You are browsing the archive for 2021 February 07.

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Reporter roasted for trying to equate Jan 6 insurrection terrorists with 'antifa'

February 7, 2021 in Blogs

By The New Civil Rights Movement

A reporter attending Friday’s White House press briefing has earned national scorn after trying to equate the domestic terrorists and insurrectionists who engaged in the January 6 attempted coup that led to more than five deaths and caused about 150 Capitol Police to be injured, with the loosely organized anti-fascism movement known as Antifa.

“I think a lot of people want to know how does this administration define the term ‘domestic terrorist’?” the reporter, whose identity is currently unknown, asked.

“In what way?” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki generously and patiently asked.

“Does that include Antifa? Specifically, what, how do you set those parameters for domestic terrorists especially as we see, you know a lot of focus on the January 6, maybe not as much focus on some of the extremism and violence in the north, the Northwest,” she sputtered.

“Well, I’ve answered a version of this question a couple times before,” Psaki replied, gently encouraging the fledgling reporter to do her homework before entering the hallowed room, “but I know everybody’s not in the briefing room every day. The reason we have the [domestic violent extremism] review – which is not a political review – but is a review done by our national security team, something tasked again to take a review of domestic violent extremism, will cover incidents, across the board.”

Many responded on social media, few were as gracious as the press secretary.

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Liz Cheney promises 'many, many criminal investigations' into Trump's 'assault' on the US Capitol

February 7, 2021 in Blogs

By David Edwards

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on Sunday said that she expects “many, many criminal investigation” into former President Donald Trump’s role in inciting a violent insurrection on January 6.

During an interview on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump, if she would also vote to convict the former president of insurrection if she were a U.S. senator.

“I would listen to the evidence,” Cheney said. “The Senate trial is snapshot. There’s a massive criminal investigation underway. There will be a massive criminal investigation of everything that happened on Jan. 6 and in the days before.”

“People will want to know exactly what the president was doing,” she continued. “They will want to know, for example, if the tweet he sent out calling Vice President Pence a coward while the attack was underway, whether that tweet, for example, was a premeditated effort to provoke violence. There are a lot of questions that have to be answered and there will be many, many criminal investigations looking at every aspect of this and everyone who was involved.”

She added: “We’ve never seen that kind of assault by a president of the United States on another branch of government and that can never happen again.”

Over the weekend, members of Wyoming’s Republican Party voted to censure Cheney for her vote to impeach Trump.

Watch the video below from Fox News.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Trump's favorite news outlet OAN is struggling in the post-Trump era — here's why

February 7, 2021 in Blogs

By Tom Boggioni

In a Politico deep dive into a day of watching hyper-conservative One America News (OAN), reporter Tina Ngyuen wrote that the network is struggling to fill time with Donald Trump off the stage and staying out of the public eye while awaiting his impeachment trial in the Senate next week.

The network, which was just slapped with having pay to $250,000 in attorney’s fees stemming from a defamation lawsuit that was dismissed last year against MSNBC, has been elevated by the ex-president as his network of choice after his falling out with Fox News but now, as the report notes, won’t even grace them with an interview to help boost their viewership.

As the report states, “Since the election, conservative networks have been locked in a three-way wrestling match for who gets the MAGA television audience. Fox News has been deemed traitorous by Trump’s fans for reporting that Joe Biden fairly won the presidential election, and is seeing its worst ratings in decades. Newsmax initially ate into Fox’s pro-Trump audience post-election, but more recently the network has alienated many of its fans for the same reason.”

However, without the ex-president making public appearances and rallying his base — and with his social media accounts shuttered — the network has little in the way of red meat to throw to his avid supporters who depend on them for MAGA-influenced news.

“Without Trump providing feedback or free advertising in real time, OAN was a strange, empty temple to MAGA culture, with its acolytes and prophets filling in the gaps of his silence with their fantasies—often illogical, frequently venomous and largely a collection of memes—of what they thought their leader would want them to say,” Nguyen wrote before reporting, “And they missed him. Boy, did they miss him. ‘Pass our best wishes on to President Trump if you could, please,’ primetime host Dan Ball said to Trump adviser Jason Miller at one point. ‘And I’ll throw it out there, we’re requesting that interview. We keep asking. We’re gonna ask again.’ Miller gamely laughed.”

The report also notes that the network is mostly filling time sniping at President Joe Biden’s administration, but the longing for Trump is still strong with the Nguyen reporting that, during primetime, “The host of the 6 p.m. block had the night off, so OAN …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Black music is Black history: Our spirituals

February 7, 2021 in Blogs

By Daily Kos

Every February when we celebrate Black History Month in the United States, and when we teach it in the classroom or to our youngsters at home, the perfect accompaniment to books and stories is Black music. Black music here was born out of trouble and strife, out of uplift and joy, out of resistance and survival. It has existed since the beginning of our time here in the United States and the diaspora. Black music is rooted in the continent of Africa, and it will carry us into the future.

Though Black music has taken many forms over time, changed with each generation, and been performed in many different cultures by ethnic and racially diverse artists, many of whom are not Black, there is a fundamental thread that ties it all together: Black spirituality. When I speak of “spirituality,” I do not mean religiosity, though many Black musicians and their music have come out of the Black church. I speak of a force that combines both the will to endure and survive with the joy of life.

So let us begin this #BlackMusicSunday with Black spirituals.

Though social scientists and anthropologists have made it clear that race is a social construct invented to justify and perpetuate inequality and white supremacy, we are equally clear that the history of systemic racism in the Americas has created Black cultures (yes, plural). It is through the musical products of those cultures that we can learn and grasp not just material history, but the spiritual and emotional byproducts of 500 years of oppression and fierce opposition to same. To understand the souls of Black folks, we must all learn to listen, and listen to learn.

That listening should begin with the music that was sung, stamped out with feet, hand-clapped, called out, and responded to by the Africans brought to America in chains, whose “Negro Spirituals” became the base for gospel, blues, jazz, R&B, hip hop, rap, and the anthems of the civil rights struggle.

The first time I heard cultural historian, activist, and founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon sing “Old Ship of Zion,” the hair stood up on my arms and I didn’t know why.

In the liner notes of her 1975 album …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Republicans hope to distract from their party's extremists by scapegoating teachers

February 7, 2021 in Blogs

By Daily Kos

Republicans think they have their new plan to divide and conquer and distract the nation from extremists within their own party and the attack on the U.S. Capitol. They’re going to attack teachers for not wanting to go into unsafe working conditions in a pandemic.

Well, they say they’re attacking teachers unions, but make no mistake: Republicans are attacking teachers. Because the thing is, unions are made up of workers, and teachers are the workers in teachers unions (most of them, anyway), and in the cities where there have been contentious debates over in-person schooling, it is absolutely the teachers, not some abstract bureaucracy, fighting to stay out of poorly ventilated, crowded classrooms.

“Science is not the obstacle. Federal money is not the obstacle. The obstacle is a lack of willpower,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday. “Not among students. Not among parents. Just among the rich, powerful unions that donate huge sums to Democrats and get a stranglehold over education in many communities.”

What, we’re to believe that the “rich, powerful unions” just decided to pick this specific fight for no good reason? Like, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association, got together and decided that the best way to build power was to use a ton of political capital blocking in-person education? Oh, please. This is definitely a case where the teachers have pressured their leaders, and the reason for that is that teachers are scared.

What’s more, teachers are scared because people keep telling them that going into the classroom is safe if a long list of precautions are observed, and they know that in many of their school systems, there is no chance of that. They have stories of being in crowded classrooms where the windows don’t open to circulate fresh air in, and they’re not allowed to prop doors open because that could put them in danger in case of a school shooting. They have stories of schools where the way students are kept from being within six feet of each other for 15 minutes is that every 12-14 minutes they’re told to get up and walk around. They have photos showing creative interpretations of how far six feet really is.

What teachers are saying is that, contrary to McConnell’s claim that …read more

Source: ALTERNET