At a weekend commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the president who proudly declares himself a “nationalist” stood apart, even on a continent where his brand of populism is on the rise.
Demonstrations are taking place in more than 1,000 U.S. cities and towns on Thursday evening—beginning at 5:00 PM (local time)—in response to President Donald Trump “installing a hack” to oversee the ongoing investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“We’re not shedding any tears for, nor are we protesting for, Jeff Sessions. He’ll likely be remembered as the worst Attorney General in American history. We’re protesting Trump installing a hack to obstruct Mueller’s investigation.” —Public Citizen
By forcing Attorney General Jeff Session to resign and appointing Matthew Whitaker—a hostile critic of Mueller’s probe into election meddling—progressive organizers say the emergency nationwide #ProtectMueller protests are designed to raise the alarm about the “existential threat” Whitaker poses to the investigation and to let Trump know in no uncertain terms that “nobody is above the law.”
Yet again Trump got less votes in the Senate but still won (ODT)
Where are News Corp’s “Left-wing Terrorists” ? (ODT)
Authorities later identified the gunman as Ian David Long, 28, a Marine veteran, who was found dead inside after apparently killing himself.
Earlier this year, Long was cleared by a mental-health specialist after an encounter with police.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said on Thursday morning that investigators had not been able to determine a motive.
You can read the whole list. But here is a sampling of the topics Cummings and his Democratic colleagues have set their sights on:
White House security clearances (involving Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, national security adviser John Bolton, and others)
The controversial addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census
The Trump administration’s Muslim travel ban
The State Department’s decision to close its cyber office
The Environmental Protection Agency’s use of a political loyalty list
The possible participation of Cambridge Analytica’s foreign employees in US elections
The deadly ambush in Niger that left four American soldiers dead
The use of private email by White House officials
Trump’s response to the hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico
The dealings of the Trump Foundation
Potential conflicts of interest between Kushner’s business actions and his policy advice
Payments the Trump Organization received from foreign sources
Russian intervention with state voting systems
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with foreign officials
You can now ask but you won’t get them so what can be done?(ODT)
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he doesn’t want to let Democrats see his tax returns once they assume control of the U.S. House of Representatives next year.
But that’s actually not up to the president ― according to the law, at least.
The leaders of key congressional committees can ask the IRS for anybody’s tax returns. Republicans simply did not want to do so. Democrats said in October that they would ask the IRS for Trump’s returns if they regained control of the House, which they did on Tuesday night.
Trump said Wednesday that he would hand over his tax returns if he weren’t being audited ― an excuse he has made since his 2016 campaign, even though nothing about an IRS audit prevents a candidate or a president from disclosing his returns.
The blood letting continues (ODT)
US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions was fired on Wednesday after unrelenting criticism from President Donald Trump over his recusal from an investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential race.
Sessions told the president in a one-page letter that he was submitting his resignation “at your request.”
Sessions’ departure was widely expected to come soon after Tuesday’s congressional elections in which Republicans retained their majority in the Senate but lost control of the House of Representatives.
Wisconsin’s Koch-funded Republican Gov. Scott Walker lavished the Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn with over four billion in taxpayer subsidies last year in a deal that he claimed would create 13,000 jobs in the state, but that agreement is increasingly looking like a massive con-job amid new reports on Tuesday that Foxconn is planning to bring in Chinese workers to fill spots that the governor insisted would be filled by Wisconsinites
None of this bad—deplorable—behavior on Trump’s part is ideological. He is not merely playing a vigorous role to advance his stances in fierce partisan policy debates. He is continuing—and intensifying—his war on truth and propriety. He is abusing his office, deploying troops to counter a nonexistent enemy, to create fear in order to gain a political advantage. He seeks to divide, not repair. He exploits tragedy. He engages in racism. He encourages extremism that leads to political violence and murder. Trump has been guiding the GOP and large parts of this nation into a dark place.
It’s true that many of the House and Senate races are about local concerns and matters that directly affect voters: health care, education, wages, and so on. But all these contests are occurring within a Trump-dominated context. As the egotist he is, Trump has proclaimed that this election is about him. In this instance, he is correct. That means the midterms collectively are a referendum on the damage Trump is doing to the office of the president and the political culture of the United States. Though Trump may not be on the ballot, decency is—and its future is on the line.
He is not refiguring the character of democracy, he is destroying it, and in doing so, resurrecting all the elements of a fascist politics that many people thought would never re-emerge after the horrors and death inflicted on millions by fascist dictators. As Gil Scott-Heron once noted in the title of his studio album, it is “Winter in America.” Actually, it is worse: It is winter in fascist America.
Trump’s presidency may be at stake if Democrats reclaim the House in the midterm elections and gain ability to thwart his agenda
Underhand Republican tactics – gerrymandering, voter suppression, more – underpin a vice-like grip on power
With the deck this stacked, it isn’t enough to win. Wresting control back from the entrenched minority will take overwhelming victory. It may take, in other words, a genuine political revolution.
Trumplander and his President (ODT)
The man who shot and killed two women in a yoga studio in Tallahassee on Friday appears to have posted racist and misogynistic videos online.
Police said Scott Paul Beierle, 40, attended the studio as a customer before opening fire. He also shot and wounded four people before he was tackled by people in the studio, police said. He then shot and killed himself. Police said the studio appeared to have been picked as a target at random.
These midterms have seen a surge in female candidates as women rail against their president – including in Iowa’s prairie country, where being “nice” has its limits.
By Matthew Knott
partisan gerrymandering — the practice of drawing electoral boundaries that favour one party over another — could be an ace up the Republican sleeve in next Tuesday’s elections.
By design, partisan gerrymandering suppresses the responsiveness of elections, stifling the translation of more votes for one party into additional legislative seats for that party.
Nationally, Democrats could require more than 55 per cent of the two-party vote for Congress to win 50 per cent of the seats in the Congress.
Virtually every politically relevant indicator points to the Democrats winning a majority of seats in the US House of Representatives at next week’s midterm elections.
Public opinion polls have long suggested an 8-to-9-point lead for a generic Democratic House candidate over a Republican candidate. President Trump’s approval ratings, in the low 40s, are historically associated with about a 40-seat loss for Republicans, more than enough for Democrats to win a majority.
Ahead of Midterms, ‘Rigged’ Exposes GOP’s 10-Year Effort To Sabotage Democracy by Undermining Voting Rights
As Americans, we must speak openly about the perils of white supremacy, anti-Semitism and both the rhetorical and real dehumanization of those we perceive as unlike us. Those wielding political power and influence need to publicly and clearly condemn acts of violence by extreme far-rightists and the ideologies underpinning this form of domestic terrorism.
In the meantime Trump and News Corp advertize publicly without embarassment on Fox News
Designed by Goebells in the 30s and revived Roger Ailes in the 90s and brought back for Trump today It’s the Murdoch/ Fox/Trump channel at it’s Goebellian prime. Straight from the neo-Nazi handbook of public persuasion of fear hate and racism. (ODT)
‘This is distracting, divisive Donald at his worst’
The video was discussed at length by Cuomo and Don Lemon on Wednesday.
After pointing out that “much of the footage” in the ad “comes from Fox,” a network often praised by Trump and once-helmed by Ailes, the “Willie Horton” ad creator, Cuomo called both ads “grossly distorted, bigoted, but also effective.”
With only five days until the midterm elections, Trump has returned to immigration with renewed gusto. His anti-immigration stance was critical to his success during the 2016 presidential election and “he is counting on similarly inflammatory words and images to help the GOP hold its congressional majorities,” The Washington Post‘s Seung Min Kim reported. Just this week, Trump publicly vowed to end birthright citizenship and said he would deploy as many as 15,000 active-duty troops to the border.
“I don’t see anything in this video that I haven’t heard from the president consistently for the past couple of years,” .”It’s a naked appeal to fear and hate, and it is racist,”
Ever seen a lying POTUS? You can find one in Trumpland a curiosity theme park intended to terrify like Jurassic Park (ODT)
“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits,” Trump said during an interview with Axios scheduled to air as part of a new HBO series.
Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – The Republican Party is not directly responsible for the spike in hate crimes toward minorities. But it is indirectly responsible in three ways:
1. The party has largely allowed itself to be captured by the alien ideology of Trumpism
2. The party is running at least 16 far, far right extremists [with two ‘fars’] for national office, and many more far right extremists [with just one ‘far’].
3. Media catering to the GOP, such as Fox Cable News and right wing talk radio, is vicious toward minorities and often uses dog whistles against Jews.
While the Democratic Party is not entirely free of far right racists, the phenomenon in that party is tiny compared to the problem in the Republican Party. This difference comes in part from the way the three considerations listed above are entangled with and reinforce one another.
Attorneys for Kansas militia members who conspired to bomb a mosque and apartment complex housing Somali immigrants have asked the court to take into account at a sentencing hearing next month what they called President Donald Trump’s rhetoric encouraging violence.
Defense attorneys for Wright argued that since Trump’s election the nation has seen an unprecedented increase in civil rights violence, repeatedly citing White House statements such as calling Islam “a dangerous threat” and painting Americans as “victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad.”
As recently as Tuesday, when their motion was filed, his attorneys pointed to another Trump tweet saying that “some very bad people” are mixed in the South American migrant caravan and calling it is “an invasion” of the country.
“As long as the Executive Branch condemns Islam and commends and encourages violence against would-be enemies, then a sentence imposed by the Judicial Branch does little to deter people generally from engaging in such conduct if they believe they are protecting their countries from enemies identified by their own Commander-in-Chief,” Wright’s lawyers wrote.
The current mid-term election cycle is making it even harder to ignore how far unabashed racists’ and white nationalists’ attempts to enter politics have come.
Trump and his cronies are absolutely guilty of legitimizing, normalizing, and fueling white supremacy, white nationalism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and anti-Semitism, all of which invariably lead to abhorent violence, the likes of which we saw in Pittsburgh this weekend.
We must fight those things, those people, and their ideas as if our societies and our futures depend on it. They do.
We speak with Ari Lev Fornari, a rabbi at Kol Tzedek Synagogue in West Philadelphia who has worked with HIAS, a Jewish agency that aids refugees that the gunman targeted online. We also speak with Dr. David Glosser, a retired neuropsychologist who has volunteered with HIAS in Philadelphia. Glosser is the uncle of Stephen Miller, a key political adviser to President Trump who has pushed for a crackdown on immigrants. Glosser speaks directly to his Stephen Miller, saying, “It’s absolutely unacceptable to utilize hatred and bigotry to advance your political ends. This is a shallow, shabby expression of ambition. It’s poisonous to the country, destructive to society, and a complete repudiation of your own background and your own past.”
President Donald Trump often shields himself from criticism of anti-Semitism by hiding behind his Jewish daughter and son-in-law, but some Jewish leaders aren’t buying it. Following the mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue in which 11 people were killed, members of a progressive Jewish organization wrote an open letter to Trump, telling him he’s unwelcome in their city until he denounces white nationalism.
“Our Jewish community is not the only group you have targeted,” they continue. “… You have also deliberately undermined the safety of people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities. Yesterday’s massacre is not the first act of terror you incited against a minority group in our country.”
Hatred: Trump has encouraged chants of “lock her up” regarding Hillary Clinton, his opponent in the 2016 presidential election. He has demeaned and demonized other political foes, engaging in name-calling and bully-like taunting. And he has offered comfort to haters, such as when he noted there were “very fine people” among the white nationalists who organized the Charlottesville protest. He has repeatedly called the media the “enemy of the people.” He did so once again Monday morning, even as the national discourse focused on the possibility of healing divisions. All this is hate, pure and simple.
Bigotry and prejudice: Trump pushed the racist birther conspiracy theory about former President Barack Obama. He claimed an American federal judge could not be impartial because he was “Mexican.” He has routinely referred to his African American critics as “low IQ.” He has often uttered misogynistic comments, referring to women as pigs and dogs. (And there is that Access Hollywood tape.) He pressed for a ban on Muslim travelers to the United States (and had to revise course to skirt judicial opposition to its prejudicial nature).
Violence: Trump recently praised a Republican congressman for assaulting a reporter. That remark prompted media outlets to review his previous comments that encouraged violence. Here’s one. Here’s another. These videos don’t lie.
So if the checklist is hatred, bigotry, prejudice, and incitement of violence, the response is check, check, check, and double-check.
Rita Katz, director of SITE Intelligence Group, said a review of social media pages didn’t indicate affiliation with far-right extremist organisations but show “an intense support” for Trump as well as Islamophobic sentiments and the promotion of conspiracy theories
Cesar Sayoc jnr.
Shortly after the arrest, Trump called the suspected mail bombs “terrorising acts” and praised law enforcement officers.
“We will prosecute them, him, her, whoever it may be, to the fullest extent of the law,” he said at a White House event. “We must never allow political violence to take root in America and I’m committed to doing everything in my power as president to stop it and stop it now.”
However, just before Sayoc was taken into custody, Trump posted a tweet that seemed to question the timing and veracity of the bomb scares.
Twisting twisting twisting the night away (ODT)
Supporters at a campaign rally in North Carolina suspect a liberal hoax as police hold avowed Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc
Yesterday’s bomb threat showed yet again that Trump is the most prominent enabler of domestic terrorism in the US.
Under this presidency, racial dog whistles have been normalised. Even worse, white supremacist ideology has been validated, and Nazi protesters are regarded as “very fine people”. When Trump recently proclaimed he is a nationalist, which is understood as white nationalist – white supremacists such as former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke heralded the announcement. Trump’s Republican Party has undergone its full-scale descent into fascism, complete with Brownshirts such as the Proud Boys – a gang of Republican-affiliated street brawlers who thrive on toxic masculinity, Islamophobia and racial violence, and seek broader public acceptance at a time when their man is the most powerful person in America. This, as white nationalist hate group Identity Evropa plots its infiltration into the Republican Party to mainstream their white supremacy and ban nonwhite immigration.
Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – Trump proudly says he is a “nationalist.”
He is, of course, saying this to shore up support among white nationalists. The Nazi sites on the web were all having wet dreams in the aftermath.
From the 1990s, polling has found that about 10% of Americans support far right militias. These are the white nationalists. Trump came to power by mobilizing that 10% and combining it with Republicans and independents.
It is not an accident that Benito Mussolini called his party “Nationalist Fascism.” The two go together. Trump performs the “fascist” part of this two-part term every time he does a rally, so he doesn’t have to say “I am a Nationalist Fascist,” i.e. a Mussolini-ist. But that is what he is.
History repeats itself, observed Karl Marx, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.
In the 1950s the “red scare” warned of communists sympathetic to the Soviet Union lurking around every corner of the US. On Tuesday, the White House was back at it, this time raising the spectre of Marx, Bernie Sanders and working mothers in Sweden.
A pre-election report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers sounds the alarm: “Coincident with the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth [May 1818], socialism is making a comeback in American political discourse. Detailed policy proposals from self-declared socialists are gaining support in Congress and among much of the electorate.”
The paper also just happens to be “coincident” with the 2018 midterm elections. It does not take a wild leap of imagination to foresee a feedback loop in which the Fox News host Sean Hannity cites the study as evidence of socialism posing an existential threat, after which Donald Trump talks and tweets about the issue.
Entitled Opportunity Costs of Socialism, the report struck many observers as an attempt by Republicans to neutralise what could be the winning issue for Democrats – healthcare – cloaked in academese about Das Kapital and the follies of “Maoist China, Cuba, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)”.
The woman had just settled into her plane seat and fallen asleep when she was awoken by an unwanted touch – a hand from behind her grabbing the right side of her breast.
And the man authorities say is responsible allegedly cited President Donald Trump’s past lewd language about women as justification for his alleged sexual assault.
After President Donald Trump fired off a hysterical tweet this weekend warning of mass “voter fraud”—a right-wing bogeyman for which there is virtually zero evidence—and threatening violators with severe punishment, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law condemned the president for deploying Jim Crow-era scare tactics to suppress minority voter turnout just two weeks before the midterm elections.
“We are going to terminate the agreement and then we are going to develop the weapons” unless Russia and China agree to a new deal, Trump said on Saturday.
“You have scientists on both sides of it. My uncle was a great professor at MIT for many years, Dr. John Trump,” the president said. “And I didn’t talk to him about this particular subject, but I have a natural instinct for science, and I will say that you have scientists on both sides of the picture.”
Trump boasted that he could shoot someone down walking in the street on 5th Avenue and his fan base would not care. Strong men around the world heard him joking about murdering political opponents.
Trump urges crowds to menace journalists, calls them the ‘worst people,’ and just praised Montana congressman Greg Gianforte for body-slamming a young journalist, Ben Jacobs, and breaking his classes, for which Gianforte was fined by a court.
Trump wants to introduce political libel laws into the US, such that a politician could sue anyone who crticizes him for defamation. The Saudis don’t do anything so formal as instituting court proceedings, but political libel is very much a crime in Saudi Arabia and it is used to silence critical voices and journalists.
When asked about Putin’s own notorious assassinations of his critics, Trump gave the Russian strong man a pass, saying that the US also whacks people. Well no doubt it does, but not Washington Post journalists, or at least not openly and regularly.
When Trump made a state visit to Saudi Arabia in May of 2017, he said to his audience there, “We are not here to lecture you. We are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be or how to worship.” You couldn’t find a clearer mandate for strongman rule in the Arab world or a clearer promise that
The Trumps were typically way more than mere licensors or bystanders in their often-troubled deals. They were deeply involved in these projects. They helped mislead investors and buyers — and they profited handsomely from it.
The globally renowned journalist was writing about the circumstances in his homeland, and in other Arab states. But he could have been writing about much of the world, where freedom of expression, and the democratic promises that extend from it, are under murderous assault. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calculates that 57 journalists who were employed by media outlets (including six in the United States) have been killed so far this year, along with 10 citizen journalists and four media assistants. At the same time, 167 journalists, 150 citizen journalists, and 19 media assistants are imprisoned—including 28 Saudi Arabians.
US President Donald Trump says “rogue killers” may have been behind the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams takes the stage to declare victory in the primary during an election night event on May 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. If elected, Abrams would become the first African American female governor in the nation. (Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
Civil rights groups have filed a new lawsuit in order to stop a statewide voter suppression effort in Georgia after the GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp—who just happens to be the state’s Attorney General as well—led an effort to purge more than 50,000 voter registrations, predominately of black voters, from the rolls just weeks before the November 6 election.
A White House spokesperson this week promised to “look into” a Fox News decision to cease broadcasting of Trump campaign rallies in full.
According to The Daily Beast, the White House is concerned about losing a key platform just before the midterms. Instead of airing the rallies in their entirety, the network has taken to showing abbreviated clips of the events.
Rallies in recent days have drawn significantly lower ratings, Politico reported. In some cases, Trump rallies have fewer viewers than regular Fox News programming.
A senior White House official reportedly said that White House Communication Director Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive, was expected to be in talks with the network about the decision to nix live Trump rallies.
The officials said that Shine would “look into that.”
News Corp Australia follows are we now no longer going to shirtfront Putin?(ODT)
On Sept. 26, 2018, President Donald Trump made an extraordinary accusation against China during his remarks to the United Nations Security Council, saying, “Regrettably, we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election coming up in November against my administration.” He made the claim without offering any evidence, but he did speculate about China’s motivation: “They do not want me, or us, to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade.”
As Georgia’s Democratic candidate for governor, Stacey Abrams, called for voters in her state to fight Republican efforts at voter suppression by showing up at polls in large numbers in next month’s election, a national grassroots group reported Secretary of State Brian Kemp—also the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate—to the Justice Department late Wednesday night for blatantly violating the Voting Rights Act in order to swing the upcoming election in his own favor.
As of September 1, The Washington Post’s fact-checkers had identified 5,001 untruths over the 601 days of his presidency — an average of 8.3 a day, with the trend accelerating. When Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale watches Trump’s rally speeches, he chronicles the lies in real time on Twitter. The president’s former personal lawyer reportedly wouldn’t allow Trump to testify in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe because he knows Trump is “a fucking liar” who could not help but perjure himself.
It’s not, of course. George Soros isn’t handing out wads of cash to women on the street and the Clintons aren’t organising some massive behind-the-scenes retribution. The anger voiced by American women is deeply felt.
Far from scaling back its snooping after Snowden pulled the curtain on PRISM, the US has multiplied its efforts. Citing ‘national security’, lawmakers renewed the NSA’s sweeping spying powers this year. Domestic phone surveillance tripled last year, user data requests to Apple doubled, and user data requests to Google were at an all-time high.
And just recently, the ‘Five eyes’ powers – the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia – issued a memo demanding that tech giants implement ‘backdoors’ to allow governments direct access to users’ encrypted data.
The entire narrative of cyber threats to the “good guys” US is a smokescreen to hide the unenviable fact: it’s the US that’s the apex predator of the digital ocean.
What follows is a list of people and organizations that have opposed Brett Kavanaugh’s elevation to the Supreme Court of the United States:
Letter signed by 2,400+ law professors
40 Harvard law professors
900 female law school faculty members
160 Maine lawyers and law professors
Alaskan female attorneys
47 Yale faculty
Yale Law School alumni and students
Retired Justice John Paul Stevens
Three former Kavanaugh clerks
88 Maine writers
The National Council of Churches
Mormon Women for Ethical Government
Kavanaugh’s former Yale classmate
Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe
Alumni of Georgetown Prep
Benjamin Wittes — “I Know Brett Kavanaugh, but I Wouldn’t Confirm Him”
1,600 men in a full-page New York Times ad
Evangelical minister Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
“The most notable part of this report is what’s not in it,” Feinstein told reporters, adding that Kavanaugh, his accuser Christine Blasey Ford and several witnesses had not been interviewed by investigators.
However, Chuck Grassley, the Republican chair of the Judiciary Committee, said the FBI report found “no hint of misconduct”.
President Donald Trump gave the FBI a week to look into the matter and said publicly that the law enforcement agency had free rein. But Democrats accused the administration of restricting the probe behind the scenes.
Not interviewing Kavanaugh, Ford and other key witnesses raises “serious concerns that this is not a credible investigation and begs the question: what other restrictions has the White House placed on the FBI?” Feinstein said before the report was completed.
via Brett Kavanaugh