Some curiosities arising from the recent election

Submitted: Nov 11, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 11-9-16

www.sanders.senate.gov

Sanders Statement on Trump

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sanders-statement-on-trump

 

BURLINGTON, Vt., Nov. 9 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement Wednesday after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States:

“Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media.  People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids - all while the very rich become much richer. 

“To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him."

 

11-9-16

Business Insider

People in California are calling for a 'Calexit' from the US in the wake of Trump's win

Melia Robinson

http://www.businessinsider.com/california-secession-calexit-2016-11

 

"Calexit" is swiftly taking over social media.

After Donald Trump won the race to the White House, people across California took to social media Tuesday night to call for "Calexit" (or California exit), recalling Brexit, Britain's push to leave the European Union.

As the topic continues to trend on Twitter, Californians in favor of seceding from the US will gather November 9th on the steps of the capitol in Sacramento.

The group leading the charge, Yes California Independence Campaign, assembled long before Trump's surprising victory. Its aim is to hold a referendum in 2018 that, if passed, would make California an independent country.

A person waves a flag during an anti-Trump demonstration in Oakland. Noah Berger/Reuters

The movement has racked up an impressive backer already. Shervin Pishevar, an early investor in Uber and well-known angel investor, said on Twitter that he would bankroll a campaign to make California its own nation if Trump won.

In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, he confirmed his mission.

"It's the most patriotic thing I can do," he told CNBC. "The country is at serious crossroads. ... Calling it New California."

He expressed a desire that California, the sixth-largest economy in the world in terms of GDP, might become a catalyst for a "national dialogue" as the country reaches a "tipping point."

More Silicon Valley innovators are hopping on the bandwagon. Dave Morin, an investor and founder of the private social networking tool Path, and Marc Hemeon, a former Googler and founder of Design Inc., also showed their support on Twitter, CNN Money reports.

Louis Marinelli helms the Yes California Independence Campaign. 

Wikimedia Commons

 

 

The president of Yes California, Louis Marinelli, is one of the state's most unorthodoxpolitical thinkers. The Buffalo, New York, native and current California resident served as the former interim chairman of the California National Party, whose primary goal is achieving California's independence from the US. He also taught English in Russia.

In 2015, Marinelli paid $200 each for nine initiatives related to California's secession to get them on a statewide ballot. He also ran a failed campaign for a seat in the California State Assembly.

"What's going on in the US politically and culturally is so different from what's happening here," Marinelli told The Los Angeles Times in 2015. "I want California to be all it can, and our group feels the political and cultural connection to the US is holding us back from our potential."

They said Donald Trump wouldn't happen. They said #Brexitwouldn't happen. What're you going to say if they tell you #Calexit won't happen?

The fringe political movement gathered steam in June, when the UK broke from the EU.

"This is the first Western secessionist movement that worked, and I think that is going to be very profound," Marinelli told Newsweek shortly after Brexit. "Are you going to say to people in the freest country in the world [you] don't have the right to self-determination?"

 

  

11-10-16

Merced Sun-Star

UC Merced students denounce Trump victory

Monica Velez And Rob Parsons

http://www.mercedsunstar.com/news/article113909688.html

UC Merced student Juan Pirir hugged one of his peers as they wept and comforted each other Wednesday morning in front of the campus library. Pirir held a sign saying “I am LGBT and Trump America Hates Me.”

Incensed by Donald Trump’s presidential victory, dozens of students rallied at UC Merced, vowing to fight to protect the rights of minorities, women, immigrants and the LGBT community.

The rally in front of the Kolligian Library followed a raucous midnight protest that saw hundreds of furious students march through the campus, shouting “Not our president,” and expletive-filled chants denouncing the victorious Republican candidate and his promises to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

At both rallies, some students waved flags, including the flags of Mexico and Puerto Rico, and rainbow flags as a show of support for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Leaders of the protest outside the library Wednesday shouted to the crowd, “When our communities are under attack what do we do?”

“Unite! Fight Back!,” the students shouted in response.

The actions at UC Merced came as protests erupted at campuses across California, where voters statewide favored Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

More than 1,000 high school students walked out of classes in Berkeley on Wednesday, many holding anti-Trump signs, The Associated Press reported. Overnight, hundreds of students swarmed the streets in and around the UCLA campus while protesters also gathered at the other University of California campuses in Berkeley, Irvine, Davis, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara, according to various media reports.

“All types of phobia won last night,” Pirir, 21, said. “I’m in fear not only for my life but (for) friends and loved ones.”

The fourth-year history student from Inglewood said he comes from a family of immigrants led mainly by women, and he doesn’t want to live in an America that condones the “horrible words” of Trump.

“He’s Hitler with a wig,” he said.

Florence Lucey-Renteria, 19, made efforts to organize the rally Wednesday with the help of other students, and said her initial reaction to the election results was “shock.”

Being a woman and Latina, Lucey-Renteira said, “it made me feel like the general population of the country doesn't care about my existence. We’re only looked at from where we come from.”

Charles Nies, vice chancellor for student affairs at UC Merced, said the school is trying to find a way to help students express their concerns. Since the beginning of the presidential campaign, he said, there have been many groups of students voicing their unease.

Trump’s comments regarding minorities, undocumented immigrants, the LGBT community, sexual assault victims and people with disabilities have made students on campus feel vulnerable, Nies said.

“People don’t realize the emotional trauma this created,” he said. “It made people stand up and be concerned.”

The focus Wednesday, Nies said, is helping students to feel safe regardless of their positions on the election.

“This is part of democracy,” he said, “the reaction part of the election.”

Omnya Elhag, an applied mathematics student, said she became a U.S. citizen after emigrating from Khartoum, Sudan.

“I’m Muslim, I’m colored and I’m a woman,” the first-year student said. “I thought America could be better.”

Elhag said she is worried about where the country is going to go from here, especially since, as a 17-year-old, she was unable to vote and the election was out of her hands. She described her feelings as “angry,” “sad” and “disappointed.”

“I kind of counted on America to give us a good president, but there was nothing I could do,” she said.

A third-year English major at UC Merced, TaNayiah Bryels said she was almost “sick” with hope that Clinton would pull through to win the election.

“I want to throw up,” the 21-year-old said. “I want to cry.”

Bryels, from Santa Clara County, said she is more worried now, because although Trump can’t do everything he’s promised in his campaign overnight, he has the Republican backing of the Senate and House, along with the power to choose U.S. Supreme Court justices.

“I don’t like Hillary, either,” she said. “She’s not great, but she can be changed. I was hoping for a candidate to at least listen.”

Not everyone at the protest had similar views to those chanting and telling their stories. One individual was advocating for students to change their lifestyles, shouting, “UC Merced students are living in sin.”

According to a statement from UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland, the California Room on campus was open Wednesday for students to talk to counselors who were “prepared to facilitate individual interventions for students in emotional crisis.”

Groups of students also can request facilitated interventions, Leland said. Counseling and psychological services are available 24 hours a day by calling 209-228-4266.

University employees can contact 800-422-5322, the Employee Assistance Program, or email insighteap@insighteap.com. Additional resources can be found through the CARE Office, 209-228-4147 or the UC Merced Police Department, 209-228-2677.

 

 

11-9-16

Business Insider

How a Silicon Valley billionaire helped get marijuana fully legalized in California

Melia Robinson

http://www.businessinsider.com/sean-parker-legalize-marijuana-california-2016-11

 

Sean Parker became the single biggest donor behind Proposition 64. Miguel Villagran / Getty

Californians overwhelmingly said yes to recreational marijuanaon Election Day.

Those in favor of the decision owe a big thanks to billionaire Silicon Valley fixture Sean Parker.

The former Facebook president and founder of Napster contributed $8.5 million to the effort to legalize recreational marijuana in California.

Parker has been radio silent regarding Proposition 64, though his dollars said otherwise.

"If you wanted to invent the perfect funder for a California ballot measure, it would be hard to dream up one better than Sean Parker," Jason Kinney, a spokesperson for the Proposition 64 campaign, told Business Insider. "He did this for social justice, not the personal spotlight."

Over the last year, Parker became the single biggest donor of the initiative, by far, according to The Los Angeles Times. Another $4 million came from a nonprofit called the Fund for Policy Reform, which is backed by New York hedge fund billionaire George Soros.

All said, Proposition 64 raised close to $16 million, about four times the amount spent on a failed effort to legalize recreational weed in California in 2010. That money helped fund campaign literature and postage, fundraising events, polling and survey research, and professional services such as legal and accounting, according to campaign finance filings.

The winning bill, which comes 20 years after California legalized medical marijuana, will allow adults ages 21 and over to use, possess, and transport up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes. People can also grow six plants each at home.

The bill imposes a 15% tax on sales of the drug, generating up to $1 billionin new tax revenue annually, according to the Yes on Prop 64 campaign website.

Proposition 64 first got its nickname — "The Parker Initiative" — in fall 2015 when Parker's first contribution became known. The campaign claims Parker had no hand in crafting the specifics or language of the bill, though he expected a "professional and ethical campaign."

"From the outset, he made it clear that he would be supportive but that he wanted the policy experts to write the best policy and the political professionals to run the best campaign," Kinney said. "And that's exactly what we did."

This isn't the first time Parker threw his name or money behind an effort to end the prohibition on pot. He gave $100,000 to the unsuccessful California initiative from 2010 and also contributed $2 million for recreational marijuana in Oregon.

Parker was also a general partner at Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, which has invested heavily in legal marijuana. The media has suggested Parker's role meant he had material gains to make from the success of Proposition 64; however, Parker left Founders Fund in 2015, a year before the firm led a $75 million round for marijuana-focused equity firm Privateer Holdings.

Even in the days leading up to the election, Parker has kept quiet on the bill. Representatives for Parker did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Still, his name often makes the headline of news stories about legalization in California.

Kinney said the so-called Parker Initiative actually has little to do with the tech tycoon.

"This was never about him. It was about the thousands of lives shattered and the billions of taxpayers dollars squandered by a failed war on marijuana," Kinney said. "He didn't want to be a distraction. He wanted the focus where it belongs — on the measure itself."

 

10-19-16

Los Angeles Times

These 76-year-old twins have grown pot for decades. Here's why they oppose legalization

California, Colorado, and Oregon are working to solve the banking problems that legal pot businesses face.

Robin Abcarian

 http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/la-me-abcarian-cannabis-twins-20161020-snap-story.html

You don’t end up in Round Valley, one of Mendocino County’s finest cannabis-growing micro climates, by accident. It is well northeast of Highway 101, along a winding mountain road that follows the curves of Outlet Creek and the Middle Fork of the Eel River.

After 45 minutes, the valley comes into view. From a lookout called Inspiration Point, even in a light drizzle, Round Valley is a picture of bucolic grace, with wheat-colored fields, black cows and green orchards spreading out below.  

Many of those groves conceal marijuana plants — or trees as they call them around here — which flourish in the rich alluvial soil of the valley’s fertile bottomland.  

The highway through the valley is dead straight, punctuated by one town, Covelo, population about 1,200. Just past town, I pulled onto a farm owned by Robert and John Cunnan, identical 76-year-old twins who were born in Glendale and left Southern California more than 40 years ago seeking a better life.

 “We came here with the back-to-the-land movement,” Robert told me as we stood in front of a shed where dozens of fragrant cannabis stalks were hanging to dry.  

For $6,500, the brothers bought 10 acres with a creek down the middle. They built craftsman-style homes for themselves and raised families on food they grew in their gardens and money earned as cabinet makers for what they call “mom-and-pop” businesses — restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques. They got by, but barely.

“A friend of mine came up here in 1985, grew marijuana and sold it for $2,000 a pound,” Robert said. “And that’s when I thought, ‘You know, you might be able to make a little money doing this.’ ”

This, pretty much, is the very thought that has crossed the minds of untold thousands of Mendocino County residents, beleaguered by the crashing logging and fishing industries, and willing to flout the law to support their families.

“At one time, I sold stuff for $5,000 a pound,” Robert said. “It was worth more than gold. Now, it’s down to $1,200 to $1,500. But cannabis allowed me to finish my house and get comfortable.” (Yields vary wildly, but in these parts, each tree can produce two to four pounds or more.)

“I consider myself a teacher and a woodworker,” said John, who commutes to Ukiah once a week to teach woodworking in two schools. “The cannabis is just to fill in where the teaching and woodworking don’t pay the bills.”

A friend came up here in 1985, grew marijuana and sold it for $2,000 a pound, I thought, ‘You know, you might be able to make a little money doing this.’— Mendocino County cannabis grower Robert Cunnan

I assumed the Cunnans would be strong proponents of legalizing cannabis for recreational use. As it turns out, they oppose Proposition 64, which would regulate and tax cannabis for the adult market.

And they are not alone.

Many small marijuana farmers, as it happens, see Proposition 64 as a threat to their way of life.

They believe that a legal, regulated cannabis market could open the floodgates to corporatization of the industry, pushing taxes up and prices down, perhaps forcing them out of business altogether.

“The thing you need to realize is that this is a movement that is becoming an industry,” Robert said. “The movement was organic gardening, the back-to-the-land, alternative lifestyle. We were the original generation that came out here and set up our pot gardens.”

Like mom-and-pop businesses squeezed out by big-box retailers, he said, so are pot farmers in danger of being squeezed out of business once big corporations get a toehold in the cannabis business.

Even though Proposition 64 gives small farmers a head start, banning large cultivator licenses for five years, farmers like the Cunnans aren’t especially comforted.

“Of course,” Robert said, “I will vote against it.”

After California voters legalized medical cannabis in 1996, Mendocino, among other counties, developed regulations for growers. The rules are convoluted and ever-changing — and enforced by the sheriff — but still, the Cunnans are legally allowed to grow up to 99 plants on their farm, and sell to dispensaries.

Using principles established by the famous horticulturalist Alan Chadwick, who pioneered the organic gardening movement in the U.S. and created a garden here in the early 1970s, the twins grow strains like Chronic Kush, Pink Cadillac and Orange Spice.

They are certified by the Small Farmers Assn., created to help cannabis farmers grow sustainably and to negotiate the often-contradictory thickets of local laws.

On Saturday, we sat in John’s cozy, two-story house, a wood-burning stove blazing in a corner of the living room. The season’s first heavy rains had forced the Cunnans to harvest most of their plants.

In some ways, the fate of Mendocino County’s cannabis industry lies with California’s great population centers to the south, and with voters who may care far more about the social justice implications of legalization, and their own convenience, say, than the preservation of a distant way of life.

The Cunnans, who grew up on a chicken farm, know this. And they are not especially hopeful.

“The only reason I am still riding this marijuana wave is because having worked for mom and pop for 30 years trying to help them survive, I am really curious to see how it all shakes out,” Robert said. “I want to know whether people realize in the end that it’s much better to keep as many small farmers involved as possible because that supports families.” 

 

11-10-16

The Independent

List reveals Sarah Palin and Chris Christie as well as oil tycoons and bankers in Donald Trump's possible cabinet

President-elect's transition team compiles options including figures from private sector

Lizzie Dearden 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-elections/donald-trump-cabinet-president-wins-ben-carson-sarah-palin-newt-gingrich-rudy-guliani-chris-christie-a7409126.html

Sarah Palin, governor Chris Christie, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, defeated Republican rival Ben Carson and a slew of private sector executives are among the contenders for top positions in Donald Trump’s cabinet.

A list of 41 candidates compiled by the President-elect’s transition team has been obtained by BuzzFeed News, covering 13 departments that will make up his powerful cabinet.

Ms Palin, the former Alaska governor who unsuccessfully ran as vice-president in 2008, is one of seven possibilities for Secretary of the Interior, including governors Jan Brewer and Mary Fallin, venture capitalist Robert Grady, oil executive Forrest Lucas and entrepreneur Harold Hamm.

Sarah Palin compares Donald Trump's election run to Brexit

Mr Christie, the New Jersey governor damaged by the “Bridgegate” scandal, is in contention for the positions of Attorney General and Secretary of Commerce; while

 Newt Gingrich could be made Secretary of State.

 

 

Mr Giuliani is also up for Attorney General while Dr Carson, who bowed out of the Republican nomination race earlier this year, is listed for the education and health briefs.

A hotly tipped option for Secretary of Defence is Mike Flynn, a retired general and former head of the Defence Intelligence Agency, who has been Mr Trump’s chief defence policy adviser during the campaign. 

The list, which is not final, includes several high-profile figures from the energy and banking industries, following Mr Trump’s anti-“politician” rhetoric during his campaign. Among them are oil, gas and steel executives, a venture capitalist, bankers, investors and financiers from the private sector.

Several of the candidates were praised by Mr Trump in his victory speech on Wednesday, including possible Attorney General, Defence Secretary, or Office of Management or Budget director Jeff Sessions.

Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman listed as the sole candidate for Chief of Staff, was also named, with Mr Trump calling him “a very special person”.

What's next for President Trump

 

“We have got tremendously talented people up here, I want to tell you, it’s been very, very special,” said the President-elect.

He was due to meet Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday to start the formal process of transition ahead of his inauguration in January.

The contenders for Mr Trump’s cabinet

Attorney General:

Gov Chris Christie

Attorney General Pam Bondi

Sen Jeff Sessions

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Secretary of Commerce:

Chris Christie

Former Nucor CEO Dan DiMicco

Businessman Lew Eisenberg

Former gov Mike Huckabee

Sen David Perdue

Former Sen Jim Talent

Agriculture Secretary:

Gov Sam Brownback

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives CEO Chuck Conner

Gov Dave Heineman

Texas Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller

Former Georgia gov Sonny Perdue

Secretary of Education:

Ben Carson

Hoover Institution fellow William Evers

Secretary of Energy:

Venture capitalist Robert Grady

Businessman Harold Hamm

Secretary of Health and Human Services:

Former New Jersey state Sen Richard Bagger

Ben Carson

Newt Gingrich

Gov Rick Scott

Secretary of Homeland Security:

Chris Christie 

Sheriff David Clarke

Secretary of the Interior:

Gov Jan Brewer

Gov Mary Fallin

Robert Grady

Harold Hamm

Oil executive Forrest Lucas

Rep Cynthia Lummis

Former Gov Sarah Palin

Secretary of Defense:

Former Gen Mike Flynn

Stephen Hadley

Rep Duncan Hunter Jr

Jeff Sessions

Former Sen Jim Talent

Secretary of State:

John Bolton

Sen Bob Corker

Newt Gingrich

Treasury Secretary:

Rep Jeb Hensarling

Businessman Carl Icahn

Banker Steven Mnuchin

Chief of Staff:

Reince Priebus

Director of Office of Management and Budget:

Jeff Sessions

Secretary of Labor:

EEOC commissioner Victoria Lipnic

Veterans Affairs:

Rep Jeff Miller

White House Counsel:

Donald McGahn

 

11-9-16

Stockton Record

What 'President Trump' might mean for Delta

 Alex Breitler

http://www.recordnet.com/news/20161109/what-president-trump-might-mean-for-delta

The joke on social media after Donald Trump’s victory early Wednesday was that the tears of liberal Californians would refill the state’s reservoirs and end the drought.

Since that doesn’t seem to have worked, it’s now a matter of waiting to see what policies the president-elect might push after Inauguration Day.

And on that front, Delta advocates aren’t holding out much hope.

Trump hasn’t said much about California water, but he did tell a Fresno audience at a rally in May that there is no drought at all, and that the water that farmers should have received was flushed out to sea in an effort to protect “a certain kind of 3-inch fish,” a reference to the imperiled Delta smelt.

“Believe me, we’re going to start opening up the water so that you can have your farmers survive,” Trump said at the time.

“Opening up the water” implies increasing the volume of water exported south from the Delta, exports that are blamed in part for the long-term decline of the fragile river estuary west of Stockton. The Delta ecosystem suffers from a kind of perpetual drought because more than half of its fresh water historically has been diverted for human use.

On Wednesday, Politico reported that an attorney who represented the Westlands Water District on litigation involving the Delta and the Endangered Species Act will head Trump’s transition team for the new Department of Interior, which oversees federal water and wildlife management in the Delta.

Westlands, the nation’s largest water district, faces frequent water shortages south of the Delta and has used its political clout for many years to lobby for a more reliable share of Delta water.

With Trump in power and a Republican-controlled Congress, the stars could align for an amendment of the Endangered Species Act that could lead to more pumping.

“If you assume that there’s the possibility of changes in the way that the Endangered Species Act is implemented, or changes in the law itself, then that changes the dynamics of the Delta controversies,” said Barton “Buzz” Thompson, senior fellow with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.

The impact on the Delta tunnels is unclear. The tunnels must be permitted by federal agencies before they can be built; a Trump administration could loosen the terms of those permits and may be more inclined to pitch in federal funding, Thompson said.

On the other hand, water users might see relaxation of the endangered species rules as a preferable alternative to paying for the giant tunnels, he said.

The potential for change doesn't stop with the Delta and the tunnels. The federal government also is funding the restoration of the San Joaquin River, which south Valley interests repeatedly have tried to kill over the past decade.

Of course, state officials can pass laws, too.

“To the degree that a Trump administration becomes more conservative on environmental issues, the state can certainly step in in most situations and enact its own protections,” Thompson said.

Stockton-based Restore the Delta doesn’t get involved in political campaigns for office, executive director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla said Wednesday.

“But we can say where candidates stand on the issues,” she said. “(Trump’s) stance on the Delta smelt, on the Endangered Species Act, on climate change, on pumping water from the Delta and the amount of money he’s taken from Westlands growers and other growers in the San Joaquin Valley is very problematic for the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary.”

Westlands spokesman Johnny Amaral said it was too soon to say exactly what policy changes his district might recommend to the incoming administration, but said that after three years without receiving any water from the federal Central Valley Project, growers were hoping for a return to some sort of normalcy under Trump.

"When you start talking about project operations, people start getting nervous and lobbing bombs and allegations about what your intentions are," Amaral said. "Our intentions are to bring balance and fairness to how the projects are operated. Period. We're not asking for anything beyond that."

He downplayed the involvement of attorney David Bernhardt in Trump's transition team, saying "there are a lot of people involved."

Tuesday’s presidential vote put some conservative Delta farmers in an interesting position. Third-generation grower Mike Robinson, who opposes the tunnels, is leery that Trump will fast-track the project because the new president will want to “repay” financial supporters in the south Valley.

But Robinson voted for Trump anyway, calling it less a vote for Trump than a vote against Hillary Clinton. He said he hopes Trump will be open to other views on water.

“I am unselfish enough to look at the big picture of the national interest,” Robinson said. “I look at what is best for the country rather than what is best for me or my pocket.”

 

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