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Trump: I won’t attend WH Correspondents...

Saturday February 25th, 2017 10:05:24 PM
Donald Trump has tweeted that he will not be attending the White House Correspondents dinner this year. NBC’s Monica Alba reports.

Cecile Richards: Ryan needs to pay...

Saturday February 25th, 2017 09:46:25 PM
NBC’s Beth Fouhy speaks to Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards about the threats against Planned Parenthood specifically by Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump.

WHCA President responds to banning at WH...

Saturday February 25th, 2017 08:54:01 PM
Reuters’ White House Correspondent and president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, Jeff Mason, talks to MSNBC’s Richard Lui about the news that multiple media outlets were banned from the White House press briefing on Friday.

Tom Perez: When unions succeed, America...

Saturday February 25th, 2017 08:32:35 PM
Tom Perez makes remarks after being selected as the DNC Chairman.

DNC selects Tom Perez as new chair

Saturday February 25th, 2017 08:25:09 PM
Democrats have selected former labor secretary, Tom Perez, as the new DNC chair and moves to elect Rep. Keith Ellison as the Deputy DNC Chair.

Pete Buttigieg drops out of DNC race

Saturday February 25th, 2017 07:00:53 PM
As Democrats are meeting to pick the new party’s leader, Indiana Mayor, Pete Buttigieg, has dropped out of the race.

Age is nothing but a number

Saturday February 25th, 2017 06:53:32 PM
22-year-old Michigan State student, intern for Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, and mayoral candidate for Detroit, Myya Jones, discusses how she is attempting be to an African American Pioneer.

Rep. Lance weighs in on rowdy town halls

Saturday February 25th, 2017 06:46:03 PM
New Jersey Congressman, Leonard Lance, analyses the town hall rallies and discusses what concerns the protesters have.

How people are fighting against the Trump...

Saturday February 25th, 2017 06:37:36 PM
Co-Founder of “Stand Up Republic," Mindy Finn discusses what ways her organization is looking to fight against the Trump Administration in the first 100-days.

The effects of social media on democracy

Saturday February 25th, 2017 05:53:10 PM
Harvard Law Professor and author of “Hashtag Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media,” Cass Sunstein discusses how the dependence on social media for information could be damaging to democracy.


Kansas Shooting Victim Says Gunman Asked If He Was In US Illegally

Saturday February 25th, 2017 08:10:03 PM
Alok Madasani, one of the victims of a triple shooting in Kansas that some witnesses described as racially motivated, said on Friday that the gunman asked him if he was in the United States illegally and what type of visa he had. "He asked us what visa are we currently on and whether we are staying here illegally," Madasani told the New York Times by phone.He and Srinivas Kuchibhotla, both victims of the shooting, were immigrants from India who were educated in the United States and legally worked for Garmin in Olathe, Kansas, according to the New York Times."We didn’t react," Madasani said of the remarks. "People do stupid things all the time. This guy took it to the next level."Madasani and Kuchibhotla were both transported to area hospitals after the shooting, where Kuchibhotla later died. Per the New York Times, Madasani was released and said he is "doing much better, but it’s not over yet."Adam Purinton, a 51-year-old resident of Olathe, Kansas, was arrested Thursday in connection with the shooting and charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder.Purinton allegedly shouted "get out of my country" before opening fire at a bar on Wednesday night, and a bartender said that he used "racial slurs" before the shooting.He later told a bartender that he had killed two Middle Eastern men, according to a Thursday report by the Kansas City Star.White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Friday that it was "absurd" to suggest any connection between President Donald Trump's rhetoric and the shooting.But Sunayana Dumala, Kuchibhotla's widow, said on Friday that she needs "an answer from the government" about how it plans to stop violence.“I have a question in my mind: Do we belong?” she said at a news conference. "What are they going to do to stop this hate crime?”

Top Senate Intel Dem: 'Grave Concerns' About Independence Of Russia Probe

Saturday February 25th, 2017 07:10:24 PM
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), vice chairman of the of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Friday that he has "grave concerns" about the independence of an investigation into ties between President Donald Trump's top aides and Russia. "I have seen the press reports suggesting that the White House enlisted senior members of the intelligence community and Congress to counter allegations regarding issues that are currently under SSCI investigation," Warner wrote in a statement.CNN reported on Thursday that the FBI had refused a request from White House chief of staff Reince Priebus to dispute a story saying that Trump's aides were in contact with Russian officials before the election.Senior administration officials insisted on Friday that FBI officials in fact came to Priebus to say the reporting was inaccurate. White House press secretary Sean Spicer argued later the same day that Priebus had no choice but to push the FBI to publicly dispute the reports."I don't know what else we were supposed to do," he said.Warner said in his statement that he expressed "grave concerns" on the matter to CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee."I will not accept any process that is undermined by political interference," Warner said. "If SSCI cannot properly conduct an independent investigation, I will support empowering whoever can do it right."

Wife Of Man Killed In Kansas Shooting: 'I Need An Answer From The Government'

Saturday February 25th, 2017 06:07:44 PM
The widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a victim of a triple shooting in Kansas that some witnesses described as racially motivated, said on Friday that she needs "an answer from the government" about how it plans to stop such violence. “I have a question in my mind: Do we belong?” Sunayana Dumala said at a news conference on Friday, as quoted by the Kansas City Star.She said that she often asked Kuchibhotla if they were doing "the right thing" by staying in the United States."But he always assured me that only good things happen to good people," Dumala said.“I need an answer from the government," she said. "What are they going to do to stop this hate crime?”White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Friday that it was "absurd" to suggest any connection between President Donald Trump's rhetoric and the shooting."Any loss of life is tragic but I'm not going to get into that kind of — to suggest that there's any correlation I think is a bit absurd," he told reporters during a press gaggle. "I'm not going to get any further than that."Adam Purinton, a 51-year-old resident of Olathe, Kansas, was arrested on Thursday in connection with the shooting and charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder.He allegedly shouted "get out of my country" before opening fire at a bar on Wednesday night. A bartender said that Purinton used "racial slurs" before he opened fire.Purinton later told a bartender that he had killed two Middle Eastern men, according to a Thursday report by the Kansas City Star.Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, immigrants from India, were among the three men transported to area hospitals after the shooting, where Kuchibhotla later died.

WSJ: White House Complained Report On Travel Ban Not What Trump 'Asked For'

Saturday February 25th, 2017 05:17:07 PM
White House officials said a report disputing the threat posed by travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries included in President Donald Trump's executive order was "not the intelligence assessment the president asked for," according to a report published Saturday by the Wall Street Journal. “The President asked for an intelligence assessment. This is not the intelligence assessment the President asked for,” an unnamed senior administration official said as quoted in the Wall Street Journal's report.Unnamed officials said that the report ignored information that supports the travel ban, per the report, and that they have not yet been presented with the report they requested.The Associated Press reported on Friday that it had obtained a draft document of the report, which concluded that citizenship of the countries included in Trump's ban is an "unlikely indicator" of terrorism threat level.When Trump announced the now-blocked ban in January, however, he specifically cited "foreign terrorist entry" as one threat it would eliminate.“We all know what that means,” he said.Gillian M. Christensen, acting press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, told the Wall Street Journal that the dispute over the report was on the basis of "sources and quality, not politics."Neither the White House nor the Department of Homeland Security immediately responded to TPM's requests for comment.

Never Tweet: Pence Mixes Up Nicaraguan, Israeli Flags In Deleted Posts

Saturday February 25th, 2017 03:45:04 PM
In a pair of quickly deleted tweets Friday afternoon, Vice President Mike Pence expressed support for Israel — by using the Nicaraguan flag emoji. Both posts — one expressing "support for the Jewish people" and another with a link to Pence's remarks to the Republican Jewish Coalition — were deleted but remain accessible via the Internet Archive.While the Nicaraguan and Israeli flags both feature horizontal blue stripes on a white background, the former features the Nicaraguan coat of arms in the middle, while the latter features a Star of David.Twitter users were quick to poke fun at the mix-up.Someone please tell the Pence social media team that's the flag of Nicaragua, not Israel pic.twitter.com/6KpfsCOCV6— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) February 25, 2017Betsy Devos must've taught Mike Pence about geography bc that's definitely the flag for Nicaragua, not Israel. pic.twitter.com/gKvAyXyKHN— nañi (@pettyblackgirI) February 25, 2017Everybody catch that VP Mike Pence doesn't know what the Israeli flag looks like? #Nicaragua pic.twitter.com/TlLKn7oApX— Mairav Zonszein (@MairavZ) February 25, 2017Easy mistake I guess -- 🇳🇮 v 🇮🇱. But I don't think the @VP was saying he was standing with Nicaragua— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 25, 2017It's a false flag operation. https://t.co/r0ra75dARm— Frank Polek (@fpolek) February 25, 2017🇳🇮 FALSE 🇳🇮 FLAG 🇳🇮— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) February 25, 2017

NYT: New National Security Adviser Breaks With Trump On Views Of Islam

Saturday February 25th, 2017 03:08:05 PM
President Donald Trump's newly-minted National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Thursday that terrorists are "un-Islamic," according to a report published Friday by the New York Times, in a break from Trump's views. McMaster told National Security Council staff in a meeting that the label "radical Islamic terrorism" is not helpful and that terrorists are "un-Islamic," the New York Times reported, citing unnamed sources who were present.Trump has repeatedly painted Islam with a broad brush as a source of "hatred" and condemned other politicians for refusing to use the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism."In the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015, Trump floated creating a database for Muslim Americans.Trump refused in the same month to say whether he believed Islam was an inherently violent religion, but said "there’s something going on there.""There’s a lot of hatred coming out of at least a big part of it," he said. "You see the hatred. We see it every day."A day after all three Democratic presidential candidates eschewed the use of the term "radical Islam" in a primary debate, Trump took to Twitter to decry their semantics.When will President Obama issue the words RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM? He can't say it, and unless he will, the problem will not be solved!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2015A month later, he announced his support for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."In March 2016, Trump called Islam a source of "tremendous hatred."McMaster's predecessor, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, also called Islam a “malignant cancer” and a “sick” ideology.During his first week in office, Trump signed an executive order to temporarily bar visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.While members of his administration claimed the order was not formulated on a "religious basis," that was incorrect, as the order stipulated that Christians and other members of minority religions be given priority over Muslims.

White House: 'Absurd' To Suggest KS Shooting Linked To Trump's Rhetoric

Saturday February 25th, 2017 02:39:16 PM
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Friday that it was "absurd" to suggest any connection between President Donald Trump's rhetoric and a triple shooting in Kansas that some witnesses described as racially motivated. "Any loss of life is tragic but I'm not going to get into that kind of — to suggest that there's any correlation I think is a bit absurd, so I'm not going to get any further than that," Spicer told reporters during a press gaggle recorded by the Washington Post.Adam Purinton, a 51-year-old resident of Olathe, Kansas, was arrested on Thursday in connection with a triple shooting the night before.He allegedly shouted "get out of my country" before opening fire on Wednesday and later told a bartender that he had killed two Middle Eastern men, according to a report by the Kansas City Star.A bartender at the bar where the shooting took place said that Purinton used "racial slurs" before he opened fire.Alok Madasani and Srinivas Kuchibhotla, immigrants from India, were among the three men wounded and transported to area hospitals, where Kuchibhotla later died.Purinton was charged on Thursday with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

There's More to the Michael Cohen Story

Saturday February 25th, 2017 05:15:04 AM
I was intrigued to learn a few days ago that President Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, once founded an ethanol business in Ukraine. It's referred to as a family business. So presumably he set it up with relatives of his wife, who is Ukrainian. This isn't any big scoop I uncovered with my masterly reporting skills. It's referenced right in one of the biggest stories of the last week in The New York Times, the one about Cohen, Felix Sater and Andrii V. Artemenko, the renegade Ukrainian MP who pitched Cohen (and, he hoped, Mike Flynn and Donald Trump) on his 'peace plan' for Russia and Ukraine and who is now being investigated by the government of Ukraine for treason. Now, to be clear, there's nothing wrong or suspicious about setting up a business in the energy sector in Ukraine. But it did make me see Cohen's role in all of this in something of a new light. In most of the coverage of Cohen's not infrequent appearances in the Russia/Trump saga, he is presented as a blunt-affect New York City lawyer who seldom makes it east of Queens. That's one of the things that has always made his cameos in these stories a bit odd and hard to figure. But if he's set up a family business in Ukraine, it seems like this terrain and the cast of characters and politics might not be so foreign to him after all.Then there are some more details. This article in the English language section of the Urkainian news website Hromadske International has more details. Now, before discussing this I should say that I always try to be cautious dipping into the press of a country I don't know in some detail. It's hard to know the difference between The New York Times and the National Enquirer without your linguistic and cultural-political bearings. However, in this case I spoke to a good friend who is part of the Ukrainian-American community. She is familiar with the publication and the people who run it. So while I cannot specifically confirm the details of this article, I'm confident it is a legitimate publication. The article I'm referencing is an English translation of the original in Ukrainian. The usage is a little rough in places. But it's clear enough. In any case, the article is a backgrounder on Artemenko, pivoting off the original story in the Times. It goes into various details about Artemenko's background. Then it gets to Cohen. In an interview at Strana.ua, he says that while Sater is a recent acquaintance, he's known Cohen since back when Cohen was setting up the ethanol business in Ukraine. So at least according to to Artemenko, he and Cohen have known each other for some time. This wasn't just a courtesy meeting Cohen took with a stranger as a favor to Sater.And then there's this. Artemenko told Strana.ua that this wasn't the first time they'd talked about the "peace plan." He says that he was discussing the peace plan with Cohen and Sater “at the time of the primaries, when no one believed that Trump would even be nominated.” So at least according to Artemenko, discussions about the "peace plan" go back to the first half of 2016. That's interesting.I should note this caution. Artemenko seems like a pretty shady character, based on this article and the other write-ups over recent days. He could certainly be lying about his contacts with Cohen before February 2017 for any number of reasons. This whole story is a swirl of confusion, lies and misinformation. So this isn't just a perfunctory caveat. It's a real possibility. But given the demonstrable lack of credibility of Cohen and the rest of the players on the Trump side, I see no reason to dismiss his claims out of hand. After all, in a period of 48 hours Cohen gave four different versions of his side of the story about this meeting, successively dismissing each of his previous stories as "fake news."We should ask Artemenko for more details and ask Cohen whether these new details are true. It has always struck me as highly odd that, in the current climate of suspicion over Russia's ties to Trump, Cohen would take that moment to meet with Sater - a former business associate who Trump now claims he wouldn't recognize - and a Ukrainian with a pro-Russian peace plan. It makes a bit more sense if the relationship goes back before this year.We shouldn't take any of this at face value. But it seems like there's a lot more here than one meeting. More reporting on this is required.

We Are Hiring in New York

Friday February 24th, 2017 10:50:24 PM
I have mentioned a few times that we are currently hiring three new investigative reporter positions in our DC (2) and New York (1) offices. I wanted to let you know that we are also currently hiring for two existing positions in our New York office: one Newswriter (junior reporter position) and Social Media Editor. We're looking to fill these positions quickly. See the listings for both positions after the jump. TPM is hiring a Newswriter to work in our New York City office. This is an entry level, junior editorial position writing primarily for TPM's LiveWire.TPMLivewire is the tip of the TPM breaking news spear, covering the news in real time using a combination of aggregation and original reporting to keep readers up to speed on the latest developments in TPM's coverage areas.The Newswriter will be constantly monitoring a wide array of incoming news channels -- including TV, online, social media -- in search of significant developments in our coverage areas and early emerging stories of national significance. The stories at Livewire are newsworthy, zany, provocative -- and preferably a combination of all three.Candidates must be deeply conversant with the news world, be ready to work at the fast-paced metabolism of a new media news organization. A solid grasp of contemporary U.S. politics, a real familiarity with TPM, and solid news judgment are each a must.Competitive salary, health insurance coverage, 401(k), three weeks paid vacation per year. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.To apply, send a resume and cover letter to our jobs email address jobs (at) talkingpointsmemo.com. Include the subject line: "Job App: NY Newswriter."**** **** ****TPM is hiring a Social Media Editor to work in our New York City office. This is an entry level, junior editorial position. The Social Media Editor will a) lead our social media efforts; b) interact with readers in various formats including our members’ forum, newsletters, email and more; c) pitch in on writing for TPM's Livewire. TPMLivewire is the tip of the TPM breaking news spear, covering the news in real time using a combination of aggregation and original reporting to keep readers up to speed on the latest developments in TPM's coverage areas.The Social Media Editor will be our primary voice finding new readers for unique TPM content and deepening our relationship with our core readership.Candidates must be deeply conversant with the news world, be ready to work at the fast-paced metabolism of a new media news organization. A solid grasp of contemporary U.S. politics, a real familiarity with TPM, and solid news judgment are each a must. The job is fast paced and sometimes frenetic, especially when news breaks. Multitasking should be your default style. The perfect candidate will be able to translate a love of politics into a social media message that fits TPM’s voice.In addition to interacting with TPM’s loyal and vociferous readers, the Social Media Editor will be charged with working with TPM’s editorial staff to keep it informed of new developments, strategies and best practices in social media.Applicants should have a minimum of one year's relevant journalism experience or substantial experience in college journalism.Competitive salary, health insurance coverage, 401(k), three weeks paid vacation per year. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. To apply, send a resume and cover letter to jobs (at) talkingpointsmemo.com. Include the subject line: "Job App: Social Media Editor."

Poll: Most Want Congress To Investigate Trump Campaign's Russia Ties

Friday February 24th, 2017 10:36:16 PM
A majority of Americans want Congress to investigate both reported contact between Russian nationals and members of the Trump campaign, and Russian interference in the election generally. According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Friday, conducted from Feb. 18-22, 53 percent of the American public wants Congress to investigate reported communications between Russia and Trump’s campaign team, compared to 25 percent who disagree who say Congress shouldn’t investigate, and 21 percent who have no opinion. Similarly, 54 percent of Americans believe Congress should investigate Russian interference in election, while 29 percent disagree and 17 percent have no opinion. Democrats supported both investigations, when asked, by more than 80 percent. Independents supported both investigations by more than 50 percent. Republicans opposed both investigations by at least a plurality: Forty-six percent were against investigating the Trump campaign’s reported Russian contacts, and 54 percent were against investigating Russian interference in the election. Last week, the New York Times and CNN reported that members of Trump’s campaign had repeated contact with Russian nationals, including members of the Russian intelligence community. Trump affiliates named in the Times’ articles have all denied any wrongdoing. Multiple congressional committees have announced, and some have begun, investigations into the questions polled by NBC News/Wall Street Journal.The Senate Intelligence Committee announced in January that it would investigate “the scope of Russian intelligence activities impacting the United States.” Since the ouster of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who lied to the Vice President about his pre-inaugural discussion of sanctions with the Russian ambassador, Republicans on the committee have said they will request that he answer questions as part of the investigation.NBC News/Wall Street Journal conducted 1000 interviews of adults. The poll has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

Rep. King: ‘Screaming’ Town Hall Protesters ‘Diminish Democracy'

Friday February 24th, 2017 10:04:54 PM
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said Thursday that he had decided not to hold town halls with his constituents because he thought such events turned “into a screaming session." Asked if angry protesters at town halls were being paid, King said he thought the town hall attendees were “legitimate,” but that yelling at the events “diminishes democracy.”“There are people who are just angry, they're angry that Trump won, that Hillary lost. There's others who are being, I guess, egged on, if you will. So I'm assuming that they're all legitimate, but to me it just does not serve a purpose. It really diminishes democracy if you're gonna show up at a meeting to just scream and yell,” he told AM970’s Joe Piscopo Thursday, in an interview surfaced by CNN."In my case, I am not having these town hall meetings because to me all they do is just turn into a screaming session," he said.King said that, instead of town halls, he had appeared on “every” national television show and was a guest on radio shows. He also said he was meeting with people in his office."To try to explain that, when you're in front of a room and everyone is screaming and yelling, makes no sense, and really trivializes democracy," King said, referring to congressional policy debates. "I'm gonna do a telephone town hall, where people can call in. But to me, to turn this into a spectacle – and I'm against it on either side.”

Obama's WH Photographer Takes Another Jab At Trump Admin On Instagram

Friday February 24th, 2017 09:33:15 PM
Former White House photographer Pete Souza continued with his subtle digs at President Donald Trump Friday with an Instagram caption pointing out the outlets that the White House left out from a press gaggle. Souza posted a photo on Instagram of a 2010 press conference with Obama. Along with a typical caption he added a sly nod to the day's events. "Waiting with press secretary Robert Gibbs, right, for the start of a press conference in 2010," the post reads. "The New York Times, CNN and Politico were of course in attendance."Souza was referencing the White House denying several news outlets from a press gaggle on Friday, including the New York Times, CNN and Politico. This isn't the first time Souza has taken jabs at Trump in a subtle fashion. He posted some pointed images from his time at the White House which seemed to reference significant events during Trump's first few weeks in office.

Mystery Solved

Friday February 24th, 2017 09:22:08 PM
We've gotten to the bottom of that rather mysterious outbreak of Russophilia at CPAC where a bunch of feral young Trumpers starting waving Russian flags with the name "Trump" emblazoned on them with chants of "USA, USA!". It was masterful trolling by some progressive activists who pranked the Trumpers.

GOP Rep.: I've Never Seen Professional Town Hall Protesters

Friday February 24th, 2017 09:15:41 PM
A Republican congressman from New Jersey said Friday that the attendees at a town hall he held Wednesday were concerned constituents, not paid protesters. “Not to my knowledge. This is the 41st in-person town hall meeting I've held, and I’ve never experienced paid protesters, and I don't think that was true the other night,” Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) told Fox News’ Shepard Smith, after Smith asked him if he thought attendees protesting him and President Trump at the town hall were paid. “It's important to reach out to constituents, to hear from them, and I think it's important for my constituents to hear from me,” Lance said. “Perhaps a majority in the audience were not those who had voted for me previously. But I try to represent everybody, Shep. Not only Republicans and independents but Democrats as well.” WNYC reported Thursday that Lance was the only Republican in New Jersey to hold a town hall this week.White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in early February that “protesting has become a profession now.” Responding Wednesday morning to rowdy town hall events around the country, Spicer blamed the commotion on a “professional protester manufactured base.”President Trump has said angry constituents are organized by “liberal activists.” The so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2017And Jim DeMint, the former South Carolina senator and current president of the Heritage Foundation, said Tuesday that protesters were being “bused around” by “well-financed” interests.

Activists Prank CPAC Attendees Into Waving Russian Flags At Trump

Saturday February 25th, 2017 12:00:09 AM
NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND—When President Donald Trump took the stage Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, he was greeted with cheers, chants of "USA," and dozens of Russian flags. Two young, progressive activists from DC, Jason Charter and Ryan Clayton with the group Americans Take Action, purchased tickets to the conference, and handed out nearly 1,000 flags to attendees as a prank. After they were thrown out of the conference, they told TPM they wanted to "shed light on an important issue"—namely, the drip of revelations of backchannel communications between the Russian government and the Trump campaign—and allow people to "get a laugh out of their day." Charter, 22, told TPM by phone that he and Clayton organized the prank in order to "honor Trump's relationship with Putin." He said almost no one at CPAC seemed to realize the flag he handed them bore the horizontal red, white, and blue stripes of the Russian Federation underneath Trump's name. "I asked people if they wanted a Trump flag and they took it," Charter said. "Many Trump supporters were proudly waving their Russian Trump flag." "I think it says a lot about Donald Trump's base and their education level," he added. "I don't want to insult anyone, but I think you should know what the Russian flag is. They are one of the world's major powers, and it's a pretty easily recognized flag." CPAC staff quickly confiscated the flags, but not before the embarrassing image went viral on social media.Crowd at CPAC waving these little pro-Trump flags that look exactly like the Russian flag. Staffers quickly come around to confiscate them. pic.twitter.com/YhPpkwFCNc— Peter Hamby (@PeterHamby) February 24, 2017In an additional protest, Charter got to his feet while Trump was speaking and yelled, "Fascist!" He and Clayton were removed from the premises by security and told they were barred from returning. CPAC communications director Ian Walters declined to comment to TPM on the flag incident or the removal of the two pranksters. Charter, who also organized protests on Inauguration Day that involved shouting passages from the Constitution during Trump's first speech as commander in chief, said he hoped the action pushes Republicans to pay more attention to lingering questions about Trump and former national security adviser Mike Flynn's conversations with the Russian government. "If Hillary Clinton's senior advisor had to resign due to connections with, say, Chinese diplomats, and had conversations off the record, there would be a major investigation going on," Charter said.

Cowardice and Freedom

Friday February 24th, 2017 08:19:06 PM
You've probably seen that today the White House held a daily gaggle (an informal, off-camera Q&A) in which only a few select news outlets - including Breitbart, The Washington Times and One America Network - were allowed to attend. CNN, NYT, LAT, Politico and apparently others were barred. In other words, two shlock 'news' outlets and one highly conservative but still legitimate news organization. The places breaking the unwelcome Trump/Russia stories are blocked. CNN is in high dudgeon over this, as are other outlets, which is entirely understandable. But I'd like to make a basic point about how we should see this, how journalists and news organizations should treat this. I think it is both more accurate and more productive to see this as cowardice rather than some sacrilege against journalism. Don't get me wrong. As I wrote a month or so ago in a similar context, it is far preferable to have a President and a White House who believe in democratic and American values. But we don't. It is best to recognize that fact and act accordingly. Whining is never a good look for journalists, for myriad reasons. Not least of which is that it plays into all the tools that authoritarians mobilize against a free press and American values. As I also wrote in that post, the answer to attacks on journalism is always more journalism. The most consequential reporting being done right now isn't happening in the briefings. It's happening with the 'anonymous sources' that President Trump says need to stand before him for retribution. Authoritarianism is inimical to American political culture. It is a sometimes visitor, an annoying relative. But it has never been a welcome visitor or an owner of the national home. This doesn't mean that our history is unblemished. Far from it. To pick only one of the most glaring examples, even after emancipation, for almost a century the American South maintained a political system of democracy for whites and terror-enforced near-rightslessness for blacks. But that doesn't change the continuities of political culture for whites which non-whites and other minority groups have fought for decades and centuries to enter on equal terms. We know what our culture and traditions are. This isn't it.Authoritarians always portray attacks on a free press as a sign of strength when in fact it's sign of cowardice and weakness. Perhaps another way to put it is that weakness and strength have a particular meaning for free people. Fear of free people or violence against their mores is weakness. In our tradition if you fear free society, if you run to toadying sycophants to avoid being challenged, or demand followers toast your every action with superlatives, you're a coward. You're weak. You lack the strength to lead. This isn't Russia. It's not Horthy's Hungary. This is America. This isn't surprising. We got a look yesterday at the mind and driver behind Trumpism, Steve Bannon. Bannon pitches himself as a champion of American 'nationalism', but it is a peculiar nationalism which takes most of its ideas and examples from the toxic and blooded authoritarians of 1930s-era Central and Eastern Europe. It's no accident that we also learned today that Bannon's 'nationalist' intellectual, Sebastian Gorka, was actually involved in forming a far-right political party in Hungary with known anti-Semites as recently as the aughts. So the guy who is going to give us American nationalism was born in Britain, set up shop as a rightist nationalist in Hungary before deciding to show up in America and become a citizen. Are we even sure we're the last stop on his global tour?As I wrote over the weekend, we're in an odd period. The American experiment is a kind of de facto exile, perhaps an internal exile, but an exile still. The good news is that the majority doesn't support Trumpism. But Trumpism has taken possession of the key powers of the state. It will require being aggressively American to beat back Bannon's thuggish practices and contempt for the habits of free people.

CPAC Gets Trumped: Conservative Confab Gets Dramatic Makeover

Saturday February 25th, 2017 04:33:59 PM
NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND–In 2016, Donald Trump canceled his planned speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference amid rumblings of an audience walkout. Several speakers used their time slots that year to bash Trump, and the crowd vigorously booed each mention of his name. A year later, a newly inaugurated President Trump and his staffers, advisers, cabinet members, and allies dominated the event. “By tomorrow, this will be TPAC,” joked White House counselor Kellyanne Conway as she sang her boss’ praises to thousands of attendees. So how does 2017’s TPAC compare to the decades of CPACs that preceded it? ~ In 2015, the last non-election year, the conference hosted nearly 20 members of Congress as speakers. This year, just a small handful made the pilgrimage. ~ The right-wing publication Breitbart, once so on the fringe that they held a rival conference outside of CPAC in 2013 and 2014 called “The Uninvited,” is now a lead sponsor of the official show, and several of its writers and editors spoke on panels and from the main stage.~ Aside from Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Trump’s vanquished Republican rivals are nowhere to be seen.~ You couldn’t hear so much of an echo of the thunderous denunciations of Trump and Trumpism common on the stage in years past. ~ Panels held at previous CPACs focused on Republican outreach to African Americans and Latinos were nowhere to be seen. ~ The small-government, free-market, libertarianism that has dominated the conference—which for years crowned either Ron Paul or Rand Paul winners of the CPAC straw poll—was also glaringly absent. Kellyanne ConwayMany long-time conference attendees, including Brooklyn Tea Party Vice President Cartrell Gore, expressed unease about these changes. “I don’t see the Ron or Rand influence this year,” he lamented. “But it’s alive and well in me.” Gore, a Naval Reserve member who left the Republican Party many years ago when it became “too liberal for [his] taste,” became visibly uncomfortable when asked if he is a Trump supporter. “I can’t say that. I want to wait and see what happens. I’m not over-optimistic.” Even some members of CPAC’s leadership broadcast some discomfort about the conference's embrace of Trump. Conference organizer Dan Schneider told the crowd on Thursday: “We are so thankful to be celebrating a president ... who is not named Hillary Clinton.”The conference has been treated to speaker after speaker from the Trump White House and cabinet touting the nascent administration’s agenda. The often rowdy and contrarian crowd dutifully cheered even those policy positions at odds with traditional conservative dogma: scrapping free trade in favor of protectionism, making policy through executive orders, and singling out individual companies for favors and tax breaks. Steve Bannon and Reince PriebusWhen Trump himself spoke on Friday, he faced a sea of red Make America Great Again hats as he attacked the press, declared nationalism the driving theme of his presidency, and smiled uncomfortably through the anti-Hillary Clinton chant of “Lock her up!” “Our victory was a win for conservative values,” he said. “The core conviction of our movement is that we put our own citizens first.”Trump also rewrote his own fraught history with CPAC, saying that he pulled out of speaking in 2016 he was “worried I would be too controversial.” At the time, he said the cancellation was due to his campaign schedule. CPAC communications director Ian Walters insisted to TPM that Trump was merely fulfilling a promise. “When the campaign made the decision at the last minute not to be here, they issued a statement that said, ‘We hope to attend next year as president of the United States.' His appearance today was another example of him keeping the promises he made on the campaign trail.” Last year, CPAC bashed Trump on Twitter for the cancellation, saying it “sends a clear message to conservatives.” But Walters said the conference’s attendees have proven themselves “willing to put aside what happened in 2016 because they’re seeing [Trump] begin to address so many of the important issues that they’ve been talking about for decades.” Many Trump fans in the audience, including Linda Barnes from Centerville, Virginia, had a different take on CPAC’s abrupt about-face. “Everyone gets on the bandwagon with a winner,” she said, rolling her eyes. “It’s like when the football team is doing well and everybody says, ‘I was always a fan.’”Barnes had never attended to CPAC before, telling TPM, “There wasn’t anybody I wanted to see that badly.” This year was different. “I really just wanted to see Trump,” she gushed. “I just felt way more engaged this year.” Genevieve Peters, from Playa del Rey, California, echoed this sentiment, telling TPM that Trump is the “only reason” she attended this year’s CPAC—her first. “I think it’s the Trump Party,” she said. "I wouldn’t be involved in politics if it wasn’t for him, and millions of people wouldn’t be involved either. I don’t call myself a Republican. I call myself a Trumpian.” William Temple, a fixture at Tea Party events for years, at CPAC in 2016Even the man who threatened to lead an anti-Trump walkout at CPAC in 2016 says he has been won over. Dressed in Scottish highlander garb, a yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” draped over his shoulders, 65-year-old William Temple said of Trump: “The man is not a Christian, yet. But he’s got a wonderful vice president sharing the gospel with him all the time, and I’ve seen a change in his behavior.“ Yet despite all the signs of a Trump takeover, CPAC was still CPAC: dominated by young, white students, rattled by controversy, and marked by delightfully weird displays of patriotism. The conference opened with a young teen dressed in black stoically strumming out the National Anthem on an electric guitar as a half-full hall of well-dressed people softly sung along. A few older gentlemen wandered the halls dressed in Revolutionary War garb, feathers streaming from their tricorn hats. A man dressed up as the D.C. swamp President Trump promised to drain shuffled slowly around the conference center. Expanding gun rights and restricting abortion rights were still major themes. But if President Trump has his way, TPAC could last for the next four, or eight, years. “We’ll see you again next year and the year after that,” he promised a cheering crowd. “I’ll make sure we’re here a lot.”

GOP Rep.: O'care Repeal May Not Have Enough Votes After Town Hall Pressure

Friday February 24th, 2017 08:07:57 PM
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) on Thursday warned that some congressional Republicans may no longer have the guts to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act after facing pressure from constituents at town halls this week.Brooks said on WBHP's "The Morning Show with Toni & Gary," first flagged by CNN, that he believes "a significant number" of his colleagues "are being impacted by these kinds of protests and their spine is a little bit weak.""And I don't know if we're going to be able to repeal Obamacare now because these folks who support Obamacare are very active, they're putting pressure on congressmen and there's not a counter-effort to steel the spine of some of these congressmen in tossup districts around the country," he said. Brooks, a member of the House Freedom Caucus who advocates a full repeal of the health care law, worried there may not even be a vote at this point."But this monstrosity needs to be repealed and right now, in my judgment, we don't have the votes in Congress to pass a repeal bill, in part because of what these people are doing," he said.Brooks said that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) doesn't really support a full repeal of the ACA and merely supports amending the law."They’re calling an amendment a repeal in order to deceive the public," Brooks said.The congressman argued that President Donald Trump also does not support a full repeal."Quite frankly, I don't know that this administration supports a full repeal," he said. "To the contrary, the President has expressed support for some of the provisions that are in Obamacare. And if that's the case, if that ends up being the administration's position, then that is not a repeal of Obamacare, that's an amendment of Obamacare."When the host mentioned Trump's support of a provision of the law that lets parents keep their children on their health insurance policies until age 26, Brooks argued that Trump supports other Obamacare provisions, too."Remember when Donald Trump publicly stated during the campaign that he's going to make sure everybody has health insurance?" Brooks asked. "That's Obamacare."Home in their districts this week while Congress is in recess, Republican lawmakers have faced rowdy crowds at town halls as constituents often jeered at them. Quite a few congressional Republicans were faced with pointed questions about plans to repeal and replace the ACA.After a town hall in Iowa on Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) signaled that such heated sentiment from constituents would force Republicans to proceed carefully while developing a plan to replace the health care law.“There’s more of a consensus among Republicans now that you’ve got to be more cautious with what you’re going to do,” he told the Washington Post, referring to repealing and replacing Obamacare. “That didn’t mean much to me in November and December. But it means a lot now.”

NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre Makes Unfounded Claims Against Protesters (VIDEO)

Friday February 24th, 2017 07:47:26 PM
The head of the National Rifle Association on Friday claimed that anti-Donald Trump protesters were paid "$1,500 a week" and that they "spit in the face of Gold Star families." During a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre said anti-Trump protesters don't even know what they stand for, but he claimed that they're paid and they're violent. "The truth is the far left have turned protesting into what seems like a full-time profession. Seriously. You would think that for $1,500 a week they would at least know what they are protesting," LaPierre said. "Half of them can't even tell you. One thing is for sure, we've all seen just how violent they can be. Just look at Inauguration Day. They disguised themselves with black ski masks, they spit in the faces of gold star families. They tomahawk beer bottles and rocks at police, putting multiple police in the hospital. They smashed businesses while customers cowered inside."Though it has been a common refrain from conservatives, Republican lawmakers facing protests at town halls and even the President, there is no evidence that any protesters have been paid. There were incidents of violence during Trump's inauguration, with windows being smashed and 200 people being arrested.LaPierre went on to claim more incidents of violence against Trump supporters, one which happened—a high school girl who said she was beaten up for supporting Trump— and one that TPM could not find any reporting on—a claim that Trump supporters in San Fransisco were beaten, pelted with eggs and had their hats burned. LaPierre said the "nightmare" of the left's violence is just beginning. "Right now, we face a gathering of forces that are willing to use violence against us," he said. "The leftist movement in this country right now is enraged. Among them and behind them are the most radical political elements there are: Anarchists, marxists, communists and the left of the—the rest of the left-wing socialist parade. They hate everything America stands for: Democracy, free market capitalism, representative government, individual freedom. They want to tear down our system and replace it with their collectivist top-down global-government-knows-best-utopia." LaPierre claimed that billionaire George Soros is paying protesters, that crime is on the rise, that gangs are infiltrating the military and law enforcement and that the media "theorized" Trump would be assassinated before Inauguration Day. LaPierre wrapped up by attacking the media and insinuating violence against the "violent left" if it brings "terror" to communities. "It is shameful and it is wrong and so are the media's delivering its lies aimed at destroying our freedom," he said. "Deliberate lies aimed at destroying freedom. At the NRA, that is something we've been dealing with for decades.""Make no mistake, if the violent left brings their terror to our communities, our neighborhoods or into our homes, they will be met with the result and the strength and the full force of American freedom in the hands of the American people, and we will win because we are the majority in this country," LaPierre concluded.Watch below:

WaPo Hits Back: Report Trump Called 'Fake' Led To Flynn's Ouster

Friday February 24th, 2017 06:10:56 PM
The executive editor of the Washington Post on Friday dismissed President Donald Trump’s apparent allegation that the paper had "made up" sources while reporting on the White House. In a statement to the Post's Erik Wemple, executive editor Marty Baron referred to the newspaper's report that led to the ouster of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who discussed sanctions on the phone with Russia’s ambassador to the United States before Trump was inaugurated. Flynn was fired after it came to light that he misrepresented the nature of that call to the vice president.“Everything we published regarding Gen. Flynn was true, as confirmed by subsequent events and on-the-record statements from administration officials themselves,” Baron told Wemple. “The story led directly to the general’s dismissal as national security adviser. Calling press reports fake doesn’t make them so.” The Post's story cited nine unnamed “current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls.”Trump railed against the use of unnamed sources Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, despite the fact that his own administration frequently feeds statements to journalists on condition of anonymity. He accused an unspecified publication of making up sources for a story.“A few days ago I called the fake news the enemy of the people and they are. They are the enemy of the people,” he said. “Because they have no sources, they just make them up when there are none. I saw one story recently where they said nine people have confirmed. There are no nine people. I don't believe there was one or two people. Nine people. And I said, 'give me a break,' because I know the people. I know who they talked to.”


Labor Department Finds Evidence Microsoft Discriminated Against Female Employees

Friday August 5th, 2016 05:28:29 PM Lauren C. Williams
A Labor Department investigation found preliminary evidence of gender discrimination at Microsoft. The post Labor Department Finds Evidence Microsoft Discriminated Against Female Employees appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Looking At Brazil’s Economic Fall From The Top

Friday August 5th, 2016 04:07:43 PM Alejandro Davila Fragoso
In less than a decade Brazil went from miraculous growth to a historic collapse. The post Looking At Brazil’s Economic Fall From The Top appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Scott Walker Is ‘Proud’ Of Gutting University Of Wisconsin Budgets

Friday August 5th, 2016 03:13:24 PM Aaron Rupar
Fact is he has nothing to gloat about. The post Scott Walker Is ‘Proud’ Of Gutting University Of Wisconsin Budgets appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Trump Campaign Circulates Misleading Video Claiming Clinton Promised To Raise Taxes On Middle Class

Friday August 5th, 2016 02:54:26 PM Bryce Covert
Context clues. The post Trump Campaign Circulates Misleading Video Claiming Clinton Promised To Raise Taxes On Middle Class appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Donald Trump Announces Economic Policy Team: 13 Men

Friday August 5th, 2016 02:11:17 PM Josh Israel, Evan Popp
While the list does not include any women, it does include five Steves. The post Donald Trump Announces Economic Policy Team: 13 Men appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Economy Shrugs Off Signs Of Trouble With Strong Job Growth In July

Friday August 5th, 2016 12:30:43 PM Bryce Covert
Analysts had expected 180,000 jobs to be added. The post Economy Shrugs Off Signs Of Trouble With Strong Job Growth In July appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Apple Store Employees Are Diverse, But Their Silicon Valley Co-Workers Lag Behind

Thursday August 4th, 2016 09:07:48 PM Lauren C. Williams
Racial and gender diversity in retail has jumped significantly since 2014. The post Apple Store Employees Are Diverse, But Their Silicon Valley Co-Workers Lag Behind appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The States That Do Nothing To Help Working Parents

Thursday August 4th, 2016 02:50:26 PM Bryce Covert
Many states haven't passed a single law or program that would make life easier for parents. The post The States That Do Nothing To Help Working Parents appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The Brownbacklash Is Finally Here: Kansas Primary Voters Send Conservatives Packing

Wednesday August 3rd, 2016 08:00:58 PM Alan Pyke
Gov. Brownback might finally be facing a revolt from Kansas Republicans. The post The Brownbacklash Is Finally Here: Kansas Primary Voters Send Conservatives Packing appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Student Suspended For Sexual Assault Complaint Argues The College Practiced ‘Anti-Male Bias’

Wednesday August 3rd, 2016 07:37:28 PM Casey Quinlan
This Columbia University student, who was disciplined for sexual assault, is arguing that he is the victim of "anti-male bias." The post Student Suspended For Sexual Assault Complaint Argues The College Practiced ‘Anti-Male Bias’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Why Trump Can Bully Paul Ryan And Get Away With It, In One Chart

Wednesday August 3rd, 2016 02:32:31 PM Ian Millhiser
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) endorsed his party’s racist presidential nominee. Now that nominee has publicly humiliated Ryan by refusing to endorse the speaker back. Sad! The post Why Trump Can Bully Paul Ryan And Get Away With It, In One Chart appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Trump Family Has Very Predictable And Unhelpful Advice On Sexual Harassment

Tuesday August 2nd, 2016 03:28:49 PM Laurel Raymond
The Trump family's reactions place the blame for the harassment squarely on the victim's shoulders. The post Trump Family Has Very Predictable And Unhelpful Advice On Sexual Harassment appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Massachusetts Becomes First State Ever To Ban Employers From Asking For Salary Histories

Monday August 1st, 2016 06:06:54 PM Bryce Covert
The state will be the first in the country to ban employers from asking prospective hires for their salary histories. The post Massachusetts Becomes First State Ever To Ban Employers From Asking For Salary Histories appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The Paid Sick Days Movement Is Already Paying Off. Here’s the Proof.

Monday August 1st, 2016 03:03:53 PM Bryce Covert
New data shows the effort to pass paid sick leave laws is working. The post The Paid Sick Days Movement Is Already Paying Off. Here’s the Proof. appeared first on ThinkProgress.

6 Common Assumptions About ADHD That Aren’t Helping Students

Monday August 1st, 2016 12:15:24 PM Casey Quinlan
Teachers can help students with ADHD if they set aside stereotypes. The post 6 Common Assumptions About ADHD That Aren’t Helping Students appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Analysts Say Clinton Proposals Would Strengthen The Economy

Friday July 29th, 2016 02:52:29 PM Bryce Covert
The economy would benefit in particular from some unique policy platforms Clinton has proposed. The post Analysts Say Clinton Proposals Would Strengthen The Economy appeared first on ThinkProgress.

A Kentucky Politician Called Out Her Daughter’s School For Banning Cornrows And Dreadlocks

Thursday July 28th, 2016 03:18:08 PM Casey Quinlan
A Kentucky politician is unhappy with her daughter's school after she noticed it bans cornrows and dreadlocks. The post A Kentucky Politician Called Out Her Daughter’s School For Banning Cornrows And Dreadlocks appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Debt Collectors’ Harassment Tactics Are Put On Notice For First Time In 40 Years

Thursday July 28th, 2016 02:58:37 PM Bryce Covert
The country's consumer watchdog issued brand new regulations to crack down on debt collectors. The post Debt Collectors’ Harassment Tactics Are Put On Notice For First Time In 40 Years appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Democrats Grapple With The Economic Anxiety Fueling Trump’s Campaign

Thursday July 28th, 2016 12:46:21 AM Alice Ollstein
"There is a widespread alienation and disinterest in politics." The post Democrats Grapple With The Economic Anxiety Fueling Trump’s Campaign appeared first on ThinkProgress.

New York City Is About To Take A Step Toward Ending The School-To-Prison Pipeline

Wednesday July 27th, 2016 08:37:17 PM Evan Popp
The move could help begin to address the school-to-prison pipeline. The post New York City Is About To Take A Step Toward Ending The School-To-Prison Pipeline appeared first on ThinkProgress.


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