Article: Jeff Flake expected to deliver floor speech comparing Trump’s attacks on media to Stalin’s

Jeff Flake expected to deliver floor speech comparing Trump’s attacks on media
to Stalin’s

Aileen Graef
and Liz Turrell, CNN
/Jan 13, 2018

(CNN) — Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona is expected to deliver a floor speech on Wednesday in which he will compare President Donald Trump’s attacks on the news media to the rhetoric of late Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

According to an excerpt of the speech, Flake will criticize the President for calling the news media the “enemy of the people,” calling it “an assault as unprecedented as it is unwarranted.”

“Mr. President, it is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own President uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies,” reads the excerpt. “It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase ‘enemy of the people,’ that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of ‘annihilating such individuals’ who disagreed with the supreme leader.”

Flake’s prepared speech goes on to say the President’s actions should be “a great source of shame” for the Senate and the members of the Republican Party.

“The free press is the despot’s enemy, which makes the free press the guardian of democracy,” Flake’s remarks say. “When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him ‘fake news,’ it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press.”

Flake, who announced he will not be seeking re-election in 2018, has said he will use his remaining time in the Senate to speak out against the President when he believes it is warranted.

A frequent critic of Trump, Flake announced his decision to retire in a Senate speech in October that bemoaned the “coarsening” tenor of politics in the United States and criticized his own party’s “complicity” with Trump’s behavior.

The Arizona Republican has said he doesn’t have any formal plans to run for President after his time on Capitol Hill.

“I don’t rule anything out, but it’s not in my plans,” Flake told ABC’s “This Week” last month.

CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.

Article: Alex Jones claims false report of missile headed towards Hawaii was orchestrated by Trump���s opponents to embarrass him



Alex Jones claims false report of missile headed towards Hawaii was orchestrated by Trump’s opponents to embarrass him


      Video    ›››          1 hour 58 min ago        ›››    MEDIA MATTERS STAFF   



From a January 13 video posted to Alex Jones’ YouTube channel:



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ALEX JONES (HOST): I wasn’t going to shoot a video or live report today because we didn’t have enough information. Then I began to get calls from my CIA sources, my high-level Army intelligence sources, and analysis from my Delta Force sources and just many others that there is no way, no way that this was an accident and that somebody pushed the wrong button because there’s five fail-safes. These are not computerized systems, they get computerized readings, but then humans have to flip off or on five switches to then manually activate the alert.

Now, again, this afternoon I started hearing about it, I looked at it, I see it, I think that sounds strange. I then start reading my Twitter, my Facebook, I see all these people that have veterans accounts and people in special operations who are known, public figures, saying this is impossible, there’s major fail-safes. Then my phone rings from not one, but two, one former State Department source, another CIA, then my phone rings from someone who associated with Delta Force, then I get some more phone calls, and they are like, “Why aren’t you covering this? This is huge. This is gigantic, this is meant to embarrass Trump, this is meant to destabilize things,” and it’s meant to distract from the fact that there were Uranium One indictments that turns out came out yesterday that nobody noticed, it broke today, those are on With people connected to the Clintons, the indictments have happened. And also that there was reportedly, evidence shows, a second shooter in [Las] Vegas in the new FBI search warrants and that indeed, as our hostage rescue team sources at the FBI told us the day after it happened, that what we broke on air from our sources is exactly what’s in those and that he was an arms dealer and it was an arms deal gone bad.


A guide to Donald Trump’s relationship with Alex Jones

Alex Jones: Trump needs to get into a bunker right now because of plot to drop 2,000-pound bomb on the president

Alex Jones: The Las Vegas shooting was as phony as Obama’s birth certificate

Alex Jones’ week of irresponsible Las Vegas shooting conspiracy theories
















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Article: Rep. John Lewis calls Trump ‘racist,’ won’t vote on government funding without DACA deal

Rep. John Lewis calls Trump ‘racist,’ won’t vote on government funding without
DACA deal

Maegan Vazquez
/Jan 14, 2018

Washington (CNN) — Rep. John Lewis called President Donald Trump a “racist,” citing Trump’s reported remarks about immigrants coming to the United States from “shithole countries” during a White House meeting with lawmakers on immigration reform.

“We have come so far. We made so much progress. And I think this man, this President, is taking us back to another place,” the Georgia Democrat said on ABC’s “This Week.

“I think he is a racist,” Lewis continued, adding that he cannot “in good conscience” attend Trump’s State of the Union address later this month.

Trump has denied making the vulgar comments at the Thursday meeting.

Lewis said Sunday that he believes Congress should censure Trump.

“We have to speak up and not try to sweep it under the rug,” Lewis said, later adding that “as a member of the House, when that (censure) resolution comes up, I will be one of the people to speak up and speak out. I think we should do it. We must do it. We must educate our children and generations yet unborn.”

In a series of tweets over the weekend, Trump blamed Democrats for stalling immigration talks.

Democrats have been demanding protections for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which the Trump administration has decided to end, in exchange for border security funding that could include money for Trump’s promised border wall. Lawmakers have to pass a federal spending bill by Friday to avoid a government shutdown.

“Well, I, for one, will not vote for government funding until we get a deal on DACA,” Lewis said Sunday.

Doctors want President Trump’s head examined

Story highlights

  • The doctors point to signs of possible mental health problems

Jackson received an urgent letter from dozens of doctors and health professionals Thursday urging him to perform basic mental health tests on the President.
While reviews of the past five presidents’ physical exams show only a brief mention of mental health and none of the records includes a readout of the mental health tests, this letter points out that mental evaluations are routine during physicals, particularly for patients who are 66 or older. Trump is 71.

    Medicare guidelines suggest patients in this age range should be evaluated for cognitive and neural health function.
    The White House has dismissed questions about Trump’s mental fitness, calling them “disgraceful and laughable.” They said, prior to the physical, that mental health testing was not something Trump would undergo. It will be up to President Trump what information he shares with the public.
    The letter was written to Jackson, who examined Trump.
    “Without performing an evaluation of this kind, President Trump would be receiving care that is inadequate to the standard care regularly administered to millions of Americans covered by Medicare,” the letter argues. “Equally important, without this evaluation, the American people will not have a clear understanding about the health and well-being of the President, which is essential for Americans to know of any president.”
    While a true mental health evaluation can only happen in person, these experts have noted there is some “increasing concern” that the President may be struggling with some mental health challenges and they recommend the President’s doctor screen Trump for dementia.
    The letter does not explain how these concerns arose.
    Problems these experts say they have observed include rambling speech; episodes of slurred speech; failure to recognize old friends; frequent repetition of the same concepts; decreased fine motor coordination; difficulties reading, listening and comprehending; suspect judgment, planning, problem solving and impulse control; and markedly declining vocabulary in recent years, with overreliance on superlatives, according to the letter.
    The issue of the President’s mental capacity has received significant attention in recent weeks as Michael Wolff’s best-seller, “Fire and Fury,” has raised concerns about the commander in chief.
    Citing people close to the President, Wolff has said the President has begun repeating three stories in conversations in less than 10 minutes, when he used to repeat stories in about a 30-minute window. Wolff told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that “100% of the people around the President believes he’s incapable of carrying out the duties of office.”
    In full damage control, Trump and the White House trashed Wolff and his book as fiction and tabloid garbage while defending the President’s mental fitness.
    “Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart,” Trump said in a tweetstorm earlier this week. He called himself a “very stable genius.”
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    The US Preventive Services Task Force advises doctors to look for early signs or symptoms of cognitive problems that include problems with memory or language changes.
    Among the medical professionals who wrote the letter, at least 15 made contributions to Democrats, and at least two have donated to Republicans, according to FEC records; however, not all have and many are well known experts in their field, from the United States, Canada and Germany.
    The letter concludes that a mental health evaluation is a must because “the health of the President relies on it — as do American lives and the safety of our nation.”

    Here���s What The Trumpists Don���t Understand About American Greatness

    The message is clear: Democrats are likened to Arab terrorists and extreme measures are justified. What is at stake is national salvation from “our liberal-left present reality,” a dystopia of intrusive government, massive debt, rampant crime, illegitimacy and corruption that is not only wrong-headed but “incompatible with human nature.”

    In fact, this country had already conducted a long-term experiment dedicated to free-wheeling capitalism. It was called the Gilded Age, a period that lasted from the mid-1870’s to the late 1890’s, an era that enriched a limited few at the expense of the great many. Its excesses were not curbed until the first years of the 20th Century in the reform movement known as the Progressive Era. The goal of these reforms was to protect the public from the venality of corporate predators.

    Through the late 19th Century, tycoons were happy to work closely with their handmaidens in Congress and in the states houses as long as our representatives served their designs. It was only when legislatures – pressed by a growingly outraged and alienated electorate — shifted to righting the balance between the public good and corporate interests that the latter  inveighed against Government as “intrusive.”

    The country’s fabled railroads, a symbol of national progress during the Gilded Age, were also a landscape of American carnage. In 1893, more than 20,000 trainmen were injured in accidents, over 1,500 of them fatally. In response, Congress enacted the first national safety legislation that year. According to Richard White in “The Republic for Which It Stands,” his compelling history of the Gilded Age: “The unwillingness of employers to invest money in technologies or practices that would increase safety at the expense of profit was a constant source of contention between workers and management.”

    From the mid-1870’s onward, as America entered the industrial age and the ideal of the entrepreneurial worker gave way to the reality of the wage laborer, the U.S. experienced a growing wave of labor conflict from the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 to the Great Upheaval of the 1880’s and beyond. Although most strikes concerned wages, many were about control over working conditions, often “a matter of life and death.”

    As White tells us: “Miners, who could read the dangers of a badly ventilated mine, wanted to determine when, and how, they should work.” New technologies that, on the one hand made mining safer, also made it more hazardous, “allowing mines to go deeper into more and more risky places.” The dangers of work safety rose faster in the U.S. than in any other industrial country.

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    The grass-roots struggle for workers’ dignity — the end of child labor, the eight-hour day, work-place rules, safety regulations, health care and pension benefits — was an American phenomenon with wide public support. It was bitterly opposed by corporate titans who fought back using intimidation, violence and military force, with ensuing bloodshed. It was only the intervention of the government on the side of labor, which came in fits and starts over decades, that brought decent conditions to the American worker over the fierce resistance of management.

    Left to its own devices, the market inflicted a series of rude blows on the American economy that were absorbed by those least able to sustain them. Although hailed as a time of innovation and growth, the Gilded Age was also marked by severe financial “panics” in 1873 and 1893, each lasting several years, leading to a trail of desolate farms, ruined businesses, mass unemployment and impoverished millions. We learn from White that bankruptcies grew from over 5,000 in 1873 to more than double that number before the depression subsided five years later. One in four  of New York’s workers were unemployed that winter. It was one in three the next year, in what was described as “a winter of appalling misery.’’

    Insulated from this were the robber barons and the machine bosses allied with them whose control of the nation’s finances and political levers enhanced their fortunes while the mass of Americans suffered from their venality. This was an era of massive corruption with the railroad trusts feeding at the public trough, Congressmen and state legislators routinely taking bribes, speculators cornering the market in commodities and business magnates snuffing the life out of competitors in a fever of monopolistic practices.

    The goal of American business was not competition but monopolies, which combined into trusts—fixing prices, limiting wages and stifling innovation, except on their own terms. Corporate moguls maintained that they were entitled to their riches because they were risk-takers. In fact, they were risk averse. They were playing with other people’s money — often the government’s — in a rigged game where, as insiders, they were assured of the results.

    It wasn’t until the Panic of 1907 that a movement to limit the damage of the boom-and-bust cycle gained traction under the aegis of Theodore Roosevelt and a Reform Republican wing led by Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin. Combined with pressure from populist Democratic followers of William Jennings Bryan and the threat of a burgeoning Socialist movement under Norman Thomas, the Gilded Age gradually gave way to the Progressive Era culminating in the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 under  President Woodrow Wilson. It was Wilson who introduced the progressive income tax in 1917, an error corporate America and its latter-day apologists still hope to rectify.

    Despite reforms, the U.S. was still vulnerable to the economic cycle which struck with a vengeance with the financial meltdown of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression of the 1930’s. This brought Franklin Roosevelt to the White House and with him the New Deal whose seminal legislation ranged from Labor reform to Social Security, interventions by the Government designed to protect Americans from the vagaries of the market and the rapaciousness of its manipulators. Not least among the many agencies created under the New Deal was the Securities and Exchange Commission that regulated stock trading, which until then had been virtually out-of-control, contributing to the speculation that sparked the market crash leading to the Depression. Roosevelt’s efforts, while gaining him the devotion of the vast majority of Americans of his era, earned him the enmity of his own patrician class which never forgave his betrayal.

    Before we embrace the platitude of “overregulation,” we might well consider the state of our nation without the accumulated protections instituted by more than 100 years of progressive legislation. Imagine, for instance, where we might be without the Food and Drug Act of 1906 that banned adulterated, decomposed, putrid food from the nation’s markets. Or the subsequent Food and Drug Administration created in 1938 that reviewed the safety of all drugs and prohibited quack medicines and false labeling. Which of these agencies, which standards, would conservatives do away with to appease their patrons?

    The accretion of rules that they rail against are, in fact, a function of progress. The advances of the last 150 years, from the automobile to the airplane, brought both opportunity and hazard, requiring sensible regulation to protect the public.

    The battle has been ongoing. Big Tobacco fought for years to deny links between cigarettes and cancer, using its considerable resources to cast doubt on medical studies  overwhelmingly  demonstrating the lethal results of their product. The same was true with the dangers of asbestos, refrigerants, pesticides, whose producers resisted the efforts of consumer, health and environmental advocates to alter their ways until the Government intervened in the public interest. As Lincoln Steffens wrote: “The commercial spirit is the spirit of profit, not patriotism.”

    Like any regulatory system, ours has its flaws. The conservative playbook is to fasten on these defects not to improve the system   but to dismantle it. Behind the cry of “overregulation’ is the goal of “no regulation.” In this view, the only proper use of federal funds is for defense and security. Exhibits A and B are the Republican budget priorities which privilege weapons and walls over social programs that shield Americans from the ravages of illness and age, that protect the environment, foster public education and safeguard the well-being of children, the infirm and the vulnerable.

    The myth of the lone entrepreneur overcoming the strictures of the state somehow overlooks that, historically, most of the major initiatives that advanced the individual and led to social prosperity emanated from Washington.  During the Civil War, the Homestead Act staked thousands of families to a piece of America and the Morrill Act created land-grant colleges.  The railroads were virtually government subsidized although the profits went to private hands. After World War II the G.I. Bill sent veterans (at least white ones) to college and offered them affordable housing in the suburbs; the dams, electrification and regional infrastructure of the New Deal, the national highways of the Eisenhower era stimulating commerce and travel, were all Federal projects that enriched and unified the country. All of this was paid for in taxes, much of it at a far higher rate than today with the country no worse off in terms of prosperity. As Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.  famously observed: “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.”

    Whatever the excesses of political correctness and campus culture, the vast majority of students enrolling in higher education are devoted to the mundane pursuits of computer science, business, health, engineering and other prosaic fields whose goal is simply to earn a good living. It should be noted that the scions of the 1 percent take up an inordinate amount of the seats in the humanities at the elite colleges and it does not appear that they are prepared to surrender their privileges much less contribute the new-found savings on their inheritance taxes in the name of collectivism. While posing as defenders of academic freedom, conservatives have flirted with more than a whiff of anti-intellectualism in their assault on higher education, evolving in some quarters to an attack on public education and the respect for facts on which it rests.

    Compare the influence of a few liberal campuses — throw in Hollywood and the few remaining independent news outlets — with the juggernaut of interlocking organizations, think tanks, business lobbies, “philanthropies,” legal groups, publishing houses, news media and yes, academic institutions, devoted exclusively to propagating right-wing ideology, described by Jane Mayer in “Dark Money.” These allies form a well-coordinated network financed by an array of deep-pocketed billionaires led by the Koch Brothers devoted to the beliefs “that taxes are a form of tyranny; that Government oversight is an assault on freedom.” They have succeeded in controlling 34 governorships and 32 state legislatures, not to mention gaining control of both houses of Congress, the Presidency and tipping the Supreme Court. Yet, their apologists are playing defense!

    Be careful what you wish for.

    Magnitude 7.1 quake hits off Peru, killing at least 1

    Magnitude 7.1 quake hits off Peru, killing at least 1

    LIMA, Peru (AP) — A powerful earthquake struck off Peru’s coast early Sunday, tumbling adobe homes in small, rural towns, killing at least one person and leaving dozens injured, officials said.

    The U.S. Geological Survey said the early morning quake had a magnitude of 7.1 and was centered 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Acari in the Arequipa department of southwestern Peru.

    The quake jolted people awake as far away as capital city of Lima, some 350 miles (560 kilometers) from Acari, blocked some roads, collapsed adobe homes in several towns and left at least one supermarket a jumble of fallen crackers boxes and soda bottles.

    Arequipa Gov. Yamila Osorio said a 55-year-old man killed when he was crushed by a fallen rock and the National Civil Defense Institute said at least 57 people were injured — 23 of them in Chala district, a coastal area dependent on fishing and mining that is popular with tourists.

    Photographs posted on social media showed evacuated tourists sitting outside one hotel before dawn.

    President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said on Twitter he was in route to the affected region to “verify the magnitude of the damage and send the needed humanitarian aid.”

    The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially warned of that hazardous waves could hit Peru and Chile, but later stated there was no longer any tsunami threat from the quake.

    The quake came four days before Pope Francis was set to arrive in Peru.