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

Jill Biden Ends The Trump White House 'War On Christmas'

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden on Monday unveiled the White House’s 2021 Christmas decorations.

“Inspired by the acts of kindness and experiences that lifted our spirits this year, decorated rooms in the White House reflect the Gifts from the Heart that unite us all: faith, family, friendship, the arts, learning, nature, gratitude, service, community, peace, and unity,” Dr. Biden said in a social media post, which included photos.

The Hill’s Alex Gangitano posted some images from Monday’s tour:

In a monumental gesture of inclusiveness and spirit of bipartisanship the Bidens even included a nod to Donald and Melania Trump, the former President and First Lady.

But some were quick to remember the disturbing Christmas decorating efforts of the former White House occupants:



Biden Acts To Relieve Oil Hikes -- And Trump Responds With Brazen Lies

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Donald Trump, the disgraced, former president who is reportedly planning a third campaign, on Tuesday released an exceptionally false statement criticizing President Joe Biden for taking action to combat increasing gas and home heating oil prices.

President Biden Tuesday morning announced he has authorized 50 million barrels of oil to be sold from the U.S. Strategic Oil Reserves, a move that should help lower oil and gas prices that have risen because of OPEC+ policies. Biden is making the move in conjunction with similar moves by five other countries: China, India, Japan, South Korea and the U.K.

"We expect the industry to be passing through these savings to consumers as quickly as possible," a White House official said, as The Wall Street Journal reports.

"The president stands ready to take additional action, if needed, and is prepared to use his full authorities working in coordination with the rest of the world to maintain adequate supply as we exit the pandemic," the White House added.

Trump, in a statement released to the press, outright lied about Biden's move, and about his own performance and that of other U.S. Presidents.

"For decades our Country's very important Strategic Oil Reserves were low or virtually empty in that no President wanted to pay the price of filling them up. I filled them up three years ago, right to the top, when oil prices were very low. Those reserves are meant to be used for serious emergencies, like war, and nothing else," Trump falsely claimed.

As The New York Times' Peter Baker notes, the Strategic Oil Reserves (technically the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,) were far from empty when Trump took office, but they were far less full when he left:

That's not the only lie Trump told.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is authorized to hold up to 714 million barrels (in 2009 it was 727 million barrels), so they were nearly full when Trump took office. He also exposed his ignorance about how the federal government "buys" the oil. The oil is effectively traded to the government as payment (royalties) for drilling leases so presidents not wanting to "pay the price of filling them up" is false as well.

Here's a graph from the U.S. government showing how many barrels of oil are in the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves, starting in 1980. At no time were they "low or virtually empty," not ever. The chart is highlighted to indicate the day Trump was sworn in to office:

The Reserves have been tapped about 20 times since they were first created in 1975, including to reduce the deficit in 1996 and 1997, in 2011 during the Arab Spring, and as loans to oil companies.

Federal Court Restricts Bannon's Travel And Seizes His Passport

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Steve Bannon surrendered to law enforcement Monday morning, and after being processed stood before a magistrate judge, waived arraignment, and was given instructions.

Bannon will not he jailed pre-trial. He is to remain at his listed address (free to come and go, he just cannot move) and must surrender his passport, according to NBC4 Washington Investigative Reporter Scott MacFarlane.

But Bannon must "notify Pretrial Services for any travel outside U.S."

HuffPost senior justice reporter Ryan Reilly says Bannon must "keep them advised of travel inside the U.S. (outside the U.S. requires court permission).

Anti-Vax Protest Leader: Mandates Are 'Worse' Than Nazi Threat To Jews

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Scientologist Leigh Dundas, who organized last Thursday's anti-vaccine protest which resulted in a car plowing into five people on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, called employers requiring workers to be vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus worse than the threat the Jews faced in Hitler's Germany right before the Holocaust.

Well over 750,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, most of them after the highly-effective and extraordinarily safe vaccines first became available.

Dundas, who calls herself a human rights attorney, was among the speakers at her "Nationwide Walkout" march.

"Today we face a bigger threat, I believe, than the Jews did in the late 1930s in Eastern Europe," Dundas yelled into a megaphone on Thursday.

"I believe it is worse than child sex slavery, it is worse than every abuse we have heard about in our history books," Dundas continued. "I believe, I actually believe it is worse than war, because this threat is not just coming for one group – it is coming for all groups."

Dundas claims her nonprofit, Advocates for Citizens' Rights, "operates exclusively for the promotion of social welfare; particularly, the preservation of citizens' fundamental rights as protected by the United States Constitution, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and the Nuremberg Code."

Dundas was at the U.S. Capitol the day before the insurrection, "telling the crowd that if Vice President Mike Pence didn't vote to throw out Electoral College results Americans would have to choose to live as 'slaves' or to 'rise up' just as they did during the American Revolution," according to an Orange County Register report in January.

"Any alleged American who acted in a turncoat fashion and sold us out and committed treason, we would be well within our rights to take 'em out back and shoot 'em or hang 'em," Dundas had said.

'Throw Those Books In A Fire': Virginia School Board Members Demand Book Burning

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Two Spotsylvania County, Virginia School Board members declared they want books in local school libraries burned. On Monday in a unanimous 6-0 vote the board ordered any books housed by the school, including online material, that contain "sexually explicit" content, to be removed immediately.

No guidelines or professional oversight of what would be considered "sexually explicit" – much less age-appropriate content – were given.

"I think we should throw those books in a fire," said school board member Rabih Abuismail, according to The Free Lance-Star.

Fellow board member Kirk Twigg went even further, saying he wanted to "see the books before we burn them so we can identify within our community that we are eradicating this bad stuff."

The Spotsylvania school board elections are technically non-partisan, but a review of both board member's online activity shows they have been supported by Republican groups or have donated to conservatives. Abuismail also interned for two Republicans, including right-wing extremist (former) Rep. Dave Brat.

The board's vote came after one parent complained about "LGBTQIA" fiction available on a school library app. The paper described the mother as being "alarmed."

One book was singled out, 33 Snowfish, a Publisher's Weekly "best book" recommended for ages 15 and up.

Abuismail during Monday's meeting attacked the schools saying they "would rather have our kids reading gay pornography than about Christ."


House Republicans Feuding Over Infrastructure Vote

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

House Republicans have no problem with one of their members posting a tweet depicting him murdering Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez but they are outraged at 13 members of their caucus who voted to pass President Joe Biden's infrastructure bill.

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Greene Touts Her 'Common Ground' With Anti-Semite Farrakhan

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who repeatedly has used Nazi and Holocaust rhetoric and has been labeled antisemitic on Monday declared she has found "common ground" with the hate group Nation of Islam, founded by the far right wing extremist, anti-LGBTQ activist, and anti-semite Louis Farrakhan.

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Suspended Newsmax Correspondent Posts Wild COVID Conspiracy On Substack

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Twitter suspended Newsmax's White House correspondent Emerald Robinson after she posted a ridiculous claim suggesting vaccines contain a Satanic tracker. Newsmax followed suit, benching Robinson while it reviews her tweets, several of which Twitter took down for violating its rules, and another it slapped a "misleading" warning label on.

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Manchin Enrages Democrats With Latest Rebuke Of 'Build Back Better' Bill

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

As President Joe Biden is overseas working with foreign leaders to mend fences ripped apart by his predecessor while trying to position the United States as the leader in the climate change fight for the future of the planet, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) decided to inject himself into the news cycle, not by issuing a tweet or a statement or even a remark to a reporter, but by holding a press conference.

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NYPD Union Claimed Vaccine Mandate Would Sideline ’10,000’ Cops – But Only 34 Went On Leave

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

On Thursday the union representing 50,000 current and former New York City Police Dept. officers claimed Mayor de Blasio's vaccine mandate would force "10,000" officers off the streets. According to the NYPD Police Commissioner, that number is actually just 34.

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Right-Wing COVID Myths Shredded In New Government Reports

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The federal government has quietly released two reports that together destroy many right wing conspiracy theories and talking points on the coronavirus and the COVID-19 vaccine.

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House Panel Questioning Defendants About Origins Of January 6 Violence

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack is expanding the reach of its investigation to include interviewing rioters who were among the thousands who breached the Capitol during that deadly day.

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Rome Translator's Facial Expression Contrasts Biden And Trump

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Joe Biden met with Pope Francis Friday morning at the Vatican, and while the press was not allowed to broadcast live some video was just released.

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'Call Your Lawyer': Experts Warn Of Legal Jeopardy For Trump's Coup Enablers

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Legal experts including a Harvard professor and a top election and voting rights attorney are weighing in on Sunday night's bombshell report from Rolling Stone naming members of Congress and the Trump administration who were involved in the planning and organizing of the January 6 rally and/or "Trump's efforts to overturn his election loss," according to two of the planners of the "Stop the Steal" rally.

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'You Are Evil': Boebert Torched On Twitter For Mocking Baldwin

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Rep. Lauren Boebert, the QAnon Republican lawmaker and gun rights activist who owns a bar named Shooters in Rifle, Colorado, is being criticized after posting a tweet mocking and attacking Alec Baldwin. The well-known actor who spent several years playing Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live shot and killed award-winning cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, apparently by accident, with a prop gun on set while filming his latest movie.

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Psaki Bombing Over Border 'Photo Op' Leaves Fox Reporter In Rubble

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was forced to verbally wallop Peter Doocy on Friday after the combative, argumentative, and fear-mongering Fox News correspondent tried to pick a fight over President Joe Biden having not recently visited the southern border.

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Trump's Latest Statement On January 6 Is 'An Act Of War'

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Donald Trump, the twice-impeached former president, on Thursday issued what is being called a "chilling" statement on the election and the insurrection he incited.

"The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!" Trump said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

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