ONTD Political

President-elect Donald Trump signaled Thursday that he will look to "strengthen and expand" the US's nuclear capability hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to enhance his country's nuclear forces.

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The exchange appeared to raise the prospect of a new arms race between the two nuclear superpowers, which between them boast more than 14,000 nuclear warheads, the still deadly legacy of their four-decades long Cold War standoff.
But the comments by Putin, who is presiding over a project to restore Russia's lost global power and influence, and Trump, who will shortly become the US commander-in-chief, did not spell out exactly what each side is proposing or whether a major change of nuclear doctrine is in the offing.
Trump weighed in with a tweet just hours after Putin spoke following a meeting with his military advisers to review the activity of the past year.
"The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes," Trump wrote.

It was not immediately clear if the President-elect is proposing an entire new nuclear policy that he would begin to flesh out once he takes office next year.
Trump could also be referring to plans to modernize the current US nuclear arsenal that are currently underway and will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. The Obama administration has outlined a plan to modernize delivery systems, command and control systems and to refurbish warheads in the US nuclear triad -- the US force of sea, airborne and missile delivered nuclear weapons.
But the plan keeps the size of the nuclear force at existing levels.
Trump's tweet appeared to envisage an expansion of the size of the US nuclear force, but it was not immediately clear if that is the case.
Trump communications director Jason Miller sent a statement to try to explain the President-elect's tweet on nuclear capability.
He suggested Trump was "referring to the threat of nuclear proliferation and the critical need to prevent it," although that was not referenced in the tweet. He also said Trump was emphasizing the need to "modernize our deterrent capability."
In Moscow earlier Tuesday, Putin said in a defense speech that Russia needs to "enhance the combat capability of strategic nuclear forces, primarily by strengthening missile complexes that will be guaranteed to penetrate existing and future missile defense systems."
Putin's remarks appeared to suggest that he was talking about new weapons systems that could overcome US missile defenses, a development that could force the US to respond. It was not clear, however, if he was contemplating an expansion in the total numbers of Russian weapons or of the stocks of those arms that are deployed.

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America to Stop Anyone But Our Allies From Committing Crimes Against Our Oil Sugar Daddies Humanity.

Exploiting the Tragedy of Aleppo
Official Washington’s dominant neocons have pushed emotional propaganda about Syria as a way to justify a “regime change” project there and are now furious with its apparent failure, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

By Paul R. Pillar

Among large-scale tragedies involving human suffering and the many examples of man’s inhumanity toward man, only a few capture our imaginations and sway our collective emotions. The question of which specific episodes achieve this special salience does not seem to depend on the scale of the suffering or even on the degree of immorality involved.
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Saddam Hussein Was Not 'Worth Removing From Power': Ex-CIA Agent
New memoir details institutional failings that led to catastrophic invasion of Iraq and rise of Islamic State

A former CIA analyst who personally interrogated Saddam Hussein said the U.S. "got it so wrong" on the invasion of Iraq and should have left the now-deceased leader in power.

In an excerpt from a memoir about his time with the agency, Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein, former analyst John Nixon—who was the first officer to question Hussein after his capture in December 2003—writes that the Ba'athist president was not "worth removing from power," and that the decision to do so needs to be viewed in the context of what came next: the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS).

Nixon writes:
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Saudi Arabia admits it used UK-made cluster bombs in Yemen
Confirmation by Saudi-led coalition raises pressure on UK government which has refused to curb arms sales to Riyadh

Saudi Arabia has finally admitted that it used UK-manufactured cluster bombs against Houthi rebels in Yemen, increasing pressure on the British government which has repeatedly refused to curb arms sales to Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia said it would cease to use UK-manufactured cluster bombs and that it had informed the UK government of this decision.
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Even before the incoming Democratic Governor has a chance to take office, the GOP have proposed a pair of bills that would hobble his powers and curtail voting rights in the state.

WASHINGTON ― Fresh off losing control of the governor’s seat, North Carolina Republicans are now trying to undermine the election results through the state legislature by pushing bills that would limit the power of Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper.

Cooper declared victory over Gov. Pat McCrory, the Republican incumbent, on Nov. 9, but McCrory would not concede, saying the race was too close to call since Cooper was ahead by slightly more than 4,300 votes. He then called for all provisional ballots to be counted, demanded a statewide recount and accused citizens of voter fraud before finally conceding the election to Cooper on Dec. 5.

But apparently, Cooper’s fight isn’t over. If passed, Senate Bill 4 and House Bill 17 would prevent the incoming governor from making certain Cabinet appointments, reduce the power of the State Board of Elections and change the way potentially unconstitutional bills are legally challenged.

What’s perhaps more troubling is that the bills aren’t clear about what to do in certain common political scenarios.

Take the embattled State Board of Elections. Currently, the governor appoints all five board members. But under SB 4, there would be an executive director and eight board members ― four Democrats, four Republicans ― who would have the power to issue subpoenas and compel witnesses to testify. Cooper would be able to appoint four of the members, while two would be chosen by the state House and another two would be picked by the state Senate. County election boards would also shift from three members ― two currently appointed by the sitting governor ― to four members, evenly split along party lines.

SB 4 also mandates that six members of the State Board of Elections agree on a motion before taking any action. But the bill offers no guidance on what should happen if the board is evenly split or if five members agree.

“If you call an emergency meeting and only five people could attend, then you can take no action even though you have a quorum,” said state Rep. Darren Jackson, a Democrat. “This creates a board that will be frozen and unable to make decisions in any disputed case. I just don’t know how it would work.”

This lack of clarity could curtail voting rights ― an issue that frequently comes before the State Board of Elections.Collapse )

By Julia Craven. Posted 12/15/2016 01:37 pm ET.


Related: North Carolina’s New Governor Is Prepared To Sue State Republicans Over Bad Laws
“You Muslims are a vile and filthy people.”

Religious leaders in California are calling for a police investigation after identical letters were sent to local mosques hailing President-elect Donald Trump and calling for death to Muslims.

The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) released a statement asking for increased protection after the hate-filled letters were discovered at the Islamic centers of Long Beach and Claremont as well as a mosque in San Jose.

The handwritten and photocopied letters, received over the course of the week, were signed by “Americans for a Better Way.” They call Muslims “a vile and filthy people” who “worship the devil” and evoke Trump.

“There’s a new sheriff in town — President Donald Trump. He’s going to cleanse America and make it shine again. And, he’s going to start with you Muslims,” the letters read. “He’s going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.”

CAIR leaders in San Francisco and Los Angeles didn’t initially want to bring the letters into the public spotlight to avoid copycats, but they acknowledged the need for police intervention once the diatribe was sent to a number of jurisdictions across the state, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We urge local law enforcement authorities to work with Muslim community leaders to ensure the safety of all houses of worship,” CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo said in a statement. “Our state’s political and religious leaders need to speak out against the mainstreaming of Islamophobia that we are witnessing in California and nationwide.”

Though Trump has said he isn’t aware of campaigns across the country to intimidate and hurt Muslims since his victory, the problem is rampant.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has tracked more than 700 acts of this kind of bias intimidation and harassment targeting Muslims, blacks, Latinos, immigrants and LGBTQ people since Election Day, though not every incident has been independently verified. The Huffington Post’s Christopher Mathias has identified at least 13 incidents in which Muslims have been attacked, harassed or threatened in Trump’s name.

San Jose police are reportedly investigating the letters. It wasn’t immediately clear whether police departments across the state would ramp up security in response to CAIR’s statement.

CAIR urges Muslim community members to report any incidents to police and to the organization’s civil rights department by calling 202-742-6420 or by filing a report online.

By Andy Campbell. 11/26/2016 05:35 pm ET.

Texas Judge Suggests Lynching Black Suspect, Denies It’s About Race

“Time for a tree and a rope,” Burnet County Judge James Oakley wrote on Facebook.

Burnet County Judge James Oakley has apologized after suggesting that a suspect should be lynched.

A Texas judge is under fire over a comment he posted to Facebook suggesting that a black man suspected of killing a local police officer should be lynched.

“Time for a tree and a rope,” he posted on Monday to the San Antonio Police Department’s Facebook page
, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Burnet County Judge James Oakley took responsibility for the rash words on Wednesday. He apologized and called his language “unfortunate,” but denied that it contained any racial undertones.

“I never made that connection but I do see how somebody could make that connection and be offended towards that. That was not my intent,” he told The Huffington Post on the phone. “Maybe I watched too many Westerns when I was little.”

The article he posted contained news of an arrest made in Sunday’s shooting death of San Antonio Police Detective Benjamin Marconi. Otis Tyrone McKane, who is black, was arrested on suspicion of murdering Marconi one day after the detective, who was white, was fatally shot inside his patrol car.

In an emailed statement, Oakley called his response “curt and harsh.”

“What I should have posted, if anything, is a comment that more clearly reflects my opinion on the cowardly crime of the senseless murder of a law enforcement officer. My view of the ‘suspect,’ whom has admitted to the murder, is the same regardless of ethnicity or gender,” he said. (The suspect had told police when he was arrested that he “lashed out at somebody,” adding “I’m sorry.”)

Oakley added that he was an advocate of due process and doesn’t preside over criminal court.

“I also support the death penalty in cases where the ultimate crime has been committed and there is clear and complete evidence and where all steps of the judicial process have been respected,” he said.

A group that monitors Texas’ Pedernales Electric Cooperative, where Oakley is a board officer, was among those enraged by his words.

“What Mr. Oakley suggested was racist,” PEC Truth Watch wrote in a blog post.

“A sitting County Judge in Texas has suggested that a black man accused of a crime in Houston, TX should be lynched. Do the members and employees of PEC agree with Mr. Oakley’s statement? Do the people of Burnet County? I trust they do not agree,” it continues. “I hope they believe America to be a nation of laws and due process. The accused is entitled to a defense before a jury, however heinous the accusations against him may be.”

A post on Burnet County’s Facebook page also called the comment “despicable” and questioned Oakley’s ability to be a judge.

Sherry Bellamy
on Wednesday.
County Judge Oakley just advocated that a black man accused of a crime should be lynched.
This is 2016 and one of your judges is advocating lynching? This is despicable. A man like that should not be a judge.

Burnet County, Government Organization

By Nina Golgowski. 11/23/2016 02:11 pm ET.

America Was Always Trump, but without the Orange Human Face.

"America deserves Trump," says one protester fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline. "America is Trump."

Back in September, many of the protesters at the Standing Rock camp cared little who won the presidential election. "Whoever wins, we're still going to have to live with these fuckers," Chas Jewett told Rolling Stone, gesturing to the Dakota prairie, which would soon go in a landslide for Trump.

Indian country, by contrast, broke hard for Bernie Sanders, and Jewett's sedan, like many of the vehicles parked in the camp, sported Bernie stickers. Many Native Americans at the camp had cast their first primary votes for Sanders, who took a strong position against the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline, which is intended to move oil from the shale fields of North Dakota to Illinois. Protesters – though they prefer the term "protectors" – fear the consequences of a spill where the pipeline crosses under the Missouri River. There's also a larger political question: The pipeline crosses through territory ceded to the Great Sioux Nation by the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie, and the Sioux say they weren't properly consulted for construction on their land.

When Hillary Clinton got the nomination, the protesters had largely lost interest in the election. (Clinton's campaign released a tepid statement in late October reminding both sides to "respect demonstrators' rights to protest peacefully, and workers' rights to do their jobs safely.") Jewett, a Lakota from Cheyenne River and a longtime progressive organizer, had fallen into a deep depression after Sanders lost. She had dealt her entire life with both the casual racism of Dakota ranchers and the paternalism of federal Indian policy, having grown up on a ranch watching white neighbors get easy credit while her father had to go, hat in hand, to the Bureau of Indian Affairs every time he needed a loan for equipment. Things weren't much better now.In 2015, a federal court found that South Dakota's child welfare services department had been taking Native children from their families and tribes and placing them in white homes, in violation of federal law. And there were smaller indignities: Earlier this year, in Rapid City, where Jewett lives, white men threw beer on some Native teens who were on a class trip to a hockey game, demanding they go back to the reservation; local headlines asked if the Native kids had stood for the Pledge of Allegiance at the game. (They had.) "For once," Jewett said of Sanders' run, "we'd had an actual alternative – someone who wasn't just, frack shit, bomb shit." It was September, and no one thought yet that Trump could actually win. But "America deserves Trump," she said, poking the fire with black satisfaction. "America is Trump."
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Standing Rock Protesters React to Life Under Trump
OP: The first article below is an editorial, but I thought it was a good introduction to events in my neck of the woods which many on this comm may not have heard about.

Also, just a slight correction: a journalist's name is given as Legasse in the first source when it is actually Lagacé.
Journalism under surveillance in Canada

Canada might have a strong tradition of free press, but that has not stopped Canadian police spying on journalists
Both the US and Canada have constitutional guarantees for the freedom of speech

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OP: I agree with the first source. I don't think it's surprising that police spy on journalists, but rather that it has come to light at all...
The strangers allegedly argued about the election. Then he hit her.

A man punched a woman in the face at a popular French restaurant in Brooklyn after she expressed disappointment about the election of President-elect Donald Trump, according to reports from restaurant staff and witnesses.

On Saturday night, a 49-year-old woman who has not been publicly identified was at Bar Tabac in Boerum Hill with a female friend. According to Jonas Leon, the manager who was working that night, the two women were discussing the outcome of the election when a man at a nearby table got into an argument with them.

The man asked the manager to kick the women out of the restaurant. Instead, Leon moved the man and his dining companion to another table. The man paid for his meal and left the restaurant, Leon said, before sprinting back in and punching one of the women square in the face.

“The guy came back almost running, and he started pushing some customer and the high-chair next to him with the baby because he couldn’t reach the girl,” Leon said. “Then he punched the girl.”

Leon told DNAInfo that the assault was because of politics.

“The guy who punched the girl was pro-Trump for sure,” he said.

One witness, Katie Nave Freeman, told DNAInfo that she was dining at the eatery when she heard people yelling “call 911.” She saw a woman in the back of the restaurant with her hands over her face.

“The woman was extremely (and understandably) shaken,” Freeman said. “She grabbed me, sobbed and held the left side of her face in her hand.”

An NYPD spokesman confirmed to Gothamist that an assault occurred at the bar. The woman did not suffer any visible injuries and refused medical attention. No arrests have been made in the case.

On Monday, Bar Tabac posted a statement about the incident on Facebook:

"We at Bar Tabac do not condone violence of any type or manner, especially in our own establishment; to the tough guy who assaulted a female patron of ours on Saturday night over a political conversation: Once the law is done with you, do not come back to Bar Tabac (this includes your partner). At a point in this nation when tensions are highest we need to come together now more than ever, we apologize to any customers who had to witness this vulgar outburst."

In the aftermath of Trump’s surprise election, there has been a slew of reports of racist, anti-Semitic and anti-women attacks by Trump supporters.

“Since the election, we’ve seen a big uptick in incidents of vandalism, threats, intimidation spurred by the rhetoric surrounding Mr. Trump’s election,”
Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, told USA TODAY.

Advocates working to end violence against women have warned about a possible increase in violence under a Trump presidency.

By Melissa Jeltsen. 11/15/2016 11:38 am ET.

Omarosa: Trump already has an enemies list

Omarosa Manigault, a former contestant on The Apprentice, and Donald Trump advocate, says those who vote against Trump will be placed on a special “list.”

“It’s so great our enemies are making themselves clear so that when we get into the White House, we know where we stand,” Omarosa told the Independent Journal Review at Trump’s election night party in New York City.

Omarosa specifically mentioned Sen. Lindsey Graham, who announced on Twitter that he voted for another candidate.

“If [Graham] felt his interests was with that candidate, God bless him. I would never judge anybody for exercising their right to and the freedom to choose who they want, but let me just tell you, Mr. Trump has a long memory and we’re keeping a list,” Omarosa told the Journal Review.

Graham tweeted that he couldn't bring himself to vote for Trump and Hillary Clinton wasn't an option, so he voted for a friend.

In the prez race, voting for Hillary Clinton was always a non-starter and I couldn’t go where Donald Trump wanted to take the USA & GOP. #2
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) November 8, 2016

I voted @Evan_McMullin for President. I appreciate his views on a strong America and the need to rebuild our military. #3
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) November 8, 2016

And if political enemy lists seem more akin to House of Cards than real life, think again. Politico reports that Clinton aides compiled a "hit list" in 2008 after she lost to Barack Obama.


Hillary's Hit List
Donald Trump openly bragged about using his celebrity status to sexually assault women. And multiple women accused him of actually doing so.

He said he was in favor of banning people from entering the United States based on their religion.

He believes that women he finds physically unattractive or overweight are lesser people.

He thinks that many Mexican immigrants are rapists.

He mocked people with disabilities.

He encouraged violence against protesters at his political rallies.

For years, he was the most notable person pushing the conspiracy theory that the first black president was illegitimate because he was supposedly not born in the United States.

And now, he will be America’s 45th president ― a position of power and prestige, meant to be the role model for children all over the country and offer the best of the best to the rest of the world.Read more...Collapse )


Mods and everyone: I hope we can all try to remember that this is a very deeply felt loss for at least some of us here. Some people in this comm are genuinely suffering, devastated, and worried sick about REAL SHIT like health care and deportations and people losing rights they've fought long and hard for (not to mention fucking WWIII). Among other things, it would be awesome if we could all please try to play nice for a while, so some of us can have a chance to fucking heal from this debacle, instead of plunging this comm back into Hillary v. Bernie hell. Thank you.
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