“Being A.O.C”: A CNN Special Featuring Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

CNN’s Dana Bash interviewing Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)

CNN’s Dana Bash did an hour-long special on Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) titled “BEING A.O.C”, which aired on 08/09/2021. As expected, “BEING A.O.C” ended up being quite an interesting and informative hour of television where viewers leaned a lot about AOC the young Latina, versus AOC the Congresswoman we are accustomed to seeing on TV. Yours Truly would have loved to drop the entire hour-long show here for your consumption, but because of copyright issues(the boatload of commercials), all Yours Truly can manage is chopping up the special and serving you the various segments, beginning with whether she plans to primary incumbent Dem Senator Schumer in 2022, and run for president in 2024.

AOC on why Fox News is so obsessed with her

AOC on the power of femininity

AOC on being misunderstood and hated by right wingers

AOC on striking a balance between her congressional duties and her desire to raise a family

AOC on being insulted by a Republican Congressman

AOC on taking down a powerful and loved Dem incumbent, and how this led to her cold reception by fellow Dems in Congress

Bottom line folks, AOC, like Trump(admit it libs), almost always makes for great TV, and Dana Bash’s special did not disappoint. Yours Truly gives Dana Bash an A+ grade(95%) instead of a full blown 100% grade because of this slight “ding”: She left out AOC’s stay in West Africa, where she reportedly even picked up the local language. I think viewers would have loved to hear about her experiences in Africa, and how they have affected who she is today.

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AOC Says States Have Only Doled Out $3B Of The $46B Congress Provided For Eviction Relief

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) appeared on CNN’s State Of The Union(SOTU) show (08/01/2021), where she discussed among other things, the failure by her fellow House Democrats to extend the federal eviction moratorium before leaving Washington for the August recess. Rep Ocasio-Cortez made a startling revelation at the interview, saying that out of the $46 billion Congress allocated to the states for eviction relief, only $3 billion has actually been doled out to assist struggling renters, adding that some Governors, presumably Republican, are “slow-walking” the process. The full CNN interview is available here, but the relevant clip is below.

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez told host Jake Tapper:“This money was handed over by Congress and federal government to states and local municipalities to dole out. What that means then, is that each individual Governor is responsible for establishing these programs. I think that in some states, Governors and state administrations might be slow-walking this process to get it out, in other states it’s the administrative burden of setting it up, but there are states and municipalities that have been getting it right…but we cannot kick people out of their homes when our end of the bargain has not been fulfilled. Out of the $46 billion that has been allocated, only $3 billion has gone out to help renters and small mom and pop landlords.”

Think about that. As it currently stands, more than 90% of the funds Congress allocated to the states to assist families with their housing needs, are just laying around unused, as the intended recipients remain stressed out over eviction. This is either the height of cruelty, or incompetence by the state governments, or both.

Bottom line folks, there is zero excuse for a Governor, Democrat or Republican, to sit on federal eviction relief funds, knowing full well that we are staring at a potential mass eviction crisis, the likes of which we have never seen before. Even more troubling is the fact that the very same Rep Ocasio-Cortez, was way back in October 2020, sounding the very same mass eviction alarm. Simply put, any Governor needlessly sitting on the much-needed federal eviction dollars while struggling renters suffer, needs to be called out to the fullest.

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Fox News’ Hypocrisy Over Covid Vaccine Passports Exposed

Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Railing Against Covid Vaccine Passports To His Millions Of Viewers(06/01/21)

Turns out, per bombshell segment on CNN Newsroom (07/19/21), that the critical stance Fox News hosts routinely take regarding COVID-19 vaccine passports, is just another case of blatant hypocrisy by the network. Fox News has apparently had in place since June, a COVID-19 passport program, which means vaccine passport “critics” Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, are most likely fully vaccinated participants of the network’s vaccine passport program.

Senior Media Reporter Oliver Darcy said on CNN Newsroom: “This is more blatant hypocrisy from Fox News. Tucker Carlson, the main star over at Fox, he’s compared the idea of vaccine passports to Jim Crow laws, and other hosts have railed against the idea of vaccine passports–showing that you have received a vaccine and the employer being able to verify that. But Fox, we learn, has quietly back in June…rolled out a system where employees can input that they have received a vaccine, which dose of the vaccine they received, when they received it, and then they get special privileges. They don’t have to do the normal health screenings for instance, when they walk into the office. This is just more brazen hypocrisy from Fox.”

Think about that. There’s a very good chance that since June, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and other hosts at Fox News, have been discouraging their millions of viewers/followers from receiving the readily available COVID-19 vaccines, while hiding the fact that they, without hesitation, did what was best for the health and safety of their families–getting fully vaccinated. This is borderline criminal conduct by the Fox News hosts. CNN host Alisyn Camerota summed it best; “Some of the Fox hosts are vitriolic, but they are not crazy. They have been vaccinated. Chances are they have been vaccinated, they don’t want to die. But they don’t want to tell their viewers they have been vaccinated, so they have to rail against any sort of having to disclose if you have been vaccinated, or even [being] asked. I mean, Tucker has gone so far as to say it’s vulgar to ask someone if they have been vaccinated…”

Bottom line folks, there has to be some kind of retribution for the dangerous COVID-related lies that keep spewing out of Fox News. It is one thing for news hosts to express their philosophical opposition to vaccines on air, but it’s quite the other where, as here, the hosts are trashing a vaccine for a deadly disease, while hiding the fact that they have received it. The public must demand that Tucker Carlson, Hannity and Ingraham immediately disclose their COVID vaccination status, so their millions of viewers can fairly evaluate their criticism of the vaccines/vaccine passports. Anything short of this is borderline criminal misinformation, for which the hosts should be held accountable.

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New Jan 6th Video Shows Officers Being Attacked With Crutches, Flagpoles And Fists

The Justice Department has released a new troubling body cam video from the January 6th DC insurrection, which shows former President Trump’s supporters verbally assaulting, and attacking Capitol Police officers with crutches, flagpoles and fists. The video, which was aired on CNN’s OutFront with Erin Burnett (7/09/2021), yet again flies in the face of arguments by Republican politicians and their allies on Fox News, downplaying the January 6th incident as some form of made-up liberal myth, aimed at destroying Trump politically.

In the newly released video, the violent Trump supporters can be heard hurling verbal assaults like “f*ck you” and “f*cking traitor”, at the Capitol Police officers. According to host Erin Burnett, the officers had gone into the crowd to save the life of one of Trump’s supporters who had been trampled. The violent Trump thugs then turned on the officers, assaulting them with crutches, flag poles and fists. One of the officers, whose face appears on the video (with a Sheriff vest), sustained very serious injuries from the incident and according to Erin Burnett, “was hospitalized after the attack, needing staples in his head to stop the bleeding.”

Bottom line folks, these and other gruesome details from the January 6th incident, must be used to push back against the counter narrative currently being conjured up by congressional Republicans and their allies on Fox News, that January 6th was “no big deal”. More importantly, gruesome videos like these must be used by congressional Democrats to demand a complete and thorough investigation into the January 6th insurrection, so that all responsible parties, especially the behind-the-scene planners, are held to account. We owe this to the families of the Capitol Police officers, who will have to live with the trauma of January 6th for the rest of their lives. It’s the least we can do for them.

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Virginia “Bible Study Group” Accused Of Planning “Second American Civil War” And Secession

“Bible Study Group” Member Fi Duong disguised as Antifa during the January 6th DC insurrection

CNN’s Whitney Wild reports that a Virginia “Bible study group”, which the FBI infiltrated after the January 6th DC insurrection, has apparently been making plans for a “second American civil war”, and eventual secession from the United States. One member of the group, Fi Duong, who the FBI was after, was in the process of making and testing homemade bombs.

Whitney Wild told CNN Newsroom host Jim Sciutto: “The FBI says that he[Duong]attended what members called ‘Bible study meeting’ in Alexandria in February, when members discussed among other things, secession, weaponry, combat training. This was all uncovered because an undercover FBI agent infiltrated this group. At one meeting, an undercover agent saw five boxes filled with about 50 glass bottles and agents heard Duong and another person talking about what they could fill them with to make explosives. Duong and the undercover agent met with another undercover agent in June to discuss testing homemade bombs…What the FBI says is that Duong got into the Capitol on January 6th. He was disguised, according to the FBI he was wearing all black. He was also wearing a mask to shield his face. He had allegedly told an undercover Metropolitan Police officer that he was disguising himself as Antifa. That day is significant because he is facing charges for his role in the insurrection…”

This is a very important story because it serves as the latest reminder that the insurrection did not end on January 6th, as many assume. The same characters we witnessed on January 6th trying to take over the Capitol building, simply went back home, and are regrouping for future similar attacks. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, CNN’s Whitney Wild closed with pretty much the same argument; “What it shows..is that there is lingering inclination to…leave the United States, overthrow the government. These conspiracy theory-driven ideas, these extremist ideas are still present. This is the very thing the U.S. Capitol Police is worried about.”

Bottom line folks, it’s about time our national security apparatus started addressing these Trump insurrectionist types with the seriousness they deserve. More importantly, as CNN’s Juliette Kayyem astutely noted, they need to address the leader of these insurrectionists, one Donald J. Trump, from a counterterrorism posture. Unless and until our national security apparatus start acknowledging the real danger these insurrectionists, and their “dear leader” pose, we will remain sitting ducks for the next insurrection–probably a successful one this time.

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Will The Trump Family Be Hit With New York’s Racketeering Enterprise Charge?

Former President Trump addresses a rally in Sarasota, Florida(07/03/2021)

Investigative Reporter David Cay Johnston, an authority in all things Trump, dropped a bombshell on CNN’s Don Lemon show(07/05/21), telling fill-in host Laura Coates that he believed the Manhattan DA will ultimately hit Trump and members of his family with the racketeering enterprise charge, under article 460 of New York’s penal code. Johnston added that this charge could result in a 25 year prison sentence at New York’s notorious Attica prison. code. The full CNN segment is available here, but the relevant clip is below

David Cay Johnston specifically said: “I believe eventually Laura, and since I first said this about a year ago, a number of prosecutors have agreed with me, that the ultimate indictment here is likely to be a New York state racketeering enterprise charge, article 460 of the New York state penal code.”

Johnston then went on to describe what racketeering is, saying even though many in the public think of it as exclusively applying to the mafia, and other organized crime syndicates, it can also be applied to Trump Org, et al. He said, “Racketeering is running what appears to be a legitimate business that’s really a criminal organization who’s primary purpose is breaking the law. While we think of this in terms of mafia, it applies absolutely equally to people who cheat on taxes, who cheat insurance companies, banks, file phony business records, which in New York is a crime that can get you 25 years in Attica.”

David Cay Johnston has been spot-on on almost every piece of reporting he has done over the years, on Trump and his family . Will he be proven right again on the racketeering enterprise charges against the Trump family? Only time will tell, or as Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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GOP MoCs Voted Not To Impeach Trump Out Of Fear For Their Safety

A bombshell audio of Rep Liz Cheney(R-WY) obtained by CNN from an Axe Files podcast interview, confirms what many have feared all along, and that is, some Republican members of Congress voted not to impeach former President Trump after the January 6th DC insurrection because they were afraid for their personal safety and that of their families. Questions about Republican members of Congress operating under duress under the Trump administration, have been floated by authoritarianism scholars like Sarah Kendzior, among others, but received with much skepticism by the mainstream media. The fact that Rep Liz Cheney, a sitting member of Congress, is now publicly confirming such claims, should be a source of great concern for every democracy-loving American.

The full CNN segment is available here, but the relevant clip is below

In the audio, Rep Cheney is heard saying, “I’ve had a number of members[of Congress]say to me things like, you know, we would have voted to impeach, but we were concerned about our security…I think that’s a very important point to pause and contemplate, that you have members of the United States House of Representatives for whom security, their personal security or their family’s security, their concerns about that affected the way they felt they could vote, That’s a really significant thing to say about the current state of our politics.”

Bottom line folks, it is one thing when liberal anti-Trumpers level blackmail accusations against Trump sycophants, but when such accusations are being stated publicly by a sitting member of Congress(Rep Cheney), who says her colleagues have personally expressed such fears to her, then this is an issue that deserves greater scrutiny. Simply put, no member of Congress should be making decisions that affect the lives of their constituents, based on fear for their personal safety, or that of their family. This is patently un-American.

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NYT’s Maggie Haberman Addresses Backlash Over Trump Coverage

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman appeared on CNN NewDay (06/02/21), where she addressed the recent backlash on social media, over her reporting that former President Trump is telling his supporters he’ll be reinstated by August. Haberman, a constant target of liberals still seething with rage over her “role” in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss to Trump, took a lot of Twitter attacks from the same liberals, who accused her of helping deplatformed Trump spread his propaganda.

In her appearance on CNN’s NewDay, Haberman countered these accusations saying her reporting was newsworthy because it sheds light on the ongoing incitement by Trump and his allies(didn’t stop on Jan 6th). She also pushed back at her sharpest critics, Biden-loving liberals, who she said, have settled on an erroneous strategy of wishing Trump away. Haberman’s full segment on NewDay is available here, but the relevant clip is below

Haberman specifically said in response to her critics, “This is an ongoing incitement and I think that there’s a valid reason to use that term. Why people are attacking me for reporting this has always been a bit of a mystery. As I said before, people are in their own media ecosystems, and there are a lot of people around[President]Biden, and a lot of people who support Biden, who want to pretend that if they call Trump the former guy, and if you don’t say his name, that the only thing that would matter is if you give him attention. He’s the former President, he is in control of the Republican Party to a big extent, people in that party[Republican] are having a big debate that I would say is parallel to what we saw in 2015 which was, how do you deal with Trump, who according to Republican leaders at the time for the most part, had no chance of becoming the Republican nominee, and obviously that didn’t work out. Ignoring him was not the answer in 2015. Will it be the answer now? I guess we are going to find out….I think what a former President, and possible future nominee, as unlikely as that might be at the moment is saying…is newsworthy.”

Haberman is essentially arguing that whether liberals like it or not, Trump is still in many respects, the leader of the modern Republican Party, and what he says is newsworthy, especially in this case, where he appears to be inciting his supporters towards the same kind of violence we witnessed January 6th. She adds that efforts by establishment Republicans to ignore Trump into irrelevance in 2015, ended up with him scooping the GOP nomination and the presidency in 2016, and that it is foolhardy for liberals to repeat the same mistake, and expect a different outcome–probably her strongest argument.

Bottom line folks, even though I’m one of the aforementioned “liberals still seething with rage” over Haberman’s “role” in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss, I readily admit that on this issue, she’s absolutely right. As much as we liberals would like to wish Trump away, the fact of the matter is, he’s still in charge of the Republican Party. Where, as here, he appears to be inciting his supporters towards the same kind of violence we witnessed on January 6th, Maggie Haberman is being a good journalist in reporting that. Simply put, the Maggie-bashing on Twitter is totally unwarranted in this case.

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Rep Gaetz Says Republicans Have An Obligation To Use Second Amendment For An Armed Rebellion

Just four months after the horrific January 6th insurrection in Washington DC by violent Trump supporters, Congressman Matt Gaetz(R-FL) was in Dalton, Georgia (5/27/21) telling a crowd of supporters that the second amendment was meant for armed rebellion and importantly, that they(Republicans), “have an obligation to use it”. If this is not a direct incitement to violent insurrection by the sitting Congressman, I don’t know what is.

In the clip which was played on CNN’s NewDay with Brianna Keilar, Rep Gaetz can be heard telling the crowd, “We have a second amendment in this country, and I think we have an obligation to use it…The second amendment is not about hunting, it’s not about recreation, it’s not about sports. The second amendment is about maintaining within the citizenry, the ability to maintain an armed rebellion against the government if that becomes necessary.” There’s absolutely no other way any reasonable person can interpret this, other than a direct incitement to an armed rebellion against the government by Rep Gaetz.

This is a very serious issue, and must be treated as such by the powers that be, given the fact that it comes only four months after DC insurrection, an armed rebellion that came shockingly close to success. Rep Gaetz’s comments also deserve further scrutiny because unlike many other Republicans who initially distanced themselves from former President Trump after DC insurrection, he and Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, in whose district Gaetz was speaking, fully embraced Trump even after the incident, and have since projected themselves as Trump’s trusted lieutenants nationally. As a result, Trump’s supporters regard public statements by Reps Gaetz and Greene as direct messages from the former President–a call to action if you will.

Any reasonable person looking at the GOP’s reaction to the events that transpired on January 6th, and since then, is left with a very troubling picture as to where the party, and quite frankly the country, is headed. Trump’s lies about election fraud led to an armed insurrection on Jan 6th. Congressional Republicans chose not to impeach him for that. Trump is still pushing the same dangerous lies. Some Republican members of Congress have since conjured up revisionist theories as to what really happened on January 6th(just a bunch of tourists etc), to excuse their continued support for Trump.

Republican-controlled state legislatures have embarked on voter suppression laws targeting areas/voters they deem anti-Trump and importantly, made it possible for state legislatures to overturn elections in case of unfavorable outcomes. All this is being done against the backdrop of Trump teasing another run for President in 2024, meaning the said state legislatures are setting the stage for overturning the elections in case Trump loses. The sham election recount in Arizona is also setting the stage to overturn future election results that don’t go in Trump’s favor. States like Texas are passing reckless gun laws that make it possible for just about anybody to bear arms. Hmm, coincidence? How does this fit into Rep Gaetz’s rebellion rhetoric? Remember, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is a super Trumper too.

Republican Senators, at the urging of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell(KY), are today(05/28/21) set to kill an effort to establish a bipartisan commission to look into what led to the January 6th DC insurrection, and coming up with ways to prevent it from ever happening again. Is Senator McConnell afraid that the commission will show that DC insurrection was not as “fringe” as establishment Republicans want the public to believe? Was he personally involved behind the scenes? These are questions the public needs to start asking, and asking loudly, because something is off-kilter with the current GOP, and it’s continued dalliance with insurrectionist Trump. Simply put, “fringe” Reps Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene may not be that fringe after all, as CNN host Brianna Keilar pointed out.

Bottom line folks, we must never forget the fact that we simply got lucky on January 6th. Everything that has happened with Trump’s GOP since January 6th, leads any reasonable person to conclude that Jan 6th was just a trial run, and if we don’t remain vigilant, we are definitely headed towards another one, this time, successful .

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From George Floyd To Ronald Greene;The Epidemic Of Lying In Police Reports

George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police on 05/25/2020, will go down in history as one of the seminole moments in the push for policing reform, not just in the United States, but globally. It was one of those rare occasions where people on both sides of the police reform debate, after viewing video footage of the incident, agreed that there needs to be changes in the way police officials interract with people of color, and especially, Black people.

Another major takeaway from the George Floyd incident, that rarely gets it’s deserved mainstream media coverage, was the stark difference between how the Minneapolis Police Department(MPD) characterized the event in their police report, and what the public actually saw on the video footage. Simply put, but for the cell phone video footage from a teenage girl, the world would never know what really happened to George Floyd on that fateful day, even after going through the MPD incident report. Police Departments lying on police reports is a very serious issue, so it’s very encouraging to see the mainstream media beginning to address it as such, a good example being this CNN piece by Josh Campbell.

Josh Campbell’s piece highlights the cases of George Floyd, Walter Scott, Laquan McDonald, Breonna Taylor and Ronald Greene, all Black victims whose deaths at the hands of police, resulted in very stark differences between the narratives in the initial police reports, and video footage of the events. The initial police reports basically lied about what actually led to the deaths of these Black suspects in their custody, a sad state of affairs indeed. Naturally, this has raised two elephant-in-the-room questions among members of the public; (1) What else do police lie about? and (2) Is lying in police reports more prevalent than we think?

The latest incident involving Ronald Greene, where Louisiana State Patrol officers put out outright lies in their police report about the circumstances of Greene’s death, will certainly lead any reasonable person to conclude that lying in police reports, is probably more prevalent than the public wishes to admit. Think about that, Louisiana State Patrol officers had video footage of the event, yet continued lying to the public for two years. The truth about the incident only came out after a reporter dug into the story, forcing the release of the video footage. There is nothing to suggest that Louisiana State Patrol officers would have ultimately done the right thing, and told the public the truth about Ronald Greene’s death, absent the dogged journalism by this reporter. This just goes to show the very crucial part good journalism plays in not only the fight for police reform, but also good governance generally.

Yours Truly has raised this “good journalism” issue before, with mainstream media taboo topics like “targeted individuals” and “gangstalking”. For those of you not familiar with these terms(not sure what rock you live under), there are growing complaints from individuals in the United States, believing to have been watchlisted, claiming that they are often the targets of abuse by various U.S. law enforcement agencies. Among the most common abuses cited by these people is “organized stalking” or “gangstalking”, conduct if proven to be true, would constitute torture(violation of Geneva Conventions). Despite the seriousness of these allegations, the mainstream media has chosen to totally ignore them, choosing instead to characterize people who make such claims as paranoid nutjobs, or dismissing them as “conspiracy theorists”.

With the rising epidemic of lying in police reports about the circumstances of minorities dying in police custody, one has to wonder whether time has come for the mainstream media to lift it’s embargo on discussing targeted individuals, gangstalking, and many other taboo topics related to law enforcement. Given what we know now about police departments’ propensity to lie to cover up their injustices, can the mainstream media justify it’s embargo on discussing targeted individuals, gangstalking et al, any longer? What if targeted individuals have been telling the truth all along?

Bottom line folks, the number one lesson from George Floyd to Ronald Greene, is that there is an urgent need for policing reform in this country, and legislative fixes like the proposed George Floyd Justice In Policing Act will go a long way in achieving these desired reforms. True policing reform however, will only be achieved and sustained, if we have accompanying “media reform”, meaning, going back to our good old fashioned investigative journalism days, and ditching the present “access journalism”. Simply put, the media must go back to posing tough questions to law enforcement/government officials instead of always seeking ways to be liked by them for the sake of “access”.

Yours Truly has been consistent on the importance of good journalism, and so should you.

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