Trump, Nixon and Bush Top Counter-Inaugural Protests

Tens of thousands of people from across the country are pledging to show up to protest on Jan. 20.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is expected to join a club of infamous U.S. leaders who have seen their inauguration ceremonies marred by angry protesters against their reactionary policies.

RELATED: Most Racist US High School to Send Band to Trump Inauguration

Tens of thousands of people from across the country are pledging to show up to protest on Jan. 20, authorities confirmed that several organizations have requested permits to demonstrate.

In the U.S., most recent inaugural protests have been against wars and the presidents who failed to put an end to them, like Richard M. Nixon, who on Jan. 20, 1969, saw hundreds of opponents carrying anti-war banners while he was doing the traditional inaugural parade from the U.S. Capitol to the White House.

The National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam organized against Nixon, and protesters — most of them youth inspired by liberation struggles around the world — threw flowers, rocks, bottles and improvised smoke bombs as Nixon's limousine came down the main thoroughfare.

Riot police and the Secret Service cracked down on protesters and arrested dozens of them.

On Jan. 21, 2001, thousands of demonstrators attended the inauguration of George W. Bush to protest the outcome and controversial circumstances of the 2000 U.S. presidential election, most of the people were carrying banners that read, “Fraud” and "Not my president."

The protests were mostly peaceful, with only four protesters arrested and Bush's limousine was hit by a tennis ball and an egg thrown from the crowd during the inaugural parade.

RELATED: Trump's Inauguration to Be Met with Massive Civil Disobedience

But during his second inauguration in 2005, more than 10,000 demonstrators were estimated to have poured into the capital's streets, as the country was in the throes of the Iraq War. That protest was large and boisterous and those who split off from the permitted marches were arrested, beaten and pepper-sprayed by the police.

For Trump’s inauguration, police expect some 900,000 people to flood Washington, which includes the parade along streets thronged with onlookers. About 3,000 police officers, 5,000 National Guard troops and federal agents will staff buffer crowd-control barriers and bag checkpoints.

  • Published in World

US Senate passes measure to take first step in dismantling Obamacare

US senators have passed the first measure on the way to dismantling outgoing-President Barack Obama’s much debated health care law, commonly known as Obamacare.

‘Broken promises’ or ‘sick again’? New Congress draws battle lines over Obamacare

@McConnellPress @SenateMajLdr McConnell votes to take important step toward repeal.

Early on Thursday, the Senate voted 51-48 in favor of a nonbinding Republican-backed budget measure that will make it easier to pass repeal legislation, which could be voted on as early as next month.

It's official. The process of repealing in order to replace with a patient-centered alternative has officially begun.

Republicans plan to get rid of the law and replace parts of it by the end of February, according to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, speaking on “The Hugh Hewitt Show”, a conservative radio program, on Wednesday. Other Republicans, however, say the process could take longer.

The senators who voted against the new measure on Thursday were quick to voice their discontent with the outcome on Twitter. Calling the vote “shocking,” “immoral,” and “shameful,” they warned of the possible consequences of repealing Obamacare with no replacement, stating that millions of Americans could lose their insurance.

The House is scheduled to vote on the measure on Friday. If passed, it would allow follow-up legislation to avoid a filibuster by Senate Democrats, a congressional procedure in which debate over a proposed piece of legislation is extended to delay or entirely prevent a vote on it. US President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday that repealing and replacing the law should happen “essentially simultaneously.” However, neither he, nor the Republicans have yet presented a replacement program for Obamacare.

The Sneaky Republican Obamacare Strategy You Need to Know

The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, extended health insurance to around 20 million Americans, prevented insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, and provided states with billions of dollars for Medicaid health programs for the poor. Republicans pledged to scrap large parts of the law, however, citing rising health insurance premiums among other things. It was a promise that may have helped Donald Trump win the election, as voters were upset when it was announced that Obamacare premiums were set to jump by 25 percent in 2017.

It will not be an easy job to remove Obamacare, however, as some portions of the law which got rid of pre-existing conditions and allowed children to remain covered by their parents’ insurance until age 26, are still very popular among Americans. Trump promised to keep those provisions unchanged.

Thursday’s Senate vote sets up special rules for the repeal vote – the GOP will be able to pass it through a process known as reconciliation, which would require a simple majority in the 100-member Senate, instead of the 60 votes required to move most legislation. That means Republicans, who have 52 seats, can pass repeal legislation without any cooperation from Democrats.

  • Published in World

It's Time for Twitter To Ban Donald Trump

He's the commander-in-chief of trolls, an angry toddler who uses Twitter to exact petty revenge on his enemies and who can send the United States into a tailspin in 140 characters. It's time to shut his primary mode of communication down for good.

Author's Note: I wrote this in the morning and by evening there's already an entirely new scandal the incoming Trump administration is dealing with. Get used to it, folks. This is how it's going to be for the next four years: There will be so much corruption coming at so fast a rate that the news cycle will turn over every couple of hours rather than every day or so.

Two nights ago, Meryl Streep used her Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech at the Golden Globes to speak out in favor of kindness, decency and the arts. Maybe you heard that what she really did was indirectly attack incoming president and walking constitutional crisis Donald Trump. Well, yeah, she did, but that's largely because he's proven himself unkind, indecent and a strident opponent of the arts and all they typically stand for to an extreme that's difficult to put into words. Some people are praising Streep's public stand while others are predictably telling her that Hollywood types should stick to being entertainers and not burden America with their political opinions. (Many in this latter group, without a hint of irony, voted to make a reality TV star president, but that's for another time.)

Streep's statement was a bit of a surprise. The instantaneous reaction to it from both sides of the political divide wasn't. Neither, of course, was the 100% inevitable response from Donald Trump, remember, the man who will be inaugurated as President of the United States in ten days and who you'd presume would have better things to do than get into a tiff with an actress. A little while later, the relentless stream of pea-brain farts that is Trump's Twitter feed was turned in the direction of Streep. Film critic Richard Roeper had, not long after Streep's speech, predicted that Trump would call her "overrated," and that's exactly what he did (although he unnecessarily hyphenated the word, because he's an illiterate idiot). "Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn't know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes," he wrote, as if she'd taken the stage and burned him in effigy.

To reiterate -- because even after so many instances of this kind of crap it's still shocking -- the president elect, who's less a serious adult than he is an angry toddler without an ounce of self-control, felt the need to respond to perceived criticism from a movie star with juvenile name-calling. He wasn't holding a press conference to react to, say, a threat made by a hostile entity against the United States. No, he was firing off a tweet at three in the morning -- he was awake dwelling on what the mean lady from Hollywood had said about him at three in the fucking morning -- because he felt that he absolutely had to "defend himself" against someone who made a plea for civility from his soon-to-be-office. That's the behavior, again, of a child, not of someone who's about to become, unthinkably, the second most powerful person on the planet (after Vladimir Putin). 

Trump's Twitter feed has become so inextricably linked to his public persona that it's difficult to imagine what he'd do without it. He desperately needs that particular form of expression for a couple of reasons. First, because Twitter is simplistic, it allows someone with Trump's lack of any discernible ability to form a lengthy coherent thought a tool to blurt out his various brain droppings and non sequiturs and to do it in and instant. Second, it lets him bypass the editorial restrictions and pesky questions of the mainstream media, linking him directly to the idiot rabble that hangs on his every word. Unfortunately, Trump's missives aren't confined to his army of red hat-wearing zombies, especially since he'll soon be president and every off-the-cuff proclamation he makes can send the stock market into a spiral or alter the geopolitical landscape. He's not some dimwit tweeting -- well, not just some dimwit -- he's the incoming President of the United States.    

In the past up to now, Trump has self-weaponized his Twitter account, using his immense popularity and influence on the platform to respond to controversies by lying outright or offering willful misinformation, to settle petty grudges and by attacking those he perceives as his enemies, and to publish threats both veiled and blatant in an attempt to silence dissension. More than that, a tweet from Trump has the ability to mobilize a seemingly bottomless reservoir of sycophantic, like-minded trolls -- reliably armed with "deplorable" in their screen names and Pepe-the-Frog in their avatars -- who quickly descend upon the target of their idol's ire like locusts. We've seen that manifest in serious threats against female journalists who've drawn Trump's wrath, people like Megyn Kelly and NBC's Katy Tur, as well as general racist, misogynist and xenophobic frenzies triggered on the so-called alt-right by Trump's outbursts. Trump retweets accounts from white supremacists, spreading bigoted lies and disinformation simply because it either bolsters his worldview or because the person behind the account stroked Trump's fragile ego.

Put simply, Donald Trump is a Twitter troll. The biggest and most powerful in the world. While he's not as obviously toxic as a Milo Yionnopoulos, who was banned when he specifically directed his minions from the depths of Reddit and 8chan to harass SNL's Leslie Jones, so much more is at stake every time Trump tweets. Again, he can, through his thin-skinned penchant for bullying, indirectly set followers of the President of the United States against his enemies. He can, through his lack of impulse control combined with his arrogant ignorance about national and world affairs, disrupt both. His Twitter feed is, in other words, very, very dangerous, particularly as of January 20th. Which is why now is the time for Twitter to do the right thing and shut it down. The service should suspend Donald Trump permanently.

Now, is it going to? Of course not. There's little doubt that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey knows that if he were to suspend Trump the ground would likely open up underneath him, given that Trump is notoriously vindictive and would use the federal government to make life very difficult for him and his business. But he could if he truly wanted to, offering no other justification than the fact that Trump has likely crossed the line and violated Twitters rules against harassment, or at the very least the facilitation of it on a grand scale. Trump is, for all intents and purposes, the leader of the alt-right. And that group's repugnant footprint on Twitter is massive and indisputable at this point. The alt-right and the various subgroups that make it up represent the epicenter of racist, sexist and generally troll-ish harassment of innocent Twitter denizens, making the site a noxious swamp of abuse.

Dorsey knows this, and he seems to be clamping down harder these days on problem users, but there's no doubt that he feels he has to balance concerns about harassment against the need to keep Twitter a forum where free speech is a consideration. The thing is, free speech isn't a consideration. Twitter is a private company. Anyone on the platform is there at the pleasure of the service. They're not owed a damn thing by Twitter because it's not a government agency and therefore isn't bound by the Constitution not to restrict speech. This is why, theoretically, Twitter could ban Trump tomorrow morning and cite nothing more than a responsibility to what's good for the country and the world as reason for the action. Would it stir up trouble for the stockholders and could it lead, again, to retaliation from the Trump administration? Sure. And, again, is Dorsey unlikely to take such a step? Absolutely. But it can be done, there are grounds for it, and it would be beneficial to every single one of us. 

Imagine a Donald Trump forced to think before he spoke. Imagine Trump potentially having no choice but to go through standard channels when addressing the public, channels maintained by fact-checkers who could hold him accountable for his statements. It would be a game-changer in the best possible way. Trump isn't entitled to a Twitter account. He doesn't have a right to it. Always keep that in mind.

On Sunday, Jack Dorsey finally, mercifully -- although maybe only temporarily -- banned disgrace pharmaceutical executive and guy whose face cries out for a fist Martin Shkreli from Twitter. In spite of being a raging tool on the site for a long time now, Shkreli finally crossed the line by harassing Teen Vogue reporter Lauren Duca, hitting on her privately, proclaiming his "crush" on her publicly, and even adjusting his profile to include a creepy collage of images of Luca and her husband with the husband's face replaced by Shkreli's smirking mug. Duca complained to Dorsey and, surprise, Shkreli got bounced. Shkreli's a pretty prominent troll and he's got exactly the kind of following that Milo and even Trump have. Now no one's reported on this yet, but if you don't think these people aren't descending on Luca's feed at this very minute -- insulting her, doxing her, threatening her and her family -- you really don't know how the underbelly of Twitter works these days.

And Trump is the top of that underbelly. He's the highest-ranking troll there is, the racist, misogynist, white nationalist movement's commander in chief, literally.       

  • Published in World

Obama pushes values and prods Trump in final, emotional address

With a final call of his campaign mantra "Yes We Can," President Barack Obama urged Americans on Tuesday to stand up for U.S. values and reject discrimination as the United States transitions to the presidency of Republican Donald Trump.

In an emotional speech in which he thanked his family and declared his time as president the honor of his life, Obama gently prodded the public to embrace his vision of progress while repudiating some of the policies that Trump promoted during his campaign for the White House.

"So just as we, as citizens, must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are," Obama told a crowd of 18,000 in his hometown of Chicago, where he celebrated his election in 2008 as the first black president of the United States.

Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20, proposed temporarily banning Muslims from entering the country, building a wall on the border with Mexico, upending a global deal to fight climate change and dismantling Obama's healthcare reform law.

Obama made clear his opposition to those positions during fiery campaign speeches for 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, but has struck a more conciliatory tone with Trump since the election.

In his farewell speech, he made clear his positions had not changed and he said his efforts to end the use of torture and close the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were part of a broader move to uphold U.S. values.

"That's why I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans," he said in a clear reference to Trump that drew applause.

He said bold action was needed to fight global warming and said "science and reason" mattered. Barack Obama acknowledges the crowd as he arrives to deliver his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois. REUTERS/John Gress

"If anyone can put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we’ve made to our healthcare system, that covers as many people at less cost, I will publicly support it," he said in another prodding challenge to his successor.

Trump has urged the Republican-controlled Congress to repeal the law right away.


Obama, who came to office amid high expectations that his election would heal historic racial divides, acknowledged that was an impossible goal.

"After my election, there was talk of a post-racial America," he said. "Such a vision, however well-intended, was never realistic. Race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society."

However, Obama said he remained hopeful about the work that a younger generation would do. "Yes we can," he said. "Yes we did."

In an indirect reference to the political work the Democratic Party will have to do to recover after Clinton's loss, Obama urged racial minorities to seek justice not only for themselves but also for "the middle-aged white man who from the outside may seem like he’s got advantages, but who’s seen his world upended by economic, cultural, and technological change."

Trump won his election in part by appealing to working-class white men.

First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, his wife Jill Biden, and many current and former White House staff members and campaign workers attended the speech. Obama wiped his eyes as he addressed his wife and thanked his running mate. They all appeared together on stage after the address.

The Chicago visit is Obama's last scheduled trip as president, and even the final flight on the presidential aircraft was tinged with wistfulness.

It was the president's 445th "mission" on Air Force One, a perk he has said he will miss when he leaves office, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

All told, Obama will have spent more than 2,800 hours or 116 days on the plane during his presidency.

Obama plans to remain in Washington for the next two years while his younger daughter, Sasha, finishes high school. Sasha, who has an exam on Wednesday, did not attend the speech but her older sister Malia was there.

The president has indicated he wants to give Trump the same space that his predecessor, Republican President George W. Bush, gave Obama after leaving office by not maintaining a high public profile.

(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton and Eric Beech; Editing by Peter Cooney, Richard Borsuk and Paul Tait)

  • Published in World

No Evidence Trump Campaign or RNC ‘Successfully Hacked’: FBI Director

The FBI has no evidence that Russia successfully hacked President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign or the Republican National Committee (RNC), Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey said on Tuesday.

Testifying before Congress for the first time since Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8, Comey declined to answer a question about whether the FBI was investigating the possibility of links between Trump associates and Russia.

U.S. intelligence agencies on Friday released an assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an effort to help Republican Trump’s electoral chances by discrediting Clinton in the 2016 campaign.

The report, which omitted classified details, was the U.S. government’s starkest public description of what it says was an Russian campaign to manipulate the American electoral process. Russian authorities have denied interfering in the election.

“We did not develop any evidence that the Trump campaign, or the current RNC, was successfully hacked,” Comey told lawmakers.

He said there was evidence Russia hacked Republican state-level political campaigns and “old” email domains that the RNC was no longer using. While it collected some information from these hacks, Russia did not publicly release it, he said.

In contrast, Friday’s report assessed that Russian military intelligence used intermediaries such as WikiLeaks, and the Guccifer 2.0 “persona” to release emails that it had acquired from the Democratic National Committee and top Democrats as part of the effort to help Trump and harm Clinton.

  • Published in World

Washington: the anti-Cuba conspiracy continues

The plot includes a letter that five former diplomats sent to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to reverse Obama’s policy toward Cuba.

El Nuevo Herald journalists, Nora Gámez Torres and Patricia Mazzei, wrote in Miami last Wednesday that their aim is to bring down measures geared at “softening the embargo”.

The text –typical of the extremist language– also asks Trump to hinder further collaboration “with Cuban security forces”.

Since then, the signatories show an interesting concern: that business interests hamper their ultra-right aims against Havana.

One can see this when they request Trump to in his first one hundred days of government, cancel as soon as possible the executive orders that lifted restrictions “to do business with the Castro regime”.

The letter was signed by Everett Ellis Briggs, former ambassador to Panama and Honduras, as well as special assistant to George W. Bush at the National Security Council (NSC).

Also signed were Elliot Abrams and Otto Reich, former Undersecretaries of State for Latin America, as well as Jose S. Sorzano, former ambassador to the United Nations.

Maybe one of the most noteworthy signatures was that of the pretty controversial former head of US diplomatic mission in Havana and current mayor of Coral Gables, James C. Cason.

“We want you to take a fresh look at politics toward Cuba”, stated the latter referring to Trump.

And then added “We have given too much, now the president-elect should step back and reconsider it”.

Although he immediately cleared up: “Not to break relations completely, but certainly to give nothing else”.

By the way, Cason’s statement reinforces criteria on apparent friction between rightwing hardliners and business sectors.

“We still have to wait and see whether principles win over profits”, he ascertained.

He went on to say: “So many enterprises are talking about what is profitable for them that is why we expect there could be an argument”.  

Herald journalists recalled that Trump has promised to put an end to the meltdown in bilateral relations if “Castro’s government does not offer concessions”.

On this regard, analysts on the Cuban issue have remarked that, Havana is not precisely which established an economic blockade on United States, nor has it invaded its territory or launched subversive programs against its authorities, set up radio and TV stations to defame its reality or built a military base on US soil.

What are those mistrusts from the far right?

According to experts on the subject, they are frightened by eventual recoil from Trump that will reverse the progress achieved with Cuban “exiles” who voted for him in Florida.

The letter by Washington’s former diplomats also criticised the performance of U.S. at UN, where its ambassador, Samantha Power, abstained for the first time at a voting that Cuba presents against US blockade.

“It’s scandalous”, commented Sorzano. “The administration abandoned its constitutional responsibilities to defend the law”, he added.

The signatories reach so far as to state that “there’s no need” to nominate an ambassador in Cuba.  
New pretext? Until, due to security reasons, hiring of its employees is not carried out as they determine.

At the same time, they suggested that a new manager be appointed “more in line with the views of the new Administration”.

The letter, revealed journalists Gamez and Mazzei, was coordinated by the so-called Center for a Free Cuba (CFC), which supports a hard-line and intransigent policy against Havana.

Hence other pending chapters before one can talk about a real improvement in Cuba-U.S. relations.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

Trump Considered a Threat to the Mexican Automotive Industry

The presidency of Donald Trump in the United States will be a threat to the Mexican auto industry, local sources say here today.

The previous week, the US president-elect threatened General Motors and Toyota companies to impose high tariffs on vehicles they ship from Mexico.

For its part, Ford Motors Company, under pressure from Trump, canceled an investment for 1.6 billion of a plant in San Luis Potosí.

For the Mexican Association of the Automotive Industry (AMIA) the threats are not minor, as 77 percent of the automotive assembled in Mexico are destined for the market of the northern neighbor.

From January to November 2016 Mexican vehicles accounted for 12.4 percent of the total number of cars sold in the United States, where plants in Mexico shipped one million 964 thousand units, according to figures released by the newspaper El Universal.

Automotive exports represent the highest value in the Mexican economy and generate a significant source of foreign exchange for the country.

  • Published in Now

Meryl Streep Criticizes Trump in the Golden Globe Awards Ceremony

Washington, Jan 9 (Prensa Latina) The multi-award-winning American actress Meryl Streep criticized US President-elect Donald Trump during her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. De Mille Award at the 74th Golden Globe Awards.

Streep, deserving of three Oscars and 19 nominations for the precious statuette, not to mention the name of the New York billionaire, spoke last night about the mockery that the then Republican presidential candidate did last November of the disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski .

'Not because it was good (Trump's performance), but because it was effective,' she said. 'It broke my heart when I saw it and I still can not get it out of my head because it was not in a movie; it was in real life '.

'When the instinct to humiliate is modeled by someone on a public platform,' he added, 'it infiltrates the lives of all because it grants permission to others to do the same.

Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence, and when the powerful use their position to intimidate others, we all lose, 'the actress said in a gesture of disapproval.

He insisted in his speech that the Americans need 'a press with principles for the powerful to respond'.

Streep echoed the speech shortly before by fellow actor Hugh Laurie, who joked that there would be no more Golden Globes if Trump kept up his political proposals.

'You and all of us in this room belong to the most vilified segments of society at this time. Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners and the press, 'Streep said.

After mentioning several actors who were born outside the United States, Streep said: 'Hollywood is crawling with foreigners and if we throw them all, you will have nothing to do but football and MMA.'

Meryl Streep's speech ended with a loud ovation offered by the standing audience.

  • Published in Culture
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