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Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

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Save the Internet

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Net Neutrality Back On Chopping Block

al franken on net neutralityAction Alert from Demand Progress

Trump has packed his transition team with Big Telecom lobbyists to help him destroy it.2

Jeffrey Eisenach has worked as a paid consultant for Verizon, and Mark Jamison is a former lobbyist for Sprint. Both are anti-net neutrality zealots, and these are the people Trump has put in charge of the Federal Communications Commission during the transition.

That’s why technology reporters are running articles with banner headlines like, “Bye forever, net neutrality.”3

We’re getting ready to fight back with all we have to save net neutrality. Will you chip in $5?

Jamison has been working on behalf of the telecommunications industry for decades and recently wrote—without a shred of evidence—that “net neutrality in the US is backfiring.”4 Eisenach called net neutrality “crony capitalism pure and simple.”5

But while things might seem bad for net neutrality now, we heard the same predictions of doom during the Obama administration, and even during the George W. Bush administration.

Comcast and their telecom lobbyist buddies have spent tens of millions of dollars to kill the free and open internet, but every time, we’ve stood up to them—and won.

To save the internet, we will use the power of the internet, organizing millions of people all over the country to make phone calls, sign petitions, and attend rallies and public hearings—whatever it takes to stop Trump from destroying net neutrality.

Net neutrality is facing a mortal threat from the Trump presidency. Will you chip in $5 to help save it?

Thanks for standing with us,

David Segal and the Demand Progress Team

 Sources:

1. Donald Trump on Technology, OnTheIssues, accessed November 26, 2016

2. Trump transition team appointments indicate a bid to dismantle net neutrality, TechCrunch, November 21, 2016

3. Bye forever, net neutrality, ThinkProgress, November 22, 2016

4. It’s time to move beyond net neutrality, Tech Policy Daily, June 15, 2016

5. Trump Appoints Two Anti-Net Neutrality Advocates To Oversee FCC Transition, Forbes, November 21, 2016

24 Hours of Reality — 2016 Edition

Who knows what President Trump’s impact on the environment will be?

To hold ground environmental advocates have claimed since the Nixon administration, we can’t ignore the renewed challenges presented by the mogul’s rise to power.

We don’t know what Trump will do, however, environmental advocates have been stroking against the current all along. The stakes are too high to give up now, nor will we.

We are stronger together so I plan to join with my colleagues at The Climate Reality Project for mutual support and direction. A perfectly timed kickoff is the 24 Hours of Reality webcast scheduled Dec. 5 and 6. I will tune in for at least part of it and encourage readers to do likewise.

Here’s what our chairman had to say after the election:

In every great struggle humanity has undertaken, the march towards progress has included both successes and setbacks. And the struggle to protect and save the Earth’s ecological system is no exception.

Today, I am as optimistic and resolved as ever that we will solve the climate crisis. Our collective efforts are dependent not on politics or ideology — or elections — but on our commitment to each other, to the health of our planet and to a sustainable future for all.
We must — and will — continue to find hope and joy in our work that will define humanity for generations.

Last night President-elect Trump said he wanted to be a president for all Americans. In that spirit, I hope that he will work with the overwhelming majority of us who believe that the climate crisis is the greatest threat we face as a nation.

I wish him well in these efforts and intend to do everything I can to work with him and his administration to ensure that our nation remains a leader in the global effort to meet this challenge. Moreover, there is reason to believe that it is not naive or Pollyannaish to hope for more than what we fear.

We have already made great strides to solve the climate crisis all around the world. The work that has been done by civil society, businesses, investors, and governments at all levels will continue to be driven by the fact that solutions to the climate crisis are not just vital to our planet, but are vital to our economy. The market forces driving the transition to a sustainable economy simply will not be slowed.

Less than a year ago, when the historic Paris Agreement was reached, we knew that our journey was only beginning. We knew this work would not be easy – indeed, more would be required. Now we know that our work must be redoubled.

Today, without regard to last night’s outcome, we must turn our focus to making the promises of the Paris Agreement a reality by embracing the forces that are already working to grow our economy and transform our energy future.

A sustainable future is in sight – but we cannot take it for granted. We must fight for the future we all believe in. Now, more than ever, our planet needs us – and I’m inspired by the knowledge that we’ll take the path forward together.

Al Gore
Founder and Chairman
The Climate Reality Project

Closer to home, I’ve long followed State Senator Rob Hogg who is an advocate for protecting the environment and a member of The Climate Reality Project. Recently elected minority leader in the Iowa Senate, Hogg offered this advice:

Continue to speak up with elected officials. A Doubting Thomas today can be a leader for climate action tomorrow. Remind Republicans of their successes including the Clean Air Act, the Montreal Protocol, and solar energy investment tax credits. Do not let them off the hook by ignoring them.

Midway through my seventh decade of life it is time to get more active. I am ready for what lies ahead and the road forward.

Why Trump Will Not Deliver Campaign Promises

Thom Hartmann speaks with Eamonn Fingleton, commentator for Forbes, about why Trump will not be able to accomplish his goals on trade and other policies.

 

Help Stop Eminent Domain Abuse In Iowa

eminent-domain-photo

Action Alert from Bold Iowa:

Dakota Access came to our state two years ago and began trying to buy off landowners and farmers to get permission to run a pipeline roughshod through their property.

Those who resisted were subjected to eminent domain law, which says that the state has the right to take their land — even against their will — for projects that benefit the “public good.”

But our government officials are far overreaching their authority in order to help their rich and powerful friends. A pipeline that benefits a private company and would transport oil mostly for export is not for the “public good.”

Now, nine Iowa landowners who continue to resist construction of the pipeline on their land are suing the state and Dakota Access to stop this abuse of eminent domain law.

Sign the petition to the Iowa Legislature: I stand with Iowa landowners against eminent domain for private gain

The outcome of this lawsuit will affect whether the pipeline construction moves forward, and whether eminent domain can be abused in the future in this state. Iowa should be a place where families who’ve lived here for generations are respected and have the right to decide what to do with their private land.

What’s more, the Dakota Access pipeline would be a disaster for our land and water. It disrupts precious soil that’s been farmed by our families for generations, and a leak would threaten over 200 waterways, poisoning the water we drink and that farmers use to grow our food. Bakken oil also contains cancer-causing chemicals that are a direct threat to human health.

The pipeline construction is almost finished, and the pivotal court hearing is in just three weeks. Stand in court with landowners at the Dec. 15 hearing. Click here for details and share on Facebook.

Your support is crucial right now.

Tell the Iowa Legislature: Stop eminent domain abuse. Click here to sign the petition.

Thanks for standing with Iowa’s farmers.

Ed Fallon and the Bold Iowa team

P.S. Tomorrow, Dec. 29 is Giving Tuesday! Click here to contribute to Bold Iowa’s work to protect our land, water and climate`

#Recount 2016: WI, MI, PA, AZ, NC and FL

moveon-orgAction alert from MoveOn.org

To ensure a fair and free election and demand our representatives and agencies protect the integrity of our votes!

Sign a petition to The Federal Election Commission, The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama, which says:

Donald Trump LOST this election.. He only won because of about 100,000 votes in a couple of swing states. Ask yourself: Could Voter Fraud, Suppression and Russian Hacking have made the difference? Let’s demand further investigation of Vote handling and Russian interference and demand a recount in these pivotal swing states!

Will you sign this petition? Click here:

http://pac.petitions.moveon.org/sign/demand-a-recount

Thanks!

Clinton Campaign Will Participate In #Recount2016

 

 

The Hill 

Marc Elias, the campaign’s general counsel, wrote in a post on Medium on Saturday.

Listening and Responding To Calls for an Audit and Recount

Over the last few days, officials in the Clinton campaign have received hundreds of messages, emails, and calls urging us to do something, anything, to investigate claims that the election results were hacked and altered in a way to disadvantage Secretary Clinton. The concerns have arisen, in particular, with respect to Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — three states that together proved decisive in this presidential election and where the combined margin of victory for Donald Trump was merely 107,000 votes.

It should go without saying that we take these concerns extremely seriously. We certainly understand the heartbreak felt by so many who worked so hard to elect Hillary Clinton, and it is a fundamental principle of our democracy to ensure that every vote is properly counted.

Moreover, this election cycle was unique in the degree of foreign interference witnessed throughout the campaign: the U.S. government concluded that Russian state actors were behind the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and the personal email accounts of Hillary for America campaign officials, and just yesterday, the Washington Post reported that the Russian government was behind much of the “fake news” propaganda that circulated online in the closing weeks of the election.

For all these reasons, we have quietly taken a number of steps in the last two weeks to rule in or out any possibility of outside interference in the vote tally in these critical battleground states.

First, since the day after the election we have had lawyers and data scientists and analysts combing over the results to spot anomalies that would suggest a hacked result. These have included analysts both from within the campaign and outside, with backgrounds in politics, technology and academia.

Second, we have had numerous meetings and calls with various outside experts to hear their concerns and to discuss and review their data and findings. As a part of this, we have also shared out data and findings with them. Most of those discussions have remained private, while at least one has unfortunately been the subject of leaks.

Third, we have attempted to systematically catalogue and investigate every theory that has been presented to us within our ability to do so.

Fourth, we have examined the laws and practices as they pertain to recounts, contests and audits.

Fifth, and most importantly, we have monitored and staffed the post-election canvasses — where voting machine tapes are compared to poll-books, provisional ballots are resolved, and all of the math is double checked from election night. During that process, we have seen Secretary Clinton’s vote total grow, so that, today, her national popular vote lead now exceeds more than 2 million votes.

In the coming days, we will continue to perform our due diligence and actively follow all further activities that are to occur prior to the certification of any election results. For instance, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania conduct post-election audits using a sampling of precincts. Michigan and many other states still do not. This is unfortunate; it is our strong belief that, in addition to an election canvass, every state should do this basic audit to ensure accuracy and public confidence in the election.

Beyond the post-election audit, Green Party candidate Jill Stein announced Friday that she will exercise her right as a candidate to pursue a recount in the state of Wisconsin. She has indicated plans to also seek recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides. If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well. We do so fully aware that the number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closest of these states — Michigan — well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount. But regardless of the potential to change the outcome in any of the states, we feel it is important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings and represented on the ground in order to monitor the recount process itself.

The campaign is grateful to all those who have expended time and effort to investigate various claims of abnormalities and irregularities. While that effort has not, in our view, resulted in evidence of manipulation of results, now that a recount is underway, we believe we have an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton to participate in ongoing proceedings to ensure that an accurate vote count will be reported.

Call For Medical Professionals At Standing Rock

Artists: Karen Stout Heller and Michael Dann Knudsen

Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council

Howard Ehrman, MD, MPH is coordinating a medical response to the eviction notice served last week to the Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock, asking for physicians and other medical professionals to volunteer.

Wendy Ring, member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, forwarded the following:

The Army Corps of Engineers has issued an eviction notice to the Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock along with a statement that they take no responsibility for the safety of anyone who remains.

The eviction date is Dec. 5.

Thousands of U.S. military veterans committed to arrive on Dec. 3 to defend the water protectors before the eviction notice was given. I do not know what the water protectors or the veterans plan to do but there appears to be a potential for many injuries.

If any of you are able to come, now would be the time.

To learn more about being part of the medical support team at Standing Rock, go to the Standing Rock medic healer website and Facebook page.

Thanksgiving Memories

It is hard to ignore the elephant in the room. In two months America will be on a new adventure reversing what was mostly a forward journey into the future. While the ship of state would sometimes shudder and lurch from side to side, the trend was generally forward. We especially sputtered during Republican administrations. Even then tough the path would at least be forward.

Now who knows where the hell we are headed? We are looking at a leader who lies for expedience at every turn. Now he is in a position where every word he utters will be glommed onto and dissected to infinity. Yet he may not even know what he said or care. Much of what he said during the campaign he claimed he didn’t say, even though it was recorded.

Beyond that in a first for the American presidency, it looks like he plans to devote only a portion of his time to being president. The rest of his time will be devoted to amassing his fortune. Make no doubt that these two enterprises will intersect often. During the course of being president there will be ample opportunity to use that office to help amass his fortune. This will go on until someone with enough guts and power stands up and says stop.

We come to this juncture as a result of a protest vote for the most part. Media had so ginned up hate for Democrats that the public would have voted for any Republican, even if it was Satan himself. We have come close to that spot.

Think back to Thanksgiving 2008. America was bleeding jobs at a rate of nearly a million a month. Bush’s adventures in letting banking interests and Wall Street run policy resulted leading the country to the precipice of the worst worldwide depression ever. The Bush administration had all but given up trying to run the country. They simply quit while in office.

Two months before he was even inaugurated America put all its hopes on a young incredibly intelligent man who spoke with measured tones knowing full well that he could cause great problems with so much as a wrong word here or there. While Barack Obama went about the monumental task of saving America, internal enemies met clandestinely to stop any progress he might make.

Eight years ago this Thanksgiving, Americans were fearful they would lose everything. The elderly were watching their life savings disappear, workers watching their jobs disappear or their wages and benefits get cut drastically. More than anything America hoped that Obama could work a miracle.

Eight years later with employment at record highs, wages rising and most Americans having access to adequate health care for the first time America says they want to replace the stability of Obama with an out of control man with a child’s temperament. We forgot the lessons from only eight years back that having a president with less than average intelligence but a big name does not make for a good presidency.

With the fifty-third anniversary of the death of President Kennedy it is hard not to think of his presidency and his death during this weekend. Like so many near my age I can remember exactly where I was when the news of Kennedy’s death was announced. Also like so many I remember how Kennedy’s presidency inspired America. We were not just moving forward but also upward to conquer space.

Kennedy inspired this nation to challenge itself on all fronts from moving scientific achievement forward to moving toward real equality for all. It was a time when America tried to really fulfill its promises made in the Declaration of Independence and the constitution. Obama did the same in his presidency. Both presidencies were a time when dreamers could see America advancing to meet its promises.

During both presidencies the forces of hate and repression fought hard against progress. In Obama’s case it was an organized opposition of the Republican Party and corporate media using incessant lies and propaganda to create an atmosphere of hate, along with the exploitation of racial, ethnic an religious differences.

Against that background we step into today. Parts of America look to the new president with an anticipation that he will revenge what they perceive as a government that has not treated them as well as other groups. These folks used their votes to protest the Obama’s presidency that they perceived to be only concerned about “others.”

For the majority of Americans, we stare into an abyss called the future with fear what damage a man of limited intelligence, a quick temper, a penchant for revenge and a desire to profit on the most powerful office in the world can do. We may also note that his judgment of people has always been quite suspect having been known to do business with mobsters and questionable associates. Not only do we fear what he can do, but also what his poor choices to run agencies will do.

Even after the horrors of November 22, 1963 the country looked to be on much better footing than it is now. We had a fear then, but faith that the government that had been refined over nearly two centuries would pull us through. In 2008 we had great fears, but we had faith in a young leader and a government forged well over two centuries could meet the tasks.

Now, thanks to a decades long campaign to delegitimize that government and the worst president elect in history, America has lots of fears and not a lot of hope that it has enough resilience to withstand the assault she is about to take.

Sunday Funday: Prez Elect Writes A Speech Edition

Van Jones speaks at a broadcasters meeting Tuesday in Canada. He lays out what happened in our election and warns it cold happen in Canada:

We hear that the guy who came in second in the vote for president is working on some killer lines for his (of course it is a he) inauguration:

“Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what your country and you can do for me.”


“When the president does it, it is not illegal.”


“My friends on Wall Street will watch your money closely.”


“We hold few truths to be self evident. Especially when they stand in the way of huge corporate profits.”

May need some fine tuning on those, Bub

Were you paying attention?

1) Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos’ family made their billions in what business?

2) Stocks continue in record territory as the Dow Industrials topped what milestone last week?

3) The Catholic Church apologized for its role in the genocide and massacres in what African country Sunday?

4) In Iowa, AFSCME unions have been offered new contracts with what percent pay increases?

5) Nicaragua endured what two major natural disasters last week?

6) Investigations indicate that social media during the election in the US were overwhelmed with trolls from what country?

7) In France polling indications show what extreme right wing candidate to be the leader for next April’s election?

8) A school bus accident Tuesday resulted in the death of six children in what city?

9) What was the age of the bus driver in the aforementioned accident?

10) Baseball fans learned of the death of Ralph Branca last week. Branca earned lifetime notoriety for what that became one of baseball’s biggest legends?

11) What once retired balloon made a reappearance in Thursday’s Macy’s Parade?

12) Nov. 27, 1701 what man whose name is closely associated with temperatures was born in Sweden?

13) Interior Secretary Sally Jewell prohibited mining just outside of what National Park last week while a long term ban is considered?

14) Which major country announced it would end using coal for electric generation by 2030 last week?

15) A federal judge blocked implementation of President Obama’s overtime wage implementation Dec. 1. This affects about how many workers?

16) What state’s governor has filed for a recount after losing his chair in this year’s elections?

17) Speaking of recounts, what presidential candidate is raising money to file for recounts (and possibly audits) in MI, WI and PA?

18) A 7.2 earthquake spawning a tsunami was reported Tuesday near the site of what previous earthquake and tsunami disasters?

19) Jurgen Klinsman lost his job as coach of what US national team after a humiliating 4-0 loss to Costa Rica?

20) Protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline had what happen to them in freezing weather Monday night?

For some strange reason 70 years after WWII, fascism is enjoying a real big rise in popularity. How quickly humans forget. And they vote for it. So strange.

Answers:

1) Amway

2) 19,000

3) Rwanda. Priests and nuns participated in the genocide

4) 0

5) a 7.0 earthquake and Hurricane Otto

7) Marine Le Pen

8) Chattanooga, Tennessee

9) 24. He was speeding and not driving his designated route when the accident happened.

10) He threw the pitch that Bobby Thompson hit for the “shot heard round the world” allowing the Giants to defat the Dodgers in the 1951 pennant playoff game.

11) Felix the Cat. His was the first ever ballon in the parade and returned for the 90th annual parade

12) Anders Celsius

13) America’s first national Park, Yellowstone.

14) Canada

15) 4.2 million

16) North Carolina’s Pat McCrory

17) The Green Party’s Jill Stein

18) Fukishima

19) National soccer team

20) police doused them with water from a water cannon in 25 degree weather

Go Jill Stein!

Iowans And The Potential Dismantling Of Social Security And Medicare

hat tip to medicareresources.org

hat tip to medicareresources.org

Don’t it always seem to go
that you don’t know what you’ve got
Til it’s gone.
They take paradise and put up a parking lot.

Joni Mitchell Big Yellow Taxi

Hard to believe that anyone over 60 would have voted for Donald Trump knowing that he would privatize Social Security and Medicare. Sure Trump said he wouldn’t touch them, but he lied about everything. And I do mean everything!

Paul Ryan has made no bones about his desire to hand our Social Security money over to the casino named Wall Street. We can expect the media blitz to come after the holidays when the new congress is sworn in. Imagine how an elderly Iowan would have been feeling in June or July of 2008 as Wall Street plunged and the Bush administration responded by doing nothing.

At that time Social Security funds were invested in US Treasury bonds and was and still is in the black. Had it been invested in stacks, bonds and commodities we would have been watching a safe accumulation of savings melt into nothing along with all the other losses in retirement savings that were lost that year. Most of that has never been recovered.

As if that weren’t bad enough, Ryan is also planning to put medicare into the hands of insurance companies. The plan is to give an elderly Iowan a yearly allowance to buy insurance with. Since health insurance gets very pricey as you age and when you slowly pick up the diseases of age such as bone problems, heart problems, diabetes and cancer the cost will also go up. Knowing Republicans love for business they will probably allow pre-existing conditions not to be covered. In other words, Medicare will be like health insurance before Obamacare in all its evil manifestations.

An article on medicareresources.org Ryan’s potential Medicare changes notes:

If Ryan does get a chance to create his “premium support” system, the likely effects will be twofold: more profit for the insurers and healthcare providers – and more costs shifted to seniors and away from the federal government. Because Ryan is studiously vague about key details, it’s hard to gauge how actual legislation would affect overall costs and seniors’ share. But it’s likely that by removing controls on how much Medicare Advantage plans pay doctors and hospitals, Ryan’s plan will raise overall costs – then shift them to seniors.

Medicare cost control is presently based on the fact that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sets payment rates, working with a panel of doctors to determine how much labor is involved in each medical procedure, but ultimately determining the rates at which those estimated hours should be reimbursed. Those rates are much lower than those paid by private insurers in employer-sponsored plans.

Iowa has one of the older population bases in the country. Thus changes in Social Security and Medicare will have major effects on Iowa’s economy. Very close to 20% of Iowa’s population gets some form of Social Security payment and slightly less than that receives Medicare.

Most elderly live on a fixed income. If their monthly income were variable trying to plan purchases or even basic living expanses would be impossible. A stable Social Security is the very basis of that fixed income. Were this basic income to vary from month to month planning would be impossible. Were Medicare not there to cover nearly all of an elderly person’s health care for a reasonable price planning would also be impossible.

What media will not tell you is that privatizing either of these programs will result in much higher administrative costs. Higher administrative costs means less money for to pay for benefits. Whereas the money in Social Security is invested in Treasury bonds that get a fairly stable interest rate with low administrative costs, returns on Wall Street would be variable but administrative costs – mostly in the form of fees and bonuses to administrators – would still be high even when returns are in the high negatives.

Medicare would have a similar scenario. Money that should be going to health care will instead be going to administrative costs. We are currently seeing what that can mean in Iowa with the change to privatized Medicaid. The Iowa senate Democrats uncovered much disorganization and ineptitude right off the bat. Instead of confronting this, Gov. Branstad just threw the administrative companies another huge chunk of our money.

What will Iowa’s elderly be able to do? It surely doesn’t look like turning to their congressional representatives will be of much use. The Republican Party stood in solidarity behind their ticket in Iowa, despite its huge flaws. Expect Iowa’s Republicans to follow lockstep with whatever their leadership (Ryan and Trump) tell them to do.

So that will probably leave elderly Iowan’s such wonderful choices as trying to get back into the workforce. Remember that the money they earn won’t be circulating through the economy as a young person’s earnings would.The elderly’s extra earnings would more likely be going to an insurance company. Jobs that the elderly took would be jobs denied to younger workers. By swelling the pool of workers the elderly going back into the workforce would likely also depress wages. i think this is a Republican win-win.

Another option would be to sell their homes and move in with their children. Makes you wonder – especially in Iowa with a high elderly population – if anyone thought voting for Republicans could lead to living with an elderly Mom and Dad. Well, surprise, surprise. At least the Wall Street banksters and the insurance companies will be rolling in the dough.

But who knows? By the time all this settles in maybe the climate change hastened by Republican policies will make it all moot.