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Trump expresses all his pent-up contempt for women in two words to NBC's Savannah Guthrie

The takeaway from Trump's self-immolation at his Town Hall on Thursday can be found exactly at the 1:57 mark in the video above, when he sarcastically expresses his contempt for moderator Savannah Guthrie, who has clearly gotten under his skin. He mutters it, underneath his breath, and you could be forgiven for missing it, but for a fleeting second we get a glimpse of all the animosity, all the malice, all the narcissism, all the misogyny and contempt this man feels towards women. You can just hear it in his voice:

"Ha Ha. So cute."

From The Independent:

The president and the Ms Guthrie exchanged barbs during a heated opening to the NBC event.
Mr Trump even sarcastically told the TV host "so cute" when she pressed him to denounce QAnon's wild conspiracy theories.

From the New York Times:

"Why aren't you asking Joe Biden questions about why doesn't he condemn antifa?" Mr. Trump asked her.
"Because you're here," she said, matter-of-factly.
"So cute," Mr. Trump responded, in a condescending tone that was unlikely to endear him to the suburban women voters he has been trying to win back.

x

I think the suburban women will love Trump telling Savannah Guthrie sarcastically that she is "so cute."
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) October 16, 2020

And one other note; As of 9:55 EST, nearly a half hour after his own town hall ended, Joe Biden is still there, answering voters' questions.

Lindsey Graham faces backlash for repeated racial innuendos

With Election Day fast approaching, Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-S.C.) is walking on the edge, constantly pushing the envelop of racial tension with his repeated, verbal innuendos and many are calling out the Republican lawmaker's disregard for the weight of his words.

New York Times-bestselling author Michael Arceneaux recently criticized Graham in an op-ed as he highlighted the danger of the senator's attempt to wave off and normalize racism. Arceneaux recalled Graham's questionable remarks during Wednesday's Supreme Court confirmation hearing of President Donald Trump's nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Graham referred to the "good old days of segregation" during the hearing and his words quickly garnered an array of responses from the American public. When asked about the remarks, Graham waved off concerns claiming his remarks were merely "sarcasm."

"It was with deep sarcasm that I suggested that some legislative body would want to yearn for the good old days of segregationism," Graham explained. "The point that I'm trying to make, there's nobody in America in the legislative arena wanting to take us back to that dark period in American history and for my opponent to suggest that says far more about him than me."

As he claimed approximately one third of his constituents are Black, Graham went a step further with another remark that has ultimately made led to more scrutiny. The Republican senator insisted he cannot understand why anyone would raise questions about him possibly being racist despite him being criticized for words he uttered.

Graham said, "In terms of that statement, it blows my mind that any rational person could believe that about me."

Arceneaux went on to explain why Graham's remarks, and his response, are problematic.

"Lindsey Graham is a southern white man in his 60s. Spare me this nonsense. And if he's too busy begging for spare change to deal with his challenger's massive fundraising haul, he should have asked a campaign staffer to give him a few notes about the history of policing, the state of South Carolina, and the current data about police brutality." - Michael Arceneaux

According to Arceneaux, Graham appears as an out-of-touch politician unaware of what is occurring in America outside of his own bubble.

"Lindsey Graham not only feels it's okay to "sarcastically" reference segregation and the Jim Crow era, but that it's irrational for anyone to take offense to such trivializing," Arceneaux wrote, adding, "The other problem with Graham's mindlessness when discussing racism is that it extends beyond this quip."

Although Graham has waved off criticism, he has expressed concern about the campaign success of his Democratic opponent, Jaime Harrison. Not only is Graham facing challenges financially, his recent remarks have also raised concerns about the outcome of the Congressional race.

Radicalized right-wingers uniting online -- many inspired by Trump -- threaten democracy overseas

Australian researchers published a study this week mapping the online activity of right-wing extremists in New South Wales, concluding such individuals—many of them inspired by U.S. President Donald Trump—pose an "insidious" threat to the country's democracy.

The study, Mapping Networks and Narratives of Online Right-Wing Extremists in New South Wales, was conducted by researchers at Macquarie University and Victoria University, who analyzed the Facebook pages of 30 extreme right-wing groups and tens of thousands of tweets from over 3,300 users in the southeastern state.

The researchers found that on numerous social media platforms—including Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Gab, 4chan, and 8chan/kun—communities of mostly young men are uniting over "the theme of white identity under threat."

Anti-semitism, Islamophobia, and far-right conspiracy theories like QAnon are common narratives used to engage and recruit young men into extremist groups, the study found. Trump plays a significant role in the conversation, according to Macquarie University researcher Julian Droogan.

"Trump is really held up as an example of a defender of white identity by many in this extreme subculture," Droogan told The Guardian. "However, we also see it being presented in a distinctly Australian way."

The researchers found that right-wing extremism fueled by social media poses a serious threat to Australian democracy.

"The propagation of extremist narratives online serves to polarize political debate, and to undermine trust in institutions and democracy," the study asserts. "Social media is playing a key role in the rise of right-wing violent extremism."

As an example, the authors cite the Christchurch terror attack, in which a Trump-supporting Australian white supremacist livestreamed his massacre of 51 Muslims worshipping in a New Zealand mosque last March.

The researchers call on Australian leaders to work to safeguard the nation's political system "from these very insidious and ongoing threats."

The rise in right-wing extremism is reflected in statements from the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation, Australia's domestic spy agency, which recently revealed that up to 40% of its counter-terrorism cases now involve far-right extremism.

Policing the digital frontiers: Is India weaponizing technology to silence civil society?

Gmail on Laptop in Dark. Image via Flickr by Image Catalog. Public Domain.On June 15, 2020, Amnesty International and Citizen Lab, an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, uncovered a coordinated spyware campaign that targeted nine Indian human rights defenders between January to October 2019.In the world’s largest democracy, these types of incidents are a concern especially when viewed alongside the government’s broader crackdown on dissent. Under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government, India has gained global notoriety ...

Study: LGBTQ people nearly 4 times as likely to be victims of violent crime than non-LGBTQ individuals

Sexual and gender minorities in the U.S. are much more likely to be the victims of violent crimes than those outside those communities, according to a study released Friday by The Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.As a group, LGBTQ people are nearly four times as likely to suffer victimization than their heterosexual, cisgender counterparts, the study suggested.Although previous research has shown that sexual and gender minorities experience higher levels of criminal victimization, there hasn’t been a comprehensive national study to analyze the issue...

Trump admin’s proposed overhaul of VISA policy could leave many international students hanging in the balance

The international student community is on edge as President Donald Trump's latest proposed changes threaten to kneecap student VISAs.

Earlier this week, the Trump administration rolled out proposed rule changes that could ultimately derail the academic structure for many international students who have just begun the 2020-21 academic year, reports USA Today.

The 256-page document, which outlines Trump's proposed overhaul for student VISAs, includes directives and initiatives that have been met with opposition from many who have noted the long-term impacts of the proposed changes. Although Trump believes the changes may be economically beneficial where the job market is concerned, experts warn such changes could ultimately devastate scientific research and technological innovation.

Stephen Yale-Loehr, a Cornell Law School professor and attorney specializing in immigration law, weighed in with his take on the proposed changes.

"The overall tone of the proposed rules sends a chilling message to current and prospective international students that we are no longer a welcoming nation," said Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor and attorney at Cornell Law School who specializes in immigration law. "It says we're more focused on national security threats, and that we suspect they could be coming here to do harm rather than help the U.S."

"It feels terrible," Lewis-Nicol said. "The stigma is that if you're from Africa, you're not wanted and that your dreams are not as valid."

According to the Yale-Loehr's analysis, there are three distinctly problematic changes Trump's proposed directives could:

  • Require most international students to complete their degree programs in four years. Based on statistics from the National Student Clearinghouse, most first-time college students spend more than five years earning a bachelor's degree, and many doctoral degree programs also take more than four years to complete;
  • Limit stays in the United States to just two years for some international students;
  • Require many international students to apply for extensions to their visas after their initial two-year stay with no guarantee that extension would be granted, especially if the immigration agency makes a determination that suggests the student is not making substantial progress toward earning their degree.

With the level of uncertainty that surrounds Trump's proposed rule changes, Students have also expressed concern as their futures hang in the balance.

Briana Quintenz, director of the Center for International Education at Millikin University revealed they are "sending things out almost constantly trying to calm the fears of our international students" in the wake of these possible changes.

"It's so unfair to them that they can't just enjoy their college experience," Quintenz said. "They have to continually dissect these very confusing regulations that seem to be coming out all the time. My biggest concern is that the already very rigid restrictions are going to become even more complicated, and international students are just going to stop trying to come to the U.S."

However, the Trump administration has a different take on the situation. According to Ken Cuccinelli, a senior immigration official in the Department of Homeland Security, they believe enforcing stricter requirements would ensure only legitimate students are given the opportunity to attend collegiate institutions in the United States.

Cuccinelli said, "Amending the relevant regulations is critical in improving program oversight mechanisms; preventing foreign adversaries from exploiting the country's education environment; and properly enforcing and strengthening U.S. immigration laws."

Reporters from a conservative outlet get arrested at Louisville protests

Two reporters from the conservative outlet The Daily Caller were arrested Wednesday night while reporting on the protests and unrest Louisville, Kentucky, over the police killing of Breonna Taylor. The reporters were not, from all appearances, doing anything other than their jobs.

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An American war zone: The US may be sliding toward sectarian conflict

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid’s shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

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New on DVD: 'John Lewis: Good Trouble' follows life of beloved civil rights icon

A documentary featuring an American legend tops the new DVD releases for the week of Sept. 29.“John Lewis: Good Trouble”: Rep. John Lewis died in July, leaving a breathtaking legacy. Known for marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on 1965’s Bloody Sunday to protest voting discrimination against Black people and risking his life amid deadly police beatings, his more than 40 arrests during the civil rights movement protesting segregation, and decades of work toward legislation in these areas as well as health care and gun reform (just to name a few), Lewis is affectionately profiled in the do...

Florida Gov. DeSantis just proposed a dangerous bill to imperil and silence protesters

The American Civil Liberties Union joined Florida Democrats on Monday in condemning a proposed bill by Gov. Ron DeSantis that would newly classify certain forms of protest as felonies and impose harsh penalties on some protesters.

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An ICE whistleblower's horrifying account of forced sterilization raises fears of eugenics and genocide

Human rights advocates sounded alarms Monday following a whistleblower complaint that alleges an alarming number of hysterectomies were performed on detainees at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Georgia. The complaint also alleges "jarring medical neglect" throughout the facility, particularly in relation to Covid-19 safety protocols and procedures.

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