Donald Trump’s Attempt to Destroy Press Freedom Is Reminiscent of 1930’s Fascists


Robert Reich | Robert Reich’s Facebook Page | Reader Supported News | May 15, 2016

f Donald Trump’s many fascistic tendencies, his treatment of the media — “disgusting reporters” he calls them – replicates the tactics of demagogues since the 1930s:

1. Banning not just reporters but even publications that have covered him negatively from covering at his public events, while giving campaign credentials to extremist outlets like “Political Cesspool,” a radio show that labels itself “pro-white.”

2. Inciting crowds against the media.Trump regularly whips his crowds into an anti-media frenzy and urges his fans to boo the press pen. Hostile rhetoric toward the press is a staple of his events. “I would never kill them, but I do hate them,” he said of the press in December. “And some of them are such lying, disgusting people.”

3. Throwing reporters out of Trump rallies. Last weekend, Michael Mayo, a columnist for Florida’s Sun-Sentinel, was threatened with arrest if he didn’t leave a Trump rally in West Boca after he entered through the public line and tried to film protesters. The campaign has reportedly begun to intersperse plainclothes security officers amid the crowd to root out anyone who is not a true Trump fan.

4. Using violence against reporters. Two weeks ago, a Secret Service officer watching over the press section choked Time photographer Chris Morris and slammed him to the ground when he tried to venture out of the media pen.

5. Threatening the media with libel. Last month, Trump vowed to make libel laws more punitive against the media if he becomes president. “I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money,” Trump said during a campaign event in Texas.

A free society depends on a free press. Which is why demagogues and fascists like Trump seek to destroy press freedom.

What do you think?

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The Supreme Court Is at Stake: Why the Presidential Election Matters


Judith McDaniel | Truthout | May 15, 2016

The US Supreme Court in Washington, April 4, 2016. (Photo: Zach Gibson / The New York Times)A US Supreme Court for the few or the many? Not voting gives your voice to others to decide. (Photo: Zach Gibson / The New York Times)

 

It is no secret that the makeup of the US Supreme Court will be a major issue as the fall election campaigns unfold. And yet, many voters will choose not to vote. “It’s too much effort. I forgot to register when I moved. My vote won’t matter.”

I’ve heard every excuse, but whatever the reason, not voting gives power to others to make decisions that do in fact affect most of our lives.

Examples? Here are some cases and issues to watch.

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Ghosts of ’68 in Election 2016


Michael Winship | Moyers & Company | Reader Supported News | May 16, 2016

Longtime observers of American politics have noted striking parallels between the unpredictable wartime election of 1968 and the bizarre presidential contest of 2016, another time of war and distress, as Michael Winship recalls.

 

atching the mad, mad, mad, mad world that is the 2016 presidential campaign, I was trying to remember a presidential campaign that was as jaw-dropping, at least in my lifetime, and easily settled on 1968.

For those too young to remember, imagine: As fighting in Vietnam rages on and the Tet Offensive makes us all too aware of the futility of our Southeast Asian military fiasco, Minnesota Sen. Eugene McCarthy decides to run as an antiwar candidate against incumbent President Lyndon Johnson.

Supported by an army of “Clean for Gene” college students knocking on doors and making phone calls, McCarthy does surprisingly well, and then New York Sen. Robert Kennedy gets into the race, too. Johnson makes a surprise announcement that he will not seek a second term in the White House and McCarthy and Kennedy duke it out in the primaries.

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Bangladesh: Man Held Over Murders of LGBT Activists


BBC News | Reader Supported News | May 16, 2016

Police in Bangladesh have arrested a man over the killing last month of a gay rights activist and his friend.

 

he suspect was identified as Shariful Islam Shihab, a former member of the banned Islamic group Harkatul Jihad.

Xulhaz Mannan, the editor of Bangladesh’s first magazine for LGBT people, and fellow activist Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy were killed last month.

Bangladesh has seen a surge in violent attacks against gay activists and other minority groups in recent months.

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Search Warrant Change Sparks Major Backlash From Civil Liberties Advocates


Katie Bo Williams | The Hill | Reader Supported News | May 16, 2016

battle is brewing on Capitol Hill over a seemingly small change to federal hacking powers that critics say will authorize sweeping government surveillance.

Unless Congress moves by December to block the change, judges will be allowed to grant a single warrant for multiple electronic searches in different locations — even when investigators don’t know the physical location of a device.

The fight is being waged against the backdrop of a massive government hack into one of the largest child pornography sites on the dark Web.

A judge in Massachusetts has already thrown out evidence in a case against users of the site, because without the proposed change, U.S. District Judge William Young ruled, the warrant the government used to search users’ computers was invalid.

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Washington’s Military Addiction, and the Ruins Still to Come


Tom Engelhardt | TomDispatch | Reader Supported News | May 16, 2016

Washington’s Military Addiction
And The Ruins Still to Come

here are the news stories that genuinely surprise you, and then there are the ones that you could write in your sleep before they happen. Let me concoct an example for you:

“Top American and European military leaders are weighing options to step up the fight against the Islamic State in the Mideast, including possibly sending more U.S. forces into Iraq, Syria, and Libya, just as Washington confirmed the second American combat casualty in Iraq in as many months.”

Oh wait, that was actually the lead sentence in a May 3rd Washington Times piece by Carlo Muñoz.  Honestly, though, it could have been written anytime in the last few months by just about anyone paying any attention whatsoever, and it surely will prove reusable in the months to come (with casualty figures altered, of course).  The sad truth is that across the Greater Middle East and expanding parts of Africa, a similar set of lines could be written ahead of time about the use of Special Operations forces, drones, advisers, whatever, as could the sorry results of making such moves in [add the name of your country of choice here].

Put another way, in a Washington that seems incapable of doing anything but worshiping at the temple of the U.S. military, global policymaking has become a remarkably mindless military-first process of repetition.  It’s as if, as problems built up in your life, you looked in the closet marked “solutions” and the only thing you could ever see was one hulking, over-armed soldier, whom you obsessively let loose, causing yet more damage.

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No, Hillary Clinton Isn’t a Republican – but the Resemblance Is Striking


Andrew O’Hehir | Salon | Reader Supported News | May 16, 2016

Clinton is a lot closer to Richard Nixon than Trump is, but she’s really a Cold War liberal left behind by history

 

ou don’t have to look far on the American left to find accusations that Hillary Clinton is essentially a Republican, or almost a Republican, or simply too damn close to being a Republican. At least I don’t: I’ve done it myself, very recently, in a throwaway jibe partway through a recent article on the GOP’s spectacular implosion. I was aware, even as I wrote that, that it’s only partly true. If the joke stings, that’s because it cuts closer to the bone than Clinton supporters and Democratic Party loyalists would like. But it’s imprecise at best; even in his harshest criticisms of Clinton, Bernie Sanders has never suggested that she might, y’know, be like that.

Part of the problem is definitional and historical, and maybe even epistemological. What do we mean by “Republican”? A Republican where, and when? In broad strokes of politics and policy, Clinton is a lot closer to the worldview of Richard Nixon — the president who funded Planned Parenthood and proposed a national single-payer healthcare plan — than Donald Trump is. (Less charitably, we could mention Clinton’s recent reference to her good friend Henry Kissinger, one of the moments of 2016 she definitely wishes she could take back.) But the Richard Nixon who got elected in 1968 would not be a remotely viable presidential candidate in today’s GOP, and quite likely would not be a Republican at all.

So no, those things don’t make Hillary Clinton a Republican. Let’s say this all together: She’s a Democrat — a Democrat of a specific vintage and a particular type. At least in her 2016 incarnation, Clinton is an old-school Cold War liberal out of the Scoop Jackson Way-Back Machine, a believer in global American hegemony and engineered American prosperity. (I realize that’s a completely obscure reference to anyone under 45 or so. We’ll get back to it.) Many such Democrats became Republicans after 1980 — in several prominent cases, the Cold War liberals of the 1970s became the George W. Bush neocons of the 2000s — but Clinton didn’t exactly do that, and that’s not my point.

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Action Alert: Tell Warren Buffet to Support Solar Rooftops and Farm Solar


Bold Nebraska

Sign the petition

Victoria —

Warren Buffett’s utilities — along with others across the country — are mounting a coordinated effort to block the astounding growth of small, rooftop solar being installed by homeowners, farmers, ranchers and small businesses. (1)

It’s a cynical effort to eliminate competition for Warren’s own businesses, instead of complementing the investments being made by citizens across the country right now to #ActOnClimate by adding their own clean energy to the grid.

With his tremendous influence and respect in the world business community, Warren Buffett can be a leader and “Oracle” on climate change, by pursuing the new utility business models we need to accelerate our transition to clean energy.

Tell Warren Buffett: Stop blocking the sun.

Click here to sign the petition.

On April 30th at the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Bold Nebraska’s Jane Kleeb joined world-renowned climate scientist Dr. James Hansen and others to advocate for a shareholder resolution and host a Climate Rally outside the meeting.

Update: More than 10% of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders voted YES on the Climate Risk Resolution — a sizable constituency, especially given the fact that Warren himself owns 1/3 of all of Berkshire’s shares and voted them against the resolution. (2)

VIDEO: Watch Jane Kleeb tell Warren Buffett to #ActOnClimate at the Berkshire shareholder meeting.

Watch the video

Next step: We’re urging Warren to #ActOnClimate and stop blocking small rooftop solar. 

Click here and tell Warren Buffett: Stop blocking the sun

Thanks for standing with us to #ActOnClimate.

Jane and the Bold Nebraska team


REFERENCES

1. “Buffett Says He Loves Renewables, So Why Is His Company Trying To Kill Solar Energy?,” ThinkProgress, 3/7/16.

2. “Warren Buffett Faces Pressure to Invest for the Climate, Not Just for Profit,” InsideClimate News, 4/6/16.


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Indicting Hillary


William Boardman | Reader Supported News | May 16, 2016

It’s the server, stupid!

 

t’s not yet clear whether Hillary Clinton will be indicted. It’s not even clear in the broader sense whether Hillary Clinton should be indicted. But it’s crystal clear that, even on the limited amount of credible evidence now available, Hillary Clinton could be indicted. She could be indicted for what might be characterized as privatizing her government office. That, in effect, is what the Secretary of State did when she moved pretty much all her public government communication to a private email server at her home in Chappaqua, New York. That deployment of a private server for a government official is, as far as we know, unprecedented. The public business of the Secretary of State does not belong in anyone’s private domain. It’s a gross violation of sane and honest public policy. And it’s also illegal.

That’s why Hillary Clinton could be indicted. She has committed a unique offense. But how serious is the offense? Until the FBI completes its investigation, including thousands of emails as well as the server, we can’t begin to know what weight to give it legally. Politically, we can infer that the Clinton camp is terrified of any full reckoning, since Clinton and her surrogates have been minimizing and lying about the case from the beginning.

When Bernie Sanders said in an early debate that people were sick and tired of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s “damn emails,” he may well have executed a shrewd and deft bit of political jiu jitsu. First, he framed himself as more interested in substantive issues, rather than political gossip. He surely knew that, if an email of actual importance turned up, the case would take on a well-deserved life of its own. Meanwhile he could take the high road, ignoring mere peccadillos. And quite possibly, Sanders understood even then that the core issue was the server, not the emails, and that the FBI under James Comey was a good bet to carry out a thorough and honorable investigation. Sanders successfully took a principled position on the “damn emails,” while knowing that all he had to do was wait to make the move a win-win for him (if that’s the way it would turn out, with nothing to lose if it didn’t).

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NSA helped with Gitmo interrogations, Snowden reveals


 

RT America | May 16, 2016

The NSA participated in Guantanamo Bay interrogations, while the US military took part in a rendition from Bosnia, newly released leaks by whistleblower Edward Snowden show. A decade’s worth of NSA newsletters will be published over the coming months. For more on this, RT America’s Simone Del Rosario is joined by Alexey Yaroshevsky.

Find RT America in your area: http://rt.com/where-to-watch/
Or watch us online: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/