France called Friday for a political transition in Syria that would not include President Bashar al-Assad, after a series of shifting positions on resolving the six-year-old conflict. "We cannot build peace with Assad," Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on France's RTL radio. "He cannot be the solution," said Le Drian, who was defence minister in…
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Having learned their lesson years ago when Republican-led House committees investigated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the 2012 Benghazi attack that led spawned seemingly endless hearings and no evidence of wrongdoing, Democrats are preparing to battle back as House Republicans promise to launch multiple investigations and impeachment hearings aimed President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and assorted administration officials.
As longtime political observer Eleanor Clift wrote for the Daily Beast, Democrats have every intention of "punching back" at the incoming House GOP leadership including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) who is obsessed with revenge after previously being kicked off of congressional committees over her first-term stunts.
According to Clift, with the GOP taking control of the House in January, the investigations of Biden and his son Hunter can expect to meet with resistance and fact-checks from a war room being set up by supporters of the Democrats.
'Things are different this time around—Democrats aren’t going to assume that voters can see through the partisan bluster, and are mounting a war room operation outside the White House," wrote Clift. "The Congressional Integrity Project (a pointed moniker, to be sure) will try to fend off the Republican barrage, and go on the offensive in the information war."
According to Leslie Dach, a senior adviser to CIP, "This is a battle over narratives, and we believe we can win that war. They’re (the GOP) saying it in plain English, they’re trying to hurt Joe Biden. It’s the Trump playbook of personal attacks.”
“I think the American people see the hypocrisy, but we’ll be showing it to them. There’s a simple story to tell, and you have to tell it every day,” Dach added.
According to Clift, "The updated war room harks back to the self-described 'Masters of Disaster,' referring to two Clinton administration aides (Chris Lehane and Mark Fabiani) who successfully steered the White House response to GOP attacks during the 1990s, in part by selective leaking to the media and generally outsmarting the other team."
Jack Pitney, a professor of politics at Claremont-McKenna College, predicted the Republicans leading the charge on these investigations may find out they bit off more than they can chew.
“The vast majority doesn’t have firsthand knowledge of how GOP investigations backfired," he explained. "Unless they come up with some dramatic new information that directly involves President Biden, this tactic is unlikely to succeed and may well backfire.”
“The Democrats know what’s coming,” he elaborated. “It’s the A team versus the gang that can’t shoot straight.”
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There have been 607 mass shootings so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, the most authoritative source. It defines a mass shooting as an event when at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter. That we even have such a thing as a "Gun Violence Archive" is a black mark against this country which can never be erased. We are the only country in the world with more guns than people, the only country in the world with an excess of 30,000 gun deaths each year, the only country in the world with mass killings like the one that happened earlier this year in Uvalde, Texas, when a teenage gunman fatally shot 19 students and two teachers at the Robb Elementary School, wounding 17 others.
So far this year, 639 people have been killed in mass shootings. More than 2,500 were wounded, according to records kept by CNN. During the month of November alone, there have been 35 mass shootings, with a total of 185 people shot with a firearm, and 49 of them killed.
As we count our blessings that we were not among the dead during this Thanksgiving week, let's have a look at the mass shootings that killed 45 people during this month alone, sending 140 to the hospital.
Nov. 1: In East St. Louis, Illinois, two people were killed and three were wounded when a fight broke out after an argument.
In Baltimore, three adults and a teenager were wounded in a nighttime shooting.
In Denver, one person was killed and five were wounded in a drive-by shooting.
Nov. 2: In Hattiesburg, Mississippi, two people were killed and three were wounded in a shooting downtown.
Nov. 4: In Chicago, four men were wounded in a shooting on the street in the city's Humboldt Park neighborhood.
In Orlando, a 23-year-old man shot and killed a four-year-old girl and three women.
In La Plata, Maryland, four people were shot dead in a house.
Nov. 5: In Gainesville, Florida, five people were shot and wounded outside a grocery store.
In Philadelphia, nine people were shot and wounded while they stood outside a bar in the city's Kensington neighborhood.
Nov. 6: In Buffalo, four people were wounded in a mass shooting inside what police called a "party venue."
In Jordan Township, Pennsylvania, three people were killed by the same gunman in two separate locations.
In Chicago, one person was killed and three were wounded in a shootout with a security guard outside a nightclub.
In a second Chicago shooting, five people were wounded at a birthday party on the city's Southwest Side.
In Tulare, California, five people were shot and wounded during an argument after a drag race.
Nov. 7: In McAllen, Texas, a man shot and wounded four of his neighbors during a dispute over a palm tree.
Nov. 11: In Jersey City, New Jersey, four people were wounded in a shooting on the street.
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Nov. 12: In Indio, California, one person was killed and three wounded in a shooting on the street.
In Fort Worth, Texas, four people were shot and wounded in an apartment complex.
Nov. 13: In Enfield, North Carolina, one adult was shot and killed, and five adults were wounded along with a teenager at an outdoor bonfire.
In Omaha, Nebraska, one person was shot dead, and seven others were wounded at an early morning gathering on the street.
In Philadelphia, four people were shot and wounded during an argument at a nightclub.
In Memphis, four people were shot and wounded outside a high school.
In Charlottesville, at the University of Virginia, a man shot and killed three students and wounded two others after a school bus trip off campus.
Nov. 16: In Phoenix, a man shot and killed his wife and three children and then killed himself.
Nov. 17: In Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, three Customs and Border Protection agents were shot, one fatally, along with a suspected drug smuggler.
Nov. 18: In Chesterfield County, Virginia, a woman and her three children were shot and killed in what police called a "domestic dispute."
Nov. 19: In Colorado Springs, a gunman with an AR-15 style rifle shot and killed five people and wounded 25 others inside Club Q, a gay bar and nightclub.
Nov. 20: In Philadelphia, Mississippi, one man was shot and killed, and six others were wounded during a dice game on a farm.
In Dallas, four people were wounded during an argument outside a pool hall.
Nov. 22: In Chesapeake, Virginia, a night manager at a Walmart killed seven people and wounded six others before killing himself inside the store.
Nov. 23: In Philadelphia, four high school students were shot outside their school just after early dismissal for Thanksgiving in a drive-by shooting.
In Temple Hills, Maryland, four teenagers and one adult were wounded in an unexplained shooting.
Nov. 24: In Houston, a man walked into a home while people were having Thanksgiving dinner, shot two people dead and wounded two others.
That's just this month, folks, and it's not over yet. These United States are on track to beat last year's total of 690 mass shootings during the 365 days of 2021. Whatever number we end up with this year, guns are being used to kill multiple people nearly twice a day on average, and that doesn't count the number killed in shootings that kill or wound less than four people at once.
So if you made it through Thanksgiving without being shot, watch your step this weekend in grocery stores, bars, nightclubs and even walking down the street. There are enough guns out there in private hands to put a bullet in every one of us with plenty of ammunition left over.
I hope you have a nice weekend, if you survive. If not, you'll have plenty of company as a statistic.
During an appearance on Saturday with MSNBC's Ali Velshi, former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne claimed she expected the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to come down hard on U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon over rulings that have protected Donald Trump from a Department of Justice investigation.
Cannon, who was appointed to the bench by the former president just before he lost the 2020 election, has been under scrutiny for a series of rulings that have baffled legal experts and stymied DOJ investigators looking into Trump whisking away stolen government documents to his Mar-a-Lago resort.
Before Thanksgiving, Trump's attorneys were put on the spot by the 11th Circuit judges who appeared more than skeptical of Cannon's pro-Trump rulings, and legal experts expect things to end badly for the former president's lawyers when their ruling comes down -- possibly next week.
Speaking with the MSNBC host, Alksne said she expected Cannon to be on the receiving end of a devastating rebuke.
"I think that it sounds like after reading the transcript of the appellate hearing in the 11th Circuit that they are going to get rid of the special master and they are going to slam this federal judge [Cannon] who put a wrinkle in the process that was totally unnecessary," she began.
"And that will speed up the process and allow the government to really dive into those documents because, remember, it is not only -- when you look at this case to a prosecutor -- it is not just does he have the documents, where they willfully maintained and did he not return them when he was asked to. You also have to have sort of a global outlook on it like, why did he do it?" she elaborated.
"In order to do the prosecution, you kind of want to know that," she added. "Is it an ego thing, as somebody leaked from the Justice Department or in anway did those documents make it into the stream of his financial considerations? Is that why he ended up with these deals in the middle east? Has Jared Kushner seen the documents? Who has touched them, who has seen them, who knows about them, who has used them?"
"The sooner we get rid of the special master process, or we complete it, the sooner we can get to that point and we can move forward with the prosecution," she added.
Watch below or at the link:
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