HomeIssuesOil/Gas Pipelines3/14 News Roundup – Pipeline Protestors Decry State Surveillance, Texas Dems Worry Bigger Rifts Ahead With National Party & More
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Of course, the three judges were all appointed by Republicans


A federal appeals court ruling Tuesday leaves in place almost all of a Texas law banning so-called sanctuary cities.

The law, Senate Bill 4, punishes local officials who limit immigration enforcement by local police or prevent officers from questioning the immigration status of anyone they detain or arrest. It also requires county jails to honor requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold detainees suspected of being eligible for deportation.

Tuesday’s ruling by a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans overturns an injunction by a San Antonio federal judge that had found portions of the law unconstitutional.

The appeals court upheld almost all of the law except for civil penalties for local officials who “endorse a policy under which the entity or department prohibits or materially limits the enforcement of immigration laws.” They found that use of the word “endorse” could violate the First Amendment and result in penalties against local officials who speak out on immigration policies.


Local schools, universities on board with today’s planned student walkout

Higher-education officials across the state took to Twitter in recent days to reassure students who choose to leave school for today’s national walkout that any punishment received won’t affect college admissions.

The University of Illinois, Eastern Illinois, Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan joined institutions across the nation in letting students know their admissions packets would not be viewed any differently should they be disciplined for protesting peacefully.

“Future Illini: We support students engaging in dialogue that further informs their worldview,” the UI said in a tweet. “Non-academic disciplinary action as a result of participating in peaceful protest won’t affect a student’s admission decision.”

The statements came after students across the nation — including many in Champaign, Urbana and surrounding communities — pledged to walk out of their schools at 10 a.m. today and remain outside and protest peacefully for 17 minutes. They’ll do so in memoriam of the 17 people who died in the Feb. 14 shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school and in protest of congressional inaction regarding gun laws.

I hope schools will not discipline students at all for wanting to walk out to protest lax gun regulations espoused in various state legislatures and by the NRA.

As Bernie said last Friday, “Enough is Enough”.


CNN just showed a rally in Brooklyn and one of the reporters spoke with Georgia, a 14 year old, wearing a bulletproof vest with the list of companies affiliated with the NRA.


#Studentswalkout #solidarity


Bernie weighs in:


Those of you with FB accounts, jump on. Bernie is with the students outside of Capitol Hill and WH. They are surrounding him like a rock star!

We’re with students protesting gun violence

Posted by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders on Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Yep. Saw that!


Bernie tells the students that “they are leading the nation and Congress to do whatever we (Congress) can to protect the American people. All over the country people are sick and tired of the NRA. ”

Bernie gets out in the masses to talk about issues immediately impacting our students (and public safety), thanks them and lets them know he is so proud of them.

Contrast to the baroness, who sneers at the working class in the middle of the country.



Supporting social programs reduces government spending in the long run. Nevertheless, fiscal conservatives and neoliberals continue to insist on implementing austerity policies that harm us all.

This isn’t because they aren’t aware of how social spending budget cuts shake out over the long term. They’re less concerned with which policies are ideologically consistent or financially sound, and more concerned with preventing the kind of redistribution of wealth and power from the top to the bottom which increased social spending provides.

If it costs a bit more over time to structure budgets this way, so be it: spending extra on pair after pair of cheap shoes is worth it if the shoes are so shoddy that the working class can’t kick your ass with them.


The issue is recurring costs and most administrators want one-time expenditures because they are more predictable. What’s not good is that the tax cut enacted this year is also recurring and revenues for the coffers are unpredictable, hence austerity measures are next.


Politicians In States Who Have 2/3 of the GDP in the US Often Have Offshore Accounts–Like in Hillary’s Home State of Illinois (note: the byline is by me, not the newpaper)

In Paradise Papers records reviewed by the Tribune, the Appleby firm labeled J.B. Pritzker as “PEP N-R,” a designation meaning he’s directly related to someone in a national government. The law firm declined to discuss its relationship with Pritzker or explain why it had applied the label to him. At the time, Pritzker’s sister, Penny Pritzker, served as commerce secretary for President Barack Obama. She has had her own offshore dealings revealed by the Paradise Papers.

J.B. Pritzker’s campaign confirmed the accuracy of reports in Forbes and Bloomberg News setting the candidate’s personal wealth at $3.5 billion. So far, he has pumped more than $63 million of his own money into his campaign in hopes of winning Tuesday’s Democratic governor primary against five others.

Andrew Stoltmann, a Chicago securities lawyer, said the sparse financial information that wealthy candidates like Pritzker release and the use of offshore trusts and holding companies allows them to keep their wealth from scrutiny.

“It’s byzantine. It’s complicated. And that’s just the way they like it,” Stoltmann said. “That’s why Pritzker running for governor is so fascinating. We should know more about his finances. But my guess is that (Republican Bruce) Rauner’s probably not any more forthcoming.”

Rauner is a wealthy businessman and was chairman of the private equity firm GTCR before becoming governor in 2014. Economic disclosure forms when he first ran for governor showed Rauner was an investor in several of GTCR’s offshore investment pools registered in the Cayman Islands. The records did not reveal the value of his stake.



This is from the Hill, so consider the source…I’m changing the byline slightly as I don’t think people are angry…

Dems Frustrated Over Hillary Clinton’s Comments Last Weekend

During a conference in India this weekend, Clinton called states that supported her in the election more economically advanced than the states that backed Trump.
The remarks reminded many of the former secretary of State’s comments in 2016 that some of Trump’s supporters fit in a “basket of deplorables,” a line the Republican then used against her repeatedly during the final stretch of the campaign.

She also insinuated that women who voted for Trump were motivated by “ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”

In interviews with The Hill on Tuesday, even the staunchest Clinton allies as well as longtime advisers say the comments were cringeworthy and ultimately detrimental to Democrats.

“She put herself in a position where [Democrats] from states that Trump won will have to distance themselves from her even more,” said one former senior Clinton aide. “That’s a lot of states.”

Another Clinton surrogate questioned the decisionmaking behind Clinton’s remarks. For months, some Democrats have been arguing that Clinton’s sentiments have been counterproductive to the party’s rebuilding efforts. And some have told her she should emulate former President Obama’s model to only make statements when it’s essential.

If course, if you say Clinton ought to be making comments only when essential like Obama does, the squirrels at TOP come out of their dreys and tell you how sexist that would be.


That’s why Obama was president and Clinton failed. His political instincts are much better.


How A Twitter Fight Over Bernie Sanders Revealed A Network Of Fake Accounts

When Russians at the Internet Research Agency interfered in U.S. politics, they created false online personas and fake political groups to amplify divisive messages that already had a homegrown American audience. It’s not too far from what some U.S. political consultants are doing themselves.

Take Sally Albright, a Democratic Party communications consultant who backed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016. Unsurprisingly, Albright is vocally opposed to President Donald Trump and a big supporter of the resistance to his administration. She is also one of the loudest, most divisive voices attacking Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Clinton’s onetime Democratic primary opponent, and his left-wing supporters.

Well after the primary, Albright continues to claim that Sanders is a fraud, a liar, racist and corrupt, among many other things. In one instance she declared that the policy idea of free college, as promoted by Sanders, was racist. This provoked Sanders supporters to argue back.

Trevor, a Sanders supporter who declined to provide his last name for fear of being doxxed, but goes by @likingonline on Twitter, noticed a strange pattern of behavior when Albright responded to him. Her tweets addressing him were rapidly retweeted by the same series of accounts. This created a barrage of notifications making it look as though there was an avalanche of opposition to everything he said.

But as Trevor discovered, after an extensive amount of research that he posted online, these were not normal accounts. They appeared to be bots ― automated accounts masked as real people being used to amplify a particular political message. Who is really pulling the strings, however, remains a mystery.

Albright told HuffPost that the accounts were voluntarily handed over by their original users to an unnamed client of hers to be automated in “an analytics program.” She said she was bound by a non-disclosure agreement and could not disclose who was collecting and automating these accounts or for what purpose.


h/t Lee Fang


Good article from Pierce


There will be some attempt now to minimize what the voters in that district did on Tuesday night. Rick Saccone was a dullard of a candidate. (True.) Conor Lamb is personally going to run Nancy Pelosi out of national politics, so he’s not really a Democratic candidate. (Please to be giving me a break.) It’s a long way until November and Things Can Still Happen. (This theory depends vitally on the president* suddenly becoming Up To The Job. Yeah, right.) This is whistling very loudly past a very large graveyard. This was a Republican district. It was built to be a Republican district in perpetuity, which is why its days are numbered right now.

In the latter days of the campaign, the Republicans abandoned their economic pitch that was based on the president*’s ability to convince congressional Republicans to pass a massive plutocrat’s wet dream of a tax cut. This was supposed to be the magic bullet in this election. Instead, Saccone decided to let the traditional culture-war boogeypersons out of the closet.

On Monday, for example, Conor Lamb was a wild-eyed “libtard” who was going to let undocumented immigrant doctors perform abortions on your 10-year-old daughter in the middle of a mass gay wedding in Greene County. On Wednesday, according to those same Republicans, Conor Lamb was basically Mark Meadows in Democratic drag. Are the Republicans pretty well and truly fcked up as a party right now? Signs point to “Yes.”

In his victory speech, which came before anyone had called the race, which MSNBC’s Brian Williams couldn’t resist telling his audience, Lamb interestingly leaned very hard on thanking the support he’d received from organized labor. In fact, he talked more—and more sincerely—about unions in that speech than any candidate I’ve heard since the beginning of Bernie Sanders’ campaign back in 2015.

“Side by side with us at each step of the way were the men and women in organized labor…Organized labor built Western Pennsylvania…Tonight, they have reasserted their right to have a major part in our future.”

This is beyond encouraging. I am sure that Lamb is going to take some positions that are going to make me crazy. (If he takes a dive on guns in this historical moment, or if he really becomes part of an effort to make, say, Tim Ryan the speaker of a newly elected Democratic House, the shebeen will not be pleased.) But telling labor that he owes his victory largely to its effort, and actually meaning it, is a very welcome—and an extremely shrewd—move for a rookie, and it evinces the kind of awareness that he’s going to need to win re-election in whatever district he has to run in when this one disappears.

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