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    President Donald Trump Looks At America, Sees Carnage

    President Donald Trump Looks At America, Sees Carnage


    WASHINGTON ― Donald Trump officially became the 45th president Friday, painting a portrait of an “American carnage” in an address as gloomy as the gray chill that hung over his inaugural.With a light rain falling, Trump followed his oath of...






    WASHINGTON ― Donald Trump officially became the 45th president Friday, painting a portrait of an “American carnage” in an address as gloomy as the gray chill that hung over his inaugural.


    With a light rain falling, Trump followed his oath of office with promises to rescue the country from its woes and calls for unity tinged in authoritarian tones.


    “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other,” Trump said. “We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.”


    Trump’s speech took only 16 minutes ― short for an inaugural address, and suggested that his presidency would take the same tone as his campaign: attacks against the Washington establishment, laced with vows to limit foreign involvement, protect American jobs from foreign trade, rebuild roads and bridges and make the government more responsive to everyday citizens.


    One of his administration’s first official actions, though, moved in the opposite direction. His Department of Housing and Urban Development canceled a newly instituted decrease in mortgage fees that would have saved first-time borrowers about $500 a year.


    Trump also formally nominated his Cabinet choices so the Senate can vote on them, as well as signed into law a waiver that had Congress passed to permit his pick for defense secretary to take the post despite not having been retired from the military the required seven years. (The Senate followed up later by confirming retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis to lead the Pentagon and confirming John Kelly, also a retired Marine Corps general, to run the Department of Homeland Security.)


    After the traditional luncheon with members of Congress at the Capitol, Trump and his wife and new first lady, Melania, rode down Pennsylvania Avenue at the head of the inaugural parade, ending at the White House.


    The parade itself drew a smaller than expected crowd, with entire stands along the route remaining empty. The inaugural festivities were similarly more lightly attended than previous ones, with plenty of empty spaces on stretches of the Mall that had been packed for previous inaugurations.


    Just a few blocks to the north, meanwhile, protesters opposing Trump gathered by the thousands. Some turned violent, smashing store windows and setting small fires. Police reported nearly 100 arrests and said a handful of officers had suffered minor injuries.


    Among the protesters was Mary Lou Dicken, 68, from a county in Maryland that supported Trump. She does not like the trade agreement that she believes sent her garment factory job to Latin America, but said she could not support Trump.


    “The man is so vile that regardless of his policies I couldn’t have voted for him,” Dicken said. “I don’t care what things he was going to offer me or anyone else.”


    For the several hundred thousand Trump supporters who converged on the capital, though, his presidency offers a promise for improvements in their own lives.


    “The energy and the positive that he gives to the country, the positive outlook, bringing jobs, creating jobs, bringing them back from other countries, health care,” said Paul Borkman, who drove from Greensburg, Indiana, with his four adult sons, and who watched the festivities with them in matching black Bass Pro Shop ponchos.


    Trump was clearly aiming at the outside-of-Washington constituency in his speech, which attacked establishment leaders as aggressively as he did during the campaign.


    “Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed,” Trump said from the steps of the Capitol. “The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs, and while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.”


    “What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again,” Trump said.


    Inaugural addresses often attempt a unifying theme that brings the nation together. But Trump, as he has largely done since his Nov. 8 election, instead continued with the ideas he pushed during his campaign: that the nation’s leaders had ignored its people, that the military had been weakened, and that bad trade policies had stolen the country’s wealth.


    “One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world. But that is the past and now we are looking only to the future,” Trump said.


    Trump closed his speech the same way he did most of his rallies: “Together we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And, yes, together, we will make America great again. Thank you. God bless you and God bless America! Thank you. God bless America.”


    Daniel Marans and Jessica Schulberg contributed to this report. 

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    Big Changes On White House Website As Donald Trump Takes Over

    Big Changes On White House Website As Donald Trump Takes Over


    WASHINGTON ― With a new president comes a new presidential website. Gone are sections like “Civil Rights” and “Reducing Gun Violence” and in are pages like “America First Energy Plan” and “America First Foreign Policy.”But people also...


    WASHINGTON ― With a new president comes a new presidential website. Gone are sections like “Civil Rights” and “Reducing Gun Violence” and in are pages like “America First Energy Plan” and “America First Foreign Policy.”


    But people also quickly noticed that certain pages seemed to have disappeared altogether. Searches for LGBT turn up nothing and the section on climate change goes to a broken link. 


    Advocacy groups for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality quickly condemned the Trump administration for scrubbing mentions of their community.


    There is a good chance that Trump’s WhiteHouse.gov will not have a specific section on LGBTQ rights. That’s not surprising, since it was not a focus of his campaign and he has spoken out against full equality. Same with climate change ― Trump has been skeptical of the human connection to global warming.


    That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that that content is gone forever. The Trump administration is essentially building a new site from scratch ― even though it looks like the Obama administration’s WhiteHouse.gov ― and that means replacing the content bit by bit. 


    “The transition of the site is in progress as updates are made,” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said. 


    And the glitches aren’t restricted to progressive priorities. A search for “China” for example, comes up with only a handful of results. The site for the Office of Management and Budget similarly is gone


    The Obama White House content is also still accessible at a new site, ObamaWhiteHouse.Archives.Gov. As Kori Schulman, the Obama deputy chief digital officer explained in October, “Similar to the Clinton and Bush White House websites, President Obama’s WhiteHouse.gov will be preserved on the web and frozen after January 20th and made available at ObamaWhiteHouse.gov. The incoming White House will receive the WhiteHouse.gov domain and all content that has been posted to WhiteHouse.gov during the Obama administration will be archived with NARA [National Archives and Records Administration].”


    So far on Trump’s White House site, there are also no pages devoted to immigration or repealing Obamacare, which were two of Trump’s top priorities during the campaign. 


    Want more updates from Amanda Terkel? Sign up for her newsletter, Piping Hot Truth, here.

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    Pro-Weed Group In D.C. Gives Away More Than 8,000 Joints On Inauguration Day

    Pro-Weed Group In D.C. Gives Away More Than 8,000 Joints On Inauguration Day


    A group that worked to legalize marijuana in Washington, D.C., handed out thousands of joints in the city on Inauguration Day to support the reform of federal cannabis law.Members of the group DCMJ began their giveaway, called #Trump420, early Friday at...






    A group that worked to legalize marijuana in Washington, D.C., handed out thousands of joints in the city on Inauguration Day to support the reform of federal cannabis law.


    Members of the group DCMJ began their giveaway, called #Trump420, early Friday at Dupont Circle, a historic downtown neighborhood filled with restaurants and shops just a mile from President Donald Trump’s new digs at the White House.


    Amanda Frizz, a 26-year-old DCMJ activist, told The Huffington Post that by 11:30 a.m., the group had given away their entire stash of more than 8,000 joints ― almost double their giveaway goal of 4,200.


    “We want to make America kind again,” Frizz said. “We want people to be open-hearted and not judgmental. That happened today.”


    Frizz said volunteers began rolling the joints at least three weeks ago, and used 10 pounds of weed donated by local growers.


    Late in the morning, some of the activists broke away from the marijuana giveaway to march toward the inauguration ceremony, where they lit up their joints 4 minutes and 20 seconds into Trump’s inauguration speech. Frizz said the group smoke session resulted in zero arrests.



    Cannabis reform is not a partisan issue, it's an American issue! #Trump420 #Inauguration #MAGA pic.twitter.com/BInDmkvxJt

    — DCMJ (@DCMJ2014) January 20, 2017


    The free distribution of weed is perfectly legal under D.C. law, which allows people to possess up to two ounces of the drug, but bars smoking it in public places or selling it.


    “We’re trying to show that cannabis is an issue that is an American issue,” DCMJ co-founder Nikolas Schiller told The Huffington Post. “It’s non-partisan, and we believe that we can make millions of jobs happen, increase tax revenue for states and help fix the broken criminal justice system.”


    Marijuana remains banned under federal law, and activists said they feared the Trump administration would revive enforcement in states and localities that have legalized it. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Trump’s pick for attorney general, has been an outspoken opponent of marijuana legalization.







    “Good people don’t smoke marijuana,” Sessions said in a Senate hearing in April. “We need grown-ups in charge in Washington saying marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought to be minimized, that it is in fact a very real danger.”


    Schiller said he hopes the new president will use his business background to reap tax revenue and promote jobs that would flow from legalized marijuana.


    “He has the opportunity to make America great again by allowing Americans to grow what George Washington once grew, which is cannabis,” Schiller said.



    Giant pot leaf mascot Hempy, a member of the pro-weed group Delaware NORML, said he hoped the weed giveaway would boost attention for nationwide marijuana legalization.


    “It’s a plant,” Hempy told HuffPost. “And I feel that if you can grow tomatoes, why can’t you grown cannabis, you know?”


    Trump told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in February that he favors medical marijuana “100 percent,” but called Colorado’s legalized marijuana industry “a real problem.”


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    British Police Tase Their Own Race Relations Adviser

    British Police Tase Their Own Race Relations Adviser


    Britain’s police watchdog is to hold an investigation after officers were filmed firing a stun-gun at their own local black race relations adviser who they apparently mistook for a wanted suspect, the force involved said on Friday.Judah Adunbi, 63,...






    Britain’s police watchdog is to hold an investigation after officers were filmed firing a stun-gun at their own local black race relations adviser who they apparently mistook for a wanted suspect, the force involved said on Friday.


    Judah Adunbi, 63, who is a founder member of an Independent Advisory Group (IAG) which works with Avon and Somerset Police in western England to improve relations with the local black community, was shot with the high-voltage Taser gun last Saturday outside his home in Bristol.


    A neighbour’s video of the incident posted on newspaper websites showed two officers speaking to Adunbi, saying they believed he was someone who is wanted. He refused to give his name saying “I’ve done no wrong” and later, after a brief scuffle, one officer shot him with a stun gun.


    “The way I fell backward on the back of my head. I was just paralysed. I thought that was it. I thought they were taking my life,” he told ITV News.


    Avon and Somerset Police said they had referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).


    “I’ve met with Mr Adunbi and we had a constructive conversation,” said Chief Superintendent Jon Reilly.


    “We’re aware of concerns within the local community and we take these concerns very seriously. We would like to answer their questions, but we need to be mindful that an investigation is ongoing which makes that difficult.”


    On its website, Avon and Somerset Police say “IAGs have a vital role in helping us build trust, confidence and better relationships, especially with our diverse communities”.

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    A Fight Worth Having: A Message on Inauguration Day

    A Fight Worth Having: A Message on Inauguration Day


    I won't mince words: President Donald Trump's inauguration means it is more important than ever that Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights redouble its commitment to the full scope of our humanitarian and social justice mission. We must push forward even more...



    I won't mince words: President Donald Trump's inauguration means it is more important than ever that Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights redouble its commitment to the full scope of our humanitarian and social justice mission.

    We must push forward even more vocally in 2017 not just because several of President Trump's proposals have raised concerns in civil rights and humanitarian circles. We must push forward because it is the mission of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights to speak truth to power - regardless of political affiliation.

    Though some are pessimistic about the future, I have reason to look ahead with optimism. Across the nation and around the world, advocates for equal justice, human rights and civil liberties speak with a reinvigorated voice. Though many are only individuals, those individuals, in this moment, are coming together as never before to speak with one voice in support of equality and fairness.

    I am proud to join them.

    Advocates across issues and continents are energized. They are prepared to fight hard in fights worth having - fights like ensuring equal pay for equal work, criminal justice reform and sustainable corporate governance. This is the moment for words to become actions, and actions to become change.

    I hope you will join Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights as we deepen our voice and put the pressing humanitarian issues of our world at center stage.

    Are you ready to stand and advance the enduring work of social justice? Support us today.

    Let's make our voices heard.

    Kerry Kennedy

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    Trump? They're Lovin' It!

    Trump? They're Lovin' It!


    -- 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...

    -- 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.

    Senate Confirms John Kelly As Trump's Homeland Security Secretary

    Senate Confirms John Kelly As Trump's Homeland Security Secretary


     WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve retired Marine General John Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security on Friday, making him the second confirmed member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet just hours after Trump...






     WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve retired Marine General John Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security on Friday, making him the second confirmed member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet just hours after Trump took the oath of office.


    Eighty-eight senators approved Kelly and just 11 opposed him. One senator did not vote.

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    <strong>Visit Futuroscope - The First Theme Park Created In France.</strong>

    Visit Futuroscope - The First Theme Park Created In France.


    The future is near - oh wait, no, it's here already! Whether we want it or not, the future can never be reached. Period. The present is the future of yesterday and the past is not even in that competition. So, what is it that we consider the future? Is...





    The future is near - oh wait, no, it's here already!

    Whether we want it or not, the future can never be reached. Period. The present is the future of yesterday and the past is not even in that competition. So, what is it that we consider the future? Is it tomorrow, ten years from now, or a century away? Maybe even a million years removed.

    What is sure is that we have no way of knowing what the future will be like, as far as our environment and the planet. What we can be certain of is that we, and our children, will be older than at press time. Sigh.

    Futuroscope.

    Made of striking architecture of metal and glass, the park Futuroscope is 30 years old already, but the new additions for 2017 make it relevant again and full of surprises. One of the new attraction is the Cirque du Soleil partnership with the evening show called "La Forge aux étoiles", due to perform 250-300 shows each year.




    Lacking holograms and virtual reality.

    Not all recent high-tech inventions are proposed in the future of this futuristic park. That may come, in the meantime, plenty of fun experiences are still drawing millions of visitors.

    Some 22 stages and rides offer a unique perspective on many of the unseen world. They include:

     *Les Mystères du Kube: acrobatic show at night on the water with magic numbers.
     *The Animals of the Future: combines virtual images and real settings to show how to live in the future with an interactive safari, interaction with toratons, spitfire birds, carakillers, squibbons. With binoculars and sensor bracelets, you discover and communicate with animals that could be living on our planet in 5, 100 million, or 200 million years from now.
     *4D Age de glace: the times of dinosaurs.
     *Arena Fun Xperience: a scenic ride into the home technologies of the future.
     *The time-machine: a dark-ride with special effects, accompanied by the goofiest rabbits in the World. Includes Mission Hubble, 3-D adventure into the Hubble space telescope and the Atlantis space shuttle. Also, Virus Attack, a race inside the human body.
     *Le Fab 4D, a musical voyage into The Beatles' universe.
     *Le Petit Prince: Saint-Exupéry's literary classic with a tactile play in a giant amphitheater.
     *The newest attraction, just opened in Dec. 2016 is the tale of Philéas Fogg, the protagonist of the 1873 Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days - here, a spherical screen will inverse riders and give them the impression of actually flying.



    More info here.
    Open every day Feb. 11-Sept. 11; then only Thurs.-Sun. until Oct. 24. Re-opens every day Dec. 19-Jan. 2. Also open during some school holidays.

    From Paris, the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse), the bullet train - takes you right into the Futuroscope-TGV train station in one hour and 20 minutes. French trains are very precise.

    Physical address: Avenue René Monory - 86360 Chasseneuil-du-Poitou
    Tel: 011-05 49 49 59 06.

    Adults tickets start at €43; kids at €39, plus parking fees. Discounts and packages are offered. Free for under five.

    Thirteen hotels and many restaurants are located inside the park.



    Questions / Comments = [email protected].
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    Why These People Of Faith Are Marching For Women This Weekend

    Why These People Of Faith Are Marching For Women This Weekend


    The Women’s March on Washington emerged as a response to the election of President Donald Trump. But it is also a movement for human rights. According to organizers, the goal of this powerful demonstration is to “affirm our shared humanity and...

    The Women’s March on Washington emerged as a response to the election of President Donald Trump. But it is also a movement for human rights. According to organizers, the goal of this powerful demonstration is to “affirm our shared humanity and pronounce our bold message of resistance and self-determination.”


    For religious people, these values also reflect some of the core tenets of their faith. Rabbi Joshua Heschel, who famously stood beside Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at the march on Selma in 1965, taught: “Prayer is meaningless unless it is subversive, unless it seeks to overthrow and to ruin the pyramids of callousness, hatred, opportunism, falsehood. The liturgical movement must become a revolutionary movement, seeking to overthrow the forces that continue to destroy the promise, the hope, the vision.”


    Thousands of people of many different faiths (and no faith) will be participating in this weekend’s events in Washington D.C., and in more than 600 marches taking place around the world. They follow in the footsteps of countless activists who have put justice at the forefront of their faith.


    HuffPost Religion asked a few people of faith why they were planning to join the march and what concerned them most about Trump’s vision for America. Here’s what they had to say:


    Lakhpreet Kaur, 30

    Austin, Texas, Freelance writer and editor-in-chief of KaurLife.org


    Marching in Austin, Texas


    What is your faith background and what role did it play in your decision to join the march?


    Sikh. I find that the principles behind the march are closely aligned with those of the Sikh faith: championing human rights, dignity, and diversity. In Sikhism, we believe that the Divine is within everyone. Thus, we believe in fighting for a just, fair, and compassionate society for all, regardless of social categories. So, I feel that attending this march is my spiritual duty; to stand in solidarity with all those who feel marginalized is an obligation.  


    What is it about Trump that concerns you the most?


    What concerns me most is Trump’s hate rhetoric and his demonizing of minorities. I find this can lead to an environment where people are not valued as human beings and do not feel physically safe in their own communities. Such rhetoric further normalizes bigotry, which has already lead to increased hate-crimes since the election. My ultimate fear is that our country may be slowly drifting away from democratic values.


     


    Edina Lekovic, 39

    Pasadena, Calif., Community Builder


    Marching in Los Angeles with the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Islamic Center of Southern California, and two interfaith women’s groups


    What is your faith background and what role did it play in your decision to join the march?


    I’m Muslim, and being a feminist, being for gender equality and for promoting women’s liberation, is central to the founding days of Islam and the Quran. My faith, and the faith of the women and men I’ll be marching with from my communities, bind us together to fight for our shared liberation.


    What is it about Trump that concerns you the most?


    The very foundation of our democracy ― our Constitutional values ― is under threat as a result of Mr. Trump. Donald Trump has shown no curiosity about any of the communities he has targeted with hate and lies for decades ― whether it’s women, immigrants, African Americans or those who are Muslim. His incessant war of words and looming policies present a major threat to the safety and well-being of more than half of Americans who fall under these categories. Central to his attack on America is his attempts to re-define who is American ― to exclude those who make up the rich diversity which makes our country great.


     


    Rev. Dr. Larry Greenfield, 75

    Chicago, Ill., Executive Director of the Parliament of the World’s Religions


    Marching in Chicago with The Parliament of the World’s Religions


    What is your faith background and what role did it play in your decision to join the march?


    I’m an American Baptist, and that plays a HUGE role, as well as my participation in the interfaith movement. I believe in the importance of freedom and equality in both religious and civic life.


    What is it about Trump that concerns you the most?


    What concerns me most is his commitment to degradation ― of women, Muslims, anybody who isn’t in his camp. It’s a whole mentality of degradation for his elevation. It is the exact opposite of what we need in a democracy in terms of leadership. Leadership is the lowering of self for the elevation of the many. He just has it completely backwards on seemingly every issue. He is challenging the whole historical movement toward greater equality and greater freedom (gender, sex, race, economics, religion, it’s across the board.) It’s reversionary policies to a period of inequality, of oppression, of bullying, of xenophobia, of fear. 


     


    Riham Osman, 25

    Herndon, Va., Digital Media Strategist


    Marching in Washington D.C. on behalf of the Muslim Public Affairs Council


    What is your faith background and what role did it play in your decision to join the march?


    As a Muslim woman, I feel that is is my duty to march shoulder to shoulder with women and those of other faiths. My faith plays a vital role in my decision to stand up against the injustices we may see with the policies and ideologies of the incoming administration. I’m joining this march because it’s empowering for me, and Islam teaches me that I can’t just sit on the sidelines and play the role of the victim by doing nothing.


    What is it about Trump that concerns you the most?


    I’m most concerned about Donald Trump’s unpredictability. As the new president, he generally lacks policy experience, knowledge on various issues and what truly concerns me is that as of now, he doesn’t appear to be open to engaging with minority communities or hearing different opinions. Trump’s Muslim ban proposal is one of my major concerns because the leader of our country is scapegoating an entire community because we worship differently. This is what happened to the Jews in Nazi Germany and to Japanese Americans when they were placed in internment camps not too long ago. We’re headed into dangerous territory, and I am worried about what could potentially come if this policy became a reality.


     


    The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, 57

    New York, N.Y., Clergy and Public Theologian 


    Marching in Washington D.C. on behalf of Middle Collegiate Church


    What is your faith background and what role did it play in your decision to join the march?


    I am a Progressive Presbyterian clergy and womanist theologian. Women, Muslims, the poor, Immigrants, LGBTQ, all religious minorities and Black Lives matter. I march for this truth. I am with them.


    What is it about Trump that concerns you the most?


    Mr. Trump is only consistent in his reckless disregard for anything besides winning. Without a compassionate, humane and moral center, his leadership threatens our democracy and the well-being of the vulnerable. Resisting the discrimination he practices is an act of faith.


     


    Noor Hashem, 32

    Boston, Mass., PhD in English Literature


    Marching in Boston with her infant daughter and two groups of Muslim and non-Muslim women


    What is your faith background and what role did it play in your decision to join the march?


    Islam. It is one of the primary reasons I decided to march ― my faith calls me to speak out against oppression, when it is done to me or to anyone else. Trump’s rhetoric and promised actions are threatening to me and other vulnerable communities who I want to be an ally for.


    What is it about Trump that concerns you the most?


    There is no one thing. What concerns me about Trump is the entire package. His gross classism while he pretends to cater to the working class; his hate speech and action items against vulnerable communities, including Blacks, Muslims, Hispanics, the differently-abled, refugees, women, you name it; the way he has made hate speech and violent hate crimes acceptable; his disregard and disdain for nuance, sophistication, intellectual thought, scientific fact and considered reason; his appointment of cronies who will forward his own business interests...I could go on.


     


    Rose Marie Berger, 52

    Washington D.C., Senior associate editor at Sojourners magazine


    Marching in Washington D.C. with Sojourners, Swamp Revolt, and members of the U.S. faith community


    What is your faith background and what role did it play in your decision to join the march?


    I am a Roman Catholic lay woman. My faith has motivated me to stand in solidarity with those who have been targeted by President Trump and his administration. Pope Francis said that the “life of a Christian ought to be courageous.” He warned Christians not to be “parked Christians,” who have found the church lot and then just safely stay there waiting for the end. I’m trying to be a courageous Catholic.


    What is it about Trump that concerns you the most?


    My neighbors in Washington D.C. who are immigrants tell me they are very afraid. They are harassed in the grocery store, in the taxi, on the bus. Our churches are organizing in immigrant communities in anticipation of increased ICE raids and the repeal of the DACA/DAPA executive action. I’m very concerned about what will happen to police accountability, training, and oversight under a new director of the Department of Justice. And I don’t want my nieces and nephews to learn behavior from a president who insults, bullies, harasses, and is vindictive.


      


    Dhumavati Jaya, 55

    Sebastian, Fla., Marketing Director


    Marching in Washington D.C. with the United Religions Initiative


    What is your faith background and what role did it play in your decision to join the march?


    I am an interfaith Hindu Swami and one of my vows was to take care of people, all people! Therefore I am marching to show support for women’s rights and human rights, which my guru, Ma Jaya, did for years in particular support of the LGBT community and those with HIV/AIDS. I live in a community that honors the Mother and as such women’s rights are particularly important to me. I am also a lesbian and care deeply about LGBT rights.


    What is it about Trump that concerns you the most?


    I think that the rhetoric of the elections and the choices of cabinet members being made by the new president have potential for great and unnecessary human suffering. It starts in the U.S., but it has already begun to affect and influence the whole world. It is a message that says that money and power are more important than people or basic human rights.  


     


    Joseph Gindi, 36

    Brooklyn, N.Y., Jewish Educator


    Marching in New York City as part of American Jewish World Service


    What is your faith background and what role did it play in your decision to join the march?


    I am marching as a Jew who supports women around the world, and liberty and equality for all. I grew up in an Orthodox Jewish community, where I saw firsthand how important it is to fight for women’s autonomy. I became a feminist at age 12, when I learned my aunt would not be allowed to speak at her mother’s funeral because of her gender. The memory of this basic unfairness has stayed with me as I have worked to build a Judaism and a Jewish community that supports the liberation of all people. The Jewish tradition considers humans to be created in the image of God and thus deserving of infinite dignity and respect. I am marching as a Jew because it is important for the world to know that the faith community supports women’s rights and the rights of all people.


    What is it about Trump that concerns you the most?


    I am most concerned by Donald Trump’s autocratic tendencies, by his dismissal of the basic traditions and norms that allow our democracy to function. Beyond that, I am worried about what a turn away from human rights and development is going to mean for the most vulnerable people in the world. The U.S. has tremendous global power. If we are not setting the standard for global human rights, then autocrats around the world will be emboldened. 


     


    Dr. Anna Lewis

    St. Petersburg, Fla., Science educator and program manager


    Marching in Washington D.C. with the Center for Religious Tolerance


    What is your faith background and what role did it play in your decision to join the march?


    I was raised a Catholic, however my faith and spiritual experiences have expanded beyond the confines of one religion to see the beauty, truth, and reality of all religions. My spirituality played a role in my going to the march in the sense that I believe in the rights and freedoms for ALL Americans – ALL people everywhere – and that it is my place to stand against those who might take those rights and freedoms away.  


    What is it about Trump that concerns you the most?


    I’m afraid I can’t pin-point just one thing that bothers me about Trump. In truth, I’m more concerned with all those who stand for or behind him. When a whole group of people agree and support intolerance, hatred, mean-spiritedness and ignorance (i.e. inability to see or accept facts), well then we must call them out.


     


    Linda L. Crawford

    San Francisco, Calif., Executive Dir. Interfaith Center at the Presidio


    Marching in Washington D.C.


    What is your faith background and what role did it play in your decision to join the march?


    I was brought up Methodist, became Episcopalian and consider myself a progressive Christian. When Jesus “consorted” with Samaritans, lepers, etc. he sent a message to us all to embrace the “other.” As the director of an interfaith organization, my professional and personal interests are in working to help mitigate religiously-motivated violence, to respond to hate crimes against anyone marginalized and to help educate as many people as possible about the different faith traditions, including atheism, agnosticism and humanism.


    What is it about Trump that concerns you the most?


    Where do I start? I don’t agree with anything he espouses or his cabinet choices. He’s totally unfit to be president, and more than half of America agree with me. There’s so much to fight for, but to prioritize, if we let the planet go or if there becomes a nuclear “option,” we won’t have anything to fight for. But second, on a day-to-day basis, we must fight for social justice ― religious, racial, ethnic, gender. 


     


    Roberta Roos, 76

    Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., Retired attorney


    Marching in New York City with the Woodlands Community Temple and Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom


    What is your faith background and what role did it play in your decision to join the march?


    I am part of the Reform Jewish community, and I think it played a very large part in my decision to join the march because of its emphasis on values. One of my heroes is Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. In marching at Selma, he prayed with his feet. I want to do that too. As a result, I have mobilized my synagogue’s contingent in the Women’s March on NYC – we have over 130 signed up to march behind our banner.


    What is it about Trump that concerns you the most?


    I’m concerned about most of his policies – but I have been through this before with other presidents. Now, however, my concern is of something larger than any one particular policy. It is his failure to recognize the innate dignity in each human being and the lack of respect that he displays for people he disagrees with. We are a country of diverse people. The only way this diversity can work is if we can really listen to and hear the other person even when we disagree.


    If I had to choose one specific issue about which I worry most it is immigration. I worry that Donald Trump’s lack of understanding of Islam and Muslims will result in more Syrian refugee children dying.


     


    Mica McGriggs, 26

    Seattle, Wash., PhD Candidate Counseling Psychology, Clinical Resident


    Marching in Seattle


    What is your faith background and what role did it play in your decision to join the march?


    I am Mormon, practiced through womanist liberation theology lens. Christ stood with the marginalized. His work was rooted in social justice and equity; I try to live my life in such a way that it reflects those values. The act of marching is materializing my theological values.


    What is it about Trump that concerns you the most?


    Trump ran on a platform built on every single system counter to the doctrine of Christ. White-supremacy, patriarchy, imperialism, heteronormativity, were the war cries of his campaign. Not only do these systems enforce the polarization of power and oppression, the policies that are birthed from those systems threaten the physical and psychological safety of millions of Americans. I don’t know if I am more worried that he now holds the highest office in our nation or that millions of Americans support reifying and enforcing the systems built on hatred and fear.


     


    Judy Fleischman, 52

    Berkeley, Calif., Healthcare Chaplain


    Marching in Oakland with Zen Streets and Sister Sanghas


    What is your faith background and what role did it play in your decision to join the march?


    As a Zen priest and as an artist, I have vowed to show up with creative sparkle, which affirms our shared humanity. Walking together, we are offering this, reclaiming a welcoming vision of love. This is also my practice as a Jew, as one committed to loving my neighbor as myself or as so many people of faith are saying now, let love be our legacy.


    What is it about Trump that concerns you the most?


    My biggest concern is the culture of fear that pervaded his campaign and which his presidency is feeding. Fear is consuming the country as it is fueled by an escalating pattern of dehumanizing anyone voicing dissent. To equally fear a spirit of open inquiry and especially science, while also fearing anyone who doesn’t look or act like those in one’s particular tribe is a failure of imagination, for it fails to recognize our shared humanity and so our shared journey. My cause then is to work to calm the fearful mind and heart pervading this country by ensuring the right to voice dissent, non-violently, so there is opportunity to meet fear with caring and creative responses. That is the best way I see to protect our loved ones and our planet with reverence for all life.


     


    Carolyn Roncolato, 33

    Chicago, Ill., Higher education consultant at Interfaith Youth Core


    Marching in Chicago


    What is your faith background and what role did it play in your decision to join the march?


    As a United Methodist Christian, I am motivated by my religious tradition and theology to join the march on Saturday. As a Christian, I believe that Jesus shows us that God stands with, is one of, and understands the reality of those who are marginalized. In our society, this includes people of color, immigrants, women, LGBTIQ people, and the economically marginalized. God is present where these communities gather, resist, tell stories, and struggle, and God calls us to be there too.


    What is it about Trump that concerns you the most?


    I am scared about the world that this administration will create for my African American son. I am deeply worried by the legitimation of racism and violence against people of color. I am worried about the precedent for violence against women set by Trump and his cabinet.  I am worried for non-Christian religious people and communities, particularly by Trump’s talk of creating a Muslim registry. I am worried for the environment. Without very intentional and diligent work, ongoing climate change will continue to lead to decreased resources and increased natural disasters that disproportionately affect marginalized communities.


     


    Miriam T. Chilton, 55

    Montclair, N.J., Executive at Union for Reform Judaism


    Marching in Washington D.C.


    What is your faith background and what role did it play in your decision to join the march?


    I feel compelled to march to show as a Reform Jewish woman that my voice matters and that I have an obligation to stand up and work for a more just, whole, and compassionate world. This is not my first march on Washington. I have marched against nuclear arms, I have marched to support a woman’s right to choose, and I have marched for equality. I march today to protect the advances we have made and to renew my efforts to ensure equality, freedom, and dignity for all in our beautifully diverse country. 


    What is it about Trump that concerns you the most?


    I believe what makes our country great is the democratic process, which continuously strives to actualize the ideals our nation was founded on, and I will work hard to ensure that process remains representative and inclusive of all Americans. Regardless of race, color, creed, or sexual orientation, all citizens should have full protection and recognition under the law and have full and equal access to society.


    Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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    Justice Department Asks For Delay In Voter ID Case Hours After Trump Becomes President

    Justice Department Asks For Delay In Voter ID Case Hours After Trump Becomes President


    The Department of Justice has formally requested that a Texas court delay a hearing to determine whether the state intentionally discriminated in passing a voter ID law.Just hours after President Donald Trump was sworn into office Friday, the DOJ said...






    The Department of Justice has formally requested that a Texas court delay a hearing to determine whether the state intentionally discriminated in passing a voter ID law.


    Just hours after President Donald Trump was sworn into office Friday, the DOJ said it was seeking a delay because of the change in leadership. The hearing was initially scheduled for Tuesday, but the department has asked to postpone it for at least one month.


    “Because of the change in administration, the Department of Justice also experienced a transition in leadership. The United States requires additional time to brief the new leadership of the Department on this case and the issues to be addressed at that hearing before making any representations to the Court,” DOJ lawyers wrote.


    After the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, President Barack Obama’s Justice Department supported legal challenges to voting restrictions in places like Texas and North Carolina — with its eyes set on showing that the landmark civil rights statute still had some life left in it. Now that Trump has assumed the presidency, experts expect the department to reverse course.


    Last year, a federal court of appeals struck down a 2011 Texas law that required voter identification as racially discriminatory under the Voting Rights Act, but remanded a portion of the case to a federal judge to determine whether or not the state intentionally discriminated in passing the law.


    Texas has also appealed the law’s invalidation to the Supreme Court, which is presently considering whether to review the case.


    Rick Hasen, a University of California, Irvine law professor, said he believes Trump’s Justice Department will side with Texas and other states that have passed voter ID laws.


    “I expect that in both the North Carolina and Texas voting cases pending in the Supreme Court, and that aspect of the Texas case now pending in the district court, the U.S. DOJ will switch sides and align with the states that passed restrictive voting rules and against the voting rights plaintiffs,” he wrote in a blog post.


    Trump’s transition team was at the Justice Department on Friday, and an official said more than a dozen Trump administration officials were sworn in. It is unclear what role acting Attorney General Sally Yates will have on the DOJ’s position in the Texas voting case.


    Vanita Gupta, who until noon today headed the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a recent interview that it was unclear how the new administration would proceed on voting rights issues.



    “I do think in this country it’s important that voting become easier, not harder,” Gupta said. “The landscape seems to have shifted, and it’s unfortunate that the work has become politicized, but the right to vote remains a fundamental aspect of our democracy and needs to be defended, and I think it’s important for the Justice Department to use every tool that we have to ensure that.”



    Cristian Farias and Ryan J. Reilly contributed reporting.


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    Weekend Roundup: Inauguration Into The Unknown

    Weekend Roundup: Inauguration Into The Unknown


    This week a whole nation was inaugurated into the unknown. We don’t know what Donald Trump will do once in the White House. But we do know how he got there. Everyone of good faith must hope that the new president will succeed in his promised aim of...


    This week a whole nation was inaugurated into the unknown. We don’t know what Donald Trump will do once in the White House. But we do know how he got there. Everyone of good faith must hope that the new president will succeed in his promised aim of lifting up the left behind, which the political establishment he ousted could not do. Yet, anyone with the slightest sense of history must also worry how his path to power will define what he does with it.


    The debasement of the democratic discourse introduced during Trump’s election campaign and since has already inflicted damage that cannot be easily undone. The level of xenophobic demonization of the world outside and enemies within, like his impulsive invective unleashed against even marginal critics, has been unprecedented for any presidential candidate in memory. Perhaps most dangerously, his effort to delegitimize any media, and even denigrate official intelligence agencies, won’t play along with his fast and loose use of facts or distortion of reality aims to make all information suspect. In this Orwellian universe, truth then becomes only what the self-anointed tribune of the people, speaking on their behalf, declares it is.


    Fortunately, the Trump electoral mandate fell far short of a majority in a country that has a more diverse and pluralistic civil society than other times and places (such as 20th century Europe) where demagogues have risen to power. Robust cultural resistance will be part and parcel of the Trump years. Whole swaths of the nation, even entire states like California, will stand up and push back. Several polls already show that there is more popular opposition than support for Trump as he enters office.


    Outside the U.S., concerns abound over what the new president will do next. Angst is probably the greatest south of the border, in Mexico. In grappling with Trump, Sergio Muñoz Bata advises Mexico to look back to its proud history of standing up to the “colossus of the north.” James Zogby predicts that if Trump follows through on his promise to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it “would ignite a spark that would set the region aflame.” Writing from Australia, Helen Clark says the possibility of an American retreat from Asia and rising tensions in the South China Sea are putting the region on edge.


    Nick Robins-Early interviews an independent Russian journalist who says Russian media coverage of Trump is so sympathetic, “it’s getting bizarre.” Peter Wittig, German ambassador to the U.S., asserts that we need a robust transatlantic alliance more than ever to counter terrorism, deal with Russia and create growth and jobs. 


    Within the U.S., Juan Escalante, an undocumented immigrant, lays out his emergency plan in case the Trump administration tries to deport his family. A Pakistani Muslim immigrant whose visa is up for renewal this summer, Mahira Tiwana tells us that despite feeling “other” in Trump’s America, she is not ready to give up on the “American dream” yet. Sina Toossi worries that Iranian-Americans will lose the voice they gained under Obama and that the Iran nuclear deal will be dismantled, worsening U.S. relations with Iran.


    Richard Eskow addresses Americans who voted for Trump because they felt left behind, saying Trump will let them down and that then, the working class should create a “grand alliance,” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. advocated. Filmmaker Ethan Coen pens a Dr. Seuss-style poem about Trump, saying, “He’ll change some people used to say / Calm down after Election Day / But Putin and the KKK knew / Trumpet always be that way.”


    Jon Deutsch suggests the plus side of a Trump presidency could be the disruption of a political system that is long overdue for reform. Ivan Eland argues the U.S. intelligence community ― comprised of 17 huge agencies that don’t communicate effectively ― needs a shake-up, and Trump― who criticized intelligence officials after the release of reports about Russians hacking the election ― may make it happen. Howard Fineman reflects on Obama’s legacy, maintaining that his presidency worked “moderately well in domestic affairs, less well in the world ... is likely to be regarded more as transitional than transformative ... and ... feels oddly more like the end of an era than the beginning of the one he promised.”


    As Obama and his world order said goodbye, this week also saw China’s President Xi Jinping looking to fill a global power gap. Xi became the first Chinese president to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, and he gave a speech with strong messages on globalization and climate change. Jane Cai and Frank Tang responded to his presence at the summit, writing, “With choking smog, a weakening currency and a widening wealth gap at home and a fragmented global capitalist system abroad, President Xi Jinping is determined to take advantage of an elite forum to assure the world that China is doing fine and is ready to help pull the world together.” From Beijing, Akshay Shah and Carole Bernard paint another picture, sharing charts they made using new data that show warning signs that China could be headed for a financial crisis.


    In a WorldPost feature, Danielle Mackey reports from San Salvador that a U.S. program meant to help Central American refugees is leaving most in danger. Saskia Sassen contends global firms and local elites who take land from farmers are partly to blame for skyrocketing violence in Central America. Edward Alden explains why, if Trump wants good jobs and investment, he needs to shape rules for foreign investment competition to avoid a race to the bottom in wage, consumer and environmental standards. From Helsinki, Heikki Hiilamo explores the potential of Finland’s new program testing out basic income for unemployed citizens. “As the world begins to see the impacts of globalized society with the elections of new leaders ― including Mr. Trump ―” he writes, “the answer to the fears of declining economies may just be a basic income system.”


    Finally, our Singularity series this week looks at how cellular reprogramming boosted the lifespan of mice by 30 percent.









    WHO WE ARE



     




    EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s news coverage. Nick Robins-Early and Jesselyn Cook are World Reporters. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor.




     


    EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).





    VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS: Dawn Nakagawa.





    CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khannaare Contributing Editors-At-Large.





    The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.





    Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.





    ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as theAdvisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian.





    From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.









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    HUFFPOST HILL - Welp.

    HUFFPOST HILL - Welp.


    Like what you read below? Sign up for HUFFPOST HILL and get a cheeky dose of political news every evening!Donald Trump’s inauguration was sparsely attended and marred by rain, but we hear the dress shops were absolutely swamped. In an alternate...


    Like what you read below? Sign up for HUFFPOST HILL and get a cheeky dose of political news every evening!


    Donald Trump’s inauguration was sparsely attended and marred by rain, but we hear the dress shops were absolutely swamped. In an alternate universe, we would all be chatting about how stupid Katy Perry’s rendition of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” was at Hillary’s inaugural ― but instead we’re just here hoarding canned beans. And protesters tore up the downtown of one of the most liberal cities in the country. They’ll presumably be trashing Ed Begley Jr.’s Prius next. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, January 20, 2017:


    GULP - Donald Trump was sworn in as president and ― fun fact! ― we all might die. S.V. Date: “The nation’s 45th president promised Friday to put ‘America first’ in all aspects of his administration, painting a dark picture of ‘American carnage’ in an inaugural address that borrowed heavily from his stump speech. ‘We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital and in every hall of power,’ President Donald Trump said in his 16-minute speech, delivered from the steps of the U.S. Capitol under gray skies and through light rain. ‘From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first. America first.’ Inaugural addresses often attempt to cleave to a unifying theme that brings the country together. But Trump, as he has largely done since his victory in the 2016 election, instead continued with the ideas he pushed during his campaign: that the nation’s leaders have ignored its people, the military has been weakened and bad trade policies have stolen America’s wealth.” [HuffPost]


    98-1: @jessicaschulb: Gen. James Mattis, out of uniform for 3.5 years, confirmed as Defense Secretary


    Wow, George Will really did not like President Trump’s inaugural address.


    TRUMP SCREWS HOMEOWNERS MINUTES INTO PRESIDENCY - We don’t know what we’re going to do with our airboats now that the swamp is drained. Ben Walsh and Paul Blumenthal: “With one of his first orders, President Donald Trump made it more expensive for working- and middle-class Americans to buy their first homes. The move will increase costs for 750,000 to 850,000 Americans in the next year alone, according to the National Association of Realtors...The reversal of the reduction will mean that homebuyers who borrow $200,000 under the program will see their mortgage insurance fees go up by $500 a year relative to what the Obama administration had ordered, according to figures released by the FHA when the cut was announced. The reduction was intended to help partially offset the cost of rising mortgage rates and was scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 27. The government sells the insurance in case borrowers default. The mortgage industry’s main lobby group said when the cut was announced that it looked forward to working with the new administration on the issue. Congressional Republicans attacked the move, saying it would cut into the reserves the FHA held against defaults.” [HuffPost]


    That whole bit was awkward: “Trump signed a law passed by Congress granting a waiver allowing retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to serve as secretary of Defense. He also signed documents making his Cabinet nominees official, and a document proclaiming a national day of patriotism...The president also signed the nomination for Rex Tillerson, joking he hoped his choice for secretary of State had already been confirmed. ‘This was for Rex,’ he said of the former Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO. ‘I’m assuming he was approved today?’ ‘It’s coming through — right Chuck?’ Ryan asked Schumer to laughter. Schumer later responded ‘not that one, no thank you,’ when Ryan tried gifting him a pen used to formally nominate Betsy DeVos as Trump’s Education secretary.” [The Hill’s Mark Hensch]


    ‘AMERICA FIRST’ IS GREAT... - ...for talking about the Jewish Question, that is. Nick Bauman: “During Donald Trump’s campaign for president, the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry, asked him to stop using the phrase ‘America First’ to describe his foreign policy views. As the ADL explained, the slogan was used by people who warned, ahead of World War II, that Jewish Americans were pushing the U.S. to enter the war because they put their own interests ahead of the country’s. But Trump never stopped using the slogan. And on Friday, he made it a key part of his inaugural address. ‘From this day forward,’ he proclaimed, ‘A new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.’ The crowd went wild. People who aren’t Jewish or familiar with the history may not realize this, but ‘America First’ makes many people deeply uncomfortable. In 1941, as members of the America First movement campaigned against U.S. involvement in World War II and expressed sympathy for the Nazis, plenty of people already knew that Jews were being persecuted in Hitler’s Germany. Even Charles Lindbergh, the famous aviator who led the America First movement, knew it.” [HuffPost]


    MOY-CHENDIZING! MOY-CHENDIZING! - Once again, allow us to voice our disappointment with the lack of t-shirt cannons. Rosalind S. Helderman: “On his first day in office, President Trump declared on the White House website that he would roll back a clean water rule that has been opposed as bad-for-business by a coalition that included his own golf courses. He also effectively became his own landlord at his Washington hotel, which his company rents from the federal government despite a lease that forbids benefits going to any elected official. And in his official biography on the White House website, Trump bragged of the success of the business he still owns and his book, The Art of the Deal, which remains for sale. Likewise, First Lady Melania Trump’s biography noted that her jewelry line is for sale on the television channel QVC and notes it is trademarked, a registration now overseen by a trademark office led by her husband. Trump’s first day as president was full of reminders that his administration will be entangled with his personal interests in a way unprecedented in presidential politics.” [WaPo]


    Like HuffPost Hill? Then order Eliot’s new book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government


    Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill


    HMMMM, WONDER IF THIS WILL GO AWAY NOW - Besides, who needs a fully staffed FBI when you have the FSB, y’know? “American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said. The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts. It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself. It is also unclear whether the inquiry has anything to do with an investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers and other attempts to disrupt the elections in November. The American government has concluded that the Russian government was responsible for a broad computer hacking campaign, including the operation against the D.N.C.” [NYT]


    TRUMP’S SPEECH SPOOKS WALL STREET - Ben White: “Wall Street did not exactly celebrate President Donald Trump’s deeply populist inaugural address on Friday, with the stock market losing some of its early gains as the 45th president spoke darkly of ‘American carnage’ and promised a new era of trade protectionism. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 100 points before Trump took the oath of office but began slipping as the new president promised to protect the country from foreign trade. That was a signal to investors that harsh rhetoric from the campaign trail could soon be policy reality…’Overall, that was a more protectionist and nationalist speech than I expected,’ said Megan Greene, chief economist at Manulife Asset Management. ‘Rather than unifying the country after one of the most divisive elections in U.S. history, he highlighted how bad things are in the U.S. economy and engaged in scaremongering, which was consistent with his campaign.’” [Politico]


    GODDAMNIT, ANARCHISTS - Those trash cans had families! Jessica Gresko, Michael Biesecker and Jeff Horwitz: “Protesters registered their rage against the new president Friday in a chaotic confrontation with police who used pepper spray and stun grenades in a melee just blocks from Donald Trump’s inaugural parade. Scores were arrested for trashing property and attacking officers while a burning limousine sent clouds of black smoke into the sky during Trump’s procession. Several spirited demonstrations unfolded peacefully at various security checkpoints near the Capitol as police helped ticket-holders get through to the inaugural ceremony. Signs read, ‘Resist Trump Climate Justice Now,’ ‘Let Freedom Ring,’ ‘Free Palestine.’ But about a mile from the National Mall, police gave chase to a group of about 100 protesters who smashed the windows of downtown businesses including a Starbucks, a Bank of America and a McDonald’s as they denounced capitalism and Trump. Police in riot gear used pepper spray from large canisters and eventually cordoned off protesters at 12th and L streets in northwest Washington.” [AP]


    BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a dog comforting a small child.


    THAT TIME ‘QVC’ SNUCK INTO THE WHITE HOUSE’S WEBSITE - But when will the East Room be used to film a Slap Chop infomercial? Kelsey Snell: “Visitors to the newly revamped White House website get more than a simple rundown of first lady Melania Trump’s charitable works and interests — they also get a list of her magazine cover appearances and details on her jewelry line at QVC. Trump’s biography starts with traditional details such as her date of birth in her native country of Slovenia and information about her background as a model. That’s when the brief backgrounder takes a promotional turn. The website includes a lengthy list of brands that hired her as a model and several of the magazines in which she appeared, including the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. It is not uncommon for the White House to note the accomplishments of the first lady in her official biography, but Trump’s decision to include a detailed list of her media appearances is unusual. The site also lists the brand names of Trump’s jewelry lines sold on QVC, at a time when questions have been raised by critics about the ethical implications of the family’s business entanglements. ‘Melania is also a successful entrepreneur. In April 2010, Melania Trump launched her own jewelry collection, ‘Melania™ Timepieces & Jewelry,’ on QVC,” the site reads.” [WaPo]


    COMFORT FOOD


    - Wow, Bill Withers had some lungs.


    - 2016 wasn’t just awful, it stunk.


    - What happens to your body when you die in space? A good primer for those of you thinking about hurling yourself into the ether.


    TWITTERAMA


    @aparnapkin: You know Donald Trump chair-dancing to Three Doors Down was def. something Nostradamus foresaw, but was like “No way I’m writing that down.”


    @HayesBrown: 12:01 PM


    OBAMA: [lights the fattest blunt of his entire life]


    @daveweigel:


    Flawless anarchist plan:
    1) Break windows in 94% Dem city
    2) …
    3) Overthrow capitalism


    Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson ([email protected])

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    James Mattis Is Officially Donald Trump's First Approved Cabinet Member

    James Mattis Is Officially Donald Trump's First Approved Cabinet Member


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed the first member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet, voting overwhelmingly to approve retired Marine General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense.As voting continued, the vote was 70-0 to...






    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed the first member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet, voting overwhelmingly to approve retired Marine General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense.


    As voting continued, the vote was 70-0 to confirm Mattis.

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    Andy Shallal and the Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance

    Andy Shallal and the Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance


    It was not the election of Donald Trump that prompted Andy Shallal to come up with the idea of an inauguration eve "Peace Ball." The activist, sometime political candidate, and founder of Washington DC's popular Busboys and Poets group of...

    It was not the election of Donald Trump that prompted Andy Shallal to come up with the idea of an inauguration eve "Peace Ball." The activist, sometime political candidate, and founder of Washington DC's popular Busboys and Poets group of restaurants/bookstores/performance spaces was concerned with the harsh rhetoric of the campaign so he began to think about some kind of gathering in late summer of 2016. Then, when he visited the Smithsonian's new Museum of African-American History and Culture in September, he decided that he wanted to host the event there. Before he even left the museum, he called scholar and activist Angela Davis, to invite her to help put it together.

    Shallal saw it as "a gathering of progressives, artists, activists coming together to celebrate. Too often I think we tend to forget about celebrating some of the successes. There have been a lot of changes taking place in the past few decades and we have to stop every now and then, pat ourselves on the back, get energized and go out there and do more."

    He wanted to include artists because:

    They see the world from a humanistic perspective as opposed to greed. They look for beauty. They look for moments of creative opportunities to move things forward. They don't always agree on process, on how to get there, but they all want to get to the right place of making sure that we have a better world, of social justice and humanity. Politicians are not leaders. Politicians are basically followers. We know artists and cultural leaders are the ones that actually create the change. Artists are able to reach deep into a person's soul and reach their humanity and find commonality. What politicians look for is divisiveness sometimes, because you know they divide and conquer, but artists actually look for commonality; they look for things that make us unite as humans.

    In order to convey the "fun and joy and just being active that is what keeps me hopeful," Shallal put together an all-star lineup of "voices of hope and resistance" to appear at the black tie event. He told "those who are overwhelmed" to visit the exhibits and artifacts around them, telling stories from abduction and slavery to Jim Crow, Civil Rights, to Black Lives Matter and the first black President and First Lady: "Look around at this monument to hope, resistance, and resilience."

    Performance artist Sonya Renee Taylor called on the capacity crowd to make "a connection of art and power and deliciousness." Poet Alice Walker called in by phone to suggest "principles for getting through the Trump years," telling us to "turn up the kindness volume for people you know and people you don't know," keep "the closest possible connection to nature," "maintain respect for our closest biological and spiritual ancestors," and stay physically active.

    New Jersey Senator Cory Booker talked about the American tradition of challenging our leaders and work toward justice. Journalist Amy Goodman, told the story of being arrested for her coverage of the Dakota Access pipeline protests and urged the group to insist on "fact-based journalism" from independent sources that "cover power, not cover to get power, the fourth estate, not 'for the state.'" Writer Naomi Klein promised to try to follow Shallal's direction to be "upbeat and optimistic," explaining that "pessimism has to be saved for better times." She called the election a "corporate coup d'état" where "conflicts of interest are the whole point."

    The presentations concluded with rousing musical performances by Esperanza Spaulding and Solange.

    "We can't be stuck in the past," Shallal said in an interview. "We have to look at the past, see where we've been and see where we come to. The thing about the museum is it really gives you a sense of hope. I mean if you look back sometimes when we're in the middle of something it really feels daunting, it feels really difficult. It feels like there is no progress but if you step back, you see the arc of history bending towards justice. Courage was throughout, the sense of resilience was throughout, the sense of hope was throughout, the sense of resistance was throughout and I think that's why it's very fitting for us to have this ball there, it is the voices of hope and resistance, it is what we are, the Peace Ball."

    He included in the evening's program a poem from the man who inspired the name of the restaurants, Langston Hughes, perhaps a response to the slogan trademarked by Donald Trump:

    We the people must redeem
    The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
    The mountains and the endless plain --
    All, all the stretch of these great green states --
    And make America again!

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    15 Eye-Catching Engagement Rings That Will Have You Green With Envy

    15 Eye-Catching Engagement Rings That Will Have You Green With Envy


    The grass is always greener when you’re wearing one of these drop-dead gorgeous engagement rings!A white diamond is a classic choice, but we’re all for brides who opt for a unique stone in just about any color of the rainbow. Below, 15 gorgeous green...

    The grass is always greener when you’re wearing one of these drop-dead gorgeous engagement rings!


    A white diamond is a classic choice, but we’re all for brides who opt for a unique stone in just about any color of the rainbow. Below, 15 gorgeous green engagement rings that will have you feeling like the heart-eyes emoji. 


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