U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) Thursday morning falsely accused billionaire liberal philanthropist George Soros of having helped take away property from his fellow Jews during World War II. The Texas Congressman, known for outlandish statements and conspiracy theories, had actually gone out of his way to attack Soros in a Fox Business interview. The network and host were forced, belatedly, to denounce his remarks.
In case you missed them, here are Gohmert’s comments, which he posted to YouTube:
“Google is born in a free country and then they go over and oppress others, help oppress in another country. George Soros is supposed to be Jewish, but you wouldn’t know it from the damage he’s inflicted on Israel, and the fact that he turned on fellow Jews and helped take the property that they owned. This same kind of thing – Google coming from a free country and helping oppress.”
Gohmert’s comments were false. Period.
(And just to get this out of the way, Soros criticizing Israel is not being anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic. Gohmert should know better.)
But after massive criticism, he’s now doubling down.
The far right wing Congressman who’s accused Hillary Clinton of suffering from “mental impairment,” and suggested the world could decide about gay people by putting them “on an island” with straight people to “see which nature favors,” opted Thursday afternoon to release a lie-filled statement on his official taxpayer-funded U.S. House of Representatives website.
Gohmert now claims that George Soros “admitted in a 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft on December 20, 1998 that he had no regrets whatsoever about assisting the Nazis in confiscating property from the Jewish people during the Holocaust. That is a fact,” he says.
“Soros himself admitted in a 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft on December 20, 1998 that he had no regrets whatsoever about assisting the Nazis in confiscating property from the Jewish people during the Holocaust. That is a fact …” FULL STATEMENT: https://t.co/Z9ZDcLl4s0
— Louie Gohmert (@replouiegohmert) December 6, 2018
No, it’s a lie, and an old one, as Snopes and this video proves.
More importantly, George Soros was nine when World War II began.
The Anti-Defamation League weighs in:
Abhorrent that a sitting Congressman propagated debunked Soros conspiracies. Rep. Gohmert should retract his remarks immediately. This rhetoric is common in extreme far-right circles & perpetuates anti-Semitism, as we explain here: https://t.co/SnksbxJm0c https://t.co/YjA2HA1Dpm
— ADL (@ADL_National) December 6, 2018
An AEI resident scholar:
I have often ridiculed Gohmert as a nutcase. But he is a dangerous one. Outrageous and disgraceful. https://t.co/yLuqScfA0F
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) December 6, 2018
In case anyone was confused:
Louie Gohmert doesn’t get to decide who is and who is not Jewish, and neither his nor any one else’s particular views about Israel are in any way relevant to the question.
— Michael Linden (@MichaelSLinden) December 6, 2018
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Giuliani Says the US State Dept. Helped Him Pressure a Foreign Country to Investigate Trump’s Political Opponents
Debunked Conspiracy Theory at Heart of Giuliani’s Actions
President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani says the U.S. State Department helped him pressure a foreign country, Ukraine, to investigate Trump’s political opponents.
“Giuliani pressed for investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and the release of damaging information on Paul Manafort,” NBC News reports, adding that the Democratic National Committee was among Trump’s opponents Giuliani targeted.
The former New York City mayor who has been assisting Trump in his public attacks against the Mueller investigation and the Dept. of Justice says the State Dept. put an attorney whom is a close ally of recently elected President Volodymyr Zelensky “in contact with me.”
“Not [the] other way around, and I told him they should not be cowered [out of] fully investigating serious possible crimes like bribery, extortion, fraud, money laundering and illegal interference in 2016 election,” Giuliani said.
All this stems from right wing conspiracy theories that sought to make it appear as if the former Vice President and his son, Hunter Biden, had taken “improper” action.
A Ukrainian prosecutor general told Bloomberg News that “he found no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden and his son. PolitiFact, meanwhile, reported that it found no evidence to ‘support the idea that Joe Biden advocated with his son’s interests in mind,'” NBC News adds.
But is the president using the Dept. of State to dig up dirt on his political opponents a crime?
One former Justice Dept. prosecutor weighs in on the news:
The president’s personal attorney working with the State Department to get dirt from a foreign government on the president’s political opponents. Hmm, if there wasn’t a conspiracy with Russia in 2016 it appears there is one here. https://t.co/CKGqE56nNl
— Michael J. Stern (@MichaelJStern1) August 22, 2019
And a Biden campaign official responds:
*Come* for the news that the State Department just actively helped @RudyGiuliani try to pressure foreign officials into fanning a debunked conspiracy theory and disingenuously aid the @realDonaldTrump campaign.
— Andrew Bates (@AndrewBatesNC) August 22, 2019
‘Hate the Straight’: Straight Pride Group Launches Attacks on Companies Refusing to Sponsor Its Offensive Parade
An organization insisting that straight people represent an oppressed and marginalized group are holding a “Straight Pride” parade on August 31 in Boston. The organization, Super Happy Fun America, is claiming that the 15 or so U.S. companies they chose to list as “potential sponsors” despite having received zero interest in sponsoring their parade, are now “corporations that hate the straight” for refusing to do so.
Super Happy Fun America (SHFA) has deemed that some of these companies, including Netflix, TripAdvisor, JP Morgan Chase, and Ben and Jerry’s, are “heterophobic” corporations or sent “heterophobic” responses – all because they don’t want to tarnish their corporate reputations by sponsoring what some have called a hate fest.
In a blog post Tuesday Super Happy Fun America wrote that “rather than show their support for equality and inclusivity, we received hateful and heterophobic emails, threats against our 1st amendment rights, and attempts to take down our website.”
“The responses from global corporations effectively demonstrate the serious need for our civil rights movement is needed now more than ever!” they claim, falsely. “We will not be intimidated by their threats against our happiness and fun. Straights are a legitimate sexual orientation and we demand the same rights as everyone else. The Straight Pride parade is enormously popular and we call on all freedom loving patriots to join us on August 31st. The door is always open for sponsorships from companies who recognize the value of our civil-rights movement, and we encourage others to get involved.”
The door is “always open,” it would seem because SHFA doesn’t seem to have any sponsors.
Among those refusing to sponsor the “straight pride” parade are ride-sharing company Lyft.
“Super Happy Fun America received a letter from Lyft labelled ‘Cease and Desist’ with a demand to ‘immediately remove the Lyft name, logo, and branding from your regrettable website,” SHFA writes. “It appears that Lyft is yet another heterophobic global corporation. We believe that there is nothing ‘regrettable’ about advocating for equal rights for straights as we celebrate our community’s diverse history, culture, and identity.”
Netflix is another target of SHFA.
“Netflix is a heterophobic company steeped in hatred and bigotry,” SHFA claims. “They not only rejected our offer but threatened us with litigation if we did not stop using their name and logo, which is perfectly legal for editorial or informational purposes,” SHFA claims.
Netflix labelled us bullies and declared that their legal department “is here, it’s queer, and it’s telling you to steer clear.”
Then we comes to Trip Advisor. Perhaps taking a page from Netflix’s response, the legal eagles, “TripAdvisor’s letter stands out for its inclusion of songs that LGBTQ+ people have adopted as anthems,” Boston public radio station WBUR reports.
Here are a few amusing excerpts, emboldened by WBUR:
I am writing on behalf of TripAdvisor LLC concerning Super Fun Happy America’s [sic] unauthorized use of TripAdvisor’s logo, as displayed on your website at superhappyfunamerica.com/2019/07/09/corporate-sponsors/. I’m Coming Out and saying this clearly: you are infringing upon TripAdvisor’s intellectual property rights. Further, your statement that you are “in negotiations” with TripAdvisor as a “potential sponsor” is completely false.
To be precise, your use of the TripAdvisor trademark and our Beautiful logo infringes TripAdvisor’s trademark and trade name rights. TripAdvisor’s trademarks are protected in many countries around the world and Over The Rainbow, including in the United States under Registration Nos. 2727627, 3171193, 4612678 and 4454774. We have become a well-known brand for our reviews of hotels, restaurants, experiences and even the occasional YMCA, but we weren’t Born This Way – we obtained that recognition through significant advertising and promotion since as early as 2000. As a result of the breadth of the services it provides and its widespread renown, TripAdvisor enjoys substantial rights in its mark and name.
Contrary to your claims, TripAdvisor is not “in negotiations” with your organization for sponsorship of its “Straight Pride Parade.” Similarly, we have not authorized you to use our name or logo in any way. You Need To Calm Down – you are not sponsored by, associated or affiliated with TripAdvisor in any way, and thus, your use of our marks could confuse the public as to an affiliation with TripAdvisor. These inaccurate statements, which I trust do not show your True Colors, infringe on TripAdvisor’s rights under the Lanham Act, and impinge upon our Freedom! to decide with what organizations we want to associate our brand. Have A Little Respect and remove those statements. TripAdvisor and I Will Survive without being associated with your event.
Despite claiming they have every right to use logos of corporation just because they’ve sent them an email, it appears BestBuy has been successful in getting theirs removed. It appears here but not here.
Trump Nominates Anti-Labor Anti-Regulation Lawyer Who Calls Ergonomics ‘Junk Science’ to be Labor Secretary
President Donald Trump’s pick to become his third Secretary of Labor (fourth if you count Acting Secretaries) is well-known in Washington, D.C. as an anti-labor lawyer who is an expert at suing the federal government to eliminate regulations.
Eugene Scalia, who also happens to be the son (and one of nine children) of the late, far right Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, is the President’s latest nominee.
….working with labor and everyone else. He will be a great member of an Administration that has done more in the first 2 ½ years than perhaps any Administration in history!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2019
Eugene, or “Gene” Scalia is an attorney in private practice, working for the same law firm that positioned George W. Bush in the Oval Office by winning Bush v. Gore at the U.S. Supreme Court. Scalia worked at that same firm at the same time his father was on the Court deciding the case.
Scalia is known for successfully defending one of the nation’s largest employers, Walmart, in a case that ultimately struck down a law requiring large companies to spend at least 8% of their payroll expenses on healthcare. Walmart went on to become known as an employer who pays low wages and is effectively subsidized by the government which provides welfare for its workers.
A 2014 Mother Jones article reveals Eugene Scalia “spent most of the ’90s focused on labor law, primarily opposing workplace safety rules for white-collar employees.”
He defended SeaWorld against federal safety rules implemented after an orca killed a trainer during a live show in 2010. (Scalia has argued in court that the company has no more responsibility to protect its trainers than the NFL has a duty to combat on-the-field injuries.)
Scalia is also known for suing the federal government at least seven times over the Dodd-Frank law that increased regulations on the financial industry.
A 2012 Bloomberg article titled, “Suing the Government? Call Scalia!” begins with this anecdote:
Staffers inside the Securities and Exchange Commission have a nickname for the massive Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law, which imposes hundreds of new federal rules on business: They call it the “Eugene Scalia Full Employment Act.” Funny, right?
Finally, Scalia has a history at the Labor Dept., having worked there as its chief legal officer thanks to a recess appointment by President George W. Bush. Scalia was not confirmable in the Democratically-controlled U.S. Senate because of his anti-labor positions, including calling ergonomics – an important field of study and industry that reduces human error and protects workers’ physical and mental health – “quackery” and “junk science.”
At this point it’s important to note the role of the Dept. of Labor is to protect workers, not Walmart. Not corporations. Not employers. Workers. That’s why for over a century, since 1913, there has been a Dept. of Labor, not a Dept. of Employers.
Trump’s pick, which reportedly was suggested by, among others, far right wing GOP Senator Tom Cotton, will continue the work – striking down regulations faster than you can say “OSHA” – his disgraced predecessor, Alex Acosta, started.
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