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Tag: barack obama

DeSantis Campaign Accepts Funds From Donor Who Tweeted Racial Slur Against Obama

Ron DeSantis' campaign had previously said it would not take any money from Steven Alembik.

Steven Alembik, a Republican donor from Boca Raton, Florida, donated $5,000 to Ron DeSantis' reelection campaign for governor last month, after DeSantis' previous campaign for the position, in 2018, had said it would not take any more money from him over his offensive racist comments.

Alembik had in previous years donated more than $20,000 to DeSantis, but had been disavowed by DeSantis' first gubernatorial campaign in 2018 after he tweeted a racist slur against former President Barack Obama, writing out, "F--K THE MUSLIM N----R." In response, DeSantis campaign spokesperson Stephen Lawson said in a statement, "We adamantly denounce this sort of disgusting rhetoric." Lawson said that the campaign would not accept any more money from Alembik.

Alembik at first denied that he'd posted the slur, but then switched his story and told Politico, "So somebody like Chris Rock can get up onstage and use the word and there's no problem? But some white guy says it and he's a racist? Really?... I grew up in New York in the ’50s. We were the kikes. They were the n------. They were the goyim. And those were the spics." He said, "I'm an emotional human being. Do I have a filter on what I say? In public, yes. Would I use that word in public? No. This is Twitter."

Alembik was neither the first nor the last person associated with DeSantis to exhibit racist behavior. DeSantis himself said on Aug. 29, 2018, about his Democratic opponent for governor, Andrew Gillum, who is African American, that he would "monkey ... up" the economy.

Subsequently, Florida residents received robocalls from a person claiming to be Gillum, the first Black nominee for Florida governor from a major party, and speaking in what the New York Times called "the exaggerated accent of a minstrel performer" with jungle sounds in the background. The calls ended with a message saying they were paid for by the Road to Power, which the Anti-Defamation League says is an Idaho-based white supremacist and anti-Semitic broadcaster.

In February 2018, Alembik hosted a gala event for a conservative group called the Truth About Israel at Donald Trump's Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago. The resort had recently lost 15 bookings for events following Trump's remarks about there being "people that were very fine people, on both sides" at the white nationalist riot in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, 2017. DeSantis spoke at the event at Mar-a-Lago, as did fellow Republican Rep. Brian Mast.

In 2017, DeSantis attended a "Restoration Weekend" gathering organized by David Horowitz, an anti-Muslim activist and founder of the Islamophobic magazine FrontPage and the so-called David Horowitz Freedom Center. Other attendees that year included right-wing figures such as Milo Yiannopoulos, Sebastian Gorka, Steve Bannon, Charlie Kirk, and Devin Nunes.

In April, DeSantis signed the Stop W.O.K.E Act to eradicate so-called critical race theory and "woke" ideology from Florida schools and workplaces. Critics see it as a measure to outlaw the discussion of racial inequality in general.

DeSantis' office did not respond to inquiries from the American Independent Foundation regarding the donation by Alembik.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

Endorse This! Obama Blasts Putin-Trump Axis And Likens Bannon To Russian Dictator (VIDEO)

President Obama, a man who was tortured by non-stop lies and insane conspiracies about his place of birth from the future divider-in-chief Donald Trump, knows all too well how the spread of disinformation across social media is poisoning our democracy. Speaking at Stanford University this past Saturday, Obama explained how social media companies need to start clamping down on deliberate disinformation and fact-free hate in order to preserve democracy.

“One of the biggest reasons for democracy’s weakening is the profound change that’s taken place in how we communicate and consume information,” Obama said. He urged social media companies to be more transparent in sharing how their algorithms determine news feeds.

“So much of the conversation around disinformation is focused on what people post,” Obama said, according to The New York Times. “The bigger issue is what content these platforms promote,”

Obama specifically called out far-right, alt-fact, white nationalist Steve Bannon and likened him to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

“People like Putin, and Steve Bannon for that matter, understand it’s not necessary for people to believe disinformation … You just have to flood a country’s public square with enough raw sewage.”

Watch the entire speech below:

@yourltldogtoo #obama #trump #clinton #facebook #twitter #instagram #russia #putin #election #2016 #2022 #news #fyp ♬ original sound - yourlittledogtoo


Michael Hayne is a comedian, writer, voice artist, podcaster, and impressionist. Follow his work on Facebook and TikTok

'Titan': Former US Senate Leader Harry Reid Dies At 82

Washington (AFP) - Former US Senate majority leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat who rose from humble beginnings to lead the upper chamber during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, has died aged 82.

"I am heartbroken to announce the passing of my husband," his wife, Landra, said in a statement released to US media, adding he died "peacefully... surrounded by our family."

Reid, who used his experience in Congress to help Obama steer his landmark Affordable Care Act through the Senate, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2018.

Laconic and soft-spoken, Reid was born and raised in the mining town of Searchlight, Nevada on December 2, 1939, in a house with no hot water or indoor toilets.

A prize-fighter in his youth, he used his pugilistic instincts to work his way up to becoming one of the longest-serving majority leaders in the history of the US senate, and even called his memoir The Good Fight.

Current Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said Reid was "one of the most amazing individuals I've ever met."

"He never forgot where he came from and used those boxing instincts to fearlessly fight those who were hurting the poor & middle class," Schumer said on Twitter.

'Skill And Determination'

Despite his hardscrabble upbringing, he was elected to the Senate in 1986 and became the upper chamber's Democratic leader in the 2004 elections. He served as Senate majority leader from 2007 to 2015.

Reid often referred to his working class origins -- his father was a miner, his mother a laundress, and neither parent graduated from high school.

He hitchhiked 40 miles (65 kilometers) as a teenager to attend the nearest high school, and then graduated from Utah State University and put himself through George Washington University Law School by working nights as a member of the US Capitol police.

Quixotic, he once filibustered the Republicans by himself for nine hours, by reading from the history book he wrote about his hometown of Searchlight.

Reid was more conservative than most other Democrats in the Senate. A practicing Mormon, he was staunchly against abortion rights -- a stance that sometimes found him working at cross purposes with others in his Democratic caucus.

In lieu of a statement, Obama made public a letter he had written to Reid shortly before his death, in which he said: "I wouldn't have been president had it not been for your encouragement and support, and I wouldn't have got most of what I got done without your skill and determination."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Reid a "titan," describing him as "a leader of immense courage and ferocious conviction who worked tirelessly to achieve historic progress for the American people."

Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the Senate, said that Reid's rise from poverty to political power was a "quintessentially American story, and it took Harry's legendary toughness, bluntness, and tenacity to make it happen."

As Markets Rise, Biden Takes A Bow (And Trolls Trump)

"Biden's Stock Market Returns Continue to Trounce Trump's" reads a recent Forbes headline. Sophisticated investors know this, but most of the public may not because Democrats have this self-defeating aversion to boasting about bull markets during their watch.

That seems to have changed under President Joe Biden.

Recall how former President Donald Trump tied every record high to his alleged brilliance as an economic manager. "The Dow Jones Industrial just closed above 29,000!" he tweeted about six weeks before the 2020 election. "You are so lucky to have me as your president. With Joe Hiden' it would crash."

Not quite. Ten months after Biden was declared winner, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was over 34,500. As for the broad-based S&P 500, that stock index has closed at at least 40 all-time highs since Biden has been president.

Happily for Democrats, Biden has claimed his bragging rights. Even better, he's trolling Trump with Trump-like swagger. "The stock market is surging," Biden crowed in a speech honoring labor unions. "It's gone up higher under me than anybody."

Actually, presidents don't have nearly as much control over the stock market as they may claim. New technology influences economic developments, as do black swan events, such as the September 11, 2001, attacks. Then, there was COVID-19.

That said, stocks have certainly done better so far under Biden than under the previous guy. From the last election to late August, all three major indexes — the Dow, S&P 500 and the NASDAQ — had produced higher percentage gains under Biden than in the same period under Trump, according to Forbes.

Stocks did great under President Barack Obama, too, but you heard nary a peep from him about the Dow. And until recently, Biden didn't talk about it either.

Democrats had reasons, not all good ones, for their reticence. In downplaying gains in stock market wealth, they often note that ownership of shares is heavily weighted toward the richest Americans.

That is true. About 92 percent of stocks owned by Americans reside in the top 10 percent of households. We're including stakes in 401(k)s and other retirement plans, and mutual funds.

Nearly half of all Americans own not a single share of stock. And of the households that do, the median stock value is only $40,000.

But these Democrats often underestimate how many Americans rejoice over a rise in stock prices delivering gains of even a few hundred dollars. And many who don't own any stock associate booming markets with general economic prosperity.

Some liberals, meanwhile, have this sourpuss idea that there's something not quite wholesome about making money in the stock market. After the Trump-era tax cuts favoring rich investors, they want to raise taxes on those with very high incomes, and that makes sense.

But then they must also recognize that stock market rallies produce more taxable income. And the sweet part is that proposals to raise tax rates on capital gains and very high incomes have evidently not depressed Americans' lust for stock investing.

Complicating the messaging for Democrats is that well-to-do Americans account for more and more of their voter base. In 2020, 59 percent of counties with a median household income over $80,000 went for Biden, whereas only 39 percent favored Trump.

Biden later swerved back to his party's earlier talking point that the stock market is not the economy. He complained about some people "seeing the stock market and corporate profits and executive pay as the only measure for our economic growth."

But did Biden use the word "exponentially" to describe rising stock prices under his presidency? He sure did. "I'm glad it's gone up," he added, "no problem." Good for him, and if this change in tone continues, good for Democrats.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com

On 9/11 Anniversary, Trump Will Do Ringside Chatter For A Boxing Match

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., and permanently altered life in the United States and the world.

And former President Donald Trump plans to spend that evening providing four hours of ringside commentary for a pay-per-view boxing event in Hollywood, Florida.

"I love great fighters and great fights," Trump said in a news release from FITE TV, the streaming network on which he'll provide commentary for a match between Evander Holyfield and Vitor Belfort. "I look forward to seeing both this Saturday night and sharing my thoughts ringside. You won't want to miss this special event."

There has been no word on what else Trump might be doing on Saturday.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will spend the day at memorials in remembrance of those killed during the attacks, in which hijacked passenger planes were crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. A fourth plane, intended by its hijackers to hit a target in Washington as well, crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers learned about the other hijackings and fought back.

In 2020, the final year of his only term in office, Trump spent the anniversary of the attack at a memorial at Shanksville, where he gave a speech. Biden visited Shanksville later in the day, as well as the annual ceremony at the 9/11 memorial in New York City.

Biden is scheduled to visit all three sites on Saturday, as did former President Barack Obama on the 10th anniversary of the attacks in 2011.

Harris will attend the ceremony in Pennsylvania, as well as the one at the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, two other former presidents will also be part of the commemorations.

Obama will attend the ceremony in New York along with former first lady Michelle Obama, CNN reported.

George W. Bush, who was president at the time of the attacks, is scheduled to make a speech at the ceremony in Shanksville.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Political Dysfunction Holds Innocent 'Dreamers' In Purgatory

Someday, many years from now, historians will use the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as a case study in the monumental dysfunction of American democracy in the early 21st century. But there is no guarantee that the issue will be consigned to the history books by then. Many of the "dreamers" could pass on to the next world before our political institutions have settled their fate in this world.

DACA was initiated in 2012 by President Barack Obama after he gave up on persuading Congress to pass legislation that both Democrats and many Republicans — including President George W. Bush — thought was wise and necessary. The program allowed foreigners brought here illegally as children to remain in the United States and eventually gain citizenship if they met certain criteria.

Broad public support for legislation was not enough to overcome irresponsible fearmongering and partisan gridlock. The blameless became the victims of the feckless.

Obama resorted to executive authority to grant a reprieve to hundreds of thousands of young people who were American in everything but citizenship documents — having grown up here, attended school here and even served in the U.S. military. But DACA was quickly mired in litigation that cast the intended beneficiaries into a perpetual purgatory.

Last week, a federal judge in Texas struck it down as a violation of federal administrative law. "The executive branch cannot just enact its own legislative policy when it disagrees with Congress's choice to reject proposed legislation," wrote Judge Andrew Hanen. At the same time, he specified that his decision does not "require DHS or the Department of Justice to take any immigration, deportation, or criminal action against any DACA recipient, applicant, or any other individual that it would not otherwise take." The "Dreamers" remain in limbo.

Americans can reasonably disagree on how to combat undocumented migration and what to do with foreigners who choose to break our laws in coming here. But the point of expelling those who didn't make that choice is beyond comprehension.

It would amount to punishing children for the sins of their parents. It would also amount to punishing grandchildren: DACA recipients have given birth to 250,000 U.S. citizens.

It would mean wasting the investment Americans have made to educate these members of our community. It would mean forfeiting their productive skills, to the detriment of the economy. It would deprive companies of workers and destroy small businesses founded by people pursuing the American dream.

But it would not deter migration. The Central Americans now waiting at our southern border didn't embark on a death-defying 1,000-mile journey because of an executive order issued nine years ago that may not survive. They did it out of a desperate desire to escape violence and poverty. Expelling every "dreamer" wouldn't keep a single migrant away.

On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recognized as much, ruling against environmentalists and ranchers who said DACA violated the law mandating an environmental impact review for some major federal actions. The unanimous panel rejected the ridiculous claim that the program entices more foreigners to sneak in.

Wrote Judge Jay Bybee: "Plaintiffs ask us to assume that aliens outside the United States who are, by definition, ineligible for DACA relief would learn about the policy; mistakenly believe it applicable to them or that they might obtain similar relief from a future administration; come to the United States based on their misconceptions; and permanently settle near Plaintiffs, thereby increasing the population and straining environmental resources. The attenuation in this chain of reasoning, unsupported by well-pleaded facts, is worthy of Rube Goldberg."

Republicans in Congress have long criticized DACA as an illegal use of executive power. But the logical response would be for them to usurp this presidential decree by passing a bill to protect the "Dreamers." Many GOP members say they can't abide such legislation until the border is "secure," which is the equivalent of not going to confession until you're sure you'll never sin again.

A Pew Research Center poll last year found that 74 percent of Americans, including 54 percent of Republicans, support legislation to grant permanent legal status to the "Dreamers." The support has been there for a long time. But the state of our democracy is such that the solution the American people want is one they may forever be denied.

Follow Steve Chapman on Twitter @SteveChapman13 or at https://www.facebook.com/stevechapman13. To find out more about Steve Chapman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Trump Organization Accused Of Abusing U.K.’s COVID-19 Furlough Program

The Trump Organization has received up to £575,000 -- about $811,000 -- through the U.K. job retention program, with at least £110,000 claimed while the former president was still in office. Critics see this as an abuse of the U.K.'s coronavirus furlough program. Union officials are calling for an investigation of the scandal by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and have lodged complaints about Trump Turnberry's “all-out assault on jobs and conditions." The former director of the Office of Government Ethics under the Obama and Trump administrations called the Trump Organization “disgraceful" for making U.K...

Attacking Obama Over Vaccine Ad, Carlson Hit With #CreepyTucker Backlash

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

When Fox News' Tucker Carlson leveled an attack on former President Barack Obama following his public service announcement about the COVID-19 vaccine, social media users were quick to turn the tables on him.

According to The HuffPost, the former president took to TikTok to encourage his followers to consider taking the COVID vaccine. In response to Obama's PSA, Carlson attempted to spread doubt about the COVID vaccine as he has done on multiple previous occasions. He also described Obama as "creepy" for releasing the video to encourage younger Americans to consider getting vaccinated.

In the quick TikTok video, Obama said, "The vaccine is safe, it's effective, it's free. It's the only way we're going to get back to all the things we love from safely spending time with grandparents to going to concerts and watching live sports."

During his primetime broadcast on Monday evening, Carlson attempted to stoke fears about Obama's announcement. "Some creepy old guy telling your children, your little kids to take medicine whose effects we do not fully understand," Carlson said. It's totally normal, yeah, that happens every day. Don't ask questions, just do it."

Some Twitter users noted that there is only a 8-year age gap between Carlson and Obama.

However, Carlson did not stop there. He went on to stoke more fears about authorities being able to "control" intimate healthcare decisions.

"What next? And anything is the answer to that question. If the authorities are permitted to control a health care decision this intimate, if they can force you and your children to take a vaccine you don't want and are afraid of, then what can't they do? Nothing. They will have total power over your body and your mind forever. What's the limit to their power? There isn't one."

It didn't take long for social media users to fire back in Obama's defense. Shortly after Carlson's show aired, the hashtag #CreepyTucker began circulating on Twitter as users criticized him for the destructive rhetoric he spews.

"#CreepyTucker needs to be held accountable for the death and destruction he promotes," one Twitter user wrote.