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Fox's Shepard Smith Calls Out Trump's Attempt To Walk Back His "Deportation Force" Immigration Policy

  • SHEPARD SMITH (HOST): For Donald Trump, an immigration re-evaluation is underway as Fox reports this hour, and it's causing waves among supporters and critics.
  • Well on Monday, Donald Trump claimed he was certainly not flip-flopping on immigration, but he does appear to be attempting to have it both ways.
  • Latinos: A New Immigration Plan From Donald Trump Won't Magically Erase His Previous Bigotry
  • Sean Hannity And Donald Trump’s Immigration Townhall Focuses On Fearmongering
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | August 24, 2016, 4:15 pm

Clinton Aide Neera Tanden’s Role In Welfare Reform Questioned

  • In fact, the danger to children from welfare form was so great that the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman, condemned Hillary Clinton for her role in promoting the bill.
  • As welfare reform hits its 20th anniversary this year, many of its former proponents on the left (or purported left) have suffered politically-induced amnesia.
  • Enter Neera Tanden, president of the neoliberal Center for American Progress, which has deep ties to the Clinton machine.
  • Zaid Jilani of The Intercept reported that welfare reform architect Bruce Reed claimed Tanden was “obviously involved in the implementation” of the 1996 welfare reform law, but passed on answering as to how Tanden, whose mother had received welfare, could square her own life experience with a law taking away welfare from other mothers and their children.
Dan Wright / Shadowproof | August 24, 2016, 4:07 pm

Evan McMullin’s Presidential Campaign Not Going So Well

  • “While polling continues to show that the electorate is dissatisfied with both candidates, and believes the country to be on the wrong track, the opportunity for BFA to influence this election cycle has diminished over the summer months, and BFA will therefore end its candidate recruitment and ballot access efforts,” the group explained in a statement.
  • Launched only after Donald Trump began winning primaries, Better for America did not even play in as many states as 2012’s star-crossed (but well-funded) Americans Elect.
  • As The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin first reported, McMullin was nudged into the race after Rep.
  • Without Better for America, McMullin’s hurdles are towering, and vaulting over them will require a mixture of legal luck, third-party goodwill or a sudden surge of support.
Doug Mataconis / Outside The Beltway | August 24, 2016, 3:29 pm

For Great Sioux Nation, Dakota Access Pipeline Is “A Disaster Waiting To Happen”

  • If completed, the pipeline, also known as the Bakken Pipeline, would travel from North Dakota to Illinois through 50 counties in the United States and transport crude oil.
  • The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe launched a protest encampment called the Sacred Stone Spirit Camp back in April, but in recent weeks, demonstrations against the pipeline have intensified, as thousands have traveled to the camp to support the struggle of indigenous people against Dakota Access.
  • Ruth Hopkins, a Lakota and Dakota of the Oceti Sakowin, or Great Sioux Nation, and an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota Nation, told Shadowproof oil development tends to bring in a lot of non-Native men from out of state who do the work, often on a temporary basis.
  • As the oil boom began, North Dakota saw a major population spike, and the state’s law enforcement, particularly on reservations, wasn’t prepared.
Roqayah Chamseddine / Shadowproof | August 24, 2016, 2:04 pm

The Media Has The Clinton Foundation Story Upside Down

  • This isn’t simply a story of the media’s ongoing obsession with finding something they can hang on Hillary Clinton, no matter how trivial.
  • Is it possible a charity could emerge as bad news, or represent bad optics, for a presidential candidate?
  • The charity represents a thriving philanthropic operation that assists people around the world, while brandishing esteemed charitable credentials.
  • Even so, the AP determined to generate a lede that made it look as if there’s a problem. (Mark Sumner) / Daily Kos | August 24, 2016, 1:55 pm

How American Muslim Women Are Taking On Trump

Donald Trump has effectively declared Muslims the enemy, accusing them of shielding terrorists in their midst, pushing to ban them from entering the country, and suggesting that the United States should start thinking seriously about profiling them. In response, some American Muslim women are speaking out against Trump and his anti-Muslim rhetoric.

“I never really felt like I was ‘the other’ until now,” said Mirriam Seddiq, a 45-year-old immigration and criminal-defense lawyer from Northern Virginia who recently started a political-action committee called American Muslim Women. “It’s a strange realization to have, but it’s what motivated me to do this. There are so many misconceptions about Muslim women, and I want to help counter that narrative.”

If the organization raises enough money, Seddiq wants to air aids opposing Trump in the run-up to the November election. Beyond that, she plans to host a voter-registration drive and hopes to build up a support network that will help Muslim women run for office.

Muslim women are uniquely vulnerable to sexism and Islamophobia. They can become visible targets for harassment when they wear headscarves. They are also often subjected to negative stereotypes and forced to respond to misconceptions that they are oppressed and silenced by their religion.

Donald Trump amplified those stereotypes when he suggested that Ghazala Khan, the Muslim American mother of a slain U.S. soldier, had not been permitted to speak when she appeared alongside her husband Khizr Khan at the Democratic National Convention. (She subsequently clarified that she did not speak because she was “in pain” over the death of her son.) Muslim American women denounced Trump’s comment on social media using the hashtag #CanYouHearUsNow. Facing a climate of Islamophobic rhetoric, and a rise in anti-Muslim violence, Muslim women in the U.S. are laying the groundwork for Muslim women to achieve greater visibility in American political life.

The 2016 election inspired Naaz Modan, a 20-year-old Georgetown University student, to start writing about politics and Islam. Modan said used to get defensive when she heard anti-Muslim rhetoric voiced by Trump or his followers. “I feel personally attacked in this election,” she said in an interview. But after a while, she started proactively speaking out against Islamophobia and about her beliefs. She began writing for a website called Muslim Girl. “It’s my way of saying, ‘What you think about me does not define me,’” she explained. “I define who I am.”

Sarwat Husain, the 57-year-old president of the San Antonio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and national board member, believes Muslim women can do even more to counter negative stereotypes about Islam than men. “If you wear a hijab, you are much more likely to be harassed walking down the street, but there is also much more to gain by being so highly visible,” Husain said. “As Americans and Muslim women, we need to make our presence known so that people will see we are a part of the community, and we love this country. We are not what people think—uneducated, oppressed, and incapable of serving society.”

Muslim women might be able to help dispel anti-Muslim sentiment in American politics. Data from the Pew Research Center suggests that non-Muslims are less likely to hold negative perceptions of Muslims if they know someone who is Muslim. By getting involved in politics, Muslim women can actively shape public policy and create a political climate less overtly hostile to their religion.  

There could also be unintended consequences. Pressure to be model citizens in order to counter stereotypes could be frustrating, painful, and exhausting.

“I get asked all the time, ‘Are you American first, or Muslim first?’ And these are very unfair questions,” said Nausheena Hussain, the 39-year-old founder of the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based organization Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment, which aims to amplify the voices and power of Muslim women. “I don’t think any person is one identity. I hope one day I don’t have to worry about the fact that if I wear a scarf on my head, I’ll be targeted, or people will think I conform to a certain set of ideas they have in their head.”

Prejudice and discrimination could get worse in the short-term. Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American Muslim woman running for a Minnesota state legislature seat, recently faced a Democratic primary opponent who dismissed her campaign as “attractive to the kind of, what we call the young, liberal, white guilt-trip people.” In the end, Omar won the primary. “A lot of people that I admire had bought into the narrative of misogyny that they believed existed in my community, and didn’t think it was possible for a woman to win,” Omar said at her primary-race victory speech. “Tonight, we proved these skeptics wrong.”

The political power of American Muslims, and Muslim women in particular, is limited, in part due to demographics. Muslims make up only roughly 1 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Pew Research Center. They are also less likely to be registered to vote compared to Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, potentially limiting their ability to influence American politics as a voting bloc.

That doesn’t mean things can’t change. Muslim advocacy organizations are working to increase voter registration. And in a political climate where Islamophobia has moved from the fringes to the mainstream, Muslim activists say the community has intensified its political engagement. Prior to the September 11 terror attacks, many Muslim voters leaned Republican. Now, most American Muslims identify as Democrats. Trump might manage to drive away the relatively small segment of Muslim voters who still vote Republican.

Some Muslim women will undoubtedly avoid the political spotlight for fear of retribution. But for others, the election has crystallized their commitment to political engagement.

“I never thought to distinguish myself on the basis of my religion,” Mirriam Seddiq said. “This is the first time that I see how many people view me as different. Maybe it’s always been that way, and I just didn’t realize it.”

That has been difficult to accept, she said. But if this election leads to more Muslim women voting and running for political office, Seddiq believes that will have been a silver lining. “To some extent, I am grateful, because I think this is waking us up,” she said. “We need to have a seat at the table, and people need to know who we are.”

CharityWatch President On CNN: “The Clinton Foundation Is An Excellent Charity,” People Could Die If It Shuts Down

  • ASHLEIGH BANFIELD (HOST): In the philanthropic world the Clinton Foundation ranks about as high as can you get for a charity.
  • BANFIELD: So, across the board, people in your business of rating these charities, who are not politically motivated, say it is stellar.
  • BOROCHOFF:  Well, the people, the millions of people that get reduced cost, reduced medical pills for like AIDS, and there's all kind of programs that they do that help millions of people, and people are going to die unless people get the help.
  • In The Name Of Optics, Beltway Press Renews Its War On The Clinton Foundation
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | August 24, 2016, 1:12 pm

D.A. Henderson, Leader Of Effort To Eradicate Smallpox, Dies At 87

  • Long after the disease was officially declared eradicated in 1980, he remained in the field as a dean of what is now the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and as an adviser on bioterrorism to several presidents.
  • Euphoria over the smallpox victory led to calls for the elimination of measles, polio, Guinea worm and other diseases, and Dr.
  • The only other disease to have been banished from the earth is rinderpest, a little-known relative of measles that kills hoofed animals and once caused widespread starvation in Africa; it was eradicated in 2011.
  • Like any war, the one against smallpox involved thousands of foot soldiers — notably outbreak tracers and vaccinators — and more than a few generals.
Doug Mataconis / Outside The Beltway | August 24, 2016, 12:26 pm

Please Support My Campaign To Stop Donald Trump

  • This coming November, we face the prospect of Donald Trump, the most unqualified and dangerous candidate in memory, becoming president of the United States.
  • I am asking you today to support me over the next three months, from now until the election, in a campaign to utterly destroy Donald Trump’s candidacy, send Hillary Clinton to the White House, and help elect a progressive majority to Congress.
  • You can contribute with a credit card via this page, via the large convenient form below, or by sending a check made out to “John Aravosis” to my PO Box:
  • I am asking you to help me raise a minimum of $25,000 for the next three months.
John Aravosis / AMERICAblog | August 24, 2016, 12:14 pm

Trump Now Wants Black Votes, But His Racist Campaign May Be A Problem

  • “Inside Donald Trump’s strategy to counter the view of many that he is ‘racist,’” the Washington Post headline reads.
  • Trump is planning trips to urban areas — with stops at churches, charter schools and small businesses in black and Latino communities — and is developing an empowerment agenda based on the economy and education, aides said.
  • Not mentioned in the article: all the race-baiters Trump has surrounded himself with. (Laura Clawson) / Daily Kos | August 24, 2016, 10:53 am

Is Obama Enabling The Next President To Launch Illegal Wars?

President Obama has been emphatically warning Americans about the dangers of a Trump presidency. But these warnings divert attention from a much darker reality. His Justice Department is in fact pushing the law in a direction that will enable the next president to declare war against any “terrorist” group or nation without the consent of Congress.

This reality is clear from the Department’s response to a lawsuit challenging the legality of Obama’s war against the Islamic State.

In 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution over President Richard Nixon’s veto. It represented the culmination of a national effort to prevent future presidents from repeating Nixon’s unilateral escalations in Vietnam. The Resolution provides that, when a president commits American forces to a new military engagement, he has 60 days to gain the explicit authorization of Congress for the war. If Congress refuses its consent, the Resolution requires the commander in chief to withdraw his forces from the battlefield within the next 30 days.

The Resolution represented a fundamental breakthrough. According to Senator Jacob Javits, its leading sponsor:

We live in an age of undeclared war, which has meant Presidential war. Prolonged engagement in an undeclared Presidential war has created a most dangerous imbalance in our Constitutional system of checks and balances. . . . [The bill] is rooted in the words and the spirit of the Constitution. It [aims] to restore the balance which has been upset by the historical enthronement of that power over which the framers of the Constitution regarded as the keystone of the whole Article of Congressional power–the exclusive authority of Congress to declare war; the power to change the nation from a state of peace to a state of war.

In making war against the Islamic State, Obama also launched an assault on the Resolution, attacking Congress's constitutional position as the ultimate arbiter over war and peace. When he began his new military campaign against ISIS in June 2014, he made no effort to gain Congress’s explicit approval  within the next 60 days. He asserted that the decade-old Congressional authorizations for President George W. Bush's wars against al-Qaeda and Saddam sufficed for his new war. In doing so, he took advantage of widespread confusion. ISIS did not even exist when Congress authorized Bush’s attacks in 2001 and 2002. And by the time that Obama began his new military adventure, ISIS had become al-Qaeda's bitter enemy.

This is precisely the kind of “undeclared presidential war” that the Resolution aimed to prevent. As Obama’s war moved into its third year, it has generated powerful dissent on Capitol Hill. Its break with the law has led constitutionalists to cross party lines, uniting leaders of the right, left, and center to condemn Obama’s failure to seek Congress’s approval. In the words of Tim Kaine, the senator and Democratic vice-presidential candidate, the war with the Islamic State has “shown to all that neither the Congress nor the president feels obliged to follow the 1973 War Powers Resolution which would cause the president to cease any unilateral military action within 90 days unless Congress votes to approve it.”

But representatives on Capitol Hill can’t go to court to ask the judges to insist that the president follow the law. Under the U.S. Constitution, courts can’t resolve abstract debates between politicians. They only are there to decide concrete “cases and controversies” generated when illegalities do concrete harm to real people.

Here is where Captain Nathan Smith enters into the story. A career officer in the Army, he was ordered to serve a year’s tour of duty in Kuwait at the command headquarters of Operation Inherent Resolve charged with coordinating Obama’s war against ISIS. As an intelligence officer, he was under orders to locate the best sites for military intervention in the ongoing struggle.

Smith believes they violate the express terms of the 1973 statute. Given his oath to “support and defend the Constitution,“  he also believes that he is under an obligation to disobey the illegal orders of his commander in chief when they violate the Resolution and the Constitution. If he follows his oath and disobeys orders, he faces the prospect of a court martial and serious punishment.

To escape this dilemma, Smith filed a lawsuit in federal court in the District of Columbia to get a clear answer on the status of the president’s orders. I am serving as a constitutional consultant in the on-going litigation; my 2015 Atlantic article about the war on ISIS and the War Powers Resolution led Smith to file his lawsuit. Last Thursday, we filed a brief emphasizing the dangers involved in the way the Justice Department has responded to Smith’s lawsuit.

The government is trying to persuade District Judge Caroline Kollar-Kotelly that she should refuse to consider the merits of Smith’s case. It asserts that the Captain lacks the personal stake required to challenge the legality of the war—and ignores the fact that he potentially faces a court-martial if he is obliged to act on his considered legal judgments.  Smith is not a conscientious objector. He is a deeply committed career officer who wants to serve his country in the war against ISIS—so long as it is consistent with his oath to “support and defend” the Constitution.

If the Justice Department succeeds in denying Smith a judicial hearing on the merits, this will make it impossible for anybody to appeal to courts to prevent future presidents from treating the War Powers Resolution with impunity. Nobody has a more personal stake in the legality of the war than service members like Smith.  If they are denied standing, this will forever preclude all court challenges to presidential war-making.

If Trump wins, the courts should have robust defenses against unilateral military adventures.

Our brief elaborates the legal arguments at length. For the larger public, it is more important to emphasize how this Department of Justice maneuver reveals the paradoxical character of Obama’s relationship to Donald Trump. Despite his isolationist tendencies on other issues, Trump has sent ISIS “a simple message … Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how. We must as, a nation, be more unpredictable. But they’re going to be gone. And soon.”  If the Department’s legal gambit succeeds, it will be impossible for anybody to challenge President Trump when he cites Obama’s precedent in taking his battle in “unpredictable” directions.

This is unacceptable. If Trump wins in November, the courts should have precedents to work with that can offer a robust set of defenses against unilateral military adventures. Worse yet, Hillary Clinton herself—in contrast to her running-mate—cannot be relied upon to maintain the integrity of the War Powers Resolution. While she won’t be as erratic as Trump, it is only the serious prospect of judicial intervention that will contain her hawkish inclinations.

Obama should tell the Department of Justice to reverse its position in Smith’s case. Rather than trying to deprive him of a hearing, it should try to convince the court that the war against the Islamic State can be defended on the legal merits.

Even if the Department succeeds on the merits, it will only lead the court to uphold the legality of the present war against the Islamic State.  This won’t stop future courts from reining in future presidents when they engage in even more egregious abuses of the War Powers Resolution.  In contrast, if the Justice Department continues to block Smith and his future counterparts from the courtroom, Obama is inaugurating an era of unbridled war-making by the commander in chief, without any of the checks and balances contemplated by the American constitutional system.

Stephen Colbert Mocks Right-Wing Hillary Clinton Health Conspiracy Theories

  • RUDY GIULIANI: Go online and put down "Hillary Clinton illness," take a look at the videos for yourself. 
  • Now I don't think that is exactly the video that Giuliani wanted you to find on the internet.
  • CNN REPORTER: Conspiracy theorists have cooked up just about every condition for her.
  • COLBERT: Now these conspiracies started back in 2012 when Hillary Clinton fell down, hit her head and got a concussion, making her miss the first Benghazi hearings.
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | August 24, 2016, 10:10 am

Summer Olympics Were Lowest Rated Since 2000

  • Notwithstanding the fact that their location in Rio de Janeiro made them well-positioned for the U.S.
  • NBC is touting its coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics as the “most successful media event in history.” And to be sure, the massive effort the company put into live streaming and digital efforts from Rio de Janeiro paid off pretty well.
  • Whatever metric NBC is using to uphold its “most successful” claim isn’t clear.
  • Of course, there was a lot more to see this time around: NBC live-streamed 4,500 hours of competition compared to 3,500 hours four years ago.
Doug Mataconis / Outside The Beltway | August 24, 2016, 9:24 am

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Where Are Your Tax Returns, Donald?

  • xBREAKING: AP analysis: More than half those who met Clinton as Cabinet secretary gave money to Clinton Foundation.— The Associated Press (@AP) August 23, 2016
  • xAnd the smoking gun is that Clinton went out of her way to help a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was having trouble with a foreign government?— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) August 23, 2016
  • The Clintons have known that Nobel peace Prize winner since their days in Arkansas.
  • Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani suggested Sunday that the Clinton Foundation should be indicted on racketeering charges. (Greg Dworkin) / Daily Kos | August 24, 2016, 7:52 am

<div>Citing InfoWars, Fox News Complains Google Is Covering Up "Clinton Body Count" Stories</div>

  • HEATHER CHILDERS (CO-HOST): Is the internet’s number one search engine trying to sway the presidential election?
  • ABBY HUNTSMAN (CO-HOST): Cheryl Casone from our sister network, Fox Business, here with what Google is now being accused of.
  • CHERYL CASONE: Yeah, good morning, ladies. Well Google is being accused of hiding negative stories about Hillary [Clinton] and her campaign by changing its algorithm to bury stories like the "Clinton body count" story.
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | August 24, 2016, 7:08 am