I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for hours now without writing anything. I’m so overwhelmed by the insanity Donald Trump has been spewing since the end of the conventions, that I’m really at a loss. I honestly feel as if I’m in shock.
This morning, the media is struggling to explain away Trump’s latest–his claim in a speech last night that President Obama “founded ISIS” and “Crooked Hillary Clinton” was the co-founder.
“Isis is honoring President Obama,” Trump said of Islamic State. “He is the founder of Isis. He founded Isis. And, I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.”
Trump’s declaration echoed an attack he made against Clinton last week, also in Florida, in which he said the former secretary of state “should get an award from them as the founder of Isis”.
Republicans have long sought to blame the turmoil in the Middle East on the Obama administration’s foreign policy, often criticizing the president for underestimating the threat posed by Isis. But Trump has routinely gone a step further by stating directly that Obama is sympathetic to terrorists.
The former reality TV star employed the same tactic on Wednesday, referring to the president by his full name – Barack Hussein Obama – and repeating it several times for emphasis of his claim that Obama had founded Isis.
The origins of Isis trace back to the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. The group has been deemed an offshoot of al-Qaida, which carried out the attacks on 9/11. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian militant terrorist viewed as the founder of Isis, was killed in a US airstrike in Baghdad in 2006.
I’m afraid to think what ghastly thing Trump might say today, but I’m sure there will be something. Just imagine how Vladimir Putin feels!
The first link I opened this morning was from Time Magazine: Inside Donald Trump’s Meltdown. Next I opened Twitter and found that the article had been trending for a couple of hours. It’s an extended list of Trump’s outrageous remarks along with hand-wringing by desperate Republicans who just want him to stop saying stupid things. But Trump obviously can’t help it. The piece is a must-read. Here are just a couple of samples:
When Donald Trump mucks things up, the first person to let him know is usually Republican Party boss Reince Priebus. Almost every day, Trump picks up his cell phone to find Priebus on the line, urging him to quash some feud or clarify an incendiary remark.
The Wisconsin lawyer has been a dutiful sherpa to the Manhattan developer, guiding him through the dizzying altitude of the presidential race and lobbying the GOP to unite behind a figure who threatens its future.
But every bond has its breaking point. For this partnership, the moment nearly arrived in early August. Priebus was on vacation when he learned that Trump had declined to endorse Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House and a close friend. The chairman had a frank message for the nominee, according to two Republican officials briefed on the call. Priebus told Trump that internal GOP polling suggested he was on track to lose the election. And if Trump didn’t turn around his campaign over the coming weeks, the Republican National Committee would consider redirecting party resources and machinery to House and Senate races.
Trump denies the exchange ever took place. “Reince Priebus is a terrific guy,” Trump told TIME. “He never said that.” Priebus could not be reached for comment. But whatever the exact words spoken on the phone, there is no doubt that the possibility Republicans will all but abandon Trump now haunts his struggling campaign.
Of course. Trump also denies the Secret Service spoke to his campaign about his implied threat against Hillary.
Republicans groan that the difficult task of keeping their Senate majority gets tougher with each outré remark. Which is why the RNC is considering shifting some cash and staff away from the presidential race and toward down-ballot contests. That plan is already in motion among powerful outside groups that typically spend hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of the party nominee. “There’s going to have to be some resource reallocation,” says a senior Republican official familiar with internal party deliberations. A second senior party official routinely instructs Senate campaign managers to distance their candidates from Trump. “Don’t worry about the appearances,” the official said on a recent conference call. “Worry about winning.”
That explains why Republicans running for office this year don’t meet Trump’s plane at airports or introduce him at rallies. In some places, the avoidance strategy seems to be working. Senator Pat Toomey is in a statistical tie in his re-election bid in Pennsylvania, a state where Trump trails by about 10 points. In the key swing state of Florida, Senator Marco Rubio is running ahead in his re-election bid even as Trump narrowly trails Clinton. But in New Hampshire, Trump’s troubles may be dragging down Ayotte, who plummeted from a virtual tie to 10 points down in a recent poll.
On calls with Senate campaign donors, Trump often comes up, as moneymen probe for details on coordination with the top of the ticket. “What Trump campaign?” one swing-state Senate campaign manager snapped at a volunteer recently. “We have more offices than they do.” ….
Like the rest of the party, Trump’s staff has been flummoxed by his political naiveté. They describe a candidate who doesn’t understand the basics of modern campaigns, from why you knock on doors to how to read a poll to why he should be dialing for dollars more aggressively. His headquarters has enough palace intrigue and warring fiefs to rival the fictional badlands of Westeros. “You’re always afraid of getting fired,” says one staffer, “but it’s his fault, not ours.”
These staff members are still cashing checks but have begun to lose faith that their boss can or should win the top prize in American politics. Most highly regarded Republican operatives have stayed away from the campaign, wary of being blackballed for future gigs. “If someone applied for a job and brought in a résumé that had Trump 2016 on it,” says a GOP fundraising consultant, “I wouldn’t give them an interview.”
There’s much much more at the Time link, so be sure to check it out.
So what’s Trump up to this morning? He’s doubling down on his “found of ISIS” and “second amendment people” remarks. Politico reports: Trump ramps up attack on Obama as founder of Islamic State.
Donald Trump on Thursday escalated his attack on President Barack Obama, doubling down on his accusation that he’s a founder of the Islamic State and claiming that both Obama and Hillary Clinton remain the terrorist group’s most valuable players….
After first leveling the terror-related accusation against Obama and Clinton at a Wednesday night rally, Trump made the claim three more times on Thursday — all before noon.
“Our government isn’t giving us good protection. Our government has unleashed ISIS,” he said as he addressed the National Association of Home Builders in Miami. “I call President Obama and Hillary Clinton the founders of ISIS. They’re the founders. In fact, I think we’ll give Hillary Clinton the — you know, if you’re on a sports team, most valuable player, MVP, you get the MVP award — ISIS will hand her the most valuable player award. Her only competition is Barack Obama.”
His remarks echoed his sentiments earlier Thursday during a phone interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” during which he also named Obama the MVP of ISIS.
“He gets the most valuable player award. Him and Hillary, she gets it too. I gave her co-founder if you really looked at this speech,” Trump said. “But he and Hillary get the most valuable player award having to do with Iraq, and having to do with the ISIS situation, or as he would call it, ISIL. He calls it ISIL because nobody else does and he probably wants to bother people by using another term, whether it’s more accurate or not.”
And Trump sees no problem with calling the President of the United States a terrorist.
The Manhattan billionaire bristled at the notion that referring to the president and his former secretary of state as the co-founders of a terrorist group intent on killing Americans was somehow inappropriate. He said that he has been successful thus far as a political outsider throughout the election cycle by speaking his mind, and if that ends up costing him the general election, so be it.
“Is there something wrong with saying that? Are people complaining that I said he was the founder of ISIS?” Trump said. “Look, all I do is tell the truth. I’m a truth teller. All I do is tell the truth.”
Unbelievably, there is even more at the link.
Here’s Daniel Drezner at The Washington Post in response to Trump’s implication that Hillary should be assassinated: The 2016 campaign is getting out of control. We’ll be lucky to live through it.
The Trump campaign is trying to spin this every which way they can. Claims that his remark about Democratic rival Hillary Clinton was just a “joke” don’t really hold water in the sense that jokes still mean something, particularly in presidential campaigns. Furthermore, the statement was serious enough for the Secret Service to have a conversation with the campaign about this kind of rhetoric. The fact that Trump won’t apologize for a joke gone bad is indicative of the many other dangerous statements that he never walks back.
And there are consequences for this kind of violent rhetoric. Read some examples at the link.
This is the kind of thing that Trump supporters think is funny. From the Buffalo News last month: Festival apologizes for ‘Hillary Clinton in a coffin’ car show entry.
It seems there’s no escaping the politics of bad taste when a presidential campaign is in full swing. Just ask Leslee Chilcott.
The Village of Hamburg resident has attended BurgerFest for 20 years. But this year, she cut her visit short after visiting the car show with her four children. Hitched to a 1920s Model-T Ford was an open coffin on a trailer hitch with a full-sized doll inside representing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. An image of Donald Trump’s face, attached to the rear car window, making it appear as if Trump is looking down on Clinton’s smiling-but-dead mannequin body. The coffin also featured beer taps on the side.
“That was enough for me,” said Chilcott, who abruptly took her disappointed children home early Saturday afternoon.
When her 6-year-old son asked her why there was a coffin with a dead woman in it named Hillary, Chilcott said, “I had to explain to him that some people are mean. For me, it wasn’t a political stance for this person to have the dummy. It was a living person.”
What’s next? I shudder to think. Please post your thoughts and links on any topic in the comment thread. I’ll add a few more stories there too.
By now you have heard and seen the latest terroristic threat from Trump. Actually, Trump’s violent assassination request has a name…There’s a Name for Trump’s Violent Incitement Against Hillary: Stochastic Terrorism | BNR
Donald said at a rally: “Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick— [boos from audience] If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although, the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”
Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable. In short, remote-control murder by lone wolf.
Donald’s point about Hillary was unambiguous.
What he was doing, as explained by feminist law professor and reproductive rights activist David S. Cohen, was engaging in “stochastic terrorism,” which is “an obscure and non-legal term” meaning to use “language and other forms of communication ‘to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable,’” a sort of incitement well-known among those familiar with anti-choice violence.
Writes Cohen: “Stated differently: Trump puts out the dog-whistle knowing that some dog will hear it, even though he doesn’t know which dog.”
The sort of diffused threats that are a feature of stochastic terrorism are, unfortunately, extremely familiar to me. As a feminist progressive woman with a public profile, these are the kinds of “not really threats – wink!” I get all the time: Hoping someone else will rape and/or kill me.
Or “warning” me that someone might – if I insist on keeping up my work. Being on the receiving end of those words for more than a decade: I know what Donald meant.
It is chillingly familiar.
This man openly incited violence against a woman, who also happens to be a presidential candidate – which makes his exhortation possibly criminal, too.
Doesn’t it make your blood boil? This article is written by Melissa McEwan, she continues focusing on the feminist angle. You can read the rest at the link, but I prefer to focus on the main issue…feminist or not.
What the fuck!!! This is a real presidential candidate, running for the Republican Party, and he called for the assassination of his running mate and “future” president!
I’ve spent months watching and listening to the horrors that spew from Trump’s mouth…as we see, this is yet another time that Trump has, “Gone too far,” only to get away with inciting violence and murder against Hillary and Supreme Court Justices.
One day after his widely discussed “reboot” in which he did nothing more than read basicRepublican economic talking points from a teleprompter, Donald Trump uttered perhaps his most outrageous – and dangerous – ad-lib yet. And that’s saying something for a campaign in which he’s criticized John McCain for being a prisoner of war, characterized Mexicans as rapists, called for banning Muslims from coming into the country, picked a fight with a Gold Star family and urged Russia to hack his political opponent.
Speaking to a crowd in Wilmington, North Carolina, Tuesday, Trump expressed concern about Hillary Clinton possibly picking Supreme Court justices and other judges. He then said, “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.”
Let that soak in for a second. One of the two major-party nominees for president just called for “Second Amendment people” to “do” something about his political opponent’s judges. According to the Trump campaign’s rapid response team, he was talking about those “Second Amendment people” coming together politically – “unification,” as they called it. The Clinton campaign, and pretty much the entire Internet, saw it differently: as a clear suggestion of violence against a political opponent.
It’s hard not to side with the Clinton campaign here. What Trump said was that a particular group – those who are defined by rallying around guns – should do something about Clinton and her judicial nominees. What can people who rally around guns do that’s different than others? Use those guns.
But it’s really irrelevant what Trump actually meant, because enough people will hear Trump’s comments and think he’s calling for people to take up arms against Clinton, her judges or both. Though most of the people hearing that call may claim he was joking, given what we know about people taking up arms in this country, there will undoubtedly be some people who think he was serious and consider the possibility.
In other words, what Trump just did is engage in so-called stochastic terrorism. This is an obscure and non-legal term that has been occasionally discussed in the academic world for the past decade and a half, and it applies with precision here. Stochastic terrorism, as described by a blogger who summarized the concept several years back, means using language and other forms of communication “to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.”
Let’s break that down in the context of what Trump said. Predicting any one particular individual following his call to use violence against Clinton or her judges is statistically impossible. But wecan predict that there could be a presently unknown lone wolf who hears his call and takes action in the future.
Stated differently: Trump puts out the dog whistle knowing that some dog will hear it, even though he doesn’t know which dog.
Those of us who work against anti-abortion violence unfortunately know all about this. Valerie Tarico wrote about this form of terrorism following the Planned Parenthood murders in Colorado Springs last November. The pattern she noted there is 100 percent applicable to Donald Trump and his supporters right now – except that we haven’t yet had the major act of violence at the end of the string. As Tarico wrote:
“1. A public figure with access to the airwaves or pulpit demonizes a person or group of persons.
2. With repetition, the targeted person or group is gradually dehumanized, depicted as loathsome and dangerous—arousing a combustible combination of fear and moral disgust.
3. Violent images and metaphors, jokes about violence, analogies to past ‘purges’ against reviled groups, use of righteous religious language—all of these typically stop just short of an explicit call to arms.
4. When violence erupts, the public figures who have incited the violence condemn it—claiming no one could possibly have foreseen the ‘tragedy.'”
This explains Donald Trump’s campaign against Hillary Clinton to a letter. He has 1) demonized her whenever he can by calling her “Crooked Hillary” and constantly degrading her; 2) organized a convention around which the central theme, repeated over and over, was that Clinton is a criminal who needs to be locked up, clearly using fear and moral disgust as motivators; and 3) is now using violent metaphors (or “jokes,” if that’s what you think his statements were) against her, just short of an explicit call to arms.
Now we just have to hope that #4 doesn’t come about – that violence does not erupt. Though, if it does, we know exactly what Trump and his supporters will say: that they never could have foreseen this tragedy.
His extraordinary remark on Tuesday was swiftly condemned by Democrats. Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, said: “This is simple – what Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be the president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way.”
Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, where the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting took place in Newtown in 2012, went further in a tweet: “Don’t treat this as a political misstep. It’s an assassination threat, seriously upping the possibility of a national tragedy & crisis.”
British novelist Salman Rushdie then weighed in, tweeting: “Of course the Trump flacks are now trying to confuse the issue, but Senator Murphy is clear about what Trump meant.”
The claim was rejected by Jeff Sessions, a Republican senator from Alabama and longtime Trump supporter. He responded on CNN: “Totally wrong. I don’t believe that’s true. I don’t believe that’s at all what he meant.”
But Sessions acknowledged: “It may have been awkwardly phrased.”
As the usual line goes, Trump is allowed to explain his “true” meaning behind his words:
Trump said later in reply to Sean Hannity on Fox News that he was referring to the political movement around the Second Amendment.
Hannity asked: “You know, so obviously you’re saying that there’s a strong political movement within the Second Amendment, and if people mobilize and vote, they can stop Hillary from having this impact on the court. But that’s not how the media is spinning it. What’s your reaction to it?”
Trump replied: “Well, I just heard about that, and it was amazing because nobody in that room thought anything other than what you just said. This is a political movement. This is a strong, powerful movement, the Second Amendment … there can be no other interpretation. Even reporters have told me – I mean give me a break.”
Trump has been striving to show more discipline on the campaign trail after astring of gaffes in recent weeks. He remained in control in Detroit on Monday when a speech on the economy was repeatedly interrupted by protesters. But in Wilmington, he apparently could not resist going off-script.
Campaigners for gun control expressed outrage at his off-the-cuff remark. Po Murray, chair of the Newtown Action Alliance, said: “Donald Trump continues to pander to the corporate gun lobby and the gun extremists who thrive on fear and rhetoric.
“Any suggestion that gun violence should be used to stop Hillary Clinton from appointing supreme court justices is dangerous and reckless. It’s no surprise that 50 GOP national security experts have signed a letter making a pledge to not vote for him.”
The concern was echoed by Paul Begala, a former adviser to Bill Clinton in the White House. “This is not something that should be joked about,” he told CNN. “I hope in the best case you could say he was joking. It didn’t seem like a joke to me. Tony Schwartz, the guy who wrote [Trump’s book] The Art of the Deal, says Trump never jokes.
“I fear that an unbalanced person hears that in this inflamed environment and, God forbid, thinks that was a threat. I certainly take it as a threat, I really do, and Trump needs to apologise.”
Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and National Security Agency, said on the same channel:
“Well, let me say, if someone had have said that outside the hall he’d be in the back of a police wagon now with the secret service questioning him.”
As yet another controversy threatened to engulf him, Trump’s campaign insisted that his words had been misunderstood. Jason Miller, a spokesperson, attempted to explain the candidate’s comments. “It’s called the power of unification,” he said. “Second amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power. And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won’t be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump.”
National Rifle Association spokeswoman Jennifer Baker called the uproar over Trump’s remarks a “distraction created by the dishonest media.”
Another thought for everyone, Giuliani: Trump supporters would cheer Trump’s call to assassinate Hillary – AMERICAblog News
In perhaps the worst attempt ever at damage control, Donald Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani attempted to defend Trump’s call yesterday for Hillary Clinton to be assassinated.
Giuliani told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that had Trump actually called for Hillary to be assassinated, the crowd would have gone wild.
Video at the link.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump invoked the Second Amendment at a rally yesterday evening and implied that gun owners may need to shoot Hillary Clinton or the Supreme Court judges she nominates as president.
That was not a joke and it isn’t funny, but Speaker of the House Paul Ryan insists that it was.
“I’ve been a little busy today. I heard about this Second Amendment quote. It sounds like just a joke gone bad. I hope he clears it up very quickly. You should never joke about something like that,” Ryan said at a press conference after winning his Republican primary. “I didn’t actually hear the comments, I only heard about those comments.”
A joke gone bad is a toady like Paul Ryan ever being treated like a serious person and being third in line to the presidency. Assassination is not a joke.
Donald Trump once said he could shoot someone and not lose support over it and I think he was right. There’s nothing Trump could say or do that would prompt Speaker Ryan to withdraw his support for Trump.
I think that should cover the latest on Trump.
How about a little more outrage, since I am sure you are up for it?
Chad Copley told the 911 operator to send a police car fast — he was “locked and loaded,” he said, and going outside to confront a group of “hoodlums.”
“We got a bunch of hoodlums out here racing,” the 39-year-old Raleigh man told the dispatcher early Sunday morning. “I’m going outside to secure my neighborhood.”
The dispatcher, responding to Copley, asked: “You’re going to do what?”
“I’m going to secure my neighborhood,” Copley said.
He continued: “I’m on neighborhood watch. I am going to have the neighborhood meet these hoodlums out here racing up and down the street. It’s 1 in the morning. There’s some devil in them. They have firearms and we’re going to secure our neighborhood. If I was you, I would send PD out here as quickly as possible.”
A few minutes later, Copley was on the phone with dispatchers again.
This time, haltingly, he explained the aftermath:
“I yelled at them, ‘Please leave the premises,’ ” he said. “They were showing firearms, so I fired a warning shot and uh, we got somebody that got hit. …
“I fired my warning shot like I’m supposed to by law. … They do have firearms, and I’m trying to protect myself and my family.”
The dispatcher pressed for more information: Who’s been shot, how badly are they injured — and where, exactly, is the victim?
“Please just send a car,” Copley responded. “There’s friggin’ black males outside my friggin’ house with firearms. Please, send PD. Thank you.”
He then hung up.
When officers arrived, they found a 20-year-old black man, Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas, dying of a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.
Life in a post-Zimmerman world.
Please read more about this murder at the link.
One more article, it is an op/ed, from Huffington Post. I think the headline says it all, and for me…I do not agree with it, 71 Years Ago: When Truman Failed To Pause — And The Nagasaki War Crime Followed
Nagasaki a war crime?
I have one thing to say, war is hell. Sherman meant to destroy the southern audacity so that it would never forget what happened, that was his message behind his march to the sea…
Those bombs showed the world that nuclear war is the ultimate in devastation, the finality that must be realized, justified and acknowledged with the coming of a nuclear age. It was required to end World War 2, and necessary as a warning of what will come if diplomacy is not the main path to peace going forward. I do not believe it was a war crime.
And, I don’t think we should be wiping out our history and revising it…I’m not talking about changing the names of elementary schools that honor KKK founders…but I have a difficult time with some memorials being eliminated completely. They should remain but I feel that other monuments or large prominent historic markers should be added to explain the historical significance. Make it a real teaching moment for people who see these old statues and carvings on a mountain. (Yeah, carve another monument on Stone Mountain…a memorial to Fredrick Douglas, Harriet Tubman etc.)
Last link is a fun one.
Every four years something really cool happens during men’s Olympic diving competitions: The scores that show up on screen cover the diver’s groin area, accidentally making it look like porn.
Here’s an example of that from the London games:
BBC / Via fmforums.co.uk
And here are a bunch of examples of it happening in Rio. Let your mind wander because you sure as hell know we won’t judge. After all, we’re the ones who spent hours screenshotting these in the first place.
Some of these shots are hilarious.
Dicks out, thumbs up!NBC
He’s like, “Why are you naked, dude?”NBC
Naked friends are the best friends❤NBC
If you haven’t noticed, his name is Steele Johnson.NBC
I hardly know where to begin this morning. Yesterday was one of the strangest days I’ve experienced in my 56 years of following politics. The day began with multiple reports that the Trump campaign was melting down, that campaign staffers are “suicidal,” that campaign manager Paul Manafort has given up and is “mailing it in” because Trump doesn’t listen to advice from anyone. RNC Chair Reince Priebus was reported to be “apoplectic” over Trump’s attacks on the Kahn family and especially his refusal to support GOP Candidates Paul Ryan, John McCain, and Kelly Ayotte.
On the Morning Joe show, Joe Scarborough revealed that in a meeting with a potential national security adviser, Trump asked three times why the U.S. can’t use nuclear weapons. Yahoo News:
“I’ll have to be very careful here,” Scarborough said slowly. “Several months ago, a foreign policy expert on international level went to advise Donald Trump, and three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapons. Three times he asked, at one point, ‘If we have them, why can’t we use them?’ That’s one of the reasons why he just doesn’t have foreign policy experts around him.”
Scarborough, previously a Republican congressman from Florida, clearly startled his colleagues with this story. “Trump,” asked a nonplussed Mike Barnicle. “Trump asked three times?” “Three times, in an hour briefing,” confirmed Scarborough. “Why can’t we use nuclear weapons?”
On the same program General Michael Hayden, former director of both the CIA and NSA, explained why he can’t vote for Trump. Think Progress:
Hayden also expressed concern about “how erratic” Trump is.
“I can argue about this position or that position — I do that with the current president,” Hayden said. “But he’s inconsistent. And when you’re the head of a global super power, inconsistency, unpredictability, those are dangerous things. They frighten your friends and they tempt your enemies. And so, I would be very concerned.”
Asked which people in the national security community are advising Trump, Hayden said, “No one.” And in response to a question about what steps might stand in the way of Trump using nukes if he’s elected president, Hayden said, “The system is designed for speed and decisiveness. It’s not designed to debate the decision.”
During the course of the day yesterday, news outlets reported that an effort was under way to stage an “intervention” to convince Trump that he has been damaging his campaign with his attacks on a gold star family and on fellow Republicans and that he needs to focus on Hillary Clinton as well as broadening his appeal to voters outside his crazy base. The “intervention” team was supposed to consist of Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, and Reince Pribus.
This morning Giuliani is denying the reports and blaming them on Gingrich. Politico:
Donald Trump is not having any sort of “intervention” with the likes of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus or former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Giuliani said Thursday, pointing to Gingrich as the source of the term.
“So first of all I find the word intervention completely out of line,” Giuliani said during a discussion on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria.”
Giuliani then singled out Gingrich specifically.
“That word, I think, honestly I love him dearly, but I think that word was used by Newt in a memo that got around,” Giuliani said. ” What a ridiculous word. An intervention is for a drug addict and it’s for someone who’s an alcoholic and I’ve had to do them with people at times. There’s nothing wrong with them, if that’s the case. Donald Trump doesn’t drink or smoke, by the way. We don’t have that problem.”
NBC News first reported Wednesday that the trio close to Trump were hoping to push the GOP nominee into a reset of his campaign after a calamitous week that led to a subsequent drop in the polls and high-profile Republicans defecting to Hillary Clinton.
All of this is happening just a little over two weeks after Trump accepted the GOP nomination! And on Tuesday, much of the public discussion was about Trump’s mental health, capped off by a discussion with clinical psychologist George Simon on MSNBC’s The Last Word, in which it was decided that Trump probably has a personality disorder. Simon calls it “character disturbance.” Whatever is wrong with Trump, many more people in the media and public office are beginning to notice and express concern.
Republican donors are “panicking,” according Buzzfeed.
Republican donors weren’t expecting a traditional campaign from Donald Trump, but they weren’t expecting the level of this week’s implosion either.
“I don’t know what he’s doing — trying to commit suicide?” said Stan Hubbard, a Minnesota-based top donor to a pro-Trump super PAC. Hubbard has been trying to get other Republican donors, including Charles and David Koch, on board with Donald Trump for months.
But he said Trump’s recent comments, in particular those about the parents of a Muslim American soldier who died in the Iraq War, were “just nonsense,” adding that he sent Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus a note pleading with him to do something. “The whole world is laughing at that. It’s just very frustrating.”
Although Trump’s campaign and the RNC announced raising $80 million in July, the candidate’s rolling implosion has been felt. He’s continued to engage in attacks on the Khan family, refused to endorse Paul Ryan and John McCain, and suggested Russia should hack Hillary Clinton’s email. A high-profile Republican — Meg Whitman — has said she will not only donate to Clinton, but encourage friends to do so as well.
Prospective donors are now having second thoughts about getting involved, while those who convinced themselves to get behind Trump, like Hubbard, are at their wits’ end over the presidential nominee’s behavior.
Reports on other concerned Republican donors at the link.
And Trump himself? He thinks he’s doing just fine! David Catanese at US News: Donald Trump, Party of 1. Furious with his top campaign command, Trump’s response is to go it alone.
Amid a pileup of self-made political disruptions, mounting Republican defections and internal staff exasperation, Donald Trump is proving himself to be a candidate running a presidential race all by his lonesome.
With little regard for the GOP’s future, he continues to antagonize its most prominent elected officials. With an uncontrollable proclivity for tumbling into a tangent on any given target – no matter the time, relevance or risk – he regularly relinquishes control of a media message. Having no capacity to absorb even the slightest political attack, he is constantly lured into petty fights that place him on the wrong side of public opinion. And with little reverence for seasoned political advice, he alienates even those who want to see him recover and succeed.
Trump is a party of one – a candidate embarking on his quixotic and increasingly improbable quest for the presidency without a compass or a map, without a front-line defense shield or significant reinforcements, and always and forever without any regrets.
Even the Lone Ranger rode a horse named Silver; Trump seems quite content to traipse ahead on his own two feet.
And check this out:
When Trump landed in Ashburn, Virginia, on Tuesday – a state in which he has yet to open a campaign office – he huddled backstage with Will Estrada, chairman of the Loudoun County Republican Committee, for advice on how to carry the crucial area.
“George, these people here in Virginia know what we need to do to win Virginia,” Trump told his advance aide, George Gigicos, according to Estrada’s recollection posted on his personal Facebook page.
But Trump also unleashed another line that reverberated with those in the setting, U.S. News has learned: “Don’t listen to New York.”
The message conveyed was that going forward, Trump wanted local leadership to make the decisions on where to hold events and how to stage them – not the suits at high command in Trump Tower.
According to Catanese the only people Trump might listen to are his children and his son-in-law Jared Kushner; but it’s not clear he’ll listen to them if they try to interfere with his own ego-driven decisions.
Meanwhile Trump’s polls are collapsing and Hillary’s are rising. Kevin Drum: Hillary Clinton Is Now Way Ahead of Donald Trump.
I showed great self-restraint yesterday by not posting the latest poll numbers, but today is Wednesday, which is officially the middle of the week. So here’s the latest from Pollster, based entirely on post-convention polls:
Hillary Clinton’s convention bounce will almost certainly fade a bit by next week, but even if it does she’ll remain 4 to 5 points ahead of Trump. This is roughly the same as her lead before the conventions, which suggests that this year’s four-day infomercials probably had no net effect at all.
From Chuck Todd and Carrie Dann this morning: First Read: The Clinton Bounce Is Real.
A spate of new polling shows that the initial evidence of a significant post-convention bounce for Hillary Clinton is looking like it COULD become a sturdy lead for the Democratic nominee. A new Franklin and Marshall College poll of Pennsylvania shows Clinton with an 11 point lead over Trump, 49 percent to 38 percent. A Detroit News/WDIV-TV poll of Michigan voters finds a nine point lead for the former secretary of state, 41 percent to 32 percent. And a freshWBUR/MassINC poll this morning shows Clinton opening up a 15 point lead over the GOP nominee in New Hampshire, 47 percent to 32 percent. Add that to national polls this week from NBC News|SurveyMonkey (Clinton +8), CNN/ORC(Clinton +9) and FOX News (Clinton +10). Bottom line: Trump couldn’t have picked a worse week to have a DISASTROUS week. Clinton was already in the midst of a convention bump, and Trump exacerbated it with his series of unforced errors and unnecessary fights. The next question: How does the Trump campaign react in the next week, when even more national and state polls are likely to show a similar gap between the two candidates?
Clinton is now far ahead of Trump in Michigan, according to The Detroit News.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has widened her lead over Republican Donald Trump in Michigan as 3-in-5 likely voters say the New York businessman is not qualified to be president, according to a new poll conducted for The Detroit News and WDIV-TV.
Clinton led Trump 41 percent to 32 percent in the statewide survey of 600 likely voters conducted Saturday through Monday following Clinton’s formal nomination at last week’s Democratic National Convention.
The poll contains many troubling signs for Trump’s White House campaign, including a “shocking” lead for Clinton in the Republican strongholds of west and southwest Michigan, pollster Richard Czuba said.
Sixty-one percent of likely general election voters said Trump is ill-prepared to be the nation’s commander-in-chief. The figure grows to 67 percent among women, a group with whom Trump performs poorly. Clinton has a commanding 21-percentage-point lead among female voters.
In New Hampshire, where Hillary is now leading Trump by 15 points, GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte has fallen 10 points behind Democrat Maggie Hassan! That is huge. Obviously, we can’t get overconfident, but I really don’t believe Trump is capable of suddenly becoming a sane, reasonable candidate who can at least fake acting presidential.
What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a tremendous Thursday!
This has been one of the strangest and most dramatic weeks in the history of U.S. politics.
We have seen the nomination of a woman for President of the U.S. by a major political party after 240 years of male candidates only.
On the G.O.P. side, we are watching a madman campaign for President while praising the autocratic leader of Russia and inviting Russian intelligence agencies to hack into U.S. government computers and computer systems used by his Democratic opponent. This madman has also suggested that we should let Russia have Crimea and lift the sanctions on Russia that were applied after Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.
What the hell is going on!
A key figure at the Republican national convention where Donald Trump was nominated for president has strong business ties with Ukraine, the Guardian has learned.
The party platform written at the convention in Cleveland last week removed references to arming Ukraine in its fight with Russia, which has supported separatists in eastern Ukraine. Trump’s links to Russia are under scrutiny after a hack of Democratic national committee emails, allegedly by Russian agents.
Frank Mermoud also has longstanding ties to Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who in 2010 helped pro-Russia Viktor Yanukovych refashion his image and win a presidential election in Ukraine. Manafort was brought in earlier this year to oversee the convention operations and its staffing.
Three sources at the convention also told the Guardian that they saw Phil Griffin, a longtime aide to Manafort in Kiev, working with the foreign dignitaries programme. “After years of working in the Ukraine for Paul and others, it was surprising to run into Phil working at the convention,” one said.
The change to the platform on arming Ukraine was condemned even by some Republicans. Senator Rob Portman described it as “deeply troubling”. Veteran party operative and lobbyist Charlie Black said the “new position in the platform doesn’t have much support from Republicans”, adding that the change “was unusual”.
And that’s just the beginning. The article spells out and analyzes Donald Trump’s and his advisers’ extensive past ties to Russia. For decades, the G.O.P. was the party of anti-communism and anti-Russian sentiment. In 2012, Mitt Romney even argued that Russia was the top geopolitical threat to the U.S.; in 2016, Romney’s party is getting very cozy with Russian and its autocratic leader Vladimir Putin.
Now it has become crystal clear that Russia is behind a number of cyberhacks on U.S. and Democratic Party computers.
Thousands of Democratic National Committee emails were hacked and published by WikiLeaks on the eve of the party’s convention in Philadelphia this week. They showed that officials, who are meant to remain impartial, favoured Hillary Clinton and discussed ways to undermine her rival, Bernie Sanders. The leak led to the resignation of chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
The FBI is investigating, with all signs pointing to Russian involvement, though Moscow rejects this. Experts note Vladimir Putin’s past attempts to damage western democracy, including cyber-attacks on French, Greek, Italian and Latvian elections. In 2014, malware was discovered in Ukrainian election software that would have robbed it of legitimacy.
Alina Polyakova, deputy director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council, said: “We can’t say 100% that Mr Putin had a hand in any of this but this kind of meddling in other countries’ affairs is part of Russia’s toolkit. It’s a kind of asymmetric warfare. To me, this looks like something straight from the Russian secret service playbook, but I’m surprised at how brazen they’ve been.”
Trump and his campaign have denied any connection but on Wednesday he ignited a firestorm by calling on Russia to find 30,000 emails deleted from Clinton’s private server. “I think you will probably be mightily rewarded by our press,” he said. He later claimed that he was being sarcastic.
Please read the entire article to learn about Donald Trump’s extensive ties to Russia and Putin.
Donald Trump’s flurry of offhand remarks and abrupt zingers on Russia — praising Vladimir Putin, dismissing NATO — have jolted the world, not to mention the U.S. presidential campaign.
With Russia’s behavior rattling nerves in the U.S. and elsewhere, Trump is accused of cozying up to a “dictator.” Of threatening the very underpinnings of America’s relationship with Europe. And of naiveté.
Some of the GOP presidential nominee’s goals are consistent with long-held U.S. views, many experts say. The idea of fostering U.S.-Russian cooperation isn’t outlandish. After all, Hillary Clinton tried to “reset” relations with Russia when she was secretary of state. Also, past U.S. administrations of both parties have quietly complained that other NATO members should pay their share to the alliance.
It’s what Trump is willing to do to achieve those goals and the way he expresses his views that have shocked many foreign policy experts.
The notion of refusing to defend NATO allies who don’t pay their bills, for example, or of buddying up to Putin despite his aggressive stances is jarring to Democrats and Republicans alike. And it’s on the minds of foreign leaders.
“We’re going to talk about NATO and Russia,” Secretary of State John Kerry said as he met Saturday with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in Paris. Kerry wouldn’t address Trump’s comments specifically, but said he would discuss anything Ayrault wanted to talk about “that has to do with our relationship.”
So Trump’s remarks are already threatening our relationships with our allies.
Reuters claimed last night that the Clinton Campaign itself has been hacked.
A computer network used by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign was hacked as part of a broad cyber attack on Democratic political organizations, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The latest attack, which was disclosed to Reuters on Friday, follows two other hacks on the Democratic National Committee, or DNC, and the party’s fundraising committee for candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives.
A Clinton campaign spokesman said in a statement late on Friday that an analytics data program maintained by the DNC and used by the campaign and a number of other entities “was accessed as part of the DNC hack.”
“Our campaign computer system has been under review by outside cyber security experts. To date, they have found no evidence that our internal systems have been compromised,” said Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill.
Later, a campaign official said hackers had access to the analytics program’s server for approximately five days. The analytics data program is one of many systems the campaign accesses to conduct voter analysis, and does not include social security numbers or credit card numbers, the official said.
The U.S. Department of Justice national security division is investigating whether cyber attacks on Democratic political organizations threatened U.S. security, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.
The involvement of the Justice Department’s national security division is a sign that the Obama administration has concluded that the hacking was sponsored by a state, people with knowledge of the investigation said.
The Clinton Campaign told The Washington Post that their internal computers have not been compromised.
The Clinton presidential campaign said Friday that an “analytics data program” maintained by the Democratic National Committee had been hacked but that its computer system had not been compromised, denying news reports from earlier in the day that the campaign had become the third Democratic Party organization whose systems had been penetrated.
So far, campaign computer experts “have found no evidence that our internal systems have been compromised,” campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said in a statement.
Merrill said that “an analytics data program maintained by the DNC and used by our campaign and a number of other entities was accessed as part of the DNC hack.” The campaign did not provide details, but a source familiar with the situation said that the hacked material was generally dull and did not include email communications, memos, research or other potentially inflammatory communications. Mostly, the source said, it included innocuous data such as computer code and lists of email addresses.
Senior figures in the national security community are warning that the Russian hack of the DNC and the subsequent release of committee emails by the antisecrecy group WikiLeaks may be part of a broader attack on the U.S. electoral process….
If the email leak was orchestrated by the Russian government, “this is an attack not on one party but on the integrity of American democracy,” the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group, a group of 32 homeland security and counterterrorism experts, said in a statement.
Besides his obvious reasons to think he could easily manage Donald Trump if he became POTUS, Putin has reasons to dislike and fear Hillary Clinton. From The Washington Post:
Russian President Vladimir Putin repeatedly accused Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state of interfering in Moscow’s affairs — and if Russian security was behind last week’s release through WikiLeaks of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails, it would look a lot like Kremlin payback.
Even if the breach was carried out by a mid-level intelligence official acting on his own initiative, hoping to please his boss, disclosures that seemingly raise questions about the legitimacy of Clinton’s nomination speak directly to Putin’s complaints about her….
In December 2011, large protests unexpectedly broke out in Moscow following parliamentary elections that featured brazen cheating. Clinton, as secretary of state, called the election “neither free nor fair,” and Putin jumped on that as an attack on Russia and, by extension, him.
“She set the tone for some of our public figures inside the country, sent a signal to them,” Putin said. “They heard this signal and launched active work with the U.S. State Department’s support.”
The rest of that winter saw ever sharpening attacks on the United States as Putin was in the midst of his own presidential election campaign. In the year that followed, some of the strongest anti-American steps that Russia took were only tangentially related to Clinton — expelling the USAID, forcing Radio Liberty off the AM dial, harassing then-U.S. Ambassador Michael A. McFaul….
Clinton had also pushed hard for the Libya intervention in the spring and summer of 2011, which Putin was appalled by, seeing it as unwarranted interference in another nation’s sovereignty. After she stepped down as secretary of state, she made a well-publicized visit to Yalta — in 2013, when it was still part of Ukraine — to support Ukraine’s signing of an agreement with the European Union. Putin hoped to strong-arm Ukraine into joining his Eurasian Economic Union, which Clinton had called an attempt to “re-Sovietize” areas of the former Soviet Union.
That comment and others “were in part seized upon for domestic political reasons,” Samuel Charap, senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Washington, said Wednesday. “She became a convenient scapegoat.”
Read more analysis of the Clinton-Putin relationship at the link.
Joy Reid has been covering this story extensively on her MSNBC show. If you missed it this morning, please check it out on the website. She had some experts on who were quite alarmed by what is happening with Trump and the Russian hacks that seem designed to help him become POTUS.
More important stories to check out:
Washington Post: Appeals court strikes down North Carolina’s voter-ID law.
Mother Jones: Voting Rights Advocates Score a Huge Win in North Carolina.
Kansas City Star: What a great day for protecting voting rights in Kansas and elsewhere
This is what we’ve come to folks. We have a nominee of a major political party and his surrogates calling for the opposition candidate to be thrown in prison, hanged, or shot by a firing squad. Talking Points Memo: The Trump Campaign is Now Wink-Winking Calls to Murder Clinton.
As our reporters on the ground in Cleveland are telling us, the “lock her up” theme of the Cleveland convention is pervasive. Signs, T-shirts, memorabilia – it’s pervasive. It’s not just a chant on the convention floor. The campaign isn’t just comfortable with it. They’re actively pushing it. We noted earlier that a New Hampshire Trump delegate, who’s also a Trump advisor on veterans issue has just said Clinton should be “shot for treason.” He’s now being investigated by the Secret Service for threatening the former First Lady and Secretary of State’s life.
But there’s a part of this story that’s been overshadowed by the shocking nature of what Al Baldasaro said. That’s the response from the Trump campaign. In response to Baldasaro’s attack, Trump Campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said: “We’re incredibly grateful for his support, but we don’t agree with his comments.”
I’m not sure why no one has referenced this. But this is the kind of statement one usually hears about a policy disagreement rather than a demand to murder the opposing party’s nominee.
Calls for violence or the killing of a political opponent usually spurs the other candidate to totally disavow the person in question. Frankly, it’s a pretty new thing for a prominent supporter of a prominent politician to call for killing opposing candidates at all. But the Trump campaign is still “incredibly grateful his support” even though “we don’t agree” that Clinton should be shot.
This too is not normal.
Maybe you didn’t notice her statement until now. I assure you Trump’s more rabid supporters have – or at least noticed the conspicuous lack of any clear denunciation.
Yesterday, Melissa McEwan had a great post at Blue Nation Review on the unforgivable media complicity in this : WE’VE REACHED PEAK HILLARY HATE (Thanks to Our Noxious Media). And she provides plenty of linky goodness.
The national media’s treatment of Hillary has never been great. Whether it’s endlessly discussing her “likability,” or casually referring to her as “Godzillary” or “a Lovecraftian monster, the Cthulhu of American politics,” or depicting her with devil horns, or portraying her as a towering man-crushing monster, or constantly subjecting her to Remember Your Place pictures, or saying she “must be stopped,” they have long been prominent purveyors of narratives about Hillary being History’s Greatest Monster.
But their coverage in 2016 has been a total disgrace. A complete and utter embarrassment, culminating with this now-scrubbed headline care of the Washington Post: In Trump’s moment of triumph, Clinton is in the crosshairs.
Not only are the WaPo’s editors evidently watching a different convention than the rest of us if they imagine Donald is having “a moment of triumph,” but where is their sense of decency that they would say Hillary is in “the crosshairs”? Using such violent rhetoric at any time would be extraordinarily cruel, but to do so in the middle of a national nightmare of mass shootings is truly breathtaking.
And the replacement is hardly any better: Trump captures GOP nomination as focus their fire on Clinton.
“Focus their fire.” This is truly unconscionable.
Melissa goes on to write about the media’s refusal to acknowledge the millions of people who support Hillary and are excited about the prospect of her becoming the first woman POTUS.
The fact is this: despite all the vitriol, Hillary is a popular presidential candidate. How can I make such a controversialclaim, in spite of her high unfavorables (ahem) and relentless articles detailing how unpopular she is? Because she won.
Because in winning her party’s nomination, she defeated Bernie Sanders, who himself was a popular candidate, by millions of votes and hundreds of delegates. Because she was a popular First Lady. Because she was a popular Senator. Because she was a popular Secretary of State. Because she has been the most admired women in the world for two decades.
And, no, that’s not hyperbole.
But you wouldn’t know that Hillary is popular, if you depended exclusively on corporate media for your news—because there is a seemingly endless parade of stories about how unpopular she is (whoops!); how unliked she is (bloop!); how little enthusiasm there is for her candidacy (uh-oh!).
There’s much more at the link, so please go read it if you haven’t already.
Also yesterday, Tony Schwartz, who wrote Trump’s bestselling book The Art of the Deal, discussed his experience of GOP nominee in an interview with The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer.
Schwartz had ghostwritten Trump’s 1987 breakthrough memoir, earning a joint byline on the cover, half of the book’s five-hundred-thousand-dollar advance, and half of the royalties. The book was a phenomenal success, spending forty-eight weeks on the Times best-seller list, thirteen of them at No. 1. More than a million copies have been bought, generating several million dollars in royalties. The book expanded Trump’s renown far beyond New York City, making him an emblem of the successful tycoon. Edward Kosner, the former editor and publisher of New York, where Schwartz worked as a writer at the time, says, “Tony created Trump. He’s Dr. Frankenstein.”
Starting in late 1985, Schwartz spent eighteen months with Trump—camping out in his office, joining him on his helicopter, tagging along at meetings, and spending weekends with him at his Manhattan apartment and his Florida estate. During that period, Schwartz felt, he had got to know him better than almost anyone else outside the Trump family. Until Schwartz posted the tweet, though, he had not spoken publicly about Trump for decades. It had never been his ambition to be a ghostwriter, and he had been glad to move on. But, as he watched a replay of the new candidate holding forth for forty-five minutes, he noticed something strange: over the decades, Trump appeared to have convinced himself that he had written the book. Schwartz recalls thinking, “If he could lie about that on Day One—when it was so easily refuted—he is likely to lie about anything.”
It seemed improbable that Trump’s campaign would succeed, so Schwartz told himself that he needn’t worry much. But, as Trump denounced Mexican immigrants as “rapists,” near the end of the speech, Schwartz felt anxious. He had spent hundreds of hours observing Trump firsthand, and felt that he had an unusually deep understanding of what he regarded as Trump’s beguiling strengths and disqualifying weaknesses. Many Americans, however, saw Trump as a charmingly brash entrepreneur with an unfailing knack for business—a mythical image that Schwartz had helped create. “It pays to trust your instincts,” Trump says in the book, adding that he was set to make hundreds of millions of dollars after buying a hotel that he hadn’t even walked through.
In the subsequent months, as Trump defied predictions by establishing himself as the front-runner for the Republican nomination, Schwartz’s desire to set the record straight grew. He had long since left journalism to launch the Energy Project, a consulting firm that promises to improve employees’ productivity by helping them boost their “physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual” morale. It was a successful company, with clients such as Facebook, and Schwartz’s colleagues urged him to avoid the political fray. But the prospect of President Trump terrified him. It wasn’t because of Trump’s ideology—Schwartz doubted that he had one. The problem was Trump’s personality, which he considered pathologically impulsive and self-centered.
Please go read the whole thing. As soon as the article was published, Trump sent him a “cease and desist letter.” and demanded that Schwarz return all of his royalties from the book.
You may have seen Rachel Maddow’s interview with Schwartz last night in which he called Trump “a black hole,” and a “sociopath.” Steve Benen writes:
Schwartz is eager to tell the public about what he learned about Trump after their collaboration.As Rachel discovered last night, Trump’s lawyers have a different plan in mind.Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter of Donald Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal,” told MSNBC Wednesday that the Trump campaign sent him a cease and desist letter in response to his comments about the Republican candidate.Schwartz, a former journalist, was employed by Trump to ghostwrite his memoir in 1987. In an interview with MSNBC, Schwartz described the Republican candidate for president as “having no heart and no soul.”
“This notion that I didn’t write the book is so preposterous,” Schwartz added. “You know, I am not certain that Donald Trump read every word, but I’m sure certain that I wrote every word. And he made a few red marks on the manuscript and sent it back to me, and the rest was history. The idea that he would dispute that is part of why I felt I had to come forward. The notion that if he could lie about that he could lie about anything.”
Benen says the New Yorker article is a must-read, and I agree wholeheartedly.
More stories to check out:
Jonathan Chait: Republicans in Chaos Must Decide Whether to Elect a Madman.
What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a tremendous Thursday!
As you will notice today’s post is being accompanied by black and white stripes. (Or are they white and black stripes?)
Black and white printed stripes, black shadows against white skin, or white lights streaming upwards against a black night.
Whatever the case may be, I think the last few days have brought home my deepest fears…perhaps it is because I live in Banjoville, a town that is so predominately Trump territory. So I have the intimate knowledge of the “phenomena” that is Trump-ism… you know that shit that so many dumb-asses in the media write about…let me tell you plain and simple what is Trump’s Juju with the crowd who is voting for him come November.
It is white supremacy.
Shall I repeat it? Yes, I think I should.
And it brings with it all the other horrible baggage you would expect…the usual racism, hate, intolerance, misogyny, assholism, and all the rest peppered with a shit load of “christian values” as they define the code of religious virtue…as it applies to who they feel deserves it. Which you all know is limited to those they consider “right” enough (white enough) to meet the approved standard.
As this quote from Juan Cole, when speaking about the shit-stain Rep. Stephen King…and his disgusting comment at the RNC on Monday: Rep. Stephen King, White People and ‘Civilization’
Rep. Steve King objected to a comment during a cable news discussion at MSNBC that this will be the last election dominated by old white people.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) offered an unusual defense of the racial homogeneity of his party during a panel on MSNBC Monday evening.
The group, led by Chris Hayes, was discussing the first day of the Republican national convention and Donald Trump’s history of racially-loaded comments and behavior. King told Hayes that he thought Trump had “modified” his behavior in that regard, but Esquire’s Charlie Pierce said he didn’t see much diversity reflected in the gathering itself.
“If you’re really optimistic, you can say that this is the last time that old white people will command the Republican Party’s attention, its platform, its public face,” Pierce said. “That hall is wired,” he continued. “That hall is wired by loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people.”
“This ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie,” King said. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about, where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”
“Than, than Western civilization itself,” King replied. “It’s rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That’s all of Western civilization.”
There are lots of basic things wrong with King’s statement, even just starting with his category of ‘whiteness’. Whiteness is not ‘natural’– it is an invented category. Were Irish white? A lot of English didn’t think so. “Whites” rioted against Greek immigrants to the US. White supremacists still argue over whether to let in Italian-Americans. Me, I don’t want to be called white and I decline that categorization whenever the government or other people with questionnaires will let me. The Appalachian side of my family probably has some Melungeon to it and some of us aren’t all that ‘white.’
If by civilization is meant urban society with high rates of literacy, scientific and technological innovation, role specialization and division of labor, and high levels of collective government, then northern European Christians did not invent it.
Iraq, Iran, India, China and Egypt did. The Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Elamites, Persians, Indians, Chinese and the Pharaohs of Egypt had civilization for thousands of years while Celts in Britain were painting themselves blue and doing hunting and gathering in the wastes.
There is way more at the link, please go and read the full article.
You can see video of the statements here: America And White Cultural Superiority: Representative Steve King
Of course it is no use to show or tell these Trumptarians the facts. Because they will go on, completely make up false stuff, put it in school books and teach it to the young children. And hey, they don’t even have to stick to charter schools anymore, in Texas…where most of the US public schools purchase their textbooks to use in the public education system, fact is a thing of the past.
It’s “deeply flawed,” but that hasn’t stopped the Texas State Board of Education before.
A proposed Mexican-American studies textbook has drawn harsh criticism for what Latino educators and scholars in Texas are calling a lack of scholarly expertise, major factual inaccuracies and demeaning characterizations of Mexican-Americans.
“What we have now is a deeply flawed and a deeply offensive textbook,” Celina Moreno, of the Texas Latino Education Coalition, said at a Monday press conference.
Groups like Moreno’s came together with professors who specialize in Mexican-American heritage, and who had been independently scrutinizing the textbook, to share some of their disturbing findings.
Emilio Zamora, a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, reviewed material that covered the U.S.-Mexican War of 1846-48 to the present. He said he found “five to seven serious, serious errors per page,” which render the entire publication “useless and even counterproductive.”
The Texas State Board of Education is currently reviewing the book for potential approval. Although the book’s fate is far from clear, the board has previously approved textbooks and curricula that deny climate change, promote creationism, whitewash historical events and maintain that the roots of Western democracy are found in the Bible.
And last year, the board rejected a proposal that state-approved elementary and high school textbooks be fact-checked by academics.
Because of the state’s tremendous clout in the educational publishing world, Dan Quinn of the nonpartisan educational watchdog group Texas Freedom Network told HuffPost that content that makes the grade in the Lone Star State is likely to be adopted ― in some form or another ― well beyond its borders.
I really feel that this has been coming for some time. I remember writing about this textbook shit years ago…it is one of the topics we have discussed frequently on the blog.
The lone proposal for a Mexican-American heritage textbook came from Momentum Instructions, a company linked to Cynthia Dunbar, a former education board member known for her extreme conservative views. Quinn described her four-year term on the board as “one culture war after another.”
In a 2008 book titled One Nation Under God ― released while Dunbar was still serving on the state board ― she called public education “tyrannical” and a “subtly deceptive tool of perversion,” according to the Texas Observer.
As for the proposed textbook, Quinn suggested that Dunbar and its authors were seeking to “promote their own political and personal ideas.” He said the authors lack credible expertise in the field of Mexican-American studies.
Emails and calls to Momentum Instructions were not immediately returned.
For a few more remarks on this “textbook” see this article: Scholars Have Scathing Reviews for Mexican-American History Textbook
As the State Board of Education (SBOE) is accepting comments on the book before voting on it in November, a group of academics and advocacy groups decided to take a closer look at Mexican American Heritage. Organized as the Responsible Ethnic Studies Textbook Coalition, they announced their reviews Monday morning at the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) offices in Austin.
As it went on, the press conference began to sound more like the least successful book blurb pitch session ever:
“A deeply flawed and deeply offensive textbook that has no place in Texas classrooms.” — Celina Moreno, Texas Latino Education Coalition
“Replete with … offensive racial stereotypes.” — Lilliana Saldaña, associate professor of Mexican-American studies at UT-San Antonio
“So riddled with factual errors that a traditional publisher would not have recognized or tried to publish this book.” — Christopher Carmona, National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies-Tejas Foco
“Willfully irresponsible, culturally chauvinist and discriminatory.” — Zamora
“The person who wrote the section on Texas history would have failed a fourth-grade exam. … There are no women cited or quoted in the entire chapter.” — José María Herrera, assistant professor of education at UT-El Paso
The coalition is calling for the SBOE to completely reject the book — not just require a few tweaks to the text — for a combination of factual errors, academic laziness and cultural insensitivity.
Saldaña noted that the book not only refers to indigenous people as “Indians,” but provides a lengthy explanation of why “Indians” is the best term to use. Elsewhere, Saldaña pointed out, the authors describe one group of people as driven by “bloodlust” — language she said was better suited to a Hollywood script than a serious academic text.
Uh…chapters with no women writers or quotes? What the fuck? (Misogyny strikes again!) I don’t know, the few comments from members of the Republican board members will give you an example of how frustrating the attitude can be…Proposed Texas textbook describes Mexican-Americans as ‘lazy,’ new coalition works to block it – The Washington Post
The Texas State Board of Education is reviewing the proposed book and will consider public comments and feedback in September.
In an article in the Austin American-Statesman last month, one board member said the textbook was okay with him:
Board member David Bradley, R-Beaumont, who opposed asking for a Mexican-American studies course and textbook, said the proposed book seems fine.
“It’s really kind of amusing. The left-leaning, radical Hispanic activists, having pounded the table for special treatment, get approval for a special course that nobody else wanted,” Bradley said. “Now they don’t like their special textbook? I bet they want everyone to also get an A for just attending? The one thing we can’t fix in this world is unhappy people.”
It really pisses me off…fuck him. (That male superior tone in the statement. How I hate it.) And this is how the majority of the population in my home town think. It is exactly how a Trumptonain thinks. And it is the kind of person who will vote him into office.
Just one more link for you today…this: What’s on Display in Cleveland? The Republican Id – BillMoyers.com
The triumph of Trump has demonstrated the cost of the devil’s bargain that party elites — and the media — have accepted over the years.
What is on display at the RNC in Cleveland is the Republican id. We always suspected it would look something like this. But even though it reared its ugly head on occasion on Fox News or in Congress — on the lips of some right-wing preacher or billionaire hedge-fund manager. They would compare gays to Satan, progressive taxation to Naziism and people of color to criminals at best, animals at worst — but the more polite, polished folks who spoke for the party would always regretfully shake their well-coiffed heads and explain that wasn’t what the party was really about.And to their eternal shame, most in the media ran interference for this confidence game, only to be blindsided when Trump demonstrated that it had always been a charade.
Well thanks to Donald Trump and his followers, the jig is up. Melania Trump’s plagiarism of Michelle Obama was just about the least offensive thing one heard from the podium on Monday night. The rest was a near orgy of hatred, racism, sexism and ethnocentrism. Rudy Giuliani has always presented himself as an avatar of “law and order.” This has been a conservative mantra for half a century. We always suspected it was code for the suppression of African-Americans and now we know. Ditto all this talk of “Judeo-Christian” values. It’s a code for Islamophobia and oppression. And the attacks on Hillary Clinton sound an awful lot as if they are being spoken by people who simply cannot accept the fact that women have the same rights and capabilities as men. And to their eternal shame, most in the media ran interference for this confidence game, only to be blindsided when Trump demonstrated that it had always been a charade.
Listen to the speeches by the Republican heavyweights who have agreed to take the stage in Cleveland; not one of them has put forth an actual idea that makes sense in terms of how to govern the United States. That’s because governance has long ceased being relevant to the Republican coalition. What holds it together is nothing more than nostalgia for a more oppressive America and resentment toward those who refuse, any longer, to sit on the back of bus.
My only response to this is to say that it is what I’ve been seeing all along, for years…from my window into the world that is my “quiet redneck mountain town” of Banjoville, GA. It is frightening as hell. I cannot lean back and think this election is a done deal. That folks will vote for Hillary and that she is a foregone conclusion to win in November. I am truly scared Trump could pull it out, and the stupidity will put him in office…and we will once again see the white lights of supremacy that shone in Nuremberg those years ago…brightening the dark black skies over America…to make America Great Again…to make America Safe Again. (As the RNC message was on Monday.)