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Legal challenge to Arpaio pardon begins
By Jennifer Rubin August 30 at 9:35 AM

After President Trump’s pardon of ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted of criminal contempt for violating a court order designed to stop the violation of the constitutional rights of suspected illegal immigrants, conventional wisdom — and certainly the Trump administration — would have us believe that Trump’s pardon powers are unlimited. However, never before has someone stretched the pardon power so beyond its original intent. Trump has now drawn scrutiny not simply from critics of his racist rhetoric but from the court itself.

The Arizona Republic reports:

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton canceled former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s upcoming sentencing hearing for his criminal contempt-of-court conviction, telling attorneys not to file replies to motions that were pending before his recent presidential pardon.

However, Bolton on Tuesday stopped short of throwing out the conviction based solely on Arpaio’s request. Instead she ordered Arpaio and the U.S. Department of Justice, which is prosecuting the case, to file briefs on why she should or shouldn’t grant Arpaio’s request.

In other words, this is no slam dunk.

Meanwhile, Protect Democracy, an activist group seeking to thwart Trump’s violations of legal norms, and a group of lawyers have sent a letter to Raymond N. Hulser and John Dixon Keller of the Public Integrity Section, Criminal Division of the Justice Department, arguing that the pardon goes beyond constitutional limits. In their letter obtained by Right Turn, they argue:

While the Constitution’s pardon power is broad, it is not unlimited. Like all provisions of the original Constitution of 1787, it is limited by later-enacted amendments, starting with the Bill of Rights. For example, were a president to announce that he planned to pardon all white defendants convicted of a certain crime but not all black defendants, that would conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

Similarly, issuance of a pardon that violates the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause is also suspect. Under the Due Process Clause, no one in the United States (citizen or otherwise) may “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” But for due process and judicial review to function, courts must be able to restrain government officials. Due process requires that, when a government official is found by a court to be violating individuals’ constitutional rights, the court can issue effective relief (such as an injunction) ordering the official to cease this unconstitutional conduct. And for an injunction to be effective, there must be a penalty for violation of the injunction—principally, contempt of court.

Put simply, the argument is that the president cannot obviate the court’s powers to enforce its orders when the constitutional rights of others are at stake. “The president can’t use the pardon power to immunize lawless officials from consequences for violating people’s constitutional rights,” says one of the lawyers who authored the letter, Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech for People. Clearly, there is a larger concern here that goes beyond Arpaio. “After repeatedly belittling and undermining judges verbally and on Twitter, now President Trump is escalating his attack on the courts into concrete actions,” says Ian Bassin, executive director of Protect Democracy. “His pardon and celebration of Joe Arpaio for ignoring a judicial order is a threat to our democracy and every citizen’s rights, and should not be allowed to stand.”

Those challenging the pardon understand there is no precedent for this — but neither is there a precedent for a pardon of this type. “While many pardons are controversial politically, we are unaware of any past example of a pardon to a public official for criminal contempt of court for violating a court order to stop a systemic practice of violating individuals’ constitutional rights,” Fein says. He posits the example of criminal contempt in the context of desegregation. “In 1962, after the governor and lieutenant governor of Mississippi disobeyed a court order to allow James Meredith to attend the University of Mississippi, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ordered the Department of Justice to bring criminal contempt charges, which it then did,” Fein recalls. “Eventually, while the criminal contempt case was pending, the Mississippi officials relented and allowed Meredith (and others) to attend the university. But if the president had pardoned the Mississippi officials from the criminal contempt, it would have sent a clear message to other segregationist officials that court orders could be ignored.”

In other words, if the president can pardon anyone who defies court orders to enforce constitutional protections, then those constitutional protections are rendered meaningless. It is a creative argument, but then, this president has created new and disturbing challenges to democratic norms.

Lurking in the background is the potential for Trump to pardon associates involved in the probe of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials and the possible obstruction of justice that followed. The Arpaio pardon may well have been an attempt to signal to those officials and ex-officials that they can resist inquiries with the assurance that Trump will pardon them. (Recall Trump’s unprecedented remarks that Michael Flynn should hold out for a grant of immunity.) Using the pardon power to obstruct an investigation into his own possible wrongdoing would signal a constitutional crisis. “It is possible that such an act would be of such corrupt intent and so contrary to our constitutional system that Congress would use it as a grounds to impeach, and/or that the special counsel would see it as a grounds to indict for violations of federal criminal statutes related to obstruction of justice,” Fein explains. Indeed, Congress can decide the president’s conduct is impeachable even in the absence of a finding of criminal wrongdoing. Fein warns, “As for the validity of these pardons, because Trump pardoning associates to shield them and him from scrutiny by the special counsel would be such a corrupt and untested act, his associates would be wise not to rely on such a pardon providing them full protection as, in the end, it might not.”

Other legal experts agree with this line of reasoning. Philip Allen Lacovara, a former U.S. deputy solicitor general in the Justice Department, who served as counsel to Watergate special prosecutors, argues in The Post today:

As with any other presidential power, the power to pardon is constrained by the ordinary requirements of federal law applicable to all public officials. For example, if representatives of a pardon-seeker arrived in the Oval Office with a bundle of cash that the president accepted in return for a pardon, there is little doubt that the president would be guilty of the crime of bribery. . . . If Trump were to pardon any of the figures in the current Russia investigation, his action would certainly impede or obstruct the due administration of justice, as the courts have broadly construed that standard.

It would not be difficult to imagine Mueller making the case that the motive behind such interference was “corrupt.” As the Founding Fathers made plain, the purpose behind the pardon power is to extend mercy to those who have offended and have demonstrated remorse. Using the pardon power to protect the president’s own interests against embarrassment or exposure is not legitimate. Rather, a crassly self-interested exercise of presidential power to impede the due administration of justice is the very antithesis of the president’s most solemn oath — “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

And this brings us back to Judge Bolton. Bassin notes, “Judge Bolton may want to see how the honorable lawyers of DOJ’s public integrity section respond personally in open court — themselves as officers of the bar who’ve taken an oath to uphold the Constitution — to the blatant abuse of power by their boss.” He adds, “After all, these are people who’ve dedicated their lives and careers to ensuring our public officials act with integrity and Joe Arpaio and now the President of the United States have spit in the face of that.” Bolton’s hearing will venture into uncharted territory, a voyage necessitated by Trump’s utter disregard for the rule of law and his constitutional obligations to enforce the Constitution and laws of the United States.


Jul. 14th, 2017 05:37 pm
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So the topic of chyrons streaming over Donald Trump Jr. meeting with a Russian lawyer led to:

/ˈkīrän/ noun

an electronically generated caption superimposed on a television or movie screen.

a text-based graphic overlay displayed at the bottom of a television screen or film frame, as closed captioning or the crawl of a newscast.

Origin of chyron
after Chyron Corporation, the manufacturer of a broadcast graphics generator

I'd just heard it referred to as word streaming. huh. Interesting
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Feculent - Relating to feces, specifically something smelling like feces or sharing common traits with feces.

Feculence - Full of foul or impure matter; fecal.

Diplo- Double

What a fun way, descriptive and avoiding censorship, of current Presidential political speech.

*laughing* but better than I thought because my first thought was that diplo had to do with something done with the tongue, lingus, which was prurient.

Aaaaaaand now in the middle of the show that carried this word ALL of my cable channels are no longer working.
If I were paranoid....

word definition - on a mug
One side has the word, one side has the definition. Microwave and dishwasher safe. Lotsa space for your liquids.

*laughing* My coffee is better than that.
Just in case I want to buy this....
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I asked a friend who happens to be a lawyer:

What happens to a President who is impeached? They resign maybe and then are pardoned? Then what?

1. A sitting president, Trump, cannot be criminally prosecuted in federal or state court for any criminal conduct engaged in while in office. Example: obstruction of justice and acceptance of foreign emoluments since his inauguration.

2. The appropriate steps to pursue such criminal conduct includes impeachment. If Trump is impeached and removed from office, his constitutional successor, Pence, would have the option of pardoning Trump like Ford did with Nixon. If Pence decides not to pardon Trump, Trump could be prosecuted in federal or state court for criminal conduct occurring after his inauguration.

3. It is an open, unresolved legal question whether Trump can be criminally prosecuted at present for money laundering, collusion, and other criminal conduct predating his inauguration. A court might stay such criminal prosecutions until Trump is no longer in office so he can perform his official duties (other than golf and tweeting). There is only one Supreme Court case on the issue. In Jones v. Clinton, Paula Jones sued Clinton for sexual harassment and other conduct which occurred prior to his inauguration. The court ruled that Clinton was not immune from civil liability; and, it was up to a trial court's discretion whether to stay that civil case until Clinton left office. Clinton ultimately settled the case for $850,000.

4. Several media sources have reported that the US Attorneys in the Southern District of NY and the Eastern District of VA have convened criminal grand juries and are prepared to indict Trump, Manafort, Flynn and others. The NY Attorney General is also exploring state racketeering and other criminal charges based upon money laundering, etc. Time will tell how those federal and state criminal charges will be handled.

5. My personal belief is that Trump will not resign unless criminal indictments are brought against his adult children and Jared Kushner.

6. Good web sites to review:

Palmer Report
Mother Jones
Politicus USA
The Hill
Buzz News
Raw Story
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“I bet it’s brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre,”
Kellyanne Conway

Yes,she really did say this.


We all still carry the vivid memories of what horrors occurred at Bowling Green, but some still relive those moments everyday as they work to rebuild a community torn apart.

Join us in directly supporting the victims and families directly affected by the Bowling Green Massacre by donating to the Bowling Green Massacre Victims Fund.
Make a Donation →


As we join together with our thoughts and prayers, we will always remember how our fortitude and compassion unite us all through these difficult times.

Fact-checking Kellyanne Conway on the 'Bowling Green massacre'

By Steve Contorno, Louis Jacobson on Friday, February 3rd, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.
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A new bill would protect drivers who 'unintentionally' hit Dakota Access protesters with their cars
Sonam Sheth

Jan. 26, 2017, 2:04 PM

A bill introduced in the North Dakota legislature in early January would protect negligent drivers from legal consequences if they were to hit protesters with their cars if those protesters were blocking a road or highway.

House Bill 1203, which began receiving committee hearings last week, was written as a direct response to protests at the Standing Rock reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, against the Dakota Access pipeline, Rep. Keith Kempenich, the bill's lead sponsor, told The Star Tribune.

"If you stay off the roadway, this would never be an issue," Kempenich said. "Those motorists are going about the lawful, legal exercise of their right to drive down the road. ... Those people didn't ask to be in this."

Kempenich has said the point of the bill is about shifting responsibility to people who have "made a conscious decision to put themselves in harm's way." He said however that the legislation would not protect those who intentionally hit pedestrians on the roadway, and it would not protect drivers who hit jaywalkers or children who wander off the sidewalk and onto the road.

The bill's text highlights no such exemptions, according to James Grijalva, a professor at the University of North Dakota School of Law and Director of the Northern Plains Indian Law Center.

"The language of this bill doesn't specify that it relates to protesters. It could, in theory, even apply to someone whose car breaks down on the side of the road, or a child who chases a ball onto the street," Grijalva told Business Insider.

"What it's basically saying is that if you're a careless driver who causes death or injury to someone who happens to be — intentionally or unintentionally — in the roadway, then you have not committed a crime and you are not civilly liable to the family of the person you hit," he said.

The bill's text, in effect, creates a specific exception to North Dakota's code of criminal law relating to negligent homicide, which is classified as a felony in the state.

"There's an important distinction in criminal law between intentional and unintentional crimes," Grijalva said. "If you didn't intend to kill someone but were driving so carelessly that it resulted in someone's injury or death, that could be considered gross manslaughter under the criminal code. But this bill makes that something you're not criminally liable for."

The bill has sparked outrage from Dakota Access protesters.

Wes Clark Jr., a military veteran and environmental activist who spearheaded the deployment of at least 2,000 veterans to Standing Rock at the height of the protests last year, likened the bill to "legalizing murder."

Clark said he assumed "any lawyer with a conscience" would challenge it in court if the bill were signed into law.

"This bill is an endorsement of violence against peaceful protesters. It is totally against the spirit of this country, and against everything that is good and just," wrote the organizers of a petition on Care2 launched in response to the bill.

Tara Houska, an activist, similarly expressed shock at the bill, telling NBC News that it "allows for people to literally be killed for exercising their right to protest in a public space."

"These [bills] are meant to criminalize the protests with no real concern for constitutional law," Houska added.

Whether HB 1203 will become law remains to be seen.

"This bill does not seem like a reasonable response to the Dakota Access protests," Grijalva said. "I would hope that it's not signed into law, because it broadly sanctions careless driving that results in injury and death to pedestrians who, by definition, are unprotected."

Clark and other activists are gearing up for a fight on the heels of executive orders signed by President Donald Trump on Tuesday aimed at advancing the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines.

"Climate change is happening," Clark told Business Insider on Tuesday, adding that Trump wants to harm "the entire human race so a few billionaires can have a few more dollars."

Activists have promised grassroots opposition to Trump's executive actions.

"We intend to stay on those campuses and continue to work with community groups to make sure that the American people are aware of what's happening," Tom Steyer, a billionaire environmental activist and top Democratic donor, told Business Insider. He also promised to continue to financially support the millennial groups working to curb the effects of climate change through his organization, NextGen Climate.

HB 1203 isn't the only bill introduced in the North Dakota legislature in response to the pipeline protests. One proposed bill would make it a crime for adults to wear masks, and another would allow the state to sue the federal government over policing costs related to pipeline protests.
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Individual property ownership rights are engraved into the bedrock of this country. So is the government’s power of eminent domain (the taking of private property for a greater public purpose). It was invoked more than a century ago, when the transcontinental railroad first connected this country. Since that time, many farmers have lost the use of their land to four-lane highways, regional airports, and public utilities.

It’s for the public good. Nothing can be done. It’s progress, they’ve been told. Despite the gut-wrenching impact on some farm families, eminent domain has remained an abstract topic for most.

Today, a brand-new world of eminent domain is looming on the horizon, and farmers would be well advised to take note. For-profit private companies increasingly are gaining the use of this governmental power to take property over a landowner’s objections (after paying fair market value). Many of these power plays pit agricultural assets against energy infrastructure, cutting across a broad swath of land in multiple states.

Farm-to-market routes

The most prominent case is the Keystone XL oil pipeline, first proposed in 2008. It would move Canadian tar sands oil from Calgary to the Gulf Coast, crossing six states. The project was rerouted in 2011 because of its environmental risk to the Ogallala Aquifer. Many voluntary easements have been obtained. Yet, the question of eminent domain rose to the Nebraska Supreme Court in 2015 when landowners contested the governor’s authority to approve the route. The southern portion of the pipeline, from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast, is almost complete.

As Keystone’s northern route awaits a State Department review, domestically produced crude oil pipelines also are overflowing with controversy. Dakota Access LLC, a division of the Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, plans to build one that is 1,134 miles long – from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa, to a transfer point in Illinois near St. Louis. From there, oil would move by railcar or by pipeline to the Gulf.

Other energy projects are blowing in the wind. A company called Clean Line Energy Partners in Houston, Texas, has proposed six wind transmission projects. The Rock Island Clean Line (RICL) runs 500 miles across Iowa to Morris, Illinois, affecting 2,000 landowners (

Another line, the Grain Belt Express, also would erect towers from Kansas, through Illinois, and into Indiana.

(These are transmission lines. Eminent domain is unlikely to be used for turbines.)

Fringe benefits

Although the power of eminent domain isn’t new, these infrastructure projects raise some new questions. What is the definition of public use? Should a private company be granted franchise status (with eminent domain powers) if a majority of landowners reject voluntary easements? What is just compensation: fair market or commercial value?

Grassroots opposition groups have formed. Critics point out that, unlike interstates, state highways, or public utilities, the public use of these privately owned pipelines and wind transmission lines is destined for distant population centers.

“The benefits to property owners or citizens are tenuous at best,” says Algona, Iowa, attorney, Mike Gabor. “Economic benefits would be generated by construction jobs, property taxes, and a limited number of permanent jobs, but for the majority who live along the lines, use of the energy won’t be an option.”

Landowners argue that eminent domain was designed as a last-resort tool when one person or a small group of property owners is in the position to stop a project and thwart the will of the majority; it’s illegitimate if a majority refuses to accept a deal.

For-profit private companies must petition state utility boards for the power to use eminent domain. In Iowa, the RICL must have its franchise status approved by the three-member, nonelected Iowa Utilities Board (IUB). Now, 19 months into its acquisition effort, it’s obtained fewer than 15% voluntary easements on 1,540 parcels across the 16 Iowa counties along the route, says Carolyn Sheridan, president of Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance, a nonprofit group that’s hired an attorney to represent all landowners with the IUB on the proposed pipeline (

She says the group supports wind energy but objects to the use of eminent domain. “RICL originally proposed following the railroad rights-of-way, but now it plans to create a new easement through prime farmland,” she says. It will erect four to six 115- to 150-foot-tall towers per mile. Other groups are opposing Clean Line Energy projects in Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

The Dakota Access LLC pipeline would cross 18 Iowa counties, creating 15 permanent jobs there. Objections include concerns over accidental leaks, damage to farmland and crops, reduction of property values, and interference with tile lines. The pipe would be buried beneath eight rivers and a handful of streams in Iowa alone.

Landowners also raise questions about fair payments. The easements are permanent. Yet, the compensation is a one-time, lump-sum payment. What about damages, lost profits, or property values?

“If the RICL is approved, it will be the largest taking of private property in Iowa,” Sheridan says.

By April 2015, 1,296 formal objections had been filed with the IUB. The hearing dates are likely to be mid- to late summer.

Multifaceted approach

The definition of public use varies from state to state. The stakes of eminent domain were raised in 2005, when a Supreme Court decision (Kelo v. City of New London) supported a broader definition of public use, including private economic development. In response to the RICL and Dakota Access projects, Iowa legislators are proposing a law to clarify eminent domain.

Few farmers would dispute the need to transport domestic oil and wind energy from where it’s produced to populated markets. No oil company, however, has come forward yet with plans for a pipeline to transport ethanol. Rail transport accidents involving the highly flammable Bakken oil also pose safety questions.

The Center for Rural Affairs has a report addressing eminent domain and use of fair market value at 052014.pdf.

Your farm may not be affected by these energy projects. Yet, domestic energy production is positioned on a fast track, and more landowners will be in its path. Today’s decisions are likely to set a precedent

If you’re asked to sign an easement or to negotiate terms, here are five steps you will want to take.

1. Contact your attorney to review any agreement.

2. Study damage, negligence, and abandonment clauses.

3. Determine exact size of easement area.

4. Learn if you would have more protection or compensation if you wait for condemnation.

5. File objections with utility board; ask for a survey permit.
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Gaslighting: Know It and Identify It to Protect Yourself
Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic used to gain power. And it works too well.

Posted Jan 22, 2017

Gaslighting is a tactic of behavior in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. It works a lot better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting. It is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn't realize how much they've been brainwashed. In the movie Gaslight (1944), a man manipulates his wife to the point where she thinks she is losing her mind.

People that gaslight use the following techniques:

1. They tell you blatant lies.

You know it's an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they're setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you're not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal.

2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.

You know they said they would do know you heard it. But they out and out deny it. It makes you start questioning your reality - maybe they never said that thing. And the more they do this, the more you question your reality and start accepting theirs.

3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.

They know how important your kids are to you, they know how important your identity is to you. So that is one of the first things they attack. If you have kids, they tell you that you did a disservice by having those children. They will tell you that if only you weren't _____________, you'd be a worthy person. They attack the foundation of your being.

4. They wear you down over time.

This is one of the insidious things about gaslighting - it is done gradually, over time. A lie here, a lie there, a snide comment every so often...and then it starts ramping up. Even the brightest, most self-aware people can be sucked into gaslighting - it is that effective. It's the "frog in the frying pan" analogy - the heat is turned up slowly, so the frog never realizes what hit it.

5. Their actions do not match their words.

When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are saying. What they are saying means nothing. It is just talk. What they are doing is the issue.

6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.

This person or entity that is cutting you down, telling you that you don't have value - is now praising you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of uneasiness. You think, "Well maybe they aren't so bad." Yes, they are. This is a calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter - and again, question your reality. Also look at what you were praised for - it is probably something that served the gaslighter.

7. They know confusion weakens people.

Gaslighters know that all people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans' natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable - and that happens to be the gaslighter.

8. They project.

They are a drug user or a cheater - yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so repetitively that you start trying to defend yourself - and are distracted from the gaslighter's own behavior.

9. They try to align people against you.

Gaslighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what - and they use these people against you. They will make comments such as "____________ knows that you're not right", or "___________ knows you're useless too". Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. The gaslighter is a constant liar. When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don't know who to trust or turn to - and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that's exactly what the want. Isolation gives them more control.

10. They tell you or others that you are crazy.

This is one of the most effective tools of the gaslighter - because it's dismissive. The gaslighter knows if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them the gaslighter is abusive or out-of-control. It's a master technique.

11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.

By telling you that everyone else (your family, the media) is a liar, it again makes you question your reality. You've never known someone with the audacity to do this, so they must be right, right? No. It's a manipulation technique. It makes people turn more to the gaslighter for the "correct" information - which isn't correct information at all.

The more you are aware of these techniques, the quicker you can identify them before you fall into the gaslighter's trap.
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For those not fluent in U.S. politics, there are Federal Senators who are elected to represent their state in the Federal Senate in Washington D.C. and there are 'state' senators who are elected to represent their constituents in their State Senate at the state capital.

Lawmaker Quits After Mocking Looks Of Women At Women’s March

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — An outspoken Nebraska state legislator who was fined for having cybersex using a state computer resigned Wednesday after causing further outrage by sending a tweet that implied participants at a women’s march were too unattractive to be victims of sexual assault.

Republican Sen. Bill Kintner announced at a news conference in the state Capitol that he would step down from the seat he has held since 2012. He made the announcement less than an hour before Nebraska lawmakers were scheduled to debate whether to expel him — the first time the state Legislature would have taken such an action in recent history.

‘1984’ Sales Soar After Trump Team Claims, ‘Alternative Facts’

NEW YORK (AP) – After incorrect or unprovable statements made by Republican President Donald Trump and some White House aides, one truth is undeniable: Sales of George Orwell’s “1984” are soaring.

First published in 1949, Orwell’s classic dystopian tale of a society in which facts are distorted and suppressed in a cloud of “newspeak” topped the best-seller list of as of Tuesday evening. The sales bump comes after the Trump administration’s assertions his inauguration had record attendance and his unfounded allegation that millions of illegal votes were cast against him last fall.

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway coined an instant catchphrase Sunday when she called his claims about crowd size “alternative facts,” bringing comparisons on social media to “1984.”

Orwell’s book isn’t the only cautionary tale on the Amazon list. Sinclair Lewis’ 1935 novel about the election of an authoritarian president, “It Can’t Happen Here,” was at No. 46. Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” was at No. 71.

Sales also were up for Hannah Arendt’s seminal nonfiction analysis “The Origins of Totalitarianism.”
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If You Live In One Of These 8 States, Your Driver’s License Won’t Be Valid For Air Travel Next Year
Residents of these states will need to use an alternate form of ID when flying.

There are links inside this site to follow for more information.

As if traveling wasn’t already complicated enough, next year residents of eight states will no longer be able to use their state-issued ID for domestic air travel.

If you’re a resident of Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina or Washington, your driver’s license will no longer be valid to pass TSA-checkpoints, and you will instead have to use an alternate form of ID. This means you’ll have to bring a passport, military ID or permanent resident card next time you go to the airport, even if you’re just traveling within the United States.

This new rule won’t go into effect until January 22, 2018, which gives you plenty of time to finally renew that passport. The TSA has already begun putting up signage alerting travelers of the upcoming change in requirements.

So why exactly are these states the only ones being affected? It’s because these states don’t meet the federal government’s minimum security standards, which requires verifying every ID applicant’s identity, putting anti-counterfeit technology into the production of the card and conducting background checks on the people issuing the driver’s licenses.

The REAL ID Act of 2005 prohibits federal agencies from “accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards,” which makes these particular state IDs invalid for travel.

Currently, 25 states plus Washington D.C. are in compliance with the rules. The remaining states have been given extensions to meet the standards.

Read more... )
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Thank you [ profile] beren_writes for the link.

Josh Barro FaceBook ‏@jbarro

If you're upset about Trump's cabinet picks (once he makes them) call your senators and urge them not to confirm. That's where the action is
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Frodo: ... I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil...And that is an encouraging thought.
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One of our teachers is a Croat. She's seen this happen twice before in other countries. She came here for a reason and is not taking this well.
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This is the first time they've allowed early voting here on a Sunday, in my memory.

In September 1776, the vulnerable Continental Army under an unsure George Washington (who had never commanded a large force in battle) evacuates New York after a devastating defeat by the British Army. Three weeks later, near the Canadian border, one of his favorite generals, Benedict Arnold, miraculously succeeds in postponing the British naval advance down Lake Champlain that might have ended the war. Four years later, as the book ends, Washington has vanquished his demons and Arnold has fled to the enemy after a foiled attempt to surrender the American fortress at West Point to the British. After four years of war, America is forced to realize that the real threat to its liberties might not come from without but from within.
Valiant Ambition is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation. The focus is on loyalty and personal integrity, evoking a Shakespearean tragedy that unfolds in the key relationship of Washington and Arnold, who is an impulsive but sympathetic hero whose misfortunes at the hands of self-serving politicians fatally destroy his faith in the legitimacy of the rebellion. As a country wary of tyrants suddenly must figure out how it should be led, Washington’s unmatched ability to rise above the petty politics of his time enables him to win the war that really matters.

On November 25, 1783, the last British troops pulled out of New York City, bringing the American Revolution to an end. Patriots celebrated their departure and the confirmation of U.S. independence. But for tens of thousands of American loyalists, the British evacuation spelled worry, not jubilation. What would happen to them in the new United States? Would they and their families be safe? Facing grave doubts about their futures, some sixty thousand loyalists—one in forty members of the American population—decided to leave their homes and become refugees elsewhere in the British Empire. They sailed for Britain, for Canada, for Jamaica, and for the Bahamas; some ventured as far as Sierra Leone and India. Wherever they went, the voyage out of America was a fresh beginning, and it carried them into a dynamic if uncertain new world.

A groundbreaking history of the revolutionary era, Liberty’s Exiles tells the story of this remarkable global diaspora. Through painstaking archival research and vivid storytelling, award-winning historian Maya Jasanoff re-creates the journeys of ordinary individuals whose lives were overturned by extraordinary events. She tells of refugees like Elizabeth Johnston, a young mother from Georgia, who spent nearly thirty years as a migrant, searching for a home in Britain, Jamaica, and Canada. And of David George, a black preacher born into slavery, who found freedom and faith in the British Empire, and eventually led his followers to seek a new Jerusalem in Sierra Leone. Mohawk leader Joseph Brant resettled his people under British protection in Ontario, while the adventurer William Augustus Bowles tried to shape a loyalist Creek state in Florida. For all these people and more, it was the British Empire—not the United States—that held the promise of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Yet as they dispersed across the empire, the loyalists also carried things from their former homes, revealing an enduring American influence on the wider British world.

Ambitious, original, and personality-filled, Liberty’s Exiles is at once an intimate narrative history and a provocative new analysis—a book that explores an unknown dimension of America’s founding to illuminate the meanings of liberty itself.
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Attorney General Ken Paxton rebukes fort worth bathroom policy/

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Texas’ attorney general says Fort Worth schools may be violating state education law with new restroom guidelines for transgender students.

Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday became the latest high-ranking Republican to condemn Texas’ sixth-largest school district. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called for the resignation of Fort Worth Superintendent Kent Scribner, who says he’s staying put.

Scribner announced rules last month allowing transgender students access to single-stall restrooms. Alternatively, they’ll be allowed to use restrooms when other students aren’t around.

Scribner didn’t go through the school board, which Paxton suggests violates state law. He also questions whether the district can withhold information from parents about a transgender student.

The pushback from Texas Republicans comes as the U.S. Justice Department sues over a North Carolina law restricting transgender bathroom access.

Dan Patrick coming to Fort Worth to protest ISD’s trans guidelines

Fairness Fort Worth was already asking for LGBT people and their allies turn for the Fort Worth ISD board meeting tonight (Tuesday, May 10) to show support for guidelines on how the district’s personnel and students are expected to interact with transgender students, faculty and staff, including guidelines on public bathroom use.

Now Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — who issued a statement yesterday calling for FWISD Superintendent Kent Scribner to resign for putting his personal political agenda ahead of the well-being of the district’s students — has announced he is coming to Fort Worth tonight to hold a press conference outside the school district’s administration building to, well, to say why his personal political agenda should be put ahead of the well-being of FWISD students. You know, this school district that Patrick has no children in, in a city where Patrick does not live.

There have been rumors that Glenn Beck, the right-wing radio host who also does not live in Fort Worth and does not have children in the district, will attend tonight’s meeting as well.

The guidelines, which have been under construction for about a year, are not new policy, but simply a more detailed explanation of existing policy. (inset- before Scribner was hired for the position) As such, they needed only Superintendent Kent Scribner’s signature to go into effect, rather than approval by the FWISD’s board.

Despite the uproar and Patrick’s call for Scribner to resign, FWISD School Board President Jacinto “Cinto” Ramos Jr. issued a statement Monday declaring the board’s support for Scribner:

“Mi querida gente. Rest assured, the safety of ALL children is our highest priority on the Board. We are completely capable of handling this in Fort Worth. We are applying the existing policy to make sure ALL children feel safe at school. We are here to look out for ALL children; not some, not most, but ALL children. ‪#‎AsiDerechito‬ con puro amor…no odio. ‪#‎WeGotThis‬.”

(Not sure about the translation, but I believe it says, basically, “We’re gonna do this right, with pure love, no hate.” The #WeGotThis is pretty obvious.)

Fairness Fort Worth President David Mack Henderson today re-issued the call for supporters to flood the board meeting tonight, and to wear red. But he also stressed the importance of supporters of Scribner and of the guidelines, behaving respectfully:

“If you are coming to the FWISD board meeting today we (LGBTQA community leaders) are asking people to please wear red, and we urge people to avoid letting agitators press our buttons. Some would like nothing more than to distract us. No thanks. Our kids come first. That includes those present tonight for athletic honors and also their teachers of the year who we rely upon. We want our message to be positive, clear and unequivocally grateful to Supt. Scribner and our trustees for true leadership. Our focus is to make sure ALL our students have equal and safe access to education with dignity. Please, help us keep our message clear and constructive and concise. Thank you all for making Cowtown proud!”
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Welcome to Canada! You threatened to leave America if Donald Trump was elected President—and, true to your word, here you are. We’re so happy to have you!

We’d like to extend an extra-special welcome to the ethnic, religious, and other groups that President Trump has deported from the United States: Muslims, Mexicans, black people, people who look like Muslims, “Jews, who are just Muslims with smaller hats,” Prius drivers, “that one Asian guy,” tweens, “Jessica Alba, because maybe she’s a Muslim. Who knows?,” all women, and books.Read more... )


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