Trump ‘Likely To Be Indicted’ On Campaign Finance Violations

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST)

 

Fox News Contributor: Trump ‘Likely To Be Indicted’ On Campaign Finance Violations

“It’s clear that Trump is the target,” former U.S. attorney Andrew McCarthy said.
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Fox News contributor Andrew McCarthy has bad news for President Donald Trump: Get ready to be indicted for violating federal campaign finance laws.

McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, said on “Fox & Friends” Sunday that attorneys with the Southern District of New York are “clearly” going after Trump, given recent revelations about statements by Michael Cohen, his former personal lawyer, to the U.S. district court.

“They are clearly going after the president on campaign finance violations and I think if you read the sentencing memo the Southern District filed in Cohen’s case, it’s clear that Trump is the target and he’ll be indicted eventually,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy served as assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District for 18 years before leaving the Justice Department in 2003.

On Friday, the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District filed a sentencing memo recommending Cohen receive a 42-month prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to multiple counts of business and tax fraud, making false statements to Congress and violating campaign finance law.

Cohen told the court in August that during the 2016 presidential campaign Trump directed him to make hush money payments to at least two women who say they’ve had affairs with him after he married his third wife, Melania. The president has denied the affairs and the hush money allegations.

Prosecutors say the payments violate federal campaign finance laws.

The first payment in question ―  $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels ― violated campaign finance law restrictions against donations of more than $2,700 in a general election, according to federal prosecutors.

The second payment under legal scrutiny is $150,000 made by American Media Inc. to silence Karen McDougal, which prosecutors say constituted an illegal corporate donation to Trump’s campaign. The National Enquirer’s parent company was chaired at the time by Trump’s longtime confidante, David Pecker.

The Southern District case involving Cohen stems from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump obstructed justice.

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Mueller did not take a position on Cohen’s sentence but the special counsel’s office wrote in their sentencing memo that Cohen has “gone to significant lengths” to help in their investigation.

Fox News host Ed Henry on Sunday appeared taken aback by McCarthy’s prediction.

“You think the president of the United States is going to be indicted… I mean that kind of stops me in my tracks,” Henry said.

McCarthy said he can’t be positive whether the Justice Department would indict a sitting president or wait until Trump is out of office.

“I think what can happen is they could indict and he could be tried down the road when he’s out of office,” McCarthy said. “But will [Trump] be charged? Are they setting the stage to file charges against him? If you read that sentencing memo, I can’t come to any other conclusion.”

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that Trump “may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time.”

“There’s a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him,” Schiff said.

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Face The Nation

@FaceTheNation

.@AdamSchiff on the Russia Investigation: My takeaway is there’s a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office the justice department may indict him. That he may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time.

1,188 people are talking about this

McCarthy delved deeper into the case in an Op-Ed published Sunday on Fox News’ website.

“Campaign finance violations have a high proof threshold for intent,” McCarthy wrote. “President Trump could argue that because there was no spending limit on his contributions, he did not think about the campaign-finance implications, much less willfully violate them.”

“The point for this day is that the Cohen case in New York City is not about Cohen,” he concluded. “The president is in peril of being charged.”

Massive Earthquake Hits Alaska, But Tsunami Risk Subsides

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST)

 

Massive Earthquake Hits Alaska, But Tsunami Risk Subsides

The 7.0 magnitude quake struck just 10 miles from Anchorage, a city of 300,000 people.
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Residents of Anchorage, Alaska, are assessing the damage from a massive earthquake that struck Friday morning and are breathing a sigh of relief after officials canceled tsunami warnings.

Measured as a magnitude 7.0 quake by the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake hit at 8:29 a.m. local time, with the epicenter just 10 miles from the city of nearly 300,000 residents. Residents of Fairbanks, a city of about 30,000 more than 350 miles away, reported feeling shaking there too.

Though officials have yet to release any estimates of damage, injuries or fatalities, people have begun to share photos and videos of destruction on social media. An image from the KTVA newsroom, the CBS affiliate station in Anchorage, shows collapsed tables and computers and TVs dangling from their mounts. All local TV stations were reportedly knocked off the air.

Cassie Schirm@cassieschirmtv

KTVA’s newsroom felt the blow of the earthquake this morning.

2,990 people are talking about this

Other shocking photos and videos show collapsed roads with cars stranded on them, including these near the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport:

Anchorage Daily News

@adndotcom

The northbound onramp for International Airport Rd. at Minnesota Blvd. collapsed Friday morning during the earthquake. https://on.adn.com/2E6Dd27 

211 people are talking about this

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sarah m@sarahh_mars

7.2 earthquake here in Anchorage, Alaska. This is a video my dad took from the Minnesota exit ramp from international. 😰😰

6,139 people are talking about this

Officials canceled a tsunami warning posted for the Cook Inlet and southern Kenai Peninsula near Anchorage. The National Weather Service had warned residents in Kodiak and Seward that tsunami activity could start just an hour after the earthquake struck.

A 7.0 quake can be highly dangerous. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco was measured at magnitude 6.9 and killed 63 people, and the 1994 magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake in Southern California killed 57 ― though both quakes struck areas more populous than Anchorage.

A National Weather Service employee on duty in Anchorage during the temblor called it “the scariest earthquake I have ever been in.”

The Oz@PV_Anomaly

That was the scariest earthquake I have ever been in. Lead on shift…we evacuated the NWS Anchorage building.

82 people are talking about this

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin released a statement that her “family is intact” but her “house is not.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

GOP Senator Who Made ‘Hanging’ Remark Attended ‘Segregated’ Academy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST)

 

GOP Senator Who Made ‘Hanging’ Remark Attended ‘Segregated’ Academy

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith recently drew criticism for remarks condoning public hangings and the Confederacy.
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Cindy Hyde-Smith, the Republican Mississippi senator who made comments condoning “public hangings,” attended a “segregated” school when she was younger, the Jackson Free Press reported Friday after unearthing a 1975 yearbook photo.

The school, Lawrence County Academy, was set up for white parents to avoid sending their children to school with black children, according to the Free Press. Many such schools, dubbed “segregation academies,” were created in the South following desegregation as inexpensive, private educational options.

Hyde-Smith is identified in a caption beneath the yearbook photograph, which shows a row of cheerleaders smiling as they lie on the ground, propped up on their elbows, as a girl dressed in what seems to be Civil War–era regalia stands in the center holding an apparent Confederate flag.

Lawrence County Academy was established in 1970, one year after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered Mississippi to desegregate its schools. For 15 years after desegregation became law of the land, Mississippi dragged its feet on integrating black and white students.

A former student who provided the photo to the newspaper said she realized at the time that her parents sent her to Lawrence County Academy to avoid interactions with black students. Segregation was not openly acknowledged at the school, she said.

Hyde-Smith sent her daughter to a similar school, Brookhaven Academy, which is nearly all white despite being located in a majority-black town.

The senator faces Democratic challenger Mike Espy in a special election Nov. 27. She was appointed by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant to fill the seat vacated in April by former Sen. Thad Cochran, who stepped down for health reasons.

Hyde-Smith has been heavily criticized this month for making racist comments on the Confederate South.

In a state with an ugly history of terrorizing African-Americans with lynchings, Hyde-Smith said of a local rancher in early November, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” Espy called the comment “reprehensible.”

Although she later apologized for her remark, she accused her opponents of twisting her words for political gain.

A 2014 Facebook post in which Hyde-Smith praises Confederate history subsequently surfaced. Alongside a smiling photo of herself in a Confederate hat and holding a rifle at a museum exhibit, the senator wrote, “Mississippi history at its best!”

She also appeared to voice support for voter suppression at a campaign stop earlier this month, telling constituents “maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult” to vote due to the “liberal folks in those other schools who maybe we don’t want to vote.”

“And I think that’s a great idea,” she said.

President Donald Trump, of whom Hyde-Smith has been a vocal supporter, will hold two rallies in Mississippi on Monday to whip up support for the Republican candidate.

Jada Pinkett Smith: ‘Blond Hair On White Women Just Triggers Me’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST)

 

Jada Pinkett Smith: ‘Blond Hair On White Women Just Triggers Me’

The actress got candid about race relations between women on “Red Table Talk.”
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Actress Jada Pinkett Smith said that the racial divide between women of color and white women should shrink because they have all been oppressed for their gender. But she candidly revealed she carried her own prejudice.

“I do have my own biases, specifically with blond women,” she said on the new episode of her Facebook chat show, “Red Table Talk,” posted Monday. “Blond hair on white women just triggers me, and I’ve had to catch myself.”

Asked by her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, whether she was mistreated specifically by a blond woman, Pinkett Smith remembered being teased about her hair and belittled by white women throughout childhood.

Pinkett Smith, a mother of two who’s married to actor Will Smith, recalled a professional instance in which her bias played a part. “I was going to do an interview with this blond woman and I thought twice about it,” Pinkett Smith said. “I thought, ‘I don’t know if I want to do that.’ That was my first instinct because of how she looked! And I was like, ‘Oh! That’s no different.’ That doesn’t give me the right to clump all blond women in one.

“And look at me, I got blond hair!”

Media Tries To Eliminate Woman From Her Own Murder Story

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST)

 

The mother of Tamara O'Neal holds a picture of her family, Nov. 20. O'Neal was fatally shot by her former fiance in Chicago t

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIA GETTY IMAGES
The mother of Tamara O’Neal holds a picture of her family, Nov. 20. O’Neal was fatally shot by her former fiance in Chicago the day before.

Dr. Tamara O’Neal had just finished up her emergency room shift at Mercy Hospital in Chicago on Nov. 19 when Juan Lopez, her ex-fiance, materialized in the parking lot. He knew where to find her. Earlier in the day, he rang the hospital trying to get her on the phone. She told the clerk who took the call to tell him she was busy.

As recently as September, O’Neal, 38, had planned to marry Lopez. But something caused her to change her mind, and a few weeks before the wedding, she broke off the engagement. On Monday the sight of him scared her enough to dial 911.

In the parking lot, he claimed to want his engagement ring back, but that was an excuse, another attempt to control her. He revealed his true intentions when he pulled out his gun and shot her six times. Afterward, he ran into the hospital and kept shooting, killing Dayna Less, a 24-year-old pharmacy resident, and Samuel Jimenez, 28, a rookie officer with the Chicago Police Department, before being killed by officer gunfire.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, when the facts were still being sorted, the media latched onto the policeman who was killed in the line of duty. His death ― understood as the most newsworthy component of the incident ― became the story. Headlines, captions and mobile alerts (including HuffPost’s), focused on him. In The New York Times, for example, O’Neal was not named until the fifth paragraph, as one of the “other victims,” and her relationship to the shooter wasn’t explained until later in the story.

Somehow, a mass shooting rooted in gendered violence was framed as a random act. Even Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a news conference said the mass shooting was “the consequence of evil.”

But the shooting was not random at all. It was the consequence of domestic violence. And by relegating O’Neal to a supporting part in the story, the media fundamentally misrepresented the nature of the attack. The massacre was a result of her ex-partner’s final attempt to control her.

“We are not connecting the dots correctly,” said Monica McLaughlin, the director of public policy at the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

The erasure of O’Neal from the narrative obscures the motivation behind the attack, McLaughlin added, making it harder for the public to recognize the undercurrent of toxic masculinity in American gun violence.

Tamara O'Neal in September 2017. Although her killing was the consequence of domestic violence, many news outlets at fir

MONTE GERLACH PHOTOGRAPHY VIA AP
Tamara O’Neal in September 2017. Although her killing was the consequence of domestic violence, many news outlets at first minimized her in their reports about a mass shooting.

“Violence against women is a common denominator in many, many, many of these shootings,” she said.

As HuffPost has reported, most mass shootings in the U.S. involve a man targeting his intimate partner or another family member. And among mass shooters who target the public in random acts of violence, many have histories of abusive behavior toward women. (See: Pulse, ParklandSutherland Springs.)

David Adams, a domestic violence expert who has studied men who kill their partners, said many homicidal abusers feel a sense of ownership over their wife or girlfriend.

“They blame their partners for their own problems and, in general, see themselves as victims of unappreciative, selfish partners,” he said. Men who kill their partners as part of a mass shooting may simply want a larger audience to advertise their grievances, he added.

Like many mass shooters before him, Lopez had a history of abusive behavior toward women. He was fired from the Chicago Fire Academy in 2014 after he was accused of inappropriate conduct with female cadets. The same year, his then-wife filed an emergency protective order against him. “I fear that my safety is in jeopardy,” she wrote, stating that he was acting erratically with his firearm and had threatened to go to her job and cause a scene.

Four years later, he followed through on his threat to cause a scene at a workplace, only this time it was to confront O’Neal. “He couldn’t let it go,” her father, Tom O’Neal, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “He couldn’t let go and he took her away from us.”

Ruth Glenn, the executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said she understood the gut instinct among media outlets to emphasize the police officer’s death. Unfortunately, when it comes to gun violence, there is a hierarchy of newsworthiness. A police officer killed in the line of duty makes headlines far more often than a woman slain by her intimate partner. Especially, Glenn said, if she is a woman of color.

“[Police officers] put their lives on the line every day,” she said. “But if you think about it, so does a victim when she has decided that she needs to be away from the violence.”

A mass shooting rooted in gendered violence was framed as a random act.

Women are at the highest risk of being killed when they leave their partners, said Maureen Curtis, the vice president of criminal justice programs for the nonprofit group Safe Horizon. For many women, their workplaces can become a place of heightened danger, as their partners know when and where they work.

In 2017, Karen Elaine Smith was teaching an elementary class in San Bernardino, California, when her husband, whom she had recently left, walked in with a handgun and began shooting, killing her and an 8-year-old student.

“This is one reason why we need to recognize that domestic violence is not just a personal matter and that helping and supporting a victim not only can save her life but the lives of others,” Curtis said.

Erasing domestic violence from the story also does a disservice to the police officer slain, said Mark Wynn, a retired Tennessee officer who now travels the country training police on issues related to violence against women.

Calls related to domestic disputes are the most dangerous for police, he said. In a strange coincidence, Wynn was just a few miles from Mercy Hospital, training Chicago police officers how to respond to domestic violence incidents, with a focus on officer safety, when the shooting happened.

“Every cop knows the deadly line of ‘If I can’t have you, nobody will,’” he said. “Abusers do not like to be held accountable for their crimes.”

This story has been updated to include Dr. Tamara O’Neal’s occupation.

Records Show Trump Lied To FBI About Spending Nights In Moscow

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST)

 

Flight Records Disprove Trump’s Claim About ‘Pee Tape’ Weekend Whereabouts

The president insisted he didn’t spend a night in Moscow. Records show he did.

President Donald Trump reportedly told former FBI Director James Comey — twice — that he didn’t spend a single night in Moscow when the infamous “pee tape” was allegedly made.

But Bloomberg and Politico have obtained flight records for Trump’s jet that indicate he actually spent two nights in the Russian capital when he traveled there for the Miss Universe Pageant in 2013.

A dossier of information about Trump collected by former British agent Christopher Steele claims that Russian agents secretly filmed Trump at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton that weekend as he instructed prostitutes to urinate on a bed that then-President Barack Obama had slept in.

The New York Times reported last year that Trump traveled to Moscow on a plane owned by casino mogul Phil Ruffin. Bloomberg and Politico obtained flight records for a Bombardier Global Express jet owned by Ruffin Development Expositions that left the U.S. on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 and landed at Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport the following day. The jet left the city early Sunday at 3:58 a.m. after Trump attended the pageant.

Ruffin’s spokeswoman Michelle Knoll confirmed to Politico that Trump used the aircraft for his trip.

It’s not known which night the tape was allegedly recorded, but Trump’s bodyguard Keith Schiller testified last year that he turned down an offer from an unknown Russian to send five sex workers to Trump’s Moscow hotel room at some point that weekend, sources told NBC. Schiller said he kept an eye on Trump’s hotel room for a while, then went to bed himself.

Trump’s own social media accounts seem to support the argument that he was in Russia at least overnight. In one Facebook post, Trump poses in a photo outside Nobu Moscow on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. The pageant was held on Saturday. On Sunday evening, Trump tweeted that he’d “just got back from Russia.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I just got back from Russia-learned lots & lots. Moscow is a very interesting and amazing place! U.S. MUST BE VERY SMART AND VERY STRATEGIC.

 

After Trump became president, Comey said he warned him about Steele’s dossier, which had been turned over to the FBI. Trump denied spending a single night in Moscow. Comey told ABC this month that Trump responded by asking, “Do I look like a guy who needs hookers?” (Comey added: “I assumed he was asking that rhetorically.”)

Trump also said he’d “spoken to people who had been on … the trip … and they had reminded him that he didn’t stay over night in Russia,” Comey recalled in a memo. Trump insisted again later in the Oval Office that he “hadn’t stayed overnight in Russia during the Miss Universe trip,” Comey wrote.

In addition, Trump told his FBI director that he could never go for the “golden showers thing” because “I’m … a germaphobe,” Comey wrote in his memoir A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.

If Trump deliberately lied to Comey, it could indicate “consciousness of guilt” and could bolster a case against him by special counsel Robert Mueller, former federal prosecutor Pete Zeidenberg told Politico.

Trump’s Miss Universe pageant has posed multiple problems for the president. The New Yorker reported earlier this year that Trump has used the pageant to cultivate potential business partners, including in Russia, where he hoped to build a Trump tower. In 2013, he cemented an alliance with father and singer son Aras and Emin Agalarov, who hosted the pageant in Moscow.

In the summer of 2016, a publicist for Emin Agalarov emailed Donald Trump Jr. offering damaging information about Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Donald Jr. replied: “I love it” — and later attended a meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan with a Kremlin-connected lawyer, among others.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

Germany: After Berlin Murders: Chancellor Merkel Political Career Is In Jeopardy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST/WORLD POST)

THE WEEKEND ROUNDUP 

Europe was already reeling from major terror attacks in Brussels, Paris and Nice as well as Brexit and the defeat of the political establishment in the Italian referendum before this week. With anti-immigrant parties standing ambitiously in the wings waiting for events to further boost them into power, the worst thing that could have happened, the shoe waiting to drop, was a terror attack at Christmas time in Germany by an asylum-seeker linked to Islamist terror groups. It is just that which took place in Berlin this week.

That the inevitable has now occurred likely seals the political fate of Europe. Public opinion will surely turn decisively against the open-arms refugee policy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel — the most prominent defender of the troubled European project of integration and the free movement of people. Merkel’s coalition partner (yet mainstream opponent) Horst Seehofer of the Bavarian Christian Social Union, has already laid down the challenge. “We owe it to the victims, to those affected and to the whole population to rethink our immigration and security policy and to change it.” As Nick Robins-Early reports, the Alternative for Germany party and other anti-immigrant groups are already capitalizing on the incident. One AfD leader called those killed “Merkel’s dead.”

Alex Görlach hopes that Merkel’s considerable political skills can save the day by adjusting the Europe-wide refugee policy in the wake of this week’s tragedy. That she is also the only European leader who can stand up to the next American president, Görlach notes, could be a political asset.

Yet, even if the chancellor survives, the damage has already been done. The European idea, which has been losing luster for years, looks to be the latest and most consequential casualty of a world in turmoil that stretches from the rubble of Aleppo to the World War II memorial ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, near where the Christmas market attack took place in Berlin.

Writing from Germany, Stefan Schmidt argues that his fellow citizens should resist calls to blame anyone but the perpetrator while continuing to embrace the values of an open, but inevitably vulnerable, society. In a similar vein,Sebastian Christ writes from Berlin that, “We can’t give in to those who want to force their hate-filled world view on us. … On top of everything, we must continue to hold on to freedom for ourselves. I will definitely continue going to Christmas markets in Berlin.”

Picking up on the theme in the back of everyone’s mind about Muslims at Christmas, Dean Obeidallah fondly remembers his Muslim father, born near Jesus’ birthplace of Bethlehem, hanging Christmas lights on their home in New Jersey as a child. He also surveys other American Muslims who partake in the holiday, including Aasif Mandvi.

Unfortunately, the attack in Germany wasn’t the only attack we saw this week. Another act that shocked the world took place in Ankara, where the Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated. John Tures, who has studied the different motivations and effectiveness of “lone wolf” versus “wolf pack” terrorists linked to organized extremists, argues that preventing future attacks, whether of the kind in Berlin or Ankara, requires being able to distinguish between these two threats.

Details are still emerging about the attack in Ankara, but it appears to be an apparent act of revenge over the Kremlin’s key role in the brutal assault on Aleppo in recent weeks. As Alex Motyl writes, more such attacks can be expected due to Putin’s Syria policy. “Anti-Russian terrorism is the new normal,” he says. Turkish journalist Ilgin Yorulmaz ponders the timing of the assassination in Ankara, which came on the eve of a tripartite meeting of Russia, Turkey and Iran concerning Syria, and reports that some suspect a geopolitical aim. “A strong NATO member,” she writes, “Turkey may have found a new ally in Russia, and possibly even Iran, to become a game changer in the Middle East.”

This week also saw the last evacuations out of Aleppo. Dr. Ahmad Tarakji, whose organization has been working on the ground in the besieged city, offers a detailed account of the humanitarian catastrophe there, which he says is far from over after the forced relocations. “The world has failed the people of Aleppo time and time again,” he writes, “but it’s not too late to act now to help those seeking refuge somewhere else. The international community must do everything in its power to protect these most vulnerable of people. They continue to suffer while the world is standing idly by.”

Writing from Moscow before the Syrian regime claimed control over all of Aleppo,Vladimir Frolov proposes that the best course for the Kremlin now would be, “declaring victory in Aleppo, scaling down its military operations against the rebels, refocusing its air war on ISIS in a new collaborative effort with the U.S. and pressuring the Assad regime into a political settlement.”

Returning to the hot issue of Russian influence meddling in the affairs of democracies, Toomas Hendrik Ilves knows from whence he speaks. In 2007, the former president of Estonia experienced a Kremlin-led cyberattack on his government, banking and news media servers. He expects more such attacks in Europe as elections loom. “The conundrum that Europe will face in the coming year,” he writes from Tallinn, “is whether or not to use illiberal methods to safeguard the liberal state. … Because of cyberattacks and fake news, we can already imagine the problem all democratic societies will face in future elections: how to limit lies when they threaten democracy?”

In an exclusive interview, former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski claims Russian President Vladimir Putin was directly involved in the effort to tip the recent American election scales in Trump’s favor. “Yes. Russian intelligence was involved, no question,” he says, “Yes. Putin plays that kind of direct role. Russian intelligence is not some independent agency. It is an agency of the state organized for specific political purposes. Putin absolutely controls the state apparatus. No doubts there.” He also warns that “stupid irritations” over Taiwan risk derailing America’s most important foreign policy relationship with Beijing. “A world in which America and China are cooperating,” Brzezinski underscores, “is a world in which American influence is maximized.”

One of the hottest issues in the U.S. presidential campaign was Donald Trump’s pledge to build a wall with Mexico. Writing from Mexico City, Homero Aridjis and James Ramey offer a highly innovative proposal: Instead of Trump’s wall, they want to build a border of solar panels. “It would have a civilizing effect in a dangerous area,” they contend. “Since solar plants use security measures to keep intruders out, the solar border would serve as a de facto virtual fence, reducing porousness of the border while producing major economic, environmental and security benefits on both sides.” Such an installation, they continue, “would make trafficking drugs, arms and people all the more difficult for criminal cartels. In Mexico, the solar border would create a New Deal-like source of high-tech construction and technology jobs all along the border, which could absorb a significant number of would-be migrant workers on their way to cross into the U.S. illegally, at great physical risk.”

Rolling back globalization to stem joblessness and inequality was another prime issue in the recent presidential election campaign. Branko Milanovic takes up this challenge, arguing that reversing globalization would only reduce growth rates in both the advanced and emerging economies, to no one’s benefit. “A more promising avenue for dealing with inequality in rich countries for the 21st century,” he writes, “is to reduce inequality in human and financial capital endowments. This implies, first, reversing the currently extraordinary high concentration of capital assets by giving the middle classes fiscal and other incentives to invest and own assets and, second, equalizing access to high-quality education that is increasingly monopolized by the rich.” A special Highline investigative report we publish this week traces the corporations and criminals profiting handsomely from the refugee crisis.

Trump Has Already Betrayed The Working Class: He Has Proven He Is A Fraud And A Con

(This Article Is Courtesy Of The Huffington Post)

Trump Has Already Betrayed The Working Class

Donald Trump has betrayed the American working class. He is a fraud and a con.

12/08/2016 01:58 pm ET | Updated 1 hour ago

DREW ANGERER VIA GETTY IMAGES

They voted for him in droves. In a remarkable political shift, the white working class who have seen their wages decline over decades thanks to shameless pandering to Wall Street and big business by both political parties, finally gave up on the Democrats and threw their lot in with billionaire businessman Donald Trump.

Some have tried to argue that the switch didn’t really have to do with economics but the numbers say otherwise. According to CNN exit polling, voters earning under $30K shifted towards Trump by 16 percent. Trump won 79 percent of those who said the economy was poor. Even Trump’s embrace of white nationalism is after all a form of economic protectionism. If you feel there’s a limited pie, then you’ve got a better shot at your slice if you don’t have to compete against those “other” people. With his pick for Labor Secretary though Trump revealed exactly what kind of President he’s going to be for those who had any doubts. Trump is not going to save the working class, he’s going to destroy it.

Meet your next Labor Secretary Andrew Puzder. He is the CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. He thinks to Make America Great Again, we need to pay workers less or ideally, give their jobs to robots. I’m not kidding. In an interview with Business Insider, Puzder explained that he thought getting the workers out of the restaurant biz would be a great thing because robots are:  “…always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.”

Oh human beings and their unreasonable desire to earn enough to live AND not be discriminated against. It’s all so inconvenient for corporate CEO’s like Puzder. We should just relegate these service jobs to the dustbin of history the way we already did with so-called “old economy” jobs. You know, the kind that actually allowed you to eat, buy a house, and pay the bills all at the same time. #MAGA.

By choosing Puzder for Labor Secretary, Trump has thrown his lot in with those who view workers as commodities to be used and discarded when they are inconvenient

 Now virtually no one aspires to a fast food job. Folks like Puzder who want to keep wages at their current level of roughly $18K per year like to pretend fast food jobs are just starter jobs for teenagers. I mean, these aren’t the sort of jobs that you are expected to raise a family on, right? Well, this is as much of a fantasy as the idea that Trump is a working class hero. Seventy percent of fast food workers are older than 20. The average age of a fast food worker is 29.

The reason for this is simple: low-paying service jobs are what our economy creates now even as middle class jobs decline. A majority of jobs lost during the Great Recession were middle-income jobs. A majority of those gained were low wage. Food service prep, cashier, and sales clerk are the three most common jobs in the country employing some 10 million plus American workers. If you automate those three jobs, what will replace them? Low-paying service work may not be ideal but it beats the heck out of no jobs at all. People who view the loss of these 10 million jobs as a great thing are the same type of people who drive through the derisively named “Rust Belt” and see “creative destruction” and “progress” instead of destroyed communities and destroyed lives.

Lest you think Puzder’s worker contempt is out of step with Trump’s supposed populism, Trump himself begs to differ. In a typically whiny and petty reaction to criticism, Trump tweeted this week that Carrier’s union workers themselves were responsible for the company deciding to ship jobs overseas.

He tweeted: “If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues.” Puzder shares Trump’s “blame the worker” mentality and has no sympathy for workers seeking to earn a higher wage. Speaking with Business Insider, he blamed his own push towards automation on wage growth.  In Puzder’s world, it’s not his fault if Hardee’s workers are replaced with robots even though as CEO of the company he is in fact the one making exactly that decision.

Of course, Trump’s working class hero schtick was always a complete sham.

 The fault really lies with all of those high on the hog living workers with their $18K per year incomes and the advocates who would outrageously push to make those wages higher. You will not be surprised to learn then that one of Puzder’s favorite pastimes is penning Wall Street Journal op-eds on why lifting the minimum wage would just be dreadful. Typical line: “Does it really help if Sally makes $3 more an hour if Suzie has no job?” Exactly. So why not get rid of the minimum wage altogether and pay Sally the 50 cents per hour that you apparently think she’s worth?

I’ll tell you why. Because once long ago, we decided as a nation that we valued our workers.  We believed that we would all prosper if American workers earned enough to buy the goods and services they produce. We decided that workers shouldn’t toil for 40 hours a week and still live in poverty. Visionaries like Henry Ford understood this, and FDR, and the labor leaders who fought to birth the great American middle class which used to be the envy of the world. You want to make America great again? Try connecting with that American past.

By choosing Puzder for Labor Secretary, Trump has thrown his lot in with those who view workers as commodities to be used and discarded when they are inconvenient or when those workers become a penny more costly than a touch screen computer. He has thrown his lot in with those who view a future of endless Gilded Age inequality as inevitable. By choosing Andy Puzder as Labor Secretary, Donald Trump has betrayed the American working class. He is a fraud and a con.

Of course, Trump’s working class hero schtick was always a complete sham. The man rails against companies shipping jobs overseas while he makes his own schlocky crap in Mexico and Bangladesh for God’s sake. He stiffs contractors. He buys his steel from China. He illegally busts unions at his gaudy casinos! It is time for those of us who actually care about workers and see them as human beings rather than an expense item on the balance sheet, to stop licking our wounds and start fighting for those who will suffer the most under President Trump.

China Not Happy With Donald Trump For His Phone Call To Taiwan’s President

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST)

Donald Trump Speaks To Taiwan’s President, Reversing Decades Of U.S. Policy

China, the U.S. and most of the international community consider Taiwan to be a Chinese territory, not an independent nation.

12/02/2016 06:02 pm ET

President-elect Donald Trump spoke by phone Friday with Tsai Ying-wen, the president of Taiwan. The call was the first in more than 30 years between an American president-elect and a leader of the semi-autonomous island.

According to a readout of the call from the Trump transition team, Tsai congratulated Trump on his victory, and the two discussed “the close economic, political, and security ties exists between Taiwan and the United States.”

But the Trump team’s description of the call belies the fact that the conversation has the potential to upset three decades of relations between the United States and its most important global trading partner.

China, the United States and most of the international community consider Taiwan to be a Chinese territory. But Taiwan, with its own elected government, constitution and military, considers itself an independent nation.

In recognition of China’s claim to sovereignty over Taiwan, the U.S. cut diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979. Trump’s call will likely enrage Beijing, and stands to damage U.S. relations with Chine before Trump even takes office.

“The Chinese leadership will see this as a highly provocative action, of historic proportions,”  Evan Medeiros, a former Asia director at the White House national security council, told the Financial Times, which first reported the call Friday afternoon.

“Regardless if it was deliberate or accidental, this phone call will fundamentally change China’s perceptions of Trump’s strategic intentions for the negative. With this kind of move, Trump is setting a foundation of enduring mistrust and strategic competition for US-China relations,” Medeiros said.

The call with Tsai is the latest in a string of conversations between Trump and foreign leaders that have left foreign policy experts and career diplomats shocked and concerned.

Earlier this week, Trump spoke with Pakistani president Nawaz Sharif and said he looked forward to visiting the country as president ― something President Barack Obama has deliberately avoided doing because of the complex, and sometimes duplicitous, security and intelligence relationship between the two countries. Trump also spoke with President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, a despot and international pariah who has ruled the former Soviet republic since 1989.

On Friday, Trump also spoke to Rodrigo Duterte, the newly elected president of the Philippines. Since taking office, Duterte has encouraged the extra-judicial murder of hundreds of people accused of dealing drugs, and he has suggested that journalists deserve to be assassinated.

In response to the alarm raised by Trump’s phone calls, White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Thursday delicately urged Trump to seek out advice from career diplomats at the State Department. “President Obama benefited enormously from the advice and expertise that’s been shared by those who serve at the State Department,” he told reporters at the daily press briefing.

“I’m confident that as President-elect Trump takes office, those same State Department employees will stand ready to offer him advice as he conducts the business of the United States overseas. Hopefully he’ll take it.”

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.) was more direct with his criticism. “What has happened in the last 48 hours is not a shift. These are major pivots in foreign policy w/out any plan. That’s how wars start,” Murphy tweeted on Friday. “And if they aren’t pivots – just radical temporary deviations – allies will walk if they have no clue what we stand for. Just as bad. It’s probably time we get a Secretary of State nominee on board. Preferably w experience. Like, really really soon.”

Sometimes Educators In The U.S. Are Completely Out Of Touch With Reality

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS NETWORK)

‘To Be White Is to Be Racist.’ Oklahoma Teacher’s Race Lecture Divides

A high school teacher in Oklahoma sparked a controversy at his school when he told students in a discussion of race that “to be white is to be racist, period.”

“Am I racist? And I say, yeah. I don’t want to be. It’s not like I choose to be racist, but do I do things because of the way I was raised?” the unnamed teacher says in an audio recording made by one of his students who was offended by the lecture.

Some students, like the one who made the recording, were upset by the class, and Norman Public Schools Superintendent Joseph Siano said the situation was “poorly handled.”

“While discussing a variety of philosophical perspectives on culture, race and ethics, a teacher was attempting to convey to students in an elective philosophy course a perspective that had been shared at a university lecture he had attended,” Siano said in a statement, the Huffington Post reports. “We regret that the discussion was poorly handled.”

Other students, however, have begun demonstrating in support of the teacher, or at least in support of his attempt to tackle thorny issues.

“What has been reported in the news doesn’t accurately portray what happened in our philosophy class, nor does it reflect what we believe in at our school,” a student who attended both the class and the demonstration said in a statement to The Huffington Post. “The information was taken out of context and we believe it is important to have serious and thoughtful discussions about institutional racism in order to change history and promote exclusivity.”

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