Odd: Ted Cruz Claims GOP Isn’t The Party Of The Rich

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) played ball with “the media” on his appearance on Morning Joe Tuesday morning.

During the show, Cruz says why he believes his economic plan is good for the poor.  His plan would cut taxes on the wealthy, which decreases tax revenue and increases deficit spending.  He also recommends cutting regulations, which encourages financial companies to make more risky investments.

Secular Talk

Anti-Extremism Summit In The U.S. Focuses On Exclusion And Lone-Wolf Attacks

Video by: LoneWolf Sager / AP

The White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism opened in the United States capital on Tuesday, February 17th. A group of 40 participants were at the beginning of the three-day event.

The summit was not just about the Islamic State, it also had a focus on American domestic issues.

“We all understand that in dealing with violent extremism, we need answers that go beyond a military answer,” said US Vice President Joe Biden. “We need answers that go beyond force. Countries, all of us including the United States, we have to work this from the ground up.

He added: “We have to work from the ground up and engage our communities and engage those who might be susceptible to being radicalized because they are marginalized.

Biden said societies need to provide immigrant communities with a sense of opportunity and a sense of belonging to counter radicalization.

“Societies have to provide an affirmative alternative for immigrant communities with a sense of opportunity, a sense of belonging –  and that will discredit the terrorist appeal to fear, isolation, hatred and resentment.”

An important issue at the summit is how to stop lone-wolf attacks, which is usually violence plotted by a single person who may not share their plans with anyone.

Attention was also paid to social media.

U.S. intelligence and officials from Homeland Security have said that social media campaigns by extremist groups have fueled recruitment and inspired lone wolves in cities including Paris, Copenhagen, Ottawa and Boston.

To counter the messages by ISIS and al-Qaeda, the US State Department will expand its Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications to amplify its own messages.

President Barack Obama is set to address the meetings twice with an emphasis on how civil society and the private sector have roles to play in countering violent extremism.

The meeting – which features speakers and participants from the US and abroad – has been in the works for months as part of a program the Obama administration began in 2011.

It comes just as a new report warns of a rise in violence by “lone wolves” or “leaderless resistance” groups composed of no more than two people.

It comes at a time when recent events seem connected to Islam: The shooting deaths last week of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, N.C., by a suspect who may have been motivated by religious hatred as well as other issues, and the shooting attacks that killed two and wounded five at a free speech event and synagogue in Copenhagen, Denmark, over the weekend, believed to have been inspired by Islamic radicalism.

The vice president upheld as examples the work of Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, where the Justice Department has launched a series of pilot programs involving local religious leaders, law enforcement and advocacy groups. Administration officials said one goal of the conference was for leaders from those cities to share best practices with others.

Overcoming distrust has been a challenge for federal officials. Some critics say the apprehension of young men – such as Christopher Lee Cornell, recently charged with plotting an attack on the US Capitol – amounts to legally questionable entrapment.

The Los Angeles program has drawn criticism from civil rights groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is worried that the program will infringe on Muslims’ freedom of speech and religion, and might hurt their public image.

The council’s national office issued a statement ahead of the summit questioning the effectiveness of programs closely tied to a government that many Muslims don’t trust.

“Credible community voices who are not viewed as ‘being in the government’s pocket’ are necessary,” it said.

More than 22 Somali men from Minnesota have gone to Somalia to fight for the radical group al-Shabab. Several others have gone or tried to go to Syria to fight for the Islamic State group.

“The most important lesson we’ve learned, and we don’t always practice it, but it’s that inclusion counts,” Biden said of the need to effectively integrate minority immigrant groups into American society, particularly Muslims. “Let me say it again: Inclusion counts. Inclusion counts.”

The Muslim Public Affairs Council in Washington has taken what it calls “a proactive approach to identifying and intervening individuals who may be susceptible to violent extremism.”

Authorities are studying whether the killing of the three Muslim students in Chapel Hill – allegedly by Craig Hicks – was a hate crime.  On his Facebook page, he had written: “I hate Islam just as much as (C)hristianity, but they have the right to worship in this country just as much as any others do.”

Though Hicks apparently acted alone (possibly set off by a dispute with the victims over parking spaces), it’s unclear whether he can be thought of as a violent extremist “lone wolf” in the usual sense.

In a report last week – “Age of the Wolf: A Study of the Rise of Lone Wolf and Leaderless Resistance Terrorism” – the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) examined more than 60 domestic terror incidents. Almost three-quarters of these were carried out or planned by a lone wolf, a single person acting without accomplices. Ninety percent of the incidents were the work of no more than two persons, according to the report.

The study, which included violence from both the radical right and homegrown jihadists from April 1, 2009 to Feb. 1, 2015, also found that a domestic terrorist attack or foiled attack occurred, on average, every 34 days.

“It’s important to recognize the trend away from organized groups committing acts of domestic terror,” said Mark Potok, SPLC senior fellow and editor of the report. “As Timothy McVeigh demonstrated with the Oklahoma City bombing, lone wolves and small cells of domestic terrorists can create massive carnage.”

“It is imperative that authorities, including those gathering at the White House next week, take this threat seriously. Anything less would be an invitation to disaster,” said Potok.

Some European publications found that not enough attention was paid to America’s own right-wing extremism, whereas some American news sources felt that not enough attention was paid to ISIS or religious-related terms like “Muslim” extremism.

The Guardian:  “On Tuesday, the White House will convene a national summit on combatting violent extremism – but, despite a plethora of attacks by domestic right-wing extremists and the increase in white supremacist hate groups, no one expects that to be on the agenda.”

Washington Times:  “From Afghanistan and borderlands of Pakistan to Iraq and North Africa, radical Islamists eager to spread their strict interpretation of the Muslim faith and topple Western values have bombed, beheaded and slaughtered — undermining the White House narrative and raising questions about its strategy.”

Bloomberg claimed that the term “Muslim extremism” won’t be used much:  “President Barack Obama and his staff have gone to lengths to avoid characterizing the ideology driving Islamic State and other terrorist groups as religious extremism. The semantic exercise is intended to avoid legitimizing acts of terror as expressions of religious belief. It’s also part of a strategy to draw in the domestic Muslim leaders who Obama is leaning on…”

More:

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/anti-extremism-summit-in/1667790.html

Mika Brzezinski On New Morning Joe Female-Focused Half-Hour and Ratings Race

MSNBC's Brzezinski to host events for women

Mika Brzezinski has become something of a poster child for navigating the rocky terrain of being a working mother.

After three best-selling books — the most recent, 2013’s Obsessed, explores her struggles with food and body image — Joe Scarborough’s able foil is expanding her brand on MSNBC with a series of conferences and her own female-focused half-hour on Morning Joe. The latter has been up and running unofficially at 8:30 a.m. for several weeks.

Guests booked for March include D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Bobbi Brown and Arianna Huffington. And in April Brzezinski will hit the road with a series of conferences that dovetail with her book Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You Want. The Know Your Value Tour will kick off in Philadelphia, followed by Washington, D.C., Chicago, Boston and Orlando, and feature panels of experts, keynotes and workshops designed to help women achieve the lives they want — at home and in the workplace.

The tour will be featured on MSNBC and also will have a robust internet extension (msnbc.com/know-your-value) that will include video streams of the conferences.

Last year, Morning Joe was overtaken by CNN’s New Day, which has bested Joe in the adults 25-54 demographic for seven months. CNN recently taunted the show with a full-page ad in The New York Times, but Scarborough brushes off the competition: “The people who watch our show run the world.”

Brzezinski and Scarborough reveal how the new segment came together, the ratings race and booking high-profile guests.

Hollywood Reporter:  How did the 8:30 segment evolve?

Brzezinski: It was Joe’s idea and something we’ve been talking about for years in different ways. Knowing Your Value really resonated, and still people come up and talk to me about it: the impact of women’s success, women breadwinners, on their lives and relationships.

Scarborough: Everywhere we went people would go, “Let Mika talk more!” So we have really reversed roles here. Mika runs it, [and] I’m Mika’s sidekick. This is a great format for her to own, to grow, and one that she didn’t ask for, [but] one that [executive producer] Alex [Korson] and I wanted her to take on because we knew how great she is.

Why didn’t you want it?

Brzezinski: We actually had different ideas for the half-hour, and I didn’t think of myself [for it], which is funny because now I am asking women who get promotions, “How did you do it? Did you step up and ask for it?” This is just something that evolved and seemed like we needed to do it; it’s interesting and it’s time. These conversations keep popping up. We’re meeting more and more women who are confronting these issues.

There are several female panel shows in daytime now. Are you mindful of differentiating what you’re doing?

Brzezinski: It’s going to be a challenge, and we’re a work in progress and we’ll be transparent about that. I think the risk is to pander and to go for the low-hanging fruit and to do stuff that’s talky. We want to address substantial issues that impact women.

Scarborough: [At 8:30] Mika is coming on and she’s running it and I’m either in the control room or I’m her co-host. And we’ll have more of a focus on women’s issues, but it has to be consistent with the smart talk that we have the first two and a half hours.

NY Prosecutor To Ask Questions To Gov. Cuomo About Sheldon Silver Corruption

MSNBC

MSNBC’s Ari Melber joins Morning Joe to look at a new interview he conducted with U.S. Attorney in Manhattan Preet Bharara, who recently indicted Democratic NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on corruption charges.

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro Reportedly Claims U.S. Behind Coup Attempt

The US is behind the attempted coup in Venezuela – that is the accusation President Nicolas Maduro has leveled amid widespread protests back home. And it’s none other than Vice-president Joe Biden who’s behind the entire operation, Maduro alleges.

The socialist head of state said that not only were the national and international right-wing planning actions to destabilize the government, but that Biden himself was meeting with other Latin American governments to arrange the assault.

“They have gone to talk with the governments of the continent to plan the overthrow of my government,” Maduro said Sunday during a ceremony marking the birth of Ezequiel Zamora, a key figure in Venezuela’s history.

“I accuse the vice president of the United States, Joe Biden, personally of having spoken with the presidents and prime ministers,” he added.

Maduro, whose government has faced a series of economic and violent destabilizations over the past years, which have intensified recently, went on to call for unity in the country and for strength in the armed forces against these attempts, according to Telesur.

More:

http://rt.com/news/228495-maduro-venezuela-us-coup/

Joe Biden Preparing To Run For President: Rupert Murdoch Via Twitter

JoeBiden1

This could be good news for Democrats wanting a choice.

According to Bloomberg, on Sunday, Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter to share his own insights on how the Democratic field may be shaping up.

He tweeted: “Guess what! Joe Biden actively preparing to run against Hillary. Maybe others like Kerry.”

Murdoch gave no details on how he had come upon the knowledge that Vice President Biden, and possibly Clinton’s successor at the State Department, would challenge Clinton for the party’s presidential nomination.

A Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll of Iowa Democrats released over the weekend found Biden coming in a distant third place to Clinton and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Biden received just nine percent support in the poll, while Clinton was the first choice of 56 percent of those surveyed.

Last week, Good Morning America host George Stephanopolous asked “Uncle Joe” whether he would seek the Democratic nomination, and Biden left the possibility open.

“Yes, there is a chance,” Biden said. “But I haven’t made my mind up about that. We’ve got a lot of work to do between now and then. There’s plenty of time.”

Former Tea Party Representative Joe Walsh On Campaign Donations


TYT Network

Joe Walsh is a former Illinois Republican congressman who was in office from 2011 to 2013.

He’s now hosts the Joe Walsh Show, which airs on WIND-AM 560 in Chicago and WNYM-AM 970 in New York.

While in office, Walsh was a Tea Party favorite and vocal critic of the Obama Administration, going against government spending, Obamacare, taxes, gun control and immigration policy.

Here he talks about campaign finance and raising donations and money for his campaign.

What If We Just Sent People Over 50 To War?

Secular Talk

Podcast host Joe Rogan talks about a plan he has to end stupid wars.

Joe Rogan is a standup comedian and host of The Joe Rogan Experience, a long form podcast on iTunes, Ustream, and Sirius XM.

MSNBC: CIA Torture Report Will Be Damaging Overseas

“Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd joins Morning Joe to discuss John Brennan’s news conference on the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA and his upcoming interview with former VP Dick Cheney.

Morning Joe video.

Does Morning Joe Support ‘Rectal Rehydration’ For Prisoners?

Scarborough justifies the CIA’s torture by saying, “If we went back to world war II and we dissected everything that American generals did, I promise you, if you give me $40 million dollars, I could take any general and I could turn them into a war criminal.”

He seems to have no problems with the CIA programs in the Senate’s torture report.

TYT video.