Category: Politics

Trump Supporters Chant “Send Her Back” At North Carolina Rally [Update]

In one of the most disturbing moments of his presidency, Donald Trump stood before a huge crowd in Greenville, N.C. as his supporters chanted “send her back” in reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). I have previously discussed Trump’s disgraceful comments regarding Omar and three other freshman members of Congress. While many of us condemned those statements, Trump’s popularity has actually risen with Republicans in the aftermath. Even Trump’s past association with Jeffrey Epstein have not had an impact. NBC just released the video below showing Trump partying with Epstein. Update: Trump says that he didn’t not agree with the chant.

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Ocasio-Cortez: I Never Said Pelosi Was A Racist When Accusing Her Of Targeting Women Of Color

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has risen to prominence for promising to tell truth to power. However, this week she showed that she could spin and shill with the best of them. Previously Ocasio-Cortez accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi of singling out four women of color. That would seem by definition a charge of racism. Now however she insists that Pelosi did single out women of color but was not a racist. At the same time, the “squad” is warning Pelosi not to do it again.

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Pelosi Under Fire As “The Revolution” Devours Its Own

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the rising tensions between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and young freshman members, particularly Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders has criticized Pelosi for being “too hard” on Ocasio-Cortez, saying that she and her young colleagues are the future of the party. Other have supported Ocasio-Cortez in saying that Pelosi has a problem with women of color and liberal groups are now going after Pelosi. In the meantime, Democratic members and staff are attacking both Ocasio-Cortez and her top aide, including criticism them for criticizing another member who is a minority woman. Note only did Trump succeed in unifying the Democrats and putting the Republicans on defense, but newspapers are now declaring him the “bigot in chief.”

Here is the column:

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Trump Tells Freshman Women To Go Back To Their “Original” Countries

President Donald Trump caused another twitter storm this week with a highly offensive posting in which he told four female freshman members to go back to their “original countries” and that they “can’t leave fast enough.” It is a well-known trope used against immigrants. Most of us have heard it. My Sicilian immigrant grandparents heard it continually. It is a disgraceful thing to say to another citizen and it should be condemned by all Americans as unacceptable from an American president. In response to bipartisan criticism, Trump doubled down and tweeted “Their disgusting language and the many terrible things they say about the United States must not be allowed to go unchallenged.”

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Video Of Confrontation At White House Edited To Cut Out Reporter’s Initial Taunting Of Crowd

Yes, we have come to this. Yesterday the White House was the setting for a scene that seems to capture the total loss of decorum in our politics and press. Playboy reporter and CNN contributor Brian Karem can be shown heaping scorn on fathering conservative social media figures like some Internet troll. Former Trump official Sebastian Gorka then responds by heaping insults on Karem. It was an utter disgrace, but President Trump responded by praising Gorka. Never side deserves praise of any kind.

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Acosta Resigns Amid Mounting Questions Over Role In Epstein Scandal

There is a curious pattern in the Trump Administration that you need to beware of presidential praise which often proves the swan song for cabinet members. The latest is Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta who tried to keep his job with a press conference that was widely panned as trying to shift the blame for the sweetheart deal that he gave Jeffrey Epstein, the serial sex abuser. Since I previously called for Acosta’s resignation (and opposed his confirmation) based on his role in the Epstein scandal, I will not feign sympathy.

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SIX DEGREES FROM JEFFREY EPSTEIN: WASHINGTON GRAPPLES WITH A WEB OF EMBARRASSING ASSOCIATIONS

Below is my column on the charging of Jeffrey Epstein and the complex connections raised by his prosecution. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta gave a press conference where he attempted to show that 2007 was a different century where victims rights did not exist and transparency was just a word used in window glazing. It was a ridiculous performance as Acosta sought to justify a sweetheart deal that has been universally condemned. Acosta attempted to shift the blame to state prosecutors who came out after the press conference to angrily contest his account. Previously, in 2011, Acosta insisted he yielded in the case because of  “a year-long assault on the prosecution and the prosecutors” by “an army of legal superstars” like Dershowitz and Starr.  He also wrote “The defense strategy was not limited to legal issues. Defense counsel investigated individual prosecutors and their families, looking for personal peccadilloes that may provide a basis for disqualification.”  That is bizarre. Most prosecutors would have the backbone to double their efforts in the face of such pressure. Instead, Acosta’s defense came off as a whining or whimpering excuse for letting these big bad lawyers scare him off.

Here is the column:

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Fourth Circuit Dismisses Emoluments Cases Against Trump

US-CourtOfAppeals-4thCircuit-SealThe 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday dismissed the emoluments cases filed by Maryland and the District of Columbia against President Donald Trump.  I have long been critical of the filings as advancing largely undefined and unwieldy interpretations of emoluments.  The Fourth Circuit made fast work of the filings and reversed the lower court for embracing attenuated and unsupported theories of standing. Other judges correctly dismissed these claims in the past. Continue reading “Fourth Circuit Dismisses Emoluments Cases Against Trump”

Ocasio-Cortez Accuses Pelosi Of “Persistent Singling Out . . . Women of Color”

440px-Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez,_official_portrait,_116th_Congress220px-nancy_pelosiThe growing tension between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has suddenly exploded into open warfare over race. Ocasio-Cortez has accused Pelosi of attacking her because of her race. Race has been regularly raised by Democrats against President Donald Trump and the Republicans, including Pelosi’s recent attack that Trump wants to “make American white again.” I considered that attack to be inciteful and reckless and beneath the office of the Speaker.  Now she is the subject of the same type of attack. I have often been critical of Pelosi but I do not consider her to be a racist. Yet, this is an example of how it is difficult to confine race-based attacks once you use them for political ends.

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Tweet Misfires: Democrats Use Obama Pictures To Illustrate Unacceptable Trump Policies

Democrats have hit hard on the narrative that President Donald Trump is taking children from parents and holding people in cages. That narrative has largely gone unchallenged in the media despite that fact that the Obama Administration had the same facilities and also separated families. Now, the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee had the ultimate tweet disaster by posting pictures of the objectionable conditions. The pictures turned out to be from the Obama Administration. They deleted the first picture after people noted the problem, but then reportedly posted an additional Obama-era picture.

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Flynn Takes Sudden Turn Against Government In Pending Case

440px-Michael_T_FlynnWhile the headlines have been occupied with the Epstein matter and the other news, there is something curious happening in federal court with Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser.  Flynn was just listed as an unindicted co-conspirator by the Justice Department. That itself is odd since Flynn is a cooperating witness facing sentencing before a fairly hostile federal judge.  Nevertheless, Flynn now says that the government was trying to get him to give false evidence in the the trial of a former business partner, Bijan Kian, who is accused of violating foreign lobbying disclosure laws.  The move by Flynn (following his replacement of counsel) could indicate an “all in” position for a pardon.

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Ambassador Calls Trump “Insecure” . . . Trump Responds By Calling Him “Very Stupid” And Refuses To Ever Speak With Him [Updated]

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedWhen an Ambassador calls you “inept,” “insecure,” and “incompetent,” one would think that you would take efforts to respond in a way that showed you are professional, controlled, and dispassionate.  Yet, after the secret communications of Britain’s ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch, were leaked, Trump went on the attack and declared that Darroch is a “a very stupid guy” and a “pompous fool.”  Moreover, he declared that, because he insulted Trump, no one in the Administration would deal with the representative of one of our oldest and closest allies.  It is important to note that Darroch is not only widely respected throughout the world as a diplomat but never intended for these comments to be made public. He was sharing his unvarnished views with his government — something that all ambassadors are expected to do. Update: Darroch has now resigned.

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Law Professor: MAGA Hat “Undeniable Symbol Of White Supremacy”

download-3Gonzaga University School of Law Visiting Law Professor Jeffrey Omari has written a column in the ABA Journal that demonstrates the increasingly shrill environment faced by conservative students.  Omari took to the pages of the Journal to recount his almost breathless encounter with a student wearing a “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hat. Most of us are used to students wearing political hats and teeshirts.  I am always happy to see students with such clothing because it shows that they are engaged and passionate regardless of their views. For Omari, the incident was chilling since he declares the MAGA hats worn by many conservatives to be per se racist symbols. Continue reading “Law Professor: MAGA Hat “Undeniable Symbol Of White Supremacy””