Susan Rice: No Bombshell At All.

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National Security Advisor Susan Rice follows President Barack Obama across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, to board Marine One, Thursday, July 7, 2016. CREDIT: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster.

Conservatives and Nazis are jumping all over a non-existent bombshell, which has to do with former National Security Advisor Susan Rice. If you’re interested in the truth of the matter, go on over to Think Progress to get the facts. All that really needs to be noted about this compleat lack of a story is that it was spread all over the place by Nazi Mike “Pizzagate!” Cernovich.

It’s yet another case of bullshit. Don’t swallow it. The totally phony Susan Rice story, explained.

Also see: Trump Junior Is A Fucking Idiot.

The Dynamics of the Regime.

President Donald Trump greets visitors touring the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

President Donald Trump greets visitors touring the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

The Trump administration’s agenda has started to solidify a month and a half after his inauguration. ThinkProgress checked in with scholars on authoritarianism to see how that agenda it’s taking shape. For people who have devoted their lives to studying anti-democratic movements, recent White House actions are more disturbing than ever.

[…] Trump’s language has spread not just to the media, but to supporters in politics. Take a recent tweet from Rep. Steve King (R-IA) where he claimed leakers needed to be ‘purged’:

@RealDonaldTrump needs to purge Leftists from executive branch before disloyal, illegal & treasonist acts sink us.

Cas Mudde, an associate professor at the University of Georgia, and author of Populism, A Very Short Introduction: This is a great example of how the U.S. far right has become emboldened and more visible. Steve King has been a radical right voice in the U.S. House of Representatives for years and years. He started normalizing radical right politicians from Europe years ago, with Louis Gohmert and Michele Bachmann, meeting, among others, with [Dutch right-wing nationalist] Geert Wilders in 2015 and 2016, with [French right-wing nationalist] Marine Le Pen in 2016 and 2017, and with [German right-wing nationalist] Frauke Petry in 2016.

While the meetings were public, King seemed aware he was part of a fringe within the GOP that supported these parties. Now, as one can see in this tweet, King clearly feels Trump is on the same page. Like David Duke and other long-standing U.S. far right activists and politicians, they believe their time is now, and they call upon Trump to do what they have only dreamed off in the past decades. It again shows that Trump is not “alien” to the GOP. Not only does the majority of the GOP base support him, and most of his “controversial” policies, but many GOP members of Congress, particularly in the House, were always closer to him than to Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell.

This goes for all the Religious Reich, right wing pundits, and far right conspiracy theorists, too. They finally have the audience they have craved, with a power to back it up. There might be a minor disagreement here or there, but they will continue to back the Regime in order to get things they have dreamed about for decades.

Berman: It’s one thing to say leakers are bad or government employees shouldn’t be leaking classified information, but these kinds of terms or concepts — purging, enemies — are very dangerous. Again it’s a sign of no longer seeing yourself as a national community engaged with fellow citizens, but in a zero sum struggle going on here — and people opposed to you are not just different politically but enemies. It makes democracy impossible to function and a social consensus impossible to achieve.

Trump’s power is in his rhetoric — and not just policy — which is incredibly divisive. He’s creating problems, and the rhetoric itself makes it impossible to do what democracy requires: compromise and consensus.

Ben Ghiat: The tone of King’s Tweet — get them before they can wreck us — conveys this cornered feeling — and what might transpire.

Trump’s policies are messages aimed at the people of the United States. They say what kind of country, society, and culture his administration wants.

This one sentence ^ is one that apologists for Trump supporters need to take on board, stat. Most Trump supporters are not dismayed, they are happy with the way things are going. They are filled with bile and rage, bloated with a sense of entitlement, and they want other people to suffer.

Berman: The revised ban … claims to be something that keeps terrorists out of the U.S., even though there is empirically no evidence that it does that. But it speaks to his base and says, “Look, I did what I promised.”

[On undocumented immigrants] Trump is saying, “I’m enforcing the law.” Which is technically true, but he’s doing it in a way that is speaking to his base and breaking up families, which is very, very cruel. He’s doubling down, and it’s very attractive to a lot of people. It’s very powerful for lots of people who think politicians make promises they don’t keep.

Yes. Yes, it is. Anyone who takes 10 minutes here or there to read comments following the slightest criticism of the Regime will see just how much Trump supporters are in love with this.

I think what’s most worrying to me is the divisiveness that Trump is using to whip up his base and solidify support among true believers. He’s not winning anybody on the other side, and this is really problematic. Rolling back Obamacare is bad and banning people is a bad thing. It’s not entirely different from what we expected from other conservatives, but it’s really proven to be way, way, way different than with other candidates. And way more dangerous for democracy is this rhetoric, alternative facts, and inability to reach compromises with the other side of aisle. It’s truly pernicious, and what he’s managed in a couple months is really frightening.

Ben Ghiat: The separation of families and the further empowerment of ICE are unnecessary, cruel, and intimidating — and that is exactly their point. Causing human suffering and demoralization was built into this administration and emphasized in Trump’s dark inaugural address. They also show allies their commitment to the agenda of state racism. I see the setting up of immigrants as targets to be deported as part of a racist population management scheme which has [Chief Strategist Steve] Bannon as its mastermind, but plenty of help from the GOP.

We really aren’t all that far from concentration camps. A lot of people on the left insist this is hyperbole, no, it wouldn’t ever get that bad, checks and balances, all that. Well, all that hasn’t worked at all so far, has it? A lot people on the left said it could never reach the point it has, insisting on their rose-coloured glasses. “It won’t come to that.” It has come to that, and it’s going to get worse.

Mudde: As should have been clear to anyone watching President Trump’s joint session speech, he hasn’t changed. Yes, he read a speech from the teleprompter without going on rants, but every time he talked about the need to come together and not divide the nation, he pointed his hand in the direction of the Democrats. Moreover, despite the pandering to congressional Republicans — in terms of deregulation and overturning Obama legislation, particularly Obamacare — let there be no mistake that this was a Bannon-[Stephen] Miller speech.

The only topic of discussion after the speech, at least for liberals, should have been VOICE, i.e. the new federal program for Victims of Immigrant Crime Enforcement that he announced. This is an incredible example of nativist politics, distinguishing victims not on the basis of the crime or damage they have suffered, but the ethnicity/legal status of the perpetrator. It obviously serves the purpose to identify “immigrants” — not just undocumented ones — with crime and crime with immigrants.

The fact that self-appointed liberal spokesmen like Van Jones and Bill Maher hailed this speech for its presidentialism shows just how shallow and self-centered their opposition is. He didn’t go after “us,” so it was a good speech. In other words, for me, the main story of the last week was not anything Trump did, but the deep desire among conservatives and liberals to normalize Trump.

The sheer amount of people intent on normalising Trump and the Regime is terrifying in and of itself. I understand the desire, the constant onslaught of corruption and evil is difficult to deal with. Heads get filled with anxiety and depression, shoulders hunched and knotted with the weight of stress. There comes a point where the desire to just sink into denial is overwhelmingly welcome. Regardless, we can’t afford ourselves the narcotic of normalisation, we must all stand, as firm and bright torches blazing in the dark, lighting the way we must go.

Full story at Think Progress.

Now It’s “Travel Review”.

Khizr Khan speaks at the Democratic National Convention accompanied by his wife Ghazala -- screenshot.

Khizr Khan speaks at the Democratic National Convention accompanied by his wife Ghazala — screenshot.

Khizr Khan, the Muslim American Gold Star father who famously railed against President Donald Trump at last year’s Democratic National Convention, has cancelled a planned speech he was scheduled to give in Toronto after being informed that the U.S. government is “reviewing” his travel privileges.

Untitled-1

KHIZR KHAN EVENT CANCELLATION

Late Sunday evening Khizr Khan, an American citizen for over 30 years, was notified that his travel privileges are being reviewed. As a consequence, Mr. Khan will not be traveling to Toronto on March 7th to speak about tolerance, understanding, unity and the rule of law. Very regretfully, Ramsay Talks must cancel its luncheon with Mr. Khan. Guests will be given full refunds.

Mr. Khan offered his sincere apologies to all those who made plans to attend on March 7th. He said: “This turn of events is not just of deep concern to me but to all my fellow Americans who cherish our freedom to travel abroad. I have not been given any reason as to why. I am grateful for your support and look forward to visiting Toronto in the near future.

This fairly SCREAMS unpresident pettiness. Full story here.

President Jekyll and Mr. Tweet.

Screen-Shot-2016-12-01-at-11.03.04-PM

Whoever was keeping Mr. Tweet locked up tight lost the battle, and unhinged tweets are once again littered about, this time mashing up Pres. Obama, wire taps, McCarthyism, and Watergate. I’m just going to include one here:

How low has President Obama gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!

No, Teeny Tyrant, this isn’t Watergate, and you aren’t Nixon. You’re a corrupt fucking idiot, who has his very own massive scandal to worry about. I wonder, does he think this twittershit actually makes a difference? Apparently, this latest appearance of Mr. Tweet was triggered by an article in Breitbart. You can read about that here. You can read some of the responses here.

I just want to focus on one thing: the very sacred election process. Right. Would you be talking about all the voter suppression which took place? Pretty sure you’d consider that bit sacred, seeing as it was illegal, unethical, and well into evil territory. Or is it the travesty of the electoral college that’s sacred? One thing is for certain, you don’t consider the votes of millions of people to be shit, let alone sacred. I expect the Idiot-in-Chief meant sacrosanct, but that word is a bit big.

Well, that so-called grand and normal moment, oh so presidential and all that, it didn’t last long, did it? What amazes me is that anyone fell for that shit in the first place. Just because Trump can manage, with enough wrangling, to be President Jekyll for a moment, does not mean Mr. Tweet has gone away.

Also see this response:

A California Congressman took to Twitter on Saturday morning to warn President Donald Trump that — if he is correct that his Trump Tower phones were tapped — he is “in deep sh*t.”

Think Progress is also covering this story.

Tiny Rallies.

The Tiny Tyrant hasn’t been feeling validated enough lately, so he called for Trump fans to have rallies to make ‘merica great and all that shit, BIG HUGE MASSIVE MORE MASSIVE THAN EVER BEFORE rallies. The result was on the teeny tiny side.

Full story here.

No Lines, Russian Flags, and Bizarre Braggadocio.

Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center (Gabrielle Bluestone/Twitter).

Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center (Gabrielle Bluestone/Twitter).

The Tiny Tyrant’s appearance at CPAC, not all he claimed, to say the least. Here’s the roundup:

President Donald Trump complained the media would not report that crowds lined up for six blocks to hear him speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference — and he’s right.

There were no lines outside the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center, where the annual CPAC gathering is hosted, because the event is private, reported The Slot.

Via Raw Story.

CPAC attendees wave Russian flags with the word "TRUMP" written on the front (Screen cap).

CPAC attendees wave Russian flags with the word “TRUMP” written on the front (Screen cap).

Russian flags were being waved all over the place during the Tiny Tyrant’s braggadocio, which alarmed CPAC organizers, who had them quickly collected.
Apparently, the flags were handed out beforehand in an act of brilliant subversion. People who prefer obscurantism are so damn gullible. By the way, if you’re unclear about all the latest on the Russian situation, Think Progress has you covered.

Via Raw Story.

Donald Trump (CPAC)

Donald Trump (CPAC)

Lastly, the twitternet exploded over the Tiny Tyrant’s bizzare speech, a mix of bragging and a philippic against media.

Via Raw Story.

The Power Must Not Be Questioned!

Stephen Miller, policy adviser to President-elect Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower in New York, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

Stephen Miller, policy adviser to President-elect Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower in New York, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

As most everyone is aware, Stephen Miller did the media dance all of Sunday, spreading bullshit far and wide. It’s no secret that the Tiny Dictator is displeased with Spicer, and tweeted happily about Miller’s performances. Those performances should disturb the hell out of everyone with a brain and the ability to use it.

Senior White House Policy Advisor Stephen Miller raised plenty of eyebrows on Sunday as the perused the talk-show circuit talking about cases of voter fraud (that don’t exist) and Steve Bannon’s lack of involvement in drafting executive orders (which, according to most reports, is the exact opposite of the truth).

But perhaps his most alarming statement was in reference to the federal judges in Washington rejecting President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.

“I think that it’s been an important reminder to all Americans that we have a judiciary that has taken far too much power and become in many cases a supreme branch of government,” Miller told John Dickerson of CBS News, as first noted by Will Saletan of Slate. “The end result of this, though, is that our opponents, the media, and the whole world will soon see, as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.

Emphasis mine. This is the boot stomp of authoritarianism, the herald of a regime which wants no dissent whatsoever, from anyone. What’s even more frightening is the amount of people willing to go along with it. Elsewhere I wrote: I think there’s a place for the very worst truth of all: it does not take much to normalise the most monstrous of behaviours, and it takes very little indeed to make people willingly join in said behaviours. The time and place is now.

Think Progress has the full story.

Oh, that fucking wall.

An agent of the border patrol, observes near the Mexico-US border fence, on the Mexican side, separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico, on January 25. CREDIT: AP Photo/Christian Torres.

An agent of the border patrol, observes near the Mexico-US border fence, on the Mexican side, separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico, on January 25. CREDIT: AP Photo/Christian Torres.

The projected cost for President Donald Trump’s border wall continues to rise, and Trump has no good plan to contain it.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that the border wall will be much more expensive than the $10 billion figure Trump repeatedly cited during his campaign or the $12–$15 billion cited by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) last month.

“Trump’s ‘wall’ along the U.S.-Mexico border would be a series of fences and walls that would cost as much as $21.6 billion, and take more than three years to construct,” Reuters reported, citing a U.S. Department of Homeland Security document the outlet obtained.

And it could end up costing even more than that.

“Bernstein Research, an investment research group that tracks material costs, has said that uncertainties around the project could drive its cost up to as much as $25 billion,” Reuters reports.

On Saturday morning, Trump responded to that news by assuring Americans that costs of constructing the wall will come “WAY DOWN” as soon as he gets involved in the negotiations.

<Tweets snipped.>

But Trump’s citation of the reduced cost of F-35s should give no one confidence he’ll be able to bring down the exorbitant cost of his border wall.

That’s because on January 30, Trump took credit for cost cuts to the fighter jets that were already put in place before he got involved. A Washington Post fact-check gave Trump’s claim that he was responsible for cutting $600 million from the F-35 program “Four Pinocchios.”

[…]

Trump has repeatedly taken credit for deals that were in the works long before he won the election or became president. For instance, he’s overstated his role in deals with Intel, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, and Sprint to take credit for saving American jobs.

[…]

Last year, Reuters reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents don’t think the type of border wall Trump has long supported is necessary for national security. Instead, they seek better equipment and technology.

Not only is this wall idea the epitome of idiocy, people tend to forget a different cost of such idiocy – the high cost imposed on animals, the environment, and various ecologies. This sort of arrogant assholery is little more than a chest-pounding display of cruelty, a game for bully boys. Unfortunately, such people don’t much give a shit about the planet which gives them life, or the diversity of life on our earth, which has no use for the concrete idiocy of naked apes intent on warring with their neighbours. You can read a bit about this high cost here.

Full story at Think Progress.

“A Very, Very Strict Ban.”

A crowd welcomes passengers as they exit customs at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. CREDIT: Jack Jenkins/ThinkProgress.

A crowd welcomes passengers as they exit customs at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. CREDIT: Jack Jenkins/ThinkProgress.

Our dictator ordered a ban, called it a ban. The ban was on Muslims, every country except those the dictator does business in, which was terribly convenient. People have been upset, and rightly so, there were many protests, still are, over the chaos and cruelty being inflicted on people. The thin-skinned tyrant now has his little cadre of hench people trying to spin it, in an attempt to expunge the word ban in favour of “extreme vetting”. Someone should point out that the switch doesn’t make the ban sound any less of a ban, or in any way, better. Use of the word extreme isn’t going to help. We already know that Trump is extremely unstable, and this latest round of idiocy and alternative facts is accomplishing nothing outside of emphasising the lies, bullshit and instability.

During his Tuesday press availability, Trump administration Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted that the travel ban implemented by President Trump via executive order last Friday isn’t actually a ban at all.

“It can’t be a ban if you’re letting a million people in,” Spicer said, referring to the fact that Muslims who don’t hail from the seven Muslim-majority countries included in the ban can still travel to the U.S. “If 325,000 people from another country can come in, that is by nature not a ban… that is extreme vetting.”

Emphasis mine. This is open pandering to willful idiots, bigots, and nazis everywhere. And all the willful idiots, bigots, and nazis are swallowing this massive lie whole.

Spicer’s explanation prompted reporters to refer back a tweet posted by Trump on Monday morning in which he referred to his travel ban as a “ban.” Trump also referred to it as “a very, very strict ban” on Saturday.

In fact, in a White House press release distributed Sunday, Spicer himself referred to the ban as “a 90-day ban.”

But during Tuesday’s press availability, Spicer insisted that any confusion over whether or not Trump’s executive order constitutes a ban is the media’s fault.

“He’s using the words the media is using,” Spicer said of Trump’s tweet. “I think the words that are being used to describe it derive from what the media is calling this. [Trump] has been very clear that it is extreme vetting.”

Ah yes, it’s the media’s fault, natch. Thing is, no one in media could have reported on this at all until the Dictator and his gleeful goons implemented the ban, taking everyone, including half of those in government, by surprise. It was the implementation of a ban. It was called a ban. In action, it’s a ban. The executive order: ban. Ban, ban, ban, ban, ban. This is not the fault of media, it’s the result of a faulty brain and ginormous ego.

Likewise, because non-Muslims from the seven countries included in Trump’s travel ban are banned from entering the U.S. and because Muslims from other countries can still enter the country, Spicer and Trump supporters argue that Trump’s action doesn’t represent a “ban.”

The actual facts are as plain as the nose on your face, but those supporting Trump have not only swallowed this, they believe it, and are pushing this fancy all over the place. “It’s temporary, not a ban!” “It’s just vetting, to keep us safe!” and so on. These people are proud to be xenophobic assholes.

But Trump has been clear about his intentions all along. His December 2015 statement “calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on” is still on his website. And during a Fox News appearance on Saturday, Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani said that Trump’s executive order stemmed from a desire to ban Muslims, but to do so with the veneer of legality.

“So when [Trump] first announced it, he said, ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally,’” Giuliani said. “And what we did was, we focused on, instead of religion, danger — the areas of the world that create danger for us. Which is a factual basis, not a religious basis. Perfectly legal, perfectly sensible. And that’s what the ban is based on. It’s not based on religion. It’s based on places where there are substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.”

But Giuliani’s comment about “areas of the world that create danger” being the basis for the ban is belied by the facts. As the Wall Street Journal reports, of the 161 people charged with jihadist terrorism-related crimes or who died before being charged since 2001, only 11 were identified as being from the seven countries included in Trump’s executive order — Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, and Somalia.

The veneer of legality. Yeah. A spray on veneer, like a choking cloud of Aquanet. All this to catch nothing. There are terrorists here, but they aren’t at any airport. We have plenty of homegrown terrorists, and there’s a sadistic terrorist sitting in the highest office of the land.

Via Think Progress. This morning, I watched the advert Budweiser is going to air over the Superbowl (American Football), and if you think you need some insight into how Trumpoids think, along with their terrifying inability to think, head over and skim the comments.

 

Oh FFS Roundup.

President-elect Donald Trump speaking to reporters at Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

 CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

Trump’s team is worried. Seems they finally figured out they won’t be able to focus Donny at all. Instead of even pretending to do anything presidential, the Angry Tweeter in Chief spent most of his first weekend in office angrily tweeting, and siccing Spicer on the press, to present those alternative facts.

[Read more…]

Germans Aren’t Buying Chevy, Not Fair!

Wikimedia Commons.

Wikimedia Commons.

Trump is busy threatening German automakers, because they aren’t completely focused on uStates. He seems to think that all automakers who want to sell their cars in the States, must manufacture their cars in the States, too. Oh gods, he’s such a fucking idiot. Anyroad, he’s threatening to tack on a 35% border tax on all vehicles imported to uStates.

“If you want to build cars in the world, then I wish you all the best. You can build cars for the United States, but for every car that comes to the USA, you will pay 35 percent tax,” Trump said in remarks translated into German.

Trump goes on and on, threatens more, remembers to threaten Japan’s Toyota, too. Trump doesn’t have the slightest idea of what he’s doing, so he ends up at the default: melting down and having a tantrum. Here’s a great example of just how very bad of a businessman Trump is:

Trump called Germany a great car producer, saying Mercedes-Benz cars were a frequent sight in New York, but claimed there was not enough reciprocity. Germans were not buying Chevrolets at the same rate, he said, calling the business relationship an unfair one-way street. 

Let that one soak in a while. The sheer idiocy is stunning.

Via Reuters.