Tag Archives: RNC

Strange Dreams

Last night I dreamed I was hired as a nursing assistant to take care of Donald Trump. Coming after deliberately avoiding political coverage for the weekend, I found this dream an unwelcome excursion by the Republican Party into my psyche.


The awful, awful week Trump has had since Hillary’s post-DNC convention trampoline bounce has been something to behold. The backlash in reaction to Trump’s comments against Khizr Khan and his family sent a large number of stalwart middle-of-the road Republicans literally to the Hills — as in Mrs. Clinton. Seeing the abyss awaiting on Election Day, the Republican National Committee — the group in charge of electing Republicans to the White House and Congress — was compelled to take @realDonaldTrump out to pasture.

I saw no Trump tweets re-tweeted over the weekend. Or at least nothing that would add more gasoline to the fire still smouldering after Trump’s Twitter meltdown last weekend. If there were tweets, they were measured. It appears the campaign took over his Twitter account to make him appear more grounded. The real Donald Trump was missing in action, muzzled to canned campaign talking points and sound bytes.

I know given my record of coverage here my dream of feeling compassion for the man is out of character. To dream of taking care of and feeling pity for the Donald was more alarming than the other dream I had earlier last night, of dispatching a serial murderer from my community.

But that alarm is for reasons other than what you think. I am not missing Mr. Trump. I miss the thing about Trump the political candidate that makes him so compelling. A few weeks ago in “Day One”, I made a comment which I expand here: the degree of fear projected on us (by the campaign) is toxic — radioactive. It is also addictive. It triggers intense feelings of fear and anger, which is followed by depression and powerlessness. And it’s that powerless void that “Strong Men” want to fill.

Trump’s negative stimulus enlivens the survival part of the brain, which thrives on it; and it gives people who have difficulty expressing themselves or don’t have means to express what they feel a chance to say what they really feel, ‘politically correct’ or not. The Trump stimulus provides vehicle and validation to express the aggressive feelings bubbling underneath our American skin. That release, as well as our horrified reaction to it, becomes deeply gratifying.

In a sense it all sounds like the very essence of methamphetamine’s appeal. The glory of the first adrenal rush, which ultimately leads one down the road to ruin. Which is why the new, improved-and-muted Trump — introduced to us by the forward motion of his ascendant from a proud and overbearing Leo, on its last anaretic degree, lunging toward zero Virgo — is indeed a strange sight.

As Eric described this point about Trump, excerpted here from his column, What’s Up With Trump? Let’s Check his Progressed Chart:

The Sun in Leo these past 30 years has coincided with Trump’s rise as the Republican candidate, which he seemed to do on the force of personality (a good image of Sun in the ascendant degree). I would say he’s proceeded with the force of his ego, but the correct psychological term is id.

Trump’s progressed Sun is not only crossing his rising degree; it’s ending a 30-year cycle and changing signs, all at the same time. The sign change is from Leo to Virgo. His Sun has been in its own sign for all those years — a masculine, hot, fiery, fixed sign. It’s now about to enter Virgo, a feminine, cool, moist, mutable sign.

Virgo presents challenges for many men, because it’s just so feminine. Any well-adapted Virgo man has a touch of transgender to him…we are seeing Trump, who has lived veiled in his own 12th house for three decades, emerge as the person who he really is…then his hot, fiery, macho, out-of-control Sun is about to get cooled off by Virgo. For him this will feel like being extinguished.

However, there is nothing especially creative about Trump. In true toxic 12th house style, he seems on the brink of losing his mind. Now he will find himself in some other state, as if he’s woken up from a 30-year bender.

Trump isn’t speaking extemporaneously. At least not today. Now he speaks — uncomfortably — from a teleprompter. He is a lion on a leash of iron chained to a wall. It must feel very strange to him. It feels strange to me, which may explain why I have feelings of ‘missing’ him. He has portrayed himself as such an absurdly terrible — almost evil — candidate in such a laughable way over the last year that it was easy and convenient to despise him. He was the obvious black-hatted, mustache-twirling candidate.

This is not to say the toned down Trump will be any better. He’s just more controlled. His arguments and policy bites are more or less Party line: the terrible cafeteria food that is the Republican Party platform of trickle-down economics with a side helping of misogyny and racism. Many believe that Donald Trump the Candidate was planted on the American electorate by the CIA, Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party to get Hillary elected President. Personally, I don’t believe any one of them good enough to do that.

Trump managed on his own, using his brand of id-identified politics to tap into and release the toxic build-up of economic, racial and sexual tension rising to a climax into this country. He did it with deadly efficiency. In that way, he serves a greater social purpose, one that he himself never anticipated. This, on a spiritual level, may ultimately be seen as the point of his campaign — at least from our perspective.


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I have been covering American politics on the web for the last 14 years — since George W. Bush started waging war on Iraq. The polarization of US politics began as a fissure started by a Supreme Court selection of the President in 2000, erupting at the false flag explosion of the Twin Towers.

That fissure collapsed into a great divide in this country which, over the last decade, destroyed civility and more moderate voices in both Republican and Democratic parties.

The end result has been a maddening, life-threatening inertia in government. Trump’s voice provided us — even as negative feedback — a necessary mirror to see how badly that divide has damaged us, and how much more we need not only to grow away from that damage, but to grow up into something much healthier as communities and as a country.

Which brings me back to my original point: compassion towards our enemy, represented by Trump, as a case for compassion for ourselves. As a person who has been through abusive relationships, it wasn’t until I recognized I needed to forgive myself for being involved with such a destructive person that I then began to choose more healthy relationships.

As my friend, a community healer, said to me this weekend: “This country is going through a battle between the dark and the light.” Not in the candidates — they are only symbols — but in our reactions to them.  The healer also said, “We’re getting ready to move out of the womb, setting ourselves up to be born. It’s going to be difficult, but we are moving into something new.”

Our adversaries, like all of our relationships, are a mirror of ourselves. In the meantime, we will have much to do as a nation to heal deep rifts that divide us. We are going to get to work to be healthier — to dream more brightly. I see this all not as a dream, but a possible future. A future that yearns for us to reach it.

Day One

I started writing this article Friday morning, one day after the Republican National Convention concluded business. According to their nominee Mr. Trump, the entire world outside my door should be a flaming paper bag of dog shit by now, and he is the only one who will save us from it. I am going to step outside a minute today to check on that and will be right back.


Okay. I have checked the world and confirmed it’s not entirely a flaming paper bag full of dog shit. It is, however, in a transition period between the end of the Republican National Convention and the beginning of the Democratic National Convention.

It appears as though this transition was written as a screenplay by John Le Carre and Richard Condon. For those not familiar with spy thrillers, Le Carre and Condon are (respectively) the authors of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Manchurian Candidate.

Outside of a spy novel plot, what has happened thus far in the 2016 American presidential campaign seems pretty fantastical. It all started off normally enough. On Friday, Mrs. Clinton successfully introduced her running mate Tim Kaine to the rest of the country at the Democratic ticket’s rally in Miami, Florida. Then, while that was happening, WikiLeaks dumped thousands of emails from the DNC’s servers — particularly from DNC leaders Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Amy Dacey and Brad Marshall — which showed the DNC may have colluded with the Clinton campaign against the Sanders campaign.

Although the content of the emails were individual, personal exchanges and suggestions by DNC leadership on how the Clinton campaign could use Sanders’ atheism as a means to stem the Sanders campaign’s insurgency, those suggestions were not used by the Clinton campaign. What the leak did do successfully was to throw the proverbial turd in the punch bowl of the Democratic National Convention. Its timing was perfect, ripping off the scabs from the wounds of die-hard Sanders supporters and delegates who felt cheated by Sanders’ loss in the primaries, thereby creating a contentious Day 1 for the Clinton-Kaine celebration.

But then the story gets even weirder. Over the weekend, the Clinton campaign accused Russia of tampering with American politics, citing that Russians hacked DNC email servers to benefit Donald Trump. The FBI, for their part, believe the same.

For those new to this storyline, the Putin-Trump connection started emerging long before this DNC email hack was reported by the press. Josh Marshall’s article in Talking Points Memo, the Washington Post, and Slate all cover Trump’s Putin connection and its relevance to the campaign, which in a nutshell is this: On the campaign trail, Trump has called for a new partnership with Moscow and overhauling NATO, the allied military force seen as the chief protector of pro-Western nations near Russia. And Trump has surrounded himself with a team of advisers who have or have had financial ties to Russia.

That advisory team includes Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort, partner in the lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelley, which is featured in the Center for Public Integrity’s Report, The Torturers’ Lobby.  Manafort is a long-time friend and ally of Viktor Yanukovych, former President of Ukraine (elected 2010), who was sympathetic to Russia’s agenda for the region. He was deposed in 2014. Yanukovych now lives in southern Russia under protection of a Russian citizenship granted him by Putin.

With the exception of Deutsche Bank, major banks in the West refuse to do business with Trump. The risk is too great due to his unscrupulous business practices. Trump is a long-time admirer of Vladimir Putin, and Putin’s Russian oligarchic supporters provide capital for Trump’s projects here and abroad.


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The Trump campaign’s gutting of the Republican Party’s platform against Russian tactics in Ukraine indicate how and why he would like the US to change the way we view Russian interests in the region. It supports his financial interests.

Given late June’s Brexit vote, and the failed Turkish coup against Erdogan — another strong Putin fan — acting on behalf of Putin’s interests may serve to completely destabilize an already fragile Europe and NATO. And neither Trump nor Putin gives a shit. They’re bros.

But this week is about the Democrats. As of yesterday, Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla) has resigned from her post as Chair of the DNC. At this morning’s Florida state delegation’s breakfast she was roundly booed. She will not be speaking first to gavel the convention to begin. Donna Brazile will act as temporary Chair for the DNC and the campaign. Senator Sanders will formally endorse Secretary Clinton, though he was booed by his own supporters today when urging their support of her.

This is just Day One of the Democratic National Convention. Four days after the Republican National Convention and we haven’t even begun with the speeches. Who knows what’s going to happen next? It all feels like worlds are colliding, and indeed they are. We are connected by global finance and interests and, in this election year, it shows itself in every way imaginable from the “R” to the “D” side. It may be a case of picking your poison. But maybe one we can recover from; choose the other one, and the world may not.

So there is no real, big flaming bag of dog poop on my front porch at least. But who knows what will happen this week? Well, let me take that back. At least we will know one thing by the end of the evening: Michelle Obama will be the first First Lady ever to have spoken at both the Republican and Democratic national conventions. That’s a positive!

Democracy Now! — Friday, July 22, 2016


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CodePink’s Medea Benjamin diverts media attention out of those tiny, tiny hands. Image: video still

In a scene few would have predicted 12 or even six months ago, real estate mogul Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican presidential nomination. In an hour-and-15-minute speech, Trump warned the nation was facing an imminent crisis at home and abroad, and that he alone was qualified to solve it. Trump’s speech included so many factual inaccuracies that The Washington Post called it “a compendium of doomsday stats that fall apart upon close scrutiny. Numbers are taken out of context, data is manipulated, and sometimes the facts are wrong.” Amy Goodman spoke with three guests: David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and author of the forthcoming book, “The Making of Donald Trump”; Jamil Smith, senior national correspondent at MTV News; and Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

CodePink’s Medea Benjamin disrupted Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention by holding up a banner reading “Build bridges, not walls!” Her protest diverted cameras away from Trump’s speech. Benjamin was removed after the disruption and says she was later interviewed by the Secret Service. Democracy Now! spoke to her on the street afterwards.

For months Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been calling for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. Since he has risen to prominence, civil rights groups have cited increasing attacks and threats against Muslims in America, often against women wearing headscarves. Muslim groups are now campaigning to register a million new voters in a bid to keep Trump out of the White House. But some American Muslims will vote for Trump. According to a survey conducted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, 11 percent of Muslims in the U.S. are Trump supporters.

The show hosted a discussion between two guests. Saba Ahmed is president of the Republican Muslim Coalition and a Donald Trump supporter. She recently met with Trump and his vice-presidential pick, Mike Pence, here at the Republican National Convention. We also speak with Aisha Samad, who is CAIR-Cleveland’s board secretary and a longtime activist in the Muslim community in Cleveland. Also appearing was Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi-born activist who works with the American Friends Service Committee.

When Fox News Chair Roger Ailes, amid multiple accusations of sexual harassment, resigned on the same day the Republican Party welcomed its new presidential candidate, Democracy Now! talked to several top TV news hosts who are in Cleveland covering the convention, including Jake Tapper of CNN, Shepard Smith of Fox News, Willie Geist of NBC, John Heilemann of Bloomberg and Chris Matthews of MSNBC.

This week’s Republican National Convention has taken place in the Q, which is short for the Quicken Loans Arena. We take a look at billionaire owner of Quicken Loans, Dan Gilbert. Gilbert owns casinos, is facing a pending lawsuit and has a reputation for launching attacks on journalists. Award-winning journalist Matt Taibbi explains that Quicken Loans, one of the country’s largest mortgage companies, was a “symbol” of the subprime mortgage crisis that decimated cities like Cleveland.

A group of young Cleveland activists gathered near the gates of the RNC to protest Republican Party priorities they say have decimated their city—economic policies that left thousands unemployed and blighted neighborhoods, racial discrimination that’s made Cleveland one of the most segregated cities in the U.S., and a police force that infamously shot dead African American Tamir Rice within two seconds of pulling up next to the boy as he held an airsoft BB gun.

On Thursday night, Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel made history by becoming the first speaker at a Republican National Convention to declare that he was “proud to be gay.” Thiel made headlines earlier this year when he confirmed to The New York Times that he personally spent $10 million to secretly fund a controversial lawsuit by wrestler Hulk Hogan against Gawker Media. Hogan sued the company for invasion of privacy after Gawker posted a sex tape, and in May a jury awarded the wrestler $140 million, forcing Gawker to declare bankruptcy. Thiel set his eyes on Gawker after the site published a 2007 article headlined “Peter Thiel is totally gay, people.”

We are honored to offer this broadcast as part of our affiliation with the Pacifica Network. Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez.

Democracy Now! — Thursday, July 21, 2016


Almost provokes nostalgia for Cheney-Bush. (Then again, maybe not.) Image: video still

As Indiana Governor Mike Pence is added to the Republican ticket as Donald Trump’s running mate, we look at his religious right-wing track record as governor of Indiana and, before then, as an Indiana congressman. “The enemy, to them, is secularism,” says guest Jeff Sharlet of Pence’s faith-based supporters. “They want a God-led government.” Sharlet is the author several books, including “C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy.”

Continue reading

Democracy Now! — Wednesday, July 20, 2016


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Code Pink activists protesting the absurdity of laws that allow military-grade assault weapons but not tennis balls. Image: video still

It’s now official: Donald Trump has become the presidential nominee of the Republican Party. The announcement was made by House Speaker Paul Ryan after a roll call vote at the convention in Cleveland. He received the formal nomination only one day after delegates from the “Never Trump” movement briefly staged a revolt against Trump on Monday. The rebellion threw the first day of the convention into chaos, but the effort was quashed by party leadership. Some dissenting delegates booed during Tuesday’s roll call vote. Amy Goodman spoke to The Nation’s John Nichols, author of the new piece, “Trump Is Officially the GOP Nominee—but Republicans Aren’t Exactly Celebrating.”

Roger Ailes’s lawyers have confirmed he’s in negotiations to step down as Fox News chair amid more than a half-dozen accusations of sexual harassment. For 20 years, the former Republican operative has been the most powerful man in the conservative media world. The scandal began when former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson sued Ailes. Now, Fox anchor Megyn Kelly has also accused him of harassment. Many are celebrating Ailes’s anticipated departure, though as Feministing founder Jessica Valenti notes, “Removing one lascivious man can’t turn around the mess of misogyny that is Fox News.” Carlson’s suit also alleges Fox News has an overall misogynistic culture.

For the first time ever, the National Rifle Association sent its chief lobbyist to the Republican National Convention. According to the NRA, Chris Cox became the group’s first official to ever speak at a political convention. Cox warned that a Hillary Clinton presidency would endanger one’s right to own a gun. While Cox spoke inside the convention on Tuesday, anti-gun activists held their own protest just outside the security gates against the fact that civilians are being allowed to carry military-grade weapons in downtown Cleveland this week but can’t have items such as tennis balls, cans or umbrellas. Democracy Now! was there when antiwar group CodePink teamed up with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to deliver 500 tennis balls to the front steps of the Republican National Convention.

Immigration has been a common theme throughout the first two nights of the Republican National Convention. On Monday, speakers included two mothers whose sons were killed by undocumented immigrants. But a new report by the American Immigration Council, that won’t likely be cited by any speakers at this year’s Republican National Convention, finds immigrants are less likely than the native-born to engage in criminal behavior and that higher immigration is associated with lower crime rates. Walter Ewing, a senior researcher at the American Immigration Council, joined the show. His recent article is “Republican Party Platform Shows Little Understanding of Immigration Policy.”

The Republican Party has officially adopted Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in its official party platform. The new platform states: “The border wall must cover the entirety of the southern border and must be sufficient to stop both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.” In response, immigrant rights activists have decided to build a wall of their own here in Cleveland around the Republican National Convention. Mijente, the Ruckus Society, Iraq Veterans Against the War, The Other 98% and the Working Families Party are working together to construct the wall.

One of the most animated moments of the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night came during a speech by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was a finalist to be Donald Trump’s running mate. Christie staged a mock trial of Hillary Clinton. During his speech about Hillary Clinton, Republican delegates repeatedly broke into chants of “Lock her up!” But Christie is immersed in his own scandal. Five of the governor’s appointees have drawn the attention of federal prosecutors over corruption allegations. and one of his close allies has just pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges. After Christie’s speech, Hillary Clinton tweeted, “If you think Chris Christie can lecture anyone on ethics, we have a bridge to sell you.”

“Make America Work Again.” That was the theme Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention here in Cleveland. Well, on Tuesday, Democracy Now!’s Carla Wills went out on the streets of Cleveland to talk to some of the vendors who are selling everything from Make America Great Again hats to a cereal called Trump Flakes.

Democracy Now! visited Cudell Park, where Tamir Rice was gunned down by two officers in November of 2014 while he was playing with a toy pellet gun. A 911 caller reported seeing Rice with a weapon, but noted it was “probably fake.” That information was not relayed to the responding officers, who shot him within two seconds of arriving at the scene. A grand jury failed to bring charges against either of the officers. In April, Cleveland officials agreed to pay $6 million to settle a lawsuit by the family of Tamir Rice. Nina Turner, who is a former state senator and former city councilmember whose son is a police officer and husband is a retired police officer, discussed how this case highlights the value gap between Black and White lives.

Activists in several cities are attempting to shut down the offices of two major police unions: the Fraternal Order of Police and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. In Washington, D.C., activists with Black Youth Project 100 and Black Lives Matter have locked themselves to the steps of the Fraternal Order of Police with chains. In New York City, activists with Million Hoodies and BYP 100 have locked themselves to each other using PVC pipes at the entrance to the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. The activists are demanding police officers stop paying dues to the private unions, which they accuse of defending officers accused of brutality.

Students at Case Western Reserve University, located nearly five miles from the arena hosting the RNC, are protesting the university’s decision to house 1,900 armed police officers and National Guardsmen in campus dormitories during the convention. The security officers are part of an auxiliary force assisting the Cleveland Police Department during the event. Last Monday, the university announced a virtual shutdown of its operations during the convention, citing concerns that the recent shootings in Dallas, Louisiana and Minnesota could provoke a “significant degree of conflict” in the city.

We are honored to offer this broadcast as part of our affiliation with the Pacifica Network. Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez.

Democracy Now! — Tuesday, July 19, 2016


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The Repug delegates are revolting. Image: video still

Thousands of Republican Party delegates are here in Cleveland, Ohio, for the 2016 Republican National Convention, where the party is expected to formally nominate Donald Trump as the party’s presidential nominee. But not all delegates are happy about Donald Trump, and on Monday the RNC briefly descended into chaos as members of the Never Trump movement launched a revolt by demanding for a roll call vote—a lengthy process that would allow every state to have their vote count. However, when the time came to present the proposed rules to the full convention, the Trump campaign and Republican Party leadership quashed the rebellious faction by instead opting for a voice vote—quickly declaring the opponents lacked enough votes. Pandemonium erupted on the floor, with shouts for a roll call vote being drowned out by Trump supporters chanting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” Democracy Now!’s Deena Guzder reports.

On Monday afternoon, the RNC briefly erupted in chaos when some opponents of presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump stormed off the convention floor and others chanted in protest at their failure to win a symbolic vote opposing Trump’s candidacy. The high-profile floor fight pitted the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee leadership against a faction of delegates from the Never Trump movement, shattering any notion of a unified Republican Party. While Trump’s detractors acknowledge they were unlikely to be able to vote down the rules, they say they were seeking a roll call vote to register their dissent over a Trump candidacy. For more, we host a debate. Kendal Unruh is a Colorado delegate at the Republican National Convention and a leader in the national Never Trump movement. Raju Chinthala is an Indiana state delegate who is backing Donald Trump.

On Monday night, Donald Trump’s wife Melania Trump gave the keynote address. But the speech was not without controversy. Many commentators have accused Melania Trump of plagiarizing parts of first lady Michelle Obama’s speech from the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Amy Goodman asked two Republican delegates for their reaction.

We go to Baltimore to get reaction to the acquittal of a third police officer on all charges for his role in the arrest of Freddie Gray, who died of spinal injuries last year after he was arrested and transported in a police van. Lt. Brian Rice, the highest-ranking officer on the scene, faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. Judge Barry Williams had dropped a charge of second-degree assault at the trial’s midpoint. Amy Goodman spoke to Sheryl Wood, a former federal prosecutor and legal analyst; and Kwame Rose, a Baltimore activist and producer with The Real News Network. He was convicted for failing to obey an order from law enforcement while protesting the December mistrial of Officer William Porter. Rose’s appeal begins today.

As the Republican National Convention began on Monday, thousands rallied outside to protest Donald Trump’s candidacy. In the largest protest of the day thousands took part in the “End Poverty Now, March for Economic Justice.” Democracy Now! spoke with activists and organizers who took to the streets after a concert by Prophets of Rage, a new project of Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello.

The show examines the record of Donald Trump and his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, on LGBT rights and restricting women’s access to reproductive healthcare with Dawn Laguens, executive vice president and chief experience officer of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. In 2015, Pence signed into law the highly controversial anti-LGBT Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which gave businesses license to discriminate against LGBT people. The law caused a nationwide backlash. Dozens of companies and professional sports teams and leagues, including the Indianapolis-headquartered NCAA, threatened to boycott Indiana. Apple CEO Tim Cook slammed the law, likening it to the Jim Crow laws of the American South. Ultimately, Pence was forced to enact a revision specifying the law does not authorize anti-LGBT discrimination. As governor, Pence also oversaw a cut in Planned Parenthood funding in the state and signed legislation, since blocked, that would have restricted abortion access statewide. In 2011, he threatened to shut down the entire government if Congress didn’t defund Planned Parenthood.

Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef is also covering the Republican convention. His former show was known as “The Daily Show” of the Arab world for its satire of politics in Egypt and the Middle East. The program “El Bernameg” was launched after former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power in the 2011 uprising. It became the most popular TV series in Egypt’s history, with as many as 30 million views per episode. During Mohamed Morsi’s presidency, “El Bernameg” came under increasing pressure, and in 2013 an arrest warrant was issued for Youssef for allegedly insulting Islam and Morsi. Youssef was interrogated and subsequently released on bail, but the pressure continued under the next regime, and in 2014 he announced he was taking the program off the air, just days after General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected president. Once he could no longer make fun of Egyptian politics, he moved to the U.S. to satirize American politics. His new show, “Democracy Handbook,” airs on Fusion.

We are honored to offer this broadcast as part of our affiliation with the Pacifica Network. Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez.