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

Tag: hillary clinton

'Full Constitutional Crisis': Hillary Warns Against Trump's Continuing Attack

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a rare television appearance Monday morning, telling co-hosts on ABC's "The View" that America is "still in…a full constitutional crisis," and "a very dangerous continuing high level attack on the legitimacy of our government and the election of our president," thanks to Donald Trump.

Clinton, who won the popular vote in 2016 but lost the election via the Electoral College vote in 2016 has often been praised for being "right" about all the warnings she made about the Republican who sat in the White House for four years.

"You know, I think we not only came close to a full constitutional crisis, I think we're still in it," warned Clinton, who also served as a very powerful U.S. Senator and is a former First Lady.

"That gives me absolutely no satisfaction in saying this because I think we're in a very dangerous continuing high level attack on the legitimacy of our government and the election of our president. And obviously, our former president is not only behind it, he incited it, he encouraged it, and he continues to do so," she said, referring to Trump.

"And you have leaders of the Republican Party who have willingly going along as though they're members of a cult, not a political party but a cult, and they're continuing attacks on the election, their refusal refusal to say, 'You know what, we've counted these votes. It's over. We're gonna move on,' has sown so much doubt and then you combine it with the disinformation network known as Facebook, and you've got a volatile mix. So yeah, we are still in the midst of a concerted well funded effort to undermine American Democracy."

We Still Don't Know The Truth About Kavanaugh’s Shady Finances

Reprinted with permission from Press Run

By joining his fellow conservatives on the Supreme Court in declining to block one of the country's most restrictive abortion laws, a Texas statute that bans the procedure as early as six weeks into pregnancy, Justice Brett Kavanaugh made good on his unspoken pledge to demolish Roe v. Wade. Kavanaugh's actions could change the fabric of this country for decades, and empower radicals within the Republican Party to strip away more rights of Americans.

Against that dystopian backdrop let's not forget two crucial historic facts. Kavanaugh lied his way through his confirmation hearings. Facing multiple and credible allegations of sexual assault, Kavanaugh lied about witnesses; he lied about corroboration; he lied about friendships; he lied about parties. He also lied about an array of other topics, including state drinking ages, vomiting, his yearbook, and his accusers. Kavanaugh lied about his grandfather, federal judges, warrantless wiretaps, and stolen emails.

Second, some deep-pocketed patron, or patrons, over the years have clearly covered Kavanaugh's personal finances. Someone erased all of the many financial pitfalls he faced, including tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, while setting up him for a luxurious lifestyle well beyond what he could afford on the salary of a federal judge. We still don't know which benefactors paid for Kavanaugh's $92,000 country club initiation fee in 2016 for the Chevy Chase Club while he was making $225,000 a year, had two children in private school, and was saddled with the most debt of his life, approximately $100,000.

The staggering country club fee, which Kavanaugh plainly could not cover himself, represented the most egregious hole in Kavanaugh's make-no-sense financial disclosure made during his nomination. For instance, in 2006, he bought a $1.2 million home in a tony suburb of Washington, D.C. and made tens of thousands of dollars of upgrades while earning $175,000 and sitting on a modest savings account.

The disclosures should have been a huge red flag for the press. "The personal finances of Supreme Court nominees regularly come under scrutiny during the congressional vetting process," the Washington Post reported in 2018. And Kavanaugh's finances were by far the most befuddling of any Supreme Court nominee in modern history. But the press mostly yawned through the story.

The Post actually published one of the most detailed examinations of his finances during the time of Kavanaugh's nomination. The report though, raised no serious questions of wrongdoing, and was at times openly sympathetic towards Kavanaugh: "He has in many ways stayed true to his intent, following the Jesuit mantra of service above self instilled in him by the elite Catholic high school he attended in suburban Washington."

The Post piece also made sure only to quote friends of Kavanaugh, as they ran interference for the nominee. ("He's not the type of guy who does things to keep up with the Joneses.") One buddy told the Post that Kavanaugh joined the extravagantly expensive Chevy Chase Club because it was conveniently located near his home. Not a single Democrat or independent financial analyst was quoted questioning the obvious inconsistencies in Kavanaugh's filings.

Why didn't the Beltway press go all Whitewater on Kavanaugh? For years the D.C. media, amplifying GOP attacks, couldn't sleep at night knowing Bill and Hillary Clinton might have made money on a land deal that had crooked local ties. (Fact: They lost money on Whitewater.) Breathlessly covering every hearing, every allegation, every Republican leak, the hyperactive Beltway media treated the story as Watergate-meets-Iran Contra; the very idea that a Democratic politician may have benefited financially from some inside chicanery was presented as one of the most important and compelling news stories of the decade.

Suffice to say that if Bill Clinton had joined an exclusive country club while governor of Arkansas, which he clearly did not pay for, journalists would have camped out on the story for months and excavated it without pause.

A middling jurist who immediately embarrassed himself when nominated by Trump by claiming no president had ever "consulted more widely or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination," Kavanaugh has always had the earmarks of a willing suck-up; someone who was cultivated and advanced by right-wing forces not for his judicial intellect, but because he's willing to do what he's told. Like help overturn Roe v. Wade.

With so little media attention paid to Kavanaugh's massive expenditures over the years, we still don't have any answers. We don't know if he's operating on the Supreme Court under a constant conflict-of-interest cloud, because we don't know which wealthy forces have aided and abetted his rise.

One possible, unconfirmed explanation for how Kavanaugh's debt magically evaporated, how he bought a house he could not afford, and joined one of the most exclusive and expensive country clubs on the East Coast while living on the salary of a federal employee? Kavanaugh's rich father secretly gifted him lots of money over the years. (Kavanaugh's father drew a large salary working for a cosmetics trade group and walked away with a $13 million payout in 2005.)

Kavanaugh and the White House likely wanted to avoid that Daddy Warbucks storyline during the confirmation hearing though, since the jurist was presented as a hard-working, aw-shucks Everyman who worked his way up to the highest echelons of the American judiciary.

And guess what? As Kavanaugh does his best to outlaw choice, the press has never tried to confirm any key facts surrounding the endless unanswered questions of Kavanaugh's finances and his miracle $92,000 country club fee.

Hillary Chartered Free Flights For Afghan Women While Erik Prince Charged $6500

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

As conditions in Afghanistan worsen daily, reports have indicated that individuals are not only eager to volunteer but are showing overwhelming support to welcome Afghan refugees. Organizations and people alike are coming together in efforts to bring Afghan asylum-seekers safely into the U.S. While some nonprofit organizations are urging people to donate miles and partnering with relocation centers to bring refugees to safety, others are advocating for donations to gather funds to fly refugees out.

But organizations aren't the only ones flying vulnerable refugees out of Afghanistan as people surround Kabul airport. After warning of the "huge consequences" of withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Hillary Clinton has reportedly been chartering flights out of Afghanistan for the country's at-risk women.

According to The New York Times, Clinton and her team have been trying to aid potential Taliban targets in leaving the country by offering seats to Afghan journalists on a flight her team arranged to help women at risk. While the journalists did not take the flight, some women and children did. The effort comes as some individuals are trying to fill the gap by donating money to charter flights as evacuation projects are becoming increasingly difficult.

"Last week, the evacuation options to get women's rights activists out came largely from an informal network of powerful, connected, some very wealthy people, some trying to literally charter private jets to evacuate women thought to be Taliban targets," Marie Clarke, the vice president of global programs at Women for Women International, told The Guardian.

Many Afghan families are struggling to find the funds necessary to fly out, so these chartered planes make a significant impact. But of course, not everyone is like Clinton—some people, like former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince, are attempting to monetize the desperation of the Afghan people by offering flights for $6,500 per person instead of for free, Daily Kos reported.

Clinton's efforts to help Afghan women come as no surprise. While some may see it as her attempting to gain social clout, the reality is that not only was Clinton hush-hush about her efforts, but she has supported women's rights in Afghanistan prior to this current situation.

During a United Nations (UN) meeting last year, which was sponsored by the Group of Friends of Women in Afghanistan and led by the Afghanistan Mission to the UN, Clinton emphasized the role of Afghan women and the importance of "encouraging women's participation," noting that it "is not only the right thing to do; it is the strategic and necessary thing to do for peace, prosperity and security."

She continued: "It is clear that Afghan women are rightly afraid not just for their rights and the Constitution that was written to protect them, but literally afraid that the gains they have made with all of our help will be washed away in a rush to achieve a peace that will not hold anyway. This is not just morally wrong. This is dangerous."

"We must not allow a reign of terror against [Afghan] women and girls. The women of Afghanistan have come too far to be excluded from the negotiation table while their rights are being stripped away. It is also true that we cannot allow that to happen to Afghan women and girls because there is a direct correlation between what will happen in the country, in the region, and indeed the world because of that," Clinton said during her speech at the UN meeting.

According to The Independent, in addition to making efforts to rescue at-risk Afghan women, Clinton also spoke with Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, about the escalating crisis and what he can do to help.

"I also spoke last night with former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton," Trudeau said on Tuesday, according to the Washington Examiner, adding that Clinton "shares our concern for Afghan women and girls" and "urged Canada to continue our work."

Clinton had warned what the humanitarian consequences of a withdrawal from Afghanistan would be following the two decades the U.S. spent in the country.

"This is what we call a wicked problem. There are consequences both foreseen and unintended of staying and of leaving," she told CNN in May. Clinton noted that the U.S. was facing "two huge consequences" of withdrawal: the threat from the Taliban and the number of refugees the situation would likely create as a result.

Of course, while we all wish we had access to chartered planes to help those in need, we don't. But there are other ways you can help bring Afghan refugees to safety. For those who are interested, you can donate flight miles and vouchers by following the steps explained here. Additionally, if you are an AirBnB host and are willing to host a refugee family, you can learn more about that process here.

Wing-Nuts Hilariously Triggered By Jill Biden’s Vogue Cover

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Dr. Jill Biden, the First Lady, appears on the cover of the new issue of VOGUE and conservatives are furious.

As First Lady, Melania Trump was never given the same honor, although she did appear on a VOGUE cover in 2005 in her $100,000 bridal gown. First Lady Michelle Obama graced VOGUE's cover three times, and as First Lady Hillary Clinton did once.

So did First Ladies Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Eisenhower, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, and Laura Bush.

On Christmas Day 2020 then-President Donald Trump expressed outrage that Melania Trump, as First Lady, had never been featured on the cover of any of the big four fashion magazines.

But that was, at least in part, her doing.

"To be on the cover of Vogue doesn't define Mrs. Trump," then-First Lady Melania Trump's spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, said in 2019, "she's been there, done that long before she was first lady. Her role as first lady of the United States and all that she does is much more important than some superficial photo shoot and cover."

InStyle reported that "Grisham added that Melania wouldn't be available for a second cover, even if the invitation was presented to her. Instead, she's focusing on her Be Best campaign."

Here's how some on the right are responding.

As Prophecies Fail, Monetizing The Gullible Is Still QAnon's True Mission

Am I the only one who feels like I'm living in an old-fashioned monster movie, with mobs of chanting peasants bearing pitchforks and torches as they march on a dark, foreboding castle? Or am I just spending too much time watching TV news and reading about politics online?

Anybody who, like me, watched the first couple of episodes of the HBO documentary series Q: Into the Storm would sure have to wonder. I won't be watching the rest; my creep quotient has been exceeded. The very idea that this international cast of oddballs could keep millions in thrall to the lunatic delusion that a secretive cabal of Satan-worshipping, baby-killing pedophiles led by Hillary Clinton rules the world and that only Donald Trump can save us…

Well, it's like something out of Masters of Atlantis, Charles Portis's droll novel about two flimflam artists who found a religious sect based upon the lost wisdom of a kingdom beneath the sea. Soon they fall to fighting over accumulated heresies, much as QAnon adepts appear to be falling out as one failed prophecy follows another.

Herman Melville's The Confidence-Man also comes to mind. Americans have always had a weakness for mystic lore.

The Internet allows, nay encourages, like-minded cranks and opportunists to communicate worldwide: California, New Jersey, South Africa, and the Philippines. Some of the same types who peddle extended auto warranties or trick you into giving your Social Security number over the phone are doing their best to monetize an ever-evolving delusional system.

So who is the mysterious "Q," author of thousands of gnomic prophecies? Steve Bannon? Stephen Miller? Trump himself? Not possible. The first two are too cynical even to fake the required level of superstition. Trump's incapable of talking about anything other than himself for any sustained period.

The real answer is: Who cares?

Pretty much the first thing that strikes you on your initial visit to a penitentiary or a psychiatric hospital is how ordinary everybody seems, like people you might encounter at the grocery store. Indeed, most QAnon devotees appear to conduct their ordinary lives alright: buying cars, getting haircuts, taking the trash to the curb, etc.

It's only when HBO's subjects touch upon their ruling passion that one understands that they're rapt with delusion, imagining evil conspiracies and dark plots--carrying not flaming torches, but little glowing screens.

Otherwise, it's downright medieval: it used to be Jews that murdered Christian infants. Now it's Democrats. In the Sixteenth Century the bubonic plague needed to be explained; now it's Covid-19.

Reasoning with adepts of arcane lore is largely futile. I once had a neighbor who was deeply into astrology, pondering the heavens, casting detailed horoscopes and ascribing deep significance to the movements of the stars. He was a slender fellow with a deep, sepulchral voice you'd expect to hear coming from a 300-pound defensive tackle. In real life he was a banker.

So one day my wife complained out loud about the chaotic state of my office. (I used to urge her to avoid going in there if it bothered her. Orderly filing systems never worked for me. I could find things only by remembering where they were. Now I have a computer.) So anyway, the neighbor laughed his booming laugh.

"Well, it's a sure thing he's not a Virgo," he chortled.

Uh-oh. Unless my birth certificate's forged, a Virgo is precisely what I am. A Virgo on the cusp of Libra, whatever that is, a combination supposedly making me deeply inclined toward order; basically a neat freak.

Twelve to one odds in his favor, and my man had shot himself in the metaphorical foot. If you think it gave him pause, you've known no True Believers. Without pausing a beat, he recast my horoscope to reveal a hidden passion for a deeper order than my wife perceived. After all, what is writing but the process of putting words in proper places?

Concluding that astrology is simply humbug was beyond his reach. To be fair, the newspaper in which you're reading this column probably publishes horoscopes. It's an ancient, essentially harmless superstition.

Just so the impassioned necromancers of QAnon.

After the Trumpist mob failed in its attempt to reverse Dear Leader's electoral defeat on January 6, the faithful pivoted to a new prediction: The Storm, so called, would take place on March 4, with Trump triumphantly re-inaugurated and wreaking vengeance upon Satanic Democrats.

Mass hangings would follow outside the U.S. Capitol: Hillary, Bill Gates, George Soros. All the devil-worshipping child murderers would be put to death in photogenically grisly ways. Hanging would be too good for them.

Instead, Trump's stuck at Mar-a-Lago, giving meandering wedding toasts about the lost election, and going on Fox News to peddle fantasies about the January 6 rioters "hugging and kissing the police and the guards."

If he were your grandpa, you'd hide his car keys.

Hillary Clinton Warned In 2016 About What Trump Is Doing Now

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Hillary Clinton called it four years ago when she pointed out then-Republican nominee Donald Trump's propensity to cry system rigging when he happened to face an undesired result. "You know, every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is is rigged against him," she said during the final presidential debate of 2016. "He lost the Iowa caucus. He lost the Wisconsin primary. He said the Republican primary was rigged against him. Then Trump University gets sued for fraud and racketeering; he claims the court system and the federal judge is rigged against him. There was even a time when he didn't get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged against him. This, this is a mindset. This is how Donald thinks, and it's funny. But it's also really troubling."

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House Adopts Resolution Urging Peaceful Transition — But Five Republicans Vote No

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Claiming that Democrats are trying to use mail-in voting to promote voter fraud, President Donald Trump has refused to say that he will accept the election results if former Vice President Joe Biden wins in November. The House of Representatives, in response, adopted a resolution on Tuesday calling for a peaceful transfer of power in the presidential election — and it passed 379-5. Most House Republicans voted in favor of the resolution, but five didn't: Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Rep. Steve King of Iowa, Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana.

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Trump Brazenly Pushes Barr To Prosecute Obama And Other ‘Enemies’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump is telling Bill Barr he must prosecute the president's critics, like former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in order for him to become "the greatest Attorney General" in history.

As usual, Trump telegraphed his wishes to Barr right out in the open, in a Fox News interview that aired Tuesday night.

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