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Hillary Watch 2016: Tina Brown Endorses Clinton For President



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 Not a day goes by without national media outlets reporting on Hillary Clinton’s immediate future, while seeking definitive answers to the question–will she run for president in 2016?  The New Civil Rights Movement joins the “Hillary Watch” obsession

All of a sudden Hillary Clinton is everywhere this week.  And the national media is following and anticipating her every move.

Citizen Hillary emerges from a short respite since stepping down as Secretary of State in February to deliver two major speeches this week on “women,”  her raison d’etre.  Tonight she will appear at the annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards (an organization she helped found) in Washington, D.C. and again on Friday in New York City, where she will speak at the annual Women in the World Summit, organized by Tina Brown, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Beast/Newsweek.

As Chris Mathews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball said to Brown last night “you got the big “get” of the week” in booking Hillary to speak and Brown did not make waste of the moment. With little prodding from Mathews, Brown endorsed Clinton for president in 2016, who was appearing side-by-side with Howard Fineman, the editorial director at the Huffington Post.

Fineman jumped on the Clinton bandwagon too, calling Hillary’s  colossus global network of women leaders that she launched in 1995 from Beijing when she delivered an electrifying speech, uttering “women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights” to women around the world, just maybe what ultimately convinces Clinton to run in 2016 (before the segment was done, Fineman had already tweeted out Brown had endorsed Clinton for president).

But Brown began early yesterday, pumping “Hillary” news first thing, when she appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, by addressing one the most persistent questions among women’s rights advocates who supported Clinton’s “smart” power initiatives as Secretary of State, when she asked “will Hillary Clinton’s women and girls initiatives at the State Department agenda survive” (a Daily Beast article penned by journalist Kathleen Parker) as she transitions from government to an unknown future.

Ultimately, whatever Clinton ultimately decides to do, until she definitively announces she will run for president or not, the media is reporting her every move.

Last week alone, Atlantic Magazine, CNN, MSNBC (two shows), Bloomberg News, Buzzfeed,  The Hill,, Roll Call and The New York Times published stories about Hillary Clinton, reporting on what she has been up to since she departed her State Department post in February.

While reporters sniff out what Hillary Clinton is up to, her supporters have been busy too. Indeed,  tonight, Clinton will be greeted by supporters, organized by a Hillary Super PAC, who will be staging near the Kennedy Center when she arrives for the evening affair.

Rally for Hillary Hillary Super PACs have been sprouting up since January, among them, the most serious professional effort is evidenced in Ready for Hillary 2016 , spearheaded by Allida Black, a George Washington University professor, who is working about 30 hours a week and has been a Hillary supporter since the 2008 campaign.

Black  is eager to burnish the PAC’s credentials and recently announced its first donor was Ann Lewis, former communications director in the Clinton White House and that co-founder Adam Parkhomenko was an employee of HillPAC, Friends of Hillary and Clinton’s 2008 campaign. Ready for Hillary has also recently hired digital director Nickie Titus, who previously served as director of digital media for Sen. Tim Kaine’s successful campaign in Virginia, who had also worked at Blue State Digital. And the PAC has also hired Rising Tide Interactive, a digital consulting firm.

Overlooked by nearly everyone last week, was reporting by the intrepid Maggie Haberman, and a New York  City based political journalist, who reported on Morning Joe late last week that she was now convinced Hillary Clinton is running in 2016.  According to Haberman, Hillary has a “transition team” assisting her in a return to “normal life;” “she is writing a book and there will be a book tour that will fold into a campaign launch. To date Haberman’s reporting was the most definitive evidence put forward by a national political reporter until Jim Rutenberg of The New York Times confirmed Haberman’s reporting with an A1 story (bottom of the fold) , leading with a donor angle, reporting all leading Democratic big donors were frozen in place, until she decides.

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But last week’s reporting began with long-time Clinton operative James Carville who told Luke Russert of MSNBC that there was a groundswell of support building for a Hillary Clinton run in 2016 and the “pressure will be “unimaginable” and that Democrats all over the country are excited by the prospect of the former first lady taking the plunge.”

“I think it’ll be unimaginable,” Carville said. “I mean, if — I just go around the country and if there’s a Democrat that does not want her to run, I have not met them. Now she is her own person and seems perfectly willing to resist that kind of pressure, but in terms of encouragement, I don’t think there’s ever been anybody that is a prohibitive front-runner for a party’s nomination as former Secretary of State Clinton is right now. You can feel it out there wherever I go and whenever people talk to me, it’s the same thing.”

No doubt Hillary kept her options open for running for president when she endorsed marriage equality for the the Human Rights Campaign in mid-March. Bill Clinton has been traveling the country backing Democratic candidates in primaries. Carville and Harold Ickes Jr. have said they will raise money for her.  She has about a half of dozen staff members on payroll that will be funded by her paid speeches–the first one is scheduled on April 24th.

How will Hillary handle the pressure and manage people’s expectations?  Stay tuned.  We are just getting started. It is almost a 1,000 days until the next “official” campaign begins.

Image courtesy of the Ready for Hillary PAC.

DomiheadshotTanya L. Domi is the Deputy Editor of the New Civil Rights Movement.  She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and teaches human rights in East Central Europe and former Yugoslavia. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi was a nationally recognized LGBT civil rights activist who worked for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force during the campaign to lift the military ban in the early 1990s. Domi has also worked internationally in a dozen countries on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights and gender issues. She is chair of the board of directors for GetEQUAL. Domi is currently writing a book about the emerging LGBT human rights movement in the Western Balkans.

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‘Part of the Authoritarian Playbook’: Trump’s Courthouse Rant Slammed by Fascism Scholars



Inside New York’s State Supreme Court in Manhattan, Donald Trump unleashed his anger on the first day of Attorney General Letitia James’ $250 million civil fraud lawsuit that has already led to the judge ordering the ex-president’s business licenses be revoked and his businesses dissolved.

One of Trump’s rants was highly-criticized by a fascism expert who compared it to language used by authoritarian strongmen including “Mussolini, Hitler, Berlusconi, Erdogan.”

Trump told reporters Monday the New York fraud case “is a continuation of the single greatest witch hunt of all time.” He described Justice Arthur Engoron as a “rogue judge” and Attorney General James as a “racist attorney general” and a “horror show,” and the case against him “a scam” and “a sham.”

READ MORE: McCarthy ‘Could Be a Former Speaker by the End of This Week’: Report

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a New York University professor of history and Italian studies, responded to Trump’s remarks, saying “the witch hunt/victimhood rhetoric is part of the authoritarian playbook and was/is used by the following corrupt leaders: Mussolini, Hitler, Berlusconi, Erdogan. If extended to the whole country being victimized, add Putin, Xi, and more.”

Fascism expert Federico Finchelstein, a historian and history department chair at New York’s New School for Social Research, responded to Trump’s comments: “Fascist lies are about the projection onto others of what fascists are/do. Trump today as usually display his wannabe fascist mindset.”

Sherrilyn Ifill, the former President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) exclaimed, “So he’s in the courthouse calling the judge ‘rogue’ and calling the prosecutor ‘racist.’ Not on the steps outside the courthouse (bad enough) but inside the very courthouse.”

READ MORE: ‘These Are Our National Secrets’: Democrat Slams GOP for Ignoring Trump Classified Documents Found ‘In the S——’

Trump also told reporters at the courthouse Monday that he’s been indicted because he’s running for president. Multiple reports have revealed he announced his White House run in an effort to avoid prosecution.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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McCarthy ‘Could Be a Former Speaker by the End of This Week’: Report



At noon on Monday as the House opens for business U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) may file a motion to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy for crossing the aisle and working with Democrats to avoid a federal government shutdown just hours before midnight on Saturday.

The Florida lawmaker, who is blamed by his fellow Republicans for leading the shutdown charge, has very publicly blamed Speaker McCarthy for the crisis. On Sunday he vowed to end McCarthy’s leadership. McCarthy said he’s unafraid, but how he can keep his job without the help of House Democrats is being questioned, and if he does, how he governs his volatile GOP conference is also being questioned.

“Bring it on,” McCarthy said on CNN.

READ MORE: ‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert

The Speaker also added, “let’s start governing.”

McCarthy’s call to “start governing” followed months of news reports detailing House Republicans’ infighting.

At the end of July, Axios ran a headline that read: “Congress gets a timeout after dysfunctional summer.”

“House members finally reached their August recess this weekend after a string of unusual, and at times contentious, incidents that clouded efforts to avoid a government shutdown,” the news outlet reported, pointing also to “January’s marathon speaker election to May and June’s close call on defaulting on the federal debt — not to mention conservatives’ unprecedented tactics to grind the House floor to a halt.”

On Tuesday, September 12, the House returned from its August recess.

“With less than three weeks remaining before government funding runs out on Sept. 30,” The New York Times reported Sunday, Sept. 10, “Congress has not cleared any of its 12 annual appropriations bills, though there has been more progress than in the recent past. Given the rapidly approaching deadline, leaders of both the House and the Senate agree that a temporary stopgap funding measure will be needed to avert a government shutdown beginning Oct. 1. But that usually routine legislation is facing major obstacles in the Republican-led House, making its path to President Biden’s desk unusually fraught.”

READ MORE: ‘Flying Monkeys on a Mission for the Wicked Witch’: Raskin Rips Republicans Over Impeachment ‘Inquiry’

Monday morning CNN’s Manu Raju reported, “McCarthy’s future could tested as soon as today. House opens at noon, and Gaetz could file his motion to oust him today. At that point, the speaker could try to table the motion — or kill it. That is what is expected. But if that fails, the motion to oust him would still be alive.”

The question may soon become, will Democrats save McCarthy’s speakership?

“One idea moderate Republicans are proposing to get Democrats on board with saving McCarthy is to revise the rules package that governs how the House operates – and discussing making changes to House Rules Committee,: Raju reports, adding House Democratic leaders are keeping their “powder dry,” meaning not indicating what they want their members to do.

Noting that the House is “lurching from crisis to crisis thanks to the dysfunction inside the GOP conference,” Punchbowl News Monday morning asked: “Can McCarthy survive?

Congressman Gaetz “acknowledged his effort is likely to fail, suggesting Democrats ‘probably will’ come to McCarthy’s rescue. Gaetz then criticized McCarthy for even considering the possibility of remaining speaker with Democratic support — despite the fact that Gaetz spent weeks courting Democrats in his bid to topple McCarthy.”

“Are we convinced McCarthy will get through this? No, not at all. McCarthy very well could be a former speaker by the end of this week,” Punchbowl News added.

Meanwhile, as questionable as McCarthy’s future is as Speaker, so is Gaetz’s future as a Congressman.

The Florida lawmaker faces a re-opened House Ethics Committee investigation into possible “sexual misconduct, illicit drug use and potential public corruption,” ABC News reported in July.

“House GOP members are seeking to quickly expel Gaetz if the ethics report comes back with findings of guilt,” CNN’s Jacqui Heinrich reported Sunday. “Following threats to vacate McCarthy, one tells me ‘No one can stand him at this point. A smart guy without morals.'”

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‘I’m Broke’: One Day Before Shutdown and With No Plan McCarthy Says He Has ‘Nothing’ in His ‘Back Pocket’



Just 30 hours before his own Republican conference likely will have succeeded in shutting down the federal government of the United States, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy candidly admitted to reporters he’s run out of ideas.

Earlier Friday in an “embarrassing failure,” 21 House Republicans killed legislation from their own party, a short-term continuing resolution, that would have kept the federal government open.

Later on Friday afternoon, swarmed by reporters, McCarthy was asked if he was going to tell them what his plans are. He sarcastically replied, “No, I’m going to keep it all a secret.”

When pressed, he said he would “keep working, and make sure we solve this problem.”

“What’s in your back pocket, Speaker?” another reporter asked, pressing him for an answer.

“Nothing right now. I’m broke,” he admitted, apparently referring to options and ideas to avoid a shutdown.

READ MORE: ‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert

But another reporter asked Speaker McCarthy the main question: Would he partner with House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to put the Senate’s bill before the House.

He refused to answer.

Just before 5 PM CNN’s Manu Raju reported on the ongoing House Republicans’ closed-door meeting with the Speaker, a meeting where the 21 Republicans who will likely be effectively responsible for the shutdown reportedly did not attend.

“McCarthy is telling [Republicans] now there aren’t many options to avoid a shutdown, according to sources in room. He says they can approve GOP’s stop-gap plan that failed, accept Senate plan, put a ‘clean’ stop-gap on floor to dare Democrats to block it — or shut down the government.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

He adds, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) largely responsible for the impending likely shutdown and the impending possible ouster of McCarthy said: “We will not pass a continuing resolution on terms that continue America’s decline.”

At midnight Saturday Republicans will likely have succeeded in furloughing 3.5 million million federal workers – two million of them service members in the U.S. Armed Forces – and countless contractors, while financially harming untold thousands of businesses that rely on income from all those workers to keep running – unless Speaker McCarthy puts a bipartisan continuing resolution approved by at least 75 U.S. Senators on the floor, legislation every House Democrat is likely to vote for.

Should he do so, many believe he will have also signed his own pink slip.

But whether or not the government shuts down, and whether or not McCarthy puts the Senate’s CR on the floor, according to The Washington Post the far right extremists in his party are already moving to oust him “as early as next week.”

The Biden campaign is making certain Americans realize the blame for the impending shutdown sits at McCarthy’s feet.

At 6:23 PM Friday evening, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman wrote on social media: “HOUSE REPUBLICANS HAVE NO PLAN TO KEEP GOVERNMENT OPEN.”

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