News Round-Up: November 5, 2019

The Chippendales (photo: Kip Canyon)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: So, apparently the world-famous Chippendales (above) work out…a lot. #dang

• Politico: Sen. Elizabeth Warren has pledged that her first step as president would be to overturn President Donald Trump’s decision to prohibit transgender troops in the military.

Men’s Health: Rugby legend Gareth Thomas, who recently came out as HIV-positive, covers this month’s issue of Men’s Health UK. “It’s a sign of where we are that a man LIVING with HIV is on the cover of Men’s Health,” wrote the 45-year-old athlete on social media.

Fox News: A new poll from Fox News shows former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump in a hypothetical 2020 head-to-head matchup – and she’s not even running.

OUT: A daycare center in Switzerland has come under fire for turning away a pair of twin boys because they have gay parents. The family was informed the boys would not be welcome in the playgroup because their parents’ relationship is “neither normal nor natural.”

Campaign Ad: Mayor Pete Buttigieg, currently landing in 3rd place in Iowa polls, has a new campaign spot out in Iowa that highlights national unity. Titled “Sun Comes Up,” the ad asks voters to imagine the first day when Trump is no longer president, as Buttigieg promises to pick up the pieces of our divided nation.

Hillary Trolls Trump With Parody JFK Letter To Khrushchev

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton trolled Donald Trump today tweeting a parody letter of Trump’s now-infamous letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Clinton’s tweet featured a fake letter from President Kennedy to former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev that appeared previously on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’

The parody missive reads, “Don’t be a dick, ok? Get your missiles out of Cuba. Everybody will say ‘Yay! Khrushchev! You’re the best!’ But if you don’t everybody will be like ‘what an asshole’ and call your garbage country ‘The Soviet Bunion.’ You’re really busting my nuts here. Give you a jingle later. Hugs, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.”

#FTW

Hillary Clinton Cleared (Again) On Phony Email Conspiracy

A three-year investigation by the U.S. State Department has cleared former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of any mishandling of classified information through the use of a private email server.

This result concurs with former FBI Director James Comey’s similar conclusions in 2016 that found Clinton hadn’t broken any laws.

From the Washington Post:

A multiyear State Department probe of emails that were sent to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s private computer server concluded there was no systemic or deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees, according to a report submitted to Congress this month.

The report appears to represent a final and anticlimactic chapter in a controversy that overshadowed the 2016 presidential campaign and exposed Clinton to fierce criticism that she later cited as a major factor in her loss to President Trump.

In the end, State Department investigators found 38 current or former employees “culpable” of violating security procedures — none involving material that had been marked classified — in a review of roughly 33,000 emails that had been sent to or from the personal computer system Clinton used.

For those found culpable, the violations will be noted in their files and will be considered when applying for or renewing security clearances.

It’s worth noting that this State Department investigation was performed under the Trump administration. If they were going to find anything, this would have been the group to do it.

And, again, they found nothing to hang on Hillary.

As the WaPo adds, while Donald Trump continues to rant on the campaign trail about the phony, twice-disproved conspiracy theory regarding her emails, his own representatives have been found to be using private cell phones and texting apps while working on his behalf.

#hypocrisy

Hillary Clinton: Trump “Knows He’s An Illegitimate President”

The Washington Post reports former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says in an interview scheduled to air on CBS Sunday Morning this weekend that Donald Trump is an ‘illegitimate’ president who won’t be reelected in 2020.

Clinton was asked whether it angers her that none of the current Democratic candidates invoke her on the campaign trail while Trump’s rally crowds still break out into “lock her up” chants.

“No, it doesn’t kill me because he knows he’s an illegitimate president,” she said. “I believe he understands that the many varying tactics they used, from voter suppression and voter purging to hacking to the false stories — he knows that — there were just a bunch of different reasons why the election turned out like it did.”

In June, former president Jimmy Carter used similar language to diminish Trump’s presidency.

She compared Trump’s latest effort to spread negative stories about Biden, who is leading in most polls to be the 2020 Democratic nominee, to what he did to her during their campaign.

Clinton also predicted Trump would lose in 2020 because “there were many funny things that happened in my election that will not happen again.”

Additionally, Clinton shares that she supports an impeachment inquiry as there are “a number of grounds” for it but says that Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, when Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Biden’s son, is “incredibly troubling.”

LGBTQs Get Two-Sentence Mention In Trump’s UN Address

Donald Trump gives passing mention of LGBTQ rights during his 2019 address of the United Nations

Donald Trump gives passing mention of LGBTQ rights during his 2019 address of the United Nations

During his speech before the United Nations today, Donald Trump included a mention of his administration’s previously announced plans to encourage more than 70 countries worldwide to decriminalize homosexuality.

“My administration is working with other nations to stop criminalizing of homosexuality,” Trump said in a halting cadence. “And we stand in solidarity with (pause) LGBTQ people who live in countries that punish, jail and execute people based upon sexual orientation.”

Gregory T. Angelo, who served as president of the Log Cabin Republicans for six years, quickly tweeted a video of Trump’s inclusion of the initiative.

The global initiative, which is reportedly being led by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, was announced in February.

This is the first time Trump has mentioned the initiative in a public speech.

Angelo and his conservative LGBTQ bunch may be fawning over today’s two-sentence mention, but it’s worth noting that Trump is not the first president to mention LGBTQ issues while addressing the United Nations.

That would be President Barack Obama.

During an address of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2011, President Obama said, “No country should deny people their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but also no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere.”

Later that same year, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a full 30-minute speech regarding LGBTQ rights before the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

It was there that she famously told the United Nations delegates, “Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”

While Trump may TALK about standing in ‘solidarity’ with LGBTQ people, GLAAD’s ‘Trump Accountability Project’ just noted his administration’s 125th attack on the LGBTQ community since taking office.

Just a few of those attacks are:

Filing an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule against workplace protections for LGBTQ Americans

• Trump’s misguided ban on transgender military service members

Efforts to use ‘religious freedoms’ as a basis for legalizing LGBTQ discrimination

• Announcing plans for a new policy which would allow adoption agencies to deny LGBTQ couples the ability to adopt children based on so-called “religious exemptions”

So, let’s not get all cray-cray that the Donald is suddenly our full-throated advocate, ok?

Hillary Clinton Poses With 62k Of Her Emails At Italian Art Exhibit

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited an art installation by Kenneth Goldsmith at the Venice Biennale and posed for a photo with a replica of the Oval Office’s Resolute Desk and 62,000 pages of paper containing every single email sent from her private email server.

After spending about an hour flipping through pages and pages of her own emails, she told reporters, “It was and is still one of the strangest most absurd events in American political history. Anyone can go in and look at them, there’s nothing there. “

“The exhibition is further proof that nothing wrong or controversial can be found on these emails,” she added. “It makes them accessible to everyone and allows everyone to read them. … They are just a bunch of boring emails.”

As we all remember, Donald Trump spent much of the 2016 presidential campaign lambasting Clinton for using a private email server, which at the time, was not illegal.

Since being elected to office, it’s been widely reported that Trump’s daughter Ivanka has used private email herself in violation of federal records rules. Because irony is dead.

(lead image via Kenneth Goldsmith/Twitter)

Report: Russian Operatives Targeted Sanders Supporters To Weaken Hillary Clinton

Researchers studying Twitter data from the 2016 election say Russian operatives definitely targeted supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders in an effort to weaken Hillary Clinton's campaign.
Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders

Researchers studying Twitter data from the 2016 election say Russian operatives definitely targeted supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders in an effort to weaken Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

From The Hill:

A study by Clemson University researchers reported by The Washington Post found that thousands of tweets from Russian-owned accounts masquerading as conservative accounts supporting President Trump began targeting Sanders’s supporters shortly after the primary concluded.

“#BlackMenForBernie Leader Switches to Trump! I will Never Vote for Hillary, Welcome aboard the Trump Train,” read one tweet sent by a Russian account pretending to be a “Southern., Conservative Pro God, Anti Racism” Twitter user from Texas.

“Conscious Bernie Sanders supporters already moving towards the best candidate Trump! #Feel the Bern #Vote Trump 2016,” read another account known as “Red Louisiana News” that was actually operated by Russians.

About 12 percent of Sanders voters said they ended up voting for Trump over Clinton in the general election, according to the Post.

Still, the number of Sanders voters who supported Trump in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — states considered key to Trump’s victory — was higher than Trump’s margin of victory in those states.

“I think there is no question that Sanders was central to their strategy,” Darren Linvill, one of the two Clemson researchers behind the study, told the Post. “He was clearly used as a mechanism to decrease voter turnout for Hillary Clinton.”

Trump Trolls Hillary, Hillary Claps Back With ‘Mean Girls’ Meme

Why is Trump so obsessed with Hillary?
Why is Trump so obsessed with Hillary?

As I recently reported, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has definitively announced she will not be running for president in 2020.

Donald Trump couldn’t wait to twiddle his little thumbs over the keyboard of his iPhone to troll Clinton, writing, “(Crooked) Hillary Clinton confirms she will not run in 2020, rules out a third bid for White House.” Aw-shucks, does that mean I won’t get to run against her again? She will be sorely missed!”

(Insert sarcasm)

But Hillary clapped back FTW with a reference to Mean Girls:

Hillary Clinton: “I’m Not Running” In 2020

Hillary Clinton declares she won't run for president in 2020
Hillary Clinton declares she won’t run for president in 2020

From The Washington Post:

Hillary Clinton put to rest lingering speculation Monday night that she might launch another White House bid but vowed to remain active in politics, telling a local television station in New York that “I’m not going anywhere.”

“I’m not running, but I’m going to keep on working and speaking and standing up for what I believe,” Clinton said in an interview with News 12. “I want to be sure that people understand I’m going to keep speaking out. . . . What’s at stake in our country, the kind of things that are happening right now are deeply troubling to me.”

Clinton, a Democrat who lost the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump despite winning the popular vote, said she does not think she will run for any other elected office in the future, such as mayor of New York or governor of New York.

Hillary also mentions that she plans to have an active role in the 2020 elections, and has met in private with several of the declared Democrats running for president.

There are currently 14 Democrats in the hunt for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.