We're also joined by Hadi Ghaemi, the founder and director of the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Saira, why don't you describe what happened to you?
SAIRA RAFIEE: Well, I was at Tehran airport in line. I was about to check in, when I heard that Donald Trump has signed the order. And I got on the flight to Abu Dhabi, but there, I was told that I'm notI cannot get on the flight to New York, so I had to stay there for about 18 hours, along with 11 other Iranians, before we could get on the flight back to Tehran.
AMY GOODMAN: Were you shocked?
SAIRA RAFIEE: Well, no, because I think it was on Wednesday that we heard that such an order was going to be signed, so I was kind of prepared for that. But it wasthe people were shocked, because so many people had changed their flights. They had changed their plans. They wanted to go back to the U.S. in March, for example, but they had to change their plans and get on a flight and find a flight. And they were really shocked and disappointed. And I heard so many heartbreaking stories at the airport.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Now, you werethen you stayed in Abu Dhabi for several days, or whatwhat happened?
SAIRA RAFIEE: No, for 18 hours.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: For 18 hours.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And then you were finally able to get back on another flight, into?
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Oh, back to Tehran.
SAIRA RAFIEE: Back to Tehran, yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: And then how did you end up coming back?
SAIRA RAFIEE: Well, on Friday, I heard that because of the court order in Massachusetts, Lufthansa airline let people from these seven countries board. So I got on a flight to Boston. And then, when I was on my way here, the other court order was signed. And so I went to Boston first and then came back here.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Now, you mentioned that you had run into other people at the airport. Can you talk about some of the stories of some of the people that you then on social media talked about, as well?
SAIRA RAFIEE: Well, yeah. I talked about a friend of mine. She wanted toshe lives here, and she wanted to go back to Tehran to visit her sister, who had cancer, but she had to cancel her flight. And on Friday, her sister died. Soand there are lots of
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: So she never got to see her sister there.
SAIRA RAFIEE: No, she didn't. But what I want to say is that, I mean, because the Iranians are professionals heresome of them are studentsI mean, they have a louder voice here. But my concern is that there are so many other people from other countries who have worse situations and are, for example, fleeing war, and they don't have any home to go back to. And those people are being denied entry to this country. And that is really, I mean, disastrous. I think we should focus more on their stories. I mean, my story is not a good example of what people are going through.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to Fox host Bill O'Reilly's Super Bowl interview with President Trump.
BILL O'REILLY: So, another big week for the Trump administration. Judge Gorsuch, that rollout went very smoothly, I think.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Yes, it did. Yes, it did.
BILL O'REILLY: All right. But the refugee deal, not so much.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I think it was very smooth. You had 109 people, out of hundreds of thousands of travelers, and all we did was vet those people very, very carefully.
BILL O'REILLY: You wouldn't do anything differently if you had to do it over again?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Look, in life, you do things
BILL O'REILLY: I mean, some of your people didn't really know what the order was.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, that's not what General Kelly said. General Kelly, who's now Secretary Kelly, he said he totally knew, he was aware of it, and it was very smooth. It was 109 people.
AMY GOODMAN: So that's Donald Trump. Your response, Saira? And also, your studies? You say your studies help you understand what's going on today.
SAIRA RAFIEE: Yeah, I've been studying social psychology of fascism for some years, and I'm really somehow shocked by the similarity between, for example, Trump's literature and the content of his speeches to the propaganda of Nazism or the American agitators of the '40s and '50s. And what is going on there is that he is using the discontent of the people and their feeling of insecurity and powerlessness and their uncertainty about their future, and he's targeting all these feelings against people who are not responsible for it, who are victims just like many of his audience. And I thinkI mean, that is what really worries me. I don't know, well, where this would end. I mean, I thinkI mean, I was shocked byI listened to so many of his speeches during the primaries, and I was shocked by the lack of any kind of rational argument. He does not talk about the causes of the problems; he just useshe just focuses on this feeling of frustration among his audience. And he is using Muslims and immigrants as scapegoats.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I'd like to ask Hadi Ghaemi ofyou're from the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. You hear Trump saying it was only 109 people, but the numbers of people
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: affected by this ban are phenomenal. Just Iranian students in the United States alone, there's about 12,000 of them. I've heard that as many as 17,000 university students are from the seven countries that are subjected to this temporary ban. Your response to that 109 figure?
HADI GHAEMI: Yeah, no, it absolutelywe're talking about hundreds of thousands of people over time. Yeah, maybe there were 109 on the few flights that were coming in on a given day. As you mentioned, there are 17,000 students from these countries. There are tens of thousands of people on work visas in this country from those seven countries, including the staff of my own organization, that we now don't know what's going to happen when it's time for renewal. There are many people on green card, again, hundreds of thousands of them, and their policy on greed card keeps changing all the time. So, we're talking about lives of, I would say, much, much larger number of people being impacted.
And there is, again, no rationality to this order. I think it was very important yesterday when Judge Robart asked the government lawyer in the court of appeals that: What is the rationality, and what is your fact for issuing this executive order? And they had none. They really had none. This is what's mind-bogglinga policy that is upending lives of so many people with no rationality.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And this will be an unusual hearing at 6:00 today, because one of the judgesit's a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit. One of the judges is in Hawaii. Another one is in Arizona.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And one is in San Francisco. So they're going to be doing a telephone hearing
HADI GHAEMI: Telephone, right.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: in effect. Your expectation of the judiciary handlinghow it's handling this?
HADI GHAEMI: I think this is an extremely critical moment for American democracy and the soul of what we call checks and balances in this country, afterfrom founding of this country. If the judiciary cannot stand up to these irrational actions early on, I'm worried by the time the Supreme Court has been picked and completely tilted toward Trump's preferences, we are going to have no institutions to do checks and balances, because Congress is failing already. The Republican Party is completely failing its own principles. And today's hearing will be a benchmark for seeing where are we headed to.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, we want to thank you both for being with us. Hadi Ghaemi is with the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. And Saira Rafiee is a Ph.D. candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center. Before I met you, I knew everything about you, Saira, because so many peopleseemed like the entire university was rallying behind you to get you back to the United States.
SAIRA RAFIEE: Yeah, and I'm really grateful for all those people, and especially the union that I'm a member of, PSC. And as I said, I was fortunate enough to have the support of a union, and I was a member of a union. And I think in this situation, I'm convinced more than ever how important the unions are. And I just wanted to mention that I know here in New York there are so many students from private universities who have been trying to and fighting to get their right to have a union, and the administration of the universities are notare denying them this right. And I'm also aware of so many other cases whose universities and schools are not as supportive as CUNY was to me. And I'm really worried about these things, because I think here, I mean, one aspect of this whole situation is that what is at stake is the independence of academia. And I hope, and I think it's really necessary, that the schools, the academia, takes a step and tries to defend its independence.
AMY GOODMAN: The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday on whether to restore President Donald Trump's executive order banning people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from entering the United States. The case was brought by the states of Washington and Minnesota. The emergency hearing came just days after a judge in Seattle imposed a nationwide temporary restraining order on the ban. On Tuesday, three judges on the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments via telephone. Two of the judges were appointed by DemocratsWilliam Canby and Michelle Friedlandand one by a RepublicanRichard Clifton. Justice Department lawyer August Flentje argued Trump's executive order was constitutional.
AUGUST FLENTJE: Under Section 212(f), Congress has expressly authorized the president to suspend entry of classes of aliens when it iswhen it is necessary or when otherwise it would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. That's what the president did here. And the president's determination that a 90-day pause was needed for the seven countries at issue here in order to ensure adequate standardsand that's language from the orderfor visa screening was plainly constitutional. The district court's order, which contained no assessment of the legality of the order, was in error, and we encourage the court to stay.
AMY GOODMAN: During his argument, the Justice Department lawyer, August Flentje, questioned the role of the court in reviewing the president's actions.
AUGUST FLENTJE: The reason we sought immediate relief and a stay is because of the court'sthe district court's decision overrides the president's national security judgment about the level of risk. And we've been talking about the level of risk that is acceptable. As soon as we are having that discussion, it should be acknowledged that the president is the official that is charged with making those judgments. I'd also like to talk briefly
JUDGE MICHELLE FRIEDLAND: So, are we back toI mean, are you arguing then that the president's decision in that regard is unreviewable?
AMY GOODMAN: Noah Purcell, the solicitor general for the state of Washington, said it was the court's role to serve as a check on the executive branch.
SOLICITOR GENERAL NOAH PURCELL: It has always been the judicial branch's role to say what the law is and to serve as a check on abuses by the executive branch. That judicial role has never been more important in recent memory than it is today. But the president is asking this court to abdicate that role here, to reinstate the executive order without meaningful judicial review and to throw this country back into chaos.
AMY GOODMAN: To talk more about the legal fight against Donald Trump's executive order, we're joined by Lee Gelernt. He is an ACLU attorney who presented the first challenge to Trump's executive order on immigration. His argument resulted in a nationwide injunction.
Well, it's great to have you with us today.
LEE GELERNT: Thank you for having me.
AMY GOODMAN: What do you make of the court hearing yesterday?
LEE GELERNT: You know, they were well prepared. I would say, listening to it, it's always difficult, you know, to predict what a court will do, but they gaveI think they asked very pointed, tough questions of the U.S. government, and, in particular, sort of wanted to know: Could they review this? Because I think that's the sort of takeaway from all this. Is the administration saying that the courts have no role? Because if the courts have no role, we're in a dangerous situation. And so, I think they properly pressed the U.S. government: What's our role? And are you really saying there's no role here? And I think
AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean by "role"?
LEE GELERNT: Right. And so, that they can review what the president did. There's no question that the president and Congress are entitled to some deference when they act in this area. But the U.S. government is coming dangerously close to saying, "If the president says it's OK, then it's OK." And I think what you've seen from the panel last night, but also from all the courts around the country, is, no, no, no, no, the courts have the final word on what the Constitution means, and the Constitution is ultimately paramount. And that, I think, is what's been heartening about what's happened since the executive order. We went in within 24 hours of the executive order being passed, and by Saturday night, one day later, we had a nationwide injunction from Judge Donnelly in Brooklyn. And I think it gave everyone something to rally around, that the courts were going to play their traditional role. And so, that's what I think has been heartening about this last 10 days.
AMY GOODMAN: Let's go back to the hearing. Judges William Canbyhe was a Carter appointeeand Judge Richard Clifton, a George W. Bush appointee, questioned Justice Department attorney August Flentje on what oversight presidential orders can be subject to. This, first, is Judge Canby.
JUDGE WILLIAM CANBY: Could the president simply say in the order, "We're not going to let any Muslims in"?
AUGUST FLENTJE: That's not what the order does here.
JUDGE WILLIAM CANBY: I know. I know that.
AUGUST FLENTJE: And the order reliessorry, your honor.
JUDGE WILLIAM CANBY: Could he do that? Could he do that?
AUGUST FLENTJE: That's not what the order does.
JUDGE WILLIAM CANBY: Would anybody be able to challenge that?
AUGUST FLENTJE: That's not what the order does here.
AUGUST FLENTJE: I do really feelI do want to
JUDGE WILLIAM CANBY: It's a hypothetical question.
AUGUST FLENTJE: get to one key point.
JUDGE RICHARD CLIFTON: Well, we'd like to get to an answer to that question, I mean, because it speaks back to the standing issue. If the order said Muslims cannot be admitted, would anybody have standing to challenge that?
AUGUST FLENTJE: I think Mandel and Din give a route to make a constitutional challenge if there were such an order. It would be by a U.S. citizen with a connection to someone seeking entry. This is a far cry from that situation.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you comment on this, Lee Gelernt?
LEE GELERNT: Yeah. You know, the administration is trying to say, "Look, this is not a Muslim ban. The word 'Muslim' doesn't appear, or 'Islam' doesn't appear, in the order." Well, that's not what the courts do. The courts aren't that easily fooled. What they do is look behind the face of the document. That's standard Supreme Court law. Because, otherwise, you could have a state, the federal government, the president doing something with real discriminatory intent and then simply take out a few words. And I think that's whatyou know, the administration ultimately was caught on that when former Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, "Well, I told them this is how to do it."
AMY GOODMAN: Actually, I want to go to
AMY GOODMAN: Rudolph Giuliani. He was speaking on Fox when he made this comment.
RUDY GIULIANI: I'll tell you the whole history of it. So, when he first announced it, he said, "Muslim ban." He called me up. He said, "Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally." I put a commission together with Judge Mukasey, with Congressman McCaul, Pete King, whole group of other very expert lawyers on this. And what we did was, we focused on, instead of religion, danger! The areas of the world that create danger for us, which is a factual basis, not a religious basis. Perfectly legal. Perfectly sensible. And that's what the ban is based on. It's not based on religion. It's based on places where there are substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.
AMY GOODMAN: And this is December 2015, not a surrogate for Donald Trump, but Donald Trump himself calling for a "total and complete shutdown" of the entry of Muslims to the United States.
PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States, until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. We have no choice. We have no choice.
AMY GOODMAN: So, these statements might impact the court's ruling. Let's go to another clip from the hearing, Judge Clifton asking Department of Justice lawyer August Flentje about anti-Muslim statements attributed to Trump and his advisers during his campaign. We hear first from the Justice Department attorney.
AUGUST FLENTJE: It is extraordinary for a court to enjoin the president's national security determination based on some newspaper articles. And that's what has happened here. That is notthat is a very troubling second-guessing of the national security decision made by the president. And the notion that we are going to go back into court and
JUDGE RICHARD CLIFTON: Do you deny the actionstop, stop. This is Judge Clifton. Do you deny that in fact the statements attributed to then-candidate Trump and to his political advisers, most recently Mr. Giulianido you deny that those statements were made?
AUGUST FLENTJE: Judge Clifton, Ino. I would note that Judge Robart himself said that he wasn't going to look at campaign statements. I doand I think that what we
JUDGE RICHARD CLIFTON: No, that'sbut, you see, that's a different point. I mean, I understand the argument they shouldn't be given much weight. But when you say we shouldn't be looking at newspaper articles, let'swe're all on the fast track here. Both sides have told us it's moving too fast. Either those kind of statements were made or they're not. Now, if they were made but they were made not to be a serious policy principle, I can understand that. But if they were made, it is potential evidence. It is a basis for an argument. So I just want to make sure I know what's on the table.
AUGUST FLENTJE: Well, those are in the record. But I think my point is a little narrower, that in the expedited procedure of a TRO, taking this extraordinary action of halting this order, that the president determined was in the national security interest of the United States, isis an unwise course. And it should be stayed.
AMY GOODMAN: So that's the Department of Justice lawyer, August Flentje. Lee Gelernt, if you can explain? Because he makes the point: Only look at what's on four corners of the document; don't look at the campaign; don't look at what people say.
LEE GELERNT: Right, right. That's wrong. You know, the Supreme Court has said over and over, you can look beyond the four corners of the document if there is evidence of discriminatory intent. And we're not talking about a newspaper article. We're talking about then-candidate Trump's own statements, and not just one statement. If there was one offhand statement, you know, that's one thing. But it's over and over and over. And I think everyone knew what he intended with this executive order.
The other thing I would point out that's getting lost is the order, on its face, discriminates among religions, not by denomination, but it does talk about minority religions and majority religions. And even that is prohibited by the Establishment Clause. The government is not supposed to be in the business of choosing between religions, particular religions, or even minority and majority. And after the executive order was signed, he very clearly said the minority religion provision was intended to benefit Christians. And in this country and under our Constitution, we don't favor one religion over another. I mean, that's the most bedrock principle in our country.
AMY GOODMAN: So, explain where this goes right now.
AMY GOODMAN: They say they're going to make a decision. It could be handed down today, tomorrow, the next day. What does it mean? What are the possible choices these judges can make?
LEE GELERNT: Right. So, one thing is they can just simply affirm the district court and say, "Look, we're going to keep everything on hold while this case moves forward," because this is ultimately just temporary relief. Then, the U.S. government will have the opportunity to go to the Supreme Court, if they choose. It would be on a very fast track. I don't knoweveryone is assuming they will. I don't know that they will, when serious lawyers look at this and see how little time there is, because the case is moving on a very fast track back in district court. If it's overturned, if the stay is overturned, Washington could go to the Supreme Court. You know, whether either side will remains to be seen.
But, ultimately, the case has to go forward, just like our case in New York, our case in Marylandthe ACLU's casesand other cases. Ultimately, we're going to have to reach the merits of all this, because this is all preliminary skirmishes to keep the status quo. What this is all about is: Ultimately, who's going to be harmed more during the interim, when the case is going forward? I think it's very clear, with refugees abroad who are in real danger and all of the other harms that befell people, that if you keep the executive order in place, people are going to be really harmed. The U.S. government could not come in with a countervailing harm, especially because all these people have been vetted. I mean, in our case, it was anit was an Iraqi who helped our U.S. military. And
AMY GOODMAN: This is the first case you brought
AMY GOODMAN: racing to the Brooklyn court.
AMY GOODMAN: It was two men that you were representing.
LEE GELERNT: And on behalf of a whole class nationwide. And those were people who helped our U.S. military. But the government is putting out this narrative that we don't know who's coming in. But these were people who actually helped, put their lives at stake for our U.S. military. And then, all of a sudden, they're landing here, and they're saying, "President Trump doesn't want you, even though you put your lives at stake, at risk."
AMY GOODMAN: So, President Trump clearly is not used to having people review his decisions as CEO of the Trump empire. So his first reaction was to lash out at the judge, call him a "so-called judge." The significance of this, very quickly, Lee?
LEE GELERNT: Yeah. The rule of law is critical. The president has to respect the courts. I mean, that may be the overriding issue here. That's bigger than any particular civil liberties issue.
AMY GOODMAN: And clearly, there is trouble in the administration. You have the lawyer, Flentje, being replacedcoming into this at the very last minute
LEE GELERNT: Right, right, right.
AMY GOODMAN: in the hours before he argued this, in this very odd telephone call, where one of the judges was, what, inwas in Hawaii
AMY GOODMAN: and another judgeeveryone was in a different place, and this was argued over the phone. He comes in, and when he's seeing he might not be doing so well at the end, he says, "Well, for one thing, at least don't allow people who have never been in the United States to come into the United States"
AMY GOODMAN: "if you're going to make a partial decision." What about that?
LEE GELERNT: Yeah, a fallback argument. I don't think it's possible to sort of split it up now, especially how quickly things are moving, how the administration would actually implement such a division between people. And everyone is being harmed. I don't think that's a wise course. But you can see that the government fell back on something, realized maybe they weren't going to get everything they wanted, and tried at the last minute some sort of fallback, minor.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, let me read you a tweet that just came out. Donald Trump didn't respond to the hearing last night, but he did say, "If the U.S. does not win this case as it so obviously should, we can never have the security and safety to which we are entitled. Politics!" And then he tweeted, "I will be speaking at 9:00 A.M. today to Police Chiefs and Sheriffs and will be discussing the horrible, dangerous and wrong decision......." And he moves on.
LEE GELERNT: Yeah. We would prefer not to see the president say to the courts, "If you do this, the whole country's security is on you." I mean, I think the courts are doing what they are supposed to do and looking at the Constitution. They are doing their best. And they are a co-equal branch of the government.

AMY GOODMAN: So, can you go back in time to Friday, January 27th, what you were doing over at the ACLU
AMY GOODMAN: and where you ended up that day?
LEE GELERNT: Yeah. So we had a call from 7:30 to 9:30 about the executive order, which had just come out at 5:00. We were hopeful that the people en route to the U.S. would be allowed in, and we were preparing a challenge for people who were still overseas. At 10:00, I start getting a text: There may be people at JFK who are being stopped. So, we gather a whole group of lawyers, from Yale, from the National Immigration Law Center and from the International Refugee Assistance Project. We stay up all night. We file a complaint on their behalf at 6:00 in the morning. We then spent all day trying to get the government to assure us they won't remove anybody while the case goes forward. We couldn't get those assurances. We rush in for an emergency stay. At 6:00 p.m. Saturday night, the judge says, "Be down here at 7:30." I get down there. There's about 50 people. And I say, "Wow! That's great. Fifty people on a Saturday night at the courthouse in that short notice?" When I come out after arguing the case, there were a thousand people out there. I think we're in one of those real civil rights moments where it's not just the lawyers presenting arguments in court, but it's the community and everyone rallying together. And I think that's what it's going to take.
AMY GOODMAN: And so, what happens with your case? How is it affected by this federal hearing and the decision that will come down?
LEE GELERNT: Right. So, one thing to keep in mind, especially for your listeners, is, if they traveled here in reliance on the Washington order, and even if the Washington order is overturned, they're safe because of the injunction issued by Judge Donnelly in Brooklyn, that says no one who reaches U.S. soil can be removed. The other thing to keep in mind is, the Washington case is sort of moving ahead quickly right now, but no one knows which case is ultimately going to go first and what's going to happen in any particular case. So that's why we're moving forward with all the cases. And we are going to be on a fast track, as well, in New York.
AMY GOODMAN: So you're refiling your case?
LEE GELERNT: Well, our case has never not been in the courts, and so we are moving forward. The other thing that's going on in our case is we're seeing noncompliance by the administration, and that's dangerous. Judge Donnelly very specifically said, "Give the plaintiffs a list of everyone who was detained and been affected by this executive order." That's 10 days ago. We still haven't got the list. So we've gone back to court and say to the court, "You need to enforce this order. The administration is not complying." We need a list of people who got here and may have been coerced into waiving their rights and removed. We know of people already who were sent back against their will. Without a list from the government, we can't contact everyone and find out howwho knows how many people were actually sent back against their will after the case was filed?
AMY GOODMAN: How about the Justice Department lawyers, the government lawyers, saying 100,000 visas were canceled?
LEE GELERNT: Right. You know, it'swe're in a dramatic moment here. Hopefully, those people will get back their visas. But it's troubling, because those people were extensively vetted. I mean, this narrative about we don't know who these people are, it's simply wrong. I mean, especially with the refugees, they are so extensively vetted, that
AMY GOODMAN: And finally, the explanation of "This is Obama's list of seven countries. This is not our list."
LEE GELERNT: Right, right.
AMY GOODMAN: President Trump said.
LEE GELERNT: Right. But Obama didn't put a ban. He said we're going to do some other things with vetting. Fine. We are not against vetting, but a ban is a whole different thing.
What a dismal Cabinet....what they really are is a wrecking crew - to either destroy the Agency or Department they head or to destroy some part of the Law and Constitution in their arena.
The head of the Education Dept. is someone with zero background in education; someone who wants to see public education eliminated in favor of private schools; she also believes all classes and schools should teach Christian religion and prayers. She and her husband have several conflicts of interest in that they are major share-holders in companies that chase students for their delinquent student loans.
The Secretary of State was until that office the head of Exxon and also denies Climate Change [Exxon having researched the reality of it decades ago and since hidden their research, much as the tobacco industry did]. He will, along with Trumpf and the others see to it that 'US' 'diplomacy' benefits Big Oil, Big Energy, Big Money, and Big Business and to hell with everyone else whether US citizens or other citizens - to hell with preventing war, as it is good for business.
He has NO diplomatic background nor skills.
The head of the Justice Dept. [sic] is openly racist, right-wing, anti-woman, believes Blacks should not have the vote [and done much to see they do not], and voting-rights legislation never should have been enacted and should not be enforced. He is anti-labor and pro-corporate. Pro-death penalty and for labeling and treating protesters as terrorists. He called the NAACP 'unAmerican' and the ACLU a 'communist' lawyer's group. He is for a total Muslim ban and US Muslims being on a 'list'. He will make sure that Trumpf's shredding of the Constitution is complete.
The head of the Federal Communications Dept. is against internet equality and dead set on making sure it is not to be had - quite the opposite - only the wealthy will have full internet access and the poor will see on the internet little and only what the wealthy want them to see.
The Head of the Environmental Protection Agency is anti-environment, doesn't believe in Climate Change and has sued the EPA 13 times to try to stop their regulations. All regulations that threaten corporate greed and profit will be eliminated - the Agency demolished. Health of humans and the Environment in the USA and World will quickly degrade.
The head of the CIA is in favor of black sites and rendition and black ops.
A neo-fascist is his closest adviser, and the military and intelligence picks are to the right of Ghenges Khan. Expect a lot more wars, war inside the USA, war of terror and more surveillance.
The rest of the Cabinet, NSC, advisers are of the same caliber [sic] - not one - from the President down have the qualifications to carry out their jobs other than to destroy: law, democracy, peace, justice, health, democracy, education,rights, equality, constitutionality, civility, our polity. Most are millionaires or billionaires, racists, homophobes, oligarchs, corporatists, reactionary to neo-fascists, some white supremacists, many who think women are second class, all who are against abortion, all who are against public dissent of government - especially theirs, people who do not believe in equal justice under the law or a place for the poor or middle class. A sickening bunch. I hate Trumpf, but I have contempt for those who saw something redeeming in his circus barker talk cum reality TV show talk and voted for him. Now, we all pay dearly with our freedoms, rights - and many will with their lives.
One could go on with others...but it they are all out of the same monster mold.
Goodbye what very little was left and positive in the USA!.....

Silenced Twice by the U.S. Senate, Coretta Scott King's Words Live On

Posted on Feb 9, 2017
By Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan
[Image: coretta_590.jpg]
Coretta Scott King.CULR_04_0120_1392_005, Chicago Urban League Records, University of Illinois at Chicago Library

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was interrupted while reading the words of Coretta Scott King on the Senate floor this week. Warren was reading a 1986 letter King wrote in opposition to the confirmation of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, then a U.S. attorney in Alabama, to a federal district judgeship. In a rare decision, the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected Sessions. Now, as the Senate debated a new confirmation of Sen. Sessions for the position of U.S. attorney general, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., silenced Warren shortly after she read Coretta Scott King's words, invoking an obscure Senate rule against impugning colleagues. She was told to sit down and was barred from speaking further during the ongoing debate on Sessions.
King sent the letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Strom Thurmond, a fierce segregationist. She asked him to make the letter a part of the hearing's formal record, but he didn't. The 10-page letter was essentially lost until last month, when The Washington Post obtained and published a copy of it.
"The irony of Mr. Sessions' nomination is that, if confirmed, he will be given a life tenure for doing with a federal prosecution what the local sheriffs accomplished twenty years ago with clubs and cattle prods," King wrote in her testimony, adding, "I believe his confirmation would have a devastating effect on not only the judicial system in Alabama, but also on the progress we have made toward fulfilling my husband's dream." She wrote at length about Sessions' record as a U.S. attorney in Alabama, aggressively prosecuting African-American voting-rights activists on charges of voter fraud in the case of "The Marion Three." In that case, Albert Turner, an aide to Martin Luther King Jr., Turner's wife, Evelyn, and Spencer Hogue were all members of the Perry County Civic League in rural Alabama. Sessions prosecuted them, alleging they tampered with ballots of elderly African-American voters.
The Marion Three faced well over 100 years in prison if convicted. Sessions was accused of selectively seeking cases to prosecute in "Black Belt" counties of Alabama, like Perry County, where a rising number of African-American registered voters threatened to eliminate the long-held political domination by whites. A federal judge threw out most of the charges, and a jury acquitted the three on the remaining charges.
"Civil rights leaders, including my husband and Albert Turner, have fought long and hard to achieve free and unfettered access to the ballot box," Coretta Scott King continued. "Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as federal judge."
By reading King's words, Elizabeth Warren was accused of imputing "conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator." After McConnell forced her to stop speaking, Warren replied, from the floor, "I am surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate. ... I ask leave of the Senate to continue my remarks." After her request was denied, she was instructed to leave. She immediately exited, and, just outside the doors to the Senate chamber, read the entire King letter, broadcasting via Facebook Live. After 20 hours online, the 15-minute video had close to 10 million views.
McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, said of his decision to silence Warren: "She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted." His words created a firestorm across social media, with posts of solidarity with Warren marked by the hashtag "#ShePersisted." Back on the Senate floor, several of Warren's male colleagues read King's letter aloud. None of them were rebuked by McConnell. In fact, in 2015, when fellow Republican Ted Cruz accused McConnell himself of being a liar, McConnell did not invoke the same Senate rule to bar Cruz from speaking.
On Wednesday evening, the Senate confirmed Jeff Sessions as the 84th attorney general of the United States, despite receiving more no votes47than any attorney general in U.S. history.

Disappointing? Yes. Surprising? ​NO!
Putin announced he may turn Snowden over to the US in order to "curry favor" with the US government.

Now you understand Trump's real purpose.
Political discussions about immigrants often include the claim that there is a relationship between immigration patterns and increased crime. However, results of a University at Buffalo-led study find no links between the two. In fact, immigration actually appears to be linked to reductions in some types of crimes, according to the findings.

"Our research shows strong and stable evidence that, on average, across U.S. metropolitan areas crime and immigration are not linked," said Robert Adelman, an associate professor of sociology at UB and the paper's lead author. "The results show that immigration does not increase assaults and, in fact, robberies, burglaries, larceny, and murder are lower in places where immigration levels are higher.
"The results are very clear."
Adelman's study with Lesley Williams Reid, University of Alabama; Gail Markle, Kennesaw State University; Charles Jaret, Georgia State University; and Saskia Weiss, an independent scholar, is published in the latest issue of the Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice.
"Facts are critical in the current political environment," said Adelman. "The empirical evidence in this study and other related research shows little support for the notion that more immigrants lead to more crime."
Previous research, based on arrest and offense data, has shown that, overall, foreign-born individuals are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans, according to Adelman.
For the current study, the authors stepped back from the study of individual immigrants and instead explored whether larger scale immigration patterns in communities could be tied to increases in crime due to changes in cities, such as fewer economic opportunities or the claim that immigrants displace domestic workers from jobs.
The authors drew a sample of 200 metropolitan areas as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau and used census data and uniform crime reporting data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a 40-year period from 1970 to 2010.
"This is a study across time and across place and the evidence is clear," said Adelman. "We are not claiming that immigrants are never involved in crime. What we are explaining is that communities experiencing demographic change driven by immigration patterns do not experience significant increases in any of the kinds of crime we examined. And in many cases, crime was either stable or actually declined in communities that incorporated many immigrants."
Adelman says the relationship between immigration and crime is complex and more research needs to be done, but this research supports other scholarly conclusions that immigrants, on the whole, have a positive effect on American social and economic life.
"It's important to base our public policies on facts and evidence rather than ideologies and baseless claims that demonize particular segments of the U.S. population without any facts to back them up," said Adelman.

Journal Reference:
  • Robert Adelman, Lesley Williams Reid, Gail Markle, Saskia Weiss, Charles Jaret. Urban crime rates and the changing face of immigration: Evidence across four decades. Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, 2016; 15 (1): 52 DOI: 10.1080/15377938.2016.1261057