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CIA is obviously trying to blame Putin for its own hijacking of the American election in order to put another Bush-like pro-CIA war hawk in power.

CNN said Trump is about to make a move in the Middle East.
AMY GOODMAN: As of today, President Trump has been in office for 36 days. There's already a growing chorus of voices calling for his impeachment. Nearly 900,000 people have signed an online petition entitled "Impeach Donald Trump Now." Thousands of protesters poured into the streets Monday for "Not My President's Day" marches across the country. Thousands more stormed Republican town halls this week to confront Republican leaders over their support for Trump.
Even the city of Richmond, California, has joined the movement. On Tuesday, the Richmond City Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution calling on Congress to consider Trump's impeachment, arguing Trump is in violation of the Constitution's Emoluments Clause, which prohibits people holding federal office from accepting payments from foreign governments.
The demand for Trump's impeachment comes as he presides over an understaffed White House in near constant crisis. This comes as White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus sought unsuccessfully to have the FBI refute news reports that Donald Trump's campaign advisers were in frequent contact with Russian intelligence agents ahead of November's election. That's according to CNN, which reported on Thursday the FBI declined to publicly corroborate Priebus's denial. Priebus's outreach to the FBI violated policies intended to limit communications between the White House and the FBI on pending investigations. Priebus denied the reports during an interview Sunday on Meet the Press.
REINCE PRIEBUS: I know what they were told by the FBI, because I've talked to the FBI. I know what they're saying. I wouldn't be on your show right now telling you that we've been assured that there's nothing to The New York Times story, if I actually wasn't assuredand, by the way, if I didn't actually have clearance to make this comment.
AMY GOODMAN: Allegations of White House communications with the FBI during the investigation into Russia's influence have raised questions about whether the Trump administration has violated ethics restrictions meant to protect such investigations from political influence. They've also drawn comparisons to former President Richard Nixon's 1972 discussion with aides who used the CIA to push the FBI away from investigating the Watergate burglary that later led to Nixon's resignation.
Will the constant chaos, confusion and conflicts of interest in the Trump administration lead to President Trump's impeachment? Well, for more, we go to someone who's been at the center of the unraveling of a presidency and a vote for impeachment. That's right, President Richard Nixon's White House counsel, John Dean. He's the author of several books, including The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It and Conservatives Without Conscience, as well as Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches.
John Dean, welcome to Democracy Now!
JOHN DEAN: Good morning, Amy.
AMY GOODMAN: So, we have 36 days so far into this presidency. It took a second term of office for President Nixon before the House Judiciary Committee voted on articles of impeachment against him. He would later resign, so he wasn't impeached. But can you talk about where Donald Trump is right now?
JOHN DEAN: Well, what I see and hear, in following it, are echoes of Watergate. If you recall, Watergate ran about 900 days. In other words, it went on for years, starting with a bungled burglary at the Democratic National Committee and right up to Richard Nixon's resignation, followed by the conviction of his top aides. So it ran a long time. What we're seeing is very accelerated. It's partially responsible because of the media and the technology today, but it's also the behavior of Trump and his aides, as well as the media's vigilance on this. So we're seeing things accelerated. And what I see or hear are echoes of Watergate. We don't have Watergate 2.0 yet, but we have something that is beginning to look like it could go there.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, I wanted to turn right now to what took place in Richmond, California. It became the first U.S. city to call for an investigation into whether to impeach President Trump. A resolution approved by the Richmond City Council states Trump is in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits people holding federal office from accepting payments from foreign governments. These are some of the city officials who voted unanimously in favor of the impeachment resolution.
COUNCILMEMBER JAEL MYRICK: Ordinarily, it would be odd to be talking about thewell, everything about this administration is odd. But it would be odd to be talking about the impeachment of a president only a month into his term. Unfortunately, with this president, it's oddly appropriate.
COUNCILMEMBER JOVANKA BECKLES: The word is very, very clear that the residents of these United States are not in alignment with his movement of hate, his movement of fear, his movement of bullying and intimidation, and his movement of just out-and-out lies.
AMY GOODMAN: Voices of the city councilmembers in Richmond, California. Do you think what they're accusing President Trump of could lead to his impeachment?
JOHN DEAN: It could lead there, Amy, if the Republicans didn't control both houses of Congress. It's a beginning. It takes a lot of momentum, much more than one city. It takes hundreds of cities. It takes really a national change of attitude about this president before we're going to have an impeachment. Right today, given the fact that the House and Senate are controlled by the Republicans, they're not going to impeach their president. As long as he gives them what they want and signs into legislation or signs into law a lot of the things that they've had in their dreams for many years, they're not going to give him any problem. Soand he's not going to give them any problem, because he doesn't want to have a fight with them. So, it's going to be a while. Impeachment is not a legal process. It's a quasi-legal process, but it's primarily a political process. And we're not there yet. Now, a lot of people might like it. It's not going to happen until the political process reaches that stage.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, let me ask you about this latest breaking news out of CNN and also The New York Times, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus seeking unsuccessfully to have the FBI refute news reports that Donald Trump's campaign advisers were in frequent touch with Russian intelligence agents ahead of November's election, CNN also reporting Thursday the FBI declined to publicly corroborate Priebus's denial, Priebus's outreach to the FBI violating policies intended to limit communications between the White House and the FBI on pending investigations. And this goes back to Watergate, when you were at the White House.
JOHN DEAN: It does.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain what is improper here, and possibly what is illegal here? And talk about your position as White House counsel at the time. What were you seeing happening there? And what these allegationswhy they are so significant?
JOHN DEAN: There's actually nothing illegal about talking to the FBI. Nobody has to talk to the FBI when they come to see them or knock on their door, unless they're carrying a subpoena or acting directly for a grand jury. To my knowledge, there's no grand jury at this stage of any kind of inquiry into Mr. Trump's or his aides' conduct. So, there's probably nothing overtly illegal. There is a policy that was written in the late 2000s between the FBI and anybody in the rest of the executive branch, or the Congress, for that matter, talking to them about a ongoing investigation. That appears to be the regulation that may have been violated. And what happened is, one of the assistant directors pulled Priebus aside in the White House after a meeting and just said The New York Times story is a little bit overboard.
AMY GOODMAN: McCabe of the FBI.
JOHN DEAN: Yes, yes, excuse methe FBI investigation was a little bit overboard as reported by The New York Times. And it was just a passing remark. And then Priebus tried, apparently, to reach back and get more out of them. And that's where he probably crossed the linea regulatory line, not a legal line. So, but this is a
AMY GOODMAN: This is pressuring both McCabe and then a call to the head of the FBI, Comey
AMY GOODMAN: to get them to publicly say that these stories about the contact between Trump's people and Russia were not true.
JOHN DEAN: It was an effort on behalf of the White House that failed. Comey was not about to buy into it. He has an ongoing investigation, and he wasn't about to undercut it by giving that kind of comment to Priebus. So, thatthis investigation has to play out. And it will play out. It will play out on Capitol Hill. It will play out in the FBI.
Russia kind of breaks down into three categories. There's the pre-election activity: Did the Trump campaign have contact with Russians and somehow know that they were hacking into the DNC, trying to hurt Hillary and help Trump? That's the first question. Then there's the period between the election and the inauguration, when Flynn was having contact with the ambassador. Did the president, and how manywho else on his staff was involved in those efforts to try to possibly undercut the Obama administration? And, of course, the third big area that they're investigating is: What is the truth or falsity of the dossier that appeared from the MI6 former employee, a fellow by the name of Steele, who reported what he was finding from some of his contacts in Russia as to whether or not Russia had compromised Donald Trump? Those are sort of the big three areas they're looking at in the Russian investigation. And any one of those could cause Mr. Trump a serious problem.
AMY GOODMAN: Back in 1972, you had Richard Nixon discussing with aides using the CIA to push the FBI from investigating the Watergate burglary. Were you in on those discussions?
JOHN DEAN: What happened is, before that happened, I had been overI had been called over by the acting director of the FBI, Pat Gray, to have an update and a report. And I came back and reported to Haldeman what was going on. It's interesting, Amy. And I've gone through every single Watergate conversation for the book I did, The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It. We transcribed everything, about 600 tapes that had never been heard before. So I tracked it from the beginning to the end. And what happened in that conversation is Haldeman sort of took what I told him and pushed it much further than either Mitchell or I thought appropriate, and tried to sell the president on this as being a tool to use the CIA to cut off the FBI. Now, that was later called an obstruction of justice. I'm not sure, technically, it was. But what it did is it caught Richard Nixon in a lie, because he had denied he had known anything about any cover-up until I told him much later, when I started having direct dealings with him. And it was the lie that caught him more than that particular incident.

AMY GOODMAN: We continue our conversation with former Nixon White House counsel John Dean. Now, speaking at CPAC on Thursday, White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, who doesn't usually speak in public, threatened that Trump's declared war on the media is going to get worse.
STEPHEN BANNON: Corporatist, globalist media that are adamantly opposedadamantly opposed to a economic nationalist agenda like Donald Trump has. ... Here's the onlyhere's why it's going to get worse: because he's going to continue to press his agenda. And as economic conditions get better, as more jobs get better, they're going to continue to fight. If you think they're going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken. Every dayevery day, it is going to be a fight.
AMY GOODMAN: That is White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart Media. We're talking to John Dean, served as counsel to President Richard Nixon. Your thoughts on what he is saying, and PresidentPresident Trump himself saying that the media, the press, is the enemy of the American people?
JOHN DEAN: I find it very startling and very troubling. It is more Nixonian than Nixon. And I say that for this reason. Nixon made those kind of comments, that we only know about because he had his secret taping system running and seemed to forget it was on just constantly when he was in the office. It would automatically go on. And he'd make those kind of attacks against the media, calling the media the enemy, saying that he was going to wiretap them and surveil them to find out who was leaking. He would have his top hatchet man, Chuck Colson, call the heads of the networks and read them the Riot Act for their coverage. So he did these things behind closed doors.
The big difference is, Trump is doing this right out and challenging the First Amendment, that is one of our most important because it involves freedom of the press and freedom of speech. And he's taking that on head on. Anything that he doesn't like, any reporting, he calls being an enemy of the people by not giving something that's laudatory to Trump and his administration. It's just ludicrous, Amy. And it's troublesome that he would try to sway the press by using the bully pulpit of his office to intimidate them. My hope is he does not. And I really don't think, knowing the journalists I know, that he will. Nixon failed, and he had a deep reservoir of ill will to draw on when he got himself in real trouble. And I think Trump is creating the same problem for himself.
AMY GOODMAN: Many have compared Donald Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention in July to the one given by Richard Nixon in 1968. This is a clip.
RICHARD NIXON: As we look at America, we see cities enveloped in smoke and flame. We hear sirens in the night. We see Americans dying on distant battlefields abroad. We see Americans hating each other, fighting each other, killing each other at home. And as we see and hear these things, millions of Americans cry out in anguish, "Did we come all this way for this?"
AMY GOODMAN: That was President Nixon in 1968. John Dean, your thoughts on these comparisons?
JOHN DEAN: Well, he was clearlyI wasn't a part of his campaign. I didn't join him until well into his first term. And he was playing scare tactics at that point, trying to make Americans vote for him as a strong man, very much like Donald Trump did in his Cleveland speech. It's the same sort of tactic. They're both authoritarian personalities, Amy. And this is a type of personality that tries to frighten people to take a strong man as their leader. And it works. No one knows for sure how many Americans are affected by this. The best guesstimates of social scientists are about 30 percent maybe. But it looks like Trump got more than that when he used these tactics. And it is not a healthy way to run a democracy by trying to frighten people into voting for you.
AMY GOODMAN: Let me turn to Donald Trump speaking in New York shortly before his inauguration, when he addressed questions about his business interests and asserted that, as president, he would be exempt from possible conflicts of interest.
PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP: I have a no conflict of interest provision as president. It was many, many years old. This is for presidents, because they don't want presidents gettingI understand, they don't want presidents getting tangled up in minutiae; they want a president to run the country. So I could actually run my business. I could actually run my business and run government at the same time. I don't like the way that looks, but I would be able to do that, if I wanted to. I'd be the only one that would be able to do that. You can't do that in any other capacity. But as a president, I could run the Trump Organizationgreat, great companyand I could run the companythe country. I'd do a very good job. But I don't want to do that.
AMY GOODMAN: So, that's Donald Trump. And, of course, President Nixon famously said, "If the president does it, it's not illegal."
JOHN DEAN: Well, Trump is wrong. What the law says is he can't be criminally prosecuted. But a president can't be criminally prosecuted for anything, any offense. A president could theoretically shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue, to use an analogy, and not be prosecuted for it. He could be impeached for it and then later prosecuted. But a sitting president, the best tradition and law we have, and lots of opinions that have come out of the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice, says he's immune from prosecution. But that doesn't mean he's immune from the law. It was anticipated that, as the head of the executive branch, he would set the example for conflict of interest.
Nixon, the way he handled it, he sold all of his stock, bought real estate, that was very passive investment that he couldn't affect. He did get criticized later for having the Secret Service make some improvements on the property for security reasons, that also were good for the value of his properties. But Trump has pushed this to a level that we've never seen, never had to cope with. And it's very troublesome, because almost everything he doesand it's clear he's doingthat are helping his business. And I think at some point Americans are going to say, "Hey, this isn't what we had in mind," those who did vote for him. And those who didn't vote for him are going to even be more offended. So, this is a bad play, and it's going to come back and haunt him.
AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly, John Dean, in January, as you know, Trump famously fired the acting attorney general, Sally Yates, hours beforehours after she announced that the Justice Department would not defend Trump's executive order banning temporarily all refugees from the seven countries, the famous Muslim ban. Senator Chuck Schumer referred to the firing as the "Monday Night Massacre," which of course alludes to President Nixon and the Saturday Night Massacre. In these last seconds we have with you, talk about that and this comparison of
JOHN DEAN: That, Amy, suggests to me how ignorant he is about the job he has. I don't think he has even a good newspaper knowledge of the way the presidency works. I don't think he's ever read an autobiography or biography of any of his predecessors. And what he did is indeed an example of the way Nixon handled a special prosecutor who he didn't want to pursue his own tapes at that point. So, this was just a ham-handed very early effort. They didn't need to fire her. They had asked her to stay on as an acting attorney general. She was going to leave as soon as a permanent attorney general was confirmed. So, this, I think, is just more evidence of his ignorance.
They are for State's Rights when it will make things more repressive - and the will of the few powerful in a State; and against State's Rights when it makes things more progressive and when it is the will of the people in a State. These are not Conservatives; not even Radicals - these are Machiavellian fascists who are building a Police State of Hate and Repression.

Quote:The Trump administration said Thursday it will enforce federal laws barring the use of marijuana, reversing an Obama administration policy that gave wide latitude to states to determine their own pot laws. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the Trump administration would prioritize enforcement in states that have passed laws allowing for the recreationalrather than medicaluse of the drug.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer: "But I think the Department of Justice has the lead on that. It is something that you should follow up with them. But I believe that they arethey are going to continue to enforce the laws on the books with respect to recreational marijuana."
David Guyatt Wrote:
Peter Lemkin Wrote:The level of inhumanity/hate being unleashed and shown/directed out of the White House is truly amazing. How much longer before they try death camps?....and I ask that seriously. This IS what fascism looks like! starts on the 'other'...and then it comes to you and everyone! If you are living in the United Snakes and are not a Native American, YOU are an illegal alien! Wake UP! :Hitler:

Quote:In Texas, ICE officers removed an undocumented immigrant asylum seeker from a hospital, where she was being treated for a brain tumor, and returned her to a detention center. Lawyers for the Salvadoran woman, who's identified only as Sara, say immigration agents cut off all communication with her family and attorneys, and bound her hands and ankles as they transferred her from the hospital to the for-profit Prairieland Detention Center near Dallas. The lawyers say Sara has been suffering convulsions, nosebleeds and severe headaches, and needs brain surgery if she's to survive.

That's really horrible and inhuman.

Welcome to the Kaucasian Khristian Kaliphate -- President Steve Bannon's vision of a USA-West European-Russian axis fighting Islam abroad and minority populations at home.

What Will Be Trump's Reichstag Fire?

9 hours ago
66 in news

[Image: nif_trumpfalseflag.jpg]
by James Corbett
February 25, 2017
Greetings, Mr. President. Thank you for taking a few minutes to see me today. I understand your time is valuable, so let me get to the point: You thought that whole selection charade made you "the leader of the free world," didn't you? Like you were now in charge of the country and you could do what you want, right? Hahaha. Yeah, they all think that at first.
So now that that delusion is out of the way, how's reality treating you? Not so good, huh? Wish you could just govern by executive order, don't you?
Well, what if I told you you could govern that way? Get rid of the courts! Get a rubber stamp from congress! Throw away that constitution! Would you be interested?
Of course you would. That's why I'm here today, Mr. President. Hear me out.
You need to pull a Mukden maneuver. A Tonkin trick. A Swedish stitch-up. A Gleiwitz gambit. A Lavon lark. A Moscow machination.
You know, a false flag.
We've drafted up a few possibilities for you. Here they are:
[Image: we-are-officially-putting-iran-on-notice...535803.png]
You've already put Iran "on notice" over their recent ballistic missile test. Brilliant! You understand better than anyone that most of the public is too ignorant to know that these tests are not a violation of UNSC 2231. The important thing is that the public believes the Iranians are somehow violating the nuclear agreement and that it somehow involves missiles or the like. Keep up the good work!
Next, you need to make people believe Iran is somehow attacking the US with these missiles. They're not attacking the US? They're not attacking anyone? No problem! Just take any event, literally anyone attacking anyone else anywhere in the world, and tell the public it was the Iranians attacking the US!
I know most people would balk at the idea of telling such a brazen lie, but that's what I like about you, sir. You're not afraid to lie, and lie bigly. That's what this country needs. And the way you got Sean Spicer to straight up lie to the public's face and tell them that Iran has fired missiles on a US naval vessel was masterful. Who else could think of taking a Houthi rebel attack on a Saudi frigate and turning it into an Iranian attack on the US Navy? It's so unbelievable, only the American public could buy it!
And now you just need the coup de grâce. We recently ran across an old plan from a decade ago. You know, back in President Cheney's administration.
...What's that? President Bush? Hahaha. That's a good one, sir. You're a real card.
Anyway, yes, back when President Cheney suggested dressing up American special forces as Iranians, painting up a US ship as an Iranian PT boat, and attacking a US naval vessel. That one might be a bit too brazen, even for this administration, but it's workable. Or we can just keep pressing with the Houthis=Iran and Saudis=US line. Or we can just pull another Tonkin. You know we already did a test run of that plan with the Mason last fall. The opinion polls we've run show the public bought it hook, line and sinker, so it's definitely an option on the table.
[Image: cyberattack.jpeg]
The next option for your false flag spectacular is an obvious one: A cyber false flag. As I'm sure I don't need to tell you, we've been conditioning the public to expect a major cyber attack for some time now. A million compromised credit cards here, a mysterious bank hack there, a rumored cyber attack on a power plant that never took place (but hey, let's blame it on the Russians)...You know how it goes.
Now, Mr. President, among your many excellent choices of warmongers, banksters and establishment hacks for your cabinet, I have to especially congratulate you on the choice of Rudy "Butcher of New York" Giuliani on the position of cybersecurity advisor. It's brilliant on every level. First of all, he has no education, training, experience or displayed interest in technology or cybersecurity, so he won't get bogged down in actual issues. Secondly, he's a legitimate 9/11 suspect! He helped illegally clear the 9/11 crime scene! He admitted to foreknowledge of the towers' collapse! Who better to cover up the next false flag then the man who covered up the last one! It's like poetry, it rhymes.
And our next option flows so beautifully, too. Remember when the judge struck down your immigration order?...No, the first time. And you tweeted:
Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2017
Amazing! It's like you've had training in how to set up a false flag event. It writes itself. Get the FBI to find a Syrian refugee, fund, train and shepherd him along, pick his target and then help him attack. Or do the attack ourselves and pin it on him. The best part is that if anything goes wrong we can just swoop in and bust him before the plot goes live and throw him away forever. I think you know that script by now.
In fact, there's no end to the tricks we could pull. The EMP attack is a faithful old standby we've had on the cards for years. Or a bioterror attack. You can always pull one of those out of your hat.
You know how this works. It all just depends on which way we wanna go. Wanna kick off something in Iran? Houthis attack a Saudi frigate and boom. You've got your war. Want to crack down at home? A cyber 9/11 leads to an i-Patriot Act. Want to usher in a new era of biometric border control? Just wind up a refugee patsy. North Korea? EMP. Want a new shadowy terror group to wage a never-ending war against? Bioterror. You can even mix and match. The possibilities are endless, really.
...I'm sorry, what's that? Your opinion? Hahaha. You really are a character, Mr. President, I'll give you that. Do you think you get an opinion on this? Do you think I'm here to solicit your suggestions? Oh, that's rich, sir. No, I'm here to let you know some of the options we're considering. So that, when the time comes, wherever you are, whatever you're doing, even if you're sitting in a classroom full of kids reading a story about a pet goat, you will know to sit quietly and await your further orders.
Do I make myself clear?

Proposed Laws Crack Down on Protest

Posted on Feb 25, 2017
By Sarah Lazare / Alternet
[Image: PoliceStateProtest_590.jpg]
Police and a protester clash on Inauguration Day, 2017. (Johnny Silvercloud / CC 2.0)

The rise of right-wing populism in the United Statesfrom the White House to state legislatureshas been met with public resistance on a stunning scale. Millions have taken to the streets, staged direct actions and flooded airports to resist a flurry of presidential decrees targeting undocumented, black, refugee, LGBTQ and poor communities. And long before Trump took the White House, the Black Lives Matter movement and indigenous water protectors at Standing Rock were leading the way with sustained mobilizations in the face of staggering repression.
Now, under cover of the Trump administration's "law and order" platform, Republican lawmakers at the state leveloften with the backing of police unionsare advancing a spate of bills aimed at crushing this groundswell. The proposed legislation would impose draconian penalties on protest organizers and participants, expanding local powers to put demonstrators in jail, seize their assets and further criminalize property destruction.
In recent weeks and months, politicians in at least 11 statesMinnesota, Washington, Iowa, Michigan, North Dakota, Indiana, Virginia, Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina and Arizonahave either introduced or threatened to introduce bills that make it more dangerous or costly to attend protests, or be anywhere near them. One bill recently proposed in North Dakota, and clearly aimed at Standing Rock resistance, would have expanded protections for drivers who "accidentally" hit and kill protesters. While the legislation failed earlier this month, it nonetheless reflects a troubling political push to snuff out dissent.
Using racketeering laws to go after protesters' assets
A bill that just passed through the Arizona State Senate would expand the state's racketeering laws on organized crime to "rioting," broadly defined to include acts that result in property destruction. This move would broaden the powers of authorities to target protest organizers and participantsand even seize their assets.
Backed by the Arizona Police Association, Senate Bill 1142"[e]xpands the definition of riot to include immediate power of execution which results in damage to the property of another person," according to an Arizona State Senate fact sheet.
"A person commits riot if, with two or more other persons acting together, such person recklessly uses force or violence or threatens to use force or violence, if such threat is accompanied by immediate power of execution, which either disturbs the public peace or results in damage to the property of another person," the bill states.
According to Steve Kilar, spokesperson for the ACLU of Arizona, the proposed legislation's definition of rioting is "fuzzy and incredibly vague." This law "would allow police and prosecutors to go after anyone who is at a protest" that authorities claim turned into a riot, he explained.
The Senate fact sheet notes that including "rioting" under racketeering statutes would provide prosecutors with "options that are generally not available under other types of criminal statutes, such as forfeitures, including the ability to confiscate the fruits of criminal activity from those convicted of racketeering offenses."
The legislation itself emanates from false conspiracy theories. "Sen. Sonny Borrelli has said this is in response to unverified claims that protesters are being paid," Kilar said. "He is using this false paid-protesters argument to connect his bill to anti-racketeering laws, which are targeting the financial incentives of criminal enterprises."
The bill, which is headed to the Arizona House, also aims to blur the line between rioting and terrorism. According to Kilar, "If this bill were to pass, riots would join terrorism as the only racketeering crimes under Arizona state law that would not require financial incentive."
The legislation appears to be aimed at mass mobilizations to oppose deportations. Earlier this month, ICE was met with a 15-hour, direct-action protest when it tried, with the help of Phoenix police, to deport Guadalupe García de Rayos. Protesters, including her own son and daughter, sat in the street holding hands to stop an ICE vehicle from taking away Guadalupe, who has lived in the United States for 21 years. After an hours-long stand-off, which was captured on live-stream, the mother of two was eventually deported to Mexico. By then, images of resistance against her expulsion had spread across the country.
"It appears that the state legislature wants to silence people's voices by passing these laws," said Ernesto Lopez, an organizer with Puente Arizona, which mobilized the opposition to Guadalupe's deportation. "This seems to be really extreme and aimed at silencing small organizations and people's movements in a very negative way."

They'd rather we just be quiet'
The bill wending its way through Arizona's legislature is not an isolated case. The Minnesota House of Representatives is currently weighing HF 322, which gives the city broad latitude to sue protesters for the cost of policing demonstrations. The bill's author, Representative Nick Zerwas, once made the jaw-droppingpronouncement that "Rosa Parks sat in the front of the bus. She didn't get out and lay down in front of the bus."
Meanwhile another Minnesota bill, if passed, would impose harsher penalties on protesters who conduct acts of civil disobedience on highways, making such acts punishable by up to a year in jail.
Both pieces of proposed legislation target the Black Lives Matter movement in the state, which has actively protested the state-sanctioned killing of black residents, including Jamar Clark and Philando Castile.
"It is really unfortunate that this is what the GOP is choosing to focus their time on," Mica Grimm, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, told AlterNet. "I think that Trump has definitely emboldened some people in the GOP to infringe on civil liberties and criminalize dissent. They'd rather we just be quiet."
One bill introduced in Indiana initially mandated that authorities clear protesters from roadways within 15 minutes by "any means necessary." Following public outcry, lawmakers removed the "by any means" language from the bill, but the latest text still calls for the increased criminalization of participants in acts of civil disobedience.
Along similar lines, SF 111, currently being weighed by the Iowa legislature, says that people who blocked traffic on highways can be hit with felony charges, punishable by up to five years behind bars. The legislation was direct retaliation for November protests against Trump that shut down the I-80 highway.
Meanwhile, Washington lawmakers are currently considering SB 5009, which would stiffen penalties against protesters who cause "economic disruption," imposing sentences ranging from 60 days to a year in jail. Sen. Doug Ericksen, who introduced the bill, said in apress statement that "The measure is prompted by recent illegal actions that have blocked rail and highway transportation, including a demonstration at a rail chokepoint in Skagit County last summer that blocked traffic between Seattle and Vancouver for 11 hours." Over 50 people were arrested in May 2016 when they blocked trains to two key oil refineries to protest climate change and fossil fuels extraction.
This is how you move toward fascism and nationalism'
Heavy crackdowns on protesters are not limited to cities and towns where anti-protest bills have been introduced. Over 200 people mass arrested at an inauguration protest in Washington, D.C., have been hit with felony riot charges, each facing up to 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine. Meanwhile, law enforcement is compellingtech giants including Apple and Facebook to mine the personal data of its users, and the companies appear to be complying.
Because the arrests took place in Washington, D.C., the cases are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, which is directly accountable to the Department of Justice, now overseen by the notorious white supremacist Jeff Sessions.
"We are seeing Sessions prosecuting mass arrests from January 20, and it is very obvious that they are using draconian tactics to criminalize dissent," Pooja Gehi, the executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, told AlterNet. "The protesters were charged with inciting felony riot, under a subsection that's never used. This is a new precedent meant to terrorize people."
Flint Taylor, a founding partner of the Chicago-based People's Law Office, told AlterNet that he believes that Trump's three executive orders on crime and policing have emboldened these state-level initiatives. One decree, titled "Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers," is premised on the false claim that there is a war on cops. The order instructs the executive branch to "develop strategies, in a process led by the Department of Justice (Department) and within the boundaries of the Constitution and existing Federal laws, to further enhance the protection and safety of Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers."
Sessions, who heads the DOJ, has said that he does not believe systemic police brutality is a problem worth addressing.
"The language of this executive order is focused on preventing violence,' which was the exact language of the memoranda that former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover wrote justifying the neutralizationi.e. destructionof everyone from Martin Luther King Jr. to the Black Panthers," said Taylor. "One of the key aspects of COINTELPRO was to prevent violence.' That was the cover for destroying movements."
"Together with all the other preliminary indications from the Trump administration, this executive order bodes extremely ill, particularly for communities of color, in terms of unleashing the already awesome and racist power of police departments in cities across the country."
Meanwhile, right-wing Republicans in Congress, with apparentbacking from the Trump administration, are advancing efforts to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. The initiative, which emanates from far-right conspiracy theories that the Sunni Islamist group is infiltrating the U.S. government, isaimed at crushing Muslim civil society organizations at the core of resistance to Trump.
Amidst a climate of authoritarianism, anti-protest laws are advancing alongside so-called Blue Lives Matter bills that protect police officers under hate crime laws meant to safeguard historically oppressed communities. These initiatives are spreading across the country, with Republicans now in control of roughly two-thirds of the partisan legislative chambers in the United States.
"I definitely think there are a lot of Republicans who feel that Trump is a dog whistle to start writing bills that infringe on people's rights, because we're seeing that on a federal level," said Grimm. "They are taking advantage of this time to make sure that people who don't agree with them don't have the right to express that. This is how you move toward fascism and nationalism, by getting rid of dissent."

The Return of American Race Laws

Posted on Feb 26, 2017
By Chris Hedges
[Image: Capture_the_Flag_590.jpg]
Mr. Fish / Truthdig
The warmup act for a full-blown American fascism and orchestrated race war is taking place in immigrant and marginal communities across the United States: Racial profiling. Random police stops. Raids at homes and businesses. People of color pulled from vehicles at checkpoints. Seizures of individuals with no criminal records or who never committed a serious crime. Imprisonment without trial. Expedited deportation hearings and removal proceedings that violate human rights. The arrest of a beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Daniel Ramirez Medina, 23, who along with the program's other 750,000 successful applicants had revealed all personal history to the government in applying for DACA status. Parents separated, perhaps forever, from their children. The hunted going underground. The end of the rule of law. The abandonment of the common good. The obliteration of a social state in which institutions and assistance programsfrom public education to Social Security and welfaremake justice, equality and dignity possible.
White Europeans who are undocumented are not being targeted. The executive orders of President Trump are directed against people of color. They begin from the premise that white Americans are the true victims of neoliberalism, deindustrialization and falling living standards. The Trump orders are written not to make America great again but to make America white. They are an updated version of the Nazis' Nuremberg race laws, the Jim Crow laws, the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Naturalization Act of 1870. They are intended to institutionalize an overt racial hierarchy in the United States, one already advanced by the miniature police states in which marginal communities of color find themselves. In these impoverished enclaves there is no right to trial or due process. Militarized police kill with impunity, and the courts lock people away often for life. Rights are treated as privileges that can instantly be revoked. The poor, especially poor people of color, have been exempted from moral consideration. They are viewed as impediments to social cohesion. And these impediments must be eliminated. This is the template for what will come. Jewstheir community centers under threats of violence and their graveyards being desecratedwill be persecuted. American fascism will be cemented into place by uniformed and heavily armed paramilitary squads clutching the flag and the cross and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the Lord's Prayer.
"Little or no prospect of rescue from individual indolence or impotence can be expected to arrive from a political state that is not, and refuses to be, a social state," the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman warned in "Collateral Damage: Social Inequalities in a Global Age." "Without social rights for all, a large and in all probability growing number of people will find their political rights of little use and unworthy of their attention. If political rights are necessary to set social rights in place, social rights are indispensable to make political rights real' and keep them in operation. The two rights need each other for their survival; that survival can only be their joint achievement."
Presidential chief strategist Stephen Bannon, in his public comments and his films such as "Generation Zero," has embraced a historical determinism worthy of Karl Marx. He posits that Western culture has been contaminated and is being destroyed by darker races and barbaric religions and belief systems. His conspiratorial view of history and society sees a global war between the white race and the lesser breeds of the earth as not only inevitable but one that will reinvigorate and purify America.
Racists and conspiracy theorists such as Bannon, Michael Anton,Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka constitute Trump's ideological brain trust. Gorka goes so far as to argue that the failure to understand the evil of radical Islam stems from a "systematic subversion of the national security establishment under the banner of inclusivity, cultural awareness and political correctness."
In a 2014 speech, Bannon said, "I believe we've come partly off-track in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union and we're starting now in the 21st century, which I believe, strongly, is a crisis both of our church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism." (He delivered the talk via Skype to a group of other right-wing Catholics gathered in the Vatican. For a transcript posted by BuzzFeed, click here.)
"There is a major war brewing, a war that's already global," Bannon said. "It's going global in scale, and today's technology, today's media, today's access to weapons of mass destruction, it's going to lead to a global conflict that I believe has to be confronted today. Every day that we refuse to look at this as what it is, and the scale of it, and really the viciousness of it, will be a day where you will rue that we didn't act."
Bannon, as Micah L. Sifry points out in The Nation, is a proponent of the theory popularized by authors William Strauss and Neil Howe in their books "Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069" (1991) and "The Fourth Turning: An American ProphecyWhat the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous With Destiny" (1997). This theory holds that roughly every 80 years, roughly an average human life span, the country goes through a cataclysmic crisis. This crisis unleashes genocide and other killing that last a decade or more. In its aftermath the social order is rejuvenated. Strauss and Howe highlight the American Revolution of 1775-83, the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II as examples of how the cycle works.

"Inside each 80-year saeculum, Howe and Strauss argue, there are four turnings, each a generation long, and each as inevitable as the coming of the seasons," Sifry writes. "In the first turning, for the generation that survives the prior catastrophe, the newly restored society reaches a collective apex of social order and economic power. Think of America in the post-war boom of 1945 to 1965. Then comes the awakening, as the first new generation of post-catastrophe children enter adulthood and, unlike their traumatized parents, let loose with their emotions and take risks that their forebears would never have imagined. Hello to the long 1960s. Then comes the unraveling, as the once robust order starts to fall apart, people question the eternal verities and institutions weaken. The fourth turning is kicked off and punctuated by ongoing crises, out of which a whole new order is born."
Pseudo-intellectuals such as Strauss and Howe play the role that Paul de Lagarde, Julius Langbehn, Arthur Moeller van den Bruck and Alfred Rosenberg played for the Nazi Party. They give an intellectual veneer to racist conspiracy theories, a virulent nationalism, a hatred for culture and the lust for domination through violence.
I share Bannon's distaste for globalization, free trade agreements, the failure to put Wall Street bankers in jail, the bank bailouts and crony capitalism and would even concede that Americans wallow in the moral swamp of a culture of narcissism. He is right when he attacks the two major political parties as the one "party of Davos." But his solution to the purported crisistotal war by the white race to regain its ascendancyis insane, as are the causes he cites: a New Deal that turned citizens into whining dependents; the permissiveness of the 1960s; white guilt that made the country cater irresponsibly to African-Americans by giving them social service programs and undeserved mortgages that led to the 2008 financial meltdown; an intellectual and a liberal class composed essentially of traitors; and the "new barbarity" of "Jihadist Islamic fascism."
Racism, misogyny, the inherent cruelty of capitalism and the crimes of empire, from Wounded Knee to Vietnam and Iraq, simply do not exist in Bannon's mystical nationalist worldview. He insists that the white male aristocratic elites who formed a republic that enslaved African-Americans, exterminated Native Americans and denied the vote to women and white men without property created "a church and a civilization that really is the flower of mankind." This is what he wants to recover.
Fritz Stern, in his book "The Politics of Cultural Despair: A Study in the Rise of the Germanic Ideology," wrote of the early fascists in Germany, "The movement did embody a paradox: its followers sought to destroy the despised present in order to recapture an idealized past in an imaginary future. They were disinherited conservatives, who had nothing to conserve, because the spiritual values of the past had largely been buried and the material remnants of conservative power did not interest them. They sought a breakthrough to the past, and they longed for a new community in which old ideas and institutions would once again command universal allegiance."
Bannon shares these fascist yearnings. He excoriates leftist and liberal elites for supposedly poisoning the minds of young people, a point he luridly makes in his film "Occupy Unmasked" (2012). A new generation, he says, has been brainwashed to see America as evil and the status quo as repressive. His mythical past will return through a crusade both domestic and international. All forms of coercion, from torture to murder, are justified. Any suffering along the way is the price that has to be paid for this white, Christian paradise.
The central tenet of fascism is always that war cleanses society and that the "virtues" that war inculcates in its combatants and survivors provide a new moral vigor. Bannon knows no more about war's reality, which I endured for two decades covering conflicts in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans, than he sees in Hollywood movies. But war for him, which will come in a confrontation with the Islamic world and perhaps China, cannot arrive too soon.
This clash of civilizations will be prosecuted in the homeland, too. Within the United States it will spawn the darkness endemic to all warssadism, hypermasculinity, blind obedience to authority, a belief in the efficacy of unrestrained violence, racism, hate crimes and the use of the organs of internal security and wholesale surveillance to crush all dissent and eradicate groups seen as opponents of authority. Those who orchestrate such crusades ultimately sacrifice themselves and their nations on the altars of the idols they worship. The conflict desired by Bannon and those around him could mean the extinction of the human race.
The paramilitary forces of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which will hire 10,000 more agents, and the Border Patrol, which will hire 5,000 more agents, along with the Homeland Security Investigations unit of the Department of Homeland Security, have deputized local and state police to function as their auxiliaries. These paramilitary forces will not disband once they have finished terrorizing and deporting some of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. They will turn on their next victimsMuslims, African-Americans, Asians and dissidents.
The paramilitaries relish their power to kick down doors while wearing body armor and pointing weapons at terrified women and children. They are not warriors, as they imagine, but goons. They have few actual skills. And they intend to remain steadily employed by the state. The for-profit prisons, reopened for business by Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, a man named not for one Confederate traitor but two, intend to remain full. The state will make America and the global community inhospitable for people of color and all those who attempt to stand with them.
Trump is stoking the darkest and most destructive strains of the American psyche. Congress, controlled by the Republicans, is unlikely to use impeachment powers to stop him. The courts are spineless subsidiaries of the corporate and security and surveillance state. The elites will not save us. If we fail to build mass protest movements, ones that cripple the ability to govern, we will be enslaved.
Sebastian Haffner (1907-1999) in his book "Defying Hitler" describes being a law clerk at the Prussian Supreme Court. The courthouse was raided in March 1933 by Nazi thugs. They grabbed the Jewish judges and lawyers and hauled them outside; never would the jurists return to their posts. A Jewish attorney, a former army captain who had been wounded five times and lost an eye fighting in World War I, resisted. He was beaten. "It had probably been his misfortune that he still remembered the tone to use with mutineers," Haffner wrote.
"I put my head down over my work," Haffner went on. "I read a few sentences mechanically: The defendant's claim that … is untrue, but irrelevant. …' Just take no notice!"
A brown shirt approached him and asked: "Are you Aryan?
Haffner shot back, "Yes."
"A moment too late I felt the shame, the defeat," he wrote. "I had said Yes! Well, in God's name, I was indeed an Aryan.' I had not lied, I had allowed something much worse to happen. What a humiliation, to have answered the unjustified question as to whether I was Aryan' so easily, even if the fact was of no importance to me! What a disgrace to buy, with a reply, the right to stay with my documents in peace! I had been caught unawares, even now. I had failed my very first test."
Haffner left the Kammergericht, Prussia's highest state court, and stood outside.
"There was nothing to show that, as an institution, it has just collapsed," he wrote. "There was also nothing about my appearance to show that I had just suffered a terrible reverse, a defeat that would be almost impossible to make good. A well-dressed young man walked down Potsdamer Street. There was nothing untoward about the scene. Business as usual, but in the air the approaching thunder of events to come."

Peter Lemkin Wrote:The Return of American Race Laws

Posted on Feb 26, 2017

By Chris Hedges
[Image: Capture_the_Flag_590.jpg]
Mr. Fish / Truthdig
The warmup act for a full-blown American fascism and orchestrated race war is taking place in immigrant and marginal communities across the United States: Racial profiling. Random police stops. Raids at homes and businesses. People of color pulled from vehicles at checkpoints. Seizures of individuals with no criminal records or who never committed a serious crime. Imprisonment without trial. Expedited deportation hearings and removalp roceedings that violate human rights. The arrest of a beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Daniel Ramirez Medina, 23, who along with the program's other 750,000 successful applicants had revealed all personal history to the government in applying for DACA status. Parents separated, perhaps forever, from their children. The hunted going underground. The end of the rule of law. The abandonment of the common good. The obliteration of a social state in which institutions and assistance programsfrom public education to Social Security and welfaremake justice, equality and dignity possible.

But it's okay because the Clintons peddled access.:Blink:
Last summer I was ridiculed for a "lurid dystopian" vision of a Trump presidency...just say'n...::vomit::
Peter Lemkin Wrote:The Return of American Race Laws

Racial profiling. Random police stops. Raids at homes and businesses. People of color pulled from vehicles at checkpoints. Seizures of individuals with no criminal records or who never committed a serious crime. Imprisonment without trial.

Is this really new though? All of this has been happening for decades. A culture of racism and a selection of police recruited from the lumpen proletariat of long standing. All the legislation and apparatus for a police state was kindly provided by the Nobel Peace Prize winner and the previous occupant. Due to the commitment to neo liberal economic policy now the middle classes can experience what poor people have long been subject to. There is a solution to this but it is not the Democrats who brought us here in the first place. Just like their respective sister parties did in Chile and Weimar Germany.
In 1971 61% of the American populace was middle class.

Today it's 48%.

From 1969 to 2009 the White House was occupied by a Republican for 28 years -- and 12 years of centerist Dems -- all of whom pitched in to destroy the economy in the Great Recession.

I'm curious why the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is routinely blamed for the systemic inequalities in American society.

Trump proposes to raise my federal income taxes 20% and cut my access to health care completely.

Status quo? No...