‘Coded racist rhetoric’? CNN under fire for crediting group of white congresswomen with Trump impeachment inquiry

CNN has found new heroes of the unraveling Trump impeachment saga – a group of white congresswomen with security backgrounds – and got its woke image tarnished for forgetting Maxine Waters, Al Green and AOC’s “squad.”

The story focuses on a group of “moderate” freshman congresswomen — Elissa Slotkin (D-Michigan), Abigail Spanberger (D-Virginia), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pennsylvania), Mikie Sherrill (D-New Jersey) and Elaine Luria (D-Virginia) — who all changed their minds and decided to back the House impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump last week. All of them have served either in the military or in the CIA.

CNN said their decision to back the inquiry “changed history,” prompting outrage from critics who noticed that the piece makes some not-so-thinly-veiled jabs at the more vocal ‘squad’ of four anti-Trump freshmen – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachussetts) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan).

“None of us is ever going to get in a Twitter war with anyone else,” Slotkin told CNN, while Spanberger said none of the moderate group wants to be “the loudest voice in the room” but would rather be “the most effective.”

That bit about being effective got CNN accused of employing “coded racist rhetoric” against the ‘squad’ by giving the impression that they were loud and ineffective by comparison.

The story was also panned as “trash” by activist and MSNBC contributor Elie Mystal, who tweeted that CNN gave the white women credit “when in fact they were late in the game followers.” 

“If not for the work of women of color, there would have been no impeachment movement for them to glom onto, a fact this story seems to forget,” Mystal wrote.

Some rebuked CNN for not only forgetting the “squad,”  but also Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) had been tirelessly calling for Trump’s ouster — in her case, practically since he took office. Congressman Al Green (D-Texas) was the first to introduce it in the House. Green and Waters are both African-American.

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House Democrats subpoena Trump lawyer Giuliani in impeachment probe over Ukraine

The Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees of the US House of Representatives have sent a subpoena to President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, demanding he turn over documents related to their impeachment inquiry by October 15.

The Democrat-led committees seek documents about Giuliani’s involvement with alleged attempts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, until recently a leading candidate for the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination.

Though the transcript of the Trump-Zelensky phone call from July shows no such pressure, and Zelensky himself said as much during a press conference at the UN last week, the House is arguing that going after Biden amounts to unlawful foreign interference in the US election and is thereby grounds for impeachment.

Biden has publicly boasted about forcing the government to fire a “corrupt” Ukrainian prosecutor, who just so happened to be involved in investigating a gas company that employed Biden’s son Hunter to the tune of $50,000 a month.

Bolton’s WH-bashing private debut met with elated applause by impeachment-hungry #Resistance media

Uber-hawk ex-US national security advisor John Bolton’s first public appearance after being fired by the White House saw him slam Trump’s North Korea policy, call for regime change – and be embraced by the mainstream media.

Proving there is no former White House official too unpleasant for the anti-Trump #Resistance media to embrace, Bolton’s reputational rehabilitation was evident in the headlines heralding his return to private-sector warmongering after he spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Monday. The no longer unemployed belligerent excoriated President Donald Trump for “seeking a middle ground” on North Korea and insisted Kim Jong-un couldn’t be trusted, claiming regime change and military force were the only possible ways forward.

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Targeting Trump is No.1 priority for the ‘Resistance’ – even if it means rehabilitating John Bolton

John Bolton has finally spoken, and he put up a big warning sign about Trump and North Korea,” gushed the Washington Post, which not-so-subtly hinted that Bolton could be an asset in the impeachment proceedings currently unfolding against his former boss. “The big question with Bolton is how far he’s willing to go – and whether he might be a key witness in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry over Ukraine,” the paper salivated, pointing out that Bolton led the National Security Council when the White House allegedly tried to bury Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on an NSC computer.

John Bolton finally says what he really thinks about Trump’s North Korea policy,” Vox fawned, praising the Republican warmonger for “keeping it real” by categorically contradicting Trump’s assertion that Kim is willing to denuclearize, thus “blowing a hole in the administration’s North Korea policy.” Vox even put words in Bolton’s mouth, explaining that his criticisms hid even more scathing condemnations.

Without coming out and saying it, Bolton effectively called the president’s policy foolish – and potentially dangerous.

Even the New York Times, which just last year tore into “Bolton’s illegal war plan for North Korea,” was suddenly all smiles, uncritically reprinting Bolton’s digs at Korean rapprochement (“Every day that goes by makes North Korea a more dangerous country”) while echoing the Post’s veiled pleas for cooperation on the impeachment investigation (Bolton’s appearance “was greeted with some expectation that he might also shed light on the whistleblower complaint that has prompted an impeachment inquiry”).

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A pro-impeachment demonstrator in New York © Reuters / Lucas Jackson
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The mainstream media’s newfound affection for Bolton seems to be inspired not just by the usual reflexive embrace of fired administration officials, but by the realization that launching a successful impeachment inquiry on the back of the flimsy ‘Ukrainegate’ scandal will require a lot of insider assistance.

MSNBC fleshed out this vision of Bolton as the Great White Hope for impeachment, suggesting he could be the savior the #Resistance needs to get Republicans to turn on Trump and go along with the House Democrats’ impeachment probe over Ukraine, even before Bolton made his CSIS speech. “If someone’s going to talk it is probably going to be him,” program host Joy Reid said on Sunday.

All of this began happening when John Bolton walked out,” another panelist responded, while a second noted that Bolton “was the last babysitter” and “adult in the room” in the White House – though even Reid couldn’t resist getting in a dig at “the babysitter who wanted to nuke Iran.” Bolton can expect more enticements to return to the never-Trump fold from which he came – and more praise from the media when he inevitably does.

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‘Quit playing stupid sanctions games’: Moscow blasts new round of US sanctions, vows to respond

The latest US sanctions against Russia over alleged 2016 election meddling has triggered an angry response in Moscow, which dismissed them as a reflection of a political crisis in Washington.

A fresh batch of restrictions was unveiled Monday by the US Treasury Department, which invoked President Donald Trump’s executive order about election interference for the first time. Russian nationals Denis Kuzmin and Igor Nesterov were targeted over “links” to the Internet Research Agency – alleged to be the notorious “troll farm” used for meddling.

Apart from that, the restrictions were imposed on three companies registered in the Seychelles, as well as three aircraft owned by the said businesses and a “pleasure vessel” registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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US Treasury Department (file photo)
Pleasure boat, 3 planes & companies & 2 Russians sanctioned in new US ‘election meddling’ action

Russia’s Foreign Ministry did not mince words when firing back.

“What made Washington bureaucrats put them all on the same list, what relation the planes and boats have – as it’s asserted – to the interference into the American election, remains unclear,” the ministry said in a statement.

The diplomats also noted that the US sanctions have targeted certain individuals twice and thrice already, alleging that “the authors of sanctions either lack imagination or they get confused with their multiple lists.”

The never-ending sanctions campaign against Moscow is a sign of the deep political crisis in the US, the ministry stated, as “a part of Washington establishment” uses the anti-Russian trope to reach its “opportunistic goals.” While Moscow calls on the US to quit playing “sanctions games” altogether and engage in meaningful dialogue, it is ready to retaliate.

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© Reuters / Lucas Jackson
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“As before, the anti-Russian attack will not remain unanswered. At the same time, we urge American politicians to quit playing stupid sanctions games, that yield zero result, and return to a common sense-based position,” the ministry added.

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Jordan Peterson doc still gets premiere after finding itself under ‘cancel culture’ chopping block

A documentary tracking the rise of conservative figure Jordan Peterson has faced hurdles getting to the big screen in his home country of Canada, with the creators telling RT the difficulties signal deeper problems in the West.

A psychology professor and author, Peterson first rose to international prominence for his vocal and unapologetic opposition to extreme political correctness and identity politics. The firm stance won him quite a few supporters worldwide – and at least as many critics, who see him as a transgender-hating custodian of the patriarchy, whose ‘archaic’ views don’t deserve any platform in the woke modern world.

Filmmaker Patricia Marcoccia knew Peterson before he became an international phenomenon and she witnessed his meteoric burst into the public consciousness and watched as his profile grew exponentially in recent years. Her observations form the basis of the documentary ‘The Rise of Jordan Peterson’ which expands on an earlier film aired by Canadian public broadcaster CBC last year.

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The film was due to be screened for a week in Canada by Carlton Cinema, a Toronto-based chain specializing in foreign and independent movies, but the screenings were scrapped. The cancellation reportedly followed complaints by some employees that they were uncomfortable with Peterson as the documentary’s subject. Controversial subject matter is apparently off limits these days, as the hyper-vigilant political correctness police gain more and more influence over what is (and is not) acceptable to say in public. 

The uproar over the Peterson film was somewhat ironic, Marcoccia told RT, because as far as the company knows, those doing the complaining haven’t even seen the documentary, and as such, are hardly best placed to make judgements. 

The controversy signals a wider problem with divisiveness, online echo chambers and an inability to accept others’ political opinions in the West, the film’s producer Maziar Ghaderi told RT.

“These days politics in the West has become so polarized that people don’t even speak with people that they disagree with — and social media makes it really easy to do that, and that’s very sad,” Ghaderi said.

“This political stuff shouldn’t be the center of your world.”

Carlton Cinema’s abrupt decision to back out is not the only cancellation the filmmakers have faced, either. Other theaters rejected the film too, arguing that it was “unethical” to contribute to the “cult of personality” around Peterson, Marcoccia claimed.

“[Some theaters] said if people don’t like Jordan Peterson, they won’t pay money to see a film about him. There were all sorts of reasons we were getting,” she added.

This kind of obfuscation is understandable, but regrettable, Ghaderi said, explaining that the intention with the documentary was to show that Peterson is neither devil incarnate nor conservative messiah — but a regular, living, breathing person. They hoped they could use the film to help overcome increased political polarization in society and encourage honest dialogue between warring factions in the culture wars. 

Yet, it seems gone are the days, when people at least waited until they had viewed the contentious movie or actually read the controversial book before calling for it to be scrapped.

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FILE PHOTO. © Global Look Press / Ulrich Zillmann
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The hand-wringing over the Peterson documentary comes as the latest in a series of attempts in the West to silence alternative or anti-mainstream views through public pressure and “cancel culture.” Controversial public figures, often those expressing conservative views, can easily find themselves “cancelled” by liberal society or face outright censorship on social media. 

From ironically wearing blackface over a decade ago to suggesting a three-year-old isn’t mature enough to decide its own gender, the list of offenses for which one can be excommunicated from polite society is growing by the day.

Over the past couple of years, controversial conservative commentators like Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer have found themselves banned from Facebook. Others, like Steven Crowder, have had their YouTube accounts demonetized for the crime of expressing non-mainstream ideas.

Eager to comply with the demands of the liberal zeitgeist, YouTube went on a banning spree earlier this year, axing accounts for “extreme” content — but the Google-owned video platform did so with such gusto that even educational channels discussing topics like the history of Nazi Germany got swept up under the ban brush. It’s within that context that the Peterson documentary seems to be offering up a bit more than the PC police can handle.

Despite the hurdles, however, ‘The Rise of Jordan Peterson’ did get a chance for a theatrical premiere after Canada’s Cineplex chain agreed to screen it on a cinema-on-demand basis. 

Marcoccia and Ghaderi said they had received positive feedback, with viewers describing the film as unbiased and thought-provoking. That’s enough to consider their endeavor a success, they said, since that’s how they hoped the work would be regarded.

There is respect to the audience in that we don’t dumb down things and oversimplify the narrative to make it fit into a simple story. We are being honest and reflect back reality.

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Pleasure boat, 3 planes & companies & 2 Russians sanctioned in new US ‘election meddling’ action

Invoking President Donald Trump’s executive order about election interference for the first time, the US Treasury Department has sanctioned several people, planes and a ship “linked to” the Internet Research Agency in Russia.

Russian nationals Denis Kuzmin and Igor Nesterov were added to the Treasury sanctions list on Monday for “links” to the IRA. Three companies registered in the Seychelles – Autolex Transport Ltd, Beratex Group Ltd, and Linburg Industries Ltd – were also sanctioned on the same grounds, as well as “cyber” and Ukraine-related statutes. 

Three airplanes owned by these companies and a “pleasure craft” named St. Vitamin, owned by Beratex Group and registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, were also named in the sanctions order. 

All of these people, vessels and entities are in turn “linked to” Yevgeny Prigozhin, whom the US government has accused of masterminding the 2016 “Russian election meddling” via social networks. Prigozhin’s own designation was expanded to cite the “election interference” executive order.

These seem to be the first designations under Executive Order 13848, which Trump signed in September 2018. The order provides grounds for sanctioning foreign individuals and entities based on an “assessment” by the Director of National Intelligence – the office currently embroiled in the impeachment probe over Trump’s conversation with the president of Ukraine.

By what must have been sheer coincidence, the New York Times ran a feature on Monday accusing Russia of meddling in the 2016 US elections and now “using similar tactics” in the Central African Republic (CAR). It centers around Prigozhin, described as a “confidant” of President Vladimir Putin.

Prigozhin’s company, Concord Management & Consulting, was indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller in 2018, for allegedly running the IRA as a “troll farm” and “sowing discord” on US social media prior, during and after the 2016 election. 

Concord challenged the indictment in a US federal court, and DOJ lawyers have been fighting tooth and nail to prevent it from seeing evidence in the case ever since.

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Another nail in Russiagate coffin? Federal judge destroys key Mueller report claim

In July, it was revealed that Concord’s lawyers successfully challenged Mueller’s prosecutors – now working for the DOJ – for prejudicial statements in the report that claimed to have “established” and “confirmed” Russian government interference in the election. US District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich agreed that Mueller did not in fact establish a link between Concord and the Russian government and that Prigozhin being “widely reported to have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin” was an assertion, not evidence. Friedrich stopped just short of finding the prosecutors in contempt.

As the newest sanctions show, however, the assertion that Russia “meddled” in the US election – originally levied by the losing party in order to challenge the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency – has been accepted as an article of faith even by Trump’s own administration. 

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‘Our Octagon girls are part of the UFC brand’: Dana White slams idea of banning scantily-clad models

UFC boss Dana White has criticized feminist activists calling for bikini-clad models to be dropped from MMA events stating that his promotion is not going to ditch Octagon girls who are “part of the UFC brand.”

The so-called anti-cheerleaders campaign which has rapidly spread all over the world affecting multiple sports has finally reached MMA with female advocate groups urging organisers to stop using models between rounds, something that they see as sexual exploitation of women.

READ MORE: ‘No one’s holding a gun to our heads!’ Banned ring girls hit out at ‘ridiculous’ feminist groups

Multiple calls to scrap the “outdated” tradition of inviting Octagon girls were voiced ahead of UFC 243 at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium on October 6, which will be headlined by Robert Whittaker’s bout against Kiwi Israel Adesanya.

It’s 2019, do we really still need scantily clad women to wander around the middle of a fighting ring between rounds? Grid girls are no longer part of Formula One, walk-on girls are no longer part of professional darts – surely it’s time to move on,” said Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp, who was behind the initiative.

Octagon girls during UFC 230 Weigh-in © Global Look Press / Jason Silva

However, the UFC boss made it clear he is not going to follow in the footsteps of Formula One organizers who discontinued their use of grid girls, stressing that the models “are ambassadors for the sport.”

Our Octagon girls, they’re as much a part of the UFC brand as anyone, they’re ambassadors for our sport,” White said.“So for someone who has absolutely no education whatsoever about who these girls are — about what they do, what they mean to the UFC — to start going off, it’s ridiculous.”

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The octagon girls after the UFC weigh-in event in Sao Paulo, Brazil © Global Look Press / Paulo Lopes
‘Do we really need scantily clad women?’ UFC urged to ban octagon girls in latest feminist salvo

So you can look at any sport you like, nobody treats women better than we do. And I’d suggest these people calling on them to be banned go have a look at what these girls do with the company, the type of money they’re making,” he added, defending the idea of the between-rounds custom.

Feminist campaigns have already left cheerleaders jobless in several sports, such as Formula one, bicycle racing, boxing and basketball.

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Sucker punch: Radical feminists KO ring girls, replace with MEN to ‘reduce violence against women’

At the beginning of September, rings girls were replaced by men at an Aussie boxing event after coming under fire from local activists and women’s advocacy groups.

Last week, German basketball club Alba Berlin announced the decision to ban their long-time cheerleaders, stressing that they no longer need “attractive break fillers.”

War boys, V8s & dust: Mad Max-themed post-apocalyptic ‘Wasteland Weekend’ festival held in Mojave Desert (PHOTOS)

Revelers donning the most extravagant costumes – and some without almost any – assorted Mad Max-style vehicles, and a whole post-apocalyptic settlement were on display at ‘Wasteland Weekend’ festival held in California.

The main theme of the festival, dubbed ‘Wasteland Weekend’, is the Mad Max franchise but the revelers apparently get inspiration from other dystopian titles as well, namely the Fallout post-apocalyptic game series. Despite the name, it’s actually a five-day event, that kicks off annually on the last Wednesday of September.

© AFP / Agustin Paullier

The permanent festival home is located in Mojave Desert between the now-defunct Cold War-era Nevada nuclear test site and Hollywood. Some 4,000 people attended the event this year, significantly more than 10 years ago when it was first held attracting a handful of movie fans.

The revelers can take part in various contests, attend live music and fire performances, as well as visit a special bartering area to try and exchange their belongings with other festival goers.

Wearing costumes, as well as carrying assorted post-apocalyptic props, is mandatory during the event.

© AFP / Agustin Paullier

Many stick to recreating various characters of the Mad Max franchise and its latest installment, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, in particular.

© AFP / Agustin Paullier

While others choose rather generic, rugged and ragged post-apocalyptic looks.

Some revelers, however, were seen wearing close to nothing – which is not a very advisable tactic to survive in not only a post-apocalyptic, but a regular desert.

© AFP / Agustin Paullier

The event also featured heavily modified road vehicles, ranging from rusted muscle cars to assorted dune buggies.

© AFP / Agustin Paullier

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