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Тимоти Майкл Кейн
22 февраля, 05:15

Keith Ellison Supporters Warn Of Fallout If He Loses DNC Chair Race

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON ― Days after the November election, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party was ascendant. There was no greater sign of its rising stature than the momentum Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota was enjoying in his race to chair the Democratic National Committee. Ellison, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) during the 2016 presidential primary, was racking up endorsements not only from Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), but establishment figures as well, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers — both of whom backed Hillary Clinton in the primary. But in December, former Labor Secretary Tom Perez jumped into the DNC race. Now, Ellison and Perez are neck-and-neck, with the election days away. The DNC’s 447 voting members will decide the party’s next chair in Atlanta on Saturday.   That has some Ellison supporters worried that their chance to reshape the party is in danger of disappearing. In an attempt to head off Perez, some prominent Ellison supporters argue that failing to elect him would squander a major opportunity to energize the progressive grassroots and heal the wounds of the 2016 presidential primary. “Keith Ellison had incredible support from the quote-unquote establishment side of the party, the progressive side of the party, the grassroots and the elected officials. Nobody was clamoring for another entrance, and yet we got one foisted upon us,” said Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works, an organization fighting to expand Social Security benefits. “If Tom Perez were to win, the message that would send to the grassroots, to labor unions that endorsed Ellison before Tom Perez joined the race, [is] that their voices, their muscle, their enthusiasm and turnout doesn’t matter,” Lawson added. Ellison backers acknowledge that the liberal protest movement that has taken shape since President Donald Trump’s inauguration ― not the DNC race ― has become the focus of grassroots energy. A loss for Ellison now could limit the party’s ability to tap into that enthusiasm, but it wouldn’t stop the movement. “If Perez wins, we’re not gonna come out with pitchforks and say, ‘No, no, no,’” said Murshed Zaheed, political director of Credo Action, an online progressive heavyweight that has experienced record growth since Trump’s inauguration. “But people are going to roll their eyes and just keeping doing what they do. It’s going to keep the DNC what it is: an irrelevant, old, stale entity that hasn’t been re-serviced since the Howard Dean days.” (Zaheed noted that he spoke to HuffPost in his personal capacity, since Credo isn’t endorsing in the race.) If Ellison gets in and they don’t take labor and the working class for granted, we’re liable to go back to the party. Chuck Jones, United Steelworkers The role of DNC chair is primarily to raise funds, recruit candidates for office and represent the party to the media. But in the wake of major electoral defeats, the contest to fill the post tends to reflect struggles for power within the party. By encouraging Ellison’s candidacy in November, party leaders appeared to be affirming the post-election analysis of many bitter progressives: that Democrats’ failure to embrace economic populism and grassroots energy had hurt the party in turning out its base and appealing to white Rust Belt voters who voted for Barack Obama, but opted for Trump in 2016. It also was an olive branch to Sanders supporters still reeling from a primary race they felt favored Clinton.  Then, in December, aides to then-President Obama, dissatisfied with Ellison, encouraged then-Labor Secretary Perez to run. His candidacy has since taken off — with the blessing of top figures from the Obama White House. Obama himself praised Perez in comments widely interpreted as an endorsement. Former Vice President Joe Biden and former Attorney General Eric Holder threw their support behind Perez this month. Perez is an unlikely target of progressive opposition, given his strong liberal credentials. He earned widespread praise from unions for turning the Department of Labor, once a minor federal agency, into a powerhouse advocate for workers’ rights. Prior to that, as head of the Department of Justice civil rights division, Perez led the Obama administration’s historic investigations into police abuses. Indeed, many progressives now backing Ellison would have loved to see Hillary Clinton pick Perez as her running mate, and still hope he will run for governor in 2018 in his home state of Maryland. An Unpopular Trade Agreement Perez’s biggest policy difference with Ellison is that he supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the controversial 12-nation trade pact negotiated by Obama. Unfortunately for Perez, TPP is divisive in Democratic circles. Labor unions, environmental organizations and other progressive groups reviled the now-defunct trade deal, and believe Obama’s promotion of it contributed to Democrats’ losses in 2016. Perez has claimed that he supported TPP out of loyalty to the Obama administration. For some Democrats, that explanation is thin. One of them is Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999 in Indianapolis, which represents workers at the Carrier air-conditioning factory. (Trump famously insulted Jones for publicly disputing estimates of jobs saved by Trump’s deal with Carrier.) Jones voted for Clinton, but many of his union members went from backing Sanders to Trump, because they mistrusted Clinton’s record of support for international trade agreements. Jones said he worries that Perez likewise lacks credibility on trade. “If Ellison gets in and they don’t take labor and the working class for granted, we’re liable to go back to the party,” Jones said. “If they put somebody in like Perez that don’t see it that way, like the TPP — him being for it is a major issue — you’ll start seeing people vote Republican or not voting at all.”  Credo’s Zaheed, who was an aide to former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), argued that Perez’s election would dismay the party’s progressive base. “If the Democratic Party ... puts one of the biggest promoters of TPP in charge of it, that would send a terrible message to the rank-and-file and the progressive base,” Zaheed said. Ties To Clinton, Obama The focus on Perez’s support for TPP is as much about his proximity to Obama and to Clinton — who backed TPP for years before coming out against it as a presidential candidate — as it is about the candidate himself. Perez was an early and outspoken Clinton proponent during the primary. In his DNC pitch, he has even adopted a version of Clinton’s campaign slogan, declaring himself a “progressive who gets things done.” Progressives wary of the Clinton campaign’s failures and its coziness with the party’s donor class view these connections as burdens, not benefits. But Perez’s ties to Obama have proven even more radioactive. Ellison backers like Zaheed and Lawson resent that those in Obama’s inner circle injected themselves into the DNC race by backing Perez. Obama advisers set up the separate fundraising and organizing arm Organizing for Action, which Zaheed and Lawson blame for undermining the DNC. “The total degradation and deterioration of the party — they are responsible for it,” Zaheed said of Obama and his advisers. “For them to trot out one of their former hands is kind of unseemly, to be honest, and it is not helpful at this point.” Too Radical? Some Perez supporters argue that Ellison would take the party too far to the left for swing voters that Democrats need to win back. Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chair Marcel Groen, for example, told HuffPost in January he wanted a “moderate” DNC chair. Groen endorsed Perez this month. Lawson argued that on the bread-and-butter economic policy issues like opposing trade agreements, protecting Social Security and taking on pharmaceutical companies, Ellison’s record is a strength among voters attracted to Trump’s populism. “There is this elite Democratic-bubble mentality that thinks that you get these centrist-type voters by going with a half loaf — that they want kind of Democratic, kind of Republican,” Lawson said. “That is a complete misreading and always has been a complete misreading.” Likewise, some of Ellison’s critics have implied that his identity as a black Muslim will make it hard for the party to compete among the white working-class swing voters who backed Trump. United Steelworkers local president Jones rejected that notion, noting that he and his members have had no problem voting for Rep. Andre Carson, an Indianapolis Democrat who also is African American and Muslim. “I don’t think Democratic people would not vote for a Democrat because the head of the Democratic Party is black and Muslim,” Jones added. “We’ve got some prejudice-ass people, but I think they would look beyond that.” The Howard Dean Precedent After Democrats got trounced in the 2004 elections, party officials welcomed an outsider. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, the progressive favorite in the Democratic primary, won the DNC chairmanship in 2005, despite the opposition of Sen. Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Dean’s tenure from 2005 to 2009, marked by the winning 50-state strategy, is now regarded as one of the most successful in the party’s history. Nearly every candidate in this year’s DNC race has held Dean up as a model, promising to revive his focus on state and local party infrastructure. But Zaheed and other progressives see Ellison as the only candidate providing the party an opportunity to do something similar. “Tim Kaine, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and now Tom Perez? It’s going to be more of the same,” Zaheed said. “It is really the mindset that has made that whole infrastructure stale, old and irrelevant.”  Bringing The Party Together If neither Perez nor Ellison wins an outright majority in the first round of voting, there will be additional ballots until someone gets a majority. That could provide an opening to a dark-horse candidate like South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, or South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison. Idaho Democratic Party executive director Sally Boynton Brown; media strategist Jehmu Greene; Milwaukee attorney Peter Peckarsky and Ohio activist Sam Ronan also are vying for the post. Perez is clearly aware of the challenges he would face if he wins. And he pledges to court skeptical Sanders supporters. “Tom is committed to unifying the party and rebuilding it from the ground up. That is why he has met with Keith Ellison and other candidates over the last few weeks, because he understands that it will take all of us to unify the party no matter who wins,” Perez campaign spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement. “As we speak, Tom is traveling the country to talk to Democrats who both do and don’t support him to hear and address directly how we can best unify the party,” Hinojosa added. “He’s also met with activists and millennials who tell him they are on the verge of leaving the party because it doesn’t represent them.” This is just one battle in the long war. Jessica Pierce, All of Us Jessica Pierce, an Ellison supporter and activist with All of Us, a progressive group that has threatened to back primary election opponents of Democratic incumbents who cooperate with Trump, said activists would be able to work with Perez. “People will still be prepared to push on Tom,” Pierce said. “And he should be prepared to hear that what people need from Democratic leadership are people who are actually willing to fight and stand up for us.” “We’re in this for the long term,” she added. “We’re not interested in one tactic or one strategy, or one leader. This is just one battle in the long war.” And if Ellison wins, he would have fences to mend, too, according to Symone Sanders, a former press secretary for Sanders’ presidential campaign who now works for the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, and has not endorsed a DNC candidate. “If Keith wins, he is going to have some real work to do to bring the party together, to cast his vision and to really get down to work,” Sanders said. “And the same thing for Tom Perez.” Sanders warned against viewing Ellison’s election as a cure for bringing unaffiliated progressive activists into the Democratic fold. “They are not just gonna come because he’s the chair,” Sanders said. “Because then, he’s not some progressive outsider any more — he’s the chair of the Democratic National Committee. He’s now an insider.” Sign up for the HuffPost Must Reads newsletter. Each Sunday, we will bring you the best original reporting, long form writing and breaking news from The Huffington Post and around the web, plus behind-the-scenes looks at how it’s all made. Click here to sign up! -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

14 февраля, 05:32

This Millennial Thinks He Can Run A Deeply Divided Democratic Party

SOUTH BEND, Ind. ― Earlier this month, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a dark horse candidate to chair the Democratic National Committee, settled into the cramped studios of Radio Sabor Latino, a local Spanish-language news and music station. Armed with Google Translate and a cheerful attitude about his español defectuoso, Buttigieg set about describing South Bend’s new municipal identification program, created to provide people without official government IDs access to local facilities like schools and libraries.   The anxiety permeating the interview was palpable. “La función de la policía es la seguridad de nuestros residentes,” Buttigieg said, looking over at the DJ for an assist as he explained that the role of the police is to ensure residents’ security. “Vamos a … vamos a ... We’re going to care for each other.” The Trump administration’s harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric has rattled communities with sizable undocumented populations like South Bend, eroding an already tenuous relationship with members of law enforcement, who are often viewed as a conduit to deportation. This is why the city has a local nonprofit manage the new ID system, one that is not subject to the same transparency obligations as city government. This may be somewhat surprising since, thanks to cultural touchstones like Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish and “Rudy,” the South Bend of our imagination is a hardscrabble Irish-Catholic town, disproportionately populated by the type of white, working-class voters who flocked to President Donald Trump’s candidacy last November. In reality, one-quarter of the city’s population is African-American, one-tenth is Hispanic and a sizable university presence bolsters its white-collar workforce ― so the population bears closer resemblance to the country as a whole than some kind of Caucasian working-class hamlet. Yesteryear does loom large in South Bend, which endured a decades-long economic decline when the Studebaker automobile company, which was headquartered in the city, shuttered in the mid-1960s. The city lost roughly one- quarter of its population between 1960 and 2010, and the signs of that economic contraction are evident everywhere, whether in in the guise of shuttered storefronts, abandoned lots or dilapidated Victorian mansions that used to house the beneficiaries of a long-gone prosperity. If you’ve never visited a place like South Bend, you’ve probably read about one in the thousands of pieces demystifying the so-called “economic anxiety” of Trump voters during the 2016 presidential campaign. Buttigieg notes that South Bend’s population has begun to grow again, and his able stewardship of the city and popularity in this politically purple area ― he was re-elected in 2015 with over 80 percent of the vote ― are the cornerstones of his DNC campaign. “There are still a lot of empty teeth here,” he conceded, alluding to the abandoned and bulldozed properties that dot the city, but he nevertheless sees a success story. Indeed, Buttigieg’s career has been one well-manicured success story itself, as if conceived in a round of Democratic Mad Libs. Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg, a mere    35   (young-ish age) is a graduate of    Harvard   (prestigious university) and    Oxford   (prestigious university) where he was a    Rhodes scholar   (academic accolade). Despite hailing from    Indiana   (flyover red state), he came out as                 gay   (orientation) in    a 2015 op-ed   (public action). Mayor Buttigieg has proudly served in the    Navy Reserves   (military branch), earning a    Joint Service Commendation Medal   (military commendation) while serving in      Afghanistan   (theater of war). He is a true millennial, managing his own    Twitter   (social media service) account; he even met his    boyfriend (partner noun) on  Hinge  (dating app)! He has learned the importance of data-driven governance from his time at    McKinsey & Company  (tremendously boring place to work) and has dealt extensively with Silicon Valley. You can hear him wax wistfully about his hometown’s   shuttered Studebaker plant   (local totem of past economic glory) and its    burgeoning data industry   (local modernization initiative) by watching his    TED Talk   (TED Talk).     After the Radio Sabor Latino interview, Buttigieg took a turn playing enthusiastic tour guide, navigating an aide’s Hyundai through some of South Bend’s previously robust industrial areas. He’s spent much of his time as mayor engaged in a kind of NIMBY whack-a-mole, tearing down abandoned industrial facilities, repurposing other ones and enticing tech companies to build data centers in his city (South Bend sits near a major fiber optic cable artery). As such, Buttigieg possess a singular ability to be excited about empty plots of land. “There were acres and acres of old Studebaker factories,” Buttigieg recalled about the city’s old skyline. Now, many of the facilities ― the ones that haven’t been bulldozed ― serve as data centers, owing in part to South Bend’s cold weather and relatively cheap energy prices. “I actually don’t remember my first ribbon-cutting, there’ve been so many,” he said, before mentioning with a note of pride the increasing number of Notre Dame students who are staying in the area after graduation. In many ways, Buttigieg’s ascent mirrors that of another rising star in the party, New Jersey’s Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, who came to national prominence as the charismatic mayor of another down-on-its luck city, Newark. Like Booker, Buttigieig has forged close ties with Silicon Valley and other nodes of coastal power and has received praise for his job performance. It’s not uncommon for Buttigieg to reference former Harvard classmates or interactions with tech moguls in conversation. In June 2016, The New York Times’ Frank Bruni asked whether Butteigig would be America’s “First Gay President.” In 2014, The Washington Post labeled Buttigieg “The most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of.” If Buttigieg doesn’t already know a spot in Davos that has great kalberwurst, he probably will soon. To his credit, Buttigieg indulges in neither Booker’s inspirational poster rhetoric nor his unbridled adulation for the Charlie Rose set. South Bend’s mayor possesses a far more laid back personality than his methodological rise might indicate, maintaining an easy rapport with his staff and an ability to speak policy without devolving into talking points. And like Booker, Buttigieg has an almost cartoonishly friendly appearance: Teeth fixed in a slight grin and framed by a boyish face, he could easily pass as a children’s daytime television host. As a literal public face of the party, Democrats could do worse.    Buttigieg admits that becoming the DNC chair is an uphill climb. Conventional wisdom dictates that when party officials vote at their winter meeting later this month, they are most likely going to choose Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison or President Barack Obama’s labor secretary, Thomas Perez. But Buttigieg argues that he could play Democratic peacemaker, uniting a party split largely between the Obama-Clinton establishment wing, which has coalesced around Perez, and the insurgent wing, populated by supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and coalescing around Ellison. If one of those two win, “half the party is going to feel like they lost,” said one Buttigieg aide. Buttigieg’s proposed approach to leading the party does not differ terribly from that of his opponents: He believes in cultivating a 50-state strategy at the grassroots level, focusing the party’s myriad coalitions and keeping up relentless pressure on the Trump administration. There are specific proposals, too, such as shifting the DNC’s regional staff out of D.C. and into the states, but his overarching agenda isn’t terribly unique. On Trump, Buttigieg’s approach isn’t terribly unorthodox, either. Senate Democrats, he said, need to take a tough line on opposing Trump’s nominees. “We’ve never been a party to obstruct for obstruction sake,” Buttigieg said, “but I think we have to be fierce in how we respond to this stuff.” A loss might not necessarily be the worst thing for Buttigieg, however. Party chair jobs are inherently partisan positions that can derail a politician’s personal ambitions ― just ask former chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who remains persona non grata in many circles for her tenure atop the party apparatus during the DNC hack. And while Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Sen. Tim Kaine have found political success despite chairing the DNC, Virginia is far less red than Indiana, home to a Democratic base centered near that most politicized of places, Washington, D.C. If Buttigieg’s bid fails, he will still get the benefit of an increased profile without the politically damaging effects. Indeed, it’s hard not to hear Buttigieg’s rhetoric about his can-do mayoralty and think this is all a practice for future campaigns. When DNC officials approached Buttigieg during the 2016 cycle to ask if he’d serve as an LGBTQ surrogate, he offered no opposition, but said he would prefer to discuss defense matters, a far more politically safe issue.   In the meantime, however, he is still running for DNC chair and could actually win. Why risk that? “This isn’t Virginia, obviously,” Buttigieg agreed, “but I don’t think you should be in elected office just to have it.” Sign up for the HuffPost Must Reads newsletter. Each Sunday, we will bring you the best original reporting, long form writing and breaking news from The Huffington Post and around the web, plus behind-the-scenes looks at how it’s all made. Click here to sign up! Huffington Post reporter Eliot Nelson’s book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide to Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing and Sometimes Hilarious Government, is out now. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

14 февраля, 00:50

Donald Trump Had Democrats In A Trap. He Let Them Out.

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON ― On Nov. 23, two weeks after the stunning election of Donald Trump, news emerged that he’d be naming a woman named Betsy DeVos to be secretary of education. As aides to one Senate Democrat from a red state sat around and absorbed the news, the feeling was one of resignation. “She’ll sail through. Nobody cares about the education secretary and nobody’s heard of this person,” recalled one aide looking back at the moment. It was part of a broader political concern among Democrats. “The initial thoughts were, fuck, he’s gonna do immigration [reform], he’s gonna do infrastructure, he’s gonna go after pharma and we’re gonna get jammed,” the aide said. But the sailing for DeVos wound up being anything but smooth. “It turns out he’s just gonna do the crazy stuff and it will be much easier to oppose him,” the aide said. “There is an education secretary who should’ve gotten 70 votes. Most of these nominees should have been able to get red-state support, and they’re not.” As the aide was recalling the moment he learned about the DeVos nomination, and the gradual dawning that Trump had selected a thoroughly radical and unqualified nominee, news broke that at a White House meeting with red-state Democrats, Trump had floated the idea of getting back together the team of senators known as the “Gang of Eight” to pursue comprehensive immigration reform. It was precisely the kind of gesture toward bipartisanship that Democrats had been watching for. But already Trump had lost too much credibility on that front. “He’s not serious,” the aide quickly concluded. In the days and weeks after Trump was elected president, Democrats were consumed by a central question: Should they oppose Trump across the board, or work with him on some of his more populist campaign promises ― such as rebuilding the country’s roads, bridges and airports, or closing loopholes exploited by hedge fund managers? Was it possible he’d pivot away from mass roundups and wall-building and pave a path to comprehensive immigration reform? And if he did, should Democrats pitch in to help make it happen? It was both a moral and a political dilemma for the party. On the one hand, an infrastructure bill is badly needed, and Democrats aren’t accustomed to obstructing progress. Immigration reform would bring desperately needed relief to millions of families in the shadows. But bipartisan cooperation could serve to make Trump more popular ― a popularity he could then use to drive home an ethno-nationalist agenda that would turn back the American clock by decades. Maybe Democrats needn’t have worried. So far, Trump has served up a series of radical nominees and dismaying policy changes. And for congressional Democrats, opposing these moves has been an easy call. Take DeVos, for example. The more closely Democrats looked at Trump’s nominee, the worse she appeared. She came from a family of billionaires who’d given untold millions of dollars to the Republican Party and spent millions to decimate public education in Michigan. She herself appeared to have no real grasp of education policy. DeVos became the first education secretary not to get a single vote of bipartisan support, and the first Cabinet secretary in history to need the vice president to break a 50-50 tie. Trump has made the politics for the opposition party easy. “The pundits were imagining a scenario where the president was going to put us in a bind by offering progressive policies. Unfortunately for the country, we have not been presented with that dilemma,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) told The Huffington Post. “And more than that, there’s an understanding that it’s not just about losing on public policy now. It’s about institutions being attacked, it’s about the foundation of American-style democracy being attacked, and so it’s been clarifying for us. It’s not the main thing, but one impact of this kind of ferocious, systematic, belligerent attack on the things we care about is that it’s unified us almost totally ― and that makes for good politics.” To get a picture of how unified Democrats are against Trump, one needed only to scan the crowd of the recent rally on the steps of the Supreme Court. There among the demonstrators was Joe Manchin, a Democratic senator up for re-election in 2018 in West Virginia, a state Trump won by a whopping 42 points. Last week, Manchin said he’d be voting against Tom Price, Trump’s nominee to run the Department of Health and Human Services. The energy, even in West Virginia, is palpable. A crowd estimated at some 500 people showed up to protest outside an office of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, Manchin’s Republican counterpart in the state. That’s a lot of people in West Virginia. Populism is an amorphous concept, but on a basic level, it is a lashing-out at elites on behalf of the little guy. Trump likes to make a show of this: Think of his attacks on the media, his haranguing of CEOs on Twitter and his denouncement of Big Pharma during his first press conference as president. But he followed up his verbal assault on the drugmakers by hosting pharmaceutical CEOs at the White House and backtracking on his suggestion that the government negotiate for better drug prices. He’s pushed his travel ban against several majority-Muslim countries, but hasn’t found time to deal with the carried-interest loophole exploited by private equity giants and hedge funds. And he’s vowed to “do a number” on the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, by rolling back Wall Street reforms in a manner expected to dole out billions to financiers. Consumer protections, meanwhile, are under assault. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which guards customers from companies looking to rip them off, is being gutted. The administration is working to snuff out the enforcement power of the Federal Communications Commission, which could result in a very un-populist increase in your cable bill, among a slew of other consequences. An industry-friendly operative is being placed atop the Securities and Exchange Commission. A rule requiring financial advisers to pledge not to work against the interests of their clients is on the chopping block, which would open up 401(k)s to be fracked like so much natural gas. A regulation protecting streams from coal pollution is being undone, and the administration is looking at selling off National Parks, with the proceeds going to the superrich in the form of tax cuts. A mortgage insurance discount pushed forward by the Obama administration was reversed. That change, a boon to private sellers of such coverage, is expected to cost the average household another $500 per year. It was Trump’s very first move as president. “A number of us were hopeful initially that there might be some things ― given the fact that he would be president for four years ― that we might be able to work on with him,” Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) told HuffPost last week. “The actions that he’s taken so far have not spoken to that hope or aspiration that that could take place. And I think in many respects, that has begun to outweigh maybe the ability to work with him.” Trump’s attacks on the press and the courts have stiffened Democrats’ resolve. “We profoundly realize that the role of the Democrats in the Senate need to be a check against an overreaching executive, and in fact the Trump presidency is going to test our entire system,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016. Trump “doesn’t like the Article III branch” ― the judiciary ― “he doesn’t like the First Amendment branch, the press, or the First Amendment right of people to peacefully protest,” Kaine said. “He doesn’t like the Article I branch, Congress. But we all have a role to play, and the system was set up the way it is for a reason, and we’re going to play that role.” “Everybody realizes this is exactly the kind of overreaching executive that, when the framers designed these institutions, they put these checks in place to stop,” he went on. “And that has really unified us. We all think we’re here for a very important reason right now.” Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), regularly spoken of as a viable 2020 presidential candidate, also cited the extreme nature of Trump’s first few weeks as helping to unify the party. “Trump doesn’t seem to be doing anything to be reaching out,” Booker said. “He’s advocating some of the most extreme policies, and frankly his Cabinet members are expressing real extremes as well, so that’s definitely sobering.” Schatz, who has become an increasingly outspoken voice in the resistance, said that something strange happened after Democrats unified: It worked. “We are moving public opinion,” he said. “It’s not just that we’re following public opinion, but part of what we did with [the Affordable Care Act] was actually ― and maybe it’s because we felt we had nothing to lose and people were depending on our leadership ― but we went out there for four to six weeks and made a case for ACA. The numbers switched,” he said. “We’ve seen Quinnipiac and other polling show that if we go out there and have the courage of our convictions to make the case and try to shape public opinion and show leadership instead of try to respond to it, turns out we can move numbers.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

13 февраля, 23:56

Oprah gives tape with Puzder abuse allegations to Senate

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has reviewed the episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in which Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder's former wife leveled allegations of physical abuse against him, according to a report in The Washington Post. Last month POLITICO reported that Puzder's former wife, Lisa Fierstein, appeared in disguise on Oprah to discuss her abuse allegations, which she has since retracted, most recently in a letter to the Senate HELP Committee. Puzder's confirmation hearing is Thursday. Collins said nothing about what Puzder said on the tape, or when it was made. (Fierstein first retracted the abuse charges as part of a November 1990 child custody agreement.) She told reporters that she is "going to wait until the issues that have arisen are fully explored at his hearing" before she makes a decision. The Campaign For Accountability, a left-leaning nonprofit, will appear Tuesday in court in St. Louis County to try to unseal divorce-related documents concerning the abuse charges that were sealed after Puzder's nomination.

13 февраля, 10:57

Website On Disabilities Act That Tripped Up Betsy DeVos Disappears

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); A Department of Education website explaining the rights of students under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act has vanished. That’s the same law that confounded new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos during her confirmation hearings. DeVos dodged questioning about the law last month, insisting it was up to individual states on whether to grant disabled students their educational rights, even though it’s a federal law that applies across the nation. New U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has also blasted the act for its “special treatment of certain children,” blaming it for the “acceleration in the decline of civility and discipline in classrooms across America.” The website appeared to stop working shortly before DeVos took office, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported.  The Department of Education site now attributes the broken link to “technical difficulties” and instead sends people to the 159-page text of the very technical, complicated statute. The department site also lists available special education programs. The disabilities act information site that has now vanished was established under George W. Bush’s administration as an aide for parents, students, teachers and school administrations to help them understand the rights of disabled students to an appropriate free public education under the law. The site was updated as modifications were passed and courts continued to interpret the law. Washington Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, who both voted against DeVos’ confirmation, issued a statement Friday demanding to know why the information had been scrubbed. “The Department’s failure to keep this critical resource operational makes it harder for parents, educators, and administrators to find the resources they need to implement this federal law and protect the rights of children with disabilities,” they said. The Washington senators demanded  a “detailed timeline” of when the information was taken down and when it will be restored. They also criticized President Donald Trump for being someone who is not an “advocate for disability rights [and who] famously mocked the physical disability of a New York Times reporter who asked him a question at a news conference” during his presidential campaign. During DeVos’ confirmation hearings last month, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) quizzed the nominee on the law. DeVos responded that it was a “matter best left to the states.” Kaine then asked: “So some states might be good to kids with disabilities and other states might not be so good and, what then, people can just move around the country if they don’t like how kids are being treated?” DeVos again repeated that it’s an issue “best left to the states,” seemingly unaware of how federal law works. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), who has a son with special needs, clarified that the act is a federal civil rights law, adding: “So do you stand by your statement a few minutes ago that it should be up to the state whether to follow it?” DeVos responded: “I may have confused it.”  Sessions spoke out against the law in 2000 from the Senate floor when he was representing Alabama. “We have created a complex system of federal regulations and laws that have created lawsuit after lawsuit, special treatment for certain children, and that are a big factor in accelerating the decline in civility and discipline in classrooms all over America. I say that very sincerely,” Sessions said. function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_2'),onPlayerReadyVidible); DeVos, a billionaire Republican donor, was confirmed last Tuesday on a 50-50 Senate vote that required a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. She has no formal experience working in public schools and has spent years supporting school vouchers and charter schools. During her first visit as education secretary to a public school in Washington, D.C., last week, protesters blocked her from entering through the main doors. There has been no response to the website changes from DeVos. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=583cf751e4b06539a78a3bdc,587f7c0fe4b0c147f0bc01ea -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

10 февраля, 22:36

Trump dumped Abrams over his criticisms during the campaign, sources say

Abrams had said publicly that neither Trump nor Clinton were fit to be president.

09 февраля, 14:00

GOP senator to offer bills on women's economic issues

Republicans have often found themselves on the defensive when it comes to so-called “women’s issues” such as equal pay and paid leave. But now with full control of Washington this year, the GOP is positioning itself to go on offense. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) is unveiling a pair of bills later Thursday squarely targeting those issues. With Republicans in power at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue — and with influential new first daughter Ivanka Trump having taken a particular interest in those policies — Fischer said she sees an opening for Republicans on equal pay and paid leave.“I think it’s an issue that to be honest, that we as a party have not taken a high profile on,” Fischer said in an interview previewing her legislation. “Everybody supports equal pay, and sometimes we don’t do a good job of messaging and of showing people and coming up with new ideas.”The pay equity bill mirrors legislation Fischer has tried to advance in the past when Democrats have put forward the so-called Paycheck Fairness Act. The Nebraska Republican’s bill revises federal law so that women can’t be punished at the workplace when sharing or asking for salary information — language that’s similar to an executive action from former President Barack Obama barring that kind of retaliation for federal contractors. Five Senate Democrats have backed versions of this measure in the past, according to Fischer’s office: Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, independent Angus King of Maine and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. As for the paid leave bill, formally called the Strong Families Act, it would create a two-year tax credit for business who voluntarily give their employees at least two weeks of paid leave – a carrots-over-sticks approach that Fischer said would be more effective. The measure is also supported by King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats. The first daughter, who is one of President Donald Trump’s closest and most influential informal advisers, has used her newfound national platform to advocate for paid leave and equal pay, notably during her speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, when she had a megaphone to begin promoting those polices. Female Republican lawmakers, including House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Fischer, hosted Ivanka Trump last fall for a roundtable focused on child care and related women-in-the-workplace issues. Democrats have largely opposed Fischer’s equal pay measure in the past, calling instead for a broader measure that would also give female workers legal avenues to fight gender-fueled pay gaps in court. That bill, called the Paycheck Fairness Act, has been a key cudgel used by Democrats to argue that Republicans were opposed to pay equity. Fischer argued that perception is changing. “Everyone believes in equal pay for equal work. Everyone believes in that. That is current law,” Fischer said. “We want to see the current law upheld, and to try to make this into a war on women, I just think it’s a soundbite that I believe most women are starting to realize is overused.”

08 февраля, 19:05

Fiorina 'certainly looking' at 2018 Virginia Senate run

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and presidential candidate Carly Fiorina is considering challenging Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine in 2018. "Look, I'm certainly looking at that opportunity," she said on the John Fredericks Show on Monday, as CNN reported. "It's a little early to be making that decision, we're two weeks into a new administration."Fiorina, who was briefly Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s running mate, said the race against Kaine would be “very, very tough.” Kaine defeated former governor and senator George Allen by 6 points in 2012. Virginia Republicans identified Fiorina as a possible candidate for Kaine’s seat in a special election if he had won the vice presidency. “It’s something she’s taking a very strong look at,” a Virginia GOP operative told Politico before the election. “She’s not just name ID, she’s got serious definition. People have seen her, they know what she can do.”Rep. Rob Wittman, Rep. Barbara Comstock, Former Gov. Jim Gilmore, Rep. Dave Brat and State Del. James Massie are all considered possible candidates. Conservative pundit Laura Ingraham has also expressed interest. Fiorina struggled to gain traction in the presidential race, finishing seventh in the Iowa caucuses with less than 2 percent of the vote. She dropped out of the race after finishing seventh in the New Hampshire primary with 4 percent of the vote. She also ran for Senate in 2010 in California, losing to incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer by double digits despite 2010 being a strong year for Republicans nationwide. Fiorina campaigned heavily for down-ballot candidates across Virginia in 2016. "Who knows what the future will bring," she said, "but I look forward to continuing to talk to the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia about things that we agree on, things that we may not yet know we agree on — most people are pragmatic, most people have a lot of common sense."

08 февраля, 03:04

DeVos defeat just the start for reeling Democrats

But the party sees a comeback strategy in its opposition to Donald Trump's team.

06 февраля, 20:34

Senate confirms DeVos as secretary of education

The 51-50 vote to confirm DeVos comes after the billionaire philanthropist unexpectedly emerged as the most contentious of any of Trump’s nominees.

05 февраля, 01:58

Americans Protest Trump's Travel Ban For A Second Weekend

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON ― Americans took to the streets for a second weekend to protest President Donald Trump’s now-blocked executive order banning travel and immigration from seven majority-Muslim nations. In Washington, thousands of people descended on the White House on Saturday afternoon for a rally followed by a march down Pennsylvania Avenue, past the Trump International Hotel, to the U.S. Capitol building. The crowd held a sea of creative signs, including, “We bombed them, now we ban them,” and “Instead of being afraid of brown people, we should be more concerned over orange monster.” Anti-Trump gatherings also were reported in New York, Missouri, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Houston, and West Palm Beach, Florida, where Trump is spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort. The Washington march was organized by “Peace for Iran,” a small group of Iranian American young professionals who first came together to promote the Iran nuclear deal. Marchers, however, came from a variety of backgrounds. Families from the Virginia and Maryland suburbs joined college students and teenagers from the city in chants like, “When Muslims are under attack ― what do we do? Stand up, fight back.” Nader Davoodi, 67, and his wife Mahin, 64, are Iranian-born American citizens who came to the demonstration from Gaithersburg, Maryland. The last time they came out to a protest was against an Iranian government official visiting Washington several years ago. Although as citizens they are not affected by the ban, Nader Davoodi said, “I come for everybody else all around the world. We need a peaceful government ― not Donald Trump.” Sara Krautbauer, 29, a master’s student in international development at George Washington University, came with about 20 of her fellow volunteers at the Refugee Assistance Program, an organization that helps refugees resettling in the Washington area. Krautbauer welcomed the Trump administration’s decision to put the ban on hold in response to a federal judge’s ruling on Friday night, but described the delay as insufficient. “It’s awesome for visa holders and green card holders, but we’re here for refugees as well,” Krautbauer said. “Walking back the ban only so far isn’t good enough. They need to walk it all the way back so we can start bringing back refugees again.” More than 200 miles north in Manhattan’s West Village, thousands of supporters of LGBTQ rights demonstrated against Trump’s ban and other policies outside the Stonewall Inn, the site of the historic showdown over gay rights. “Whether we’re straight, gay, immigrant, Native American ― no matter who you are, we’re all standing up to fascists,” said Marie Carianna, a 57-year-old lesbian. The American Civil Liberties Union, which has challenged the ban in court, asked Twitter users to share photos of their protests . People responded with photos and video of demonstrations in major cities, including Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, as well as smaller ones: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; Raleigh, North Carolina; and North Adams, Massachusetts. @ACLU #philly #PhillyResistance #SanctuaryEverywhere pic.twitter.com/7QKt3lUSEr— Kelly Dittmar (@kdittmar) February 4, 2017 @ACLU Medicare for All / Healthy California , Los Angeles, CA #dissentispatriotic pic.twitter.com/kKzoMWBfED— heatherparlato (@heatherparlato) February 4, 2017 @ACLU #Raleigh #NoBanNoWall pic.twitter.com/W37dLH7M92— ACLU-North Carolina (@ACLU_NC) February 4, 2017 @ACLU Salt Lake City! pic.twitter.com/djBW9shEo9— Colin Young (@ColYou) February 4, 2017 @ACLU Wilkes Barre PA! pic.twitter.com/Gyt95tFc8v— Nate Fisher (@Mrfish78) February 4, 2017 @ACLU North Adams, Massachusetts! pic.twitter.com/9gqd40yeIw— katie (@hickeyhickeyy) February 4, 2017 They were joined by solidarity demonstrations in London and Paris, as well. .@ACLU 40,000 in London, UK #UnitedweStand pic.twitter.com/4tQrkSH8fM— Lady Francesca (@Just__Fran) February 4, 2017 @ACLU Paris ! pic.twitter.com/xugRhiaoh8— Piou. (@Piou___) February 4, 2017 In Trump’s backyard, Saturday marked the third straight weekend in which Washington was the site of anti-Trump demonstrations. On Jan. 21, progressives from all over the country converged on the capital for the Women’s March. On Sunday, a short-notice rally against Trump’s travel and immigration executive order packed Lafayette Square park in front of the White House.  But activists at Saturday’s White House demonstration said they are pressuring Congress as well. Krautbauer uses a Google spreadsheet circulated on the internet with the names of members of Congress who support the new restrictions on refugee admission and said she calls two of them every day.  Jon Sokolow, 57, who came to the rally from Reston, Virginia, with his wife, Diana, and their daughter, Christina Dawson, 26, has been combining his protests with calls to Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (D-Va.). He is urging them to resist Trump’s agenda. Asked whether that included filibustering Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Sokolow was unequivocal. “Absolutely! It’s a stolen seat,” he said, referring to Republicans’ refusal to consider Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland. Sebastian Murdock contributed reporting. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

03 февраля, 04:15

Vocal Putin Critic Hospitalized For Organ Failure

Vladimir Kara-Murza, a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been hospitalized for organ failure two years after he nearly died of a suspected poisoning, his family confirmed to several media outlets. Kara-Murza, a 35-year-old journalist working for Open Russia, the pro-democracy group founded by now-exiled Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has been on life support and in a medically induced coma since falling ill on Thursday, his wife, Evgenia Kara-Murza, told the BBC. “It’s the same clinical picture,” she said, referring to the kidney failure he suffered in 2015. Medical tests at the time found that the illness was caused by poisoning, though it was never determined whether it was intentional or accidental.  “The reason is unclear, like last time,” she said, noting that his symptoms are also the same. “He’s been active and healthy [recently].” His father told Russian daily newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets that doctors did not suspect a second poisoning, The Guardian reported.  “It’s just that the poisoning two years ago didn’t pass without a trace,” his father said. “My son’s health is weakened.” U.S. officials noted that the mysterious illness was disturbing given Putin’s history of censoring his critics.  Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) tweeted that Kara-Murza’s condition was “troubling news.”  Troubling news given Putin's history of silencing opposition, and Vladimir Kara-Murza's previous poisoning https://t.co/IMrWEw7n9W— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) February 2, 2017 “Vladimir Putin does not deserve any benefit of the doubt here, given how commonplace political assassinations and poisonings have become under his regime,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a statement. “I am praying that Kara-Murza’s condition improves, and I urge the Trump Administration, including Secretary of State Tillerson, to make Kara-Murza’s cause America’s cause, question Russian authorities about this, and ultimately hold Putin accountable if he was targeted by the regime.” Earlier on the day he was hospitalized, Kara-Murza posted a photo to Facebook memorializing his friend Boris Nemtsov, another Putin critic and former Russian statesman who was shot dead in February 2015, just steps from the Kremlin in one of the safest areas of Moscow. His death is one of several such killings that have occurred under Putin’s reign. While Russian investigators implicated several Chechens in the assassination, Nemtsov’s political allies suspected a cover-up. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

03 февраля, 03:33

White House nixed Holocaust statement naming Jews

The State Department wrote a message that recognized Jewish victims, but the White House used its own that didn’t.

03 февраля, 02:00

Trump tweaks Australian PM, rips Obama

The president is questioning the wisdom of a refugee deal, but a top Senate Republican believes the new president is making a blunder down under.

03 февраля, 00:27

GOP ratchets up campaign to kill Obama regulations

Senate Republicans try to use Democratic stall tactics against Trump's Cabinet to their own advantage.

02 февраля, 16:41

Marching In Topeka: Grief, Disbelief And Action In A Red State

I went to bed past midnight on election night, after witnessing the shocking development that Donald Trump would win the electoral vote. Our college sophomore son texted us at 1:30 a.m. that Trump had indeed bagged the Electoral College. Sometime in the wee hours I dreamt I was comforting Hillary Clinton, who was, naturally, dressed in a pantsuit. I hugged her and told her how sorry I was that she had lost the election. Then I said, “I love your hair color. Can you tell me who your hair colorist is?” Maybe my hair colorist question expressed my unconscious wish to normalize the life ahead of us, to convince myself that even in the face of devastating election results, we could all return to life as usual. But I awoke to a grimmer reality. Like many others, I didn’t shower that day or leave the house. I cried when Tim Kaine spoke. I cried when Hillary finally conceded to Trump. I skipped the panel I was planning to attend that evening at a public library. And for many days after, I burst into tears unexpectedly, still in shock at the death of my dream that we would have our first female president, a woman vastly qualified and prepared for the office. In fact, I’ve remained in shock, dismay and disbelief until the recent Women’s March. I knew I didn’t want to board a bus for D.C., but when my 34-year-old dancer daughter said she was attending the Topeka march, and that she and her partner and another friend were making signs, I committed to going with them. In the past, I have preferred to air my political beliefs through writing, not marching. In fact, this women’s march was my first march ever. In college, as a student journalist, I covered protests, but did not participate in them. I once did a half-marathon walk/run for the ERA, but I have preferred the pen to the pavement. The goddesses smiled on the Topeka Women’s March, which drew 4,000 participants, young and old, male, female and in-between, to the south side of the State Capitol on a sunny day in the 50s. Against the bluest sky, the crowd was uplifted by a wonderful all-female musical group, The Skirts. My daughter recognized the mandolin player as a kindergarten teacher whose class she visits once a week to teach creative dance. They led us in “Teach Your Children Well,” with telling lyrics given the antics of our renegade president. A child in the crowd held a sign: “I’m Listening.” Beryl New, African American principal of Topeka’s east-side Highland Park High, who had children in day care with my daughter, served as a dynamic emcee. “We have been blessed so that 4,000 people can come together to celebrate the banner over all of us, the banner of love,” she said. Interestingly, the organizers of the march in Topeka were a young University of Kansas professor, who lived down the street from us as a girl, and a History and Spanish teacher at a local private school, the younger sister of a classmate and friend of my daughter from a big Mormon family. A female Unitarian minister led a prayer that ended with the wish that we come together in “a movement, not a moment.” As we listened to the speakers, a mother tapped me on my shoulder and told me her daughter wanted to give me a sunflower. At the end of two and a half hours of a baker’s dozen women speakers, including a construction worker, a transgender woman, an African American legislator, an indigenous speaker, a disabled activist, and more, we marched around the Capitol Building. For the first time since Trump’s election, I felt exhilarated. I was joined by my husband and my son, our daughter and several of her friends. I carried my Kansas sunflower proudly. Fatima Mohammadi, of Iranian/Danish parents, mother of three and an attorney, had ended her remarks by asking the crowd, “What if this darkness is not the darkness of a tomb, but of a womb?” Across the nation, Gloria Steinem, veteran activist, echoed these sentiments at the Women’s March on Washington when she said, surveying the crowd of one million gathered there: “This is the upside of the downside.” Her rousing, stirring keynote referenced the 370 marches occurring in all states and on seven continents, marches that in the days after were reported to have drawn 3 to 4 million. In closing, Steinem observed that often after electing a “possible president, we too often go home.” But as she said, since “We’ve elected an impossible president, we’re never going home.” The National Women’s March organizers have recommended 10 actions in 100 days. This week I was invited to three postcard-writing parties. At the one I attended I asked my Congressional representatives to not tamper with the Affordable Care Act, telling the story of my daughter’s duet partner who broke her wrist during a performance, but had insured herself thanks to the ACA two weeks before. I wrote my state legislators asking that they support a bill granting permanent exemption from the Kansas concealed carry laws for public buildings, including universities, saying had I known there would be weapons on campus at the University of Kansas after July, I would have encouraged my son to go out of state to college. The many airport rallies in opposition to Trump’s travel restrictions for those from seven Muslim-majority countries shows public protests will continue. We Kansans may live in a red state, but sizable numbers of us intend to resist the Trump administration when it steps on the rights of those perceived as Other. During the first week alone, those others were non-Christians, Muslims, and people with little means to purchase health insurance. We are not going home, as Steinem, 82, and still splendid in her galvanizing energy, said. We will keep up the pressure. We will move through loss and grief, toward hopeful and positive action. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

02 февраля, 01:14

The House Kills an Anti-Corruption Measure

If the Senate approves, it could change how multinationals deal with foreign governments.

01 февраля, 23:29

Will the Senate Block Betsy DeVos?

Two Republican senators announce their opposition to President Trump’s nominee for education secretary. If all Democrats vote no, just one more GOP defection would defeat her.

01 февраля, 06:12

Are Democrats Prepared to Fight Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee?

The party out of power has struggled to mount a unified opposition to the president’s agenda, but Senate Democrats rushed to criticize his nomination on Tuesday evening.