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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Five frat brothers who were among 18 suspended over a racist frat video are suing Syracuse University for infliction of “ridicule and scorn” over their treatment. According to the lawsuit: “The skits did not constitute actual racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, sexism and disrespect for the disabled. Rather, the entire focus of the skits was to create caricatures and exaggerate to be outrageous.”

It’s basically, ‘no racisms were harmed during the filming of this video.’

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Five students are suing Syracuse University for disciplinary actions related to videos of a private event where fraternity members used racial slurs and simulated a sexual assault of a disabled person.

The federal lawsuit filed anonymously on Tuesday by five Theta Tau members accuses the university of ignoring their rights and proper procedures in suspending them and subjecting them to “ridicule and scorn.” It seeks at least $1 million in damages for each student and restoration of their good academic standing.

After the student newspaper revealed the videos last week, the university expelled the fraternity, and 18 unidentified members face disciplinary charges. Chancellor Kent Syverud on Sunday called the latest video clip of crude behavior at Theta Tau “appalling and disgusting.”

The lawsuit says the videos show a satirical “roast” that wasn’t for public viewing.

“The skits did not constitute actual racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, sexism and disrespect for the disabled,” the lawsuit says. “Rather, the entire focus of the skits was to create caricatures and exaggerate to be outrageous.”

It says anyone watching the performances in context would have seen them as “satirical portrayals of offensive conduct and attitudes offered for entertainment with no intent to harm or harass anyone.”

A spokeswoman said Wednesday the university doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

“The university stands by the actions it took to protect the well-being of the campus community and maintain a respectful and safe learning environment,” spokeswoman Sarah Scalese said.

The university has said arrangements have been made for those going through the student judicial process to continue their academic work off campus, but the lawsuit claims fraternity members have been banned from class and provided no alternative.

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CNN has an exclusive this evening that is explosive but also requires some important context: some of those Russian ‘diplomats’ who were expelled as spies were tracking Russian emigres or defectors in the U.S. Let me share some thoughts on what to make of this revelation.

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Very revealing move here by Facebook. Many companies try to have some balance in Republicans and Democrats in who runs their DC offices – which is to say, they’re lobbying operation. Top person from one party, second at the other. That’s by no means always the case. It depends on the company. But Facebook is moving toward having two Republicans running its DC lobbying operation – Joel Kaplan and Kevin Martin.

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Almost two years ago, as President Trump stood on the threshold of securing the Republican nomination, he stumbled into a nuisance level scandal over hard sell email money solicitations to parliamentarians in countries from Australia and the UK to Iceland and Denmark. The inboxes of elected officials from various countries around the world were stuffed with requests for money and promises to jail “Crooked Hillary”, Make America Great Again and more.

But apparently Trump never stopped.

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This new New York Times report on an NFL player/owner meeting back in October is painful reading and not at all pretty. This passage stands out …

The New England Patriots owner Robert K. Kraft pointed to another “elephant in the room.”

“This kneeling,” he said.

“The problem we have is, we have a president who will use that as fodder to do his mission that I don’t feel is in the best interests of America,” said Kraft, who is a longtime supporter of Mr. Trump’s. “It’s divisive and it’s horrible.”

It’s not altogether clear to me what Kraft was calling “divisive” and “horrible.”

LiveWire