MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones Mother Jones logo en The Next Keystone? Protesters Try to Stop Another Huge Oil Pipeline. <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Tensions continue to rise over the controversial <a href="" target="_blank">Dakota Access Pipeline</a> (known also as the Bakken Pipeline), a proposed 1,172-mile project currently under construction. Demonstrations over the pipeline, which will travel from North Dakota's northwest Bakken region to southern Illinois, have grown steadily over the last few weeks. As many as 4,000 people have <a href="" target="_blank">reportedly</a> joined the Standing Rock Sioux in protesting the pipeline, which is slated to travel beneath sacred Native lands and cross under the Missouri River, the region's main source of drinking water. The protesters have gathered along the border of the Standing Rock Sioux&rsquo;s reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, blocking the construction site. (Read <em>Mother Jones</em>' report on the pipeline <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.)</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/dapl%20link%20_0.jpg"></a> <div class="caption"><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>RELATED: The government quietly just approved this enormous oil pipeline</strong></a></div> </div> <p>On Monday, according to the <a href="" target="_blank">Bismarck Tribune</a>, Greg Wilz, Division Director of Homeland Security, ordered the removal of the state-owned water tanks and trailers that had been providing the protesters with drinking water. Wilz attributed the decision to alleged criminal activity&mdash;specifically two complaints of laser pointers being shined in the eyes of pilots of surveillance aircraft monitoring the protest. "Based on the scenario down there, we don't believe that equipment is secure," he said. The supplies were provided <a href="" target="_blank">last week</a> by the North Dakota Department of Health at the request of the tribe.</p> <p>Authorities in North Dakota have now arrested 29 protesters in the last two weeks, including the tribal chairman. A federal judge will rule by <a href="" target="_blank">September 9</a> on the injunction filed by the Standing Rock Sioux to prevent construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.</p> <p>Pipeline protesters&mdash;including actors Shailene Woodley and Susan Sarandon&mdash;have also gathered in New York and Washington, DC. Woodley has been protesting the pipeline for weeks, documenting the peaceful nature of the Standing Rock demonstration in North Dakota on her Twitter page before returning to DC for the rally, which took place Wednesday outside a federal court building where challenges to the permits were being heard.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">.<a href="">@shailenewoodley</a> is sharing footage from the Dakota Access Pipeline protests &mdash; which are peaceful, not dangerous<a href="">https</a><a href="">://</a></p> &mdash; NowThis (@nowthisnews) <a href="">August 23, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">"When we dont stay quiet, we can make a change. We can make progress. We can do something"<br> -<a href="">@ShaileneWoodley</a> <a href="">#NoDAPL</a> <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Shailene Woodley (@PlanetShailene) <a href="">August 24, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Environmentalist Bill McKibben also weighed in on the pipeline with an <a href="" target="_blank">article</a> published Monday. Indigenous populations like the Standing Rock Sioux "have been the vanguard of the movement to slow down climate change," wrote McKibben.</p> <p>Sen. Bernie Sanders issued a press release of his own on Thursday, condemning the pipeline and upholding the grassroots efforts to stop it. "Regardless of the court's decision, the Dakota Access pipeline must be stopped," he wrote. "As a nation, our job is to break our addiction to fossil fuels, not increase our dependence on oil. I join with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the many tribal nations fighting this dangerous pipeline."</p></body></html> Environment Climate Change Econundrums Energy Top Stories Fri, 26 Aug 2016 22:16:06 +0000 Alexander Sammon 312571 at Friday Cat Blogging - 26 August 2016 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>What kind of cat is Hilbert? Here is this week's peek into his personality.</p> <p>On Tuesday Marian made a tuna sandwich for lunch. That means tuna juice too, so she squeezed out the tuna juice into two saucers and put them out. Hopper came bounding over immediately and started lapping up the juice. Hilbert was slower off the mark, but eventually he figured out what was going on and shambled over.</p> <p>But when he got to the saucers, he didn't head to the unoccupied one. He went around the long way and stuck his snout into Hopper's saucer and pushed her away. She shrugged, and headed over to the other saucer, which she lapped up. She had been almost done with the first one anyway.</p> <p>So there you have it. Hilbert is more interested in taking away Hopper's tuna juice than in actually having any tuna juice of his own. However, he also has a brain the size of a peanut and is unable to effectively carry out his nefarious intentions. In the end, Hopper got all the tuna juice.</p> <p>In other words, he is not a cat we'd want to elect as president. But as a king? Sure. So here is his majesty up on the balcony, surveying his vast domains. I'm not sure what he's looking at. Probably a crow walking across the skylight.</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_hilbert_2016_08_26.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #000000; margin: 15px 0px 5px 40px;"></p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 26 Aug 2016 19:00:45 +0000 Kevin Drum 312641 at Trump’s Campaign CEO Ran a Secretive Sci-Fi Project in the Arizona Desert <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Long before Stephen Bannon was CEO of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, he held a much different job&mdash;as the acting director of Biosphere 2, a $200 million scientific research facility in the mountains outside Tucson, Arizona.</p> <p>The original Biosphere project, completed in 1991 by a company called&nbsp;Space Biosphere Ventures and funded by a Texas billionaire named Edward Bass, was an attempt to turn science fiction into reality. Eight individuals were to live and work entirely within a series of domed and self-contained buildings, where they would grow their own food, recycle their own waste, and demonstrate that humans might be able to survive in space. But when that two-year experiment ended in disarray&mdash;it was overrun by ants and cockroaches&mdash;the company turned to a group of outsiders for help in turning it around. At the head of that effort was Bannon.</p> <p>At the time he was hired by Bass to run Space Biospheres Ventures, Bannon was managing his own investment banking firm, Bannon &amp; Co. Some Biosphere-ites were concerned about Bannon, who had previously investigated cost overruns at the site. Two former Biosphere 2 crew members flew back to Arizona to protest the hire and broke into the compound to warn current crew members that Bannon and the new management would jeopardize their safety.</p> <p>Under his management, the focus of Biosphere 2 shifted from survival&mdash;the <em>Survivor</em>-like challenge of enduring two years inside a literal bubble&mdash;to planetary research. Specifically, as Bannon explained in a 1995 <a href="" target="_blank">interview</a> with C-SPAN, Biosphere 2 would be a place that focused on studying societal challenges like air pollution and climate change.</p> <p><em>Breitbart News</em>, the media company which Bannon ran for four years before taking a leave of absence to join Trump's campaign, has adopted an antagonistic approach toward the topic of climate change, <a href="" target="_blank">mocking</a> climate science as "tosh" and "eco-propaganda" and claiming that the Earth is actually cooling. But Bannon sang a much different tune when he was interviewed by C-Span at Biosphere 2 in 1995.</p> <p>"A lot of the scientists who are studying global change and studying the effects of greenhouse gases, many of them feel that the Earth's atmosphere in 100 years is what Biosphere 2's atmosphere is today," Bannon explained. "We have extraordinarily high CO2, we have very high nitrous oxide, we have high methane. And we have lower oxygen content. So the power of this place is allowing those scientists who are really involved in the study of global change, and which, in the outside world or Biosphere 1, really have to work with just computer simulation, this actually allows them to study and monitor the impact of enhanced CO2 and other greenhouse gases on humans, plants, and animals."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Bannon left Biosphere 2 after two years, and the project was taken over by Columbia University. (It is currently part of the University of Arizona.) But <a href="" target="_blank">his departure was marred</a>, as the <em>Tucson Citizen</em> reported at the time, by a civil lawsuit filed against Space Biosphere Ventures by the former crew members who had broken in.</p> <p>During a 1996 trial, Bannon testified that he had called one of the plaintiffs a "self-centered, deluded young woman" and a "bimbo." He also <a href="" target="_blank">testified</a> that when the woman submitted a five-page complaint outlining safety problems at the site, he promised to shove the complaint "down her fucking throat." At the end of the trial, the jury found for the plaintiffs and <a href="" target="_blank">ordered</a> Space Biosphere Ventures to pay them $600,000&mdash;but also ordered the plaintiffs to pay the company $40,089 for the damage they had caused.</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Fri, 26 Aug 2016 18:51:49 +0000 Tim Murphy 312606 at A Question for the AP <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Just curious: are you ever planning to release the names of Hillary Clinton's non-governmental visitors? You're a news organization, after all, and this is news. I'd sure like to see them. I bet lots of other people would too.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 26 Aug 2016 18:45:14 +0000 Kevin Drum 312636 at Conservatives Crippled Obama's Plan to Help Undocumented Families. This Could Save It. <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>When a district judge single-handedly blocked President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration last year, the situation looked bleak for millions of immigrants across the country who faced deportation. Now, a new lawsuit seeks to challenge that judge's decision.</p> <p>Obama's immigration actions, announced in November 2014, would have shielded up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, including parents of US citizens and green card holders, and granted them temporary work authorization. The orders also would have expanded a similar program for young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.</p> <p>But last year, after 26 states challenged the executive actions in court, a district judge in Texas issued an injunction blocking their implementation across the country. The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, whose justices remained deadlocked and failed to issue a ruling, which meant Obama's immigration programs remained blocked and families could not use them to apply for relief from deportation.</p> <p>In the <a href="" target="_blank">new lawsuit</a>, filed Thursday in a federal court in New York, lawyers from three immigrant rights groups argue that the Texas judge lacked the authority to suspend Obama's new programs nationwide, including in states that were not party to the Texas lawsuit because they did not want to suspend the programs. "There's no reason the injunction from Texas should block progress in New York and similar states," Javier H. Valdes, co-executive director of Make the Road New York, said in a <a href="" target="_blank">statement</a> announcing the lawsuit.</p> <p>The suit was filed on behalf of Mart&iacute;n Batalla Vidal, an undocumented 25-year-old medical student in New York who came to the United States illegally from Mexico when he was seven years old. In February 2015, Batalla Vidal received three years of work authorization under a program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, that had been expanded by Obama's executive actions. But because the Texas judge issued the injunction, Batalla Vidal's work authorization was reduced to two years&mdash;the maximum period allowed by the DACA before Obama expanded it. The lawsuit argues that the injunction should not apply to residents in New York, a state that was never a party to the Texas lawsuit and that falls outside the jurisdiction of the district court in Texas. If the New York judge agrees, it could affect not only immigrants like Batalla Vidal who are applying to the DACA program, but also undocumented parents who are applying for relief under a different program.</p> <p>"It's hard to know at this early&nbsp;juncture what this lawsuit will achieve," said <a href="" target="_blank">Melissa Crow</a>, legal director at American Immigration Council, a pro-immigration nonprofit in Washington, DC. "But the nationwide scope of the injunction&hellip;is way beyond the court's jurisdiction."</p> <p>Batalla Vidal's lawyers say the injunction has affected the academic and professional goals of thousands of immigrants across the country. "When I first filed for DACA, I was excited to get a three-year work permit and move forward with my life,"<strong> </strong><a href="" target="_blank">said</a> Batalla Vidal. "That was taken away by one judge in Texas&hellip;I'm filing this lawsuit for myself and the thousands of others like me who have been wronged by this judge's decision."</p></body></html> Politics Immigration Fri, 26 Aug 2016 18:42:01 +0000 Sara Rathod 312561 at Is the Clinton Foundation Corrupt? There's a Way to Find Out For Anyone Who's Seriously Interested. <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Did corporations and foreign governments make donations to the Clinton Foundation as a way of cozying up to Hillary Clinton? Cherry picking the few occasions when they did so within a few months of some action by Hillary won't tell us anything. There's too little signal and too much noise. But there's a way to attack this question. Since 2000, Hillary Clinton has had five phases in her career:</p> <blockquote> <p>2001-06: Senator from New York<br> 2007-08: Candidate for president with good chance of winning.<br> 2009-12: Secretary of State in the Obama administration.<br> 2013-14: Retired, giving speeches, no one knew what she would do next.<br><img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_clinton_foundation_logo.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #000000; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">2015-16: Candidate for president with excellent chance of winning.</p> </blockquote> <p>So here's what someone needs to do: Take a look at donations to the Clinton Foundation and see if they seem to align with these career phases. For example, you'd expect foreign governments to be uninterested in gaining favors from Hillary while she was a New York senator, but very interested while she was Secretary of State. Conversely, you might expect, say, the financial industry to be generous while she was a New York senator but not so much while she was Secretary of State. During the periods when she was running for president, you'd expect activity to pick up from everybody, and during 2013-14 you'd expect interest to decline across the board.</p> <p>You can probably think of other trends you'd expect to see if donations to the Clinton Foundation were widely viewed as a way of getting better access to Hillary. So what you need to do is write down these expectations <em>first</em>, and then crunch the data to see if the evidence supports your hypothesis.</p> <p>This would be a lot of work. But if you really, truly think the Foundation was basically just a way of buying access to Hillary Clinton, this is a way of getting past anecdotes and looking for real trends. Is anyone willing to do this?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 26 Aug 2016 18:23:18 +0000 Kevin Drum 312631 at It's the End of August and Hillary Clinton's Lead Remains Clear and Steady <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Is the presidential race tightening up? Let's take a look. Here's Pollster:</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_race_tightening_2016_08_26_pollster.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #000000; margin: 15px 0px 15px 15px;"></p> <p>No tightening evident here. Here's Sam Wang:</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_race_tightening_2016_08_26_pec.jpg" style="margin: 15px 0px 15px 0px;"></p> <p>No tightening here either. If anything, Clinton has improved her position. Here's Real Clear Politics:</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_race_tightening_2016_08_26_rcp_0.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #000000; margin: 15px 0px 15px 15px;"></p> <p>Some slight tightening here since early August, when the convention bumps settled down. Maybe a point or so. Here's Nate Cohn:</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_race_tightening_2016_08_26_nyt.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #000000; margin: 15px 0px 15px 5px;"></p> <p>No tightening here. Here's 538:</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_race_tightening_2016_08_26_538.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #000000; margin: 15px 0px 15px 30px;"></p> <p>This is a percentage chance of victory, not a projection of vote share. Clinton has dropped a few points since early August.</p> <p>Bottom line: Since early August, there's either been no tightening in the polls, or, at most, maybe a point or so. Hillary Clinton is ahead by 6-8 points in the national polls, and so far that's staying pretty steady.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 26 Aug 2016 16:45:11 +0000 Kevin Drum 312611 at Let's Hear It for Kevin, the Coolest Kid Going Back to School <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>This fourth grader from Texas just entered the fourth grade at a new school and he could not be more thrilled. Because as <a href="" target="_blank">Kevin recently revealed to a local reporter</a>, after he conquers the fourth grade, he's going to master the fifth grade, and then college. Or is it high school? Maybe preschool.</p> <p>"I don't even know the orders anymore!" Kevin said, clearly exasperated by his own enthusiasm.</p> <p>He continued by taking the opportunity to protest his mother's insistence that he wear a helmet while riding his bike because he is not a baby anymore and no longer needs "protected gear." Kevin also told the reporter he is pumped to make more friends at his new school, as he only had one friend at his first.</p> <p>"I am hoping I can make more friends than just one."</p> <p>To all the other kids at Kevin's old school, let it be known you clearly missed out.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank">(h/t Select All)</a></em></p></body></html> Media Fri, 26 Aug 2016 15:43:32 +0000 Inae Oh 312591 at Hillary Clinton Hits Trump With New Ad on Race <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>In recent days, Donald Trump, who has faced charges (even from Republicans) that he has made racist remarks during this presidential race, has mounted what his campaign considers an outreach effort toward African American voters, with Trump (while speaking to predominantly white audiences) insisting that he will do more for inner-city black Americans than Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. But the Clinton campaign has seized on this Trump move as an opportunity to make the case that Trump in the past and in the present has insulted African Americans&mdash;and to remind all voters of Trump's controversial record on race. On Friday, the Clinton team released a new TV ad contrasting Trump's new effort with his past history of discrimination against African Americans.</p> <p>The ad begins with a clip of Trump speaking at a recent rally and presumably addressing African Americans: "What do you have to lose? You're living in poverty, your schools are no good. You have no job." The spot then jumps back to the 1970s when Trump and his family real estate company was sued by the Justice Department for discriminating against African Americans trying to rent apartments in their buildings. The ad returns to the present. "What the hell do you have to lose?" Trump says. The ad responds, "Everything."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>The new ad, according to the Clinton campaign, will run in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.</p> <p>Trump is already performing very poorly among African Americans, a constituency that has heavily supported Democrats for decades. A recent poll found Trump receiving <a href="" target="_blank">zero percent</a> of the black vote in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Still, Clinton is trying to make sure that even a small number of&nbsp; African American voters don't fall for Trump's new pitch&mdash;and that moderate Republican voters who might have concerns about Trump's temperament and attitudes toward race are not swayed into accepting him. On Thursday, for instance, she gave <a href="" target="_blank">a speech</a> in which she pointed out the close connection between the Trump campaign and the racist "alt-right" movement. As polls show, most African Americans regard Trump as an unacceptable choice in November. But with her speech and this ad, the Clinton campaign is attempting to convince white Americans that Trump remains beyond the pale.</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Fri, 26 Aug 2016 15:21:36 +0000 Pema Levy 312586 at Republicans Agree: Trump Is a Racist Boor <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Hillary Clinton says Donald Trump relies on racism and bigotry in his presidential campaign. Republicans must be filling the airwaves with denunciations of Clinton by now, <a href="" target="_blank">so Philip Bump rounds up the outrage:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>The day after Hillary Clinton delivered a vicious indictment of Donald Trump, the Republican party's ostensible leader, on the same subject, <strong>Republican leaders haven't risen to his defense.</strong></p> <p>The Republican Party has tweeted repeatedly since Clinton's speech, praising the National Park Service, hitting Clinton on her Foundation and pledging to return to the Constitution. <strong>It offered no press release in defense of its nominee,</strong> issuing one only about Clinton having not held a press conference since last year.</p> <p>Speaker Paul Ryan....Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chair of the House Republican Conference....Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell....MSNBC's Benjy Sarlin (who noticed the GOP's silence early) asked party spokesman Sean Spicer about the lack of a coordinated rebuttal to Clinton. <strong>"I don't know," Spicer said. "I think Congress is in recess."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Well, I'm sure Sean Hannity has offered a stirring defense, and that's what really matters.</p> <p>One other quick note about Trump: he's been waffling back and forth on immigration all week. It's his signature issue, and he's been running on it for over a year now, but he still can't quite seem to make up his mind about some of the most fundamental issues related to immigration policy. This has produced many thumbsuckers about whether Trump is pivoting, or staying the course, or some combination thereof. My advice: don't bother. Trump doesn't have a policy. He couldn't care less about immigration. To him, it's just a handy applause line in his speeches. Trying to follow his peregrinations is like trying to figure out what a five year old <em>really</em> wants to be when she grows up.</p> <p>I have no idea why immigration foes took Trump seriously in the first place. If he ever became president, his first instinct would be to cut a deal, exactly what the hardliners don't want. And since he doesn't really care about it, he'd accept whatever Chuck Schumer and Paul Ryan could hammer out, and then count on being able to sell it as "the toughest immigration plan ever," or somesuch. In the end, he's probably the <em>worst</em> candidate for immigration hardliners, not the best.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 26 Aug 2016 15:20:58 +0000 Kevin Drum 312596 at