Neuroscientist: Donald Trump Has Mental Disorder That Makes Him Dangerous

mental-disorder

How to best explain Donald Trump? Narcissist? Check. Egomaniac? Check. Industrial strength jerkweek? Yep, that too. But there are genuine psychological terms for what drives Trump and why he’s the way he is. So let’s lay the foundation for a better understanding of the 2016 GOP frontrunner.

Narcissism-“Mine, mine, mine. All mine!”

Harvard professor and researcher Howard Gardener classifies Trump as a “textbook narcissist.” Trump fits the definition so perfectly that clinical psychologist George Simon remarked:

“He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops.”

As such, Trump is in the same mold as Napoleon, Muammar Gaddafi, and Saddam Hussein. Not exactly the company you want to be associated with as you seek to become one of the most powerful men in the world.

But what makes someone a true narcissist? According to the Mayo Clinic, narcissistic personality disorder is:

“A mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others.”

Lack of empathy is clearly evidenced in Trump’s statements about Mexicans being drug dealers and rapists, as well as in his remarks regarding not allowing Muslims into the United States if elected to the White House.

Delicate Self-Esteem–“What Did You Say?!”

Another component of narcissistic personality disorder is that underneath the arrogant exterior, most narcissists have a fragile sense of self-esteem which does not tolerate criticism of them. In Trump’s case, just think about the nasty things he said about Megyn Kelly shortly after the first GOP debate in 2015. He snidely said that Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” Recall that Kelly had asked tough questions of the Donald and he did not appreciate that one little bit.

Leaders And Narcisissm–“Off With Their Heads!”

While Trump’s flamboyant and self-absorbed personality may have help him succeed in the cutthroat world of business, were he to become president, it could easily make him incredibly dangerous.

Just imagine that Vladimir Putin pisses off Trump or does something that rubs him the wrong way. Trump has the world’s best military and a nuclear arsenal at his disposal. He might use them as a means of getting even with Putin or any other world leader that did not give him the respect he feels he so richly deserves. So because someone makes fun of Trump’s hamster hair, we might well wind up with World War III.

Gonna Pass On That

There are probably ten thousand reasons why Donald Trump is unfit to be President of the United States. But the most serious and most telling is the underlying personality disorder which afflicts him. Trump is dangerous, and he should never ever be given the reins of power to this nation.

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N.Y. Daily News runs epic cover on ‘stupid’ Donald Trump and Sarah Palin

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Former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin surprised many Tuesday afternoon when she endorsed Donald Trump for president. The news quickly went viral and landed on the front page of the New York Daily News.

While Trump and Palin have publicly embraced each other in the past, it was widely expected that Texas Sen. Texas Cruz would receive her endorsement. Palin and Cruz both appeal to a similar crowd of Tea Party members and conservative Christians, so Trump landing her endorsement is a plus for a campaign that wants to come out on top in the Iowa caucus. As CNN reported on Jan. 19, Palin’s announcement rocked the Republican party, as many others couldn’t help but laugh.

“You ready for a commander in chief who will let our warriors do their job and kick ISIS a**?” Palin asked Trump supporters during a campaign stop in Iowa. Trump said he was proud to receive her endorsement, while Palin shouted that she was ready to “stump for Trump.” In one of the first reactions of a major newspaper, the New York Daily News will run a coverWednesday morning with Trump and Palin pointing to each other, with the caption reading “I’m with stupid!”

The Cruz campaign was not happy with the news, as communications director Rick Tyler said it was a “blow to Sarah Palin” and her reputation as a conservative hero. With just three weeks until the Iowa caucus, Trump and Cruz are fighting for the top spot and a Palin endorsement could tilt the scales in favor of the billionaire real estate mogul.

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STUPID ENDORSES STUPID: Sarah Palin to endorse Donald Trump

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Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is endorsing Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump Tuesday at an Iowa campaign stop, a source familiar with the plans told CNN.

“I am greatly honored to receive Sarah’s endorsement. She is a friend, and a high quality person whom I have great respect for. I am proud to have her support,” Trump said in a statement.

The 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate said she was “proud to endorse” Trump.

The official endorsement will come Tuesday night at a rally in Ames, Iowa, followed by a joint appearance on Wednesday morning in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The backing could prove pivotal for Trump in Iowa, where he’s deadlocked with Ted Cruz in a battle to win the February 1 caucuses traditionally dominated by conservative voters. Palin, a tea party favorite since 2008, has spoken warmly of Cruz in the past and her backing of Trump could blunt the Texas senator’s momentum in the final weeks before voting.

The news of the endorsement was first reported by The New York Times.

The businessman stoked speculation for much of the day, after an invite sent around late Monday plugged a special guest who would join him in Iowa. At a press conference on Tuesday, Trump declined to confirm rumors of the Palin endorsement.

“I’m a big fan of Sarah Palin,” Trump responded when asked about it by reporters.

In September, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Palin how she would feel about possibly serving in a Trump administration.

“I think a lot about the Department of Energy, because energy is my baby, oil and gas and minerals, those things that God has dumped on this part of the earth for mankind’s use, instead of relying on unfriendly foreign nations for us to import their resources,” she said, adding that her ultimate aim would to get rid of the agency.

“If I were head of that, I would get rid of it and I would let the states start having more control over the lands that are within their boundaries and the people who are affected by the developments within their space,” she said. “So, you know, if I were in charge of that, it would be a short-term job. But it would be really great to have someone who knows energy and is pro-responsible development to be in charge.”

CRUZCruz has had a long, contentious history with Sen. John McCain, who ran with Palin in 2008. McCain has called Cruz a member of the “wacko bird” senators and has fueled the argument for those who’ve questioned whether the Texas senator would even be eligible to serve as president because he was born in Canada.

However, Trump has also spent significant time this cycle trashing the Arizona senator, most visibly this summer when he said that the former prisoner of war was “not a war hero.” 

Asked at the Capitol in Washington what impact Palin’s endorsement would have when people start voting in Iowa, McCain said Tuesday, “I have no idea.”

‎Pressed again what kind of voters Palin’s support could bring to Trump, McCain replied, “I don’t know — you’ll have to ask pollsters.”

Aside from similar conservative populist rhetoric which has inspired fierce loyalty among their working-class supporters, Trump and Palin also have something else in common: Michael Glassner. Glassner worked on Palin’s failed 2008 vice presidential bid and Trump hired him as his political director last July.

How the media missed Bernie Sanders

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BURLINGTON, VERMONT Bernie Sanders, the man who is leading in New Hampshire and giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money in Iowa, is coming to terms with a new reality: The media is taking him seriously.

Since launching his campaign last May, Sanders has received vastly less media attention than his chief Democratic opponent, while his chances of becoming the party’s nominee were largely dismissed by pundits and commentators — despite the fact that, like a certain senator before him, he draws far larger crowds, boasts a remarkably enthusiastic volunteer base, and, though he doesn’t have as much money as Clinton, set an all-time record with more than 2.3 million campaign contributions last year.

Now, with Sanders climbing in the polls two weeks before the Iowa caucuses — and likely to maintain momentum after a strong debate performance on Sunday — the mainstream media is racing to catch up to a phenomenon that has been abundantly clear to backers, donors and the progressive media for nine months.

“Clearly, we were not getting coverage that was commensurate with our support among the electorate,” Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, said during an interview here at Hotel Vermont, where Sanders was preparing for Sunday’s debate, the last before the Iowa caucuses on February 1. “Is it a frustration? Of course it’s a frustration.”

The failure to anticipate Sanders’ rise points to a deep flaw with American political media, journalists and campaign strategists told CNN: Despite being proven wrong time and time again, many commentators and reporters continue to cling to an unshakeable faith in the conventional wisdom about the campaign while often ignoring realities on the ground.

In this case, conventional wisdom held that Clinton would waltz to the Democratic nomination without being seriously contested. The only thing that could possibly get in her way was Vice President Joe Biden (who ultimately decided not to run) or her own controversies. But a grumpy 74-year-old Democratic socialist from Vermont with a bag full of expensive left-wing policy nostrums? Not a chance.

Where the press went wrong

The presidential campaign has been rife with such examples of faulty establishment media-think, from the early insistence that Jeb Bush would be the Republican candidate to beat to the oft-repeated claim that Donald Trump’s latest incendiary claim was political suicide.

“Pundits and the press have been wrong about just about everything this cycle, and this falls into that category,” Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama who now serves as a CNN contributor, said of Sanders’ rise.

“People did not pay as much attention to him or take him seriously in the beginning because he is an older politician from a small state who they did not know much about,” said April Ryan, the Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks.

The dismissal of Sanders, including on occasion by CNN as well as other outlets, is especially palpable for his supporters, who feel like the candidate was written off because of both his temperament and his political beliefs.

When Sanders announced his bid, a Washington Post profile described the “unlikely presidential candidate” as “an ex-hippie, septuagenarian socialist from the liberal reaches of Vermont who rails, in his thick Brooklyn accent, rumpled suit and frizzy pile of white hair, against the ‘billionaire class’ taking over the country.” The New York Times — which had afforded its front page to similar candidacy announcements from Clinton, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and others — buried the Sanders story on page 21.

Sanders, however, immediately began drawing thousands of supporters, and then tens of thousands, to his rallies. The media acknowledged the large crowds, but the Sanders campaign felt that pundits came up with endless ways to dismiss their importance.

“At every stop, the media had an explanation for why the crowds weren’t significant,” Weaver said. “5,000 people here? ‘Oh, that’s Bernie’s home city.’ New Hampshire, ‘Oh, that’s next door.’ We went to Minneapolis and had 4,000 people — ‘Oh, well, that’s the Frost Belt. Frost Belt people like him.’ Then we went to Denver, and it was ‘college liberals.'”

“Wherever we went, there was always an explanation about why what we were doing seemed to be significant, but really wasn’t,” Weaver said.

It wasn’t that there weren’t reporters or cameras at these events, Weaver explained. It was that, very often, none of the coverage showed up on the front page or on television. If you looked to the mainstream media, he said, you would have no idea that Sanders would one day be running even in Iowa or leading New Hampshire.

Here’s what happens if Sanders wins IA & NH 03:29

Weaver noted two exceptions: Local media, which he said did a much better job of focusing on policy over process; and the progressive media — but neither of those could rival the overwhelming national narrative that Sanders was merely an also-ran.

Jonathan Tasini, a Sanders surrogate, called the coverage “a professional failure.”

“It’s both astonishing and understandable,” Tasini said. “The understandable part is, too many journalists are too enthralled with conventional wisdom and establishment thinking. They just repeat things without any notion of what’s happening on the ground.”

Many reporters, who asked to speak on background so as not to offend their news organizations or their colleagues, agreed.

“Among ‘big-time’ reporters, there’s an almost pathological fear of looking unsophisticated,” one veteran political reporter explained. “Journalists are supposed to look ‘wised-up’ and with it. I think this ingrained tendency often causes us to miss things that should be as plain as the noses on our faces — and that are apparent to ‘civilians.'”

Now that Sanders is a real contender in some early states, he is forcing the media to recognize the vast liberal base that exists to the left of the Democratic establishment, much as the rise of the tea party forced the press to focus on the vast conservative base to the right of the Republican establishment.

The media has not always been receptive to this wing of the Democratic party, the veteran journalist explained. “The media has an instinctive bias against ultra-liberals. The real hard liberals are not taken seriously by our tribe,” he said. “No socialist from Vermont is going to be president, in the same way Howard Dean was written off.”

The Clinton factor

Weaver also believes the media has an inevitable pro-Clinton bias because so many of the “Democratic consultants” who serve as pundits have relationships with the Clintons.

“Look at the political consultants on the air and Democratic pundits across the media. They’re often Hillary Clinton supporters, right? Or former employees,” he said. “That’s not an indictment of anybody, but that makes them more open to a message that says, ‘She’s going to be successful. Bernie is not going to be successful.'”

If there was a moment in 2015 when Sanders could have wrested control of the media’s narrative, Weaver said, it was in mid-October, when the Democrats met for their first debate, Biden was eyeing getting into the race, and Clinton was called to testify on the 2012 Benghazi attacks. But Clinton acquitted herself well in the debate and during the day-long congressional testimony and Biden decided not to run. Sanders, again, appeared an unworthy challenger.

“The Secretary had a very good October,” Weaver conceded. “The first debate she performed very well, she showed well at the Benghazi hearing, and the media viewed the Vice President’s decision not to run as favorable to her. That again created a narrative about Hillary’s inevitability, which all the pundits repeated.”

Several journalists on the campaign trail also conceded that the media had been too consumed by Donald Trump and the seismic Republican primary race that is dividing the GOP. Trump’s dominance, the establishment’s fear and disbelief, and the emerging fight for an alternative — coupled with the belief in Clinton’s inevitability as the Democratic nominee — drew much of the media’s attention away from the Democrats.

“The incredible and uncontrollable obsession with all things Trump has moved almost all of the scrutiny and focus to the GOP side of the equation once Clinton survived the Benghazi hearing and Biden dropped out,” Pfeiffer said.

When asked to explain why the media had failed to anticipate Sanders’ rise, one political editor at a Washington news outlet replied: “We knew Hillary was going to win, and we went chasing after Donald Trump.”

That disparity has not been lost on Sanders. “A recent study showed on ABC evening news, Trump over a period of time got 81 minutes of time. Bernie Sanders got 20 seconds,” Sanders said in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo in December. “Now, you tell me why.”

Now that Sanders is giving Clinton a run for her money in Iowa and New Hampshire — although he still trails badly in national polls, including one by NBC released Sunday that found Clinton with a 25-point edge — things are changing.

At the Hotel Vermont, CBS’s John Dickerson was there to interview Sanders for “Face The Nation” — while Bloomberg’s John Heilemann was busy setting up cameras for his own interview.

“I’ve never been in an avalanche, but I’m beginning to think I know what it feels like,” Michael Briggs, Sanders’ spokesperson, said of the media requests he was receiving.

Still, many members of the media maintain that while Sanders may win Iowa and New Hampshire, he cannot amass enough support, particularly among minorities, in subsequent states to actually put up a real fight against Clinton. (Sanders is already trying to remedy that with a media blitz in South Carolina focused on African Americans.)

Pfeiffer argued that Sanders is still “a very long shot to win the nomination” and likened him not to Barack Obama but to Howard Dean or Bill Bradley: “Anti-establishment candidates with a strong base in the largely white, progressive community who can do very well in Iowa and New Hampshire with no clear path to expanding their base.”

But whether Sanders can win the nomination may be beside the point. The fact may be that, after being written off by the media, the 74-year-old Democratic socialist from Vermont is threatening to take both Iowa and New Hampshire from Hillary Rodham Clinton, a towering political figure with unparalleled experience, vast financial resources, and the backing of the Democratic establishment.

In other words, Sanders has come a long way from Page 21 and “the liberal reaches of Vermont” — and the media is finally taking note.

SOURCE

Will Black Millennials Dance With the ‘Party of Our Parents’?

young-people

Will Black Millennials Dance With the ‘Party of Our Parents’? For young African Americans, an automatic vote for the Democratic Party is not guaranteed.

For young African Americans, an automatic vote for the Democratic Party is not guaranteed.

“Tamir Rice was 12 years old. He was murdered outside for using his imagination.”

The day after the announcement that there would be no indictment of the police officer who killed the Cleveland boy, with tweets and think pieces sprouting out of our nation’s racial woodwork, those words from Mississippi-born writer Kiese Laymon arrested me. With tear-filled eyes and a rage-filled heart, I tried—yet again—to make sense of America’s merciless plague of black death. I couldn’t. I still can’t. I mean, how much sense can we make of it, when black children can’t play outside without fear of losing their lives at the hands of those sworn to protect them?

“Until the killing of … black mothers’ sons becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother’s son,” Ella Baker proclaimed in 1964, “we who believe in freedom cannot rest.”

It’s winter in America, but the political climate is sweltering. Politicians are sweating under the heat of organized protests, while many activists are fighting the fatigue that comes with resisting institutionalized racism. Yet, today’s freedom fighters refuse to rest—from Ferguson to Yale, from Mizzou to Baltimore.

As the 2016 election draws near, the energy of Black Lives Matter is center stage. The Democratic Party is hustling to secure the black vote; black millennials are an important demographic.

“If blacks’ support of Democrats drops from the highs of President Obama’s 93 and 95 percent showings back to the historical average of 85 percent, it could cost Democrats a net of 2.8 million votes,” Donovan Ramsey wrote in a recent New York Times article.

Clearly, Democrats can’t afford the cost of losing black voters. But can black millennials afford the consequences of dancing with the “party of our parents”?

I came of age in the ’90s under the first “first black president”: Bill Clinton. I vividly remember church deacons praising him over Easter dinner, just moments after praising God. President Clinton is “on our side,” I was told, just as God was. But was he? According to political scientist Naomi Murakawa, policies under his leadership established mandatory sentencing minimums, expanded the federal death penalty and gave billions of dollars to local police departments—helping to establish what Michelle Alexander calls “the new Jim Crow.” To be sure, Clinton’s 1994 “Three Strikes, You’re Out” federal crime bill, alongside his 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act—which ended “welfare as we know it”—helped replace an imperfect safety net with an insidious carceral network.

Clinton wasn’t our messiah after all. He was, however, our John the Baptist: preparing the way for black millennials’ uncritical embrace of the Democratic Party and its “true savior,” Barack Obama. A messianic figure with a Midwestern tongue, Obama evangelized the nation with his own set of parables about personal responsibility and the so-called American dream, couched in a brilliant campaign about “hope” and “change.” But as his second term comes to an end, that hope is eclipsed by the hellish conditions of black America—from underemployment and over-incarceration to generational poverty and police brutality. Truth is: since 2008, America has seen more corpses than “change.”

Despite the failures of Democratic politicians, black and white alike, black millennials are expected to subscribe to a stale civil rights narrative. It goes something like this: “Your ancestors couldn’t vote; they fought and died so we could vote; so get out there and vote!” Yes, voting has long been a tool within the black freedom struggle in the United States. But what does it mean for Tamir to be the target of police bullets as black millennials become the targets of the Democratic Party?

It means that our votes matter, but our lives don’t.

Our ancestors didn’t die so Tamir could vote. They died so he could live. So he could play outside without being killed by police. Herein lies the irony and tragedy of American democracy: Tamir, once 18, could have voted. But that day will never come, because unfortunately it’s still against the laws of white supremacy to be black and outside the comfort zone of white people. The ballot has its benefits, but it’s not bulletproof.

When I was barely Tamir’s age, I was already conditioned to pledge allegiance to the Democratic Party. “Those were the good ol’ days,” some of those same deacons tell me to this day. This form of political engagement is misleading. It embraces stories about politicians’ personalities that fail to say a mumbling word about their actual policies. Style replaces substance. The Nae Nae so easily obscures the numbers. Barbershop talks so easily block our view of the brothers who frequent them, many of whom are trapped within a vicious circle of joblessness and jail. And by the time we see the bigger picture, the paint has already dried—our schools closed, neighborhoods gentrified and communities left with little hope.

Perhaps the Democratic Party engages black millennials in a similar way to how those cops engaged Tamir: by “murdering” our imaginations, as Laymon wrote, for simply being black and outside. That is, black and “outside” the boundaries of a particular, respectable, nonviolent, civil-rights-oriented, “What would Jesse or Al do?” style of politics. This dance between black America and the Democratic Party is designed to keep black millennials inside, on the dance floor of national elections, and outside, off the playing field of radical politics. It arrests our history of resistance, shoots down our freedom dreams, and ultimately assassinates the radical imagination necessary for our liberation.

Black millennials can’t afford to dance to the beat of the Democratic Party’s drum. Theirs is a broken record of empty rhetoric and broken promises. If we, “too, sing America!” as Langston Hughes proclaimed in 1945, then—in 2016—black millennials must sing a new song. Not only in the national election, but in the day to day struggle of black political life. Who will be the drum majors of our freedom struggle?

The answer isn’t in the collective chorus of our “daddy’s civil rights movement” or the reactionary refrain of our mama’s Democratic Party. It’s in us.

Nyle Fort is a minister, organizer and scholar based in Newark, N.J. He is currently a Ph.D. student in religion and African-American studies at Princeton University.

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LIAR: Rubio wrongly credits Reagan for 1981 release of hostages from Iran

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LIAR: Rubio wrongly credits Reagan for 1981 release of hostages from Iran!

Presidential candidate Marco Rubio said the United States should not have made any concessions to Iran. Part of the deal included Obama granting clemency to seven Iranians charged in U.S. courts with violating economic sanctions against Iran.

“Our enemies now know that if you can capture an American, you can get something meaningful in exchange for it,” Rubio said on Meet the Press on Jan. 17, 2016.

Host Chuck Todd pressed Rubio on that position: “So under President Rubio, you would not have negotiated any sort of prisoner exchange for those four American hostages?”

Rubio replied: “When I become president of the United States, our adversaries around the world will know that America is no longer under the command of someone weak like Barack Obama, and it will be like Ronald Reagan, where as soon as he took office the hostages were released from Iran.”

We flagged Rubio’s comment as a misleading framing of history. Reagan’s inauguration in 1981 may have coincided with the release of the hostages, but historians say it did not cause it. Instead, the Iranians had tired of holding the hostages, and that the administration of Jimmy Carter did the legwork to get the hostages released.

We asked the Rubio campaign for response but did not hear back.

The hostage crisis of 1979

It’s a GOP talking point we’ve debunked before. In 2012, Republican candidate Mitt Romney said, “I believe the right course is what Ronald Reagan called peace through strength … There’s a reason why the Iranians released the hostages on the same day and at the same hour that Reagan was sworn in.” We rated his claim Pants on Fire.

In 1979, Islamic revolutionaries overthrew the Shah of Iran, who had been installed and supported by successive U.S. administrations. Militants took over the American embassy and held 52 American hostages from Nov. 4, 1979, until Jan. 20, 1981 — the day Carter passed the reins to Reagan, who had defeated him amid widespread public disapproval of Carter’s handling of the crisis.

But negotiations for the hostages’ release started well before Election Day. In September 1980, the Iranians contacted the Carter administration with a proposal, according to Gary Sick, a Columbia University professor and the author of October Surprise: America’s Hostages in Iran and the Election of Ronald Reagan.

The agreement that led to the release involved $11 billion to $12 billion in Iranian assets that Carter had frozen 10 days after the seizure of the U.S. embassy. Sick told us that the Iranians feared having to start negotiations over with a new administration and believed that they had extracted most of the benefits from holding the hostages.

Carter informed Reagan at 8:31 a.m. that the release of the hostages was imminent, according to a contemporary report in the New York Times. “The hostages, whose 14 months of captivity had been a central focus of the presidential contest last year, took off from Tehran in two Boeing 727 airplanes at 12:25 p.m., Eastern standard time, the very moment that Mr. Reagan was concluding his solemn Inaugural Address at the United States Capitol,” its report says. Reagan announced the news at 2:15 p.m. at a luncheon with congressional leaders in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall. So Reagan, not Carter, got to bask in the glow of the hostages’ safe return.

Despite the showy announcement, scholars of the period say that Reagan did not play any significant role in freeing the hostages.

“Well before Reagan became president, the deal for releasing the hostages had already been worked out by the Carter administration’s State Department and the Iranians, ably assisted by Algerian diplomats,” said David Farber, author of Taken Hostage: The Iranian Hostage Crisis and America’s First Encounter with Radical Islam.

No Reagan administration officials participated in the negotiations, Farber said, and the Iranians waited to officially release the Americans as a final insult to Carter, whom they despised.

“They believed Carter had betrayed the Iranian revolution by allowing the self-exiled Shah to receive medical attention in the United States and then had threatened their new government by attempting, unsuccessfully, to use military force in April 1980 to free the hostages,” Farber said.

Dave Houghton, a political scientist and author of U.S. Foreign Policy and the Iran Hostage Crisis, told PolitiFact that Iran had a relatively unsophisticated grasp of U.S. politics, and that it was possible that the Iranians “didn’t even know what Reagan had said on the campaign trail.”

“I don’t think they were scared into the release,” Houghton said. “In all likelihood, they released the hostages because they needed the sanctions we’d placed on them lifted so they could finance their war with Iraq.”

Rubio’s comments are a misreading of history, said Michael Gunter, professor of political science at Tennessee Technological University, who has authored several papers on the 1981 hostage release.

“It is clear that Sen. Marco Rubio is falling back on an exaggerated urban legend that the only way to deal with Iran is through implied threats of military retaliation, as President Reagan supposedly did,” he said. “Actually, successful U.S. diplomacy then and now played the most significant role.”

Our ruling

Rubio said that Iranian hostages were released in 1981 as Reagan took office because Iran perceived that America was “no longer under the command of someone weak.” In reality, Reagan’s foreign policy approach wasn’t a factor in the hostages’ release, as scholars told us. The Carter administration negotiated the deal months before Reagan’s inauguration, without involvement by Reagan or his transition team. Rubio’s claim is an imaginative re-reading of history. We rate the statement Pants On Fire.

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To Those of You Who Feel the Bern

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To my progressive and liberal friends who support Bernie Sanders: I’m starting to get a little worried. You see, I see some of you spending a lot of time talking about Hillary Clinton as though she is the enemy. And I get why you’re concerned about her in the primary. I really do.

I understand why you prefer Bernie to her as president. In a better world, I would too. His values line up with mine better than Hillary’s do when it comes to economic issues. It should be pretty clear that I’m every bit the Democratic Socialist. We only disagree in how effective someone of Bernie’s temperament and self-identification could be in the job.

What has me worried is that there’s so much on which Bernie and Hillary agree and which I think we agree is important: education, reproductive issues, the Voting Rights Act, immigration, campaign finance reform, gay rights, gun control, equal pay, minimum wage hikes, protecting Social Security and Medicare, strengthening/improving the ACA, Affirmative Action, pursuing hate crimes, medical marijuana, climate change, Keystone, subsidized child care, TPP, NAFTA (yes, they were BOTH against it, check the record), Citizens United, veterans’ issues, the list goes on.

These are all issues on which these two are in agreement, but the gulf between them and the Republicans is vast. Much as the gulf between what you want and what the Republicans say they will do on these issues is vast. And yet, what I am hearing is that Hillary Clinton is the enemy and that she must be stopped at all costs.

Really?

Maybe that’s not what you mean when you talk about her as though she is single-handedly responsible for the abuses of Wall Street. As though she created a complex system of laws which protect the 1 percent and the corporate interests that chew the rest of us up to feed the gaping maw that is rampant capitalism.

As though she alone is responsible for the crimes committed against those who spoke out in the last decade. As though she is the only prop holding up the system of economic oppression that has been grinding away at us since… well, think about it. How far back would you trace it? Because as far as I can tell, its roots are prehistorical.

Am I apologizing for her positions on Wall Street? Hell, no. I don’t like them. I don’t support them. And I think having Bernie stand up and articulate in a clear voice what’s wrong with them is doing this country a public service for which I would like to thank him personally. I respect the man greatly for what he is doing and I do not have a single criticism of him. Not one. In fact, I will likely vote for him in the primary.

But he will likely lose that primary. (You may disagree, and that’s fine, that’s a different discussion, as you’ll see in a moment.)

And that’s why I’m worried.

Because throughout this campaign, Bernie and Hillary have been careful not to criticize each other too much, and there’s a reason for that. They understand that, regardless of who wins the primary, a Democrat — someone who will nominate Supreme Court Justices who will overturn Citizens United — must win the White House.

They know that whether it means Bernie’s outright, in-your-face-Democratic Socialism or Hillary’s too-lax oversight of the banks, one of them must be in the White House to stop the systematic disenfranchisement of black, Hispanic, and poor Americans. They get that one area of disagreement does not negate the many, MANY areas in which they have been working together for years and in which they have very similar visions for America — visions similar to your own.

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So when, instead of talking about why you like Bernie, you vilify Hillary and talk about why voting for her is just as bad as voting for Bush or Trump or some other Republican, I’m scared. Because not only do you seem to be misrepresenting both Hillary and the GOP’s very divergent stances, but you’re actually misrepresenting Bernie’s own stance.

He’s not attacking Hillary like that. He’s not saying the things you are about her. Not just because they largely aren’t true — but because he has already said that, if he loses the primary, he will not run as an independent. He will support whoever wins the Democratic nomination, and if it’s not him, it will be Hillary.

And every curse that Bernie’s supporters have hurled at Hillary during the primary will be used by the GOP to try to take her down. She’s weathered a lot. She might weather that.

What she will not survive is the thing that has me so frightened: that Bernie’s supporters — that you — will not follow Bernie’s example, and vote for the Democratic nominee. That you will believe all the rhetoric you have been spinning about how she’s no different than the Republicans. That it doesn’t make a difference if it’s her or another Bush in the White House for the next four or eight years.

Because, while I agree with you that our economic policies are of vital importance, they are not the only issues in this election. They are not the only things that create misery in this country. They are not the only injustices that have gone on too long. They are not the only things that need fixed and need fixed now.

So please, support your candidate. Sing his praises to the sky. Talk about his track record and his vision and what he could do for this country. But remember that the primary is not the whole game.

In fact, remember that this is not a game.

That this is not about your guy winning or taking your ball and going home. This is about making our country — all of it, in a lot of different arenas — a better place. And that either of them will be far better for the majority of this country than the alternative.

Don’t let Trump fool you: rightwing populism is the new normal

unite

madeIt might be tempting to view the political success of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as something uniquely American. But, argues Gary Younge, rightwing populism and scapegoating of society’s vulnerable is cropping up all across the west. This is what happens when big business has more power than governments.

Don't let Trump fool you: rightwing populism is the new normal

It might be tempting to view the political success of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as something uniquely American. But, argues Gary Younge, rightwing populism and scapegoating of society’s vulnerable is cropping up all across the west. This is what happens when big business has more power than governments

Posted by The Guardian on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Crazy Trump Spokesperson with Bullet Necklace Turns Out to be Unemployment Cheat & Shoplifter

trum

 

Oh this is good stuff. You may have seen Jen Hayden’s post yesterday about Katrina Pierson, the Trump national spokesperson who wore a bullet necklace, said next time she would wear a fetus, and, regarding Trump’s plan to ban all Muslims, said something like, “Who cares? They’re Muslim.” Well, she seems nice. From Addicting Info:

Katrina Pierson, the national spokeswoman for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, collected at least $11,000 in unemployment benefits while she was still working.

Pierson received these benefits from the Texas Workforce Commission between January 2012 and November 2013. At the same time she received this government money, Pierson was working as a consultant for Ted Cruz’s campaign for the U.S. Senate.

Receiving unemployment benefits while she was still working would seem to go against the grain of the message being pushed by Trump and the Republican Party, who have often been quick to blame minorities and immigrants for being on the government dole, supposedly taking up resources that should be going to white Americans (in reality, whites are the most likely to receive welfare benefits).

The spokeswoman, who recently made news in a CNN appearance where she wore a necklace made out of bullets and promised to wear one stylized like fetuses after gun violence prevention advocates called her out, also had an arrest for shoplifting. She stole clothing from a JC Penney store in Plano, Texas. She had her child with her.

SOURCE