Today I made a small donation to the Water Protector Legal Collective. The battle on the front lines of DAPL has passed. Tribal leaders have asked that folks stop coming to Standing Rock, and instead focus on supporting their legal battle. Below is a list of great legal aid funds that are working on behalf of the water protectors at Standing Rock:
Executive Orders: He signed three new orders today after the swearing-in of Attorney General Sessions. The first order aims to “reduce crime and restore public safety” by directing Sessions to establish a new Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety. The Task Force will focus on “strategies to reduce crime, including, in particular, illegal immigration, drug trafficking and violent crime.” The second order aims to combat transnational drug cartels by increasing intelligence sharing among law enforcement partners. The third and final order directs the Justice Department to use existing federal law to prosecute people who commit crimes against law enforcement officers. That last one is particularly important and controversial, as it does nothing to address the underlying problems within the criminal justice system.
The Ban: In a unanimous decision, three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit rejected the administration’s appeal to lift the suspension of POTUS’ illegal travel ban. POTUS was mad, and tweeted “SEE YOU IN COURT.” Which is confusing. Because they were already in court. And he’s lost twice.
Conflicts of interest: Kellyanne Conway broke federal law today when she promoted Ivanka Trump’s product line. In another case of murky ethics, the Department of Defense announced their plan to lease space within Manhattan’s Trump Tower. Which is owned by POTUS. And managed by his company. At this point, whether this is an actual violation is still unknown, simply because the level of conflict of interest being discussed has never been seen before. Which is exactly what you want out of a president.
Foreign Relations: It has come to light that in his first call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, POTUS denounced the New START treaty, which caps the number of deployed nuclear warheads the countries have.
Environment: Construction was restarted last night on the Dakota Access Pipeline, despite the months of protest from the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux, and prolonged legal battles. The pipeline is estimated to be completed in three months. New lawsuits have been brought by the tribes, and they plan to continue most of the resistance in the courts.