Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to introduce bill blocking Trump’s ‘fake national emergency’ | The Independent

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to introduce bill blocking Trump’s ‘fake national emergency’ | The Independent

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Joaquin Castro have announced new legislation they intend to introduce as part of an effort to block Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration over the US-Mexico border.

The Democratic politicians pointed to the National Emergencies Act that provides Congress the ability to “terminate the President’s emergency declaration”, according to Mr Castro.

In a tweet following the announcement, Ms Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive freshman representative from New York City, wrote: “@JoaquinCastrotx and I aren’t going to let the President declare a fake national emergency without a fight.”

via Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to introduce bill blocking Trump’s ‘fake national emergency’ | The Independent

National Emergency Declarations Are Routine. Trump’s Is Different : NPR

National Emergency Declarations Are Routine. Trump’s Is Different : NPR

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, presidents have declared national emergencies 60 times (including Trump) since the power was codified in 1976. Although the law — passed in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and Watergate — gave Congress the right to challenge an emergency declaration, most have been uncontroversial.

“There’s rarely been a problem,” Trump said. “They sign it. Nobody cares. I guess they weren’t very exciting.”

Trump’s declaration differs from many of those earlier emergencies. About three-quarters of the time, presidents use their emergency power to impose economic sanctions or limit trade with foreign parties. Then-President Jimmy Carter, for example, declared an emergency to limit business dealings with Iran. George H.W. Bush did the same with Iraq. And Barack Obama used emergency powers to limit transactions with Libya.

POLITICS
If Trump Declares An Emergency To Build The Wall, Congress Can Block Him
Other declarations have followed terrorist attacks or natural disasters. George W. Bush declared an emergency after the Sept. 11 attacks. And Obama used one to respond to the swine flu epidemic in 2009.

Critics say Trump’s declaration is categorically different, in that the president is using his power to fund a border wall far bigger and more expensive than Congress was willing to pay for.

“This is not 9/11. This is not the Iran hostage crisis of 1979,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a news conference on Friday after Trump’s remarks.

via National Emergency Declarations Are Routine. Trump’s Is Different : NPR

Wyoming Senator Lynn Hutchings Defends Death Penalty Because Jesus Was Executed | Michael Stone

Wyoming Senator Lynn Hutchings Defends Death Penalty Because Jesus Was Executed | Michael Stone

Deplorable ignorance: Wyoming Senator Lynn Hutchings defends the death penalty because Jesus was executed, and without the death penalty, “Jesus Christ would not have been able to die to absolve the sins of mankind.”

Earlier this week a bill abolishing the death penalty in Wyoming was defeated by the state Senate. The progressive bill passed in the state House, as well as a Senate legislative committee, but it was defeated on the Senate floor.

One of the bill’s opponents, GOP Senator Lynn Hutchings, “argued that without the death penalty, Jesus Christ would not have been able to die to absolve the sins of mankind, and therefore capital punishment should be maintained.”

via Patheos Wyoming Senator Lynn Hutchings Defends Death Penalty Because Jesus Was Executed | Michael Stone

What would Jesus say? Didn’t he forgive a murderer hanging right next to him and heal the ear of the soldier who came to arrest him? Didn’t he say follow all Commandments like “THOU SHALT NOT KILL”? Didn’t he say all Christians should forgive their enemies, no matter what they did?

 

Britain Sent Thousands of Its Convicts to America, Not Just Australia

Britain Sent Thousands of Its Convicts to America, Not Just Australia

The joke about Australia is that it was founded by a bunch of criminals. And from 1788 until 1868, Britain did send roughly 164,000 convicts to the land down under. America’s dirty little secret? The same exact thing was happening here. In fact, experts estimate that over 52,000 British prisoners were shipped off to colonial America.

Britain had been shipping convicts to America for decades before they started sending them to Australia. In fact, it was precisely because of America’s fight for independence that the Brits had to start sending their criminals to Australia. But from 1718 until 1775, convict transportation to the American colonies flourished. Some estimates claim that almost 10 percent of migrants to America during this time were British convicts.

Typically, getting banished to America was for a term of either seven or fourteen years, after which the convict could theoretically come back the Britain. Escaping home early, however, was punishable by death. And it wasn’t just men. Some female convicts were transported to the American colonies as well, for crimes such as being “lewd” and “walk[ing] the streets after ten at night.”

via Gizmodo Britain Sent Thousands of Its Convicts to America, Not Just Australia

NPR misleads public in report on AIPAC vs Ilhan Omar

NPR misleads public in report on AIPAC vs Ilhan Omar

A recent NPR report, “Unpacking What The American Israel Public Affairs Committee Does,” misleads listeners on several points.

Ilhan Omar (D-MN)
The report is in response to freshman Democratic Congress member Ilhan Omar’s tweet that AIPAC is the cause of U.S. politicians’ support for Israel over U.S. needs and principles. Omar has come under numerous attacks ever since.

NPR’s report, broadcast Wednesday, substantially downplays the power of AIPAC. In doing so, it suggests that Omar’s comments were “antisemitic,” while failing to interview anyone with different views.

The report was on NPR’s All Things Considered, which says it is “the most listened-to, afternoon drive-time, news radio program in the country.”

NPR’s only commentators are Israel partisans
The report largely features comments from two members of the Israel lobby: Josh Block, former AIPAC spokesman and current CEO of the Israel Project, and Ben Shnider, National Political Director for JStreetPAC, which calls itself “the largest pro-Israel PAC in the country.”

No one else is interviewed.

via IsraelPalestinenews NPR misleads public in report on AIPAC vs Ilhan Omar

How the Iroquois Great Law of Peace Shaped U.S. Democracy | Native America

How the Iroquois Great Law of Peace Shaped U.S. Democracy | Native America

The Iroquois Confederacy originally consisted of five separate nations – the Mohawks, who call themselves Kanienkehaka, or “people of the flint country,” the Onondaga, “people of the hills,” the Cayuga, “where they land the boats,” the Oneida, “people of the standing stone,” and the Seneca, “thepeople of the big hill” living in the northeast region of North America. The Tuscarora nation, “people of the shirt,” migrated into Iroquois country in 1722.

“The Great Peacemaker4 brought peace to the five nations,” explains Oren Lyons in a 1991 interview with Bill Moyers. Lyons is the faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Seneca Nations, and a member of both the Onondaga and Seneca nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.

At that time, the nations of the Iroquois had been enmeshed in continuous inter-tribal conflicts. The cost of war was high and had weakened their societies. The Great Peacemaker and the wise Hiawatha, chief of the Onondaga tribe, contemplated how best to bring peace between the nations. They traveled to each of the five nations to share their ideas for peace.

A council meeting was called, and Hiawatha presented the Great Law of Peace. It united the five nations into a League of Nations, or the Iroquois Confederacy, and became the basis for the Iroquois Confederacy Constitution5.

“Each nation maintained its own leadership, but they all agreed that common causes would be decided in the Grand Council of Chiefs,” Lyons said6. “The concept was based on peace and consensus rather than fighting.”

via How the Iroquois Great Law of Peace Shaped U.S. Democracy | Native America

Russia Military Planes Arrive in Venezuela, Iran’s Warships May Follow to Support U.S. Foe

Russia Military Planes Arrive in Venezuela, Iran’s Warships May Follow to Support U.S. Foe

Russia and Iran were both set to send military forces to Venezuela in a show of support to the socialist Latin American nation, whose embattled economy has been further damaged by U.S. sanctions.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced Monday that two Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bombers, an Antonov An-124 heavy military transport aircraft and an Ilyushin Il-62 long-haul plane arrived at the Simón Bolívar International Airport in  Caracas. Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said that up to 100 Russian personnel would arrive as part of a joint air exercise, according to his ministry.

Padrino said “that nobody in the world should fear” the presence of the Tu-160s and other Russian aircraft because “we are builders of peace and not war,” touting the country’s bilateral ties.

via Newsweek Russia Military Planes Arrive in Venezuela, Iran’s Warships May Follow to Support U.S. Foe

Texts show collusion between police and far-right extremists, Oregon official claims

Texts show collusion between police and far-right extremists, Oregon official claims

PORTLAND, Ore. — A member of Portland’s city council said Thursday a newspaper’s report that the commander for the police rapid response team exchanged friendly text messages with a leader of far-right protests that have rocked the city confirms collusion exists between some police and right-wing extremists.

“I am not shocked, and I am not surprised at today’s reporting of Lt. Jeff Niiya’s collaboration with Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson over text to provide aid and support for their hate marches,” Councilwoman Jo Ann Hardesty said in a statement.

via NBC Texts show collusion between police and far-right extremists, Oregon official claims

Trump ripped his ‘national emergency’ move straight from the playbook of a dictator – Los Angeles Times

Trump ripped his ‘national emergency’ move straight from the playbook of a dictator – Los Angeles Times

President Trump’s insistence that border security justifies a state of emergency is a tactic ripped from the playbook of another unpopular and frustrated president — the democrat-turned-dictator Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines.

The messianic Marcos, who claimed in his diary to be doing God’s bidding, took things a lot further than Trump has threatened to do. He imposed martial law nearly a half-century ago, thereby crippling the oldest democracy in Southeast Asia.

But his devastating emergency action — installing himself as dictator to fend off an invented insurgency threat — came from the same well of self-serving motivations and ego-driven politics that feeds Trump’s less menacing wall tantrums today.

via Trump ripped his ‘national emergency’ move straight from the playbook of a dictator – Los Angeles Times

Allan Nairn: Trump’s Venezuela Envoy Elliott Abrams Is a War Criminal Who Has Abetted Genocide | Democracy Now!

Allan Nairn: Trump’s Venezuela Envoy Elliott Abrams Is a War Criminal Who Has Abetted Genocide | Democracy Now!

In an ongoing effort to topple Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Vice President Mike Pence met with members of the Venezuelan opposition at the White House Tuesday alongside Trump’s new special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams. Elliott Abrams is a right-wing hawk who was convicted in 1991 for lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal, but he was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. Abrams defended Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt as he oversaw a campaign of mass murder and torture of indigenous people in Guatemala in the 1980s. Ríos Montt was later convicted of genocide. Abrams was also linked to the 2002 coup in Venezuela that attempted to topple Hugo Chávez. We look at Abrams’s track record with prize-winning investigative journalist Allan Nairn, who has closely tracked Abrams for over three decades. Nairn is two-time winner of the George Polk Award and a recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award.

via Allan Nairn: Trump’s Venezuela Envoy Elliott Abrams Is a War Criminal Who Has Abetted Genocide | Democracy Now!

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