U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: August 31, 2016



1. Trump to visit Mexico before immigration speech
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will travel to Mexicoon Wednesday to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto hours before Trump makes what he has billed as a “major speech” on immigration. Peña Nieto on Friday extended an invitation to both Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to visit Mexico. Trump’s trip comes after he has suggested he might soften his call for deporting all of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Clinton’s campaign dismissed Trump’s trip as a distraction. A senior Clinton adviser said in a statement that what matters is whether Trump “remains committed to the splitting up of families and deportation of millions.”

Source: The Washington Post

2. ISIS spokesman killed in Aleppo
Islamic State spokesman and strategist Abu Muhammad al-Adnani was killed in Aleppo, Syria, the Islamist extremist organization’s Amaq news agency said Tuesday. The 39-year-old Syrian was a founder of the group and ran the propaganda operation that produced videos of beheadings and massacres. He also was responsible for ISIS’s external operations division, which recruited terrorists and organized attacks abroad. The Pentagon confirmed it had targeted al-Adnani in an airstrike but could not confirm his death.

Source: The New York Times

3. FBI recovers 30 more Clinton emails on Benghazi
The State Department announced Tuesday that the FBI had recovered 30 more emails on the 2012 Benghazi attack from the private email server Hillary Clinton used as secretary of state. Republican Donald Trump’s presidential campaign harshly criticized Clinton, now the Democratic presidential nominee, over the revelation. Trump’s senior communications adviser Jason Miller said the disclosure “raises questions about the more than 30,000 emails she deleted.” Clinton has said she turned over all of her work emails, deleting only personal messages. Her lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

Source: Politico, The Associated Press

4. Rubio and McCain defeat challengers in primaries
Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and John McCain of Arizona beat primary challenges from fellow Republicans on Tuesday. Rubio now faces a general election battle against Rep. Patrick Murphy, a two-term Democrat, in what could be one of the year’s most expensive Senate races. McCain also could face a tough race in his bid for a sixth term, with Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick appealing to Latinos and Native Americans for support in the diverse state. Also, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who resigned as Democratic National Committee chairwoman after the release of emails critical of Sen. Bernie Sanders in his bid for the party’s presidential nomination, beat a challenger, law professor Tim Canova, endorsed by Sanders.

Source: The New York Times

5. Obama commutes sentences of 111 more nonviolent federal inmates
President Obama has commuted the sentences of 111 federal prisonersconvicted of drug crimes, the White House said Tuesday. Obama this month has now shortened the sentences of 325 inmates, nearly doubling his previous total. He also has denied 2,227 cases since Aug. 8 as he sifts through a backlog of 11,477 cases. The commutations are part of Obama’s two-year effort to grant early release to inmates given long sentences before Congress began shortening prison terms for non-violent drug crimes.

Source: USA Today

6. Whitman becomes first big-name Republican to campaign for Clinton
Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman on Tuesday became the first high-profile Republican to publicly campaign for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. “Hillary would do a far better job in creating jobs and for our economy,” Whitman, a top GOP fundraiser who ran unsuccessfully for governor of California in 2010, told business leaders in Denver. Whitman endorsed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the Republican primary, but she has called Donald Trump, who won the GOP nomination, a “demagogue” she could not support.

Source: Talking Points Memo, Politico

7. Gov. Chris Christie vetoes New Jersey minimum wage hike
Republican Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday announced that he would veto legislation seeking to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next five years. The bill called for getting started by hiking the wage from $8.38 to $10.10 on Jan. 1, 2017. Christie said the plan, pushed by Democrats, would have been a burden to small businesses. “All of this sounds great, raising the minimum wage, when you’re spending someone else’s money,” he said. Democrats, who control the statehouse, said the measure would boost the state’s economy, and vowed to get around Christie’s opposition by raising the minimum wage with a constitutional amendment.

Source: NJ.com, The Washington Post

8. Some of Orlando nightclub shooting 911 tapes released
The Orange County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday released 20 calls to 911 from loved ones of people who were trapped inside the Pulse nightclub during a June 12 mass shooting that left 49 people dead. The calls were made by family members and friends, or people who had gotten out of the club. Authorities did not release calls made by people in the club or by the shooter, Omar Mateen, because those recordings are tied up in a lawsuit between the city of Orlando and news organizations. “There’s like 18 people, two are dead, they’re in the bathroom,” says one man whose girlfriend had texted him. “They’re all scared to death, they all think they’re gonna die.”

Source: Orlando Sentinel, ABC News

9. Google to start ride service to rival Uber
Google plans to launch its own ride-sharing service to rival Uber, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing a source close to the matter. Google, considered an ally of Uber after investing $258 million in the company in 2013, started a pilot program around its California headquarters in May, enabling thousands of workers at select firms to use the Waze app to carpool at low rates, and plans to offer the service to all Waze users in San Francisco this fall. Uber and Lyft, a rival service, let users hail rides like taxis, but navigation app Waze, which Google acquired in 2013, is branching out by helping users connect with fellow commuters.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Ars Technica

10. Chicago police leader recommends firing five officers over McDonald shooting
Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Tuesdayrecommended the firing of four patrol officers and a sergeant for their roles in the 2014 shooting death of a black teenager, Laquan McDonald. The recommendation applies to officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot McDonald 16 times and has pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge, and four colleagues accused of lying about the shooting. Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson had recommended firing 10 officers over the shooting, but four of them have left the force in the last two weeks.

Source: Chicago Tribune

U.S. Politics

Drugs and privilege: Big business, Congress and the EpiPen

Drugs and privilege: Big business, Congress and the EpiPen

EpiPen 2-Pak (Credit: EpiPen.com)


This piece originally appeared on BillMoyers.com.

This new price gouge is the latest example of a corrupt system that hurts regular Americans

Cash and carry has become nothing more than standard operating procedure in politics and government, and it’s wrecking the republic. The whole system is rotten to the core, corrupted by big business and special interests from the seventh son to the seventh son.

Or daughter, as we learned these past few days when the news introduced us to Heather Bresch, CEO of a drug company called Mylan and daughter of Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III, who’s also the former governor of West Virginia.

Mylan manufactures and sells EpiPen, the emergency delivery system for an allergy drug, epinephrine, that can make the difference between life and sudden death. The cost for a two-pack of the devices has soared nearly 550 percent to $608.61. That’s a price far beyond the means of most families with kids threatened by possibly fatal allergic reactions.

At the same time, Bresch has seen her own compensation increase a whopping 671 percent, from $2,453,456 in 2007 (the year that Mylan bought EpiPen) to $18,931,068 in 2015.

She should resign for price gouging rather than get a raise, but like so many of her fellow executives Bresch sails serenely on as her fellow Americans drown in health care debt. Her career and the success of her company epitomize everything that so enrages every voter who believes that the fix is in and that the system is weighted in favor of those with big money and serious connections.

According to reports, Bresch got her first job at Mylan working in the factory basement, when her well-connected dad asked the company’s then-CEO, Milan Puskar, for a favor. Later, a scandal erupted when it was discovered that West Virginia University, which had received a $20 million donation from Puskar and whose president was a Manchin and Bresch family friend, had awarded her an MBAalthough she had not completed the required coursework.

The school president and other administrators were forced to resign, but Bresch survived the controversy and has done very well indeed in the pharmaceutical business, rising through the ranks and at the same time learning how to adroitly manipulate government and its regulations — lessons for which life in a successful political family with its network of friends and colleagues prepared her well.

For a time, she was Mylan’s chief lobbyist (working to help pass the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill, among other legislation) and Anna Edney at Bloomberg Politics writes that “Mylan spent about $4 million in 2012 and 2013 on lobbying for access to EpiPens generally and for legislation, including the 2013 School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, according to lobbying disclosure forms filed with the Office of the Clerk for the House of Representatives. Mylan also was the top corporate sponsor of a group called Food Allergy Research & Education that was the key lobbyist pushing for the bill encouraging schools to stock epinephrine auto-injectors, of which EpiPen is by far the leading product.”

The company also took advantage of what President Obama has called an “unpatriotic tax loophole,” making a deal in 2014 with Abbott Laboratories to incorporate in the Netherlands — one of those infamous “inversions” that allow companies to pay a much lower tax rate abroad than here at home — even as they rake in profits from U.S. taxpayer-subsidized programs like Medicare, Medicaid and veterans’ benefits. Political expedience and maybe embarrassment saw Joe Manchin denouncing his daughter’s inversion deal. But no one stopped it.

Like so many businesses eager to purchase politicians all their own, Mylan has made significant cash contributions to both sides of the aisle. Emmarie Huetteman at The New York Times reports, “Mylan’s political action committee has given at least $71,000 to congressional candidates from both parties this election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, with about 72 percent of those contributions going to Republicans.”

Dad got a taste, too: “It has been one of the biggest donors to Mr. Manchin since he joined the Senate in 2010, giving more than $60,000 in total.”

Mylan also has brushed up against both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The company has contributed up to $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation and one of its leading stockholders — with 22 million shares — is the hedge fund owned and managed by billionaire John Paulson, a big Trump bankroller.

Hillary Clinton decried the EpiPen price hike as “outrageous, and just the latest example of a company taking advantage of its consumers.” Several of Manchin’s Senate colleagues have called for hearings and an investigation into Mylan. Manchin himself has said he is “aware” of the soaring prices of prescription drugs and looks forward to reviewing Mylan’s response. He did not mention his daughter’s name.

Meanwhile, in response to the current furor, Mylan announced plans to widen a patient assistance plan, provide $300 savings cards and on Monday said they would begin producing a generic alternative to the EpiPen that would cost half as much (there’s a certain rounding of the circle, even irony here, as Mylan began business as a manufacturer of cheap generics).

But of the expanded assistance plan, Mike Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times says, “at heart it’s a cynical move that actually protects the company’s profits and harms the health care system … In fact, they’re illegal when applied to Medicare or Medicaid patients, because they may violate federal anti-kickback laws, which bar payments made to induce patients to choose particular services. Insurers and government programs will have to cover everything beyond the co-pay or deductible…”

And even at half-price, the cost of an EpiPen remains an outrage. In fact, some estimate that the dose of epinephrine used in the injector may really cost as little as a dollar.

In other words, this is one more, big old scam — yet another case of big business trying to pull the wool over the citizens’ eyes and pick our pockets while the government and our politicians mostly look the other way.

The Mylan mess is the cozy relationship between regulators and the regulated in a nutshell. Throughout government, politics and business, cash contributions are made, connections are used, strings are pulled and favors are requested and returned. So the system wins again, corrupt as hell.

But take notice. Realize that the rest of us are more and more aware of how we’re being had — and that we truly must be heard and heeded. Unless the tiny-hearted, gold-digging CEOs of America’s corporations and our leaders get the dollar signs out of their eyes and come to their senses, they are writing a prescription for an angry public response that not even their bought-and-paid-for Congress can hold at bay.

Michael Winship is senior writing fellow at Demos and a senior writer of the new series, Moyers & Company, airing on public television.

U.S. Politics

Colin Powell’s foundation and Hillary Clinton’s are treated very differently by the media

Image result for socialite

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts

VOX – Policy & Politics

In 1997, after a distinguished career in military service that culminated with stints as national security adviser under Ronald Reagan and chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Colin Powell launched a charity. Named America’s Promise, it’s built around the theme of Five Promises to America’s children. And while I’ve never heard it praised as a particularly cost-effective way to help humanity by effective altruists, it was surely a reasonably good cause for a famous and politically popular man to dedicate himself to.

Needless to say, however, Powell continued to be involved in American political life. His sky-high poll numbers ensured he’d be buzzed about as a possible presidential or vice presidential nominee, either as a moderate Republican or as an independent. Realistically, that wasn’t in the cards, and Powell was smart enough to know it. But his support for George W. Bush during the 2000 campaign lent him valuable credibility, and his recruitment to serve as Bush’s first secretary of state was considered an important political and substantive coup by Bush.

So what about the charity? Well, Powell’s wife, Alma Powell, took it over. And it kept raking in donations from corporate America. Ken Lay, the chair of Enron, was a big donor. He also backed a literacy-related charity that was founded by the then-president’s mother. The US Department of State, at the time Powell was secretary, went to bat for Enron in a dispute the company was having with the Indian government.

Did Lay or any other Enron official attempt to use their connections with Alma Powell (or Barbara Bush, for that matter) to help secure access to State Department personnel in order to voice these concerns? Did any other donors to America’s Promise? I have no idea, because to the best of my knowledge nobody in the media ever launched an extensive investigation into these matters. That’s the value of the presumption of innocence, something Hillary Clinton has never been able to enjoy during her time in the national spotlight.

The value of the presumption of innocence

Because Colin Powell did not have the reputation in the mid- to late ’90s of being a corrupt or shady character, his decision to launch a charity in 1997 was considered laudable. Nobody would deny that the purpose of the charity was, in part, to keep his name in the spotlight and keep his options open for future political office. Nor would anybody deny that this wasn’t exactly a case of Powell having super-relevant expertise. What he had to offer was basically celebrity and his good name. By supporting Powell’s charity, your company could participate in Powell’s halo.

But when the press thinks of you as a good guy, leveraging your good reputation in this way is considered a good thing to do. And since the charity was considered a good thing to do, keeping the charity going when Powell was in office as secretary of state was also considered a good thing to do. And since Powell was presumed to be innocent — and since Democrats did not make attacks on Powell part of their partisan strategy — his charity was never the subject of a lengthy investigation.

Which is lucky for him, because as Clinton could tell you, once you are the subject of a lengthy investigation, the press doesn’t like to report, “Well, we looked into it and we didn’t find anything interesting.”

Instead we get things like:

Three of these stories, in other words, found no wrongdoing whatsoever but chose to insinuate that they had found wrongdoing in order to make the stories seem more interesting. The AP even teased its story with a flagrantly inaccurate tweet, which it now concedes was inaccurate but won’t take down or correct. The final investigation into the seat assignments at least came up with something, but it’s got to be just about the most trivial piece of donor special treatment you can think of.

Did one of Alma Powell’s donors ever ask for a better seat at a Powell-era function? Nobody knows, because nobody would think to ask.

Hillary’s problem is people “know” she’s corrupt

The perception that Clinton is corrupt is one of her most profound handicaps as a politician. And what’s particularly crippling about it is that evidence of her corruption is so widespread exactly because everyone knows she’s corrupt.

Because people “know” that she is corrupt, every decision she makes and every relationship she has is cast in the most negative possible light. When she doesn’t allow her policy decisions to be driven by donors, she’s greeted by headlines like “Hillary Blasts For-Profit Colleges, But Bill Took Millions From One.”

AT&T is one of the very biggest donors to America’s Promise, and for much of the Bush administration, Colin and Alma’s son Michael was chair of the Federal Communications Commission, which, among other things, regulates AT&T. I never saw anyone write a story investigating whether AT&T’s donations improperly influenced Powell’s pro-telecom regulatory stances. But it’s genuinely unimaginable that if Powell had chosen not to help AT&T with regulatory matters the press would have blasted him as a hypocrite. That would have been ridiculous.

But once you “know” that a putative charity is really just a nexus of corruption, then even thefailure to be swayed by contributions becomes a news story. And of course once your decision-making is put under that kind of scrutiny, your impulse is to shut down and try to keep information close to your chest. But when you “know” that a person is corrupt, her lack of transparency is further evidence of corruption. And any minor information that does slip out is defined as news, even if the information does not actually contain evidence of anything all that interesting.

The press should contextualize Clinton stories

Hillary Clinton is running for president. Her opponent, Donald Trump, is unusually weak and will probably lose. Scrutinizing her, her activities, and her associations is appropriate, and it’s difficult for any responsible citizen to argue that the likely next most powerful person on the planet is under too much scrutiny.

But the mere fact of scrutiny can be misleading.

It’s natural to assume that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. But the smoke emanating from the Clinton Foundation is not a naturally occurring phenomenon. It is the result of a reasonably well-funded dedicated partisan opposition research campaign, and of editorial decisions by the managers of major news organizations to dedicate resources to running down every possible Clinton email lead in the universe.

Whatever one thinks of that decision, it’s at least appropriate to ask editors and writers to put their findings on these matters into some kind of context for readers’ benefit. To the extent that Clinton is an example of the routinized way in which economic elites exert disproportionate voice in the political process, that’s a story worth telling. But it’s a very different story from a one in which Clinton is a uniquely corrupt specimen operating with wildly unusual financial arrangements and substantive practices.

Much of what we’ve seen over the past 18 months is journalists doing reporting that supports the former story, and then writing leads and headlines that imply the latter. But people deserve to know what’s actually going on.

U.S. Politics

Neil deGrasse Tyson SCHOOLED Right-Wing Columnist So Hard He Quit His Job In Shame

Neil deGrasse Tyson SCHOOLED Right-Wing Columnist So Hard He Quit His Job In Shame

Featured image via Addicting Info


A right-wing radio host has called it quits after he got owned by famous scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Last week, Neal Larson learned the hard way that there are humiliating consequences for spreading satire as a fact when the famous scientist fact-checked him into oblivion.

“I’ve listened to Neil deGrasse Tyson before,” Larson wrote in the Twin Falls Times-News criticizing the astrophysicist for performing some interesting mathematics in relation to the Olympic medal count.

But Larson went beyond that by accusing Tyson of mocking a little girl for wanting to live on Jupiter.

“And what I observe is a smart guy who consistently enjoys asserting his intellectual supremacy over others more than he actually likes educating. In one of his worse moments, Tyson mocked a 12-year-old girl who suggested she’d like to live on Jupiter. He ridiculed her in the midst of a crowd, then later, several times, on Twitter. That told me everything I needed to know about Neil deGrasse Tyson.

For that moment he was just a horse’s astrophysicist.”

Naturally, Tyson did a little research and then responded to Larson with some bad news.

“The ‘incident’ with a 9yr old girl never happened. It looks to be a hoax. No such tweets ever existed on November 29th, 2015, or on any other day. So you abrogated your journalistic integrity by not verifying what you read in somebody else’s article, before using it as a foundational pillar in yours.”

Tyson’s response went viral and humiliated the hell out of Larson to the point where he is now throwing in the towel to end his stint as a columnist.

In what is now his final column, Larson admitted that he was checkmated by Tyson in one move.

“The instant it was picked up nationally, I was checkmated,” Larson wrote before playing the victim. “I had no recourse, no comparable media platform at my disposal. It was as terrible and as helpless as you can imagine. Even more disappointing, a few people that I honestly thought were friends, shared online my unfortunate story with glee.”

Seriously? How about practicing what you conservatives constantly preach to the rest of us and take some damn personal responsibility for once? After all, you’re the one who printed satire as if it were fact, Mr. Larson. A simple look at the original source of the story would have been enough to figure out that it was fake. And you fell for it because you lack journalistic skills and integrity, which makes me wonder why the hell the Twin Falls Times-News let you get anywhere near their newspaper.

But despite apologizing to Tyson for the blunder and the slander, Larson continued playing the victim throughout his last foray in print news.

“For those in the national spotlight, this is probably old hat, but I wasn’t equipped to handle the influx, logistically or emotionally,” Larson wrote. “If anyone had sent a kind word or more gentle and constructive criticism, I apologize because I probably missed it in the onslaught of hate.”

Again, you slandered a man in an attempt to tarnish his reputation, Mr. Larson. You’re lucky he didn’t sue your ass on the spot because he damn sure has a bulletproof case against you, and yet you think you’re the victim here?

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an internationally recognized celebrity scientist. Did you honestly think your accusation would not become national news, especially once your target debunked your claim with facts?

Neal Larson brought this humiliation on himself and he has no one to blame but himself for negative feedback he received.

Now if only Tyson would monitor Larson’s radio show and debunk the bullshit he spews on the airwaves. Perhaps Larson would be embarrassed enough to quit that job and go into hiding permanently.

By Stephen D Foster Jr

U.S. Politics

Trump calls Democrats ‘party of slavery’ in pitch for African American votes

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, Arizona (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, Arizona (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)


Republican Donald Trump on Tuesday night called Democrats the “party of slavery” and praised what he called the millions of African Americans with career success, as he tries to revamp his outreach to minority voters.

Trump has made much-maligned efforts to appeal to black and Hispanic voters, groups that generally support Democrats and are expected to vote heavily for Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 election.

“The Republican Party is the party of Abraham Lincoln,” Trump said at a rally in Everett, Washington.

“It is the Democratic Party that is the party of slavery, the party of Jim Crow and the party of opposition,” he said, referring to racial segregation laws that once existed in the American South.

The Republican nominee has said Democrats failed minority voters with economic policies that have not improved their job prospects, but his attempts have been criticized for painting a bleak view of the lives of all black and Hispanic Americans.

Clinton last week released an ad mocking Trump’s attempts to reach those groups and showing headlines about a racial discrimination lawsuit the New York real estate mogul faced in the 1970s.

A prominent supporter of Trump’s apologized on Tuesday for sending out a tweet that showed a cartoon image of Clinton in blackface.

Trump sought to correct course in Washington state on Tuesday, saying millions of black Americans “have succeeded greatly” in art, science, sports and other endeavors.

“But we must also talk about those who have been left behind, the millions suffering in disastrous conditions in so many of our inner cities,” he said.

(Reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

U.S. Politics

2 Bundy Ranch Thugs Who Threatened Feds Going To Jail

2 Bundy Ranch Thugs Who Threatened Feds Going To Jail

Gerald “Jerry” DeLemus (left) and Blaine Cooper on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, became the first of 19 defendants to take plea deals in the April 2014 standoff between U.S. Bureau of Land Management agents near Cliven Bundy’s property about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. (OregonLive)


It was great to see this story last week. Angry white men go to jail.OregonLive link

When Trump loses in November,
angry white men are going to take it out on people they believe stopped Trump: Progressives, Democrats and women. They will also go after the people they believe made America crappy for them: immigrants, Muslims, people of color, the LGBT community and of course, the “liberal media.”

They will be angrier than ever. They will feel more “voiceless” since Trump has been saying what they all have been thinking. (BTW, what are the odds he will start saying sensible stuff after he loses? Zero. Zilch. Nada. )

The professional defeated Trump supporters will get jobs in media and in the right-wing complain-o-sphere taking money from billionaires while attacking all things Democratic.

[Related Trump info: that angry white guy on the left in the photo above is Gerald “Jerry” DeLemus, he’s the co-chair of the Vets for Trump group. He won’t be able to vote for Trump in November –because he is now a convicted felon. His wife, Susan DeLemus, R-Rochester, is a New Hampshire state representative.]

The ones to look out for are the “2nd Amendment people” Trump was referring to when it came time for President Clinton to appoint Supreme Court Justices. All it will take to set them off are a few “sarcastic” Trump Tweets.

The good news is there is a program set up to deal with these angry white men and their threats that seems to be working. DeLemus and Cooper are the first two to be sent through this system. I think it’s important we pay attention to it because the program willbe attacked by the right–since they are ones primarily being busted by it.

The right will want the left to join them in condemning these arrests and prison sentences using lefty messages: “See? The government is spying on people! They are trying to block people’s right to assemble for peaceful protests! They are trying to stifle free speech!”

It’s not a conspiracy theory anymore, it’s a conspiracy fact

Following Trump’s loss, Fox News and right-wing radio hosts like Hannity will continue to support “Patriots” who want to “take back America” with bullets instead of ballots. Like before, people who organize armed responses to government actions will get plenty of air time with no hard questions.

However, this time around people will know that the Bundy’s and their militia buddies didn’t get away with conspiring to get people with guns to threaten others. Everyone can now see the consequences to people who threatened others with guns.

I want all individual activists who are threatened by angry white men with guns to know about this case, especially Coopers’ story.

Neither Cooper nor DeLemus were actually at the event/stand-off.

Cooper stated “I was calling people to participate,”

He [Cooper] told the judge he interfered with the execution of federal court orders by recruiting armed gunmen to display support for Bundy and his sons Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Mel Bundy and Dave Bundy and stop the roundup of the family’s cattle from the scenic Gold Butte area.

DeLemus, 61, of Rochester, New Hampshire, also pleaded guilty to a felony alleging that when he drove cross-country with guns he intended to display “force and aggression” to stop the roundup. (emphasis mine)


U.S. Politics

That Time The President Of Mexico Compared Donald Trump To Hitler

CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais


On Tuesday night, Donald Trump announced that he would be making a last minute trip to Mexico to visit with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. Trump made the announcement, naturally, on Twitter.

The Mexican government has also confirmed the meeting, which will be private.

There have been episodes in human history, unfortunately, where these expressions of this strident rhetoric have only led to very ominous situations in the history of humanity. That’s how Mussolini got in, that’s how Hitler got in — they took advantage of a situation, a problem perhaps, which humanity was going through at the time, after an economic crisis. And I think what (they) put forward ended up at what we know today from history, in global conflagration. We don’t want that happening anywhere in the world.

Trump famously launched his campaign by describing Mexican immigrants as “rapists.” Since that time he has insisted that he will build a wall across the entire southern border and get the Mexican government to pay for it.

Nieto has categorically rejected the idea. “There is no scenario,” he said.

The New York Times called the meeting a “conciliatory gesture.” But at least one Congressman thinks it’s a trap.


U.S. Politics

Fox News Host Explains How Tweet Of Hillary In Blackface Actually Made A Really Good Point

Screencap via Goldie Taylor


Trump’s top pastor stands by the message in his since-deleted tweet.

Pastor Mark Burns, a prominent surrogate for Donald Trump, said he believes his “intentions were honorable” when he posted a cartoon of Hillary Clinton in blackface to his Twitter account Monday afternoon.

During a Tuesday morning appearance on Fox News, Burns acknowledged that “the blackface imagery has been used in the past and it is offensive to African Americans, but my message, I stand behind it.”

He said “the real offense” is that many minority families in America “don’t know where their next meal is coming from.”

Fox News host Martha MacCullum then suggested Burns made a good point with his blackface tweet, saying he “used that blackface, which you explained, to say that you thought that she, in this case, is pandering to black voters.”

MacCullum told Burns she “thought it was interesting” that the media wanted to ask him about “the blackface part” of his tweet, but not “the underlying stuff of what you’re talking about — the violence that exists in our inner cities, the fact that more black people are killed my members of their own black community in our inner cities, that that is the issue that plagues them more than any other.” She then read a quote from Trump before Burns jumped back in and accused liberals of “playing the race card.”

Here’s the tweet Burns posted, which was later deleted from his feed:

Burns’ case for why African Americans should vote for Trump is basically the same as the one Trump has been making to the largely white audiences that attend his rallies — black people have it bad as it is, so why not vote for Trump and see what happens?

“Black people are Americans, and when Donald Trump talks about jobs, he’s talking to all Americans. When he talks about security, he’s talking to all Americans,” Burns said in his Periscope video.

On MSNBC, Burns said “millions of African Americans are on welfare, [millions] of African Americans are on food stamps… we are not at the promise land that Dr. King spoke about.”

“The problem is we live in a political PC environment… where we go after the African American vote like all of us African Americans are the same,” he added.

Burns, who referred to Democrats as “the enemy” and called on God to “defeat” Clinton during his aforementioned RNC speech, is helping to promote Trump’s upcoming appearance at a predominately black church on Saturday. The New York Times reports that it will be Trump’s first event in front of a predominately black audience in more than a year.

New polling released by Public Policy Polling indicates African Americans aren’t buying what Trump and Burns are selling. According to the poll, Trump’s favorability rating among African Americans is zero percent, with 97 percent viewing him unfavorably and three percent undecided.

 Aaron Rupar

U.S. Politics

Stupid Runs In The Family: Donald Trump Jr Falls For Fake Clinton Email Conspiracy

Stupid Runs In The Family: Donald Trump Jr Falls For Fake Clinton Email Conspiracy

Hey Guys..for your evening entertainment:


Donald Trump Jr fell for a totally obvious fake Hillary Clinton email conspiracy today, because why not share something that feeds his father’s unhinged narrative about rigged polls? Who cares if it’s real!

The inability to discern crazy conspiracy from fact must run in the family.

Donald Trump Jr fell for a totally obvious fake Hillary Clinton email conspiracy today, because why not share something that feeds his father’s unhinged narrative about rigged polls? Who cares if it’s real!

Somehow Trump looked at this tweet and thought, yeah, that’s legit:

Here’s the screencap of Trump’s RT, which he’s left up even after being called out on it by Mediaite:

Donald J Trump Jr RT

It’s not like these guys haven’t seen emails from the Clinton campaign. Here’s a big tip: The Hillary campaign emails don’t look anything like that and I’m thinking that “FROM HILLARY” might have been a big giveaway.

This is all assuming that since this is a Trump we’re talking about, the actual information in the “letter” wouldn’t have been the biggest clue of all, since it’s totally bat crap crazy.

Hillary Clinton is being hacked constantly and Donald Trump Jr’s father just asked his pal Putin to hack her some more. No campaign (well, okay, maybe the Trump people would but no one is hacking them) — even if they were trying to do something this ridiculous — would put that in an email.

Public Policy Polling gets a B+ from Nate Silver in terms of accuracy, which is to say that they aren’t likely to be rigging their polls to help anyone. I know, it hurts when the polls are unskewed and reality still exists.

Polls can have problems for sure. Nate Cohn pointed out that Reuters 50 state poll had some big problems, “Reuters has highest white male turnout in decades, lowest hispanic/youth turnout in decades”.

But this is nowhere near a suggestion that anyone is deliberately rigging polls at the behest of a candidate, no less.

If you’re wondering why Trump supporters seem unhinged or say things like, “Donald Trump is winning California!”, this is why. The Trump machine is feeding the crazy to conservatives who have been primed by Fox News, Breitbart, Drudge et al to only trust “conservative news”.

They’ve been fed a steady diet of fairy tales, boogeyman horrors and outright lies for years. So when Donald Trump came along ready to force feed them even bigger lies, they were ripe for the taking.

Trump twitter accounts began tweeting this fake report to various media outlets. This Trump supporter tweeted the fake memo out to every media person they could image in multiple tweets, only to ask later “is this confirmed it is real?”


Donald J Trump still didn’t take it down, because hello – it doesn’t matter if it’s real and it certainly doesn’t need to be confirmed! That’s the Trump campaign for you.

And it worked because look at the Trump supporters go with the outrage:

Wiki 2

Yikes! Yeah, that fake Hillary sure is threatening.

Donald Trump Jr is a chip off of the old block. There is no conspiracy too obviously false to share. They’ll take anything that helps prop up their narrative. Facts need not apply.


U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: August 30, 2016

MJ Kim/Getty Images


1. Comic film icon Gene Wilder dies at 83
Comic actor Gene Wilder, a film icon known for starring roles in modern classics such as Young Frankenstein and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, has died. A nephew said Monday that Wilder died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83. Wilder became a star playing quirky, often neurotic characters in three films directed by Mel Brooks — The Producers, Young Frankenstein, and Western spoofBlazing Saddles. He also teamed up with Richard Pryor in the hit Stir Crazy. Wilder wrote, directed, and starred in several films — includingThe Woman in Red, which co-starred his wife, Gilda Radner. She died of ovarian cancer in 1989.

Source: The New York Times, The Associated Press

2. Russia hackers allegedly target Arizona voter-registration system
The FBI told Arizona officials in June that Russia was behind an attempt to hack the state’s voter registration system, Matt Roberts, a spokesman for Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan (R), saidMonday. As a result of the cyberattack, Reagan shut down the system for a week, and parts remain offline, although investigators determined the hackers did not compromise any state or county systems. Illinois officials also discovered in July that hackers had gotten into their system and accessed “a fairly small percentage” of voter records, Ken Menzel, general counsel for the Illinois elections board, said.

Source: The Washington Post, The Republic

3. Clinton aide Huma Abedin and husband Anthony Weiner split
Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, announced on Monday that she is separating from husband and former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, after the New York Post reported that Weiner had sent sexually charged texts to another woman over the last two years. Weiner resigned from the House of Representatives in 2011 after accidentally tweeting sexual images and admitting to sexting with “about six women.” He later ran for mayor of New York, and lost after another woman claimed Weiner had sent her explicit photos. Abedin said she and Weiner “remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life.”

Source: The New York Times, New York Post

4. Clinton’s lead over Trump narrows in two new polls
Two national polls released Monday showed the presidential race narrowing. A Monmouth University poll showed Democrat Hillary Clinton leading her Republican rival, Donald Trump among likely voters by seven percentage points, 46 percent to 39 percent. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein were far behind, with seven percent and two percent, respectively. Monmouth’s last poll, earlier this month, showed Clinton leading Trump by 13 percentage points among likely voters. The latest NBC News/SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll of registered voters also showed Clinton’s lead over Trump narrowing, from seven percentage points to six.

Source: CBS News, NBC News

5. California bill sparked by Stanford rape case passes
California lawmakers on Monday passed legislation to close a legal loophole that let a former Stanford University swimmer, Brock Turner, receive a sentence of just six months in jail after his conviction of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. Prosecutors had asked for him to serve six years, because there was no penile penetration. The bill now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who had not indicated whether he plans to sign it. Turner, 21, is scheduled to be released from Santa County Jail on Sept. 2.

Source: Reuters, New York Daily News

6. Putin critic dies in Ukraine of apparent suicide
Well-known Russian journalist Alexander Shchetinin, a critic of President Vladimir Putin, has been found dead in Kiev, Ukraine, with a gunshot wound to the head. His body, seated in a chair with a gun nearby, was discovered by friends arriving at the Novy Region press agency’s apartment for his birthday party. Shchetinin had renounced his Russian citizenship, and reportedly told loved ones he wanted to kill himself. Ukrainian police are investigating the death as suicide.

Source: The Independent

7. Brazilian president Rousseff asserts innocence at impeachment trial
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff defended herself before her nation’s Senate on Monday in her impeachment trial, saying her conscience was “absolutely clean.” Rousseff was suspended after she was charged with illegally tinkering with the budget to hide the national deficit. She also noted her popularity, and record as a resistance fighter. The impeachment vote is scheduled for Tuesday. Brazilian paper Folha de São Paulo reports that 52 senators are in favor of impeachment, two shy of the 54 of 81 senators needed for a conviction. Eleven senators reportedly remain on the fence.

Source: BBC News

8. E.U. tells Apple to pay Ireland $14.5 billion in back taxes
On Tuesday, the European Commission ordered Apple to pay Ireland $14.5 billion in back taxes. E.U. antitrust regulators believe that Ireland gave the iPhone maker a deal allowing it to route profits through Ireland and skirt E.U. laws in return for creating jobs in the country. Apple shares dropped by 1.6 percent in pre-market trading on the news. The ruling is expected to anger Washington, which has accused the E.U. of targeting big U.S. companies — Amazon and McDonald’s face similar investigations in Luxembourg, and Starbucks has been ordered to pay Holland $33 million.

Source: Bloomberg, MarketWatch

9. Nadal and Kerber advance at U.S. Open
On opening day at the U.S. Open, two-time champion Rafael Nadal of Spain advanced to the second round by beating Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. Angelique Kerber, the No. 2 women’s seed, also advanced easily, beating Slovenian Polona Hercog, who called it quits in the sweltering heat when she was down 6-0, 1-0. Top-ranked Serena Williams, fresh off a disappointing showing at the Rio Olympics, plays her first match in the tournament Tuesday night.

Source: Agence France Press, ESPN

10. Researchers shed light on how human ancestor ‘Lucy’ died
A close examination of the bones of “Lucy,” one of the oldest and most complete hominin skeleton fossils ever found, indicates that she died from a fall from a great height, possibly from the limbs of a tall tree, according to an article released Monday in the journal Nature. The fractures the three-foot-tall Lucy suffered — 3.2 million years ago — were so severe she probably sustained damage to her internal organs, the researchers said. Lucy has been at the center of a debate over the use of trees to get around at early stages of human evolution.

Source: Nature, The New York Times