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History Professor Destroys GOP Senate Candidate's Racist Myths About Robert E. Lee and the Civil War

August 16, 2018 in Blogs

By Matthew Chapman, AlterNet

Chris McDaniel tried to whitewash the cause of Robert E. Lee. An Iowa professor resoundingly schooled him.


Among the numerous white supremacists running for higher office this year is Chris McDaniel, who is challenging Mississippi Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in the special election for Thad Cochran's old seat.

McDaniel, an attorney, talk show host, and state senator with longtime support from the Tea Party, has a history of toxic racial views. He has consorted with neo-Confederates, and in his previous run for Senate in 2014, he accused Cochran of “voter fraud” because black people voted for him in the primary  — as if they were synonymous.

On Wednesday, McDaniel took things further by posting a glowing defense of Confederate commander Robert E. Lee to Facebook.

“Here's the irony,” he wrote. “Robert E. Lee was the most decorated soldier in the U.S. Army. He was a man of unimpeachable integrity. Lincoln offered him command in the Union Army, but Lee refused only because his loyalty was to Virginia. Lee opposed both secession and slavery. And yet to the historically illiterate left, a man who opposed both slavery and secession has come to symbolize both slavery and secession.”

This is an odd characterization of a man who both owned slaves and led an army of traitors who opened fire on U.S. troops in the name of slavery and secession.

But McDaniel did not go unchallenged. In fact, Kevin Gannon, a history professor at Grand View University in Des Moines, IA, posted a scathing rebuttal on Twitter to McDaniel's historical revisionism:

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Here's Why a Former US Attorney Thinks Michael Cohen's Sudden Silence Should Terrify Trump

August 16, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

For a time, Michael Cohen's name was splashed across national headlines. Now he appears to be laying low.


Omarosa Manigault Newman is making a splash with her new book Unhinged, which recounts her time in President Donald Trump's White House and lobs a series of damning allegations against the president. In her promotional tour for the book, the former White House staffer has also made several new claims — including the explosive assertion that Trump knew ahead of time about hacked emails before they were released by WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign.

She has not been specific about how she knows this to be the case, however, though she has suggested she is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller. Chuck Rosenberg, a former U.S. attorney, raised doubts Thursday about whether she is really cooperating with Mueller — though he believes another key witness likely is.

“This does not sound like a cooperator to me,” Rosenberg said on MSNBC's “Deadline: White House” on Thursday. “This sounds like somebody, I'm sorry to say this, who is selling books.”

“Let me just — it makes me think of Michael Cohen,” said host Nicolle Wallace, referring to the president's former attorney who is known to be under federal investigation. “He's suddenly quiet. Is he acting this week right now like a potentially cooperating witness?”

“You bet he is,” Rosenberg replied. “Now, he's situated differently, of course, because he might end up being a defendant rather than just the witness. But right, the silence you hear from him is deafening. The reason you're hearing silence, I think, is because he's cooperating. He was asked the same thing: Tell us the truth and don't talk to anyone else. And guess what? he's not talking to anyone else. I think it's a very good guess.”

Interestingly, while Cohen has been relatively far from the headlines after dominating national news coverage for many weeks, he did take the time to respond to one of Manigault Newman's more bizarre claims in her book. She said that she once saw Trump eat a piece of paper in order to destroy it while Cohen was present — but Cohen denied that this ever took place.

Watch the clip below:

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Here's How Democrats Can Defeat Trump — by Pledging to Fulfill One of His Biggest Broken Promises

August 16, 2018 in Blogs

By Joe Conason, Creators.com

This could be a winning issue in the midterms.


While commentators chastise congressional Democrats for lacking a cogent message for midterm voters, does the opposition really need to say much more than “to hell with Trump”? If so, they can start hammering a theme that will unite the party base, attract wavering supporters and blister the hide off this president for a monumental broken promise.

The killer issue is perfectly obvious: infrastructure.

Everybody knows that the collapsing highway bridge in Genoa, Italy, a typically tragic and costly disaster, could have happened anywhere in the United States — indeed, it has, and it will again. Presumably, that was why candidate Donald Trump promised a massive public works reconstruction program almost as fervently as he vowed to “build the wall.” With his usual lying braggadocio, he said again and again in 2016 that a Trump administration would create “the biggest and boldest infrastructure investment in American history.”

Like his wall, the public works program is nowhere to be seen. Unlike the wall, however, rebuilding infrastructure is critical to our future. 

Rather than fulfill his pledge to the nation's workers and families, Trump furtively sold them out for a tax cut that benefits him and his family. Congressional Republicans, who have spent their careers gnawing at America's physical heritage like so many termites, never intended to let Trump appropriate adequate funding to repair roads, bridges, airports, seaports and all the other infrastructure that undergirds the national economy.

Without substantial investment soon, our competitive capacity will shrink as other countries grow. Our daily lives will be dominated by traffic jams, airport delays, transit accidents and all the troubles of a disintegrating public sector. Our health and safety will be at risk to increasing air and water pollution, as will our educational and research advantages.

Again, everyone in government knows these basic facts. Yet over the past 25 years, ever since they first gained control of the House of Representatives under Newt Gingrich, they have preferred cutting taxes on their rich donors to creating decent jobs and a livable country for their constituents. They have opposed every serious attempt …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Here Are 5 of the Worst Scandals Showing the Cruelty and Corruption of the Trump Era

August 16, 2018 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson, AlterNet

Each day reveals new stunning behavior from the White House and the president himself.


Republican Charles J. Sykes, author of How the Right Lost Its Mind and one of President Donald Trump’s vocal critics on the right, recently described the Trump era as one of “corruption and cruelty” — summing it up perfectly. There has been no shortage of cruelty under Trump’s presidency, from his immigration policy and the separation of families at the border to efforts to deprive 23 million Americans of health insurance (which, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would have happened had the GOP’s American Health Care Act of 2017 not been defeated in the U.S. Senate).

And Trump is turning out to be, hands down, the most scandal-ridden American president since Richard “Watergate” Nixon. But at least Nixon, for all his corruption, had some positive attributes: he favored universal health care, expanded Medicare and was partly responsible for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Here are five of the worst scandals of the Trump era:

1. The Prosecution and Trial of Paul Manafort

Before the shameless opportunist Kellyanne Conway became Trump’s campaign manager during the summer of 2016, his campaign manager was veteran political operative Paul Manafort — who is presently on trial in a federal courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia and is facing multiple counts of bank fraud and tax evasion. Federal prosecutors are alleging that Manafort evaded taxes on $15 million worth of income he earned while promoting former Ukrainian President Viktor F. Yanukovych.

2. Former Trump Campaign Aid Rick Gates Agrees to Plea Bargain in Manafort Case

Manafort isn’t the only person from Trump’s 2016 campaign who has faced criminal charges. The prosecution’s star witness in Manafort’s trial has been Rick Gates, former Trump campaign aid and Manafort’s former business partner. Gates agreed to testify against Manafort in exchange for a more lenient sentence, and during his testimony, Gates admitted to a long list of criminal activities — including money laundering, defrauding the U.S. government and falsifying documents to banks. And Gates, demonstrating that there …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Retired Admiral Scolds Trump in Fiery Op-ed: 'You Have Embarrassed Us in the Eyes of Our Children'

August 16, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

The rebuke came in response to Trump's targeting of former CIA Director John Brennan.


President Donald Trump has demonstrated a noticeable fondness for military leaders, surrounding himself with officers such as Chief of Staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and former national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. Many have speculated that this fondness comes from personal insecurity, as Trump himself famously avoided military service during the Vietnam War — supposedly because he had “bone spurs.”

So the latest rebuke from retired Navy Admiral William McRaven, who was commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command and oversaw the raid the killed Osama bin Laden, is sure to get under his skin.

McRaven denounced Trump's recent unprecedented decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, a fierce critic of the president. He said Brennan has “unparalleled integrity.”

“Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency,” McRaven wrote.

He had high hopes for Trump as president, he writes, but he has been let down.

“Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation,” he continued. “If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be.”

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Source: ALTERNET