You are browsing the archive for 2020 September.

Avatar of admin

by admin

Trump appears to be inviting a constitutional crisis

September 30, 2020 in Blogs

By Steven Rosenfeld

This story first appeared at Voting Booth.

In the first televised presidential debate, President Trump questioned the ability of America’s election officials to conduct an honest election this fall and said that he would not sit idly by “if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated. I can’t go along with that.”

“It means you have a fraudulent election,” Trump continued, speaking over moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, who asked both candidates if they would pledge to not “engage in any civil unrest” and “not declare victory” until all of the votes had been counted.

“You’re sending out 80 million ballots. They’re not equipped—these people [election officials, postal workers] are not equipped to handle it—number one,” Trump said. “Number two, they cheat. They cheat. Hey, they found ballots in a wastepaper basket three days ago and they all had the name military ballot. They were military. They all had the name Trump on them.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden, countered, “He has no idea what he is talking about. The fact is I will accept it [the results] after complete count. And he will too. You know why? Because once the winner is declared after all the ballots are counted, all the votes are counted, that’ll be the end of it. That’ll be the end of it.”

Never before in modern history has a presidential debate ended with the incumbent refusing to say whether he would accept the results of an upcoming election and not agreeing to an orderly post-Election Day process—and the challenger saying that it doesn’t matter what the incumbent mistakenly believes, if he’s voted out of office he will have to leave.

Beyond Trump’s nonstop interruptions, accusations and bellowing that marked the debate, the president appeared to be inviting a constitutional crisis if the margins are close in swing states and the results were not known on Election Day, November 3—which they almost certainly will not be, because, as Wallace noted, eight states only start processing absentee ballots that day.

“Can you imagine where they say you have to have your ballot in by November tenth, November tenth,” Trump said. “That means, that’s seven days after the election [winner] in theory should have been announced. We have major states with that. All run by Democrats. All run by Democrats. It’s a rigged election.”

Trump also said that he expected the U.S. Supreme Court to get involved—including the …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

'An embarrassment': Critics slam Tim Scott for defending Trump's white supremacy debate blunder

September 30, 2020 in Blogs

By AlterNet Staff

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is caught in the middle of a massive Twitter storm after his attempt to defend President Donald Trump’s failure to denounce white supremacy during his first presidential rally ahead of the 2020 election.

In the aftermath of Trump’s turbulent debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, the American public was left reeling over the stark takeaways from the political clash. However, the biggest controversy centers on Trump avoiding the calls to disavow white supremacy. Instead of doing so, Trump offered a loaded statement to the Proud Boys saying, “stand back and stand by.”

Although the Proud Boys have praised Trump for his remarks because they, too, are aware of what the president’s words suggested, Scott offered a different perspective. When asked about the president’s remarks during an appearance on NBC News Wednesday morning, he immediately offered an explanation on behalf of the president. Scott seems to think the president “misspoke.”

“I think he misspoke in response to Chris Wallace’s comment,” Scott answered. “He was asking Chris what he wanted to say, I think he misspoke. I think he should correct it. If he doesn’t correct it, I guess he didn’t misspeak.”

In similar fashion, the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. also had an argument almost identical to Scott’s. When asked about the ordeal, he said, “I don’t know if that was a misspeak, but he was talking about having them stand down,” Trump Jr. told “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King. “He’s more than happy to condemn that.”

It did not take long for Twitter users to go after Scott. Although Scott insisted the president should offer clarity if he did misspeak, Twitter users and many others still aren’t buying it. Since this is not Trump’s first time side-stepping a question about this critical issue, Scott is being criticized for parsing the president’s remarks while failing to take Trump at his word.

Avatar of admin

by admin

Extremist hate group ‘Proud Boys’ merchandise with Trump order to ‘stand by’ — already on Amazon

September 30, 2020 in Blogs

By The New Civil Rights Movement

President Donald Trump fueled the far right extremist, neo-fascist, misogynistic, transphobic, Islamophobic, white nationalist, violence-promoting hate group “Proud Boys” during Tuesday night’s debate when he refused to condemn white supremacism.

Trump gave the group a direct order: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” and they are thrilled – and taking him at his word.

Experts say Trump’s remarks effectively made him their leader, an “honor” the Proud Boys are only too happy to have.

Immediately the group took Trump’s words and incorporated them into their logo.

Now that logo, the logo of a dangerous hate group – including Trump’s directive – is appearing on merchandise at Amazon.

President Trump has helped normalize extremism.

His former counterterrorism chief at DHS condemned him for refusing to denounce white supremacism last night.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

CDC report shows millions of Americans were losing health insurance before COVID-19

September 30, 2020 in Blogs

By Walter Einenkel

During last night’s debate, one of the places where Joe Biden was able to cut through the strange excitable barking that was going on to his right was during the somehow interminable, somehow brief, debate question surrounding the health insurance. During that section, Biden attempted to explain the need to rebuild the Affordable Care Act and improve upon it while Donald Trump literally just barked out words like “socialist,” and lied about making insulin as “cheap as water.”

The most glaring point, something that even moderator Chris Wallace wasn’t able to hide, was that Donald Trump continues to have zero plans or ideas for replacing the health insurance that will be lost if the ACA is fully dismantled. As it is, the problem of high health insurance coverage wasn’t fixed by the first iteration of the ACA and a lot more work needs to be done. The Republican Party and Trump are not up for that task and after almost four years in office, matters have only gotten worse. Biden pointed that out that Trump and his Republicans have no interest in creating affordable health care. In fact, they have been doing quite the opposite. Trump would “never look you in the eye and tell you he wants to take it away. He wants to take it away.”

Before the novel coronavirus pandemic hit our shores and spread due to corrupt and impotent federal policy makers, people were losing their health insurance. The CDC released a report this month, which looked into rising numbers of uninsured Americans. Here’s what they found: “In 2019, 14.5% of adults aged 18–64 were uninsured in the United States.” The Hill reports that this is up from the previous year’s number of 13.3%. In total, between 2018 and 2019 at least 2.5 million people became uninsured under Trump and the Republican Party’s magical thinking, nonexistent plan. The number one reason people were losing their insurance was because it had become unaffordable.

Some other awful numbers the CDC released is that under Trump the people who have lost their insurance because of cost increased based on age, “from 66.8% among those aged 18–29 to 80.9% among those aged 50–64.” And, of course, as Biden pointed out, Trump’s activities as president have disproportionately hurt communities of color more than anyone else, with …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Fox Business host gives Kayleigh McEnany a brutal reality check: ‘Biden won the debate’

September 30, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

Following Trump’s presidential debate with former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday night, September 29, Fox Business host Stuart Varney was honest enough to admit that Biden won the debate. And he was clearly in disagreement with White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany when she tried to convince him that Trump was the winner.

McEnany, appearing on Fox Business, told Varney that Trump was “in very good spirits” following the debate and “brought the fight that I think the American people wanted to see.” But Varney responded that Trump was much too abrasive for his own good during the debate, which was moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace.

“His style, the frequent interruptions — I mean, the insults came from Biden — but the frequent interruptions and the talking over everybody, that was a lot from President Trump,” Varney argued. “And I think that’s what the audience didn’t like and will turn off.”

After McEnany claimed that Trump’s “offense style” was necessary to get answers from Biden, Varney told her, “What’s your response to this? Biden won simply because he got through the whole 90 minutes — no gaffe, no senior moments, no lack of focus, and reasonable amount of energy all the way through. Therefore, he survived. He won.”

But McEnany maintained that Trump won the debate, resorting to bogus talking points about Biden and Antifa.

“No gaffes — that’s a really subjective interpretation,” McEnany told Varney. “I would consider it a pretty big gaffe when asked about Antifa — an organization that has killed Americans and targeted police officers — and there’s no condemnation of that group. I consider that a pretty big gaffe, along with many others.”

Biden, in fact, has been stressing that he condemns violence from either the left or right. And Trump is drawing a great deal of criticism for, during the debate, expressing his solidarity the Proud Boys — a white nationalist group that openly promotes violence. Trump said, “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.”

Watch the video below:


Fox Business host tells Kayleigh McEnany: ‘Biden won’

www.youtube.com

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

The 1868 Louisiana Massacre That Reversed Reconstruction-Era Gains

September 29, 2020 in History

By Farrell Evans

The Opelousas Massacre terrorized African American voters and stopped local Black political progress in its tracks.


‘THIS IS A WHITE MAN’S GOVERNMENT… We regard the Reconstruction Acts (so called) of Congress as usurpations, and unconstitutional, revolutionary, and void. —Democratic Platform.’ Cartoon by Thomas Nast, published in Harper’s Weekly, September 1868.

In September 1868, a dispute over a column published in an Opelousas, Louisiana partisan newspaper provoked one of the bloodiest incidents of racial violence in the Reconstruction era. The attackers’ goal: to reverse dramatic political gains made by Black citizens after the Civil War, intimidate them from exercising their newly found rights and restore the racial hierarchy of the slavery era.

The Opelousas massacre remains one of the harshest examples of African American voter suppression in U.S. history, with estimates of the dead ranging from several dozen to several hundred. Occurring in the run-up to the 1868 presidential election, which pitted conservative Democrat Horatio Seymour against Republican war hero Ulysses S. Grant, the killings also underlined the importance of partisan media in shaping the postwar political discourse.

Throughout American history, political parties have used partisan newspapers to influence the electorate, starting with the Federalist party’s Gazette of the United States, founded in 1789. (Motto: “He that is not for us, is against us.”) After the upheaval of the Civil War, newspapers became a hotly contested space for Democrats and Republicans to communicate their competing visions for the political, economic and social futures of some 4 million formerly enslaved people. While Republicans used their newspapers to advocate expanding Black people’s rights and privileges, Democratic papers aligned with the slogan of their party’s presidential nominee Seymour: “This is a White Man’s Government,” one that hoped to keep Black Americans in perpetual bondage—or at least perpetual servitude.

In Opelousas, the seat of Louisiana’s St. Landry parish, The St. Landry Progress served as the official organ of the local Republican Party—one of 73 Republican papers in the state. And in fall 1868, a strongly worded editorial, penned by a precocious young editor, ignited a firestorm.

READ MORE: How Power Grabs in the South Erased Reforms After Reconstruction

In the South, Postwar Politics Hinged on Rights for the Formerly Enslaved


Illustration from the late 1860s depicting freedmen voting in New Orleans.

That year hadn’t been good for Louisiana Democrats. The state’s white planter class, beset by labor shortages and repeated …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

Joni Ernst is struggling in Iowa’s Senate race — and Trump is a ‘huge part of her problem’: journalist

September 29, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

When Sen. Joni Ernst was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014, the Iowa Republican defeated her Democratic opponent, Bruce Braley, by 9%. But six years later, polls are showing a much tighter U.S. Senate race in Iowa — where a recent Des Moines Register poll found her trailing Democrat Theresa Greenfield by 3%. And Iowa-based journalist Art Cullen, in an op-ed published this week in the Washington Post, argues that President Donald Trump is largely to blame.

“Greenfield, the daughter of a crop-duster, has raised more money than Ernst; she is wearing well, attracting 10% of voters who supported Trump four years ago,” explains Cullen, author of the 2020 book “Storm Lake: Change, Resilience and Hope in America’s Heartland” and editor of the Storm Lake Times in Northwest Iowa. “Not long ago, 60% of Iowans approved of Ernst’s performance. Now, the same percentage disapproves. They tell the Iowa poll that Ernst has not done enough for Iowa — a criticism that felled past senators such as Dick Clark, John Culver and Roger Jepsen before her.”

Cullen argues that Ernst has become too pro-Trump for her own good.

“Trump is a huge part of Ernst’s problem,” Cullen writes. “She stood by him when he started trade wars with our biggest ag export customers: China, Mexico and Canada. Then, Trump toyed with the ethanol industry for three years while prices plummeted. And the pandemic is out of control in Iowa while Congress dithers over aid.”

Politically, Iowa is best described as a GOP-friendly swing state, while Wyoming and Idaho are deep red. President Barack Obama won Iowa’s electoral votes in 2008 and 2012, but Democrat Hillary Clinton lost to Trump in Iowa in 2016 — and now, polls are showing that former Vice President Joe Biden is quite competitive with Trump in Iowa. Some polls have shown Biden with a slight lead in Iowa; others have shown Trump with a slight lead in Iowa. Like Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona, Iowa is one of the swing states that reporters will be paying very close attention to on Election Day.

The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to Cullen, has made things more difficult for Ernst because it reminds Iowa voters how Trumpian she has become.

“Ernst had no choice but to stand with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for a vote before January, lame …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Mike Flynn’s lawyer just admitted to a federal judge she’s discussed his case with Trump

September 29, 2020 in Blogs

By The New Civil Rights Movement

The attorney for disgraced former Trump national security adviser and convicted felon Mike Flynn has just admitted to a federal judge she has been talking with President Donald Trump about her client’s case – and that she personally asked the president to not pardon Flynn.

Sydney Powell, a former federal prosecutor turned conspiracy theorist, QAnon-signaler, and pro-MAGA anti-”deep state” personality, was asked by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, if she’s been in contact with Trump.

Politico’s Kyle Cheney provides the back-and-forth:

Powell actually tries to invoke executive privilege – to which she has no right since she does not work for the administration.

And then, this bombshell:

Former federal prosecutor, now an NBC and MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner sugggests things got a little wild in the courtroom:

At issue: Flynn and the DOJ are trying to have the case dismissed – after Flynn pleaded guilty, twice, before the judge. Attorney General Bill Barr has been accused of working to protect Trump’s allies.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

War hero turned troll: Man who raised millions for border wall uses social media to attack his detractors

September 29, 2020 in Blogs

By The Texas Tribune

Sept. 29, 2020

Veteran, war hero, defendant, troll: Man who raised millions for border wall uses social media to attack his detractors” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

This article is co-published with ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up for ProPublica’s Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox as soon as they are published.

Also, sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.

War hero. Veterans advocate. Family man.

It was an image years in the making. Brian Kolfage had lost three limbs in an Iraq bomb blast in 2004, making him the most badly wounded airman to survive the war. He had become a motivational speaker, was the subject of sympathetic news profiles and was even a guest at former President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in 2012.

More recently, 38-year-old Kolfage had positioned himself as a border security visionary after raising $25 million to construct privately funded fences in an effort to help President Donald Trump keep undocumented immigrants from crossing the southern border.

On social media and in the lucrative industry of online news sites dedicated to far-right politics, there’s a very different Kolfage, though. One who, over the last decade, has sharpened a strategy of retribution and retaliation against his online critics, asking his legion of followers to “expose” perceived enemies and “make (them) famous,” according to numerous interviews, hundreds of screenshots of since-deleted social media posts and court records from two defamation lawsuits to which he was a party.

Kolfage’s actions online have spawned an informal support group of individuals who have felt his wrath, including fellow veterans and progressives, as well as some of Kolfage’s former conservative allies. His social media activity has forced him to formally apologize to a perceived online critic as part of a court settlement and prompted a judge to issue a warning following his recent indictment on fraud charges.

Facebook has barred Kolfage from its platform for his online behavior, which includes creating multiple fake accounts and linking to “ad farms,” a company spokeswoman said, adding that his actions violated “our rules against …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Mitch McConnell doesn't want to debate a woman if a woman is moderating that debate

September 29, 2020 in Blogs

By Walter Einenkel

Sen. Mitch McConnell enjoys power. He enjoys money and power, and those seem to be the only motivating factors in his life. He does not care that he’s a hypocrite. He does not care that people can see that he is a hypocrite. McConnell’s entire existence is an exercise in cynicism.

McConnell’s Kentucky Senate seat will be decided this November. Running against him is Marine veteran Amy McGrath. Being the incumbent who is hell-bent on stacking the Supreme Court with ultra-conservative Inquisition types, McConnell has been leery of debating McGrath in public because … well, he’s got a lot to lose. The Herald-Leader reports that any chance of getting McConnell to engage in a debate with his Democratic challenger seems to be contingent on one very McConnell thing: whether or not the debate moderator is a woman.

McConnell has hemmed and hawed over debating McGrath for weeks. He has agreed to two debates, both with male-only moderators, after McGrath agreed to three. McConnell and McGrath have only agreed tentatively to a debate on Gray TV, but according to the McGrath campaign, while the original Gray TV debate was supposed to be hosted by WAVE’s Shannon Cogan and WKYT’s Bill Bryant, only Bryant is still moderating. According to the debate organizer, the only reason Cogan is no longer slated to moderate is “because both campaigns had mentioned Bryant as a potential moderator.”

But the McGrath campaign says that the loss of a female co-host of the Gray TV debate seems to have magically coincided with the station negotiating with McConnell’s campaign.

McGrath challenged McConnell to three debates in August, including the KET Kentucky Tonight Forum on Oct. 26. KET announced it would be extending invitations to the qualifying candidates: McGrath, McConnell and Barron. McConnell has not accepted the invitation to that debate, which is hosted by Renee Shaw.

The McGrath campaign points out that McConnell has not appeared in a debate with a female moderator in 25 years. The McConnell campaign countered by saying that McGrath had been pushing to have Libertarian Brad Barron included on the debate stage (something McConnell adamantly pushed back against), and Barron is a man. It’s a classic McConnell apples and oranges argument that sadly seems to play well with his base.

McConnell has a sizable lead in most polls. He has very little interest in …read more

Source: ALTERNET