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Politics

Judge asks onlookers to hide 'Justice 4 Richard' shirts after Army lieutenant stabbed to death

Daily Kos - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 14:57

When a man and his girlfriend showed up to a hate crime trial in shirts seeking justice for the slain victim, the judge admonished them, asking their shirts be covered up, the male protester said in an interview with WJZ. The shirt he wore read “Justice 4 Richard” in honor of 2nd Lieutenant Richard Collins III, a black Bowie State University student who was stabbed to death early May 20, 2017 while visiting the University of Maryland's campus. 

Jury selection began Monday in the trial against Collins’ alleged killer, Sean Urbanski, and by Wednesday, a pool of about 100 potential jurors who showed up to court had been narrowed down to the jurors seated for trial, according to WTOP. Urbanski, a white 24-year-old man, was charged with first-degree murder and committing a hate crime, the news station reported. He allegedly approached Collins at a bus stop and told the man, who was with two friends at the time of his death, to “step left if you know what’s best for you,” according to a petition the 2nd Lieutenant Richard W. Collins III Foundation circulated. Collins, 23, reportedly refused just before a knife was forced into his chest, and he died just three days before he was set to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Bowie State, according to the school.

Prosecutors later found racist memes on Urbanski’s cell phone as well as evidence he was a member of a Facebook group operated by the white supremacist group, Alt Reich Nation, according to WJZ. Prosecutors showed the jury the memes during court Wednesday and also played surveillance video from the scene that was so graphic it led Collins’ parents to leave the room, the news station reported.

Categories: Politics

Adam Schiff Urges Senate Republicans To 'Fulfill Their Constitutional Obligation'

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 14:56

Is there a single Republican member of the Senate willing to put their constitutional obligation over party? We all know where Lindsey Graham and some of Trump's more vocal enablers stand, and that Mitch McConnell isn't worried one iota about openly coordinating with the White House, but the question remains as to whether any of these vulnerable Republican Senators are going to go along with the charade, or will they insist, as House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff urged here, on allowing the public to see the documents and hear from the witnesses the Trump administration has been keeping from the public.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Chairman Schiff, the president has had different views on what he wants and what he expects in the trial. He's talked about having a long trial, calling witnesses including perhaps you. But now, it appears that Republicans are coalescing behind a strategy for a short trial with no witnesses.

Do you as a potential House impeachment manager feel the need to call witnesses in the Senate trial?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): I think there are any number of witnesses that should be called in a Senate trial, and many witnesses the American people like to hear from that the administration has refused to make available. And perhaps of equal if not greater importance are the thousands and thousands of documents that the administration refuses to turn over.

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Categories: Politics

Fusion GPS Founders Lay Waste To GOP Lies About Steele Dossier

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 14:29

Here's something that mystifies me: For all the time cable networks have to jaw about things, why don't they spend some of it debunking the bull Republicans are throwing at Americans? For example, why are they allowing Republicans to claim that Democrats paid for the Steele dossier when the opposite is true.

Joy Reid to the rescue. Fusion GPS founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch joined her with a goal of setting the record straight on several issues.

For example, the Republican claim that Democrats paid for the Steele dossier, all of it. This is a lie.

"The origin of the research into Donald Trump was started in September of 2015, and it was financed by the Republicans," said Glenn Simpson. "The first half of our investigation was all paid for by the Republicans."

He added, "The reason that we hired Christopher Steele was that we did about eight months of research for the Republicans which led us ultimately to become very curious about Donald Trump's connections to the Russians."

Oh. That's inconvenient, but true. Why is it that this is not being repeated daily, over and over again?

The claim that Steele was predisposed to hate Trump was debunked by the Inspector General report and also by Fritsch. After noting that Steele had visited Trump Tower in the past and was at least acquainted with someone in the immediate Trump family, Frisch explained that Steele had no idea who was paying for his research. For all he knew, he was being paid by Trump himself!

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Categories: Politics

Support For Impeachment Hits 54 Percent In Fox News Poll After Trump Freaks Out Over Previous Survey

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 14:28

Support for impeaching President Donald Trump hit a record high of 54% in a Fox News poll that was released on Sunday.

Half of those surveyed told Fox News that the president should be impeached and removed. An additional 4% believe that the president should only be impeached. In all, 13 percent more respondents thought that the president should be impeached than those who thought he shouldn't.

In October, Trump lashed out at Fox News after the network published a poll that found a majority of registered voters backed impeachment.

Since that time, Trump has tried to create the false narrative that support for impeachment is waning.

Categories: Politics

Remember when Trump promised to back Medicare negotiating drug prices? Now he's the one blocking it

Daily Kos - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 14:20

Donald Trump is a liar. Shocking, I know. But I’m not talking about the thousands of lies—actually it’s now well over 10,000—he has told in the course of his time occupying the Oval Office. Today I’m going to focus on one very specific lie: the lie of a broken promise, on a matter of great importance to the pocketbooks and wallets of tens of millions of Americans. This lie, this repudiation of a campaign promise he made in 2016, clearly contrasts The Man Who Lost The Popular Vote’s policies with those of Democrats. This contrast is one that our party must make central to the 2020 campaign.

First, let’s take a look at the promise, made Jan. 25, 2016:

Donald Trump said tonight he could save Medicare billions of dollars by allowing it to negotiate drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies -- embracing a position Democrats have championed and Republicans have opposed for years.

The Associated Press quotes Trump as telling a crowd in Farmington, N.H., that Medicare, a huge buyer of prescription drugs, could "save $300 billion" a year if it negotiated discounts.

"We don't do it," he said. "Why? Because of the drug companies.”

Hey, look at that. This guy was going to go against Republican orthodoxy and back the people against corporations. A different kind of Republican, he was. A man of the people, even. And if you believed that, well, you probably also believe that Trump’s spectacularly unhealthy orange hue is all the fault of the environmental lobby and their pesky ole’ energy-efficient lightbulbs.

Categories: Politics

Donald Trump Is Looking Pretty Good in 2020

Kevin Drum - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 14:06

Back in the early days of the Trump presidency, I figured his best strategy was to just pass some ordinary compromise legislation and then hail it as the greatest accomplishment in all of human history. His fans would believe him and that would be enough.

But then he held out and I started wondering if I had been wrong. Maybe he really did have actual goals in mind?

Just kidding. All I had to do was wait until it was election year for Trump to start acting like a used-car salesman desperately trying to close out the month. Suddenly he just wants to pass NAFTA 2.0 and he doesn’t really care what’s in it. He’s made a trade deal with China that’s almost laughably trivial. He’s bragging about NATO partners spending more even though they aren’t, really. He’s going to build four miles of border wall and pretend it’s four hundred. He traded off parental leave for his Space Force and he understands what his opponents don’t: it doesn’t matter if it’s an empty shell. Bragging about the Space Force makes good TV, and that’s all that matters.

Plus Trump has several legitimate wins: lots of conservative judges; moving the US embassy to Jerusalem; cutting the number of refugees we accept nearly to zero; killing the Iran treaty; getting us out of the Paris agreement; keeping trans people out of the military; withdrawal from TPP; and several other wins that are small but focused specifically on Trump constituencies. He may seem like a buffoon to us liberal types, but to conservatives he’s sure looking like a winner.

Categories: Politics

Media pushes 'Dems in disarray' over impeachment—again

Daily Kos - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 13:00

Poised to pass two articles of impeachment in the full House this week, Democrats have remained extraordinarily united throughout the process while nearly half the country stands in favor of taking the drastic action of removing Donald Trump from office. Yet press coverage in recent days has suggested (surprise!) that Democrats are in a state of disarray, a favorite fallback position for much of the  Beltway media, where Democrats are constantly portrayed as scrambling and being outsmarted by Trump and the GOP. In the process of focusing on Democrats and the alleged struggles impeachment presents, news outlets continue to eliminate Republicans from the entire process. The GOP, apparently, faces no impeachment fallout, only Democrats.

Stressing "the quiet hand-wringing" that now consumes Democrats, The Washington Post last week insisted the party was bracing for Democratic defections when the articles of impeachment are soon voted on by the full House. Democrats are bracing? Really? From a political perspective, I'd suggest that if 10 or 20% of the Democratic caucus in the House balked on impeachment and voted no, that would represent a stinging defeat for party leadership. Ten or 20% of the 233-member caucus today would mean 20-40 Democratic no's. But how many Democrats are poised to vote no on Trump impeachment? According to the Post, possibly six members will vote no, or roughly 3% of the Democratic caucus. Sorry, but that just doesn't qualify as big news.

Yet the press seems obsessed with the idea of a sizable impeachment fracture among Democrats. Previously, when 231 out of 233 Democrats voted in favor of starting an impeachment procedure, one of the two Democrats voting no turned into a media darling overnight. Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey has been showered with media attention for months now (see: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) as the press doggedly tracks down one of only two Democrats not currently onboard with impeaching Trump. But again, that's not news and it certainly doesn't suggest Democrats are in disarray regarding Trump.

The truth is, Democrats remain extraordinarily unified on the question of impeachment—more united, in fact, than any other party overseeing such a inquiry. Back in 1998 when Republicans in the House impeached Bill Clinton, they offered up four articles of impeachment. In the vote on the first article, which accused Clinton of lying under oath while being interviewed by independent prosecutor Ken Starr, five Republicans voted no. On the second article, 12 Republicans voted no. On the third article, 28 voted no. And on the fourth article, nearly one-third of the Republican caucus joined with Democrats and voted no.

Can you imagine what the Beltway media meltdown would look like today if one-third of House Democrats decided to vote against one of pending articles of impeachment that Trump now faces?

Categories: Politics

Immigrant rights group sues ICE for ending assistance hotline featured on 'Orange Is the New Black'

Daily Kos - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 12:27

A California-based immigrant rights group, Freedom for Immigrants, is suing the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for shutting down a toll-free hotline that gave detained immigrants the ability to report custody issues. The group filed a lawsuit last week to reinstate its National Detention Hotline, a free and confidential source.

Freedom for Immigrants created the hotline in 2013 to allow immigrants in custody to not only connect with their families, but find resources, and report physical and verbal abuse. The hotline was shut down Aug. 7 by ICE, two weeks after it was featured in the final season of Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black.

Characters in the show discretely shared the number for the hotline and even warned one another to be careful. “You have to be careful, though. Apparently, if they figure out that you’re using the hotline, Big Brother shuts it down.” The warning became true when ICE later blocked all access to the hotline stating it was not a government-approved assistance provider. 

According to Los Angeles Magazine, ICE told Freedom for Immigrants that toll-free numbers for pro bono attorneys and organizations must be approved by the Executive Office for Immigration Review and that those not on the list are removed from the system. ICE standards allow detainees to make free calls  to make free calls to legal service providers on the approved list “for the purpose of obtaining initial legal representation.”

RELATED: 'Orange is the New Black' featured a real-life hotline for detained immigrants, so ICE shut it down

The complaint filed by the nonprofit states that ICE shut down the hotline in retaliation for the exercising of First Amendment rights advocating on behalf of persons in immigration detention, the Hollywood Reporter reported. The complaint was accompanied by a letter of support signed by members of Congress and producers and actors from the show, in partnership with 121 organizations.

"When operational, our free and confidential hotline received up to 14,000 calls per month from people in immigration detention who were isolated and suffering serious abuses,” Christina Fialho, the group’s co-executive director, said in a statement Tuesday. “ICE shut down our Hotline because we drew attention to the inhumanity of immigration detention. It is only the latest in a long pattern of retaliation against Freedom for Immigrants. Today, we have said no more."

While the federal agency does not comment on pending litigation, ICE spokesman Bryan Cox told NBC News, the hotline had been removed last year from the list of pro bono legal service providers immigrants can call toll-free because the organization was found to be violating ICE’s telephone rules. For confidentiality purposes, the phone line is not monitored or recorded, Cox said, but he claimed the group was using the hotline for three-way calling to connect detainees to family.

Two months ago, ICE faced another lawsuit resulting from Netflix’s series Living Undocumented. The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri had launched a lawsuit against two ICE agents over the “cruel mistreatment” of an immigration attorney featured in the documentary.

Categories: Politics

Lindsey Graham Hits Fainting Couch Over Tax Returns Case: 'You Can’t Have Laws For Everybody But Trump'

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 12:25

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday said that President Donald Trump should release his tax returns but defended the president's court battle to keep his financial information private.

Graham made the remarks during an interview on the CBS News program Face the Nation.

"This is the first impeachment trial being driven by partisan politicians," Graham complained, "conducted behind closed doors, the testimony was selectively leaked, the president was denied the ability to participate in the House hearing and I want to end it. I have nothing but disdain for this. I'm trying to make myself clear, what you're doing in the House is bad for the presidency."

In fact, a large portion of the hearings were held in public and the president's legal team was invited to participate. They declined.

According to the senior Senator from South Carolina, impeachment should take months, not weeks.

"I think this whole thing is a crock," Graham griped. "I hate what they're doing."

When it came to the baseless allegation that Joe Biden is involved in Ukraine corruption, Graham called the former vice president a "friend" but refused to defend him.

"He's one of the most decent people I've met in my life," Graham opined. "But here's the deal, this whole process around the Ukraine reeks with politics. They've done everything but take a wrecking ball to Donald Trump and his family."

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Categories: Politics

Runner who 'smacked' reporter's 'butt' on live television arrested on sexual battery charge

Daily Kos - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 12:19

Alex Bozarjian, a reporter for WSAV-TV who was covering a local race in Savannah, Georgia went viral last weekend because a then-unidentified male race participant allegedly smacked her backside while jogging by on Saturday, Dec. 7. The reporter’s expression after being smacked rings in as particularly emotional and recognizable; confusion, shock, then resignation to continuing to do her job. Like too many women and non-binary people know, unwanted contact happens all of the time and perpetrators are rarely held accountable. 

Bozarjian, however, has a unique situation—given that this happened on live television, the clip quickly went viral. Now, the jogger has been identified and he’s facing a misdemeanor charge.

Thomas Callaway, a 43-year-old from Statesboro, Georgia, turned himself in on Friday, Dec. 13. He faces a misdemeanor sexual battery charge which is punishable by up to one year in county jail. He was released on a $1,300 bond and his court date is currently pending. 

What does Callaway have to say about the incident? 

“I was getting ready to bring my hands up and wave to the camera to the audience, there was a misjudge in character and decision-making," Callaway told Inside Edition in an interview. "I touched her back. I did not know exactly where I touched her." His lawyer, Joseph Turner, has stressed that Callaway is a “loving husband and father,” though being a husband nor a father excuses any of this behavior. 

“It was an awful act and an awful mistake,” he said in an apology on Tuesday evening. “I am not that person that people are portraying me as. I make mistakes, I’m not perfect and I’m asking for forgiveness and to accept my apology." He claims he saw others run by the reporter and wave to the camera, which inspired him to try and do the same. The clip appears to shows no attempt of him waving.

In Bozarjian’s now-viral tweet, she alleges that he “smacked” her “butt.”

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In the report Bozarjian filed with the Savannah Police Department, she alleged that the man slapped and grabbed her behind in one motion as he was running on the bridge. 

Bozarjian is far from the only person upset about this behavior. BuzzFeed News reports that the Boy Scouts of America cut ties with Callaway over the allegations, as well as the Savannah Sports Council, who sponsored the race, banned him from future events.

“It’s not okay to help yourself to a woman’s body just because you feel like it,” Bozarjian stated during her CBS This Morning interview. “It’s not playful. He hurt me, both physically and emotionally.”

“I think in order to make any kind of change, you have to be a little bit drastic,” she continued. “You have to, kind of, chip away at this toxic culture that permeates our society. ”

Categories: Politics

Simplistic Trump voter impeachment interviews won't tell us anything new, so please spare us

Daily Kos - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 11:40

We could all save ourselves a lot of time watching or reading news if political reporters cut down on what are likely to be endless visits to diners, VFW halls, and Farm & Fleet stores, all asking Trump voters, “Are you still with Donald Trump?”

Because we already know the response: From most of them, it’s likely to be yes. And even if a reporter gets a “no” now and then, which they will from some, that’s not exactly a Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalistic coup. Will Trump voters support impeachment of the guy they voted for three years ago when they’re fed a steady diet from Fox News, Republicans, and Trump himself about claims of “hoaxes,” “witch hunts,” “sham investigations,” and conspiracies about the “deep state”? Highly unlikely.

FiveThirtyEight.com’s ongoing aggregate polling of Trump’s approval rating shows numbers basically unchanged in the low 40s, give or take a few percentage points, during his entire presidency. Since news about the Ukraine phone call scandal exploded in September, similar aggregate polling shows that the number of people supporting the impeachment process started to outnumber those against it, although only a plurality, not a majority, now say Trump should be impeached and removed. Except for that reversal in September, the numbers tighten or grow further apart by only a few percentage points.

Attitudes toward Trump remain largely unchanged. Those who are true Trumpanistas remain so. Those who would rather swallow glass than ever vote for Trump have pledged to vote blue no matter who. So why do political reporters waste our time and attention asking simple questions to which everyone already knows the answers?

Interviewing voters is important throughout any political contest, especially when numbers and support are still fluid. An ongoing look at the still-volatile Democratic presidential primary contest is a perfect example—many voters in several early states and elsewhere admit that they are still making up their minds, even as horse race polling numbers rise and fall.

Categories: Politics

Jake Tapper Hits Rand Paul For Laughable Claim That Trump Cares About Corruption

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 11:33

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul punted and refused to answer CNN's Jake Tapper when he pushed him on the ridiculous notion that anyone should believe Trump actually cares about "rooting out corruption" and instead went on a rant about "Russian conspiracy theories" and made an assertion that I'm sure will make Russia very happy -- that sending any aid to Ukraine somehow harms U.S. national security.

Jake Tapper Goes Off On Rand Paul And Lists Trump’s Corruption:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tried to say that Trump is anti-corruption on Ukraine, so CNN’s Jake Tapper listed all of the criminally convicted Trump associates.

Tapper said on CNN’s State Of The Union, “This is a president whose former attorney Michael Cohen, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Mike Flynn, former adviser Roger Stone, former deputy campaign chair Rick Gates, former associate George Papadopoulos, all of them have been convicted of federal crimes. In addition, last year, Trump University settled a $25 million fraud lawsuit. Last month, President Trump admitted to misusing his own charitable foundation’s money and was ordered to pay $2 million. Do you really think President Trump is concerned about rooting out corruption?”

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Categories: Politics

'I'm Sorry': James Comey Apologizes During Grilling By Fox News Host Chris Wallace

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 11:32

Fox News host Chris Wallace grilled former FBI Director James Comey over alleged mistakes at the agency during the investigations of President Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In an interview that aired on Sunday, Wallace noted that the Department of Justice Inspector General concluded that errors in warrants for surveillance on the Trump campaign could have been mistakes or malfeasance.

"He's saying the role of the Steele dossier is a lot more important than you let on," Wallace said of the Inspector General.

"Okay, if I was [wrong] then I'm sorry that I did that," Comey admitted. "What I meant was that it was one part of the presentation to the [FISA] court. It was not a huge part of the presentation to the court. But it was the fact, according to his report, that it convinced the lawyers to go forward."

Wallace continued pressing Comey during the contentious interview that lasted about 15 minutes.


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Categories: Politics

On Tuesday at 5:30pm local time, we found an impeach and remove Trump event near you.

Daily Kos - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 10:52

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee advanced two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump to the House floor. It was necessary for them to take this measure because Trump used military aid to pressure Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 elections for his personal benefit and then tried to cover it up. He engaged is U.S. tax dollar-funded bribery, plain and simple, and must be held to account.

The House floor vote is expected on Wednesday, December 17.

As members of Congress prepare to vote and U.S. senators prepare for a likely trial, we're gathering in front of the district offices of House members, at U.S. Senate offices, and other locations to demand lawmakers uphold the U.S. Constitution and their oaths of office by supporting Trump’s impeachment.

There are more than 500 events planned for Tuesday at 5:30pm local time, across all 50 states. These mobilizations are our opportunity to show that the people won’t stand for corrupt abuses of power. Find the event near you and join us.

In addition to protesting, please call your member of Congress today (and every day til they vote) and urge them to vote in favor of impeachment. You can reach their D.C. office by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

When you reach an aide or voicemail, here are suggested talking points:

For Democratic members: Give them your name and zip code, and thank them for taking the impeachment inquiry seriously. Tell them why you support impeachment and let them know you'll have their back when they vote to impeach.

For Republican members: Give them your name and zip code, and urge them to uphold their oath of office and put country before party. Let them know that history is watching, and we can keep the president or the constitution, but not both. We know they can do the right thing and vote to impeach. 

This vote is about the future of America. If Congress doesn't impeach, Trump will absolutely interfere in the 2020 election, and every election following. And the next president will have permission to do the same. As the inimitable Rep. Pramila Jayapal said, the smoking gun is already reloaded.

We can keep the president or the constitution, but not both. I, for one, choose the constitution.

Join your friends and neighbors on Tuesday at 5:30pm local time, as we take to the streets to demand Trump's impeachment & removal. Click the link to find an event near you.

And as always, please, keep calling.

Daily Kos has already starting preparing for the Senate trial. Read more about our plan here.  

To stay up-to-date on impeachment, protecting and defending frontline communities, and holding power accountable, join the Daily Kos email list.

Categories: Politics

SNL: George And Kellyanne Conway Go To Therapy

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 10:29

Some people say George and Kellyanne Conway are playing everyone with their good cop, bad cop schtick. Either they have the worst marriage on the planet and are holding it together for the sake of the children or they've agreed to play both sides against the middle.

Saturday Night Live has a theory in this short but hilarious sketch. Watch and laugh.


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Categories: Politics

When is a debt to society paid?

Daily Kos - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 10:20

While it may not seem like it is, the basis for the prison system in the United States of America is supposed to be rehabilitation of those who commit criminal acts into law-abiding, productive citizens. I could write volumes on the injustices perpetuated by our justice and correctional systems. While the ideal of the modern prison system was reform, it has more often than not fallen far short of that ideal. In fact, our so-called correctional facilities are really no more than brutal warehouses for people.

That being said, often, after someone who has been incarcerated has paid their “debt to society,” we as a society continue to punish them. We pass laws that cause them to lose their right to vote; and the odds of someone with a criminal record obtaining gainful employment are astronomical, with those formerly incarcerated seeing an unemployment rate of over 25%. The website Employment Screening Resources reports,

The Prison Policy Initiative has released a report entitled “Out of Prison & Out of Work” that calculates the unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated ex-offenders to be 27 percent, meaning that more than one out of four people who served time in prison and were released are looking for work but cannot find a job.

The 27 percent ex-offender unemployment rate – which even surpasses the 25 percent unemployment rate that all Americans experienced during the height of the Great Depression in the 1930s – is especially striking given that the report revealed ex-offenders are more likely to want to find work than the average American.

Categories: Politics

Kellyanne Conway Lies To Fox Viewers About Military Aid Discussion During 'Perfect' Call

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 10:17

If Trump's call to Zelensky was so "perfect" as he has claimed, why do he and the rest of his administration feel the need to keep lying about it? Here's Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway doing just that on this Saturday's Watters' World on Fox "news":

President Donald Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway claimed that Trump didn’t discuss military aid with Ukraine in his July 25 call, even though it was actually a major topic brought up by Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Let me tell you what wasn’t in the call: any mention of 2020. Any mention of Biden as some spooky, scary political opponent, any mention of the aid to Ukraine. The word demand was not in there,” Conway told Jesse Watters on Watters’ World Saturday.

According to a transcript of the call released by the White House, Zelensky asks about the purchase of Javelin missiles from the United States in the call. According to ABC News, Trump had approved the sale of Javelins to Ukraine in 2018 – the first form of lethal military assistance provided to Ukraine by the United States in its war against Russian separatists.

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Categories: Politics

Fox News Calls Democrats Fake Christians: Liberals Are 'Less Than Sincere' If They Pray During Impeachment

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 10:15

Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee on Sunday asserted that Democrats who say they pray for the country are "less than sincere."

During an appearance on Fox & Friends, Huckabee said that he doubted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) when she said that she prays for President Donald Trump.

"You know, I don't want to be cynical about this but I just find it a little disingenuous on the part of some of these Democrats whose party took God out of their own convention," Huckabee opined, "for them to now talk about how they're praying about [impeachment] and this is all a matter of spirituality."

"This is a sheer political move on their part," he continued. "They don't like Donald Trump. I think they hate him and they're showing it."

Huckabee added: "And for them to say that this is something that they engaged in after much prayer, I find that a little hard to believe and quite a stretch. But if it's true then I'm glad their prayer life is finally getting back into sync."

Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, sarcastically said that Democrats "may even be able to pray for the country and pray that it does better."

Fox News host Rachel Campos-Duffy then slammed Democrats for "taking God out" of the oath of office.

"Yeah, I just think it's less than sincere," Huckabee agreed, "for them to be talking about how much they've been praying about this. I'm not even sure why they included that language in their discussion."

Categories: Politics

There's At Least One Murderous Dictator Senate Republicans Won't Let Call The Shots

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 10:00

Apparently there are limits to even the Republican Senate's tolerance of Donald Trump's kowtowing to murderous dictators. Vladimir Putin, fine. Kim Jong-un. Fine. Recep Tayyip Erdogan? Too much.

On Thursday, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution affirming that it is the official policy of the United States to commemorate and recognize last century's Armenian Genocide. That's after having advanced legislation to impose sanctions on Turkey Wednesday. Both are a rebuke of Erdogan and of Trump, who "had directed several senators to block the bill in recent weeks" at the behest of Erdogan. They didn't.

Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez brought the unanimous consent resolution to the floor, saying "America's non-response to the Turkish horrors established patterns that would be repeated […] we know all too well the horrors that would be repeated later in the 20th century with the Holocaust and other genocides around the world." He continued "Here in the Senate today, we break those patterns. We join the House who voted to do so […] 405-11. Today the Senate shows the same resolve."

Even Sen. Ted Cruz, that ever-loving Trumper, worked on this proposal with Menendez, calling its passage "an achievement for truth, an achievement for speaking the truth to darkness, for speaking the truth to evil."

Too bad they can't show the same resolve in keeping Putin out of our elections.

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Categories: Politics

Would white folks vote yes to deport black Americans? Remembering Derrick Bell's 'The Space Traders'

Daily Kos - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 09:00

Growing up during the ‘60s and ‘70s, I was an avid fan of speculative science fiction (which I still love today). However, as a young black person, it was rare to find central characters who were black, and plots that related to black history and possible black futures. It was difficult to find me in what I was reading. I read and reread the work of black sci-fi writers such as Samuel “Chip” Delaney, and Octavia Butler.

Young people today have far more options with the rise of Afrofuturism, which is well-covered in Ytasha L. Womack’s Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture.

I thought about this a few weeks ago when I saw this tweet from Jelani Cobb:

x

Some of the responses to it referenced Octavia Butler and Professor Derrick Bell’s short story “The Space Traders.” The blogger Abagond describes “The Space Traders” in a post from 2010:

“The Space Traders” (1992) is a short story written by Derrick Bell, science fiction fan and professor of constitutional law.  It is a thought experiment: what if space traders came from another star and offered to buy all the black people in America?

It is set in America in the near future:

  • The government is nearly broke.
  • The oil and coal are almost gone.
  • The air is unfit to breathe by the old and sick – they have to wear masks.
  • Civil rights laws have been overturned.
  • Most blacks are poor, walled off in ghettos under armed guard.

The Space Traders arrive, offering:

  • Enough gold to settle America’s debts and make it a rich country again.
  • Machines that can produce cheap, clean power.
  • Chemicals to clean the air.

In exchange for:

  • All the black people in America.
Categories: Politics

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