Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

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

Polls: Voters Punished GOP Over Health Care Threat

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

Americans rejected Trump and the Republicans during Tuesday’s midterm election, but nowhere was that rejection more pronounced than on the issue of health care.

According to exit polls, health care was the most important issue to 41 percent of voters — nearly double the percentage who prioritized the next most important issue. Health care hasn’t topped that list in any other exit polls for presidential or midterm elections in this century.

And of the many voters who named health care the most important issue, a whopping 75 percent voted for Democrats on Tuesday.

That’s a massive repudiation of Trump and the Republicans on an issue that is not going to go away.

It wasn’t just blue state voters who made their voice heard specifically on health care.

Voters in three very red states — Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah — voted in favor of bringing Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion to their state, which those states’ elected Republicans had refused to do.

Republican desperation on health care reached an absurd fever pitch when Trump tried to warn a rally crowd that Democrats were really the ones who “would obliterate Obamacare.”

Unfortunately for the GOP, there is a pile of receipts that say otherwise. It was Democrats who passed the ACA in 2010 without a single Republican vote, and it was Republicans who spent the next eight years voting to repeal or weaken the Affordable Care Act at least 70 times.

And last July, Trump and the Republicans tried to pass a terrible health care bill that would have gutted protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and would have thrown 26 million Americans off of their health insurance altogether.

Trump has also sabotaged health care in numerous other ways. His repeal of the individual mandate penalty, halting of risk adjustment payments, and expansion of junk insurance have caused premiums to skyrocket by more than $3,000 a year for families.

And Trump personally approved his Justice Department’s decision to support a lawsuit that seeks to declare Obamacare’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions unconstitutional.

Trump and the Republicans spent this campaign lying through their teeth and insisting that they really supported pre-existing conditions protections all along.

But Americans who care most about health care weren’t fooled on Tuesday night — and there are more of them now than ever.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

 

Trump Approved Federal Lawsuit Against Pre-existing Conditions Coverage (And Then Lied)

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

Health care has become such an important issue to voters in the midterm elections that many Republicans feel they have no choice but to lie about their record of attacking it — especially Trump.

The Trump administration is supporting a lawsuit that seeks to have the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions found unconstitutional. If that lawsuit succeeded, insurance companies would once again be free to overcharge or deny coverage to people based on their past or current health problems.

Yet Trump still absurdly claims to support protections for pre-existing conditions — and now he’s absurdly denying that he knew anything about the lawsuit before his administration signed on to support it.

In an interview that aired on Sunday night, Axios reporter Jonathan Swan asked Trump if he’d been given a “heads up” by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the Justice Department was filing a brief in support of the lawsuit.

“No, he didn’t. Actually, he didn’t,” Trump claimed.

When asked about this claim Monday morning, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders backed up Trump’s story.

But in a letter announcing his support of the lawsuit dated June 7, 2018, Sessions said he was making his decision “with the approval of the President of the United States.”

The letter goes on to detail the administration’s position in support of the lawsuit, and explicitly names the provisions that guarantee people with pre-existing conditions cannot be discriminated against.

The lawsuit argues that those provisions are unconstitutional because a provision in the GOP tax scam, which Trump signed, eliminated the financial penalty in the ACA’s individual mandate.

In the past two months, Trump has ramped up his lies about health care, insisting that Republicans “want to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions.”

But his administration’s support for the anti-Obamacare lawsuit is just one of many ways he and Republicans have attacked health care for the more than 52 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Trump and Republicans have already jacked up Americans’ health care premiums by sabotaging the Affordable Care Act through the GOP tax scam and various Trump executive orders. This sabotage has kept President Barack Obama’s health reform law from working as intended, and premiums are unnecessarily much higher as a result.

Prior to Trump’s election, Republicans tried to repeal or weaken the Affordable Care Act at least 70 times. And last July, Trump and the Republicans tried to pass a health care bill that would have allowed insurers to jack up premiums for people with pre-existing conditions, pricing them out of the market.

That bill would have also thrown 26 million Americans off of their health insurance altogether. It was ultimately defeated in the Senate by Democrats, who were joined by three Republican senators, including the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

Trump’s latest lie is another sign that Republicans are desperate to cover up their record of gutting health care — but they can’t escape the facts.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

 

Watch: McSally Repeats GOP Falsehood About Obamacare Vote

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), the GOP nominee for Senate in Arizona, is the latest Republican to deal with her bad record on health care by simply lying about it.

American Bridge recently posted video of a woman asking McSally why she voted to strip protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

“I did not, that’s a lie,” McSally replied sharply. “I voted to protect them. And we have people right now who don’t have coverage.”

This is not the first time that McSally has told this lie; she has even claimed to be “leading the fight” to protect people with pre-existing conditions.

But as Politifact pointed out, McSally voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which prevents insurers from discriminating against people because they’re sick.

Before the ACA passed, nothing prevented insurance companies from charging absurdly high rates — or even denying coverage altogether — to people who have had health conditions like cancer, diabetes, or even pregnancy.

Repealing the ACA, as McSally enthusiastically voted to do, would eliminate those protections.

McSally voted in favor of the failed Trumpcare bill, which would have allowed insurers to jack up premiums for people with pre-existing conditions, pricing them out of the market. The bill would have also thrown 26 million Americans off of their health insurance altogether.

But McSally was so excited to pass the House version of that bill that she reportedly told her colleagues, “Let’s get this f–king thing done!”

The bill was ultimately defeated in the Senate by Democrats, who were joined by three Republican senators, including the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

Now, health care has become one of the most important issues in the midterms — and like many Republicans, McSally is paying the price for her votes to gut crucial health care protections.

There are more than a million non-elderly people with pre-existing conditions in Arizona — more than a quarter of the state’s population — who would have been put at risk by McSally’s votes.

McSally’s choice to shamelessly lie about her health care votes shows that she’s worried Arizonans will turn against her if they know the truth.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

 

Fox Host Questions Kellyanne On Bogus Tax Cut Promise

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

Trump has been telling a lot of desperate, racist lies about migrant families in his attempt to avoid a midterm wipeout for the GOP.

But while it seems almost forgotten now, Trump has also been telling desperate lies about the economy — including his bizarre promise to introduce a completely imaginary new tax cut for the middle class before the elections.

One Fox News host remembered that broken promise, however, and took White House counselor Kellyanne Conway to task for it.

On Sunday morning’s edition of “Fox & Friends,” weekend co-host Ed Henry asked Conway why Trump would promise in mid-October that he could secure a second tax cut before the election on Nov. 6.

“Here we are with the election, and he didn’t get that second tax cut,” Henry pointed out.

“The Congress is not in session, they’re not back until November 13th — ” Conway began, before being interrupted by Henry.

“But he promised that — he promised it was coming,” Henry said.

“Well, what the president is saying is that they’re working on it,” Conway claimed.

In reality, the only thing Congress was “working on” was figuring out how to help Trump save face.

Indeed, Trump repeatedly promised to cut taxes by an additional 10 percent for middle class families, and said that the proposal would be introduced before the midterm elections.

But that promise was an obvious lie in more ways than one.

As Conway herself admitted, Congress was out of session until after the midterms when Trump made his promise — which means it would have been impossible for any new tax proposal to be introduced or considered before the election.

What’s more, GOP leaders had no idea what Trump was talking about when he unveiled his alleged plan. No such proposal existed.

But instead of admit the truth, the GOP scrambled to come up with a non-binding resolution that might make it look like Trump wasn’t lying.

Henry also asked Conway why Trump would do this if the GOP’s economic message was really “working so well” as the Trump team claims.

Conway didn’t address that part, but the answer is clear: Trump’s made-up tax cut is further evidence that the massive GOP tax scam Trump already helped pass is not helping Republicans in the midterms, and may actually be hurting them.

That’s why Republicans long ago abandoned messaging on taxes in favor of riling up the base using racism.

Trump himself quickly moved on from his made-up tax cut in order to take his campaign of demonizing immigrants to despicable new depths.

He spread lies about families fleeing violence in Central America — lies which were believed by the perpetrator of last weekend’s anti-Semitic gun massacre in Pittsburgh.

Even that tragedy couldn’t get Trump to slow down. This week, he released a false and racist ad smearing undocumented immigrants as cop killers.

Trump’s lies have only gotten more desperate and dangerous as Election Day approaches.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

 

Trump Adviser Kudlow Would Abolish Minimum Wage Laws

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

Trump chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow loves the trillions of dollars the Trump tax scam gave to the wealthy, but he doesn’t think working Americans deserve a minimum wage, let alone a living wage.

During a Washington Post Live event, interviewer Robert Costa asked Kudlow if he and Trump could possibly cut a deal with Democrats on the minimum wage after the midterms.

“My view is no,” Kudlow said. “My view is a federal minimum wage is a terrible idea. Terrible idea.”

He said raising the minimum wage would be damaging to small businesses, but also argued against the very existence of minimum wage laws of any kind.

“Idaho is different than New York. Alabama is different than Nebraska. That’s why the federal minimum wage doesn’t work for me,” Kudlow said.

Kudlow concluded by saying that he opposes minimum wage laws at the state and local levels, as well, but that those laws are “up to the states and localities.”

Kudlow’s talking points about the minimum wage are false. Multiple studies have shown that raising the minimum wage has little or no impact on job creation, while it would have a dramatic effect on poverty.

And he’s not just saying the federal minimum wage, which has not been increased since 2009, should not be raised, he’s saying it should not exist at all.

Kudlow’s opposition to the minimum wage is all the more galling given his praise for the Trump tax scam, which has rewarded the wealthiest people in the country, and companies that have largely used the windfall to pad profits and stock prices.

That’s why Republicans have completely abandoned the tax scam ahead of the midterms, instead focusing their campaigns on racist messaging about immigrants and others.

It’s no surprise that multi-millionaires like Larry Kudlow love Trump’s giveaway to the rich, but telling Americans they don’t even deserve a minimum wage is a despicable way to rub our noses in it.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

 

Devin Nunes Complains Media Is America’s ‘Biggest Problem’

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

After a string of attempted bombings that included the New York City headquarters of CNN, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) followed Trump’s lead by attacking the press.

During an interview on the “Unfiltered Fresnocast” that was taped Saturday, Nunes told host Jim Verros, “The biggest problem we have right now in the United States of America is, we don’t have a free and fair media.”

He absurdly claimed that 90 percent of journalists are “owned by left-wing billionaires,” and that only 5 percent “are legitimate journalists.”

“And even some of those journalists are not able to get real information out there because they are owned by a billionaire of some kind, and they know if they tell the truth, they can’t get it out,” Nunes said.

Nunes has attacked the national media before, particularly over its coverage of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

In July, he attacked CNN specifically when a reporter asked him about his effort to release documents that could damage national security, calling the network a “propaganda” outlet.

He has also carried out a campaign of attacks against his hometown paper, The Fresno Bee, that included a bizarre magazine-style campaign mailer that labeled the paper a “propaganda machine,” and which echoed Trump’s “fake news” attacks on the media.

The Bee endorsed Nunes for 16 years before endorsing his Democratic opponent, Andrew Janz, in October.

But it’s shocking to see Nunes repeat these attacks just days after a wave of attempted bombings, including a mail bomb sent to CNN.

Trump resumed attacking the media mere hours after that attempted bombing.

Now, Nunes is following Trump’s lead in using hateful rhetoric that emboldens terrorists — proving once again that Nunes will does everything he can to earn the nickname “Trump’s stooge.”

 

In Wake Of Bomb Threats, Trump Insults Terror Targets

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

This past week saw a shocking spree of terrorist violence and hate crimes in the United States — from a hardcore Trump supporter mailing pipe bombs to 13 people Trump has attacked in the past, to a racist white man killing two black people in a Kentucky supermarket, to an anti-Semitic mass shooter murdering 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

And despite all of this, Trump chose the day after the Pittsburgh massacre to launch a personal attack on one of the mail bomber’s intended targets, a prominent liberal donor whose late father was Jewish.

On Sunday afternoon, Trump attacked billionaire Tom Steyer, who was mailed a pipe bomb that was intercepted by authorities on Friday.

Following Steyer’s appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Trump referred to the hedge fund manager and philanthropist as “Wacky Tom Steyer” and called him a “crazed & stumbling lunatic” in a tweet.

Steyer responded quickly to Trump’s attack.

“It is unthinkable that in the midst of the horrible political violence our president would resort to name-calling instead of repairing the damage to the fabric of our country,” Steyer tweeted.

Steyer isn’t the only target of an attempted bombing Trump has continued to shamelessly attack.

Trump quickly victim-blamed the free press just hours after the New York headquarters of CNN was evacuated due to a pipe bomb arriving in the mailroom.

At a rally in Illinois Saturday night, Trump singled out another of the bombing targets, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), to jeers from the crowd.

Trump also continued to attack philanthropist and Holocaust survivor George Soros after Soros received a package bomb. At an official White House event following the bombing attempts, Trump repeated a chant of “Lock him up” from the crowd that was directed at Soros.

Steyer and Soros, along with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, were also targeted by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in a tweet that Steyer called “a straight-up anti-Semitic move” during his CNN appearance.

The horrific mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue clearly hasn’t inspired Trump to turn down the volume on any of his political attacks. In fact, he chose to respond to the shooting by blaming the victims for not having “protection inside the synagogue.”

And at an official event following the shooting, Trump once again derided “globalists,” a well-understood euphemism for “Jews” among alt-right white supremacists.

Attacking Steyer is further proof that not only does Trump plan to take no responsibility for the role his viciousness may have played in this week’s violence — he also plans to continue being as vicious as ever.

And if history is any guide, Trump’s fellow Republicans will probably let him get away with it once again.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

 

Sanders Claims Trump ‘Has Condemned Violence… Since Day One’

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied to reporters about Trump’s history of encouraging political violence, and signaled that the recent string of attempted bombings of Trump’s favorite targets will not keep him from continuing to attack them.

During a press scrum on the White House driveway Thursday morning, Daily Mail correspondent Francesca Chambers noted Trump’s latest attempt to blame the media for the series of attempted bombings, and asked if Trump bears any responsibility or if he regrets any of his comments.

“Look, the president’s condemned violence in all forms, has done that since day one, will continue to do that,” Sanders claimed.

CBS News correspondent Chip Reid then listed a litany of Trump’s attacks on the people who were targeted by the package bombs, and asked if Trump will stop the attacks.

Sanders indicated that he would not, replying that Trump “is going to continue to lay out the contrasts between Democrats and Republicans.”

“The question is, is he going to continue insulting them?” Reid interrupted.

Sanders replied that Trump “is going to continue to lay out the case, and the differences between Democrats and Republicans.”

Sanders’ claim is absurd and dangerous. In addition to the constant attacks and smears against the people who were targeted by these bombing attempts, Trump has a long history of explicitly encouraging political violence.

At a campaign rally just last week, Trump explicitly praised Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte for assaulting a reporter, and even reenacted the attack onstage, to cheers and applause from the crowd.

To borrow Sanders’ phrase, Trump has been engaged in this campaign “since day one.” During the 2016 presidential campaign, he repeatedly encouraged violence against political protesters, and on at least two occasions promised to pay the legal fees of anyone who assaulted a protester.

Trump has also encouraged political violence by failing to condemn it, or by equivocating. When bodyguards for Turkish President Erdogan viciously beat protesters on U.S. soil, Trump apologized to Erdogan instead of standing up for Americans.

And when a woman was murdered by a white supremacist in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year, Trump said that there were “very fine people” among the neo-Nazi protesters who sparked the incident.

The combination of Trump’s smears against his critics and his explicit encouragement of violence is a recipe for disaster, and Sanders’ willingness to lie about it is not just a disgrace, it is a danger.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

 

Trump Hits Media Hours After Bomb At CNN

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

Hours after the New York headquarters of CNN was targeted in a string of attempted bombings, Trump renewed his attacks on the media by slamming the “tone” of their coverage and insisting they’ve “got to stop” reporting negative stories.

At a rally in Wisconsin Wednesday night, Trump addressed the attempted bombings by repeating the cowardly and insufficient statement he made at the White House earlier in the day, in which he failed to name any of those who were targeted.

Then, Trump tried to shift responsibility for the political violence that he has encouraged, telling the crowd that “those engaged in the political arena must stop treating political opponents as being morally defective, and that “no one should carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains.”

Trump has been the subject of such comparisons over things like his imprisonment of children, and his use of the Stalinist phrase “enemy of the people” to describe the free press.

Trump then attacked the press as hostile and dishonest.

“The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone, and to stop the endless hostility and the constant negative, and oftentimes false attacks and stories,” Trump said. “Have to do it. They’ve got to stop.”

Trump took no responsibility for his own incitement of political violence, which dates back to the 2016 presidential campaign, but which has spiked in recent weeks.

Last week, Trump celebrated Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte’s assault on a reporter and reenacted the attack onstage during a rally. When he was later asked if he regretted praising the assault, Trump stood by his actions.

And just two days ago, as a rally crowd in Houston chanted “CNN sucks,” Trump smiled and told them “Don’t worry, I don’t like them either.”

In addition to CNN, every one of the six others who were targeted by package bombs this week have been frequent targets of verbal attacks from Trump. But instead of taking responsibility or even expressing sympathy, Trump used the occasion to attack his critics and try to silence the victims.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

 

 

Trump Admits ‘No Proof’ Behind His Lies About Migrant Caravan

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

Trump was caught in one of the thousands of lies he has told — this time, his racist lies about refugees traveling through Mexico — but this time, he actually admitted he had no proof for his nonsense.

During an impromptu gaggle in the Oval Office Tuesday afternoon, Trump was pressed on his baseless claim that the group of migrants contains “unknown Middle Easterners” intent on crossing the border into the United States.

Trump then claimed that immigration officials tell him, “It happens all the time, from the Middle East.”

“But there’s no proof,” CNN reporter Jim Acosta noted.

“Well, there could very well be,” Trump said.

“But there’s no proof,” Acosta repeated.

“There’s no proof of anything, there’s no proof of anything,” Trump replied. “But there could very well be.”

Trump is right about one thing: There is no proof to back up his multiple lies because, as one Fox News anchor put it, “It doesn’t exist.”

Even the “statistics” Pence invoked to support his audacious claim — “It’s inconceivable that there are not people of Middle Eastern descent in a crowd of more than 7,000 people advancing toward our border,” he said earlier in the day — were also bogus, as Pence’s office later conceded.

There’s also no evidence to back up the thousands of other lies that Trump has told since taking office, which numbered over 5,000 as of mid-September. Trump routinely makes things up out of thin air, from imaginary U.S. Steel plants to millions of fraudulent voters who don’t exist.

On Tuesday, Trump once again demonstrated that he’s just making up the atrocious things as he goes and has zero proof to back any of it up.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

 

Democrat Charges Nunes Concealed Russia Evidence From Mueller

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

A top member of the House Intelligence Committee has revealed shocking details about how Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) abused his position as committee chairman to obstruct the Mueller investigation and shield Trump from accountability.

In a blistering op-ed for Nunes’ hometown Fresno Bee, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), said that Nunes blocked committee Democrats from following up on leads about “worrisome contacts between the Russians and candidate Trump, his family, his businesses, and his campaign.”

What’s more, Swalwell said, Nunes blocked special counsel Robert Mueller from seeing evidence that “many witnesses committed perjury or offered information relevant to the special counsel’s work” when they testified before the committee.

After months of refusing to release this evidence — specifically, transcripts of the witness interviews from the House Russia investigation — Nunes finally relented a few weeks ago.

But Swalwell revealed that in doing so, Nunes blocked Democrats from sharing the transcripts with Mueller, and with the public.

“Committee Democrats asked to immediately send the transcripts to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who hasn’t been allowed to see them under Nunes’ rules,” Swalwell wrote. “There’s good reason to believe many witnesses committed perjury or offered information relevant to the special counsel’s work. But Nunes opposed it, and it was voted down.”

The investigation turned up a lot of potentially useful information, Swalwell said. But it was kneecapped and ended prematurely by Republicans on the committee — and Nunes repeatedly blocked efforts to follow up on promising leads.

“Though incomplete due to Republican obstruction, our investigation did reveal worrisome contacts between the Russians and candidate Trump, his family, his businesses, and his campaign,” Swalwell wrote. “Yet every time we sought to learn more, we were blocked. We sought to test witnesses’ accounts by subpoenaing third-party records such as cell phone, bank and travel records. Republicans refused to allow it.”

Nunes also refused to release the committee’s interview with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), whose friendliness with the Russians has earned him the nickname “Putin’s favorite congressman.”

“I took part in that lengthy interview and I was disturbed by his contacts with Russia before and during the 2015-16 campaign,” Swalwell said.

But when Democrats made a motion to release that interview, “Nunes killed it.”

As Americans learn more about Nunes’ effort to keep evidence away from Mueller, Nunes is also pushing to release documents that could harm national security. He hopes that those documents will provide fodder for his repeatedly discredited conspiracy theory that Trump’s own Justice Department is out to get him.

Devin Nunes has spent the last year and a half covering up for Trump, and he’s not about to stop now. At least, not until the voters in his district have their say in a few short weeks.

 

Sarah Sanders Claims Immigrant Families ‘Self-Separated’

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

The Trump administration may have reached a new low in its campaign of lies about its family separation policy: insisting that most parents “self-separated” from their children, when in fact they were involuntarily ripped apart.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the shocking claim during an interview Trump conducted with the Associated Press this week.

“I’ll send you guys the DHS [Department of Homeland Security] report that has the numbers that show that, like, 75 percent of the kids were actually self-separated,” Sanders told the AP reporters. “Their parents chose to go back and signed the paperwork to leave their kids behind.”

Sanders’ icy assertion is wrong on its face.

Any children who were left behind in the U.S. had already been ripped away from their parents at the border. Those separations were not in any way voluntary.

Once that happened, the “choice” Sanders claims parents had was an inhuman one. Parents had two options: remain separated from their children, or give up their asylum claims and be deported.

The Trump administration deported the parents of 463 such children who remained in U.S. custody. These are the children Sanders claims were “actually self-separated.”

But according to court filings, many of those parents were actually tricked into signing away their right to reunify with their children.

In July, a Trump administration official admitted that as many as three-quarters of those deported parents were separated from their children without consent.

Trump officials have been caught in a series of lies regarding the family separation policy.

After Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen publicly denied the policy even existed, documents surfaced showing that she personally signed off on it.

At the height of the crisis, Trump tried to claim he was powerless to stop the separations and falsely placed the blame on Democrats. But Trump recently admitted that the cruelty was the point of the policy all along, because it supposedly deters some families from coming.

And now Trump is considering a new plan to rip families apart.

Sanders has happily lied right along with Trump every step of the way. She even claimed that ripping children away from their parents is “biblical.”

But claiming these children “self-separated” is despicable, even for her.

Trump: Family Separations Were Designed To Inflict Cruelty

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

After months of unconvincing lies from his administration, Trump admitted that the cruelty of ripping children away from their parents was a way to deter people from coming to the United States — and that his administration is considering new ways to separate even more families.

During a brief gaggle with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House Saturday, Trump was asked about reports that his administration is considering a new family separation policy at the border.

Trump did not deny this, and conceded that the administration is “looking at a lot of different things having to do with illegal immigration.”

Trump was then asked whether he thought “the original family separation policy from this summer was effective in deterring people from crossing at the border.”

“If they feel there will be separation, they don’t come,” Trump said. “You know, if they feel there’s separation, it’s a — it’s a terrible situation.”

Then he repeated, “If they feel there’s separation — in many cases, they don’t come.”

Deterring unauthorized immigration is not an excuse to commit human rights violations. Nothing can justify the cruelty and harm to children that Trump’s policy has wrought.

But the fact is that family separations have not had a deterrent effect. When the policy was in effect, border apprehensions actually increased dramatically over the prior year.

Trump’s remarks directly contradict what many in his administration have been saying for months, particularly Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

In May, Nielsen told Congress, under oath, that no such policy existed, and repeated that denial in June.

And when Nielsen was specifically asked about using family separations as a deterrent, she said, “I find that offensive.”

It’s now clear, however, that using the cruelty of family separations as a deterrent has always been the point of the policy for Trump and many of his close advisers.

Multiple officials told the Washington Post that Stephen Miller, one of Trump’s most racist and anti-immigrant advisers, “is advocating for tougher measures because he believes the springtime separations worked as an effective deterrent to illegal crossings.”

At the height of the crisis, Trump himself tried to deny he had the power to stop family separations, and tried to blame Democrats for his own policy. That lie was exposed when Trump abruptly signed an executive order that he claimed would end the separations.

Now, with more than 130 children still separated from their parents, the Trump administration is considering a new plot to rip even more families apart and terrorize immigrants anew.

Trump’s new attack on families may succeed in rallying his vicious base going into the midterms — but decent Americans aren’t likely to stand by and let this cruelty happen again.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

 

Now Trump Insists Kavanaugh Allegations Are ‘A Hoax’

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

Even though alleged sexual predator Brett Kavanaugh has already been confirmed to the Supreme Court, Trump still couldn’t resist taking his attacks on Kavanaugh’s accuser to a new, deranged level.

Less than two weeks ago, even Trump had to admit that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was “compelling” and “very credible” when she testified under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh tried to rape her in high school.

But now, Trump is calling Ford’s credible allegations a “hoax.”

During a brief gaggle with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House Monday morning, Trump was asked about the possibility of Democrats impeaching Kavanaugh after the midterms.

“They are thinking about impeaching a brilliant jurist, and man that did nothing wrong, a man that was caught up in a hoax that was set up by the Democrats using the Democrats’ lawyers, and now they want to impeach him,” Trump said.

He went on to call the allegations against Kavanaugh a “charade,” and falsely insisted that Kavanaugh “did nothing wrong, and there was no corroboration of any kind.”

Trump started attacking Ford the moment she came forward to accuse Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her. And just a few days after Trump called Ford “credible,” he went right back to publicly mocking her and lying about her testimony to his supporters.

But calling Ford’s allegations a “hoax” takes things to a new, despicable level, even for Trump.

Trump’s mockery of Ford at a Mississippi rally was vicious and cruel, but he still didn’t go so far as to suggest that Ford was making the whole thing up and was conspiring with Democrats.

Now that Kavanaugh has been confirmed, Trump is trying to gaslight voters into believing that Brett Kavanaugh was the victim of a dastardly conspiracy, and not the subject of multiple credible accusations of sexual misconduct.

The facts, of course, say otherwise.

For one thing, Trump’s insistence that “there was no corroboration of any kind” is a bald-faced lie.

Ford told others about the assault before Kavanaugh was nominated — which is corroborated by two sets of therapists’ notes, and by friends who say they remember talking to her about it. Ford also passed a polygraph test.

Even Kavanaugh’s own calendar entries from high school were consistent with details in her account, including the names of boys who were Kavanaugh’s regular drinking buddies.

Dozens of witnesses who could have corroborated elements of Ford’s testimony were ignored by a sham FBI investigation that was artificially limited by Senate Republicans and the White House.

Trump’s insistence that Kavanaugh “did nothing wrong” is also a lie.

On top of being accused of sexual misconduct, Kavanaugh appears to have lied under oath dozens of times, including about his heavy drinking and his attitudes toward his female classmates.

While Trump is escalating his rhetoric against Ford, this isn’t the first time he’s tried to gaslight victims of sexual assault and lie to Americans about it.

Trump, after all, still insists that the 22 or so women who have accused him of sexual misconduct are all liars, despite the fact that he bragged on video about the very conduct of which he is accused.

But Kavanaugh’s confirmation was opposed by a majority of Americans, and more and more women are shunning the GOP now that it’s become the official party of rape.

Trump’s misogyny and conspiracy-mongering might rally his dwindling base, but it won’t fly with most decent Americans.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

 

Kellyanne: Trump Kept Anti-Abortion Promise With Kavanaugh

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway confirmed what many of us feared when she said Trump kept his “promise” to the anti-choice movement by confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

On Sunday morning’s edition of “This Week,” host Jonathan Karl asked Conway if she expects the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide, now that Kavanaugh has been confirmed.

First, Conway tried to dodge the question by citing Kavanaugh’s totally meaningless assertion that Roe is “settled law.”

But as Karl pointed out, Trump has explicitly promised on more than one occasion that he would nominate a justice who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. And this promise was a big deal to anti-abortion activists, who were wary about Trump at first because he used to be pro-choice.

Karl repeatedly asked Conway whether Trump had broken this promise — and Conway finally dropped the act.

“No, it’s not a broken promise,” Conway said, claiming that Trump is nominating people “who are going to apply the law.”

And now, she said, “people are going to look at state law and the circuit law” for ways to restrict abortion.

Conway also claimed that Americans don’t really understand what Roe does, and suggested that some state abortion restrictions are allowed under Roe. 

But the restrictions she listed — such as letting state governments ban abortion based on a woman’s reason for getting it, or banning abortion in the second trimester after 20 weeks based on junk science about “fetal pain” — have already been struck down by several courts as unconstitutional because they contradict Roe v. Wade.

And for decades now, the major strategy of the anti-abortion movement has been passing laws that directly contradict Roe v. Wade — in the hopes that court challenges to one of those laws might make it all the way to the Supreme Court, and that a conservative court would take that opportunity to overturn Roe.

Even as she announced her vote to confirm Kavanaugh on Friday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) still claimed to be convinced that he would not overturn Roe v. Wade.

Collins has no reason to be convinced of this. Kavanaugh has a strong record of hostility to reproductive rights — and emails that surfaced during his confirmation suggested that Kavanaugh doesn’t believe Roe is “settled law” after all.

“I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so,” Kavanaugh wrote in a leaked email.

During his Senate confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh also callously dismissed the prospect of women dying as a result of anti-abortion laws, and showed ignorance and hostility toward reproductive health care by repeating a false right-wing talking point that contraceptives are “abortion-inducing drugs.”

Conway’s remarks prove that Kavanaugh’s confirmation has endangered the rights of every woman in America — and that this White House doesn’t care who knows it.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

 

Uh Oh! Nunes Family Farm Uses Undocumented Workers

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

Democratic congressional candidate Andrew Janz slammed Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) as “hypocritical” because Nunes fiercely supports the virulently anti-immigrant Trump — even though Nunes’ family reportedly employs undocumented immigrants.

“People want to make sure we have a congressman that is not hypocritical,” Janz told Mother Jones this week. “In this circumstance, we have one who has sided with Trump on every immigration policy, including separating families and deporting undocumented immigrants. But somehow Devin and his family don’t have a problem hiring undocumented workers.”

Janz’s comments referenced a lengthy investigative report by Esquire’s Ryan Lizza, who found that the Iowa dairy farm owned by Nunes’ parents has employed undocumented workers.

One source told Lizza that he repeatedly referred undocumented immigrants to the Nunes farm for work, and another man said he had worked on the Nunes farm for 4 years as an undocumented immigrant.

Lizza was able to uncover these details despite a campaign of intimidation that included several Nunes family members following him around town as he worked on the story. One of the vehicles that tailed Lizza even had a vanity plate featuring the name of the Nunes farm, “NuStar.”

While Nunes isn’t too vocal about it, he supports many of Trump’s hardline anti-immigration policies. He’s voted to fund Trump’s border wall and to penalize sanctuary cities that protect immigrant rights.

And in the face of Trump’s worst human rights violations against immigrants, Nunes has been cowardly, at best.

At the height of Trump’s family separation crisis, Nunes was conspicuously silent even as other California Republicans weighed in. At the time, Janz said Nunes’ silence “shows that he supported the policy at the outset.”

When Nunes finally spoke out, it was only to praise Trump’s sham executive order, which purported to stop family separations but also sought to allow the indefinite detention of migrant families.

And Nunes refused to join 3 fellow California Republicans in forcing a vote on legislation that would protect Dreamers from deportation.

Instead, Nunes has devoted most of his time and energy to covering up for Trump, and avoiding his constituents in the process.

He has engaged in a long-term campaign to undermine the Mueller investigation by promoting wild conspiracy theories and trying to oust Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Devin Nunes’ support for Trump is disgraceful on its own. But it’s even more despicable given that his family relies on the undocumented immigrants whom Trump torments.