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Arizona's Largest Newspaper Endorses Democrat for Senate for the First Time Since 2000

October 21, 2018 in Blogs

By Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet

The Arizona Republic threw its weight behind Democrat Kyrsten Sinema.


The Arizona Republic, the state’s largest newspaper, on Sunday endorsed Democrat Kyrsten Sinema over Republican Martha McSally, marking the first time the paper has endorsed a Democrat for Senate since 2000.

Simena and McSally, both members of the U.S. House of Representatives, are locked in a tight race to replace Sen. Jeff Flake.

“McSally and other groups have painted Sinema as a tutu-wearing leftist who – repeat it with us, because we know you’ve seen the ad –– was protesting our country while McSally was on a combat mission defending it,” the editorial board wrote.

But the attack ads do little to show Simena’s centrist side, the paper argues, noting “more than 60 percent of the bills she co-sponsored this session were introduced by Republicans” and Sinema sides with Donald Trump’s agenda 62 percent of the time.

“Maybe the vitriol of a hard-fought primary got to McSally. But she looked like the smaller person in their only televised debate, repeatedly calling Sinema a liar and, later, a traitor for her decade-old Taliban comments,” the editorial board surmised. “McSally even sent out a press release saying the penalty for treason was death (though she later clarified that she doesn't mean Sinema should die).”

“If you have grown tired of the toxic culture that has taken over Capitol Hill; if you long for more collegial leadership focused on solving problems, not settling scores; if you want a federal government that works, not wages constant war; you must send people to Washington who can change it. People who not only talk bipartisanship but determinedly practice it,” the editorial board wrote.


”In a Washington in which rancor and malice are disturbingly normal, Sinema is the antidote. Leaders like her can come from any party and they are needed more than ever,” the op-ed reads.

Read the full editorial here.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Fox News Host Dismantles Trump's 'Preposterous' Claim That Democrats Are Behind Migrant Caravan

October 21, 2018 in Blogs

By Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet

Fox News' Chris Wallace likened the claim to Trump's assertion that Kavanaugh protestors were paid.


Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Friday dismantled Donald Trump’s theory that Democratic operatives are behind a migrant caravan headed for the United States, calling the idea “preposterous.”

“Let me say first of all the idea that the Democrats were somehow behind this caravan coming from Honduras of these women and children is preposterous and there’s been no evidence offered on that any more than there was evidence that the protestors on Capitol Hill during the Kavanaugh hearings were paid protestors,” Wallace said. 


Echoing a conspiracy elevated by some Republicans, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Trump in recent days has claimed—without evidence—that Democrats are responsible for the caravan traveling north to the United States from Honduras.

“A lot of money has been passing to people to come up and try and get to the border by Election Day, because they think that’s a negative for us,” Trump said during a campaign rally Thursday. “They have lousy policy. The one thing, they stick together, but they wanted that caravan and there are those that say that caravan didn’t just happen. It didn’t just happen. A lot of reasons that caravan, 4,000 people.”

Trump also posted a video on Twitter, originally uploaded by Gaetz, that purports to show migrants receiving money from people associated with philanthropist George Soros. 
“Can you believe this, and what Democrats are allowing to be done to our Country?” Trump asked on Twitter.

As the New York Times reports, ‘there is no evidence that George Soros, a billionaire and major Democratic donor, paid thousands of migrants to 'storm.' Nor is there evidence that Democrats support the effort, as Mr. Trump has said.”

Watch the video below:

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Evangelical Pastor Blasts Religious Leaders for 'Trading Their Moral Core' In Support of Trump's GOP: 'Antithetical to What Jesus Preached'

October 21, 2018 in Blogs

By Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet

Pastor Doug Pagitt also urged Christians to consider voting for Democrats in the midterms.


Pastor Doug Pagitt, the executive director of Vote Common Good, on Sunday published an op-ed in USA Today encouraging fellow an evangelical Christians to rethink their support of Trump, warning they “are trading their moral core for anti-abortion gains.”

“Religious leaders have given up moral ground at every renewed show of support for this administration and Congress,” Pagitt warned calling their support of policies like family separation or the appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh “antithetical to what Jesus preached.”

Pagitt explained that many evangelicals have fallen in line for one reason and one reason only: abortion.

“The Republican Party has used the issue of abortion as a tool to manipulate religious leaders across the country,” Pagitt wrote. “These leaders’ highest concern is self-preservation. They fear God’s wrath and want impunity. But in their fear, they have become blinded and desensitized to all other injustices and inhumanities: children separated from parents, refugees refused safety, women denigrated and abused, and health care denied to the vulnerable.”

“These conservative leaders are willing, at all costs, to make a moral trade — anti-abortion laws and court decisions in exchange for basic human dignity,” Pagitt explained, noting leaders like Franklin Graham turned “a blind eye to women who raised accusations against Kavanaugh.”

“Many of us are shocked by Republicans' unwillingness to challenge this bullying administration,” Pagitt wrote. “We are shocked to find ourselves aligned with a party that supports abusers. Some of us have voted Republican most of our lives and find ourselves unable to continue.”

Pagitt, who noted that oftentimes evangelism relates to Republicanism, warned his fellow Christians against blindly supporting the GOP.

“With the midterms just a couple of weeks away, we face a critical juncture in our country: restore some power to those who would govern with compassion, or continue ceding moral ground for the sake of abortion,” Pagitt wondered.



You can read the full op-ed here
.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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'A Colossal Mistake': Experts Sound the Alarm After Trump Plans to Ditch Nuclear Arms Control Treaty With Russia

October 21, 2018 in Blogs

By Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams

The move “would be reckless and stupid.”


Concerns are mounting after President Donald Trump confirmed on Saturday that he will withdraw from a Cold War-era nuclear arms control treaty with Russia following reports that National Security Adviser John Bolton had been pushing the plan behind closed doors despite warnings from experts that ditching the agreement “would be reckless and stupid.”

The Guardian had reported Friday that Bolton and an ally in the White House have been working to convince members of the administration to support the United States withdrawing from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF) on the grounds that Russia is violating it. Nuclear arms control experts and others rapidly responded with alarm. Many agreed that Russia's alleged violation “merits a strong response” but noted a withdrawal could alienate European allies and raise the chances of armed conflict.

The president's comments on Saturday spurred more alarm, with Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association calling the looming withdrawal “an epic mistake.”

An epic mistake. U.S. withdrawal from #INF removes all constraints on RF deployment illegal 9M729 missile, increasing risk to Europe; shifts blame from Russia to Trump; opens door to arms race. “Trump says US will pull out of intermediate range nuke pact” https://t.co/Y2LE8Hwkfj pic.twitter.com/Wq7VYQTCcs

— Daryl G Kimball (@DarylGKimball) October 20, 2018

Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia nonproliferation program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey agreed. ”This is a colossal mistake,” he told the Guardian. “I doubt very much that the U.S. will deploy much that would have been prohibited by the treaty. Russia, though, will go gangbusters.”

“By declaring he will leave the INF Treaty, President Trump has shown himself to be a demolition man who has no ability to build real security,” responded Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. ”Instead, by blowing up nuclear treaties he is taking the U.S. down a trillion dollar road to a new nuclear arms race.” 

Journalist Glenn Greenwald tied the update to broader narratives about the Trump administration's relationship with Russia, and in particular President Vladimir Putin:

This is a major (and dangerous) provocation toward Russia …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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‘Nightmarish Political Scene’: Paul Krugman Details the Infuriating Way Trump Will Wrestle Power from Dems If They Win the Midterms

October 21, 2018 in Blogs

By Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet

“If you don't think this is going to happen, you haven't been paying attention.”


Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman on Sunday issued a dire warning about the upcoming midterm elections—and how Donald Trump will react if his party loses.

Krugman initially warned that if the Democrats don’t manage to at least win control of the House of Representatives, “God help up,” before noting that even if they do, “we’ll be facing a nightmarish political scene.”


Krugman warned the Trump administration will likely defy requests for information even if Democrats have subdued power. “They’ll also probably abuse executive power in many other ways,” Krugram wrote.

The enconomist added the president will likely ramp up his claims of voter fraud and claim the midterm elections were stolen “to justify their disregard of the law and Constitution.”

“If you don't think this is going to happen, you haven't been paying attention,” Krugman added.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Why America Shouldn't Threaten Preemptive War

October 21, 2018 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

As a Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchinson was a moderate conservative.
But as the current U.S. ambassador to NATO, Hutchinson seemed to
lose her prior restraints. She appeared to threaten an attack on Russia.

Moscow is developing a new cruise missile which Washington
claims would violate the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces
treaty. If Russia proceeds, said Hutchinson, then the Putin
government would be put “on notice” of possible
“countermeasures,” which “would be to take out
the missiles that are in development by Russia in violation of the
treaty.”

She warned that action could come when Moscow had developed its
new weapon “to a point where we know they are capable of
delivering. And at that point we would then be looking at a
capability to take out a missile that could hit any of our
countries in Europe and hit America in Alaska.”

Continually pushing for
dominance in the backyards of the world’s nuclear powers is
madness.

After her remarks triggered an international furor she insisted
that she was not warning of a preemptive strike. Maybe the problem
was just a maladroit expression. After all, the new missiles really
don’t change the threat facing America: Russia already is capable
of hitting any target in America with its strategic missile
force.

But Hutchinson’s remarks were so disturbing because any
preventive strikes would ensure Russian retaliation and the
potential for full-blown war. The United States avoided taking
direct military action against Moscow throughout the Cold War, even
during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Attacking the Russian homeland
during peacetime would be simply mad.

However, hubris has dangerously infected America’s relationship
with Moscow.

During the 2016 presidential campaign most Republican
candidates—though not Donald Trump—sought to appear
tough by threatening Russia with war. At least Hutchinson worried
about a weapon which could hit America and Europe. Most of the GOP
presidential contenders were prepared to start a great power
conflict over Syria’s civil war.

For instance, a no-fly zone became the favorite proposal for
candidates to use to demonstrate that they were tougher than
President Barack Obama. The only problem was that Russia and Syria
were using airpower to target insurgents. However, the prospect of
a military confrontation with Moscow only seemed to invigorate the
candidates. And not just Lindsey Graham, who always treats military
action as the first resort. Other candidates prepared for war with
a nuclear-armed power included Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Carly
Fiorina.

Chris Christie was most explicit. In typical blustering style,
he declared that “My first phone call would be to Vladimir,
and I’d say to him: ‘Listen, we’re enforcing this
no-fly zone.’” Unfortunately, Christie did not tell
voters what he would say if Vladimir …read more

Source: OP-EDS