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Oct 21, 2020, 07:38 PM
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 on: Today at 07:17 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Hi Helena,

"I really don't know if this makes sense, or if you see any changes overall from your experience, but feel like something is shifting and not exactly advancing, a new way to function within the evolutionary state one is in probably"

Yes, I feel this is true and reflects a slow yet progressive evolutionary movement not only within the specific evolutionary states, the existing percentages within humanity as a whole now, but in the long run wherein those percentages change relative to more and more being in the evolutionary states beyond the consensus.

God Bless, Rad

 on: Today at 07:12 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad

Experts: ‘Destructive’ Donald Trump is getting desperate — and his psyche is unraveling right before our very eyes

on October 21, 2020
By Alan D. Blotcky & Seth D. Norrholm
Raw Story

Despite the outbreak and spread of the coronavirus at the White House, Donald Trump still insists that “it’s going to disappear.” To make matters worse, he proclaims, “We have a cure.” We have lost 220,000 Americans to a deadly pandemic. And what does he say? “I’m immune. So the president is in very good shape to fight the battles.” He continues to promulgate lies and misinformation about the pandemic.

At his rally in Florida in front of 7,000 supporters, Trump announced, “I feel so powerful. I’ll walk into that audience, I’ll walk in there, kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women, just give you a big fat kiss.” This is hypomanic hypersexuality from our president.

Last Thursday evening at his town hall on NBC, Trump admitted that he had retweeted a QAnon conspiracy theory that the killing of Osama bin Laden was fake and had been staged by Barack Obama and Joe Biden. A bizarre conspiracy theory gone awry.

On Friday, Trump told a crowd in Georgia that he “might have to leave the country” if he loses the election to Biden. That sounds like a semi-confession of his corruption.

At a campaign rally in Wisconsin on Saturday, he asserted that the National Guard’s physical altercations with protesters were “beautiful.” Trump’s glorification of violence.

At his rally in Michigan on the same day, he criticized Gov. Gretchen Whitmer — recently the subject of a kidnapping plot busted by the FBI — and the crowd chanted, “Lock her up.” His response: “Lock them all up.” Trump’s vindictiveness toward political foes.

Donald Trump is a desperate man. His recklessness is growing by the hour as his poll numbers are failing and his presidency is coming to a crashing end. His mental pathology is front and center. His psyche is unraveling before our eyes.

Trump is in an existential crisis of his own making. George Conway — a lifelong Republican, Washington attorney and co-founder of the Lincoln Project — summed it up best when we reached out to him: “We’ve seen how he is continuing to reach new depths. He realizes he is headed toward destruction.”

Trump is now wildly out of control with his ranting tweets, lies, conspiracy theories, threats, gaslighting and erratic behavior. His pronouncements are getting more disturbed and destructive. He is telling senior citizens that they are not vulnerable to the coronavirus. He is telling the public that they should not let the coronavirus dominate their lives. He even stated that he must be a perfect physical specimen because he recovered from COVID-19 so quickly (completely disregarding the powerful cocktail of drugs he received). He was recently live on the air twice in one day on Fox News, airing his unmoored grievances, soothing his injured ego, projecting ridiculous grandiosity and collecting narcissistic fuel.

Alarmingly, Trump is losing his grip on reality. He is agitated. He seems to be hypomanic — quite likely exacerbated by his COVID-19 medications. He has become paranoid. He has been calling out for his political opponents to be indicted. He has been preoccupied with a totally fake conspiracy theory about Barack Obama and Joe Biden spying on his campaign. He is lashing out at some of his most loyal cabinet members. He is even blaming Gold Star families for giving him COVID-19.

Trump is on a collision course with self-destruction. He has lost all ability for rational and reasonable discourse with the American people. His performance during the presidential debate on Sept. 29 was shocking and disheartening. He was hostile and rude. He showed no self-control. He was flailing. Trump even canceled his second debate with Biden — he was looking for a way out.

Trump now feels cornered and exposed. His sense of entitlement is threatened. His grandiosity and superiority are crumbling. What he fears most is being embarrassed and humiliated. After all, he has spent his whole life branding himself as smarter and stronger and richer than anyone else. His “false self” persona is being chipped away hour by hour.

The emperor is about to have no clothes.

As Trump’s desperation grows, his mental pathology is becoming more amplified. He is looking unhinged because he is unhinged. It is all we can see — a man who is erratic and unrestrained and debilitated. He is always defensive. He grumbles and roars and blames others. He is incapable of taking responsibility for his own decisions and behavior. He is incapable of leading and governing.

Trump’s desperation includes a scorched-earth mentality. If he is going down, he wants to bring everyone and everything down with him. He has no hesitation to break laws or destroy people. Democratic institutions and principles mean nothing to him. All that matters is his survival, his preservation, his continued power.

The end is in sight. But Trump will go down fighting. He will hold onto power until the last possible moment. It will have to be stripped away from him. He will not facilitate a peaceful transfer of power to Biden. He will cry out that he is the victim of a conspiracy. Unbelievably, he will seek sympathy for himself. He will urge his supporters to strike out in anger and aggrievement. He will bask in the glow of his victimhood.

Trump will leave behind a deadly pandemic. He will leave behind a country that is divided and tribal. Racism and xenophobia and terrorist groups have become prominent. Far too many of us have stopped believing in science, the truth and the free press.

We are facing two more weeks of Trump’s desperation and mental pathology. Each day will seem unending. Each day will be exhausting.

Two more weeks until our votes are finally cast and counted.

Two more weeks until Trump’s chaos, incompetence and corruption can be ended.

 on: Today at 05:41 AM 
Started by soleil - Last post by Rad

University of Florida students get threatening emails warning them to vote for Trump — or else

on October 21, 2020
By Matthew Chapman
Raw Story

On Tuesday, the Miami Herald reported that University of Florida students are receiving threatening emails with the subject line “Vote for Trump or else!”

“Alachua County officials were made aware of the emails on Tuesday morning. In one of the emails, the sender told a voter to ‘vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you,’ according to a copy obtained by the Miami Herald,” reported Ana Ceballos and Carli Teproff. “‘Change your party affiliation to Republican to let us know you received our message and will comply,’ the email said. ‘We will know which candidate you voted for. I would take it seriously if I were you.'”

County officials and the FBI are reportedly investigating the emails.

The messages came from an address called “email protected,” a seeming reference to the pro-Trump group the Proud Boys. However, Vice’s Tess Owen spotted a number of red flags suggesting that the messages did not really come from the Proud Boys, and may have been originated somewhere in Eastern Europe. Proud Boys Chairman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio Jr. claims the group was a victim of spoofing and said, “To whoever did this, I condemn these people.”

“The first thing I did was panicked for a brief moment,” said a UF journalism major who received the email and requested anonymity from the Herald. However, she said she is not deterred by the voter intimidation tactic, adding, “I am still going to vote.”

 on: Today at 05:39 AM 
Started by soleil - Last post by Rad
Expert who saw trouble for Clinton in 2016 has bad news for Trump in 2020

on October 21, 2020
By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

Dave Wasserman, a polling expert with the Cook Political Report, closely watches polling at the district level in the United States. And in 2016, he saw signs in the data that Donald Trump was performing better than many expected in areas like New York’s 22nd District — where Mitt Romney and Barack Obama were tied in 2012. Those warnings turned out to be prescient when Trump eked out a narrow win in three key swing states while losing in the popular vote.

Now, though, Wasserman has said he sees little sign of hope for Trump’s re-election, even as Democrats continue to fear that former Vice President Joe Biden’s polling lead will evaporate in the coming days:

An important point about his claims is that Wasserman, a nonpartisan analyst, is privy to a lot of information that isn’t publicly available. While there’s a lot of public national and state-level polling, district-level polls are harder to come by. Many pollsters keep this info private, though they will share it with people like Wasserman. This data can give a closer glimpse into trends and demographic changes in the electorate that other polls may be missing.

But according to Wasserman, this data should give Trump no solace. It’s consistent with Biden’s estimated 10-point lead in the FiveThirtyEight national polling average. He explained his findings in an interview with Greg Sargent of the Washington Post.

“In 2016, district-level polling in late October showed flashing red warning signs for Clinton in districts dominated by White non-college voters,” he said. “It wasn’t being detected so much in state-level polling, because the state polling chronically under-sampled those voters.”

But in 2020, Wasserman is seeing a consistent pattern, and it’s not good for Trump.

“Trump is underperforming his 2016 margins by eight to 10 points in most competitive districts. If Trump won a district by three last time, he’s probably losing it by six this time. It’s a pretty consistent pattern,” he explained.

There are some exceptions and variations, but overall, it’s a brutal picture for the president. He won by the skin of his teeth in 2016 — and he is dramatically underperforming that race.

Trump is doing worst in “upscale suburbs,” Wasserman explained, while he has improved somewhat in his support in some Latino communities. Biden is doing better than Clinton did in districts that are predominately populated by “blue-collar Whites,” though not as well as the Obama-Biden ticket did in 2012.

But Biden is improving most in areas dominated by college-educated white people, and that demographic may well be decisive on Nov. 3. It also means Trump has a difficult path forward to claw back from the hole he’s in.

“Trump needs to boost turnout of non-college Whites by five points nationally, just to offset their declining share of the population since 2016. But he also needs to increase the share of those voters he’s winning,” said Wasserman. “Trump’s gains among non-Whites can only get him so far, because there’s really not much of a Hispanic vote in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. So he’s got to solve this riddle with both persuasion and turnout. He needs to persuade more White voters — both college and non-college — to stick with him. And he really needs to boost non-college White turnout.”

It’s not impossible that Trump could pull it off, but it’s hard to see it happening.

 on: Today at 04:06 AM 
Started by soleil - Last post by Rad
Trump can ‘rage from the balcony’ but he ‘will not succeed’: Dem super lawyer promises to protect the vote

Raw Story

President Donald Trump has a lot of options available to him when it comes to his attempt to steal the election. That doesn’t mean they’ll work, however.

In an interview with Democratic “super-lawyer” Bob Bauer, “The Circus’s” John Heilemann listed a few scenarios for Trump trying to steal the election.

“We already have an electoral infrastructure — a voting system — that is not always adequately resourced or supported,” Bauer explained. “You take that system, you layer on top of it a pandemic, you lay on top of that destructive behavior by one of the major political parties who espouses this kind of nonsense, and you add on top of that the internet-distributed misinformation plays, and that just means that the task that you have to address these contingencies is much larger than it’s been as a structural matter any time in the past.”

Bauer leads a crew of 600 lawyers on the team and over 10,000 volunteer lawyers prepared to fight back against any illegal attempt to undermine the election or stop vote counting.

“This is significantly greater in scale than anything I’ve ever done before,” said Bauer.

He went on to say that Trump talks an “aggressive game” when it comes to his attempts to do whatever it takes to win an election. Bauer said that when you separate fantasy from reality, however, “he’s not going to be sending troops to polling places. That’s not going to happen.”

The agencies under Trump’s command know and understand that there are legal liabilities for them if they follow an illegal order from Trump. As a result, Bauer doesn’t think they’ll do it.

Heilemann asked about the militia members like those who attempted to kidnap and assassinate the Michigan governor. There is a fear by many that they’ll come to the polls and try and intimidate people away from voting. Bauer noted that the men, in that case, are in jail and anyone else who attempts to try and create a terrorist plot to save Trump’s presidency will also land in jail.

If Trump were to try and send federal marshals to the polls to impound ballots, Bauer said it won’t work either.

“He may issue an order. He may rage from the balcony of the White House about his political misfortunes and look for a magic answer and he will not succeed in issuing an effective order to have federal marshals go to polling places and have them impound ballots, ” said Bauer. “It won’t happen.”

Contrary to Trump’s belief that he has all the power in the world to do whatever he wants, he does not.

“We are still a country with constitutional and legal limits,” said Bauer. There are “a whole host of constraints.”

“We will not appeal to him to mind his manners, we will block him,” he explained.

See the full video: https://twitter.com/jheil/status/1318586655985598471

 on: Today at 04:02 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

Sam Elliott narrated a powerful new Joe Biden ad — and it aired during Game 1 of the World Series

on October 21, 2020
Raw Story
By Bob Brigham

Actor Sam Elliott narrated a new ad for Joe Biden that aired during Game 1 of the World Series.

“There is only America,” Elliott said. “No Democratic rivers, no Republican mountains, just this great land and all that’s possible on it — with a fresh start.”

“Cures we can find, futures we can shape, work to reward, dignity to protect,” Elliott continues, as the Star Spangled Banner plays quietly on a piano in the background.

“There is so much we can do if we choose to take on problems and not each other,” the narrator continues. “And choose a president who brings out our best.”

“Joe Biden doesn’t need everyone in the country to always agree, just too agree we all love this country, and go from there,” Elliot explained.

    The Biden campaign ran this 60-second spot nationally tonight during Game 1 of the #WorldSeries on FOX — pic.twitter.com/kxraB1L6EK

    — Medium Buying (@MediumBuying) October 21, 2020

Watch: https://twitter.com/MediumBuying/status/1318716343311544320


WATCH: Lincoln Project targets Pennsylvania voters with devastating new ad as Trump visits the state

on October 21, 2020
Raw Story
By Sarah Toce

In a new ad released Tuesday for The Lincoln Project, the narrator says, “There’s mourning in Pennsylvania. Today, hundreds of thousands of Americans have died from a deadly virus Donald Trump ignored. Praising China’s response instead of heeding the warnings, then blaming them to cover his own failures.”

The ad continues, “With the economy in shambles, people in Pennsylvania are still out of work. One of the worst economies in decades.”

The ad was released on the same day President Donald J. Trump planned to visit the state.

Watch: https://youtu.be/FUtFHhd9G5k


WATCH: Drew Barrymore is terrorized by Donald Trump in ‘Scream’ spoof

Raw Story

Actress Drew Barrymore reprised the role of the character Casey Becker from the hit 1996 movie “Scream.”

Barrymore’s character was killed at the beginning of the film after receiving a threatening phone call.

In the spoof, Barrymore answers a cordless phone to and hears crazy things President Donald Trump has said.

The skit was filmed for comedian Samatha Bee’s “Full Frontal” on TBS.

    Hard to believe it’s been over twenty years since the movie Scream came out and even longer since Trump took office. Don’t believe us? Here’s scream queen @DrewBarrymore and the president having a perfect phone call. pic.twitter.com/aPZo4nmGiZ

    — Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) October 20, 2020

Watch: https://twitter.com/FullFrontalSamB/status/1318658416106180610

 on: Today at 03:53 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja
Donald Trump paid nearly $200,000 in taxes to China, report claims

New York Times says records reveal company bank account in China, and documents show he paid more tax there than at home

Lily Kuo in Beijing
Wed 21 Oct 2020 06.47 BST

Donald Trump maintains a bank account in China where he pursued licensing deals for years, according to a report that could undermine the president’s election campaign claim that he is tough on Beijing.

Tax records reviewed by the New York Times showed a previously unreported bank account in China controlled by Trump International Hotels Management. The account paid $188,561 in taxes in China between 2013 and 2015 in connection to potential licensing deals, according the newspaper.

Earlier reporting by the Times showed he paid just $750 in US taxes in 2016 and 2017.

The recent tax records also showed Trump invested at least $192,000 in five companies charged with pursuing business deals in China. Those companies claimed $97,400 in business expenses, including payments as recently as 2018, the Times reported.

Trump has waged his re-election campaign on his ability to stand up to China on issues from trade to human rights abuses in Xinjiang and political repression in Hong Kong as well as accountability for the spread of Covid-19. Under Trump, ties between China and the US have reached their lowest point in decades.

The disclosures also come after Trump accused his opponent, Joe Biden, of being “weak on China” and described the Biden family as “selling out our country” to China. The Trump campaign has run attack ads against Biden’s son for having “inked a billion-dollar deal” with the government-owned Bank of China, allegations that have been not been substantiated.

Trump has previously pursued an office tower project in Guangzhou in southern China that did not come to fruition. AFP reported in 2016 that the Trump Hotel Collection negotiated with the government owned electricity company, State Grid Corporation of China, to brand and manage a major development in Beijing, resulting in a deal worth up to $150 million over 15 years. Negotiations were put on hold after the state-owned enterprise became the focus of a corruption probe.

A lawyer for the Trump Organization, Alan Garten told the Times that the company had “opened an account with a Chinese bank having offices in the United States in order to pay the local taxes”.

“No deals, transactions or other business activities ever materialized and, since 2015, the office has remained inactive,” he said.


Six key findings from the New York Times' Trump taxes bombshell

The president pays little, faces hefty audit costs as well as loans coming due soon, and Ivanka is not in the clear   

Guardian staff

The publication of Donald Trump’s tax records by the New York Times is one of the biggest bombshells to hit a 2020 election campaign already buffeted by a litany of scandals, a bitter fight over a supreme court nomination and a pandemic in which 7m Americans have been infected and more than 200,000 have died.

The president’s taxes have long been the great white whale of political reporters in America as well as prosecutors keen to find evidence of wrongdoing. Democrats too were eager to seize on them as a potentially game-changing stick with which to beat the Trump campaign.

The Times, with its shock report published on Sunday evening, appears to have won the race. Its publication of details from the documents could send shock waves through the campaign as the key first debate between Trump and challenger Joe Biden looms, in Ohio on Tuesday night.

Here are its key findings:

Trump pays little tax

The Times reported that Trump paid no federal income taxes in 11 of 18 years the newspaper looked at. In 2017, after he became president, his tax bill was only $750. This is despite Trump often railing against taxes in America and ushering through a series of tax cuts that critics say mostly helps the rich and big business.

    Barack Obama and George W Bush each regularly paid more than $100,000 a year

The Times said of Trump’s immediate predecessors: “Barack Obama and George W Bush each regularly paid more than $100,000 a year.”

A long audit – with potentially hefty costs

Trump is involved in a decade-long audit with the Internal Revenue Service over a $72.9m tax refund he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. A ruling against him could cost him more than $100m, the Times reported.

It added: “In 2011, the IRS began an audit reviewing the legitimacy of the refund. Almost a decade later, the case remains unresolved, for unknown reasons, and could ultimately end up in federal court, where it could become a matter of public record.”

The president’s oldest daughter, while working as an employee of the Trump Organization, appears to have received “consulting fees” that helped reduce the family’s tax bill, the Times said. Such a revelation might further tarnish the reputation of Ivanka, a senior White House adviser married to another, Jared Kushner, who often tries to distance herself from some of the biggest scandals of her father’s administration. She is widely believed to harbor political ambitions of her own after Trump leaves office.

The Times reported: “Trump’s private records show that his company once paid $747,622 in fees to an unnamed consultant for hotel projects in Hawaii and Vancouver, British Columbia. Ivanka Trump’s public disclosure forms – which she filed when joining the White House staff in 2017 – show that she had received an identical amount through a consulting company she co-owned.”

    His lenders could be placed in the unprecedented position of weighing whether to foreclose on a sitting president

Trump businesses lose money

The Times was brutal in its assessment of Trump’s businesses, about which he often boasts and on the back of which he sought to promote a carefully curated image as a master businessman. “Trump’s core enterprises – from his constellation of golf courses to his conservative-magnet hotel in Washington – report losing millions, if not tens of millions, of dollars year after year,” the newspaper said.

It detailed how since 2000, Trump has reported losing more than $315m at his golf courses, with much of that coming from Trump National Doral in Florida. His Washington hotel, which opened in 2016 and has been the subject of much speculation regarding federal ethics laws, has lost more than $55m.

Trump has a big bill to pay

The newspaper also reported that Trump is facing a major financial bill, as within the next four years, hundreds of millions of dollars in loans will come due. The paper said Trump is personally responsible for many of those obligations.

The paper reported: “In the 1990s, Mr Trump nearly ruined himself by personally guaranteeing hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, and he has since said that he regretted doing so. But he has taken the same step again, his tax records show. He appears to be responsible for loans totaling $421m, most of which is coming due within four years.”

In a blunt summary of the problem, the Times speculated: “Should he win re-election, his lenders could be placed in the unprecedented position of weighing whether to foreclose on a sitting president.”

Trump businesses profit from his presidency

The issue of whether Trump’s businesses benefit from his position in the White House has been one of the long-running themes of reporting on the Trump presidency. The global nature of the Trump Organization and its portfolio of hotels, resorts and other interests has left Trump open to speculation that lobbyists, business leaders and foreign powers could spend money in them to try and peddle influence in the US.

The Times report on his tax returns is clear that Trump’s businesses have indeed benefited from his political career.

“Since he became a leading presidential candidate, he has received large amounts of money from lobbyists, politicians and foreign officials who pay to stay at his properties or join his clubs,” the newspaper reported, before detailing monies paid at his Mar-a-Largo resort in Florida, his Washington hotel and other locations.


Progressives unite for last-ditch effort to delay Amy Coney Barrett vote — by impeaching Bill Barr

Raw Story

Progressive activists are urging House Democrats to essentially kill two birds with one stone by impeaching Attorney General Bill Barr — which would delay the confirmation vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

“Attorney General Barr has acted to subvert the laws that he, as our nation’s chief federal law enforcement official, is duty-bound to uphold,” more than 20 progressive groups signed in a joint letter.

“Attorney General Barr has made a career out of undermining our democracy and it is pellucidly clear that he has been ramping up efforts to undermine the upcoming elections and invalidate the votes of millions of Americans,” the groups wrote.

The groups explained that the Democrats in the House of Representatives have power that Senate Democrats lack — they can delay the confirmation of Judge Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court by impeaching Barr, as it would force action by the Senate and scuttle the current calendar being pushed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) according to Senate rules.

    .@senatemajldr: "We'll be voting to confirm Justice-to-be Barrett next Monday."#SCOTUS #SCOTUSnominee pic.twitter.com/fTaQhfZHy2

    — CSPAN (@cspan) October 20, 2020

“Should you impeach Attorney General Barr prior to October 32rd, the Senate would be required to take one of two actions. On one hand, the Senate would be obligated to hold a trial, which would occupy a day or more of floor time and delay the hasty and irregular consideration of Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court associate justice,” the groups explained. “In the alternative, Senate Republican leadership would be forced to go ‘nuclear’ by changing the rules that govern how that chamber responds to receiving articles of impeachment from the House of Representatives.”

“Either outcome is desirable,” the groups concluded.

Demand Progress, Our Revolution and the Sunrise Movement were among the progressives organizations that signed on to the strategy.

    New: 20+ progressive groups, including the Sunrise Movement and Our Revolution, signed onto a letter urging Nancy Pelosi to back impeaching AG Barr. They said it "would have the salutary effect of delaying the confirmation process and may help push it towards after Election Day." pic.twitter.com/con05vfwuF

    — Holly Otterbein (@hollyotterbein) October 21, 2020

    More than 20 progressive groups are urging House Democrats to impeach Bill Barr next week, an impeachment that would have to be dealt with on the Senate floor ahead of ACB.

    Letter: pic.twitter.com/rbFt6PCEtR

    — Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) October 21, 2020


Trump ‘abruptly’ storms out of 60 Minutes interview and refuses to return: report

Raw Story

President Donald Trump was said to have “abruptly” ended an interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl at the White House.

According to CNN correspondent Kaitlan Collins, the “drama” occurred on Tuesday afternoon.

“Apparently there was some drama while President Trump was taping his 60 Minutes interview today,” Collins wrote on Twitter. “He abruptly ended his solo interview after around 45 minutes & did not return for a scheduled walk & talk he was supposed to tape with Pence, @abdallahcnn and I are told by sources.”

    Apparently there was some drama while President Trump was taping his 60 Minutes interview today. He abruptly ended his solo interview after around 45 minutes & did not return for a scheduled walk & talk he was supposed to tape with Pence, @abdallahcnn and I are told by sources.

    — Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) October 20, 2020

Minutes after the interview, the president tweeted an attack on Stahl for allegedly not wearing a mask at the White House.

    President Trump sat down with Lesley Stahl for about 45 minutes Tuesday before he abruptly ended the interview and told the network he believed they had enough material to use, two sources tell @abdallahcnn & @kaitlancollins https://t.co/v2nRHccDMN

    — Vivian Salama (@vmsalama) October 20, 2020

“Vice President Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris were also interviewed by ’60 Minutes’ and all four are scheduled to appear in the same program on Sunday,” CNN reported. “While Biden and Harris taped their interviews separately, Trump and Pence were scheduled to appear on camera together, like they did four years ago, for a walk and talk session. But Trump did not return for the appearance with Pence, sources said.”

“Stahl previously said that during an off-camera conversation with Trump in 2016, when he was running for President, he admitted his attacks on the press were meant to discredit negative stories that emerged about him,” CNN noted.

The interviews are set to air Sunday.


Trump mask-shames CBS reporter Lesley Stahl — and ominously warns ‘much more to come’

Raw Story

President Donald Trump has spent months belittling people for wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

His anti-mask attitude reportedly resulted in White House and campaign staff not wearing masks so as to avoid angering their boss.

And Trump has repeatedly attacked Joe Biden for wearing facial coverings — even after the president was hospitalized for COVID-19.

But on Tuesday, Trump dramatically shifted his position and mask-shamed CBS “60 Minutes” reporter Lesley Stahl, posting video of her not wearing a mask while Trump was.

Trump included video of their interview in his tweet:

    Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes not wearing a mask in the White House after her interview with me. Much more to come. pic.twitter.com/0plZG6a4fH

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2020


America is on pace for record-shattering early voter turnout — including in critical states: report

By Matthew Chapman
Raw Story

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that voters are casting early ballots in numbers on track to set a historic record — including in some critical battleground states.

“Early-voting counts suggest a record level of civic participation before Election Day. The tens of millions of ballots already cast show highly enthusiastic voters are making sure their votes are counted amid a pandemic,” said the report.

15.8 million people in battleground states have already voted, and in some states, like Michigan and Wisconsin, more people have voted early so far than did in the entire early voting period of 2016. In North Carolina, meanwhile, 2 million ballots have been cast — more than double the same amount at this point in 2016.

Part of this is being driven by the expansion of mail-in voting, spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.

“More voters than ever before can vote by mail this election,” said the report. “While some western states have long conducted their elections by mail, others, such as New Hampshire, are allowing all voters to cast ballots by mail for the first time. Several key states — such as Wisconsin Arizona, and Iowa — greatly expanded mail-in voting, bringing to 12 the number of states that now mail absentee applications to everyone registered.”

“Despite weeks of campaigning and news still to come, the election is actually well underway,” concluded the report. “A large share of Americans have not just made up their minds — they have sealed in their vote.”

 on: Today at 03:39 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

Polish academics protest 'fundamentalist' education minister


WARSAW, Poland (AFP) — Activists dressed as security guards climbed onto a balcony of a Polish Education Ministry building early Wednesday and hung a banner protesting the appointment of a new minister whom they consider to be a religious fundamentalist and a danger to the nation's youth and universities.

Many university academics in Poland are protesting the conservative government’s appointment of Przemyslaw Czarnek, who has said that LGBT people aren't equal to “normal people,” women were created to produce children and who has voiced support for corporal punishment.

The banner that two activists hung said “Boycott Czarnek. Homophobe. Xenophobe. Fundamentalist.” Security guards removed it quickly, before the minister arrived at work, and a large contingent of police officers showed up to question the two activists.

Wearing orange security vests and hardhats, they used a long ladder to climb up to a balcony and hang the banner. Rafal Suszek, a physics professor at Warsaw University who led the operation and was one of the two, told a police officer who questioned him afterwards that he believed a man with Czarnek's “backward views” shouldn't be allowed to have such a position of authority.

Wearing a mask, Suszek added that Czarnek represents a “virus of hate” more dangerous than the coronavirus. Suszek later told The Associated Press that he and his fellow activist were charged with the illegal hanging of banners and not adhering to social distancing rules.

Suszek is one of 2,700 professors and other academics to sign a petition vowing to boycott Czarnek, a member of the ruling conservative party, Law and Justice, who was sworn in this week by President Andrzej Duda.

In his role, Czarnek will oversee the nation’s system of schools and universities. He was named in a recent government reshuffle, but was sworn in two weeks after the other ministers as he recovered from COVID-19.

Duda said that appointing Czarnek would help restore some ideological balance to academia, which he said has been dominated by left-wing views. “In recent years, people trying to achieve higher ranks in scientific development ... have been brutally attacked for not having a worldview that is politically correct, that is, liberal-leftist,” Duda said. He said university life would be made richer by having people with opposing views confront each other.

The protesting academics, however, view Czarnek, who has also taken part in demonstrations organized by a far-right organization, the National Radical Camp, as an extremist and religious fundamentalist who risks damaging Poland’s educational system. They fear his hostility towards gays and lesbians means he won't act to protect young sexual minorities, who sometimes suffer from depression and bullying, and that he could seek to suppress academic research into areas like gender studies.

“Before our eyes a symbolic rape of Polish education and science is taking place,” says the petition. The academics’ petition calls on members of the academic community to boycott events that Czarnek takes part in and to refuse to participate in the work of any collegial bodies that could subvert humanistic values. However, they say they won't take any steps that would hurt their institutions, such as not teaching their students.

During this year's summer presidential campaign that culminated in Duda’s reelection to a second term, Czarnek, who worked on that campaign, drew controversy for language against LGBT people. He said at the time: “Let’s protect ourselves against LGBT ideology and stop listening to idiocy about some human rights or some equality. These people are not equal to normal people.”

After those words, broadcast on TV, caused a huge uproar, he insisted they were taken out of context and he later clarified his view, saying: “LGBT people are people, and LGBT ideology is ideology.” A professor of law at the Catholic University of Lublin, Czarnek had also called LGBT “deviants" and faced disciplinary proceedings at his university for his statements.

The 43-year-old father of two has argued that parents — under certain conditions — have the constitutional right to inflict corporal punishment on their children. He has suggested that women's key role is to have children and that they should start early.

In a lecture last year during a scholarly conference, he argued that modern society’s message that women can first pursue a career “and then maybe a child … leads to dire consequences.” “The first child is not born at the age of 20-25, but at the age of 30. When the first child is born at the age of 30, how many of these children can be born? These are the consequences of explaining to a woman that she does not have to do what God has called her to do,” said Czarnek, whose own wife has a Ph.D. in biology and also teaches at his university.

 on: Today at 03:37 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

Italy probes why women's names mark aborted fetuses' graves


ROME (AFP) — Italian prosecutors and the government’s privacy watchdog are investigating how the names of women who miscarried or had abortions ended up on crosses over graves for the fetuses in a Rome cemetery.

Rights groups have denounced the grave markings as a gross violation of the women’s privacy, which is protected by the 1978 law that legalized abortion in Italy. While regulations require burial of a fetus after 20 weeks, women who have complained said they never knowingly consented to the burials, much less to having their names put on crosses.

The scandal — brought to light last month when a woman wrote on Facebook about happening upon her name on a cross in Rome's Flaminio Cemetery — has reverberated in this largely Roman Catholic country at a time when women say finding a doctor to perform an abortion has become increasingly difficult and that they face poor treatment when they do.

Women's rights group Differenza Donna says it has so far identified over 1,000 such graves in the Roman cemetery in overgrown plots. The crosses are crude wooden or iron slats, and some of the graves are adorned with filthy stuffed animals or toys that have been left to the elements.

“As if what I went through was not enough, I discovered that at the Flaminio Cemetery there is a tomb with my name on it,” said one of the women, Francesca, whose name appears on a grave. She said she had an abortion in September 2019 after a scan showed her baby would not survive a malformed heart and aorta and that her own life would be at risk if she carried the pregnancy to term.

“Somebody, without my consent, collected the fetus, buried it at the cemetery and put over it a cross with my name and family name on it,” said Francesca, who spoke on condition that her last name not be used because she said she feared retaliation from anti-abortion activists.

Differenza Donna has filed a formal complaint with Rome prosecutors, providing testimony from some of the women who asked the rights group for help. “By displaying names and family names of the women on the crosses, there was a violation of a crucial aspect of the law ... which is the right to privacy and confidentiality for women who voluntarily interrupt the pregnancy,” said the president of Differenza Donna, Elisa Ercoli.

Additionally, some of the women weren’t Christian or religious believers, meaning the crosses violated their freedom of conscience and religion, she said. Parliamentarians have demanded explanations from the public entities implicated, and Italy’s government-appointed guarantor of privacy opened an investigation.

Former Health Minister Livia Turco has led the charge, visiting the cemetery herself. “To me, a cross is a symbol of love,” Turco said. “That a cross could be used as a violent gesture toward a woman who experienced a laceration and profound suffering is a blasphemy that humiliates women and deforms the sense of the cross.”

It is unclear who is to blame, and there are indications the scandal may have more bureaucratic than ideological roots. To answer the question requires untangling a knot of regulations and agencies with sometimes overlapping responsibilities: The public hospital that performs abortions in Rome, the local health system and the AMA garbage collection agency are all pointing fingers at one another. AMA operates Rome’s cemeteries and is known for its dysfunction.

In addition, seemingly contradictory rules appear to be at play. While Italy’s national abortion law guarantees the woman’s privacy, a 1939 regulation for the mortuary police requires the burial of fetuses aborted after the 20th week.

AMA has cited yet another regulation that requires all graves to be identified. Yet other Italian cemeteries have plots dedicated to fetuses that are not marked with women's names. AMA declined to comment further to The Associated Press.

Dr. Giovanna Scassellati, chief gynecologist at the induced abortion ward of the San Camillo hospital in Rome, said when women come in to terminate a pregnancy, they are given the option of arranging burial themselves, or having the hospital arrange for it.

“The story of the fetuses is very serious, but our hospital can’t be blamed for it," she said. “We did not play any role in what happened." Aside from public entities such as AMA, private, Catholic volunteer groups that oppose abortion have entered into agreements with hospitals around Italy to perform the burials, though it is unclear if one was involved in the Flaminio scandal.

The “Defend Life with Mary Association,” a Catholic nonprofit, is one such group. But the group’s vice president, Emiliano Ferri, denied that it ever identified women on a grave for a fetus. Instead, each tomb carries a number that is registered with the authority running the cemetery. A woman could eventually find a grave through that authority.

“How do we work? First of all in complete respect of privacy, not regarding us but in regards to the privacy of those women who aborted,” Ferri said. That said, he acknowledges the religious motivation for his work, which also involves burying younger fetuses if parents request it.

The cemetery scandal has erupted as women in Italy are increasingly reporting that they face discrimination and unsympathetic treatment in the public hospitals that perform the procedures — testimony that Italian newsmagazine L’Espresso has been gathering in a series of reports on what it calls the “torture” that some women undergo.

Even finding a doctor willing to perform the procedure has become difficult: According to health ministry statistics, 68% of Italian gynecologists identify themselves as conscientious objectors and refuse to perform abortions.

“It took me almost 10 days to find a non-objector doctor that would take me in a hospital, and once I entered ... everything went wrong,” said Francesca. She said she was induced without an epidural and said she endured the criticism of medical staff during seven hours of labor for having the procedure. Such late-term abortions are legal if the women's life is at risk.

“Nobody gave me assistance,” she said.

 on: Today at 03:34 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Darja

Croatian police accused of 'sickening' assaults on migrants on Balkans trail

Testimony from asylum seekers alleging brutal border pushbacks, including sexual abuse, adds to calls for EU to investigate

Lorenzo Tondo
Wed 21 Oct 2020 06.30 BST

People on the Balkans migrant trail have allegedly been whipped, robbed and, in one case, sexually abused by members of the Croatian police.

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has documented a series of brutal pushbacks on the Bosnia-Croatian border involving dozens of asylum seekers between 12 and 16 October.

The Guardian has obtained photographs and medical reports that support the accounts, described by aid workers as “sickening” and “shocking”.

“The testimonies collected from victims of pushbacks are horrifying,’’ said Charlotte Slente, DRC secretary general. “More than 75 persons in one week have all independently reported inhumane treatment, savage beatings and even sexual abuse.’’

According to migrants’ accounts, the pushbacks occurred in Croatian territory over the border from Velika Kladuša in Bosnia, close to Šiljkovača – a tented forest settlement of around 700 refugees and migrants.

“All of the persons interviewed by DRC bore visible injuries from beatings (bruises and cuts), as a result of alleged Croatian police violence,” reads the DRC report. “According to the statements provided by interviewed victims (with visible evidence of their injuries), pushbacks included brutal and extremely violent behaviour, degrading treatment, and theft and destruction of personal belongings.” One of the testimonies includes a report of serious sexual abuse.

On 12 October, five Afghans, including two minors, crossed the Croatian border near the Šturlić settlement. On the same day, near Novo Selo, an uniformed police officer stopped them and then called two more officers. One of the migrants ran, and the other four were detained at a police station. Two days later they were taken to court, where they say they were to “appear as witnesses in the case launched against the fifth member of the group – the one who escaped”, who had been accused of violent behaviour towards police.

The asylum seekers told the DRC that the original officers then took them “to some unknown location, where they were put in a van in the charge of 10 armed people, dressed in black and with full face balaclavas, army boots and with flashlights on their foreheads”. Their money was taken, their belongings torched and they were ordered to strip to their underwear. The migrants allege that they were forced to lie face down on the ground.

“One man in black was standing on the victim’s hands, preventing any movements,” reads the report. “Legs were also restrained. Once the person was hampered, the beating started. They were punched, kicked, whipped and beaten.” Medical reports confirm that migrants’ injuries are consistent with the use of a whip.

One migrant, MK, says at this point he was sexually assaulted by a man using a branch.

Mustafa Hodžić, a doctor in Velika Kladuša, examined the man. “The patient had wounds all over the back of his body, on his back and legs. I can confirm the signs of clear sexual violence … I have never seen anything like it. Even if it isn’t the first time as a doctor [that] I have seen signs of sexual violence on migrants, which, according the asylum seekers’ accounts, were perpetrated on Croatian territory by Croatian officials dressed in black uniforms.”

One Pakistani migrant told of being intercepted with two others near Croatia’s Blata railway station. The police allegedly ordered them to strip naked before loading them into a van and taking them to a sort of garage, where five other migrants were waiting to be sent back to Bosnia. Awaiting their arrival were men dressed in black.

“They started to beat us with batons, and the third one took his mobile phone and took a selfie with us without clothes,” the Pakistani man said. “The first four of us were on the ground, and we lay next to each other, naked and beaten, and the other four were ordered to lie on us, like when trees are stacked, so we lay motionless for 20 minutes. The last one was a minor. He was from the other group; I saw when the police officer ask him where he was from. He tried to say that he is a minor. He was beaten a lot, and when it was his turn to take off his clothes, he was beaten even more.”

One man added: “A minor from the second group fainted after many blows. His friends took him in their arms, and one of the police officers ordered them to lay him down on the ground. Then they started hitting them with batons. Before the deportation, police told us: ‘We don’t care where you are from or if you will return to Bosnia or to your country, but you will not go to Croatia. Now you have all your arms and legs because we were careful how we hit you. Next time it will be worse’.’’

Small groups of asylum seekers attempt to cross from Bosnia into Croatia nightly on the migrant trail into western Europe. The EU’s longest internal border, it is patrolled by police armed with truncheons, pistols and night vision goggles. Aid workers, doctors, border guards and UN officials have documented systematic abuse and violence perpetrated along the border stretch for several years.

Last May, the Guardian documented a case of more than 30 migrants who were allegedly robbed and had their heads spray painted with red crosses by Croatian officers.

The UNHCR has asked the Croatian government to set up an independent assessment of the border situation.

The details of the latest pushback are in a report that the DRC has shared with the European commission, which has yet to investigate.

‘’The Croatian government and the European commission must act to put a stop to the systematic use of violence,” said Slente. ‘’Treating human beings like this, inflicting severe pain and causing unnecessary suffering, irrespective of their migratory status, cannot and should not be accepted by any European country, or by any EU institution. There is an urgent need to ensure that independent border monitoring mechanisms are in place to prevent these abuses.”

Croatian police and the ministry of the interior have not responded to requests for comment.
A man shows his injured arm as part of evidence alleging assaults on migrants from the Croatian police.

In June, the Guardian revealed EU officials were accused of an “outrageous cover-up” for withholding evidence of the Croatian government’s failure to supervise border forces. Internal emails showed Brussels officials were fearful of full disclosure of Croatia’s lack of commitment to a monitoring mechanism that EU ministers had agreed to fund.

In January, a commission official warned a colleague that Croatia’s failure to use money earmarked two years ago for border police “will for sure be seen as a scandal”.

The recent accusations come as the commission presented its final report on the grant, in which Croatia asserted that the co-financing project had “helped make the implementation of activities of border surveillance more conscientious and of higher quality, with emphasis on the respect of migrants’ rights guaranteed under international, European and national legislation”.

Regarding allegations of abuse, Croatian authorities stated: “Every single [piece of] information and every single complaint was inspected in the process called internal control. We did not establish that the police officers committed any criminal or disciplinary offence in any of the cases.”

Clare Daly, an Irish MEP, is among those who have raised concerns in Brussels. “The blood of these people, so horrifically mistreated on the Croatian border, is on the hands of the European commission. They have enabled this violation of fundamental rights by ignoring the facts presented to them by NGOs and MEPs that all was not well. They turned a blind eye time and again, and now these horrible events have occurred again, even worse than before.”

She added: “The last time such behaviour occurred, the commission rewarded Croatia with an extra grant even bigger than the first one, and said they were happy with how the funds had been spent … when is someone going to be held accountable for these crimes against humanity?

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