The progressive organization MoveOn called on Wednesday for the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to boycott the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference — and many have heeded their calls.
AIPAC, an organization “committed solely to strengthening, protecting and promoting the U.S.-Israel relationship,” has its three-day conference scheduled for next week. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are all confirmed speakers for the conference.
Multiple Democratic presidential candidates: South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Former Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Julian Castro and California Sen. Kamala Harris have all announced that they will not be in attendance for this year’s conference.
Buttigieg announced he would not be in attendance prior to boycott announcement.
MoveOn released a statement on Wednesday that included a survey conducted internally. According to that survey, more than 74 percent of MoveOn members agree or strongly agree with the statement that “any progressive vying to be the Democratic nominee for President should skip the AIPAC conference.”
Comparatively, less than one-fifth of respondents, 18.6 percent, said they disagree or strongly disagree.
MoveOn cited four specific reasons why members are calling for the boycott.
- AIPAC advocated against the Iran Nuclear Deal.
- One of the speakers is Netanyahu, who was indicted earlier this year.
- AIPAC has “been known to peddle anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric while giving platforms to Islamophobes.”
- AIPAC “has refused to condemn the antisemitism of Republicans,” and they specifically call out Steve Bannon.
Harris spoke off-the-record at the convention last year, where she explained her support for a two-state solution.
AIPAC was embroiled in a recent saga in which they were accused of purchasing pro-Israel support from members of Congress by Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar.
The comment sparked significant backlash from a number of political leaders across both sides of the aisle, including some who will be speaking at the conference — such as Pelosi, Pence and Schumer. (RELATED: Omar Releases Statement After Backlash Surrounding Tweet Accusing AIPAC Of Buying Israel Support)
AIPAC, Harris’ and Omar’s offices were all approached for comments, but none had responded at the time of publication.
Source: The Daily Caller
- Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe has repeatedly spread conspiracy theories.
- Tribe has amplified conspiracies about President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia teaming up to expose Jeff Bezos and Russia orchestrating a plane crash to cover up collusion, among others.
- Tribe’s role as internet conspiracist hasn’t kept media outlets from promoting him on TV and in news articles.
Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe has habitually spread conspiracy theories, but that hasn’t prevented him from maintaining a presence in the national media.
Tribe was among several high-profile figures to amplify a false conspiracy theory in February that President Donald Trump had teamed up with Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Salman to leak Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s affair to the National Enquirer.
“Are Donald Trump and the murderous Saudi Prince bin Salman co-conspirators with David Pecker and AMI in a failed criminal plot to blackmail and extort Jeff Bezos as owner of the Washington Post? Asking for a friend in the Southern District of New York,” Tribe wrote on Twitter, where he has more than 492,000 followers. (RELATED: Majority Of Democrats Believe A Straight-Up Conspiracy Theory)
His conspiratorial post was shared thousands of times across Twitter.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the Enquirer had paid the brother of Bezos’s mistress $200,000 for text messages between the two lovers, confirming a Daily Beast report that identified the brother — not the Saudis — as the Enquirer’s source. Tribe’s tweet was still up as of Wednesday evening.
The Harvard Law professor has made a habit of spreading baseless conspiracy theories, seemingly without repercussion.
In one instance, Tribe implied that a Russian plane crash in February 2018 was a cover-up of collusion between Trump and Russia.
His tweet, which again received thousands of retweets, read: “Among those killed in the tragic plane crash yesterday: Sergei Millian, a Papadopoulis [sic] friend who had emailed Kushner and is said to be behind one of the most salacious claims in the dossier on Trump’s involvement with Russia. Probably just coincidence. .”
He sarcastically added that the “coincidence” “[s]ounds plausible.”
Tribe’s viral claim was nowhere close to the truth. Millian wasn’t on the plane.
In December 2018, Tribe shared a left-wing blog post titled “Mueller Hints That Mike Pence May Be Indicted Soon.” There is no evidence to support that headline, and the vice president has not been indicted.
“The title of this piece gets well ahead of its skis in terms of actual substance,” Tribe conceded, before continuing “but the evidence described provides rich food for thought. And if Pence is truly in Mueller’s cross-hairs, that’s a huge game-changer.”
In January, Tribe cited the same blog to say that Trump’s announcement of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plans to travel to Afghanistan during the government shutdown bordered on “treason” by giving “aid and comfort” to the Taliban.
Tribe has appeared on MSNBC five times this year, according to a transcript search on the media monitoring service Grabien.
The Washington Post cited Tribe in an article Monday about Republican Iowa Rep. Steve King, who shared a meme on Facebook saying that Republican states would win in a civil war because they have “8 trillion more bullets.” King deleted the post after criticism.
The Post quoted a tweet from Tribe, who said that King “isn’t actually COMMITTING treason, but he is fomenting and inciting it.” Tribe said King’s meme provided the House of Representatives “[a]mple reason to expel him.”
Tribe’s media appearances have continued long after a May 2017 BuzzFeed report noted his established track record of spreading anti-Trump conspiracy theories.
In one instance BuzzFeed documented, Tribe shared an article from the Palmer Report, a left-wing blog known for spreading misinformation, that claimed Trump had paid then-Republican Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz “$10 million in Russian money” in advance of the 2016 election.
The only source for the conspiracy theory was a tweet from an anonymous Twitter user.
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Source: The Daily Caller
Scott Morefield | Reporter
Joe Biden reportedly has told several supporters that he wants to run for president in 2020, according to a Wall Street Journal report published Tuesday.
However, the former vice president told the supporters his concerns about being able to raise the necessary cash at the same pace as his competitors, Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
It took O’Rourke just one day to raise over $6.1 million after his Thursday presidential bid announcement, and Sanders raised $10 million in just a week after he announced in February. Fundraising being key to what is considered the “money primary,” Biden reportedly expressed his desire to “announce a large fundraising number after his candidacy is official,” according to the WSJ.
Earlier this month, Biden chief strategist Steve Ricchetti said his boss was around 95 percent committed to tossing his hat into the ring, the New York Times reported, but the former vice president did express concern about the fact that President Donald Trump is unlikely “to stop at anything” to defeat his Democratic opponent. (RELATED: Biden Gets Four Point Bump In Latest Poll)
Meanwhile, top Democratic fundraiser Philip Levine told the WSJ that it was “highly likely” he would back Biden were he to announce.
“I think he would be a great nominee. In order to win the general election, we must have an experienced centrist,” said Levine. “Progressives win districts. Centrists win states.”
Source: The Daily Caller
Doug Schoen, pollster and Democratic strategist, blasted President Donald Trump's approach to foreign policy and said it projects an image of the U.S. abdicating its role as "democracy's standard-bearer."
Schoen made his comments in a column posted by Fox News website Tuesday.
Schoen referred to former Vice President Dick Cheney recently pressing Vice President Mike Pence about Trump's foreign policy during a closed-door event.
"Despite often opposing Vice President Cheney, I largely agree with him that the Trump administration's foreign policy lacks direction and discipline," he said.
"I remain concerned that President Trump's nationalistic, isolationist 'America First' approach to foreign policy projects an image of the United States as abdicating our role on the world stage as democracy's standard-bearer."
Schoen claimed many of the "more reasoned voices" on Trump's national security team have left, notably former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.
"While I may not have wholeheartedly agreed with Secretary Mattis on everything, we share an understanding of the role that the United States should play on the world stage: the role of a global leader who champions democracy and stands up for our allies," he said.
And Schoen said Trump's lack of foreign policy direction has been particularly troubling.
"For America to truly succeed, we must renew our commitment to global leadership in a way that is informed by an idealistic, moral, yet also practical outlook toward the international community," he said.
Source: NewsMax Politics
FILE PHOTO: U.S. and European Union flags are pictured during the visit of Vice President Mike Pence to the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
March 19, 2019
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said on Tuesday that Washington’s “selfish” approach to trade was not sustainable, but it was too early to say that EU-U.S. trade talks were doomed to fail.
The Trump administration has imposed stiff tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum and set off a trade war with China in a bid to redress what it sees as unfavorable terms that contribute to a U.S. trade deficit of over half a trillion dollars a year.
The Commission, which negotiates trade agreements on behalf of the 28-nation European Union, has been in talks with U.S. authorities since last July, seeking to clinch a deal on industrial goods trade.
EU governments are now discussing the details of a negotiating mandate for the Commission, while Washington has until mid-May to decide whether to make good on President Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on imports of European cars.
“It is too early to say that our trade discussions are doomed to fail,” Katainen told a regular news briefing.
“There are discussions going on on several levels and … we can end up having some sort of an agreement with the U.S. on trade, but let’s not go deeper than this,” he said, adding that the scope of negotiations had to be clear and that a deal would require a lot of good will and political capital on both sides.
Asked about a reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Katainen said it was problematic and that attempts to get it done were like pushing a rope.
“Japan, China and the EU are willing to reform the WTO, the U.S. has not been that interested, but they are willing to cooperate,” he said.
“Even though the U.S. authorities may think that selfishness is better than cooperation, it is not a sustainable way of thinking. We need better, rules-based trade in the future where the international community sets the rules,” he said.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told Congress last week that the WTO was using an “out of date” playbook despite dramatic changes including the rise of China and the evolution of the internet.
He said Washington was nonetheless working “diligently” to negotiate new WTO rules to address these problems.
(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a meeting at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Advanced Training Facility in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, U.S., March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
March 19, 2019
(Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is due to travel to Nebraska on Tuesday to tour the devastation left by floods in the Midwest which have killed at least three people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.
Media reports including CNN say that 74 of Nebraska’s 93 counties had declared states of emergency by early Tuesday.
“This is clearly the most widespread disaster we have had in our state’s history,” in terms of sheer size, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts told reporters on Monday afternoon.
Ricketts will join Pence as he surveys the damage, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Twitter late on Monday. Pence is traveling at U.S. President Donald Trump’s request, she said.
The flood water have been driven by snow melt from heavy rains last week and warm temperatures said Bob Oravec, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.
“Most of the snow pack in Nebraska is now gone, but up river in North and South Dakota, there’s significant snow pack of up to 20 plus inches and it’s melting,” he said.
The Missouri River, the longest in North America, has flooded much of Nebraska between Omaha and Kansas City at the Missouri state line.
The river was expected to crest at more than 47 feet (14.5 meters) on Tuesday, breaking the previous record, set in 2011, by more than a foot, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency said in the latest bulletin on its web page.
At least one person was missing on Monday in addition to the three reported deaths.
State officials said Monday that 290 people had been rescued by the Nebraska State Patrol, National Guard troops, and urban search and rescue teams.
Damage to the state’s livestock sector was estimated at about $400 million, while the full impact on the spring planting season was not yet clear, said Steve Wellman, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.
The state’s highway system suffered hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, said Kyle Schneweis, director of the state Department of Transportation.
(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta, Gina Cherelus in New York, and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Alison Williams)
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (right) and Carlos Alfredo Vecchio, charge d’affaires appointed by Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido leave the White House after their meeting in Washington, U.S., January 29, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo
March 18, 2019
By Gershon Peaks
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Representatives of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido have taken control of three of the country’s diplomatic properties in the United States, Guaido’s U.S. envoy said on Monday, as the opposition presses its bid to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
The envoy, Carlos Vecchio, said the opposition had gained control of two buildings belonging to Venezuela’s defense ministry in Washington and one consular building in New York. He added that the group expects to take control of Venezuela’s embassy in Washington “in the days to come.”
The moves come after Guaido, the president of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency in January, arguing that Maduro’s May 2018 re-election was illegitimate. He has been recognized as Venezuela’s rightful leader by most Western countries, including the United States.
“We are taking these steps in order to preserve the assets of the Venezuelans here in this country,” Vecchio said from one of the buildings, the office of Venezuela’s military attache to Washington, after removing a portrait of Maduro from the wall and replacing it with one of Guaido.
Maduro, who has branded Guaido a U.S. puppet seeking to oust him in a coup, broke off relations with Washington after it recognized Guaido, calling diplomatic and consular staff back to Caracas.
Of 55 staff members, 12 decided to remain in the United States and support Guaido, Vecchio said on Monday. He added that his staff would work out of the attache building, which is located in the upscale Kalorama neighborhood and has an assessed value of $2.2 million, according to Washington property records.
Venezuela’s information ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the opposition’s move to take possession of the properties.
Vecchio spoke alongside Colonel Jose Luis Silva, Venezuela’s military attache to Washington who recognized Guaido on Jan. 27. Few other high-ranking members of the military have heeded Guaido’s call to break with Maduro, who retains the support of the armed forces and control of state functions.
On Monday, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters an army general has defected and fled to Colombia. Vecchio said he was confident that Venezuela, which is undergoing an economic and humanitarian crisis, was in “an irreversible process of change” but that “it won’t come easily.”
The United States withdrew all its remaining diplomatic personnel in Venezuela last week.
(Reporting by Gershon Peaks in Washington; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Tom Brown)