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Preemptive Malkin attack helped progressive book’s sales surge

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WASHINGTON — The author of “50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America” says a recent online attack by conservative columnist Michelle Malkin may have helped propel his book sales on Amazon.com’s “Best-Sellers List.”

Michael Huttner, founder of grassroots organizing group Progress Now, co-wrote the 236-page community action handbook with Jason Salzman, after they kept hearing people in the progressive community ask “What can we do now?” following President Obama’s inauguration last January.

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Huttner told Raw Story the book is “a small contribution” to “ultimately helping people all across the country and in every community to have practical ways they can change their community, their state, the country and maybe even the world.”

Malkin notes Huttner’s day job as head of Progress Now, which she describes as “a Democrat group of non-profit satellites funded with start-up money from billionaire George Soros and the Democracy Alliance — whose board members include SEIU International Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger and ACORN embezzlement cover-upper Drummond Pike.”  The non-profit status of groups like the Progress Now affiliates, despite links to the Democratic Party, have enraged many conservatives.

On August 31st, before Huttner’s book had been released, Malkin called it “a bid to dislodge conservative authors” that sought to energize “every nutroots activist” and “Obama cultists.”

Huttner says the week following Malkin’s attack, his book jumped to number 28 on Amazon’s best-sellers list. It now sits at # 32, 097 on the best-sellers list, but ranks #23 on the Human Rights best-sellers list and #24 on the leadership best-sellers list.

“She attacked us very personally and quite frankly it has brought some attention to the book,” Huttner told Raw Story. “If you look at our online reviews, you’ll see two types of ratings–5 star ratings from a bunch of different folks and 1 star ratings that often happened the day after she posted her attack. Some of the people even acknowledge they haven’t read the book.”

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He also dismisses her criticism of him as a “Soros-tied author” and says Progress Now is “honored to have the support” of Soros’ Open Society Institute, “which continues to help so many important causes throughout the country and around the world.”

Partisan book wars are nothing new. In 2003, the Boston Globe noted that five liberal books made The New York Times’s top 15 hard-cover nonfiction bestsellers, “mounting what some sales specialists see as a left-wing assault on the conservatives’ decade-long hold on popular culture.”

The paper reported that book publishing, talk radio and opinion mags had largely been “dominated by right-wing political titles, including polemics by the leading radio and television pundits. The airwaves, bestseller lists, and the opinion press were widely viewed as links in a network that helped prompt investigations of President Clinton and assisted the elections of a Republican House, Senate, and presidency.”

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Huttner told Raw Story that although his book is intended for a liberal audience, it really could be used by anybody seeking to learn how to use new media like Facebook, YouTube and cell phones to advocate for any cause.

“To be quite frank, almost every one of the actions in there is a practical strategy and tactics, and quite frankly as much as I’d like to say they are all progressive , they are really more civic engagement and successful political organizing tactics that we’ve had work in Colorado and elsewhere,” Huttner told Raw Story. “The ultimate goal is getting people engaged in the conversation. This is a practical handbook on how people can create change and empower themselves.”

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Malkin did not respond to Raw Story’s request for comment.


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MSNBC analyst shreds GOP claim impeachment is an effort to change the 2016 election

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Republicans have claimed that the reason Democrats have sought impeachment, either from the Russia scandal to the Ukraine scandal, is that they want to unmake the 2016 election. Speaking to MSNBC Sunday, NYU Law Prof. Melissa Murray ripped the claim to shreds.

First, impeachment would only remove President Donald Trump is the Republican Senate voted to do so. If the president were removed, the new president wouldn't be Hillary Clinton; it would be Mike Pence, getting Democrats no victories other than upholding the rule of law.

"As these proceedings go away, there is building support for impeachment; it will require a supermajority of the Senate in order to convict and remove the president, which will require some Republican Senators to peel off and depart from the path," Murray said. "But I think the really important thing that Bob has mentioned here is this idea ta the Republicans are taunting that impeachment is a backend effort to basically subvert the will of the people. I think the testimony that was presented yesterday makes clear that that claim is specious."

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Rudy Giuliani’s devotion has escorted Trump straight to impeachment

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"Step by step, [Rudy Giuliani] has escorted President Trump to the brink of impeachment," The New York Times said in a piece following the president's top lawyer and his impact on the scandals facing the 45th president.

Two associates of Giuliani's have already been indicted, Giuliani is under criminal investigation from federal prosecutors, and he was never graced with a top position in the Trump government.

"The separate troubles he has gotten his client and himself into are products of the uniquely powerful position he has fashioned, a hybrid of unpaid personal counsel to the president and for-profit peddler of access and advice," The Times said Sunday.

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Trump team ‘is as incompetent, shambolic, paranoid, and given to conspiracy theories as it appears’: MSNBC panel

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In a Sunday evening panel discussion, MSNBC commentators explained that the White House appears to be just as chaotic and marred by chaos as the rumors say.

Many in the White House learned that the president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was working overseas in Ukraine. Giuliani claimed that he's been producing a film that he couldn't get Fox News to run, as it will appear on the fringe network OAN.

"What Rudy Giuliani is doing is using Kremlin-manufactured propaganda as a defensive shield for the president," said CNBC's John Harwood. "Fiona Hill was unambiguous in her testimony to the intelligence committee. What Rudy Giuliani has been doing with these two indicted men who are linked to a Russian oligarch who is tied to Russian organized crime, is trying to manufacture a story that Ukraine, rather than Russia or in addition to Russia or differently from Russia, meddle in the campaign. That is false."

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