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Donald Trump Is Just a Sign of the Much Deeper Failings of the United States — And the World

July 27, 2018 in Blogs

By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch

Something had to go terribly wrong to produce such a president and his tweet-stormed version of America.


There was a period in my later life when I used to say that, from the age of 20 to my late sixties, I was always 40 years old; I was, that is, an old young man and a young old one.  Tell that to my legs now.  Of course, there’s nothing faintly strange in such a development.  It’s the most ordinary experience in life: to face your own failing self, those muscles that no longer work the way they used to, those brain cells jumping ship with abandon and taking with them so many memories, so much knowledge you’d rather keep aboard.  If you’re of a certain age — I just turned 74 — you know exactly what I mean.

And that, as they say, is life.  In a sense, each of us might, sooner or later, be thought of as a kind of failed experiment that ends in the ultimate failure: death.

And in some ways, the same thing might be said of states and empires.  Sooner or later, there comes a moment in the history of the experiment when those muscles start to falter, those brain cells begin jumping ship, and in some fashion, spectacular or not, it all comes tumbling down.  And that, as they say (or should say), is history.  Human history, at least.

In a sense, it may hardly be more out of the ordinary to face a failing experiment in what, earlier in this century, top officials in Washington called “nation building” than in our individual lives.  In this case, the nation I’m thinking about, the one that seems in the process of being unbuilt, is my own.  You know, the one that its leaders — until Donald Trump hit the Oval Office — were in the habit of eternally praising as the most exceptionalthe most indispensable country on the planet, the global policeman, the last or sole superpower.  Essentially, it.  Who could forget that extravagant drumbeat of seemingly obligatory self-praise for what, admittedly, is still a country with wealth and …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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These 11 Representatives from Civil Rights Organizations Are Now Calling for Pro-Trump California Deputy DA to Be Fired

July 27, 2018 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson, AlterNet

Their letter expresses “grave concerns over recent revelations of intolerably bigoted and biased comments.”


In San Bernardino County, California east of Los Angeles, Deputy District Attorney Michael Selyem—an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump—has been under paid suspension for racist and misogynist posts attacking African-Americans and Latinos. And the pressure was turned up this week when, on July 25, 11 representatives of civil rights organizations sent a joint letter to Bernardino County DA Mike Ramos calling for Selyem to be fired.

Those who signed the letter included the Rev. Al Sharpton (president of the National Action Network and host of “Politics Nation” on MSNBC), Sherrilyn Ifill (president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund), Kristen Clarke (president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law) and the NAACP’s Derrick Johnson as well as representatives of the National Urban League, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Women’s Law Center, IMPACT Strategies, the National Council of Negro Women, and Campaign Zero. 

In the letter, the civil rights activists asserted that they had “grave concerns over recent revelations of intolerably bigoted and biased comments by a deputy district attorney in your office.”

The letter went on to say, “As recent media reports have indicated, Deputy District Attorney Michael Selyem has demonstrated a disturbing pattern of racist and sexist social media commentary aimed at women and people of color, including barely-veiled threats leveled at U.S. Representative Maxine Waters. The remarks represent a clear violation of professional ethics and basic norms of civility, and are categorically disqualifying of a law enforcement official charged with ensuring equal justice under law.”

Sharpton did not mince words in the leader, which quoted him as saying, “Keeping Deputy District Attorney Selyem on payroll after his disqualifying attacks on Americans of color and a respected U.S. congresswoman shows the outrageous complacency of our law enforcement mechanisms in addressing even the most outright bigotry in our criminal justice system. Failure to ensure accountability for his hate-filled remarks flies in the face of the office’s duty-bound …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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'This Is All on Mueller Now': Democratic Lawmaker Slams GOP for Ending House Probe Amid Mounting Evidence of Collusion

July 27, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

The House Intelligence Committee investigation clearly never intended to scrutinize the president.


Republicans' decision to shut down the House of Representatives investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign looks even more ridiculous now as evidence has continued to mount of troubling ties between the two camps.

As Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) explained on MSNBC Friday, the newest reports the Michael Cohen is prepared to say that President Donald Trump knew of the infamous Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin-tied lawyer and campaign aides demonstrate the inadequacy of the GOP-led investigation.

“Donald Trump Jr., when asked about the Trump Tower meeting and conversations with his father, he refused to answer any of them,” Swalwell told host Nicolle Wallace on “Deadline: White House.” “And when we asked Chairman Conaway, who was presiding on the Republican side, to subpoena him and force him to answer, they never forced him to do that. So they were basically able to answer the questions they wanted to answer and walk away from the ones that got too close.”

Swalwell added, however, that it is quite obvious that the president knew about the Trump tower meeting, despite his frequent denials: “We always knew that Donald Trump knew about the meeting.”

He added: “If this was a real investigation on the House side, we would be bringing Michael Cohen and Donald Trump Jr. back in, but unfortunately, the Republicans prematurely and irresponsibly ended our investigation. So this is all on [special counsel Robert] Mueller now.”

Watch the clip below:

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'There’s a Lot More to Come': Michael Cohen Ally Reportedly Says He Has a 'Treasure Trove' of Dirt on the President

July 27, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

The president's former lawyer is reportedly furious about the latest leak about his knowledge.


President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen was furious when reports broke Thursday night that he is willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that Trump knew about a secret meeting with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, according to a new report from Vanity Fair.

Reporter Emily Jane Fox says that contrary to some speculation, sources close to Cohen say that his team did not leak the story. Cohen has been hoping to use that information as a part of a deal from federal prosecutors who are investigating him. No charges have yet been brought against Cohen.

Fox reports that the claim about the meeting was one of the “most valuable potential pieces of information” Cohen possessed.

However, Fox also reports that sources say Cohen has a “treasure trove” of information on the president.

“There’s a lot more to come,” one source said. “There’s a lot. You’re with someone for 10 years, you don’t think there’s a lot? The Trump Organization is a big business, and nobody in that place made a decision without his knowledge.”

Cohen reached out to ex-Trump aide Steven Bannon, according to the report, who has, like Cohen, been exiled from the president's inner circle. While Bannon reportedly said that they should only communicate through lawyers, he also said they should reconnect once the “storm passes.”

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Source: ALTERNET