Tulsi Gabbard sues Hillary Clinton for defamation over Russia remarks

“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton said, speaking on a podcast with former Obama adviser David Plouffe. “She’s the favorite of the Russians.”

Clinton, in the same interview, suggested that person she was talking about was a “Russian asset,” while not naming Gabbard.

…The lawsuit stands little chance of success, but it offers Gabbard much-needed publicity for her campaign ahead of the Iowa caucuses next month.

…Gabbard has previously used her confrontation with Clinton as a way to draw attention to her presidential campaign, like when her lawyer wrote a letter demanding a retraction from Clinton in November 2019.

…The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in the Southern District of New York, says Gabbard has suffered damages that are “estimated to exceed $50 million.” She is seeking unspecified compensation and the prevention of a further spread of the comments. Clinton spokesman Merrill responded to the lawsuit by calling it “ridiculous.”

Tulsi Gabbard sues Hillary Clinton for defamation over Russia remarks – CNNPolitics


Trump inaugural committee improperly paid president’s hotel $1 million

Trump’s inaugural committee …violated its nonprofit status by spending more than $1 million to book a ballroom at Trump’s D.C. hotel that its staff knew was overpriced and that it barely used.

During the lead-up to Trump’s January 2017 inauguration, the committee booked the hotel ballroom for $175,000 a day, plus more than $300,000 in food and beverage costs, over the objections of its own event planner.

Hotel management emailed the committee in November 2016 saying an eight-day package of meeting rooms, food and drinks would cost $3.6 million — an enormous number even by the standards of luxury hotels during the inauguration.

Rick Gates, a lobbyist and the committee’s deputy chairman, then emailed Ivanka Trump to say that cost “seems quite high compared to other properties.” 

…Racine’s lawsuit specifically targets a $1 million deal made between the committee and the Trump Organization for the ballroom during four days around the inaugural, which he alleges was a knowing waste of the nonprofit’s resources to benefit the Trumps.

…After hotel management agreed to charge $175,000 per day for meeting space and to charge separately for food and beverage, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a friend of first lady Melania Trump who had previously produced the Met gala and New York’s Fashion Week, expressed alarm, writing that other properties had been offered to the committee at little or no cost.

…Wolkoff said the meeting space should cost a maximum of $85,000 per day. Even that was pricey compared to offers from other hotels.

…D.C. law requires that nonprofit organizations not operate for the purpose of generating profits for private individuals.

…Trump’s company is now trying to sell its lease to the hotel. Initial bids are due Thursday for the property.

Trump inaugural committee improperly paid president’s hotel $1 million, AG’s lawsuit says – The Washington Post


Coverage of Trump shows how broken the media is – and not for the reasons you’d think

But for media outlets that view themselves as above taking sides, attempts to provide a sober, “balanced” look at presidential speeches often end up normalizing things that are decidedly not normal.

…On Twitter, Georgetown University public affairs professor Don Moynihan noted that NPR’s report about the rally “mentioned specific topics like Iran and impeachment but carefully omit the insane stuff. This is one way the media strives to present Trump as a normal president.”

…Outlets including CBS, USA Today, the Associated Press, and the Hill failed to so much as mention in their reporting that Trump pushed dozens of lies and incendiary smears during his speech.

The irony is that the media is one of Trump’s foremost targets of abuse. He calls the press the “enemy of the people,” yet the very outlets he demeans regularly bend over backward to cover him in the most favorable possible light.

NPR coverage of Trump’s Milwaukee rally shows how he’s broken the media – Vox


Unity Requires Recognizing That Warren Is Telling the Truth

People say hurtful things all the time. Often, they don’t mean it. Language is an imperfect tool for communicating thoughts. But when you are an “other,” when you are a minority or part of a disadvantaged group that has historically been shut out from power, and when the person saying it is a member of an advantaged group, you notice the hurts.

…I believe Warren heard what she heard. But I also believe Sanders doesn’t remember saying it.

…Part of the privilege of not being a minority is the option to not be distracted by the hurts you unintentionally dish out to others.

…If you want to make a person go from zero to nuclear, tell them that a hurtful experience in their own life didn’t happen. Tell them something they thought about and wrestled with and made peace with and were ready to move on from didn’t actually exist in the first place—simply because you say it didn’t exist. Do it on national television with everybody they care about watching. See how that works out for you.

…What I said to my wife was, “Wow. Well… I’m sorry now—if that helps.” And, of course, it did help, because treating people like they are intelligent beings capable of accurately recalling the pains and disappointments in their own lives is a winning strategy in a successful relationship.

…Unity can’t mean that women are not allowed to remember what’s happened to them. Unity should celebrate forgivingness, not demand forgetfulness.

Unity Requires Recognizing That Warren Is Telling the Truth | The Nation


The NRA Supported Gun Control When the Black Panthers Had the Weapons

In contrast to the NRA’s rigid opposition to gun control in today’s America, the organization fought alongside the government for stricter gun regulations in the 1960s. This was part of an effort to keep guns out of the hands of African-Americans as racial tensions in the nation grew. The NRA felt especially threatened by the Black Panthers, whose well-photographed carrying of weapons in public spaces was entirely legal in the state of California, where they were based.

…Members of the group began to follow police cars and dispense legal advice to African-Americans who were stopped by the police while legally carrying their weapons. The group referred to these activities as “police patrols.”

…The Black Panthers were “innovators” in the way they viewed the Second Amendment at the time, says Winkler. Rather than focus on the idea of self-defense in the home, the Black Panthers brazenly took their weapons to the streets, where they felt the public—particularly African-Americans—needed protection from a corrupt government.

“These ideas eventually infiltrated into the NRA to shape the modern gun debate,” explains Winker. As gun control laws swept the nation, the organization adopted a similar stance to that of the activist group they once fought to regulate, with support for open-carry laws and concealed weapon laws high on their agenda.

…In the 1920s and 1930s, the NRA supported restrictions on who could carry guns on the streets in order to decrease hostility towards European immigrants—who were known to openly carry weapons at the time—within the country. And after the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, the NRA backed the Gun Control Act that passed the same year, which put substantial restrictions on the purchase of guns based on mental illness, drug addiction and age, among other factors.

The NRA Supported Gun Control When the Black Panthers Had the Weapons – HISTORY