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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 44)

Update: We Found a “Staggering” 281 Lobbyists Who’ve Worked in the Trump Administration; That’s one lobbyist for every 14 political appointees, and four times more than Obama appointed in half the time.

Westlake Legal Group ILPrc28j_jIV-i5yPPtaC2pLjiE2BBS77-qcjHZM6R8 Update: We Found a “Staggering” 281 Lobbyists Who’ve Worked in the Trump Administration; That’s one lobbyist for every 14 political appointees, and four times more than Obama appointed in half the time. r/politics

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Marc Thiessen: Joe Biden needs to be asked these 8 questions. Will debate moderators have the guts to do it?

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094741637001_6094740607001-vs Marc Thiessen: Joe Biden needs to be asked these 8 questions. Will debate moderators have the guts to do it? the washington post Marc Thiessen fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc article 5b08c5cf-9405-5bb4-a1e9-b2163e9c45b8

When Joe Biden was asked during a recent news conference whether he had a conflict of interest leading Ukraine policy while his son was working for a Ukrainian oligarch, he said, “I’m not going to respond to that” and told reporters to focus on President Trump. If he’s allowed to get away with that at Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate, it will be a travesty.

The debate moderators — CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett and New York Times national editor Marc Lacey — have a responsibility to press Biden to address his conflicts. Worryingly, Burnett recently said “There is no evidence of Joe Biden doing anything wrong” and that “what we need to talk about right now is what did the president … do or not do.” That’s exactly what Biden is hoping for Tuesday night.

Here are eight questions Biden should be required to answer during the course of the debate.

TAMMY BRUCE: BIDEN CAMPAIGN SEEMS TO THINK HE CANNOT BE CRITICIZED IN MAINSTREAM MEDIA

1. Your son Hunter took a position with a Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma, just before you visited Kiev and urged Ukraine to increase its natural gas production. He was paid as much as $50,000 a month despite having no experience in Ukraine or the natural gas industry. Why do you think Burisma hired your son and paid him such massive sums?

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2. You say that you pressured Ukraine to fire its chief prosecutor because it was universally believed that he was not investigating corruption. Let’s accept that. The Code of Federal Regulations states that when a federal official takes action that will affect “a relative with whom the employee has a close personal relationship” and “the circumstances would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question his impartiality in the matter, the employee should not participate in the matter.” Even if the prosecutor deserved to be fired, you clearly had a conflict of interest because a reasonable person could question your impartiality. Why was it appropriate for you to be the one to deliver the ultimatum?

3. Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s stepson, Chris Heinz, was your son’s business partner and warned him and Devon Archer not to get involved with Burisma. Why couldn’t Kerry, who had no conflict, take the lead on Ukraine?

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4. You recently said that you have “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.” But your son told the New Yorker that you did. Why did you say you never discussed it with him when you had? And why would you say to him “I hope you know what you are doing” if he was doing nothing wrong?

5. The same New Yorker story reports that in December 2015, “Amos Hochstein, the Obama administration’s special envoy for energy policy, raised the matter [of Hunter’s relationship with Burisma] with Biden.” Hochstein may be called to testify under oath in the Senate about that conversation. What did he say to you?

6. In December 2013, your son flew with you to Beijing aboard Air Force Two. Less than two weeks later, his firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners, closed a deal to open a fund whose largest shareholder was the Bank of China. Would you have a problem if Donald Trump Jr. traveled to Beijing on Air Force One and then a few weeks later struck a major new commercial deal with the Chinese government? If so, why was it not a problem for your son Hunter to do this?

7.  Your son announced this week that if you are elected, he will not work on behalf of any foreign-owned companies and will comply with all regulations “to address purported conflicts of interest, or the appearance of such conflicts.” If his foreign work would be a conflict if you were president, why was it not a conflict when you were vice president?

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8. Many Americans are deeply concerned about Trump’s attacks on the news media. But in recent weeks, your campaign has written to the major television networks to “demand” that they not invite the president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to appear on their programs, and has accused The New York Times of “active participation in [a] smear campaign” against you for publishing an opinion piece that criticized you. Why is this appropriate? And as president will you use the power of your office to coerce news organizations to silence those critical of your administration?

Biden is trying to intimidate the media into not asking tough questions about his conflicts of interest in Ukraine and China. Will CNN and The New York Times give in to his demands? We’ll find out Tuesday night.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY MARC THIESSEN

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094741637001_6094740607001-vs Marc Thiessen: Joe Biden needs to be asked these 8 questions. Will debate moderators have the guts to do it? the washington post Marc Thiessen fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc article 5b08c5cf-9405-5bb4-a1e9-b2163e9c45b8   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094741637001_6094740607001-vs Marc Thiessen: Joe Biden needs to be asked these 8 questions. Will debate moderators have the guts to do it? the washington post Marc Thiessen fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc article 5b08c5cf-9405-5bb4-a1e9-b2163e9c45b8

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Will ‘Harriet’ Change The Conversation About Cynthia Erivo?

Westlake Legal Group 5da4f904210000090e3450d4 Will ‘Harriet’ Change The Conversation About Cynthia Erivo?

In “Harriet,” Kasi Lemmons’ biopic about Harriet Tubman, there’s a scene where our heroine, portrayed by Cynthia Erivo, steps on to free land as a free woman for the first time. After a grueling and life-threatening journey, she walks out into a green field of rolling hills, the sun shining brilliantly. The scene is a visual interpretation of Tubman’s own real-life recollection of the event: “There was such a glory over everything, the sun came like gold through the trees and over the fields, and I felt like I was in heaven.” 

When I spoke to Lemmons and Erivo at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, they said that the onscreen moment felt like a blessing from the spirit of Harriet Tubman herself. On the day of shooting, it had been raining all day, the sky was blacker than black, and there was concern that they would not be able to get the crucial shot of the sun over the hills. But Lemmons insisted they hold out, trudging up a waterlogged hill to set up the scene even as it continued to drizzle. 

“And the second Cynthia [arrived], the sky parted and that sun shone through,” said Lemmons, the director of “Eve’s Bayou” and “Talk to Me.” “It was crazy. Everyone burst into tears. We did that shot one time.”

“What you didn’t see on the camera,” Erivo added, “was then you had a double rainbow behind us.” 

Though it felt like they had Tubman’s blessing that day, the general attitude around the film, and specifically Erivo’s role in it, has been less idyllic. Reviews of the film that have come out since its premiere at TIFF have been mixed — and Erivo had faced criticism even before she stepped on set.

The criticism surrounding Erivo’s casting and her seemingly elitist view toward African Americans has added fuel to a long-running debate across social media within the diaspora regarding the way first-generation Africans talk about African Americans, and vice versa. For some people, the problem with Erivo’s casting was not just that she wasn’t a descendant of African slaves but that her past actions seem to suggest a lack of respect for those who are. What right, then, some wondered, did she have to play the most important conductor on the Underground Railroad? 

When it was announced late last year that Erivo, the Nigerian-British actor best known for her Tony-winning performance on Broadway in “The Color Purple,” was set to star in the first major biopic about freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, there were some murmurings of disapproval from that nebulous entity commonly referred to as “Black Twitter.” Erivo was yet another performer in a long line of non-African American actors who had been hired to tell what some believed to be a specifically Black American story. The criticism had come up before in regard to Nigerian-British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor’s role in “12 Years a Slave” and Nigerian-British actor David Oyelowo playing Martin Luther King Jr. in “Selma. 

Erivo has also seemingly had a long and well-documented online history of expressing and co-signing sentiments that were disrespectful to African-American heritage and culture. As Twitter user @eBoPeep extensively laid out in 2018 not long after Erivo’s casting was announced, the British-born actor had made numerous transgressions. These included joking about putting on a “ghetto American accent,” conflating the experiences of Black British and Black Americans, and publicly defending Nigerian writer Luvvie Ajayi, who has been called out numerous times for her anti-ethnic sentiments about African Americans.

In a September 2018 Instagram post, Erivo made an attempt to address at least part of the concerns and controversy surrounding her casting. 

“I guess there is a bigger conversation to be had about heritage and experience, also about who Harriet really was,” Erivo wrote. “That can not be had in an Instagram post, what I will say is that my journey to this woman has been long and detailed and one I have not taken lightly….I hope that I do everyone, even those who are in doubt or are upset, proud. I hope I quell your fears, because I understand that is what it is. I cannot tell how protective I am of this woman and her story.”

“Harriet,” slated for release on Nov. 1, is a flawed film in many ways. Its dialogue is often clunky and clichéd; its pacing lags around the second act. The filmmaking is oftentimes more generic than inspired. But the film’s one shining achievement, indeed the thing that carries the film’s bulky imperfections with ease and excellence, is Erivo’s performance as Tubman. 

But was there ever any real fear that Erivo would not bring her acting A-game to the role? Probably not. That was never the real issue. Erivo is an actor who, time and time again, from “The Color Purple” to “Widows” to “Bad Times at the El Royale,” has proved that she is a consummate and dedicated performer. The 32-year-old actor plays Tubman with a kind of pious reverence that reverberates throughout every frame of the film. It’s almost spiritual. Indeed, Lemmons and Erivo say they believe deeply that something of Tubman’s indomitable spirit was on set with them during their three-month grueling shoot in Virginia. 

When you speak to Erivo about this movie, about her performance and her journey to finding Harriet, you can feel the intensity of her regard for Harriet Tubman almost roll off of her in waves. At several points during our talk, Erivo seemed at once deeply proud of her performance but also humbled by the very idea that she got to play the part. 

“I prayed every day,” Erivo says. “I asked God to make the space safe for Harriet to come into every day. I would wake up and I’d pray and I would ask specifically… for everyone to be safe on set. I would ask to take care of Kasi. I would ask him to take care of me and my body. And I would ask God to make the space safe for Harriet.” 

Erivo is so good as Tubman, so reverent of the part and the person and the amazing history that was her life, which actually deepens the tension around her place in the film to begin with. The care and consciousness, the spiritual discipline, the connection to Lemmons and supposedly to Harriet’s spirit itself all seem so far removed from the past behavior and sentiments that Erivo’s critics have called out.

I prayed every day,” Erivo says. “I asked God to make the space safe for Harriet to come into every day. Cynthia Erivo

Did the experience of playing Harriet, in any way, make Erivo reflect on the criticisms she has received? It’s hard to say. When I asked her about the controversies around her casting, Erivo was adamant about the fact that she loves Black people, period, a conviction that seemed genuine even as it seemingly glossed over the multiplicities of the Black experience. 

“Like, I could not love Black people more. Everything in me is consistently trying to do things for us to better the way we are seen ― for us,” she said. “To get into spaces that we can’t get into, so that opens up for everybody else. It keeps me up at night trying to think of the ways in which I can help.”

Even a year after the casting controversy, Erivo still wants to have a conversation because she believes that, ultimately, Black people must “come together” and talk about “who we are as a people.” “Because the separation [within the diaspora] is not created by us, but for us to fail. And I think that a conversation has to be had by all of us. So we understand where we’re coming from. So we understand our experiences. And I think that in that conversation we’ll find that our experiences aren’t that different.”

It’s unclear whether the actor includes in this “conversation” the space to recognize that the very real differences in diasporic experiences are at the crux of some of the biggest critiques of her — specifically, that she seems to pick and choose when to single out or mock Black Americans and when she chooses to view Blackness as more of a collective consciousness. 

But this desire to view the Black experience across countries, nationalities and cultures as a collective story seems to be at the heart of how Erivo is working through her own place in this role. Becoming Harriet Tubman was in no way a “selfish decision” but a decision made out of a deep desire to do right by the Black community, especially Black Americans with deep ties to the transatlantic slave trade. And perhaps, in a sense, atone for her missteps.  

“I knew it was going to put me through hell. I knew we were going to be in the mud, in the dirt, in the cold. I knew that I was doing my own stunts. I knew that that was necessary for this piece. I knew that it was going to be hard, and I knew that I was still going to do it,” she said. “There was no easy way out for me, and I had no vanity about it at all. I was prepared, and that is why I was so sure that was right, because I was prepared to put myself through anything to do this.”

The grueling shoot and huge pressure in playing such a beloved and important historical figure may have been one trial she willingly chose to put herself through. But Erivo has also unknowingly chosen another test: truly reckoning with the deep-seated and complex fractures that lie throughout Black American and African relations. While she’s been largely dismissive of those fractures so far, speaking only of a much-needed “conversation” rather than truly engaging with it, it remains to be seen how the release of “Harriet” will actually shift the conversation. But one thing is certain: It can’t be ignored for much longer.  

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Ivanka Photo Resurfaces Showing Trump in Istanbul to Open New Luxury Towers

Westlake Legal Group NswuoJaoI5QFTSUSOFRFnP6hXHtreMt1x_Bz6u71ZJ4 Ivanka Photo Resurfaces Showing Trump in Istanbul to Open New Luxury Towers r/politics

As a Turkish-American who used to say (during Obama), “Well, at least there’s one leader I can be proud of,” I agree.

I hate Erdogan and I think the coup was orchestrated by him to further arrest all opposition, but I’m born and raised American and I always felt, “Well, the US will be a force Turkey needs to reckon with as an ally, and we’ll put pressure on them.”

Now, I can’t express the sorrow and anger I feel at Erdogan using the PKK–an actual terrorist group–as a front to attack people who’ve been helping us fight ISIS (on Syrian soil no less!), and the absolute shit-stain in the White House who wishes to be him.

They need to share a cell.

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Trump Is Copying Nixon’s Reelection Misdeeds

On a snowy day in Manchester, New Hampshire, Democratic Maine Sen. Edmund Muskie, the front-runner for the party’s 1972 presidential nomination, stood before the offices of the conservative Union Leader newspaper and denounced the paper’s publisher William Loeb for publishing smears against him.

“By attacking me, by attacking my wife, he has proved himself to be a gutless coward,” Muskie said in an angry and emotional voice.

Some reports claimed tears ran down his cheeks. Muskie, and many historians today, argued those tears were actually the steadily falling snow melting upon impact. But at the time, the reports that Muskie cried fueled a media narrative that he was mentally unstable. He won the New Hampshire primary by a smaller margin than anticipated and rapidly faded in the following contests.

Forty-five years later, former vice president Joe Biden, a front-runner for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, stood before a crowd in Las Vegas to give a very similar message as Muskie.

“You’re not going to destroy me,” Biden declared on Oct. 2. “And you’re not going to destroy my family. I don’t care how much money you spend or how dirty the attacks get.”

What was done to Muskie is precisely what is being done to Biden. The president of the United States orchestrated a secret campaign of smears and deceit meant to destroy the political opponent he perceived as the most threatening to his own reelection. For Muskie, that president was Richard Nixon. For Biden, it’s Donald Trump.

Westlake Legal Group 5da4b90c210000330cacd945 Trump Is Copying Nixon’s Reelection Misdeeds

ASSOCIATED PRESS Sen. Edmund Muskie denounces conservative Manchester Union Leader publisher William Loeb in front of the newspaper’s Manchester, New Hampshire, building, Feb. 26, 1972. (AP Photo, File)

Muskie’s downfall was part of a broad operation of illegality orchestrated by the Nixon White House to cover up leaks, spy on political opponents and fix the 1972 Democratic Party primary. It ultimately ended with Nixon’s resignation and pardon. 

During his career as a California congressman, senator and failed gubernatorial candidate, Nixon was bedeviled by political tricks pulled on him by Democratic Party consultant Dick Tuck. Envious of the tricks deployed against him, Nixon decided to harness them himself. 

Ahead of the 1972 election, his campaign and the White House hired a host of characters to screw with his opponents in the Democratic Party. The ultimate goal was to get the party to nominate South Dakota Sen. George McGovern, an anti-war figure they believed to be the least electable. (They were right.)

One of these characters was Donald Segretti, a University of Southern California frat boy, who was known for pulling political pranks to win student elections. Segretti and his buddies called these pranks “ratfucking.” Segretti and his ratfuckers were given the task of sowing confusion among the Democratic Party presidential candidates Nixon feared the most: former vice president and 1968 presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey, Washington Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson and Muskie.

Among the many things Segretti and his team did to the Democratic Party presidential field was to forge letters from one campaign making wild allegations against another. They stole Muskie campaign letterhead and sent letters out alleging that sexual misconduct by Humphrey and that Jackson had fathered an illegitimate child with a 17-year-old girl. Muskie had to deny sending the letters while both Jackson and Humphrey were forced to deny the allegations.

Westlake Legal Group 5da4b9d820000069055008ad Trump Is Copying Nixon’s Reelection Misdeeds

ASSOCIATED PRESS Donald Segretti, a political saboteur financed with Nixon campaign funds, is surrounded by newsmen as he listens to questions outside the U.S. District court in Washington, Oct. 2, 1973, after pleading guilty to three charges of violating federal election laws during the 1972 Democratic presidential primary in Florida. (AP Photo)

But what got Muskie up in front of the Union Leader on that snowy day in 1972 was something called the “Canuck Letter.” One of the tricks Segretti and his team pulled was to forge a letter to the editor that purported to be from a Florida man who had asked how Muskie could understand problems faced by African Americans since he represented Maine, a state with a very small African-American population. The letter claimed that Muskie laughed after a staffer said, “Not blacks, but we have Canucks.” At the time, “Canuck” was viewed as a derogatory term for French-Canadians, of which there were many living in New Hampshire.

Segretti ended up pleading guilty to three counts of distributing fraudulent campaign material and served four months of his six-month prison sentence.

Trump’s attempt to tar Biden with the stench of a Ukrainian corruption investigation is just a grander prank aimed at rigging the 2020 election to his perceived benefit. In a now-infamous July 25 phone call, Trump pressured Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate a natural gas company that had Biden’s son Hunter Biden on its board. So far, Biden has not suffered in the polls since the controversy erupted after the whistleblower complaint accusing Trump of malfeasance was revealed in September. 

This is the only way that Trump knows how to do politics. He fanned the flames of birtherism against President Barack Obama, a racist dirty trick aimed at confusing both the public and the press. He latched on to every conspiracy theory imaginable about Hillary Clinton in 2016 ― she was dying, she sold uranium to Russia and so on. He publicly praised the Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee and called for, “Russia, if you’re listening,” to hack some more. And now he’s used the power of his office in an effort to manipulate a foreign country to manufacture a corruption investigation into the potential opponent he fears most.

Westlake Legal Group 5da4ba122100002b0b344ca0 Trump Is Copying Nixon’s Reelection Misdeeds

New York Daily News Archive via Getty Images Donald Trump’s two most important political advisers were the McCarthyite Roy Cohn (center) and Nixon fanboy Roger Stone (left). (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Trump learned these politics from two professional smear merchants. The first was Roy Cohn, the McCarthyite-turned-mob-lawyer with a speciality in character assassination. The second was Nixon’s ultimate fanboy, Roger Stone.

Cohn became Trump’s first political adviser starting in the 1970s after the upcoming real estate developer and his father were facing charges of racial discrimination. Cohn taught Trump three key rules for dealing with challenges in business and politics, the author Sam Roberts told Vanity Fair’s Maire Brenner: “1. Never settle, never surrender. 2. Counter-attack, counter-sue immediately. 3. No matter what happens, no matter how deeply into the muck you get, claim victory and never admit defeat.”

Before dying of AIDS, Cohn passed off his Trump account to Stone, who had been loosely affiliated with Segretti’s ratfuckers. 

Stone had pulled his share of dirty tricks as a Nixon hanger-on, including faking a donation from a made-up socialist group to Nixon’s 1972 Republican primary opponent California Rep. Pete McCloskey. It was Stone who pushed Trump to think about a political career as early as 1987 and was one of three advisers who laid the groundwork for his 2016 campaign.

The story of the Republican Party’s resurgence in the second half of the 20th century often leapfrogs Nixon. The traditional tale is one of a “remnant” of activists and wealthy oligarchs holding tight through the New Deal. They helped Barry Goldwater, a true conservative ideologue, get the GOP presidential nod in 1964. Then Ronald Reagan, the former New Deal Democrat-turned-conservative reactionary, won their revolution in 1980. 

Nixon’s transactional politics don’t fit. But Nixon and his destructive politics are the real throughline from his 1972 landslide to Trump’s presidency. The destruction of Muskie and the DNC break-in simply presaged Trump’s use of the presidency to coerce a foreign country to intervene to help him win again ― after a different country helped him the first time.

The politics of personal destruction Nixon deployed ultimately destroyed him. But they’ve fueled Trump’s entire career and the party that elected him. As he heads toward his own impeachment, it’s unlikely he’ll heed Nixon’s final message from the White House.

“[A]lways remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself,” Nixon said in his farewell statement.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Is Copying Nixon’s Reelection Misdeeds

On a snowy day in Manchester, New Hampshire, Democratic Maine Sen. Edmund Muskie, the front-runner for the party’s 1972 presidential nomination, stood before the offices of the conservative Union Leader newspaper and denounced the paper’s publisher William Loeb for publishing smears against him.

“By attacking me, by attacking my wife, he has proved himself to be a gutless coward,” Muskie said in an angry and emotional voice.

Some reports claimed tears ran down his cheeks. Muskie, and many historians today, argued those tears were actually the steadily falling snow melting upon impact. But at the time, the reports that Muskie cried fueled a media narrative that he was mentally unstable. He won the New Hampshire primary by a smaller margin than anticipated and rapidly faded in the following contests.

Forty-five years later, former vice president Joe Biden, a front-runner for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, stood before a crowd in Las Vegas to give a very similar message as Muskie.

“You’re not going to destroy me,” Biden declared on Oct. 2. “And you’re not going to destroy my family. I don’t care how much money you spend or how dirty the attacks get.”

What was done to Muskie is precisely what is being done to Biden. The president of the United States orchestrated a secret campaign of smears and deceit meant to destroy the political opponent he perceived as the most threatening to his own reelection. For Muskie, that president was Richard Nixon. For Biden, it’s Donald Trump.

Westlake Legal Group 5da4b90c210000330cacd945 Trump Is Copying Nixon’s Reelection Misdeeds

ASSOCIATED PRESS Sen. Edmund Muskie denounces conservative Manchester Union Leader publisher William Loeb in front of the newspaper’s Manchester, New Hampshire, building, Feb. 26, 1972. (AP Photo, File)

Muskie’s downfall was part of a broad operation of illegality orchestrated by the Nixon White House to cover up leaks, spy on political opponents and fix the 1972 Democratic Party primary. It ultimately ended with Nixon’s resignation and pardon. 

During his career as a California congressman, senator and failed gubernatorial candidate, Nixon was bedeviled by political tricks pulled on him by Democratic Party consultant Dick Tuck. Envious of the tricks deployed against him, Nixon decided to harness them himself. 

Ahead of the 1972 election, his campaign and the White House hired a host of characters to screw with his opponents in the Democratic Party. The ultimate goal was to get the party to nominate South Dakota Sen. George McGovern, an anti-war figure they believed to be the least electable. (They were right.)

One of these characters was Donald Segretti, a University of Southern California frat boy, who was known for pulling political pranks to win student elections. Segretti and his buddies called these pranks “ratfucking.” Segretti and his ratfuckers were given the task of sowing confusion among the Democratic Party presidential candidates Nixon feared the most: former vice president and 1968 presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey, Washington Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson and Muskie.

Among the many things Segretti and his team did to the Democratic Party presidential field was to forge letters from one campaign making wild allegations against another. They stole Muskie campaign letterhead and sent letters out alleging that sexual misconduct by Humphrey and that Jackson had fathered an illegitimate child with a 17-year-old girl. Muskie had to deny sending the letters while both Jackson and Humphrey were forced to deny the allegations.

Westlake Legal Group 5da4b9d820000069055008ad Trump Is Copying Nixon’s Reelection Misdeeds

ASSOCIATED PRESS Donald Segretti, a political saboteur financed with Nixon campaign funds, is surrounded by newsmen as he listens to questions outside the U.S. District court in Washington, Oct. 2, 1973, after pleading guilty to three charges of violating federal election laws during the 1972 Democratic presidential primary in Florida. (AP Photo)

But what got Muskie up in front of the Union Leader on that snowy day in 1972 was something called the “Canuck Letter.” One of the tricks Segretti and his team pulled was to forge a letter to the editor that purported to be from a Florida man who had asked how Muskie could understand problems faced by African Americans since he represented Maine, a state with a very small African-American population. The letter claimed that Muskie laughed after a staffer said, “Not blacks, but we have Canucks.” At the time, “Canuck” was viewed as a derogatory term for French-Canadians, of which there were many living in New Hampshire.

Segretti ended up pleading guilty to three counts of distributing fraudulent campaign material and served four months of his six-month prison sentence.

Trump’s attempt to tar Biden with the stench of a Ukrainian corruption investigation is just a grander prank aimed at rigging the 2020 election to his perceived benefit. In a now-infamous July 25 phone call, Trump pressured Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate a natural gas company that had Biden’s son Hunter Biden on its board. So far, Biden has not suffered in the polls since the controversy erupted after the whistleblower complaint accusing Trump of malfeasance was revealed in September. 

This is the only way that Trump knows how to do politics. He fanned the flames of birtherism against President Barack Obama, a racist dirty trick aimed at confusing both the public and the press. He latched on to every conspiracy theory imaginable about Hillary Clinton in 2016 ― she was dying, she sold uranium to Russia and so on. He publicly praised the Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee and called for, “Russia, if you’re listening,” to hack some more. And now he’s used the power of his office in an effort to manipulate a foreign country to manufacture a corruption investigation into the potential opponent he fears most.

Westlake Legal Group 5da4ba122100002b0b344ca0 Trump Is Copying Nixon’s Reelection Misdeeds

New York Daily News Archive via Getty Images Donald Trump’s two most important political advisers were the McCarthyite Roy Cohn (center) and Nixon fanboy Roger Stone (left). (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Trump learned these politics from two professional smear merchants. The first was Roy Cohn, the McCarthyite-turned-mob-lawyer with a speciality in character assassination. The second was Nixon’s ultimate fanboy, Roger Stone.

Cohn became Trump’s first political adviser starting in the 1970s after the upcoming real estate developer and his father were facing charges of racial discrimination. Cohn taught Trump three key rules for dealing with challenges in business and politics, the author Sam Roberts told Vanity Fair’s Maire Brenner: “1. Never settle, never surrender. 2. Counter-attack, counter-sue immediately. 3. No matter what happens, no matter how deeply into the muck you get, claim victory and never admit defeat.”

Before dying of AIDS, Cohn passed off his Trump account to Stone, who had been loosely affiliated with Segretti’s ratfuckers. 

Stone had pulled his share of dirty tricks as a Nixon hanger-on, including faking a donation from a made-up socialist group to Nixon’s 1972 Republican primary opponent California Rep. Pete McCloskey. It was Stone who pushed Trump to think about a political career as early as 1987 and was one of three advisers who laid the groundwork for his 2016 campaign.

The story of the Republican Party’s resurgence in the second half of the 20th century often leapfrogs Nixon. The traditional tale is one of a “remnant” of activists and wealthy oligarchs holding tight through the New Deal. They helped Barry Goldwater, a true conservative ideologue, get the GOP presidential nod in 1964. Then Ronald Reagan, the former New Deal Democrat-turned-conservative reactionary, won their revolution in 1980. 

Nixon’s transactional politics don’t fit. But Nixon and his destructive politics are the real throughline from his 1972 landslide to Trump’s presidency. The destruction of Muskie and the DNC break-in simply presaged Trump’s use of the presidency to coerce a foreign country to intervene to help him win again ― after a different country helped him the first time.

The politics of personal destruction Nixon deployed ultimately destroyed him. But they’ve fueled Trump’s entire career and the party that elected him. As he heads toward his own impeachment, it’s unlikely he’ll heed Nixon’s final message from the White House.

“[A]lways remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself,” Nixon said in his farewell statement.

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LeBron James’ criticism of Daryl Morey receives backlash on social media

Westlake Legal Group NBA-LeBron-James7 LeBron James' criticism of Daryl Morey receives backlash on social media fox-news/sports/nba/los-angeles-lakers fox-news/sports/nba fox-news/person/lebron-james fox news fnc/sports fnc article 012753cb-2486-5f00-9e9b-811e8c76dd17

He shoots and–according to many on social media– misses badly.

Lebron James, the Los Angeles Lakers’ star who often comments on domestic, social and political issues, criticized Houston Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey‘s ‘misinformed’ decision to take to Twitter to call on support for protesters in Hong Kong who are facing off against what they see as an encroaching Beijing.

James told reporters in Los Angeles Monday night that Morey’s tweet was misinformed.

Morey’s now-deleted tweet read: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”

James, one of the most recognizable players in the league who was just in China for pre-season games, indicated that Morey would have done well to show restraint.

“I’m not here to judge how the league handled the situation. I just think that, when you’re misinformed or you’re not educated about something – and I’m just talking about the tweet itself – you never know the ramifications that can happen,” James said. “We all see what that did, not only did for our league but for all of us in America, for people in China as well. Sometimes you have to think through the things that you say that may cause harm not only for yourself but for the majority of people. I think that’s just a prime example of that.”

The protests gripping Hong Kong began in response to a now-withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent for trial in Communist Party-controlled courts in mainland China. The movement then ballooned to encompass broader clamors for universal suffrage, an independent inquiry of the policing methods used against protesters and other demands.

James clarified the remarks later on Twitter, saying his team and league “just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it.”

James insisted that he was not commenting on the tweet’s substance.

Dan Wolken, a writer for USA Today, wrote a column calling the episode the most “disgraceful moment” of  James’ career.

“If only Morey had done what you did Monday, LeBron, and tacitly admit that the only thing that really matters is your ability to sell shoes and market “Space Jam 2” in a country of 1.4 billion, we could have had an intellectually honest discussion about doing business in China and the cost of free speech in a country where only propaganda is tolerated,” he wrote.

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Social media users posted videos of the violent protests in the city and called out the superstar for treading carefully around the issue so he doesn’t offend the lucrative Chinese market.

“No more King James, Chairman James from now on,” one user wrote.

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Japan Draws On Emergency Fund To Pay For Aftermath Of Typhoon

Westlake Legal Group ap_19288153226488_wide-00ca33b654a2f803a70d128e4405468afb53f1de-s1100-c15 Japan Draws On Emergency Fund To Pay For Aftermath Of Typhoon

A man uses a shovel to scoop mud in a neighborhood devastated by Typhoon Hagibis on Tuesday, in Nagano, Japan. Jae C. Hong/AP hide caption

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Jae C. Hong/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Japan Draws On Emergency Fund To Pay For Aftermath Of Typhoon

A man uses a shovel to scoop mud in a neighborhood devastated by Typhoon Hagibis on Tuesday, in Nagano, Japan.

Jae C. Hong/AP

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned on Tuesday of a “prolonged” impact from one of the most destructive typhoons in decades to hit the country, with a toll that has now risen to at least 53 dead.

Typhoon Hagibis brought record-breaking rainfall, caused extensive flooding and power outages, forcing the government to approve a special budget for disaster response.

In a parliamentary session, Abe said the rescue effort from the storm that hit central Japan over the weekend was “continuing around the clock.”

“It is urgent to provide adequate support for the victims,” Abe said, according to a translation from Japanese published in Japan Times.

“There are concerns that the impact on life and economic activities will be prolonged,” he said.

Abe said the government would draw on a 500 billion yen ($4.6 billion) special reserve to pay for the storm.

The figure of 53 killed in the typhoon was given by Abe, but officials said it did not include at least another nine presumed dead. Public broadcaster NHK, which has consistently cited higher figures for the dead from Hagibis, on Tuesday placed the toll at 68. Kyodo News, citing information gathered from local authorities, reports that at least 19 people were still missing.

The country’s infrastructure ministry said embankment collapses affecting 47 rivers in 66 locations had been confirmed as of Tuesday, but officials said they still don’t have a complete picture of the damage.

About 34,000 homes were without electricity and 110,000 were without running water, the government said. More than 30,000 people were still in shelters as of late Monday.

In hard-hit Nagano, on the main island of Honshu, rainfall hit a record of 134.5 millimeters (5.3 inches) in a 24-hour period.

Sixty-eight-year-old resident Mayumi Shibata temporarily returned to her flooded home on Monday.

“I can’t believe that something like this actually happened,” she told Mainichi Shimbun.

Early Sunday morning, Shibata’s husband took his 97-year-old mother to a local evacuation shelter in Nagano, but she chose to stay behind thinking that the flooding wouldn’t be too serious.

“I have a cat, so I thought if I took it to the evacuation shelter, it would cause trouble to other evacuees,” she told Mainichi.

She sent her husband worried messages by phone as the water kept rising through the night. She was eventually rescued from an upper floor.

When Toshitaka Yoshimura, a retired carpenter in Nagano, returned to his home after staying at an evacuation center during the storm, he was stunned by what he saw, according to The Associated Press.

His house was a muddy mess, with doors knocked out and furniture tossed about and covered in dirt.

“I put a lot of effort in this house,” Yoshimura said. “I made all the furniture with my wife. Now look what happened in one day,” he said. “Now this makes me want to cry.”

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Humans will never live on another planet, Nobel Laureate says. Here’s why.

Here’s the reality: We’re messing up the Earth and any far-out ideas of colonizing another orb when we’re done with our own are wishful thinking. That’s according to Michel Mayor, an astrophysicist who was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in physics this year for discovering the first planet orbiting a sun-like star outside of our solar system.

“If we are talking about exoplanets, things should be clear: We will not migrate there,” he told Agence France-Presse (AFP). He said he felt the need to “kill all the statements that say, ‘OK, we will go to a livable planet if one day life is not possible on Earth.'”

All of the known exoplanets, or planets outside of our solar system, are too far away to feasibly travel to, he said. “Even in the very optimistic case of a livable planet that is not too far, say a few dozen light years, which is not a lot, it’s in the neighbourhood, the time to go there is considerable,” he added.

Related: 8 Ways Global Warming Is Already Changing the World

Mayor shared half of the Nobel Prize this year along with Didier Queloz for discovering the first exoplanet in October 1995. Using novel instruments at the Haute-Provence Observatory in southern France, they detected a gas giant similar to Jupiter, which they named 51 Pegasi b. (The other half of the prize was awarded to James Peebles of Princeton University for his work in dark matter and dark energy).

Since then, over 4,000 other exoplanets have been found in the Milky Way, but apparently, none of them can be feasibly reached.

Stephen Kane, a professor of planetary astrophysics at the University of California in Riverside, agrees with Mayor. “The sad reality is that, at this point in human history, all stars are effectively at a distance of infinity,” Kane told Live Science. “We struggle very hard as a species to reach the Earth’s moon.”

We might be able to send people to Mars in the next 50 years, but “I would be very surprised if humanity made it to the orbit of Jupiter within the next few centuries,” he said. Since the distance to the nearest star outside of our solar system is about 70,000 times greater than the distance to Jupiter, “all stars are effectively out of reach.”

Well, you might say, plenty of things seemed out of reach until we reached them, such as sending aircraft on intercontinental flights. But “in this case, the required physics to reach the stars, if it exists, is not known to us and it would require a fundamental change in our understanding of the relationship between mass, acceleration and energy.”

“So that’s where we stand, firmly on the Earth, and unlikely to change for a very, very long time,” he said.

Mayor told the AFP: “We must take care of our planet, it is very beautiful and still absolutely livable.”

Andrew Fraknoi, emeritus chair of the astronomy department at Foothill College in California agreed that we won’t be able to travel to these stars in the near future. But “I would never say we can never reach the stars and possible habitable planets,” he said. “Who knows how our technology will evolve after another million years of evolution.”

Originally published on Live Science.

Westlake Legal Group humans-never-on-another-planet Humans will never live on another planet, Nobel Laureate says. Here's why. Yasemin Saplakoglu LiveScience fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/planets fnc/science fnc article 3c85de80-82e4-5812-9ca5-61e4c97d6940   Westlake Legal Group humans-never-on-another-planet Humans will never live on another planet, Nobel Laureate says. Here's why. Yasemin Saplakoglu LiveScience fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/planets fnc/science fnc article 3c85de80-82e4-5812-9ca5-61e4c97d6940

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Ruta Lee reveals her biggest career regret

Many performers have a story of an on-set blooper that sticks with him or her throughout the years.

Ruta Lee is no exception.

The actress, who portrayed Ruth Jepson in the 1954 musical “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” told Fox News there is one that happened during rehearsals for the film that has lingered in her memory.

“I remember one time when we were rehearsing for the first time after six weeks of rehearsal at a studio rehearsal hall, we were allowed onto the platform that was the base of the barn that they were going to build,” Lee recalled.

RUTA LEE RECALLS WORKING ALONGSIDE FRANK SINATRA, ALEX TREBEK: ‘I LOVED EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF IT’

“They hadn’t rubberized our shoes yet and I did a big slide back and fell forward onto my face, hit my head on the planks, went out like a light,” she continued. “And our choreographer, Michael Kidd, was the first voice I heard saying: ‘Don’t worry. She’s all right. She just dropped a quarter down the slot and she’s trying to find it.’

“Do you know how painful it is to be knocked out but laughing?” Lee, 84, joked.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1022148588 Ruta Lee reveals her biggest career regret Nicole Pajer fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/then-and-now fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 6e57d049-b81f-50a2-aa40-4753858b067e

Ruta Lee in London, UK in March 1964. (Terry Fincher/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Fortunately, the blunder happened during practice, and not in the midst of the actual production. All the same, she wound up with a goose egg on her head, Her hairstylist had to bring down her bangs to conceal it.

The film has gone on to become a Broadway show but Lee wouldn’t be opposed to seeing it rebooted on the screen.

‘LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE’ STAR ALISON ARNGRIM REVEALS THE ONE SCENE SHE WAS TERRIFIED TO FILM

“I’d like to see it redone, but on the other hand it holds up so beautifully as it is that you don’t sit there saying, ‘Oh, what an old-fashioned film.’ It stays young and fresh and wonderful all these years later,” she said.

Lee said one reboot challenge is that so many of the original actors have died.

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Ruta Lee being honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, Calif. in 2006. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)

“I don’t even want to talk about it,” she said, with watering eyes. “We were quite a family cause we were together a long time and those were the days when we worked six days a week. We worked Saturdays. We only had Sundays off.”

If she revisited Jepson, Lee knows exactly where her character would be in 2019: “I would be a great grandmother by now, but probably still bossing people around a little bit, which is part of my nature,” she proclaimed.

‘BEWITCHED’ STAR ERIN MURPHY SHARES WHAT IT WOULD TAKE FOR HER TO DO A REBOOT

The actress, who looks fabulous at 84 and doesn’t have a beauty secret to offer up — other than her standard routine of “lots of makeup, water and a bar of soap” — says she’s thankful for her storied career.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-463532600 Ruta Lee reveals her biggest career regret Nicole Pajer fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/then-and-now fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 6e57d049-b81f-50a2-aa40-4753858b067e

Ruta Lee and James Garner in 1957’s “The Comstock Conspiracy.” (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images) 

“While I’ve never reached superstardom, I have reached a plateau where I was known and I worked all the time,” she said.

“I’m a triple-threat in that I can work in television, I can work in movies and I can work on the stage. And my most lucrative part of my career was the five years that I spent on Home Shopping Network. That was wonderful!” she exclaimed while attending the Hollywood Museum Celebrates the 55th Anniversary of “Gilligan’s Island” event.

Lee does have one big regret: turning down the contract that she was offered at Warner Bros. back in the day.

“They asked me if I’d like to work under contract. Contract players in that day and age were getting like $300 a week and I was guesting almost every other week at Warner Bros. for $750 a week,” she said. “And so I said, ‘Gentlemen, thank you, but why would I do that?’”

“While I’ve never reached superstardom, I have reached a plateau where I was known and I worked all the time.”

— Ruta Lee

“Well, of course what I didn’t think about is that when you’re at a studio, you have the public relations machine behind you, you have costumes behind you, you have lessons behind you, and you get used in everything that they do. So you become more visible,” she continued.

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Still, Lee says things have worked out pretty well for her in the end.

“I still call my little house in Palm Springs ‘the house that Jack meaning Jack Warner built’ because I did so many Warner Bros. shows,” she added with a grin.

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