1. Hj Hornbeck says

    Another possible violation of norms by Trump:

    “President Trump has decided to go it alone and turn his back on a Wisconsin tradition of having a bipartisan process for nominating judges,” U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin said in a statement. “I am extremely troubled that president has taken a partisan approach that disrespects our Wisconsin process.”

    Baldwin and Republican Sen. Ron Johnson created a bipartisan commission to recommend federal judicial nominees. Candidates had to get support from five of the six members of the commission to receive its recommendation.

    Brennan didn’t get that level of support, but Trump nominated him anyway. It wasn’t immediately known how many panel members supported him.

    Though the article goes on to suggest Obama did the same, so this may not much of a break.

  2. Hj Hornbeck says

    I don’t we’ve mentioned this yet.

    Two Republican House Intelligence Committee staffers traveled to London earlier this summer to track down the former British intelligence operative who compiled a controversial dossier on President Donald Trump and Russia, according to three people familiar with the matter.

    The previously unreported trip underscores the importance of the 35-page dossier Christopher Steele wrote last year to congressional probes into possible collusion between Moscow and the 2016 Trump campaign.

    It also has inflamed simmering tensions between House and Senate investigators as they pursue simultaneous probes into the Trump-Russia connection. House Intelligence Committee Republicans did not tell Democrats on the panel, the Senate Intelligence Committee nor special counsel Robert Mueller’s office that the investigators were pursuing Steele.

    The article goes on to paint a fairly bleak portrait of the House investigation.

    The London trip has also angered Democrats in both chambers of Congress, who were not consulted by their colleagues before the investigators knocked on Steele’s door. Democrats fear House investigators are more interested in discrediting the dossier than trying to substantiate its allegations.

    Some Republicans, meanwhile, distrust their Democratic colleagues—suspecting them of maintaining a back channel to Steele to discuss the allegations in the dossier, something the Republicans say would be inappropriate.

  3. Hj Hornbeck says

    Diplomats laughing at Trump over leaked Mexico transcript“:

    “He’s the opposite of Teddy Roosevelt,” that official quipped to Guajardo about Trump. “He speaks loudly and carries a small stick.”

    Seven months into the Trump administration, the world’s diplomatic community has gone from throwing its hands in the air to now leaning back in their chairs and laughing, albeit morosely, at Trump’s cringe-worthy display of diplomacy during the infancy of his presidency. […]

    “They’re totally bewildered,” he said. “That’s the reaction. It’s almost beyond the point of angry and insulted and more just what is this all about. How do we make sense of this?”

    Guajardo said it’s fine to joke about it, but the reality is that people expect more from the United States and any leader with a “shred of dignity” is not going to allow themselves to be spoken to in that way.

    Guajardo is from an opposing party of Peña Nieto, but says he feels bad for the leader and thinks his approval rating may improve because of the exchange.

  4. microraptor says

    Hj @6:

    Now why would he delete a thing like that? It’s not like he’s got a sense of shame or anything.

  5. says

    In the past week, Preet Bharara has compared his watching the current political spectacle from the outside to MST3K, confirmed that Taxi* is his all-time favorite TV show, and tweeted this.

    I have a bit of a crush.

    * I was just thinking about a scene that still makes me giggle when it comes to mind. Elaine picks up a woman in her cab who happens to be a pretentious and competitive former schoolmate. When the friend brags about her wonderful, successful boyfriend, Elaine tells her she too is dating a great guy. Asked his name, she panics – looking out the car window, she blurts out “Bill…Board.” When the friend insists on a double date, Elaine enlists Alex to pose as her boyfriend. At dinner, the friend’s boyfriend says to Alex, “So, Bill Board – you must get a lot of kidding.” Alex responds, “Not nearly as much as my two brothers, Clip and Switch.” It’s just so cute. That show had tremendous writers.

  6. says

    Two NYT articles worth reading:

    “For the New Far Right, YouTube Has Become the New Talk Radio”:

    …YouTube’s political context is similar [to talk radio’s] in some notable ways: the value it places on personalities; its reliance on monologue and repetition; its isolation and immunity from direct challenge; its promise to let listeners in on the real, secret story. Both are obsessed with persuasion and conversion, combined with a giddy disbelief at the sheer stupidity of liberals, who — and this is part of the fun — aren’t listening. Comparing YouTube to talk radio is also a useful reminder of how potent a medium can become while still appearing marginal to those who don’t care for it or know much about it. For listeners of conservative talk radio — where right-wing populist rhetoric has flourished for decades, and where hosts can get away with authoritarian flirtations and xenophobic rhetoric that mainstream politicians can’t — the rise of Donald Trump was somewhat less of a surprise than it was for many others.

    There are countless other forms of political expression on YouTube, but no bloc is anywhere near as organized or as assertive as the YouTube right and its dozens of obdurate vloggers. Nor is there a coherent group on the platform articulating any sort of direct answer to this budding form of reaction — which both validates this material in the eyes of its creators and gives it room to breathe, grow and assert itself beyond its immediate vicinity….

    “A Vatican Shot Across the Bow for Hard-Line U.S. Catholics”:

    Two close associates of Pope Francis have accused American Catholic ultraconservatives of making an alliance of “hate” with evangelical Christians to back President Trump, further alienating a group already out of the Vatican’s good graces.

    The authors, writing in a Vatican-vetted journal, singled out Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, as a “supporter of an apocalyptic geopolitics” that has stymied action against climate change and exploited fears of migrants and Muslims with calls for “walls and purifying deportations.”
    The article warns that conservative American Catholics have strayed dangerously into the deepening political polarization in the United States. The writers even declare that the worldview of American evangelical and hard-line Catholics, which is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible, is “not too far apart’’ from jihadists.

    It is not clear if the article, appearing in La Civiltà Cattolica, received the pope’s direct blessing, but it was extraordinary coming from a journal that carries the Holy See’s seal of approval. There has apparently been no reprimand from the pope, who is not shy about disciplining dissenters, and La Civiltà Cattolica’s editor has promoted the article nearly every day since it was published in July.

    The article and the backlash to it — accusations of anti-Americanism have been rife, and one prominent American prelate likened the authors to “useful idiots” — have highlighted the widening distance between Francis and American Catholic conservatives….

  7. says

    Elizabeth Warren: “Despite all the drama of the Trump Admin, there’s one thing they’ve carried out with complete precision: An all-out assault on US workers.”

    Neera Tanden and others on the Left have been calling attention to the unionization struggle at the Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi (here’s Bernie Sanders’ video about it, which is a bit…campaigny). Needless to say, it hasn’t been at the top of the fake populists’ agenda.

  8. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Watching Meet the Press Daily on MSNBC. Chuck Todd mentioned a referendum, in small town in Iowa near PZ’s Minnesota border, that would lengthen the Mayor and Aldermen/whatever from a 2 yr. term to a 4 year term. About 70 registered voters. Number that showed up to vote, 0.000%, confirmed by MSNBC. Not even the incumbents.
    No link to a video available yet, and I doubt that one will be available (I’ll check in the morning),
    Dang, I would walk a mile to vote “no”.

  9. says


    President Donald Trump’s White House and Defense Department lawyers had warned him against the transgender military ban for days. They were concerned about the ramifications of the policy, how military officials would respond and what legal backlash it could cause, two West Wing officials familiar with last month’s discussions said. The lawyers thought there would be plenty of time for more discussions and were analyzing arguments.

    Frustrated with being “slow-walked,” in the words of one White House official, the president took to Twitter last week — jarring many in the West Wing out of complacency and startling his lawyers, Defense Department officials and West Wing aides, who learned of the change in a series of tweets.

    The administration had no plan in place, but Trump told others they would have to “get in gear” if he announced the ban first, one White House adviser who spoke to Trump said. He also said the announcement would stop the lawyers from arguing with him anymore. There is still no plan in place, and Defense Department officials have said they won’t implement the ban until guidance is given.

    …[A]dvisers believed for days that Trump was likely to pick John Pistole as FBI director. Inside the administration, three officials said, there was little initial support for Christopher Wray, the former FBI official who was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s attorney in the bridge-closing controversy. “No one really was pushing for Wray,” one senior administration official said.

    After talking extensively with Christie, who sold Trump on the former FBI official’s bona fides as a lawyer, Trump decided to go with Wray without telling others on staff, advisers said. White House officials waking up to the tweet were startled, and hurriedly wrote a news release to correspond to it. Much of the president’s inner circle knew little about Wray. Trump was simply tired of the search, these people said.

  10. says

    Rightwing media on a rampage. Two immediate impressions: First, “DOJ slush fund” payments to leftwing organizations looks like it might be projection, especially given the tactics Stone learned working for Nixon and in the decades since. Second, just yesterday or the day before the anti-McMaster line was that he should be fired because he was supposedly an anti-Semite; now the attacks against him are anti-Semitic. Quick shift.

  11. says

    “Mueller Seeks White House Documents on Flynn”:

    Investigators working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, recently asked the White House for documents related to former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, and have questioned witnesses about whether he was secretly paid by the Turkish government during the final months of the presidential campaign, according to people close to the investigation.

    Though not a formal subpoena, the document request is the first known instance of Mr. Mueller’s team asking the White House to hand over records.

    In interviews with potential witnesses in recent weeks, prosecutors and F.B.I. agents have spent hours poring over the details of Mr. Flynn’s business dealings with a Turkish-American businessman who worked last year with Mr. Flynn and his consulting business, the Flynn Intel Group.

    The company was paid $530,000 to run a campaign to discredit an opponent of the Turkish government who has been accused of orchestrating last year’s failed coup in the country.

    Investigators want to know if the Turkish government was behind those payments — and if the Flynn Intel Group made kickbacks to the businessman, Ekim Alptekin, for helping conceal the source of the money.

    The line of questioning shows that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry has expanded into a full-fledged examination of Mr. Flynn’s financial dealings, beyond the relatively narrow question of whether he failed to register as a foreign agent or lied about his conversations and business arrangements with Russian officials.

    Investigators are examining the flow of money into and out of the Flynn Intel Group — a consulting firm Mr. Flynn founded after being forced out as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency — according to several potential witnesses who have been interviewed by prosecutors and F.B.I. agents.

    Prosecutors have also asked during interviews about Mr. Flynn’s speaking engagements for Russian companies, for which he was paid more than $65,000 in 2015, and about his company’s clients — including work it may have done with the Japanese government.

    They have also asked about the White Canvas Group, a data-mining company that was reportedly paid $200,000 by the Trump campaign for unspecified services. The Flynn Intel Group shared office space with White Canvas Group, which was founded by a former special operations officer who was a friend of Mr. Flynn’s*….

    The article also notes that Flynn’s new (third) set of financial-disclosure forms “list at least $1.8 million in income, up from roughly the $1.4 million he had previously reported.” So he left off $400,000. Until this week.

    * Jon Iadonisi. I assume they’re also asking about this guy.

  12. David Dobson says

    Nerd @16

    Watching Meet the Press Daily on MSNBC. Chuck Todd mentioned a referendum, in small town in Iowa near PZ’s Minnesota border, that would lengthen the Mayor and Aldermen/whatever from a 2 yr. term to a 4 year term. About 70 registered voters. Number that showed up to vote, 0.000%, confirmed by MSNBC. Not even the incumbents.
    No link to a video available yet, and I doubt that one will be available (I’ll check in the morning),
    Dang, I would walk a mile to vote “no”.

    In a town of 70 people, perhaps they would prefer the extra stability offered by 4-year terms for elected officials. And/or the reduced costs of elections. Perhaps they had a full and open process of discussion and decided this was best for them

    It could be any of those, none of those, or something else. We have no idea because you provided nothing more than a memory of something you saw on TV. Fucking pointless mental wanking if you ask me.

  13. throwaway, butcher of tongues, mauler of metaphor says

    David Dobson – Is there a reason you asked that in an asshole way rather than just asking which show it was that Chuck mentioned it?

    It’s not like Nerd didn’t mention the show title and the person who said it. So fuck right off with your pointless fucking aggression.

  14. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It could be any of those, none of those, or something else. We have no idea because you provided nothing m

    What was cogent about your response to NOBODY bothering to vote?
    Not much memory required, I posted it within a few minutes of seeing it (I tape it and watch it later). Getting your facts straight before embarrassing yourself is a good idea.

  15. David Dobson says

    throwaway @23:

    Is there a reason you asked that in an asshole way rather than just asking which show it was that Chuck mentioned it?

    Yes there is. Because I keep getting ambushed by Nerd squawking about providing links or telling me my opinion is worthless. So childish as this may be, but “he started it”.

    It’s not like Nerd didn’t mention the show title and the person who said it.

    As Nerd himself might say, a vague secondhand account is worthless. This thread is all about providing accurate and relevant links, which is why I love it so much (and massive thanks here to Lynna/PZ for supporting it).

    Look, I have no beef with you, why not keep your nose out and let Nerd stand up for himself? He is certainly not shy, nor frightened of public discourse.

  16. David Dobson says

    Nerd @24:

    Getting your facts straight before embarrassing yourself is a good idea.

    I totally agree. For example, not accusing me of providing no evidence when I quoted directly from a link you provided. I am still chuckling over that one. How are your tomatoes doing, got enough calcium?

    (Sorry, this argument is from a totally different thread, I will stop responding here for today. Not fair to cross-pollinate grievances.)

  17. says

    Hj @6, Dinesh D’Souza seems to be in ass-kissing mode when it comes to Bannon and Gorka. He obviously loved posing with Bannon and Gorka in the White House. The photos were taken in Bannon’s office.

    This little party was propaganda. There was official (or semi-official) praise for D’Souza, who was enough of a dunderhead to call Democrats “Nazis” and “fascists.”

    From the promotional material for the book, The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left:

    The Democratic left has an ideology virtually identical with fascism and routinely borrows tactics of intimidation and political terror from the Nazi Brownshirts.

    Guess who has actual ties to nationalist, rightwing groups. Gorka. The groups in Hungary with which he has ties are described as anti-Semitic.

    Bannon has self-proclaimed ties to the “alt right,” which means he has ties to white supremacists.

  18. tomh says

    @ #22
    Yes, subscriptions are erratic (and annoying.) When the comments fill up and a new thread starts I lose the email subscription. “Subscribe without commenting” never works for me either, which is the reason for this pointless comment, in hopes that one of the check boxes will get me subscribed again.

  19. says

    To feed his 35 million Twitter followers, Trump sometimes retweets garbage that he likes. Some of that garbage comes from sources like @Team_Trump45.

    That particular bucket of swill recently pushed the conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton murdered Seth Rich. Trump is currently calling … again … for Hillary Clinton to be investigated.

    In the past, Trump has retweeted racist graphics purporting to show black crime statistics (totally inaccurate).

    Trump is a fool who is easily taken in by the conspiracy theories and phony graphics posted by the likes of @Team_Trump45. According to a report in The Hill, Sean Hannity, Anthony Scaramucci, and Mike Flynn also follow that Twitter feed.

  20. says

    As SC note upthread, the ragged fringes of the ultra right wing are going after Lt. General H.R. McMaster, Trump’s National Security Advisor. White supremacists’ smear campaign against H.R. McMaster has officially begun.

    […] aides claimed that newly-appointed Chief of Staff John Kelly gave McMaster assurances this week that his job was safe, prompting McMaster to purge the staff roll of those who had espoused troubling views widely embraced by white supremacists. (Editor’s note: ThinkProgress no longer uses the term “alt-right” to describe racists.)

    Unsurprisingly, they quickly began criticizing McMaster.

    “MCMASTER PURGES NSC STAFFER FOR WARNING OF ISLAMIST-LEFTIST THREAT,” conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich tweeted on Wednesday, before proceeding on a tirade about the national security adviser.

    Cernovich subsequently claimed that McMaster had “been leaking information to David Petraeus” and “had direct contact with George Soros.” Those claims, plus at least a dozen more, were all published on, a website Cernovich created. The site features an anti-Semitic illustration of Soros and McMaster by right-wing cartoonist Ben Garrison, according to Newsweek.

    On Twitter, Cernovich kept the party going. “McMaster’s butler’ [Army intelligence officer] Joel Rayburn is running off the books intelligence operation against Trump loyalists,” he claimed. “Joel Rayburn is spying on people including me, but McMaster will not investigate leaked transcripts. Says it all.” […]

  21. blf says

    Returning to the hair furor–Turnbill (Australia) phone call — which was largely about the deal to resettle some of the refugees & asylum-seekers currently housed in Ozland’s concentration camps to the States — is an apparently deliberate muddle which seems to have been overlooked, but is telling. The first mention I saw was in First Dog on the Moon (@2): Hair furor & Turnbill effectively claim being a refugee is illegal, and those refugees are in prison.

    That is all bullshite; “refugee” is a well-defined term in international law with specific legal status & obligations (UNHCR, New York Times); and Ozland is deliberately housing them in inhumane conditions to convince them to drop their claims and to deter others. Hair furor & Turnbill are trying to confuse the issue, and muddle their responsibilities to refugees.

    This is discussed more fully in The leaked transcript of Turnbull’s call with Trump shows him at his worst: “Turnbull’s government has called refugees illegal and treats them as criminals. It is a lie […]”. It concludes:

    Clearly Trump believed he was being asked to resettle criminals. He seems not to understand that a country like Australia would imprison innocent people for years. Turnbull, despite his experience as an advocate, did nothing to dispel Trump’s misunderstanding and said nothing to justify jailing innocent people for years. […]


    Presumably Turnbull understands that boat people are not criminals, but prefers not to say so. But worse: he referred to them as economic refugees. It is a meaningless term. A person who is just looking for economic advantage is not a refugee. A refugee is a person who is unwilling to return to their country of origin because of a “well-founded fear of persecution”. It has got nothing at all to do with seeking economic advantage.

    In short, what the transcript shows is that Turnbull is unclear about what a refugee is; he is willing to punish innocent people for years in order to deter other people from seeking asylum, and he is content that the Australian public continue to believe that boat people are punished because they are criminals, when the truth is that they are innocent people being mistreated as an example to deter others from seeking help in Australia.


  22. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As promised, I looked for a link. None to the MTP daily piece (as expected, too low level to make a video), but thanks to the search engine, found an article on the topic.
    What I found fascinating, is that somebody had to work, either circulating petitions or working the town council, to get the election set up. That person didn’t even bother to show up to vote.

  23. says

    “Tangled web connects Russian oligarch money to GOP campaigns”:

    Party loyalty is often cited as the reason that GOP leaders have not been more outspoken in their criticism of President Donald Trump and his refusal to condemn Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Yet there may be another reason that top Republicans have not been more vocal in their condemnation. Perhaps it’s because they have their own links to the Russian oligarchy that they would prefer go unnoticed.

    Donald Trump and the political action committees for Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich and John McCain accepted $7.35 million in contributions from a Ukrainian-born oligarch who is the business partner of two of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s favorite oligarchs and a Russian government bank.

    During the 2015-2016 election season, Ukrainian-born billionaire Leonid “Len” Blavatnik contributed $6.35 million to leading Republican candidates and incumbent senators. Mitch McConnell was the top recipient of Blavatnik’s donations, collecting $2.5 million for his GOP Senate Leadership Fund under the names of two of Blavatnik’s holding companies, Access Industries and AI Altep Holdings, according to Federal Election Commission documents and

    Blavatnik’s relationships with Russian oligarchs close to Putin, particularly Oleg Deripaska, should be worrisome for Trump and the six GOP leaders who took Blavatnik’s money during the 2016 presidential campaign. Lucky for them no one has noticed. Yet.

    Deripaska has been closely connected to the Kremlin since he married into Boris Yeltsin’s family in 2001, which literally includes him in the Russian clan known as “The Family.”According to the Associated Press, starting in 2006, Deripaska made annual payments of $10 million to Paul Manafort through the Bank of Cyprus to advance Putin’s global agenda.

    While there have been tensions between Putin and Deripaska over the years, the Kremlin came to Deripaska’s rescue in 2009 when he was on the verge of bankruptcy by providing a $4.5 billion emergency loan through state-owned Vnesheconombank (VEB), where Putin is chair of the advisory board.

    VEB, known as President Putin’s “pet bank,” is now in crisis after sanctions applied by Europe and U.S. in 2014 have isolated it from the international banks that were the sources of its nearly $4 billion in hard currency loans that, according to Bloomberg, mature this year and in 2018.

    Russia’s international currency reserves are near a 10-year low, which has put further pressure on the president of VEB, Sergey Gorkov, to find sources of international rescue capital. Notably, it was Gorkov who met secretly with Jared Kushner in December at Trump Tower. Kushner’s failure to report the meeting with Gorkov has drawn the attention of the Senate intelligence committee that now wants to question Kushner about the meeting.

  24. says

    LA Blade – “Trump’s Trans Military Ban Now Policy”: “President Donald Trump may be on a 17- day vacation but his White House has been scrambling to hand him a ‘win’ by the time he returns. Trump’s tweets last week announcing a ban on transgender individuals serving openly in the U.S. military was turned into a ‘guidance’ policy for implementation that passed muster with the White House Counsel’s office Friday night. Approved by Trump, the new policy is expected to be now delivered into the hands of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who has been quiet on the issue with approximately 15,000 trans servicemembers under his command.”

  25. says

    From Erin Gloria Ryan, writing for The Daily Beast:

    […] after six-plus months of vigorous nothing, President Trump is set to return to his comfort zone. The president will spend his next 17 days at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. His aides say Trump is taking a “working vacation,” which—nice try. Conventional wisdom suggests that he will spend his time the same way he spends most weekends, on little besides golf.

    This week’s issue of Sports Illustrated took a deep dive into Trump’s relationship with the sport, and this month’s Golf Digest devotes an entire issue to the subject. According to the Alan Shipnuk piece, much of what a person would want to know about Donald Trump, they can learn by observing his relationship with golf.

    The piece holds its nose as it dispenses praise on the president’s skill at the game, calling him the best golfer to ever hold the presidency, despite his “portly” figure. […]

    Shipnuk is generous to Trump, allowing readers to draw their own conclusions from a collection of anecdotes. But it’d be hard for a reader to reach a generous conclusion. From Trump’s loose relationship to the rules of the game to his creepy prioritizing of the needs of his golf courses over the lives of the people whose existences border them, to the way he uses his clubs to bully and extort property tax breaks out of municipalities, he’s unpleasant, disloyal, and committed, above anything else, to making himself feel good about himself. […]

    Beyond the pettiness, Trump has used his courses to bully municipalities into granting him huge tax breaks, into naming streets after him. He’s tried to block middle-income residents from seeing the courses, and his members from having to lay eyes on middle-income residents (he planted obtrusive foliage on the edge of one property). […]

    SI notes that Trump claims to be an excellent golfer, but there’s little “official” record documenting this, and that calls to Trump courses asking for verification went unanswered. […]

  26. blf says

    NRA tells New York Times: We’re coming for you (video): “NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch appears in a provocative video intended to be a shot across the bow of the New York Times. Loesch accuses the Times of being pretentious and creating fake news. The clip was posted to the NRA’s social media account on Thursday”.

    I have no idea if the NYT has, or will, respond. There’s apparently also some bizarre debate about some of the threats the NRA made, did the crackpot say “fist” or “frisk” or “fuck” of “I am a fruitcake” or…

  27. blf says

    Follow-up to @41, We’re coming for you: NRA attacks New York Times in provocative video:

    National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch rejects claim that the video — the shot across your proverbial bow — can be interpreted as a violent threat
    National Rifle Association (NRA) spokesperson Dana Loesch, a prominent conservative media personality, attacked the newspaper in the video and called it an untrustworthy, dishonest rag.

    In response to claims that the ad was a call to arms and a threat against the safety of Times reporters, Loesch said anyone who interpreted the video that way was projecting their violent fantasies on to others.


    As the article points out, the confusion about “fisk” has muddled her deeply disturbing threats. It should be amusing to see her / teh wannabe-taliban’s fisking of NYT articles. Is there a term for fisking an inaccurate fisking?

    Ms Loesch does have an entry art the Encyclopedia of American Loons (January-2014):

    #888: Dana Loesch

    Dana Loesch is yet another wingnut talk radio host, Tea-partier, and (sometimes) political commentator for Fox News, CNN, CBS, ABC and HBO. For laughs, one hopes but suspects not. She was also associated with […]

    […] She has, for instance, argued — for reals — that gay marriage is a violation of the separation of church and state. Why that matters to her is less clear, since she apparently doesn’t believe in that separation in any case. At least the Bible figures (least officially) very centrally (borderline dominionist) in her views on politics, liberty and civil rights in general. She has apparently not actually read it.

    […] Her comments on the Trayvon Martin case […] are just sad. They do fit into her general delusion that what progressives and African Americans really want is a race war.

    While not a birther, Loesch is, in fact, a birther denialist — there are no birthers at all, at least not other than the Clintons !


    She is a well-known Gun nut, an extremist against abortion rights, vehemently Islamophobic, and a rabid hater of unions.


    And this person is going to fisk the NYT? Geeesh…

  28. says

    Sophia McClennen examined the premise that businessmen are better equipped to run the country, and she found it lacking.

    […] For some bizarre reason the public is aware that businessmen, whether they work on Wall Street or are New York real estate moguls, are often shady, greedy and selfish, but they still believe somehow that they possess critical and valuable skills that could transfer to running government. There is the public sense that businessmen are effective leaders despite overwhelming evidence that businessmen can and have been vile, corrupt and incompetent.

    Generalizations are always a fraught enterprise: clearly not all businessmen are terrible people, but that isn’t the point. The point is that the mistaken idea that businessmen are better equipped to run the country is exactly why our nation is poised for catastrophe. And that’s not an exaggeration. We literally have a government being run by a kakistocracy that has no idea whatsoever what they are doing.

    I’m not trying to put politicians on a pedestal here either. But there is a basic difference between people trained to accumulate profit and people trained to foster public support.

    Our nation has long held the notion that businessmen are more skilled and trustworthy than politicians. Public trust in government is at a historic low of 20 percent. Even more shocking, a 2015 Gallup poll showed that the public trusted stockbrokers more than senators.

    We can track the legend of the businessman back to the Gilded Age or to Ayn Rand or to Ross Perot, but regardless of its historic origin, the key question is whether the complete and utter disaster that is the Donald Trump administration will finally put an end to the delusion that a business background naturally prepares one to hold public office.

    Days before the inauguration, Trump stated, “I could actually run my business and run government at the same time.” On the campaign trail we heard repeatedly that he had skills and training that would help him do a better job as president than our nation had ever seen before. In fact his entire campaign was centered on the idea that his business background would not only be adequate, but would actually be better suited to a successful presidency than political experience.

    Within months of taking on his new job, Trump later remarked, “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.” It was a clear sign that he didn’t have the slightest clue what the job of president actually entails. […]

    Lots more at the link.

  29. says

    Here is an excerpt from Robin Wright’s latest article in The New Yorker, “Why is Donald Trump still so horribly witless about the world?”

    Max Boot, a lifelong conservative who advised three Republican Presidential candidates on foreign policy, keeps a folder labelled “Trump Stupidity File” on his computer. It’s next to his “Trump Lies” file. “Not sure which is larger at this point,” he told me this week. “It’s neck-and-neck.”

    Six months into the Trump era, foreign-policy officials from eight past Administrations told me they are aghast that the President is still so witless about the world. “He seems as clueless today as he was on January 20th,” Boot, who is now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said. Trump’s painful public gaffes, they warn, indicate that he’s not reading, retaining, or listening to his Presidential briefings. And the newbie excuse no longer flies.

    “Trump has an appalling ignorance of the current world, of history, of previous American engagement, of what former Presidents thought and did,” Geoffrey Kemp, who worked at the Pentagon during the Ford Administration and at the National Security Council during the Reagan Administration, reflected. “He has an almost studious rejection of the type of in-depth knowledge that virtually all of his predecessors eventually gained or had views on.”

    Criticism of Donald Trump among Democrats who served in senior national-security positions is predictable and rife. But Republicans—who are historically ambitious on foreign policy—are particularly pained by the President’s missteps and misstatements. So are former senior intelligence officials who have avoided publicly criticizing Presidents until now.

    “The President has little understanding of the context”—of what’s happening in the world—“and even less interest in hearing the people who want to deliver it,” Michael Hayden, a retired four-star general and former director of both the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency, told me. “He’s impatient, decision-oriented, and prone to action. It’s all about the present tense. When he asks, ‘What the hell’s going on in Iraq?’ people around him have learned not to say, ‘Well, in 632 . . . ’ ” (That was the year when the Prophet Muhammad died, prompting the beginning of the Sunni-Shiite split.*)

    “He just doesn’t have an interest in the world,” Hayden said.

    I asked top Republican and intelligence officials from eight Administrations what they thought was the one thing the President needs to grasp to succeed on the world stage. […]

  30. blf says

    The Onion:

    ● Trump Administration Worried President Burning Through Minority Scapegoats At Unsustainable Rate: “Citing today’s announcement that transgender individuals would be banned from serving in any capacity in the United States armed forces, numerous sources within the Trump administration expressed a deep sense of concern Wednesday that the president was burning through minority scapegoats at an unsustainable rate. ‘I was hoping we’d be able to keep the transgender community in our back pockets for at least another year, but we’re barely six months into the first term and the president goes and wastes that card on military overspending and unpreparedness — we just can’t keep up this kind of pace,’ Chief of Staff Reince Priebus reportedly told top advisors […] Priebus reportedly took some solace, however, upon being reminded that the nation’s black community was always available as a suitable fallback scapegoat for any conceivable social or political ill whenever the Trump administration needed one.”

    ● John Kelly Roots Out Remaining Priebus Sympathizers Hiding In Tunnels Throughout White House: “Systematically eliminating any resistance to his new position as the president’s chief of staff, John Kelly moved through the White House on Friday rooting out any remaining Reince Priebus sympathizers hiding in tunnels throughout the residence. ‘I’ve gotta stamp them all out, every last one,’ said Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, dropping a grenade down a shaft in which he’d heard rustling from several White House aides loyal to his predecessor. […] At press time, Kelly had emptied a can of gasoline into a crawl space hiding several Anthony Scaramucci loyalists before setting it ablaze with the butt of his cigar.”

  31. says

    Rouhani referred to Trump’s efforts to sabotage the Iran nuclear deal in his inauguration speech, concluding that if they pull out of the deal “the world will not forget their unfaithfulness.” When the Iranian leadership has the moral high ground, you know there’s a problem. And it’s true – from his personnel decisions to the revelations about his attempts to bully Turnbull and to back out of an agreement to take in refugees to his casual betrayal of the trust of trans military people to so many other episodes, he’s been shown this week – to anyone still somehow unaware – to be the embodiment of bad faith. No one should believe he is or would be faithful to anyone or anything.

  32. says

    Didn’t want this to get lost in the news-welter – “Colonialism and Greed: Trump Considers Afghan War Expansion to Exploit Minerals”:

    As the 16th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan approaches, President Donald Trump is reportedly being pressured by a billionaire financier and a chemical executive to extend the scope of the conflict for one simple, greedy reason: to exploit Afghanistan’s mineral reserves.

    According to James Risen and Mark Landler of the New York Times, the Trump administration is “considering sending an envoy to Afghanistan to meet with mining officials” as the president is receiving encouragement from Stephen Feinberg, the billionaire head of DynCorp, and Michael Silver, the head of American Elements, a firm that specializes in “extracting rare-earth minerals.”

    As Common Dreams reported earlier this month, the Trump White House has been consulting with high-profile war profiteers who have argued that the way forward in Afghanistan is to further privatize military operations in the country. White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and senior advisor Jared Kushner reportedly “recruited” both Feinberg and Blackwater founder Erik Prince to lay out a war plan for the president.

    Critics denounced this development as a step toward “colonialism,” and commentators had similar words for Trump’s apparent attraction to Afghanistan’s mineral wealth….

  33. blf says

    Follow-up to some earlier reports, Israeli government moves to impose ban on al-Jazeera news network:

    Reporters have press cards revoked and cable and satellite broadcasters asked to block transmission of Qatar-based network
    The communications minister, Ayoob Kara, said he wants to revoke press cards from al-Jazeera reporters, which in effect prevents them from working in Israel.

    Kara added he has asked cable and satellite networks to block their transmissions and is seeking legislation to ban al-Jazeera altogether. […]


    Lately, almost all countries in our region determined that al-Jazeera supports terrorism, supports religious radicalisation, Kara said. And when we see that all these countries have determined as fact that al-Jazeera is a tool of the Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, and we are the only one who have not determined that, then something delusional is happening here.


    [D]etermined as fact. No, lying shite-for-brains. Those other countries are rehasing manufactured assertions in an effort to stop Al Jazerra’s criticism of their feudal authoritarian regimes. Israel may not be feudal, but it is authoritarian with a racist policy likened to apartheid — there’s a reason Israel is criticised.

  34. says

    SC @51, thanks for those links. Nothing like a bunch of photos to document the fact that Trump is golfing and that he is not “working” at Bedminster. He has his staff lying for him again.

    SC @53, so, yeah, that Twitter account features altered photos of a T-Shirt model. Looks like a BOT to me. I think we should, in general, be suspicious of any account from which Trump’s retweets originate. For a scam artist, Trump is certainly easily scammed.

    blf @55, the entire “ban al-Jazeera” campaign is really disturbing. At least the journalists that work for al-Jazeera have proof that they have been effective. They pushed a lot of authoritarian buttons.

    In other news, Kellyanne Conway is on TV seemingly 24/7. When asked about proposals in Congress to pass bills that would shield special counsel Robert Mueller from Trump, Conway replied in her usual manner:

    Why are we engaging in hypotheticals? The entire Russia investigation is a hypothetical.

    The President is not discussing firing Bob Mueller. We are complying and cooperating with — he has not discussed firing Bob Mueller.

    Even though he just hired the 16th person, many of them are Democratic donors. But we will continue to cooperate and comply.

    Mouthpiece for the Bullshitter in Chief.

  35. says

    For a change, Trump praised Jeff Sessions today:

    After many years of LEAKS going on in Washington, it is great to see the A.G. taking action! For National Security, the tougher the better!

    Sessions said that he is also “reviewing policies affecting media subpoenas,” which makes it sound like he is some guy from Saudi Arabia or Israel that wants to ban all the media he doesn’t like. Or, he wants to put journalists in jail, a sentiment that has also been expressed by Trump.

    Meanwhile Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein pushed back when he was on Fox News Sunday today:

    I can tell you the President has not directed us to investigate particular people. That wouldn’t be right. That’s not the way we operate.

    Does Jeff Sessions know that?

  36. says

    Bad news: the expansion of conservation media was helped along by the Trump administration.

    Sinclair Broadcast Group is expanding its conservative-leaning television empire into nearly three-quarters of American households — but its aggressive takeover of the airwaves wouldn’t have been possible without help from President Donald Trump’s chief at the Federal Communications Commission.

    Sinclair, already the nation’s largest TV broadcaster, plans to buy 42 stations from Tribune Media in cities such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, on top of the more than 170 stations it already owns. It got a critical assist this spring from Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who revived a decades-old regulatory loophole that will keep Sinclair from vastly exceeding federal limits on media ownership.

    The change will allow Sinclair — a company known for injecting “must run” conservative segments into its local programming — to reach 72 percent of U.S. households after buying Tribune’s stations. That’s nearly double the congressionally imposed nationwide audience cap of 39 percent.

    […] the Tribune deal would not have been viable if not for Pai’s intervention: Sinclair already reaches an estimated 38 percent of U.S. households without the discount [“UHF discount”], leaving it almost no room for growth.

    The loophole is a throwback to the days when the ultra-high-frequency TV spectrum — the part higher than Channel 13 — was filled with low-budget stations with often-scratchy reception over analog rabbit ears. That quality gap no longer exists in today’s world of digital television, but under the policy that Pai revived, the commission does not fully count those stations’ market size when tallying a broadcaster’s national reach.

    Its $3.9 billion deal will give it stations in 19 new markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago […]

    […] Critics including the FCC’s most recent former chairman, Tom Wheeler, say the change amounts to a regulatory sleight-of-hand.

    “Congress was explicit in black letter saying 39 percent viewership would be the maximum,” said Wheeler, a Democrat who got rid of the discount last year. But instead, he said, “There was funny math created to allow the count to come up to still be below 39 percent, wink wink.” […]

    The Washington Post in December reported that Sinclair “gave a disproportionate amount of neutral or favorable coverage to Trump during the campaign” while airing negative stories on Hillary Clinton. That followed POLITICO’s reporting on a boast by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner that the president’s campaign had struck a deal with the broadcast group for better media coverage. […] In April, Sinclair hired former White House aide Boris Epshteyn, who had organized Trump’s TV surrogates, as an on-air political analyst.[…]

    Pai addressed Sinclair’s Nov. 16 general manager summit in Baltimore, […] Pai held a second meeting with Smith and newly named Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley in Arlington, Virginia, on the day before Trump’s inauguration […]

    On Pai’s first week on the job as chairman in late January, Sinclair urged the agency to reinstate the UHF discount, […]

    Once installed as head of the agency, Pai brought back the discount in a 2-1 party-line vote in April over the objections of Clyburn, who pointed out the irony that a chairman who has emphasized slashing outmoded regulations was reviving a “relic of a bygone era.” A little over two weeks after the FCC vote, Sinclair announced its acquisition of Tribune Media. […]


    Sinclair can now pump more bogus, pro-Trump news into households all over the USA. John Oliver noticed:

    […] John Oliver, host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” devoted nearly 20 minutes in a July show to mocking Sinclair’s “must run” segments and warning about the potential impact of the deal. “[I]n contrast to Fox News, a conservative outlet where you basically know what you’re getting, with Sinclair, they’re injecting Fox-worthy content into the mouths of your local news anchors, the two people who you know, and who you trust, and whose on-screen chemistry can usually best be described as two people,” Oliver quipped. […]

  37. says

    Correction to comment 58: “the expansion of conservation media ” should be “the expansion of conservative media.”

    That was one misleading typo!

  38. says

    Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern discussed “The Clarence Thomas Takeover.”

    […] Donald Trump’s crude understanding of the United States government aligns startlingly well with Thomas’ sophisticated political worldview. The president’s belief that the commander in chief can wage war in whatever way he wishes corresponds neatly to Thomas’ theory of the “unitary executive,” and his visceral hostility to the Affordable Care Act dovetails with Thomas’ abhorrence of the federal social safety net. […]

    Both take a hard-line stance against illegal immigration and show little concern for the rights of individuals accused of terrorism. […] They want less government, a more authoritarian executive, more God, fewer racial entitlements, and more guns.

    […] save for the occasional ruling in the administration’s favor, there isn’t much Thomas can do directly to guide the course of Trump’s presidency. Nevertheless, the justice’s fingerprints are all over the executive branch. That’s because he’s trained a small army of acolytes to implement his larger project of shrinking the regulatory state and fighting back against the supposed chokehold of political correctness. (It’s exactly this scourge of “political correctness,” both Trump and Thomas would have you believe, that allowed claims of improper sexual conduct to briefly overshadow their professional accomplishments.)

    Everywhere you turn in Trumpland, you’ll find a slew of Thomas’ former clerks in high places. They are serving in the White House counsel’s office (Greg Katsas, John Eisenberg, David Morrell); awaiting appointment to the federal judiciary (Allison H. Eid, David Stras); leading the departments of the Treasury (Heath P. Tarbert, Sigal Mandelker) and Transportation (Steven G. Bradbury); defending the travel ban in court (Jeffrey Wall); and heading the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (Neomi Rao). Thomas clerks are also working with dark money groups to execute Trump’s agenda (Carrie Severino) and boosting him in the far-right media (Laura Ingraham).

    […] an enormous number of Thomas protégés are stepping into positions of immense power. Every expert we spoke to, among them the New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin, agreed the Trump administration has brought on a striking number of Thomas clerks.

    […] [Neomi] Rao believes, for instance, that independent agencies are unconstitutional. These commissions—which include the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Communications Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Federal Reserve—flourish in part because they are removed from political pressures. Rao would like to change that. She believes that since these agencies are part of the executive branch, the president must be empowered to fire and replace their leaders.

    […] Thomas has strongly suggested that all agencies within the executive branch, independent or not, must ultimately be accountable to the president. If Rao gives herself veto power over these agencies’ rules, she will bring Thomas’ vision a step closer to the reality. […] For example, the EEOC recently took the position that federal law protects gay employees […] If Rao’s view wins out, Trump could fire as many EEOC commissioners as he needs to in order to reverse the agency’s position. Thomas, who takes a dim view of nondiscrimination law and gay rights, would be doubly proud.

    […] Thomas, who has described his clerks as his “little family,” sees them as trainees in a very specific ideological program. He famously invites them to watch The Fountainhead at his home each year and has taken them on annual trips to Gettysburg to reflect on what he views as the conservative lessons of the Civil War. […]

  39. says

    Writing for The New York Times, Kristina Barker noted that the Trump Administration is increasing opportunities for commercial activities on public lands, including coal mining.

    […] deep divisions about how best to manage the 643 million acres of federally owned land — most of which is in the West — an area more than six times the size of California. […]

    Clouds of dust blew across the horizon one recent summer evening as a crane taller than the Statue of Liberty ripped apart walls of a canyon dug deep into the public lands here in the Powder River Basin, the nation’s most productive coal mining region. The mine pushes right up against a reservoir, exposing the kind of conflicts and concerns the new approach has sparked.

    “If we don’t have good water, we can’t do anything,” said Art Hayes, a cattle rancher who worries that more mining would foul a supply that generations of ranchers have relied upon.

    During the Obama administration, the Interior Department seized on the issue of climate change and temporarily banned new coal leases on public lands as it examined the consequences for the environment. The Obama administration also drew protests from major mining companies by ordering them to pay higher royalties to the government.

    President Trump, along with roundly questioning climate change, has moved quickly to wipe out those measures with the support of coal companies and other commercial interests. Separately, Mr. Trump’s Interior Department is drawing up plans to reduce wilderness and historic areas that are now protected as national monuments, creating even more opportunities for profit. […]

    coal production and exports are rising in the Powder River Basin after a major decline last year. […]

    More information and more telling details are available at the link.

  40. blf says

    Chicago will sue Trump administration over sanctuary cities grant threat:

    Chicago will sue the Trump administration on Monday, over threats to withhold public safety grant money from so-called sanctuary cities, mayor Rahm Emanuel announced […]


    Emanuel said the lawsuit would prevent the Trump administration from setting a precedent that could be used to target other funding.


    Chicago’s lawsuit will among other arguments contend that the US government cannot “commandeer local law enforcement to carry out federal immigration law functions”, top city lawyer Ed Siskel said.

    In response to the Chicago suit, the justice department cited comments by Sessions last week saying sanctuary cities make all of us less safe and said more Chicagoans were murdered last year than residents of Los Angeles and New York combined.

    Spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement: It’s especially tragic that the mayor is less concerned with that staggering figure than he is spending time and taxpayer money protecting criminal aliens and putting Chicago’s law enforcement at greater risk.

    Police and city officials in sanctuary cities have said deporting undocumented migrants who are not accused of serious crimes harms public safety by discouraging migrants from coming forward to report crimes.


    There is little-to-no evidence crimes by immigrants are directly connected to Chicago’s exceptionally high murder rate. As Ye Pfffft! of All Knowledge notes:

    Over 36,000 homicides have taken place in Chicago since 1964. The reasons for the higher numbers in Chicago remain unclear. A study in The Atlantic shows no real evidence of precise reasons, just speculation.

    […] Former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said a pervasive “no-snitch code” on the street remains the biggest reason more murders aren’t being solved in Chicago, adding, “We’re not doing well because we’re not getting cooperation”. […]

    As noted in the Grauniad, discouraging migrants from reporting crimes adds to the “no-snitch” problem. Whilst that would have only an indirect connection to the murder rate (e.g., the incidents which led to the revenge murder weren’t reported, so there’s less chance to intervene and stop the escalation), it does have a direct effect, in the wrong direction, on the clear-up (solving the case) rate. In other words, hair furor’s “Justice” Department is acting to make the problems worse.

  41. blf says

    Mauritania — the last country in the world to abolish slavery (in 1981), where owning slaves has been illegal only since 2007(!), but where chattel slavery is still tolerated & almost-openly practiced — held a highly dubious referendum on Saturday to abolish the Senate (and change the national flag), Mauritania votes to abolish senate by referendum:

    Mauritanians have voted to abolish their senate […] by referendum, the electoral commission announced on Sunday, in a clear [sic] victory for President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz […].

    While turnout was 53.73 percent, 85 percent of voters on Saturday declared “Yes” to changes put to a referendum when they were defeated in the senate in March, despite fierce criticism from a boycott movement that called mass protests during campaigning.

    Abdel Aziz, who last week described the senate as useless and too costly, has said the move to abolish the governing body would improve governance by introducing more local forms of lawmaking.


    Members of opposition parties spearheading the boycotters held a press conference on Sunday during which they denounced an “electoral farce which has given way to open-air fraud,” adding that people “had clearly rejected the constitutional amendments.”


    The boycott movement held several protests attracting thousands of supporters, but were also prevented from demonstrating by the security forces, who on Thursday shut down several planned rallies close to the capital with tear gas and beat protesters back with batons.

    The UN Human Rights Office said on Thursday that “protest leaders were reportedly beaten up and a number of them were arrested” during campaign rallies in the last few weeks, urging the government to ensure fair and credible elections.


    The opposition groups opposed to the measure say they are concerned that, despite Aziz’s claims to the contrary, he is laying the groundwork for a third term in power — with his own prime minister saying back in July that he supported the idea.


    Aziz himself fuelled speculation on Saturday by saying that “in two years, or even 10 years other amendments could arise to adapt our constitution to reality,” without elaborating.

    The proposal to modify the constitution, in force since 1991, was rejected by the senate in March, leading Aziz to call the referendum to push through the changes.

    Around 20 senators, who have held a sit-in for three days at their chamber, suspended their protest and said they would gather on Monday to consider the “fraud” committed by Aziz and his supporters, according to a statement.

    President Aziz came to power in a coup in 2008 and was elected in 2009 and again in 2014 for a second five-year term.


    (Several fairly obvious links omitted below to avoid triggering the limit…)
    Last year Mauritania jails 13 anti-slavery activists, allegedly after torturing them. How many people are enslaved in Mauritania is unclear, with Ye Pfffft! of All Knowledge saying “at least” c.4%, and the CIA World Factbook saying “up to” c.20% — or as Al Jazeera puts it, slaves are “between 4 and 20 percent of the population.”

  42. blf says

    In Ozland, Public servants warned against liking anti-government social media posts:

    Public servants are being warned that liking and sharing social media posts could put them in breach of their code of conduct and they may even be required to police anti-government messages posted by their friends.

    The Community and Public Sector Union has argued that the new guidance, released by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) on Monday, represents an absurd restriction on members’ rights to participate in democracy.

    The APSC guidance notes that the public service code of conduct “operates to limit” the right to freedom of speech in common law.

    The most dangerous social media posts are those criticising a public servant’s minister, current or previous agency but anything that might lead a “reasonable person to conclude that {a public servant} cannot serve the government of the day impartially and professionally” is a breach of policy.

    “What you say in your own time on social media can affect that confidence and the reputation of your agency and of the APS,” it warned.

    Strikes me as being similar to hair furor’s demands for absolute loyalty (to him).

    If other social media users make “nasty comments” on a public servant’s posts, “doing nothing about objectionable material” could reasonably be interpreted as endorsement, the guidance said.


    The guidance warns public servants they could be in breach even if their social media accounts […] are set to private, or contain disclaimers that the views expressed are not those of their employer.

    Even anonymous posts or those using a pseudonym are not considered to be safe […]

    Orwell’s thought police.

  43. blf says

    Follow-up to @55, Al Jazeera statement on Israel’s plan to ban network:

    Al Jazeera Media Network denounces this decision, which comes in the context of a campaign that was initiated by a statement made earlier by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which he accused Al Jazeera of inciting violence during its coverage of the al-Aqsa Mosque.

    From memory, there was a knife(?) attack in the vicinity of the mosque, which is only(?) accessible via a public square which also leads to important sites for several(?) other religions. In response, Israel installed metal detectors — but only at the mosque — so the Muslims started a boycott and prayed in the streets instead of the mosque(s?). Eventually, Israel got the hint, turned off (but didn’t remove?) the metal detectors, and announced a plan to install surveillance cameras.

    The boycott continued until Israel removed the metal detectors and scrapped the surveillance camera plan. During all this, as Al Jazerra writes, Israel decided to blame Al Jazerra for, well, something…

    Other Israeli ministers and officials had previously made similar statements following a break into Al Jazeera bureau by a number of settlers.

    Al Jazeera denounces this decision made by a state that claims to be “the only democratic state in the Middle East”.

    It also finds the justifications made by the minister of communications as odd and biased as they are in unison with the actions carried out by a number of Arab countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, and Jordan) that have closed the network’s bureaus, shut down its cable and satellite transmissions, and blocked its websites and applications.

    During the press conference, the minister could not substantiate his comments by referring to a single news bulletin or situation that proved Al Jazeera had not been professional nor objective during its coverage in Jerusalem.


    Like I said, for something — even the Israeli minister has no idea just what Al Jazeera supposedly did, but they must be banned from the supposedly-democratic country nonetheless.

  44. blf says

    A somewhat bland Al Jazeera article on the response to the Minnesota mosque bombing, but it does make the good point (citing Mother Jones) that hair furor has said nothing, Double standard decried as Minnesota mosque bombed:

    Social media users slam purported double standard of media and government as Muslim worshippers targeted in US state.
    For many, the response, or lack of it, revealed a double standard.

    Some questioned why US President [sic] Donald Trump failed to respond to what they described as a “terrorist attack” targeting Muslims.

    Mark Follman, an editor at […] Mother Jones magazine, said Trump’s silence was due to the target of the attack.


    “In normal times, the bombing of a house of worship with an IED would not go unacknowledged by the president of the United States,” he continued, after posting a list of previous attacks committed by far-right attackers that Trump had also not responded to.

    Marty Parrish asked: “Did I miss Trump’s statement of concern for the victims of this bombing and members of the Mosque?” Adding: “Does he care?”


  45. says

    One of the unskeptical reports to which Schooley linked was this article from Heavy, which is now providing updates that the NJ woman whose name (a version of it) was used for ProTrump45 is saying her identity was stolen and that she plans to file a police report today. Infuriatingly, rather than updating the original story with the new information, Heavy has completely revamped it, including seemingly erasing the date on which it was originally published; they’re also presenting themselves as having done the real investigative work when they’re really just trying to clean up in the wake of others’ discoveries.

  46. says

    “Fight over right to sue nursing homes heats up”:

    Consumer groups are making a last ditch effort to stop the Trump administration from stripping nursing home residents and their families of the right to take facilities to court over alleged abuse, neglect or sexual assault.

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) announced plans in June to do away with an Obama-era rule that prohibited nursing homes that accept Medicare or Medicaid funds from including language in their resident contracts requiring that disputes be settled by a third party rather than a court.

    Public comments on the CMS proposal to do away with that rule are due Monday and groups are urging the agency to reconsider.

    More than 75 consumer, health and advocacy groups have come together to form the Fair Arbitration Now (FAN) Coalition to stop CMS from reversing what they claim is a critical protection for the elderly.

    Opponents of the rule change are also weighing legal action.

    Gregg said it’s never a good idea to threaten litigation, but that Public Citizen will explore all of its options if CMS ultimately decides to allow arbitration agreements in nursing home contracts.

    “Any agency action must meet a high bar for ensuring the action taken isn’t arbitrary and capricious,” he said.

    “Simply making the argument that we are a new administration and want to make sure corporations don’t have regulations that are forcing them to be accountable is not a good enough reason to change a rule that underwent extensive review.”

  47. says

    I can’t wait to watch this movie – Icarus.

    (Incidentally, part of the article reminded me of how I loathe Putin-killing jokes as much as I do prison-assault jokes. That this corrupt, murderous thug has power over a great nation is a tragedy.)

  48. blf says

    Latest on the C-Star, the ship hired by crowd-funded nazis to attack NGO vessels in the Mediterranean, Fishermen stop anti-migrant boat from docking in Tunisian port:

    Tunisian fishermen have prevented a ship chartered by far-right anti-immigration activists from putting into port, forcing the vessel to head further along the north African country’s coast in search of reportedly much-needed supplies.

    Flying a Mongolian flag and manned by members of the extremist French-based Generation Identity group, the C-Star was was turned away from Zarzis harbour on Sunday night and is thought likely to try to dock at Sfax or Gabès on Monday.

    Mongolian flag!? — whilst I have no idea how often land-locked Mongolia is used as a “flag of convenience” (FoC), that strikes me as a bit desperate on the part of the ship’s owners and / or the kooks. Some admittedly quick searching suggests Mongolia has been an FoC scammer for perhaps two decades now, has not signed a number of relevant agreements, and some blacklists include the ships registered in Mongolia.

    After leaving Cyprus on 1 August […], the C-Star briefly tracked the Aquarius, a search and rescue boat operated by the NGO SOS Mediterranée, off the coast of Libya at the weekend.

    But the 40-metre (130ft) vessel faced determined resistance from Tunisian fishermen as it approached port. “If they come here, we’ll block the refuelling channel,” Chamseddine Bourassine, a local fishermen’s leader, told Agence France-Presse.

    “It is the least we can do given what is happening out in the Mediterranean. Muslims and Africans are dying.” A Zarzis port official said authorities there would “never let in racists”.

    The Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights, a local NGO, said it would oppose any attempt by the C-Star to dock and take on fresh supplies of fuel, food and water in a Tunisian port. It called on the government “not to cooperate with its racist and dangerous crew”.


  49. says

    Excellent op-ed by Charles M. Blow – “America’s Whiniest ‘Victim’.”

    My only real criticism would involve his characterization of Trump’s followers:

    The way they see it, they are victims of coastal and urban liberals and the elite institutions — economic, education and entertainment — clustered there. They are victims of an economy evolving in ways, both technical and geographic, that cuts them out or leaves them behind. They are victims of immigration and shifting American demographics. They are victims of shifting, cultural mores. They are victims of Washington.

    That many of them are actually economic victims is undeniable. We have to be able to talk about global capitalism and neoliberal policies, how they victimize people, and the psychological damage that can do in order to understand the advance of rightwing/authoritarian movements.

  50. blf says

    USDA has begun censoring use of the term ‘climate change’, emails reveal:

    Staff at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been told to avoid using the term climate change in their work, with the officials instructed to reference weather extremes instead.

    A series of emails obtained by the Guardian between staff at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a USDA unit that oversees farmers’ land conservation, show that the incoming Trump administration has had a stark impact on the language used by some federal employees around climate change.

    A missive from Bianca Moebius-Clune, director of soil health, lists terms that should be avoided by staff and those that should replace them. “Climate change” is in the avoid category, to be replaced by weather extremes. Instead of “climate change adaption”, staff are asked to use resilience to weather extremes.

    The primary cause of human-driven climate change is also targeted, with the term “reduce greenhouse gases” blacklisted in favor of build soil organic matter, increase nutrient use efficiency. Meanwhile, “sequester carbon” is ruled out and replaced by build soil organic matter.


    In contrast to these newly contentious climate terms, Moebius-Clune wrote that references to economic growth, emerging business opportunities in the rural US, agro-tourism and “improved aesthetics” should be tolerated if not appreciated by all.


    [Deputy chief for programs at the NRCS, Jimmy] Bramblett added that prudence should be used when discussing greenhouse gases and said the agency’s work on air quality regarding these gases could be discontinued.


    US agriculture is a major source of heat-trapping gases, with 15% of the country’s emissions deriving from farming practices. […] Sam Clovis, Trump’s nomination to be the USDA’s chief scientist, has labeled climate research junk science.


    There’s at least one PDF of the leaked e-mails at the link.

    For some more about teh Clovis Climate Clown, see @47(last page of previous thread): “[I]n addition to being an AGW-denier and closely-connected to the Muslim ban, and lacking much of a scientific background, he’s also a racist and suffers from Obama Derangement Syndrome.”

  51. says

    “Trump company applies for casino trademark in Macau”: “A Trump Organization company has applied for four new trademarks in the Asian gambling hub of Macau, including one for casinos, public records show. The new applications highlight the ethical complexity of maintaining the family branding empire while Donald Trump serves as president, and are likely to stoke speculation about the organization’s future business intentions in Macau, where casino licenses held by other companies come up for renewal beginning in 2020.”

    Some great details in this piece.

  52. says

    Re #87 – another thing about these fake/bot accounts is that the name in the handle bears no resemblance to the name attached, which I’d noticed several times in the past.

  53. says

    Nothing says populism like…

    “The present administration has adopted a pattern and practice of establishing advisory committees, largely populated by President Trump’s business associates and friends, to advise him and agency secretaries on economic and business-related matters,” according to the July 25 lawsuit. “This practice, in effect outsourcing policy making to private individuals who are unfettered by conflict-of-interest rules and other public accountability standards, raises a host of ethical and transparency concerns.”

  54. blf says

    Re @88, What strikes me is the account(?) name is of the form @plausibleHEX, where plausible seems like a real name (probably harvested) but the HEX suffix — a hexadecimal (base 16) number written using the 16 digits 0123…9abcde (notice nothing else is used in the shown suffixes) — would be an odd choice for most humans. Yet a careless(?) programmer using randomly-generated numeric suffixes could easily choose precisely that hexadecimal representation, as it is commonly used for more legitimate purposes in certain programming situations.

    “I am not a ‘bot, I am a number!” –with apologies to Patrick McGoohan.

  55. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    The New York Times’ article on the Twit-in-Chief’s twitstorm is a work of art. Starts off with a general description, mentions that he goes after the Times without specifying what set him off, discusses Blumenthal, and then adds this zinger:

    As it happens, the article that Mr. Trump relied on for his attack on Mr. Blumenthal ran in The New York Times.

    I get the feeling they’ve been waiting a long time for the perfect moment to use that line.

  56. blf says

    The VoteVets statement (see @94) reminded me of a meme some people seem to have that Gen Kelly is supposed to somehow control hair furor’s tweeting, in addition to controlling the daleks roaming around and exterminating almost everything.

    Uh, no. Since the beginning, he’s been signalling that is not part of his new job. For example, John Kelly Quickly Moves to Impose Military Discipline on White House (1-August):

    Mr Kelly […] has told his new employees that he was hired to manage the staff, not the president [sic]. He will not try to change Mr Trump’s Twitter or TV-watching habits. But he has also said he wants to closely monitor the information the president [sic] consumes, quickly counter dubious news stories with verified facts, and limit the posse of people urging Mr Trump to tweet something they feel passionately about.

    He has privately acknowledged that he cannot control the president [sic] and that his authority would be undermined if he tried and failed. Instead, he is intent on cosseting Mr Trump with bureaucratic competence and forcing staff members to keep to their lanes, a challenge in an administration defined by tribal loyalties to power players like Mr Kushner and Mr Bannon.

    Having said that, I am aware RawStory (Chief of Staff John Kelly gives up on trying to control Trump’s Twitter after latest tweet-spasm: report) quotes Bloomberg:

    While Kelly isn’t vetting every presidential tweet, Trump has shown a willingness to consult with his chief of staff before hitting “send” on certain missives that might cause an international uproar or lead to unwelcome distractions, according to three people familiar with the interactions. Kelly has been “offering a different way to say the same thing,” one person said.

    That would seem to fit in with the previous reports. Gen Kelly isn’t and won’t try to “control” hair furor insomuchas know which shite-covered flies buzz around inside teh trum-prat’s skull and be in a position to reduce or mitigate the resulting storm. Controlling access to hair furor, and making suggestions, is not the same as controlling the burbling on twitter.

  57. says

    Follow-up to comment 82.

    This morning, Trump threw a tantrum:

    Interesting to watch Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut talking about hoax Russian collusion when he was a phony Vietnam con artist! Never in U.S. history has anyone lied or defrauded voters like Senator Richard Blumenthal. He told stories about his Vietnam battles and conquests, how brave he was, and it was all a lie. He cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness like a child. Now he judges collusion?

    Yes, at one time Blumenthal made misleading comments about serving in Vietnam. He served, but was not in combat. He apologized. He did not cry. He did not act in a childish way at all.

    Blumenthal served in the Marine Corps Reserves. Trump used multiple deferments, including a possibly bogus foot injury, to avoid serving at all. Trump referred to close calls with sexually transmitted diseases as his “personal Vietnam.”

    Trump’s comments about Blumenthal are classic bullying.

  58. says

    Steve Benen threw some cold water on team Trump’s enthusiasm over the latest jobs numbers. Benen also added facts and perspective.

    […] in the six full months that Trump has been in office – February 2017 to July 2017 – the economy added 1.07 million jobs. That’s not bad. But over a comparable period last year – February 2016 to July 2016 – the economy added 1.24 million jobs.

    For the comparable period the year before – February 2015 to July 2015 – the economy added 1.37 million jobs. For the comparable period the year before that – February 2014 to July 2014 – the economy added 1.51 million jobs. For the comparable period the year before that – February 2013 to July 2013 – the economy added 1.17 million jobs.

    In other words, Trump and his Republican allies are impressed that the economy created a million jobs over the first six months of Trump’s presidency. What they don’t appear to realize is that these are the weakest job numbers over the same period in five years.

    Perhaps Trump World is specifically impressed with July’s total of 209,000 jobs. And while that’s certainly a good number (which is still subject to revisions), the president and his team also don’t seem to understand that the job totals were even better in July 2016. And July 2015. And July 2014.

    OK, but maybe Team Trump believes the six-month job totals is evidence of some kind of economic momentum. That’s a nice try, too, but it’s also wrong: the economy added more jobs the six months before Trump took office. And the six months before that. And the six months before that. And the six months before that. And the six months before that. And the six months before that. (I can keep this going back to 2012.)

    My point is not that the first full six months of Trump’s presidency were some kind of disaster for the U.S. economy. That’s plainly not the case. But to see the figures as “proof that the president has already begun to Make America Great Again” is quite silly. The job numbers have been fine, but they’re not as impressive as they were before Trump took office. That’s not a matter of opinion; it’s simply a quantifiable fact.

    I suppose “making America nearly as great as it was before I got here” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

  59. says

    I read several criticisms of this article before I read it, and they’re correct. It’s truly awful.

    “Is the ACLU Still Committed to Free Speech?”

    Yes – that’s exactly why they’re opposed to this bill.

    Those of us who care about free speech, and who’ve come to expect principled impartiality of the ACLU…would be well advised to ask why the organization is singling out Israel for a campaign of exclusion, demonization, and bare-knuckle political pressure.

    WTF? The ACLU isn’t singling out Israel. They’re opposing a bill that singles out those who protest Israeli state policies.

    “Shakir, sounding every bit like the seasoned partisan hatchet man he is”; “seeing an organization they themselves helped support abandon its historical mission and turn instead into a sectarian goon squad”


  60. says

    Random questions for today:

    – Why is Putin expelling 755 embassy staff? Why that precise number?
    – Is Trump spending any time at all with his wife and young son on his vacation?

  61. says

    “Government Report Finds Drastic Impact of Climate Change on U.S.”:

    The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration.

    The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. It directly contradicts claims by President Trump and members of his cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain and that the ability to predict the effects is limited.

    “How much more the climate will change depends on future emissions and the sensitivity of the climate system to those emissions,” a draft of the report states. A copy of it was obtained by The New York Times.

    The report was completed this year and is part of the National Climate Assessment, which is congressionally mandated every four years. The National Academy of Sciences has signed off on the draft and is awaiting permission from the Trump administration to release it.

    One government scientist who worked on the report, and who spoke to The Times on the condition of anonymity, said he and others were concerned that it would be suppressed.

    The Environmental Protection Agency is one of 13 agencies that must approve the report by Sunday. The agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt, has said he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming….

  62. says

    This is nauseating. Should be read in full. A small taste:

    …Early this year, lobbying reports revealed that some veterans groups had been brought in to lobby Congress against a law allowing victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to sue Saudi Arabia. The veterans groups ran up $270,000 in hotel charges, including about $190,000 for rooms, $78,000 for catering and $1,600 for parking, the filings showed.

    The bill was ultimately paid by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, leading to criticism as Trump embarked three months later to Saudi Arabia on his first international trip. The White House did not respond to questions. The Saudi embassy did not respond to requests for comment.

    One Friday evening in May, a group of Russian clerics arrived in the long, black flowing robes and beards of the Eastern Orthodox church for closing ceremonies of the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians, in partnership with the Rev. Franklin Graham and his evangelical organization, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. More than 800 people from 130 countries and territories attended.

    A spokesman for Graham said the choice to use the Trump hotel “was based on space and availability.” He said Graham “isn’t aware of any facts that would give him concern at this point” regarding Trump’s continued property ownership.

    The Turkish event May 21 to 23 was booked before the election, according to organizers, but came as the government of Turkey stepped up its presence in Washington, hiring a Florida-based Trump fundraiser, Brian Ballard, as a lobbyist with a $1.5 million initial contract, according to public filings.

    The event was co-chaired by a group headed by K. Ekim Alptekin, founder of a company that paid retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for lobbying work that may have benefited the Turkish government. The former Trump national security adviser is now under investigation by the Pentagon and congressional committees regarding his relationships with foreign governments.

    Alptekin surprised ballroom guests during the first morning session by directly addressing the hiring of Flynn’s company to “help me understand where the Turkish American relationship is going and what the obstacles to the relationship are.”

  63. says

    More from Josh Marshall – very mysterious:

    …I know this can all sound a bit scattered an disconnected. But the gist is this: the “Nicole Mincey” account was part of a large network of bot accounts, all of which seemed to be pro-Trump and all or most of which were dedicated to amplifying “Nicole”. But this network appears to have existed for years, long before Trump was even a candidate, let alone long before “Nicole” started selling Trump clothes and hats. So what was it? And what was the purpose before Trump?

    I will leave these as rhetorical questions for the moment. But here’s my thought for now. Twitter suspended “Nicole Mincey” and seemingly quite a few other bot accounts associated with “Nicole’s” account. If you look through various material tied to “Nicole” which is still on the web almost every twitter account you find either mentioned by her or RT’ing her is now suspended. That’s a lot of suspended accounts. But twitter is full of bots. They’re not against the rules. There are numerous sites that monitor known-bots. Pseudonymous accounts are one of the key features of Twitter. So what was it that led Twitter not only to suspend “Nicole Mincey” but the whole network associated with her? So far Twitter won’t say.

  64. blf says

    Related to @105 and the ACLU correctly opposing the proposed ban on researching or participating in the BDS movement (with draconian penalties!), a recent opinion column at Al Jazeera, What is behind Israel’s attempt to ban Al Jazeera? pointed out an interesting possibility:

    So why, after allowing Al Jazeera to operate during some of the most intense violence of the occupation […], would the Israeli government suddenly feel it’s so important to terminate Al Jazeera’s presence in Jerusalem?


    There is one other possibility, however: That Al Jazeera has become more dangerous than ever. The rise of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement to global prominence as a mechanism of worldwide resistance to the occupation has occurred, in good measure, because of the constant negative media coverage of Israel’s intensifying grip on Palestine.

    Among mainstream or major media outlets, few have been as successful and focused on placing the realities of the occupation before the court of world opinion as Al Jazeera and The Guardian. Thus, the attempt to shut it down now could be the result of a determination that its coverage is, in fact, seriously harming Israel’s standing internationally, and, perhaps even more worryingly, that the government plans on engaging in actions in the near future […] that it cannot afford to have covered in the critical manner that Al Jazeera would provide.

    Whilst I know of no concrete (numeric) metric of how effective BDS has been to-date, it does seem to have gotten under the skin of the current Israeli government. There’s a fair amount of frequently histrionic screeds against BDS and its participants (see the link in @105 for an example), and the idea the Al Jazeera ban is part of that meltdown is intrigung. (Other possibilities are mentioned in the opinion piece — I’m just focusing here on the speculated BDS-connection.)

  65. blf says

    Follow-up to @85, The Grauniad snarks the don’t say “climate change” policy, Censoring climate change won’t stop global warming:

    In a bold new strategy unveiled on Monday in the Guardian, the United States Department of Agriculture […] has decided to combat the threat of global warming by forbidding the use of the words.


    Also blacklisted is the scary locution “reduce greenhouse gases” and here the agency’s linguists have done an even better job of camouflage: the new and approved term is increase nutrient use efficiency.

    The effectiveness of this approach — based on the well-known principle that what you can’t say won’t hurt you — has previously been tested at the state level, making use of the “policy laboratories” provided by America’s federalist system.

    In 2012, for instance, the North Carolina general assembly voted to prevent communities from planning for sea level rise. Early analysis suggests this legislation has been ineffective: Hurricane Matthew, in 2016, for instance drove storm surge from the Atlantic ocean to historic levels along the Cape Fear River and flooded homes in historic Charleston. Total damage from the storm was estimated at $4.8bn.

    Further south, the Florida government forbade its employees to use the term climate change in 2014 […].

    It is true that the next year “unprecedented” coral bleaching blamed on rising temperatures destroyed vast swaths of the state’s reefs: from Key Biscayne to Fort Lauderdale, a survey found “that about two thirds were dead or reduced to less than half of their live tissue”. Still, it’s possible that they simply need to increase their nutrient use efficiency.


    Which is why it’s good news for the new strategy that the US Department of Agriculture has filled its vacant position of chief scientist with someone who knows the power of words.

    In fact, Sam Clovis, the new chief scientist, is not actually a scientist of the kind that does science, or has degrees in science, but instead formerly served in the demanding task of rightwing radio host (where he pointed out that followers of former president Obama were Maoists.) He has actually used the words “climate change” in the past, but only to dismiss it as junk science.

    Under his guidance the new policy should soon yield results, which is timely since recent research (carried out, it must be said, by scientist scientists at MIT) showed that “climate change could deplete some US water basins and dramatically reduce crop yields in some areas by 2050”.

    But probably not if we don’t talk about it.

  66. blf says

    Pakistani Taliban starts magazine for would-be female jihadists (Granuid edits in {curly brace}):

    Editorial urges women to invite ‘like-minded’ sisters to secret gatherings and to learn how to use weapons and grenades

    The Pakistani Taliban have published the first edition of a magazine aimed at convincing women to join them and practise jihad.

    The inaugural front cover of Sunnat-i-Khaula — which translates as “The Way of Khaula” and refers to a 7th-century female Muslim warrior — shows a woman veiled from head to toe.

    The 45-page magazine attempts to depict support from a section of society traditionally despised by the militant group.

    As well as an advice column for would-be female jihadists, the magazine contains an interview with the wife of Fazlullah Khorasani, the head of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). She is not named in the interview, in which she talks about marrying Khorasani at 14.

    I ask you why now everywhere there is a hue and cry about underage marriages{…} We have to understand that mature boys and girls if left unmarried for too long can become a source of moral destruction of the society, she says.


    Michael Kugelman, a south Asia specialist at the Woodrow Wilson Center in the US, said it made sense for the Pakistani Taliban to launch a women’s magazine.

    “This is a struggling organisation that is trying to re-establish networks and membership after being hit hard on the battlefield in recent years,” he said. “Women are a strategic demographic because they have the ability to exert influence over their sons. If women are converted to the militant cause, they can encourage their sons — or daughters for that matter — to join it as well.”

    And some brilliant snarking by Wishal Raheel (some unmarked edits for formatting reasons):

    When I heard about the TTP launching a women’s magazine, I knew my prayers had been answered. This is the moment I had been waiting for my entire life. I’ve sent my resume to the TTP HR and while I await a positive response, I have decided to do some homework for the second issue. They’ve called the magazine Sunnat-i-Khaula although personally I believe Praygirl would have been a better option.

    Letters to the editor: Since this is a women’s magazine, men aren’t allowed to send in letters. You can’t trust women around anything remotely related to men — I think our friends in Egypt established that when they passed a fatwa against women handling cucumbers (no innuendo here, they literally meant cucumbers).

    Of course, we can’t allow women to start writing letters to strangers. We can’t allow women to write. I mean, that’s the first step towards committing other heinous crimes like wearing perfume and God forbid, driving.

    Inspirational women: Women around the world are doing amazing things and we obviously want to highlight that. Just last week, our ISIS Jihadi brother’s fourth wife and 13 year old first cousin gave birth to triplets making him the proud father of 16 children now. All boys obviously. That is the kind of stuff we want to promote; underage cousin marriages and jihad against birth control.


    Fashion and lifestyle: God willing, we will discuss the greater impacts fashion trends have on the world in this section. Our brethren from the Council of Islamic Ideology have been of great help in the matter. There will be a feature piece titled ‘Women’s jeans and their correlation with earthquakes and other natural disasters’.

    This magazine will be a hit since it’s the only women’s magazine being launched by an organisation that is determined to crush women’s rights everywhere.

  67. blf says

    In @118, I excerpted a snark which suggested there is(? was?) “a fatwa against women handling cucumbers”. I negated to point out that is fatuous — a joke in the snark. There is no such confirmed fatwa.

    Several years ago a story did circulate that there was such a thing — decreed not by someone in Egypt as the snark has it, but from someone someplace in Europe — but as a clew there is no such thing, the origin is variously said to be London & several other locations, the individual issuing the edict is not-named, the individual’s qualifications are not known, the actual contents of the alleged-fatwa is unknown, reports of its contents differ, and the claimed original source does not seem to exist.

  68. says

    CaitieCat @ #115 – Thank you so much! It was bothering me that it seemed like such a random number.

    Quoted by blf in #117:

    In 2012, for instance, the North Carolina general assembly voted to prevent communities from planning for sea level rise. Early analysis suggests this legislation has been ineffective: Hurricane Matthew, in 2016, for instance drove storm surge from the Atlantic ocean to historic levels along the Cape Fear River and flooded homes in historic Charleston. Total damage from the storm was estimated at $4.8bn.

    I posted about the NC legislature at the time. From that post:

    The Frontline episode as a whole shows the denialists crowing about their legislative and propaganda victories in the face of catastrophic transformations of the conditions of life, but Riggs’ comment really drives home the pathetic absurdity of these celebrations. Asked whether he and the other scientists have “lost” in North Carolina, he concludes wryly that political decisions aren’t determining. In the long term, of course, “The ocean’s gonna win.”

    (Four days after that post, Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast.)

  69. says

    Quoted in my #114 above:

    There are numerous sites that monitor known-bots. Pseudonymous accounts are one of the key features of Twitter. So what was it that led Twitter not only to suspend “Nicole Mincey” but the whole network associated with her? So far Twitter won’t say.

    I think when the Placeit people were alerted to the unauthorized use of their images in the Mincey and other profiles and contacted Twitter, Twitter might have acted swiftly so as to try to avoid being subject to legal action. That so many accounts were suspended might suggest that they were all run by a single entity. Not sure. I still think there’s more going on with this Mincey network that we don’t yet know about.

  70. says

    “#FireMcMaster, explained: How alt-right media and a handful of Twitter bots tried to get the United States National Security Advisor fired”:

    …This, by far, is one of the most organized and widespread alt-right campaigns to date, spanning across Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and other social media. This shows the alt-right’s capacity to organize and amplify on several platforms simultaneously, and it signals the community’s growing digital capabilities.

    The success of the campaign forced Trump’s administration to respond. Only two days after the start of the campaign, the White House issued a statement saying President Trump supports H. R. McMaster. The case shows how effective a group of well-organized bots, trolls, and cyborgs can, in extremis, force the White House’s hand in internal policy matters or at least shape public posture.

  71. says

    “Secretive search for man behind Trump dossier reveals tension in Russia inquiry”:

    Two US congressional staffers who travelled to London in July and tried to contact former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele were sent by a longstanding aide to Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House intelligence committee and a close ally of the White House.

    The House intelligence committee’s staff director is Damon Nelson, who worked as deputy chief of staff for Devin Nunes from 2003 until 2014 and then as a senior adviser before moving in 2015 to the staff of the committee which Nunes chairs….

    A congressional official insisted it would not be unusual for a committee staff director to organise a foreign fact-finding trip on his own authority.

    However, Adam Blickstein, a former Democrat spokesman on the House intelligence committee, said he found that unlikely in such a sensitive investigation.

    “In this specific scenario, I can’t imagine a staff director sending two staffers on this trip without the chairman knowing about it,” Blickstein said. “That wouldn’t pass the smell test.”

    “I find the fact that they presumably spent taxpayer money to undertake such a hyper-partisan and unprofessional effort extremely troubling,” John Sipher, a former senior CIA officer said in an emailed comment. “There are normal ways to do this through our existing institutions, and their relationships with our British partners. This is bad on many levels.

    “Republicans that are part of the House investigation should not be undertaking efforts without informing their Democratic colleagues,” Sipher added. “Not only is it unprofessional but it is impolite. Mr Steele was a professional who worked on important and compatible issues with the US. He deserves better than being ambushed by a bunch of hacks.”

  72. blf says

    Creators of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program to face trial:

    Two psychologists will face claims they are financially liable in lawsuit brought by three victims of US intelligence agency’s torture program

    A civil lawsuit brought by three victims of the CIA’s torture program against the two psychologists who created it will go to court on 5 September in Washington state, after a judge ruled that more than a year of discovery had yielded sufficient evidence to support the plaintiffs’ claims.

    Judge Justin Quackenbush issued a written opinion on Monday in the suit, in which James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen are accused of designing, promoting and sharing responsibility for the interrogation methods to which the three men were subjected.

    It will now be up to a jury in Spokane, Washington, to decide if the psychologists, who reportedly were paid $75m–$81m[!] under their contract with the CIA to create the so-called enhanced interrogation program, are financially liable for the physical and psychological effects of their torture.

    Two of the men, Suleiman Abdullah Salim, a Tanzanian national, and Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, who is Libyan, survived their ordeal in a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan in late 2002 and 2003; they are now free and living in their home countries. The third, an Afghan national named Gul Rahman, died as a result of torture in the facility.


    This is the first lawsuit brought by victims of torture in the CIA’s secret prisons even to reach the pretrial discovery phase. In previous cases, the Bush and then Obama administrations intervened to persuade courts to dismiss the suits, arguing state secrets were at risk if proceedings continued. But the publication of a 2014 Senate intelligence committee report revealed many details the government had long suppressed, including the names of the 39 men who endured Mitchell and Jessen’s enhanced interrogation techniques in a prison code-named Cobalt and other secret CIA facilities.


    With so much information officially confirmed, the Obama administration signalled early that it would not claim state secrets to scuttle the suit. Judge Quackenbush, in a series of rulings over the past year, has repeatedly rejected moves by Mitchell and Jessen’s attorneys to dismiss the suit, and has ordered an unprecedented level of discovery […]

    News of the ruling reached attorneys for both sides as they gathered in the Carribbean island of Dominica to take testimony of Ben Soud to present to the jury in September. Both Ben Soud and Salim were denied visas to travel to the US earlier this year for depositions, and neither is likely to be allowed to appear in person at the trial proceedings. US embassy officials in Kabul did grant a visa to Obaidullah, the nephew of Rahman, who is representing his family in the lawsuit.


    The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of the three men in October-2015.

  73. says

    From Michelle Goldberg, writing for Slate:

    With the White House in chaos, the generals are gaining power. Donald Trump’s new chief of staff, retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, is attempting to impose military discipline on the president’s shambolic reality show of an administration. National security adviser H.R. McMaster, a three-star Army general, has cleaned house at the National Security Council, ousting conspiratorial hard-right nationalists Rich Higgins and Ezra Cohen-Watnick. McMaster also replaced Trump’s top Middle East adviser, the ultra-hawkish Derek Harvey, with Mike Bell, a retired Army colonel. According to the Associated Press, Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, also a retired Marine Corps general, have a pact not to be out of the country at the same time so that one of them is always here “to keep tabs on the orders rapidly emerging from the White House.” Suddenly, America has become a place where a general needs to be on hand at all times to babysit the president.

    It’s a sign of how thoroughly Trump has corrupted our democracy that this interlude of quasi-military rule comes as a relief to many Democrats as well as establishment Republicans. If we saw this scenario in another country – a populist demagogue of dubious legitimacy slowly being hemmed in by a clique of military men – we would easily recognize it as a sign of democratic backsliding. […]

  74. says

    OK, this Mincey saga is sketchy as hell. (I’m annoyed at these outlets publishing stories based on an incomplete review of the evidence. Heavy didn’t do an exposé – they back-edited their article and added updates after Josh Marshall and Schooley exposed the accounts on Twitter. There’s also nothing in this piece about Placeit’s complaints to Twitter, or the supposed YBR efforts Marshall has pointed to. The Yahoo article adds some useful information, but since it’s so disconnected from other known information it also adds to the confusion. In any event, the Mincey thing is massively suspicious. There’s no way more isn’t going to come out about “Lorraine Elijah” and “Dr. William Byrd.”)

  75. says

    From the Yahoo article: ” Nicole Mincey appears to be the creation of a couple of hucksters with a more mundane plan in mind: simply selling some hats and T-shirts.” No, it doesn’t appear that way. Seriously.

  76. says

    Rex Tillerson’s joking, laughing meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte looks even worse now (if that’s possible, considering what Duterte has already done to the people he is supposed to serve).

    Duterte is threatening to bomb local schools whose teachers he doesn’t like.

    […] has now threatened to bomb local tribal schools for allegedly teaching students to become rebels.

    Duterte, in a Monday news conference, said, “I’m telling the Lumads now: I’ll have those bombed, including your structures.” He continued, “I will use the armed forces, the Philippine air force. I’ll really have those bombed… because you are operating illegally and you are teaching the children to rebel against government.”

    Human-rights groups have asked Duterte to retract the threat, since such an action would be a war crime.


    Duterte is big on crime. He likes crime, as long as he is the one committing the criminal acts. He brags about extra-judicial killings of suspected drug traffickers.

  77. says

    We analyzed 17 months of Fox & Friends transcripts. It’s far weirder than state-run media.

    […] Instead of talking for Trump, they are talking to him.

    The regular hosts — Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, and Ainsley Earhardt — and their rotating cast of guests increasingly view their role as giving advice to the president. They prognosticate on what the president, his staff, or his party should do. And it’s all couched in language that makes it seem they are on his side — that the damning news reports from mainstream media were unfair obstacles to his presidency.

    That is in contrast to what Fox & Friends was before Trump. In 2013, media scholar Jeffrey P. Jones argued that Fox & Friends creates an ideologically homogenous community and reinforces it by creating a high school-like atmosphere. “The show is designed to thrust the viewer into a common-sense groupthink, complete with all the rumours, smears, innuendo, fear-mongering, thinly veiled ad hominem attacks, and lack of rational discourse they can muster — you know, just like high school,” he writes.

    But in the 2016 election, the man who loves their show and listens to their political and cultural ruminations became the leader of the free world.

    Fox & Friends went from being the bully on the periphery to the prom king’s posse. […]

    KILMEADE: I think it would have been good for the president to work the phones, because he is the best at that: “Listen, this is my school of thought — this is what I’m looking to do. We all know the Russia investigation is going nowhere. How do I get this done with the least amount of ancillary damage?”

    EARHARDT: Here is the bottom line: He is the boss. And he gets to decide who works for him. Someone who works for him who is not supportive of him, he gets rid of them. He has the ability to do that.

    The hosts are basically telling Trump what they would do in this situation. They are covering the news by advising him.

    It’s something the show’s hosts and guests have done with far more frequency since Trump has been in office. An analysis of the show’s transcripts reveal that about 8 to 9 percent of sentences before Trump’s election were imperative sentences, which instruct or advise. In the first few months of his presidency, that number increased more than 50 percent. […]

    Much more at the link.

  78. says

    Further to #136, if they were selling actual merchandise, don’t they have to have an actual business registered somewhere? Here’s how the Yahoo Finance reporters describe their attempted purchase from ProTrump45:

    Yahoo Finance ordered a flag from to see if it would arrive as promised in 7 to 10 days. The site took our money, through a PayPal account — $30 for the flag, $15 for shipping and $2.40 for tax, for a total of $47.40. But no flag ever arrived. We did get a notice, however, saying, “Your order is on its way,” along with a UPS tracking number. When we contacted UPS, a spokesman told us the tracking number was bogus and the order had been “stopped as fraud.” We did a “who is” search looking up registration details for the Web site and found it had been registered anonymously through a Florida company called Perfect Privacy, essentially masking the site’s real owners.

    So the payment was stopped? By PayPal, the credit card company, who? If it was stopped as fraud, can’t the Yahoo Finance people find out from PayPal or the credit card company or law enforcement who the money was going to? They can just continue to commit fraud? What the hell?

  79. says

    Josh Marshall has more:

    …[“Byrd”‘s] account and others in the network seem to have had other motives than just turning a quick buck off the scam store. They also were tied to numerous white nationalist accounts. As with most things in the Trump era, this one really does look like grift all the way down. But the white nationalist dimensions still make me wonder whether there wasn’t a bit more to it.

    I still strongly suspect there’s quite a bit more to it. And have they been reported for fraud?

  80. says

    SC @141, I never did buy the explanation that these doofuses were selling Trump merchandise. They were busy “selling” the idea that attractive, young black women were backing Trump. Totally bogus operation that was amplified by white nationalists.

  81. says

    Follow-up to comment 134.

    Wonkette covered Rex Tillerson’s “fun sleepover” with the president of the Philippines.

    On the sidelines of an ASEAN meeting on security in Manila Monday, Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, catching him between naps and assuring him Duterte thinks the USA is the bee’s knees.

    Duterte has had some mean things to say about the USA in the past, especially Barack Obama, whom he called a “son of a [B-word]” (or “son of a whore” depending on your English/Tagalog translation preference) because Obama had condemned Duterte’s murderous campaign of extrajudicial killings of drug dealers and addicts. But Duterte likes Donald Trump, who has praised him for doing “an unbelievable job on the drug problem,” possibly because he recognizes a kindred spirit, and he told Tillerson, “I am your humble friend in Southeast Asia.”

    We’d assume Duterte would have invited Tillerson on a midnight jaunt through the slums of Manila, shooting suspected drug users from an armored vehicle, but the Secretary of State needed a full night of sleep.

    At the summit, Tillerson confirmed the US would continue to provide assistance to the Manila government in its war against ISIS-aligned rebels in the southern part of the nation. The US has helped out with training, surveillance, and air support, including light aircraft and drones. […]

  82. says

    Follow-up to comment 144.

    From Josh Marshall:

    […] Her story keeps changing, with references to other fictive personalities, contradictory claims about money that was involved, how she became involved and so forth. She has insisted through multiple interviews that she only got involved because of her support for Trump and never received any money. In the latest interview, which I discuss below, she claims she left the scam group in June because, “the store was getting disorganized. They weren’t keeping up with the orders. I wasn’t getting paid.”

    The evolving story has all the hallmarks of a band of grifters, of uncertain size and collective intelligence, scrambling for cover stories.

    But now Yahoo Finance adds a new, altogether mundane and predictable dimension of the story. If you sent money to these grifters you apparently didn’t even get your knock off MAGA hat or shirt!

    The ultimate indignity! In Trump’s America you can’t even rely on scam artists to send you the unauthorized, low quality knock-off Trump shirt you paid for. […]

    SC flagged Josh Marshall’s analysis earlier, and I wanted to add the text above.

  83. blf says

    Follow-up to @145 & others, Philippines president says US, Australia have ‘toned down’ human rights criticism:

    Rodrigo Duterte claims issue of thousands of drug war deaths was mentioned ‘only in passing’ in meetings with Rex Tillerson and Julie Bishop

    The US and Australia have “considerably toned down” criticism of a drug war in the Philippines in which thousands have been killed, according to the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte.

    During meetings at the presidential palace in Manila, US secretary of state Rex Tillerson and Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop raised the issue of human rights “only in passing”, Duterte said.

    “Mostly they have considerably toned down in human rights,” he was quoted as saying by the state news agency.

    A bloody drug war in which Duterte has said he is happy to slaughter millions of addicts and dismissed the deaths of children as collateral damage has become the most high-profile rights issue in southeast Asia since his inauguration a year ago.


    Donald Trump […] has forged a friendlier relationship [then President Obama], praising Duterte for an unbelievable job in his anti-narcotics campaign.


    At Duterte’s meeting with Tillerson, the highest-level audience to date with a member of Trump’s administration, the two ignored shouted questions from reporters on human rights.


  84. says

    Trump doesn’t like his poll numbers, so he stupid-tweeted about it.

    After 200 days, rarely has any Administration achieved what we have achieved. Not even close! Don’t believe the Fake News Suppression Polls!

    Trump also tweeted some nonsense that he half-assed culled from the American Center for Law and Justice, an ultra rightwing collection of non-thinkers who claimed they had documents showing “clear evidence that the main stream media was colluding with the DOJ to bury the story,” (a reference to the story about Clinton’s private email server). Yes, Trump is still tweeting about that. Seems he is still furious that Hillary Clinton is no longer under investigation, and that nobody locked her up. Trump threw in an insult to the media:

    E-mails show that the AmazonWashingtonPost and the FailingNewYorkTimes were reluctant to cover the Clinton/Lynch secret meeting in plane.

    As Esme Cribb noted:

    The American Center for Law and Justice selectively excerpted both emails and claimed the New York Times reporter’s request was made “apologetically.”

  85. says

    Televangelist Pat Robertson is telling his own fictionalized story to explain why his favorite Fox News hosts are being accused of sexual harassment:

    […] “If you wanted to destroy the Fox News, you really wanted to destroy them, what would you do? Well you would send some salacious material, ostensibly from one of their popular co-hosts or hosts and you’d send it out and then get it publicized and then you have some woman complain that she had gotten this salacious material from this particular co-host,” he said Monday in a monologue on CBN [Christian Broadcasting Network], referring to the latest sexual harassment scandal involving Eric Bolling, […]

    Bolling has been suspended indefinitely while an outside law firm — the same firm that investigated sexual harassment allegations against former Fox chairman Roger Ailes and former host Bill O’Reilly — looks into whether he sent photos of male genitalia to female colleagues, […]

    The news came from a scathing Huffington Post report published Friday, which reported that at least a dozen sources linked to Fox News confirmed that Bolling sent the lewd photos to at least three female colleagues.

    But Bolling is just the latest victim of a conspiracy to destroy the network, according to Robertson, who called Bolling a “straight arrow,” a “dedicated Catholic” who “goes to mass every day” and a “very nice man.”

    “Fox is so averse to any kind of legal action that they immediately take the person off the air, so before long you would have decimated the prime time line up of all the Fox hosts. Easy to do? Absolutely. Is it being done? Probably,” he said. […]

    “Anybody can make charges, but ladies and gentlemen, if this is going on… I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but it’s so easy to see what’s being done. I think it’s a terrible shame. Fox had better synch up, gird up their loins, people are going after them and know this is a game people are playing,” Robertson said. […]


  86. says

    Donald Trump gets a daily briefing all about how great he is.

    Any former Capitol Hill intern is familiar with the concept of a clip book, which young staffers compile, every day, to give their bosses a sense of how news outlets are covering them. This is a standard practice for Democrats and Republicans alike. Indeed, once upon a time when I was an intern in Chuck Schumer’s office, my responsibilities included assembling a daily package of news articles that contained any mention of him.

    But the purpose of that document — and of nearly all clip books — was for the senator and his senior aides to get an accurate portrait of how he was being covered in the press. Like any normal human being, Schumer preferred to read positive coverage of himself to negative, but the goal of the exercise was to help ascertain what was actually going on in order to inform future decision-making.

    That is not Donald Trump’s goal. He, by contrast, seems to just want to hear that people think he’s doing a great job even though the best evidence we have is that people do not, in fact, think he’s doing a great job.

    As Alex Thompson of Vice News, citing “three current and former White House officials,” reports: In the morning at 9:30 and then around 4:30 in the afternoon, Trump is presented with a briefing document full of people praising him. […]

  87. says

    “Trump Vows North Korea Threat Will Be Met With ‘Fire and Fury’”:

    Amid sharply escalating tensions with North Korea, President Donald Trump on Tuesday promised “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if the country continues to threaten the United States.

    “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” the president warned, responding to a reporter’s question during at his Bedminster Golf Club, where Trump has spent the last several days. “They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

    Trump’s came just hours after reports that North Korea had developed a nuclear weapon small enough to fit on a missile.

    The president also said North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, has been “very threatening” recently….

  88. says

    I think Trump is jealous of the fiery rhetoric coming out of North Korea. Today, he fumed and blustered like a wannabe North Korean leader:

    [North Korea’s new alleged nuclear ambitions] will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening, beyond a normal state, and as I said they will be met with fire and fury and, frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before.

    I still prefer North Korea’s “thousand fold” construction when it comes to bluster and threats:

    [North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and the state-run Korean Central News Agency said], We are ready to retaliate with far bigger actions to make the U.S. pay a price for its crime against our country and people. [We will launch] thousands-fold revenge. We will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets [up for negotiation] There is no bigger mistake than the United States believing that its land is safe across the ocean. [North Korea] will make the U.S. pay dearly for all the heinous crimes it commits against the state and people of this country, […]

  89. says

    “President Trump has exchanged private messages with Russia special counsel Robert Mueller”:

    President Trump has publicly called the widening federal investigation into Russia’s election meddling a “witch hunt.” But through his lawyer, Trump has sent private messages of “appreciation” to special counsel Robert Mueller.

    “He appreciates what Bob Mueller is doing,” Trump’s chief counsel John Dowd told USA TODAY in an interview Tuesday. “He asked me to share that with him and that’s what I’ve done.”

    Trump’s legal team has been in contact with Mueller’s office, and Dowd says he has passed along the president’s messages expressing “appreciation and greetings’’ to the special counsel….

    This will have zero effect on Mueller, but stands in hilarious contrast to the public bluster and belligerence of Trump and his minions.

  90. blf says

    Follow-up to @117 & @85, and also @108, Paris climate deal: US tells diplomats to dodge foreign officials’ questions (Grauniad edits in {curly braces}):

    Secretary of state Rex Tillerson directs staff to make clear US wants to help other countries use fossil fuels, diplomatic cable shows

    US diplomats should sidestep questions from foreign governments on what it would take for the Trump administration to re-engage in the global Paris climate agreement, according to a diplomatic cable seen by Reuters.

    The cable, sent by the US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, to embassies on Friday, also said diplomats should make clear the United States wants to help other countries use fossil fuels.


    If asked, for example, “What is the process for consideration of re-engagement in the Paris Agreement?,” the answer should be vague: We are considering a number of factors. I do not have any information to share on the nature or timing of the process, the cable advises.


    Separate from the diplomatic cable, the Trump administration is reviewing a draft report written by scientists across 13 federal government agencies that shows the effects of climate change pose dire, near-term threats to the United States.

    The Environmental Protection Agency declined to comment on the draft, which the New York Times published on Monday.

    The report puts the White House in the awkward position of either clearing the report’s findings or editing them.


    The cable also anticipates questions over why the United States has changed its policy to make it easier for global development banks such as the World Bank to finance coal-fired power projects. In 2013 the Obama administration said the United States would oppose most coal projects, guidance since altered by the Trump administration.

    The new principles will allow the {United States} the flexibility to approve, as appropriate, a broad range of power projects, including the generation of power using clean and efficient fossil fuels and renewable energy, the cable said.

  91. says

    More Mincey weirdness:

    …Here’s one twist that has gone unreported thus far, though; Heavy has uncovered that an old Twitter page that appears to be positioned as one of the real college student’s old accounts (it has photos that match the person on her real Facebook account, for example), interacted with some of the now-suspended ProTrump45 affiliated pages on Twitter as far back as 2014. You can see screenshots documenting that twist below.

    Asked about all of this, Nicole Mincy, the real college student, told Heavy in a series of responses, “My Facebook was recently hacked and used to sign up to several websites I already cleared that up with Facebook…. Thanks.” At another point in the conversation: “Just admit this ‘Nicole’ character is in fact a robot.” And at another point, “I’ve received threats for a store that doesn’t even belong to me.” She also said, “I’m not even interested in politics or have anything to do with Trump.”

    Now more on the added twist: Nicole Mincy told Heavy she had nothing to do with it all and told Daily Beast her involvement was recent and limited. She provided only sketchy information about the identities of the others in the group that made them almost impossible to trace. However, the old Twitter page unearthed by Heavy interacted years ago with multiple accounts that have their own interactions with ProTrump45 and pushing out Trump propaganda.

    Old Twitter interactions with people who appeared to know her personally indicate the real college student may have had multiple Twitter pages over the years and, in 2015, there was an online effort to make a page in her last name a verified account. The old Twitter page also interacted with a man connected as a relative to Nicole Mincy through online records.

    The real name of the New Jersey college student was used to register now-defunct online stores and a GoFundMe page for “Young Black Republicans” that has also been deleted. The GoFundMe page used both the name “Nicole Mincey” and the college student’s real name on the same profile description and raised a small amount of money. The real woman’s Facebook page, which is filled with photos of her life, was used to create the GoFundMe account….

    Then, in the only comment, someone leaves the name of a person in TX who appears to be real and have a name similar to the one she claims ran the operation. No idea what these people were/are up to.

  92. says

    “Trump Campaign Turns Over Thousands of Documents in Russia Probe”:

    Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, his son Donald Trump Jr. and former campaign manager Paul Manafort have started turning over documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of the panel’s expanded investigation of Russian election-meddling.

    The Trump campaign turned over about 20,000 pages of documents on Aug. 2, committee spokesman George Hartmann said Tuesday. Manafort provided about 400 pages on Aug. 2, including his foreign-advocacy filing, while Trump Jr. gave about 250 pages on Aug. 4, Hartmann said. The committee had asked them last month to start producing the documents by Aug. 2….

  93. says

    SC @156:

    This will have zero effect on Mueller, but stands in hilarious contrast to the public bluster and belligerence of Trump and his minions.

    Right. At his most recent rally in West Virginia, Trump again called Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt.” Trump’s minions continue to say the investigation is based on a hoax perpetrated by Democrats. So Trump sends love notes to Mueller saying that he “appreciates” him?!

    Trump is trying to manipulate Mueller. That in itself is ridiculous … and it is a tactic that is not going to work.

    Also, please note that Trump’s efforts at manipulation are farcical. Trump is inept. He is incompetent.

  94. blf says

    #AintNoCinderella: Indian women mock politician who blamed stalking victim:

    Women share photos of themselves staying out after midnight after party official said woman chased in her car late at night had brought it on herself
    Varnika Kundu said she was chased and almost kidnapped by two men while driving home in Chandigarh after midnight on Saturday.


    Kundu said she felt lucky she was “not lying raped and murdered in a ditch somewhere”.

    Ramveer Bhatti, the area vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), said the incident would not have happened had Kundu not been out late.

    The girl should not have gone out at 12 in the night, he said. Why was she driving so late in the night? The atmosphere is not right. We need to take care of ourselves.

    The Times of India quoted Bhatti as saying: Parents must take care of their children. They shouldn’t allow them to roam at night. Children should come home on time, why stay out at night? […].

    His comments have sparked a strong response from women on Twitter […]

    Dear regressive India,
    I will do as I please, night or day. Don’t ever think you have the right to stop me […]


    Speaking to NDTV, Kundu and her father rejected criticism of her decision to be out late at night alone.

    Kundu said the comments were part of a “well-established tactic” designed to intimidate her into backing off: “I’m supposed to be wondering about what this is going to do to my image and my life. But what would those guys have done to my life if they had caught me?

    “What I do and where I go and at what time I do it is my business.”

    If I’m out at 12am, it DOES NOT mean I’m to be raped, molested, chased. My dignity is my right […]

  95. says

    “‘God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un,’ evangelical adviser says”:

    Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, one of President Trump’s evangelical advisers who preached the morning of his inauguration, has released a statement saying the president has the moral authority to take out North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

    “When it comes to how we should deal with evil doers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary — including war — to stop evil,” Jeffress said. “In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un.”

    Jeffress said in a phone interview that he was prompted to make the statement after Trump said that if North Korea’s threats to the United States continue, Pyongyang will be “met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

    The biblical passage Romans 13 gives the government authority to deal with evildoers, Jeffress said. “That gives the government to the authority to do whatever, whether it’s assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jong Un,” he said.

    He said that many pacifist Christians will cite Romans 12, which says, “Do not repay evil for evil,” but Jeffress says that that passage is referring to Christians, not to the government.

    “A Christian writer asked me, ‘Don’t you want the president to embody the Sermon on the Mount?’ ” he said, referring to Jesus’s famous sermon. “I said absolutely not.”…

  96. says

    “FBI conducted predawn raid of former Trump campaign chairman Manafort’s home”:

    FBI agents raided the Alexandria home of President Trump’s former campaign chairman late last month, using a search warrant to seize documents and other materials, according to people familiar with the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

    Federal agents appeared at Paul Manafort’s home without advance warning in the predawn hours of July 26, the day after he met voluntarily with the staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee.

    The search warrant was wide-ranging and FBI agents working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III departed the home with various records.

    The raid came as Manafort has been voluntarily producing documents to congressional committees investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The search warrant indicates investigators may have argued to a federal judge they had reason to believe Manafort could not be trusted to turn over all records in response to a grand jury subpoena….

  97. says

    Rep. Ellen Tauscher, a Democrat from California, used to serve in the Obama administration, first as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, and later as Special Envoy for Strategic Stability and Missile Defense at the State Department. She tweeted this:

    Where is the Trump Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security? NO ONE has been nominated? Unheard of in 40 years. I should know.

    Trump has not nominated anyone to fill that post. Trump does not have the personnel in place to handle the growing crisis in North Korea. Trump’s approach to the crisis only makes things worse.

    Steve Benen provided a partial list of posts for which there is no presidential nominee:

    * Undersecretary for arms control and international security affairs

    * Assistant secretary for intelligence and research

    * Assistant secretary for arms control, verification, and compliance

    * Assistant secretary for international security and nonproliferation affairs

    * Assistant secretary for political-military affairs

    * Assistant secretary for conflict and stabilization operations

    * Assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs

    * Special envoy for North Korea human rights issues

    * Special representative of the president for nuclear non-proliferation

    Trump blames the empty posts on “Democratic obstructionism,” but that is a lie. The Senate can’t confirm people who haven’t been nominated.

  98. says

    Follow-up to SC’s comment 170.

    Trump lied about modernizing the nuclear arsenal of the USA:

    My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before….

    Barack Obama started the $1 trillion renovation of the nuclear arsenal. The modernization process will take about thirty years to complete.

    Trump’s first “order” was related to health care, and not to the nuclear arsenal. (The health care action was an executive order telling all and sundry to try to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.)

    What did the lying sack of orange bloviation actually do? He signed an executive order directing the Pentagon to “initiate a new Nuclear Posture Review to ensure that the United States nuclear deterrent is modern, robust, flexible, resilient, ready, and appropriately tailored to deter 21st-century threats and reassure our allies.” The review is still underway. It changes nothing. It does nothing. Trump did see video of himself signing that vague pronouncement with much posturing and preening for the camera, so I guess he considers his work done.

    The stupid, boasting, nonsensical tweet quoted above is from this morning. So you can be sure that Trump continues to reside in LaLa Land.

  99. says

    Sebastian Gorka’s take on Trump having threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” was predictable, but still jarring:

    He’s saying don’t test America, and don’t test Donald J. Trump. We are not just a superpower. We were a superpower. We are now a hyperpower. Nobody in the world, especially not North Korea, comes close to challenging our military capabilities. Whether they’re conventional, whether they’re nuclear or whether they’re special forces. So the message is very clear: Don’t test this White House, Pyongyang. […]

    These are the moments when we have to come together as the nation and support the executive. Whether you voted for him or not, whether they’re a Democrat, whether they’re a Republican, these are the trying times. During the Cuban missile crisis, we stood behind JFK. This is analogous to the Cuban missile crisis.

    Anybody, whether they’re a member of a Congress, whether they’re a journalist: If you think your party politics, your ideology trumps the national security of America, that is an indictment of you.

    Yeah, yeah, dunderhead. So, you think we should support Hair Furor no matter what? We should suspend our critical thinking capacity and support the Dear Leader?

  100. says

    SC @177, leave it to Hair Furor to improvise the threat of nuclear war. What the bloody hell?

    In other news, European officials to continue to mock Trump.

    […] One unnamed European official told BuzzFeed that a group of diplomats plays a word game mocking Trump’s repetitive rhetoric when he speaks in public: “Everything is ‘great,’ ‘very, very great,’ ‘amazing.’”

    Foreign mockery appeared to be a particularly sore point for Trump during the 2016 campaign, when he complained the U.S. had become “the laughingstock of the world.”

    As recently as June, Trump said he didn’t “want other countries and other leaders to laugh at us anymore.”

    An unnamed diplomat told BuzzFeed that Trump “has no historical view” and “seems to think the world started when he took office.”

    Another unnamed European diplomat said Trump “is obsessed with Obama.”

    “It’s his only real position,” the diplomat said. “He will ask: ‘Did Obama approve this?’ And if the answer is affirmative, he will say: ‘We don’t.’ He won’t even want to listen to the arguments or have a debate.”

  101. says

    From Steve Benen:

    […] And what’s striking is how routine this [distribution of conflicting messages] has become. We talked last week, for example, about the competing messages from Trump World about whether or not the administration would engage North Korea diplomatically, with Trump and Tillerson opening the door to talks, while U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Vice President Mike Pence saying largely the opposite.

    As Rachel noted on last night’s show, Tillerson has taken two different positions on what North Korea would have to do in order for the administration to consider negotiations.

    We’re left with an untenable dynamic. Confronted with a burgeoning nuclear crisis, what’s the Trump administration’s position on North Korea? It apparently depends on the day – and which administration official one chooses to believe.

    Responding to a reporter’s question at a White House event last week, the president said, “We’ll handle North Korea. We’re going to be able to handle them. It will be handled. We handle everything.”

    I have a hard time believing anyone can take such assurances seriously.

  102. says

    Stephen Miller wants to be #1 Ass-Kisser:

    President #Trump’s the most gifted politician of our time, and he’s the best orator to hold that office in generations.

    Miller said that on Fox News during an interview with Tucker Carlson.

    Here is an example of Trump’s magnificent oratory skills:

    It has periodically hit me. And it is a tremendous magnitude. And where you really see it is when you’re talking to the generals about problems in the world. And we do have problems in the world. Big problems. The business also hits because the … size of it. The size.

  103. says

    On the day that the FBI raided Manafort’s home (July 26), Trump tweeted this:

    Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!

    That seemed kind of odd at the time, but now we may be seeing cause-and-effect, with the dawn raid of Paul Manafort’s home possibly prompting Trump’s call for Acting FBI Director McCabe to be fired.

  104. says

    Gallows humor in response to Trump’s “fire and fury” remarks:

    “Look on the bright side: compared to the coming thermonuclear inferno, global warming will seem quite pleasant.” [from Paul Begala]

    “Nuclear war Twitter will be the best Twitter.” [From Ross Douthat]

  105. says

    Looking back at the Anthony Scaramucci interview with the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza for clues as to why Vice President Mike Pence hired Nick Ayers:

    Why do you think Nick’s there, bro?

    Are you stupid? Why is Nick there? Nick’s there to protect the vice president because the vice president can’t believe what the fuck is going on.

    Ayers is political operative that, according to the New York Times “has signaled to multiple major Republican donors that Mr. Pence wants to be ready” [for a presidential campaign].

    Pence denied the Times report so strenuously, and with so many over-the-top references to how great Trump is, that one can only conclude that he doth protest too much.

  106. says

    Trump continues to play golf during his “working vacation.” Link

    In news related to Trump threatening North Korea, Representative Adam Schiff said:

    The erratic and fiery belligerence of his statements and tweets do little to defuse the situation and threaten to make a bad situation worse.

    Secretary [of State Rex] Tillerson is right to emphasize a diplomatic resolution of this growing danger to the world. While nothing can be taken off the table, the military option would be catastrophic and involve a potentially massive loss of life — American, South Korean, Japanese and North Korean.

    President Trump would be well to keep this in mind. He should let Secretaries Tillerson and Mattis, and UN Ambassador [Nikki] Haley do their jobs without taking actions that hamper their efforts. […]

  107. says

    Team Trump attempted to set up ceasefire zones in Syria. That plan is falling apart:

    […] Last month, after agreeing with Russia on a ceasefire plan for southwest Syria, Trump was optimistic: “We are working on a second ceasefire in a very rough part of Syria…if we get that and a few more, all of the sudden you are going to have no bullets being fired in Syria.”

    Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad had other plans.

    Slowly but surely, Assad has been eroding the general framework that made Trump’s ceasefire possible: a Russian-proposed plan for “de-escalation zones” around each of the main Syrian opposition areas. These zones – patrolled by Russia, Iran and Turkey – are meant to prevent further fighting, including all Assad regime attacks. […]

    But Assad is not honoring the zones. On Tuesday, Assad’s military dropped leaflets on a de-escalation zone near northern Syria, warning, “Resistance is futile! Leave [list of towns]…to save your lives.”

    […] regime forces launched heavy bombings on a second de-escalation zone in central Syria after local forces disagreed with a Russian peacekeeping proposal. And in a third de-escalation zone near the capital, regime forces launched heavy bombardments and a new offensive on Wednesday.

    These attacks are especially harmful because they appear designed to break apart the zones. […]

    Russia has enabled Assad’s violations. Russia conducted “warplane diplomacy” in the zone near the capital by threatening specific neighborhoods with heavy airstrikes. Russia similarly timed its peacekeeping proposal in central Syria to coincide with escalated regime air raids on the zone.

    The deployment of U.S. monitors can keep Assad and Russia honest and restore credibility to the ceasefire. At the moment, the ceasefire lacks a credible commitment from either side. […]

    […] Whether or not Trump wishes to make a bargain with Russia, the U.S. needs leverage in Syria if it wishes to constrain Iran from further expansion in the region. […]

    Russia has shown repeatedly that it does not want to fight U.S. forces in Syria, and U.S.-Russian aerial deconfliction over Syria has been largely successful. If U.S. forces were to jointly patrol the “de-escalation zones” with Russia, that same success could be repeated on the ground. […]

    The Hill link

  108. says

    Stephen Colbert covered Trump’s threats against North Korea. The video is 5:41 minutes long.


    Thankfully, faced with the greatest challenge of his presidency, Donald Trump stepped up and in a moment of pure statesmanship, deescalated the rhetoric and brought calm to our worried nation. I’m just kidding.

  109. says

    Well, you could have predicted this, right? James Damore, the engineer who was fired from Google for disseminating a long essay that was demeaning to women, turned to “alt-right” (white supremacist) YouTube luminaries (/sarcasm) for his first interviews since being fired.

    […] Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist whose controversial views about “white privilege” and identity politics have made him an alt-right celebrity. Molyneux, who is also Canadian, has garnered more than 600,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel for videos titled “Why Feminists Hate Men” and “In Trump We Trust.” […]


  110. says

    Sixty women are preparing to sue Google over pay disparity. Link

    […] James Finberg, the civil rights attorney working on the possible legal action on behalf of the female employees, told the Guardian they contend they have earned less than men at Google despite equal qualifications and comparable positions.

    Others, he said, have struggled in other ways to advance their careers at Google due to a “culture that is hostile to women”. […]

    Google is vehemently denying that its salaries are discriminatory. However Finberg, who said he had interviewed around half of the 60 women who may be part of his lawsuit, said their testimony indicated there are clear disparities and prejudices that hurt women at the Mountain View company. […]

    Several women he interviewed have said they make around $40,000 less than male colleagues doing the same work, with one woman saying she makes two-thirds of a male peer’s salary. […]

  111. says

    Interesting detail.

    “Manafort was awoken by a group of armed FBI agents knocking on his bedroom door as they executed the warrant.”

    This means it was “No Knock” warrant. These are usually only issued when the person who is the subject of the warrant is believed to be armed and dangerous or there is an imminent threat of destruction of evidence.

  112. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The whole of The Rachael Maddow Show was good. Unless all the segments are available at MSNBC, I would recommend trying something like Comcast’s Infinity on Demand, or equivalent, to see the whole episode. Since I pay for the tier with MSNBC, I can watch the next day for free.

  113. says

    @195 – MSNBC is also on a 3 hour loop so Maddow re-airs at 3 AM EST. Chris Hayes is on at 2am, Laurence O’donnell at 4, and then they go live again at 5 am.

  114. blf says

    First Dog on the Moon in the Grauniad, ‘Will even white people die?’ How to explain nuclear war to your kids (cartoon).

    Unusually(?), after a quick glance at the readers’s comments, what seems to be mostly nutjobs are up in arms about one quip in the cartoon:

    “What’s a white supremacist?”
    “It is someone who believes the ludicrous notion that white people are superior to people of other races. They also believe there that is a plan to eradicate white people from the earth.”
    “Is there, Dad!?”
    “Unfortunately no.”

    Saner-seeming readers are pointing out its an ironic point in a satirical cartoon about current events.

  115. says

    Trump’s stupidity continues to cause an increase in health care costs. From the Associated Press:

    Actions by the Trump administration are triggering double-digit premium increases on individual health insurance policies purchased by many people, according to a nonpartisan study.

    The analysis released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that mixed signals from President Donald Trump have created uncertainty “far outside the norm,” leading insurers to seek higher premium increases for 2018 than would otherwise have been the case. […]

    About 10 million people who buy policies through and state-run markets are potentially affected, as are 5 million to 7 million more who purchase individual policies on their own.

    Those in the government-sponsored markets can dodge the hit with the help of tax credits that most of them qualify for to help pay premiums. But off-marketplace customers pay full freight, and they face a second consecutive year of steep increases. Many are self-employed business owners. […]

    Insurers that assumed that Trump would make good on his threat to stop billions in payments to subsidize copayments and deductibles requested additional premium increases ranging from 2 percent to 23 percent, the report found.

    Insurers that assumed the IRS under Trump would not enforce unpopular fines on people who remain uninsured requested additional premium increases ranging from 1.2 percent to 20 percent.

    “In many cases that means insurers are adding double-digit premium increases on top of what they otherwise would have requested,” said Cynthia Cox, a co-author of the Kaiser report. “In many cases, what we are seeing is an additional increase due to the political uncertainty.”

    That doesn’t sound like what Trump promised when he assumed the presidency.

    In a Washington Post interview ahead of his inauguration, Trump said, “We’re going to have insurance for everybody.” […]

    As Steve Benen noted:

    […] In fairness, there are multiple factors that contribute to premium increases — which were, of course, common long before “Obamacare” became the law of the land — but as the AP’s report explained, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that “mixed signals” from the Trump administration have clearly made matters worse. […]

    Americans are being forced to pay more for health care insurance as a direct result of the White House’s political tactics. […]

    The president, in other words, is imposing a political surcharge on the cost of health coverage for no reason. By threatening to make things worse, Trump and allies are already making things worse.

  116. says

    Follow-up to comments 171, 173, 175, 183 and 193.

    Trump and his team are working hard to distance themselves from Paul Manafort.

    […]The National Enquirer, the president’s favorite supermarket tabloid, announced its latest scoop yesterday, insisting that Manafort has been caught up in some kind of sex scandal — a story that ran just hours after we learned the FBI raided the former campaign chairman’s home last month. The National Enquirer’s piece went on to quote a “White House adviser” who said Manafort was guilty of “betraying … his country.”

    This comes about a month after the president publicly suggested he has some influence over the tabloid’s editorial decisions.

    Slate summarized the larger context nicely:

    So, six weeks after Trump seemingly admitted that he can use National Enquirer stories as leverage in personal disputes, the Enquirer has published a sensational attack on an individual who may (may!) possess incriminating information about Trump-Russia collusion.

    Let’s note for context that when former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s troubles grew more serious, he started receiving unflattering coverage in the National Enquirer, too.

    Trump, you’ll recall, has not only been the beneficiary of fawning coverage from the National Enquirer, he’s also insisted that the tabloid “should be very respected” and deserves “Pulitzer Prizes for their reporting.”

    As Rachel explained on the show in March, “The president reads the National Enquirer; he is a booster of the National Enquirer; he is friends with the publisher of the National Enquirer; and so, even though it’s the freaking National Enquirer, it’s also a little bit of a Rosetta Stone now for decoding where this White House is going next.” […]


    Bullshitter in Chief is controlling, or at least unduly influencing, some media outlets.

  117. says

    Follow-up to comment 198.

    Team Trump has abandoned Latino programs that educate communities about Obamacare, and about sign-up deadlines.

    By early August in recent years, Luis Torres was in the midst of a health care blitz, meeting weekly with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the White House to prepare for the start of the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period on Nov. 1.

    […] But this year, Torres told TPM, that flurry of activity came to an abrupt halt. […]

    […] with the fate of the Affordable Care Act’s delicate individual markets in jeopardy, inaction could be as just as damaging as active sabotage. […]

    Since Obamacare’s exchanges launched in 2014, a massive amount of work happened behind the scenes to spread the word to millions of uninsured Latinos so they could take advantage of the new coverage and to convince enough people to sign up to keep the insurance markets afloat.

    Much of that work happened in partnerships between the White House, HHS, and hundreds of partner groups. […]

    […] the Obama administration created materials in Spanish, sent its cabinet members around the country to promote enrollment, solicited feedback from grassroots groups about how to best message to Latinos young and old, responded in real time when those groups flagged problems on the ground, participated in health care town halls on Univision that reached millions of people, launched social media campaigns, and organized summits on health care.

    Steven Lopez, the associate director of health policy at Unidos, told TPM that all this effort was necessary to reach a historically underserved demographic. […]

    […] the groups noticed that a report prepared by HHS last year titled “The ACA is Working for the Latino Community” that they frequently linked to, was removed from the agency’s website. […]

    Perez told TPM he sees the Trump administration’s silent rollback of the Latino partnerships and removal of information as a form of sabotage.

    “Look, we took an oath of office and swore we would faithfully implement the laws of the United States, and the ACA is one of the most important of those laws,” he said. “We now have an administration that took the same oath, but in practice is working to sabotage a law they do not like. That’s unconscionable.” […]

    The Trump administration has cut the length of the open enrollment period in half […]

  118. says

    [sigh] Yet again Trump retweeted fake news from Twitter. This time he endorsed a fake Twitter poll that purported to show that 61% of the respondents thought Trump was a “better President of the United States” compared to 39% for Obama.

    […] Trump retweeted a Twitter poll from an account called @ProgressPolls. […]

    ProgressPolls, the account retweeted by Trump, has created similar polls seemingly designed to further Republican Party talking points such as: is the gender pay gap real, and was Seth Rich “murdered by the DNC / Clintons”? […]

    The account also displays a creation date of March 2016, but the oldest tweet on their profile is from late last month. A quick search of previous @ProgressPolls tweets reveals that the account recently changed its handle from @Truth_Bombers, a conservative Twitter account posting pro-Trump memes and news not usually associated with credible polling institutions. […]

    The selective choice to believe unscientific and illegitimate polls simply because they contain news you want to hear, while casting all negative coverage as “fake” backs a report from Politico earlier in the week that revealed the White House pays a staffer $89,000 to “spot and distribute positive stories ” about the president.

  119. says

    Trump is on vacation. Yes, he’s had a few meetings and has made “fire and fury” policy pronouncements, but mostly he is playing golf. There are photos to prove his 18-hole golf games dominate his schedule. He is also tweeting … a lot. In fact, while he is on vacation, he advised Mitch McConnell to “get back to work.”

    Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal & Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great Infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing. You can do it!

    This is Trump’s third or fourth (I stopped paying attention) let’s-bully-Mitch-McConnell tweet since the start of his vacation.

  120. says

    Susan Rice [former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Barack Obama,] responded to Trump’s “fire and fury” threats:

    […] Either Mr. Trump is issuing an empty threat of nuclear war, which will further erode American credibility and deterrence, or he actually intends war next time Mr. Kim behaves provocatively. The first scenario is folly, but a United States decision to start a pre-emptive war on the Korean Peninsula, in the absence of an imminent threat, would be lunacy. […]

    Rice’s entire essay in the New York Times is worth reading.

  121. says

    Oh, FFS. More searches of Hillary Clinton’s emails have been ordered.

    […] U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta ruled that the State Department had not done enough to try to track down messages Clinton may have sent about the assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound [in Benghazi] on Sept. 11, 2012 — an attack that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

    In response to Freedom of Information Act requests, State [State Department] searched the roughly 30,000 messages Clinton turned over to her former agency at its request in December 2014 after officials searching for Benghazi-related records realized she had used a personal email account during her four-year tenure as secretary.

    State later searched tens of thousands of emails handed over to the agency by three former top aides to Clinton: Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills and Jake Sullivan. Finally, State searched a collection of emails the FBI assembled when it was investigating Clinton’s use of the private account and server.

    In all, State found 348 Benghazi-related messages or documents that were sent to or from Clinton in a period of nearly five months after the attack.

    However, the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch argued that the search wasn’t good enough because State never tried to search its own systems for relevant messages in the official email accounts of Clinton’s top aides. […]

    Politico link

  122. says

    Fox News host Eric Bolling is suing the Huffington Post reporter who reported that Bolling sent lewd messages (photographs of male genitals) to female colleagues at Fox. Bolling is seeking $50 million in damages for defamation.

    “The nature of this action is for damages and injunctive relief based on defamation arising from the defendant’s efforts to injure the plaintiff’s reputation through the intentional and/or highly reckless publication of actionable false and misleading statements about the plaintiff’s conduct and character. As a result of the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff has been substantially harmed,” the summons states.

    The reporter, Yashar Ali, said, “I stand by my reporting and will protect my sources, especially the victims, at all costs.”

    Huffington Post editors also issued a statement. They characterized Ali as “a careful and meticulous reporter” and they noted that they will financially support Ali to defend against Bolling’s lawsuit. “Yashar Ali is a paid freelancer under contract with HuffPost. We have no hesitation about standing by him financially in this case.”

  123. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Just saw a headline in Newsweek: “U.S. and North Korea Could Wage Nuclear War if Trump Thinks His ‘Manhood’ Is Being Attacked, Warns Ex.”
    My first thought was, “Oh, I’m sure their guidance systems are good enough to hit a target that small.”

  124. says

    Follow-up to comment 58.

    […] left and right have united to pour vinegar on Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s effort to add Tribune Media’s 42 television stations to the 173 it already owns.

    […] Newsmax, One America News Network and Glenn Beck’s the Blaze have joined with the lefties from Public Knowledge, Common Cause, Free Press and Media Matters for America to decry the $3.9 billion acquisition. The opposition doesn’t stop there. Such businesses as DISH Network and T-Mobile have decanted their protests, too, demanding that the Federal Communications Commission block the deal, as have broadcast trade associations. […]

    […] what gives with Newsmax, ONA and the Blaze? As principled conservatives, shouldn’t these broadcasters abide by the dictates of the market and not run to regulators yelping for protection? Instead, Newsmax lifts every regulatory cliché about media concentration, homogeneity and press diversity ever articulated by the left. “A free and diverse press, a bedrock principle of American democracy, will be crippled by this proposed merger,” Newsmax says in its FCC filing.

    [Snipped argument for why Sinclair’s acquisition is fine and dandy, in part because we have competition from Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, etc. Specious argument.]

    […] If Newsmax wants to compete in the marketplace, it should improve its product and find ways of reaching more viewers instead of pleading for regulatory relief. Buried in Newsmax’s objections, I suspect, lurks the network’s genuine fear: that a newly expanded Sinclair will use its leverage to start a new cable news operation to compete against them and the big dog in the neighborhood, Fox News Channel. After all, Bill O’Reilly is available, and Sean Hannity isn’t happy where he is. […]

    Nowhere on television—not even on Fox-owned stations—is the conservative point of view pursued as aggressively as it is at Sinclair.

  125. says

    Follow-up to comment 176.

    Trump aslo fired the people who maintain the nuclear arsenal of the USA. You can add that to the long list of stupid things he has done and said to make the situation more dangerous. Wonkette reported on this in January.

    […] Team Trump has also “instructed the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration and his deputy to clean out their desks when Trump takes office on January 20th,” according to an official in the Department of Energy. It’s not like we really need anyone running that agency anyway, since it’s not involved in something important like drilling for oil, expelling illegal aliens, or yelling at celebrities. What the hell does the NNSA even do, anyway?

    The NNSA is the $12 billion-a-year agency that “maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.” It’s unclear when the two officials will be replaced.

    Oh, the nuclear weapons stockpile. Yeah, that’s probably fine, those things just sit there until we need them, right? […]


  126. says

    Trump explains why he is an expert when it comes to nuclear weapons.

    Look, having nuclear — my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart — you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world — it’s true! — but when you’re a conservative Republican they try — oh, do they do a number — that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune — you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged — but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me — it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are — nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what’s going to happen and he was right, who would have thought? — but when you look at what’s going on with the four prisoners — now it used to be three, now it’s four — but when it was three and even now, I would have said it’s all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don’t, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years — but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.

    The quoted text is from June 2016.

    To top this all off, Trump’s Uncle John had no experience developing nuclear weapons or nuclear policy.

  127. says

    Dunderhead James O’Keefe is at it again. He does this so badly!

    Looks like investigative poo-thrower James O’Keefe and his merry band of news fakers have stepped on their own dicks once again, this time in an aborted attempt to infiltrate that dangerous nexus of radicalism the League of Conservation Voters […]

    The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer reports the LCV has filed a complaint with California’s Department of Justice after the group figured out that three new “volunteers” who were very eager to talk about all sorts of very leftish ideas were actually infiltrators, two of whom had previously worked with O’Keefe. It’s not clear what the Gang That Couldn’t Spy Straight was trying to prove with their bumbling “investigation,” but we can at least feel relieved Donald Trump hasn’t hired O’Keefe to run covert ops at the CIA.

    In a six-page letter of complaint sent to the California Department of Justice on Friday, the League of Conservation Voters, or L.C.V., asked the state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, to open a criminal investigation into the operatives for potential fraud, racketeering, unfair business practices, trespassing, invasion of privacy, and possible violation of the state’s two-way-consent eavesdropping laws. […]


  128. says

    Today, Trump is saying that he doesn’t think his “fire and fury” comments threatening North Korea were “tough enough.”

    So …. not segueing to diplomacy then?

  129. says

    Follow-up to comment 212.

    Trump’s exact words:

    If anything, maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough. It’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country. […]

    If North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack of anybody that we love or we represent or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous, I’ll tell you what. And they should be very nervous. North Korea better get their act together or they’re going to be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world, okay?


  130. says

    Josh Marshall discussed an important sideshow related to the FBI Raid on Paul Manafort’s home. It looks like Trump’s lawyer, John Dowd, has inserted himself, improperly into the issues surrounding the raid.

    […] Dowd said this: “These failures by Special Counsel to exhaust less intrusive methods is a fatal flaw in the warrant process and would call for a Motion to Suppress the fruits of the search…”

    This seems highly irregular on a few fronts, both legally and politically. To state the obvious, Paul Manafort is not Dowd’s client. Dowd is Donald Trump’s lawyer. So it’s not even clear to me he would have standing to make a motion to suppress this evidence, let alone an interest in doing so that the President would want to be admitting publicly. He might have standing if the evidence ended up being used against Dowd’s client, Donald Trump. But is that true? And is it something Dowd wants to be admitting?

    If it’s not true, why does Dowd care about the Manafort raid at all? His job is to defend his client, not Paul Manafort.

    What’s going on here? According to James Comey, Trump once said it would be acceptable and perhaps good if the FBI caught “satellite associates” who colluded with Russia. Is Manafort a “satellite associate”? Does Donald Trump think those FBI agents may have found evidence that incriminates him? That’s certainly what this looks like from the outside. And Dowd may even be saying as much in legal terms.

  131. says

    In the state of Indiana, the Republican governor and legislators are making it harder for minority, poor, and elderly citizens to vote, while they are simultaneously making it easier to vote in precincts dominated by wealthier Republican voters.

    The Indiana chapter of the NAACP is suing state election officials to block a new law that would shutter hundreds of polling locations in a county with a large number of African American and Hispanic voters. […]

    The law was signed by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb in May, as Indiana was already increasing voting opportunities in whiter Republican strongholds while decreasing them in areas with more minority and Democratic voters.

    […] Republican officials have driven up turnout significantly in conservative, suburban areas by increasing the number of early voting locations. At the same time, they have driven down turnout in Democratic, urban areas by cutting the number of early polling stations. […]

    This spring, the Republican-controlled legislature added to this trend with the Lake County Precinct Consolidation Law. The law targets a single county that has the state’s second-largest African American population and its largest Hispanic population. Under the law, the county would have to eliminate or consolidate all voting precincts with fewer than 600 active voters as of the 2016 election. (Voters who are “inactive,” meaning that election officials have flagged them as potentially no longer residing in the county, are not counted, even though they are eligible to vote and often do.)

    […] the law threatens more than half of precincts in the county’s three majority-minority cities […] The NAACP also points out that the law targets a single county, leaving alone approximately 1,345 precincts outside Lake County that contain fewer than 600 active voters. […]

    Consolidating or eliminating precincts can cause serious disruptions to voters—especially in areas, like these in Lake County, with a large number of people who are poor, disabled, and elderly, together with an inadequate public transportation system. Those who are accustomed to their former precinct may go to the wrong venue. If a precinct is moved further away, people may lack the time or ability to get there. And fewer precincts means longer lines. Additionally, the law did not require or provide any funding for education or outreach to inform voters about the precinct closures. […]

    Mother Jones link

  132. says

    How Donald Trump and his conservative allies twisted the facts of a deadly San Francisco shooting to stoke America’s xenophobia.

    […] More than anyone else, it was Donald Trump who turned Kate Steinle’s death into a piece of propaganda. He portrayed the killer as a violent “animal,” a depiction that doesn’t line up with the facts of the case.

    He said Mexico “pushed” Jose Ines Garcia Zarate back across the border onto the United States. This is a total lie. During at least one campaign event, Trump said Garcia Zarate shot Steinle five times. She was shot once and that shot was likely a freak accident.

    The story of how Trump has used Kate Steinle is the story of his political career. He claimed millions of undocumented immigrants stole the popular vote for Hillary Clinton, then launched an “election integrity” commission to affirm his beliefs. His fabricated memory of seeing “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey cheer the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11 helped inspire his call for a Muslim ban that is now law. His repeated incantations of “beautiful Kate” led to the establishment of Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement, a group within ICE that will help sell the false belief that undocumented immigrants are a criminal blight.

    This is government by anecdote, not evidence—the proliferation of often imaginary and sometimes exaggerated stories that exist to validate the worldview of a man who owes his job to racial resentment. Trump, of course, couldn’t sell this vision if there weren’t millions of people who wanted to believe it and a political party who wanted to buy it. The president’s lies about immigration have become our national agenda, and the Republican Party has abetted Trump every step of the way. […]

    The text above is a short excerpt from a much longer piece of investigative journalism. The entire article is worth reading. Among other details, the article documents the ricochet (not an aimed shot) that killed Kate Steinle.

  133. says

    Trump added to his bully-McConnell act today by implying that he might ask McConnell to step down.

    When asked if McConnell should step down from his leadership position, Trump told reporters, “If he doesn’t get repeal and replace done, and he doesn’t get taxes done and…infrastructure…then you can ask me that question.”

    NBC News link

    As Steve Benen pointed out:

    […] Whether he understands this or not, this tells us quite a bit about how Trump views his role in governing.

    Even as a candidate, Trump made clear he didn’t intend to do much real work. In May 2016, his then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, said there were parts of the presidency Trump “doesn’t want to do.” He added that Trump “sees himself more as the chairman of the board, than even the CEO, let alone the COO.” […]

    And nearly seven months into his term, the president still thinks this way. As Trump put it this afternoon, he wants to sign legislation on health care, taxes, and infrastructure, but he doesn’t expect to play any meaningful role in the policymaking process. Trump much prefers to simply place an order, and wait for underlings to bring him what he requested.

    Note, for example, that in today’s tweet, the president didn’t tell Mitch McConnell, “We can do it”; he said, “You can do it.”

    This reflects a familiar and unmistakable dynamic: a boss telling a subordinate what to do, while the boss wraps up the back nine at the country club he owns. […]

  134. says

    Oh, FFS. Trump is “thankful” to Putin. Doesn’t sound like Trump was joking either.

    […] Trump on Thursday said he was “very thankful” to Russian President Vladimir Putin for Putin’s order that the U.S. diplomatic mission in Russia cut its staff by 755 people.

    “Do you have any response to the Russian president expelling 755 workers from our embassy?” one journalist asked during a pool spray Thursday.

    “No, I want to thank him, because we’re trying to cut down on payroll, and as far as I’m concerned, I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll,” Trump said, responding to a question about the Putin-mandated cut. “There’s no real reason for them to go back. So I greatly appreciate the fact that they’ve been able to cut our payroll for the United States. We’ll save a lot of money.”

    Trump didn’t show any sign that he was joking about the statement, which reflected the opposite of Putin’s stated goal in ordering a cut: to harm the United States. […]

    Putin had ordered the cut in response to the United States Senate passing a new round of sanctions against Russia. […].


  135. says

    @218 Lynna, When I first saw the tweets, I thought, he was joking, bad humor, but joking, and the kekkers are probably laughing at the liberal tears over it, but then I listened to the audio, he wasn’t joking. He wasn’t fucking joking.

    If anyone gets the chance, watch the last word with Lawrence O’Donnell from tonight.

  136. militantagnostic says

    Lynna @209

    Trump also fired the people who maintain the nuclear arsenal of the USA.

    So, if Trump manages to get a second term and Kim Jong Un steps up his game, by the end of it North Korea could have more functioning warheads than the USA?

  137. militantagnostic says

    This is just bizarre.

    A Canadian diplomat in Cuba has also been treated for headaches and hearing loss as have members of his family.

  138. says

    militant agnostic @220, I doubt it. The discrepancy between the nuclear arsenal of the USA and North Korea is too great.

    Kim Jong-un claims to have 60 nuclear warheads, but probably only has 15. It some ways it is more of a threat that North Korea has a million active soldiers, a six million person reserve and 5000 tanks.

    The USA has 6,800 nuclear warheads.

  139. militantagnostic says

    Lynna @223
    Never underestimate Trump’s incompetence which will spread exponentially if he every gets around to filling.vacant positions. The shelf life of nuclear warheads is probably long enough that they will remain in working order for a long time. The real scary thing is that in addition to making sure they will work, the NNSA is responsible for making sure they won’t go off accidentally.

    It some ways it is more of a threat that North Korea has a million active soldiers, a six million person reserve and 5000 tanks.

    And 8000 artillery pieces within range of Seoul.

  140. Saad says

    China says it will defend North Korea if America strikes first

    China’s government says it would remain neutral if North Korea attacks the United States, but warned it would defend its Asian neighbor if the U.S. strikes first and tries to overthrow Kim Jong Un’s regime, Chinese state media said Friday.

    “If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime, and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so,” reported the Global Times, a daily Chinese newspaper controlled by the Communist Party.

    Meanwhile, the sexual assaulter says his “fire and fury” comment didn’t go far enough.

    These two fascist fucks actually want to start a world war.

  141. says

    “Here’s the Memo That Blew Up the NSC: Fired White House staffer argued ‘deep state’ attacked Trump administration because the president represents a threat to cultural Marxist memes, globalists, and bankers.”*

    It’s really…sad. I would give it a D. At the same time, it’s pretty funny – the last section especially. I love how the growing mountain of evidence that Trump is illegitimate, corrupt, and dishonest has to be attributed to a set of planned meta, supporting, and backdrop narratives promoted by a conspiracy involving the Muslim Brotherhood, “cultural Marxists,” the media, the “deep state,” international banks,… Obviously, Higgins can’t bring himself to try to dispute the facts directly.

    *The sources for the article seem to be overwhelmingly Bannonites.

  142. says

    I’m wondering if this could be the functional end of US involvement in NATO, too. Article 5 says if one member is attacked, all members will come to their aid.

    Can anyone see Germany or France backing up the US v North Korea, with China watching avidly from the wings? With the way Trump has stoked this potential war, will Canada declare war on North Korea if Guam gets some near misses? I don’t see the other members as likely to fulfill their Art5 obligations, given that Trump is basically daring Kim to attack.

    I haven’t felt like this since 35 years ago.

  143. says

    “Trump D.C. hotel turns $2 million profit in four months”:

    Donald Trump’s company turned a $1.97 million profit at its opulent Trump International Hotel so far in 2017, dramatically beating its expectations and giving the first hard numbers to critics who charge that Trump is profiting from his presidency.

    Driving the profits are the extraordinary prices guests have been willing to pay for rooms, including members of Trump’s Cabinet who have stayed or lived there, as well as big spending on food and beverages in the meeting areas, bar and restaurant — spots frequented by members of Trump’s inner circle and other Republican leaders.

    Since Trump entered the White House in January, the hotel has emerged as a Republican Party power center and popular destination for conservative, foreign and Christian groups holding meetings in Washington…

    Government watchdog groups, competing businesses and state attorneys general have sued over what they call unfair business practices that allow Trump to use the presidency to enrich himself — a tension likely to be heightened by the hotel’s almost immediate profitability.

    Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, led the development of the project as a Trump Organization executive before resigning to join the White House. She also retained her stake in the hotel and reported $2.4 million in hotel-related revenue from its opening to June.

    The hotel’s management has sought to capi­tal­ize on the president’s popularity in the GOP by marketing meeting space and rooms to Republicans and conservatives.

    “We are very proud of the success of the project,” the president’s son Eric Trump, who took over the company with his brother Don Jr., said in an email.

    The Trump International’s performance to date comes despite the fact that its rooms are more often empty than its competitors’, meaning there is room to grow its profits. It posted an occupancy rate of 42.3 percent, compared with nearly 70 percent in the industry….

  144. says

    militant agnostic @224:

    And 8000 artillery pieces within range of Seoul.

    Excellent point. And, yes, Trump is a destructive force, even when the negative effects stem only from his stupidity, indifference, and neglect. I don’t know how much of the USA will survive his tenure.

    CaitieCat @229:

    Can anyone see Germany or France backing up the US v North Korea, with China watching avidly from the wings? With the way Trump has stoked this potential war, will Canada declare war on North Korea if Guam gets some near misses? I don’t see the other members as likely to fulfill their Art5 obligations, given that Trump is basically daring Kim to attack.

    Congress has to approve was against North Korea, and they are not likely to do that, even with a Republican majority. However, if North Korea strikes first, Trump can act all on his own in “defense.” I think that’s what Trump is aiming for … no restraints.

    If North Korea aims missiles in Guam’s direction, but deliberately avoids hitting Guam, I think Trump will call that an act of war even though it is just extreme saber rattling.

    I don’t think our allies in NATO, who are more rational than Trump is (and more informed), will back Trump in any way. They are more likely to look for a way to restrain Hair Furor.

  145. says

    Trump boasted: “I will say getting the 15–0 vote at the United Nations from the Security Council the other day, that’s something that very few presidents would have been able to get.”

    Michelle Nichols, the United Nations bureau chief for Reuters, pointed out that the United Nations approved 8 resolutions against North Korea (going back just to 2008), and that all of those resolutions passed unanimously.

    Also, Trump didn’t do the work at the UN. Our ambassador and her team did most of the work.

    Trump is boasting about an accomplishment that was, more or less, routine, and one in which he really played no part. Bullshitter in Chief.

  146. says

    Early this morning (5:29 AM), Trump continued to threaten North Korea:

    Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!

    What about you, Hair Furor? Why don’t you “find another path”? Irresponsible doofus.

  147. blf says

    The C-Star — the ship hired by crowd-funded nazis to attack NGO search & rescue ships in the Mediterranean — saga gets even more surreal. To-date the C-Star has been detained first by Egypt (for unclear reasons) and then Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus (for people-smuggling), and denied docking in several places, including Sicily and Tunisia. It is reportedly running low on supplies, including fuel. Now it has sent a distress call, and one of the NGO ships is en-route to help, Refugee rescue ship sails to aid of anti-migrant activists stranded in Med:

    German NGO says its rescue vessel is sailing to help a group of anti-immigration activists after their ship got into trouble off the coast of Libya

    An NGO vessel that has saved the lives of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean is sailing to the rescue of a group of far-right anti-immigration activists whose ship is in difficulties off the coast of Libya.

    The German NGO Sea Eye said one of its search and rescue boats was on its way to the C-Star, manned by members of the extremist Generation Identity group, which sent a distress signal after an engine failure left it unable to manoeuvre.

    Michael Busch Heuer, the founder of the Regensburg-based aid organisation, which operates two rescue vessels active in the Mediterranean since early 2016, said it was the duty of anyone at sea “to help those in distress, irrespective of their origin, colour, religion or beliefs”.

    Sea Eye said in a statement on its Facebook page that it had been informed on Friday morning by Operation Sophia, the joint EU naval operation deterring migrant smugglers and human traffickers in the Mediterranean, that the 40-metre (130ft) C-Star was in difficulty.

    “Since our vessel the Sea Eye is closest to the C-Star, we were instructed by the maritime rescue coordination centre in Rome, the emergency service for the western Mediterranean, to go to its aid,” the NGO said.


  148. militantagnostic says

    Lynna @234

    What about you, Hair Furor? Why don’t you “find another path”?

    Preferably one that intersects with an ill tempered elk.

  149. Hj Hornbeck says

    Interesting, it seems Trump isn’t the only liar around the White House.

    If you ask Steve Bannon how he got the idea that Muslims in the Middle East are a civilizational threat to America, he will say that his eyes were first opened when he served on a Navy destroyer in the Arabian Sea. […]

    Six sailors who served on the Foster with Bannon told The Intercept that the vessel did not stop at Karachi during its 1979-1980 deployment. The recollections of these enlisted men and officers are supported by the ship’s deck logs, which show no stop on the way to the Arabian Sea and are available to the public at the National Archives. And a map of the Foster’s port calls that was published in its “cruisebook” shows stops in Hawaii, Guam, the Philippines, Christmas Island, Hong Kong, and Singapore — but not Karachi. […]

    The news of Bannon’s problematic narrative comes at a delicate time for the former executive chairman of Breitbart News, which under his leadership produced incessant streams of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim stories. Bannon’s Navy service has always been deeply relevant to his work at the White House because it has been used as a reason for giving him influence on military affairs that his critics believe he does not merit. Bannon reportedly has a tense relationship with the retired generals who occupy key positions in the Trump administration – chief of staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and particularly National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that McMaster has been waging a campaign to cleanse the National Security Council of Bannon’s allies, and that the two men have argued about Afghanistan policy.

  150. says

    It’s always a schadenfreude moment when we see Steve Bannon in a spot of trouble, especially when the trouble is of his own making.

    […] Breitbart has waged a nonstop campaign against national security adviser H.R. McMaster, but so far it seems to have done the most damage to someone else: Steve Bannon.

    A Wall Street Journal editorial earlier this week accused Bannon of using the right-wing media to go after his ideological foes, questioning his loyalty to the president and placing blame for White House dysfunction squarely on his shoulders.

    The attacks on McMaster have put Bannon in an especially awkward position with his new boss, retired Marine general John Kelly, who has been increasingly defensive of McMaster, a longtime friend and fellow general, according to interviews with 10 administration officials and people close to the White House. McMaster, who pushed Bannon off the National Security Council principals’ committee, hasn’t spoken to Bannon in weeks, one senior administration official said. […]

    “Fair or not, common sense would dictate that Steve Bannon has reach and influence and communication with these alt-right platforms whose editorial bent more often than not, aligns with Steve’s agenda,” said Kurt Bardella, a former Breitbart spokesperson. “I think [the stories] gave ammunition to his detractors internally, to either ID him or his people as part of the problem.”

    Bannon […] remained in Washington this week while the president and other top staff have decamped to the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., and spends his days either holed up in his office or attending meetings. He avoids openly scuffling with his colleagues, as he often did in the past, and has moved to align himself with Kelly, telling allies inside and outside the White House that the arrival of the former secretary of Homeland Security was a win for Trump’s nationalist supporters. […]

    Politico link

  151. says

    @242 – With the conventional artillery they currently have, and have had for decades, pointed at Seoul, that is and always has been the primary concern when discussing any armed conflict with them. Millions of lives are at stake regardless.

    However, there a lot of people losing sleep at night with visions of a mushroom cloud over Seattle or some other major coastal city in their head, and Trump is most likely using this fear to let his base believe his insanity is justified.

  152. says

    Chris Hayes: “Increasingly I think the equilibrium we’re all headed towards is everyone inside the US gov and outside just ignoring what POTUS says. WH aides, cabinet members, the US civil service, members of congress, citizens, media, foreign heads of state and diplomats.”

  153. says

    Trump’s remarking that they aren’t going to talk about whether he means a US-led military intervention in Venezuela could possibly suggest that during the meeting they talked about US covert support for a coup (similar to 2002 and subsequent attempts) and he’s so confused and loose-lipped that he didn’t realize what he was giving away. Also possible Putin let him know that suggesting this was in Putin’s best interests. Could also well be just another example of his authoritarian lashing-out.

  154. says

    Rachel Maddow is reviewing an instance of Trump cheating New York in the 1980s and has a video clip from last year of Karen Burstein, New York City Auditor General at the time, saying, “It was an example of extraordinary flimflammery.” “Extraordinary flimflammery” is just beautiful.

  155. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Considering how early it is, I’ve been seeing a lot of political ads on MSNBC about democrat JB Pritzker for IL governor in 2018. Essentially both Pritzker and the rethug incumbent Rauner are rich, so a lot of money will be spent. Rauner is unpopular, since he used typical rethug “economics” to try to solve the state/counties/cities retirement funding problems (screwing everybody else in need of government assistance, never seeming to admit that the promises to the retirees should be met, without taking money away from other people). The legislature finally got an income tax increase through, and overrided the veto, so that IL can pay their bills. Going to be interesting for the next year.

  156. says

    Maddow mentioned this evening that North Korea has threatened Guam before. In fact, in 2013, North Korea used virtually identical language to threaten Guam.

    The only difference is that now we have Trump, and he takes this game of verbal chicken seriously. Trump is taking us to the brink of war over a blustering threat that North Korea has issued many times before. Now we have two dunderheads comparing penis size. It’s dangerous and stupid.

  157. blf says

    Lynna@255, My understanding is the threat from N.Korea is far more specific than the previous fairly vague Guam threats. However, this may not mean very much, and / or confusing content with presentation: The presentation of N.Korean propaganda has been becoming noticeably more polished the last several years, albeit the content is still mostly(?) very childish-seeming.

    erikthebassist@241, Without even looking, allow me to guess: There is little-to-no evidence N.Korea has a nuclear warhead small / light enough to launch†; we have little-to-no idea what the size & weight of payload in the recent tests was; there is also little-to-no evidence any N.Korean payload can survive atmospheric reentry. The accuracy is also dubious since the missiles are probably ballistic, that is, have no steering or terminal guidance (however unless the target is hardened, e.g., a missile silo or Norad, high accuracy isn’t needed).

      † I am aware there is recent speculation they might have, or be very close to having, a suitably small & lightweight warhead.

  158. says

    Garry Kasparov:

    Don’t say, “Doesn’t Trump know how bad this looks?!” That’s what “reasonable people” in West said about Putin for years. They don’t care! Autocratic personalities will say & do what normal people would be ashamed to do, or wouldn’t do for moral or long-term strategic reasons. So they constantly surprise observers with their offensive statements and bold mistakes. They don’t care. They gain advantage in the moment. In crackdowns in Russia, in Georgia, in Ukraine, in Syria, in hacking US, in supporting Trump, Putin is criticized for bad strategy. And? Putin is still there. You don’t have to be a great strategist if your opponents keep folding whenever you bluff. Cheap tactics are enough. That Trump’s devotion to Putin “looks bad” is irrelevant. He believes he is gaining something in the short term & won’t suffer consequences. We joke darkly about the long list of things “Putin would never” do that he’s done. Don’t make the same mistake. Prepare for the worst, act.

  159. says

    Re #257 – I’m reading in other reports that they were chanting “Jews will not replace us,” which would be equally pathetic with an extra soupçon of stupidity.

  160. says

    David Duke proclaimed that the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville “fulfills the promises of Donald Trump.” Trump, meanwhile, is saying nothing about the deplorable nature of the racist attitudes exhibited by the white supremacists today.

    David Duke’s statement:

    This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back.


    Don’t include me in your “we,” David Duke.

  161. says

    Trump declined to take a phone call from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro yesterday.

    That’s right, he threatened to use military force in Venezuela, and then he refused to engage in talks with political leaders. What are you doing, Hair Furor? What is the diplomatic corps of your State Department doing?

    Team Trump did place sanctions on Venezuela in response to failures to hold free and fair elections.

  162. says

    Trump Has Been Thinking About Nuclear War for Decades. Here’s Why That’s Scary. The article is by David Corn.

    […] it has taken just a few tweets and a couple of utterances from President Donald Trump to remind people that the planet can be turned into ashes by the act of one man. […]

    […] For decades, nuclear weapons—and the prospect of nuclear annihilation—have weighed upon his mind, […] Unfortunately, the contradictory thoughts he has expressed on the subject—most notably that he would make a great nuclear arms negotiator and that nuclear war might indeed be inevitable—are not reassuring […]

    In a 1984 interview with the Washington Post, Trump, then merely a 38-year-old celebrity developer, shared his fantasies: He was hoping to build the “greatest hotel in the world” and construct the world’s “tallest” building in New York City—and one day become the United States’ chief negotiator with the Soviet Union for nuclear weapons.

    In between boasts of how rich and famous he was, Trump declared that he could negotiate a great nuclear arms deal with Moscow and said he wanted to head the US arms negotiating squad. “He says he has never acted on his nuclear concern,” the newspaper reported. “But he says that his good friend Roy Cohn, the flamboyant Republican lawyer, has told him this interview is a perfect time to start.”

    Comparing crafting an arms accord with cooking up a real estate deal, Trump insisted he had innate talent for this mission. “Some people have an ability to negotiate,” he said. “It’s an art you’re basically born with. You either have it or you don’t.”

    Trump claimed he would know exactly what to demand of the Russians—though that would have to remain a secret for the time being. He was undaunted by his lack of experience in the technical field of nuclear weaponry: “It would take an hour-and-a-half to learn everything there is to learn about missiles…I think I know most of it anyway. You’re talking about just getting updated on a situation…You know who really wants me to do this? Roy…I’d do it in a second.” […]

    Yeah, so now Trump is in his happy place. He is “negotiating” with a hostile nuclear power. Not Russia, but North Korea … still makes him happy though.

    Trump’s explanation of his thoughts on nuclear war, as presented to Playboy in a 1990 interview:

    I’ve always thought about the issue of nuclear war; it’s a very important element in my thought process. It’s the ultimate, the ultimate catastrophe, the biggest problem this world has, and nobody’s focusing on the nuts and bolts of it. It’s a little like sickness. People don’t believe they’re going to get sick until they do. Nobody wants to talk about it. I believe the greatest of all stupidities is people’s believing it will never happen, because everybody knows how destructive it will be, so nobody uses weapons. What bullshit…It’s like thinking the Titanic can’t sink. Too many countries have nuclear weapons; nobody knows where they’re all pointed, what button it takes to launch them.

    The bomb Harry Truman dropped on Hiroshima was a toy next to today’s. We have thousands of weapons pointed at us and nobody even knows if they’re going to go in the right direction. They’ve never really been tested. These jerks in charge don’t know how to paint a wall, and we’re relying on them to shoot nuclear missiles to Moscow. What happens if they don’t go there? What happens if our computer systems aren’t working? Nobody knows if this equipment works, and I’ve seen numerous reports lately stating that the probability is they don’t work. It’s a total mess.

  163. says

    Trump did not speak out against the white nationalists, but his wife did (in a way):

    Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville

  164. says

    Paul Ryan spoke out against the white supremacists:

    The views fueling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant. Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry.

  165. says

    Wonkette covered the memo written by Rich Higgins, the memo that Trump reportedly loved. (National Security Council H.R. McMaster fire Rich Higgins from his NSC job for writing and circulating a memo that was totally bonkers.)

    […] it’s hard to imagine a more deranged, unhinged memo has ever crossed the desk of a US president. To even call it deranged and unhinged feels grossly inadequate. This is a memo that never had hinges and cannot be ranged. […]

    Its chief object is to argue for the desirability of beginning a civil war within the United States. Obviously it doesn’t say: “Trump should do a civil war, that would be good.” But, it also totally does!

    It declares “cultural Marxists” (which is longhand for “the left” and really means “everyone we hate”) to be “engaged in a political warfare effort that seeks the destruction of a sitting president,” […] it continues:

    […] “Recognizing in candidate Trump an existential threat to the cultural Marxist memes that dominate the prevailing cultural narrative, those that benefit recognize the threat he poses and seek his destruction.”

    First of all, that’s a really sloppy sentence. It’s also insane! And there is so, so much more, like a bulleted list of “those that benefit” from the… cultural Marxist memes? described above, including the Deep State, Democratic Leadership, Republican Leadership… Islamists… The Academy… all of these are doing Maoist Marxist meme insurgencies, and the transgender acceptance, and the political correctness, the population control, infiltration, battlespace, the post-modern notions of tolerance, the natural law, yes, all these words are in this memo and, as I have said, much more is there as well, may we all rest in peace.

    Don’t let the pure fucking insanity of every single word of this astonishing artifact obscure the fact that its aim is to make a case for war against Trump’s domestic political opponents. All of this is a “national security issue,” it says. “You know how we deal with national security issues,” it winks four hundred times and jabs you in the ribs with a club.

    “Political warfare is warfare,” it says. The war against Trump, where we say mean things about him on screens, is an actual war — a national security issue! It concludes that “the defense of President Trump is the defense of America.” […]

    I can’t remember which pundit said this, but someone recently made the point that Trump sees himself as the nation. Since he was elected, Trump thinks that Donald Trump=USA. Therefore, any attack on him is an attack on the nation.

  166. says

    Trump on Twitter:

    “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!”

    “Am in Bedminster for meetings & press conference on V.A. & all that we have done, and are doing, to make it better-but Charlottesville sad!”

  167. says

    Follow-up to Trump’s tweets, as noted in SC’s comment 271.

    This reaction is from Meteor Blades:

    Riiiiiiiiiight. We should all queue up to unite with white supremacists screaming about sending Jews to ovens and shouting racial slurs at counter-protesters who rightly call them Nazi scum.


    Several reports are noting that the car that ran into people on foot at the Charlottesville rally deliberately ran down the anti-racist protestors.

  168. says

    The rally in Charlottesville was all about uniting white supremacist groups into one cohesive political force.

    Some of the groups involved: Ku Klux Klan, the militia movement, Alt-Knights, Proud Boys, followers of Baked Alaska, followers of Milo Yiannopoulos, followers of Richard Spencer, etc.

    […] Political researcher Spencer Sunshine of the firm Political Research Associates told the Guardian’s Jason Wilson that while the rally was originally intended to attract a broad coalition of right-wing groups, it had become “increasingly Nazified” — with some primarily anti-government “patriot” groups refusing to sign on, and explicitly fascist groups like the National Socialist Movement getting on board instead. […]

  169. says

    Richard Spencer’s response to Trump’s tweet about Charlottesville rally (follow-up to comments 271 and 272):

    Or did Trump denounce the state police that cracked down on peacefully and lawfully assembled demonstrators? Did Trump just denounce antifas?

    Trump issued such a vague condemnation of violence that white supremacists like Richard Spencer are able to interpret Trump’s words as denouncing “antifas” (anti-fascists). And Trump was vague enough to allow Spencer to claim that the state police cracked own on the “peaceful” white supremacist demonstrators. Not true.

    Most reports say the police did not intervene when they should have to keep demonstrators and protestors apart.

    Trump’s tweet also establishes a false equivalence between Nazis and anti-facists.

  170. says

    1 person dead, 19 injured in Charlottesville.

    David Duke continues to sound off.

    So, after decades of White Americans being targeted for discriminated & anti-White hatred, we come together as a people, and you attack us?

    I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists.

    White Americans are so afraid to speak out that we’ve allowed our country to be invaded and our children to be propagandized by marxists.

    Marxists? What a bunch of dunderheads.

    Also, there’s evidence that other alt-right persons may have helped the guy who used his car to run over protesters. Investigation ongoing. Nothing confirmed.

  171. says

    Trump had some more to say, but he still managed to avoid saying the obvious thing, which is an outright condemnation of the alt-right.

    We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. [He emphasized “on many sides”].

    It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time. [In other words, “It’s not my fault. I had nothing to do with it.”]

  172. says

    Joe Biden weighed in:

    No. Not in America. We must be stronger, more determined and more united than ever. Racism and hate have no place here. #charlottesville

    More from Trump:

    It has no place in America. What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives. No citizen should ever fear for their safety in our society. And no child should ever be afraid to go outside and play or be with their parents and have a good time.

  173. says

    The Nazis in Charlottesville used the Detroit Red Wings logo. Why?

    The Detroit red Wings vehemently disagree with and are not associated in any way with the event taking place today in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Red wings believe that Hockey is for Everyone and we celebrate the great diversity of our fan base and our nation. We are exploring every possible legal action as it pertains to the misuse of our logo in this disturbing demonstration.

  174. says

    Jeff Sessions was also just vague enough to avoid condemning alt-right dunderheads:

    I have been in contact with our Department of Justice agents assisting at the scene and state officials. We will continue to support our state and local officers on the ground in any way possible. We stand united behind the President in condemning the violence in Charlottesville and any message of hate and intolerance. This kind of violence is totally contrary to American values and can never be tolerated. I want to thank all law enforcement personnel in the area for their commitment to protecting this community and the rule of law.

    Meanwhile, Sebastian Gorka is still working in the White House, with taxpayers paying his salary. He recently went on Breitbart to complain that people from the alt-right were being criticized too much in the media.

    It’s this constant, “Oh, it’s the white man. It’s the white supremacists. That’s the problem.” No, it isn’t, Maggie Haberman. Go to Sinjar. Go to the Middle East, and tell me what the real problem is today. Go to Manchester.

  175. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Nazis in Charlottesville used the Detroit Red Wings logo. Why?

    Even more ironic (I’m an ex-Michigander), the Red Wings had home ice in the Joe Louis Arena, named after black boxer.
    Hopefully octopuses (sometimes thrown at goalies) aren’t mixed up in this somehow.

  176. says

    “Mueller Is Said to Seek Interviews With West Wing in Russia Case”:

    In a sign that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election will remain a continuing distraction for the White House, the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is in talks with the West Wing about interviewing current and former senior administration officials, including the recently ousted White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, according to three people briefed on the discussions.

    Mr. Mueller has asked the White House about specific meetings, who attended them and whether there are any notes, transcripts or documents about them, two of the people said. Among the matters Mr. Mueller wants to ask the officials about is President Trump’s decision in May to fire the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, the two people said.

    That line of questioning will be important as Mr. Mueller continues to investigate whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice in the dismissal of Mr. Comey.

    No interviews have been scheduled, but in recent weeks Mr. Mueller’s investigation has appeared to intensify….

    Mr. Mueller has expressed interest in speaking with other administration officials, including members of the communications team. But Mr. Trump’s allies are particularly concerned about Mr. Mueller’s interest in talking to Mr. Priebus, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee who worked closely with Mr. Trump during the presidential campaign. Mr. Trump’s confidants at the White House say Mr. Trump was never fully convinced that Mr. Priebus would be loyal to him….

  177. Saad says

    Strange how Obama white politicians take great care to avoid using the term Islamic terrorism white terrorism when talking about these things.

  178. says

    @nerd #280 – Not to mention Detroit is the home of Motown, possibly the greatest contribution to western pop music ever, depending on who you talk to.

    In other news, I just spent 16 hours bedside with my family as we let my mom go at 74 years of age. Seems young, but she was a swearing smoking drinker who squeezed every last bit of juice out of the lemons life dealt her. I’m almost glad that she won’t have to see what this country is becoming.

    Last night when she was still able to talk, the Dr was assessing her and asked her what year it was… “17”… “And do you know who the president is?”…. “That asshole!”

    She was a racist many years ago, but she changed, and she loathed Trump with a fire you wouldn’t believe. I’d like to think it was my forays into music, and bringing many black and latino musician friends into her life that caused her change in perspective.

    The chaplain they brought in to be with us as they took her off of life support was a young black man. I’m not sure how my Mormon RWNJ bigoted sister felt about that, and I don’t really care. Even as an atheist, I found his presence and words in those final minutes comforting.

  179. says


    So sorry to hear about your mother. It’s always impressive when someone can learn and grow and overcome their prejudices as they age, and it sounds like your example helped her to do that. My condolences.

  180. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Erik, my sincere condolences on the passing of your mother.

  181. says

    “Scott Pruitt Is Carrying Out His E.P.A. Agenda in Secret, Critics Say”:

    When career employees of the Environmental Protection Agency are summoned to a meeting with the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt, at agency headquarters, they no longer can count on easy access to the floor where his office is, according to interviews with employees of the federal agency.

    Doors to the floor are now frequently locked, and employees have to have an escort to gain entrance.

    Some employees say they are also told to leave behind their cellphones when they meet with Mr. Pruitt, and are sometimes told not to take notes.

    Mr. Pruitt, according to the employees, who requested anonymity out of fear of losing their jobs, often makes important phone calls from other offices rather than use the phone in his office, and he is accompanied, even at E.P.A. headquarters, by armed guards, the first head of the agency to ever request round-the-clock security.

    A former Oklahoma attorney general who built his career suing the E.P.A., and whose LinkedIn profile still describes him as “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,” Mr. Pruitt has made it clear that he sees his mission to be dismantling the agency’s policies — and even portions of the institution itself.

    But as he works to roll back regulations, close offices and eliminate staff at the agency charged with protecting the nation’s environment and public health, Mr. Pruitt is taking extraordinary measures to conceal his actions, according to interviews with more than 20 current and former agency employees.

    Mr. Pruitt’s penchant for secrecy is reflected not just in his inaccessibility and concern for security. He has terminated a decades-long practice of publicly posting his appointments calendar and that of all the top agency aides, and he has evaded oversight questions from lawmakers on Capitol Hill, according to the Democratic senators who posed the questions.

    His aides recently asked career employees to make major changes in a rule regulating water quality in the United States — without any records of the changes they were being ordered to make. And the E.P.A. under Mr. Pruitt has moved to curb certain public information, shutting down data collection of emissions from oil and gas companies, and taking down more than 1,900 agency webpages on topics like climate change, according to a tally by the Environmental Defense Fund, which did a Freedom of Information request on these terminated pages….

  182. says

    @287 and 289 – Thank you. It’s surreal to be suffering such great personal loss and being so distraught over the news at the same time. I’m going to have to shut off the news / twitter etc for a few days while I concentrate on my family. There is some comfort in being able to do that and know that this thread will be here to get me back up to speed when I’m ready.

  183. says


    In other news, I just spent 16 hours bedside with my family as we let my mom go at 74 years of age. Seems young, but she was a swearing smoking drinker who squeezed every last bit of juice out of the lemons life dealt her. I’m almost glad that she won’t have to see what this country is becoming.

    Last night when she was still able to talk, the Dr was assessing her and asked her what year it was… “17”… “And do you know who the president is?”…. “That asshole!”

    She was a racist many years ago, but she changed, and she loathed Trump with a fire you wouldn’t believe. I’d like to think it was my forays into music, and bringing many black and latino musician friends into her life that caused her change in perspective.

    I’m sorry to hear that your mother passed away. I was, at the same time, heartened to hear her no-holds-barred assessment of Trump. Well said!

    The fact that she changed her racist ways is a sign of hope to/for many others. I’d like to think that she probably enjoyed the heck out of the music she heard from black and Latino musicians.

    Take time to remember her well. We’ll see you later.

  184. says

    McMaster may have tap danced furiously when he was trying not to condemn Steve Bannon, but he said the right thing too:

    Any time that you commit an attack against people to incite fear, it is terrorism. It meets the definition of terrorism. But what this is, what you see here, is you see someone who is a criminal, who is committing a criminal act against fellow Americans, a criminal act that may have been motivated — and we’ll see what’s turned up in this investigation — by this hatred and bigotry.

    Unfortunately, McMaster also claimed that Trump was “very clear” in his response to the violence in Charlottesville. That’s not true. See comments 276 and 277.

  185. says

    Nerd @280, thanks for that additional information. That made me laugh, with an undertone of bitter irony.

    In other news, Ivanka Trump said what Daddy Donald should have said:

    There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.

  186. says

    James Fields, the Ohio man who used his car to mow down anti-fascist protesters in Charlottesville, had a Facebook page that clearly shows white nationalist/Nazi sympathies.

    The page has recently been taken down, but while it was up, journalists documented the frequent postings of Pepe the frog images, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin (used by Nazis as a party symbol), a photo of the Reichstag in Berlin, baby Hitler, and even Bashar al-Assad (white nationalists accompany Assad photos with the slogan “Undefeated.”)

  187. says

    Yes, there are white supremacists in the Trump administration.

    White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert went on CNN Sunday to reiterate his boss’s position that both sides are to blame after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia sparked violence and potentially even a murder. On Saturday, Donald Trump blamed “violence on many sides” for the weekend of chaos.

    Bossert echoed Trump. “I’m sure there were good people in the groups that had various opinions on the removal or maintenance of the statue,” Bossert told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “But what they found when they showed up were groups from outside that showed up on both sides, looking for trouble, dressed in riot gear, prepared for violence.”

    Setting aside this attempt to draw equivalency — yes, there were counter-protesters who engaged in violence, but none of them killed anyone, and they weren’t there to defend the notion that one race is superior to another — it’s worth focusing on Bossert’s suggestion that there were “good people” who came to Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Confederate memorial.

    […] Robert E. Lee […] was also known as a particularly cruel slaveowner. Lee’s slaves viewed him as “the worst man I ever see” because of his practice of breaking up slave families and hiring different family members off to different plantations.

    Think Progress link

  188. says

    Hosts of “Fox & Friends” defended Trump:

    […] “I think the president nailed it,” said co-host Pete Hegseth. “He condemned in the strongest possible terms hatred and bigotry on all sides as opposed to immediately picking a side out the gate.”

    Indeed, Hegseth even went so far as to suggest that the white supremacists in Charlottesville may be making valid points. […] “there’s always a grievance underneath it that it’s worth talking about.”

    To be clear, Hegseth — and Trump — are equating neo-Nazis and white supremacists who believe that white men are genetically superior to non-whites, with a group of counter-protesters who turned up to oppose their message of hate and bigotry.

    Top Republicans in Congress, world leaders, current and former administration officials, and even his own daughter have distanced themselves from Trump by issuing more definitive statements specifically condemning racism and white supremacy. But Fox and Friends aren’t alone in sticking with Trump.

    On Saturday, moments after Trump’s public address on the Charlottesville attack, users on white supremacist site Daily Stormer were giddily celebrating Trump’s remarks, noting — correctly — that the president not only neglected to call out white supremacy, but equated those who showed up to protest bigotry with the bigots themselves. “Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us,” said a post on Daily Stormer. “He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us.” […]


  189. says

    Response from President Obama:

    “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

    The text is a quote from Mandela’s autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom.”

    Hillary Clinton’s response to the violence in Charlottesville:

    The incitement of hatred that got us here is as real and condemnable as the white supremacists in our streets. Every minute we allow this to persist through tacit encouragement or inaction is a disgrace, & corrosive to our values.

  190. says

    Oh, FFS. Al-right media outlets blamed the wrong person for the attack-by-car in Charlottesville. A group of dunderheads from Gateway Pundit, etc. pushed a false story that the driver was an “anti-Trump protestor,” an “open borders druggie,” and so forth.

    Prominent alt-right media personalities and websites framed a Michigan man that one labeled an “anti-Trump druggie” for Saturday’s car attack on anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Va that killed one and injured 19 others. […]

    “REPORT: Driver in Virginia Car Attack Was Anti-Trump Protester,” Gateway Pundit blared, […] “WOW! DUDE HIT THE WRONG CROWD,” the subheadline read. […]

    “BREAKING: #Charlottesville Car Terrorist Is Anti-Trump, Open Borders Druggie,” reported GotNews, a website owned by far-right provocateur Chuck Johnson. […]

    “[Name redacted] likes taking drugs and getting stoned, a look at his social media shows. What he under the influence when he crashed into the crowd at Charlottesville?” the post read.

    That post has since been removed.

    Still, readers flocked to the Facebook page of the Michigan man who was falsely accused of the homicide. […] The wrongly accused man has since set his Facebook page to private.

    Users on 4chan also believed they had identified the car’s owner by viral posts allegedly identifying the vehicle’s VIN number and license plate. They used that to claim the Michigan man was truly behind the attack. […]

    Daily Caller reporter Ian Miles-Cheong also pushed his readers to 4chan’s /pol/ message board.

    “What if I told you that /pol/ has mobilized to find out who the driver of the #Charlottesville car is, and it isn’t who you think it is?” he tweeted. “I’ve been reviewing the evidence, the Ohio license plate, etc. The owner of the car is anti-Trump and made posts supporting communism.” […]


  191. says

    From Daily Stormer editor Andrew Anglin:

    Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us.

    He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate … on both sides!

    So he implied the antifa are haters.

    There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all.

    He said he loves us all.

    Also refused to answer a question about White Nationalists supporting him.

    No condemnation at all.

    When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room.

    Really, really good.

    God bless him. […]

    If you’re at a bar in a group, random girls will want to have sex with you. Because you’re the bad boys. The ultimate enemy of the state. Every girl on the planet wants your dick now.

    And to everyone, know this: we are now at war.

    And we are not going to back down.

    There will be more events. Soon. We are going to start doing this nonstop. Across the country. I’m going to arrange them myself. Others will too, I’m sure, but I’m telling you now: I am going to start arranging my own events. We are going to go bigger than Charlottesville. We are going to go huge. […]

    If you see this image while scrolling the first page [image of Dodge Challenger vehicle], you have been visited by the Dodge Challenger of street sweeping. Good luck & prosperity will come to you, but only if you post VROOM VROOM MOTHERFUCKER on this thread. […]

    Not going to link to the Daily Stormer, nor to Andrew Anglin’s drivel, but you can find it yourself fairly easily if you feel the need to confirm the existence of the text quoted above. By the way, Anglin also claimed the car itself was under attack and that the mowing down of pedestrians was “a clear cut case of self defense.”

    Other doofuses on Twitter have picked up on the “self defense” claim and are spreading it far and wide. There is an image of a person with a baseball bat hitting the car after it had crashed into the pedestrians.

  192. blf says

    Short update on the C-Star — the ship hired by crowd-funded nazis to attack NGO-operated migrant rescue ships in the Mediterranean — and is sailed by “the gang that couldn’t sail straight” as the New York Times recently put it. They were understood to have engine problems, and be low on fuel & supplies (after being chased away by fishermen & authorities in Tunisia, after being initially arrested and then kicked out of Turkish-controlled N.Crypus, after being detained by Egypt). The nearest vessel to their last know position was asked to help. That vessel is an NGO-operated migrant rescue ship, the Sea-Eye, operated by a German NGO of the same name.

    The Sea-Eye made contact with the C-Star, who declined assistance and said they were not in distress, but did acknowledge they had a “technical difficulty”. They also claim to have “rebunkered” (resupplied), albeit where when and how is a mystery (if true).

    Notably, the Sea-Eye reported the C-Star’s transponder was off. I myself had been wondering about that, since the C-Star’s location report at vesselfinder hadn’t been updating. Amusingly the nazis claim, falsely of course, turning off the transponder is something the NGO ships do.

  193. says

    From Jelani Cobb, writing for The New Yorker:

    Fifty-one years ago this month, George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party, addressed a crowd of three thousand sympathizers in Marquette Park, in Chicago. The rally came in the midst of Martin Luther King, Jr.,’s fraught northern campaign, in which he sought to point out the ways in which segregation and discrimination were not exclusively the habits of white Southerners.

    The Nazis seized the opportunity to present themselves as defenders of white communities, preventing the onslaught of violence against whites that integration would surely bring. Writing about the A.N.P.’s activities ahead of the rally, the Times observed, “What confused many who still remember the swastika as the symbol of the concentration camp was the reception they got.”

    Local whites endorsed Rockwell’s anti-black, anti-Semitic rhetoric in striking numbers. The scene recalled a moment nearly three decades earlier, when Fritz Kuhn, the leader of the Nazi-sympathizing German American Bund, drew twenty thousand people to Madison Square Garden, to hear him present his brief in defense of Adolf Hitler. Kuhn’s 1939 rally proved to be the pinnacle of a fleeting movement, as did Rockwell’s Marquette Park gathering.

    The point here is that this weekend in Charlottesville was not the first time this country has witnessed the mass mobilization of Nazis. But it is the first time we’ve seen such a feeble response to those gatherings in the upper echelons of American power.

    The current occupant of the White House has never distinguished himself for his moral instincts, but those deficits have seldom been more apparent than in the nadir reached in Charlottesville on Saturday. Having failed to address the terrorist attack upon a Minnesota mosque last week, Trump offered blandishments regarding the rising tide of racial contempt that inspired the violence in Charlottesville.

    When he did speak about the crisis, he denounced bigotry and violence “on many sides,” in a statement that was bizarrely punctuated by references to efforts to reform trade relationships and better conditions for veterans.

    We have seen a great number of false equivalencies in the past two years, and the most recent Presidential election was defined by them. Yet it remains striking to hear Trump imply that Nazis and the interracial group of demonstrators who gathered to oppose them were, in essence, equally wrong. […]

    Much more at the link.

  194. says

    After praising Trump’s statement on Charlottesville, a neo-Nazi website celebrates murder of counterprotester Heather Heyer.

    […] The Daily Stormer openly celebrated the murder of counterprotester Heather Heyer during the violent August 12 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, calling her a “slob” and a “burden on society” with “no value.” The website previously praised Trump’s response to the rally. […]

    Andrew Anglin asserted that “most people are glad [Heyer] is dead, as she is the definition of uselessness.” He also called the victim an “overweight slob with no children” and praised the driver of the car as a “hardcore player” with a “cool demeanor” who “didn’t give a fuck.” […]

  195. says

    From Senator Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado:

    This isn’t a time for innuendo or to allow room to be read between the lines. This is a time to lay blame. This president has done an incredible job of naming terrorism around the globe as evil. He has said and called it out time and time again. And this president needs to do exactly that today.

    From Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah:

    We should call evil by its name.

  196. says

    Demonstrators gathered in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan to protest Trump. They chanted, “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA.”

    There’s also an anti-facist protest going on in Seattle in response to an alt-right group that is holding a rally in a park.

    A far right-wing rally went ahead as scheduled Sunday in Seattle, despite the violence that marred a white nationalist protest in Virginia on Saturday.

    Joey Gibson, of the Portland, Oregon-based group Patriot Prayer, said he would urge his supporters to remain nonviolent during the “Freedom Rally” — and planned counter-protest — at Westlake Park. […]

    So far, police are keeping the anti-facists and the Nazis apart. There are about two blocks between the two groups.

  197. says

    From Justin Trudeau:

    We know Canada isn’t immune to racist violence & hate. We condemn it in all its forms & send support to the victims in Charlottesville.

  198. says

    “Anti-McMaster campaign is about to get uglier”:

    The bare-knuckle campaign to remove National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster from the White House is about to get much uglier.

    Outside forces opposed to McMaster are going to allege he has a drinking problem, according to sources outside the Trump administration familiar with the anti-McMaster campaign. The controversial nationalist Mike Cernovich, who has an inside track on the anti-McMaster campaign, teased the alcohol attack in an Internet video with Alex Jones of the website Infowars. Anti-McMaster forces believe this attack will harm his standing with the president, who is a teetotaler.

    To be clear: I have never heard anything to support the allegation from anyone inside the Trump administration or from anyone who’s socialized with McMaster. We are covering it to highlight the extremes to which McMaster’s opponents are prepared to take their war against the National Security Adviser.

    Why this matters: For the nationalists making them, these attacks could backfire. Most top White House officials find the attacks loathsome, and blame Steve Bannon for them. So instead of hurting McMaster, they may damage Bannon – who is already in a perilous position, as we reported yesterday….

    Meanwhile, “FireBannon” has been one of the highest-trending topics and hashtags in Kremlin propaganda over the past 48 hours.

  199. says

    Ken Frazier, Merck CEO, resigned from Trump’s Manufacturing Council in protest of Trump’s refusal to condemn white-supremacist terrorists. Trump rushed to attack Frazier, who is black, on Twitter. (He doesn’t care if the other drug companies get rid of rip-off drug prices, evidently – only the one headed by a black CEO who’s now an “enemy.”)

    Clara Jeffery: “Now would be a good time for some white CEOs to quit the President’s various councils. It’s a gimme off-ramp of a racist regime.”

  200. blf says

    How a 1947 US government anti-Nazi film went viral after Charlottesville:

    Don’t Be a Sucker, a 17-minute film made in 1947 by the US war department to warn against fascism, was retweeted over 130,000 times last weekend
    Don’t Be a Sucker was released in 1947 by the US war department. The 17-minute film depicts a man lamenting African Americans and “foreigners” taking jobs, before drawing parallels between such white nationalism and the rise of the Nazi party in Germany.


    It’s easy to see why Don’t Be a Sucker has had such an impact.

    The clip opens with a man on a soap box declaring himself an American American and railing against people holding jobs that belong to me to a seemingly appreciative crowd.

    “I’ve heard this kind of talk before but I never expected to hear it in America,” says a man with a European accent.

    He is standing next to a man in a grey trilby, who seems to be being won over by the message from the soap box — until the speaker says that the US also needs to rid itself of masons.

    “What’s wrong with the masons? I’m a mason. Hey, that fellow’s talking about me,” says the man in the grey hat.

    “And that makes a difference, doesn’t it?” says the man with the European accent.

    He explains that he grew up in Hungary before becoming a university professor in Berlin.

    In Germany, the man with the European accent says, “I heard the same words we heard today”.

    “But I was a fool then. I thought Nazis were crazy people, stupid fanatics. But unfortunately it was not so,” he continues. “You see, they knew that they were not strong enough to conquer a unified country.

    “So they split Germany into small groups. They used prejudice as a practical weapon to cripple the nation.”

    This is the tweet, which has only a 2-something minute excerpt of the film; here is the full 17-minute film.

  201. says

    Team Trump takes another sneaky swipe at Obamacare:

    A wide array of groups that partnered for several years with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the White House to promote open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act say this year has brought a deafening silence from the Trump administration, with no sign the partnerships will continue.

    Both representatives of the former partner groups and former HHS officials say the relationships with […], youth organizations, churches, women’s groups, and African American and Latino civil rights non-profits were critical to keeping Obamacare’s markets functioning, and their termination is a clear example of sabotage.

    “The failure to invest in local assistance and these enrollment partnerships will reduce enrollment, increase costs and drive up the uninsured rate,” warned Andy Slavitt, former head of HHS’ Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Obama. “Hopefully they will reconsider taking these destructive actions.” […]

    With the first full open enrollment period of the Trump administration on the horizon, HHS has the power to make good on the president’s repeated promise to “let Obamacare implode”—either through active sabotage or passive neglect.

    Already this year, the administration has yanked PSAs about insurance deadlines, killed contracts for programs in 18 cities that helped people enroll, and redirected funds meant for the promotion of Obamacare toward the creation of ads against it […]


  202. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Having learned his lesson, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions races to get his nose beyond Herr Drumpf’s sphincter with all the others:
    “Jeff Sessions: Trump’s Charlottesville Response Was A ‘Strong Statement’ Against White Supremacy”

    Hmm. Not really. Given that Trump is white, I would say that he, himself, is a negation of white supremacy. But nothing about the man is strong.

  203. blf says

    nothing about the [hair furor] is strong.

    His habit of lying is overwhelming. And his bigotry, greedy rent-seeking, incuriosity, and insistence on praise & loyalty also appear to be extraordinary. His stooopidity is threatening the entire planet, in more than one way. And he has a deafening stampede of fellow elected thugs marching in goose-step behind him.

  204. says

    Trump finally condemned the KKK and neo-Nazis today. It was clear that he was forced to do so.

    Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists,and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans. […] Justice will be delivered. As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence

    Trump seemed to focus mostly on the criminal acts of the white supremacists who held a rally in Charlottesville.

  205. says

    Trump still has white supremacists in his administration.

    During his condemnation of the KKK, Trump was sniffing over and over again. I think that might be tell of his. He sniffs when he is in extremely stressful situations (like the presidential debates, where he sniffed so much it was distracting). It was stressful for Trump to denounce white supremacists.

    My bet is that the people who read Daily Stormer (see comments 301 and 304) will claim that the media (Jewish run media, so they say) forced Trump to disavow them.

    Actions on the part of team Trump will speak louder than words.

  206. says

    From the quite prescient Josh Marshall:

    The problem with the continued begging, ‘why won’t he denounce, why won’t he denounce’ is that at some point, maybe later today, President Trump will go before a podium and read off through gritted teeth a pro-forma denunciation of Nazis and it will seem to a lot of people like it means something when it doesn’t.

    He’s already made crystal clear where he stands here. The question is how we individually and as a country are going to deal with that fact, not how many more mulligans we’re going to give him.

    His neo-nazi supporters are truly over the moon that he’s steadfastly refusing to criticize them, even in the face of withering criticism and derision. They get the message. They’re ecstatic. Everyone who doesn’t see this, see that it is intentional, is getting played for chumps.

  207. says

    From Vice President Mike Pence:

    […] But I think you’ll also see this President call our country to move beyond these fractious times and come together around the values that we share — the values that we share, frankly, with most nations across this hemisphere and with free nations around the world.

    I truly believe that under President Trump’s leadership we’re going to continue to see more unity in America and we’re going to see these extremist voices on the far right and on the far left marginalized as they should be as Americans come together around our shared values,

    Nice illustration of false equivalence, Mr. Pence.

  208. blf says

    Lying all the time is not power. It’s an anti-strength (that is, a weakness). Other points also went WHOOSH, albeit some of the listed items (@323) are perhaps more the results of alleged power than anti-strengths.

  209. says

    Jesse Watters on Fox News:

    [Trump is] looking at this from a big picture perspective in the large context of hatred in America. [The bigger problem is] left-wing radicals who have terrorized this country.

    America is not a racist nation, it’s time we stop acting like it is.


  210. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Jesse W. “America is not a racist nation, it’s time we stop acting like it is.”

    Gee, I wonder if he’s ever heard “Strange Fruit?”

  211. says

    From British Prime Minister Theresa May:

    What the President says is a matter for him. We are very clear … We condemn racism, hatred and violence. We condemn the far right.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with #Charlottesville. The UK stands with the US against racism, hatred and violence.

    From Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon:

    There is no equivalence between Nazis who peddle hate and those who protest against them to defend tolerance of diversity.

    From German Chancellor Angela Merkel:

    The scenes at the right-wing extremist march were absolutely repulsive – naked racism, anti-Semitism and hate in their most evil form were on display. Such images and chants are disgusting wherever they may be and they are diametrically opposed to the political goals of the chancellor and the entire German government.

  212. says

    Follow-up to comments 325 and 326.

    Stormfront’s reaction to Trump’s condemnation of the KKK, etc. today:

    He said the magic Anti-White words here. However, he did leave himself (and White Americans) a small out with the words … “and other hate groups”.

    No doubt we’ll see exactly what he means when we see whether Attorney General Sessions begins attacking patriotic White Americans — or the Anti-White communists and BLM folk who actually PERPETRATED the violence.

  213. says

    Alex Jones floated a false-flag explanation of the rightwing rally in Charlottesville:

    […] I’ve been to these events, a lot of the KKK guys with their hats off look like they’re from the cast of Seinfeld. Literally they’re just Jewish actors. Nothing against Jews in general, but they are leftists Jews that want to create this clash and they go dress up as Nazis. I have footage in Austin — we’re going to find it somewhere here at the office — where it literally looks like cast of Seinfeld or like Howard Stern in a Nazi outfit. They all look like Howard Stern. They almost got like little curly hair down, and they’re just up there heiling Hitler. You can tell they are totally uncomfortable, they are totally scared, and it’s all just meant to create the clash.

  214. says

    On MSNBC, the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Sherrilyn Ifill, summarized the ways in which Trump and some other Republicans have emboldened white supremacists:

    […] obviously there were many causes for the violence that occurred there, but let’s begin with how the foundation has been laid. You just had statistics up showing the increase in hate groups, and the increase in hate crimes has been well-documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, particularly since the campaign and since the election of this president.

    And we have not heard the president of the United States or the attorney general for that matter acknowledge the exponential increase in hate crimes that have been happening in this country, the increase in anti-Muslim violence, the bombings and the defacing of mosques that have been happening by the month.

    We had a veteran, a 25-year Army veteran, Ricky Best, who was killed in Portland along with another good Samaritan earlier this year trying to defend someone on the light rail killed by a white supremacist. The president has said nothing about this veteran having been killed. He said nothing about Richard Collins being killed in Maryland, someone who was in the ROTC at Bowie State, a commissioned second lieutenant in the Army, killed, a young man, 23 years old.

    […] so part of what has happened is there has been a silence about the issue of racial violence and hate crimes at the same time that the president himself, from the beginning of his campaign has set a context that has emboldened these groups. […] David Duke [and] other white supremacist leaders feel that President Trump is their leader. […]

    “Knock him out.” “Get him out of here.” “I’ll pay your fees if they arrest you.” “Remember what we used to do to people like that. We used to carry them out on stretchers.” Those were the words of Trump during the campaign.

    […] his policies themselves — from the Muslim ban, to the voter fraud commission, to the anti-LGBT position taken in the recent case in which the Department of Justice filed an amicus brief — all of this, these are the policies and positions of the president. All of this has allowed these groups to feel that they are comfortable, […]

    […] You’re right. It [“many sides”] was clearly ad-libbed. It was meant to temper any sense of condemnation or specific identification of white supremacists. […] I didn’t know growing up in this country that there was another side to Nazis. I didn’t know that there were many sides. I thought we were all on the same side in condemnation of Nazis. And so, when the president ad-libs that, he’s sending a signal. His next statement, Andrea, you’ll recall, was about little children coming out of their homes and not fearing anything, being able to be outside and, as he said, have a good time. This was his nod to talking about crime, I presume, in urban areas. These things are not equivalent.

    […] what we saw yesterday was an affront to American values, to the American ideal. Was an affront to every person — and should be — every person who cherishes democracy and equality in this country and signals to African-Americans and Latinos and to members of the LGBTQ community who were under attack by this group as well and Muslim groups that we are not going to be protected, that the president is not prepared to say that he will not tolerate white supremacy.

    And the truth is, Andrea, even if he said it this weekend, it wouldn’t be believed unless it’s followed by his policies. […] You can’t confirm a judicial nominee who was a blogger who cited to white nationalist sites and you vote for his confirmation, like many, 51 senators voted for John Bush just two weeks ago and then tweet that you stand against white supremacy. They now have to by their actions show that they intend to be leaders, the leaders that this country have a right to expect.

    Media Matters link

  215. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Lynna: “Nice illustration of false equivalence, Mr. Pence.”

    Well, really, false equivalence is the only sort of equality they support, isn’t it?

  216. says

    Trump is considering pardoning the racist sheriff, Joe Arpaio:

    I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio. He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He’s a great American patriot, and I hate to see what has happened to him.

    Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration than Sheriff Joe? He has protected people from crimes and saved lives. He doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.

    Arpaio is the guy who has found to be in contempt of court last month for continuing his practice of racial profiling, and for instructing his deputies to do likewise.

  217. says

    Jared Taylor, head of white nationalist publication American Renaissance, responded to Trump’s delayed criticism of the KKK, Nazis, etc:

    As he [Trump] pointed out, there was violence and malice on both sides, and to pretend somehow that there was only violence on one side or hostility on one side, that’s just wrong. Joe Biden said there’s only one side. Well, wait a minute, if the counter-demonstrators would not have showed up, there would have been no violence at all. It takes two to do this.

    So, if no anti-facists had shown up there would have been no one to run down with a car? If no black men had shown up there would have been no one to beat with two-by-fours and baseball bats?

    Taylor had more to say:

    Donald Trump’s most recent condemnation of racism was also good and was appropriate as the head of our entire country. I note that he condemned all racism INCLUDING that coming from the KKK and neo-nazis. The use of the word ‘including’ indicates that he believes there is a larger, over-arching source of racism besides those groups named.

    This is because whites have, by and large, been conditioned to suppress racist thoughts. Saturday’s deadly act in Charlotteville [sic] by the angry white driver with the lead foot proves this fact. Acts of violence by whites are proportionally fewer than by many other groups. His act sets the nationalist movement back considerably.

    I am pleased with what Donald Trump said. The only solution for the festering racism of this country is separation and the creation of a white ethnostate.

    The text above is excerpted from a longer Talking Points Memo article.

  218. says

    Worth reading in full – “To the white male supremacists who feel ‘oppressed’ in America: you’re nothing more than venomous crybabies”:

    …If I were to name the sickness presently coursing through the national veins, I might name it this way: Too many of us have confused the idea of oppression with that of opposition.

    Ask yourself, if these well-fed fellows fail, who will strip their vote?

    What statues and flags will fly commemorating their ancestors’ theft and rape and murder and enslavement?

    Who will legally nullify their marriage?

    What proposals have been made to keep bathrooms or bakeries safe from them?

    Who will pack them into trucks and tear them from their homes and families?

    What pipeline will be sent through their water table? No. The defeat for them is they will be prevented only from doing it to others.

    Then ask yourself: to whom will those things happen if they succeed?

    Imagine if these people faced real oppression. Nobody is trying to make them buy insurance for “male healthcare”. There is no history of centuries of bad science devoted to “proving” their intellectual inferiority. There is no travel ban on them because of their religion. There is no danger for them when they carry dangerous weaponry publicly.

    Their lawns were never decorated with burning crosses. Their ancestors were never hanged from trees. The President has not set up a hotline to report crime committed by their hands.

    When you see little Jason Kessler chased into the bushes, he is not being oppressed. He is being opposed. He doesn’t like it. And so what?

  219. says

    “Charlottesville Car Crash Suspect’s Mother Accused Him Of Violent Attacks”:

    …The records the Florence Police Department in Kentucky show the man’s mother had called police in 2011. Records show Fields’ mother, Samantha Bloom, told police he stood behind her wielding a 12-inch knife. Bloom is disabled and uses a wheelchair.

    In another incident in 2010, Bloom said that Fields smacked her in the head and locked her in the bathroom after she told him to stop playing video games. Bloom told officers Fields was on medication to control his temper.*

    * As I understand it, he was on psychiatric drugs. They are not medication.

  220. says

    A police union chief for Santa Fe, New Mexico shared a meme that reads, “ALL LIVES SPLATTER. NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR PROTEST. MORAL OF THE STORY … STAY OFF THE ROAD!!”

    The graphic presentation includes a drawing of a vehicle (looks kind of like an SUV of some kind, maybe a Jeep Cherokee) running over pedestrians. A seal featuring a bald eagle reads, “PREPARE TO TAKE AMERICA BACK”.


    […] Sgt. Troy Baker, President of the Santa Fe Police Officers Association, was caught posting a plethora of vile memes on his personal Facebook page that promote hate against people of color, Muslims, women, trans people—and the people who support them. […]

    Baker’s explanation: “That is a joke and taken as such. We don’t need to be running over people intentionally, but people shouldn’t be blocking roadways either.”

  221. Saad says

    SC, #349

    “#BREAKING Protesters in #Durham topple confederate monument downtown.”

    Every time I’m feeling like crap about the state of affairs, you post something like this to bring a bit of sunshine into my day. :)

  222. says

    From Steve Benen:

    Twice this year, Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee have urged Republican leaders to hold hearings on the security threats posed by white supremacists and their allies. In both instances, GOP officials ignored the requests. […]

    From Politico, an article by Rachael Bade:

    […] Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee are asking panel Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) to examine racist fringe groups, including those that organized Saturday’s violent protest against the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the University of Virginia campus. […]

    California Rep. Lou Correa, who sits on the Homeland panel, was the first Democrat to call for hearings.

    “Yesterday’s horrific acts against innocent Americans were clear acts of terrorism,” he said. “Our country has a homegrown terrorism problem we refuse to address. That ends now. We must hold hearings and finally address that terrorism inflicted by white supremacy extremists is destroying our country.” […]

    Democrats are starting to grow impatient with their GOP counterparts after Saturday. One Democratic source on the Homeland panel said Republicans for some time have been receiving law enforcement notices saying white supremacist extremism pose serious threats of lethal violence. One such notice, dated May 10, was first reported by Foreign Policy on Monday. […]

    In a Monday night letter to McCaul, Correa said the panel “has the responsibility to protect the American people from the threat of terrorism.”

    “This committee was created to prevent terrorism,” the letter says. “As a nation, we need to address the white supremacy movement. White supremacist domestic terrorists cannot be allowed to continue to terrorize Americans.”

    From Steve Benen:

    […] Indeed, just yesterday, Foreign Policy magazine published a striking report, noting that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warned in May “that white supremacist groups had already carried out more attacks than any other domestic extremist group over the past 16 years and were likely to carry out more attacks over the next year, […]

    […] A New York Times report found two years ago, for example, “Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims.”

    […] conservatives [insisted] that concerns about violent radicals could implicate mainstream activists on the right. Some GOP members of Congress even called for DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano’s resignation. [during the Obama administration]

    Even at the time, the Republican tantrum was bizarre, but it nevertheless convinced federal officials to scale back their scrutiny, at least for a while, of home-grown extremists and potentially violent fringe radicals. […]

    Republicans do not want to look at the problem. They want to ignore it.

  223. says

    Trump’s tweet last night showed what he actually had on his mind when he was supposedly denouncing the KKK and Nazis.

    From the Chicago Tribune:

    [Trump] retweeted a post from an eyebrow-raising Twitter account: that of right-wing provocateur Jack Posobiec, a Trump supporter known for advancing a number of conspiracy theories, such as those tied to “Pizzagate” and the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.

    His tweet had nothing to do with Charlottesville, instead linking to a story about Chicago homicides.

    Posobiec’s tweet linked to a story from the Chicago ABC affiliate and read, “Meanwhile: 39 shootings in Chicago this weekend, 9 deaths. No national media outrage. Why is that?” […]

    Posobiec peddled yet another falsehood, writing on Twitter that James Comey, the former F.B.I. director, had “said under oath that Trump did not ask him to halt any investigation.” The fake statement even made its way into commentary on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, the New York Times reported.

    Commenters on Posobiec’s Twitter feed noted that he is connected to the alt-right: “No better way for Trump to shake the perception that he’s sympathetic to the alt-right than to RT a person closely aligned w/ the alt-right.”

    As noted up-thread, trump also announced on Fox News that he is considering pardoning Joe Arpaio, a fellow birther racist, and a guy who used his position as Sheriff to harass anyone with brown skin.

    Trump thinks the media overplayed the violence in Charlottesville, and that the media underplays black-on-black crime in Chicago. Trump outs himself as a racist over and over again. Trump also feeds himself poison from people like Posobiec all the time.

  224. says

    More calls for Trump to fire Bannon, Miller and Gorka:

    […] The leaders of four minority House caucus groups have written a letter to President Donald Trump calling for the removal of White House staff aides Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka.

    The heads of the black, Hispanic, Asian and progressive caucuses are calling in the letter for the firings of the Trump administration officials in the wake of a violent, racist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The letter asserts their continuing presence in the White House is emboldening a resurgent white supremacist movement in America.

    “Americans deserve to know that white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis are not in a position to influence U.S. policy,” says the letter dated Monday. “In this time of tumult in our country, Americans deserve a leader that will bring us all together and denounce those who seek to tear us apart.” […]


  225. says

    SC @364, unbelievably bad. Let’s hope that team Trump receives a tsunami of resistance to this “fishing expedition.”

    Well, my friends, I am going to have to abandon you again. I have to concentrate on earning money, and in addition to that I have an eclipse project to work on.

    With the exception of infrequent posts, I’ll be absent from this thread for a week or more.

    Carry on.

  226. says

    Eli Stokols: “Trump’s Manufacturing Jobs Council hadn’t met, seems was mostly formed for the optics. It’s become a symbol of his eroding support.”

    When the smoke blows back in your face and the mirrors start to crack.

  227. says

    Here is the text of Trump’s remarks, including his disparagement of the “alt-left” and all the rest of the Trump-is-off-the-rails fiasco:

    Trump also commented about CEO’s leaving his manufacturing council:

    […] they are not taking their job seriously as it pertains to this country. […] If you look at some of those people that you are talking about, they are outside of the country. They are having a lot of their product made outside. If you look at Merck as an example, take a look where – excuse me, excuse me – take a look at where their product is made. It is made outside of our country. We want products made in the country, now I have to tell you, some of the folks that will leave, they’re leaving out of embarrassment, because they made their products outside, and I have been lecturing them, including the gentleman that you are referring to, about you have to bring it back to this country. […]

    Excerpts from Trump’s comments related to Charlottesville:

    As I said on remember this, Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America. And then I went on from there. Now here is the thing. Excuse me, excuse me. Take it nice and easy. Here is the thing, when I make a statement, I like to be correct. I want the facts. This event just happened. A lot of the event didn’t happen yet as we were speaking. This event just happened. Before I make a statement, I need the facts, so I don’t want to rush into a statement. So making the statement when I made it was excellent. In fact, the young woman who I hear is a fantastic young woman and it was on NBC, her mother wrote me and said through I guess Twitter, social media, the nicest things, and I very much appreciated that. I hear she was a fine, really actually an incredible young woman, but her mother on Twitter, thanked me for what I said. Honestly, if the press were not fake and if it was honest, the press would have said what I said was very nice. – excuse me – unlike you and unlike the media, before I make a statement, I like to know the facts. […]
    I didn’t know David Duke was there. […]

    Yeah, yeah. Trump also claimed that he watched the Charlottesville coverage more carefully than any of the reporters questioning him. And he didn’t know David Duke was there?

    […] I wanted to see the facts. And the facts, as they started coming out, were very well-stated. In fact, everybody said his statement was beautiful. If he would have made it sooner, that would have been good. I couldn’t have made it sooner, because I didn’t know all of the facts. Frankly, people still don’t know all of the facts. It was very important – excuse me, excuse me. It was very important to me to get the facts out and correctly. Because if I would have made a fast statement and the first statement was made without knowing much other than what we were seeing. The second statement was made after it with knowledge, with great knowledge. There are still things – excuse me. There are still things that people don’t know. I want to make a statement with knowledge, I wanted to know the facts, okay. […]

    when you say the alt-right, define alt-right to me. You define it. Go ahead. Define it for me, come on, let’s go.

    Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at us – excuse me – what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?

    What about this? What about the fact that they came charging – they came charging with clubs in their hands swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. […]

    I will tell you something. I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it. And you had, you had a group on one side that was bad. And you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now. You had a group – you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit, and they were very, very violent.

    Those people – all of those people, excuse me – I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups, but not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.

    Those people were also there, because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue Robert E. Lee. So – excuse me – and you take a look at some of the groups and you see, and you’d know it if you were honest reporters, which in many cases you’re not. Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. So this week, it’s Robert E. Lee, I noticed that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after. You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop? […]

    I am not putting anybody on a moral plane, what I’m saying is this: you had a group on one side and a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and horrible and it was a horrible thing to watch, but there is another side. There was a group on this side, you can call them the left. You’ve just called them the left, that came violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want, but that’s the way it is. […]

    Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group – excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name. […]

    You know what? It’s fine, you’re changing history, you’re changing culture, and you had people – and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats – you had a lot of bad people in the other group too. […]

  228. Hj Hornbeck says

    Hold up:

    when you say the alt-right, define alt-right to me. You define it. Go ahead. Define it for me, come on, let’s go.

    Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at us – excuse me – what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?

    Looks like Trump just admitted he’s a white supremacist.

  229. Hj Hornbeck says

    Courtesy The Hill:

    Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein says “important Republicans” are saying privately that President Trump is “unfit” for office and urged reporters to look into how widespread those worries may be.

    Bernstein took to Twitter on Tuesday to make the claims, but did not identify any specific individuals who have called Trump unfit.

  230. says

    The alt-right is “fist pumping!”

    […] White nationalists, empowered by his [Trump’s] message, took to the web to celebrate.

    Many posted their thoughts on a social media site called Gab, nicknamed the “Twitter for the alt-right.”

    “THIS is more like it!” one user wrote. Wrote another, “Trump came through for us.” […]

    “Thank you President Trump for condemning the alt-left antifa thugs who attacked us in Charlottesville,” Baked Alaska tweeted. On his own account, Duke also thanked Trump for his “honesty & courage.” […]


  231. Hj Hornbeck says

    From an actual US senator:

    Chris Murphy: FYI, after today, White House staff have effectively been folded into the white supremacy propaganda operation. Your choice – stay or go.

  232. says

    More from Trump:

    “I own a house in Charlottesville,” Trump bragged on the way out, amid reporters’ shouted questions.

    “Does anyone know I own a house in Charlottesville? It’s in Charlottesville. It is the winery. I mean, I know a lot about Charlottesville. Charlottesville is a great place that’s been very badly hurt over the last couple of days. I own actually one of the largest wineries in the United States. It’s in Charlottesville.”

    No, he does not own a house in Charlottesville. No, he does not own a winery in Charlottesville. His son, Eric, owns that winery. Any bets on whether or not it is “one of the largest wineries in the U.S.?

    “Trump Winery is a registered trade name of Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC, which is not owned, managed or affiliated with Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization or any of their affiliates,” the disclaimer reads.

  233. says

    Follow-up to comment 382.

    Might be the largest winery in Virginia:

    Planted with 210 acres of French vinifera varieties, Trump Winery is Virginia’s largest vineyard and the largest vinifera vineyard on the East Coast.

  234. says

    From Paul Ryan, no mention of Trump:

    We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity.

  235. says

    So making the statement when I made it was excellent. In fact, the young woman who I hear is a fantastic young woman and it was on NBC, her mother wrote me and said through I guess Twitter, social media, the nicest things, and I very much appreciated that. I hear she was a fine, really actually an incredible young woman, but her mother on Twitter, thanked me for what I said.

    Imagine if she had said anything remotely critical. Just imagine.

  236. says

    I tried to focus on work today. Got some work done despite Trump loving General Lee (“a very very important statue”); and despite Trump describing the white nationalists who were chanting “blood and soil” as “quietly protesting” the taking down of a statue. Trump deludes himself as well as others. What a train wreck.

  237. Hj Hornbeck says

    Follow-up to @376 and @377: this is now at the bottom of the Politico transcript…

    CORRECTION: An earlier version of this transcript quoted Trump as saying, “Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at us – excuse me.” In a review of the audio, we could not definitively discern Trump’s exact words at that moment in the news conference. The transcript has been updated to now read: “Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at [indiscernible] – excuse me.”

  238. Hj Hornbeck says

    Interesting bit of history.

    Donald Trump’s plan to build and operate Sydney’s first casino was killed off in 1987 by the NSW government on the back of a high-level police report that warned against the now-US President’s bid because of his “mafia ­connections’’.

  239. blf says

    Iran freezes assets of BBC Persian staff in crackdown on journalists:

    The BBC has criticised Iran for imposing an asset freeze on staff at its London-based Persian-service, the latest crackdown against the corporation’s Iranian employees.

    Tehran’s judicial authorities have issued a court order listing more than 150 BBC Persian journalists and former contributors, preventing them from conducting financial transactions or selling properties in their homeland because of their affiliation with the British media organisation.

    BBC Persian is banned in Iran but its radio shows and TV channel are still popular with an audience hungry for news not reported by the state-run channels. They are watched by millions of Iranians via illegal satellite dishes on residential rooftops. The broadcaster says it has an audience of 13 million in Iran, making it BBC News’ seventh-biggest market worldwide.

    Its Iranian staff, who have been victims of a campaign of intimidation and smears in recent years, are unable to return to Iran for fear of reprisal, and most — if not all — BBC Persian staff cannot visit their families back home.


    Iran is “one of the world’s five biggest prisons for journalists”, according to Reporters Without Borders. At least 10 journalists and 17 citizen-journalists are incarcerated. […]

    About 140 employees work for BBC Persian from outside Iran, but authorities have maintained a campaign of harassment against them by summoning their family members who live in the country. A number of staff have also been victims of false allegations of sexual misconduct, duplicated Facebook accounts, fake blogs and online identity theft designed to discredit them.


  240. blf says

    Texas ‘bathroom bill’ collapses again amid Republican acrimony:

    Restriction targeting transgender people defeated along with much of governor’s other legislative demands at special session

    A Texas “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people has been defeated again along with many of its Republican governor’s recent demands as a special legislative session in the state capitol was derailed by his party’s backbiting that could preview an even more hostile 2018 primary season.


    Large corporations from Amazon to Exxon Mobil lined up against the measure, as did some top law enforcement agencies. Opponents celebrated the latest failure despite the support from the governor and influential social conservatives who drive Republican politics and primaries in Texas.


    [… O]ther measures he championed fell through, including taxpayer-funded vouchers for students to attend private schools.


    Without another special session, Texas lawmakers will not return to work again until 2019.

    “The last 29 days have been nothing more than a waste of time and taxpayer dollars,” said Democratic state representative Chris Turner.

    Seems like hair furor is not the only thug & nazi unable to work his fellow thugs & nazis.

  241. Saad says

    Lynna, #384,

    From Paul Ryan, no mention of Trump:

    We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity.

    Now that’s how a white supremacist who is also a politician does it.

  242. says

    “Baltimore Removes Confederate Statues in Overnight Operation”:

    Statues dedicated to Confederate heroes were swiftly removed across Baltimore in the small hours of Wednesday morning, just days after violence broke out over the removal of a similar monument in neighboring Virginia.

    Beginning soon after midnight on Wednesday, a crew, which included a large crane and a contingent of police officers, began making rounds of the city’s parks and public squares, tearing the monuments from their pedestals and carting them out of town.

    Small crowds gathered at each of the monuments and the mood was “celebratory,” said Baynard Woods, the editor at large of The Baltimore City Paper, who documented the removals on Twitter.

    “The police are being cheerful and encouraging people to take photos and selfies,” Mr. Woods said in an interview.

    The statues were taken down by order of Mayor Catherine Pugh, after the City Council voted on Monday for their removal. The city had been studying the issue since 2015, when a mass shooting by a white supremacist at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., prompted a renewed debate across the South over removing Confederate monuments and battle flags from public spaces.

    The police confirmed the removal.

    By 3:30 a.m., three of the city’s four monuments had been removed. They included the Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson Monument, a double equestrian statue of the Confederate generals erected in 1948; the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument, erected in 1903; and the Roger B. Taney Monument, erected in 1887….

  243. says

    “Trump’s Business of Corruption”:

    …One foreign deal, a stalled 2011 plan to build a Trump Tower in Batumi, a city on the Black Sea in the Republic of Georgia, has not received much journalistic attention. But the deal, for which Trump was reportedly paid a million dollars, involved unorthodox financial practices that several experts described to me as “red flags” for bank fraud and money laundering; moreover, it intertwined his company with a Kazakh oligarch who has direct links to Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin. As a result, Putin and his security services have access to information that could put them in a position to blackmail Trump. (Sekulow said that “the Georgia real-estate deal is something we would consider out of scope,” adding, “Georgia is not Russia.”)…

    Adam Davidson, the investigative journalist who wrote the article, was interviewed last night by Rachel Maddow. (The previous night, by the way, Maddow interviewed Carol Anderson, whose book White Rage I recommend.

  244. says

    Two lawsuits of note:

    “Two Charlottesville victims sue James Fields, white nationalists for $3 million.”

    “The Friendliest Lawsuit Ever Filed Against the Justice Department” – Benjamin Wittes is seeking documents in response to an earlier FOIA request:

    In February, speaking before a joint session of Congress, President Trump declared that: “according to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country.”

    Wittes believes this is a lie and that the DoJ never provided any such data and in fact provided data giving a very different picture.

  245. blf says

    Maddow interviewed Carol Anderson, whose book White Rage I recommend.

    In poopyhead’s It isn’t just the South thread I posted an excerpt from a Granuiad column by Dr Anderson, where he compared teh thugs’s nazi-addiction to a drug habit. It’s an interesting read, and suggests the book (which I have not read) is also good.

  246. blf says

    In an amusing — but vastly less serious — analogy with th UK’s “planning” and “proposals” for brexit, there is a now a row about plans for work on Big Ben’s tower. Westminster is undergoing a multi-year restoration (the UK parilament’s building is, like the parliament itself, a ramshackle of a mess in desperate need of overhauling), and it will take about four years to restore the clock tower.

    When the bells ring, it’s c.120db inside the tower, so for quite obvious reasons, the bells are to be silenced during the work. The parliamentary committee supposedly overseeing the plans approved the silencing.

    However, now that it’s in the press the clock’s bells will be silent for around four years, said committee is claiming it didn’t know that and such a long-term silencing is unacceptable.

    Change “restoration work” to “brexit”, and a few other technical details, and that’s more-than-less the UK’s current approach to brexit — which a column in the Grauniad recently described as “having our cake, eating our cake and asking our dining partners to be patient while we order more cake.”

  247. says

    From Mitch McConnell:

    The white supremacist, KKK, and neo-Nazi groups who brought hatred and violence to Charlottesville are now planning a rally in Lexington. Their messages of hate and bigotry are not welcome in Kentucky and should not be welcome anywhere in America.

    We can have no tolerance for an ideology of racial hatred. There are no good neo-Nazis, and those who espouse their views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms. We all have a responsibility to stand against hate and violence, wherever it raises its evil head.

  248. says

    Regarding that part of Trump’s racist meltdown at Trump Tower where he claimed he waited two days before condemning neo-Nazis because “he needed the facts”: he as never needed the facts before.

    From Steve Benen:

    […] In June, for example, Trump told Americans about his concerns regarding a “terrorist attack in Manila,” when in reality, that’s not what happened.

    In February, the president told a group of supporters about an “attack” that he said had happened the night before in Sweden. There was no such attack.

    In April, Trump talked to reporters about a terrorist incident in France before it had been confirmed by local officials, and before the president had relevant details.

    […] the Associated Press published a fact-checking piece a couple of months ago that said the president “can’t be counted on to give accurate information to Americans when violent acts are unfolding abroad.”

    The president seems to take his time in response to violence when the suspects appear to be right-wing Americans.

    Waiting to get the facts is “very, very important” to him? Please. If Trump is going to lie as a matter of course, the least he could do is stop insulting our intelligence.

  249. blf says

    Grace Mugabe, the odious wife of the kleptocrat president(-essentially-for-life) of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, is wanted by the South African police on claims she attacked, in S.Africa, a model who was visiting her two sons (who apparently live in S.Africa). Apparently, she’s still in S.Africa, Grace Mugabe: Zimbabwe asks for diplomatic immunity after alleged assault (the Granuiad’s edits in {curly braces}):

    South Africa’s police ministry says first lady is still in country after failing to turn herself in to face charges of assaulting a model

    Zimbabwe has requested diplomatic immunity for the first lady, Grace Mugabe, after she was accused of assaulting a model at a hotel in Johannesburg, according to a statement from South Africa’s police ministry.

    The suspect’s lawyers “and her government representatives made verbal representations{…} that the suspect wished to invoke diplomatic immunity cover”, it said.

    The statement also confirmed that the wife of the 93-year-old Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe remains in South Africa, despite reports that she had returned home after failing to turn herself in to face charges of assault.

    Mugabe is accused of attacking […] Gabriella Engels with an electrical extension cord after the model went to see the Mugabes’ sons Robert and Chatunga at the Capital 20 West Hotel in Johannesburg’s upmarket Sandton district on Sunday.


    Accusing the first lady’s bodyguards of standing by and watching during the alleged assault, Engels said: “The front of my forehead is busted open. I’m a model and I make my money based on my looks.”


    Hinting at a potentially serious diplomatic rift between the neighbouring nations, the South African police statement made it clear she would be “processed through the legal system”.

    A Zimbabwean intelligence source previously told Reuters that Mugabe was not travelling on a diplomatic passport.


    Police said on Wednesday that Mugabe had been expected to report to a police station on Tuesday to give her version of events and “obtain a warning statement”, but that she failed to appear.

    Mugabe regularly speaks at political rallies and is seen as a possible contender to take over from her increasingly frail husband, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from British colonial rule in 1980.

  250. says

    Trump’s response to all the CEO’s who announced that they were quitting the manufacturing jobs panel:

    Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!

    Yeah, riiight. You messed up bigly, Hair Furor. And now, rather than endure the embarrassing daily announcements of people fleeing your toxic presence, you have disbanded the jobs panel with a tweet.

    As CEOs continued to drop out of the White House manufacturing jobs panel over President Donald Trump’s failure to place sole blame on white nationalists for the deadly attack in Charlottesville over the weekend, the President on Wednesday announced he was disbanding two White House jobs panels in an apparent attempt to pre-empt further defections. […]

    His tweet followed announcements from the CEOs of Campbell’s Soup and 3M that they would depart his Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. Trump’s announcement was also preceded by a New York Times report that said the CEOs on his Strategic and Policy Forum were preparing to disband that panel over his Charlottesville comments, too.

    As of Wednesday afternoon, seven business leaders had quit Trump’s manufacturing council. Four CEOs and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka had already announced their resignations from the panel earlier in the week.

    “Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville. I believe the President should have been – and still needs to be – unambiguous on that point,” Campbell’s CEO Denise Morrison said in a statement announcing her resignation from the council. “Following yesterday’s remarks from the President, I cannot remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. I will continue to support all efforts to spur economic growth and advocate for the values that have always made America great.” […]


  251. says

    Justin Moore is the Grand Dragon for the Loyal White Knights of Ku Klux Klan. Here is what Moore said about the woman who was killed in Charlottesville, and about the people that were injured:

    I’m sorta glad that them people got hit and I’m glad that girl died. They were a bunch of Communists out there protesting against somebody’s freedom of speech, so it doesn’t bother me that they got hurt at all.

    I think we’re going to see more stuff like this happening at white nationalist events.

  252. blf says

    Speaking of brexit, one of the many uncrackable nuts that has to be cracked is the problem of the land border between Ireland (the republic in the south) and N.Ireland (part of the UK in the north). It’s a famously open border, and almost everyone does not want the return of checkpoints, customs, and so on — what’s called a “hard border”.

    The UK has just released a paper on the subject, which the EU calls a “fantasy”. Fintan O’Toole (of the Irish Times) rips into it, The UK government’s border proposals for Ireland are absurd:

    The Brexit position paper feels more like an early move in the blame game than a credible plan. But this is not a game, it’s deadly serious
    [… T]o understand how this seems to the Irish government and to most people on the island, imagine you are in a decent job. It is reasonably paid, apparently secure and the working environment is quite amicable. Your neighbour, who you like but do not quite trust (there’s a bit of history there) comes to you with a proposition. She’s establishing an extremely risky start-up venture with a high probability of catastrophic failure. Will you join her? Well, you ask, what are the possible rewards? Ah, she says, if — against the odds — everything goes splendidly, you’ll get the same pay and conditions you have now.

    This is, in essence, what the British government is offering Ireland. If everything goes fantastically well, you’ll end up with, um, the status quo. Trade will operate largely in the same way it does today. The position paper is effectively a hymn to the way things are now. We don’t have a hard border, and we won’t after Brexit. We do have a common travel area that works remarkably well, and it will continue to go splendidly. The position paper takes existing realities and repositions them as a distant mirage, a fantastical possibility: less emerald isle, more Emerald city.

    As with the whole Brexit project, the proposals for Ireland are credible only if you accept two mutually incompatible propositions: a) The UK is creating the biggest political and economic revolution since 1973; b) pretty much everything will stay the same. […]


    The one really bold move in the paper is its rejection of the technological utopianism of the more enthusiastic Brexiteers […]. The commitment to “avoid any physical border infrastructure” means that there can be no CCTV cameras or registration-plate recognition systems. Magical machines are not going to take the place of human customs officers.

    This is a welcome concession to reality, but it is predicated on an even bigger unreality: the assumption that the EU will agree to something quite extraordinary: that a 500km external EU border with more than 200 crossing points will be effectively unpoliced. People and goods will pass over it without let or hindrance. Smugglers, people traffickers and terrorists will go on their merry ways unmolested. Small companies will not have to do customs checks at all; large ones will operate a charming honour system in which they retrospectively declare the goods they have moved and pay their duties.

    The absurdity of the proposition becomes clear when we think about all the new trade deals that post-Brexit Britain is going to make. With no Irish border controls, US beef, Australian lamb, Chinese steel and Indian cars can be imported into Belfast, sent an hour down the road to Dundalk and exported tariff-free to France, Germany or any other EU country. The only way to stop this happening would be in effect to make Ireland itself a semi-detached member of the EU with all Irish exports subjected to customs controls at EU ports. And this is simply not going to happen — why on earth would any Irish government ever agree to it ?


    Ireland has already told the UK that it (paraphrasing) “will not design the border for you”; as Mr O’Toole points out, the UK has to convince Ireland it has a workable solution.

  253. says

    Trump loved his ranting, racist, self-immolation style press conference:

    […] Trump, however, was in “good spirits” on Tuesday night, according to a White House adviser who spoke to him. The adviser said the president felt the news conference went much better than his statement on Monday […]

    The president was not alone in his pleasure at the news conference. Chief strategist Steve Bannon, whose nationalistic views helped shape Trump’s presidential campaign, was thrilled with the remarks, according to a friend of Bannon. Even though Trump on Tuesday failed to offer full-throated confidence in Bannon, saying, “We’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon,” the controversy has brought some additional job security for the strategist, who has been on the outs with Trump and other White House aides. […]

    But other Republicans were emphatic about the damaging nature of Trump’s comments.

    “Pathetic. Just pathetic, isn’t it?” Ohio Gov. John Kasich said on NBC’s “Today” show.

    “This is terrible. The president of the United States needs to condemn these kinds of hate groups,” Kasich added. “The president has to totally condemn this. It’s not about winning an argument.”


  254. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Clarification of the Donald’s assertion that he was waiting for facts before condemning the Nazis:
    The facts he was waiting for were “alternative facts”. Those take longer to come in because they have to be manufactured out of whole cloth.

  255. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    While I agree that the dude shouldn’t be allowed near any animals (humans included), if he gets a dog, he should also get a cat. Can you imagine this germophobe’s face when the dog comes up and gives him a big kiss on the face after snacking out of the cat box?

  256. says

    Psychologists Patrick Forscher and Nour Kteily recruited members of the alt-right to participate in a study to build the first psychological profile of their movement. There are limitations to these kinds of studies, but Forscher and Kteily, while acknowledging limitations, were startled by some of the results.

    […] “If you look at the mean dehumanization scores, they’re about at the level to the degree people in the US dehumanize ISIS,” Forscher says. “The reason why I find that so astonishing is that we’re engaged in violent conflict with ISIS.”

    Dehumanization is scary. It’s the psychological trick we engage in that allows us to harm other people (because it’s easier to inflict pain on people who are not people). Historically it’s been the fuel of mass atrocities and genocide.

    The alt-right has high support for groups that support and work for the benefit of white people
    This is — unsurprisingly — the largest difference Forscher and Kteily found in the survey. They asked participants how much they agreed with the following statement: “I think there are good reasons to have organizations that look out for the interests of whites.”

    And the differences between the alt-right and the control sample were about as big as you could possibly find on such a survey. The average difference was 2.4 points on a 1-to-7 scale. That’s nearly a full 1.5 standard deviations. “In my work, I’ve never seen a difference that big,” Forscher says. […]

    These survey questions ask respondents the degree to which they agree with statements like, “I avoid interactions with black people,” “My beliefs motivate me to express negative feelings about black people,” and, “I minimize my contact with black people.”

    Again, these questions showed huge differences. Forscher explains it like this. When he runs these questions on samples of college students, he usually sees average scores around 2 (out of 9, meaning people largely don’t agree with these questions.) “In the alt-right samples, I’m seeing numbers around 3 or 4, relatively close to the midpoint. In all the samples I’ve worked with, I haven’t seen means at that level.”

    In other words, members of the alt-right are unabashed in declaring their prejudices. […]

    Much more detail, (including charts and graphs), is available in the Vox article.

  257. says

    The violence in Charlottesville was all Barack Obama’s fault, or so say some people on the far right:

    Several Alabama voters blame President Barack Obama for the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville this weekend because, they say, he sowed division in American politics.

    Attendees at a rally for Rep. Mo Brooks, a conservative House Republican running for Senate, in Decatur on Monday said they were confident that philanthropist George Soros was bankrolling both sides of this weekend’s violent clashes.

    And on conservative Alabama talk radio, Black Lives Matter activists quickly emerged as a top culprit in the bloodshed. Callers, citing Facebook posts, claimed that BLM protesters had thrown bricks at the car that then hit and killed Heather Heyer.

    “There’s a lot of wrong on both sides, and unfortunately all the liberal media talks about is the wrong on one side,” said Tom Cowles, 61, a retired engineer from a wealthy section of northeast Alabama. […]


  258. says

    Yeah, they ditched you first. They broke up with you, Hair Furor:

    CNBC is reporting that the members of the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum—a group that included representatives from GM, Walmart, Pepsi, Boeing, and a number of top financial firms—have decided to dissolve their group in the wake of Donald Trump’s remarks defending the white supremacist rally/riot in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. From CNBC:

    “The thinking was it was important to do as a group,” a member told CNBC. “As a panel, not as individuals because it would have more significant impact. It makes a central point that it’s not going to go forward. It’s done.” … The business leaders chose to dissolve the council in order to “condemn” the president’s comments about the Charlottesville violence, the same member said. The member described Trump’s defiant press conference on Tuesday as a “tripwire.”

    In a transparent attempt to save face, Trump announced after CNBC reported the news that he would be dissolving both the Strategic and Policy Forum and the American Manufacturing Council, a similar group that was also hemorrhaging members:

    Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!


  259. Hj Hornbeck says

    Bannon made a boo-boo.

    Bannon has told associates that he admired the author’s stance on China, and so called the journalist, Robert Kuttner, on Tuesday, to discuss his piece. Apparently Bannon never thought that the journalist might take his (very newsworthy) comments and turn them into a story. It’s Anthony Scaramucci all over again (minus the curse words.)

    The result is not good for Bannon, who is already under pressure, with colleagues lined up against him and a president who agrees with him ideologically but tells associates he thinks Bannon is a leaker.

    Here’s what one of Bannon’s colleagues — somebody who’s not an enemy of his — told me after reading the piece: “Since Steve apparently enjoys casually undermining U.S. national security, I’ll put this in terms he’ll understand: This is DEFCON 1-level bad.”

    To add insult to injury, American Prospect is the enemy a left-wing publication, and Robert Kuttner has been critical of Trump. The webserver hosting the article is getting a lot of traffic, so here’s an archive.

  260. Hj Hornbeck says

    BWAHAHAHAHA, “DEFCON-1” indeed.

    I asked Bannon about the connection between his program of economic nationalism and the ugly white nationalism epitomized by the racist violence in Charlottesville and Trump’s reluctance to condemn it. Bannon, after all, was the architect of the strategy of using Breitbart to heat up white nationalism and then rely on the radical right as Trump’s base.

    He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: “Ethno-nationalism—it’s losers. It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.”

    “These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added.

  261. says

    My Mormon RWNJ sister said to me today that “Racism wasn’t a problem until Obama was president.”. This was the day after we held the wake and memorial for my mom. Let that sink in.

  262. says

    In better news, a guy I know who used to call himself a deplorable is now absolutely disgusted by Trump and the alt right, so…. small victories. I’ll take them where I can get them.

  263. says

    Oh, and as an IT guy, I can tell you this article in the Nation is bullshit, regardless of what their review finds.

    There is nothing to suggest in any of that reporting that the DNC hack was an inside job vs an outside hack.

    27MBps = 216mbps. A one hop 300mbps + connection to the DNC server is not out of the question, and is in fact likely with the advent of Metro Ethernet.

    Any hacker worth their salt would find the closest compromised system to launch a final attack on a server, and that would be within one hop.

  264. says

    Trump tweeting: “Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He’s toxic!”

    Several people were saying yesterday that Trump and his “brand” are now politically toxic, which was an apt description. Since the word got to Trump (especially because deep down he knows he’s more than just politically toxic but a toxic human being) such that he’s projecting it onto Flake, and since it’s accurate in Trump’s case, I suggest continuing to use it.

  265. says

    “Trump Lawyer Forwards Email Echoing Secessionist Rhetoric”:

    President Trump’s personal lawyer on Wednesday forwarded an email to conservative journalists, government officials and friends that echoed secessionist Civil War propaganda and declared that the group Black Lives Matter “has been totally infiltrated by terrorist groups.”

    The email forwarded by John Dowd, who is leading the president’s legal team, painted the Confederate general Robert E. Lee in glowing terms and equated the South’s rebellion to that of the American Revolution against England. Its subject line — “The Information that Validates President Trump on Charlottesville” — was a reference to comments Mr. Trump made earlier this week in the aftermath of protests in the Virginia college town.

    “You cannot be against General Lee and be for General Washington,” the email reads, “there literally is no difference between the two men.”

    Mr. Dowd received the email on Tuesday night and forwarded it on Wednesday morning to more than two dozen recipients, including a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security, The Wall Street Journal editorial page and journalists at Fox News and The Washington Times. There is no evidence that any of the journalists used the contents of the email in their coverage. One of the recipients provided a copy to The New York Times.

    “You’re sticking your nose in my personal email?” Mr. Dowd told The Times in a brief telephone interview. “People send me things. I forward them.” He then hung up.

    The email’s author, Jerome Almon, runs several websites alleging government conspiracies and arguing that the F.B.I. has been infiltrated by Islamic terrorists. He once unsuccessfully sued the State Department for $900 million over claims of discrimination.

    Mr. Almon’s email said that Black Lives Matter, a group that formed to protest the use of force by police against African-Americans, is being directed by terrorists. Mr. Almon blamed the group for deadly violence against police last year in Texas and Louisiana.

    In a telephone interview, Mr. Almon said he sent the email to follow up on a phone call he had last week with Mr. Dowd. He said he had called to offer damaging information about James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, and to provide other information about the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign.

    Mr. Almon said that he had also provided information about the F.B.I. to the office of Representative Devin Nunes of California, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

    An email Mr. Almon provided to The Times showed that he had been in communication in March with Mr. Nunes’ office. There is no evidence that Mr. Nunes circulated that email.

  266. says

    Here are the two articles from yesterday featuring comments by Bannon:

    “Steve Bannon, Unrepentant.”

    “Trump’s Embrace of Racially Charged Past Puts Republicans in Crisis.”

    I’m convinced that Bannon is unstable and has no coherent worldview or political project. He’s dangerous, but not because he or his patrons the Mercers are focused on implementing a consistent plan. And these interviews are beyond reckless and stupid.

    (I love that he says this while trying to ingratiate himself with Kuttner:

    He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: “Ethno-nationalism—it’s losers. It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.”

    “These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added.)

  267. says

    “Torches Replaced By Candlelight As Thousands Gather For Charlottesville Vigil”:

    Thousands of people quietly amassed on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville Wednesday night for an unannounced candlelight vigil.

    A soft glow illuminated the Rotunda – the iconic historic building at the heart of the University of Virginia.

    After a dark week in the city, it was a peaceful protest intended to counter a weekend of deadly violence sparked by a white supremacist rally.

    People streamed onto campus, lifting up lit candles. They chanted “love wins” and sang “We Shall Overcome” and “Amazing Grace.” A student read Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise.”

    For many, this was a chance to reclaim both this space on the UVA campus, and the town of Charlottesville….

  268. says

    Trump is doubling down: “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You…..”

  269. says

    “U.S. military leaders condemn racism following Trump’s comments on Charlottesville violence”:

    America’s top-ranking military officers spoke out forcefully against racial bigotry and extremism, a rare public foray into domestic politics that revealed growing unease at the Pentagon with some of President Trump’s policies and views.

    The members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — the senior uniformed brass of the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force — all posted messages on their official Twitter accounts to denounce the far-right extremists behind Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville, Va.

    The messages did not mention Trump, who is the commander in chief, by name. But the rebuke seemed clear in several posts given the bipartisan furor over Trump’s insistence Tuesday that “both sides” were at fault for the violence….

  270. says

    cont’d from #442: “…can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also…

    …the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”

  271. says

    EP saying that a suspect is holed up in a location (restaurant?) near the attack site. MSNBC is reporting that they’re hearing something similar, and someone on the phone near the scene is saying there is or was a hostage situation. Police haven’t confirmed that yet.

  272. says

    Catalan police are being very cautious in confirming things: “En estos momentos no se puede confirmar cuál es el móvil que ha originado los hechos de #Barcelona. Estamos tratándolo como atentado.”

  273. says

    The police are now confirming 13 dead and at least 50 injured.

    EP is giving the name of the person who rented the van, but I won’t repeat it until it’s confirmed that they’re a suspect.

  274. says

    EP is saying the suspect had priors for domestic violence and had spent time in prison in Figueres (near Barcelona) from which he was released in 2012. (Again – officials haven’t publicly confirmed that this is the suspect, although EP say they’ve confirmed it with officials.)

  275. blf says

    Follow-up to @419, South African police issue ‘red alert’ to stop Grace Mugabe from leaving:

    Police in South Africa have issued a red alert to stop Zimbabwe’s first lady, Grace Mugabe, from leaving the country after she was accused of assaulting a model at a hotel in Johannesburg.

    The African News Agency (ANA) reported that South Africa’s police minister, Fikile Mbalula, had ordered border staff to prevent Mugabe from leaving until the matter was resolved.


    The move comes after Mugabe — the wife of the 93-year-old Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe — failed to appear in court to face charges of assault. Robert Mugabe travelled to Pretoria on Wednesday night in an apparent attempt to help his wife, arriving early for a summit of regional leaders.

    Grace Mugabe, 52, is accused of attacking […] Gabriella Engels with an electrical extension cord […]


    Engels has been offered legal help by Gerrie Nel, a lawyer who prosecuted Oscar Pistorius for murder.

    Nel told reporters there was a “possibility of political interference” in the case. He said diplomatic immunity could not be used to “escape prosecution from grave crimes”.

  276. says

    Barcelona mayor Ada Colau did an emotional press appearance: “Somos una ciudad muy fuerte en su diversidad y sus valores. Barcelona es una ciudad de paz, de diálogo, de democracia, valiente, abierta al mundo, orgullosa de ser una ciudad cosmopolita. Los cobardes que han intentado sembrar el terror no se saldrán con la suya.” She called for a moment of silence tomorrow at the city hall at noon.

    EP reporting that the driver who jumped the checkpoint has been found dead in his car, either suicide or shot by police during the incident. Don’t know if it’s related.

  277. blf says

    Hair furor stumbles into the situation in Barcelona (from the Granuiad’s live blog, 20:23 mark):

    Donald Trump responded to the Barcelona attack be reviving an already debunked anecdote about a US general dipping bullets in pig’s blood to fight Islamic militants over a hundred years ago.

    After a relatively conventional response to the attack in which he went on to Twitter to call on the people of Barcelona to be “tough and strong” and offer US help, he posted another, more cryptic tweet 45 minutes later saying: Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!

  278. says

    Follow-up to blf @475, and to SC @466.

    Here’s the report from June 2016 when Trump perpetrated the myth about General Pershing:

    As the crowd cheered him on, Trump told them about Pershing — “rough guy, rough guy” — who was fighting terrorism in the early 1900s. Trump didn’t say where this happened, but variations of this story online usually state that it happened in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War — part of the island nation’s protracted battle for independence — early in Pershing’s career.

    “They were having terrorism problems, just like we do,” Trump said. “And he caught 50 terrorists who did tremendous damage and killed many people. And he took the 50 terrorists, and he took 50 men and he dipped 50 bullets in pigs’ blood — you heard that, right? He took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pigs’ blood. And he had his men load his rifles, and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said: You go back to your people, and you tell them what happened. And for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem. Okay? Twenty-five years, there wasn’t a problem.”

    Trump has changed the details of this myth several times, and never in the direction of actual factuality. He has said that Pershing’s actions stopped terrorism for 42 years, for 35 years, and for 25 years. Wrong at all levels, no matter how many versions Trump tells.

    The Pershing story was a hoax spread via email. It doesn’t even make sense.

    For additional background: Washington Post link

    Trump is so fond of his anti-Muslim tropes that he doesn’t care if everything he says is false. And, in addition, he was gleefully describing a war crime.

  279. says

    German Justice Minister Heiko Maas:

    It is unbearable how Trump is now glossing over the violence of the right-wing hordes from Charlottesville. No one should trivialize anti-Semitism and racism by neo-Nazis.

  280. says

    “WikiLeaks Turned Down Leaks on Russian Government During U.S. Presidential Campaign”:

    In the summer of 2016, as WikiLeaks was publishing documents from Democratic operatives allegedly obtained by Kremlin-directed hackers, Julian Assange turned down a large cache of documents related to the Russian government, according to chat messages and a source who provided the records.

    WikiLeaks declined to publish a wide-ranging trove of documents — at least 68 gigabytes of data — that came from inside the Russian Interior Ministry, according to partial chat logs reviewed by Foreign Policy.

    “We had several leaks sent to Wikileaks, including the Russian hack. It would have exposed Russian activities and shown WikiLeaks was not controlled by Russian security services,” the source who provided the messages wrote to FP. “Many Wikileaks staff and volunteers or their families suffered at the hands of Russian corruption and cruelty, we were sure Wikileaks would release it. Assange gave excuse after excuse.”

    The Russian cache was eventually quietly published online elsewhere, to almost no attention or scrutiny….

  281. says

    Jesus: EP now saying that the guy they’ve been talking about showed up at the police station and said he wasn’t connected to the attack. They’re now suggesting that his 18-year-old brother might have stolen his documents to rent the van.

  282. blf says

    Third White House panel scrapped amid Trump-Charlottesville controversy:

    Trump’s presidential [sic] advisory council on infrastructure will disband along with the two panels that Trump rushed to dissolve on Wednesday when faced with mass resignations of chief executives from some of America’s biggest companies.

    News of the panel being scrapped was leaked to Bloomberg News on Thursday after the Guardian approached the White House for comment.

    A White House spokesperson later confirmed in an email: The president [sic] has announced the end of the manufacturing council and the strategy and policy forum. In addition, the president’s [sic] advisory council on infrastructure, which was still being formed, will not move forward.


  283. says

    Wait – neither of the people in custody is the driver of the van. So did they kill the driver of the van?

    (Also, they’re saying the person killed after running a checkpoint and hitting officers wasn’t related to the attack, but an explosion last night in another town, Alcanar, which killed one person and wounded seven, was connected.)

  284. says

    EP is saying they don’t have the attacker in custody and that he’s fled. I’m seriously confused. If he’s at large, it seems like something people should be thoroughly warned about. But they didn’t say he was dead.

  285. blf says

    Uncertainty as Texas A&M drops White Lives Matter rally (Al Jazeera edits in {curly braces}):

    Texas A&M University cancels White Lives Matter rally but white supremacist organiser vows to hold event.

    In the wake of the white supremacist rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, a battle has erupted over Texas A&M University’s (TAMU) decision to cancel a White Lives Matter rally that was scheduled for September 11 [suspiciously provocative date –blf].

    Preston Wiginton, a local white supremacist and organiser of the event, first announced it on the day of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, one of the largest white supremacist gatherings in recent US history.

    TAMU announced the cancellation of the event, which would have included far-right and neo-Nazi speakers, in a statement on Monday, explaining that the event created “concerns about the safety of{…} students, faculty and the public”.

    After the university announced its cancellation on Monday, the Texas Tribune reported that Wiginton is working with lawyers to pursue a legal suit against Texas A&M for cancelling the rally.

    In a statement, he claimed that it appears that at TAMU white lives don’t matter and the demise of the white population is of no concern to them.


    Wiginton cited Charlottesville as his inspiration for the White Lives Matter rally in Texas, saying it would voice opposition to the liberal anti-white agenda.

    Today, Charlottesville, tomorrow Texas A&M, he wrote.

    He planned on bringing Richard Spencer […].

    Others who were slated to speak included Ken Reed, an organiser with the neo-Nazi-linked White Lives Matter group, and Sacco Vandal, a far-right radio host whose show has discussed white rape gangs to target women and the supposed necessity of white sharia.

    In December, more than 1,200 people protested against a lecture given by Spencer at TAMU.


    The University of Florida has also denied an event permit for Spencer’s think-tank, the National Policy Institute.


    In some instances, White Lives Matter members have posted photos of themselves performing Nazi salutes with their children. In other posts, they evoked neo-Nazi numerology like 1488.


    Others post Kek, a phrase popular among far-right social media users that is often said to mean kill every k*ke.


    In Houston, Austin and elsewhere in Texas, White Lives Matter protesters regularly attend events with rifles and other firearms.

    In October 2016, dozens of White Lives Matter participants gathered in front of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in Houston with guns.

    In August 2016, the group surrounded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Houston and chanted white lives matter.


    At Texas A&M, professor Tommy Curry, who white supremacists targeted with death threats earlier this year over comments he made about African Americans’ right to self-defence on a five-year-old podcast, said the attempt to stage White Lives Matter in College Station is “part of an orchestrated tactic by white supremacists across the country”.

    “It is not even a coded threat,” he told Al Jazeera, alluding to Wiginton’s decision to announce the rally on the same day as the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.

    According to Curry’s count, there have been four white supremacist rallies at Texas A&M in recent years. “White supremacy is a narrow, erroneous and ethnonationalist philosophy that should not have a place in a democracy,” he argued.

  286. says

    Is “Linda Suhler, Ph.D.” real? I came across this new tweet from her, in response to the oped linked @ #487: “I voted for Trump & worked to get him elected. Best thing I ever did & I’ll push just as hard in 2020! He’s NEVER let me down! #MAGA.” She has over 300,000 tweets and followers. A NYT reporter said she spoke to her in 2016, that she’s “a retired molecular biologist who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz.” and has four grandchildren, and that she’s “formed real-life friendships with fellow female Trump supporters she met online.” Suhler said on Twitter in 2013 that her diss was on the “Cloning and Characterization of Preproglucagon,” but I can’t find it anywhere. This Science article raises suspicions: “Another unknown is the number of Twitter users who are paid hacks. One of the most influential pro-Trump tweeters of all, based on Makse’s analysis of the cascades of retweeting in Twitter’s echo chamber, was @LindaSuhler. According to the account profile, it is a “Linda Suhler, Ph.D.” The internet has no record of that person and direct Twitter messages from Science were never answered.”

    I don’t know. Could be real. But that’s a lot of tweets, and a lot of no other information.

  287. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I hope MSNBC is paying Joy Reid appropriately for her many, many hats. Tonight, she’s pretending to be Chris Hayes, and does duty on many other shows as a political expert. A talent.

  288. says

    Guardian: “A spokeswoman for the Catalan police has confirmed that officers shot dead four alleged perpetrators and injured one more during the counter-terror raid in Cambrils.”

  289. says

    The Catalan police have said that in addition to the four suspects killed and one wounded (and detained), there are 6 more injured people (two seriously) and a police officer lightly wounded in Cambrils. EP, but no one else, has claimed there was a van attack in Cambrils, but the people wounded could also be from the shootout.