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Trump’s Pick for Acting Labor Secretary Was a Sweatshops Lobbyist

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Terms like “unchecked slave labor” and “indentured workers” will forever be tied to Patrick Pizzella’s history.

President Donald Trump made two announcements Friday. The first, that his embattled Secretary of Labor was resigning amid outrage over having given accused child rapist and trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, now a registered sex offender, a sweetheart plea deal.

The second announcement has received little notice. Trump named Secretary Alex Acosta’s replacement. Deputy Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella will become Acting Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella.

“He’s a good man, highly recommended by Alex,” President Trump said of Pizzella Friday.

Pizzella, which few know, has a long history, going back to the late 1990’s, of being a lobbyist for sweatshops, and, as Mother Jones reported, advocating to advance an economy of “indentured workers.”

In August of 2017 Mother Jones reported “Trump’s Pick to Run the Labor Department Promoted Sweatshops on Remote US Islands.”

Just to be perfectly clear, the Secretary of Labor – Acting or otherwise – and the Dept. of Labor, are tasked with protecting workers and enforcing the laws that protect workers. Nowhere does it say the Secretary of Labor and the Labor Dept. are supposed to advocate for sweatshop working conditions and for indenturing workers.

It’s a lengthy exposé, but Mother Jones makes clear what Pizzella was doing.

“Patrick Pizzella worked with Jack Abramoff to organize congressional junkets” and “helped lead a public relations campaign to rebrand the islands as a paragon of free-market principles. Between 1996 and 2000, emails and billing records reviewed by Mother Jones show that Pizzella and colleagues organized all-expenses-paid trips to the islands for more than 100 members of Congress, their staffers, and conservative thought leaders. When they got back, Pizzella helped them convince colleagues that the Northern Mariana Islands were, as his old boss Abramoff liked to put it, a ‘laboratory of liberty.’ ”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in 2017 released a letter opposing Pizzella as Deputy Labor Secretary.

“Pizzella worked closely with Jack Abramoff to lobby for policies on the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands that essentially allowed for unchecked slave labor to be performed with the imprimatur of the ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ label on goods and clothing.”

UPDATE –
Former Obama-era DOJ speechwriter:

 

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Jan. 6 Committee Just Interviewed Top Georgia Elections Official Trump Threatened When Urging to Find Him More Votes

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The U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has just concluded more than four hours of interviewing Georgia’s top elections official, Brad Raffensperger. Then-President Donald Trump threatened the Republican Secretary of State in a telephone call, parts of which were released to the press, during which the desperate losing Trump infamously said, “So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”

Speaking to Raffensperger indicates the House Committee is investigating the origins of the insurrection far beyond its D.C. roots.

“We talked about that and everything else leading into the election. That was their focus, because that was where the greatest disinformation was foisted upon our nation,” Raffensperger told The Atlanta Journal Constitution Tuesday.

Back in February Georgia prosecutors had reportedly opened up a criminal investigation into Trump’s demand Raffensperger find him 11,780 more votes. Despite the recorded audio evidence no charges are known to have been filed against Trump for what some say could be criminal solicitation to commit election fraud.

Trump called the Georgia Secretary of State nearly 20 times before the now-infamous call during which he threatened Raffensperger. On the 19th call Trump spoke to Raffensperger for nearly one hour. That call was recorded by Raffensperger’s staff.

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Watch: ‘Alleged Quack’ and New Jersey Resident Dr. Oz Announces ‘America First’ Run for US Senate for Pennsylvania

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Dr. Mehmet Oz, the hydroxychloroquine-pushing TV doctor widely known for promoting pseudoscience and fake treatments has decided to use his expertise to run for the U.S. Senate as a Republican, and if not fully-embrace Donald Trump, certainly align himself with the disgraced former president.

In an op-ed exclusive to the right wing national website the Washington Examiner and in just-released video (below), Oz announces his run, citing the nation’s response to COVID and its ramifications as a primary factor for entering politics. It’s unclear why he did not announce via a Pennsylvania publication.

“We are angry at our government and at each other,” his op-ed begins. “We have not managed our crises as effectively as past generations. During the pandemic, I learned that when you mix politics and medicine, you get politics instead of solutions. That’s why I am running for the U.S. Senate: to help fix the problems and to help us heal.”

Like more and more Republicans entering the political landscape, Oz has precisely zero experience in government, but that once-presumed prerequisite is no longer in vogue.

“Oz — a longtime New Jersey resident — would enter a Republican field that is resetting with an influx of candidates and a new opportunity to appeal to voters loyal to former President Donald Trump, now that the candidate endorsed by Trump has just exited the race,” The Associated Press reports. “Oz may have to explain why he isn’t running for office in New Jersey, where he has lived for the past two decades before he began voting in Pennsylvania’s elections this year by absentee ballot, registered to his in-laws’ address in suburban Philadelphia.”

The “celebrity heart surgeon,” the AP adds, “has been dogged by accusations that he is a charlatan selling “quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain,” a group of doctors wrote in 2015 in a letter calling for his firing from Columbia University’s medical school. He wasn’t fired.”

The Daily Beast at the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year labeled Oz and “alleged quack” and asked why he was chosen as the face of NBC’s “Coronavirus Crisis Team.”

That’s far from the only attack on Oz’s credibility as a medical professional.

“Oz began making regular appearances on Fox News after the start of the pandemic, and in the spring of 2020 came under fire for comments suggesting that reopening schools might be worth the extra deaths, because it ‘may only cost us 2% to 3% in terms of total mortality,'” the AP notes. “Researchers from the University of Alberta found in 2014 that, of 80 randomly selected recommendations from Oz’s shows, often dietary advice, roughly half was unsupported by evidence, or contradicted by it.”

Watch Oz’s statement released minutes ago, which includes Trump rhetoric like “America first.”

 

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Trump Called Insurrectionists at Willard Hotel Hours Before Jan 6 Riot: Report

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New information is being reported on Donald Trump’s role in the hours leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“Sources have told the Guardian that just hours before the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol this year, Donald Trump made several calls from the White House to top lieutenants at the Willard Hotel in Washington to discuss ways to stop or delay the certification of Joe Biden’s election win from taking place on 6 January,” The Guardian reported Tuesday.

Even though Republicans lost the 2020 election, Trump said on Jan. 6 that it was important for the GOP to hold the White House despite losing.

“THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, OUR COUNTRY, NEEDS THE PRESIDENCY MORE THAN EVER BEFORE – THE POWER OF THE VETO. STAY STRONG!” Trump tweeted in all capital letters on the morning of Jan. 6.

The Guardian explained why their new reporting is significant.

“Trump’s remarks reveal a direct line from the White House and the command center at the Willard,” the newspaper reported. “The conversations also show Trump’s thoughts appear to be in line with the motivations of the pro-Trump mob that carried out the Capitol attack. He phoned his lieutenants at the Willard sometime between the late evening on 5 January and the early hours of 6 January after becoming furious at Pence for refusing to do him a final favor.”

Read the full report.

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