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Can President Trump Uphold Scientific Integrity in Government Decisionmaking? New Report Tells What’s At Stake

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 15:17
Gretchen Goldman

Last week, the US Department of Energy released a revised scientific integrity policy in what was likely the last move by the Obama administration to promote scientific integrity in federal decision-making. But we cannot forget the many steps that preceded it.

Another Demand for Russian ‘Hacking’ Proof

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 10:51
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

MEMORANDUM FOR: President Barack Obama

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: A Key Issue That Still Needs to be Resolved

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take the oath of office Friday, a pall hangs over his upcoming presidency amid an unprecedentedly concerted campaign to delegitimize it. Unconfirmed accusations continue to swirl alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized “Russian hacking” that helped put Mr. Trump in the White House.

Nine Questions for Ryan Zinke, Donald Trump’s Pick to Lead the Interior Department

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 09:22
Adam Markham

Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke will begin Senate confirmation hearings today for the post of Secretary of Interior in Donald Trump’s cabinet. As Secretary, he would oversee America’s 500 million acres of public lands, including the National Park System. Zinke would also have responsibility for timber extraction, livestock grazing, coal mining and oil and gas leases on public lands and 1.7 billion acres of seabed on the outer continental shelf.

Booker and the Big Pharma Dems Have No Excuse. This Vote Proves It.

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 09:16
Richard Eskow

It’s devastating, and potentially lethal, when Americans can’t afford life-saving drugs because their elected representatives are in thrall to Big Pharma. It’s disappointing when Democrats offer implausible excuses for their votes, as Sen. Cory Booker and twelve other senators did last week.

And it’s downright outrageous when those same Democrats claim their votes were driven by drug safety concerns, since all twelve voted to lower drug safety standards when they supported the 21st Century Cures Act.

Milton Friedman, Betsy DeVos, and the Privatization of Public Education

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 08:52
Joanne Barkan

Milton Friedman, patron saint of the free market, died in 2006, but his ideas about public education live on in the thought and deeds of Betsy DeVos, likely the next U.S. Secretary of Education. The two are ideological soulmates—a fact that justifiably panics supporters of public education.

Escalation Watch: Four Looming Flashpoints Facing President Trump

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 08:38
Michael T. Klare

Within months of taking office, President Donald Trump is likely to face one or more major international crises, possibly entailing a risk of nuclear escalation. Not since the end of the Cold War has a new chief executive been confronted with as many potential flashpoints involving such a risk of explosive conflict. This proliferation of crises has been brewing for some time, but the situation appears especially ominous now given Trump’s pledge to bring American military force swiftly to bear on any threats of foreign transgression.

Dr. King, Labor Leader

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 14:28
Lee Saunders

The photograph is iconic. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., only 39 years old but the nation’s most prominent civil rights leader, lay fatally wounded on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. His lieutenants stood over his body, pointing frantically across the parking lot in the direction of the shooter.

Let’s Not Forget—Martin Luther King Jr. Was Preaching Economic Justice, Too

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 13:34
Wendi C. Thomas

“Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not only for celebration and remembrance, education and tribute, but above all a day of service,” wrote King’s widow, Coretta Scott King.

In Atlanta, where King pastored, volunteers will hand out energy-efficient light bulbs in low-income communities. In Chicago, where King lived briefly to draw attention to segregated housing, volunteers will package food for needy elderly residents and give coats to the homeless.

I’m an Abortion Provider in a Red State, and I Expect the Attacks on Reproductive Freedom to Intensify in Trump’s America

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 12:45
DeShawn Taylor

If we take President Donald Trump at his word, his administration will try to implement policies that will be a sustained assault on the constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly its most vulnerable. In the run-up to Inauguration Day, the ACLU is publishing first-person essays by authors from communities who will be affected by President Trump’s policies if he follows through on his promises.

Building the Institutions for Revolt

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 09:34
Chris Hedges

Politics is a game of fear. Those who do not have the ability to make power elites afraid do not succeed. All of the movements that opened up the democratic space in America—the abolitionists, the suffragists, the labor movement, the communists, the socialists, the anarchists and the civil rights movement—developed a critical mass and militancy that forced the centers of power to respond. The platitudes about justice, equality and democracy are just that. Only when power becomes worried about its survival does it react. Appealing to its better nature is useless. It doesn’t have one.

The GOP’s Strategy for Obamacare? Repeal and Run.

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 08:51
Elizabeth Warren

For eight years, Republicans in Congress have complained about health care in America, heaping most of the blame on President Obama. Meanwhile, they’ve hung out on the sidelines making doomsday predictions and cheering every stumble, but refusing to lift a finger to actually improve our health care system.

John Lewis Is a True American Profile in Courage

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 08:37
Bill Moyers

High from his gilded throne room in midtown Manhattan — like Zeus from Mt. Olympus — Donald Trump has been hurling tweeted spitballs at Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.

Trump’s Plan to Neuter the White House Press Corps, and Neuter Our Democracy

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 08:04
Robert Reich

Tyrants don’t allow open questioning, and they hate the free press. They want total control.

8 Men Now Own the Same as the Poorest Half of the World

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 06:52
Duncan Green

It’s Davos this week, which means it’s time for Oxfam’s latest global ‘killer fact’ on extreme inequality. Since our first calculation in 2014, these have helped get inequality onto the agenda of the global leaders assembled in Switzerland.

How American Life Continued to Deteriorate in 2016

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 06:44
Paul Buchheit

The reality of the disposable American has been building up in recent years, and new evidence keeps pouring in.

King CONG vs. Solartopia

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 06:39
Harvey Wasserman

As you ride the Amtrak along the Pacific coast between Los Angeles and San Diego, you pass the San Onofre nuclear power plant, home to three mammoth atomic reactors shut by citizen activism. 

Framed by gorgeous sandy beaches and some of the best surf in California, the dead nukes stand in silent tribute to the popular demand for renewable energy. They attest to one of history’s most powerful and persistent nonviolent movements.

Davos Man Is a Neanderthal Protectionist

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 11:35
Dean Baker

The NYT had an article on the annual meeting of the world's super-rich at Davos, Switzerland. It refers to Davos Man as "an economic elite who built unheard-of fortunes on the seemingly high-minded notions of free trade, low taxes and low regulation that they championed." While "Davos Man" may like to be described this way, it is not an accurate description.

Private Prisons Are Poised for a Comeback Under Trump. Here’s How to Reform Them.

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 11:09
Lauren-Brooke Eisen

Just a few months ago, things were looking very bleak for the private prison industry. In mid-August, the Justice Department’s inspector general issued a report finding that privately operated federal prisons are more dangerous than those managed by the federal Bureau of Prisons and need more oversight. Within a week, the Justice Department announced it would phase out private prisons to house federal inmates.

Obama Expands Surveillance Powers on His Way Out

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 07:42
Kate Tummarello

With mere days left before President-elect Donald Trump takes the White House, President Barack Obama’s administration just finalized rules to make it easier for the nation’s intelligence agencies to share unfiltered information about innocent people.

Trump Voters and I Have One Thing in Common: We’re Scared of Losing Medicaid

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 07:32
Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

I recently read about a county in Kentucky that is typical of the kinds of depressed white communities that have dominated the news since Trump’s election. Owsley County is 83 percent white, mostly rural, and rigidly conservative.