Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag:

Kellyanne Conway Invokes Dr. King To Defend Trump

Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s White House counselor, claimed on Monday that Trump’s impeachment ran counter to the “vision” of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

After asserting that Trump “agrees with many of the things that Dr. Martin Luther King stood for” such as “unity and equality,” Conway argued that it was not “within Dr. King’s vision to have Americans dragged through a process where the president is not going to be removed from office, is not being charged with bribery, extortion, high crimes or misdemeanors.”

“And I think that anybody who cares about ‘and justice for all’ on today or any day of the year will appreciate the fact that the president now will have a full throttle defense on the facts,” Conway said.

Trump’s record and rhetoric has been largely the opposite of King’s.

King spoke of the “Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief” that love “is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality.” Trump has pushed to ban Muslims from entering the country.

King marched from Selma, Alabama, to the state capitol in Montgomery to push for voting rights. The Trump administration convened a voter suppression commission and is currently fighting a bill to restore the Voting Rights Act.

King protested in Chicago to demand fair housing laws. The Trump administration has fought to roll back fair housing protections.

King’s legendary 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and freedom called for a livable $2 federal minimum wage. Today, that would amount to less that the proposed $15 minimum wage that Trump’s administration says “would reverse this economic progress and hurt workers.”

King fought against the nation’s massive Pentagon budget, saying, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Trump has bragged of bringing the defense budget to record levels, saying he “accomplished the military [sic].”

Even on impeachment, it appears King took a different view from the Trump administration. While King, who was assassinated in 1968, obviously never took a position on Trump’s attempt to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political opponents, a 1952 essay praising theologian Reinhold Niebuhr and his views on “ethical dualism” sheds some light on King’s views on ethics and democracy.

“Democracy anticipates in its normal operation the right of the individual to criticize the rules. Impeachment is the final expression of this right,” King explained.

King is not the first historical figure the Trump administration has tried to appropriate for his defense team. He has repeatedly argued that the nation’s founders would not have wanted the House of Representatives to impeach him for his alleged abuse of power and obstruction.

After signing a presidential proclamation endorsing King’s concept of a “Beloved Community” of love and brotherhood for all — and also lobbing a series of insults at journalists and Democratic politicians — Trump also attempted to wrap himself in the mantle of MLK on Monday.

“So appropriate that today is also MLK jr DAY. African-American Unemployment is the LOWEST in the history of our Country, by far,” he said. “Also, best Poverty, Youth, and Employment numbers, ever. Great!”

While black unemployment is indeed at a low, fact-checkers have said much of the credit for that goes to the economic growth that started under Barack Obama and have also noted that the racial wealth gap is getting worse under Trump.

recent survey found 83 percent of black Americans believe Trump to be racist and the same percentage believe Trump has made racism worse since taking office.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Rep. Lewis, Civil Rights Icon, Battling Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer

Reprinted with permission from American Independent Foundation

As a civil rights activist at 25, John Lewis was beaten so badly his skull was fractured and the TV images from an Alabama bridge in the 1960s forced a nation’s awakening to racial discrimination. As a congressman today at 79, Lewis is facing a foe like none before: advanced pancreatic cancer.

The veteran Democrat congressman from Georgia has fought many struggles in his lifetime. Yet, he said, “I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now,” announcing Sunday in Washington that the cancer was detected earlier this month and confirmed in a diagnosis.

Lewis has had many battles, and this he views as one more dawning. He was arrested at least 40 times in the civil rights era, several more times as a congressman since being elected in 1986 and only recently he has been rallying to help reunite immigrant families separated by the Trump administration.

The youngest and last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists, a group once led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Lewis made clear that he has no plans to step aside from power while he undergoes treatment.

He said being elected to Congress “has been the honor of a lifetime” and that he will continue working for his constituents from Capitol Hill.

“I have been in some kind of fight — for freedom, equality, basic human rights — for nearly my entire life,” he said.

Added Lewis: “I have a fighting chance.”

He declined to say where he would receive cancer treatment or what that would entail. But he said he may not always be around the halls of Congress in the coming weeks.

“I may miss a few votes during this period, but with God’s grace I will be back on the front lines soon,” he said in asking for prayers.

Lewis also said he was “clear-eyed about the prognosis” even as doctors have told him that recent medical advances have made this type of cancer treatable in many cases. He added that “treatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were.”

The American Cancer Society estimates 3% of patients with stage 4 pancreatic cancer are alive five years after being diagnosed.

Sometimes called the “conscience of the Congress,” Lewis led hundreds of protesters in the 1965 Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. He was at the head of the march when he was knocked to the ground and beaten by police. The nationally televised images forced the country’s attention on the racial inequalities being fought by King and so many others.

Lewis turned to politics in 1981, when he was elected to the Atlanta City Council.

In 2011 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, who had marched with Lewis hand in hand in Selma on the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday attack.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was among those who sent her best wishes to Lewis after the announcement of his illness.

“We are all praying for you following this diagnosis. John, know that generations of Americans have you in their thoughts & prayers as you face this fight.” She said in a statement. “We are all praying that you are comfortable. We know that you will be well.”

WATCH Hillary Clinton Eulogize ‘Elijah’ With Biblical Jab At Trump

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former U.S. Secretary of State and Senator Hillary Clinton delivered a venerable yet uproarious eulogy Friday morning at the funeral of Chairman Elijah Cummings, and took a few moment out to biblically blast President Donald Trump, to great applause.

“Like the prophet, our Elijah could call down fire from heaven—but he also prayed and worked for healing,” Clinton told the audience of statesmen, dignitaries, and lawmakers. “Like that Old Testament prophet, he stood against corrupt leadership of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.”

Yes, the former Democratic presidential nominee used her Bible tom take a swing at President Trump. King Ahab is seen in the Bible as wicked and corrupt.

Clinton also told attendees Chairman Cummings “had little tolerance for those who put party ahead of country or partisanship above truth.”

Some responses via Twitter: