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Justice Department and 11 states sue Google in antitrust case: 'Long overdue'

This is a developing story and may be updated.

The U.S. Justice Department announced Tuesday an antitrust lawsuit against Google—a filing that marks the biggest case tackling tech power since the one targeting Microsoft in 1998.

The filing is joined by 11 states, all of which have Republican governors, Reuters reported.

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) responded to the announcement by pointing to the House antitrust subcommittee's recent report finding that Google, along with other tech giants, hold monopoly power.

"This step is long overdue," Cicilline tweeted of the government's new lawsuit, adding, "It is time to restore competition online."

Open Markets Institute, a research and advocacy group, framed the lawsuit as a "big moment."

In a Twitter thread Monday ahead of the announcement, the group wrote that "Google... acquired its dominance of the internet search market by bribing smartphone manufacturers and wireless operators not to install rival search engines on devices they sold."

According to the Associated Press, the legal action could mark "an opening salvo ahead of other major government antitrust actions, given ongoing investigations of major tech companies including Apple, Amazon, and Facebook at both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission."

Barr claims Trump cannot be sued for denying writer's rape accusation: Using DOJ 'to crush a victim'

In Attorney General Bill Barr's latest attempt to help President Donald Trump avoid accountability for an alleged rape he is accused of committing in the 1990s, Barr on Monday argued in court filings that when the president denied columnist E. Jean Carroll's accusation last year, he was acting not on behalf of his own interests but in his capacity as a public servant representing the people of the United States.

"Given the president's position in our constitutional structure, his role in communicating with the public is especially significant," wrote Justice Department lawyers, who last month at Barr's direction replaced Trump's personal legal team to represent the president in the case, in a highly unusual move. "The president's statements fall within the scope of his employment for multiple reasons."

The statements the government lawyers were referring to include Trump's claim that Carroll was "not [his] type," that he had never met her despite photographic evidence to the contrary, and that she was a liar who was trying to sell books by accusing him of raping her in a department store more than two decades ago, long before Trump's political career began.

"There is not a single person in the United States—not the president and not anyone else—whose job description includes slandering women they sexually assaulted," Carroll's attorneys wrote in response to the DOJ's claim on Monday.

Carroll, who sued Trump for defamation in a New York state court following his remarks, tweeted that she and her legal team are planning to argue in court that Trump's denial was "not an official act."

The DOJ lawyers' claim comes a month after Barr intervened in Carroll's case against Trump, both by replacing the president's legal representation and by attempting to transfer the lawsuit from the state court to a federal district court. Both moves suggest the DOJ aims to have the case treated as one that was filed against a government employee who is immune from defamation lawsuits, in order to have Carroll's case dismissed.

Former federal prosecutor and NBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner tweeted that Barr's latest action goes against the department's responsibility to work "on behalf of victims."

"Bill Barr is trying to use the DOJ to crush a victim," Kirschner said.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden last week criticized the president for using the DOJ as his "own law firm" to gain the upper hand in his legal troubles.

"'I'm being sued because a woman's accusing me of rape. Represent me. Represent me,'" Mr. Biden said in imitation of the president. "What's that all about?"

Here's what Donald Trump's hatred of women reveals about his psyche

by Bud McClure

Trump's hatred of women and his rejection of the feminine are confirmed by his behavior on a daily basis. Confronted with a black woman opponent, Kamala Harris, his self-loathing is expressed through his projection of his rejected feminine side and his shadow complex. A psychological perspective on this phenomena is informed by Mary Trump's book Too Much and Not Enough which details the early childhood wounding that led to Trump's dysfunction behavior. For a full analysis of Trump's pathology read Dr. Brandy Lee's, a forensic psychiatrist, book The Dangerous Case of Donald. There is also a new film #Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump.

The psychologist Carl Jung proposed that males and females have contrasexual archetypal traits. The male has a feminine side known as the anima and the masculine side of the female is known as the animus. These archetypes are idealized images. In young people these archetypes remain undeveloped and are mainly expressed through projection onto others. For example, a young man who is attracted to a woman will project his ideal feminine, the anima, onto her. Initially she will try to match that projection through her behavior. This requires considerable energy. No matter what she does, she will never live up the man's ideal image. As the woman reveals more of her real self, the projection wanes and the real relationship can begin. The same phenomenon occurs for women through the projection of the animus onto male suitors.

Jung proposed that as we grow older, we integrate these contrasexual images. The man becomes more feminine and the female more masculine. This is known as individualization, is a lifelong process. We may ultimately integrate all aspects of the self and become whole. The more integrated we become the less likely we are to project these archetypal images onto others. However, for many males this integration never talks place. There are various reasons including the influence of sociocultural factors and family of origins.

The complex relationship between psychological development and socialization of men that begins at birth is captured eloquently by Teresa Bernardez. She suggests that because of socialization there is a cultural injunction against appearing to be like a female or exhibiting characteristics associated with being feminine. In our culture, the feminine is stereotyped as weak, helpless, and less competent than the male. Affect, empathy and other feminine characteristics are belittled and rejected as unmanly. A counter-identification process can take place. Men divorce themselves from traits that are seen as female-like or even those associated with the mother. Bernardez argues this negative view of women or the feminine causes an internal struggle within the male to control those unwanted feminine aspects of self by projecting them outward onto women.

Bernardez summarizes, "The male thus controls the female aspects of himself that he fears and devalues. The domination of women is encouraged by the culture, but its strength comes from the need of males to control and domi­nate the female-self in themselves."

From this perspective, when a man encounters a strong women, a woman in power or a woman in a leadership position, he feels out-of-control. He may even fear that the woman controls him and forces upon him the very feminine characteristics he eschews - dependency, submissiveness and compliance.

As Mary Trump reports in her book, Donald was abandoned by his mother and ignored by his father. His early socialization of women was very negative. His mother was sickly and not involved in any parenting role. His father was disinterested in him and preferred work. His father ruled his house "under a dark, oppressive cloud of psychological and emotional abuse."

Both of his parents were haunted by their own pathology and had little interest or ability to properly parent Donald. He developed a very negative view of women through his relationship with his mother. This may have coincided with his own childhood feelings, of abandonment, helplessness and being out-of-control.

To control those negative injunctions against the feminine in himself Donald projects that loathing onto women around him, particularly strong woman. His relationship with the feminine in his outer world mirrors his own internal relationship with the feminine in him. The extent to which he denigrates women and the anger and even hatred he projects onto them reflects, in equal measure, his own self-hatred of his dependency, weakness, and passivity that he associates with the feminine in him.

Donald's favorite sexist invective toward women is 'nasty.' He has used the word to describe both men and women. When referring to Kamala Harris it is often meant to demean and dismiss her as a woman and as a serious political candidate. He mispronounces her name. He calls her a monster. He called her the "meanest, most horrible, most disrespectful member of the United States Senate." These words that be used to describe Trump's own presidential behavior. The most telling comment that summarizes Trump's view of women and by extension his own feminine side occurred in 1992 when he said of women, "You have to treat 'em like shit."

Trump prefers his women to be compliant. This fits with some antiquated notion that women should be seen and not heard. Donald's own preference for models underscores this notion.

Jung posited another domain of the psyche called the shadow. The shadow is a repository for all of the unwanted and rejected aspects of self. Those characteristics we deny, those which we wish to keep hidden from others, those that cause us shame and embarrassment and those that are outside our awareness. Ideally, during the individuation process those darker aspects of self would be uncovered and integrated with all other aspects of the psyche. This reclamation can lead to a fuller, more integrated and creative life. It harnesses psyche energy rather than diffuses it. Without this reclamation process we must manage the psychic energy that is required to repress the shadow material. Like the unwanted feminine traits, we project this shadow outward onto others. Because the shadow material remains hidden and in a dark place it is most easily projected onto people of color. Trump's vile racism is again a measure of his own shadow and his efforts to keep it at bay.

This is another aspect to his projection on Kamala Harris that is a function of her being black. He labels her angry. This is a racist trope that is meant to conjure images of an ill-tempered and ill-mannered black who does not know her place. The opening salvo from the Trump camp, after Harris was nominated to be the vice-presidential candidate, was to label her a 'hoe".

His hatred of immigrants, Muslims, any person of color, Obama and now Kamala Harris are projection of his own shadow. His descriptions of these people are reflections of his own revulsion with aspects of himself. He even refers to mostly non-white countries as "shitholes." Mary Trump has heard Donald using the N-word. Trump refers to Black Lives Matter protesters as thugs, looters lowlife and scrum. Many of these same characteristics have been used to describe Trump's behavior.

Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer and fixer, in his forthcoming book, Disloyal writes,

"I knew him better than even his family did because I bore witness to the real man, in strip clubs, shady business meetings, and in the unguarded moments when he revealed who he really was: a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man,"

This race for president is extremely negative as Trump feels endangered of losing his office and by extension control of himself. Kamala Harris, and other women are perfect screens onto which Trump will project all of the unwanted and rejected aspects of himself. He will project his feminine side which he associates with weakness, passivity, and helplessness and his own dark side full of shame, embarrassment, and not feeling good enough.

Bud McClure is professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He is the author of Putting A New Spin on Groups: The Science of Chaos and the award-winning Divine Daisy: A Transpersonal Tale. He can be reached at

Judge strikes down Trump effort to slash food stamps for 700,000 Americans: Victory for 'basic human decency'

A federal judge in Washington, D.C. late Sunday struck down the Trump administration's proposed changes to the SNAP benefits program, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of people from losing badly-needed federal food assistance.

U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell issued a scathing ruling, denouncing President Donald Trump and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who she said have been "icily silent about how many [adults] would have been denied SNAP benefits had the changes sought ... been in effect while the pandemic rapidly spread across the country."

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who was among more than a dozen state attorneys general who joined the District of Columbia in suing the administration over the changes, called Howell's ruling "a major victory for common sense and basic human decency in our nation."

The USDA proposed the changes months before the coronavirus pandemic began. They were initially set to go into effect in April, but Howell issued an injunction in March, as the president declared a state of emergency, ordering the administration to delay the changes. Perdue later appealed Howell's order, potentially allowing the new rules to go into effect despite a pandemic that has left millions unemployed.

Under existing SNAP benefits rules, states are able to waive work requirements for SNAP benefits for areas with unemployment rates as low as 2.5%. Perdue and Trump moved to tighten the criteria for waiving the requirements by raising the minimum rate to 6%.

The change could have left nearly 700,000 people without the benefit, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

Tamar Haspel, a Post food policy columnist, tweeted that the proposal, and the administration's attempt to ensure it could go into effect during the public health and economic crisis, was in the running for Trump's "Vilest Policy Ever."

The pandemic, Howell said in her ruling, exposed how unworkable the administration's proposed changes were, with the number of Americans relying on SNAP benefits growing by 17%, or six million enrollees, and unemployment rates quadrupling.

Perdue and Trump displayed an "utter failure to address the issue" of how millions would be affected by new work requirements during the crisis, Howell said, rendering their changes "arbitrary and capricious."

With the ruling handed down two weeks before Nov. 3, the last day Americans can vote in the presidential election, journalist Matt Taibbi wrote that it may serve as a reminder of the president's priorities.

"Trump: yes to Space Force, no to Food Stamps," Taibbi tweeted.

Trump mocks Biden for vowing to 'listen to the scientists' as coronavirus cases surge in most states

Speaking to a largely maskless crowd of supporters on Carson City, Nevada late Sunday, President Donald Trump mocked Democratic nominee Joe Biden for vowing to "listen to the scientists" on the Covid-19 pandemic if elected in November and boasted about his own refusal to heed the advice of experts even as coronavirus cases and deaths continue to surge nationwide.

"If I listened totally to the scientists, we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression," Trump said, neglecting to mention that the U.S. is, in fact, currently in the midst of an unprecedented economic downturn.

"We're like a rocket ship, take a look at the numbers," the president added, remarks that came just days after the Labor Department reported that another 1.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits during the week ending October 10. According to data from the Census Bureau, nearly 80 million U.S. adults are struggling to afford basic necessities such as food and rent.

Watch Trump's comments:

The Biden campaign and allies of the former vice president were quick to respond to Trump's attack, which was in line with the president's repeated dismissals of expert recommendations and basic public health guidelines as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the country.

Ronald Klain, Biden's former chief of staff who led the Obama administration's Ebola response, tweeted, "Trump admits he doesn't listen to scientists. No wonder the U.S. leads the world in Covid deaths."

Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates called Trump's remarks "tellingly out of touch and the polar opposite of reality."

"Trump crashed the strong economy he inherited from the Obama-Biden administration by lying about and attacking the science, and layoffs are rising," Bates said.

The president's anti-science rhetoric, policies, and personnel moves—which have included the installation of political officials at federal public health agencies—have led nonpartisan publications and groups like Scientific American and the National Academy of Sciences to publicly criticize Trump, in some cases, call for his ouster in November.

"Policymaking must be informed by the best available evidence without it being distorted, concealed, or otherwise deliberately miscommunicated," the nonpartisan National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine said in a joint statement last month. "We find ongoing reports and incidents of the politicization of science, particularly the overriding of evidence and advice from public health officials and derision of government scientists, to be alarming."

Serving oligarchs: Republicans have installed judges to cement minority rules

The analogy of judges being like umpires calling balls and strikes has been used to argue that judges merely apply the law according to the rules, leaving no room for bias. The misleading nature of this claim has never been more apparent.

Objectivity in judging is a myth. As Justice Cardozo noted, "We (judges) may try to see things as objectively as we please, nonetheless we can never see them with any eyes except our own." A test of principled judging is doctrinal consistency. As Ryan Grim and others argue, Judge Barrett fails that test, notably regarding the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

When Sonia Sotomayor said at her Supreme Court confirmation hearings that her experience as a Latina woman informs her judging, she broke the rules of the game and had to recant in support of the guise of neutrality. The charade continues.

Serving oligarchs, the Republicans have installed judges to cement minority rule.Dahlia Lithwick notes that Barrett "has clothed herself in a cloak of neutrality" contending that this posture will free her to do "pernicious work that will undercut the very ideals she is sworn to uphold."

Barrett proudly claims to be a constitutional originalist, as if this is beyond reproach, which it most certainly is not. Originalism is both historically and logically problematic. Purportedly constraining judges, it may actually serve to unleash them.

Ronald Dworkin's responsibility theory posits that judging with integrity demands honest and transparent inquiry, analysis and reasoning. Dworkin asserts that any honest consideration of judging must recognize the centrality of interpretation. Under the common law judges do make law, unlike the civil law tradition where law is "found". The making of judicial law can be as corrupted as the making of legislation, and as unappetizing as seeing sausage made.

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's presentation on Dark Money shed light on the anti-democratic influences distorting the law. The Court lacks basic disclosure requirements fundamental to judicial integrity. Litigants appearing before the Court should wear badges demanding an end to the flow of dark money. As this would be disallowed, the public must fight secret plutocratic law.

The unprecedented rush to confirm Barrett denied an opportunity to fully investigate Barrett's record and conflicts. It was pathetic that Senator Whitehouse could only conclude his remarks with a plea to Barrett to "please think about these things" when she is on the Court. With hypocrite in chief Lindsay Graham presiding over Barrett's confirmation hearing precedent and principle were, unsurprisingly, conveniently discarded.

Sandra O'Connor decried unseemly law, by which she meant that which went against public opinion. Today's Court cares little about public sentiment as it routinely rules against it. When McConnell stole the seat from Merrick Garland in 2016 to install Neil Gorsuch in 2017 a nail was put in the coffin of the venerable Court. Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Barrett's confirmation process further stained the Court. The disrespect shown to RBG following her death is abhorrent, and with Trump's overt politicization of Barrett's seat marks a new low point for the Court.

Right wing court-packing has been going on for decades, as has judicial activism by Republican appointed judges. Barrett is a prime example.

Serving oligarchs, the Republicans have installed judges to cement minority rule.

Welcome to the new judicial order where stare decisis and neutrality are (ab)used as swords for the rich. Know the rules and play by them. Stop going to a knife fight with an olive branch. Pack the court if you can democrats. If you fail to do so you will be rendered impotent by the right wing activist federal courts. //

Team Trump's plan to steal the election using the Court to seal the deal is in plain sight.

In 2000, John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Barrett all worked for George W Bush to stop the recount. They may soon vote together to stop the actual counting. Senator Feinstein will surely thank them for their excellent leadership if they do.

Barrett's cagey responses to the senate judiciary committee further expose the discrepancy between judicial theory vs practice. Her refusal to abstain from potential upcoming election challenges before the Court evince a false understanding of the recusal standard. Like her mentor Scalia in Bush v. Gore, she speaks only to actual bias, wearing her robe as a shield, ignoring that the standard for recusal is the appearance of bias. The purpose is to uphold public confidence in the independence and integrity of judicial decision making. There is now little reason for the people to have such confidence.

As the judiciary heads further to the right it is evident it no longer serves the values of the majority of the people. Equal justice under the law is now just a reminder of how wildly the federal judiciary misses the strike zone.

Trump hold for super-spreader rally in Wisconsin — despite warnings of otherwise 'preventable deaths'

With the state of Wisconsin considered "an epicenter of the pandemic in the United States" and an internal White House memo just days ago putting it in the "red zone" for Covid-19 spread, President Donald Trump is being freshly accused of "callous disregard for the lives and health of others" in the state by holding a Saturday rally that public health experts warn will likely lead to death and further illness that otherwise could be prevented.

Saturday's rally is taking place even though top public health officials within Trump's administration warned this week that such events would kill more people. As the Guardian reports:

Earlier this week, Trump's own White House task force issued a warning to Wisconsin, which is considered to be in the "red zone" for high infection rates, saying people should avoid crowds if they want do not want to cause "preventable deaths."

The warning was included in a weekly report issued to governors but not made public. It was reported by the Center for Public Integrity (CPI), an investigative non-profit in Washington.

With the rally set to take place in a rural area outside of Janesville, it was reported that attendees would be forced to take shuttle buses—only increasing their exposure to the virus—to get to the event site.

Just days ago, the state was forced to open an emergency field hospital outside Milwaukee due to the surge in cases. On Wednesday, Julie Willems Van Dijk, Deputy Secretary of Wisconsin Department of Health Services, explained to the Capital Times that the facility was opened because Wisconsin's overall health care system was "in crisis" mode. "Many of our ICUs are strained," Van Dijk said. "And every region of our state has one or more hospitals reporting current and imminent staff shortages."

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, decried Trump's decision to go through with the rally, calling it a potential "super-spreader" event that will cost people their lives.

"Wisconsin has had over 10,000 COVID cases in three days," Pocan tweeted Friday night, and asked Trump: "Why are you still holding a super-spreader rally here?"

Pocan later tweeted a video detailing Trump's callous disregard and calling on Wisconsites, regardless of political affiliation, to "stay home; avoid large gatherings; wear a mask" in order to stay healthy and prevent further spread of the virus.

Pocan was hardly alone in characterizing the Wisconsin rally this way. Kara Purviance, chair of the Rock County Board of Supervisors in Wisconsin, appeared on CNN Friday night and also condemned the president's dangerous decision to hold the weekend rally despite record infection rates in the state:

Speaking with CPI for its reporting on the White House's internal task force memo, William Hanage, a Harvard epidemiologist said the fact that the Trump campaign is making rally attendees agree to liability waivers in case they later become sick with Covid-19, "indicates they know the reality because if they weren't worried about it then they wouldn't bother" having people sign them.

"Given the rates of disease currently in Wisconsin," Hanage told CPI, "we can say pretty categorically this is going to produce opportunity for transmission."

Wisconsin's Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin on Friday lambasted Trump for coming to the state for a campaign stop even as he has refused her repeated requests for increased medical equipment that have been in short supply for months. On Friday evening, she tweeted:

"On April 13, 2020, I wrote to you on behalf of Wisconsinites calling for the supplies needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic," Baldwin wrote to Trump in a letter sent to the White House on Friday. "In my letter, I urged you to act to deliver this assistance swiftly. It is now six months later, and Wisconsin is still experiencing supply shortages, which couldn't come at a worse time. Wisconsin is currently experiencing one of the most serious outbreaks in the nation, and health care providers continue to share concerns about supply shortages. It is long past time for you to show leadership and take action to support our state with the supplies that we need and deserve."

Ralph Nader breaks down 'travesty' of Barrett's confirmation as Senate ensures 'corporate supremacy' reigns

In a 1995 book review published in the University of Chicago Law Review, Elena Kagan (now Justice Kagan) wrote about judicial nominees avoiding disclosing their views on legal issues. She said, "[T]he safest and surest route to the prize lay in alternating platitudinous statement and judicious silence. Who would have done anything different, in the absence of pressure from members of Congress?"

This week, nominee to the High Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett followed the "say-nothing" playbook, through injudicious and repetitious filibustering, essentially claiming that it was improper for a judge "to opine" on matters outside the judicial process.

Really? Judge Barrett "opined" in lectures, interviews, and articles as a judge as have many sitting Supreme Court Justices. Her mentor, Justice Antonin Scalia regularly made controversial declarations at law school addresses and all kinds of other public appearances.

Judge Barrett's hours before the Senate Judiciary Committee were consistently defiant. She refused to answer questions about the legality of intimidating voters, or whether all losing presidents should commit to a peaceful transition of power. Judge Barrett even refused to say whether she accepts the science on the climate crisis because she lacks the expertise on this issue and because it is a controversial topic.

Senator Pat Leahy said, "President Trump claims he has an absolute right to pardon himself. Would you agree, first, that nobody is above the law — not the president, not you, not me — is that correct?" Judge Barrett said she agreed no one is above the law but could not answer the question about a president's pardon powers because "it had never been litigated."

She would not even say that a President cannot unilaterally change the date of the election. Perhaps Judge Barrett should review Article II of the Constitution which empowers Congress to choose the timing of the general election and a law enacted by Congress that requires the election to be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

The hearings were truly a travesty. Too few hearing days, exclusion of prominent civic and scholarly critics of her record and statements, and remarkably, the defeatist position by the Democrats. Their repetitive political campaign-related focus on Roe v. Wade and access to abortions, Obamacare, and the Second Amendment was directed to the voters back home. The Republicans did their things for the elections too, led by Chair Lindsey Graham. (This is an important reason why nomination hearings should not be conducted close to elections).

It gets worse. Chair Lindsey Graham pronounced victory for the judge in his opening statement and by their behavior the Democrats largely agreed, using the occasion to share their political views without exposing how a Judge's corporatist ideology can let corporations prevail over workers, consumers, the environment, and the electoral process. Republican Justices on the Supreme Court, most notoriously, in the Citizens United case opened the floodgates to corporate cash further corrupting our elections.

As constitutional law expert, Bruce Fein noted, Judge Barrett maintained no distance between her and her nominator, President Trump, who stunningly has said, "I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president." As a presidential tyrant, Trump knew how to choose a judicial nominee who is not likely to reject tyranny.

Except for Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the Democrats, as they have in previous Supreme Court nomination hearings, declined to question Judge Barrett about rampant corporate crime, and corporate personhood harming all Americans. Corporate power and control are scraping the rule of law with worsening brazenness, privileges, and immunities.

A 6 to 3 corporatist Court will install an era of corporate supremacy over real people that has no foundation in our Constitution. There is no mention, whatsoever, of the words "corporation" or "company" in the Constitution, the juridical foundation of our Republic. Treating corporations as artificial entities – as "persons" is based on a headnote in the 1886 Supreme Court case, Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Rail Road. The headnote that was not even part of the Court's opinion. This judicial unfortunate and legally suspect twist has been relied on and expanded by generations of corporatist Supreme Court Justices.

Senator Whitehouse went to the root of the choice of Judge Barrett. It's about power by the few over the many. The long-driven goal of the Koch Brothers and the Bradley Foundation.

The Democratic Party should have avoided all these losing nomination battles over Trump's, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and now Amy Barrett. How? By handily winning half a dozen Senate seats in 2016 and 2018 that they botched big time. They even lost seats of sitting Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Bill Nelson (D-FL) the latter to then-Governor Rick Scott. Rick Scott, prior to being governor, was the CEO of Columbia/HCA which under Scott engaged in one of the largest Medicare frauds in history. The federal government fined Columbia/HCA $1.7 billion for this outrageous behavior.

In their own ways, these Senators tried to be Republican-lite by avoiding front-burner issues such as higher minimum wages, law and order for corporate outlaws, full Medicare for All, and the creation of good community-based jobs to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. These and other much-needed programs could be paid for by restoring corporate taxes to the level they were in the more prosperous nineteen sixties.

Because of the two-party duopoly, our country has been cornered with the "choice of the lesser of two evils" as both parties were dialing for the same corporate/commercial campaign dollars. In 2016, Bernie Sanders showed that big amounts of money can come from many small donors. The Democrats are outspending the Republicans in many races, but more than money is needed to win elections. What's their excuse for letting the worst Republican in Party history win, again and again, control the Congress with one or both Houses, and entrench their clenched-teeth judges for decades?

Look in the mirror Democrats. Start self-examining why collectively you've let the American people down? It's time for the rising movement of elected and grassroots progressive to take over.

Kamala Harris team strikes back after David Perdue's 'incredibly racist' attack on her name

Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia was denounced for being "incredibly racist" Friday night after he willfully mispronounced the name of his Senate colleague Kamala Harris, the Democrat from California and her party's vice presidential nominee, at a campaign rally for President Donald Trump.

Perdue—currently in a heated reelection campaign of his own against Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff—was just completing his introduction for Trump at the rally in Macon, Georgia when he referred to Harris as "Kah-mah-lah? Kah-MAH-lah? Kamala-mala-mala" and then said: "I don't know. Whatever."


Sen. David Perdue mispronounces Sen. Kamala Harris's first name

While the Perdue campaign said the GOP senator "didn't mean anything by it," it was clear from the laughter by the predominantly white Republican crowd that the overt dogwhistle had its intended effect.

As the Washington Post's White Hosue bureau chief Phil Rucker noted, any feigned ignorance should not be taken seriously. "Perdue has served with Kamala Harris in the Senate for four years," tweeted Rucker. "He knows how to properly pronounce her name."

"Well that is incredibly racist," said Sabrina Singh, Harris' press secretary, in a tweet responding to Perdue's comment. "Vote him out," Singh added, "and vote for Ossoff."

According to CNN:

Kamala is pronounced "'comma-la,' like the punctuation mark," according to the California senator. Harris wrote in the preface of her 2019 memoir, "The Truths We Hold," "First, my name is pronounced 'comma-la,' like the punctuation mark. It means 'lotus flower,' which is a symbol of significance in Indian culture. A lotus grows underwater, its flower rising above the surface while its roots are planted firmly in the river bottom."
If elected in November, Harris will become the nation's first Indian-American vice president, the first Black vice president, the first female vice president and the first Jamaican-American vice president. Harris' father was born in Jamaica and her late mother was born in India.

For his part, Ossoff denounced the remarks as part of pattern of discriminatory attacks by Perdue and said Georgians and other Americans "are better than this." Later Friday night, Ossoff appeared on MSNBC where he further characterized the attack on Harris as the "kind of vile, race-baiting trash talk" that Trump "has unleashed from sitting Republican members of the Senate."

In a statement, Nikema Williams, state chairwoman of Georgia's Democratic Party, said "Perdue's intentionally disrespectful mispronunciation of Senator Harris's name is a bigoted and racist tactic straight from President Trump's handbook. He owes Georgians an apology for his offensive display."

A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday showed Osoff, who had been trailing, moving ahead of Perdue with a 6 percentage point lead (51% to 45%), though poll averages show the contenders in more or less a dead heat with just over weeks until Election Day.

Deregulatory rush shows Trump White House willing to 'scorch the Earth before they go'

With President Donald Trump's re-election very much in doubt, his administration is rushing to ram through regulatory rollbacks that could adversely affect millions of Americans, the environment, and the ability of Joe Biden—should he win—to pursue his agenda or even undo the damage done over the past four years.

Reporting by the New York Times details how the administration is cutting corners as it scrambles to enact as much of its agenda as possible before ceding power on January 20 if Trump loses the election. Required public comment periods and detailed analyses, according to the Times, are being eschewed in favor of streamlined approval processes that have left even staunch deregulation defenders sounding the alarm.

"Two main hallmarks of a good regulation is sound analysis to support the alternatives chosen and extensive public comment to get broader opinion," Susan E. Dudley, director of the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center and formerly head of regulation in the George W. Bush White House, told the Times. "It is a concern if you are bypassing both of those."

Russell Vought, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, told the Times that the president has always "worked quickly... to grow the economy by removing the mountain of Obama-Biden job-killing regulations."

However, critics are warning that some of the proposed changes are being rushed through with insufficient regard to the harm they might cause. Some of the issues that are raising red flags include:

  • Refusing to lower limits on dangerous particulate and ozone pollution, which cause thousands of annual premature deaths.
  • Allowing so-called "bomb trains" that transport highly combustible liquefied natural gas on freight trains.
  • Determining when workers can be classified as employees or independent contractors.
  • Exempting certain commercial drivers from mandatory hour limits and rest periods.
  • Placing limits on how science is used in the air pollution rule-making process.
  • Expanding regulation of immigrants by requiring citizenship applicants to submit biometric data, by forcing sponsors of immigrants to stay off welfare and prove their financial independence.

In response to the reporting, critics of the administration like writer Matthew Kressel said that it helps make clear that if the Republicans in the White House cannot win reelection, they'll "scorch the earth before they go."

And Matthew Gertz, a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, tweeted: "I think people underestimate the amount of time and energy that is going to be needed just to climb out from under the mountain of shit this administration leaves behind."

Many of the changes reflect the agendas of the powerful corporate and other business interests whose key players have donated generously to Trump, belying the president's oft-repeated claim that he is "draining the swamp." Other regulator rollbacks come despite warnings from career officials within federal agencies about the harm they could cause.

Alarmed by the administration's rushed rate of regulatory rollbacks, a group of over 15 Democratic senators earlier this month sent a letter (pdf) to Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia warning of "profound economic implications" for some 143 million U.S. workers that would result from curtailing public comment periods for the proposed rule change regarding independent contractors.

"Workers across the country deserve a chance to fully examine and properly respond to these potentially radical changes, and a 30-day comment period is not nearly enough," the letter states.