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This Trump Judicial Nominee Was So Racist Even Republicans Couldn't Support Him

July 19, 2018 in Blogs

By Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza, Daily Kos

His nomination was withdrawn.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell just withdrew the nomination of Ryan Bounds to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, as well as Guam. Only one other Trump appellate nominee has withdrawn, the ignominious Brett Talley, now relegated to vetting others for judicial nominations. 

His undergraduate contributions to a Stanford student paper leave little room for doubt as to his views. Among other snippets cited by The Oregonian, his homestate paper, these seem to betray a particular hostility to identities other than his own.

The existence of ethnic organizations is no inevitable prerequisite to maintaining a diverse community – white students, after all, seem to be doing all right without an Aryan Student Union.'

There are a few more gems along those lines, and I’d hate for you to miss them.

Whenever a group of white males happens to be at the same place at the same time, you can be sure that the foul stench of oppression and exploitation lingers in the air. In contrast, ethnic centers, whose sole purpose is to bring together exclusive cliques of students to revel in racial purity, are so righteous that the mere mention of cutting their budgets incites turmoil on the grandest scale.

Ah, white male victimhood! That’s pretty much the motto of this administration—now they call it “economic anxiety”—so, had Bounds not published a veritable forest of racist thoughts, that probably only would have counted for him.

Then there’s this claim, which is too many levels of ignorant to engage.

If a black person is an individualist and a thoroughgoing capitalist who eschews victimhood status and its concomitant entitlements, race-thinkers are quick to brand him “oreo,” “Uncle Tom,” or “sell-out.” This is a beloved tool for consensus-building at Stanford, land of multicultural toleration.

Next up? His complaint that when he announced his opposition to a separate black student orientation weekend—with a snide, more-than-a-little-racist comment reducing the experience of that weekend for black students to having their own, obviously different (don’t ask him why) barbecue.

I wanted to attend a …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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'Get the F*ck Out!': Whoopi Goldberg's Fight with Trump-Supporting Pirro on The View Reportedly Escalated Backstage

July 19, 2018 in Blogs

By AlterNet

The TV hosts clashed on air when over President Trump.


“The View” host Whoopi Goldberg clashed with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro Thursday in an explosive segment that ended abruptly in a shouting match over President Donald Trump.

But according to a new report from Page Six, the sparks began to fly again once the hosts met afterward and the pair's confrontation escalated backstage.

The fight initially erupted on-air when Pirro accused Goldberg of having “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

“I have never, ever seen anything like this,” Goldberg fired back. “I have never seen anybody whip up such hate. I have never seen anybody be so dismissive.”

Sources told Page Six that offstage, Pirro tried telling Goldberg that she has fought for victims her entire life. Goldberg reported lashed out in response: “‘F–k you, get the f–k out of this building.’

Another source told the outlet that Pirro could have walked by Goldberg, but instead she intentionally put her finger in her antagonist's face.

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Source: ALTERNET

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Trump Literally Just Figured Out What the Title of His Show 'The Apprentice' Means

July 19, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

“I never actually put that together until just now.”


Before entering politics and becoming president, Donald Trump was perhaps best known for his work as the host of the game show “The Apprentice.”

But despite it being his best-known work, it seems Trump himself never really knew what the title of the show meant, as he revealed in a speech discussing American workers on Thursday.

“Today, 23 companies and associations are pledging to expand apprenticeships,” he said, and then he stopped himself.

“That's an interesting word for me to be saying — 'The Apprentice,'” he continued. “I never actually put that together until just now. That was a good experience, I will tell you that.”

Perhaps he thought the title of the show referred to him, the show's host, rather than for the spot the contestants were competing for: his apprentice. But whatever the reason for his confusion, it seems Trump never made the connection between the title of his show and actual real-world apprenticeships. 

In case viewers think he was joking, the video shows a genuine look of surprise on his face as he has the realization. And he continued, with apparent sincerity: “Isn't that strange? Ivanka, I never associated… but here we are. Can't get away from that word. It's a great word.”

Then he continued with his prepared remarks.

Watch the clip below:

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Source: ALTERNET

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Facebook CEO Congratulated Trump in a Secret Call After the 2016 Election — And the Company Privately 'Celebrated' His Campaign

July 19, 2018 in Blogs

By Chris Sosa, AlterNet

The campaign spent millions of advertising dollars on the platform.


As the fallout from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s controversial remarks defending Holocaust deniers continues, BuzzFeed News reports that the billionaire secretly called President Donald Trump after his election.

According to BuzzFeed, Zuckerberg “congratulated the Trump team on its victory and successful campaign, which spent millions of dollars on advertising with Facebook.”

BuzzFeed says it “obtained company presentations and memos that show the social media giant viewed Trump’s campaign as an ‘innovator’ of a fast-moving, test-oriented approach to marketing on Facebook.”

Facebook disseminated Russian propaganda during the 2016 election through its platform, which did not successfully identify and reject the content from our foreign foe.

By Facebok's own estimates, 126 million people saw Russia-linked content during the 2016 election cycle.

Neither Facebook or the White House would offer comment to BuzzFeed on the report.

 

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Source: ALTERNET

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'Say That Again?' Trump's Intel Chief Bursts Into Shocked Laughter After the White House Announces Putin Visit

July 19, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

The timing couldn't have been worse.


If the White House were actively trying to undermine its own communications operations, it's hard to imagine that it could do much better than its abysmal performance this week.

After dealing with the fallout of President Donald Trump’s botched and disastrous summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, and several transparent attempts to clean up the president’s mess, press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Thursday that the authoritarian leader had been invited to visit the White House in the fall.

At almost the exact same time of Sanders’ announcement, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats — a Trump appointee — said at the Aspen Security Forum that Russia is continuing to launch cyberattacks and propaganda warfare against the United States.

When Coats was informed of the upcoming meeting live on stage, he looked shocked: “Say that again?” Then he burst into stunned laughter. “Okay… that's going to be special.”

Earlier in the talk, he had warned about the danger Putin poses.

“We are under attack,” Coats told MSNBC reporter Andrea Mitchell. Russia, he said, was the most aggressive of American foes.

So even as the country is posing a serious threat to American security, its authoritarian president will be honored with a White House visit.

Coats also leveled measured criticism against the president himself. After Trump had defended Putin on Monday against the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, Coats had issued a statement reiterating the findings.

“I believed I needed to correct the record,” he told Mitchell. “Obviously, I wished he had made a different statement.”

He added that he is constantly afraid of a “cyber 9/11.”

“In Helsinki,@POTUS agreed to ongoing working level dialogue between the two security council staffs,” Sanders said in a tweet as Coats was speaking. “President Trump asked@AmbJohnBolton to invite President Putin to Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway.”

Watch Coats' interview below (Coats learns of the Putin meeting at 45:08):

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Trump's Premature Victory Proclamations Undercut Credibility

July 19, 2018 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

July 19 (UPI) — President Donald Trump has an unfortunate habit
of making splashy, unsupported proclamations of foreign policy
breakthroughs. The latest episode was his statement after his
summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki,
Finland. After claiming that the relationship between the two
countries “has never been worse than it is now,” he quickly
added,
“that changed, as of about four hours ago.”

The notion that such deeply troubled bilateral ties improved
dramatically because of one brief meeting, however cordial, defies
logic. The United States and Russia have faced bitter disputes on
multiple issues, including policy toward Syria, NATO expansion,
Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and Russia’s alleged interference in
America’s 2016 elections. Such disagreements and tensions will be
resolved (if at all) only after lengthy, difficult
negotiations.

Unfortunately, Trump seems to believe that entrenched policies
can shift quickly with little more than determination and
goodwill.

Trump seems to believe
that entrenched policies can shift quickly with little more than
determination and goodwill.

For example, following the recent NATO summit, he stated
confidently that the European members had committed to making
far more serious defense efforts and sharing a
greater portion of the collective defense burden. Like his
statement in Helsinki, that comment is premature at best and
woefully naïve at worst.

Washington’s NATO partners have made similar promises in the
past, only to renege on them in subsequent years. Following the
2006 summit, members of the alliance pledged to devote a minimum of
2 percent of their annual gross domestic product to defense. They
re-emphasized that commitment at the 2014 summit. Yet in 2017,
other than the United States, only Britain, France, Greece, Poland
and Estonia had met that target. The lackadaisical spending
policies of the other members drew sharp rebukes from Barack Obama and his
secretary of defense, Robert Gates.

Given that track record, it is decidedly premature for Trump to
assume that this time it will be different. Granted, his criticisms
of the allies were significantly sharper and angrier than those
expressed by officials in earlier administrations, but only time
will tell if the European governments are now more serious about
their NATO commitments.

Trump also jumped to optimistic conclusions following his summit
with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Not only did he contend
that the meeting had gone extremely well, he soon stated that North
Korea no longer posed a nuclear threat.

His assumption about the latter point was utterly unwarranted,
but Trump did have reason to be pleased about the results of the
Singapore summit. The atmosphere was cordial, in sharp contrast to
the usual …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Don't Use Test Scores to Regulate Education Choices

July 19, 2018 in Economics

By Corey A. DeAngelis

Corey A. DeAngelis

A recent federal evaluation found that using a
voucher to attend a private school in D.C. reduced student math
test scores by 10-percentile points and had no statistically
significant effect on reading test scores. However, the same
private school students were over 35 percent more likely than their public school
peers to report that they were in a “very safe”
school
. These findings have led some education policy analysts
to call for additional standardized testing regulationsof
school voucher programs. After all, we could just force all schools
to be “high quality,” right?

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Especially when
regulators use shaky measures of quality.

New rigorous evidence from education researchers
Diether W. Beuermann and C. Kirabo Jackson suggests that parents
know what’s best for their own children in the long-run. But
whatever that is, it isn’t captured by standardized test
scores.

The study uses data from over 40,000 students in Barbados.
Families in the Caribbean island are able to rank-order their nine
preferred schools for their children after 6th grade. And because
the Barbados education system uses test score cutoffs to determine
which students ultimately get access to their most preferred
schools, the researchers are able to use a rigorous econometric
methodology known as regression discontinuity design. This research method
simply means that the researchers can compare students that barely
get their preferred choice to those that barely miss the test score
cutoff. And because it is essentially random chance that students
fall on either side of the test score cut point, this methodology
allows the researchers to establish a causal relationship between
students getting their preferred schools and students’
outcomes.

The study found that attending a preferred school did not
improve secondary school exit exam scores overall and reduced the
number of tests passed for male students. But while getting a
preferred school did not lead to better test scores, it led to
significant long-term benefits for students, especially for
females.

For instance, by the time respondents were around 25 to 40 years
old, females that were able to attend their preferred secondary
school were 17.4 percentage points more likely to have a university
degree, 59 percent less likely to have a teenage birth, and had 42
percent higher monthly wages. Attending a preferred school
increased the likelihood of attending a gym at least once a week by
12.5 percentage points, increased the likelihood of being within a
normal BMI by 16.7 percentage points, and increased the chance that
males were in the labor market by 11.4 percentage points.

These large long-run benefits are all meaningful. And very few
reasonable people would argue …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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America Doesn't Need Another Weakling NATO Ally

July 19, 2018 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

At last week’s NATO summit, President Donald Trump
denounced the allies for taking advantage of American taxpayers.
Then he approved their latest subsidies. He even agreed to invite a
military weakling, Macedonia, to join NATO, which will add yet
another nation to our military dole.

When George Washington warned Americans against forming a
“passionate attachment” to other countries, he might
have been thinking of the Balkans. Indeed, a couple decades later,
John Quincy Adams criticized proposals to aid Greece against the
Ottoman Empire, which then ruled that region. America “goes
not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy,” he
intoned.

On into the 20th century, the Balkans were in turmoil.
Germany’s “Iron Chancellor,” Otto von Bismarck,
warned that “the great European War would come out of some
damned foolish thing in the Balkans.” That’s exactly
what happened in 1914.

Macedonia is the latest
nation invited into the alliance, but how does that enhance
America’s (or Europe’s) security?

It took decades and two world wars for the Balkans to stabilize.
But after the Cold War ended, Yugoslavia, which had emerged from
Europe’s previous convulsions, broke apart. One of the
smaller pieces was Macedonia.

The battles among the Serbians, Croatians, and Bosnians were
bloody and brutal. In contrast, Macedonia provided comic relief.
The small, mountainous, landlocked nation of two million people won
its independence without a fight in 1991, though Athens launched a
verbal and economic war against Skopje over the latter’s use
of the name “Macedonia.”

Perhaps modern Greeks feared that a resurrected Alexander the
Great would lead the newly freed Macedonian hordes south and
conquer Greece. Skopje entered the United Nations under the
provisional name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or FYROM.
In June, after only 27 years, the two governments agreed that
Macedonia/FYROM would be called the Republic of North
Macedonia—though the decision must still be ratified by the
Macedonian people in a referendum.

More serious was the insurgency launched by ethnic Albanians who
made up about a quarter of the nation’s population. The
battle two decades ago over Kosovo inflamed ethnic relations in
Macedonia, eventually resulting in a short-lived insurgency.
Although the fighters disarmed, Skopje’s politics remained
nationalist and difficult. Last year, a more liberal administration
took over, but the country’s democratic institutions remain
fragile.

Indeed, Freedom House only rates the nation “partly
free.” The group cites voter intimidation, political
patronage networks, violent protests, and problems with judicial
impartiality and due process. Particularly serious were the threats
against press freedom, which led to a rating of “not
free” in that area. While NATO’s newer members tend to
score lower than “Old Europe,” as Donald Rumsfeld once
referred to the original allies, Macedonia is a step further …read more

Source: OP-EDS