Media

Alex Jones’ Defense

by TODD GITLIN – His lawyer: He’s not a deranged crackpot, he just plays one on the radio. You may have heard of Alex Jones of Austin, Texas — the fellow who markets his own brand of “BRAIN FORCE” and “SUPER MALE VITALITY” pills on the radio. He’s the guy whose Infowars.com website features headlines like “HEAVILY ARMED MUSLIM THREATENS CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE CONFERENCE.” The one who describes himself on the website with a pithy summary of world history that begins as follows: Since the beginning of time there have been constant attempts to enslave and subdue the spirit of humanity. From barbarian hordes streaming down the mountain to the Stasi secret police torturing those who dreamed to be free. That’s the early Trump supporter Alex Jones who, pushing birtherism one giant step further into the inferno where truth is drawn and quartered, let his listeners know the other day that “the...

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In Memoriam: Bill O’Reilly’s Career

by Adam Peck – Looking back through a decade’s worth of ThinkProgress coverage of Fox News’ chief bully. Of all the racists, Islamophobes, misogynists, homophobes, and all-around hateful bigots ThinkProgress has chronicled since our inception 11 years ago, none have provided such a steady stream of nonsense as William James O’Reilly Jr. And so it is with mixed emotions that we must report the premature and yet also long-overdue demise of Mr. O’Reilly’s career. It was 42 years old. O’Reilly’s career came into this world on local television, where he quickly earned a reputation as an irritable showman. A job offer from the syndicated television gossip program Inside Edition provided O’Reilly’s career with a bridge from local nuisance to national embarrassment in the early 1990’s. But it was at Fox News Channel, then a fledgling cable news network developing an obsession with Bill Clinton’s libido, that O’Reilly’s star was born. During his...

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The Other Trump Scandal—the Effort to Justify Trump’s Tweets by Manufacturing Evidence

by Mark Sumner – What caused Devin Nunes to run around in a way that makes chicken sans head seem like a model of control? According to Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker, nothing at all. The congressmen and their aides were shown a binder of two to three dozen pages of highly classified intercepts, mostly transcripts of conversations between foreign government officials that took place during the Presidential transition. These intercepts were not related to the heart of the committee’s Russia investigation. In fact, only one of the documents had anything to do with Russia, according to an official who reviewed them. What the intercepts all had in common is that the people being spied on made references to Donald Trump or to Trump officials. That wasn’t even clear, though, from reading the transcripts. The names of any Americans were concealed, or “masked,” the intelligence community’s term for redacting references...

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Bill O’Reilly’s Lawyer Blames ‘Brutal Campaign of Character Assassination’ for His Plight

by Aaron Rupar – The scorched-earth statement comes as Fox News reportedly prepares to cut ties. As numerous reports swirl that Fox News is preparing to cut ties with Bill O’Reilly before he returns from his “vacation,” his attorney signaled that cable news’ top-rated host won’t go down before he scorches the earth behind him. In a statement released Tuesday evening, Marc E. Kasowitz wrote that his client “has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America.” O’Reilly, who has spent months battling a wave of sexual harassment allegations, was hit with a fresh harassment claim on Tuesday — the same day a group of protesters delivered 480,000 petitions calling for O’Reilly’s termination to Fox News headquarters. His attorney’s reference to former U.S. Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-WI), whose name has become synonymous with making unfounded accusations, hearkens back to the words President Donald Trump used last month...

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Steve Bannon’s Plans for Revenge are Legion. They Include Running Against Trump in 2020

by ursulafaw –    Depending upon which school of thought you subscribe to, either everyone at the White House has kissed and made up and Uncle Steve will continue to rule the roost, or, Bannon is a dead man walking and Trump is just waiting for the First 100 Days milepost to be passed to bring down the Sword of Damocles, exploring the prospect of Bannon being fired is terra incognita, like so much of the Trump phenomenon. Whichever way you look at it, Donald Trump did make the statement last week about Steve Bannon, “I like Steve.” History tells us that Trump saying that he likes somebody is the kiss of death. Vanity Fair cited these examples: “If Trump genuinely likes you, you’re “brilliant” or “a great guy.” By contrast, “like,” in Trump-speak, means “dead to me.” Just ask Newt Gingrich (“I like Newt”), Chris Christie (“I like Chris a...

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Reaching Impeachment Critical Mass

by Hank Edson – 1. Regaining Our Common Sense Two things are inhibiting our exercise of common sense as a self-governed people: First, the cancer of our corporate media monopoly has ravaged the culture of the democratic process in our nation.  Among the many symptoms of this lethal disease is its projection of normalizing false narratives that reek of the body public’s corruption and decay. For example, of all places, National Public Radio just ran a lengthy segment examining the numerous instances in which Donald Trump has this week proven himself a liar and a fraud by advancing policies in direct conflict with his campaign platform and campaign promises.  Throughout the piece, the NPR journalists discussed how Trump was “learning on the job,” how these self-contradictions represented a possible shift to the political center, and how during the campaign, “Trump needed to say” one thing, and as President, he “needed to...

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Amazon Employees Pressure CEO to Kill Breitbart Ads

by Lauren C. Williams – Tech activism in the Trump era is getting its second wind. Amazon employees are pressuring CEO Jeff Bezos and SVP Jeff Blackburn to sever the company’s advertising ties with Breitbart News. Five-hundred and sixty-four employees signed an email petition, complete with an attachment full of comments from 52 of them, called “Amazon Must Stop Advertising on Breitbart News,” Buzzfeed reported. According to the email, an employee brought up Amazon’s relationship with Breitbart at a staff meeting with Blackburn, asking “What is it going to take for us to stop advertising on Breitbart News?” Blackburn responded, “We have our eyes on it.” While companies like Amazon ultimately have control over where their ads land, most ads pass through third party ad technology companies. The resulting ad is typically the result of companies seeking a specific audience found and tracked through cookies rather than a purposefully placed ad on...

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Ask Yourself: Will Donald Trump EVER Become President?

by BILL MOYERS – As our institutions bend and buckle and approach the breaking point, the president bombs Syria and is hailed by an obeisant media. It’s been a week now since Donald Trump once again became our president. Here’s how it happened. After he unleashed missiles on a Syrian airfield, members of Washington’s national security establishment and elite pundits swooned. Top Democrats and Republicans led the way. Good soldiers all in the military-industrial-political complex, they stood smartly at attention and saluted the commander-in-chief for sending a message to the world, although exactly what the message meant remains far from clear. The headline above Glenn Greenwald’s story at The Intercept summed up the response: “The Spoils of War — Trump Lavished with Media and Bipartisan Praise for Bombing Syria.” The hawkish Hillary Clinton, who long had been critical of Barack Obama for not bringing Bashar Assad to heel, “appeared at an...

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New York Times Defends Hiring Extreme Climate Denier: ‘Millions Agree with Him’

by Joe Romm – The Times replaces search for truth with search for popular ideas that are false. But would they hire a Holocaust denier? Amidst backlash and subscription cancellations for hiring extreme climate science denier, Bret Stephens, the New York Times offered a stunning defense: There are “millions of people who agree with him.” With that ‘logic’, the Times could hire as a columnist former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke — or a flat earther or someone who thinks vaccines pose a health hazard. After all, millions agree with them. Screenshot of a typical pop-up ad in the NY Times new ad campaign This defense is especially absurd since, as I detailed Friday, the Times has been running a major ad campaign claiming there is no alternative to the truth — and former Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor Stephens has repeatedly dismissed as “imaginary” the climate reality reported...

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Dan Rather Says What Every Person With a Moral Compass is Thinking Regarding Sean Spicer & Trump

by Sarah – It’s gotten to the point where if Donald Trump doesn’t fire Sean Spicer for his egregious remarks about the Holocaust, Assad and Syria, he should be seen as agreeing with Spicer’s sentiment as well as condoning it. It’s disgusting, to say the least, and the legendary Dan Rather just released a statement that should summarize what every person with a decent moral compass is thinking right now. Rather wrote: “It is with sadness that I do not know where to begin. Today in a briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer issued a statement that is so far beyond the pale, so tone deaf and blind to history and our precarious moment in world affairs, that it is with only a heavy heart that I even bring attention to it. There can be no joy in such incompetence. In trying to make the case for the Administration’s policy...

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Bill O’Reilly is Going on Vacation and He may Never Come Back

by Judd Legum – On Tuesday night’s O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly announced he was taking a vacation. The announcement comes in the midst of a massive advertiser exodus following revelations that he and Fox News paid millions of dollars to five women who said they were sexually harassed by O’Reilly. O’Reilly said that he booked this vacation “last fall” and that he often takes vacation “around this time of the year.” He is reportedly scheduled to return in on April 24. But Gabriel Sherman, a journalist for New York Magazine who literally wrote the book on Fox News, reports that “tonight’s show could be his last.” According to Sherman’s sources, lawyers for Fox News “are currently doing a ‘deep dive’ investigation into O’Reilly’s behavior.” Sherman also reports that James Murdoch, the CEO of 21st Century Fox, wants O’Reilly gone. Murdoch forced out longtime Fox News CEO Roger Ailes last summer over...

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GOP Strategist on Trump: A Gigantic Case of ADHD Who Cannot Focus for 30 Sec on Anything

by Egberto Willies – This GOP strategist was not kind to Donald Trump. He did not mince words as he described how dysfunctional Trump and his administration are. One hopes Trump is not watching lest we get a new litany of tweets. GOP Media Strategist & Political Consultant Rick Wilson had some harsh words in this excerpted video for Trump and his inability to focus on the job of being president. The strategist appeared on All-In with Chris Hayes. Hayes asked Rick Wilson about the decision-making process in the White House. “Chris, this is a president with a stalking gigantic case of ADHD,” Wilson said. “He cannot focus for thirty seconds on anything. Every bright and shiny object distracts him. He doesn’t believe anything in his heart. There is no ideological North Star for this guy. There is nothing he truly cares about except for his own ego. Everything is drawn...

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AP: U.S. Official Alleges Russia Knew About Syria’s Chemical Attack on Civilians in Advance

by Leslie Salzillo – On Monday, the Associated Press ran an uncharacteristically vague and somewhat mysterious story about a Washington official who is stating Russia was well aware, in advance, of the Syrian chemical attack that killed 80 innocent civilians last week. Donald Trump said the images of the children prompted him to authorize the firing of 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian base days after the chemical attack. Given the ineffectiveness of his strike, Trump’s actual motives are still in question, as well as his ties to the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. AP journalists Robert Burns and Lolita C. Baldor report: The official said a drone operated by Russians was flying over a hospital as victims of the attack were rushing to get treatment. Hours after the drone left, a Russian-made fighter jet bombed the hospital in what American officials believe was an attempt to cover up the usage of chemical weapons....

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This Reporter Just Won the Biggest Prize in Journalism for Exposing Trump’s Lies

by Jameson Parker – The winners of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize have been announced and this year’s theme was all about exposing Trump. Of particular note was the prize for National Reporting going to David A. Fahrenthold of The Washington Post, whose contribution to reporting during the presidential campaign was to unflinchingly go after Trump’s lies, particularly as they related to his contributions to charity. As the Pulitzer committee put it, Fahrenthold deserved the award: For persistent reporting that created a model for transparent journalism in political campaign coverage while casting doubt on Donald Trump’s assertions of generosity toward charities. During a campaign when many reporters and pundits struggled to keep up with Trump’s lies, or pretended Trump wasn’t lying at all, Fahrenthold decided to hold Trump’s feet to the fire. After Trump repeatedly dodged questions about his donations to charity, Fahrenthold compiled an exhaustive list of charities Trump was said to have given...

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Florida Sheriff Produces Absurd, Threatening Video over Small Number of Drug-Related Deaths

by Scott Shackford – You’d think Lake County must be some sort of trafficking hotbed. It’s not. A group of armed, masked men brazenly posted a video on Facebook recently threatening to violently bust down the doors of American citizens and invade their homes. It’s okay, though. They’re law enforcement! Lake County, Florida, Sheriff Peyton Grinnell has put out a video where he, surrounded by masked men, threaten drug dealers in the county that his officers are tracking them down and plan to send SWAT teams into their houses at some undefined time and “blow front doors off the hinges.” Watch the video below: Well, one only hopes those masks they’re wearing don’t obscure their ability to read addresses properly. We would hate for a poorly organized SWAT raid at the wrong home to run smack into the state’s “Stand Your Ground” gun laws. Grinnell claims this over-the-top video, which...

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Bill O’Reilly’s Survival Strategy

by Judd Legum – How O’Reilly is trying to weather a sexual harassment scandal. The O’Reilly Factor, which has aired for 20 years, is the highest-rated and most profitable show in cable news. But in just a week, the show has become a shell of itself. On April 1, the New York Times reported that host Bill O’Reilly had paid $13 million to five women to settle claims of sexual harassment. That O’Reilly had an issue with his treatment of women wasn’t a shock. It was already public that, in 2009, O’Reilly had paid $9 million to one woman who says he sexually harassed her. But the additional allegations come after Fox News ousted its chairman, Roger Ailes, over charges of serial sexual harassment and has pledged to clean up its act. In the week that followed, advertisers have left the show in droves. At the beginning of the week, the...

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Former SNL Cast Member Breaks Silence On Trump’s Behavior At Rehearsal (VIDEO)

by Vera – A former Saturday Night Live cast member has just spilled the beans about one of Donald Trump’s secrets. Taran Killam, who left SNL in 2016, completely destroyed Trump in an interview published in Brooklyn magazine, putting to rest the massive amount of speculation about whether or not Trump actually knows how to read. Apparently, Trump cannot. According to Killam, Trump “struggled” to read even the simple jokes the writers had given him. Trump made an appearance on the show in December 2015, right after he announced he was entering the presidential race. Killam said that particular episode was “not fun” and “most of the cast and writers were not excited to have him there.” However, having Trump there taught the cast something interesting about him. During the “table read” prior to the rehearsal, the host of the week is supposed to read through the jokes they’re given. Killam said Trump “struggled...

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Six Weeks Later, Trump Refuses to Denounce Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theorists

by Nika Knight – Six weeks after Newtown school board asked President Donald Trump to denounce Alex Jones and his conspiracy theory about deadly 2012 school shooting, the president remains silent. President Donald Trump has remained silent about his relationship with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, refusing to denounce the right-wing radio show host who has used his popular platform InfoWars to push the theory that the deadly 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Newton, Conn., was a vast government plot to enact stricter gun control laws. Trump’s silence comes despite a letter sent by the Newton School Board six weeks ago requesting that the president publicly denounce Jones and the conspiracy theory that has resulted in stalking, death threats, and harassment of victims’ families, the Hartford Courant reported Tuesday. “We are asking you to intervene to try to stop Jones and other hoaxers like him,” the board wrote in its...

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Trump’s Tweets Tell Tale of Tumble

by Mattrek – I’m sure all of us have been to Trump_Regrets on twitter before. Some use it religiously (that’s me) to make us feel better there is hope in the future. It really is a small sample size though so in the back of our heads we always wonder how widespread the Trump Regret spans. But that isn’t easily spotted. Most people don’t do what that Tennessee voter did and tell the world they made a mistake voting for Trump. People admitting they were wrong is far too hard, so they will do so silently. They’ll pretend they never voted for him or just stop talking about him. It’s not obvious so it’s hard to get a feel on where his support level is at. Well it being a slow news day and not having much else to do I decided to look into Trump’s favorite pastime: tweeting. It’s a small sample...

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Spicer Won’t Give Straight Answer on Reported Changes to Trump Trust

by Deirdre Fulton – White House press secretary Sean Spicer claims “the entire point” of setting up such a trust “is so somebody can withdraw money”. White House press secretary Sean Spicer didn’t offer a clear explanation or response to questions on Monday about new reporting showing that President Donald Trump can withdraw funds at any time from any of his businesses—without telling the American people. Citing a trust document signed on February 10, online outlet ProPublica reported Monday: “Trump can draw money from his more than 400 businesses, at any time, without disclosing it.” According to ProPublica reporters Derek Kravitz and Al Shaw: The previously unreported changes to a trust document, signed on Feb. 10, stipulates that it “shall distribute net income or principal to Donald J. Trump at his request” or whenever his son and longtime attorney “deem appropriate.” That can include everything from profits to the underlying assets,...

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Advertisers Flee The O’Reilly Factor en Masse

by Judd Legum – Latest sexual harassment claims has corporations rethinking their association with Bill O’Reilly. At least eleven companies have announced they are ending advertising on The O’Reilly Factor. The news comes in the wake of a New York Times story which reveals that O’Reilly and Fox News have paid five women who accused the top-rated cable host of sexual harassment. At least three of those companies, Sanofi, Untuckit, and Allstate, advertised on the show last night, when O’Reilly did not mention the controversy. “In light of the disturbing allegations, we instructed our media buyer this morning to reallocate our ad dollars to other shows effective immediately,” a spokesperson for Untuckit said. Allstate in a statement wrote that “inclusivity & support for women are important to us. We are concerned about the issues surrounding the program & have suspended our ads.” Other companies pulling their spots include Mercedes, Mitsubishi, BMW, Hyundai,...

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Scathing LA Times Editorial Lashes Drumpf, Urges Protesters to “Raise Their Banners.”

by durrati – One might live their whole life and not read a piece by the Editorial Board of a major metropolitan newspaper encouraging protesters to flood the streets, but that is exactly what the board of the LA Times did today under the lede “Our Dishonest President”. “The role of the rational opposition is to stand up for the rule of law, the electoral process, the peaceful transfer of power and the role of institutions; we should not underestimate the resiliency of a system in which laws are greater than individuals and voters are as powerful as presidents. This nation survived Andrew Jackson and Richard Nixon. It survived slavery. It survived devastating wars. Most likely, it will survive again. But if it is to do so, those who oppose the new president’s reckless and heartless agenda must make their voices heard. Protesters must raise their banners. Voters must turn out for elections....

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New York Times Exposes Bill O’Reilly’s Pattern of Sexual Harassment and Cover Ups by Fox

by News Corpse – The New York Times published an article online that is certain to rattle the executive suites at Fox News. It revealed new information about Bill O’Reilly’s long history of sexual harassment and abusive behavior. The hostile work environment at Fox has been the subject of recent news reports due primarily to the scandals surrounding its now ex-CEO, Roger Ailes. Following allegations from several female Fox employees Ailes was forced to resign. But Ailes was not alone. Bill O’Reilly has had his own problems with accusations of harassment. One of the more infamous involved a producer who accepted a multimillion dollar settlement to end her legal proceedings. But that didn’t end the boorish behavior by O’Reilly toward the women with whom he worked. While rumors of promises and threats were rampant, details were often hard to nail down. And that’s where the new investigation by the Times comes in....

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Russia’s New Protest Generation (VIDEO)

by Roman Dobrokhotov – In Russia a new generation of discontented youth has come of age. Last Sunday mass demonstrations took place in almost 100 Russian cities. They were the biggest since the 2011-2012 protest wave, called the “snow revolution”. But if the last time election fraud was what provoked the people’s anger, this time it was an investigation into Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev’s alleged corruption practices. The investigation was conducted by the Anti-Corruption Foundation headed by Alexei Navalny, a prominent Russian opposition figure who has announced his intention to run in the 2018 presidential elections. Russian police detain hundreds at anti-corruption demonstrations Just a few months ago, no one would have believed that a corruption investigation could provoke mass protests across the country. Not expecting such a massive turnout, the authorities tried to stop the protesters from gathering. State media and law enforcement warned against going out into the streets,...

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Trump Taps Bush-Era Official Who Defended Mega-Merger as Antitrust Chief

by Nadia Prupis – Makan Delrahim once said he didn’t see maligned AT&T/Time Warner merger as “major antitrust problem”. President Donald Trump on Monday nominated his former lawyer and current White House counsel Makan Delrahim to serve as antitrust chief—potentially putting a man who once said there was nothing wrong with the AT&T/Time Warner mega-merger in charge of reviewing competition for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Delrahim previously served as deputy assistant attorney general from 2003 to 2005 under then-President George W. Bush. If confirmed by the Senate this time around, the corporate lawyer and lobbyist will serve as assistant attorney general for the DOJ agency that approves or rejects mergers and acquisitions and investigates companies for potential anti-competition threats. Delrahim’s prospective boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is generally seen as merger-friendly. Delrahim said in an interview with a Canadian television program last year that he didn’t see a problem...

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13 More Editorials Calling for a Special Prosecutor

by RandomNonviolence – As of March 7, there had been 20 editorial calls for a special prosecutor. Here are 13 more editorials since then: The Fresno Bee: Russia-Trump probe is in chaos, and Rep. Devin Nunes is to blame By our yardstick, Rep. Devin Nunes had a terrible week fulfilling his duties as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In fact, the performance of the Tulare Republican was so inept and bewildering that a fellow Republican, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, told MSNBC’s Greta Van Susteren on Wednesday that a bipartisan special select committee should investigate Russia’s meddling into the 2016 presidential campaign. … … Bring on the bipartisan special select committee – as was done with Benghazi – and a special prosecutor. Merced (CA) Sun-Star: Schiff rises, Nunes falters in Russia probe … It’s more proof that to get to the bottom of possible links between Trump associates and...

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TV Coverage of Climate Fell 66 Percent During a Record-Setting Year for Global Warming

by Joe Romm – Trump’s budget targets federal funding of PBS, the one network with the most climate coverage. In 2016, the major networks’ coverage of climate change dropped by two thirds compared to 2015. In fact, climate coverage last year was close to its lowest levels since 2009, according to a new analysis by MediaMatters of the evening and Sunday news programs that air on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox. This drop is despite historic wildfires, extreme weather events like Hurricane Matthew, and month after month of record-breaking global temperatures. And, of course, there was a presidential campaign between two people who have diametrically opposed views on the gravest preventable threat to the United States and the world. During the campaign, the major networks spent no time examining the climate policy differences between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — despite their vast disagreement on domestic action, the Paris climate agreement, and whether...

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Nunes Went to White House Grounds the Night Before Bizarre Disclosure, Met with Source

by Josh Israel – Did the Intelligence chairman get his secret information from the Trump White House? Trump was seemingly out of options. At a public hearing last Monday, Trump’s claim that President Obama had “tapped” Trump Tower was definitively debunked. Donald J. Trump  ✔@realDonaldTrump How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy! 7:02 AM – 4 Mar 2017 Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) emerged a couple of days later with a bizarre announcement that he “recently confirmed that on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition.” Nunes has been under fire for his press conference and his decision to brief President Trump before even discussing the matter with his own committee. Trump and his administration crowed that the announcement vindicated his widely debunked claims that President Obama had...

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Alex Jones Apologizes for Promoting ‘Pizzagate’ Conspiracy

by Aaron Rupar – Fake news has consequences. Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has apologized to a Washington, D.C., restaurant owner for disseminating a conspiracy theory that motivated one of his fans to open fire inside the Comet Ping Pong pizza joint. In a video published on Friday, the man the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as “certainly the most prolific conspiracy theorist in contemporary America” addresses Comet Ping Pong owner James Alefantis and says, “In our commentary about what had become known as Pizzagate, I made comments about Mr. Alefantis that in hindsight I regret, and for which I apologize to him.” Jones — who believes that the September 11 attacks, Oklahoma City bombing, Sandy Hook school shooting, and Boston Marathon bombings were all inside jobs — acknowledges there’s no evidence supporting the notion that Comet Ping Pong is or ever was at the center of a pedophilia ring involving some of Hillary Clinton’s closest...

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Trump Appears to Make Bizarre, Backhanded Call for Paul Ryan to Step Down

by Ian Millhiser – The president seems to want Fox News to do his dirty work. The President of the United States briefly took on a non-traditional role as publicist for a Fox News show Saturday night. Donald J. Trump  ✔@realDonaldTrump Watch @JudgeJeanine on @FoxNews tonight at 9:00 P.M. 10:41 AM – 25 Mar 2017 Host Jeanine Pirro had barely begun her show before Trump’s tweet took on new significance. “Paul Ryan needs to step down as speaker of the house,” she proclaimed at the very beginning of her “opening statement” segment at the top of the show. “The reason? He failed to deliver the votes on his healthcare bill.” Jeanine Pirro  ✔@JudgeJeanine “Paul Ryan needs to step down as speaker of the house.The reason? He failed to deliver the votes on his healthcare bill.” #openingstatement 9:21 PM – 25 Mar 2017 What followed was a 6 minute rant against the embattled...

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Dear Mom: About Your 50 Year Nursing Career & Medicaid… This Woman’s Letter Pummels the GOP

by Leslie Salzillo – I didn’t write this. I wish I did. The way this woman levels Republicans is stunning. The author is Betsy Anderson and it’s a letter addressed to her mother with a blind copy to the GOP and all Americans. Ms. Anderson cuts straight to core and heartlessness of the GOP and it should be required reading in Congress and in all forms of the media. It’s also a perfect example of how well social media can work — when it works. Betsy Anderson took to Facebook and spoke out on March 16, 2017. Susan, a friend of mine posted Besty’s post in a group where another friend of mine, John, from VoteVets.org saw it. He posted it into another Facebook group where I first saw it. (And if you followed all that…) now I get to post it on Daily Kos where it stands a good chance of being read by the multitudes. For Betsy’s sake, the...

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J&J Pulls Ads From YouTube Over ‘Offensive’ Videos

Johnson & Johnson the latest company to drop ads over fears content may appear alongside ‘terrorism’ and hate videos. US healthcare conglomerate Johnson & Johnson has become the latest company to suspend all digital advertising on YouTube over concerns its ads may have appeared on channels that broadcast offensive videos. J&J said on Thursday it wanted to ensure that its product advertising did not appear on channels that promote “offensive content”, a day after AT&T, Verizon, and several other major advertisers suspended their digital ads after discovering their brands had been appearing alongside videos promoting violence and hatred. “We are deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate,” AT&T said in a statement. “Until Google can ensure this won’t happen again, we are removing our ads from Google’s non-search platforms.” Google, YouTube’s parent company, has come under intense scrutiny for ads appearing alongside videos...

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Gibberish Is the White House’s New Normal

by TODD GITLIN – The bad art of the non sequitur. Once upon a time, there were presidents for whom English seemed their native language. Barack Obama most recently. He deliberated. At a press conference or in an interview — just about whenever he wasn’t speaking from a text — his pauses were as common as other people’s “uh’s.” He was not pausing because his vocabulary was impoverished. He was pausing to put words into sequence. He was putting phrases together with care, word by word, trying out words before uttering them, checking to feel out what they would sound like once uttered. It was important to him to words in order because he did not want to be misunderstood. That president valued precision, in no small part because he knew he lived in a world where every last presidential word was a speech act, a declaration with consequence, so that...

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Trump Defends Three of His Biggest Lies in New Time Magazine Interview

by Aaron Rupar – “I have articles saying it happened.” In a new Time magazine cover interview, President Trump defends three of the most notorious lies he’s told since beginning his presidential campaign in June 2015. Trump repeated his false claims that American Muslims celebrated on 9/11, that millions of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 presidential election, and that President Obama wiretapped him last fall. The interview, which was conducted on Wednesday by Time Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer, focuses on how Trump “has handled truth and falsehood in his career.” But the vast majority of the piece consists of Trump trying to defend blatant falsehoods by offering new ones. Throughout the interview, Trump’s defense when confronted with one of his lies is to shift blame to the media. Brian Stelter ✔@brianstelter “I have articles saying it happened.” http://ti.me/2mXMSvI  8:41 AM – 23 Mar 2017 At one point, Scherer...

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Roger Stone’s Russian Alibi Falls Apart

by Laurel Raymond – Stone keeps referencing ‘independent’ information he had on Podesta — but the article he says proves it is based on Wikileaks. Trump ally Roger Stone is one of the more colorful characters in the President’s arsenal. He wore a top hat and morning coat to Trump’s inauguration. He has a Nixon tattoo between his shoulder blades. He’s a weekly guest host on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ radio show. And now, he’s under FBI scrutiny for possibly colluding with the Russian election hacking to help boost President Donald Trump’s campaign — a charge he vehemently denies. The allegations stem from a series of actions of Stone’s, but chiefly rest on a prediction Stone made in August that it would “soon be Podesta’s time in the barrel.” Roger Stone @RogerJStoneJr Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary 10:24 AM – 21 Aug 2016 A little over a month...

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FBI Investigating Breitbart and InfoWars for Possible Russian Collusion

by ericlewis0 – From McClatchy, via Raw Story: WASHINGTON — Federal investigators are examining whether far-right news sites played any role last year in a Russian cyber operation that dramatically widened the reach of news stories — some fictional — that favored Donald Trump’s presidential bid, two people familiar with the inquiry say. Operatives for Russia appear to have strategically timed the computer commands, known as “bots,” to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories at times when the billionaire businessman was on the defensive in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton, these sources said. The bots’ end products were largely millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on conservative internet sites such as Breitbart News and InfoWars, as well as on the Kremlin-backed RT News and Sputnik News, the sources said. Some of the stories were false or mixed fact and fiction, said the sources, who...

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Meet Julia, the First Muppet on ‘Sesame Street’ with Autism (VIDEOS)

by Jessica Goldstein – “Sesame Street’ stands for inclusion and acceptance.” The first thing children watching Sesame Street might notice about Julia, the new Muppet on the block, is that she doesn’t want to make eye contact with Big Bird. Sesame devotees — which is to say, toddlers, kids, and their parents — might recognize Julia from her previous appearances on digital Sesame platforms, including ebooks. They’ll already know that Julia is a four-year-old with autism. But for viewers who will meet Julia for the first time when she makes her broadcast debut on April 10, Julia might seem unusual. Then again, maybe not: One in 68 children is diagnosed with autism. Maybe Julia will not seem unusual at all. Maybe she’ll seem totally, completely familiar. “When something is this prevalent, it’s something we have to step up to,” Sherrie Westin, Executive Vice President for Global Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop, said by phone....

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The Management of Unleashed Insanity

by TODD GITLIN – Trump perfects the role of Propagandist-in-Chief. Richard Nixon lied about wars and cover-ups, but otherwise his evasions and spins were in the mainstream of American political discourse. He was not in the regular practice of calling black white. By the end of his second term, Ronald Reagan was so mentally impaired as to make it unclear what he knew and when. But the present situation, a regime that systematically assaults truth, is unprecedented. One critical mass of citizens, Trump’s true believers, live in a mental universe composed of falsehoods poured steadily into their eyes and ears by a kept propaganda system, a system of untruth which they either affirm or, one way or the other, make their peace with. A second critical mass, the systematic resisters and doubters, is troubled beyond measure, but they are, for the moment, after years of default, powerless. Trump’s gamble is that...

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Trump’s War on the Truth Tellers

by Robert Reich – Trump and his White House don’t argue on the merits. They attack the credibility of the institutions that come up with facts and arguments they don’t like. They even do it preemptively. Last week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer warned that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office couldn’t be trusted to come up with accurate numbers about the costs and coverage of the Republicans’ replacement for the Affordable Care Act. “If you’re looking at the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place,” he said. So what’s the right place? The Oval Office? Bear in mind the director of the CBO is a Republican economist and former George W. Bush administration official who was chosen for his position by the Republican Congress in 2015. No matter. The White House is worried about what the CBO will say about Trumpcare, so it throws the CBO under the bus...

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White House Morons Tout Satirical Piece Shedding Proposed Budget – You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

by durrati – Think Progress: “This week, the White House began sending out an official email newsletter, “Your 1600 Daily,” to promote video clips of the president, pertinent news articles or endorsements, and other items of note happening that day. On Friday, there was an odd inclusion at the bottom, where normally one can find friendly headlines from Fox News, Breitbart, or other conservative outlets that have become media safe harbors for the administration. One of the two featured articles was a parody piece titled “Trump’s budget makes perfect sense and will fix America, and I will tell you why,” written by Alexandra Petri, who writes satirical pieces for the Washington Post’s lighthearted ComPost blog.” And what did the very witty Ms. Petri write that the editors of (Not)Your 1600 Daily mistook for glowing endorsement? “Some people are complaining that the budget proffered by the Trump administration, despite its wonderful macho-sounding name, is too...

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Beyond the Acid-Filled Jacuzzi: Sinister Truths About Bannon’s Fascism

by Alexander Reid Ross, Truthout | News Analysis – Stephen Bannon is an enigmatic man. According to The Washington Post’s well-traveled report, he is so difficult to pin down that he effectively had no fixed address during the three years before becoming Trump’s top adviser. Although Bannon filed for residency in Florida, evidence shows that he may not have lived there. Some speculate that he may have claimed residency in Florida to avoid California’s high taxes. However, his ex-wife apparently did live at his declared home, and the landlord reported some doors in the house dead-bolted, some doors missing entirely, and the Jacuzzi destroyed and “covered in acid.” Further reports indicate that Bannon was paid $376,000 from 2012-2015 for 30 hours of work a week by an anti-Clinton media company funded by Robert Mercer and connected to the Koch brothers called Government Accountability Institute at the same time as he...

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Where Free Speech Ends, Ignorance Begins

by Michael Winship – At the risk of sounding like a geezer complaining about “these kids today,” back in my college days, when it came to points of view we were unhesitatingly exposed to literature, teachers and on-campus speakers covering the ideological waterfront. In one instance, the student body was addressed by civil rights activist and comedian Dick Gregory, radical Irish activist Bernadette Devlin and the conservative writer and critic Russell Kirk — all in the course of a week or so. Such variety was a common occurrence, and freewheeling, open discussion was encouraged. We didn’t always like or agree with a lot of what we heard or read — from time to time there were vehement protests — but all of it was invaluable. None of us were harmed in the making of our education. So I was appalled the other day when I read about the attempt by Republican...

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The Tell-Tale Tweet

by Propane Jane – On March 12, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his first fireside chat to the American public. He was sworn in only eight days prior, but the scope of the crisis that greeted him necessitated a swift yet steady display of leadership to calm the anxieties of a nation in turmoil and despair. His first week in office had been besieged by a rash of bank withdrawals and closings, followed by a four day bank shutdown, then hasty passage of the Emergency Banking Act to restore confidence to an economic system in free fall. The stated purpose of Roosevelt’s unprecedented radio address was to explicitly inform the public “what has been done in the last few days, why it was done, and what the next steps are going to be,” and to practically beg panicked Americans to stop withdrawing their money from the gravely anemic banks. Miraculously, the public...

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Don’t Say You Weren’t Warned: Your Smart TV is Spying On You

by MICHAEL PRICE – It appears the CIA is exploiting Americans TVs to collect information, and it’s a safe bet they’re not the only ones. Don’t say we didn’t warn you about this one: your “smart” TV may be spying on you. Really. According to classified documents leaked this week, the CIA found a way to hack the microphone on televisions equipped with voice control and send the audio back to headquarters. It can even record in “Fake-Off” mode — when the TV looks like it’s off but isn’t, according to notes on project “Weeping Angel.” See, this is why we can’t have nice things. Way back in 2014, we noticed a rather ominous waring in the novella-length privacy policy that came with our new smart TV: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted...

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Frightbart

by TODD GITLIN – The view from Steve Bannon’s propaganda site will scare the bejeezus out of you, which is its point.   The home page of Breitbart.com, the quasi-official voice of Steve Bannon’s White House, is a virtual stew of menace, a pit of monsters, an unending onslaught of apocalyptic horsemen rearing up at full gallop, coming straight at you, drawing closer…. But what the Breitbart reader is not being warned against is poisoned water, eviction, a melting glacier, a rising sea, a pauper’s grave, a burning cross, a bank swindle or a loss of medical care. Those are the kind of fears that afflict liberal wimps brainwashed by “the enemy of the people.” A Breitbart reader quivers, all right, hunkered down in the safe spaces of Fortress America while enemies gather outside the gates. But what he or she needs protection from is, to take a recent dozen, (1)...

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Where’s Tillerson? Secretary of State Ducking Press Amid Reports of Being Sidelined

by Deirdre Fulton – ‘Your decision to travel without reporters sends a dangerous signal to other countries about the U.S. commitment to freedom of the press.’ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will embark on his first trip to Asia next week, visiting Japan, South Korea, and China. In what some journalists are calling an unprecedented move, he will not travel with members of the press. “Not only does this situation leave the public narrative of the meetings up to the Chinese foreign ministry as well as Korea’s and Japan’s, but it gives the American people no window whatsoever into the views and actions of the nation’s leaders,” a dozen Washington bureau chiefs from major news organizations wrote in a letter to the State Department earlier this week. CNN‘s Brian Stelter reported: On Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer claimed that Tillerson was looking to save money by taking a smaller...

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mr. Donald J. Trump

by Michael Winship – A stroll through this past weekend’s craziness tells us more than we care to know about the state of the presidential mind. Assume for a moment, as many have suggested, that the whole Trump/Putin/Russia calamity is a deliberate distraction, a deflection to shift our gaze from the destruction of government and democratic principles that Trump, Bannon and their cohort — aided and abetted by a compliant Congress — seem intent on implementing. What then to make of this weekend’s flurry of tweets from our commander-in-chief, first bellowing that Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower in Manhattan and then demanding a congressional investigation? A distraction from a distraction? Or worse? CNN’s Jake Tapper succinctly summed it up in a Sunday morning tweet of his own: Jake Tapper  ✔@jaketapper POTUS makes wild accusation w/zero evidence WH searches for evidence & cant find any WH tells Congress to find evidence/no further...

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When the Supreme Court Stopped a Government-Led Attack on Freedom of the Press

by Damon Root – Revisiting a landmark First Amendment case.   In 1934 the Louisiana legislature passed a law requiring all newspapers, magazines, and periodicals with a circulation of 20,000 or more to pay an annual licensing tax of 2 percent on all gross receipts “for the privilege of engaging in such business in this State.” Ostensibly justified as just another run-of-the-mill tax, the measure’s true purpose was plain for all to see. The governor at that time was the notorious populist demagogue Huey P. Long, also known as the “Kingfish.” The Long administration was famously rife with corruption and criminality and the state’s biggest newspapers just happened to be some of the governor’s most outspoken critics. So the Kingfish told his allies in the legislature to use the state’s vast taxing powers to harass and punish his enemies in the press. The American Press Company, along with eight other newspaper...

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20 Editorials (so far) Calling for a Special Prosecutor to Investigate Trump-Russia Connections

by RandomNonviolence – Members of the Trump administration keep lying about their mysterious connections to Russia. Donald Trump refuses to release his tax returns or the financial books for the Trump Organization that might provide clarity. And Republicans in Congress refuse to seriously investigate. Clearly something unsavory is going on, so a growing chorus of newspaper editorial boards are now calling for an independent investigation. Here are 20 of those editorials: New York Times, Editorial: When One President Smears Another … His accusation is so sensational — so explosive if it turned out to have some basis in fact and so corrosive if not — that Congress has no credible option but to convene a bipartisan select committee to investigate all questions related to Russian interference in the election. And if Mr. Trump has confidence in his claim, he should have no reluctance about the appointment of an independent counsel to get to...

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How the Media Normalized Trump’s Mental Illness and Put Democracy at Risk

by Socdoc216 – Over the course of his life Donald Trump has exhibited innumerable behaviors demonstrating that he is malevolently aggressive, unbounded by conscience, incapable of recognizing truth or reality, highly erratic and selfish, and in possession of an excessively inflated ego.  For decades the public has been informed of Trump’s behavior, often portrayed as an entertaining but harmless “bad boy” by a news media that had, in large part (but with notable exceptions) morphed into an “infotainment” industry primarily motivated not by its democratic mission to inform the public, but by the profit motive.  This morphing has stymied the ability of the general US population to easily obtain basic factual news, but it has in no way nullified the ability of the infotainment industry to influence the public’s perception of reality.  A noteworthy example of this was the constant, unwarranted mainstream media coverage of Trump previous to and early in...

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Dig Deep: From Russia with Love, Errrrr…. Money (VIDEOS)

by GAIL ABLOW – This week’s installment in our series in which we regularly point you to some of the best investigative reporting you might otherwise miss. What is President Trump’s connection to Russia? Teams of investigative reporters are out in force attempting to reveal the answer. As you know, newly confirmed Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who should have been heading up an investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election — had to recuse himself after The Washington Post’s revelation that, during sworn testimony, he failed to mention his meetings with the Russian ambassador during the presidential campaign. A number of other Russian connections to various Trump affiliates have surfaced in the past few weeks, but we are still in the dark about what it all means. An independent investigation, or the release of the president’s tax returns would perhaps provide answers, but until then we have journalists following dimly...

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Rachel Maddow’s Trump Coverage has Rocketed Her to the Top 10 of TV Ratings

by News Corpse – There have been numerous polls that show Donald Trump sinking to historic lows in approval. He currently resides at a pitiful 43 percent. That puts him at the bottom of the past nine presidents (going back more than sixty years) at this point in their terms. And that makes him the most unpopular new president in as long as this poll has been done. Likewise, majorities of the public are generally not in favor of his policies. He is trailing on the issues he has pushed the hardest for. Voters oppose him on ObamaCare, the border wall, and immigration. The media that he hates so fiercely is held in higher esteem than he is. And half of the electorate is already in favor of impeaching him. Can it get any worse than this? Well, another measure of popularity is the ratings of television programs that feature news...

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A 16-Year-Old Canadian Girl is Behind Professional Bigot Milo Yiannopoulos’ Downfall

by wagatwe – Remember how Milo Yiannopoulos’ career seemingly exploded into flames in the span of a week? It felt like a long time ago, but the last straw — his resignation from Breitbart as their senior editor — was only 10 days ago. Bananas, right? Well, the story gets even better when you find out how this call came about. Turns out there’s a 16-year-old Canadian high school student who was the brains behind the extremely efficient operation. Vox caught up with this girl, whom they refer to as Julia, to learn why and how she did it. The teen describes herself as “very socially liberal” yet more conservative on economic and foreign policy issues. So why did she target Milo? Well, this is what she told Vox: “I see Milo as this embodiment of the awfulness you see over the past few years with the general tilt of millennial conservatism. It’s diverged from this traditional...

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Man Behind Trump’s Claim That Obama Tapped Him Just Admitted He Made Shit Up (VIDEO)

by John Prager – Donald Trump is now demanding that any probe into his administration’s connections to Russia also include a probe into his wild allegation that President Obama tapped his “wires” in Trump Tower. This dubious claim seems to have originated with a Breitbart article that had been circulating among White House staff. The article in question claimed that President Obama had ordered a wiretap under the Foreign intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows a secret court to authorize surveillance in cases that involve agents of foreign powers — in this case, Trump and two Russian banks. The article heavily referenced claimed made by conspiracy theorist Mark Levin on his far-Right radio show that “we absolutely know this is true” that Obama was monitoring Trump’s team during the campaign. But now that his ridiculous allegations are being scrutinized by people who aren’t completely batsh*t insane, Levin is doing everything he can to walk them...

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Dear Van Jones, and Other Pundits, do you Think he’s Still Presidential After Saturday’s Tweets?

by StellaRay – I’m tired of saying I’ve never seen anything like it in my lifetime. Got to move it up to saying I’ve never seen anything like it in my study of American history, of which I majored in and taught. Yeah, there’s some bad presidents in that long list, but never one so mentally impaired and incompetent as Donald. This business of “raising Donald” is so…searching for words…searching…searching. Google cannot help. Coming up with less than adequate words, because there are no words. But the best I can do, is say that I see the media’s response to Donald’s speech to congress, like a conference between parents and teachers over a very troubled child. “Oh my, didn’t Donny do well at that?” “Let’s be fair, Donny didn’t throw a mud pie at you this time.” “Clearly, Donald can read!’ “We think Donny is on the edge of a break through, don’t...

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Jake Tapper Blasts Trump’s ‘Do A Lot More With Less’ Line: Does A Weekly Visit To Palm Beach Qualify? (VIDEO)

by Shannon Barber – Jake Tapper has just about had it with Donald Trump. The feisty host of CNN’s The Lead infamously took Trump’s top liar spin doctor, White House Counsel Kellyanne Conway, through a wood chipper for lying to him on air, and even banned her from his show briefly. He also rails Trump daily. Friday’s subject? How much Trump is costing taxpayers with his weekly trips to his swanky Florida resort, Mar-A-Lago. Tapper first played the line in one of Trump’s speech where he insisted that he and his staff would “do a lot more with less” for the American people. Tapper says after the clip: “Do a lot more with less. Presidents are certainly entitled to take a day off, but any deficit hawk would ask: is a weekly visit to Palm Beach doing a lot more with less? It takes Marine One, Air Force One, and motorcades to...

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Leaked Doc Puts “Stake in the Heart” of Trump’s Travel Ban Rationale (VIDEO)

by Lauren McCauley – MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow revealed a telling internal document which proves that extreme vetting is ‘bull-pucky’. In a major scoop said to put a “stake in the heart of the Muslim ban,” MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow reported Thursday evening on a new leaked Department of Homeland Security (DHS) analysis which essentially shreds the Trump administration’s rationale for banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations. The document, prepared by DHS’ internal intelligence agency, the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, concludes that the majority of foreign-born, U.S.-based violent extremists were radicalized several years after their entry into the U.S.. Following the “unbelievably chaotic rollout,” as Maddow put it, of President Donald Trump’s travel ban—which was subsequently and roundly rejected by the U.S. court system—the White House has repeatedly sworn that a replacement plan was in the works, with an eventual release planned for Wednesday. “Well now, it’s Thursday,” Maddow quipped. “Where’s the...

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Robert Reich Breaks Down Trump’s 10-Step Plan For ‘Turning Lies Into Truth’ (VIDEO)

by April Hamlin – In a new video, Robert Reich breaks down the 10-step plan Donald Trump is using to turn lies into truths and how we can break the cycle. While many of us are inclined to think he is just a bumbling buffoon. Reich notes that the Wall Street Journal has refused to call Trump’s lies, lies. Their reasoning? He isn’t doing it on purpose, so it doesn’t really count. He isn’t lying intentionally. He’s just an idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But Trump is actually succeeding at turning his many bogus falsehoods into near truths. Here’s how: He lies. Experts and media condemn his lies as bullsh*t. Trump attacks the experts and media as “dishonest, screaming “Fake News” from the rooftops. Trump repeats the lie over and over, claiming that “many people” say he’s right. The mainstream media no longer call the lie a lie. It now...

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Harvard Law Review Elects its First Black Female President in its 130 Year History

by wagatwe – In “great but way overdue” news: The Harvard Law Review has elected its first Black female president. The highly regarded publication, which had its first black male president when Obama attended 27 years ago, finally reached this milestone after 130 years in existence. Harvard BLSA @HarvardBLSA Congrats to Imeime Umana, HLS ’18, on her selection as President of the Harvard Law Review. 1st black woman to serve as President. #Herstory 9:24 PM – 29 Jan 2017 · Harvard Law School Imeime Umana, a 24-year-old woman born to two Nigerian immigrants (I know Trump wouldn’t be happy to hear that), spoke about her election in an interview with The New York Times and why this is a Pretty Big Deal:  presidency is considered the highest-ranking student position at the ferociously competitive law school and a ticket to virtually anywhere in the legal realm. Half of the current Supreme Court justices served...

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A Great Danger to Our Country

by TODD GITLIN – The twisted art of intimidating with slander to help build “a new political order.”   Donald J. Trump  ✔@realDonaldTrump FAKE NEWS media knowingly doesn’t tell the truth. A great danger to our country. The failing @nytimes has become a joke. Likewise @CNN. Sad! 10:09 PM – 24 Feb 2017 So blared the tweeter-in-Chief at 10:09 p.m. Friday, rounding out a full day spent ranting against The Enemy Within. Trump, whose prime rhetorical instrument is percussion, used the word “dishonest” seven times to describe journalists — not all journalists, mind, only the ones who “knowingly tell the truth.” Earlier that day, Trump strutted into the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and repeated his charge that what he calls “FAKE NEWS” is “the enemy of the people,” meaning that “they have no sources, they just make it up” — a practice with which he has some familiarity, having...

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“The Press is the Light that Makes the Roaches Scatter”

by teacherken – That is the next to last line of a powerful New York Times column by the inimitable Charles M. Blow, titled Trump, Archenemy of Truth. You need to read it, absorb it, pass it on. That line perfectly encapsulates the truth about the attacks of Bannon and Trump at CPAC against the press that rightfully calls the President to account for his truths. You will read selections from the remarks of both men.  Those I do not need to reproduce. You will read Blow’s analysis of what Bannon is arguing —  that the economic nationalism of Trump is  a threat to the profitability of papers like the one for which Blow writes, a threat so urgent that the American media is willfully damaging the only real asset it has — credibility — by inventing falsehoods designed to damage Trump and insulate its own profitability. And this works because...

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Bill Maher Lashes out at the Press: Toughen up, Stop Covering Crap, Take one for the Team

by Egberto Willies – A national press with similarly lousy credibility as Trump is one that is ineffective. Bill Maher uses actual examples of their screw ups to point out what they should do in this excerpted video clip. Now more than ever we need a robust and assertive press. It is the time that the media gets back to the basics but most importantly grow spines to confront our political bully. “Now that polls show that the public finds the news media less trustworthy than Donald Trump,” Bill Maher said. “They have to fight to get their reputation back. And there are encouraging signs that that fight has been joined.” Maher then pointed out that the New York Times called out Trump’s untruths by name, lies. Chuck Todd, Scot Pelley, and George Stephanopoulos slammed Trump spokespersons when they came on the air with their alternative facts. “We are going to need...

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Milo Yiannopoulos’ Fall From a Hateful Summit

by Sam Fulwood III – Until recently, I’d never heard of Milo Yiannopoulos. How I wish that blissful ignorance had remained intact. Over the past several years, Yiannopoulos has developed a fanatic following among a minority of Americans who’ve embraced his nasty bleating on Breitbart. Had he been confined exclusively to Breitbart, I might not have ever become aware of him. Alas, he crossed my path over the weekend, turning up like a lightening bug smashing into my social media windshield. The bombastic provocateur accepted a headline speaking gig at the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC. That didn’t sit too well with some of Yiannopoulos’ critics, of which I’ve learned there are legions. He seems to enjoy attracting controversy as a means to burnish his reputation and line his pocket. Yiannopoulos is an unlikely hero for the conservative political action group; he’s an openly gay man who...

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Chickenshit Trump Blows Off White House Correspondents Dinner: Paging Alec Baldwin

by News Corpse – Donald Trump has been fighting a bloody “War on the Media” for months now. His recent escalations included calling the “fake news” media the “enemy of the American people.”  Shortly thereafter his press secretary, Sean Spicer, banned several news organizations from a White House briefing. The animosity from Trump gets more intense by the hour. In his latest assault Gen. Trump has just announced that he will not be attending the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 29. The WHCD is an annual affair that is held to raise funds for scholarships. But apparently Trump’s anti-media obsession overrules any interest in helping a charity. The truth is more likely that Trump is afraid of having a close encounter with the “enemy.” He has never been particularly good at laughing at himself. That’s a personality flaw that’s common among narcissists. So rather than fraternize with the media he...

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The Manchurian President

by NEAL GABLER – A classic Hollywood political thriller may tell us more about what’s happening in America than any history book. As the Trump presidency unravels, unraveling the country along with it, there is no real political antecedent, no lessons from American history on which to draw and provide guidance. We are in entirely uncharted waters. But there is an antecedent in our popular culture that provides a prism through which to view the contemporary calamity, especially the alleged collusion between Trump’s henchmen and Russian intelligence to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency. I am not the first observer who has noted the relevance of the movie The Manchurian Candidate. But the relevance is more than skin or celluloid deep. It goes to the very heart of this bizarre and frightening political moment. First, the fact that this implausibly plotted Hollywood thriller could now be applied, not altogether implausibly, to a...

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Dan Rather: This is an Emergency—and a Moment of Judgement for Everyone Who Remains Silent

by Leslie Salzillo – If you’ve been following news this week, there’s no doubt you’ve read/heard about the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon made a dangerous and odious threat against the media. This was followed by Donald Trump echoing the same message while barring some reputable, truth-seeking news groups including The New York Times from a White House briefing, an unprecedented act against the media, the freedom of the press, and the nation’s First Amendment. The legendary newsman Dan Rather took to social media to share his straight-shooting views, experience and wisdom regarding the latest derelictions from the White House. Here is his Facebook post in full.  The time for normalizing, dissembling, and explaining away Donald Trump has long since passed. The barring of respected journalistic outlets from the White House briefing is so far beyond the norms and traditions that have governed this republic for generations, that they must be seen as a real and present threat to our democracy....

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Media Bites Back: Newspaper Threatens Lawsuit for GOP Senator Calling Them “Fake News”

by SemDem – “Fake News” is a very real thing. It is the publication of hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation purporting to be real news with the deliberate intent to mislead. Many fake news websites originate from Russia, Macedonia, and Romania. What it is NOT is an editorial from a respected, established newspaper entitled “Better open records”, which supports a bill to give journalists better access to government records. The Daily Sentinel, which is the local newspaper for Grand Junction, CO, urged moving forward with the bill and called on State Senator Ray Scott to quit delaying the bill and bring it up for a vote.  Their exact words were: “We call on our own Sen. Scott to announce a new committee hearing date and move this bill forward.” This is how Ray Scott responded: On Twitter, he said: We have our own fake news in Grand Junction… On Facebook, he said: The very liberal...

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Apple CEO Wants Schools to Help Fix the World’s Fake News Problem

by Lauren C. Williams – In Telegraph interview, Tim Cook said battling fake news needs to be “ingrained in the schools” because “it’s killing people’s minds.” For Apple CEO Tim Cook, fake news isn’t just a social media phenomenon, it’s a societal problem that needs to be addressed in every corner of our culture, starting with the education system. “It has to be ingrained in the schools, it has to be ingrained in the public,” Cook told the UK’s Telegraph in an exclusive interview. “There has to be a massive campaign.” The rise of fake news is a “short-term thing” that people don’t want, Cook said, emphasizing that a problem which is “killing people’s minds” can only be solved by educating children who will then push their parents to act. “It’s almost as if a new course is required for the modern kid, for the digital kid,” he said. “In some ways...

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Intel Community to Trump: “Now we go nuclear. He will die in jail.”

by Frank Vyan Walton – In the last two days the Drumpfter Fire that is currently raging in the White House seems to have hit a flashpoint with the sudden resignation of NSA Advisor Michael Flynn and then the revelation by the New York Times that several members of the Trump campaign were in regular contact with Russian Intelligence during the election. WASHINGTON — Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials. American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign...

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In a Brutal Interview, Kellyanne Conway Struggles to Defend Trump and Flynn on Russia Scandal

by Jen Hayden – Speaking with Matt Lauer on The Today Show, master deflector Kellyanne Conway struggled to get through an interview about why Donald Trump didn’t fire Michael Flynn the moment the Justice Department informed the president that Michael Flynn had not been truthful about his comments to the Russian ambassador in December. In fact, that Flynn had been actively undermining President Obama as he levied new sanctions against Russia for their role in the U.S. elections. You know things are bad when Kellyanne Conway struggles to come up with a coherent defense of Trump’s actions. Watch as Conway gets backed into a corner and can’t seem to muster the energy to punch her way out. Video and full transcript are below: LAUER: Yesterday afternoon on MSNBC, you said that Michael Flynn “enjoyed the full confidence of the president.” Sean Spicer later said the president was evaluating the situation. And then Michael Flynn...

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Melania Trump Reveals Plan to Leverage Presidency to Ink ‘Multi-Million Dollar’ Endorsement Deals

by Judd Legum – The admission came in a defamation lawsuit the First Lady filed against the Daily Mail. In a lawsuit filed Monday, First Lady Melania Trump revealed her intention to leverage the presidency to ink new “licensing, branding, and endorsement” deals worth many millions of dollars. In the filing, Melania Trump’s lawyer described the position of First Lady as a “once-in-a-lifetime” money making opportunity. She told the court she intended to pursue deals in “apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care, and fragrance.” These kind of endorsement deals would be especially lucrative while Melania Trump is First Lady and thus “one of the most photographed women in the world.” Melania Trump v. Mail Media Inc, Supreme Court of The State of New York. Filed 2/6/17 The First Lady’s lawsuit is against the Daily Mail, which published a story repeating allegations in a Slovenian magazine that Melania Trump once worked...

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Trump’s List of ‘Unreported’ Terror Attacks is Out, and it’s Absurd

by Rika Christensen – On Monday, Trump said to a crowd at MacDill Air Force Base that the “very dishonest media” wasn’t reporting on the terror attacks that are happening all across Europe all the time. Later on, the media pressed Sean Spicer on that topic while aboard Air Force One, and Spicer’s response was to say that they’d provide a list “later on.” Well, that list is out, and surprise surprise, it’s completely ridiculous. Since Trump’s comments focused on Europe and, by extension, the U.S., the following lists are focused there, despite many, many other attacks happening around the world. Perhaps one of the most ridiculous things about the White House’s list of attacks is that it includes high-profile attacks that were covered for days on end, such as the 2015 attack against Charlie Hebdo in Paris, and the fateful attack at a Paris club in November. It also includes...

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Trump Shrugs off Putin’s Killings: ‘You Think our Country’s so Innocent?’

by Jessica Goldstein – To Russia, with love. In a taped interview with Fox’s Bill O’Reilly that aired Sunday before the Super Bowl, President Donald Trump said he has “respect” for Vladimir Putin, the Voldemort doppelgänger and alleged saboteur of our fair nation’s election. Lest Putin let such a fine compliment go to his head, Trump quickly followed up this declaration — “I do respect him” — by saying, “Well, I respect a lot of people.” Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States: He respects Putin, but thinks civil rights hero John Lewis is “all talk and no action.” Trump went on to say that it would be “better to get along with Russia than not,” and that “if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world — that’s a good thing. Will I get along with him? I have no idea.” O’Reilly said,...

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Epic: “When some Dr. Dude tries to school you in health care systems and you are having none of it…”

by Magnifico – Dr. Jennifer Gunter, an OB/GYN and pain physician, who blogs on health matters, posted an epic response to, as she puts it: “when some Dr. Dude tries to school you in health care systems and you are having none of it”. Jennifer Gunter @DrJenGunter When some Dr. Dude tries to school you in health care systems and you are having none of it 12:26 AM – 2 Feb 2017 Commenting on her blog post questioning why Dr. Harold Bornstein failed to disclose his patient Donald Trump is taking medications, specifically Propecia, Dr. Terry Clark whined about her “negativity” toward Trump: 2 thoughts on “Why did Trump’s doctor fail to disclose Trump was taking Propecia before the election?” Jen, Is there ANYTHING about Trump that you like or are you going to complain and bitch for the next 4 years? Just curious. Your negativity is nauseating! Maybe you would be more comfortable...

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The Canadian Prime Minister’s Office Schools Fox News

by Laurel Raymond – “These tweets by Fox News dishonour the memory of the six victims.” It took over a day — and a direct complaint from the Canadian Prime Minister’s office — for Fox News to delete a tweet that incorrectly identified the attacker in the Quebec Mosque shooting as someone “of Moroccan origin.” “These tweets by Fox News dishonour the memory of the six victims and their families by spreading misinformation, playing identity politics, and perpetuating fear and division within our communities,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Director of Communications Kate Purchase wrote in an email to Fox. Purchase posted the entirety of her email to Twitter. The police had initially arrested two suspects in the attack, in which a gunman entered a mosque on Sunday and opened fire on worshipers from behind. The shooter killed six and wounded another nineteen. One of the suspects, Alexandre Bissonnette, is a 27-year-old French Canadian, the...

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