Truth in Media’s Joshua Cook discussed with RT’s Anissa Naouai his thoughts on the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the U.S. “It’s not who they are voting for, it’s who they are voting against,” said Cook.
Cook added, “They are voting against the establishment elite, the ruling class, and they rejected, in Trump’s case, what the Republican Party actually represents. Voters are rejecting America’s foreign policy, the big banks, corporations and unfair trade deals. Trump has tapped into that anger.”
Cook believes there is a major paradigm shift happening in American politics right now. Watch the entire interview above, which starts at the 2:30 mark.
Readers have asked for it, and now it’s here. The Truth In Media Project is excited to announce the launch of Truth In Media podcasts, featuring robust political commentary as well as comprehensive coverage of news and issues largely avoided by the mainstream media.
Seasoned podcast veteran Kurt Wallace will be hosting The Flow, which will feature in-depth interviews with public figures and bring dialogue to a level largely left untouched by most interviewers. Wallace explains:
“The Flow, hosted by veteran podcaster Kurt Wallace, will feature personal conversations with well known individuals that we may all know, but… do we really know them? The Flow is all about being in that zone where we shed the pre-conceived ideas about the persona of the guests and bring their underlying nature to the surface. We’ll discover why we see things the way we do. What happens in our lives that shape our philosophy – the struggles and triumphs that bring us to what really matters in our individual worlds. What is that certain element underneath the surface of the cool things our guests do that make them special? What is it that drives us and makes us happy? A lot of time is spent on what we can do to make us free but what is it that makes us free on the inside? We’ll do this by sharing with you an introspective personal conversation where we really get to know the person and not just the persona.”
The Flow premieres August 4th, 2015, with Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne as Wallace’s first guest.
Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook will also be hosting his own podcast called Beer and Politics. Cook has already interviewed a number of politicians, journalists, experts and individuals including Curtis Ellis, Dr. Nafeez Ahmed, Senator Bob Graham, Congressman Mark Sanford, Dr. Tom DiLorenzo, and Brad Hoff. Beer and Politics will feature discussions of a variety of issues over drinks with political figures, activists and experts:
“I wanted to create a show where regular people can get together, have a cold brew- cigar and spirits- and talk about the really important issues of the day. Beer and Politics is about breaking through the illusion of the left right paradigm. On the show we’re going to have great guests, politicians, and even brew masters,” says Cook.
Joshua Cook’s Beer and Politics premieres on July 11th, 2015.
Is the Republican Party ready to accept gay marriage?
One group is spearing heading an effort to reform the national Republican Party platform on marriage to do just that.
The group, Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, which started in 2012, has backed ballot measures for marriage equality in four states. Now, the more than 60 members hope to convince state Republicans, especially national delegates, that opposing gay marriage is a losing issue for the Republican Party.
Now the group is touring the Presidential primary states leading up to the Republican National Convention to meet with like-minded GOP activists and elected official to discuss their campaign.
The group visited South Carolina where Ed J. Lopez spoke with BenSwann.com’s Joshua Cook. So far the group has already visited New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada.
During the 2012 presidential primaries, Lopez served as a member of the Leadership Council at Standing Up for New Hampshire Families and on former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman’s New Hampshire State Steering Committee. He is also the national Vice Chairperson of the Republican Liberty Caucus, as group trying to influence the GOP to embrace free markets, low taxes and individual liberties.
“One reason I’m really passionate about the issue is that we have found that it is a gateway issue for a lot of people that would otherwise vote Republican,” said Lopez.
He also said that ⅔ of Republicans under the age of 40 support gay marriage. And that 52 percent of Republicans 50 and younger also support the freedom to marry.
“There is movement and momentum in that direction,” he explained. “That’s the bottom line.”
Lopez said that unless the Republican Party follows suit that they’re building barriers in front of new membership.
The problem, he said, with the GOP platform is that its chosen and shaped by very few people. The group hopes to help people become delegates for the national convention, which could help the seachange.
“We’re looking to get new blood in there,” he added. “And making sure that the language of the platform is reflective of what we feel most Republicans embrace or are being to embrace.”
He said the all language that could appear homophobic should be removed.
This issue, Lopez said, is mostly settled in the public eye with more and more states allowing gay marriage.
“If the GOP is not willing to make the change to the platform it may make the GOP irrelevant,” he added.
To listen to Joshua Cook’s full interview with Lopez, below:
A grand jury was ordered to stop investigating South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell. The judge ruled that only the Republican’s colleagues and friends in the state House Ethics Committee can begin a probe into allegations of corruption against him.
In 2013, the South Carolina Policy Council filed a complaint with Alan Wilson, Republican state attorney general. The complaint accused Harrell of misusing his position by allegedly pressuring regulators on behalf of his own business and improperly reimbursing himself $325,000 in campaign funds for use of his plane. After a 10-month probe by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), Wilson convened a grand jury to investigate the matter in January.
Circuit Court Judge Casey Manning held a hearing on whether Wilson or the state House Ethics Committee should consider the complaint against Harrell whose lawyer argued that the ethics committee, filled with Harrell’s friends and colleagues, alone has the authority to state such an investigation. If the committee found a reason to continue, then it would pass along potential violations to the attorney general.
The circuit court judge agreed and ruled in Harrell’s favor, writing that Manning found that Harrell’s alleged misdeeds would constitute civil, not criminal, violations of the state’s ethics laws.
“We are pleased with the court’s ruling that the politically motivated exceptions forced on this matter were inappropriate and that the proper legal process — not a political process — should be followed,” said Harrell, reported the Huffington Post.
The South Carolina Policy Council, on the other hand, is not pleased with the outcome.
“I can’t emphasize enough how bad this is and how dangerous it is,” Ashley Landess, president of the South Carolina Policy Council. “It is about citizens’ right to an advocate in the criminal justice system when it comes to politicians and corruption.”
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson who is appealing Manning’s ruling said on The Bryan Crabtree Show that Manning did not apply the law correctly.
Wilson said there were pages of our argument completely omitted form his order. “It (Judge Manning’s ruling) didn’t even recognize the criminal SLED investigation … he never ever once mentioned that there was a 10 month criminal conducted by SLED, he never once mentioned that,” said Wilson.
Harry Kibler, founder of RINO HUNT, and 9 candidates running in the Republican Party primary organized a press conference yesterday to speak out against Judge Manning’s ruling. The press conference highlighted four points: the corruption in the General Assembly, a call to abolish the self-policing policies in the House and Senate, a call to reform the Judicial Selection process, and support for the Attorney General Alan Wilson to continue to investigate Speaker Bobby Harrell.
In many ways, it’s at the primary level that elections are won and lost. In competitive races, primaries give constituents the chance to choose the candidate who is most likely to win the race, to vet and test both their principles and ability to persuade people from the other side of the aisle. In races where a particular party holds a strong advantage, the primary is where either the moderate or the principled candidate wins. One of South Carolina’s strongest conservative education activists is running in the June 10, 2014 Republican Primary to be Superintendent of Education.
Sheri Few first saw the problems with America’s school system when her own children were going through public school. She saw education take a back seat to liberal bias, which was pushed in nearly every class and discipline. This prompted her to form South Carolina Parents Involved in Education, a non-profit dedicated to opposing bias in schools. Few and the organization have both turned much of their attention to Common Core.
Five months ago, Few told Benswann.com’s Joshua Cook, “Common Core is a federal takeover of education!” That statement went viral and even got conservative blogger Michelle Malkin to react.
In an interview with Cook, Few discussed her reasons for running, and liberal bias in public education. She said that in her time traveling the state educating people on Common Core’s problems, she listened to concerned parents and teachers who were afraid to speak up, as well as legislators whose apathy on the issue concerned her. “Common Core has caused parents to really wake up,” she said “And to look deeply at the curriculum, and what their children are being taught. And they’re beginning to realize that for decades their children have been steeped in liberal bias in the content of the curriculum, so I’m going to put forth policies and work on looking at liberal content.”
Her goals in running are to eliminate Common Core in South Carolina – either with the State Legislature or simply using the Superintendent’s resources – and to get rid of bias in public education. In the interview Few discussed Haley’s intention to sign any anti-Common Core bill passed by the state legislature. With her behind the bill, all that’s required to eliminate it is its passing the State Legislature.
Her stance on Common Core will appeal to many, as will her history of strongly opposing the federal program in South Carolina.
Five months ago Benswann.com broke the story that Lt. Col. Bill Connor was considering a run against two term incumbent, Senator Lindsey Graham. Connor told Joshua Cook that he was an “ultimate outsider” and wanted to fight to regain our Constitutional Republic. Connor officially announced his run last November making him the fourth challenger following, Richard Cash, Nance Mace, and state senator Lee Bright. Last week Cook interviewed Connor at the South Carolina Tea Party Convention and asked him his thoughts on: NSA spying, drones, foreign policy, fiscal policy, federal reserve, national debt, Obamacare, Nullification, and the 2nd Amendment.
Last summer, the Clerk of Court in Franklin County, N.C., Patricia Chastain discovered documents dating back to 1840 in their courthouse basement. After organizing a project with the local historical society to reserve these valuable documents, the government intervened. And now the documents have been destroyed. Lost forever.
Some records were ruined by the mold, but most were completely viable.
The collection of documents reviewed by the Heritage Society of Franklin County included Chattel mortgages, court documents, land transfer deeds, prohibition era-documents, delayed birth certificates, financial documents and county bonds.
The group’s board member and historian, Diane Torrent told Benswann.com’s Joshua Cook how excited she was when she analyzed this impressive collection.
“When I saw the Chattel mortgages I thought it was manna from heaven,” said Torrent. “Each book or box opened produced a new treasure.”
Torrent said that people in the community donated to help fund this document project. The donations included office space, computers, scanners, desks and filling cabinets – even a local judge paid the insurance to guarantee the project’s success. Over 30 people donated their time.
Torrent explained why these documents were so important to genealogists and historians: “The U.S. Census is done every 10 years, but in 1890, the census was burned. All the census records for this date was lost. For example, the census records for 1880 jumps to 1900. So for researchers, any document that can fill in that 1890 gap is valuable and precious. It’s another tool for historians and genealogists,” she said.
“Chattel mortgages are not vital records, but they are important because they can show relationships in the community in that period of time. They can show neighbors borrowing from each other. The records also include names and dates, which is very important for researchers,” she added.
Torrent said that they found original immigration papers, which is surprising since the county, which is located in North Carolina, is landlocked. Another unique find was a letter from a soldier from World War I who wrote the clerk of courts to make sure his sister was being taken care of.
“This is extremely valuable to the family. It’s valuable for the community,” said Torrent.
Torrent said that trouble started when she contacted the North Carolina Department of Archives to ask for help with the process. The State Archives asked the Heritage Society about their cursory inventory and asked about the types of documents and dates they found. They told the Heritage Society that they would get back with them with an official assessment.
Torrent continued to work on the records, but after the Heritage Society began to archive the documents in their new office, Angela Harris, the county manager told them to “stand down.”
According to Torrent, the assessment from the State Archives had finally arrived. The documents were worthless and should be destroyed, the state contended. They claimed that the records could not be preserved by the Heritage Society because of the chance of mold contamination.
The State Archives reportedly came in and confiscated some of the historical records. Torrent asked the State Archives why the documents were being confiscated if they were dangerous and of no value. Their reply was, they’re “clean,” Torrent said.
She said that those “clean” documents were picked up from the floor of the basement and placed into white boxes. Her protests were ignored.
The hazmat team was called by the county manager. All of the documents in the basement, including documents not infected by mold, were destroyed.
Torrent says they still do not have answers. “None of our questions have been answered, none of our phone calls have been returned,” she said.
Torrent questions why the documents were destroyed and why there was a lack of transparency.
“I think it was poor judgment,” said Torrent. “They did not realize the value of historic documents to the community at large. They don’t know the public. Some people don’t care about history; they just think it’s junk.”
“This to me is a difference of what we hold valuable. I hold this county’s history valuable. These were not mundane records, these were historical documents and now they are lost forever.”
One blogger wrote, “My suspicion is that in and amongst all those now destroyed records, was a paper trail associated with one or more now prominent, politically connected NC families that found its wealth and success through theft, intimidation and outrageous corruption.”
The actions by the state and county officials have angered residents. An online petition was created claiming that Northern “carpetbaggers” ordered the documents to be destroyed.
“Are there African Americans living in Franklin County, North Carolina today whose ancestors owned land stolen by carpetbaggers?” the petition asks.
Some in Franklin County are calling for county manager’s resignation. Watch the video below:
“The tax payers of Franklin paid $8,000 to destroy the documents, including the basement cleanup. I could have laminated every document for less than $8,000,” said Torrent.
Torrent’s advice to other historical societies facing similar challenges is, “get loud now. Get vocal very early.”
Benswann.com called the county manager’s office but was unable to get a response.
In Colorado, January 1, 2014 was a much anticipated date. It was the first day that marijuana became available for sale for recreational use. Long lines formed in the snowy weather outside 24 of the state’s 37 licensed shops, which opened at 8am. People from all over the country have been watching to see how they can expect a marijuana legalization campaign unroll in their own states, or perhaps nationwide.
Though smoking marijuana in public remains illegal in Colorado – much as drinking alcohol in public is illegal – only two citations were issued during the day. Eating pot-laced baked goods, such as truffles, cookies and brownies, in public is much harder to track. The fact remains, though, that there have been no complaints about ill behavior, even in the initial fervor and novelty of marijuana’s statewide legalization. The rollout has virtually unanimously been considered smooth and hardly noticeable to non users.
The most noticeable quirk of the program has been the distribution of pot licenses. Almost all the licensed shops are in Denver, but no shops at all were licensed in Boulder, Colorado’s third largest city and famously socially progressive college town. Part of this is due to the fact that Boulder County has been slow in putting its local marijuana regulations in place, but in part this has been due to decisions at the state level. Boulder’s first shops will open in late January at the earliest. Many Boulderites traveled to Denver to take part in the festivities.
As Washington State and the country of Uruguay complete their regulatory frameworks and prepare to open their first licensed marijuana shops, all eyes are on Colorado. Many of Colorado’s regulations were intended to satisfy Department of Justice requirements. These include stricter limits on the amount of pot out-of-staters are allowed to purchase, stipulations the pot must be used within the state, limits on hours retailers can be open, and, of course a minimum age of 21 for any pot purchasers.
Though the fears of legalized marijuana’s detractors have not been realized, neither have all the hopes of its supporters. Competition with medicinal marijuana has not pushed the price of medicinal marijuana down, and contrary to many people’s expectations, the number of pot users has risen dramatically since the substance was legalized. It has increased demand for the drug as opposed to simply filling demand, meaning that black markets will continue to exist. Shop owners state that they will be sold out soon.
Colorado’s marijuana legalization has in many ways served as a testing ground for the whole country, and indeed the world.
Groups like the Tenth Amendment Center praised Colorado’s historic event. After the first day of legal pot sales – which brought in over $1 million in sales – the Tenth Amendment Center wrote, “Yesterday, the people of Colorado nullified Washington DC and its unconstitutional federal laws banning marijuana – in a big, big way.”
The nullification movement has become a popular one. Many states nullified federal laws such as, NDAA, federal gun laws, and drug laws as in Colorado’s case. South Carolina lawmakers are holding an Obamacare nullification rally at the state capital on Jan 14th to gain support for the South Carolina Freedom of Health Care Protection Act (H3101). If passed, lawmakers would use an anti-commandeering mechanism that would kill Obamacare in the state.
Like the Colorado law, it essentially nullifies federal law. Judge Napolitano argues that states have the Constitutional right to nullify federal laws that are unconstitutional. “A state’s noncompliance makes federal enforcement nearly impossible,” says Napolitano.
According to the Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly, Colorado projects $578.1 million a year in combined wholesale and retail marijuana sales to yield $67 million in tax revenue. That’s a lot of money for cash strapped states.
Right now, all eyes are on Colorado, and other states are taking notes.
After both The New York Times and The Guardian editorial boards published editorials asking for clemency or at least a deal for whistleblower Edward Snowden, the debate continues. Is Snowden a hero or a traitor?
This week, on CNN with host Jake Tapper, a fiery debate broke out between Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus and Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald controls the majority of Snowden’s leaked documents.
Marcus told Tapper that Snowden should have tested the constitutional system and taken his punishment instead of fleeing the country.
This did not sit well with Greenwald who fired back at Marcus and condemned the Washington media establishment.
“Ruth Marcus’ argument exemplifies everything that’s really horrible about the D.C. media … People in Washington continuously make excuses for those in power when they break the law,” said Greenwald.
“People in Washington who are well-connected to the government, like she is, do not believe that the law applies to them … That’s what people in Washington do. They would never call on someone like James Clapper, who got caught lying to Congress, which is a felony, to be prosecuted. They only pick on people who embarrass the government and the administration to which they are loyal like Edward Snowden. It’s not about the rule of law,” he added.
Greenwald stated that Snowden knew there was no way inside the system to make his fellow citizens aware of what their government was doing to their privacy.
General Michael Hayden, the former director of the National Security Agency, said on Sunday’s Face the Nation that Snowden doesn’t deserve our adulation.
Hayden pointed out that Snowden, who he said was responsible for the “most serious hemorrhaging of American secrets in the history of American espionage,” has openly offered to leak additional information to the governments of Germany and Brazil in exchange for asylum. “I think there’s an English word that describes selling American secrets to another government, and that’s ‘treason,’” Hayden said.
In late November, clemency for Snowden was shot down by the White House and leading House and Senate intelligence officials. The Guardian reported that the Obama administrator was offering no deal; they wanted Snowden to return to the United States to face trial.
Despite the Obama administration’s position, there is a dramatic trend shifting in Snowden’s favor as new NSA revelations come out. A top Obama official, Anne-Marie Slaughter, the former State Department director of policy planning, said she agreed with an editorial in The New York Times that argued Snowden was “clearly justified in believing that the only way to blow the whistle on this kind of intelligence-gathering was to expose it to the public and let the resulting furor do the work his superiors would not.”
Will America’s longest war result in chaos? A U.S. diplomatic cable that was released by WikiLeaks paints a dismal picture of the reality in Afghanistan.
According to the Washington Post, “a new American intelligence assessment on the Afghan war predicts that the gains the United States and its allies have made during the past three years are likely to have been significantly eroded by 2017, even if Washington leaves behind a few thousand troops and continues bankrolling the impoverished nation.”
The prediction of insurgents taking back control of Afghanistan and the failures of U.S. foreign policy is not surprising though.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration, couldn’t tell congress how much the U.S. actually spends annually in Afghanistan.
Benswann.com’s Joshua Cook reported that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) asked the Obama administration’s top Afghanistan specialists: (1) How much is the U.S. spending in Afghanistan? (2) How many American troops have been killed in Afghanistan this year?
When none of them could give him an answer, Rohrabacher responded, “We’re supposed to believe that you fellas have a plan that’s going to end up in a positive way in Afghanistan? Holy cow!”
According to CNN, support for the war in Afghanistan has dipped below 20%, according to a new national poll, making the country’s longest military conflict arguably its most unpopular one as well.
But one of the most disturbing aspects of U.S. foreign policy is the refusal to expose the fact that the Saudi government, America’s so-called ally, is funding global terrorism.
The Independent’s Patrick Cockburn reported that WikiLeaks released a telegraph sent by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009 which firmly states “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” Mrs. Clinton reiterates in the same message “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan] and other terrorist groups.”
The 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism (JASTA) coordinator, David White, told Benswann.com’s Joshua Cook, “We’re making a decision about how to leave the longest war in our history without knowing the exact details of who was behind what got us there, and who supported it. It’s still being held secret.”
“If there were ever a time to put our cards on the table as we make our decisions, it’s now. We almost went into Syria … we got to the door in making that decision without ever discussing what it means for us to be doing things as a proxy ally for Saudi Arabia,” said White.
The media went ballistic when A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” reality star, Phil Robertson voiced his crude opinions regarding homosexuality to GQ magazine. His comments caused an uproar that led to his suspension from the show. The gay activist group GLAAD condemned his remarks, while fans, politicians and conservative commentators came to Robertson’s rescue.
The backlash from Phil’s suspension was predictable. Millions of Americans bought all the Duck Dynasty gear they could find and many watched the show for the first time, boosting its brand name even higher.
Many leaders threatened to boycott Cracker Barrel if they didn’t put “Dynasty” products back on the shelves after pulling them due to the controversy. Cracker Barrel complied with their demands. So did A&E who agreed to allow Phil back on the show.
The right hailed this as a major victory for their culture war, while the corporations enjoyed their record sales. But was this Duck Dynasty controversy engineered by corporations to boost profits right before the Christmas holiday?
Industry experts told The Hollywood Reporter, “Phil Robertson’s anti-gay comments and subsequent suspension could wind up boosting sales of Duck Dynasty merchandise and even drive up ratings for an already red-hot show.”
Duck Dynasty is the highest rated reality show in history and many of the fans are faith-driven consumers. Chris Stone states that faith-driven group of consumers represent 25 percent of the U.S. population or about 46 million people at a minimum. He estimates they have $1.8 trillion in retail buying power.
Last year, the “backlash” of Chick-Fil-A CEO’s controversial remarks on homosexual marriage resulted in the record growth and profit. Millions of people turned out to support the restaurant chain in the name of free speech and traditional marriage.
Like the Chick-Fil-A controversy, Duck Dynasty resulted in increased sales and heightened brand awareness.
Was this was all a sick stunt by Disney Co. who owns both A&E and ABC News to boost sales? I hope not. But given the history of the media it wouldn’t surprise me. The ABC News video below definitely looks more like public relations than actual journalism. Do you agree?