Posts tagged with "Raw Story"

Why Jim Jordan can’t save himself—or Trump—from the Capitol riot committee

September 2, 2021

Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has backed himself into a corner, according to former FBI official Frank Figliuzzi.

Speaking to MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace about the threats from pro-Donald Trump militias expected to riot again on September 18, a group of panelists agreed law enforcement is prepared this time. Representative. Madeleine Dean (D-Pennsylvania) explained that it is clear the January 6 attackers aren’t finished and that they fully intend to move forward with further attacks on the country.

According to a report by Raw Story, Wallace noted that the threats of mayhem are putting the Republican Party in a difficult position because they are in danger of becoming the party of violence and terrorism—and she specifically mentioned Reps. Madison Cawthorm (R-NC), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Jody Hice (R-GA), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Scott Perry (R-PA) as those who had public contacts or associations with Capitol attackers.

Dean noted that Jordan was “glib” when discussing his contacts with President Donald Trump on January 6. He somehow couldn’t remember when he spoke to Trump, but noted that he talks to Trump all of the time.

“So, unlike [Mr.] Cawthorn and the others […whom]t you are talking about, they will get the records,” Dean promised. “They will see who was complicit in terms of whether it was supporting Donald Trump and his lies.”

But while things are moving forward with the investigation, September 18 is a new date that many to fear will spur further Republican violence.

“We have to be very mindful,” Dean said. Because “1/6 is not over. As [Cawthorn] said, it sounds like he might even be a part of some planning for further violence or Americans attacking Americans. It couldn’t be more serious than this.”

But it was ultimately Figliuzzi who explained that Jim Jordan is stuck in a corner with no good way to get out.

“I think we now know why Nancy Pelosi had to reject Jim Jordan,” he said. “He is a fact witness and he’s going to get a very complicated future ahead of him. Here is why: First, he claims that he can’t remember how many times on January 6th he called the president or what time of day, that’s easily remedied by simply checking your phone log and checking that date. If he can’t do it, the phone company will be more than happy to supply the select committee with that. That’s going to happen eventually.

Next, he’s in a trick bag because if he concedes, as has been reported, that he actually called the president and said, ‘stand this crowd down, they’re inside, it is getting violent, you’ve got to stop them,’ that implies, of course, that he believed Trump controlled the crowd and had the ability to stop or start the crowd.”

Figliuzzi explained that is a disaster for Trump, and Jordan will be forced to answer the question one way or another.

“It hurts him because if he thinks the people were violent he goes back home to Ohio and his voter base says,’Wait a minute, those were patriots; those weren’t violent people,’” Figliuzzi continued. “So, he can’t win there either. This gets extremely complicated.”

Research contact: @RawStory

Polls find that Americans agree: War in Afghanistan wasn’t worth it

August 24, 2021

As corporate media amplify pro-war voices to cover developing events in Afghanistan, two polls out Sunday, as well as one from the week before, found that the U.S. public has little appetite for continuing the 20-year war, reports Raw Story.

CBS News/YouGov survey, conducted August 18-20, found that 63% of respondents nationwide approve of President Joe Biden’s decision to pull troops out of Afghanistan, and just 37% disapprove. Just 47%, however, approve of the way Biden is handling the troop withdrawal.

Separate polling from NBC News, conducted August 14-17asked if the war in Afghanistan was worth it. Sixty-one percent said it was not, compared to 29% who said it was. The last time the poll asked the question was in June of 2014 when similar percentages were found. At that time, 65% said the war wasn’t worth it, compared to 27% who said it was.

Those findings mirror a poll out last week from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Conducted leading up to and after the Taliban entered Kabul on Sunday, August 15, the survey found 62% of U.S. adults believed the war in Afghanistan wasn’t worth fighting.

The surveys were released amid still emerging and chaotic scenes of Afghan civilians trying to flee Taliban takeover of the country, Raw Story reported. The British military said Sunday that seven people were killed as a result of a crowd crush at the Kabul airport.

Rightwing media have responded to the scenes of those trying to flee with fear-mongering about the possible influx of Afghan refugees into the U.S. Human rights advocates, meanwhile, are calling on the Biden administration to “urgently do more” to help evacuate those most at risk of harm, including those who worked with U.S. and NATO forces, journalists, and women’s rights activists.

Specific actions that should be taken, the groups, including Amnesty International USA and Human Rights Watch, said in Friday, August 20,  letter  to Biden, are working with allies to ensure those fleeing get to the Kabul airport safely and increasing the administration’s stated goal of evacuating 5,000-9,000 people per day.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday, August 22, that in the last 24 hours, the United States helped secure the evacuation of nearly 8,000 civilians, with 3,900 people on U.S. military aircraft and another 3,900 on partners’ aircraft.

Research contact: @RawStory

Alan Dershowitz laments he’s lost ‘lots and lots’ of pals after blow-up with Larry David over Trump ties

August 23, 2021

A pretty, pretty strange scene that could have appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm played out in real life when Larry David cussed out Alan Dershowitz over his ties to former President Donald Trump during an encounter in a Martha’s Vineyard grocery store, Newsweek reports.

As also reported by Page Six and Raw Story—and confirmed by Dershowitz himself—the two former friends were spotting coming to blows at grocery store and community hub Chilmark General Store on the island, which is known to be a haunt of Democrat mainstays.

The Harvard Law professor is said to be persona non grata on the island due to his links with former President Donald Trump.

Appearing on Newsmax on Thursday night, August 19, the high-profile attorney was asked about the highly-publicized shouting match with the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star outside of the local grocery store.

According to the New York Post, David confronted the attorney—who had asked if they were still friends, and received a tongue-lashing in return.

“No,” the comedian reportedly shot back. “No. We really can’t. I saw you. I saw you with your arm around [Former Trump Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo! It’s disgusting!”

David then reportedly added, “It’s disgusting. Your whole enclave — it’s disgusting. You’re disgusting!”

During his Newsmax appearance, Dershowitz went on at length about his continued lack of popularity—after having served as a legal adviser to Trump—and even though he claims he voted for President Joe Biden in 2020.

“There I was having a cup of coffee with a friend on the porch of the Chilmark store, which is a kind of local gathering place a general store, and Larry starts screaming at me saying, you know—ah he just couldn’t control himself,” the attorney recalled. “I thought he was going to have a stroke.”

Noting Pompeo is a former student of his, Dershowitz continued, “He’s my former student; of course I’m going to pat him on the back and congratulate him for the work he has done. But that wasn’t enough for Larry David—I’m disgusting,” before pointedly adding he helped David’s daughter get into college.

Dershowitz continued, “I defended President Trump in front of the Senate and I patted Mike Pompeo on the back that’s enough to end a 25-year friendship,” before being asked if he feels like he feels being treated like a “traitor.”

“I’m a Democrat. I defended Ted Kennedy; I defend Senator Alan Cranston; I tried to help defend President Clinton—almost all of my clients who have been politicians have been Democrats—but because I also defended the constitution on behalf of Donald Trump that was enough,” he recalled, with Newsweek reporting, “Dershowitz went on to say he doesn’t mind being socially ostracized but that he has been ‘canceled’ by a number of local Chilmark institutions on Martha’s Vineyard including the library, community center, the book fair, and Hebrew center.”

With that, he claimed he’s lost “lots and lots of friends” over his Trump ties, before adding, “When you start blaming the lawyer because you don’t agree with the client, that’s McCarthyism.”

Research contact: @Newsweek

Why did Lauren Boebert lead a late-night tour of the U.S. Capitol three weeks before January 6?

August 5, 2021

On the night of December 12, last year—the day of the first Stop the Steal rally in Washington, D.C., and three weeks ahead of the January 6 Capitol insurrection—several guests of then-Representative-elect Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) received  exclusive after-hours tour of the Capitol building from the far-right firebrand, Raw Story reports.

There are several unanswered questions about this visit, which appears to have violated normal Capitol protocol in various ways. It’s not clear who authorized it, since Boebert was not yet a member of Congress and had no official standing in D.C. It’s perhaps even stranger that it occurred on a Saturday night, when the Capitol complex is closed.

Later, in the aftermath of the January 6 attack, Boebert repeatedly denied rumors that she had offered “reconnaissance tours” to would-be rioters shortly before that event. But her ambiguous comments appeared to avoid any specific discussion of this unexplained December tour.

According to materials reviewed by Salon, the December 12 tour led by Boebert involved various parts of the Capitol complex, including the staircase in the Senate’s empty Brumidi Corridors, Senate room S-127 and the Senate briefing room, as well as the then-vacant Capitol Rotunda.

A maskless Capitol Police officer accompanied Boebert’s mother and teenage son to the observation deck at the top of the Capitol Dome for a photo taken by a fourth person—presumably Boebert herself. This is the culmination of any Capitol tour—only available to visitors hosted by a member of Congress—and involves an arduous climb up roughly 300 steep and winding stairs to reach the high perch overlooking the city.

Boebert’s guests were clearly enjoying themselves, but everything about their presence on the observation deck alongside a Capitol Police officer remains unexplained. As mentioned above, the rules for observation deck tours stipulate that a member of Congress and an official guide must accompany each group that climbs the Capitol Dome. There’s no indication that either a member or a guide was present on this occasion.

Furthermore, spots for such tours are not readily available, with only eight reservations available on any given day. It’s true that Boebert was a member-elect at the time, but that’s an important distinction: She certainly was not a sworn member of Congress and had no office, no staff, and no official status in the Capitol complex. It’s even more puzzling that this tour took place on Saturday night. The guidelines for member-led Capitol tours state they are only available on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and also that all visitors must sign liability waivers; and all tours must be led by official Capitol guides, not Capitol Police officers.

U.S. Capitol Police didn’t immediately return Salon’s request for comment on this story.

After Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington), and other lawmakers accused Boebert of “involvement in instigating and aiding the violent riot at the Capitol Building” after January 6, Boebert responded by saying that she hadn’t given tours to anyone but her family during the 117th Congress, which began on January 3, the day she was sworn in as a member.

Her choice of words was notably specific, and potentially significant: “I haven’t given a tour of the U.S. Capitol in the 117th Congress to anyone but family,” she said, specifically not addressing the unauthorized tour she seems to have given during the 116th Congress.

Research contact: @RawStory

‘Not going to happen’: Progressives slam McConnell effort to sabotage reconciliation bill

June 30, 2021

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is actively working to undermine the Democratic majority’s emerging infrastructure strategy by demanding the separation of the White House-backed bipartisan deal from a broader reconciliation package—a non-starter for progressives who say they will not support the former without simultaneous passage of the latter, Raw Story reports.

“It’s not going to happen,” Representative Ro Khanna (D-California) told NBC News on June 28, referring to McConnell’s request. “There is no way a bipartisan deal passes the House without a vote the same day on a Senate-passed reconciliation that has bold climate provisions.”

In a statement on Monday, McConnell called on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Caliornia) to “walk back their threats that they will refuse to send the president a bipartisan infrastructure bill unless they also separately pass” a sweeping reconciliation package; which the newly re-elected Kentucky Republican referred to as “unrelated tax hikes, wasteful spending, and Green New Deal socialism.”

According to Raw Story, along with other members of his caucus, McConnell—despite being well aware of the Democrats’ two-track approach—voiced outrage last week after President Joe Biden said he would refuse to sign a bipartisan infrastructure bill that is not accompanied by separate legislation that addresses other Democratic priorities, from investments in green energy to child care to paid family leave. The Democratic package would pass through reconciliation, an arcane budget process that is exempt from the 60-vote legislative filibuster that McConnell has frequently wielded to stymie the majority party’s agenda.

Biden soon softened his position amid Republican backlash, saying in a statement Saturday that he intends to “pursue the passage” of the $579 billion bipartisan measure “with vigor” and will sign it if it reaches his desk.

But Biden’s shift was not enough for McConnell, who said the president’s vow will amount to a “hollow gesture” unless Schumer and Pelosi take the same position.

On Thursday, Pelosi said the House won’t hold a vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill until the Senate also passes the broader reconciliation package—a stance that won applause from progressive lawmakers, who are now urging the Democratic leadership to hold firm in the face of what they view as McConnell’s bad-faith sabotage effort.

Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, pointed to McConnell’s remark last month that “100%” of his focus is on “stopping this new administration.”

“The last person who should have a say on our agenda is Senate MINORITY Leader Mitch McConnell,” Jayapal tweeted. “We’re going to go big and bold on our reconciliation package because that’s what people voted us in to do.”

Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee—which is headed by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont)—are expected to hold a call this week to discuss the size and scope of the nascent reconciliation bill.

Sanders is reportedly pushing for a roughly $6 trillion package that includes Medicare expansion, significant spending on climate action, and other investments. The youth-led Sunrise Movement is demanding that Democrats to go even further by embracing a $10 trillion in climate and infrastructure spending over the next decade.

But, in order to pass, any reconciliation bill must win the vote of Senator Joe Manchin (D-WestVirginia), who indicated over the weekend that he would not be willing to support a package larger than $2 trillion, according to Raw Story.

In a tweet on Monday, Sanders addressed those suggesting his reconciliation offer is too pricey.

“For those who say the budget framework I proposed costs ‘too much,’ what would you cut?” the Vermont senator asked. “Combating climate change? Childcare? Universal Pre-K? Paid family and medical leave? Dental, hearing, and vision [for Medicare recipients]? Housing? Long-term home healthcare? Child Tax Credit? Waiting…”

Research contact: @RawStoryRaw S

Report: Some Republicans irate at Kevin McCarthy for feeding Liz Cheney to ‘MAGA wolves’

May 12, 2021

Some House Republicans are furious with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for pushing GOP Caucus Chair Liz Cheney out in a shameless attempt to make Donald Trump happy, Raw Story reports.

They see it as “weak leadership” from a man who has “no moral compass,” Politico Playbook reports—detailing some of the “backlash against the minority leader behind the scenes.”

Politico says the “grumbling” is not just coming “from Adam Kinzinger types,” referring to the Illinois House Republican who blasted McCarthy on Monday with the bombshell revelation that he had warned him there would be violence on January 6 but McCarthy dismissed him.

“Some House Republicans are privately griping about how the California Republican has fed a colleague to the MAGA wolves in his quest to become speaker.”

And ousting Cheney could cost McCarthy the one thing he craves more than anything: becoming Speaker of the House.

“’Kevin McCarthy has pissed off enough members of his own conference that he’s going to have to go back to his former days as a whip to try to figure out where his votes are’ to become speaker,” one House Republican told Politico. That lawmaker “is neither a member of the Freedom Caucus,” the far right extremists in the House, “nor a moderate.”

“I’d be worried if I [were] him. … You have people like me — who are here to do the right thing for all the right reasons and have an expectation of leadership — that are, shall we say, disgusted with the internal squabbling that results from having weak leadership. And it is weak leadership. Straight up.”

It’s not just House Republicans who see McCarthy as weak.

“He’s flip-flopped on [January 6 and whether it’s] Trump’s fault, it’s not Trump’s fault,” a senior GOP aide to a conservative member of Congress told Politico. “It seems like he doesn’t have the backbone to lead. He bends to political pressure. It’s tough to do when you’re speaker. You have to lead.”

Research contact: @RawStory

On the money: Biden says corporate tax hike will pay for infrastructure plan

April 2, 2021

President Joe Biden vowed on March 31 to make companies like Amazon pay their fair share in taxes in order to fund his ambitious $2 trillion infrastructure plan, Raw Story reports, crediting Agence France Presse as a source.

In his speech in Pittsburgh, Biden expressed outrage over the imbalance between taxes paid by the wealthiest corporations and the burden for middle-class workers. He cited a 2019 study, which found that 91 Fortune 500 companies, “the biggest companies in the world, including Amazon … pay not a single, solitary penny of federal income tax.

“That is just wrong.”

“A fireman and a teacher paying 22% and Amazon and 90 other major corporations paying zero in federal taxes? I am going to put an end to that,” the president said.

Biden on Wednesday unveiled the far-reaching plan to shore up the nation’s highways, bridges, and ports; fund telecommunications upgrades; and increase financial backing for research and development to increase the nation’s competitive edge—especially compared to China.

A key source of the financing would come from boosting the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, and cracking down on the use of tax havens to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

The package already is drawing condemnation from corporations that balk at reversing the tax cuts signed in late 2017 by then-president Donald Trump, Raw Story says. That measure slashed the corporate rate from 35%— although, with various deductions and loopholes, the average rate companies actually pay was, and remains, much lower.

Companies in the United States pay an average tax rate of just 8% compared to the 16% they paid prior to 2017, according to a recent analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Even if Congress approves Biden’s proposed increase, a corporate tax rate of 28%  still would be the lowest since World War II, with the exception of the past three years.

First enacted in 1909 in the United States, the corporate tax rate got as high as 52% in 1968 before a series of cuts in the 1970s and 1980s, Raw Story notes. .

Among the 37 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United States has a relatively high official tax rate after France and Colombia at 32%, and Australia, Mexico and Portugal at 30%.

But the average US rate after deductions trails far behind many advanced economies, according to OECD data.

Amazon’s SVP for Policy and Press Jay Carney defended the company’s use of research and development tax credits on Wednesday, Raw Story said.

“If the R&D Tax Credit is a ‘loophole,’ it’s certainly one Congress strongly intended,” he wrote on Twitter; noting that it had been extended by lawmakers several times since its inception in 1981 and was made permanent by president Barack Obama in 2015.

Biden contended that the corporate tax hike was “not about penalizing anyone. I have nothing against millionaires and billionaires.”

The eight-year investment plan “builds a fairer economy that gives everybody a chance to succeed,” he said, noting it would “create millions of jobs, good-paying

As expected, business groups have sent early signs of their opposition to the Biden plan.

Research contact: @RawStory

Trump hotels and resorts left in the lurch after top luxury travel agency dumps them

March25, 2021

Former President Donald Trump’s hotel business took a fresh blow this month when a top luxury travel agency reportedly ended its preferred partnership with ten different Trump hotels, Raw Story reports.

Luxury Launches, a premium lifestyle website based in Mumbai, India, also reports that the Trump hotels received “awful news” in early March when Virtuoso—which it describes as “the travel industry’s most prominent and undisputed player”—removed all Trump hotels and resorts from its network.

“This quiet elimination of all ten Trump-branded hotels and resorts from its list of preferred partners will … severely hamper Trump’s hotel management and licensing business, which is already down $24 million since 2019, as well as his golf resorts in Miami and Europe, which are down another $120 million,” Luxury Lifestyle notes.

A spokeswoman for Virtuoso confirmed that Trump hotels were no longer part of the agency’s network and said that “we consider many variables when reviewing both existing and new network participation,” although she would not comment on why the Trump hotels had been delisted.

The financial challenge is one of several that Trump must address, now that he’s no longer in the White House. Indeed, tax records obtained by The New York Times last year revealed that he must pay back at least $421 million in personally guaranteed debt”—and that much of that debt is coming due within the next four years.

Research contact: @RawStory

Lawsuit: Trump and Giuliani conspired to violate KKK Act by inciting insurrection

February 17, 2021

On Tuesday, Febraury 16, ABC News reported that Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Missouri), the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, is suing former President Donald Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani for conspiring to incite the Capitol riots in January.

According to Raw Story, the complaint reads as follows: “The Defendants each intended to prevent, and ultimately delayed, members of Congress from discharging their duty commanded by the United States Constitution to approve the results of the Electoral College in order to elect the next President and Vice President of the United States,” said the complaint. “Pursuing a purpose shared by Defendants Trump and Giuliani as well as Defendant Proud Boys, Defendant Oath Keepers played a leadership role of the riotous crowd and provided military-style assistance sufficient to overcome any Capitol Police resistance.”

The unusual lawsuit relies on novel legal reasoning under the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which prohibits efforts to “prevent any person from discharging their duties by force, intimidation, or threat.” It would be the first time this law is used as a penalty against a former president, if the suit is successful—although he is being sued as a private citizen rather than in his official capacity.

“With the benefit of not having to prove criminal allegations beyond a reasonable doubt, the civil lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on behalf of Thompson in his personal capacity by the NAACP and civil rights law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages,” said the report. “The lawsuit is suing Trump in his personal capacity, alleging that he acted outside the scope of his office when inciting the rioters.”

Trump appeared at a rally immediately before the rioters stormed the Capitol, telling the demonstrators to “fight like hell.” Giuliani further said that America should have “trial by combat” over the election results, Raw Story reports.

The former president’s role in inciting the riot, and his refusal to call off his supporters once the violence began, was the core issue in his second impeachment trial—which ended in acquittal but saw a record number of senators cross over to vote against a president of their own party.

Research contact: @RawStory