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Trump’s Witch-Hunt

Michael Winship

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What a petty, venal, corrupt and foul thing it is. More media-generated homunculus than man, every day, Donald Trump behaves more and more like the cornered animal desperately trying to save itself by viciously biting in every direction, pulling out every nasty trick that has worked for him before. But now he gnashes his teeth on a global stage so vast that the pettiness of his vindictiveness is unconcealed, cast in a spotlight that diminishes every American.

With last week’s firing of Rex Tillerson and the dismissal of Andrew McCabe as deputy director of the FBI just hours before he was eligible for his pension after 21 years of service, the president once again demonstrated that as the Mueller investigation seems to get closer to a truth he does not want revealed, there is no bottom to the well of deception, posturing, vengefulness—and fear— that motivates his actions. Trump’s is the real witch-hunt.

Yes, it’s important that we soon see the inspector general’s report that was used to justify McCabe’s ouster, but to follow that character assassination Friday night with a Trump tweet celebrating the sacking as “a great day for Democracy” is a cruelly ironic subversion of our founding principles of liberty and justice.

Ironic, too, that this McCabe madness and that first of a new fusillade of dumb and desperate weekend tweets deliberately aimed at undermining Mueller’s probe should come down on the very day we marked the contributions of two politicians who dedicated their lives not to avarice and self-aggrandizement but to public service.

March 16 was the 50th anniversary of the day Robert F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. It was a controversial decision; as the Vietnam conflict raged on, Gene McCarthy had emerged as the leading antiwar Democrat challenging Lyndon Johnson’s re-election and Kennedy was accused of opportunism, of using McCarthy’s bid to test the waters for his own race.

Those old enough to recall 1968 remember it as a year like no other. The campaign for the White House was a cauldron of roiling drama and crisis. Kennedy was not running solely on his charisma and the family name; nor was he a one-issue candidate. He spoke out in opposition to the Vietnam War but consistently and passionately against poverty and social injustice as well. Here’s a little of what Kennedy said in a speech just two days after he declared he was running:

“… The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.

“It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

“And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”

Try to imagine Donald Trump or his pals saying any of that and you’ll realize just how far our republic has fallen. Right after you recover from a fit of bitter laughter.

Friday also was the day we lost Rep. Louise Slaughter, the western New York congresswoman who was the oldest sitting member of the House. She served for nearly 32 years.
Here’s how Harrison Smith in The Washington Post described her: “The daughter of a blacksmith in a Kentucky coal mine, Rep. Slaughter traced her lineage to Daniel Boone and attacked her political opponents with a marksman’s accuracy and, not infrequently, a disarming grin.”

She was a microbiologist who moved to New York State with her husband in the 1950s. A local fight over a stand of beech-maple trees drew her to elected office, serving in county and state legislatures and then Congress. Slaughter was the first woman to chair the powerful House Rules Committee. She co-sponsored the 1994 Violence against Women Act, defended the right to choose, fought to get the Senate to hear Anita Hill’s testimony against Clarence Thomas’ nomination to the Supreme Court, co-chaired the Congressional Arts Caucus and wrote the STOCK Act to bar members of Congress from insider trading.

I was proud to be her friend. Louise Slaughter and I sat next to each other at a dinner in Rochester, NY, eight years ago and bonded over politics and a shared love for the song lyrics of Johnny Mercer. We would talk on the phone from time to time and the day she died I found a recent voicemail in which she cheerfully chatted about being up to her neck in work and pushing back against the unending Republican attempts to kill Obamacare, a bill she had helped advance through the House.

Both Louise Slaughter and Bobby Kennedy represented New York State on Capitol Hill but their concern was for the whole nation. They shared a commitment to compassion, fairness and equal rights that transcended payoffs, privilege and bullying egos. They recognized that country and citizenship should come first and that elections are supposed to be about being chosen to speak for the best interests of the people.

There’s speculation that the latest Trump rant was set off by special counsel Mueller’s subpoena of Trump corporate records and an initial list of questions he has submitted for the president to answer. They doubtless are just the beginning of queries intended to determine whether our chief executive has obstructed justice or colluded with Russia in election tampering, whether he chose profit and self-interest over patriotism and loyalty.

Compare Trump to Kennedy and Slaughter and it makes you want to weep. And then pray.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Michael Winship, senior writing fellow at Demos and president of the Writers Guild of America-East, was senior writer for Moyers & Company and Bill Moyers’ Journal and is senior writer of BillMoyers.com.

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Trump

Google Has to Explain to Congress Why Trump’s Face Appears with Search for “Idiot.”

Polipace Staff

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The word “idiot” quickly became the most searched term on Google after Democratic congresswoman Zoe Lofgren pointed out results from the search reveal pictures of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Lofgren posed the question to Google CEO Sundar Pichai during a congressional hearing on Tuesday about potential bias among the website’s searches.

“If you Google the word ‘idiot’ under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up. I just did that. How would that happen?” she asked.

Google had to respond by explaining the internet and how search works.

“We take the keyword and match it against their pages and rank them based on over 200 signals — things like relevance, freshness, popularity, how other people are using it,” he testified. “Based on that, at any given time, we try to rank and find the best search results for that query.”

The word “idiot” was the most-searched term on Tuesday with more than 1 million searches, according to Google Trends.

Trump’s face also appears on Google image searches for “stupid” and “racist.”

In the early 2000s, the term “miserable failure” revealed images of Former President George W. Bush and documentary filmmaker Michael Moore.

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Ted Cruz Delegate and Texas GOP Leader Declares He’s a White Nationalist

Polipace Staff

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An influencial member of the Texas Republican Party’s 2018 platform committee proudly declared himself a racist “white nationalist,” according to The Texas Observer.

Ray Myers, 74, is very familiar with the political process. After serving as a delegate for Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) presidential campaign, the GOP operative worked as a volunteer for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Myers, has been involved in Republican politics for decades, The Texas Observerreports. He told Empower Texans that “the pivotal political moment came when Obama came on the scene. I knew immediately that America was in trouble.”

On November 27, 2018, the platform committee member wrote on Facebook, “Damn right, I’m a WHITE NATIONALIST and very proud of it.”

“I am (white) Anglo, and I’m very proud of it, just like Black people and brown people are proud of their race,” Myers told the Observer. “And white nationalist, all that means is America first. That’s exactly what that means. That’s where the president’s at. That’s where I’m at, and that’s where every solid patriotic American is. It doesn’t have anything to do with race or anything else.”

Myers blamed the media rather than history for the term’s current negative connotations and asked, “Is there anything wrong with saying they’re Black and proud? Is there anything wrong with being an American Indian and saying that we’re red and proud?

According to The Hill, Myers has been unafraid to use the BLM movement to support his pro-white views.

“I mean, just like Black Lives Matter, white lives matter, too,” Myers has said. “We’re all in the same melting pot. Now, why can’t we say, as Anglos, that we’re proud?”

J.T. Edwards, a Black member of State Republican Executive Committee, denounced Myers’ remarks shortly after they were posted. However, he does not think Myers’ opinions represent any larger opinions within the party.

“To have so-called white nationalists in our party is basically an abomination of the very foundations of the Republican Party,” Edwards said. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Mr. Myers’ position is part of the problem.”

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Federal Agents Raid Trump Tax Attorney

Polipace Staff

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Federal agents were seen at Chicago Ald. Ed Burke’s office at City Hall Thursday morning. The glass doors to Burke’s office were papered over, and the purpose of the visit was unclear, although Ed Burke has done considerable work for President Donald Trump taxes “over the last 12 years.”

According to Rawstory, “Although it is unclear whether the raid was related to President Donald Trump, the raid on Burke’s office is sure to raise eyebrows given that it came on the same day that Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about Trump Tower Moscow.”

Representatives for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. attorney’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Burke is both the alderman and the Democratic committeeman for the 14th Ward on the Southwest Side, as well as the longest-serving City Council member in Chicago history, first elected in 1969.

Widely considered to be one of the most powerful politicians in Chicago, Burke chairs the council’s Finance Committee.

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