Fox News Judicial Analyst Blows Up Right-Wing Claim Mueller Should Investigate Hillary Clinton for Colluding with Russia @alternet

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He wasn’t buying into the conservative propaganda line. Fox News judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano explained during a Fox News discussion on Monday that President Donald Trump is in serious trouble with special prosecutor Robert Mueller but Hillary Clinton can breathe easy.Napolitano cleared up a common right-wing misstatement that ‘collusion is not a crime.”The legal term is conspiracy,’ he said. ‘Conspiracy doesn’t require Trump to work with the Russians, but merely to make ‘an agreement.’ In other words, collusion is a crime, it just doesn’t go by that name.

Source: Fox News Judicial Analyst Blows Up Right-Wing Claim Mueller Should Investigate Hillary Clinton for Colluding with Russia @alternet

Posted by The NON-Conformist


Political Pressure in Nebraska

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The University of Nebraska at Lincoln bowed, at least to some degree, to political pressure when it permanently removed a lecturer in English from the classroom last fall. In so doing, and in denying her the dismissal hearing to which she was entitled by campus policy, Nebraska may have violated her academic freedom.

So concludes a new investigative report from the American Association of University Professors. The document provides new insight into the locally infamous Courtney Lawton case at Nebraska and the university’s shifting rationales for her suspension. It also sets the stage for a possible vote to censure Nebraska’s administration at the AAUP’s annual meeting next month.

AAUP censure for alleged violations of academic freedom is a symbolic gesture, since the association has no actual authority over the institutions with which it disagrees. But many campuses see censure as a reputational black eye and work with AAUP to lift it.

The university, which participated in AAUP’s on-campus investigation, expressed “disappointment” with the association’s findings this week and stood by its decision to effectively end Lawton’s teaching appointment, in the interest of the campus as a whole.

In August, Lawton — who was then an adjunct at Nebraska — was recorded protesting an on-campus recruiting table for Turning Point USA. That’s the conservative group behind Professor Watchlist, which many academics believe distorts their views and chills academic freedom. Lawton called the undergraduate behind the table a “neo-fascist Becky” who “wants to destroy public schools, public universities, hates DACA kids,” and flipped her off. The video was shared on online, went viral and drew the ire of Republican state lawmakers.

More from Inside Higher Ed

Posted by Libergirl

Forced to Backpedal on Trump-Mueller Story, Clip of Sean Hannity Fail Goes Viral

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Video: Youtube

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HBO drops Mark Halperin project after sexual harassment allegations

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HBO has dropped its upcoming movie deal with Mark Halperin following allegations of sexual harassment.

HBO drops Mark Halperin project after sexual harassment allegations

Image: Getty

“HBO is no longer proceeding with the project tied to the untitled book co-authored by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann on the 2016 Presidential election,” the network said in a statement, according to CNN. “HBO has no tolerance for sexual harassment within the company or its productions.”

Halperin, an NBC senior political analyst and frequent guest on “Morning Joe,” said Thursday that he would “step back” from his role after five women accused him of sexually harassing them while at ABC News.

“I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain,” Halperin said in an apology statement to CNN.

NBC said in a statement that it finds the CNN report and allegations “very troubling.”

“Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”

The allegations include sexual overtures to lower-ranking employees, kissing without consent and grinding up against three women while pressing an erection against them.

Halperin’s bestselling book about the 2008 election, “Game Change,” was adapted by HBO into a film starring Julianne Moore and Ed Harris.

More from The Hill

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Russia’s Favored Outlet Is an Online News Giant. YouTube Helped.

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When the state-backed Russian news channel RT became the first news organization to surpass one billion views on YouTube in 2013, it marked the achievement with a retrospective of its most popular videos and a special guest — one of the Google-owned site’s senior executives.

Robert Kyncl, a YouTube vice president who has since become its chief business officer, joined an RT anchor in a studio, where he praised RT for bonding with viewers by providing “authentic” content instead of “agendas or propaganda.”

But now, as investigators in Washington examine the scope and reach of Russian interference in United States politics, the once-cozy relationship between RT and YouTube is drawing closer scrutiny.

YouTube — the world’s most-visited video site, owned by one of the most powerful and influential corporations in America — played a crucial role in helping build and expand RT, an organization that the American intelligence community has described as the Kremlin’s “principal international propaganda outlet” and a key player in Russia’s information warfare operations around the world.

More from The New York Times

Posted by the NON-Conformist

Stossel: Departments Grow and Cherries Rot

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Most folks have no idea what federal agencies do. John Stossel reports on wasteful programs like the Agriculture Department forcing farmers to let cherries rot…

John Stossel investigates what government agencies actually do and finds out that your tax money goes to ridiculous things.

The Agriculture Department actually forces farmers to dump cherries on the ground so you pay higher prices at the supermarket.

President Trump wanted to cut the budgets for many government departments – like the Commerce Department and the Agriculture Department. But Congress increased spending on the very departments Trump wanted to cut.

Departments that almost nobody knows what they even do.

Ed Stringham, President of the American Institute for Economic Research, tells Stossel about how the Agriculture Department even forced one farmer to dump cherries on the ground and let them rot. The government wanted to keep the price of cherries higher, which helps some cherry farmers.

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Posted by The NON-Conformist

The High Graduation Rate of Black Students Is Troubling to Maryland’s Governor, So He’s Launched an Investigation

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White supremacy dictates that Black prosperity, excellence and empowerment must never be allowed to see the light of day and shine of its own accord. The latest story emanating from Prince George’s County, Md., is a case in point. Republican Governor Larry Hogan has decided to investigate the predominantly Black county, which is among the most prosperous Black communities in the nation over allegations of grade inflation and rising high school graduation rates.

In a letter, the governor has asked Maryland State Board of Education President Andrew Smarick to look into potential wrongdoing in the Prince George’s County school system amid allegations students’ grades were fraudulently altered in order to boost graduation rates, as AP reported. The county has an 81 percent graduation rate, which some state board members and local officials claiming it was due to manipulation of grades and credits, according to WTOP.

Kevin Maxwell, chief executive of the county schools, issued a statement maintaining the allegations are false. “From the beginning, I have maintained that politics lie at the root of the accusations,” Maxwell said in a statement. “There has been no systemic effort to promote students in Prince George’s County Public Schools who did not meet state graduation requirements in order to inflate our graduation rates.

“We look forward to collaborating with the Maryland State Department of Education to resolve this matter.”

Maxwell makes a valid point when he argues there is a political motivation behind the governor’s actions. After all, Hogan is a white conservative Republican going after a Black county, that voted against his election as governor.  As Stephan Neidenbach wrote in The Method, Prince George’s County is home to 7 of the 10 of the wealthiest Black communities in the U.S., and among the best educated in the country. More importantly, Rushern Baker, Prince George’s County Chief Executive, recently announced his run for governor against Hogan just days before.

Under Baker’s leadership and due to a neighborhood initiative, violent crime has dropped 36 percent and homicides 40 percent. This, as graduation rates have increased. If Hogan’s motivations were sincere, Neidenbach suggests, he would have investigated the overwhelmingly white Carroll County, which is at the head of the class in state graduation rates, yet has witnessed a troubling spike in crime. More crime and more graduations are an unlikely combination that raise suspicion. What is likely, however, is that Hogan will not come for the school system in a white county that voted to put him in the governor’s mansion.

White politicians in the Republican Party have perfected the art of scapegoating Black populations, conjuring the image of Black fraud and incompetence to justify neocolonialist policies that usurp the rights of Black people, depriving them of democracy and autonomy. In Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder invoked his state’s emergency manager law, signed into law in 2011, to take over financially struggling cities and school districts such as Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, Benton Harbor and Ecorse. Coincidentally, the municipalities targeted for state takeover have been majority Black. Assigning unelected officials to control these Black-controlled cities amounted to reversing and eliminating the electoral process for those people who voted for their mayor, city council and other local officials. The Flint water crisis, in which the city’s residents have suffered from the lead poisoning of their drinking water, was an outgrowth of the emergency manager law.

Looking at the case of Maryland, it is by no means surprising that white officials who are hostile to the interests of Black people would react to signs of Black prosperity and success with open aggression. A prime example of this mentality is the destruction of the booming Greenwood community in Tulsa, Okla., —also known as Black Wall Street — by a white mob in 1921.

It is established that white conservatives regard the high academic achievement of Black children with great consternation, seeking to steal our children’s thunder and downplay their intellectual capabilities and educational achievement. They often accomplish this by changing the rules of the game after the fact. For example, the mother of the first Black valedictorian at a Mississippi high school has filed a lawsuit alleging her daughter was forced to share her title as “co-valedictorian” with a white classmate who had a lower GPA.

As Prince George’s County is faced with claims of fraudulent grading, allegations of fraud as a pretext to clamp down on the rights of Black folks is taking place on a national level. Trump has enlisted the aid of white supremacist Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State, to lead a national commission on “election integrity” whose purpose is to legitimize unsubstantiated and imaginary claims of massive voter fraud — presumably on the part of Blacks, Latino and other nonwhite voters — in order to justify the Republican Party’s voter suppression efforts against these groups. Kobach’s requests for voter information have been rebuffed by 44 states and the District of Columbia, as CNN reported. Maryland’s Deputy Secretary of State Luis Borunda informed the Hogan administration that he resigned from the commission, as the Baltimore Sun reported.

The recent inquiry by Hogan into the high graduation rate of Prince George’s County — the county with the highest concentration of Black wealth in America — smells a lot like an assault on Black excellence and deserves our collective side eye.

By David Love/AtlantaBlackStar

Posted by The NON-Conformist

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