Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Last Call For The GOP Race To The Bottom, Con't

When I say the Republican party is the party of racism and bigotry and treason, I mean that quite literally they nominate people for federal office who praised the Confederacy and intimate that we need a Second American Revolution today in order to bring those policies back.

Corey Stewart, the Republican nominee for a US Senate seat for Virginia, praised in a speech last year Virginia's decision in 1861 to secede from the Union, putting it on par with rebellions during the American Revolution and today. 
The Virginia Republican made the comments in April 2017 at an event in South Boston, Virginia, hosted by an unapologetic secessionist. A video of his remarks, given during his failed 2017 gubernatorial run, was posted on his Facebook account. 

He is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, a strong favorite to keep his seat, and national Republicans are worried that Stewart's candidacy will turn off some GOP voters, potentially hurting Republican's ballot races. 
"When you say you're from Virginia, when you travel outside of this state and somebody asks where you're from, you say with pride, 'I am from Virginia. I'm very, very proud of it,'" Stewart said. "You're very, very proud of it. And why is it? It's because of our history, folks. It's because of our history. This is the state of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and James Monroe. It's a state of the founders. It's the state of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. 
"But it's also the state of Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson, and J.E.B. Stuart. Because, at the base of it, Virginians, we think for ourselves," he continued. "And if the established order is wrong, we rebel. We did that in the Revolution, we did it in the Civil War, and we're doing it today. We're doing it today because they're trying to rob us of everything that we hold dear: our history, our heritage, our culture."

Hey guys?  The Confederacy was actual treason, there was no "heritage" there other than slavery and misery and states and people so entirely dedicated to the idea of keeping black people as slaves that they went to actual war over it, and a significant percentage of the people in this country died as a result.

This is what "history" Corey Stewart sees himself as carrying on.  If you're defending this as heritage or history, if you're proud of this like Stewart, you need to take a good long look at your heart, and a history book.  It's not okay.  It's not romantic.  It's not misunderstood or misinterpreted.  It's human slavery, guys, point blank.

Stewart, whose defense of Confederate symbols became a staple of his unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign, defined the established order earlier in the speech as the mainstream media, liberals, Democrats and establishment Republicans "trying to convince us that there's something wrong with our heritage in Virginia." 
In response to a comment request from CNN, Stewart released the following statement: "Unlike Wimpy Tim Kaine, Virginians have a warrior spirit and a rebel heart." 
Stewart has continually tried to downplay his past ties and praise of white nationalist figures like Jason Kessler, an organizer of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, and Paul Nehlen, the anti-Semitic Republican congressional candidate who took on Paul Ryan in 2016. 
According to records from Virginia's Department of Elections, the event in which he praised secession was paid for by avowed secessionist George Randall. Stewart was introduced by Randall's wife, Donna, who also promoted the event on Facebook. 
Randall is an unapologetic secessionist, telling The New York Times, "I'm a secessionist because the federal government is anti-Christian and we're different culturally."

And yes, these traitors are actually still very much with us, and we have the Republican party happily running candidates for Senate -- and currently in the White House, I might add -- who are okay with this because it means they get political benefit from it.  And next week, these same white supremacists are going to be in Virginia, in Charlottesville for the one-year anniversary of their little cross-burning party.  And Corey Stewart?  He'll be supporting these guys.

So let me make this plain, folks.

The. Republican. Party. Is. The. Party. Of. White Supremacists.

The Blue Wave Rises, Con't

Another Republican goes down in flames, this time New York Congressman Chris Collins was picked up by the FBI for insider trading and fraud leaving the door wide open for his Democratic challenger, Nate McMurray.

Rep. Chris Collins, R-New York, was arrested Wednesday and charged with insider trading relating to an Australian biotechnology company, according to federal prosecutors.

The Buffalo-area congressman, who also served on the board of directors of the company Innate Immunotherapeutics and was the first member of Congress to endorse President Donald Trump's White House bid in 2016, is charged with passing nonpublic information about a multiple sclerosis drug to his son, Cameron, who shared it with his future father-in-law.

While the drug failed testing tanked the company's share price by 92 percent, Collins' tip allowed all three men to avoid nearly $800,000 in losses, according to the indictment

Attorneys for Collins said they would "mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name."

"We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated," they said in a statement.

The House Ethics Committee had been investigating the allegations against Collins since August of 2017. The Office of Congressional Ethics, in its report to the Ethics Committee found "substantial reason to believe" that Collins "shared material nonpublic information in purchasing stock" of Innate Immunotherapeutics, in violation of House rules, standards and federal law.

Collins, a vocal Trump ally, worked closely with the administration during the presidential transition, serving as the point of contact between lawmakers and the Trump transition team.

Needless to say, Collins's opponent, Nate McMurray, just had Christmas arrive in August.  Both had an easy time of winning their respective primaries five weeks ago as they were unopposed, so McMurray has been going after Trump's tight relationship with Trump for some time now. 

Still, this seat was entirely off the radar for the Dems, Cook Political Report has the district (which consists of the Niagara/Genesee farmland between Buffalo and Rochester) weighted as R+11 and even then Collins won in 2016 by almost 35 points, his support for Trump certainly didn't hurt him then.

Being in prison on the other hand might.

We'll see.

(Red) Meat The Press

We're not too far now from where a majority of Trump's fascist supporters will be comfortable with calling for the regime to take CNN, MSNBC, and other Trump critics off the air, as a new Ipsos poll for the Daily Beast finds 43% of Republicans want Trump to have final authority over which news outlets are allowed to operate in the US.

Freedom of the press may be guaranteed in the Constitution. But a plurality of Republicans want to give President Trump the authority to close down certain news outlets, according to a new public opinion survey conducted by Ipsos and provided exclusively to The Daily Beast.

The findings present a sobering picture for the fourth estate, with respondents showing diminished trust in the media and increased support for punitive measures against its members. They also illustrate the extent to which Trump’s anti-press drumbeat has shaped public opinion about the role the media plays in covering his administration.

All told, 43 percent of self-identified Republicans said that they believed “the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.” Only 36 percent disagreed with that statement. When asked if Trump should close down specific outlets, including CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, nearly a quarter of Republicans (23 percent) agreed and 49 percent disagreed.

Republicans were far more likely to take a negative view of the media. Forty-eight percent of them said they believed “the news media is the enemy of the American people” (just 28 percent disagreed) while nearly four out of every five (79 percent) said that they believed “the mainstream media treats President Trump unfairly.

But of course, it's not just Republicans.

But swaths of self-identified Democrats and Independents supported anti-press positions as well. According to the survey, 12 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of Independents agreed that “the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior” (74 percent and 55 percent, respectively, disagreed). Additionally, 12 percent of Democrats and 26 percent of Independents agreed that “the news media is the enemy of the American people” (74 percent and 50 percent, respectively, disagreed)

The concept of an enemy press corps has become a staple of Trump’s tweets and public utterances in recent months. Much of it appears prompted by stories about internal frictions within the White House and a growing fear over the state of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.

Members of the press, as well as top officials at some of the nation’s leading publications, have objected to the phrase, arguing that it is both wildly inaccurate and deeply dangerous. They have pointed to mob-like treatment of the media by Trump supporters at various rallies as evidence for their fears. Offered the opportunity, Trump’s spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, declined to denounce the phrase. Other Trump supports have insisted that he was merely referring to those outlets that spread false information.

It's depressing, really.  Still, 85% of people in the survey agreed that freedom of the press is "essential for American democracy".  That's something, but we're not far off from when that freedom is sharply curtailed, both by corporate pressure and by Trump.


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