By Sagarika Jaisinghani and Shriya Ramakrishnan (Reuters) - The battle between small-time traders and hedge funds that has shaken U.S. and European stock markets moved into Asia on Thursday, with surges in several Australian companies joining a list of social-media hyped moves that have cost financial institutions billions of dollars. Heavily shorted Australian shares, including Webjet and Tassal Group, climbed more than 5% even as Sydney's benchmark ASX 200 index fell 2%. [.AX] In New York, GameStop, the video game chain at the heart of the slugfest between Wall Street and Main Street, added ...
Trump, the Big Lie and Jan 6 is now being mainstreamed by the GOP and interest groups that support them: columnist
In a column by Fred Hiatt, the Washington Post writer explained that Trumpism and all that it entitles is now being mainstreamed by not just the GOP but interest groups like The Japan-American Society of Washington, D.C.
His Sunday column cited the group's embrace of Donald Trump's former Japanese ambassador-turned-senator, Bill Hagerty (R-TN), who was a "featured guest" and "honorary chairman" of the Japan-American Society event gala this week.
Hagerty, who replaced retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), backed Hagerty "enthusiastically."
"Alexander was such a fervent supporter, in fact, that whenever he was silent in the face of some Trump depredation, the explanation I heard was the same: 'Lamar doesn't want to do anything to make Hagerty's life more difficult on the campaign trail.' Alexander believed that Hagerty would be a credit to the Senate long after Trump was gone," wrote Hiatt.
Hagerty was among those, along with fellow Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn, who continues to say that President Joe Biden isn't the legitimate president of the United States. During the attack on the Capitol, he condemned the violence, and hours later turned around and supported what ultimately caused the violence.
Hagerty isn't the only one downplaying the seriousness of the election lies, Trumpism and the violence that unfolded on Jan. 6. Conservative Alice Stewart tried to downplay the seriousness of the GOP's refusal to accept the 2020 election, saying that there is no "crisis" happening with elections.
This week, Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin similarly attempted to paint the Jan. 6 attack as a "peaceful protest," and led a rally crowd in worshiping the American flag carried through the violence.
Japan-America Society claims that they always ask the former ambassador to events.
"This is an invitation that the Society has presented to every returning U.S. ambassador to Japan in living memory. We're proud of our non-partisan role advancing strong people to people ties between the United States and Japan," the group told Hiatt in an email.
But Hiatt said that "there's an argument to be made that, at times of intense partisanship, it's more valuable than ever that people from across the spectrum can encounter each other in nonpartisan arenas such as the Japan-America Society. Certainly, the harm of the society's invitation is less than the damage inflicted on democracy when Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) welcomes Trump's embrace at a campaign rally, or when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) self-brainwashes to start denying the truth of Jan. 6 — or when Hagerty himself, even though he doesn't have to face the voters again for six years, none-theless feels the need to indulge Trump's lie."
Intelligence expert Malcolm Nance spoke to MSNBC about the ways in which the Russian government are able to wage a war against a country without even firing a shot.
Host Maria Teresa Kumar noted that President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans seem to have taken up the playbook of Russia and created their own propaganda machine. As a Russia propaganda expert, Nance agreed, saying that the plot Russia concocted in the early 2000s, the Gerasimov Doctrine, handed Trump and his team the plan.
Nance explained that it was a tactic Russians used where they combined an information warfare strategy where they flood a country with so much misinformation that a country would welcome an invasion without a war.
"That didn't really happen" in the United States, Nance explained. "What the Russians did in the year 2016 is they created an information bubble in which the Trump campaign was seen as friendly and then, the Trump data team took that information, including stolen information from the Democratic National Committee, and created their own information sphere. Once the Russian bubble was popped after the 2016 election, the Trump team took the ball and ran with it. The Russians barely have to do anything."
Nance explained that the Trump team and their control over conservative television stations like Fox News and OAN enabled them to indoctrinate their own followers into believing some of the most insane things ever crafted, "to the point where they view it."
He talked about a kind of radicalization that gives Trump's supporters the confidence their actions are not only patriotic but that "violence is the only solution and they're carrying out a second Lexington, a second Concord, as your other guests said, 1776 2.0."
"They think they're restoring the United States, despite the fact they are physically attacking the United States, and believe me, the way that ammunition prices went up within the last year on the public market, I think these people really believe they're going to affect the revolution at some point," said Nance.
Earlier in the conversation, Nance addressed Virginia Republican Glenn Youngkin holding up the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as a "peaceful protest" and treating items used in the attack as their own kind of religious relic or a "talisman" as Nance characterized. "As if it's going to give them some connection deeper to Donald Trump."
"It all flies in the face of their own storyline, their story arc in which it was Antifa and Black Lives Matter that carried out the attack," said Nance. "Now, on some signs, we see them actually not only recognizing that they've carried out this event but, as I said in the video, a peaceful protest at the Capitol and now carrying an American flag, which took part in that. It's absolutely disgraceful that any of this is happening. But what you're seeing, it is a strategy by the Republicans and Trump play out where they're now embracing the popularism of that violence."
See his full take in the video below:
Nance on Russia's Trump war www.youtube.com
Conservative pundit refuses to answer who is still a 'rational Republican' in the GOP that will save elections
Conservative pundit Alice Stewart and Democratic strategist Maria Cardona debated the election bill that Republicans have refused to support even though Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) helped draft and negotiate it.
Stewart attacked the bill saying that it federalizes the election system that has long been run by the states. Still, Cardona cited the far-right Republicans who aim want to bypass voters altogether.
"There are rational Republicans out there that believe we do have free and fair elections with and they do believe that Jan. 6th should not have happened and we should have certified election results," said Stewart. "And they do not want to have this be the topic of conversation and there are rational Republicans that say that Jan. 6th is not what we need to be focusing on as we head into the midterms, especially with all that's going on with the Biden administration.
Cardona cut in to ask what she means by "rational Republicans," but Stewart refused to cite who exactly those Republicans are in the contemporary GOP.
"These are Republicans, as I said, that do believe that we have free and fair elections. The more we even question if we should question our electoral process, that's an affront to our democracy," said Stewart, who dismissed the idea that there should still be a focus on accountability for Jan. 6 and preventing another attack. "And we do not even need to be having these conversations in the first place. And there are a large majority of Republicans who are focusing on reassuring people that we need to go out and vote. We do have free and fair elections, and that's what conservatives are doing."
Cardona noted that while there might be an overwhelming majority of Republicans who believe Joe Biden won the 2020 election, they're not the ones in control of the GOP anymore. In fact, few of those are even in office or they're about to be replaced or retire.
"Donald Trump is the reason why this democracy is hanging by a thread," said Cardona while Stewart tried to talk over her. "And the more -- the more -- hang on, the more that Republicans -- you say there are rational Republicans out there, focused on talking about how the election was fair, there are not enough of them."
"Let me just say this, with all due respect to my friend, Maria here, we are not in peril," said Stewart."Our democracy is not in peril. We need to reassure Americans that our election process is free and fair. And the last thing we need to do is light our hair on fire about democracy in peril and federalize our elections, which is exactly what you and our Democratic friends want to do."
Cardona insisted that the elections do need to be federalized because states have made it clear that they can't handle operating a free and fair election.
Stewart explained that there were many Republican officials who fought back against President Donald Trump's demands to overthrow the voters' choice in the election. The problem, Cardona explained, is that those Republicans willing to risk their career to do the right thing are about to be kicked out of office by the Republican Party that Stewart claims is still "rational."
"All of these states have candidates, Alice, who have said, if they would have been in power, they would not have certified this election," Cardona explained. "What happens if all of those people win in 2022 and 2024? what if all of those rational, common sense, thank goodness, Republicans in the 2020 election did not come forward and stand up against the Donald Trump and the Steve Bannons and the Rudy Giulianis. What if they had said, 'Right, this election is not free. I'm not going to certify it.' That is how close we came to losing our democracy. Our democracy is in peril. And it is in peril because people like Donald Trump and people like Steve Bannon and people like Chuck Grassley, who just stood up next to Donald Trump, without the backbone to say what this man is doing is dangerous. We have way too many Republicans that are hell-bent on standing next to Donald Trump, because they are so afraid of not doing that, that that continues to put our democracy in peril."
See the video below:
There are rational Republicans in power? Ok, name them. www.youtube.com
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