American Empire

Immigrant Children Carted Off in Dead of Night to Trump’s Texas Tent Camp

October 4, 2018 by Source

By Jake Johnson / Common Dreams

With detention facilities overflowing due to President Donald Trump’s monstrous immigration policies—which have sent the number of children detained by the U.S. government soaring to a record 12,800—the Trump administration is reportedly carrying out dead-of-night “mass transfers” of children from foster homes and shelters to a crowded Texas tent camp, where they have no schooling and limited access to legal services.

According to the New York Times, more than 1,600 “migrant children have been roused in the middle of the night in recent weeks and loaded onto buses with backpacks and snacks for a cross-country journey to their new home: a barren tent city on a sprawling patch of desert in South Texas.”

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FBI and DOJ Warn Trump Is Crossing ‘Red Line’ By Ordering Declassified Documents from Russian Investigation

September 18, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Is Trump barreling towards a high-stakes confrontation with the FBI and Department of Justice?

A confrontation that could unfold within the next several days is about to overtake the news cycle and signal yet another abuse of power move by Trump. But this one could be the trigger – as FBI Director Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – decide how to respond to the president’s latest attempt to subvert the investigation into whether the Russian sabotage of the 2016 election included Trump and his people.

Did you miss the memo on the latest installment in the continuing American constitutional crisis? On Monday Trump ordered the FBI and the DOJ to release – without redaction

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The Chuck E Cheese’s President

September 13, 2018 by Source

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Robert Reich: ‘We’re Living a Constitutional Crisis’

August 2, 2018 by Source

A malignant megalomaniac facing no countervailing power will continue to expand his terrain until he is stopped

by Robert Reich / Common Dreams

“He berates judges who disagree with him, and journalists and news organizations that criticize him.”(Photo: Screenshot)
I keep hearing that if Trump fires Mueller, we’ll face a “constitutional crisis.” Or if Mueller subpoenas Trump to testify and Trump defies the subpoena, it’s a “constitutional crisis”. Or if Mueller delivers substantial evidence that Trump is guilty of colluding with Russia or of obstructing justice, and the House does nothing to impeach him, we have a “constitutional crisis.”

Well, I have news for you. We’re already in a “constitutional crisis.”

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Who Does He Think He’s Fooling?

July 19, 2018 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

“No collusion,”
the man, with way more talk
than walk says.

And he flies across
waters to Helsinki
to meet and greet
a Russian of ill repute
who is seen
as our number one enemy,

a man who slapped our country
upside the head
like a Mafia Godfather
putting an underling
in his place,

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US Chief Executive Waves Bye-Bye After Visit to Jolly ol England

July 13, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

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Join Indivisible for Peaceful Protest at GOP National Committee Meetup at Hotel Del: Thursday, May 11th

May 10, 2017 by Source

From Indivisible San Diego

The only way we get to the truth on Russia, save health care, save the environment, save Planned Parenthood, civil rights, women’s rights, stop the wall, protect immigrants is to #FlipCongress2018!

The Republican National Committee 2017 Spring Meeting will be held at the Hotel del Coronado May 10 – 13. Join Indivisible for a peaceful protest to let the GOP know that we simply can’t wait to vote them out of office in the 2018 mid-term elections. Participants will spell out “2018” on the beach near the hotel for an aerial photo.

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Audubon Society Gearing Up for Weekend of Restoring Least Tern Nesting Areas on Fiesta Island

March 30, 2017 by Source

The San Diego Audubon Society is gearing up for a weekend of organizing volunteers to help restore the natural habitat on Fiesta Island.

On both Saturday, April 1st and Sunday, April 2nd, teams of volunteers will work to restore the nesting habitat of the endangered California Least Tern and to protect Nuttall’s Lotus, an endangered sand dune plant on Fiesta Island.

Here’s the break-down:

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New Modular Units at Voltaire and Abbott for Rent on Airbnb Despite Owner’s Pledge

March 1, 2017 by Frank Gormlie


When the 3 two-story modular units planed for the south-east corner of Voltaire and Abbott were approved by the OB Planning Board in early September 2014, one of the applicant-owners stated to the Board unequivocally that he planned to live in one of the units. Now that they have been built, it appears that the units – at least one of them – are listed on Airbnb – for $229 to $349 a night.

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Trump’s Border Brownshirts Already Running Amok

March 1, 2017 by Doug Porter

The ‘gloves are off’ is a terrible thing to say to anybody with a gun and a badge

By Doug Porter

We’re already seeing glimpses of what ‘empowered’ agencies charged with immigration enforcement will look like in the Trump era, and it’s not a pretty sight.

What seems to be clear at this point is that some enforcement personnel in Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol (two separate agencies, both in Homeland security) aren’t even waiting for the official go-ahead.

San Diego has been lucky–thus far– …

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Tyranny at Home – OB Rag Editorial in 1973 During the Days of Nixon and Watergate

February 20, 2017 by Source

Editor: The following is an OB Rag staff editorial from October 1973. It was published during the time of the Nixon administration and the Watergate scandal. As Nixon didn’t resign until August 1974, there were fears of what he would do in the months prior to the resolution of the Constitutional crisis. In reading this editorial written 44 years ago, many of the themes resonate with us today.

tyranny at home …

We of the OB Rag staff are appalled at Richard Nixon’s latest moves at establishing one-man rule n America. Nixon has stepped outside the bounds of his constituted authority … again. He has usurped the powers of the courts by refusing to comply with a court order to release the tapes. More, he has fired the one man, Archibald Cox, who had the legal authority to investigate the White House’s involvement in Watergate.

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Obama Commutes Sentence of Chelsea Manning

January 18, 2017 by Source

President Obama has commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who leaked American military and diplomatic activities in 2010, and who had become a cause celebre over those years. This act likely saved her life.

According to the New York Times:

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Trump’s Cabinet Picks: A Basket of Deplorables

December 15, 2016 by John Lawrence

Trump's Cabinet PicksA Secy of Labor Who Doesn’t Believe in the Minimum Wage

By John Lawrence

Trump has chosen fast food executive Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor. Puzder is chief executive of CKE Restaurants, the corporation that owns Hardee’s and Carls Jr fast food chains.

The corporation has 3300 locations in 42 states and 28 countries. Puzder has advocated replacing human beings with machines in fast food restaurants.

He famously said, “They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.”

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Making Sense of the CIA’s Story on Comrade Trump’s Campaign

December 13, 2016 by Doug Porter

Comrade Trump'sBy Doug Porter

On Friday afternoon, the Washington Post dropped a bombshell of a story making the claim that disinformation/hacking efforts during the 2016 presidential campaign were aimed at supporting the candidacy of President-elect Donald Trump.

On Saturday, the New York Times took it a step further, reporting that the Russians had also hacked the Republicans’ data, but didn’t disclose it out of antipathy to the Clinton campaign.

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Remembering Pearl Harbor in the Time of Trump

December 7, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Remembering Pearl Harbor in the Time of Trump

World War II Vets Would Not Have Stood for President-Elect

Remembering this December 7th – Pearl Harbor Day – has special significance for us today in this new Era of Trump. The 75th anniversary of the attack by Japanese forces on US air and naval power in Hawaii in late 1941 finds few surviving members still with us. And our collective memory of “the day of infamy” – as President Franklin Roosevelt declared it the next day before Congress – which pushed the country into World War II – has all but faded.

But yes, we need to remember this day – and all that it represents – all the contradictions of that historic moment and context. And all the parallels from that day to ours today.

Yet this day does have a special meaning for us now -…

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Victory at Standing Rock! Department of Army Says No to Dakota Access Pipeline

December 5, 2016 by Source

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Statement on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Decision to Not Grant Easement

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Cannon Ball, N.D.— The department of the Army will not approve an easement that will allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe. The following statement was released by Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II.

“Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline.

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Police Use Water Cannons in Freezing Weather on Protesters at Standing Rock

November 21, 2016 by Source

Photo Credit: MagicZoetrope / Flickr Standing Rock

By Alexandra Rosemann / Alternet

Police used water cannons and tear gas against hundreds of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, late Sunday, Nov. 20. At least one person was arrested and dozens injured.

The confrontation began at 6pm, near the encampment were the protests against the $3.8 billion pipeline have been ongoing for months. According to the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, 400 protesters attempted to cross Blackwater Bridge on state Highway 1806 after removing a burned-out truck.

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As of Nov. 19th, Hillary Clinton Now Leads Trump by 1,677,041 Popular Votes

November 19, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

As of 9 a.m. pst, Saturday, November 19th, Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 1 and 2/3rds million popular votes.

It is now up to a lead of 1,677,041 ballots cast for her.

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Anti-Trump Protests Have Exploded for 7 Straight Days Across America

November 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Anti-Trump Protests Have Exploded for 7 Straight Days Across America

By Frank Gormlie

It’s a reality that Donald Trump and all his transition team platoons cannot fathom, a reality that the mass corporate media disdains and a reality that drives Trump supporters crazy, but – there have been mass demonstrations and protests across the country every day and night since the election on Tuesday, November 8th, for 7 straight days.

Americans – mainly young people – have been in streets in all the major cities – including San Diego – and especially Los Angeles – Chicago, Oakland, New York City, Atlanta, Portland – and on college and high school campuses, in parks in small cities and towns.

Thousands. Tens of thousands. Across the country – on both coasts – in the heartland, in Trump territory – in all the urban metropolis. And it’s teenagers doing this, high school students, even middle-school students – many too young to have voted.

And they happened again today – Tuesday, November 15th. Take for example, this:

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The Night that Democracy Died in America

November 9, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Night that Democracy Died in America

Sometime after 2 a.m. eastern standard time – in the middle of the late night, Hillary Clinton – who won the popular vote for President – phoned Donald Trump and made her concession. He had won the electoral vote.

In an historic rebellion of the white, working-class, half of American voters used democratic means to elect a man who does not understand the Constitution, who does not respect the Bill of Rights, and who does not believe in democracy.

It is an irony, then, that a radical regime was voted into power that represents the greatest threat in 40 years to what is left of American democracy. Words do matter. With the threats and promises made by our new President-elect over the course of the last year and a half, it’s clear that not since the time of Richard Nixon have the civil rights of Americans been so openly splayed out on the chopping block as they are now – or will be in a few months.

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Mourning in America

November 9, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Mourning in America
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An Attempted Coup D’état by FBI Trumpland?

November 5, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for An Attempted Coup D’état by FBI Trumpland?

Hearing all the recent news accounts about how elements in the highest reaches of our top national law enforcement agency – the FBI – have worked to flip the Presidential election in Donald Trump’s favor, made me pull up a definition of “coup d’etat“.

Wow, you might say, how extreme, how hyperbolic – how over the top you’re getting these last few days of the election campaign.

But isn’t it a significant intervention into this election when James Comey, the head of the FBI, announces that the agency is reopening its investigation into a new batch of emails that may involve Hillary Clinton – a bombshell meant to disparage her certainly? And isn’t it intervention when sources within the FBI leak damaging and false information about Clinton to both right-wing media and the Trump campaign?

And when an anchor and reporter on Fox News announced that according to his FBI “sources”, Clinton is likely to be criminally indicted, and this is supposedly confirmed by others close to the agency. So, is all of this an attempted coup d’etat by FBI agents immersed in Trumpland to throw the election to their favorite candidate?

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A Fifth Column Inside the FBI

November 4, 2016 by Doug Porter

FBI Director Comey

By Doug Porter / Published 11-3-16

The Daily Beast’s Wayne Barrett has written a blockbuster of a story detailing the rebellion going on inside the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It’s a tale of active and former agents, many of them with ties to former NYC Mayor Rudy Guliani, whose actions amount to a law enforcement thumb on the scale of democracy.

Guliani’s law firm has long been general counsel to the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA), which represents 13,000 former and current agents. The group’s leader, agent Rey Tariche, resigned from the FBI New York office on Monday following Director James Comey’s release of a memo saying the agency was once again looking into Hillary Clinton.

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The Financialization of America: Wall Street Doesn’t Help Homeless

October 21, 2016 by John Lawrence

MoneyThe Business of America is No Longer Business — It’s Finance

By John Lawrence

The rich today are making money not from making things, but by manipulating money. This is being done in such a way that it is driving the inequality process. It is ruining the middle class while exporting their jobs.

The tax structure of the US engineered by Ronald Reagan, Alan Greenspan and their Republican followers has incentivized the creation of great wealth in a few hands while driving the majority of people into poverty.

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The How of Trump’s Little-to-No Personal Tax Payments

October 11, 2016 by Source

By Frank Thomas

taxeesIn recognition of Trump’s extremely complicated tax situation, James Stewart in a recent NY Times article asked him to just simply submit ten numbers – adjusted gross income and actual federal taxes paid over his last 5 year returns.

That seems a simple request for Trump to respect. But the legally allowed complex tax concessions given to real estate developers complicates making judgments about Trump’s moral business integrity and obligation to expose his returns.

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Why Progressives Should Vote for Hillary Clinton

October 6, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Why Progressives Should Vote for Hillary Clinton

The Nation Magazine Endorses Clinton for President

A Trump presidency would be a catastrophe, whereas a big win by Clinton creates an opening for change.

By The Nation / October 5, 2016

The Nation endorses Hillary Clinton for president and believes that a substantial victory by her in November is essential to advance the progressive issues we have long championed. We supported Senator Bernie Sanders? in the Democratic primary, and we remain concerned about Clinton’s approach to politics and governing. But Clinton isn’t running against Sanders anymore.

The first case for Clinton can be summed up in two words: Donald Trump.

The first case for Clinton can be summed up in two words: Donald Trump. In the contest between hope and cynicism, justice and prejudice, solidarity and selfishness, we can be absolutely certain that Trump is not on our side. Given the perils facing our country and our planet, we believe that Trump’s election would be a catastrophe for the United States—

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As Trump’s Shadow Grows Over the Land – Let’s Plant the Seeds of Revolution

October 4, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for As Trump’s Shadow Grows Over the Land – Let’s Plant the Seeds of Revolution

By Jeeni Criscenzo

Last month the OB Rag had a survey asking what people would do if Trump is elected president. Since my husband’s parents were from Mexico, and we have friends in Baja, we have had conversations about moving across the border, even before the possibility that Trump could become our next president was considered anything but ludicrous. Now, that possibility is neither far-fetched nor funny.

A year ago our reason to consider leaving San Diego was more for financial reasons and for now, at least, we have under control. Mexico might be more affordable, but are plenty of other issues that convinced us to take a move there off the table. Now, it’s back.

There is a conversation in JRR Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring”, in the second chapter (The Shadow of the Past) where Gandalf explains that The Shadow has returned and this time it is Frodo who must confront it: …

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“What Would You Do If Trump Is Elected?” – Results From Our Survey

October 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

trump-as-roman-emperor

Back a few weeks ago, during a particularly “bad week” campaign-wise for Hillary Clinton, it looked like Trump could actually be elected President. It was during that period that the OB Rag asked a number of activists and progressives what they would do if Trump was indeed elected.

Today, still, Trump winning is not a far-fetched concept, for as recently as last night – Monday, October 3rd, Rachel Maddow of msnbc made the plausible case that there could be an electoral college vote tie between Clinton and Trump and it all may end up in a divided US Supreme Court.

(The OB Rag also ran a readers’ poll on the very same question with some startling results.)

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President Obama Should Pardon Edward Snowden

September 19, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for President Obama Should Pardon Edward Snowden

By Anthony Romero / ACLU

Thanks to Edward Snowden’s act of conscience, we’ve made historic strides in our fight for surveillance reform and improved cybersecurity. That’s why with the release of the Oliver Stone movie “Snowden,” we’re unveiling a major effort calling on President Obama to pardon the NSA whistleblower.

Cases like Edward Snowden’s are precisely the reason the president’s constitutional pardon power exists.

Historically, outgoing presidents have often invoked this power in the last days of their terms — at times on behalf of people who’ve committed reprehensible acts — under the premise that mitigating circumstances outweigh the rationale for punishment. President Obama now has the opportunity to use this power proudly, in recognition of one of the most important acts of whistleblowing in modern history.

Since Snowden first disclosed documents in 2013 detailing the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs, we’ve seen an unprecedented global debate about the proper limits of government spying.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – August 2016

August 31, 2016 by Michael Steinberg

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future. Here is our August 2016 edition:

US nuclear industry reaches a new low with resale of decrepit nuke plant already scheduled to permanently shut down next year.

On July 12, Syracuse.com in upstate New York announced, “Entergy to sell FitzPatrick to Exelon in mid-August.”

The FitzPatrick nuclear plant is located in Lake Ontario near the Canadian border. It started up in late 1974, not long after Richard Nixon’s reign over the White House permanently shut down. This means the nuke plant’s one reactor has been cranking away for almost 42 years, releasing radiation into the air and water in the Great Lakes region all the while.

US nuclear reactors were designed to operate only 40 years.

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