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So…Devin Nunes is suing CNN for $435M claiming that the network broadcast “a demonstrably false hit piece,” when it reported his contacts with a Ukrainian former prosecutor to demand dirt on the Bidens, in exchange for releasing aid approved by Congress. Nunes said it was done to “"to boost CNN's ratings and further the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry." Impeachment inquiry has boosted TV news ratings on occasion since 1973. And this report DOES “further the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry,” because it illustrated clearly that Nunes is doing the bidding of the Trump White House, outside of accepted government channels. It illuminated the “shadow government” set up by t-Rump to stage an end run around the usual Congressional and diplomatic restrictions on self-enriching corruption, and use of American military aid as a blackmail tool.

Nunes Sues CNN

The party that once wrapped itself in a flag to proclaim its Anti-Communist bonafides, has been co-opted into the Soviet orbit under Trump’s leadership.

Nunes went all Saddam Hussein in declaring, "CNN is the mother of fake news.” (Don’t forget, Saddam coined the phrase) He went on, “It is the least trusted name. CNN is eroding the fabric of America, proselytizing, sowing distrust and disharmony. It must be held accountable. CNN harbors an institutional hatred, extreme bias, spite and ill-will toward [Nunes], the GOP and President Trump." The reality is that two-thirds of America harbor hatred, spite and ill-will towards Trump and his bag men in Congress. The same polls illustrate that one-third of America was never happy with the results of the Civil War and WWII. The party that once wrapped itself in a flag to proclaim its Anti-Communist bonafides, has been co-opted into the Soviet orbit under Trump’s leadership.

The context is that Nunes has also recently sued Twitter for $250M and Hearst Magazines for $77M, claiming both defamed him. Nunes engages in plenty of self-defamation by way of self-incrimination. The Republicans have become so arrogant that accusations of brazen violations or American law or international diplomacy are met with, “So what, get over it.” All the news outlets have to do is report what Nunes, Trump and others actually say. Nunes also claimed that CNN’s motivation is to hurt his reputation “cause him to be removed from the impeachment inquiry.” CNN can’t legally remove Nunes from the impeachment inquiry. But they CAN furnish information to enable the committee leadership to make that decision. Congress has recusal requirements when a conflict of interest presents itself. But Nunes says, “No I won’t; get over it.”

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Republicans have plenty more where that came from. George Buck is running to challenge Charlie Crist (D-FL) for the 13th District seat. His campaign literature includes an appeal to literally “hang” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). He can’t beat Charlie Crist per se, so he’s trying to run against Omar, along with Reps. Ayanna Presley (D-MA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and the GOP’s favorite whipping girl, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-MA). He’s running against Nancy Pelosi too, and Crist is an afterthought in the campaign literature. Buck is saying, “I’m whiter than Crist because I will not work with them; I will not only lock them up, but I’m willing to hang one of them, so vote for me.”

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) accused Democrats of an "utter lack of fundamental fairness" for bringing Constitutional Law scholars as witnesses in the impeachment hearings. Before Stanford Professor Pamela Karlan testified, he tried to dismiss the validity of her testimony in advance saying, “Unless you’re really good on TV of watching the hearings (sic) over the last couple of weeks, you couldn’t have possibly actually digested the Adam Schiff report from yesterday or the Republican response in any real way.” Karlan nailed him: “Here Mr. Collins I would like to say to you, sir, that I read transcripts of every one of the witnesses who appeared in the live hearing because I would not speak about these things without reviewing the facts…So I’m insulted by the suggestion that as a law professor I don’t care about those facts.”

In May 1973, I was an 18 year-old intern from a liberal Jewish family, working for a red-meat conservative in DC at the start of the Watergate hearings. By today’s standards Robin Beard (R-TN) (blessed memory) would be considered too liberal for today’s Republican Party. Though he railed about communists, liberals, government spending and the usual bogeys, he supported legislation to support a healthy environment, a viable and accessible education system, OSHA, promoting lawful immigration and racial tolerance. He was also very much pro-Israel long before that became popular with conservatives. Back then, supporting Israel was a Jewish issue.

Beard would be too liberal to be elected today. His distant successor is Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN), a Jewish man who has supported every aspect of Trumps cruel agenda, including caging babies. Robin Beard would not have gone along with that. Not surprisingly, Kustoff never mentions his Jewish background when campaigning in rural, West Tennessee, and his office ignores information requests. Kustoff knows his conservative Christian constituency “loves” Israel, but realizes they’re not so crazy about the Jews. An irony is the Evangelical “love” for Israel is based on the Apocalyptic ideal of rounding up all the Jews in Israel, in order to hasten the Apocalypse. Zionists, who embrace the Evangelical “love” for Israel like to pretend that’s not part of the package. Calling out things like that, and Kustoff’s deeply UN-Jewish positions, got me banished from the Memphis JCC recently, where I previously enjoy lifetime membership. Maybe this illustrates how the dynamics of Trumpism are filtering through our social fabric. Community leaders no longer have to be fair and operate with integrity because . . . well…get over it.

H. Scott Prosterman