It worked for Dinah Bazer, who endured a terrifying hallucination that rid her of the fear that her ovarian cancer would return. And for Estalyn Walcoff, who says the drug experience led her to begin a comforting spiritual journey.
The work released Thursday is preliminary and experts say more definitive research must be done on the effects of the substance, called psilocybin (sih-loh-SY’-bihn).
But the record so far shows “very impressive results,” said Dr. Craig Blinderman, who directs the adult palliative care service at the Columbia University Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He didn’t participate in the work.
Psilocybin, also called shrooms, purple passion and little smoke, comes from certain kinds of mushrooms. It is illegal in the U.S., and if the federal government approves the treatment, it would be administered in clinics by specially trained staff, experts say….
Psychedelic drugs have looked promising in the past for treating distress in cancer patients. But studies of medical use of psychedelics stopped in the early 1970s after a regulatory crackdown on the drugs, following their widespread recreational use. It has slowly resumed in recent years.
Griffiths said it’s not clear whether psilocybin would work outside of cancer patients, although he suspects it might work in people facing other terminal conditions. Plans are also underway to study it in depression that resists standard treatment, he said.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon and evening with my brother’s family–they invited me for a birthday dinner and family movie. Unsurprisingly, while I wasn’t paying attention for a few hours the president-elect did massive damage to U.S. foreign policy, overturning decades-long policies on China. And it appears this wasn’t about policy but about enriching the #tRump family business.
Ann Gearan at The Washington Post: Trump speaks with Taiwanese president, a major break with decades of U.S. policy on China
President-elect Donald Trump spoke Friday with Taiwan’s president, a major departure from decades of U.S. policy in Asia and a breach of diplomatic protocol with ramifications for the incoming president’s relations with China.
The call is the first known contact between a U.S. president or president-elect with a Taiwanese leader since before the United States broke diplomatic relations with the island in 1979. China considers Taiwan a province, and news of the official outreach by Trump is likely to infuriate the regional military and economic power.
The exchange is one of a string of unorthodox conversations with foreign leaders that Trump has held since his election. It comes at a particularly tense time between China and Taiwan, which earlier this year elected a president, Tsai Ing-wen, who has not endorsed the notion of a unified China. Her election angered Beijing to the point of cutting off all official communication with the island government.
It is not clear whether Trump intends a more formal shift in U.S. relations with Taiwan or China. On the call, Trump and Tsai congratulated each other on winning their elections, a statement from Trump’s transition office said….
A statement from the Taiwanese president’s office said the call lasted more than 10 minutes and included discussion of economic development and national security, and about “strengthening bilateral relations.”
Trump claimed the call was initiated by Taiwan’s president, but that was a lie, NBC News reports:
BEIJING — A phone call between Donald Trump and Taiwan’s leader that risks damaging relations between the U.S. and China was pre-arranged, a top Taiwanese official told NBC News on Saturday.
Trump — who lambasted China throughout the election campaign and promised to slap 45 percent tariffs on Chinese goods — tweeted that Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen had called him.
“Maintaining good relations with the United States is as important as maintaining good relations across the Taiwan Strait,” Taiwanese presidential spokesman Alex Huang told NBC News. “Both are in line with Taiwan’s national interest.”
He added that the call had not been a surprise.
After the media reported foreign policy experts’ heads exploding, Trump defensively tweeted again.
China was apparently on the phone with the White House right after the news broke, and they have now filed a complaint with the U.S. about this breach of diplomacy. The Guardian:
China has lodged “solemn representations” with the US over a call between the president-elect, Donald Trump, and Taiwan’s leader, Tsai Ing-wen.
Trump looked to have sparked a potentially damaging diplomatic row with Beijing on Friday after speaking to the Taiwanese president on the telephone….
The US closed its embassy in Taiwan – a democratically ruled island which Beijing regards as a breakaway province – in the late 1970s after the historic rapprochement between Beijing and Washington that stemmed from Richard Nixon’s 1972 trip to China.
Since then the US has adhered to the “One China” principle, which officially considers the independently governed island to be part of the same single Chinese nation as the mainland.
Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said in a statement on Saturday: “It must be pointed out that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inseparable part of Chinese territory. The government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing China.”
Geng added: “This is a fact that is generally recognised by the international community.”
#tRrump is a real bull in a china shop, so to speak. But what was his real goal in talking to Taiwan? Think Progress: Trump’s unusual phone call is great for his business, dangerous for America.
Trump is mixing his business with the presidency. Today was a stark illustration that the combination is extremely dangerous — to Americans and the world.
The Financial Times, citing three sources, reports that Trump called Tsai Ying-wen, the president of Taiwan, on Friday. The call is a symbolic breach of the United States’ “One China” policy, which recognizes Beijing as the only government and which has been in place since 1972.
The call will antagonize China and risks “opening up a major diplomatic dispute with China before he has even been inaugurated.”
The incident is raising eyebrows because the Trump Organization, in which Trump plans to maintain ownership as president, is actively seeking new business opportunities in Taiwan. The Shanghaiist reported on the Trump Organization’s interest last month:
A representative from the Trump Organization paid a visit to Taoyuan in September, expressing interest in the city’s Aerotropolis, a large-scale urban development project aimed at capitalizing on Taoyuan’s status as a transport hub for East Asia, Taiwan News reports.With the review process for the Aerotropolis still underway, Taoyuan’s mayor referred to the subject of the meeting as mere investment speculation. Other reports indicate that Eric Trump, the president-elect’s second son and executive vice president of the Trump Organization, will be coming to Taoyuan later this year to discuss the potential business opportunity.
#tRump is trying to turn our country into a wholly owned subsidiary of the #tRump organization.
In just the past couple of days, Trump has bumbled through bizarre phone calls with Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte. Do you supposed #tRump even knows that China, Pakistan and sworn enemy India have nukes?
The Atlantic: Lessons From Trump’s ‘Fantastic’ Phone Call to Pakistan.
This week, the U.S. president-elect spoke with the Pakistani prime minister and, according to the Pakistani government’s account of the conversation, delivered the following message: Everything is awesome. It was, arguably, the most surprising presidential phone call since George H.W. Bush got pranked by that pretend Iranian president.
Pakistan, Donald Trump reportedly told Nawaz Sharif, is a “fantastic” country full of “fantastic” people that he “would love” to visit as president. Sharif was described as “terrific.” Pakistanis “are one of the most intelligent people,” Trump allegedly added. “I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems.” ….
Like their problems with India?
It’s unclear how accurate the Pakistani government’s record of the discussion is, though the language does have a Trumpian ring to it (Trump’s transition team released a much more subdued summary of the call). But what’s surprising about the account is how disconnected it is from the current state of affairs. Everything is not awesome in U.S.-Pakistan relations. The two countries are the bitterest of friends. They have long clashed over the haven that terrorist groups have found in Pakistan and over U.S. efforts, including drone strikes and the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, to kill those terrorists. Pakistan, a nation with a growing arsenal of nuclear weapons, is the archenemy of India, another nuclear-armed state and a critical U.S. ally. U.S. officials see Pakistan—with its weak political institutions and suspected government support for militant groups in Afghanistan and the contested territory of Kashmir—as an alarming source of regional instability. The suspicion is mutual: Just a fifth of Pakistanis have a favorable view of the United States. Trump himself has argued that Pakistan “is probably the most dangerous” country in the world, and that India needs to serve as “the check” to it.
The reports also provoked a caustic response from the Indian government, which opposes U.S. mediation in its border dispute with Pakistan. “We look forward to the president-elect helping Pakistan address the most outstanding of its outstanding issues: terrorism,” a spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs said. And, ultimately, they forced Pakistani officials to backpedal after initially publicizing the conversation. “Our relationship with the United States is not about personalities—it is about institutions,” a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified. In other words, a brief, breezy conversation had real reverberations on the subcontinent.One lesson of the phone call is that words matter, especially in international relations where information is patchy, things get lost in translation, rhetoric is often interpreted as policy, and a government’s credibility is only as good as its word. (Think of all the people in the United States puzzling over what policies Trump will pursue as president; now imagine trying to do that from Islamabad or New Delhi.)
And now Pakistan is sending an envoy to meet with the #tRump bumblers. The Indian Express reports:
Pakistan has decided to send an envoy to the US to hold meetings with Donald Trump’s transition team, two days after a “productive” telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the President-elect. Pakistani Prime Minister’s special assistant for foreign affairs Tariq Fatemi will visit the US this weekend to meet officials of the Trump transition team.
Fatemi’s meeting with officials of Trump transition team was confirmed by Jalil Abbas Jilani, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US. “Besides meeting members of the transition team, Fatemi will meet officials of the outgoing Obama administration,” said Jilani.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump praised Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte for his war on drugs that has left thousands dead, Duterte said on Saturday after the two held a phone conversation in which Trump also invited Duterte the White House.
“He was quite sensitive also to our worry about drugs. And he wishes me well … in my campaign and he said that … we are doing it as a sovereign nation, the right way,” Duterte said in a statement. Duterte has conducted a severe crackdown on drugs in the country, where police and vigilante groups have killed thousands.
Trump’s brief chat with the firebrand Philippine president follows a period of uncertainty about one of Washington’s most important Asian alliances, stoked by Duterte’s hostility towards President Barack Obama and repeated threats to sever decades-old defense ties.
The call lasted just over seven minutes, Duterte’s special advisor, Christopher Go, said in a text message to media, which gave few details. Trump’s transition team had no immediate comment.
So #tRump is on the record supporting mass murder now. Awesome.
Two more links to check out:
The New York Times: How Trump’s Calls to World Leaders Are Upsetting Decades of Diplomacy.
The Washington Post: Donald Trump keeps confirming fears about his diplomatic skills.
Isn’t there anyone who can do something about this monster before he destroys our country and/or blows up the world? We are so screwed.
What stories are you following today?
Today is my birthday. I don’t feel much like celebrating, but I’m being lazy so I don’t know when this post will go up.
The wildfires in Tennessee are a real disaster. I’m hoping our beloved ANonOMouse and her family are still safe.
Officials were continuing to assess the damage Thursday from a ferocious wildfire that erupted across Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park more than a week ago, killing at least seven people and gutting over 700 structures.
Drenching rain on Wednesday helped firefighters beat back the massive blaze, which still burned more than 15,650 acres and was about 10 percent contained, according to the Southern Area Incident Management Team, which assumed command of the fire.
Rescue operations have been slowed by mud and rockslides caused by the wet weather.
“The rain we received may have slowed this fire for a day or two at a critical time, but the threat from this fire is still there,” the team said.
While large swaths of the national park were ravaged, the wind-whipped flames also reached the neighboring Appalachian tourist meccas of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
Efforts to pinpoint the cause of deadly wildfires that engulfed two popular tourist towns outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park and shut down one of the country’s most popular natural attractions focused Thursday on their devastating path through East Tennessee, where officials said at least seven people were dead and hundreds of buildings have burned.
Several people remained missing Thursday, and at least 53 people have been treated for injuries at hospitals, though their conditions were not known.
The fires are estimated to have damaged or destroyed more than 700 homes and businesses throughout Sevier County — nearly half of them in the city of Gatlinburg. Additionally, thousands of wooded acres have burned in the most-visited national park in America.
Park Superintendent Cassius Cash said that the first fires, spotted last week, were “likely to be human-caused.”
As people throughout Sevier County tried to return to their routines Thursday, some schools were still closed and access to Gatlinburg remained limited.
The story doesn’t give anymore information about the suspected causes of the fires.
The psychedelic drug in “magic mushrooms” can quickly and effectively help treat anxiety and depression in cancer patients, an effect that may last for months, two small studies show.
Have you heard about the conversation #tRump had with the prime minster of Pakistan? Yes, the president-elect is still talkingto foreign leaders on his personal phone without benefit of intelligence briefings or background information from the State Department.
There are few foreign policy topics quite as complicated as the relationship between India and Pakistan, South Asia’s nuclear-armed nemeses. Any world leader approaching the issue even obliquely must surely see the “Handle With Care” label from miles away, given the possibility of nuclear conflict.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, however, doesn’t seem to have read the memo, injecting a pronounced element of uncertainty about the position of the world’s only remaining superpower on this most complex of subjects in a call with the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
According to a readout of the conversation from the Pakistani authorities, he apparently agreed to visit the country and said he was “ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems.” He reportedly added: “You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way.”
The hilarity of his hyperbole aside, Trump’s intervention could have serious consequences for both regional and global stability.
Do you suppose #tRump knows that both Pakistan and India have nukes and they hate each others’ guts? Anyway, read the rest at the link. Here’s the full readout of the call from Pakistan’s press information site. The Trump people don’t bother to provide any information about the god-emperor’s phone calls.
Yesterday the CIA head John Brennan tried to give #tRump some foreign policy suggestions via an interview with the BBC. The New York Times reports: C.I.A. Chief Warns Donald Trump Against Tearing Up Iran Nuclear Deal.
During the election campaign, Mr. Trump railed against the deal, calling it a disaster and pledging to “dismantle” the historic accord, reached in 2015, in which Tehran agreed to limits on its nuclear program in return for the lifting of international oil and financial sanctions.
Representative Mike Pompeo of Kansas, a Republican whom Mr. Trump has chosen to succeed John O. Brennan as head of the C.I.A., wrote in mid-November on Twitter, “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.”
But in an interview with the BBC that was published on its website on Wednesday, Mr. Brennan warned that scrapping the nuclear deal would undermine American foreign policy, embolden hard-liners in Iran and threaten to set off an arms race in the Middle East by encouraging other countries to develop nuclear weapons.
“First of all, for one administration to tear up an agreement that a previous administration made would be unprecedented,” Mr. Brennan said in the BBC interview, which the broadcaster said was the first by a C.I.A. director with the British news media. “I think it would be the height of folly if the next administration were to tear up that agreement.”
Mr. Trump has professed admiration for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, calling him a strong leader, and promised closer relations with Moscow, but Mr. Brennan, who was appointed by President Obama and will step down in January after four years, warned that the incoming administration needed to be skeptical about the Kremlin.
“I think President Trump and the new administration need to be wary of Russian promises,” he told the BBC, reiterating the widely held view that Russia had carried out hacking during the United States election and blaming Moscow for the deteriorating situation in Syria.
More at the link. #tRump supposedly reads the NYT; will he pay attention? Probably not.
Some analysis from Vox: CIA Director John Brennan tells the BBC that Trump’s ideas are terrible.
On Wednesday morning, the BBC published excerpts from an interview with CIA Director John Brennan, the first time a serving head of America’s best-known spy agency has sat down with the British media, according to the BBC. Brennan’s comments are, unmistakably, a shot at Donald Trump. He calls Trump’s proposal to scrap the Iran deal “disastrous,” warns that “the overwhelming majority of CIA officers” oppose Trump’s call to bring back torture of suspected terrorists, and says the famously Putin-sympathetic Trump should “beware Russian promises.”
Brennan is stepping down from the CIA leadership on January 20, so he’ll never have to deal with President Trump directly. That means he’s free to do something as brazen as trash the incoming president on one of the world’s most-watched TV channels.
If you take a deeper look at Brennan’s comments, you start to realize that he’s expressing criticisms of Trump policies that are widely held in the foreign policy community.Take his attack on Trump’s approach to the Iran deal, which Brennan calls “the height of folly.” He warns that doing so would allow Iran to simply restart its nuclear program.
This, as my colleague Zeeshan Aleem explains, is the consensus among even anti-deal experts and policymakers. That’s because of the way the deal is structured: Iran has already gotten the sanctions relief it was promised, but has yet to fully comply with the terms of the deal that dismantle its nuclear program. If Trump were to scrap the deal on day one, Iran would have everything it wanted without having to give up too much. It would have billions of new dollars as well, and a free hand to build a nuke without pesky international inspectors.
Brennan’s position on Russia is another good example. His argument is that the Obama administration’s negotiations with Russia have mostly failed to alter Moscow’s worst behavior — for example, its slaughtering of civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo and bombing of the moderate opposition looking to unseat Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.
You probably heard that #tRump drove someone at the Office of Government Ethics Office to nervous breakdown yesterday. Slate: Federal Ethics Agency Spent the Afternoon Sarcastically Praising Donald Trump.
The U.S. Office of Government Ethics, as its name suggests, interprets and advises federal officials on the ethics laws and rules designed to help keep them honest. “When government decisions are made free from conflicts of interest, the public can have greater confidence in the integrity of executive branch programs and operations,” its mission statement admirably declares. Given what likely awaits the agency in less than two months’ time, it understandably had some, um, thoughts on Donald Trump’s vague, predawn Twitter announcement that he will be “leaving his great business” to focus on the presidency….
Remarkably, those exclamation-filled tweets from a normally staid Twitter account don’t appear to be the result of a hack. “Like everyone else, we were excited this morning to read the President-elect’s twitter feed indicating he wants to be free of conflicts of interest,” agency spokesman Seth Jaffe said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. He added: “We don’t know the details of their plan, but we are willing and eager to help them with it.”
A few of the tweets (see the rest at Slate):
That’s it for me today. Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and enjoy the rest of your Thursday!
It’s been two weeks since the election, and I think we’re already very close to a constitutional crisis. Each day we wake up to new insanity from the “president elect.” And yes, I do believe that he is insane. Something needs to be done very quickly and I’m not sure anyone in authority is going to act. As Matthew Yglesias wrote recently, we only have until noon on January 20, 2017 to stop Donald Trump from systemically corrupting our institutions. We’ve posted this article before, but everyone should save it and refer to it often.
The country has entered a dangerous period. The president-elect is the least qualified man to ever hold high office. He also operated the least transparent campaign of the modern era. He gave succor and voice to bigoted elements on a scale not seen in two generations. He openly praised dictators — not as allies but as dictators — and threatened to use the powers of his office to discipline the media.
He also has a long history of corrupt behavior, and his business holdings pose staggering conflicts of interest that are exacerbated by his lack of financial disclosure. But while most journalists and members of the opposition party think they understand the threat of Trump-era corruption, they are in fact drastically underestimating it. When we talk about corruption in the modern United States, we have in mind what Andrei Shleifer and Robert Vishnydefine as “the sale by government officials of government property for personal gain.”
This is the classic worry about campaign contributions or revolving doors — the fear that wealthy interests can give money to public officials and in exchange receive favorable treatment from the political system. But in a classic essay on “The Concept of Systemic Corruption in American History,” the economist John Joseph Wallis repminds us that in the Revolutionary Era and during the founding of the republic, Americans worried about something different. Not the venal corruption we are accustomed to thinking about, but what he calls systemic corruption. He writes that 18th-century thinkers “worried much more that the king and his ministers were manipulating grants of economic privileges to secure political support for a corrupt and unconstitutional usurpation of government powers.”
We are used to corruption in which the rich buy political favor. What we need to learn to fear is corruption in which political favor becomes the primary driver of economic success.
Donald Trump is more dangerous than any potential president in history, because he is a sociopath with zero empathy for anyone but himself and he seems to be incapable of feeling shame.
Past presidents have been restrained from behaving in such a manner by institutional checks and balances that are eroding under the pressure of rising partisan polarization.
But most of all, past presidents have simply been restrained by restraint. By a belief that there are certain things one simply cannot try or do. Yet Trump has repeatedly triumphed in circumstances that most predicted were impossible. As Ezra Klein has written, he operates entirely without shame:
It’s easy to underestimate how important shame is in American politics. But shame is our most powerful restraint on politicians who would find success through demagoguery. Most people feel shame when they’re exposed as liars, when they’re seen as uninformed, when their behavior is thought cruel, when respected figures in their party condemn their actions, when experts dismiss their proposals, when they are mocked and booed and protested.
Trump doesn’t. He has the reality television star’s ability to operate entirely without shame, and that permits him to operate entirely without restraint. It is the single scariest facet of his personality. It is the one that allows him to go where others won’t, to say what others can’t, to do what others wouldn’t.
Trump lives by the reality television trope that he’s not here to make friends. But the reason reality television villains always say they’re not there to make friends is because it sets them apart, makes them unpredictable and fun to watch. “I’m not here to make friends” is another way of saying, “I’m not bound by the social conventions of normal people.” The rest of us are here to make friends, and it makes us boring, gentle, kind.
Trump does not care if normally conservative newspapers’ editorial pages denounce him, if media fact-checkers slam him, if GOP operatives furiously tweet against him, or anything else.
Since the publication of that piece on November 17, the situation has gotten more and more grave. It seems Trump does care what newspapers and TV networks say about him, but his response will be to try to control what they write and broadcast, not reverse his own corrupt behavior. As we all know, Trump called some broadcast media representatives into an off-the-record meeting yesterday. These craven executives and reporters attended the meeting and were treated to a “dressing down” by a screaming Trump. The story first leaked out to the right-wing, Trump-favoring New York Post.
“It was like a f−−−ing firing squad,” one source said of the encounter.
“Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said, ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,’ ” the source said.
“The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing-down,” the source added.
A second source confirmed the fireworks.
“The meeting took place in a big boardroom and there were about 30 or 40 people, including the big news anchors from all the networks,” the other source said.
“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful, dishonest media who got it all wrong.’ He addressed everyone in the room, calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was [a] network of liars,” the source said.
“Trump didn’t say [NBC reporter] Katy Tur by name, but talked about an NBC female correspondent who got it wrong, then he referred to a horrible network correspondent who cried when Hillary lost who hosted a debate — which was Martha Raddatz, who was also in the room.”
I guess it wasn’t enough that CNN paid multiple Trump supporters to defend him against any criticism. Here’s a more staid version of the story from The New York Times. And there’s this one from David Remnick at The New Yorker: Donald Trump Personally Blasts the Press.
First came the obsessive Twitter rants directed at “Hamilton” and “Saturday Night Live.” Then came Monday’s astonishing aria of invective and resentment aimed at the media, delivered in a conference room on the twenty-fifth floor of Trump Tower. In the presence of television executives and anchors, Trump whined about everything from NBC News reporter Katy Tur’s coverage of him to a photograph the news network has used that shows him with a double chin. Why didn’t they use “nicer” pictures?
For more than twenty minutes, Trump railed about “outrageous” and “dishonest” coverage. When he was asked about the sort of “fake news” that now clogs social media, Trump replied that it was the networks that were guilty of spreading fake news. The “worst,” he said, were CNN (“liars!”) and NBC.
This is where we are. The President-elect does not care who knows how unforgiving or vain or distracted he is. This is who he is, and this is who will be running the executive branch of the United States government for four years.
The overall impression of the meeting from the attendees I spoke with was that Trump showed no signs of having been sobered or changed by his elevation to the country’s highest office. Rather, said one, “He is the same kind of blustering, bluffing, blowhard as he was during the campaign.”
Another participant at the meeting said that Trump’s behavior was “totally inappropriate” and “fucking outrageous.” The television people thought that they were being summoned to ask questions; Trump has not held a press conference since late July. Instead, they were subjected to a stream of insults and complaints—and not everyone absorbed it with pleasure.
“I have to tell you, I am emotionally fucking pissed,” another participant said. “How can this not influence coverage? I am being totally honest with you. Toward the end of the campaign, it got to a point where I thought that the coverage was all about [Trump’s] flaws and problems. And that’s legit. But, I thought, O.K., let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. After the meeting today, though—and I am being human with you here—I think, Fuck him! I know I am being emotional about it. And I know I will get over it in a couple of days after Thanksgiving. But I really am offended. This was unprecedented. Outrageous!”
Let’s hope none of them “get over it.”
This morning Trump cancelled a scheduled meeting with The New York Times, claiming the newspaper tried to “change the ground rules.” The New York Times responded that that did not happen.
Supposedly the meet has been rescheduled now.
This is all so unbelievable, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg of Trump insanity this country is going to be dealing with. In just a few days we’ve seen that the level of corruption we’ll see under this monster is comparable to what has happened in the worst dictatorships around the globe. Dakinikat wrote about this yesterday, and there’s already more corruption in the news today.
The New York Times: With a Meeting, Trump Renewed a British Wind Farm Fight.
When President-elect Donald J. Trumpmet with the British politician Nigel Farage in recent days, he encouraged Mr. Farage and his entourage to oppose the kind of offshore wind farms that Mr. Trump believes will mar the pristine view from one of his two Scottish golf courses, according to one person present.
The meeting, held shortly after the presidential election, raises new questions about Mr. Trump’s willingness to use the power of the presidency to advance his business interests. Mr. Trump has long opposed a wind farm planned near his course in Aberdeenshire, and he previously fought unsuccessfully all the way to Britain’s highest court to block it.
The group that met with Mr. Trump in New York was led by Mr. Farage, the head of the U.K. Independence Party and a member of the European Parliament. Mr. Farage, who was a leading voice advocating Britain’s exit from the European Union, or Brexit, campaigned with Mr. Trump during the election. Arron Banks, an insurance executive who was a major financier of the Brexit campaign, was also in attendance.
“He did not say he hated wind farms as a concept; he just did not like them spoiling the views,” said Andy Wigmore, the media consultant who was present at the meeting and was photographed with Mr. Trump.
Mr. Wigmore headed communications for Leave.EU, one of the two groups that led the Brexit effort. He said in an email that he and Mr. Banks would be “campaigning against wind farms in England, Scotland and Wales.”
This morning Trump tweeted that he wants Great Britain to appoint Nigel Farage as ambassador to the U.S.!
British Prime Minister Teresa May told CNN that’s not going to happen. But this is just one more breach of protocol by the out-of-control “president elect.”
I haven’t even scratched the surface of this morning’s shocking news. I have an important appointment this afternoon, but I’ll post more links when I can.
Now it’s your turn. Have at it.
Here’s something we can do right away to let the PEOTUS know how we feel about his decision to install a white supremacist in the White House. A friend invited me to join this Facebook group that is asking people to send postcards from their states to Trump Tower between November 26 and 28. I sent invitations to my Facebook friends, so many of you will be getting them. Here’s the plan:
**IMPORTANT: Please do not send your postcard until NOV 26th**
**PUBLIC PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/235432800204102/
Instructions to participate:
1. Get a postcard from your state – any picture that represents your state.
2. In the message section, write this simple message: NOT BANNON!
3. Sign your name if you wish
4. Address it as follows:
c/o The Trump Organization
725 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022
5. Affix a stamp – you can use a 35 cent postcard stamp, or a normal letter stamp.
6. Take a picture of your postcard that you can share on social media using the hashtag #stopbannon #postcardavalanche
7. Drop it in the mail between Saturday, Nov 26th and Monday, Nov. 28th to create a concentrated avalanche of postcards.
If you can’t send yours until later, don’t let that stop you.
**IF YOU CANT INVITE, WE RECOMMEND USING THE PUBLIC PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/235432800204102/
Now invite, invite, invite! The more voices we can get in the mail, from the more states, the better. To make it go viral we will all need to share the details with our sphere of influence in whatever ways we feel comfortable. Feel free to copy and paste the details or even post your own public event. The more the merrier!
If you are unfamiliar with Steve Bannon, he is a white supremacist who is also the head of a media company that proliferates misogynistic, homophobic, and xenophobic views. The Donald is about to make him chief White House strategist. We have to stand up for American values against this man!
Let’s go national and send a message the old fashioned way!
Here’s something else people are doing. From the Indianapolis Star: 46,000 people have donated to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s name since the election.
People on social media, ranging from regular Janes to celebrities, have been passing around Mike Pence’s official contact information.
To encourage others to make a donation to Planned Parenthood in Pence’s name and send him a notification of the gift.
Planned Parenthood confirmed that people are putting their money where their tweets are. Of more than 200,000 donations made to Planned Parenthood since the election, 46,000 have been made in the vice president-elect’s name, according to the organization.
I’m sure you’ve all heard about what happened to VP elect Pence last night. From the LA Times: Mike Pence gets booed as he arrives for performance of ‘Hamilton.’
Mike Pence, the vice president-elect, took a break from planning the next administration on Friday night by attending the popular Broadway show “Hamilton.”
Though Pence received a smattering of applause when he arrived, the New York audience mostly greeted the Indiana governor with boos….
The hip-hop musical about one of the country’s founding fathers, with its multicultural cast and tale of immigrant pride, has been a favorite of liberals. One of its songs was first performed at the White House when creator Lin-Manuel Miranda was a guest of President Obama.
From Rolling Stone: Watch ‘Hamilton’ Cast’s Powerful Plea to Mike Pence.
Pence had initially received an icy reception from the New York audience, with video of the Indiana governor being roundly booedupon entering the Richard Rodgers Theater quickly circulating on social media.
However, upon the show’s curtain call, the cast and crew of Hamilton, led by actor Brandon Victor Dixon, had a strong message to deliver to the VP-elect. “There’s nothing to boo here, we’re all here sharing a story of love,” Dixon said. “We have a message for you, sir.”
“Vice President-elect Pence, welcome. Thank you for joining us at Hamilton – An American Musical. We, sir, are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values, and work on behalf of ALL of us,” Dixon said.
Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr in the production, then again thanked Pence for attending a show featuring a “diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds and orientations.” “We don’t have to fight one another. The beautiful part of this country is… we don’t have to agree, but we gotta live here, baby, and share with one another,” Dixon added.
Watch the video at the LA Times or Rolling Stone link.
PEOTUS has already sent two whiny tweets claiming that Pence was “harassed.”
PEOTUS is not a fan of the first amendment to the Constitution. I wonder if he realizes how millions of people are going to greet his inauguration? He is going to hear a lot of boos in the next four years–if he lasts that long. He’d better get used to it. This isn’t Venezuela or Nazi Germany yet.
Meanwhile, the Trump organization is already well on the way to turning the U.S. Government into a kleptocracy. You probably saw that photo of Ivanka Trump sitting in on a meeting between her father and the Japanese Prime Minister. Ivanka’s husband was there for part of the meeting too.
Donald Trump is leveraging his new position as president-elect to empower his business empire — and he’s doing it publicly.
We’ve known for some time that Trump didn’t plan to actually resolve the unprecedented conflicts his far-flung business interests presented.
Instead of liquidating his assets and placing them in a Qualified Diversified Trust, as President Bush did, or investing in index funds and government bonds, as President Obama did, Trump has done nothing.
He’s waved away concerns about conflicts-of-interest, saying that he would just hand over control of his business interests to his children.
He called this a “blind trust” but it is actually the opposite. A blind trust is when you hand marketable assets over to a neutral third party to control. The contents of the trust, since they can be traded at any time by the administrator, are soon unknown to you. Trump knows what his assets are and says he is handing them to his children.
Immediately after Trump’s election, he named three of his adult children — Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr. — to his transition team. This means the same people running the Trump Organization will also be choosing the top officials in the Trump administration.
Now he is taking things a step further. In his first meeting with a head of state, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump invited his daughter Ivanka — who will likely serve as acting CEO of his companies — to participate.
Trump could have kept Ivanka’s participation private. Instead, his team handed out a photo featuring Ivanka.
Please go read the rest. They are thumbing their noses at all that is decent and ethical.
And remember that Trump hotel in Washington DC–right near the White House? Foreign leaders and diplomats will soon be able to bribe the President of the U.S. by staying in that hotel on their official visits. They will be able to do the same by staying in other Trump branded hotels and patronizing his golf courses and other businesses.
Washington Post: For foreign diplomats, Trump hotel is place to be.
About 100 foreign diplomats, from Brazil to Turkey, gathered at the Trump International Hotel this week to sip Trump-branded champagne, dine on sliders and hear a sales pitch about the U.S. president-elect’s newest hotel.
The event for the diplomatic community, held one week after the election, was in the Lincoln Library, a junior ballroom with 16-foot ceilings and velvet drapes that is also available for rent.
Some attendees won raffle prizes — among them overnight stays at other Trump properties around the world — allowing them to become better acquainted with the business holdings of the new commander in chief.
“The place was packed,” said Lynn Van Fleit, founder of the nonprofit Diplomacy Matters Institute, which organizes programs for foreign diplomats and government officials. She said much of the discussion among Washington-based diplomats is over “how are we going to build ties with the new administration.”
Back when many expected Trump to lose the election, speculation was rife that business would suffer at the hotels, condos and golf courses that bear his name. Now, those venues offer the prospect of something else: a chance to curry favor or access with the next president.
Perhaps nowhere is that possibility more obvious than Trump’s newly renovated hotel a few blocks from the White House, on Pennsylvania Avenue. Rooms sold out quickly for the inauguration, many for five-night minimums priced at five times the normal rate, according to the hotel’s manager.
Read more at the link, but prepare to be nauseated.
That’s all I have the strength for today. Please post your thoughts and links on any topic in the comment thread, have courage and hold onto your values for dear life.
So . . . we have a president elect who is completely unqualified, overwhelmed, surrounded by racists and conspiracy theorists, and openly supported by Neo Nazis and the KKK. After 7 days as president elect, he has yet to address the American People except for his acceptance speech and his bizarre appearance on 60 Minutes.
According to Rachel Maddow last night, the Trump team has not yet reached out to the DOJ, the intelligence community, Homeland Security or any other government entity we know about and they are not answering calls from people in the government who are anxious to begin working on the transition.
He has announced the appointment of Reince Priebus as WH chief of staff and Steven Bannon as chief White House strategist and senior counselor. Neither of these men has any experience in government. Priebus does know GOP leaders, of course; but he has little apparent knowlege about how the White House and the Federal government work. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is so ignorant of government that on Thursday he actually asked White House staffers how many of them would be staying on after Obama leaves!
Rudy Giuliani is the top choice to be Secretary of State. The second choice is John Bolton. One positive note: Ben Carson has said he doesn’t want a role in the Trump administration. He was being mention as Secretary of Education! So now many they’ll just go ahead and eliminate that department as Trump as threatened.
President Obama gave a press conference yesterday in which he provided veiled warnings about what may happen, announced that he will be visiting a number of foreign countries to try to reassure them, and that he will be helping Trump get ready for a job he will never be ready for.
Brian Beutler at The New Republic: Obama Is Warning America About Trump’s Presidency. Are You Listening?
President Barack Obama’s remarks about Donald Trump in his Monday press conference contained some of the most ominous words I’ve heard since news networks began calling the election for Trump early last Wednesday morning….
In a tense environment in which reporters, government workers, world leaders, and anxious citizens and immigrants understandably are scrutinizing every Donald Trump tweet and utterance and leak, Obama’s closing thoughts on the presidency and his successor will inevitably be given short shrift. But the things he says about the transition contain critical information about its progress and his confidence that, on the other side of it, things will run fairly smoothly.
His Monday comments suggests he has very little confidence that they will.
On the subtext of Obama’s remarks:
On the surface, his comments were reassuring. He was chipper. He did not doomsay. He searched for the generous and hopeful things to say about Trump and Trump’s designs on the presidency. But the sum total of his remarks, on close reading, were frightening—a stage-setting, at the very least, for an administration that Obama expects will be hobbled by incompetence and likely to fail.
Obama kept returning to three basic themes: that Trump will be given every opportunity to succeed, thanks to the tutelage Obama and his team will be providing, and the fact Trump won’t be inheriting massive crises—which should give him the kind of running room Obama never enjoyed; but that the work of a presidency is ceaseless, and much of it highly detail-oriented; and finally that Trump’s grasp of what he’s been elected to do is at best remedial.
Obama may be subtly trying to communicate to the Trump transition team that they need to make massive strides, and quickly, or they will be, in Obama’s words, “swamped.” But his expectation that Trump and his entourage will get their act together is clearly very low.
Please go read the rest.
On November 10 Elliot Cohen, a conservative, hawkish foreign policy guy who worked for awhile under Condoleeza Rice and who helped organize other national security experts to oppose Trump, wrote this at The American Interest: To An Anxious Friend…
First, the buffers and restraints built into our system—Congress, the courts, the press, bureaucratic inertia, federalism, and certain norms—are really quite strong. Republican politicians know that with a better candidate they would not have eked out a bare tie in the popular vote, but would have crushed Clinton and added to their Senate majority rather than reduced it. They are not beholden to Trump and do not feel that they should be. He will not be able to rule as a dictator. And in truth, Democratic fears that he may are salutary. So many of them dismissed Republican complaints about a politicized Internal Revenue Service—my guess is that they are rediscovering a healthy respect for older values of rigid political neutrality, as well as the larger system of checks and balances.
Second, Trump may be better than we think. He does not have strong principles about much, which means he can shift. He is clearly willing to delegate legislation to Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. And even abroad, his instincts incline him to increase U.S. strength—and to push back even against Russia if, as will surely happen, Putin double-crosses him. My guess is that sequester gets rolled back, as do lots of stupid regulations, and experiments in nudging and nagging Americans to behave the way progressives think they should.
Third, part of the magic of America is its ability to regenerate itself. Both parties produced rotten outcomes at the presidential level; both deceived themselves about the actual concerns of the American people; both desperately need new generations of leaders. Those will emerge. What one can hope for as well is a sobering realization about the extent to which both have played dangerous games—with identity politics, with falsehoods, with cultural contempt, and above all, with the transformation of politics into a matter of unthinking tribalism.
Tough times ahead, no doubt. But I think about my grandparents, who fled pogroms, arrived here penniless, and experienced World War I and the influenza pandemic, as well as ethnic and religious discrimination of a kind now unthinkable. My parents lived through the Depression and World War II—and then the social upheavals of the 1960s.
Then he apparently reached out to the Trump people. Here’s what he tweeted about that today.
Not very reassuring.
A couple more stories that caught my attention:
The Donald Trump transition, already off to slow start, bogged down further Tuesday with the abrupt resignation of former Congressman Mike Rogers, who had been coordinating its national security efforts.
Two sources close to Rogers said he had been the victim of what one called a “Stalinesque purge,” from the transition of people close to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who left Friday. It was unclear which other aides close to Christie had also been forced out….
He [Rogers] and his top aide had been working for months, preparing the groundwork for transition. Two sources close to the situation described an atmosphere of sniping and backbiting as Trump loyalists position themselves for key jobs….
Rogers’ departure follows Christie’s demotion from head of the team to a vice-chair, with Vice President-elect Mike Pence taking over for him last week.
The purge indicates the emphasis on loyalty — and significant influence of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, husband of Ivanka — that characterized Trump’s campaign will carry over into his White House.
Multiple sources indicated that Christie was demoted because he wasn’t seen as sufficiently loyal to Trump, failing to vocally defend him at key moments on the campaign trail.
Rogers had been mentioned as a candidate for CIA director, but now he’s out.
USA Today Exclusive: Fox anchor Megyn Kelly describes scary, bullying ‘Year of Trump.’
In her new memoir, Settle for More, Kelly describes how an unexpectedly anxious Trump complained to Fox News executives last year about what she’d do as a moderator of the debate. The questions Kelly and her colleagues planned to ask the candidates were secret. She wrote that days before the debate, Trump called Fox “in an attempt to rein me in. … He said he had ‘heard’ that my first question was a very pointed question directed at him.” Kelly’s first question was in fact for Trump and about his treatment and descriptions of women. She wondered, she wrote, “How could he know that?”
In an exclusive interview Monday with USA TODAY — one in which she discussed what she called her “Year of Trump” and her stand against former Fox News chief Roger Ailes — Kelly said she did not believe her question leaked to Trump beforehand. “I don’t think he had any idea,” she said. “What I think he was worried about was his divorce from Ivana Trump. … He was afraid I was going to bring that up.”
Much more about Kelly’s dealings with Trump and his pal Roger Ailes at the link.
More reads, links only:
Columbia Journalism Review: Eight steps reporters should take before Trump assumes office, by Dana Priest
WaPo: Paul Ryan’s plan to phase out Medicare is just what Democrats need, by Paul Waldman
LA Times: Paul Ryan is determined to gut Medicare. This time he might succeed, by Michael Hiltzik
Daily Beast: Steve Bannon’s Dream: A Worldwide Ultra-Right, by Christopher Dickey
That’s all I have. I’m still really struggling with my emotions, and I don’t know how long it’s going to take before I find my center again. This situation has triggered my deepest childhood fears and traumas. I just hope it isn’t going to be as disastrous as I expect.
Courage, Sky Dancers!
Well, the GOP have been grabbing our pussies for a while now, legislatively….
It only follows that the letters actually stand for Grab Our Pussies!
I’ve got some images for you, before we get to the links…you have probably seen these already but they are too good to keep off the front page.
I loved that comment from Edward…I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing it with y’all.
As for Trump himself…he made a few comments this morning:
All I can say is that tonight’s debate is going to be frightening. Let’s be sure to watch it together.
My post is not as eloquent as Boston Boomer’s was yesterday. I don’t have the patience to write anything today because the whole thing has me so disgusted and pissed off.
Let’s just say I am glad that the bomb has dropped but why the fuck has it taken so long for this to happen?
Some links to check out:
This one for instance:
Two prominent Republican lawmakers on Sunday called for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to drop out of the presidential race.
“I have serious doubts now about Mr. Trump’s ability to beat Hilary Clinton. In fact, I don’t think he can,” Utah Sen. Mike Lee said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“I’m agnostic right now about who it needs to be,” Lee said when host Chuck Todd asked if vice presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence should the nominee.
Lee alluded to the many sitting lawmakers in his party who have pulled their support for Trump.
“I think people have to consider the totality of the evidence,” he said. “There were a lot of others who wanted to be persuaded, who hoped they would be persuaded.”
All those making the case for Trump to pull out? I think this tweet by Krugman says a lot about that:
From the AP via Daily Mail: Rumors Mike Pence is under GOP pressure to quit as Trump’s running mate | Daily Mail Online
On this morning’s news shows:
Getting ready for the debate tonight:
On the No Shit Sherlock list:
More links to look over:
If that Groping women is not a joke video embed did not work, look at the video here.
Other tweets of note:
And the latest on Hurricane Matthew: Hurricane Matthew Toll Climbs to at Least 15 as North Carolina Suffers Record-Breaking Flooding – The New York Times
This is an open thread. See you tonight.
Last night’s “Commander-In-Chief Forum” on NBC and MSNBC was way beyond pathetic. Matt Lauer is not a serious journalist, and why he was picked to moderate is a mystery. Even Chuck Todd or Rachel Maddow might have done a better job.
But just imagine if Joy Reid had been chosen to moderate. I have no doubt she would have asked fairer questions and would have been willing and able to fact-check Donald Trump’s lies. She would very likely have asked Hillary Clinton some serious questions about foreign affairs instead of spending 10 minutes cross-examining her on emails and then repeatedly interrupting and bullying the first woman candidate for POTUS as Lauer did.
This morning #LaueringTheBar is trending on Twitter, and Lauer is being skewered everywhere. What an embarrassment for NBC, a once-great network! For anyone who didn’t see Lauer’s disgraceful performance, you can read the entire transcript at Time Magazine.
Some choice tweets:
In a forum devoted to veterans’ affairs, Lauer never asked Trump about his attacks on the Khans, or his multiple draft deferments.
I could go on and on, but I want to share some more substantive reactions to last night’s media debacle (mostly just links).
I had not taken seriously the possibility that Donald Trump could win the presidency until I saw Matt Lauer host an hour-long interview with the two major-party candidates. Lauer’s performance was not merely a failure, it was horrifying and shocking. The shock, for me, was the realization that most Americans inhabit a very different news environment than professional journalists. I not only consume a lot of news, since it’s my job, I also tend to focus on elite print-news sources. Most voters, and all the more so undecided voters, subsist on a news diet supplied by the likes of Matt Lauer. And the reality transmitted to them from Lauer matches the reality of the polls, which is a world in which Clinton and Trump are equivalently flawed.
Lauer focused a third of his questioning time on Clinton’s private email server. Her decision to follow Colin Powell’s advice is a legitimate blot on her record. But Lauer did not move the ball forward on the question in any meaningful way….
The impression an uninformed or even moderately informed viewer would receive from this interview is that the email issue represents a sinister crime, perhaps completely disqualifying from office, rather than an unjustifiable but routine act of government non-transparency.
The email exchange would not by itself be so alarming except when viewed in juxtaposition with Lauer’s hapless interview of Trump. Trump began the interview by boldly insisting, “I was totally against the war in Iraq. You can look at Esquire magazine from 2004. You can look at before that.” This is a lie. Trump has been quoted supporting the invasion beforehand and even afterward. Nobody has produced any evidence of Trump contradicting his support for the war before it started. His line to Lauer was transparently ridiculous – how could a 2004 interview supply evidence of having opposed a war that began in 2003? But Lauer did not try even a single follow-up.
Lauer’s attempt to press Trump was the completely ineffectual technique of asking repeatedly if he is ready to serve as commander-in-chief. Lauer probably believes the answer is no, but nothing about this question would drive home Trump’s extraordinary lack of knowledge. Instead it allowed him to performatively demonstrate his confident, alpha-male reality-show character as a prospective chief executive.
More reads on last night’s forum:
Charles Blow: Donald Trump is Lying in Plain Sight.
New York Times: Matt Lauer Fields Store of Criticism Over Clinton-Trump Forum.
Washington Post: Donald Trump’s thoroughly strange claim about his Mexico visit.
Huffington Post: Matt Lauer Failed the Moderator Test.
It’s difficult to choose the most shocking thing Donald Trump said last night, but for me, the absolute worse was when he “revealed” information he supposedly learned in his confidential security briefings with the CIA.
LAUER: You recently — you recently received two intelligence briefings.
TRUMP: Yes, I did.
LAUER: Did anything in that briefing, without going into specifics, shock or alarm you?
TRUMP: Yes. Very much so.
LAUER: Did you learn new things in that briefing?
TRUMP: First of all, I have great respect for the people that gave us the briefings. We — they were terrific people. They were experts on Iraq and Iran and different parts of — and Russia. But, yes, there was one thing that shocked me. And it just seems to me that what they said President Obama and Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, who is another total disaster, did exactly the opposite.
LAUER: Did you learn anything in that briefing — again, not going into specifics — that makes you reconsider some of the things you say you can accomplish, like defeating ISIS quickly?
TRUMP: No, I didn’t learn anything from that standpoint. What I did learn is that our leadership, Barack Obama, did not follow what our experts and our truly — when they call it intelligence, it’s there for a reason — what our experts said to do. LAUER: Hallie?
TRUMP: And I was very, very surprised. In almost every instance. And I could tell you. I have pretty good with the body language. I could tell they were not happy. Our leaders did not follow what they were recommending.
WTF?! In the first place, the candidates are not supposed to talk about anything that happened in those briefings, and in the second place, Trump is claiming that professional CIA officers somehow signaled to him that President Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and current Secretary of State John Kerry have ignored their advice and that the CIA is upset about it? Last night Andrea Mitchell said she believed the intelligence community would have to respond to Trump’s bizarre claims.
I heard on MSNBC that the intelligence community is pushing back on this, but I haven’t seen any published articles about that yet.
This morning, Hillary Clinton held a press conference–the third day in a row she has answered questions from the media. Here’s the whole thing.
Hillary was asked about Trump’s remarks about the security briefings and whether she agreed with him about their contents. She replied simply that she would never say anything about what happened in confidential intelligence briefings. I thought she was relaxed and dignified and gave straightforward answers. I guess we’ll find out later how the media participants evaluate the press conference.
I have two more stories I want to highlight that aren’t about last night’s candidate “forum.”
A Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman says a new article in the New York Observerestablishes a “direct link” between the Donald Trump campaign and the hacker or hackers who have recently penetrated the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and other high-profile Democratic officials.
On Tuesday, the Observer published a piece maintaining that the DCCC had coordinated—presumably improperly—with the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2015. The story, written by a freelance contributor named Michael Sainato, cited “an internal DCCC memo” leaked to the Observer from Guccifer 2.0—the handle of the hacker or hackers who have successfully targeted these Democratic committees. The Observer is owned by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has been a top adviser to the Republican presidential nominee.
Shortly after the post went up, Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon tweeted: Russian hackers now leaking directly to Jared Kushner’s paper. Trump campaign not even being subtle anymore https://twitter.com/observer/status/773252856740741120 …
In an email to Mother Jones, Fallon elaborated on his tweet: “Guccifer 2.0 is known to be the Russians. And now that they are leaking materials obtained from their hacking to Trump adviser Jared Kushner’s newspaper, that’s a pretty direct link between Trump and the Russians behind this hack.”
Kushner is married to Ivanka Trump and has become an influential figure within Trump’s political team.
Glen Caplin, another spokesman for the Clinton campaign, issued a more complete statement: “The Russians have become even more brazen in their effort to influence the election by leaking documents to Trump adviser Jared Kushner’s newspaper for publication. Trump’s longtime confidant Roger Stone has already admitted he’s in contact with Julian Assange, who has been exposed for actively aiding the Russians. And both Stone and Assange are promising more leaks targeting Clinton as the election approaches, something Donald Trump actively invited. This is a national security issue and every American deserves answers about potential collusion between Trump campaign associates, WikiLeaks and the Kremlin.”
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Matt Olsen at Time Magazine: Why ISIS Supports Donald Trump. (Hillary recommended this article last night during the forum and this morning during her press conference.)
In recent months, ISIS has made clear that it’s closely following this election, too—and it has chosen a candidate. Interviews with ISIS members and analysis of social media, including in a recentForeign Affairs article by Mara Revkin and Ahmad Mhidi, make it clear: “ISIS is rooting for Trump.”
This year, ISIS isn’t simply a passive observer of American politics. Since the group’s rapid rise in 2014, ISIS has established a far-reaching, sophisticated propaganda machine. Its members rely on social media to shape public opinion, recruit new members and mobilize followers to carry out attacks. Now, some of them are using those channels to advocate for Trump. In August, one ISIS spokesman wrote: “I ask Allah to deliver America to Trump.” Another supporter declared: “The ‘facilitation’ of Trump’s arrival in the White House must be a priority for jihadists at any cost!!!” ISIS is working to drum up support for the candidate it has called “the perfect enemy.”
That may come as a surprise to some. After all, Trump has spent this election season making a series of combative and bellicose comments on terrorism—from his pledge to kill the families of terrorists, his plans bring back torture of suspected terrorists and his call toban all Muslims from entering the United States. But the truth is, Trump’s statements and extreme policies aren’t just contrary to our values—they play right into the hands of ISIS.
Please read the rest at the link above.
So . . . what else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links on any topic in the comment thread and have a terrific Thursday!