To Our Readers:
When I turned 80 three years ago, I retired my weekly PBS series and have since focused on the web with a small, dedicated team as the avenue for our journalism. Your response rewarded our efforts, and we have been pleased and grateful for your interest and attention. I treasure the many messages from so many kindred spirits.
Now it’s time for another farewell, and with this note I am signing off....
BillMoyers.com will continue to serve as the archive of the television journalism my colleagues and I have produced over the past 44 years. I hope you find it useful. The site will go into archive mode on Wednesday, Dec. 20.
Until it moves to a new home, our Trump-Russia timeline, created by the indefatigable Steve Harper and orchestrated by our producers, will continue to publish right here at BillMoyers.com, tracking the convergence of events connecting the Trump empire and Russian oligarchs now being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Watch this space and our social media (Facebook, Twitter) for more information in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, please remain vigilant and engaged as citizens in the civic and political life of your community and our country. Democracy is fragile, and no one can say with certainty that it can withstand the manifold risks to which it is now exposed.
Thank you for the company we have shared in this space — and good luck to all.
One of our team stumbled across this old article in her email from The Atlantic's Jim Fallows that is worth reading again. He explains the history of the AR-15 and "why this particular weapon is so unusually effective in killing... even when compared with other firearms."
Good breakdown from PBS NewsHour about the Mueller indictment of the Russian Internet Research Agency "troll factory."
Russia’s ‘troll factory’ impersonates Americans. PBS NewsHour discusses what the U.S. is doing in response.
“I hope these kids don’t give up, because this is their lives and their future,” Colbert said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. “Somebody else may be in power, but this country belongs to them. And there is reason for hope.” #WorthWatching
“In his resignation letter, obtained by Mother Jones, Hitzman said he was leaving the USGS because the agency had agreed to provide Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke with data from the Alaska energy assessment 'several days in advance of the information’s public release, in contradiction of my interpretation of USGS fundamental science policy.'”
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created after the financial crisis to protect Americans from being ripped off by financial firms.
Now, President Trump's interim appointee to run the bureau, Mick Mulvaney, is making radical changes to deter the agency from aggressively pursuing its mission.
"When policymakers from around the world gather at a key U.N. climate meeting in Poland later this year, countries will be forced to reckon with the difference between how much they say they want to limit the warming of the planet and how little they actually are doing to make that happen."
Following NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio's announcement last week of new jail sites to replace Rikers, join Bill Moyers and a distinguished panel of experts to discuss the future of Rikers, including the hard choices to be confronted and the next essential steps to be taken. Clips of Rikers: An American Jail will be screened and the panel moderated by Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes, starting at 6 PM ET tonight.
RSVP here: http://bit.ly/2HsCczX
If you can’t attend the event at Fordham L...aw, it will be livestreamed on Facebook here: http://bit.ly/2sEuf7h
Join us for this important discussion!
“We might be 16 now and we might not be able to vote, but we can protest and we can use social media and we will make our voices heard,” student Whitney Bowen said. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t come down to politics. It comes down to kids dying in classrooms.”
The president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., is making what’s been dubbed an unofficial visit to India to promote his family’s real estate projects. But he’s also planning to deliver a foreign policy speech on Indo-Pacific relations at an event with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Former senior writer for BillMoyers.com, Michael Winship, writes this week about the massacre in Florida. "There’s a realization growing that’s greater than in a long while, a realization that come November, we have a good chance to vote a lot of these venal, toadying-to-the-gun-lobby bastards out," he writes.
5 million Americans are members of the NRA and this article from Time Magazine points out that although the media focuses on the money it pours into Washington, its grassroots organizing is also a force:
"Robert Maguire, an investigator with the Center for Responsive Politics, said that passion is exactly what makes the organization so influential, giving it the ability to combine 'massive financial firepower with large scale grassroots support.'
'Every dollar they spend is backed up by the fact that they have members that are going to hit the streets and canvass on their behalf,' he said. 'If they’re angry at a particular politician or if the NRA scores that politician badly or you know key votes a particular vote the NRA doesn’t like.'”
Roughly 62 percent of the agency’s “deregulatory” actions completed in Administrator Scott Pruitt’s first year and 85 percent of its planned initiatives match up with specific industry requests, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis.
“I don’t want your condolences,” tweeted one student at President Trump, who tweeted his thoughts and prayers to the survivors. “Multiple of my fellow classmates are dead. Do something instead of sending prayers. Prayers won’t fix this. But Gun control will prevent it from happening again.”
Literary critic John Leonard once said, “Toni Morrison writes about places where even love found its way with an icepick.”
It's Valentine's Day. Can we talk about love for a moment?
Bill Moyers — who served as one of President Lyndon Johnson’s top aides during the civil rights era — will discuss the epochal events of the “Second Reconstruction" at an event on March 6 in New York City. He will be joined by two leaders of the current fight for democracy and veterans of courtrooms across the country in the fight against voter suppression — Kristen Clarke of the
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Myrna Pérez of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law's Democracy Program.
“This is Trumpism at the lower level,” said Bernard Grofman, an elections expert at the University of California, Irvine who redrew Virginia’s congressional map in 2015 following a federal court finding that districts had been racially gerrymandered.
“This is the view that if independent branches of government say things that don’t match what you say or do, you fire them; you impeach them; you malign them; you destroy them as best you can.”