Army Corps of Engineers blocks route of Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock

December 5, 2016

The decision is a victory for the several thousand camped near the construction site




Army Corps of Engineers blocks route of Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock
A protester holds up a mirror during a protest of the Dakota Access pipeline on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota(Credit: Reuters)
CANNON BALL, N.D. — U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Sunday that it won’t grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota.

The decision is a victory for the several thousand camped near the construction site, who’ve said for months that the four-state, $3.8 billion project would threaten a water source and cultural sites.

The pipeline is largely complete except for the now-blocked segment underneath Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir. According to a news release, Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy said her decision was based on the need to “explore alternate routes” for the pipeline’s crossing.

“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Darcy said. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
The company constructing the pipeline, Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, had said it was unwilling to reroute the project. It and the Morton County Sheriff’s Office, which has done much of the policing of the protests, didn’t have immediate comment.

U.S. Secretary for the Interior Sally Jewell said in a statement that the Corps’ “thoughtful approach … ensures that there will be an in-depth evaluation of alternative routes for the pipeline and a closer look at potential impacts” and “underscores that tribal rights reserved in treaties and federal law, as well as Nation-to-Nation consultation with tribal leaders, are essential components of the analysis to be undertaken in the environmental impact statement going forward.”

The federal government has ordered people to leave the main encampment, which is on Army Corps of Engineers’ land, by Monday. But demonstrators say they’re prepared to stay, and authorities say they won’t forcibly remove them.


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Earlier Sunday, an organizer with Veterans Stand for Standing Rock said tribal elders had asked the military veterans not to have confrontations with law enforcement officials, adding the group is there to help out those who’ve dug in against the project.

About 250 veterans gathered about a mile from the Oceti Sakowin, or Seven Council Fires, camp in southern North Dakota for a meeting with organizer Wes Clark Jr., the son of former Democratic presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark. The group had said about 2,000 veterans were coming, but it wasn’t clear how many actually arrived.

“We have been asked by the elders not to do direct action,” Wes Clark Jr. said. He then talked about North Dakota authorities’ decision to move away from a key bridge north of the encampment by 4 p.m. Sunday if demonstrators agree to certain conditions, saying the National Guard and law enforcement have armored vehicles and are armed.

“If we come forward, they will attack us,” Clark said. Instead, he told the veterans, “If you see someone who needs help, help them out.”

Authorities said they’ll move from the north end of the Backwater Bridge if protesters stay south of it and come to the bridge only if there is a prearranged meeting. Authorities also asked protesters not to remove barriers on the bridge, which they have said was damaged in the late October conflict that led to several people being hurt, including a serious arm injury.

“The question was asked if we would consider pulling back from the Backwater Bridge,” Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney said in a Saturday news release after a conversation between law enforcement and the group’s organizers, “and the answer is yes! We want this to de-escalate.”

Protesters also are not supposed to walk, ride or fly drones north of the bridge, Laney said. Any violation will “will result in their arrest,” the statement said.

The bridge blockade is something that Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman Dave Archambault has been asking to be removed, the Bismarck Tribune reports , and something he said he would to talk to Gov. Jack Dalrymple about when they meet in person. A date for that meeting hasn’t been set.

Veterans Stand for Standing Rock’s page had raised more than $1 million of its $1.2 million goal by Sunday — money due to go toward food, transportation and supplies. Cars waiting to get into the camp Sunday afternoon were backed up for more than a half-mile.

“People are fighting for something, and I thought they could use my help,” said Navy veteran and Harvard graduate student Art Grayson. The 29-year-old from Cambridge, Massachusetts, flew the first leg of the journey, then rode from Bismarck in the back of a pickup truck. He has finals this week, but told professors, “I’ll see you when I get back.”

Steven Perry, a 66-year-old Vietnam veteran who’s a member of the Little Traverse Bay band of Odawa Indians in Michigan, spoke of one of the protesters’ main concerns: that the pipeline could pollute drinking water. “This is not just a native issue,” he said, “This is an issue for everyone.”

Art Woodson and two other veterans drove 17 hours straight from Flint, Michigan, a city whose lead-tainted water crisis parallels with the tribe’s fight over water, he said.

“We know in Flint that water is in dire need,” the 49-year-old disabled Gulf War Army veteran said. “In North Dakota, they’re trying to force pipes on people. We’re trying to get pipes in Flint for safe water.”

On Monday, some veterans will take part in a prayer ceremony in which they’ll apologize for historical detrimental conduct by the military toward Native Americans and ask for forgiveness, Clark said. He also called the veterans’ presence “about right and wrong and peace and love.”

Obama administration opposed Abe-Trump meeting: source

December 5, 2016

POLITICS DEC. 05, 2016 – 05:03PM JST ( 17 )
Obama administration opposed Abe-Trump meeting: source
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York on Nov 17.
Cabinet Public Relations Office/HANDOUT via Reuters
The U.S. administration of President Barack Obama conveyed its opposition to Japan over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to meet with President-elect Donald Trump in mid-November in New York, a diplomatic source revealed Sunday.

Washington urged Tokyo not to go ahead with such an unprecedented meeting, saying the 70-year-old businessman had not yet assumed the U.S. presidency, the source said.

Despite Washington’s opposition, Abe became the first foreign leader to hold a face-to-face meeting with Trump as the premier made a stopover in New York en route to Peru to attend a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Japan stressed that the meeting between Abe and Trump would be unofficial, without dinner despite Trump’s invitation, but the Obama administration remained opposed.

Obama later had a brief chat with Abe on the fringes of the APEC summit in Lima on Nov. 20, despite the two countries’ earlier efforts to arrange sit-down talks which would have been the last bilateral summit as Obama leaves office in January, the source said.

Abe hailed the Japan-U.S. relationship in Hiroshima in May when Obama became the first incumbent U.S. leader to visit the city, using the phrase “trust and friendship”.

Although the two leaders had opportunities to hold bilateral talks at least three times since Obama’s visit to Hiroshima, all of them ended up as merely an exchange of words rather than a sit-down meeting.

The source suggested that Obama’s dissatisfaction with Abe’s approach to Russia could lie behind the seeming distance between the two allies.

With the aim of achieving a breakthrough in stalled territorial disputes with Russia, Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin are scheduled to meet in Japan on Dec. 15 and 16.

U.S.-Russian ties have soured in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014 that drew international sanctions against Moscow.

In February this year, Obama urged Abe to refrain from visiting Russia in May as Washington tried to isolate Moscow over the Crimea issue.

According to the source, the U.S. government conveyed its opposition to Japan over the Abe-Trump meeting on Nov. 17 after the two men had agreed on it during telephone talks on Nov. 10 following Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice was at the forefront of the opposition within the White House, the source said.

As the United States told Japan it was unacceptable for Washington to see an Abe-Trump meeting over dinner as proposed by the president-elect, Tokyo drop the idea of a dinner meeting and denoted the New York meeting as “private and unofficial” with only Abe and a translator taking part.


DAPL defeated at Standing Rock

December 5, 2016

NationofChange via
5:43 PM (16 hours ago)

to me

Victory at Standing Rock
BREAKING: Army Corps of Engineers DENIES permit for Dakota Access Pipeline. (Photo: NationofChange)
In an enormous victory for the Standing Rock water protectors, the Army Corps of Engineers has denied the permit for the Dakota Access pipeline route through Sioux lands.

The secretary of the Army Corps delivered the news to Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II. The current route for the Dakota Access pipeline will be denied.

Archambault made a statement in response on Sunday:

“I am thankful there were some leaders in the federal government that realized something was not right even though it’s legal,” he said. “For the first time in history of Native Americans, they heard our voices. This is something that will go down in history and is a blessing for all indigenous people. I heard the army corp of engineers will not grant the easement and they will reroute. I would say that it is over.”

The proposed pipeline would have spanned 1,172 miles and crossed through Standing Rock land, including burial grounds, posing a threat to their culture and water supply.

Activists, including those from NationofChange, from all over the world have been camped with the Standing Rock water protectors for months in solidarity against the pipeline that would disrupt Sioux lands.

The water protectors have braved sub-zero temperatures as well as attacks from authorities that included water canons, confusion grenades, mace, and attack dogs.

Today marks a great victory, not just for the Standing Rock Sioux, but for oppressed people throughout our nation.

The future of the pipeline is still unclear, and water protectors are urged to remain in camp until it is known whether the companies behind the pipeline will push ahead with construction, despite the Army Corps’ denial of the permit.

In solidarity,


BREAKING: Army Corps Denies DAPL Route

December 5, 2016

Nathan – Really American via
4:40 PM (17 hours ago)


All your efforts to help stop DAPL have finally paid off…

Click here to check out and share the awesome news that the Army Corp has finally denied the permit!

Today is a great victory for all Americans and you were a part of making it happen.

Thank you so much for caring enough to make a difference!

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Nathan is an online activist, internet marketing consultant, social entrepreneur, impact investor, and lives at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. He’s dedicated his life to living simply while using marketing science and strategic partnerships to help solve society’s biggest problems. If you would like to meet him and learn more about sustainable living you can apply for a visitor session at his ecovillage.

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Sole Control of the Use of Our Nuclear Weapons

December 3, 2016


A mushroom cloud. (photo: Medium)

Sole Control of the Use of Our Nuclear Weapons
By Ronnie Dugger, Reader Supported News
02 December 16

he American president decides entirely alone whether to explode our nation’s nuclear weapons on foreign targets. This has been true ever since President Truman ordered the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but not of a third Japanese city because of, he said in a cabinet meeting, “all those kids.” Strategy and targeting are worked out in advance under the president’s control. Like every president since Truman, President-elect Donald Trump will soon be our elected dictator over our atom-splitting bombs.

The other seven more-and-less democracies and one dictatorship that are nuclear-armed vary in their arrangements for who fires off their nuclear weapons. In Russia, whose chief on-media propagandist now brags that his country can reduce the United States to ashes, President Vladimir Putin, the defense minister, and the chief of the general staff share control over the nation’s nuclear codes. In Pakistan also three persons, the prime minister, the president, and a third person who is not identified, must agree on it before launching their nuclear bombs. If the British prime minister can’t do it, two of her deputies can. The heads of state in China, India, France, and Israel control their nations’ nuclear warheads, as presumably the dictator of North Korea does too.

Last March a senior fellow in foreign policy at the respected Brookings Institution, Michael E. O’Hanlon, focused on this solitary power of the American president “to kill tens or hundreds of millions” of people and proposed that the awesome fact should be focused on and changed.

On the use of nuclear weapons in war, O’Hanlon wrote, the U.S. “needs additional checks and balances” and “a model” that we should share with other nuclear-armed nations. He proposed the president should be required to consult in advance with leaders of Congress, and he provisionally suggested requiring approval of such use by a majority of six other officials, the House Speaker, the president pro tempore of the Senate, and the majority and minority leaders of both chambers.

O’Hanlon explained that the U.S. president “can, in theory, launch nuclear warfare by personal decision – without any checks or balances” and added that “a President could push the button all by himself or herself, legally- and constitutionally-speaking.” If the secretary of Defense, the chief of the Strategic Command, or lower-down military personnel, charged to carry out a president’s order to launch nuclear bombs, refused to do it, O’Hanlon wrote, that would be “open insubordination, subject to dismissal and court-martial.”

The War Powers Act of 1973 requires Congressional approval of a president’s military action within 60 days of its inception, but if that action was nuclear bombs, after two months millions, even billions, could be dead.

It is unlikely, O’Hanlon wrote, but we “could have a mentally ill President who chose to do the unthinkable,” with “the possibility of completely intentional nuclear war initiated by a psychotic, schizophrenic, or otherwise unbalanced leader. Again, for all his barbs and insults and affected anger, Trump is likely not such a person. But his candidacy is enough to at least raise the salience of the question.”

President-elect Trump, soon to have sole total authority over the use of the nation’s 4,500 nuclear weapons – many more than a thousand of them on hair-trigger launch-on-warning alert – has been thinking intensely about nuclear weapons for at least four decades and has five clearly-declared convictions concerning them.

One, Trump believes nuclear weapons and their proliferation are the most important issue in the world. “[I]t’s unthinkable, the power,” he says. “The biggest risk for this world or this country is nuclear weapons, the power of nuclear weapons.”

Two, for him the strong taboo against more nations getting nuclear weapons no longer holds: South Korea, Japan, and Saudi Arabia should probably – it would be OK with him – get national nuclear arsenals of their own. Speaking about South Korea and Japan he said, “If they do, they do. Good luck. Enjoy yourselves, folks.” Japan will do it whether we like it or not, in his opinion, and, he said this year, “I would rather have Japan have some form of defense or even offense against that maniac who runs North Korea,” the president, Kim Jong-un.

Three, campaigning for president, he said he does not want to be the one to detonate nuclear weapons first and that only as “an absolute last step” would he order the military to fire them off. But he added, “I’m never going to rule anything out,” and, as for other nations, “at a minimum I want them to think maybe we would use them.”

Four, Trump believes that deterrence theory, the mutual-assured-destruction foundation of the 20th century nuclear arms race, does not prevent nuclear war among rival lesser nuclear-armed nations as it has between the U.S. and Russia. When he was 38, in 1987, he told reporter Ron Rosenbaum, “The deterrence of mutual assured destruction that prevents the United States and the USSR from nuking each other won’t work on the level of an India-Pakistan nuclear exchange. Or a madman dictator with a briefcase-bomb team. The only answer,” he advocated passionately, “is for the Big Two [the U.S. and the Soviet Union then] to make a deal now to step in and prevent the next generation of nations about to go nuclear from doing so. By whatever means necessary.”

As I reported on Reader Supported News last July 15th, approaching his 40th year Trump seriously wanted to be the chief United States negotiator with the Soviet Union to make that deal. His plan was to sell the USSR his idea and proposal that, via trade maneuvers by the U.S. and Soviet “retaliation,” the “Big Two” should gang up on lesser nuclear nations to coerce and force them to give up their nuclear weapons. “You do whatever is necessary,” he said, “so these people will have riots in the street, so they can’t get water, so they can’t get Band-Aids, so they can’t get food. Because that’s the only thing that’s going to do it – the people, the riots.” He said his plan applied against France, too, if France would not give up its nuclear bombs.

Five, Trump, running for president, said that nuclear weapons are going to be used now in the present world. “We’re dealing with people in the world that would use [nuclear weapons], OK?” he told the board of The New York Times. “You have many people that would use it right now in this world.” Characterizing North Korea’s Kim as “like a maniac” and “a madman,” Trump said this year Kim “is sick enough” to use his nuclear weapons.

Yet Trump also has said he is willing to meet with Kim, and he declared during a policy conference he had with his now-chief strategist Steve Bannon last December that if he was elected, he would have U.S. citizens who were imprisoned in North Korea back on American shores before his swearing-in.

It would seem as a logical matter that because of Trump’s fifth conviction that nuclear weapons will be used, if as president he comes into a war-potential situation with another nuclear-armed nation other than Russia or perhaps China, he is likelier than he would be without that conviction to launch U.S. nuclear weapons first against that adversary, thinking that if he did not, the adversary nation well might launch them against us first.

Beyond that, during his campaign Trump displayed and enacted his lifelong rule to always seek revenge; his impulsiveness and quickness to anger; his apparent indifference to the pain he causes others; and his huge ego, his statement that just about meant that on foreign policy he confers most respectfully with himself. These and related considerations led some prominent citizens to exclaim that he should not get his hands on the nuclear codes.

But, Six, Trump also said in passing this year on his way to becoming the most powerful person on earth next January that bad things will happen for us with nuclear weapons “if we don’t eliminate them.” That, too, is in his mind. Let’s go bold and call this his sixth line of thought about all the nuclear warheads.

One Man With All Humanity at His Mercy

Who controls our nuclear arsenal is so important for the continuing life and existence of humanity, I suggest, for my part, that President Obama and the Congress now meeting in its final session, and if and as necessary then President Trump and the new Congress next year, take up this subject to have the launching of our nuclear arsenal not for only the president to decide, but rather for the control to belong to the collective deciding power of a small group of our national leaders.

Concerning those who defend limiting to the one person the power to kill millions of us and possibly escalate us into the end of humanity, in self-defense we citizens, as if channeling the Captain of the Good Ship Enterprise, should tell Congress and the president of this new plan, “Make it so.”

Barack Obama, the most powerful person on earth for seven more weeks, as surprised as most are who is the new president, could and I dare to say should himself simply by presidential executive order distribute his present control over nuclear weapons among a group of five or seven including himself and in a day or a few have created a communications system for them, setting a high example and precedent for his successors. He and Trump have an evidently civil relationship; Obama could handle this with him politely (as if politeness has any business here).

For an example alternative to Brookings fellow O’Hanlon’s postulation of a five-person nuclear control group, the permanent committee on the nuclear arsenal might, after reflection and debate, be composed of five, the president, the speaker of the House, the president pro tempore of the Senate, and one majority or minority leader of each chamber chosen to accomplish a balance in those two between the two main parties.

Or, a Republican Congress might want a permanent committee of the president, the vice-president, the speaker, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. If, say to achieve bipartisanship adding one of the majority or minority leaders of both chambers balanced as to parties, there would be a permanent committee of seven, or if all four of those, nine. The leaders and Congress could in good faith just work this out together and make it law.

Since our detonation of our nuclear weapons on cities, nations, or “military targets” (but not ones like Truman said Hiroshima was!) for a tactical or otherwise limited purpose can readily escalate into the end of life on the earth, it seems to me the decision to launch nuclear weapons should require the unanimous agreement of the members of a permanent committee who can be consulted in time. The president and Congress might compromise, if necessary, on requiring 4 out of 5, or 5 or 6 out of 7 … on which, humanity in the cosmos might depend.

In my opinion all members of the permanent committee (what the communists used to call the presidium) governing our nuclear arsenal should justly be legally required, in fidelity to their primary human duty to humanity, to submit their personal autonomy and tranquility to being continuously connected all to each other by fail-safe-as-possible secure communication.

Something like this would also provide a practical, although ethically monstrous assistance for the president’s unbelievable ethical problem if suddenly his national security adviser told him (or, soon, her) that a nuclear attack from X direction, according to our possibly hacked messages from NORAD, is about to explode upon us: the problem of his or her 10 or 15 or so minutes to decide whether to retaliate by mass murder, slaughtering and maiming many millions of totally innocent people as ostensibly ruling deterrence-theory requires and we have cross-our-hearts promised.

The president being commander-in-chief, if all the president’s nuclear presidium members contacted have approved a launch of H-bombs to retaliate and the president is alive and able, then at that final point only the president could give that order, or, the president alone retaining the ultimate power not to commit the mass murder of millions in indefensible before-our-deaths revenge, the president could decide to not retaliate.

This is one form of the rising danger we are all in.

No attention has been given in media I have seen to O’Hanlon’s Brookings posting calling for limitations on the president’s sole control of nuclear weapons, but two years ago the subject was considered publicly to a limited extent in some reviews of W.W. Norton’s remarkable book, Thermonuclear Monarchy, Choosing Between Democracy and Doom, by Elaine Scarry, a professor of ethics and value at Harvard University.

Scarry’s basic theme is that nuclear weapons, in matters concerning them, have in reality abolished Congress and therefore American democracy. She contends that the specific and unqualified requirement in the Constitution that only Congress declare war and its Second Amendment postulating citizens’ right to take up arms in militias to defend the country mean that given the nature of nuclear weapons the only constitutional remedy against them is to abolish them.

H-bombs, “designed to be fired by a small number of persons,” are, Scarry wrote, “the literal technology for killing entire populations at will,” and “the essential feature” of the technology is that “it locates in the hands of a solitary person the power to kill millions of people,” “the capacity to annihilate all the peoples on earth.” The president has “genocidal injuring power at his personal disposal through nuclear weapons…. [T]he people of earth … can be dispatched all at a blow.”

Comprehending, somehow, the total destructive power in the U.S. nuclear arsenal directly bears on whether control over it should be held by only one person. By Scarry’s “conservative” estimates, Obama now personally controls and next January 20th President-elect Trump will personally control the more than one billion tons of equivalent TNT-blastpower that is in our nuclear warheads.

The Harvard professor writes that each one of our U.S. Trident nuclear-armed submarines carries eight times the total blastpower exploded by all the sides in World War II. Each sub has the power of 4,000 Hiroshima-power blasts in 24 missiles containing between 8 and 17 warheads. Any one of the subs can “destroy the people of an entire continent,” there are seven continents, and we have 14 Tridents.

Under the one person’s control, as Scarry writes “we own,” in the pointed-outward tubes in our Trident fleet, 3,100 nuclear warheads with a total blastpower of 273 million tons of TNT, in our land-based ICBM warheads we own another 503 million tons of TNT blast, and then in our nuclear warheads for our bombers we own another 410 million tons of TNT power; in all, we together own about 1,186 million tons of TNT blastpower.

How whimsical and how weird this God-like power is, handed over to one person just because he’s or she’s won our presidency! Since early 1963 the nuclear briefcase, the “football” containing the nuclear codes for the use of only the president, has been carried continuously by an officer in the room the president is in or an adjacent one, as Scarry reports. It is always near the president, including when he is traveling, except for some freak incidents. When President Carter, who once sent his codes to the cleaners in a suit jacket, went rafting in Idaho, another raft followed his down the river with an officer on it carrying the briefcase. When Ronald Reagan was shot, a car containing an officer carrying the codes followed him to the hospital. President Clinton, who sometimes, anyway, kept the codes attached to his credit cards with a rubber band, lost them for several months and didn’t tell the Pentagon.

Does it matter, this one-person power of launch-and-gone? If citizens realized how often since Hiroshima we have been close to again attacking other nations with our nuclear weapons they would know that it really does. Scarry reports that since 1945 our presidents have frequently considered using them, although the official admissions of this don’t reach the public for several decades.

Eisenhower left instructions to officers that if he was out of communication they were to launch nuclear weapons if we came under attack whether nuclear or conventional. Twice he considered launching them himself, over the Taiwan Straits, 1954, and the Berlin crisis, 1959. President Kennedy considered their use three times (40 years after Kennedy’s murder, Robert McNamara said the U.S. came “three times within a hair’s breadth of nuclear war with the Soviet Union”). President Johnson considered a nuclear attack on China to stop them from getting nuclear weapons. President Nixon advocated to Henry Kissinger that the U.S. should use nuclear bombs in the Vietnam War, and, he said 13 years after his presidency, he contemplated using them three other times and not about Vietnam.

As Scarry also points out, only John Kennedy brought the people in on these nuclear-weapons-and-considering-their-use close calls. From since about Reagan, but also earlier, much top-secret truth about our slick missiles of mass death is yet to be made available to the people by their government. If the people knew what they should, they might at least think about the case for pluralizing control of our nuclear arsenal.

7 Weeks, 4 Years … Perry: “Time Is Not on Our Side”

In the later sixties, having dinner for about six in a tiny White House dining room that faces onto Lafayette Square, I sitting by President Johnson, I said to him that, since he had said publicly that in the first half-hour of a U.S.-Soviet nuclear exchange 40 million people would die, what were we reporters supposed to tell the people out there (gesturing leftward to the square) about it?

After a silence, the president said he knew exactly what I was asking (which, in my guarded intent, was, would he himself actually fire off our nuclear weapons?). After telling a long story about how a little Brown & Root airplane he was on made it bouncingly through a lightning storm back down to earth, and he woke up as they landed, he grew angry that I had asked him about this – you and you liberals who don’t have all the secret facts! – and then suddenly in his rising rage he shouted at me, “I’m the one who has to mash the button!” as he mashed his stiffened thumb down in the air bending rightward almost to the floor.

Reportedly President Nixon was preoccupied with his power over the nuclear weapons. A historian has recorded that Nixon told Senator Alan Cranston, “Why, I can go into my office and pick up the telephone and in 25 minutes 70 million people will be dead.”

Reliable journalistic sources recorded that Nixon ordered a tactical nuclear strike against North Vietnam which Kissinger had the Joint Chiefs of Staff stop until Nixon sobered up overnight. During Arab nations’ war on Israel in October 1972 the Soviet Union appeared to be planning to come in on the side of the Arabs. One night the one man didn’t do. USSR premier Leonid Brezhnev sent Nixon a threatening message. Nixon was deemed by those near him too drunk asleep to awaken, and in the morning his inner circle sent Brezhnev a threatening reply signed as if by Nixon, who was in fact dead-drunk asleep. Brezhnev backed off.

In another case with Nixon at least three high officials intervened, perhaps at risk of their prosecution if Nixon had so chosen, to check him. A few weeks before Nixon resigned his secretary of Defense, James Schlesinger, ordered the chairman of the Joint Chiefs that any emergency order coming from Nixon had to be shown to Schlesinger before it was acted on.

President Reagan, after having called the USSR an evil empire, pivoted sharply by his 1984 State of the Union address in which he said, “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought…. [W]ould it not be better to do away with [nuclear weapons] entirely?” He and Mikhail Gorbachev almost did that, but failed.

Since then Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, in their 2002 and 2010 official nuclear policy documents, explicitly declared that the U.S. may make first use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances, which of course the U.S. would define. The U.S. arsenal now contains or is to contain new nuclear weapons that are smaller to make them “more usable,” including one, the B61-12, that is called “dial-a-yield” because the sender of it can adjust it to explode at any of four different levels of destruction.

Russia and the U.S. together have about 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons. Putin has declared Russia will use its stock of them if necessary to preserve the existence of the state. Showing increased interest in them for battlefield combat, Russian officials indicated they are prepared to use them, and first, whether or not it is a nuclear threat that they are under.

William J. Perry, the secretary of Defense under President Clinton, has now dedicated the rest of his life to educating and arousing the people to the rapidly rising danger of nuclear war. Perry warns in his revelatory new book, My Journey at the Nuclear Brink, published by Stanford University Press, that “time is not on our side.”

Thus do we Americans, all of us but one, find ourselves concerning the 4,500 nuclear weapons we own still totally inert in the hands of our presidents, one after the other, in this new world of mass murder by codes, because one man commanding in battle and war came down to us through centuries, tribal chiefs, kings, emperors, presidents. This became the way of war because the side whose fighters were commanded by the one brave and shrewder man often won or his forces survived to fight again. Our evolved genetic instinct to follow one man in battle and war is very deep. It is now also obsolete because our nuclear weapons are not for battles or wars but for mass murders and for the first time in our history can and may kill us all.

No one person in any nation on earth should have the sole power to decide alone to launch nuclear weapons in the name and authority of the country he or she is of. Perhaps in this next seven weeks and the ensuing administration we can face down in our own nation those who, perhaps seeing this subject as a political ploy against Trump, will want to continue giving just one person among us the power to end life on earth. Changing this horror in the United States, by Obama or Trump or Congress or all of them, could become a first step to changing it in the world.

Ronnie Dugger received the George Polk career award for journalism in 2012. Founding editor of The Texas Observer, he has published biographical books about Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan, other books about Hiroshima and universities, articles for The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Mother Jones, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and other periodicals, and is now in Austin writing a book about nuclear war.
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.


Comment: This is the most urgently solution-requiring issue by mankind – actually and eventually by everyone (deluded by ego fiction and destroying eco). Where is the equality of all men, while a man can annihilate not only men, but all life forms? We must awaken to the fiction of “sovereign state, self, etc.” in the truth/ethic of the interdependent and intertwined life-world!!!

The Many Ways to Help Standing Rock

December 2, 2016

Published on
Friday, December 02, 2016
by YES! Magazine

Even if you can’t show up at the wintry encampments, you can join water protectors in other ways: from calling the North Dakota governor to breaking up with your bank.
bySarah van Gelder

Photo by Lori Panico.
The timing couldn’t have been more awful.

The day after Thanksgiving, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told the Standing Rock Sioux tribe that people camped at the Oceti Sakowin Camp would be considered trespassers on that federally managed land after Dec. 5. With thousands of people, it is the largest of the water protectors’ camps. Next came the snow, which is piling up across the camp as I write. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered an immediate evacuation allegedly out of concern for the well-being of water protectors in the “harsh winter weather.”

“He gave a whole list of concerns … that we’re going to freeze to death and the solution is to cut off emergency services,” said Tara Houska, an organizer from Honor The Earth, at a news conference on Monday. The move evokes the “collective memory of Native people being pushed off land,” she added. “In 2016, that history is still happening.”

“The most dangerous thing we can do is force well-situated campers from their shelters and into the cold,” Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said in a statement. “If the true concern is for public safety than [sic] the Governor should clear the blockade, and the county law enforcement should cease all use of flash grenades, high-pressure water cannons in freezing temperatures, dog kennels for temporary human jails, and any harmful weaponry against human beings.”

An elder at the camp, Faith Spotted Eagle said, “It is so transparent that what they are doing is to protect the pipeline.”

What will you do? With these rapidly unfolding events at Standing Rock, what can you do? How can you support this indigenous-led nonviolent movement?

“We call on all people of conscience, from all Nations, to join the encampments and stand with us by Dec. 5 as we put our bodies in front of the machines,” says a statement from the Sacred Stone Camp, which also states: “We call on allies across the world to take action EVERY DAY starting December 1.”

How can we do something every day, as requested, to make a difference where we are?

When I interviewed Chairman Archambault earlier this month, he said this: “Follow your heart. If you want to be here, you’re welcome. If you want to pray from home, pray from home. If you want to send a letter of support, send a letter of support. If you want to send a contribution, send a contribution.”

Here are some things to consider as you decide what to do.

Show up

If you’re a veteran, consider joining the 2,000-plus veterans who are “self-deploying” to Standing Rock on December 4–7 to stand nonviolently with the water protectors.

People with skills like nurses and other medics are needed. Check with Oceti Sakowin camp or teams already on the ground to find out. And there is always work to do in the kitchen or chopping wood. People are also needed at the front lines to maintain a nonviolent presence; they risk arrest and attack from law enforcement’s “sub-lethal” weapons.

If you do go to Standing Rock, remember that this is a movement founded in nonviolence and prayer. Respect the indigenous leaders there and follow their requests about how to behave at camp in keeping with Lakota traditions.

But before you pack up your car and head out, consider the snow. You will need to be well-provisioned to avoid becoming a burden on the community there. Many of the organizers have asked White allies to consider whether the money spent to get yourself to Standing Rock would be better spent donating to the cause: covering mounting legal costs, provisioning an indigenous water protector, or helping the Standing Rock tribe pay for costs.

You may be a more effective advocate where you are, where you have easy access to elected officials and banks; at Standing Rock, access to phone and internet service is limited.

Break up with your bank

Banks are feeling the heat from the protests and from their own customers. One bank, DNB of Norway, has responded to pressure by divesting from Energy Transfer, the parent company of the Dakota Access pipeline. DNB is reportedly reconsidering more than $400 million in credit. The ING Bank of the Netherlands, which prides itself on its sustainability and human rights stance, posted a statement on its website expressing concern about excessive police force at Standing Rock.

If your bank is one of the direct investors in DAPL or one of the investors in its parent companies, Energy Transfer and Sunoco Logistics, ask them to withdraw support. Tell them you plan to close your account if their support continues. Photograph yourself cutting up your credit card, or share your letter on your social media networks. I posted my break-up letter to Chase Bank on my blog and on Facebook and Twitter—and was surprised by how many responded that they planned to do the same.

If you have a retirement fund or mutual fund, find out if it is invested in Energy Transfer Partners, Energy Transfer Equity, or Sunoco Logistics—or any of the 38 banks offering credit to the pipeline project. If so, let those investment companies know you object and tell them you would like the fund to divest or you’ll shift your account to a socially responsible investment fund.

Consider planning or participating in a nonviolent protest at a bank branch or headquarters. Sacred Stone Camp has posted a map to find bank branches near you and recommends actions beginning Dec. 1.

Banks are risk-averse, and this pipeline project has become quite risky because of public relations problems as well as the oil price bust and reduction of oil extraction in North Dakota. Banks and investors may be hoping for an excuse to back out. Your action could help tip the balance.

Call off the police

There are now dozens of law enforcement agencies participating in the multistate force that is shooting water cannons, pepper spraying, and shooting various “sub-lethal” weapons at unarmed water protectors.

If your police force is there, call them home. Although the police staffing is changing constantly, some sheriffs have responded to public pressure by refusing to send deputies. Contact elected officials, write to local papers and local blogs, and contact local media to object to law enforcement involvement at Standing Rock.

Complain to government decision-makers

Angry about the evacuation order? Talk to the person who made it:

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple

600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-0100

Phone: 701-328-2200

“Where is President Obamaand why does he remain silent on this issue?” Kandi Mossett of the Indigenous Environmental Network asked in a statement responding to the governor’s evacuation order.

When he visited Standing Rock on June 13, 2014, President Obama said this: “I promised when I ran to be a president … who honors our sacred trust, and who respects your sovereignty, and upholds treaty obligations, and who works with you in a spirit of true partnership, in mutual respect, to give our children the future that they deserve.”

Remind President Obama of this and of the way his decision on DAPL will shape his legacy.

President Barack Obama

Phone: 202-456-1111

You can also call Denis McDonough, White House chief of staff, at 202-456-3182.

Contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is charged with making a decision about the permit to drill under the Missouri River. Tell them to reject the permit and order a full environmental impact statement.

The commanding general is Lt. Gen Todd T. Semonite

441 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20314-1000
Phone: 202-761-0011

Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of Army (Civil Works)

108 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310
(703) 697-8986

Col. John W. Henderson

Omaha District, USACE
1616 Capitol Ave., Ste. 9000
Omaha, NE 68102
Phone: 888-835-5971 or

The Department of Justiceshould be concerned about the use of excessive force against the water protectors and alleged violations of civil and human rights.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

You can also call the Department of Justice Office of Community Relations, which offers mediation to communities facing racial and religious confrontations.

Federal office: (202) 305-2935

Regional office: (303) 844-2973,

Remember to speak politely and factually about your concerns. If you send an email, copy it to your social media account to inspire your friends, and to local media.

Call out the media

If media outlets are ignoring or distorting the news, call them on it. Send open letters and share them on social media. Ask major media to fully and factually cover the unfolding drama at Standing Rock.


There are many opportunities to donate cash or supplies. Here are three that I can vouch for:

• The Standing Rock tribe, which is using the funds for their substantial legal expenses and for providing facilities for the camp:

• Oceti Sakowin Camp is the largest of the water protector camps, the closest to the front lines, and is now facing evacuation:

• The Water Protector Legal Collective (formerly the Red Owl Collective), which has been providing legal support to the many who have been arrested at Standing Rock:

You can also support some of the key indigenous organizations that are leading this movement nationwide and worldwide:

• The Indigenous Environmental Network:

• Honor the Earth:

You can raise more money for these and others by organizing support events and fundraisers in your community. Invite people who are curious about the issues as well as people who are already passionately engaged. Make it a celebratory or prayerful event in whatever way makes sense to your community.

Other options

Phone a bank. Invite friends over to make phone calls and send emails. It’s more fun together.

Resist extraction where you live. Join work to stop the pipelines, coal trains, fracking, and export terminals in your city or state and include #NoDAPL and #WaterisLife messages to remind people of the link to Standing Rock.

Resist but also renew. Remember that as you resist the dystopian world of extraction, Donald Trump, violence, and racism, you can also use your activism to build up the world you want. Do your own “just transition,” switching to clean energy, conserving, protecting the water, rebuilding the soil—while including everyone in a way of life that is more soul-satisfying and joy-filled.

Resilience for the days ahead

When I talk to people at Standing Rock, I feel the trauma and pain but also the resolve. The young people speak of being the Seventh Generation, the ones that were prayed for. And many speak of the suffering they are prepared to endure to ensure the next generations has the clean water they will need to survive. That resolve is helped by the support that continues to flow in from more than 300 tribes nationwide, and from hundreds of thousands of allies, including next week’s arrival of thousands of veterans.

“We are not standing down,” said LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, founder of Sacred Stone Camp, at a news conference on Monday in response to the governor’s evacuation order. “We are in our home, we are strong, and we have prayer.”

This article was written for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas and practical actions. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Sarah van Gelder
Sarah van Gelder is co-founder and editor-at-large of YES! Magazine, and author of The Revolution Where You Live: Stories from a 12,000 Mile Journey Through a New America. Follow her blog and connect with Sarah on Twitter: @sarahvangelder

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The No-BS Inside Guide to the Recount

December 1, 2016
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The No-BS Inside Guide to
the Presidential Recount
Sorry, no Russian hacker hunt
by Greg Palast for Truthout

Greg Palast investigated vote suppression in the 2016 election for Rolling Stone.  The film of his investigation, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, was released by Cinema Libre Studios in September.

There’s been so much complete nonsense since I first broke the news that the Green Party would file for a recount of the presidential vote, I am compelled to write a short guide to flush out the BS and get to just the facts, ma’am.

Clip from The Best Democracy Money Can Buy by Greg Palast

Nope, they’re not hunting for Russian hackers
To begin with, the main work of the recount hasn’t a damn thing to do with finding out if the software programs for the voting machines have been hacked, whether by Putin’s agents or some guy in a cave flipping your vote from Hillary to The Donald.

The Green team does not yet even have the right to get into the codes. But that’s just not the core of the work

The ballots in the electoral “dumpster”
The nasty little secret of US elections, is that we don’t count all the votes.

In Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania—and all over America—there were a massive number of votes that were simply rejected, invalidated, and spoiled. They were simply, not counted.  Officially, in a typical presidential election, at least three million votes end up rejected, often for picayune, absurd reasons.

The rejects fall into three big categories:  provisional ballots rejected, absentee and mail-in ballots invalidated and in-precinct votes “spoiled,” spit out by a machine or thrown out by a human reader as unreadable or mis-marked.
So, as Robert Fitrakis, lead lawyer for the recount tells me, their first job is to pull the votes out of the electoral dumpster—and, one by one, make the case for counting a rejected provisional, absentee or “spoiled” ballot.

Spoiled:  over-votes and under-votes
How does a vote spoil? Most fall in the categories of “over-votes” and “under-votes.”

In Michigan, the Green team has found a whole lot of people who voted for TWO candidates for President.  These are the “over-vote”—votes that will count for neither candidate. 

How odd.  While the schools in Detroit are not stellar, its graduates do know that they can only have one president.
Then, some folks didn’t vote at all.  They are the “under-voter.”

But, Fitrakis and team suspect, many of these under- and over-voters meant to vote for a candidate but the robot reader couldn’t understand their choice.

Here’s how it happens.  Voters in Michigan and Wisconsin fill in bubbles next to their choice.  The cards, filled up with darkened bubbles for each race, are gathered and fed through an “optical scanner.” These robotic eyeballs mess up all the time.

This is what Fitrakis, an old hand at vote-machine failures (both deliberate and benign), calls “the calibration problem.”

Are machines calibrated with a Republican or Democratic bias? No, that’s not how it works. But just as poor areas get the worst schools and hospitals, they also get the worst voting machines.

The key is an ugly statistic not taught in third grade civics class:  According to the US Civil Rights Commission, the chance your vote will be disqualified as “spoiled” is 900% more likely if you’re Black than if you’re white.

So the Green Party intends to review every single one of the six million bubble-filled cards. They’ll use the one instrument that can easily tell one bubble from two, or one bubble from none: the human eye. 

As you can imagine, This will require several thousand eyes.  The good news is, Fitrakis reports, that well over a thousand volunteers have already signed up.  Training by Skype begins Tuesday morning. 
Support the 2016 Stolen Election Investigation
The team and I are off to Ground Zero:  Michigan. Wisconsin. Pennsylvania. To report the REAL story of the recount.
I’m also responding to urgent requests in the recount states for our technical files and analysis. And then it’s on to Washington—to the Department of Justice—while there’s a bit of Justice left.
Join us by
Supporting the Stolen Election Investigation
Last stop for Democracy

Provisional or “placebo” ballots
According to the US Elections Assistance Commission (EAC), Americans cast 2.7 million provisional ballots in the last presidential election.  About a million were simply discarded.  What?!

Yes.  Discarded, not counted.  You show up at your normal polling station and they can’t find your name, or they don’t like your ID, or you’re supposed to vote in another precinct.  Instead of letting you vote on a regular ballot, you fill out a “provisional” ballot and place it in an envelope, sign your name, and under penalty of jail time for lying, affirm you’re a properly registered voter. 

The polls close—then the magic begins.  It’s up to highly partisan election officials to decide if your vote counts.  Hillary Clinton only won one swing state, Virginia, notably, the only one where the vote count was controlled by Democrats.  She lost all swing states—Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arizona, North Carolina and Florida—where the GOP set the rules for counting these ballots and their hacks acted as the judge and jury on whether a ballot should be counted.

Wisconsin generally rejects votes cast in the wrong precinct, even if they’re legal voters—and, says Fitrakis, “even if their official precinct was just another table in the same high school gym—and they were mis-directed by poll workers.”

(That’s why I sometimes call “provisional” ballots “placebo” ballots.  They let you feel you’ve voted, even if you haven’t.)

In Wisconsin, provisional ballots were handed to voters—mostly, it appears, students—who didn’t have the form of ID required under new Wisconsin law. These ballots were disqualified despite zero evidence even one voter was an identity thief. 

Fitrakis says the Stein campaign will fight for each of these provisional votes where this is clearly no evidence the vote is fraudulent.

Mail-in, Early and Absentee Ballots go Absent
If you’ve gone postal in this election, good luck!  According to EAC data, at least half a million absentee ballots go absent, that is, just don’t get counted.  The cause: everything from postage due to “suspect signature.” Fitrakis told me that in his home state of Ohio, you need to put your driver’s license number on the envelope, “and if you don’t have a driver’s license and leave the line blank—instead of writing ‘no driver’s license’—they toss your ballot.
From Palast’s book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits by Ted Rall

It’s a “gotcha!” system meant to knock out the ballots the officials don’t want to count.  (Remember, your mail-in ballot is anything but secret.)  Team Green will try to fight for each absentee ballot rejected for cockamamie reasons.

If the recount doesn’t change the outcome, can we feel assured the election was honest?

Sadly, no.  As Fitrakis says, “If a student is given a provisional ballot because they didn’t have the right ID, or the state simply lost their registration, we can fight for the ballot to be counted.  But most students who voted off campus didn’t know their right to get a provisional ballot and most probably didn’t get offered one.

Students and others were discouraged from voting because they lacked the proper ID (300,000 by the estimate of the experts with the ACLU—that’s thirty times Trump’s plurality).  But if you didn’t cast any ballot, provisional or otherwise, no one can fight for it.

And final decisions may come down to the vote of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, God forbid.  As Norman Stockwell, the editor of Madison-based The Progressive explained to me, formerly, elections law adjudications were made by a panel of non-partisan judges.  These were replaced by this new commission of partisan shills appointed by GOP Governor Scott Walker.

Trump says millions voted illegally. Is he crazy?
Crazy like a fox.  There’s a method in his madness that affects the recount.

While the media dismisses Trump’s claim that there are “millions of people that voted illegally,” they have not paid attention to the details of his claim.  Trump explains that millions of people are “voting many, many times,” that is, voting in two states in the same election.

Trump’s claim is based on a list of “potential duplicate voters” created by his operative, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.  Kobach (a top dog in Trump’s transition team)  directs a program for hunting down fraudulent voters using a computer system called, “Crosscheck.”

It’s quite a computer:  Crosscheck identified a breathtaking 449,922 Michiganders who are suspected of voting or registering in a second state, a felony crime, as are 371,923 in Pennsylvania.

I spent two years investigating the Trump/Kobach claim for Rolling Stone.  We obtained the “confidential” suspect list of several million citizens accused of voting twice.  In fact, it was no more than a list of common names—Maria Hernandez, James Brown, David Lee—that is, common to voters of color.  Read: Democrats.  A true and typical example: Michael James Brown of Michigan is supposed to be the same voter as Michael Kendrick Brown of Georgia.

Page from The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (FREE) Comic book penned by Keith Tucker

About 54,000 voters in Michigan, five times Trump’s plurality, lost their right to vote based on this nutty double-voter accusation.  In Pennsylvania, about 45,000 were purged.

The problem for Fitrakis:  While he eventually plans to file suit against Crosscheck purges, in the meantime, it’s not clear he can challenge someone whose lost their vote because of a false accusation of double voting.  And those who found their names missing and didn’t demand a provisional ballot—there’s no hope at all of recovering their vote.

Is Jill Stein going to get rich?
Fitrakis laughs at this one.  “The FEC [Federal Elections Commission] has very strict rules on recounts. The donations for the recount are sequestered in a specially designated account and all spending is restricted to the recount.”  

The big problem is that the cost is somewhat out of Stein’s control.  Each state will bill the campaign for the “pro-rated salaries and benefits” of its county and state officials working on the recount. 

To add to the cost and just plain drive the Green team crazy, the Wisconsin Election Board announced on Monday that each separate county elections clerk will decide if they’ll even let the Green volunteers directly view the ballots.  Fitrakis and partners will have to get a court order to get into each county.  How does one recount ballots without seeing them?  (Hmm, is the Wisconsin board, stooges appointed by the GOP Governor, fearful that the viewing the ballots will expose the game?)

Hillary joins the fray
What will the Clinton camp add to the recount? “Lawyers,” said Fitrakis, though he’s yet to see them.  The Clinton campaign is apparently helping find one voter in each Pennsylvania county, as one is required in each jurisdiction to file for a recount of that state.

And what about that hack job?
While Fitrakis is not looking for Russkies in the computer code, he says, “We’re more concerned with the private companies that control the keys to the kingdom—to match what’s on paper to the official count.”  The “keys” are the little machines, memory cards and other electronic gewgaws that are used to suck the data from the voting machine—which are carried off to another state for tabulation by a private contractor.  Will these tabulations at each step match what the volunteers find in the on-the-ground recount? 

One problem is that the tabulation software is “proprietary.”  A private company owns the code to the count—and the privateers will fight fiercely, with GOP help, to keep the ballot counting code their commercial secret.

Push and Pray Pennsylvania
In the end, the single biggest impediment to a full and fair recount is that 70 percent of Pennsylvania voters used what are called, “Push and Pray” voting machines—Direct Recording Electronic touch-screens.  Push the screen next to your choice and pray it gets recorded. Pennsylvania is one of the only states that has yet to require some form of VVPAT (“vee-pat”) or voter-verified paper audit trail that creates an ATM-style receipt. 

Therefore, the Keystone State recount will have to rely on hopes of access to the code, statistical comparisons to counties that used paper ballots—and prayer.

Maybe it IS the Russians
The possibility that a Putin pal hacked the machines was championed by University of Michigan computer sciences professor J. Alex Halderman who proposed, “The attackers would probe election offices well in advance in order to find ways to break into their computers…and spread malware into voting machines.” 

I imagine some squat, middle-pay-scale civil servant in chinos and a pocket protector who works in the Michigan Secretary of State’s office approached, one late overtime night, by some FSB agent in high heels and a slinky dress split halfway up her thigh. The svelte spy would lean against the bureaucrat provocatively and whisper, “My handsome dahling, would you mind sticking this little thumb drive into that big old computer of yours?” 

Professor Halderman, if you want to help the recount, put down the James Bond novels and pick up some Opti-Scan ballots.  We’ve got a lot of bubbles to read.  End
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Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The Swamp of War

November 30, 2016

General News 11/29/2016 at 09:27:50

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Sometimes it’s tough to pull lessons of any sort from our confusing world, but let me mention one obvious (if little noted) case where that couldn’t be less true: the American military and its wars. Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. has been in a state of more or less permanent war in the Greater Middle East and northern Africa. In those years, it’s been involved in a kaleidoscopic range of activities, including full-scale invasions and occupations, large-scale as well as pinpoint bombing campaigns, drone strikes, special ops raids, advisory missions, training programs, and counterinsurgency operations. The U.S. military has fought regular armies, insurgencies, and terror groups of all sorts, Shiites as well as Sunnis. The first war of this era, in Afghanistan — a country Washington declared “liberated” in 2002 — is still underway 16 years later (and not going well). The second war, in Iraq, is still ongoing 13 years later. From Afghanistan to Libya, Syria to Yemen, Iraq to Somalia, the U.S. military effort in these years, sometimes involving “nation building” and enormous “reconstruction” programs, has left in its wake a series of weakened or collapsed states and spreading terror outfits. In short, no matter how the U.S. military has been used, nothing it’s done has truly worked out.

Now, we are about to enter the Trump era in which a series of retired generals, previously involved in these very wars, may end up running parts of the government or directly advising the president-elect on what course to take in the world. As Trump said in his recent interview with the New York Times, speaking of appointing retired General James Mattis as secretary of defense, “I think it’s time maybe, it’s time for a general. Look at what’s going on. We don’t win, we can’t beat anybody, we don’t win anymore. At anything.”

Nonetheless, you don’t have to be either a genius or a general to draw a simple enough lesson from these last 15 years of American war, even if it’s not Trump’s lesson: don’t do it. Of course, the new crew (aka the old crew) will naturally have ideas about how to “utterly destroy ISIS” and fulfill the president’s other promises in ways different from those already used. They will undoubtedly convince themselves that, unlike their predecessors (who just happen to be them), they have answers to the conundrum of how to effectively prosecute the war on terror. They will not, in other words, have learned the obvious lesson of these years and will, in some fashion, once again apply U.S. military power to the Greater Middle East and northern Africa — and whatever they do, however successful it may look in its early moments, it’s a guarantee that further disaster will ensue sooner or later. Guaranteed as well: that vast region will be “greater” only in terms of the ever vaster expanses of rubble where cities and towns used to be; and our “empire of chaos” there will continue to blow back here as well. It will come home in expense, in frustration, and in god knows what other ways.

Rest assured of one thing, it won’t be pretty, either there or here, a point made by TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich, author of America’s War for the Greater Middle East, while doing something that, strangely enough, has scarcely been done in all these years of war: evaluating the performance of America’s generals. Tom

Trump Loves to Do It, But American Generals Have Forgotten How
By Andrew J. Bacevich

President-elect Donald Trump’s message for the nation’s senior military leadership is ambiguously unambiguous. Here is he on 60 Minutes just days after winning the election.

Trump: “We have some great generals. We have great generals.”

Lesley Stahl: “You said you knew more than the generals about ISIS.”

Trump: “Well, I’ll be honest with you, I probably do because look at the job they’ve done. OK, look at the job they’ve done. They haven’t done the job.”

In reality, Trump, the former reality show host, knows next to nothing about ISIS, one of many gaps in his education that his impending encounter with actual reality is likely to fill. Yet when it comes to America’s generals, our president-to-be is onto something. No doubt our three- and four-star officers qualify as “great” in the sense that they mean well, work hard, and are altogether fine men and women. That they have not “done the job,” however, is indisputable — at least if their job is to bring America’s wars to a timely and successful conclusion.

Trump’s unhappy verdict — that the senior U.S. military leadership doesn’t know how to win — applies in spades to the two principal conflicts of the post-9/11 era: the Afghanistan War, now in its 16th year, and the Iraq War, launched in 2003 and (after a brief hiatus) once more grinding on. Yet the verdict applies equally to lesser theaters of conflict, largely overlooked by the American public, that in recent years have engaged the attention of U.S. forces, a list that would include conflicts in Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.

Granted, our generals have demonstrated an impressive aptitude for moving pieces around on a dauntingly complex military chessboard. Brigades, battle groups, and squadrons shuttle in and out of various war zones, responding to the needs of the moment. The sheer immensity of the enterprise across the Greater Middle East and northern Africa — the sorties flown, munitions expended, the seamless deployment and redeployment of thousands of troops over thousands of miles, the vast stockpiles of material positioned, expended, and continuously resupplied — represents a staggering achievement. Measured by these or similar quantifiable outputs, America’s military has excelled. No other military establishment in history could have come close to duplicating the logistical feats being performed year in, year out by the armed forces of the United States.

Nor should we overlook the resulting body count. Since the autumn of 2001, something like 370,000 combatants and noncombatants have been killed in the various theaters of operations where U.S. forces have been active. Although modest by twentieth century standards, this post-9/11 harvest of death is hardly trivial.

Yet in evaluating military operations, it’s a mistake to confuse how much with how well. Only rarely do the outcomes of armed conflicts turn on comparative statistics. Ultimately, the one measure of success that really matters involves achieving war’s political purposes. By that standard, victory requires not simply the defeat of the enemy, but accomplishing the nation’s stated war aims, and not just in part or temporarily but definitively. Anything less constitutes failure, not to mention utter waste for taxpayers, and for those called upon to fight, it constitutes cause for mourning.

By that standard, having been “at war” for virtually the entire twenty-first century, the United States military is still looking for its first win. And however strong the disinclination to concede that Donald Trump could be right about anything, his verdict on American generalship qualifies as apt.

Never-Ending Parade of Commanders for Wars That Never End

That verdict brings to mind three questions. First, with Trump a rare exception, why have the recurring shortcomings of America’s military leadership largely escaped notice? Second, to what degree does faulty generalship suffice to explain why actual victory has proven so elusive? Third, to the extent that deficiencies at the top of the military hierarchy bear directly on the outcome of our wars, how might the generals improve their game?

As to the first question, the explanation is quite simple: During protracted wars, traditional standards for measuring generalship lose their salience. Without pertinent standards, there can be no accountability. Absent accountability, failings and weaknesses escape notice. Eventually, what you’ve become accustomed to seems tolerable. Twenty-first century Americans inured to wars that never end have long since forgotten that bringing such conflicts to a prompt and successful conclusion once defined the very essence of what generals were expected to do.

Senior military officers were presumed to possess unique expertise in designing campaigns and directing engagements. Not found among mere civilians or even among soldiers of lesser rank, this expertise provided the rationale for conferring status and authority on generals.

In earlier eras, the very structure of wars provided a relatively straightforward mechanism for testing such claims to expertise. Events on the battlefield rendered harsh judgments, creating or destroying reputations with brutal efficiency.

Back then, standards employed in evaluating generalship were clear-cut and uncompromising. Those who won battles earned fame, glory, and the gratitude of their countrymen. Those who lost battles got fired or were put out to pasture.

During the Civil War, for example, Abraham Lincoln did not need an advanced degree in strategic studies to conclude that Union generals like John Pope, Ambrose Burnside, and Joseph Hooker didn’t have what it took to defeat the Army of Northern Virginia. Humiliating defeats sustained by the Army of the Potomac at the Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville made that obvious enough. Similarly, the victories Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman gained at Shiloh, at Vicksburg, and in the Chattanooga campaign strongly suggested that here was the team to which the president could entrust the task of bringing the Confederacy to its knees.

Today, public drunkenness, petty corruption, or sexual shenanigans with a subordinate might land generals in hot water. But as long as they avoid egregious misbehavior, senior officers charged with prosecuting America’s wars are largely spared judgments of any sort. Trying hard is enough to get a passing grade.

With the country’s political leaders and public conditioned to conflicts seemingly destined to drag on for years, if not decades, no one expects the current general-in-chief in Iraq or Afghanistan to bring things to a successful conclusion. His job is merely to manage the situation until he passes it along to a successor, while duly adding to his collection of personal decorations and perhaps advancing his career.

Today, for example, Army General John Nicholson commands U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan. He’s only the latest in a long line of senior officers to preside over that war, beginning with General Tommy Franks in 2001 and continuing with Generals Mikolashek, Barno, Eikenberry, McNeill, McKiernan, McChrystal, Petraeus, Allen, Dunford, and Campbell. The title carried by these officers changed over time. So, too, did the specifics of their “mission” as Operation Enduring Freedom evolved into Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Yet even as expectations slipped lower and lower, none of the commanders rotating through Kabul delivered. Not a single one has, in our president-elect’s concise formulation, “done the job.” Indeed, it’s increasingly difficult to know what that job is, apart from preventing the Taliban from quite literally toppling the government.

In Iraq, meanwhile, Army Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend currently serves as the — count ’em — ninth American to command U.S. and coalition forces in that country since the George W. Bush administration ordered the invasion of 2003. The first in that line, (once again) General Tommy Franks, overthrew the Saddam Hussein regime and thereby broke Iraq. The next five, Generals Sanchez, Casey, Petraeus, Odierno, and Austin, labored for eight years to put it back together again.

At the end of 2011, President Obama declared that they had done just that and terminated the U.S. military occupation. The Islamic State soon exposed Obama’s claim as specious when its militants put a U.S.-trained Iraqi army to flight and annexed large swathes of that country’s territory. Following in the footsteps of his immediate predecessors Generals James Terry and Sean MacFarland, General Townsend now shoulders the task of trying to restore Iraq’s status as a more or less genuinely sovereign state. He directs what the Pentagon calls Operation Inherent Resolve, dating from June 2014, the follow-on to Operation New Dawn (September 2010-December 2011), which was itself the successor to Operation Iraqi Freedom (March 2003-August 2010).

When and how Inherent Resolve will conclude is difficult to forecast. This much we can, however, say with some confidence: with the end nowhere in sight, General Townsend won’t be its last commander. Other generals are waiting in the wings with their own careers to polish. As in Kabul, the parade of U.S. military commanders through Baghdad will continue.

For some readers, this listing of mostly forgotten names and dates may have a soporific effect. Yet it should also drive home Trump’s point. The United States may today have the world’s most powerful and capable military — so at least we are constantly told. Yet the record shows that it does not have a corps of senior officers who know how to translate capability into successful outcomes.

Draining Which Swamp?

That brings us to the second question: Even if commander-in-chief Trump were somehow able to identify modern day equivalents of Grant and Sherman to implement his war plans, secret or otherwise, would they deliver victory?

On that score, we would do well to entertain doubts. Although senior officers charged with running recent American wars have not exactly covered themselves in glory, it doesn’t follow that their shortcomings offer the sole or even a principal explanation for why those wars have yielded such disappointing results. The truth is that some wars aren’t winnable and shouldn’t be fought.

So, yes, Trump’s critique of American generalship possesses merit, but whether he knows it or not, the question truly demanding his attention as the incoming commander-in-chief isn’t: Who should I hire (or fire) to fight my wars? Instead, far more urgent is: Does further war promise to solve any of my problems?

One mark of a successful business executive is knowing when to cut your losses. It’s also the mark of a successful statesman. Trump claims to be the former. Whether his putative business savvy will translate into the world of statecraft remains to be seen. Early signs are not promising.

As a candidate, Trump vowed to “defeat radical Islamic terrorism,” destroy ISIS, “decimate al-Qaeda,” and “starve funding for Iran-backed Hamas and Hezbollah.” Those promises imply a significant escalation of what Americans used to call the Global War on Terrorism.

Toward that end, the incoming administration may well revive some aspects of the George W. Bush playbook, including repopulating the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and “if it’s so important to the American people,” reinstituting torture. The Trump administration will at least consider re-imposing sanctions on countries like Iran. It may aggressively exploit the offensive potential of cyber-weapons, betting that America’s cyber-defenses will hold.

Yet President Trump is also likely to double down on the use of conventional military force. In that regard, his promise to “quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS” offers a hint of what is to come. His appointment of the uber-hawkish Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as his national security adviser and his rumored selection of retired Marine Corps General James (“Mad Dog”) Mattis as defense secretary suggest that he means what he says. In sum, a Trump administration seems unlikely to reexamine the conviction that the problems roiling the Greater Middle East will someday, somehow yield to a U.S.-imposed military solution. Indeed, in the face of massive evidence to the contrary, that conviction will deepen, with genuinely ironic implications for the Trump presidency.

In the immediate wake of 9/11, George W. Bush concocted a fantasy of American soldiers liberating oppressed Afghans and Iraqis and thereby “draining the swamp” that served to incubate anti-Western terrorism. The results achieved proved beyond disappointing, while the costs exacted in terms of lives and dollars squandered were painful indeed. Incrementally, with the passage of time, many Americans concluded that perhaps the swamp most in need of attention was not on the far side of the planet but much closer at hand — right in the imperial city nestled alongside the Potomac River.

To a very considerable extent, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, preferred candidate of the establishment, because he advertised himself as just the guy disgruntled Americans could count on to drain that swamp.

Yet here’s what too few of those Americans appreciate, even today: war created that swamp in the first place. War empowers Washington. It centralizes. It provides a rationale for federal authorities to accumulate and exercise new powers. It makes government bigger and more intrusive. It lubricates the machinery of waste, fraud, and abuse that causes tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to vanish every year. When it comes to sustaining the swamp, nothing works better than war.

Were Trump really intent on draining that swamp — if he genuinely seeks to “Make America Great Again” — then he would extricate the United States from war. His liquidation of Trump University, which was to higher education what Freedom’s Sentinel and Inherent Resolve are to modern warfare, provides a potentially instructive precedent for how to proceed.

But don’t hold your breath on that one. All signs indicate that, in one fashion or another, our combative next president will perpetuate the wars he’s inheriting. Trump may fancy that, as a veteran of Celebrity Apprentice (but not of military service), he possesses a special knack for spotting the next Grant or Sherman. But acting on that impulse will merely replenish the swamp in the Greater Middle East along with the one in Washington. And soon enough, those who elected him with expectations of seeing the much-despised establishment dismantled will realize that they’ve been had.

Which brings us, finally, to that third question: To the extent that deficiencies at the top of the military hierarchy do affect the outcome of wars, what can be done to fix the problem?

The most expeditious approach: purge all currently serving three- and four-star officers; then, make a precondition for promotion to those ranks confinement in a reeducation camp run by Iraq and Afghanistan war amputees, with a curriculum designed by Veterans for Peace. Graduation should require each student to submit an essay reflecting on these words of wisdom from U.S. Grant himself: “There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword.”

True, such an approach may seem a bit draconian. But this is no time for half-measures — as even Donald Trump may eventually recognize.

Andrew J. Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular, is professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University. His most recent book is America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt’s latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

Tom Engelhardt, who runs the Nation Institute’s (“a regular antidote to the mainstream media”), is the co-founder of the American Empire Project and, most recently, the author of Mission Unaccomplished: Tomdispatch Interviews with American Iconoclasts and Dissenters (Nation Books), the first collection of Tomdispatch interviews.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The Swamp of War Sometimes it’s tough to pull lessons of any sort from our confusing world, but let me mention one obvious (if little noted) case where that couldn’t be less true: the American military and its wars.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Hartung, Trump for the Defense As with so much of what Donald Trump has said in recent months, his positions on Pentagon spending are, to be polite, a bundle of contradictions.

Monday, November 21, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, No “New Normal” The night after the election, this long-time pacifist dreamed she shot a big white man carrying an arsenal of guns. He was wandering around a room full of people, waving a pistol and threatening to fire.

Thursday, November 17, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Mattea Kramer, You Don’t Leave Home Without It Not long before Election Day, but thousands of miles away in the Afghan village of Bouz Kandahari, 30 to 36 civilians died (including a significant number of children and infants).

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 (2 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, America, the Election, and the Dismal Tide It wasn’t to be, but had it been, Hillary Clinton would have become not only the first woman president, but the first president to enter the Oval Office as a lame duck.

Monday, November 14, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, Through the Gates of Hell The one thing you could say about empires is that, at or near their height, they have always represented a principle of order as well as domination.

Monday, November 7, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Michael Klare, Whose Finger on the Nuclear Button? Once upon a time, when choosing a new president, a factor for many voters was the perennial question: “Whose finger do you want on the nuclear button?”

Thursday, November 3, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, Resurrecting My Parents From the Dead for Election 2016 To say that this is the election from hell is to insult hell.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Ann Jones, Donald Trump’s Open Carry Donald Trump grabbed a new lifeline. Speaking at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, on October 15th, he raised a hand as if to take an oath and declared: “I am a victim!”

Monday, October 31, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nate Terani, One Veteran’s War on Islamophobia Recently, I was asked a question about Kill Anything That Moves, my history of civilian suffering during the Vietnam War. An interviewer wanted to know how I responded to veterans who took offense at the (supposed) implication that every American who served in Vietnam committed atrocities.

Thursday, October 27, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nomi Prins, Too Big to Fail, Hillary-Style Of a Hillary Clinton presidency, so much less has been written and yet she’s the woman who never saw a bank CEO she couldn’t get a couple of hundred thousand dollars from for giving thoroughly unsurprising speeches.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Hartung, The Doctrine of Armed Exceptionalism Here’s the strangeness of it all: America’s wars have been going badly for years in almost every way imaginable across the Greater Middle East and North Africa and yet, the Pentagon’s budget is already coming up roses and no matter who enters the Oval Office, it’s only going to get bigger.

Monday, October 24, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Gary Younge, America’s Deserving and Undeserving Dead Children On average, seven children a day, about 2,500 a year, are shot to death in this country. Given the availability of guns of every sort here, this should surprise no one.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Perpetual Killing Field Today’s TomDispatch post is a monumental piece of reporting from “the worst place on Earth” and, on a planet where, from Cambodia to Rwanda, people remember the grim slaughter grounds of our recent history, the least noticed “killing fields” around.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Sandy Tolan, The Death of the Two-State Solution The Obama administration just agreed to a 10-year military aid deal that will give Israel $38 billion dollars in, among other things, America’s most advanced weapons systems. The White House terms it “the largest single pledge of military assistance in U.S. history.”

Monday, October 17, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Finding Hope in Dismal Times Luckily, not everyone has been glued to the screen, eternally watching The Donald. From Black Lives Matter to the climate change movement, activists have, as TomDispatch regular Rebecca Gordon points out in a powerful (and powerfully upbeat) new post, never stopped working to make this a better world.

Thursday, October 13, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: John Feffer, Slouching Toward the Apocalypse This piece suggests far wilder ways in which Trump couldn’t be more in that same grain, if what you have in mind is the Dr. Strangelovian current that runs through American life, involving evangelicals, apocalyptics, survivalists, and white racists; even his extremity, that is, couldn’t be more us — or, if you prefer, more U.S. This one is an original and definitely a must-read!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, Unipolar No More As Dilip Hiro points out in his TomDispatch post today, if you’ve noticed the growing assertiveness of China and Russia, you’ll know that we’re on an increasingly multipolar planet.

Thursday, October 6, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, This Is Not About Donald Trump I attempt to take a step back when it comes to the Trump phenomenon and look at what, despite the millions of words pouring out about him, is seldom said or thought much about: the ways in which, unique as this presidential election season may be, Trump himself couldn’t be more in the American tradition — as American, in fact, as a piece of McDonald’s baked apple pie.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The National Security Void You may have missed it. Perhaps you dozed off. Or wandered into the kitchen to grab a snack. Or by that point in the proceedings were checking out Seinfeld reruns. During the latter part of the much hyped but excruciating-to-watch first presidential debate, Lester Holt posed a seemingly straightforward but cunningly devised question.

Monday, October 3, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, What Actually Keeps Americans Safe We have a vast national security state that remains remarkably helpless when it comes to finding the terrorists in our American world. It is simply incapable of picking those unexpected needles out of the vast haystack of us.

Thursday, September 29, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nomi Prins, Trump’s Future Piggy Bank, Our Country? As Nomi Prins, author of All the Presidents’ Bankers points out in her latest TomDispatch piece on election 2016, there’s one thing Donald Trump is not prepared to do, whatever the political positions he may espouse: give up what’s best for Donald Trump.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 (3 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, Killing People, Breaking Things, and America’s Winless Wars America’s post-9/11 wars have been going on for years and it seems as if, in conflict after conflict, the U.S. military can’t get out of them and can’t win any of them either.

Monday, September 26, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Arresting Our Way to “Justice” More than 2.3 million people are in American jails and prisons at any moment, more than 11 million cycling through them each year.

Thursday, September 22, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, War, Peace, and Absurdity Here’s my version of why, in war and peace, bombing and politics, the stories out of this country these days should boggle our minds.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Chip Ward, Peace Pipes, Not Oil Pipes With the return of Utah environmentalist Chip Ward to TomDispatch comes a vivid analysis of the latest dramatic oil pipeline battle in the West, the stand-off at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Monday, September 19, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Peter Van Buren, Class of 2017 — So Sorry! Fifteen years after 9/11, war and possible war are embedded in our American way of life and the public is consumed with safety and security-related fears, of terrorism in particular, that have little basis in reality but have helped immensely to expand our national security state.

Thursday, September 15, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Michael Klare, The Rise of the Right and Climate Catastrophe Today, consider what TomDispatch’s invaluable energy expert Michael Klare has to say about the rise of versions of The Donald globally and what, in climate-change terms, that means for the health of our planet.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Aviva Chomsky, Deportations “R” Us Sometimes, as today at TomDispatch, what’s needed is a little history lesson to remind us that what seems unique in our moment — in this case, Donald Trump’s attitude toward immigrants (whether Mexican or Syrian) — is anything but unique to our time.

Monday, September 12, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Bill Moyers, Money and Power in America Bill Moyers on how the U.S. became a 1% society — and why democracy and plutocracy don’t mix.

Thursday, September 8, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, A 9/11 Retrospective: Washington’s 15-Year Air War I offer what I hope is a unique 9/11 retrospective for the 15th anniversary of that nightmare: a look at what’s been at the heart of events since that morning — a set of air wars that have gone on fruitlessly and destructively for 15 years and show no signs of ever ending.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, What the U.S. Military Doesn’t Know (and Neither Do You) What the Pentagon and the U.S. military do matters greatly on this conflicted planet of ours, which is why I regularly find it amazing, even unnerving, that, in a world of monster media organizations, covering what the U.S. military does in Africa — and it’s doing more and more there — has largely been left to Nick Turse of TomDispatch.

Monday, August 29, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Arlie Hochschild, Trumping Environmentalism TomDispatch takes you on a remarkable journey into the bayous of Louisiana, a world of Tea Party supporters, of an environmental disaster, and of the confounding contradictions of American political life in the midst of Election 2016.

Thursday, August 25, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Ann Jones, “I Didn’t Serve, I Was Used” At TomDispatch today, a powerful piece on how, from Big Pharma to the Koch brothers, vets coming home from America’s wars have been taken to the cleaners.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Todd Miller, The Great Mexican Wall Deception Todd Miller reminds us, Trump supporters shouldn’t feel complete despair if, in the course of this election campaign, The Donald goes down in flames.

Monday, August 22, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Making Sense of Trump and His National Security State Critics Rebecca Gordon takes a clear-eyed look at the Republican national security luminaries who recently signed a letter declaring Donald Trump unfit for the Oval Office (and yes, indeed, he is unfit for office).

Thursday, August 18, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Best of TomDispatch: Andrew Bacevich, Pentagon, Inc. A writer who dares to revisit a snarky article dashed off five-plus years earlier will necessarily approach the task with some trepidation. Pieces such as the one republished below are not drafted with the expectation that they will enjoy a protracted shelf life. Yet in this instance, I’m with Edith Piaf: Non, je ne regrette rien.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Judith Coburn, On the Mean Streets of America Step aside, Sam Spade. Move over, Philip Marlowe. You want noir? Skip the famed private eye novels and films of the 1930s and 1940s and turn to our present American world and to neighborhoods where the postman doesn’t ring even once, but the police are ready to shoot more than once, often on the slightest excuse.

Thursday, August 11, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Astore, Why It’s So Hard for Members of the Military to Speak Out These days, who writes about how little public dissent or criticism of U.S. foreign policy and its disastrous wars comes from those who are at the heart of the process, who should know so much better than the rest of us? In all these years, I’ve seen next to nothing on the subject military dissent in particular.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016 (2 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Election From Hell Consider this post my attempt to make some sense of what we’re still calling an “election campaign,” although it has by now become more like an all-encompassing way of life and, despite its many “debates” (that now garner National Football League-sized audiences), is also what I label “the tao of confusion.”

Thursday, August 4, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Pseudo-Election 2016 Andrew Bacevich takes a trip back to his childhood — to the 1956 election between Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower and Democrat Adlai Stevenson and offers a particularly clear-eyed look at how, over six decades, American politics at the national level descended into the pathological election campaign of the present moment.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, The U.S. Military Pivots to Africa and That Continent Goes Down the Drain Things are not exactly going well militarily 15 years after 9/11. The Obama administration will hand over at least seven wars and conflicts across the Greater Middle East and Africa to the next administration and from Afghanistan to Libya, Somalia, and Nigeria, things are just getting worse.

Monday, August 1, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Frida Berrigan, Guns for Tots Frida Berrigan uses her experiences as a mother with her three young children to explore, in a freewheeling and fascinating way, toy culture, toy guns, the NRA, the weapons industry, and kids (and what we adults can take from such subjects).

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Hartung, How to Arm a “Volatile” Planet So here’s this morning’s puzzle for you: two major U.S. industries make things that go boom in the night: Hollywood and the arms business.

Monday, July 25, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, Crimes Against the Future In this one, as befits my age, I imagine the world I will, sooner or later, be leaving behind: a destabilizing country and a planet filling with refugees, especially millions of children uprooted from their worlds and lives, deprived often of parents, education, and a childhood.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Adam Hochschild, Letting Tarzan Swing Through History Adam Hochschild recently discovered that the latest reboot of the Tarzan movies, The Legend of Tarzan, was, bizarrely enough, in part based on his classic book King Leopold’s Ghost — on, that is, the colonial nightmare of the Belgian Congo.

Monday, July 18, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, How Extrajudicial Executions Became “War” Policy in Washington Rebecca Gordon’s new post is an eye-opening look at how two American administrations changed the nature of war, using the drone to bring extrajudicial executions — presidentially ordered assassinations — into the heartland of American foreign policy.

Thursday, July 14, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Michael Klare, Fossil Fuels Forever Based on the latest yearly report from the U.S. Department of Energy, while renewable forms of energy are growing far faster than anyone expected, so — startlingly enough — is the use of fossil fuels. As a result, it looks like oil, coal, and natural gas will continue to expand and dominate the global energy landscape for decades to come.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Astore, We Have Met the Alien and He Is Us When we go to the movies, we identify with the outgunned rebels, the underdogs, the liberators, against the alien invaders, the imperial stormtroopers, the Terminators. Here, however, is one retired Air Force lieutenant colonel’s hard won realization that we — the U.S. military in particular — may be the invading “aliens” in much of the world.

Monday, July 11, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nomi Prins, Trump Wins (Even If He Loses) Nomi Prins turns to the billionaire who has taken possession of us all. Her focus: his frenetic version of “You’re fired!” this election season and how that’s played out with the Republican establishment, without whom (and without whose money) she doubts he can make it to the Oval Office.

Thursday, July 7, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, Where Did the American Century Go? Is this actually the American Century? And concludes that perhaps it’s not, despite the fact that we remain the globe’s “sole superpower.”

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, Revolving Doors, Robust Rolodexes, and Runaway Generals Nick Turse offers a riveting look at what “retirement” means for top commanders in the U.S. military and believe me, if you don’t think public service pays big time, think again.

Thursday, June 30, 2016 (2 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Thomas Frank, Worshipping Money in D.C. Thomas Frank takes us on an eye-opening tour of the lobbying industry in Washington, a dimly lit corner of “corruption-free America,” a completely legal and remarkably unethical world that comes with its own guidebook: Influence, a newsletter chronicling daily dalliances involving money, alcohol, and political influence.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Patrick Cockburn, An Endless Cycle of Indecisive Wars As Patrick Cockburn points out in his TomDispatch post today, we have entered “an age of disintegration.” And he should know. There may be no Western reporter who has covered the grim dawn of that age in the Greater Middle East and North Africa.

Monday, June 27, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: John Feffer, Donald Trump and America B John Feffer focuses on the post-Cold War global economy and who it left behind, a group that has no name here but is known in Poland as “Poland B” and is now triumphantly represented in power by a rabid right-wing political party there.

Thursday, June 23, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics… and U.S. Africa Command Turse explores the way U.S. Africa Command has seemingly massaged its numbers in testimony to Congress and so evidently managed to disappear piles of its missions on that continent, obscuring the expansion of U.S. military operations there.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 (4 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Astore, The End of Air Power? air power alone can’t be blamed for the sorry fates of the lands of the Greater Middle East, increasingly descending into chaos and terror, but let’s just say — as retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel William Astore does in his new post — that it has proven startlingly incapable of producing any positive results.

Thursday, June 16, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Andrew Cockburn, Victory Assured on the Military’s Main Battlefield — Washington Today, Andrew Cockburn, whose recent book, Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins (just out in paperback), is a devastating account of how U.S. drone warfare really works, suggests that such results are anything but. Quite the opposite, it represents strategic thinking and maneuvering of the first order and results in the Pentagon regularly taking the budgetary high ground in Washington.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Ann Jones, Donald Trump Has the Traits of a Wife Abuser and Women Know It Ann Jones makes sense of Donald Trump’s stunningly unfavorable polling numbers among women and why, thanks to what lies behind them, the only billionaire in the running may not, in fact, make it to the White House.

Noam ChomskyMonday, June 13, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, Tick… Tick… Tick… It’s no small horror that, on this planet of ours, humanity continues to foster two apocalyptic forces, each of which — one in a relative instant and the other over many decades — could cripple or destroy human life as we know it.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

How I Produce Fake News for Russia

November 29, 2016

David Swanson via via
6:12 PM (4 hours ago)

Please read my response to the Washington Post’s labeling non-corporate viewpoints “Russian propaganda”:

How I Produce Fake News for Russia

While Russia has, in fact, failed to ever pay me a dime for anything, so — for the most part — have all the outlets I’ve written for that the Washington Post has smeared. I depend for my work on generous support from you. Please donate what you can.
Without your help I can’t produce Talk Nation Radio (free to any station, please recommend it to them), or maintain and Here are three recent TNR shows:

Greg Palast on Stripping 7 Million Voters from Rolls, Swinging Election

Jonathan Simon on How Machines May Have Counted Our Votes Wrong

Sonia Kennebeck on the Drone as National Bird
Without your help I can’t keep speaking at events like these:

Dec. 1 David Swanson speaking at the Iraq Tribunal in Washington DC. (Watch the livestream!)

Dec. 7 David Swanson at screening of National Bird at Naro Cinema in Norfolk Va.

Dec. 10 David Swanson speaking at summit on Gun Violence at American University in Washington DC.

Without your help I can’t keep doing interviews:
AUDIO: I discussed what else on connect the dots
AUDIO: I discussed elections and other catastrophes with Paulette Spencer on WBAI last night

Video: I debated US election today on Press TV

Without your help I can’t keep creating initiatives like this (please sign!):
To: Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court

People of the U.S. and World Ask ICC to Prosecute U.S. War Crimes: SIGN.

Without your help I can’t keep writing:
Top 10 Reasons This Year’s Nobel Peace Prize Events Will Feature Henry Kissinger

Solving Abusive International Relationships

James Mattis Is a Secretary of Offense

Dear Mr. Trump, About Your 29 Ideas

Registering Japanese Americans Is Precedent Only for Crime

Born on Home Plate

Michael Flynn Should Remember Truths He Blurted Out Last Year

Another $11.6 Billion for Obama/Trump Wars? Hell No!

John Heuer Was a Tremendous Advocate of Peace

The Skeletons in Keith Ellison’s Display Case

Now More Than Ever: Stand for Peace in Charlottesville

Un-Trump the World

Calexit Yes

Top 10 Election Problems

Armistice Day 98 Years On and the Need for a Peace to End All Wars

A Good Time to Review Bush’s War Crimes

Hurricane Donald and the Storms of Changing Climate

Now We Can Finally Get to Work

The US Wars No One is Talking About and Obama’s Foreign Policy Legacy

Post-Election To-Do List

How Drone Pilots Talk

What Could Unite a Larger Peace Movement? Oh, This!

I appreciate your support!

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The First 100 Day Resistance Agenda

November 26, 2016

Published on
Monday, November 21, 2016

byRobert Reich

Resist. In all the ways we can imagine. (Image: Pixabay/CC0/with overlay)
Trump’s First 100 Day agenda includes repealing environmental regulations, Obamacare, and the Dodd-Frank Act, giving the rich a huge tax cut, and much worse. Here’s the First 100 Day resistance agenda [with thanks to Alan Webber]:

1. Get Democrats in the Congress and across the country to pledge to oppose Trump’s agenda. Prolong the process of approving choices, draw out hearings, stand up as sanctuary cities and states. Take a stand. Call your senator and your representative (phone calls are always better than writing). Your senator’s number here. Your representative’s number here.

2. March and demonstrate—in a coordinated, well-managed way. The “1 Million Women March” is already scheduled for the Inauguration —and will be executed with real skill. See here. There will be “sister” marches around the country—in LA and elsewhere. They need to be coordinated and orchestrated. And then? 1 Million Muslims? 1 Million Latinos? What would keep the momentum alive and keep the message going?

3. Boycott all Trump products, real estate, hotels, resorts, everything. And then boycott all stores (like Nordstrom) that carry merchandise from Trump family brands. See here. See also here.

4. Letters to Editors: A national letter-writing campaign, from people all over the country, every walk of life and every level of society, from celebrities to sports heroes to grassroots Americans. In most papers, the Letters to the Editor section is the most-read part of the paper.

5. Op-Eds: A steady flow of arguments about the fallacies and dangers of Trump’s First 100 Day policies and initiatives, from name-brand thinkers and doers to ordinary folk writing for their city’s or community’s newspaper.

6. Social media: What about a new YouTube channel devoted to video testimonials about resisting Trump’s First 100 Day Agenda? Crowd-sourced ideas, themes and memes. Who wants to start it?

7. Website containing up-to-date daily bulletins on what actions people are planning around the country, and where, so others can join in. Techies, get organized.

8. Investigative journalism: We need investigative journalists to dig into the backgrounds of all of Trump’s appointees, in the White House, the Cabinet, Ambassadors and judges.

9. Lawsuits: Our version of “Drill, baby, drill” is “Sue, baby, sue.” Throw sand in the gears. Lawyers, get organized.

10. Coordinated fund-raising: Rather than having every public-interest group appeal on their own, have a coordinated fundraising program to fill the coffers of the most endangered and effective opposition groups. Is there a way to do a televised fundraiser with celebrities raising money for the Resistance?

11. Symbolic opposition: Safety pins are already appearing. What else? What more? Make the resistance visible with bumper stickers, a label pin, a branding campaign that has great language, great logo, great wrist band (remember the Lance Armstrong “Livestrong” yellow wrist band—it sold millions!).

12. Intellectual opposition: Take Trump on where he’s weakest—with serious ideas. I’ll try to do my part. You do yours, too.

13. Serious accountability: Establish performance metrics to evaluate his delivery on his campaign promises. An updated web site of promises made and not kept. This is one especially suited to public policy students.

14. Your idea goes here. Call a meeting of family and friends this weekend. Come up with to-dos.

The First 100 Days Resistance Agenda. We’re not going away.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Robert Reich
Robert Reich, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. Time Magazine has named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including his latest best-seller, Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future; The Work of Nations; Locked in the Cabinet; Supercapitalism; and his newest, Beyond Outrage. His syndicated columns, television appearances, and public radio commentaries reach millions of people each week. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, and Chairman of the citizen’s group Common Cause. His widely-read blog can be found at