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Maxine Waters Calls Out Trump’s ‘Schemes, Lying’ and ‘Payoffs’ — And Issues A Stark Warning About His Future: ‘You’re In Trouble’

July 29, 2018 in Blogs

By Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet

“They can lie all they want to. It's all going to come out in the wash.”


Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) on Sunday tore into Donald Trump in an incredible takedown of the president’s ethical failings, calling out his “bluffing and bullying” as well as his “messy” relationship with Russia.

Waters, asked about Trump’s threat Sunday that he’ll shut down the government if he does not receive funding for the southern border wall, called out the president’s bluff, and insisted U.S. taxpayers will not foot the bill for Trump’s vanity project.

“You know, this president is a bully and he will try to intimidate all of us,” Waters said. “He is not going to shut down anything. As a matter of fact, people will remember that he said he was going to build this wall and he was going to make Mexico pay for the wall. They said they weren't going to pay for anything. Now he wants the American citizens to pay for this wall. American citizens are not going to pay for this wall, he is not going to shut down the government and we are not going to be intimidated by his bluffing and bullying.”

Though she acknowledged “the economy has improved,” Waters said the cloud of chaos and deception surrounding Trump will be enough to sink him with voters.

“There is so much going on with this president and his allies and with [Rudy] Giuliani and all of this,” Waters said. “With the judge having decided that they can go forward with the emoluments claim with what is happening on the border, with these children that cannot and will not, apparently, be connected with their parents because this government does not have the records, they don't know what's going on, and the fact that they are talking about having deported parents leaving their children in the United States and we not knowing what all of that means. When you couple that with the fact that his son has lied, he has lied about that meeting that took place at the tower, at the Trump Tower, all of that is …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Celebrity Pseudoscience: Here Are Nine Household Names Who've Pushed Bad Science on The Public

July 29, 2018 in Blogs

By Paul Offit, Salon

From Gwyneth Paltrow to Donald Trump, these celebrities buck peer-reviewed studies in favor of whacky — and dangerous — pseudoscience.


In our post-truth era, scientific illiteracy has morphed into science denialism. Today, people simply declare their own truths. As a consequence, science is losing its platform as a source of truth. Meanwhile, a pervasive celebrity culture — in which celebrities are considered trusted “experts” solely because of their fame — has poisoned the idea of what constitutes expertise.

Nowhere is the merger of these two trends more evident than in our embrace of “celebrity science,” which, because it often involves issues of health, might not only be misleading but harmful. Some celebrities actually do have science backgrounds; Mayim Bialik, who has a PhD in neuroscience, springs to mind. Unfortunately, many celebrities have waded into debates within fields in which they have neither expertise nor training, perhaps unintentionally injecting doubt into scientific certainty and often even harming public health efforts. Here are a few of the worst celebrity offenders

This article first appeared in Salon.

Anti-vaccine crusaders Jenny McCarthyJim CarreyKristin Cavallari and Rob Schneider: The anti-vaccine crowd frequently falls back on the claim that vaccines cause autism, despite more than two dozen studies clearly showing that vaccination does not increase the incidence of autism. Nor did it make a whit of biological sense that vaccines would.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Paltrow is probably best known for her promotion of vaginal steaming, jade eggs and cleansing enemas. Paltrow believes that vaginal steaming with mugwort balances female hormones and cleanses the uterus. Apart from the fact that mugwort isn’t a hormone and vaginal steam will never reach the uterus, vaginal steaming can cause burns and bacterial infections. The jade eggs placed in the vagina to enhance muscle tone put users at risk of toxic shock syndrome, and the “toxin-removing” colonic enemas Paltrow prescribes, which have no proven benefit in otherwise healthy people, can cause dehydration, infections, vomiting and, worst of all, bowel perforations.

Suzanne Somers: Somers has become a one-woman industry, promoting megavitamins, supplements and minerals, as …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Here's Why Revoking Birthright Citizenship Is the Right's Next Battlecry — And What You Can Do to Protect It

July 29, 2018 in Blogs

By Paul Rosenberg, Salon

Former Trump national security official Michael Anton claims Trump can undo birthright citizenship by executive order.


This article first appeared on salon.com.

Attacks on birthright citizenship — such as the one recently published in the Washington Post by former Trump White House aide Michael Anton, he of the “Flight 93 manifesto” — are nothing new. They bubbled up during the right-wing anti-immigration politics of the George W. Bush era, with a further boost from birtherism. But they don’t have a leg to stand on, as even one of Trump’s most attention-grabbing appeals court judges, James Ho, put it bluntly in an Los Angeles Times op-ed back in 2007:

Birthright citizenship is a constitutional right, no less for the children of undocumented persons than for descendants of passengers of the Mayflower.

A number of commentators wrote scathing critiques, including Daniel DreznerGerard Magliocca and Scott Lemieux, among others. Perhaps none was more scathing than the response from University of Baltimore law professor Garrett Epps – a leading scholar of the 14th Amendment — who previously took down the arguments of Edward Erler, on which Anton relies heavily. A week earlier, Epps had written a comprehensive overview, “The Struggle Over the Meaning of the 14th Amendment Continues,” in which he notes:

[A]s late as 1957, pro-Southern commentators took the position that the amendment itself, having been imposed upon the South by Yankee scum, was not valid at all.

No one seriously claims that the amendment is invalid today; but every word, every part, and every effect of this most crucial of constitutional amendments has been fought over as bitterly as was the Bloody Angle at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.

That battle goes on today. It is, and has been for 150 years, a battle for the very heart of the American republic.

This helps explain how seriously Epps takes the stakes involved, but his response to Anton went even further, focusing ultimately on the latter’s extraordinary claim that President Trump alone, via executive order, could effectively invalidate the amendment with a stroke of a pen.

No one …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Carl Bernstein Details Trump’s ‘Demonstrable’ Russia Cover-Up: ‘He Wants Our Credibility Destroyed Because We’re Reporting the Truth’

July 29, 2018 in Blogs

By Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet

“[Keeping the base] energized against the press is absolutely essential to Donald Trump fighting and furthering the cover-up.”


Legendary Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein on Sunday laid out Donald Trump’s “demonstrable” cover-up, telling CNN’s Brian Stelter that the president wants the media’s “credibility destroyed because we are reporting the truth.”

Bernstein on Friday reported Cohen’s claim that Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Russian nationals offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. Per the CNN report, Cohen is willing to “make that assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller.”

Speaking with Stelter on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” Bernstein compared the Russia investigation to Watergate, explaining that he and his reporters are “making judgements about what is news” while those in power attempt to discredit the sources. 

Bernstein went on to detail the “vast story” emerging in the Mueller investigation.

“We have the story going on about this investigation closing in and how psychologically Trump is reacting,” Bernstein explained. “Telling the country that he is a stable genius while those in the White House are saying, well, he doesn’t look very stable right now to us and he didn’t look very much like a genius to us right now except where he obviously is ingenious and that is in his political skills and mobilizing his base, which is his big offensive to keep the facts from emerging in this story.”

“The base and keeping them energized against the press is absolutely essential to Donald Trump fighting and furthering the cover-up,” Bernstein said. “Look, there is a cover-up by the president of the United States. But we don’t know what the cover-up is about yet. We don’t know the facts yet. Why he has, from the beginning in this investigation—and the Trump Tower meeting is the best evidence of it—the cover-up is demonstrable because he helped create the cover story on the airplane, which has since been disproven about what occurred at that meeting.”

“We have a lot to learn and we need to keep doing our reporting …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Rudy Giuliani Says Cohen Secretly Recorded 183 Conversations — And Admits '11 or 12' Mention Trump

July 29, 2018 in Blogs

By Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet

The admission comes Rudy Giuliani tries to denigrate Michael Cohen's credibility.


Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on Sunday admitted Donald Trump’s former “fixer” Michael Cohen secretly recorded at least 183 conversations—and the president’s name is mentioned in “11 or 12.”

Giuliani was speaking with CBS “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan, who asked about the tapes seized by federal investigators as part of an ongoing probe into Cohen.

Giuliani said his team is aware of “something like 183 unique conversations” recorded by Cohen, including “the three-minute one involving” the payout to Karen McDougal. That tape was released Wednesday through Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis.

“There are 12 others — maybe 11 or 12 others — out of the 183 in which the president is discussed at any length by Cohen, mostly with reporters,” Giuliani said.

Giuliani also claimed the conversations exonerate Trump from any wrongdoing.

“[Trump] didn’t know about the payments to them when it happened, that he only found out later,” Giuliani said. “Cohen made them, not for the campaign. He didn’t like the campaign, he said very derogatory things about the campaign. He said I only made it because I personally love the president and Melania. Which takes it right out of the campaign contribution arsenal.”

Watch below:

…read more

Source: ALTERNET