“Over the past eight years, Michelle and I have invited some of the best writers and musicians, actors, dancers to share their gifts with the American people, and to help tell the story of who we are, and to inspire what’s best in all of us.” —President Obama paying tribute to this year’s Kennedy Center Honorees: Mavis Staples, Al Pacino, James Taylor, Martha Argerich, and The Eagles.

Update on Standing Rock struggle

By Mahtowin, United American Indians of New England

It has been a very roller-coaster kind of day with #NoDAPL events. It is NOT all over and people are NOT all going home now. Please do not turn your gaze away from this struggle. Read on:

–ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS DID NOT GRANT THE EASEMENT TO BRING THE PIPELINE UNDER THE WATER AT THE CURRENT ROUTE THAT IS ON UNCEDED TREATY LAND. This means that Energy Transfer Partners does not have the proper permit to follow their currently planned route and drill under the water at the current site.

This is definitely a victory for the Power of the People when we take action. The government was forced to bow before the incredible strength of the movement that we all have been building for several months.

BUT people are legitimately worrying that Energy Transfer Partners might still drill there anyway – they might just go ahead and drill and worry about the fines later, which the Trump Administration may not even levy. Maybe the corporation and the feds hope that everyone will go home and then there will only be a handful of people on-site to oppose them.

Another unanswered question is whether the Trump Administration will simply find a way to reverse the Army Corps of Engineers’ current decision.

–Even if the Dakota Access Pipeline does not go through at that site, the feds are clearly making plans to reroute it so it can be finished. This project is still not safe. Water is still sacred. The black snake pipeline needs to be stopped no matter where it is routed!

–The Army Corps of Engineers’ eviction notice for December 5 has not been rescinded. They had previously issued this notice and said that the camps needed to be cleared away from land that the Army Corps of Engineers considers to be “theirs” (even though it is actually unceded treaty land belonging to the people of Standing Rock). It remains to be seen whether Morton County or any other authorities will try to clear the camps, although they would be unlikely to do this right now when the numbers of people are in the thousands.

–There is still the very important matter of hundreds of people (more than 550) who have been charged with various crimes and misdemeanors. No matter what happens, a key demand will need to be: Drop All The Charges Now! Additionally, Morton County Sheriffs and other abusers will need to be brought to justice.

–All of this means that everyone who supports #NoDAPL will need to continue to be vigilant and apply all possible forms of pressure.

Sanders praises Dakota Access Pipeline ruling

Following the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers block on the Dakota Access Pipeline, Bernie Sanders praised President Barack Obama for “listening to the Native American people and millions of others who believe this pipeline should not be built.”

“In the year 2016, we should not continue to trample on Native American sovereignty. We should not endanger the water supply of millions of people,” the Vermont senator said in a statement Sunday. “We should not become more dependent on fossil fuel and accelerate the planetary crisis of climate change.

"Our job now is to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels, not to produce more greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Army Corps pulled the easement permit for a disputed section of the pipeline, which would cover about 1,172 miles, connecting the Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois.

Sanders has been a strong opponent of the pipeline.

The Vermont senator wrote an open letter to the president in October, urging him to halt construction on the pipeline. In November, the former Democratic presidential candidate also gave a speech at a rally in front of the White House, speaking out against the pipeline.

Over the past couple of months, tribal groups have held protests against the pipeline, arguing that it would threaten their water supplies. More recently, thousands of protesters have also traveled to the Standing Rock site to stand in solidarity with Native Americans.

“Trump supporters are just poor, ignored and angry! Sympathise with them!”

But here’s the thing: Everyone in the world is poor, ignored and angry these days. Well, most of us. 

But we don’t happily vote for and elect racist, sexist nutjob fascists. 

Voting for a monster was never even a consideration for us.  

How you choose to be angry says a whole lot about who you are. 


Michelle Obama stuns at Kennedy Center Honors

Michelle Obama is going out in style.

At Sunday’s Kennedy Center Honors, which marks Obama’s eighth and final year attending as first lady, she dazzled in an embroidered, off-the-shoulder number by Gucci. With all eyes on her (per usual), she continued her style reign: http://usat.ly/2gUxMVc

Photos: Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP; Pool, Getty Images. 

Al Pacino, James Taylor receive Kennedy Center Honors
A memorable evening for not only the honorees, but also the Obamas.

Once things got rolling, the political jokes didn’t take long to start. In his opening line, host Stephen Colbert welcomed distinguished guests, politicians, diplomats and “endangered swamp dwellers.”

Colbert said the country has been lucky to have a leader who is “passionate, intelligent and dignified,” which drew cheers and a standing ovation from the crowd. Colbert joked: “Sir, I don’t know why you stood up, I was talking about Michelle.”