AMERICAblog NewsAMERICAblog News http://americablog.com A great nation deserves the truth // One of America's top progressive sites for news and opinion Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:00:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 Roy Moore’s lawyer makes racist comments about MSNBC’s Ali Velshi http://americablog.com/2017/11/roy-moores-lawyer-makes-offensive-racial-comment-msnbcs-ali-velshi.html http://americablog.com/2017/11/roy-moores-lawyer-makes-offensive-racial-comment-msnbcs-ali-velshi.html#comments Wed, 15 Nov 2017 21:25:27 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=144002 Roy More’s lawyer Trenton Garmon brought up MSNBC’s Ali Velshi’s “awesome diverse background” in defending Roy Moore’s claim that he asks the parents of young girls if he can date them.

Velshi is Canadian. But he’s dark. And it appears the lawyer thinks Velshi is from a country where marriages are “arranged.” (Velshi was born in Kenya.)

It was supremely bizarre, and supremely offensive. Below is Velshi and his cohost, Stephanie Ruhle.

And then donate to Roy Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones — the election is December 12.

And here’s a snippet of the transcript:

Ruhle: Why would he need permission from any of these girls’ mothers if they weren’t underage?
Garmon: Sure, that’s a good question. Culturally speaking, obviously there’s differences—looked up Ali’s background there. Wow—that’s awesome that you have got such a diverse background. It’s really cool to read through that. But point is this, each culture has its —
Ruhle: What does Ali’s “background have to do with dating a 14 year old?
Garmon: I’m not finished with the context of it. Point of it is this —
Ruhle: Please answer. What does Ali Velshi’s background have to do with dating children, 14 year old girls?
Garmon: Sure. In other countries, there’s arrangement through parents, for what we would refer to as consensual marriage, so.
Ruhle: Ali’s from Canada.
Garmon: I understand that. And Ali’s also spent time in other countries—
Ruhle: So have I!
Garmon: It’s not a bad thing.
Velshi: I don’t know where you’re going with this, Trenton.

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The yearbook signature “is” Roy Moore’s http://americablog.com/2017/11/yearbook-signature-roy-moores.html http://americablog.com/2017/11/yearbook-signature-roy-moores.html#comments Wed, 15 Nov 2017 01:24:20 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143998 Roy Moore has yet to explain how a seemingly perfect match of his signature appeared in a 16-year-old girl’s yearbook from 1977.

The now-woman, Beverly Young Nelson, says Moore approached her at a diner, asked to sign her yearbook, and then later offered to give her a ride home and tried to rape her.

Moore denies knowing the woman or even having heard of the diner. (Moore’s wife even claimed the diner never existed — in fact, the media found it, it did.)

But not much has been said about the “Roy Moore” signature in the yearbook. Josh Barro got a copy of Moore’s recent signature from this year and published it on Twitter. And lo and behold, it sure looks like the same signature that you’ll find in that little girl’s high school yearbook.

I took the signatures, and using Photoshop, isolated them and cleaned them up a bit to make them higher contrast. Here they are side by side:

roy moore signature

They sure look like the same person signed both documents. Look at the unique R and the unique M — they’re identical. The way the o flows in the y in Roy. The way the top part of the y is written. The way the first o in Moore is written, and the way the the “ore” is written as well.

It certainly appears that either Roy Moore signed that girl’s yearbook, or someone signed it attempting to forge Roy Moore’s signature. So now the question is — what era does the ink date from? Is it new ink, or is it ink that’s 40 years old? I can’t imagine an expert can’t check that. And that would seal the deal, as it’s difficult to believe that someone 40 years was trying to impersonate a 32-year-old Roy Moore in a rural Alabama diner.

 

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McConnell: I believe the women, Moore should step down http://americablog.com/2017/11/mcconnell-believe-women-moore-step.html http://americablog.com/2017/11/mcconnell-believe-women-moore-step.html#comments Mon, 13 Nov 2017 18:32:34 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143995 The Roy Moore child molestation scandal continues to grow, with Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell now publicly saying that he believes the women, and he is calling on Moore to step down. Here’s my take on why this matters….

First, as background, I wrote extensively about this story here, you can listen to my podcast about it here, and please donate to Roy Moore’s Democratic opponent Doug Jones here.

As you know, Moore is running in a special election this December 12 for the US Senate seat that Jeff Sessions gave up when he became Donald Trump’s attorney general. Moore is running against Democrat Doug Jones, who is a great guy, and now may beat Moore as a result of this scandal, particularly in light of the growing Democratic momentum following this Tuesday’s election blowout in Virginia and across the country.

Now, back to McConnell. Why does this update matter? A few points.

1. Can Doug Jones win?

Yes. It was always considered a longshot, but a doable one, but after the surprising success Democrats had nationwide in this past Tuesday’s election, Jones’ chances grew significantly. And now, after this past Friday’s allegations that Moore sexually molested a 14-year-old girl who he met at her custody hearing (creepy!), and is alleged to have hung out at high schools and malls looking to pick up teenagers when he was in his 30s, Jones’ chances grew exponentionally.

2. Then the GOP Senate steps in.

A number of Republican Senators had already taken back their endorsement of Moore’s candidacy, but McConnell’s statement this morning is a game changer in a number of way. It makes it nearly impossible for any Republican in Washington, DC to continue supportiong Moore. But more importantly, it raises the question of how McConnell, who has just said publicly that he believes Roy Moore is a child molester, can seat Moore in the US Senate if and when he wins in December.

Now, from the research I’ve done, it might be difficult for the Senate to not recognize Moore’s election as legitimate. Typically, the Congress can only say “no” to seating a new member if they believe the constitutional requirements were not met, such as the election not being legit. In Moore’s case, what the Senate could do is seat Moore and then immediately expel him from the chamber, which they very much CAN do. This was the approach they were going to take to remove serial sexual harasser, and former Senator, Bob Packwood. But the threat to do it was enough to force Packwood to resign.

So the question arises: How could McConnell NOT move to expel Moore after saying that he believes Moore is a child molester? He can’t.

Now, what happens after the Senate expels Moore in December? In many states, the governor can appoint a new Senator who serves until the next regularly-scheduled election. In Alabama, the governor appoints an interim Senator while a new special election is scheduled. So Alabama would have to hold ANOTHER election, and hope that Moore doesn’t win. I don’t know whether the local party could refuse to put him on the ballot. But it could get messy if Moore were to run again.

3. What does this mean for the GOP nationally?

Nothing but trouble. I’d like to think that Republican Senators are dumping Moore because of the goodness of their hearts, but in politics everything is political. They’ve calculated that they’re better off dumping Moore than keeping him, likely, in part, because they’re worried about the effect electing a child molester could have on the party’s national brand going into the 2018 election, and on the rallying cry Moore will be for congressional candidates, and grassroots Democrats, in the coming year.

But, any move against Moore risks creating more of a rift between the Trump-Bannon wing of the party (while Trump didn’t side with Moore, Bannon did) and the more sane McConnell-Ryan wing. (I know, we’re at the point where McConnell and Ryan are the adults in the room.) And that’s nothing but good news for Democrats. The more Republicans fight amongst themselves, the less time and money and energy they have fighting Democrats.

So all in all, if you wanted to stop Roy Moore, and cause the most damage possible to Republicans, that’s exactly what’s happening.

Now go donate to Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones, who is a great Democrat and now can actually win this.

This is getting very interesting. Boy, winning is a lot more fun than losing.

JOHN
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Alabama GOP now openly defending pedophilia in defense of Roy Moore http://americablog.com/2017/11/alabama-gop-now-openly-defending-pedophilia-defense-roy-moore.html http://americablog.com/2017/11/alabama-gop-now-openly-defending-pedophilia-defense-roy-moore.html#comments Fri, 10 Nov 2017 01:02:57 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143966 In the wake of the Washington Post’s blockbuster story today that four women have accused Alabama Republican US Senate candidate Roy Moore of inappropriately touching them while they were teenagers aged 14 to 18, and Moore was in his 30s, Alabama Republicans are circling the wagons by openly defending pedophilia.

Moore, a fire-and-brimstone anti-gay family values crusader is running against Democrat Doug Jones for Jeff Sessions US Senate seat in a special election taking place next month on December 12.

You can donate to Doug Jones here.

Moore is accused of, among other things, “dating” a 14-year-old girl in 1979, who he took to his home in the woods, took off her and his clothes, touched her breasts and her crotch through her underwear, then attempted to put her hand on his erect penis through his underwear. Moore was 32 at the time.

Moore’s defense is that the women’s allegations were cooked up by Barack Obama and the Clintons. Which is a pretty tricky move, considering the 14-year-old told her friend in 1979 that she was dating a man named “Roy Moore.” Did President Obama take Hillary and Bill back in their time machine to 1979 to set Moore up?

Not to mention, the worst story about the 14-year-old, comes from a woman who voted for Trump.

Even worse is the defense of Moore being made by Alabama Republicans. They’re literally unbelievable. First we have the “Mary and Joseph did it” defense:

Then comes the “undressing 14 year old girls is much ado about nothing”:

If you accept the Washington Post story as being completely true, Roy Moore at age 32 undressed a 14-year-old girl, touch her breasts and crotch, and then tried to put her hand on his erect penis. It’s child abuse.

Actually, she’s saying that he undressed her, undressed himself, grabbed her breast and her crotch, and then tried to put her 14-year-old hand on his 32-year-old erect penis.

And finally, the team from “pedophilia is okay if you’re horny” weighs in:

Republicans in the Senate were all handed the same talking point, which they’ve dutifully repeated en masse — namely, that “if” the allegations are proven true, Moore should step down. But until that happens, they’re happy to endorse Roy More.

You can donate to Roy Moore’s Democratic opponent Doug Jones here.

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BREAKING: Roy Moore sexually assaulted 14 y.o. girl, woman alleges http://americablog.com/2017/11/breaking-roy-moore-sexually-assaulted-14-y-o-girl-woman-alleges.html http://americablog.com/2017/11/breaking-roy-moore-sexually-assaulted-14-y-o-girl-woman-alleges.html#comments Thu, 09 Nov 2017 19:13:44 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143958 Bombshell election news. Religious right US Senate candidate, Roy Moore, of Alabama, allegedly sexually harassed and/or assaulted four young girls, age 14 to 18, when he was in his 30s, according to a breaking story from the Washington Post.

The special election in Alabama is next month, in early December. Moore is running against Democrat Doug Jones. You’ll recall that Moore is the guy who wants to recriminalize homosexuality.

The worst story of all — Moore allegedly picked up a 14 year old girl, when he was 32, took her back to his home in the woods, removed his clothes, removed her clothes, then touched her breasts, her crotch, and put her hand on his crotch. The girl told friends at the time that she was dating an older man, and even named Moore to one of the friends. If, as Moore now claims, these are political lies, why would a 14 y.o. girl make up these lies 40 years ago about the then- relatively unknown Roy Moore?

Doug Jones already had an interesting shot at winning this race, even before this past Tuesday’s election blowout, but now with Moore facing multiple accusations of sexual improprieties with teenage girls, in the of a nationwide scandal over sexual assault, Jones has a real chance of winning this. Donate to Jones’ campaign here.

Moore regularly invokes God as his inspiration for all things political, including his refusal to permit government officials in his state marry gay couples even after the Supreme Court mandated it. So these allegations, particularly against the uber-religion-on-his-shoulder Moore is huge.

Interestingly, Moore is today claiming that the fact that the woman waited this long to accuse him proves that they’re lying: “If any of these allegations were true, they would have been made public long before now,” Moore said today in a statement.

Yes, because what the last few months have shown is that nobody buries these things for years or decades at a time.But that would mean that all the other women who have come forward in the nationwide discussion about sexual harassment and sexual assault are also lying, at least any of them who didn’t come forward immediately after their alleged harassment/assault. Is Moore really willing to say this?

UPDATE: Moore is now claiming that Barack Obama and the Clintons somehow are behind the 14 year old girl, in 1979, telling her friend at the time that she was dating a grown man named “Roy Moore.” How’s that work exactly? Did the Obama and the Clintons go back in a time machine to 1979 and have the 14 year old girl lie 40 years ago, just in case Roy Moore ran for Senate in 2017?

Not to mention, the worst story, about the 14-year-old, comes from a woman who voted for Trump.

Look, this is the Republican party, and this is Alabama. Don’t put it past them to elect someone who is not only facing assault accusations, but who has confessed to them (i.e., Donald Trump). But, this is bad for Republicans nationwide, especially after last Tuesday’s election rout of the GOP. They do NOT need to have a candidate on the ballot, and a Senator seated in the Congress, who is accused by multiple teenage girls of what basically consistutes child abuse in the middle of a nationwide scandal over that very issue.

Already, GOP Senator Jeff Flake has told MSNBC that if there is any shred of truth to the charges, Moore should step aside immediately. Even Mitch McConnell says tat if the allegations are true, Moore needs to step aside. He’s in trouble.

Remember, when the accusations against Harvey Weinstein went public, Republicans demanded that Democrats rebuke him and distance themselves, and they did. Will Republicans do the same with Moore?

Doug Jones has a real chance here. And regardless of how Moore fares in December, this controversy could cause major damage to the Republican party over the next month and year leading into the crucial 2018 congressional elections.

Please donate now to Roy Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones — we can win this next month in Alabama.

Thanks, JOHN

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The latest on Trump-Russia http://americablog.com/2017/11/latest-trump-russia.html http://americablog.com/2017/11/latest-trump-russia.html#comments Thu, 09 Nov 2017 19:05:04 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143952 Lots of Trump-Russia updates, including Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner in increasing danger, the Flynn boys reportedly on the verge of being indicted, and the ongoing damage of Carter Page’s glorious public meltdown.

Will Trump & company escape with some last-minute pardons? Not if the NY attorney general has anything to say about it. All that and more in today’s Trump-Russia podcast — click the orange arrow to listen.

Please subscribe to the UnPresidented Podcast on iTunes  and leave us a rating & review. And access our premium shows by becoming a patron here on Patreon.

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Trump’s panders to Asia while the GOP destroys all cultural norms http://americablog.com/2017/11/trumps-panders-asia-gop-destroys-cultural-norms.html http://americablog.com/2017/11/trumps-panders-asia-gop-destroys-cultural-norms.html#respond Thu, 09 Nov 2017 17:12:12 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143950 Trump’s embarrassing trip to Asia, and the GOP effort to destroy any remaining cultural norms in politics (e.g., picking Quayle, Palin and Trump; trying to steal Al Franken’s seat, stealing the Supreme Court nomination), is the subject of our latest podcast.

We decided to split this longer podcast into separate episodes by subject. That way you can actually snit down and listen to 20 minutes or 30 minutes, instead of having to find an entire hour and a half. So here’s the segment on Trump’s trip to Asia, and the larger GOP effort to water down our political norms. Just click the orange arrow:

Please subscribe to the UnPresidented Podcast on iTunes  and leave us a rating & review. And access our premium shows by becoming a patron here on Patreon.

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Papa John’s has a delicious Nazi pizza problem http://americablog.com/2017/11/papa-johns-delicious-nazi-pizza-problem.html http://americablog.com/2017/11/papa-johns-delicious-nazi-pizza-problem.html#comments Thu, 09 Nov 2017 15:27:07 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143956 The GOP’s favorite pizza, Papa John’s, has a delicious Nazi problem.

It all began when the conservative owner of Papa John’s decided to weigh in on the NFL kneeling controversy — yes, the real victim of the police brutality controversy is Papa John’s — and the Nazis were so impressed they made him their official pizza.

Herr John was not amused, and hilarity ensued.

Cliff and I discuss this delicious dilemma in this short clip from today’s podcast — click the orange arrow to listen:

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Yet another mass shooting, what it all means if anything http://americablog.com/2017/11/yet-another-mass-shooting-means-anything.html http://americablog.com/2017/11/yet-another-mass-shooting-means-anything.html#respond Thu, 09 Nov 2017 15:13:52 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143948 In today’s podcast, Cliff Schecter and I discuss the mass shooting in Texas, and what if anything gun control advocates can do in a country that seems to have lost its mind.

You can listen to this segment of our podcast via the embed below, just click the orange arrow:

 

 

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Democratic election victory recap: What this means for 2018 http://americablog.com/2017/11/democratic-election-victory-recap.html http://americablog.com/2017/11/democratic-election-victory-recap.html#comments Wed, 08 Nov 2017 23:56:08 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143943 Democrats kicked GOP butt last night in races across the country, from Virginia to Washington state. We won governorships, state legislatures, attorneys general, mayors races and more. Women, African-Americans, LGBT people, Latinos, Sikhs all won historic victories.

It was an anti-Trump tsunami, and Cliff Schecter and I help you celebrate and decipher what this means for 2018 in our newest podcast, taped today to reflect last night’s victory. Just click the orange arrow below to listen:

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Trump/Russia, the latest http://americablog.com/2017/11/trumprussia-the-latest.html http://americablog.com/2017/11/trumprussia-the-latest.html#respond Mon, 06 Nov 2017 18:37:21 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143940 I wanted to write a little wrap-up of the Trump/Russia news last week, as things got really interesting with the Mueller indictments, and more importantly, the plea deal reached with Trump senior foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos. And, don’t forget the hugely important elections in Virginia on Tuesday, tomorrow. We’ll discuss those two.

RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA

I did a podcast last Monday about the Mueller indictments and what they mean, and decided to write a longer story about it as well. And then we did another podcast last Friday, delving more deeply into where things stood by the end of the week (you can hear a 7-minute snippet of that discussion here, and to hear the entire hour, please subscribe to our premium podcast for $5/month or greater).

And if anyone is worried about how podcasts work, it’s easy. Just visit the link above, and click the orange arrow to start listening to the episode. It’s that simple. You can also listen to both podcast below, just click the orange arrow.

Here’s Friday’s episode:

And here’s last Monday’s:

In a nutshell, the Mueller indictments and plea deal helped the story grow, a lot, this week. Trump attorney general Jeff Sessions had claimed, under oath, repeatedly, that he had no knowledge of any Trump campaign officials having any contacts with Russians. Trump and other top officials have claimed the same. In fact, Papadopoulos suggested in a March 26, 2016 meeting, with Sessions and Trump in attendance, that Trump meet with Putin. According to another witness at the meeting, Sessions shot down the idea while Trump listened intently. So both men were aware of contacts, and lied.

And Trump, who just one week ago claimed he has one of the best memories in all of history, is now saying he can’t remember anything about that March 26th meeting, other than that there was “no collusion.” But if Trump can’t remember the meeting, how does he know that no collusion took place at the meeting that he can’t remember?

Things got worse for Sessions, in particular, when the other Trump foreign policy aide who’s causing much heartburn for Team Trump, Carter Page, testified before the House Intelligence Committee this past Thursday, telling them that he informed Jeff Sessions of a trip to Moscow he was taking during the summer of 2016. Even though the trip wasn’t campaign-related, Sessions was specifically asked under oath about any contacts anyone of the campaign had with Russians, and Sessions denied any such contacts repeatedly and on multiple occasions.

And remember that Don Jr., Kushner and Manafort lied about their meeting with the Russian government officials in June 2016 at Trump Tower, at which the Russians had promised to give them dirt on Hillary Clinton. There’s an awful lot of lying going on if no one has anything to hide.

DEMS ARE CLOSE TO WINNING THE VIRGINIA GOVERNORSHIP

There’s a hugely important election taking place in Virginia on Tuesday. Among other things, the governship is up for grabs — Democrat Ralph Northam is running against the former head of the Republican Party, Ed Gillespie.

Gillespie is a Trump clone. That’s enough reason to vote against him, but it’s way more improtant than that. Whoever wins will have a front seat at redistricting in the state in 2020. That means drawing anew the congressional districts, and undoing much of the gerrymandering that Republicans have done around the country to guarantee their US House majority.

Northam was ahead by ten points or more. Now he’s not. The two men are within a few points of each other, some say the race is tied. We cannot afford to lose this race. If you know anyone in Virginia, call them and make sure they get out to vote this coming Tuesday.

Here’s another reason the race is hugely important. If we can beat Gillespie, the former head of the RNC, then the message coming out of Virginia will be that the Republicans are in trouble heading into the 2018 congressional elections. That will dispirit Republicans, and energize Democrats. We’ve seen what happens when the bad guy wins an election. Winning is way better than losing. Let’s win this one in Virginia come Tuesday. (New Jersey also has elections on Tuesday, but the Dem governor’s candidate is ahead by 15 points and expected to win without a problem — but there are other issues on the ballot, so vote there too!)

You can make a last-minute donation to Ralph Northam’s campaign here.

Thanks, JOHN

PS Help defeat Roy “I think homosexuality should be illegal” Moore in December’s run off election for the US Senate race from Alabama by donating to his opponent Doug Jones here. Even Fox News says the race is tied! We’re only one month away — please support Doug Jones.

red-donateWith the election of Donald Trump, AMERICAblog’s independent journalism and activism is more needed than ever. Please support my work with a $25 donation. We don’t make much on advertising, we need your support to continue our work. Thanks.

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It’s time for a somber national discussion about [INSERT LATEST MASS SHOOTING HERE] http://americablog.com/2017/11/time-somber-national-discussion-insert-latest-mass-shooting.html http://americablog.com/2017/11/time-somber-national-discussion-insert-latest-mass-shooting.html#comments Sun, 05 Nov 2017 22:26:58 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143934 This story, first published years ago, was inspired by some American mass-shooting long-forgotten. Sadly, we are forced to republish it on a regular basis.

It’s time to have a somber national discussion about the [insert shooting tragedy here] tragedy.

Before we get started, let’s go over a few basic ground rules.

1. In the wake of the __________ tragedy, it’s time for us all to come together as a nation and not assign blame. This is not the time, for example, to talk about how it’s easier to purchase a gun in America than it is to vote (or buy French cheese). I fact-checked the graphic below, it’s for real:

GUNS-CHEESE

And I quote White House spokesman Jary Carney, speaking about the murder at Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut of at least 18 young children:

“I’m sure [there] will be rather a day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates,but I don’t think today is that day,” Carney said.

Fortunately, the President’s subsequent statement was better.

2. And we won’t tolerate any second guessing of the Second Amendment right to carry assault weapons, or questions about how the Framers could have possibly envisaged an assault rifle over 200 years ago, or why a “hunter” needs six thousand rounds of ammunition, or kevlar, or smoke grenades to kill a pheasant.

Open Carry gun owner at JC Penney store in Utah

Open -carry gun owner at JC Penney store in Utah. What could possibly go wrong?

3. While the shooter may have been inspired by political fliers showing the victim in cross hairs, or may have come unhinged by inflammatory rhetoric about how said victim was coming for the shooter’s guns, discussing such motivation at this sensitive moment would be completely inappropriate. Not to mention, disrespectful to the __________ victims.

Sarah Palin showed US Rep. Gabby Giffords' district in crosshairs shortly before Giffords was shot in the head and nearly killed in an assassination attempt.

Sarah Palin showed US Rep. Gabby Giffords’ district in crosshairs shortly before Giffords was shot in the head and nearly killed in an assassination attempt.

4. If the tragedy involved someone flying a plane into a government building, or for that matter blowing up a government building, now is not the time to discuss people like Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity (no names, please), or Republicans generally (no political parties, please), incessantly trying to convince their audience that the occupant of the White House, or any government official, agency, or entire branch of government is evil and/or “un-American” and/or out to get them or our country or our freedom.

drudge-hitler-obama-stalin-578x500

5. And definitely don’t mention the Republican party’s frequent claim and/or insinuation, including suggestions from the GOP candidate himself, Mitt Romney, that the sitting Democratic President is a socialist, which in American parlance actually means “communist,” which actually means “Soviet,” which was America’s deadliest enemy out for our utter destruction.

Sure, it would be entirely understandable why someone would take up arms against a Soviet takeover of the United States, but a Democrat said something mean once about a Republican’s dog, or something, so aren’t both parties really to blame, thus making the charge moot?

tea party

Tea Party rally. The Islamic symbol at the bottom right of the poster is a nice touch. Ira Bostic / Shutterstock.com

6. Never, ever mention the NRA.  Sure, they’ve proven themselves, time and again, incapable of passing laws that effectively keep guns out of the hands of crazy mass murderers, but that’s no reason to blame them for the _______ tragedy because it’s just too early to cast blame on anyone other than the shooter, who was obviously crazy, and thus this month’s anomaly.

Now, let’s discuss for a moment the race of the shooter and the race of the victims.

7. If the ______________ tragedy involved angry white men opening fire on brown people of faith, this is definitely not the time to replay clips of bombastic commentators and politicians getting white men in places like Kansas whipped into a frenzy over Manhattan’s zoning criteria for non-Christian houses of worship.

8. But feel free to discuss if all brown people, and thus the shooter, or his victims, were Muslims – sorry, I meant to say “radical Islamists.”  And even if neither was a Muslim, make sure you discuss that point incessantly – Muslim, Muslim, Muslim, Muslim – so as to eventually sow suspicion in the public’s mind as to whether there really is a Muslim angle to this story.

9. Speaking of which, this is not the time to discuss the more general fear mongering around words like “Muslim,” including the ongoing, successful, attempt by Republicans to convince their base that our dark-skinned President is one.

Okay, I think we’re ready now to discuss the ______________ tragedy.

First off: It is entirely acceptable for a Republican to opine that the tragedy could have been averted had the victims all been armed (please disregard previous tragedies where armed police officers, or members of the military, were themselves injured by the shooter).

Second: Poignant, but ultimately meaningless, gestures such as lighting tragedy candles at nighttime vigils, and posting anti-gun petitions on Change.org, are to be encouraged.

Finally: Clutch your pearls, and all together now, ask the purely rhetorical question: “How could this happen?”

Forty-eight hours after the shooting, return to talking about the Olympics and the latest Kardashian wedding until the next shooting occurs, then refer to point 1 above.

PS: If the victims of the ___________tragedy were black, ignore the above restrictions and take up a collection for the shooter’s defense fund.

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George Papadopoulos has a story to tell about Donald Trump, Russia and Hillary’s emails http://americablog.com/2017/10/papadopoulos-story-tell.html http://americablog.com/2017/10/papadopoulos-story-tell.html#comments Tue, 31 Oct 2017 22:37:31 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143918 While it’s all well and good that Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were indicted yesterday, the big news was the FBI’s plea deal for Trump campaign senior foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos.

Papadopoulos, you’ll recall, in spite of Donald Trump’s claims today that he was a nobody, was in fact one of Trump’s top five foreign policy aides early on in the presidential campaign. Trump even included Papadopoulos in a list of top aides he gave to the Washington Post editorial board. At the time, Trump called Papadopoulos “an excellent guy.”

So, it’s well established that Papadopoulos had influence in the Trump campaign, as evidenced by his seat at the Trump foreign policy table during the campaign — he’s the third man from the left, facing the camera — Trump heads the table to the right.

What we’re trying to figure out now is what Papadopoulos did with the information given to him by a “professor,” who seemed to be acting as an intermediary for Russian intelligence (if not Russian intelligence himself), and who told Papadopoulos nearly 18 months ago that Moscow had “thousands” of stolen emails associated with Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulos was told about these emails before the email scandal was known publicly.

Keep in mind that Papadopoulos was wooed by this “professor” only days after Donald Trump publicly acknowledged Papadopoulos’ role in the campaign in March 2016. Within days, the professor introduced Papadopoulos to a woman claiming to be Vladimir Putin’s relative. And one month later, the man told Papadopoulos that he’d heard in Moscow that Russian intelligence had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton — namely, “thousands” of stolen emails.

Papadopoulos didn’t write the Russian intermediary off as a nut — something he initially claimed to the FBI. Instead, he reported back to his Trump campaign supervisor, believed to be now- Trump Department of Agriculture nominee Sam Clovis, about the ongoing meetings, and the Russians’ interest in eventually having Putin meet Trump. The intermediary professor even introduced Papadopoulos to the Russian ambassador to London. Trump’s supervisor Clovis told Papadopoulos he was doing “great work” with the Russians — so clearly the Trump campaign didn’t write off the Russian either.\

We don’t know, for example, what exactly Papadopoulos told his bosses, and which bosses were informed. Were they told that the Russians claimed to have thousands of Hillary’s emails? It’s difficult to believe that Papadopoulos kept this information to himself, especially after the story became nationwide news. So who did he tell on the campaign: Clovis, Sessions (who was heading up the foreign policy team), Don Jr., Kushner, Manafort, Trump himself?

And if he did tell anyone, why didn’t they call the FBI?

We do know that whatever Papadopoulos did with the explosive information he received from the Russians, it was worth lying to the FBI about. Now, why would he do that? Why would he lie about simply having contacts with a professor who knew some Russians? That’s not illegal. Nor is it illegal for the professor to introduce you to Putin’s relative, or even to tell you a rumor that Moscow had Hillary’s stolen emails. None of that is illegal, so why would you lie to the FBI about any of it?

It’s possible that Papadopoulos is simply an idiot, got scared, and tried to hide anything and everything from the FBI. But, it’s hard to believe that Papadopoulos is an idiot. And most honest Americans know what happens when you lie to the FBI — you go to jail. So it suggests that Papadopoulos felt he had something to hide.

It’s also possible that Papadopoulos, ever the loyal Trumper, was afraid that anything he said might incriminate Team Trump, even if Papadopoulos’ own actions weren’t illegal. For example, Jeff Sessions has repeatedly claimed under oath that he was unfamiliar with anyone on the campaign having contacts with Russians. If Papadopoulos briefed Sessions, by email, or in that larger meeting with Trump, about his Russian liaisons, then Sessions may have perjured himself (again). So that’s one possibility for why Papadopoulos lied.

It would also be embarrassing to the Trump campaign if word got out that they were informed by Russian intermediaries, even before the public knew, that the Russians had hacked Hillary’s people — and Team Trump didn’t bother contacting the FBI.

An even more nefarious possibility is that the Russians offered the Trump campaign the stolen emails, and the Trump campaign was interested. That perhaps this was the hot anti-Hillary information that the Russians dangled before Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort in their meeting with Putin’s agents at Trump Tower in June of 2016. And, it’s possible that Donald Trump Sr. knew that this was what the Russians were offering, when Trump wrote Don Jr’s statement lying about what transpired at the meeting. And it’s possible that these were the emails Trump Sr had on his mind when he publicly called on Russia to find and release Hillary’s emails. (Though, in fact, these were different emails, Trump Sr isn’t know for nuance — he could have easily confused the two.) If all of that is true, then the Trump Campaign was intimately involved in the hack against Democrats during the 2016 election, and that’s something worth hiding (if you’re a criminal).

Papadopoulos felt it necessary to lie to the FBI last January, and Trump felt it necessary to lie about Papadopoulos today. That’s more than enough to suggest that we have yet to hear the full truth. Here’s our latest podcast on yesterday’s indictments and Papadopoulos’ plea:

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Indicted: What you need to know about today’s Russia-related FBI indictments http://americablog.com/2017/10/indicted-need-know-todays-russia-related-fbi-indictments.html http://americablog.com/2017/10/indicted-need-know-todays-russia-related-fbi-indictments.html#comments Mon, 30 Oct 2017 23:02:48 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143916 Two members of the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, have been indicted by FBI special counsel Mueller; and a third member of the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, has reached a deal where he is cooperating with prosecutors.

And Papadopoulos, who many had never heard of, is the real bombshell here. Papadopoulos ties Team Trump to Russia and Hillary Clinton’s stolen emails. It’s a huge story, and Cliff Schecter and I break it down for you. I think this is our best, and most important, podcast yet. You can listen via the box below, just click the orange arrow.

Please subscribe to the UnPresidented Podcast on iTunes (www.UnPresidentedPodcast.com) and leave us a rating & review. And access our premium shows by becoming a patron here on Patreon.

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Why GOP Sen. Flake’s anti-Trump speech mattered http://americablog.com/2017/10/gop-sen-flakes-anti-trump-speech-mattered.html http://americablog.com/2017/10/gop-sen-flakes-anti-trump-speech-mattered.html#comments Fri, 27 Oct 2017 21:29:38 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143913 In our latest podcast, Cliff Schecter and I dissect why we both believe that GOP Senator Jeff Flake’s anti-Trump speech this week really did matter.

Now, it’s true that Flake has a horrible pro-Trump voting record, but I never expected Flake, a conservative Republican, to become a Democrat. I wanted Flake, and other GOP leaders, to start calling Donald Trump out, and telling the world that he’s unfit for office. And that’s exactly what Flake did.

And while I don’t think Flake’s speech was the final nail in Trump’s political coffin, I also don’t think it was as uneventful as some are saying. I think it mattered. And here’s why:

In order to hear the full episode, subscribe on Patreon for $5/month or more. Thanks so much, JOHN

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F—–g Moron http://americablog.com/2017/10/f-g-moron.html http://americablog.com/2017/10/f-g-moron.html#comments Thu, 26 Oct 2017 16:42:09 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143910 In our latest UnPresidented Podcast, Cliff Scehcter and I discuss:

The JFK files, quarantining people with HIV (yeah, this brilliant idea came from the spouse of a Trump cabinet secretary), Julian Assange weighs in on the evils of men who defend women, Seb Gorka lets loose his inner racist, the GOP House will investigate an anti-Hillary conspiracy theory, Trump vs. Mrs. Sgt. La David Johnson, Trump vs. Bob Corker, Trump vs. John McCain, and Bill O’Reilly vs. the women (and decent men) of America. Cliff and John discuss all this in today’s free episode (taped before the bombshell Flake news).

You can listen to this podcast simply by clicking the orange button below.

Please subscribe to the UnPresidented Podcast on iTunes and leave us a rating & review. And access our premium shows by becoming a patron on Patreon.

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What really happened in Niger? http://americablog.com/2017/10/really-happened-niger.html http://americablog.com/2017/10/really-happened-niger.html#comments Wed, 18 Oct 2017 21:22:01 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143888 Today’s White House press briefing was unusually illuminating. Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked a lot of questions about the growing scandal over Donald Trump’s mishandling of the failed Niger mission that killed four American service members.

Specifically, Trump has been hammered over why he failed to offer his condolences to the families of the slain Americans, or even comment publicly on their deaths — both things presidents normally do.

Earlier this week, Trump responded angrily, and seemingly blamed President Obama, claiming that Obama and other previous presidents never offered condolences to the family of our military heroes. In fact, that’s wrong.

You can listen to a portion of our latest podcast on this topic here:

Then, Trump brought up the fallen son of his chief of staff, General John Kelly, who was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan. Trump suggested that Obama didn’t reach out to the Kelly family after their son died — in fact, they were invited to the Obama White House to an event with Gold Star Families, and were seated at Michelle Obama’s table. But regardless, what does that have to do with Trump’s response now?

Niger-mapTo make matters worse, CNN and the Washington Post have confirmed that when Trump called the pregnant widow one of the four soldiers killed, La David Johnson, Trump shocked the woman by telling her that her husband “knew what he signed up for.” Trump claims he never said it, but the soldier’s mother, who was listening to the speakerphone conversation, says Trump did, and the grieving spouse was mortified. (A Democratic member of Congress also heard the call, and confirms what Trump said.)

Then today, Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to deny that Trump told the widow “he knew what he signed up for.” She was asked to deny he said it, and she refused. But it gets better: Sanders then claimed that General Kelly, who NEVER talks about his son in public, is “disgusted” at how the deaths of our soldiers have been politicized. Does that mean Kelly is disgusted with Trump? Because either Trump got permission from Kelly in advance to use Kelly’s dead son as a political prop, or he didn’t. Either way, if Kelly had any dignity left, he’d resign.

But it gets even more interesting. Politico is now reporting that White House staff drafted a statement of condolence immediately after the troops were killed in Niger, and Trump for some reason refused to make it public. Why not? Then add another piece of news: Two reporters say that John McCain told them that Trump isn’t telling the full truth of what happened in Niger. CNN’s Manu Raju reported on Twitter:

Reporter: Is the Trump administration being up front about what happened in Niger?

“No,” McCain said, per @KilloughCNN

Others in Congress have also said that Trump isn’t being honest about what happened during the ambush that killed our soldiers in Niger. Those voices include GOP Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “We have a little bit of info, but not what we should.”

So what is Trump hiding? And, is that why he killed the statement of condolence, because he’s hiding something about the deaths of our soldiers in Niger?

If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that Trump made some rash decision that got those soldiers killed. And now he’s covering it up.

In, fact, the French claim that the mission in Niger didn’t have enough intelligence backing it up, nor was there enough planning behind it.

A diplomat with knowledge of the incident said French officials were frustrated by the U.S. troops’ actions, saying they had acted on only limited intelligence and without contingency plans in place.

Does that sound familiar? It should. Back in January, a US Navy Seal was killed during a mission that many suggested Trump rushed. Trump made the decision to go in over dinner with Bannon and Kushner, rather than in the Situation Room where such decisions are normally made because the president has access to far more information. The mission was a mess, and it was a first glimpse into Trump’s seat-of-the-pants decisionmaking.

Did Trump rush the job and do it again in Niger? Because nobody signed up for this.

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Anderson Cooper blasts Trump for using Gen. Kelly’s dead son as political fodder http://americablog.com/2017/10/anderson-cooper-blasts-trump-using-gen-kellys-dead-son-political-fodder.html http://americablog.com/2017/10/anderson-cooper-blasts-trump-using-gen-kellys-dead-son-political-fodder.html#comments Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:56:25 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143885 Yesterday, Donald Trump used the dead son of his chief of staff, General John Kelly, as political fodder.

Trump was fighting back against a growing chorus of condemnation over his failure to reach out to the family of four US service members who died two weeks ago in Niger. When asked the other day about why he hadn’t even mentioned the soldiers’ deaths, Trump lashed out and blamed Obama and previous presidents, claiming falsely that they too never reached out to the families of our fallen service members.

Caught in yet another ever-growing Web of lies and ego, Trump then, incredibly, invoked General Kelly’s son who died in service in Afghanistan. Kelly never talks about his son Robert. But Trump was happy to use the American hero as his own personal political human shield.

Anderson Cooper weighed in. It’s a must-watch.

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Sean Hannity, useful idiot. http://americablog.com/2017/10/sean-hannity-useful-idiot.html http://americablog.com/2017/10/sean-hannity-useful-idiot.html#comments Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:04:59 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143879 In national security circles, a “useful idiot” is an American citizen who unwittingly works for a foreign intelligence agency, and is so dumb that he doesn’t even realize that he’s selling out his own country.

In Sean Hannity’s case, the term useful idiot might be too generous. Hannity, and Fox News overall, have found Julian-Assange-Jesus, and are doing all they can to get Assange a presidential pardon, and to exonerate Russia in the ongoing investigation of Putin’s interference in the 2018 election.

In our latest podcast, Cliff Schecter and I talking about Hannity insanity and much more. The list of our topics, and the various time markers in the podcast where we hit on each issue, follow the podcast itself, below:

Here’s a roadmap to today’s show: Scaramucci, Holocaust humor & watering down the social norms (0:00); Trump refusing to talk about the special forces lost in Niger (11:23); the US Chamber of Commerce won’t endorse Roy Moore (15:04); McCain calls Trump “unpatriotic” (18:49); an alien abductee runs for Congress (30:34); a TrumpCare update (39:20); GOP rent-boys, value-voters, Seb Gorka, and Nazis (44:19); Mike Pence and hanging gays (47:27); whatever you do, don’t blame Trump (53:43); Fox News goes all Pravda on Hillary (54:49); Julian Assange on women (1:01:32); Sean Hannity, useful idiot (1:06:49); and Trump as Silvio Dante from the Sopranos (1:18:05). All that and more on today’s episode, with John Aravosis & Cliff Schecter.

Please subscribe to the UnPresidented Podcast on iTunes (UnPresidentedPodcast.com) and leave us a rating & review. And access our premium shows by becoming a $5/month or more patron here on Patreon. I’m spending two days a week doing the podcast (as I’m also our engineer, editing the episode), so any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much, JOHN

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The Case for Impeachment http://americablog.com/2017/10/the-case-for-impeachment.html http://americablog.com/2017/10/the-case-for-impeachment.html#comments Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:29:35 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143869 The news from Puerto Rico grows more dire.

Donald Trump revs up his efforts to incite war with North Korea and Iran.

Trump last week took new steps to undercut the Affordable Care Act, a move that will premiums by 20% around the country.

And just today, Trump yet again took Russia’s side against our own intelligence community which concluded that Russia interfered in our election — Trump said it fake news.

It is too dangerous for Donald Trump to remain in office. The time has come to publicly call for his removal, be it via impeachment or the 25th Amendment.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that the time didn’t come months ago. Trump was never fit to be president. I’m talking about the politics of impeachment — the strategies and tactics that help us move forward in the most effective manner, and which avoid creating a backlash that keeps Trump in office even longer. It’s one thing to know that Trump should be removed from office, it’s another to find the best way to do it.

In this premium episode of our UnPresidented Podcast (below), Cliff Schecter and I discuss the imperative of, and issues and strategies surrounding, the left joining with honorable people on the right in creating a nationwide movement to remove Donald Trump from office before he causes serious damage to our people and our democracy.

You can listen to a 9-minute snippet of our newest podcast on this topic via the embed below.

And if you like our podcast, please subscribe to our free episodes on iTunes and leave us a review. And you can hear the rest of this episode, and listen to our other premium episodes, with a $5/month or more subscription on Patreon here. About half of our episodes are premium. Thanks, and I hope you enjoy the show:

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