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'Nothing Is Going to Get Better': History Professor Warns the Midterms Will Bring Out the Worst in Trump — and the Country

October 31, 2018 in Blogs

By Matthew Chapman, AlterNet

Eddie Glaude Jr. condemned Trump for continuing the same rhetoric and behavior that is whipping domestic terrorists into a frenzy.


With the midterms now a week away and President Donald Trump staring down the risk of a crushing loss in the House, he appears to be panicking — and doing more and more Trumpian things, from deploying troops at the border to threatening to repeal the 14th Amendment. And all the while he continues to hold rallies where he charges people up with the same fiery rhetoric, stroking his own ego.

Trump may believe that these actions will excite his base and persuade them to turn out in greater numbers. But racially charged appeals to the far right look particularly irresponsible after a week of domestic terrorist attacks.

Speaking to MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace on “Deadline: White House,” Princeton history professor and Center for African-American Studies chairman Eddie Glaude, Jr. blasted Trump for pouring gasoline on the nation's tensions and expressed his fear that if Trump ends up losing — it's only going to get worse.

“He is most likely going to lose the House, he is going to lose some of the candidates he campaigned for,” Wallace pressed him. “And he didn't just say vote for them, he didn't talk about them, he didn't bring them to the stage until 40, 50 minutes into those rallies. He said this is about me. He said vote for me. So if anyone he campaigned for loses, it is a giant failure on the part of this president.”

“Yeah, and I don't know how he's going to behave,” said Glaude. “I don't know how he's going to react, I don't know how his supporters will react if there's a blue wave.”

In fact, Glaude continued, Trump is moving forward with the same inflammatory behavior that motivated the Tree of Life synagogue shooter Robert Bowers.

“Nothing is going to get better after this midterm,” he continued darkly. “Everything is going to get more intense, and it may even get worse. But let me say this. Not only did he not do all the things …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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'I Want the F*ck Out': All of These Top Trump Officials Are Reportedly Planning to Abandon Ship After the Midterms

October 31, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

They must smell trouble ahead.


Every White House and presidential administration is forced to grapple with frequent staff turnover due to the nature of the job, but under President Donald Trump, the country has seen a historic amount of resignations and dismissals.

And after the 2018 midterm elections, the problem is almost certain to get worse, as multiple reports indicate.

A recent report from Politico found that five Cabinet officials (Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen) were likely to leave the administration after the November election.

And on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that one of the investigations of Zinke has been referred to the Department of Justice as a potential criminal probe, raising the likelihood that he'll depart. The Post also confirmed that he is only “one of multiple Cabinet members who may leave after the midterm elections.”

On Wednesday, Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair added that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin may also be eyeing the exit — in large part because of his wife.

“She’s been poorly treated in Washington and she’s like, ‘I want the fuck out,’” one source told Sherman of the Louise Linton, Mnuchin's wife, though a department official called the claim “ridiculous.”

Sherman also reports that Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president,  is rumored to be leaving the White House, though one source rejected this idea.

One person Sherman says is secure in his job is Chief of Staff John Kelly. Despite long-running reports that he was on thin ice with the president, it appears the opposing personalities have reached something of a stable equilibrium.

“And on a phone call with a former West Wing official earlier this month, Trump said he worried that Kelly would campaign against him if he was fired,” Sherman wrote. “Bill Shine recently told a friend, 'This guy isn’t going anywhere.'”

Back in June, CBS reported that Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was planning on leaving the White House by the end of the year as well. Though at the time Sanders issued a statement in an attempt …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace Explains How Two Breakout Democratic Candidates Have ‘Out-Trumped Trump'

October 31, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

They could be the future of the party.


With the 2018 midterm elections less than a week away, it's becoming clear who the breakout stars of the year's fierce campaigns have been. On Wednesday afternoon, MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace argued that Florida's Andrew Gillum and Texas' Beto O'Rourke have proven to be two of the most formidable Democrats in the country — particularly when it comes to taking on President Donald Trump.

“They may be — Beto and Gillum — may be the two best Democratic candidates running this cycle,” Wallace said, after playing two clips of the candidates.

John Heilemann, a reporter and analyst for the network, agreed.

“Both of them are not only in the top of their class in terms of rising stars in the party, but they are both better communicators than anyone who ran for president on the Democratic side in 2016 — and that includes the nominee and Bernie Sanders,” he said.

“They out-Trumped Trump at Trumpism,” Wallace noted. “They went straight that third rail that Trump wraps his arms around every day, and they played on that dangerous terrain. Beto, by taking on the anthem issue in deep-red Texas,  and saying, you know, here's why it's a free speech issue, not an anti-patriotism issue. And I think he turned that around. And Gillum, by taking the race question and saying — it's still one of the best lines uttered this cycle — 'I'm not saying you're a racist, the racists think you're a racist!'”

Later in the show, the panel also observed that Georgia gubernatorial candidate, Stacey Abrams, has likewise delivered a powerful and standout campaign, challenging her opponent on the issue of voting rights without taking away from any of the other key issues campaign. A recent poll showed her with a one-point advantage over her opponent, Brian Kemp.

Watch the clip below:

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The Crazy News Cycle of the Trump Era: How We've All Become Trapped in the President's Political Whirlwind of Nonstop Anxiety

October 31, 2018 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson, AlterNet

We're all waiting for the next bombshell to drop.


In the high-anxiety Donald Trump era, the focus of one’s attention can change very quickly. A crisis or controversy that dominates the 24-hour news cycle one day can easily disappear the next day—or at least be sidelined—when another crisis or controversy comes along or there is a shocking new development. And the events of the past week have been a perfect example, with one act of domestic terrorism after another vying for the public’s attention.

Last week on October 25, residents of Lexington, Kentucky were horrified by the random killings of two older African-Americans (67-year-old Vickie Lee Jones and 69-year-old Maurice Stallard) in what appeared to be a racially motivated hate crime at a Kroger supermarket. Surveillance footage showed that only a few minutes before the shootings, the suspect (a white man with a long history of racism) tried to forcibly enter an African-American church. But as horrific as that incident was, it wasn’t as sophisticated or far-reaching as the white nationalist terror campaign carried out against a long list of prominent Democrats as well as CNN.

Thankfully, no one was injured last week when a series of pipe bombs were mailed to a long list of well-known Democrats, including Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, billionaire philanthropist George Soros, Rep. Maxine Waters and actor Robert De Niro—all outspoken critics of Trump’s presidency. One of the packages forced the evacuation of CNN’s Manhattan offices. 

Mail carriers breathed a sigh of relief when, on October 26, investigators found a suspect: Cesar Altieri Sayoc, a 56-year-old Florida resident who was an ardent supporter of Trump and had an intense hatred of Democrats. But consumers of news didn’t have long to focus so heavily on Sayoc: the following day—on Saturday, October 27—Americans were horrified to learn that 11 people had been slaughtered in a mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. It was, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.

This is life in the Trump era: …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Former Apprentice Contestant Suing Trump Just Forced His Legal Team to Hand Over Evidence Related to Her Sexual Assault Allegations

October 31, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

Trump's lawyers haven't been able to make the defamation suit go away.


After New York Supreme Court Justice Jennifer G. Schecter ruled last Friday that Summer Zervos, a former “Apprentice” contestant suing President Donald Trump for allegedly lying about sexually assaulting her, could force the president to provide evidence in the case, his legal legal team has agreed to turn over his calendars for the relevant time period.

Lawyers on both sides signed the proposed court order directing the president to hand over his calendars and any journal entries from between November 2007 and February 2008, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Both sides will also agreed to meet with Trump's phone company about obtaining his records related to that time period.

Zervos alleges that, during this time period, Trump forcibly kissed her, grabbed her breast and rubbed his genitals against her without her consent. Trump called Zervos and other women who accused him of sexual misconduct liars, which initiated the defamation lawsuit against him.

Though Schecter granted Zervos the right to compel evidence related to her claim, the justice denied the former contestant the right to force Trump to produce material related to the other allegations against him.

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Source: ALTERNET

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These Dinosaurs Tooted Their Own Horns

October 31, 2018 in History

By Becky Little

Duck-billed dinosaurs may have “tooted” different notes from their trumpet-like nasal passages depending on what species they were, new research suggests.

Paleontologists made this discovery while studying an unnamed species of the duck-billed Parasaurolophus. This type of dinosaur had nasal passages connected to a hollow crest that stretched over the back of its head.

They discovered that this type of Parasaurolophus would’ve been able to produce a sound with a different pitch than two other species of Parasaurolophus. Specifically, it would’ve produced a lower pitch than the P. cyrtocristatus and a higher pitch than the P. walkeri.

An illustration of two Parasaurolophus dinosaurs bellowing at each other to claim territory.

This suggests that different species of duck-billed dinosaurs marched to the beat of their own drum, so to speak, by tooting different notes on their horns.

Paleontologists are still investigating whether the unnamed Parasaurolophus is a previously unknown species or a known species at a different life cycle or sex than we’ve seen before. They presented this unpublished research at the 78th annual Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in October 2018, according to Live Science.

One of the reasons these findings are so significant is that we don’t know what sounds dinosaurs made with their vocal cords. That’s because it’s hard to find fossilized versions of these cords, which are soft tissue.

In contrast, the Parasaurolophus’ naval cavities and hollow crests are much more easily preserved. These don’t give us all the clues, but they do give us a peek into what dinosaurs may have sounded like.

“We can never be exactly certain what sounds these dinosaurs actually made,” Caroline Rinaldi, an associate professor of anatomy at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, told Live Science (Rinaldi isn’t involved with the new research). “But the authors used an innovative combination of physics and physiological principles to develop a hypothesis that different species of Parasaurolophus (with different crest shapes), produced sounds of different frequencies.”

…read more

Source: HISTORY

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Why World War I Ended With an Armistice Instead of a Surrender

October 31, 2018 in History

By Patrick J. Kiger

Both sides had suffered too much to continue, but Germany would be left battered by harsh terms.

On Nov. 11, 1918, at precisely 11:00 a.m., along the Western Front in France, the incessant boom of artillery abruptly went silent. An American medical officer, Stanhope Bayne-Jones, suddenly could hear water dripping off a bush next to him. “It seemed mysterious, queer, unbelievable,” he later recalled, according to an account on the U.S. National Library of Medicine website. “All of the men knew what the silence meant, but nobody shouted or threw his hat in the air.” It took hours for the reality to sink in. World War I—the bloodiest conflict so far in human history, with more than with more than 8.5 million military casualties—had finally ended.

The war ended with an armistice, an agreement in which both sides agree to stop fighting, rather than a surrender. By November 1918, both the Allies and Central Powers who’d been battering each other for four years were pretty much out of gas. German offensives that year had been defeated with heavy casualties, and in late summer and fall, the British, French and U.S. forces had pushed them steadily back. With the United States able to send more and more fresh troops into combat, the Germans were outmatched. As Germany’s allies crumbled around them as well, the war’s outcome seemed clear.

Soldiers celebrating World War I Armistice in November, 1918.

Even so, both sides were ready for the carnage to stop. “An invasion of Germany would have required too much in terms of morale, logistics and resources,” explains Guy Cuthbertson of Liverpool Hope University and author of Peace at Last: A Portrait of Armistice Day, 11 November 1918. Beyond that, “where would it end? Berlin is a long way from France.” Instead, “There was a need to end the war as soon as possible as long as the Allies could achieve peace with victory.”

Read more: Life in the Trenches of World War I

Germany’s political and military situation were weak enough that the Germans feared being conquered, Cuthbertson says. “Germany was suffering from starvation,” he says, with the situation getting worse “by the hour.”

Germany asked to negotiate an armistice.

In fact, the Germans had started making overtures about an armistice in early October. At first they tried to go through U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, fearing that the British and the …read more

Source: HISTORY

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The Great Depression Origins of Halloween Haunted Houses

October 31, 2018 in History

By Becky Little


The Great Depression was a time of great economic and social change that affected many parts of American life—including Halloween. Parents, concerned about their sons running amok on All Hallows’ Eve, organized “haunted houses” or “trails” to keep them off the streets.

Halloween had long been a night of revelry for adults and children, seen as a positive outlet for young men to blow off steam. This ranged from stealing neighbors’ gates off their hinges to stealing dead bodies. In 1879, about 200 boys in Kentucky stopped a train by laying a dead body across the railroad tracks. In 1900, medical students at the University of Michigan stole a headless corpse from the anatomy lab and propped it up against the building’s front doors.

Halloween: Primal Fear: Why We Like To Be Scared (TV-PG; 1:59)

“This is the only evening on which a boy can feel free to play pranks outdoors without danger of being ‘pinched,’ and it is his delight to scare passing pedestrians, ring door-bells, and carry off the neighbors’ gates,” espoused one boys’ craft guide. According to the guide, even if a boy had to fetch the gate he stole out of the tree he left it in, “the punishment is nothing compared with the sports the pranks have furnished him.”

There were plenty of people who didn’t see this as harmless fun before the Great Depression. However, the economic disaster exacerbated young men’s Halloween antics, leading to increased public concern and anger. In 1933, parents were outraged when hundreds of teenage boys flipped over cars, sawed off telephone poles and engaged in other acts of vandalism across the country. People began to refer to that year’s holiday as “Black Halloween,” similarly to the way they referred to the stock market crash four years earlier as “Black Tuesday.

Some cities considered banning Halloween altogether. Yet in many communities, the response was to organize Halloween activities for young people so that they didn’t run amok. They started to organize trick-or-treating, parties, costume parades—and yes—haunted houses to keep them busy.


A crowd of boys pushing through a crowd at a Halloween party in the 1930s.

“Hang old fur, strips of raw liver on walls, where one feels his way to dark steps,” advised a 1937 party pamphlet on how to create a “trail of terror.” “Weird moans and howls come …read more

Source: HISTORY

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Washington Smothers Independent European Security Initiatives

October 31, 2018 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

North Atlantic Treaty Organization defenders on both sides of
the Atlantic repeatedly express harsh criticism of President Donald
Trump for supposedly undermining the transatlantic alliance. For
instance, they were especially upset with him for his conduct
before and at the July NATO summit in Brussels. Critics charge that
the president is relinquishing America’s leadership, especially in
Europe, and wishes to abandon NATO.

Yet the president’s harsh words for the allies at Brussels
consisted of little more than a more insistent demand for greater
burden-sharing within NATO — a complaint that other U.S.
administrations have expressed over the decades. Nothing in Trump’s
comments at Brussels indicated that the United States sought to end
its dominance of NATO or its longtime hegemonic position in Europe.
Indeed, Washington’s policy on that score has remained consistent
throughout the nearly seven decades of NATO’s existence.

In fact, repeated U.S. attempts to sabotage independent European
security initiatives confirm the goal of preserving hegemony and
using NATO as the mechanism for doing so. The Trump administration
should adopt a far different attitude, but it is far too soon to
determine if the president will contemplate making such a
change.

Washington’s traditional, smothering stance and its unfortunate
effects became apparent during a revealing episode in the late
1990s and early 2000s. Key European Union members proposed the
European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). The ESDP grew out of
the earlier European Security and Defense Initiative (ESDI), which
Washington found little cause to oppose. The ESDI was a classic
burden-sharing scheme, in which the Europeans promised to do more
by creating a stronger “European pillar” within NATO. But the
latter point was the crucial caveat; an increased European security
role would occur only within the careful confines of NATO.

Europe can shoulder its
own defense burdens — and should be encouraged to do
so.

Professor Christopher Layne, author of the seminal book, The
Peace of Illusions: American Grand Strategy from 1940 to the
Present
, concludes that ESDP was instead “envisioned as
the backbone of an independent European security policy, one
developed by Europeans without U.S. input.” If that was not enough
to unsettle U.S. leaders, Layne notes, at their November 2000
meeting, the European Union’s defense ministers “gave ESDP concrete
expression by announcing plans to create a sixty-thousand strong
Rapid Reaction Force (RRF).”

Even before those moves, U.S. leaders were uneasy about how the
Europeans seem to regard the ostensibly tame ESDI. The Clinton
administration’s policy demands reflected an insistence on
maintaining NATO’s preeminence — and, therefore, Washington’s
domination of Europe’s security architecture. The administration’s
approach insisted on the so-called “three Ds” that ESDI or any new
security initiative must …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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8 of Halloween's Most Hair-Raising Folk Legends

October 31, 2018 in History

By History.com Editors

From witches to zombies to creepy clowns, the season’s scary legends all formed from decades—to centuries—of lore.


Images of witches have appeared in various forms throughout history, from evil, wart-nosed women huddling over a cauldron of boiling liquid to hag-faced, cackling beings riding through the sky on brooms wearing pointy hats. But the real history of witches is dark and dates back to as far as about 900 B.C. , the history of vampires began long before Stoker was born. Vampires harken back to Ancient Greek mythology and embody a superstition that thrived during the Middle Ages.

Read more.

Werewolves

Werewolves are, according to some legends, people who morph into vicious, powerful wolves. Others are a mutant combination of human and wolf. All are bloodthirsty beasts. Descriptions of werewolves date back as early as Greek mythology and early Nordic folklore.

Read more.

Zombies

The zombie, often portrayed as an undead, flesh-eating, decaying corpse, has seen a popularity surge in recent years thanks to music videos and TV shows. Unlike many other monsters—which are mostly a product of superstition and fear—zombies have a basis in fact. Several credible reports in medical journals describe people using certain compounds to first induce paralysis in people, and then revive them. In Haitian voodoo culture, folklore featuring undead beings has been around for centuries.

Read more.

Mummies

A mummy is a person or animal, whose body has been dried or otherwise preserved after death. When people think of a mummy, they often think of Ancient Egyptians, who have been making mummies as early as 3700 B.C. Mummies may not literally rise from their ancient tombs and attack with their arms outstretched—like the Hollywood-era versions. But they’re quite real and have a fascinating history.

Read more.

American Ghost Stories

As in many cultures, tales of spooky visitors from the grave abound throughout American history. Some anecdotes relate the sightings of dead shipmen, another famous tale involves the portrait of a forgotten beauty. And many of the enduring ghost stories describe famous men and women who have passed through the White House.

Read more.

The Devil

The Devil, also referred to as Satan, is known as the nemesis of good people everywhere. Although the Devil is present in some form in many religions, and can be compared …read more

Source: HISTORY