“We loved Michael here and it was great to have him with us. He was a true, true journalist. One of the very few we have in the country. It’s a great loss not just for us but for the country. There’s about a handful of journalists in the whole country who are actually challenging the government, challenging the Pentagon, not just trusting what they say but actually breaking news on it. He wasn’t in bed with the government, like most of the mainstream press. He was a watchdog, and he’s not on the watch any more. We’re going to miss Michael.”—
“He lied. It’s not subtle. He said ‘there will be no spying on citizens who are not suspected of a crime.’ He lied. There is spying on all of us, and we are not suspected of a crime. Barack Obama is a liar.”—Cenk Uygur
Chase Madar, author of “The Passion of Bradley Manning,” and Faiza Patel, co-director of the Brennan Center for Justice, sat down with Current TV’s John Fugelsang to weigh in on the Bradley Manning trial.
I’m John Fuglesang and I’d like to appeal to all you kind Americans out there, and ask you to open your hearts and lend a hand to one of the most persecuted, oppressed and voiceless groups in all of America. Of course I’m talking about the tea party.
Recently, we learned that during its time when it was headed by Douglas Shulman, certain mid-level bureaucrats at the IRS office in Cincinnati targeted tea party groups unfairly. Now, I know this is shocking — the idea that something interesting could ever happen in Cincinnati. But tea partyers had to face the worst thing any decent American ever faced, my friends: increased, inconvenient amounts of paperwork to prove that groups holding signs saying “Impeach Obama” shouldn’t pay taxes because they’re obviously not political.
Now, this kerfuffle caused the tea party to experience the worst human-rights abuses since the Stark family went to that wedding on “Game of Thrones.”
Becky Gerritson, my friends, president of the Wetumpka, Alaska, tea party, said, “This is not an accident. This is a willful act of intimidation intended to discourage a point of view.”
Yes, the tea party was intimidated into complete silence to such an extent that the only place she was allowed to say this was before a committee of congressmen in front of millions of viewers on CSPAN, CNN and Fox News.
Now let me ask: How would you like it if the IRS wanted to know if you’d been cheating on your taxes, when all you did was carry around a big sign that said, “Taxes are a crime against humanity”?
It’s not right, and the tea party needs your help. They need 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status so they can hide the identities of their completely non-political donors; they need ink so they can keep on non-politically drawing Hitler mustaches on posters of Obama; and they need funds to buy vintage military outfits that best express the America they believe in — and they need a lot of money for that, because authentic Confederate soldier uniforms can get a little pricey.
So won’t you please help? These tea party members have been silenced and they now have no voice in society, as they’ve said thousands of times on the thousands of radio and cable TV shows they’ve appeared on relentlessly. These loyal patriots who only want to bring down our government and turn the country over to Wall Street oligarchs have been trying to scrimp and scrape by with only a few million-dollar contributions from billionaire, anonymous supporters like the Koch brothers.
Without your help, they might suffer the fate of Emerge America, a liberal group targeted by the IRS for being political, that was actually, really forced to disclose its donors and lose tax-exempt status, which still hasn’t happened to a single one of these tea party groups that shouldn’t pay taxes because they’re so not political.
Are you going to let the IRS get away, my friends, with breaking zero laws and ensuring people pay their taxes?
All of your contributions are tax-deductible. And remember: If you care about the tea party, do everything you can to impeach the president who appointed Douglas Shulman to run the IRS.
“If you’ve got a country that’s moving in a direction that the people don’t like, you have a crackdown on dissent, and you have an economic engine that’s getting better but leaving other people behind, that’s a recipe for protests.”—
Economic disparity and religious fundamentalism are two of the driving forces in the Gezi Park protests. Cenk Uygur, political reporter Joe Williams, Yahoo! News political correspondent Chris Moody, and professor and author David Cay Johnston came together on The Young Turks yesterday to discuss how Turkey and America are alike.
“That’s the added danger of enabling war-making to be made easier. It’s an illusion because there are seventy-five countries with drones now. Even non-governmental groups, including terrorists, could readily acquire and use them. We have a sense of American ownership of the technology, like with nuclear weapons after World War II. But no technology, as we’ve found, is limited to any country, no matter how big a part they had in developing it. The other thing that is so illusory that is not emphasized sufficiently: the extremity of the destruction. The accuracy of drones has been enormously exaggerated. And they terrify and enrage people and bring about a quality of humiliation and fear. This strange object in the sky that can wreak havoc causes a particular amount of humiliation—and that more than any other emotion can be a source of a retaliatory impulse.”—Robert Jay Lifton (via azspot)
In our recurring segment “Ask A Tea Partier,” Viewpoint host John Fugelsang quizzes the news director of the Tea Party News Network about what the GOP could do to fix immigration reform and curry favor with new Americans.
Nell Hughes says:
"Secure America now. Secure our border now. That’s something I think that both sides should be able to agree on, not only from an economic standpoint but a security standpoint. Then the question is, ‘What do we do with the 11 million people here?’ You know what, Republicans? We are never going to get the majority of them. They are already going to go to the Democrats. There’s nothing that we can do that will encourage them to come and be Republicans."
TV One’s Roland Martin talks with Cenk Uygur about the Department of Justice tapping the phones of Associated Press journalists and whether Attorney General Eric Holder should be held responsible for this attack on the press’ civil liberties. Martin says that freedom of the press isn’t a shield for journalists to do whatever they want with whatever information they might have. He says the press has to be especially careful when it comes to national security information that could put lives at stake or botch an intelligence investigation.
“There still is a national security component to what the job of the government is,” Martin says. “If we have assets on the ground, if we have people who we are trying to protect, if we’ve spent three, five, 10 years infiltrating an operation that could lead to more information — you can bet you want to protect that as much as you can.”
Cenk agrees that under extreme circumstances, such as when American lives are at risk, journalists shouldn’t be leaking information and the government might be justified in investigating such a leak. But he points out that in the case of James Rosen, the information wasn’t sensitive enough to warrant phone tapping.
Cenk Uygur and our panel — NationBuilder’s Lauren Brown Jarvis, Yahoo! News’ Beth Fouhy and Jayar Jackson — talk about Ibraghim Todashev’s dying while in FBI custody and their theories as to why the story hasn’t become a bigger scandal. Todashev was a friend of Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and was initially suspected of being involved with the attacks, but was shot and killed while unarmed and reportedly about to sign a confession.
Jackson says, “If the guy’s name wasn’t Ibraghim Todashev, I think this would be the fourth part of the scandal of something happening in the middle of the Obama administration.” And he adds, “That’s the only reason we’re not getting all kinds of craziness from the other side talking about how badly Obama’s handling it.”
"What I know of is the person who is my brother, the person who has been supportive of me as an individual, of my relationship. …At least he has continued to evolve so that now he has opened up. He’s not marching in any parades, he’s not joined PFLAG yet, but he has said some things that I think a lot of us—including myself—would never hear him say."
Medea Benjamin, co-director of Code Pink, co-founder of Global Exchange and author of “Drone Warfare: Killing By Remote Control,” joins Current TV’s John Fugelsang to discuss the Obama administration’s drone policy.
Benjamin was escorted from the auditorium after she heckled President Obama during his national security speech last Thursday: “I was surprised that I did get a chance to talk at three different occasions and I was pleasantly surprised that the president said that my voice was a voice worth listening to.”
"I think there’s something about the white middle-aged woman cloak of invisibility that perhaps is my secret weapon," Benjamin remarks.
"Just ask yourself, John, if the United States would tolerate any country using a lethal drone to kill somebody here in the United States we would laugh at that, because the U.S. would not tolerate that at all and so why should other countries tolerate that?" Benjamin says. "Might does not make right. The U.S. does not have the right to violate the sovereignty of other nations. The U.S. does not have the right to do something that we would refuse other countries doing to us."
Well, she’s leaving me. I keep thinking there’s something I could’ve said or done to make her stay. Of course I’m talking about Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. She’s decided to leave Congress to spend more time with her husband, Marcus, and his new chauffeur Scott Thorson.
It’s a sad day for America’s political comedians. A lot of us are walking around in a melancholy daze, wearing black armbands and saying, “Why did this happen?”
Last year, life was so sunny for political comics. She was running for president and even in the snake pit inside the cracker barrel within Arkham Asylum that was the GOP presidential field—Michele Bachmann shone on like a crazy diamond in a Tiffany’s case of almost-but-not-quite-as-crazy diamonds. She was like Brian Wilson at the height of his acid-casualty-who-refuses-to leave-the-sand-box-inside-his-bedroom phase, just without any of the clarity or knack for melody.
And I’m not gonna lie—I supported her campaign for president. I thought America was finally ready for another leader who believed Rwanda was JJ’s sister on “Good Times.” Michele Bachmann was a hero to people who think government is evil and wasteful, but also like insurance companies. She supported tax cuts to companies that sent us jobs overseas, then said high taxes drive U.S. jobs overseas. She called being gay personal bondage & enslavement—which to me means she’s just going to the wrong leather bars.
She lied about Obamacare being designed to kill people, lied about the president’s travel expenses, lied about the HPV vaccine causing mental retardation. If this woman was any more unbalanced she’d be Cubist art. Yet, when Michele Bachman is in the news, all a comic has to do is wake up, look at Fox News and say to him or herself, “Ah, my work for the day is done. She’s talking.” But now, that’s all about to go away—just like it did with Sarah Palin.
That’s why I want to make a personal appeal to Congresswoman Bachmann. Michele—if I may call you that—don’t leave me this way. No one loves you more than me. No one needs you more than me. Except for professional fact checkers who have to pay a mortgage and feed their kids.
I know you wanna leave, but you can’t just get a political comic hooked on the crack that is your political persona and then suddenly take the crack away before I can let go of the pipe. I will have you know madam—I spent election night 2012 sitting next to Al Gore rooting for your re-election and Mr. Gore was telling me a lot of great things about Current in 2013—watching the results come in. And when you squeaked out a win, I celebrated to Al’s shock, cause I knew you were comedy gold.
I’m begging you, don’t let a little thing like your own personal ethics scandals stop you from ranting on the House floor about other people’s ethics scandals. It’s not too late, Congresswoman Bachmann. Yes, you’ve said you’re leaving office, but you’re just a politician—so just because you say something, it doesn’t mean you have to mean it or do it.
Let me remind you that another beloved of comics, Anthony Weiner, is making a comeback right now—and that’ll mean a more prominent role for his wife Huma Abedin, who you falsely accused of being part of a Muslim brotherhood because—come on, she looks Muslim.
If you leave the national scene Michelle, who will be left to launch Joe McCarthy-like attacks on loyal Americans just because they don’t look American enough? Well, I mean there is Peter King. And Louis Goumert. And Steve King. And the entire Tea Party caucus, and Ted Cruz; but other than that, come on Congresswoman. Your country needs you.
Michele, you have been good for me. We’ve had a long run, so I guess I should just be happy with what we’ve had and let you go on your way. But I can’t help it—I want more and more of you. So, congresswoman, are you just going to walk away from a great achievement like making me as greedy as the people you work for?
You once said you ran for president because god wanted you to run—proving that God loves us, and wants us to be happy and laugh. So reconsider, Michele. Because all jokes and kidding aside, I still think you would make a great president. Once you finally get rid of those Dalmatians!
Cenk Uygur takes issue with the assertion made by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, that President Obama is “packing the court” by nominating district and circuit court judges. TV One’s Roland Martin says it’s even worse that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., entertained Grassley’s accusation at all. “This is why I hate nice Democrats,” Martin says.
Under President Bush, circuit court judicial appointments took an average of 29 days to pass, and district court appointments took 32. Under Obama, those same appointments are taking 124 and 89 days, respectively. Martin says this is just another example of how “the president has been playing footsie with the Republicans for far too long.”